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A CHAT WITH THE COMMANDER

Today, I had the pleasure catching up with and conducting an interview with Sir Bool Cowbra of the White Knights. I met the handsome commander in a pristine meeting room over a very nicely polished desk. Sir Bool, approaching middle-age, appeared youthful and energetic through-out the interview and his twinkling eyes told of a man devoted to citizen and soldier alike. 

"How do the White Knights operate exactly, Commander?" Sir Bool wasted no time in responding to my question, smiling broadly as he did so. "We operate in many different ways to help Asgarnia. It can be by doing a simple patrol through the city of Falador, or responding to a band of raiding pirates down in Port Sarim."

"Fascinating! How exactly do the White Knights train for this and for other situations?" I asked him. "There are many different training methods we go over for each and every rank. Training within the order is not only physical, but mental as well. We ensure that all knights are up to standard in all possible situations. Physical training can be very intense and can include mock-battles, running laps, lifting weights, and even small things such as cooking field rations properly for large groups of men and women on the field."

I was very interested in the way they perform and asked further. "Has the way you train or function changed since the return of Saradomin?" Sir Bool, still more put together than any general I've ever seen, replied to this merrily. "A lot of changed since his return. Most noticeably, our tactics and weapons. Previously, we were an all-melee group, but we had the opportunity to transition over to taking advantage of wizards and archers within the order since the Battle of Lumbridge. Religious tolerance has gone down a lot in the order and we now have higher and more strict requirements that adhere to Saradomin's will. We've also lost thousands of dutiful men and women. 

So we are recruiting much, much, more in hopes of leading everyone to the light clarifying any confusion they may have amongst Saradomin."

I nodded at his excellent response and continued. "How do you plan to protect Falador and deal with a fractured Asgarnia?" His calm smile never faltered. "Well, we are already protecting Falador and have been doing so for more than a hundred years. As for a fractured Asgarnia-..." He paused for a second, collecting his thoughts. "We do not recognize those unorganized lunatics who wear wooden crowns about and march ahead of their army of cow-hide armored boys. Some may claim to have authority other the kingdom, some may be more professional than others, but so far they've not caused much harm to the people of Asgarnia, the economy, or the average lifestyle." 

Our eyes remained firmly locked as he went on. "Port Sarim is still thriving with trade, the farmlands near Rimmington are rich with smiling farmers doing their jobs. The citizens know the White Knights and Saradomin have their backs, so neither of us will be changing our ways to conform to false thrones anytime soon."

I glanced at the time and realized our time was almost over. "One last question, Commander. What is the current standing of the White Knights with the Kinshra and are tensions higher now that both respective gods have returned?" Sir Bool nodded at this question, smiling as he does. It seems he was proud to answer the question as he did. "We haven't seen or heard of the Black Knights since they ran off as they watched their god fall before Saradomin. Tensions are basically the same. Daquarius and Remus are just doing what their boss says, as are we, which means nothing is more personal than before. Tensions were probably higher in 164 than they are now, but there's no doubt about them raising up to that level when the globe starts to feel more heat from the new God Wars." After this, he both had to leave. We wish him luck.

Dana Hayes - Asgarnian Correspondent

EQUIPTMENT OF THE EAST

Recently, with the increased trade with the Wushanko Isles, more and more odd looking combat gear has been appearing on the backs of adventurers throughout Gielinor. The people of the east have a very different set of designs and themes for their armour.

A very popular set of Eastern armour goes by the name of Tetsu. Its golden varnish can’t be missed on the backs of approaching mercenaries. The armour consists of quilted plates unlike any Western armour.

I paid a visit to the city of Lumbridge and spoke with a combat instructor there. She claims that, “the armour is light and quite resistant to almost all slashes. It lacks in protection from stabs though, and its appearance is just Saradomin-awful ugly!”. Although I do agree that the armour looks similar to a Karamjan monkey that fell into a wooden plank factory while being devoured by scoprions, I would have to say that its lightweight structure makes it ideal for quick-footed soldiers. Blacksmiths all around Gielinor are working on mimicking the Tetsu armour, and giving it a self-respecting appearance so our strong-hearted warriors of Gielinor actually want to wear it. So watch out, iron-clad brutes! There may be a new age of equipment just over the horizon.

Sigfred Kronich - Columnist - The Gielinor Times

KANDAR KING DEAD

Vectis Vekon, patriarch of the Vekon family and former King of Kandarin died three days ago after passing away peacefully during the night.

Understandably unable to obtain interviews with the late Vectis’ family, we turned to you, the people, to evaluate and discuss his reign and his life: which retuned mixed feedback.

Most high Kandarin officials who worked closely with Vectis described him as a meaningful person – Someone who simply wanted to offer his subjects a nice, peaceful life. However this view was not shared by some of his former people.

Marien Battersby, druid priestess of a small druid faction in the forests of Kandarin described him as an “uncaring, dominating overlord who wanted to shape the kingdom into a so called greatness without thinking about what his subjects really wanted.” She later explained herself, revealing that she was affected by the king’s anti guthixian druid law which ended in her two sons being brutally murdered in a Kandarin lead attack to ‘purify’ the lands. 

On the other hand, former archmage of Kandarin: Aranitus Aren couldn’t speak fondly enough of the former king. Describing him as a man who  was “quite ruthless in his handlings of situations” yet “always wanted to make his kingdom better”. 

We also caught up with the former Count of Draynor, now Commander Logan Courval. “He was an interesting person” he began. “He obviously liked power; there was no doubt about that. He came to Draynor demanding entrance to the portal sight – When my guards refused; he showed a warrant from Empress Katrina which I later found to be forged.” He continued. “But I suppose his interests were just to get some intel so he could protect his kingdom, possibly. Who knows?” he concluded.

