NATION

PASSWORD

The Isle of Elysium (Invite only, TFL welcome)

A staging-point for declarations of war and other major diplomatic events. [In character]
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The City State Rhydin
Diplomat
 
Posts: 785
Founded: Nov 07, 2007
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

The Isle of Elysium (Invite only, TFL welcome)

Postby The City State Rhydin » Fri Feb 19, 2016 5:48 am

This roleplay relates to the diplomatic and trade dealings within The Forgottenlands Region.
All members of the region of The Forgotten Lands who telegram the OP Rhydin will be permitted to participate in this roleplay thread.
If you are not a member of the region, but would like to participate, contact the OP via telegram for more information and what may be involved or allowed.

This roleplay may contain mature themes and suggestive dialogue. Reader discretion is cautioned throughout the story.


The Isle of Elysium was that of a modified Enyaill Iresa (Ocean Home), a civilian version that a corporation within the Hegemony offered to select buyers. While it still offered a place for scientists and workers, it's primary residents were naval personnel. Its unique design permiting the simultaneous application of wind, solar, and tidal energy generation technologies, thereby making it truly ‘off-grid’. Peaking at a depth of four-hundred meters, its ample space provides for a comfortable living and working environment, including space for shops, restaurants, gardens, and recreation.

Rainwater is harvested in the inner vortex and gravity fed to the water purification system at the base. Mechanical systems and emergency freshwater storage basins are in the deepest portion of the structure. The first two levels of the facility's vortex are dedicated to circulation, logistical needs and commerce. Intermediate levels accommodate long-term residents, oceanic experts, guests and residential quarters totaling as many as thirty-thousand people. The deepest levels are dedicated to a scientific research and development center for the production of advanced technologies.

It sat within the wide expanse of the North Ocean of The Forgotten Lands realm. It moved periodically, but for now remained where it was, for the purposes of diplomacy and trade with the exterior nations that existed beyond the realm of some of the other, larger, more well known ones. As an artificial platform that defied traditional ideas of such facilities, the Isle of Elysium was just another technological advantage that had come to be expected of Rhydin.

While included in this serene arrangement, is the defense network, the shipyards, and so forth. Elysium boasting an impressive underwater network of defenses as well as above level emplacements. Lyran armaments used as that is the basis for most of the Rhydin surface fleet and the Regular Army. This consisted of LY300 Manticores, LY471 Skyguard Battery's, and Iron Heart SAMs. A significant surface presence was made by the RIRN's usage of eight Lyran Hatchet-class modular multi-role frigates and four Lyran Longsword-class Supercapital Guided Missile Warships.

Under the gentle surface, forty-eight SLR-81 "Hades" Supercavitating 25mm Gattling Cannons, and twenty-four SLR-81 "Hellfire" Supercavitating 18mm Gattling Cannons. Supporting these, is twenty-two Mk 95M Plasma torpedoes launchers. On standby, six squadrons of subfighters to aid in combat beyond. These in turn supported by the 77th RIRN Reactionary-Fleet which consists of one Reverence Class SBC, six Chiana SSN's, and two Silinrul SCVN's.

The centerpiece of the design features a double-hulled vortex with both hulls being clad in reinforced glass, where each of the floor levels are essentially a layering of concentric rings ranging in size from 30,000 m² down to 600 m². Inclinators riding along the inner structural ribs provide for vertical/diagonal transportation between floors. Total floor area of the entire structure (levels, radial arms, barriers) is approximately 212,000 m² (or roughly 40 football fields). In addition to using vertical axis wind turbines, electrical energy is also collected by solar means.

Two applications of solar glazing are used: the first, a semi-transparent solar window is used facing the open-air, inner vortex; the second, a glass with a printed array of solar cells spaced to create partial shading, is used as a solar pergola or roof material. Furthermore, underwater nacelle’s function both as tidal generators when the structure is anchored and as thrusters for propulsion when Elysium is under way. The structure manages undersea pressures and stresses by virtue of its shape.

The radial arms feature a pedestrian upper level and a transit system on the lower level to access to the outer protective barriers. The barriers create an inner harbor, port of which next to such, a quadruple set of shipyards of approximately 1.25 km in diameter, accommodating the needs of even the world’s largest ships.Currently the barriers also carry a security feature. Incoming vessels can transmit a clearance code, thereby allowing their passengers and cargo to be transported within the Isle's embrace.

On hand to inspect the vessels and escort dignitaries the meeting area, was that of the RIRN Special Taskforces Legion. Highly trained commandos overseen by the elite of the elites, the Bladedancers. Once within their grasp, one would be taken along one of the many paths that lead to a main thoroughfare of a sort. From there one could see the various shops, and eateries before the path would lead away and down, into the bowels one might say. It had the feeling of being a storage area on the exterior, but once past the drop down cargo door came another set of doors and within these resided a pair of guards with biometric scanners and so forth. A second set of doors would open to reveal a luxurious space.

The interior continued an almost sterile theme of ivory walls. A singular nucleus furniture piece rested within the middle of the space. A futuristic octagon that had no center. The result is a special object that combines multiple characteristics, such as its dynamic appearance, an unconventional supporting structure and intelligent functionality in a single velvety piece of handmade furniture. Derived from the form of the boardroom near the central array of the Isle of Elysium, the shape of the table does not evoke the usual conference situation at all. In fact, a dry business meeting starts to become a dive on a deep-water ray as the ocean's light peers through the many window slits that wrap about the area itself.

There at the head of the table, waiting for guests to arrive, stood two very unique people. Firstly, the a woman who had been to Ghant recently, the alien like Yanna Ke'la Velven, Countess of the Daika Ward, and member of the Imperial Council, servicing the Hegemony of Rhydin. Sensual, flowing transitions and warm, organic materials, which have been contoured and shaped against the three-dimensional veneer of a human frame, with clearly-defined metallic and plastic that offered a cool and technical feel. The transitions between organic, metal and synthetic materials a hallmark of the Rhydinian's as well.

She was not alone. A collection of Rhydinian military figures were also present. Admiral De'Raz Vlos Elemmiire of the Rhydin Imperial Republic Navy, the officer who held the lines at Karthay. His uniform was dark blue in color, trimmed with a soft white. General Garen Hallas Daist, of the Rhydin Imperial Republic Army, his uniform was of an ebony hue, serving to further the militaristic nature of the RIRAS. A man whose reputation was well known in Karthay, having been the one to order the deployment of Canini ground troops into the fight, staving off the Takhisian's and others from a fair beachhead landing amongst others. He had worked with the Orycto General Snag-Ear on delaying and hit and run tactics against the unified forces that had landed at the southern port.

Yanna slowly moved, with a grace that bespoke of an unnaturalness to her very being. Welcome, one and all to the Gathering once more. There will be many agendas to be filled, and many more guests to arrive. Do enjoy your stay.

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Takhisia
Civil Servant
 
Posts: 10
Founded: May 15, 2006
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Takhisia » Mon Feb 22, 2016 6:26 am

Blow, blow, thou winter wind
Thou art not so unkind
As man's ingratitude;
Thy tooth is not so keen,
Because thou art not seen,
Although thy breath be rude.

Freeze, freeze thou bitter sky,
That does not bite so nigh
As benefits forgot:
Though thou the waters warp,
Thy sting is not so sharp
As a friend remembered not.


Through the skies it came, the shape of an airship streamlined and shaped like a curved upside down " P " as the main structure with a half shell like underside completing it. The rear of the vessel alongst the section of the " P " almost shaped like half of the rear wheel of a motorbike glowed the unearthly light that came from magnite reactors. Only a few nations boasted such technology, and yet, none boasted ships of the line like the splinter kin of the main Takhisian line.

These Takhisians are the Followers of Shinare, also known as Winged Victory. Patron saint of the Takhisian mercenaries, and the homeland founded for those who did not believe in the secondary nature that befell their honorable trade once the Knighthood and other forces had grown in number enough to do so. Founding a nation far to the north, on the ruins of Ergoth, a former occupying nation, Takhisia came to be. A sort of rivalry grew between the Motherland and the newborn nation, an angry daughter that allowed it's rage to culminate and be displayed in the recent siege of an Xukuthite facility not so long ago.

The airship made contact with the ocean distant from the Isle of Elysium and even so, created a massive wave that spilled forth on every side, peetering down eventually so as to be but the barest of ripples upon the surface. The airship could have been some sort of submarine like those of the Rhydinian's at that point in appearance. It's form so different from those operated by the mother-line after all. The straps from the crash dive harness being released about her form, Colonel Streka Valarian arose to her feet and with right arm outstretched, ending in a gloved hand, she spoke her command to the navigation officer standing at alert. Forward, bring us with shuttle transport range. Communications, transmit our security clearance to Elysium command and control.

An immediate response was hers, before both the navigation officer and that of the communication officer turned and handed down orders to the enlisted at stations. The bridge itself has two levels: the battle bridge and the navigation bridge. Combat is controlled from the battle bridge. The navigation bridge itself has stations for helm, weapons control, damage control, communications. The high-backed captain's chair dominates the center of the rear of the room. There is also a navigational table to the side of the chair. Below that is the secondary level of both bridges has the officer's lounge, ready rooms, secondary fire and control, secondary radar station, and chart room.

Streka stood as if her spine were of steel, straight and with shoulders set firm and rigid. Strawberry blonde hair pulled back,to fit underneath the naval officer's cap worn. Eyes of a light red peered forth. In her mid-thirties, Streka was of the average age of the officer corps within the Provisional Takhisian Naval Forces (PTNF) Much like the Mother-line's naval airship officer's dress, it had a certain tradition to it. Her light blue single breasted lapel officer gabardine jacket was tucked into a pair of matching trousers and these ended in length midway down the shank of the boot and terminated in a one-inch-wide flare .

A slight glance to her second in command, the white haired Lieutenant Colonel Miya Henog. The other woman was about the same age, about two inches taller then her commander, and of the same athletic build. A faint nod, and Miya turned almost on a dime to notify Major Karis that he commanded the ship. Streka nodded at the choice and left a few words behind as she headed towards the bridge lift. Do this honor well Major, my review of you begins now.

The major, a much younger man then the two women present, nodded slightly and with hands behind back, stood to the left of the command chair. Streka smiled a bit and then took her place within the lift. Miya chuckled softly under her breath as the doors closed and they plummeted towards the hanger deck.

A bit of a devil's review on the moment with Karis eh? Miya spoke as she stood there beside Streka.

Oh nonsense, Karis is well suited for this command moment. Before to long you'll have command of a ship Miya, and you could use a second like him. Of which at this Miya rolled her eyes a little.

Now now you, we've to look proper for our hosts. I hear it'll be quite the time. Streka continued as eventually the doors opened and into the hanger they were set into with a few steps. Of which said hanger was busy, ramjet fighters of the navy were being arranged for a moments notice, legionnaires stood near their landers and in key spots should they be called to service. Further along, and up a set of metal stairs, lay a surface ship moored in a little dock of sorts. It was simple but a compelling design as defined by a shiny fiberglass hull and teak decking. A carbon fiber fin interrupts the wood decking reminiscent of the ancient racing cars of yesterday.

A trio of sailors in uniforms of a sort similar to that of Streka and Miya's, although sporting their ranks on the cuffs rather then on the lapels. The lead was a Senior Petty Officer, and the other two were Seamen First Classes. All were armed with pistols, and the senior of them saluted before extending the gangplank. As Streka made her way aboard and settled within the cabin, Miya glanced about before doing the same. Issuing orders to launch. She settled across from Streka as the launch shot forth from it's mooring and away from the hulk that was that of the airship Windbreaker.

A slow lean by Streka, until she was fully against the cushions, a faint sigh slipping free of lips as the launch shot across the ocean's calm waters towards it's destination. The secure and shielded from sight harbor and port of Elysium. As they neared, Streka sighed and motioned for a nearly fallen asleep Miya to follow. A slight adjustment of tunic before she stepped out of the cabin and into the open of the rear of the launch as a sailor was in the exposed top section behind the windshield. The others made room as the launch neared the barrier doors. One could see the massive defensive armaments in place now, as well as the patrolling frigates that slid past and behind them a bit. A pensive moment indeed.

The doors parted however, and into the waiting harbor of Elysium did they go. The private dock welcome them with what could be termed open arms and as the motor launch came to a stop, her sailors tied off and laid the gangplank out. Streka saluted and then stepped from the launch with Miya following behind to come face to face with her escort. Commandos, RIRN perhaps, she would guess. A faint nod of head and a salute to the senior most one, more then likely the bladedancer present. After a bit of lengthy run about, they eventually arrived, into the welcoming embrace of a woman who did not appear to be real, something that Rhydin was apparently very fond of doing.

Well met indeed fair host. On behalf of the Provisional Territory of Takhisia, I am Colonel Streka Valarian of the airship Windbreaker, and this is my second in command, Lieutenant Colonel Miya Henog. She gestured towards Miya who had come to her left. We are most pleased to have been invited and look forward to meeting others.

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Havasu
Secretary
 
Posts: 39
Founded: Sep 10, 2013
Father Knows Best State

Postby Havasu » Mon Mar 28, 2016 12:50 am

Attendant to your nobility
Ask for your master's umbrella
The dews 'neath the trees of Miyagino
Are thicker than rain


Royal Prince of the Blood, Qwenthur Thorsish Grail, stepped into the room and moved slowly into the center of the area of operations. The man was just barely over twenty years of age and slim of figure in an athletic sense. He bore a few medals on his uniform, most of them from Karthay, where the Duchy had been seen briefly in the war that had occurred there. He was handed a data-pad within seconds of his arrival by the Officer in charge of the heavy cruiser he was currently aboard. " My Prince, We will be arriving soon to this..Isle of Elysium."

A brief moment spent considering before a glance paid the man who had come to stand at his left, Captain Arradune. The man wasnt much older then the Prince, but had been apart of the Havani Naval Defense Forces for several years already. Well versed in the route, and the expectations of what this meeting might indeed bring to the whole of the Duchy. It had been quite the trip, having ventured beyond the docking bay of the Imperial Sea-Fortress Varna Hoopa (Safe Harbor) and onto the main thoroughfare of travel and trade, the open sea lane that slipped past and into the distant horizon. Destination, the Isle of Elysium, deep within the bosom of Rhydinian territory.

Captain Arradune strode down the corridor of the heavy cruiser J-1, of the Ear Aute class. The well laden heavy cruiser had been sent out to ferry it's precious cargo to a meeting smack dab in the middle of the ocean. A nervous tuck at his collar before stepping out to the bridge, relieving Lieutenant Hido from the command station. Taking his stand before the primary console and next to Prince Grail, awhile adjusting the navigational headset to see as his helm operators did, hands slowly came behind back. " Ahead to point 1.2 Mark 3. We are to meet the Rhydinian facility at those coordinates. "

Several nods as his crew went to their task, he could feel the slight vibrations as the heavy cruiser as the course was adjusted. A glance towards the markers upon the map, they were still on point with the coordinates relayed to them from the RIRN, Rhydin's Navy and Command element. Artificial islands that seemingly dotted the seascape were some sort of defensive barrier, probably armed to the teeth knowing their hosts. Ranging from a mere hundred meters, to several kilometers, it was meant to appear natural, as an island chain might very well be in appearances. The technology of the Rhydin Hegemony was as always, relatively high, enough to keep them out of the limelight of others. That included most of the other nations in the realm, of which the Duchy itself, had very few dealings with.

" Captain, we are approaching the marker. A Rhydinian escort vessel has identified us and is acknowledging our security code. " Arradune knew well that beyond it's defensive island barrier systems, and whatever defenses the Isle of Elysium had, that the RIRN surface navy and otherwise would be there, it was only natural for such a day as this. Tensions being what they were because of the Xukuthites and the Batory Dynasty that had seemingly sprung up had created this overwhelming presence. Well to be fair he thought, Karthay hadn't helped any.

It was an interesting trip, several powers that be had sent their finest vessels, crewed by the best and commanded by the respected. It was not often that Rhydin sent word of a gathering, nor showcased their technology so. A nod to the Prince as the man went about his duty, probably collecting something or other from his quarters while the klaxons rang as J-1 " Ar " cleared the sea wall defenses and slowly came to rest in a docking position within the berth station nearest the central axis of the Rhydinian floating city. A slight vibration throughout the ship, as the warship was then pulled inside of the docks serving the floating city's interior.

The smooth, graceful lines of the J-1 " Ar " showed where it was from. The Duchy designs were unique to the nation, and with it's penchant for becoming a home to many a corporation, some of which built armaments, the nation had access to decent levels of naval technology. The J-1 for example is a ship of the Buki class. It is a modernized and slightly heavier variant of the H-series Dharon class heavy cruiser whose purpose is to shield the G-series Noble class carrier from air, surface and subsurface threats. There are many small improvements like, for example, cleaner lines to reduce the radar signature and decoys for torpedoes; but the principal changes can be summed up as more powerful engines, sensors, sonar and the indigenous ATECS battle management system that has been called the "Havani AEGIS".

The gangplank moved into position, those sailors present saluted as the Prince and Captain Arradune made their way down and onto the actual harbor's concrete or whatever passed as such. It was firm, and odd. Land legs where the sea was just within reach, it made Arradune uneasy, and it didnt help that those whom came to greet and guide were of Rhydin's infamous military elite. He knew RIRAs when he could eyeball them, they and the RIRN were like oil and water. So this meeting was quite serious.

Qwenthur had become quite amazed and was not above asking their guiding host, questions about the floating city, nor how it floated, or what it was like to live in such a place for long durations. Arradune realized early on that you could not peg the prince into a simple niche. He both cared about the Duchy, and what lay beyond it. A good choice for a diplomacy event. As they entered within the secure area, he realized they had just come upon the heels of another guest as the prince spoke to the rather..odd looking host.

" lye tul a vee' yele, ikotane tanya lye honor Lotesse be shared amongst Mellonea er ar' ilya. " A greeting in native Havani, termed Hava. Hava came about via the spread of languages being spoken within the nation itself, partially from the foreign traders, and that of the native culture absorbing it into their own. While English or Realm Common was the practiced language of business and so forth, it was a polite way to start off a new beginning may of the older generation believed. Arradune cleared his throat politely.

" My Prince, The Royalty of the Bloodline, On behalf of the Grand Duchy of Havasu, asks us to honor this time between all present and all those to come, to build upon our desires and dreams, for a better future."

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Nocticula
Spokesperson
 
Posts: 147
Founded: Aug 03, 2010
Democratic Socialists

Postby Nocticula » Thu Apr 07, 2016 5:43 am

Through the skies of heaven it had flown, pushing the current of the air about it's massive bow as if a ship of old upon the vast blue waters of the rolling seas. Lowering to pass through the cloud cover of white and darkish blue, did the Nocian skyship " Decider " travel a path long in the making. Skirting both the hot spots and watched currents of their enemies of the moment.

The waves created as the skyship settled as a ship might within the ocean's embrace once more, flowed in every direction. After a moment it slowly churned the water, propelling itself forward for a time, until it reached the floating Isle of Elysium. A large hatch slid back and to each side of what could only be a hanger of sorts and a catapult style launch area. A seaplane of odd design, sporting three pontoons and a central propeller to the rear. A floatplane with a pusher engine. It's occupants already aboard, as the steam rose in a sharp hiss and from out of the depths of the hanger, the plane shot forth as if an aluminum bullet.

Destination, the safe harbor of Elysium as it skimmed across the water, past the patrolling sentry vessels and towards the already opening barrier walls of the protected harbor. Beyond it's pilots and so forth, within the seaplane were two representatives from one of the larger realms within that of the Nocian Empire. One being the Lordess of the realm of Greed, Lady Sorshen DeVaco. The other accompanying her, the High Priestess Krune, who also happened to be the Lordess of the realm of Sloth. Both women were considered powerful, and in some ways, malcontents to the whole of the Empire, though none could have them removed. Their roots ran deep within the Empire itself and though blackened, could not be cut out of the World Tree.

On the Decider..

Duke of War, Gandon Vec'Salu sat within the command chair arrayed before three other terminals in which ensigns manned. Spreading out, and down a meter, the rest of the bridge formed in a triangle like shape. Six stations to the left and the right, with a center column of eight before a viewscreen. Several senior officers stood about in waiting. This was a day of days he supposed, and just before he closed the book within grasp of his left hand, he read one final passage.

Before us great Death stands
Our fate held close within his quiet hands.
When with proud joy we lift Life’s red wine
To drink deep of the mystic shining cup
And ecstasy through all our being leaps—
Death bows his head and weeps.


The closing of the book and its settling down made for a noise that brought the attention back upon him as he leaned forward slightly within the chair. " To your stations, though we sit here before the appetites of the sharks, let us not have them distract us from duty." Once they were moving, it would go easier. Sitting here in the open, watching the machinations and movements of Rhydinian Navy wasn't very enjoyable, less so for those spoken for. Who wanted to be away from families and loved ones to hold position next to a floating fortress city, when their real enemy was thousands of kilometers away, wandering along the vast eastern reach's currents? Who indeed.

Such thoughts he supposed, was how a junior officer might pass the time. He himself had to wonder what could have dragged two individuals such as those he had ferried, to this place. Rhydin wasn't someone that the Empire associated with much, if at all. There had been no hostilities of course, no skirmishes etc. Still he found it odd they would reach out to the Empire, of which had it's own troubles with the Takhisian's of late.

That was an entirely different set of problems. The Takhisian's were extremely military minded, disciplined, and goal orientated towards war and it's general applications of battle. If anything, he hoped the two sent were going to find a way to deal with the now marauding Takhisian's, though he was slightly off put by the fact that a splinter Takhisian vessel was indeed also moored at sea. " Well that's unexpected.." A slow lean back and then an order to the nearest deck officer. " Get me everything we have on the Northerner ship for me." As the salute came and went, he would sit there, gaze resting on the viewscreen, and the floating city pictured upon it.

Arrival

Once within the welcoming grasp of the floating city, the pilots began to slow the seaplane down considerably, taxing across the much calmer ocean surface towards the destination as given by the traffic station controller. The co-pilot leaned up and brought the throttles down to near idle and then all the way off as the transport eased into it's berth. The boarding hatch opened and the extending step ladder swung out and down. Just a few moments went by and then a guard in a dark grey dress uniform trimmed with burgundy stepped forth and out, coming to immediate attention at the right. Following right behind was that of High Priestess Krune.

