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Spurian FreePress
"Volume 2, Issue 4" ...

Founded by Nibiru Sirius

Editor's Note: We are back for another issue of the Spurian Free Press and some slight changes have been made. We have a new columnist and a shift in editor positions for starters. We also want this paper to become a place where you, the readers, have a voice. If you have something you would like to share, whether it is a story or an opinion report, we want to hear from you. We are also willing to do interviews if you have something to say. Do not be shy, we do not bite. Well, columnist Danilova sometimes does. Watch out for that one.

Table of Contents
Your News Quickly
Standing Up With Methoss
The Ghost and the City
The Path of the Unknown
10 Things To Do In Spur For 50 Gold Or Less
Heard About Town
Raenard's Lesson
Cethalia and the Arachnian
Ask Danilova


Your News Quickly
by Davide Orestaia

Commerce and People
Two separate factions have been trying their hand at helping the Poor Quarter. At one side, Stanrar and his party are trying help the poor from the top down and remove them from their harsh conditions. They are trying to change the surrounding conditions as well as improve the health of the people themselves. Changeman, the leader of the other relief group, has made it blatantly obvious that Poor Quarter doesn’t need to be changed, and is taking more of a bottom up strategy. He focuses on the people themselves, and getting them to become stable in the community.

Temple uproar has risen since the arrival of a new Arachnian member to the temple Sa, Silkyn Poisonsilk. Upon interviewing her, Silkyn has strongly stood by her decision to support magick and be empathetic to other races. Although she has come into much conflict with other temples and races, many members of the temple Sa, including its regent, stand by Silkyn and believe she is a fine addition to the temple. The Regent of Sa, Noffbrau, was quoted to say "I just wish everyone could leave her be, and let her live her life as she wishes," he continues "She does nothing to harm others, but yet others persist on attacking, like they are doing it out of boredom, they need to find something else better to do with their time."

On another note, during the Peddle of the Pantheon, held by merchant Tir, a ghostly Frontacian visited the crowd. Uneasy and grasping his sword, the ghostly man spoke an unknown language, that was later identified as an ancient Frontacian tongue. Left in a haze of mystery, the Peddle continued. The ghost revisited Spurians in the square just days later, speaking the same language and causing even more confusion. No one is sure about his origins or agenda, but he has visited Spur for a reason.

Recently, many Spurians have come under attack by different sorts of unidentifiable creatures. These include Ice imps, fire hounds, and large swarms of Cicadas. The Ice imps, of unknown origin, claimed to be searching for a “silver sphere” and would kill until they got it. They just recently attacked within Town Square. Fortunately, there were few casualties. The fire hounds, according to eye witnesses, were a creation of the mage, Vesenil. They began to slaughter secians and innocent citizens in the Dark Forest, one day after the imp attack. Just a few days after that, a large green cloud filled the air. This cloud was a swarm of cicadas attacking Spurians, yet again, in the square.


Standing Up With Methoss
Reported by Maren Vonalte

I met earlier this week with Advocate of Entropy Methoss Temper of Sa. He had read the interview that the SFP reporter Lewelin had conducted with Regent Noffbrau Trenkill in the last issue and decided to contact me so he can express his views.

We met at my office to discuss what was on his mind. He wanted the general populace to know and understand what was going on with the Saian temple. Methoss looked tired and wary, holding his walking stick tightly. Off the bat, I asked if Noffbrau was voted in Regent by a majority, and if so, then why were people so upset?

"Noffbrau did indeed receive the majority of votes. I counted them myself," Methoss says. "However many people are upset because those that elected Noffbrau were mainly younger Saians, newly arrived in the city, or those that had not show much interest in the temple before. It has led to quite a bit of conflict within our ranks I'm afraid."

I asked him if it was possible to have another vote. "I dont know if there is any precedent to, uh, impeaching a Regent. In any case, I doubt another vote would settle our problems..." Methoss explains. "I was against choosing a Regent from the start because there is currently no suitable candidate to lead our temple, myself included."

"I've also been working to, uh, limit the influence of the Regent. Althought it pains me to have to do so, I've felt this is the best way to try and preserve the temple," Methoss says. I asked him how he planned to do that and he said, "Well, as you probably know Advocate Renalk disappeared from Emjedah not too long ago, leaving the temple there without guidance. Emjedah is an important Saian stronghold, and it needs suitable representation in the temple there."

