Inferno Oxford University Role Playing Games Society
Inferno 1883 News


Back to the Main Page Back to the Information Page Back to the Inferno Page

INFERNO

News 1883

'THE PROTECTOR' CULT RISES IN FRANCE

A new cult following a being known as 'The Protector' has arisen among our neighbours across the Channel. This divinity had been lost to human memory, apparently, but was recently rediscovered and has now returned to shield the French people. He is accompanied and assisted by three Avatars, according to the legend, and many superstitious French folk are claiming that their Emperor, his consort, and leading scientist Tallow Directrix are these Avatars in human form.

TYLER THE NEW MESSIAH?

Thousands of people gathered at Stonehenge last week for what was perhaps the most momentous religious gathering for the Christian faith since the Sermon on the Mount. Jonathan Tyler, somehow clearly audible and visible through the swirling black mist, talked not of Ragnarok but of the Rapture, and of the spiritual crossroads facing humanity. He claimed to carry God's message to his people, to guide them through this difficult time as was promised. Many who were not there on that day have dismissed him as a false prophet, another religious con man taking advantage of the current situation, but I was there, and I swear that the presence of this man was awesome, and that as he spoke a golden halo blazed out around his head. There were miraculous healings and demonic entities were torn from the skies in bolts of flame. I have never seen its like, and I know that I never will again.

DONAVELLI FINDS HIS MISSION

Italian politician Giacomo Donavelli has returned from a month in the Sahara Desert bearing a book of prophecy and telling of the rise of an assortment of ancient African gods. Thanks to a missionary tour he has undertaken, worship of these beings has taken off throughout North Africa, particularly in Libya. Christianity and Islam have both been set back considerably, the former now barely existing in the continent of Africa.

QUEEN SETS THE TONE

The drastic changes in the nature of our world have left many people confused and frightened. Not so Queen Victoria. Under the guidance of the newly appointed special advisor on the 'new world', head of the British Museum Augustus Egarts, she has assured her subjects that Britain will continue to flourish in the new conditions.

>From 'How Do You Do?' magazine: ROMANCE OF THE DECADE?

Good news for romantics from Russia, where we hear love is blossoming in the Russian court. Karl Davchenko seems to be getting over his shyness, and is rumoured to now be actively courting the lovely Grand Duchess Anastasia. Where this leaves Count Korensky, who was previously said to have his eyes on the Tsar's daughter, we cannot say, but perhaps he has been persuaded to step aside for the better man. If rumours are to believed, an engagement could be announced before the spring.

IS IT JUST ME OR IS IT DARK IN HERE?

Unusual weather conditions have cloaked the globe in darkness. Thick fogs seem to cover much of the world, creating difficulties in communication and transportation. Weather experts say they have little idea what has caused these unusual conditions, but confidently predict that the fog will have dispersed by the weekend.

POPE SLAMS CULTS, FRENCH, ANNABELLA

In his annual Easter address, Pope Pius XI laid heavily into the false cults which have sprung up in such numbers around Europe. He reminded the faithful of the passage in Matthew predicting the coming of "false Christs, and false prophets" in the last days before Judgement, and urged a return to the true Church. He singled out France, whose current ruler had toppled a God-anointed Emperor and now sought to turn himself into a deity. Emperor Joffre's consort, the former Princess Annabella of Liechtenstein, came in for the strongest words, though: the Pope saw the passage in Revelations describing the appearance of a woman "arrayed in purple and scarlet colour, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication: and upon her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH" as being particularly significant in this context. He predicted that the hand of divine wrath would shortly fall upon Paris.

GUBBINS SECURE

Even with the world in its present state, people have not stopped turning to games to escape from their humdrum existence. Doubts over Technology: The Gubbins's future were grounded last week after a hugely successful tournament in London, in which prizes were awarded by the stunning Elizabeth Siddal, once again displaying her talent for rocking the fashion world with her new 'Gothique' image.

INTERNATIONAL GANG OF THIEVES STRIKE AT FACTORIES

Disturbing news of a crime wave hitting factories all around the world has reached us. During the New Year break thieves entered many large factories and removed stocks of raw material and newly created items. They seem to have struck around the world, concentrating almost exclusively on new, automated factories.

