Canon

A Rather Special Interview


Let us start from the humble beginnings. Canon – what let you to the Neath?

The finer details of my past are a mystery, even to me, but when I take off my irrigo robes off and take the time to dream of sunlight, I can only picture a self-imposed exile born of shame. When you are young, you believe that there are endless possibilities and that all one needed was the willingness to speak their mind and the courage to face the limitless unknown.
Soon, you would find many who share the same beliefs and attitudes, and together would find strength in each other to create a better tomorrow, a tomorrow where the light of reason and freedom never sets. However, as the years went on, you realize that the hierarchy of power never changes, only that the people who compose it do, and that what was once light only lies in darkness.
While there are some on the surface who still see me as a hero, my past actions only bring me grief for all those sacrificed for the empty lie called “liberty” that still haunts the commoners of the Neath to this very day.


Furthermore, what kept you in the Neath?

Originally, to forget, to constantly chase after frivolous pleasures so that one never has to reminiscence about the past. However, as time here is particularly treacherous in the Neath, the past will always catch up to you, so to speak. The same can be said for the Bazaar and the Masters who seek to postpone a reckoning, but I instead have chosen to accept and learn from my mistakes so as to never repeat them again. And unlike before, I plan to win on my terms.


Who do you favour most in ruling the Neath?

No one deserves to rule the Neath, as the Neath has existed far longer than any being here and shall outlast all of us until the day of our respective judgments. Do not take this as support for the Liberation crowd, however, as our current state of tyranny is still leagues better than the madness the Calendar Council wishes to enact upon the universe.

That being said, I favor those who deal in honesty rather than in falsehoods, absolutes, or unkept promises. The Fingerkings can only offer imaginary trinkets, but always demand everything that one possesses (which includes your bodily autonomy); the Masters and the Bazaar promise the world but can never fulfill those bargains well; and the Liberation as a movement do not create, but only destroy.
On the other hand, the determination of Seekers is admirable (if ultimately misguided), the sorrow spiders desire eyes and knowledge (but nothing further), and the Masters are honest about their intentions of running London like a business, whether for good or ill. Every group wants what’s best, but what constitutes as “best” and “for who” can differ even among those with the same loyalties. I suggest you choose carefully.


As a Midnighter, you are a rather important part of the Great Game. What do you think of the game itself?

The Great Game is Life itself, and just like how Life continues after one’s death, so too does the Game. The Game is eternal and encompasses all – the only differences between players are the roles they play and the moves they make. The loyalties they possess and the methods they practice matters little when alliances shift and information is at stake – what was once a bitter foe could be an irreplaceable partner the next day, while machinations planned for years could be overturned by one single betrayal.


Do you engage in more than just the role of rituals?

Those addressed as “Canon” take great care to follow the rituals outlined by St. Joshua by taking confessions, but I am more of an outlier in that I redistribute secrets rather than erase them. Many players of the Game have yet to understand the importance of their roles in the Bazaar’s schemes, and I simply wish to…enlighten them. While some of my colleagues may view this practice as heretical blasphemy, I merely see it as a way to keep the Game moving right on schedule, since games are meant to be played by people, not living tools without greater understanding.


How many have fell under your intrigues?

I do not care to keep count of those I’ve bested or entangled with even if I could remember through the irrigo, as I only look towards the future. All I am willing to say is that the city of London – and perhaps the entirety of the Neath – is my chessboard and all its inhabitants my pieces.


You are one of a few, a Paramount Presence. How does it feel, to sit atop the world?

First, your assumption that I am worthy of praise is incorrect, as I have only gotten as far as I have by following in the footsteps of true legends such as Mr. ____________, master of stories; Ms. _________, who sold her firkin of Hespiridean Cider to own the first Heptagoat in existence; ________, the first to have ventured NORTH.
Second, the world is but a small blip on the vast frontier known as the Far Wilderness, and it is only by conquering the four corners of the universe that one can claim to truly be at the center of things.


What do you see for your own future?

