Oxford University Role Playing Games Society
Inferno 1887 News
PASSING OF RAGNAROK
During the course of 1887 the black mists finally roll back from Europe,
and the world is free from the 'Ragnarok effect' for the first time in over
The change happens gradually, but steadily, the mists slipping away from
North to South. It is around the middle of the year that the mists finally
leave Southern Europe.
Various changes come as the mists slip past you -- for one thing you will
feel a momentary sense of peace and relaxation. Your sight will also change
-- you will be able to see further, and hear at a much greater distance...
however, for a while this 'natural' sight will seem to be superimposed on
you 'black mist' sight that has allowed you to see as well at night as
during the day. You will also occasionally still see an entity or gremlin
lurking within the mist, or hear their occasional shouts... but during the
months following the end of Ragnarok this 'second sight' will slowly fade,
until you are once again entirely dependent on your eyes to see, and
require, once more, to light your way at night. But the gremlins and
entities will cease to disturb you, the moon will no longer have a face,
and the palaces in the cloud will disappear.
This is not the case, however, for the very young. Those born during the
time of Ragnarok notice no change when the mist leaves... they still walk
around at night without light, and still seem unable to see more than a
hundred yards, although they too are conscious of the entities' absence.
They also tend not to bother opening their eyes.
When the mists are gone you will start to see yourself in a new way.
Mirrors, which are once again reliable about these things, show you looking
older now -- four or five years older than before. You may also find scars
or bruises on your body you have no memory of receiving. Strangely, you
will have very vivid memories of the last few days before Ragnarok -- as if
the intervening time had not occurred -- and will once again remember those
small details about where you left your door keys....
Door keys will not be the only things to be found... many things suddenly
turn up that you had forgotten about -- odd ornaments, things in the back
of cupboards, letters and notes, even entire buildings on occasions... all
those neglected little things that were easy to forget about now return to
The 'real world' is, however, different in some key ways. For one thing the
new railway lines are visible in many countries -- as are the death camps.
In Spain and France particularly, large camps patrolled by troops become
visible at the ends of complex railway line networks. These camps have
great chimneys that belch out thick smoke day and night, as more and more
trains of people arrive in them to be processed. Populations are
substantially down in these areas, entire towns and villages now standing
entirely empty and neglected. It does indeed seem that the human race is
being steadily wiped out...
CLIMATIC DISASTER WORSENS, MILLIONS PERISH
As the Earth's orbit continued to spiral closer towards the Sun, global
temperatures increased further this year. All pack-ice cover has now
melted, leaving Antarctica and Greenland exposed and the North Pole just a
large expanse of sea. The planet's tropical zones have become all but
uninhabitable, with vegetation scorched to brown husks, and flash fires
raging uncontrollably. Europe is descending into aridity, those parts of
the continent which are still there at all -- the low-lying nation of
Holland has completely disappeared beneath the rising seas, and its
unfortunate populace have been forced to take refuge in the despoiled lands
they were granted by the Holy Roman Emperor alongside the Rhine. Even
mighty Britain has suffered, with the Wash expanding to take in most of
Lincolnshire, and Londoners driven back from their beloved river for fear
of flooding. And all over Europe there is a muttering -- against the
politicians who, despite knowing of this problem for the past two years,
have done nothing to alleviate the human suffering it has brought -- and
against the scientists who this year expended their efforts rivalling each
other in building giant clocks, rather than attempting to restore our
planet to its rightful orbit.
TIK-TOKMAN MENACE: TRUE HORROR NOW APPARENT
As the black mist rolls back, we have come to realise the true horror and
extent of the Tik-TokMan menace. The countryside of Western Europe is
scattered with huge, monstrous death camps, and armies of Tik-TokMen patrol
their massive defences. More Tik-TokMen are being continually generated in
vast automated factories, and transported to carry out their deadly work in
uncanny driverless trains. They are a formidable enemy and well emplaced,
and it is clear that the devastation they have already wrought is
sickeningly great. Estimates for the various countries show that around ten
million French, six million Spanish, three million Britons, half a million
Liechtensteiners (ie. all of them) and an unknown number of Italians -- all
told, around a quarter of the population of Western Europe -- have perished
in their camps. And the camps are still being built, and spreading further
East as they go. Who can be responsible for this deadly menace? The Times
calls upon the leaders of the world's armies to lay aside their petty
squabbles and deal with the threat that hangs over all humanity. Smash the
TURMOIL IN ROME -- TWO POPES?
