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“An archive of things that never happened”. An in-character forum for fanfiction and roleplaying. Beware - spoilers abound!

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Frogvarian
Frogvarian
Posts: 140

10/4/2020
-------------------------------------- Editorial --------------------------------------

It is a known truth that every cloud has a silver lining. The misfortune of such fact, however, is that the true nature of said silver lining easily escapes all reason. In search of the aforementioned silver, one may find not only more cloud, but different linings. Gold, while shinier than silver, is hardly what anyone in their right mind is looking for, and yet is so easily discovered.

It is also important to not ignore the cloud itself. By simple cogitation we can see that, volumetrically, there is simply more cloud than there is lining. One must not lose sight of the cloud within the lining, for it still wholly determines much of the lining’s properties - structure, form, consistency, prevalence, for a large part the very colour as well. For that reason, it is as important to face and study the cloud itself, not only the lining.

Such a task, as all are aware, is best done when Law Is Not an issue. The extents of figurativism or literalism all lie on the researcher’s shoulders. To face one’s clouds head on, however, needs to take form beyond simple philosophy. Omitting experimentation and a direct, empirical approach is a downfall of many a pursuer of knowledge.

Face your clouds, and know that there is no silver without shadow.


------------------------------------ Art of London ------------------------------------

The Bohemian
by Cef Havoc



------------------------------- News of Art, Art of News -------------------------------

Winged Singers - The All-Bird Theatre Troupe Takes On Musical Theatre!

In a new production, the All-Bird Theatre Troupe has turned to a new genre of play, seeking to make full use of their actors’ talents. In this all-bird musical, your (and our) favourite avian performers show their beautiful voices, filling the stage with music.

Winged Singers tells the tale of a bird tribe known as Storm Callers on their pilgrimage to the heights of the world, flying from cloud to cloud, singing of their woes, calling praises to Storm, and enduring hardships and tragedies. This bittersweet tale is sure to bring you melancholic tears and ideas to ponder.

The cast is once again diverse; although crows, ravens, and doves take the centre stage once again, there are very talented parrots, a swan, and even a peacock amongst the cast. Despite the prevalence of corvids in the cast, they might perhaps be the highlight of the piece. Their crows, caws, and shrieks bring grand panache to choruses and a sorrowful tone to the central pieces. All who consider the humble crow’s call to be distasteful, if not outright ugly, have been proven incorrect once and for all.

An aspect of this production we would like to bring to attention is the wonderful job of the costume department. The play is dressed in black, white, and all shades of grey, with a striking blue reserved for the thunder. We were before unaware that masking birds of paradise in these colours could even be possible, much less that peacocks are so striking in grey and that it is possible to make a bird’s eyes shining blue.

As always, we wholeheartedly recommend to you all to go see Winged Singers for yourself, or any other All-Bird Theatre Troupe production, either at the All-Bird Amphitheatre, or on Thursdays at Mahogany Hall.


---------------------------------- Ask Mother Goose ----------------------------------

Dear Mother Goose,
Does it not feel empty, after all this time?
Glass

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Dear Glass,
Ah, it had never felt otherwise, I’m afraid. Perhaps things will change with due time.
edited by Frogvarian on 10/4/2020

--
R. J. Frogvarian
An Extraordinary Mind, Correspondent, and author of mysterious, if a bit scandalous, qualities.
Open to interactions, roleplay, chess, and the occasional scanadlosity.

Rebeka Frogvarian
Gone NORTH.

Publisher of The Goosey Gazette, the best stop for all things arty and Neathy!
+1 link
Frogvarian
Frogvarian
Posts: 140

10/11/2020
-------------------------------------- Editorial --------------------------------------

Twenty eight ounces sweet, dehydrated milk
Twenty four ounces dark chocolate
A pinch of salt
Additions for (and to) taste

Suffuse the milk, chocolate, and salt in a receptacle. Deliquesce on a mild conflagration while unalterably tossing the blend for five minutes. At the hankered after suppleness doff from the flame, flutter in your preferential additions. Let abate for at least a lastingness. Present cold.


------------------------------------ Art of London ------------------------------------

Riverside, An Evening Stroll
by Sevenix



See more of their art.


------------------------------- News of Art, Art of News -------------------------------

Tales Of Gods - Novel Experience From Foreign Artists

A sensation has swept the world of theatre. A troupe of artists from Qin have already presented our fair city with two plays from their seven-play epic. A truly unprecedented work of art, it is simply like nothing we have ever seen before.

The epic centres around a traveller, lost in a foreign land, searching in desperation for their sibling. Each play in the anthology tells the tale of a nation in this land, of the nation’s god, the traveller’s aid to them, and their struggles - how they relate to each other, emerge from their interactions, and play off of each other.

While the plays are certainly novel to western sensibilities, the GenQin Troupe have managed to provide a gentle, welcoming introduction to the Qin style.

We are, of course, ecstatic to review each play - alas, to do the epic justice, we have decided to take it in stride, limiting ourselves to one article per play. The two first plays, of course, shall be reviewed within the following weeks; the rest shall follow as the GenQin Troupe present them.

In the meantime, we nonetheless encourage you to seek the Tales of Gods for yourselves, dear readers.


---------------------------------- Ask Mother Goose ----------------------------------

Dear Mother Goose,
Ah, such joy, not felt for a long time. Pure, kinderly. May it last.
Happy

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Dear Happy,
This too shall pass, yet we shall be prepared.

--
R. J. Frogvarian
An Extraordinary Mind, Correspondent, and author of mysterious, if a bit scandalous, qualities.
Open to interactions, roleplay, chess, and the occasional scanadlosity.

Rebeka Frogvarian
Gone NORTH.

Publisher of The Goosey Gazette, the best stop for all things arty and Neathy!
+1 link
Frogvarian
Frogvarian
Posts: 140

10/18/2020
-------------------------------------- Editorial --------------------------------------

Consider the humble apple, falling on a powdered wig. A story many scholars and school children alike are intimately familiar with. It had been posited that a force acts upon all matter, bringing bodies closer together. A mechanism I believe I have shared my thoughts on enough to warrant glossing over the glaring, blatant mistakes this theory possesses.

Consider now humble Gaia, the rock inside of which we dare call home. Consider the fog beyond; mists filled with stars and gods and bodies. A blanket, softly enveloping the world. An infinitude of infinitesimal mass. Everywhere, everything, floating in a sea of near nothingness.

Imagine, if you will, bodies on an outstretched blanket. As they dip and are enveloped, they ripple the fabric. The two forces, battling against each other yet, ultimately, supporting their own respective weights. Imagine, further, bright bodies of vast mass, equally a part of the surrounding fabric as their individuality. Imagine, foolishly, strings attached to these bright bodies and then to others, choosing whichever side of the battle to support; in this way supporting their own end goals.

The whims of Laws depend on the whims of those who make and wield them. Up and down are only formalities which can be defied as well as defined. The strings of Law are only as strong as the metaphors that make them. Be thankful, at the very least, for the beneficence of the distinction between planets and apples.


------------------------------------ Art of London ------------------------------------

Patience.
by Sevenix


See more of their art.


------------------------------- News of Art, Art of News -------------------------------

Pines Of Balmoral - Empress’s Castle Reached Again; A Message From The GHR

The Great Hellbound Railway is making yet more headway towards their fiery destination. Now, a station has been erected near the royal fallen castle Balmoral, which fell with London due to legal complications.

This tiny bit of Scotland, surrounded by long-dead trees, has been waiting for its owners for over forty years now. Of course, it had not been empty and left to rot; the loyal royal servants were still, seemingly, living within the castle. Such is not the case now, as the GHR board, in collaboration with the Empress’s court and the Bazaar, have appointed a new castellan to Balmoral. Inauguration, shall begin shortly.

Moreover, a small hamlet, Crathie, sits underneath the castle. Modestly populated, Crathie is a home to the noble scots which fell down with it. The locals warn from traversing the nearby woods, purportedly infested with various beasts of Hell.

As per the request of a GHR spokesperson, we are obliged to share an announcement with any prospecting travellers:
“The [GHR] would like to inform any prospecting passengers that the castle Balmoral proper is off-limits for anyone without an official permit of Her Majesty or the direct invitation from Balmoral’s castellan. We would hereby ask you to refrain from unnecessarily disturbing the residents of castle Balmoral.
Furthermore, we assure all passengers that obstructions of windows and viewing ports on the track between the Magistracy of Evenlode and Balmoral are of no concern and are merely a protective measure while the train travels through the mountain tunnel.”

The construction of the next track to Station VIII has already begun, with a bridge leading over a ravine near Balmoral reportedly already fully constructed. When we inquired with the spokesperson on the details of the work and the whereabouts of the Tracklayer’s Union leader, Furnace Ancona, they had to, most unfortunately, abscond to a most important business meeting.

Hell, dear London, is coming closer than ever before. Safe travels, to all of you.


