Discussion in 'Imperium OffTopicum' started by Immaculate, Aug 1, 2020.
The Shield of the Order of the Desert Rain
War Sigil of the Hazat
I'm missing two order sets. You know who you are. If i finish the update before you send the orders... sorry, you get skipped this turn. if you get them in before i post, then i will process your orders.
Lady Anastasia's Message
Scene: A private sitting-room in a palace in the Awroth archipelago, belonging to House Decados, and used as a base of operations by Sergey Vladislav, Duke of Clarke and heir to the Decados throne. Early in the year.
'A stormy night, is it not, Lady Nastya?' And it was, indeed; the rain dashed down on the palace roof like a hailstorm; and Sergey looked with admiration at her, dressed in her long gown and breeches; water was still cascading from her hat, down her sea-captain's epaulettes.
'A storm? Nay, your Grace, merely a drizzle. And no,' - she gesticulates at a servant offering her a warm towel - 'I will leave that aside until I have delivered at least a little of my report. But I have little to say, if truth be told; your orders were not ambitious; and soon, I dare say, they will be accomplished. Lady Fyodora sends her regards.' And with that, she took hold of the towel, and (with a slight thump) arranged herself lengthways on the chaise. Her feet she placed on the floor; so much she conceded to the etiquette which might be expected from a mere naval officer carrying a report to the Duke of Clarke. But her elbow leaned over onto the top of the chaise, so that her boots touched the floor askew, and she waited for no invitation to sit. Her cap she raised from her head with her right hand, and cast it a little onto the end of the chaise, beside her feet; drops of rainwater sprayed all down the chaise's length, and Sergey saw the red velvet drench crimson where the cap landed.
Lady Anastasia was, of course, no mere aide-de-camp; her commitment to the sea defences was serious, and this young woman's aplomb came from her confidence in rising high through the forces - and, perhaps above all, from Sergey's clear confidence in her. Few commanded his trust, a common enough thing in so suspicious and secretive a family, and even in her case it had its reserves. Indeed, she perhaps mistook for trust what was something else entirely; that is to say, although she could not have denied (had she examined the matter consciously) that Sergey's manner was a little paternal, she harboured no suspicion that he was, in fact, her father. To her mind, she was his protégée - and not, she knew, by any means the only protégée to find her way, at a remarkably young age, into the position of aide-de-camp to a sea-admiral, or deputy resident of one of the more important islands, or sub-chancellor of a treasury division. Though Sergey's mother, the Archduchess Krylova, still ruled over the Decados, and though her agents, moving in the shadows, would shiver the spine of any who thought of them, Sergey's people filled the civil administration, and one day would buttress his rule.
'Lady Fyodora', he said, 'is so short in her messages!' And he waved for the servant to leave. 'But her thoroughness, and dedication to her duties, must be allowed; and her indefatigable sense of military honour. But does she tire of her task? Few dangers have faced us at sea, and it might, I feared, stretch her brave and upright spirit' - this Sergey said with slight acerbity, as one who despised such things - 'that she is not ordered to strike the pirates down, to sink them to the depths of the Ocean.'
'You take me too literally, your Grace! Her ladyship, with her accustomed thoroughness' - this Nastya said with the slight derison of one who generally acts on the spur of the moment - 'had me commit to memory, I would say, a report such as would fill four pages. Dreary dull it is: "the pirates went this way, the pirates went that; they took a cargo of lobsters from a Gwung-lou merchantman; they dropped off their lobsters with a clan of Scravers in a little boat off Point Selenov:" I dare say you will want to hear all of it, and I dare say I will be able to remember every other paragraph.'
Sergey smiled: he knew well that his daughter had inherited his own powers of memory, and would recall every word. 'You reassure me,' he said. 'If Fyodora's propensity for writing shipping reports has overcome her enthusiasm for military glory, our policy is secure. And who will she send out to command, if punitive raids should be necessary?'
'Lord Grigory, perhaps, or Lord Nikolai. But the fisheries and trade ships are safe for now, and, at your orders, the ports are full of boats being equipped and nets being sewn; we are full of hopes that these pirates, though a curse for others, may be a blessing for our House.'
Sergey, again, was pleased; if Nastya understood the nub of his plan, it was unlikely that Lady Fyodora, whose reliance on her was great, would fail to follow it. It was, Sergey reflected, not his way to treat as enemies those who did not attack him. These pirates were the enemies of the Garatheade and Eahibera, and of the Li Halan if they chose to make them so, and not, at present, his own - unless, of course, he should see some way to profit from it.
'I will listen to your report, Lady Nastya. It is, you know, through the collection of information, though it be seemingly trivial, that a House like ours becomes greater; and Lady Fyodora, though I jibe at her, is one whose thoroughness, and whose devotion to the House, is to emulated and admired.' (Even this, though, Sergey could hardly say without a smile.) 'There is food prepared in the lunch-room; fill yourself and recall your memory, and we will meet in the inner drawing-room.'
Nastya, delighted at the thought of a meal that, though not freshly cooked, would not be fish, leapt up, and headed first for the small office where she knew dry robes would be found. Sergey looked round for the servant; then, not seeing him, he picked up the captain's hat, still saturated with rain and sea-spray; admired the imprint of his daughter's head; and placed it, still dripping, on the hat-stand.
Mother and Daughter
tock, tock, tock
Naganaka Akari pondered the broken terran clock her mother kept upon the mantelpiece of her private office. A testament to these last days of mankind perhaps, this age where the fading suns hung overhead and all time and space stood still awaiting the coming of the End and man stood naked before the sea of stars as when he first awoke in the dawn of days.
Or perhaps she simply kept it to unnerve her guests. For such was the mystery of Naganaka Ichika the fearsome and the gentle mistress of Li Halan.
The woman herself, hair kept up in a bun, stood at the window, staring outwards over the austere gardens of the palace as shadows lengthened in the twilight and all the orange, umber and red hues of dusk fell away to a pallid grey. A glass of Byzanto-secundine wine stood, half drunk, upon the windowsill. The redness of the wine appearing all the more like blood in the half-light of the waxing moon.
"We wonder, do you have the mettle to endure what must be endured when you visit Awroth daughter."
Naganaka Akari knelt on one knee as her mother glanced back, her narrow eyes becoming even narrower as she gazed upon her heir.
"Your will is mine honourable Mother, all glory is to the Pancreator and all men must obey His will"
The duchess tilted her chin and gestured sharply out the window, to the south.
"We shall entrust to you the task of visiting the Houses Decados and Gwung-Lou to discuss our investments in Awroth, this we have no doubt you will fulfil for the good of our House. Yet you must remember" She tensed and her voice turned into what seemed almost like a hiss "Never trust the heretic!"