All shall be well, and all shall be well and all manner of thing shall be well.
B̨̻̰̤̬͎̘̹͈͘u̢҉̢̢̛̫̰̗̘̲̘͍̭̞̪̺̣̲͕̮͈͍t̸̛̲̰̝̘͇͈̼̼̹̻̬̕͡ ́͏̧̘̪̙̪̬̰̻͍̕͠ͅf̵̶̟̮͔̙͔̼̭̯͈͎͓̦̰o̷̢̪̳͔̣r̷̢͈̥̝̹̼̖͕̻̤̫̘̙̹̦͡ ͞͠͏͠͏̦̠̫̣͙̙̠̩̖̱̟̤̫͖͈͖͚w̷̡͙̜̫͕̬̘̮̘͖͓̳͇̱̹͕̜͞ḩ̵͙̭͔͓̗̬̩̬͔́̕͜o̴̲̺͕͉͚̹͢͢͝ ̶̹̥͙͔̗̩͈̞̦̕͝a͏̡̛̦̭͈̦̩̤̟̻̭̜̗̫̲ͅn̛͡͠҉̰̮͕͓d͝҉̛̣̦̰̞̠̰̞̗͔͙̭ ̸̫͍̮͚͕̰̯̕f̷͏̗͓̪̖͚̭͕̭͍̖̱͓͙̮͍̻̬̲́o̭̤̺̭̙͉̫͍͍͓̫̰̝̝͚̟̣͎͞ͅr̸̼͖̦̥̯̗͖͠ ̨͉̱̩̱̫͎͎̪̀͜w̰̥̪͖̰̲͚̳͍̙̺̙̫̦͘͝h̶͍̥͇̖̪̯̬͎̪̦̯̫̱͕͘͜͝a̵̡̛҉͚͕̜͔̺̱̮͇͉̫͉̰̱̘͎̰͍̦ͅt̶̵̡͕̭̤̭̟̫͍̱͉̠̤̣͇̪̞̬͜ ̘̻̯̲̘̘̯̦̖̘̥̺͖̖̠͞i̶̷̛̱̪͈̮͍̰̼̜̜͟͠ͅs̸̲̝̭̮̦̰̪̲̮̜͍͙̻̳̘̳̻͜͝ͅ ̺͉̙̙̪̠̯̼̲͚̹̦̻͢͜t̺͕̙̯̫̠̙̗̥̖̙̰͍͔̼̦͜͜h҉̟̼͚̼̘̪̝̝̣͇̯̝̜̞̟̹͝e̩͕̟͚̞̼̦͖̰̫͎͟͞ ̢̧̛͢͏̫͈͕̝͖̪̮̪̱͍̞̳̤͔͈̩t̡̛͙͎̺̬͙͈̻͙ͅŗ̸͓̞̭̪͓̮̣̝̭͙̖͘͡ų͏̰̜̟̖̦͎̥̩̟́e͞҉͓̥̟̰̝̘͈͔̼̬̫̜͝ ̛̯̰̙̙̫͚̝͓̠͚́͞͝q̴̧̨̟̺̯͖͎̤̳͕̲̜͡ͅu̸̢̦̠̪̘̺̹̬̩͔̮̙̥͞ͅe̡͉̙͈̙̫̜̻̦̗͘̕̕s̸̰̳̝̳̝͕͍͜͝t̴̶̡̧̖̺͈̫̬̼̯̟͔i̴̶͔̰̫̖̩̼̫͓͈̖͉͉̹͕̺o҉̸̢̻̟̙͖̥͜͟n̢͈̳̣̹̺͎̜͓̱̮̪͔̮͡ͅ.̴̶͕̦̦̬̙̹̘̠̭͙͢͜


A skilled player of the game yourself, you are used to use. How many of your acquaintances have you used for your own purposes?

How many souls do you think are traded daily in the Neath?


Have you ever fallen in love?

We should not talk of such matters here lest you draw the attention of certain meddlesome batty individuals and their crabby employer. Come, I know of a place deep inside the Forgotten Quarter that even they cannot venture…

To answer your question, yes, I am faithfully in love to my wife, for we are both share a mutual understanding to aid each other as equals in intellect, goals, and ability. Many in this city – and perhaps the universe as well – make the mistake of loving something that cannot be attainable, a love that cannot be reciprocated, and never have I ever witnessed it end well for either party.
On the other hand, love is a choice that we all must make in the end lest we lose it like the Rubberies, and I hope that I’ve made the right choice. It is fitting for a priest entrenched in secrets to form an everlasting union with an intriguing woman of faith, is it not? Should she betray me, then that is simply the results of my turn, and the Game continues on, but I love her all the same, keeps me in shape she does. Love is a part of the Game, and all games at some level must be challenging; therefore, there should be nothing more challenging yet adorable as my wife.