Before he left for Emjedah, Methoss explained he made an agreement with the Regent of Spur. "Well, the temple in Emjedah is part of the Spurian Regency, much like the one in Treehaven used to be before the schism," he says. "I felt that due to current differences within the Saian temple, and much of the displeasure is centered around the city of Emjedah, I feared another schism might take place if things were not settled."

"I spoke with the Regent and we agreed that while the temple in Emjedah would remain part of the Spurian Regency and aknowledge him as Regent, that we would be allowed to choose how to run our temple ourselves. So in actuality, for all intents and purposes the temple there is, for now, a separate entity."

Concerning Noffbrau's political views, Methoss had to say this: I believe Noffbrau means well, he doesnt seek to intentionaly harm the temple. Unfortunately his actions are often impulsive, and he has a tendency not to think things through carefuly. He can get away with these traits as an individual, barely, but in the leader of a powerful temple like ours I believe it will be disastrous.

Concerning his goal for the Saian temple in Emjedah, his words were: I just hope to be able to help those Saians understand what it really means to serve Sa. Incredibly enough, I believe this will actualy be an arduous task. In the most simple terms, serving Sa means complete and utter devotion to magick. But of course that hardly helps, because there are infinite ways one can devote themselves to magick. This is one of the great strengths of the Saian temple.

"Ultimately, a Saian must seek to protect, and to improve our understand of Sa's gift to us. Understanding the nuances of the runes, and using that understanding to show others the power and glory of magick."

Methoss' final words in the interview was this. "I just hope that all Saians take this time of, and I hesistate to use the word crisis, to renew their faith in Sa himself. While those of us who are merely mortal struggle with each other, Sa himself remains a pillar for us to support ourselves on."


The Ghost and the City
by a Reporting Citizen

Most people in Spur realize that a ghost of the Frontacian has appeared to a few of the citizens of Spur and even a few of Emjedah, however it is shocking how few seem to really care. The apathy of Spurian citizens is sometimes appalling. When questioned, one citizen gave this response, "Stuff like this happens in Spur all the time and the city have always gotten by. After being saved from 'mortal peril' a few times over, you just get used it." While another citizen had this to say, "One threat gone, and another one comes up. Why should we even bother anymore? What's going to happen this time is the whole world going to end!?... again?" She then covered her hand and left out a mock yawn.

It seems though that a few citizens have taken an interest in the recent ghostly phenomena. One citizen in particular, the "Regent" of Sa, Noffbrau, is convinced that the ghost is after a ring that he purchased from the Merchant Tir. Apparently, the ghost came and interrupted one of the Merchant Tir's peddles while the "Regent" was bidding on this ring of his. That alone seems to be the sole reason for why he is convinced that the ghost is after him. Most citizens laugh at this, but then again, people laughing at this particular Hithual's logic is not all that uncommon in its own right. In truth, it seems the Frontacian specter and its master have it in for our lovely lead editor, the Usil Maren.

Beset by fiends and imps of an icy sort, Maren has managed to escape the death of the "creature" that controls these beasts. There is a rumor going around that such beasts were also seen in the Frontacian city of Emjedah. Recently, a strange icy mist not unlike the one that was present for the ghost's appearance at the Imports House Fantastico rolled into the Town Square. The mist was quickly followed by ice fiends who stormed the Town Square of our apathetic city, first striking the Anthian Nalu. They were quickly defeated, but now our lead editor is hearing voices in her head. It seems that this new foe of ours has taken up the Wyvern palette as he intends to drain the blood and marrow from Maren's bones, or so says the voices in Maren's head. This reporter cannot confirm the validity of this. Perhaps it is best that she seeks medical attention from a Psycian heart cleric. I'm sure Malthus would look into it for her.

Best wishes goes out to the editor, even if more than half the city won't care.


The Path of the Unknown
By Scruple Tamarind

There is an eternal mistiness on the path to the Shrine of the Unknown. To those of us not of the faith it is foggy indeed, fraught with mystery and offering few clues to the hearts and minds of the followers - nay, the companions - of the god Unknown. With the kind help of several of those who walk beside Him, I attempted to see through their eyes for a brief time and see beyond the veil of mystery surrounding the god we call Unknown.