As a funeral procession marched slowly through the streets of Rome,
carrying the late Pius X to his final resting place, not a word came from
the crowd. Then a man, stepping from the ranks of believers, walked slowly
and purposefully towards the coffin. No-one stopped Jonathan Tyler as he
walked up to the coffin itself, and placed his hands upon its polished
surface. Onlookers swear that the air about Jonathan Tyler's head blazed
with a holy radiance, and they all fell to their knees in awe. Then as
everyone looked on in total silence, the lid of the coffin swung back, and
Pope Pius X raised himself from within, looking as healthy as he had in
years, and spoke out to the crowds. He announced that he was returned to
full health, that his successor Paul VI should resign the triple crown
forthwith, that the man who had restored his health, Jonathan Tyler, was
indeed the very Son of God, and that sufficient prayer would see the
entities driven off Earth by year's end. Pope Paul's reaction is not yet
IT'S A TRIUMPH!
Cinematic genius Beerbohm Tree proved once again that there is none to
match him in the field of artistic endeavour, with his latest blockbuster
'The Triumph of the Will' -- and a true triumph it has been, in artistic,
technological and commercial terms. An Asatru warrior (played by Leif
Litte), an HRE soldier (Hans Upp), an Air'ai priest (Winston Kodogo) and a
hapless Englishman (Dan Leno, for comic relief) are thrown together in a
Bavarian warzone and are forced to depend on each other for survival.
Finding strength in cultural diversity, agreeing to disagree, and
acknowledging brotherhood in humanity, they battle a range of nasty
entities and come through to safety as the black mist that surrounds them
symbolically rolls back. Critical opinion have praised the film's sensitive
blending of pathos with uplift, and its epic sweep -- aided by the
specially-commissioned Tchaikovsky score. Audiences worldwide have been
emerging blinking from the theatres, commenting on how morally-inspired
they feel. And, strangest of all, during the film's run the black mist has
indeed been rolling back from our fair planet (see related story) -- a case
of Life imitating Art?
CONFUSION IN THE ITALIAN RANKS
The Italian war effort has been hampered by an outbreak of badly written or
confusing orders. Supplies have been going astray, manoeuvres have been
confused, and even some attacks have been launched against incorrect
targets. The source of these incorrect orders has yet to be found, but
espionage at the highest level is suspected.
NEW BUSINESSMAN WOWS THEM IN FRANCE!
Some seem to have really caught the spirit of free enterprise in France --
reports are of a new businessman who has come form nothing, but is already
building a mini-empire for himself. The enigmatic Mr Frank Lathin has
already taken over a number of small shops, and is knitting them together
into an impressive chain of retail outlets -- using bulk purchasing to
slash prices and increase his market share. His financial brilliance and
creativity has attracted the admiration, and envy, of many, and big things
are expected from him in the future.
THE POET LANCE FOUND MURDERED IN LONDON
The little-known, but respected, poet Lance was found dead in London. His
body was discovered on New Years morning in a back alley. He had been shot
once in the head at short range. Police say they can discover no motive for
the attack, but are currently conducting investigations, although we are
told no clues have yet been found. A retrospective of Lance's work is
expected to be published soon, as his publishers say a large quantity of
unseen work has been found at his home. A large collection of original
paintings and sculptures by the poet was also found. The paintings are,
apparently, of remarkable quality, and are very much in the style of
Horace, the painter who suddenly left the art scene thirty years ago.
Scholars already theorise that Lance must have been secretly tutored by
Horace at some time in the past, although no connection has definitely been
made. It is believed Lance had no family, and that no one survives him.
RETROSPECTIVE OF POET'S WORK PUBLISHED
A retrospective of the work of the late English poet Lance has been
published. It is taken from a large collection of unpublished work
discovered after his death. The publishers say they were shocked at the
quantity, and quality, of the work, much of which seems to have been done
in the last year of the poets life. Much of the later work is dark, and
preoccupied with themes of death, and of the shortness of life, as if, some
have claimed, Lance had a premonition of his own death. However, much of
the work shows the eclectic, and frequently surreal, themes that mark out
his work -- from challenging theological themes, such as 'How the hell did
that angel get in here?' to the anti-romantic 'The Anything in trousers
woman', with its sequel 'The Anything in trousers women', and the bitter
'Bloody hell, not that Duke again'.
NEW HOPE OFFERED TO 'AMBROSIA' ADDICTS
A charitable research institute has offered a deal to those suffering from
addiction to 'Ambrosia' -- they offer complete medical care, in return for
the sufferer allowing simple tests to be performed upon them. The intention
behind the research has not been made entirely clear, but we believe it is
research aimed at helping the individuals suffering from this terrible
BIG TAKEOVERS IN THE WATER UTILITIES
A spate of takeovers of the water utilities has been occurring in Europe.
Many transactions have occurred within Spain, as well as some movement in
the Holy Roman Empire and France. It seems that industrialists now believe
there is money to be made from serving the public with clean fresh water --
we just hope that the service will not suffer when the profit margin is
>From How Do You Do? magazine: ALLURING ALEXIS ASTONISHES THE PRE-RAPHS
So who is this mystery woman? And what does she want with all those dishy
pre-Raph men? Just a little of their time perhaps, or maybe something
more??? Alexis has come from nowhere to take them by storm -- with her
dusky good looks, and those quite delightful fussy furry high-heel
slippers, she is simply divine! And although we don't mean to sound cruel,
our lovely Lizzie is looking a little... how can we put this delicately?
