March 28, 2004
TRELLOR IN FLAMES
City razed to the ground!
The City of Trellor was razed to the ground today by a series of freak fires. As the Stormwatch and Cityguards struggled to contain the blaze, many citizens were forced flee to the wilderness. The situation was made worse by high winds moving in from the Dawnward Ocean, driving the fires before them. Large areas of the surrounding countryside were also ablaze.
The business community sent desperate pleas for supplies to all the major trade centres in a vain attempt to keep the shops open. Relief centers (a ramshackle collection of makeshift camps) were being hastily set up outside the disaster area but, with little or no organization, the effort was haphazard at best. Several of them fell victim to the advancing flames. The situation was further exacerbated by large numbers of fear-crazed wilderness creatures attacking aid workers in their panicked attempts to flee the approaching inferno.
A spokesman for the Duke of Trellor, in a hastily called news conference, stated that it was believed that the fires were started by Viscount Cripthorn, who inadvertantly hid in the city's oil storage facility whilst fireshielded. The Viscount was not available for comment. The spokesman also stated that it is unlikely that any charges would be brought against the Viscount, (last seen flying in the direction of Naeramae trailing a cloud of smoke), or any other individual because the damage was so widespread as to make it virtually impossible to ascertain for certain the the cause or the location of the original conflagration. "The whole city is a mess!" he said. "It would be easier to find Vryce asleep in Castle Square than to find who, what and where this all started!"
As the conference broke up, news was already circulating the city that several trade caravans had managed to reach the beleaguered trade post. The City spokesman was heard to mutter "Thank Trell! With any luck we will survive the night! Someone tell the High Priestess to pray for rain!" He hastened away to attend to the ensuing chaos as many more laden wagons arrived and several of the freight handlers succumbed to smoke inhalation. Acolytes from the Temple began ministering to the the wounded and homeless as much needed food and medical supplies were finally unloaded.
As a testament to the resilience of the Trellorian citizens, as this reporter was leaving the scene of devastation I was handed a pamphlet offering competitve rates for the bulk removal of partially cooked draught horse carcasses. I shall be checking the menus in Trellorian restaurants with some care in the forthcoming weeks!
Other news, the worldwide shortage of heal staves continues with no sign of any improvement. Due to recent changes in the durability of Red and White staves in particular, dragon lairs are becoming an increasing problem. The incidence of dragon attacks on trade caravans has increased proportionally to the lack of availability of said staves. The Trade Guilds are considering a formal petition to the Gods for the provision of aid and protection for caravans passing within the vicinity of known lairs. A senior Guild member suggested using the unemployed mercenaries at present wandering the streets of Medievia City. "It's about time they did something about these layabouts!" he told me. "Put em to work guarding traders and get em off the streets! I'm sick of seeing my hard earned gold go towards keeping em in booze and women!" He stalked off in the direction of the Medievia Bank, presumably to check on his rapidly depleting gold reserves.
The Small Towns Lair Association issued a statement expressing their willingness to rid Medievia of the offending reptiles if and when the staffage famine lifted but didn't see any chance of that happening in the near future. "We just don't have the man power to compete with the big boys!" was the reply when the question "Any lairs running?" was put to the chairman of the STLA. He went on to add that several towns had been obliged to leave the Associaton and withdraw from the lairing community. "It's hit us hard! We've lost a lot of good lairers in the past few weeks.", were his parting words as he left to pin an appeal for heal items to the Library board.
And finally, rumour has it that one of Medievia's many heroines is languishing in the throes of unrequited love for one of the senior Gods! Will the fair maiden's prayers be answered or are they destined to fall on deaf ears because the exalted object of her affections is forever wizinvis? Only time and this column will tell!
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