November 30, 2008
TMN Interview with Relkin: The Fen Behind the Scenes



Amid the various celebrations surrounding the election of Largo as Fen President, few have taken note of the history-making second consecutive term of Fen Vice President Relkin. No one has ever held fen elective office twice in a row before. Will this open the door to future consecutive terms for Fen presidents as well? TMN is proud to present the following interview with Relkin:

TMN would like to conduct an interview with the distinguished Fen Vice President Relkin. Would you be interested in answering these five questions?

Actually, you asked six questions, including that one. But the Largo Administration will answer any and all questions posed. Be it four, five, six, or . . . actually six is the limit. We don't have all day, you know.

1) Fen Vice President Relkin, it's an honor to have you answer five questions with TMN today. This must be an exciting time for you. Why do you think the voters selected you and Largo?

Only the voters can answer that question. It isn't for me or Largo to tell you.

Fortunately, the Voters spoke directly to me, and the Voters told me, "Relkin, go and fight those Orgas in the Stronghold." And we did. And then the Voters would tell me, "Relkin, go and end the tyranny on Ash Island." And that will be our first step.

2) This is your second time as Fen Vice President. Clearly candidates and voters think you bring something special to this position. Do you think you have a knack for being a vice president?

Well sure! I've got experience. I know where all the undisclosed locations are. I'm charismatic and lovable. And most importantly, I can spout the most outrageous accusations about the president's opponents without any repercussions. I'd make a great vice presidential pick for any future candidates. Especially Creed. She isn't a Largo, but she is close, vote Creed!

3) Some exiles have had questions about your consecutive terms. It is, after all, unprecedented. Some have even raised the word "conspiracy." The following was heard over the sunstone network during Largo's inaugural ceremony:

Relkin thinks, "Was Largo assassinated yet?"


Conspiracy!? I don't even know what that word means! I'll have to speak to our campaign manager Althea and ask her, she knows all sorts of funny words, I'll be right back . . .


. . . OK, I'm back. Althea tells me there is absolutely no conspiracy. Especially not one controlled by sylvans at the highest levels. She also told me what, exactly, it is that a fen vice president does, and I'm simply the right fen for the job. Of course I'm concerned about the well-being of the President! I make sure to inquire about his health once a day, if not by the hour. What with fen presidents habit of disappearing before their term is complete it is totally understandable that I'm worried. Not that I'm worried about Largo in particular. He has assured he that he only disappears suspiciously without warning or explanation once every 20 years, and he has already covered that. So he is the most reliable president we've ever had. Worrying is just one of the many responsibilities of the fen vice president. I worry so Largo doesn't have to, and so that he avoids unsightly lines and wrinkles.

4) Do you have designs on the office of Fen President? Do you intend to run in the future?

I can't not unconfirm alleged rumors that I may or may not announce that I will not previously announce that I do not plan to announce to seek office in the past or future possibly.

5) What are the biggest threats to exiles currently? How will you and Largo address these threats?

Well, it isn't my job to deal with the big threats, I leave that to Largo. I'm mostly here to inquire after his health and create delicious scandals for the wonderful media like yourself. Largo is all business though. I heard him talking about those Darshak. They're up to something on Phineas Island and no one seems to be doing anything about it. But we can count on Largo to get to the bottom of it! But there is also Ethereal Warming, and the possibly even more dangerous Ethereal Cooling, and also the Temperate Ether Crisis facing us, which Largo and his team of rival-experts are working hard on. And there are many more. With so many threats, the biggest threat was probably the threat of a non-Largo presidency. The voters have boldly faced and defeated that threat already. You dared to hope for change, and you got it. Largo will surely lead us to a bold new future.

On that note, the second biggest threat is probably the fen presidential term limits, which would mean a non-Largo presidency in the future. That is a dark future none of us want to face. Unless Creed is elected.

In keeping with the old Fishwrap Magazine tradition, you are now allowed the ask the Thoom ONE (1) question.

