Blackwood Gazette #265- Murder and Mayhem Grip Small Mountain City in Yves

By Chester Seaton, News

11/10/282- Police in the growing city of Ilya in the province of Yves released a statement today concerning a rash of brutal murders in the city’s South Ward that have shaken the community to its core over the last couple of weeks.

“The first incident was reported at the end of last month,” said Chief Inspector Tristan Robeau. “Details of the murder were kept a secret from the public, being deemed too grisly for civilized consumption. Then another body showed up, and another, and another. Releasing the details is now a matter of public safety.”

The bodies are said to have been discovered in isolated, out of the way places, such as warehouses, empty lots, and alleys in the city’s South Ward, along the river front.

“The bodies are mutilated,” Inspector Robeau said. “I wish there were a more diplomatic way of saying it, but they were torn to shreds. Our initial thought was some sort of animal, perhaps a mountain lion from the nearby des Anges range (which isn’t unheard of, though the creatures are usually shot or run off before they can do anything) but the wounds are too clean for tooth and claw and there is no sign of mastication on the victims.”

In short, none of the victims were eaten. Thank heavens for small favors.

“Besides the grotesque manner in which the victims died, only one other detail links them; small burns with no rhyme or reason on the bodies. We’ve no idea how the burns are caused or what the purpose may be, but we’ve ruled out fire or chemicals. It seems completely random.”

Inspectors say that they are devoting the majority of their man power and resources to the investigation, and doubling patrols in areas where they believe the murderer may strike next. A small comfort, to be sure, for the citizens of Ilya.

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Blackwood Gazette #265- Murder and Mayhem Grip Small Mountain City in Yves

Blackwood Gazette #54-The Colonies, Part 2: Morning and Rumors

by Adella Chatelaine, Investigative Reports

7/8- Sleep doesn’t come easy to me that first night. My brain is still buzzing from the excitement of coming to this new place, meeting these new people. I just lay in bed with my eyes closed, writing internally.

I get up early and go downstairs. It’s deserted, coffee has already been made. I pour a cup and throw a couple of coins into a jar set next to the pot. It’s a bit strong, the kind of strong meant more to sober people up and set them off to work than for enjoyment.

I spend an hour composing my thoughts while the sun comes up and the streets outside come to life. Just after dawn, Dr. Trenum comes down, along with two men and two other women. They joke and laugh, and Dr. Trenum sees them out.

“Are you going to write about that?” she asks me. I tell her only if she wants me to. She shakes her head.

“That disappoints me. I would expect you to tell the truth. I want to you tell the truth. Anyone who cannot deal with it…they are not worth our time.”

So, I write about it, only describing what I see. I’ll let the readers make their assumptions.

We eat a breakfast of eggs and sausage, very bare bones. Utilitarian, like the coffee. We trade stories we heard the night before.

Settlements in the north west are dealing with an outbreak of plague. In the south west, Doctor Argyle Von Grimm and his gang have taken over a new town. Refugees from their last town have started flooding east, toward Lelina, our destination.

After breakfast, we leave the inn and hire a carriage to take us to the main city. A pack of laughing, red faced children trail our wagon, waving as we leave toward the University of New Crowndon to meet with Doctor Trenum’s peers about the Lelina ruins. It is from here that we will set off to the southern territories, taking a steam boat along the Miskaton river.

Along the way, we see groups of Colonial Marshalls here and there, standing on street corners and balconies. They are looking for the Waystation Bravo fugitives, Klaudhopper and Villanova. Last night we heard rumors that they have slipped the net, however, and already made it farther inland.

We reach the outskirts of the old quarter, and the lumber mills, wood buildings and mud streets give way to brick and cobbles. The people change, as well. They are prettier, softer, but colder. I see no children playing. There are no scents on the air. This is a place for business and learning, but not living. Returning to a more developed part of the city should be a return to the familiar, but the whole thing is off putting. Something feels off here. I suppose I’ve just become accustomed to traveling.

We pull onto the main thoroughfare, and directly ahead of us I can see the University. It is here that we will begin to tease out the answers to one of the greatest archaeological mysteries of our time.

Blackwood Gazette #54-The Colonies, Part 2: Morning and Rumors

Blackwood Gazette #51: Salvage Teams Evacuate Waystation Bravo

by Chester Seaton, News

4/8-The investigation and salvage operation aboard the remains of the derelict Waystation Bravo has come to a sudden halt today, as teams aboard the station were evacuated in the early morning hours. The evacuation was ordered after an inspection by Triumvirate Officials.

“It was really strange,” said Captain Lester Krietch. “They showed up yesterday evening, these men from some government office I’d never heard of before. I was skeptical of their credentials, but my commanding officer told me they checked out.”

