Oxford University Role Playing Games Society
Inferno 1889 News
THE COLONEL FOUNDS 'LITTLE VENUS'
The dashing Colonel Mustard has found yet another way to win the admiration
and respect of every red blooded boy -- opening a dinosaur park. Earlier
this year he launched an expedition to Venus to see for himself the
fearsome creatures the planet contains. But not content with 'bagging' a
few to become trophies on his mantle-piece, he issued the order "Bring some
back alive!", and with the help of a crack team captured some of these
terrifying beasts for transportation back to earth. He now intends to open
up a special park -- named 'Little Venus' where the public can be taken on
tours to see for themselves the terrifying creatures of Venus. It must
surely be the next best option for those unable to afford a safari holiday
to Venus themselves!
MISSILE ATTACK DESTROYS TWO JAPANESE TOWNS
The Japanese towns of Hiroshima and Nagasaki have been destroyed by an
unprovoked missile attack from a rogue warship. It was initially believed
the aggressors were American, but the Japanese claim to have evidence that
the vessel was British-made. Why anyone would want to destroy Nagasaki, a
small farming town whose only feature of note is its Catholic orphanage, is
NEXT, THE CHOCOLATE TEAPOT
Prominent European scientists Ariadne Digitalis and Hugo Victor have
collaborated to produce the world's first clockwork orange.
SUNNY SEEKS SISTER
Lady Apollonia's Sunny record label, which this year rose strongly to
dominate sales of recorded music in Europe and the USA, is keen to contact
the mysterious 'Sister of Mercy' in the hope of offering her a contract.
Apparently plentiful supplies of House of Medici 'Gothique' accessories are
to be thrown into the deal as a sweetener.
DIRECTRIX REJECTS IRRIGATION, PROTECTOR LINK
Benefactor of humanity Tallow Directrix has blamed 'bureaucracy' for French
governmental attempts last year to make his gift of aid to the stricken
folk of Africa conditional on their acceptance of Protectorism, and has
apologised profusely for any distress caused.
NEW HISTORICAL RECORDS FOUND -- JOAN OF ARC 'DID NOT BURN'
Historians have discovered documents that present surprising new evidence
about the fate of the famous French martyr Joan of Arc. It has always been
believed that the Maid of Orleans was burnt at the stake for witchcraft,
but a number of exciting new contemporary documents have been discovered
suggesting otherwise. These describe how, at the very last moment as the
flames were begging to lick at the tied figure, an unknown woman leapt from
the crowd, and cut her free. This figure was then said to "viciously and
dishonourably" attack the male guards, before calling to a waiting horse,
and leaping astride it -- with the near unconscious Joan across the saddle.
They were then seen to flee into the distance, leaving pursuers behind. Why
this account -- so much at odds with the story handed down through
generations -- has only just been discovered is not at all clear, nor is
the identity of the rescuer, who seems to have played little other part in
history at that time. Research is now underway as to what Joan of Arc
became involved in after her 'miraculous' rescue.
ONE DOWN, TWO TO GO
Catholicism now has only two spiritual leaders: Pope Pius X, the
anathematised Pontiff who claims Jonathan Tyler to be the Son of God, has
been executed by General Arria of the Levitican Army. With remaining Popes
Paul VI and Gregory XV both firmly opposed to Tyler, it looks as though the
charismatic Briton's day in the sun may have come and gone.
DI TRIORA GOVERNOR OF TUSCANY
In a plebiscite in Tuscany, former nanny Ariadne di Triora has been
returned as Governor, with the blessing of Pope Gregory XV, who has earned
the gratitude of the population with his sponsoring of the election.
CASALS QUARTET TOURS RED PLANET
In a first for Earth music, the Casals Quartet -- consisting, curiously, of
four cellos -- played several dates on Mars to reasonably favourable
reception. They performed a repertoire of ordinary string quartet music
scored down to their unusual instrumentation, announced their record label
POPE GREGORY: 'TIME IS NEAR'
The new Pope, who has with a series of storming and inspirational sermons
totally eclipsed his rivals in making himself the best-loved and respected
figure in Christendom, has warned that his 'earthly work is nearing
completion' and that 'the Father is calling me to join him'. He also spoke
of the forthcoming Pope, who God has said is to be called Peter II, in a
break with Catholic tradition: and that henceforth Papal selection will be
by purely divine means, without the need for Cardinals to cast their votes.
CNN DIES IN FLAMES
The Crystalline News Network is no longer in existence after a series of
massive explosions ripped through their offices at the beginning of the
year. Who was behind this attack, and indeed how they were able to
synchronise their assaults with such deadly precision, is unclear. However,
damage to the high technology network is so extensive, it seems unlikely
that the company will ever recover -- at least not without a massive input
of capital, and replacement of the destroyed technology.
SHOCK AND DISMAY, TEMPERED WITH AWE AND REVERENCE, AS POPE ASCENDS
No sooner had the Pope finished his speech than, according to the tens of
thousands of worshippers present, he ascended to Heaven in the hands of a
bevy of multi-hued shimmering angels. As we squinted up, awestruck, into
the blazing sun, all swore that a heavenly choir sung out in a curious key
not formerly known to humanity. And many of those present were heard to
complain of a fierce headache afterwards.
NEW POPE TAKES THRONE -- DECLARES GREGORY SAINT
As the Catholic world held its breath, the former Cardinal Alessandro del
Piero was marked out by Divine will and given the name Peter II, in
accordance with the vision of his predecessor Gregory XV. The new Pope's
first act was to declare Gregory a saint, with particular responsibility
for journalists, accountants and evangelists.
ANTIPOPE GIVES IN
The Antipope Paul VI has agreed to recognize the authority of the new
Pontiff Peter II. In a touching gesture, Peter embraced him warmly and
welcomed him back to his old office of Cardinal.
