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THE SKY IS BLUE

Beside the article is a rather small-ish blue field. When looking closer, the reader might start to see swirling shapes in the blue, perhaps clouds... and a thin, thin line of ground at the very bottom.

Whenever you look up at the sky, there is something strange and explainable: the sky is blue. Even though this strange phenomenon has been adequately explained by philosophers ("Our world is suffering from mild depression";) it is now time to look at this from an entirely deeper, even more philosophical perspective.

Why is the sky blue? More importantly, what does this mean in relation to our future? How can the sky affect us outside of rain, hail, and snow? The answer to this question is surprisingly simple: It isn't important.

What other colors could the sky be? would we be influenced differently if it was green? Or even brown? It may be logical to say that the sky's color is what in a notable influence on our lives. During rainy days, we tend to be sad, tired, or even moody. When it's a sunny day, many tend to go outside, and are subsequently happy.

What's even more important about the sky,is that it provides a welcome distraction from the ground. Without the sky, we would be surrounded by trees, and buildings. But thanks to the sky, we have a welcome interruption. The sky also provides a nice scapegoat, so that whenever there are problems, we can blame the sky.

This answers nice questions such as:

Why are you soaked in water?

Is it raining?

What is up?

Overall, I think many of us can conclude that the sky is a good thing. It provides a welcome distraction from the ground, it is an adequate scapegoat, and it allows philosophers to waste their time on something much less dangerous than helping people.

Etna Bryan Williams - Columnist – The Gielinor Times

TRICK OR TREAT?

At the very top, on both sides of the header, are two scary faces similar to the ones seen commonly on carved pumpkins, laughing at the reader with scorn. Farther down, a vampire clad in dark clothes with a thin thread of blood from his mouth running down his bleak face, is spreading his arms and wings- or is that a cape?

With the recent crisis of souls trapped in bodies ending and death being returned to his throne of bones: Gielinor now escalates into a whirl of celebrations for not only the end of a short horror, but the history of all horrific happenings and everything scary in the world.

Across the globe, each Kingdom is doing their own thing. In Misthalin, there will be a week of celebratory events.

[dimgrey]Monday 28th October[/dimgrey] Street party and Costume Competition at Varrock Square

[dimgrey]Tuesday 29th October[/dimgrey] Zombie Hide’n’ Seek in Varrock

[dimgrey]Wednesday 30th October[/dimgrey] Haunted House tour in Draynor

[dimgrey]Friday 1st November[/dimgrey] Trick or treating throughout Misthalin [dimgrey] Event is in Varrock[/dimgrey]

With a host of various people including myself, Esmeralda Salmassi, Misthalin is diving into a sea of celebrations along with the rest of the world. But the main question remains unanswered. The first ever question that kicked off these celebrations hundreds of years ago: the real answer unknown to even death himself:

Trick or treat?

Esmeralda Salmassi - CEO and Editor – The Gielinor Times

THROUGH FRACTURED GLASS - PART 4

Pulling his right hand out of its pocket, Alistair jammed the jagged, large shard of metal held in it into the flower's wrist in an attempt to cut it off.

The blood-curdling scream that came from the flower echoed through the air.  The wrist was torn almost completely loose from its arm and the petals writhed in pain as the torn arm flailed.

"NOOOO!"

Alistair stabbed again, his mind shutting away the pain and the screams and the weak attempts at survival as he overpowered the flower, fighting for his life.  The screams grew more and more agonized and at long last they dissipated into a gurgled death groan.  The color of the flower's petals drained from them, purple soaking into the ground like spilled blood, as they fell limp around him and the wrist came free.

Alistair turned around and ran back to the safety of the pool.  The petals of the defeated flower shriveled, black and dead in an instant.  The arm lay limp and lifeless on the ground next to the hand, as if trying desperately to put itself back together.  The other flowers closed up their petals and went dim, satisfied that there was no food to be found here.

As the sky began to grow dark, Alistair fell back into the soft mossy grass and shut his weary eyes.  The warm, sweet smelling air overtook his troubled mind quickly and soon he drifted off to nowhere, for who can dream when they are prisoners of a dream already?

As the sun rolled high into the sky the next morning, Alistair awoke to find the clearing had grown dull and lifeless.  The trickling stream that had trailed its way into the crystal pool had run dry and the water turned murky.  Near the edge of the clearing, the arm he'd battled remained outstretched toward its decapitated hand.  He stood and rushed forward into the forest, not daring look back.

