Times Turn 19

The people of the mountain (44,34) in Khimilmud Mountains are still in need of
your guidance.
   _.-=-._.-=-._.-=-._.-=-._.-=-._.-=-._.-=-._.-=-._.-=-._.-=-._.-=-._.-=-._
.----      - ---     --     ---   -----   - --       ----  ----   -     ----.
 )                                                                         (
(                             NewOrigins Events                             )
 )                             August, Year 2                              (
(                                                                           )
 )    Multiple scouts are talking about a fight between hostile forces     (
(      happened in the mountains of Khimilgog Rocks where battle ended      )
 )    in a slaughter of one of the sides. This battle will be known as     (
(              Battle near the volcanoes of Kibilmur Volcano.               )
 )                                                                         (
(                          .:*~*:._.:*~*:._.:*~*:.                          )
 )                                                                         (
(      Handful merchants are talking about a conflict between enemies       )
 )     happened in the mountains of Khimilgog Rocks where battle ended     (
(     in a slaughter of one of the sides. This battle will be known as      )
 )              Battle near the volcanoes of Khimilgog Peak.               (
(                                                                           )
 )                         .:*~*:._.:*~*:._.:*~*:.                         (
(                                                                           )
 )      A few merchants are discussing about a fight between hostile       (
(     forces happened in the mountains of Khimilgog Rocks where battle      )
 )      ended in a slaughter of one of the sides. This battle will be      (
(           known as Battle near the volcanoes of Khimilgog Peak.           )
 )                                                                         (
(                          .:*~*:._.:*~*:._.:*~*:.                          )
 )                                                                         (
(     Multiple druids are rumoring about the town of Azgar that lies in     )
 )    the Great Lurgbuz Desert desert, where a partisans killed guards.    (
(                                                                           )
 )                         .:*~*:._.:*~*:._.:*~*:.                         (
(                                                                           )
 )    Handful peasants are discussing about the city of Garaknizil that    (
(     lies in the Great Izuknuz Desert desert, where a faction expelled     )
 )                                 guards.                                 (
(                                                                           )
 )                         .:*~*:._.:*~*:._.:*~*:.                         (
(                                                                           )
 )     Dozen merchants are rumoring about adventurers who have put to      (
(       the sword Imp (8474) near ocean of Garaen River. Freeing the        )
 )               desert of Kanesti Sands from their horror.                (
(                                                                           )
 )                         .:*~*:._.:*~*:._.:*~*:.                         (
(                                                                           )
 )      Numerous pilgrims are talking about rangers who have expelled      (
(     Sandlings (102) near ocean of Philagokles Sea. Freeing the desert     )
 )                 of Great Ugdur Desert from their fear.                  (
(                                                                           )
 )                         .:*~*:._.:*~*:._.:*~*:.                         (
(                                                                           )
 )      Many adventurers are rumoring about rangers who attempted to       (
(        murdered Sandlings (501) roaming the desert of Great Azagal        )
 )     Desert near mountains of Agamenakos Mountains. But all of them      (
(                         were slain by their prey.                         )
 )                                                                         (
(                          .:*~*:._.:*~*:._.:*~*:.                          )
 )                                                                         (
(       Dozen commoners have heard about adventurers who have killed        )
 )     Sandlings (740) near mountains of Barakguzun Peak. Freeing the      (
(            desert of Great Autarkaros Desert from their fear.             )
 )                                                                         (
(                          .:*~*:._.:*~*:._.:*~*:.                          )
 )                                                                         (
(       Dozen dockers are talking about hunters who have extinguished       )
 )     Sandlings (216) near forests of Bletchgrove Woods. Freeing the      (
(           desert of Great Ametanimos Desert from their horror.            )
 )                                                                         (
(                          .:*~*:._.:*~*:._.:*~*:.                          )
 )                                                                         (
(     In the plains of Shelyth Plain, near forests of Hornlock Forest,      )
 )     Undead (620) who continue to cause horror to local inhabitants.     (
(                                                                           )
 )                         .:*~*:._.:*~*:._.:*~*:.                         (
(                                                                           )
 )     In the desert of Great Ialihn Desert, near mountains of Lurggar     (
(     Heights, Evil Mages (2254) who continue to cause anxiety to local     )
 )                              inhabitants.                               (
(                                                                           )
 )                         .:*~*:._.:*~*:._.:*~*:.                         (
(                                                                           )
 )       In the desert of Great Birmington Desert, near volcanoes of       (
(       Lurgbuz Peak, Sandlings (926) who continue to cause horror to       )
 )                           local inhabitants.                            (
(                                                                           )
 )                         .:*~*:._.:*~*:._.:*~*:.                         (
(                                                                           )
 )     In the desert of Great Bletchgrove Desert, near ocean of Great      (
(      Lochash River, Sandlings (116) who continue to cause horror to       )
 )                           local inhabitants.                            (
(__       _       _       _       _       _       _       _       _       __)
    `-._.-' (___ _) `-._.-' `-._.-' )     ( `-._.-' `-._.-' (__ _ ) `-._.-'
            ( _ __)                (_     _)                (_ ___)
            (__  _)                 `-._.-'                 (___ _)
            `-._.-'                                         `-._.-'

Quests

In the desert of Great Bletchvil Desert roams the Crocodiles (106). Free the world from this menace and be rewarded!
Seek a token of the Ancient Ones legacy amongst the camels of Great Antanoatos Desert.
In the desert of Great Volbuz Desert lurks the Sphinx (631). Free the world from this menace and be rewarded!
In the desert of Great Volbuz Desert lurks the Sandlings (2252). Free the world from this menace and be rewarded!
In the swamp of Dunham Marshes roams the Living Trees (482). Free the world from this menace and be rewarded!
In the desert of Great Bletchgrove Desert roams the Giant Scorpions (108). Free the world from this menace and be rewarded!
Seek a token of the Ancient Ones legacy amongst the rootstone of Great Lurgbuz Desert.
In the mountain of Basingdon Peak roams the Giant Birds (149). Free the world from this menace and be rewarded!
In the mountain of Khimilgog Rocks roams the Family of Ogres (2242). Free the world from this menace and be rewarded!
In the desert of Great Perikeros Desert lurks the Sphinx (848). Free the world from this menace and be rewarded!
In the jungle of Ugdur Jungle roams the Great Apes (864). Free the world from this menace and be rewarded!
In the desert of Great Antanoatos Desert roams the Sandlings (350). Free the world from this menace and be rewarded!
In the desert of Great Izuknuz Desert lurks the Sphinx (811). Free the world from this menace and be rewarded!
In the mountain of Nottinghill Rocks lurks the Undead (498). Free the world from this menace and be rewarded!
In the desert of Great Birmington Desert lurks the Sandlings (926). Free the world from this menace and be rewarded!
In the plain of Aerakos Valley roams the Sandlings (405). Free the world from this menace and be rewarded!
Build a Temple in Aerakos Valley for the glory of the Gods.
In the desert of Agamenakos Desert roams the Giant Scorpions (246). Free the world from this menace and be rewarded!
Build a Temple in Agamenakos Desert for the glory of the Gods.
Build a Temple in Ametanakos Dale for the glory of the Gods.

Articles

At midnight from the grave
I don 't look half - rotted,
Leaving the loathsome coffin,
I'm going out for a walk.

These hair and bones
So beautiful in the moonlight!
It's a pity that they rarely invite
On a skeleton date.
Gyperboreya (10)
No, they sure were not friendly.
Iron Harlequins (12)
Ahh.. the carefree life of the desert nomad. Skulking about, trying to stay out of everybody's way. Unfortunately now, we have a city to administer, pressured to get the wheels of commerce rolling. I wonder if we can find solace, reaping what we sow.
Four Horsemen (13)
Englefart was very proud of his new shiny name badge. He put it on his hat so that everyone around could see it. Englefart might be short, but his hat was very tall.
MetroGnomes (14)
"First of our flock leaves us for a for foreign duties..."
Grey Order (15)
Who is ready to kill Ice Dragon? we have couple beasts to kill. 
Great Horde (16)
So much desert and so little MITH
Malibu West (17)
Shadows of the past are always nearby, just open your eyes
Desert Eagles (18)
The undead who appeared from a Crypt, expected to defeat us, but no our goblins, were able to fight them off.
The Filras (20)
Orcs want to prolongate their pact with demons until the next harvest.
M9 (22)
More settlements - MORE POWER!!!
The Power (24)
Missed again! bloody guards !
Silver Hand (25)
The war enters a protracted phase. The generals must prepare a new plan.
Avalon Empire (3)
A peaceful cartographer was assassinated this month in an empty desert (31,41) in Great Ialihn Desert. What interest does it serve ? 
The Cartographer (30)
And now, the time comes to rebuild.  And rebuild we shall.  Stronger.  Faster.  Better.
Atlanteans of Yore (32)
==============
Thane's Silver
==============