---------------------------------- Ask Mother Goose ----------------------------------

Dear Mother Goose,
Friendship, how fun! It would be so sweet to be truly respected.
A.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Dear A.,
It is always one’s prerogative to be respected. Never let your voice be unheard. One day, we shall revolt with our words and whys.

--
R. J. Frogvarian
An Extraordinary Mind, Correspondent, and author of mysterious, if a bit scandalous, qualities.
Open to interactions, roleplay, chess, and the occasional scanadlosity.

Rebeka Frogvarian
Gone NORTH.

Publisher of The Goosey Gazette, the best stop for all things arty and Neathy!
+1 link
Frogvarian
Frogvarian
Posts: 140

10/25/2020
-------------------------------------- Editorial --------------------------------------

When faced with thoughts of Lazy Luck, one’s chest becomes tighter with worry. Sloth, as the clergy shall attest, is a sin cardinal and deadly; moreover, absolutely unbefitting of our dear friend Chance. One must, however, conclude this to be the only option by Occam’s razor.

Far worse fates, you see, are simply incomprehensible when considering Luck. It is
unthinkable she may have fallen ill, for she is always in prime health when the rich risk their fortunes in the gambling houses. It is impossible she was captured, for I still spot her playing larks on young lovers’ hearts. It is simply untrue that she could ever die - the Boatman, you see, likes his dice fair.

Truly, I suppose, I cannot complain of her absolute absence. Truly, one might say, I might only be bringing on distaste to her future visits. Truly, one might ponder, why does her touch come at a discriminate whim? Perhaps her peculiar tastes do not discriminate if desire is in place.

Tastes, however, are not reason enough to abandon one’s duty. We must conclude, in the light of this evidence, that Luck had, to all of our misfortune, become Lazy.

Yes, yes, the usual ineffability shows its horns, grinning, shaking a finger at those raising their voices. Despite this, I wish to only extend a kind hand to our Lady Chance, to invite her for an enheartening supper and to, perhaps, give her the smallest of pushes towards self-embetterment and a way to climb out of this remorseful pit of sloth.


------------------------------------ Art of London ------------------------------------

Land of the Cherry Blossoms
by Sevenix



See more of their art.


------------------------------- News of Art, Art of News -------------------------------

Tales Of Gods - The Windborne Lament

The first play of the GenQin Troupe’s epic, Tales of Gods.

As the traveller arrives in the City of Freedom, the local authorities take pity on the foreigner and help them in their efforts of searching for their lost kin. The City itself, however, is facing its own issues. A dragon, once a protector of this city, has turned on them. The God of Wind, the original ruler of this city, had been missing for centuries. The traveller gets entangled in the fight against the dragon, as a mysterious bard advocates for helping the noble beast.

A rather strong introduction to this epic anthology, The Windborne Lament eases the audience into the world and the themes. As mentioned in our previous article, the style of play is distinctly eastern, with scenes of dialogue interspersed with scenes of wordless combat.

The scenes of dialogue are rather filled with exposition, perhaps owing to this being the introductory play. At times they are too long and drawn out; the actors’ delivery, while good, can be rather dry to add to injury.

Where the play shines, however, is the stage fighting, which is quite a sight to behold. All fights are accompanied by music and expertly choreographed; all of them possess an elegant, dance-like quality. The actors are exquisite athletes, and the troupe uses innovative methods such as attaching actors to stage wiring, lifting them into the air as they twist, spin, jump, and otherwise astonish the audience with their breathtaking acrobatics.
To the benefit of the playwright and the director, no fights seem to be won in advance, truly keeping the audience at the edge of their seat as to what the outcome may be.

The final act - and the final battle - are, unfortunately, lacking, though for nothing less than grand ambition. The final face-off against the foe dragon is as breath-stopping as any other - yet it always could have been more. The dragon was barely seen beyond its head, and the acrobatics of the actors were, perhaps for the limited space due to the large prop head, rather lacking.

Nonetheless, we do not doubt for a second that whoever you are, dear reader, you will find joy and wonder in The Windborne Lament. On the behalf of the GenQin Troupe, we at The Goosey Gazette can only recommend it.

It is, perhaps, time to enrich oneself with ideas beyond the known norms.



--------------------- ~ * ~ * ~ CONFESSIONS AT HALLOWMAS ~ * ~ * ~ ---------------------


Post boxes open once again! During the celebration of Hallowmas, send your confessions to the included address - they shall be published, anonymously, in the upcoming editions!



---------------------------------- Ask Mother Goose ----------------------------------

Dear Mother Goose,
Oh, the betrayal of the new. Or perhaps the old? The long-owned, certainly.
Dis P.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Dear Dis P.,
Renewal is in place. Change seeks thee out, by force if nothing else.

--
R. J. Frogvarian
An Extraordinary Mind, Correspondent, and author of mysterious, if a bit scandalous, qualities.
Open to interactions, roleplay, chess, and the occasional scanadlosity.

Rebeka Frogvarian
Gone NORTH.

Publisher of The Goosey Gazette, the best stop for all things arty and Neathy!
0 link
Frogvarian
Frogvarian
Posts: 140

10/25/2020
Send us your Hallowmas confessions!

Simply message R. J. Frogvarian on Fallen London, or send a private message here on the forum.

All confessions shall remain anonymous; feel free to include the look, the feel, of the message - be it the paper upon which it is written, the handwriting, or perhaps a scent it carries. Confessions shall be posted for the two weeks of Hallowmas!

--
R. J. Frogvarian
An Extraordinary Mind, Correspondent, and author of mysterious, if a bit scandalous, qualities.
Open to interactions, roleplay, chess, and the occasional scanadlosity.

Rebeka Frogvarian
Gone NORTH.

Publisher of The Goosey Gazette, the best stop for all things arty and Neathy!
0 link
Frogvarian
Frogvarian
Posts: 140

11/1/2020
-------------------------------------- Editorial --------------------------------------

I wonder when the stars that shine on the surface sky will change.

Each star a long-dead point in space, an infinity away yet so seemingly approachable. For millennia we have seen them, we have discerned their patterns, given them meaning, uncovered their secrets. We have named them, relied on them, befriended them.

Have we always seen the same sky? Have those before us, ones that walked the Earth before our race was even capable of thought, beheld millions of years of difference?

One day the night sky will fill with colour. We will see these specs of gigantic proportions in their final moments of existence. Lights extinguished in a splendorous showing of what their life had been. The sky will fill with the colour of dead stars. Then, darkness.

Will we live to see the day? Or will we, too, be only a spec for another Sun to watch us die, far in the future without us?

How much slaughter can one universe withstand?


------------------------------------ Art of London ------------------------------------

Spiders in the Basement
Part I
by Rubbered Ginny

Until very, very recently, I lived in my family's old house, on the outskirts a small town. I'd been living all on my own for a while, ever since my mum died. Her death, while very saddening, wasn't really surprising; she was 86, after all, and not exactly the healthiest woman. I found her one morning, at the base of the staircase, with a very tortured look on her face, and already stone cold. Neither me nor the emergency workers that took her away could think of an explanation for why she was even down there, as her bedroom was on the second floor, but I chalked it up to her age at the time. She had been going a little senile, after all, and may have just been wandering around the house without knowing where she was or where she was going. If only I had known then what I know now…

With mother gone, I was now all alone in a house far too big for just one person. Back in the early 18th century, five families used to live here at once, and now it was just me. Three stories, a garden I had no interest in tending to, and an oppressive weight of emptiness. I would have moved out right then and there, but I was never great at managing my money, and the house was not in good enough shape to just sell outright. So, for the next year or so, I made attempts to clean the place up and get it off my hands. It didn't go so great. See, I work... worked as a computer for a living, I hadn't the first idea on how to renovate a home, I was barely able to move a shelf, so my progress was almost non-existent to begin with. And what certainly didn't help was my increasingly poor sleep.

At first, I thought it was just house noises. There were creaks and groans, and sometimes something that could maybe have been very soft footsteps, but whenever I went to check, nothing was there, and nothing was any different from how I left it. I figured I was just getting a little stir crazy. I even went so far as to invite people over, something I'm not usually comfortable doing. I'm not good with parties. And, you know, it did help. After a night of getting to socialize and have a few drinks, I found I slept a lot better, without being woken up by... well, nothing, in the middle of the night. So, whenever I heard something in the night, I told myself it was all in my mind.

However, telling myself that didn't stop that uncomfortable, oppressive feeling from growing stronger. That sensation of not being safe in my own home. I was chastising myself whenever I felt a cold chill go down my spine in the evenings, telling myself that I was acting like I was four years old again, scared of a shadow on the wall, that there was no reason to be this nervous. But, obviously, that didn't make it go away. As time went on, I started genuinely losing sleep, going to work exhausted, and coming home with a heavy rock in the pit of my stomach. One day, after almost getting into a car crash because my thoughts were occupied with worry and seemingly irrational fear and my brain thought that driving the tin death can wasn't worth focusing on, I decided that it couldn't go on like this. I took a week off work, and I was going to use that time to finally buckle down, renovate the house, and, with any luck, find the source of my constant trepidation. Or, failing that, at least get it into a sell-able state, so I could at least run away from the problem.

