Blackwood Gazette #92- Protests Flare Up in Southern Monteddor Over New Taxation Policies

By Chester Seaton, News

9/3-The recent shift of power in Monteddor has led to civil unrest in the southern Empire this week, as several agricultural collectives gathered at farmers markets along Monteddor’s Llopesquo River to protest the new trade taxes being implemented on their goods.

“They call them a ‘security tax’, to pay for increased protection along the river,” said Saldivar Nnavante, a fruit farmer from a small village near the river. “But they are nothing more than extortion monies. Which is nothing new around here, but at least before we knew who we were paying, and those people never took more than we could afford. Now it’s some boss in a ministry somewhere, putting a flat rate on everything. I don’t even have to go very far, just five miles, but I’m expected to pay the same as a man who must go all the way to the coast? Don’t even get me started on the crop tributes.”

It is these crop tributes that most of the protestors seem to take an issue with. Alejandro Julianos, now the ruling military authority within Monteddor’s borders, has demanded that food growers and ranchers ‘donate’ 30% of their goods to feed soldiers in the area. Similar requests have been made of hotels, brothels, and other services in the region.

“Change is always difficult,” a Julianos spokesperson wrote in an official press release. “Often, it is quite painful, and there is no doubt that many enterprises will fall or be absorbed by the state when all is said and done. But the new High King, together with Admiral Julianos, believe that this change will make for a stronger Monteddor, one that will rival even Crowndon in its military and industrial might. I think everyone will agree that it’s high time those pasty, haggis eating bullies in the north get taken down a notch.

“I mean, they call themselves ‘The Crown’, and yet they don’t even have a monarch. Who the hell do they think they are?”

Crowndon official have yet to address the spokesperson’s comments.

Blackwood Gazette #92- Protests Flare Up in Southern Monteddor Over New Taxation Policies

Blackwood Gazette #43: Citizens in Southern Monteddor Gather for Centennial Festival of the Dead

by Chester Seaton, News

21/7-Thousands of people from around the Triumvirate have flocked to the southern reaches of Monteddor for the Festival of Ancestry, which occurs only every one hundred years.

The festival is a longstanding tradition in Monteddor, with origins in the region’s most ancient pagan beliefs. Many feel, however, that the festival has been stripped of its spiritual meaning.

“It is less about the remembrance of one’s ancestors, and more about selling crap to tourists and the royals marking their territory and reasserting their position in Monteddorian society,” said one citizen.

Sometimes this reassertion involves blood shed. Two hundred years ago, one of the five royal families was completely wiped out in a massacre that took place during the fifth day parade. Officials warn of similar violence this year, due to the recent developments involving Marco De Santana and his daughter Yolanda.

The week long event begins with the Gathering of Families, during which the highest echelons of the Monteddorian royal houses, which pre-date the formation of the Imperial Triumvirate, come together for the recitation of Lineage. The recitation begins with the names of those Royal leaders who have come and gone in the past century, and is performed by the current family Patriarch.

The rest of the week consists of a wealth of festivities, including feasts, dances, and parades. The events come to a climax on the sixth day, during which the children of the Royal families use brightly colored paints to decorate their ancestral trees, five ancient Blackwoods that stand mysteriously separate from the rest of the grove, farther south.

This year marks the first time the fifth tree will be painted in two hundred years, as Alejandro Julianos officially cements his name amongst the five royal families. Since Julianos has no children, it is expected that he paint the tree himself.

The royals aren’t the only ones who partake in these traditions, of course. Smaller festivals will take place throughout Monteddor and in Monteddorian communities across the Triumvirate. Most wealthy families own their own trees, while the ordinary citizen will take part in the painting of a community tree.

Analysts predict a 200 percent boom in Monteddor’s economy during the week.

Blackwood Gazette #43: Citizens in Southern Monteddor Gather for Centennial Festival of the Dead