Blackwood Gazette #169- Incriminating Evidence Found in Home of Former Gazette Writer; Leads to Weapons Cache

By Maurice Merchant, Editor-in-Chief

31/7-The ongoing investigation to determine the depth of former Gazette reporter Hil Spencer’s involvement with Doctor Argyle Von Grimm’s gang has produced some startling evidence.

Law enforcement officers have finished an intensive search of Mister Spencer’s home, and claim to have found several documents that indicate Spencer was not only in contact with Von Grimm, but at least two other unrelated entities expressing anti-triumvirate sentiments.

One of these groups is the same organization that conspired to assassinate the Governor of Crowndon, Barclay Ancroft, earlier this month. Colonial authorities have not revealed any details of the third party.

The Colonial Marshals have reportedly requested the assistance of a cryptanalyst to help ascertain any hidden message that may be contained within the correspondence. While they did not divulge the specifics of what they are looking for, they intimated that Mister Spencer is nothing more than a middle man for a larger, more nefarious group.

Other evidence uncovered from Mister Spencer’s estate included a large stash of weapons crates containing the same unmarked semi-automatic rifles that have been surfacing in rebel uprisings around the Sarnwainian Empire over the last few weeks. The Marshals and Colonial Heads of State refused to comment on the implications of this.

Blackwood Gazette #169- Incriminating Evidence Found in Home of Former Gazette Writer; Leads to Weapons Cache

Blackwood Gazette # 168- Dismissive Smile Sighted in Sarnwain: McKilroy vs. La Pierre Round 2?

By Basilio Mura, Nor Easter Correspondent

30/7- Ever since his explosive escape from the ruins of Gerrza in Pharassus two weeks ago, no one has seen or heard from infamous air pirate Captain Roderick Beauchamp La Pierre. Rumors persist that he is somewhere in Sarnwain, likely having taken to ground in the dense jungles along the eastern coast to finish repairs to his ship.

It should come as no surprise then that La Pierre’s arch nemesis and former crew mate, the pirate huntress Captain Johanna McKilory, was recently spotted in the skies of the Sarnwainian Kingdom of Djidan on a course for Pharassus.

There could be other reasons for her arrival in Sarnwain, of course. Captain McKilroy is now almost as wanted in the Triumvirate as her prey to answer for destruction incurred while hunting said prey and escaping from Crowndon authorities several months ago. Some people fear that McKilroy might even be seeking an alliance with La Pierre, though many people investigating the situation agree that this scenario is unlikely.

“There’s simply too much bad blood between them,” said Lt. Vasili Pournaras, lead investigator on McKilroy’s case in Crowndon. “McKilroy’s status as a fugitive in Crowndon won’t push her to make amends with her former comrade. All it has done is take off any illusion of what she’s doing as sanctioned, and dispel the narrative of redemption surrounding her quest to bring down the monster she used to work for. She was always blood thirsty, but now she’s unquenchable. She’s nothing to lose, and I fear that she won’t be above setting all of Sarnwain’s jungles aflame in her hunt for La Pierre.”

Blackwood Gazette # 168- Dismissive Smile Sighted in Sarnwain: McKilroy vs. La Pierre Round 2?

Blackwood Gazette #167- Monteddorian Rebels Take Small Airfield, Gain Twenty Aircraft

By Isairo Palantes, Monteddor Correspondent

29/7-The forces of Alejandro Julianos suffered a stunning setback earlier this week when a large force of rebels, said to have been led by Dougherty herself, attacked a small airfield in Govanna. However, instead of destroying or sabotaging equipment, as has been the modus operandi of the rebels to this point, Dougherty’s forces instead captured twenty of Julianos’ fighter planes.

“The loss of these planes is a stunning blow to our forces, and an embarrassing one,” said General Octavio Mostandes. “It should serve as a wake-up call to Julianos, that these rebels are no longer just a trivial threat. They are an army, moving freely through our lands and now, our skies.”

Military analysts say that the addition of these aircraft to Dougherty’s forces could give her a chance to devastate a large portion of Julianos’ resources…if she has the talent available to fly them and the strategic reasoning to deploy them wisely.

“It might not seem like much to the layman,” said Enricio Falar, a teacher of military history and wartime strategy at Monteddor’s Aeronautical Warfare Academy. “But twenty fighter planes is a large number. These aircraft are still pretty rare, and twenty of them accounts for nearly ten percent of their number in existence, world-wide (those are the most recent estimates, anyway).