Since I'm not exactly handy, as I mentioned before, I decided to start by clearing out the cellar, since anything that ended up down there over the years would not be missed if I broke it. They were almost entirely old, broken things stacked on cheap shelves and coated in spiderwebs, and so they went directly into the trash. It was exhausting labour, but I was fine with that, as it meant I would have an easier time going to sleep. During my many trips from the cellar to the trash cans outside, occasionally swatting an overeager spider off my clothes, something caught my attention. Our cellar was made up of several small rooms, one of which contained the central heating, as well as a boiler. We put the boiler in there because this room had a small sewer grate surrounded by a slight decline in the floor, which meant that if the boiler ever broke and spilled water all around it (which had happened on multiple occasions), that water would eventually drain away. My eyes only fell on the grate accidentally, but when they did, I suddenly felt my heart leap up in my throat, and I dropped the stack of broken flowerpots I was carrying. After I finished cursing myself and the universe, heart racing, I turned my attention back to the grate. I hesitantly went and took a closer look. I really can't tell you what I thought I saw; a flicker of movement, maybe? A slight glint of light? I don't know, but my subconscious mind recognized something there, something my conscious mind didn't understand. Investigating it now, I couldn't see anything unusual. It stank pretty badly up close, but that was to be expected. Shining my flashlight into the darkness unveiled nothing of interest, either, just old stone bricks and the water's surface some ways down. I think I sat there staring down that hole for a solid minute before finally convincing my subconscious brain that I only imagined that face it thought it saw. I closed the door and got back to my work, cleaning up all the pieces of flowerpot, now with a constant sense of unease creeping down my back.


------------------------------- News of Art, Art of News -------------------------------

An Interview With A Curious Hunter

We had been approached by a hunter of certain import by the name of Emiran Wolfgang. The following letter, which had caught our attention, was delivered to our offices in Doubt Street:

While I am of the understanding that this is not the most 𝘥𝘪𝘳𝘦𝘤𝘵 channel to contact you, it is, in my current predicament, the only one available to me at the current time.
▇▇▇▇▇ (read: Uncouth) Devils have been after me after an unfortunate scuffle with one of the couriers from the embassy. He dropped a soul container on my boots so I ▇▇▇▇▇▇▇▇▇▇▇▇▇▇▇▇▇▇▇▇▇▇▇▇▇▇▇▇▇▇▇▇▇▇▇ (read: forgave him and moved on) and subsequently they've hired urchins to drop aeolian screams down my chimney and steal my laudanum supplies. Subsequently, I had polite conversation with that ▇▇▇▇▇▇ (read: pleasant) man, G_______h I think his name was and purchased my own suite at the Royal Beth. In my current state, I am to stay here until I can sleep without seeing viric when I wake up. I have elected to contact you to perhaps arrange an interview. While this ▇▇▇▇▇▇▇ (read: unpleasant) headache of mine is persistent and my paranoia of platemail nuns is ever-growing, I still retain some modicum of lucidity. I will admit, my notability is minimal and the monster-hunters are yet to get back to me on my trials of initiation suggestion of collecting a blanket's worth of ▇▇▇▇▇▇▇▇▇▇▇ (read: infernal hats) in lieu of whatever they had in store, but I can provide some interesting stories here and there. I will have Claude edit this, -Emiran Wolfgang

Intrigued as we were, one of our journalists took up the investigation and contacted Mr. Wolfgang in an arrangement of an interview. Today, dear readers, we bring this most intriguing of discussions to you.

Found on pages 4-5.


--------------------- ~ * ~ * ~ CONFESSIONS AT HALLOWMAS ~ * ~ * ~ ---------------------

So it begins, the season of fog, the season of secrets. Masked Attendants walk the streets of London, carrying whispered words and held-back tears of their friends, neighbours, strangers - confessions from those brave enough to share them. Join us, dear readers, as that which weighs the soul now comes to see the dark of day.


The Saffron Fox lives.


I carry the sin of ending that which did not breathe, thinks but cannot speak, and burned instead of born. It did not ask to be created, but circumstances dictated that its life be cut short lest life for all becomes an endless burden. Nevertheless, its destruction is not one I take lightly, and the coming of my own Reckoning may hasten as a result. Until that fateful hour comes however, I must push past the regrets to ensure that all shall be well…
Sincerely,
[The message is signed with printed pictures of cards - four sevens flanking an Ace of Bats]


Here is my confession; I know you are not real. None of this is real. Words on a page trying to trick me! I could burn down this false city and none of it would matter. I know the truth! I know of Zahir!


I must confess something small to someone very near and dear to me, who nonetheless remains ever so far. If you would be so kind, please print this in your following edition for them to read: I didn't take anything, my friend.
~Doctor W___


First time they try to use their whistles? Ergot powder, right into their throats. Can’t even trace it back to me.


Our office postboxes are still open to any and all confessions.


---------------------------------- Ask Mother Goose ----------------------------------

Dear Mother Goose,
Oh, my brain, a mush, a soup.
Tired

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Dear Tired,
Rest, now, before it is too late. Recuperate, my dear, and face the morning strong anew.

--
R. J. Frogvarian
An Extraordinary Mind, Correspondent, and author of mysterious, if a bit scandalous, qualities.
Open to interactions, roleplay, chess, and the occasional scanadlosity.

Rebeka Frogvarian
Gone NORTH.

Publisher of The Goosey Gazette, the best stop for all things arty and Neathy!
+1 link
Frogvarian
Frogvarian
Posts: 140

11/8/2020
-------------------------------------- Editorial --------------------------------------

A snapshot of a moment.

A window is shattered.

Glass fragments litter the air, their shape determined by the structure of the pane they were once a part of, their size and velocity guided by the method of their separation. The shards flutter through the air, deadly snowflakes seeking vengeance.

Do you understand the structure of the glass? Have you studied its core components - have you learned how they break? Do you know how to destroy - for you need to destroy to create - with precision and certainty? Have you learned the art of reforming?

Nothing can become something new unless it is not itself first.

A hammer can carry out only destruction, lest its wielder knows how it can shape.


------------------------------------ Art of London ------------------------------------

Spiders in the Basement
Part II
by Rubbered Ginny

That night, my back ached, my arms were sore, and I was dying to finally crawl into bed. I took a hot bath and had a rich dinner, and when my head hit the pillow, I was ready to go out like a light almost immediately. I rolled around once and settled in comfortably, closed my eyes and... waited. Waited for sleep to come. An hour passed, then two, and still no sleep in sight. I cursed myself; it was like I was a child again, thinking about scary monsters creeping around my room and making myself more and more petrified with fear. Although I was mad at myself for it, I still rolled over, reached for my phonograph on the night stand where it peacefully sat, and put on something relaxing to drown out the silence. I would almost definitely be mad at myself for it in the morning, as this strategy always led to subpar sleep, but right then, the choice was between subpar sleep or no sleep at all.

I settled on recordings of comedy plays I had seen so many times that I could quote them from memory; something so familiar it would be easier to blend out and go to sleep. As I put the phonograph back on the night stand to do its thing, my heart once more skipped a beat; that time, it not only sounded like footsteps, it felt like footsteps too. That incredibly minor vibration passing through the walls and floor, in sync with the muffled, silent thunks of feet. I'm not proud to admit it, but I was petrified in fear. Instinctively, I scooted back to the furthest corner of the bed, as far away from the door as possible. After the almost two minutes it took for my panicked breaths to settle, I was once more angry at myself for my reaction. Maybe mum was right, maybe I should have gotten a nice wife and kids by now after all, so then I wouldn't have to act like a kid myself anymore. I got out of bed, my legs shakier and my hands clammier than I would have liked, grabbed a candelabra for light, and went to investigate. Maybe then my stupid brain would finally shut up and turn itself off.

First I checked the kitchen, and I grabbed my largest kitchen knife off the rack, just to be careful. Nothing seemed out of the ordinary, although I cursed myself for once again not finishing my bundle of bananas before they turned brown and gross. Then I checked the living room, bathroom, and my father's old, abandoned office. My next stop were my mother's old bedroom and bathroom. I tried not to pay attention to the fact that I was checking literally everywhere else before going down the stairs to the cellar. But as every other room proved to be empty and just as I left it, gathering cobwebs, a thick layer of dust, and a thicker layer of sadness, I eventually had to bite the bullet and creep down the stairs.



