War on the Press Military Conflict in Istralar | World Anvil

War on the Press

— famed reporter, Jessica Myrvick
  It started out a simple job. A small team of news reporters and their resident artist would enter the magic-steeped halls of Thrinda's Arcanium, invited there by Thrinda Flametongue herself to do a piece on how life was for the Arcanium's students. They'd spend a full year there, receiving free instruction in any topic that interested them, and in turn would produce a series of pieces on the Arcanium throughout the year through their unbiased lenses.   How it turned into an outright war between the press and the paper is anyone's guess.

The Conflict


First, we must set the scene and meet our actors. Here they are, in all their glory.  

  • Jessica Myrvick, female human, 23 years old and full of energy. Daughter of a rich media family. Grew up in Undria, and joined the business at a young age.
  • Tutta Brukkoral, female dwarf, 73 years old and sick of Jessica already. Grew up in Dhun Volkulgar prior to its destruction. Lost her family's smithy in the explosion, so she took up writing. Hates arcane magic.
  • Tirich Eynon, nonbinary fetchling, 48 years old. Grew up here, there, and everywhere as a pickpocket and local gossip, and eventually got hired on after gossiping to the right people.
  • Fanegos 'Fang' Adanir, male half-elf, 29 years old and in the midst of an existential crisis. Grew up bouncing between Ilendras and the rest of northern Aletheia (and sometimes further out!) as a trader's son. Took up writing out of boredom, realised he could profit, and bounced before he realised what he was doing.
  • Kibrus Halliwell, male tiefling, 85 years old and the masterful artist of the group. Grew up in some dull town with parents who hated his jewel-blue skin and horns, and took to art to escape the world's eyes. A bit of a gremlin at times.
  •   But these are only half of this conflict. The other half are the Arcanium's own vivopages and their boundless energy. Their love for helping, their love for mischief, and their drive to see improvement would be a crucial part of the oncoming battle.  
    Hold still, Jessy! I'm trying to paint this!
    — a cheery Kibrus


    It's hard to believe this has all been at the Arcanium, hey...
    — exhausted Fang

    The Engagement

    Those wee bastard pieces of paper.. there's ink in my boots. There's ink on my beard. Fer Torag's bloody sake, there's INK on my bloody--
    — Tutta, about to erupt
      The first month was fine. The first month seemed to go fairly calmly. Fang cooed over the vivopages, Tirich slowly started to ask them to help him spread gossip, and Jessica made terrified noises every time one came too close. Tutta ignored them, favouring her mission.   The second month, the vivopages decided to introduce themselves more thoroughly. Fang awoke covered in paper one morning. Kibrus found himself surrounded by canvases begging to be painted on in written pleas. Jessica found thousands of paper butterflies clinging to her hair. Unfortunately, they'd introduced themselves to Tutta by stacking themselves into the shape of a dwarf and waving at her.   She retaliated with a glass of water. The first stone, thrown.   The vivopages withdrew immediately, aghast. Many had been wounded. They would return with a vengeance.  

    The War Begins

    I can do magic? I can do magic! Ma'd be so proud!
    — gleeful Tirich
      The second month came and went with no signs of war, but also a surprising lack of vivopages. The press went about their business as usual, producing their first few pieces for public consumption. They attended classes, settled in, and learnt some interesting tricks of their own. Both Fang and Tirich were surprised to coax sparks of arcane magic out of previously mundane fingers, and Kibrus captured their shock in paint.   When the third month crashed down on them, it did so without warning, and brought a deluge of furious and intelligent pieces of paper with it. The press soon found items missing or dragged away from them, books flying away mid-class, homework erasing itself as they wrote it, and even their own articles changing their text to insult them.   It was clear: this was war. Jessica shrieked as much, in fact, loud enough for the entire Arcanium to hear after she found out the hard way that the drink she'd set down had been inked in her brief absence... the fifth time that day alone.  


    I'm gonna scream if they get in my hair one more time-- AAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!
    — Jessica
      Not all of the press wanted to work against the vivopages, and not all of the vivopages wanted to work against the press. In fact, Kibrus was entirely on their side. As his companions gathered to try and figure out what had happened, Kibrus wore vivopages underneath his sleeves. As their frustrations and anger grew, already stretched thin by the stress of an Arcanium education, he continued to laugh at the vivopages antics, taking their punishments with grace and hilarity.   The fourth month's dawn came with a change of pace.   Utterly fed up with the vivopages constantly harassing them when they were meant to be there to learn and the paper was meant to be helping, Jessica stormed up to Thrinda's second-in-charge, Elfriede Lyrium, and demanded that the staff do something. The scholar, perhaps already expecting the result, advised that the press play along with the vivopages and their silly pranks.   To Jessica, that meant they had to declare their own war in response. Four months in was perhaps a little late to realise this, but when she told the others, Tutta seemed to already have realised: she'd even found herself a proper Dwarven shield somewhere, though her choice of mainhand weapon was a little more unorthodox. In her main hand, she held a spraybottle.   It took two weeks of all-out warfare for students and staff both to begin getting out of the way when they saw each skirmish beginning. If it happened in the middle of class - Tirich, particularly, had started hiding in the shadows and leaping onto the vivopages - then the class would simply adjust around the fray.   It took three weeks before Fang went to the library with an offering of inks and whisperings of what the group had planned for their next few attacks.  