Are there any scandals you'd be interested in covering this term? SNN has been requesting exclusive scandals, but I told them, no, Thoomcare will get the first one!

Yes, what's the deal with that Skirwan guy? And why do we never see him and Stylunk in the same room together?

This concludes what has been an excellent and insightful interview with Fen Vice President Relkin, who will now be returning to his undisclosed location. Thank you for your time, Relkin!

sentinel_by_kani.png Further discussion at the Clan Lord Sentinel.

Posted by Para at 10:39 PM
Juliosaur Fights and Flees


The Juliosaur came to town today as part of the aforementioned Chigger Invasion.


I had hopes that we might finally vanquish this longtime insect foe. The recently returned Noivad is seen here giving the Juliosaur a significant beating. ThoomCare was well represented, with myself and Kensington healing the wounded. Also note that Hoggle, reporter for SNN, was on the scene.


Fen President Largo queues up for his turn at the Juliosaur.


Maeght tries a variation of the old "have a taste of your own medicine trick" on the Juliosaur.


Maeght-chigger steps aside as Althea gets into the fray.


J'jh begins to celebrate that the Juliosaur is sorely wounded . . . but at that moment it begins to burrow away.


The Juliosaur has eluded us again!


No grand Juliosaur victory celebrations today.

Posted by Para at 09:41 PM
Chigger Invasion; Juliosaur Warning



Puddleby is under attack by an invasion of chiggers, including the Juliosaur.




Crius yells, "It's 2 o'clock, and we've got a situation... There's a Juliosaur here..."

Update: exiles surrounded the Juliosaur and nearly killed it, but it burrowed away at the last moment.

Posted by Para at 12:53 PM
Largo on Speech; Cat Plays Pushball


In his most recent journal entry, Largo comments on his inaugural ceremony and reports on a local cat's antics in the Pushball arena.


Posted by Para at 11:22 AM
November 28, 2008
Return of Noivad


Torin reports on the return of Noivad at OWE News.

sentinel_by_kani.png Discussion at the Clan Lord Sentinel.

Posted by Para at 08:33 AM
Expedition to Umbion's Keep


Torin reports on an Open Hunt expedition to Umbrion's Keep at OWE News.

Posted by Para at 08:19 AM
November 27, 2008
Lost Parade


Xel sent the following report to TMN:

Greetings, Para.

I'm searching for a lost parade. It seems to have been lost somewhere in the Foothills and left a large group of exiles bored and disappointed. If you happen to find it, please contact me via the Puddleby Post.



Posted by Para at 02:11 PM
November 21, 2008
Divine Intervention Saves Expedition to Orga Stronghold


Torin reports at OWE News on a recent expedition to the Orga Stronghold.

Posted by Para at 06:47 AM
November 16, 2008
Largo's Inaugural Speech and Bash


Transcript of Fen President Largo's inaugural speech:

Largo says, "Alright, let's begin. I'm not very good at speeches, but I did work hard at this."
(Largo clears his throat.)
Largo says, "I would like to begin this by saying that I know many of you came here expecting my speech to be a parody of the twisted farce that is mainland politics."
Largo says, "Indeed, the history of the Fen Presidency is steeped in frivolity and jest."
Largo says, "These things certainly have their place, but it isn't here. They have their time, but it isn't now."
Chance ponders, "I like frivolity and jest"
Largo says, "Rest easy knowing, though, that Relkin and I have begun planning related to all sorts of tomfoolery, malarky, and general shenanigans."
Chance ponders, "ah, good"
Largo says, "Know that we will not disappoint you in that respect."
Largo says, "The fact remains, however, that there is a good deal that we have to be serious about."
Skye asks, "Where is Relkin?"
Fiona ponders, "Relkin must be in a secure location"
Largo says, "Most of us are familiar with the tyranny of the Emperor to the far west. He who proudly has much of the civilized world clutched in his steely talons."
Largo says, "And we all know that he is hardly our most immediate enemy."
Largo says, "To the east lie the Orga lands, the T'rool towns, the Arachnoid caverns."
Largo says, "To the west lie islands and waters teeming with Dar'shak. The keeps of the dubious 'Brion wizards."
Largo says, "The planes themselves have begun to converge upon us. Bizarre creatures that mortals were never meant to lay eyes upon swarm our fair town more and more often."
Bakunan ponders, "zzzzzz"
(Largo frowns at Bakunan.)
Largo says, "We are the world's last known vestige of civilized freedom, and we are surrounded on every side by vicious, brutal, cunning, alien, wicked foes."
Largo says, "Some, morally defeated by the difficulties that are so prevalent here, are content to retreat to the relative safety of library and live out our lives there."
Largo says, "Their lives, excuse me."
Largo says, "Others do the best we can - we fight, we heal, we learn. We beat back our enemies, and we survive by the skin of our teeth."
Largo says, "Since we're so preoccupied with other things, our town has gone to hell. Ramshackle huts and lackluster walls lie in shambles, while a team of lazy guards pick their noses and stare into space."
Largo says, "If things are allowed to continue along the path that we are currently on, we will not live to see another forty years."
Largo says, "To be brief and blunt, we are in dire straits. Our situation seems hopeless."
Blindkan-C ponders, "politicians"
Largo says, "But I stand before you today, this glorious winter fifty third, to inform you all that it is not hopeless."
Largo says, "It's true, we are easily outnumbered by our foes, easily outclassed in many ways."
Largo says, "But we few, we exiles have a canniness and determination unmatched by any enemy."
Largo says, "Today I saw mere dozens of us band together against insurmountable odds and emerge victorious in the Orga stronghold, a place that few thought exiles would ever lay eyes on."
Largo says, "Bartok is slain. Drakesblood is slain. Rotbeard and General Issimo are slain. The bringers of chaos, perhaps the truest threat to our survival that we have ever faced, are slain."
Largo says, "We've stitched damaged bits of our plane back together. We've built a University of higher learning. We've done many, many incredible things."
Largo says, "All true testaments to Puddlebean strength, testaments to the canniness and determination that I speak of."
Largo says, "There is hope for a safe and happy future here. If we can accomplish those things, surely we can repair our town and revitalize our population."
Largo says, "I solemnly swear before the lot of you that I will not let the Fen Presidential powers that you have seen fit to give me go to waste."
Largo says, "No, I will apply them where needed like none before me, to pull us through these hard times. To allow us to stop simply surviving, and begin to thrive."
Largo says, "Thank you."
(Hunter claps!)
(Ayella claps.)
(Rakshasa claps)
(Dare claps)
Largo says, "Now, the first person to pass out from drink gets an albino maha pelt."
Largo says, "I mean that."
(Ansset applauds.)
Largo says, "Go."
(Chance claps)
(Kalypso claps)
Dare pours herself a mug of frothy lager.
(Blindkan-C claps)
Hoggle yells, "BEER!"
Dare raises her lager on high, and drains it in one gulp.
Dare pours herself a mug of frothy lager.
Chance pours herself a perfect mug of cold lager.

Posted by Para at 08:52 PM
November 15, 2008
Fen Presidency FAQ 3.0


Q: Does one have to be a Fen to be nominated or elected as Fen President?

A: No.

Q: Does one have to be a Fen to vote for Fen President?

A: No, definitely not. All exiles should participate!

Q: Who selects the nominees for Fen President?

A: A Thoom cabal gathers in a secret chamber of the Puddleby Underground and selects the candidates after a detailed review of the political zeitgeist. The list of candidates is written on a small scroll, which is stuffed into a large tuna and surreptitiously left on the porch of TMN. While this is widely known, most exiles consider it rather distasteful to discuss this time-honored process in public.

Q: When are elections held?

