Blackwood Gazette #82- Lull in Weather Conditions Allow Contact with Northern Territories

By Chester Seaton, News

29/12-The harsh winter faced by Northern Crowndon this year cleared up late last week, finally providing Imperial Authorities a window to make contact with several townships thought lost to the snowstorms and Blackwood shortage. While many of the towns were found in rough condition, with several dead from exposure or starvation, reports indicate that the situation is not nearly as bad as previously feared.

In several of the towns, most notably Nostholm, casualties were kept to a minimum thanks to the efforts of an anonymous benefactor. When IA officials arrived, they found the townsfolk, including those reported as having been evacuated and lost, gathered in the town hall, eating a humble but adequate feast of goose and vegetables.

“About a week ago, an air ship flew over, dropping crates,” said Nostholm’s mayor when questioned by officials. “We thought they were bombs at first, on account that the ship looked like air pirates. But the crates were just food and a couple lumps of Blackwood. Saved our skin it did.”

A similar report was delivered when officials made contact with Alexander’s Crossing, sixty miles east of Nostholm.

“It was this ship, see,” one citizen said. “Rickety lookin thing, balloon all patched up and its boiler coughing black smoke, like they was burnin coal. Came through the night before Advent, dropping food. I could just see the name, something strange, like the way they name military ships down south. The Perdicious Platypus or some such nonsense.”

Imperial Officials claim that they currently do not have, nor have ever had, a ship named the Perdicious Platypus in their fleet. One anonymous source, however, claims that the descriptions of the mysterious ship match the profile of the Pernicious Platitude, the vessel of notorious pirate Roderick Beauchamp La Pierre.

Officials have written off this claim as complete nonsense, and we here at the Gazette are inclined to agree.

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Blackwood Gazette #82- Lull in Weather Conditions Allow Contact with Northern Territories

Blackwood Gazette #81: Government Projects Drawing Criticism in Wake of Blackwood Shortage

by Chester Seaton, News

18/12- With northern territories in one of the wealthiest, most developed Empires in the world going dark with no way to contact them this winter, critics have turned their eye to several projects associated with Crowndonian interests.

This year, Crowndon has announced two high profile, very expensive, and some would say frivolous projects: the first being the joint Imperial effort to build an ocean born super-prison, and the second being the development of a commercial fixed wing aircraft.

“Both of these imperatives are a slap in the face of the Crowndonian citizenry, in wake of recent events,” said renowned philanthropist and scholar Caridan Wellerby this week. “The cost of building and maintaining a prison like the one described is completely unjustifiable when weighed against the benefits to not only Crowndon, but the Triumvirate as a whole. And don’t even get me started on this ridiculous pissing match between Crowndon and Rinkenbach Research and Development. Let the man have his glory; it is just a drop in the bucket of his already numerous accolades. No one will notice.”

Advocates for both projects quickly issued a response.

“Mister Wellerby’s concerns are well intentioned, I’m sure,” claimed a statement by Pavil Lyons, Crowndon’s Secretary of Industrial Development and Oversight. “But they are unfounded. The prison project is being funded mostly by independent interests, as most everyone knows and complained about earlier this year. Any money spent by the Crown is limited to fees for services rendered. And since there is currently no prison, there are no services being rendered, and no coin being spent by the Crown.

“As for the Heisenberg Project…the fact that Rinkenbach is involved is the very reason why we shouldn’t just give it up. That man deserves a good humbling, I say, and Crowndon needs a victory in the industrial race with Nor Easter.”

Wellerby waved off the statement when asked to respond, and in his words one can almost visualize him shaking his head.

“This need for ‘victory’, and Crowndon’s insistence on trotting out ‘National Pride’ whenever the Heisenberg Project is mentioned reeks of desperation. It’s been stated so adamantly so many times, I doubt even Secretary Lyon’s believes it any more. There are people starving to death…if Crowndon wants to feel pride, it needs to find a way to reestablish contact to its northern territories and bring its people food and power.”

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That super-prison in today’s post? It got built! Find out what happens to it in the full length novel, Where, No One Knows!

Blackwood Gazette #81: Government Projects Drawing Criticism in Wake of Blackwood Shortage

Blackwood Gazette #80: Northern Crowndon Faces Harsh Winter

16/12- Things are looking increasingly bleak in Northern Crowndon, since the first snows began to fall mid last month.

As previously reported, the situation in Monteddor has led to severe rationing of Blackwood in the Crowndonian Empire. Measures were taken to keep the small settlements and townships of Northern Crowndon alight, but as the conflict has drawn out those meager allotments have stopped completely. With winter in full swing now, even Caldebeck Bay, the largest city in the north, has gone dark.

To make matters worse, no one has heard from small villages like Nostholm in nearly a month. Imperial officials claim that the final reports from the region indicated that several of the town’s citizens were planning on migrating south to Caldebeck Bay, but no one ever arrived. Bay officials claimed to send out search parties, but harsh weather conditions prevented them from crossing the mountains.

