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Inferno 1884 News


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INFERNO

News 1884

M5 SELL-OFF -- GREAT FINANCIAL CHANGES

The most advanced manufacturing plants on Earth are being sold off by M-Trading. The recently-developed 'M5' factories are being sold as part of a major shake-up in the M-Trading organisation. Apparently the cash generated has already been directed into some new, ultra-high-tech projects.

PRE-RAPHS POST-APOC PARTY IN PARIS

Popular taste was outraged once again by Mr Rossetti, Miss Siddal and their so-called Pre-Raphaelite coterie, who held a decadent and debauched party in the ruins of Paris in the early part of this year. Is there no excess at which these gilded youths will not stop? 'O tempora, o mores'!

CROWN MOVES TO SMASH RED MENACE

Sir Maunder McIrnan has been touring Europe on behalf of the British Crown with the intention of orchestrating an international Plan of Action against Communist Russia. It would appear that almost all European nations would be prepared to unite against the Communist threat.

PLAGUE ON RUSSIA?

Reports are coming out of Russia of an illness striking down large sections of the population. The symptoms include headaches, nausea, uncontrolled shivering and insomnia. It seems to have struck suddenly, and spread rapidly across much of the country. The sickness of the population has been another blow to the ailing economy, and there has even been talk of closing borders with Russia to keep any 'plague' contained.

MERLIN RETURNS TO SAVE US?

several reports have reached us of sightings of a huge shining figure wielding a glowing sword and surrounded by a great white aura. Early speculation seems to indicate that the figure may be Merlin, wielding Excalibur, returned to the world in these trying times. Such an explanation would once have seemed the ravings of a madman, but now who can say?

ODINSSON STORMS BERLIN

The Odinsson has gained complete control of the city of Berlin in a storm of barbarity and bloodshed. After sacrificing all potential heirs to the throne to Odin, he ransacked and razed the Kaiser's palace and declared the city to be under the rule of the Norse Gods. Any who spoke out against his actions were ruthlessly dealt with.

M-TECH CREATED -- THE HIGHEST TECHNOLOGY COMPANY IN THE WORLD

The greatest change in the financial world in some years has occurred, with the creation of M-Tech, a new grouping of high technology companies under the umbrella organisation of M-Trading. M-Tech looks to the future, providing communications, high-tech entertainment and media services for the world, all making use of the very latest in computer technology.

'GHOST TRAIN' STALKS SPAIN

Reports are coming in from Spain of a curious superstition that has seized upon its people, that of an invisible 'ghost train' that comes in the night and takes away the wicked to eternal torment.

FROST GIANTS THE GREATEST MENACE?

Loki Odinsson has made his position clear to the leaders of the world by deputation: mankind should not be fighting over petty religious differences when the evil incarnate of the Frost Giants is poised to destroy all human civilisation.

MARTIAN GOODS FLOOD THE STATES

A deluge of delightful and exciting new products have recently swept the market in America, direct from Mars. The Terran products, now arriving in bulk following the opening of this revolutionary new trade route, include Terran food, music and jewellery as well as useful domestic products. Among the most popular imports are the delicious 'Mars Bars', a Terran delicacy which tastes just as good, if not better, to us humans.

THEY'RE 'RUSSIAN' TO SEE 'EM!

['Russian', 'rushing'... oh, never mind - ed.]
Western European theatregoers have been pleasantly surprised this year by the flood of plays coming out of Russia -- old and new pieces alike have been admiringly received throughout Europe's theatres. Dramatist Anton Chekhov had a theory to explain this popularity: "We Russians have more experience of suffering than any other people on Earth. In these times of woe for the world, our tales of misery strike a universal chord." Cheer up, Anton! It could be worse!

NEW HEIR TO PRUSSIAN THRONE APPEARS

A country cousin of the Kaiser declared himself next in line to the country's throne in the early spring. He stated his intention to demand that the Odinsson relinquish Berlin before holding a democratic election in which all interested parties, including the Communists, could stand. Sadly the Odinsson showed himself to have no intention on leaving Prussia, swelling his army with Swedish and Icelandic troops and routed pagans fleeing the Battle of Ragnarok.