POPE IN YOUR EAR'OLE
The most popular and inspiring speeches of Pope Gregory XV are now
available in recorded format, over a subtle background of classical and
choral themes, from the Sunny label.
MAFIA GROWS IN STRENGTH
The mysterious Don Giarmousse, head of the Mafia crime syndicate, has
expanded operations this year, in Europe as well as America. When are our
governments going to do something about this menace? The Mafia are
particularly involved in the supply of the illegal drug 'Cake', which is
now rife throughout the cities of the western world, and this August showed
their strength with a co-ordinated series of major heists in all their
areas of operation.
MEDICI MOVES TO MARS
The Medici Bank has opened a branch of Mars, as has popular boutique House
of Medici, selling its range of tubular gloves and ornate slit robes as
well as a range of Sunny recordings.
TWO NEW BOOKS ADDED TO BIBLE
The Pope announced that, in honour of his sainted predecessor, two new
books were to be added to the Bible, to form the 'Even Newer Testament'.
The books are called 1 Gino and 2 Gino, and contain the foremost of Pope
Gregory XV's theological wisdom.
FACTORIES FAIL AS EXPLOSIONS RIP THROUGH POWER PLANTS
Much of the production of Europe has ground to a halt after explosions
destroyed every existing steam power station. Many factories had converted
to the convenient and cheaper alternative of piping in their steam rather
than producing it on site, but now all of those factories are entirely
without power. With factories crippled, many companies are set to go out of
business, as few can afford to reinvest in the 'old' technology of an
on-site steam engine. Coming on top of many other recent problems for
European industry, the economies of Europe are likely to suffer even more
badly in the international community. A fall in the general standard of
living, and a great increase in the numbers of poor, now seem inevitable.
DIRECTRIX-DIGITALIS WEDDING BRINGS TEARS TO THE EYES
There was widespread rejoicing throughout Austria as its Archduchess, Dr
Ariadne Digitalis, was married to Franco-Austrian scientist and benefactor
Tallow Directrix. The bride was caparisoned in a dark green silk number
from House of Medici, and the groom in a matching long waistcoat. Both wore
emerald jewellery. Guests were said to be relieved that the blushing bride
had eschewed the use of triffids to guard the ceremony.
AIR'AI HIT AMERICA
Giacomo Donavelli, charismatic leader of the Air'ai faith, was in the
throes of a preaching tour of America when he was deported as an
undesirable. It seems that Air'ai gods in collusion with Donavelli were
responsible for the destruction of the White House in a huge lightning
storm: President Grant was lucky to survive the incident. All the same, it
seems Donavelli's words struck a chord with a proportion of the folk of
America, particularly when he inveighed against the evil of Mars Dust, and
the authorities will have their work cut out if they wish to keep the faith
INDUSTRIALIST MATHEN DIES -- 'INSANE' LAST WISHES LINKED TO DESTRUCTION
The powerful and reclusive industrialist Frances Mathen is reported as
having died on New Year's Eve last year. Little is known about this strange
figure, other than that his immensely powerful and valuable Mathen
Corporation grew to be one of the major figures on the stage of
international economics. However, there are also rumours that the
'misfortunes' that befell parts of his corporation at the time of his
death, were in some way ordered by him in a bizarre 'economic suicide
pact'. It is no doubt true that a man of his standing must have made
enemies during his lifetime, and some have said that his final actions were
an attempt to settle some old scores. It is perhaps inevitable that an old
man of secretive habits might have had a few rather odd ideas towards the
end. But no one can deny the incredible contribution he has made to the
modernisation, and industrialisation, of Europe. He is survived by one
MARSHSOME COMMISSION PONDERS RELIEF
The Marshsome Commission has been established, headed by prominent
economist G D Marshsome, to consider the distribution of aid to the areas
of the Earth worst affected by the recent climatic instability.
APOLLONIA, HAMMOND WED
In a private ceremony starkly in contrast to the year's other, spectacular
hitchings, Florentine businesswoman Lady Apollonia married John Hammond,
chairman of The Venus Connection. The wedding took place on the green
planet itself, and the couple are said to be 'very happy'.
IT'S THE NEW MONEY!
The new unforgeable banknotes designed by Professor Archibald Sheridan are
now in circulation throughout Britain. They bear a stylised Queen Victoria
/ Britannia figure on the obverse, with prominent British scientists on the
back; Sheridan himself on the 1 pound, Ada Lovelace on the 5 pounds and the late
Charles Babbage on the 10 pounds.
WIDESPREAD STERILITY FOUND IN SPAIN
More worrying news from Spain where it has been discovered that sterility
is now widespread. Total sterility in both men and women has been found
following an investigation launched after a radical drop in the birth rate
in many areas. Doctors are said to be searching for the cause, but as yet
nothing has been discovered.
NEXT, THE STEAM-POWERED TEAPOT
Not to be outdone, Professor Archibald Sheridan has released a
steam-powered orange, 'much better and more accurate than any clockwork
DID TERRANS SNATCH STARGRAVE?
Was Gideon Stargrave abducted by the Terrans? Some people believe that the
assassination of Gideon Stargrave is merely a cover-up story circulated by
the Terrans to disguise the truth.
HYDRO POWER FOR RUSSIA
Noted friend of Russia Professor Hugo Victor has developed a new clockwork
power station, driven entirely by water power: a large key rests half in,
half out of a fast-flowing river, and the current winds up the key, storing
clockwork energy that can later be released for a variety of purposes.
ORBIT RESTORED, CLIMATE SLOWLY RETURNING TO NORMAL
The best news of the year was that the Earth's orbit, so erratic of late,
was at last returning to its usual position, although not before the planet
had slingshot around Mercury. We can now look forward to temperatures and
climatic conditions to return more or less to normal, meteorologists
"ANGELA, OR GLEAMS OF HOPE" HITS NEWS STANDS
The large number of fans of "Innocence Maligned" are sure to be pleased by
the news that its sequel "Gleams of Hope" is now being serialised in a
number of publications across Europe. The earlier volume caused scandal
when it was seen by many as a defence of prostitution, and other vices.