The Shrine of Unknown near Spur might at first be mistaken for an Elindalian shrine. Enormous trees tower all around, swirling mist below. And indeed, both faiths concern themselves with the preservation of balance. The furnishings of the shrine are simple and utilitarian, with the exception of a magnificent mural depicting an enormous tiger, a misty pillar containing some artifacts, and the coral altar.

The followers of Unknown share a confidence, a tranquility, a palpable sense of self-awareness that I came to envy as I spoke to them. A popular diety despite the mystery shrouding Him, Unknown has many devotees from a wide range of backgrounds. All those I spoke to, Human to San to Oog-ra, spoke in imagery of walking on a Path with Unknown. To call them "followers" is not correct, but none of those I spoke to could offer a better term. They are "with" Unknown, they "walk beside" Unknown, they do not follow. In all aspects, from how they come to Unknown to how they live their lives, it seems self- awareness and intuition guide them. They are not led, coerced, or commanded. They are companions.

Many of Unknown were not raised in the religion, but came to Him later. They describe a calling, or an inevitability. "I think that those destined to follow Unknown are destined from birth, regardless of the paths they may take to get there or realized their destiny - it is there," Archon Kagee told me. When asked about her own journey to Unknown, she replied, "I looked deep within myself, and realized that after all the things I had been through, they were leading me back to where I belonged. Some people find Him right away, some of us are a bit stubborn." I was astonished to hear that the temple of Unknown does not seek to recruit or convert others. "When Unknown is one's path, they find it themselves," the Archon said. As Corea put it, "Pursuasion negates the true balance." Pai told me One's path may not lead to Unknown, but so long as one follows their path, Unknown is pleased. To have them do otherwise would upset the balance.

"Balance" is another word heard over and over again in any discussion of Unknown. It may be that all the energy they save by not recruiting is being poured into vigilance of the Balance. It is a complex topic. There is the balance within an individual, the balance of nature, the balance of the Pantheon and the balance of the Universe. Corae explained, "All things in life need Balance - for every evil there is a good. For every life there is death, and life again. All things in nature and the universe are correct when there is balance." This is a common theme: No good without evil, no light without darkness. No order without chaos. As Cieran said, "All gods are valid. We are perhaps the only faith in Aradath who embrace Taath as well as Odarous. One cannot be without the other." Balance may be within one's self, knowing one's true path, or it may happen in small ways every day in words and actions. Most dramatically, in a crisis great exertions may be required to restore Balance. Stanrar said, "For the most part the balance of the universe maintains itself, at times it needs aid. But if one tends not to see things in a balanced sense of seeing all sides, they miss part of the picture." This touches on another tenet of the Unknown, that of knowledge. Growth and knowledge allows one to see more of the whole and allows one to judge before acting - or not acting - in preservation of balance. The Human cleric Pai strives for non-interference and guidance in everything finding it's own true nature. "It is not balance to remove the fangs of a snake. A snake must be a snake."

Other than the mists and fogs surrounding the temple, it is rare to see a physical manifestation of Unknown. One example is a phantasmal tiger that has been seen around town. Also, Munger the Oog-ra had his shackles removed by a mist-like being which he followed, thinking to play with it, to the Shrine. Munger's understanding of Unknown, like that of his brethren, is of someone to walk beside on a path. He spoke of the kindness of his templemates and how he was welcomed immediately. Perhaps it has to do with their faith that those come who are meant to come, and that what happens is part of a larger equilibrium. They do not evangelize, they do not preach. They were gracious in speaking to me but at no time tried to pursuade me that their faith was the best faith. It gives them a compelling air of being at peace with themselves. Cieran summed it up thus: "There are all things... in the center lives my god."


10 Things To Do In Spur For 50 Gold Or Less
by Miss Sapphire

Tired of just hunting or sitting in a room by yourself and staring at your sword all the time? Fear not! My article is just for you, especially for those of you who are run down on their luck and don't have much gold to begin with. Shall we begin?

10. Mooch off Kraggon
This Odarian Lord of Spur loves entertainment and women of all races (this includes you, Condie!), and with a semi-loaded bank account and a fountain of neverending ale, he can take you and five others out on a night on the town. Just bat your eyes at this Hithual when he makes his daily appearance in the square, mention ale, and he will do the rest.

9. Othello Museum
A barely used building, the Othello Museum houses many historical artifacts. There are also many paintings and murals with vivid colors that tell the events of Spur's past, for those that are history inclined.

