Blackwood Gazette #266- Desantana Security Foils Assassination Attempt; Begin Hunt for Suspects

By Isairo Palantes, Monteddorian Correspondent

12/10/282-Desantana Security officials tell us that they were able to thwart the attempted assassination of an unspecified high ranking member of the Monteddorian military late last week. The attempt was the latest in a long line of similar crimes that have occurred this year.

The operation, a Desantana Security spokesperson told us, was set up solely to draw the assassin out. Specifics as to how the military officer would be a target for the assassin were not divulged, but considering the other targets were all involved in the bombardment of Sanado Flores, it is likely the officer was involved in that ill-fated operation.

The trap was sprung at a speech given by the officer at the opening of a new Desantana blackwood refining facility in Govanna Territory. Security specialists were able to pinpoint the attacker before the kill was made. While the assassin ultimately eluded capture, D.S. personnel was able to engage in a brief fire fight.

The suspect is said to be a Monteddorian woman in her early to mid-twenties, and it is believed that she may be a surviving rebel from the Sanado Flores attack. Interviews conducted around the nearby town show that a woman matching this description was spotted a few days before, procuring supplies. The interviews also revealed she was possibly traveling with another, older woman, likely of Crowndon descent with graying blonde hair.

Several of the people who claim to have seen the pair referred to them as either ‘Moldradus’ (an old Govan word for Shaper) or ‘Ropaos Moldradus’ (Shaper Rogue). The significance of these terms is yet to be determined.

Desantana Security and the Monteddorian military both have increased their presence in the area as well as along the borders of Govanna. They are confident the assassins will be detained or killed soon.

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Blackwood Gazette #266- Desantana Security Foils Assassination Attempt; Begin Hunt for Suspects

Ex-Humanor #001- Men In Blue: The Cartographer Agenda

You know, whenever I’m talking to someone about the Summit Attacks late last year, the subject of the matter always turns to just who was it that attacked, and what to call them, and the person I’m talking to just sort of spaces out and I can almost hear the gears in their head grinding to a halt. I half expect to see smoke begin pouring out of their ears.

It’s obvious to me, but then I’m awake. I’m able to see the connections. Where there’s smoke, there is fire, as they say. And this big, blue clad smoke casting a haze over our oh so wonderful Imperial alliance has not blinded me to its source.

I’ve been talking about them for years. Other, more cowardly types in positions of power have whispered about them in hushed tones in the back rooms of tobacco dens and I’m sure more than a few of them have shaken hands with the culprits at fundraisers. They’ve shown up in Penny Dreadfuls as villains for decades. And, for good or ill, they’ve charted our course as a society for much longer than any of us can imagine.

I’m speaking, of course, of the Ephemeral Cartographers. ‘Oh, pish posh!’ someone might say when I float the possibility in conversation. Not the reaction I want, but it’s the one I often expect, and at least it jars them out of that dumbfounded blank stare before the drool starts pouring from their mouths.

But I ask you, who else could it be? Who else could amass such a massive fleet and attack the world’s foremost military tactician, Allie Handro Julie Anus, other than a society that has been acting in secret for centuries and very likely coined the term ‘compartmentalization’? Who else would have the funding, and the personnel, and the knowledge to do such a thing, than an entity so shadowy that it only exists in the majority of our minds in whispers and campfire stories?

I really wish our illustrious leaders would stop beating around the bush and start calling the perpetrators of this attack the Cartographers, if for no other reason than to give them a name so we can move on to more important matters, like where the hell they came from and what the hell do they want?

For the first question, I posit an answer: they come from everywhere. The Cartographers have no nation…no, that’s not right. Their nation is our nation; the Cartographers are us. They’re our best friends, our business owners, our politicians, perhaps even our families. They are citizens of the Triumvirate, or Sarnwain, or wherever else they operate. You could even be reading one right now! But you wouldn’t believe it if I told you, right?

As for the second question? I’ve no clue, sadly, and that’s embarrassing. I, who often deign to know all the answers to life’s little riddles, have absolutely no idea what it is exactly the Cartographers want…why, after hundreds of years of lying in the shadows they’ve suddenly chosen now to reveal themselves (and the Summit was just the loudest, most brazen example; there have been reports of personnel matching the description of those who attacked the Summit operating in the colonies for months). And not only have they chosen to reveal themselves, they did so with a massive fleet, which then proceeded to try and bomb our leadership to hell and back.

