On December 23rd, blues and reds (and even one yellow) joined together at the Yew Merry Center for All to exchange stories and holiday cheer. Though the crowd began small, it swelled as the night proceeded and by the third tale, seating was hard to find in the tavern-style first floor of the establishment. Our own News Manager, Kimi Mori, led off the stories with a haunting tale of the Howling Banshee. The crowd remained riveted as she detailed the misadventure of Scott of Minoc, who nearly met his doom at the hands of the Banshee. As the crowd filtered in, Malice stood to tell a grisly tale of a black wolf and the vampire SpyderByte. Not for the feint of heart, the story drew mixed reactions from the gathered listeners. Next rose Thraximus of the Zogs, recounting a particularly bloody battle from the early years of his guild. The tale revolved around a battle for Moonglow City between the B^G guild and the Zogs, resulting in a draw and the end of hostilities between the guilds. Tinbal the Odd rose next to speak, telling a tale of the crazed Ed of Cove and his torture of innocent pixies. Fortunately, his friend Al was able to rescue the pixies from further poking and prodding, and escaped Ed's madness. Several of the patrons were clearly distraught at the plight of the pixies, but gained comfort in that they were all released and went on to live normal lives. Tinbal then told a second tale, a short legend surrounding a great Yew tree in the Makoto-jima city of Zento in the Tokuno Islands. Not finding volunteers for the next read, Dor herself read a poem from the YMCA's vast library, The Ladies of Sosaria by the famous poet Talanithus. It seems good Talanithus got himself into quite a lot of trouble with the ladies! Kimi spoke again next, relating another of Talanithus' lyrics, For Kimi. The poem was written when Miss Mori was in dire straits with her health, and spoke volumes about what our News Manager means to all of us on the Sonoma shard of the Gem. Next rose Masara the Invulnerable, who wove a superb epic poem surrounding the seductive Colleen, a master thief of the Black Velvet Band. Phoebuise rose next, delivering a short but poignant sonnet lamenting the fleeting nature of love, which resonated strongly with several of the Center's patrons. Yours truly took the opportunity to relay a cute little poem entitled Santa Claws, the Christmas Dragon, drawing several giggles from the crowd. Tinbal the Odd rose next for his third reading of the night, a powerful tale written by Lord British himself through a scribe; lyrics to the music frequently played throughout the halls of the grievously empty Castle Brittania. The words spoke of a noble, proud citizenry determined to survive against all odds. After surviving and rebuilding following the burning of Trinsic, the corruption of Yew and the monster invasion of Britain itself, this reporter finds Lord British's words to be most prophetic and profound. Masara wrapped up the event in poignant fashion, singing in her crystalline voice a lively tune called Through A Young Laddie's Eyes. The moving lyrics focused on the concept of leaving a legacy for future generations. As the crowd had dwindled and many of the readers retired for the evening before the readings were done, no prize was awarded this week. However, by all accounts the attendees of this holiday gathering enjoyed the yarns and the beverages immensely. Jayde wishes to thank News Manager Kimi Mori for the outstanding pictures. She also would like to apologize for the delay in posting this story; her holiday reveling has delayed her all-important Stratics duties today.