Does that answer your question?


Have you ever confessed to another midnighter?

I’d sooner grab the complete set of preserved internal organs on my mantelpiece (of which were ripped from my body personally by Mr Eaten) and hurl them from the highest rooftops of the Flit than ever consider visiting another Canon for confession.
The last time someone suggested I do that, I ripped off their mask and threatened to expose their folly for all of the Neath to see. If you forget your mistakes, you cannot learn; if you cannot learn, you cannot adapt; if you cannot adapt, then it is only a matter of time until you fall.
Midnighters are needed in the Great Game to help guilty agents absolve their sins with irrigo, but like what Mr Fires once told me, a truly strong person must own up to their mistakes and rise above them.


What have you found at the gate?

If you are expecting a cryptic or overly-convoluted tale of self-reflection, madness, and new horizons, I am sorry to disappoint you. I have only ventured to the Gate two times, and each time I have met with the same bleak scenery: the starry surface of the waters around the angels of Gant, the massive wreckage of ships, yachts, and zubs that have passed through, and the dark eyes of the exiled who still wait for the Empress’s pardon.

On my first visit, a shipmate of mine known as the Jaunty Cannoneer decided to stay at the Avid Horizon to await judgment for a crime she cannot undo, just like myself. Though I wanted to, I could not stay if it meant condemning the rest of my crew to the frost, as we had camped on an unforgiving lifeberg for a week and rations were non-existent, but I swore that I would come back. And I did, with another traveller returning, a folded knock times 7, and the knowledge that this is the beginning of something better.

10th of March 1897


Editorial

Spring is in the air! It would be, now, were this the surface. The days would grow longer, nights shorter, sun would tickle our skin as a lover emerging from under the white sheets. As it is, there is only darkness. Yet it is not to be feared! As the lacre melts fully, the perfumes of the Feast dissipate, as we return to our common lives, intrigues, loves, and heartbreaks, do not be stuck in longing. The surface was then, and this is now. Embrace the Neath, dear readers. Let the Neath embrace you. For all the mess and the Bazaar, it is still our home, and our new home.

Do not let your home be taken away.


Art of London

The boy who fell in love with a Goddess
By R. J. Frogvarian

That night the boy gathered meats, vegetables, and water from a nearby stream. He set a small fire under his pot and started on a stew. In the morning, he grabbed the pot, a small wooden bowl, and some bread and ventured to the clearing once again. Once he arrived the crow’s head shot towards him, its eyes shining with expectancy. The boy set the pot in front of it and dipped his bowl in. He then sat in front of the crow again. Was it smaller again? But the support was still just the right size… Again he shook the thought away.
The crow waited and watched patiently. Once he was seated it dipped its beak into the pot and ate.
“Are you the queen of this forest?” the boy asked, “Or its protector?”
The crow said nothing.
“I hope you don’t mind me living here. I don’t take more than I need, I promise.”
The two ate together in silence, the boy dipping his bowl into the pot from time to time, until there was nothing left. Dusk had settled in, and it was time to go.
“I will be back again. I promise,” the boy said. And it was true.


News of Art, Art of News

“Jack-of-Smiles” art exhibit shakes all Ladybones detectives to the core

While we can never be sure which Jack it was, we can be sure that the rather gruesome display yesterday at the centre of Ladybones road was very provocative and, yes, artistic. The Constabulary is busy with righteous rage and all the private eyes are turning towards uncovering this particular culprit – the case of Jack is hot now more than ever.

We at the Gazette, however, look at this display in a different light. Bloody and cruel, yes, it was still an exhibit of great artistic prowess, not to mention a rather profound understanding of the Correspondence. With the four bodies arranged as four symbols, there were clear spaces for other three letters. We dread not speculate on the implications. However, we are more than happy to point to the artistic importance of this Jack’s display.

Times are changing, London! A new wave of artists is coming – instead of pen and canvas, they use the world around them to shock and bewilder.

We are rather excited to see where this new artform leads the Neath.


Ask Mother Goose

Dear Mother Goose,
How does one enjoy life?
Restless


Dear Restless,
It pays to live fully. Maybe try zailing.

