Blackwood Gazette #189- Marcy Quail Destroys Competition in Rommsbach

By Huxley Pruitt, Sports

15/9- Marcy Quail may be on the verge of a winning streak in the Pandion Racing League, as she took the top spot in the Horizon division for the second race in a row. Not only did she win, she completely destroyed the competition.

The colonial born pilot once again found herself going head to head with Perys Kerby during the weekend’s last race. The two pilots stayed neck and neck for the first half of the race, until Quail blew past him at the turn around.

“I miscalculated the wind direction and over corrected,” Kerby said, taking full responsibility for his defeat. “It was a dumb mistake. Not to take away from Miss Quail’s victory. That was a difficult course, and a lesser pilot would have balked at some of the stunts I pulled to out-maneuver her.”

Despite Kerby’s admission that his defeat was a result of his own oversight, many other Horizon racers continue to accuse Quail of cheating. Some have even suggested that she and Kerby are romantically involved, and that Kerby took a dive.

“That’s a load and a half,” Quail said when asked about the accusations. “Kerby and me don’t even like each other. In fact we can’t stand each other, out of the cockpit. Loud mouthed braggarts, the both of us. But he’s honest…he’s a good racer, and he knows the only way he’s gonna beat me down the line is if he’s truthful about why he lost in the first place and fixes it. If the others would do the same thing, perhaps they’d have a chance against the Green Chopper.”

The Green Chopper refers to Quail’s aircraft, a souped-up first generation crop duster.

The victory puts Quail in the position of the being the first Horizon racer to face a Legacy racer at the Oeil de Fleur race in two weeks. The event will be the first where the two divisions will finally go head to head.

Blackwood Gazette #189- Marcy Quail Destroys Competition in Rommsbach

Blackwood Gazette #188- Rinkenbach R&D Issues Recall on Clockwork Butler

By Ada Herschel, Science and Technology

12/9- After several weeks of complaints and numerous reports of disturbing behavior, Rinkenbach R&D has finally issued a recall on the newest model of its popular Clockwork Butler. The recall comes on the heels of an incident involving one of the Butlers walking along the outer wall of a school in Sau Anoit, holding a spray can full of pesticides and saying something about the city being overrun with tiny narcissistic primates with no sense of self control.

“I noticed the automaton upon my arrival at the school that morning,” said the unnamed school’s headmaster. “I approached it with the hope of finding a serial number. Imagine my horror when I discovered the thing could talk, and my even deeper horror when I realized what it was saying.”

Police were called in and they promptly dismantled the machine. Officers on site say the Butler continued spouting its nonsense until they smashed its voice box. The police report was sent to Rinkenbach R&D, who then promptly issued the recall.

“We take this matter very seriously,” said Luca Deruso, acting head of RR&D in place of Rigel Rinkenbach. “After this incident, and two others in which the Butlers seemed to threaten the safety of their owners, we can no longer overlook the problem.”

When asked what could be causing the strange behavior, Deruso gave a vague, but frightening, explanation.

“All we can say at this time is that the Butlers were installed with a new proprietary chip that Sir Rigel was developing. He didn’t have it earmarked for use with the butler, but when installed the automatons seemed to take on Sir Rigel’s personality. We decided that would make an interesting selling point, though we must admit we have no idea where Rinkenbach got the idea, nor how he was able to concoct such a thing in the first place.”

We reached out to the Royal Palace for a statement from Sir Rigel Rinkenbach himself, but were declined.

Blackwood Gazette #188- Rinkenbach R&D Issues Recall on Clockwork Butler

Blackwood Gazette #187- Alchemy Student Arrested After Parlor Trick Goes Horribly Awry

By Basilio Mura, Nor Easter Correspondent

9/9- A 22 year old student of the Academic Alliance of Alchemists and Alliterators named Prideau ‘Priddy’ Lacerte has been jailed tonight, after a botched alchemy demonstration brought a showing of Delando’s latest play to an abrupt and messy end.

Witnesses say that Lacerte was attempting a common parlor trick known as Kettleman’s Arc, in which two elements are rubbed together on the fingers to produce a vibrant, sustained electric bolt. It’s one of the first things young Alchemists teach each other to do, and a relatively simple one at that by all accounts.

The demonstration went dreadfully wrong, however, when the elements Lacerte used instead produced a noxious gas that spread throughout the audience seats, inducing vomiting amongst many of the nearby patrons.

The theatre was evacuated, and while no one was injured or hurt (except maybe a few people’s pride) Lacerte was promptly arrested.

“I find it hard to believe it was an accident,” said the arresting officer. “Kettleman’s Arc is so simple even my five year old boy can do it. It should’ve been no problem for a student at the academy. What’s more is, there’s a name for what happened. It’s called Kettleman’s Arse…and in older text books the instructions are printed right below Kettleman’s Arc. We’re operating under the assumption that Lacerte was trying to pull some sort of prank, that he told people he would perform the Arc, pulling them in close before intentionally releasing the Arse for a laugh.”

On top of the lost revenue for the show, the Empress Theatre (recently rebuilt after a fire last year) will have to spend thousands on cleanup.

“The carpet in the aisle in completely ruined, as are about thirty of the seats,” said the theatre’s care taker. “It will all have to be replaced. Then there is the smell of the gas…it’s just lingering in there. The first appraisal man that went in came out retching. They had to go back in with filtration masks.”

Lacerte will be arraigned next week, and has been expelled from the Academy. Spencer Wendon, the Academy’s headmaster, commented.

