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The Emperor, 'Tis of Thee (MT, Semi-Open; TG for Entry)

A staging-point for declarations of war and other major diplomatic events. [In character]
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Ghant
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Founded: Feb 11, 2013
Civil Rights Lovefest

The Emperor, 'Tis of Thee (MT, Semi-Open; TG for Entry)

Postby Ghant » Mon Nov 02, 2015 12:29 am

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A Thread By
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“Only he who has no use for the empire is fit to be entrusted with it.”
― Zhuangzi, The Complete Works of Chuang Tzu


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The following thread may contain scenes of implied adult situations. Reader discretion is advised.
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Ghant
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Founded: Feb 11, 2013
Civil Rights Lovefest

Postby Ghant » Mon Nov 02, 2015 12:33 am

The morning after the Midsummer Ball...

“Morning After”
Inperiala Palace
Ghish, Ghant


Nathan

For some, sleep came more easily than others. The Emperor of Ghant hardly ever found himself experiencing a restless night. Yet in spite of that, his dreams were few, and what ones he had that he could remember seemed quite profound upon awakening. Something deep stirring within, communicating to him in the lucidity that came with thorough sleep...


Painted wings bring eternal hours
Accompanied by withering flowers
Among a garden stands but one
A rose of white, its peace undone

Longs for a garden free of sin
Injustice gone, all caged within
The bars of hell shutting cold
Hiding corruption once foretold

Withering none the flowers of white
Carving the stars, a flickering light
The purest tales written in sand
Lasting hours, times so grand

The rose it blooms, it senses are free
It sways away, refusing to see
Illusions deceiving, hidden in clad
Delusions thriving, driving it mad

Golden grief, my wish in a well
All morale has dragged me to hell
Flowers watered, drowning in vice
Festering by the Temptation’s entice

Echoing crows pick at the thorns
Weak are they, the rose it mourns
For petals descend only to cry
And the garden weeps, all awry

The rose of white, its drops of dew
They shed, they fall, for the true
The day, the night, it can't discern
The stars, they fall, only to burn

Please, oh please, have mercy on me
To confuse nightmare with reality
Please oh please, have mercy on us
The garden succumbed to the unjust


The Emperor of Ghant woke up in a sudden burst, his heart pounding in his chest, breathing hard and sweat dripping from his brow. He ran a hand through his hair, and then rested his face in it, feeling the hangover gripping his head. The headache wasn’t as bad as he had experienced in the past, but was there all the same, as were the soreness in his eyes…and his groin. Aoife Brighteye certainly didn’t disappoint, he thought, remembering what they did during the night.

He rose from the bed, naked as the day he was born, and like some sea turtle hatchling on the beach, instinctively approached the water…in the bathroom. A yawn and a sigh, and then he was there, relieving himself in a casual stream, before going to examine himself in the mirror above the sink. See how I look now, after all of that.

His copper colored hair was cut short, but even then it clearly exhibited bead-head, going this way and that. His blue-grey eyes were thoughtful as always, without bags beneath them, freckles here and there on his nose and on his nigh hairless arms and shoulders. Turning to either side, he observed that his arms were thin with broad shoulders, and his chest was flat. He wasn’t exceptionally strong, but he was lean…God bless good metabolism, he thought as he grabbed the bottle of mouthwash to rinse his mouth ridden with dragon-breath.

Nathan knew today would be a day of reckoning for what happened the night before. What the hell did they expect me to do? Aoife was a guest, just like all the rest, and he was entertaining her as a proper host should. What did the Edomites expect? That he should shun her, or show her only curt respect? I can’t even take a shit without all of them bearing down on me, he sighed. He had hoped that being Emperor would have been easier than it was. Yet it wasn’t…everyone expected him to do certain things a certain way, and when he didn’t do it that way, he was chastised.

As he spit out the mouthwash in to the gilded sink, it began to dawn on him that he needed better people in his retinue. Not just friends and old sycophants. Nathan needed to structure it like Mara did back in New Edom…with trusted, at least somewhat competent people, a Master of Offices and so on and so forth. I need Cassandra…she would know what to do all the time. Funny thing…for the eight years that Nathan ruled Ghant in his own right, he was even more brazen and wanton then he was now. He only got away with it because Cassandra made sure that he did. She’s good like that.

The Emperor finished with his business in the comfortable bathroom, and made his way towards the pitcher of water sitting on the counter in the bedchamber. Like most Ghantar, he drank his drinks with no ice, water included. It was refreshing though, draining a glass he poured with expediency. Better enjoy it while I can. The pitcher didn’t last long, but there was plenty of water to go around, along with fruit should his voracious morning appetite kick in.

Taking an apple from the basket of fruit, he walked across the room slowly, sitting down on a couch. Nathan took a bite of the apple, savoring the crunching noise that it made, the juices flowing down his chin. What a familiar sensation that is. That was he problem, he knew. Nathan cared too little about affairs of state and more about affairs of flesh. But why? So concerned with comforts and affection…because I know what it’s like to go without either, he knew. It was easy for people to mock him when they never walked a parcel in his shoes. Maybe they would be more understanding of my needs if they had…

…That’s it! It was never about his needs…it was always about everyone else’s. The needs of the state…the needs of the allies…the needs of the wife…never mind my needs! Nathan leaned back into the couch and sighed, pouring another glass of water from the pitcher he brought with him along with the apple, setting them down on the coffee table as he put his feet on it.

Should I be more like Elijah Shalamanser? I doubt I could. Those military types looked down on Nathan, he suspected, thinking him a weak incompetent, not made of the same steely stuff. Every deed of mine is cast in the worst possible light! Even this plan of Aoife’s to bring four thousand Brytene mercs to Ghish seemed ill-fated to him…if only because when it comes to me, if something can go wrong it will. That was what his Uncle Albert said anyway…once upon a time.

Nathan expected that he wouldn’t have much time before he was made to rectify his perceived wrongs. The Edomites are such a fickle lot. King Elijah made him look and feel like a fool, and put him diplomatically in a tight spot that he would have to address very soon. Nathan could have raised a stink about Rebecca, Mara and Count Lalery not coming, but he didn’t. Sophia asked Nathan to avoid ruining the evening, and he tried his best to adhere to that. But no…

…Fuck it. Nathan decided to just wait, and take the day, and whatever it had in store, as it came. In the meantime, he would enjoy himself, naked in his bedchamber with a hangover, a pitcher of water, an apple and Aoife Brighteye in his bed. At least I get to say that I hit it… That, he was inclined to believe, was an achievement that few men could claim. But was it worth the cost? Probably…

Sophia

“…Status report?” The Empress of Ghant had to be on top of her game, this day as with the last. Otherwise it will turn to shit like it did last night.

“…Izolde and the ice lords are gone, as you might have imagined,” Sara Moro told Sophia as the two sat under a canopy in the courtyard pavilion. The sun was out and shining bright, though the breeze was cool, and refreshing. The Empress wore a white sundress, as did Sara Moro, their hair long and loose and black as pitch. There was a buffet table outside as well, with omelets, steak, bacon, hash browns and an assortment of fruit. The Empress and Lady Moro helped themselves to some fruit. The other ladies-in-waiting were tending to the babies, those ladies being Alazne Dain, Jolene Baztan, Aita Loi, Anna Caza, Amareth Amaraun, Jamilla Jaitsi and Serala Salazar.

Everything was going well, until her husband started fraternizing with Aoife of Brytene to the extent that the Edomites left. In hurry at that. Even Michael and Jocasta, for whom the ball was for, had left, and many were upset, especially Queen Izolde of Izotza and Alazne Dain. While Lady Alazne was sad and distraught over being deprived of her dance with Count Alexander Domris, Queen Izolde was livid, demanding retribution at the conclusion of the ball to Sophia directly.

“What would you have me do, Izolde?” she recalled pleading with the crazed yellow Ghantar with chips of ice for eyes.

“Take him prisoner before he can fuck anything else up,” Sophia remembered Izolde barking in her husky northern accent. “Show the Edomites that Nathan cannot embarrass Ghant with impunity. Hell, show them all…the world will think us all a joke if we cause incident at every event we attend. We need to show that we hold our own accountable for their mischief.”

“I can’t just take him prisoner. Do you have any idea how that would look?”

“It would look better than whatever fallout is coming down on Ghish, Sophia. Funny thing, Cassandra never had any problems keeping him under control, while you let him wallow like some lumbering beast. I wonder what the lords of Ghant would have to say about that…”

Sophia didn’t want to remember the rest of that conversation, only that it was more heated than she would have liked. Needless to say, Sophia didn’t get much sleep, and Izolde and her entourage were gone, departed for Izotza at first light, no doubt on the heels of General Shinhushar who returned to Landstrider the night of the ball. That is her greatest asset, Sophia realized. The Edomite base and her chummy relationship with Shinhushar. Since the base was built, Izolde certainly became more bold.

“Who is still here?” Sophia asked as she sipped on a glass of milk, while glasses of apple juice and orange juice sat nearby.

“Albert remains in the Castle of Seven Towers, the northerlings are still in the capital, be it here in the palace or in their town homes and manors, your father remains in the hospital with your step-mother and the new baby, and your brother and our other countrymen remain here.”

“Good…I doubt father will leave the hospital until the baby is ready to leave,” Sophia nodded, gently rubbing her own bump, severely hoping that it would just be one baby this time. “Father won’t be able to help me right now with the Edomite situation.” Sophia learned that morning that father found out, and that he was livid, although he wouldn’t deal with it until his wife and child were secure enough to depart the maternity ward. God help us all when he finally does.

“…The Gentries haven’t left either,” Sara continued to speak as she speared a pear with her fork. “They have all remained in the city, in their chateaus.”

They smell blood in the water. “Good, that should make it easier to address the Ambassador issue. As you may already know, Alexander has expressed an interest in resigning. To be fair, he hasn’t endeared himself to the Edomites, and Jocasta doesn’t seem fond of him either. Replacing him with someone more favorably viewed by Fineberg may be a positive move that could add to our objective of offering them reassurance.”

“And who, might I ask, might take his place?”

“At the moment, there is Lord Alan Aldapa, Lord Bolvar Dain, and Prince Byndos Orinbere,” Sophia answered as she cut into a fresh grapefruit with an appropriately high-society knife.

“Byndos is your grandmother’s cousin, but he is old,” Sara commented. “Aldapa is someone that the Edomites respect, while Bolvar Dain is someone that…would serve our interests quite well.”

“And Alazne would beg him to take her with him, so she can be readily available to be received by Count Alexander Domris,” Sophia allowed herself a grin. “She’s been quite mopey.”

“Well yeah, she didn’t get to dance with the Count, so what do you expect?” Sara giggled. “Yet we should make a decision based off of what will be best for Edomite interests, not best for Alazne’s Edomite ambitions.”

Sophia couldn’t help but agree with that, knowing that Alexander was in Fineberg to begin with due to his own ill-conceived ambitions, which never came to fruition. “I am sure we can discuss the matter with Prince Amenmar once he gets here.” That was why they were in the courtyard, after all. Very easy to find. The trees, hedges, bushes and gardens were in bloom, lush and green before autumn took hold, with trickling fountains full of fish and birds in the sculpted marble baths. Courtiers and nobles, lord and lady alike, flittered about like birds, gossiping and partaking of the complimentary morning buffet upon round tables covered by umbrellas to keep the sun out of their eyes, and away from their fair skin.

Guards were out in full force too…not just the usual palace guard, but those of the lords of Dakmoor, dressed in shades of purple and black. With what happened the night before, Sophia and her brother Martin were not like to take any chances with anything. Every hallway, every shaded area of the courtyard, and even the roof were crawling with guards on alert. A notice was passed along to Amenmar though, informing him that the Empress would be awaiting him in the courtyard and could enter the palace grounds through the courtyard gate, with the guards letting him and his party, should he bring one, inside.

“…I worry that the Edomites will demand that the Imps get the oil rights as recompense for the Emperor’s actions,” Sara cautioned anxiously. “You know that would set the people of Ghant off…it could be quite damaging for us, especially if the Gentries oppose it openly and capture public favor.”

The Empress knew she was right. Let’s hope that isn’t the case. Thus far during her time as Empress of Ghant, Sophia had avoided any major public relations fiascos and had remained the darling of the nation. That would change rather quickly with an Imperium oil deal. Ghantish public opinion was like weather in the Sea of Ghant…it could go from clear blue skies and smooth waters one minute, to howling winds with powerful rain and rocky waters the next. “…Let’s cross that bridge when we get to it, shall we? Try to enjoy breakfast for now, and we shall hear what Amenmar has to say soon enough.”

“As you wish, your Majesty,” Sara inclined her head and continued to satisfy her appetite, while Sophia put a hand over her mouth and yawned. She was so very tired, and drained, mentally and emotionally. It wasn’t good for her or her unborn child, but such was life. Having to deal with each thing as it comes. It wasn’t easy either, but then again, when it came to Ghant…what was?
Last edited by Ghant on Mon Nov 02, 2015 3:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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The IASM
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Founded: Jan 01, 2012
Psychotic Dictatorship

Postby The IASM » Mon Nov 02, 2015 3:02 pm

OUTSIDE THE PALACE
Inperiala Palace
Ghish
Ghant

LILISI


To fly was to be like a lotus blossom in the breeze- free from the earth but to serve the whims of the wind which would be forever freer than you. It was something Lilisi Lazin learned to accept this, yet so long as she was free from the ground she would accept its consequences. Princess Lilisi Limei Jieke Mei Lazin, was twenty years of age now yet she spent eighteen of them confined to the island of Lazinato, chained to it for little reason. She lived luxuriously with nearly every comfort provided for her, she’d admit that before anyone else had the chance to but it was an existence far away from Jieke her father. The phone calls were regular from him, once every week he would call at five PM yet there was a certain arrangement which the conversation went. Jieke would compose it asking about how her day was, how he was doing and the empty conservation would repeat from there. But every time she’d ask When could I come and see you the response was always in the same dry humorless tone. I am preoccupied with my work, as always. The nation comes first and always first.

Her mother on the other hand was always lost, she was always Ladylost of Akai - the Dibai who died too soon. She was described nearly always in favorable terms but apparently Dibai Mei Jialazin passed away giving birth to herself and her dead twin brother. Apparently Jieke took it particularly hard when it occurred and went to focus on other matters in Xungong. It was why he sent his lone daughter to Kaizangong - the waterborne seat of the Lazins for centuries now. Yet the only Lazins there were generations apart from the main branch, the traitorous Yijiaotu branch who converted to the faith of Christ. Yet they seemed to care more for her than Jieke ever did. She grew up along side Dabawang Shi Shiqin Lazin of Lazinato and his descendants from the main branch in the form of Hulang’s three younger uncles at the ball. Shi was an to put it lightly obese man who somehow was still alive despite his excess. He was always the lover of the art that was cooking even creating his own recipe book for his chiefs to use. Lilisi always found her honorary father’s dishes although Chizuzu was her favorite dish - the small snake was always a surprisingly good taste.

Her actual family however seemed to have almost forgotten her, but now her father has vanished like her mother did twenty years ago. She then learned much to her surprise of Hulang’s existence with his ascent to power being particularly odd in nature. His name was technically on record yet there was no mention of his birth in the news at the time, at least she didn’t recall being told about it. They had been in some communication for a while now, using whatever free time they had to talk. Hulang was oddly kind for a person she only had known for a few months now and was particularly curious about her. She was then offered to be invited to the Midsummer ball in Ghish - to come with the Lazin party. She wasn’t particularly interested in going if it wasn’t going to be good company. But then she learned Hulang’s ability to persuade her to go was a curious one indeed. However it seemed the weather in Xinzuo on the day seemed to be particularly bad for flight. There was a wave of fog so thick you could barely make out other nearby buildings and the sun had a hard time getting through. So it was decided with the safety of the Princess in mind, they were to leave at a latter date.

Now was the time. To see if she could follow her brother into the White continent of Ghant. She arrived with her own party of retainers. Anyingguan Shang Han Yang was her bodyguard, a huge man who towered above nearly every other man she had ever seen in the flesh. He was a Anyingguan, one of the ten the Riyeskonsu had. And he assigned to her and one which was particularly silent. But there was an obedience to Lilisi, although he seldom speaked without being asked. It was obvious he was ex military of some kind but she hadn’t been able to find documents about him. He seemed to find little pleasure in anything aside from doing what he was told to do, that and training. Then he seemed alive as any other human could be.

It took them a few hours to travel from Xinzuo to Ghish, although the time was well spent watching a movie which proudly bore the name The ten kings. It seemed to be based on oral accounts from what Lilisi noticed and one which was quite violent. Again such was expected from Xoa Xiatang Talundinuo and his particular type of films. The had a certain obsession with history and the more bizarre accounts of war although with this romanticism there was a very stark realism presented alongside this almost curious mysticism. It depicted the Emperor of Lazinato as a man who was able to strike fear and could wield the power of combustion against his enemies, being almost magical in nature although the character himself claimed he was an alchemist during it. She figured she’d watch a film about the histories of both nations some time during flight.

Upon arriving she found the cold breeze of Ghish awaiting her. It was an old city, one of particular scope which reminded her of home.Stone everywhere, it seems appropriate for a city as old as this. She thought as she was being driven towards the Inperiala Palace, her eyes began to feast upon its size with an owl like glaze. She had arrived it seemed.

She turned her head to look down at her phone, a carbon grey Ming phone of some kind - it was sent by Hulang as a token gift for her birthday. She browsed its contents with a furious haste, one which would be expected of someone who used it as her main means of communication. A text huh? No, several texts? Did something happen here last night? She skimmed through all of them rapidly and without a care for the major the contents. They were Hulang’s it seemed. Why aren’t you here yet? Did something happen on the flight? Okay something pretty crappy has happened here, I’ll explain if you arrive I don’t trust this. Lilisi was wearing an exotic and vibrantly coloured chongshan of the shades cyan and yellow. It a modern Akai dress which was practical to wear and didn’t feel like being smothered by a thousand layers at once like most traditional wear was. Her mask covered only the upper half of her face, not unlike most masks these days for women in Lazinato. She herself put quite a lot of effort into her makeup; there was a layer of crimson lipstick which crossed her sharp lips. She was apparently described as being more rounded than the rest of the Lazins with regards to facial characteristics - being less angular than most. Her skin was pale with some reddish hues around her cheeks. She was rather athletic and inherited her mother's reasonable chest, she continued to put effort into it as she knew humans were surprisingly influenced by how one appears. She had a somewhat sharp edged face although the corners were a lot softer. She was said to look quite a lot like. Jieke in that sense however her eyes were a light pink rather than Jieke and Hulang's crimson eyes. Shang on the other hand was wearing Riyeskonsu dress uniform paired with long and heavy cape which surrounded his entire body underneath. He wore a helmet combined with a rather demonic looking mask and carried his particularly large dao blade in a briefcase nearby. Hulang gave her basic instructions on what do when arriving, she exited the car near the gates and stared around at the guards stationed there.

Shang emerged from the car as well with a particular strength as he lifted his huge briefcase out with him. He moved in front of Lilisi swiftly and stared at both of them. He's observing them isn't he? Lilisi thought as she moved around to face the guards and began to speak with her high, heavily accented voice: "I am Princess Lilisi Limei Lazin, daughter of the Dibai Mei Jialazin and Ditor Jieke of Akai. I am the half-sister of his perfection Hulang Lazin and my flight was delayed. I wish to go meet with him if I can."


HULANG


The floor was cold to sleep upon, but he had slept on worse surfaces. The Ditor of Akai found little pleasure in sleep, his dreams were always a maelstrom out of control. This time it was more uncomfortable than usual. There was a machine, which I was trapped inside before I escaped through a vertical beam of light, sharply twisting around it were various shades of red and pink with the occasional blue line darting around. Then there were as a blinding light before coming back to a place which felt familiar as it could be. Its walls were cold and sterile, and all there was were children of the man with five-thousand young. And each and every one had unique faces, all which I saw well. Yet as the dream went on, they changed - their voices, their features even their faces changed. They slowly merged into a single being - almost identical in every way. A thousand faces which one had character unique to themselves had been replaced. And then it dawned upon me, slowly as I walked towards the bathroom mirror. They wore my face, spoke in my particular way and acted like myself. Yet inside, their eyes hid their true character inside. Each was a person inside, trapped inside their own bodies. I could see them all - my brothers and sisters were trapped there. Yet I could not do anything for as he looked down I saw myself surrounded in wires, penetrating his flesh without care - blood forming scabs around them. Hulang decided not to contemplate on the dream for long, he slept well despite him being on nothing more than a layer of bathrobes from the bathroom.

He had been half awake for roughly two and a half hours now, effectively sleep walking around, checking his Ming HN15 smartphone for updates from Lilisi. I wonder if she even bothers to use that phone of hers he thought as he checked his messages before going to look at several other sites such as Statenation and seenit. Hulang had a personal preference for foreign sites, he could read, write and speak Latin, Ghantish, English as well as the the distinct Akai dialects from the five regions as well as the Xungongese dialect which even had its own different script. It was a hassle and he was only particularly fluent in Latin outside of the Akai dialects yet he wanted try and learn other languages. He spent most of his time practicing his Ghantish when he could. Maybe he could surprise someone with it or speak to Amelia in her language.
Hulang moved around the room, staring at the bed which somehow still was smelling of the foul excess which had occurred upon it. Hulang had a particular displeasure towards it and it forced him to leave the window open throughout the night. He did prefer the cold winds which blew over him during the night. The quiet whispered which they brought silenced his own less pleasant thoughts in the night.

