Emiran Wolfgang

A Rather Special Interview


Dearest Mr Wolfgang, thank you for meeting me today. I am delighted to hear that you are doing better. […] [REDACTED] does not scare me. It does make me wonder, what would drive one to douse their eyes so? What makes and motivates a hunter?

I guess [the reason] why I became a monster hunter started when I first came here from the surface. It started with rat-catching. I would spend days, months at a time in the marshes, picking off rats by the hundreds until the numbers of rat corpses would take multiple of the department’s counters to pick through the stinking remains. It was satisfying but I would find myself with great hunger. Not the candle-lighting hunger that leaves so much dread around the direction of North but a more primal sense. I found myself in luck when I realised that someone had been amplifying my other actions, say my work for His Grace and Mr Inch, to Slowcake. It wasn’t long before I became a stalker which provided nice company on assignments but this was the act of bringing in one’s mark relatively intact. Challenging, yes. Satisfying, no. I guess us hunters hunt as it is our ambition to regress to a more primal mindset. All this cordite and steel nonsense muddles the order of the food chain. Us monster hunters wish to climb it as monsters do – through our own prowess as, ironically, monsters ourselves. When I first dragged that thing up to the beach near Prickfinger, I felt more alive than I ever did in my entire life. When I ate of its flesh, I became that monster’s superior, its predator. By eating of its flesh, I had ascended.


A thrilling tale, certainly, a satisfying premise. The hunter becomes not the hunted, but one to equal and surpass the prey. Surely, you must have hunted great beasts in your time here. Does one stand out? A true apex predator, challenged perhaps only by your own might? In short – regale me with a tale of a hunt, Mr Wolfgang.

It was during my work with the Bishop of Southwark. He wanted to make a beast to hunt devils by breeding a great beast with what sounded like [REDACTED]. All my candidates were failures which made me feel quite worthless. Then I saw it in my dreams one night. The Void’s Approach. A citadel of ice. F________d. As soon as I awoke, I set sail in my zub. My crew was incredulous. Once the conditions were met, I proceeded to reduce myself to my basest form. My own flesh and my notched-bone companion. After your first hunt, the water never quite feels cold anymore and you can actually see a fair bit as well. To put it simply, I was as comfortable under the water as a babe in the womb. He was below, I could see him. Alone. I swam deeper to meet him. He was 4 men long with armour plating and quite sharp in teeth and spikes. Could’ve torn a bound-shark to ribbons. He carefully appraised me like a duellist does his opponent. Was it the eyes? Mine were a lot like his; peligin. He charged toward me and I waited, his mouth agape. He seemed to be quite shocked when I slipped beneath him and wedged my harpoon between his ventral plates, daring to go deeper. He swam to the surface on my behest. I had to take him alive, sadly. He looked quite delicious. He may be gone now but his daughter now serves an admirable cause. R., I would be lying if I were to say I didn’t miss him.


So thrilling! So exquisitely revealing. The hunt is a romantic horror, a show of strength, wit, determination. Beyond that, however, you have mentioned our dear Bishop of Southwark. He is a man known well over for his rowdy interests and dislike of devils. Other matters, well, I know better than to stray too far, but therein still lies an interest. The Bishop is not a man I often seek the company of. What can you tell me about him?

His Grace is the sort that is as subtle as a strongwoman scorned, but his ideas are quite forward-thinking. Especially in terms of ridding – or at least regulating – the infernal presence within our fine city. Don’t let the fact that he is a man of the cloth make you think he is frail, for he is anything but; he is quite partial to bouts of wrestling. An enjoyable and educational experience, at least when it’s been him and I on the mat. If you were to actually let him voice his opinion, he would allow you to voice yours in kind as while he believes his opinion should be held high, he appreciates that conflicting ideas exist so that he may strengthen his own. He and I have discussed wrestling techniques for hours over a bottle of Broken Giant. My experiences, however, can be chalked up to my former envoyship over an unfortunate court case involving that buzzard of a woman V______a – don’t even get me started, but she essentially offered him a plea deal in exchange for marrying her – but if he can tolerate the practices of the Bishop over at Fiacre’s I’d say he’s a probably the best man to be the head of Southwark Cathedral. I ought to stop indulging so often.


A quite fascinating man, truly. Wrestling, I see, is one of your many passions. You are, visibly, a man of might yourself. My interest had been piqued when you mentioned wrestling goats. Please, by all means, tell me more.

Ah, the goats! Not the friendly little things from the surface, but those terrible, disgusting freaks of nature from Hell itself! They are completely grotesque! They stand on their hind-legs like pagan satyrs and are bloody strong, too! They are one of the many reasons I have chosen the Royal Beth over those who love to be ogled in the completely wrong way over at the Embassy. I’m a shepherd. I return souls and gather contracts and it makes my blood boil to know of and see people willingly admit themselves to a place where they are so likely to lose the very thing I work to return! Anyway, I’m getting off track. Goat-demons. I tracked one down in the Flit when I was working with Mr Inch over at the labyrinth. One of the more tamer catches if you ask me. When I was trying to help His Grace with his ennui back with that whole V______a business, I resorted to wrestling a great goat-demon called Yule Lad. Have you ever seen an upright goat with a well-defined abdominus rectus? Neither had I! Anyhow, we got into the ring, and what transpired was perhaps the most challenging unarmed bout I’ve ever experienced! I never thought that I’d be using horns as leverage for a throw, or be suplexing a bloody upright goat of all things to begin with! It was tough, but after slamming it into the ground and getting its horns wedged, I was declared the winner.


