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Inferno 1888 News


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INFERNO

News 1888

CLIMATE WORSENS STILL FURTHER

Woe and misery deepened this year as the Earth continued to hurtle in towards the Sun, this year passing within the orbit of Venus. No part of the world between the Mediterranean and South Africa is now habitable, and the tropical zones are the home of ceaseless fire that rages eternally up and down the scorched and blackened ruin that was once Earthly paradise. Even the great plains of Siberia and Canada, which rejoiced at knowing fertility for the first time two years ago, are now uncomfortably hot, and the only part of the world which still enjoys an even remotely temperate climate is New Greenland (formerly Antarctica). Conditions on the Moon are little better, although the depth of the craters in which the colonies have been founded prevents the Sun's harsh light striking them for most of the day.

YOU'VE

never seen anything like it. See Houdini perform death-defying feats above the streets of Vienna, tonight!

CHRISTENING OF THE SON OF COMMUNISM

Russia's Cathedral of St Cawrdav played host to an important ceremony this year -- the christening of the first born son of the countries most powerful man. Karl and Anastasia Davchenko were seen to act as any proud parents might, at the ceremony where their son was named Lance. Naturally he was unaware that the parents who held him are responsible for one of the most powerful, and in recent years, most troubled countries in the world. But as his father acts towards bringing peace to the world we can perhaps hope that he will grow up into a better world for all.

TREACHERY GAINS SOUTH AFRICA FOR AIR'AI, AMID PEACE TALKS

Mild-mannered deity in human form Giacomo Donavelli revealed the brutal side to his nature this year. While Gerhard Hubris was away at the Geneva Peace Accords, Donavelli invited senior representatives of the Dutch colonial authority, including unpopular Governor Ruud Boogers, and the military top brass to a banquet in honour of peace. Just before dessert was to be serve, Air'ai Divine Legionaries stepped from behind the arras and garrotted the lot. Donavelli's troops then overran the colony, pushing the demoralised Dutch into the sea, and declared it an Air'ai holding. All of Africa is now united under the Air'ai, although as nine-tenths of it is a blackened ruin this is not saying a great deal. And the manner of their taking the province, while all other military forces in the world were laying down their quarrels to help humanity in the greater struggle, says little for the Air'ai's ethics.

XENOMINERS SQUEEZE EARTH BUSINESS

Many Earth-based mining companies have gone bankrupt following a massive drive to extract resources from neighbouring planets. Martian iron and Venusian tar have flooded their respective markets at ludicrously low prices, driving many of their competitors out of business.

'ANGELA, OR INNOCENCE MALIGNED' BECOMES BEST SELLER

Literary critics have admitted to being astonished that the salacious tales of 'Angela' have become a best seller. Many have claimed that this book is a thinly disguised excuse for prostitution, its apparently sympathetic heroine falling into vice in order to support her family. But it seems that some areas of society are prepared to lap up such immoral nonsense, and despite the fact that the book has no literary style or redeeming features what-so-ever, it became a best seller shortly after publication.

RAINS OF METEORS PLAGUE WORLD FURTHER

Do the miseries of the peoples of Earth know no bounds? This year the awful climate has been added to by intermittent showers of colossal meteors, which have caused devastation to many important buildings and centres of habitation. Scientists are at a loss to explain this new phenomenon: 'It's almost as though they were targeting the Earth!' exclaimed one perturbed boffin.

SEE

the amazing Houdini perform in the Palace Theatre, London, tonight!

ANARCHISTS STRIKE IN LONDON AND PARIS

This week saw a dual catastrophe as the Houses of Parliament in London, and the Parisian 'tats-G'n'rals were cruelly bombed by unknown anarchists on June 14th. Dozens of politicians were killed and many more permanently maimed in the attack, for which the motives remain unknown. In both cases, the scarred bodies of several monkeys were found near the explosion site, and it is believed these may be symbolic of a new and hitherto unknown revolutionary group. This date will be remembered each year by a special ceremony of mourning in both countries, to remember the life, work, and dreams of those slain.

SCIENTIST TAKES OWN LIFE

We are sorry to have to report the death of the obscure Italian scientist Dr Ettore Pascucci. He was found in his garret room, with a note beside him which read: "The sky is black: I can see the moon no more. The only thought that calms me is that of dieing [sic]. So then I must die. All my life I have searched only to help mankind, but I have not in the least succeeded. I cannot survive with the idea that the world is about to end in this terrible way, whilst I have not the power to save it. So then this evening I go to sleep. Finally I meet with sleep -- eternal sleep. Goodbye my friends. Goodbye humanity. I love you more than my life. Goodbye." [In Italian.]

YOU'VE

never seen anything like it. See Houdini perform death-defying feats above the streets of Milan, tonight!

PRESS RELEASE TO ALL MAJOR NEWSPAPERS:

"The foundation for the protection of humanity is pleased to announce the successful completion of project SPECTRE, the SPace Emplaced Counter Threat REassurance. As SPECTRE's inaugural activation we have used it to destroy the Tik-Tok menace and we shall continue to protect humanity in this manner."

EARTHQUAKES 'A GREAT PROBLEM' SAY SCIENTISTS

This year has seen a spate of giant earthquakes, in some cases so vigorous as to cause parts of the Earth's surface to actually detach themselves and fly out into space. Seismologists are baffled, but suggest it may be something to do with increased tidal forces as we approach the Sun.