8. Bard's Guild
When you have some time and you do not know what to do, going to the Bard's Guild can help. There are apprentices of all shapes and sizes practicing their songs, instruments, and lore telling. While it may be noise most of the time, listen a little closer and perhaps you will find a gem or two. If you see Anyah the Human, bardess extraordinare, ask her for a song or two. There is also the stairway to the heavens crafted by Onral Pilfon the Drag-al, who wanted to build a staircase so high, when he played on his silver flute, the gods themselves could hear him. Unfortunately, that was a bust and he died in a tragic accident because of it.

7. Flea Market in Poor Quarter
A place of bargains and thrills await you at the flea market of Poor Quarter. Most of the wares at the flea market is pretty low grade in terms of quality, but the prices are relatively cheap and you can gain some exercise as you run away from thugs threatening to steal your coins. Don't forget to feed the wandering children.

6. Spurian Bazaar
Shopping, everyone needs and most people love to do it. The bazaar is an upgraded form of the flea market with slightly better quality wares. From shoes to clerical supplies to even a locksmith, the bazaar has what you need and for cheap.

5. Gladiator Arena
For some high time action and to get the blood going, there is always the gladiator arena east of the square. The entrance fee to participate isn't that high and, depending on which fight you decide to fight in, not that difficult. There is even a store there to purchase items to remember your experience.

4. Gilded Lion Inn
Home of the many cottages suited for your pleasure, the Gilded Lion Inn is an exquisite place suited for your needs. Not only are there cottages, but there is a dining hall and pools to relax in.

3. Rose Eternal Tavern
A long standing landmark and a tradition for those who want to get sloshed and have a good time, the Rose Eternal Tavern, or the Rose as most refer to it, is the place to go. The Rose is usually crowded with regulars, mostly Drag-als, with subpar but very cheap ale and food. However, this never bothers the customers, just as long as they can get drunk and watch the shows that are performed on the small stage. An if you examine the room closely enough, you can find old vomit piles, wooden barstools and chairs, and much more.

2. AGC
The AGC, or A Gentleman's Club as some like to refer to it, is another tradition and long standing landmark of Spur. Inside this illustrious building, your dreams and fantasies can come true, provided you have the coin. While most of what can occur there is pretty pricey, you can still enjoy the rich atmosphere and talk with the ladies in private rooms for only 50 gold. And that, my friends, is a bargain.

And the moment you've been waiting for, the number one pick for anyone to do in the city of Spur for 50 gold or less is...

1. Town Square Center
From invasions to demonic creatures to weird little Flerians with prophecies, Town Square Center is the place to be for some fun and excitement in your life. You can talk to random strangers or participate in the hourly fights (though warning with the latter, there will be consequences to what side you chose), or just stand there like a bum. It is all up to you, and most importantly, it is all free!


Heard Around Town
by Miss Sapphire

This column is just the place to find interesting and funny comments spoken by those who walk through the Spur everyday. If you hear any funny comments, please send them to my scribe SFPSapphire@hotmail.com, and thank you to all those who donated quotes.

Slade says, "Basically, this is our time to run around mischievous and have a grand time doing it."
- Slade the Psycian. May he rest in peace.

Broyce exclaims, "sold to Luna, finally, so she and Mao can share a nice nights rest!"
- Broyce the Anthian

Moss says to Caylith, "hello, I'm Sytrick's little flame dancing thing."
- Moss the Flerian and Caylith the Drake

Weldoian exclaims, "Use those infamous outlaw assassin skills!"
- Weldoian the Secian

Mason says to Scruple, "you are gonna be plastered"
Anyah says to Mason, "She probably already is."
Scruple exclaims to Anyah, "How would you know!?"
- Mason the Secian, Scruple the Drag-al, Anyah the Human

Jurax says to Callik, "I'm a law abiding citizen"
- Jurax the Penthanian and Callik the Fir Elf

Smite says to the pink potbelly pig, "yuz gahd no biznez mezin wit dem fokez"
Smite asks the pink potbelly pig, "Yuz ebur wunner wy demz feedz yuz?"
- Smite the Oog-ra and Hamlet the pink potbelly big

Gruddy says to Noffbrau, "Sir, I do not want any part of me to look like you. No offense, but you are rather unattractive."
- Gruddy the Flerian and Noffbrau the Hithual

