NATION

PASSWORD

New Civilizations [IC | Closed]

For all of your non-NationStates related roleplaying needs!
User avatar
G-Tech Corporation
Khan of Spam
 
Posts: 60852
Founded: Feb 03, 2010
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

New Civilizations [IC | Closed]

Postby G-Tech Corporation » Fri Apr 29, 2022 7:51 am

New Civilizations

Image

Suns rise, suns set. The world turns, and the seasons change. But this is not the world you know. This is a world far younger, more full of potential - the world of New Civilizations.

The date is two thousand nine hundred and sixty five years Before the Common Era - 2965 BC. Mankind is a savage thing, little given to civilization, only taking her first steps toward ideas of government, religion, culture, and many other things beside. And you, by the quirks of fate, by a straying thread in the tapestry of the ages, find yourself thrown backward to this strange and barbaric time.

It will be desperate. It will be brutal. Life is cheap, and the luxuries and even common humanity which you are accustomed to are nowhere to be found. But to be a man in such times, to be a woman, is to stand at the dawn of human civilization. Your actions, your choices, your will - these will echo down through the centuries. You stand as a stone in the river, about which the currents of history now eddy and swirl.

What future will you forge? What story will you write, Author? Speak now the tale of the New Civilizations.






The True God


November 8th, 2965 BCE

Stones and the odd arrow clattered off of the shields of the foremost guardsmen, making a dreadful racket. Here and there a man fell with a cry of pain, unlucky and injured. Some made no noise at all as they toppled, boneless, consciousness fleeing from the impact of a sling against their skull. My heart was sick of it, my face as grim as the winter ice which marked the mountains not far south and west. Even a sturdy padded helmet could only do so much if the hit was direct and the impact square. The human brain was not meant to take such a pounding, and those with such injuries would fare grievously.

The wild lands southwest of Mordhau had been little cared for by the people of the Imperium. They made good trading partners, aye, and the odd bit of heartwood of impressive caliber did filter down out of those hills. But by and large they were so unpopulated and forbidding that they had been passed by, ignored. Latter men would tame them, latter soldiers give a care to their barbarous tribes, latter engineers survey the deep forests and craggy hills.

Such we had thought. Such I had thought. Until the arrival of the Camdenites.

They had come with fire, and spear, soaked in an ocean of spilled blood. This slaughter they wrought in the name of their benefactor, their messiah, the One Who Was Promised. Those who were willing to convert and bow the knee were spared, but placed under harsh tax. Those who were not - well, there were few refugees who escaped the oncoming armed bands from the south. Not because men did not attempt to flee. Not for that reason.

And so the Seventh had marched, at my behest. The Rose Council had approved the campaign, leery of the danger which these fanatics posed to the ambitions of the Imperium in the southern Svaar. They would be weak during the winter, ill provisioned, having to draw their reinforcements across the broken stretches of the foothills of the Alps and the fens of the Ovensee. Rare was the military force who could campaign in such season on account of the lack of forage and the paucity of supplies to commandeer from the locals.

Truth be told, even the Great Company was finding it difficult to maintain the usual sufficiency of provender which one would expect in the field.

But in a battle of blind men, the fighter with one eye will triumph. And pinning down the brigands was more important, in many ways, than having a good ability to maneuver. In these highlands if the zealots chose to melt away they could harass any logistical train with nigh impunity. Far better to bring them to battle where that was not an option to be taken, than allow them the possibility of such a vexatious volition.

From atop their barricade, a low wall of stones piled haphazardly to about chest height, the Camdenites called down the curses of their god on the approaching soldiery. I stood rather to the rear, though advancing with the captain and his retinue; even that had scandalized my minders, but ultimately they served my will, whatever their intentions. Markus had had to be talked down from sending three dozen Blackguards to ensure my safe return, which would have rather defeated the purpose of seeing how the formations of the Seventh handled open warfare. Only six men stood to my fore, their sweaty faces well concealed by heavy tower shields which only occasionally rang with an impact. The lion's share of the enemy's attention was upon the block of guardsmen steadily approaching their redoubt.

Normally tactical doctrine would call for such a position to be reduced by bombardment before an assault. No artillery had managed to be limbered over the Ammersee and her tributaries yet, unfortunately, and so the destruction of this forward position would have to be accomplished the old-fashioned way; an unbreakable shield wall, and the butcher's work.

The captain drummed his spear on his shield in a rapid tattoo as the company approached the wall. With a practiced motion the first line of warriors dropped to one knee, and from behind them men tossed thin javelins, wicked and barbed. Such weapons missed, by and large, even when thrown by experienced fighters, but they certainly made the enemy keep their heads down - and those half dozen of the foe who were unlucky enough to be pierced by them were out of the fight to be sure. A spear of that nature punched through the light linen armor the brigands wore without any compunctions, and created such a jagged wound most of those so injured would die even with immediate treatment. A cruel weapon, but effective.

Again the tattoo sounded, before the enemy could truly resume their bombardment. The next line of warriors, those who had thrown their javelins, advanced past the first, before kneeling in their turn. Men dashed forward a few paces to their rear, and a new volley of barbed implements laid low three or four of the remaining defenders. The throwing of stones and odd archer who pulled together enough courage to sight over the wall was now very slow in returning, fearing another shower of death - exactly the intended result.