Early episodes of the sequel look to be every bit as controversial,
dealing, as they do, with the powerful emotions of young women with heaving
BATTLEMOON BRITANNICA LAUNCHED
Dr Peter Tavener has announced the launch of the Battlemoon Britannica, the
latest addition to Britain's air navy. Converted from a handy planetoid,
this vessel is the largest craft in the Solar System: it even has
artificial gravity in its living quarters, according to the good Doctor.
BEERBOHM TREE LAUNCHES 'SOUNDIES'
Theatrical genius Beerbohm Tree has surpassed even himself, this year
releasing the film 'Musicalia' which includes sound, orchestral, sung and
spoken, in collaboration with Lady Apollonia's Sunny label and Vlad
Molotov, inventor of the gramophone. The first voice heard in the cinema
was Beerbohm Tree's own, introducing the programme: he followed Musicalia
up with a release of the Director's Cut of Triumph of the Will [whose cut
the other version was is anybody's guess], also with sound, the actors
dubbed. He has mollified orchestras, who may well be thrown out of work by
this new development, by offering the most talented employment recording.
To demonstrate Beerbohm Tree's heart of gold, all profits have been donated
VICTOR SPEAKS AT CONFERENCE
Professor Hugo Victor gave a lengthy and moving keynote speech on the
subject of tolerance of Tik-TokMen at this year's conference on the
problem. The conference was a weighty affair with a number of academics and
politicians speaking, but it was marred by the presence of a number of
ruffians from the Combat 23 group who marched outside, brandishing
tin-openers, and who subjected Professor Victor to a good pushing and
shoving after his speech, ending in the unedifying spectacle of a scuffle
between his bodyguards and the demonstrators.
MORE FLOP FILMS
Beerbohm Tree has released two more films warning of the perils of FLOP. He
riposted to his critics, in this newspaper as well as elsewhere, by saying
'I can only inspire and educate: I can't control people's minds with my
films. That would be a terrible thing.'
MERIDIAN MACEY-DARE DENIES BEING ANASTASIA
Following the controversy last year involving the 'real' Anastasia, the
British detective Meridian Macey-Dare has broken her silence. Accused last
year of being 'Anastasia' Davchenka, and taking Anastasia's place in order
to aid the revolution in Russia, she this year released the following
statement to the press: "The accusations made against me by CNN are
preposterous. The idea that a loyal British subject such as myself would
work with the communists to overthrow the Tsar, Her Majesty's own cousin,
let alone that I would be so dedicated to the job as to marry General
Davchenko, is ludicrous. I have been quiet for the past few years because I
have been working on an investigation of a large organisation, and I
suspect that this may be an attempt on their part to blacken my name before
I unmask them, though why they should wish to hurt Anastasia Davchenka is
not at present clear to me. Having spoken to General and Anastasia
Davchenko, I am quite convinced that they are as baffled by these
accusations as I am, and that they are suffering from them a great deal,
despite their brave face... I believe there is a good deal more to this
story than we have so far seen."
NEW LOTTERY LAUNCHED
Mysterious entrepreneur Philip Glass has launched a new lottery, under the
name Tuppence Coloured, Sixpence Stake, to fill the void left by the
banning of CereBingo. Unlike its predecessor, though, this new venture does
not involve risking brain matter: and its profits go to help rehouse flood
victims. Alas, it has not yet captured the minds of the British public in
the way CereBingo did [as it were].
MOVEMENT FOR THE ACCEPTANCE OF TIK-TOKMEN LAUNCHED
Professor Hugo Victor has launched the Movement for the Acceptance of
Tik-TokMen and the Assistance of their Reintegration into Conventional
Urban Society. It aspires to preserve threatened Tik-TokMen either in
Russian sanctuaries or on the asteroids. The group was immediately
condemned by representatives of SCUBA.
PUBLICATION OF "THE ROMANOV CONSPIRACIES" -- KORENSKY ACCUSED OF
MASTERMINDING MANIPULATION OF RUSSIAN COURT
An amazing new theory concerning the 'Anastasia' mysteries, and a
conspiracy going to the very heart of the Russian court has just been
published. "The Romanov Conspiracies", written and researched by the top
French conspiracy expert Louis Martinant de Preneuf, is an incredible tale
of conspiracy, mind control, and revolution. It presents clear and
compelling evidence that Count Piotr Korensky -- a Russian court notable --
masterminded an incredible scheme to seize control of the country. It is
suggested that he had 'unnatural mind powers' that allowed him to
ingratiate himself in court, and learn the secrets of those he was close
to. He formed some alliance with the sinister Mathen Corporation, and
between them they planned to divide up Russia. Korensky kidnapped
Anastasia, who had somehow stumbled upon his plans, and replaced her with
an exact double, who, it is suggested, was utterly unaware that she was
anything other than the 'real' Anastasia. He planned to marry her, but the
'true love' she felt for the young General Davchenko foiled his plans --
the Tsar agreeing to their marriage after discovering that Korensky had
been responsible for the sickness that struck at the Imperial family.
Mathen's plans to take economic control of Russia were only foiled by the
revolution -- which, new evidence suggests, 'Anastasia' was entirely
unaware of until it was declared at her engagement party. His plans foiled,
Frances Mathen -- the head of the Mathen corporation -- concocted the CNN
story in order to discredit Anastasia, Davchenko, and Macey-Dare who had
been active in investigating his dubious business dealings for some years.
With its amazing thesis, and extensively documented evidence, this book is
sure to become a best seller, and, who knows, may become a standard text
for the historians of this turbulent and amazing time.
