THE BLUE MOON

SHADOWSTAR'S PERIODICAL

Autumn Edition


Firstday: Darkness Rising

What started as a bright, almost perfect First Day ended in completely unexpected threat and tragedy.

The day began as the most perfect First Day imaginable. The Bards’ Guild went far out of its way to provide entertainment for the celebrators, with both new and old faces putting on unforgettable performances.

In addition to the bards’ providing of pleasing entertainment for the ear, the artisans put on a show for the eyes, including displays of the works of both masters and students, including one interesting piece of work by the Fire King.

The pleasures of the day were not to last, however. Unknown to the crowds, the Chaos Council has invaded a meeting of the Unity Royals. The Highdemonlady Kurai delivered a proclamation of war.

Almost simultaneously, Chaos launched a surprise attack upon the city and the holiday. Using both Chaos-twisted monsters and the forces of Chaos themselves, they wreaked havoc upon the celebrating crowds.

Despite the swift response of the Knights’ Guild, which quickly destroyed the attacking forces, the death-toll was high and the destruction of property both devastating and costly.

What had begun as a cheerful day of celebration and joy at the beginning of a new year ended in despair and grief which heralded the beginning of another year of battles and war.


Oceanica Falls!

The attack of First Day was not to be the only Chaotic action, merely the first.

Within days, the main forces of the Chaotic army, much larger than the forces which had attacked the holiday, moved against and conquered Oceanica. Using the pirate ships of the Bandit King, the main forces of Chaos moved into the harbor and destroyed the ships of Unity before moving into the city itself.

Among the forces was an apparently mad mage who served as a leader. While the Oceanican knights put up a valiant fight, the overwhelming forces pouring in from the sea combined with the smaller numbers bringing in the attack from land, the city was quickly lost to Chaos.

Not all citizens were trapped inside the occupied city, however, a few managed to escape, joining the families from small villages or outlying farms in fleeing for the other cities, primarily Cascadia Falls.

Moral was low as the occupation of Oceanica continued to crowd the cities and cause shortages of goods as Chaos attempted to strangle the island slowly with its possession of the port and center of trade.


"I Hear You Knocking, But You Can't Come In": Unity Successfully Defeats Chaosian Assault

On the night of Hyrab 34th, the attack on Cascadia that everyone had been fearing and preparing for came, a few hours before dawn. Though the exact timing of the assault was unexpected, the Mages' Guild had assembled a little surprise for the charging enemy, buying valuable time to mobilize the Knights. The Artisan Guildhall, Bard Guildhall, and the Palace itself were open to civilian refugees, and bondcreatures swept land, air and water to keep enemies out of the city. Even the notorious underground group known as the Thieves' Guild aided in the defense of the city, forming a temporary alliance with the Patrol to protect Cascadia's hidden entrances and guide several miuts through the underground to form a pincer movement against the enemy troops. "We're very pleased with the outcome," Knight Guildmaster Aeun Vlashnovik was quoted as saying. "We had some losses, but the damage done was a lot more. Every citizen of Cascadia did their duty in defense of our home."

The mages stepped in once again to move two full miuts in what is possibly Cascadia's largest recorded teleportation to close the gap, circling the enemy completely. The sun finally rose on a retreating and decimated Chaosian force, leaving the Unity forces in victory. "In the end, it was a success for Unity, but not without great sacrifice from our people. May Irotana continue to bless us in the days to come," says Fire King Rujko Atyaananda.


Valieti: The Plague of the Century!

It is common knowledge by now, of course, that Cascadia Falls fell victim to a rather unexpected and particularly ruthless enemy recently. Shortly after the most recent battle to defend our city from the attack of Chaos, even as we recovered, this enemy took its first victims.

Our enemy was invisible, nigh impossible to track, remarkably fast, and indiscriminate in its killing. Our enemy, Valieti, was the plague.