F.L.O.P. RIFE THROUGHOUT FRANCE AND EMPIRE, HOWARD ANNOUNCES

Dr Philip Howard, who has been carrying out a series of tests for the dread FLOP disease, has found significant numbers of cases in both France and the Holy Roman Empire, to the disconcertment of those countries' governments. Albania, by contrast, was almost free of the disease, perhaps reflecting that backward country's lack of access to sophisticated and decadent sexual practices. Howard also said that he would be happy to carry out similar tests in other countries, and that noted humanitarian Lady Apollonia would be funding these tests and the provision of the cure. The Times urges the English government to act swiftly against this menace!

HOUDINI

wows all onlookers. The amazing Houdini is in town, don't miss him!

THE JUDICIAL CIRCLE ORDERS TAKE-OVER OF FACTORIES

The powerful Judicial Circle of Great Britain this year showed some of its newly acquired political power when it ordered many factories within Britain to be taken over. It remains unclear as to whether they are to be fully nationalised, or whether merely a change in managerial set-up is to be enforced, but we do understand that more rigorous government monitoring of these institutions is to occur.

IDEAL DOME EXHIBITION

Air'ai mastermind Giacomo Donavelli has provided for the people of Africa in these desperate times, with the construction of a number of immense sealed, silvered domes, made from a number of triangles joined together at the edges, in which a moist atmosphere can be preserved. Minor Air'ai deities help by cooling the outsides of the domes, and by something called 'the photodeity effect' which allows the material of which the panels are made to change from transparent to opaque as the Sun moves across the sky.

YOU'VE

never seen anything like it. See Houdini perform death-defying feats above the streets of Madrid, tonight!

GOTCHA! TABLOIDS RUN RIFE

The recent surge in scandalous and disgusting news stories reported by the gutter press in Britain has reached a new peak, with the morality of prominent politicians being brought even more into the public eye, and playing a crucial role in elections.

DIGITALIS PARTIES ON

Archduchess Ariadne Digitalis, the Empire's Minister for Health and Entertainment and also Governor of Austria, has thrown a succession of huge parties to raise people's spirits from their current woes. Music was provided by artistes from Lady Apollonia's Sunny label, and it was noted that the Archduchess and the Lady competed for the eye in the fineness of their House of Medici special edition dresses. Ariadne Digitalis seems to have pulled Tallow Directrix, while Lady Apollonia was the focus of attention of a number of elderly and wealthy Empire nobles. Elizabeth Siddal served as assistant hostess, and refreshments were provided by the Venus Connection's DinoMeat subsidiary. The soirées, in Karlstadt, Vienna, Salzburg and Graz, were accompanied by street parties at which free Vodka Total and Coca-Cepsi were handed out. The parties were surrounded by hedges of large, unfamiliar plants, which caused some distress at the Karlstadt party when their lashing tendrils blinded a number of drunken guests who were unfortunate enough to approach within six feet of them.

HOUDINI

gives performance of century!

DIRECTRIX DESALINATORS SAVE MANY

That debonair genius of French science, Tallow Directrix, demonstrated the compassionate side to his nature by releasing the Directrix Desalinator to the thirsty nations of the world. This installation purifies sea-water and pumps it into irrigation and drinking systems, and it is only its swift implementation that has allowed even a vestige of human life to survive in Africa this year.

>From the Classified section of The Times: SERFS WANTED

Finding life on Earth too eventful? Want the responsibility of decision lifted from your shoulders? Yearn for a firm but fair master or mistress? Communist propaganda getting you down? You could start a new life as a serf in New Russia, on the Moon. All transport, bed, board, vodka etc provided, with frequent beatings an added bonus. Apply to the Serfs Up! Corporation, Box 414T.

HOUDINI

gives performance of century!

NEW HOSPITAL BUILT

Vienna this year saw the construction of a grand new civic venture, the Charles VIII Memorial Hospital. Armed with the latest in medical technology, the hospital also incorporated the Digitalis Department for Biological Studies.

B.A.N.D.A.I.D. -- GENEROUS BRITS BAIL OUT DUSKY SAVAGES

The new Prime Minister, Mr Bufton Tufton, gave a moving speech dwelling on the travails of our unfortunate African friends, before introducing the Bill for Assistance to Newly-Droughtstruck African Independent Democracies to the House early this year. Funding from this measure was instrumental in constructing the giant domes that have saved so many lives on the Dark Continent.

NEW SCIENTIFIC TOOL DEVELOPED

The Sheridan Seismic Sensor has been launched, a mobile computer which can produce a small explosive force on or under the Earth, and then use sensors to determine the make-up of the rock underneath, and able to accurately find large metal objects, ore deposits and volcanic activity.

REFUGEES SWARM NORTH, SOUTH, UP

African refugees have left their desolated homes to help repopulate large areas of Italy and Germany, as well as flocking to New Greenland (formerly known as Antarctica). They make good neighbours, we are told, keeping their Air'ai faith but not attempting to promulgate it, and adapting well to local customs. A number have also taken the Serfs Up! Corporation's offer of employment on the Moon.

HOUDINI

wows all onlookers. The amazing Houdini is in town, don't miss him!

INDUSTRIAL CHAOS STRIKES EMPIRE

The Holy Roman Empire was the scene of unprecedented industrial disruption this year, as nine-tenths of its production and utilities closed down and ceased production. Workers were paid as usual, but simply sent home. It is notable that all the ventures involved were those reorganised by Japanese businessmen during last year. The Empire has been driven to its knees by this curious form of economic warfare, with water, power, and manufactured goods nigh-on impossible to come by.

CASTRO PREACHES NEIGHBOURLINESS

The charismatic preacher Don Castro has been touring Italy this year, preaching the values of friendship and encouraging the local people to extend a welcoming hand to their new neighbours. Alas, while African refugees have indeed been made welcome in Italy, the same cannot be said of 'reformed' Tik-TokMen, who have met with much suspicion and mistrust.