2nd of March 1897


Editorial

We do not always succeed. We do not always get what we want. We do not always end at a place we expect, or would like. In situations like these, it is important to keep your goal in sight. Do not falter, not for even a second.

In times like these the world may seem hopeless, the end much to far away. It is as if you’re grasping at straws, drowning and unable to save yourself. It might be maddening. It might hurt. Preserve.

Do not be afraid to show emotions, dear readers. They are but fuel for your art – and, truly, what is a better fuel for art than feeling? Burn with rage, glow with joy, radiate disgust and let your sorrow kill light. There is no shame in expression. It is what makes us human and it is something none shall ever take from us.

As the Bard said,
We are all actors and the world is but a stage.


Art of London

Letters From the Surface, Part VI
A Foolish Mistake
by Sir Wensleydale of Hardwick

Eventually, Mr Netae returned to London. I went to their home, at the same time my opponent did.
I remembered a moment that they had deceived me, Mr Netae.
He had just arrived in London. I was badly wounded from a fight in the sparring rings of the hill. He offered help.
I accepted, only to be fatally poisoned.

Mr Netae walked out of their home, ready to go to the University. I stopped them. My opponent chuckled. It seemed that they knew each other, as they began arguing.
One of the Special Constables began to make the rounds. I had to end this.
I took my prison shiv, and shanked both of them. The Constable arrived. He accused me of treason against the Masters of the Bazaar, recognizing Mr Netae and associating us two.
I dismissed these claims, but remained on guard.

This is the intermission of the Letters storyline. This story will return later.

Shadowy is increasing…
Dangerous is increasing…
Heartless has increased to 2!
Steadfast is increasing…
Suspicion has increased to 7-A Desperate Fugitive!
An occurrence! Your “Letters from the Surface” quality is now 6!


The boy who fell in love with a Goddess
By R. J. Frogvarian

That night, the boy worked tirelessly. He took his bed apart, the wood and the sheets becoming a much greater support. The next day again he ventured into the clearing. The crow was there, watching the boy with shining eyes. Strangely, he noticed, the bird seemed smaller than the day before. Shaking the thought away, he got to work. He removed the makeshift supports and tended to the wound, applying various ointments and herbal remedies. He affixed the new supports – they fit quite well. Once again, he placed his prey in front of the bird – this time a fox.
He sat in front of the bird, watching it intently.
“Why were you stuck?” the boy asked. “What had happened to you?”
The bird only cawed and pecked at the fox, still watching the boy. As the crow ate, dusk began again, and it was time to leave.
“I will be back again. I promise,” he said. And it was true.


News of Art, Art of News

What can one learn from the art of the Tomb Colonies?

Shame, disgrace, death itself. There is much wonder to be found within (and on) the bandages of the Tomb Colonies. It is a place of sorrow, but also decadence. What could one learn from the art of such a place?

Well, dear readers, I am sure not few artists of the Neath have ventured into the Colonies before, thus you are no doubt familiar with some of its eccentricities.
The fashion, of course, incorporates bandages quite well, combining them with beige, grey, black, and the occasional white garments.
The poetry is full of melancholy never before seen – and, on the other side of that coin, of passion never forgotten.
From there, the variety diminishes. A few plays from those able of body, though they are rarely more than dry. Books, mostly memoirs.

Then, the Colonies prevail again, in the most early of art forms. The paintings of the Colonists are something beyond exquisite. A picture is worth a thousand words, and these paintings show thousand times more. Pain, sadness, yearning, and all with the simplest of paints – and, sometimes, a few droplets of blood.

Do not be afraid to show such emotion, London!


Ask Mother Goose

Dear Mother Goose,
Why does time seem to never pass in this wretched place?
Desperate


Dear Desperate,
That is no way to talk of a home. Whether that home is wanted, or even chosen. A home it is. And its quirks it has. It is not up to us to pass Judgement, and it is not up to us to pass time. Time passes – we simply need to accommodate.

