Blackwood Gazette #290- Desantana Fleets Return to Monteddor

By Jeanne Dupris, Nor Easter EIC

20/12/282- Triumvirate Authority pickets along Triumvirate borders have reported a surge in activity along the Imperial Skyways over the past week. Most of the increased activity comes from the movements of Desantana flotillas.

The Desantana ships were all seen to be headed towards Monteddor, leading many to believe that the fleets have been recalled. The reasoning and purpose of this recall is unknown at this time, but citizens across the Triumvirate who were witness to the migration uniformly described it as frightening.

One man in particular, a fisherman from Govanna Territory, said, “I thought it was some sort of invasion. None of the ships I saw seemed to be of the Triumvirate variety. They were covered in weird markings and flew a banner I’d never seen before.”

The strange banner in question is likely that of the Molten Crown Mercenary group. The Authority says that similar ships were seen mixed in with the fleets of Seylene Plamondon and Johanna McKilroy. Desantana has been pursuing a partnership with the group for some time, and it would appear that alliance has been formed.

Whatever the reason for this mass gathering of mercenary and pirate fleets in Monteddor, one can’t deny the unease that it causes. Neither Monteddor’s High King nor Yolanda Desantana could be reached for comment.

Blackwood Gazette #290- Desantana Fleets Return to Monteddor

Blackwood Gazette #276-Desantana Fleet Involved in Skirmish with Molten Crown Mercenaries

By Isairo Palantes, Monteddorian Correspondent

22/11/282- Nearly six months ago, the Gazette reported that Yolanda Desantana’s ambitious ‘Triumvirate of the Skies’ (an alliance between Desantana, the Pirate Queen Seylene Plamondon, and the former pirate hunter Johanna McKilroy) was courting a fourth member, the former princess of Quin-Loh, Zan You-Delsha. It would appear, however, that those efforts have proven in vain.

Reports made by Sarnwainian forces patrolling the eastern waters of the Pyros Ocean indicate that a fleet of airships commanded by McKilroy were seen engaging with Molten Crown mercenary ships. It is unclear how the skirmish began, but it is said to have been brief as both forces retreated after sustaining light damage.

“From the sounds of things, both fleets were evenly matched,” said Dante Luna, a retired captain of Monteddor’s air navy and instructor at Monteddor City Military Academy. “It also sounds like there was never an intent at a full engagement. It was more like the two fleets were feeling each other out, trying to get a grasp on each other’s strengths and weaknesses. This could either be the first stage of bringing You-Delsha into the fold, or the beginning of a bloody rivalry.”

Luna went on to say that any war between the factions would depend on Desantana and Plamondon’s willingness to back up their compatriot.

“There’s more than a little bad blood between the pirate queen and the huntress. Honestly, I’m surprised the alliance has lasted as long as it has. If Plamondon has Desantana’s favor, they may leave McKilroy to fight You-Delsha on her own, leaving both fleets weakened and ripe for the taking.”

If the alliance holds, however, and the Molten Crown mercenaries are brought into the fold, the captain says Desantana’s already immense fleet would become unstoppable.

“Between the four of them, they would have enough resources and martial experience to challenge the combined forces of the Triumvirate’s individual militaries, as well as the Authority. Add in Desantana’s ties to Alejandro Julianos, and the implications are downright apocalyptic.”

Blackwood Gazette #276-Desantana Fleet Involved in Skirmish with Molten Crown Mercenaries

Blackwood Gazette #241-DeSantana/Plamondon Alliance Grows Stronger with Addition of Notorious Pirate Hunter

by Isairo Palantes, Monteddorian Correspondent

1/6/282-Several weeks ago, the Triumvirate stood in stunned silence as Blackwood magnate Yolanda Desantana joined her security forces with those of the Pirate Queen Seylene Plamondon, creating the largest private air fleet in the Triumvirate. Since then, the Empire has waited for news on how this alliance would play out.

As it turns out, they aren’t done recruiting. Reports from Crowndon and Monteddor both claim that Desantana and Plamondon have accepted a third major figure into their venture, the wayward pirate hunter and Crowndon fugitive, Captain Johanna McKilroy.