HOUDINI

gives performance of century!

MAFIA ON THE RISE -- GOVERNMENTS WORRIED

That reprehensible crime organisation, the Mafia, thought to be in decline, has been largely revitalised under the leadership of a new Capo di Tutti Capi, Don Giarmousse. It has a firm grip on crime throughout Italy, the HRE, and Spain, although attempts to move into Russia have met with fierce resistance from the Red police. It is believed that the Mafia are behind the distribution of the Ambrosia drug, sales of which have presumably funded their expansion.

RUSSIA TOO FALLS TO INDUSTRIAL COLLAPSE

The unfortunate Russians, so often lately the victims of international politics, were this year driven to the same industrial plight as the Empire, as Japanese business interests all across the country withdrew their support. All of Russia's power and transport interests and almost all manufacturing industry simply fell silent, and it seems that unless the Japanese can be appeased it will be a return to their former misery for the Russian people.

SEE

the amazing Houdini perform in the Globe Theatre, Manchester, tonight!

WE NEED A NEW POPE -- CARDINALS DECLARE

The College of Cardinals has met and declared the bickering Popes Pius X and Paul VI to both be Antipopes. It will elect a new Pope, to be a beacon of stability in these troubled times, as soon as is practical, announced Vatican spokesmen Cardinal del Piero. Informed Pope-watchers are tipping young Cardinal Albertini to snaffle the big white hat, although veteran Cardinal Baggio should be in with a decent chance after his recent series of faithrousing speeches.

ENGLAND: INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION HITS RECORD LOW

Even in mighty England, the home of industry, production was severely affected by the Japanese production go-slow, with the former Government's policy of selling everything to the folk from Nippon being called severely into question by the current PM. Only those factories this year taken from private hands into State ownership continued to produce. With the bulk of England's food production also in foreign hands, those of the Dutch, can we honestly say that anything we rely on is our own?

MURDER AT PAPAL ELECTIONS, BAGGIO RUSHED IN

On the very morning of the papal elections, leading candidate Cardinal Demetrio Albertini was found murdered in his bed. The College convened ins sombre mood, and all heads turned to that icon of the faith and the next best thing to a living saint, Cardinal Gino Baggio, who won ninety per cent of the vote at the very first ballot. Baggio was visibly in tears as he attempted to claim that he neither deserved nor wished for the top honour -- what further proof of his suitability could be required?

YOU'VE

never seen anything like it. See Houdini perform death-defying feats above the streets of Paris, tonight!

PAPAL CONFUSION CONTINUES

Both existing Popes immediately declared the new Pope Antipope and anathema, and he responded by declaring them both anathema too. Pius X attempted to bring Jonathan Tyler, who he maintains is the Son of God, to Rome, but Tyler was turned back by the halberds of the Swiss Guards. The new Pope has called for a forty-day-long festival of prayer and penance, in the hope that peace may be brought to these troubled lands of ours.

IT'S DIVINE PEACE -- BUT ARMAGEDDON'S STILL EXPECTED, SAYS POPE

The Pope led worldwide celebrations as the Geneva Peace Accords were signed, following the forty-day-long prayer for world peace, hailing it as a miracle. But he warned again that the Last Days were upon us, and sinners should not think they had got away with it -- he urged all listening to convert to Catholicism pronto. Both rival Popes also claimed credit for the miracle, but as the Geneva Peace Accords were actually funded by the generosity of the former Cardinal Baggio, he may have some justice on his side.

HOUDINI

wows all onlookers. The amazing Houdini is in town, don't miss him!

COMMUNE DECLARES FOR CATHOLICISM

The Revolutionary Government of the Paris Commune has declared France to be once more a Catholic nation, in the wake of a preaching tour by the inflammatory Cardinal del Piero, and in the recognition that the Protector had presided over the deaths of virtually half the French population during his brief reign as guardian deity.

JOFFRE ABANDONS ENGLAND, CRUSHES COMMUNE

The French invasion of England was called to an abrupt halt in the first week of January as Emperor Joffre returned to Paris to deal with the recently instated Commune. Despite the Communists' piteous entreaties, the governments of the world were not prepared to lend assistance as Joffre's shock tactics weeded them mercilessly out of their boltholes.

NEW DRUG MENACE -- CRUMBS! IT'S 'CAKE'!

A new drug known only as 'Cake' has hit the streets of Europe this year. It is euphoric and stimulant, although fortunately nothing like as addictive as Ambrosia or Substance D. Danger is not absent, though -- users have been known to vomit up their own pelvises. The Times says: just say No!

HOUDINI

gives performance of century!

SCIENTISTS RESCUE HOLLAND

That gift to humanity, Tallow Directrix, has saved the unfortunate people of Holland with his new invention. Called 'TallowFilla', it is a cheap powdery substance that sets solid with the addition of water. Sturdy sea walls have been constructed around Holland, and the water that flooded it has now been pumped out using an invention of Prof Hugo Victor's known as 'The Giant Straw'. Directrix has also made the technology available to Britain and the HRE, although neither takes it up this year. The land of Holland is now rather salty, of course, and it will be many years before if can be farmed (if ever), but at least it's there. The venture was funded by the generosity of Cardinal Baggio, it was announced.

YOU'VE

never seen anything like it. See Houdini perform death-defying feats above the streets of Munich, tonight!

FRENCH TAX CHANGES SQUEEZE RICH

Emperor Joffre has succeeded in mollifying his irate populace by making sweeping changes in France's tax system. The poor are now considerably better off, at the expense of the richest citizens, who are now subject to 50% taxation. It remains to be seen whether Joffre will make any sort of profit in this way, though, as an exodus of wealthy and aristocratic French citizens has already begun. "If scum wants to rule over scum, that's fine by me," said one disgruntled emigrant.