There are likely few citizens in Cascadia at this time who were not aware of Valieti before it died out. Taking its first Unitarian victims only a week after the battle at the walls, the plague lasted perhaps a month and a half, yet it managed to build a death toll of a thousand: people and bondcreatures alike. Lists of identifiable known victims have been compiled and are available at the Healers’ Hall. There may be many dead unnamed, but the best that could be done was done.

Symptoms of Valieti included mostly skin lesions, the vomiting of blood, and severe respiratory illness. Its progression was sometimes not obvious at all, often rapid, and frequently fatal. Treatment began immediately with quarantines and whatever aide our city’s good healers could supply. It should be noted that not even healers were safe from the plague, and their Hall has lost a count of its own in their good work to save so many.

We have been assured now that the plague is over. No cases have been reported for some time, according to a record-keeper at the Healers’ Hall.

One healer – who seemed rather cranky in general, mind you – remarked, “It wouldn't have been so bad if people had the common sense to listen to healers' instructions.”

While his wording was blunt and perhaps…crude, it should be taken to heart that the healers’ are not crazy blunderers. They want to keep you, the populace, happy and healthy. Mind their words and perhaps things like Valieti will not happen again.

It seems few were untouched by this tragic epidemic. Hardly a soul exists in Cascadia that does not know of someone personally who was ill or passed from Valieti. We extend our condolences and well wishes to all of you, grieving or recovering.

While at the Healers’ Hall to inquire on the status of the plague’s activity in the city, this reporter did overhear an interesting statement which will now be passed on to you.

A young man, his wife lost to the plague and daughter recovering, was asked how he and his child fared. “We can only be grateful,” he said, though his tone was sad. “Lots of people lost those they loved or were lost to this, and we’re among them. But when you think about how much more we could lose these days…maybe it’s not that bad, right? There’s still so much to hope for. A little bug isn’t going to get Cascadia down. Not yet, not now, and I hope never.”

So there it is, readers. Chin up, take care, and hope. Our hope is with you also.


Mime your Manners: Practical Advice for the Modern Shadowstarian
by Turin Sompak

Greetings, Moonites! It seems our little experiment last issue was a success, or at the very least uncontroversial enough to avoid complaints from the readership, which means I get to keep my job! Irotana willing, this column will remain a regular feature in the Blue Moon, providing guidance for your everyday lives and warm meals for my neglected tummy. As noted last time, I'm rather out of the loop regarding current events around Shadow Star, so I hope to act as an impartial judge for any concerns you might have. Without further delay, let's move to our letters:

"I've found myself married. My wife is demanding I come 'home'. I don't know where that is. Help.
Evad, Cascadia "

Marital commitment does have a way of sneaking up on you, does it not? I've heard such sentiments as this from newlyweds more often than not within the first months of marriage. So it is not so unusual that you feel overwhelmed by the magnitude of your bond; after all, the everyday tasks that you each had undertaken individually for survival are now shared between the two of you, and while that may seem to be a simple concept in theory it is much more disorienting in reality. Feelings of confusion to the extent that one knows not where they belong are also normal, so try not to over-worry about uncertainty of what serves as 'home' for you just yet. Despite the all-too-common fear building in your gut that a sense of normalcy will never again be known, the sharing of a roof with this new player in your personal game of life will feel less and less strange the more time you spend together. When you can empty out and clean her chamber pot without contemplating where the…ah, "waste" originated from, you'll have it made.

At the same time, it should be remembered that marriage is not without its benefits. Food and the cooking thereof comes most readily to mind, though certainly there are other advantages as well, of which I assume need not be mentioned by name. Make use of these where you can, and you should find yourself more comfortable within the married lifestyle before you know it. Then again, there exists the all-too famous notion of a reduction in particular benefits as time goes on, until they have been whittled down to almost nothing…my only advice in this regard is to not think about it overmuch, and instead enjoy what can be enjoyed, while it is there to experience. How this is to be accomplished I leave up to you.

