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  1. #41
    Waghalter (Lvl 7)

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    A Conversation about the Daunton Opera

    By Telia Mosethirl

    Everyone's talking about the Daunton Opera. The excellence and high spectacle of its productions have produced a buzz like nothing else in recent years. Unfortunately for local music aficionados, the leaders of this remarkable institution are notoriously close-mouthed about its operations, and the current Director, Gerhard von Putenbein, is no exception: it is almost unknown for a reporter to get a peek at the goings-on behind the Operaís lavish scenes. Recently, The Screamer had a rare opportunity to talk with a veteran of Dauntonís classiest musical concern. Ten years ago, when he made his stage debut with the Far Winds Theatre, Scarmiglione was hailed as an amazing new talent; last year, critic Ernest Threadwick described him in these pages as ďthe greatest opera singer that youíve never heard of.Ē Scarmiglione is a performer of uncanny versatility who, amazingly, has never had a leading role. Why? Apparently, because heís a kenku. The Screamer caught up with Scarmiglione one afternoon in Amaretteís Lounge.

    The Screamer: Ernest Threadwick, the music critic, says that nobodyís ever written a part that you canít sing.

    Scarmiglione: Iím sure thatís very kind of him.

    TS: Is he wrong? Soprano, bass, male, female, childrenó

    S: Well, thatís actually nothing very remarkable. You might say it comes with the heritage.

    TS: Being a kenku?

    S: Exactly. I donít mean to imply that all of us can sing, of course. In fact, most of us are simply ghastly at it! But the versatility comes naturally.

    TS: It seems like a wonderful advantage.

    S: [snorts] Hardly!

    TS: But the Opera must consider you such a terrific assetóyouíve been performing for ten years?óand played such an incredible variety ofó

    S: óOf tiny, inconsequential parts. Great heavens, I devote my lifeómy soulómy everything to the Opera and not once does it even occur to that monstrous simpleton that debases the entire Daunton musical community by his presence as an opera director to put the companyís finest singer in a part of any significance!

    TS: Does he have something against you personally?

    S: Clearly! We did ďThe Queen and the SwineherdĒ last year. I could have made a wonderful Hansorf. And whom did our illustrious Director of Musical Brutalization choose for the part? Barbariccia. Barbariccia, who practically croaks whenever he has to hit the lower notes of his Lament in Act One. And what was the excuse for this fiasco? I begged for the part. Iím ashamed to say I would have cleaned the floors of his scullery on my knees to get it. ďBut Hansorf is a romantic lead,Ē says our esteemed Director of Dissonance. ďHe has to kiss the Queen! You donít have lips!Ē

    TS: I can see how that is a problemó

    S: Who cares whether I kiss her? Itís about emotion. The emotion is in the music. Why are humans so obsessed with pressing one anotherís freakish pulpy mouth flaps together anyway?

    TS: Um... [pauses] I would think that there are leading roles that would suit, even for a Director whoís such a stickler for physical details.

    S: He always finds something. I canít be the Beast of Anar because he must stamp his foot to make the thunderclaps, and my feet, apparently, are unsatisfactory. ďLike chicken feet,Ē he declares. I doubt the man has ever seen a live chicken. The insults I have endured from that lummox! He despises meóit is as simple as that, and he has no more reason than that I am a kenku.

    TS: So thereís no chance of seeing you as a lead in the future? I donít mean to suggest anything sinister, but Director Putenbein is getting on in years...

    S: No chance at all, since Iíve left the company.

    TS: Really!

    S: Just today, yes. If my only hope for getting the appreciation I deserve lies in waiting for our celebrated Perpetrator of Musical Misdeeds to choke on his digestive gruel and perish face-down in a basin of tepid mush, youíll forgive me if I try to improve my prospects elsewhere.

    TS: Have you signed on with another opera company?

    S: WellóI hadnít made any firm plans, to own the truth. My departure wasórather sudden. In fact, I left only about twenty minutes ago...

    TS: What provoked you to leave? Was there a new part that you were passed over for?

    S: Actually, no. To my knowledge, it hasnít been firmly decided what the next production will be. Itís the way the decision is being made that incenses me.

    TS: Oh?

    S: [rolls eyes] Youíve heard of Throckmorton Whortleberry, I imagine?

    TS: [laughs] I should think everyone knows the name of the wealthiest gem merchant in Daunton.