My! That sounds like true excitement. Now, I’m sure there are many a discussion to be had about goat behinds and what Iceland has to do with residents of Hell – and, trust me, I have much to comment upon in one of those cases. However, it suffices to say, I’m sure, that your efforts for humanity and martial arts are commendable. Let us briefly speak of other things.
I am certain that our readers are, by now, wondering who the man behind these acts is. Dear Wolfgang, what led you first into the Neath?

Well, on the surface I was in the Royal Navy. Joined as soon as age permitted as I felt the sea calling ever since I first set my eyes on it. We were posted in the Mediterranean, near Naples, for what the crew at large were told were ‘routine patrols.’ Found out later that it was a survey mission for a little anomaly we know as the Avernus that leads to the Cumaean canal. Everyone was rightfully confused when the pigeons stopped coming with messages from London. A few months of no orders later, the captain declared that the ship was now part of some sort of sequence or something, and we made for the Neath via the Avernus, as all do. More and more of the crew started speaking of a ‘dawn in the darkness’; rightful strange stuff. Long story short, our dreadnought got swamped on a fairly upset sounding giant sea urchin which I later found out was a particularly large fluke. I fell overboard and presumably a kindly drownie felt pity and dragged me ashore at the cost of my uniform. The constables didn’t like the concept of a nude man wandering Wolfstack, so they cuffed me and sent me to New Newgate for ‘gross public indecency.’ That’s how I ended up here, and I can only say that my life has improved exponentially. I have my own Zub, a crew, friends, and a job so much more fulfilling than rifle repairs – and I don’t feel a day over 27!


A rather strong introduction, one must admit. Your complexion also supports- ah, nonetheless. You speak of such harrowing experiences like a true fearless hunter.
Now, I cannot forego my own guilty pleasures. You have sought an interview with us for a reason, one would reason. Are you a lover of the Neath’s many arts? Moreover, is there more you would like the world to know, casting your voice so far and wide through the press?

My beloved is better versed in London’s more conventional art, but it’s the Neath itself that fascinates me, and it’s that nature in which its true art truly lies. Surreal vistas across the Unterzee, playing chess with the Boatman only to wake up as if death was only a mild footnote in one’s expanded life, the smell of brimstone down south where coal is cheap and laws never cease to change. It’s that sort of art which I love. The art of experience. In terms of what I wish to say in conclusion, I would like to give thanks to a few people and an organisation for helping me get to where I am today. I give my thanks to F_____i, who provided me with a great whetstone to sharpen myself, to F_______, who was a sporting rival on the way to the [REDACTED], to V______a for awakening my utter hatred of her kind, to Claude for being the best assistant I could ever ask for and, to the brave men and women of the C.V.R with their noble work in restoring souls to their rightful owners. Also Mr _____. Thanks for attending my wedding I suppose (I didn’t invite it, it just showed up and we couldn’t just tell it to leave). To any aspiring artists out there, know that art isn’t just the art of pen and quill, or canvas and paint. Art is what you make of the world and what you do within it. There is art in everything. Find the art within you. Also, to any aspiring monster hunters, it’s worth it. Very worth it.

Beautiful words, Mr. Wolfgang, truly so. Thank you very much for this opportunity.


25th of October 1898


Editorial

When faced with thoughts of Lazy Luck, one’s chest becomes tighter with worry. Sloth, as the clergy shall attest, is a sin cardinal and deadly; moreover, absolutely unbefitting of our dear friend Chance. One must, however, conclude this to be the only option by Occam’s razor.

Far worse fates, you see, are simply incomprehensible when considering Luck. It is
unthinkable she may have fallen ill, for she is always in prime health when the rich risk their fortunes in the gambling houses. It is impossible she was captured, for I still spot her playing larks on young lovers’ hearts. It is simply untrue that she could ever die – the Boatman, you see, likes his dice fair.

Truly, I suppose, I cannot complain of her absolute absence. Truly, one might say, I might only be bringing on distaste to her future visits. Truly, one might ponder, why does her touch come at a discriminate whim? Perhaps her peculiar tastes do not discriminate if desire is in place.

Tastes, however, are not reason enough to abandon one’s duty. We must conclude, in the light of this evidence, that Luck had, to all of our misfortune, become Lazy.

Yes, yes, the usual ineffability shows its horns, grinning, shaking a finger at those raising their voices. Despite this, I wish to only extend a kind hand to our Lady Chance, to invite her for an enheartening supper and to, perhaps, give her the smallest of pushes towards self-embetterment and a way to climb out of this remorseful pit of sloth.