Akari tilted her head. Her mothers saintly devotion and hatred for all things heretical were renowned. For this the people loved her and for this the foes of House Li Halan ought to fear her most of all the greater Lords who boast of membership in ancient and honourable house, said it was claimed to descend from the Emperors of Yamato on Holy Terra who ruled ten thousand years in the dawn of days. Still she ought to hold consort with truth rather than phantasms.
"My Lady, Houses Decados and Gwung-Lou are orthodox. You know better than anyone the work House Decados has undertaken for the glory of Holy Church, if only to wash away the stain of their houses past indecency. Indeed would we have invested in Awroth if this was not so?"
her mother scoffed as she turned around and grasped her daughters hand, her weathered face creased with motherly concern.
"Lord Sergey and the other high lords of Awroth perhaps. But what about all those lesser lords, the freeholders and knights who hold the hearts and minds of the commons in thrall. Awroth is rife with heresy and assuredly those wolves hidden amongst the faithful sheep shall come and attempt to lead you astray. Be careful daughter, for as the Omega Gospels teach, "the devil as a roaring lion goeth about seeking whom he may devour, whom resist ye strong in faith"."
The duchess after quoting the holy text pointed to an icon of the Pancreator that hung on the wall above an ancient globe of Holy Terra upon which we inscribed the names marking Blessed Afarique, the Himalazian mountains and the ancient cities of Nova York and Roma Aeterna amongst others.
"We are as trees grown in His garden, and when our time comes we, every one of us Lord or commoner alike are cut down. Whichever way we incline in that moment is the way we shall fall, be it to eternal perdition and earthly ruin, or to everlasting life in the Pancreators sublime glory. Our house has grown strong precisely because we have kept fast to Our Lords teachings. Do not let the whispers of Lord Sergey, or any of those lesser men who shall come to flatter you in your visit turn your eyes away from that truth".
Duchess Naganaka Ichika turned once more to look out the window as Holy Sol rose above the horizon like a burning eye gazing condemningly upon her wayward sons.
"It is in the nature of evil to fester in the shadows before like a colony of Assimovian deathworms it erupts from its host to devour all in its sight. We detect an odour of heresy, the foulest of all crimes against our Lord, from this so called grey manta piracy and We shall uncover its origin lest we be devoured unawares."
Akari bowed and ruefully pondered the truth that her mother was not fond of Hazatic koans and was quite literal in her allegory. Most unfortunate is the man in whom the hives broodmother lays its eggs. Nonetheless her mothers fears were understandable. The reports from Byzantium Secondus grew direr with each passing year.
"We understand mother"
"Good, do what must be done for our peoples sake and return to our side. Then we can plan at length. We trust you more than anyone."
Naganaka Akari bowed once again before exiting the office all the while the ancient clock continued its ineffable tock, tock, tock.
Hazat Foundational Myth Part 13 (The Forbidden Verse)
Disclaimer: The Hazat are often fond of lies, and the content of their foundational epic are often exaggerated or outright invented falsehoods. However, in most versions of the foundational myths and epics there is a notable exception of Verse 13. While this was originally believed by this collator as being related to an old Terran superstition, a contact among the Hazat informed me that this was in fact, because Verse 13, the so called Forbidden Verse, is considered a taboo subject to discuss and narrate due to its possibly heretical and anti-establishment content.
For the sake of completion, however, it is included here.
In winter, after harvest season have come and gone, Pralaya Amari and her band of Hazat marched to the ancient city of Shaddam, seeking out the great shipyard to seize its ships and face the great warrior, Baldun of Shimano.
The road was long and desperate. The mountains were cold, and many did die from disease, the cold, and the rough. Pralaya, however, was of good cheer, and her captains did lend them their heat as was wanted.
It was on a cold night such as these that Pralaya saw a light in the distance. "Do not chase it," one loyal captain warned. "It is a ghost light--of witches, infidels, and heretics, to lure unwary travelers into the dark for their profane rituals. Those who follow it never return."
"Then I shall be the first," Pralaya the Hazat replied, always of good cheer (for she had already taken her share of suffering under the Corpo, and grief was her name). She took up her spear and said to her beloved captain: "Take heart, good lord. I am only a humble farmer. You are a strong soldier. If I never return, you will take upon my title: the Hazat, and will surely carry our dreams further than I would ever have."
With that, Pralaya ran into the woods, following the light. She came to a ruin of a village where the light shone through one of the shattered windows. "Little light," Pralaya called to the ghost. "Why have you lead me here?"
And from deeper in the shadows, a voice replied: "Do not seek out the owner of this voice, only hear its words. When I am done, I shall guide you back to your men.
"I am Eshin, of no house but my own. I have wandered the desert for three score years among the Zen Serotonin. I have seen the end of all stories. Your name is Pralaya, of no house but the Hazat, and your name shall be honored and gloried, should you continue down your path. A thousand year empire awaits you."
At this, Pralaya was greatly pleased, for despite her claims to contrary she was an ambitious woman who believed herself among the legends of history. "Oh wise one," Pralaya says, prostrating before the broken home. "I thank you for bringing this kind portent. Know that your name shall be forever honored by my descendants."
"I must ask you to turn back. March back home. Step away from your path of conquest, for it only feeds the great wheel of suffering. Will you continue your path?" the hidden oracle continued. Pralaya, without hesitation, replied: "The Corpo has doomed my parents and slain my brothers. They have done this to many others. They must be destroyed, and glory awaits me. Yes, I must continue. Why will this feed your great wheel of suffering?"
And Eshin replied: "Your empire will be built upon a field of arrows, then bullets, then coherent particles. You would build a monument to your brothers and mothers, and you would form it from the ashes of brothers and mothers of your enemies. You will hear the cheer of your men and fellows, but never hear the great wailing of the children or the innumerable dead. This is the engine that turns the Great Wheel, which consumes the empires made by brave heroes like yourself."
This ponderous whinging curdled Pralaya's fair features into a terrible mask of hatred, and storming the house with a spear in her hand, she found the monk, Eshin, crouching at the center, wrapped in rags. "Speak no more, infidel, but to beg for mercy! How dare you presume to know my suffering? You have not heard the cries of my brothers, my mother, nor the screams of hundreds when they burned my city. You do not know the hope my actions bring to those who have suffered as I have!"
At this, the old man only laughed. "Do you think I fear death, fair Hazat? I, who have named countless horrors and evils that haunt this land? I, who have heard the same words uttered by many others before you? I, who have gained this and many more secret knowledges?"
So Pralaya stabbed the oracle, Eshin, through the stomach, and the oracle laughed and said: "You are braver than most, Pralaya, and an utter fool. Go and build your empire. See what awaits you in the end."
And Eshin died, and tearing off its robes, Pralaya found only a rotting corpse that must have been dead for days. She took its cloak, finding it a fine and sturdy thing, and returned to the camp. There, she took comfort in her captains and forgot the words of the Oracle. She marched to Shaddam and there, she seized the great ships of the Corpos and took flight to Byzantium Secundus, where she found her kingdom.
