Welcome to Darkvale
In a dorm room somewhere on campus, a radio is turned on. The devices had become more popular recently, ever since the new station allowed them to be more than curious decorations with a theoretical use. A crackle of static soon fades to a familiar tune. A voice, as deep and inviting as a still pond in the dark woods, begins.
A benevolent woodland hamlet where the skies are dark, the moon is beautiful, and glowing motes pass overhead while we all study when we should be sleeping. Welcome to Darkvale.
Good evening, listeners. Tonight we have exciting news -- an update on the latest adventures of our hometown heroes, Nnyrb and Osnah! As we all know, our favourite Ixi-and-Kougra duo made their heroism known a few years back during the . . . ahem . . . Incident.
For those of you who have been focused on your studies long enough to need a reminder, I refer to the time that vile creature from another world, Xandra, took control of many Aiopenian citizens and forced them to fight in an unaipoen land. Our beloved Oblivion managed to defeat her, but without the bravery and quick thinking of Osnah and Nnyrb we may have risked a retaliatory invasion from that mysterious and confusing world. They located a very powerful artifact of wraith energy and used it to seal the breech, breaking Xandra's control.
Of course, other breeches in the barrier between worlds remain -- which is fortunate for those who were away from our world at the time of the closure -- but over the years, Nnyrb and Osnah have diligently worked to locate additional artifacts to place at each and every one in order to protect our beloved home.
But enough about old history. Nnyrb and Osnah came into town today and held a secret meeting with Darkvale University's most renowned Professor. You know the one; his name is unpronounceable by any being with a tongue and he always sends a TA to cover his lectures. Rumour has it that they came to discuss possible locations of further artifacts, mentioned only in forbidden tomes.
Either that or the Professor discovered Nnyrb hadn't handed in her final term paper and wished to discuss the matter. The rumours were divided.
Just a reminder to petpet owners out there: While the many shaded parks and deep forests of Darkvale are wonderful places to spend some time with your petpet, it is recommended you keep your petpet on a leash or other form of restraint at all times. You never know when they might stumble across a previously unknown portal, and so many of our beloved little friends were never recovered, following the Incident.
A new scientist came into town today. Normally this isn't news, our lovely home being the bastion of Aipoen knowledge that it is. But this scientist happens to be our university's first lecturer native to the most-discussed and openly-acknowledged land of all Aipoen, Wobbleshire! His debut lecture on the science of protein matrices will be this Monday at 9:00 AM, AST.
The dining hall dessert menu has been altered in acknowledgement of the event.
This just in: Nnyrb and Osnah were spotted at the Tiurf cafe downtown. Eyewitness reports indicate they ordered two florange juice lattes and a tray of squibble berry tarts. Eyewitnesses report they seem to be arguing about something, using wide gestures. It would be nice if the eyewitnesses could specify what they're arguing about. Some quotes would be useful . . .
Ah. It appears that nothing could be overheard because, in accordance with Aiopenian law, our heroes have been silenced for failure to date on-site.
Moving on. Last night's student council meeting ended in near-tragedy as a previously unnoticed rift between worlds – believed to have avoided detection due to being behind the coffee maker no one has washed in the past year – split open, releasing a confused and aggressive Pteri. The Pteri, which several survivors of the Incident believe to have been a veteran of the conflict, severely wounded those council members nearest the rift with a blade of light within moments of emerging.
Fortunately, Melanie Porfiro, newly reelected treasurer, had the quick thinking needed to tip the table over and use it as a temporary barrier, forcing the Pteri back through the rift. The addition of filing cabinets to the barricade kept it in place long enough for the room to be evacuated and the door locked.
In related news, study room 22 in the library is unavailable until such time as University maintenance can investigate and apply some dimensional sealant. Please consult the head librarian if you have previously booked this room and need to make other arrangements. Given the circumstances, the standard duel will be waved.
It looks like we have an update on two of our stories – scientist Renat Moreno, our Wobbleshire cohort, happened to visit the same cafe as Nnyrb and Osnah and recognized their symptoms not of those who had been silenced but a variant of Ugga-ugga that doesn't even allow for the signature noises of the disease. He offered them a gelatin beverage from his homeland, which cleared up their issue quickly.
The station would like to send its apologies to our heroes for the prior untruth. I . . . really need to stop reporting on rumour alone.
Oh, I just found this press release under my coffee . . . I really need to be more careful about that. Ahem. The Realipets Business Association is pleased to announce the construction of a brand-new Neovision station. A site has been selected near the hole that won't stop glowing, following the overeager attempt of a certain member of last year's graduating class to prove his thesis. Locals were enthusiastic about the announcement, one quoted as saying, "I don't care what they build, as long as it blocks that annoying glare."
It says that the station will be using top-of-the-line equipment and broadcast around-the-clock programming that appeals to a wide range of interests and species. The RBA would like to assure locals that despite the name, they are in no way associated with that horrible faerie-run dimension. "They don't even have Neovision over there!" one official assured a passerby who was only trying to get directions to the Scrollery.
Well, I for one feel assured. Let's all wish them the best in their efforts!
As a reminder, Neovision – reputed to be a medium known for distracting students for their studies – is now, and always will be, banned in Darkvale. Any student caught watching it will be barred from extra credit work, as any slip in grades would be due to their own hubris.
An envoy from Gloomdell arrived today. They carried no banner and did not appear to be sent officially, but they came to beg Darkvale's aid in sending supplies such as food, medicine, and materials they could use to construct shelter from the horrifying glare of the sun. Hah, typical Gloomdell. They'll do anything for attention, like that war they tried to start with Nagirad Fortress. You could better spend your time studying, Gloomdell – look how well it's worked for us!
An update on Nnyrb and Osnah; this time, I've had it confirmed as a report rather than rumour. The meeting with Brightvale University's Professor earlier was, in fact, regarding the study room that a rift has rendered unusable. He requested that they handle the issue themselves and spare him the risk of having to replace any more custodial staff.
The assignment was completed quickly, as several listeners who were in the library at the time inform me, and all that's left for the custodians to do is to replace the damaged furniture. "It was odd," reported Nnryb, "The other side of the portal was blocked by a pile of books, toys, and grooming items, held in place by what we suspect to be Faerie magic."
Faerie magic? That's a disturbing thought. I hope they sealed it up before any got through. Knowing our heroes, I'm sure they did.
It looks to be another perfect night for Darkvale; dark and cloudy with only enough hazy moonlight to read by. I hope you all have a good book to study, or a glorious assignment you can spend all night on just for the thrill of handing it in the day after it's assigned.
Coming up next, stay tuned for a soothing series of prime numbers recited in order.
Goodnight, Darkvale. Goodnight.