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Messages - Fiverine

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1
Public Notices / Re: Issues of the Conch Champion (For public reading)
« on: February 10, 2023, 03:15:43 am »
The Conch Champion.  Free of Thinking.

Is that leather Meriwether?

The Conch Champion can exclusively reveal that the famed leather and fur company Meriwether has received approval from West Netheril Trading Company to build a tannery and attached workshop near Conch.  This facility will be placed in the swamps west of Conch to reduce tannery odours reaching the city.  Meriwether is renowned in both Upper and Lower Netheril for producing furs, hides and leathers of peerless quality and Conch is most fortunate to have its own producer of these products now. 

"Whether you are a scholar needing delicate but durable leather to bind your books, a warrior seeking functional but attractive leather armour with spotted fur trim, or a noble wishing for a luxurious feathered cloak or purse then Meriwether is the place for you!" said tannery overseer Hud Trueman.  "We also have a very small number of hunting, security and workshop positions available for exceptionally skilled men and women," he continued.  Meriwether is known to have very generous wages and benefits, so these positions are sure to fill up quickly. 

-P. Krellin, reporter. 

2
The Conch Champion.  Independent & Accurate, Always.

I Still Hate This Job
I must say I am dismayed that seemingly not a single soul in Conch is willing to relieve me of this burden of editing my own newspaper.  But fine.  I will do it my bloody self if I must.  At least I can say that the recent months have been calm in our fair city.  The threat of war seems to have receded and our greatest danger right now is that of dreadful self-appointed comedians abusing the professionalism of our city proclaimers.  That said, I pride my reporters on being skilled at dredging up dismaying news no matter how good things appear (surely nobody reads a newspaper for GOOD news?).  So please read on and enjoy their efforts!

-R. Hurstport, owner and acting editor.

Mysteries of the Gods
The Conch Champion has been informed that all three Tychean temples in Conch have recently added sealed vaults to their crypts.  While we are a mere newspaper and have no right or interest to meddle in the affairs of the gods, loyal and longstanding parishioners of the temples have complained to the Champion about being forbidden to enter these new rooms.  Nor have parishioners been provided with any explanation of the sudden need for secrecy and security.  This reporter has contacted all three temples to query the matter.  All three gave the same reply that it is an internal church matter and of no concern to this newspaper or the general public. 

-S. Hellsworth, reporter.


Massacre at Hilltop
Yet another tragedy has befallen the halfling village of Hilltop.  A halfling warrior by the name of Lotho Thistlevale went berserk upon returning from a long journey to the west and slew several humans who were in Hilltop on business.  Then he turned his wrath upon those fellow halflings who sought to restrain or pacify him.  Differing accounts say that he was then either slain by the Hilltop militia or narrowly escaped them.  Conch's West Netheril Trading Company had some members in Hilltop at the time and they were amongst those slain.  WNTC has informed the Champion that they have sent a letter to Hilltop demanding the resurrection of their staff and compensation for their trauma. 

-A. Nutt, reporter.


Secrets of the Wizard Tower
The normally reclusive wizard Ptolemy of West Conch has asked for brave adventurers to go to his tower and face the challenge of his "Room of Doors".  Ptolemy told the Conch Champion that adventurers will find both danger and rewards in this room beneath his tower.  This newspaper can only speculate about what awaits any intrepid adventurers who answer his call.  We invite any who survive their visit to write a letter to the editor to explain their experience. 

-P. Krellin, reporter.

3
The Conch Champion.  Independent & Accurate, Always.

I Hate This Job
I'm not in the mood for an editorial today because, well, read the headline.  So I shall let the reporters "do their thing", as they say. 

- R. Hurstport, owner and acting editor.


Heights of Discrimination
In recent weeks the District Authority Nebular has received repeated complaints from members of the more diminutive races in Upper Conch.  A gang of unknown masked humans has been accosting lone halflings, gnomes and dwarfs in Uptown and threatening them or even beating them up.  On a few occasions offensive notes have been left pinned to the unconscious victims.  "NO MIDGETS IN UPTOWN!" was one of the printable ones.  Similar graffiti has been spotted on buildings in Upper Conch of late.  Lone halflings have been the most frequent victims of this outrageous racism.  With no arrests made by Nebular guards yet it is rumoured that the halfling community in Conch may be considering taking action of their own. 

-S. Hellsworth, reporter. 


Ogres Attack Sadardiel Estate
The Conch Champion has been informed that the Sadardiel Estate at Lake Vyctoria fended off yet another ogre raid on the weekend.  The raids have been increasing in frequency and severity.  Lady Apolline Sadardiel has both declared her family's determination to remain on their titled lands and her desire for skilled mercenaries to either join the plantation's garrison or work for House Sadardiel on a freelance basis. 