WARNING! This material is known to contain potentially heretical written content. Access by unauthorized parties is forbidden by Church puritan diktat 224.34.
Spoiler Access: Granted :
Heretical memoirs of Ping Yuao Sen - "The Rise of the Awroth Triads"
Do not be fooled. From smuggling, violent extortion and kidnapping to interplanetary narcotics trade, human trafficking and mass-murder - the nobility of "House" Gwung-Lou is entirely in appearances only. A facade, nonexistant. It is with a bleak heart that I write this in the hopes that the truth will not be buried, and the past remembered. On these parchments I present to you the frightening facts about the ascendant Gwung-Lou, formerly known as the various triads of Clarke.
The word Triad is an aproximate translation from the word San Ho Hui, meaning Triple Union Society as it is symbolic of the union between heaven, earth and man. As such, triangle imagery is a predominant motif present throughout their organization. The origins of the Gwung-Lou triad can be traced back to the earliest settlements of Clarke during the great expansion period. At first they were reportedly believed to be secret groups formed of dissident serfs and freemen who were feeling oppressed by their rulers. Among their many legends regarding their roots there is also one claiming that they were initially established by a group of priests who had pledged to combat the injustices they saw in their society.
The exact date is unknown but hundreds of years ago a fraternal organization called the Heavenly Jade and Sapphire Society was founded by the Gwung clan. As its influence throughout Clarke grew, it seperated into smaller groups which also adopted the triangle emblem. The overrall objective of these secret societies was to ascend the Gwung clan into nobility by means of subsuming or destroying the current local power in southern Awroth. And as we can see - they succeeded.
During the early colonization period of Clarke when southern Awroth was but a series of fledgling colonies there was a strict policy against secret societies upheld by the orthodox church. Many suspected members of the triads were imprisoned and executed under church law during this period. The decline of triad activity in Awroth at that time was attributed to the church ban on brothels, prostitution and the Muipo drug trade. However, the influence of these groups was so great that some historians even suspect that triad operations to have contributed to the complete annihilation of southern Awroth's former nobility within the last hundred years and the vaccum generated lead to the rise of house Gwung-Lou.
End of Part I
Emperor of the Fading Suns- Turn 1- 4801 by Terran Calendar
Incarnate Preachers (4801)
The orthodox Archbishop of Byzantium Secondus, Quelus Haventi, does not take the attack upon his authority quietly and immediately begins a major campaign of preaching and denunciation to turn public opinion against the charismatic incarnate proselytizer Adaeze Chydi. His clergy denounce her and her followers from the pulpits and from the streets, and spare no expense in traveling across Byzantium Secondus to speak against the ‘charlatan’ wherever her support is strongest.
+influence Avesti, -influence incarnates, Great City
At the same time, High Inquisitor David Ghul, takes a much more direct approach to hunting the heresy, throwing a wide net of red robed inquisitors who go shanty to shanty, door to door, to speak to the people and seek their support in denouncing the heretic Adaeze Chydi and her flock. Needless to say, there is substantial abuse of his inquisitors as they are sent against the personal enemies of the serfs and freeman as a tool to fulfill petty vendettas. Despite this, they do manage to find some genuine incarnates in their wide net and put the fear of joining this ‘heretic cult’ into the hearts of others, ultimately slowing the spread of Chydi’s message.
+influence Avesti, -influence incarnates, Great City
Despite the efforts of both Haventi and Ghul however, Adaeze and her disciples continue to spread their message, offering printed copies of the Omega Gospels in the common tongue instead of Urthish and teaching the pious how to intercede on their own behalf with the Pancreator instead of only through the church. She also leads an inflammatory attack upon the hypocrisies and corruption of the Orthdoxy, a message that resonates widely when Haventi’s bishops travel high overhead in untouchable rho-eggs while the serfs and freeman slog along with mud on their shoes. Her message is popular and her movement continues to grow; there are even rumors of new chapters appearing on Watts and Clarke.
-influence Orthodoxy, +influence incarnates, Great City
While the Orthodoxy, Incarnates, and Avestites fight over dogma and teachings, the Blossoms of Mercy quietly continue to provide care and support to the masses of Byzantium Secondus. Particularly active this year are the Sisters of the Open Hand, a nunnery run by Abbess Jyoti Panda and affiliated with the Blossoms of Mercy, who provide a significant amount of medicine and food to the poor and needy of the great city. Rumors swirl that the food and medicines themselves were provided by Rogi Rémillard, brother to Paul Rémillard, patron of that Royal House.
+influence House Rémillard, +influence Blossoms of Mercy, Great City
Proscription Flaunted (4801)
Lasguns and blasters continue to proliferate more and more widely even making their ways into the hands of petty criminals where they are being used for minor crimes like muggings. The weapons and gangsters using them seem unafraid of the security of the Noble Houses, engaging in firefights with those who would try to curb their violence and criminal activities.
+influence Rebels, Great City
o Duke Oguzhan Azhgeya of House Azgheya commissions a new chapel for the serfs of the Azgheya fiefdoms, greatly pleasing the local Orthdoxy clergy and furthering the support of the orthodox sect within the Azgheya fiefdom of Byzantium Secondus. (+legitimacy, +influence Azgheya, Orthodoxy Great City)
o House Shinna is unique amongst the noble houses of Byzantium Secondus, holding significant territory (one couldn’t rightfully call it land) amongst the flooded regions abandoned by the majority of the population of the Great City. Here they operate aquaculture farming, using captured solar and wind power to run their purification systems. They make their homes in the protruding skeletal ruins of once great skyscrapers in an environment like that of ancient Venice. Taiseer Shinna, head of that house, expands his holdings this year, carefully selecting and reinforcing adjacent ruins to make into homes for his people and expanding the shrimp and fish farms and solar rigs that go with them. (+influence Shinna, +food, energy Floodlands)
o Angélique Beaulne, of house D’Glace, the young and beautiful Duchess of Byzantium Secondus is repeatedly seen in the company of the Authority gulidmaster, Garren Grimkill. Rumors abound of a potential romantic interest, though he must be at least 20 years her senior, and apparently married. Still they are seen in each other’s company at the horse races and again at a kite-fighting tournament, a smile that cannot be forced upon both their faces. (+influence D’Glace, Great City)
The Flames of Jeraha la Kuoga (4801)
As abruptly as they had appeared the monks of Jeraha la Kuoga have disappeared.
o Despite the poor quality of the soil, Duchess Ouaras Yrephys orders the expansion of her agricultural fiefdoms in Western Chimonem, clearing boulders and gravel to uncover thin ashy soil and planting some hardy potatoes. (+influence Yrpehys, +agriculture Western Chimonem)
o “Look here, lo, upon the finest works of crys-glass and wrought Maystone.”
