In the Shadow of Virtue: The Latest Edition of the BNN Mark Steelman Virtuebane Defeated! In a daring attack against the Bane Chosen encampment on Magincia, Britannian forces succeeded in driving Virtuebane back to his shard and destroying the portal that allowed him to cross over. Many brave adventurers died in reclaiming that tortured land but many more are now safe because of their efforts. We caught up with Lieutenant Dan, a young soldier just back from the Magincia campaign. This is what he had to say: “Well, the Captain told us that we had to get it done or Virtuebane was going to use the crystal to destroy the world, so we just went and did the best we could.” We here at BNN have pieced together a rough account of the events that led to this fateful day, and pray that you will forgive your humble correspondents if our records err: The crystal referred to by Lt. Dan was none other than the fabled Crystal of Duplicity. Rumored to have been conjured by the legendary mage Nystul during the creation of Trammel, this powerful artifact has been stolen more frequently than a rusty old key. Reportedly, Minax absconded with it from Magincia and used it to invade Trammel. Lord British defeated her and, recovering the crystal, hid it in the royal castle. Several years ago Virtuebane destroyed Magincia trying to find it, not realizing it was previously stolen. Finally last year it re-surfaced from its hiding place in the castle, leading to a second attempt of Virtuebane to claim his prize. Your correspondents asked Sir Geoffrey for a quote: “We are all very grateful to the brave men and women who went to Maginica to defeat Virtuebane. We are also grateful to our new allies: the Gargoyles, the Meer, the Ophidians, and the Ethereal Warriors. Their willingness to band together against overwhelming odds won the day and once again saved us all.” That was not a misprint, folks: Ophidians and Ethereal Warriors aided Britannia. It is no great surprise that the Gargoyles and the Meer fought shoulder to shoulder with our soldiers. As many of you know, dear readers, we Britannians came to the aid of the Ophidians when they were attacked by the Bane Chosen early last year. A few months ago when the Bane Chosen attacked various cities of Britannia, the Ophidians returned the favor. Who knew that the Ophidians understood Honor? The astonishing news is that, in an unprecedented triumph of diplomacy, the clever Meer enlisted the help of the elusive Ethereal Warriors from their home in Ilshenar. The Ethereal Warriors and Meer both suffered heavy losses in the battle for Magincia, but, as the leaders of the guard tell your humble correspondents, without them all would have been lost. Your humble correspondents have been doggedly hounding the provisional council with tough questions about their policy against the Bane Chosen. An official statement from the council suggests that their delay in ordering a direct assault was due to their effort to preserve lives. It was deemed too risky without first finding our late Queen Dawn’s Sword of Humility, the only known weapon that even has a chance of killing Virtuebane. However, once Virtuebane had the crystal, it was now or never. Your correspondents asked Mage Dexter at the castle for a comment: “The artifact is capable of duplicating anything, even worlds. When Ricardo was duplicated, his madness was not duplicated to his… err… duplicate… so the Ricardo duplicate revealed to us that Virtuebane planned to duplicate his world in place of ours. Virtuebane had already discovered how to duplicate himself; it was only a matter of time before he discovered how to duplicate his shard.” So, noble and hygienic readers, is the world safe? Will Virtuebane be back? Have we seen the last of his bloody reign of terror, or might he strike again at any moment? Your diligent correspondents caught up with the noted monk and demonologist Zhaholay and asked him the same questions: “Well, it seems he still has part of the crystal, but it is unlikely that Virtuebane can come back to Britannia without significant assistance to aid his passage, such as the ritual force of an entire cult. The real question is: who led the Bane Chosen before the demon’s arrival and is that person still alive? Also, is this the same person that let him through four years ago?” Sobering concerns indeed, honorable reader. The council assured your journalists that they are still investigating the matter and, I quote, “that it is most likely that the villain was turned into an ancient hellhound with the rest of the Bane Chosen and thus will never ever be found now go away I’m eating dinner.” New Magincia Rises From the Ashes A few days after Virtuebane’s defeat, a small group of loyalists gathered on Magincia. They carried with them the Crystal of Duplicity, attempting to perform the ritual to reconnect Magincia in Trammel with Magincia in Felucca once again. The BNN mage on staff informs your thorough correspondents that this is the essential first step in rebuilding the town, which has lain in ruins ever since the forces of Virtuebane attacked the first time, four years ago. Construction has now begun on what will be hence known as “New Magincia”. The provisional council is holding a lottery to determine who may settle this hard-won land and claim it as their home. National Celebrity Pronounced Sane Mr. Ricardo, a man who needs no introduction, was declared sane today by a panel of respected healers. The notorious thief *** political advisor was not available for comment, but healer Kendra confided in your clever correspondents: “We knew his illness was the direct result of an enchantment. It seems that Virtuebane lost his grip on Ricardo’s mind during his defeat. I’m not sure how, but Mr. Ricardo had discovered Virtuebane’s plan back when the Bane Chosen were first forming and Virtuebane placed a curse on him to prevent him from revealing what he knew.” BNN would like to offer the warmest of welcomes to the celebrated Mr. Ricardo, and our staff wish him the speediest of recoveries. From all of us here: good to have you back!