"Dear Turin - How do you get someone famous, like an author, to go on a date with you if you're an amateur?
Signed, Scarlet Lily, Cascadia"

This letter puzzled me at first, as it appeared Scarlet Lily had neglected to note what she is an amateur in. The source of the confusion laid in the mentioning of authorship as a hypothetical example. Such a device creates the impression that any famous profession could be used to link her to the object of her affection; however, this clearly is not what she intended, as such an inquiry would be nearly impossible to give meaningful advice about. I point this mistake out to you, Scarlet, only to help you grow as an amateur author. I hope you are not offended by it.

At any rate, Ms. Lily, it's wise to recall that a person's day-to-day activities are not taken up entirely by his or her profession. Authors are no exception to this rule, and I would argue that it applies even moreso to them; the sheer magnitude of penmanship required to create a manuscript is enough to make your hand cramp in sympathy just by imagining it. This column, by comparison, is a breeze. It is my assumption that a successful author would have such severe hand-related pain that a sour mood could be involved at any time, merely by reminding them of their chosen profession. Certainly not the tact you'd want to take if you wish to appear friendly.

(My former mentor Hortis just passed through, and after reading the above paragraph he noted writing isn't the only thing that stresses an author's hands. I'm not certain what he meant by this, but he did elaborate that only one hand is affected by the activity. Was he referring to posture? Dipping a pen into ink, as his vertical movements with his own palm seemed to indicate? He's since left the room, so I'm afraid it shall remain a mystery for now.)

In addition, crafting a novel has a tendency to become a strenuous mental exercise. Literary ideas tend to flow in highly irregular patterns, yet new books must still be made if bacon is to be brought in. Time away from work, therefore, is likely not a period where an author would appreciate being dragged into their writing mindset. My conclusion is that your beginning efforts as an author should go unmentioned; therefore, they are irrelevant. Simply approach the object of your affection as you would anyone else, and what comes from it will be what it is.

As I do not know the renowned scribe whose company you seek, there is no further advice I can give on how to woo him. However, if you are interested in someone to discuss your writing with, say of the strong, silent type, I may prove to be of assistance…perhaps over dinner? (Oh dear, was that too much? Maybe I should have directed this segment towards the personals, instead…)

"Dear Turin- How do you convince a girl that following her home without telling her is a sign of friendship, not stalkerdom.
-Notmeagain, Cascadia"

Erm, well! This is certainly an unusual activity to seek advice towards. I must say that you'll have difficulty convincing anyone of your noble intent, Notmea-hold on a moment. Notmeagain? Do you mean to suggest we've met before? Good gracious, I…I thought I had heard footsteps behind me the other week, but it had just seemed to be my imagination at the time…are you aware of my gender, sir? Following her home? But that, that would suggest…oh gods, a sickening sensation unlike I've ever experienced before is setting in…all right! That settles it! After the next letter, I shall see to scheduling a haircut. And possibly seeking out a roommate. Preferably one with knives.

"Dear Turin-- I'm a father of several children, but none of them ever acknowledge me. They don't even come to visit! Have I done something wrong? How do I win the love of my children?
Signed, Blue in Homestead"

It occurs to me that this is the first entirely wholesome letter in issue's column, though I'm partially to blame for that, I can see. A new leaf shall be turned here; one of family-friendly content for all! I so swear it. Perhaps I will even stick to it; time shall tell of that.

Blue, while your goal is indeed noble, it is unfortunately not one which you can expect to bring about artificially. Do not blame yourself for this; though your children remain children in your eyes, they likely do not think of themselves as such in their everyday lives. Moving out tends to have such an effect. It is a sad and selfish fact of life, but not one which need be permanent, as long as it is approached in a practical manner.

