The 'Shroom:Issue 138/Fake News
Hey everyone! Welcome back to the Fake News!
Due to quite a few unfortunate circumstances we have a couple of less sections than usual - heck, if Pitohui hadn't filled in we wouldn't have Selling Out either - but please be sure to enjoy everything we do have!
Section of the Month
Miss Cluck the Insincere
I don't know how many of you loyal readers are into knitting, but I do know that I for am not. I have nothing against knitting in general, nor those who do knit. I just know that I'm not very good at it, and have no intentions to remedy this. So, I thought it strange that my bosses would send me to Craft Island to cover the death of a chicken.
I have seen many chickens in my time, to the incredibly intelligent Colonel Pluck, to Wario's imaginatively named Hen, but this chicken was something different. Not because she was dead, I mean I have covered Colonel Pluck's death, but because she was made from some inanimate object and I had no idea how she could have lived in the first place. However, what was clear from the body was that she had clearly snagged a thread and become unravelled.
Speaking to many of the residents of Craft Island they told me that this was a regular fear. When asked about Miss Cluck the Insincere, they just told me that was… “Insincere.” Thanks guys, I'm sure that'll go to print…
Miss Cluck the Insincere lived a simple life, until Kamek transformed her into something much larger. However, showing her fortitude, Miss Cluck soon adapted to her large size, and used her new ability to shoot Spiked Balls to her advantage; especially when it came to the former bullies at her school…
Miss Cluck the Insincere's funeral will be held in three weeks time. People who are attending the funeral are asked to dress smartly and to act insincerely toward everyone. Apparently, it's what she would have wanted.
TV Tomorrow is here once again to make sure that you never miss out on your monthly dose of Mushroom Kingdom television listings. September, like the eleven other months, is a very exciting time in the television world, and I am delighted as always to provide the information you need. So let’s stop dallying and get on with the top three shows from tomorrow!
New: The Same Boat
The Shroomlock Files: The Hauntings of Harlequin Hall
Film: Pikachu vs Bowser 2
As always, there is much more to watch across the plethora of Mushroom Kingdom TV channels not just tomorrow but today and on plenty of other days in the upcoming late September-early October schedule, so don’t feel that you have to stick to my suggestions. Of course, if you don’t, you’ll end up watching reruns of Wario, The Greatest Man On Earth on one of Wario’s seven private channels. It’s up to you. See you next time on TV Tomorrow!
The affairs of men are governed neither by the brutal and unforgiving codes of the natural realm nor the just and reasoned laws of the celestial sphere; rather, man allows pettiness to underlie the system which he is a part of. Do you understand this? Can you relate to Flavio’s plight? In a fair and just world, Flavio would not be forced to suffer the outrageous indignity of the current situation. You see, I am made an exile by my peers. Though I have only acted in accordance with principles aimed to protect the consumer from the exploitative practices of maligned businesses, as is my duty as both Shop Scout and an entrepreneurial trader, I have found that admonishing influential business owners in Marrymore and on Prism Island has not won me favor and friends. Rather, word has spread among the business community that I should be prevented from nearing any place of business that wishes to avoid a scathing review. I scoff at this notion! Flavio is not some plague, a leper which the community must avoid allowing to near for fear of being undermined! Yet, this is the bind in which I find myself. Every reputable business which I had made arrangements to evaluate has informed me that I am no longer welcome, and my attempts to covertly carry out my duties as Shop Scout have failed. As a trader, my own work depends upon cultivating good relations with merchants and leaders of commercial enterprise around the world, so these developments are concerning. Do not fret over Flavio’s personal situation, though! I have many old allies and innumerable favors to call in; my business shall be unaffected. My effectiveness as a Shop Scout is a different story altogether.
