Blackwood Gazette #217- Courting Disaster: Yolanda Desantana Seen Meeting with Djidanni Prince

By Alex Grosset, Arts and Entertainment

12/2/282- You might want to sit down for this one readers. Rumor has it that there’s a new power couple in town, and this time the word ‘power’ isn’t just a metaphor.

According to gossip mongers in the Djidanni capital of Teras Madai, Prince Alarasant Djida was seen personally escorting Blackwood magnate Yolanda Desantana along a private beach earlier this week. As a result, rumors about what the two may have been discussing spread like wildfire.

This wildfire was perhaps fanned by the fact that neither Desantana nor the Djidanni royal family denied the meeting. They did, however, offer a clarification.

“It was completely business related,” a Desantana rep said. “The five Royals of Monteddor have long standing relationships with Djidann, going all the way back to before the founding of the triumvirate. Prince Alarasant extended an invitation to Miss Desantana to share with her the recent developments involving the refining of oil and development of diesel engines.”

Even if what the Desantana rep claims is true, the meeting of the most powerful holder of Blackwood interests meeting with the Prince of the country developing a competing fuel source is cause for…I’m not sure exactly. Excitement? Concern? Whatever the emotion should be, one can rest assured it will have widespread economic ramifications.

Despite the statement of Desantana’s rep and a similar one given by the Djidanni royal family, the imaginations of gossip hounds around the continent have been captured. Prince Alarasant has a reputation for being quite charming, and Desantana isn’t famous for being chaste. Both are known for knowing what they want and how to get it. Whether or not they want each other is anyone’s guess, and lots of people are guessing. One needs just stroll to the nearest peddlers of Penny Dreadfuls to see that the pens of smut writers have been running hot since the rumors first started.

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Blackwood Gazette #217- Courting Disaster: Yolanda Desantana Seen Meeting with Djidanni Prince

Blackwood Gazette #209- Yolanda Desantana Named Monteddor’s Most Desirable Woman

By Alex Grosset, Arts and Entertainment

23/1/282- Look out, Triumvirites…Yolanda Desantana is officially the Most Desirable Woman in Monteddor, according to a random group of people working for what I’m told is a prestigious fashion publication in Monteddor.

The woman most well-known for pretending to be a vapid socialite for most of her adult life before engaging in patricide and leading a ruthless takeover of the Blackwood refining industry that resulted in a brutal civil war that cost countless Monteddorian lives will be featured on the cover of “Moxxxi” this month.

Included in the feature are photos of Desantana wearing the latest fashions designed by Gustavo Frederick-Alanstead Gallardo , as well as an interview:

“People have underestimated me my entire life. Part of that was by design, but it wasn’t that difficult. There are certain expectations of a magnate’s daughter from birth; I simply played those expectations like a mandolin. Most of those who looked down on me from a pedestal are now doing so upside down from a chain in a slaughterhouse, with their necks sliced open and bleeding into a bucket.

“Tee. Hee. Hee.”

Charming.

The article explains the editors’ reasoning as such:

“She’s bold, she’s beautiful, and she’ll blow up your house if you rub her the wrong way. Yolanda Desantana is the owner and CEO of Desantana Blackwood, which pretty much makes her the most powerful woman in the Triumvirate, if not the world (sorry, Empress Marcellette). Not only that, but she governs Monteddor’s Desantana Province with a firm hand and commands the second largest military force in Monteddor, after Alejandro Julianos (with whom she has formed a nearly unbreakable alliance, so his troops are pretty much her troops at this point). Don’t ask her if they’re dating though…the first person we sent to interview her hasn’t woken up yet after doing just that!”

I can’t help but imagine these people in a room, surrounded by Desantana military personal, scribbling out platitudes that don’t come off as pandering. I know I wouldn’t be able to resist a little bit of snark, and I’m amazed that last line was even included. Here’s hoping whoever wrote it still has their fingers.

Blackwood Gazette #209- Yolanda Desantana Named Monteddor’s Most Desirable Woman

Blackwood Gazette #174- Rebel Aircraft Hit Desantana Blackwood Interests

By Isairo Palantes, Monteddorian Correspondent

7/8- Alejandro Julianos’ forces suffered another grievous blow this week, as the rebel leader Dougherty unleashed her recently captured fighter planes on Desantana Blackwood distribution operations across Monteddor.