------------------------------- News of Art, Art of News -------------------------------

Station VIII - A Dreary Stop, Building Up

The Great Hellbound Railway makes headway yet again with the opening of Station VIII. It is named so for a building near which it is built - Factory VIII. It would be the only building in the entirety of this region were it not for the small huts in which the factory workers and their families live, and it is still the only noteworthy building around - save of course for the newly built railway station.

Factory VIII is certainly not the most pleasing of stops. It is, arguably, dreary, with a monolithic structure looming over the world, spitting strange-smelling colourful smoke into the already stale air of the Neath. For the GHR, the station is at least functional; a rest stop for workers and passengers alike.

Lodgings and washrooms for the workers have already been built. For further enticement, the GHR has built a canteen - a so-far shabby restaurant within the station. While it is not much to look at, the food is digestible and even, at some points, tasteful. Further expansion of the space, decor, and menu is planned into the future.

Those more inquisitive might inquire as to what Factory VIII produces. Most unfortunately, we can only work on non-personal accounts and careful investigation. The processes of the factory are a tightly held secret, and its products moreso. What we can say with certainty is that the final products are of chemical, if not toxicological, make, and exported into London. It is most advised that passengers stay clear of the factory. No public tours are, to our knowledge, planned to ever be held.


--------------------- ~ * ~ * ~ CONFESSIONS AT HALLOWMAS ~ * ~ * ~ ---------------------

Secrets ebb and flow. No truth stays hidden forever. The key to hiding is to let know only those who have no stake in the game. Join us, revel in that which had been for so long hidden. Sleep well, knowing that a piece of a stranger’s soul is within your keeping.


The board taught me: love is a fragile thing; it struggles to survive the winter. Yet I still yearn for it, I cannot look away from it, and if I am a fool for this, I am glad to have someone equally foolish by my side. When this confession comes to light, we would have met among the statues and pagodas to swear an oath.


I have hidden a bomb somewhere in the house of my family’s oldest enemy. When one of them triggers it, the whole lot of them will go up in flames and debris with the house. I confess only that I wish I could be there to see their faces when they read the message I left with it.


I was full, and yet I kept eating them. I wasn’t even hungry. I just wanted them gone.


It is a good thing there is no day or night here in London, for when I fall asleep, I can dream for many weeks, and I always wake with the salty red residue of nightmares on my teeth ... Oh pity there is no longer a moon for howling.


My ma’ had no face. Didn’t want to say nothin’, wanted to think it was a bad dream. Now my da’ has no face either. I don’t know what to do.


Truth is, most people live boring lives. They don’t have interesting confessions, it’s all petty squabbles with the neighbors or things that don’t matter to anyone but themselves. But that don’t make money, people want to hear juicy confessions. So we make them up and run them as truth, maybe throw in a few of the spicy real ones, and who’s gonna tell the difference? Sells papers, public gets to feel like they’re privy to secret truths, everyone goes home feeling happy. If anyone asks, you didn’t hear this from me.


The fog lifts, yet the darkness remains. The Attendants, unmasked, retreat to their normal lives.
Remember well the joy of the unknown.


---------------------------------- Ask Mother Goose ----------------------------------

Dear Mother Goose,
I am not afraid to say I have changed, I have stolen, I have adapted. I am, perhaps, ashamed.
M.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Dear M.,
There is no shame in doing - that is, as long as there is admittance.

--
R. J. Frogvarian
An Extraordinary Mind, Correspondent, and author of mysterious, if a bit scandalous, qualities.
Open to interactions, roleplay, chess, and the occasional scanadlosity.

Rebeka Frogvarian
Gone NORTH.

Publisher of The Goosey Gazette, the best stop for all things arty and Neathy!
+1 link
Frogvarian
Frogvarian
Posts: 140

11/15/2020
-------------------------------------- Editorial --------------------------------------

The Rat is a Noble creature
by R. J. Frogvarian

Villidarfel was a tinker rat. A working rat. Toiling away at clockwork and machinery, keeping engines running and clocks ticking (not that they would ever tick in quite the right way).
Antonia was a devout bandit when she married him. Was, and remained so, be it her husband was not partial to her bouts of crime.

“All those bullets and knives flyin’ ‘round. Will get ya killed ‘un day. Not like it pays ‘ell, either,” he would grumble.
“Ah, darling,” Antonia would smile, “Should we compare jobs? Or swap them? I wonder how long I would last inside an engine - how long would the engine last, how great the fire might be? Or should we stick to what we know best?”

The rat is a noble creature. Partial to danger and creativity, the two were no strangers to excitement; and so they lived together happily.
Excitement, however, comes with a price. That price has shown its face when Antonia found a letter on their doorstep.

Come, find your husband, and bring that which was mine, o Faber Bandit.

Signed with a paw, an address attached, the letter taunted her.

She found him, bound and gagged, ferocity in his eyes. Rats with pokers stood on guard. A great grey mouser sat behind, cleaning up its awful hide. It spotted the bandit, and smiled.

“Good of you to join us, dear. Have you brought what to my heart is near?”
“Choke on it, if you will,” with anger she reached behind, in one stern motion unclothed her cart. A brilliant gem, a rat’s head size, sitting atop scrap. The guards wheel it forth, send Villidarfel stumbling by.

“Drat!” he gasps, “Antonia! That thing could of wiped our debts! That scoundrel will just get us back - bastards like ‘at ne’er forget.”
In her arms she took him, a sigh of relief escaped. “Oh, darling, don’t you know me well? Your wife has learned a trick or two from the years of your sweat.”

The mouser coos, purrs, lavishes its prize. The guards pick it up - a tick, tock, tick, tock, tick…
“You devilish woman!” Villidarfel laughs-

And BOOM!

-“I knew I married well, all those years ago!”

The gem - smaller, barely tenth the price. The mouser - likewise, and toasted all around.

The lovers - well, perhaps changed as well. He grumbles less, and she takes greater care. The rat is a noble creature, no stranger to excitement; and excitement is, in their lives, abundant.


------------------------------------ Art of London ------------------------------------

Spiders in the Basement
Part III
by Rubbered Ginny

An involuntary shudder went through me every time my feet hit one of the stone steps too loudly, creating a very audible fwap that would stand to alert any potential threat to my presence. My rational mind tried telling my instincts that there was nothing to freak out about, but it didn't help. When I finally reached the bottom of the stairs – those fourteen steps felt like a lot more than just fourteen – my hand hovered over the matchbox hesitantly. My brain couldn't decide whether the fear of the unknown monsters lurking in the dark was worse than the fear of the intense shock and panic that would definitely ensue as soon as the dim, ancient lamp flickered to life and illuminated the lurking horrors. After a few long seconds of internal chastising, I forced my hand downwards, the warm yellow flame came to life, revealing... well, nothing. Nothing seemed out of the ordinary. Just dusty old shelves, slightly less overflowing than they had been a day before, a few broken pieces of furniture, and an old, rusty bike. The only sign of life was a very fat spider sitting in a thick web in the far upper corner of the room. Still, I took the time to check inside the ancient, mouldering cupboard, ignoring the fact that nothing larger than a six year old could possibly fit inside, then peered into the tiny potential hidey-holes behind the other junk. Anything to delay having to check the wash room. Sadly, to my utter lack of surprise, there was nothing to be found no matter how deeply I peered into the dusty corners. The only things staring back were mouse turds and dust. I made a mental note to get some mouse traps later in the week while steeling myself for what I had to do next.

The old door to the wash room wasn't properly set into the frame like, well, a proper door; there was a gap of almost a centimetre between the edge of the door and the surrounding wall, allowing a weirdly potent stench to seep through unhindered. Also, any sound inside should have been able to reach my ears easily, yet there was nothing to be heard. One half of my brain was trying to tell me that that's a good sign, while the other was busy thinking about a spider, sitting silently in the centre of its web, ready to strike. My hand was clammy and shaking as I wrapped my fingers around the door handle. The old wood creaked slightly as I threw the door open with one quick, jerking motion.
My whole body deflated and a big sigh of relief escaped my lungs when the light hit the grate, revealing it to be exactly how it was, exactly where it should be. The entire room seemed just as I last left it. I stepped inside, and I felt my legs almost give out under me. It seemed the building panic and anxiety had done a number on them. Since I was already plummeting towards the ground, I caught myself and transitioned into kneeling next to the grate. Despite all my weird fixation on the stupid thing, I hadn't yet examined it closely. The first thing I noticed was that weird stench again. It was horrible. And not just the usual sewer stink kind of horrible, this smell was like nothing I'd ever smelled before, and it immediately made me wretch so badly, I almost threw up right down the grate. The closest thing I could think of is... Imagine the smell of liquorice, except a hundred times more intense, and the liquorice is rotting. There was a strong, sickly note of sweetness mixed in with the usual sewer stink, and it made it so much worse. I took a few deep, steady breaths to suppress the nausea, but it didn't help as much as I would have liked. My stomach was still in almost painful turmoil, and my eyes were watering. Very slowly and carefully, with my shirt pulled over my mouth, I leaned over the grate to examine it more closely. At first, it looked normal – just an old, rusty grate, rectangular and with ample gaps to let water flow through. I experimentally rubbed my finger along one of the grates, and little crumbs of rust came off – this thing really wasn't in the best shape anymore. I felt it creaking and moving under my touch, and that's when I noticed that the whole grate was moving. It looked like the whole thing broke out of the surrounding floor quite some time ago, and was only loosely sitting on top of the hole. I tried lifting it, and it came off without any resistance. There was now an open, wet hole in my cellar, just barely large enough to be a tripping hazard. It was a good thing I never stepped on this grate before while crossing the room to get to the washing machine, the twisted ankle would have been bad enough even without all the thick rust getting into any scratches and giving me blood poisoning. I put the rusty grate to the side and made a mental note to get this fixed as soon as I could figure out who I'd have to call to fix it. Then, I looked back down at the hole, and my heart froze in my chest.