Oake says, "A giggling gaggle of geese goggled gagging gangs of Gobbies."
- Oake the Secian

Depravato'a says to Vartac, "we shall not now, nor ever speak of my ever being younger than i am"
- Depravato'a the Dragon and Vartac the Secian

Shleegulz asks Firebreath, "how jhoo keep jhur nail polish frum ghettin skufft when jhoo iz clawin stuff?"
- Shleegulz the Go-blin-al and Firebreath the Drake

Noffbrau says to Voskresenieye, "dunt wanna get to close to ye, ye might start dreaming of a kiss frum meh"
- Noffbrau the Hithual and Voskresenieye the GOLDE Drake

Kalessin says to Callik, "I am considering instituting a new policy called "If you hit me with it I take it away.""
- Kalessin the Drake and Callik the Fir Elf

Osire says to Anyah, "dont need to last long to make a chiid"
Maren says to Osire, "Oh...the things I could say to that."
Bethany says to Osire, "Maybe you're doing something wrong, then"
- Osire the Hithual, Anyah the Human, Maren the Usil Elf, and Bethany the Psycian

Soyam says, "I swear, if there was a god of Insanity, he'd be worshipped by everyone here...."
Soyam exclaims, "...Maybe that explains Unknown!"
- Soyam the Human

Methoss says to Xaphania, "Hes right you know. If you want to use glasses to scare off the Usils, you have to put it on them. When they see you clearly, they'll beat a hasty retreat."
- Methoss the Drag-al and Xaphania the San Elf

Tahj says, "can't be in the air with secians, I don't trust em"
Tahj says, "they fly like maniacs"
- Tahj the Psycian

Melraath says to Cleric, "Be thankful that Tchori doesn't love you anymore... Having his respect is kind of like having the sexual love of an Oog-ra. Dirty, smelly and definately painful."
- Melraath the Leuian and Cleric the Leuian

Mister asks Condie, "Wuza boosh?"
Condie asks Mister, "yoo aint nebuh shek boosh?"
Grimn says to Mister, "daz wer joo go in de boosh, den shek dem"
- Mister the Go-blin-al, Condie the Go-blin-al, and Grimn the Go-blin-al


Raenard's Lesson
Translated by Davide Orestaia

In a quiet Mountain Village, a young Usil named Raenard awoke for another peaceful day of study. His whole life, Raenard had achieved greatness. Still a young elf, he had accomplished many forms of art, literature, and was quite the thespian. Yet there was one obstacle that Raenard had not overcome, and that was his heart. Ever since he was able to open his eyes, Raenard had loved Ledara. Ledara was another young Usil, around his age, who was very beautiful and intelligent. When they first met, they were instantly drawn together. This attraction grew into a strong friendship. Raenard was still in love with Ledara, but was confused on what to do. He knew what his heart felt, but his mind was lost.

This morning was different. He was ready to peruse his dream, which was to confront Ledara about his feelings. Every morning, Ledara spent about an hour in the local library to entertain herself with a few books. Confident and proud, Raenard headed to the library to find his love. He entered the engraved wooden doors, passed through the gilded archway, and there she was. Huddled over a book on rune spells, her auburn hair flowed down her cheek, setting Raenard’s heart aflame. As he approached Ledara, Raenard started to think. His heart beat wildly, and his breath began to shorten. Face to face with Ledara, he froze. His mouth was open, yet no words came out. Ledara asked “Are you alright?” Pale faced and speechless, Raenard turned and ran out the door.

Why had could he not speak? He was her best friend, and yet, he had never behaved like that before. Raenard went with his first instinct ,and he began to read. He locked himself inside of his room and read everything from books on the female anatomy, to books on marriage. For months he avoided Ledara, too afraid to repeat his previous “encounter.” He knew nothing of the continuous outside world, other than his books Finally, after reading everything he could on the subject, he emerged from his room. He had a new look of confidence, and a big smile on his face.

One more time, he was ready to approach Ledara. He headed for the same library, early in the moring. He entered the engraved wooden door, through the archway, and turned to see his love. He did see his love, but there was something different. She wasn’t alone. Sitting next to her was one of the other male Usils from the village. When he approached the couple, this time, he felt a strange feeling once again. This time, that was a feeling of anger and fear. He was standing in front of the couple.