The woman was of average height, maybe just over one-hundred-seventy centimeters or so. She had dark hair, nearly red but not quite and a smooth face. Eye shadow and so forth very much in the fashion of the old Egyptians, accenting both hair and features alike. Thin, but not overly so, her arms covered in the runic tattooing customary for the Cult of Shadows. Odd hexagonal patterns of multi-colouring came alive upon her arms, teasing around the neck and probably elsewhere. Her attire was customary for the priestesses as well, a gown of ebony that while not long and flowing, conveyed the image of many sheer layers upon one another. The back exposed, though her neck was not. Fabric criss-crossed her upper torso while leaving the mid-drift to just above hips exposed as well. Platinum wrist bracelets, arm rings, and decorative talons atop her fingers completed the look.

Her compatriot, and representative ruling figure of the Realm of Greed, was just as such might expect. The denizens of Greed were almost as those of Sloth. They were a hedonistic, casually sexual, undaunted by the would be rules of the world. Though snubbed by recent developments of the Empire, their power in the upper echelons was not to be dismissed. Lady Sorshen DeVaco, Lordess of Greed, was such an individual. As she stepped out and into the light of Elysium, she became visible in her decadence. The gown worn was strapless, and taunt against the figure that she bore.

She was more athletic appearing then Krune, and around the same height. Hair of silver, with black tipping cascaded against cheeks and shoulders gently. The gown appeared to be golden in hue, and composed of something like that of snake scales. You could not see her heels, but the sound of them against the feracrete floor was there along with the seductive sway that came from a woman used to power like one is used to breathing. She bore no tattooes like the priestess, but there were piercings. Ears, and along the path of spine so exposed, dozens of bar piercings that followed the spine. She wore bracelets of gold, as well as the same finger talon extensions of the same hue and material, something that must be the way of things within the Nocian homelands.

Welcomed into the same meeting area, Sorshen became aware of both the beauty and the alien appearance of the Rhydinian before her. She had long suspected what they might look like, but this was her first time seeing one. Perhaps there was a pecking order to meeting a Rhydinian who appeared as this. Previous encounters had not left her so..for a better lack of words, awestruck. She noticed Krune doing a bit of a double take as well. Mustering her pride as a noble, she valiantly proceeded into the mix amongst these others.

" On behalf of the DeVaco and Hul families, we offer thanks to our fair hostess for inviting us to be amongst our fellows. I am Sorshen DeVaco, Lordess of the realm of Greed, and my compatriot is the Lordess of the realm of Sloth serving the Nocian Empire. We hope for a great many advances this day, and as always, the downfall of the Xukuth and all whom would befriend them."
Last edited by Nocticula on Thu Apr 07, 2016 5:44 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Ghant
Minister
 
Posts: 2267
Founded: Feb 11, 2013
Civil Rights Lovefest

Postby Ghant » Thu Apr 07, 2016 11:08 am

(Following the events of the Midsummer Ball)
Image
“Two birds don’t make an eagle” – Yoruba proverb



En route to the Isle of Elysium

Cassandra needed to get away. What better place to get away to, than someplace controlled by the City State of Rhydin? The Midsummer Ball, not too long ago, was most taxing on the poor Ghantish Princess. Ghish could be overwhelming at times, and it wasn’t going to be made any easier now that she was her cousin the Emperor’s Master of Offices. With great power comes great responsibility, she thought as she fiddled with her newest gown.

The so called Midwinter princess for the day that she was born, was the eldest child of Prince Stephen of Ghant and Grand Duchess Minka of Nekulturnya. Her father was the fourth son of the late Emperor Albert of Ghant, making Cassandra the first cousin of the present Emperor Nathan IV, who she was very close with, going all the way back to as early as she could remember. She had a comfortable life, and never had to worry about anything. For the most part.

She wore a sheer floral lace gown in a multicolor angel wing pattern with a scalloped collar and long bishop sleeves. It featured seam nips in a natural waist and a top-pleated ruffled skirt with a wire hem. In addition to the gown being a fitted silhouette, it had a hidden back zip. She had the gown custom-designed for her by Ghantish fashion designer Valentino Garavana, and it was exactly what she wanted to wear in her adventure to the Isle of Elysium. Gorgeous lace, feminine details, gossamer-like chiffon, and a vibrant shade of red…not bad for $24,000 Ghantmarks.

At that particular moment she was sitting at a table, brushing her long brown hair with a golden brush her late grandmother Empress Grace got her when she was ten. She was looking herself over in the mirror with her piercing brown eyes, taking satisfaction in her great natural beauty, compliments of her Slavic mother. Mirror, mirror on the wall, who is the fairest one of all? she sniggered as she looked at herself brush her hair.

She took exceptionally good care of her fair, lightly freckled skin, taking pride in the fact that it was unblemished. Like her mother she had a shapely figure, with all the right curves in all the right places, though she knew that maintaining such a glorious figure required a great deal of work, which Cassandra wasn’t afraid to do. Hard work is an attribute of the virtuous.

Her train of thought was stalled when she looked at her hands. My hands are dirty…I should always make sure that my hands are clean. Her Uncle Albert taught her that that it was very important to make sure that her hands always stayed clean. Not literally, but figuratively. I’ve been a very naughty girl, she thought, and took the opportunity to slip away in order to get her mind right.

Uncle Albert was on the was on the submarine with her, along with his champion, the clansman known as Benoth Ginax. Cassandra first flew out to Vorindeum, where her Uncle Albert ruled as Emperor. From there, she traveled via submarine with him and his party to the Isle of Elysium, to conduct some diplomacy with the Rhydinians in their own setting. The Vorindese submarine was where she was at present. Very unfitting for a princess of my rank and station.

For a girl of only twenty-six years of age, she had a great many cares that others her age might not have been burdened with. The stresses of helping her incompetent though well meaning cousin Nathan rule the Empire of Ghant. Though in truth he leaves most of the actual ruling to others…not that I mind. Cassandra loved the power that came with being her cousin’s right hand woman…the feeling of wielding it was most titillating.

She used to have it all to herself, for a number of years. Before the Emperor married, Cassandra was the first lady of court, making her Empress in all but name, she regarded it. For eight years the Eaglet perched herself in the halls of the Imperial Palace, while Nathan was free to languish as he saw fit. What good is being Emperor if you cannot do as you please? he would always ask, to which Cassandra would always say, naturally, the greatest eagle does as he pleases.

All those years seemed like a distant memory. The balls, the parties, the receptions…Cassandra was as proud and as glorious as an Imperial Princess could be. Her favorite memories were the ones that involved Nathan and Cassandra alone in the ballroom, with no one else there but them. Dressed in their finest ballroom regalia, they would dance to great orchestral performances, with nobody else there, just he and her. That was where she wanted to be, and loathed that she wasn’t. Instead, there was a bitter feeling that gnawed at her whenever she thought about how it was taken from her.

While at the time she knew it wouldn’t last, she got comfortable and went through the motions of it all, content with her position. Then Sophia of Dakmoor came. Sophia was Cassandra’s on and off friend for many years, and also rival. Nathan always close to Cassandra, sharing with her things he shared with no one else. Though for however much he liked her, he liked Sophia more, and after chasing Sophia for years, she eventually agreed to be his bride. Thus the Eaglet fell from her perch.

The White Rose of Dakmoor moved quickly. All that Cassandra did, all of the power and influence at court that she built, was gone in a fortnight. The Empress of Ghant took it all for herself, and had the audacity to reassign Cassandra elsewhere. So it was that the Eaglet fell from her nest, and flew away to new parts of the land to rest. And plot my eventual return. She had an axe to grind, and by now it had turned quite sharp.

Cassandra spend the following year and a half managing Imperial estates all over Ghant, building rapport with various lords…especially those that were discontented with the Empress’s own House…House Dakmaran, rulers of the eastern Kingdom of Dakmoor in Ghant. The arrogant, haughty shits forget themselves…time and time again. For five hundred years, the Dakmarans challenged and undermined the Gentries, and even today, presumed to thumb their noses at their Imperial masters as though they were petulant children. And the fucking Batorys encourage them…and now the Edomites are too!

The Eaglet would have dealt with them the way any of the strong Gentry Kings of old would have. Tear them asunder and reduce them to little more than vassals that live at the mercy of their eagle masters. The Mad Emperor Nathan III was the last to try in 1935, but he failed. The Mad Emperor tried to eradicate them by burning them all alive in the throne hall in Ghish, but one escaped capture when they captured them initially. The youngest son of Moribo of Dakmoor, Miraxes, fled Ghant with the help of some of his family’s sympathizers. There was a Civil War in Ghant caused by the Mad Emperor’s actions, and Miraxes returned with an army. When Miraxes arrived in Ghish with his army, he found the Mad Emperor dead in the palace, and the Mad Emperor’s grandson Michael on the Obsidian Throne.

Miraxes grew back the strength and power of House Dakmaran, while the Gentries never recovered from the Mad Emperor’s follies and grave mishandling of the realm. Protected only by their station, the Gentries were nearly a spent force, their credibility damaged to a great extent, lacking anyone charismatic or effective enough to restore them to their former glory. So it was the Eaglet had dreams of glory for her family, and nightmares of her house’s failure and eventual end…

At least she had comfortable quarters. While it didn’t have any windows, it was large enough to be suitable to her needs, with a large bed, dresser, table and mirror. It was well lit, so she could spend her time reading and writing as she saw fit. If what her uncle told her was true, it wouldn’t be especially long before they arrived. She was eager to arrive, if only so she could escape the confines of her submarine cabin.

On the table in front of her sat an opened book of stories and poems complied in regards to House Gentry, the Imperial House of Ghant of which Cassandra and her Uncle Albert belonged. It was entitled The Glory of the Gentries, and was complied in honor of Nathan I, the first Emperor of Ghant. As Cassandra brushed her hair, she cast her eyes down onto the pages of the book, and read the poem that was on them.

Alabaster feathers shine in glory,
Hooked talons speak of power,
Wings spread in a proud embrace,
Where upon a current drifted,
Floating, soaring higher than imaginable,
Drifting, dropping coming down,
Majestic beauty, untamed strength.

Seeing, watching,
Smiling in joy,
Wishing, hoping,
We could share the sky,
Wondering, calling,
You reach above,
And raise your voice,
To the one above.

An answering call awaits the lady,
The eagles grace flies down,
Sparks of light,
Hidden voices,
Magic which stirs the blood,
Begins to boil.

A burst of rainbows,
Spirits alight,
Changing, shifting,
Becoming one with nature,
The shimmering feathers burn brightly,
Shining their radiant light upon the lady.

Watching with cunning interest,
The eagle lands,
His magic washing over the other,
She wants to join me in the sky?
Share the air as I fly?
Her hope and wish are strong in heart,
Why not placate her,
And let her come?

Feathers erupt, and twisted up,
Body contorting no pain came,
Peace along with bliss,
Understanding dawning,
Finally one with the sky,
She has found her place,
Mightily she stands,
White and gold feathers marked her now,
Letting loose the eagles call,
She springs to the sky,
To join her new brothers and sisters.

The eagle watches and smiles,
She has found her true spirit,
And has joined the ranks at last,
Long have they awaited,
This joyous day.

A rough squeaking noise could be heard from the door of Cassandra’s chambers, and when she turned to look that way, her Uncle Albert appeared in the doorway. Like his niece, he had brown eyes, though his were far beadier, and had very short black hair. His face was severe, as was his manner of speech and how he carried himself. The man was humorless and dour, though that never bothered Cassandra in the slightest. “Uncle,” she said. “So nice to see you…it gets lonely being cooped up in here.”

“Forgive me niece, but a military submarine is no fit place for a princess,” Albert said as he walked into the room. “Or for such a lovely gown…I’d worry that it would snag on something and tear.”

“Yes, that would be most unpleasant,” she replied as she put down her brush and folded her hands in her lap. “Are you enjoying your time in this submarine? I’d think you would, being surrounded by military men, at the help of a vessel under the sea, not being bothered by trivialities.”

“Enjoyment is the word I’d use to describe it,” Albert said firmly as he walked in and started pacing around the rear wall opposite the door. “I don’t enjoy things, Cassandra, you know that. Though I do find certain things to be refreshing…this is refreshing. You remember what King Robert said when he forged the Obsidian Throne?”

Of course I know what he said. “A king should never sit comfortably,” she replied.

Albert nodded in acknowledgement, before he asked, “do you know why he said that?”

“Because a king who sits comfortably is a king who gets complacent, and a king who gets complacent is a king that isn’t aware of threats to his rule, made by those who are neither comfortable nor complacent. Only those who are aware and dealing with their threats are the ones that keep their throne, from those that would take it from them.” This reminds me of all those lessons he gave me when I was a little girl, she realized. At least I paid attention to what he said, unlike Nathan…

“Very good,” Albert said a little less severely. “I won’t find enjoyment until I know that all of my enemies have been dealt with. That’s why we are going to where we are going.”

“…I thought this was a vacation,” Cassandra chuckled teasingly. “Is that not what this is? Think about it, a secret floating underwater city, sounds like an ideal vacation destination to me.” And a great place to disappear for awhile… Cassandra was good at that…dropping off the face of the earth, and then come roaring back when it was least expected. It’s the shit you don’t see coming that gets you…

To that, Albert actually grinned. “There are no vacations when you presume to rule. You never get to take a break from being a King, or an Emperor. It’s a job that lasts twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. Though this particular business trip involves respite…which makes it refreshing, and while vacations are also refreshing, my singular purpose is kept in mind.”

Albert had been unusually tight-lipped about what exactly would be going on in the Isle of Elysium, which Cassandra found most vexing. “Is that why you didn’t bring Aunt Isabel?” Besides the fact that’s crazy, of course.

“…Part of the reason,” Albert replied. “It’s not a bad thing to get some time away. Besides, since she’s with child, I’d prefer for her to remain at court where I know she will be safe. When dealing with the Rhydinians, I cannot guarantee her safety. Just as I told you before we embarked from Vorindeum that I cannot guarantee yours. Yet you’re stubborn like your mother, and are not so easily dissuaded.”

“I seem to recall that you were dealing with the Rhydinians at the ball,” Cassandra recalled with amusement. “Talking about the Batorys, no doubt. I wonder what the Rhydinian had to say…a shame you won’t share. You know I never tell.”

The Iron Eagle seemed surprised by her keen observation, though he didn’t acknowledge it. “Yes, the Batorys are a scourge, and the Rhydinians recognize that, and the threat that they pose. Make no mistake, the Batorys need to be dealt with. That’s what we discussed, but you know what was said cannot be disseminated. Not even you, as fond of you as I might be.”

How quaint. “…I was unaware that the Batorys needed dealing with,” she said coyly, feigning ignorance. Let’s see if he will give me the scoop on those beasts.

“The world recognizes them for what they are, parasitic vermin,” Albert snorted. “They will spread, and multiply, and consume until nothing is left that they don’t control. Once the world recognized this, they began to unite against them. In their desperation, the Batorys sealed a pact with the Xukuhites, thusly uniting their empires. Such a united empire serves as a grave threat to the free world, and it cannot be suffered. It must be destroyed before it can take root.”

“And the Rhydinians have a plan for addressing this, eh?” she raised an eyebrow. “And that’s why we are here…to be made privy to those plans and to find a way to get involved in them.”

“Precisely,” Albert answered. “And the Isle of Elysium is the ideal location for such planning.”

Let us hope. Cassandra could see why the Rhydinians were such useful allies. They were effective in whatever they did, dealing with problems with a surgeon’s precision. They can deal with the Batorys, for the Batorys are wanton creatures of passion and hedonism, and bestial at that. She missed Mierin at the Midsummer Ball, though she heard the Batory Princess had desecrated herself with various implants. The thought made her cringe.

If the Rhydinians can deal with the Batorys, then they could deal with the Dakmarans, she thought. Her thoughts then turned to her second cousin Maria of Garza, who was foolish enough to marry Crown Prince Martin of Dakmoor and bear him twin daughters, the first of which was heir to Dakmoor, or at least until a son was born to Martin. I warned Maria to remember her family and her loyalties, she thought. Maria didn’t listen and turned her back on me. All those years of being family and friends, all for naught…she turned her back on me for a fucking Dakmaran. She will share in their fate…

Turning to his niece then, he raised his eyebrow. “That still doesn’t explain why you wanted to attend so badly.”

Cassandra shrugged casually. “I just needed to get away. Ghish is very stressful sometimes. Life is too short not to fill it with adventure and the discovery of new things, wouldn’t you say?” Uncle Albert suspects something.

Albert was unamused. “I heard about an investigation into the murder of one Uhtred of Deepdale from Brytene, enemy of SACTO. I don’t suppose you know anything about that?”

“…I can’t say that I do,” Cassandra shook her head slightly. “Such a shame…I heard he was a good man. I never got the chance to meet him. One can only hope his killers are brought to justice, though I suspect they were little more than street urchins. Probably got into a drunken street fight…I hear that sort of behavior is common in Brytene. This is why you shouldn’t let common rabble ascend to high offices, because then they will bring their improper behaviors with them. Maybe if he was less of a drunken fool, he’d still be alive…”

Albert narrowed his eyes at her response. “You need to watch yourself in Ghish, niece.”

“Of course, but I don’t have to worry about that in Rhydin, now do I?” she smirked.

Before Albert could respond, one of his men stopped in the doorway and said, “your Grace, we have arrived.”

“Good.” Turning to his niece, Albert said “prepare yourself, we are here.” With that, he turned away and walked out of the room. For security reasons, Albert wouldn’t let Cassandra bring any of her ladies in waiting or other personal staff, instead placing her in the care of his own people. I can’t trust a fucking kraut with the brushing of my hair, she winced, as she finished doing that before hastening herself out of the room.

From what Cassandra knew, the Isle of Elysium wasn’t an actual island…it was a floating underwater “base” of sorts roughly four hundred meters deep, which meant that it could only be accessed underwater. This was why Albert came in a submarine...because he lacked any other way of reaching the “isle”. The station received its own energy via renewable sources. This was the extent of what she knew about it, aside from it having the amenities one might expect from an exotic tourist destination.

Fortunately, the submarine was able to dock via a side airlock, allowing Cassandra to walk through the submarine’s interior towards the entrance to the Isle. About fucking time, she thought as she wiped beads of sweat forming on her forehead and brow. Stepping through the airlock and into the connecting tunnel, she emerged into what she perceived to be the docking area. Some soldiers were on standby, presumably to inspect the arriving vessels and to escort the arriving dignitaries to wherever they were supposed to go to meet.

They certainly seem on point, Cassandra thought as her Uncle, his champion and a dozen of his guards gathered in that area, before some Rhydinian soldiers began to escort them through the Isle’s interior. Albert and his part were escorted through a path that led to an area containing various shops and eateries, before that same path went away and down into deeper parts of the Isle. How exciting.

Those around them seemed nearly as alien as the Rhydinians. A strange collection of things barely resembling people, hardly more than beasts, she thought. Cassandra tried her best not to stare at them, lest she give them offense. Careful observation made her suspect that the Takhisians were present, which made her recall a story she had heard at court involving their conduct in Renor Xukuth.

From what Cassandra heard, Ambassador Kara Koharys, who was the Ghantish ambassador to the Batory Empire, travelled to Renor Xukuth with her Batory patrons for some event involving the Batory Empress Vereba’s granddaughter Mierin and some Xukuth savage named Aytep, both of whom later attended the Midsummer Ball in Ghish. Together they dueled against a number of opponents in an arena for the honor of being able to wed. Of course they won, but along the way, Mierin did devour the female reproductive organs of at least one fallen challenger. Fucking savage beast woman, she thought. Such freaks shouldn’t be welcome in the land of eagles.

Meanwhile, Ambassador Koharys was doing her rounds in the stands, exchanging niceties with other spectators. Apparently, one of them was Takhisian, and when Kara introduced herself to a group of spectators, the Takhisian proceeded to insult her, threaten her and say all manner of mean things. Apparently, the Takhisian went by the name of Diedra Hallas De'Wyren, and Cassandra wondered if the Takhisian bitch was here in the Isle of Elysium. If she speaks to me the way she spoke to Kara, she will feel the back of my hand across her face, and the hands of my Uncle’s men around her arms and throat. Cassandra smirked at the thought.

Her thoughts returned to the Batorys. Mierin is with child, she had heard it said. A child that will unite the Batory and Xukuhite Empires. Such a beastling will covet the world, no doubt. It will have to be destroyed, before we are all cast under the veil of Batory yoke. She shuddered at the thought of her great country ruled by those creatures, and what they would do Cassandra’s house. They will devour us, man woman and babe alike.

Cassandra wouldn’t let that happen. She wouldn’t let Dakmarans, or Batorys or Obeds or anyone else wrap the White Eagles in chains. Her eyes were keen, her wings strong and her talons sharp. All beasts are lesser than the eagle, and will feel our wrath should they threaten our roost. To that end, she suspected that the Rhydinians could be quite useful, given that they seemed to have common cause.

The subsequent area was something of a storage area in appearance, which seemed like a strange place to be escorted to. Unless it is concealing something of greater importance. They thusly arrived at a drop down cargo door, prompting her to wonder what was on the other side. Apparently, another set of doors, with a few guards posted up there for security. What are they guarding? High-profile cargo?

Another set of doors was after that, and then something quite different from the previous storage area. This new area was one hat seemed quite luxurious by comparison, and it took her a bit to soak it all in. This area consisted of white walls and a piece of furniture in the middle of the room in the shape of an octagon. Cassandra had never seen anything like it in her life…it seemed very strange. I think it’s a table, she realized as she examined the figures sitting at it.

The first was an exotic looking woman that Cassandra had a hard time finding the words to describe, only thinking that she looked synthetic. There were others present, people in uniform that seemed as singular and as severe as her Uncle Albert, who seemed to study the group of Rhydinians with narrowed eyes, standing tall and proud. If Albert was feeling or thinking anything about his surroundings or company, he didn’t let on.

