Putting the ”N” in News
Outside, looking N
The holiday season is in full swing here in the Realms. The weather is getting colder, the bears are looking to hibernate, and people are busy hosting lavish feasts and exchanging gifts. Just the other month my friends in Neden hosted Nedengiving and harassed poor Zarine with the now infamous cranberry sauce. Shenanigans aside, food has become a huge part of how people celebrate. For this piece I wanted to get back to my roots as a cultural investigator of sorts, so I began to ask around Neden about food. Did they have a national food? And if they did, I wanted to know how that came about.
Immediately there was one thing that everyone could agree on. Neden wasn’t sure if they had a national food dish, but they certainly had a national drink: Cider. Cider, for those of you unfamiliar with its delicious taste, is defined as an unfermented drink made by crushing fruit (usually apples.) There isn’t just one kind of apple you can use to make cider. Modern ciders are typically made from what are called culinary apples, and then you have Heritage ciders which could rely on things like wild apples or crab apples. I learned a lot more about cider and apples than I expected, but I wasn’t going to refuse the free samples that came with each explanation.
Once I escaped the inevitable party that seemed to crop up every time I mentioned cider I moved back to my investigation about food. This seemed to be a source of contention between the boys, for there were some who believed that JB’s exotic meats and jerkies really captured the essence of Neden’s national palate. On the other side of this comestible war was Priest Z with his cookies. That was when Sir Naj arrived to save the day and put the argument to rest.
Often described by Lord Syruss as a “Michelin Star Chef,” Sir Naj attributes much of his success in the kitchen to a magic star that produces any spice and flavor. He got this star after apparently killing and taking it from a great Chef once known as Sir Michelin. Anyway, that’s a tale for another time. “There can only be one way to solve this issue,” Sir Naj ultimately proclaimed upon arrival. “Neden must have a Food War!”
And so now, here we are in December awaiting the greatest battle of our time. Meat vs. Sugar, Dinner vs. Dessert, or Butcher vs. Baker. You decide. I’m really just more interested in taste testing the results. Details of the battle are still being sorted out, but I can tell you that I’ll be eagerly awaiting any news to report it back to you.
I Can't Even
by Madame Zarine
As another year is about to come to a close here in the Realms, what better time to reflect on all the things that I couldn't even? When settling down to write a 'year end' article, I had decided I would settle on the thing I just couldn't the most. But there were so many things, that I couldn't even chose. So instead I have decided to give you a compilation of can'ts. A montage of events that never came to be.
I can't even believe that I didn't write any I Can't Evens for like, six months because I let you plebs get in my head. I am a delight, my articles are ingenious, and you all are just jealous.
I can't even with how noncompetitive the Realms as a whole has gotten. Seriously, where is the competitive spirit, the thirst for becoming the best? If I can turn fashion into a competitive sport, you plebs can make actual sport competitive.
Speaking of my own competitive nature, I can't even believe that I came in second, again. Most people would say two first places and a second place are good enough for one year, but I am not one of those people.
I can't even with how few people wear black and white to an event literally called Black and White. I mean, it basically spells it out for you in black and white, to wear those actual colors. Really people, you can do better.
I can't even believe I ate that whole Blackwood Meatloaf.
I can't even with people still asking me that the 'color of the season' is like I know these things.
I can't even with how hard it is for folks to RSVP to something. Seriously, I wrote a whole article on it once that clearly no one read. That, coupled with people saying they are going to be somewhere and then not showing up, really takes my evens and puts them so far out of reach that I'll never even again.
I can't even believe all the new corsets I got to buy this year because my old ones were all too big. Turns out that partially fasting all year to fit in all of that delicious loaf had its benefits.
I can't even with all this rain.
I can't even believe that I am still single. I mean, really. If you can look past the fact that I sleep with other men for a living, demand absolute perfection, and spend an astonishing amount of money, I am totally a catch you'd be lucky to have.
