Current Affairs, on Paper: Peltarch's News (All Presses)
THE TRUE AUTONOMIST
Royal Hypocrisy Each and Every Day
Perhaps General Williams was not even handed in her delivery of justice, but now that Princess Reyhenna Jorino has finally met with the first tangible consequences for her blatant power grab in the Defenders, where do we stand? Now she starts her own mercenary company that is comprised of the bandits and mercenaries remaining from her previous unit and is immediately contracted out by the Queen. The Crown tells us that not only is this Princess immune to any form of actual justice, but they are complicit in her activities. And while the other Defender Captains were spared the rod, it seems like they still end up being the ultimate losers here.
Was this independence from the Peltarch Military the true goal of Lord Regent Fisher all along? In any case, it seems that no matter what ill she brings upon Peltarch, Reyhenna Jorino seems to come out on top without any meaningful consequences, all of her previous allies left broken in her wake. When will the citizenry of Peltarch - or perhaps some other town - pay such a price? It seems like it's only a matter of time.
Jorino Gone; Military Reformed; Poor Decision Remains Law
Following a harrowing military trial addressing the myriad of concerns surrounding the controversial and now erstwhile Defender Captain Reyhenna Jorino, the latter named resigned from her post, refusing the humiliated Defender General Sally Williams' decision to impose fines and a demotion! Preferring, it seems, to go it alone.
Not quite so alone, though, as Jorino's resignation was followed by that of the majority of her regiment! Now the leader of a newfangled mercenary organization named the Goldfish Company, only time will tell where Jorino points her martial resources.
Perhaps more importantly than that, the Defender General imposed significant reforms that curtail the power of the demagogic Defender Captains that have plagued Peltarch's politics since the treason of Talbot Anderson some decade ago. Captains are no longer able to pay out of their own pockets to cultivate loyalty, and all Defenders above the rank of Lieutenant are to be shuffled, including Captains. While the ban on payments seems permanent, the shuffle could, in theory, be temporary, only so long as necessary to dislodge the deep-seated ties of loyalty between the Captains and the miniature empires they called "regiments."
It makes sense for Jorino to have parted ways with the military before these reforms, considering the Princess would be loathe to give up the considerable power and influence she amassed in the form of loyal troops.
Of course, lost in all of this was the fate of the Times' editor Lorelai Phinkwell, who was quietly released without much ado following a judicial review by Magistrate Borodin of Shannon d'Arneau's arrest. Gaoling was not deemed necessary and a fine sufficed, which has been paid.
Of course, the Magistracy did not take seriously fellow Times' correspondent Jonah Loch's criticisms of Shannon d'Arneau's judgment against the prerogative of the press to publish what it pleases. Perhaps if a third party had decided to attack the Magistracy, Loch would have been arrested.
Yet it is a fallacy to assume that the public are cattle incapable of independent thought or are irresponsible slaves to the printed word. You are not cattle. No matter the letters put to paper, you can think for yourselves. And it is a fallacy to assume that the public is a mere weapon wielded by the press against actors, and to charge the press with so-called "incitement" for criticism as mundane as a simple, banal boycott.
Perhaps the Times is the only yet to see the error of putting the fate of one's judgment before the courts for written or spoken words in the hands of a third party who can at a whim decide or not to make liable the speaker. The Times cannot wait to see how Guilds, the Crown, and anyone else will abuse this possibility whenever facing criticism from the Times or any other press.
The Magistrate d'Arneau's decision was wrong. Only time will tell if later cases will remedy it.
-- Lorelai Phinkwell and Jonah Loch.
THE SILVER TENDER
Within an unattributed article listing upcoming events and memorandums...
Meanwhile, Peltarch's financial class paces the floorboards awaiting the military tribunal starring Captain-Princess Jorino-Fisher. Much like addressing this member of the Crown, there is much uncertainty in the air and of the sort that disrupts markets. Join your humble scribe of ledgers in praying to The Divine Right and the Golden Lady both that Defender General Williams sees the widest implications of Captain Jorino’s abuse of Crown influence to stir up resentment toward Peltarchs financiers. Slander it may not be, but if profit-seeking is challenged by the Crown--indeed even when the goal is furnishing the city coffers!--one comes with tremendous anxiety to question whether Peltarch remains a city safe for the further investment or whether good money is merely following the bad. General Williams must see the proverbial rising tide for what it’s capable of delivering our city -- even if adjunct branches of King George’s lineage prickle at having to learn the customs of contracts and markets when orders and tantrums work so well for them elsewhere in life. With the famous steward of rationality steering the prosecution, one must believe common sense will at last have its day in court.
