Blackwood Gazette #295- First Armored Fleet Takes to the Air; Monteddor Pledges Aid for Nor Easter

By Isairo Palantes, Monteddorian Correspondent

29/12/282-Almost as if in answer to the growing turmoil along the borders between Nor Easter and Sarnwain, the Triumvirate Authority announced today that the First Armored Fleet has reached a functional state and been deployed.

The fleet, led by the flagship Acrimonious Bulwark, commanded by Admiral Alejandro Julianos, took to the air yesterday evening. They will rendezvous with the Bulwark at an undisclosed location and from there join the ranks of airships gathering along the Cerrano Meridian.

“The construction and deployment of the fleet has gone more smoothly than we ever could have hoped,” said Triumvirate Authority Commander Adam Shepard. “We were able to construct and deploy the ships in record time, thanks in part to private parties in Monteddor and Crowndon, as well as Desantana Refining. I have no doubt that with these new ships, the Triumvirate can weather anything Sarnwain can throw at Nor Easter.”

While the First Armored Fleet reinforces the line at the Meridian, the nearly unfathomable fleet known unofficially as the Triumvirate of the Skies will join the fray. Johanna McKilroy and Zan You-Delsha will stand along side Julianos, while Desantana and Plamondon will head north to reinforce Nor Eastern infantry in the mountains, where Sarnwainian ground forces have been amassing for several days.

“If Sarnwain follows through on its threat to attack Nor Easter, they will be crushed,” Yolanda Desantana told us. “Monteddor and Nor Easter may have their differences, but we are allies under the Triumvirate Accords. Between Alejandro’s new fleet and mine, as well as Nor Easter’s Navy and fighter squadrons, we outnumber Sarnwain ten to one, and with better resources at our disposal. It won’t be a war any more than crushing a roach with a shoe is a war. It will be a quickly forgotten footnote in our history, if that.”

And what of Crowndon? The great Northern Empire has yet to address the situation, but Desantana isn’t worried.

“Throwing them into the mix would be overkill,” she said. “Or perhaps they might be a liability; they’re too busy trying to wrangle their own citizens at the moment. We don’t need them right now. Perhaps we don’t need them at all.”

Blackwood Gazette #295- First Armored Fleet Takes to the Air; Monteddor Pledges Aid for Nor Easter

Blackwood Gazette #294- Sarnwain Declares War on Nor Easter in Response to Rinkenbach/Sinclaire Deception

By Jeanne Dupris, Nor Eastern EIC

28/12/282- As our sister Empire to the West folds under the weight of isolationism and martial law, our neighbors to the east are stoking the engines of war.

The Primarch of Pharassus, in a public statement given before a throng of 10 million Sarnwainian citizens (numbers provided by Pharassus sources, so take them with a grain of salt) condemned the Nor Eastern Empire for what he calls an ‘insulting charade, designed to make fools of all nations not Nor Eastern’, and promised ‘a reckoning of unprecedented proportions.’

When he was done threatening to level Nor Eastern cities and string up their citizens, he called upon our fellow Triumvirate members, Monteddor and Crowndon, to ‘rise up with Sarnwain and cast down the self-proclaimed Arbiters of Intellect and Self Righteousness that is Nor Easter, who seeks to subjugate all nations under the boot of Pretense and Bureaucracy.’

I assure you, citizens, that I have lived in Nor Easter my entire life and this so called desire to subjugate anyone under any form of footwear is news to me.

Triumvirate Authority pickets along the border between Sarnwain and Nor Easter claim to have spotted movements of ground forces sporting the flags of Pharassus, Thankaen, Ganborrah, and Tarsia. Authority pickets over the Sea of Wrecked Beginnings and Bitter ends likewise reports the naval fleets of Thankaen and Pharassus moving into position along the Cerrano Meridian, the longitudinal line that marks the separation of Sarnwainian and Triumvirate waters.

In response, Authority Air Ships have been deployed to the line, along with the fifth and sixth Nor Eastern Imperial navies. Empress Bastian has issued a formal request of military assistance from Monteddor and Crowndon, but neither Empire has responded as of this printing.

Blackwood Gazette #294- Sarnwain Declares War on Nor Easter in Response to Rinkenbach/Sinclaire Deception

Blackwood Gazette #293- Crowndon Deploys Military Presence in Major Imperial Cities Following Klankenvroot Unrest

By Chester Seaton, News

28/12/282- In response to increasing pressure from rogue elements both within and outside of the Crowndon Empire, the Military oligarchs announced today that they have invoked their Obligation of Security and asserted their power over the Corporate, Religious, and Judicial counterparts.