Albert’s party was not the first to arrive. There were others present that didn’t resemble the Rhydinians, other guests who arrived prior to Albert and his niece. Cassandra examined them all, the motley of faces and figures that she regarded with curiosity. I wonder what they think of me, she thought as she looked them over. Do they see Ghantar often? Probably not.

The Rhydinian woman moved slowly, with an unworldly grace that made Cassandra think she were an alien. “Welcome, one and all to the Gathering once more. There will be many agendas to be filled, and many more guests to arrive. Do enjoy your stay.” Her voice seemed fluid and deliberate, though Cassandra was far too distracted by the…woman’s clothing, if one could call it that.

Uncle Albert stepped forth towards the Rhydinian woman. “So we meet again,” Albert told the woman with a slight, though courteous bow, making Cassandra realize that this was the same Rhydinian that came to the ball. “You remember Sir Benoth, I presume, and this here is my niece, Princess Cassandra of Ghant, the new Imperial Master of Offices at the Imperial Court of Ghish.” Albert turned his gaze towards Cassandra, while Benoth stood silent and monolithic, staring at the white walls.

Cassandra curtsied deeply. “A pleasure,” she told her hosts gracefully. “It is an honor to be here, truly. Though you must forgive me for not knowing your name, my…lady.” Is that…person even a lady? This was all so strange, and unlike anything she had ever witnessed before. A part of her had to think she was dreaming. Though I suppose the Isle of Elysium is the thing of dreams…
Last edited by Ghant on Thu Apr 07, 2016 11:52 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Renor Xukuth
Envoy
 
Posts: 279
Founded: Oct 03, 2007
Compulsory Consumerist State

Postby Renor Xukuth » Fri Apr 08, 2016 3:18 am

From one betrayal to another, a heart colder than winters zone
That never counts as failure, when it comes to unconditional love
Darling, the pain and secrets were never yours to absorb alone


The ever near silent entry of the scantily clad and yet well armed form of Countess Alaria Masai Kyorl came to be within the decidedly not overly decorate or ornate yet still alien like hall that served the guests of the Rhydinian gathering. Languid movements of hips, swaying slowly from side to side just enough to be feminine, her attire was considered the old style amongst many of the old guard of the Xukuthite houses. Traditional late-Victorian appearing silhouette accomplished beautifully with a closely-fitted bodice featuring a high neckline with a stand-up collar made of shirred black silk chiffon and trimmed in lace, with many small buttons closing the front. A gently ruffled peplum skims over the hips. Large poufed sleeves taper to lace-trimmed narrow cuffs, which have an additional black silk chiffon deep ruffle at the wrist. The hem of the matching skirt finished with a black velvet ruffle, just below two rows of black velvet ribbon and lace.

Matching the countess of the Kyorl, was that of her two guests and conspirators alike. Vidame Nren Ve'Hek and Vidame Ataya Dolis Elghinn were present and attired much in similar fashion. Nren wore a deep burgundy Victorian style cotton dress that combined both her natural femininity and offered a greater functionality in its fitted bodice. The style offered a square neckline in front and back, long 3-gored skirt gathered to the waist, and 3/4 length sleeves. Metal buttons close the front shined to a gleaming polish. An attached cascading half-skirt in back adds a bit of a bustle flare to the dress.

Her counter-part, Vidame Ataya was a bit more vibrant in the Maybelle styled dress. The calico top offering a flattering V-shaped neckline and bodice hem. The neckline double ruffled lace trim and delightful lace sleeves. The top had buttons to open or close, depending on her mood. The matching bustled overskirt featured a drawstring waist while the solid cotton underskirt boasted wide ruffled lace, forming deep "V's" down the center front.

Like many Xukuthite women however, the trials of the lives was not be hidden. At certain points one could see their clan and bloodline tattooing, or the very faint tease of the metal plates that were attached through the skin to the bone itself on the spine. They were predators though, polite as they may be. To sup with the Rhydinians, they had come for the destruction of the House Hiendor, and through it, the union being cultivated with the Batory Empire.

The three of them, with that of Alaria as the spear, and the other two behind as the shields came to rest nearby the other arrivals. They offered a faint bow of head and spoke their greetings. Countess Alaria Masai Kyorl, and I present my ladies in waiting and eager participants to the nights ahead, Vidame Nren Ve'Hek, and Vidame Ataya Dolis Elghinn.

It was then, that the Countess noticed the Northerner amongst them, and with a feathering of fingers against her bosom for a mere moment, offered a flirtatious greeting to the Takhisian who was not of the Takhisian's who came to the Palace of Shade just recently. I did not think to see you amongst us here my dear sweet Colonel Valarian.. Alaria slipped about the others present, mindful with a tip of her head to be polite to said others as she beared down upon the Takhisian mercenary officer. I wondered whose ship that was, oh and I see you brought Lieutenant Colonel Henog with you as well. Quite the delight.

Alaria smiled sweetly, knowing that she was causing both of the Takhisian women a bit of flushing cheeks and awkwardness. She had a desire for pretties you see, the shinier the better, and nothing was out of her reach for long, her claws ran deep.

The three women had come upon a vessel serving that of Countess Kyorl's house, and by decree, whatever her needs might be. The ominous form of an imperial naval vessel of Xukuthite origins located within one of the many docking ports. The sleek and savage Miltyanem (Raptor) class carrier, the perfect chariot for the royalty that strained under the burden of leadership that held a name, a name that many knew beyond it's borders. Hiendor.

There was an opulence aboard her personal transport, within the commanding officers quarters, obsidian floor tiles met jade pillars and a domed ceiling adorned with artwork of battles past, both victorious and not so as to convey a message. Roman-esque couches and so forth lined the walls, and in the center the floor dipped into a circular area that contained benches and a dais with a fountain that flowed a black liquid substance. Goblets nearby, each ready to be dipped within the fountain's pool.

While the normal Miltyanem boasted exceptional combat abilities as it was a formidable sub-carrier platform in the world deployed as a 'mainstay' unit. With upwards of 80 subcraft, this dedicated-carrier represents a very serious force to be reckoned with on a field of battle; able to disgorge more fighter forces than any other ship in a standard order of battle, with the capability of achieving total marine-superiority in just a matter of hours, over an incredibly large area of responsibility. In contrast to the RIRN's "hybrid" carriers which combine the weapons of a battlecruiser with fighter-carrying capability, the Miltyanem represents the first truly dedicated class of submarine fighter carrier in the world; giving over much of its hull and internal structure to vast hangar and flight deck facilities.

And since this variant here at the Isle of Elysium was the de facto flagship and home to the Countess of the Masai Kyorl, it was upgunned even more so then the normal version. Sacrificing it's carrier space for more cavitating cannonry, and so on. Instead of eighty subfighters, it had been reduced to a mere thirty. It was more anti-ship then it was anything else. It carried the scent of royalty corrupted and was often times seen as a thing of decadence rather than a warship.

Still it had not come alone, and this was something their hosts knew. Within the depths of the territorial waters, near the other escorts, a slew of Xukuthite submarines awaited the arrival of their flagship. A smattering of vessel types, where the Kyorl went, they went in force. One never knows if they may have to engage or escape in such trying times. Though there presence within the home territories was quite considerable, Kyorl had a far larger imprint on the under-surface colonial holdings.

A contingent of the House Kyorl Royal Guard stood outside of the vast submarine, arrayed in parade formation, ceremonial weaponry equipped. They wore a type of helmet that allowed not for their face to be seen, but what they could see, well that was quite alot. Within the shell of the opaque visor, a hud displayed the area, different light source filtrations, and so on. They might appear to be one thing, but that of course was the fatal mistake. Much like the RIRN legionnaires across the way from them, each eying the other with a suitable tension.
Last edited by Renor Xukuth on Sun Mar 26, 2017 1:02 am, edited 2 times in total.

It's not that we do not love you as a people, we love how your people taste, how they bleed. It's just that you are not our equals and never will be.

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Undead Souls
Lobbyist
 
Posts: 11
Founded: Nov 28, 2012
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Undead Souls » Fri Apr 08, 2016 5:33 am

(Following the trendsetters..)

Be silent in that solitude,
Which is not loneliness- for then
The spirits of the dead, who stood
In life before thee, are again
In death around thee, and their will
Shall overshadow thee; be still.


The submersible vessel slowly surfaced within the safety of the Isle of Elysium's harbor. It's dark mass was far more slender then those of the super-submarines that carried those of Xukuth or Rhydin. It's make was via a channel that served the Infernalite Everpire, the armaments devil, HIA. Indeed one of those so-called inhumans stood beside the True Dead Princess, Xia Capitar Procipinee. The representative had boarded not to long after they had set sail, and Xia had come to know her as Atra, though no last name had been given. She was as pale as the ice that formed within the Everpire, similar to those of the Haru, that frostbitten look that they so claimed apart of their generations of birth and breeding.

Xia on the other hand, had acquired this look as part of the Infernalite re-birthing process. It involved cryogenics and scarring the body to the point that the soul screamed. Through ritual and perhaps a dose of mysticism, said soul drifted free of the body to be stored within a sacred urn within the deepest, most sealed areas of the Everpire. This allowed them abilities beyond the mere mortal ones, and an intense rivalry with the children of Asahi. Forever eating one another's forked tails, nemesis's to their expansion and the progression of The Dreamer.

To her right, the Haru looked as if she were her cousin and kin, but that one was anything but. The ethereal taint that welled up and about like a cloak to her eyes was a great sin to The Dreamer's cradle, and of life in general. It would be one thing to say it was limited to just this one focal point, but all she had seen of the Haru lands was this blanketing taint that caressed one was a gentle touch, a lure to a place of sin and travesty all the same. Beyond their skin tone, and basic appearances, the Haru was quite different in both attire and presence. A long coat, like the one traditional sailors of the submarine forces of long ago used to wear adorned her frame, and of what it looked as, Xia could not guess.

The female representative of HIA was if Xia had to guess, nearly six foot in height, with short, jet black hair, and a set of Raven's eyes. She could barely discern the irises that lay within them, and their constant movement, somewhat disturbed her a bit. The collar was up, and it appeared she was almost swallowed up by the attire, even the breathing apparatus was nearly hidden away as if the shadow of the coat covered her completely.

Xia on the other hand, was resplendent in the attire of an Infernalite princess. Timelessly beautiful strapless tulle overlay gown that fully embodied all things regal, and as such the status that she beheld as a Princess of the Royal Family that ruled the Infernalite Everpire. The entire gown has been dramatically decorated with metallic embroidery and dazzling crystal and metallic beading, subtly accented at the natural waistline with pearls, rhinestones, and crystals and finished with a chapel length train that personifies the experience one would have by being within her presence.

Exotic and then something else, a completely opposite being then her chaperone Atra, they followed their escorts to the meeting place. Already so many had arrived, and they were all so different yet united by a common cause such as the Gathering proposed. She noted the Xukuthites almost immediately with a bit of familiarity, the proud but fallen to the wayside houses three. Hmm..and then there was the Shinare Takhisian, and the Havani Royal, The obvious nobles from another country, and Nocian's? That was odd. Why would they be here she wondered as coming before the..Rhydinian host.

She didnt know what magics the Rhydinians used, but she couldnt see Yanna's presence, even with her ether enhanced gaze. She was simply there, but there was no trace, no tendril of the shadow that was the essence of life. No whispering tendril of light that danced for her, and her alone in this place. The others had such, to a lesser degree some were more faint then others, but nothing, not even a little bit. Interesting indeed.

Greetings My Lady of the Sea, as per your polite request, I, Princess Xia Capitar Procipinee of the Infernalite Everpire has answered with my presence. Accompanying, is that of Atra, a representative of the armaments corporation, HIA.

Aforementioned Atra simply offered a slight tip of her head, ebony tresses teasing the right temple a moment before she straightened back up and remained as she was. At the slightly glance, or rather a glare from the princess, she sighed into the breathing apparatus and then spoke. A greetings My Lady of the Oceans Vast, on behalf of Haruspex International Armaments, do I, Atra Vek Elemmiire come to greet thee.

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The Batorys
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Posts: 4999
Founded: Oct 12, 2009
Corrupt Dictatorship

Postby The Batorys » Fri Apr 08, 2016 6:07 am

The small launch sped over the waves. It was a quick little boat, but not so fast as to seem like an attack to the defenses it passed through. By now, the much larger ocean liner that the occupants had departed from was far away in the distance, near the horizon. A graceful ship whose aesthetics, down to the paint scheme, harkened back to the luxury liners of a century ago, she was owned by a company that through hidden channels was controlled by the Harthy and Golgary clans.

The occupants themselves could not be more different from each other. One wore a smart business suit, albeit, of pale lime green. Black hair, with just a few grey ones, tied back in a neat bun. The earrings were attention grabbing, likely platinum. Not large, but intricate in knotwork. Below the business skirt were stocking clad legs ending in heels of a few centimeters. High quality briefcase sat by the woman's side.

Her companion, on the other hand, wore an extravagant Minoan style dress of dark blue with gold trim. Her exposed bosom was covered only with blue spiral tattooing, gold or perhaps bronze, jewel shields resembling lunar symbols partially yet not fully obscuring the dark nipples. Yet even this did not pull one's gaze away from her face for long, for it, too bore blue clan markings, thickest near her eyes, intricate and yet dense enough that the skin there appeared more blue than white. Her hair was done in a style to match her dress, many locks dyed blue, the others remaining black. Some were braided together with beads interlaced. The earrings that hung low were like the other jewelry, in being ambiguous as to whether they were made of bronze or gold. Intricate tiny chains linked the ones that hung from her earlobes to rings higher up on the ears.

The two rode in silence, leaving it to the skipper to guide them to their destination.

As the launch traveled across the waves, the view of their goal grew larger, a port of call in the middle of nowhere, surrounded by open ocean, no natural land anywhere in sight, the location apparently picked at random. Supposedly, this place was all a massive floating structure. In a sense it could be called a ship... though at what point of size did something stop being a ship and become a floating island? Could it move from place to place? Was it anchored or free drifting? Should Elysium be referred to as "she," as hyperboreans did with their ships? So many questions, yet none really all that relevant to why these two moroii had traveled to this strange place. Those reasons, even amid all the gleaming, clean brightness of Elysium, were as sordid and dark as they came.

This contrast was not lost on the more elaborately dressed of the two, who frowned and grunted slightly as the boat slowed and drew up at a dock, as if expressing distaste.

"Something wrong, Nikara?" her counterpart asked as they disembarked.

"Not yet," she said dryly. "Except, Semtiya, for all this... skulking."

She had reason to be annoyed. Their boat ride had been quite long, with their ocean liner distant enough to not directly be seen as heading to this particular destination, far enough so that it lay almost exactly at the horizon. Despite its speed, their small launch had taken hours to get here. All for the purposes of plausible deniability. While the war had tapered off between the Empire and Rhydin, tensions remained high. A hyperborean ship being seen to steam directly into a Rhydinian port simply would not do.

The two walked slowly down the dock, booted feet thumping in rhythm. Guards waited to lead them to where this fell gathering was to take place. The general theme seemed to be... down. As they made their way through the city, itself quite a distracting wonder, they descended several levels. There was no time to interact with the locals, who did not bother them, surprisingly (one would think after previous experiences that there might be some ire directed towards two moroii in a Rhydinian city), as soon they were near their destination, a meeting room. Its position beneath sea level was all too obvious, enough to make some uncomfortable. Semtiya, the business-dressed one, shifted slightly as they went in. Before her companion could get off some smart remark, they were inside, surveying the gathered group of dignitaries.

Takhisians, it seemed, in their flagrant militarism... a Havani prince... Nocians looking mysterious and tempting... even some Ghantar, no doubt the Empress' least favorite... three Xukuthites looking imperious as always, their clans familiar now... a Haru and one who looked Haru but most certainly was not, by scent... and, of course, their hosts, the Rhydinians themselves, of whom Yanna appeared to be taking the role of spokeswoman.

"Thank you for inviting me," Semtiya spoke, bowing her head slightly. "To those who do not know me, I am Semtiya, matriarch of the Harthy clan." She gestured to the woman in the Minoan-style dress. "With me is Nikara Sulesartyr, daughter of matriarch Akinöe."

Notably, the heavily tattooed Nikara did not bow. Instead she retrieved a pipe from... somewhere and lit it. The acrid smoke revealed its contents to be a mixture of madak and cannabis. Of those present, she studied all, azure eyes seeming to peer deep in them, the markings on her face, matching in color, giving her an air of fierceness even with her expression neutral. "Pleased to make your acquaintance," she said, in near monotone fashion. Eyebrows raised suggestively at the Xukuthites and some of the Rhydinians, as well as the Nocians. When her gaze came to rest on the Ghantar, one corner of her pale lips turned up, as if amused.

For her part, Semtiya seemed to eye her counterpart, looking between her and the others, eyes narrowing, ready to head off any verbal barbs. It was obvious that there was not much love nor trust between these two.
Mallorea and Riva should resign
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Siltrin Calussai
Secretary
 
Posts: 37
Founded: Jul 04, 2006
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Siltrin Calussai » Thu Apr 14, 2016 1:27 am

___________________
Law of the Wolf
___________________


Image

Now this is the Law of the Wolf — as old and as true as the sky;
And the Wolf that shall keep it may prosper, but the Wolf that shall break it must die.

As the creeper that girdles the tree-trunk the Law runneth forward and back —
For the strength of the Pack is the Wolf, and the strength of the Wolf is the Pack.


Balon Kos Everhate, Autokrator Judge of the House of Everhate and the Kritarchy of Siltrin Calussai, his All Knowing Righteousness of Judgement of the Seven Regions, stood in waiting at this meeting while the vessel that had carried him, awaited within one of the docks. Honored veteran judges of many wars, arrayed in formal ornate wear of the battle dress attire that displayed the appearance of the Kritarchy as it was seen to be from outside had accompanied him as a form of entourage. Formed by the Ruling council of judges and the houses of law that had come to represent the Calussai lifestyle and culture.

Beside the Autokrater, stood those who both respected, as well as those who represented the will of the council. His closest aides and most respected officers of his beloved nation. Prince Yasraki Everstar, Azuchi D'haron, Herald of the Book and the Law, and Viceroy Ferin, Minister of Judgement. The three together heralded the peoples of Calussai into the next century as future participants of the High Council of Order.

In earlier times, the Rhydin Hegemony had been a consort to troubles, and a friend beyond borders. They had cemented a pledge to the young nation of Calussai, to forever be at the reach, should it be needed. Such were the times, as their lands were ever being menaced by the deadly Xukuthites, creators of their initial misery, and the first light of this world they had seen. Words would have to be spoken, as nevermore in the past had such grave a threat threatened their borders, however defended they might be.

A few steps forward taken, he wore a suit of black, that did not embrace trim or colour of a different hue. It was a solid colour and made him look as if a shadow, or an oily form against the somewhat tanned complexion it swallowed up. Even within the hive cities of the Calussai, the inhospitable land peeked it's head in. The sun always shining, menacing from above as it cast it's scornful heat across their brow.

So it was that the Rhydin Hegemony had come into their circle of being, and with it an alliance that they need not be open about, lest their former masters get wind of it. Further by establishing a willingness to keep it under the radar as it was, and Calussai was able to receive certain technologies to both enable their people to enjoy creature comforts, as well as to promote the adopted culture that had come to define them. Furthermore, with such aid, they could also defend that way of life as it progressed.

Having been escorted through the various walking paths, past the illusion of life, the bustling commerce and the people that lived within the facilities embrace, the four Calussai came to be within the gathering area. They had all come, from one nation or another, for one reason or indeed another. En Masse, in force, and now traversed the great distance of the sea and the sky to be at this table, where the future would be decided. Time had sown the seeds for this collection of individuals, the future that remained yet to be seen, would be protected by several different nations including their own.

That of the grasping hand of evil, the dynasty that was rearing it's head, it's terrible eyes to be gazing upon all the land and seas, it's teeth to be devouring the peoples one and many all. That is what this was to prevent, and so, in the name of Law most pure, had the Calussai come. With a polite bow, and extend of right hand did Balon perform before speaking to the Rhydinian woman as he stepped into the small area or clearing that had become present before her and all others.

On behalf of the Kritarchy, The Houses of Everhate, Everstar, and the Ministry of Judgement, as well as the Herald of the Book and the Law, I Autokrater Balon Kos Everhate, do greet the Lady of the Sea, and all others who come together for a singular purpose. A grand design that must be stopped in it's tracks before all of us present are rewarded with destruction for not reaping the life that grows from the planted seeds of the Xukuthite-Batory dynasty.

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The City State Rhydin
Diplomat
 
Posts: 785
Founded: Nov 07, 2007
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby The City State Rhydin » Fri Apr 15, 2016 2:55 am

Into the web my pretties..

The artificial cosmetic appearance of Yanna would seem to be a superfluous feature, practical experience has shown via extensive testing and research within the Hegemony that most humans are psychologically unable to interrelate with an inhuman-looking being; as a result, the physical appearance and simulated behavior patterns of Rhydinians are designed to mimic those of the true born. Their personalities, idiosyncrasies aside, can best be described as passive or non-threatening, even when they are indeed doing otherwise.

Many of the upper echelon Rhydinians benefit frombeing stronger, faster and better coordinated than an average human. The basic chassis is a carbon fiber skeleton with latchment point for the artificial musculature. This technology and those like it in the decades, leading into centuries before it, the result of the curse from the progenitor Haru race. Like the Xukuthites, Rhydinians to hail from a splintered bloodline. Said curse constituted their own flesh would rebel against them, and perhaps it was meant to destroy the Rhydinians. But they are a studious race, and what might be taboo for others, became the savior of their ways and culture.

As in a human, the skeletal structure is inherently unstable and is effectively suspended by the musculature. No limb locking, joint motorization or gyro-stabilization is present as in other anthropomorphic frames; instead, the muscles must work actively to keep the chassis standing upright while active feedback systems control its stability. Though the muscles can withstand considerable wear and tear, the lack of self-repair capabilities means they will eventually lose their strength and become increasingly elastic over time. Regular overhauls are required to maintain efficiency, and individual elements should be replaced every eight years, depending on workload. Muscle layout and operation, as with certain other internal function, are homologous with those of the human body. The circulatory fluid is a form of blue liquid similar in design to a synthetic blood that cooperates with the non-synthetic, used to lubricate the non organic systems.