TENNYSON CHILDREN BILL
Lord Tennyson has put forward a Bill in the House of Lords to require
special psychiatric treatment for the 'children of the black mist'.
EX-CNN REPORTER ADMITS "MATHEN FORCED ACCUSATION OF MACEY-DARE"
A former senior employee of CNN has come forward to admit that the story
accusing Meridian Macey-Dare of being the Russian Anastasia was entirely
fabricated, and that orders for the deception came 'from the very top'.
Linking in with other rumours of erratic behaviour in the last days of
Mathen's life, this revelation leads even more credibility to the amazing
conspiracies suggested in the recently published "Romanov Conspiracies".
LAUREATE PUBLISHES 'MUSIC OF THE SPHERES'
The Poet Laureate has published a lengthy poem describing the tribulations
the Earth has suffered lately: black mist, spiralling into the sun,
earthquakes, meteorites and so forth. He described it as a period of
mourning for the old days before Entities and Terrans roamed the planet,
and tells of the plight of the children born in darkness. It ends
ambiguously, though, with a verse on how the cool light will once again
appear and mankind will finally know peace and beauty and their children
will accept and love the world.
ENGLAND, SCOTLAND DEFENSIVE ALLIANCE
The two nations that share our island have signed a defensive alliance. Is
this a sign that the cowardly Scots are already regretting their wish to
come out from under Britannia's protective skirts?
'ANASTASIA' OF RUSSIA SAYS "I KNOW I'M NOT WHO I THINK I AM"
The centre of much of the recent controversy and speculation regarding the
recent history of Russia, 'Anastasia' has come forward to make an amazing
statement: "Evidence has been presented to me that I am not who I have
always believed myself to be. I am told it is beyond question that the
Anastasia who has been returned to the Imperial family is the real
Anastasia Alexandrovna, and that I am an impostor. I have no knowledge of
being anyone other than Anastasia Alexandrovna, and no memory of any family
other than the Imperial family, and I shall always love them as a daughter,
but I make no further claim to be any relation of the Romanov family. I
wish to offer my heartfelt apologies to the Imperial family, the people of
Russia, and to all the Royal Houses of Europe, and to avoid giving any
further offence I would like to be known from now on only as Ana
Davchenka". Perhaps this completes the final chapter of this amazing story,
but many questions still remain -- such as what were the 'unnatural mind
powers' of Korensky that allowed him to achieve so much, and where did the
'double' of Anastasia come from? Perhaps more revelations are still to
come, or the truth may ever be lost within the mists of a conspiratorial
SPACE LAZERS BLAST JAPANESE FLEET
Several ships of the Japanese navy have been sunk by mysterious lazer beams
from space. 'They just shivered briefly and then fell apart completely,'
said one puzzled onlooker. Do we have SPECTRE to thank for this?
THEY SAID IT COULDN'T BE DONE
Professor Hugo Victor has become the first person to successfully attempt
the passage of Switzerland, in his land fortress. He is understood to have
conferred with the locals on the subject of cuckoo-clocks.
KEBAB CRAZE SWEEPS COUNTRY
Up and down England, particularly outside the new soundie theatres, folk
are turning to the steam-powered van which serves unidentifiable meatoid
slurry in a bun. 'Full of good healthy nourishment!'
THE 'SPANISH DISEASE' SPREADS THROUGH EUROPE
A health scare of huge proportions has come to Europe -- the 'Spanish
Disease' that killed so many in Spain last year is spreading into France,
and from France into much of the rest of Europe. Hundreds are dying from
the horrific uncontrolled bleeding this disease causes, and the terrified
population are calling out for some protection, or cure, from the horrors
of this sickness.
HORROR OF ALBERT BODYSNATCHER FIENDS
The mystery of what happened to the late Prince Consort's stolen body has
been solved -- it turned up in London last night, propped against the door
of Miss Elizabeth Siddal's Kensington residence, stiffly clutching a red
rose, with a note saying "You'll never be rid of me, I'll follow you
everywhere" around its neck. Miss Siddal fainted clean away, and the
distinguished guests at her soiree were also horrified at this outrage,
surely the work of villains of the deepest dye, steeped in obloquy and
infamy. Prince Albert's body has been returned to his grieving widow, who
is expected to have it reburied in Westminster Abbey under heavy security.
SHERIDAN, DIRECTRIX PLAN FOR EUROPE
Noted computer entrepreneur Professor Archibald Sheridan and divinely
handsome Austrian Tallow Directrix have combined their mighty intellects to
found a multi-national company to take charge of Europe's failing industry,
with the financial backing of a number of prominent figures. The most
significant feature will be a Europe-wide steam power network, all linked
into a computer-controlled grid for greater efficiency. Directrix announced
that provision of water, irrigation and power would all be carried out
without profit, such was his humanitarian concern for the people of our
ODINSSON SLAMS 'SERFS UP!'
The charismatic Nordic leader The Odinsson has criticised the Serfs Up!
programme of lunar emigration, saying that no brave Asatruar would dream of
working as a serf to a decadent Russian aristocrat. Instead, the Asatru
will skip Earth on giant spaceships headed for the asteroid belt, should it
become necessary (which he thinks unlikely).
A POSSIBLE CURE FOR THE 'SPANISH DISEASE'?
A possible saviour for Europe has come forward in the form of Dr Philip
Howard. There has been much outcry over the 'Spanish Disease' which has
killed as many as one in a hundred of the population where it has struck.
Now, Dr Howard claims to have a possible vaccination against it -- Phil's
Pill. The little orange pill has been found to drastically cut the numbers
struck down by the Spanish Disease in the areas where it has been
extensively used. Dr Howard says that there will inevitably be those so
susceptible that even his vaccination cannot protect them, but he hopes he
is making a great contribution to the health and welfare of humanity, by
spreading Phil's Pill to as many of the needy as possible.
