The Press of Mistletoe, Cinnamon, and Holly, Chesapeake (PaxLair Times) – December 20, 2012 – by Ashlynn – Celebrations are already well underway and there are still several days to go before Christmas! The past month has been busy with intrigue and parties – a dangerous mix I must say! Anything could ye happen before the year is through though I suspect most of it will involve tailoring adjustments and alcohol poisoning.
Gifts, Gifts, and More Gifts
For those who enjoy attending many of the prestigious events that occur throughout our lands, it is fair to say that the gift giving season has yielded quite a bounty thus far with three gift-focused events already and more yet to come!
The spirit of Santa first made his presence known at the tavern in Dragon’s Watch and true to form he was grumpy, drunk, and his hands tended to wander more than they otherwise should. Infact some of what happened that evening is probably not fit for print in such a high status newspaper but it seemed that people enjoyed the night regardless. In any case such a manifestation of Santa has become a tradition in Dragon’s Watch to which many people look forward.
The following night the spirit made another appearance at the Sosarian Solstice Faire. Behaving more respectably this time around, people queued for hours and hours and hours for a chance to speak to the jolly fat man. Asking whether we were good or bad, he gave us all either a hat or boots that had been specially made by his… whatever his servants are. Perhaps golems or undead elves. Who knows!
A gift exchange at the Tea House in PaxOku hosted by Governor Winfield followed the faire appearance of Santa. The Governor had a slight twist in mind for the event which he called “Dirty Santa”. Everyone brought a gift to add to the pile and names were called out randomly one by one. Those called had the option to pick a new random gift or steal one that had already been drawn. Those “stolen” from would then get the same choice, and so it continued until all the gifts had been shared out.
My gift of a bottle of noxious gas aside, it was all great fun. Dirtnap even had additional gifts to hand out to everyone at the end of the game which were very well received. Many thanks to him!
But for those looking for more fun and games, the gift-giving season is not yet over as I hear Guardian’s Gate has their own gift exchange event in mind, though I suspect there is less stealing involved!
A Cult of Exodus
Cultists who have devoted themselves to the terrible half-mechanical entity known as Exodus have made camp near the ruins of Ver Lor Reg offering aid to those who wish to summon an aspect of the daemon’s spirit.
One surprising consequence however are the large numbers of champions wishing to prove their might against such a being – performing the summoning ritual to challenge the entity and lay claim to a tiny portion of his wealth.
In the past few weeks I have heard of many such expeditions leaving from the City of Haven in the evening. Anyone daring enough to take up such a challenge should probably inquire amongst those sometimes found there.
Robbery on the High Seas
Fortune’s Fire was raided by pirates a week ago, the scurvy sea urchins clearly hoping to make away with all the coin that the house has managed to swindle out of patrons over the past month or so. Unfortunately for the pirates, a large party of Britannian revelers was present and they just so happened to be armed to the teeth!
Cruising along the coast, the pirates bombarded the shore but realizing the strength of their opposition, they swiftly took to the seas. Not content to let such an indignity rest, many of the visitors decided on pursuit, using ships lying at anchor to chase the pirates all the way to the island of Moonglow.
Despite being outnumbered, the pirates still put up quite a fight before they were finally brought to bloody justice – a lesson to all would-be Christmas Corsairs everywhere.
Ashlynn’s Christmas Ornament Suggestions
Glittering goblin-ears, toes clad in amber, and silver inlaid goblin knucklebones are amongst this year’s most fashionable ornaments in the City of Umbra. Indeed, the Umbraen economy has seen something of an unusual boom in trade this season, but the merchants are certainly not complaining. Curious, I decided to ask one merchant by the name of Cruentus how this all came about.
“Well as yer know we sell a lot o’ the harder to find reagents here in Umbra. Things the folk in the Britannian cities often outlaw or find distasteful. Human bones, murder caps, organs, all that. But if we want some o’ them fancy ornaments, we have ter import ’em at a premium ’cause for some reason foreign merchants don’t like to visit here often.”
It is true, I have heard that many merchants from Britain and Trinsic have often avoided Umbra for fear of becoming the victim of some mage’s terrible experiment. I must add though that such ideas are very much over exaggerated. But Cruentus continued.
“That time you visited to purchase some… [I feel this part is best deleted] …well you suggested producin’ our own. And those recent raids the Captain has been leadin’ into the Abyss have brought back many goblin bodies fer raw material so to speak. Since then we can’t make ’em fast enough!”
I have always believed in buying local whenever possible and I’m glad to see the citizens of Umbra have taken this idea to heart. And even though the… cattle are not from Umbra, they are certainly butchered locally! A very Merry Christmas to the people of Umbra!
The season has not all been fun and games (and corsair raids) as Vulcan’s Emissary had yet more work for willing volunteers. An expedition late last month took us to the depths of Fire Dungeon where we fought a maddened spirit of fire after the emissary informed us that Vulcan’s madness was contained within in crystal that could be or had been forged into a weapon. Once the creature had been slain, the emissary explained to Captain Irina that the weapon was far more powerful than we at first believed.
Sadly I am a little hazy on the details after that and will have to formally investigate this matter further before writing a more comprehensive editorial. Or perhaps having another do so. (Volunteers are welcome!)
Assassin Escapes Royal Guard
The most recent Royal Guard Expedition took us into the wilds of Central Ilshenar where we heard that Elise Symeria the assassin could be found – the same assassin responsible for so much chaos, murder and destruction across Britannia and who we now believed was being swallowed by some madness of darker origin.
Scouring the land we eventually cornered her in a fortified Savage settlement south of the ruins of old Fort Blackthorn. It appeared the assassin had tricked the backwards denizens into helping her and they fought against us with all their might.
Unfortunately as victory seemed within our grasp the assassin managed to escape our heavily armed force and her whereabouts are once again unknown. But with yet more of her allies defeated and another hideout compromised, the noose surely tightens. Soon she will have nowhere left to run.
What’s Happening in Britannia
Guardian’s Gate will be hosting a gift exchange at auction on Friday 21st December! Simply bring a bag containing a gift (whether big or small) and a book with your name in it and hand it to the cashier.
A night of Winter Tales is still set for December 29th at 8pm EST. Come along, tell a story and enjoy an evening of fun. There’s a prize for the best story involving a goblin meeting wintery demise.