Blackwood Gazette #277-Triumvirate Authority Say they Have No Jurisdiction Over Leviathan Prison Ship

By Jeanne Dupris, Nor Eastern EIC

29/11/282-The Triumvirate Authority proved its impotence this week in regards to alleged injustices taking place aboard the prison ship ‘Leviathan’. After recalling the ship for an inspection, the prison ship’s Warden replied with a simple ‘No.’

What will the ‘Authority’s’ response be?

“Unfortunately, there’s not much we can do,” said Captain Thomas Billingsworth, a TA rep who was tasked with performing the inspection. “The prison is a private venture, with investors in high places. As much as I would like to search out the ship, board it, and see for myself what exactly is going on there, my hands are tied.”

This reporter wonders if any of those investors are members of the Authority itself? Any wondering on such corruption is, of course, just speculation on my part.

Meanwhile, the reports of awful conditions and prisoners incarcerated for the smallest of crimes being transferred to such a high security facility with no notification being given to their families has reignited the mystery of several hundred prisoners that went missing around the Triumvirate earlier this year.

The families of said prisoners from all three members of the Triumvirate reportedly swarmed the offices of local lords and governors this weekend, demanding answers. According to sources in each area, the disruption actually impeded government function in several cities.

“They think they can take our boys and girls and shuffle them around and no one will miss them because they were in prison,” said Hattie Buckflower, the sister of the notorious Toring gang leader Howard “The Dogfeeder” Buckflower. “Well, they’re wrong. We’ll show them they’re wrong. We’ll burn this whole [expletive removed] place down to prove that point!”

Miss Buckflower was promptly arrested after her statement. No details were given on where she will end up.

***

Related posts:

Blackwood Gazette #213

Blackwood Gazette #231

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Blackwood Gazette #277-Triumvirate Authority Say they Have No Jurisdiction Over Leviathan Prison Ship

Blackwood Gazette #276-Desantana Fleet Involved in Skirmish with Molten Crown Mercenaries

By Isairo Palantes, Monteddorian Correspondent

22/11/282- Nearly six months ago, the Gazette reported that Yolanda Desantana’s ambitious ‘Triumvirate of the Skies’ (an alliance between Desantana, the Pirate Queen Seylene Plamondon, and the former pirate hunter Johanna McKilroy) was courting a fourth member, the former princess of Quin-Loh, Zan You-Delsha. It would appear, however, that those efforts have proven in vain.

Reports made by Sarnwainian forces patrolling the eastern waters of the Pyros Ocean indicate that a fleet of airships commanded by McKilroy were seen engaging with Molten Crown mercenary ships. It is unclear how the skirmish began, but it is said to have been brief as both forces retreated after sustaining light damage.

“From the sounds of things, both fleets were evenly matched,” said Dante Luna, a retired captain of Monteddor’s air navy and instructor at Monteddor City Military Academy. “It also sounds like there was never an intent at a full engagement. It was more like the two fleets were feeling each other out, trying to get a grasp on each other’s strengths and weaknesses. This could either be the first stage of bringing You-Delsha into the fold, or the beginning of a bloody rivalry.”

Luna went on to say that any war between the factions would depend on Desantana and Plamondon’s willingness to back up their compatriot.

“There’s more than a little bad blood between the pirate queen and the huntress. Honestly, I’m surprised the alliance has lasted as long as it has. If Plamondon has Desantana’s favor, they may leave McKilroy to fight You-Delsha on her own, leaving both fleets weakened and ripe for the taking.”

If the alliance holds, however, and the Molten Crown mercenaries are brought into the fold, the captain says Desantana’s already immense fleet would become unstoppable.

“Between the four of them, they would have enough resources and martial experience to challenge the combined forces of the Triumvirate’s individual militaries, as well as the Authority. Add in Desantana’s ties to Alejandro Julianos, and the implications are downright apocalyptic.”

Blackwood Gazette #276-Desantana Fleet Involved in Skirmish with Molten Crown Mercenaries

Blackwood Gazette #275-Leviathan Escapee Tells Story of Horrific Conditions Aboard Prison Ship

By Jeanne Dupris, Nor Eastern EIC

18/11/282-Hjavern Newstead, the man recovered from a Monteddorian shipping lane late last month, has made a full recovery from his time at sea and released a statement about the conditions aboard the Leviathan prison ship. The picture he paints is a horrific one.

According to Mister Newstead, the ship is already in heavy disrepair, despite having only been in operation for a year.

“When I got there, there was already leaks in the hull,” Newstead said. “Never got many details, being a prisoner and all, but overheard some talk about the weight of the ship stressing the connection welds, or something.”

According to Newstead, guards on the ship were overworked trying to maintain the prison population while constantly making repairs to the ship.