Eylul Shekhis, Duchess of the House Shekhis, and vassals to House Azgheya, holds a grand craft and artisans’ fair to draw the attention of traders and merchants to the beauty and ingenuity of the artisans her house has long sponsored. Throughout May and as far as Holy Terra and Leagueheim the beauty of the works made by the artisans of Shekhis are renown.
o Despite the poor quality of the soil, Joeri Van Gelder orders the expansion of the agricultural efforts of his fiefdom, and like the Yrpehys, turns to potatoes as a crop of choice for the stony ash. (+influence Van Gelder, +agriculture Eastern Chimonem)
o Chundar Valushnya, the patron of the independent House Valushnya loves his palace garden and spends the entire year developing it, coaxing a variety of flowering trees from the acrid acid soil through the judicious use of buried irrigation lines and liquid fertilizers.
o His daughter, the heir to the House of Valushnya, focuses on developing the wider fiefdom with a particular focus on coal mining and processing operations. (+influence Valushnya, +energy Western Chimonem)
Xyall Beast Raids (4801)
The Xyall beasts attacks on the Inland Sea region and its many fiefdoms accelerates significantly this year, reaching its zenith during the long night (eclipse) when their shifting color-changing forms are repeatedly seen in significant numbers slipping through the gates and over the walls of the colonies. Local forces seem at a loss to stop them and almost all houses with holdings on Assimov are struck by the beasts this year, losing, in total, tens of thousands of serfs and soldiers. (-influence, all houses with influence on inland sea, -food, energy, materials, exotics, inland sea)
o Archbishop Horles Keter, Eskatonics, has made a surprise visit to the inland sea region of Assimov, traveling with a small retinue of elite bodyguards but without the giant following of clergy and bureaucrats that would normally follow an archbishop. He has met and discussed Eskatonic teachings with nobles and freemen and serfs alike, providing impromptu lessons on trance bio-feedback and the lessons of St. Doramos, worldshaper of the Grand Republic responsible for the terraforming of many planets, Assimov in particular. By the time of the great eclipse and the attacks he has already returned but some wonder if his godlessness is to blame for the Xyall beast attacks. (+influence Eskatonics, inland sea region)
o Charlotte Beaulne, matron of House D’Glace personally leads a colonizing expedition to the planet Assimov, establishing a tent city, water purification and some primitive farming, all under cover of General Édouard Allard and his Grimson Legions. The Xyall beasts are aggressive and strike repeatedly and where they are, the Grimsons are able to defend, but the Xyall learn to avoid them, instead striking at isolated colonists or explorers. Ultimately when Charlotte Beaulne returns to May, approximately a full quarter of her colonial efforts have been lost to hostile wildlife, disease, and the various toxins of the fauna and microbiota. Assimov is a hard mistress for all and very unlike the remainder of the Known Worlds. With Matron Bealne returned to May, General Édouard Allard remains in command of the colony for now.
o The Vaurelial rangers are busy this year, under command of Duchess Danielle Vaureliel, vassal to the House Rémillard, guarding workers and equipment as the Vaureliel push further into the deep jungles with a series of narrow roads, jungle paths, way-stations and isolated villages. Not all survive, and the Xyall beasts claim more than a few dozen colonists, but ultimately, as the long eclipse and the deep darkness comes, House Vaureliel is better positioned to forage the exotic bounty of inland Assimov. (+influence Vaureliel, +food, exotics, Unending Jungle)
Grey Manta Pirates of the Typhoon Seas (4801)
As quickly as it began, the attacks by the Grey Manta pirates have ceased. Perhaps the show of naval power by the Li Halan planetary commander Li Halan Sister Okemo Au had something to do in dissuading the attacks but regardless, all shipping through the region was remarkably untouched by predation this year. The show of force reinforces the power and majesty of House Li Halan’s forces.
+legitimacy Li Halan
Li Halan Naganaka Akari Visits Decados and Gwung-Lou Fiefdoms of Awroth Archipelago
In accordance with newly signed agreements that see House Li Halan invest in the agricultural products of both the Decados and Gwung-Lou fiefdoms, the Li Halan heir, Ms Naganaka Akari makes a state visit to both these Houses. She is extremely well received with all the pomp and ceremony to be expected of her status and breeding.
Discussions focus primarily on two points: the Grey Manta pirates and coordinating appropriate escorts to protect planetary shipping in the southern hemisphere, including that of the Church, and further, to coordinate trade and investment.
It is said that both the southern courts were very impressed with the Li Halan heir who’s piety, strict asceticism, and dedication to both the Pancreator and her House were obvious to all who spoke with her.
o Incarnate heresies led by charismatic disciples of Adaeze Chydi are growing among the archipelago of Uyish, and in the fiefdoms of the Orthodox Planetary See in particular. Many say that Archbishop Leonid Mrimiah, Orthdoxy, is too tolerant.
o Archbishop Leonid Mirmah has ordered the expansion of the Orthodox fiefdoms, focusing primarily on their fishing operations. (+influence Orthodoxy, +agriculture Uyish archipelago)
o Li Halan Naganaka Ichika leads the development of both an investment in the Decados and Gwung-Lou agricultural fiefdoms of the Awroth peninsula as well as domestic development of her House’s own mining sectors with a particular focus on iron ore and coal. (+influence Li Halan, +agriculture Awroth archipelago, +influence Li Halan, +materials and energy Wraubica archipelago)
o The House Decados heir, Sergey Vladislav, leads an effort to expand fishing within the Decados fiefdoms of Awroth with the construction of several new vessels, the expansion of existing docks and the founding on a new villages near an area he suspects (rightly) to have abundant fishing. (+influence Li Halan, +agriculture Awroth archipelago)
o Colonists fleeing the overpopulation of Leagueheim arrives on Coachmen ships to the fiefdom of the Gwung Lou where they are quickly assimilated as serfs. Because of their poor farming skills, these are primarily put to work in manufacturing and factory positions, accelerating the urbanization of these people.
Tales of Buried Artifacts (4801)
Rumors say the ‘Riah Hariqa’ have ceased discussing their findings and that they have attracted the attention of the Scravers Guild (and indeed two of their yachts were seen at the Guild agora at the North Sea) as well as several Noble Houses. It remains to be determined what artifacts were uncovered, if any, and who will (or can) claim them.
The Drumbeat of Herbert’s Sirocco
The forces of Hazat are particularly brazen during the year, launching an extensive range of military exercises on their northern border not too distant from the Io-Ian fiefdoms. The military exercises, under joint command of Admiral Isabel Dulcinea and General Raphael Evuardo include space-based exercises aimed at boarding enemy vessels and landing drop infantry in support of ground forces (led by the elite Knightly Order of the Chromium Claw in their reflective silver armor and menacingly wide metallic wings), and even the firing of the Hazat battleship’s orbit-to-ground based weaponry at one of the moons of Hebert, raising new craters visible from Hebert’s surface with the right telescopes. On the ground, the Knightly Order of the Jade Claw, in their thick green ceramasteel exoarmor lead simulated infantry and cavalry attacks, even a small contingent of mobile infantry and tanks. Artillery are sighted, and in deafening cascade, dialed in for the rocky scrubland terrain of the northern Hazat region.