Now he got out of his little routine and began to move around towards the bathroom. His hand had seated up with numerous scabs being formed over it. This likely would’ve served the interests of those who oppose me. If they see this they’ll investigate why I have a hand which is covered in scabs. Which would be awkward. He knew he had some gloves packed away somewhere for when he would be around elsewhere. He had planned on going to conveniently vanish some time to explore the city on his own accord. He was capable of doing so, or at least in his own eyes. He needed to test his his plan for the Quanli some time.

It took him a while but he quickly shaved away any stubble he might’ve returned over the night. He had to put a lot of effort into maintaining his appearance, he was growing and he knew he’d need to maintain his image as this youthful figure. There was an aspect of the inhuman which Hulang did enjoy maintaining himself, this almost forbidden perfection was something he desired more than anything else. He did wear a considerable amount of makeup although it was mostly to hide the very slight imperfections which he noticed when abroad.

As Hulang passed the window he noticed a few more guards in the corridors around. Did Amelia spill the beans or did somebody screw themselves over again? He was now curious. He had a second outfit ready for the day after the ball. It was a combination of a white cotton shirt with shank buttons along with a mandarin collar with some black cashmere trousers which he found quite enjoyable to wear. On top he had a sleek, overcoat of the Riyeskonsu 1st Xueguaiwu regiment from Cangbai. He still wore his particularly ancient mask - he found it deep inside the Xungong vaults and he dated it back to around 1212. Problem was there was no such record of a mask existing outside of the legends of the Nengzkai - Tiao Li and they supposedly already had his mask or at least one of them. Either way the mask had some history involved in its creation and he noticed it seemed to be made from an oddly strong formation of volcanic glass although it seemed to be shaped around a black steel frame. It was rather unsurprisingly, rather dense and was quite heavy to wear but as unbearably heavy as his Ditorial mask which he will wear once he assumes power. To finish off be picked up a crimson leather glove, one which extended rather far down his forearm and griped his skin quite tightly. If one were to look you'd almost be able to see the shape of Hulang's form underneath,

Hulang quickly dressed and quite sharply he hoped. He was at least educated in how to dress himself - something much to the pleasure of many eunuchs in the court no doubt. He packed his chongshan into his particularly rugged bag and prepared to exit the building. Now to see what all the fuss is about. He thought as he opened the door and walked into the corridors to see the giant Molxue glaring down at him - wearing clothes surprisingly similar to what he was wearing last night. Hulang studied and observed the Woerjin from underneath his mask. Is body seemed tired with great sacks underneath it yet he remained particularly energetic. "Commissar-marshal, do you mind if I ask how long you have stood outside my door," Hulang inquired as he closed his own door.

"Two hours and thirty-two minutes," he instantly replied with a voice far lower than anyone else around the court. He then moved down to prostrate himself before Hulang in a ritualistic manner. "Your perfection, I bring you some quite valuable information," the heir to the whole of Yaosai added with the hint enthusiasm in his voice.

Most unusual Hulang thought as he raised his hand allowing. Molxue to arise. Hulang gestured to walk with his gloved hand and remained silent for a while, scanning his environment he was in once more. "Increased security in the morning, quite dramatically so. Has my sister done something to cause offence or issue? Please don't tell me she brought Anyingguan Shang with her this time? He is is rather… inappropriate for diplomatic events as such as this."

"Well, you should be pleased to hear that Princess Lilisi is currently on her way to the palace although Shang Yang is with her admittedly," Molxue said with a somewhat foreboding tone. "It seems while you vanished and enjoyed some good times, with Amelia and company the ball decided to… excuse my Han, gone to absolute shite."

Hulang grinned underneath his mask with bemusement. Well at least Zalkestra hasn't been leaking anything, as that would he fantastically inconvenient. He nodded and asked: "Please do go on. I am surprised nobody particularly noticed me vanishing."

"We did, your perfection," Molxue added quickly in response to the Ditor's comments. They had reached the ballroom by this point, strangely empty as this point. "Have you ever heard of The Confederacy of Brytene, and it's Queen Aoife Brighteye?"

"I recall reading up on it in some Atlas," Hulang replied calmly. Molxue, I don't want to play your games right now. It is right in the fucking morning you know. he thought as he scanned the ballroom once it was particularly empty.

"Well basically, it turns out that his grace Nathan cannot seem to keep his penis where it belongs as I suspected," Molxue said in an almost mocking manner, without any sense of sympathy towards the Emperor of Ghant. "He apparently let the enemy of his nation, into his bed for nothing else but hedonistic enjoyment - what an utter profligate. Anyway, it happens that Prince Amenmar had discovered their particular affair and left due to an insult of some kind. Along with the entire Edomite party they brought with them. Furthermore it is believed that even Jocasta and Michael have left the ball despite it being in their honour due to the issue. I'd Empress Sophia was in an impressive rage that night."

Hulang looked at Molxue for a brief few seconds, leaving it awkwardly long and particularly silent - minimising his very breathing. You have got to be bloody kidding me. Hulang then began to chuckle softly: "I do assure you that is surprisingly amusing." He moved to face the towering behemoth in front of him. "That is the most wonderful way to start a morning, to find someone more inept than yourself. You have my thanks my… subject."

Molxue coughed before continuing in his quite removed tone: "You know that we Woerjin's have been rising in the world. We were once vassals of the Clan Cangbai, but then we proved our loyalty and now we rule Yaosai most efficiently. My father is one of the highest officials in the national terrestrial protection force only second to Five-star marshal Long Zhanshi himself. I am the head of one of our main agencies who safeguard our men from being sent back home in vases. I provide us with an eye to see the world for what it is. Yet somehow our name remains taboo, our ancestors sins seem to have cursed us with our name…"

"Where are you going with this Molxue," Hulang but in looking at the Woerjin who put considerable effort in his words. "I don't have all day and I want to introduce Lilisi to the court without making a gaff of it."

Molxue clenched his fists and cocked them quickly before he continued with his speech: "What I am trying to suggest is is that I have a daughter - Lady Mei Meizai Woerjin. You have seen her at one of your dances in Xungong."

"My mother's dances," Hulang corrected Molxue hastily. I wish I could get rid of them myself, her taste in music are worse than this balls.

"And you have an aunt, Princess Aorta Aoju Lazin and I have a son - Lord Jiehong Jiexue Woerjin. He has been mostly pre-occupied with his training to join the protection force as an officer. He takes after me I believe."

"Two of you? The horror," murmured Hulang under his breath in the palace dialect although that didn't stop Molxue from at least noticing it. Hulang breathed in deeply: "Go on, commissar-marshal."

Molxue continued to flick and clench his fist as he slowly began to finish his little speech: "He's around your age and quite competent I say. My proposal is this, if we marry you to my daughter and Jiehong to Aorta we can strengthen the ties between our Clans to guarantee generations of prosperity for both of our Clans. We have been loyal, diligent and dutiful to an extent no other Clan has shown. "

Hulang pondered for a bit with a curiosity in his mind. It does make sense from that particular view of his. However I should see other proposals first and I do need to know whether it would be best thing to do. I don't want to continue my family's tradition of cold marriages floating about and relying on concubines for satisfaction if I can. "I thank you for your service Commissar-marshal, and I do appreciate the fact that you have been loyal to my family. However I cannot make such a major choice now, I will consider it after I complete the Quanli and finally become a man."

"I understand you, your perfection," Molxue said with a proud voice. He stretched his arms above his head before continuing nodding along. "I hope you come to see the value of my proposal."

Hulang turned around to face Molxue with his crimson eyes looking into the violet tempest that the Commissar's own pair. "Aye, that I will - you are now dismissed as I have a quite a busy day ahead and I am sure you do to." Hulang quickly looked down at this phone and quite calmly opened his messages, what he saw pleased him. Lilisi - seen message…
Last edited by The IASM on Thu Nov 05, 2015 6:34 am, edited 2 times in total.
HUN-01

20:22 Kirav Normal in Akai is nightmare fuel in the rest of the world.

11:33 Jedoria Something convoluted is going on in Akai probably.

08:07 Corumm tits shall be known as
08:07 Corumm the peacemaker
08:08 Corumm tits of peace

18:26 Deusaeuri Let me put it this way, you're what would happen if Lovecraft decided to write political dystopian techno thriller

20:19 Heku tits has gone mental
20:19 Jakee >gone

21:46 Estoni Classic rock anthem with a classic dictatorship, Tits truly is number one
21:55 Estoni Heil Titler
17:21 Tomas what's the difference between a mother fucker and a mudder fucker
17:22 Tomas the former lives in Akai, the latter in Ashab
05:48 Malay lol akai sounds lovely this time of never


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New Edom
Postmaster of the Fleet
 
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Founded: Mar 14, 2011
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby New Edom » Mon Nov 02, 2015 11:11 pm

Prince Amenmar’s Residence
The New Edomite Embassy
Ghish, Ghant


Soundtrack

Prince Amenmar sat at his breakfast table eating some pears diced into plain yogurt with ginger and lemon, with Barsina sitting on her cushioned chir beside him nibbling fruit whole, her sharp little teeth peeling a rather bruised mango (which was a properly ripe one) when Prince Enoch came in wearing a black bathrobe over his pajamas with a newspaper in his hands.

“Morning Amenmar. Sleep alright?”

“Fine, thank you,” said Amenmar, gesturing to a chair.

Prince Enoch nodded in response. He He put down the paper for a moe mnt on the table, and got himself a dish of yogurt from a side table as well as some sheep’s sausage, a boiled egg, and toast, at which he grimaced. “Isn’t there any decent bread?”

“The Ghantish prefer leavened bread,” said Amenmar with a smile. “Don’t you like it?”

“It’s too damned filling like all the food up here,” Enoch replied. “I’m amazed they don’t use their bowels as a source of natural gas. Speaking of which, have you read this article which reviews the NPC’s assessment of the northern fields?” when Amenmar shook his head Enoch said, “Listen: “No oil and gas company has ever drilled there, and why any company would want rights to the area is difficult to understand – unless it had access to a new trove of data quietly compiled by a Temanite company over the past half-decade.
“Though the economic and technical hurdles to plucking oil from Northern Ghant remain high, that data is altering the energy industry’s view of the potential in Ghant’s’s Far North, pointing to a resource that now looks larger than formerly believed.” in the words of the data collector, Ikon Geophysical Company, which is a subsidiary company of the National Petroleum Corporation.

“Two years ago, the Nass-based company launched a multiyear program to peer into the subsurface, using sophisticated seismic and gravity equipment to identify structures that could contain oil and gas. Ikon, which conducts such missions in difficult-to-access places around the Region, went North four times between 2013 and 2015, assembling a grid of data that spans most of the region, including some areas of heavy ice where no one has ever looked.
“Ikon has shown that sedimentary rocks that look prospective for oil extend into much the remote areas of Northern Ghant than previously believed.” Enoch put down the paper and looked at Amenmar. “The real question is: who is going to extract it? The Government of the Allied States’ companies has already put in a hundred and fifty million coppers. There must be a return on this investment.”

Amenmar stirred honey into his tea. “Yes, I’m aware of the summation, I jut hand’t read the article. It’s going to cost a lot more than that. Tehre’s virtually no infrastructure; the roads and airfields are barely worth a dung heap. It can’t ll be run from around Landstrider. There’s also the lack of trained personnel, the lack of public order, the weather—there are dozens of reasons why it cannot be pulled off. Very nice of the Adirans, Arbiters, Ghantish and Romans to led us lead the way of course. But why are you pointing all this out to me?”

Enoch cut into his sausage and forked it into his mouth in neat bites as Amenmar talked to him. “Because I want to emphasize for the strongest reasons, economic, military, diplomatic, this meeting is vital to our interests. I’m amazed by the way that the Dakmarans didn’t walk out due to the insult to Sophia.”

“There is concern, naturally, about the idea that openly benig offended could cause open conflict. The marriage was intended to avoid that,” explained Amenmar. “So they were ‘not noticing’. We have forced them to notice, though it is frankly about time someone did. He would hardly be the first Emperor to put his phallus where it does not belong and spread his seeds in bastard gardens, but to do so openly is an affront. Mind you, it appears to be the Gentry way. Albert after all scandalously shortly after his wife’s death married a foreign wife who acts the whore in front of his very court—admittedly with her own husband but she played the skin flute right in front of his courtiers, and on another occasion sat on his lap and was filled.” Amenmar’s expression showed his distatste. “The Gentries are a degenerate family, but they are backed by powerful families who hate the Dakmarans, and they have the loyalty of some of the more remote families as well. Though as events earlier this year showed, not all.”

Enoch chuckled. “Glad we are of like mind.”
The two men then talked of lighter matters over their breakfast and then parted to exercise, pray, dress, and get ready to go and see the Empress. Prince Amenmar put on a dark wool suit with vest and low fine leather boots, selected his rosewood gold topped cane, had his shoulder length dark hair brushed out, had made sure Barsina ws bathd and in good spirits, tucked a red wool scarf around his neck and was ready to go. Enoch by contrast wore a dark winter blues naval uniform with greatcoat and cap. Inyanna Ninduk reported to Amenmar in the lobby of his office that there had been not much obvious reaction to the Ghantish gaffe, as it was being called, but that most of the Gentries were still in the capital, most of the northerners had left, and that the Dakmarans were also still hanging around.
“Keep your ear to the ground,” he said.
“Will do, Excellency,” she said with a bow and a smile and wink.

The Edomite Ambassador and the Royal Master of Offices went in the state car and with escort to visit the Empress, and to make the will of the King and Queen of the Allied States of New Edom known to their Ghantish allies.

Landstrider AFB
It was colder up north. The grey lit skies were sparkling chilly moisture down around a wooded area that had been broken by a long trail of wreckage. Smaller trees broken like matchsticks, deep furrows in the ground, and wreckage strewn across the light wood about fifteen klicks from the base runways. The remnants of a LY909 Sparrowhawk Multi role fighter where it had come to ground. Around it, people were moving gathering pieces of the wreckage. Engineers in full protective gear were examining the main parts of the wreck, the engine and weapons areas, and vehicles moved around the dirt roads.

Major-General David Shinhusar watched from near his helicopter, some of his staff near him. The senior engineer had just given a report, and was saluting. Shinhusar returned it and then said to one of his aides, “You stay here, I want a full report. God rest his soul,” he added, referring to the pilot. “Major,” he said to another, “See to the details of the funeral when we get back. I’m heading out.”
This sort of thing could happen in an exercise. Up here, the winds and weather could be as treacherous as out on the ocean, and combined with a system malfunction could bring down even an experienced pilot, though the lieutenant who had been piloting the Sparrowhawk had not been that experienced. It was a shame though, he had shown some promise. Shinhusar got back into his helicopter and headed back to the main area of the base.
The base was a large complex which included runways, hangars, Quonset huts, barracks, a small hospital, administrative and storage buildings, a motor pool, even a theater and athletic center and a church. Ten thousand Edomite personel were based out of it, including National Air Force tactical fighter units, misile and long range artillery batteries for coastal, air and land defense, a fixed radar array, engineer, military police, ground crew units, search and rescue and intelligence units. There was even a infantry regiment regularly rotated into the area to get cold weather combat training experience.
Landstrider was part of an agreement for mutual defense and defense of the Region that had been established with Ghant after a Norvenian naval unit had breezed its wa through the Region two years ago. Then President of the Council Perrin Pahath-Moab had decided that they needed to pursue closer relations with Ghant and that its position was vitally strategic. Prince Amenmar had made a good impression on Empress Sophia at a ball the previous year and it had been hinted that the more distant John Manoah be replaced with him, and it had been a great success. General Shinhusar, the hero of delvian States, was appointed to command the new base.
Altogether the base could monitor six hundred km of airspace surrounding it, and along with the naval squadron regularly patrolling around Ghant gave New Edom an excellent advanced warning system for the northern area of the Region. When earlier in the year rebels had tried to kidnap the Emperor during his tour of northern Ghant, it had been the Edomite16th Mounted Light Infantry and an Air Force search and rescue unit that had secured his person, defended him from rebels and airlifted him to Landstrider to get medical attention.

If nothing else this action pointed out the vital necessity of the base’s existence in Ghant. So regular alerts and drills were carried out, ideally when Shinhusar decided that the personnel needed to be knocked out of any dangerous complacency.
Now General David Shinhusar had an audience with Queen Izolde, and he was looking forward to it, though he was exhausted and had barely slept the night before, having rushed from the ball to conduct the base’s air alert drill, and then having felt it necessary to be present at the crash site. He got back to his quarters, showered, changed into winter parade dress, got on a fresh great coat lined with black fox fur, and went out to his land rover to be driven to the Queen’s private residence in the city.
Last edited by New Edom on Mon Nov 02, 2015 11:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"The three articles of Civil Service faith: it takes longer to do things quickly, it's far more expensive to do things cheaply, and it's more democratic to do things in secret." - Jim Hacker "Yes Minister"

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Ghant
Minister
 
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Founded: Feb 11, 2013
Civil Rights Lovefest

Postby Ghant » Tue Nov 03, 2015 8:36 pm

“Snakes and Ladders”
Inperiala Palace
Ghish, Ghant


“…Telling you, Amelia is going to blow them all out of the water when she gets older,” Prince Jared said as he stood idly outside the Palace entrance. “She has her mothers looks and build…just different color hair and darker skin.”

“You realize she is only fourteen, right?” Osmund Magunagoikoetxea countered. Although he was a mere lowborn Palace Guard from uptown Ghish, he was dutiful, and bold of tongue. For whatever that’s worth.

“Yeah, I know she’s only fourteen,” Jared sniggered. “Think of it like GHL scouts conducting scouting reports on junior hockey players. You can’t draft them, but you can scout them for when they are ready to…perform at the next level.”

Osmund sneered at the Prince, who was essentially a caricature of the Emperor, who was Jared’s first cousin, once removed. The only difference between the two was that while Nathan wore tunics or old out-of-fashion blazers, Jared dress in court outfits as if that would enhance his prestige. “And have you shared your observations with the Emperor, Prince Jared? I think he would be interested in gathering your thoughts.” Nathan would be far more likely to punch Jared in the face and strap him in chains.

“I might not be a genius, guard, but I am no idiot either. I have a Princess of the Crown Alliance in the wing, she seemed quite taken by me at the ball yesterday evening. When I am ready, I shall extend contact to her mother in order to initiate courtship. God knows our family needs more powerful dynastic matches.” Jared blubbered as his brown hair flapped in the wind, with his blue-grey eyes looking around at the bright blue sky with only partial cloud cover here and there. Osmund looked at his own uniform, typical of the palace guard. .The uniform of the Palace Guard was in keeping with the traditions of the Palace and was symbolic of the Obsidian Throne to which they swore their lives.

The headdress was a black sealskin cap, having a black visor edged with gold. The cap, worn with a brass chin-chain, bore a white eagle, reflecting the sigil of the Imperial House. The coat is a single-breasted black tunic, faced with white and piped with gold. The gold slash cuffs, on which the crown slash is white, were piped with gold, and the slash bore three gold buttons. The buttons of the tunic were also grouped in threes. The tunic was worn with a white belt and a gold buckle. The gold shoulder straps of the tunic were piped with gold and bear a gold button. The baldric was a pleated gold and white tartan.

The white and gold facings were a reflection of the Imperial House colors, which consisted of black, white and gold. The tartan terminated in two gold tassels, while the black trousers of the uniform had a narrow white stripe. Black shoes and black gloves are worn. Strapped across their shoulders were cloaks, heavy wool dyed gold. Of their weapons they had three…a sword, a dagger, and a rifle.

The Palace Guard were members of the Imperial Guard, and as such were also fully operational soldiers, part of their duties were guarding the Imperial Family and their residences. They were under the command of the Palace Captain of the Guards, which at the present time was a Lord of Dakmoor by the name of Jodo Mardak. Simon was around for Commander Ulmer’s predecessor, a Gahenish Lord by the name of Ulmer Oggoa. Commander Ulmer was far more lenient then Commander Jodo was, and the Empress upon ascending dismissed him, citing his inadequacy in performing the duties expected of the Palace Guard. Not coincidentally, her father’s friend replaced, and Commander Jodo whipped everyone into shape in short time.

“I would advise you to watch your tongue then,” Osmund told Prince Jared. “If the wrong person hears you, they will go straight to the Empress. From there, you would be far more lucky if the Emperor gets to you before the Dowager Princess does.” Caroline was a far more prolific woman than she let on…and dangerous when provoked to anger. Her ancestors were known to maim and kill people that stirred their anger, after all. So it was known of the Ahenobarbi, of which Caroline claimed lineage through her mother, Flavia Ahenobarba.

Jared snorted, however. “You forget yourself, guard. I am a Prince of Ghant, and I will not be scolded like some lesser lordling or peasant. And I most certainly will not be lectured by a palace guard, who ought to remember his place, before I inform Lord Mardak and have him address the impetuousness.”

