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20th of December 1898


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.

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.


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