The attack happened in the early morning hours Vurnsday morning, as four five plane squadrons hit major distribution centers in Govanna, Desantana, Ballantine, and Salasan territories. In each case, the main Blackwood storage facilities were hit, sending fires raging throughout the centers and the surrounding countryside.

Due to the unusual alchemical properties of the Blackwood, the fires have proven nearly impossible to extinguish. Analysts estimate that somewhere between one to two hundred tons of Blackwood were set alight in total. The costs from both the damage and the yield of lost Blackwood are said to be astronomical, and the death toll in said to number in the hundreds.

“This could very well lead to a supply crisis that will make the difficulties last winter look like a Nor Eastern midday tea break by comparison,” said a spokesperson for Yolanda Desantana. “Recovering from this will be a struggle, but Miss Desantana has no doubt that it will be possible. Still, Northern Crowndon should prepare for another rough winter.”

Given the recent military alliance between Crowndon and Julianos, and the effects that this attack will have on Crowndon, many speculate that the Crowndon Air Corps may intervene. Neither Monteddor or Crowndon has issued a statement on this possibility, however.

As for the rebel aircraft, all twenty planes managed to hit their targets and escape before Julianos’ forces could intervene, leading to questions about Julianos’ capabilities as the commander of Monteddor’s military forces. These concerns are only exacerbated by the fact that Julianos recently sent a large expeditionary force overseas to the colonies for unknown reasons.

The attack has also led to fears that Dougherty may target the Blackwood Grove itself, which would be a disaster of apocalyptic proportions. As such, the Triumvirate Authority has tripled security around the Grove, both on the ground and in the skies above.

Blackwood Gazette #174- Rebel Aircraft Hit Desantana Blackwood Interests

Blackwood Gazette #130: Julianos to Build Three Blackwood Refining Plants, Creating over 5,000 Jobs in Monteddor

By Isairo Palantes, Monteddorian Correspondent

28/5- In a continuing bid to insert himself into every facet of Monteddorian life, Alejandro Julianos announced that he, in conjunction with Blackwood magnate Yolanda Desantana, plans to build and open three new Blackwood refining plants. The plants are expected to be built on land within Julianos, Desantana, and Salasan provinces and create over 5,000 jobs.

“The demand for Blackwood is greater than ever, and growing,” Yolanda Desantana said during a press conference. “These extra facilities will allow us to harvest, process, and ship Blackwood faster in order to keep up with growing demand, particularly in Nor Easter and the Northern reaches of Crowndon. They will also allow us to put to work thousands who have been unemployed due to the fighting over the last year.”

Detractors were quick to point out that Desantana never acknowledges the fact that much of the fighting was the result of her and Julianos’ bid for power.

“This is a classic sedation move on the part of our new conquerors,” said Deseban Gonollo, professor of Government at Monteddor University and outspoken opponent of Alejandro Julianos and his actions over the past year. “They take over, throwing the status quo into turmoil. The tension is high, so they throw the people a bone to calm them. But notice where the refineries are being built: two of the provinces are under direct control of Julianos and Desantana, and Salasan is a well-known ally and contributor to Yolanda Desantana. The fighting has been heaviest in Govanna and here, in Ballantine. It is the people of these provinces that need jobs.”

Julianos’ camp was quick to respond to Gonollo’s claims.

“Gonollo is a rabble rouser and attention hound,” the Julianos rep said. “This is well known. He railed for years against Raphael Valiente, and against Valiente’s father. You could give him everything he says he wants, and he would turn around the next day and complain that there is not enough for everyone else. The man isn’t happy unless he’s unhappy, so to speak.

“The only reason the refineries are being built in Julianos, Desantana, and Govanna provinces is simply because they are closest to the Blackwood Grove. Rest assured, we are actively recruiting in the areas hardest hit by the fighting between Dougherty’s rebels and our military forces. We will provide travel to those hired, as well as security, shelter and food while they work at the refineries.”

Blackwood Gazette #130: Julianos to Build Three Blackwood Refining Plants, Creating over 5,000 Jobs in Monteddor

Blackwood Gazette #91- Auction for Test Flight Tickets Raises Millions

By Chester Seaton, News

2/3- An auction for tickets to participate in the upcoming Heisenberg test flight was held this weekend. Bidding for each ticket started at 2000 imperial scrip, but reports say that each ticket, around 100 in all, went for no less than 50,000 each. This, on top of the fact that a 1000 scrip entry fee was charged for each of the auctions reported 500 seats, resulted in a killing for The Ministry of Crowndonian Planar Wing Transport.