DISASTER ROCKS PARIS

The centre of Paris was devastated by a series of huge explosions on Bastille Day, with a number of important buildings slumping into the ground and many thousands of people killed. Witnesses claimed that the odour of sulphur and brimstone hung all about, and that they glimpsed fiery underground caverns, but this is being put down to the excitable French nature. As a result of this tragedy, France has turned back towards Christianity in a big way.

>From the US local newspaper 'Roswell Review': QUAKE, RATTLE AND ROLL

Residents were still being treated for shock today, after an inexplicable localized earthquake struck the region late last night. The only major damage seems to have been to a large government installation on the outskirts of the town, which some residents claim they saw literally swallowed up by the earth. Scientists are still at a loss to explain the phenomenon.

ARMIES AND POLICE SUFFER FROM DESERTIONS

There has been an outbreak of desertion from the ranks of the police and armed forces in Britain and abroad. The desertions seem to have been timed to coincide with the arrival of the strange weather on New Year's Eve last year. Officials have been keeping quiet on whether there was some kind of conspiracy behind the disappearances, but one unnamed source was heard to say 'It was as if the men just vanished overnight.'

BAGGIO PUBLISHES 'REVELATIONS'

Noted theologian Cardinal Gino Baggio has published a new book. It explains that the event known popularly as Ragnarok was not the end of the world, as foolish pagans suggest, but that it was a sign that the Last Days are upon us and that we will shortly face divine judgement and must prepare our souls with thorough repentance. This book, together with the disaster at Paris, has been responsible for a huge wave of return to Catholicism throughout Europe.

HOUDINI SPILLS THE BEANS

Harry Houdini, who has baffled audiences throughout Europe with his amazing escapes during live performances, has revealed how he accomplished one of his earlier tricks, in which he escaped from a sealed milk churn filled with water. Many people have tried to follow this up by explaining some of his later tricks, but they still seem to defy explanation. Will we have to wait for Houdini to reveal them himself, or can someone work them out first? Certainly people seem keen to try.

UNDERWATER KILLER STRIKES?

A British cargo vessel trading in South African waters was sunk by what survivors swear must have been some sort of submersible warship.

FOG WILL CLEAR 'ANY DAY NOW' SAY WEATHERMEN

The black fog has remained, and continues to cause problems for the world as a whole. Weathermen are still unsure as to what has caused it, but say that it is unlikely to continue for much longer.

RUSSIA IN TURMOIL - REVOLUTION DECLARED AT ENGAGEMENT PARTY

The international community is reeling from news that has just come out of Russia. It should have been the social event of the year - the announcement of the engagement of Count Karl Davchenko, to Grand Duchess Anastasia. However, General Davchenko had an entirely different announcement to make. He made the following speech: "My dear Comrades, we are gathered here tonight to witness a truly historic event which shall secure the prosperity of our country for all time. Today at the stroke of midnight I shall fulfil my life's work for at this moment it is my great pleasure to announce the convening of the People's Revolutionary Government which marks the beginning of the Dictatorship of the Proletariat. For reasons of national security I am now obliged to place you all under military arrest. Anyone who attempts to leave the building will be shot. Workers of the world unite, we have nothing to lose but our chains."

It took time for the consequences for this announcement to be fully understood, but with the traitor Davchenko having an iron grip on the armies of Russia, he was soon able to seize control. The fate of the Tsar and his family is as yet unknown, but Russia no longer exists as it once did.

DI TRIORA PROGRAMME BACK ON TRACK

Florentine stateswoman Ariadne di Triora has resumed control of the social programme which bears her name, and is now operating her enlightened policies throughout Italy, with the cooperation of the Pope and President Garibaldi. At this rate it will surely not be long before the Italians are almost as fortunate as British citizens in their welfare, legal and educational provisions.

NEW WORLD ORDER FORMED BY MOLTKE

Senor De Moltke continues to show himself to be a man of ideals and a citizen of the world. His New World Order League will break down the boundaries between all nations in a joint drive to return the planet to normality: its representatives include PM Mey of Britain, Empress Annabella of France, Herr Rudolf von Moltke of Prussia, and Senator Bruckheimer. Under Senor Moltke's inspired chairmanship taxes have been raised across the globe to fund what will surely be speedy relief of the problems currently besetting the human race.