“Either he intentionally induced mass vomiting at the Empress while representing the Academy, or he blundered the easiest trick in the book. Either way, he isn’t the sort we want affiliated with the Academy.”

Blackwood Gazette #187- Alchemy Student Arrested After Parlor Trick Goes Horribly Awry

Blackwood Gazette #186- Pixie Sinclaire Exposes Trafficking of Native Artifacts in Colonial Town

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.

Blackwood Gazette #186- Pixie Sinclaire Exposes Trafficking of Native Artifacts in Colonial Town

Blackwood Gazette #185- Oeil de Fleur: “After a Month in Custody, Rinkenbach is Fine. Mostly.”

By Basilio Mura, Nor Eastern Correspondent

4/9- Ever since a raving lunatic claiming to be Rigel Rinkenbach was detained outside of Rinkenbach R&D early last month, the Royal Palace in Oeil de Fleur has been silent about the matter. While many believed the man was indeed the wayward inventor, his identity hadn’t been confirmed, until now.

“The man we detained last month is indeed Sir Rigel Rinkenbach,” said a spokesperson with the Palace. “Physically speaking, he is fine. Mentally, however…we aren’t so sure. The Empress tells us that his behavior is mostly normal, if a little more erratic than usual.”
A doctor who has been observing Rinkenbach added clarification.

“Sir Rinkenbach has displayed signs of a nervous breakdown brought on by extreme stress,” psychologist Antonez Dupleur told us. “Since his detainment, he has given us all extensive lectures on alchemy, rambled incoherently about something he calls ‘extra-dimensional cellular atrophy’, and expressed great concern over Miss Pixie Sinclaire, the agent provocateur currently searching for one of your missing reporters and a former paramour of Sir Rinkenbach, I’m led to believe. The Empress was most displeased about this.

“In the month since his detainment, however, he’s shown great improvement. Mostly. He expressed a wish for a lab, which I signed off on, hoping that a familiar setting would put him at ease. He also demanded a new owl, so we got him an owl. Except that it was the wrong kind of owl, so we had to get him another, but he took a liking for the first owl and wouldn’t let us take it away. So now they’re both down there, being ignored while Rinkenbach toils away on some project or another.”

While Rinkenbach has supposedly calmed down over the course of his stay at the palace, Doctor Dupleur is not yet willing to sign off on his release, and the Palace has yet to determine when, if ever, Rinkenbach R&D’s status as a private business will be restored.”

“While the Empress has a great affection for Rinkenbach, even she cannot deny the many and profound debts that the company has incurred over the years,” the spokesperson said. “Debts that have only grown larger since the failure of his newest product and nervous breakdown. No, I’m afraid that mister Rinkenbach will be a guest of the Royal Palace for quite some time.”

Blackwood Gazette #185- Oeil de Fleur: “After a Month in Custody, Rinkenbach is Fine. Mostly.”

Blackwood Gazette #184- Julianos Unleashes New Squadron of Ace Pilots Against Dougherty Rebels

By Isairo Palantes, Monteddor Correspondent

2/9- After several devastating defeats at the hands of Dougherty’s rebel movement, the Monteddorian military scored a decisive victory this weekend in the skies above Salasan.
After receiving reports that five of Dougherty’s captured Dragonfly fighter planes had been spotted in the area, the 2nd Monteddorian Air Squadron, nicknamed the “Flying Panthers” to denote their loyalty to Alejandro Julianos, took to the skies and destroyed the scouting party. Witnesses on the ground say the fight was brutal.

“They lived up to their name, that’s for sure,” said a farmer, who was tending his field when the fight went down. “One minute, there’s just these five planes flying low, like nobody’s business. The next, these ‘Flying Panthers’ as you call them came swooping out of the sky firing their guns. The whole thing should have been over with right there, but the Panthers weren’t shooting to kill. First, they crippled the planes. Then they took turns ripping them to shreds.”

The squadron is commanded by captain Anassia Degadas. A veteran of fifteen years, she was personally tasked by Julianos with putting the squadron together in response to Dougherty’s recent attacks.

“When the high military commander of Monteddor asks you to do something, you do it quick and you do it right,” Degadas told us. “So that’s what I did, hand picking the best pilots I’d worked with over my career. There was still a lot of training to do, what with the concept of these fighters being such a new one and all, but they took to it like true birds.”

When asked about the supposed brutality of the fight, Degada says she wanted to send a message.

“I want Dougherty to know who we are, and what we are capable of,” she says. “I want her to know that my pilots are out there, looking for hers. And I want her to know that she’ll never see us coming. Her moment in the skies is over. These are MY skies, and any trespasser will be picked apart by the claws of the Flying Panthers.”

**

Author’s note: Sorry for the recent irregularity of my posts, guys. I work in retail, and my hours have started getting crazy lately as the heavy release season starts, and are likely to get crazier the closer we get to the holidays.

Also, every now and then I look at a headline I have coming up and find that I’ve already covered that particular topic or development in another post, and that leaves me scrambling to come up with something new. I try to plan ahead, and I still have about twenty headlines left in the hopper, so that makes things easier.  I’m also working on revising a short story, so that cuts into my writing time as well. On top of that, I want to go back and revise the Gazette up to this point to clean up any errors that may have cropped up over the course of the last year and a half (there’s a bunch), and maybe release it as a compilation (either for free, or for a very low price…I’ll gladly consider any input from others who’ve done this before).

But stay tuned! The road to Gazette #200 is sure to be a twisty-turny one, indeed!

Blackwood Gazette #184- Julianos Unleashes New Squadron of Ace Pilots Against Dougherty Rebels