    S: Yes, well. Simply astonishing, the silly trifles one can be famous for these days... Heís quite the Daunton Opera enthusiast. Heís donated very considerable sums to the arts for the last fifteen years or so. And heís recently mentioned the possibility of funding the addition of a new wing to the concert halló

    TS: The hall is being expanded? Itís about time!

    S: Yes, quite so. And all that our estimable benefactor asks in return is that he have some say in what weóexcuse me, theyóproduce.

    TS: You mean he wants some sort of creative control?

    S: [sighs] Itís worse than you think. While I cannot deny that Iíve had my differences with Director Putenbein, I will concede that the arrogant, prating fool has at least a modicum of taste. But this... merchant has a son, his eldest, apparently, and surely no such pea-brained, flop-eared lackwit ever fancied himself a composer. I have spent the best part of an hour listening to the most unconscionably vile croonings ever produced by a talentless, thick-tongued imbecile, and with the tacit understanding that this abominable mockery is being seriously considered as material for the Operaís fall season! It is intolerable! I certainly wasnít going to stay to hear the end of it, if indeed such a blessed moment were ever to come.

    TS: Thatís incredible. I had no idea that the Operaís repertoire might occasion such a scandal!

    S: Oh, so itís cheap gossip that interests you, is it?

    TS: [laughs] I canít deny that cheap gossip interests me. But verifiable gossip absolutely fascinates me.

    S: [laughs] Ever wondered why one of the viewing boxes is always empty?

    TS: Iíve noticed it in passing. One of the ones at the front is always empty. But not the same one.

    S: Itís because theyíre both reserved by the same man. And Sir Moynifried canít watch the opera from two boxes at once, obviously.

    TS: Sir Moynifried the Purehearted? But why would he want two boxes at the opera?

    S: The Purehearted, yes. [snickers] You canít guess?

    TS: I have no idea.

    S: [laughs] Because the pure-hearted Sir Moynifried has two wives. Who have nothing to do with each otherówho haven't a clue. And both the wives enjoy the opera, it seems.

    TS: Are you serious? Sir Moynifried? The slayer of the Dragon of Asparth? Doesn't he have a statue in the Halls of the Virtuous?

    S: Oh, no doubt about it. He dresses very differently when heís with Wife Number Two, of courseó

    TS: Ióthatís amazing! I canít believe it!

    S: Of course I canít actually prove it, but I shouldnít think it would be too difficult to find out, if one is determinedó

    TS: Oh, I will definitely follow that up. What a scoop for the Screamer!

    S: You work for the Screamer?

    TS: [laughs]

    S: Why are you laughing?

    TS: Are you serious? I told you I worked for the Screamer.

    S: You most certainly did not.

    TS: I told you I wanted to interview you for a local paper!

    S: Youíre a reporter?

    TS: What did you expect when I asked you for an interview?

    S: I thought it was just an excuse to talk to me! Women do that kind of thing all theó

    TS: You thought I was flirting with you?

    S: Werenít you?

    TS: Youíre a kenku!

  2. #42
    Serial Killer on the Loose in Daunton: City Watch Hires Ruffians to Investigate

    Reporters with the Screamer just discovered that City Watch officiers withheld information that was crucial to the safety and well-being of Dauntonian citizens - a series of gruesome murders occurred all over the city over the past few days; from outside the nefarious Hanged Man Tavern to the posh estates of Hill Lane to the not-so-secret high-rolling gambling den beneath the Chipped Flask to a random merchant ship in the harbor!

    The Watch hasn't released the names of the victims, but our investigators place the total somewhere near forty - all gruesomely dismembered in an inhuman fashion, according to a reliable eye witness.

    A near riot broke out across Daunton late last night after rumors of the killings spread through the city. It started with armed groups of "citizen's guard" roaming the streets to "defend the city against the murders" and ended in a spree of looting, a small fire that burned five houses and a warehouse before it was brought under control, and several armed clashes with the city watch.

    We managed to get a quick word with Lieutenant Marien Raiv of the City Watch this morning and she released the following statement:

    "The City Watch withheld the information to prevent just the sort of riotous behavior we witnessed last night. Not only was the City Watch investing significant manpower in the case, we also hired a group of trained, reliable, professional, and highly skilled outside investigators to help bring the case to a conclusion."