I can't even believe that it took me so long to start my own publication. I mean, don't get me wrong, I love my folks here at the Kazoo and I have no plans to stop writing for them any time soon. But it's marvelously fulfilling to write for myself. Also the lack of deadlines, guidelines, and the fact that my boss is pretty amazingly awesome really helps a lot.
I can't even believe all of the things that I can't even. There are so many more, but alas, I have run out of time. For you see, as much as I love writing for all of you, I don't make any money doing it, and you couldn't even with how much money it takes to be me.
So until next year, my dears!
by Jean Baptise
Ahem, greetings and welcome my fellow Realms adventurers.
Are we adventurers? I don't really think we explore all that much to be honest, it seems a bit more like I don't know. Heroes! Except we don't really help either.
It's more like, well it's on the type of my tongue let me think about it what's the word? Oh right! Mercenaries, we are mercenaries. Except we never get paid.
Well I never get paid. Ever.
However now is not the time for monetary concerns now is the time for education, the most important facet of the human mind. Well I am not really human but you know what I mean.
Today we are going to talk about monsters, and more importantly...how to eat them.
The Layman's book of words say a monster is "Anything inconvenient that can be resolved by lethal violence." This is why the kobold is a monster but so are demons, even though demons are not biologically similar to humans in any way.
Life is strange like that sometimes. However that is how the world goes I suppose. But that is life sometimes. The important thing is not what is or isn't a monster, its how to deal with specific cases of a monster.
The creature we are looking at this time is what is known as the Neden Harpy. A Neden Harpy is a paradox since there are not any girls in neden and yet here the harpies are. I suppose trends defy biological barriers.
The harpy is a scavenger who rather than preying upon weaker creatures or even feasting upon the remains of carcasses, exists more to defile places.
The harpy doesn't actually eat flesh, rather it seems to prey upon areas of "Sanctity", places like graveyards, churches... that one bar that people go to where the bartender has a white moustache and doesn't say anything as you cry. Places where quiet reflection occur, particularly ones that are associated with some degree of respect associated to it.
Harpies feast upon the ambient emotions of this place, taking these sights and consuming the peace and respect of these places, leaving only decay and a vague sense of unease.
Harpies will even physically destroy or damage places to further defile their feeding ground, picking apart all that was good about a area like their vulture relatives pick away at a carcass.
This is not always known because the harpy has been shown eating dead flesh, but studies have shown that the harpy body can not actually digest these carcasses, rather they peck away at corpses merely to vomit the flesh later as a way of furthering the sense of horror they instill upon others.
Because of this the neden harpy is believed to possibly be a curse, enacted by some powerful being to enact revenge against the nation by destroying the only thing that the realms ever finds value in, its objects.
But I can't fathom why anyone would be mad at us so that doesn't seem all that likely honestly.
Either way they exist and boy are they annoying, however that doesn't mean we cant make use out of them.
The most important thing to remember about the neden harpy is they are actually weak, for one they cant even fly which i mean, why even be a bird at that point, what a joke. The other thing Harpies can't exactly fight off a actual guard, from a town police to a skeleton crew of, well skeletons. So the harpy, while vile in nature, is not able to actually take any place over. They only ruin the remains of places already abandoned. They nest in graveyards that necromancers have already taken over, populate churches of villages that fled in the wake of oncoming bandits or marauders.
The harpy is the salt to already existing wounds. Or the final act of betrayal one does as they abandon their homes and ancestors, knowing fully that the harpies will see and make merry with what is left behind.
So it goes I suppose.
Fortunately however this means the harpy is not a threat as so much as a insult and while they can be difficult to fend off once already entrenched in a area they are something that can be hunted and not warred against. But because these hunts are necessary there is a excess of dead harpy, and what can you do with that?
Well the first thing you do is contact your friendly local baptise butchery outlet. That's right, our staff at the Baptise Butchery provides hands on customer service. We will not make fake promises about imaginary health benefits or deign to respond to the meaningless slander our competitors may entertain. But what we can promise is a hands on experience and a dedicated 24 customer service that will hand carve your carcass to YOUR specification.
