Blackwood Gazette #16: Church of Crowndon Worried about Rash of Recreational Weddings/Divorces

29/5-In response to the media fervor over the wedding and immediate divorce between Yolanda De Santana and Armin Chevelle last month, the Imperial Church of Crowndon has issued a statement decrying the practice, and others like it in recent years.

“This is a distressing trend,” said the church’s First Primarch. “It erodes the rapidly thinning traditions of our society by playing them as a farce. Younger generations see this and they start asking questions we aren’t prepared to answer. That can not happen!”

Armin Chevelle’s representatives shot back, issuing a statement almost immediately after.

“If they’re so worried about their traditions, perhaps it’s because their so called foundations aren’t very solid to begin with,” the statement read. “The world is changing faster than their rhetoric can keep up, and it scares them. Besides, why the hell should we worry about the opinions of a church half a world away, that we don’t subscribe to? It has no foothold in Nor Easter, and never did. The First Primarch can lick Armin Chevelle’s boots. It wouldn’t be the first time, and we have the film to prove it.”

Yolanda De Santana commented as well.

“I don’t get it. Why are people so preoccupied with what other people do? Mind your own damn business! Live and let live. All we did was have a bit of fun. Nobody got hurt. Just think of it as a really expensive party with a fancy cake.”

On a side note, the footage of the Chevelle/De Santana wedding is expected to hit kinetic viewers next month, divided into fifteen separate thirty second installments, and is reported to have a ten piece viewing fee, as opposed to the typical five. Fans of De Santana and Chevelle are said to already be buying tickets.

“I hear it is completely debauched,” one such fan said, outside of a popular brothel in Oeil de Fleur’s red-light district, one block over from the Imperial Palace. “I can’t wait.”

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Blackwood Gazette #16: Church of Crowndon Worried about Rash of Recreational Weddings/Divorces

Blackwood Gazette #15: Imperial Representatives Tease New Joint Project Between Triumvirate Members

27/5- The Triumvirate is buzzing today with the news of an upcoming reveal of a joint project between the empires. Representatives from Crowndon, Nor Easter, and Monteddor met on the neutral soil of the Divide to announce the upcoming reveal of a large scale, co-operative project.

“We’re working on something on a scale the world has never seen before,” said Admiral Derval McTavish, of Crowndon. “It promises to be a paradigm shift in how we deal with certain problematic aspects of society in the new industrial age.”

The Monteddorian representative, Governor Enoch Haversham, offered a similarly opaque statement.

“This is first time the Triumvirate has worked so closely together on something this large,” Haversham said. “Trust me when I say, it will do wonders for our respective economies and help to further solidify the delicate balance of power that our Empires share.”

The teaser of the upcoming announcement has been met with a mixed reception of pride, confusion, and rampant speculation on the part of the common citizen.

“I don’t know what any of this means,” one man said. “What did they announce again? ‘Something big’? What does that even mean?”

“I’m quite excited about whatever it is they’re doing,” said a Nor Eastern woman. “Any time the powers that be put aside their differences and work together, it’s a good thing. Except of course when it isn’t. Hmm…now I’m skeptical.”

Speculation of what the project might be has sent political analysts into a frenzy.

“It could be an announcement concerning the Blackwood Grove,” one analyst said. “We don’t like to face it, but our stores of Blackwood are running low. Perhaps we’ve decided to investigate the progress Sarnwain has made in refining fossil fuels?”

Conspiracy theorists have come out of the wood work as well, spouting their endlessly entertaining nonsense.

“All of this ‘across the aisle’ business is [expletive removed],” wrote Oculus, the notorious editor of the underground rag, The Exhumanor (not a real word, mind you), and user of excessive exclamation points. “Their[sic] is no damn aisle! The aisle is a sham! This all just a ruse, to get you to look in a different direction! This is the first stage of there[sic] master plan! They’re[sic] plan is to round us up, keep us contained! Just you wait! After that, they’ll kill us all!”

More on this story as it develops.

Blackwood Gazette #15: Imperial Representatives Tease New Joint Project Between Triumvirate Members

Blackwood Gazette #14: Crowndon Investigating Military Applications for Flare Gun Technology

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22/5-It seems as though the flare gun tech that allegedly caused out of control fires during performances of Delando’s fantasy epic ‘Fires of D’Kalm D’Korr’ has attracted the attention of the Crowndon military.

“I can think of a hundred uses for such a device,” said Ground Corps General Henry McTolliver in a conference last night. “They could be used to ignite containment vectors around enemy encampments from a safe distance, or to quickly liberate potential bivouac areas of enemy flora and fauna. They’re also proving to be entertaining at mandatory company fun days.”