STARGRAVE SLAYS 'EM IN ST PETE

Russia has been rocked once again this month, but this time in an entirely different manner. 'Gideon Stargrave and the Ellipsoids' have been touring the Russian states, drawing a small but dedicated following from the newly liberated masses. Once again, Cawrdav, angel of the lord, is on drums, and the show is almost as spectacular as was the opening night of Gideon's first band, 'the five'. Unfortunately, the fact that the music can only be heard about thirty feet from the stage, due to the muffling effect of the black mist, has made attendance understandably low.

RIOTS IN RUSSIAN JAILS

Jails that have been peaceful for many years have broken into disorder in Russia. Peaceful prisoners have rediscovered their rebellious ways, refusing to work in camps, no longer cooperating with guards and, on occasion, breaking into full-scale riots. Rumours that the 'Russian disease' has hit prisons very severely have yet to be confirmed.

NEW THEATRE RISES FROM THE ASHES

Beerbohm Tree's 'Theatre Libre' in Paris has been rebuilt to twice the original scale, and many feel it acts as a symbol for the French capital's rebirth from the ruins. The noted impresario announced that it was to be dedicated to the memory of popular cabaret turn Jacques Pujold, known as 'Le Petomane', who perished in last year's disaster: "missing, presumed gone off like a rocket" quipped Beerbohm Tree. The first performance featured the great Sarah Bernhardt in the role of Princess Amanita, in the new Russian play 'Don't Cry For Me Vladivostok', the tale of two star-crossed lovers who plunge their nation into revolution (not thought to bear any relation to real-life events). What a fine pair of lungs she has!

PRUSSIANS RALLY BEHIND HEIR

Numerous forces have flocked to the banner of the late Kaiser's cousin. The majority of the Prussian army has regrouped behind him, and the Brobbies keeping national order from their new regional headquarters in Bonn have declared themselves entirely in favour of his proposed democratic reforms. With popular support on their side, it would seem that their chances of ousting the Odinsson bloodlessly are improving.

RUSSIANS STAB PRUSSIA IN BACK

Disaster for the Prussian forces as the Russians in whom their leader had placed so much trust turned against them. A detachment of the Russian fleet sailed down the Kiel Canal, firing on Danzig and Hamburg, destroying such targets as Ariadne Digitalis' anti-cholera plants in a shocking display of terror tactics presumed to be directed at the Odinsson.

ANDORRA GETS SHAKA-ZULU: THE CITY OF THE FUTURE

The small country of Andorra is to become Europe's leading technological state with the announcement of the creation of SHAKA-ZULU, the Server-Harmonised Advanced Knowledge Apparatus, Zero User Limitation Utility. As we understand it this will be a steam computer the size of a city, designed by Professor Archibald Sheridan, containing commercial functions, as well as entertainment facilities -- the recently re-launched 'Mage Wars' will be just one of the 'interactive Entertainments' available.

M-TECH SHORTS WOW PUBLIC

M-Tech and Beerbohm Tree have brought out a range of short films, playing at theatres throughout Europe and the USA. They include a bonnet's-eye view of a SPAMC race, a Dan Leno slapstick, a balloon ride, and an exotic Arab melodrama.

TELEGRAPH SHUT-DOWN THREATENS RUSSIAN ECONOMY

Russia has become isolated from the international telegraph network used for arranging much of the modern European economy. The dispute with the owners of the telegraph was apparently triggered by the revolution, and now Macron Communication has isolated all of Russia's wires, leaving them cut off from the rest of the world.

MATHENCARD TRADING INCREASES -- LARGE DEBT BUILD-UP

The recently-launched MathenCard has been growing well this year, its use spreading throughout Europe. There is some concern, however, about the quantity of debt that has built up as a result of its use. It has, so far, remained financially stable, but if some of this debt goes bad, problems may result. Rumours of large-scale fraud on the cards has, so far, proved to be unfounded. There is also concern from economists that the increased cash flow from card loans may trigger inflation.