The announcement comes after weeks of civil unrest in the major cities of the Empire, primarily the capital city. Imperial infantry have been deployed in Walsh, Toring, and Old Crowndon, with deployments expected in Yves and Rommsbach in the coming days.

Along with the increased security of the troops, citizens can look forward to the watchful eyes in the skies of the Gladstone Aerial Reconnaissance Device, which recently proved itself in action against enemies of Imperial interests.

The efforts of the military have already proven to be effective, according to reports provided by Lord General Johnathan Gorsky. Over three hundred dissidents in Walsh, Toring, and the capital have been detained, and many of them already tried and prepared for incarceration aboard Leviathan.

General Gorsky is hopeful, as are we all, that the military’s swift action will reign in the chaos of the previous few months, and restore Crowndon to the industrious state of peace we all know that it can be.

Blackwood Gazette #293- Crowndon Deploys Military Presence in Major Imperial Cities Following Klankenvroot Unrest

Blackwood Gazette #292- Empress Bastian Feigns Ignorance, Expresses Rage on Reappearance of Rinkenbach and Sinclaire

By Jeanne Dupris, Nor Eastern EIC

12/27/282- Sarnwain has issued a statement concerning the recent revelations that Pixie Sinclaire and Sir Rigel Rinkenbach are still alive, and the situation is said to have the Palace in a state of panic.

The Empress released her own statement this morning. She claims to have Rinkenbach in custody, while also denying any complicity in his survival at Mal-Droit. Despite this, the fact that a body is buried in the Imperial cemetery with a head stone larger than any of the Empire’s past rulers certainly isn’t a good look for the Empire’s credibility.

The statement goes on to say that Rinkenbach will be punished for his deeds, but doesn’t detail what those punishments will be. Given the Empress’ affinity for Rinkenbach, one couldn’t be blamed for thinking the threat of punishment an empty one. Especially since the statement includes a lengthy rant theorizing that Rinkenbach was ‘likely led astray by that wench Sinclaire, who has a sordid history and unsavory hold on my Rigel.’

As for agent Sinclaire, she remains at large, last seen in the Pyrossi islands. And while the Empress’ protests are dubious at best, it is likely that Sinclaire was the main force behind whatever it was that transpired during the duo’s time in Sarnwain.

The Empress ended her statement with the promise that Subterfuge Society Agents are hunting Sinclaire down ‘as we speak’, and a thinly veiled threat, ‘We have a new fleet. Big fleet. The best fleet the world has ever seen.’

In the meantime, Triumvirate Authority officials are reporting a sharp decline in Sarwainian activity within the Triumvirate, with air traffic and trade down nearly 80 per cent in the last week.

A storm is brewing, citizens of Nor Easter. Let’s hope we can weather it.

Blackwood Gazette #292- Empress Bastian Feigns Ignorance, Expresses Rage on Reappearance of Rinkenbach and Sinclaire

Blackwood Gazette #291- Pharassus Primarch Express Disappointment at what He Calls Rinkenbach/Sinclaire Deception

By Chester Seaton, News

27/12/282- The Nor Eastern Empire, amidst its efforts to besmirch the good name of Crowndon at every turn in recent months, has been caught in a deception. After months of claiming that the rogue agent Sinclaire and the mad alchemist Rigel Rinkenbach had been felled at the fortress of Mal-Droit, both Sinclaire and Rinkenbach have reappeared, none the worse for wear.

One might think the revelation of such a deception would have a man as known for bloodlust as the Pharassus Primarch in a complete uproar, but such is not the case. Reports are that he has sent a letter to Empress Marcelette Bastion expressing his great disappointment.

This low key response from a man who once wiped out a fishing village for sending him the wrong type of sea bass has Nor Easter in a scramble, preparing for a war they probably won’t be able to win while also trying to perform damage control. Nor Eastern papers are rushing to the presses with Empress Bastian’s response, and there are rumors of a secret summit of Imperial Alchemists and Spymasters gathering to discuss possible courses of action.

Meanwhile, we are told that military forts along the Sarnwainian border have gone quiet. The Triumvirate Authority says that Sarwainian activity in the Skyways has declined in recent weeks. All is quiet on that eastern front, and the silence is deafening.

And what will become of the rest of the Triumvirate, if Nor Easter goes to war? Crowndon’s military elite have yet to comment on the situation. For many of our Empire’s military commanders, the Dividing War with Nor Easter is still fresh in their minds. Monteddor has recalled its own air fleets back to within its borders, but whether that is to protect its own interests or a muster to come to Nor Easter’s aid remains to be seen.

As for Admiral Alejandro Julianos and the Triumvirate Authority, the first armored air fleet is said to be coming along nicely. It is entirely possible these new ships could be blooded sooner rather than later.

