Trade Wars, Episode V:
The Portal Imp Guild Strikes Back
Portal imps are essential to the function of the Sidhe Empire on account of being the only ones who can reliably navigate the portal network between the empire’s worlds. Naturally, they’re a huge part of the transport industry. As the story of this sim-wide opens, shipments just suddenly stop. Any attempt to contact the Portal Imp Guild are met with endless transfers of department. Even low-ranking guild members can’t get a straight answer at first. But then word gets to them that there’s a strike going on, and most of those imps end up being part of the strike.
What has caused this state of affairs? Some imps strike for the want of full citizenship. Others say it is a coupe within the senior management of the guild itself. Still others hint at a puppet-master in the shadows who is playing a longer game and the Portal Imps are simply their first gambit. Conspiracy theories abound.
Whatever the truth, for the citizens of NeoLondon, this strike means shortages of goods that begin as an inconvenience but soon escalate to life threatening.
We kick this sim-wide off on Saturday, 20 November 2021 at 4 PM, SL-time. Meet in the marketplace.
Want to play an imp?
Grendel’s Children has a FREE portal imp avatar. We’ve used it for years as the standard portal imp avatar. Comes with wings and a tail and a free AO.
The NeoLondon Times has learned that Captain Gwyddien ap Glyndwr of the Tuatha de Danaan will visit NeoLondon to honor the anniversary of his sister’s death in the Battle of Green Well, which occurred during the Strand Wars. His sister was Arianrhod ap Glyndwr and wife to our own Lord Bowley. Lady Bowley is interred in the crypt in the graveyard of the Cathedral of Air and Darkness.
Captain Glyndwr has a storied history in the royal court as a fierce warrior and a talented skinwalker. His most well-known victory was at the Battle of the Trees, one of the key conflicts of the Sidhe civil war. There he fought against the sons of Don, enchanting the elementary trees and sedges to rise up as warriors against Don’s forces. The alder led the attack, while the aspen fell in battle, and heaven and earth trembled before the great oaks, who were memorialized as a valiant door keeper against the enemy. To this day, he wears their bones as his mantle.
Captain Glyndwr has not visited NeoVictoria for many years. However, his retinue has already transformed Bowley castle to support his stay. We expect the Captain to arrive, via airship, on Tuesday morning. His public schedule may be found below.
Tuesday, 22 September: The Captain Arrives
Start: 11 AM, SL-time
Cathedral of Air and Darkness
Wednesday, 23 September: Attending the Grave
Start: 10 AM, SL-Time
Cemetery, Cathedral of Air and Darkness
Friday, 25 September: Party at the Castle
Start: 4 PM, SL-time
The Captain hosts a party at Bowley castle.
Saturday, 26 September: The Charmed Hunt
Start: Noon, SL-time
The Captain organizes a hunt near the Solstice fairgrounds.
All citizens are invited to attend these public events!
The Decimation of Greenwell
[From the archives of the NeoLondon Times]
1 January 840 AD
Planet Greenwell, Strand Republic
Today, the Queen’s forces made great strides toward victory when they defeated all opposing forces on the planet Greenwell and rendered the planet uninhabitable. Now, void of life, it stands as a monument and warning to those who would oppose our beloved Empire.
One soldier (who wished to remain anonymous) provided us the details. “The battle was goin poorly …very poorly …we were bein pushed back by them bloody fuckin golems. Then we got word that the Soul Casters from the Medical Corp was gonna take the field. Well, you know things are rightly fucked when your bloody healers take the battlefield. We were given these charms … talisman they were called … and told ta keep ‘em with us at all times! The next thing we knew, the fucking grass shot up like iron spears, striking the golems straight up their arses to their noses! The ground started shaking, fire and brimstone erupted …it was bloody chaos. Then the blasted sky turned black! How the fuck does that happen!? So many screams from the machines, but not one of us was touched! Those talisman worked! Remind me not to piss off those damn bloody soul casters …bloody hell!”
The success of the Talisman Project notwithstanding, there were still heavy casualties to our Majesty’s army. Nearly 500,000 soldiers lost their lives in a series of battles which lasted ten days. The medical corps lost 75% of their soul casters, almost 10,000 dead. Most lost their lives activating and controlling the rune-staves that brought such glorious destruction to the enemy. At the writing of this article, many of the remaining soulcasters remain in critical condition, but are expected to survive. We are pleased to report that Lieutenant Colonel Katherine Foxtrotter, who conceived and led the Talisman Project, has survived and received a field promotion to full Colonel for her part in the ritual.
