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Issue #104

Shelby Chartrand, Augstat, Hesse

Freiherr Konrad Von Trier’s wife, the freifrau, has been arrested for allegedly threatening and shooting the freiherr with a “magical” crossbow after catching him with multiple women. The domestic confrontation ended with multiple injuries and numerous deaths.

The incident reportedly involved the freiherr, two friends, a room of harlots, and an enchanted gnome steam-powered crossbow and resulted in the wife’s arrest, according to the Hecks.

It is unclear at this time, officials say, whether this was a crime of passion or stupidity.

According to the Hecks, the freifrau traced her husband to the Rabbit Hole in the dwarven conclave of Altiflector. After an argument between them over his gambling habits, he first visited a gambling hall and then the Rabbit Hole accompanied by two friends and a penthouse of fräuleins.

The freifrau reportedly enlisted assassin accomplices from the Black Daggers to confront her husband, and before invading the dark halls of Altiflector, she is said to have paid for and acquired a rare gnome steam-powered crossbow to “skewer his cheating balls.”

Multiple sources report the freifrau aimed the crossbow at Freiherr von Trier after finding him naked in bed with multiple prostitutes.

According to the Rabbit Hole’s concierge, Chowder, a devil imp on duty at the time and an eyewitness to the event, “That noble bitch, ‘the accused,’ stormed through the door, pointed the barrel of that enchanted steam thingamajig at the fat victim, Herr-Von-Trier, her itchy finger on the trigger. She was tight wound and angry as fire. I told her, ‘whoa, ease off’, but her eyes said my instructions weren’t registering. She was on the crazy-wagon heading south fast.”

Chowder describes a scene of chaos that followed as the freiherr’s companions attempted to disarm the freifrau of her weapon. “Before we could curse the devil prince, the barrel was spinning and making a hellish racket as to make your head crack. Bolts were flying and blood was spraying. It was a god’s damn crime scene. I mean it, the devil’s own, and I have experience in that department.”

The Hecks arrived shortly after three o’clock in response to a summons from Mademoiselle Olivie, the Aimilleuse proprietor of the Rabbit Hole. Under normal circumstances, the Hecks disregard accusations within the Altiflector, as prosecution or even successful arrests are few in these instances, but reports of Hessen nobles involved in a domestic dispute resulting in deaths demanded their response. The knights found Freiherr Konrad Von Trier with crossbow bolts in his shoulder, thigh, abdomen, and privates lying in a pool of blood, a mixture of his and the remains of eight ladies of the evening. A spokesperson for the Hecks says some forty-two bolts riddled the victims, and another estimated three hundred more pierced the walls and ceiling.

“That crazy noble bitch had no understanding, just stood there screaming and spraying the room with bolts,” the devil concierge added, reenacting the scene by using his long stem pipe as a crossbow. Investigators support this assertion—given the randomness of the bolts across the room and the injuries to the victims, they say is appears evident the freifrau had no or limited skills with a crossbow beyond point and click.

Reportedly, the Freifrau conceded ignorance regarding the definition of “automatic weapons enchantment” but was told when acquiring it that she couldn’t miss when using it. She says she did not realize what would occur once she pulled the trigger: a hundred bolts a second sprang forth from the enchanted steam-powered crossbow, leaving decimation in its wake.

The two Black Dagger assassin accomplices who accompanied the freifrau into the Rabbit Hole have not been identified by name or located. Investigators confirm they disappeared in the commotion and took with them the enchanted murder weapon.

Halflings, of course,” Chowder said. “The assassins had to be halflings. The only thing that vanishes faster than roaches fleeing light is a halfling disappearing from a crime scene.”

The Freiherr is expected to survive the encounter. His friends, two nobles whose names are being withheld, are said to have survived the ordeal unharmed as well. The freifrau was arrested and is being held by the Hecks as the investigation continues.

Dragon Visits Rubenstein

Friday evening, just past the dinner hour, a dragon was momentarily spotted flying over Augstat. Witnesses described its wings as “titan sails catching wind,” which caused powerful gusts to buffet witnesses before the dragon disappeared behind Rubenstein’s protective walls. The sudden appearance cast a shadow across the city, startling people out for an evening stroll and others enjoying drinks at nearby cafés. 