Blackwood Gazette #291- Pharassus Primarch Express Disappointment at what He Calls Rinkenbach/Sinclaire Deception

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 #289- Rigel Rinkenbach Walks into A Bar…

By Jeanne Dupris, Nor Eastern EIC

18/12/282-The Triumvirate hastened its ever downward slump towards insanity last night, when an annual gathering of the Triumvirate’s greatest minds was crashed by two unexpected guests.

The retinue of geniuses (including inventor Ivan Klankenvroot, playwright Delando, and master vintner Alessia Cosgrove) had just settled in at Big Bessie’s Barroom, Billiards, and Burlesque for an evening of leisure and to discuss the newest developments in their respective trades when, to the shock of all, Rigel Rinkenbach walked through the front door.

“I wanted to break down and cry when I saw him,” said Reynard Houlcomb, owner and proprietor of the Quintuple B. “Every time an alchemist walks in here, something goes wrong. And this time…oh, dear. It went horribly wrong indeed.”

Things started off well enough, as Rinkenbach’s cohorts welcomed him to the table, drinking to the fact that he was still alive (and likely forgetting the ramifications of that fact). Things went sour, however, when another patron took offense at the gatherings merriment.

“It was that goon from the colonies, Von Grimm,” said Bessie, the hostess and namesake of the establishment. “He didn’t like the way they were carrying on, you see. All that self congratulation, talk about how great they were.”

We are told that Von Grimm, along with two of his mechanized cohorts, attempted to goad Rinkenbach into a fight. Rinkenbach managed to defeat the two cohorts without lifting a finger.

“One of them was an automaton,” Houlcomb said. “Rinkenbach said some sort of nursery rhyme and the thing crumpled at his feet like so much scrap metal. The other one was simple, couldn’t even remember his name. Rinkenbach, fast talker that he is, just confused the lad into submission. It was the damnedest thing.”

When Von Grimm entered the fray, however, blades were drawn.

“Both of them had hidden rapiers, Von Grimm’s in a baton and Rinkenbach’s in a cane,” Bessie said. “They went at it like pirates, across the floor, on top of tables, up the stairs. I felt like I was stuck in one of Delando’s plays.”

The skirmish ended with both men toppling over the railing of the upper balcony and crashing into the central stage below. Rinkenbach came out on top.

“He just stood up and brushed himself off,” Houlcomb said. “Never the worse for wear. Wound up leaving with Estelle, one of my dancers, and didn’t pay for a cent for the damages. Alchemists. Bastards.”

One of our reporters caught up to Rinkenbach this morning, and asked him if he was worried that being so public about the fact that he was still alive would cause retaliation from Sarnwain.

“I had some doubts,” Rinkenbach said. “That spy, Shanahan, and Pixie were both adamant that we should all lay low. But Pixie came out of hiding last week! I read about it in your paper, as point of fact, and I figured the danger had past. Hiding doesn’t suit me, at any rate. Now, excuse me, I must go see the Empress!”

The reporter told me that as Rinkenbach walked away, a carriage containing royal guardsmen stopped next to Rinkenbach on the street. Rinkenbach lifted his hand in greeting, but the guardsmen are said to have been much less amicable as they shoved him into the carriage.

Dear readers, I fear this does not bode well for the rest of us.

Blackwood Gazette #289- Rigel Rinkenbach Walks into A Bar…

Blackwood Gazette #288- Orphan Twins Give Testimony in Secret Triumvirate Authority Hearing on Klankenvroot Incident

By Jeanne Dupris, Nor Eastern EIC

17/12/282- Another single, bright ray in the darkness surrounding Crowndon broke through today, as the Triumvirate Authority told us today that they have taken the twins Vertiline and Pigott Torp into custody.

The Torps, interviewed by Adella Chatelaine earlier this year, have become the face of the horrifying action taken by the Crowndon Empire known as the Klankenvroot purge. After a rally last week that ended in a scuffle with the city watch, Chatelaine was able to escape into a nearby channel by the Hawk’s Blood River. It was there that she reunited with the twins, who had been hiding in a small cove since the night of the Purge.

Using her contacts, Chatelaine was able to get both the twins and herself out of the Crowndon Empire and into Triumvirate Authority hands. The Authority reports that all three are healthy, and in good spirits.

The twins were given lodgings at an undisclosed Authority outpost in the mountains, where they were interviewed about the ordeal. They survived the flooding of the dry docks thanks to a pipe that ran from their hovel at the base of the dock wall up to the factory grounds above. They spent nearly an hour submerged, taking turns breathing through the pipe, before the watch opened the flood gates and drained the dock. From there, it was merely a matter of hiding amongst the dead until the guardsmen’s ranks thinned out, and sneaking away.