'WILD' PARTIES TO COME TO LONDON

It seems that the unusual weather conditions are affecting more than our ability to see. Some irresponsible sorts seem to take it as evidence of 'the end of the world' and see this as an excuse to forget their responsibilities, and to 'party until we drop'. A recent announcement was found all over London that read "If your life seems to be in a fog, if the world seems to be a darker and more scary place, then enter the streets of London and party! Live hard, die young and be as beautiful and free as you can be." Some seem to have taken to heart these irresponsible suggestions, and several large parties have broken out in the capital. The unpleasant individuals involved have even gone as far as breaking the law - raiding clubs and pubs for more 'fuel' for their 'celebration'. Instances of drug abuse have also been reported. We at The Times cannot condemn this attitude strongly enough - the world may, indeed, seem a little peculiar at the moment, but this is no excuse for frivolity. We must always remember that above all else we are British, and that demands certain standards of decorum and behaviour whatever the weather.

ODINSSON PLAYS DOWN RAGNAROK

The Odinsson and his devout followers have been touring major cities in Europe, preaching to the masses about Ragnarok and stressing that there is still hope for humanity, and that fate can be altered. However, some see this as a sign of weakness in the prophet, who previously seemed so certain that Ragnarok would be the end of the world. Certainly his efforts have not been helped by the black mist, which has made it increasingly difficult for prominent figures to address large crowds in recent months.

SHAH BITES THE DUST

The Shah of Baghdad has been murdered by one of his own palace guards and is succeeded by his son, who is co-incidentally fortunate enough to be the son-in-law of the great statesman Senor Juan Fernandez de Moltke. His young wife Juanita Evita is reported to be making great progress with her alphabet.

TENNYSON PULLS IT OFF

Thanks to Alfred, Lord Tennyson's persistence, and a certain amount of political nous, the Lobotteries (Banning) Act is now law. The people of Britain can lay their heads easy on the pillow at night once more!

BRAIN FEVER STRIKES LONDON

Hospitals and asylums throughout London were once again in turmoil last night after another strike from the serial killer dubbed 'Lobotomy Jack'. Five nurses and psychiatric patients were found with their skulls torn open and their brains missing. Some people believe the killer's perverted behaviour is due to rumours of the National Lobottery in recent years.

THEY'RE SO CUDDLY!

A range of fluffy toys modelled on some of the more terrifying of the demonic 'entities' currently ravaging the planet has enjoyed moderate commercial success in the cities of Europe.

THE SHOW GOES ON

Impresario Beerbohm Tree has vowed not to let the current situation affect the theatre-going public's enjoyment, and is keeping all his halls open. This year he presented Ibsen's new play 'When We Dead Awaken' to mixed reviews, and also revived his popular staging of 'A Midsummer Night's Dream'.

RED MENACE SPREADS TO PRUSSIA

Taking its cue from the successful revolution in Russia, a Bolshevik uprising in Prussia took control of several outlying areas but was eventually crushed by the Kaiser's superior forces. The discovery that the Bolshevik leaders were worshippers of the pagan Norse religion and taking their orders directly from Iceland has caused the Kaiser to withdraw support for the Norse Gods from the Prussian state religion, returning instead to a more mainstream brand of Christianity.

CORRUPTION RIFE IN SOUTH AFRICA

An investigation by the Dutch authorities in South Africa has uncovered evidence of massive corruption among the bureaucrats of their far-flung and long-neglected colony. A new broom has been promised, to sweep the whole structure of government clean.

FRANCE SKINS ARABS

Marshal Joffre's military incursion into the Middle East has met with little resistance. The Arab peoples have called upon Senor de Moltke to save them from the plundering rapacity of the mad French Emperor.

GRAND DUCHESS ANASTASIA REAPPEARS AFTER REVOLUTION

The Grand Duchess Anastasia has reappeared after the momentous events in Russia. It seems she has been sheltering in Britain, but now is visiting her relatives and important heads of states around Europe, presumably to brief them on the Russian situation, and organise some attempt at a counter-revolution.

