Blood from marrow, it feeds the sinew and the nerves. Intricate systems like complex clockwork, not parts of a whole but a whole, themselves, together. Each vital, necessary. They cannot exist independent of each other; they cannot function without each other.
What makes something paramount? It is the intricacy; the gentle, marvelous commingling of parts. A vital necessity of togetherness. A perfect whole rather than a sum of parts.
The glue that holds the whole together is, perhaps, more difficult to pin down. Is it an inherent gravitas, a power that permeates all aspects of being? Like the Earth below, pushing and pulling and guiding through the reckless ether of life? Is it ambition and strife, the want of life and the thirst for success? Like a beast acting on instincts, fighting with everything it has?
Certainly, whatever the cause, the undeniable factor is exquisite ability. To tie the loose ends together, to gather the minutest of details and utilize them to one’s advantage. To not simply know, but to use knowledge to its greatest potential. This ability, one must concede, can be simply attained; though the secrets of greatness are not available freely, the locks guarding them fall apart at the simplest scrutiny.
It is not in my nature to boast. I shall not resent judgement, though I want you to know I wish for all to break from the mundanity of their own perceived inadequacy. There is much to be learned, shall one be willing to listen.
It began, as many revolutions began, with dissidence. Then sedition, then insurrection, then at last one mass violent upheaval of rebellion. The people took to the rooftops and the alleyways and the undergrounds. There were knives in the dark, bullet casings in the street, incendiary pamphlets raining from the skies. And there were bombs. Tin-can bombs improvised by urchins. Grenades introduced years before their time by infernal precognition. Irrigo bombs fashioned from eyeless skulls. Fire bombs that burnt out secret police stations. Gas bombs fired into crowds by Defense Constables. Bombs that exploded into words that got inside your head, exploded into clouds of poisonous butterflies, exploded into aerosolized emotions of surrender.
And there were bombs that turned off the lights.
The Liberation of Night! That was the name and the rallying cry. That old ideology from cold and distant shores, found root in London’s revolutionary underground, based on two simple ideas: light was law, and the stars were tyrants. Anyone could support the Liberation; all you needed to start was a brick and a lamp to chuck it at. But if you wanted to support it even more…there were ways.
The donation of certain items: banned books containing illegal theories, linen that absorbed light, human remains sizzling with unearthly energies, beetles and brass and comfortable clothing for operating in very cold conditions. The raiding of repositories and the silencing of authorities who poked their noses where they weren’t welcome. And eventually, help with testing. Take this back to your cell and use it on your next mission. Tell us: how many lights turned off? Which sources stayed on? What effects did the Neathbow have? How did the soulless react? How many died?
There were more than just Liberation, of course. Some revolutionaries rallied against the injustice of immortality for the wealthy few, not for all. Others fought against the trampling of worker’s rights, the subversion of government by foreign powers, for new untested forms of self-governance. Some fought for defense of their home. Others fought for nothing at all.
Where there were bombs, there were revolutionaries. And there were many revolutionaries, in the run-up to the final uprising. There were revolutionaries when one Master fell from public view and a new Master rose; when a new false-star appeared in the heavens and new lights popped up in the West. Revolutionaries during Whitsun and the Parabolan War. Revolutionaries during the Hinterlands Crisis; the Century Ban; the Parisian Mirage. With every new injustice, another heart awoken to act. First there was dissidence. The Iron & Misery Strike was broken quickly, but the Caminus Yard Shutdown held out for over a month. The photo of a Clay Man shielding his fellow picketer from a Neddy’s truncheon filled countless front pages in revolutionary magazines. The Ealing-to-Moloch People’s Protest was reported to have over 15,000 marchers in attendance. Calendars for 1900 rained over London the day after the Century Ban was announced.
Then sedition. A dozen new cells came into existence the night the Phoenix Scandal broke out. Rioters blockaded the Bazaar Sidestreets in the wake of the Parisian Mirage. Mutinous zailors whispered of shattered mirrors and corsair’s oaths. Hinterlands regulators stopped their patrols around Ancona’s Haven, for fear of Tracklayer ambush. A current of the Wax Wind was let loose upon Mr Cards’ First Marvellous Masquerade Ball.
