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The Golden Path [Mystria]

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The Ctan
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Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

The Golden Path [Mystria]

Postby The Ctan » Tue Feb 26, 2019 4:56 pm

Written with Imeriata


1. Turn to the Mason

The State Barque was a monolith of ornamentation, one of the smaller vessels of the swiftly growing diplomatic service, this one was one of the less ornate of its kind, and smaller, perhaps a hundred and fifty feet of its frame covered in worked ebony, the material plating every part of its hull, a tremendous expenditure of resource by many measures, pale striated red-pink with mother of pearl inlay across its upper surfaces. The starship’s frame was adorned with the runic sine-script of the necrontyr, its form tapering, the wider end of a wedge, a trapezoid viewed from below, something like a vast coffin lined with glass. It sat on the quay without touching the water more than at the very base of its form, its monolithic structure a display of a certain overt, some might say tasteless, decadence.

At the point where this strange thing met the ground, a dooway of spacious proportions stood open, sky-blue banners hanging from within, tipping to and fro in the wind as it wafted under the vessel’s looming sides, carpet of cream running to the end-point of the corridor, it was plain within, at least by Imerian standards, spacious, certainly, but with walls bare of adornment, cielings built without any visible lights but which shed a soft light that was visible everywhere within.

There were no guards on this particular entryway, for it had been left to the port authorities to resolve security, the C’tani had no desire to remind the Scanderan people of the humiliation they had inflicted on their homeland. Within however, an overly tall figure stood, her form was adorned across her shoulders with a carapace that was perhaps essential for her to stand. Even compared to the Scanderans she was tall, but narrow, willowy was the term that might be used in more than one way, for while most humanoids had hair that was dead, hers was a shifting comb or mane of tentacles with bioluminescent pods at the ends of them, that glowed a soft, pale blue, mirrored in her eyes.

She stood in waiting for the royal party, and with her stood a man who had not been seen on the Imerian shore for five years, more, perhaps ten, perhaps a lifetime, it was unsure when he had been taken prisoner, but he had long been taken and his mind journeyed to places beyond description; a man who had once been an ambassador, but who had taken up arms, and been one of the first captives of the war between the Imerians and the Great Civilization. Ulrik auf Vasterstjarna, and many titles before. His arm, lost in combat defending the now king of the Imerian Federation, had been restored, and his beard trimmed, his time as a prisoner, within illusions and webs spun from his own mind, had little aged him in body, but he was returned with little comprehension of the realm to which he was being sent.

It was customary to bring a gift, and the C’tani diplomat had thought him appropriate, in her strange way.

The Imerian party that awaited the alien, a small group of ten people or so, was as different from the alien as the ornate ship was from the simple cottages in the countryside and ornate living towers behind them in the city proper. There was something savage about them with weapons hanging from their belts, swords and pistols being common, they were often hairy with long manes that was often bleached with chalk and having rings and jewels embroidered into it. The men sprouted beards and facial hair that was also long and often braided with the same jewels made from precious metals, wood, or bone as those in their hair visible. They wore furs and quite a few men wore long capes lined with furs from various predators but one could also see colourful or impressive feathers adorning capes and hats, one man in particular had a cape lined with a thick coating of the furlike feathers of a tyrannosaurus.

The three foremost of the group was the high king himself, he wore his traditional helmet that symbolized kingship, an old archaic design that covered most of his face behind a mask of wrought silver and had two large wings sprouting from its sides. He wore a more military styled tunic that was well fitted and white with his arms covered in ornate knots showing his rank in the military. His trousers was equally well fitted and seemed to just be a second layer of red skin with a golden stripe on the outside. This very modern outfit was somewhat hidden behind a thick woolen cloak that was checkered in gold and silver, the colour of the stjärnkhrone house with the fur of a white snowlion adorning the man’s shoulder.

Beside him stood a younger woman, dressed in the red robes of the holy chronicles, a burning rose adorning her chest. She was not the most pretty woman one could find, young with red hair but her green eyes was somewhat too close to one another, she was a bit plump in her physique, her mouth smiled and revealed a far too obvious pair of buck teeth, and noticeable freckles adorned her nose. Despite this did she wear a crown of fresh flowers which was odd due to the winter chill that surrounded them.

The last member of the trio was Holger Björkssen, technically an elected member of the court, his father had won an election and he himself had been unable to stand due to his own considerable wealth, however when his father died in the duels about seats in the court had Holger inherited the position. This despite the fact that the two was well known to hate one another and while his father had been a poor worker did Holger flaunt his wealth by wearing the purple robe of the merchant guild.

As the group approached the Emissary bowed slightly, her greeting a gesture that rested her palm against her midriff and an incline of her body from upper waist to the top of her head, folding almost like paper, rather than the bow from the hips that a human might perform, she was subtly different in all the most subtle ways, her face without a nose, and her eyes without any visual indicator of where she was looking.

“Greetings, High King,” she said, “may I present His lordship Ulrik auf Vasterstjarna son of Hans, the son of Ulrik, the son of Björn, the son of Erik, the son of Björk, Lord of Södersborg, Stenby and Valmofalt, Lord Knight Lieutenant of Söderborgs Hussar Regiment,” she said, her voice slipping lithely over the Imerian name and titles, she found his eminence’s title to be untroubling, though she did not address the High King directly. “For long we have detained him, should we have need of more royal blood for the Aristophage,” she said, “however, it seems we will not require him further,” she said, “for that particular threat is no longer deemed appropriate, when we seek a truer friendship. We return him now to you, his people.”