KAISER A CLOSET COMMIE? PIONTKOWSKI STEPS IN

A second blow against the Kaiser's cousin proved to be the final straw for the long-suffering Prussian people when resistance fighters brought back epistolary evidence from Berlin showing that the Kaiser had agreed to become a province of Communist Russia in return for increased personal power. The cousin having been shot by firing squad, he was replaced by a committee of nobles headed by the loyalist Count Piontkowski.

DARKNESS COMES TO MOSCOW

Much of the once-bright city of Moscow is now in darkness. Having been one of the first cities fully to embrace the new power plant and light bulb technology, it is now suffering as the bulbs fail but are not replaced.

'MAGE WARS' RELAUNCHED -- NON-LETHAL GUARANTEE

The hg-tech entertainment Mage Wars was relaunched last year, after the unusual difficulties of the last, aborted launch. Although the game is still painful to play, it is proving popular now that it has been programmed to be non-lethal.

THE TOOTH, THE WHOLE TOOTH...

The dentition of America is set to leap into the twentieth century, with a prominent new campaign for fluoridation of the water. In Barnum cinemas up and down the land a promotional film has been playing depicting dancing girls as teeth -- the whole production bears the unmistakable stamp of Beerbohm Tree's unique artistic vision.

RED NAVY RUNS AMOK

As the Norse scouts systematically looted the wealth of Prussia before falling back before Piontkowski's advancing battle-line, the rest of Europe was not exempt from military action. The Communist fleet had sailed from Prussia and proceeded systematically to vent its rage on the countries who had shown themselves inimical to Davchenko's regime. First the coastal towns of France were bombarded with shells before the fleet moved onto England and wreaked significant damage to both Liverpool and Glasgow before the imminent arrival of the British fleet forced them to beat a hasty retreat.

FACTORIES BREAK DOWN IN RUSSIA

More financial problems for Russia. It seems that the revolution has scared off many of the highly-educated technical staff who were overseeing the rapid modernisation and industrialisation of the Russian economy. Now tales are being told of increasing problems in he factories -- machines running wild, breaking down, a shortage of spare parts, and a lack of know-how to overcome the problems. This loss of production is likely to his the already battered Russian economy even harder.

SHERIDAN'S SUPERCLOCKS -- THEY'RE SUPER!

Always missing appointments? Never quite seem to make it in time? What you need is a Sheridan's SuperClock! Built to the same exacting standards as The Most Accurate Clock In The World (well, almost), these steam-powered devices will ensure you never run late due to faulty clockwork technology. Available at very reasonable prices now!

FRANCE UNCOVERS PLOT, BOMBARDS MOSCOW

With Marshal Joffre away on campaign in Saudi Arabia, it fell to his second to organise the skeleton force left in France against the Russians. It is to the man's credit that he managed to take down the Russian flagship and discover orders which indicated a collusion between Davchenko and Odinsson to bring down France, Joffre and the Protector. With such evidence in his hands it is small wonder that France ordered their lethal Verne Cannons to fire repeatedly upon Moscow, reducing the Communist's capital to a cratered ruin.

ARCTIC BARE OF BEARS?

Zoologists are concerned at the falling numbers of polar bears in the Arctic. Prominent arctologist [and that means bear expert, not Arctic expert - ed.] Sven U Donseamee says "I have been seeing fewer and fewer of them the past couple of years, and those that have been spotted have seemed unusually nervous and skittish. I can't imagine what could have disturbed this fearsome beast."

TENNYSON SPEAKS UP FOR ANASTASIA

What has come over our Poet Laureate, Lord Tennyson? Not content with resting on his laurels (as it were) over the Lobotteries (Banning) Act, he now feels compelled to defend the traitorous ex-Grand-Duchess Anastasia, betrayer of her nation and family. The Times says: Tennyson, your heart may be in the right place, but you're profoundly misguided. This young woman (if such she can be called) is a villain of the deepest dye who has sought to destroy all that made her country great.

