Blackwood Gazette #299- Roderick Beauchamp La Pierre Delivers Precious Cargo To Nor Eastern Shores On Advent’s Eve

By Jeanne Dupris, Nor Eastern EIC

3/1/283-Triumvirate Authorities claim that on the night of Advent’s Eve, a large group of people were discovered on a beach on the eastern coast of Oeil de Fleur. Among them was Ada Herschel, the science and technology writer for the Blackwood Gazette’s now defunct Crowndon Branch, as well as several other former staffers arrested for sedition.

How did they come to be there? Ada Herschel told me herself, and it’s a doozy.

“About a week before Mister Merchant was executed, they pulled us [the seditionists] out of our cells, along with several others arrested for dissent. They told us they were moving us to another location and put us all on an air ship. We began heading south, or at least I think it was south.

“We were out over the ocean, about a day and a half into our journey, when we were attacked. We were all down below, but we could hear the fighting, the boom of canon and shots of flintlock. Eventually the door to our hold flew up and several guards rushed in. The attackers pushed them back into the cargo hold and barred the door. One of the pirates stopped outside my cell and looked in, and he smiled.

“To my surprise, it wasn’t a malicious smile, but a kind one. He was a young man, didn’t really look like a pirate. Wore a red scarf and had a tinge of Romms in his accent. Came to find out later that it was Klaus Klaudhopper, the notorious bandit. He and the other pirates let us out of our cells and we found ourselves on the Pernicious Platitude itself.

“We all asked to see the captain, Roderick Beauchamp La Pierre, but they said La Pierre wanted nothing to do with us, just to get us off his ship. We thought we would be thrown overboard, but such wasn’t the case. They brought us all the way to Nor Easter, and dropped us off at the beach, under cover of night, before flying away.

“I’ve no idea why La Pierre rescued us. Maybe he was hired, maybe he thought he was attacking a cargo ship, and got us instead. Either way, it worked out for us in the end. They gave us food…not much, and it was kind of moldy, but it was better than what we’d been getting in prison. Whatever the reason, I’m just glad to be free.”

Miss Herschel and the others have been granted political asylum in Nor Easter. Triumvirate Authorities say they are hunting for Captain La Pierre, but have found no trace so far.

Blackwood Gazette #299- Roderick Beauchamp La Pierre Delivers Precious Cargo To Nor Eastern Shores On Advent’s Eve

Blackwood Gazette #259- Crowndon Military Granted Right of Entry to Libertine’s Roost; Search for La Pierre Turns Up Nothing

By Chester Seaton, News

16/9/282-In an unprecedented show of cooperation between the sovereign state of Libertine’s Roost and the Triumvirate Authority, a small group of Crowndon soldiers were allowed to set foot on the island to search for Captain Roderick La Pierre. Unfortunately, the search turned up nothing.

Other than simply being allowed on the island, Simon Womack, the officer in charge of conducting the search, says they received no further assistance. This included information on where La Pierre had gone and when.

The outcome is a disappointing one, but perhaps not entirely unexpected, in spite of the Roost’s denizens’ legendary dislike of La Pierre. Womack suggested the entire thing was a ruse.

“They dangled a carrot on a stick and we followed it like an underfed horse,” Womack said. “While we focused our efforts on getting into the Roost, La Pierre was sneaking out. How he got past our pickets around the island is still a mystery, though. Wily bastard.”

The Gazette has applied for similar right of entry to interview citizens of the Roost on the matter, but has been turned away almost immediately. The overwhelming sentiment present in these replies is that the only thing worse than Imperial soldiers running around threatening people is Imperial writers telling everyone’s secrets.

Blackwood Gazette #259- Crowndon Military Granted Right of Entry to Libertine’s Roost; Search for La Pierre Turns Up Nothing

Blackwood Gazette #256-Roderick La Pierre Returns to Libertine’s Roost; Crowndon Applies for Right of Entry

By Chester Seaton, News

16/8/282- After a dramatic reentry onto the world stage three months ago, the notorious air pirate Roderick La Pierre has kept a low profile, with most raiding activity being attributed to Doctor Argyle Von Grimm or other, smaller pirate bands. However, La Pierre recently returned to the pirate haven of Libertine’s Roost.

