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.”

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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 #12: Klankenvroot to Rinkenbach: “Let’s See Who Gets in the Air First.”

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15/5-A representative for Klankenvroot Industries issued a press release yesterday stating that plans to build the world’s first commercial Planar Wing Aircraft are proceeding ahead of schedule.

“We are half-way through the concepting stage,” said the representative. “None of you probably knows what that means. It pretty much means we’re halfway there.”

Not to make things too easy for Klankenvroot, however, long time rival and fellow industrialist Rigel Rinkenbach issued his own statement in response to Klankenvroot’s claims.

“His press release is complete and utter poppycock,” Rinkenbach said. “Sorry for the redundancy, my dear girl, but it bears repeating where Ivan is concerned. The man is a moron. I’m sure we here at Rinkenbach R&D could not only design such an aircraft before Klankenvroot, despite his head start, but we could build it and have it taking passengers halfway through a maiden voyage before he ever hits the factory floor to build a prototype, never mind an actual PWA.”

Klankenvroot was quick to respond, going so far as to rent out the entirety of the Empress Hotel in Oeil de Fleur for a press conference.

“Rinkenbach is still riding off past successes,” Klankenvroot said. “He thinks that just because he is the Father of Planar Wing Aviation–a title which is debatable, by the way–that he is the KING of such. THAT is poppycock. When was the last time he did anything of note? That’s right, the war with Crowndon. Everything since has been a commercial failure*. If he wants to get into an industrial race with me, let him. Let’s see who gets in the air first. He could use a lesson in humility.”

Rinkenbach then held his own press conference, the next day. He rented out two hotels for the press (and meals included: full disclosure). He stood before the microphone, and half of the world’s press.

“Challenge accepted,” Rinkenbach said, and such was the extent of his statements.

*Editor’s note: Rinkenbach Research and Development’s shares have been consistently high in recent months, and his products have made a profit. We here at the Gazette are unsure what Klankenvroot was referring to in his statement.

Blackwood Gazette #12: Klankenvroot to Rinkenbach: “Let’s See Who Gets in the Air First.”

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 #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

Blackwood Gazette #8: Tensions Rising Over Sarnwainian Development of Combustion Engines

1/5-The Imperial Blackwood Authority is up in arms today over reports that the Sarnwainian Empire has plans to pursue oil based combustion engines.

“If the Sarnwainians figure out how to build an engine that uses their impressive oil deposits, we’re all screwed,” said Authority head Richard Leavensworth. “Over time they would prove to be cheaper than the cost of harvesting and shipping Blackwood for our current steam-based transportation system. Combine that with the availability of Sarnwainian oil versus the limited resource of the Blackwood Grove…the Triumvirate would fall apart. We’re talking about an almost over night shift in economic power and a complete reconstruction of the way the world works.”

Blackwood magnate Marco de Santana isn’t worried.

“Let the Sarnwainians try their combustion engines,” de Santa said. “We tried it once. It didn’t work. The oil gummed up the works. And before it did, the engines were loud, and the fumes coming off the engine choked the warehouse. The citizenry won’t like it once presented with the setbacks.”

The opinions of the citizenry seem to indicate otherwise, however.

“Something cheaper than Blackwood?” one local, who owns a small independent transport company, said. “Sign me up. Costs me six months salary for a chunk of Blackwood to power my little airbus for nine. Maybe one day we’ll ALL be able to afford one of them autos you see the rich folks driving around. People like De Santana, they’re just worried about their own personal wealth.”

Scientists from around the Triumvirate are the most concerned with this development overall.

“In addition to the geopolitical ramifications everyone is prattling on about are the environmental ones,” said Sir Rigel Rinkenbach, of NorEaster. “I was there when we tried our own oil based engine. I even helped design the damn thing! Now imagine a city full of such engines, making noise and pumping black smoke into the air. Say goodbye to the clear blue of the Imperial Skyways, and the immaculate stone work of Oeil de Fleur. No, we must re double our efforts in re-creating the Blackwood formulae, and we must stop at nothing to prevent the Sarnwainians from succeeding. Stay with Steam! Down with Diesel!”

Blackwood Gazette #8: Tensions Rising Over Sarnwainian Development of Combustion Engines

Blackwood Gazette #7: Wealthy Socialites Marry, Immediately Divorce; Set New World Record

29/4-Thousands of friends, family, and well wishers gathered in Monteddor City today for the wedding of Yolanda de Santana and Armin Chevelle. De Santana is the daughter of Montedorrian Blackwood magnate Marco de Santana, and Chevelle is a popular purveyor of adult publications in Nor Easter.

The ceremony was appropriately lavish, with a red silk carpet serving as the bride’s walkway and a flock of rare Sarnwainian Bluebirds being released upon the completion of the vows.

“Oh, it was so beautiful!” said  famous fashion designer Gustavo Frederick-Alanstead Gallardo. “I had literal tears in my eyes. It was literally amazing! Weddings always make me cry rivers. Literally!”

No sooner than the Bluebirds were released, recaptured, and served in a stew, did the newlywed couple turn from the priest (Chevelle’s uncle, ordained purely for the purpose of this ceremony) to their lawyers. A family lawyer represented Chevelle, the infamous Guiseppe Le’Saul. De Santana was represented by her mother.

With the terms of the divorce already agreed upon beforehand, and thanks to a series of complicated loopholes in the Monteddorian legal system, the newlyweds finalized the dissolution of their marriage with a single signature. Their marriage lasted a grand total of one minute, 15 seconds, setting a new world record. Chevelle himself set the previous record of one minute, 18 seconds last year.

With the divorce finalized, the guests attended an opulent reception where they feasted upon the finest dishes in Monteddor, prepared by the greatest culinary artists from around the Triumvirate. Dishes served included barbequed whale and roasted chicken-hogs from the Divide, an exceedingly expensive dish as there are only twelve known to exist (there were one hundred before the wedding took place).

“It all looks and smells delicious,” said popular pin-up Pippi Tralala. “I do not partake, however. I subsist solely on sunlight and air.”

After the meal, the guests celebrated by dancing. The night’s festivities ended with a completely debauched orgy, documented by Chevelle’s own film crews using the newest moving picture cameras. The documentary, simply titled ‘The Aristrocrats’, will be available on all Chevelle Corporation Kinetic Viewers by next month.

Blackwood Gazette #7: Wealthy Socialites Marry, Immediately Divorce; Set New World Record