Before Osmund could respond, however, he noticed someone approach, and stood on guard, as Jared brooded at the palace entrance, pacing back and forth nearby. The guard observed a young woman that appeared to be from Akai, given away by the half-mask that covered her pale round face. She was wearing a dress, had crimson lipstick on her lips. From what he could gather, she possessed an athletic build, and moved with purpose and grace. Her companion meanwhile was far more brutish in appearance, a large physically imposing man that towered over them all, wearing a demonic mask and a heavy cloak. In his hand was a large briefcase as well, to which Osmund could only guess what the contents consisted of. Knowing Akai, it probably wasn’t anything good. Above my pay grade.

When they got close enough, the woman spoke. "I am Princess Lilisi Limei Lazin, daughter of the Dibai Mei Jialazin and Ditor Jieke of Akai. I am the half-sister of his perfection Hulang Lazin and my flight was delayed. I wish to go meet with him if I can."

Prince Jared sniggered, and said, “I saw him last night. He seemed far from perfect to me.” Bowing then with a certain swagger and arcing his arm past his chest, he introduced himself. “Prince Jared of Ghant, second son of Prince Robert of Ghant, himself the fourth son of Emperor Michael of Ghant. I regret to inform you that due to heightened security, no one not invited by the palace may enter. Suppose you will have to wait until his perfection can be informed of your arrival.” There was as certain mocking in his voice that caused Osmund to wince.

…I have this under control. “Fear not, my Princess…I will have the Palace guard escort you and your…retainer to your brother.” Osmund picked up the radio on his belt and called his fellow guardsmen on the other side of the doors. “I have Emperor Hulang’s sister here, if you could come and receive her and escort her and her companion to her brother.”

“Be right there.” It didn’t take long before the double doors at the entrance were opened, and guards like Osmund appeared under the arch of the entryway. Osmund extended his arm in that direction and bowed. “The guards will see you to your brother, my Princess.”

Jared pursed his lips, and sulked off in the direction of the courtyard, which was when another call came in over the radio as a general announcement. “Ambassador Prince Amenmar and Prince Enoch Tubal-Cain en route. Ensure that they are ushered into the courtyard.”

…That should be interesting. Osmund had heard it said that Prince Michael of Dakmoor and Prince Enoch were like oil and water, and Osmund heard that Michael just tried his damnest to stay out of the man’s way. Hopefully he doesn’t get cheeky with the Empress…


*************

Ordosa, Izotza

Queen Izolde departed Ghish earlier that morning, and had only arrived in Ordosa on the Sea a short while ago. Enough time to eat, bathe and put on a fresh gown. She had taken up in Palace Ordosa, home of the Great House Ordosa, which held dominion over all the lands between the Sea of Jormund to the west (where Landstrider lay), the rest of Izotza to the north, the petty Eskuran Kingdom of Ziri to the west where Albert’s son reigned as King with his Pazuzu betrothed, and the green Kingdom of Gaemar to the south. Old lord Ebon Ordosa was a shrewd, prickly man, entrusting the task of attending the Queen upon his young granddaughter, Lady Evelyn Ordosa. Like the snake that was the sigil of her house, she sat in her chambers of the palace, musing of her situation at present.

My tongue flickers forth, I savor the air,
I Taste and Smell, I am pure Sensation,
from the Sea to the Earth my serpentine
body becomes an ivy creeping, smooth and
silent I follow an instinctual sound,
moments slither by in a silent crescendo,
the syrup rushing through the veins of
a maple is a poison louder than my rebirth,
my knowledge is a fleshy apple that I eat
and savor, I lick my lips as the flavor
stirs inside me-until I grow and I have
no choice but to break free of the broken
petals of Yesterday, and slithering forward
like an artistic design-the crown of my
head is a silver bud that pushes forward-
never pausing-but pushing until it and my
body emerges, damp and shiny new in the
Star-sparkle Night, I have freed myself
from the old and used, the damaged and
worn falls away from me as I slither out
of my discarded sheath that is no longer
me, slithering onward and upward at last
I am renewed-untouched-whole again, only...

my snake skin remains behind,
a ghost of what I once was.

Evelyn Ordosa got up from the couch in her chambers and went out into the halls, back down the steps into the gloom of the palace interior, part out of anxiety and part out of boredom. Evelyn realized how lucky she was to be able to count Queen Izolde among her friends. She remembered Izolde as an ever younger woman than she was now, back when she was nothing more than a noblewoman with a distant claim to a throne held by a decaying dynasty, still learning her craft, but intense and steady even then. Izolde had come to Ordosa then from the modest Grismarka keep further up north and stayed on past her initial assignment, committed to gaining knowledge of Ghant, which was why many a lord came to Ordosa. Izolde had a keen interest in dynastic politics and warfare.

It was rare for a noblewoman to have such interests. She wondered if Izolde would put any of that knowledge to use, if given the opportunity. Evelyn stepped through the door into the corridor beyond and turned right. The hall was arched and framed with great marble beams that gleamed with polish and wax, black and coiled with engraved green snakes. Tapestries and paintings hung from the castle walls, of great events in the history of House Ordosa. Like a museum, pieces of ancient furniture and old armor occupied spaces in small alcoves, lit by slow-burning candles.

Age and time were captured within the walls of Palace Ordosa, a House well regarded throughout Ghant as being the guardians of knowledge, the keeper of its most precious artifacts and tomes. Many advancements that had been made throughout the wilderness that was the history of Ghant had originated here, within these very walls. Evelyn reached the doors to the Great Hall, opened them quietly and stepped inside. Like in the halls there were a smattering of guards and servants, yet in the Great Hall Izolde’s retinue had taken up positions around the length of the expansive room, in the shadow of the tall black and green marble columns and tall arched windows that let the sunlight shine upon the black and green patterned tile floor.

The room featured a library of sorts, long shelves in dim alcoves crammed with books. There were few books to be found that even predated the Kingdom of Ghant that was established in 912 CE, with most of them having been compiled by the Ordosa Kings of old that made the city of Draconis a fortress on the River Ordosa to keep would be conquerors at bay. Many of the older volumes had been painstakingly recorded by hand from the memories and observations of the handful of men and women who still remembered the stories of the time before the written word, when myth and magic ruled the continent. Almost all were stored here, in this room and others deeper within the palace, which House Ordosa were responsible for safekeeping.

“Do you think the Edomites have tattered, weathered tomes like these, Lady Evelyn?” Queen Izolde asked as stepped forward. The Queen was wearing a light blue velvet gown that dragged on the ground, with a matching cloak trimmed with ermine draped across her shoulders for warmth. Her hair was long and loose, tumbling in blonde curls behind her back, and on her head was a blue and white circlet fitting for a queen to wear casually when amongst her lords bannermen.

“…Perhaps they do, in the depths of their sacred monasteries untouched by war.” It was worth noting that while the rest of Izotza and its corresponding noble houses kept to the Old Gods, House Ordosa had adopted Christianity some five hundred years ago, and was one of the few northern houses that kept to the so called New God. “Edom is as old a place as any, but the weather and the temperament of its people might not be as…accommodating to old volumes.”

Izolde smirked, and took a step away from her alcove, back towards Evelyn. “Like this one here. A Telling of the Tactics of the Skull Tribes. Circa 200 CE. From the days of the Seven Lords of Ghant when they ruled the Southern Lands, when the Gentries were but upjumped southern lords conducting commerce and trade from their little fishing village of Ghish. My, how the times have changed!”

The more things change, the more they stay the same. “Forgive me, my Queen, had I wish I were more presentable. We only received short notice of your coming.” Evelyn thought it prudent to change the subject to something far less…political.

“Nonsense Evelyn, you look absolutely radiant.” Evelyn smiled, feeling assured that the Queen was not in a foul mood. Perhaps that is because she knows General Shinhusar is coming. Evelyn was wearing a green floor-length chiffron dress, leaving her pale, freckly shoulders bare. Her hair, like Izolde’s, was long and blonde, but with streaks of silver, the hair bound in a loose braid. Her seafoam green eyes were large, peering out from her wide face speckled by freckles.

Evelyn smiled. “Thank you your Majesty, although I am but a poor imitation of yourself.” In some ways that was true, as Evelyn was tutored in the palace and had recently finished lady’s secondary school early. Only twenty-one, her grandfather said she was already nearly as wise as her second cousin, the Empress of Ghant. Evelyn hardly knew her, as Sophia’s maternal grandmother Annabelle was Evelyn’s grandfather’s sister.

A cool draft blew through the room, sending chills down Evelyn’s spine. It was colder up in their part of the country, with the skies dim and grey, the light only punching through in spurts, before giving way to the thick clouds that rained down thick, cold rain hard upon the ground below. “A fighter plane crashed today, nearer to Landstrider, out in the woods.”

“…Any word on how that happened?” Evelyn probed, only hearing about that just then.

Izolde set the tattered tome down, and approached the table that had a bowl of fruit placed upon it along with some pitchers of honeyed black wine and water with wine glasses set out by servants earlier. “No. The Edomites may be crafty, but they are prone to human error like anyone else. My scouts merely indicated that a plane went down, and I haven’t had the chance to ask anyone that would know, how that came to pass.”

“The Jendebasa say that such machines are unnatural and ungodly,” Evelyn said as she sat down and reached out for a red apple. “That the Gods curse these devices to fail.”

“Nonsense.” Izolde sat down across from Evelyn, and poured them both some wine. “They are just not used to the winds and weather yet, Lady Ordosa. Although I have to wonder…if the Emperor had not compelled the Edomites to leave with such expediency as they did, perhaps that pilot might still be alive. It could very well be that the pilot is dead because of the Emperor’s indiscretion. If that proves to be the case, I will not forget that.”

“Perhaps General Shinhusar will tell us when he gets here,” Evelyn suggested. “I hear that the Hero of the Delvian States is fond of you.”

“More fond of me than the Empress of the Delvian States anyway,” Izolde laughed as he touched the wine to her lips. “The Voors are good at getting around, let me tell you. Tericio, Delvian States…Melissa Voor is a reacher that one, and the Voors are very friendly to Gentry interests. They dangled her in front of the Delvian Emperor and he took the bait. Hope he’s ready for the hook…”

“Your Majesty,” one of Izolde’s guards informed her. “General Shinhusar has arrived.”

“Good, send him and his people in,” Izolde waved a hand, before reaching for some fat juicy black grapes. “I am most indebted to your House for allowing me to use this lovely Palace as my private residence, at my discretion.”

“Of course, our family has several,” Evelyn smiled brightly, herself nervous about the General making his entrance. She had not met him, nor had she attended the ball on account of being busy with a research project. Neither had she even met any Edomite, only hearing about them and their right-wing theocratic state that prided itself upon honor, virtue and justice…or so it was said.
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Brytene
Ambassador
 
Posts: 1414
Founded: Mar 17, 2015
Ex-Nation

Postby Brytene » Thu Nov 05, 2015 12:12 pm

“Morning After”
Inperiala Palace
Ghish, Ghant


Aoife

Aoife had woken some time ago, but she was one of those lazy creatures who enjoyed nothing more than lying in bed, awake, doing nothing. She heard Nathan stand up and wander off somewhere, and cast her mind back to the previous night. The Emperor had surprised her, his body stronger and leaner than she had expected - perhaps he was more diligent than he looked, or perhaps he simply had good genes? Either way, he had been eager to please, another quality often lacking amongst those in power, and he had exhausted himself. But he had also acquitted himself well, and she stretched luxuriantly under the covers before sliding out of bed and wrapping a throw around herself. Comfort was not something she was unfamiliar with, but at the same time she rarely had the time to enjoy such sheer decadence and the warm feeling of a night well spent in pleasant company.

As her eyes readjusted to the brightness, she saw Nathan standing, an apple in his hand, his face the setting for an ongoing struggle between his satisfied expression and the ravages of a hangover. She slunk past him, heading towards the bathroom, offering a grin as she did so.

"How are you feeling today, Your Majesty?" she asked over her shoulder, putting a definite lilt on his title. The shower thundered on, obscuring his reply if he offered any. The water came down light and misty, a rain-style combination showerhead that seemed almost tailored to provide the right temperature without human intervention. The little things counted. As Aoife let the water wash away the accumulated patina of the previous night, she began to let the less pleasurable thoughts creep back into the foreground. At the time, the Edomite withdrawal had seemed hilarious, and from her viewpoint it was ideal, the first crack that would eventually become a chasm between the reactionaries and Imperial Ghant, but speaking pragmatically in the cold light of day the snub was a giant turd that, sooner or later, would ruin somebody's day.

Aoife remembered Nathan making vague mention of the trouble he'd have to deal with, and the guards hidden in the secret passages of this castle. Was there a chance Sophia or her lackeys would move to mew him up right now? If the rumours were true then that might well be their eventual intent, but she didn't know to what extent the existence of such sinister influence was mere courtly propaganda, perhaps an image carefully crafted by Nathan's enemies or the Emperor himself, or indeed both at once.

She was not too concerned for her own safety. Worst came to worst, she expected she would simply be asked to leave the country and to be so good as to consider a different location for her next sojourn - unlike some extremist nations, Ghant hardly struck her as a violent or short-sighted state, and they were one of the few nations in the world which could not match Brytene for sheer military manpower. Nevertheless, hotheads were a breed to be found everywhere, and she felt the faint unease in the pit of her stomach which told her she could not rest easy in this place. She wondered briefly where Uhtred had gotten to - he was one of those hotheads, and since none of their guards were presently with her she assumed they were with him somewhere.
Brytene is: centre-left, pagan, democratic, free-market
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Imperial Nalydya wrote:Spent too much damn time with the nations of Laptev. The old professionals...
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The IASM
Senator
 
Posts: 3534
Founded: Jan 01, 2012
Psychotic Dictatorship

Postby The IASM » Fri Nov 06, 2015 3:39 pm

OUTSIDE THE PALACE
Inperiala Palace
Ghish
Ghant

LILISI


When they got close enough, she spoke. "I am Princess Lilisi Limei Lazin, daughter of the Dibai Mei Jialazin and Ditor Jieke of Akai. I am the half-sister of his perfection Hulang Lazin and my flight was delayed. I wish to go meet with him if I can."

Prince Jared sniggered, and said, “I saw him last night. He seemed far from perfect to me.” Bowing then with a certain swagger and arcing his arm past his chest, he introduced himself. “Prince Jared of Ghant, second son of Prince Robert of Ghant, himself the fourth son of Emperor Michael of Ghant. I regret to inform you that due to heightened security, no one not invited by the palace may enter. Suppose you will have to wait until his perfection can be informed of your arrival.” There was as certain mocking in his voice that caused Osmund to wince.

Lilisi looked down towards Jared with her smile, trying to ignore the arrogance of the foreign prince in front of her. Wonderful, a prince who thinks he is a king she thought as she continued to smile. However she heard heavy footsteps behind her, like a giant black obelisk walking.

“You would do well Prince Jared to keep your tongue quiet, you are nothing more than a prince here. You're barely in line for this throne. so act like it. You are addressing a Princess of Akai, show respect or you shall learn it,” Shang scolded in a slow booming voice, heavy with contempt He moved towards his case, placing it on the ground vertically - revealing its long slender length.

I don’t need this Shang, Lilisi thought before trying putting a hand on his arm before realising it would be probably easier just to take his hand. She put on a soft, sweet voice: “Prince Jared, I do apologise for Shang here, he is a particularly capable Anyingguan, I’d say as good as ten men on his own. But he is admittedly rather zealous but his advice holds merit.”

“I understand your highness,” Shang grumbled as he looked on with rage and anger. He wasn’t exactly the type to let another man insult his master or pride, if it was Akai Lilisi was sure he’d probably try to get him to fight in a duel. It was a a good exercise for a man like him. He apparently was ex-military yet he was only in his early thirties. Lilisi decided not to question it, knowing the mainland it probably was something rather discomforting.

“Fear not, my Princess…I will have the Palace guard escort you and your…retainer to your brother.” The Prince’s guard picked up the radio on his belt and called his fellow guardsmen on the other side of the doors. “I have Emperor Hulang’s sister here, if you could come and receive her and escort her and her companion to her brother.”

“Be right there.” It didn’t take long before the double doors at the entrance were opened, and guards like the prince’s own appeared under the arch of the entryway. He extended his arm in that direction and bowed. “The guards will see you to your brother, my Princess.”

Lilisi gave a soft smile towards the imperial guard as she looked upon him. If Jared wasn’t much of a prick, he’d probably be quite lucky with some girls. This land likely is full of his type of women. His arrogance could get him in some trouble if he barked up the wrong tree. She looked at Jared walking rather oddly away from them before returning to look at the guard. I feel sorry for the guard, having to stand by and deal with royalty every day. It's a wonder that the Riyeskonsu haven't massacred us yet to be frank. She approached him and whispered clearly to him as she passed: “I appreciate your competence, you're at least better than Jared here. Here’s a sign of my appreciation,” She laughed softly before giving the guard a peck on the cheek before going inside with the guards. Shang followed like the loyal stallion he was, clearly disappointed at the fact that Jared didn’t get what he thought he deserved. He’s properly going to tell me off for bringing Shang, same he technically told me not to. Her relationship with Hulang hopefully could strengthen here a bit. She admittedly was here to create friendships and ties, she had dreamed of wielding the power of the Dibai like her mother did to do good in the world. But admittedly that meant marrying Hulang who she wasn’t exactly sure would make good marriage material and it seemed the she-dragon of Xungong always had other ideas.

“Your highness, you know that Jared needs to be humbled,” Shang grumbled as he walked around observing the guards around them with a certain impatience. Lilisi noticed that they seemed to have military discipline and functioning weaponry, yet for some reason she doubted most had actual experience in the field. The Riyeskonsu under Jieke and High Commander Chang were deployed against the GUIZI and latter the KNRF mutineers on the Keng-Zhaoze border. Why aren’t they checking the case? Surely it must be a security risk? Or can’t they be bothered she contemplated as she walked along contemplating a response.

“He might eventually Shang, again people like him I think would thrive here."

"Aye, but I wanted to tell him where he stands that's he was a…" Shang realised he was surrounded by several armed guards who probably could be ordered around by the imperial prince despite his perceived ineptitude. "I dislike men like him, they are like hounds trained to always bark and never bite."

"You're awfully talkative today Shang, usually you barely say anything," Lilisi said hooking onto the giant's arm while he carried his long case in his other.

"I really dislike Jared," bluntly replied Shang as he moved around towards the palace.

So far the place had been surpassing her expectations and had been particularly grand - despite the less than welcoming weather. What had interested her the most however is how the palace was in the middle of the relatively tiny Ghish. Most Akai cities either had the palace or castle built into the city or had them as separate installations. Kaizangong was chosen for its defensibility and good natural defences, allowing it to survive Akai's vicious storm season in great comfort. Yet it was built relatively far from its subject city Xinzuo if you ignore the six forts which where blacked on the path to Kaizangong. Most things in Lazinato were centuries younger than stuff found here, the Obsidian throne is older than any civilisation on Lazinato. The Lazins spite their long bloodline stretching all the way back to the last Ditor of Akai was never particularly old. The Gentrys could claim to be centuries older and so could the Woerjins, Cangbais, Oatos, the Chicu, the horse lords of Keng. But the oldest thing of them all was Xungong -the strange palace- a place so old that even the Akai don't know its true age and its many structures were an opening into its deep depths which even after centuries of constant ownership remain unmapped. It was said by many who view it's peculiar architecture and scope that whoever went down to explore everything shall be curse to explore it forever and that he who searches for his dreams in Xungong shall find only Hun. Lilisi dismissed it as irrational rumours for the most part although she did admit the place was odd to her. This Inperiala palace appealed to her far more than Xungong ever would.

Inside she found what felt like half the entire Lazin party waiting there. There was a few recognisable faces although their names were certainly embedded into her mind: the Marshal of Yaosai, Chang the slayer and finally the White Ditor Hulang. She clearly slid her hand away from Shang and hastened her pace towards her brother. Okay he is taller than I expected she thought examining him closely before going in to embrace him. He was wearing this odd mask, which must've been ancient as some of things left here and his choice in clothes was rather modern like her own, although perhaps more in line with Lazin colours. They seemed to be talking to one another before Hulang stopped and began his approach.

"Lili, it seems that you finally came," Hulang warmly said underneath his mask - his crimson eyes bearing down rather politely and with no sense of malice. "I would kiss you welcome but you can see the problem there. How was the trip?"

"As miserable as Shang here," she said chuckling. Well how odd, he sees it fit to be polite in public. Her conversations with her half-brother tended to be quite crude at times,'much to both parties mutual satisfaction.

"I see you brought your dog did you, I would prefer him to stay away in Kaizangong,” Hulang mentioned as he observed the great behemoth of a man behind them both. “He isn’t exactly the type suited for diplomacy, as useful as he is everywhere but the battlefield…”

“And my side,” Lilisi said with a what she knew was a grin which could only be described as a teasing one. She watched Hulang pause for a second before he seemingly adjusted himself. “Anyway, you wished to talk according to this text of yours,” she questioned as she presented him with his message on her smartphone.

“Yes,” Hulang said as he offered his arm to walk around, she took it and they began to walk around the palace through its corridors. She began to examine her brother more closely, he seemed to be lacking any sense of swagger or pride in the way he carried himself around, odd considering how he acted back home. He began to speak calmly: “It seems the Dakmarans have been quite humiliated here at the ball held in their son and wife's honor.”

“What do you mean Hulang,” she asked as she glanced outside and scanned the guards around here.