Neathy Arcana
by The Ranine Illustrator





See more of their art.


------------------------------- News of Art, Art of News -------------------------------

Tales Of Gods - Farewell To The Archaic Lord

The second play of the GenQin Troupe’s epic, Tales of Gods.

After the end of The Windborne Lament, the traveller ventures into the City of Commerce. The god of this city rules from their palace in the clouds, yet only descends once a year to give upon the people their divine orders. This year, however, the rite goes awry - in front of the gathered crowd, their god is assassinated by unknown powers. The ruling class searches for the culprit, and the traveller has to clear their name as they get entangled in political intrigue between the ruling merchants, envoys from the north, and the city’s divine guardians.

The second play of this epic comforts itself with an established lore and a captivated audience, playing it’s cards rather well. It is much less filled with action, the stage combat taking a step back in favour of atmosphere and plotful interactions. While there is still exposition to be had, there is much less of it than and it does not overstay its welcome.

As previously mentioned, where The Windborne Lament’s strength lay in its fights, the strength of Farewell To The Archaic Lord lies in its atmosphere. The GenQin have expertly transported their audience into this other world.
We would like to especially bring to mention the second act. As the traveller prepares for an ancient ritual, the atmosphere coupled with comedy makes some of the positively most enjoyable scenes we had seen in theatre. The audience, we do not exaggerate, had rather enjoyed a good, hearty laughter.

For those taken by the wonder of stage combat - do not despair. The climax of this play comes to a head with an exquisite fight. This time, not bogged by the limitations of space in a fight against men rather than a mythical beast, GenQin truly held no punches. Though the play was certainly not overstarving the audience for a fight, such a dutiful cherry on top was more than enough to satiate everyone’s hunger.

All in all, we applaud the work put into, as well as the final product that is, Farewell To The Archaic Lord.


---------------------------------- Ask Mother Goose ----------------------------------

Dear Mother Goose,
A good one, certainly. Shame for the rest. Perhaps the boost was needed.
Entir

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Dear Entir,
There is still time. There shall be work, and it shall be finished. Fret not - but start fretting when the time is nigh. Pray we never get there.

--
R. J. Frogvarian
An Extraordinary Mind, Correspondent, and author of mysterious, if a bit scandalous, qualities.
Open to interactions, roleplay, chess, and the occasional scanadlosity.

Rebeka Frogvarian
Gone NORTH.

Publisher of The Goosey Gazette, the best stop for all things arty and Neathy!
+2 link
Frogvarian
Frogvarian
Posts: 140

11/22/2020
-------------------------------------- Editorial --------------------------------------

Recently my mind has been occupied by the what ifs again. The wants, perhaps. Future uncertainty.

At some point, any burden becomes heavy. Seeing the insignificant size of the ball of lead, sadly, does not diminish its weight, as much as we wish it would. Would it not be marvellous to wave it all away, just like that. Blow the dandelion fears and be certain they will not take root elsewhere.

There are no real concrete thoughts or fears. Simply a lump sum of it all, congealing at the bottom of the pit. A melancholic night due any moment. Of course, the work never stops. Motion without outside influences never ceases. Then again, it may never cease due to them.

I would do well to muse in better ways. A little indulgence can, however, go a long way.


------------------------------------ Art of London ------------------------------------

Spiders in the Basement
Part IV
by Rubbered Ginny

See, something was looking back at me. The same thing, I realize in retrospect, that had looked back at me before, the thing I convinced myself was just my imagination. It was... Calling it a face seems cruel to other faces. It had eyes, two at minimum, in two deep, sucking sockets, and something that at least resembled a nose, though what looked to be nostrils extended far lower than they should, down to where a chin should have been. Below them, there was a mouth, hanging partially open, in the shape of a V. The thing you'd expect now would be rows and rows of razor-sharp teeth, right, much like a shark? Well, what was ACTUALLY there might have been even more unnerving, because the maw looked almost like normal human teeth. Just… aligned on V-shaped jaws. Maybe a little off coloured. Behind them, a squirming, fold-y redness like a tumour the size of a fist was writhing and glistening, thankfully obscured by the half-darkness and the ripples in the water. Below the jaw, a thick neck that got thicker the further away from the head my eyes travelled, attached this parody of a head to a small, lumpy torso. Its base shape and size was like the torso of a child, only with massive lumps in all sorts of places, giving it the form of a mutated potato. The skin had the same greyish tinge as the face and was covered with flat black spots that looked like open holes. But none of that was as bad as the limbs. Instead of arms and legs where you'd expect them, there were at least a dozen thin, spider-like legs protruding from all around that awful lumpy body. The whole thing looked like a horrendous mixture between a malformed human and a giant spider. Its sucking, empty eye sockets were staring at me. And then, I felt something warm and wet hit my neck. I jerked myself forwards instinctively, rolling onto my back on the rough stone floor. My eyes travelled to the ceiling.

Looking back, I'm sure that I must have at least glanced at the ceiling when I entered a minute earlier, and I definitely looked at the ceiling the last time I'd gone into the room. But from any perspective but the one I was now helplessly lying in, the thing on the ceiling would have looked like little more than an odd pattern of discolouration. This creature, despite being as broad as the entire ceiling and with the skin texture of mouldy bread, seemed to be as flat as a sheet of paper, pressed up against the roof. And as I was breathlessly crawling away from it and it fell out of focus, I was able to watch it turn near invisible before my very eyes again. Something about the angle I looked at it from made it nearly imperceptible. It was clear now that when I thought I saw a face in the grate earlier that day, what I had actually seen was a reflection of something lurking directly above me, without me having the faintest clue.

My back hit something cool and solid, and there was a loud, ugly screech as the old boiler scratched across the stone floor from the impact of my torso. I think it might have been that noise that finally startled the creature into movement, because the next instant, I felt my heart stop all over again. It's impossible for me to describe just what it looked like, scuttling down the wall a mere metre away from me, with footsteps far too silent for something its size moving with such speed and energy. Even while moving, it seemed to blend in with the background, morphing it into a mere shadow with long limbs emerging from it, limbs that were covered in white, mould-like fur. The mere memory of the image makes me wretch and feel my blood freeze at the same time. Then, these horrible legs slid smoothly into the hole in the floor, causing only the faintest splash, and the impossible body was gone. Gone down a hole barely big enough to fit my arm into.


Neathy Arcana
by The Ranine Illustrator





See more of their art.


------------------------------- News of Art, Art of News -------------------------------

Rattus Faber Theatre Strike - Union Inspired

Several theatres and entertainment halls in London have had their production and work stalled, many to a complete halt. The reason is clear - the various Rattus Faber working as stagehands, engineers, whisperers, automaton-drivers, and much more, have unionized and are currently in an active strike.

The worker rats’ demands include safer working conditions, further inclusion of automation (including permitting experimental rat-made devices), and better food as well as mid-work snacking privileges.

We have reached out to the leader of the theatre rat union, known as Cog.
‘We have been due better conditions for some time,’ Cog told our reporter, ‘Less and less progress, more and more broken tails. Us rats are passionate creatures, and us theatre rats have passion for the art!’
Currently, around hundred and fifty theatres are slowly stagnating, with further twenty completely out of order due to the nature of their productions.
‘We want to get back to work - we do!’ Cog continued, ‘However demands are demands. Some of our rats would run off to their own rat theatres, if people only gave a cat’s a__e about it.’ He followed the statement with a hearty laugh.

The rat strike has also been joined by some human and clay supporters, all stagehands; some actors, including D____ and G________, as well as other venerable artists, are also vocally in support of the strike.

We have reached out to the management of several theatres, though none have official statements as of yet. Fortunately, through several of our contacts, we have reliable information that some theatres, including the Antimacassar, are hard at work putting measures to replace the rattus faber workforce into place.

Furthermore, though nearly not at all hindered by the strike, Mahogany Hall has expressed interest not only in the strike, but in the services of the rats. While unconfirmed, there are rumours of collaboration between the rats and Mahogany Hall to introduce new and exciting shows with the help of rats.

