I am certain that the majority of you have already been made aware of the tragedy that has befallen the Royal Britannian Guard. To inform those of you who may not have heard, I shall briefly recount the events that have led up to this point. Dame Sphinx, a junior member of the City Guard of Britain, was sent to search our capitols sewer system in search of a person of interest that had gone missing almost a fortnight ago. There she inadvertantly stumbled upon a strange and very troubling disturbance lurking at the bottom of our sewers labyrinth depths. I could not slip past them without stepping into the silage or risk them becoming aware of my presence without dodging the lichen and slick rock. One splash or slip would have alerted them. This I managed but barely. It was then I went onto the next set of passages to find a horde of orcs amassed so large, I could not count the numbers. I was stepping over, under and through them, and how I was not caught only the virtues know! I suspect their mages are using those horrors to keep us out as they prepare and rally. That Northern incursion was just a scouting party to find a method into the city unnoticed. What the recruit managed to discover was not something that any one of us would have anticipated finding beneath our City of Compassion. In fact, it was once standard procedure for the City Guards to inspect the capitols infrastructure on a routine basis and ensure that its defenses were well maintained. Of course, with the rabid incompetence and prevalent nespotism that has been the rule rather than the exception amongst the upper echelons of the kingdoms military, not to mention the great banking collapse that occured four years ago with the rise of the Lunan State, such vital inspections become dismissed as too costly and rather unimportant. Although always dismissed by the hierarchs as heresay and Partisan gossip, some argue that the assassination of the Royal Council and the subsequent invasions were made possible by the aging infrastructure. Sphinx reported her finding to her superior, Corporal Brackus. Our sources tell us that he forwarded this information to Captain Aino of the Royal Britannian Guard, who responded by sending a contingent of three elite Royal Guards - Sir William, Sir Thomas, and Dame Alexis - into the depths of the sewers to perform their own investigation independant of the City Guard. When they did not return on time, another team was sent after them, only to discover the path to the deep sewer blocked and the password changed. Only a skilled artificer could have manipulated the complex mechanisms controlling the entrance, something beyond the skill and competence of mere demihumans. Although there has been no confirmation of their deaths, our sources tell us that with what is currently believed to be amassing beneath our feet, there is little hope that the three Royal Guards will be found alive. There has been some talk of blasting a hole through the portal with a cache of explosives, but such measures could have untold consequences for the already weak structure holding our city in place. In an attempt to learn more about what is currently happening, we caught up with Herald Contributor Nicholas Al'Dracul. Some of you may already know him as "Nicholas the Old", but few know that he is more than a giver of gifts and purveyor of fireworks. The old man is actually a retired soldier, who served alongside Commander Daehan the Lightbringer, Dame Thralu, and Captain Ceno Cottonwood in Dupre's Company during the Second War of Darkness. Note: Edited For Clarity. Joshua Harper: Welcome, Lord Al'Dracul. Nicholas the Old: I've not been called that since the Second War. (He appeared to grow slightly uncomfortable for a moment.) JH: Lady Aino Nystad, Captain of the Royal Guard, sent out a call for volunteers to collect at the First Bank of Britain. She clearly seeks help with the investigation, but why involve mercenaries and hired help? Do you think that says something about the strength of the Royal and City Guard? NtO: I don't think it says anything about the strength of the Royal Guard. Clearly, they are spread very thin, but they are doing their job and are doing it well. The volunteers are just that. Volunteers. Those who arrived were largely former and retired members of the Royal Militia that served under Commanders Gabriel Kieron, Archimedes the Old, and Lady Sameerah. Others were veterans of the Second and Third Wars of Darkness. I even saw a couple ol' Partisans of Chaos. JH: Partisan of Chaos? NtO: Yes, a Partisan of Chaos. I would advise you to ignore the propaganda. Chaos does not mean evil. It is merely another philosophy, not unlike the Virtues. JH: Ah, I agree with you. Please continue. You were talking about the volunteers? NtO: Britannia's veterans are much more worldly, and have the contacts and the know-how to deal with the darker undercurrents of our society. This is something the young knights and squires of the guard just don't have. JH: You scouted ahead of the search party. What did you find? NtO: I didn't find much on my first trip, mind you. A infestation of rats. I could've sworn I was being watched, but it was probably just my imagination. On my second trip, I was waylaid by Corporal Brackus. JH: Waylaid by Corporal Brackus? NtO: Yes. The lad was concerned my my health. Those noxious fumes can inspire quite a coughing fit, and I suppose I'm not as resilient as I was in my youth. I asked him if he had any news about the missing guards, and he directed me to the City Bank. He mentioned that Aino would be appearing shortly. JH: What happened? NtO: She arrived, and began to explain the situation. Clearly, most folks already knew about the disappearance of the three guards. She asked us to find a person of interest. JH: A person of interest? NtO: Yes, a rogue of sorts. Someone skilled with riddles. She asked that we find and question the man. He was rumored to have been last seen wandering the upper levels of the Britain Sewers, but then again, they also say that four Kappa' from the lands of Tokuno have made their home there as well. JH: Kappa? NtO: Nevermind. JH: So, did she say what to do with him once you found him? NtO: We've been given a week to investigate the matter. You can make your submission here. JH: Do you think this thief is the same man that Recruit Sphinx was sent to investigate? NtO: I suppose nothing is impossible. It isn't the first time the Guard has been willing to work with with scum for the greater good. JH: According to her report, the sewers are current infested with Orcs. We've recently seen a rise of Orc activity, including a Gulgeth Orc Clan tied to Dawn. You don't think that Dawn is taking an agressive stance in response to Lord Casca's recent ultimatum? NtO: I can assure you that the Dawnite's would do no such thing, Harper. In fact, they've once again thrown caution to the wind and laid aside any grudges, offering men and aid that could be protecting their own Kingdom to help the Royal Guard. As far as the Gulgeth Orc Clan, they have no qualms with the Britannians. JH: But they're Orcs, are they not? NtO: ...and they also happen to be far more civilized than most of the youth that call themselves Britannians. JH: You seem to know a great deal about the Sphinx. Do you two have a history? NtO: I would rather not talk about it. JH: The healers mentioned that her report might have been a halucination. A result of breathing too much noxious gas. In your opinion, can we trust her report? NtO: You can trust her report. She is more than qualified. I would like to thank Lord Nicholas for his time. The investigation is ongoing, and clearly volunteers are still needed. Any who wish to join in the investigation, I am sure that the upper sewers are a good place to begin. Joshua Harper, Reporter, The Stratics Herald. Out of Character: Seppo has made this a week-long event, and encourages people to continue the investigation throughout the next several days. I don't want to spoil too much, but you will be given the opportunity to write up a report, and trade it for more information in the ongoing investigation into the disappearance of William, Thomas, and Alexis. Dealing With A Thief - Event Information By EM Seppo For those that missed the beginning of the quest, Captain Nystad reiterates the difficulties the Royal Guards are having with rescuing the missing scouts. This is virtually impossible without regaining access to the deep sewers. She enlists the help of the citizens to seek out a man who is known as Britain’s thief master who resides in the sewers. You are supposed to talk with the thief master and ask him about the keyword to begin the quest. The quest is short enough for you to finish it in just under an hour, especially if you have help. If you work on yourself without any spoilers then it might take you couple of hours. You can do this quest throughout the week. At the end, you need to submit your report of the investigation via the “contact us” link on the website or submit a book in game at 2:00 PM Sunday May 10th, 8:00 PM Friday 15th. You will be judged on the quality of your investigation. If found worthy, the thiefmaster will give the password to the deep sewers. Please note that you are writing your report for the thiefmaster, not Captain Nystad. Stay tuned throughout the week for more on Something Foul Reeks In The Sewer.