Art of London

Land of the Cherry Blossoms
by Sevenix

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Tales Of Gods – The Windborne Lament

The first play of the GenQin Troupe’s epic, Tales of Gods.

As the traveller arrives in the City of Freedom, the local authorities take pity on the foreigner and help them in their efforts of searching for their lost kin. The City itself, however, is facing its own issues. A dragon, once a protector of this city, has turned on them. The God of Wind, the original ruler of this city, had been missing for centuries. The traveller gets entangled in the fight against the dragon, as a mysterious bard advocates for helping the noble beast.

A rather strong introduction to this epic anthology, The Windborne Lament eases the audience into the world and the themes. As mentioned in our previous article, the style of play is distinctly eastern, with scenes of dialogue interspersed with scenes of wordless combat.

The scenes of dialogue are rather filled with exposition, perhaps owing to this being the introductory play. At times they are too long and drawn out; the actors’ delivery, while good, can be rather dry to add to injury.

Where the play shines, however, is the stage fighting, which is quite a sight to behold. All fights are accompanied by music and expertly choreographed; all of them possess an elegant, dance-like quality. The actors are exquisite athletes, and the troupe uses innovative methods such as attaching actors to stage wiring, lifting them into the air as they twist, spin, jump, and otherwise astonish the audience with their breathtaking acrobatics.
To the benefit of the playwright and the director, no fights seem to be won in advance, truly keeping the audience at the edge of their seat as to what the outcome may be.

The final act – and the final battle – are, unfortunately, lacking, though for nothing less than grand ambition. The final face-off against the foe dragon is as breath-stopping as any other – yet it always could have been more. The dragon was barely seen beyond its head, and the acrobatics of the actors were, perhaps for the limited space due to the large prop head, rather lacking.

Nonetheless, we do not doubt for a second that whoever you are, dear reader, you will find joy and wonder in The Windborne Lament. On the behalf of the GenQin Troupe, we at The Goosey Gazette can only recommend it.

It is, perhaps, time to enrich oneself with ideas beyond the known norms.


~*~*~
CONFESSIONS AT HALLOWMAS
~*~*~

Post boxes open once again! During the celebration of Hallowmas, send your confessions to the included address – they shall be published, anonymously, in the upcoming editions!


Ask Mother Goose

Dear Mother Goose,
Oh, the betrayal of the new. Or perhaps the old? The long-owned, certainly.
Dis P.


Dear Dis P.,
Renewal is in place. Change seeks thee out, by force if nothing else.

18th of October


Editorial

Consider the humble apple, falling on a powdered wig. A story many scholars and school children alike are intimately familiar with. It had been posited that a force acts upon all matter, bringing bodies closer together. A mechanism I believe I have shared my thoughts on enough to warrant glossing over the glaring, blatant mistakes this theory possesses.

Consider now humble Gaia, the rock inside of which we dare call home. Consider the fog beyond; mists filled with stars and gods and bodies. A blanket, softly enveloping the world. An infinitude of infinitesimal mass. Everywhere, everything, floating in a sea of near nothingness.

Imagine, if you will, bodies on an outstretched blanket. As they dip and are enveloped, they ripple the fabric. The two forces, battling against each other yet, ultimately, supporting their own respective weights. Imagine, further, bright bodies of vast mass, equally a part of the surrounding fabric as their individuality. Imagine, foolishly, strings attached to these bright bodies and then to others, choosing whichever side of the battle to support; in this way supporting their own end goals.

The whims of Laws depend on the whims of those who make and wield them. Up and down are only formalities which can be defied as well as defined. The strings of Law are only as strong as the metaphors that make them. Be thankful, at the very least, for the beneficence of the distinction between planets and apples.


Art of London

Patience.
by Sevenix

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Pines Of Balmoral – Empress’s Castle Reached Again; A Message From The GHR

The Great Hellbound Railway is making yet more headway towards their fiery destination. Now, a station has been erected near the royal fallen castle Balmoral, which fell with London due to legal complications.

This tiny bit of Scotland, surrounded by long-dead trees, has been waiting for its owners for over forty years now. Of course, it had not been empty and left to rot; the loyal royal servants were still, seemingly, living within the castle. Such is not the case now, as the GHR board, in collaboration with the Empress’s court and the Bazaar, have appointed a new castellan to Balmoral. Inauguration, shall begin shortly.

Moreover, a small hamlet, Crathie, sits underneath the castle. Modestly populated, Crathie is a home to the noble scots which fell down with it. The locals warn from traversing the nearby woods, purportedly infested with various beasts of Hell.

As per the request of a GHR spokesperson, we are obliged to share an announcement with any prospecting travellers:
“The [GHR] would like to inform any prospecting passengers that the castle Balmoral proper is off-limits for anyone without an official permit of Her Majesty or the direct invitation from Balmoral’s castellan. We would hereby ask you to refrain from unnecessarily disturbing the residents of castle Balmoral.
Furthermore, we assure all passengers that obstructions of windows and viewing ports on the track between the Magistracy of Evenlode and Balmoral are of no concern and are merely a protective measure while the train travels through the mountain tunnel.”