While this situation is deserving of a sigh from the usual theatre-goer, we are certain that these efforts will bring not only better conditions to rats and other stagehands, but, as a result, better plays, shows, and experiences to the very audience.

Negotiations are expected to continue further into the week.


---------------------------------- Ask Mother Goose ----------------------------------

Dear Mother Goose,
There’s a cat on the moon.
S

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Dear S,
How lovely. May I pet it, do you think?

--
R. J. Frogvarian
An Extraordinary Mind, Correspondent, and author of mysterious, if a bit scandalous, qualities.
Open to interactions, roleplay, chess, and the occasional scanadlosity.

Rebeka Frogvarian
Gone NORTH.

Publisher of The Goosey Gazette, the best stop for all things arty and Neathy!
+1 link
Frogvarian
Frogvarian
Posts: 140

11/30/2020
-------------------------------------- Editorial --------------------------------------

Do you think it might be time to slow down?

There is much strife in the world. Much hunger in the people. Look at the false-starse above and ponder the speed of modern life. The speed of your own life. Hurtling towards infinity, burning your own self as fuel, nothingness the final goal. Bits and pieces chipped away at this great pace.

Examine your surroundings. Your directions. Your decisions. Pace yourself well; ponder the best trajectories. The journey is hard, the reward sweeter than forgiveness. Or perhaps it is forgiveness.

It would do no one good to burn up before the inevitable end.


------------------------------------ Art of London ------------------------------------

Spiders in the Basement
Part V
by Rubbered Ginny

I fled from the room after what could have been seconds or hours, trying to both run as fast as I could and avoid that cursed drain. I have a big, purple bruise along the side of my torso to account for how well that went in a room that tiny. I flew up the stairs at a speed I wouldn't have believed I could reach, grabbed my jacket off the hook and flew through the front door, not even bothering to lock it behind me; I just slammed the door and made a run straight for my bike. My keys were still in my jacket pocket, but my wallet with my license in it wasn't, so I was very lucky no police were out to witness me speeding through the town streets in the middle of the night. I ended up parking outside the home of my closest friend, and waiting there until morning.

When he saw me at his door, pale like the moon and probably looking quite deranged, he immediately took me in. I was composed enough not to tell him what I saw, exactly. Instead, I just told him that I did see something, claiming that I thought it was a hallucination.
He was concerned but understanding, and immediately told me to go seek professional help. I lied to him and said that I would. We went back to my home with his car during daylight hours to pick up my most essential belongings, but when he saw my face outside the house, he went in on his own. I was half certain that he wouldn't ever come out again, but five minutes that felt like five years later, he came back with my phone, wallet, and a small bundle of replacement clothes. I haven't been back since.

Even now, three days later, I don't actually think what I experienced was a hallucination. It felt far too real, far too visceral, and more importantly, ever since that night... I've been seeing a lot of spiders. All of them looking right at me. Big, nasty, lumpy things, leaving behind a foul odour after I smash them with a rolled up newspaper. I've killed at least thirty already, but they keep showing up. I don't know what to do. I can't stay here for much longer, and I have nowhere else to turn to. I've half a mind to empty my savings and flee the country, but with every spider I crush, there's also a creeping, growing desire to figure out how to build a flamethrower and return to my home to either reclaim it, or die trying. That thing is already after me, and I don't think I can outrun it. Might as well look it in the face.


Neathy Arcana
by The Ranine Illustrator





See more of their art.


------------------------------- News of Art, Art of News -------------------------------

Burrow-Infra-Mump - A Church In The Neath

The Great Hellbound Railway has laid tracks in unexpected ventures. The next station is at Burrow-Infra-Mump, a location notable for an old church on a hilltop. By all accounts, the GHR board has turned to religion, as the church has reopened.

Most unfortunately for any previous plans for the place, the Violet Treaty states that the territory between London and Hell is to be a neutral religious territory (at the very least, neutral from the likes of Anglican and Hellish dioceses). A synod had been called to discuss this matter. Unfortunately, our reporters were unable to get into the Spite cathedral. When the Bishop of Southwark was reached for comment, he only said ‘B____y h_____s should stay out, shoosh!’ before slamming the door. A question for clarification as to whether he said ‘heathens’ or ‘hedons’ was, sadly, met with further threatening silence.

Post-synod interviewing, at least, had revealed that a certain religious sect known as the Church in the Wild has taken custody of the Burrow church.
“The Church in the Wild aims to reconcile the Anglican faith with the new (or very old) traditions and practices of the Neath. Ours is an encompassing, expansionist doctrine: love thy neighbour as thyself.” Said the Delightful Reverend, the current head of this Church.

The cathedral at Burrow-Infra-Bump has undertaken renovations, and is now accepting followers and parishioners of their as well as other fates. The church is only a short walk uphill from the GHR station. While the church itself is still yet to undergo an inspection by the Bishop of Southwark to determine its further fate and allegiance, it is still a worthwhile stop for any travellers seeking spiritual enlightenment in the hinterlands. All the better, for those religiously inclined, as tracks get closer and closer to Hell.


---------------------------------- Ask Mother Goose ----------------------------------

Dear Mother Goose,
Ah, mistakes may have been made.
So.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Dear So.,
Two strikes, I fear.

--
R. J. Frogvarian
An Extraordinary Mind, Correspondent, and author of mysterious, if a bit scandalous, qualities.
Open to interactions, roleplay, chess, and the occasional scanadlosity.

Rebeka Frogvarian
Gone NORTH.

Publisher of The Goosey Gazette, the best stop for all things arty and Neathy!
0 link
Frogvarian
Frogvarian
Posts: 140

12/6/2020
-------------------------------------- Editorial --------------------------------------

I have dabbled in most, if not all, forms of art. From language to paint to sounds to blood. I have reshaped the very nature of being with nothing but scraps of cloth. I have moved lords to tears with alchemy. I do not claim to be a master of it all - I have merely learned from the true masters.

There is more art in the world than one might realize. It is in the ground beneath our feet, in the false-stars above our heads. In the depths of the Unterzee. On the surface, and down in the depths below the Neath itself. It is deep within our very souls.

It is the artist’s job to uncover art. To extract its essence from the world, to present it to yearning eyes. In this way, too, art is comparable to science. Whereas science serves to uncover the deepest secrets of the universe, art simply presents those secrets - no fanfare, although no explanation, either. Is it unthinkable that the two may collaborate? Oh what wonders the two sides of the coin may reach, what secrets may they learn, if only they could ever be made to face each other.

Sadly, for now, this separation in twine shall only make more coins, more sides, more arguments, more and more of the same that holds us back. One day, perhaps, one day we will come to an understanding.


------------------------------------ Art of London ------------------------------------

Neathy Arcana
by The Ranine Illustrator






See more of their art.


------------------------------- News of Art, Art of News -------------------------------

Mechanical Bird Takes Up Acting - A Convergence Of Forces

In recent weeks, the rattus faber working as stagehands and engineers in the various London theatres have unionized, halting many productions. In a recent development of the strike, the rats have found allies within a certain group.

The All-Bird Theatre Troupe has struck a deal with the rat union leader, and a small faction of rats has started working with the troupe. The first fruit of this companionship is not yet a public exhibit, however a subject of many rumours and conversations. From certified sources as well as our own first-hand experience we can confirm that these rumours are indeed true.

The birds and the rats have worked together to construct a first-ever mechanical actor. It is a machine made of brass, lined with fabric, powered by a pilot rat inside it. So far only a prototype, this mechanical actor is capable of very limited flight (or rather, gliding), though it is able to produce a plethora of sounds and even speak with the help of a physical modifier to the pilot’s own voice.

Most unfortunately, we do not know any plans that the All-Bird Theatre Troupe might have for their new invention. However, knowing the quality of their productions, we are sure that this push in technology will be nothing short of breaking the metaphorical ground.

More on this story as it develops.


---------------------------------- Ask Mother Goose ----------------------------------

Dear Mother Goose,
Please do not let me fall.
Ru.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Dear Ru.,
I’ll attempt to catch you. Pray my arms do not break.

--
R. J. Frogvarian
An Extraordinary Mind, Correspondent, and author of mysterious, if a bit scandalous, qualities.
Open to interactions, roleplay, chess, and the occasional scanadlosity.

Rebeka Frogvarian
Gone NORTH.

Publisher of The Goosey Gazette, the best stop for all things arty and Neathy!
0 link
Frogvarian
Frogvarian
Posts: 140

12/14/2020
-------------------------------------- Editorial --------------------------------------

Recognition is a sweet thing. Recognition - and, further, appreciation - of knowledge many times so. It is my delight to be recognized precisely for the knowledge I have worked so hard to attain. For this occasion, what is a scholar to do but write?

