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Volume 1, Issue 27 - Turn 375

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Volume 1, Issue 27 - Turn 375

Post  lord_dragon on Fri Jun 03, 2011 10:14 pm

Welcome all to the first issue of the second half of The Gazette's first volume of Veteran's Blade arena coverage. We are pleased to be able to bring you the fourth straight Manager Spotlight, this time on controversial GAPPDA manager Poppa Balrog. This means we have now hit all of the major Veteran's Blade alliances at least once in our Spotlights and next turn we plan to bring a more, shall we say, independent view point to the forefront.

As with every issue, we are especially happy to be able to bring you contributions from Cliff Banana, Raul and everyone else who spoke to our reporters on the record this week.

And so it begins.


SPOTLIGHT ON...POPPA BALROG of the GREEN AND PURPLE POLKA DOT ALLIANCE
Poppa Balrog is many things, and controversy has followed him more so than his fellow alliance mates since GAPPDA first arrived in our city a little over two years ago. His stance on nuclear downchallenge BCs is well known and though few probably remember, it was Poppa Balrog’s public disagreements that sparked the first D.I.E. v. GAPPDA war nearly 2 years ago. On the other hand, Poppa Balrog was also the first GAPPDA manager with warriors to make 100 Fights, so there is much to be said about his abilities as a manager in our games. We sat down with him to discuss all of this and more, this week in the Manager Spotlight.

The Gazetteer: GAPPDA was not formed in these lands. Tell us of its origins and how it came to be inflicted upon the Veteran's Blade arena system.
Poppa Balrog: The awesome collective known as GAPPDA (Green And Purple Polka Dot Alliance), was created as an anti-alliance alliance in the land of Alistari. There were a few older, more established alliances that were dominating the dueling arenas, and some younger managers banded together to essentially poke fun at them. Who knew that we'd turn into this juggernaut thousands of miles away?

The Gazetteer: Your organizational charts approach inanity. Who leads GAPPDA?
Poppa Balrog: We really aren't that silly (maybe a little), just ask the other alliances we've warred with. But if we have one guy who is the linchpin of the alliance, it's got to be Xavier. His pursuit of knowledge knows no bounds.

The Gazetteer: What is GAPPDA's purpose here?
Poppa Balrog: To leave the world a little better than how we found it? Well, either that, or to rise through the ranks and eventually rule the arena. We've become quite good in a fairly short amount of time. There is absolutely no reason to think that we won't continue to improve.

The Gazetteer: Are you really a father of Balrogs?
Poppa Balrog: No. It was a name meant to inspire fear, but since I generally go by PB these days, it's really nothing. I knew a guy who claims to have bedded a Balrog one night after drinking a full barrel of ale, but I saw her/it, just an ugly hag, no Balrog.

The Gazetteer: You have two warriors above 100 Fights, but neither has a winning record to show for it. Tell us about Abbic and Erhley and explain to us why they weren't sent to the Monsters eons ago.
Poppa Balrog: For the simple reason that they were two of the original five that I first recruited more than two years ago. I don't know of any manager who can make that same claim -- two of their original five going over 100 fights. Do you?

The Gazetteer: Not off-hand, but then again we've only been in operation for a short while and our records of arena lore are somewhat incomplete. Still, yes that's impressive longevity. Your next oldest warrior, Jurop, seems to be quite successful, having just crossed 50 wins. Tell us what makes him so successful.
Poppa Balrog: Jurop works hard in the gym, and studies hard. He isn't that big, and yet hits pretty hard. He darts about and is pretty hard to hit too. I'd like to think that he'll hit 100 fights with 62 or 63 wins.

The Gazetteer: Is Edward Nigma the best warrior you have run to date? If not, who is? If so, will he be a legend some day?
Poppa Balrog: He should be. He has all the tools to be a great warrior, and yet doesn't quite get the results. He aced the aptitude tests and the physical tests, but only does enough to get by. Reminds me of me when I was in school.

The Gazetteer: Who should we be watching among your sub-50 Fight warriors?
Poppa Balrog: Isn't there a curse of some sort for answering this question? Didn't Ilneval get interviewed by you and then all the guys highlighted ended up worm food? I think I'll pass on answering this one.

The Gazetteer: Technically, the curse, and we're not confirm there is one, appears to be on the five members of his 100 plus we spoke of. So basically, Abbic and Erhley are under the gun, now. No hard feelings?
Poppa Balrog: Don't get too attached to your favorite milk cow is all I'm saying. Bessie is it?