Old? So perhaps it's no wonder the dark allure of the lovely Alexis is
turning a few eyes which once only hung upon Lizzie!
CNN REVEALS THE FRAUD OF ST CAWRDAV
The Crystal News Network -- a network making use of the new-fangled crystal
technology that has no hope of replacing the solid, reliable, dependability
of news print -- has been carrying stories for some time that claim to put
the lie to the 'deception' of the reappearance of St Cawrdav in Russia last
year. The claim is that these were all frauds, engineered by the Hungarian
scientist Dr Kestthaarl. Dr Kestthaarl openly admits his fraud, and says he
was happy to help act out the scene for the payment he received. However,
he says he dislikes the possible political capital that could be made out
of his 'appearance' and so wishes to come clean to CNN.
CRICKET TOURNEY 'A GREAT SUCCESS'
The inaugural North Pole cricket tourney (which will probably be the last,
with all the ice on which it was held having melted) was a great success,
according to organiser Mick Bruce, with victory once again going to the
Russian team. England made a rather stronger showing than last year and
pipped Australia for second place, perhaps thanks to Professor Hugo
Victor's Performance and Ability in Cricket Machine Assessment Node
training device, and in the absence of the Terrans a number of smaller
nations (France, Spain, Italy, Iceland, etc etc) contested the wooden
spoon, finally awarded to Liechtenstein (who were represented by three
'GLOBAL HEATING' STRIKES AFRICA WORST
The 'dark continent' has been particularly badly struck by the world's
climatic change. Giacomo Donavelli is perhaps the only world statesman to
be making some effort to help his people, providing water with the aid of
his fellow Air'ai gods, but he is shouting against the wind -- the only
parts of Africa which are now inhabitable are the immediate coastal zones
and the southern peninsula.
EMPIRE FUNDS ANTI-ENTITY FILM?
It has emerged that Beerbohm Tree's 'The Triumph of the Will' masterpiece
was largely funded by the Holy Roman Empire's Department of Health and
Education. We can only applaud Archduchess Ariadne Digitalis's inspired and
noble-minded decision to put Art above Politics, and support an endeavour
that was so inimical to the entities on whom her nation so largely depends
for its strength.
HOUSE OF MEDICI BRANCHES OUT
In a major launch in London this year, orchestrated by Beerbohm Tree, the
House of Medici boutique announced that it was now exclusively supplying
the popular perfume 'Eau de Rita', as well as being responsible for
worldwide sales of the Digitalis Schweppes products Coca-Cepsi (in its new
blue bottle) and Vodka Total (now available in chocolate, orange and
cinnamon flavours). This represents a major move up market for these drinks
-- will Vodka Total, once the down-and-out's favourite tipple (thanks to Dr
Digitalis's habit of giving it out free) now be seen only in the cocktail
cabinets of the wealthy who are House of Medici's usual customers? There is
already muttering that the vodka is weaker than it used to be -- 'it costs
twice as much, and you have to drink twice as much to get hammered!'
complained one customer.
>From the Letters Column of The Times:
Dear Sir, I wish to correct a misconception about last year's cinematic
production on the subject of the FLOP disease, for which I was responsible.
Your reviewer described it as 'a salutary admonition for those who would
indulge', etc, when in fact it was no more this than it was a guide on 'how
to avoid the natural ramifications of such behaviour'. It was an objective
scientific report aimed at promoting health and happiness, neither
condemning nor advocating any behaviour. The producers were scientists,
educators and showmen, not priests. Yours faithfully, Herbert Beerbohm
>From the Editorial Column of The Times:
Mr Beerbohm Tree seems to be one of our national treasures at the moment,
and doubtless feels he can do no wrong. But if he imagines that it is
possible to present such a sensitive topic as disease of the organs of
reproduction without putting a moral slant on it, he is mistaken. In such a
matter one must either condemn or condone: there is no middle way, no
neutral path. We call upon Mr Beerbohm Tree now to declare himself: is he
in favour of unbridled license and lascivious behaviour, and the
degeneracy, birth malformation and woe even unto the tenth generation that
it inevitably brings with it, or is he against it?
LOONY RUSSIANS TAKE STEPPES
News reaches us from Britain's colony of the Moon that the White Russian
aristocrats domiciled there have decamped from the main base to set up
their own community in the Tsiolkovsky crater, where they hope to re-create
the Earthly steppes from which they were so forcibly ejected.
TAVENER'S CALL FOR FITNESS UNHEEDED
Governor Dr Peter Tavener of the Moon has built a large gymnasium, to help
Lunar subjects avoid that weakness and lassitude of bones and muscles that
comes over those who spend too long in our satellite's low gravity. Alas,
enthusiasm for it has been weak, and there are fears that those who have
already spent two years on the Moon without suitable exercise will now
never be able to live full and happy lives back on Earth, as their
skeletons are already too weakened.