'DORMANT' ETNA ERUPTS
The Sicilian volcano Mount Etna, thought by seismologists to be dormant,
has erupted vigorously, spewing a column of lava and ash half a mile into
the air and destroying a number of small villages clustered around its
foot. Reports that eerie, deep-voiced laughter in a Scandinavian accent was
heard during the eruption have been ascribed to mass hysteria.
PIEDMONT RESULTS PROBE
Independent investigators under the sponsorship of The Odinsson have cast
doubt on last year's Piedmont plebiscite, claiming that the majority of
voters did not in fact support staying in the Empire, as returning officers
claimed. However, all seems to be smiles now, as the Piedmontese appear
reasonably happy with their Imperial ruler: "at least he's not as mad as
Arachne d'Asti," said one interviewee.
TALLOWFILLA RELEASED ONTO MARKET
The instant building material TallowFilla, instrumental in rescuing
Holland, is being marketed throughout Europe for the construction of homes
POLLS SHOW GERMANS EQUIVOCAL
Opinion polls in South Prussia and Bavaria have shown that those countries
would prefer to be part of a German federation than under Imperial rule,
although the margin was narrow and most citizens seemed to accept that
Charles VIII was "the best of a bad bunch".
FLOP SCARE IN GREAT BRITAIN -- 'THOUSANDS' IN DANGER
The terrible disease of FLOP may have arrived in great Britain, latest
health reports state. Publicity concerning the dangers of this disease is
already spreading, and those of impure lifestyle are warned that their
health, as well as their moral fibre, is in danger. FLOP, coming at the
same time as the 'Spanish Disease' reaches Britain, is yet another thing
for the poor citizens of Great Britain to worry about.
JAPANESE HOLDINGS SEIZED
Up and down Europe, factories and other industrial interests owned by Japan
have been seized by national governments. This has resulted in a number of
unfortunate incidents and some loss of life, as 'booby-trap' devices have
been triggered, and the sad fact is that virtually none of this plant is
now in usable form. Why the governments of Europe have chosen to turn their
backs on our Japanese friends in this way, to the harm of their subjects,
is anyone's guess.
REBELLION IN GERMANY AS EMPIRE INVADES BALKANS
With the Imperial forces busy 'pacifying' Greater Transylvania, the German
cities of Frankfurt and Cologne sprang into revolt, calling for an
independent German state. The rebels were immediately supported by Asatru
forces from North Prussia. Imperial troops rallied in Munich, preparing to
quell their restive subjects, but there they were attacked by an immense
horde of ghostly Einheriar, together with berserkers chewing on tungsten
carbide shields, and massacred bloodily. The new German flag now flies over
almost all of Prussia and Bavaria, and Charles VIII will have a job on his
hands when he finishes with the Transylvanians.
INFERTILITY LINKED TO THE SPANISH DISEASE -- MUCH OF EUROPE NOW BARREN
Latest scientific research into falling birth rates throughout Europe have
linked infertility to the Spanish Disease. It seems that 'carriers' of the
disease -- those who appear to be completely unaffected by an outbreak in
the region -- are in fact left infertile by its passing. Much of Spain,
areas of France, the Holy Roman Empire, even Great Britain, are now
believed to have large numbers of completely infertile adults. Governments
have expressed great concern as in a Europe depopulated by the horrific
wars of Ragnarok, and the attempted extermination by the Tick-tock men,
humanity could face extinction in a generation if the infertility brought
on by this disease continues to spread. The possible seriousness of this
cannot be understated -- Europe must be repopulated, or our very
civilisation may collapse!
ODINSSON SUES FOR PEACE WITH EMPIRE
The Odinsson, new ruler of the bulk of Germany, has declared his intention
not to transgress his current borders, and has assured the Empire of his
peaceful intent. Much cynical talk along the lines of "that's what he said
last time" was heard.
TYLER A LIBBER
Based on the belief that everyone is equal in the eyes of the Lord,
Jonathan Tyler has started a new campaign for women's right to vote in
Britain, and has helped to bring this topic once again to the forefront of
political debate. "If God had meant women to vote, he would have given
them... beards", muttered one detractor
AUSTRIAN NATIONALISTS SPEAK
A man named Herman Worn has been touring Austria giving underground
speeches about how the country should have a King of its blood. Mr Tallow
Directrix is believed to be Herr Worn's favoured candidate for the
position. Attempts to curb this sedition by the Holy Roman Empire's agents
have failed signally to apprehend Worn - indeed on one occasion the secret
police almost arrested the Empress Perdita, who had been in the vicinity,
QUAKES DEVASTATE CALIFORNIA
Last night, California suffered the worst series of earthquakes our society
has ever had to face. Damage was even greater than during the last great
earthquake eighteen years ago which devastated San Francisco. Whole towns
plunged into crevasses in the ground and a section of coastline four miles
long was ripped apart and collapsed into the sea, causing a tidal wave
sixty foot high heading away from the coast. Early speculation suggests it
is headed for Japan, but should be almost unnoticeable after travelling
such a large distance.
TIDAL WAVE HITS JAPAN!
Tokyo was swamped yesterday by a huge tidal wave over one hundred feet
high. Luckily many tall buildings provided refuge from the torrent of
water, and the wall of water seemed strangely held back from the centre of
the city, as if deflected by an unseen hand. Even so many of the poorer
residents of the city were drowned and the city remains covered in several
feet of water near to the coast.
CHILDREN OF RAGNAROK RISE
A horrific spectacle in several European cities as hundreds of children
born during the days of Ragnarok, some no more than infants, armed
themselves with kitchen utensils and farm implements, and stated through
their oldest members their avowed purpose to march in a second Children's
Crusade to the Holy Land. Although the relevant authorities quickly acted
to put a stop to this madness, the children fought tooth and nail for their
liberty, and several were killed during the struggle to detain them.