The Baptise Butchery, for you, from you.
Now that the meats been successfully processed you can cook it, and harpy is known to have a sharp spicy taste that makes it perfect for Southern Realms pasta.
Now there is a high salt content in the dish so if you'd like to cut that back a bit you can try actually winning a N/S war.
But enough fantasy...
Now the Southern Realms pasta first requires you to cook your harpy, which you season with your Southern Waste spices (and no it's NOT just a keg of whisky I looked it up, there is like, cayenne and stuff). One those are nice and sizzling you deglaze the pan with whiskey, because i'm legally mandated to put whiskey in this dish. After the pan is cooked you add your Four Ladies, which are of course Pepper, Onion, Celery and Carrots. Once those are cooking you add your cream, basil, and pepper. Cook that for a bit, and then you pour it over a pan with al dente ziti and pop it in the oven.
Congratulations you're done! Probably!
I don’t actually make pasta I just make jerky.
Number 2, an introspective
Hello brave readers,
When I was asked to give you all a peak into my mind at first I was afraid, petrified even. Just kidding I promise I won’t do this article in song. But in all seriousness walking through the halls of Neden castle, halls I have expanded myself thanks to some nifty portalry I can’t help but reflect on how I got here.
15 years ago I washed up on the coast separated from my way of life as well as my brother (Glory to the Dark one for returning him to me) and sister (kinda forgot about her) and today I am surrounded my more family then I could ever kill…. I mean count. I have made hundreds of connections in my travels but I would not be who I am today if it wasn’t for Syruss O’Leary.
It was Syruss who showed me the glory of the Dark One and helped me see that I had been speaking to the same god this whole time. It was Syruss who convinced me to pick up a sword instead of only relying on my hard stolen, err earned magical abilities. Together we have founded a knighthood to be proud of, Helped restore the proud nation of Neden to its former glory, and sent countless lost souls back to All. So of course when he asked me to fill his old role now that he has stepped into the lords shoes there was only 1 answer.
Neden may not be the same nation it used to be but its heart still beats the same green blood that runs through all our veins. Thanks to the work of lords like Talon, Nymbous, and Syruss we have built a home for misfits and marauders alike. It is my greatest pleasure to throw my top hat into the ring and take up the honor and responsibility of Neden’s number 2.
First Minister of Neden
Knight of the Potentium
Ok I get it, I showed you all a little of that portal goodness when I needed your help and you all want more. Well I won’t tell you every trick I have in my Hat I will give you all some basics on Portalmancy.
First things first, creating a portal is A LOT of work. It requires rituals & extreme focus. On top of that most portals when created don’t go anywhere you need some sort of focus like another portal to connect them to. So to get around this hassle you need a Portable Portal Focus or PPF. This is done by creating an open portal then locking it in place with a strong medium such as enchanted bone, Silver, or gold with Runes of holding and stabilization. This will allow you to have a portal ready to go at anytime without all the huff and puff of getting it together.
Once you have your PPF handy the next part is syncing it with other portal so you can actually use the damn thing. Every portal is powered by different magic and can be triggered by matching that magic. For example is a portal is powered by life magic one could enter that portal while holding their PPF and use a life giving spell to synchronize the two portals. Just be aware this will not stop other portals from accessing the one you just synced to and if another person is knowledgeable in Portalmancy they can then use this new connection to locate your PPF and access it as an exit point.
Like I said earlier this is just a taste, and we have lots more to go over like how to access new unknown portals (fun but not always recommended), How to retrieve specific items from portals, PPF security measures and much more
First Minister of Neden
Knight of the Potentium
‘N’ Local News
Our gambling and coin aficionado and Master of Coin and finance of Neden has been using Naj’s Portals along with balloons filled with air to port into Sea outside Corsica to find hidden sunken treasure.