The Gazetteer: Speaking of Abbic and Erhley again for a second. Any plans for retirement of the two?
Poppa Balrog: Now that they're cursed to die because you've mentioned them in this interview, yeah, they're being retired.

The Gazetteer: Why do you keep Hallucinosis around?
Poppa Balrog: Great question. Actually I will answer the sub-50 question now too. The answer is Hallucinosis. He's an epee-wielding elf that is an enormous underachiever. Well, he'd be an underachiever if I knew how the hell to manage elves. He should be good, but just isn't.

The Gazetteer: What is your overall goal in Veteran's Blade?
Poppa Balrog: 55.1% winning percentage, so as to cover the juice.

The Gazetteer: You've had a long on-again, off-again camaraderie with Council of the Cauldron member Sanguine Savior. Tell us, when's the wedding ceremony?
Poppa Balrog: He's been acting like a broad lately (no offense to the many broads out there). He got mad when I refused to allow him an attempt at killing Edward Nigma unfairly. We used to have a pretty good relationship, he's a smart, funny guy with little tolerance for the inane (I'll use your word). I'm betting he'll come around soon. If not, I'll have to go to his home city and buy him lots of booze.

The Gazetteer: It seems you inspired The Derelict, among other managers, to sit teams when under BC threat. Any thoughts about that?
Poppa Balrog: Bravo Derelict! I hope more and more embrace the practice. I hate the way the current Blood Challenge system is used, and I wish the rules would get changed soon. I'm not saying that everyone has to play by my standards, but I'll be damned if they think that I'll conform to theirs. I do have a short list of managers though where I'll waive my "no elbow drop" clause so as to get my revenge.

The Gazetteer: Doesn't that seem sort of self-contradictory though? Either you are fully opposed to something or you're not, right?
Poppa Balrog: Net sum zero. The way I see it, I'm in the red two BC's. I want the ledger to be balanced. I'm gonna get those two punks back and then it's even Steven.

The Gazetteer: What are these things you call "The Colts" and "The Patriots"? We have heard of much said back and forth between you and Sanguine about these unknown entities.
Poppa Balrog: They are the home teams of our cities from where we are from originally. It's a sport that involves teams of players and a ball made from a pig. Players rarely die while playing, so I doubt many folks here would like it, it's for the most sophisticated of fellows.

The Gazetteer: You've been in our city for two years now. Tell us some things you have learned over that time and how you've applied it to bringing in better warrior recruits.
Poppa Balrog: Offense is much better than defense. It's better to be big and strong and slow than small, weak and fast. Who cares if you can balance on a dagger's edge, but can't make a dent into plate armor with a pick? Brawn beats brains here.

The Gazetteer: What's your policy on Monstering? It seems to us that you don't really make use of the option.
Poppa Balrog: It's kind of you to say. Sometimes when I delegate the recruiting of new warriors to underlings, they don't bring back viable folks. A lot of times they bring back these 'pretty boy' types who seemed to talk their way into the guild house. It's basically this, win your way back from the monsters and you can stay. Little do they know...But to answer your question; I do use the monsters, but more sparingly than others I guess.

The Gazetteer: You seem to have pretty good race balance on your rosters. Is this intentional?
Poppa Balrog: That's good, right? Yeah? Then yes, it is intentional.

The Gazetteer: [Long Sigh]. For all that said, you are relatively light on Half-Elves. Intentional?
Poppa Balrog: A Half-Elf married my dad, tried to make me call her mom. I hate that.

The Gazetteer: What styles do you prefer your warriors to know and love? Which can jump off a cliff in your opinion?
Poppa Balrog: I'd love it if all of my warriors could adeptly use all of the styles, that's what I aspire to. Total Kill could be banned for all I care, no flair.

The Gazetteer: What weapons do your warriors prefer? Which could, alternatively, die in a fire?
Poppa Balrog: I love the War Flail, hate the quarterstaff. Yoder used the War Flail, and he was my favorite.

The Gazetteer: Tell us something we wouldn't otherwise know about Poppa Balrog.
Poppa Balrog: Interesting tidbit; I haven't done dishes in 7 years and counting.

The Gazetteer: Why won't Acheron just give up the charade and join GAPPDA?
Poppa Balrog: Beats the hell outta me. He's a twerp who doesn't want to get involved with GAPPDA's affairs. He's afraid of becoming a marked man once he's with us. A pity really, because we can protect him.