“It seems through Molxue’s diligence that he discovered that Nathan seems to take his marriage vows rather loosely and spent the night with that Queen Aoife from Brytene. It was rather good news learning of it in the morning after a rather interesting night...”

“Oh did you get some success with Amelia at all,” she began to tease once more. Hulang could barely shut up about her in their texts to one another. I haven’t seen somewhat subconsciously crushing over another since I was teenager with Kazou, the kid couldn’t resist me. I wonder if Nathan could either given his record, she thought bemused by the idea of teenage hormones. It did confuse her for a while why Hulang decided to encrypt all of his communications before realising he probably just wanted at least some privacy and the desire to hide the content of his texts for a while now.

“Well yes and no I feel, I plan on seeing her later today but I was thinking of the fact that this massively humiliated Sophia here but apparently the Edomites interrupted and they walked out because of it.” There was a certain gratification in his voice, taking pleasure with every single word. Well they obviously pissed him off sometime ago, but that’s a story for another day. “I wonder whether other things could be done to ruin this for the Dakmarans a bit more. Anyway I am here for my own pleasure now, you I think are too.”

“Yeah, I want to try and see if I can get the best out of my stay, it seems I missed all the fun stuff though,” she replied with a slight emphasis on her words.

“Then I want you to go to Nathan, he seems rather human - unlike myself. I want you to be happy Lili, and I doubt that the rest of the ladies around here will be fun to be around,” he continued with a particular persuasion hanging under his voice, something alluring in its nature - tempting and pushing.

“I will entertain the idea, I doubt that the Sophia would appreciate it however,” Lilisi said as she looked at Hulang with her dress tightly shifting across her legs. It depends if he is a fun guy first though she thought. I’d rather not have to screw such things over, but I doubt that Qin would appreciate it. Then she asked rapidly: “How did you find Amelia and Charles anyway last night?”

“Well I only managed to see Amelia last night, Charles I couldn’t find around at all,” he said somewhat disappointed. He probably wants to see his old friends from the coronation. He paused for a few seconds, seemingly sulking about something internally: “You know, a part of me doesn’t want to be Ditor, I just want to be… someone free from my chains. I want to be free from these chains I wear as the leader of this nation. I do not want to be a slave of the state, I want to rule it. I want some some who can be with me as a friend…"

"And maybe more than that," Lilisi replied quietly knowing what Hulang would say about it, and with major concern presence in her voice. "I'll be here for you if you need it."

Hulang loosened his hand and began to move away from Lilisi, his red eyes slightly watered behind his heavy obsidian mask. "Just go for now, and have fun for I am not much fun. I'll be looking for… others who care." He moved away from Lilisi before hugging her with a bear like strength. "Now go and find something else worth doing here." Hulang moved back and underneath his mask his eyes were smiling: "And oh yes, tell Nathan that I'd like to see how he'd handle swords. I have been seeking some interesting sparing." And with that Hulang walked away quickly down the corridors of the palace, with speed and haste.

What a weird kid…
HUN-01

20:22 Kirav Normal in Akai is nightmare fuel in the rest of the world.

11:33 Jedoria Something convoluted is going on in Akai probably.

08:07 Corumm tits shall be known as
08:07 Corumm the peacemaker
08:08 Corumm tits of peace

18:26 Deusaeuri Let me put it this way, you're what would happen if Lovecraft decided to write political dystopian techno thriller

20:19 Heku tits has gone mental
20:19 Jakee >gone

21:46 Estoni Classic rock anthem with a classic dictatorship, Tits truly is number one
21:55 Estoni Heil Titler
17:21 Tomas what's the difference between a mother fucker and a mudder fucker
17:22 Tomas the former lives in Akai, the latter in Ashab
05:48 Malay lol akai sounds lovely this time of never


User avatar
New Edom
Postmaster of the Fleet
 
Posts: 21097
Founded: Mar 14, 2011
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby New Edom » Sat Nov 07, 2015 1:57 am

The Imperial Palace Gardens
Ghish, Ghant


Prince Amenmar and Prince Enoch, entering the garden, saw the two ladies and bowed with courtesy to them, Barsina imitated her master and bowed too.

“Your Imperial Majesty, Lady Moro,” said Amenmar, “You of course know Prince Enoch Tubal-Cain. I have just now noticed the beauty of this garden, so eclipsed is it by the loveliness of you both. We are honoured.”

Prince Enoch smiled at him and then said nothing but inclined his head as if in agreement.

The Empress rose to her feet, as did Lady Moro after her. “Ambassador, and Prince Enoch, thank you for coming this morning. A pleasure to see you both.” Sophia did a curtsey, as did Lady Moro after her, while the guards dispersed and assumed various positions in the gardens as to not be distracting. It took all of Sophia’s restraint not to look at Enoch with disdain, for how he had treated her brother. Instead she smiled and said, “Indeed, I know Prince Enoch...any friend of my brother’s is a friend of mine.” That was the extent of what she was willing to say on that subject, before taking a seat once more.

“Can I interest either of you in some tea or honeyed milk to go with the crumpets and cinnamon rolls?” Better emphasize the pleasantries before we get started on this rather foul business regarding my husband, she thought to herself. Sara went ahead and poured herself some tea, and lounged back in her seat, content to be quiet and looked over the two Edomites with curiosity while adjusting her long black hair with a free hand. Neither she nor the Empress were wearing makeup, as such a thing was deemed unneeded by both.

Enoch looked at Lady Sara appreciatively as she moved. The fair women of Ghant were exotic and while not universally attractive among Edomite men, were admired much by those who did find them admirable. Enoch was among these. However this was a brief glance from a man who took being around beautiful women as his due and station. Enoch returned his gaze to the Empress after saying with a smile, “Tea would be splendid. Majesty, I think it best to be honest--your brother and I are not friends. Men quarrel, it is perhaps our nature to do so, and to have differences of opinion. However in the best interests of our states I hope it will not come between us as we seek the greater good for our states now.”

Prince Amenmar said little at first, taking tea and observing this exchange. He added honey to his tea and let Barsina explore a tree nearby, keeping watch as well.

The Empress began to pour Enoch’s tea for him, albeit slowly, while responding to his admission. “I am well aware, my Prince. Let me be honest with you. My brother bears you no ill will, and is content to stay out of your way. While men may quarrel and not be friends, there can still be...respect between them. He seems content to give you that at least. I hope you would do him the courtesy of returning the favor. Good fences do make good neighbors, after all.” Sophia finished pouring Enoch’s glass, and then proceeded to pass it across the table to him with a bright smile. Sara helped herself to a cinnamon roll, cutting into it with a dainty fork before slipping the fragment between her lips.

The two Edomite aristocrats in turn each took a crumpet, spreading with honey, and each having a nibble to indicate their reception of the hospitality they had been given.

“My compliments once again to the palace for its wonderful food,” said Prince Amenmar. “Your Majesty, I cannot help but notice that His Majesty the emperor is not here. Is he unwell?”

Sophia looked down at the table as she spread some jam on her crumpet, sighing gently. “He is...indisposed, and resting. It is no matter, as I can see to these pertinent matters of state without him. He lacks interest such things anyway. Martin and I have been talking about having him arrange for a staff to represent him at...meetings such as this, if only for appearance’s sake.” Then she took a bite of the crumpet, savoring the taste of it with closed eyes.

Amenmar paused, took a breath and said, “The Emperor is...fortunate to have such a consort as you. Any man would be proud and honoured.” He sipped his tea. “However as you say, there are concerns. Particularly as the Emperor represents powerful factions in this country. At times the Emperor seems to act ill advisedly and it is difficult to directly guide and advise him when he does so, because there is no process through which he regularly acts. May I ask if you have considered how his senior staff should be appointed, and who those persons might be?”

“I have,” Sophia answered, whilst wincing slightly. “In the past, he has recoiled at the notion of allowing me to appoint him a senior staff...I am afraid he mistrusts the intentions of my father’s bannermen to the degree that he doesn’t want them acting directly on his behalf. So...I figured it was time to have him appoint his senior staff.” Sophia took a deep drink of her tea after another bite of her crumpet. “Once he lets his choices be known, they can be reviewed by myself, and you as well, to see if they are to satisfaction.” It’s going to be Cassandra, she thought with reservation. “...I might also suggest an Edomite aide-de-camp, one that he has rapport with if there is such a person.”

“I think that might antagonize some people in Ghant,” said Amenmar, “With all due respect. I think that my own unofficial role and my official one are good examples, as is General Shinhusar’s, of our benevolent relationship and might be more suitable. The key thing is this: if we are to be allies, trade partners, and friends, we must have close relations.”

Prince Enoch said, “Speaking for the King and Queen, there is a feeling that we must have a Gentry marriage. The two most obvious candidates from our point of view are Princess Ava and Count Lalery. If you don’t mind me being blunt, Lalery doesn’t want to marry Princess Cassandra. And I doubt she wants to marry him. I think both would do their duty if ordered to, but I think it might be a disaster. I was thinking, after talking to the King, that our family royal would back most strongly a marriage between Princess Ava and a Gentry prince. While many would prefer no doubt that it should be Prince Alexander--he is not well liked by the Emperor from my understanding. We would be content with that, but I understand that the Emperor is fond of his cousin Jared, is he not?”

The Empress leaned back in her seat, and traced her fingertips up and down her throat for a few moments while she thought of how to respond. Sara sat quietly, following the drill of the silent yet supportive lady-in-waiting, although her eyes drifted about like fireflies and her mouth quivered with slight grins and winces, depending on what was said. “I was under the impression that after Princess Jocasta married my brother, that Ava would be reserved for an Edomite match. Regardless, I would agree that this would be far easier to arrange than Cassandra and Thomas.” Woe be me, who wants her well and gone.

“...If I may speak bluntly,” Sophia began to say cautiously. “It isn’t that the Emperor dislikes Alexander, it is that Alexander makes him feel insecure, for Alexander is very capable, and Nathan is often compared to him. Nathan should be more like Alexander, Sophia had often heard it said among the Imperial House. “While Alexander is the oldest son of the third son of the late Emperor Albert, Jared is the second son of a fifth son of the late Emperor Michael. Surely you might be more interested in the highest ranking prince?” Alexander is a throne seeker, and if I can get him harnessed by Ava, then that is all the better. Alexander wasn’t a man that Sophia thought should be trusted with the power of a throne, so she felt compelled to try to neutralize him with a non-sovereign bride. Jared, meanwhile, is the sort fit for a lady of a lesser house.

Enoch said, “It is not an easy matter, I agree. Alexander is really...well the ideal compromise choice. The King preferred Prince Christopher. The Heir prefers that it should be Princess Cassandra and cites her understanding that the Emperor is fond of her--for the Count Lalery match. But...Princess Cassandra might be better suited to being on the Emperor’s council.”

“It hinges on that, if you would prefer that that should be her place,” said Prince Amenar, his eyes following the tracing of the imperial throat with delicate fingers for a moment and tearing away as though from being hypnotized.

“...Prince Christopher…” the Empress began, before being touched on the arm by Sara Moro.

“If I may, your Majesty,” Lady Moro asked softly.

Sophia looked at her profoundly, before looking away and back into her teaglass. “You may.”

“...Word has reached my ears this morning that Prince Christopher has agreed to a betrothal to Lady Bessa Torloju,” Sara told her with reservation in her voice.

...Cassandra. “Christopher is essentially his sister’s sycophant, I am afraid.” This revelation is most troubling. Lord Torloju was a powerful, yet disgruntled Lord of Dakmoor who pined for a match to enhance the prestige of his house, and was denied. That, and Christopher tortures for sport. Both were things that Sophia felt best to leave out. “Besides, Christopher commands very little pull in the Imperial Family, whereas Alexander is their golden prince. Where he goes, the rest shall follow.”

“Then that leaves the matter of Princess Cassandra.” said Prince Amenmar. “I had wondered where she had vanished to recently, and now we know.’ he nodded at Sara Moro with respect, and then looked back at the Empress. “Princess Cassandra used to, in a sense, be first lady of Ghant, and now…” he inclined his head towards Sophia. “If she were married to Count Lalery, there is no way that he would live in Ghant. But….the marriage to Alexander would be more flattering to the House of Gentry. So for now, I think that I would recommend that the Crown Princess’s idea of marrying Princess Ava to Prince Alexander would be most suitable.”

“I agree,” said Prince Enoch, and will recommend this to the King and Queen as well.”

Good...maybe Alexander will finally be placated. “Very good. I think that is most agreeable. Alexander is a handsome, intelligent and charming Prince, I think he will be good for Ava. God knows she deserves a good husband.” I will find another way to deal with Cassandra, the Empress thought. While I can’t send her packing to New Edom, there are other avenues to consider.

Prince Enoch said, “I will report to King Elijah and Queen Mara how Your Majesty remains a good friend to them, they regretted that the King had to leave so abruptly, but of course…” he spread his hands. “The Emperor’s lack of guidance is a concern, but who can do it? You have tried, his uncle has tried, your father has tried, his cousins tried. Who could be appointed to be on a senior staff that would advise him? Prince Amenmar offered friendly advice and was told that the Emperor did not need to be advised. His...drinking companion backed him on that, and that is the problem. The Emperor only wants sycophants. But this is impossible, because the Emperor consistently undermines our alliance. What are we to make of this, when the Emperor of Ghant seeks to provoke us whenever he possibly can? And I do not speak of it openly as I am advised by Prince Amenmar, but the fact is--the King cannot tolerate insults to his sister in law at all. Nor past insults to his cousin, nor any other insults. The Emperor must publicly display loyalty to this alliance. And he must be guided by those who will remind him to do so. We would like to know if you have a plan to bring this about.”

“Simply put, ensure that he is surrounded by people that are loyal to the alliance, and will ensure that he is as well. I think an Ava-Alexander match will do much to prod him to the utmost cooperation, and publicly support the alliance as well.” Sipping on her tea and pursing her lips, she then asked, “was there anything that either of you had in mind to assuage those concerns? I really do mean to have this...wrinkle rectified once and for all.”

Prince Enoch looked at Amenmar a moment, but the Ambassador did not interfere yet. He then said, “We were thinking of a list to review of who would fill the positions. We also would like the Emperor to begin making public statements to support allied policy. We also recommend a private man to man talk with King Elijah. We would also recommend that the Emperor regularly--once a day--attend policy and strategy meetings to keep him informed of going concerns. And a solemn promise to honour his agreements and relationships with his family and extended family by marriage.”

“My own recommendation is that the Emperor have the following on his staff: a new chamberlain to arrange his social functions and organize his personal staff. A press advisor or secretary depending on the preferred title who can advise the Emperor on public appearances and public statements and keep him informed of popular media. A political advisor to keep the Emperor abreast of important events and state policy and act as a go between for him and the Council and the Prime Minister. A new guard commander who will maintain the Emperor’s security at all times. Two equerries or aides de camp who can be the Emperor’s attendants and act as go betweens on a more direct basis and will be companions for him. I would be glad, and my staff would be glad, to be present at meetings and regularly meet with the Emperor and or his staff.”

The Empress mulled the thought over in her head, before nodding. “Yes...that sounds quite good. A chamberlain, secretary, advisor, personal guard and two equerries. I shall see to it that this is done, and that there are meetings between his staff and yourself.”

“And the public statements and the meeting?” said Prince Enoch.

“Yes, that shall transpire, rest assured,” Sophia assured them. “I will see to that.”

Prince Enoch inclined his head and murmured, “So very kind.”

Prince Amenmar took a deep inhale of the scent of his tea and then lowered the cup and said, “Is Your Majesty aware of who the Emperor was talking with before he left the ball last night?”

“...Aoife Brighteye, of Brytene,” the Empress answered, wincing briefly. “Not someone who is friendly towards SACTO, I know that much of her and her...exploits.”

Prince Amenmar gently took the empress’ hand. “The most generous interpretation that the King could place on this--and I entirely agree with him--is that the Emperor acted out of ignorance and had...dined too well. Does anyone know why she came and what her intentions are?”

“I was under the impression that she came for the same reasons as anyone else...she was invited as a national head of state, a formal curtesy. Nathan found her interesting I suppose, and engaged her in conversation. The rest I am unaware of. He is ignorant, and lacks knowledge of social courtesies and cues to a large degree. I doubt he meant anything malicious,” the Empress explained as she held Amenmar’s hand.

“May I suggest that if Aoife Brighteyes is still here that she perhaps be invited to a social occasion where someone could keep an eye on her and find out more, or if not expedite her departure from the country?” suggested Amenmar, reluctantly giving the hand a gentle squeeze before letting it go.

The Empress returned both her hands to her lap, resting on her swollen belly. “Why yes, I believe a social event away from the Palace might be in order…” once again, Sara Moro put a hand on Sophia’s arm, and whispered “Ambassadors.” The Empress nodded, and looked back towards Amenmar. “There is also the matter of appointing a new Ambassador to New Edom, as Alexander has expressed an interest to Leonor Bozagua in stepping aside to follow other pursuits. I happen to have a shortlist of candidates, and I wonder which one might the most appealing to building relations with New Edom and keeping those ties even stronger.”

Prince Amenmar appeared to ponder this, and steepled his fingers together. “What about...Lord Aldapa? He is a war hero, he is well liked in our country, and is a loyal subject, a well rounded fellow with a good background.”

“Funny you should say. It was between him, Lord Bolvar Dain and My grandmother’s cousin, Prince Bytos Orinbere. If you think Aldapa is the best choice, I can have him in Fineberg within the week to assume the post. He seemed willing enough,” Sophia smiled brightly, although Sara seemed displeased. She wanted Alazne gone...less competition.

“I think it would send just the right message, to appoint Lord Aldapa,” agreed Prince Enoch.

“On another note, Your Majesty, the reports from the Ikon Geophyiscal Company are excellent and are backed up by the National Oil Corporation as suggesting that the Allied States would like to continue investment in development partnership in your north,” said Prince Amenmar. “This might be something that the Emperor could positively announce and start preparing for.”

The Empress looked Amenmar over keenly with a glowing expression. “Why yes this is very good...very exciting news. And of course, a fine suggestion. I will see to it that this is arranged.” A thought then, sweeping over her. “Anything else we can do in the meantime to reassure the King?”

“The King wants to invite the Emperor to visit his hunting lodge in northern Bara,” said Prince Enoch. “Very soon. As soon as arrangements can be made.”

“...How about after he appoints his council and makes his public announcement supporting Edomite policy and the development partnership?” Sophia asked, keenly.

“I think that would be suitable--to support allied policy of joint interests,” said Prince Enoch.

Smiling, she nodded slightly at that. “Yes, that should do nicely.” Like Sara was doing, she began cutting into a cinnamon roll. “Perhaps we should send Alexander with the Emperor when he departed for the hunting lodge? No doubt the King would like the chance to meet and become acquainted with the Prince, should the King favor such an arrangement.”

“That’s a very good idea,” said Prince Enoch. “Something else. I hesitate to bring it up, but the Emperor might also be advised to bestow honours on the military personnel from Landstrider AFB who saved his life. General Shinhusar of course organized the rescue and coordinated the air drops; Captain Avare commanded the rescue team itself, and Captain Sharon stabilized the Emperor’s condition with the assistance of the doctors…” he used the word with an effort, “At the castle. In point of fact, we thought that both junior officers might command a liaison detachment that could be assigned to the Emperor’s guard. As an honour.”

“Nathan had talked about bestowing upon them high imperial honors,” Sophia clarified politely. “We can have that be expedited, and it should be a very good showing I believe. A liaison detachment would be a good addition to his retinue, I believe.” The Empress tapped her chin and gently crumpled her nose. “The medal bestowing should be an event of note.”

“Excellent Majesty,” said Prince Amenmar with a smile. “May I then ask if there is anything you wished to bring up with us, or might ask of us in turn?”

“...How fares the Queen?” Sophia asked. “I do count her as a friend, although we seldom speak.”

Prince Enoch smiled warmly and seemed to go inward a moment, then looked at her. “She considers Your Majesty a friend, and wept a little at not being able to come to Ghish for the ball. It is her fond hope that when these matters are cleared up she will be able to come. Of course she is also very preoccupied with domestic affairs--the Agricultural Reform Act, resettlement of refugees, that sort of thing, and now the concerns over human trafficking in Arcologia and the hurricane in Adiron. But she wanted me to tell you that she holds you dearly, and most fondly in her heart as a true friend, and will not forget your warm and kind treatment of her over the years.”

While Sophia mulled those words over, Sara again touched Sophia’s arm, and spoke. “We have reason to believe that Unni Yarudi is involved in the human trafficking ring in Arcologia. The Prime Minister was organizing a special unit to go there in order to ascertain the veracity of these claims and bring him to justice.”

“This is true,” Sophia agreed. “The most wanted man in Ghant, for those crimes and more. If you happen to gain any intelligence regarding his whereabouts, I would hope that you would share it, so he can be brought to justice.”

Prince Enoch said, “I think I would recommend then that I meet with the Prime Minister before I go in company with Prince Amenmar and work out how to best cooperate in this.”

“As you wish, my Prince,” Sophia offered a slight smile to Enoch before pouring herself some honeyed milk and taking a drink. She gave a look to Sara, who nodded. “That’s the extent of it,” the Empress said.

Prince Enoch looked at Amenmar and got a slight nod, and then said, “Your Majesty has been very generous with your time, and we have been deeply honoured by your company in this beautiful setting. We should not overstay our welcome and should make arrangements to meet with the Prime Minister.”