Do not allow this preamble to deceive you, though! Flavio’s generous diligence has ensured that readers will be able to hear his tale this month. Yes, when the usual channels falter, those in the know turn to the gossip of Rogueport’s miscreants to point them in the right direction. Listening to this chatter, I heard tales of an eccentric fellow who works in the Rogueport Sewers. This “Chet Rippo” is said to prefer working in the secrecy of the sewers, driven by a fear that a powerful oligopoly is determined to keep him from sharing his revolutionary discoveries that could disrupt their industry. Rumor has it that Chet Rippo possesses the gift of the Shaman, an ability to augment the powers and inherent qualities of those who visit him. Some say that Chet Rippo has even perfected a technique for enhancing the vitality of his clients, claiming he is a modern fountain of youth. Flavio was skeptical. While I will grant that Shamans like Merlon have been documented to possess some ability to enhance the abilities of certain individuals, those who visit these Shamans are always required to provide some rare and powerful artifact that is out of reach of the common man. These items are what allow a Shaman to enhance the powers of their customers; without the item, trade-offs are required. Vitality might be traded for magical ability or mental acuity, for example. Stating that such transfers of power are dangerous to clients, most Shamans simply refuse to work for those who cannot bring them the artifacts they require. Surely, I thought, Mr. Rippo must require something to power his techniques. Yet the gossip which reached Flavio states that Chet Rippo requires no such items from his customers and is indeed quite able to serve even the least adventurous and poor masses. One hand-scrawled note I obtained during my research even went so far as to say “Shamans Hate Him! Learn how Chet Rippo discovered this one weird trick to instantly extending your life at no cost!” An outrageous claim if I have ever seen one, but one certainly supported by a multitude of similar stories. Intrigued if incredulous, I set out to see if there was a grain of truth in the rumor mill.
My research pointed me in the direction of another merchant of the Rogueport Sewers. I was told again and again that I would not be able to see Chet Rippo without arranging a meeting through one of his associates. With my connections around town and a few generous… donations to the right people, I was able to deliver a message to Dazzle, a merchant of badges. Dazzle, through an intermediary, told me to meet him in the center of the old town so that he might escort me to Chet Rippo. That someone would turn down the opportunity to meet Flavio in person and instead rely on an intermediary to exchange messages is absurd, but, such demands for privacy being the norm for the paranoid rats of the sewers, I contained my outrage and agreed to meet on Dazzle’s terms. My journey into the depths of the sewers were uneventful, save for the swarms of self-titled merchants who approached me in hopes of scamming me out of hard-earned coin, and I soon met with Dazzle. Dazzle greeted me in a manner more unusual than I have seen in all of my travels, sniffing my body up and down and muttering about Star Pieces. Putting aside the invasion of my privacy and hoping that the odd behavior would not be a sign of thing to come, I then allowed Dazzle to lead me to an out-of-the-way building in another section of the sewers.
Soon, in the decrepit building, I came face to face with Chet Rippo. His appearance did not inspire confidence, with a ragged and tattered cloak and a piece of a barrel obscuring his face. But Flavio possesses a keen eye. Flavio knows what to look for. And what did Flavio find but a glass Star Point hanging from Chet Rippo’s neck? For the benefit of less informed readers, Flavio will explain. The Star Point is an important item in the work of the Shaman, being the smallest unit of distilled celestial power. Shaman alone possess jewelry which incorporate genuine Star Points in a glass sphere. Seeing that Chet Rippo possessed this marker told me that, regardless of whether the claims about his work were wholly true or not, he certainly had the powers of the Shaman. Though the sight of this symbol assured me that he could work with celestial forces, I still needed to test Chet Rippo’s services in order to determine the truth of the matter. He quickly offered to get to work, telling me that he would, for a modest fee of thirty-nine coins, enhance my vitality and make me feel five years younger. He began chanting odd incantations and directing a mysterious light at me, but I interrupted the process almost as soon as he began, shouting to get his attention. Flavio is not some sheep who will sit idly and accept the claims of those selling snake oil, after all! Unlike the rabble that no doubt visits Chet Rippo day and night, Flavio is an informed customer who had an inquiry regarding Chet Rippo’s procedure. I directly asked Mr. Rippo why he, unlike any other Shaman, did not require that any artifacts be provided for his services.