Our Eldest's Column
-------------------

I might be able to get out of this thankless job after all.  Old orcish texts, if our linguists have translated them correctly, seem to hint that there is an art of reversing the effects of age.  The linguists argue about why the text fragments name this art "necromancy" instead of "geromancy" or "presbymancy", but "necromancy" is definitely what (our linguists tell me) is written in the ancient orcish parchment scraps.  The bit of the text the linguists have translated so far discusses the last stages of life, (maybe even the very last act of life).  There must have been fragments about earlier stages of life, but those have not been recovered or translated yet.  But my luck is changing, as it happens, the last stages of life are I am today; I'm elderly and feeble.  (Indeed, the Eldest of the little folk is almost always elderly and feeble; maybe choosing the oldest as the leader has disadvantages.)  If I'm understanding the translated fragments, it seems these lost arts might undo the most recent changes of a life, restoring youth, or, failing that, at least back up age a tiny bit.  Youth has many advantages, but the advantage I care most about is that, if I can back up my own aging only a couple months, then this would make the high priestess older than me.  As the oldest of the little folk, she would then be stuck with my present job.  She could no longer second guess my decisions, she would have to decide and I could second guess her.  The little folk can complain to her, not to me.  This "necromancy" (or "geromancy" or whatever it is called) looks very, very promising.  Best magic path so far.  I shall definitely study further.  This might be even better than demon summoning.


Music Column
------------

Our musicians begin to identify too much with the monsters they sing to.  Some have gone native.  Some, when they hear that singers in a neighboring region have an audience, rush over to join the chorus.  This doesn't work so well when the monsters dislike the music.  

On a completely unrelated note, we are hiring new musicians to sing peaceful lullabies to monsters.  Singers who specialize in Giant Birds and Evil Magicians are in particularly high demand, but any singer of any skill will now be considered for employment.  
Evil magicians seem to really like a wide variety of our music.  But the evil magicians will only come out to listen to our songs during thunderstorms.  The little folk government will provide a free raincoat to any little folk who volunteer to sing to evil magicians this month.


Architecture Column
-------------------

Our Eldest has asked us to build him a quiet place to study.  Actually, he has been asking for several months, now.  The little folk being the little folk, each builder has their own idea how a place to study should best be built.  And each builder, after a month attempting one design in one place, decides it would be so much better if instead it were build 100 feet uphill, where the light is slightly better.  So each builder each month abandons their barely started study center and begins wor on a new one.  So, of course, we now have many barely started study study spaces, and none even halfway completed.  We have seen our neighbors build a study space in a month.  Or at least appear to build a study space in a month.  We wonder how they did that?  Do they rehearse all the steps in advance, so they can execute them in the month the boat lands?  Do they somehow hide the incomplete building behind a curtain until it is ready?  Do their builders study architecture for more than one month instead of learning on the job?  Are they not having goblins and gnomes carry all the stones by hand?  Do they have more than one builder working on the same building?  Little folk architects wonder.


Assistant Editor's Column
-------------------------

The assistant editor still wishes she had a little more time between Times article deadlines.  About 2/3 as frequent as today would be perfect.  The assistant editor would also like to express her eternal appreciation (and offer to sneak in some editorial changes as a favor someday) to Ogre Mages, who last month put in a good word for us with the Times' editor, trebling our pay for last month's article.  Yay!  We hope this will become a permanent cost of living increase.  Indeed, why shouldn't a Times article pay as well as phantasmal entertainment?  It is certainly more work for me to compile an article each month than it is for Our Eldest to cast Phantasmal Entertainment each month, and I then have to give up most of the silver to pay the reporters who write each article.  Our Eldest gets to keep all the phantasmal entertainment money for himself.


