Blackwood Gazette #298- Crowndon Branch of the Gazette to Shutter its Doors Following Execution of Owner Maurice Merchant

By Jeanne Dupris, Editor in Chief

30/12/282- While the victory over Sarnwain has given Nor Easter a reason to celebrate, I am unable to share in the same jubilation. Word has come in that Maurice Merchant, owner and proprietor of the Blackwood Gazette, has been executed by firing squad in Crowndon.

Maurice Merchant was a close friend and colleague, and to many of us in the field, he is now a martyr. We tried our hardest to have Mister Merchant spared, even resorting to measures we aren’t ready to talk about, but in the end, it was for naught.

In the wake of Mister Merchant’s execution, the Crowndon Ministry of Information Distribution announced that the Blackwood Gazette in Crowndon is no more, as the name is now considered tainted within the Crowndon Empire. Its staff (most notably that spineless lap dog, Chester Seaton, whom it was revealed testified against Mister Merchant, the son of his best friend and former mentor), will be rolled into the Ministry.

The Nor Eastern Branch of the Gazette (which I suppose is now the main branch of the Gazette) will proudly carry the name forward. I only hope we can continue to live up to the name.

Maurice Merchant was forty two years old. He leaves behind two children, both of age and living abroad. The Gazette faced bankruptcy when he took over. Thanks to years of efforts, he re-established the paper as the premier source of information in the Triumvirate, expanding into Nor Easter shortly after the Dividing War despite protests from Crowndon’s oligarchs.

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Blackwood Gazette #298- Crowndon Branch of the Gazette to Shutter its Doors Following Execution of Owner Maurice Merchant

Blackwood Gazette #286- Chaos in Crowndon! City Watch Deploys Automatons to Disperse Boisterous Citizens!

By Chester Seaton, News

12/15/282- A mob descended upon the steps of the Crowndon Capital building yesterday. Spurred on by egregious reports coming from rogue actors outside of the Empire, they demanded that the Imperial Ruling Body answer for alleged actions taken at the Klankenvroot factory last month, as well as the recent sentencing of the traitor Maurice Merchant.

The streets of Crowndon have seen much unrest in the last week, but this was the first time the demonstrations had reached the Capital. While such demonstrations are not necessarily legal, they are often overlooked unless they present a clear and present danger to government officials or the citizens involved. Clearly, the unruly horde that descended upon the building, hurling insults and rocks alike, constituted such a threat.

In response, our valiant city watch deployed its newest asset, the Gladstone Aerial Reconnaissance Device (or G.A.R.D., rebranded from A.R.A., trade marked by Gladstone Enterprises) upon the crowd. The magnificent devices, operating completely autonomously, took position over the crowd and out of their reach, and deployed a payload of noxious powder derived from basilisk lotus pollen and diluted Barrier Tuna oil. The mixture proved too much for the rabble to handle, and they were quickly dispersed. The city watch reports that no one was seriously injured, and arrests were few, though the smell of the tuna oil will likely result in weeks of scrubbing the Capital’s front steps with tomato juice and the lawn must be completely replaced.

“We knew the pungency of the barrier tuna would prove problematic,” Argathal Gladstone said, when asked about the performance of his machine. “I’m still working on the right balance for the concoction. Other than that, however, the G.A.R.D. worked wonderfully!”

Once the situation was resolved, the Watch quickly posted new guidelines for public demonstrations, namely that they are strictly forbidden for a time to be determined by the Imperial Ruling Body. Anyone caught engaging in disruptive political discourse will be promptly arrested and tried for sedition.

Blackwood Gazette #286- Chaos in Crowndon! City Watch Deploys Automatons to Disperse Boisterous Citizens!

Blackwood Gazette #270-Opening Statements Heard in Gazette Sedition Trial

By Chester Seaton, News

26/10/282- Former journalists for this publication had their first day in court today. Maurice Merchant, former Editor in Chief, owner and proprietor, and son of Tobias Merchant, who founded the Gazette, and Ada Herschel, former science and technology writer, stand accused of sedition and sewing unrest against the Oligarchy of the Crowndon Empire.

The prosecution opened with a blistering presentation of its goals, to provide several pieces of evidence suggesting Mister Merchant and Miss Herschel worked hand in hand to present certain government actions in a negative light, with the ultimate goal of toppling the Oligarchy and reinstating the constitutional monarchy which fell out of favor following the discovery of the Blackwood grove nearly 3 centuries ago. The prosecution promises to show evidence of Miss Herschel’s ties to Nor Easter, and Mister Merchant’s ties to the former royal family.

The defense countered by denying any and all accusations, stating that any seditious statements made were in fact nothing more than innocent remarks of dissatisfaction on the parts of Mister Merchant and Miss Herschel, and that any purported rumors of a government overthrow or foreign meddling in Crowndon affairs are preposterous.

“A guilty verdict in this trial will do more to sew unrest than any expression of exasperation at Crowndon’s desperate grasping for military relevance ever could,” the defense claimed. The accused made no statements.

The trial will reconvene in one week’s time, to present evidence and hear testimony. The prosecution intends to pursue the highest sentencing possible, being either death or exile.

Blackwood Gazette #270-Opening Statements Heard in Gazette Sedition Trial