Blackwood Gazette #229-Rival Archeologists Set Out to Uncover Lost City; “A Scientific Race That Could Determine the Future of the World”

By Ada Herschel, Science and Technology

31/3/282- Ever since the missing explorer Uriah Farringdon Oke was recovered in the colonies, rambling about a mysterious ‘living city’, the archaeology community has been abuzz with speculation as to what such a discovery could mean. Now, two separate expeditions, led by noted rivals Doctor Veronica Trenum and Doctor Alex Congate, are set to strike out into the Deadlands.

“It is my firm belief that this is all poppycock,” Doctor Congate told us. “Unfortunately, said poppycock has dominated the discussion for the last three months with no end in sight. Even if there is nothing to be found, I feel it is my duty to right the course of academic discussion. It will also offer me the opportunity to finally debunk that hack, Ronnie Trenum.”

Doctor Trenum is more optimistic.

“My studies at Pre-Rift sites around the world have pointed to this junction. It is the crowned jewel of my scientific career, and any discoveries to be had will have lasting effects. This has the potential to be a scientific race that could determine the future of the world, even as it shines a light on its distant past.”

The scientific community is divided on the ramifications of this endeavor, as is to be expected. Many detractors state a concern that the spectacle of the race will dilute any discoveries made, with one prominent archaeologist comparing Doctors Trenum and Congate to ‘squabbling children who refuse to get along, more concerned with their own stars than any real science.’

Others have called into question whether Doctor Trenum should be undertaking this endeavor at all, given her recent year long ordeal in Lelina. Doctor Trenum was quick to dismiss any such allegations.

“It won’t do me any good to mope about, doing nothing,” she said. “I must get back out into the field at some point. And the challenges I overcame in the wilds of the Lelina swamps make me all the more qualified to survive anything the Deadlands have to throw at me.”

Neither Trenum nor Congate deigned to divulge the details of their expeditions, though both are believed to set out within the next month.

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Blackwood Gazette #229-Rival Archeologists Set Out to Uncover Lost City; “A Scientific Race That Could Determine the Future of the World”

Blackwood Gazette #228- Famous NESS Operative Leaves Five Dead, Four Wounded After Mandolin Performance Goes Awry

By Basilio Mura, Nor Eastern Correspondent

28/3/282- Patrons of Big Bessie’s Barroom, Billiards and Burlesque who gathered at the establishment for its grand reopening at its new location this weekend were no doubt expecting a leisurely evening of music and drink. What they got however, was something completely different.

Noted bard and mandolin player Gerard P. Shanahan took to the stage at 20 hundred hours to begin his set. According to audience members, the performance started well.

“He opened with Poulain’s ‘Moonwave Ebb and Flow’, my favorite piece,” said Marlane Vousan, who attended the performance with her sister. “It was such a somber number, and lulled us all into a sense of calm serenity. It felt like everything bad that ever happened or could happen had been washed away…or so I thought.”

According to others in attendance, after the third song a group of men at the bar became restless and started to heckle Shanahan.

“A bunch of lewd luddites, the lot of them,” said Guilanne Pierot, a student at the Academy of Alchemists and Alliterators. “Sods started shouting senseless disparagements directed to deflate our delight. Dismay descended promptly thereafter, as the miscreants misjudged Shanahan’s sense of self-esteem.”

Shanahan, an outwardly jovial man by most accounts, is also known for a short temperament when it comes to performing. He also just happens to be a dormant member of the Nor Eastern Subterfuge Society.

“He tried to keep it peaceful, he really did,” Miss Vousan said. “But the more he asked them to quiet down, the more they acted up. He seemed sad. And that made me sad. That’s when the knives came out.”

The bard, having had enough of the drunkard’s disruptive behavior, leapt from the stage, a pair of daggers appearing in his hands almost from nowhere. Onlookers say he didn’t immediately start killing, however.