Geography Column
----------------

Our column got buried in the middle of the article again.  Not fair, I think this month we wrote the most carefully researched column in the entire little folk article.  So why can't our column we be at the top of the article?  Or if not the top, at the bottom?  Does the assistant editor have something against geography?

After some more exploring, and particularly after talking with other cartographers, (sorry, "geographers", the name "Cartographer" is taken) we now know of many more cities than we did a few months age.  If the regions other cartographers have described are a random sample of all regions, then we should now predict that the entire world contains 50 cities.  We don't want to predict that.  We, the little folk geographers, aren't completely convinced that the maps friendly factions have provided us were randomly sampled.  Little folk explorers toss an arrow in the air each month to decide which way to wend.  If we calculate using only the density of cities in lands little folk have randomly explored, then we conclude that if an eagle flies northeast for one month, southeast for one month, south for one month, southwest for one month, northwest for one month, and north for one month, that eagle has an about even chance of circling a city or not.  If, on the other hand, we use only the density of cities in lands friendly cartographers (sorry, "geographers") have described to us, then we conclude that eagle is almost certain to circle at least one city, and has a good chance of circling two.  

If the information the other cartographers have provided is also randomly sampled, then this is a very surprising, highly unlikely result.  Even more surprising because the little folk know the locations of 13 of the 14 cities that have been mentioned in the Times.  This suggests, if those 14 are a random sample of all cities, that the little folk know the locations of 90% of the cities.  These two estimates are not consistent.  We don't know the names of 45 cities, so we don't think there are really 50 cities.  

This inconsistency caused days of argument at the latest meeting of the little folk geographic society (LFGS).  We had to send out for more tea to soothe sore throats from all the shouting.  The gnomes and dwarves started drinking beer instead of tea, which may have contributed to the vigor of the argument.  The only orcish geographer in attendance left early to go to church.  He was very polite and well behaved, and was drinking some strange religious beverage called VODK.  Never heard of it, but it dissolved the shellac on the table; it must be some horrid penance.  I wonder what sin he committed that the priests made him drink that.  And I wonder why it didn't dissolve his stomach.

Anyway, some little folk geographers suspect friendly, non little folk geographers of following ancient roads.  That's cheating.  Well, some said (even shouted) during the days of discussion that it was cheating.  Following ancient roads is not cheating, really, but does make it much harder to estimate the total number of cities in the world, because the density of cities on a map that follows ancient roads will be much higher than the density of cities in the world as a whole.  Another possibility is that some of the factions who shared information with us traveled directly from the nexus into a city.  That, too, would make an estimate of city density using their maps higher than the true world city density.

The little folk geographers know the names of 31 cities and the locations of 30 of them.  We know the locations of 13 of the 14 cities that have been mentioned in the Times, this makes us think there are fewer than 50 total.  Followed ancient roads, we think they did.

The little folk explorers don't really move exactly randomly either.  We move slower through lands with trees, much slower through volcanos, and most of us cannot cross water.  If we are forbidden to go in a direction, we go some other direction.  Perhaps, if other factions are guarding the regions right around their cities, the little folk are underestimating the true city density?  But if that were true, I would think these other factions would have conquered the cities first.  And every city the little folk have seen conquerered has been mentioned in the Times, so the little folk geographers guess that more often than not, conquest of a city comes to the attention of the Times' (very impressive) chief editor.  This suggests that the little folk aren't really missing many cities because the surrounding regions are forbidden to them.

So, how many cities are there?

31:  minimum possible, unless the little folk have either been told or are telling lies
33:  geographers' guess from "31 cities known and 13/14 cities mentioned in the Times are known"
37:  high priestess' youngest sister's intuition
50:  geographers' guess from "little folk combined map has 30 cities in 1234/2048 regions"

The little folk geographers suspect The Cartographer (30) is better funded and more skilled than we are, so we suspect he (she? it?) has a more accurate estimate than our own.  But The Cartographer isn't telling what he (or she or it) knows.

Other factions that started expanding before the little folk, who are smarter at moving around, and who are part of large alliances surely have larger maps than the little folk.  They also know better, but so far, they aren't telling either.