In response to La Pierre’s return, the Crowndon military has applied for Right of Entry into the city with the goal of detaining and extraditing the former Admiral. Anyone who knows the politics of the Triumvirate knows that such petitions are typically rife with pitfalls and the right of entry with the hope of arresting a citizen of the Roost rarely ever pans out. In a surprising turns of events, however, it seems the Roost is cooperating.

“The Roost may look like a boiling pot of anarchists and ne’er do wells,” said Commander Simon Womack, the Crowndon officer overseeing the negotiations. “But they have a very strict code of honor…well, honor as interpreted by themselves. While things can get pretty bloody on the open sea or in the sky, on the Roost the rules are clear; they look out for each other.”

When it comes to the matter of Roderick La Pierre the citizens of the Roost are a bit looser on adhering to the rules, however.

“They can’t stand the man, any more than we do,” Cmdr. Womack said. “They see him as a liability, given his history and mercurial behavior. He was an Imperial officer, discharged for reckless waste of his own crews’ lives. He’s closely associated with the pirate hunter Johanna McKilroy, who recently acquired a Desantana fleet. And there was that incident with the gold; anyone who’d spend that much time and effort to steal most of Crowndon’s wealth only to leave it in a cave, covered in fish as part of a prank, is someone they can’t possibly hope to understand. It’s said that his coat still reeks of Barrier Tuna from that little episode, and that three crews have mutinied over it.”

Despite the Roost’s cooperation, Commander Womack says that the process is still slow going. He fears that La Pierre could catch on and go back into hiding.

“They want him gone, but they also don’t trust us. This probably has them confused. I also can’t imagine what pirate bureaucracy must look like. Even the most refined bureaucracy is a slow moving morass of red tape and dead ends. With a little patience and secrecy, though, we might finally bring La Pierre to justice.”

Blackwood Gazette #256-Roderick La Pierre Returns to Libertine’s Roost; Crowndon Applies for Right of Entry

Blackwood Gazette #248- Klaus Klaudhopper Leads Daring Assault on Walsh Penitentiary, Absconds with Assassination Suspect Arufina Villanova

By Jeanne Dupris, Nor Eastern EIC

20/7/282-Crowndon has suffered another embarrassing blow this weekend after the prime suspect in the Pillar Assassinations, Arufina Villanova, escaped from Walsh penitentiary. The escape occurred during a full scale assault on the complex by associates of the assassin, Crowndon officials say.

“It all started around midnight,” the warden of the facility told us. “There was a disturbance in the east wing, a fire. When officers responded to the fire, all hell broke loose. Inmates all over the prison were released from their cells.”

In the ensuing chaos, the prisons spotlights were focused on the prison grounds. As a result, no one noticed the air ship entering the prison’s air space.

“Just when we started getting the inmates under control, these people come rappelling down into the yard, firing six guns,” the warden said. “They took out an entire platoon of my guards before even touching the ground. Around eight of them were women, wearing leather jackets like the one Villanova wore when taken into custody. Too bad no one noticed that fact until after it was all over.

“There was one man with them, a short guy with a red scarf. He had two of those infernal six shooters. TWO! He might as well have been made of bullets!”

After setting down in the yard, the group cut their way into the facility. The warden says that attempts to seal off sections of the prison were ineffective.

“I think they may have had someone on the inside, who started the fire and sabotaged locking mechanisms on the gates between wings. They marched right through the prison, practically unopposed except for a few poor souls who fell under the fire of their six guns. All we had were flints! Bloody flints! Why flints are still the standard amongst law enforcement and military in this day and age is beyond me.”

All told, the warden says the assault lasted ten minutes.

“It was so strange. They entered the solitary wing, where we had Villanova locked up, and never came back out. We followed them, found Villanova missing. A few minutes later everything was under control. The air ship disappeared after dropping the attackers; far as we know, it never picked them back up. Just damn strange.”

