BNN: The Yew Times - Issue 5
THE YEW TIMES - A Newspaper for Sosaria
YEW TIMES Editorial Office
15 June 2012 11:00:49 EST
Written by members of the UO community
Homeowners On Alert
Yew homeowners are up in arms following a scam where several families were hustled from their homes while colleagues with picks and shovels tore up kitchens and living rooms, leaving all in disarray before departing. The Yew Times has been asked by authorities to keep the public informed of parties posing as officials associated with a non-existing agency calling itself the Bureau of Building Foundation Structural Integrity. According to accounts, a number of disheveled characters bullied themselves into the households of several Yew citizens insistent upon checking the buildings' supports. The culprits are believed to be treasure hunters with a poor sense of direction and questionable map reading skills. Should you be confronted by such persons pitching a story of corpser roots digging into your home's foundation, you are advised to report the incident to local law enforcement, so that proper action may be taken.
Pirate Gold Still Missing
Leads are still being pursued regarding the the theft of a sum of 900 million gold from the banking accounts of retired pirate, Redbeard Steelhook Pegleg Patcheye Carpal-Tunnel Morgan. Morgan insists that the money evaporated overnight following the disappearance of his long-time companion, Mister Crackers. Morgan is insistent that the bird impersonated him and withdrew his life savings and is probably eating rum-soaked Parrot Wafers on some secluded isle somewhere. Morgan swore upon his sainted mother's mustache that he would personally make the bird walk the plank if he managed to get his hands on him.
Mystery Meat Business Busted
Crown food inspectors shut down operations of the Boarshire Farms Slaughterhouse and Meatpacking in Cove when it was revealed that the family owned business owned no actual farm or slaughterhouse. Boarshire sausages, deemed the favorite sausage of Britannia's breakfast table, was specifically targeted, as inspectors remained clueless as to the origin of its mysterious contents. An overseeing investigator stated, "We have no idea what it is, but is sure ain't pork." When we asked local consumer, Glenard Blardfoot, what he thought about the recent and shocking revelations concerning the perplexing meat conundrum, he shrugged his shoulders and replied, "I don't care. That *#@! is tasty."
Madman's Journal Discovered
Mondain Remembers... how he got the Gem of Immortality. A collection of writings believed to be Mondain's memoirs was recovered by a collector and turned over to the Lycaeum for study. Although many of the pages were extremely brittle and worn with age, one clearly legible page was of particular interest.
"Minax and I lived on an island in those days. We were young and in love and very happy. While I busied myself with my research, Minax spent her days doing Minax things to small furry animals. My research centered on the small lights that flickered offshore. They were very bright at night and sometimes blood would swell up into the sea from the dancing lights. Minax discovered this first. I found her one moony night, keening and gibbering madly on the beach, covered in the blood of the sea. Only by letting her suck my neck could I sooth her long enough to get her to the water trough and bathe her. I determined to discover for myself what lay in those depths. And, with the help of my trusty island pygmy, Baldric, I built a diving chamber. We loaded it onto a small ship and sailed one evening to the spot where the lights came out at night. As those devilish lights began hopping about the surface, I crammed Baldric into the chamber and lowered him by rope into the bleeding sea. Although he lacked an air supply, Baldric had confidence in my ability to decipher his tugs on the rope. The mere frantic, I ignored. But truly convulsive tugs meant his skin was turning blue and I would haul him up for a wheezy debriefing. Soon, a picture emerged of a sunken ship resting on the bottom. Before poor Baldric went into permanent convulsions, I learned the prow of that ship was adorned by a skull pouring blood from its eyes! Well, that settled it. Baldric would have to go down one more time and get that skull.Of course, I was deeply concerned about Baldric. The way he was flopping around now, he could damage the skull in retrieving it. But we scientists must take risks so, shouting my instructions, I plopped him in one last time and prayed for the skull's deliverance. "This is your last dive, Baldric," I crooned soothingly as he sank. And he did it! Baldric got the skull! He was never quite right after this, but he had always been a bit twitchy to begin with. And I had the skull! I immediately spotted the key clenched in the skull's teeth. I pried the key loose and read the inscription on its side, "Pacemaker." This key would unlock my dad's pacemaker! I could get the Gem of Immortality that powered dad's pacemaker! Oh! WoW! Was I excited!