“I think he just meant to scare them,” said Reynard Houlcombe, the owner of the establishment. “But they weren’t scared. Things…escalated after that. Bastards never stood a chance. It was just a flurry of blades and blood. Now I have five dead bodies on my dance floor. Shanahan grinned the entire time, too. I think he might have enjoyed it.”

Members of Oeil de Fleur’s police department arrived at the scene shortly after. They escorted Shanahan from the premises, but authorities say he was not placed under arrest.

“Shanahan is protected by a complex judiciary code that puts him somewhere between an average citizen and a diplomat,” Inspector Volain Duustois told us. “Put simply, we have no jurisdiction. He has been handed over to Nor Easter’s intelligence service for judgement. I don’t expect much to come of it, however.”

Blackwood Gazette #228- Famous NESS Operative Leaves Five Dead, Four Wounded After Mandolin Performance Goes Awry

Blackwood Gazette #227-High Profile Murders Mean High Profits for Private Security Firms, Recent Reports Say

By Hunter o’Leary, Business

23/3/282- It would seem that the recent murders of high profile business men across Crowndon has driven many others to seek the protection of private security firms, if the recent earnings reports of several such firms are any indication.

Phalanx Protection, a firm based in Toring, told me that they’ve seen an ‘unprecedented’ rise in clients over the last month.

“We’ve had to start turning potential clients away,” said Yerman Ghilly, the CEO of Phalanx. “We may be a large firm, but our resources are limited, and if we are to continue providing our clients the elite level of service we promise, we must make sure our personnel aren’t spread too thin.”

Yerman went on to say that they’ve begun referring clients to Watcher’s Heights, an up and coming firm based in Walsh.

“These homicides have proven to be an enormous boon to our business,” said Samuel Harding, CEO of Watcher’s Heights. “Before last month, we were barely more than a start-up. Now we have clients from Toring and Sau Anoit. It’s been difficult keeping up with the growth of our customer base, but we are quickly hiring and training a healthy batch of fresh recruits, mainly veterans of the Dividing War and law enforcement officers eager for a more lucrative career.”

Some of these firms claim to have already seen some action. Crown Security, a prominent firm stationed in the capital which has made a name for itself protecting everyone from celebrities to foreign dignitaries reported that one of their teams foiled an attempt on an unnamed client two weeks ago.

“We succeeded in preventing the murder of a high profile client with connections to one of the previous victims,” said Charles Cooper, one of Crown Security’s veteran chiefs. “Where we failed, however, was in putting the assailant down. We won’t make that mistake again, and given the ferocity and determination of the suspect, we believe a second attempt will be inevitable. This

“The fight was brutal; it seemed less like an assassination and more like a crusade. I lost two highly trained men. If I were to give similar firms a piece of advice, it would be to ensure they get the job done. Whoever these people are, they aren’t messing about.”

Blackwood Gazette #227-High Profile Murders Mean High Profits for Private Security Firms, Recent Reports Say

Blackwood Gazette #226- Crowndonian Business Interests Pledge Support for Julianos; “Akin to Treason” says Admiral McTolliver

By Chester Seaton, News

21/3/282- Despite the outcry of concern from Crowndon’s military elite, it was revealed this week that several members of Crowndon’s business elite have vowed financial backing for Admrial Alejandro Julianos’ First Armored Air Corps.

So far, only one such backer has revealed their identity. Lord Palatine McCredmond Hauks, founder and CEO of Hauks Financial, issued a statement concerning the matter, pulling no punches as to his reasoning.

“I cannot sit idly by and watch the Triumvirate, and by extension, Crowndon, fall under the stresses placed upon her while the Crown’s Arms do nothing. They sit high on chairs built by traditions rooted in times long since ended. I believe Admiral McTolliver when he says that he believes Crowndon’s military is still the best suited to protect the Imperial skyways, and that is why I am worried.