Then insurrection. The firebombing of Concord Square made front page news even across the Zee. Ladybones Road was temporarily sealed off after a detonated Ironic Device repealed the laws of economics. September’s trial was interrupted after Judge Wickes was taken captive by the Free London Army. The Magistracy’s holding cells overflowed with enemies of the state.The Ministry of Public Decency declared martial law.
Then open rebellion. Once more, the flags of Free Spitalfields hung from the rookeries as they had in ‘97. Revolutionaries and soldiers fought across the streets and alleyways. The prisoners of New Newgate Prison overthrew their jailors. The Constables broke down into civil war. Foreign allies from Khan’s Shadow and Raajasi Varchas traded gunfire with golden frigates of the Grand Geode and ducal fire ships from Mount Palmerston off London’s shore.
And then, in one big blast, the culmination of both decades and centuries of preparation: Liberation.
As the next step in the journey towards Hell, the Great Hellbound Railway has opened the doors on the Hurlers station. The icy wastes of Hurlers are cold enough to make one wonder whether Hell had finally frozen over. Even in the chill of the Neath, such temperatures strike as unnatural. Combating the heat is a (generously provided) ginormous stove installed within the railway station, powered by candles, hellish laws, and starry words.
Besides the railway station, one might also find a jewel boutique, a quaint little shop sanctioned by one Mr Stones, a branch of former Lord Mayor Virginia’s spa – not to be confused with a mere crater filled with hot water (the spa crater is, of course, properly marked) – and herds of goat demons.
Goat demons that, might we add, are entirely friendly and entirely everywhere. They are rather pleasant to chat to, favour games of chance if one is bored, and are all willing to take a pleasant (that is, if you consider the smell of wet fur and ammonia pleasant) soak in the aforementioned spa pool with the adventurous traveller. Lest we forget to add, the presence of goat demons within the pool is, of course, up to the goat demons, and thus to be always expected. The religious sorts are not to be fearful or appalled – the goats are at their best behaviour.
Apart from the aforementioned vistas, there is nothing more of note in the vicinity of the Hurlers station. When out on a stroll in this new horizon, make sure to dress warm!
That Behind The Veil – A Tragedy Behind Closed Eyelids / An Oneiric Spectacle Of Viric And Honey
The thin membrane between dreams and the waking world has a strange relationship between the sides it divides. Such is doubly (or perhaps only) true in the Neath. Parabola, the land of dreams bordering Hell, has for one or another reason pushed against this divide more and more in the recent months.
It is not uncommon for one to visit this realm through the use of prisoner’s honey. Were one fortunate enough, it is a simple matter to employ the services of an oneiropomp to guide their dreams in a desired fashion. Now, a new novelty in the world of oneiric – and, indeed, thespian – arts has emerged.
That Behind The Veil, the newest innovation in theatre. An production from the Oneiric Company, an independent project of various actors and writers from all over London. The play concerns the tragic life of a late banker, the mysteries that led to his death, and the price we must all pay. It is a vista of a life, from an end to the beginning.
Much more than that, That Behind The Veil is an experimental immersive experience. The mixture of specifics is up to the audience – one can wear the eyes of the main character, one of the many supporting characters, or perhaps be an invisible onlooker. Indeed, the attraction of this play is also in its delivery, as the entirety of it is played within one’s dream.
To be more exact, it is still a play, full of audiences and actors, where the stage is simply the land of dreams. Through a safe combination of viric gems and droplets of prisoner’s honey, all are swept away, together.
We are rather amazed by this breakthrough, although it has always been coming. What is art, after all, if not a communal hallucination?
We dare not reveal more than we should. Tickets to this highly pleasant and recommendable play are now at sale at Mahogany Hall, with performances every other weekday night, precisely at midnight.