As such, Yanna possessed an appearance and an ability to be something else. Something unknown and potentially frightening all the same. The way she moved, her speech, and how she looked upon those present. An ebony gaze that all light was drawn within to vanish, and a smile that could bring forth terror and more. Her first order of business had just arrived.

The Northern Takhisians

Having listened to their greeting, Yanna offered a smile and greeted the lead officer. I am quite glad that the Northern Kingdom decided to accept our request of attendance. I could not be happier by whom they sent. Your prowess in the field as well as at the table of diplomacy is well regarded Colonel Valarian. Though I have not heard the exploits of your second, I am certain that she will be no less admirable with such a mentor as yourself.

A polite tip of head to Lieutenant Colonel Henog. If all goes well, I expect your people shall have contracts for quite a long time. Please, do take a seat at the table, it would appear as all the participants have arrived.

The Havani

After excusing herself from the martial like Northern Takhisians, of whom were being greeted in turn by the military officers present with her, she found herself in the charming presence of regulars to Hegemony affairs and seminars. Prince Grail, Captain Arradune. I am honored that you have come. And so soon since the last time, does our Isle hold your interest that much My Lord?

Almost chided by the rather dashing figure before her, she mimicked the emotions respondent to being flirted with by Prince Grail. It seemed to have worked as he seemed to have expected that sort of reaction. Arradune might not have been, numerous dealings with her people had probably allowed him a bit more insight, but he didnt let it show. Perhaps to let the Prince have his day. If you would continue towards the seating area, I promise quite the show.

The Nocians

She smiled again, made a slight bow and moved to the next guest. Coming face to face with a most recent individual, who apparently had brought someone else this time. As always Lady DeVaco, your beauty inspires me. To see you amongst the sea, breathtaking. Invisible and yet she could see it nonetheless, the preening that slipped into the Lordess's features as she received such a compliment.

And you, Lordess Krune is it, also a High Priestess if I am not mistaken. She eased much closer, circling about the woman for a moment until she was just milimeters away from the right ear, lips that looked as if they were perpetually flush and rosen teasing the lobe. Exquisite. I hope that your presence is not just for beauty's sake, which isnt always a bad thing.

Slow lean back, and a smile to both as she held their attentions in the palm of her hands.Please, do go forth, my subordinates will be more then happy to converse on just about anything. Really quite the chatty cathy's you know. Stepping away, she came face to face with a most recent aquisition..

The Ghantar

You came. I have to admit, for a waning second, that you might not. Thankfully, here you are, ready to be amongst those who share your want of a world purified. Be they Xukuthites, Batory or what were they..ah yes, Dakmarans. She smiled, but it never reached those eyes, nor did it seem to reach anywhere else. Drawing close, the notice of a young woman, delightfully entertaining, and quite a beauty, had also come, as had the hound.

At the introductions, she drew up as if a viper, but relaxed or whatever the position was. Well met Princess Cassandra. I am Yanna Ke'la Velven, Countess of the Daika Ward, and member of the Imperial Council, servicing the Rhydin Hegemony. May I say, your quite exotic yourself. Perhaps, you will think of being the representative of the Ghantar peoples perhaps. We are quite interested in building formal relations you see, it would do well to have likeminded individuals amongst us would it not?

Her attention focused for a moment as if she were all but the predator ready to burst forth from the costume, then it shifted back to Albert. She paid little mind to the servant for the moment as his say in politics or otherwise would have little weight. Do please move to the area of seating, we shall begin shortly, but rest assured, your dream is our dream, and it will be made real and whole. Of that, the Hegemony as always stands by the Eagle, and those who share it's roost.

The Betrayer Houses. Xukuthites

She eyed them, the tension between was palpable enough that one could cut it with a knife. Countess Alaria Masai Kyorl, Vidame Nren Ve'Hek, and Vidame Ataya Dolis Elghinn. Their names spoken as if they were words of power, as if to summon the demons that ruled within the fallen houses, to make it dance before her like some sort of imp. Your houses fall to the wayside, so you come forth to the devil of your people to strike a contract true and deep. Upon fealty of blood have you done this, by the crooked knife and the venomous truth.

Her words flowed as the winter's breath, cascading against the trio as she remained unmoved yet radiating a focal point of presence that could crush the weak, and blind the enraged.You may proceed, but wary shall we be, for predators three, known your are to be. A pivot to the right and then she sauntered on towards..

Infernalites & HIA

Keeping her gaze of ebony hue upon those whose natures were far more unpredictable then the Ghantar, or the Nocians and so forth, Yanna came upon the form of Princess Xia Capitar Procipinee, and her HIA attache. I bring you greetings and tidings of the future, the brilliant night and the windswept day that shall encompass all and every.

To the HIA representative, of what could be seen, she merely offered a nod and some words before parting. Much like those of the old houses laid low, our eyes shall remain upon the daemons of the shadows and the merchants of doom and travesty. Your ilk are known for flexible thoughts and a penchant for both sides. One should be wary under this roof.

You may proceed.. She let loose at last, turning gaze and attentions to the arriving..

Harthy & Sulesartyr

The woman, that sultry Rhydinian came quite close. Unlike the frosty reception the Xukuthites were receiving, the Hyperboreans were a bit of an unknown, though much could be same on the other side of the coin. She eased about them slowly, speaking first to the lead of the pair. Of many things do I speak of to the Harthy clan, and of trade we do ply, though the future is what we both seek.

When she stopped, it was before the amusingly attired Sulesartyr woman.I do not know your face, but your people interest me to a degree. Perhaps the biting tongue of a realist is what shall keep the machinations true to form. Shall we see My Lady Semtiya? A slight head tilt, similar to how a bird would move followed.You may proceed, I look forward to your participation.

She slinked off, and with her the scent of an otherworldly like creature. Something askew in the Rhydinian world indeed.

Calussai

I see you arrived Autokrater Everhate, one of my first picks for this gathering. It just would not be the same without those who truly were oppressed and can offer up insight to a land ruled by the serpentine Xukuth. She invaded the personal bubble of space if you will and was quite suggestive and off limits at the same time as she chatted and bolstered the re-assurances that the Calussai people would soon be free of the looming yoke.

Please take a seat, and we shall convene the first gathering

Imperium, Colonial Holding of Salto de Victoria

To the three most recent arrivals, she would appear as much an alien as any other form of life that populated this meeting area. Hair of ebony hue, pulled back against the scalp slickly, matching eyes that appeared as if they belonged to a shark. The lack of irises made them shine in the light at times. Her languid pace, slight sway to hips as she moved, clothed within a style deigned to be appropriate for this endeavor beyond the sea's embrace. As Yanna displayed a form that was both manufactured and augmented to be a bit of both worlds, said form was appeasing in the snowy white, halter topped, somewhat plunging v-neck styled formal dress. It did expose a generous piece of her back, but well within modesty's caress.

Her voice, was as a winter's breeze, cool and calm, with nary a trace of the glorious warmth of the hearth, the beating and pulsating center of so many creatures large, small, tall, or wide. Teniente gobernador Alavarez, Almirante Espinoza, General de Brigada Melendez. Is that the correct pronunciation?

A faint bow of head, hands and fingers interlocking to form a diamond like form. I welcome you here, to this place, and bid you take a seat amongst the others. We have much to discuss. After she spoke, she observed them for a moment before moving as slowly but with sure steps towards the center of the room's interior.

To all

As the rest found their seats at the octagon shaped table, there was a slim area that allowed her to stand within it's center. This allowed her to intersect conversations and react directly with all parties hearing such. This would be the dissemination of information and the progression of either joint action or observance of individual plans formed.

As she bid all those gathered to silence with upraised arms and flat palms, Yanna spoke to all.

You have all come from near and far, to see to it the end of the Dynasty and the purification of the greater world under all our banners. I act with direct authorization of the Empress, and the advisory council, on all things put into motion here this day. And to that end the Hegemony will make contracts with all present to do just that, to end the rule that threatens us all, once and forever.

Her arms came down and she looked to each. Now we begin, and I am most interested to hear the desires of all of those present. Ask your queries, and we shall formulate the best results that can be, potentially the offensives against the union in creation.
Last edited by The City State Rhydin on Sat May 14, 2016 1:29 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Takhisia
Civil Servant
 
Posts: 10
Founded: May 15, 2006
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Takhisia » Mon Apr 18, 2016 5:51 am

The ties that dig deep

Streka inwardly sighed as being on the receiving end of the Countess's affections as soon as she had spied them. She knew that her subordinate was easily overawed by such women, but had kept it together reasonably well. Taking a bit of a stand against such, she became the shield for her precious junior and managed to redirect the Xukuthite noble's attention back towards her. Talons against her skin, even without the touch being real, she could feel the imaginary chains that lingered out of sight, waiting to be draped about her by this one.

Still, she was quite polite on the outside. A pleasure to see you amongst a sea of known and unknowns Countess Alaria. Stole yourself away from your homeland again, in rather fancy style I hear. She noted the Rhydinian coming about on her rounds and excused herself with the same politeness. She absently nodded at the wordage being used to spend some quality time within her presence.

As the Rhydinian..woman came close, Streka offered a more sincere tip of head, as did that of Miya who held the right side orbit as always. In response to the representative, she replied. My subordinate is quite gifted in the tactics of war, though this is her first time to wage conflict with words and gestures. She should be quite well at it.

To the notion of contracts, that did bring a bit of a toothy grin to surface a moment. That should prove interesting, however, as always, our exclusive contract remains with that of your government My Lady. There are many decades left in the agreement, you will have armies and vanguards at your disposal, for whatever you wish.

As the representative excused herself for other guests, she motioned for Miya to follow, and they were amongst the first to take a pair of seats at the octagon shaped table, left hand side, towards the wall. For the moment they would remain standing beside them, waiting for their fellows to also approach theirs.

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Havasu
Secretary
 
Posts: 39
Founded: Sep 10, 2013
Father Knows Best State

Postby Havasu » Wed Apr 20, 2016 2:30 am

The Prince and the Royal Flowers

" Before we go My Lady of the Sea, I must tell you something. Something very dear to me." Royal Prince of the Blood, the future heir to the Grand Duchy of Havasu offered a very fine bow of head, with his right arm crossing his chest. After a moment he resumed his upright stance, a faint bit of a smile etching it's way into his lips and so on.

" You know much about me Fairest of the Sea, but only what I am, and not what I am like. It's the main reason I asked for your decidedly brilliant agriculture genetic engineering and research aid. The team of scientists and so forth that you sent to my palace, have transformed it!" He offered a small device that gleamed with a sort of light that appeared to be a viewscreen composed of light, within the screen itself, pictures of the flora on display.

" The garden garden at the palace grove embodies the environmental philosophy that I shall build the platform to my eventual rule; that it is better to work with Nature than against it."

When he bought the estate several years prior, Arradune had realized soon after the purchase, why the prince had been adamant that it should be an entirely organic garden and farm. It would put him in good graces with the Rhydinian Hegemony, since they espoused an environment that must be symbiotic. The final pieces were being put to form in the here and now as he watched. At the time of the purchase however, there was no sign of a garden at all. Three years later in the book ‘Portrait of an Estate’ The Prince wrote: “It was difficult to know where to begin and I knew nothing about the practical aspects of gardening..”

His Royal Highness sought the advice of a friend, Lady Threnda, who was an experienced organic gardener well-known for her work at grand gatherings for his father, the Arch Duke and at Meridian House in Anmilwa. Arradune as a tried and true bodyguard and friend of the throne, had been with him as plans were laid out in parts to the development of the grand palace garden with scented plants. Wisteria, honeysuckle, jasmine, holboellia, lilies and thyme were chosen to surround it in vivid patterns.

On the advice of a Rhydinian scientist, Mirai Hokum, a genetic engineer who had come to the Grand Duchy at request of the prince to the Hegemony, to participate in agriculture research, was also a gardening expert and one of the Hegemony’s leading advocates of biodiversity, The Prince created the grand garden as an experimental development on progression of technology and viability.

Arradune remembered the passion His Royal Highness displayed, desperately wanting to protect the Duchy's native flora and fauna which was in decline due to modern farming methods. " My Lady of the Sea, His Highness has created a marvel for your inspection, and that of the Hegemony, a grand garden of which few can boast to have at their disposal. An experiment to be sure, but one to set the pace at which the Grand Duchy hopes to become of greater importance to that of the Hegemony."

The garden showcased nearly thirty-two different varieties of endangered native plants including ox-eye daisies, yellow rattle, common spotted orchid, meadow crane’s bill and ragged robin. As the device was laid upon the octagon shaped table, their seats now chose as they stood behind them as the Northerners had done so. The prince spoke again. " I should like to build upon what you know of me, and of the Duchy, for the future."

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Nocticula
Spokesperson
 
Posts: 147
Founded: Aug 03, 2010
Democratic Socialists

Postby Nocticula » Fri Apr 22, 2016 5:36 am

Aboard the Decider

Duke of War, Gandon Vec'Salu still resided within the command chair on the bridge of the now moored skyship. Data was slowly coming in from the crew on the none to distant Takhisian warship also moored within the embrace of the ocean. At current, the vessel had been identified as the Windbreaker, a heavy dreadnought. It was twice the tonnage of the Decider, with thrice the armor and armaments. It was also, not to current specification of what they knew of previous Takhisian vessels. The emblazoned emblem signified a lost house, and then Gandon blinked. Snapping his fingers somewhat as it came to him, he leaned forward as senior officers about him stopped their duties for a brief few moments.

" NorTak's! That's a Northerner banner on the flank of that vessel. " He leaned backwards a bit, gesturing for the information analyst's, to continue their diligence. His second, Commodore Viraii settled into the vice-command chair that was somewhat lower in position than that of the Duke's, though his eyesight remained more or less even. " If it's the NorTak's, a lesser chance for violence M'lord."

" True my friend, but a Northerner or not, they are a people we must always be cautious about. That vessel boasts enough firepower to lay waste to a squadron of Deciders." Gandon shifted slightly within his seat and tapped his gloved fingers atop the book he'd read a passage from earlier.

" If that is the truth, than we shall remain vigilant for our Lady, and her guest. It is all we can do."

" True again my friend, true indeed."

Within the meeting area

Lady DeVaco took the response from the Rhydinian with the charm and grace of her status. The compliments cascaded against her own feelings, like the stormy waters of the sea they so rested upon, crashing against the jagged shoreline of her emotions. A fan produced, she lazed it's motions back and forth as if dispelling the words of the Rhydinian." Thank you My Lady of the Sea.." She replied and then moved towards the table, and the wonders encountered. A pair of NorTak's, and a charming prince of the Havani. " My my, quite the assortment of delightful acquaintances.."

As she came to the pair of seats chosen, near the prince and beside the NorTak's, essentially separating them. Offhand she noticed that Krune had not been so lucky in the wordplay of the Rhydinian emissary, or rather, had become quite the lucky one perhaps. Sorshen was a bit jealous now, as taloned fingers lightly gripped the back of her chair as she watched the display between the two.

Sorshen observed Krune being examined so closely, nearly scandalous like by the Rhydinian and than off she was, leaving Krune to stammer a bit. Her ears were warm, cheeks flushed, and than a recipient of Sorshen's nearly spiteful gaze. How dare Krune get all the attention! Krune for her part merely shook her head, and made her way over to her friend and compatriot and lightly teased a finger under Sorshen's jawline. " You needn't be jealous. She's a tease, but I only have eyes for those of greed's temptations. Still, she is unusual, her eyes were as cold as ice, and I felt no warmth from her even as I gave a hearth of it to her."

She paused a moment, to notice the royalty to her left and the military borne to the right. If she remembered right, NorTak's were led by an Autocracy Junta of sorts, which operated as a corporation. Odd. The royalty to her left, it spoke of opulence and old riches. Had to be Havani and she was right, the old man she recognized as a high ranking military-court officer. The other, by the introduction given, was of the ruling family itself. Curious.

Others still coming, several she was not familiar with as well. One even seemed to know the emissary of the Rhydinians. That must be an odd relationship Krune thought. She knew Xukuthites, one could not mistake their presence, nor their attires. The rest she figured would come to be known.

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Ghant
Minister
 
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Founded: Feb 11, 2013
Civil Rights Lovefest

Postby Ghant » Thu May 12, 2016 10:43 am

Clandestine Meeting Room
The Isle of Elysium


I thought I was coming to a secret political gathering with the purpose of countering the Batory-Xukuhite union, Cassandra thought as she looked around the room contemptuously. Instead I feel as though I’ve been plucked into a goddamn freakshow. Cassandra had a furrowed brow and puckered lips, feeling more out of place here then she ever had in her entire life.

Who the fuck wears a Minoan dress? she considered as she glanced towards the Moroii. Perhaps she would have been attractive if she didn’t desecrate her own flesh with tattoos. Ruining a perfectly good bosom like that…God, the Moroii are vexing! She had to wonder if one was really any better than the other. Opposing factions or not, they all seem like beasts to me. Shame I forgot to bring my oak stake and holy water.

All the same she conceded that the Moroii, along with practically everyone else there, was dangerous. Cassandra by comparison was a soft princess with smooth skin, weighed down by satin and silk. She learned the art of silence from her Uncle Albert, who she remained very close to the whole time, the way she did when she was a little girl clutching at the back of his leg. He will keep me safe from these...these freaks!

Indeed, Albert kept his best poker face on as he lingered in the room. He was neither a social man nor was he ever the sort that engaged in small talk. His friends had always been few and people that he would willingly mingle with fewer, and even now he merely stood there quietly and took in the room, studying the people that came in and were already there with an eagle eye.

Then the Rhydinian greeted them. “You came. I have to admit, for a waning second, that you might not. Thankfully, here you are, ready to be amongst those who share your want of a world purified. Be they Xukuthites, Batory or what were they...ah yes, Dakmarans.” She smiled, though Albert did not. He merely grunted slightly.

Cassandra knew why. Uncle Albert has a soft spot for the Dakmaran children, because they are the children of Elizabeth Mutu. Cassandra knew Elizabeth well enough while the latter was still living, as their mothers were friends. Lady Mutu was a great beauty and as proper a lady as one could ever hope to find in Ghant. She was gentle, kind, and with a heart bigger than most. And yet, she strung Uncle Albert along and rejected him for Malibar Dakmaran. The twisted, dark and brooding man that Uncle Albert had become was born of that rejection, and for as long as Cassandra could remember, he supped on hatred for Malibar and fasted on what might have been.

“Of course I came,” Albert explained to the Rhydinian. “I endeavored to do so since you informed me about it at the Midsummer Ball. I always keep my dates. Any plans made that involve the safeguarding of the world from the yoke of Batorys and Xukuhites are plans I want to be party to and made privy to.” Cassandra took note of how he conspicuously left out the Dakmarans in that sentence. He wants their power and influence broken, he doesn’t want them dead, she understood. Though that will prove most difficult…

Then the Rhydinian turned her gaze towards Cassandra. “Well met Princess Cassandra. I am Yanna Ke'la Velven, Countess of the Daika Ward, and member of the Imperial Council, servicing the Rhydin Hegemony. May I say, your quite exotic yourself. Perhaps, you will think of being the representative of the Ghantar peoples perhaps. We are quite interested in building formal relations you see, it would do well to have likeminded individuals amongst us would it not?”

“I agree that it would be,” Cassandra nodded with a curtsey to Yanna. “I believe that the Ghantish peoples have much to lose from a Batory-Xukuhite union. No doubt those beasts have imperialistic designs, and I would do anything to prevent my country, and my people, from being cast under their yoke. For once in their grasp, it is very hard to achieve freedom once more.”

Yanna looked towards Albert and Benoth who stood behind him. For a few moments Cassandra forgot that Benoth was even there. He’s good at that…he doesn’t like it when people notice him. That was Benoth’s strength…he was like a fly on the wall ready to strike at any moment. To Albert, Yanna said “Do please move to the area of seating, we shall begin shortly, but rest assured, your dream is our dream, and it will be made real and whole. Of that, the Hegemony as always stands by the Eagle, and those who share it's roost.”

“That’s most reassuring, thank you.” Albert inclined his head towards Yanna before heading to the table to make himself comfortable in one of the seats there. Cassandra did the same languidly, carefully picking up the lower portions of her skirt with dainty hands as she moved haughtily towards the table. I mustn’t let my guard down around this lot.

After everyone else who had arrived seated themselves at the octagonal table, Yanna moved into a small, open area at the center of the table. With arms upraised she bid for silence, and then she addressed everyone present. Cassandra sat patiently next to her Uncle, and waited to hear what Yanna might say. “You have all come from near and far, to see to it the end of the Dynasty and the purification of the greater world under all our banners. I act with direct authorization of the Empress, and the advisory council, on all things put into motion here this day. And to that end the Hegemony will make contracts with all present to do just that, to end the rule that threatens us all, once and forever.”

Cassandra winced at the word “contract.” I don’t like contracts, she kept the thought to herself. There’s usually some sort of string attached. Though it wouldn’t serve to get distracted at the thought of such quibbles. Yanna’s arms came down and she glanced at everyone present. “Now we begin, and I am most interested to hear the desires of all of those present. Ask your queries, and we shall formulate the best results that can be, potentially the offensives against the union in creation.”

It was Uncle Albert who spoke then, answering Yanna’s call. “I would first like to state my belief that the union between the Batorys and Xukuhites is in and of itself an aggressive action meant to achieve only one thing, and that’s world hegemony. Both nations have a history of wanton imperialism and savagery. Why else would they form such a union if inflicting their designs upon the world wasn’t their intent?”

Albert breathed deeply before adding that “My desire is to put an end to that, by any and all means necessary. The child in Mierin Batory’s womb shall be the bane of the world. How many thousands, millions even could be threatened by such a child who would one day rule both empires, with an insatiable hunger for lands and a thirst for blood?”

Glancing towards the Moroii and Xukuhites present, he went on to say, “offensives are what they want, because their power is great. I believe the easiest way to nip this in the bud is by subterfuge. Fortunately, we have Moroii and Xukuhites present. Tell me what plans there are amongst your peoples to deal with this union? Surely it is as great a threat to you as it is to anyone else, because of the hegemonic ambitions of the Batory Clan and their Xukuhite companions.”