    "Thanks in part to their leads, the City Watch assaulted the hideouts of the secretive devil-worshiping cult that was responsible for the murders, killing several dozen of the psychopathic killers to the loss of only a few militia. You have my word and the word of the City Watch that the murders are at an end. The streets of Daunton are again safe... well, as safe as they ever were. Wait, I didn't mean... that last bit was off the record, can you leave it off? You will? Thank you."

    While the murder spree caused by the cultists may be over, a Screamer reporter spotted said "professional outside investigators" - a group that includes an elemental, an old woman, and a pacifist in their midst - entering the Chipped Flask just before this copy went into circulation.

    Not only did this group reportedly assault some residents of a house near the Hanged Man Tavern, causing significant property damage, they also started a fight with unknown personages down by the docks, reportedly killing several. And why is the group still at the Chipped Flask if the case is closed?

    Our crack investigators will continue to bring you the latest as we uncover it.

    Last edited by Iron Sky; Friday, 21st January, 2011 at 05:09 AM.

  3. #43
    Spawn of Khyber/LEB Judge
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    Missing Boy Found; Sewers a Menace

    Marton and Clarissa Dobblestop of 134 Elder Lane in the Commons wish to report the successful return of their boy Bryan, who had been reported missing by the Screamer previously. He was returned, scared but unharmed, by a cadre of adventurers who told a harrowing tale of disease, filth, and madness in the sewers of the Smear.

    I'm so very relieved, reported the weary Mrs. Dobblestop. From the look and smell of them, they must have been swimming in the muck below us. One of themóthe froggish looking thingóeven seemed to have some odd boils growing out of him, uh her... it. Of course, that could be normal. You never know with these strange types.

    The family dog, Courage, is still at large.

    ==== Later in the same issue, buried in the back ====

    Screamer Denies Involvement in Recent Disappearance

    Rumors of a boy's recent disappearance attributed to stores of "high adventure in the sewers" published in this paper are categorically false. Any such claims will be pursued by the Screamer's legal team of Hart & Wolfram, Esqs.

  4. #44
    Cutpurse (Lvl 5)

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    Local Apothecary Convicted of Smuggling, Conspiracy

    Siveris Smythe, the former proprietor of Siv's Salves, a highly-reputed apothecary in downtown Daunton, was arraigned and hastily convicted by the High Magistrate's court today on charges of smuggling a controlled substance and conspiracy against the Founding Families. The arrest follows a raid on the young gnome's establishment while he was away at war on the Island of Baskrant, based on anonymous tips that Mr. Smythe was illegally importing the fungus known as fleshbane from sources in Bacarte. The fungus is highly-toxic, potent, and widely-feared, as only a single drop of its extract can rapidly dissolve an entire human body.

    During the raid Daunton constables also happened upon Mr. Smythe's private diaries in which he had apparently been making plans to use the illicit substance at the Founding Families' annual ball in the month of Merkari later this year, where he planned to spike the punch with fleshbane extract. He was apparently targeting the Lady Glasston, matron of Daunton's most powerful family, though his reasons are not clear at this time. No one was able to extract a coherent statement from the young gnome in court, as he immediately began throwing things and shouting insults and threats when released from his bonds by the constabulary. He spent the remainder of the hearings bound and gagged.

    Myrna Magnavoce of the Dauntonian Civil Liberties Society remarked that it is unusual for a defendant to be tried and summarily convicted within one afternoon, stating that her office plans to launch an investigation into whether Mr. Smythe was given the benefit of due process. Inside sources tell The Screamer however that Lady Glasston privately suspects Smythe's involvement with the disappearance of her grandson Pyron last month. Our source speculates that it may have been Glasston money that greased the wheels, so to speak, on the legal conveyor belt that quickly deposited Mr. Smythe behind bars.

    OOC: Anyone in need of a Dauntonian villain, please feel free to use Siveris Smythe. I am retiring him as a public character. His sheet can be found here.
    Last edited by pacdidj; Thursday, 26th May, 2011 at 08:34 PM.

  5. #45
    Lama (Lvl 13)

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    Passenger Ship Jenivere Lost At Sea!

    A local passenger ship, the Jenivere, has gone missing! The ship was charted to sail into the Isle of Opposition sometime last night, but according to local officials, she never arrived. Well, The Screamer is determined to get to the bottom of this mystery! We've got two interviews with eye witnesses who saw the ship and its passengers before the fated departure. Ol' Winer, a respected local personage, had this to say:

    "Yesh, I seen 'im. Turrible masked beashty he were. I were layin' out here in th'alley, mindin' me own bottle o' grog like a good'un, an' he done walked righ' in the Hang'd M'n and tempted out all 'em poor souls. 'E's a serven' o' Lauto, tha' masked 'un ish!"