24th of February 1897


Editorial

The boy who fell in love with a Goddess
By R. J. Frogvarian

Once upon a time, in a far away land, there lived a boy at the edge of a forest. He lived in a small, single-room house with a small bed, a pot to cook with, and a book of stories. He fed himself with what he found in the forest, fruits, fungi, furry creatures he hunted, always taking only what was necessary for his survival.
One day, as he ventured into the forest, he heard a cry of great pain. Then again. Again. Cautiously he followed the sound. Very soon he came upon a clearing. In the middle of it was a fallen tree and under it, a great crow twice his size. The crow shrieked and cried and shook, trying to free itself from under the tree. The boy watched with awe. Then, slowly, he approached. The crow’s eyes darted towards the boy. It watched as he walked towards the tree and pushed. He pushed and pushed and pushed, until the great bird was free. It shook once more and let out another shriek. The boy could see its wing was broken, and though the crow was calm, he could see pain in its eyes. He took a few branches from the tree and bound them with vines, making a support for the wing. However, it was getting dark, and the boy could not linger. He placed a rabbit, the result of today’s hunt, in front of the crow.
“I’ll be back tomorrow. I promise,” he said. And it was true.


Art of London

Letters From the Surface, Part V
A Letter for Someone Else
by Sir Wensleydale of Hardwick

One of the orphans ran down the stairs. He said, “A letter.”
The letter was addressed to a one Mr. Netae. I recognized the name. Mr. Netae was one of my acquaintances, who once poisoned me unprovoked. I considered the dilemma carefully.

I walked to a smoky flophouse, the address of my acquaintance. … They had been scandalized! Off to the tomb colonies! Five minutes too late. My adversary began to snigger.

Later that night, I couldn’t remember what had been done for the scandals.

Steadfast is increasing…
Shadowy is increasing…
An occurrence! Your “Irrigo” quality is now 7!
An occurrence! Your “Letters From the Surface” quality is now 5!


News of Art, Art of News

Lady in Lilac, artist drenched in Irrigo

It is a wonder that this Lady can even be remembered.
The Feast is behind us, dear readers, and with it has gone the Lady in Lilac. There are few – and possibly none – who can match her skill with the needle, and a few with a brush, perhaps. She is, undoubtedly, one of London’s most wonderful artists. Not only for her skill, but also for the nature of her craft – making all of London your canvas, after all, is a worthy stunt – and, much more so, her existence. Bathed to the core with Irrigo, she easily evades memory. For this reason, we have tried to procure a photograph of the Lady; alas, it seems that not even cameras are willing to remember this Lady’s image. See you in a year, Lilac!

We do hope you yourself have gotten one of her tattoos, dear readers.


Ask Mother Goose

Dear Mother Goose,
How can I escape?
Yearning


Dear Yearning,
patience is the greatest of virtues. Work hard.

17th of February 1897


Editorial

Ode to your Bosom
By R. J. Frogvarian

As you hold me close
To the source of your love
That evokes in me prose
Unknown, before, in woe.

Those precious mountains!
My tongue encircles the peaks,
Your breath slightly falters,
Smiles across our cheeks.

Now we lay together bare of clothing,
bare of restraints on the soul,
the mind, the shame, nothing,
nothing stopping two halves wanting to be whole.

And nevermind those only looking down on our love,
And on those who, as we, dare love.


Art of London

The Sixth City
by Sir Wensleydale of Hardwick

Paris, 1908.
A cloaked figure approaches the Monarch.
The Monarch asks what the figure’s business is.
The figure speaks.
It says it wishes to buy the city.
The Monarch gives off a hearty laugh.
The Monarch, once again, asks the figure’s business.
The figure introduces itself as Mr Wines.
Mr Wines repeats its statement.
The Monarch appears confused.
Mr Wines offers the Monarch anything they want.
The Monarch considers.
A man appears, scarred from a fight.
He holds a gun.
Mr Wines is unfazed.
The man shoots.
It is a direct hit.
The Monarch looks to be angered.
The man puts on a cloak himself, then offers the same bargain.
Five days later, on February 14, Paris falls underground, coating London in so-called snow.
A Sixth City has come.


News of Art, Art of News

The Duchess – a victim of love?

Mystery surrounds this lady of cats. Who is she, really? What secrets can one so close to cats learn? What lurks in the basements of the palace? However! One question, more than the others, and true of all those in the Neath – why here?
We, dear readers, are convinced we have an answer to this mystery! We believe – it is for love!
Our sources speak of a man in the Duchess’ past. One she was willing to sacrifice much for, though, in the end, ended up having to sacrifice much more than planned. As it is with many rulers, of course. This decision cost them both much, and brought forth a great evil. Still, she remains faithful and committed.
Our own Empress is said to have made a deal. And, truly, who is to blame one for love?