In support of these military preparations, the Promoter’s Guild are out in full force throughout the lands of the Hazat, on every planet, braying of the glory of war and the various wide-ranging evils of the Io Ian. The shills throw a wide propaganda net, with claims of territorial reclamation, justice for pass insults, vengeance for crimes inflicted upon the Hazat, and simpler calls to duty. And while the wide range of the propaganda offered does much to widely motivate the minor nobility and serfdom of the Hazat of Herbert no one is too sure exactly why war is drawing nigh. Beyond Herbert, the coming war seems so distant that the Shills are not nearly as successful.
Meanwhile, within the Io-Ian, rumors are spreading like wildfire that the nobility are unprepared for such a battle, that they are corrupt, that there is infighting within the military as to how to deal with this threat. Mok Io-Ian makes several appearances to quell these rumors, insisting they are the work of foreign agitators but the narrative continues to circulate: the Io-Ian nobility is divided, the army weak and turning against itself. The rule of Mok Io-Ian hangs by a thin thread and the Hazat are here to snip it.
+legitimacy Hazat, -legitimacy Io-Ian
Two Men Walk Through an Orchard, Each Speaking and Neither Hearing the Other
Throughout the year, Hazat Ronan, makes multiple visits to the Planetary See and Orthodox fiefdom. The area is a well-manicured garden, famous throughout the Known Worlds for its almonds, olives, oranges, and lemons, and even vineyards. On the first visits he comes only with small contingent, his retinue and body guard, but on successive visits he comes with specialist laborers and tools from his fiefdoms, there to help support renovations and maintenance of the Planetary See. And while Phạm Quang Nhật is only too pleased to accept this gift, he did not become Archbishop of a planet by virtue of his naivety; he believes the Hazat gifts, are, in a way, a bribe for the church to look aside while the Hazat make aggressive noises towards the Io-Ian. Indeed, as the visits continue, it is obvious to any outsider that the Hazat heir and the Orthodox archbishop do not get along. The relationship reaches its nadir when, in a sermon to the faithful, the Archbishop Nhật even alludes to the corrupting influence of snakes in the garden of Herbert, in obvious reference to the Hazat Ronan, though he never mentions the heir by name. Ultimately this personal animosity does much to undo the diplomatic efforts of the Hazat vis-a-vis the local Orthodoxy and relations are, if anything, more hostile than they had been prior to the diplomatic effort. Despite this however, the Hazat serfs see the piety of their lords on wide display and their loyalty is perhaps greater than ever.
o High Archeon Judy Sleeping of the Brothers Battle has ordered the expansion of the Brothers Battle fiefdoms on Herbert, focusing primarily on farming. (+influence Brothers Battle, +agriculture Northern Floodplains)
o The Hazat are not the only ones to run wargames this year with the al-Malik general Taaj Rashid apparently acquiring specialist equipment for desert survival and training the famed Iridescent Knights in desert survival and deep reconnaissance. In orbit the al-Malik admiral, Manaara al-Jabr patrols widely, perhaps in support of General Rashid’s forces, perhaps conducting their own exercises. (+legitimacy al-Malik)
o Tan Io-Ian, heir to house Io-Ian is said to have been in intense discussions with the offices of Cardinal Glory Herinus, Blossoms of Mercy, and to have mobilized his serfs to construct a new dedicated abbey to that order within their lands. The abbey also serves as a hospital and promises to improve the health and wellness of the Io-Ian serfs. The nobility of Io-Ian bemoan the waste of resources, pointing to the obvious need to protect themselves in the face of Hazat aggression. (+influence southern savannah region Blossoms of Mercy and Io Ian, +legitimacy Io-Ian)
o Admiral Ediz Eksi, in service to House Azgheya, conducts ship and drop infantry drills over the fiefdoms of house Azgheya. The Knightly Order of the Desert Rain, resplendent in their bronze exoarmor perform particularly well, their discipline and coordination and obvious strength reinforcing the support of the serfs. (+legitimacy)
o Duke Jan-Dirk Van Syth, vassal to House Van Gelder focused this year on expanding his house’s agricultural output by investing in renovations and upgrades to his fiefdom’s irrigation infrastructure. (+influence Van Syth, +food North Polar Sea region)
o Courtesans whisper that the heir of House Azgheya, young Cevher Azgheya has returned from his sojourn amongst the deep desert monasteries espousing strange and mystic beliefs, openly discussing séances with the dead and his ‘trip’ on desert cactuses. Needless to say the heir’s strange beliefs are causing some embarrassment in the traditionalist court of his father, the Patron of this Royal House, Ceviker Azgheya (-legitimacy Azgheya)
o Lyndis Ooray, heir to that house organizes the expansion of their plastic factories, more than doubling output and focuses on supporting industrial development with assembly lines dedicated to engines, machining tools, and related products.
o Rushdi Rashid, heir to the al-Malik throne, orders the expansion of food production in their North Polar Sea fiefdom, executing by founding two new villages and clearing lands and digging irrigation ditches. By the start of the new (terran) year, new crops have already been sowed. (+influence al-Malik, +food North Polar Sea region)
Dreams of Imcinkyl Return (4801)
The Rémillard response to the claimants of House Imcinkyl is to two-pronged. Marc Rémillard leads a public relations campaign against the claimants based on ‘la bêtise’ of the individuals making these claims, painting them as dreamers and fools, deluded or worse. At the same time, military intelligence, led by General Maurice Rémillard, Marc’s paternal uncle, takes a more direct approach, organizing an investigation of the ranks of the House Rémillard military to understand how deeply they have penetrated if at all.