The Gazetteer: From?
Poppa Balrog: Whoever wants to bother him. GAPPDA is pretty good at watching each other's backs.

The Gazetteer: Where does Staple Gun go when he disappears from the city for years at a time?
Poppa Balrog: Staple Gun has an enormous collection of balls with which he likes to play. Sometimes he just gets too caught up playing with his balls to manage his guild. Or so I've heard.

The Gazetteer: Who have you learned the most about our game from?
Poppa Balrog: Easily Xavier. He's the mad scientist of Blood Pit. He comes up with some kooky theories, we then experiment to see if there's any validity to them. GAPPDA's got their yit together.

The Gazetteer: Have you done any mentoring of other players?
Poppa Balrog: How could I? I'm a boob when it comes to this game. If anyone listens to anything I have to say about this game, then they deserve to lose.

The Gazetteer: Who do you think GAPPDA will deploy for the Alliance-Lympics?
Poppa Balrog: I hope all of us. Can't there be a GAPPDA 1 and a GAPPDA 2?

The Gazetteer: I believe that Acheron has proposed allowing big alliances to field more than one team, but they would have to face each other at some point. Any thoughts about that?
Poppa Balrog: If Fusion is on my team, then we'll win, he's the only one who can beat me in our alliance. Xavier might bristle at reading this, but it's true, I have a winning record vs. him.

The Gazetteer: Clearly Cliff Banana believes in the Honor System. What do you think of it?
Poppa Balrog: Uh, have you noticed who's #3 in the entire arena?

The Gazetteer: Frankly, no. The Honor System bores me. Is it you?
Poppa Balrog: The sarcasm didn't work? Yeah, it's me. I'm an honorable guy with an honorable wife and an honorable kid. I like the honor system, encourages up challenges, discourages down challenges. Well sorta, at least.

The Gazetteer: Are there any newer managers that have impressed you so far?
Poppa Balrog: Not really, but then again, not many old ones have either. I'm far too involved in my own affairs to notice a whole lot about the rest of the
arena. I couldn't give you but three names of the top 10.

The Gazetteer: Who do you think are the best managers in the city right now? What makes them so?
Poppa Balrog: Sleazee's got to rank up there. He had the whole arena coming for him for over ten straight turns in the UW, and he beat them all back. I don't care who you are, that's damn impressive. Obviously Dux is up there, because virtually no one beats him in best of three matches. Poeg seems quite good at spotting trends as they happen. Sanguine knows how to kill with the best of them, he might just be the best of them. There's a few others, but I won't name them because I don't wish to make them feel good.

The Gazetteer: Whose warriors do you least like to face?
Poppa Balrog: Fusion. I think he's got some naked photos of the Arena Master with a goat or something, because our match ups are never fair. He'll tell you differently, but it's true.

The Gazetteer: Whose warriors make you salivate when you see them come out of the tunnel?
Poppa Balrog: Salivate? Can you tell? Well, the first thing I want to see is just that it's not an alliance member. Beyond that, I don't care too much, but I'd rather not face guys who are known to use tremendously unfair Blood Challenges.

The Gazetteer: Thanks for sitting down with us!
Poppa Balrog: Hey, I'm as happy as a pig in yit for the opportunity here! I'm generally the nondescr1pt one that nobody notices. Wait until I tell my mom I got interviewed. I just got interviewed and I'm ready to get interviewed again!

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FEATURED ARTICLE – RAUL'S ALLIANCE UPDATE
Hello again, it is I, Raul Anjinarikar Siv, bringing you another interview brought forth from the prominent alliances of our time. Despite our editor’s crass allegation that I stole the idea of interviewing other members of the Pit [Editor's Note: an allegation that is entirely true!], I feel it is my duty to ask the tough question, not the pillow-covered sword-sticks with which they beat around the bush. This week I went into Dux’s Tavern to meet none other than Chaoslillith to find out how Fatalities are Facilitated.

I was sitting, as I often do, with my back to the door awaiting the arrival of the fabled mercenary. And if you can imagine yourself on the cliff of some breathtaking veranda overlooking the ocean, I put myself as close to the center of the actions as possible. That is to say, I am in the middle of the floor. I did not hear the door open, but the disapproving grunt not all too unlike what my wife would make when catching me eating from the date bowl with unwashed hands gave away Chaoslillith’s position. So, turning in surprise I smiled but before I could make loud hello there was a hand over the mouth and a rushing to a corner table in the shadows. With her back to the wall and one eye on the door; she made it clear she was now ready to answer my questions.