Ask Mother Goose
Dear Mother Goose, These blue skies, afterglows of successes, at least the parts we let shine through the clouds – don’t you wish we could see it all?
My dear, Every cloud has a silver lining, unseen without the sun’s rays shining through. Oh see how silver compares to azure. Think not of what could be, but of what will. Wish not for blue, wish for but a sliver of silver to weave the tapestry of life.
The triviality of it all easily gets in the way. Perhaps it is the feeling of helplessness, inadequacy. The nagging exhaustion in an endless sea of restlessness.
Many paths have been laid out in front of me, many threads are beginning to connect. There is no room for pickiness – only a mad scramble to tie it all together, in a way that does not hurt, in a way that brings benefit rather than loss. All I can do is try. Work towards a tapestry of beauty, woven with grace and blood.
I do not mean to berate what is. After all, my own choices have led me here. Any shortcomings are merely shadows of what has been, to be swept away by the light of what will be. As the tapestry unfolds and the threads of fate converge, the work is nearing completion. Only then can one truly appreciate their own design. Soon, and not enough, not enough.
I feel rejuvenated now, writing these words. There is beauty in old paths, one we might often forget. Endeavours we are familiar with become a sort of respite from the constant change and struggle of moving forward. One cannot become better retreading old ground, but the path becomes clearer upon looking back.
Let us rejoice, then, in the old and the new, the forgotten and that yet to become forgotten. Let us learn from our past, lest it swallows our present.
The crew: Reckless Captain Repentant Devil Captain’s “Aunt” Unfortunate Navigator Cinders, Albrecht, Petronella – the Rat Brigade and Eleven Unlucky Skyfarers
—————————- — DAY 1. CLOCKWORK SUN — —————————-
Liquid gold pours penetrate stained glass. Machinery hums. The sound of something swooshing the air. Furiously. Insanely. The Sun? THE SUN.
Albrecht taps the window with his sharp claw:
– Oi! The cap’n is bak.
The captain is indeed back.
– Did that thing ve prepaired for ya vorked vell enof?
I am distracted, I check my pocketwatches.
“The bomb is readied, the Storm-That-Speaks will be pleased.”
– We will learn about that soon. Navigator, we are leaving.
Navigator nods and makes her way to the bridge.
– Aunty, could you get us some tea? – I say, then pull out the crew journal and cross out one name.
– Jessy? What happened to him? – Asks the Navigator.
– THE SUN… It… stared at him.
Stockers feed the fire genius. Steam hisses, the engine pushes itself forward. Rails are left behind, the Sky unravels.
I get to the bridge.
– Navigator, plan the route to Wit & Vinegar Lumber Company at London.
Then in a few hours I check the pocket clock, then stare at Cinders.
– Twelve or twenty?
– What do you mean, boss? – She exhales milky smoke, then shakes the cigar.
– Did you set the clock mechanism on twelve or on twenty?
– On twelve. – Lit ashes fall on the couch, right next to her.
– But I aksed to put it on twenty!
– You asked twelve.
Cinders reaches her leg to shake off the fiery left-overs. Then says:
– What do you mean No?! Do you think I already forg…
THE SUN. It rages. Something blasts off at the outer ring. The metal squeals. A whirligig out of energy, the ring slows, then stops…
The light becomes dense, for a moment I feel drowning, not in water, in something more dense. We are a bunch of flies floating in honey. Navigator’s face twitches, he glances at me with the corner of his eyes.
The burning ash froze in the thick air. It does not fall, only changes color, crimson, then, black.
The ring stopped… for a mere moment, before gaining supersonic momentum.
THE SUN becomes blurry. A fire in a diverging lense. And there, behind the hazed flame – a burning eye without eyelids. It stares at me. IT. STARES. AT. ME.
I struggle. Trying to hold on what’s left of my will. There isn’t much… The lever is right next to my finger. I know that, but I can’t move my hand.
I lean towards THE SUN, and then fall, pushing the lever with myself.
Protective shields slide out, closing the windows. The yellow flood turns into a thick line. Then the bridge falls black.