Xabi has been spotted on his pilgrimage to the first Dark one Temple. He is said to be followed by a mysterious set of footprints that are not his own.
Pie Bandits are on the Loose. Neden reportedly had 100 different flavored pies stolen moments before the feast right from the kitchen. The bandits used an arrant portal Naj forgot to close. The people demand just and have ask the Lord to dawn on his old Detective hat and get to the bottom of this pie tin...er mystery.
“Me getting the Castle back to Neden” - Sir Naj
- Meatbag Baptise
“Bread” - Gooseruss
Things That Make Me Grumpy
By Madame Zarine
This year at Nedengiving, I was given a wonderful gift. And before you think that this is yet another article about 'the substance that shall not be named', think again. This gift was something truly amazing to behold. Our fantastic editor, Dresden, gave me a little book into which I should write down all of my grievances for use in a future article series, this very series you are reading right now! I simply write things in the book, then list them here. So easy, so fun, so likely to get me in trouble.
So without further ado, here is my list of 'Things That Make Me Grumpy' from this year's Nedengiving.
• Boxes of things you thought were donuts, but
turned out to be bagels
• Chartreuse dinnerware
• Not getting enough sleep
• Latrines that are too small
• Tickets you need to write your name on
instead of keeping the one that literally says
'keep this ticket'
• Siff has a magic soapbox and I don't
• People not showing up to this fabulous event
• No adult gingerbread contest
• People who don't do their bardic loud enough
to hear them
• I got pasta sauce on my book
• Lack of nap time
• fucking cranberry sauce
There you have it folks. Things that made me grumpy that may or may not have had anything to do with our gracious hosts. Check back next month when I am sure I will have more things that upset, irritate, and otherwise annoy me to share.
“Deck the Halls”
(A sequel to: “How Some Grouch Goblin thing tried to ruin Yule
for the Neden Boys “ Issue December 2017 )
By Lord Syruss O’Leary
It had taken some time
To heal the black and the blue
and while he healed his wounds his curse words would spew
For besides heal and train there was not much to do
But he waited and he trained while his hatred grew
“Rest why you can Dith for this year is round two”
The Grouch was a menace but he was a quitter
this year's battle was shaping up to be a real
He wrestled with lions and swam with the sharks
He rolled with grace while working on shrimping and his back arcs.
He lifted a heavy object and swore a whole bunch
All the while picturing the face of the Neden boy that he relished to punch.
But besides his body, the Grouch also trained his mind
For it would take more than skill, it would take strategy to whoop Diths behind.
He trained for 12 months but if felt like a minute
He grinned his creepy grin because the fight he was sure he’d win it.
He wrapped up his fists and started heading north to finish the score
He would destroy this Dith of Neden who he happened to abore
“I thought of the perfect time to strike” he started to brag
I’ll fight him at the O’Leary’s Cidery when he is half in the bag.
The doors to the bar were kicked off the hinge
He hit Dith so hard that the Bartender cringed
But Dith stood up and gave a big laugh for you see he lived for this stuff to him it’s a blast.
The Grouch Kicked and he punched with all of his might, but Dith was just defending yeah something wasn’t quite right.
But the Grouch continued to pound and would not stop his attack
until finally, he yelled, “Dammit why won’t you fight back.”
And then Dith began to smile a sinister smile It took up his whole face and expanded a mile
For he knew something the Grouch yet did not
For Dith signaled to some of the students he taught.
From out of the woodwork came orphans galore
all looking for an excuse to let loose with this rage they were eager to explore.
Neden’s Orphanage had now taken the field
and they stomped on the Grouch and refused to yield.
See Syruss blames the Grouch when Pater Yule Misses his kids
so they thought their lack of presents was a fault of the grouch instead of his
So the stomped and they stomped until there was a puddle of red and green.
And they laughed and laughed that they caused such a scene.
Dith smiled and said “You did me all proud”
He poured them all Egg Nog as they shouted out loud
“Happy Yule to All from your favorite Neden Boys, Now let us drink till morning…..Sorry for all the noise.”