-A. Nutt, reporter.


Another Bizarre Ruling
Conch's most eccentric judge, Justice Oswald Schenker, has sentenced yet another criminal of Conch to a bizarre punishment.  Creek farmer Mr Percy Leibold was found guilty of being exceptionally cruel to the cats he kept in his barn.  Justice Schenker sentenced Mr Leibold to being transmuted into a cat for a week and living in said barn.  Mistress Abighail of Nebular agreed to perform the procedure at Justice Schenker's request.  The Creek Farms' head farmer Joy Lambton said that Mr Leibold's cat body is already "looking scratched up to hell" from the barn cats exacting their vengeance.

-P. Krellin, reporter.

4
Journals & Backgrounds / Re: Eliezra Baldwin's File
« on: January 17, 2022, 09:24:18 am »
Perhaps Mylene was correct about a storm falling upon the Loviatarian cult and Diiri's Boys, for neither have troubled us for a fortnight now.  I have some new comrades to help protect the shrine and do our good works in Conch.  This has given me just a little more time to rove outside the city gathering information and resources.

During one of these journeys I visited the Hamring enclave.  This will sound idiotic, but whilst exploring it I met a talking donkey named Karetta.  She needed some help retrieving a large bone from a jungle beyond a portal.  I made a few attempts to fetch it for her but found the jungle swarming with packs of lumbering, overgrown lizards.  Each pack seemed more ferocious and dangerous than the last and despite using my best potions and fighting hard I could not push past all of them.  Worst of all, I had to flee some of the largest lizards.  After my final attempt I was standing in the sitting room where the portal sat, feeling quite frustrated and miserable.  I was about to tell Karetta I couldn't complete the job when a woman entered the room.  She was clearly a mage, carrying a staff shining with power.

To my delight, it turned out to be the famed Gabriella "Gabby" Le'Moure.  I had heard of her deeds and research around Conch and knew Pearl and Lauriella considered her a good friend.  I also knew she was an outstanding enchanter of equipment for much of mine had been purchased from her store.  But this was the first time we'd ever crossed paths in person.  Since I had heard of her so long but never seen her I'd imagined her to be an aloof mage who spent her time when not adventuring locked in a tower working on artifice or research.  In fact, she was infectiously ebullient and eager to help me with my dilemma. 

I'd seen my allies Lauriella and Locke wield powerful magics and felt I had some idea of what is possible.  But my estimations were woeful... I have never seen such power as what Gabby could wield.  Normally when working with a mage I would be focussed on protecting them but that was not necessary this time.  Her summoned minions and transmuting spells made short work of even the fiercest of the reptiles, including some ancient horror that commanded them.  I did my part too.  The prime creature resembled a dragon skeleton and was terrifying, yet with words and gestures Gabby turned the monster to stone!  Conch is fortunate that she is a good soul.  With her aid the task was simple, and I was able to bring Karetta the bone she was seeking.  Gabby and I spoke for some time afterwards and I hope we can work together again soon. 


5
General Discussion / Re: Discord Discussion on Public Relations
« on: January 09, 2022, 07:45:24 am »
As did Leyoz above, I debated whether or not to post here because I donít want to trigger division.  Iím newer to NWN (and even Netheril) than many here, starting in late 2018.  Itís fair to say itís been a rollercoaster ride since then for both myself and my characters, other players and DMs and the server itself.  Iíve also played on other servers but by far most of my game time has been spent on Netheril.

The strong points of Netheril for me have been the fact I have made genuine friends here.  Iím a somewhat woeful gamer and unlike other servers I could name I donít get mocked or sneered at on Netheril for that.  I have also had the opportunity to contribute a lot of lore, NPCs and in-game descriptions to the setting which is not something I have had the chance to do elsewhere.  The majority of DMs are and have been friendly and helpful and allowed me and other players to drive plots and events and tell our stories without hassle.  The DM team has put in immense personal hours on the content and systems and I think they have produced an excellent place to play in.  I donít agree with every single decision they make and have voiced my concerns on occasion, but overall I feel they care about what they have created and the happiness of those who participate in it. 