Ledara said “Oh, there you are! I have been looking for you for ages. I want you to meet my fiancee.” With a look of horror on his face, Raenard glanced down at Ledara, and saw a ring on her left finger. It was true, he had lost her.

And yes, there is a moral to the story (of course, there always is). For those of you who are afraid of love or anything for that matter, do not run away from your problems. Running can only cause more damage or for you to lose someone dear. Face your fears head on, for that is the only way to conquer them.


Cethalia and the Arachnian
by Twilight Flutal

In a time very near after the releasing of the Unmagick, when Dracos were new and Secians were still just learning what it meant to be Secian, there lived a young dragon named Cethalial.

Cethalial was a homely draco. Though she had a good heart, strong body and a wise spirit for her age, she was as ugly and disfigured as a young dragon can be. When she was of the right age, she left the protective comfort of her home to find her own way in the world and her heart was full of hope for finding a chosen of her own. But alas, none were to be found for poor Cethalial. For Secians in those days were very new to the world and their relationship with dragon kind newer still, and in the vanity that oft is associated with youth and inexperience, Secians of those times all wished to be bonded with the best and most beautiful dragons they could.

Twas not that the Secians were cruel to young Cethalial. Nay, not at all. For everywhere she looked Cethalial found kind and loving Secians, but none of these little ones, no matter how kind, would have Cethalial for a chosen. So she continued to wander alone. At last, sorrowful at seeing so many happy chosens and bondmates all around her, Cethalial chose to venture out far and away into unexplored lands. Perhaps there she would find happiness at last.

Exiting the city and leaving civilization behind her, Cethalial had a good pace to her feet when she slowed at a peculiar site. Off to the side of the road stood a young Arachnian female. Cethalial watched cautiously as she approached, for she knew that twas the females of this new race who were the strongest and most cunning. But this spider neither moved nor even acknowledged Cethalial as she approached and the draco wondered at how the female arachnid chittered in a most mournful fashion.

“Why for do you wail on so?” asked Cethalial. But of course, Arachnians, though they understand the common, do not speak it, so the spider merely chittered some more and seemed to grow even more pitiful as it gazed upon Cethalial.

At a loss to explain this strange behavior and having no particular reason to care much what might pain an Arachnian heart, indeed she wondered if they had one, Cethalial began to walk on. But in a moment of compassion, she paused and turned back.

“I know not why you are so aggrieved,” said Cethalial. “But as I am walking alone and as I know of no evils you have done to the little ones my kind call kyn, you may walk with me if you wish. But I warn you, if this be a trick of yours, my response will be swift. I am sure you already note that I am no average draco in either size or countenance, such is true for my thought as well. Do not think to fool me, for I shall always see the truth of things in the end.”

At this, the Arachnian female ceased its mournful chittering and gazed up at Cethalial through its many eyes. She nodded her spider head in agreement and so followed the draco. Much to Cethalial’s surprise, the spider did naught to either trick or harm. On the contrary, Cethalial found the spider to be quite polite. Always did it share its meal when they supped and often did it show compassion for other creatures they did come across in their travels. Cethalial could tell that this was a most uncommon Arachnian, just as she was an uncommon draco.

When Cethalial was wounded, it did tend her wounds. When the need for battle was joined, it defended her and stood always at her side, yet would not meet their enemies in battle itself. Instead, the spider left this to Cethalial and kept her safe through all troubles. Once, while they were dining at an inn, taking rest from their many adventures, a poor destitute family did wander through the doorway in search of food. The faces of the parents were worn with worry and despair and their bedraggled children looked as if the weight of hunger might add still more tears to their troubled little faces. Their home and farm, it seemed, had been burned out by bandits and they had no means to make their way in the world through winter. The father entreated the owner of the inn for work or aid to help his wife and children until spring again allowed him to rebuild, but the innkeeper’s heart turned cold at the sight of these beggars and ordered them away. Other patrons of the inn were similarly uncompassionate towards these strangers.

But then Cethalial watched as her spider friend, for they had by now become friends, arose from their quiet corner and crossed the room towards the family. At first, the father stood before his children and spouse in fierce protection of them, but then as the spider neared she loosened the straps of her many packs and dropped them at the father’s feet. She then untied her gold coin purse and pressed the weighty sack into his hands. For in their travels and many adventures, Cethalial and the Arachnian had accumulated much wealth. The female spider then nodded her head graciously towards the family and gestured towards the many packs and gold, indicating that they were to keep all she had given.

