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The Recall and Replacement of the Palace Style.

DAA Announces Palace Style Recall:

In a surprise move by the Dungeon Architect's Association, Hermiss Grunnon, a public relations spokesperson for the DAA, announced that the association was recalling the Palace style "effective immediately".

Grunnon stated, "We acknowledge the difficulties that our fellow smitemasters and our customers have had with this dungeon style ever since it was discovered that one of the Eighth vermin had adapted to its particular floor color. With this policy, we hope that we can make the jobs of smitemasters the Eighth over that much easier and ensure that our dungeons remain safe and useable for our customers for generations to come."

The DAA policy will see the phasing out of the Palace style within the next year, to be replaced by a new style, tentatively entitled "Foundation". Foundation will be added to the standard catalogue of styles, but for a small fee the DAA will install Foundation before its official release as a promotional measure. The DAA is also preparing another, as yet unnamed style, which it will use for replacement of Palace when Foundation becomes part of the standard catalogue of styles.

The vermin in question, the spider, is remarkable for its ability to blend into some dungeon surrounds. It has a blue pigmented skin which makes it almost impossible to see on the Palace style's floor, as the style makes heavy use of a tile almost exactly the same colour as the spider.

There have been calls for the style to be replaced for nearly five years, initially from smitemasters, but since the incident as Pickensass where a royal family member was attacked by a spider, public pressure to recall the style has increased.

When questioned why the style took so long to be recalled, the DAA representative said, "The DAA moves as quickly as it can to ensure dungeons are safe for our customers and those enjoying their stay in them. This is a complicated issue, and we wanted to ensure that in replacing the style we would not introduce another issue that would make the new Foundation style just as hated by smitemasters and customers.

"Let me go on to say that the Foundation style represents two years of research in dungeon architecture, and features a sandstone/brick wall combination that will capture moisture and keep the dungeon free of mould. The colour scheme has been especially chosen to ensure that there are no more colour conflicts with vermin, and in addition the style is forward compatible with some of the new dungeon features we'll be unveilling in just a few months."

Take-up of the new style is expected to be slow at first, but should pick up once the new features, hinted at during the press conference, are unveiled.

Response to Spider Evolution Accusations:

The DAA was quick to respond to allegations about the ecological impact of recalling the Palace style. In a press release today, spokesperson Hermiss Grunnon said, "You can't really call a dungeon an 'environment'. It's built. You can't call something built 'environment' unless you're using that wishy-washy meaning of 'environment' that tries to pass off buldings as trees. Of course, the dungeon environments we construct are perfectly habitable."

When asked about whether the 'spiders' that would be most affected by the change would adapt, the spokesperson replied, "Look, even a trainee smitemaster can kill a roach, and they haven't adapted, so why should spiders? It will simplify the smitemaster's job, and everyone can stop sending us angry letters.

"This 'spiders are people too' talk is just people afraid of change. Spiders are monsters that get in the way of the business of dungeons, that's all. If they didn't come into dungeons in the first place, they'd not be affected at all, and the fact that they happened to be ideally suited for one of our designs is not our fault. They should have anticipated that the design may change if they continued to abuse it in this fashion."

When it was pointed out that spiders are not considered intelligent enough to anticipate, the spokesperson replied, "Nuh-uh!"

After receiving a response in the positive, the spokesperson argued, "Nuh-uh!"

After receiving another response in the positive the spokesperson responed in the negative, and then declared he was going home, after referring to noted environmentalist Flundia Brobulous as "a sissy-girl".

Details about Foundation Released:

The Dungeon Architect's Association has announced further details on the new "Dungeon Select" series of dungeon themes. The "Foundation" theme, reported earlier, is reportedly the first in this series. The Foundation style reportedly has the standard checkerboard floor layout of light and dark grey, but dungeon owners have the option of introducing a brand-new "mosaic" floor, which is not checked at all.

In a press release released today, the Association noted that "for the first time, we are able to offer clients flooring styles that go beyond the limitations of checkerboard - indeed, the other styles in the Dungeon Select(tm) line do not contain checkerboard of any kind! We know, we know, we're rebels over here at the DAA. Regular Jeamus Drebbles, that's us, leather jacket and everything.

"We have been testing these new styles for years, with the assistance of some very close partners of the Association, and we are finally ready to release these styles to the public". Details are scarce on how the mosaic flooring will work, however.

This sudden flurry of activity from the DAA has been met with much opposition. The Eighth Dungeon Chess Organization have been assured by the DAA that the checkerboard style will stay intact in the Foundation style, ensuring the future of the sport; and the DAA are currently in talks with the ECG and the CAMQU to use the resources of the guilds in other styles. The ECG have commented: "We're very happy with the progress of the negotiations, and the DAA are looking to use elderberry dye as part of a new organic flooring for a new style in the Dungeon Select series. In your face, CSG! We've still got a job!"

The Smitemaster's Guild reports that spider sightings have dropped significantly since the DAA recall, to the point where only one smitemaster has seen the monster in the past month.

Smitermaster's Guild Issues Warning of Spider Evolution:

The Dugandy Herald has learned that the Smitemaster's Guild have issued a high alert to all of its members concerning the new Dungeon Select styles, two days after the DAA's official launch of the new styles. It seems that the replacement of the old Palace style with Foundation, which forced the spiders out of their evolutionary niche, has resulted in a mass evolution of the spiders.

The report details the spider's sudden acquisition of multi-pigmented skin and eyes, which is then simplified for those guild members who can't handle more than four syllables as 'they're invisible all the gobbin' time now - can't even see their eyes'.

Grabbidious Flonghoard, dungeon biology professor at Mellenfral, was at a loss to explain the sudden change in spider biology. "It just doesn't make sense. I don't doubt the Smitemaster's Guild - they're the men on the front, after all, and I know that the Guild only ever bothers to issue written alerts when they're one hundred percent sure of something, which means there has to have been confirmed sightings. But there's no way that spiders could all just naturally decide that now they're going to have camouflage skin. But apart from that, I can answer anything you want. Please? I've always wanted to be in the paper."

Noted environmentalist Flundia Brobulous, sophomore student at Mellenfral University and long-time opponent of the DAA's remodelling scheme, was triumphant in an inteview earlier today. "We warned those fatcats at the DAA months ago that there were going to be adverse affects to getting rid of Palace. Frankly, we thought they'd die out, but this is even better! The spiders can fight back and claim their rightful habitat once more! And there's not a thing those murderers at the Smitemaster's Guild can do about it!"

The Smitemaster's Guild report concludes that the new spiders take some time to adjust their colourings to match the flooring, turning a very visible grey colour while doing so, and that a smitemaster's best defense against them is to attempt to get them to move or turn, which makes the spiders turn visible until they become stationary again.

The DAA was unavailable for comment, and in fact appeared to be closed. Enquiries only yielded that the DAA was planning to move, but for what reason and to where is as yet unclear.