'FREEDOM' FOR AFRICA
In a move that surprised all but the wisest pundits, the House of Lords
passed the African Colonies (Independence) Bill after forcing amendments
guaranteeing Britain's trading rights and a voice on the new governments on
its proponents. This means that all of Britain's many African colonies are
now independent, and sees the old Empire trimmed back to manageable
proportions -- little more than the Moon, the Antipodes, and a few islands.
AIR'AI SWEEP THE BOARD IN AFRICA
Giacomo Donavelli's Air'ai managed to achieve electoral victory in every
single one of Britain's former African colonies, on a platform of religious
tolerance, economic investment and social progress. This means that the
Air'ai are now in control of the entire continent, barring the Dutch-held
BYE BYE BIG BEN -- HELLO HUGE HUGO
Londoners have been relieved to see their favourite clock-tower
reconstructed this year, much the same in design but rather bigger and with
a giant cuckoo that calls the hour, audible as far away as Hampstead and
Dulwich. The new clock is called 'Huge Hugo', in honour of its creator.
SHERIDAN GETS STEAMED UP
Professor Archibald Sheridan has lodged a complaint against Professor
Victor Hugo in the matter of Big Ben's replacement. Prof Sheridan alleges
that, while he submitted designs for a new steam-powered clock in the
proper way, his rival simply went ahead and built his own edifice without
attempting to seek permission from the Government or Crown. He has called
for those in authority to demolish Prof Victor's 'monstrosity' in favour of
his own, more reliable design.
MORE WAR IN SOUTH AFRICA
This troubled province has barely had time to draw breath from the last war
before finding itself plunged into turmoil again, as a large army of Air'ai
worshippers, Divine Legionnaires and gods poured over the border determined
to drive out the Dutch and give governor Ruud Boogers a taste of his own
medicine. The struggle was inconclusive, with Gerhard Hubris's brilliant
generalship aiding his forces even after their entity allies disappeared
towards the end of the year.
AMBROSIA SPREADS THROUGHOUT EUROPE
The evil drug Ambrosia, so popular in London this year, has spread its
tentacles throughout Europe, with all our great cities containing desperate
addicts. The drug's horrific properties -- it is the most addictive
substance known to humanity -- have led to a great fear of it among the
educated, although it is rumoured that both Dante Gabriel Rossetti and
fellow Pre-Raphaelite William Morris were hooked before undergoing
expensive and arduous cure treatments at an exclusive London clinic.
BAGGIO TOURS, RESTORES FAITH
Cardinal Gino Baggio, 'Il Divino Codino', absent from the European
sermonising scene in recent years thanks to the unfortunate scandal that
dogged his name, has made a triumphant return, with a series of striking
speeches on themes related to Christian duty -- culminating in a fine,
stirring call to knighthood delivered to the Russian army. Catholics up and
down Europe are asking why this holy man of God has never put himself
forward as a candidate for the papacy, particularly given the unseemly
incidents sent his year involving the current Pontiff and his predecessor.
TENNYSON LAMBASTES BRAIN-STEALERS ONCE MORE
The Poet Laureate has published another CereBingo poem, this one detailing
the woes of a loser and the horrors which follow, from his unknown place of
exile. Is this great man, once famed for his mastery of the common touch,
losing his grip, though? CereBingo is the most popular pastime ever devised
in Britain, and by opposing it Tennyson is trying to swim against a very
LAUREATE LECTURES TO RED YOUTH
Alfred, Lord Tennyson has popped up in Russia, lecturing to Soviet students
on a variety of literary topics, on a bill that includes the Russian
writers Lev Tolstoy and Anton Chekhov. The Laureate arrived anonymously at
the talks and left immediately after, giving no clue as to the whereabouts
of his current domicile.
MEDICI TAKE NEW YORK BY STORM
A branch of the House of Medici boutique has been opened on New York's
exclusive Fifth Avenue, stocking jewellery and accessories as well as
popular perfume Eau de Rita. Owner Lady Apollonia was thrilled to see it
sell out its initial stock within a week, such was the interest in her
wares generated by Elizabeth Siddal's visit to the States last year. She
spoke briefly on the subject of Terrans, complimenting the Americans on
their Martian friends and the delicious Dust and Bars they had brought from
their home planet.
MARS DUST BANNED IN USA
The popular confectionery 'Mars Dust' has been banned throughout the United
States, selling or possessing it to be punishable by stiff fine, after
President Edison pronounced it 'one of the greatest menace our society
faces, after the Tik-TokMen of course'. Several congressmen spoke up
angrily in favour of the sweet, although it was noticed that all had the
tell-tale sticky lips that denote a devotee. Will this evil sweetmeat
provoke a backlash against America's Terran friends?