“You could never outstay your welcome,” Sophia said cheerfully. “All the same, I wouldn’t want to take up anymore of your time, as I am sure you both are busy today. Those arrangements would be welcome, I am sure. The Prime Minister is always eager for new guests.” Rising from her seat, with Sara following suit, she then said, “I can show you to the gates if you would like. The child in my belly gets truculent when I am idle.”

Prince Amenmar said, “I would enjoy that very much, Majesty.”

“You are too kind,” said Prince Enoch.

Enoch was now prepared to reward himself with the lovely Adiran girl's company, while Amenmar was bitter sweetly tormented by Sophia's presence, his honour demanding that he act properly. He called Barsina to him and took comfort in thanksgiving for his position, friends, and even Barsina, his loyal little friend.The garden was beautiful and a reminder that there could be a loveliness in teh world transcending the day to day troubles.


The Empress inclined her head, and with Sara in tow, showed the Edomite Princelings back the way they came through the gardens of the palace rear, past hedges, bushes, trees and fountains flourishing with birds and nourished by the morning sun. That went better than I expected, Sophia thought. Now we just have to execute…
"The three articles of Civil Service faith: it takes longer to do things quickly, it's far more expensive to do things cheaply, and it's more democratic to do things in secret." - Jim Hacker "Yes Minister"

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Hittanryan
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Founded: Mar 10, 2011
Civil Rights Lovefest

Postby Hittanryan » Sun Nov 08, 2015 2:17 am

Carlson and Jackie

After the ball Carlson had returned to his room, wondering if Jacqueline would show. They had avoided one another to keep up appearances, which made him wonder if the fire had died entirely. And now Jess was all aflutter over Prince Enoch. An Edomite incursion. He’d have to see what he could do about that, but for now, he sat in his room, having brought another bottle of champagne, just in case it started slow. He expected it wouldn’t, assuming she showed up. Security had been informed with a wink about his “company.”

Jacqueline had spent the rest of the ball keeping tabs on the various intrigues of her family, and engaging in some especially interesting flirtations with her brothers newest companion. The heat from the tango still lingered in her thoughts, however, and soon enough the boredom of floating around the steadily dwindling crowd of Ghantish nobles drove her to act. Recalling the directions she had been given, she made her way to the executive’s room. Security seemed to pay her little mind, and so without so much as a knock she let herself in.

The room was a suite, with a separate bed and bath. Carlson was sitting on the couch rather casually reading a newspaper. “So, you made it,” he said with a smirk as he rose.

Alone. Every step of the approach had shoveled more coal into the furnace of her desire, as her mind focused on what she was here to do. It was the same sensation that preceded impending conflict. Conquest. The promise of violence. And Ceti was notoriously hard to subdue. Now she would discover if that held true for its men.

Her slippers were left at the door as she advanced on Carlson wordlessly. With a silent snarl she shoved him backward onto the couch, hiked her gown to her hips and straddled his torso. She bent and kissed him full on the mouth, tongue invading, while her hands wriggled under his shirt so that nails and fingers could scrape and feel his exposed skin. A low moan began to build in her throat.

”Damn! she doesn’t mess around,” Carlson thought. Fine by him. Feeling her tongue, he pushed back, while his hands ran up her legs, rubbing, caressing, until finally he reached the two hemispheres of her fundament. With both hands he gave each a squeeze.

For several moments Jacqueline let his hands wander, enjoying the sensations of being touched. Eventually she grabbed a fistful of his hair and tore his face away from hers. Teeth bared in a savage smile, the Princess winked at Carlson before shuffling forward and pulling his face between her legs.



The morning sun poured into the windows of the suite, filtering through the curtains on the window. Upon closer inspection the living room was in a state of disrepair. The centerpiece and the various newspapers and magazines that had been on the coffee table were scattered on the floor next to it. A lamp had tumbled off of an end table, the lamp itself was intact but the bulb was busted. One of the picture frames was crooked on the wall. A suit jacket and shirt were on the couch still, the shirt looking like it had been pulled on and now missing the top three buttons. A white gown had not escaped harm either and now existed in two pieces, one of which was discarded half-in and half-out of the bedroom door, while the other was nowhere to be seen. Adjacent to one of the disturbed frames there was a fist-sized puncture in the plaster.



Jacqueline heard the walls reverberate as Carlson’s back slammed against it, knocking pictures askew. She was held in his arms, one arm wrapped around his neck while the other was between them, fingers playing with the nub above the site of their conjoining. Sweat had matted her coal-black hair to her face and neck and was constantly dripping onto him and the floor. Part of her dress had been tied around Carlson’s neck in a rough approximation of a bowtie.

At the moment of her climax, Jacqueline loosed a vocal cry and, utilizing the arm previously holding his neck, repeatedly slammed her fist into the wall as each wave hit her. By the end, there was a rather deep hole smashed into the plaster. At the same time, Carlson was almost at his limit, but after fighting for control he pulled back and carried Jacqueline to the bed.



The second piece of the dress was discarded on the floor leading up to the bed. Behind the headboard there was a sizable crack in the wall, one symmetrical to the headboard itself. The bed itself was occupied, the sheets a tangled mess, half on the floor. Carlson was splayed out, mouth hanging open, covered from roughly the waist down, lying right where he had collapsed last night. Jacqueline, completely uncovered, was facedown perpendicular across Carlson’s back. Pillows had been piled on either side of the sleeping male to even things out, though her feet and one hand were dangling off the edge, while her other hand had inadvertently wandered between his legs.



With each thrust the headboard slammed into the wall behind it. Despite an initial, short-lived show of force and outrage, Jacqueline was now on all fours, rocking back and forth rhythmically with Carlson’s motions while his hands roamed over her body, from the tip of her breasts to her shapely rear to the center of her pleasure.

Hands planted firmly on the headboard, Jacqueline aggressively pushed back against his every thrust, arching her back in time with his rhythm with the same speed and vigour she had
demonstrated on the dance floor. Her skin was on fire; growls of fierce lust mixed equally with gasps and moans of pleasure. Eventually the strength in her arms wavered, so she lowered her chest to the mattress and reached back so that her fingertips tugged incessantly on Carlson’s hips.

“Yeah...that’s right…” Carlson said hoarsely between breaths. “You want it…” As if to punctuate his statement he gave Jacqueline’s rear an audible smack.



Cutting through the relative peace of the morning was the voice of a DJ. “...you are listening to Sandor and Gregor in the Morning, Ghish’s number one source for the oldies. We’ve got some Dean Martin for you folks this lovely morning...” By that point the intro of a song had started up. Carlson awoke to the first verse.

How lucky can one guy be?
I kissed her and she kissed me
Like the fella once said
Ain’t that a kick in the head?


Carlson stirred, exhaling groggily and groaning a bit. He felt the usual satisfying aches, but they were mixed with rather sharp stinging sensations on his back, shoulders, neck, and rear. They got worse when he moved. ’The fuck did she do to me?’ he thought as he roused.

Movement beneath her roused Jacqueline as well. Groaning, she rolled off Carlson onto the side of the bed, sucking in a sharp breath when she felt the first flare of pain from her bruised bottom. ’Bastard. . .’ she thought, trying to piece together the previous night’s debauchery. Some of the images evoked, with the head-pounding clarity of morning sobriety, a sense of embarrassment if not shame. That was when she realized the arrangement of her hands. In a rush of spite, she clutched what her fingers found and gave it a firm squeeze and twist.

If Carlson hadn’t been awake enough to notice the positioning of Jacqueline’s hand before, he certainly was now. His head jerked up and he exclaimed “Gah! Well that’s a fine good morning!”

Jacqueline giggled, and moved her hand to a clawmark she’d left on one of his cheeks. “You’ve survived worse, clearly. Besides, I’ll be forced to remember this every time I sit down for the next week. And,” she added, eyes glancing at his neck. “You wrecked my dress.”

“I seem to remember you wrecking your dress…” Carlson said wryly, leaning up on one elbow, giving her a full look at his athletic form in exchange for admiring hers. “Besides, you know you loved it,” he said with a wink. “How about we share a quick shower? Maybe you could continue where you left off...just maybe ease up a bit.”

Her first instinct was to curl her lip, perhaps offer some dismissive comment. But then she looked at herself. She was sweaty and, well, sticky. A shower would be lovely, and she needed to figure out how she was getting out of here with no clothes of her own. “Very well,” she replied. “But the cost of my mercy is making sure I leave cleaner than I arrived. Come along. . .” With that she stood and headed for the bathroom, purposefully putting some extra swing into her hips.

Carlson tracked her rear with his eyes and swung his legs off the bed, but as he sat up the stinging got even worse. Eagerly following Jacqueline to the bathroom, he briefly noticed the long crack in the plaster behind the headboard before reaching a mirror. Inspecting himself he realized there were scratches all over his torso, some of them having actually drawn blood. “What the hell...it’s like a bobcat came in the window last night…” he remarked on looking over his shoulder.

Jacqueline looked over her shoulder as she turned on the shower. “Oh no, darling. Something much, much worse.”
In-character name of the nation is "Adiron," because I like the name better.

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New Edom
Postmaster of the Fleet
 
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Founded: Mar 14, 2011
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby New Edom » Sun Nov 08, 2015 3:03 pm

Quality Bay, New Edom

Princess Ava Shalmaneser had spent the day being exercised and pampered. She was accustomed to swimming a number of laps in the pool, riding a bicycle around the gardens and sometimes riding a horse. All her adult life she had struggled with her weight; her natural inclination of body was to build up plumpness around he rbelly, thighs and hips and bosom, and even with her exercise she had the tendency of wmen in her lineage to be very curvy. Her bosom was soft and pillowy, her buttocks deply cleft and quivered and swayed even in bare feet. Sometimes she thought of doing fasting to the extent that Queen Mara did, or ruthlessly exercising at harder sports like show jumping, tennis and dancing like the Heir Princess Jocasta, but the King’s sister was naturally of a retiring nature and found being shouted at by trainers and focusing so intensely on anything physical tired her emotionally.

Her high olive toned body had been bathed, massaged, depilated and painted where necessary, from shell pink toenails to azure fingernails, her hair luxuriantly raven and long combed out and shining like a raven’s wing, braided around her oval face and swept back over her creamy plump shoulders, and dressed in two layers of muslin lace delicate as baby’s breath, embroidered with flowers draped over her voluptuous body.

The Princess Ava was now content to have a little whiff of a hashish pipe, then to dream as she read poetry and had music played on an expensive stereo system as she sat on a patio deck facing the quietly rolling sea near the royal estate at Quality Bay that she preferred to stay at. The Heir, Countess Jabbok, Countess Nbal, Countess Sharra, the Queen dowager and other women of the royal household drifted in and out of her periphery, now and then chatting with her, and her own lady in waiting, Countess Rehoboam, would read poetry with her. Ava attended chapel twice a day, and also spent time with various charities she focused on particularly those related to refugee related causes.

Poets, playwrights and authors were among her friends—mostly in New Edom this meant minor members of the aristocracy or hangers on who enjoyed her as hostess to a salon where they argued about styles and practiced their arts on one another, pretended to be very naughty people while flinging innuendos about, and enjoyed her and her immediate family and friends as an audience. Her cousin Silas was among these. Prince Silas Shalmaneser was a delicately made man in his forties who walked with a cane and had chronic illnesses that affected his lungs, and was therefore unable to do any regular government service. Silas was more interested in literature and the arts than in government anyway, and was her closest male companion.

Count Thomas Lalery, her cousin, had once mocked Prince Silas saying of him, “He is the nation’s foremost oracle—on the vulgarity of everything modern.”

Another close companion was Mrs. Dahlia Kiron, a widow of the famous General Kiron who had died in an unfortunate car accident just befor the 3rd Civil War. She was a handsome woman with a good figure who made a nice complement to the Princess, and Ava knew that she had discreetly been Prince Michael of dakmoor’s mistress before he married the Heir. She was a close friend of the Dowager Queen Rebecca and of the family in general, and while Countess Reohoboam was Ava’s more formal lady in waiting, that young woman was inexperienced where Mrs. Kiron had a vast knowledge fo who was who and what was what, and comme il faut, as it were.

It was vaguely dawning on Ava that her marriage was being planned. She had known for years that she would some day be married off, and she was now aware that her name was being mentioned in company with that of Prince Alexander of Ghant and others, and that his qualities were being praised to her and Ghant as well. Ava recalled him, golden, handsome, aloof at the ball, and that she had only had a few dances before she was taken away with her brother and brought back to New edom, and that as ambassador he had been very polite.

Che sera sera Ava thought, and closed her eyes as her companion read a poem to her.

Come, fill the Cup, and in the fire of Spring
Your Winter-garment of Repentance fling:
The Bird of Time has but a little way
To flutter--and the Bird is on the Wing…


Ordosa, Izotza

Major-General David Shinhusar got out of his car and was saluted netly by his driver and aide as he did, and moved up into the palace as one familiar with his path. He wore a billed cap with the coat of arms of the New Edomite National Air Force on it which was blue-grey, as was his black fox fur lined greatcoat. He wore leather gloves and boots, and had a jaunty step. His face was craggy and lightly scarred on one cheek from a cock pit fire when he had been a younge rpilot of a Mirage during the Jedorian border war in the 9s.

Following him were two ADCs. They were mostly on hand to run messages or forward his calls or receive them, as he did not intend to be interrupted. The senior aide, Lieutenant-Colonel Count Uriah Laban, announced the general to whoever of the Queen's staff was obviously there to greet there arrival. "His Excellency General Shinhusar to see Her Majesty Queen Izolde for his audience with her."

The Queen and the General had been regularly meeting since he had arrived the previous year to start work on Landstrider Air Force Base. The base was named after New edom's first King, David the Landstrider. Shinhusar was descended from one of his cavaliers. He noted with admiration the antiquity and cold beauty of the palace. "Thus far everything is fine back in Ghish and in Fineberg," murmured Count Laban to him. "The Ambassador's attache told me that all went well at the meeting."

"Good," said General Shinhusar. "Blue sky flying then. Be on your toes anyway."

"Sir," agreed the two aides as one.

That was always good advice, for anything could happen in Ghant.
"The three articles of Civil Service faith: it takes longer to do things quickly, it's far more expensive to do things cheaply, and it's more democratic to do things in secret." - Jim Hacker "Yes Minister"

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Ghant
Minister
 
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Founded: Feb 11, 2013
Civil Rights Lovefest

Postby Ghant » Sun Nov 08, 2015 9:01 pm

“A Feast for Eagles”
Inperiala Palace
Ghish, Ghant

Nathan


The Emperor of Ghant yawned and rubbed his forehead as he sat on his couch, naked and covered in the patina of passion, with apple in hand and chunks in his mouth, chewing them methodically. Aoife had emerged from bed, with Nathan getting a glimpse of her before she put on a wrap. I’d much rather see her without it, but then again, I may get another opportunity. Then she set to walking to the bathroom with a grin on her face. "How are you feeling today, Your Majesty?" she asked over her shoulder, placing certain emphasis on the honorific.

Grinning back, he reclined in his seat and said, “hungover, but better than I have felt in a great long while. You certainly didn’t disappoint, and I can only hope that I met expectations.” Exceeded them, more like. Nathan believed (and had been told) that he was exceptionally good in the arts of pleasing women, and he was quite eager to please. It was just something that he thoroughly enjoyed, and his partners usually loved him for it.

Aoife had climbed into the shower, and Nathan doubted she could hear what he said, as the water was sure to muffle his voice. A devilish grin crept over his face then, as he set the apple down on the coffee table and got up, stretching once more. With a confident stride, he approached the bathroom and entered, before pulling back the glass door of the spacious shower and saying, “hope you don’t mind if I join you…plenty of room for two,” he sniggered as he entered.

Fortunately, there were two shower heads on opposite sides, and he turned on the other one. Get a more thorough shower that way, with the double streams. The water that came on was warm and soothing, and he let it wash over him, before turning his back to the nozzle and facing Aoife. Indeed, I didn’t have to wait long to see her in the flesh again. “The hangover doesn’t feel so bad when there’s warm water washing over me…and the sight of you is rather soothing as well.” One that I could get used to.

All the same he gave her some space, and focused on rinsing his body and shampooing his reddish-brown hair. The Emperor liked to keep it cut short, at least a couple inches in length, if only because he abhorred the upkeep that longer hair required. Ghantish women often made fashion statements with their hair, and long hair had been in vogue for a long time. Fuck that.

“After the shower, feel free to join me in the feast hall for a breakfast banquet if you’d like. My mother, sisters and brother will be there. My mother has been going through a rough time, I should see her. You’d like my youngest sister Amelia, she has fire in her belly…just doesn’t now how to channel it yet.” Although he didn’t want to appear too clingy towards Aoife, he did kiss her on the shoulder and trace her spine with a deft finger as he finished with his shower. He would have tried his luck again with her, but alas, he could ill afford to skirt his expectations, and so deigned to clean up, get dressed and head to the feast hall.

He emerged from the shower and dried himself off with a large towel. Then he set to brushing his teeth, following that up with some mouthwash. After some other rudimentary tasks related to getting ready for the day, he hung up his towel and walked out towards the large walk-in closet containing his clothes. What to wear today, he wondered. He settled upon a white double-breasted suit tunic with gold buttons, and decided to wear that with matching slacks and black shoes. While he was getting dressed in the closet, he noticed something he hadn’t seen in a long time laying on the floor in the dark, underneath some old shoes.

…I was wondering where that was, he smiled as he finished getting dressed. Nathan tapped his chin as he gazed upon it, narrowing his eyes as he took in the sight. Then he nodded, knowing quite well what he wanted to do with it. There is only one truly fitting master. It was about time too, since this particular maisugabezpata was one that certainly didn’t deserve to lay at the bottom of a closet, concealed beneath a pile of shoes

“Aoife,” he called out. “Before we depart my chambers, there’s something I wanted to give you.”

Alexander

The feast hall was divided in an almost contrived manner, more than Prince Alexander of Ghant was used to seeing, anyway. He was brooding, contemptuous of the humiliation bestowed upon him by Myranda of Skraelingia, the Allamunnic Crown Princess who made him look like a fool. After he found out that his cousin Bryan had entertained her with far more success, that only soured his mood, causing him to sneer in disgust. Bryan is a bore, engaging in all manner of impropriety…and yet he is to upstage me? Fortunately for him, his grandmother, Ulla of Thule was able to sooth his bruised ego, by reminding him that he was higher in the line of succession than Bryan, and that all that stood between him and the Obsidian Throne was his cousin the Emperor, the Emperor’s two infant sons, Albert and his son Edward and then Alexander’s own father. They wouldn’t mock me then, he mused.

The Imperial House had taken over the lion’s share of the feast hall, with Albert rising early enough to take the head of the main table, flanked on either side by his wife, Empress Isabel, and his eldest brother Stephen, Alexander’s father. Alexander’s other two uncles, Richard and Mathias were also present, as were their many cousins, including Bryan, Christopher, Cameron, Edward and Cassandra, who came overdressed for the occasion at hand in an ornate golden gown that was sure to have cost as much as a car to acquire. Whereas Sophia was content with simple gowns and dresses for comfort and style, Cassandra dressed to impress at every occasion, not afraid to spend exorbitant amounts of House money on the latest and greatest that would put any female of high birth to shame. She dresses like she is the Empress of Ghant, Alexander thought with a laugh.

Alexander was no slouch himself. He kept himself active with horseback riding, tennis and racquetball, along with swimming and hunting, when time permitted. Like his cousin Nathan, he was tall and lean with broad shoulders, but different in that while Nathan was often sickly, Alex had always been rather healthy. His skin was a slightly darker shade compliments of being in New Edom as ambassador, with dirty blonde hair and light blue eyes, and straight white teeth to complete the refined look of a princeling noble and true. Like his mother’s side of the family though, he often had a severe look on his face, even though he was rigorously trained to appear police and courteous as a prince of the blood high in the succession.

Breakfast consisted of eggs of various preparations, omelets with meat and vegetables, bacon, ham, sausage, grapefruit and other assorted fruits and vegetables as well as pancakes and hash browns. Alex prodded at some hash browns and eggs cooked sunny side up with his fork while drinking some milk, with glasses of orange and apple juice nearby. He also had a slender spoon shoved into his grapefruit. He was dressed in a court costume with all the frills and fineries, and had a large cloth napkin on his chest to keep from anything spilling on him, meticulous as he was.

“…What’s so funny?” Lucas asked Alex, noticing his older brother laugh about something.

Alexander looked at his little brother with a stoic face and said, “oh, just a thought I had.”

“…Which was?”

“Cassandra dancing the way she did during that tango with Prince Faelix Thrall,” Alex lied, causing Lucas to snigger as he looked at Cassandra.

Their Uncle Richard, sitting beside his wife, Minka of Nekulturnya, heard that. A man pushing fifty with rusty brown hair and a broad nose with sullen eyes, Richard snorted. “I Can’t say I enjoyed watching my only daughter carouse across the ballroom floor like a harlot with that Thrall prince…very unbecoming.”

Cassandra put a hand to her neck, as her face grew flush. “Excuse me, father, but my duty as hostess is to entertain guests. The tango is a dance that one should do properly if they are to partake in it.”

