Blackwood Gazette #249-Veronica Trenum Embarks on Deadlands Expedition, Promises “Revolutionary Discoveries”

By Timothy Petit, Science and Technology

21/7/282- After months of preparation and navigating the increasingly murky waters of Triumvirate bureaucracy, Veronica Trenum’s expedition into the Deadlands is officially underway. The goal of the expedition is to follow along the trail of Professor Uriah Farringdon Oke, who went missing in the region years ago and was recently discovered wandering around the colonies.

“I have no doubts that this will prove to be the most important, and most exciting, scientific expedition of the last hundred years,” Doctor Trenum told me before her departure. “The mysteries of the Deadlands have long baffled the Triumvirate, and should the tales Professor Oke told of an ancient, mechanical city deep within its forests prove true, its discovery would revolutionary discoveries about Pre-Rift culture.”

Doctor Trenum has already overcome many obstacles to even getting the expedition running, and she is sure to face many more to come. Among them is a rival expedition, led by Doctor Alex Congate, which will be leaving shortly after the Trenum Party.

“You media types keep calling this a race,” Doctor Congate said. “That’s nonsense. I prefer to think of my party less as an expedition, and more as a system of checks and balances. It is not our intention to find this mythic city, or any such evidence of so called ‘Pre Rift’ culture. It is my objective to keep Miss Trenum in check, to make sure that her investments in this venture do not overshadow the sanctity of the scientific process.”

Besides having a skeptic hot on her heels, Doctor Trenum faces another party interested in the region, Alejandro Julianos, who has been sending expeditions into the region for over a year.

“I’m not worried about Julianos,” Doctor Trenum said. “Whatever it is he’s doing in the Deadlands, I doubt it has anything to do with Oke’s lost city. There was some worry early on that he was barring our efforts to get funded, crewed, and supplied, but those setback proved to be more about TA incompetence than anything. In any case, anything the Julianos expeditions have discovered have been kept secret. Anything I find, I intend to share with world. And I am convinced that anything I find will prove to have monumental effects.

“Remember the discovery of the Blackwood Grove? In the nearly three hundred years since we’ve gone from disparate feudalist territories tearing at each other’s throats and groveling in the mud to a worldwide Imperial power unified by steam engines. I believe the Deadlands conceal a similar world changing discovery. We’ll never know until we get over our fears of the region and press inward. With the Grove beginning to dwindle, and no solution to its eventual depletion in sight, we can’t afford not taking risks.”

***

Timothy Petit is the new science and technology writer for the Nor Eastern branch of the Blackwood Gazette. He has taken the position with the utmost reluctance, and fears greatly for the well being of his Crowndonian counterpart, Ada Herschel, who remains in government custody. He graduated from Sau Anoit University, with honors, holds three patents, has fathered 2 children, twin daughters, and has a dog named Chip (formerly Block-Head…he was named by the aforementioned daughters when they were three; they have since grown older and changed their minds).

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Blackwood Gazette #249-Veronica Trenum Embarks on Deadlands Expedition, Promises “Revolutionary Discoveries”

Blackwood Gazette #218- Rescued Explorer Reportedly Rambled on About ‘Living City’

By Chester Seaton, News

16/2/282-Rumors and speculation continue to swirl around the recent recovery of the famous explorer Uriah Farringdon Oke, who disappeared during an expedition into the Deadlands of the western continent. The Colonial Marshals who took Oke into their custody have been reluctant to share details on Oke’s condition, but new reports are shedding some light on what happened during his ill fated expedition.

Sources close to the personnel of Fort Faulkner tell us that the Professor exhibited signs of madness when he was brought in. During his waking hours they say he is prone to babbling on about various mysterious things.

“Most of it is incoherent raving,” said a doctor who claims to have performed the initial examination of Oke. “However, he became particularly lucid when he would describe ‘The Living City.’”

According to the doctor, who wished to remain unnamed (and whose references check out, we can assure you), Oke and his team had stumbled upon a ‘great, mechanical city’ in the heart of the Deadlands. At the center of this city lay, ‘a monumental forest of gargantuan trees, blackened and burned by some unimaginable inferno.’

Experts in both archaeology and anthropology have begun requesting transcripts of the doctor’s report. So far, however, the doctor has only sent a copy to Veronica Trenum.
Trenum, an expert in Pre-Alchemical Rift culture, was reluctant to discuss her thoughts on the doctor’s report. She did offer one, mysterious statement on the matter.

“If the lost city described in Oke’s rambling are the result of an actual experience and not some tragic devolution into insanity, and if the city is what I think it is, it could very well change everything we think we know about Pre-Rift history and the practice of Alchemy. If it exists and we could get to it, the knowledge contained within would completely alter the course of our world.”

While Trenum would offer no further insights into what she believed this lost city might be, former colleagues were more than willing to offer their theories.

“There exists, in certain interpretations of translated Pre-Rift writings, the myth of a colossal city in the sky,” said Professor Alex Congate. “This city was believed to be the Capitol of a nation of ancient alchemists whose hubris led them to take to the skies and rule the world below, only to eventually be toppled and come crashing back down to earth. A ridiculous notion, to be sure, but one with a lesson to be taught. That’s why we call it a myth.”

It is perhaps prudent to note that Professor Congate is a well-known rival of Doctor Trenum’s, and came under investigation for a fire that consumed most of her notes during an expedition several years ago.

Blackwood Gazette #218- Rescued Explorer Reportedly Rambled on About ‘Living City’