The eccentric mage was certainly taken aback by my question, but, after mulling over his options for a moment, simply chuckled before nodding at Dazzle, who, to my great surprise, still stood in the back of the room. Dazzle drew closer, pulling a small wooden chest out of his bag. He opened the chest and allowed me to inspect its contents. Inside were dozens of Star Pieces. For those who don’t know, Flavio will once more kindly share his knowledge. Star Pieces are, much like Star Points, concentrated units of celestial power. While containing more power than a Star Point, Star Pieces contain only a miniscule fraction of the power that a Shine Sprite or Power Star carries. Unlike these powerful objects, though, Star Pieces rain down across the Mushroom Kingdom and are as a result extremely common. It is not unusual for even the poorest of households to place a Star Piece or two on display, with most folks stumbling across a fair few in their lifetime. As I contemplated the significance of Dazzle’s Star Piece collection in light of my question, Chet Rippo approached me and roused me from my thoughts. He drew my attention to a single Star Piece he held in his hand. Unlike those in Dazzle’s chest, this Star Piece did not shine with any hint of power, apparently being nothing more than a husk of silicate. Chet Rippo explained that, rather than require his customers to bring one powerful artifact, he collects a great number of Star Pieces and relied on their combined power to provide the energy required for his work. Draining the power of a dozen or so Star Pieces, Chet Rippo claimed, he could make the work of Shaman more accessible to the average customer and reduce the cost of his services to a modest monetary payment. Flavio was charmed! The elegance of this solution is astounding but so clear. That no one else thought of it previously is a great shame. Satisfied with Chet Rippo’s explanation, I allowed him to continue with his procedure. Within five minutes, the reclusive Shaman had finished his work and Dazzle escorted me out. As we left, I happened to notice that the Star Pieces in Dazzle’s chest still shined with their inherent celestial power. Wondering if this perhaps meant that a batch of Star Pieces might be reused for multiple customers, I asked Dazzle why the Star Pieces did not appear drained. Stammering, he responded that the Star Pieces could not be reused, but it took some time before they “cooled.” To be honest, Flavio is faithless. Flavio has a keen ear and can perceive the subtle shifts in voice and body that indicate an attempt at deception. It seems to me that Dazzle had no knowledge of the subject, and, in a panic, simply spit out a false explanation. Clearly, I should have asked Chet Rippo, who surely would have been more knowledgeable and surely would have provided a proper explanation.
Now, having allowed some time to pass since my session with Chet Rippo, I can confirm that I feel much more youthful and sprightlier. Flavio feels once again like an adventurous youth, ready to take on the challenges of unknown lands. My mood has improved, as has my physical ability. As wonderful as I feel physically, though, my mind is clouded. Flavio is sharp and witty, allowing nothing to slip past him. But, in recent days, I have been in a fog, feeling as though I am missing something. What is the source of this mental block? Flavio posits that it is the stress of his exile status. Surely, as I get back to my work and get some rest, this fogginess will clear up. If it does not, I could always pay another visit to Chet Rippo and ask him to improve my mental abilities! Before I do so, I have a few additional notes to report. I paid a visit to Merlon, hoping to see if the high-and-mighty Shaman would be truthful if confronted directly. I asked him, in a hypothetical fashion so as to preserve the anonymity of Chet Rippo, if Star Pieces could be used as a substitute for an artifact like a Shine Sprite. He replied that, yes, they could, but it would be quite difficult. According to him, thousands of Star Pieces would be required to have enough power to safely augment a client’s abilities without a trade-off. Flavio was dismayed. I thought that Merlon would be truthful if confronted directly, but I suppose the interests of maintaining the oligopoly of the Shaman outweigh his interest in honesty.