Once more encroached upon by the trees, the many colored flowers opened their petals to him, and followed behind as far as their stems reached.  On the wind, the same sing-song voice called to him again.

"That's it, sweetness.  To me, to mommy!"

No sound came from him except the occasional rasped breath as Alistair ran towards the only way point he had; the voice that beckoned him forward.  The trees grew in a thick mass that blocked out the sun until finally it was only by the inner glow that emanated from the various flowers that he could see anything.  All around him, strange sounds assaulted the solace of the forest.  Animals roared and growled and called out as they ran away or, to his terror, toward him.

A rectangle of warm firelight cut through the darkness, and the voice grew louder as it did.  The light urged him onwards, bringing up a victorious scream that burst from his chest as he sprinted madly towards it.

"Hurry, child, come to mommy!  They're almost here!" The sing-song voice called to him lovingly.

As he ran, the beam of light moved toward him, as if it too was running; running to greet him, running to catch him.  He hit the light and burst through the doorway into a warm kitchen.  A woman stood at a far counter, slicing meat with a large carving knife.  She wore a long dress colored in a undesirable mesh of green, brown and yellow velvet, and her hair hung in long brown plaits.  She turned to him and the door behind him slammed shut with a finalizing click as the lock slid into place.

To Be Continued...

Lia Blake - Columnist - The Gielinor Times

THE CALL OF KHARAZI

This week I was fortunate enough to get an interview with the head of the Brimhaven Port Authority, Sir Ronald Legrasse. A Kandar in origin like myself, he was willing to give an interview and provide information on the Port Authority's investigation into the mysterious "Kharazi happenings," as they have been named by Karamjans, on the condition that the exact locations are not mentioned within the article, nor are the names of those identified so far. As such, names and locations have been omitted.

Good morning, Sir Ronald. Could you tell us a little bit about the recent developments within your investigation?

"There have been several. Over the past week a large number of corpses have been found. Though we have many more lines of inquiry to pursue, it appears these are the same men who attacked the camp known as Jack's Headache some weeks ago. On top of this, several days ago we launched a major raid on what is suspected to be a place of worship for this strange, hitherto unknown tribe. Sadly, we were unable to capture any of them alive for interrogation. They all took their own lives before we were able to take them into custody."

Can you describe the raid?

"Three days before the raid took place, we received an anonymous tip-off telling us that a large ritual would be taking place deep within the Kharazi jungle. We were provided with the exact coordinates and the best time to strike. Naturally I assembled what men I could and we began our journey."

Was there anything unusual about the journey?

"You could say that, yes. Each night when we made camp, we would hear these ceaseless cries for help, coming from a short distance away. Never sounded like it was more than a few hundred yards away, but there was never a thing to be found. As soon as we got close, they'd move away, further into the jungle. Then once we returned to camp they'd be back where they were. Made it difficult to sleep at night."

"On top of this, once we were within a day's journey of the proposed ritual site, there began a drumming unlike anything I've heard before. It was deep, far deeper than I thought a drum could sound, and it could apparently be heard for miles around. Pipes, too, began to make themselves heard as we hacked our way through the jungle. Playing a tune that repeated itself incessantly."

What did you see as you approached?

"As we reached the area, the jungle became thicker than anywhere I've known it. We could hear a great caterwauling and sounds of chanting as we got near to the site. Once we broke through the last great thickness of vegetation, we were greeted with a sight I don't think any of us will forget, much as we'd like to. I'm reasonably certain some of my men lost their minds there and then; they fell to their knees and we could not muster them for the fight. At least one man died of a heart-attack upon entering the clearing in which the tribe danced. I think shock claimed another."

Danced, Inspector?

"Yes, danced. They stood in a clearing in the jungle, up to their knees - for those that had knees - in water. A small pool had formed there, around an island in the centre. Well, those of us able to retain our wits set to work. We broke through into the clearing and spread out into a defensive formation, and several of the men loosed their crossbows before the order was given, though I can hardly blame them. The tribe looked as though it would put up a fight at first, but they realised quickly that the game was up. Many fell on their spears or cut themselves with their exotically poisoned blades, falling as though our mere eyesight was scything them down."

Were you able to learn anything from the corpses?

"Only that these men and women were quite possibly not human. Their fingers and toes were heavily webbed. Of course this can happen to humans, but not to this extent. On top of this, their eyes were filmy, like those of a fish."

"Many of them, especially the older among them, seemed to have oddly disfigured spines. They appeared hunched over, like their backbones were forcing them over forwards. Many of my men were sick at the sight of these creatures; we have to deal with a lot at the Brimhaven Port Authority, but nothing there was able to prepare us for this."