As they departed again on to the road that night Cethalial lamented that so beautiful a spirit as her friend’s should be cursed with such a cruel deformity. And then Cethalial lamented her own deformed self, and at that moment felt a strange kinship towards her spider friend.

Time passed, and although during those times the strength of dragon ways was still such that no mortal could learn the ancient and noble dragon tongue, Cethalial, in her great intelligence eventually came to understand her friend’s chittering speech. And with this ability, she came to know the spider’s name as, Fasha. A most unusual name for a spider indeed, but this was of no matter to Cethalial, for in all their travels she had still found not one Secian who would have her as a chosen. Cethalial knew she was certain to die or go mad in the staging, but until then, she would find happiness in the company of a friend, for a dear friend Fasha the spider has surely become.

One afternoon, as they ate beside the banks of a clear blue pond, Cethalial asked Fasha a question she had long wondered about.

“Why do you not seek companionship with your own kind? I have, in truth, always found it strange that you would rather my company than another Arachnian.”

“Oh,” chittered Fasha, “They would not have me. For amongst the Arachnian people my ways are not acceptable. To be kind is considered a weakness and I would surely be beaten or worse for my actions. I am shunned by other spiders and so I cannot live amongst them.”

“That is a shame,” said Cethalial. “For I find you to be a spider of great heart. Surely though, one such as yourself could find acceptance amongst Secians. I do know that many of them lament the hatred your kind shows them and oft feel a distant kindred to them. For indeed, before the Unmagick you were all very alike. I am certain Secians would find great joy in an Arachnian so like themselves. Why do you not seek companionship there?”

“Oh no,” chittered Fasha. “I could not do that. For in their presence I feel only sorrow. Though you are right that many wish reconciliation still with Arachnians, many others have come to distrust us now, and though I may be accepted, I would never be one of them. That would make me feel even lonelier. I would rather your company.”

“I am happy in your company as well,” said Cethalial, “but I fear it will be short lived. I am near the time of my first staging now. I feel it inside me. And when I do it is unlikely that I shall survive. Would that your outer form could match that of your beautiful spirit. If you will forgive my saying, I see within you the heart of a true Secian. Alas that you were made an Arachnian, for if the fates of this cruel world had been different, I would have had you for my chosen.”

As Cethalial spoke these words a strange and beautiful light surrounded her Arachnian friend. Before her eyes, the spider’s back legs shrank and lightened and became two tiny humanoid legs. The front legs contracted and grew smaller to form dainty arms. Her bloated deformed body shrank and became light smooth skin. The black hair on her head grew long and golden blond and as her mutated spider face melted away the multiple eyes became two beautiful ones of ruby red. Then at last, from out of the new creature’s back grew a set of delicate fluttering wings.

The white light blinked away as the transformation finished and Cethalial gazed in amazement upon the most beautiful Secian she had ever seen.

“Oh Cethalial!” cried the little Secian. “Do not look with such amazement. All is well. It’s me. Fasha!”

“Fasha? But how is this possible?” asked Cethalial.

“I was cursed. You have saved me,” answered Fasha.

“Cursed? What horrible beast of this world would curse such a beautiful creature as yourself?” asked Cethalial.

“Oh, it was not a beast, nor of this world,” said Fasha. “And in truth, it was all my fault. You see, at the moment of the Unmagick, when I was still as my old self, I was locked in mortal combat with my enemy and victory was nearly mine. I was blinded by the anger and bloodlust of that person I once was and by that moment in time. And then the Unmagick came and transformed me, but I was confused. I was still caught up in that moment of battle. And so, in that moment of confusion and torment I finished what I had started and ended my opponent.”

Cethalial gasped in shock even as Fasha cringed in remorse.

“Immediately I knew what I had done and I tried to make it right, but it was too late. The Gods had seen my actions and it angered them. They said that it was obvious by my actions that I was not meant to be a true Secian. They said to be Secian was a gift and that if I could not accept this great gift, they would give me my true form. I implored them not to do this, told them it was an accident, but they would not be swayed. Again I pleaded with them for mercy, and they offered me but one hope, each for their own reasons: Rinanni out of compassion, Odarous out of a sense of justice, Elindale out of a wish to maintain nature’s balance and Sa due to the anger he currently felt for his magick having been abused so by the Frontacians.