Ultimately however, it is very soon revealed that the claimants are no more than dissatisfied serfs who seem to have been operating on behalf of unidentified individuals. At this point the investigation was closed to the public and it is not clear what justice will be served or who will be paying for that justice, or in what currency.
o Incarnate heresies led by charismatic disciples of Adaeze Chydi are growing on Watts with new chapters of this blasphemous teaching apparently being established in Eastern Veflyn. It remains to be seen how Archbishop Claude Rémillard will respond to this threat to his spiritual shepherding of the planet.
o Archbishop Claude Rémillard has ordered the expansion of the Orthodox fiefdoms, focusing primarily on their mining operations. (+influence Orthodoxy, +materials Western Veflyn)
o Raúl Amontillado, heir to the Amontillado line has ordered the clearing of new lands and founding of new rugged coastal villages to expand the agricultural and fishing output of the family fiefdoms. (+influence Amontillado, +food Western Veflyn)
o Duke Gale Dulcinea, vassal to Hazat, invests in the artisan output of his fiefdom by providing workshops and materials to artists and craftsmen of his lands. (+influence Dulcinea, +food, materials Western Veflyn)
o Sam Lojan, vassal to House Li Halan, works to expand his fiefdom on Ontellia. His focus is primarily on expanding coal-mining operations with new dedicated villages and expansion of his rail-lines to more remote mining operations, accelerating their development. (+influence Lojan, +energy Ontellia)
o Admiral Jean-Francois Brosseau of House Rémillard conducts anti-piracy drills over Watts.
o Nabiya ibn-Rahiman, vassal to House al-Malik orders the expansion of her industrial development, founding a new mining village on a particularly rich vein of tin and investing in the expansion of factories in the urban centers of her rain-swept fiefdom. (+influence ibn-Rahiman, + materials Eastern Veflyn)
The winds blow over a scorched radioactive wasteland.
To Duke Mok Io Ian
From the Hazat Izan
While I have always been a creature of compassion, as well as pity, mercy has never before poisoned my soul.
I must thus ask you, for if I do not ask you, somebody else will ask it for me, to bend the knee to me. Serve me as your liege, and all your holdings and assets will be preserved. No Hazat outrider will ever roam your lands with blood in their mouths. No Hazat drop troopers will ever crawl in through every crack in your defenses. We shall swear to protect you until the very stars fade--or until you can take the crown from my bloodied corpse as is the Hazat way.
Will you accept this peace?
From Duke Mok Io Ian
To Hazat Izan
What are your terms?
To Duke Mok Io Ian
From Hazat Izan
You shall be my satrapy, and you shall be expected to contribute warriors and resources to Shaddam, my seat of power. I shall establish garrisons within your territory, in order to ensure your protection.
Beyond your contribution of warriors, however, you will not be required to take part in any wars of aggression. We are content to leave you to your own advices, so long as you remain a loyal subject.
@Crezth @Kyzarc Fotjage
Honourable Lords Eahibera and Garathede
We pray this communique finds you well disposed in the Pancreator's Holy Light.
While your honourable houses lacklustre response to our previous correspondence on the matter of piracy was... regretful, we have nonetheless always been well assured of your honourable houses commitment to orthodoxy and the true teachings of Our Lord. Thus we were well pleased when the vagabonds in question dispersed before our terrestrial forces who acting within the agreements made with Houses Gwung-Lou and Decados restored peace and order to Clarke and even to your own shores, for we had hoped that our people might be assured of tranquility in the years ahead.
Yet now we hear that a far more abominable threat has come hither from the stars and planted roots on our world and before its like you cannot remain silent lest heaven condemn you for impiety. For the acolytes of the Heresiarch Adaeze Chydi, those detestable incarnates of the Eurygnostic heresy which has already wrought such chaos and disorder on Byzantium-Secundus and threaten even the overthrow of legitimate authority on that world, have taken root in Uyish and every waking hour spread their errors to the commons. Even in the see of His Grace the venerable Lord Archbishop Leonid Mrimiah these reprobates dare in public to proclaim their abominable impiety and sow the seeds of chaos on Clarke, taking advantage of our Lord Archbishops mercy and forbearance and his pious charity for all his flock.
My Lords, he who rebels against the lawful teaching authority of the Church each in his turn inevitably will rebel against the natural order of temporal governance and of the noble houses and stray surely and inexorably into the foul doctrines of democracy and republicanism. So is it written in the long and sordid records of our race, so shall it always be. It ought be clear to you that any who claims to have authority of himself and that man is the arbiter of truth by vulgar vote or majority assent not only in matters temporal but all the more in matters spiritual will set himself up as his own false god and seek the ruin of all tranquility and order amongst the people in a bid to satiate his base lusts. You need only look at the chaos on Byzantium-Secundus to see that this is true. Such degenerates as these eventually if left to fester turn to atheism and reject the authority of the Pancreator himself in the ultimate rebellion. The Omega Gospels record that it is due to this unspeakable sin that the Republic is no more and the wrath of heaven is writ across the stars for all who are wise to see.
Honourable Lords Garathede and Eahibera. You must exercise the legitimate authority Our Lord Himself has given to you to erase this stain amongst the people subject to your rule. If you fail to do so and refuse to exercise your God given authority in defense of the one true faith and thereby act through your negligence and tacit assent as a fan spreading the flames of blasphemy across Clarke then our house will be forced to consider punitive actions for the sake of the souls of our own subjects. Furthermore, if you do nothing and this matter metastasizes into a general apostasy amongst the people we shall consider it our sacred obligation to quell the heresy by force.
We pray it does not come to that.
Tradition, Family, Faith
~ Li Halan Naganaka Ichika.
ooc: translation: Take action to suppress the heresy in Uyish because if it spreads further or manifests disorder similar to whats on Byz-Sec house Li-Halan will be forced to intervene despite it being loathe to shake the pillars of tradition and house sovereignty. House Li Halan is taking the forceful tone due to your failure to respond to the previous missive in any capacity whatsoever.
ooc: At the request of Immaculate my letter to the Church is posted in full below. This is to enable him to render a response in the update rather than fiddling with NPC diplo.
To His Grace the Lord Archbishop Leonid Mrimiah of Clarke.
My Lord Bishop, your mercy for the sinner and charity for the needy and for the poor is well known as is your ardent love for Our Lord. Yet we fear that in your haste to offer succor to your flock and bestow kindness to all who avail themselves of thee, you have averred prudence and been excessively tolerant for those sheep who have wandered astray.
Forgive our candour but Your Grace surely understands the dangers of rampant heresy, one needs only look to Byzantium-Secundus to see the darkness that the incarnates may bring down upon our world. Therefore we urge you as your spiritual daughter and out of charity for you our spiritual father and brother in faith to not let your compassion, a most commendable virtue, become a vice. We bid you ardently as one longing for the wellspring of sure faith and as a devoted scion of holy church for you to exercise the teaching authority the Pancreator has given you to condemn the Incarnates and their blasphemy and to use your temporal power to suppress it and execute justice on those criminals who blatantly deny by their own foul doctrine your spiritual authority. Justice demands that those who refuse to repent be punished in full with a fitting penalty Your Grace, and the fitting penalty for denying the truths of Our Lord is death.
We are certain Your Grace knows how zealously we cherish Mother Church and how we pray daily for tranquility and peace for our people and all the peoples of Clarke. Yet we fear that if the sin of tolerance continues to hold sway on Uyish all that we cherish, and the same peace we have brought to Clarke through our actions, might be cast into the darkness and all will be consumed in the fires of chaos. This is why we have made clear that we will take forceful measures to suppress the incarnates if Houses Garathede and Eahibera do nothing even if it is against tradition to intervene in another houses demesne. But if you, who by God has been charged to defend the faith against its enemies offers but a lukewarm response... we fear all our efforts might avail nothing. For what would intercession in the affairs of other noble houses avail if the stain of errant doctrine sets up its throne in the very holy place set up for the enlightenment of Clarke, whispering its corruption from within Mother Churches own cloister?
