Blackwood Gazette #309-Suspect in Explosion Over Toring Square Identified as Former Technician for Rinkenbach Industries

3/4/283-The Toring Guard believes they have identified the Toring Rocket Man as 32 year old Jean Valdeau.

Jean Valdeau, a Oeil de Fleur native, was a former employee of Rinkenbach Industries. He worked as a technician directly under the wealthy industrialist and court inventor Rigel Rinkenbach in the years following the Dividing War with Crowndon.

Upon discovering Valdeau’s identity (the methodology of said discovery has not been revealed as of this writing), Toring Guard visited his loft in lower Toring, where they found an extensive workshop that took up nearly half of the cramped living space. Tools, scrap metal, and several devices of unknown nature were discovered, as well as newspaper clippings detailing several petty crimes that have occurred in in the area. Also discovered was an encoded document that has yet to be deciphered.

The revelation of Valdeau’s background is said to have sent shockwaves through the Crowndon Imperial Military, who have spun the incident into a potential plot by Nor Eastern spies to destabilize the region.

The Empress of Nor Easter has called such claims preposterous and promises that Nor Easter has no plans to destabilize one third of the Triumvirate. She also added that Crowndon seems to be doing a fine job of that themselves.

Rigel Rinkenbach himself claims that Valdeau no longer has any connections to Rinkenbach Industries or the Nor Eastern Empire.

“I barely remember the poor fool,” Rinkenbach wrote in a letter to the Gazette. “Except that I gave him the boot when he presented me with plans for a device not unlike the one described in the accounts of what happened. Rocket packs. Really.”

Toring Guard also claims to have recovered wreckage from the Central Square of Toring, which remains closed. No other details have been shared.

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Blackwood Gazette #309-Suspect in Explosion Over Toring Square Identified as Former Technician for Rinkenbach Industries

Blackwood Gazette#308-Crowndon Law Enforcement On High Alert After Would Be Vigilante Explodes in Skies Above Toring

26/3/283- The Toring Guard was in disarray late last week after a mysterious explosion occurred over the town’s central square. After a harrowing investigation, the guard claims to have the beginnings of a timeline.

Witnesses to the incident claim that in the seconds before the incident, they saw a ‘flying man’ streaking through the air, laughing maniacally. Some claim that he was screaming something about justice, but that a device on his back that looked something like a rocket drowned him out.

Another group of witnesses claim that, about five minutes before the explosion, they saw a man wearing welder’s goggles, heavy leather clothing, and a strange backpack assaulting a delivery boy on Cloover Street, about a kilometer from the square. Accounts about what this assailant said differ, but many claim that it was a long winded diatribe about crime and punishment. They say the man then disappeared into a nearby alley. When citizens tried to pursue him, a cloud of hot steam rushed out from the alley, scalding several bystanders. About 30 seconds later, the explosion over the central square occurred. The delivery boy in question has not been found for comment.

The incident has led to the central square being shut down and cordoned off pending further investigation, a move that will no doubt severely impact the city’s economy. The Toring Guard has also reportedly posted men on rooftops on lookout for other projectiles. They also refused to lend any official word on whether a man with a rocket pack was actually responsible for the incident.

Blackwood Gazette#308-Crowndon Law Enforcement On High Alert After Would Be Vigilante Explodes in Skies Above Toring

Blackwood Gazette #307- Former Academy Member Arrested for Disaster Profiteering

7/3/283- Authorities report that former member of the Academic Alliance of Alchemists and Alliterators, Prideau “Priddy” Lacerte, has been arrested for attempting to profit from the recent reign of terror visited upon Oeil de Fleur by the escaped Ganborran Stink Monkey known as ‘Chirpy’.

The arrest came after reports that Lacerte was selling plush dolls of the pungent primate to children in the city’s eastern commons.

“He’d been at it for weeks, apparently,” the arresting officer told us. “People thought it was tasteless, but harmless enough. But then Lacerte had to go and get…ambitious.”