Death of Lady Bowley
[From the archives of the NeoLondon Times]
15 January 840 AD
Planet Greenwell, Strand Republic
It is with great regret we report the death of Captain Arianrhod ap Glyndwr of the Tuatha de Danaan, wife to Lord Joseph Bowley, the Governor of planet NeoVictoria. Captain Glyndwr Bowley died as a result of wounds sustained during the Battle of Greenwell.
Captain Glyndwr Bowley was the only casualty of her sub-unit of 120 soldiers, which she led to victory through the ten-day siege of the planet. The details of her death are somewhat obscured. What we do know is she was without her talisman when the soul casters released the full-force of their rune-craft against The Strand golems. Some have reported that she refused to wear the talisman, while others report that she gave hers to one of her human soldiers who had lost theirs in the battle.
Here is what we do know. While she was attended by soul casters, they were unable to secure her spirit to a soul cage, so she is lost to us forever. Lord Bowley has announced a crypt will be constructed in the graveyard of the Cathedral of Air and Darkness and his wife’s remains will be interred there. We will announce that date, as soon as it is known.
Our sincerest sympathies go to the Bowley and Glyndwr families for this most grievous loss.
A pale jewel drifting through the void, this is the planet Tarlec. A still-glowing ember of the once great Imaja Empire. This reclusive race of self-made, practically immortal, animal-headed humanoids shaped in the likeness of Egyptian deities, were once feared and worshiped as gods across a multitude of worlds for more than a hundred millennia. Now they are a reclusive order of scientists and scholars, observing the ruins of their once vast domain from distant towers within the timeless capitol of Asherat. Forgotten by most, having outlived their subjects and enemies alike, they live in reflection and regret.
Tarlec was settled by the Imaja roughly 60,000 years ago, in the middle of their Imperial Era. The planet had no native inhabitants, being at the time an entirely lifeless world. Imaja technology terra-formed enough so that life could survive. It was chosen to serve as a monastery for the Imaja; designated as a place to purify self and soul of the corrupting influences of the opulent lifestyle they enjoyed elsewhere. The Imaja Empire fell around 2000 B.C., following a cataclysmic war with an unnamed enemy (their name quite literally cannot be found in any records), all of the other Imaja worlds were destroyed, including Irtyu (their home-world), leaving Tarlec as their only remaining planet.
Tarlec is a small, Mars-sized planet that orbits a red dwarf star, shrouded in veils of interstellar dust, far out on the frontier of the Sidhe Empire. Covered in a yellow-orange coating of sand and silt, interrupted occasionally by vast mountain ranges of dense gray stone, it is an inhospitable place. It has no open bodies of water, no glaciers at its poles, and nothing green grows there. Its days are hot and its nights are terribly cold.
The few ancient cities that can be found are nestled amidst the mountains or lie within craters, usually covered by force-domes to keep out the dust stirred by the frequent, massive sandstorms which rage across the plains. The cities are inhabited almost exclusively by the Imaja. As their sole remaining world, it houses their vast libraries, as well as the deeply buried necropolises which preserve their dead in eternal sleep. All of their crops and livestock are grown within greenhouses contained in the cities. The largest city on the planet is its capitol, Asherat. From there, the planet and its people are ruled by the theocratic council of nine Hierarchs, near-godlike beings who see themselves as the living embodiment of heavenly order and perfection.
There are some settlements populated by other species; they are buried deep in valleys dotted with caves that lead down to strata where groundwater can be tapped and at some crops grown. These include humans, djinn, naga, and the rare, hardy thereanthrope. It is through these communities that most of the trading is done with other worlds, and those traders, in turn, sell items of interest to the Imaja. Sometimes direct trade with the Order is possible, but only through carefully negotiated terms, as they generally do not communicate directly with outsiders.
Tarlec is difficult to reach by ship, the routes leading there being full of navigational hazards, and its system is still patrolled by ancient automated sentinels which will attack unauthorized ships. Portals can be arranged for safer and more direct travel, but only with the approval of the Imaja or one of their chosen ambassadors.
Their planet’s remote location and formidable defenses make it a costly and impractical target for the Sidhe Empire, so an uneasy truce has been in place for the past century since the sidhe became aware of it.
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