Stormwind officials have reportedly seized tens of thousands of gold pieces which were apprehended in an orchestrated raid last week. SI:7 agents, following a month-long investigation into the operations of a counterfeiting cartel reportedly operating out of the Badlands. Members of this cartel were sentenced last week by Highlord Bolvar Fordragon and are now being held in The Vault, the Kingdom of Stormwind’s maximum security prison.
It has been reported that this cartel was formed out of a joint operation by members of the Venture Company along with agents of the Dark Iron Dwarves – with the intent of destabilizing markets, disrupting the economies of the Alliance and Horde, and securing natural resources. Over the past month, counterfeit and fake gold coins produced through their operations have found their way into the economies of the Alliance and Horde, eventually coming under investigation by SI:7. This revealed that both magically produced coins, as well as coins and gold bars created from melted-down relics of Uldaman, were distributed by the cartel.
“Afta’ it came unda’ scrutiny, we were quick ta act,” SI:7 agent Renzik “the Shiv” told the Gazette, “I was deployed ta infiltrate dere operation. Masqueradin’ as a guard – dat’s how ya get access ta anythin’ ya need, ya see.” It wasn’t long before Renzik discovered the nature of the criminal operation, “Dey were smeltin’ down relics found in da ruins of Uldaman, taken by da Dark Iron boys. Dat’s where dey got a lot of da metal at da start. But it was dere alchemitizin’ dat was real interestin’ once uncovered.”
In addition, investigators uncovered that so-called “bogus transmutation” was being utilized by the cartel to produce fake gold. Unlike real alchemical transmutation, in which a skilled alchemist may transmute iron into gold, this “bogus transmutation” would appear to transmute slips of paper into piles of gold coin. However, within a few weeks these coins would revert back to their original form – with disastrous consequences.
“The polymorphic metaphysical reversal was wildly exothermic,” Kirin Tor arcanist Beatrix “Betty” Crankplugg told the Gazette, “this reaction would cause a seemingly spontaneous combustion within the purse of those who, by sheer happenstance, found themselves in possession of the fraudulent currency.” People from common peasants to high-ranking lords found their pants and skirts aflame as the “transmuted” gold reverted to paper form and immolated. “This was nothing more than a re-purposed parlor trick, a cantrip intended to entertain children,” Crankplugg told reporters with dismay.
While the “transmuted” paper has destroyed itself, the counterfeit coinage produced from smelted Uldaman relics which had entered circulation had to be seized and secured by SI:7 agents using special scanning equipment produced by Tinkmaster Overspark. “It’s all thanks to Brann Bronzebeard – his exploratory delvings into Titan ruins provided the necessary materials for calibration. Then it was a simple matter of performing detection during Auction House transactions to locate nearly all of the coinage in circulation.” Tinkmaster Overspark estimates that 98.7% of the counterfeit coinage has been confiscated at this point, when combined with the gold secured in the raid on the cartel’s facility in the Badlands, replicating market value in excess of 34,000G.
As for what will be done with the confiscated metals, Tinkmaster Overspark told the Gazette, “The Explorer’s League hopes to be able to learn from the coins – this material possesses metallurgical contrasts from typical gold found on Azeroth. They hope that in spite of the incalculable lost insight into our world’s history, some knowledge of significance may nevertheless be gained.” Perhaps this will lead the League on the path to the fabled Plates of Uldum.