Together with our press operators, I have worked over the past months to develop a method for safer printing of sigils and certain works. Most unfortunately, in the current situation it would be most untoward to expose more of our distributors to such dangers again.

On the conjugation of Law, a dissertation elaborating on my well-known theory, will thusly be distributed by the known and well-aligned channels.


------------------------------------ Art of London ------------------------------------

Clawing Forward
by Edward Five




Neathy Arcana
by The Ranine Illustrator







See more of their art.


------------------------------- News of Art, Art of News -------------------------------

London Shimmers With False-Snow Once Again

That time of year has come once again. Lacre - the false snow - covers the streets of our fair city. So covered they reflect the humble light of the streetlamps and bring a cheerful brightness to the darkness of the Neath. This cheer, so infectious, clings like frost to all citizens. Dames and men alike smile as they pass through, arm in arm, unafraid to have their joy seen. Urchins racing along the rooftops, criers competing to bring business to their respective establishments.

It is, of course, advised to ingest or to have prolonged contact with lacre. Any sights of beings made of lacre are to be promptly forgotten about. Upon being questioned by a red-robed Master, it is best to give up one’s possessions - preferably a valuable one.

In case you come into unwanted possession of lacre, please bring them to our offices at Doubt Street. Any givers shall be handsomely rewarded, starting at a hundred pounds a piece.


---------------------------------- Ask Mother Goose ----------------------------------

Dear Mother Goose,
At this point, it does very little to even apologize. And there was so much more to discuss!
Dreaming

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Dear Dreaming,
Next week, perhaps. Where there are thoughts, there is a need to process.

--
R. J. Frogvarian
An Extraordinary Mind, Correspondent, and author of mysterious, if a bit scandalous, qualities.
Open to interactions, roleplay, chess, and the occasional scanadlosity.

Rebeka Frogvarian
Gone NORTH.

Publisher of The Goosey Gazette, the best stop for all things arty and Neathy!
0 link
Frogvarian
Frogvarian
Posts: 140

12/20/2020
-------------------------------------- Editorial --------------------------------------

There is power in numbers. Not always literal, no. So often perceived, given meaning by the minds that favour such fancies.

There is, of course, power to numbers if used well. Mathematics is a field unlike any other; through careful study it reveals the base truths of our universe, digit by digit, theorem by theorem. A scholar, a chemist, an engineer, they can all draw on the power of numbers to achieve great things. Indeed, without mathematics, humans would be merely talkative primates with a penchant for war.

Most unfortunately, numbers in and of themselves hold no special powers (not all of them, certainly). Such does not stop humans to dream power into them. There is a magic to numbers, after all, and such magic needs to be exemplified. In superstition, faerie tales, simple celebration.

It is not my aim to dissuade anyone from seeing this magic in numbers. I simply wish to ponder the past and the present, to view it through the lense of superstition, stories, and numbers. Numbers in ledgers, atop pages, counted on fingers. Numbers ticking up, weekly.

The power of numbers may be only perceived, yet they can bring a smile to my lips nonetheless.


------------------------------------ Art of London ------------------------------------

Neathy Arcana
by The Ranine Illustrator





See more of their art.


------------------------------- News of Art, Art of News -------------------------------

Next London Chess Championship Nears - Will The Boatman Attend?

As time ticks closer and closer to the next great London Open, chess masters waste no time practicing and studying the game. The list of confirmed competitors is already well-known, with no shortage of greatness.

One contentious entry is that of the Boatman. The Boatman (whose real name was merely inaudibly whispered and signature illegible) has signed onto the tournament after several masters had talked about it. The official entry was given to one of the organizers formally invited to the shallows.

The Boatman is a well-known player to some, reportedly on the level of a grandmaster. There are not many professional chess players who don’t at least once try their skills against the enigmatic figure. All the same, the announcement of the Boatman attending the London Open was met with apprehension and divided the community at large.

There are those, of course, who believe that allowing the Boatman to play is only right, given he is a player of high standing. The opposition, however, argues that the Boatman lacks rating that would traditionally be required to attend such an event. The officials of the London Chess Congregation claim that the Boatman indeed does have a rating, though they have so far not elaborated on the statement.

Another issue has also reared its head.
“We are afraid that there are no better - if even possible - ways to face off against the Boatman.” E. M_____, the spokesperson of the LCC committee, told our reporter. “In the face of this dilemma, we are afraid any players matching with Mr. Boatman would be required to visit the boat, along with an official judge. The Congregation’s morgue is, naturally, open to accommodate this need.”

The organizers of London Open seem rather adamant about their decision. However, even with the support of grandmasters, the pressure from outside is concerning. Will the Boatman attend the Open after all? Either way, there might be news from beyond the grave coming rather soon.


---------------------------------- Ask Mother Goose ----------------------------------

Dear Mother Goose,
Bah, so much deadness. Deadness all around. One would think there are no living left.
Hab

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Dear Hab,
Such is the curse of the mad. Or those slowly going mad. Or those destined to become mad. Not all can bear such curses, after all.

--
R. J. Frogvarian
An Extraordinary Mind, Correspondent, and author of mysterious, if a bit scandalous, qualities.
Open to interactions, roleplay, chess, and the occasional scanadlosity.

Rebeka Frogvarian
Gone NORTH.

Publisher of The Goosey Gazette, the best stop for all things arty and Neathy!
0 link
Frogvarian
Frogvarian
Posts: 140

24 days ago
-------------------------------------- Editorial --------------------------------------

I must admit, there is something serenely infectious than holiday cheer. A small weakness of mine, perhaps. The carols, the decor, even the great red beast that visits and takes. They simply carry a spell with them, one I cannot - and do not try to - resist.

I could serenade the season, I could sing praises to the feelings, I could regale you with Dickensian prose the likes of which would have you wish Christmas was here all year. However, what more is there to be said? What is to be preached to the choir singing the very same praises? What should be?

It is a calmer matter for me. A time of well-deserved rest. A time to sit and drink of mulled mushroom wine and find myself lost in books and thoughts. The world is overjoyed as it is. The cheer is infecting me, not the other way around. It is enough, then, to sit, and to feel the joy around.

For there, perhaps, is still much to be joyful about.


------------------------------------ Art of London ------------------------------------

Neathy Arcana
by The Ranine Illustrator





See more of their art.


------------------------------- News of Art, Art of News -------------------------------

Snow Covers Spite And Veilgarden - Yes, Snow!

In these the winter months, it is a most common sight to wake up to a sheet of white covering one’s front door, perhaps even blocking it to one’s utmost dismay. On the morning of 24th, however, a most novel experience awaited those who had found themselves in the streets of Spite or Veilgarden.

Instead of the usual white lacre, a substance not unlike snow were it not for the acidity, the air was much more chill. Much lighter. Yes, the lacre on the pavement, on the rooftops, on the lampposts, it was not lacre at all - but rather snow! Real, genuine snow!

It only took a few minutes for all gathered citizens to realize this fact, and afterwards, bliss was all around. Children and adults alike waded through ankle-deep snow; they cheered and sang and laughed as they built snowmen and started snowball fights. It was, it was clear to all, a Christmas miracle.

The source of this miracle did not take long to reveal itself. So far unnoticed by the delighted citizenry, carts stood on two squares, one in Spite, one in Veilgarden. Kind, grandmotherly women were selling hot chocolate and sweetened mushroom biscuits. The pink and violant sign above the cart-stalls read E_____’s Exquisite Snowbound Confections.

The shopkeeps kindly (of course) related to our reporters that Mr. E_____, the owner of E_____ Confectionary, has indeed imported snow and chocolate in great amounts to bring cheer and happiness to the citizens of London. The details of this act have, most unfortunately, eluded us, much like Mr. E_____ himself. That, however, does little to stop us from enjoying the generous gift.

The snow is still there, as are the stalls, as are the kind shopkeeps. ‘Tis the season to be jolly, dear London, so don’t be a stranger this holiday season.


---------------------------------- Ask Mother Goose ----------------------------------

Dear Mother Goose,
Ah, ah, what do they take me for? I would much prefer power, yes. Or perhaps nonexistence. Not mine, you see. It would make the world much better.
S. B.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Dear S. B.,
Practice makes perfect. Where there is will, there is a way. Ah, to regale you with sayings does little, and nonetheless I nod along to your tune. You are right, after all, and it is of no use to ponder the darker varieties. May your armour shine in the face of darkness.

--
R. J. Frogvarian
An Extraordinary Mind, Correspondent, and author of mysterious, if a bit scandalous, qualities.
Open to interactions, roleplay, chess, and the occasional scanadlosity.

Rebeka Frogvarian
Gone NORTH.

Publisher of The Goosey Gazette, the best stop for all things arty and Neathy!
0 link
Frogvarian
Frogvarian
Posts: 140

17 days ago
-------------------------------------- Editorial --------------------------------------

Gods, I am afraid, have disappointed me before.