The addition of McKilroy stands to turn this already sticky situation into a powder keg. Given McKilroy’s history of taking down pirates, many of whom were close associates of Plamondon, many are wondering how long it takes before the two start tearing each other apart. There is also the question of McKilroy’s fugitive status in Crowndon, though given that Plamondon is one of the most wanted women in the world, McKilroy’s own warrants may be a moot point in the shadow of Desantana’s influence.

Not everyone believes the alliance will blow up in the faces of those involved. Marcel De La Croix, an expert in the finicky politics of pirates, mercenaries and other shady elements, claims this alliance could prove to be a force to be reckoned with, should it survive.

“Yolanda Desantana has proven to be a shrewd and pragmatic leader in recent years,” De La Croix told us. “With her as the core, I have no doubt she will ultimately be able to not only broker a truce between Pirate Queen and Pirate Huntress, but galvanize them in pursuit of some larger purpose, whatever that may be.”

In the meantime, the people of Monteddor have already taken to calling the alliance the Triumvirate of the Sky, and rumor has it that Desantana has her eye on further expansion. One possible candidate? Zan You-Delsha, who infamously abdicated her position as Princess of Quin Loh by throwing her crown into a volcano in order to form the Molten Crown mercenary group. The group consists of over three hundred ships, aerial and nautical, and has begun making a name for itself suppressing various uprisings in the Pyrossi islands during the last decade.

Blackwood Gazette #241-DeSantana/Plamondon Alliance Grows Stronger with Addition of Notorious Pirate Hunter

Blackwood Gazette #192- McKilroy and La Pierre Both Show Up for their Duel…In Two Separate Places

By Chester Seaton, News

21/9- Last month, the ongoing, globe spanning feud between pirate captain Roderick La Pierre and Pirate Hunter Johanna McKilroy came to a head, with the two stumbling across each other in a bar on the other side of the world and engaging in a fist fight that left both of them unable to walk. The fight ended with La Pierre issuing a challenge, for McKilroy to meet him in one month’s time over the skies where they first met.

A month has since passed, and the Crowndon air corps has maintained increased patrols over the academy of aeronautical warfare. To date, neither La Pierre nor McKilroy has appeared.

Many believed that the increased presence of the military had dissuaded the two from meeting for their duel, but we have since learned such isn’t the case. According to the citizens of a small town in the region known as The Middle of Nowhere, La Pierre’s ship the Pernicious Platitude spent a full week hovering in the skies over an old battle site from the beginning of the Crowndon/Nor Easter war.

After a week had passed with no appearance by McKilroy, La Pierre left. Many assumed McKilroy had chickened out. However, it would appear this assumption is false as well.
McKilroy’s ship, the Dismissive Smile, was seen some five hundred miles to the North East, over another battle site along the border between the Crowndon Empire and the region known as the Divide. She too, it is said, waited several days before leaving.

“There’s a pretty simple explanation for all of this,” offered Captain Bartholomeus Pickering Wolstenhouse VII. “It’s kind of like a married couple, when they get to talking about their first date, and one of them says they went to this one place, and the other says, no, we did this other thing. And the first one’s like, no…that was our second date. Same thing happened here. Both fully intended to show up and blow each other out of the sky. They just got their wires crossed, is all.”

So, which battle came first?

“The battle near the Divide happened first, as it was earlier in the war and the Nor Easterners hadn’t pushed far into Crowndon yet,” Wolstenhouse said. “But it doesn’t matter, because none of the official records for either battle include La Pierre or McKilroy listed among the combatants. Who knows what the logic was behind their thinking? Perhaps it has nothing to do with the battles fought at those sites, and more to do with some personal thing. You’d have to ask them about that.”