Raul: Good Evening. I must say that is unusual for me to be sitting here with you, a woman. Not only in my culture do women warriors not exist, but we have separate eating establishments that we frequent. Is the warrior culture something you find that easily crosses gender?

Chaoslillith: Hmmm...I certainly didn't think testicles were a requirement to hold a sword and kill someone. As far as warrior culture, it's kill or be killed. Honor is for those who wish to not live profitably. I'm a business woman and money crosses all genders.

Raul: I did not mean to offend, a thousand apologies. Believe me that I too know what it is like to desire coins and would cross gender lines myself to obtain them. So tell me, what was the inspiration for the Facilitators of Fatalities?

Chaoslillith: I don't offend easily. It's not productive. The inspiration for the name came from a story I heard a Bard tell once about a murderer who stated that he wasn't a killer, he just facilitated fatalities. I liked the sound of that. As far as my loose alliance, the other girls felt they were being given less respect than deserved so we felt a show of strength was necessary.

Raul: Interesting. I suppose there are those that would say I am not so much a reporter as an Arbitrator of Alliteration. Was it always your intention to only allow female managers to join FoF, or was this some clever ploy to force male managers to sue for equal rights before the Arena Master?

Chaoslillith: HA! Equal rights!!. All is equal on the battlefield. As far as people joining, it all depends on the percentage they wish to make. The girls and I reached agreements on this. I can just as easily reach agreements with a man if needed.

Raul: And here I thought you were advancing the progressive ideals of gender equality! Hah, I kid. So tell me what will happen, if this Cooking Pot of Collaboration or whatever they are called, if they are on the wrong side of the Facilitators, will Missus Bigus sit out or choose a side?

Chaoslillith: It depends on her. If she chooses to challenge me then all bets are off. Her part of the take has been suspended until I receive further notice. If her intentions are to be only in Cooking Pot for the Alliance Olympics or if it is a permanent switch. As for now, I consider her a neutral party, until and unless I get a better offer.

Raul: Here, a drink, let us toast money! It is no secret that Lord Palor helped bring you into the arena. There are even rumors that he may have guided some of your initial warrior selections. What relationship do you have now with Palor and the other Lords of Darkness?

Chaoslillith: I'd tell you but then he would have to kill you.

Raul: At least there is a prerequisite to this threat! Last time that didn’t happen. I tell you I barely left with my life. Are you, in fact, a spy for the Lords of Darkness?

Chaoslillith: I'd tell you but then I would have to kill you. Besides, if they are Lords of Darkness, does it not make sense they would be able to see all anyway? Demons are good at that you know.

Raul: Demons? I thought they where Dragons? Perhaps both, or maybe everything starting with D? So tell me, do you find it as scandalous as I do that you show so much ankle?

Chaoslillith: Ever fight in a hoop skirt and corset?

Raul: Well, remember our earlier conversation about crossing gender lines for money? My Padishah, he has odd visual tastes . Let us change the subject. Have you ever been drinking with any member of DIE?

Chaoslillith: I am too paranoid to drink with anyone. I bought him a meal for my own reasons.

Raul: And here I thought he paid the check! Is it true that these members of DIE, they only know three adjectives?

Chaoslillith: Well, do "awesome", "totally" and "cool" count? If so then I think they know 6.

Raul: Technically, in that context I believe they are exclamations. Three it is. Since you have obviously had more friendly exposure to former members of DIE than I have, do you think this new Council of the Cauldron has improved their vocabulary?

Chaoslillith: I gather they are all from backwoods towns. They are probably all related and having incestuous relationships anyway so I doubt they need to improve their vocabulary. They all understand the grunts and monosyllabic responses used in their village.

Raul: I have some friends that are very similar. They have trouble arranging marriages outside the line. What about their grammar? I mean, when they are sober of course.

Chaoslillith: When have you seen them sober?

Raul: Excellent point, I had not considered this. Explains much, yes? Some staff on the Gazette may not be as in to the client confidentiality aspect of their job and I have heard at the odd trip to the well that you may have had something to do with these ‘Little Debbies’ and the special material weapon construction scandals of past months. What is it you have to say to these allegations?

