24/7-With tensions high over the KI workers strike and Crowndon troops preparing to move in to force the remaining protestors back to work, the workers on strike decided to make their own move early this morning.
Officials say that the protestors, led by Upton Monroe, caught wind of the impending raid, and decided to act first. They threw down their signs and marched into the building, toward Ivan Klankenvroot’s office. When they burst through the door, they found the office empty. The desk had been cleaned out, and all files had been removed. Investigators say that a metal bin was found in the center of the office, filled with smoking ashes.
Upon the discovery, Monroe and the others exited the building and surrendered peacefully to the incoming authorities. Military officials claim that they will not carry through with the threat to charge them with treason, but many believe that Monroe and other ringleaders will likely be blacklisted and put under surveillance for further signs of sedition.
As for Ivan Klankenvroot, there is no clear evidence at this time as to his whereabouts. Civilian police are expected to investigate the reason for Klankenvroot’s flight. As for the company, it is being placed under government control, and production on the Heisenberg Aircraft will continue under the supervision of military engineers.
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.
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.
According to many, the NorEastern Empire is the cultural center of the world at the time of the Blackwood Empire. It is roughly the same size in terms of landmass and population as Crowndon. And while Crowndon, as an Empire, is nearly three hundred years older than NorEaster, the civilizations of the NorEastern Empire are some of the oldest and long lasting.
It is made up of four nations, each with its own monarchy that retains relative autonomy: The Capitol nation of Oeil de Fleur in the center, Sau Anoit in the north east, des Anges in the south west, and Val Coursais in the south. Val Coursais is the largest of the four nations, and the most active in terms of political upheaval, but it is largely kept in check by the fact that it has the unfortunate claim to sharing a border with the Monteddorian Empire, a no doubt taxing situation that prevents the country from forming any real designs of seizing Imperial Authority.
The NorEastern Empire was the epicenter of the Alchemical Rift three thousand years before. Little physical evidence of this ancient civilization remains, except for the Capital of Oeil de Fleur, which remained largely intact after the fabled cataclysm.
De Fleur remains the epicenter for much of the cultural activity in the Empire today, and for much of the Triumvirate as well. Students from Crowndon, Monteddor, and even the continent of Sarnwain flock to Oeil de Fleur for education and leisure.
All of this culture and learning is not without a dark side, of course. The NorEastern Empire likes to boast an atmosphere of inclusiveness and progressive thinking. But there always seems to be some hothead who doesn’t feel included enough. It seems as though every hundred years or so some new philosophy crops up that leads to cultural upheaval. Fortunately, these rarely escalate into full blown revolution, and typically sort themselves out. Many NorEasterners cite this as a positive. “Come for the cultural unrest,” they say. “Stay for the refreshments afterwards.”
At the time of Blackwood Empire, the practice of Alchemy has seen a resurgence. Once feared for being the cause of the so-named Alchemical Rift, time and humanity’s resilience to lessons learned have lead to curious minds exploring the ancient practice, and the founding of the Academic Alliance of Alchemists and Alliterators. However, much of what was known of the alchemical process has been lost, and with few exceptions, the practice of Alchemy is viewed in modern times as a cheap parlor trick, which has perhaps only fueled the idea that it is not so dangerous after all.
The discovery of the Blackwood Grove and the recent study showing that it will be depleted in a century’s time has also increased interest in Alchemy, seeing as how Blackwood does not occur naturally and must be created using a complex formula nobody remembers. Thousands of young Alchemists dream of unlocking the secret and the glory that would come with it while sipping tea and trading alliterations with each other.
Militarily speaking, the NorEast Empire is nothing to write home about, yet they recently defeated Crowndon in a decade long war. How did an empire full of artisans and philosophers who like to write about injustice more than act against it manage to defeat the world’s foremost military power, you ask? Largely by being completely unaware of how to fight a war, to be perfectly honest.
Crowndon went into the war expecting a straightforward fight. They lined up their armies on the battlefield and expected the NorEast to meet them as gentlemen. Their philosophy: straight ahead. The NorEast, by contrast, went in every other direction. They employed subterfuge and propaganda, misdirection and sabotage. They bolstered their ground forces with mercenaries from Monteddor and Sarnwain. They fought dirty, something unexpected from a people thought to be cultured and honorable. They also had Rigel Rinkenbach, who designed and oversaw the construction of the air-planes that devastated the Crowndon Air Corps. over the Divide.
Some say they even had aid from the Ephemeral Cartographers, though no evidence of this exists. There are also rumors that the NorEasterners employed reactivated machines from the Old Order, though no evidence of this exists either, aside from accounts from the battlefield, mostly from Crowndon officers who had a lot to lose by copping defeat to, quote, “Word-slingers and pornographers.”
Economically speaking, exports include fine wines, sugar, olive oil, wheat, and various fruits and vegetables. The NorEastern Empire also creates most of the world’s art, including music, theatre, and sculpture. They are also the foremost purveyors of adult entertainment, including brothels in most major cities and the publishing of penny dreadfuls.
Notable citizens include: Sir Rigel Rinkenbach, Pixie Sinclaire, Violet and Arufina Villanova, and Anson Blakely.
Notable Organizations include: The NorEastern Subterfuge Society (N.E.S.S.), and the Academic Alliance of Alchemists and Alliterators.
I thought I’d try something different for today’s post and present a bit of geo-political backstory for Blackwood Empire. This is all still very early in development and subject to change of course, but I figure it might be of interest to my fellow world builders out there, as well as provide context for some of the stories I’ll be writing. Constructive feedback is welcome.Continue reading “The World of Blackwood Empire: A Brief History of Crowndon”→