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Link feared between forest massacre, mysterious thefts

As investigations continue into the wave of theft which has rocked the country, many fear that there may also be a link to the recent Enchanted Forest massacre. "We stress that there is no firm evidence at this time," said the chief of police at a press conference called specially to quell the rising panic of the population of Fantasy. "This is merely something we are following up. The sooner we can rule out a link to the 'Forest Killer,' as the criminal has been dubbed, the sooner we can get on with solving the theft problem."

The country is still shaken by the chain of killings, which struck down innumerable innocent citizens of the Enchanted Forest and plunged Fantasy into paranoia for many months.

"There is absolutely no reason to believe that the same person, or people, are responsible," emphasized the Sorcerer of the Woods. "The sort of cowardly lowlife who would sneak into an unattended building and steal small items of personal property would simply not be capable of the violence and savagery of these greater crimes."

Since many of those murdered were extremely strong and capable fighters, police agree that the killer is more likely to be an itinerant warrior hero. However, they say they have not ruled out the possibility that two or more people may be working together. "Border statistics show that 100% of tourists arriving in Fantasy are solo travellers," said a police spokesman. "But it is well known that itinerant warrior heroes often travel in the company of small, cunning comic-relief sidekicks, so perhaps our figures are incorrect."

Motives for the murders are still being sought. Perhaps the most disturbing thing about the Enchanted Forest case is that many of the victims were apparently killed for no better reason than that, as one distraught gnome put it, "They were in the way."

After the initial shock of the killings, Enchanted Forest residents have rallied together to provide support and look at ways to improve forest security. A Neighbourhood Witch group has been started, and forest dwellers have vowed to get to know each other better and meet socially more often. A gambling club in the southern reaches of the forest has already proved very popular among ogres, and a local dwarf has applied for planning permission to open a pub.

"We have worked hard to provide better roads and walkways," said the Sorcerer. "We were looking at putting in street lights as well, but many of the people who live in the forest are members of nocturnal or light-fearing races. We all agree that if we give in to our fear enough to let it change our usual way of life, our enemy has already won."

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Article by C. Patrick.