EARTHQUAKES HIT JAPAN!
After an intensive three-week period of renovation and pumping, Japan had
finally rid itself of the watery legacy of the tidal wave when it was
struck by yet another natural disaster, a burst of earthquakes around the
city area. Luckily these quickly subsided and no permanent damage was done.
EMPRESS HELPS SICK
The Empress Perdita has shown a great interest in charity work, funding
benevolent institutions to investigate the emotional problems of the
children born during the time of the black mist, and to investigate and
treat the FLOP virus.
TORNADO HITS JAPAN!
Even the Japanese, usually quick to take anything in their stride, were
somewhat surprised when a strange tornado whisked across the land and
deposited a small house of American construction in the middle of a paddy
field, right in the centre of the country. There is a small sign tied to
the outside stating that the house is 'from Kansas', although no-one knows
where that is. Two of the farm workers investigated the house, and had a
brief glimpse of a small girl in bright red shoes sitting in the front room
before they were savaged mercilessly by a small terrier living inside.
Since then they have not ventured near the building, although they did hold
a brief funeral ceremony for one poor woman who was squashed when the
PERDITA TO SPROG
The Holy Roman Empress has announced to much jubilation from her people
that she is with child. In particular members of the youth cult The Lost
are rumoured to be prophesying that the child will one day be a great
leader of their cause.
A part of the Holy Roman Empire which could broadly be called Transylvania
(most of Hungary and parts of Bosnia-Herzegovina / Croatia) has declared
its secession. It was immediately joined by bits of Rumania and Serbia,
formerly under British rule, and the whole assembly called for Melusine of
Greco-Albania to be its Queen. She gladly accepted, and joined it up with
her existing holdings of Albania and Greece to form a quite decent-sized
nation called Greater Transylvania.
BALKAN ORGIES "SPONSORED BY QUEEN"?
Decadent behaviour was rife in Greece and Albania this year as young people
embarked upon noisy orgies during daylight hours, hearkening back to
considerably more barbaric times. Their claim to be funded by Queen
Melusine herself was not substantiated by an official announcement, but
police failed to break up a 3-day "festival" on the Parthenon nonetheless.
"MELUSINE ATTEMPT ON CHARLES" LAUGHABLE
Documentary evidence has come to light linking Queen Melusine with an
assassination attempt on Emperor Charles earlier in the year. However her
people have laughed at the reports, dismissing them as obvious frauds, and
find it seemingly incredulous that anyone could think Melusine capable of
such a heinous deed.
TROUBLES IN USA
The United States was subjected to a spate of terrorist attacks this year,
including but not limited to: the spiking of alcoholic drinks and
chocolate, the whipping up of religious hysteria, large-scale fraud, a raid
on Fort Knox, scientific papers alleging that playing baseball causes
venereal disease, contamination of water supplies, attacks by 'triffids',
two suicide bombing runs against the White House, secessionist propaganda,
defacement of the Statue of Liberty and Mount Rushmore, smear attacks on
Terran dignitaries, faked 'alien' invasions, an attempt to fill the Grand
Canyon with popcorn, an assassination attempt on President Grant in Dallas,
introduction of waterweed to the great lakes and incitement to vigilantism.
Fortunately the Terran-backed administration was able to minimise the
chaos, leaving President Grant in a position to turn down the offer of
assistance from Queen Victoria, whose army arrived to help regain control
towards the end of the year. The President is nevertheless said to be
furious and has made diplomatic demands that Doctors Rentercwote and
Ariadne Directrix, both of whom are implicated in the terrorism, give a
good explanation for their actions without delay.
On the third of January, the Foundation for the Protection of Humanity
released to the world stage the news that it was solely responsible for the
bolts of flame from the sky that helped destroy the Tik-Tok men, and that
this operation was part of Project SPECTRE.
RUDE MECHANICALS PULL THEIR WEIGHT
A new arm of the English state has been set up, the British Mechanical
Forces. These trusty Tik-Toks will serve the International Community by
being sent in to repair faulty machinery in the age of the science which
Europe seems set to enter.
TOKYO HIT BY DINOSAUR!
After recovering from the minor structural damage caused by the earthquake
a few weeks ago, and the damage caused by the tidal wave, life looked set
to return to normal in Tokyo. Then, with a deafening roar, the water in the
bay parted to reveal the scaled head of a giant bipedal dinosaur that
stomped slowly out of the water and into the city. Flames gushed from its
mouth as it tore at the buildings around it and slowly ripped apart the
buildings of the city. The Emperorís Imperial Guard quickly turned heat
rays onto the giant monstrosity, which seemed to melt slightly in their
glare, before retaliating with its own burst of flame. Before the monster
was brought to a halt almost half the city was in ruins... again...
LOVE THY NEIGHBOUR
'Terran Culture' lessons have been introduced to top English schools
including Eton and Harrow, to promote inter-racial understanding into the
EMPEROR MYSTERIOUSLY ATTACKED, SLAIN
The palace of the Japanese Emperor in Edo was in turmoil last night as it
suffered a bizarre and devastating attack. At ten o'clock beams of flame
burst from the heavens in a dazzling blast concentrated on the rear
entrance. In moments a sphere of energy, shimmering like the surface of a
lake in the moonlight, formed itself around the palace. The next burst of
flame was lost in a steamy mist, but the damage had already been done.
Battle cries and the sounds of war were already audible in the Southern
cloister, subtly blended with sporadic bursts of a raucous, decadent
musical accompaniment. Screams not of this world were audible from within
the compound, and at one point three huge flying squid like entities were
seen locked in combat with a breathtaking dragon, spiralling above the
towers of the palace. Bursts of flame in a myriad of colours leapt from the
windows of the palace, and the spectacle was visible for miles around. The
chaos lasted for but an hour, when an eerie silence descended on the
palace, its blackened walls the only sign that anything out of the ordinary
had transpired. This morning the Emperor's body was found in his chambers,
appearing to have committed seppuku, and a terrible grief has gripped the
entire country, as the people mourn his loss. The ramifications of this
event are, at this time, uncertain, but will no doubt be immense in their
NEW RIVAL TO 'THE TIMES'
A new British paper, the Interdependent, with its highbrow content, looks
set to provide an alternative to the tabloid filth that currently passes
for reading matter amongst the English populace.