Under normal circumstances, nothing short of personal tragedy will serve to remind a child that their parents will not remain forever. Similar reminders of mortality, however, can be invoked through a stroll down memory lane. Try to visit your offspring with the goal of reminiscing times past, perhaps through a favorite childhood game or family recipe. Most importantly, make it clear that the visit is not made with your interests in mind, but with theirs; in this way, the realization that you have emotional needs of your own, particularly through contact with your beloved sons and daughters, may dawn upon each of them on their own. We are dense creatures, the young; quick to cast aside the wisdom of our elders, but willing to cling to our own realizations as the pearls of wisdom they so clearly are. Exploit this, and the fatherly connection you seek will be yours.

Alternatively, family reunions are a time-tested technique used to recreate paternal bonds, though not one which I have a great deal of experience in. Ultimately, what path you choose remains up to you. Just do try to avoid the role of the fatherly stalker…and with that said, I believe there's a cold bath with my name on it.


Blue Moon Ads
(in character)

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Want to cater to that special type of customer?
Allure the ladies, impress the neighbors, entertain the friends?
Just contact Changer Toddy within the Druid Guildhall and we'll see what we can do to provide that draught of your dreams.
Big Blue Brewery: Drinks one drop from Divine.

Think you can act?

Or would you rather help behind the scenes? The Dinner Theatre run by Master Bards Brett Perry and Tony Boone has openings for actors and prop handling. Apply Today!
(contact Aeri if interested)


Personals

Sathal & Gastin: Adventurous couple seeks interested third party. Must have open mind and be willing to explore unusual territory. Justices need not apply.

Liish: Single beautiful female seeks hawt mate who will woo me with flowers and poetry.

Niel: Single male seeks adventurous woman who will put up with constant whining and pessimism and will make all decisions. Must find blushing and stuttering in romantic situations endearing.

Xiush: Awesome and handsome male seeks gorgeous babe who isn't into dumb things like flowers and poetry.

Averil: Single female iso honorable male. Ability to play paddlewhack a must. No questions about family history.

Jasper: Patroller seeks guard for help guarding stubborn and impatient royal. Must not be stubborn or impatient. Absolutely must not be suspicious in any way.

Silver: Patroller seeks guards for specialized training and assignment to royal. Must understand what 'proper professional distance' means. Preferably not overly fond of the male body.

Chisulo: Single (sort of) male seeks females. No hags. No other requirements.

Alcide: Knight iso female who doesn't lie about her species. Must enjoy long conversations about literature.


(out of character)

NEEDED:
CHAOSIANS!

Where are all the Chaosians!? We need some more people to embrace their Nameless One-loving evil side! You know you want to. Chaos compels you.

WANTED:
BOND-TO-BE's

There's a Unitarian bonding soon, lots of bonds and very few bond-to-be's.
Kahlille and Yalinulle made pretty fire dragon babies! Cvetenal and Rashonal made pretty flamekittens! Roybealle and Camille and Kushielle made pretty water dragon babies! Raqiell and Toumamm made pretty kraenon puppies!
Show your character's will to protect Shadow Star by bonding!


OOC Announcements

  • Website has been updated!
  • Seriously. We need more Chaosians.
  • Another Unitarian bonding will occur... Within the next few months. If you want characters to bond, now's the time to submit them to the mods!
  • Welcome to our new and returning members! Birch (returning member, playing Trickster), Gina (returning member, playing Erei), Brittany (playing Shyanne), Brent (playing Hanzatsu), Tamara (playing Cestas)


    Current Plots:

  • Nightmares: A mistake by mages leads to dreams coming real... but not in a good way.


    Upcoming Plots:

  • Bonding: Unity's newest bond creatures come out to play.
  • Winter Ball: Light the candles, put on your best gowns!


    Character Ideas and Dares:
    Make one of these characters. We dare you.

  • Weird anthros: Quolls, and pikas, and springhares, oh my!
  • Gambler: Either a high-stakes free spirit, or someone with a serious addiction.
  • Troll Justice: A ten-foot tall Chaosian that has a thing for punishing bad little Chaosians.
  • Nagham bloodmage: Not only is her blood full of Talent, it's extremely poisonous.