“So instead of transforming me for all time, they instead placed a powerful spell upon me and cursed me to be the spider you came to know. A curse which could only be lifted if one would ever see past my outer appearance to find the true Secian heart within.”

“But why did you never tell me this before?” asked Cethalial, for they had been able to communicate with speech for some months now.

“Oh, but I could not,” said Fasha. “It was a condition of the spell cast upon me. The love, if ever given, had to be genuine; given freely and without persuasion. I was not allowed to speak to any creature about my curse, for in doing so, the bargain would have been broken and the curse remained forever. Only when you loved me despite my appearance did I change, and so have you saved me. I cannot express enough my joy!”

“And for you I am also joyful,” said Cethalial. “But for me I am saddened. You are beautiful now and will want a beautiful dragon to bond with, but I am ugly and not well formed. You will wish better than I, and indeed you deserve such.”

“Oh no!” cried Fasha, and indeed there were now tears in the little one’s eyes. “I wish not any other dragon but you. To my eyes, Cethalial, you are the most beautiful draco of all.”

It was at that moment that Cethalial caught a glimpse of herself in the clear blue waters of the pond by which they sat and then blinked and looked again more carefully. What she saw filled her again with wonder, for with her love Fasha had allowed Cethalial to see through her eyes and there in the reflection of the pond she saw herself as Fasha did. Her true beauty within at last reflected without, Cethalial was indeed a dragon of loveliness and grace.

Cethalial and Fasha were, of course, chosen and when the time came Fasha staged her beautiful draco into an even more gorgeous drake. In the fullness of time Cethalial grew to greatness, but in all their years and through all their adventures the love between beautiful Cethalial and her devoted Fasha remains till this day, legendary.


Ask Danilova

Hello again my dears and welcome to this months issue of Ask Danilova! I must say, what a lovely, charming little town Spur is. I received such an astounding amount of Reader Mail that I had a very difficult time deciding on which ones to answer in this issue of Ask Danilova. I'd like to send a very warm and sincere thank you to all you lost and brave souls who sent in questions and/or comments and/or death threats. Keep sending them in, you never know when we'll surprise you with your name in print! (You can send in your questions/comments via scribe to my editor marenvonalte@hotmail.com and she'll have them delivered to my office)

On to the first question!

im a secian and im loveeeee to drink.its good. but people alwayz ttack me! what should i do? pleas please help!


Dearest little Secian, where ever should I begin? On one hand, it may very well be your sole purpose in life to serve as a warning to others. On the other hand, for some, mainly you, drinking should be done like so many other things; in private.

Next question!

ahm luved by SA. othez don think so. how ah make em luv me lik SA luvs me?
-That Hith Loving Sa

That Hith Loving Sa-

It's times like this that we must ask ourselves, If something "goes without saying," why do people still say it? Something you must understand dear, even if everyone in the world agrees with you, less than half those people will ever like you. Don't let the criticism get you down. Remember, friends come and go, but enemies accumulate.

Lastly, our final question of this issue of Ask Danilova..

I love shoes. They're so wonderful. The only problem is I don't have gold and have to steal them. Can you help me beat my addiction?
-Little Miss Liisa

Little Miss Liisa-

I love shoes just as much as the next woman, but honestly darling. Stealing shoes? Have some respect for the shoes, even if you have none for yourself. Surely there's something you possess that you could trade for them. However, I suppose desperate times call for desperate measures, so keep in mind; if at first you don't succeed, destroy all evidence that you tried.

That concludes this issue of Ask Danilova! I do hope my words of wisdom and comfort have helped those who wrote in and others who might be having the same problems. If you'd like a chance to have your problems personally answered by me, Danilova Gerdt, send in your questions/comments to marenvonalte@hotmail.com and she'll have them passed through an Elven magick detector and then safely delivered into my hands, harmful curse/spell free. Until next time dears, keep your hopes up. Salvation is only a quill and parchment away!


Lead Editor: Maren Vonalte
Assistant Editor: Lii Dvo
Reporters: Davide Orestaia, Scruple Tamarind
Columnists: Danilova Gerdt, Miss Sapphire
Contributing writers: Twilight Flutal, Reporting Citizen

Send all SFP submissions, questions, or comments to marenvonalte@hotmail.com.

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