A: While is more typical for elections to coincide loosely with the Feast of Tsrrin, they have been known to occur at any time of the year depending on political developments in Puddleby.

Q: What's going on with Relkin being Fen Vice President twice in a row now? Is this some sort of conspiracy?

A: Yeah, that makes you wonder, doesn't it? See also Fen Presidency FAQ 2.0.

Posted by Para at 06:50 AM
Hall of Fen Presidents


Fen President #0
None of the Above

#280: Who do you support for Fen President?
9 (11%): Blitz
15 (18%): Lorikeet
20 (24%): Manx
13 (16%): Odesseus
25 (30%): None of the above
1 (1%): Abstain
83 voters

Fen President #1

#350: Who has your support for the position of Fen President?
44 (38%): Lorikeet
23 (20%): Manx
22 (19%): Odesseus
9 (8%): Polerand
19 (16%): None of the above
0 (0%): Abstain
117 voters

Fen President #2

#420: Who has your vote for Fen President?
17 (12%): Lorikeet
4 (3%): Manx
36 (25%): Tigger
77 (53%): Valtrim
10 (7%): None of the above
0 (0%): Abstain
144 voters

Fen President #3

#431: Who has your support for the position of Fen President?
22 (20%): Daimoth
56 (50%): Manx
9 (8%): Odesseus
13 (12%): Tigger
12 (11%): None of the above
0 (0%): Abstain
112 voters

Manx's Vice President: Largo

Fen President #4

#453: Who has your support for the office of Fen President?
10 (6%): Daimoth
10 (6%): Kerrah
105 (66%): Odesseus
26 (16%): Phineas, a.k.a. Fen-eas
7 (4%): None of the above
1 (1%): Abstain
159 voters

Odesseus' Vice President: Relkin

Fen President #5

#464: Who has your support for the office of Fen President?
56 (28%): Inu Teisei
26 (13%): Kallisto
87 (44%): Largo
13 (7%): Stylunk
16 (8%): None of the above
0 (0%): Abstain
198 voters

Largo's Vice President: Relkin

Posted by Para at 05:36 AM
Fragile Shieldstone


Fen President Largo reports in his journal on the discovery of an unusual new ring that lures beasts.

Largo also reminds exiles that his inaugural celebration is scheduled for the evening Winter 53 (OOC: 8:00pm EST on Sunday, November 16).

Posted by Para at 04:46 AM
November 13, 2008
New Look for Fens


Kerrah showed to TMN the newly available look for Fens.




Posted by Para at 07:29 AM
Lumber Removed from Castle Construction Site


The stacks of lumber at the entrance to the Alliance Castle construction site have been removed. A tent has been erected by the workers.


Posted by Para at 07:21 AM
November 12, 2008
Chaos Storm #572


Chaos Storm #572 has swept the Lok'Groton island chain. Please post any changes you have observed and wish to share with others in the comments. If you don't want to read possible spoilers, please do not read the comments.

Posted by Para at 08:50 PM
Tsrrin Concludes


This year's Feast of Tsrrin has drawn to a close and the arrival of the next Chaos Storm is imminent.

Posted by Para at 06:28 AM
November 11, 2008
Grand Symbol of the Largocracy


Largo has posted a new entry in his journal about the Grand Symbol of the Largocracy:


Posted by Para at 10:49 PM
Noivad: Missing Sheriff?


Puddleby's Sheriff, Noivad, has gone missing. Where could he be?









Does Puddleby need a new sheriff?

sentinel_by_kani.png Discussion on the Clan Lord Sentinel.

Posted by Para at 08:33 PM
November 10, 2008
Fen President Largo Posts Journal Update


Largo has posted a new entry in his journal about his election to the office of Fen President.