Many use this as a way to deflect my insistence that these are indeed the Cartographers; if the Cartographers were real, they’ve always been so subtle. Why so brazen, all of a sudden? And I admit, that is a missing piece of this puzzle. I look at the Summit and see what a Cartographer might call a desired outcome of their supplying new weaponry to rebel movements around the world. Typically, that would be the end of it: the Cartographers nudge, and the world bends accordingly. Never before have they been so direct about it.
Perhaps this missing piece of the puzzle will eventually fall into place. I only pray that it does so before it’s too late. Until then, dear readers, Stay Awake.

OCULUS.
***
Welcome to the first installment of The Ex-Humanor. Oculus is a character I introduced way, way back when, who’s cropped up a couple of times in the Gazette as a charlatan and rumor monger, but this is the first time I’ve given him a full article.

One of the things I wanted to do this year was explore what the alternative media in the Blackwood Empire might look like, and Oculus is the result. He’s a riff on certain radio and podcast personalities, a way to explore the weirder side of the world as well as poke a little good natured fun at internet conspiracy theorists and some of their quirks (like accusing anyone who doesn’t agree with them of ‘being asleep’, or taking the name of someone they have an issue with and turning it into an immature, school yard insult, like ‘Allie Handro Julie Anus’…as though that solves anything). If the Gazette is somewhat a way to examine the media as a mouthpiece for the powerful, than the Ex-Humanor is a way to examine what happens when things like fact checking, editorial oversight and objectivity are chucked out the window.

And if the Gazette is one extreme, and the Ex-Humanor is the other, then I’m hoping the third feature I’m planning, Adella Chatelaine Reports… finds a happy place somewhere in the middle.

Ex-Humanor #001- Men In Blue: The Cartographer Agenda

Blackwood Gazette #77: Prime Suspect in Waystation Bravo Incident Captured; Immediately Escapes

By Chester Seaton

22/10-As reported by our own Adella Chatelaine last week, Klaus Klaudhopper, one of the only known survivors of the Waystation Bravo incident, was taken into custody by Colonial Marshals. After he was captured, he was taken to a Marshall garrison, where he was held for one day.

The marshals claim to have questioned the man extensively, but say that he remained tight lipped except to spew insults and curses in Rommsbachian. At a loss, the garrison’s Chief began prepping Klaudhopper for transfer to a high security prison in New Crowndon.

The transport was still a day out when what appeared to be two separate forces attacked the garrison. Members of both attacking forces match details in Miss Chatelaine’s account, with one group identified as the bandit gang led by Doctor Argyle Von Grimm. The other group, well armed and well trained, is unidentified, though rumors have begun swirling that they might have been members of the secret society known as the Ephemeral Cartographers. If so, it would be the first confirmed sighting of Cartographers by reputable sources in over one hundred years.

Surviving Marshals also claimed that the battle ended in stalemate, with both sides retreating. When the Chief ordered Klaudhopper checked on, they found no more than an empty cell with a large hole blown in the back wall, likely with dynamite. It is unclear at this time which group ultimately ended up capturing Mr. Klaudhopper, or if the man effected his own escape with the help of an accomplice.

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BONUS:

Hey look, everyone…it’s a real life Sir Rigel Rinkenbach! (photo courtesy of Kasey Walton @ kwaltonVFX.com

Kasey Walton as Sir Rigel Rinkenbach
Kasey Walton as Sir Rigel Rinkenbach

Rigel_Rinkenbach

Blackwood Gazette #77: Prime Suspect in Waystation Bravo Incident Captured; Immediately Escapes

Serial-The ‘Shroom Job, Part 1

“I can’t believe you tried to kill me,” Violet said.

Eli pretended not to hear her. He had been doing this a lot since the encounter with the Toad had left him deaf in one ear. Given the confined space of the train car, and the fact that she spoke loud and clearly, she wasn’t buying it. That and she saw his left eye glance at her before flicking back toward the train window and the lush jungle speeding by.

Violet sat back, frustrated. The socket where her right used to be itched something fierce. She clenched her hands and crossed them in front of her.

Don’t go poking at it, she told herself, repeating it several times in case she forgot. You’ll only make it worse.

Continue reading “Serial-The ‘Shroom Job, Part 1”

Serial-The ‘Shroom Job, Part 1