SCOTS SEEK AUTONOMY

The Scottish people seem increasingly unhappy with the prospect of being guided through these troubled times by n government and monarch so far away from their borders. There are rumours that the demons in the north are sweeping further South with every passing moment, and many feel it is time for them to have control over their own destiny. I fear that with the deluge of external turmoil that has plagued our Government over recent years they have not noticed this growing tension and resentment from within.

VISION OF SAINT AUGUSTINE FOUND

Scholars have confirmed the authenticity of an ancient text found in the library of the Austrian abbey of Melk: it is the long-lost book of Saint Augustine describing a visitation from the Angel Michael, who relates an apocalyptic confrontation between the forces of Satan, including "men in northern furs and many-limbed green monsters" and the mounted armies of Christ charging in from the east under the banner of Prester John, who some are identifying with Tamerlane Khan.

TOP UP YOUR SUNTAN ON OLYMPUS MONS

Following the opening of a revolutionary new transport route direct to Mars, under the ownership of the MarsLink cooperation, a subsidiary company, Mars Tours, has been formed to provide the opportunity for 'once in a lifetime' trips to this exciting planet. The price of such an adventure is currently too much for all but the very wealthy to consider, but I understand several bookings have already been made.

HOUDINI SHARKS PUNTERS

The great magician and escape artist Harry Houdini has unveiled a brand new trick to baffle and shock the public. In this amazing feat of daring, he escapes unscathed from a tank of ravenous sharks, as the water around him fills with blood. His performance seems especially popular as it seems far easier to see through the black mist. Perhaps he has mastered a new lighting technique to cope with the problem.

LAUREATE ENCOURAGES TRADE WITH RUSSIA

Alfred, Lord Tennyson has been touring British industrialists urging them not to sever trade links with the new Russian government, with generally favourable. Plucky John Bull isn't afraid to shake hands with a bunch of barbarous Bolsheviks! The Laureate's success is testament to the respect with which this eminent Briton is viewed.

MONGOLS STORM AUSTRIA, ALLY WITH BAVARIA, PRUSSIA

Meanwhile on the military front, Tamerlane Khan's Mongol Horde were seemingly allowed safe passage through both the Middle Eastern sovereignties in league with Senor de Moltke and the territories of Southern Russia. This allowed them to plunge directly into Austria, where they began to loot and burn all in their path that would not surrender to them, ultimately conquering some two-thirds of that beleaguered nation. From there they were seemingly welcomed into Bavaria with open arms and escorted to the border with Prussia, where they marked to rendezvous with the Prussian army and declared themselves come to help the Holy Crusade against Paganism.

KROHNE TURNS THE SCREW

A series of supplement cards and special packs for 'Technology: The Gubbins' has been released under the title 'Clockwork: The Wind-up'. Many Technology players are keen to get their hands on the new cards, and several new Technology leagues and tournaments are due to start as soon as the new cards are released.

THE RUSSIAN ILLNESS "JUDGEMENT FROM GOD"?

Leading theologian Ivan Takiss has suggested that the mysterious illness that has struck down large amounts of the Russian population is in some way a "judgement from God" on the population as a whole. "The recent actions of the Russian people in overthrowing their leaders -- who have a God-given right to rule -- ha clearly attracted the displeasure of the Almighty. He is now punishing them -- particularly the traitorous Anastasia, who, I am told, is particularly ill."

AIR'AI RELIGION SPREADS, DONAVELLI HAILED AS AVATAR

The African syncretic religion known as Air'ai has spread rapidly to dominate the northern part of the continent this year, and is being taken up as far as the Cape Colony. The simple peoples of the dark continent have been keen to incorporate their local totems, fetishes and worshipped ancestors into the Air'ai scheme, so that all become stronger together. Giacomo Donavelli, the Italian statesman who revealed the religion's message to the world, has been hailed as an avatar of the chief god Mazd'ai, although this has not been officially acknowledged by priests. Even the new French cult of the Protector finds its place in the Air'ai scheme, and this has helped the Protector spread to the French colonies. Rumours that the Air'ai are growing as a political force, and are backed by legions of warrior monks, have spread widely.