Chaoslillith: Hmmm, who are making these allegations. I think I need to talk to them personally. In a dark corner.

Raul: In my culture that is a strong maybe. Who in GAPPDA would you like to destroy and how many times will you challenge them next turn?

Chaoslillith: Whichever one brings me the highest bounty. I don't really challenge anyone IN the Pit. I prefer my payments to be more assured than relying on that blockheaded ref.

Raul: How much, exactly, does it cost to hire the Facilitators' services?

Chaoslillith: Depends, who you want dead and how you want them dead. I have a brochure right here for you.

Raul: Hmm, the print is too small for my eyes. Nice pictures. Tell me do you have any rituals that you perform before your warriors hit the sands each week?

Chaoslillith: Hmm, I'd tell you but then my patron demon would command me to kill you.

Raul: Really? Then per chance I can guess. Do you, say, cut the head off a chicken and dance around without neck coverings? Where I am from this is normal. For a woman, at least.

Chaoslillith: Probably because your women are cursing the men that keep them from fighting. Ever hear of burning in effigy? Sounds like they are killing in effigy.

Raul: I have heard this theory, but it makes no sense, since they call us lazy yaks. Would they not then use a Yak? Perhaps it is too heavy for the dancing? Let’s get to current events shall we? You know as well as I do, as the sun sets and rises almost at the same time each day, meaning of course we are near the equator, that the Alliance Olympics will start soon. Will you be fielding any contestants?

Chaoslillith: Of course. There are bets to be placed after all. If all the girls abandon me I may team up with someone else.

Raul: Which alliance do you feel has the best chance of taking home the gold?

Chaoslillith: Whichever alliance pays me the most to stop everyone else.

Raul: Hah! Are you saying this because you want to see poor Raul flogged or is it that you know the Padishah cannot change his bets at this time?

Chaoslillith: Can't change your bets? How much are you willing to give me to have them changed for you?

Raul: Well, on my meager salary, probably not much, but I know a wealthy man who likes to win his bets. I shall see what can be arranged. I thank you for your time, Lady. My last interviewee was not nearly as polite. Do you have any special message for the average, filthy, unwashed unaligned manager out there?

Chaoslillith: If you want to make a profit, ally with me.

Raul: And for Vic Vegas specifically, anything for him?

Chaoslillith: Vic and I have our private affairs going on. He knows what I think of him.

With that, I left or stumbled (the drink, it was strong) back to my room and slept on this new information. Once a sword for hire, always a sword for hire, it seems. I let the interview speak for itself, for my time is up. Salaam and Good Hunting.


THIS TURN’S 100 FIGHT BIRTHDAYS
It was a bittersweet day for both Lemur and Elf of the Year (and their managers, Davron and Nads respectively), as both warriors, though competing in their 100th battles, both lost this turn. While Lemur faced an unfortunate uphill random against Chen Man Ching’s less-than-stellar 23 Fight older Half-Orc Midnight, Nads’ warrior faced a managed team fight from JB Bladeswinger’s Code of Valor team. The two veteran warriors on Code of Valor were too much for Elf of the Year and his own young apprentice, Dwarf X. Still, one can’t quibble of either warrior’s record at 100 fights and the Gazette sends its good wishes to both going forward in the 100+


NEXT TURN'S 100 FIGHT BIRTHDAYS
It is a banner turn coming in 376 for warriors entering their 100th contests, as four, each run by a different manager, will cross into the 100+ together, three of whom first entered the arena on the exact same turn nearly two years ago (277 to be precise). For two of these managers, this will be the first 100 Fight warriors for their stables, for two others it will be something like old hat by now. Let's turn for a second to the two managers who will be running 100+ warriors for the first time in 376, Acheron and Xavier. Both entered the Veteran's Blade arenas with their first teams in Turn 275 and both are sending original warriors from their second teams into the 100+ at the same time. Bravo Xavier and Acheron and bravo to their warriors, Robin Williams (cocaine-addled Dwarf that he is, at 67-32-7) and Zander the Wanderer (jack of all trades at 54-45-1). Following these two into the 100+ are Poeg with stand-out, killer Half-Elf Rucker's Red (at 74-25-8, an amazing record) and Jim the Half-Ogre with accomplished team fighter Achilles 2. What an outstanding wave of warriors indeed.