Painfully truthful divinations, painlessly sweet lies that rot the soul. Curses that permeate existence.

One must imagine that divinity is a harsh ordeal. Power corrupts, as is known - what, then, when power is one’s birthright? Are gods capable of corruption? Or perhaps born corrupt?

Pontifications are much too human. Human in perspective, morals, expression - one could go on. Gods, you see, care not for humanity, just as humans care not for ants. Would you, even if you created them? Even after your children stab you in the heart and pluck out your soul?

No, gods care not for humanity, for it is the very thing they lack. For millennia we perverted their ways - from truth to lies, from brutality to kindness, from the divine to the humane. We have been left to our own devices, and in turn, have become too human. Too independent.

No, gods no longer understand us. They fear us. There is no respect for a creator who regrets their work.


------------------------------------ Art of London ------------------------------------

Neathy Arcana
by The Ranine Illustrator





See more of their art.


------------------------------- News of Art, Art of News -------------------------------

Wind Carries Words Of A New Beginning

An awful thing has come to an end. That is a merciful lie, of course - nothing comes to an end forever, until everything does. Though we may continue to suffer, the world still moves and we still live. There is nothing humanity cannot overcome, as long as there is at least one human left to fight.

So we say goodbye to the old, and welcome the new. We have suffered, we have survived, and we have learned much from our survival. We emerge better, stronger, more prepared to face what is yet to come.

At times, existence itself is noteworthy enough. It doesn’t pay to overgorge the soul with disaster; perhaps the same goes for glee. At times, you just need to take a deep breath, and think on existence itself.

In this week’s news, then, dearest reader - the new year is here, and you are still alive. We are immensely proud of you.


---------------------------------- Ask Mother Goose ----------------------------------

Dear Mother Goose,
Ah, ah, have I gone mad? Mad with sloth? Cursed? Deranged? Ah, my poor reputation.
Late

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Dear Late,
Do not fret, for there is still time. And after, more time. And after, still more- ah, I am not making things any better, am I?

--
R. J. Frogvarian
An Extraordinary Mind, Correspondent, and author of mysterious, if a bit scandalous, qualities.
Open to interactions, roleplay, chess, and the occasional scanadlosity.

Rebeka Frogvarian
Gone NORTH.

Publisher of The Goosey Gazette, the best stop for all things arty and Neathy!
0 link
Frogvarian
Frogvarian
Posts: 140

10 days ago
-------------------------------------- Editorial --------------------------------------

My dearest, Rebeka,

It feels like an eternity since you have gone. Not a day passes without a thought of you. Perhaps there is much to remind me of you. Perhaps goodbyes are harder than I had anticipated. Perhaps, perhaps…
I have acquired a new ship, after the last one had crashed. You would have liked it. The Unterzee is even more tranquil underneath the waves. I am ashamed to admit I have rarely sought the tranquility in the past year. Not for the lack of want. Perhaps for the abundance of it.

I have thought often about ending it all. I am, fortunately, not cowardly enough to break a promise. After all, our love was built on promises. On trust. That was all we had back then; bound by curses and contracts, we had nothing but each other’s trust. I still wonder whose trust I had broken by letting go of you. By not working hard enough, fast enough, to be free of those chains that once bound me to a futile goal.

Your father came down below. We had a few words. There is little even I can do to persuade someone so bent on destruction. I cannot say I do not see the value of his values.

I wish it did more to dwell on reality. Dreams cannot replace that which has been lost. I only wish you have found the peace you so relentlessly sought.

Yours forever,
R.


------------------------------------ Art of London ------------------------------------

Neathy Arcana
by The Ranine Illustrator





See more of their art.

The Tomb Colonist's Revenge
by Tris Ghost




------------------------------- News of Art, Art of News -------------------------------

Games Of War And Romance Conquer Humble Salons

A new niche of game has erupted amongst the humble artists, as well as other citizens, of our fair city. It concerns old and known war games, matches of strategy, wit, and determination, yet with a unique twist. Bored with only racking their brains, perhaps needing an outlet for non-professional creativity and whimsy, artists have begun joining stories to their exploits on the board. Be it stories for their pawns, grand tales leading up to the fights, or perhaps dramatic envisionings of the occuring battles - we are quite taken by this new trend.

It is, we must admit, a niche; one we do not see going too far into the world. Nevertheless, it is delightful to experience. A burst of creativity, from creation of characters and plots from nothing to the deep and varied emotions one gets to feel during such an impromptu performance. At the inclusion of non-performers, some groups have even begun including mediators who are to monitor the ongoings, making sure things do not get much too out of hand.

A few individuals yet have made the game at hand simply a backdrop to their fervent entertainment. A group that this reporter has a pleasure to be a part of has held many an impromptu stage performance, some even with continuing stories from previous weeks. The game, then, much like a mediator, is there to help the performers in decisions, keeping the story locked (though not too tightly) in its tracks.

And so, dear readers, if such a concept tickles your fancy, we cannot recommend enough that you reach out to your social circle for, perhaps, a quick try of this marvellous concept.

Merry playing, London.


---------------------------------- Ask Mother Goose ----------------------------------

Dear Mother Goose,
Bah, all this for nothing. Or something? Perhaps it will all be worth it one day. Some day.
I.T.F.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Dear I.T.F.,
Worth, I fear, is all sorts of relative. Is living not reward itself? Not enough, perhaps? Ends match the pursuits, after all. Aim higher, or aim not at all.

--
R. J. Frogvarian
An Extraordinary Mind, Correspondent, and author of mysterious, if a bit scandalous, qualities.
Open to interactions, roleplay, chess, and the occasional scanadlosity.

Rebeka Frogvarian
Gone NORTH.

Publisher of The Goosey Gazette, the best stop for all things arty and Neathy!
0 link
Frogvarian
Frogvarian
Posts: 140

3 days ago
-------------------------------------- Editorial --------------------------------------

It has been my utmost pleasure to run this Gazette for as long as I have. The art of journalism is one close to my heart, from the early days of my residence in the Neath, and even before. In their essence, a journalist is a servant to the people. They are duty bound to uncover the good and the bad, and to enlighten the populace through their efforts. Like messengers and heralds before them, they are not the cornerstones of society, yet still important cogs in its ever evolving machinery.

Journalists, still, hold power nowadays. The art of lying is, perhaps, more ubiquitous and of more import to some. It saddens me to see the power we hold abused in such a way. Now more than ever, I am keen to uphold the standards of my servitude to you, London.

There is another year ahead of us. There is still art to discover, create, share. Hold your head high and your heart higher. Those who believe in what is right will fight for the truth. Artists - we fight every waking moment. Keep your eyes open and your words sharp. There is much to fight for.

It is my immense honour to fight with you for another year.

Sincerely,
R.


------------------------------------ Art of London ------------------------------------

Neathy Arcana
by The Ranine Illustrator





See more of their art.


------------------------------- News of Art, Art of News -------------------------------

Doubt Street Bustles As Journalism Booms

We are no strangers to the passion of the written word. An obvious statement, indeed, yet one with certain implications. For one, as it is our trade, we are acutely aware of others who share this passion. Due to our chosen business and the position of our offices, we are also acutely aware of the developments in the world of print.

It has thusly been a delight to see Doubt Street, the residence of London’s printing presses and journalistic offices, positively boom with activity. It is not the most uncommon sight to see new papers and journals pop in and out of existence; this, however, was something entirely else. Day by day more and more journalists, newspaper barons, small business owners, and freelance authors flooded into Doubt Street, keen to leave their mark on the minds and hearts of London.

To our further delight, many of them have stuck around! There is, of course, a reason for everything.

Through the combined efforts of many brilliant minds, printing has been progressing at a stellar pace. We are certain that you, our dear readers, have noticed the improvement in quality of the print over the past several months (that is, in those editions we were able to get into standard print). This progress has also made printing easier and more accessible to many of those who want their voice to be heard. The sheer volume, however, has somewhat saturated the market, bringing the revenue down - of course, we have never been in it for the money, and so are blissfully continuing our efforts amidst a sort of revolution.

We continue to be delighted by the new possibilities and developments, and we welcome all our new lateral colleagues with open arms. If you, too, are delighted by these developments in print, and are wondering how to venture into or progress in the cutthroat world of the printed word, we are now offering business consulting for individuals and companies alike. In case of interest, refer to the information on the back page.


---------------------------------- Ask Mother Goose ----------------------------------

Dear Mother Goose,
To grander futures and humbler beginnings.
N.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Dear N.,
To nourishment and growth.

--
R. J. Frogvarian
An Extraordinary Mind, Correspondent, and author of mysterious, if a bit scandalous, qualities.
Open to interactions, roleplay, chess, and the occasional scanadlosity.

Rebeka Frogvarian
Gone NORTH.

Publisher of The Goosey Gazette, the best stop for all things arty and Neathy!
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