DIRECTRIX PRAISES EMPEROR

God-like incarnation of all that's noble, Tallow Directrix, thought by many to be the true heir to the Austrian throne, has praised Holy Roman Emperor Charles VIII for his statesmanlike dealings with the entities, which minimised the amount of damage they were able to do during the Ragnarok period, and for his willingness to cede back pieces of the Empire to their rightful owners. He, Directrix, though, has no wish to rule Austria, and will only consider doing so if urged to by its people.

TERRANS SNUB JOFFRE

The Terrans have refused Joffre's offer of an embassy and full diplomatic status in France. An American press statement did not waste its words: "The one good thing about the Earth crashing into the sun is that jumped-up buffoon in France is going with it."

TIK-TOKMEN 'CAN BE REHABILITATED'

We are amazed to hear reports that unknown scientists have plans to 'rehabilitate' the Tik-TokMen. The mechanical beings -- believed to be responsible for over twenty million deaths in the past years, and even now fighting a bitter war against many of the armies of Europe -- could be 'reprogrammed' to become fully functional members of the community, rather than the psychopathic killing machines bent on the total annihilation of the human race that they are at the moment. Even if this technological feat proves to be possible is it really what we want? Millions lie dead at the hands of these killing machines, are we really to invite them into our homes? Ask yourself this question -- would you let a killer mechanical man, even with a different 'program', marry your daughter?

EURO-PRESS RAVES ABOUT JOFFRE

The European press have proven universally enthusiastic about the international peace treaty, "the brainchild of the genius Emperor Joffre".

>From How Do You Do? magazine: LOVE BLOSSOMS OVER THE TEST-TUBE

Could it be wedding bells for two of Europe's leading scientists? Over the last few months, shy French lover Tallow Directrix has clearly been increasingly smitten with the winsome Ariadne Digitalis, and has been seen in her company at a number of balls. Now, rumour has it, the gorgeous Austro-Frenchman has popped lovely Ariadne the big question -- but what will she answer? We say: you could do a lot worse!

HOUDINI

wows all onlookers. The amazing Houdini is in town, don't miss him!

LADY APOLLONIA BLOWS OPEN MARS DUST RACKET

Heroic Italian noblewoman Lady Apollonia has exposed the network of the Mars Dust drug posing such a menace to our American cousins. She became concerned two years ago when initial reports of what was then believed to be a harmless sweet triggered her suspicions, infiltrated the distribution system and has now helped the American authorities round up all the agents involved. Furthermore, her laboratories have come up with an antidote to the horrific substance, allowing unfortunate victims to be removed from their addiction without harm. Her moving speech to the House of Representatives was met with tumultuous applause, as it became clear to all what risks and sacrifices this brave woman had undergone out of simple love for humanity. But who was the criminal mastermind behind Mars Dust? Lady Apollonia was unable to find out, but the Americans have sworn to leave no stone unturned to track this villain down.

MOLOTOV GRAMOPHONE COMES INTO PRODUCTION, 'SUNNY' LABEL LAUNCHED

Lady Apollonia, owner of the House of Medici boutiques, has branched out, now producing and distributing Molotov gramophones through a chain of 'Sunlight' shops both here and in the United States. She has also launched a record label, Sunny, to which a diverse roster of talented acts have signed. She is believed to now be looking for American talent to add to the label.

FRENCH PRIORITIES OUTLINED

Business as usual in France once both Communists and Tik-Toks had been summarily dealt with: Joffre has identified his country's main priorities as the construction of orphanages throughout the land, the promotion of an international business conference, and the founding of Protectorist missions in Africa.

SEE

the amazing Houdini perform in the Adelphi Theatre, Bristol, tonight!

BEERBOHM TREE SPLASHES OUT

Noted impresario Beerbohm Tree has invested in a range of theatrical property across Europe's blasted cities, in the Empire, England, France, Spain, Scandinavia and France. Well done, Sir -- faith in the future is what we at The Times like to see! The show must go on!

PROTECTOR'S MOVE ON AFRICA FAILS

The Protector moves in none-too-mysterious ways in Africa. Countries that adopt Protectorism as their official religion have been offered free irrigation technology courtesy of Tallow Directrix's ARSE, while those less mercenary in their faith had to pay for the alleviation of their problems. Fortunately, the BANDAID scheme meant that generous Britons bailed out their unfortunate Africa cousins, so none of the Air'ai states were forced to take the Protectorist dollar.

'TRIUMPH' TOURS EUROPE BY STAGE

For those of you who missed 'The Triumph of the Will' at the cinema, now's your chance to catch it on the stage -- Beerbohm Tree has announced that it will be touring Europe all this year, with all the leading roles being taken by the same actors. He will reprise his own cameo role at some performances, although it is thought Elizabeth Siddal will be too busy to take her own part up again.

LIECHTENSTEIN BECOMES TAX HAVEN

Princess Annabella has made a bid to repopulate Liechtenstein by declaring it a tax-free state for anyone who has lived there for longer than six months and a day. The immigration rate has been higher than expected: in particular many of the French are flocking into the country.

LAUREATE RETURNS, SETTLES IN GLENS

The Poet Laureate, Lord Tennyson, has made a surprise return to the island of his birth, although he has settled in Scotland as a guest of the Royal Family rather than taking up his old residence in England. He was a guest of honour at the Royal Wedding, and has already written a clearly heartfelt poem on life north of the Border.

TENNYSON PUBLISHES 'IN MEMORIAM' -- HIS GREATEST YET?

Alfred, Lord Tennyson, has finally published 'In Memoriam', the great work on which he has been labouring since the tragic death of his wife. Critics and ordinary readers alike have been moved to tears at the depth and subtlety of emotion expressed in this masterpiece, and it serves as confirmation that as the Laureate enters his twilight years he has if anything gained in his mastery of the language.

NEXT: ICE-CREAM TO ESKIMOS

It is with some amusement that we noticed a trading company that will remain nameless attempting to sell coal to Brazil this year. We're sure a nice coal-fire is exactly what our tropical cousins would like in readiness for another sweltering Christmas!

TENNYSON RETURNS TO LORDS, PROPOSES EVACUATION BILL

The House of Lords was delighted to be visited by Lord Tennyson, absent the last two years, who put forward a Bill to help with the resettlement of those discommoded by the rising sea levels (and for their return to their homes once the crisis ends). The Bill was supported by the Government, and is now law.

GHOST TRAIN MEMORIAL UNVEILED

A large public memorial park has been dedicated to the French and Liechtensteinian victims of the Ghost Train tragedy. Despite a moving speech at the opening ceremony, the ten-minute silence was ruined by occasional catcalls of the ilk of: "What about the Joffre tragedy?"

HOUDINI

wows all onlookers. The amazing Houdini is in town, don't miss him!

HANG ONTO YOUR BRAINS! IT'S THE LAW!

The Government has pushed through its Brain Removal (Interdiction) Act, which is an extension of the Tennyson Act banning lobotteries. Under this new legislation, any form of organised removal of brains or parts thereof is outlawed. A spokesman for the CereBingo company, at whom this law was clearly aimed, protested that the Government were merely acting as killjoys and interfering in the pleasure of consenting adults. He warned that the law would only drive the lobotomy hobby underground, leading to a plague of back-street lobotomisers and the increased dangers and risks that would inevitably bring. The CereBingo company has suspended its operations pending an appeal to the Law Lords.

EMPIRE PEACE WITH RUSSIA, ASATRU

Emperor Charles VIII has withdrawn troops from Russia and the Balkans, and agreed to forgo its claim to the Prussian lands currently occupied by the Asatru. A referendum was also held to decide the future of Piedmont: officials were pleased to report that a majority voted to remain part of the Holy Roman Empire in preference of becoming either French or fully independent.

CRACK DOWN ON CEREBINGO -- OUTCRY AS GAME BANNED

The British government has passed a law that makes it illegal to perform any operation that involves the removal of a part of the brain -- an act clearly aimed at banning the popular 'CereBingo' game which escaped previous anti 'lobottery' legislation on a loophole. It is believed that the powerful Judicial Circle gave its full backing to this bill, and it is expected to take effect nearly immediately. There has already been a massive public outcry against the bill, as CereBingo has practically become a national past-time amongst the lower classes. Rumours are already spreading that, as the game is so popular, it will quickly be forced 'underground' by any attempts to ban it.

LONG LIVE EMPEROR CHARLES!

A week of merriment was declared in the Holy Roman Empire to celebrate the end of the Imperial Wars. Free drink and cinematic entertainment were liberally supplied, and a special commemorative magnetic coin minted for all citizens.

MERCURY RISING

Can you stand the heat? If so then why not try a Club Mercury 18-30 holiday. Bask in the heat of this beautiful planet and spice up your love life into the bargain. Get a perfect view of the Earth's plummet into the sun. Also start booking now for the 'End of the Earth' event, coming soon.

...BUT NOT THAT LONG

A law of conscription has been introduced throughout the Holy Roman Empire, making every male between the age of 18 and 24 part of the Imperial Army, to be trained by Spanish military advisers. The Imperial munitions factories are also said to be working at full capacity.

EARTHQUAKE SHAKES THE ATLANTIC SEA BED -- TIDAL WAVES SINK SEVERAL SHIPS

Scientist report that a number of missing ships can be traced to a large seismic shift beneath the Atlantic ocean. The activity was large enough to create massive waves and storms that would have sunk ships across a great area. The under-sea earthquake was unexpected, but not unique -- similar activity occurred in the region twenty years ago.

CHARLES WELCOMES SPAIN TO EMPIRE

Emperor Charles VIII has travelled to Spain to welcome the people to Imperial rule, and promote Xavier Perez to the rank of Imperial Governor of Spain, combining this trip with a stop in Geneva to sign the European Peace treaty on his return journey. This major acquisition means that the great Charles has extended his Empire almost to the bounds of his illustrious predecessor Charles V Hapsburg in the 16th Century, if we consider Holland to be a client kingdom.

JUST WHAT HE WOULD HAVE WANTED

A world tour has been organised in honour of the great Gideon Stargrave, who was assassinated by unknown assailants earlier this year. Hitherto unknown facts about the man's lifestyle of drugs and debauchery have come to light, and are the subject of much public interest worldwide. An exclusive line of Nice'n'Smooth jeanswear has been launched in memory of the great man. The Tour is named 'The Crazy World of Gideon Stargrave', and a young bohemian named Cornelius Dempsey is playing Stargrave's part.

SEE

the amazing Houdini perform in the Dominion Theatre, Edinburgh, tonight!

'PEACE' TOPS THE LOT

The world's largest statue, entitled 'Peace' has been erected in the German countryside. This has confounded those whose money had been on any such statue being entitled 'Helmut von Moltke'.

SHOOTING DINOS -- IT'S A BLAST

Fancy an exciting life away from this crazy world with no questions asked, and no price to pay? Then join the Venus Volunteer corps. You'll be trained to hunt down dinosaurs, and get to use some of the most powerful weapons currently available. Perhaps you'll even surpass the amazing Colonel Biggles, who has bagged ninety dinos so far.