NOTABLE DEATHS
It was a bloody turn for veterans (and an entertaining turn for the fans of both singles and teams) with 11 qualifying warriors lying dead at the end of Turn 375, the most our arena has seen in one set of contests for at least two months. Some recent trends that continued into Turn 375 included the Peasant Scum getting their kill on and managers ending up on both sides of the tough luck ledger.

Yet even with all the deaths, 375 was one of those rare turns in which not one member of the 100+ fought his last. In fact, even among the killers, not one 100 Fight warrior was involved in a kill (unless you count the Peasants, who fight dozens of times per turn some how). It was also a rare turn in that no challenge matches ended in a veteran death , harkening back to the early weeks of this year's Undefeated Warrior contest where random singles resulted in the majority of dozens of deaths across several turns. Finally, on a sad note for Pit fans everywhere, not one of the dead this turn passed with a losing record. 11 solid-to-excellent warriors bid their farewells instead.

Starting then from the top of the list, we come to Chen Man Ching's slaughter of Gramps' oldest and best warrior, Saint Nixon, who succumbed almost as quickly as the battle began to Autotroph, a Human warrior coming into the match with 9 fights more experience.

Gramps came out of the fight shaking his head as Sal Streetsweeper carried Nixon's remains past, noting to a reporter, "Having just returned from visiting close associates at Club Fed, Nixon was a bit worn, but swore he was ready to go. When he stepped on the arena sands with no armor and looking at the bouncers on a Halfling babe in the stands instead of paying attention to his opponent, I knew it was going to get ugly. And so goes the last of my slow, clumsy Half-Orcs.".

Saint Nixon makes the eternal peace sign having put together a solid 56-win, 4-kill career with 87 fights under his belt at the last.

GAPPDA member Marius' turn opened with considerable promise, as his stellar Dwarf Blogosphere finished off Egor's older (and eldest) warrior, Half-Orc Mantis, in something of a marathon 4-minute match.

Marius spoke briefly after the fight before hurrying off to his next scheduled match, downplaying the kill. ""I am never sure if death is to be celebrated in the Pit, outside the bounds of wartime or revenge challenges. I can say that Mantis gave Blogosphere a bit of scare before being dispatched.".

Egor's fans said their final prayers for Mantis, who finished a 93 fight career with 52 wins and 6 kills.

Like Marius, Damion had a bittersweet turn, but unlike with Marius' suite of fights, his opened with the bitter part as his Elf Vicious fell to Palor's younger Dwarf Messiah, who notched his seventh kill in under 75 fights with the slaughter.

Vicious is set to rest having managed 48 wins and 4 kills in an 88 fight career.

Providing some solace, however, to Damion, was Tore Knee, who wiped out Caesar Invictus' 78 fight terror of a Half-Orc, Pit Fiend in a 4-minute contest. When including the pile of warriors that Caesar sent to the Monsters in 375, this death had to sting a little.

Caesar did find time to eulogize Pit Fiend after the match, telling reporters, "Pit Fiend was a ball and chain-wielding freak. Few have had the kind of success he had with that weapon. Pit Fiend believed in living hard and dying fast, or something like that. He graced your Notable Deaths column many times in the past on the other side. He dies with an excellent record and 7 kills. The warriors in his range breathe a little easier now that he's gone." They certainly do, we suspect.

Pit Fiend is laid within a different sort of pit having compiled 53 wins and 7 kills in 78 fights.

Matching up with the Legion of Darkness proved to be very bad luck for Marius through the rest of the turn, as Poeg's Dwarf Gouda put down stellar, younger Half-Elf Hardcore Habermas and Palor's Elf Brangelina slaughtered Half-Orc Hedge Money. Rough losses indeed for Marius, though his veteran-laden roster continues to be the envy of many even with the deaths.

Reporters from several publications cornered Marius as he exited the Hedge Money fight. Surrounded by an entourage of armed fighters, Marius approached our intrepid reporter directly and began rather curtly, "I suppose I should say something regarding the deaths of Hardcore Habermas and Hedge Money. You journalists seem to delight in reporting the misfortune of the managers of this esteemed arena." He said nothing for a moment, staring at the arena sands apparently lost in thought. "Suffice to say, Hedge Money was an experiment that proved relatively successful. She was nearly executed for poor performance early in her career, and went on to set a standard for redemption. Hardcore Habermas was a model warrior who had the promise of a bright future. I am of course disappointed by his death. Alas, life in the pit can be short. A good manager knows this, and should always be seeking new talent."

