Blackwood Gazette #139: Drunken Rigel Rinkenbach Wreaks Havoc During Business Meeting in Greenlille

By Basilio Mura, Nor Easter Correspondent

11/6- World renowned industrialist and master alchemist Sir Rigel Rinkenbach may have come within a hairs breadth of starting a civil war this weekend.

While meeting with the Mayor of the town of Greenlille in the nation of Sau Anoit, Rinkenbach reportedly partook in more than his fair share of the Mayor’s personal wine cellar. Sources tell us that over the course of a social dinner, Rinkenbach imbibed five bottles single handedly and went on a drunken tear throughout the estate.

“We knew something was wrong when he rode through the courtyard with his shirt open, that damned owl of his flying behind him,” said one person in attendance. “He rode into the mayor’s fountain, leapt from the horse’s back with what I assume was meant to be a flourish, and fell face first into the water.”

Rinkenbach then reportedly made his way through the crowd, ranting about the scarcity of Blackwood and how if he wasn’t the one to do something about it, the world was doomed.

“A classic case of self-destructive heroic narcissism,” said doctor Antonez Dupleur, a respected psychologist from Sau Anoit who witnessed the event. “As I am led to believe, Rinkenbach has never acted this way before. I fear we may be witnessing the beginnings of a nervous breakdown, brought on by stress, presumably from working on a solution to the Blackwood Dilemma.”

It has been rumored for some time that Rinkenbach, and several alchemists, are working to solve the puzzle of how Blackwood, the fuel that keeps our boilers stoked, our homes warm, and our airships in the sky, is created. If what doctor Dupleur says is true, it wouldn’t be the first time an alchemist has been driven mad by his pursuit of the Blackwood formulae.

Rinkenbach’s antics continued throughout the night, causing thousands of imperions worth of damage, and culminating in Rinkenbach being discovered engaged in romantic congress with the Mayor’s twin daughters and his house keeper. Rinkenbach is said to have fled the scene, hand in hand with said house keeper. The Mayor has issued a bounty on Rinkenbach’s head, though that bounty has been pardoned by the Empress herself.

“Rinkenbach is our most treasured mind,” Her Imperial Majesty said. “He is a brilliant, but obviously tortured soul. We should seek to understand and heal him, rather than admonish. If what he says about the Blackwood Dilemma is true, he may be our society’s only hope to continue on its current course.”

Blackwood Gazette #139: Drunken Rigel Rinkenbach Wreaks Havoc During Business Meeting in Greenlille

Blackwood Gazette #138: Roderick Beauchamp La Pierre Sighted in Sarnwain; “Please Come Collect Your Garbage,” Pleads Primarch of Pharassus

By Chester Seaton, News

10/6- It’s been awhile since we’ve heard tale of the Malevolent Terror of the Northern Skies, Captain La Pierre. It would seem, however, that he’s reared his head again, on the other side of the Sea of Wrecked Beginnings and Bitter Ends.

“The Northern Terror has taken to raiding merchant ships in our skies,” said the Primarch of Pharassus, one of the largest trading hubs in the Sarnwainian Empire and by extension, the world. “Many of these ships were carrying Blackwood, which as everyone knows costs an exorbitant amount to acquire thanks to the Triumvirate’s tax levies against us. Every ship lost constitutes a grievous blow to Sarnwainian livelihood. So, proud as I am, I prostrate myself before the Triumvirate. Please, come collect your garbage.”

Fleet Admiral Dunbarrow issued a reply in statement. Chances are, it is not what the Primarch wanted to hear.

“We would love to assist Sarnwain in the apprehension of La Pierre, bringing an end to his blight and the suffering of the Illustrious Eastern Empire’s people,” Dunbarrow said.

“Unfortunately, Sarnwain’s official protocols on dealing with the Blasphemous Western Devils prevents the Triumvirate from, and I quote, ‘operating in her skies and on her soil in any military capacity, even at her behest, under threat of war.’

“However, given that La Pierre is no longer recognized as a citizen of the Triumvirate, nor as a member of Humanity and thus devoid of all rights such status implies according to treaties signed and recognized by all civilizations of the world, even Sarnwain, the Primarch has our blessing in dealing with La Pierre in any way he sees fit. We wish Pharassus the best of luck in ridding the skies of La Pierre’s malignancy.”