NEW EMPEROR CROWNED: "BUSINESS AS USUAL"
The late Emperor of Japan's son has been crowned in his stead, at a lengthy
and moving ceremony in Kyoto. Surrounded in a rain of cherry blossoms, the
new Emperor pledged to serve the Nipponese people as his forefathers had.
LOCAL GOVERNMENT IN EMPIRE, DIRECTRIXES TO RULE AUSTRIA
Emperor Charles VIII made a great address to the people of the Empire from
his balcony in the Imperial Square in Karlstadt. Every citizen of the Holy
Roman Empire has been given the democratic right of voting for local
government councils of their choice. Tallow Directrix was appointed
Imperial Chancellor and made King of Austria, with wife Ariadne (the
Imperial Minister for Health and Entertainment) his Queen. In the face of
such concessions to the popular will, public morale is now higher than it
has been for many years - now the average Imperial citizen can say "God
save his Imperial Majesty" without a trace of bitterness in his voice!
FOUNDATION TAKES AGAINST JAPANESE
The Foundation for the Protection of Humanity released another statement to
the world press today declaring that they have decided that the actions of
the Japanese are contrary to the greater good, and that counter-measures
have been taken. But just who are these shadowy self-appointed world
DAVCHENKO SPANKS ARMENIANS
A triumphant Karl Davchenko saw off a half-hearted attack upon his Armenian
border in fine style, demonstrating a total control over the military
situation that puts paid to any suggestions that Russia will not remain
Communist well into the next century. It is now quite indisputable that the
fortunes of the much-harassed country are on the rise.
REBELS IN TRANSYLVANIA
Rumours of uprising and revolt in the new state of greater Transylvania
have leaked out, suggesting that the people are not as happy with their new
Queen and independence as they once used to be. It is believed these
terrorist groups have also targeted industrial sites in the region.
JUANITA EVITA RETURNS, TO WED AGAIN
Miss Juanita Evita de Moltke has been returned to her doting parents by a
rescuer who wished to retain anonymity. To celebrate having her safely back
in the fold, Senor de Moltke commenced preparations for her marriage to
renowned businessman Mr Michael Valentine of the Mars Trading Company
GIDEON SEEN IN WATFORD
I saw Gideon Stargrave! Francis Baring of Hertfordshire claims that he saw
Gideon Stargrave at the local convenience store only last week, and that
the cult figure faked his own death to retire to a life of quiet meditation
and self contemplation on Mars.
EMPIRE TROUBLES IN TRANSYLVANIA
In March of this year troops from the Holy Roman Empire marched into the
new state of Greater Transylvania to retake it from Queen Melusine,
expecting but a token resistance. Two of the regiments, on travelling
through a mountain pass to reach the state were crushed almost entirely as
the mountains on either side of them suddenly toppled into the gorges in a
huge avalanche of rock and earth. The few survivors speak of the base of
the mountain being pushed aside as if by some huge unseen hand, and, robbed
of this support, of the whole mountain caving in on top of them. A further
six regiments were sent into the country, travelling over open land. Those
that survived tell of men and women appearing from nowhere, and loosing
bolts of lightening and gouts of flame on the troops, of warriors moving
with an unnatural speed and strength, of a sheet of flame coursing across
the battlefield, incinerating soldiers as they stood, and of child-like
beings in gossamer veils floating above the battlefield in white directing
troops, and causing grown men to cower in fear. There is not one that has
returned without the dark emptiness of terror, or the glimmer of madness,
in their eyes. Any further troops are refusing to move into the region,
believing it to be either under divine protection or cursed by the devil
TWO WEEKS MARRIED AND STILL ALIVE
The world exhaled again as the much-anticipated tragic death of Juanita
Evita de Moltke's latest husband at the hands of her family curse failed to
occur on schedule.
NEW COLUMN FOR LONDON
A giant monument to the Moltke family has been built in London to replace
Nelson's Column. Over 300 feet tall, it depicts Helmut, Evita, little
Juanita Evita, Senor Juan Fernandez and, puzzlingly, a "man with
interchangeable faces", currently Mr Valentine.
STARGRAVE AT OWN GIG?
Gideon at Concert! A small group of hard-core groupies from Liverpool swear
that they shared some scorpion vodka with Gideon Stargrave at a concert
just outside the city. Could it be that he is not dead after all, or are
they just drunken loons?
On the second of January, only two days after MathenCard customers were
awarded a bonus to compensate for the technical difficulties of recent
months, the MathenCard corporation was forced into bankruptcy, and
henceforth the cards will no longer be honoured. There has understandably
been a huge public outcry at the news, which makes the previous
announcement seem like a cheap scam. In any case it is news that has been
widely and rapidly circulated worldwide.
HOUDINI ON VENUS...
Those holidaying on Venus this year will be thrilled to learn that the
world's most famous performer, Harry Houdini, following up his sensational
world tour last year, will be travelling to this new-found world to attempt
his most daring escapes to date, from the huge and terrible Venusian
lizards. One can only marvel at this man's amazing courage.
...AND MERCURY TOO!
Not satisfied with escaping certain death in the gaping jaws of Venusian
dinosaurs, Harry Houdini, the world's most daring escape artist, has moved
to Mercury. In his new performance he intends to avoid being fried alive in
the blazing heat of the Mercurian day, whilst simultaneously escaping a
cage full of ravenous giant hamsters.