Blackwood Gazette #192- McKilroy and La Pierre Both Show Up for their Duel…In Two Separate Places

Blackwood Gazette #177- Drunken Fist Fight Breaks Out Between McKilroy and La Pierre in Small Sarnwainian Port

By Basilio Mura, Nor Eastern Correspondent

12/8- A fist fight broke out between two people in a small port on the east coast of Sarnwain earlier this week. Normally, a fist fight between two drunkards wouldn’t be a news worthy item, but the alleged identity of the participants makes it so.

Witnesses to the event say that an already inebriated Captain La Pierre entered the tavern at around 2200 hours. He proceeded to order three pints of house grog, four shots of whiskey, and a Thankai ox cheese and pulled pork crisp sampler. As he was downing the last of his ale, another patron approached him.

This second patron, described as “a woman, around six feet tall with a metal arm and only half a face”, pulled La Pierre from his bar stool and began hurling slurred expletives at him.

“The Captain, he got up and looked at the woman with this look on his face like he didn’t know what was going on,” said one witness to the event, a local fisherman. “Then recognition came over his face, and he charged at her.”

La Pierre allegedly tried to push the woman aside, who patrons believe to be the pirate hunter Johanna McKilroy. McKilroy grabbed La Pierre around the waist and pulled him down, sending him crashing into a nearby table.

“The two of them started going at it like a pair of nunakttan howler-treevils after mating,” said the tavern owner. “Punching, biting, kicking and trying to gouge out one another’s eyes. Everyone in the bar was pushed up against the wall, afraid to get in their way. Half my glasses were shattered, they took out most of the shelves behind the bar, and eventually the two of them went through the tavern’s back wall.”

The fight continued outside, where residents of the village say the crews of the Pernicious Platitude and Dismissive Smile had already started tearing each other apart on the docks.

“I’ll never forget the sight of it,” said another witness. “These two drunken maniacs slugging it out along the dock while their crew men dueled around them, all silhouetted against the full moon hanging over the ocean.”

By the end of the brawl, witnesses say the two captains were both on their knees, covered in blood and booze, swinging ineffectively at each other in their exhaustion.

“The whole thing just kind of fizzled out,” said the tavern owner. “Even the crews stopped fighting each other to stop and watch the captains as they tried to throw their fists at each other, only to miss half the time.”

The brawl ended when someone announced that the Thankai army was on its way. The crews of both airships retrieved their respective captains and flew off in separate directions.

As he was being taken away, La Pierre is said to have shouted, “One month, we finish this. In the skies over where we first met!”

McKilroy was heard to reply, ”I’ll be looking forward to it, you Northern bastard!”

It is believed that the location where they first met is the Crowndon Academy of Aeronautical Warfare, which both attended during their time in the Air Corps. As such, the Crowndon Air Corps is already preparing for their arrival.

“It’s high time these two idiots are taken down,” said Admiral Winston Johannes said. “Thanks to their penchant for drunken theatrics, we now know where they’ll both be and when.”

Blackwood Gazette #177- Drunken Fist Fight Breaks Out Between McKilroy and La Pierre in Small Sarnwainian Port

Blackwood Gazette # 168- Dismissive Smile Sighted in Sarnwain: McKilroy vs. La Pierre Round 2?

By Basilio Mura, Nor Easter Correspondent

30/7- Ever since his explosive escape from the ruins of Gerrza in Pharassus two weeks ago, no one has seen or heard from infamous air pirate Captain Roderick Beauchamp La Pierre. Rumors persist that he is somewhere in Sarnwain, likely having taken to ground in the dense jungles along the eastern coast to finish repairs to his ship.

It should come as no surprise then that La Pierre’s arch nemesis and former crew mate, the pirate huntress Captain Johanna McKilory, was recently spotted in the skies of the Sarnwainian Kingdom of Djidan on a course for Pharassus.

There could be other reasons for her arrival in Sarnwain, of course. Captain McKilroy is now almost as wanted in the Triumvirate as her prey to answer for destruction incurred while hunting said prey and escaping from Crowndon authorities several months ago. Some people fear that McKilroy might even be seeking an alliance with La Pierre, though many people investigating the situation agree that this scenario is unlikely.