Ask Mother Goose

Dear Mother Goose,
What is a good way to make friends?
Aeo


Dear, Aeo
It never hurts to have honey on yourself. Dreams are the way to go! Mind not the vulgar Ministry that forbids our precious dreaming. It is a time without darkness, and the Marches are welcoming to small picnics with those you love and admire.

9th of February 1897


Editorial

Think about love, dear readers. Think about your loved ones. Think about not only the people, but also the things, activities. It is important to think on love. For what force is more powerful than love? None! The stars may think Law is the absolute, those opposing them may think lack of it is where strength lies – but all of them are wrong! The Bazaar itself knows this. The Masters know – though some may be losing hope – that it is true. It is the core truth etched with Correspondence into the heart of the Universe; vibrant! Intoxicating! All-consuming. Love is what makes us human, dear readers, and it is something no one could ever take away from us! From the Empress herself, to the stuffiest of bureaucrats, to the most soulful of artists, love is what makes us us! We have all wept over love lost, long or freshly, or never starting, over love unreciprocated, over love unwanted.
The Feast may be time for lovers and spouses, strangers and soft kisses, but I implore you! Think on all love in your life. Love fully! Love unrepentantly! Love to the very day Stone’s light fades from your sight!
For it is not a curse, dear readers, but a gift to us from the Earth itself.

Love!
R.


Art of London

Letters from the Surface, Part IV
Another Letter
by Sir Wensleydale of Hardwick

I walked back to my Townhouse, then down into a Third City Sub-Temple I resided at. I opened my letter.

“Wensleydale,
I have heard that you are significant in London. What happened?
One must think-if you are significant, how obscure are others? Do some want to be out of the picture?
Anyways, have a rose-petal.”

A rose-petal? I suppose I can deal.

Watchful is increasing…
Melancholy is increasing…
An occurrence! Your “Letters from the Surface” quality is now 4!
You now have 1*Surface Rose-Petal


News of Art, Art of News

The Feast of the Exceptional Rose has arrived – Love and poetry awakes in London!

Love(!) is in the air! Hearts alight with passion as lovers and strangers alike don masks and shower each other with affection, touches, gifts, secrets. The Feast is upon us, and Feast we shall – on each other, on small chocolate hearts, on the poetry of the heart.
This season, love is the main focus for the world of art, more so than usual. Buskers and lounge poets have begun penning their stories full off emotions, brushed off on their Shakespearean sonnets, and, undoubtedly, captured the hearts of many a Londoner. Indeed, this season is, as always, wonderful to capitalize on the secrets of the heart!

So show us your poems and your songs, dear London. For what is more wonderful than love?


Ask Mother Goose

Dear Mother Goose,
Will you attend the Feast this year?

Masked


Dear, Masked
Look for feathers touched by moonlight.


Dear Mother Goose,
I have kissed another during the feast. I fear for what my beloved may think. What should I do?

Kind regards,
Confused


Dear, Confused
Do not fret over such smallties. Love is love, and love it shall remain. The balls are masked for a reason. You may very well have been kissing your beloved – in a very clever disguise! No matter. Simply give your soul and mind a rest. Drink a cup of tea. Kiss your beloved with more passion than ever before.
All shall be well.

2nd of February 1897


Editorial

I have been zailing lately. It is a noble and dangerous profession, to be a person of the waves. As noble and dangerous as the zee itself, and just as beautiful. Truly, there is no calm like the zailor’s calm, and no fury like the zailor’s fury. It is an awe-inspiring duality.

Just like zailors are as the zee, so the artists are as the art. We are hard to grasp and define, so varied yet so similar. Soulful, incorporeal when at our best. Celebrate your hard work, sires, madames, and all others; for it is not without blood and sweat that our work bears fruit, just as it is not without blood and sweat that the zee does not swallow the zailor.

R.


Art of London

Letters From the Surface, Part III
Down from Above
by Sir Wensleydale of Hardwick

“You bite less than me? Why do I not believe that?”

“Because you are arrogant. You think you can steal that diamond? It’s the size of a bloody cow! Not to mention the fact that you do not know how to be silent. You are also doing it out of spite for us- me, the Constabulary, and all of your attempted victims.”

