By Sir Alaric Wolstenholme McAndrew V, Crowndon Minister of Propaganda
1/1/282- My dear Triumvirate. I honestly cannot decide whether to laugh or cry, applaud or renounce, shake your hand with pride or shake my head with disappointment.
Once again we find ourselves on the cusp of a new year. And once again, we find ourselves facing numerous new problems, many of which are merely sprouts growing from the ruined stems of last year’s problems.
It is true that we broke the blockade of Monteddor City and restarted the flow of Blackwood from Monteddor to Crowndon and Nor Easter. However, in so doing I fear we have given the perpetrators of that blockade, Alejandro Julianos and Yolanda Desantana, a staggering amount of power that is undesired and undeserved.
Even now, as Julianos prepares to accept the Guardian Medal for his defense of the Triumvirate leadership during the attack on the arms summit late last year, rumor has it that he is pushing for greater military authority and the construction of a fleet to rival Crowndon’s own. I don’t think I need to explain even to the lowliest peasant in the muddiest row of the smallest farm in the Middle of Nowhere why exactly that is not the desired outcome.
And just who are these mysterious forces that attacked us, anyway? A group so nefarious that even the wayward pirate Captain Roderick La Pierre returned briefly to the fold to help defend Triumvirate interests? Who are these miscreants, hiding in the shadows and providing weaponry to every slack jaw hayseed that managed to stumble upon an ideological thought in the barren rock fields of their salted gray matter? Rumors abound, but no proof has been discovered, no solid evidence that they even exist except for the wreckage of a few ships shot down over the Divide, and the fact that we all saw their fleet attack!
It’s almost enough to make me overlook the more minor problems facing our empire. Almost. There is still the matter of Argyle Von Grimm, who nearly tricked our colonies into going to war with the indigenous nations of the Newlands. The Mad Mechanist and his minions are still at large, somewhere, purportedly having taken to the seas or hiding within one of the many archipelagos off the southern coasts of the western land mass.
Speaking of the Newlands, and circling back around to Julianos, just what is he doing in the Deadlands? His ships have been reported going in, and they have been reported coming out…the only ships ever to be confirmed to have done so. Perhaps it is simply the size of his fleet and resources that he has been able to successfully explore the Deadlands and return, but Julianos’ secrecy surrounding the endeavor is disturbing to say the least.
And what of that bastion of chaos and depravity, Libertine’s Roost? Its very existence, ensconced as it is between Crowndon and Monteddor, continues to be a destabilizing influence, but our treaties with the place are iron clad and they have technically done no wrong to warrant our intervention. Still, that we have not heard any further of the fate of Captain Armistan Cadbury, Captain of the Strident Whisper, or the ship itself, remains an open sore on the Triumvirate’s docket of troublesome things, a docket that also now includes increased activity in the south by the Pirate Queen Seylene Plamondon and more reported internal strife between the Sarnwainian provinces of Djidann and Pharassus.
But I’ve already put enough on your plates, dear citizens, without going into that. I wouldn’t want to further frazzle your simple minds as you go about your business, punching your time cards and manning the assembly lines. They are, after all, Crowndon’s assembly lines, and I wouldn’t want your work to suffer. As for those tea sippers and crumpet eaters in Nor Easter, who take great pleasure in discussing the problems of our time without actually doing anything about it, I hope they find it at least a little difficult to enjoy themselves this day.
And so, here we are. We’ve been dealt a new hand, much the same as the last hand. It is a completely garbage hand, but you play what you are dealt, as they say. I have no words of encouragement for you all this year. Quite frankly, I’m surprised we survived the last year.
Good luck to us all.
Read last year’s Edict: