• Graded • Journalistic Integrity

The entirely unbiased story of Quincy Andaris' assault.

The capital city of the of Rynmere, here is seated the only King in Idalos.
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Sabine
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Journalistic Integrity


Timestamp: 75th of Ashan, 716
Location: Rynmere Gazette

Without question, this was going to be one of the best articles the Gazette had ever published.

Sabine felt a puff of pride as she set her pen definitively on the desk. Notes from her interview with Quincy Andaris were scattered haphazardly around her, black ink coated her fingertips, and strands of hair fell out of her hastily braided bun, but none of that mattered. She had finally done it: she had written the article that would show the world - or, at least Rynmere - who the Andaris family really was.

Any hint of the tolerance that she had begun to develop during her conversation with Quincy the trial before had evaporated that morning when she’d been woken up to the sound of her mother’s tears. She was reminded that, regardless of how human Quincy had seemed at the end of their interview, the Andaris’ were monsters. They had enslaved her father, broken her family, and forced half the city to live in squalor while they dined on diamonds.

Granted, she no longer felt intense loathing when she thought of Quincy himself. The overwhelming urge to roll her eyes was still there, of course, but her therapist - if she’d had a therapist - would have called that progress.

Sabine called it weakness.

“Abby!” She waved her manager over to her desk. “Can you take a quick look at my article? I think it’s ready to go.” She handed over the sheet of vellum. “You’re going to like this one. It’s big - really big.”

Abby raised an eyebrow. “That so?” She smoothed out the vellum and glanced at the headline.

Exclusive: Targeted attack on Andaris family reveals their shortcomings
“Sabine…” Abby warned.

“No, keep reading. It gets better, I promise.”

Abby shrugged and continued to scan the page while Sabine drummed her fingers eagerly on the desk.

Exclusive: Targeted attack on Andaris family reveals their shortcomings

By Sabine Qe’azour
75th of Ashan, 716


Lord Quincy Andaris was bested by a woman.

On the 71st of Ashan, Lord Quincy was savagely attacked by an unknown woman during a “surprisingly sober” night out. The assailant left his Lordship with ghastly bruises and a heightened sense of entitlement.

He is currently recovering from the assault in his family’s unreasonably large mansion, and is unable to put on pants or button a shirt due to the severity of his pain.

But the real question isn’t whether or not Lord Quincy needs a personal trainer or stylist. The question is, why was the Andaris family targeted in the first place?

According to Lord Quincy, his brother was the cause. Lord Peake Andaris is a ferociously violent manwhore with alcoholic tendencies and a desire to harm. Some people believe that Peake represents everything that is wrong with the Andaris family and, perhaps, with the Kingdom itself.

It is obvious that the assailant intends to send a message to House Andaris: the city will not tolerate noble families who take advantage of their money and privilege.

Anyone with more information about Lord Peake Andaris' deficiencies (or the assault) is asked to reach out to the Rynmere Gazette directly.
There was a long pause once Abby finished the article, and Sabine found that she couldn’t contain her excitement.

“Well?!”
Last edited by Sabine on Mon May 16, 2016 12:19 pm, edited 2 times in total. word count: 588
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Sabine
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“Yeaaaah. We can’t publish this.”

Sabine’s good mood dampened as she processed her supervisor’s words. “What? What do you mean we can’t publish this? It’s good journalism!”

“It’s slander.”

“It depends what you mean by slander-“

“Your article is biased and will be seen as an attack on the Andaris family. Need I remind you that the Gazette relies on the Kingdom’s goodwill to exist? If we start condemning prominent noble houses in our paper, we won’t be around to see another arc.”

“But it’s true!” Sabine’s cheeks reddened under Abby’s doubtful stare. “Okay, fine. True-ish. Quincy really did say Peake was violent, though.”

“So write that in a way that doesn’t make it seem like an indisputable fact,” Abby said. “You can speculate, but, for the love of Rynmere, do it with a degree of moderation.” She dropped the vellum on Sabine’s desk with a resounding thwap. “I’ll expect your second draft before you leave for the evening.”

Sabine groaned and dropped her head to her hands. There were only two things she resented about her job. The first was when she was given mundane assignments, and the second was when she was pulled into the politics of what could or could not be published. It was stifling. The Gazette sometimes tried so hard to please its constituents that it forgot pleasing constituents was, in itself, a bias.

She massaged her temples. Now was not the time to revisit that argument with Abby; it always ended up with Sabine being assigned a community piece to help her “lighten up” (though Sabine suspected the true intent was to bore her into submission).

“A degree of moderation…” Sabine muttered, and straightened in her chair. She picked up her pen and eyed the headline. Perhaps “shortcomings” was too strong of a word. It wasn’t untrue per se, but, in the spirit of moderation, it could be edited out.

Exclusive: Targeted attack on Andaris family reveals their shortcomings chest hair resilience
Except now she was just plain lying. Sabine scratched a line across the entire headline. What could she write that was an indisputable fact and wouldn’t be interpreted as pandering to the wealthy? She tapped the pen against her chin before setting it to the page once more.

Exclusive: Targeted attack on Andaris family reveals their shortcomings chest hair resilience
Exclusive: New details released about attack on Lord Quincy Andaris
Better.

And that first sentence is probably unnecessary. Sabine frowned regretfully at the vellum. Another strike.

Lord Quincy Andaris was bested by a woman.
Another half-break passed as she pored over the article and struggled to find phrases to cut. “Ferociously violent manwhore” had to go, much to her dismay, as did “heightened sense of entitlement,” “unreasonably large mansion,” “alcoholic tendencies,” and “a desire to harm”.