HOUDINI

gives performance of century!

EMPEROR DENIES MONGOL LINK

Charles VIII has spoken out denying any connection between himself and the Mongol Horde, saying that his work has been to reverse the dreadful effects of the invasion, citing the construction of a new sea wall and the establishment of the National Imperial Health Service this year among the many proofs of the fact. "Everything we do is for the good of the people; only through enlightened rule can happiness be achieved, and that is what we seek." Rarely has the royal "we" so befitted a man as it does charismatic Charles!

STARGRAVE'S TO CLOSE

The popular London Restaurant 'Stargrave's' is to close after running into considerable financial difficulties. This was unexpected, as it had been an extremely fashionable and popular social centre for some years. However, there are rumours of financial incompetence amongst the management, and the club is believed to have run afoul of many of the strict hygiene and licensing laws now in force in this area.

HOUDINI

wows all onlookers. The amazing Houdini is in town, don't miss him!

DAVCHENKO FLOUTS PEACE ACCORD

In a year of peace, the most aggressive postures were made by Karl Davchenko, despite his announcement on January 1st of a total ceasefire, as he ordered the Russian fleet into the Mediterranean and Italy to combat the insidious forces of capitalism. A pitched naval battle with the British fleet ensued, at cost to both sides, though at length the Russian forces were withdrawn in the face of the disapproval of Geneva.

AIR'AI, RUSSIANS CLASH IN MED

As the Air'ai Divine Legion embarked from Tripoli to help cleanse Italy of the Tik-Tok menace, they were attacked in a savage and cowardly fashion by the Russian Black Sea fleet, and only the swift action of a detachment of the Royal Navy was able to prevent much loss of life. This completely unprovoked attack, so soon after the signing of the Geneva Peace Accords, says little for the bona fides of international Communism, although General Secretary Davchenko later claimed the attack had been 'an accident'.

SKIP EARTH DOOM -- GO TO MARS

It seems more and more like this world of ours is doomed. Now is the time to escape, and move to Mars. The evacuation route from certain apocalyptic doom will take you from the tiny tropical island of Humbaga directly to Mars in an asteroid-like capsule, just like the Terrans used to get here in the first place. There will be no charge. Note that all tickets are one-way. Get here as quickly as you can...

DAVCHENKO FLOUTS PEACE ACCORD EVEN MORE

The Russian army has made territorial gains in Persia, striking back against de Moltke's Arab League as payback for their invasion of Russia two years ago. Davchenko appears to have made some attempt to justify this with revelations about the use of chemical weapons by de Moltke's troops, but his observation at the peace conference that "Communist Russia is the only nation here never to have invaded anywhere" seems to have been intended only to lull his enemies into a false sense of security.

RUSSO-FINNISH PEACE SIGNED

A peace treaty has been signed between Russia and Finland allowing the Finns to keep the territory they currently hold as a Russian demilitarised zone.

'STARGRAVE'S' REOPENS AS 'A THAMES ALADDIN'

The popular restaurant formerly known as 'Stargrave's' is soon to reopen after refurbishment. Renamed 'A Thames Aladdin' it remains to be seen whether it will maintain the cool and fashionable mystique it enjoyed in the past, and that made it the place to be seen in London.

SKYWRITING -- THE GRISLY TRUTH

A strange sight has been seen in the skies over London recently. Smoke trails in the air spelling out messages to 'Walk on the hot side -- visit Mercury' and 'Move to Mars'. When these mysterious smoke trails were investigated it was found that they were left by birds which were on fire, and apparently burning to death as they flew, for their corpses were seen falling to Earth soon after the message was completed.

'SPECIAL SCHOOLS' SET UP IN RUSSIA

The Russian leaders have moved to set up 'special schools' for the different educational needs of those children born within the time of the black mist.

YOU'VE

never seen anything like it. See Houdini perform death-defying feats above the streets of Trieste, tonight!

DAVCHENKO BIO TOPS CHARTS

The publication of Karl Davchenko's biography worldwide has been vying with 'Angela: Innocence Maligned' for number one bestseller status. Although it offers a very human portrayal of Davchenko, his wife and his communist friends, most non-Russian critics have dismissed it as a cleverly-crafted piece of Red propaganda.

HOOTS MON! SCOTTISH EXCITEMENT

There has been much revelry throughout Scotland recently in the build up to what must be one of the most significant events in the country's history. The crowning of their own independent monarch once again, after so many years. Scholars have traced the royal line back to Duncan Macbeth, a true Scotsman and gentleman, who the people have welcomed into their hearts. In a strange way the very land itself seems to welcome this turn of events, and the country seems even more beautiful than ever at this moment.

AIR'AI, LEVITICANS MAKE ITALY SAFE

After a lengthy campaign, the Air'ai Divine Legion and the Levitican Army under General Arria, with help from the mysterious bolts of fire from the blue, have succeeded in destroying all the Tik-TokMan emplacements in peninsular Italy and rendering it safe for human habitation.

MANY DIE AS AMBROSIA BECOMES LETHAL

The powerful narcotic drug 'Ambrosia' that has had many under its addictive power for some years has finally begun to turn upon its victims. Scores are now dead after the supplies of the drug in several cities have turned lethal. In many cases a single dose of 'bad' Ambrosia was enough to kill. Although we must all feel some sympathy for those who have been struck down in this way, we must not forget that they have chosen their lifestyle, and brought this death upon themselves.

HOUDINI

gives performance of century!

ENTERTAINMENT PROSPERS

A firm called 'Stylistics' has been set up in Britain, producing sets for stage and cinema productions, including the mass-production of lighting rigs and other necessities of the modern entertainment industry.