The Silver Tender
Magistracy and Seafarers Flooded with Cases
The Magistracy found itself facing a staggering 10 new applications today, containing claims from Seafarer Organization ex-employees, small business contractors who have done business with the Seafarer Organization, and dissatisfied consumers of the Seafarer Organization.
For instance, one case concerns Della Hortum, a shipping worker who broke her knee during the thirteenth hour straight working in the shipyards. She was denied a salary advance to help pay for the medical bills. Miss Hortum claims she is now in debt and that the Seafarer's Organization is profiting from her misfortune.
Another case concerns co-contractor William Rove, who claims that the Seafarer Organization withheld critical information at the time of contracting that more than quadrupled his costs and thus rendered his labor obligations entirely disproportionate to the actual payment. Rove claims the maneuver cost him his business, since he could no longer pay his debts.
Yet another concerns small-business owner Jarla Brown, who claims to have received a shipment twenty days late and half of which was missing. When she asked for a refund of the Seafarer Organization services, the Seafarer Organization service representative claimed she would have to wait an additional month before receiving a replacement shipment -- during the wait, her business went under as she could no longer pay her debts. Following her bankruptcy, she sold her business to the Seafarer Organization for a marginal fee.
Clearly, both the Courts and the Seafarer Organization will be very busy handling this new flood of cases.
The Silver Tender notes, with curiosity, that half the cases were filed on the Plaintiff's behest by Reyhenna Jorino, who is providing the funding for the claims' legal representation.
-- Jake Solly, Silver Tender Correspondent
[DM Xanatos Gambit]
THE SILVER TENDER
A Moment of Grace
After the riot dispersed outside the Bank, assorted council members and others searched the premises for the injured and those still under the effects of the Mass Charm spell. We found Lord Hemway in his office, where he was surrounded by Peltarchans bearing weapons intent to kill him as indeed they had, under evil influence, killed others. Each of these Peltarchans was frozen in place, dazed by the magic Lord Hemway had wielded to protect not only himself but these innocents as well.
No one would have questioned Lord Hemway’s right to self-defense. Not even being aware of the charm spell witnessed outside his walls, he believed them to be motivated only by misplaced anger, and yet he chose to see their humanity.
This is the Peltarch I serve. This is the Peltarch I have come to love. This is the reason I ask the Crown to follow the spirit of Hemway, to not seek vengeance, and to pardon the innocent Peltarcharns who were misled by magical influence. Despite the fire and destruction, we can rebuild, we can move on. Let us presume good intentions in our neighbors even as we disagree.
In the same spirit, I ask as well that the Residential Guard stand down if they have not by this printing. We shouldn’t draw these lines between ourselves. If the successes of the Union have taught us anything, it’s that we are better when we all stand together as one Peltarch.
The Time and Tide
The Seafarer's Organization is, with the backing of its new and ongoing partners, now entering the business of the press. It is with due regret that the Seafarer's Organization casts doubt upon the impartiality of the Feathered Quill organization, which appears to have distorted the facts.
While the Seafarer's Organization is and forever will remain loyal to the Crown, it cannot but question the Princess Jorino's loyalty to the Guilds. The woman, you will recall, locked down the entire district of the docks due to a personal spat. And now, apparently, sent a mob to attack Peltarch's Bank. Such collateral attacks upon the good business institutions of this fine city cannot be tolerated.
It has been revealed to the Seafarer's Guild that certain Defender Captains are corrupt in the exchange of bribery and other monies. Notably, the Captain Reyhenna Jorino has bribed her soldiers, it is revealed to the Seafarer's Guild, and may as well now be a matter of public record the way Jorino conducts her affairs.
It is these very same soldiers that comprise the majority of our military and, indeed, these same soldiers who followed her orders to lock down the Docks District, at great peril to Peltarch's business community and working class, avoided, thanks to the swift intervention of the Magistracy.
The Seafarer's Guild reminds all citizens of Peltarch the good name of King George Fisher and the same blood runs through the veins of Damian Fisher who will, the Seafarer's Guild knows, make the situation right again.
-- Seafarer's Guild Press.