Another officer at the conference suggested they could be used as signaling devices for soldiers stranded behind enemy lines, something the General quickly disregarded.

“No soldier of Crowndon would ever use these devices in such a manner,” the general explained. “If a soldier of Crowndon found himself in such a situation, it would be his duty to use the device to incinerate as many enemy combatants as possible. Let the ensuing inferno serve as a signal fire. Killing two birds with one stone…that’s Crowndonian initiative right there.”

Nor Eastern industrialist and philanthropist Sir Rigel Rinkenbach seemed exasperated by the general’s comments when asked for comment.

“I don’t even know where to begin,” Rinkenbach said. “I wish I could say I am surprised. Leave it to Crowndon to find a military application for something intended to further the arts. Do you remember the South Monteddorian Water Pump fiasco? Because I do, and the results were disastrous.”

Blackwood Gazette #14: Crowndon Investigating Military Applications for Flare Gun Technology

Blackwood Gazette # 13: Crowndon Capitulates to La Pierre, Gold Recovered, with a Catch

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20/5-After several days of debate, and increasing pressure from the citizens of Crowndon, the Imperial Air Corps agreed to Roderick La Pierre’s terms to exchange the wealth of Lower Crowndon for a pot of haggis.

“We cooked it up, just like he demanded,” Deputy Chief Arthur Collingsworth said. “We rendezvoused in the early morning hours over the Divide, and sent a single ship to deliver the foul smelling dish.”
Once the haggis was delivered, Collingsworth watched the exchange through a telescope from his cruiser, concealed in a nearby rock formation.

“The lunatic looked right at me,” Collingsworth said. “I watched in horror as he dumped the haggis over the side and gave me a lewd hand gesture. His entire crew then climbed up on deck and exposed their buttocks. I feared the whole operation had gone awry at that point, until he sent us a message via signal lamp.”

The message read: YOU DIDNA THINK I’D BE SO STUPID AS T’EAT ANYTHING YOU BOYS COOKED UP FOR ME, DID YA?

When we asked Collingsworth if he did lace the haggis with some sort of toxin, he denied to comment.

“In any case,” Collingsworth continued, “He then proceeded to send us the coordinates to the gold, one hundred leagues to the south, in a cave rigged to explode after a set amount of time. I wanted to pursue, but I had not dared to bring more than my cruiser. With no other ships in range, we needed to proceed to the site.”

And what did they find when they arrived?

“We found the gold, just like he said. It was buried under the two tons of tuna that started this whole mess. It had been sitting in that cave out in the desert for almost a month, rotting in the heat. The smell is nearly unbearable, and we have no idea how we’re going to sanitize the gold at this point. The real kick in the teeth was the lack of a bomb. Wiley bastard.”

The incident has left everyone in Crowndon wondering what La Pierre’s motivation behind all of this was.

“Don’t ask me,” Collingsworth said. “I’m convinced the man is a complete lunatic.”

Blackwood Gazette # 13: Crowndon Capitulates to La Pierre, Gold Recovered, with a Catch

Blackwood Gazette #11: Man Claiming to be Roderick La Pierre Assumes Responsibility for Tuna Heist; Holds Gold Hostage in Exchange for Haggis

13/5-The offices of the Blackwood Gazette received a strange letter this weekend. Since much of the letter is ineligible and/or contains an over abundance of language inappropriate for the Gazette, we have chosen only to present the relevant information rather than reprint the letter in its entirety.

The letter claims to be from disgraced Crowndon Admiral Roderick Beauchamp La Pierre, and he claims responsibility for the First Imperial Bank heist late last month. All excerpts are printed with the original spelling intact.

“I’ve seen my name thrown around as a potential suspect,” La Pierre writes. “And I see that [expletive removed] Callingworth laughing at the idea. Yeah, well, I’ll show im. It WAS me that hit that bank. Me and me crew. Planned the whole thing. Just no one wants to admit it, ‘cos it were me.”

La Pierre then goes on a lengthy rant about the failings of the Crowndon military, and how the citizens of Crowndon would all be speaking ‘frog speech’ if not for him.

“I ain’t a greedy man…no, actually, that’s [expletive removed],” La Pierre writes. “I AM a greedy man, but for this instance, I’m willin’ to make things easy for all a’yer simple minds. I don’t wanna  keep the gold. I’m holdin it hostage. Not unlike that bank. I’ll be waiting at the location I wrote at the bottom of the letter. Bring only one ship, a small skiff, with one man and the ransom. I’ll give im the location of the gold. If I see another ship within five hundred leagues, I’ll dump the gold into the deepest part of the barricade ocean.