Cassandra likewise turned her gaze once more to the one in the Minoan dress with tattoos on her bosom. Yes…you there, what shall you do? she wondered to herself about the moroii. What are your plans? Be careful though…your Empress will devour you and all your kin should you fail or be revealed. Wouldn’t that be a shame?
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Salto de Victoria
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Posts: 13
Founded: Dec 18, 2014
Iron Fist Consumerists

Postby Salto de Victoria » Fri May 13, 2016 11:35 am

Teniente gobernador Santo Alavarez’s hazel brown eyes watched out the windows of the Emperada Super Battleship at the ocean that stretched clear into the horizon, the only other objects visible were the the two Proteger Battlecruisers and the two Principe Escort Carriers that had been assigned to protect the I.C.N.S Domingo. The Domingo was one of eight Emperade class super battleships that had been assigned to the Colonial Naval Forces of Salto de Victoria. At five hundred and thirty meters long she was the largest ship in service in both the Colonial and Imperial navies and a testament to the perceived naval prowess of the Imperium and her overseas territories.

Lifting the coffee mug he held to his mouth he drank the last little bit in the cup, it’s cold bitter taste caused Santo to wince slightly as he was reminded about how terrible the coffee was that was issued to the Navy. His other hand reached up and brushed away a loose strand of his salt and pepper hair, something he had allowed to grow longer now that he was no longer bound by the dress codes of the Colonial Navy. The Lieutenant governor of Salto de Victoria looked over his dress uniform once more, a habit from days long since gone, the golden creme color accented by large golden epaulettes on each shoulder, gold buttons that ran in a double row down the front and a long crimson stripe that down the exterior of the arms, torso and down to the pair of light brown leather boots. The Governors “salad bar” adorned his left chest and marked the multitude of campaigns he had participated in as a well as three service medals. The color of the uniform was a stark contrast the brown skin color of the governor that was common amongst the Victorians that were Hispanial descendants from the Imperium.

“We should be arriving within the hour gobernador.” came the familiar voice of the small naval task force’s commander, Almirante Jose Espinoza. Standing just under six foot the admiral was still a half a head shorter than the six and a half foot powerful frame of Santo.

“Once we are within range we will deploy a smaller watercraft to enter this artificial island or whatever it is.” said Jose. As the sunlight streaming in through the windows of the ship’s bridge Santo had to avert his eyes away from the bright white uniform of the Almirante. Like Alvarez the Almirante’s uniform was accented by large epaulettes, service ribbons and medals and the crimson stripe traced down the side to black leather boots.

“I still do not understand why the Imperium was invited or why I myself am here.” came the third voice of the person that would be representing the colony as well as the Imperium. Santo looking her up and down again Santo felt a strong attraction to the woman that stood before him. Nearly a foot shorter than the governor his presence still managed to command the entire bridge of the ship. Her brown hair was tied up into a ponytail and her green eyes glanced back and forth between the two men with a mixture of annoyance and impatience, her unifrom was again similar to the two men’s uniforms with the only difference being was hers was a dark tan and she did not carry the epaulettes on her uniform like the men did. General de Brigada Rosa Melendez was the commander of the 126th Irregulars Brigade, specializing in counter-insurgency operations the 126th had been in the colony for nearly six months carrying out COIN operations against the various Nekotarian rebel groups that cropped up regularly.

“I suspect the Imperium was invited because of Salto de Victoria which happens to reside in The Forgotten Lands, as you well know the Imperium has not made any effort establish ties with any of the nearby powers because it has always been better for the colony to ‘stay beneath the radar’ as they say. I suspect however the Imperium’s interest has been peaked now that there are rumors of the monsters from the Batorys and Xukuthites becoming united it would be best for the colony and the Imperium to at least listen to what the hosts of this meeting have to say, even if they are not human.” explained Santo to the fiery woman “As to why you particularly are here, you are currently the highest ranking officer from the Imperial Armed Forces within the colony, your name was requested specifically from the Presidente himself to represent the Imperium at this meeting, if you have an issue with that you can take it up with him when we are done.”

A small smile creeped across the governor’s face as he watched a small bit of defiance deflate from the woman in front of him, still he had not even come close to breaking the woman.

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

One hour later

The naval squadron had parked roughly a kilometer away from the hidden sea base as well as some distance away from the other “ships” that were parked outside the artificial island of the Hegemony.

The small hovercraft screamed across the water seemingly barely touching the crests of the small waves. Inside the craft Santo, Jose and Rosa along with three Irregular troopers that been assigned as bodyguards to the three “diplomats” of the Imperium.

Docking inside the base all three got out of the hovercraft, Jose reattached the sabre he carried at his side for such events it’s polished golden handle sparkling brightly in the sunlight. Meanwhile the other five occupants each adjusted holsters on their waists as the ride while not uncomfortable never really felt right with a sidearm pressing into the hip. Santo himself had brought the revolver that had been passed down through four generations of Alavarezs, ancient when compared to the caseless semi automatic pistols the Irregulars and Rosa carried, Santo still felt a sense of comfort with the old .46 hanging from his hip.

He still remembered the look in his father’s eye when he had presented the revolver to Santo when he had graduated Naval Academy, the mixture of pride with a slight amount of fear in the old man’s eyes still caused Santo to feel lump in his throat when he thought of the memory. He remembered running fingers over the intricate engravings that had been etched into the stainless steel surface of the gun, his hand rubbed the smooth ivory handles that were nearly a half century older than he was.

Once the were all standing on the dock the small group was approached by a group of figures in uniforms and they were ordered to follow along with them. As the they proceeded through the passageways to what had to be their final destination Rosa took particular interest in their escorts. Observing their movements that were crisp measured calculated by even military standards she surmised their escorts were likely a rather elite soldiers of the Hegemony military forces. None of the colonials or the imperial talked as they followed soldiers through the only sound was the distinct click coming from the boots of their boots.

After what seemed like several minutes the group finally arrived in what had to be the meeting area. Eyes quickly scanning the room all three representatives quickly made their own assessments and appraisals in their heads as they made quick and cursory observations of the room’s occupants while they waited to be shown to their seats.
Last edited by Salto de Victoria on Fri May 13, 2016 11:38 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Renor Xukuth
Envoy
 
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Founded: Oct 03, 2007
Compulsory Consumerist State

Postby Renor Xukuth » Tue May 17, 2016 2:22 am

Serpents Kiss

Alaria played bashful for a moment at the Northern Takhisian's reference on how she had escaped the roving eye of the other houses, and one in particular indeed. Drawing her extended hand backwards, she made a slight bow towards the mercenary officer. I am quite gifted it would seem, of slipping from another's mind..at times. Her eyes laid claim however, though such was not a secret in the slightest, even as the sigh spilled forth from Colonel Valarian's lips. Alaria imagined them to be soft, and silky, and needing a proper touch uponst them, so as to know her place.

She had a mild daydream of such before the Rhydinian..woman spoke her piece. As ever it was as threatening as any cool stare of hers, but with a certain flare for old world rhyme. Retrieved from her vigorous dream, Alaria offered a polite tip of head towards the Voice of the Rhydinian Empress and a response as well. Know then, that we shall honor a pact ancient and true, and thus shall we bound by it to you.

Both of her ladies in waiting, the Videames of houses long since past their prime, also offered more polite versions of a bow, then what had been previously given. After the alien like Yanna moved away, a slither to her step, Alaria offered a faint stare towards Nren. The younger of the two videames had been the one to lightly pet Alaria upon shoulder nearest, in order to retrieve her attention. Mm..Nren my dear, perhaps your not as timid as I thought. Perhaps..you will have a special place yet.

Vidame Ataya noticed the others of interest, not that there werent those of interest present, but members of the Batory Empire, were a bit of a..how shall we say, vested interest versus curious one. She spoke towards Alaria in the blood tongue. Zhah nindel naut l'ssa dos olis'inth xuil d'l'qu'ellaren wund l'tulshar?

(Is that not the serpent you plot with of the houses within the empire?)

Nren who had suddenly become a new interest, and well on her way of receiving the attentions of Alaria, found herself now apart of a two pronged investigation as said countess glanced that very individual. Her presence a hallmark of the pure arrogance and superiority complex that came with the old houses of the Imperial Gynecocracy. She peered forth and into the woman of Harthy blood and then to her guest. A radiant if predatory smile surfacing as she replied to Ataya. Ji ol zhah. L'byr Usstan xun naut zhaun, shar ilta. Udossta fei'ir Asse Senger telanthe

So it is. The other I do not know, mind her. Our fair Eagle Lord speaks

Attention now upon the one who spoke of plans and such, of subterfuge and shadow play as a means to end the union threatening them all. Alaria and her entourage had reached their seats, and once having settled responded in kind, after such generous direction of the conversation to them by the Lord of Eagles. Her voice was smooth, calming, with a hint of the iron waiting in the wings.There is much in the works concerning the wretched child of the Hiendors, but shadow play shall only work so long. The end, the desired result is a crippling of not only their bloodline, but the power and influence they wield like shield and sword throughout our shared realm. We must break the beast that is Hiendor, and to that end, we must strip the saddle that is the Batory from it.

Alaria continued. There must be no division amongst us, this road will not be traveled fully in a night, nor a week, a month, perhaps even a year. It will take planning, dedication, and above all else, commitment. We must be ready for war should it come, or to send our assassins at a moments notice. Alaria paused, for a moment, direct her gaze of steel upon those present. I will not flinch from this duty, this righteous cause that we have come to gather arms and knowledge for. My talons have already struck, and my blades shall descend. For now, Rhydin directs them, against all enemies of this pact forming, and any sympathizers of the Batory or the Hiendor.

It's not that we do not love you as a people, we love how your people taste, how they bleed. It's just that you are not our equals and never will be.

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Undead Souls
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Founded: Nov 28, 2012
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Undead Souls » Sat May 21, 2016 4:31 am

There was a time when meadow, grove, and stream,
The earth, and every common sight,
To me did seem
Apparell'd in celestial light,
The glory and the freshness of a dream.
It is not now as it hath been of yore;—
Turn wheresoe'er I may,
By night or day,
The things which I have seen I now can see no more.


-Excerpt from Ode, William Wordsworth. 1770–1850


Xia Capitar Procipinee, True Dead Princess of the Infernalite Everpire, had come to a glorious gathering. Even with the less than pleasant greeting, or rather that last portion directed towards the military advisor-friend who had come with her. At one time during the brief conversation, she had been quite displeased. However Atra's seemingly dismissal of the Rhydinian's veiled threat had calmed her significantly as did the explanation from the long coat wearing compatriot of hers.

Worry not My Princess, our host is being cautious. While your family steered clear of the Karthay incident, that which both empowers you and myself, did not. HIA represented both sides of the conflict to varying degrees of outrage, from either sides involved.

Xia thus understood the Rhydinian woman's penchant and apparent dislike of Atra and or rather what she represented. While still a bit upset at such a visual display from the woman, it was in truth, the first real thing she had seen come from the one known to her as Yanna. Perhaps they could react, or at least show some form of emotion when properly motivated. As she strolled towards the seating area, noting others already having arrived, and a discussion already in the works, she opted to not speak up at first, but to hear the two voices taking up arms of sorts, commanding the attention at the start.

Atra settled beside her, and the soft, not quite silent, but not overly audible, breathing of her companion a relaxing destresser for this endeavor as Atra, like many Haru, wore a respirator. Apparently a required device when not within their homeland, a place Xia had not yet travelled to, but would soon if plans fell together. It was Atra who spoke quietly, leaning in a bit.

The blunt gentlemen is of a powerful family within the lands of Ghant. She continued after a second or so. While you are aware of the Xukuthites through your own familial dealings, you have probably never met a Kyorl before. They are a powerful family, rivalling the Hiendor, and were quick to make enemies of them during the re-organization period after the Second Contact War with Rhydin.

Xia nodded a bit, she had various bits of information on many of those present, but some of it was not as fleshed out as she would like. Since the Infernalite Everpire was not of anything to anyone here, be it allies of some nature nor anything formal of similarity besides Rhydin itself, she felt nothing about sending agents to acquire information, nor to gathering activities of that clandestine nature. It was well regarded within the other Bloc nations and the former UFA, that the her lands were adapt at acquiring and disseminating information for both profit and knowledge.

She commented in the same tone, a whisper directed towards Atra. Ah, I see. So that's why they are here and hence the name. Scandalous as usual, no matter which house they come from it would seem. A slight lean back, casting her gaze upon the two identified as from the lands of Ghant, it was obvious as body language screamed it, nobles of some sort, royalty from their own lands? And the internal question answered as the Xukuthite woman directed a response that could only be applied to such, unless it was out of sarcasm, but she had a feeling it was not.

Eventually however she would speak up. She and her lands did not have the ties that the Xukuthites, nor the Rhydinians had to this cause, but all the same it had become hers, and once she had removed the familial stepping stones to her power, it would be action that brought the Infernalite Everpire to the mainstage of this theater.

I must say, that I, do have any of the previous relations with the House of Hiendor, nor this Batory Empire, however, it has been my understanding through experience, that anything the Xukuthites do, does not bode well for any within their circle of influence. A dynasty that would bring two massive powers together and arguably ramp up the technological abilities of one, does not speak of a great future for those of us who happen to be within arms reach of either of these nations.

A faint moment spent between her opening words.

The Infernalite Everpire will do all within it's power, and more, to prevent this union from happening. If we have to make this Mierin and the heir of Hiendor gone from this world, so be it. While a head on approach with either of these nations is best avoided, they are, indeed above average individuals, but they still bleed, and they can be killed despite their genetic advances they are as mortal as the rest. I would vote towards the usage of covert operations to hinder this union as much as possible.

This directed at both the gentlemen from Ghant as well as the ladies of Xukuth.

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The Batorys
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Founded: Oct 12, 2009
Corrupt Dictatorship

Postby The Batorys » Wed Aug 03, 2016 2:17 am

The smartly dressed Harthy nodded at the introduction of the Calussai Autokrator, Balon Kos Everate. Expected, the Calussai, as surely they'd be opposed to a perceived growth in the power and capabilities of their old enemies, the Xukuthites. Why wouldn't they want a chance to strike back at those who had once oppressed them? But again, center stage was taken by their unsettling Rhydinian host.

She smelled wrong up close, and could not but make Semtiya nervous. "A future that may be more prosperous than the one we'd otherwise be subjected to," she said, quietly, before taking her seat. Looking back, to her eastern clan counterpart, the Harthy was a bit annoyed that no signs of nervousness appeared to be present at all.

Rather, Nikara's eyes merely widened momentarily, and she nodded, following Semtiya, who in turn had to nod to save face, before taking a seat. The Sulesartyr did likewise and annoyingly continued puffing on her noxious smelling pipe, blowing bluish smoke upwards (at least she had that courtesy) every so often. The Harthy muttered a disparaging remark about madak smokers, to which Nikara gave the barest hint of a half smile, before her face again resumed its lack of expression save for the savage blue markings of her clan.

Semtiya nodded upon hearing the Takhisian's, Streka, she believed, reply. While the moroii did not speak or interrupt, she inwardly thought on the implications. Certainly the mercenary contract could provide an answer to the problem posed by lack of personnel, specifically armed forces, possessed by her clan, beyond their own members. Perhaps there could be more contracted as well.

The Prince of Havasu's response was long, meandering... and cryptic. Glancing aside to her counterpart, Semtiya found herself annoyed, as Nikara seemed to be quite enjoying the tale, not at all frustrated by the ambiguity. Perhaps her mind was by this point quite drug-addled. Why in the name of Ithtyr's womanhood did the Sulesartyrs send this one? Was Akinöe playing some cruel joke on her? Her attention turned back to the Prince's words. Was he speaking in some sort of coded language that only Yanna would understand? One to watch. The nearby Nocticulans remained silent, it seemed. Perhaps wise on their part. Hard to follow such prose.

Another glance at her fellow delegate for this fell gathering revealed the Sulesartyr to be staring at something. Following her gaze, Semtiya was for a moment confused, as it would seem that Nikara was fixedly staring at the Ghantar, in particular the young one. Why? Her question was answered by smell. It seemed that this one was rather uncomfortable with her fellow guests. The Harthy suspected that this was of some amusement to the eastern moroii by her side, hence the predatory leer.

Though soon it made all too much sense to look their way. Unlike the Sulesartyr, who continued to stare noticeably at the younger Ghantar for some sort of twisted entertainment, Semtiya's attention was directed towards Albert, as he seemed to be doing the Ghantish delegation's speaking. Truth be told, while the man's interests, for now, seemed to align with her own, she found his rhetoric overwrought, hyperbolic. While the Batory-Xukuthite dynasty might be powerful, world domination seemed a bit of an exaggeration. She couldn't help but feel slightly insulted, even if the descriptions of "wanton savagery," even if they were directed at the Batorys. As well, all of her people thirsted for blood. It was who they were. But it was likely best to be diplomatic. More annoying to her, as a businesswoman, was that Albert demanded things of her without offering anything first. This would have to be handled delicately. It would not do to let her irritation show. Besides, it was true that Albert, too, risked much by being here, though Ghantish rulers didn't have quite the reputation for disproportionate retribution that her own had. Mostly.

New arrivals broke the tension somewhat. Semtiya glanced over, observing the delegation of Salto de Victoria entering and taking their seats. She noticed that Nikara did not move her head, only her blue eyes, returning to staring at Albert's young protege.

No surprise that not all within Xukuthite lands were pleased about the union, but then, of this the Harthy already knew. The ascension of Hiendor was to the detriment of older prestigious houses like Alaria's. Almost a parallel, Semtiya mused, with the Batorys' eclipse of the Sulesartyrs. Quite a pleasing voice, but the words themselves were of fire and fury. Seemingly, Masai Kyorl were quite committed to this path, despite its risks. Of course, one misstep would result in a bloodbath. Semtiya was no fool... while there were almost no Harthys within the Dragon's Claw, she assumed the order was already active within Xukuthite lands, only observing, for now. If any connection was made back to her Xukuthite partners, or, gods forbid, to her, the long knives would be unsheathed with deadly purpose. Best not to think of it. Yet, she could not wonder... if it turned into an all out shadow war, would any of the current leaders of either side, anyone either close to the throne at the Hearth, or anyone in this room, be left standing?

Xia of the Infernalite Everpire, like Albert before, suggested assassinations. It seemed a logical approach. Without an heir, there could be no dynastic union, although the Batorys were notoriously prolific breeders and could likely supply another match with ease. Knowing them, while they'd grieve, they might coldly regard it as merely a setback.

"What my clan desires," Semtiya began, "is a political order with less favoritism given my clan's rivals... who of late have enjoyed an alarming degree of Batory patronage." She spoke, of course, of the Sorvik clan in particular. The communal clan of Drun had enjoyed quite a bit of attention in the naval rearmament, and now were partnered with the Hiendors in technological advancement. "We desire not to be constrained by Batory hands, with their trade barriers and meddling and high taxes and blatant contempt for the Harthy clan."

She paused. "To that effect, we are prepared to marshal our considerable financial resources... as well as provide transportation." The moroii smiled. "Technically it would be the Golgary and a few other clans providing the transportation, depending upon the mode. We can handle supply necessities as well." She looked around. "It really depends on your goals... to merely stop this dynastic union... or to overthrow the Batory clan..."

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The air had the muted quality only experienced in the dead of winter. As if the cold itself robbed the world of sound, with only the wind offering feeble protest. That same wind, however quiet, seemed to be enough to steal away the words of the assembled soldiery, though. That or the cold had taken their will for conversation as well. The cry of a crow somewhere was jarringly piercing in the comparative silence.

Thousands of soldiers stood arrayed for battle, warily eyeing their opponents at the beginning of the low foothills opposite. Their breath formed steam that rose into the twilight air, the fading light, even behind the foggy curtain of a grey, overcast sky, forming dazzling colors in said mist, complimenting those it cast on the snow. Looking up and down the lines was to see a riot of colors of different standards. Many different forces had been mustered, finally. Upon one war mammoth, a tall moroii with blue facial tattooing and bronze armor could be seen, checking her weapons with impatience.

Eneth Sulesartyr examined her mace yet again before re-slinging it and checking her bow. The wait had been infuriating for levies to be mobilized and various subjugated clans to arrive, when all the while, Sarkany had been leading raids all through Sulesartyr lands with what seemed to many to be impunity. From what Eneth had heard, the Batory Matriarch (the Sulesartyr refused to call her "Empress") had been forcing towns she raided to acknowledge her rule and demanding tribute. Any that refused, she razed to the ground. This in turn sent streams of refugees to the larger cities, mostly to the capital, Sulesar, which now was overcrowded. Soon, gods willing, that would stop. Today, Sarkany's pillaging would end.

As the light edged closer to the horizon, the moroii scanned the army her mother had assembled. To her right, the swords of minor clans that had been called in, Narva clan the closest, with mercenary cavalry on the far flank. Mercenary horse archers ranged ahead, probing towards their opposite numbers among the Batory force. Nearby her own war mammoth contingent were the other two groups of her clan's mighty beasts of war, bedecked in bronze scale armor to match their masters, towers and platforms atop every one, from which to shoot arrows. Such beasts had served her clan well in past conflicts. As of yet the Batory clan had nothing that could match them without tremendous losses. The tusks were wrapped in metal and spiked on the outsides, and the armor extended all the way down the trunks. Their flanks would be guarded in their charge by the zraerbaraegh now formed up behind the gap to the mammoths' rear. Heavily armored lancers, with the horses armored in bronze scale as well, their maneuverability advantage over the mammoths would keep the great beasts from being intercepted in their charge. The elite cavalry of the Sulesartyr clan, they were completely encased in metal, bronze scale or lamellar protecting chests and banded armor along the limbs. Ahead, mercenary horse archers and allied skirmishers kept the enemy from getting too close, providing a screen.

To her left, just off center of the line, the Sulesartyr clan's own heavy infantry, forming the core of the battle line, their bronze armor glinting in the light. Proceeding down the line from there were their lands' levy troops, mostly spears with some having true pikes. Beyond them, similar infantry from the lands of the Sulesartyrs' most important vassals, the Korvinas clan. To the rear of the gap between the Sulesartyr and Korvinas levy, Ell Korvinas had placed her own war mammoths. Of the three groups, only one was armored like those of the Sulesartyr, albeit more simply, not being quite as magnificent a sight as Eneth's own mammoths. The other two groups were mostly unarmored, with more primitive towers. The Sulesartyr knew that upon such platforms lay stacks of javelins, the preferred ranged weapon of the Korvinas. They were supported in a similar manner to her own mammoths, with baraegh, all purpose cavalry, and zraerbaraegh to the rear. Behind the line were mercenary and levy archers.