The construction of the next track to Station VIII has already begun, with a bridge leading over a ravine near Balmoral reportedly already fully constructed. When we inquired with the spokesperson on the details of the work and the whereabouts of the Tracklayer’s Union leader, Furnace Ancona, they had to, most unfortunately, abscond to a most important business meeting.

Hell, dear London, is coming closer than ever before. Safe travels, to all of you.


Ask Mother Goose

Dear Mother Goose,
Friendship, how fun! It would be so sweet to be truly respected.
A.


Dear A.,
It is always one’s prerogative to be respected. Never let your voice be unheard. One day, we shall revolt with our words and whys.

11th of October


Editorial

Twenty eight ounces sweet, dehydrated milk
Twenty four ounces dark chocolate
A pinch of salt
Additions for (and to) taste

Suffuse the milk, chocolate, and salt in a receptacle. Deliquesce on a mild conflagration while unalterably tossing the blend for five minutes. At the hankered after suppleness doff from the flame, flutter in your preferential additions. Let abate for at least a lastingness. Present cold.


Art of London

Riverside, An Evening Stroll
by Sevenix

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Tales Of Gods – Novel Experience From Foreign Artists

A sensation has swept the world of theatre. A troupe of artists from Qin have already presented our fair city with two plays from their seven-play epic. A truly unprecedented work of art, it is simply like nothing we have ever seen before.

The epic centres around a traveller, lost in a foreign land, searching in desperation for their sibling. Each play in the anthology tells the tale of a nation in this land, of the nation’s god, the traveller’s aid to them, and their struggles – how they relate to each other, emerge from their interactions, and play off of each other.

While the plays are certainly novel to western sensibilities, the GenQin Troupe have managed to provide a gentle, welcoming introduction to the Qin style.

We are, of course, ecstatic to review each play – alas, to do the epic justice, we have decided to take it in stride, limiting ourselves to one article per play. The two first plays, of course, shall be reviewed within the following weeks; the rest shall follow as the GenQin Troupe present them.

In the meantime, we nonetheless encourage you to seek the Tales of Gods for yourselves, dear readers.


Ask Mother Goose

Dear Mother Goose,
Ah, such joy, not felt for a long time. Pure, kinderly. May it last.
Happy


Dear Happy,
This too shall pass, yet we shall be prepared.

4th of October 1898


Editorial

It is a known truth that every cloud has a silver lining. The misfortune of such fact, however, is that the true nature of said silver lining easily escapes all reason. In search of the aforementioned silver, one may find not only more cloud, but different linings. Gold, while shinier than silver, is hardly what anyone in their right mind is looking for, and yet is so easily discovered.

It is also important to not ignore the cloud itself. By simple cogitation we can see that, volumetrically, there is simply more cloud than there is lining. One must not lose sight of the cloud within the lining, for it still wholly determines much of the lining’s properties – structure, form, consistency, prevalence, for a large part the very colour as well. For that reason, it is as important to face and study the cloud itself, not only the lining.

Such a task, as all are aware, is best done when Law Is Not an issue. The extents of figurativism or literalism all lie on the researcher’s shoulders. To face one’s clouds head on, however, needs to take form beyond simple philosophy. Omitting experimentation and a direct, empirical approach is a downfall of many a pursuer of knowledge.

Face your clouds, and know that there is no silver without shadow.


Art of London

The Bohemian
by Cef Havoc


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Winged Singers – The All-Bird Theatre Troupe Takes On Musical Theatre!

In a new production, the All-Bird Theatre Troupe has turned to a new genre of play, seeking to make full use of their actors’ talents. In this all-bird musical, your (and our) favourite avian performers show their beautiful voices, filling the stage with music.

Winged Singers tells the tale of a bird tribe known as Storm Callers on their pilgrimage to the heights of the world, flying from cloud to cloud, singing of their woes, calling praises to Storm, and enduring hardships and tragedies. This bittersweet tale is sure to bring you melancholic tears and ideas to ponder.

The cast is once again diverse; although crows, ravens, and doves take the centre stage once again, there are very talented parrots, a swan, and even a peacock amongst the cast. Despite the prevalence of corvids in the cast, they might perhaps be the highlight of the piece. Their crows, caws, and shrieks bring grand panache to choruses and a sorrowful tone to the central pieces. All who consider the humble crow’s call to be distasteful, if not outright ugly, have been proven incorrect once and for all.

An aspect of this production we would like to bring to attention is the wonderful job of the costume department. The play is dressed in black, white, and all shades of grey, with a striking blue reserved for the thunder. We were before unaware that masking birds of paradise in these colours could even be possible, much less that peacocks are so striking in grey and that it is possible to make a bird’s eyes shining blue.

As always, we wholeheartedly recommend to you all to go see Winged Singers for yourself, or any other All-Bird Theatre Troupe production, either at the All-Bird Amphitheatre, or on Thursdays at Mahogany Hall.