I get myself up. Cinders and Navigator glance at me silently.
– What was that, cap’n? – Says Cinders.
Her cigar is on the floor. She doesn’t look down to find it.
– Oh, well THE SUN, ya’know. – I explain. – Anyway. We are still alive! Yes?
– Yes. – Says Navigator.
– Right, plan a course to the Wit & Vinegar Lumber Company. Now. I need to sleep. Really. Really bad.
Nightmares Plague Citizenry – A Warmongering Menace Of Dreams?
Recently, Londoners have been waking before dawn in cold sweat with heavy breaths. Gasping for air and reaching for the stability of reality, they shake and quiver in a post-haunting stress. Perhaps you, dear reader, have yourself experienced this mortifying ordeal. Perhaps you yourself have dreamed the same nightmare as so many of our neighbours.
Many speak of the taste of iron – or perhaps blood? – and of roars, so deep and angry they chill the bones. They recall cannonades and waving banners. Gleaming bayonets and muskets commingling in a deathly ballet. Indeed, nightmares of rot, of battle, of war. Not to be remiss – the dreams are not sudden. Not all find themselves embroiled in these apparent wars as unfortunate observers, caught in the crossfire. Not at all, as some dream of their recruitment. Be it by the purring of a cat, the taste of sweet wine, or the sincere laugh of a gentleman, their dreamed selves find their way to the ranks of otherworldly armies, marching, dining, and fighting alongside reflected battalions.
No one seems to be certain of the cause of these dreams. Perhaps there truly are powers beyond the mirrors and the dreams, campaigning in an endless frey. For wealth, for power, for knowledge, for truth? It is hard to gauge the intents of something so evasive as dreams.
In our investigation we have reached out to lucid experts, oneiric walkers, romantics, zookeepers, and magicians. Though they remain short on specificities, we have for you at least a few certainties:
the dreams, as real as they may be, are nothing to be concerned with or about
were you to see your dreams manifest in a mirror, it is no cause for concern
were you to see your dreams outside of a mirror, it is pertinent to remain calm and contact the nearest mouser
for those interested in further mysteries of the oneiric, contact [REDACTED]
The current Lord Mayor, the Viscountess of the Viric Jungle, has built her mayoral campaign on the promise of war in the realm of Parabola, battling those she calls the Finger Kings. Unfortunately, we have been unable to reach her or her retinue for comments.
We suggest to you, dear reader, to remain calm in these trying times, to attempt to get a full night’s rest, and, above all, to remain safe, awake or dreaming.
Ask Mother Goose
Dear Mother Goose, Rest, unrest, waiting, receiving. The ebb and flow of time – what does it demand of us? Questing
Dear Questing, It demands its passage. It enforces its passage. Relentlessly it draws forward, pulling and pushing us with its endless might. In a way, it demands nothing – for there is nothing you can offer it to change its course or divert its mission.
Change does not come easy to the world. Truly, it is unwise to attempt and impose a change onto the world. That is not to say change should be avoided, or that mass change never happens. Revolution is the breaking of the last straw, the retaliation of those who have waited for change for far to long.
At times, however, change must come slowly. Society is an infant that needs easing into situations in which it had not been before. Those who cry on the corners and proclaim the end of the old will merely go ignored, while those who fight, each and every day, for the small changes around them, they will be the ones to see the fruits of their work in plenty.
I say this not in an attempt to bash revolution, but rather to encourage small acts of it. Despite what some might say, not every person is a hero. Not every person is capable of greatness. Heroes belong to myth, and are mythologized to inspire. It is this inspiration that permeates the masses who then seek change. We are not heroes, for we are the ones who rally behind them. Our fight is slow yet resolute.
Struggling Artists Wanted! New And Improved Inspiration Medicine Now In Testing!
Are you suffering from writer’s block? Has your well of ideas run dry? Do the clouds no longer whisper the shapes they long to take to you? F. F. Gebrandt has a (possible) solution!