Given the suspect involved, it is believed that the people who attacked the prison were members of the Scarlet Circle (which the Triumvirate Authority denies even exists). The description of the man matches that of known Villanova associate Klaus Klaudhopper. Both are suspected of involvement in the Waystation Bravo disaster, and Klaudhopper is wanted in the colonies for suspected involvement with the Von Grimm gang. He was last seen fleeing the colonies aboard what is believed to be the Pernicious Platitude, a pirate air ship belonging to former Crowndonian Admiral Roderick Beauchamp La Pierre.

Blackwood Gazette #248- Klaus Klaudhopper Leads Daring Assault on Walsh Penitentiary, Absconds with Assassination Suspect Arufina Villanova

Blackwood Gazette #239-Roderick Beauchamp La Pierre, Formerly Presumed Dead, Breaks Von Grimm Siege on Colonial Port

By Chester Seaton, News

17/5/282- The Mad Mechanist’s reign of terror in the colonies continued last week, when the former scientist turned bandit turned pirate weighed anchor off the coast of Inbocca and fired canon into the town square. He then sent a message via bird demanding the town turn over a specific individual or risk being leveled.

“He wanted us to turn over that nice Rommsbachian lad who’d taken up at the local Inn,” said Meredith Pavlov, a survivor of the attack. “We didn’t want to do it, but we didn’t have no choice!”

According to Pavolov, they attempted to round the Rommsman up (authorities say his description matches that of Klaus Klaudhopper, wanted for the sabotage of Waystation Bravo and various other crimes) and hand him over. However, when they burst into the lobby of the Inn, they found Klaudhopper in the midst of a melee with an unknown individual.

“Oh, he was a brute, he was,” said Christopher Bell, the owner of the inn. “A surly ginger that stank of rum, with a long gray overcoat crusted with salt. He’d come in the night before and started drinking. Then he picked a fight with the Rommsman.”

As the townspeople tried to interject and apprehend the Rommsman, he and the ‘Surly Ginger’ set aside their argument and turned their attention towards them.

“It weren’t a fight so much as a right beating,” Bell said. “All of us might have been able to swarm one of them, but the two of them together? They was like bulls in a china shop, and we was the china.”

Exacerbating matters, it would seem that Von Grimm became impatient and began bombarding the town from off shore. As the situation in town descended into mass panic, the Rommsman and the ‘Surly Ginger’ slinked away. Moments later, an air ship took flight from the woods behind the town, and Mister Bell knew who they’d been dealing with.

“Couldn’t believe me eyes,” Bell said. “But it was the Pernicious Platitude. I’d heard it got shot down, but there it was, right over the trees. It set out over the town, and began firing down on Von Grimm’s ships. Von Grimm pulled anchor and started giving chase. Guess you could say that old La Pierre saved us, in a way.”

Authorities refused to comment on the possibility that the airship sighted escaping from Inboca was indeed the Platitude. They would only say that they’ve set up pickets, both by air and sea, in an effort to bring all involved in this attack to justice.

Blackwood Gazette #239-Roderick Beauchamp La Pierre, Formerly Presumed Dead, Breaks Von Grimm Siege on Colonial Port

Blackwood Gazette #223-New Admiral Appointed in Wake of Johannes Discharge; Lack of Information Causes Unease Among Ranks

By Chester Seaton, News

27/2/282-A new Crowndon fleet Admiral has been appointed to take the place of Winston Johannes, who was discharged last month after calling into question the veracity of Roderick La Pierre’s demise. The appointment comes with no small controversy, as Crowndon has so far not shared the replacement’s service record.

The lack of disclosure has caused some dissent among the ranks of Crowndon’s air fleet. Several officers of the fleet, as well as civilian contractors who work closely with Crowdon’s military, came forward with their concerns.

“The whole situation is concerning, to say the least,” one Captain told us. “Johannes was an excellent admiral, if a bit indiscreet at times. But those indiscretions were exactly what the admiralty needed to stay grounded. Admiral Johannes kept the fleet out of the fire on more than one occasion, opening the avenue for more diplomatic options, which usually worked in the end. I fear this new man will be a mere puppet propped up by the Admiralty in a bid for more power among the oligarchy.”