TERRAN EMBASSY DENIES DUST LINK, MARSCO FOLLOWS SUIT
The Terran Embassy in Washington denied vehemently that the illegal Mars
Dust sweet had anything to do with Terran activities, or indeed with Mars
at all, claiming instead that it was produced on Earth. The mars Trading
Company, who make the popular 'Mars Bar', were equally swift to deny
involvement, chairman Michael Valentine Smith announcing 'Grok this -- Mars
Dust is not a product with which MarsCo would dream of being associated in
CURE FOUND FOR FLOP, HOWARD ANNOUNCES
Dr Philip Howard, who first brought news of the FLOP problem to an aghast
nation's attention, has managed to come up with a cure for it -- known as
Howard's Serum, the drug kills the tiny organisms responsible for the drug.
Because of the chemical's sensitivity to light and air, it can only be
administered via Philip's Screwdriver, an extraordinarily painful type of
hypodermic that must be inserted all over the body. Beneficial effects are
already being felt by those who have been treated, though: 'I feel so much
happier now I'm on Howard's Serum!' said one unfortunate.
RUSSIAN / SPANISH / HRE / PERSIAN / LEVITICAN / AIR'AI WAR NEWS
A national referendum in Spain has shown the Spanish people to be so
enthusiastic about Emperor Charles VIII and his Catholic principles that
the country has been declared a member state to the Holy Roman Empire.
General Perez has been declared the Empire's Minister of War and overall
A bad year for General Perez, who despite having the best-equipped and most
enthusiastic troops on either side of the Russian War, found his most
unpredictable strategies anticipated at every turn by Davchenko, and his
troops led astray by a steady stream of misinformation. "Davchenko is so
brilliant we might as well be telling him our plan of campaign in advance,"
said ADC Rodriguez off the record.
The final straw for the disgruntled Spanish army was the news of an
unexpected attack on their home country by African troops, whipped on by
the Air'ai priesthood. With his troops at a hopeless loss on the Russian
front, General Perez saw no reason not to order a return to Spain to deal
with the new threat, leaving Emperor Charles VIII to oversee the good fight
against International Communism.
General Perez has made short work of an Air'ai invasion of southern Spain,
efficiently demolishing the opposition and demonstrating that the Spanish
army is without a doubt the finest military force in Europe in a fair
fight. The campaign season was too far advanced for a return to Russia to
be profitable, giving the Spanish stalwarts a much-needed winter with their
families to look forward to.
Karl Davchenko has proven yet again that he is far and away the best
general of his or perhaps any age. Approaching his military predicaments
with a fresh mind he has conceived a new system of tactics that has
rendered Helmut von Moltke's blueprint for 19th century warfare virtually
obsolete. What a military mind, to make pushing back armies to the north
and the south while holding off a third seem so effortless!
The winds of war blow hot and cold, but for none more than the Russians: a
double whammy has been struck against the invaders by the acquisition of
Japanese heat ray technology, at the same time as unseasonal weather all
year has turned Russian battlegrounds into snowfields - conditions which
the dour Russians were much better prepared to fight in than their western
The Levitican army, headed by Arria, arrived from their successful defence
of France to join the Russian forces. Finding no demons to combat, and
discovering that the "enemy" were more pious in their Christian faith than
their allies, Arria had no idea what to do with her troops until General
Davchenko cynically arranged that her Army find itself directly in the path
of a Spanish attack. After the general confusion, thankfully not resulting
in a bloodbath but giving the Russians time to seize a considerable
tactical advantage, Arria realised that she had been played for a fool and
salvaged her pride by commanding her followers to quit the field.
The Persian force has been driven back after its impressive advance of last
year - seemingly Senor de Moltke's reserves of luck have run out. Once
Davchenko could free up enough troops to deal with the problem he was
merciless: even those who surrendered were slaughtered in their thousands.
The Russian foreign office has issued a statement blaming Moltke for
leading its "traditional allies" astray to fuel his "imperialist dynastic
fantasies and delusions of grandeur".
Cawrdav has returned to his cathedral seat in the ruins of Moscow,
hideously weakened but unbowed. After undertaking a twenty-four hour vigil
before the altar, Karl Davchenko emerged to announce himself the first
Knight of Cawrdav, dedicated to defending Christianity and Communist
Russia. The mausoleum city has become a pilgrimage site for simple folk,
and a new wave of optimism is visible in the faces of the Russian people.
Military recruitment has become a watchword for these troubled times, but
Karl Davchenko seems to intend to press anyone capable of standing upright
while holding a weapon into his army. Will he sacrifice Russia's entire
able-bodied population for the realisation of his Communist dream?
The messianic cricketer Mick Bruce was much in evidence in Russia at the
height of the campaigning season, causing havoc by shooting people on
either side and attempting to show the poor how to grow crops they already
Queen Victoria has offered her services as a peace moderator between Spain,
Arabia and Russia.