A new concoction by the people’s chemist and a former mayoral candidate promises to kickstart one’s grey matter into creativity yet unseen. A proposed mixture of unspecified liquid extracts, emotions, and processed drugs, Gebrandt’s Visionary Elixer is currently undergoing thorough testing.
F. F. Gebrandt is looking for subjects – artists who, perhaps, struggle in their current persuasion and are looking for a refresh of the mind. She promises ethical treatment as well as food and lodgings, as well as a full supply for any instruments one might need for their craft.
Despite the appearances, we at The Goosey Gazette are unaffiliated with F. F. Gebrandt and her efforts. Our message is purely informational, if not outright cautional. We have no guarantee of the Elixer’s efficiency, nor have we (despite our best efforts) seen or experienced its effects. However, we sympathize with those who find themselves in a rut and seek a refuge from whatever dreary whims might be weighing on them. Thus we are presenting this opportunity to you, our dear readers.
Further information as well as contact details for F. F. Gebrandt can be found on the back page. Caveat emptor.
Ask Mother Goose
Dear Mother Goose, A gentle devilless has caught my fancy, and she loves me so! But the pastor says she only wants my soul.. What do I do? Troubled
Dear Troubled, Devils, like us, are creatures of passion. Brimstone and fire course through their veins, and with that fire, they love in ways you and I cannot imagine. Who are we to infer the motives of infernal beings? Though devils seek souls, it need not make their love any less genuine. You, my dear, must only be wary of the abstract. Even though we may question love, it remains to be love nonetheless.
A photographic collage of the Masters of the Bazaar, captured by various parties. Responsible photographers (in alphabetical order): Cernunnas Djane (the Insane) Edward Five Indigo Clardmond Jade Lesa Kuraciel Zolana
News of Art, Art of News
Scams, Fraud, Cons – Artistry From Behind The Bars Of New Newgate
The widely spread ‘profession’ of a con artist is one we find sullies the names of all artists, and perhaps the word artist itself. Nevertheless, who can in earnest say they have never been intrigued by the world of ‘gentlemanly’ crime? A spy for the enemy, a crook with a silver smile, wealthy above all else. For this reason we have conducted a visit to New Newgate, interviewing several such frauds. Today we bring you a look into the life and mind of a criminal artist.
It must be said that they are a joyfully varied bunch. Apart from conpeople there sit forgers, Bazaar-embezzlers, decoys with their partnered pickpockets, and puppeteers. They are, however, split into two clearly defined groups – those that came to the Neath for they thought crime would be easy, and those who came there to profit off of the mistakes of the former.
Crime, as any citizen would know, is a dangerous place full of opportunities as well as opportunism, a land where those with the largest teeth win. One conwoman, preferring to remain unnamed, retells a story of her first Neathy cons. Long ago, she sold ‘poison’ to up-and-coming poisoners. Merely a concoction of stewed and mashed mushrooms and a few drops of prisoner’s honey, diluted with what she referred to only as ‘the special sauce’ – enough to elicit a long yet pleasant false-death to the poisoned, and a sense of self-satisfaction to the poisoner. Although our woman claims to no longer distribute the substance, the recipe appears to still be in circulation, either as sleep medicine or as a convenient way to fake one’s death, depending on your source.
The Silver-Tongued Merchant recalls selling fraudulent permits from the Bazaar for various criminal activities. To this day it is not uncommon to catch a cutthroat carrying a murder license with no legal binding, several faux theft cards, or other such falsified goods. The Merchant also retold an anecdote of selling the entire Bazaar to an enterprising soul believing them to be its owner. When asked whether this led to their eventual imprisonment, they offered no further comments.
The Dreaming Misanthrope was less talkative, although still a quite fascinating criminal to talk to. He had a long and illustrious career in dealing with dreams. Starting on the surface, he simply fulfilled his client’s desires – a man who could accomplish anything, given enough time. The job took on a much more literal meaning once he had arrived to the Neath. The orchestration of events, whether they are or Not, is a skill many yearn to master. However, poking around within people’s dreams seems to have left the Misanthrope, well, deserving of his epithet. At the very least, prison has made him welcome half an hour of conversation.