Were there any other clues at the ritual site?

"The oddest thing we found there was the thing they were dancing around. A bas-relief, a little shorter than a human's shin bone and as thick at its thickest point as a man's thigh, sat on this island in the middle of the lake. The figure it depicted... I don't know what it was. Imagine a fish possessed of arms and legs, with the eyes and mouth of a demon. It was like that, it belied some sort of human intelligence. Perhaps worse."

Sir Ronald Legrasse was unable to show me the bas-relief as it is currently being stored as evidence.

Were you able to discern any other clues from what you found at the ritual site? Such as the location of the missing lumberjacks?

"Sadly not. No other clues were to be found at the sight, and as yet we have no other major leads. The informant who led us to the cultists in the first place has yet to get back in touch with us."

Well readers, this would appear to be all we have for this week. I was unable to squeeze any more information out of Sir Ronald or anyone else at the Brimhaven Port Authority, though my investigation does not stop here. Needless to say people are now beginning to look up and take notice; the secrets shall soon be out, I feel. Sleep tight until then, Gielinor.

Tame Locke - Karamja Correspondent - The Gielinor Times

VARROCK MURDER VICTIM IDENTIFIED

Last week the people were informed of a body that was discovered in Southern Varrock.  After many dodged questions, the Varrockian City Guard released a statement confirming rumors of foul play.

"The cause of death has been confirmed," said the Varrock City Guard's spokesman during a public announcement.  "The victim was bludgeoned with an unknown weapon."

The vitcim, identified as one Elizabeth Callahan, was a resident of Varrock's Southwestern slums.  Miss Callahan had no known immediate kin and no apparent ties to any gangs within the city.  Though her home was investigated, no evidence linked to the murder was found.

When asked, the Guard's spokesman said, "Unfortunately, there's just nothing to go on.  No evidence at the scene, no evidence in the victim's home."

During the same public announcement, Empress Katrina gave a speech concerning the investigation.

"We are not done with this.  Not until justice is served for this poor soul.  Anyone with information, no matter how small the detail, is asked to come forward immediately."

Lia Blake Misthalin Correspondent – The Gielinor Times

HOLD-UP ENDS IN HANGING

Beside the article is a bleak, desolate reach with a gallows in the forefront, from which two indistinct, thought definitely human shapes softly sway. A lone crow sits on top of the gallows, calling out in mourning

On Novtumber 8th, two thieves were hung in a private execution sanctioned by the Asgarnian government. The thieves are the most recent and the last in a line of deaths culminated by the duo, bringing the total up to 17. The two men, identified as Joseph "Joe" Minders and Jack Farcy, were feared by many shop-keepers and merchants. They earned a bloody reputation for murdering any witnesses or persons close to the areas they robbed.

The thieves, called the "Jack & Joe gang" by citizens, terrorized the more poverty-stricken areas of Falador and the smaller towns which lay in the outskirts of the city. In their six month career, they committed eleven robberies and murdered 15 people. They gained notoriety when the murder of Benjamin Spinders, aged 11, was made public by officials. Sir Kuir of the White Knights declared the death "one of the worst in the history of Falador."

With the tension finally gone, shop-keepers and their assistants are breathing a sigh of relief. "It's like I can finally open my doors without wondering if it was going to be the last time I opened them." said George Parcy, 66. "I'm glad those bandits are dead. What they did was an abomination. No person, especially a child, ought to be killed because they were stocking boxes on shelves."

George's assistant, Sarlow, was equally cheerful. "Every time a customer came inside, my heart would stop. I was so scared I was going to be killed."

The capture and execution of "Jack & Joe" happened almost by accident. A White Knight identified as Sir Ree happened to be, "in the right place in the right time." as he said. Sir Ree's heroic arrest included grabbing twine and making a trip-wire between two shelf-aisles. Once they were on the ground, Sir Ree beat them until they stopped moving. "I'm not a hero, I'm just a knight who did his duty. I hope I can continue to live up to those duties and provide for the well-being of my fellow citizen." he stated.

With the two bandits finally dead, it seems the mercantile industry in Falador can continue forward. Shop-keepers are already noticing a rise in sales, according to George Parcy. "People were scared to come in. They didn't want to walk in on something and die. But it's all over now and people are coming back in. They're chatting and smiling and it's like the old times."

If Mr.Parcy's observation holds true, Falador's mercantile industry is on its way to mending, which means more profit for the city. Overall, the sun in Falador seems to shine brighter in the shaded alleys and small roads. A feeling of security has returned to the land of sun and the city is happier. Thieves and ne'er-do wells best take a page from this lesson in Faladan history and learn that crime never pays.