“Despite all the work they did, things only ever got worse. Woke up one morning to find the cell I shared with three other people half flooded. The two cells next to us, they wasn’t so lucky. They had to move us. Another couple of hours and we woulda drowned next.”

In addition to the ship’s state of disrepair, Newstead said that the warden was a complete tyrant.

“We hated him, and the guards hate him, too. I remember plans for mutinies. They almost always involved the guards and us working together. They were always rooted out, though. And it made the warden paranoid. That’s what happened to me. Not sure what I did, but the warden and the small cadre of loyal guards under him took me up top, told me they would make me sorry for causing unrest, and they threw me overboard.”

Newstead’s description of life aboard Leviathan has stirred interest in the matter by the Triumvirate Authority, who says they have begun the process of recalling the ship to investigate the matter. Hjavern Newstead will remain in the Monteddorian hospital until he recovers, at which point he will be turned over to Crowndonian authorities.

Blackwood Gazette #275-Leviathan Escapee Tells Story of Horrific Conditions Aboard Prison Ship

Blackwood Gazette #274-Crowndon Floods Klankenvroot Dry Dock, Killing Nearly 200

By Jeanne Dupris, Nor Eastern EIC

15/11/282-Reports coming out of Crowndon seem to mark this as one of the darkest days in the Triumvirate’s history, as the Klankenvroot factory situation has been resolved in the most tragic way possible.

The City Watch, under the command of Crowndon Imperial military commanders, have reportedly flooded the dry docks where a large majority of the former factory workers lived. Nearly two hundred people, composed of workers and their families, are said to have lived in those dry docks. We are told that nearly all of them are dead.

There is no word on why the Crown abruptly decided to take such a drastic and tragic course of action, as the workers living in the factory had heretofore not displayed any sort of aggression to the battalion of City Watch and imperial soldiers camped outside the factory grounds.

The Crowndon military recently performed a test of a new aerial automaton equipped with a pictograph, and some have suggested that the images captured by the devices spurred this decision. However, the military has made no statements thus far about what the automatons saw inside the factory.

We have nothing but speculation at the moment as to why this event has occurred. There is this fact, though; Crowndon just murdered 200 of its own citizens, many of them children or infirm. Empress Marcelette Bastian has already condemned the decision, and the words ‘Imperial Duumvirate’ have reportedly been uttered more than once in her court. The Monteddorian High King Mario Adallantes issued a most diplomatic and ultimately toothless statement. The Crowndon Oligarchs have yet to say anything at all, though we believe the Imperial High Command will issue a no doubt polished report on the success of their ‘operation’ in the coming days.

The Triumvirate Authority, likewise, has said nothing, though we are told they are not pleased. Hopefully, they will push for a formal inquisition into the matter. In the meantime, the hopes and prayers of Nor Easter go out to those whose lives have been lost, and those few who survived. It is their tale that I would most like to tell as we proceed to make sense of what has occurred.

***

A bit of perspective from someone who lived in the shadow of the Klankenvroot factory:

Adella Chatelaine Reports #001-In the Shadow of Klankenvroot: A Tale from the Gutters of Crowndon
Blackwood Gazette #274-Crowndon Floods Klankenvroot Dry Dock, Killing Nearly 200

Blackwood Gazette #273- Flagship for Julianos’ First Armored Fleet Takes Flight

By Chester Seaton, News

11/11/282- Military Elite from around the Empire gathered earlier this week at the same site as last year’s Summit Attack. The choice of venue was a symbolic one, as they had gathered to watch the unveiling of the First Armored Fleet’s Flagship, the Acrimonious Bulwark.

The new airship is unlike anything the Triumvirate, or the world, has ever seen. At nearly 183 meters long, it dwarfs anything in current use in either the Triumvirate or Sarnwain.  Instead of balloons, the massive structure is held aloft by eight rotors, four on each side. Six cannon line each side of the upper deck, and eight smaller cannon line each side of the lower deck. The structure is protected by armor anywhere from 15 to 27 centimeters thick.

“The thing is monstrous,” said Crowndonian Fleet Admiral Henry McTolliver. “I don’t even know how it gets off the ground. And it looks like it could level a city by itself. I’m all for strengthening the Triumvirate but this…I don’t know about this. The idea of a fleet of these things terrifies me.”

While the thought of anything terrifying a Crowndonian Admiral is cause for alarm, even more alarming is the praise it received from a Nor Eastern Engineer.

“It certainly cuts an intimidating profile,” said Lucianne Volpe, of Oeil de Fleur University. “But it’s also a testament to what the Triumvirate can do. We put this thing together, in the face of an unknown threat, in little more than a year. As much as it horrifies me the ‘why’ of it, the fact that it was even possible at all gives me hope.”