Do not hesitate to do what must be done Your Grace. We beg of thee. Do not hesitate My Lord Archbishop for the Pancreator knows his own and in the flames of the pyre the heretic receives a great grace, for by his suffering the heretic is spurred to repent of his crime sincerely in the deeps of his soul and it is in repentance that by the grace of our Lord he may be saved.
Li Halan Naganaka Ichika, Duchess of Clarke.
ooc: translation The Duchess urges the Archbishop to publically condemn the Incarnate Heresy and take measures to suppress it in the Ecclesiastical fiefs. She obviously does not take the forceful tone she has with the noble houses on Uyish or suggest using force against the Church's holdings and stresses rather that these heretics by their own teaching rebel against his authority and undermine the same, and that the just penalty for such treason against God and Lord is death.
Really great diplo and adds nicely to the setting. So no one is waiting on this, i've decided that I'm going to respond in the update after i roll some dice, etc..
This letter comes bearing the seal of Lord Hawkwood, Torsten Vidar.
Archduchess Naganaka Ichika,
The letter you sent to my loyal retainer Lady Eirrun Garatheade was forwarded to me by the same. She requested humbly that I reply in her stead as per the nature of your grievance.
I have known you for many years. I will not mince words.
Let me first make it absolutely clear no "punitive measures" of any kind administered by the House Li Halan against House Garatheade will be tolerated. Garatheade is mine to punish, not yours. However justified, your crusade does not entitle you to ignore the Law, nor to unilaterally suspend the privileges of House Garatheade and, by extension, those of House Hawkwood. Therefore any "punitive measure" you see fit to administer to my vassal will be seen as what it is: a violation of the Law, and such rogue arrogance will be met in kind with the considerable forces at the disposal of the Hawkwood dominion.
On to the subject of your grievance, then. Lady Garatheade has given me her assurance that the heretics will be tried in accordance with the Law and the strictures of the Church. I have every confidence in her ability to proceed appropriately whatever the outcome.
Allow me to finish this letter with a solemn reminder. As I have said I have known you many years. I have long been aware of your passion for our Faith. But you must not allow your zealotry to blind you to the reality of our civilization. Our civilization is built on our Faith, yes, but it is maintained by our commitment to the Law, one that is principled in our Faith but consists ultimately in the labors of man to preserve that Faith through the legal maintenance of Order. Any number of moral turpitudes have come and gone over the ages. We did not defeat these turpitudes merely through Faith but through the instrumentality of that Faith in our holy Law.
I am an old man, and my son will one day succeed me. I have striven to instill in him the same devotion I have observed my whole life to our Law and our civilization and our Faith. And it distresses me, as it also distresses you, to see old heresies spreading again and threatening our principles. But it is exactly because I see our civilization deserving protection from this heresy that I believe with greater passion than ever we must not allow ourselves to stray from the principles of Law & Order. In the end, nothing more surely endangers our Faith than such dispensations, and there is no more fertile ground for Heresy than Anarchy.
Lady Garatheade is one of my most trusted retainers. I know she is absolutely committed to these same ideals I prize. It would be a horrible mistake to question her devotion.
Honourable Lord Hawkwood
We pray this message finds you well
As you have corresponded frankly with us let us reply with equal candor.
Our letter to Duchess Garatheade, as you have read, stated that we would take punitive measures against House Garatheade as it our right should she do nothing in response to these errant preachers, and further that if she cast aside our rebuke and continued to do nothing we would be forced to quell the heresy by force if the situation reached a critical stage. We do not in the slightest retract our words.
No one My Lord, least of all the honourable Lord Hawkwood, would doubt our devotion to the principles that govern the nobility and the traditions that are the bedrock of our civilisation, nor that it has always been House Li Halans policy to maintain both principle and tradition in regard to relations between the great houses as is clearly evidenced in these present days by our diplomatic relations with Houses Decados and Gwung Lou. Yet there is a higher law, Lord Hawkwood, than bonds of fealty and the principle of non-intervention in the affairs of other great houses and that is the Law of the Pancreator. Should any house, high or low, betray His Holy Law and refuse to take action to punish offenses against Him, and if all other options diplomatic or otherwise fail, than it is the duty of those to whom power and authority has been given from on high after following all appropriate channels and obtaining an ecclesiastical writ to take forceful action lest by their own sin of omission they invoke divine wrath. Even more so, prior to resorting to such forceful measures it is incumbent on all right thinking houses to rebuke their errant brethren, shun contact with them and by taking such measures, as well as if it is prudent more tangible sanctions as are legitimately available, to compel them to repent, correct their faults and return to the bosom of holy church and the fraternity of the nobility as a wayward brother returning to his fathers house. We would hazard a guess that you would be the last of all men to deny this.
Yet good fortune Honourable duke!
Our demands have been met by you and through you by the Duchess Garatheade also and such it would seem no such measures need be taken. However much you desire to cloak your assent to our request in legal bluster you have clearly stated to us that you have given remonstrance to your vassal and that they will take action against the Incarnates spreading error in their holdings in response to our letter, which is all that we desired of your vassal in the first place. It would seem therefore our military power on Clarke will not be needed to quell a heretic revolt in some future year, as Lady Garatheade will not do nothing as she did nothing when piracy ravaged her own shores, but rather take up the mantle of duty and exercise the justice she vowed before the Pancreator to uphold when she ascended to her seat and will work sedulously to uphold the peace House Li Halan has endeavored to uphold by our own example.
If she continues to do the same, and if House Hawkwood continues its time-honoured tradition of honourable fidelity to the Laws both divine and human, than you have nought to fear from us and can rather look forward to continued years of friendship and mutual collaboration. For my Lord we have ever held House Hawkwood in high esteem and held your own personal honour in the highest of regards. We therefore trust with absolute confidence that your high esteem for Lady Garatheade is justified and look forward to the results of her actions to quell the heresy in her lands and the disorder arising therefrom that threatens my domain more greatly each passing day. We know that you understand the value of ones word and would not dare impugn the honour of House Hawkwood by reneging on your word in this matter, permitting thereby the contagion in Uyish to fester unchecked.
~ signed and bearing the seal of Duchess Naganaka Ichika
Orders are due Wedneday, August 19th at 6pm EST.