So, all the best parts.

It’s like they want me to put our readers to sleep, she thought.

“Sabine!”

Sabine rubbed her eyes and stretched back in her chair as her blonde co-worker, Fern Llewellyn, approached her desk. For a woman named after a plant, Fern had ended up with a lovely personality. She was eternally optimistic, cheerful, and curious. Her only flaws, to Sabine’s knowledge, were her obsession with gossip and her inability to do anything in a timely manner.

“There you are!” Fern dropped a letter and a bottle of wine on Sabine’s desk. “This came for you by courier this morning,” she said. “Sorry I didn’t drop it off earlier! I got completely distracted by this amazing story about the Venoras. Did you know they’re all secretly spies for the Kingdom? They make you think they have their own noble house, but really-”

“Fern,” Sabine interrupted. “First, that’s ridiculous. Second, did the courier say who this is from?” She ran her thumb over the letter’s dragon seal and eyed the bottle of red wine curiously.

“You don’t recognize the seal?” Fern’s mouth dropped. “Sabine! I can’t believe you don’t know.”

She hated not knowing. “What? Tell me! Whose is it?”

“That’s the Andaris family seal.”

Sabine bit her lip. Quincy...? Why would Quincy Andaris send her a letter? And wine? Clearly, nothing good could come of that. She shoved the gifts to the side of her desk and picked up her pen. “Thanks, Fern.”

Fern hovered. “Aren’t you going to open it?” She seemed on the verge of snatching the letter and opening it herself.

“No, I’m not,” Sabine said.

"Never?"

Thank you, Fern.” Her co-worker made a face and wandered off while Sabine turned back to her article.

The wine was probably poisoned, anyway.
word count: 851
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Sabine
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Would “needs a personal trainer or stylist” be considered an attack on the Andaris family?

If the success of her career had relied on the answer to this question, Sabine would have still struggled to focus. Her gaze kept flitting back to the letter - the stupid, taunting letter - that she’d so carelessly shoved aside.

What if she just…

Nope. Stop looking.

She shook her head and dropped her eyes to her article. Personal trainer or stylist. That was the debate. Not “to open or not to open.” That answer was obviously “not to open.”

Just ignore it.

She bounced her right leg beneath the desk and tightened her grip on the pen. This was stupid. She had no interest in anything Quincy had to say to her. Why should she? He was an Andaris, and that alone condemned him. She circled the phrase “personal trainer or stylist,” added a question mark, and struck a line through the next sentence.

The question is, why was the Andaris family targeted in the first place?
The question is
The question is, why in Ilaren’s name would Quincy Andaris send me a letter?
Seriously? You are a woman with principles - principles! - and you are not going to open that letter.

Sabine squeezed her eyes shut, as if not seeing the note would make it disappear. Instead, the image only grew more vivid. She could picture it on her desk, leering at her, mocking her, whispering unkindly about all the secrets it held.

“…damn it!”

Heads turned as Sabine’s eyes flashed open and she grabbed for the letter. Within seconds, its seal was broken and the paper was released. She scanned it hungrily before going back to reread it more slowly.

And then she read it again.

Against her will, her expression softened and a hint of a smile played on the corners of her lips - even, or especially, as she rolled her eyes at Quincy’s references to pleasant afternoons, light banter, and sophisticated pleasures. He seemed to have lived a completely different day than she had.

Still, even if his physician had muddled his memory with too many drugs, the nobleman's comments took hold. She was reminded that the day, and the man, hadn't been entirely horrible.

Despite his ego.

Despite his wealth.

Despite being an Andaris.

Just when you think you know someone...

Sabine folded up the note and slid it underneath the bottle of wine before turning back to her article with renewed energy. She scratched a large X through the page, pulled out a fresh sheet, and let the words pour out.

Exclusive: New details released about attack on Lord Quincy Andaris

By Sabine Qe’azour
75th of Ashan, 716


New details have been uncovered about the high-profile assault on Lord Quincy Andaris.

On the 71st of Ashan, the nobleman was attacked while walking home from a night out. The assailant left his Lordship bed-ridden, with severe bruising around his face, chest, and ribs.

Lord Quincy has now identified his attacker as a woman wearing dark cloth, and claims he was dragged unconscious across town to the Andaris Gala and Winery.

The woman’s identity is still unknown.

There is speculation that the attack was not random. The nobleman may have been targeted because of his powerful bloodline or, perhaps, because of his connection to Lord Peake Andaris. The eldest Andaris brother is said to have had moments of belligerence and surprising violence in the past, which may have attracted enemies.

Could Lord Peake’s reputation for debauchery be causing trouble for his family?

Anyone with more information about the assault is asked to contact The Iron Hand or reach out to the Rynmere Gazette directly.
word count: 646
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Griffin
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Sabine


Skills
Tactics: 2
Storytelling: 2
Rhetoric: 1
Writing: 2
Politics: 2
Resistance: 1

Basic Knowledge
Slander: Defamation of character, without evidence
Gazette: Stick to the facts
Gazette: Impartial & unbias
Andaris Family: Dragonseal
Fern Llewellyn: Lovely lady

Specialized Knowledge
Gazette: Relies on the goodwill of the Kingdom to survive
Fern Llewellyn: Has all the gossip, even the crazy gossip
Quincy: Thinking of you.

Loot!
Congratulations, you have received a charming letter and an aged bottle of Nanutha wine (best served chilled)
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