“He’s an old man, stuck in old ways. Old ways that have never seen the likes of the pressure being put on them by Seylene Plamondon or those who attacked the Arms Summit. And who knows what other horrors lie on the horizon, far to the east in Pharassus and Djidann? Hell, they couldn’t even handle the machinations of that mad man Rinkenbach. We live in new times, with new threats that need to be met with new tools, and new thinking. I don’t like that these tools are held by a man many presume to be a criminal. But Julianos has shown that he can weather the storm, that he can think outside the parameters set by those who would do us harm.”

Admiral Henry McTolliver shot back at Lord Hauks’ statement, making it known that severe penalties will be levied against citizens of Crowndon who makes oaths to Julianos.

“The Lord’s statements are outrageous and akin to treason,” the admiral said. “They are essentially funding an outside military, one that is positioning itself to take the place of our own. Were it not for the treaties and agreements in place that serve as the mortar holding our alliance of empires together, I would have Lord Hauks and his ilk in shackles already. It may still come to that. We are pursuing every avenue possible to charge these financiers to the fullest extent of Crowndon law.”

Admiral McTolliver’s threats may ultimately prove to be hollow, however, as the Triumvirate treaties place the Authority above each empire’s own militaries in the chain of command. In other news, Hauks Financial’s holdings increased a staggering twenty percent after the announcement, suggesting many of Crowndon’s citizens agree with Lord Hauks.

Blackwood Gazette #226- Crowndonian Business Interests Pledge Support for Julianos; “Akin to Treason” says Admiral McTolliver

Blackwood Gazette #225-Heaven’s Rogues Expo Finally Opens; Is Unmitigated Disaster

By Alex Grosset, Arts and Entertainment

2/3/282-After numerous delays and financial setbacks, renowned venue promoter Salvador Bidlittles’ month long expo based on Henri Duhamel’s “Heaven’s Rogues” stories opened in Sau Anoit last week. The reception from fans has been lackluster, to be kind.

“They promised us a faithful recreation of the stories’ world and characters,” said Bernice, a fan from Sau Anoit. “They said it would be like stepping into the pages of the stories themselves. What we have instead is a kitschy mock up full of papier-mâché and bubbles. (Expletive removed) bubbles!”

The price of admission for one day at the expo costs in excess of ten Imperions, two months wages for the average person in “Heaven’s Rogues” demographic. For some attendees, however, the cost was much greater.

“I came here all the way from Walsh, clear on the other side of the Triumvirate,” said Lanciel Harker. “The trip cost ten times as much as the ticket. Took me half a year to save up. I was expecting fine dishes based on those in the books; I got day old strudel. I wanted to hear the music realized; I got some dive bar musician plinking out a barely changed version of Bandiel’s Leitmotif on an out of tune harpsichord. And the live theatre we were told would be occurring throughout the event? It’s amounted to one vignette during lunch, cut short when the actress succumbed to botulism and soiled herself mid-monologue.”

Even more people slated to attend the event never made it, as their tickets were booked for the Expo’s original venue in Val Coursais. They claim they were never informed of the change to Sau Anoit.

While Salvador Bidlittles made a name for himself nearly two decades ago and has put on some of the most lavish and well regarded productions over his career, a string of flops in recent years has left the famed promoter floundering. Critics are saying this disaster will prove to be the final nail in the proverbial coffin.

And it’s a shame, really. When the Expo was announced, Bidlittles promised an amusement unlike any other, a venue for people fond of Duhamel’s work to live in and partake of their favorite fictional universe. It was even said that Duhamel was working very closely with Bidlittles and his designers to ensure the utmost authenticity. It was meant to be a revitalization of Bidlittles’ career, and one cannot deny that the idea was bold. Alas, it seems as though it was not to be.

The “Heaven’s Rogues” Expo closed its door a mere four days into its thirty day run.

***

Author’s Note: So, the original part of this story was over a hundred installments ago. Hey, sometimes these smaller stories get lost along the way. Here’s the first part:

Blackwood Gazette #114

Blackwood Gazette #225-Heaven’s Rogues Expo Finally Opens; Is Unmitigated Disaster