So there you have it; a Crowndon Admiral expressing doubt, and a Nor Eastern engineer expressing awe. I am not one to indulge my own opinion, readers, but what is even going on?

The Triumvirate Authority plans to push the Bulwark into service immediately, under the command of Admiral Alejandro Julianos. More ships are slated to join the fleet in the coming months, and plans for a second fleet are already underway.

***

What is even going on, indeed.

Fun Time! There’s an unintentional Batman easter egg in today’s Gazette. Can you spot it? Can an easter egg be unintentional? WHO CARES!?! You get a cookie (in spirit) if you find it.

I need sleep.

Blackwood Gazette #273- Flagship for Julianos’ First Armored Fleet Takes Flight

Blackwood Gazette #272- Gladstone Aerial Recon Apparatus Deployed in Efforts to Disperse Klankenvroot Squatters

By Chester Seaton, News

8/11/282- As the situation at the old Klankenvroot Factory continues to fester in a stalemate, the Crowndon military took the opportunity to test out its newest toy, the Gladstone Aerial Recon Apparatus, or A.R.A.

“Given the stagnate nature of the situation, we decided it might be a prime opportunity to test the new device,” said Crowndon Major Yuri Valens. “We sent them in during the early morning hours, with the intent of gathering intelligence.”

Five of the A.R.A.s were sent in, according to the major. He says they had no way of predicting what would happen next.

“The whole place went silent,” the Major said. “It’s amazing, how you take certain noises for granted until they’re gone…it was damn, eerie, that silence. The only thing you could hear was the gentle beating of the apparatus’ rotors.”

It was only after the A.R.A.s began taking pictographs that things took a downward turn.

“We could see the flash of the camera through the factory windows from outside,” the Major said. “That’s when all hell broke loose. We could hear screams from in the factory…it was a haunting sound, in the small morning hours, muted by the factory walls and the fog. We thought something had gone wrong.”

After a few minutes, all but two of the A.R.A.s exited the factory. Not long after that, the squatters began pouring out.

“They weren’t making any noise then,” the Major says. “They just came to the fence and started glaring at us. We ignored them while we cracked open the apparatus and removed the plates.”

The plates were taken to an undisclosed location. No word on what was captured by the device, but the Major says that it will no doubt prove invaluable in bringing the situation to a conclusion.

The apparatus was revealed earlier this year at the IIC. The military says the test will hasten its deployment across Crowndon.

Blackwood Gazette #272- Gladstone Aerial Recon Apparatus Deployed in Efforts to Disperse Klankenvroot Squatters

Blackwood Gazette #271- Man recovered from Shipping Lane Claims to Have Escaped Prison Ship

By Isairo Palantes, Monteddorian Correspondent

1/11/282- A group of fisherman off the coast of Julianos Territory in Monteddor received a shocking surprise on Friday morning when their nets pulled in not only fish, but a man dressed in a tattered prison jumpsuit.

Captain Enricies Saldazar described the scene.

“It was complete chaos. One minute, the men are doing what they always do, pulling in nets, grousing about their jobs and pay. Probably planning a mutiny. Next thing I know they are running around, shouting at the top of their lungs about a mermaid.”

It wasn’t a mermaid they pulled onto the deck of their ship, however. It was one Hjavern Newstead, of Toring. Newstead was arrested two years ago after he used his landlord’s cat to feed his family during the winter freeze of 280.

Newstead was sent to Toring Penitentiary, where he, along with several others, were reported missing several months ago. So, how did he wind up floating in the Pyros Ocean, still wearing his prison jumpsuit?

“The jumpsuit mister Newstead was wearing is not one issued at Toring Pen,” a Triumvirate Authority representative told us. “Nor is it one issued by any of the major Monteddorian institutions. Mister Newstead in fact claims that he never escaped prison, but was transferred to another. He claims he was incarcerated on a ship.”

This statement by the TA has sent rumor mongers and conspiracy theorists across the Triumvirate into a frenzy.

“I knew this was happening!” said Oculus, creator of the popular underground rag The Ex-Humanor. “I told you all this would happen! The moment Where, No One Knows (a popular colloquialism for the ship officially known as Leviathan) left port and prisoners started vanishing into the ether!”

Leviathan has been the source of much scrutiny in the Triumvirate since it set underway a year ago, under the cover of night. The official line provided by the privately funded venture’s backers is that Leviathan is a place for the most dangerous criminals in the Triumvirate to be held without possibility of escape. Some have speculated, however, that the ship is being used to make ‘problems’, such as political dissidents or business rivals, disappear.

More on this story as it develops.

Blackwood Gazette #271- Man recovered from Shipping Lane Claims to Have Escaped Prison Ship