“There’s simply too much bad blood between them,” said Lt. Vasili Pournaras, lead investigator on McKilroy’s case in Crowndon. “McKilroy’s status as a fugitive in Crowndon won’t push her to make amends with her former comrade. All it has done is take off any illusion of what she’s doing as sanctioned, and dispel the narrative of redemption surrounding her quest to bring down the monster she used to work for. She was always blood thirsty, but now she’s unquenchable. She’s nothing to lose, and I fear that she won’t be above setting all of Sarnwain’s jungles aflame in her hunt for La Pierre.”

Blackwood Gazette # 168- Dismissive Smile Sighted in Sarnwain: McKilroy vs. La Pierre Round 2?

Blackwood Gazette #127: Johanna McKilroy Causes Millions (More) in Damages During Daring Escape from Custody; Declared “Public Enemy Number One”

By Chester Seaton, News

25/5- The city of Toring has once again felt the ill effects of having Captain Johanna McKilroy in their midst. While Imperial Authorities were transferring the infamous pirate hunter for trial in the city she most wronged, two ships under her command swooped in to liberate her.

“I saw the whole thing,” said Albert Hensworth, a citizen of Toring. “Right from my back window, through this here telescope. I like to watch the trains come in. They were about fifty miles out when two airships came in low, and I saw flashes from the deck of one while the other floated over the top of the train with men dangling from ropes.”

Survivors from the train corroborate this tale, saying several armed men landed upon the roof of the train. Guards stationed on the train fought valiantly, managing to repel the attackers until the train reached Garrand’s Tunnel.

The ships broke off their attack, but unfortunately the pirate hunters were prepared. A third ship reportedly waited at the other end of the tunnel. As the train exited, crew from the ship opened fire with rifles, killing the conductor. His body fell over the controls and the train was unable to decelerate before entering the city. It hit a bend in the track and derailed, slamming through two blocks of buildings before coming to a halt. Anna Whitley was in one of these buildings, sipping tea.

“One minute, I’m sitting across from my suitor, talking about what, I don’t remember,” Miss Whitley said. “It was perfectly quiet. The next thing I know, there is this slight rumbling, and the cups and saucers in the tea shop all start to jingle just slightly. But the rumbling grew, the jingling turns into a full on dance. Then the whole shop explodes in brick and dust, and next thing I know, my suitor is no longer sitting in front of me. I think the train hit him.”

McKilroy and several guards survived the crash and exited the train. They sent up a flare and within five minutes, officers from Toring Yard arrived on the scene. Unfortunately, crew members from McKilroy’s fleet had taken up position in the buildings surrounding the site. Fearing they would be overrun, the guard commander reportedly ordered the execution of Captain McKilroy.

“She must have gotten loose at some point during the chaos,” said Corporal James Robargh, who was sent on this duty along with his sergeant and a private. “We entered the car were she was chained up, but she ambushed us. I swear she jumped from the overhead, hit the private in the back of the head with the chain of her shackle; she had it wrapped around her remaining hand. I tried to bring up my musket but she kicked me in the gut, and the shot went off into the deck. Then she turned on the sergeant, beat his face in with the chain wrapped around her fist. I just sat and watched, too afraid to do anything. She was like some sort of animal, she was. Vicious. Rabid, like.”

McKilroy was next seen exiting the train car and making a mad dash through the street with gun-shot raining down around her from all sides. She managed to escape into a building controlled by her crew, and they escorted her to the roof. Imperial Authorities followed, engaging in a close-quarters exchange of fire within the tight corridors of an apartment building.

“I’ve never seen nothing like it,” said Private Joseph Carnell. “Gunfighting in a building where people live…it was hell, I tell you. Pure hell. Smoke filling the halls, choking us, making it impossible to aim. And you can hear the people screaming in their rooms, not knowing what’s going on and you just hope you don’t fire and wind up shooting through someone’s wall or floor. And worse, the people you’re fighting don’t have the same care, the same hesitation. Never seen anything like. Hope to never again.”