On the topic of Dazzle, I recently heard that he was spotted in a local badge shop, with apparently a sizeable collection of coins. He spent thousands on badges, no doubt to replenish his wares. He apparently trades the badges for Star Pieces, which is undoubtedly the reason he and Chet Rippo have met and forged such a positive working relationship. Speaking of Star Pieces, I have heard from my contacts at the docks that two strange merchants from the sewers recently sent out a shipment of hundreds of Star Pieces to Sarasaland. This is a solid business move if I have ever heard of one; Star Pieces are far rarer in Sarasaland and can fetch quite the price when delivered in bulk. For some reason, I cannot help but feel all of these events are connected… as though something is amiss… But, Flavio cannot piece it together! My thoughts are not clear enough to form a complete mental picture. While I cannot shake the strange feeling that something is not right here, I cannot deny that Chet Rippo delivered what he promised. Should you find yourself in need of a boost in Rogueport, be sure to look for this unusual Shaman.
Selling Out VIII: The Dawn of a New Deal
From the Author
As he announced last month, Raregold (talk) is a bit busy with the transition to college this month, so he asked me to write Selling Out this month. In doing so, he also asked that I take the opportunity to use the character Sereni T., Realah T.’s intern. That said, you shouldn’t notice too much of a change in the section (hopefully). I hope you enjoy this month’s Selling Out, and you can look forward to Raregold’s return next month.
|Square Footage||1,350 ft²|
|Year Last Updated||X592|
|Heating System||Ductless Mini-Split Heat Pump|
|Cooling System||Ductless Mini-Split Air Conditioning|
|Notable Materials/Features||Outhouse w/ Pit Latrine, Open Foyer, Well, Electric Lighting, Hardwood Flooring, Bar and Lounge Area|
|Current Value (Type: Asking Price)|
|Value Trend (Type: Quarterly)||▼ 0.1%|
|Average Years Owned||14|
This single-level, one-family home, nicknamed the “Twilit Abode,” sits near the edge of Twilight Town on half an acre of unfenced land. The property was built in X570 by a Twilighter couple looking to set up a little item shop that would do enough business for them to make a living. The original owners built it themselves, using wood sourced from the trees of the nearby Twilight Trail. The quality and craftsmanship of the home gives it a rustic charm which conjures up memories of frontier settlers. The property is fairly large for a single-family home in Twilight Town, owing to its unique history. The southwest portion of the building was designed as a living space, whereas the open foyer served as the shopfront where customers could come and browse wares. The room in the northeast originally served as a storage room for inventory not ready to be put on display. When constructing the building, the original owners built an extended, flat countertop into the building itself. This countertop, extending out from the north wall and reaching across two-thirds of the foyer, originally served as a display stand for items.
When the original owners moved out of the building, they sold to an eccentric socialite who wanted to renovate the property to fit her lifestyle. While she came to Twilight Town for the solitude, she wanted to be able to continue hosting parties and bringing her established connections into her home. She turned the storage closet into a pantry for storage of expensive foodstuffs and fine wines, put down hardwood flooring, purchased and installed a ductless mini-split heating and cooling system, installed electrical lighting, and brought the home on the grid. She initially planned to purchase furniture for the foyer and turn it into an expansive living space, but she changed her plans when she found the countertop, having been built into the building, could not be removed. She instead added chairs, taps, and other amenities to the countertop to turn it into a lounge and bar area where people can snack, drink, and chat. Having added the bar area, she left the remainder of the foyer free of furniture to keep the space open for guests to walk about, mingle, and dance. Her attempts to add plumbing and running water to the old building did not go as well, and she gave up on them when the installation process proved too difficult with the home’s design. She did, however, line the pit latrine in the outhouse with an impermeable ground liner, fearing that having a pit latrine so close to the well might not work so, well, well. Her renovations complete and the quaint little shop transformed into a home, she christened it her “Twilit Abode” and spent a good fourteen years there before deciding to move on and sell out.