JAPAN BLOWS OUT STARGRAVE TOUR

'The Crazy World of Gideon Stargrave' tribute has been denied access to the Nipponese empire because of 'cultural differences'. Those behind the tour are rumoured to be very upset at this undemocratic view.

BUT WHAT DOES HE WEAR UNDER HIS KILT? SCOTTISH KING CROWNED

At precisely twelve noon in Scone yesterday, Duncan Macbeth was crowned King of Scotland. The ceremony saw the re-emergence of the Stone of Scone, which disappeared mysteriously from England several years ago, along with a host of beautiful and unique crown jewels. The new King, to a reverent silence from the huge crowds filling the streets, spoke of his joy at the recent changes in Scotland and his dreams for the future of the country.

'SAFE' 'AMBROSIA II' COMES ONTO THE MARKET

Reports now circulate that 'Ambrosia II' is now available, a safe form of the drug that turned lethal earlier in the year. Ambrosia II is a different colour to the first version, so can easily be told apart. Although it is believed to have so far been safe, it seems to be every bit as addictive as the original, and so just as morally corrupting.

HOUDINI

wows all onlookers. The amazing Houdini is in town, don't miss him!

ST CAWRDAV LIKES A GOOD TACKLE

Despite Russia's recent successes on the cricket pitch, the nation's patron saint Cawrdav has shown where his true allegiances lie: he has been seen on numerous occasions spectating at much less gentlemanly rugby and football matches!

DUN-INSANE -- KING DECLARES LOVE FOR SCOTS LIBBER

Last week, at an official engagement, King Duncan II publicly declared his love for Aesha Van Dieman, who has been one of the driving forces behind the recent reforms in Scotland, and that he plans to marry her later in the year. Rumours about the couple have been circulating ever since his coronation, and the public seem overjoyed for their new monarch.

HOUDINI

gives performance of century!

ASATRU RECRUITMENT DRIVE

An advertising campaign has been set up across Europe, South America and Africa encouraging people to convert to Asatru and live in the flourishing new colonies of Greenland and Antarctica. The uptake rate has been fairly impressive, especially from the now unbearably hot equatorial countries.

OUTBREAK OF 'MYSTERY DEATHS' IN SPAIN

Hospitals in Spain have been suffering from large numbers of people struck down by a mystery sickness, fatal in almost all cases. The illness causes massive bleeding from the every orifice, and leads to death very quickly in most cases. This 'sickness' seems to have moved from region to region, striking down as many as one in a hundred of the local population. There are even some reports of this sickness moving into France.

IS THIS A RING I SEE BEFORE ME? DUNCAN WEDS AESHA

King Duncan II and Aesha Van Dieman were married yesterday in a beautiful ceremony at Scone. Almost a fifth of the population of the country travelled to see the event and none could have left without a tear in their eye, as the love binding the couple was so strong it seemed almost to be tangible. Aesha was then crowned with a beautiful diamond and gold tiara, and pronounced as Queen. Even the air around them seemed to sing with happiness at the union.

NORSE IN SPACE?

The Odinsson has joined the space race: Dr Peter Tavener's workshops have laid keels for the construction of two craft, Lif and Lifthrasir, at the Nordic leader's order.

YOU'VE

never seen anything like it. See Houdini perform death-defying feats above the streets of Cologne, tonight!

'REAL' ANASTASIA REVEALED AT LAST

The mystery of the strange behaviour of the Russian Princess Anastasia may have finally been solved. We are informed that the ex Tsar of Russia has been reunited with his 'real' daughter, who, it seems, was kidnapped over fifteen years ago. It is said that the traitorous Davchenko oversaw an operation that had the real Anastasia abducted, and imprisoned, then replaced by a genius disguise artist -- the previously highly respected British detective Meridian Macey-Dare. Davchenko thus had power and influence in a position close to the Tsar, thus greatly aiding his planned revolution. Details of Anastasia's escape from captivity remain sparse, but apparently one of those responsible for abduction has been found. We await with considerable interest the reaction of Miss Macey-Dare, who, it must be noted, has remained remarkably quiet since 'Anastasia' displayed her true affiliation. However, it is said that the Tsar is completely convinced he has found his 'real' daughter, and is said to be happier than he has been in years.

SEE

the amazing Houdini perform in the Queen's Theatre, Grimsby, tonight!

NORTH PRUSSIA JOINS SCANDINAVIA

A democratic election held in North Prussia saw a grateful people choose the Odinsson as their new ruler. The new country has entered a full alliance with Scandinavia.

AUTOMATIC GUBBINS -- AN ADVANCE?

Next week will see a worldwide Technology: The Gubbins tournament start in Geneva, in which the first prize is a deck that literally plays by itself. Klaum Krohne organised the event after a steady slump in sales of the cards, and clearly hopes this will renew their popularity.

MELUSINE HAS HER EYE ON KIDDYWINKS

Queen Melusine has set up special therapeutic schools in Albania and Greece to help cure the 'poor dear children born in the darkness'. Her methods appear to be having some success, and other countries seem keen to adopt them as soon as possible: England and France have both requested her help with similar schemes. The ventures were funded by the generosity of Cardinal Baggio.

YOU'VE

never seen anything like it. See Houdini perform death-defying feats above the streets of Lisbon, tonight!

PUEBLOS TURN TO ODINSSON

Thousands of South Americans considering themselves to have been let down by Davchenko and Communism have turned instead to the Asatru religion, whose missionaries have been hard at work in the rainforests. The Odinsson's messianic appeal seems to be easy to latch onto in these apocalyptic times.

GREECE SPOTS NEW QUEEN

Princess Melusine of Albania was yesterday crowned as rightful Queen of Greece. The people of Greece all seem infatuated by the new monarch, and this somewhat surprising acclamation was carried by total public support, and the people of Greece seem overjoyed.