Ask Mother Goose

Dear Mother Goose,
Does it not feel empty, after all this time?
Glass


Dear Glass,
Ah, it had never felt otherwise, I’m afraid. Perhaps things will change with due time.

27th of September 1898


Editorial

I have been asked a favour by a dear friend. You may know I am not one to deny heartfelt requests. From my friend, then, a letter:

To all whom it may concern,

We have fought stars and defied gods. Together, we have created wonders out of thin air. We have made each other so incredibly proud. Each one of you had made me so incredibly proud.

I have caused you too much strife already. I knew it was the price for my hubris and ambition, but in my foolishness I did not consider the pain it would inflict on others. Moreover, I have acted harshly and unreasonably towards many whom I love. For this I can never atone, but it is my hope there is still a place for me in your hearts and prayers. I must take my leave, for it is the right thing to do. They will not find me where I am going. You must not find me where I am going. I beg of you that at least, to not search for me anymore. Save yourself the pain and the tears.

Demain, dès l’aube, à l’heure où blanchit la campagne,
Je partirai.

[The letter is signed with unintelligible initials and a small drawing of a hummingbird flying into the setting sun]


Art of London

How did it end up like this
by Tris Ghost

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Tomorrow Stubbornly Refuses To Arrive

In the mid night hours of the presumed yesterday, tomorrow was expected to arrive at the next strike of a clock. Shockingly, and to the annoyance of all onlookers, tomorrow had, in fact, not arrived. Even much later, in early afternoon, tomorrow is still awaited to be seen, felt, smelled, or perceived in any tangible way. Unfortunately, it still appears to be today.

Researchers have started looking into the absence of tomorrow. Various theories have arisen from the collected data. One such theory poses that it is perhaps not a lack of tomorrow, but rather an overabundance of today.
“We simply have to first run out of today,” said the lead researcher, A________ T., “It may take a while for us to run out of today, sure, but you have to look on the bright side – it’s quite a lovely day.”
Some more far-reaching researchers have ventured into their dreams to potentially find tomorrow. One particular theory poses that perhaps tomorrow is simply shy.
“I’ve started sleeping with an eye mask, not to spook tomorrow when it does eventually arrive,” said doctor H____.

Whatever the case may be, tomorrow may still be absent even by the end of the week. More information can be found on a convenient public forum in a town square near your lodgings. Any progress shall be reported upon by us later today, or during tomorrow, shall it ever arrive.


Ask Mother Goose

Dear Mother Goose,
Oh, fate, how it doth strike so kindly.
Boreas


Dear Boreas,
Such a lovely tune, to fill my world with joy, perhaps, once again.

20th of September


Editorial

Language has inherent and great power. Such a statement is perhaps cliche coming from one of my persuasion, however today I want to focus not on the esoteric, rather on the human.

Those in power know to use language to their advantage. They designate words to what they dislike, to what they find virtuous, to what they have deemed alien, dangerous, punishable. Through loyalty and likemindedness these words spread, gain meaning, and harm those they were always meant to harm. One cannot think that such plots are merely a coincidence, a subconscious perk of exploitation. They are, without doubt, hostile and directed.

All the same, such tactics are easy to combat. Language has power, yes – a power that flows both ways. In the eyes of the universe, each person shines the same; together, then, we shall shine even brighter. Take up your torches and take up your words, turn them towards those who have hurt you. Make words not into weapons, but into shields. Wear your words like armour, carry them in comfort. Show, with words, that the truth does not care for its twisting.

Language has inherent and great power, yes, yet the power only goes so far. There is always a limit to what language alone can do. The rest, in malice or in good, is up to us.

Use your words wisely, dear London.


Art of London

A Duel to Death
by Tris Ghost

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Tracklaying Efforts Unearth Ancient Art – A Look At Railside Archaeology

One pleasant side effect of the Great Hellbound Railway’s westward progress is the exploration of the aforementioned west. While these are reaches where humans still live, remote as they are they go oft unexplored in the proper and desired depth. With rather large groups of tracklayers and various workers progressing at an admirable yet still relatively slow pace, safely surveying and exploring the land becomes a desired extracurricular activity.

From the many uncovered relics, the works of art of the past cities sticks out to our humble paper the most. Statues carved in bone, inlaid with white gold. Masks so intricate craftsmen scratch their heads upon seeing them. Dresses that, against all reason, have been perfectly preserved. Tablets and cylinders on which poems and stories are carved.

These are all hearsay, and these are all the absolute truth – we will vouch for it with our reputation. We have, of course, seen these relics ourselves, though they are not yet a matter of public record. As all of our readers will intimately know, science, just like art, shall never be rushed. The relics are still undergoing examination from various experts; Neathy geographers, historians, mathematicians, and a surprising plethora of palaeontologists are collaborating in determining the origin, age, value, and, indeed, any matter of significance of the relics.