Guide to the Property
The largest feature of the home is the spacious foyer, dominated by the bar and lounge area which extends two-thirds the length of the room from the north wall. The spaciousness of the room makes it perfect for entertaining guests, who can congregate around the bar to drink and snack while wandering around the foyer for conversation. Twelve chairs are placed around the bar, inviting guests to sit comfortably and enjoy food and conversation under the overhead lamps hanging from the ceiling. With these features, the foyer can truly be turned into the public face of your home. The foyer also boasts two large windows, one on each side of the main entrance, situated in the east wall. The position of these windows is ideal for providing ample natural lighting, given off by Twilight Town’s perpetually rising moon, to the foyer.
The master bedroom sits in the southwest, and it’s definitely a little more welcoming than the rest of the house. Plush carpeting cushions your feet in a way which makes walking to bed after a long night of socializing feel like crossing a cloud. Like all rooms on the western wall, the master bedroom can’t get any natural lighting. Unlike the other two rooms, though, it does have a window in the west. The window initially served to cool the room by allowing Twilight Town’s pleasant evening breezes to drift in. While the addition of a heating and cooling system renders the window unnecessary, there’s still something to be said for feeling an autumnal blast of fresh air as you prepare to settle in for the night. The electrical lights in the master bedroom are dimmable and use softer bulbs, creating an inviting atmosphere which mimics the twilit sky outside.
The dining room is dominated by a centrally located table and is just made for an intimate dining experience. Like the master bedroom, the dining room features dimmable lights and receives ample cooling and heating. A locally-sourced handcrafted table, complete with attached bench seating, adds to the rustic charm of the property. China cabinets line the east wall sitting on both sides of the doorway that leads to the foyer, serving as a great conversational piece. While they’re perfect for display of china, treasured items, and other discussion-generating knickknacks, the cabinets themselves have quite a story behind them. Guests may wonder why the cabinets are made from a noticeably darker wood than anything else in the building, and you can respond that it goes back to the original owners. The cabinets are made of wood collected from a species of tree which, having adapted to the unique lighting conditions around Twilight Town, is only found near the end of the Twilight Trail, around the Creepy Steeple. These so-called leafless trees (they’re not truly leafless, having leaves for a few weeks during the time the region receives the most intense light) are prized for the color and durability of their wood. Since the time the Twilit Abode was initially built, though, new environmental regulations have been put into place which prohibits the cutting down and use of these trees. Beyond the china cabinets, the dining room contains more traditional cabinets for storing dishware along the south wall.
The pantry, situated in the northwest corner of the building, is spacious and has more potential than any other building in the room. Right now, it’s pretty barren, with shelves along the wall, racks for wine storage, and other small fixtures which hold food and drink. The bare minimum in electric lighting is installed in here, with a single overhead light making it possible to see whatever food you’re looking for. Heating and cooling is better, with the room needing to be held at a relatively constant temperature in order to keep the food as fresh as possible. Clearly, there isn’t that much here, right now, but… that just means the room is waiting to be customized to your tastes! If you want to keep it as a pantry, you can be assured that it will get the job done. If you want to make a crafting space, or a home office, or yoga studio… or whatever suits you, it can be done. This room offers a flexibility that’s hard to come by nowadays.
A one-level home that can suit a variety of lifestyles, offers flexibility for changing plans, and comes at an affordable rate sounds too good to be true, especially for a retiree. But, before you tell me to stick this offer where the sun don’t shine, why don’t you consider the benefits of moving down to the town where the sun never rises? Jump at the chance to live out your sunset years in the Twilit Abode by calling the offices of Realah T. at (868) 259-7325 before someone else does
|The 'Shroom: Issue 138|
|Staff sections||Staff Notes • The 'Shroom Achievements • The 'Shroom Spotlight|
|Features||Fake News • Fun Stuff • Palette Swap • Pipe Plaza • Critic Corner• Strategy Wing|
|Specials||Hooded Pitohui's Awards Reflections • Community Awards XI • Awards Analysis|
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