PIEDMONT PLEBISCITE GOES FOR EMPIRE

Emperor Charles VIII conducted a plebiscite in his most-recently-conquered province of Piedmont, offering inhabitants the choice of independence, French rule or remaining his subjects. Surprisingly, the result was in favour of staying with the Holy Roman Empire, although subsequent to its declaration there have been widespread riots in favour of independence up and down the province. This means that Italy is once more divided into three: the very south is Garibaldi's Republic of Naples, the middle section, including Tuscany, is the Papal States, and the north is all still controlled by the Empire.

ARRIA SPEAKS FOR CHURCH

The combat-ready arm of the Church was represented at the Geneva peace convention by Arria, leaderene of the Levitican Army. She pledged her holy right arm to dealing with the Tik-Tok threat in the Italian nation.

REVULSION FROM SOME AS TIK-TOKS ARE 'RETURNED TO COMMUNITY'

There has been outrage in many areas where it is rumoured that Tik-TokMen have been re-homed after being 'rehabilitated' from their murderous ways. It seems some refuse to 'forgive and forget', and there have already been violent incidents. Known Tik-TokMen have been stoned, thrown into rivers, and their houses burnt to the ground. We are glad to report that at least some facets of their rehabilitation seem to have worked, as there are no reports of the mechanical men fighting back -- indeed, some were said to walk calmly into the hands of their attackers, as if accepting their fate. However, it is exceptionally difficult to recognise a Tik-TokMan, and this has already caused considerable difficulty -- over a dozen humans have been killed in 'mistakes' -- several having had the tops of their heads prised off to reveal their 'works', two more being drowned in ponds to shows that 'metal doesn't float'. The paranoia of communities that believe they have mechanical ex-killers living amongst them is palpable, and is a danger to all.

HOUDINI

wows all onlookers. The amazing Houdini is in town, don't miss him!

BOLTS FROM THE BLUE SMASH TIK-TOK MENACE

Since March 1st, a new and mysterious ally has joined the crusade against the Tik-TokMen. Bolts of flame have lanced down from the heavens, destroying them in vast numbers. Some people say that God is taking vengeance on these demon-spawn, whilst others look to our alien friends for reassurance.

'SISTER OF MERCY' TOURS

'The Sister of Mercy' has been touring Italy with her popular Gothique musical style this year, although she appears to have dropped the distinctive 'look' of the movement due to the permanent heatwave, which was causing her makeup to run in a very undignified fashion indeed.

FOUNDATION OF S.C.U.B.A. -- 'WAR' DECLARED ON TIK-TOKMEN

In reaction to the return to the community of Tik-TokMen an organisation named SCUBA has been formed -- the 'Self-appointed Committee for Un-Biological Activities': its intention, to punish the Tik-TokMen for their crimes against humanity. In its statement of formation it declares it will 'seek justice for the dead of humanity, and reveal the mechanical sympathisers amongst us'. It states that there is a conspiracy intent on giving all the best jobs to Tik-Toks, and that this conspiracy believes that humans are second rate. SCUBA says it will not stand by and allow humanity to be replace, but will fight back for justice and revenge -- it demands that all persons of power and influence be required to sign a statement saying they will never give their support to the Tik-Toks, and will bring justice to mankind. Already we hear of a violent splinter group of SCUBA called 'Combat 23' which has threatened terrorist action if the Tik-Toks are not dealt with by the authorities.

BRITAIN SUPPORTS MELUSINE

The British Empire has entered into a "mutually beneficial" trade and development alliance with Albania and Greece, giving Queen Melusine the political credibility she may need in these difficult times.

MOLTKE READS RED VILLAINY

Senor de Moltke appears to have been shrewd enough to anticipate the Russians reneging on their word: he was pointedly absent from the Geneva peace conference, concentrating instead on defending the borders of Persia from the inevitable attack.

RUSSIA PARIAH NATION, SAYS NWOL

Following Russia's breaking of the European ceasefire, the New World Order League has declared it the home of international terrorism. All trade or contact with Russia by NWOL member states is now a punishable crime.

MOLTKE STARTS PROPAGANDA WAR

Leaflets with excerpts from the political tract "Towards a better world - the beliefs of de Moltke" have been airdropped over Russian cities to guide the people away from the doctrines of International Communism. "A free economy with property for all is the only way to freedom: Communism is the way to slavery."

MERCOSUR ARMS UP

Two gigantic new warships have been built at Mercosur Atlantico's Scottish shipyards: the 'Helmut von Moltke' and the 'Empress Juanita Evita'.

MISSING: FIVE-YEAR-OLD DOUBLE WIDOW

A huge reward has been offered to anyone who can reveal the whereabouts of Juanita Evita de Moltke to her grief-stricken relatives.

YANKS, NWOL TEAM UP

An official alliance against International Communism has been formed by the United States of America and the New World Order League. The Americans are believed to have made it clear that they do not consider themselves allied with 'Emperor' Joffre under this treaty.

HOUDINI

gives performance of century!

MOLTKE SPROUTS OUT

Senor J F de Moltke has recently taken to sporting an extensive moustache - some have remarked that he is now the spitting image of his much-missed Prussian relative Helmut von Moltke...

TIK-TOK MENACE SMASHED

The governments of Europe showed a united front against the Tik-Tok menace in March when England, the Holy Roman Empire and Russia all sent troops to aid Emperor Joffre in purging France of the evil automata. Obviously all was not quite so blissful in Italy shortly thereafter, as the Russians made a sneak attack against English and African troops and became embroiled in a large skirmish with the Royal Navy.