We reached out to the Crowndon Admiralty for comment. They were quick to wave away the concerns brought up.

“It’s all foolishness,” the Admiralty told us through a spokesperson. “We understand it: Winston Johannes was a popular man among air fleet personnel, and he was an outstanding leader in his prime. Unfortunately, the political landscape of the Triumvirate is changing rapidly, and Johannes displayed an inability to keep up. His discharge had little to do with his doubts on the La Pierre situation. That was simply the last in a string of insubordinate behavior that we overlooked for far too long.”

The spokesperson went on to say that the concerns over a lack of information on the new Admiral had been overblown.

“Everyone needs to relax,” he said. “That information will come in time, once the new Admiral has settled in and been debriefed on the situation within his command.

Blackwood Gazette #223-New Admiral Appointed in Wake of Johannes Discharge; Lack of Information Causes Unease Among Ranks

Ex-Humanor 002- Dead or Alive? Examining the La Pierre Construct

Have you heard the news, dear reader? That a few weeks ago, the wreckage of the ship belonging to the notorious air pirate Roderick La Pierre was found floating in the Barrier Ocean? You did?!

Good job! Here is a crumpet!

But hold on…I’m not going to give it to you just yet, dear reader. Did you find the willingness of the Crowndonian military and the Triumvirate Authority to believe this story and write off La Pierre for dead to be a little bit odd? Or did you say to yourself, ‘Good riddance’, and go about your day? You didn’t, and you did, you say? You didn’t question a single line of this news? Hm. I guess I’ll just eat this crumpet myself, because none of you deserve it.

‘But, Mister Oculus, wait!’ you say. ‘They presented evidence!’ you say. Did they now? You’re speaking of, I assume, the ledgers found in the remains of the Captain’s cabin?

‘Why, yes, Mister Oculus! La Pierre’s name was in each and every one!’

No! I protest, as I whack you on the nose with a rolled up, chip stained copy of the Blackwood Gazette. Bad Sheep!

Did you not notice the evidence to the contrary? That the pictures released of the wreck match the profile not of a CAF Frigate 264 class, the same class that the Pernicious Platitude is a modified version of, but of a CAF Frigate 278, introduced into service following La Pierre’s exile because it was believed his loss at the Divide had forever tarnished the legacy of the 264?

And what of the unceremonious discharge of Admiral Winston Johannes, pressed out of the Crowndon Air Fleet for casting doubts on the story? A man whose doubts, given his record, should have been treated with the utmost consideration?

This is all dependent upon whether you actually believe in the idea of Roderick La Pierre as the terror of the Imperial Skyways, of course. I, for one, posit the idea that La Pierre post exile was nothing more than a myth, a piece of propaganda and scapegoat trotted out by the Crown to serve as a flogging post whenever things go wrong. Now, I’m not saying La Pierre never existed…I’m sure he did. I’m also sure he died at the Divide, along with the other four thousand men who fell under the guns of Rinkenbach’s Firefly attack planes. The idea that he was somehow able to escape the carnage when so many others did not and somehow claw himself back to Crowndon a difficult pill to swallow.

The question now, ever as always, is why? Why has Crowndon chosen now to retire their mythical stooge? Perhaps the answers lie in darker corners…darker corners where Men in Blue Coats reside. I entertain the possibility that the La Pierre boogie man wasn’t a Crowndonian construct, but a Cartographer one, a cog in their nefarious plans that had served its purpose after the attack on the Arms Summit. After all, why should they bother to sustain such a farce to cover up their existence when our collective bias towards ignorance allows the Cartographers to exist in secret EVEN AFTER THEY’VE SO BOLDLY WALKED INTO THE LIGHT FOR ALL OF US TO SEE?

I have another crumpet here. It’s yours, if you can tell me one thing. Are you asking questions, now?

Stay Awake, dear readers.

OCULUS.

Ex-Humanor 002- Dead or Alive? Examining the La Pierre Construct