Once on the roof, McKilroy and her remaining men clambered onto a rope ladder which was pulled up to one of her ships. Survivors of the incident say that she made a lewd hand gesture as she ascended. Authorities attempted to pursue, but their efforts were hampered as a fourth and fifth ship had staked out the nearest Authority sky dock and begun hammering it with mortar fire. Ships from the next station were unable to reach the scene before McKilroy disappeared.

It is believed that Captain McKilroy will go to ground somewhere in the Divide, where the deep ravines and canyons will make it next to impossible to locate her. Imperial Authorities along the route have been alerted, and Fleet Admiral Percival Dunbarrow Pillsbury III made it adamantly clear:

“This transgression will not go unanswered. The damage to Toring at the hands of McKilroy and her crew not once but twice is a travesty of the highest order. As of today, Captain Johanna McKilroy is declared public enemy number one, and to be viewed as less than the pirates she claims to hunt.”

Blackwood Gazette #127: Johanna McKilroy Causes Millions (More) in Damages During Daring Escape from Custody; Declared “Public Enemy Number One”

Blackwood Gazette 122: Captain Johanna McKilroy Re-Emerges After Battle with La Pierre; Promptly Arrested By Crowndon Authorities

By Chester Seaton, News

18/5- The reports surrounding Captain Johanna McKilroy’s demise have been greatly exaggerated, it would seem. The notorious pirate hunter, previously believed to have succumbed to injuries sustained in a battle with the pirate Roderick La Pierre several months ago, was seen leaving a hospital in the northern Crowndon port city of Carn Hattey Mills this weekend.

Witnesses to McKilroy’s reappearance have claimed that she sported a patch on her right eye, a brace on her left leg and a mechanical prosthetic on her right arm. Earlier reports stated that she lost the arm when her ship’s guillotine, used to execute pirates, came loose during the battle with La Pierre and took it off below the elbow.

Word traveled quickly through the town, and a contingent of Crowndon infantry rushed to the hospital, arresting the pirate hunter and several of her crew. The charges leveled against her include desertion (likely stemming from her leaving the Air Corps to join La Pierre after his exile), as well as the wanton destruction of several city blocks in Toring and reckless endangerment of Toring’s citizens during a battle with another pirate captain years ago.

The Crowndon military has not released any statements on their apprehension of the pirate hunter, or any details on when a trial might be held. The Gazette will certainly be following this story closely.


For a little bonus today, here’s a rough concept idea of Johanna McKilroy. It’s been a long while since I’ve done a Character Profile, so, here goes:

johannamckilroycroppedCaptain Johanna McKilroy: Former second in command aboard the Pernicious Platitude, served alongside Admiral Roderick Beauchamp La Pierre during their early years in the Air Corps. Believed La Pierre’s treatment after the war was undeserved and followed him into piracy. Her service didn’t last long, when she realized just how far La Pierre was willing to go. She left his crew and formed a freelance group of pirate hunters. La Pierre is her white whale, and the two have been playing a game of cat and mouse in the Imperial Skyways for years now. She is not completely unaware of the fact that her pursuit has brought out the same characteristics in herself that she shunned in La Pierre in the first place.


On another note, I’m happy to say that I put my nose to the grindstone this weekend and wound up with a plan for the next twenty five installments of the Gazette. Usually, I write and post, but I’m going to try and work up a nice buffer, for insurance against those days when I just stare at the screen for an hour or two and can’t seem to get anything done.

Blackwood Gazette 122: Captain Johanna McKilroy Re-Emerges After Battle with La Pierre; Promptly Arrested By Crowndon Authorities

Blackwood Gazette #85- Wreckage of Pirate Hunter Ship Discovered In Roggeveen’s Pass

By Chester Seaton, News

16/1- The wreckage of a ship belonging to the infamous pirate huntress Johanna McKilroy was discovered this past week, according to Imperial Authorities.

The ship, positively identified as the Dismissive Smile, was discovered by Authority search parties looking for lost migrants trying to escape the harsh winter conditions. Among the wreckage were several survivors, including Captain McKilroy herself.