After all that, we can conclude that while a dominating force in Gielinor: the former king of Kandarin had some genuine wants to protect his people – however his morals possibly lacked considerably in his methods of protection.

The Gielinor Times sends their kind regards and respects to the Vekon family and relitives: feeling sorry for their loss – While also thanking everyone who assisted in this article.

Esmeralda Salmassi - CEO and Editor – The Gielinor Times

THE AVAILABILITY OF LIBRARIES

Every now and then, the educated classes - the class that can read (lucky you!) enjoys a good book. What is problematic is that outside of the local libraries, extensive collections of detailed source documents rarely exist. The classic novels of our time, Legend of the Brothers and The Tale of Scorpius have been replaced with more 'practical' dull, dry manuals for everything from baking pies to drawing portraits.

This would not be a problem if many of these books remained available to the public. Large printing agencies such as the Gielinor Times try to remedy this problem, but their production capacity is limited by the profits they can produce for each reprinting. Libraries across the world are another source, though in these times a somewhat limited one due to their location.

Libraries are mainly found in castles, behind locked gates and stone walls (courtesy of the new God Wars), or behind the shuttered windows and closed doors as part of a private collection. This exclusiveness, though it does prevent knowledge from being destroyed, similarly prevents it from reaching the minds and eyes of the masses where ideas can propagate. This deprivation of ancient knowledge is now supplemented by self-help, self-teach books that does not fully provide the broadening of literary horizons that expands the imagination.

One of the many ways we could solve this vacuum of information is to begin copying and distributing documents across the world, to make them easier to access to peasants seeking meaningful works. This would circumvent the badly-needed defense of important strongholds, while allowing the information glued to scrolls or inside of books to flow freely onto the shelves of the able-minded. Associated with this could be the gradual lowering of defenses in areas not under immediate threat to allow more people to retrieve good knowledge.

COURVAL PROMOTED

The military of Misthalin has recently gone through a change of hands, due to reasons unable to be commented on.  Logan Courval, former Count of Draynor Village, has been set in place as the new General.  "I've gained a lot of skill and experience from the recent Battle of Lumbridge.  So I put myself forward."

Along with this change in command comes several changes in the way things are handled, including the addition of the City Guards into the military regime.  "Now there's a line of communication all the way through."  The Knights of Varrock, however, remain separate from the Misthalin military.  "I trust Logan's judgement, don't get me wrong," said the Empress.  "I just feel more comfortable keeping my Knights separate.  They protect my family specifically.  I want them focused on that job first and foremost."

Plans for an update in military training are also underway, according to General Courval.  Soldiers will learn to work together in totally new situations with totally new people.  Regiments will be mixed together and expected to handle unusual situations without outside help.

When asked about the effects these changes should have on the people, General Courval said, "I don't want them to feel vulnerable or alienated.  I just want them to know that their protection is genuinely the top of my priorities."

The Gielinor Times thanks Empress Katrina and General Courval for their time and willingness to speak about these changes.

Lia Blake - Misthalin Correspondent - The Gielinor Times

THROUGH FRACTURED GLASS - PART 5

"Sweetness!  You're just in time.  Mommy made cookies!"

Alistair stood dumbfound at the door for a few breathless moments.  Then, clutching the metal make-shift weapon, he walked further inside.  In the center of the room a table stood much taller than she, or even Alistair, resembling a table one might find in a giant's home.  A stool stood near it, forming a sort of over-sized ladder to the tabletop.

"They're on the table.  Be careful, sweet.  They're hot."

Nodding, Alistair jumped onto the stool and climbed his way up- already expecting something awful to greet him.

When he reached the top of the stool he could just barely see over the table's edge.  The tray of cookies looked completely normal, aside from the fact that each was as big as his head.  Chocolate chip cookies, fresh from the oven.

As he drew nearer, the scent of their freshness took the air, completely filling the room.  The woman walked to the table, and as she did, her body grew taller and taller until she stood at the table as if it were a normal size.  She looked down on him with a giant smile and waited.

All too distracted by the scent of fresh baked cookies and his own hunger, Alistair never even noticed that the woman had, indeed, become a giant.   He took a cookie in both hands and immediately bit into it.  It was sweet and warm and perfect- and then...

All across his hands and around his mouth, a creepy-crawly sensation began.  He dropped the cookie and turned around with an unsettled expression to look at the woman.  As the cookie dropped, it burst into a mass of beetles that skittered across the table and down to the floor.

The woman frowned and leaned in closer, bringing her face nearer to his small figure.

"Is something the matter, sweetness?"

Alistair turned and ran, desperate to escape the house; to escape the strange world he'd fallen into.  But before he could even reach the edge of the table, the woman blocked his path with one large hand.  Something changed in her face, and what motherly visage might have been there was long gone.

"You're not my sweetness!  You're not my boy!"  She bellowed at him in absolute rage.

Panic took him over, so strong that for a few long, vital moments he was absolutely still. The moment he managed to gather himself, however, he turned back around and tried to dart off again.

The woman shouted again, shaking the room with her giant voice.  She reached down and plucked him up from the table with two fingers, bringing him up against her face.  Though he flailed his arms in weak attempts to get away from her grasp, it was all in vain.

"Where's my sweetness?" Her eyes crossed as she looked at his tiny form in her fingers and she grimaced.

"I-..I don't know!"

"You killed him!  You miserable beast!  You killed my little boy, didn't you?!" She wailed, so sure her boy was dead.  And in a place like this, who knew for sure?

To Be Continued...

Lia Blake - Columnist - The Gielinor Times

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