According to city watch officials, about a week ago, the Chirpy plushies began appearing with a new ‘feature’.

“One kid brought a plush home late last week. She ran up to her mother to show off the doll, hugged it, and, well…given Lacerte’s history, and the nature of the Chirpy incident, you can probably guess what happened next.”

The new model of plush is said to contain the same ingredients used in the Alchemical parlor trick known as ‘Kettleman’s Arse’, a trick that got Lacerte busted sometime back. When the child hugged the doll, it brought into contact the two substances that, when mixed, release a noxious cloud of foul smelling (but otherwise harmless) gas into the air.

“Lacerte claims the amount released should be small and dissipate quickly, but the entirety of the household had to be evacuated, and a cleaning crew brought in.”

Lacerte has been booked on charges of profiteering from a disaster, a charge second only to war profiteering with an expected sentence of exile from the Triumvirate. His remaining stock of Chirpy plushies is to be disposed of, and the city watch recommends that anyone who purchased one of the dolls should do the same.

As for the actual ‘Chirpy’, the malodorous monster remains at large.

Blackwood Gazette #307- Former Academy Member Arrested for Disaster Profiteering

Blackwood Gazette #306- Rigel Rinkenbach in Talks with Delando to Bring Biography to the Theater

10/2/283- A spokesperson for Delando held a conference in Oeil de Fleur earlier this week, where he discussed several of the controversies surrounding the reclusive playwright as of late. Among the topics discussed was the disastrous opening of Delando’s latest play, the failure of the film version of ‘Desires of Dek Kanar Redak’, and what the future holds for Nor Easter’s preeminent peddler of the theatrical arts.

“Delando is very much disappointed in the reception of his first non-Ichthylliad related play in over a decade,” the spokesperson said. “He’d taken criticisms that he only knew how to do one thing to heart and tried to do something new. Naturally, his fans responded by burning his works in town squares across the Empire.”

The spokesperson said this with a sardonic edge that was not lost on the press gathering. Even still, it did not illicit laughter.

“As for the failure of the film, Delando has not given up hope that he can transform the kinetic viewer into the primary source of dramatic entertainment. ‘Dek Kanar’ was an experiment, and Delando assures that he learned much from the process of filming. In fact, he is currently working on something I’m sure will get all of you talking.”

That thing which would get all of us talking, of course, was the reveal that Delando has begun negotiating with Rigel Rinkenbach for the right to tell the Industrialist’s story in dramatic form.

“Thus far, Delando and Rinkenbach have met several times over the last month to discuss the project. I am told that their negotiations are going well, and that both are extremely passionate about the project, often discussing the matter late into the night. Delando is certain that anyone who knows the story of Rinkenbach will see that this is one of the greatest stories in the history of Nor Easter.

“An orphaned genius, forced to fend for himself on the streets of Oeil de Fleur before finding fame and fortune with the original Clockwork Butler. The alchemist who became favored of the Empress herself. The brilliant mind who tamed the wild heart of the Nor Eastern agent provocateur Pixie Sinclaire during the war with Crowndon, and who would win that war with the invention of the single man, planar wing attack craft. The fall from grace that would lead Rinkenbach across the continent, losing home and hearth, culminating in his redemption at the Battle of the Sea of Wrecked Beginnings and Bitter Ends.”

It certainly sounds like an epic tale, and while the spokesperson was unable to share any technical or logistical details, the excitement among the gathered press was palpable. Negotiations with Rinkenbach are said to be nearing their end, and it is hoped the show will debut next year.

Blackwood Gazette #306- Rigel Rinkenbach in Talks with Delando to Bring Biography to the Theater

Blackwood Gazette #305- Oeil de Fleur City Guard Grows Desperate as Stink Monkey Rampage Continues

3/2/283-Two weeks after its escape from the Oeil de Fleur Menagerie, the Ganborran Stink Monkey known affectionately as ‘Chirpy’ is still at large. It is estimated that the creature has caused nearly 300 thousand Imperons in damage, and the amount is rising.