Chatelaine, who arrived in Oeil de Fleur yesterday morning, told me that she is hopeful the twins’ testimony will lead to definitive action by the Authority against Crowndon. Until that happens, she is simply thankful someone lived to tell the tale.

Blackwood Gazette #288- Orphan Twins Give Testimony in Secret Triumvirate Authority Hearing on Klankenvroot Incident

Blackwood Gazette #287- What is Argyle Von Grimm Doing in Nor Easter and Why Isn’t He Being Arrested?

By Jeanne Dupris, Nor Eastern EIC

16/12/282-A new scourge on Nor Easter has reared its ugly head in recent days. They started as rumors, but now we have confirmation from the Palace: The Mad Mechanist, Doctor Argyle Von Grimm, has come to Oeil de Fleur, and along with him a retinue of his mechanized gang.

What has the Palace done about this development? Nothing, nor do they plan to.

“Doctor Von Grimm has been granted immunity in Oeil de Fleur for the duration of this month,” said Henri Degeau, a spokesperson for Her Imperial Majesty. “The circumstances behind this are not the concern of the Gazette, or the citizen.”

It’s a rather strange, and disturbing stance, by what is considered to be the most open ruling figure in the Triumvirate. And given Von Grimm’s history, the atrocities he’s committed (including those committed against the Empress herself), I feel the people of Oeil de Fleur have a right to know why he’s being allowed to walk amongst them freely.

Doctor Argyle Von Grimm used to be the Imperial physician, first coming into the position with Empress Marcelette’s grandfather. It is even said that he delivered Her Grace into this world. But halfway through the reign of Empress Marcelette’s father, it was discovered that Von Grimm had a horrible secret, experimenting on the inmates of Marseille Asylum.

Von Grimm had become obsessed with the idea of the mechanical body, first removing the limbs of unwilling victims and replacing them with prosthetics of wire and clockwork. It is said that when his crimes were discovered (after a failed attempt to kidnap the young Empress Marcelette and turn her, literally, into a puppet), he had been trying to remove a human brain and place it into a completely mechanical facsimile. His workshop at the asylum is said to have been littered with the failed attempts towards this grisly goal.

I cannot fathom, dear reader, why the Empress has allowed this, nor why she is unwilling to address it. We can only hope that the Mechanist’s stay is uneventful, and that he leaves when his immunity has expired.

Blackwood Gazette #287- What is Argyle Von Grimm Doing in Nor Easter and Why Isn’t He Being Arrested?

Blackwood Gazette #286- Chaos in Crowndon! City Watch Deploys Automatons to Disperse Boisterous Citizens!

By Chester Seaton, News

12/15/282- A mob descended upon the steps of the Crowndon Capital building yesterday. Spurred on by egregious reports coming from rogue actors outside of the Empire, they demanded that the Imperial Ruling Body answer for alleged actions taken at the Klankenvroot factory last month, as well as the recent sentencing of the traitor Maurice Merchant.

The streets of Crowndon have seen much unrest in the last week, but this was the first time the demonstrations had reached the Capital. While such demonstrations are not necessarily legal, they are often overlooked unless they present a clear and present danger to government officials or the citizens involved. Clearly, the unruly horde that descended upon the building, hurling insults and rocks alike, constituted such a threat.

In response, our valiant city watch deployed its newest asset, the Gladstone Aerial Reconnaissance Device (or G.A.R.D., rebranded from A.R.A., trade marked by Gladstone Enterprises) upon the crowd. The magnificent devices, operating completely autonomously, took position over the crowd and out of their reach, and deployed a payload of noxious powder derived from basilisk lotus pollen and diluted Barrier Tuna oil. The mixture proved too much for the rabble to handle, and they were quickly dispersed. The city watch reports that no one was seriously injured, and arrests were few, though the smell of the tuna oil will likely result in weeks of scrubbing the Capital’s front steps with tomato juice and the lawn must be completely replaced.

“We knew the pungency of the barrier tuna would prove problematic,” Argathal Gladstone said, when asked about the performance of his machine. “I’m still working on the right balance for the concoction. Other than that, however, the G.A.R.D. worked wonderfully!”

Once the situation was resolved, the Watch quickly posted new guidelines for public demonstrations, namely that they are strictly forbidden for a time to be determined by the Imperial Ruling Body. Anyone caught engaging in disruptive political discourse will be promptly arrested and tried for sedition.

Blackwood Gazette #286- Chaos in Crowndon! City Watch Deploys Automatons to Disperse Boisterous Citizens!