“Ha! Right there! You say you bite less than I, but you just spat out insult after insult! I am capable- the Constables have me on their side! I am sought out for my knowledge of a secret alphabet!”

“Since when do you have a brain? Ambition clouds all thoughts! Especially your own ambition. You insufferable git!”

“Since when do you have a ______ heart? Or even a gut? You are a coward!”

Silence.

“At least I have capability, and know my limits.”

“Get the hell out of here. If we meet again, I’m pinning a Sanguine Ribbon.”

“I’m sorry, what was that?”

Steadfast is increasing…
Daring is increasing…
Subtle is increasing…
Heartless is increasing…
Suspicion is increasing…
An occurrence! Your “Letters from the Surface” Quality is now 3!
An occurrence! Your “An Argument at Midnight” Quality is now 1!


News of Art, Art of News

Decadence and Mahogany – the newest exploits of the Mahogany Hall

Here at the Gazette, we celebrate arts of all shapes and sizes. That, of course, includes our good friends at Mahogany Hall. Magicians, comedians, tricksters, and, of course, actors.
However, in the newest development, a new act is joining the stage, or so the rumour has it. Dear readers, we have it on good word that, starting this very spring, rat fights shall take place at the Hall! You can be assured that all Rattus Faber present are consenting and eager to attend these mock fights, in some cases even willing to die for the glory!

You heard it here first – go and grab your tickets!


Ask Mother Goose

Dear Mother Goose, have you ever been to the beautiful, beautiful NORTH?
Lion


Dear Lion,
please do not seek me out. Consequences will follow.


Dear Mother Goose,
It’s like we don’t even know each other any more. What should I do?


My dear,
sincere conversation is the best way to get things flowing. That, and good wine. A combination of both just to be sure. Open your heart and your wounds, and let them open theirs. There is nothing to be afraid of, nothing but loss, and loss is never an eternal void.

27th of January 1897


Editorial

If there is one thing we strive for here at the Gazette, it is consistency. It is integrity. We want our readers to know they can rely on us, trust us. We do not want to be just another pawn of the Ministry, or a fading nub on the metaphorical Rubbery of the journalism industry. We want to make our mark on the world by bringing the artists of the Neath together.
For this reason, no artist shall be excluded, and for this reason, as promised last week, we are bringing to you a poem from a Blemmigan-inspired poet. For this reason as well, this edition took a day longer to publish, as the poet insisted on utmost secrecy – and, let me tell you, dear readers, blindfolded meetings at a musty basement of a Spite brothel are the peak of secrecy.
However, I ask you not to panic, dear readers! As the word spreads and the community becomes tighter, the Ministry shall not pursue us anymore! The Society shall not hound us anymore! There will. Be. Freedom. For the Arts!

Kindly yours,
R.


Art of London

Letters From The Surface, Part II
More Postage
by Sir Wensleydale of Hardwick

That night, I trudged over to the junction of Bad Monkey and Takepenny. I had arrived fifteen minutes early, so I watched spies running like maniacs, under orders of players.

The mailman saw me, again, and brought me a second letter. I would read it once I got back to my Townhouse.

I waited. And waited. A hunger broke, but I waited still. A silhouette approached myself, and I felt a fear.

“Come on, you know I bite less than you.”

Shadowy is increasing…
Austere is increasing…
Steadfast is increasing…
Suspicion is increasing…
An occurrence! Your “Letters From the Surface” Quality is now 2!


Again
by an Anonymous Blemmigan-inspired Poet

Streets lit by candles, together
We tread, breath laced with wine
But drunk from each other,
Your bed we soon find.

Our thighs so plump with want,
Arms yearningly entwined,
Lustily I drink your taste part
of you now in me inscribed.

“Oh, lover, ah,” your name on my lips, a moan,
We are a spectacle for the audience of us,
In a private performance our bodies we join.

Secret wish, can these moments never pass?
An eruption, Aphrodite rising from foam,
Our breaths still together as we draw our last,

And prepare for the second act.


News of Art, Art of News

Tristam Bagley’s unfinished masterpiece – a brief review of The Bell and the Candle

Not too long ago, one of our reporters was present at the Empress’ Court during the premier of one Tristam Bagley’s forgotten opera, The Bell and the Candle, revitalized years since cancellation. Our reporter has at last recovered from the experience; they gained back the control of their left eye and the spontaneous fires on and around their body have ceased. Another of our reporters has interviewed them and compiled their thoughts on the play into this brief review.