“And if Dougherty really is smart, and her actions up to this point show that she is indeed possessed of a high understanding of tactics and strategy, she won’t deploy her captured craft anytime soon. She will instead study them, reverse engineer, perhaps even figure out a way to build her own or modify non-military planes to bolster her new squadron.”

We reached out to Alejandro Julianos’ camp for statement. They only replied to say, “It’s being taken care of.”

Blackwood Gazette #167- Monteddorian Rebels Take Small Airfield, Gain Twenty Aircraft

Blackwood Gazette #166- Small Uprising in Ganborah Suppressed, Strange Weapons Recovered

By Basilio Mura, Nor Easter Correspondent

27/7- The Triumvirate Authorities report today that a small uprising occurred in Ganborah late last week. The uprising, which bears striking resemblances to the rebellion in Thankaen earlier this month, managed to overtake the country’s Parliament building before being cornered by the Royal Army and suppressed.

“From what we’ve been able to gather, the uprising was fueled by anti-monarchy sentiment,” said General Tabat Roushani. “Like the rebellion in Thankaen, it took root amongst the people, fueled by a contingent of rogue military personnel. It is my belief that the methodology and time frame of both attacks should be a cause for concern amongst all the kingdoms of the Sarnwainian Empire.”

While some experts analyzing both situations have suggested the possibility of some outside party stoking unrest against the Sarnwainian monarchies, the majority have ruled that this is no more than paranoia. However, in both circumstances unconfirmed reports have claimed that rebels were supplied with cutting edge rifles capable of rapidly firing rounds in quick succession without the aid of a lever.

Similar weapons were reportedly seen in the possession of Territorial scouting parties along the frontier of the colonies last month, suggesting that this occurrence may not be restricted to Sarwainian interests.

The head of the Triumvirate Authority Military Committee, Authority General Thomas Holcombe, stressed keeping our imaginations in check.

“We have found no evidence that any of these things are linked further than one group saw this happen and decided they wanted to try it themselves. History is full of movements that are spurred on the occurrence of another. As for the appearance of these weapons, these rumors are unsubstantiated. Even if they aren’t, it isn’t as though the concept of semi-automatic repeating firearms is an alien one. We’ve had prototypes for years, and isn’t beyond the realm of possibility that some hungry unknown arms maker in Sarnwain has begun churning them out.”


I’ve been throwing around the names of a lot of new places recently. At a loss for where everything is? Check out this handy dandy map of the world of the Blackwood Empire.

Blackwood Gazette #166- Small Uprising in Ganborah Suppressed, Strange Weapons Recovered

Blackwood Gazette #165- Release of “Desires of Dek Kanar Redak” Stirs Controversy; Delando Claims He Needs More Time, Money

By Alex Grosset, Arts and Entertainment

24/7- Fans of playwright Delando aren’t happy right now. There are a few reasons for this, one of them being his deception during the Heisenberg affair, which left several people dead in place of high standing members of society. But the most recent thing sending fans to teashops to debate is the manner in which “Desires of Dek Kanar Redak” is being released.

“I waited a year to see this thing,” said one theater goer. “And I had to spend 140 pence total to watch it. That’s half the price of a ticket to the theater. On top of that, he only released half of the play on kinetic viewers! So far I’ve paid twice as much to view half a product, and it wasn’t even that good!”

These sentiments are echoed by Delando fans and critics alike across the Empire this week, with many fretting that the future of drama lies in plays being sliced up into overpriced chunks, forcing viewers to pay for mere fraction of a whole story.

“Their worries are unfounded,” said a spokesperson for Delando. “The format in which ‘Dek Kanar Redak’ is being released is simply a result of currently existing technology, plus the fact that we’re still trying to figure out how this should all work.”

Inciting fans further is the fact that the second half of the play has yet to begin filming.

“It’s a minor thing,” Delando’s spokesperson said. “Shooting for the first half went over schedule and over budget. We miscalculated. We went ahead and released the first half to try and recover some of our expenses, part of which includes renting the theater in which we are shooting.”

The fate of said theater is uncertain, as well. Rumors are swirling that the theater’s owner, Patrice Chadeau, is unhappy with the fact that he has been unable to put on other, more popular plays for over a year and is unwilling to permit Delando’s production to keep using his facility for another year.

“We are currently re-negotiating our contract with Mr. Chadeau,” said Delando’s spokesperson. “Things look promising for the moment, but even if they fall through we have another plan in place. You can look forward to part two hitting KV’s this time next year.”