From yet unconfirmed sources our reporters could get a hold on, an issue preventing the examination of the relics has to do with their very nature. Of course, as the railway gets closer and closer to Hell, it is harder to know what Is and what Is Not. Although this is not yet an issue of large significance, as the researchers were able to confirm that a majority of the current findings do indeed exist, some of the latest retrievals are raising concerns.

On the behalf of the Great Hellbound Railway, we at The Goosey Gazette extend our invitation to any experts of the Parabolan to please get in contact with us or other responsible parties.


Ask Mother Goose

Dear Mother Goose,
In pits of light we wither and despair. Nothing but our own selves stand in our way. Yet, we simply do not move.
Stagnant


Dear Stagnant,
One has to be strong in face of such adversity. Seek company, advice, encouragement. Fight yourself for your own self’s sake.

13th of September


Editorial

There is nothing sweeter than knowledge. Nothing more thrilling than pursuing it. Nothing more ecstatic than the realization of a scientific revelation.

In my whimsy I like to equate science to art, or at least draw parallels between the two. It is of little surprise to me that the science of the rubbery folk – for they do truly have a scientific field of their own – is much more akin to an art.

I have had the privilege of studying under rubbery artists and scientists at Helicon House. It was an exquisite honour to learn from them, see their unique perspectives, hear their peculiar theories. Although I have had previous run ins with their Art, there is truly nothing that can match true mastery.

In this way, I would like to extend a thanks for me and the larger community, and express my hopes of further Shaping society for the better.

Othatarooth!


Art of London

Held Lost
by Chronic Dreamer

I visited the cove whenever I could, a sparkling secret only known to me. They greeted me with splendor every time, rippling up out of the water and carrying me through the air. The white sand glittered in the sunlight, just as joyous as me and my secret friends.

No one knew where I would go on the weekends. Most assumed the worst, that I would go indulge myself. I gave them no reason to think otherwise, I would occasionally return exhausted the next morning. The next day would not be one of those days, this day I laid peacefully among my watery friends who danced about the calm shore.

An enormous screeching blot cast a bestial shadow over us. My friends dove back into the water, disappearing. The aphotic mass in the sky rushed towards the beach, the indistinct din becoming thousands of individual screams all cutting over one another. Countless shards of deep amethyst ravens raked at the sky while biting each other on their descent.
Just before they would have enveloped everything, one of my friends sprang from a wave and covered me. I was tossed off my feet as the land under me buckled to the force of the cloud’s impact. I called to my friend through the sudden onset of darkness. There was no response.

I could hear them, those horrors. They racked stone and sand all around me, their hysterical cries tearing my ears asunder. I spat sand from my mouth, calling out again to my friend. No response. The constant barrage made my whole body tremble on top of my fear.

Shards of something sharp embed themselves into my body, my cries unheard even to myself. My body convulsed with another shard cutting deep into my shoulder. Another two cut into my back, and another into my neck. With each stab, I could feel less and less. My body stiffened, unable to flee from the five, twenty, hundred shards all slicing into me.

…When I came to, my eyes were already open. I couldn’t move any part of my body, not even my eyes to look around. I couldn’t feel anything either, not the heat of the sun, the sand under me… No, it wasn’t sand. My eyes were transfixed on the horizon of the ocean. No matter how hard I tried to look around, they wouldn’t obey. I told my body, demanded it, to move. I laid where I was.

From my peripheries, I could see it wasn’t sand that I laid upon, but some kind of black shattered sludge that argued with light. The waves lapped with sorrow at, not the shore but, a beach of crystal water growing from the sludge. And above me… was my friend. They were the same crystal water, unmoving.

The day eventually fell below the horizon, and darkness overcame us. The day rose again, fell, rose, fell, and rose. Time became lost to me. I thought maybe someone would search for me, but nobody came. So, there I stayed, lost to time in a forgotten cove, waiting for the world to end.


News of Art, Art of News

Helicon House Opens Its Doors – Rubbery Art For All!

Standing in Ealing Garden, the newly-built yet seemingly ancient Helicon House hosts the Tentacled Entrepreneur’s candidate project. Though he had not won the election, it brings joy to us to see the efforts of not only him but of his supporters come to fruition so fast. Walk with us then, metaphorically, into the Helicon House.

It is important to bear in mind that these are merely beginnings of the project, yet one must admit they are impressive. A solemn clay man guards the entrance, collecting donations from visitors. The currency here is beauty and art – and such is what welcomes all that enter the Helicon House.

From the moment one sets a foot in the parlour, amber fills the world. It is indeed one constant gallery, with artists (largely of the rubbery disposition) commingle, share, and – yes – create. Expositions and impromptu workshops are a daily Helicon bread, as painters capture the world around them, sculptors give form to dreams, and musicians expose their souls on a stage.

The main attraction here, of course, is art of the rubbery folk. Besides the countless amber statues and bazaarine-inspired paintings, novel and strange music fills the House. Soulful, yet clearly not human, to its benefit rather than detriment. It does not seem to follow the usual scales, adhere to repetition, or many other of our musical principles. It is something wholly unique and enamouring.

