Blackwood Gazette #11: Man Claiming to be Roderick La Pierre Assumes Responsibility for Tuna Heist; Holds Gold Hostage in Exchange for Haggis

13/5-The offices of the Blackwood Gazette received a strange letter this weekend. Since much of the letter is ineligible and/or contains an over abundance of language inappropriate for the Gazette, we have chosen only to present the relevant information rather than reprint the letter in its entirety.

The letter claims to be from disgraced Crowndon Admiral Roderick Beauchamp La Pierre, and he claims responsibility for the First Imperial Bank heist late last month. All excerpts are printed with the original spelling intact.

“I’ve seen my name thrown around as a potential suspect,” La Pierre writes. “And I see that [expletive removed] Callingworth laughing at the idea. Yeah, well, I’ll show im. It WAS me that hit that bank. Me and me crew. Planned the whole thing. Just no one wants to admit it, ‘cos it were me.”

La Pierre then goes on a lengthy rant about the failings of the Crowndon military, and how the citizens of Crowndon would all be speaking ‘frog speech’ if not for him.

“I ain’t a greedy man…no, actually, that’s [expletive removed],” La Pierre writes. “I AM a greedy man, but for this instance, I’m willin’ to make things easy for all a’yer simple minds. I don’t wanna  keep the gold. I’m holdin it hostage. Not unlike that bank. I’ll be waiting at the location I wrote at the bottom of the letter. Bring only one ship, a small skiff, with one man and the ransom. I’ll give im the location of the gold. If I see another ship within five hundred leagues, I’ll dump the gold into the deepest part of the barricade ocean.

“Me demands is simple, see. I want a nice, steamy pile of Crowndonian spiced haggis, just like me mam used t’make. All the gritty bits, with a side of  the pasties. I want it delieverd to the location I talked about before, and I want it tomarrah. Any funny business, and I blow the gold t’kingdom come, y’hear!”

When we asked Deputy Chief Arthur Colingsworth for comment, he was skeptical.

“No one has seen La Pierre for years. Reports are he’s dead. This is just some prankster that read the rumors spread by your paper and thought to run with it. Even if it was La Pierre, we would be unable to acquiesce. Crowndon does not negotiate with pirates.”

Blackwood Gazette #11: Man Claiming to be Roderick La Pierre Assumes Responsibility for Tuna Heist; Holds Gold Hostage in Exchange for Haggis

Vicarious Viewing: Game of Thrones- “The Laws of Gods and Men” Review

Peter Dinklage as Tyrion Lannister in the Game of Thrones Season 4 episode
image via

This week’s episode was full of characters seeking justice: Yara seeking justice for her brother, Theon; A son seeking justice for his father; and a kingdom seeking justice for its murdered king. But as Tyrion says in the trailers for Season 4: if you want justice, you’ve come to the wrong place.

Continue reading “Vicarious Viewing: Game of Thrones- “The Laws of Gods and Men” Review”

Vicarious Viewing: Game of Thrones- “The Laws of Gods and Men” Review

Friday Free For All: Where, No One Knows Book Cover and Trailer Updates

Book cover, concept artFirst up, an updated image of my proposed cover art for Where, No One Knows. Still a bit rough around the edges, but I’m liking it so far. It’s a combo of digital art made in Photoshop and 3D models created in 3DS Max. I’m still figuring out what type-face I want to use and text placement, so any input that may be had is appreciated.

book trailer, concept art, blakwood empire, where no one knows
Rigel Rinkenbach, Roderick La Pierre, and Klaus Klaudhopper, crew of the Pernicious Platitude

Next up is a group shot of some of the other characters in the novel, featuring some of the art I’m working on for the novel’s trailer. I’m aiming for kind of an art nouveau look for the trailer. Not sure how I landed on it, other than I like it. Can’t really think of a better reason for anything than that. I’m probably completely off base on what art nouveau is (my quick definition: illustrations with really heavy outlines), but whatever. I’ve put too much work into the trailer thus far to change the look of it now. It’s fly or die time, at this point.

Friday Free For All: Where, No One Knows Book Cover and Trailer Updates

Blackwood Gazette #10: Southern Crowndon Braces for Plague of Albino Locusts

8/5-The southern provinces of the Crowndonian Empire, including the major trading centers of Walsh and Toring, are preparing for an invasion. Not from any human army, but from the hordes of Albino Locusts that descend upon the area every four years.

“They come up here, over the Demon’s Eye from Monteddor,” said Razule Gracia, the owner of one of the largest granaries in the Empire. “They come up here, and they lay their eggs in our grain,* and then they eat the grain. Entire crops are lost. Millions of pounds of gold, lost!”

Not to mention millions of lives. Southern Crowndon has a problem with poverty, and they rely on the surplus grain from farms like Gracia’s to survive.

“It’s always bad,” said a local homeless man who only goes by ‘John’. “Especially for the oldest among us. Every four years, the street population here in Walsh drops. People I’ve known my entire life, just gone. Never sure when it’s going to be my turn.”

Crowndon scientists are unsure what causes the quadrennial influx of the insects, but entomologists and climatologists in the Nor Eastern Empire share a theory.