The high entry fee priced out most of the average citizen, and most of those in attendance were movers and shakers in Triumvirate society. Socialites from all three empires, and even a few from Sarnwain, were in attendance. Tickets went to the wealthiest, surprising absolutely no one.
Among the winners was Nor Eastern Empress Marcellette Bastian, who took home the first twenty tickets.

“It is important that Nor Easter has a heavy presence on that plane,” said Her Imperial Majesty. “Not only for posterity, but as a show of support for our industrious neighbors to the west.”

Other winners include: Yolanda Desantana, who sent an envoy on her behalf, stating ‘business reasons’ for her inability to attend in person; Archibald Starkfeld, owner of the largest tobacco grower in the Colonies; the playwright Delando, currently working on the film version of his newest play; and Minister P.P. Walther, a weapons manufacturer from Toring.

Almost as interesting has who was there are those who were not. Notable absentees were Rigel Rinkenbach, the industrialist whose challenge kept the enterprise going, and Ivan Klankenvroot, whose company conceptualized and began construction. Neither man could be reached for comment.

The Heisenberg test flight is currently scheduled to take place on the seventh of next month. Citizens of Crowndon and the Triumvirate all are encouraged to attend.

Blackwood Gazette #91- Auction for Test Flight Tickets Raises Millions

Blackwood Gazette #88-Raphael Valiente Dethroned as Marco Desantana Surrenders

By Chester Seaton, New

2/2- The siege of Monteddor’s capitol continues to wind down this week. With the Julianos/Crowndon alliance officially recognized by the Crown, High King Raphael Valiente came to terms with the forces at his doorstep.

Valiente met with both Julianos and Fleet Admiral Winston Johannes this weekend, where he surrendered Blackwood magnate Marco Desantana. As of the most recent reports, Desantana was taken, alive, into the custody of Julianos’ forces, and his daughter Yolanda was officially appointed head of the family company.

Valiente was forced to surrender the crown as well. Many expected Julianos to assume the throne, but instead the position was given to Lord Mario Adallantes. Adallantes is rumored to be a paramour of the High Queen Romana Valiente who, despite the removal of her husband, has been allowed to remain on her seat. Julianos has been granted several governorships and several industrial and military contracts that all but make him the most powerful man in Monteddor.

As for the alliance, Crowndon has been granted first favors on several contracts within the Blackwood industry, including patrolling shipping routes and preference in allotment queues. This has caused an uproar in Nor Easter, who has not yet seen a lift in blockades. Yolanda Desantana claims the blockades have been lifted, but it will take ‘some time’ for some shipping schedules to return to normal.

Blackwood Gazette #88-Raphael Valiente Dethroned as Marco Desantana Surrenders

Blackwood Gazette #86-Julianos/Desantana Remain Steadfast as Crowndon Amasses for Invasion

By Chester Seaton

19/1- The Triumvirate holds its collective breath today as Crowndon’s military forces begin gathering along the northern Monteddorian coast in preparation for an invasion. The goal of the invasion is to break the siege of the Monteddorian capital by Alejandro Julianos and Yolanda Desantana.

Many have predicted, and hoped, that this show of force may persuade Julianos and Desantana to break their siege or, at the very least, loosen their hold on Blackwood supply routes to the north. Despite the largest military in the world knocking on their door, the duo has remained steadfast.

Reaction to the growing force continues to draw skepticism and downright ire, both from Nor Easter, and from within Crowndon itself. Many analysts argue that Crowndon lacks the resources for a drawn out fight with Monteddor so soon after losing a war with Nor Easter. And Nor Easter is understandably nervous as well, seeing its former adversary mobilizing so soon.

Crowndon military officials claim that they have extended the offer of Alliance with Nor Easter, both to ease their angst and to make use of their extensive talents in intelligence gathering and sabotage. Nor Easter has instead refused such entreaties, calling Crowndon’s decision to interfere in Monteddorian concerns under the guise of restoring Blackwood shipments a pretense for restoring world standing after their defeat.

Of even more concern to some is the involvement of several privateering and mercenary interests based in Libertine’s Roost throwing in with the Crowndon military, as ramshackle ships belonging to those most people would describe as pirates have been reported following in the wake of Naval and Air Corps flotillas.

Plans for the invasion beyond the current muster remain under wraps, though there are rumblings that it could be underway within the next week.

Blackwood Gazette #86-Julianos/Desantana Remain Steadfast as Crowndon Amasses for Invasion