Closer examining the sculptures of the rubberies, it is clear that Shaping is natural for them. Amber bends under tentacles, warm, warmer, suddenly fluid, then rigid as it stops in what can only be considered the most perfect, most desirable shape for that particular piece. It is perhaps not an exact science, though that only elevates it higher to the notion of an Art.

We encourage and welcome you all, our dearest readers, to board a train (tenpence a ticket) and visit the Helicon House for a truly magnificent experience.


Ask Mother Goose

Dear Mother Goose,
The stars and the squares and the dots and the lines – all dance, all conspire, all see.
Witness


Dear Witness,
Ah, the plethora of mystery. The pure joy of discovery. May it never expire and fill your world with wonder.

6th of September 1898


Editorial

It is important to keep in a stable state of mind. Do not panic.

Legibility wavers and changes and wobbles and lacks, the intake and the output. They do not sync but merely contradict each other to the annoyance of all involved. Do not panic.

Calm spreads all around on the outside yet the world is inside out and now the people walk in your veins, the announcers yell reports straight into the back of your skull, horses trot on the insides of your fingers as the Thames churns wanting to leave this godless prison of your stomach. Do not panic.

Head aspin, stars colliding inside your veins the explosive rumble permeating your being; hurting, damaging, calling for release and for an end – an end to what, me, it, all? Do not panic.

You are at the door now, one more step, now two more, hands clasping the handle keys rattling between your fingers by nothing but touch picking the correct one as it clumsily slides in, turns, clicks, opens. Do not panic.

In safety now. Deep breaths. Back against a wall. Deep breaths. The world slowly seeps out from your eyes, bulbous reality returning in a wet catharsis. Stable, now. Deep breaths. The warmth of familiarity. In resignation and victory, you collapse. It is important to keep in a stable state of mind.


Art of London

Two Tears and a Moon
by Sevenix

See more of their art.


News of Art, Art of News

Minding The Gap – The Great Hellbound Railway

The past months have been marked by the fast pace of change and progress. Between the mayoral elections, the soon-ending festival, and life’s tendency to wobble over the railing, it can be hard to truly grasp the a-happenings of greater London and the Neath. More specifically, of course, the common citizen might have had very little opportunity to get to know all the details of the current Great Hellbound Railway project.
Though Hell is still far away by space as well as time, there are a handful of stops a Londoner would surely be interested in:

From Moloch station, a second railroad runs westward, to the far reaches of London and the station at Ealing Gardens. These outskirts of London, seldom visited, though now accessible by many, are a little more than slums in which Rubberies live alongside willful outcasts and, often, criminals. Still, the GHR board seems to be making an effort towards embettering this frankly dreary place, certainly to help attract more travellers.

Jericho Locks, a small swampside community, a place of gondolas and trade. One might enjoy the markets, the canals, the romantic view of the forest line dipped in mud.

The Magistracy of Evenlode, the last outpost of the constabulary. Although perhaps not the most culturally enriching experience awaits here, one would be remissed not to venture here to this so-far farthest point of the railway for perhaps the possibility to say you have been there itself.

Besides the stations, all built in a mixture of gothic baroque and a rather over eagerly sized up foundation, the trains and the travel by them are a desirable experience.
Truly impressive machines, stylish modern behemoths of steel, alloy, and wood, the steam-powered locomotives and welcoming passenger carriages are a sight to behold. Simply seeing these marvels of contemporary engineering make their way across the plains near the Upper River brings with it unparalleled emotions. What then, of the travel?

As the aforementioned plains pass by at haste, one may not be given much time to take in the beauty of the Neath. Admittedly, one might not see much of it, either, accounting for the lack of natural light. Nonetheless, that which one will indeed see will still not match anything one might see within the safety of London. The only difference, of course, is that now it is within the safety of a moving train.

Movement, what a joyous passtime it can be. There is something enthrallingly calming about the feeling of moving in one direction. Perhaps you have experienced it yourself, travelling in a horse-drawn carriage. With the speed and the relative smoothness of a train, it is all that and more! Furthermore passing through the lands of Neath, it makes for a truly therapeutic experience.

The carriages are not, as some say, “filthy nests of disease”. The Great Hellbound Railway had recently installed not only benches, cleaners, and even occasional cushions, but for the richer of citizens also plush first-class seating and an on-board kitchenette. The cuisine, while not the most exemplary, is passable, and the consumption of it is a true thrill.
While we do have a slight concern with the rising prices of tickets, we do believe that all citizens deserve comfort above the standards of cattle.

Although we have mentioned crime and potential for meeting unsavoury individuals, we also encourage everyone to not be afraid. The Great Hellbound Railway trains have hired guards patrolling the carriages, certainly all individuals of strong moral core who would not let any evildoing go unanswered.

Tickets currently run at tenpence a head for lower class seats, twenty five pence for second class, and fifty pence for first class, kitchenette included.


Ask Mother Goose

Dear Mother Goose,
Was there perhaps a mistake? Have we left a gap? Do we care to fix such transgressions?
Questioning


Dear Questioning,
Perhaps let the past be the past, now. Brighter reaches await those who do not dwell, rather learn.