“Does doing the tango properly consist of kissing too?” Richard barked. “Don’t talk to me like I’m an idiot, child. Now I have to combat terrible rumors of your promiscuity, again, and will most likely even a harder time finding an agreeable match for you. Few princelings of repute would consider a Thrall Prince’s leavings. A Thrall Prince, I say! Do they even have balls? You’d know about that wouldn’t you?”

As Cassandra pushed herself up from the table in a fury, Albert smacked the table with a clenched fist. “Enough of that, Richard…Cassandra has the right of it. The tango is about the passion, and Cassandra is a lovely princess who got caught up in the heat of the moment, like many young women do. She’s your daughter and a Princess of Ghant, not one of your back-alley tavern sluts. Any Prince would be very fortunate to have her hand, and any that would say anything disparaging about her will hear words from me to the contrary. Now shut up and enjoy breakfast with your family.”

While Richard bit his lip and stayed quiet, Cassandra sat down gently, and smiled at dear Uncle Albert, who only nodded in her direction curtly before returning to his chewy bacon and poached eggs. Minka stayed quiet, knowing better than to speak when her husband was on one of his rants. Alex looked to his mother and father, Lysa Baltkalns and Prince Stephen, respectively. Stephen looked like Albert to a degree, only shorter and with a stockier build, but still tall and strong, although of late he began to grow portly. He kept his black hair cut short, and had stubble on his face. Lysa on the contrary was a short, curvy woman who like her husband had grown large in advanced age, and like her son sported light blue eyes.

“Alexander is stepping aside as Ambassador to New Edom,” he commented to the family. “I think his decision to do so should be respected…it couldn’t have come at a better time. Talk is of Lord Aldapa, Lord Dain or Bytos Orinbere replacing him in that capacity.”

Albert smacked his lips together and hmmed as he often did when he was displeased with something. “Aldapa is a good man and true, and a loyal friend. He is the best choice…Dain is Malibar’s lickspittle and Bytos is a rumored queer who is in the pocket of Malibar’s harpy for a mother. We best back Aldapa for the post…he would do much to advance our interests…”

It was at that moment that someone approached their table, causing Alex to turn and see who it was. Lady Sara Moro, who curtsied and addressed the family. “Your Majesties and Highnesses, I beg an audience, if I may.”

The Lord Prince cocked his head at her for a moment, and then extended his arm. “Yes, of course…go ahead. What can we do for you, my lady?”

“If I might have a word in private with Prince Stephen and Prince Alexander, I would be much obliged,” she said politely…and cautiously, Alex observed.

“Yes, of course.” Turning to Stephen, Albert grinned and told him, “go ahead.”

“Yes, of course.” Stephen rose from his seat, as did Alexander, and the two of them approached Sara, who bowed her head and walked off with the two of them in tow. Once out of the feast hall and in the hallway, Sara found a nearby sitting room and took a seat inside. The other two men joined her there.

“…What is this about, my lady?” Stephen wondered as he scratched his stubble.

“A few matters…the first beingwho Prince Alexander would favor as his replacement for ambassador?”

Alexander didn’t hesitate in his response. “Lord Alan Aldapa, I believe.”

Then she looked at Stephen and appeared to struggle with finding the right words she wanted to say. “…the Empress spoke with Ambassador Prince Amenmar and Prince Enoch Tubal-Cain about a match between one of the Obeds and one of your eligible Princes. It has been agreed upon by all three that the most intriguing match involves Princess Ava Shalamaneser and your son, Alexander.”

Shifting in his seat, Alex was taken back by that. …I certainly didn’t see that coming. He was somewhat familiar with Ava but not especially so. He knew she had the typical Obed looks and demeanor, that she had been the object of affection of Tsarevich Mikhail of Nekulturnya and that she rebuffed his overtures. She was attractive enough, with the smooth skin and voluptuous figure, and her eligibility had improved since her brother became King of New Edom. In spite of that…

Stephen was stroking his chin. “That’s certainly an intriguing proposition. I had many matches in mind for Alexander, including the Crown Princess of Ganosia, whom Alex has developed a rapport with.”

“There would be no rush for any immediate decision,” Sara assured him. “In fact, the King has invited the Emperor to join him in his north Bara hunting lodge. Alexander is welcome to join them, and discuss the matter with the King personally.”

…Not like I can turn that down. Alex knew he had already cost himself some face with the Edomites due to his cool relationship with the Crown Princess from her ball in Fineberg. To reject such an opportunity would appear to be a slight. “…I would be honored to join my cousin the Emperor on a trip to north Bara. Sounds like a pleasant time.”

“Good, I shall inform the Empress of your decision, and the Edomites should be pleased to hear it,” Sara said as she got up. “That should be all for now, thank you your Highnesses.”

“Hmm…yes of course.” Stephen got up, and Alexander followed suit, as they parted company and walked back to the feast hall. “We need this,” Stephen told his son. “Nathan does our family no favors with the Edomites. They are powerful allies that we cannot take advantage of because he alienates them. I need you to deliver.”

“…Ava bares no crown, and my sons shall be no kings,” Alexander grimaced as he walked . “Surely I can do better than Ava Shalamenser.”

“Of course you could,” Stephen reassured his son. “But in our business, son, we must be prepared to make sacrifices. I was a third son, behind your Uncle John and Uncle Albert. Imagine that, growing up in their shadows. I wanted more too, but ultimately I took a powerful Thular to bride, because politics necessitated it. I came to love your mother and treated her fairly, and while I have at times taken liberties with our vows, I don’t regret it. Could I have been a king? I don’t doubt it, but at the same time, I am satisfied with knowing that I played my part for the betterment of our family.”

“Of course, father, I understand.” Of all the sons of Emperor Albert and Empress Grace, only John and Mathias could boast to have never broken his marriage vows, and of the two only the latter was still living. Alexander didn’t think highly of his father’s indiscretions, but he kept the criticism to himself.

Stephen put two hands on his son’s shoulders as they stood under the doorway of the feast hall entrance. “I have never wavered in my belief that you would make a far greater Emperor then Nathan because of your noble qualities, your dedication to duty and your willingness to set aside your personal convictions for the betterment of the realm and your family. Like it or not, you are the best and the brightest this family has to offer. The Edomites have stakes in this country the likes of which few nations could ever boast of. This isn’t some throwaway princess, Alexander. Let the Dakmarans have the Queen’s sister…we shall take the King’s sister, and we shall be better for it.”

“…I shall see what I can do, father.” Word was Obed women were a pain in the ass, but Alexander was confident that he could at least make a good effort to remain austere. “You honor me with your kind words.”

“Only because you have earned the praise, my son. Now let us enjoy what remains of our morning feast.”

A Feast for Eagles, Alex thought as he ventured back inside.
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Hittanryan
Powerbroker
 
Posts: 7853
Founded: Mar 10, 2011
Civil Rights Lovefest

Postby Hittanryan » Sun Nov 08, 2015 9:53 pm

Jessica

Jess' room had been far enough away from Carlson's that she didn't overhear the noise or property damage as it took place. She had stayed at the ball until the final number, dancing and drinking, reveling in her surroundings and nearly bursting about her plans for the future. It had been like something out of a dream, or maybe more accurately a fairy tale, surrounded by princes and princesses...one of whom even swept her off her feet.

If it were up to her, last night wouldn't have ended, but it inevitably came to a close. At the end she'd been tipsy and had a bit of a case of the giggles. At one point she had even stepped on some Gothic-looking girl's unbelievably long hair without realizing it. Making her way back up to her room, she clumsily fished around in her purse for her keys before she gave up and turned the purse upside down. Several items fell to the floor, including some makeup, wallet, and phone, but the key was one of them. Scooping everything back up, she unlocked the door and walked inside, still restless.

Plopping herself down on the bed, still in her ball gown, she turned on the TV and scanned the channels a moment until her jaw dropped. Beauty and the Beast was on. She quickly ordered a champagne, and room service arrived to find her singing along rather loudly to the movie. Although she offered to share a glass with the waiter, he declined.

After finishing the first glass, she waited for a commercial break to walk over to her flower-patterned luggage. Rummaging through it, she pulled out the lacy nighty she had packed, looked at it a moment, then shrugged. Aware she was alone in the room now, she tossed it back in the bag and pulled out a very loose white tanktop with a girl band logo on it. Shimmying out of her dress, she pulled the tanktop over her head and crawled under the covers, polishing off another glass of champagne and passing out before the movie finished.

The morning after the ball she slept in, and when she woke she was too comfortable to get out of bed. She lay there for almost an hour, surfing channels a bit, red hair wild, starting to think vaguely about work again. The only problem with the night was that Enoch had never come back. According to Tamburo, all of the Edomites had left abruptly over some issue he couldn't or wouldn't talk about. She started to wonder if she'd actually hear from him again. Was it something serious and he was leaving the country right away? Would he forget about her?

She finally got out of bed and took a nice hot shower, throwing on a fuzzy robe to get dressed. That's when she saw the note on the floor by her door. Tearing it open she glanced it over and felt her heart skip a beat, sighing with relief and excitement. They were going to the Scarlet Citadel for lunch. Breakfast was semiformal, which was probably all right for lunch too. She picked out a solid dark blue dress which hugged her hips and bosom. It had a bit of a scoop neck, with the straps going wide, more across her shoulders than her neck. The skirt was fitted, and stopped a few inches above her knees. She also picked out some dark heels, before doing her makeup and doing her hair in waves.

Last thing she did after makeup was to check her phone. There were a few texts, nothing important, and some spam in her email folder. There was, however, a message on myFace. Dylan again. She felt a twinge of guilt for not replying right away, but really, what kind of choice was that? There was no way she'd pass up a chance like this for Stasburg, right?

But on the elevator down, she looked at the message again. She started to wonder what exactly she meant to do here. She saw the ring on his finger, and he was a prince besides. Yet...it was better to regret what you have done than what you haven't, right? Jess finally just urged herself to get over it, this was just lunch for now. At breakfast she went down the line on the buffet. A lot of rich food...it wasn't fair to just have cinnamon rolls out like that, she had to take one. She didn't even want to think how many extra kilometers of running she'd have to do to burn that off. Right now her figure was proportioned just the way she wanted it; gain a few pounds and it would be all over. Eventually she saw Carlson, who didn't seem to be moving so well. He flinched painfully when she patted him on the shoulder, claimed he had slept on it wrong, and rather emphatically insisted she not massage him in any way.

After breakfast she texted people back, including a neutral sort of casual response to Dylan. She slept in late enough that she didn't actually have a whole lot of time before the taxi Enoch sent was supposed to arrive. She stood on the curb, enjoying the sun a bit, wondering what kind of adventure she was about to go on.
Last edited by Hittanryan on Sun Nov 08, 2015 10:22 pm, edited 2 times in total.
In-character name of the nation is "Adiron," because I like the name better.

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New Edom
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Posts: 21097
Founded: Mar 14, 2011
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby New Edom » Sun Nov 08, 2015 10:43 pm

The Scarlet Citadel
Ghish, Ghant


A person went down into the Scarlet Citadel, which had an upper level bar area and a lower level restaurant in a building that looked like a manor house with leaded glass windows and heavy oak and brass studded doors. The interiors were softly carpeted and had big heavy chairs with arms and seats and backs that were padded with leather, comfortable enough that you could lean on them comfortably while eating and still be forwards over the table, and yet could push them back after a full repast and find yourself inclined to nod off. Every table had a certain amount of space around it and whiel they varied in size it was entirely possible to have a relaxing conversation or a romantic one depending on one’s preference without eharing someone else’s bon mots ringing in one’s ears.

The lighting imitated old fashioned lamplight, and there were fireplaces here and there protected by glass and steel chain to prevent sparking, and it gave the light a muted and evening atmosphere all day long.

An excellent salad bar with crisp fresh produce, excellent dressings, and a nearby attendant who replenished things regularly gave the guests a chance to stretch their legs, but everything else was served a la carte.

When Jess arrived (finding that the cab had already been paid for , a maitr’d would make sure she was guided to Prince Enoch’s table, which was a corner one far from any noisy clatter of kitchen (not that there as a lot of that as the kitchens were down a corridor from the actual main dining area) and any washrooms. Enoch was sitting there waiting looking calm, wearing a dark blazer, a collarless shirt and slacks with fine leather loafers on, and was studying a menu. The light held nicely his fine though masculine features, olive tanned richly, his dark hair neat, short, combed like the bobbed mane of a polo pony, long well made strong fingers holding the menu easily, dark eyes looking i over and then flicking up as she arrived, and a smile crossing his face.

“Miss McKay,” said Prince Enoch with a smile when he saw her. “Please sit a moment. Did you have a good evening last night, and an enjoyable morning today?” he inclined his head towards a bottle fo wine that stood on the table and two gleaming glasses. “This is a rather nice Saint Moreau…I don’t remember the year but I enjoyed it last time I had it. I usually enjoy wines with funny names that sound like 90s bands—Impudent Frog, Waltzing Nun, Desert Sparkle—but this is a good line, from a monastery in Lazodiria that’s been making it since they used to crucify runaway slaves.” He poured them each a glass as he was talking.

“Now I did notice a salad bar, which is fun, and there are two menus." he chuckled as he read it. "Steak for two, that sounds amusing, an rather theatrical, what do you say?"

Fresh Jumbo Shrimp Cocktail 18.00

Calamari (Squid) - Dusted in seasoned flour and lightly fried 14.00

Saganaki - Kefalograviera cheese flamed with ouzo 13.00

Escargot Bourguignon (½ dozen ) 12.00

With Fresh garlic, butter and flamed with Pernot.
Smoked Salmon - Served with capers, red onions and lemon 15.00

Oysters Avantine 18.00
Scallops Bacon Wrapped

Roast Prime Rib of Beef Au Jus. The finest Alberta Beef roasted to perfection.
Man's Cut | 39.90...................Lady's Cut | 32.00
New York Striploin Center Cut (The king of Steaks) 8 oz. 38.00

New York Striploin Center Cut (The king of Steaks) 10 oz. 39.95

New York Striploin Center Cut 12 oz | 38.00 ............ 16 oz | 55.00

SIRLOIN 16oz. | 45.00 8oz. | 27.00 6oz | 23.00
Considered the most flavourful steak.
Thular Sirloin (8 oz.) 35.00
Thick and juicy. Topped with mushrooms, oinions and peppers. Served with demi glace sauce.
Filet Mignon (8 oz.) 48.00
Petit Filet Mignon (6 oz.) 39.95

Filet (Baseb) 6 oz. 29.00

Sirloin Neptune (8 oz.) 34.00

With Crab Meat and Bernaise Sauce
Rib Eye Steak (16 oz.) 38.00

With sauteed mushrooms
Stir-Fry Filet Mignon 26.95

With fresh green peppers, red peppers, onions, and fresh mushrooms served with rice.
Beef Tenderloin Souvlaki (Filet Mignon) 29.00

Steaks Prepared at your Table
Chateaubrian Bouqutiere for Two 99.00
Our famous table-side fire-prepared, one pound finest filet flamed with wine and brandy. Served with the Vegatable of the day, Asparagus tips, Onion rings and Mushroom caps with our special sauce.
Peppercorn Sirlion Steak (10 oz.) 39.00

Cracked peppercorns, deliciously sharp, flamed with brandy and wine and served with our special sauce.
Peppercorn Rib Eye (16 oz.) 45.00
"The three articles of Civil Service faith: it takes longer to do things quickly, it's far more expensive to do things cheaply, and it's more democratic to do things in secret." - Jim Hacker "Yes Minister"

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Hittanryan
Powerbroker
 
Posts: 7853
Founded: Mar 10, 2011
Civil Rights Lovefest

Postby Hittanryan » Mon Nov 09, 2015 12:43 am

Jess

Walking up to the restaurant, Jess quickly realized it might be more upscale than she thought. She started worrying if she was properly dressed, until she saw some other guests wearing a similar outfit. Getting out of the car, heels clicking on the pavement, she made her way inside and thought it looked like something out of a movie. The maitr'd escorted her to the table, where she saw Enoch waiting. Approaching, Enoch might notice the sway of her hips, the slight bounce of her cleavage, but her wide smile commanded the most immediate attention as he addressed her.

"I was so glad when I got your note, Prince Enoch," she greeted him warmly, taking a seat. She then leaned in a bit asking "Er, by the way, what should I call you? You're the first prince I've gone to lunch with, and boy, this is a nice place, huh?"

She recalled the night when he asked. "Yeah, I danced the rest of the night, turned in with a bottle of champagne and a movie, then I slept all night and got up at about 10...oh god that sounds so sad, right?" she asked, laughing before she realized something. "Hey where'd you go last night? Carlson said everyone from New Edom left."

After that he mentioned wine and the menu. "Oh yeah, I've had a wine with a name like that. It was called Naked Owl," she said, referring to a sauvignoc blanc from Clarke Province, not far from New Laconia. "It was a white wine...and that's about all I remember," she said with a playful smile. It hadn't been her first drink of the night when she tried it.

"Steak for two? Where do you see that? There, uh..." she said, pausing, staring a little dumbfounded at the menu for a second. She looked to either side of her, leaned closer to Enoch, and whispered "It's a hundred bucks!"
In-character name of the nation is "Adiron," because I like the name better.

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New Edom
Postmaster of the Fleet
 
Posts: 21097
Founded: Mar 14, 2011
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby New Edom » Mon Nov 09, 2015 1:03 am

The Scarlet Citadel

The maitr'd escorted her to the table, where she saw Enoch waiting. Approaching, Enoch might notice the sway of her hips, the slight bounce of her cleavage, but her wide smile commanded the most immediate attention as he addressed her.

"I was so glad when I got your note, Prince Enoch," she greeted him warmly, taking a seat. She then leaned in a bit asking "Er, by the way, what should I call you? You're the first prince I've gone to lunch with, and boy, this is a nice place, huh?"


Prince Enoch gave an appreciative glance at the merry movements of her curvy body in motion and ten enjoyed the frendly face before him. "Well, it's appropriate to call me Your Excellency when you first see me, then sir after that.We can see to things otherwise later. We are a formal people, Miss McKay. You look lovely, by the way, a real Cetian beauty."

She recalled the night when he asked. "Yeah, I danced the rest of the night, turned in with a bottle of champagne and a movie, then I slept all night and got up at about 10...oh god that sounds so sad, right?" she asked, laughing before she realized something. "Hey where'd you go last night? Carlson said everyone from New Edom left."

Enoch chuckled. "Well, I'm afraid my evening wasn't any more glamorous than that. I had a conference call with home--government stuff--had to see the Ambassador for a meeting, and then jetlag hit me like a ton of bricks, and I had a cup of hot mint tea and found myself sleeping. At the embassy, whic has some enormous very comfy beds that were given to our government as a present by the Empress. Ghant always tires me a bit, it's so cold up here. This morning I had another meeting or two, and I'm taking a much earned break and am enjoying myself. The ball wasn't bad but...I'm afraid that the King and his party had to head home abruptly. These things happen."

After that he mentioned wine and the menu. "Oh yeah, I've had a wine with a name like that. It was called Naked Owl," she said, referring to a sauvignoc blanc from Clarke Province, not far from New Laconia. "It was a white wine...and that's about all [i]I remember," she said with a playful smile. It hadn't been her first drink of the night when she tried it.[/i]

"I'm afraid a naked owl doesn't sound too enticing. I'm sure it's mnore fun than it sounds. Well..." he poured them each a glass and clinked glasses with her. "Here's to a fun afternoon. This is a working trip for me, so this is a nice unexpected surprise, running into someone who I don't already know whose company I am thus far looking forward to. Haha...I always find the words jumbo shrimp funny for some reason don't you?"

"Steak for two? Where do you see that? There, uh..." she said, pausing, staring a little dumbfounded at the menu for a second. She looked to either side of her, leaned closer to Enoch, and whispered "It's a hundred bucks!"

Enoch idly traced his fingers down her bare arm, as though idly stroking a cat, and said "Hmm? I suppose it is. Yes, why don't we have that, and take a little dive at some salad too?"It was always nice to smile at a pretty girl while you were near to her, and so he did.
"The three articles of Civil Service faith: it takes longer to do things quickly, it's far more expensive to do things cheaply, and it's more democratic to do things in secret." - Jim Hacker "Yes Minister"

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Brytene
Ambassador
 
Posts: 1414
Founded: Mar 17, 2015
Ex-Nation

Postby Brytene » Mon Nov 09, 2015 10:59 am

“A Feast for Eagles”
Inperiala Palace
Ghish, Ghant


Aoife

The Emperor's voice rang through from the other room. For a thin man, he had a surprisingly carrying voice - perhaps a necessity of state. It was not booming or large like the Bretwalda's, per-se, but it still had a certain air of nobility about it, as though one could literally hear the pedigree. “Hungover, but better than I have felt in a great long while. You certainly didn’t disappoint, and I can only hope that I met expectations.” replied the Emperor, before following her into the shower, taking the showerhead opposite her.. “The hangover doesn’t feel so bad when there’s warm water washing over me…and the sight of you is rather soothing as well.” he said, kissing her shoulder gently and tracing a single finger down her back before turning away to continue his shower. As he washed his short-cropped hair, she ran an eye up and down his body, which had proven so capable the previous night.