    Down at the Daunton docks, things were all hustle and bustle, but an edge of fear and the Otherworldly hung in the air. Only dock workers Sten and Jak were brave enough to talk to The Screamer about what they had witnessed!

    "Yeah, I heard about the Jenivere not making it to port. It's a cryin' shame. Captain Kovack was a good man. I tell ya, though, with the number of beauties on board that deck, I wouldn't be surprised if it had been Joven himself behind the disappearance, stealing off some new brides."

    "Yeah, that white-haired one, Nora, she was the prettiest woman I ever saw!"

    "Fool Jak, that big dragonborn'd kill you if he heard you talk like that."

    "Ah, but he'll be washin' up dead on the shore any day now, along with the rest of the men, if your theory's true. Well, at least that ugly, little gnome bit it. He was a right pain."

    And there you have it folks, the latest news on this mysterious tragedy. What happened that fateful day? Did a servant of Lauto collect a quota of new souls, or did Joven pick out another mortal bride? we'll be reporting the details as we continue to uncover the truth!

  6. #46

    All citizens of Daunton and surrounds are welcome to the Kolloseaum Battle-ship. Why wait for someone to invade your city when can watch all the greatest battles of history re-enacted in their full bloody glory for a few silvers - all from the comfort of the stands with a mug of ale in your fist?

    Not only can you watch the action, you can get it on it yourself! From fighting in the games themselves to supporting your favorite sides in the more crowd-involvement friendly events we cover all your entertainment needs!

    After the games, stop by one of the Kolloseaums six great taverns, two dance-halls, four-star Connoiseaum Restaraunt, three gambling dens, or five brothels to keep the excitement going all night long!

    Ferry rides to-and-from the ship and tickets to watch your first arena event are free! Stop on by before the nonstop partying, entertainment, and exciting bloodsport sails on to the next port!

  7. #47
    Lama (Lvl 13)

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    Daunton seized by Joven's Wedding!

    Following the disappearance of the passenger ship Jenivere, rumors have abounded that joven has selected a new mortal bride. Many now prepare to hold festivities in honor of the supposedly secret nuptials. Here at the Screamer, we have done our homework, and interviewed the townspeople!

    "Oi heard Joven fought off dozens of red dragons to get 'is girl. You could see the fire i' the skies each night, 'cepting you mistook it for sunset." said one celebrant.

    "Yeah, Joven done found the portals at the Isle of Opposition and stole away the Kingdom of Jade's most pertyful girl. I seen her meself, she were a sight, with hair white as snow and a colder shoulder!" said another.

    As always, Ol' Winer, a respected local elder, had the right of it. "Oh, yes, Joven done taken anudder un! He done spread the joy aroun', too, you know three pe'pl done left me coppers t'day! Here, drink to Joven's weddin'! better than that that mas't 'un what killed them kids awhile back."

  8. #48
    Murders in Fulcrum!

    This is an important notice to any planning travel to the Isle of Opposition, a travel advisory has been issued from the Mayor's office. A recent string of murders there have so far confounded the local constabulary. At least six people are dead from all walks of life, which has many citizens of the town staying off the streets at night.

    As a reminder, there are no such murders happening in the Bacarte, which is only a quick jaunt away through the famous portal in the Hanged Man. Explore a world where equality reins supreme regardless of race or temperament.Brought to you by the Merchants of Bacarte

  9. #49
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    Lerrick lives, but at what cost!

    The black dragon Bosch comes for
    revenge. Our sources say that the
    dragon has assembled an army and
    comes this way. What happened to enrage
    the beast? What does he intend to do?

    Stay tune citizens of Daunton. Be prepared
    to evacuate if and when the time comes.

  10. #50
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    By the authority of Mayor Brunt, The Dauntonian Customs Authority, whose warehouse has become filled to capacity, will be auctioning off unclaimed items promptly at six bells after noon one week hence.

    Among the lots to be auctioned is a collection of items that once belonged to legendary Dauntonian, Arga the Black. This once in a lifetime chance to own pieces of Daunton's history is certain attract bidders from all over the Transitive Isles.

    Interested parties should register with the Dauntonian Customs Authority as seats will be limited.

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