Hardcore Habermas and Hedge Money pass on after taking 43 wins and a kill in 59 fights and 30 wins and a kill in 52 fights respectively.

GAPPDA was faced with one more veteran loss on the turn, though, as Hoffa's decent killer Half-Orc walked into an unfortunate random against older, not-as-decent Human Gutter Sludge. Sad to say, Iatan did not walk out again.

Iatan ends life with 36 wins and 6 kills in 66 fights.

By contrast, the Legion of Darkness was not done destroying veteran warriors by any stretch of the imagination, as Lord Kelvin's Half-Elf Firebloom took down Chaoslllith's decent Dwarf Thanatos in just under 2 minutes of combat.

Lord Kelvin spoke briefly to reporters after the match, noting, "Coming close so many times before, Firebloom finally landed his first death blow. Thanatos was in sorry shape after the first 4 hits in the first minute but stuck around and gave back as much as she got. That is, until the last few seconds of the second round that finally put her under the sands. Firebloom will proudly hang Thanatos' War Hammer in a place of honor."

Thanatos returns to the rock which birthed all Dwarf-kind having put together 29 wins and 2 kills in 57 fights.

Our final non-team fight kill of the turn involved Stimpy's Love Vulture dismantling older Elf Lilac Fluff in 3 minutes of action.

Lilac Fluff blows away having managed an even 27 wins versus 27 losses (with 3 kills) in 54 total fights.

While Jim the Half-Ogre had much to celebrate with Achilles 2's survival to 100 Fights, Mongolian Knight's Pit Knights team did cast a pall over the achievement by wiping out Sweetness from his Designation: Target team. And elsewhere, the Peasant Scum continued their recent reign of terror by offing Sah's Loki.

Both team fight warriors passed with solid-to-excellent records.

The Gazette, as always, salutes all of the dead and those who dispatched them Bravo for a banner turn, pitizens!


CLIFF BANANA'S BC ROUNDUP
Greetings once again, denizens of the Pit! A rough and tumble round this past cycle with a heady mix of valiant defenses, brutal challenges, and some negative trends that many a manager would like to forget and probably hope the rest will ignore. On to the roundup!

THE GOOD
Ah, the Good this turn has a number of interesting developments. Foremost, we have our brave defenders overcoming fight disparities to claim victory. Chief among them was Dude Doomer’s KROTAL 8, giving 42 fights and fighting on uneven ground to quickly dispatch the calling of Nads’ WERT. The rather pedestrian POPPA BALTRINGUE 2 scored quite the upset in turning the tables on SERENDIPITOUS SOL. The victory also evened POPPA’s record to a tidy 10-10-1, not necessarily the performance we would have expected to see from a defender considering the fight experience given up. On another hand, we have Frank The Tank’s SCRUB V.2, who could be a growing star in the Pit. SCRUB V.2 gave up 27 fights to Cam’s BOADICEA, but moved his record to 10-1-3! Congratulations to all of our brave Blood Challenge defenders!

Dude Doomer’s KROTAL 8 (42)
Ffunker’s POPPA BALTRINGUE 2 (27)
Frank The Tank’s SCRUB V.2 (27)
Bill Taylor’s ECLIPSE (8)
Egor’s SALYNDI (2)
Ironman’s CAPT MORGAN (1)

Continuing on the Good path, we chose a number of managers to highlight this round, for previous achievement. Both Egor and Missus Bigus have posted 4-0 BC records over the past three cycles, each winning 2 on their own challenges and successfully defending 2 others. We should note that these records have been discounted to remove the Ugly challenges they were a party to, but notwithstanding, neither has suffered any type of BC loss recently. Another two managers to call out specifically are Blackstorm and Ffunker. Blackstorm has successfully defended against 4 BCs over a three turn period, while Ffunker has registered a 3 wins and 1 loss tally over the same span on BC defenses. Excellent work turning back those challenges!

THE BAD
While not the ugly of the arena, The Bad are a compilation of behaviors and records that we would all like to forget about. First and foremost, there is, myself, CliffB, with two consecutive turns BC’ing with the same warrior and losing. Sad really. Going into this turn I really never thought about it, as I had thought I had removed the challenge, which only makes it doubly bad, ooof. Continuing on with the Bad we have Bandit, who has registered a total of 8 BC challenge fights over the past 3 turns while only winning 38% of them. While he has been victimized himself, it should be pointed out that his winning percentage on his own challenges is only 43%. Not good. Joining Bandit is Validian, who has posted an 0 for 5 over three turns, with 4 of the losses due to his own hand. Gentlemen, let’s pick up the pace.