Dana Hayes - Asgarnian Correspondent - The Gielinor Times

A DEAD MAN IN MY GARDEN!

For months, people have been reporting sightings of the undead roaming about the central Kandarin region. Not in the same way as the horrid events of the undead assualt on the capital city, but in what appears to be a far less dangerous way. Reports of the unsightly returned range from chopping down local lumber, to mining stone from the Arandar Mountains. Strange as that sounds, it seems that there is knowledge of these seemingly sentient beings by the crown and Kandarin government. Though no document was found, Head Inquisitor Bailey Meeks was availible to state, "There is a peace treaty. I have seen it and handled it myself. It entails a peace between the Sellenos Tribes, and the Kingdom of Kandarin. It was signed by various members of the so called tribes, and a member of the Kandarin royal family. I have nothing else to disclose at this time."

Other incidents of the undead popping up seem to include tresspassing, as well as petty theft and even assualt in some cases. Most reports of the later tell of a confused undead subject, who acted hastily in what seems to be fear or confusion. Other reports tell of these ugly creatures poaching on land of known and established hunters, such as Taylor Bindings, whos stated, "I don't know what it was doing out there. Looked to me like it was trying to use a snare to catch itself a rabbit. Never knew them things ate rabbits. These are strange times, friend. I seen one them over by the river, mining a bunch of rock up for Saradomin knows what."

Further questioning led to a one Valentius Avendarr, a dormant mercenary currently housed in Ardougne. Speaking with him showed that the inner parts of the city seem unaffected by the undead, they seeming to stay away from large groups. As he said, however "They don't belong here, this world is ours .The world of the living. Icthlarin take them." It is quite clear that the average people are not welcoming of their unsightly neighbors.

Some people, however, seem almost welcoming of their new undead friends. Speaking with Seargent Rolf Rolferson via commorb, portrayed a more positive outlook on the undead. "They're out of the way, and we'll lose good men if we try. Plus, I have my sympathies for them. I'd not wish that fate on my own enemy, and I hope they find peace, Saradomin willing.", Rolf said. His remarks were not all positive, however. "I'm uncomfortable with them. It's odd and unnatural." This being said, Rolferson also shed a bit of light on who signed the hidden treaty. Stating that "His Majesty Oliver Cleeves, who -in his wisdom- created a peace treaty." Why was the treaty, and the very existence of the Sellenos, kept a secret?

Seeing that there are political walls around the subject, and the people's clear disdain for them,it begs the question. What exactly /are/ the Sellenos Tribes? What do they want, and why are they even here? In anycase, there is plenty of oddities to attempt to wrap your mind around.

In Other News

Random forest fires appear to be starting south of Ardougne, in randomised locations but always not too far from Le'Gaunt Manor, whilst it's shown they have no interest in destroying the land. The fires are magical in origin and reports indicate a distinct dull purple pair of eyes staring out from the flames at periodic times. Mages called in report the fires to be the cause of uncontrolled portal magic, the residual energies leaking back onto the surrounding forests.

Those responsible are yet to be identified.

Robert Hans - Kandarin Corespondent – The Gielinor Times

HOROSCOPES

Aquarius: Don't be afraid to negotiate to get what you want.  Take control and make your dreams come true.

Aries: Make plans to travel to old, familiar locations.  New beginnings will rejuvinate you.

Cancer: Voice your opinions and follow through with plans that will point in a rewarding direction.

Capricorn: Take some personal time and travel.  You'll discover people, places and activities that make you feel alive.

Gemini: Emotions are on the rise.  Engage in activities that are conducive to love and romance.

Leo: A sudden change in your financial situation will encourage you to make personal improvements.

Libra: Getting involved in an unusual group or situation will be enlightening.  Now is the time to branch out.

Pisces: Your polished and precise way of presenting yourself and your abilities will lead to an interesting turn of events.

Sagittarius: Be willing to compromise and strive for equality.  A change of heart will lead to happiness.

Scorpio: Weigh the pros and cons of your motives.  Making a lifestyle change may not be easy, but it will be rewarding.

Taurus: Plan to have a good time.  Your actions will make a difference.  Keep in mind that you don't need to overdo it to have fun.

Virgo: Take part in events that will broaden your horizons.  If you pay attention and work hard, you'll make some fascinating discoveries.

Madame Sibella - Horoscope Writer – The Gielinor Times

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