"Oh, your performance was most...Imperial," she said, her tone light and playful. Unlike most Brytons, Nathan had a shaven face, and whilst it felt odd to her, it wasn't entirely a bad look for the young Emperor. Her hair, by contrast, was huge and frizzy, a common trait in Brytene, where the naturally healthy genes and humid atmosphere meant that many a young woman had thick, ungovernable hair that had to be wrangled into plaits, ponytails, or buns on a daily basis.

“After the shower, feel free to join me in the feast hall for a breakfast banquet if you’d like. My mother, sisters and brother will be there. My mother has been going through a rough time, I should see her. You’d like my youngest sister Amelia, she has fire in her belly…just doesn’t now how to channel it yet.” Nathan said casually, before slipping out of the shower to get dressed.

Aoife took some time longer, washing her thick hair and fully cleaning herself, using the time to think. This had all seemed like a fine adventure whilst she was drunk last night, but now? To appear at breakfast, with the Emperor's family? Did his mother and siblings disapprove of his wife and her family, then, or was he truly the fool he was made out to be? Or was this some clever political maneuver she didn't understand? She set her jaw - she had started this, she might as well play it out to the end. Besides, Nathan had surprised her several times so far - she would put money on him doing it again.

“Aoife,” he called out, as she stepped back into the bedroom wrapped in a towel, her damp hair loose and large “Before we depart my chambers, there’s something I wanted to give you.”.

He was holding up something, a traditional piece of clothing perhaps, but she couldn't quite see what it was. Her eyes widened - she was used to getting gifts of state and such, but gift-giving itself was rare in Brytene, limited to Yuletide. Even on birthdays and other occasions, it was more traditional to cook meals, take people out for fine dinners, or give consumables such as vintage wines and cask beer, not material goods. Especially not on the first morning of knowing someone...

"I'd love to join you for breakfast, Nathan, but what's this gift you have for me?"
Last edited by Brytene on Mon Nov 09, 2015 11:01 am, edited 1 time in total.
Brytene is: centre-left, pagan, democratic, free-market
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Ghant
Minister
 
Posts: 2202
Founded: Feb 11, 2013
Civil Rights Lovefest

Postby Ghant » Mon Nov 09, 2015 1:04 pm

“The Boon”
Inperiala Palace
Ghish, Ghant


After the Emperor had called out to her, he took the object he had found buried in the closet and emerged with it into the bedchamber proper, just before Aoife emerged from the bathroom wrapped in a towel, her luscious red hair still damp. The sight of her standing there was tantalizing, but so was the prospect of the giving her the gift he had in hand. "I'd love to join you for breakfast, Nathan, but what's this gift you have for me?"

“Here,” he looked down at the bundle in his hands. He unraveled the cloth shroud from it, revealing a sword complete with scabbard. Carefully, the Emperor pulled it from its scabbard and brought it up, with the edge in front of his nose. The total length was just under four feet with the blade itself just over three feet in length. The blade possessed a slightly darker than steel tint to the blade, the tint comparable to the hide of a black direwolf. The cross guard measured no more than six inches in length, while the cross guard was a slightly upturned piece of steel, made to catch blades that slid down its own length. The cross guard featured no adornment, other then engraving of both Ghantish runes and symbols of power. These included a variety of Patu knots. The grip was wrapped in silver wire and then encased in a simple black leather grip. The pommel was a simple piece of steel that featured a slightly rounded shape. The blade was likewise adorned with Ghantish runes, which only the most specialized of Ghantish rune scholars, or the Forgemasters of Arragara, might have been able to decipher. When Nathan turned the sword sideways in the light, the ripples of black steel shone, showing where the metal had been folded in on itself in the style of Arragara steel swords.

“This is an Arragara steel blade,” he began to explained. “Alas it is a maisugabezpata, a sword without a master.” Nathan traced the runes of the blade, as it was a closely guarded secret that he could read Ghantish runes of old, although not as well as he would like. “It’s name is Ekaitzotsoa, or Stormwolf. If my history serves me correctly, this was the sword forged for a hero of the War of Succession nine hundred years ago, awarded to a knight who served King Eric Magnussunn well during their war to vanquish the Gentries and seize the Obsidian Throne. Yet the line of this knight was extinguished when they failed to uphold their vows of honor to the Magnussunn Kings, and the sword was lost, fading into obscurity.”

Nathan let the sword lay in his hands, feeling the cool steel against his skin. “A sword like this is not worthy of being without a master, and I can think of no one more worthy of that distinction than yourself.” Smiling, he extended his arms forward to offer her it. “I know it isn’t like the one you already have, forged with the bone powder of some unfortunate Cuscatlani, but all the same, you will find fewer swords of greater quality than Arragara steel…assuming such a sword even exists.”

Ordosa, Izotza

Izolde sat casually at the carved wooden table, the legs in the guises of snakes. “You Ordosas certainly are fond of your snakes, aren’t you?”

That was a question that many an Ordos had been asked since time immemorial. “Aye, your Majesty. Snakes have long been associated with knowledge and wisdom. Even in the Bible, the story of the fall of man tells of how Adam and Eve were deceived into disobeying God by a snake, for the snake convinces Eve to eat fruit from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, which she then convinces Adam to do as well. As a result, God banished Adam and Eve from the garden and cursed the snake.”

“Of course, I know the story,” Izolde smiled as she plucked some grapes from the fruit bowl and popped them into her mouth. “Funny how House Ordos didn’t abandon the snake as the symbol of their house, given their adoption of Christianity.”

“Yet, that is precisely why we retained the snake,” Evelyn pointed out. “For Eve ate the fruit from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, and with that very act, mankind made itself privy to knowledge. Could it be said that Eve did not become wiser for her experience? Such is the nature of life, your Majesty. We partake of the things we should not, and we learn from them. Hence knowledge is gained, and we are wiser for it. So while mankind might be banished from the garden, much have we learned as a result. Hence, the snake is something to be celebrated, rather then reviled, because we owe it a credit. Like the snake, House Ordos are the keepers of knowledge, we who would provide it to mankind, if only to make them wiser.”

“…Well said,” Izolde smiled as she ate the grapes and drank her wine. “Bestow upon me knowledge then, my friend of Ordosa,” the Queen gestured towards a nearby bookshelf in a dark alcove. “Read to me, from any volume you wish. Let me ascertain the wisdom of the snakes.”

Evelyn got up, and inclined her head. “Yes, your Majesty,” she spoke gently before walking off in that direction. Afraid of second guessing herself, she closed her eyes, and let her hands guide themselves towards an old tome that she then pulled off the shelf. She opened her eyes and read the name of the book bound in old leather. “…The Tale of Taras Dul.”

“How exciting,” Izolde beamed. “I am not familiar with it. Come, read some of it to me, if you would be so kind.”

With book in hand, Evelyn turned around and walked back to the table, setting the book down upon the wood surface with a muffled thud, before taking her seat. She took a drink and cleared her throat, before opening the tome halfway through, and reading what was inside. "So it begins...


He met her in the winter
When the wind whipped through the trees,
Beneath the snowfall and the starlight,
Un'ner the shadow of the leaves.

A fair and regal maiden
With hair as black as night,
Pale skin of glowing moonbeams,
And eyes of sapphires bright.

She found him there in winter
Amid the rocks and snow.
His booted leg was twisted;
The brigands struck the blow.

She held him then and kissed him
And nursed his wounds so dire,
And stole him to the fairy court
Beyond the frozen shire.

Three days he dined in excess,
Three days he drunk the wine,
Three days he danced with beauties
In courtly green attire.

Yet long were the mornings,
Longer still the nights,
For by the Yuletide’s dawning
Ten years had made their flight.

Aggrieved was dear Seonai,
His breast grew ill and tight,
For those that dine with fairy folk
Can ne’er leave their sight.

Twelve years, he passed, then twenty
As servant, then as swain,
But best he served the company
And knighthood did attain.

But long were the journeys
Perilous the fights,
Yet naither tour nor tourney
Could his heart excite.

Not til he met a maiden,
With heart as bold as brass,
Fair Magara from the Ice,
A wee and bonny lass.

She saw him in the winter
When she was ten and two,
A bright and stately figure
Among the alders and the yew.

She turned about and called him,
Offered ribbons from her hair,
For ne’er had she seen a man
So glorious or fair.

He laughed when she called him,
He gasped in sheer delight
At the tokens of her favour,
Red ribbons fire bright.

“My what a saucy maiden
So bold, so without care,
To spare me not a greeting,
But ribbons from her hair!”

“Tell me”, bade the figure
What name may I recite?
A boon I shall grant ye
For earning my delight.”

“No boon,” spake the maiden
“I fear, t’is far too soon,
But when I’ve six and ten
Do come and be my groom.”

“Groom!” Cried the figure
“Why such a brazen lass!
I’ll come an’ be thy guidman
If these trials ye may pass.

First come nigh to Garbusa
If ye would be my bride.
Pluck roses then−not one−but three
To call me to thy side.

Then, if ye’d be my bride, my dear,
On All Hallows do ye bide
At Marda Cross at midnight hour;
The Wild Hunt shall ride.

Take then, not the first horse,
But wait until the last
Find then the milk-white steed
And pull me to ye fast.

Great horrors will ye witness,
Great suffering will ye bear,
Fearsome transformations
I’ll have within thy care.

But hold me fast, dinnae shake me,
Though I may look a fright,
For I would ne’er hurt ye,
I swear as elfin knight”.

Ten months did pass, then twenty
E’er since tha’ faithful plight
And many was an evening
Spent stolen at tha’ site.

Gold trinkets did he spin her
From filaments of his hair,
But grander were his stories,
Fine tales, he chose to share.

Three months so passed, then seven
The days had faded fast
For she was sixteen summers
The time had come at last.

A kirtle green she kitted
Aneath her finest gown,
Red love-knots she plaited
About her golden crown.

Then hie rode she to Garbusa
And plucked the roses three
And out came fair Taras Dul
From round an elder tree.

“Magara” he called her
“Come ye to be my bride?
Then come an’ take the cords
To bind thee by mine side.”

Round went the ribbons,
Betwixt their hauden hands,
The gold an’ green an’ scarlet
Blazing bright as brands.

He spun her then and kissed her
And laid her by the briar.
His caresses rained upon her,
A bairn did he sire.

Yet long he cou'dna tarry,
She haed’na earned the right,
He’d soon be called to faerie
And vanish from her sight.

Three months did pass in waiting
Til t’was that fated eve.
The road grew far behind her,
Her knight she would retrieve.

At Marda Cross at midnight
The moon loomed full and fell,
A chill wind blew upon her,
From where she cou'dna tell.

Great thunder broke the silence,
Great tremors rent the earth,
And from that fearsome cradle
The Wild Hunt was birthed.

One rider came, another
Until there came at last,
Fair Taras Dul on milk-white steed;
She pulled him to her fast.

Fearsome transformations
He had within her care
To dark and deadly creatures
Foul beyond compare.

Yet tight, still, she gripped him
As adder, elk, and asp,
Nane burning fire nor frigid rain,
Could make her loose her clasp.

Long hours did they try her,
Her will they sought to smite,
But no hellish apparition
Could shake her from her knight.

Til last he came beside her,
Once more an elfin grey,
Not one did malign him,
She’d won him fair that day.

They married then that winter
Amidst the alders and the yew,
Aneath the snowfall and the fire-light,
And pledged their love anew.”


“Such a lovely story,” Izolde beamed with delight. “A boon I shall grant ye, for earning my delight. That is probably my favorite passage. What is yours?”

Evelyn tapped her chin for a moment as she closed the tome. “Any of the parts about faeries, I think. The world used to be filled with magic and enchantment, and now it isn’t. All it is now is war, ideology and posturing. Where once faeries roamed the world in their merriment, now there is desolation wrought by war machines. Who writes stories and sings songs of those?”

Izolde inclined her head. “Nobody war isn’t about songs and stories. It’s about who dies…and who gets to tell the stories afterwards.”

A guard’s boots sounded off the marble floor, causing Izolde to rise to her feet. “My Queen,” the guard said. “General Shinushar has arrived.”

“Good, bring him here, if you would be so kind.” Evelyn rose to her feet, prepared to greet the General and represent her house to him. It didn’t seem like long before the General emerged into sight, along with two companions. Izolde approached them, and Evelyn was not far behind. General Shinhusar was wearing a billed cap with a black fox fur lined greatcoat, leather gloves and boots. He walked with a jaunt in his step, and upon closer inspection Evelyn noticed a craggy face with a scar on one side.

“General,” Izolde said gingerly as she curtsied, keeping her back straight, while strands of blonde hair fell over shoulders. “It is such a pleasure to see you here, at lovely Palace Ordosa. This is Lady Evelyn Ordosa, granddaughter of Lord Ebon Ordosa, lord of these lands and the proprietor of this ancient estate.”

Evelyn followed suit, curtseying and looking at the floor, for she was a shy girl, especially around intimidating men not of her family. “General David Shinhusar of the Kingdom of New Edom, Hero of the Delvian States, I am honored to be in your presence,” she said in decent Latin, accented however as was to be expected in her part of the country. Standing then and making a gesture with a hand, a serving girl came scampering across the cool marble floor holding a bowl containing a circle of bread and a small cup of salt in the center. “Honored guests, be welcome within our walls. I extend to you our hospitality and protection in the eyes of the Gods and men,” Evelyn continued to say nervously, while Izolde exchanged a bright expression to both her and the General. I shall hope that he is as kind and courteous as Izolde says…
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New Edom
Postmaster of the Fleet
 
Posts: 21097
Founded: Mar 14, 2011
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby New Edom » Mon Nov 09, 2015 9:21 pm

Palace Ordosa

The heels of the New Edomite officers clicked like drumsticks on the sides of kettledrums as they marched in as one with confident strides. General Shinhusar bowed and his two aides stiffly saluted, bringing their heels sharply together at the same time as his bow. "Your Grace," he said, looking at Izolde, "It seems an aeon since last we met, yet I am assured it was only a night and a morning. Could it be so?"

He looked at the lady in waiting with a friendly but sweeping gaze, as though he were fond of riding and she a horse, and said, "I don't believe I have had the pleasure. The honour is mine, Madame. May I present Lieutenant-Colonel Count Zephanias Labian of the National Air Force and Major Simeon Uzzias of the 1st Marine Armoured Regiment. You may notice his sad expression--like most Marines he is not happy unless something is blownig up." The young dark haired well tanned stocky young man blushed and grinned, abashed by the beautiful northern ghantish women and their exotic fairness. The three men took bread and salt, General Shinhusar said, "indeed. Gods and men. Though we Edomites only believe in one God, and Christ the Messiah, but the point is well taken, our oaths nevertheless well meant, my lady."

"This is a beautiful room," said the General looking around. "My compliments to the choosers of the architects, this room was not made for boots, these floors not for our crude arrival."

"I must apologize too," said Count Laban, glancing at his watch, "But I am on duty, and I must ask, my lady," he said looking at Evelyn, "If there is a nearby room where I can discreetly use the phone. I'm afraid that the King's ADC wants to be in touch with me and my duty..."
"The three articles of Civil Service faith: it takes longer to do things quickly, it's far more expensive to do things cheaply, and it's more democratic to do things in secret." - Jim Hacker "Yes Minister"

User avatar
Hittanryan
Powerbroker
 
Posts: 7853
Founded: Mar 10, 2011
Civil Rights Lovefest

Postby Hittanryan » Mon Nov 09, 2015 11:32 pm

Scarlet Citadel

Enoch chuckled. "Well, I'm afraid my evening wasn't any more glamorous than that. I had a conference call with home--government stuff--had to see the Ambassador for a meeting, and then jetlag hit me like a ton of bricks, and I had a cup of hot mint tea and found myself sleeping. At the embassy, whic has some enormous very comfy beds that were given to our government as a present by the Empress. Ghant always tires me a bit, it's so cold up here. This morning I had another meeting or two, and I'm taking a much earned break and am enjoying myself. The ball wasn't bad but...I'm afraid that the King and his party had to head home abruptly. These things happen."

"Well, bear in mind I didn't tell you which movie I watched. A hint is that I probably should've outgrown it about ten, fifteen years ago," Jess said, giggling. "So wait, you had to leave in the middle of the ball...to work? Wow, what a bummer. I mean, I know your boss is the King and all, but a night off would be nice. But yeah, jetlag, I hear you. I'm still a bit on Adiran time, and we had to go forward. It's still morning back home."

"I'm afraid a naked owl doesn't sound too enticing. I'm sure it's mnore fun than it sounds. Well..." he poured them each a glass and clinked glasses with her. "Here's to a fun afternoon. This is a working trip for me, so this is a nice unexpected surprise, running into someone who I don't already know whose company I am thus far looking forward to. Haha...I always find the words jumbo shrimp funny for some reason don't you?"

She smiled and touched her glass to his. "To today," she said a little breathlessly. Hundred dollar steak on a lunch date? This was crazy! How much was the wine she was sipping on? It was pretty good, but still just tasted like wine to her. "Jumbo shrimp, heh, like one of those little guys who drives a giant pickup truck. You know, I was a little worried when you left last night, how sudden it was, but I was just worried for nothing I guess. This is really nice," Jess said warmly.

He seemed sophisticated but laid back, like it was all easy to him. She felt a bit of a rush at his touch and his smile, and gave a blushing smile back at him. Unconsciously she shifted towards him in her seat. "So, before we hit the salad bar, what does a prince do with himself? Dragon-slaying by day, banquets and balls with the King and Queen by night?" she asked playfully. "Sorry, bad joke, probably the movie talking. But what do you do every day? You said you're Master of Office or something yesterday? What is that?" She sat with her head cocked a bit inquisitively, chin resting on her hand.
In-character name of the nation is "Adiron," because I like the name better.

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New Edom
Postmaster of the Fleet
 
Posts: 21097
Founded: Mar 14, 2011
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby New Edom » Tue Nov 10, 2015 1:09 am

The Scarlet Citadel

Prince Enoch leaned back, his hand parting from her arm with a slight caress, and said, "Let me answer your questions all at once." However he burst out laughing at her comment about slaying dragons.

"I am the Master of Offices. That's like a chamberlain--I partly oversee the Offices of the Royal Household, which includes everything from paytroll to the medical clinic to transport to security, press office, personnel, the wardrobe, all that sort of thing, and most importantly I am the chief liaison for other branches of government and advise the Royal Family about political matters. I have assistants who represent different aspects of government and advise me in turn."

"And so you wonder--why was a ball work for me? Because this is sometimes how business is done in government, and frankly in big business too. A social occasion can be worth many board or cabinet meetings, you know."

"So my days alas, are often unromatic, meetings and receiving reports a lot of the time. But on the other hand, I have very flexible hours and I get to do leisurely things like play polo, go sailing, that sort of thing. And I think I told you I spent time in the Navy before I was on Defense Staff and..." he spread his hands. "Let's talk more at the salad bar, I'm intrigued."

He got up and admired her movements when she followed, and remarked,"Now no offense, but I'm surprised that you don't get to go to more balls, you seem like you'd be awfully used to being courted and danced with. In fact I'm surprised that you're not married already."

The salad bar contained such things as crisp romain lettuce, spinach, kale, sliced white radish, cucumber, sliced romano tomatoes, red onion, parsley, green onions, plump golden raisins, cashews, honey dew melon, chunks of apple in mayonnaise, sliced red cabbage, avocado, sliced limes and oranges, dried spiced noodles, crushed crisp bacon bits, seasoned croutons, crumbled cheeses (blue, parmesan, feta, black and green olives, green and red peppers and so on. There were also a wide variety of dressings.
Last edited by New Edom on Tue Nov 10, 2015 1:14 am, edited 1 time in total.
"The three articles of Civil Service faith: it takes longer to do things quickly, it's far more expensive to do things cheaply, and it's more democratic to do things in secret." - Jim Hacker "Yes Minister"

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Brytene
Ambassador
 
Posts: 1414
Founded: Mar 17, 2015
Ex-Nation

Postby Brytene » Tue Nov 10, 2015 1:58 am

“The Boon”
Inperiala Palace
Ghish, Ghant


Nathan unwrapped the bundle to reveal an ornate-looking longsword, four feet long with an elegant crossguard covered in writhing Ghantish runes. The grip was black and silver, and the whole blade was a dark smoky colour. As he moved it, the light played off the few bright points along the grim sword. "This is an Arragara steel blade. Alas it is a maisugabezpata, a sword without a master.” he said as he ran his fingers along the blade as gently as he had run them down her spine. “Its name is Ekaitzotsoa, or Stormwolf. If my history serves me correctly, this was the sword forged for a hero of the War of Succession nine hundred years ago, awarded to a knight who served King Eric Magnussunn well during their war to vanquish the Gentries and seize the Obsidian Throne. Yet the line of this knight was extinguished when they failed to uphold their vows of honor to the Magnussunn Kings, and the sword was lost, fading into obscurity.”

He held the sword out to her. “A sword like this is not worthy of being without a master, and I can think of no one more worthy of that distinction than yourself. I know it isn’t like the one you already have, forged with the bone powder of some unfortunate Cuscatlani, but all the same, you will find fewer swords of greater quality than Arragara steel…assuming such a sword even exists.”

Aoife couldn't have hidden the impression the blade had made on her even if she had wanted to. Certainly, Barghest was a fine blade, a weapon designed for real use, engineered as much as it was forged to be a political symbol as well as a short stabbing tool, but this...this Stormwolf was history, nine centuries of Ghantish story wrapped up in four feet of ancient steel.