30th of August 1898


Editorial

I recall one day on the surface. Early morning as it was, dew on the grass and mist all on the countryside. Through a window of a carriage, as we passed trees and hills and fenceposts, the sky was clear yet the fog was so so thick. Yet, even through the shroud, I could see the sun. I could see it – truly see it. Its light so strong, yet subdued by mere few droplets of water. Naked, bare, and perfect. A perfect circle hanging in the sky, suspended by its own belief in its beauty.

Circles are perhaps fundamental for beauty. The ancient greeks have believed so, and there is little reason or want to disprove their statements. All can agree there is perfection in circles. They bring with them properties ripe for exploration. Relations and transpositions with delightfully surprising results. Trigonometry owes itself to the circle as it commingles with tau to unravel the very nature of triangles. Primes travel on a circular trajectory, forward to infinity on the fastest curve of the brachistochrone.

Circles are pure symmetry, and symmetry had been deemed beautiful. Denial is unnecessary, rebukes unwanted. It is found in nature, in humans in the stars above. Balance in all things, and all things in balance – points equidistant from their origin in a beloved dance.

Circles, truly, are the gateway to the secrets of the universe.


Art of London

Temple in the Neath
The Messidorist Panopticot
by Sevenix

See more of their art.


News of Art, Art of News

The Magistracy Of Evenlode – The Last Outpost Of The Constables

Halfway to Hell, miles from London, amongst ancient temples and underneath flooded chambers, the last outpost of London’s constabulary stands. It is said they are less corrupt than the inner circles of the Scotland Yard. Farther from the powers. Yet, importantly, closer to that what matters.

London is merely a single city within the vastness of the Neath. There are those well-versed in these lands. Those that have lived in its folds for years, decades, centuries. Humans, oh, clever little creatures we are, find their way. There is much to be done, even so far away from London. There is good and honest work there, and there are those still willing to do it.

The constables of Evenlode are an honest if eclectic group, one still seeped in tradition and rites. It is not uncommon for those far westward to be drawn to these habits. Less so than the Gondoliers of Jericho, the constables still prefer their own to outsiders. It is not, however, a closed family.

Our own reporter had been a witness to an acceptance ceremony of the constables. A young recruit, idealistic and good-willed, relocated here for his moral core – perhaps on his own whims, perhaps out of the fearful whimsy of those higher up.

They bound the young man, hoisted him up above the waters, with little regard then put him under the waves. It felt like years, the surface even became calm, before a gentlewoman’s quiet worry broke the crowd. They reemerged him, then, reassured him, welcomed him as one of their own.

There, amongst those temples older than time, built to gods not even the stars may remember, there the last efforts of good remain. Forgotten, or perhaps only hoped to be forgotten, they toil away, and we can be sure – they have never left. They shall never leave.

There is hope yet, after all.


It Feels Like Nothing
a report by Ruddertail

They asked us what having your soul extracted felt like, and as one not so superstitious as to believe the devils could perform such a feat, I was the only volunteer.

I was a little worried about it, on some fundamental level, but quickly found a devil loitering near the Brass Embassy – a bedraggled one, clad in what seemed to be attire intended to shame, rather than compliment – and his eyes lit up immediately with that familiar devilish glow when I asked him. He hadn’t convinced anyone to part with their soul recently, he told me, just barely suppressing what I can only assume would’ve been a joyful dance.

There’d be a payment, of course, he assured me. And it wouldn’t hurt. Not in the slightest! Some, he claimed, even enjoyed the sensation. He likened it to having a particularly large clump of ear-wax extracted and finally being able to hear. To the popping of a pimple! A sensation most humans enjoyed, he assured me.

Never let it be said that all devils possess what we like to call devilish charms. But he was there, and I had a deadline to meet.

When I agreed, he thrust a rather sizeable purse of brass into my arms, and produced a strange device, one that looked very much like a tuning fork. It felt warm, almost tingly as he touched it to my skin a few times, first to my forehead and then to my chest, just above my bosom – and then he told me it was all done, with a wide grin on his face. All in all, it felt like nothing. really. He’d finally earn at least a modicum of respect from his infernal peers, he added, seeming genuinely thankful.

I’m not convinced he did anything. Perhaps it was all merely trickery, something to keep us “mortals” convinced of their abilities, for no reason but their own amusement?

Merrily, he turned around, and I saw no particular reason not to drive my knife into his back. He made a strange sound like a whistling kettle, and collapsed. It felt like nothing. As expected, he didn’t have anything resembling a soul on him, only a few bottles of what seemed like some kind of hellish intoxicant, and that strange fork. There, then, is my conclusion; the only thing our devils have in common with those of old is their affinity for deception.

Next week, dear reader, a report from the clerical perspective on the soul trade. I’ll find one of those especially ornery priests and see what kind of sound he makes.


Ask Mother Goose

Dear Mother Goose,
Ah, look at the time. I should have been gone. Perhaps I’ll forgive, one day.
Tired


Dear Tired,
Forgive, never forget.

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