Something was beyond them that should not have been. Eneth squinted and then grunted in annoyance. The mercenaries and allies on the left flank, beyond the Korvinas forces, were completely out of position. The infantry was too far forward, partially in front of the Korvinas levy, when they were supposed to be to their left flank, and worse, the mercenary baraegh had been drawn out, successfully baited by the Batory horse archers.

She spat in disgust, looking to the Batory line. In contrast to the vibrant and varied colors of the Sulesartyr army, the enemy appeared to be one long greyish smudge. Their armor was, at least to her eyes, almost all blackened, what cloth they had to denote their allegiance, a dull grey. Most of their line seemed to consist of what Eneth had heard the Batorys term "regular infantry. Some near the center seemed heavier, with pikes. To the flanks, baraegh. She knew the Batorys had lancers, so they were presumably behind the lines. Their horse archers ranged to the fore, feigning towards the Sulesartyr line at times, occasionally taking potshots. They'd already lured some of the mercenaries forward, which would no doubt increase the butcher's bill.

Inexplicably, the activity tapered off, the Batory horse archers halting their firing and approaching their own lines. From between the ranks near the center, two figures rode out. A standard bearer with the banner many had grown to recognize and despise, and a lone horsewoman. Sarkany, no doubt. She sat there, regarding the Sulesartyr line... a challenge to single combat. The audacity of it galled Eneth. Her mother, Ildiko, was considerably older than this brash young matriarch. Why should she agree to a duel that she stood a considerable chance of losing when she possessed the advantage in the war mammoths? After a few minutes with no response from the Sulesartyr line, Sarkany visibly shrugged, as if to say "suit yourself," and cantered her horse back to her lines, followed by the standard bearer. It would seem from the position of the banner that Sarkany commanded towards the front, from just behind her heavier infantry. A working strategy in her quick, surprise raids, perhaps, but foolish now that Eneth's clan had come out to face the Batory in force. Such an opportunity... to behead this "dragon" here and now, and end the Batory threat for a time, throwing this self-proclaimed Carkatan Dynasty into disarray, as Sarkany had, to the Sulesartyr's knowledge, no heir as of yet. A fitting end to her arrogant pride. Did she really think that those infantry, however heavy, would pose a challenge to armored war mammoths?

As the light reddened, brass horns blew, piercing the relative quiet of the snowy plains. Her mother had ordered the advance, and she felt the familiar rocking motion as her driver, Irada, commanded their mammoth, Kišĕr, forward. All for the good, given that the Batory horse archers had resumed their baiting of the mercenary horse of the left flank, which maneuvered quite exposed, far ahead of the other units. While her clan's mercenary horse archers were attempting to reach the left flank's baraegh, the Batorys were going a distressingly good job of picking the isolated, out of position mercenaries apart, and had now committed their own baraegh.... only to reveal the Batory zraerbaraegh, mounting a devastating charge, and then it was too late. The impact of armored cavalry could be heard across the battlefield, followed by the screams of horses and soldiers. The left flank's mercenary baraegh that had been in proper position now were finally catching up, but it was too late, and the Batory riders disengaged, their target effectively smashed, retreating back to their own lines, the horse archers dispersing. A battle cry drew Eneth's attention back to the right. The mounted Batorys were now making a charge for the war mammoths' screen of skirmishers, now that the mercenary horse archers had been drawn to the left flank, leaving the skirmishers exposed. They let fly their javelins and stones, and some riders fell, but it would not be enough... thankfully the mercenary baraegh of the right flank had seen the danger already and had made best speed to head off their opposite numbers. Seeing that their charge would be intercepted, the Batory force wheeled back towards their own lines. Disaster had been averted, but two volleys had been wasted.

Meanwhile, on the left flank, having destroyed one group of baraegh, the Batory horse archers were now harassing the remaining one, picking off survivors from the first clash, and even harassing the Korvinas mammoths as the Sulesartyr line advanced. Every time the remaining riders on the left flank managed to chase off one group of horse archers, another came in from a different direction to take potshots. Now it seemed that some of the Korvinas cavalry had given chase to the noisome Batory forces. Eneth cursed the disastrous error of the mercenaries. The more quickly they could make contact with their war mammoths, the better. Her mother seemed to share her thinking, as the signal sounded to increase pace. She tried not to worry about the left flank; the Korvinas forces would be fine once their beasts of war plowed into the Batory lines. The moroii averted her gaze when she saw another Batory charge about to slam into the allied infantry that had been positioned too far forward, left relatively unprotected now with baraegh elsewhere, dealing with horse archers. Thankfully, the center and right flank were in much better shape as they approached the Batory lines. The enemy riders had attempted a few more times to get at the skirmishers, but had so far not been successful, suffering losses each time. Eneth had even downed a few with her bow. Finally, the Batory and mercenary baraegh forces clashed on the right flank. Who would win that engagement only time and the gods could tell; they were committed to a charge now, with Ildiko having decided to make an all out attempt to break through and slaughter Sarkany and her bodyguard. To Eneth's right, the Narvan swords ran alongside, as the skirmishers ahead came in range of the Batory lines, and began to throw, raining javelins and stones down upon the enemy forces. All this time, her archers had been keeping up a steady downpour of arrows. Ahead, the Batory infantry stood in shield wall, apparently content to let the vengeful Sulesartyr army come to them.

What was Sarkany's plan? Simply to bleed them before withdrawing? She could not stand up to the mammoths, but she had to stand here to keep Eneth's mother from taking the army to relieve the city of Ceckesar, currently besieged by the Batory 4th Army. A few Batory infantry women and men fell, but they maintained their line of shields. As the skirmishers began throwing, however, Eneth squinted, noticing that there was something odd about the line... the only weapons protruding from the shield wall were the pikes of the infantry in front of Sarkany's bodyguard. And then, before she could think on it further, there was a snap in the air, bolts streaking out from the Batory lines, and the screams of women and men, the largely unarmored skirmishers dying in droves, the levy spears behind them not faring much better. Such a dirty trick... but then, the point of battle was to win.

Horse archers now targeted the Sulesartyr war mammoths specifically. They seemed to have realized the peril that their "Empress" was in, and fired relentlessly upon the great beasts, riding perilously close. A valiant effort, but ultimately futile, with the mounts, their drivers, and riders so fully armored. What few arrows made it through the scales were stopped by the fur and thick hide, not enough momentum left to do any damage. The plink of arrows hitting her tower filled Eneth's ears, but she knew she wasn't in much danger. The horns sounded the full charge. At this point, their skirmisher screen would have scattered... but most of them were already dead. Still the enemy horse archers kept pace, firing in vain.

Eneth let out a screeching war cry along with her kinswomen, now that they were almost upon the Batory line. While the enemy pikes looked impressive, they could not stop her mount without more weight behind them. She let fly with her bow, seeking targets among the enemy. From this close, she could see that their clothing wasn't entirely colorless, but rather trimmed with dark red. Something at the back of her mind bothered her... these hills seemed familiar, and she couldn't help but feel that she had forgotten something... her attention was grabbed away by the enemy infantry. They were either executing the oddest maneuver she'd ever seen, or perhaps had lost their nerve and were attempting to flee by parting in the middle where her clan's mammoths would have shattered them. No matter, less of an obstacle between the might of the Sulesartyr and the impetuous Batory matriarch... whose bodyguard wheeled and sprinted away from them, up the hill. As the mammoths gave chase, she saw what at first seemed an illusion; the foremost beasts appeared to disappear into the snowy ground. Before she could order a stop, it was as if the earth had fallen out beneath her, and Kišĕr screamed.

A river. In the summer, water coursed through these hills, often changing year to year... and it seemed the Batorys had helped obfuscate matters by felling some of the trees that formerly had served as landmarks, and piling the snow differently than should occur naturally. Eneth tried to shout a warning while holding on for dear life to her tower, as her mount flailed helplessly beneath her, weighed down by the heavy armor. There was nothing she could do, the mammoth's driver, Irada, had been thrown. The moroii glanced back to see if any had avoided the trap, only to see her mother's steed go down with a roar. Several others fell into traps dug nearby. To her horror, Eneth saw a group of filthy looking Batory soldiers approach holding what appeared to be clay pots, hemp rope attachments blazing, which they then threw at some of the mammoths that looked as if they might escape. Shattering against the hard armor, flames burst from the impacts. What was worse, whatever it was that the pots contained seemed to float on the water, able to burn while doing so. The cacophony of human and animal screams filled her ears. Thrown this way and that by her panicked mount, she caught fleeting glimpses of the rest of the battle. Hopes of relief by her clan's Zraerbaraegh were dashed, as only a few had gotten through before the Batory heavy infantry had reformed their line, presenting a wall of pikes. Dead and dying unarmored Korvinas mammoths lying in the snow, pierced by multitudes of arrows and crossbow bolts, the Batory infantry chewing through the levies with cold efficiency, though at least the Sulesartyr and Narvan infantry seemed to be holding. A shrieking war cry, and the arrows from her own lines stopped. Where had those Batory light infantry come from? Pikes from another group of Batory heavy infantry approached; they had hidden behind the main lines. Kišĕr gave a throat-rending cry as she was stabbed between scales, thrashing anew in pain, and Eneth lost her grip. Flying through the air, the ground rapidly approaching.

How long she lay there, she did not know. All was black, and then she heard the crunch of footsteps through the snow, amid the groans and moans of the wounded and dying. The death cry of a horse occasionally sounded... mercy killings of wounded animals, perhaps. The footsteps stopped near her head. Whoever was standing there seemed content to wait. Eneth slowly opened her eyes. Even the moonlight was too much and she grunted, her head throbbing in pain, closing her eyes again. A few minutes passed, the ache of her head subsiding a bit. Yet more slowly this time, she cautiously opened her eyes. Booted feet, black lamellar greaves atop blackened chainmail armored legs. Slowly, Eneth's gaze climbed the figure. More blackened lamellar and chain, in a somewhat battered state, over faded grey. The wearer was a thin but imposingly tall moroii woman. Her helm protected her upper face, but Eneth could see her eyes. They were black. The Sulesartyr reached for her mace, but something about the way that the other woman shook her head, hand on her long, single sided sword, forestalled her. The figure removed her helm and crouched, revealing a hard face, black tattooing emphasizing the sharp lines of her cheeks. The hair of the top of her head was tied into braids, while the sides had been shaved away sometime past, short fuzz now sprouting.

"You are Eneth Sulesartyr, are you not?" she asked.

All Eneth could do was nod tiredly.

"Your mother is dead." The voice was without inflection, apparently taking no pleasure in carrying this news.

The Sulesartyr sank, looking down, with a sigh. She hadn't expected that her mother had survived. It was still painful to hear.

"I'm sorry for your loss." No hint of mockery, tone sombre. Somewhere near, a cart passed by.

Eneth managed to push herself up to a sitting position, and looked around. Some fires were still burning. Her position seemed to mark the furthest advance of Sulesartyr forces, or near enough. The way she had come was littered with dead. The water had refrozen, in some cases around dead mammoths, a macabre sight. From the number of dead wearing dark grey, it still hadn't been an easy battle for the Batory army. Still, they were outnumbered corpses bearing other colors. "Ceckesar will fall now, I imagine."

"Yes." There was silence for a time. "The 1st and 4th Armies are more than enough to defeat the other Sulesartyr host on its way there."

An animal trumpeting sound in the distance. "You captured some of the mammoths alive."

"I did."

She looked further in the distance. She could see some Sulesartyr, Narva, Korvinas, and other clan members in a makeshift holding pen, along with their levies, guarded by Batory soldiery. She could not see any of the mercenaries. "Didn't catch any of the mercenaries? Or did you buy them off?"

"We hunted down and killed all of them, well, except for a couple to spread the word." After a pause, the Batory added "to discourage others from signing on with you, and to drive up prices of those who do."

"Are you going to kill me, now, as well, Sarkany? You are her, aren't you."

"I am she, yes," the other woman nodded. "But no, I have no intention of killing you. Not when you can serve other uses." At this, those pale lips smiled ever so slightly. "You'd serve me much better alive."


Nikara tapped her fingers on the table, then her pipe. Streka had brought up old memories for her clan, unbidden. The Batorys thought they were alone in possessing such powers, but they were not. Although her clan's abilities in that area were less precise, when memories came, they were often vivid, such as with the Battle of the Ceckesar Plains, the great defeat of her clan.

That prince, from Havasu, might be one to get to know later, intruded much less grand thoughts. Perhaps. Hopefully he wasn't too besotted with Yanna. If he was, then there was always the Xukuthite delegation. They were a pretty people. The eastern moroii could see why Mierin had been eager to grasp the seed of one. She turned her attention to the Ghantar. Specifically, the young one. Oh, Nikara had heard what she'd said earlier. "Those beasts." The Sulesartyr somehow doubted that the woman had really meant the phrase specifically about the Batory clan, especially given that she could smell the discomfort from here. If moroii were beasts, well, perhaps she ought to act the part? And so she watched this Cassandra, all during Albert's remarks, though she listened to those, too. Oh yes, "savagery." Critique the Batorys as she may in their lack of subtlety, but would such descriptions really be withheld if it were the Sulesartyr Empire and not that of the Batorys? Nikara had her doubts. Out of the corner of her eye, she saw Semtiya notice her activities. The woman hid it well, at least from the others, but the odor of her annoyance was plain to another moroii like Nikara, and it amused her, though her face remained without expression. While certainly she respected the Harthy matriarch's financial acumen, a part of her wanted to roll her eyes at the woman's playing along with foreigners' idea of "respectable." Dress in their "business" clothes and adopt their mannerisms in an attempt to put them at ease... because the ways of her own people would scandalize and horrify them, these arrogant babies with their ridiculous idea that they were the determiners of what was "civilized" when they'd been living in their own filth when moroii queens were laid to rest in monuments now thousands of years old.

She almost sighed audibly at the mention of a Batory-Xukuthite dynasty having a "thirst for blood." Why, of course it would. All moroii did. And that was the point. To them the very idea was horror. Never mind that her clan's province was also a land ruled by creatures who thirsted for blood. And yet her mother remained extremely popular, governing the province with a fair hand. These foreigners knew nothing of moroii ways, and clearly had not studied the habits of her people's rulers, in their assumption that the Batorys would expand aggressively, and yet dared to judge her people? Was Akinöe Sulesartyr's rule of her clan's province really any more tyrannical than the squabbling nobles of the land from which this "Iron Eagle" hailed? He had finished speaking now, but left Nikara feeling... insulted. To his eyes, apparently, moroii were incapable of acting with any motivation but bloodlust. Gods forbid moroii form pacts defensively or think of things like cultural affinity. He had directly addressed her and Semtiya, too, so she would have to answer. This talk of so-called freedom, which was what it was, even if the word hadn't been said, disgusted her. Freedom to trade one ruler for another. A tyrant in Sarkanotthon or Sulesar, was that so much worse than a local tyrant with few checks? For all their high-minded rhetoric, as far as she could tell, not one of these people was actually motivated by concern over the "freedom" of the world's peoples. The Prince of Havasu had, thankfully, been open, if flowery, about his desire for more favor from Rhydin. From her estimation, this Albert did not care one whit about freedom... he knew that his rivals in Ghant were the ones who enjoyed friendly relations with the Batory clan and so sought to avoid them being strengthened. His scaremongering about conquest was just that; she knew from her clan's memories how Batory conquests went. Oh yes. They didn't generally take another bite unless they'd finished chewing the last one. Her azure eyes found themselves gazing into those of the younger Ghantar as the older one finished speaking. She did not look away.

The Xukuthites now spoke, and the Sulesartyr nodded occasionally to show she was listening, even while continuing her leering at Cassandra. The Masai Kyorl had, apparently, already passed the point of no return in their commitment to this plot. Of course, they were as her own clan was, but in the Xukuthite lands. The Hiendors had displaced them, or were in the process of doing so. True desperation, perhaps, in giving over their assassins to the Rhydinians. Powerful was their want, indeed, it seemed. Xia of the Infernalite Everpire seemed to completely concur with Alaria, pushing the idea of assassination. Easier said, than done, though.

Nikara continued listening politely, and staring at the young Ghantar, somewhat impolitely, as Semtiya spoke. She found it amusing that Semtiya thought that the Sulesartyrs would be any more favorable to the Harthy clan than the Batorys were, but said nothing. Why ruin the woman's dreams? In part, she knew, it was motivated by Semtiya's hatred of the Sorvik clan and her chafing at seeing how they and their city prospered from Batory patronage in the ongoing technological war with Rhydin. The Harthys were financiers, speculators, and investors, not builders of war machines. While the detente with Sevaris had suited them fine, this new rivalry with a naval power did not.

After the Harthy clan matriarch made her offer and her suggestion, the Sulesartyr sat silent, and drew hard on her pipe, expelling a long tendril of smoke. "Our hostess asked our desires... we in the Sulesartyr clan have few. After all, we have most things already." She smiled for a moment, before her marked face adopted a serious expression again. "My colleague," she said, referring to Semtiya, "did not mention this, as few of her clan remain with the Batory military for long... and as much as I hate to dwell on the pains of the past, my mother, our clan's matriarch and Queen of our province, gave specific instructions... we and clans historically aligned with us lost a not inconsiderable number of our kin at the battles in Karthay. As tempting as it might be, given how irritating they can be, to lay the blame squarely at the feet of the Batorys, we can't abide that degree of blame shifting by those who know better. There must be recompense not only for the members of our clan who lost their lives, but also for the even more numerous fallen of Korvinas, and our associated minor clans. This is a starting point. I'm afraid my hands are tied in this by the wishes of my mother. We would have this, in some form or another, of the Rhydinians, or there will be no deal involving us." Despite the amount of cannabis and madak she'd been smoking, her polyphonic, sing-song voice betrayed no hint of impairment.

"Furthermore, and in the interim, and quite frankly I can't believe my colleague forgot to ask for this for her own clan's holdings, we desire assurances that there will be no Rhydinian raiding of merchant vessels associated with our... numerous holdings. We would not have those who serve us and those pledged to us die while we treat with their killers." She tapped her pipe. Despite the forceful content of her words, she had a casual, almost unconcerned tone. Nearby, Semtiya bristled at being called out for her oversight. "Should this plot fail, which, if we are honest with ourselves, is a distinct possibility, we desire sanctuary. And by that I certainly don't mean some sort of captive existence, prisoners of our former co-conspirators."

She smiled laconically, puffing on her pipe again. "Finally, as to the query from the gentlemen of Gentry who immediately preceded said query with insults towards my kind... my clan isn't really under threat from this development. You see, my mother rules our ancestral home as the ruler of a province. And we are competent enough in governance that the Batorys leave us alone. We will still rule that province no matter how much Mierin fucks Aytep, no matter how large a brood of hybrids she spawns." Having exhausted her pipe, Nikara set about cleaning it out, and began repacking it with supplies seemingly drawn from somewhere within her dress, though where was a mystery. A resin joined the obvious buds, opiate enhancement of the effects. A bronze covered lighter withdrawn, flame sparked, and pipe re-lit. "I hate to have to spell things out so plainly," she said, before drawing deeply, pausing to expel smoke, "but I am here because Semtiya's clan needs mine, not because mine needs hers. We can walk away from this deal if we want to. You see, my darling matriarch of Harthy," she patted Semtiya's arm, which clearly annoyed the western moroii, "is angry and resentful over what she feels is unfair treatment by the Batorys. Specifically that the Harthy clan's ancestral enemies, the Sorviks, are enjoying a ton of patronage from the Throne of Bones right now due to Rhydin, the Batory clan's new great enemy, being a naval power. The Sorviks design, and through the Guild in Drun, build warships. It is what they have always done. When the Batory clan conquered Drun, absorbing the Sorvik and Novikas drakker doubled the size of the Batory Imperial Navy. The Harthys don't design warships. Thus, no patronage for them in these trying times. Not from the Batory clan, anyway. One could write a book about the hatred between these two clans and how the Harthys think the Sorviks are only successful because naval spending props them up while the Harthys succeed in business by their own merits, and how the Sorviks think theirs is the way of unselfish dedication while the Harthys are dishonorable and care only for wealth, and so on."

"The short of it is... Semtiya here," she annoyed the Harthy by patting her again, clearly on purpose, "wants a change of business climate. And because the Harthys are not the direct servants of the Batorys, she's willing to topple them if that's what it takes to advance what she sees as her clan's interests." She puffed again on the pipe. "The problem she faces is that toppling the dragons from their perch would cause the Empire to fracture, as it is built around them. All the pieces would fly off; there would likely be a multi-sided civil war. Perhaps instability and crisis present opportunities, but not for the kind of business environment that Semtiya wants and needs. Her clan's wealth is primarily in companies that use Vas Darabs as currency, after all. So how to retain a stable environment for investment without the meddlesome grip of the Batory clan?" She smoked a bit, before continuing. "Someone has to step in to take control of the Empire... this is the part that Semtiya has not openly expressed, because it embarrasses her, the poor thing," Nikara said sweetly, now going so far as to pinch the Harthy matriarch's cheek as if she were some small child that the Sulesartyr was fawning over. "And the reason why I'm here. She can't be that person. The Harthys can't be that entity. Yes, they command vast wealth, and the loyalty of another major clan and quite a few minor ones... but not the love of the public at large. She knows this. Semtiya Harthy can move mountains with her clan's accumulated wealth... but she can never be Empress, as the Harthys cannot inspire the masses of the Empire to unite under her rule." With her free hand, Nikara gestured to herself... by placing it upon her bare chest. "That is why she called upon my mother. The only other clan that could possibly hold the Empire, or at least most of it, together, is mine." She smiled and cocked her head.