[DM Xanatos Gambit]
The True Autonomist -- Hammer, 1/25/2021
(Bard College Press)
Dissenters and Reputable Peltarch Businesses Under Attack by Jorino's Personal Propaganda Machine
Dear readers, it should surprise not one soul that Reyhenna Jorino's propaganda machine is now in full swing, spurred on by Jorino's backroom deal to give Lorelai Phinkwell of Feathered Quill Enterprises exclusive access to future Crown Council meetings in exchange for her ability to publish. But the corruption certainly does not stop there!
Reyhenna Jorino pays large signing bonuses to those soldiers joining or transferring to her own unit - the very same tactic used by the traitorous Talbot Anderson to swell his own ranks. She keeps leading with that carrot by paying her own soldiers higher wages than other regiments. Other captains have made requests for reviews and transfers of their own to keep their own regiments from falling apart, but General Williams seems to cow to Jorino's whims. And the worst part of all of this? The signing bonuses and salaries are paid directly from the city coffers! Our own taxes are being used to fund Reyhenna Jorino's own private army - not Peltarch's - and they all ran to the heel of their master upon her arrest. Is this how Defenders loyal to the Jewel behave? Or do their loyalties lie solely with Reyhenna Jorino?
Citizens of the Peltarch deserve better than to be crushed into destitution by the boot of the same woman, with one hand open (and the other with a dagger in wait behind her back!) promising a better life in her own personal army.
And who is this Adrian character that Jorino calls her squire? None have ever seen her train the man. No, he is an agent provocateur on her payroll - trailing your union leaders and other prominent figures of dissent, waiting in the shadows to overhear information she might spin to her own advantage. Just how many such men does she have in her employ?
-- The True Autonomists.
[DM Xanatos Gambit]
The Silver Tender
The Silver Tender is both proud and sorry to report that it has reoriented its printing press away from business ledgers, instead now to the provision of current affairs updates, in competition with the Feathered Quill's failing Peltarch Times press.
It is proud because the Silver Tender, a press owned and controlled by business and commercial men, will provide fair, measured and accurate reports to the good people of Peltarchs. The refined reader will find a home here.
It is sorry because its competitor, the Peltarch Times, has thrown its hat in with the likes of Princess Jorino to print fabrications and puff pieces filled with falsities.
Indeed, the latest issue of the Peltarch Times, while admirable in rhetoric, lacks in fact. The context of this dispute between the Times and the Magistracy will make all clear.
The Magistrate obviously made clear in the case of Hemington that had the charge been negligent harm, and had the Professor Hemington directly encouraged the violence, the Professor might have been liable for that violence. Of course, this detail is conveniently omitted from the Times.
You may wonder why it is that the Times has been printing such favourable articles for the Crown. The Tender knows why. The Princess has offered the Feathered Quill a favour -- the details of which the Tender does not know but, our sources confirm it. The Princess has offered the Quill some manner of favour in return for favourable press.
Of course, one need not wonder very much what sort of favours it is the Princess offers.
Critically, the Princess, it is now known, thanks to the Silver Tender's sources, is currently bribing her soldiers. Indeed, sources have indicated that the Princess either personally or by dipping into Peltarch's treasury is paying her soldiers practically double the salary that every other Defender regiment is paid.
Is it any wonder why her Regiment comprises over 60% of the currently active military? Of course one wonders what effect this might have on the loyalty and calibre of the paid soldier, who is, of course, more like a mercenary now and indeed, more likely loyal to his Captain than his King and Country.
-- Editorial Staff of the Silver Tender
[DM Xanatos Gambit]
Era of Magistracy Overreach
Chief editor of the Peltarch Times Lorelai Phinkwell has been arrested by a warrant written by Magistrate Shannon d'Arneau for the publication of two articles by Reyhenna Jorino that criticized the Bank of Peltarch. These articles called specifically for a boycott of the institution, and no more. Black on white, they are legible in our archives.
Curiously, the only person ever to arrest an editor of the Times has been the traitor General Talbot Anderson, because he viewed that our articles would inspire sedition and rebellion.
D'Arneau now proudly stands side by side the traitor General in his arrest of Lorelai Phinkwell yesterday.