The primate miscreant was last sighted scurrying along a wall by the Dezoar River, where it is said to have caused a panic amongst weekend picnickers.

“We smelled it long before it actually showed up,” said one witness to the incident. “At first, I just thought it was the river…it doesn’t have a particularly pleasant smell, even on the best of days. But within a few minutes the odor was nigh unbearable. That’s when someone screamed. I looked over and saw a woman pointing toward a small shape running along the river wall.

“That’s when someone yelled, ‘It’s Chirpy!’ and everyone lost it, stampeding out of the park like we were running from an air raid.”

Nearby guardsman responded to the report of the monkey’s intrusion and rushed to the scene. They found the beast sitting on a blanket, eating a jam and nut macaron.

“It was just sitting there, chomping away,” said one of the guardsmen. “We moved in to open fire, but no was willing to get close enough for an effective shot. We fired a volley, the six of us, hoping the law of averages was on our side. We all missed. At that point, our eyes are already watering, but to make matters worse the little beast dropped its treat and ran at us. It sprayed as it passed by and disappeared into the trees. None of us could pursue it, gagging as we were.”

The incident at the Dezoar picnic ground isn’t the only encounter citizens have had since its escape. A few days before, a shop owner reported finding the animal malcontent building a nest in the entry way of his business, and the day before that a young couple complained that their midnight tryst was interrupted by a territorial display from the creature.

“It hopped up onto the balcony as we shared our first kiss,” one of the lovers said. “It then began screaming, slapping its bottom and…and…oh, it was awful!”

It has even begun interfering with the creative process, albeit to mixed results.

“I was in the park, painting an abstract of the day’s sunset, when Chirpy dropped down onto my easel and began slapping at the wet paint, leaving tiny monkey paw prints all over the piece,” an amateur painter told us. “To my surprise, the monkey’s contribution improved the piece, gave it a certain whimsy that I feel my work has been missing. I’ve shown it to a few galleries, and more than one of them is interested.”

No one knows where Chirpy will turn up next, but citizens should be wary, the Menagerie warns.

“Chirpy is a young primate at the dawn of its maturity, in a strange environment with a plethora of unknown sights and sounds. He will be extremely curious, and extremely aggressive. Anyone who runs afoul of Chirpy should immediately flee and alert the nearest city watchman.”

Blackwood Gazette #305- Oeil de Fleur City Guard Grows Desperate as Stink Monkey Rampage Continues

Blackwood Gazette #304- University of Oeil de Fleur receives correspondence from Trenum Expedition, along with captured ‘Monster’

25/1/283- The Deadlands expedition led by Veronica Trenum has borne fruit, if a recent delivery received by the University of Oeil de Fleur is any indication.

After half a year of silence as to the whereabouts or status of the expedition, a crate was delivered to the University in the wee hours of Surnsday morning. Within the crate was the carcass of a strange, fearsome looking bird, along with several reams of paper detailing the expedition as of late twelfth month of last year.

Trenum writes:

“After a tumultuous crossing of the mountains in late 9th, during which we narrowly avoided the closing of a climatological event which allowed us passage, we came to the remains of a mid-sized ruin. I would date the ruin to be around 1500 years old, and it is the first sign of any sort of civilization in the lower Newland continent. It has been slow going, trying to eke out a theory as to the culture of these ‘Deadlands’ people, as the ruin has largely been eroded and reclaimed by a thick jungle growth It is apparent that they had a working knowledge of stonework and masonry on par with our own middle ages, nearly half a millennium before us. What happened to these people, I cannot say. There is, heretofore, a lack of evidence pointing to any cause. It is my hope that a closer study will provide answers, and it hurts to move on. We are pioneers, however, and as such we must push on.”