The most unfortunate tendency Iíve found on Netheril is that players (along with the occasional DM) form cliques of sorts which become very tribal.  Then when a firm decision is made against a prominent player (such as a ban, denied plot or PC application etc) what has sometimes happened is they will quit the server in a fit of pique and their associated clique will go with them.  This has happened repeatedly, sometimes over serious matters and sometimes over ones that are almost comical.  Another issue I have noticed is that the DM team have not always communicated well with each other about what they are doing in game  This makes it very difficult when a player is working on something and the DM who has been handling it becomes absent and has taken no notes about previous events (difficult both for the player and for the DM who has to step in).  I have other minor gripes, such as accepted styles of role-playing, useable skills, playable races and classes and the different treatments afforded to different alignments, but these are entirely my personal preferences.  I donít see much point whining about them when some players are quite happy with those respective current settings. 

There are some common criticisms of Netheril I would like to respond to.  Accusations of favouritism have come up at times, but I find these often arenít convincing.  Iíve been accused of being a DM favourite by someone who themselves was widely considered a DM favourite.  Hell, in my self-pitying moments Iíve grumbled to myself that someone else is getting all the loot and attention I would like.  We players throw the accusation of favouritism around pretty liberally.  The best that can be done in my opinion is for DM team members who know a player IRL to abstain from voting on applications involving that player.  But this isnít always possible and depends heavily on high DM numbers.  Then there is player vs player actions.  PVP is one of the most difficult elements of NWN in persistent world play.  I think itís handled imperfectly on Netheril but is everywhere else too. 

I will add any further thoughts if they come to me.  But my hope is that Netheril can become consistently active.  Itís always experienced waxing and waning of numbers from big highs to harsh lows.  I would so much rather see us with 5-20 good players regularly online than with 20-50 but half of them being, well, jerks of some variety.  I strongly feel that the former situation is what the DM team and player base should be aspiring to rather than the latter. 

6
Journals & Backgrounds / Re: Eliezra Baldwin's File
« on: December 31, 2021, 09:34:33 am »
Sister Mylene's prophecy was accurate.  I have heard another Ilmateri making proclamations and Ostian said the beggars have tipped him off to the presence of at least one other.  I took this news to Mylene thinking it would give her some solace.  She has still been breaking down in tears sporadically, haunted by the fates of the refugees who went with Vyc and Sid.  Especially the children.  I have no idea how those fooled into accompanying the Fane are faring, but I am told that a few who joined Diiri's Boys are already dead. 

Mylene was sad but stable and drinking her usual tea when I spoke to her at the shrine this eve.  I told her the good news and said that I would seek out these brothers and sisters in spirit and show them our shrine and relic.  To my shock, she burst into tears again and for longer than she has in days.  I gave her time to settle and when she did not I asked her why she still grieved for the lost when help was finally at hand. 

Priestess Mylene stopped sobbing, sipped some of her brew and fixed me with a somber look.  She had that distant look that often hints one of her visions is imminent. Finally she spoke.
"After what happened to the refugees I knew that more of our faith would be drawn here.  And I knew they would be guardians and crusaders like you Eliezra.  Our persecutors have endangered children.  It is not for our lost that I shed tears for now.  I shed tears for those who took them."

7
The Angels of Small Mercies celebrate the arrival of fellow Ilmateri to the city!  Conch can only benefit from the presence of more people who are devoted to healing and helping others.  We invite them to meet and break bread with us at the beggar camp in the northwest

Though a time of celebration, it is also a time for reflection.  We Angels know all too well of the terrible acts of cruelty and trickery that were recently committed against some of the most vulnerable people inside these walls.  Even the Broken God, though infinitely kind, has his limits of tolerance.  Surely it is these egregious acts which have drawn more of his guardians to Conch! 

THE ANGELS OF SMALL MERCIES

8
Journals & Backgrounds / Re: Eliezra Baldwin's File
« on: December 19, 2021, 02:05:34 am »
The tensions in the slums finally exploded today.  A new gang, the Black Tails, tried to seize some of the livestock the refugees had brought with them whilst some rogue mages attempted to take some children for slaves.  Several members of Diiri's Boys and Kizurra the White were on hand as well as myself so both groups of attackers were swiftly dispatched.  But what then transpired was far worse. 

One refugee by the name of Daggith has been in a state of maddened grief from his traumas.  His paranoia and guilt have been infectious and Diiri's Boys and the Fane of the Thorned Rose used this unrest to convince some of the refugees to leave the camp and go to their respective groups.  Vyc and Aarden the self-styled Mage Killer did not protest at Sid taking some refugees out of the slums to the Loviatarian den.   Sid is apparently a member of both groups, which I cannot see ending well for him. 