Blackwood Gazette #138: Roderick Beauchamp La Pierre Sighted in Sarnwain; “Please Come Collect Your Garbage,” Pleads Primarch of Pharassus

Blackwood Gazette #137: Waystation Bravo Relaunches with Skeleton Crew; Let Necessity Sort Out People’s Superstitions

By Chester Seaton, News

9/6- When the Waystation system first launched a little over decade ago, the launch of the stations brought forth a crowd of thousands to celebrate the beginnings of one of our Empire’s greatest technological achievements. Memories of that event stand in stark contrast to the reactivation of Waystation Bravo, which was put back into service late last week.

No one stood on the docks of Walsh where the station was moored for repairs as its boilers were stoked and the rotors were engaged. It lifted into the air, taking with it a meager crew of 150, just enough to maintain the station and monitor its performance.

“The station will take its place along the circuit shortly,” said Treacher Burwell, foreman of the Walsh Port Authority and overseer of Waystation operations. “We expect traffic to the station in the first few months to be light, due to apprehensions about its reputation amongst ship captains and others upon whom the waystation system’s success are dependent. I have no doubt, however, that necessity will sort out people’s superstitions, however. After a few months of successful operations, travelers and traders between the Triumvirate and her colonies will once again flock to it as though nothing happened. Within a couple years, the whole affair will be forgotten.”

In the meantime, recruitment drives for station personnel continue, with a 25% bonus being offered to early takers. A special gala is also in the early planning stages, with hope that positive word of mouth from those who attend will alleviate fears of a repeat incident.

Blackwood Gazette #137: Waystation Bravo Relaunches with Skeleton Crew; Let Necessity Sort Out People’s Superstitions

Blackwood Gazette #136: Dougherty’s Rebels Bomb Three Refining Plants; “The Message is Clear”

By Isairo Palantes, Montedorrian Correspondent

8/6- As if in answer to Alejandro Julianos’ promise to build new Blackwood refineries in Monteddor, groups of rebels flying the banner of Dougherty bombed three existing facilities within the borders of Julianos, Desantana, and Salasan Provinces. The attacks have brought Blackwood production in those areas to a stand-still, and claimed the lives of over 300 workers.

“The message is clear,” said General Indio Rojos, of Salasan’s first armored division. “We promise to build three refineries, they bomb three. With this heinous act, the rebels have shown that they will not be placated. And like a dog that cannot be trained, a peasant who cannot be placated must be put down.”

General Rojos has taken to demanding the Dougherty rebels be labeled a clear and present danger to the interests of the Monteddorian Empire, if not the Triumvirate as a whole.

“I am tired of stepping softly around this filth,” General Rojos said. “We must dispense with niceties. It is no longer enough to ‘control’ these people. They must be rooted out and destroyed. You have noticed they fly a flag now? They want to be seen as a country, then we will treat them as we would any foreign entity that would deign to incite war within our borders. I wish to call on the support of Julianos and Desantana, as well as the Triumvirate Authority.”

A spokesperson for Julianos has called General Rojos remarks ‘inflammatory’, and stated that there is no need to declare all-out war on Dougherty and her forces just yet.

“It is very tempting to let loose and begin slaughtering anyone seen to be rebelling against Julianos’ authority,” the spokesperson said, “Julianos stresses that we must not forget that these rebels are Monteddorian citizens, and has even expressed a certain respect for Dougherty and her ability to rally so many under her cause in so short a time.

“Let us not forget, that little more than a year ago, Julianos was viewed as nothing more than an overly ambitious upstart. Four years ago, no one knew who Julianos was. Now he rules his own Province and commands one of the largest military forces in the world. In Dougherty, Julianos sees himself. Rather than salt the earth under Dougherty’s feet, he would prefer to reach out and open negotiations. Let it be known that the offer is open.”

Blackwood Gazette #136: Dougherty’s Rebels Bomb Three Refining Plants; “The Message is Clear”

Blackwood Gazette #135: Statue of Roderick Beauchamp La Pierre Erected in Nostholm Sparks Controversy

By Chester Seaton, News

5/6-Relief crews helping to re-establish law and order in the Northern stretches of Crowndon have reported that the citizenry of Nostholm have constructed a statue of the exiled Admiral turned air pirate Roderick Beauchamp La Pierre out of scrap wood and egg crates. The Crowndon military calls the statue’s existence “Disturbing.”

