By Chester Seaton, News
7/9-The Triumvirate colonies in the Newlands once again find themselves hanging on the edge of open conflict with the outer Territories this week, after it was revealed that a network of groups along the Miskaton river have been trafficking ancient native artifacts of profound spiritual importance to various third parties.
The network of smugglers was uncovered by none other than Nor Eastern intelligence agent Pixie Sinclaire.
“She’s been poking around for a week and a half, asking about that…reporter and sticking her freckled nose into everyone’s business,” said Dundry’s sheriff. “Eventually she sniffed out a pocket of these smugglers operating out of a warehouse by the river. The smugglers were smart enough to know how to appraise the value of the artifacts and categorize them, but they weren’t smart enough to lock up their documentation. Sinclaire found evidence of over a dozen other smuggling dens.”
According to the documents Sinclaire discovered, many of the artifacts had been sold to private collectors, including high ranking officials in the colonial government. But the biggest buyer seems to be a mysterious broker known only as “The Jaguar”.
“I really wish she’d brought the information to us, but instead she leaked the information to the press. Now we have citizens of native descent marching through the streets, demanding the heads of the smugglers and an explanation from the colonial governors.”
Upon breaking the news, the Council of Territorial Representatives issued a warning to the colonial government, demanding that all artifacts be recovered and returned to the sites from which they were taken. It seems, however, that in this area the smugglers were less diligent in their record keeping. Even more, the debacle has revealed that several of the sites in question were irreparably damaged or, in one case, completely destroyed.
“The whole thing is a mess,” said Governor Berclay Ancroft. “I’ve personally been in contact with the Councilmen, and they are deadly serious. When word of this crosses the Plasty Meridian, if it hasn’t already, I fear that when compounded with recent tensions it will lead to a full out conflict.”
The government of the colonies is currently scrambling for a way to avoid the fallout of this scandal. Pixie Sinclaire was unavailable for comment, and her method of releasing the information is said to have colonial officers incensed, with many calling for her immediate arrest. The Governor of the Province of Bly has even suggested the whole thing is a Nor Eastern plot to sew unrest in the colonies and demanded statement from Empress Marcellete Bastian.
The Council of Territorial Representatives refused our requests for interview.