There were too many villains for me to fight alone, and I have no right to prevent people from leaving if that is their wish.  It filled me with sorrow that these people I have fed and tended to when others would not could so easily abandon us.  They will be hurt and even killed where they have gone and I can do little about it.  Kizurra was the only other one there I felt did not just view the refugees as exploitable resources.  She tried to cure Daggith's mental state but sadly could not.  I later met Volandis Webberman who also seemed to be a good soul. 

Some brave and grateful souls stood by me and will stay with us.  But Sister Mylene broke down when I told her the bad news that so many had left, though a generous donation for her from Kizurra was some small consolation.  Mylene was weaker than usual.  Ostian told me she had one of her visions while I was arguing with the thugs outside.  He handed me a sheaf of tattered papers she had been scribbling on during her rapture.

It was all sketches of people.  It was our flock.  I could recognise some of them easily- little Ostian, Arlow with his braced leg, some of the refugees who stayed.  None of the ones who left were pictured, so I realised she must have had a vision of the near future.  I leafed through the sketches and marvelled at how talented she is when channeling the Broken God. 

There was one of me.  At first I chuckled sardonically at how she seems to see me.  Standing resolute with my sword high, my cloak glowing with rays of light or energy.  The shrine was in the background and clearly I was protecting it.  After that little moment of self-absorption I noticed something far more significant in the sketch.  I was not alone.

9
Journals & Backgrounds / Re: Eliezra Baldwin's File
« on: December 17, 2021, 07:11:12 am »
For a few weeks refugees were flooding into Conch but it seems most of those fleeing the raiders have arrived now.  I've done my best to help them.  Many are camping with my people so I've been busy collecting food and bandages for them.  While they are reasonably safe for now, I worry.  The gangs see the masses as a fertile recruitment ground.  Diiri's Boys will naturally grab most of the desperate souls seeking such work.  They do not appreciate our shrine's work with the refugees, either.  I imagine anything that gives the refugees hope would infuriate the Boys. 

There was one small (though mixed) sliver of hope recently.  I saw an armoured woman in the Market District and the markings on her armour appeared to be those of an Ilmatari cleric.  I wanted to approach her and tell her of the shrine but unfortunately she was in the company of Vyc, the gnoll from Diiri's Boys.  Lauriella considered him an ally of sorts, but I would prefer to avoid any contact with Diiri's goons right now. 

10
Any refugees arriving in West Conch are invited to visit the north west corner where the Angels of Small Mercies will treat your injuries, give you something to eat and a place to rest your head. 

IMPORTANT:  While this is a free service, we do need some tinder to start our campfires.  Fortunately we have found the fliers posted by the Fane of the Thorned Rose burn extremely well! If you see any of these on your way to us please remove them and bring them along to help us start a nice little campfire for you to warm your soup and rest at. 

THE ANGELS OF SMALL MERCIES


11
Journals & Backgrounds / Re: Eliezra Baldwin's File
« on: December 13, 2021, 06:10:14 am »
After a lull of a few weeks the Loviatarian cult the Fane of the Thorned Rose has begun advertising in West Conch again.  I've responded with proclamations and posters, but there has been no indignant response this time.  I imagine they are just assuming I am of no consequence.  As much as I detest any group of torturers and bullies residing in our city I'm realistic.  If the Fane would merely restrict their activities to the other two thirds of the city I would stay out of their business.  But in attempting to become players in West Conch they (or their dupes) will inevitably be preying upon the Sister's flock which obviously I cannot allow.  But furthermore, I can feel the Broken God's pleas that I do not allow any residents of the slums to become their playthings. 

It has also become rather lonely of late.  I have my friends within the movement of course, such Mylene, Ostian and Arlow.  But Lauriella has departed Conch, presumably not to return, and I have not seen Pearl for several days.  I did have some good fortune a few nights ago, however.  I was in Nebular vainly attempting to learn how to play chess properly (the city's chess champion is a regular guest at the Loving Lamb, but he always refused to impart his wisdom to me).  I knew that chess is a popular pastime at Nebular so hoped someone there might explain the rules to me.  But everyone there seemed extremely busy. 

While I was staring at a chess board, a young hungover mage slumped in the chair across from me.  He introduced himself as Apprentice Locke, a name I had heard from Lauriella.  She implied he was a very wayward student.  I am not sure of his ancestry, but the eerie blue tint to his eyes and hair indicated it was not fully human.  He told me he was about to do some Nebular work to avoid being evicted from his dorm.  Because he was so tired and seedy I decided I had best accompany him to keep him safe.  Fortunately a few others came along too- an archer named Jamie and a dwarf warrior named Rurin.  We made a formidable team and completed Locke's task.  Perhaps I can arrange to work with them again, for they seemed good folk. 