Or you can go to the nearest live venue and catch a performance of the play, which also opened this week, in its entirety.

Blackwood Gazette #165- Release of “Desires of Dek Kanar Redak” Stirs Controversy; Delando Claims He Needs More Time, Money

Blackwood Gazette #164- Seylene Plamondon Calls Pierre Fordeau’s Memoir A Fabrication; Threatens to Use Bones for Furnishings

Alex Grosset, Arts and Entertainment and Hamlin Dafoe, Field Reporter

23/7- In the short time since its release, Pierre Fordeau’s memoir “Impossible Hearts in Forgotten Lands” has captured the imaginations (and coin purses) of readers all across the Triumvirate. But at least one reader, who also happens to be a major figure within the story itself, is anything but happy.

“I don’t know why everyone is calling this a memoir,” said Seylene Plamondon, the dread pirate Queen of the Pyrossi skies who commands a fleet of one hundred air ships. “Everything in it is a complete fabrication. Especially the bits about me and our so called torrid affair.

“Fordeau was indeed aboard my ship. But only because we sacked the ship he’d been traveling on previously. We killed its crew and bound its passengers, only taking Fordeau because of his renown. I figured he’d pull a hefty ransom.

“And he was a chore of a prisoner, let me tell you. We found him in the sick bay. He had a nasty case of the squirts. Erupting from both ends he was, the entire time he was our guest. We never got the ransom, because he was stinking up the place so bad we just dropped him off at the next port.”

This account begs the question: why didn’t Plamondon just kill Fordeau, rather than putting up with him all the way to Pyros? Given the stories about her, she’s never had any compunctions about slaughtering people who prove to be a burden to her, a number which includes her father, two husbands and a daughter.

“I…can’t say that I remember,” Plamondon said. I started to press the issue, but Plamondon’s hand resting so closely to her saber dissuaded further inquiry. “All I can say is that it isn’t a mistake I would make again.”

Will Captain Plamondon be seeking legal action against Fordeau?

“Look at me, boy,” Plamondon said, the corner of her mouth pulling back into a thin smile filled with harmful intent. “What do you see? You see a pirate, because that’s what I am. We don’t do ‘legal’, and I’ve never been one to hide behind truces or the rules of Libertine’s Roost. One of the last of the true Crimson Storm Clouds, I am, who took on the Crowndon Air Corps and won. I don’t want Fordeau’s money, or for him to recant. If I ever see Fordeau again, I’ll have his spine as a coat rack and his skull for a stein.”

Blackwood Gazette #164- Seylene Plamondon Calls Pierre Fordeau’s Memoir A Fabrication; Threatens to Use Bones for Furnishings

Blackwood Gazette #163- Anti-Colonialist Group Claims Responsibility for Attempt on Ancroft

By Maurice Merchant, Editor in Chief

22/7-It was widely believed that the attempt on Governor Berclay Ancroft’s life two weeks ago was the work of Triumvirate Loyalists, but a recent claim by a separate group suggests a much more complex scheme.

While the group that Nor Eastern spy Pixie Sinclaire infiltrated was indeed comprised of Triumvirate loyalists, a letter sent to the Gazette claims that the scheme was concocted by a movement of Territorial sympathizers who fed to loyalists information about where and when Ancroft would be arriving and how to go about carrying the attack.

The group, calling themselves the Advocacy of Original Peoples, list a number of demands in their letter. The chief among these demands is that all Triumvirate assets in the colonies be abandoned. They call for the dismantling of factories and towns, and for all colonial citizens to withdraw within one year. If these demands are not met, they say, then the lands of Orend-auch-Tourna, the Duv Ayid name for the Newland continent, will run red with blood.

Reception of the letter has led the Governor to call for a full investigation into the Territorial Council, to see if any of its members were complicit in the attack and threat. It is the belief of the Marshal’s office, however, that the Council has nothing to do with the plot, nor any person of native heritage.

“These sentiments are not common amongst groups of people from the territories who reside in the colonies, outside of the extreme fringe,” said First Marshal General Job Stoll. “They are, however, sentiments we’ve seen expressed by groups of young colonial adults, mainly in Nor Eastern colonies. It is our belief that these sentiments have grown into a small movement, but nothing we need to fear just yet, as the foiled attempt on Ancroft no doubt came as a bitter blow.