The inspectors ordered the station’s boiler rooms cleared, and a few hours later ordered the evacuation.

“They didn’t state a specific reason,” Krietch said. “And when I asked I was completely ignored. Those of us on the salvage team are as in the dark as everyone else at this point. I can’t say much, but I will say this: we personally found nothing that would warrant such an evacuation, and everyone on my salvage team appears to be healthy.”

We reached out to Captain Krietch’s commanding Officer, Admiral Percival Dunbarrow Pillsbury III, for details concerning the inspection team, and received a brief reply.

“They represent the Triumvirate as a whole, and not a single particular member.  I have been around long enough to know when it comes to matters like this, it is best to simply look the other way and not ask too many questions. Trust me on that.”

According to Captain Krietch, the inspectors remained on board, and no ships have been reported leaving the site since.

Blackwood Gazette #51: Salvage Teams Evacuate Waystation Bravo

Blackwood Gazette #18: Strange Ruins Discovered in Swamps of Lelina; Newland Academics Stumped

5/6-Disturbing news from the colonies today, as reports of strange ruins discovered in the swamplands around the colonial boom town of Lelina made its way to Imperial shores this morning.

The ruins were discovered last month by Daniel Tomlinson, aged 20, and his youngest son Jack, aged 6, while they were trawling the swamps for bottom dwelling fish and crustaceans.

“It was five stones, like fingers, sticking up out the water,” said Daniel. “Darndest thing I ever did see. I know these swamps like the back of my hand. Been doing this my whole life, right here in this swamp, and believe me, I ain’t never seen nothing like it before, no sir.”

Jack told his teachers the next week about the strange stones, and news traveled throughout the town. One of the teachers, Alexander Packard, went out to look for the stones, and never returned.

“I think he got ate by a gator,” said Jack.

Before disappearing, Packard sent a letter to his colleagues at the University of New Toring. When the University learned of Packard’s disappearance, they sent a team to investigate.

“It is a remarkable discovery,” said Donald Croshaw, Head of Newland Archaeology. “The ruins are similar to other sites found throughout the Newlands, except for two crucial details: these are made of some as yet unidentified element, and the surface is marked with a complex series of markings, much too small and precise to be done with a chisel, or any technology currently available to us.”

Other members of the team reported strange occurrences around the site and the camp they set up nearby.

“It was difficult to be around for too long,” said Marisol Calaveras, an intern from the university of Monteddor. “I swear, it felt as though the fillings in my teeth were rattling.”

Others reported feelings of unease and nausea throughout the first night, feelings that abated throughout the day, but did not return the next night.

“Probably just adjusting to the moist environment,” Croshaw said.

No sign of Packard was found. Croshaw stated that young Jack Tomlinson’s theory might actually be a working theory.

“Alligators are a proper threat out here, especially for a middle aged, overweight grade school teacher on his own in an unfamiliar environment,” Croshaw said. Packard had only moved to Lelina the year before.

Croshaw and his team continue to investigate the site. More on this story as it develops.

Blackwood Gazette #18: Strange Ruins Discovered in Swamps of Lelina; Newland Academics Stumped

Blackwood Gazette #17: Triumvirate Leaders Unveil Plans for Nautical Super-Prison; Reactions Mixed

3/6-Last week, high ranking officials from the member of the Imperial Triumvirate announced a massive joint project they promised would change the world. This weekend, it was announced that the project is a massive prison for holding ‘special cases and undesirable entities’ from around the Triumvirate.

“Once constructed, the prison will be run by a private organization made up of former Crowndonian and Monteddorian Naval personnel,” said Admiral Derval McTavish. “I myself will be stepping down as Fleet Admiral of Crowndon and assume the role of Chief Warden of the ship.”

The announcement was met with mixed reactions from all corners of society.

“Oh, look. Another prison,” said Samson Aldous, a Sarnwainian exchange student studying at the Empress University in Oeil de Fleur. “The only reason they are building the thing is because their prisons are already full, and their prisons are full because their system does not work. And now they are privatizing it! I bet a Crowndonian came up with it, and no mistake.”

“I think it’s outstanding,” said Elizabeth Dubois, a wealthy merchant from Toring. “We have a huge crime problem here. They like to use my storefront door for shelter from the rain. The nerve of them! Putting those filthy heathens on a ship in the middle of the ocean, and away from rational folk like myself, is exactly what society needs. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have some downsizing to do. Word has it our taxes are going up for some reason. Stupid taxes.”

“I’m concerned,” said one Nor Eastern citizen, who asked to remain nameless. “They talk about ‘special cases and undesirable entities.’ What exactly qualifies as a ‘special case’, or an ‘entity’? That could be anything. Especially if you’re in Crowndon. I’m shocked and ashamed to know that Nor Easter has anything to do with this, to be honest.”