12
We here in the slums of West Conch know suffering and endurance far beyond the experiences of those in the Market and Upper Districts.  The Angels of Small Mercies say we have no need for sadistic perverts from Uptown who question the strength and courage of the people of the slums in their propaganda.  Reject the false prophets of the Fane of the Thorned Rose! They seek only to bring yet more pain into your lives and even possess the audacity to demand coin for their "services"!

THE ANGELS OF SMALL MERCIES

13
A tournament of bloodshed and death approaches.  The Angels of Small Mercies do not judge the rightness or wrongness of this crude method of releasing tension in the slums.  But any contestants who are wounded and have no treatment should make their way to us, either via asking at the store Small Mercies or any beggar can direct you in exchange for alms.  The Angels will heal you at no charge and you may then make your own decision about your path from there.  We Angels will even endeavour to save those left to die and dissolve on the grate. 

THE ANGELS OF SMALL MERCIES

14
Journals & Backgrounds / Re: Eliezra Baldwin's File
« on: December 05, 2021, 08:46:51 am »
I had my first encounter with the raiders of the army Lauriella warned me about.  They were pursuing some women fleeing from a village which the raiders had just torched.  They ignored my pleas to simply turn around and leave and made threats to drag me off and I was forced to fight them.  Though strong and resilient they bled like any other creature and I slew them.  I am told they are clones and mutants, bred for nothing but cruelty and war.  Yet, I must still offer them the chance to mend their ways even if none take it. 

A mage fairly new in town but personable, Kizurra the White, has also been trying to recruit me for the war.  She was more determined than Lauriella but I still refused.  I don't want to be on the frontlines, whether as a soldier or medic.  I need to be here in Conch to protect the shrine, Sister Mylene, and the people of Conch.  Already we have had refugees arriving in the slums so I need to continue gathering bandages and food for them while I still can.  We must give them support and hope lest in their desperation they be drawn to Diiri's Boys or the Kolumbos. 

It sounds as if another tournament will be held in the slums arena again soon.  Hopefully we can save a few poor souls from dissolving on the grate...

15
Public Notices / Re: Issues of the Conch Champion (For public reading)
« on: December 05, 2021, 06:25:11 am »
The Conch Champion.  Independent & Accurate, Always.

Exclusive Investigative Report
Reporter Peela Krellin has concluded an investigation into the strange artifacts known as "soulstones" or "soulgems".  I commend her courage and diligence in this matter.

-R. Hurstport, owner and acting editor.


Stealers of Souls
Those acquainted with magical artifacts will surely already know of or have encountered the unsettling items known as soulstones.  To the uneducated, one of these would seem to be a pretty gemstone of moderate value.  But in truth they are disturbing creations into which the soul and essence of a killed sentient creature has been bound.  Activating the stone will cause a magical effect, usually a physically enhancing one, but this can only be done three times.  On the third use, the stone will crumble and the soul bound within obliterated forever.  Most folk would consider such a deed utterly abhorrent, and yet increasingly these items are appearing in our markets.  So presumably some have no qualms about their use. 

The rulers of West Conch, Diiri's Boys, have effectively used these soulstones to seize and retain their dominance of the slums.  As District Authorities, that is entirely their right and their business.  But one would have to wonder if their use by the Boys has played a role in these once rare items being regularly found in the Conch area.  If the soulstones were to be entirely in the hands of their employees perhaps there would be little cause to worry, unless you were their enemy of course.  But increasingly soulstones are falling into other hands. 

A concerned parent recently wrote to this newspaper saying her child found one when collecting rocks.  The parent accidentally triggered the stone's power.  Initially confused, they were horrified when they took the soulstone to a priest who explained the nature of it.  The parent was frightened that someone would come after them or their child for having possession of and using such an item.  Adventurers have also been known to collect or carry soulstones, either to use them or hand them over to priests in hopes of releasing the trapped soul.  They have been finding soulstones in the possession of monsters and bandits.  Many sellers in the market district told this reporter that more soulstones than ever are being sold to them by adventurers, scavengers and traders.  Interestingly not all of these soulstones are genuine but many are. 

There is little consensus on how these soulstones are made, or by whom.  Evidently Diiri's Boys have some insight into their creation, but it is also likely that any powerful arcanist could learn the necessary artifice.  It is said that rival gangs are also seeking the secrets of their creation.  But should such cruelly created items be allowed in the possession of anyone outside District Authorities?  Do religious institutions have a responsibility to intervene when the destruction of souls is the ultimate result?  I make no judgement, but simply report these facts for the reader to decide.

-P. Krellin, reporter. 

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