RUSSIAN PROVINCES REVOLT -- SPANIARDS, FINNS IMPLICATED

The Russian nation is fraying at the edges as several of its provinces bordering upon Europe have revolted in the face of the economic, political and military disasters Russia has suffered since the inception of Davchenko's regime. The Russian army has not known which way to turn in the face of the hostility of its own countrymen in its western provinces. Spanish and Finnish troops have been openly assisting revolt and there appears to be little resistance in Europe to General Perez's call for the rescue of Russian assets from the menace of Communism.

JAPANESE TECHNOLOGY MAKES DESERTS BLOOM

The Libyan desert, for so long the home to nothing more useful than scorpions and Berber tribesmen, is being put to service with the help of advanced Japanese irrigation techniques. The Libyan government is hopeful that, with the support of its Oriental allies, it will be possible for the desert to sustain Nilotic-style agriculture, greatly enhancing the region's prosperity and ability to sustain life.

"STEEL DRAPE" TO BAR RED MENACE

Public opinion across the Western world, as reflected in the media, has turned completely against Russia, and fear and hatred of Communism is the order of the day. In one memorable editorial it was stated that a "steel drape" needed to be drawn between civilised Europe and Russia to protect decent people from Davchenko's bloody scourge.

NEW CULTURE FOR RUSSIA

We are told that there is much funding and opportunity for artists in Russia at the moment. The new leadership seems keen to encourage new cultural movements to define the society of the new, post-revolution Russia.

'HOUSE OF MEDICI' OPENS IN LONDON

A new, highly exclusive boutique has opened in London, owned by Italian financier Lady Apollonia and backed by the prestigious Medici bank. It sells exquisite jewellery and ornamentation, drawing on lady Apollonia's extensive gold and diamond interests in South Africa. The shop is so exclusive that your reporter was not allowed in, but it is rumoured that Elizabeth Siddal may be due to model the new jewellery range.

COAL PRICES CUT TO HURT REDS

Russian exports, notably coal, are being deliberately undercut by European trading concerns. Interestingly, the profitability of coal has dropped slightly after a second relatively mild winter. The merchants of Europe have also begun to refuse to trade with Communists almost entirely, with only a few English concerns trafficking regardless.

>From the 'Houston Herald' newspaper: 'MARS DUST' HITS TEXAS

The latest craze among the schoolkids of our great state is 'Mars Dust', a delicious new confectionery based on sherbet.

NOT A DROP TO DRINK

Following a signed agreement between Joffre and De Moltke, the French general diverted his march away from Baghdad and south into the Arabian peninsula. It seems that the wily Argentine must have sold the Marshal false maps or some similar scheme, for the Emperor found himself trekking across an inhospitable desert with the French army in tow - and no water supplies reached them from the north. After weeks of thirsty trekking, the miserable French forces reached the coast and waited to be rescued from their parched Arabian hell by their fleet.

TYLER 'THE MESSIAH' -- IT'S OFFICIAL

Jonathan Tyler, the new Messiah, has been travelling throughout Britain, healing and preaching to Christian folk wherever he travels, and drawing many from outside the faith to follow him as well. Queen Victoria herself has publicly proclaimed his genuine holiness, and many believe he is heralding the path to salvation in these demonic times.

'HAND OF GOD' SMITES MUNICH

There was dismay in Munich this year, as a mysterious wasting illness laid the city waste. It was noticeable that devout Christians were spared the effects of the plague, and in fact sufferers who went to church were cured of their illness. Theologians are comparing the plague to the noisome and grievous sore that John the Divine predicted would fall upon those who bore the mark of the beast.

LET THEM EAT BALLS

To celebrate the 10th anniversary of the wedding of the Emperor and Empress of France, the largest ball ever was held in France, and also coincided with the creation of a new public holiday and the announcement of reduced taxes and an unprecedented era of prosperity for France.