With its northern territories facing significant losses due to exposure and starvation, the Crowndon government is facing increased pressure to intervene in the Desantana conflict. Their stance as of this report, however, remains the same: out of concern for disrupting the balance of power created by the alliances of the Triumvirate, neither the Empire of Crowndon, nor the Empire of NorEaster, will intervene in Monteddorian affairs without the blessing of Monteddor’s government, who continue to insist they have control over the situation. Monteddor’s capital city, meanwhile, finds itself in the second month of a siege by forces led by Alejandro Julianos and Yolanda Desantana.

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Want more Blackwood Empire? Check out the full length novel, Where, No One Knows, available now on Amazon and Createspace!

Blackwood Gazette #80: Northern Crowndon Faces Harsh Winter

Blackwood Gazette #79: Shots Fired! McKilroy Confronts La Pierre; La Pierre Escapes

By Chester Seaton, News

11/12– The search for notorious pirate captain Roderick Beauchamp La Pierre ramped up this week, as reports of a clash between the disgraced former Crowndonian Admiral and the equally notorious pirate hunter Johanna McKilroy came in today.

The confrontation happened over the trading outpost of Majalagura, on Monteddor’s northern coast. Officials tell us that La Pierre’s ship, the Pernicious Platitude, was spotted in the area in the early morning hours of Mursday. Captain McKilroy was allegedly waiting for him.

The hunter engaged her prey almost immediately, say witnesses, who described the attack as overzealous.

“If she’d have waited for him to get closer in, she’d have had him,” said one local fisherman, who watched the attack from aboard his boat just off the coast. “As it is, she just winged his broadside. La Pierre spun that junker of his and sped off, over open waters.”

With McKilroy’s reputation for taking down pirates no matter the cost, some were thankful for La Pierre’s quick retreat.

“I don’t want to know what would’ve happened had he stayed to fight, or tried to go to ground in the town,” said one man. “Part of me thinks he knew it wouldn’t have done any good.”

The man’s friend disagreed. “You think La Pierre gives one whit what happens to us? He’s a coward. Doubly so, running from a fight with someone he knows.”

Further reports came later in the day, saying that the Platitude was spotted making its way toward Tear Track canyon. Authorities familiar with both the Platitude and McKilroy’s ship, the Dismissive Smile, claim that it would have been La Pierre’s only avenue of escape.

“Platitude’s much smaller than the Smile,” said Aranda Garaca, of the Monteddorian Port Authority. “It could make use of the canyon’s smaller tributaries near the ground to evade. The Smile likely would have trouble entering the canyon even at the upper levels.”

Neither ship has been seen since.

Do you like Blackwood Gazette? Then you might enjoy the further adventures of Captain Roderick Beauchamp La Pierre and the crew of the Pernicious Platitude in the action packed full length novel, Where, No One Knows, now available on Createspace and Amazon!

Blackwood Gazette #79: Shots Fired! McKilroy Confronts La Pierre; La Pierre Escapes

“Where, No One Knows” is LIVE!

Whew! Hey everyone, just let me get rid of this dust…

I’ve been away for awhile, and while I wish I could say it was because I was toiling diligently away on my NaNo project, such wasn’t the case. I completely failed to manage my time between writing and working a job in retail, and as such was unable to complete the required 50,000 word goal.

Boo hoo. There. I’m over it. Moving on!

I am pleased to announce, however, another small victory. The other novel I’ve been chipping away at for the last couple of years is now available to purchase through Createspace and Amazon.

Right now, it’s only available in paperback, but a Kindle version is incoming once I fix some of the formatting issues that came with converting the files from Createspace.

So, go on! If you’re looking for a light-hearted, pulpy adventure to curl up with this holiday, go check it out. And if you do, let me hear what you thought and if you have any suggestions to help improve future projects, let me know. I’m always open to constructive criticism.

Book cover, concept art

“The Blackwood Empire is facing a bit of an energy crisis. Everything runs on steam, and the fuel for the fires, an alchemical substance called Blackwood, is running out. Only the brilliant scientist, Sir Rigel Rinkenbach, knows the secret, and he’s gone missing!

He’s been taken to Where, No One Knows, a massive prison ship that patrols the Imperial seas. There’s only one way onto Where, No One Knows, and only one way out. It’s a delicate job requiring finesse, and in the Blackwood Empire, cutthroats are a dime a dozen. Pixie Sinclaire, former agent provocateur, outclasses them all.

Pixie and Rigel have a rocky past, but the flame persists. When the NorEastern Nations hire her to infiltrate the impenetrable floating fortress, Pixie takes it as a challenge and opportunity to set things right.

Once on the ship, things quickly go south. Pixie must deal with a jail break led by a charismatic political prisoner hoping to use Rigel in the creation of an independent nation state, a pair of air pirates looking for revenge on Rigel, and others who stand to lose everything should the secret of Blackwood ever reach Imperial shores.

Oh, and did we mention the nine foot tall death machines roaming the ship? Will the world know the secret of Blackwood? Or will it be lost to the waves forever?”

“Where, No One Knows” is LIVE!