Posted by Para at 11:00 PM
OWE's Recent Expeditions


Torin has posted the the following updates to OWE News:

PC Practice
LA's Book 2 Trip
Castle Costume Party
New Portraits from Kisa
Mountain Glen Castle


Posted by Para at 10:56 PM
November 09, 2008
Largo's Inaugural Speech

Fen President Largo; Portrait by Hoggle

Largo sent the following announcement to TMN:

Dearest Puddleby,

It is with great excitement and gratitude that I take up the mantle of Fen President. Thank you to my many voters, friends, clanmates, and supporters. This would not have been possible without you.

On the evening of Winter 53 (OOC: 8:00pm EST on Sunday, November 16) I will give a speech at the University of Puddleby, in which I lay out my presidential plans, personally thank my voters, and discuss our direction from here on forward. Refreshments of all sorts will, of course, be provided in surplus.

I hope to see you there,

Posted by Para at 10:10 PM
Suu'ub III Becomes 8th Circle Healer


Kerrah reports on the Clan Lord Sentinel that Suu'ub III has become Puddleby's first 8th Circle Healer.

Posted by Para at 11:05 AM
November 08, 2008
Thooms at Tsrrin


Creed sent the following report to TMN:

Hail Para!

I just wanted to share one more bit of Tsrrin fun before memories of this year's feast are put away for good.

My favorite costume this year was—I know, some won't believe this—not the pony, but the Thoom costume found on DI. I've attached a few sketches of some Tsrrin fun with several exiles in Thoom garb. Sadly, the gods declined to grant us a faux Thoomline. :-)

Chee-- I mean Thoom!



Posted by Para at 09:50 AM
November 07, 2008
Largo Wins


There have been some problems with getting the election results, but election counter Die Boldly has announced the results via Koppi:

Die Boldly reports: There has been a small problem with the elections, but here are the results.

Who has your support for the office of Fen President?
56 (28%): Inu Teisei
26 (13%): Kallisto
87 (44%): Largo
13 (7%): Stylunk
16 (8%): None of the above
0 (0%): Abstain


Posted by Para at 08:43 AM
November 06, 2008
Merlisk and Maeght


Merlisk sent the following report to TMN:


I feel I should apologize. I got a bit carried away during the Feast and turned Maeght into a slug. Please tell everyone that I apologize.

Thoom Healer/Dentist


Posted by Para at 07:27 AM
November 04, 2008
Waiting for the Results


The polls are closed. The ballots for Fen Presidency Election 573 are now being counted. Check in with TMN later today for the results and more election coverage.

Posted by Para at 06:08 AM
November 03, 2008
Daimoth's Non-Endorsement of Largo


Althea exclaims, "hiya Para!"
Largo says, "Hello Paramedic."
Paramedic says, "hello"
Largo says, "Daimoth here has something important to say to you."
Largo asks, "Don't you, Daimoth?"
Daimoth says, "Yes, that I do NOT support Largo in his attempt at making more of a mockery of a mockery."
Largo says, "What he means to say is that he'd like to add his endorsement to my already strong campaign."
Daimoth says, "No, what I mean to say is that Largo sucks."
Largo says, "That's code for "is highly qualified and a brilliant leader"."

Posted by Para at 08:01 PM
Yikes Endorses Largo


Yikes sent to TMN the following political endorsement:

My fellow exiles,

I speak to you in the final hours of a great election. An election that may well be the most important in the history of Puddleby. I encourage you to be sure to get to the election house tonight—make your voice heard. We are facing difficult issues ahead of us in our lives in exile, and your vote will make a difference in making sure that we all get the Fen President that we deserve.

I am here today to endorse a candidate. I don't usually do this, but I think that one candidate in this election has a unique set of skills and the right qualifications for the job. I endorse Largo. Largo has shown the foreign policy experience that Puddleby sorely needs. He also is prepared to deal with the various domestic and economic problems facing our town. Largo listens to voters, and he's shown a consistent effort to reach across the aisle to his political opponents to move policy forward.

Largo's not perfect. I think we all have some questions about his past sympathies with the Orga, and he's still never answered adequately our questions about where he went when he disappeared before the last election. But I think that when you compare his qualifications to those of his opponents, Largo comes out far ahead.