I SEE NO VICTIMS

Yet more people have been disappearing in the London area recently, dragged off by a figure witnesses can only describe as the spitting image of Admiral Nelson. Strangely, the statue of Nelson has been rumoured to have gone missing during the night recently, but the morning always sees it restored to its natural place overlooking Treafalgar Square, looking strangely sinister. Several prominent citizens believe the statue should be demolished, but is this merely rampant paranoia?

FORTY DAYS AND FORTY NIGHTS TO SAVE THE WORLD

The Pope has announced a great effort to redeem the sins of the world -- forty days and forty nights of fasting, wailing, sackcloth and penance, together with intensive prayer for delivery from the present times, for pardon for Europe, and for the lifting of the black fog that occludes the vision of faithful and impious alike. The Orthodox and Protestant churches have agreed to join in this great crusade of prayer, which will take place during the period leading up to All Saints' Day.

PARIS SMITTEN BY COMMIES, NOT GOD

A media investigation in France has placed the blame for last year's disaster not on divine retribution but on Communist fanatics. One thing for certain is that belief in the Protector, and polytheism in general, appears to be enjoying a resurgence despite the supposed disapproval of the Lord. Even the Pope himself appears to have mollified his attitude to France's clean break from the Catholic church.

MASSACRE IN CATHEDRAL LEADS TO DEATH OF A SAINT

The Cathedral of St Cawrdav in Strasbourg, Alsace was the scene of a terrible incident this year, when the massed ranks of Cawrdav devotees were suddenly attacked, without warning or proviocation, by Prussian Brobbies. They set about attacking the worshippers with terrifying swords that infliceted horrible wounds. The worshippers called out to their patron to protect them, and the Angel of Bloody Retribution appeared in the aisle to slay the attackers. But obviously all was not well, as the floor dropped down beneath him, revealing a great pit. At first he fell, but then great wings lifted him upwards. But stranger events were to follow, as the ghostly figure of a woman -- looking surprisingly like the famous racing driver Malady Evans, with added Moon jewellery -- appeared and struck at the angle's wing, causing him to fall. There was then a change within the pit, as a pyramid swung into view: and a great cry of rage was the last that was heard of Saint Cawrdav.

ORTHODOX CHURCHES REJOIN THE FOLD

The Pope, the Archimandrite of Byzantium, the Grand Metropolitan of Kiev and the Prime Factor of Bucuresti announced jointly on St Nicholas's day that the Greek, Russian and Rumanian Orthodox Churches were henceforth once more part of the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Congregation. This brings at a sweep upwards of a hundred million worshippers into the Catholic Church, and means that the Pope's influence now extends from Tenerife to Vladivostok.

PROTECTOR WINS FRIENDS

Both the Odinsson and Giacomo Donavelli have confirmed that Protectorism is compatible with their own religions. It seems that the only great detractor of this ancient faith is Karl Davchenko, whose sinister agents have been repeatedly implicated in plotting against its beneficence.

BAGGIO BLESSES BETHLEHEM

Cardinal Baggio presided over the opening of the huge new cathedral in Bethlehem, delivering a powerful sermon about the importance of Christian worship in the Holy Land. "For what rough beast, its hour come round at last, slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?"

DEMONS, PROTECTOR POKE FRENCH CHURCH IN EYE

The Catholic church has proven itself completely helpless in the face of demonic attacks on its holdings in France. Meanwhile the people of Paris have turned away from Christianity entirely after a series of appearances from Avatars of the Protector have put the entity hordes to flight with their majestic radiance.

AUSTRIA NEEDS DIRECTRIX

The Austrian people have called upon Tallow Directrix to save their shattered nation from the evil of the Mongol invader. As the refugee camps in Trieste grow ever fuller, the handsome scientific genius, whom many are now identifying with the Protector himself, is seen by some as their only possible saviour in their plight.

VATICAN BUYS M5

In a move that has surprised financial commentators, the Vatican has moved to buy up the advanced M5 factories being disposed of by the M-Trading organisation. The Pope now has the highest technology manufacturing facilities on Earth.