Rubenstein, the 700-year-old Order of Magicians, has a colorful history, its illustrious membership including many of Chaldea’s most infamous magicians among humans, elves, dwarves, and even dragons. While dragons reportedly remain active in the membership directory, they rarely travel physically to The Lodge, the order’s tower home in Augstat.

“Dragons prefer to do business via dream interpreters,” explained Tawnee Teakettle, a halfling Mystic Arts professor at the University of Kordava. “Dragons have voracious appetites for minerals and sleep, and after gorging themselves, they can spend decades, even centuries, snoozing. Although technically asleep, their towering intellect remains quite active in a persistent dream state. Dragons preserve energy and strength and do not move unless there is no other option. Dream-walking is their favored method of communication.”

Accepting Mrs. Teakettle’s explanation at face value, a dragon traveling to Rubenstein is troubling. 

News of the dragon spread quickly, and the curious, eager to see the creature, came out in force.  Sometime around 10 p.m., a murky pernicious fog set in like a gray blanket over the city, so thick people were forced from the streets; doors and windows were shuttered to keep the thick fume outdoors.

The following morning, the sun burned off the fog, and there was no further sign of the dragon.  Rubenstein has refused comment on the dragon sighting, releasing only a boilerplate statement: “We are prohibited by membership charter from confirming or denying business travel.”

Thyme Discovery—A Graver Guide to Monsters & Critters

Augstat’s very own daughter, retired graver and university professor Lady Lytle Thyme, has written and published a lifeform encyclopedia, a “catalog of monsters,” she calls it. 

“The term ‘monster’ is an often misused, kitschy phrase tossed slapdash around to describe the unknown,” she explained from her university office. A sapphire gekkon was perched regally behind her, underscoring her love of animals. “The pearl universe is a large wondrous place, full of beauty and spectacle and everywhere populated with life abundant—animals and sentient lifeforms both natural and supernatural. Monsters are generally things misunderstood.”

Flipping through her book, she indicated an expertly drawn illustration of a Harrow.

“Oh, dear me, yes, they’re dangerous,” she was quick to note when asked about monster threats. “That’s the other side of the monster coin.  A docile pet is rarely referred to as a monster unless it has just chewed on your favorite pair of boots.”

The guide is divided into two sections: the first covers creatures Thyme discovered and interacted with personally. The result of those interactions sometime ended in battles and death and others ended in friendship. The second half of the encyclopedia delves into the super-class of transcendental lifeforms, such as Cthulhuian horrors, Drasildar, Demons, Devils, Elder dragons, and the gamut of divine servitors.

Thymes’s Graver Guide to Monsters & Critters will be released next week in conjunction with a new zoology exhibit at the University of Kordava. Afterward, Lady Thyme will read excerpts from the book and will be available to answer questions and sign copies of her new book.

Lordint Donates “Weapon of Destiny”

The University of Kordava’s annual fundraising auction enjoys wide participation and is well-supported through “give until it hurts” charitable drives and generous donations received from celebrity and business institutions. It continues to be the highlight of the philanthropic season.

All donations are greatly needed and appreciated, but no donation is as prestigious or eagerly anticipated as the custom weapons donated from Lordint’s School of Forging.  For over twenty years, Lordint Durjak has graciously donated custom handcrafted weapons, shields, and armor pieces accompanied by signed certificates of authenticity.

Last year, the school donated a one-of-a-kind collector’s edition, a “War Hawks” 10th Legion scutum replica shield like that Legatus Hellwig von Gustavus carried in the battle of Akkadia.  The autographed legionnaire shield, signed by both Lordint and governor Gustavus, sold at auction for 301,000 silver pfennigs, sending record contributions to the Herz orphanage, the recipient of last year’s auction proceeds.

Lordint’s School of Forging is thrilled to return to this year’s fundraiser and to once again contribute an exquisite Hessen Doppelhänder based on the original designs wielded by the Landsknechte mercenary corps that landed on Chaldean shores so long ago during the Claw-Hammer war. This year’s donations go to support Fairy goodmother küchen, which is dedicated to serving meals to the homeless and families in need.

This special event serves as an opportunity to remind the Hessen people all things are achievable through the power of cooperative giving.

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