“I can’t help but feel that it’s an insult,” said Conrad Bluveir, an aid worker from Rommsbach. “Both to the Empire and us. When it started to go up, we’d hoped it was an effigy, being as it’s made out of wood. We kept waiting for them to set fire to the thing, but they never did.”

When aid workers asked the village alderman when they were going to “torch the malevolent terror of the Northern skies,” the alderman laughed.

“Tis not an effigy!” the alderman told us. “Tis a tribute, to our hero and savior! While Crowndon was busy doing whatever it does, building aero-planes and supplanting Monteddorian businessmen, we was up here starving, and La Pierre was the only one to do anything about it.”

When told that the supplies La Pierre allegedly dropped on Advent’s Eve were supplies stolen from ships bringing aid to them in the first place, the alderman scoffed.

“Lies! Damned lies and propaganda! Those crates had goose, and apples! You really expect me to believe Crowndon would give us goose and apples for Advent? I think not!”

Nostholm isn’t the only northern village building tributes to La Pierre, either. The people of Alexander’s Crossing are said to construct dolls of straw and sack cloth in the image of La Pierre, and hang them from the eaves of their homes, and in the trees of the town square.

“It’s disturbing as hell,” said one Crowndonian soldier stationed in the town. “They hang those creepy dolls and tell tales of how La Pierre lives in the woods, protecting the town and playing tricks on the Outsiders. Us, in other words. Those tricks being tainted meat in our provisions and buckets of water over our barracks doors. That isn’t La Pierre, though. It’s just these backwoods miscreants we’re meant to be helping.”

The Crowndon military says they have no plans for reprimands against the villages, as that would likely serve to drive a wedge further between the people and government workers. They are, however, continually assessing the situation for what they call ‘dissident tendencies.”

Blackwood Gazette #135: Statue of Roderick Beauchamp La Pierre Erected in Nostholm Sparks Controversy

Blackwood Gazette #134: Pixie Sinclaire Runs Rampant on Waystation Echo

By Chester Seaton, News

4/6-Former Nor Eastern saboteur and spy Pixie Sinclaire was spotted on Waystation Echo earlier this week by Crowndon soldiers visiting the station on layover. Given the 100,000 gold imperions bounty on her head in Crowndon, the soldiers attempted to apprehend her. According to eye witnesses, they failed miserably.

“The soldiers were in here, celebrating something,” said a bartender at the station’s tavern, The Rusty Fishhook. “A birthday or promotion, doesn’t really matter. In comes this woman…all 5 foot 6 inches of ‘er, red frizzy hair stiff from the salt air and cursin’ up a storm under her breath. Got the impression she wasn’t happy with her current travel arrangements.

“Anyways, she walks by the soldiers at the bar and they go quiet, like guys are wont to do whenever a pretty lass walks by. Except they wasn’t trying to decide who gets to take a run at her. They knew who she was. I think everyone did. She orders a glass of absinthe and I get it for her, and all the while the soldiers are stepping away from the bar and fanning out. She puts her money on the bar and tells me to keep the change, and all hell breaks loose.

“One of the soldiers, he starts to say, ‘Get her!’ But before he can even manage it, she’s turned around and winging her glass at his head. Nails him right in the nose and he goes back, blood and absinthe and broken glass splashing across the floor. The others, they’re drunk and surprised and not too bright to begin with. By the time they come to their senses, the girl’s run out the door.”

Miss Sinclaire was then reported as running toward the northern docks, with conflicting reports stating that she had anywhere from one soldier to an entire platoon storming after her. The Port Authority reports that over ten thousand gold imperions worth of damage was done to the station, as Miss Sinclaire tipped over merchants’ stands and broke open steam pipes to aid in her escape.

Miss Sinclaire was ultimately able to escape capture, and it is presumed that she hopped aboard a ship and is continuing on her way to the colonies. It was previously reported that she aimed to find the whereabouts of Adella Chatelaine.

Pixie Sinclaire is wanted in the Empire of Crowndon for war crimes against the Empire during the Dividing War, chiefly the sabotage of a wartime supply railroad that resulted in the deaths of over 500 civilian passengers, and the starvation of Crowndon soldiers serving on the front.

***

SURPRISE ULTERIOR MOTIVE!