THE UGLY
Well, there’s no getting around it, Ugly is with us and will likely stay awhile (if not forever). We have a couple of managers making this list multiple times this cycle: jeers to Dude Doomer and Palor for fostering more inequity in the arena. Shadow Master’s JERLIN registered a second straight with an ugly challenge, and is guaranteed not to revisit it for a third turn. Why? JERLIN put to death the poorly named B. LOW ME. While the ends do not justify the means, they come close in this case.

Shadow Master's JERLIN (69)
Nads' WERT (62)
The Overlord’s IRONFIST (42)
Palor's LOATHING (42)
Missus Biggus’ CAPTAIN KANGAROO (41)
Dude Doomer’s CHENAS 5 (36)
Palor’s OAK (30)
Dude Doomer’s BOGOSS 6 (26)


MANAGER OF THE WEEK
Two managers achieved 19 wins in 25 singles fights this week, and both come from the newly formed Council of the Cauldron: Sleazee P. Martinee and Ilneval.

While we could go about judging their records based entirely on honor and dishonor gained (a race in which Sleazee came in with twice as much dishonor, 6 points v. 3), The Gazette also feels its worth pointing out the number of challenges each manager caught and the quality of the opponents faced. Sleazee spent much of his turn dealing out or dealing with challenges from strong high-level opponents, most notably those managed by Poeg. Ilneval, on the other hand, spent most of his turn dealing with Boot Strap Billy, a decent manager though not in the same class as Poeg, or fighting randoms. While the mini-war with BSB should not and does not reflect on Ilneval's quality as a manager, it does reflect on the quality of a selection of the opponents he faced in attaining 19 wins. Its arguable, of course, that some of Ilneval's randoms might have been with higher quality opponents than one or more warriors Sleazee faced on his own challenges (Valandra? Tratori?), but this is not enough, in our mind, to discount the high-level wins attained on the turn.

Therefore, Manager of the Week for turn 375 goes to Sleazee P Martinee. Congratulations Prime Minister.


RANDOM NOTES
Caesar Invictus monstered five warriors this turn with a combined 141 fights experience (including Crusader, who accounted for just over half the fight total).

Missus Bigus made a surprise foray onto the Top Dishonor list for the turn with three successful downchallenge BCs, including one on alliance mate Chen Man Ching.


THIS TURN IN QUOTES
"I'd be interested in seeing Marius' internal records on Hardcore Habermas' skill levels, as he was completely dominated by a warrior who himself is not a great learner despite his intelligence. It didn't look as though Habermas had even given thought to being on the receiving end of things. The end came with the Bloodmaster leaving the door wide open and Gouda proving a big enough shot to push Hardcore all the way through. Viewing his make-up from the managers' box and his record in singles fights and his weapon of choice, Hardcore Habermas should have done much better. Something for him went very, very wrong." - Poeg, analyzing Gouda's kill of Marius' exemplary Half-Elf after the turn.

"Congratulations to Damion, he pulled out an excellent kill against a solid opponent." - Caesar Invictus, raising a toast to Tore Knee after the Turn.

"Thanatos was a much better warrior than she seemed. It's entirely possible that she could have trounced every warrior she matched up with. That's not very profitable though, is it? She was unhindered by such things as honor or scruples, she was out to make money. I am going to miss her. Do you know how hard it is to find someone that can convincingly throw a fight every time you ask her to?" - Chaoslillith, on her way to Dux's Tavern at the end of fight day, cooing to one of our reporters.


WHISPERS AROUND THE VETERAN'S BLADE
Fans, and at least one of the warriors involved, were buzzing after the match between Gideon and Luka Skyrunner this week. While always an exciting match-up from week to week due to similarities between the warriors, this week was even better, as both warriors traded deeply damaging hits with their matching weapons and were both on the knife's edge by the time Gideon pulled out the win. "That was the best fight I was ever a part of!" Gideon, eldest warrior of Caesar Invictus, was overheard exulting to his trainer after his narrow victory. "Can't wait to see her again!".


That's if for this week's edition of The Gazette! If you'd like to submit items for a future edition or provide feedback and clarifications, please pm them to my account on pitt.bloodspit.net.

-The Staff at The Pitt Gazette
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