PRUSSIA CONDEMNS PAGANS

Count Charles Piontkowski has led a moral crusade on behalf of the Kaiser to unite god-fearing Christendom against the pagan Norse. The Kaiser spoke to the assembled religious heads of Europe as follows: 'We consider the recent Bolshevik uprising to be the work not only of those poor misguided fools, but also of the insidious prophet Odinsson and his followers the Asatru. The Norse religion is herewith outlawed within all the lands of the Prussian crown and all its followers are to be hunted down as the criminals they are and executed. Any allied with them will be dealt with in a similar fashion. I call upon all good people, not only the subjects of the Prussian Empire, but also of all the Northern Alliance countries and the lands of the South to deal with these fiends in a similar fashion.'

WATER, WATER EVERYWHERE

Public-spirited scientist Ariadne Digitalis has added more water filters to London's supply, and also set up similar systems in Vienna, Paris, Antwerp and Bern. Thanks to her efforts, cholera may be a thing of the past in London before this generation is out. She has also established a stall in Trafalgar Square to hand out an antidote to the drug, known as Substance D, which is such a problem among the poor of the city.

INSOMNIA PLAGUES EUROPE

Citizens throughout Europe are finding it increasingly difficult to sleep in the half-light that seems to permeate both day and night in this strange new environment. The almost uniform illumination, seemingly independent of the presence of the Sun or Moon, has been playing havoc with people's natural sleep patterns and causing widespread exhaustion and irascibility.

PIONTKOWSKI GETS THE BOOT

Count Charles Piontkowski has been removed from his prominent role in Prussian politics after he misguidedly attempted to talk the Kaiser into concessions for the Odinsson and his followers amongst the Prussian nation. The Kaiser proved he was not a man to be manipulated by politicians by exiling the Count on pain of the same execution reserved for any other Odinsson sympathiser found on Prussian soil. It is believed that Piontkowski may have also put in a good word for the 'foul practitioners of witchcraft' who are the secondary targets of the Kaiser's purge, though why such a lofty personage should have jeopardised his political career for such undesirables is quite unknown.

'ENTITIES' A REAL MENACE?

Worrying developments in France, where reliable accounts confirm that at least some of the demonic entities roaming the land are capable of manipulating and interacting with physical objects. What guarantees can the government offer us that these creatures will not soon decide that it is their role to supersede the human race?

GRAND DUCHESS GIVEN SHORT SHRIFT BY RELATIVES

Grand Duchess Anastasia has been thrown out of several heads of states around Europe. She has recently been visiting numerous relatives amongst the heads of state around Europe, but has on each occasion been given only a brief audience. It seems far from wishing to organise an attempt to place the Tsar back on the throne of Russia, she has been giving pro-Communist propaganda! Heads of state are said to be shocked that she should have turned her back on her upbringing, and betrayed her family by accepting the new order that has removed her father from power. Some have even gone so far as to say she has been brain-washed by Davchenko, and that she is no longer in her right mind.

SEND THEM VICTOR-IOUS

The British Army is now the proud owner of three mighty land fortresses, designed and constructed by Professor Hugo Victor. Look out Johnny Foreigner!

CLOCKS LOSE THEIR GRIP

Public transport has become increasingly unreliable recently due to problems experienced with clocks over recent weeks. Even once reliable timepieces seem to be giving inaccurate and inconsistent readings. Scientists are blaming the effect on the black mist, claiming that it damages the delicate clockwork in the devices. Whatever the problem is, it seems set to become even more troublesome as time goes on.

FRANZ JOSEF SLATED BY PRESS

The Austrian royal family has had a hard time in the press recently - a series of damning exposes has revealed how the ineffectual Emperor would have been all but useless in the European political forum had it not been for the tireless efforts of the great reformer Friedrich von Ardsburg to keep the nation afloat.

GRAND DUCHESS JOINS THE PARTY

More worrying news from Russia, where the former Grand Duchess Anastasia has returned to her home country to a blaze of publicity. She gave the following statement to the press: "I have done my best to learn all I can about Communism, and can see that this is a great opportunity for the people of Russia. I am returning to do my part to ensure that this 'brave new world' lives up to all the hopes and dreams that have been invested in it. All births are painful, no doubt the transition will be difficult, but I intend to join the rest of the Russian people in their work to make sure that none suffers." It was later revealed that she has joined the Communist Party, although this move has apparently not been popular with many. One insider said "What does she know of the needs of the people? Having lived a life of luxury it's an insult to all that she thinks she can just walk in here and start working with us. Let her go and work on a farm for twenty years, then maybe she'll understand enough to do some real good."