HOUDINI VISITS RAGNAROK CHILDREN
Harry Houdini has been touring schools around the globe recently, in a
generous effort to console children with the strange 'black mist syndrome'.
He has been well received, and the experience even seems to have drawn some
children out of the traumatic disorder.
Recent months have seen turmoil on the streets of Austria, right at the
heart of the Holy Roman Empire, as many have rallied to Friedrich von
Ardsburg's banner. The great man, erroneously believed dead for several
years but curiously looking no older than when last seen, has delivered
stirring speeches to the people, arguing that the current rulers gained
positions of power by bartering with the evil demons that plagued the land
during the time of the black mist, and that now they continue to subjugate
the masses, denying them the wonder of the Ardsburg Social Justice Program,
and the chance to share in his dream of wealth and justice for all.
ARDSBURGERS LET THE BRAIN TAKE THE STRAIN
Rebels in Austria have started an alarming new trend in their actions,
taking the brains from those they slay and carrying them to secret
locations where they claim to help save their tortured souls. Those slain
in the cause of the Ardsburg revolution have, they insist, clearly been
affected by the evil mental powers of demonic servants of the Emperor, and
their spirits must be freed from this corrupt grip, even after their death.
MORE CRICKET ON THE MOON?
Mick Bruce, who recently staged a huge cricket tournament at the north
pole, has attempted to organise an even bigger, more spectacular World
cricket cup on the moon. However, the event does not seem as popular as he
might have hoped, as only the most devoted cricketing fans seem keen to
make the vast journey to watch the tournament.
VALENTINE, MOLTKE MATCH
Michael Valentine was married to young Evita Juanita de Moltke last night
in what has been perhaps one of the biggest media weddings of the decade.
Even the more disreputable British papers seem to be focusing on the joys
of the union, with special edition ten-page full colour pull-out sections
filled to the brim with wedding snaps and other pictures of the happy
'MONKEY BOMBERS' STRIKE CONGRESS
Last night the American Congress erupted in a violent explosion that killed
nearly twenty prominent politicians and injured many more. The attacks are
already being linked with those in Paris and England last year, as several
mangled and charred monkey bodies were found near the scene. These
international terrorists seem to strike with no warning and no reason. Can
anyone feel safe.
STATUE OF LIBERTY FELLED BY QUAKE
The Statue of Liberty came toppling down last night after a localised
tremor near the site crumbled the foundations. No longer will this towering
symbol of justice shine out a beacon of hope to the American people, and
this can only be seen as one more bad omen for the future of the continent.
REPLACEMENT FOR MISS LIBERTY
Plans have been unveiled to rebuild a new statue on Liberty island to
replace the glorious figure of justice that once looked out over New York.
Venus Connection has reputedly spent a small fortune commissioning plans
for an enormous statue of their director John Hammond, locked in fierce
combat with a savage Venusian dinosaur, to take her place. Rumours that the
dinosaur represents Hammond's new wife, Lady Apollonia, have been firmly
quashed by the company.
CEREBINGO -- THE BRAIN DRAIN
Following its exile from England, CereBingo has moved abroad to other
European countries, and has also taken hold in America, where the
population seem thoroughly addicted. There are even rumours that the game
may not have totally disappeared from Britain, merely moved underground.
CHURCH OF ALL WORLDS LOOSENS ITS STAYS
The Church of All Worlds, once a bastion of reason and hope in the ever
expanding tide of new religion springing up around the world has undergone
a complete change of image this year. Behind the closed doors of their
churches anything and everything now seems fair game, and the squeals of
ecstasy and pleasure coming from their strangely sedate stone chapels can
be heard for hundreds of yards. Their sudden move to openly embrace
hedonism has alienated many of their previous worshippers, but there can be
no doubt that numbers have swelled since the form of the services was
CHURCH LAYS ON TRIPS TO MARS
A spokesperson for the Church of All Worlds, in between wild orgies, has
announced that they are now offering free travel to Mars for all
worshippers. How exactly they managed to obtain this deal remains unknown,
but it does appear to be genuine, and makes conversion to the new church
seem an even more enticing prospect.
TERRORISTS IN PERU
On December 22, 1889, the 'Tupac Asatru' revolutionary group has seized the
Nipponese embassy in Lima, along with around 70 Japanese diplomats and
members of staff. This neo-Marxist revolutionary group is supposedly
supported by The Odinsson, and demands reforms of the Communist regime
currently in power in Peru, and allegiance to Balder and the new Aesir.
SCOTLAND FINDS THE KEY TO POWER SHORTAGES
Although Scotland was not seriously affected by the recent explosive
collapse of steam power plants people there have been quick to respond to
the problem, investing mainly in Professor Hugo Victor's safer and more
efficient clockwork power stations, operating using water power. A
government owned company called 'The National Grid' has been established to
oversee and orchestrate the distribution of power.
MORE HELP FOR BLACK MIST CHILDREN
Special learning centres for children with 'black mist syndrome' have been
opened recently in England and Scotland, using a variety of new techniques
to coax the children out of their traumatised state. Leaflets offering
helpful advice have also been distributed to parents giving mental
exercises that they should work through with their children.
BLACK MIST KID HELP WORLDWIDE
Parents of children with 'black mist syndrome' have been targeted by a
worldwide campaign to help them help their children. Useful leaflets have
been distributed by local governments to those who can read, and many
priests have offered advice to others on techniques and exercises to help
DUKEDOM FOR KROHNE
Queen Melusine has pronounced Klaum Krohne the first Duke of Greater
Transylvania. Thrilled with this news, Klaum has organised a party in his
new estate to celebrate. The party promises to be a great event, with
spectacular displays of light and fire, and more than a little 'Gubbins' on
GROK TILL YOU DROP
Mars is being heralded as the new pleasure planet. As the adverts say --
"Grok happiness: Grok Mars".