ROYAL INVESTIGATOR MISSION: Ends on Feb 8th 2014. Your mission is to locate and speak to the main characters about the mysterious events in the Kingdom. Talk to them. Decide what you think of their comments, and what you think the main threat to the Kingdom is. Then report back to Skaros at the UOEM page. http://europa.uoem.net/the-ringmaster-replies/ You will get 1 POINT for every NPC you speak to and write up your feelings about, and 1 POINT for what you think is happening behind the scenes. Fiction: "The Trinsic Beacon!" Skaros snorted; "What use a beacon that's placed without a clue as to where the rocks that wreck the ship of state really are!" The Spymaster, his usual calm vanished, paced around his office and pulled hard on the sleeves of his shadowy robe, before picking up the broadsheet again and scowling at it as if he could burn off the offensive words just by heated gaze alone. "Look at this", he fumed, "Bread and circuses... indeed! And I, the supposed ringmaster behind this circus have nothing but clowns with which to guide the whole show! Do not these scandalous gossip mongers understand how important bread is to the people? Or how a single poisoned loaf could be the ruin of us all..!" At this Skaros paused, and suddenly trembled; The King would be dining at this very moment! With heart racing and fists clenched he tore down the steps towards the dining room... King Blackthorn looked up as the doors slammed open and his Spymaster hurled into the room; "My lord! You're not eating unchecked bread are you?!" The regal eyebrow raised in the familiar style, and the King chuckled; "Come now, you aren't worried about me falling for that old trick are you? You know full well I am protected by my own powerful magic, and besides look... no bread on the table at all! Just bananas in custard, and we tested the bananas on a mongbat, and the custard on an ostard! It's all perfectly safe." Behind his beard, Skaros scowled "It pleases you to jest my Liege, but you know I take my responsibilities very seriously indeed." "Indeed you do, and it is to your credit and the Kingdom's benefit that you do." the King replied "but what angers you so unusually today? What pray tell is that in your unexpectedly tense hands?" Skaros looked at his hands again, the scurrilous rag forgotten in his sudden concern of fatal food. "Why this... this... this yellow journalism Sire dares to cast all sorts of aspersions on the great and the good of the realm!" "Well do spread it on the table so I can see what our people are worried about" Blackthorn said, unperturbed. Making room amongst the dishes, the King proceeded to read closely, his spoon occasionally pausing on the way to his mouth and errant banana slices slipping off and back into his dish... and eventually he looked up at his Spymaster again, mixed expression on his face, a Mona-Lisa smile that was almost impossible to read. "Now then Skaros, have I ever told you that politics is rather like a game of Chess?" "No my Liege, I don't think I've heard you express it that way." "The King is the most important piece but, without the variety of the moves and the power of his other pieces, he's a weak, useless thing is he not? Easily cornered and captured." Skaros had never got used to this mixture of pride and humility in a monarch, so simply replied with a vague "Yes your Highness, that is how the game works". "Well then, the game is afoot as they say, so what is the most important thing right now, do you think Skaros?" the King asked. "To win the game of course!" replied Skaros instantly "And how would we do that? With this Trinsic Beacon moving so furiously, and so unlike their King's own smaller moves, all across the board?" Skaros paused... he was used to cloak and dagger behaviour, but this was an unfamiliar kind of subtlety to him. But a vague idea of an answer seemed to be there; "To make sure all our pieces are on the same side?" he hazarded "Precisely Skaros! I think I need to speak soon to my people of my love for them. And you know, this Beacon does have a point, we've not really acknowledged our Investigators that much, have we? I believe some promotions are still outstanding. We could catch up with them could we not?" "I believe so, I recently updated the lists it's true..." Skaros mused, rubbing his huge beard thoughtfully. "Would that be all my Liege?" "No. There's one even more important issue. We don't know what is happening with the realm, do we? That all the pieces are on the same side is vital, but more than that, the one giving the orders needs to be giving the right ones. This newspaper is just the tip of the iceberg. The longer things go on, the harder it becomes to productively use the hot head knights on our board, wouldn't you say? We have to get information, and we have to have it soon so we can act, Skaros!" At this, Skaros snapped back into focus; This was Spymaster stuff! "My liege! I'll send out the orders at once for the Royal Investigators to give us a full report on all the main leads and what they think is happening! In fact, with your permission Sire, I'll get right on it!" "Oh and Skaros...?" "Yes your Highness?" "Do take this sheet and feed it to the mongbats will you?" "With pleasure my Lord!"