"Dear Semtiya knows all too well that we Sulesartyrs care nothing for her clan's silly squabble with her northern neighbors. Neither her clan nor Madar Sorvik's clan even existed when first we warred with the Batorys. To us, they are both unrefined westerners. So it lies with her, and the rest of you, to impress us, and show us that your chances of succeeding are great enough that it is worth us risking our hides with our silence, or perhaps support, if we are suitably impressed enough." She met the gaze of the Rhydinians, then the Takhisians, then the Xukuthites, then the Infernalites, the Havani, the Calussai, the Victorians, and then the Ghantar, exhaling smoke haughtily. "Our role, should the Batorys fall, will be to take up the reins of power over Hyperborea to conclude as smooth a transition as possible. To secure loyalty of those formerly loyal to Empress Vereba Batory, we cannot be seen to have played an active role in this. At that time, should any of this succeed, you will then be dealing with the Sulesartyr Empire, rather than the Batory Empire. I'm afraid, my dear Albert," Nikara smiled, blue eyes glinting with amusement, "that you will have a moroii-governed state to your east, one way, or another. Batory, or Sulesartyr. And, of course, there's no way for you to know that you won't be in exactly the same position a few years into the future. Perhaps with success, the Masai Kyorl might want to arrange for some sort of union with us, and so then you'd be confronted by a Masai Kyorl-Sulesartyr Dynasty instead of a Hiendor-Batory one. Obviously we and the Masai Kyorl would be more fashionable, however, in our defense."
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Takhisia
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Founded: May 15, 2006
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Takhisia » Sun Aug 21, 2016 2:55 pm

Colonel Streka Valarian was quite impressed with the Rhydinian technology, this Elysium was a quiet, peaceful place. The steady, barely detectable hum of machinery far below, powering the lights that appeared to be smooth surfaces across the arches that spanned along the interior walls. This place, unlike the thriving, turbulent pulse of corruption felt within the hot, near-tropical Karthay, this place was quiet, cool and still. Here was a place that had not seen the footfalls of her people here, nor it would seem any of those present. The sea serpents as they were so nicknamed, they kept their secret cities hidden quite well. Even to those they had such a long working relationship with. Yes, you'd be hard pressed to find a few who could agree to visit any domain in Rhydin, but they lacked the ability to see what she saw.

As she laid eyes upon the woman, well thing that appeared as such from the Everpire, she imagined the border between living and dead, spark and no spark made for a calm, soothing sensation in the sea of corruption and decay that filtered through the entrance. It's not that she didnt see floating currency numbers above each and everyone's head, it's that she saw the desperation in many of those who sat either to her side, or before her, across the gulf of emptiness between her side and theirs.

Streka already missed the wind, the feel of her command ship beneath her feet, the slight quakes in the deck plates, the flurry of activity. This diplomatic arrangement hardly suited her, the sooner they got to battle, the happier she would be. That aside, she noticed that the young woman accompanied by an older gentlemen, had been giving her a bit of an eying or two. In her lands that usually resulted in a bit of wordplay and maybe swords after that. This was here, and that was there however.

While the Calussai prince and his minder apparently went on with deliberations, Streka leaned over a bit, respecting the privacy of the young woman and her familial guardian perhaps, and spoke low so as to not disrupt the flow of the conversation going on presently. My Lady, though we've yet to meet, you've a bit of an eye for me. Might we soften our stares a bit if you parley with me about why that might be?

The white haired Lieutenant Colonel Miya Henog on the other hand had already groaned inwardly at forgetting her smokes on the ship. Aggravated further by one of the Moroii and the prince from Calussai. Absently paying attention to what endeavor her senior Streka was up to as she wished upon whatever star might be falling out of the sky for a nicotine relief. So for a moment, Miya thought on her recent lesson to a group of foreigners eager for the war machines that made up several of the airship nations.

She told them they were lucky to have the advances now, pioneered by the Takhisian's, be they north or southern kin. In the old days you’d have to wait for winds to stir up out of the depths. Some folks would even have a weather witch or a wind dowser on board, hoping to fill their sails. It could take months to get from one side of the Endless Sky to the other; lots of ships died between the gates, caught in the storms that raged beyond the safe harbors, or in the routes that might have drifted.

But nowadays ships have a thaumaturgical engine hooked up to an isotope loop. The engine burns Essence and ragnite, forming a feedback loop that causes magnetic resonance with that of the polars. A critical component of resonance engines is the heavy iron bar required to focus the magnetic resonance, known as the Polar Axis. When charged, the Polar Axis governs buoyancy, or vertical position relative to the star. Our planet has its own fixed resonance that gives it a particular buoyancy, which in turn corresponds to a static orbital course.

The plane of the equator is zero degrees buoyancy, of course. Airships can alter their buoyancy to positive or negative, which causes lift or drop. Matching buoyancy to another object means going to relative zero buoyancy or zero-B. Turbines or sails or mechanical wings or other methods of propulsion provide lateral velocity. Airfoils assist with maneuverability. Skilled engineers can use the Polar Axis to push or pull relative to the planet, thereby delivering a certain amount of lateral thrust to the vessel, which provides extra turning velocity in larger vessels.

At which point, on the last demo run, had elicited oo's and aah's from the crowd of observers and military go to's. A slow lean back and a stretch of sorts as she settled in once more, keeping her gaze upon the Moroii as Calussai's representatives were going into further detail apparently.
Last edited by Takhisia on Fri Aug 26, 2016 7:09 am, edited 3 times in total.

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Siltrin Calussai
Secretary
 
Posts: 37
Founded: Jul 04, 2006
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Siltrin Calussai » Sun Aug 21, 2016 2:57 pm

______________________________________
Image
The shepherd drives the wolf from the sheep's for which the sheep thanks the shepherd as his liberator,
while the wolf denounces him for the same act as the destroyer of liberty.
Plainly, the sheep and the wolf are not agreed upon a definition of liberty.

________________________________


A faint tilt of head from the past quiet royalty that had also accompanied the Autokrater to this far away destination. Prince Yasraki Everstar did not bother to stand, but did address those that had spoken, and those that preferred to listen. My Lord Everhate pronounces the word that we shall endeavor to be at the disposal of those who come together during this period. A pause as he took a small break, and procured a silver case. A cigarette appeared, and he lightly tapped it against the table. As the blue flame of a lighter's flame touched it's tip, he continued with an exhale of grey smoke.I, personally dont care about any of you, unless you are on board with ending the machinations of the Khujx..Pardon the colourful language, the Xukuthites.

A faint swirl of fingers about, more than likely not tobacco. He even had a faintly glazing over the eyes, as he continued.The House of Everstar shall do what must be done, just dont ask us to care about anything regarding you personally.A glance over at the Moroii, almost suggestively as he leaned himself up and into a lazy seating position, one arm up and over the headrest, while the other casually flicked embers from the tip of whatever was being dragged on now and then.

He was young, probably near or around the same age as that of the Havani prince. Short dark hair, somewhat spikey, hazel eyes that were a bit shinier then usual. His face was somewhat angular, athletic build but it had been some time since he'd been to a gym. Just relying on genetics at this point and so on. Clean shaven, no piercings, tattooes, and or any other sort of marring of the body. He wore a casual suit that hinted at name brand aesthetics and the scent of money. Wrist cuff's in the fashion of a wolf, which is also the emblem that appears on the coat of arms for the Everstar house and line.

One of others in the Autokrator's entourage, Azuchi D'haron, so titled the Herald of the Book and the Law, and Viceroy Ferin, Minister of Judgement. He looked visibly alarmed at the nature that the Prince showcased. An older gentlemen, wispy silver hair cut closely against his head. He had broad shoulders, but for his age, had a good body tone and measure of dress. A suit of white, red tie and silk shirt to match as the underlining trim to the suit's hue. A fedora resided upon the ivory table's surface. Blue eyes stared forth from a face that was weathered, faint scars on the right. A burn mark at least twenty years old on the left, covering underside of chin, neck and portions of cheek.

Despite what the young prince says, we are prepared to aid in the endeavor which has so been talked of as the only point of conversation from the last few individuals and parties present. Those of you whom know of us the Calussai, know our disdain so to speak for the Xukuthites. Any future where they capitalize so as to grow stronger, is something that cannot be allowed. Through this growth, we shall all be affected.

He clasped both hands a moment before setting them down to the table and paid attention towards Nikara. In the onset of funds to be requested for appropriation concerning the offensives in and about Karthay, the banking clan Everstar had already been approached by our generous hosts. A faint gesture towards the Rhydinian woman, Yanna.Continuing on, we of the Everstar shall recompense as you say, those that were lost, as well as their families to the appropriate measure you so desire, so as to secure your participation in events to be.

His eyes did not waver, he merely grumped somewhat as directing a response perhaps not so readily accepted as such recompense was the stepping stone, but in many cases, not one that was ever seriously regarded as having an answer. Thus the Everstar, and the delegation, and indeed the rest at this gathering were now paying attention to a response from the Moroii.

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Salto de Victoria
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Founded: Dec 18, 2014
Iron Fist Consumerists

Postby Salto de Victoria » Sun Aug 28, 2016 11:41 pm

Santo nodded at Yanna before responding.

“I am honestly surprised that the Colony of Salto de Victoria, who has taken great strives too remain impartial and isolated to the politics within the region, has somehow managed to garner an invite to what seems to be a rather discreet meeting, I am curious too hear your reasoning why later.” replied Santo before he and the other two took their seats. Behind them the Irregulars that accompanied them took up positions in a defensive formation with in all honesty no clue what expect from the guests and their entourages as well.

Santo’s quietly sat and listened to what the others had to say first. Calmly he sat and listened too the others as they spoke. From the Ghantar loudly extolling how everyone present needed to do whatever they could to stop this unholy union. Santo would have snorted out loud if he thought it wouldn’t have offended anyone.

The Calussai were another peculiar party that made a rather grand entrance, what information Santo had been able to gather from his intelligence dossier on their nation was that they had had a colorful history with the Xukuthites and they seemed on edge about the possibility of their former masters returning to collect them. It easily explained why they so willingly gave themselves to what appeared too be a sweet embrace from the Hegemony.

Others Santo was hard to identify or discern their intentions, the Havani, the Norther Taks, the Nocians, and the Infernalites were from nations the Imperium had only just begun gathering intel on slowly. Either way it was likely fear or opportunity that had enticed them to send representatives to this clandestine meeting.

The Xukuthite and Moroii were another matter entirely in Santo’s eyes. It wasn’t uncommon in the Imperium as well as the Colony for nobles houses to make political moves against each other in effort to lessen their status or even disgrace one another’s name. Outright treason however was virtually unheard of. If the Imperium ever even heard a whisper of a noble house plotting against it, the house itself was eradicated from existence and its name stricken from any and all recording, Santo could only imagine what the nations these beasts came from would do.

Santo’s eyes looked over the Xukuthites and the Moroii, the rumors he had heard seemed too be true with the exception of the one calling herself Semtiya. While the Colony strived to make itself unknown for the most part it did keep an eye on it neighbors, both nations these beasts hailed from had been of particular interest for quite some time. Carnal beasts slaved to their desires for flesh and pleasure, they had been one of the reasons that the Imperium had been beefing up both their Colony’s armed forces as well as the introduction of several new military technologies generally reserved for the Imperium’s armed forces themselves. Rosa for the most part sat silently at her seat watching both the Xukuthites and the Batorys with only minor traces of contempt on her face from time to time.

Their hosts however simultaneously intrigued and mildly disgusted Santo. Augmentation was not unheard of within the Imperium, in fact one of the nations north of the Imperium heavily used augmentations in its military as well as it being commonplace amongst it’s citizenry. The Imperium however saw it as an affront too the bodies the gods themselves had crafted for humanity and had outlawed the practice in every virtually every manner possible with very few exceptions. Their host’s intent also bothered Santo as well, why though he wasn’t certain but he did intend to find out eventually.

After listening to the others Santo finally spoke to the Ghantar man first.

“While I agree that a union between both nations would be mildly distressful, ultimately I fail to see how having a child would make the two nations who are already rather close any more of a threat than they currently are, furthermore I find the notion that they would conquer the entire world rather absurd, powerful though they may be.” Santo said.

“Furthermore if Meirin did fall to the blades of an assassin what’s to stop the Batorys from producing a replacement for her? Are we to continue an endless cycle of assassins until they grow tired of their attempts or all the assassins are killed? Also why should the Imperium and her Colony trust in the word of traitors from these two countries who very well could turn on their ‘allies’ much like they have already turned on their own countries. Before the Imperium or the Colony are willing to make any commitments more information is required for us to take any action at all.”
Last edited by Salto de Victoria on Mon Aug 29, 2016 12:08 am, edited 1 time in total.

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The City State Rhydin
Diplomat
 
Posts: 785
Founded: Nov 07, 2007
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby The City State Rhydin » Fri Oct 28, 2016 6:27 pm

The Northern Takhisians
As ever Colonel Valarian, a poet of war with your words, and as always, pleasing to hear of your commitment to our cause. Directive 178 shall be applied for your forces, and you may command them as you wish to begin at your convenience. Regardless of what others might have to say to such information and or what even the directive might actually be, Yanna turned her unblinking attention towards the next query, those artificially cold depths setting upon next recipient.

The Havani
My Lord Prince, your request shall of course be honored. Growing ties with the Grand Duchy is apart of our aims to bring stabilization to the corner of the realm that you occupy. As a commitment, we shall abide by Duchy law and standings, sending aid where you My Lord Prince should so desire it. Her movements were precise and sharp, an arm motion here, a twist of frame there. A faint smile surfaced, only to disappear soon after.

The Nocians
To sate your desires My Lordess Krune and Lady DeVaco, The Hegemony has reviewed your request prior to this gathering. From my observation, and needs that are aligned with our own, your request has been approved. The Hegemony shall welcome your respectively ruled realms within the Hegemony's protection as provisional principalities. Should your former countrymen dare to press your holdings, they shall feel a harsh response, you can rest assured of such. There seemed to be quite a bit of backroom dealing going on. A splay of fingers upon the right hand, and she continued to speak. In return, we ask that you assist the NorTak's in military efforts to secure the aerospace routes that fall under the previously mentioned directive.

The Ghantar
Responses to your query about what the targeted audience has been given. Perhaps this is the time to provide your contribution, and a realistic approach to handle matters as it concerns to you My Lord. Had whipped her head about in a motion that could not have happened otherwise, seeing as her frame was still forward and yet it had all the same. Like some sort of boneless viper, such was Yanna. She splayed fingers upon the left hand, before forming them against one another as an open palm. Your Dakmaran issue does present some challenges, but then again, we do enjoy such. I will dispatch scions soon to handle such, lest your powerbase be further affected. To the Eaglet. If any are known to be challenging your power, do tell me, and the Hegemony shall assist in purification efforts.

The Betrayer Houses. Xukuthites
Seems that you have indeed embarked upon the dark road, long is that path. While assassinations are a fine example of aid, truthfully they are precise tools, and what we require is a more, blunt instrument. To that end, we request the usage of the legionary of Masai Kyorl, Ve'Hek and Dolis Elghinn. You have pledged your support to the Hegemony, and we shall use your offering for a purpose that shall divide attention of the Hyperborean leading family.

Infernalites & HIA
The attentions of the host soon directed itself to that of Princess Xia Capitar Procipinee and what appeared to be her servant attache, the representative of the ethically challenged Haruspex International Armaments Corporation. Much like the Houses of Kyorl, Ve'Hek, and Dolis Elghinn, so to does the Hegemony thank the Infernalite Everpire for both suggestion and offerings of assassins. However, we desire a more, show of force, that shall both prove your worth as well as open a path to future profit and rule. Think upon it, though the time is short, the length of this meeting shall determine the courses that we as a whole, must endure.

Harthy & Sulesartyr
My Lady Semtiya, Lady Nikara, our colleagues of the esteemed banking clan shall direct our wealth into payments of recompense, so as to not attract attention from others.Money laundering, simple and effective tactic. Was the Hegemony a syndicate or an actual government? As to the other request, that should our efforts be for naught, and you and your clan need a place to call home, without being creatures of a zoo was it? The Hegemony will agree to offer Harthy and Sulesartyr clans placement within the Hegemony of equal standing, much as we did for the Canini and now the Nocians.

Calussai
Yanna had her intelligence upon many of those present, but the dossier on the Prince at hand, was regrettably thin and as such had only a basic overview. It was spot on however, narcissistic, and lacking true empathy. He'd be a ruler of renown if things moved forward as they needed to. My Lord, associates of the Everstar clan, the Hegemony shall endeavor to keep it's friends quite close. As we rely upon you, your nation may rely upon the Hegemony, especially in times such as this. All that we ask is continued support, of which has yet to slow in any form or shape.

Imperium, Colonial Holding of Salto de Victoria
Impossibly flexible figure moved with purpose towards the Imperium delegation, coming quite close.Invited, for perhaps a reason to get your understanding and idea of general positioning. To gauge whether a future threat, or perhaps a future associate. Your presence is but to maintain your current status quo, and to leave what happens here, in this place. To that end, the Hegemony shall not consider you anything more then a nation maintaining it's neutrality unless reasons render a decision otherwise.

She paused a moment, but only for the briefest of seconds.Think it not a threat, for we shall not concern ourselves with the machinations of the Imperium, provided they do not counteract our own. Is that answer sufficient for you? Any decision to counter their neutrality between hostilities concerning the Hegemony, it's alliance of nations and that of the other powers, would have to be done by the Imperium itself. The Hegemony had very little interest in splitting it's fronts more then was necessary. The colony's invitation had been for this purpose alone, to garner if it indeed had decided to remain neutral. If it did not, and sought to release this information, The Hegemony's response would be..severe.

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Takhisia
Civil Servant
 
Posts: 10
Founded: May 15, 2006
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Takhisia » Wed Nov 16, 2016 10:41 pm

Lieutenant Colonel Miya Henog didnt trust these Rhydinians as far as she could throw them off of the command deck of her ship. They'd probably survive, knowing them. Probably have wings or something, alien looking creatures that they were. Was it flesh, or plastic, or something in between that coated their hides and hid their faces. She herself couldnt tell. The money was good though, for years her and her kin had battled in the skies, on the land, and everywhere else for Rhydinian interests. What did it matter what the contract was, it was just profit to be made yet again.

Her gaze became as steel however, upon hearing the order given so publically. Was this apart of the emissary's game, and while she observed, she noted that her superior and both friend and mentor had become far more professional in a short amount of time. Her gaze mirrored Miya's own, her jaw had become set, and though she smiled, Miya could tell that her counter-part had put her game face on.

Directive 178. Was it real, after all this time? When Streka placed a folder of black before her, and a note that said to go outside and give commands, Miya nodded and excused herself from the table. She of course offered polite nods to those present and then with the sheaf of papers in the folder under one arm, while gloved left hand procured a communication device of some sort, she made her way from the table towards the opposite end of the room and past the guards, beyond the secret door and into another area.

Once out of sight and mind of the other diplomats and what have you's, Miya communicated with the Windbreaker, and it's communication officers. Patching the directive into the main channel of command and control within the home territory, followed by the access key as identified in the briefing stack of papers. There was confirmation on the other end, along with the phrase " Du jeldunc kuac dra cbuemc uv fyn ", which loosely translated from the Takhisian tongue meant " To the victors goes the spoils of war", a classic send off.

There were steps of course, the Windbreaker would send out a signal to the vanguards that Streka commanded, as well as several others. Soon the Citadel of War would become a buzzing beehive of activity, and the ebon legions would pour forth, spear tips raised high, banners fluttering, and the scent of wine splashed across the great hulls as the naval forces of the northerners answered the call. Hundreds of ships of the line would set sail from their protective berths, divert course from standard patrols, and or the vanguard fleets would sally forth from their home and foreign yards wherever they were. It would not go unnoticed by the South either.

After a time, perhaps thirty minutes or so, Miya headed back into the diplomatic area, offering a slight lean to Streka's left ear and whispering the confirmation of such before she seated herself once more.

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Undead Souls
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Posts: 11
Founded: Nov 28, 2012
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Undead Souls » Mon Jan 09, 2017 1:04 pm


Far different we--a froward race,
Thousands though rich in Fortune's grace
With cherished sullenness of pace
Their way pursue,
Ingrates who wear a smileless face
The whole year through.

If kindred humours e'er would make
My spirit droop for drooping's sake,
From Fancy following in thy wake,
Bright ship of heaven!
A counter impulse let me take
And be forgiven.


During the time that the hostess Yanna had spoken, and moved from representative to representative as some sort of synthetic serpent, Xia, Princess of the Everpire had been in thought. Conferring a bit with her advisor and friend, Atra. While subterfuge was the preferred method, it would not be enough to garner Rhydinian support for her own efforts. Only true force would or could be applied to this, and as such it had to be.

Her military had been augmented by those of Atra's house and mercenaries that served the corporation of HIA. It was a dangerous task to consider, what if it all was for naught? She couldnt imagine the Batory's nor the Hiendor's being forgiving in any way or slight. To be fair, she wouldn't in their position. The work of the Infernalite Everpire had to be made true and whole, and as such, Xia found herself between a rock and a hard place.

Having been primed for this meeting and sent as a representative with full authority to commit the Everpire's resources to whatever end, she finally capitulated and made a decision. As the Rhydinian made her way back around, Xia spoke and directed her words towards the representative of the Hegemony, as well all others present.

" I speak with authority of the Infernalite Empire, in regards to the Hegemony and future services, the Everpire will commit military forces to whatever task is needed. Be it dealing with those that threaten an ally of the Hegemony's political base." She was referencing the Ghant representative.." Or those that require aid in operational aspects.." Referencing the Northern Takhisian's now. " Such as the Hegemony desires, they shall have us at their request.."

As soon as Xia's lips slid to a stop, Atra continued. The respirator gave her a bit of an off voice when she spoke with it on, but the words rang true and hard. " With full representation from Haruspex International Armaments, we support this endeavor of the Infernalite Everpire, and as full authority to commit forces to whatever is required, HIA will honor any request or requirement for weapons, troops, and or other support as the Hegemony requires." She fell quiet soon after, the pale blue eyes residing upon the artificial hostess and then the rest of the guests gathered so.

