The Port Luskan Beat
About The Port Luskan Beat
The Port Luskan Beat was Port Luskan's first, and at this writing, only, newspaper. The first edition of the paper was published on Wednesday, February 20, 2008. The start-up fund was provided by clothing merchant Suki Syakumi, but was quickly repaid by the enterprising editor of the newspaper, Alyra Moondancer. Alyra then took on the title of Publisher in addition to Editor-in-Chief.
Alyra, who also headed Port Luskan's Bardic Guild, had long considered starting a paper, but it was Suki's casual suggestion that spurred her to take action. With the funds Suki provided, she hired reporters, purchased supplies, solicited advertising, and within a week had produced the first edition. The paper has been published weekly on Wednesdays ever since, although there have admittedly been gaps in the publication. "We had weeks when I was not actually in Port Luskan, and on those occasions, there was no paper," Alyra recalls. "And there were some very quiet weeks when the news simply was not forthcoming. And then there were weeks when we were on a slave ship, and weeks when the island was trying to shake itself into oblivion. So yeah, we had gaps. It happens," she observes, philosophically.
Despite the gaps, Alyra published over 90 issues prior to the current volume. The paper became immensely popular, and before long the bard was selling subscriptions so her customers could "save money, and never miss a Beat!"
For the first few months, the paper was written by hand. Just like a monk copying texts in a monastery, Alyra would sit at her desk and hand-copy each issue - including the paintings! - for her customers. Then her good friend Kume the Red, an inventor of some note, presented her with a wonderful gift: a printing press. This marvelous time-saving device made it possible for her to print more copies, which was a good thing, since her list of subscribers was growing.
Another of Kume's inventions, the picco crystal, also contributed to the Beat's success. With this remarkable crystal, Alyra was able to capture images and reproduce them on parchment, or later, paper. The same image could be created over and over again, and although a crystal could only hold one image at a time, Kume was able to provide Alyra with a substantial supply. The bard took to carrying a handful in her pocket, along with her customary quill and parchment for taking notes for her articles.
When Alyra was rescued from the slavers and transported to a distant world, she was delighted to find a printing press, seemingly waiting for her, in the bookshop to which she laid claim. She began publication of The Port Luskan Beat, Volume II, which ran for but a few short weeks before she and her companions fled the island. Recently she has begun publication of Volume III, which is available as always in Ye Olde Book Shoppe or direct from the publisher.