The wedding of Her Imperial Highness Empress Juanita Evita and His Majesty
Tsar Alexis IV ended in chaos and tragedy when a large explosive device
disguised as the altar left some guests in spasming fits and others feeling
"quite hale and hearty". Almost immediately a lambent figure clad in
shining white crashed through the central stained-glass window on a rope,
yelling "Give this maiden a decent innings, you blighters!", scooped up
Juanita Evita, and was gone in almost a single bound to an inspired
flourish from the elderly church organist. As the Tsar looked around
himself in shock a dozen Russian soldiers burst from their hiding places,
shooting him and all who rushed to defend him dead before beating a
fighting retreat. How can the world fail to be struck dumb by such infamy?
The Prussian and Hungarian armies, commanded by Emperor Charles VIII, is
now the mainstay of the battle against Communist Russia. Rumour has it that
the Emperor for all his advisors is hopelessly outclassed by Davchenko's
tactical genius, and that his Imperial troops are largely unenthusiastic.
Certainly he has failed to make any great advances into Russian territory
since the Spanish withdrawal - no doubt he is looking over his shoulder in
the hope that Perez will appear once more on the horizon!
The Holy Roman Empire has taken advantage of England's war with France by
moving upon the Balkans - but progress is slow given His Imperial Majesty's
attention being mostly focused to the east.
Archduchess Digitalis seems to have more strings to her bow than anyone
could have expected - she has been made Governor of all Austria. President
Miklos Toldi of Hungary is to oversee any territorial gains made by the
Holy Roman Empire in the Balkans.
The Holy Roman Empire continues its rebuilding drive, with the assistance
of Japanese investors. Armament factories seem to be the primary concern,
closely followed by orphanages and other such benevolent institutions.
Charles VIII has provided a generous donation to the Pope for the
reconstruction of the area around Rome. Meanwhile Karlstadt Cathedral is
now the biggest in Europe (though not as tall as the Helmut von Moltke
Memorial Cathedral in Bethlehem, thanks to that structure's enormous
spire), and the base for sponsored pilgrimages in the autumn for Imperial
Citizens to the Holy Land.
What remains of the Khiron Commission is debating the offer they have
received from Charles VIII to rebuild their offices in Karlstadt or any
other Imperial city of their choosing.
Princess Annabella has spent her year doing good works in the name of the
Protector for the people of Austria. Whether the Emperor will approve of
the introduction of Protectorism to his borders remains to be seen.
Charles VIII spent a week in bed, with his private physicians concerned for
his life, after drinking something that disagreed with him. He has since
recovered, but apparently has been advised against exerting himself in the
conjugal sense, as he has taken pains not to spend time with the young
Empress since that occasion.
The Empire has handed all of central Italy over to the Papacy to rule,
withdrawing all its troops south of the Venice-Milan line. This is being
seen as a diplomatic coup for Pope Paul VI, and effectively a
re-establishment of the medieval Papal States, including Florence.
ENGLISH / FRENCH WAR NEWS
After the failure of the Mongol Horde to move against France, the
indefatigably bellicose Marshall Joffre turned his troops about face for an
assault on Britain. Never before has a war provided such a showcase for
military technology: the sides proved evenly matched on that score, as
conventional assaults took a back seat to the astonishingly destructive
inventions of Professors Directrix and Victor. In the end, however, the
French had the day, and Victoria's troops retreated before Joffre's landing
on English soil: he would no doubt have pushed forward even to London had
the state of affairs in Paris not been weighing heavily on his mind.
Queen Victoria seems to have decided that if you can't beat 'em, you should
join 'em: several hundred English troops were observed taking Pevensey with
minimum fatalities from several hundred of their own men. Their victory was
short-lived, however, as the French quickly recovered from their confusion
and shelled the place "just to make sure".
Turmoil in France, as with the Emperor on English soil and the Empress in
the Holy Roman Empire, a three-way political struggle broke out between
Communist-inspired revolutionaries, peaceful liberals and pro-Joffre
hard-liners. The revolutionaries eventually triumphed over a France whose
hearts and minds were weary of war and bloodshed, and Joffre was declared
deposed by a new Paris government, Terran-backed and looking to their
"English allies" to defend them from the wrath of the army.
The Spanish nation has been giving France much-needed loans in their time
of national crisis, continuing the strong tradition of co-operation between
the two nations.
ENGLISH / SCOTTISH POLITICAL NEWS
The Scottish people voted yesterday in a crucial referendum yesterday over
the future of their country. With an almost overwhelming majority they
voted for the reestablishment of an independent monarchy for Scotland.
A "Governmental Law Bill" has been introduced in Britain, creating an
addition to the British legal system not answerable to the government. The
"Judicial Circle" consists of three persons, two senior judges and a
political expert (currently the noted Sir Maunder McIrnan).