And, well, you know the rest of the story."
Evil Just Trying to Get By During Hard Times
No party is exempt from the recent economic slump. Every day, another infographic group dips below the wire as the cost of living increases; demons, undead, elementals, etc, are forced to work longer hours just to make ends meet as reagent prices escalate. A representative of the Collectors of Souls complained bitterly of having to work overtime to do twice as much work with fewer hours for recreation and no benefits. The anonymous representative stated "We get our marching orders from the Godfather of Souls. We have very little say in the matter. The price for souls has plummeted recently, and we're forced to offer souls at a considerable discount. Nowadays, the going offer is for "Buy one soul and get one free soul of lesser or equal value."" A competing Balron union has offered to undercut the competition by providing lower quality souls at a bulk rate. In related news, a fire elemental made a symbolic gesture in protest against declining services by carrying two pitchers of water to a busy spawn point and extinguishing himself to death.
A Special Public Service Announcement
Everyday, hundreds of unprotected unicorns are brutally killed for a cruel market that utilizes their horns for commercial purposes. With only their spells to protect themselves, proud and noble unicorns are clubbed to death by thrill seekers and collectors, while the rest of Britannia remains ignorant of this shocking activity. Won't you listen to their bleating cries and do something to end this needless cruelty?
In the backrooms of workshops, carpenters craft furniture fashioned from the elegant and beautiful ivory horn, rendering pieces that are both lasting and elegant. A piece such as this would be a welcome addition to any home. Any prospective buyer upon seeing such craftsmanship would be compelled to own one themselves. Although pricey, one would expect to pay a little more for the quality of such magnificent pieces. And let's not forget the deplorable use of unicorn horns for the creation of magic wands. Cut from the unicorn's head, the poor beast dies shortly after it's horn is removed. Smuggled into the hands of artisans, the horn is crafted into a flawless light-weight wand that never fails to deliver the perfect spell. Casting at 3 levels higher, it is a must-have item for any serious spellcaster. Although difficult to obtain, we have seen them regularly restocked on various vendors in close proximity to the Luna moongate. And most heartbreaking of all, is the exploitation of innocent doe-eyed unicorn foals. Born in captivity, the foals are raised in the poorest of living conditions. Fed a nutrient deficient diet and caged in small pens to keep their young muscles weak, their tiny horns are harvested for the most selfish of purposes. You would have to be inhuman not to be moved to tears by their mistreatment. And surely if heartless consumers were to learn of their value, they would be culled to extinction by the demand for such a wondrous item. You see, their tiny horns, lovingly tipped with fine 14 carat gold and crafted into a pendant is hung from a polished white gold foxtail chain providing immunity from the most lethal of poisons, and granting luck equivalent to 10 full imbued gold plate suits of armor practically guaranteeing the best loot drops for any monster farming enthusiast. Some are fooled by a market of cheap imitations, but only true baby unicorn horn radiates an aura of comfort and well-being and carries the Real Baby Unicorn Horn Seal of Approval. Some of the most disreputable of authentic baby unicorn horn dealers have even gone as far as including a selection of horns complete with birthstone making for that gift for that special someone. Oh! and most offer free gift-wrapping and delivery. So, let’s band together in a campaign to stamp out this terrible practice. Monitor your P.A.T.E.U. channel to see how you too can become involved.
So, you and your friends are having a good time out at the Valor spawn. Everything is going just fine until some fool sprints past you pursued by two paragon greater dragons, and it looks as though the paragons have suddenly changed their minds about the dinner menu. You turn to say something to your pals, but they have already recalled out, leaving you behind. Well, it's a good thing that you are wearing a pair of Brightside Lenses. These rose-colored glasses are magically enchanted so that you will always see the positive side of any situation. So, even as you have run out of tithing points, you are already looking forward to two large chests brimming full of loot, a sweet artifact, and some delicious home-made chocolate when you get back, that you won't have to share with your so-called friends. Brightside lenses are sure to be a hot item this summer, so get them while supplies last.