“Still, the circulation of this letter is one we need to watch, lest it take root amongst the disillusioned and the young. Unchecked, I fear it could lead to civil unrest, and possibly even retaliation against those of Territorial heritage within the colonies.”

Using the Marshals’ own arrest records, we reached out to one young man arrested in the colony of Bly for defacing a monument with anti-colonial sentiment.

“Stoll’s arguments are typical of the status quo,” the man, who asked to remain unnamed, said. “He goes on and on about his sympathy for what Triumvirate colonialism has done not only here, but around the world. But when it actually comes to answering for those crimes, he shifts the conversation to ‘looking forward’ and ‘forging ahead, united’. Forging ahead, indeed, as long as your idea of forging aligns with the Triumvirate.”


Correspondence sent to the Blackwood Gazette upon publication of the above story:

Dear Mister Merchant:

While reading your article about the group demanding that Triumvirate interests in the Newlands abandon their endeavours, I could not help but notice the distinct lack of a native point of view in the piece. Everything I read had to do with the perspective of colonials, be it the Marshals, or the members of the organization calling for withdrawal. Where is the input from those most affected by these happenings in colonial society, the native peoples themselves, whose fate hangs upon the decisions of these two groups? What is their opinion on these matters? I feel it is an important piece of the discussion.


A concerned citizen of Nor Easter

This correspondence was never published nor answered in any public light.

Blackwood Gazette #163- Anti-Colonialist Group Claims Responsibility for Attempt on Ancroft

Blackwood Gazette #1&2: “Fires of D’Kalm D’Korr Opens” & “Klankenvroot Announces New Commercial Aircraft”

It occurred to me  while trying to link the most recent Gazette to a related installment that, absent minded as I am, I never posted the first two installments of “Blackwood Gazette” on this blog, due to the fact that this was originally a misguided foray onto Tumblr.  So, bonus post; the first two installments of “Blackwood Gazette” (do try to contain yourselves…I know this is very exciting stuff):

Blackwood Gazette #1
Curtains Up: Fantasy Epic ‘Fires of D’Kalm D’korr’ Opens in Oeil de Fleur

8/4/280 YT-The theatre going citizenry of Oeil de Fleur turned out in droves last night for the opening of renowned playwright Delando’s newest opus, ‘Fires of D’Kalm D’Korr’. Among those in attendance were some of the Empire’s greatest celebrities, including none other than NorEaster’s greatest hero and favored son, Rigel Rinkenbach.

“The premise sounds like complete rubbish, I must say,” Rinkenbach said. “But I’m a sucker for any piece of art with a name I can’t pronounce, and besides, I’ve nothing to do this night anyway. Also, they [offered me a] free case of Romillion’s Absinthe to be here.”

Others have been waiting outside the Oeil de Fleur Empress Theatre for months, debating the deep lore of the series, and speculating on what might happen in this newest installment.

“It’s a prequel,” one fan said. “It’s going to fill in some important gaps, I hope.”

“I’ve been imagining this story for years!” Another said. “But I’m sure it will exceed my expectations.”

Others were in attendance purely for the spectacle. The play features extensive special effects that required new technology to achieve.

“We’ve built something called a ‘flare gun’,” Reginald le Plante, special effects coordinator for the show, said. “It’s a crucial part of the climax, where our hero grows in size and lays waste to the enemy armies. The audience is in for a real treat!”

Rumors about the safety of this technology have been swirling for months. When asked if there was any validity to the rumor that the actor playing the wizard had been replaced three times due to burns, le Plante refused to comment. As usual, director and writer Delando could not be reached for comment.

In any case, the first performance last night went without a hitch, though audience members leaving the theatre did report the smell of sulfur hanging in the air, and of burning eyes.

“It was like I was really there!” one enthusiastic fan said.


Blackwood Gazette #2-Klankenvroot Industries Reveals Plans for Commercial Planar Wing Transport

10/4/280 YT-Since the end of the Crowndon-Nor Eastern war, wealthy industrialists have been searching for a way to make Planar Wing Aircraft, or P.W.A.s for short, a viable source of income. So far, all of these endeavors have ended in tragedy.

“The weight a commerical aeroplane[sic] would likely need to carry, versus the weight of the constructed materials and Blackwood needed to keep the craft aloft, don’t equalize into a workable solution,” said Samson Davies, a well known detractor when it comes to commercial P.W.A.s. “They always end up tearing themselves apart upon take off or landing or whenever they hit turbulence. The cost of life so far has been unacceptable!”