From the Lords Desk
“A Yuletide Reflection Story”
By Lord Syruss O’Leary
With Yule fast approaching I like to take the time to reflect….REFLECT HOW I GOT STUCK WITH FUR!!!
Lycanthropy is a heck of a diseased and really should be addressed by some of our top healers. That said I bet some of you are reading this and thinking “Lord Syruss what are you talking about you're a Demon, not a ware.-whatever…”
That’s where you would be wrong my friend. You see it happened a year ago when this Lord was still a Number 2 to a Lord of his own. Then Lord Nymbous at the time wanted to check something off his bucket list. He wanted to help deliver gifts to all the good boys, girls, goose and other creatures of the Realms.
But the position of Father Yule was taken...and not for a lack of trying wouldn’t be filled by Nymbous anytime soon.
So Lord Nymbous being the wise Lord he was thought of the next best thing. “Well then,” He said, “We will have to help pull his sleigh..”
We quickly went to work coming up with a flawless transmogrification spell.
However I neglected to watch what Nymbous was using to write down the incantations, and in retrospect, I should have spelled checked (get it?!?!?) Sir Rawlins and Sir Nymbous’s work.
With that said I didn’t check it. Had I checked it I may
have noticed the Parchment Paper they were using were from Priest Z and my own pile of Blank Demon Contracts (Using that type of magic is dangerous enough). Also, had I checked I may have Notice Sir Rawlin pranking his unsuspecting friends.
As they chanted and cast the wicked spells, as Nymbous slit my hand and his hand so the blood could spill upon the parchment, the lands grew dark and quiet.
Thunderstruck and the lightning illuminated the room if even for just a moment.
“”AHHhhhHh” I began to rive in pain. Both Nymbous and I fell to our knees and our new bodies split the clothes from our bodies. Fur sprouting from our bodies like blossoming flowers in the midst of spring.
“Moose?” I said clearly confused. “Why are we, Moose.?”
“We are traditional Holiday Neden Moose,” Nymbous said proudly “What else would Father Yule use to pull his sleigh.?”
His tone was confident enough for me, besides worst-case scenario it was only for one night, or so I thought.
We arrived at Cecil’s ready for the show. We were a bit early as Yule had yet to arrive. So my brother and I went to the bar and proceeded to learn first hand about the taste buds of Weremoose.
Hours past when the man of the hour arrived. He smiled and chuckled in only a way that Yule could. He gave us a pat on the head and said it was a nice offer but magical Reindeer pull his sleigh. He then reached in his sack and gave us both a large candy cane.
“Well that was fun," I said, as I prepared to have Priest Z cast a dispell to get us back to our normal selves.
“Um, we have a problem here,” Priest Z said holding a familiar piece of paper. “The Blood magic cast is unbreakable!!!!”
“What!?!?!” I exclaimed in disbelief.
There was nothing to be done he explained. I knew his words were true for he and I are cursed with the inability to lie.
“It gets worse!” he said as we uncovered a secret addition to the spell. “Apparently this last a week”
“A week, what am I going to do for a week as a moose?” I cried.
“A pretty moose,” Z said “Make all the other boy moose go waaaaaaaaaaaah”
So I struggled with my new identity for the week before returning to my perfect self.
I thought I was out of the woodwork too, I really did. I thought One Yule as a Moose ONE STINKING YULE. Well, dear readers I regretfully pen you right now to tell you that is not the case.
Despite my best Magics, all my artifacts and all my connections to the Demon world, not even I can break one of me and Z’s blood contracts.
So if you see me this week in all my furry goodness, tell me I look nice, complement my pelt, refrain from playing with my new horns and most important ALWAYS LOOK OVER CONTRACTS BEFORE SIGNING IN BLOOD.
Have a safe and merry Yule
Lord Sir Syruss “The Moose” O’Leary
Unscramble each of the clue words.
Take the letters that appear in boxes and unscramble them for the final message.