The Bell and the Candle is unlike any other piece previously seen, at least within the Earthly sphere. Incredibly tantalizing, joyfully titillating, and infinitely erotic, the play is sure to provoke deep thoughts as well as metaphorical (and literal) fires in your heart.
Reportedly, the metaphorical fires are rekindled with unforeseen passion; our own reporter has found themselves among no less than six barely-clad aristocrats with red cheeks (and not only).
The music truly shakes your whole being. Despite the peculiar choice of instruments, mostly glass and bone, the sounds of strings and drums echo within your being for days after. The two leads, titular Bell and Candle, performed magnificently. Their voices were strong and sure, and, despite the serious blood loss, they have performed to the very last tone.

The seven hundred and seventy seven members of the orchestra, as well as the cast, are making swift recoveries, hopefully returning to their homes by the end of the next year.


Ask Mother Goose

Dear Mother Goose,
I am gazing into eyes I shouldn’t gaze into. Eyes behind cosmogone glasses. They may not be strictly forbidden, but I know there will be a painful end. What should I do?
Please, answer.
F


Dear F,
Life is to be enjoyed, and love doubly so. Don’t run away from happiness now only because it may not be there later. In the long run, the happiness will outweigh its lack. Follow your heart, whatever path it may lead you down to. However, beware of the secrets these eyes may know. Secrets behind mirrors are dangerous ones, and those eyes may be the lights of guidance or of misleading.

19th of January 1897


Editorial

What is art? What is art to you, fellow Londoners? A song, heard at the opera? A canvas, splattered with paint in a pattern recognisable to beings of sapience? A book, read under a duvet for fear of being discovered? All of those, and more – and most of all, art is nothing without those who consume it. Such as we would be nothing without you, dear readers. For what is more of an art than a community coming together to celebrate the works of its individuals, revel in their creativity, indulge in artistry.

I am, at last, proud to present to you The Goosey Gazette! The finest purveyor of artistic integrity in the Neath!
Kindly yours,
R.


Art of London

Letters From The Surface, Part I
by Sir Wensleydale of Hardwick

I awoke, the morning after one of Mr Wines’ revels. Thoughts soared through my head. Gant… Wells… Zee…

I heard a knocking at the door of my Orphanage/Townhouse. A letter? Addressed to: Sir Wensleydale of Hardwick, Orphanage at Fiacre’s Foot. Well, it is for me, but my orphanage is on Childcake Street.

I opened the letter:

“Wensley,
You may not escape what you have done. I know where you are.
I know why you are there. I will meet you at the junction of
Takepenny Street and Bad Monkey Row, at Midnight.
We must discuss the plans you have. If you do not turn up, the
Constabulary will know everything you did on the surface.
x”

Oh. Him.

Watchful is increasing…
Shadowy is increasing…
Melancholy is increasing…
Nightmares is increasing…
Suspicion is increasing…
An occurrence! Your “Letters From the Surface” quality is now 1!


News of Art, Art of News

Mycologenes – a rousing star or a fading affair?

The recent Blemmigan fad brought with itself more than just streets filled with beakless fungi. The Mycologenes, as these secretive poets have become known, are the admirers of the Blemmigan-inspired poetry known to be talked about only under one’s breath and recited only in the back rooms of the most scandalous establishments.
Reading through the works of the Blemmigan Poets, one finds themselves asking:
How long before the frail heart of London accepts these great works? (And, immediately after finishing a poem – where is the nearest pair of stockings?)
Well, dear readers, we of The Goosey Gazette believe in progress! We believe in openness! We believe that art, no matter its form, should never be hidden in the seedy backrooms of Mr Apples’ parlours! For this reason, for the first time ever, the next edition of our humble paper will include a poem penned by an anonymous Blemmigan Poet!


Ask Mother Goose

Dear Mother Goose,
have you ever zailed? What do you say of the beauty of the zee?
K.


Dear K,
I have had many a journey on the zee in my time (and many a zailor). The vast beauty of the cruel waves. Stone, Storm, Salt. It is not a safe place, it is not always tranquil, but the zee is like love should be – unpredictable, lethal, oh so irresistible, and absolutely unconquerable.

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