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Ghant
Minister
 
Posts: 2267
Founded: Feb 11, 2013
Civil Rights Lovefest

Postby Ghant » Fri Mar 31, 2017 12:44 am

Image
“When evil altars are invoked, great destinies are altered” ― Steven Chuks Nwaokeke



Clandestine Meeting Room
The Isle of Elysium


The gazes of the outlanders were not unnoticed by Princess Cassandra of Ghant. United by a common purpose, but divided they were on superficial levels, they all seemed to squawk like hungry birds. Eager for worms that were hard to reach. These worms are large, and mighty powerful. Four thousands of years they had reigned, their dominions growing during that span of time. But what goes up, must come down…

In a way she pitied her uncle Albert, so concerned about family honor and duty, that it tied a hand behind his back. While our enemies have access to both. She knew that they’d never win by his rules, because his rules worked against him. No, in order to win the game, we have to play by their rules, and beat them at their own game. Whatever Albert wasn’t willing to do the deed, Cassandra was.

But why? Albert was a tragedy, a man haunted by his past, by his failings as a man, and by his inadequacies. Always having something to prove. Cassandra had nothing to prove, because her life was a witness of the failings of weak men. She saw her grandfather, Tsar Pyotr of Nekulturnya, descend into madness, manipulated by his favorites and overwhelmed by his enemies, until all that was left to him was self-imposed exile. His hatred for undesirables never sated, no matter how far he went to eradicate them.

She saw her other grandfather, Emperor Albert of Ghant, spend his last days as a drunken wastrel, chasing after whores and chips at the poker table. Drinking in excess, gambling, and allowing his threats to accumulate power and influence while he was none the wiser due to his distractions. He lacked vision, and wisdom, to rule the way he ought to, and died in his sleep, comfortable in his bed. He went out the way he lived his life…clueless…

She witnessed her cousin, Emperor Nathan, consumed by self-pity and an innate need to be loved. He showered his friends, what few he had, and his family with gifts, love and affection, while his false friends came from all corners of Ghant to use and manipulate him. Whores from far-flung places with agendas, sinking their claws into him and draining him until all that was left was an apathetic husk of a man with such great potential, never realized by self-constraints.

In the midst was Cassandra, a mere princess, dismissed for being a girl. She played the part, doing her time at Ladies School, surrounded by shallow, vapid young women lacking in ambition and will-to-power. Cassandra didn’t feel the pressure to be like them, because she’d spent her whole life around people like that. Turn to God, they said to her, sensing her wicked ways, but God, she found, was a fickle being, as deaf dumb and blind as all the other great men around her.

My eyes watched God
as he stood over me
pretending to love me
as I adored him
I lit the candles on fire

“Prove your devotion
and I shall fulfill all of your wishes”
he said to me
as I blew out the match
too late and burned my hand

“I have been, I always do
and this is for you”
I said as I sliced the neck of an innocent animal
and let the blood pool on the altar
drops hissing as they hit the flames

“Is this all you have to offer me?”
he said from above
demanding more from me
in the name of his religion
I struck another match

“If only you were a true believer, child…”
I wept as his voice grew faint and far away
Head down, my hair caught on fire
Flames consuming me and leaving
Burnt offerings on his altar

Cassandra wanted to do what all those great men, those girls at school and even God could not…make waves…the kind of waves that could level one’s enemies and wipe the slate clean. Fitting then, that she should find herself in a place ruled by Rhydin, a nation that ruled the seas, the mightiest realm of earth, where the power of man was quite fleeting.

The Rhydinian woman, if she could be called that, named Yanna addressed Albert, while Cassandra looked around the peanut gallery that seemed better suited for a circus freak show. “Responses to your query about what the targeted audience has been given. Perhaps this is the time to provide your contribution, and a realistic approach to handle matters as it concerns to you My Lord.”

“With all due respect…” Albert responded, unsure of how to address Yanna properly, “I would like to hear what the others present have to say on the matter, before I make any such suggestions. After all, complete information is needed in order to produce complete plans.”

Well said, uncle, Cassandra thought, as her eyes returned to gaze upon the ever languid and methodical Rhydinian. “Your Dakmaran issue does present some challenges, but then again, we do enjoy such. I will dispatch scions soon to handle such, lest your powerbase be further affected.” Then she addressed Cassandra, and said, “to the Eaglet. If any are known to be challenging your power, do tell me, and the Hegemony shall assist in purification efforts.”

“…You’ll be the first to know,” replied the Ghantish Princess in a rather casual manner, as she observed the leery-eyed moroii. The beast thought herself menacing, though Cassandra refused to be intimidated…as such she returned the gaze, and the periodic smirk. You fancy yourselves predators, but what do you know of the game, when all your prey are so feeble? The moroii, she had found, were prone to hubris, and that was their ultimate weakness. And shall one day undo them… the Batorys, at least.

One after another, new delegates, if one could call them that, arrived after their own fashions. The Xukuthite known as Alaria addressed those gathered “There is much in the works concerning the wretched child of the Hiendors, but shadow play shall only work so long. The end, the desired result is a crippling of not only their bloodline, but the power and influence they wield like shield and sword throughout our shared realm. We must break the beast that is Hiendor, and to that end, we must strip the saddle that is the Batory from it.” Alaria continued. “There must be no division amongst us, this road will not be traveled fully in a night, nor a week, a month, perhaps even a year. It will take planning, dedication, and above all else, commitment. We must be ready for war should it come, or to send our assassins at a moments notice.” After a moment’s pause, she continued, most resolute. “I will not flinch from this duty, this righteous cause that we have come to gather arms and knowledge for. My talons have already struck, and my blades shall descend. For now, Rhydin directs them, against all enemies of this pact forming, and any sympathizers of the Batory or the Hiendor.”

As the Ghantish Imperials listened carefully, the Infernalite delegate added their thoughts on what the Xukuthite explained. “I must say, that I, don’t have any of the previous relations with the House of Hiendor, nor this Batory Empire, however, it has been my understanding through experience, that anything the Xukuthites do, does not bode well for any within their circle of influence. A dynasty that would bring two massive powers together and arguably ramp up the technological abilities of one, does not speak of a great future for those of us who happen to be within arms reach of either of these nations.” The woman took a break to collect her thoughts before continuing. “The Infernalite Everpire will do all within it's power, and more, to prevent this union from happening. If we have to make this Mierin and the heir of Hiendor gone from this world, so be it. While a head on approach with either of these nations is best avoided, they are, indeed above average individuals, but they still bleed, and they can be killed despite their genetic advances they are as mortal as the rest. I would vote towards the usage of covert operations to hinder this union as much as possible.”

Eventually, the moroii known as Semtiya spoke, explaining in greater detail what was at stake for them. "What my clan desires,” she began, "is a political order with less favoritism given my clan's rivals... who of late have enjoyed an alarming degree of Batory patronage."

Of course, Cassandra thought, you’d want to merely maximize the position of your clan at another’s expense…

"We desire not to be constrained by Batory hands, with their trade barriers and meddling and high taxes and blatant contempt for the Harthy clan." The moroii paused, before adding, "to that effect, we are prepared to marshal our considerable financial resources... as well as provide transportation." The moroii smiled. "Technically it would be the Golgary and a few other clans providing the transportation, depending upon the mode. We can handle supply necessities as well." She looked around. "It really depends on your goals... to merely stop this dynastic union... or to overthrow the Batory clan..."

And there’s the endgame. The moroii didn’t surprise Cassandra…theirs is a wheel, one that begins with one clan in power and ending with another taking their place…or at least trying to. It was possible that were it the Harthys or any other infernal moroii clan in power instead of the Batorys, that the same sequence of events would be unfolding. And should the Batorys be supplanted, whatever clan displaces them could be up to the same tricks centuries from now…

The other one…the painted one, spoke more casually by comparison, and not without a smoke. "Our hostess asked our desires... we in the Sulesartyr clan have few. After all, we have most things already." She smiled, her expression then becoming more severe. "My colleague…did not mention this, as few of her clan remain with the Batory military for long... and as much as I hate to dwell on the pains of the past, my mother, our clan's matriarch and Queen of our province, gave specific instructions... we and clans historically aligned with us lost a not inconsiderable number of our kin at the battles in Karthay. As tempting as it might be, given how irritating they can be, to lay the blame squarely at the feet of the Batorys, we can't abide that degree of blame shifting by those who know better. There must be recompense not only for the members of our clan who lost their lives, but also for the even more numerous fallen of Korvinas, and our associated minor clans. This is a starting point. I'm afraid my hands are tied in this by the wishes of my mother. We would have this, in some form or another, of the Rhydinians, or there will be no deal involving us."

"Furthermore,” she elaborated, “and in the interim, and quite frankly I can't believe my colleague forgot to ask for this for her own clan's holdings, we desire assurances that there will be no Rhydinian raiding of merchant vessels associated with our... numerous holdings. We would not have those who serve us and those pledged to us die while we treat with their killers." She tapped her pipe. "Should this plot fail, which, if we are honest with ourselves, is a distinct possibility, we desire sanctuary. And by that I certainly don't mean some sort of captive existence, prisoners of our former co-conspirators."

Cassandra hadn’t paid total attention to everything that had been said, though she paid especially close attention to the painted moroii, finding her insight to be rather refreshing. "Finally, as to the query from the gentlemen of Gentry who immediately preceded said query with insults towards my kind... my clan isn't really under threat from this development. You see, my mother rules our ancestral home as the ruler of a province. And we are competent enough in governance that the Batorys leave us alone. We will still rule that province no matter how much Mierin fucks Aytep, no matter how large a brood of hybrids she spawns."

To this, Albert snorted, and shook his head. “Insults? Had I wished to insult you, Sulesartyr, then I would have done so directly,” he told her bluntly. “Such was not my intention. Naturally your clan, and perhaps the Harthys as well, will have a place in the Batory Empire indefinitely…in some form or another. As for the rest of us,” he hesitated in his speech, “we stand on more shaky ground.”

As though to address that point about the Harthy’s diminished position, the Sulesartyr stated “I hate to have to spell things out so plainly," she said with a deep draw of her pipe and a great exhale, "but I am here because Semtiya's clan needs mine, not because mine needs hers. We can walk away from this deal if we want to. You see, my darling matriarch of Harthy," she patted Semtiya's arm, which cleary annoyed the latter, "is angry and resentful over what she feels is unfair treatment by the Batorys. Specifically that the Harthy clan's ancestral enemies, the Sorviks, are enjoying a ton of patronage from the Throne of Bones right now due to Rhydin, the Batory clan's new great enemy, being a naval power. The Sorviks design, and through the Guild in Drun, build warships. It is what they have always done. When the Batory clan conquered Drun, absorbing the Sorvik and Novikas drakker doubled the size of the Batory Imperial Navy. The Harthys don't design warships. Thus, no patronage for them in these trying times. Not from the Batory clan, anyway. One could write a book about the hatred between these two clans and how the Harthys think the Sorviks are only successful because naval spending props them up while the Harthys succeed in business by their own merits, and how the Sorviks think theirs is the way of unselfish dedication while the Harthys are dishonorable and care only for wealth, and so on."

How tragic, Cassandra thought sarcastically. She cared little for the petty squabbles between the Harthys and Sorviks. Just another moroii clan…they’re all the same to me. The important thing, however, was that they weren’t Batorys, and it was the Batorys that were in bed with the Xukuhites. No pun intended…

"The short of it is...Semtiya here," she annoyed the Harthy by patting her again, seemingly aware of how annoying the Harthy found that to be, "wants a change of business climate. And because the Harthys are not the direct servants of the Batorys, she's willing to topple them if that's what it takes to advance what she sees as her clan's interests." She puffed again on the pipe. "The problem she faces is that toppling the dragons from their perch would cause the Empire to fracture, as it is built around them. All the pieces would fly off; there would likely be a multi-sided civil war. Perhaps instability and crisis present opportunities, but not for the kind of business environment that Semtiya wants and needs. Her clan's wealth is primarily in companies that use Vas Darabs as currency, after all. So how to retain a stable environment for investment without the meddlesome grip of the Batory clan?" She smoked a bit, before continuing. "Someone has to step in to take control of the Empire... this is the part that Semtiya has not openly expressed, because it embarrasses her, the poor thing," Nikara spoke kindly, pinching the Harthy’s cheek. "And the reason why I'm here. She can't be that person. The Harthys can't be that entity. Yes, they command vast wealth, and the loyalty of another major clan and quite a few minor ones... but not the love of the public at large. She knows this. Semtiya Harthy can move mountains with her clan's accumulated wealth... but she can never be Empress, as the Harthys cannot inspire the masses of the Empire to unite under her rule." That was when Nikara gestured to herself, a hand upon her bare breast. "That is why she called upon my mother. The only other clan that could possibly hold the Empire, or at least most of it, together, is mine." She cocked her head and smiled.

Cassandra smiled too. Ah, such an opportunist, you are. That explained why the Sulesartyrs were in on it…they had the acumen to fill the void left by the Batorys, should their clan come to some tragic end. Would these painted, bare-breasted cunts be any better than the Batorys though?

"Dear Semtiya knows all too well that we Sulesartyrs care nothing for her clan's silly squabble with her northern neighbors. Neither her clan nor Madar Sorvik's clan even existed when first we warred with the Batorys. To us, they are both unrefined westerners. So it lies with her, and the rest of you, to impress us, and show us that your chances of succeeding are great enough that it is worth us risking our hides with our silence, or perhaps support, if we are suitably impressed enough." Her gaze swept across those present, as though to gage their level of agreement or interest. "Our role, should the Batorys fall, will be to take up the reins of power over Hyperborea to conclude as smooth a transition as possible. To secure loyalty of those formerly loyal to Empress Vereba Batory, we cannot be seen to have played an active role in this. At that time, should any of this succeed, you will then be dealing with the Sulesartyr Empire, rather than the Batory Empire. I'm afraid, my dear Albert," Nikara smiled, blue eyes glinting with amusement, "that you will have a moroii-governed state to your east, one way, or another. Batory, or Sulesartyr. And, of course, there's no way for you to know that you won't be in exactly the same position a few years into the future. Perhaps with success, the Masai Kyorl might want to arrange for some sort of union with us, and so then you'd be confronted by a Masai Kyorl-Sulesartyr Dynasty instead of a Hiendor-Batory one. Obviously we and the Masai Kyorl would be more fashionable, however, in our defense."

Albert ground his teeth, and wiggled his lips. “The Batorys have crossed my house many times in the past, and feign false friendship. The Sulesartyrs, on the other hand, have not. I’m willing to parlay that, should these possibilities come to fruition. As for the Xukuthites, what I’ve heard transpire there inclines me to believe that they are especially dangerous, which makes their dealings with the Batorys most troubling indeed.”

The delegate from Salto de Victoria stated to Albert that “While I agree that a union between both nations would be mildly distressful, ultimately I fail to see how having a child would make the two nations who are already rather close any more of a threat than they currently are, furthermore I find the notion that they would conquer the entire world rather absurd, powerful though they may be.”

Then adding that “Furthermore if Meirin did fall to the blades of an assassin what’s to stop the Batorys from producing a replacement for her? Are we to continue an endless cycle of assassins until they grow tired of their attempts or all the assassins are killed? Also why should the Imperium and her Colony trust in the word of traitors from these two countries who very well could turn on their ‘allies’ much like they have already turned on their own countries? Before the Imperium or the Colony are willing to make any commitments more information is required for us to take any action at all.”

Yanna seemed to consider how to respond to that, though the time she needed apparently wasn’t very long. “Think it not a threat, for we shall not concern ourselves with the machinations of the Imperium, provided they do not counteract our own. Is that answer sufficient for you?”

It was then that Cassandra, having listened to most of what had been said, and having thought on it at length, took a step forward, with her hands folded behind her dress, and a mischievous look cast at the rest of the people gathered in the room. “We’ve been going back and forth about why we should do this, the merits of it, what’s to be gained and what’s at stake. We all have our own reasons for being here, and our reasons for wanting to take action. There are different things for us to gain, and different things for us to lose.”

“With all due respect to my uncle,” she said of Albert, who listened with a stoic expression on his face, “he hasn’t looked at this situation the way he ought to, and to be frank, neither have the rest of you. What we should be discussing, in precise terms, is how to execute this plan of ours. The answer to me is as plain as day,” she told them all briskly, her eyes flickering with every step.

“The Batorys are nigh invincible within their own lands, where they have their power to protect them. To strike at them with assassins within their Empire is a doomed enterprise. The Dragon’s Claw will surely thwart any such attempts, assuming their lesser guards don’t. So that begs the question…how do you draw them out, away from their core, where they are vulnerable?”

Cassandra looked around the room, going from one face to another. “How many of you can call yourselves the Batorys’ true friends? Certainly not the Rhydinians. Most likely they suspect the Harthys. The Sulesartyrs, perhaps, though I wouldn’t dare venture to make guesses as to the intricacies of moroii clan relations. The Victorians? Their dealings with your lot are few and far between!”

“I look around this room,” she continued to explain with another scan of the room, “and I see only one viable place, where the Batorys can be drawn to, and struck down en masse.” Then, Cassandra drew a hand to her breast. “Ghant, where the Batorys are friends of the Empress Sophia. Such good friends, in fact, that Sophia is always inviting the Batorys to the palace…and sometimes they accept. Mierin Batory, heavy with child, and Aytep Hiendor have been in Ghish mostly recently in attendance at the Midsummer Ball only a few months ago. Empress Vereba herself has been a frequent guest in Ghish as well. As a little girl, I saw her there quite often. They consider our capital safe, and dare I say our palace almost like a home away from home.”

“I know what you’re going to ask next,” Cassandra said generally, though with a gaze upon the moroii. “Why would the Empress betray the moroii, friends of House Dakmaran? They wouldn’t, and they don’t have to. Sophia’s rule in Ghant diminishes, the more she focuses on her young children and in her personal pursuits. Meanwhile, my influence grows greater with each passing day. As was said previously by…Lady…Alaria, this is a road that may take a year to travel. In a year, I could have the palace under my control, and the Imperial guard answering to me. And none would be wiser for it.”

The Eaglet seemed full of self-confidence, and brought her hands around from her back and rested them on the table as she leaned forward upon it. “So that’s my plan. Wait until my power is great enough in Ghish to where I can do with the palace as I please. Sophia will invite the Batorys, as she always does, to spend some time at the palace, and when enough of them come, we overpower them and kill them. Mierin, Aytep, their babe, Vereba and which ever of their infernal clan comes. What remains of their number, the lot that doesn’t come to Ghish, will have to be dealt with in other ways, when it’s most opportune.”

“Granted, I’ll have hundreds of fighting men at my disposal for the deed, but that might not be enough to deal with the Dragon’s Claw,” lamented Cassandra. “What we need in Ghish, if this route is to be taken, are warriors, soldiers, or whatever specialists you have to fight the Dragon’s Claw agents that would be in Ghish. Where the Batorys go, the Dragon’s Claw go, and we in Ghant are ill-suited towards dealing with them. I’m confident, however, that many of you here today have access to those capable of defeating them.”

“Ultimately, those who hold the titles in Ghish will be held responsible for this foul, treacherous act of slaughter. The blame will be laid at the feet of Sophia, and her Dakmaran ilk, for the deaths of the Batorys and Aytep Hiendor. Yanna keeps offering to eradicate the Dakmarans for us, but why accept such an offer, when the moroii can do that for you, and us instead? They will demand some form of retribution…and they’ll have it, starting with the Empress herself.” Cassandra looked to her uncle, to see what he might say.

“…And if this plot of yours fails,” the Iron Eagle said gravely. “The consequences will be severe for our country.”

“No, uncle,” she shook her head in response. “They’ll be severe for Sophia, and her house, for letting something like that happen under their watch, even though they weren’t aware. The rest of us can merely plead ignorance, given the lack of facts. Might I digress, there you have it, esteemed colleagues. Draw the lamb to the altar with a friendly, familiar hand, to make it feel safe, letting its guard down. By the time it realizes its fate, the blade will already be at its throat.”

Albert didn’t seem impressed with this plan. “I doubt you’d get them all to come. Vereba’s daughter Ilona isn’t as fond of Ghant as her mother and daughter, and their clan is far too numerous to get them all to come. You will have to deal with them swiftly, otherwise, Ilona will become Batory Empress and will descend upon Ghant with all the fury her empire can muster.”

“Assuming Vereba and Mierin are dead, how hard could it possibly be to assassinate one of a few more?” Cassandra countered. “Before we were talking about having to track down and assassinating several, perhaps more than a dozen Batory heirs, but now we’re talking about picking off a few that we don’t take out in Ghish, and that’s assuming that some of the greatest of their clan still remain.”

Her uncle snorted, and shook his head. “I don’t like this plan of yours, because I don’t want this treachery committed on Ghish soil. The reward is great, but the risk seems even greater, and not worth the price that would have to be paid in the event of failure. Alas, I will concede that the Batorys will need to be drawn out into a position of vulnerability, and Ghish has that. As a result, I will defer to my colleagues present, to see what they have to say on the matter. I can’t imagine that anyone would agree that it would be as easy as leading lambs to the altar of sacrifice.”

Cassandra choked back a laugh, and concluded her proposition by saying, “how fitting would that be, for the Batorys to be slaughtered like lambs at the sacrificial altar, after all these years of conducting such sacrifices themselves? A poetic end, and one not without a sense of irony,” she explained. “My uncle is right…the risk is great, but so is the reward. Such is life though, is it not? That those who wish to make the greatest gains must be prepared to take the greatest risks. What say you all to that then, eh?” What say you indeed…

Why dost thou bow to your god
With your head to the floor and your lips moving in prayer
In the pitch black of the night
With no eyes there to see
Nor ears to hear?

Why art thou prostrate before your god
Like a slave before his master
Is this not a peaceful, loving entity?
Dost thou lay so before a friend?

Why dost thou worship your god
Who demands such obedience, such devotion?
Who commands armies, and spills innocent blood?
Who mercilessly sends men to the flames?

Why art thou so demanding
That I should follow this god
Whose true name must be Satan?
Who has caused nothing but pain?
The True God resides within us all.
▬▬▬▬▬▬▬ஜ۩۞۩ஜ▬▬▬▬▬▬▬
Ghant
▬▬▬▬▬▬▬ஜ۩۞۩ஜ▬▬▬▬▬▬▬
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"Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair!" - Percy Bysshe Shelley, Ozymandias
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