ODINSSON LOOKS PRECARIOUS

In the latter part of the year Prussia was split down the middle between the Norse occupation and the combined Prussian and Mongol forces. Early clashes outside Berlin have proved inconclusive, but as more and more entities filter from the North and mass against the Odinsson, observation would suggest that his forces will inevitably be beaten back just as they had been on the field at Ragnarok.

'GHOST TRAIN' GAINING SUBSTANCE?

The Spanish government is taking increasingly seriously reports of an invisible 'ghost train' that snatches people away. It seems that over the past months almost twenty thousand Spanish citizens have disappeared, and witnesses invariably described the missing person slumping unconscious, then being borne away by invisible agency towards railway tracks, there to speed off, hovering above the ground as though on an invisible flatcar, to destinations unknown. It is now felt that these accounts are sufficiently widespread and consistent that they can no longer be put down to sunstroke, quasi-religious ecstasy or over-indulgence in 'El Esplendido' brandy, the Spanish police's previously-preferred explanations.

BAGGIO BIOGRAPHY BEST-SELLER

A new biography of Cardinal Gino Baggio, called 'The Pony-Tail That Saved Europe', has been racing out of the bookshops this year. Dealing primarily with the Cardinal's deep spirituality and the many signs and miracles he has witnessed, it is impossible to come away from the book without the feeling that this is surely a living saint we have among us.

RAGNAROK -- LOOKING MOOSE-SHAPED FOR THE NORSE

The death of Thor on the icy northern plains signalled the beginning of the end for the Norse Gods at Ragnarok. Having strangled a monstrous serpent-like entity to death with his bare hands, Thor took only seven steps before dropping to the ground. From that moment on the Norse forces fought on in a sombre silence, knowing that what was prophesied had come to pass and the frost giants would win the final battle for the earth.

SPACE-LAB LAUNCHED

Prominent scientists Dr Peter Tavener and Sir James Bedford have launched the new Space-Lab, under the auspices of Prince Albert's SCREW-U organisation. It is said that the results of experiments carried out at the high altitude at which the laboratory will orbit the Earth will greatly enhance our understanding of the natural world.

CHURCHES 'UNDISMAYED' AS FOG PERSISTS

The massive prayer and penance event organised by the Pope during October may have failed to remove the black fog and plague of demons that afflicts Europe, but Cardinal Demetrio Albertini, who has been coordinating the event for the Vatican, announced that the generally uplifting of spirituality had strengthened the angels in their fight against the diabolic horde, and that those of pure and strong faith would find demons shunning their proximity.

THE MOON IS BRITISH!

After many years of planning, SCREW-U announced on Christmas Eve that a team of scientists had at last reached the Moon, claiming its territory and resources for Britain. Dr Peter Tavener, who led the expedition, was unavailable for comment, but we can be sure that this mighty-thewed hero performed with his usual aplomb.

SCIENTISTS TARGETED BY TERRORISTS

A number of thriving industrial concerns have been subjected to a mysterious wave of terrorist activity, including death threats to their employees and sinister graffiti on their properties. Whilst no-one has actually been hurt by this psychological warfare, it would seem that someone has a significant grievance against researching scientists.

TAVENER PUSHES SCREW-U

Dr Peter Tavener has been travelling the country publicising SCREW-U, the Prince Consort's new scientific research body. "To anyone who thinks science is dull - cop a feel of these pecs!"

STEAM CLOCKS FALTER

Despite claims that steam clocks were far more accurate than clockwork ones under conditions of persistent black fog, public tests have demonstrated no difference in their ability to keep time. Scientists are blaming the effect on the black mist, claiming that it damages the delicate piping in the devices.

BUT THIS IS MY WORST SIDE...

Top socialite Elizabeth Siddal this year arranged an exhibition of paintings of entities, at the prestigious Serpentine Gallery. The pictures displayed were by and large repellent in the extreme, but the large numbers of entities who attended seemed pleased with the renditions.

>From 'How Do You Do' magazine: 'GOTHIQUE' ALL THE RAGE

Lovely Lizzie Siddal's new 'Gothique' look is catching on all over London, with top designers flocking to create for it and a number of film-makers picking up the style. Is there no end to Lizzie's creative genius?