“Me demands is simple, see. I want a nice, steamy pile of Crowndonian spiced haggis, just like me mam used t’make. All the gritty bits, with a side of  the pasties. I want it delieverd to the location I talked about before, and I want it tomarrah. Any funny business, and I blow the gold t’kingdom come, y’hear!”

When we asked Deputy Chief Arthur Colingsworth for comment, he was skeptical.

“No one has seen La Pierre for years. Reports are he’s dead. This is just some prankster that read the rumors spread by your paper and thought to run with it. Even if it was La Pierre, we would be unable to acquiesce. Crowndon does not negotiate with pirates.”

Blackwood Gazette #11: Man Claiming to be Roderick La Pierre Assumes Responsibility for Tuna Heist; Holds Gold Hostage in Exchange for Haggis

Blackwood Gazette #10: Southern Crowndon Braces for Plague of Albino Locusts

8/5-The southern provinces of the Crowndonian Empire, including the major trading centers of Walsh and Toring, are preparing for an invasion. Not from any human army, but from the hordes of Albino Locusts that descend upon the area every four years.

“They come up here, over the Demon’s Eye from Monteddor,” said Razule Gracia, the owner of one of the largest granaries in the Empire. “They come up here, and they lay their eggs in our grain,* and then they eat the grain. Entire crops are lost. Millions of pounds of gold, lost!”

Not to mention millions of lives. Southern Crowndon has a problem with poverty, and they rely on the surplus grain from farms like Gracia’s to survive.

“It’s always bad,” said a local homeless man who only goes by ‘John’. “Especially for the oldest among us. Every four years, the street population here in Walsh drops. People I’ve known my entire life, just gone. Never sure when it’s going to be my turn.”

Crowndon scientists are unsure what causes the quadrennial influx of the insects, but entomologists and climatologists in the Nor Eastern Empire share a theory.

“It has to do with air currents over the Demon’s Eye Cove,” said Jaques Dullane, one such climatologist from the Empress University. “The locusts reproduce by laying their eggs in the dirt along Monteddor’s northern ridge. These eggs get picked up by the wind. Normally, the currents above the cove intercept these eggs and blow them out to sea. But every two years there’s an event in the Barricade Ocean that causes this current to either shift or disappear altogether, and the eggs are carried into the southern Crowney Provinces, where they lay dormant in the nutrient rich soil. Two years later, there is typically another event that causes warmer than average summers. The eggs hatch, giving birth to millions of the locusts. We’re not sure what causes either event.”

This year marks the end of the four year cycle. So when can Crowndon expect to be covered in locusts?

“Within the next couple of months,” said Dullane.

*Editor’s note: Quotes are printed as spoken…any scientific inaccuracies are the fault of interviewee, not the Blackwood Gazette.

Blackwood Gazette #10: Southern Crowndon Braces for Plague of Albino Locusts

Blackwood Gazette #9: Man Pays for Meal with Smelly Gold, Arrested in Connection with Tuna Heist

6/5-A new development in the story of the great Crowndonian Fish Heist, as the authorities are now calling it:

Martin Camwell got an ugly surprise after a dinner last night.

“I ordered a steak,” Camwell said. “Been wanting a steak, you see. Haven’t had none since the Crown seized my milliner’s shop and I got thrown out on the street. When I was done I tried paying for it with this bit ‘o gold a stranger gave me.”

That’s when the restaurant owner noticed something odd.

“Gold smelled bad,” the owner said. “Literally. At first I thought it was the bum, but when I recognized the hint of fish, I pieced it together with the robbery downtown.”

The restaurant’s proprietor contacted the authorities while the wait staff kept Camwell occupied with a dessert menu. When the city watch arrived, they took Camwell into custody, claiming that he did nothing wrong.

“I’m inclined to believe him,” said Deputy Chief Arthur Colingsworth, head of investigations into the heist. “He has no criminal record, and his story checks out. He’s also a bit of a lack-wit and a coward, so I doubt he had anything to do with the robbery, neither its execution and certainly not its execution.”

Colingsworth asked Camwell to provide a description of the man, which Camwell did.

“He described him as average height, ginger hair, mutton chops, and a gray over coat,” Colingsworth said. The inspector then alluded to the possibility that the mysterious man gave Camwell a message, then backpedaled when pushed on the subject.

“We have no further information on the subject at this time,” Colingsworth said, and disappeared into his office.

Charges against Martin Camwell in connection to the heist were dropped. However, he has been kept in custody on charges of vagrancy and disturbing the peace of the restaurant’s wealthy patrons, who report that the smell of the gold, and Camwell, offended them.

Related: Bank Full of Fish Gets Cleaned Out…

Blackwood Gazette #9: Man Pays for Meal with Smelly Gold, Arrested in Connection with Tuna Heist