Having spent an amount of time amongst the caught criminals, it is easy to once again see the charm of their profession. Those aforementioned, preying on other lowlifes rather than the common citizenry, have a certain glint in their eyes. A spark of knowledge, a sense of pride, steel-strong certainty in their abilities. It must be said, their abilities are truly to behold. Other prisoners, be as it may that they have been swindled by them, still look up to these conpeople as teachers and inspiration. They are masters of their craft, after all – perhaps even deserving of the title of an artist.
There is, after all, a semblance of art to their work. However, perhaps it is best to leave this judgement up to the reader.
Ask Mother Goose
Dear Mother Goose, The pressure of responsibility never ceases to amaze in its simplicity and absolute unavoidableness. Yearning
Dear Yearning, ‘Tis an endless cycle we dread to revisit; not out of worry, simply out of boredom and repetition.
E_____’s Exquisite Tea – A Condensed Evening Of Pleasure
E_____’s Exquisite Confections, the mysterious-yet-irresistible seller of sweets, have struck the market with yet another delight.
E_____’s Exquisite Tea, a packet promising satisfaction, relaxation, enlightenment, and above all – whatever the customer desires. A curious rectangle of compressed tea leaves, a blend either premade or made to order, held together by dried condensed milk. Add water up to the desired concentration.
As the regular shopkeeper chatters with guests, sells confections, and takes orders, a man next to a strange machine hums a nostalgic melody to himself as he packs blends of leaves. He glances at the girl watching him, asks an unheard question. She blinks, thinks, leans closer, and whispers to the man. He listens intently, nodding here and there. When the girl is done, he breathes deeply and turns to his various jars of teas. In a patient half hour, he is done. The packet is tied with a bow, handed to the girl. Fervent thanks are given and politely refuted. No apparent charge takes place as she leaves.
Imagine the most perfect tea you have ever tasted. Not your favourite kind, not a tea so well made it brings you to tears – although neither of those excludes others. Imagine the tea your heart requires in this moment of its existence. A tea that warms the very soul. Is it fruity? Green? Darker than Prussian coffee? Despite the ingredients it can be extremely bitter, or teeth-rottingly sweet. It will never be extreme, it will only ever be perfect.
An artist’s craft is to extract emotions. To unpeel the truth, to get to the core of being.
E_____’s Exquisite Tea, now ten pence a packet.
Ask Mother Goose
Dear Mother Goose, It warms one’s soul whenever one might find out that they can still feel. That there are things to learn and experience. P. S.
Dear P. S., Ever and ever, forever and ever, far beyond imagination.
It saddens me that there should be a world where love is frowned upon, forbidden. It bewilders me that love could be considered wrong; that one could be shunned for what some consider wrong love, or for lack of ‘correct’ love. It angers me that there are those who attempt to subdue a stranger’s essence.
Most of all, it makes me pity those who have been blinded by the wrong kind of passion. Hate aimed at the vulnerable is hate misguided. It is blind, hurtful, vying for destruction, not embetterment. Such hate thinks itself the hero, and yet it requests that love faces off against it. No, this hate begets more of itself, and rightfully so. Hate is the answer to hate – the hatred of hatred itself. Intolerance of intolerance. A fire that burns brighter than the fire that wants to subdue it.
It makes me no happier, the need for hatred. Those only yearning to live their lives with the love that is in their heart, they are no soldiers. They are poets, artists, accountants, chefs, smiths, and yet they have to fight a war that was thrust upon them by outside forces. A war simply for life itself. No soldiers find themselves on this battlefield, only those unfortunate enough to have been on the wrong side of the conflict.
I hope in my waking sleep that such a world may never befall us, that such blind hatred may never emerge.
In the matters of the Bazaar, look to love, always.
The Wastes Of Moulin – Open For Business And Those Who Dare
The most recent leg of the Great Hellbound Railway’s journey has taken us to the Moulin Waste. Here lies the remnants of a battlefield from a long ago war between the forces of Hell and London. It is as far as London’s jurisdiction dares to reach, a metaphorical precipice of a territory even more uncharted.