Thank you, and please get out and vote.


Posted by Para at 06:35 PM
November 02, 2008
Election Countdown Recap Review with a Thoom



Welcome to TMN's continuing coverage of the Fen Presidential Election.

Paramedic the Thoom here, with some late-breaking analysis as time runs out to cast your vote.

Let's review the candidates.

Inu Teisei

Pros: Wants everybody to have fun; Vice President Pun'isher
Cons: New to Puddleby's political scene; some question about why this longtime Largo supporter is now running herself (quote: "Actually I admire Largo, and I was until very recently, strongly advocating for him. But then I figured he needed a real opponent..."—she voted for Largo before she voted against him?)


Pros: Self-described maverick; promises continuity with the Odesseus administration; has the potential to "go rogue" and upend Puddleby's staid political milieu; shoots starbucks from her parachute
Cons: Seen cavorting with the Orga; relatively unknown to Puddleby politics; may be involved in the recent disappearance of Puddleby's sheriff, Noivad (quote: "my good friend Maeght won't have to worry about that tyrant sheriff for much longer, if ya know what I mean. *wink*")


Pros: Master of self-promotion; tireless campaigner; Althea as campaign manager; Fen Treasurer Hunter; Vice President Relkin; political machine known as the Largocracy famous for getting out Largo's message and getting out the vote
Cons: Master of self-promotion; disappeared from Puddleby mysteriously just before his widely expected election to office last time


Pros: Keen fashion sense; intends to cleanse registration lists of undead voters; has asked thoughtful questions about whether Largo has served on any neighborhood boards with Orga
Cons: Rarely, if ever, seen out of the library; may still be locked in the closet

Posted by Para at 10:55 PM
November 01, 2008
Largo's Address to the Voters


Largo has prepared in his journal his campaign closing address to the voters of Puddleby.

Posted by Para at 11:17 PM
Mountain Glen Castle


Creed sent the following report to TMN:

Hail Para,

Thank you for posting Kerrah's report on the Mountain Glen area. It was very interesting!

I was on a recent trip with a group that explored some of the new castle in this area. I thought I would send a few sketches I made of some of the mysterious rooms in this castle. Most of the place seems to have been hastily abandoned . . . it's all very spooky!

In one photo you can see that I was trying to read an ancient, cracked and dust-covered book. The full passage I was able to make out says: "...growing deaths. We have attempted to imbue stones with the power of an altar, holding ones spirit to the place that they have died. Only Horup so far has been able to..."

There the page becomes illegible again. I wonder who "Horup" can have been . . . it seems obvious there is some relation to our own Horus, in the healer's temple in town. It also seems that whomever once lived in this castle was experimenting with forces they didn't fully understand.






Posted by Para at 11:10 PM
Pony Rescue


Creed sent the following report to TMN:

Hail Para!

I was with a fairly large group that charged into the Mountain Glen area recently to rescue some fallens in the new myrm hive. Things were going along normally when—while we were waiting for someone to lure the next snell—a pony just trotted up to us out of nowhere. After a moment's confusion, we realized he was bringing us a Tsrrin costume! Peer pressure prevailed as everyone quickly dressed themselves as ponies and pressed on as a pony rescue. I've enclosed a few sketches for you of all the fun.

Long Live Tsrrin!
and . . . PootWaddle Ponies!







Posted by Para at 10:07 PM
Vermine Swarm Traps Creed


Creed sent the following report to TMN:

Hail Para!

I just wanted to send you a few sketches of an unusual vermine swarm that took place recently in North Farms and to thank those who helped rescue me when I was trapped—Fiona, Dandelion, Evita and Krandor.

I'm sure the vermine swarm was just a natural phenomenon, or maybe related to Tsrrin . . . but I admit I enjoyed Fiona's take on the situation!




Posted by Para at 10:52 AM