Oculus, self proclaimed ‘Editor and Chief’ of that smut rag The Exhumanor, wasted no time in gloating.

“See! It’s a prison! What did I say?! What did I say, people?! Didn’t I say they’d be rounding us up?! Laugh at me again, why don’t ya!”

We asked several of the Triumvirate’s most well known pillars for comment. As of this printing, only Rigel Rinkenbach as responded.

“I fear all that I can do is shake my head,” Rinkenbach said. “This is a bad idea. I should know; they didn’t ask me to consult. Something is bound to go wrong.”

Blackwood Gazette #17: Triumvirate Leaders Unveil Plans for Nautical Super-Prison; Reactions Mixed

Blackwood Gazette #16: Church of Crowndon Worried about Rash of Recreational Weddings/Divorces

29/5-In response to the media fervor over the wedding and immediate divorce between Yolanda De Santana and Armin Chevelle last month, the Imperial Church of Crowndon has issued a statement decrying the practice, and others like it in recent years.

“This is a distressing trend,” said the church’s First Primarch. “It erodes the rapidly thinning traditions of our society by playing them as a farce. Younger generations see this and they start asking questions we aren’t prepared to answer. That can not happen!”

Armin Chevelle’s representatives shot back, issuing a statement almost immediately after.

“If they’re so worried about their traditions, perhaps it’s because their so called foundations aren’t very solid to begin with,” the statement read. “The world is changing faster than their rhetoric can keep up, and it scares them. Besides, why the hell should we worry about the opinions of a church half a world away, that we don’t subscribe to? It has no foothold in Nor Easter, and never did. The First Primarch can lick Armin Chevelle’s boots. It wouldn’t be the first time, and we have the film to prove it.”

Yolanda De Santana commented as well.

“I don’t get it. Why are people so preoccupied with what other people do? Mind your own damn business! Live and let live. All we did was have a bit of fun. Nobody got hurt. Just think of it as a really expensive party with a fancy cake.”

On a side note, the footage of the Chevelle/De Santana wedding is expected to hit kinetic viewers next month, divided into fifteen separate thirty second installments, and is reported to have a ten piece viewing fee, as opposed to the typical five. Fans of De Santana and Chevelle are said to already be buying tickets.

“I hear it is completely debauched,” one such fan said, outside of a popular brothel in Oeil de Fleur’s red-light district, one block over from the Imperial Palace. “I can’t wait.”

Blackwood Gazette #16: Church of Crowndon Worried about Rash of Recreational Weddings/Divorces

Blackwood Gazette #15: Imperial Representatives Tease New Joint Project Between Triumvirate Members

27/5- The Triumvirate is buzzing today with the news of an upcoming reveal of a joint project between the empires. Representatives from Crowndon, Nor Easter, and Monteddor met on the neutral soil of the Divide to announce the upcoming reveal of a large scale, co-operative project.

“We’re working on something on a scale the world has never seen before,” said Admiral Derval McTavish, of Crowndon. “It promises to be a paradigm shift in how we deal with certain problematic aspects of society in the new industrial age.”

The Monteddorian representative, Governor Enoch Haversham, offered a similarly opaque statement.

“This is first time the Triumvirate has worked so closely together on something this large,” Haversham said. “Trust me when I say, it will do wonders for our respective economies and help to further solidify the delicate balance of power that our Empires share.”

The teaser of the upcoming announcement has been met with a mixed reception of pride, confusion, and rampant speculation on the part of the common citizen.

“I don’t know what any of this means,” one man said. “What did they announce again? ‘Something big’? What does that even mean?”

“I’m quite excited about whatever it is they’re doing,” said a Nor Eastern woman. “Any time the powers that be put aside their differences and work together, it’s a good thing. Except of course when it isn’t. Hmm…now I’m skeptical.”

Speculation of what the project might be has sent political analysts into a frenzy.

“It could be an announcement concerning the Blackwood Grove,” one analyst said. “We don’t like to face it, but our stores of Blackwood are running low. Perhaps we’ve decided to investigate the progress Sarnwain has made in refining fossil fuels?”

Conspiracy theorists have come out of the wood work as well, spouting their endlessly entertaining nonsense.

“All of this ‘across the aisle’ business is [expletive removed],” wrote Oculus, the notorious editor of the underground rag, The Exhumanor (not a real word, mind you), and user of excessive exclamation points. “Their[sic] is no damn aisle! The aisle is a sham! This all just a ruse, to get you to look in a different direction! This is the first stage of there[sic] master plan! They’re[sic] plan is to round us up, keep us contained! Just you wait! After that, they’ll kill us all!”

More on this story as it develops.

Blackwood Gazette #15: Imperial Representatives Tease New Joint Project Between Triumvirate Members