Dearest Brother, the Hazat Jose
From your sister, Amira Marcado
Dear brother, I hope this letter finds you in peace, and that the great swarming masses of Byzantium Secundus have not yet stormed your palace and slain you in your sleep. Nothing much has changed here on Herbert. Our elder brother still clings to his destiny and power. The vassals men are clamoring for war (or at least, have learned to keep their opposition quiet). My father still wishes me to wed some man who likely has more talent with eating than with a blade. He has called me a fool, among many other things, for declaring that I wish to be mantled as a Hazat. As my father will not afford me this honor, I have chosen to take upon for myself Pralaya's path. I shall be called Hazat from the dying breath of our house's enemy, who are countless as the sands, or I shall die drowning in their gore.
Brother, you have always confided in me about your desire to prove yourself to the family. You have always been melancholic about the lack of opportunities to do so in the Great City, so far from Shaddam or the frontiers of our territory. I have always been supportive of you in my letters, but in truth, I believe that if I hear another whinging from you I must slay you myself to calm my vengeful heart. What do you know of ambition? What do you know of the Hazat? You were born as Hazat, destined to carry on the mantle of Pralaya from the moment you exited our mother's womb. Perhaps that has made you forget the true nature of power and respect. Both must be seized, not granted to you. Why do you await on Byzantium Secundus, awaiting for the old man's approval?
You are a Hazat! One of the heirs to the throne! Seize respect from the decrepit old man's throat! If you are considered to be an embarrassment, then you must be the one to correct father of his misconceptions! What good will complaining to me do?
On that note, father was greatly pleased by your work for the House. He has asked me to include his gratitude and approval in my letter. I suppose you have found your opportunity and approval after all. I would expect that you have received more instructions and opportunities from him by the time my letter reaches you.
As for me, the next time you see me will either be at my mantling ceremony or my funeral. If my father denies me my quest, I swear to the Pancreator I will duel him myself.
We Shall Provide
Anfalen Ooray was always busy. Meeting an important person, commanding a vassal, impressing the commoners at a festival or at church, reading a report, investigating the accuracy of a report…there was never a moment where Anfalen was idle. After all, as Mother Ooray taught her, time was a resource (and a limited one at that) and all resources need to be exploited to their maximum possible extent. Even when she was consumed by unavoidable inconveniences such as sleep and going to the lavatory, her mind was always working.
For the reasons of efficiency, House Ooray had no time consuming and ornate traditions (except in cases where the house wished to impress someone), even for meetings with family. And Anfalen spent much of her time in her office, while admittedly it was a nice office it was far more functional as opposed to what you would expect from an independent noble’s office, reflecting Ooray’s humble origins. The only décor that was in the office was a large shield of Ooray’s crest and below it their house’s words:
A knock at the door was followed by “Your two-o-clock, your highness.” from Anfalen’s secretary. In walked Lyndis Ooray, daughter and heir to Anfalen.
“Greetings, mother dearest.” Lyndis said nervously while giving a curtsy.
“Come now,” said Anfalen, still sitting at her desk, multitasking by reading various reports. “There is no need to be so formal. We’re family! And Oorays at that. Tell me how my favourite daughter is. I’ve been very impressed with what I’ve heard from my reports.”
“Thank you,” Lyndis began “It was only possible thanks to the hard work and advice of-” Lyndis was cut off with a rude noise made to indicate displeasure.
“There is such a thing as being too humble, daughter of mine!” Anfalen forcibly said, expressing deep rooted frustration “That has always, always been your problem. You are far more capable than you give yourself credit. I am reminded of when you were young and you would throw the games of Colony that you would play with your brothers.” Before Lyndis had a chance to speak Anfalen cut her off again “Don’t you dare blame the dice, ill tidings can ruin one’s fortunes, but one does not lose that consistently without trying.”
“I didn’t want to hurt their feelings.” Lyndis said, blushing in embarrassment.
“And there is merit in empathy,” said Anfalen, “It is the first step towards emotional management, after all. But your brothers’ feelings never mattered. I am sure that they will become fine church scholars or warriors, but no Ooray man has ever had the stomach for business. According to Mother Ooray herself, that is how it has always been.” Anfalen chuckles “Then again, one never knows what the future holds! Perhaps your sons will have the business sense that has eluded mine.” Anfalen pauses to drink some water.
“I saw your skill in your games,” Anfalen continued “You were playing on an entirely different level, navigating through luck to achieve your desired outcome, win or lose. Manipulating the game so that when your brothers defeated you they could praise their skill and when they lost they would curse their luck. Yet your talents for numbers and understanding of the was so high that you could have easily crushed them with nary a thought, every time. Oh how little has changed, sparing the feelings of men who have more ego than worth!” There was a brief pause in this fairly one-sided conversation.
“Tell me Lyndis,” Anfalen continued “What is the meaning of our house words?”
“Well,” Lyndis began “We Shall Provide – it has different meanings depending on the context.”
“Indeed, like all good pieces of marketing.” Anfalen agreed.
“Fundamentally it is a promise,” Lyndis continued, speaking with confidence as she had memorised these words “To our our serfs and our vassals, it is a promise to provide them protection in exchange for loyalty. To the Pancreator and the Church, it is a promise to provide them tithes and piety in exchange for stability. To our clients it is a promise to provide them goods and services in exchange for riches. To our enemies it is a promise to provide them with what they deserve in exchange for their nonexistence. And to our family it is a promise to provide the future in exchange for being born.”
“Good,” Anfalen says, smiling “And what did you provide in your works at the plastics factory.”
“Guidance?” Lyndis said, hesitantly.
“Exactly!” Anfalen said enthusiastically “It is an important service and one that you are better at than you think. Separating the good advice from the bad, to understand how to squeeze out the maximum profit, that is no simple task. I am sure that your confidence, and others confidence in you, shall grow in time.” Anfalen pauses her work and sighs.
“I fear,” Anfalen said in a low tone to ensure that no one out the door was listening “That you may have less time for youthful folly than I hoped. Something is changing, or perhaps it already has changed. I can taste it in the air and I feel it in my bones. The contradictions of the Known Worlds are coming to a head. In the wheel of history there are those who cling on for dear life and there are those who are crushed underneath. That is how it has been and that is how it will always be. And the promise that we both made when we were born, the same promise you shall pass onto your daughters, is to hold on. To survive. To climb towards the stars and to thrive. So, what shall you do, oh daughter of mine?”
“I…” said Lyndis “I shall provide.” Anfalen smiled.
To Lady Garatheade of Clarke
From Duke Evuardo of Chandra (Clarke)
Salutations, this servant of the Novarch Izan the Hazat greets you in peace. My advisors inform me that a rough agreement for the trade negotiation is now complete. I will soon depart from from fair Chandropolis and make landfall upon your shore. You should have a week's time by the time this letter reaches you.
I bring with myself compliments from my king--a blade forged in the finest of Hazat steel, sharp enough to divide stone. May it serve you well.
We hope to discuss our partnership, and other blessed ways we may further the work of God and Kings, in person.
Yato Dharmastato Jaya
It is done.
Separate names with a comma.