The first British General Election in some time has been called. Despite
some altercations at the polling stations when Lobotterised citizens were
denies their right to vote, the turnout was good. The recent political
turmoil, the disappearance of Scotland and the emergence of several new
parties have disrupted the traditional two-party landscape of England, and
it is one of these new groups that now holds the balance of power: Mr
Bufton Tufton, prominent in sponsoring the African Colonies (Independence)
Bill, has been elected the new Prime Minister of Great Britain, in
coalition with what remains of the Liberal Party.
A large Terran presence in the new House of Commons line-up, as our friends
from Mars were allowed to stand for election, and proved quite popular with
voters swayed by their impassioned campaign.
Once again the imposing structure of Hadrian's Wall seems set to separate
England from Scotland. In a huge construction drive, almost eighty percent
of the wall has been reconstructed in a single year, and almost all of the
inhabitants of the newly independent country have travelled South to see
the great structure and place their own brick in the wall.
MONGOLS STOMP OFF
Apparently resulting from the death of their war leader Tamerlane Khan, the
Mongol Horde broke from its inexorable march upon the borders of France and
collapsed into squabbling factions as the Khan's captains began to vie with
each other for his mantle. Much of the Horde appears to have elected to
wend its way back to Mongolia rather than continue to fight Tamerlane's
The Mongol Horde's retreat took it through Persia and caused much
collateral damage to that weakened nation. It would not appear that the
Arabians will be able to consider expanding their frontiers again for a
BRITISH HEROES SEE OFF ENTITIES
The British-commissioned Virtue Mecha Suits, piloted by the dashing Messrs
Drake and Tavener, were present to witness the end of the black mist and
the retreat in disarray of the Mongol Horde from the borders of France.
There's one in the eye for villains everywhere!
POWERS STARTS NEW WORK
Mersuavin Powers, the famous artist, has retired to his estate of Crail to
begin his most ambitious ever work. The artistic community is abuzz with
speculation as to what medium the flamboyant leader of the Symplastique
school will adopt for such a grand project.
STEGGIES IN SUMATRA
A Jurassic Centre has been set up in Indonesia for the breeding and
training of Venusian dinosaurs.
Dropping taxation levels have caused a minor boom for world economy. To
celebrate, MA Shipping offered a special "Travel like a Medici, pay like a
Scot" deal on WorldLink routes, affording ghoulish voyeurs a view of the
many warzones and scenes of devastation that are the norm in our
SECURITY COUNCIL -- BOLTING THE STABLE DOOR?
A world security council has been mooted by Senor de Moltke in order to
combat extra-terrestrial and communistic threats to the planet, in the
manner of the Khiron Commission but on a much greater scale.
TERRANS CALL FOR DEMOCRACY
Terran-backed National Unity Parties are calling for democratic general
elections in both Berlin and Rome to match the great victories of the
popular will in London and Paris this year.
As the entities have been pushed back to the southernmost tip of the Earth,
the Asatru have followed them, colonising the outer parts of Antarctica for
the glory of the gods with Terran assistance. Trade has begun with South
America, Australia and Africa, a particularly shrewd profit being made from
the selling of icebergs to increasingly drought-afflicted parts of those
An ancient document has been found by antiquarians in Kiev, declaring that
in the time of Ragnarok, and impostor claiming to be the son of Odin would
come and lead the men of the north astray. Working for the giants, he would
lead his people into their traps and cause them to die. The text exhorts
all true followers of the Norse to rise up and kill this impostor, before
dealing effectively with the giants. It is reported that some violent
dissent was voiced in the camp of the Odinsson following these revelations.
The Norse resistance movement has finally been weeded out of the Holy Roman
Empire by Charles VIII's secret police. However, the Odinsson has taken
advantage of the rout of the Mongol Horde by taking the disputed Prussian
lands in the name of Scandinavia.
The newly created nation of Scotland has seen its first taste of military
action as Asatru troops took the Orkneys and the Shetlands back for
IT'S 'GOTHIQUE MUSIC' NOW
The millennial feel of Gothique music is enjoying increased popular appeal,
with numbers by Gideon Stargrave and his Invisibles, "the Sister of Mercy",
and "Anarchy in the British Empire" by Andrew Taylor and Doktor Avalanche
(proud inventor of the Automated Percussion Engine) all back on the
nation's Molotov gramophones now that Ragnarok allows their use once more.
>From How Do You Do? magazine: NEW LOVE FOR LIZZIE?
A new romantic interest for Lizzie Siddal? Wasn't that dashing Mr Bruce
being attentive in stopping anyone male from getting within ten yards of
her on her cross-channel excursion?
Mick Bruce has made a standing challenge to all British republicans of a
duel on Wednesdays, at Lords, from 10 till 5 with a break for lunch and
tea, no women or black people allowed. This challenge also applies to His
Imperial Majesty Charles VIII, apparently on account of his being a
LOST EMBRACE VOODOO
A huge voodoo ceremony in honour of Papa Legba and Baron Zaraguin was
organised on All Hallow's Eve in the Americas by followers of the Lost
cult. The youth of today!