Indeed, D'Arneau has decided to depart from his earlier position concerning the freedom of Peltarchians to speak their minds. Previously, in the case of Crown v. Hemway (Editorial Correction: "Hemmington"), D'Arneau decided against finding liable a Bard College professor for the actions of the Sons of the Senate, who in the weeks prior to that decision, attempted to abduct the King of Peltarch and orchestrated riots in the docks.
Now because it is the Crown on the hook, and for guilt by association with the Crown, and his now revealed obvious dislike of Reyhenna Jorino, and perhaps even Lorelai Phinkwell, D'Arneau has decided that this precedent does not matter. Perhaps it is because they are loud, and the Magistrate dislikes noise. Perhaps it is because they are women. Perhaps it is because they are loud women.
How does he distinguish this precedent? Hilariously, by the charge. Then, the Professor was charged with treason. Now, d'Arneau charges the Lorelai Phinkwell with negligent harm. As though facts do not matter, and all that matters is the text of the statute, a bad habit of the Magistrate's excessive formalism and obsession with the statute's text, which can be interpreted by his whim, rather than facts and prior cases, which are far more precise.
The stories are the same. It is the story of holding guilty by association one person for the actions of another because of words, printed or spoken.
In one story, a Professor wrote and expressed his view of a corrupt monarchy and then the Sons of the Senate, inspired at least in part by these views, attempted to abduct the King and set fire to Peltarch's docks.
In another story, the Princess wrote and expressed her view of a corrupt bank and then a band of commoners and workers, inspired at least in part by these views, attempted to attack the Bank and set fire to Peltarch's residential district.
Oh, but oh, the "charge" differs, dear reader, and in his mastery of the common language, the Magistrate waves away any other similarity between the two cases. Similar facts do not matter if the Magistrate can choose the lens with which he decides to read them. That lens is the charge. And he will choose whichever leads to the result he feels, thinks or whims as the so-called correct result.
What is the actual distinction? I will tell you, dear reader: the involvement of Reyhenna Jorino, and the Crown. In one case, the Crown was the accuser. In another, the accused. D'Arneau does not like the Crown. Nor anyone who associates with the Crown. There is no other explicable difference between the two cases. The Times do not blame him, of course, for this paper has criticized the Crown and its military endlessly in the past. Those criticisms likewise came during a time of great turmoil, public unrest, and yes, public attacks. Of course, the Quill and Times' chief editor was never arrested then.
Unless, of course, D'Arneau now has changed his mind about the printed word. Perhaps he would like to pick and choose which words are acceptable for others to print? Why stop there, of course. I invite the Magistrate to pick and choose which words we can speak. And, of course, not only in public, but also in private because, private words can also inspire others to act in ways we disagree with. And of course, why stop there? I invite the Magistrate to pick and choose the words we think, because thoughts can lead to words and words to print and each of which to actions which the Magistrate might find disagreeable.
And, good boys and girls that we are, we wouldn't want to upset the Magistrate d'Arneau, would we?
Dear D'Arneau: I await my arrest.
Jonah Loch, Junior Editor of the Peltarch Times.
[DM Xanatos Gambit]
By Roslyn Underhill
Another day, another riot. Peltarch, I ask you, how did it come to this?
Well, that question was rhetorical. We know exactly how it's come to this. The same person who used mind-altering magics to assassinate Lorin Wilkes, the same person who worked for the infamous far scout Smoke, used his mind-altering spells to incite a mob of good, well meaning Peltarch citizens to attack the Bank of Peltarch. In so doing, they attempted to set fire to the building, killed one employee, and very nearly killed a second.
This isn't your fault, Peltarch, but it is you that's being made to face the consequences. But you can also fight back.
The Cerulean Knights, my associates and myself, and so many others in this region are fighting to stop this. If you want to help us, then the best way to do that is with information.
The figure we search for is often known as Triloquist. He appears as a young boy, though one with glowing eyes and who is often accompanied by mist. He wields powerful magic, and can compel others to act on his behalf. I have submitted a sketch with this article, representing his appearance when I personally encountered him weeks ago.
If this figure is seen, please inform the Cerulean Knights immediately. Or inform your district's councillor, and we will take appropriate steps with the guard to pursue all leads.
He wants to use you against yourself, Peltarch. But your information can help us stop him.
Following the article is a carefully drawn sketch of what appears to be a boy, with glowing red eyes and pointed teeth. Beneath it is noted that it's speculated that he's a shapeshifter, and that if seen he is not to be approached under any circumstances.