She took the blade, feeling its weight - it was a hand-and-a-half sword, heavy and double-edged, suited for both duelling and war alike. She had no idea what the runes meant, but she would find out. "Ekai-zot-soa...." she repeated, her pronunciation faltering but accurate. She tilted it, moving gracefully through a couple of blocks before weighing it in both hands.
"Your Majesty, this...this is an incredible gift. I wish I had something to give you in return..."

An ancient sword, forged for an enemy of Nathan's house and taken back when that loyalty was betrayed...a treasure older than some nations, and yet handed to her like a trinket? Yes, Nathan was an Emperor, and most likely had more antiques and treasures than he knew what to do with, but this was still not a gift given lightly. Its very existence was evidence of their dalliance...

She glanced up at him coyly. "Does Stormwolf have a sheath? And perhaps a matching set of clothes...my evening gown is hardly appropriate morning wear, and as much as you'd appreciate it I don't think turning up naked is an option either."
Last edited by Brytene on Tue Nov 10, 2015 1:58 am, edited 1 time in total.
Brytene is: centre-left, pagan, democratic, free-market
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Ghant
Minister
 
Posts: 2202
Founded: Feb 11, 2013
Civil Rights Lovefest

Postby Ghant » Tue Nov 10, 2015 12:42 pm

Inperiala Palace

Aoife had an awestruck expression as she took in the blade. Then she took it, and felt the weight of it in her hands. "Ekai-zot-soa...." she repeated, her pronunciation decent. While Ghantish was a hard language to learn, at least most words sounded the way they looked. Aoife tilted it then, and move it around gracefully. "Your Majesty, this...this is an incredible gift. I wish I had something to give you in return..."

To that, Nathan smiled, as he put a hand on each of her shoulders and looked her in the eyes. “You have already given me much, Aoife. Would that I had more to give,” he said before kissing her gently on the lips briefly, and pulling away.

She glanced up at him coyly. "Does Stormwolf have a sheath? And perhaps a matching set of clothes...my evening gown is hardly appropriate morning wear, and as much as you'd appreciate it I don't think turning up naked is an option either."

“Yes, of course.” Nathan picked up the scabbard complete with sheath and handed it to her, before realizing the practicality of her statement. “Indeed, that is a keen observation.” The Emperor returned to his closet, and dug around for something appropriate for the occasion. “I believe that discretion is the wisest course of action…ah, here we go.” Pulled forth from the rack was a heavy sable cloak with a long cape and large hood. “Not sure how this ended up in here, but I suggest you wear that.” Also taken from the closet was a large sack for her back.

“My suggestion would be to return to your chambers so you can sort your gown and the sword, and change into something else. I am assuming you know where your chambers are, and if not then Ser Luis Haro can tell you…he can escort you back there so you are ensured of not being interrupted. When you go back through the closet door, walk straight down the passageway and take the first left. That will take you to where Ser Luis is posted, and you need only tell him that I wish for you to be seen to your chambers. Then, once you are ready, just meet me in the feast hall.”

Everything on that end seemed well enough planned, and he helped her do what she needed to do. He would have escorted her himself, but now he realized the importance of discretion and avoiding inflaming the situation more than it already was. So once she was ready to go her way, he began to go his, out the main doors of his bedchamber and into his personal apartments, and from there out into the hallways of the Palace.

He didn’t spend too much time thinking about anything other than getting some food and the other tasks at hand, his mind blank and head throbbing with strained eyes. When he came upon the feast hall, he walked in nonchalantly, right past the members of his House, and straight towards the table where his mother was sitting, along with his sister Arietta, half sisters Alexia, Alexandra and Amelia, and half-brother Charles, Amelia’s twin. He didn’t say anything when he sat down, rather focusing on capturing two meaty omelets and some milk to wash them down with.

Caroline looked at him with a flabbergasted look. “Where the hell have you been?”

“…I went to bed early,” Nathan responded as he was cutting his omelet. “I wasn’t feeling good.”

“That’s not what I heard,” Arietta replied sarcastically.

“Shut up, Ari. I had a bit too much to drink, and the dancing was making me dizzy.”

“…You sure it wasn’t Aoife Brighteye making you dizzy?”

While Amelia and Charles sniggered, Alexia and Alexandra looked embarrassed, while Nathan narrowed his eyes. “You are the last person who should lecture me on indiscretion, Ari.”

Caroline shook her head, and gently placed a hand on the back of Nathan’s head, in the tufts of hair. “That’s enough. I won’t have this bickering, not with the Imperial House sitting right over there.” Indeed, when Nathan looked at his own father’s family sitting at the other table headed by his Uncle Albert, they were looking at Caroline and her family with derision while they talked. “You see them over there? I don’t want to give them any more ammunition then they already have. The fact that you are sitting here, and not over there, is enough for them take insult.”

“Let them take insult, then,” Nathan spoke firmly between bites as he ate. “I would choose to dignify my mother before any one of them.” That’s saying a lot, seeing as how we are not especially close, he thought of his mother. “As any man should.” Perhaps he should have expected judgment, as many of them felt as though Nathan was a family black sheep…just so happening to be the Emperor. Alas, he cared little for their judgment…

“Good morning,” the Empress said as she entered, her black hair long and loose as she took a seat beside the Emperor, her casual white sundress showing off her swollen belly. Smiling, she leaned over and kissed him on the cheek. “I have been waiting for you. How are you this morning?”

“…Hungry and hungover,” he told her as he eyed her suspiciously. She must want something. “But well, all things considered.”

Sophia picked at some of the fruit, and poured herself some apple juice. “After breakfast, I would like to share a word,” she said to Nathan before turning to Caroline. “I hope that you don’t mind, mother-in-law.”

The Princess Dowager waved a hand. “No…not at all. He is your husband, after all. I am but his mother…I cannot keep him from you,” she chuckled.

…This is going to be about that Edomite business, he thought to himself, having anticipated it coming sooner rather than later. “Then a word we shall have…after breakfast.”

Palace Ordosa

Evelyn Ordosa heard the clicking of the Edomite heels upon the smooth marble floor, patterned black and green. The General bowed while his companions saluted, bringing their heels together when the General bowed. "Your Grace," he said, looking at Izolde, "It seems an aeon since last we met, yet I am assured it was only a night and a morning. Could it be so?"

“Indeed, General, it could be,” Izolde chuckled. “Perhaps it seems that way because I let my hair down at full length, whereas last night I had done up in a far more elegant fashion. So it looks longer than it did. Such a gentleman of you to notice.”

The General looked at Evelyn with a friendly eye, sweeping over her before saying, "I don't believe I have had the pleasure. The honor is mine, Madame. May I present Lieutenant-Colonel Count Zephanias Labian of the National Air Force and Major Simeon Uzzias of the 1st Marine Armoured Regiment. You may notice his sad expression--like most Marines he is not happy unless something is blowing up."

All the same, the young major was quite exotic looking to Evelyn. Rarely if ever had she seen anyone as tanned as he was. He was also stocky with black hair. He blushed and grinned, while Evelyn looked him over in her curiosity. The three men took bread and salt, General Shinhusar said, "indeed. Gods and men. Though we Edomites only believe in one God, and Christ the Messiah, but the point is well taken, our oaths nevertheless well meant, my lady." Neither lady said anything of that, Izolde a proud pagan and Evelyn far too bashful to comment.

Shinhusar went on. “This is a beautiful room," said the General looking around. "My compliments to the choosers of the architects, this room was not made for boots, these floors not for our crude arrival."

“Thank you, your…General,” Evelyn said bashfully as she put a hand on the back of the serving girl, who scooted back into the depths of the palace. “House Ordosa over the millennia have always taken great pride to demonstrate opulence so that it might reflect well on our good name. Seldom do we receive guests as illustrious as thee, however, and I am sure that the great hall, could it express itself, would take great pride in your being here.”

"I must apologize too," said Count Laban, glancing at his watch, "But I am on duty, and I must ask, my lady," he said looking at Evelyn, "If there is a nearby room where I can discreetly use the phone. I'm afraid that the King's ADC wants to be in touch with me and my duty..."

Evelyn turned and looked to Izolde once more, and Izolde nodded. “Yes of course. At the end of the room at the top of the steps, you can find such a room to the right on the left side. Tis a sitting room with a long couch and a window…ADC?”

“Aide-de-camp,” Izolde answered gently.

“Oh yes of course. That is where I would go…I could escort you there, if you’d like,” Evelyn offered, if only to be polite. She often was, to a fault…
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Hittanryan
Powerbroker
 
Posts: 7853
Founded: Mar 10, 2011
Civil Rights Lovefest

Postby Hittanryan » Tue Nov 10, 2015 2:53 pm

The Scarlet Citadel

"Oh right, the backroom sort of stuff. That's what my boss told me too," Jess said in response to his talk about work, apparently familiar broadly with what he was talking about. "I'm new to all this, I only started going because of work, and I wasn't really working, it was more a favor from my boss. Networking, right? But I never got to hear the big decisions or anything."

He got up and admired her movements when she followed, and remarked, "Now no offense, but I'm surprised that you don't get to go to more balls, you seem like you'd be awfully used to being courted and danced with. In fact I'm surprised that you're not married already."

"Most of us in Adiron only see big fancy balls in movies, sir. And wait, married? Already? Why would I do that?" Jess asked as it registered what he had said. She didn't seem offended so much as genuinely confused by the notion, like it never even would have occurred to her. With a little bit more serious thought, she said "I mean for me, even if I had met a guy I thought I could live with forever, first there was school, and now there's work...nah, settling down this early just doesn't make sense."

"I'd never want to be like some of the women I know from high school back home, married some boyfriend right after graduating, stuck at home with two kids already, going nowhere, living off gossip. That sounds so depressing." She mentally added 'Kinda like mom.'

"Gosh, I sound like such a Westfeld hick!" she suddenly exclaimed, blushing before preoccupying herself with the salad bar. "Wow, this looks good. I always need to see everything first at one of these, you know?" she surveyed what they had, trying to decide what went with what. She got an assortment of greens, throwing in spinach with the different lettuce. She added cucumber, tomatoes, orange slices, and avocado. She reached for some of the cheese but put them back, and also hesitated a bit at the dressing, putting back a creamier, heavier one in favor of a light vinaigrette. Between the steak that was coming and breakfast, she had put herself on notice.

While browsing the salad bar she said "Anyway, you've been to the capital? Well if you go a bit north then go east until you completely run out of actual stuff to do, that's where I'm from. How about you? Where did you grow up?"
Last edited by Hittanryan on Tue Nov 10, 2015 2:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.
In-character name of the nation is "Adiron," because I like the name better.

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New Edom
Postmaster of the Fleet
 
Posts: 21097
Founded: Mar 14, 2011
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby New Edom » Tue Nov 10, 2015 3:00 pm

Palace Ordosa

“So very kind,” said Count Laban to Evelyn. He was a lean young man wigh a slightly narrow face, perhaps in his late twenties, and moved briskly and confidently. “The right address for a General in our Armed Forces is “Your Excellency” when being formal, though using the title as you did is also correct. I take it you did not serve in any military capacity nor anyone in your family?” as they moved to the room tat she was going to guide him to. Major Uzzias involuntarily glanced as she moved way instinctively checking out her behind, but then cleared his throat and looked away.

General Shinhusar said, “Nice young lady. Has she been in waiting long? And speaking of long, your hair is beautiful up or down but I think I like it better down.”

Major Uzzias cleared his throat and leaned in and murmured something.

“The King wanted me to convey his regrets that he had no time to meet with you,a nd said in effect that it was only strictest honour that kept him from doing so, but he is very appreciative of the cooperation of you and your people. His own words were ‘Ghant is fortunate to have Queen Izolde as one of her leaders.’” Shinhusar smiled warmly. “The King does not make compliments lightly and has no art of flattery, so from him—this is very high praise. I think he also wanted to have me talk with you about some of the concerns he has. I would like to know how discreetly you would prefer to have this conversation, Your Grace.”

Shinhusar was more than just a base commander. He was also de facto envoy to the court of Queen Izolde. There was a consulate in the city but the consul’s chief duties were mostly dealing with Izolde’s underlings and matters of Edomite commerce and travel in the area. Sinhusar himself dealt directly with the Queen, as they had seemed to have a good relationship from the start. Along with Empress Sophia and Prince-Emperor Albert, she was one of the foremost leaders who held up the Edomite-Ghantish alliance and it was never forgotten.
"The three articles of Civil Service faith: it takes longer to do things quickly, it's far more expensive to do things cheaply, and it's more democratic to do things in secret." - Jim Hacker "Yes Minister"

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The IASM
Senator
 
Posts: 3534
Founded: Jan 01, 2012
Psychotic Dictatorship

Postby The IASM » Tue Nov 10, 2015 4:24 pm

IN THE CORRIDORS
Inperiala Palace
Ghish
Ghant

LILISI


Lilisi walked down the halls of the palace, it was a cold if fascinating palace. There were rumours in Akai that there was a time when they visited the old castle which once stood here; then there were theorie on Emperor Tiao Li Lazin was raised in Ghant and served the Kings of old before returning to Lazinato with his loyal troops to take back his rightful empire. Along the way he met a holy monk named Zieke the lesser from Xiangbala and declared Tiao Li was the might of the gods made flesh, the third child of their union. Nengzkai. Tiao Li remained a suprisingly controversial figure for a ruler due to his name giving the Lazins religious power over many who worship their Clan as almost divine in nature. They were often compared to heretics and heathens abroad by those who took faith seriously. I must literally be an angel to some, or at least a nephilim. How I could have fun with that.

Lilisi wasn't a political player in her eyes, she always preferred it being that way; politics in Akai was a dangerous game but faith was one which she took after her mother in. Both took their own as guidelines to do good in the world and thusly has maintained her mother's charity - sliver hearts. The charity educated people in Xuanjing-04 and other shanty towns across the mass that was the gold continent of Akai.

It was strange being alone in a foreign land like this, she was taught to speak Latin fluently but she felt out of place here. Hulang she knew could comprehend it, although he rarely ever do anything with his limited knowledge.

It was then when she heard her phone ringing, it was vibrating with the fury of ten thousand particularly angry bees. She swiftly pulled it out if the few hidden pockets fitted on the inside of her dress and answered. Who the hell is this she wondered only to see it was the Prince-Regent, uncle Sanfu. “Lilisi, it is is a pleasure to hear my nieces voice again,” the ever high voice of the prince regent spoke as Lilisi raised her phone to her ear.

She let the silence hang over her for a few seconds, as she contemplated her uncle’s words Wait what. “But I haven’t spoken yet…” she said in a state of discombobulation as she continued to wonder about the meaning.

“But now I have,” Sanfu replied with the same poor humour he always possessed, although Lilisi prefered it to Yanfeng’s crudeness. “I have wanted to call to see had been happening at the ball…”

“You know I only just arrived,” she interrupted quickly with her displeasure becoming quickly more evident. I don’t need this right now… “You should phone Hulang about these things, he is much more educated in these matters.”

“You think I haven’t tried to do that niece? Hulang practically ignores me at every turn these days,” the ire evident in Sanfu’s tiring voice. “I have heard there was an incident at the ball involving the Edomites.”

“Yes,” Lilisi replied wondering whether Sanfu was recording this conversation, a common ‘habit’ of politicians and statesmen in Akai she knew - every conservation she had with Jieke was apparently kept in the vault of Xungong somewhere according to Hulang. “The Edomites decided to bail after Nathan fucked up… literally in this case,” Lilisi said poorly recalling her brother’s words. “He fraternised with the Queen of Brytene, a woman by the name of Aoife if I recall correctly.”

Sanfu sighed in an almost awkward manner as he seemed to ponder on something: “Let’s just hope Hulang doesn’t turn into another Nathan. I don’t think Akai could bare a ruler like him for long, too many ambitious bastards wanting to take this land for themselves.”

“I don’t think he’ll be like that,” Lilisi conserved as she spoke with her characteristic optimism: “We need to support him in the right directions if we don't want him to jump of the deep end."

"If Qiang or Yanfeng got their hands on Hulang, he'd more than jump off, he'd dive straight to the bottom," Sanfu bitterly remarked. It was well known that the relationship between the four sons of Long were never what you'd call wholesome. Lilisi knew all too well the feuds between them all. Jieke and Qiang at least managed to suppress his own mutual distaste for his brothers, Sanfu and Yanfeng on the other hand were utterly bitter about how 'they were the rightful heir to Akai.' It seemed however they kept the feud among themselves, as a gentleman's agreement they wouldn't get anyone else involved due to the fact that if all four of them came to fully levy their resources - it would be another falling ash period. Only worse in every possible way. "Yanfeng has vanished, he hasn't been spotted in the capital or in Lazinato. There were poor phone quality photos of him in Waidiyi."

"Waidiyi?"

"Yes, Waidiyi is nothing more than a hive of scum and profligates, the land should be covered by Akai law but thanks to the enlightened conclave of the clans! we are stuck with a moronic MOB where plutocratic mercenaries act like one of those bloody Jituans. And it is run by a man who has the arrogance to call himself Wusheng! Wusheng! The man is a fraud and to be honest he needs to be tried for his crimes."

"What's the Wusheng's name, uncle," Lilisi asked with interest in keeping the conversation alive.

"Yalong Lajin, sounds similar to Yanfeng Lazin and if it turns out that he actually owns the land and everything that's just great for me. He is a prince, a Prince Ditorial of Akai. He cannot be touched unless Hulang permits it and for some reason I suspect he'd hide the information about its existence completely."

There was a brief pause, one which carried an uncomfortable silence for both of them it seemed as both seemed poised to continue but felt like the other would start. He seems, awfully stressed… she thought to herself as she began to move towards the corridors end. "Have you even tried?"

"No." Sanfu said sighing once again tiring with every letter in his speech, he spoke with a Xuanjing accent Lilisi noticed now, not performing for anyone.

"Why, you seem to be a hard working busy civil servant," she then whispered with no particular meaning. The conversation felt to her more of a way of Sanfu venting more than anything else.

"I am… stressed I'd say,neither Hulang's Quanli coming up I don't want to give him power just yet," he said with a hint of concern in his voice. "My nephew doesn't need the power, he needs to learn not the become a tool for his supposed masters to use."

"What, like Chairman Heng and his lot," she inquired, slowly delving deeper and deeper into the curious mind of her uncle; walking down the long corridors and past the throne room she thought.

"Everyone in Xungong seems to be a predator of some kind, and Hulang their prey. I imagine it must get exhausting stopping them all," he continued as it felt like he was walking around an office of some kind.

"If it could help I could come and help…" After another of what seemed to be hundreds of long, tediously long pauses Lilisi walked into what seemed to the feast hall where many seemed to be eating their breakfasts of many varying shapes and sizes. There was many faces, some that she recognised from dossiers and others which eluded herself. The Gentrys and company it seems. she looked around to see the three lesser uncles from the Lazins or Lazinato all eating what seemed to be a frittata of some kind while Qiaozhi and Chang seemed be discussing something in depth at another area.

"Your highness," the low grim voice of Shang said, catching Lilisi off guard as he did. He appeared to be wearing the same almost military clothes as earlier.

"Always fucking stalking me," Lilsi murmured slightly out of breath as she turned to look around. She noticed his long leather case was missing now, and it was not like the Yao guai of the east to lose his materials. She decided it would probably be best to ask when she wasn't standing in the door way.

The prince regent only then replied to her: "NO. Lilisi, do this as my niece for me will you, stay away from this, it is my job to keep this all functioning not yours. You are young and don't need this…"

"Look, I'm going to have my breakfast now and I think Hulang will too uncle, I do hope you get the blessing of Omahiji however," she said as she quickly ended the call and sent a message to Hulang with her quick typing. Get to the feast hall now, breakfast is being served and if you don't soon I will be hopefully entertaining Amelia and Charles some bit. She went over to the table occupied by the Gentrys, a guest must introduce herself of course. And there's Nathan and Amelia… She contemplated offhandedly saying Hulang fancied the honorary princess here, entertained it quite a lot actually. It would be more amusing for her she guessed. She stood a reasonable distance away, overhearing their conversations particularly well before it seems to close up a fair amount. She approached the table, hopefully looking particularly presentable for someone who only a few hours ago arrived in the country. She decided to speak in Latin and did so in her silkily voice as she analysed the faces, moved towards the table and then performed a respectful bow of the head : "I am sorry if I am interrupted anything of importance but I am Princess Ditorial Lilisi Limei Lazin - Ditor Hulang's elder sister. My flight was late thanks to rather inconvenient weather hence why late arrival. And It seems I missed a rather interesting ball."
HUN-01

20:22 Kirav Normal in Akai is nightmare fuel in the rest of the world.

11:33 Jedoria Something convoluted is going on in Akai probably.

08:07 Corumm tits shall be known as
08:07 Corumm the peacemaker
08:08 Corumm tits of peace

18:26 Deusaeuri Let me put it this way, you're what would happen if Lovecraft decided to write political dystopian techno thriller

20:19 Heku tits has gone mental
20:19 Jakee >gone

21:46 Estoni Classic rock anthem with a classic dictatorship, Tits truly is number one
21:55 Estoni Heil Titler
17:21 Tomas what's the difference between a mother fucker and a mudder fucker
17:22 Tomas the former lives in Akai, the latter in Ashab
05:48 Malay lol akai sounds lovely this time of never


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