To Members of the secret organization who are actively working on that thing we're not supposed to talk about:
The Black Brigade has been forced to reschedule its Tuesday meeting due to unforeseen circumstances, and there have been several changes to our plans to poison Britain's mayor and forge official documents on major policy, which will allow us to move forward with our objectives. First: Steve, you will introduce the poison extracted from the pollen of the twilight orchid which will mimic a heart attack. It is critical that no one suspects poison to be the cause of death, as this will cast suspicion, and possibly foil future undertakings. Secondly, new information has come forward regarding the guard that Helena was supposed to seduce and distract while Steve sneaks into the Mayor's quarters. It seems that certain observed proclivities would indicate that this particular guard might not actually like women, so we may have to substitute Helena with something like a cornish gamehen instead. For everyone else, the plan remains the same, but we will be meeting instead at the Britain library at 3 pm on Thursday. Remember, Friday is Casual Friday and we will be ordering lunch from Rib Shack.
Now Hiring: Individual with exceptional taste buds to serve as food taster and line of defense to particularly obnoxious and despised nobleman. Apply in person with the steward of Lord Crudgeworth's estate.
ARTS AND LIVING
New Weight Loss Secret
You might not be able to tell from looking at me now, but I used to weigh 54 stones. I was in complete denial. I used to tell myself that I was big-boned or gravitationally challenged. But it started getting harder to lie to myself. I had to sleep on the floor on top of four bedrolls because I couldn't find a blacksmith that could make me a new bed. Tailor shops would lock their doors when they saw me coming; I had to make a deal with a titan to sell me some of his togas. They didn't want me around the telescope in Moonglow, because they said I was blocking the view. Pretty soon, I was told that I should avoid public transport because they couldn't figure out how to widen the moongates. But those days are behind me, because I slimmed down to a healthy 13 stones by starting the fishsteak diet and a modest exercise regimen. I started out catching my own fish by doing a cannonball from the docks and would burn off excess calories trying to climb back out of the water; pretty soon I was in top shape. If you are looking for a good way to shed some pounds, the fishsteak diet is a good place to start. I'm living proof.
Bento Box Concerns
We get a lot of mail on the bento boxes on how clever they are, but what a shame it is that they cannot be reused. What a lot of people don't realize is that the special magic of bento boxes is that they can only be filled by moms with things like peanut butter sandwiches cut into heart shapes, a healthful snack, and a love note saying how proud she is. We just thought you should know.
Prop Jester Appearance Performance Fizzles
Organizers are already regretting their decision to book unfunny entertainer, Bramble the Git for the recent Shelter the Homeless Gargoyles Before They Get Eaten by Void Monsters fundraiser. Bramble stoked the audiences excitement level in anticipation of some grand guffaw that would never come. "The guy only had three props," said one disappointed spectator, "A stick, a string, and a dead squirrel, and he just tied the string to the end of the stick, and dangled the squirrel from the other. And it just went downhill from there." When asked after the performance on why he figured that he had failed to elicit a better reaction from the audience, Bramble replied, "Sometimes you get a lowbrow audience that expects you to dumb down your material. I just won't do it. I have my principles."
Dear Tabi, Could you explain to me how everyone buys into this fishmonger thing? It is a well know fact that like several other flourishing enterprises, the fishmonger is a front for the mob. Every time decent fishermen turn over their catch to these 'mobsters with lobsters', they are aiding and abetting organized crime in Britannia. Signed Fishy Business
Dear Fishy Biz, Wow, that is quite an accusation. So you believe that the decent fishermen who are trying to make an honest living are actually crooked as a barrel of fish hooks? I wonder what their loyal wives, daughters and sons response would be. For you would have them to believe the gold filled pouch brought home is actually the Mobsters with Lobster's slush fund. Of course there are those who believe that men and fish are alike. Both get into trouble when they open their mouths, but that's another letter..... I think we need more evidence provided before lumping all the good people of Britannia in the same "kettle of fish" as organized crime. There will be no "walking the plank" nor shivering timbers today. I think there are bigger fish to fry these days, for "To talk much and arrive nowhere is the same as climbing a tree to catch a fish" as an ancient proverb states.