A later entry in the notes explains the carcass that accompanied the document.

“We ran afoul of a hostile creature this past week (the entry is dated early eleventh). It is avian in nature, roughly the height of a Sarnwainian ostrich, but heavily muscled and displaying behaviors resembling pack predators.

“The creatures ambushed us in the late hours, attacking from all sides. I’d say there were about eight in all. The low light made it difficult enough to discern them, but the patterns of their feathers matched the foliage almost identically. Indeed, one of our security men cried out that the trees had come alive. Such was not the case. The creatures seemed to have a sort of adaptive camouflage…a feature often observed in reptiles but never in birds. They killed three of our party before Mister Mackay dropped what we assume is the lone male in the group. The other creatures broke off their attack and disappeared into the jungle.

“The specimen I am sending you is that individual. It is a spectacular find! Nothing like it exists in the known zoological world. I also hope never to run across one again, as the ferocity of their attack and the noises they made will forever be embedded in my nightmares!”

The specimen sent to Oeil de Fleur is said to be in excellent shape, despite a several months journey across the ocean. The headmaster of the university says that they plan to strip the carcass, saving his feathers for study and its bones for exhibition.

Blackwood Gazette #304- University of Oeil de Fleur receives correspondence from Trenum Expedition, along with captured ‘Monster’

Blackwood Gazette #303- Citizens in Shock After Exotic Ganborran Stink Monkey Wreaks Havoc at the Oeil de Fleur Menagerie

17/1/283- The north-eastern side of Oeil de Fleur is in shambles tonight after an exotic primate from Ganborrah escaped from a petting exhibit at the Oeil de Fleur Menagerie yesterday. The monkey, which emits a foul-smelling musk when threatened, went berserk after a child pulled its tail.

“Every thing was going as normal,” said the exhibit’s custodian, Emile Tousaun. “The kids and their families were just milling about, shooing away the usual goats and chasing the everyday chicken-hogs. Things didn’t get out of hand until we introduced Chirpy.”

Chirpy, we are told, was a new addition to the exhibit, and this was to be his debut. Though the animal was used to the menagerie’s handlers, this was his first time interacting with the public.

“Things went south pretty fast,” Tousaun said. “It’s amazing how quickly they went bad. It was almost as though the offending toddler had a directive from some higher power, given how she zeroed in on Chirpy’s tail and pulled it.”

Chirpy howled, an ear-splitting call that witnesses to the incident say caused every goat, chicken-hog, and man to freeze in place and take notice.

“I looked over and there’s this kid standing there with this orange liquid pouring down her face, bawling her eyes out, and that horrible little beast standing at her feet with its ass up in the air, howling like it’s being murdered,” said once such bystander. “I only had a second to parse out the situation before the smell hit.”

Just how bad is the smell of a Ganborran Stink Monkey?

“Take a Newlands polecat, mix it with a Barrier Sea Tuna that’s been rotting in the sun for a month, throw in traces of Crowndon’s sewers with a side of a Monteddorian dumpster after Harvest Day, and then get rid of it, because none of that compares to what comes out of a scared Ganborran Stink Monkey,” Tousan said.

Why was such an animal on display in a petting exhibit in the first place? Did the menagerie have any idea of the horror they were about to unleash?

“We knew,” Tousan said. “But Chirpy, he was a just a baby. The glands aren’t supposed to develop until maturity. We even tested the reflex last night, and nothing happened. Must have hit puberty overnight.”

After spraying the child and half of the exhibit, those present were so incapacitated by the odor that the monkey was able to escape over the menagerie wall. The toddler is in quarantine while the menagerie works out a way to remove the smell, and will likely have vision trouble for the rest of her life. Chirpy, we are told, is still at large.

Blackwood Gazette #303- Citizens in Shock After Exotic Ganborran Stink Monkey Wreaks Havoc at the Oeil de Fleur Menagerie