International observers are still confused about Anastasia's apparent rapid change of affiliation - some even being so bold as to suggest that she plotted with her lover Karl in order to overthrow her father and seize power for herself. It has also been announced that Anastasia is shortly to marry Davchenko.

MEDICI BANK BACKS TECHNOLOGY

Florence's prestigious Medici Bank is to commence a programme of investment in new technology and innovation, announced director Lady Apollonia earlier this year.

BRITAIN STEPS IN TO BAIL OUT SOUTH AFRICA

Following evidence of massive corruption in the Dutch government in South Africa, British troops have stepped in to maintain order in the colony. A provisional government headed by Gottfried Dammerung has been established in the interests of the local people, and many high up officials in the previous government have been arrested and held by British troops. Some of the corruption was even uncovered by a Dutch investigation, but this has been dismissed as 'too little, too late' by Mr Dammerung. It still remains to be seen whether the Dutch will launch a full scale counter-offensive to regain control of their colony.

TAMERLANE ROUSES BARBARIANS

The Mongol Horde appears to have arisen once again, with Comrade Davchenko's blessing and patronage. Led by a warlord calling himself Tamerlane Khan, boasting hundreds of demonic entities amongst their ranks and gathering more wherever they travel, the Horde has re-established itself in a bloody baptism and in its westward march looks set to meet Marshal Joffre on the borderlands of Europe and Asia.

EX-GRAND DUCHESS'S EFFORTS NOT APPRECIATED BY THE PEOPLE

The former Grand Duchess Anastasia has been attempting to improve her image with the people, and 'educate' them in the ways of Communism. However, she has become an unpopular figure within the serf communities, as she is seen to have betrayed her father. It seems her previous work, apparently aimed at popularising the Tsar with the serfs, has now backfired, as those serfs loyal to the Tsar now hold Anastasia in contempt for bringing about his downfall. Many have been heard to say that she will be damned eternally for betraying her father the way she has.

FRENCH BARREL IN

In a noteworthy example of cross-Channel cooperation, French scientist Tallow Directrix has lent his artillery expertise to design a range of ship- and airship-mounted guns for the British armed forces.

BOLSHEVIKS TOLERATE CHRISTIANITY

A Communal Church has been established in Russia, allowing freedom of worship to all, it is said including demonic entities, who are not Pagan.

MATHEN ENTERPRISES SUFFERS AT THE HANDS OF COMMUNISM

The Mathen set of companies has suffered considerable financial loss this year, as a direct result of the Communist revolution in Russia. Mathen is believed to have been investing heavily in Russia in recent years, and now has found that all Russian accepts have been nationalised, without compensation. Whether this will rock the financial leviathan of the Mathen group remains to be seen, but such a loos on investments much be causing considerable difficulty.

FINANCIAL CHAOS IN RUSSIA

Many investors have suffered badly from the nationalisation of all Russian industry. The common man on the other hand is already benefiting from initiatives such as General Davchenko's massive 'Campaign Against The Cold'.

LAUNCH OF MATHENCARDS COULD BRING FINANCIAL REVOLUTION

Minotaur Commodities have announced the launch of the MathenCard, a proposed aid for those who don't like to carry a large amount of money with them. The card will be used to register a transaction with a company, the money being paid at a later date via a central clearing company. Several large banks have signed up to the scheme, but others wait to see whether the new technology can stand the strains of the financial world, before investing in it.

SAINT STEPS IN

Saint Cawrdav joined battle in the snowy northern wastes against the demonic army, although he stayed aloof from the pagan forces, preferring to fight his own fight. Although Cawrdav was one of the most impressive figures to take the field that day, the odds were too heavily against him and he was pushed back in parallel with the armies of Valhalla.