A small hamlet of a mere handful of buildings stands near the GHR station. It is the home to an Archaeological Institute, sponsored by the GHR, as well as the Antiquarian’s shop and, perhaps unsurprisingly, a small bookshop under the purview of Mr. Pages.
Beyond this hamlet is the Waste itself. A desolate place; on first glance a flatland of eternal darkness, though those who venture further will find themselves lost amongst rivers, quicksands, dreams, and contemplations. The Ministry of Public Decency as well as the GHR warn that the Moulin Waste, while technically available to the public, is dangerous and should be either avoided or approached with extreme caution. Neither the Ministry nor the GHR are liable for what happens beyond the erected fence signaling the limit of London’s reach.
Nonetheless, several guides familiar with the Wastes have made themselves available for hire for any adventure-thirsty individuals. A permit or a doctor’s note may be required.
Ever so slightly we approach the final frontier. Hell, the distant land, now seems closer than ever before. Our heads swirl with excitement and ideas of what may come – though we dare not theorize, not yet.
We shall see you on the trains, dear London.
Ask Mother Goose
Dear Mother Goose, Ah, I should, perhaps, take on sooner my duties. Sighing
Dear Sighing, There is time for work, and time for rest. Not always may they overlap.
Love and hate drive the world. They spin its axes, fuel its light, rally its people. Such horrors we commit in the name of love, such good we try to bring to the world though our hearts are filled with hate. Oh how different the world would be without passion – for better or for worse, I dare not judge, yet different nonetheless.
Passion, paradoxically, needs calm nerves to carry out its ends. Little will be achieved through passion lacking thought, or – at least – the required skill. Only a fool cuts with a dull dagger, or worse, dull words. Passion, no, it is not an eruption. It boils one from deep within, it grabs the hold of one’s flesh and bones and very soul. It seeps into one’s thoughts and plans and pains. Once passion becomes existence, it burns bright as any star.
What, then, would be the antonym to passion? Apathy, in its depressed blandness, stands in the way of none. To combat passion, to truly defy it, one needs patience as solid as their opponents; skill as sharpened; [REDACTED] as deep. There is truth in-
[Oh, dear. It appears the next several paragraphs have frozen over. You cannot make out a single letter, save for a few words at the end.]
With all the wonder and ingenious progress that the Great Hellbound Railway brings to London and her people, the westward Hinterlands are undoubtedly a dangerous place. For one, there is no shortage of bandits keen on robbing those that venture this way. The most notorious of these is the fabled Clay Highwayman. Said to be a Clay Man of great stature, riding on a Clay Beast, he is the leader of a fierce band of robbers.
Importantly, with the Hinterlands being a vast and dangerous place, the Clay Highwayman only ever been spotted, never coming close to being caught. Nonetheless, rumour has it that his band has recently taken to larceny without their leader. With the Highwayman’s name on their lips and his colours on their coats, their leader is nowhere to be seen. According to some sources, even the Clay Beast had been spotted, in its usual rider’s place a common thug.
There are many theories as to the Clay Highwayman’s disappearance. Some say he has ventured to Hell itself, to mark his body with fiery words and twisted laws. Some claim he has fallen ill, his body turned to nothing more than plaster. There are those who swear to have seen an imposing figure aboard a steamer, headed for Polythreme – perhaps to rally an army of Clay. Others, still, insist he had passed, or at least disappeared, without as much as a farewell to the world.
Whatever the case may be, it seems that even without his presence, his spirit lives on amongst his troupe.
The GHR would like to assure passengers that travel by trains remains safe, and for the duration of the next month will be offering discounts on insurance against railway robbery.
Ask Mother Goose
Dear Mother Goose, Does it not feel good, to finally return? Yearning
Dear Yearning, I have not been this giddy for centuries! Truly shows what time does to one’s passion.
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.
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.
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.
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.