Prince Born Amidst Chaos

                Prince George was born last Wednesday morning as the heir to the throne of the British Isles, The Kingdoms.  Both Queen Winifred and the young prince are doing well.  This is the third time the seventeen year old Queen has given birth, but the first two did not survive.  Unlike the other two times, a modern doctor was allowed to assist the queen with this birth.  The clergy vehemently objected to the doctor’s presence, believing that it was God’s will that the first two children died. 

                The prince has been born during a particularly dangerous time in the island nation.  King Alfred’s nephew, Bernard, long in exile, has returned and declared himself to be the rightful king.  With his band of hired mercenaries, mostly Danes, Celts and Jutes from Bifrost, Bernard has managed to infiltrate deeply into the northern half of the country. 

                King Alfred has tried to leverage the power of the INSL to help put an end to the invasion.  “Bernard is a puppet,” stated Duke Hadwyn, King Alfred’s emissary during his formal complaint to the INSL.  “The Danes are merely using him as an opportunity to go Viking.  And now they are burning villages, slaughtering the men, raping the women, and enslaving the children.  Thousands perish as the INSL is shackled by ineptitude and bureaucracy.”

                Despite Duke Hadwyn’s powerful speech, the INSL has still not authorized action against Bernard and his mercenary army.  The reason for this lies with the Franks, who spoke against the measure.  They stated that Bernard had a clear right to the throne.  They argued that the British were engaged in a civil war, and were therefore outside of the INSL mandate. 

                Cynics might also point out that the Franks have opened their ports to Bernard’s armies in order to serve as a staging ground to strike deeper into Alfred’s territory.   Gaining vast wealth from the mercenaries, as well as political favor from Bernard, the Franks have as much to lose by ending the war as Alfred has to gain.

                 Even with the influx of money, the Frank’s most powerful weapon against the British might just be the birth of the new prince.  Francois Savil, an advisor to the Frankish King, recently denounced young Prince George, calling him “Lucifer’s child,” because his parents allowed a modern doctor to attend his birth.  “This is another clear example of how King Alfred has abandoned God.  The wicked ways of the Technophiles will corrupt his mind and soul as completely as Judas was corrupted by silver.”

                Whatever occurs, the young Prince’s life is sure to continue to cause ripples throughout the world.

Adventurer Makes Fortune from Text Book

              Androv Tomovik was a typical student enrolled in the Ada-Kar Institute of Magick.  Smart, young, and eager to prove himself, yet tired of study and academia.  He was eager to make his mark on the world.  He hoped to learn enough about the magical arts to join the Adventurer’s Guild and become a treasured member of an adventuring party.  The only problem was that he rapidly grew tired of the study.

              It is a common problem!  Drop-out rates of young magic users, particularly Alchemists, is among the highest in any academic branch.  The learning curve is very sharp and courses are often created to weed out those who don’t have what it takes.

              Androv was about to quit, more due to a lack of funds than a lack of drive.  As a Newbie coming to Valhalla, Androv had very little money.  In fact the only thing he really had was an interest in the Occult.  This interest flowered once he learned that real magic was a daily event in Valhalla.  Eventually he decided to study Alchemy, while working full time as a warehouse guard.  Even with student loans, however, money was running short.

              While working the graveyard shift, he reviewed the long list of components that he would need for the coming semester.  That was when the idea came to him.  If he was able to gather the many strange items needed for his course himself, he would be able to avoid the huge sums needed for his education.  Thinking more deeply he determined that he could actually sell these goods to his fellow students and make money on the side.

              Over the next semester, the idea never left his thoughts.  After the semester was over he took some time off and joined the Adventurer’s Guild.  He waited and was patient until he found just the adventuring group to join.  It was a group going deep into Xa’cor dy Yelpheet.  Armed with a few textbooks, a chest full of alchemic concoctions, and a rapier, Androv laid his life on the line in hopes of good fortune.

              His gamble paid off.  The adventure was successful, but his plans were even more successful.  The components that he gathered, everything from specific roots, herbs or rocks to giant’s blood, managed to generate almost as much money as the crew gathered from the main adventure.  In fact he did so well that the crew decided to go out again.  They slew fantastic beasts for their pelts and picked wild daisies by the light of the morning star.

              Now, four years later, Androv says that he is done with adventuring.  A close call with a manticore made him opt for early retirement.  With a full purse, a long list of adventure stories, and a solid understanding of how magic is used in practice and theory, he is going back to school. 

               “I am rich enough to retire if I wanted to,” he proudly boasts.  “My company is the major supplier of magical goods throughout Ada-Kar and the Imperial Nations.  Instead I will go back to school to complete my studies.  I choose to dedicate my life to the Art of Alchemy.”