MAGEFIGHTER LAUNCH ENDS IN MISERY

The launch of a new form of entertainment in London ended in confusion yesterday. 'MageFighter' promised to be a great step forward in 'interactive' entertainment, apparently allowing contestants to duel without having to hurt each other. A great structure containing the technology required to make this possible had been constructed in London, and packed crowd waited to watch the first ever round of 'MageFighter'. We were informed that the two contestants - lightly drugged in order to be able to interact with the machinery - would control two 'illusory' wizards who would fight it out. However, when the contestants took their place we were surprised to see them suddenly float up into the air, and vanish into the machinery. The two 'wizards' then appeared, and began to duel - throwing magical spells at each other. This caused great excitement in the crowds, however some were concerned at the apparent pain and injury the contestants inflicted on each other. With time a clear victor emerged, and the defeated mage collapsed. The winning contestant re-emerged from the machine, taking his place back on his chair, but of the vanquished there was no sign. I am informed he has yet to re-emerge from the machine, and concern for him is growing. MageFighter has been shut down until further notice.

BRITAIN TAKES LEAD INTO SPACE

Prince Albert has set up the Society for the Conquest, Research and Exploration of Worlds Unknown in London, to patronise human expansions to the stars and beyond.

>From 'How Do You Do?' magazine: LIZZIE LAUNCHES NEW 'GOTHIQUE' LOOK

Yes, black is very much in this year! The fog looks like it's here to stay, the sun doesn't seem to want to shine, so why not embrace the drab tones, and go out all in black? This is the message of Elizabeth Siddal, who is being seen around town with a wonderfully wicked new look. Black flowing clothes, topped off with unusual make-up - black nail varnish, and red-tinted eyes. It looks like this could catch and be the fashion wave of the season!

MATHEN FACTORIES HIT BY TERRORISTS

More problems for Mathen Enterprises, as a number of the new M5 factories have been hit by terrorists. In France and England unknown attackers have lain dynamite within the factories, doing enough damage to halt production for many months, and requiring extremely expensive repairs to be made to the machinery. On top of the robberies earlier in the year, it seems someone has it in for the Mathen group.

MISSIONARIES SAY NO TO FETISH EDICT

British missionaries to darkest Africa were up in arms as orders from above commanded them to promote the worship of any native devil gods willing to fight against non-indigenous spiritual beings.

ELIZABETH SIDDAL WINS PLAFOND TOURNAMENT

Elizabeth Siddal, partnered by the previously unknown Gottfried Dammerung, has won the Plafond tournament in the newly established Plafond club in London. The competition was close, but Miss Siddal showed considerable talent and skill to eventually win through.

PRINCE CONSORT SHOWS HIS CHARACTER

Prince Albert has been one of the few European leaders to make a concerted effort to reassure his people in the face of the grotesque crisis that has afflicted the world this year. Although it was hard for some to put on a brave face after all they had suffered, the tremulous voices of Britain were united in their adoration for the charismatic Prince Consort, and we can be sure that stiff upper lips of the doughty Britons will be the last things to falter no matter what the future may have in store.

FRANZ LISZT GOES MAD

The once great composer Liszt has been struck down by insanity. Having withdrawn from life to take Holy Orders some years ago, he had been living a sheltered existence for some time. However he recently set forth from his monastery to preach that "Lilith has returned and is amongst us - the Queen of demons is here, and wishes to draw me into hell." He is also said to claim that it was a sinful affair with Lilith that forced him to take holy orders and repent, but after 'the darkness came to the world' she had drawn strength, and returned to him. Eventually other monks came from the Monastery, and persuaded him to return and rest in his cell.

GREMLINS, PIXIES, SPRITES? 'RUBBISH,' SAY SCIENTISTS

Scientists have hit back at the 'ridiculous' claims that since the arrival of the black fog the world has been infested with small gremlin-like creatures. "This is dark-age talk," said Sir Marmaduke Fossett of the Royal Society, "Modern science has entirely done away with these foolish beliefs - just because there is all this fog around people are starting to imagine things and are jumping at shadows." Unfortunately the next day Sir Marmaduke was found dead in his office, with his spleen stretched across his head like a swimming hat. Police are baffled by this bizarre murder.

MIRROR, MIRROR, ON THE WALL

Scientists report a newly discovered optical property - mirrors are, it seems, a lot more complex than was previously thought. "The image seen in a mirror seems to be somewhat dependent on situation, and not merely what is directly front of it" stated one scientist involved in the research.