“It has to do with air currents over the Demon’s Eye Cove,” said Jaques Dullane, one such climatologist from the Empress University. “The locusts reproduce by laying their eggs in the dirt along Monteddor’s northern ridge. These eggs get picked up by the wind. Normally, the currents above the cove intercept these eggs and blow them out to sea. But every two years there’s an event in the Barricade Ocean that causes this current to either shift or disappear altogether, and the eggs are carried into the southern Crowney Provinces, where they lay dormant in the nutrient rich soil. Two years later, there is typically another event that causes warmer than average summers. The eggs hatch, giving birth to millions of the locusts. We’re not sure what causes either event.”

This year marks the end of the four year cycle. So when can Crowndon expect to be covered in locusts?

“Within the next couple of months,” said Dullane.

*Editor’s note: Quotes are printed as spoken…any scientific inaccuracies are the fault of interviewee, not the Blackwood Gazette.

Blackwood Gazette #10: Southern Crowndon Braces for Plague of Albino Locusts

Blackwood Gazette #9: Man Pays for Meal with Smelly Gold, Arrested in Connection with Tuna Heist

6/5-A new development in the story of the great Crowndonian Fish Heist, as the authorities are now calling it:

Martin Camwell got an ugly surprise after a dinner last night.

“I ordered a steak,” Camwell said. “Been wanting a steak, you see. Haven’t had none since the Crown seized my milliner’s shop and I got thrown out on the street. When I was done I tried paying for it with this bit ‘o gold a stranger gave me.”

That’s when the restaurant owner noticed something odd.

“Gold smelled bad,” the owner said. “Literally. At first I thought it was the bum, but when I recognized the hint of fish, I pieced it together with the robbery downtown.”

The restaurant’s proprietor contacted the authorities while the wait staff kept Camwell occupied with a dessert menu. When the city watch arrived, they took Camwell into custody, claiming that he did nothing wrong.

“I’m inclined to believe him,” said Deputy Chief Arthur Colingsworth, head of investigations into the heist. “He has no criminal record, and his story checks out. He’s also a bit of a lack-wit and a coward, so I doubt he had anything to do with the robbery, neither its execution and certainly not its execution.”

Colingsworth asked Camwell to provide a description of the man, which Camwell did.

“He described him as average height, ginger hair, mutton chops, and a gray over coat,” Colingsworth said. The inspector then alluded to the possibility that the mysterious man gave Camwell a message, then backpedaled when pushed on the subject.

“We have no further information on the subject at this time,” Colingsworth said, and disappeared into his office.

Charges against Martin Camwell in connection to the heist were dropped. However, he has been kept in custody on charges of vagrancy and disturbing the peace of the restaurant’s wealthy patrons, who report that the smell of the gold, and Camwell, offended them.

Related: Bank Full of Fish Gets Cleaned Out…

Blackwood Gazette #9: Man Pays for Meal with Smelly Gold, Arrested in Connection with Tuna Heist

Vicarious Viewing: Game of Thrones-“First of His Name” Review

Game of thrones, tommen, first of his name, iron throne, kings landing, review, coronation, first of his name review, game of thrones review
Image via Forbes

This week: Cersei and Margaery play nice, Sansa arrives in The Vale, and Jon Snow deals with the mutineer situation in an episode made up largely of original material.

Continue reading “Vicarious Viewing: Game of Thrones-“First of His Name” Review”

Vicarious Viewing: Game of Thrones-“First of His Name” Review

Friday Free For All: Where, No One Knows Book Cover Preview

Pixie Sinclaire, Digital painting,Blackwood Empire, Where No One Knows, Preview, Book cover
Pixie Sinclaire, reporting for duty!

Today, I’d thought I’d share some of the character artwork I’m working on for the book cover of my novel, Where, No One Knows.

I’d thought I had a pretty good piece of art to use already, but it’s been about a year and a half since I did that, and I’ve learned a few things since then. Until now, whenever I’ve done an illustration for a story I’ve kept the line work to hide my deficiencies as an artist, and waving it off as a choice of style. But I’m trying to get to a point where my illustrations look decent without the lines containing different areas of color.

The above image isn’t anywhere near complete. I haven’t yet started detailing the fabric, or figured out what I want the background to be (probably something similar to the old illustration), much less smoothing out the edges. I’m working in Photoshop and every color has its own grouping of layers, so I’m waiting to merge everything before tackling that. On the upside, my new computer doesn’t chug whenever I have more than a couple layers open, so I’m able to work with a fuller view of things. I’m even able to use brush dynamics (although, more than a couple of those and things start to slow down.)

Hope you like it, and as always, have a great weekend!

Here are some other posts featuring the character of Pixie Sinclaire, for comparison:

Character Profile: Pixie Sinclaire

Book Trailer Update

Speaking of that Book trailer:

When my old computer took a dive in January, I lost all progress I had made on it. I also lost an almost entirely revised copy of the manuscript. The book itself being the priority, I tackled finishing that up, first. I’ve only recently begun working on the trailer again, but I hope to have something to show soon. Maybe next week?

Friday Free For All: Where, No One Knows Book Cover Preview