Captain McKilroy had sustained several injuries, including a crushed leg, a severed arm, and a missing eye. The search party reports that she was near death and unconscious when they found her, but she is expected to make a full recovery.

Survivors among her crew told the Authorities that they had tracked the pirate Roderick Beauchamp La Pierre to the area, after hearing reports that he was dropping supplies (stolen from merchant ships, it turns out) into towns cut off by the storm. Unfortunately, La Pierre had anticipated McKilroy’s move, and laid a trap for them in the Pass.

“It was intense, soon as we entered the Pass,” McKilroy’s first mate, a man named Rowanson, told the rescuers. “Our ship was almost too big, but it was the only safe way into the northern territories, what with the storm whipping up over head. We tried to convince her to wait, but once she gets the scent she doesn’t let up.

“We made it half way in when the mountains came down on us. We heard cannon shot, and next thing we know, boulders and snow is crashing into the ship. Knocked us into the wall of the pass. We started breaking up, and all but one of our reserve balloons went flat. The Captain nearly went over, her leg got caught between the ship and the rock. Then the guillotine we keep on deck for executions went wild, took her arm clean off. Nasty bit of luck, that.”

Other survivors corroborate the story. None of them, however, report ever sighting La Pierre or his ship, the Pernicious Platitude.

“Bastard knew he’d never take us in a straight fight,” Rowanson said. “Slippery one, he is. Orchestrating reports of him helping people. Should have known it was to lure us in. Worst thing is these northerners looking at us like we’re the enemy, ‘cos we went after their ‘savior’. Fools, every last one of them.”

Authorities are scouring the area for clues of La Pierre’s whereabouts. So far, no signs have been found, and the people of the north report no sightings.

Blackwood Gazette #85- Wreckage of Pirate Hunter Ship Discovered In Roggeveen’s Pass

Blackwood Gazette #79: Shots Fired! McKilroy Confronts La Pierre; La Pierre Escapes

By Chester Seaton, News

11/12– The search for notorious pirate captain Roderick Beauchamp La Pierre ramped up this week, as reports of a clash between the disgraced former Crowndonian Admiral and the equally notorious pirate hunter Johanna McKilroy came in today.

The confrontation happened over the trading outpost of Majalagura, on Monteddor’s northern coast. Officials tell us that La Pierre’s ship, the Pernicious Platitude, was spotted in the area in the early morning hours of Mursday. Captain McKilroy was allegedly waiting for him.

The hunter engaged her prey almost immediately, say witnesses, who described the attack as overzealous.

“If she’d have waited for him to get closer in, she’d have had him,” said one local fisherman, who watched the attack from aboard his boat just off the coast. “As it is, she just winged his broadside. La Pierre spun that junker of his and sped off, over open waters.”

With McKilroy’s reputation for taking down pirates no matter the cost, some were thankful for La Pierre’s quick retreat.

“I don’t want to know what would’ve happened had he stayed to fight, or tried to go to ground in the town,” said one man. “Part of me thinks he knew it wouldn’t have done any good.”

The man’s friend disagreed. “You think La Pierre gives one whit what happens to us? He’s a coward. Doubly so, running from a fight with someone he knows.”

Further reports came later in the day, saying that the Platitude was spotted making its way toward Tear Track canyon. Authorities familiar with both the Platitude and McKilroy’s ship, the Dismissive Smile, claim that it would have been La Pierre’s only avenue of escape.

“Platitude’s much smaller than the Smile,” said Aranda Garaca, of the Monteddorian Port Authority. “It could make use of the canyon’s smaller tributaries near the ground to evade. The Smile likely would have trouble entering the canyon even at the upper levels.”

Neither ship has been seen since.

Do you like Blackwood Gazette? Then you might enjoy the further adventures of Captain Roderick Beauchamp La Pierre and the crew of the Pernicious Platitude in the action packed full length novel, Where, No One Knows, now available on Createspace and Amazon!

Blackwood Gazette #79: Shots Fired! McKilroy Confronts La Pierre; La Pierre Escapes