There seemed to be an awkward worried silent for a moment as the Imerians looked at one another and at the man before the high king nodded.

“We bring you thanks, the return of one of our subjects are always a time for great rejoicing!” he said, Primus thanking the divine gods for the face mask that hid his facial expression. In truth he had expected the old diplomat to the Coalition of Ponyist States to have been long dead. But he was rather happy that he was wrong on that point. He nodded quickly and one of the pages begun to approach the ship to help the man out before he stopped and gave a worried look over his shoulder at the group behind him, a collection of frowning older faces was all he needed to resume his approach.

“We hope that this is but the first of many helpful interactions to come between our domains and the Great Civilisation!” Primus continued, deciding to ignore the part of the aristophage even if that sounded terrifying, borderline genocidal, and worst of all; rude.

“We hope that with this exchange that the last remnants of any ill will that exist between our domains and those of the Great Civilisation might be dropped!” he said in a friendly tone, his smile not entirely too sure about that statement but was thankfully hidden behind his silver mask. In reality a lot of federal subjects had gathered a certain ill will against aliens in general after the orbital bombardments a few years earlier, however the C’tani was a bit of a more controversial subject, having proven to be honourable fighters in the war between them and the imerians and also rather popular amongst the non-humans and former slaves. The fact that they had royal favour also made them a bit more hard to figure out as far as most freemen and nobles were concerned. However this was something that the young High King hoped to one day change.

The emissary nodded once more, her body language studied, her mane of bioluminescent hair bobbing with her, “That too is our desire, High King, it is high time that we moved to recognize the great progress and work that has been done by the Imerian Federation in recent years, for that reason also I have been bidden to supply your people with this,” she said, drawing from the teal-etched silver sleeve of her robe a narrow phial, “the inoculation against the biological weapon my predecessors threatened your father and you with,” she said, “with full instructions for its use. It should not be required, for we have retained only sample copies, but as a gesture of faith between us we hope it will meet with your approval.”

Those words got a lot of eyes shifting with eager burning behind them, only the elect in his purple and gold robes did not look too eager. However his low birth and status as a self made man would have protected him anyway.

“That is… I am… We are most grateful for such a gift, we hope that we can only be worthy of such a trust as we move forward!” Primus begun, taken aback that they would be given a defence against a very worrying WMD that had been dangling over their heads for a while. His shock was great enough for him to drop the royal we for a moment.

“We only hope that we can be able to match the generosity provided in action and gifts!”

“Friendship cannot be based on fear,” she said, “I am Emissary Maris ita Atun of the Diplomatic Service,” she said, “I am most pleased to make your acquaintance, and would ask that you call me Maris,” not least to avoid saying her surname, which was a little close for comfort to another enemy of the Imerians.

“Very well jungfrau Maris!” Primus said with a quick bow, a show of respect and something that got a few raised eyebrows from the people in his own entourage.

”We are honoured to make your acquaintance, and cannot agree more that we hope for future friendships between our great states, these are my loyal subjects, revered cleric Saga of the holy chronicles!” he said extending his hands towards the woman next to him that curtsied deeply.

“I am most honoured to be allowed to make your acquaintance Jungfrau Emissary Maris!” the woman said quickly.

“And his honoured lord elect Holger Björkssen from the royal court!” Primus continued to the man to his right that bowed deeply.

“I am pleased to make your acquaintance Jungfrau Maris!” the man in the purple robe said smoothly as he took off his hat. A black velvet thing that looked akin to a fez but with a short rim and a feather of a dinosaur put into it.

She gave a broad smile, “Please, come aboard,” she said, “we have much to discuss, and many light years to go, before we reach the homeworld of Duat,” she said, turning toward the interior of the ship. The Imerians had been invited to meet the Triarch Council, the leaders of the Great Civilization, and while the High King had met one of its members before, Devangni, but only briefly, and not their leader, Telissat. Things were now in motion however that meant that the C’tani leaders had turned their full attention again to the Mystrian region; and it was time to advance a stratagem that had been drawn up long past.

The high king nodded and started to walk up towards the ship with most of the people after him taking his lead. It was only the cleric that stopped for a moment and looked worried over her shoulder for a moment.

“Excuse me, sorry to ask but did you say that it would take years to get there jungfrau Maris?” she asked a bit worried as she started to hurry to catch up, a hint of worry on her face.

Maris smiled, “Not nearly so long, it would take close to six centuries for the shine of Sol to reach Duat, we will travel far faster than light does,” she said, “and we will arrive within an hour, we will see some of the sights first.”

“Oh my apologies, I thought you said years not hours! I am terrible sorry Jungfrau Maris!” the cleric said with obvious relief on her face as she finally caught up.

Maris smiled; the young cleric’s misunderstanding was easily understood, she had been bemused when she had learned that common used such a prosaic term, but it was better understood than parsec, the other common unit of measure.
"If any should be slaves, it should be first those who desire it for themselves, and secondly those who desire it for others. When I hear anyone arguing for slavery I feel a strong impulse to see it tried on him personally." ~ Abraham Lincoln
"The Necrons were amongst the first beings to come into existance, and have sworn that they will rule over the living." - Still surprisingly accurate!
"Be you anywhere from Progress Level 5 or 6 and barely space-competent, all the way up to the current record of PL-20 for beings like the C’Tan..." Lord General Superior Rai’a Sirisi, Xenohumanity
"Many races and faiths have considered themselves to be a threat to the Necrons, but their worlds and their cultures are now little more than interesting archaeology."

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