Shake a leg,
When you are out dungeon hunting, a good item to have on hand should you run into an acid elemental, is a box of baking soda. Not only does the baking soda neutralize the acid, but it's fun to watch them bubble too. Look for this tip and many others, such as shriveling slimes with common table salt in our helpful column that teaches you how to survive on a shoestring budget.
Remember. Push, don't pull when tipping cows.
Britannia witnesses the passing of one of its more memorable if not more colorful personalities, experiencing throughout his life alternating shifts of fortune. Julian Swansong rose from impoverishment and obscurity, his talent for music discovered by a benefactor who nurtured him before dying in the most horrific fashion. Julian's fortune again changed and received an offer and scholarship from Britain's prestigious Royal Conservatory. He graduated with honors, and while celebrating blew off his fingers when a fireworks wand malfunctioned. Fortunately, a skilled physician was able to reattach the fingers, however unfortunately they were attached backwards. With his musical career formally ended, he would spend his days and nights at the taverns. His unusual condition became a curiosity amongst the patrons and he never had to pay for his own drinks ever again. He spiraled down further into alcoholism. He meets a woman with backwards feet who saves him from his self-destructive path who later leaves him for a charming podiatrist who swept her off her backward feet. This trend of reversals continued for some time until finally he had turned his life around following some tragedy and embarked on a spiritual journey to seek enlightenment. His mountain guide related Swansong's final moments as he descended from the hermit's retreat; a look of bliss upon his face as a fatal misstep carried him over the side. He reflexively attempted to grab the edge, but failed as his fingers bent in the wrong direction. It is of some consolation to think that what happens to him next will be of some positive consequence.
It doesn't take a lot to make a difference. Why not get out there with an axe and chop some trees until you are proficient enough to get some bark fragments. Then cook those fragments up into a pulp, and use your scribe skills to make paper. Then write a touching note that says "Your house looks cool. I wish I could steal all of your awesome stuff." Sometimes it's the little efforts that are the most important.
The Mongbat- February
If you can rub your belly and pat your head at the same time, you may have a bright career in the Britannian guard. Why not look into future employment prospects today.
The Phoenix - March
There is someone closely following you, who will always disappear the moment you look over your shoulder. You probably would never have known this was actually occurring if this horoscope had not mentioned it to you in the first place.
The Sea Dragon - April
An assassin will be hired by some party to remove you from the picture. Consider this to be kind of like the answer to your recent request of wanting a "little more excitement out of life."
The Hermit - May
You will gain great wealth and fame first by blackmailing some hag living in the woods running a "potion ingredient" scam and later by breaking your deal with her and ratting her out to the authorities for the reward.
The Llama -June
You will feel elated after successfully picking a chest in a dungeon and obtaining a sizable amount of loot. But you never question the point of why someone would stash their gold in such an insecure container in the first place. Wouldn't a bank or a house be a better choice? It never occurs to you but you probably stole some poor fire elemental's life savings.
The Ancient Wyrm - July
You think to yourself that you can make the world a better place in some small way by trying to find a way to kill that guy that always spars with his cat in town.
The Anvil - August
You will be invited into a close friend's home and will show you her new piano made from a writing desk, several piles of cloth, a crate, a cloak, and some chessboards. It will be at this point that you will ask her to demonstrate her fine musical skills by requesting a performance.
The Weaver - September
The most precious things can come from the most unexpected sources. A hideous, foul-smelling sewer-dwelling beggar will teach you the true meaning of friendship; filling your life with laughter and love.
The Wisp - October
It is advisable to avoid any signing of legal documents or contracts after the drinking of magical moonfire brew.
The Unicorn - November
Stealthing is a great way to find out what people really think of you. Just avoid spicy foods.
The Wanderer - December
You initiate a silly disagreement over armor preferences and cause it to escalate. Hundreds will be guard-whacked as a result. Congratulations!