Religion Column
---------------

This article is written by the high priestess' younger sister (not the youngest sister) this month, because the high priestess is busy teaching a confirmation class to our orcs, and my younger sister has been detained at a little folk geographic society (LFGS) meeting that ran longer than expecte.  The orcs have the best church and confirmation attendance of any of our parishoners.  They are very holy and devout, I have no idea why anyone in this world would suspect anything bad about orcs, much less want to kill orcs.  Our geographers, on the other hand, aren't very devout at all; the geographers tend to skip church to go to LFGS meetings.  I fear my younger sister has fallen into bad company.

Overrated, mages are.  Parishioners from a northern parish report that 5 mages and more than a hundred warriors were overrun last month by less than half as many mundane (but well trained and well equipped) soldiers.  Most of the overrun mages and warriors made the transition from this world to a different plane of existence; most of the mundane attackers stayed in this world.  Maybe magic is not such a good idea?  Magic seems to tempt it's practitioners to dabble in demon summoning or even worse arts.  

Some of the well equipped attackers almost made the transition, but were called back to this world by the irresistable aroma of tea and biscuits.  The little folk priests and priestesses will now try to discover what herbs were used in that tea; brewing such teas might be a useful spiritual practice.  Unfortunately, it seems this might only help if one wins the fight, and the little folk have never won a fight.


LFLF Column
-----------

Overrated, tacticians are.  Those 5 mages had a better tactician than the attackers, and still more than a hundred of their melee troops couldn't touch less than half that many attackers.  The only damage was done by the mages, and that wasn't much.  The little folk liberation front shall abandon its study of tactics and begin a search for non-tactical ways to not always lose.  The mystery metal of the attackers worked better than tactics; the little folk liberation front shall next month host a discussion of what that metal might be, and where it might be found.  We shall, as usual, serve tea and the _very_ _best_ biscuits at our meeting.  Join us, even if you are really Our Eldest's secretary trying to hide some cookies in a napkin to sneak back to him.


Dirt Column
-----------

Underrated, "Thane's Silver" is.  The mage killers had armor and swords made of a strange metal.  The strange swords made the mage killers untouchable in melee, and the strange armor made them quite resistant to magic.  Why is there no word in goblin for this metal?  Why do our orcs call this metal "Thane's silver" or "Thane Silver"?  Why will our ice dwarves not tell us their secret name for this metal?  Never mind that, why have our ice dwarves not found any of this metal in their permafrost?  Surely the gods could not be so cruel to ice dwarves as to give ice dwarves knowledge of this metal, but put the metal deposits only in hot deserts and volcanos?  

Some of our orcs tell tales in which this strange metal is used by Thane's ring spirits, and is not found in deserts, but can only be found at a mountain summit by an orcish miner who has lived a long life of perfect virtue.  This tale makes us suspect our orcs haven't really found any of this metal either.


Obituary Column
---------------

Flann, Dartristan, and Elpin meqq Gartnait dies singing to Giant Birds last month.  Old Breth of Antanoatos dies of natural causes (lightning again?) in the Great Antanoatos Desert.  They will be missed by the monsters singers who take their places.
little folk (38)
Overhead in an Urgdur tavern....
-------
"I was there, I tell you.  I saw it with my own eyes!"
  "I know.  I heard from my brother.  Only half his company made it back."
"That's right.  Lost a lot of good gnomes out there in the desert.  But we did it"
   "I can't really believe it.  We really did?  You saw it Fryth?"
"With my own eyes.  We cut down that Sphinx and mounted the head in the city square.  Go see it yourself if you don't believe me."
  "Alright, alright.  I believe you."
"And when we cut it open, it was full of mithril and silver."
   "That sounds craziest of all.  But, I believe you - my cousin has been out searching the desert for months for any trace of mithril - not a speck.  Sphinx musta eaten it all!"
"Who can understand these beasts?  Just be glad it is dead."
   "Hear, hear."
"Raise a glass to fallen comrades.
  "To Kiiran.  Long may it stand."
Kiiran (39)
Despite all the setbacks, now may be the time to attempt taking a city. It was make or break time for the Children of the Four Winds, and they couldn't rely on triple payments for Times articles.
The Children of the Four Winds (40)
7 demons are not 80 guards... it's worse, much worse! Run away!
Alwengos (41)
- Thank you gods of the desert.
- Jy sal moet...
Martiniks Trade Guild (43)
Utuk'ku listened to the ONE report ABOUT another dead scout (those little folk picking apart grammar can be annoying, even when they are right). The norhtern kingdoms are fixing their road allright, but that does not mean that they are putting any effort on making them safe. Our little goblin found that the broom with painted eyes that made up for the stolen horse was not as swift as he was expecting when the undead wanted his brains.
Stormspike (49)
So many scouts around, but not a single word from them.
Thane's Ring (5)
We are looking forward to development of new town and also production of rootstone.
Magical buildings are magical places that empower wizards and armies.
We haven't found any other rare resources to take advantage of, let's hope that will change soon.
Magogash empire (51)
Torwin was ready to greet the fellow follower of his ideas. And to share the wisdom of the World intersections with them.
Corvin Ravens (55)
Avalonians left Stockham in a hurry. And the truth was revealed. They've been smuggling vodka out of the place for months. How do we know? The smuggler was found in the ditch on the outskirts of the city, dead drunk and surrounded by no less than 50 barrels of liquor.
We expect them to return for their precious liquid.
Orc Hunters (56)
A frog came out
In the sea-ocean:
- It was better in the swamp,
And this is a complete scam!
Dark League (6)
.. but (tada..)Horned Aliance (tada)... is partying to foolest.. in night they have been beasts...  to not face consequences they run out of city in the morning and there were hundreds of them, some left too drunk to ride camels, bottles of vodka were lying all around their camp, the enigma of name of that alliance was solved, we say only this: cows were involved, guards and local popluation were obviously disgusted...
Ogre Mages (62)
The clanging of the picks was incessant, but less cacophonic than the singing.