NEW WEAPON INVENTED
A recent development in military technology has seen the introduction of a
new type of projectile weapon. The PLASMA (Projection by linear
acceleration of a Star-Metal analogue) pistol has recently been unveiled by
a new military supplier. They have the capability for causing phenomenal
damage at short range, and even for harming some of the smaller demonic
entities, but at the moment seem only to be available to the extremely
SHAKA GETS THE SHAKES
The huge computing engine SHAKA-Zulu has been experiencing significant
technical difficulties in recent months, causing all manner of strange
results. Several programmers have hiked into the innards of the machine in
an attempt to locate and deal with any bugs, but this will be a mammoth
task. A group of programmers who absent-mindedly wandered off into the
machine's innards have not been seen for weeks.
MATHENCARDS PLAYING UP
MathenCards go Mad! The new plastic currency that has been spreading round
Europe has suddenly become very unreliable. Some people have found that
their fortunes have grown from nothing overnight, while others have
suddenly gathered massive debts. The scheme is currently being suspended
while these errors are dealt with.
Residents of Albania have returned to their beds exhausted this evening
after a continuous three day festival to celebrate the coronation of
Princess Melusine after scholars unveiled her royal lineage. The populace
have welcomed her into their hearts, and everyone seems overjoyed for the
young woman's good fortune.
BEAST KILLINGS IN SCOTLAND
The fourth woman has died in Scotland recently as the result of a savage
attack by a pack of wild animals. One of the women was seen by bystanders
being consumed alive by a swarm of sparrows, which seemed to completely
black out the sky around her. By strange coincidence, the women all seem to
be linked to the moon Goddess Killin, whose worship has been growing
recently in Scotland, but zoologists can offer no explanation for the
SCUFFLE IN VATICAN
Pope-watchers were treated to the sight of an unseemly scuffle in St
Peter's this March, as the resurrected Pius X attempted to grab the papal
crown from the head of his successor Paul VI in order to deliver the
traditional Easter message. Paul has declared that Pius is not properly
alive, being sustained only by means of black sorcery on Jonathan Tyler's
part, and thus cannot still be Pope. Pius has claimed that his resurrection
was a genuine miracle, testament to Tyler's divinity, and that Paul is an
impudent puppy. All this rancour is only harming the image of the Catholic
faith worldwide, and causes the longing eyes of worshippers to turn once
more towards Cardinal Baggio, who has wisely remained aloof from the
A new delicacy has hit the top restaurants in Paris recently. Dinosaur
steak seems to have become an instant hit, particularly with those
customers who have particularly large appetites. Surprisingly tender, and
with a slightly volcanic taste, the new meat provides a perfect platform
for new explorations in the Gastronomic world.
HAVE A _REAL_ HOLIDAY ON VENUS!
Bored of the standard family holiday in the sun? Then take a look at
VenusEnvy, the new magazine from Venus Connection, filled to the brim with
exciting new ideas for your family jaunt this summer. All the thrill of
dinosaur hunts, live volcanic action, and a real opportunity to explore a
new and untamed land. What more could you ask from the adventure of a
'SONS OF MERCY' FORETELL MILLENNIAL DOOM
As the end of the world seems to be drawing closer and closer, a new cult
has gained a foothold in society which looks forward to the destruction of
the planet with a kind of insane glee. The 'Sons of Mercy' predict many
catastrophic events in coming years, culminating in the total and
inevitable destruction of our planet. Slightly worryingly the head cultists
seem alarmingly accurate at predicting potential disasters before they
occur. One of the most notable was the collapse of the Arc de Triumph in
France, which was shaken apart by unexplained seismic activity last month.
'CHURCH OF ALL WORLDS' FINDS SUPPORT
As our world seems increasingly in jeopardy of being destroyed many people
are turning to new and diverse religions to seek spiritual comfort. One of
the more recent religions to spring up is the 'Church of all worlds' which
advocates its followers moving to Mars to avoid impending doom on Earth.
INFANT PSYCHOLOGY CRISIS
As the black mist has gradually rolled back over much of Northern Europe
already this year, the world we return to seems to have maintained some
vestige of the strangeness of recent years. Not least is the profound
effect the terrors seem to have had on the children born and raised within
it. Almost all of the children born during the last five years seem locked
within the terrors of the past. Unable to accept the sudden change of their
surroundings, their eyes stare sightlessly into our world. This entire
generation of children seem to have been permanently scarred by their
experiences, and are unable to accept the reality we took for granted
before the coming of Ragnarok. Psychologists working with the children hope
that they will be able to lead them back to sanity, but are forced to admit
that it will be a long and arduous task. The trauma seems to have gone much
deeper than the delusion over their senses, causing many of them to behave
strangely, and to be far more emotionally sensitive and intense than other
children their age. Luckily they seem to be extremely responsive under
hypnotherapy, and psychologists believe this may offer the best hope for