Today’s post serves two purposes: one is to help further the Adella Chatelaine storyline, however slowly. The other, of course, is to remind you that you can read all about Pixie Sinclaire, former Agent Provocateur, in the full length Blackwood Empire novel, “Where, No One Knows”, available in paperback and as a Kindle e-book, and even better, a free Kindle e-book if you’re an Unlimited subscriber. Check it out and tell me what you think!

Blackwood Gazette #134: Pixie Sinclaire Runs Rampant on Waystation Echo

Blackwood Gazette # 133: Julianos Ships Spotted Over Barrier Ocean, Heading Towards Colonies

By Chester Seaton, News

2/6- Eyewitness reports across northern Monteddor and Southern Crowndon have been rolling in the last few days, stating that a large fleet of Julianos ships, both aerial and marine, have been seen making their way across the Barrier Ocean, presumably for the colonies. These reports were corroborated by Authorities on Waystation Alpha, who claim the fleet passed by two nights before.

“We thought it was strange,” said Glenn Ernst, head of IA on Waystation Alpha. “They didn’t hail us, didn’t stop for resupply, nor did they respond to our own attempts to contact them. Wherever they’re going, they’re looking to get there fast, and seem well equipped to make the journey non-stop.”

The make-up of the fleet varies from account to account, but most make note that the fleet does not appear to be military in nature.

“What I saw were mostly transport frigates,” Ernst said. “Only a few gun boats, likely for escort.”

Ernst claims that he saw no sign of the Panther’s Reign, Alejandro Julianos’ personal flag ship, though crews returning to Walsh from shipping runs have claimed to spot it. Such claims have been dismissed as rumors.

“Our patrols over the Barrier Ocean have seen this fleet,” said Fleet Admiral Percival Dunbarrow Pillsbury III when we contacted him, confirming that there is indeed a fleet, but offering no confirmation that it belongs to Julianos. “Most of what the Authority Head on Alpha reported is true. It is comprised of transports and a few armed escorts. I must admit that the whole thing is rather awkward. Whoever they are, they aren’t exactly being covert, flying over heavily populated areas and within lens range of the Waystations, but nor are they being forthcoming with their intent. Any attempts to hail them are ignored. Likewise, Julianos isn’t responding to missives requesting clarification.

“There’s not much we can do, for the moment. It could just be a matter of establishing new lines of communication with the few remaining Monteddorian controlled colonies in the south. Julianos is a military ally, and the fleet isn’t harassing anyone. Unless it starts dropping bombs and raiding towns when it reaches the colonies, we just have to let them go about their business.”

Blackwood Gazette # 133: Julianos Ships Spotted Over Barrier Ocean, Heading Towards Colonies

Blackwood Gazette #132: Rogue Colonial Officers Will Lead to “Renewed Hostilities” say Territorial Representatives

By Hil Spencer, New Crowndon Correspondent

1/6- The representatives for the Council of Native Peoples have released a statement concerning the recent desertion of twelve military officers with the intent of entering the Western Territories. In an unexpected twist, the representatives put up a united front.

“At best, this incursion displays a complete failure on the part of colonial governments to control their officers,” the statement, signed simply ‘The Council’, read. “ At worst, it is simply a façade, a way for the Marshals to get their man while looking the other way should the 12 men in question get caught. Neither possibility fills us with faith regarding our treaties.”

The statement goes on to issue an ultimatum, that if the Triumvirate colonies are unable to reign in the 12 deserters, and the deserters cross over into territorial lands, it could result in renewed hostilities.

“This is not the desired outcome, for us or for you,” the statement says in closing. “But if it comes down to it, it will be the necessary outcome. The peoples of the territory will continue to hunt the man Von Grimm, in hopes that we can deliver him to the proper outposts in time. We can only hope that the colonial governments are able to stop their own men, as well.”

The unanimous tone of the statement has many in New Crowndon scratching their heads.

“Most of us had assumed that those tribes with which we’ve firmly established good trade relations would hold out,” said Berclay Ancroft, the governor of New Crowndon and head of the colonial senate. “But this statement would indicate otherwise. Our military leaders are pushing to lock the embassy down in light of this, but we’re exercising caution for the moment. We’re also doubling our efforts to transport men with no loyalties to any of the deserting officers out west to our pickets. We need to resolve this, now.”

Blackwood Gazette #132: Rogue Colonial Officers Will Lead to “Renewed Hostilities” say Territorial Representatives