Industrialist Ivan Klankenvroot responded quickly to Davies.

“Nonsense! We’re charting the course of human civilization, here, plotting our progress for the next one hundred years! No human cost now is too high compared to the benefits future generations will enjoy.”

When asked if he would be aboard the maiden flight of his commercial P.W.A., slated to be called the Heisenberg, Klankenvroot chuckled.

“Of course not,” he said. “I’m much too humble for that. That honor lies on the heads of the engineers and the workers putting the thing together. They should enjoy the fruits of their labor, after all.”

Blackwood Gazette #1&2: “Fires of D’Kalm D’Korr Opens” & “Klankenvroot Announces New Commercial Aircraft”

Blackwood Gazette #162- Part One of Delando’s “Desires of Dek Kanar Redak” Releases on Kinetic Viewers

By Alex Grosset, Arts and Entertainment

21/7- Fans of playwright Delando and theatergoers around the Empire are chomping at the bit this week in anticipation of the long awaited opening for the filmed version of “Dek Kanar Redak”, the sequel to last year’s “Fires of D’Kalm D’Korr”.

The film marks the first time a play has ever been adapted to the fledgling medium, which is most often used for peep shows and five pence shorts involving small animals (typically cats) engaged in amusing behavior. When the project was announced last year, it was both praised as “the most ambitious theatrical undertaking of our time” and derided as “a degradation to the art form of performance and storytelling.”

The film was shot over the course of the year in a theater in Oeil de Fleur, during performances of the play to exclusive crowds (every member of which had to in turn sign a rigid non-disclosure agreement, though that did little to stem the tide of story details getting out). The owner of the theatre, Patrice Chadeau, was famously given a large sum of gold to rent out the theater for a year, though reports say that the filming has hurt him financially.

Fans looking forward to the film may be in for an unpleasant surprise, however, as the release only consists of the first half of the play. The producers of the production claim this decision was made due to the play’s length versus the number of kinetic viewers needed to properly showcase the film, versus the length of time people are willing to spend sitting with their face planted against the viewer itself (the first part alone is said to be divided between seven kinetic viewers, each of them specially built to carry five times the amount of film as a normal viewer and requiring twenty pence apiece to activate).

Early viewers of the film have complained of discomfort and expressed a disappointment with the finished product. Still, the idea has proven novel enough that fans are camping out in front of Penny Parlors across the empire for a chance to view the film.


Blackwood Gazette #162- Part One of Delando’s “Desires of Dek Kanar Redak” Releases on Kinetic Viewers

Blackwood Gazette #161- Legacy Racing League Brings the Heat to Serpent’s Tongue Canyon

By Huxley Pruitt, Sports

20/7– The reigning narrative coming out of the inaugural event of Pandion’s Racing League two weeks ago was that while the spectacle of the races won over legions of fans (attendance doubled this week, we are told, despite a more remote location) and more than delivered on its promise of high stakes action in the skies, it was the amateur racers in the Horizon League that brought most fans to their feet.

If there were any doubts about the Legacy League’s ability to deliver the edge of your seat thrills that the Horizon league brought, those doubts were all but dispelled by this week’s event in the Serpent’s Tongue Canyon.

Tobias Cuthbertson, who took the top podium in Walsh and was a top contender for this event as well, dropped a staggering six places, being displaced by Gargery Dobbs. It is Dobbs’ who is credited with provided the additional spark that many felt the Legacy League was missing in Walsh. The young pilot from Willanna pushed his aircraft to the limit, knifing through narrow passages that other pilots avoided in an effort to keep ahead of the competition. This in turn pushed the other members of the league to step up and take risks they may not have otherwise, providing an all-around much more entertaining event.

As for the Horizon League, they were once again the large draw, with attendance swelling a further quarter over the Walsh event. This week brought the exhibition-only stunt race of last week as the main event, where both speed and maneuverability came into play as the hot shot amateurs used the canyon’s unique geography to their advantage. In this area, no one out flew the notorious Lakenheath Twins, Bud and Bruce, who ended up going head to head with each other in the final event and taking first and second place, respectively.

Anticipation for the next event was already at a fever pitch, but the announcement of the venue has already sent fans rushing to ticket sellers. The next round of racing will be hosted on the notorious Waystation Bravo.

Blackwood Gazette #161- Legacy Racing League Brings the Heat to Serpent’s Tongue Canyon