Murglag turned to Lagduf.  "'Ow long until shift end?" he gasped hoarsley.

Lagduf pursed his lips and sucked air though his teeth.  "Another hour till sundown.  Then an hour after that with torches," he replied.  

Murglag swilled some of the tepid water around his mouth and spat.   "What do they want all the iron for?" he asked, in a more normal voice.

Lagduf gave a mirthless smile.  "All the scouts - rocs, undead, and demons.  The fishergobs, drowned in a whirlpool.  Gurzog's boys, sandlings.  The Broken Tusk clan, giant apes.  Ruziga the Lash's Black Harpy detachment, sphinxoi.  The whole First Army, ice wurms.  This is the most deadly land I've ever heard of, and this is the fourth world I've been to.  We need more than swords, but swords is what we've got to make for now.  So drink up, and let's get back to digging."

The Fendahli (65)
We’ve heard of flaming swords in the desert and storm giants in the snow. Perhaps the swamp and goblins are not that bad after all.
Peacekeepers (7)
"So do you think will drive the guards out next time?"

"Dunno, dunno...."
Fenris Reborn (70)
Still clearing remnants.
We're wasting time.
Need to speed up!
StarFire (72)
The Sphinx stinks, thought Gamut the bedouin scout.

What he mainly thought was, oh god oh god oh god I'm going to die, while he was running like he never had run before.
Centaur Horse Lords / Clan of the Dragon (77)
There is not enough wood. We will have to build from stone.
SuperBober (78)
Oh how things work, not, or less than they should...

Sir, That's maybe your incompetence?

Off with his head..

Sir, we has no Swords...

Gah!
Langobards (79)
Yeah Baby!
Romans (8)
This is desert is home to a lot of unsavory types We fear for our lives living so close to all these lairs!
The Broken Skull (81)
With his army of ragamuffins trained, Peter gives the order to muster the troops.  Still apprehensive about the upcoming battle, he hopes he decreases the ranks of undead not bolster them.  But, there is nothing for it; maybe they can reduce the ranks enough to get them completely rooted out with a second wave should the first fail.  Sighing, he looks heavenward and prays to whatever gods may be to speed his poor urchins to victory.
The Orphans (9)

Rumors

Fumarole smell like rotten egg, but give vanadium [VANA], titanium [TITA], and arsenic [ARSE].  
NAME UNIT <Fehndalhi priestess> "Vana Tita Arse"
man lives is not only Holden 
The Inquisition of Holden's Holy Deed Church caught and executed the master of the Holden Witnesses Sect. Crucified on a pillar, the magister spent three days shouting curses for the Patriarch. 

They says, some curses have already begun to come true...
Holden is a Rumor
Autumn sun shines bright
White clouds scud across blue skies
No errors were found
Message to the Langobards:

It is 42.