    A Tentative Alliance

    Look, this is getting ridiculous. They're just having fun, you know? Kibbles's in hospital because of all this..
    — Fang
    By the fifth month, things had grown so chaotic that the rest of the Arcanium's inhabitants were beginning to take sides, and visitors were being warned of the.. disturbances... occurring throughout the building.   Experimental spells joined forces with dwarven rage and Myrvick money, and the outbreaks of random chaos took on a distinctly more worrying spin as potions were thrown towards paper. The vivopages seemed to take this as an excuse to up their ante, and brought in their books - the eldest, largest hiveminds of the bunch.   Week two ended with Kibrus needing medical treatment, the first major casualty of war (if temporarily), having gotten caught between an overenthusiastic telekinesis spell and three heavy tomes. At his fall, Fang sought out the vivopages to offer a genuine alliance: if he'd tell them details of upcoming plans and surreptitiously help them in the fights, they'd make sure he didn't end up in hospital as well.   Little did he know, Tirich was listening.  

    Beginning of the End

    This'll be such an exciting painting!! When the canvas will stop fighting, that is!
    — Kibrus
      Fang's would-be alliance collapsed nigh-immediately when the attacks he warned of never happened, and he found himself being isolated from the others in the press. By week four, he had been summarily kicked out from the press's quarters, and was forced to take up a bunk in an empty student dormitory room (much to the amusement of the other students).   When Kibrus eventually escaped his own personal war against the medical staff, he joined Fang there, denouncing the way the vivopages were being oppressed and openly celebrating their vivacious natures with a beautiful painting of Tutta being flung around by them. The dwarf was furious, and Kibrus only narrowly avoided the shield that she'd flung at the painting in her anger.   With the group now split, it was clear that the situation was unsustainable. Jessica was forced to make a choice: rally her forces and try to make a final stand to proclaim dominance over the vivopages and get them to leave her stuff alone, or surrender and accept that she'd been defeated by a bunch of animated papers.   Before she could decide, Tutta's backup arrived in the form of her husband's cousin's wife's best friend, a gnomish mage named Bidni. Bidni had heard of their plight, and had brought her own weapon from her home in Ilendras's Mages Guild: her own friendly vivopages.  
    Ye ne'er heard of fightin' fire with fire, Jess?
    — a mocking Tutta
      Jess was gobsmacked. Tirich cheered.   Everyone's plans erupted when the two sets of vivopages, instead of causing any sorts of silliness together, instead spun themselves into a vortex strong enough that it generated its own tornadic force - a tornado of papers that even the pages themselves couldn't stop. It swept from floor to floor, wrecking countless classrooms and interrupting experiments and even upsetting the Arcanium's resident draconic pets before finally, finally, the staff stepped in.   The papers were quelled and split up into their two groups, and spoken to about their behaviour. The press, too, were gathered into a room for a lengthy three-day lecture from the Arcanium's oldest resident.   The sixth month dawned.. peacefully. Mostly. The two groups didn't entirely get along, still, and both Fang and Kibrus had damaged their friendships with the rest. Still, the two had found love in it, having been flung into eachother as the tornado wrecked the place and having then rolled with it so very much that they'd woken up in bed together, breathless and sweaty, the next morning.   By all reports, the collaboration was still a resounding success.  
    Oh my fuck, we're getting married. As soon as possible.
    — Fang to Kibrus, the morning after

    Historical Significance


    Well, these articles are going to be entertaining!
    Thrinda Flametongue
      Some of Bidli's vivopages remained with the Arcanium in the end, and some of the Arcanium's went back with her. Fang and Kibrus got engaged shortly after the experience, and with Kibrus's discovery of magical ability as well, both thoroughly enjoyed their remaining time at the Arcanium.   Jessica felt thoroughly ashamed of their behaviour, and her apology included the notes of a particularly complimentary account of the school. Tutta's prejudices against arcane magic were unfortunately reinforced, though the remaining time served to soften her opinions.   Tirich handed in their resignation from journalism shortly after the end of their period in the Arcanium, and promptly rejoined it as a full student; they were swiftly followed by Fang, and surprisingly, Kibrus as well.   The war was declared to have officially ended a few days prior to the end of 5626, when Tutta reminded Jessica that she'd never really declared it to have ended.
    Oh no by Hanhula (via Midjourney)
    Conflict Type
    Battlefield Type
    Start Date
    6th Abadius 5626
    Ending Date
    28th Kuthona 5626
    Conflict Result



    Five (5) whole adults
    At least fifty vivopages and at least three vivobooks


    Their dignity
    Supposedly none? Maybe a few.


    Survive the year
    Jessica Myrvick by Hanhula (via Midjourney)
    Tutta Brukkoral by Hanhula (via Midjourney)
    Tirich Eynon by Hanhula (via Midjourney)
    Fang Adanir by Hanhula (via Midjourney)
    Kibrus Halliwell by Hanhula (via Midjourney)

    Cover image: War on the Press by Hanhula (via Midjourney)


    Please Login in order to comment!
    Grandmaster TheDumbOwl
    Alex (TheDumbOwl)
    14 Jul, 2023 15:04


    Ahoy hoy! Have a happy day! Check out my world Vertinall!
    15 Jul, 2023 00:19

    This is amazing. This is fantastic. This is a wonderful spin on this prompt, and an event I wish I could have witnessed, what a wild and ridiculous series of events!

    Keon Croucher, Chronicler of the Age of Revitalization
    15 Jul, 2023 11:14

    Hahaha, this is such a fun article. I love it.   And yes! GAY!!

    Emy x   Etrea | Vazdimet
    Sage Alex the Creatrix
    Alex the Creatrix
    21 Aug, 2023 20:45

    This is wonderfully imaginative! Having a description of the characters and a bit of their backstory helped to make them more real. I also liked that there were factions within the factions and a sense of the whole thing being started over a miscommunication. Very often fictional conflicts are portrayed as simply good vs evil, when in real life, it's never really that simple.

    Alex the Creatrix Star Witch & Cosmic Ambassador to the Galaxy of Kantostara