I say exactly the intended result, for even as the second volley struck home the guards advanced at a trot, shields high. This was the sprint to the finish, after the slow advance which conserved strength and allowed the enemy to waste what ammunition they possessed. The distance to the barricade was now less than a dozen meters, and this was a critical time - which I knew, and the knowledge of which this captain too possessed, it seemed. It was one thing to shoot an arrow at a shielded man at a hundred yards. Your odds of scoring a kill at such range were paltry. But if accurate weapons were used here, now, in this moment, even the armor of the guards probably wouldn't deflect a lucky shot. Most casualties in an assault were taken in closing the final stretch.

And so now the assault had to begin in earnest.

Clambering over the wall would take time, and leave the soldiers vulnerable to the zealots and whatever weapons their leader had scavenged for them. I jogged along at the rear of the formation, closing the gap, and wondered if the captain of the Fourth Company knew the appropriate response to the dilemma. To the right and left of the enemy position the ground dropped away into steep embankments. There was no room for outflanking. But there was a solution, of a kind - a solution which the captain luckily knew.

A complex drumming, a shouted order lost in the din to my ears, but not, it seemed, to his men. Up their shields went, and down the men of the second and third rank knelt. Hide-faced shields didn't have the best traction, but they didn't need to. Bosses at the center of each rectangular tower allowed the hobnailed boots of the soldiers purchase as a section of the guardsmen rushed up an impromptu ramp of interlocked shields their fellows supported from below.

Shouts of dismay came from beyond the barricade, soldiers disappearing over the wall. Short hacking spears and smallswords of forged steel would make short work of whatever martial training the southerners possessed. Nasty work, brutish and up close, but decisive. It wasn't more than a minute or two before the sounds of battle died down from the Camdenite redoubt. Several of the guardsmen dismantled a section of the wall, and the captain motioned me over.

He had removed his helmet, and he looked so young. It was striking, even though I intellectually understood I no doubt was not far advanced of his years.

"We have their leader, Hegemon. A man named Barabus." The captain saluted, twisting his hand over his heart in the gesture of fealty I had taught Garasov those many years ago.

They had him indeed. He was a wild-haired individual, short but brawny, his black hair in thick curls about his face. Normal enough, really, for this part of the world. Except for the eyes. His eyes were filled with a madness, a hatred that I had only rarely seen. It took three men to hold him down, kneeling on the scrub-grass, despite blood streaming from a head wound and many abrasions.

He snarled and spat, speaking in a patois from out of the west. His words came harsh, between gasps filling his lungs with air, the exertion of combat.

"I know how this ends, Imperial."

I squatted down in front of him, looking him in the face. His tongue flowed from my lips by the gift of my Father, and his eyes widened as I spoke.

"Then tell Camden you are coming, courtesy of the Seventh."

A savage smile touched his mien, a grimace of bloody teeth.

"It must pain you, knowing the one true god chooses us over you."

I shrugged broadly.

"Not today he didn't."

The statement infuriated the leader. Spittle flecked from Barabus' tongue as he shouted, straining against the men that held him back.

"When the Prophet comes, the Imperium will be nothing!"

I stood, shifting my grip on the sword in my hand.

"Until then."

The thrust went in downwards, pommel pointed up to the sky. There was a slight sighing noise from the zealot as the blade whispered between his neck and his collarbone, right down into the heart. A momentary spurt of arterial blood splashed the underside of my grip, and then I pulled the sword clear. His eyes, his lips still pulled back in a rictus of hate - the peace of oblivion washed over them breath by breath, until his chest ceased to stir.

Just the first madmen we would have to deal with. Just another set of misguided fools on this barbaric globe.
Last edited by G-Tech Corporation on Fri Apr 29, 2022 7:54 am, edited 1 time in total.
TG if you have questions about RP. If I don't know the answer, I know someone who does.

Quite the unofficial fellow. P2TM Mentor specializing in faction and nation RPs, as well as RPGs.

User avatar
Islamic Holy Sites
Negotiator
 
Posts: 6598
Founded: Mar 20, 2021
Democratic Socialists

Postby Islamic Holy Sites » Fri Apr 29, 2022 8:20 am

Ali was quite pale when he staggered up to the centre of the village to speak. His khopesh was still in his hand, with blood still on the blade. But colour flushed into his face as he glared at the inhabitants of his beloved home.

“I am now the leader of this village. Any objections?”

“Oh, yes, we have objections,” snarled a refugee. “Why should we follow you when you killed my brother? Why should we follow a child who can barely pick up his sword and has to resort to stabbing people in the back to win?”

Ali’s face turned a bright red as several other refugees chortled.
Utu, the ten-year old orphan who was Ali’s best friend, shouted.

“He was the one who let you live here! You should be grateful!”

People’s head swivelled to look at this small boy shouting at them about gratefulness.

“You have to rely on this boy to speak for you?” sneered the man who spoke in the first place. “Why don’t you fight me, child, and we’ll decide who will be the leader of this village.”

Fury boiled in Ali’s body. Recklessly, he accepted the challenge, and before he knew it he was a five minute’s walk away from the river with his sword in his hand, glaring daggers at the tall man in front of him.

The man brandished his spear.

“Let us begin.”

Ali immediately swung his sword at the spear. The man, not expecting such a rapid reaction, jerked the spear out of harm’s way. Ali missed and stumbled, which his opponent immediately took advantage of. The spear was jabbed at Ali’s chest, but he managed to deflect it with a desperate swing of his sword, and it embedded itself in his shoulder.

Pain erupted from his shoulder and Ali instinctively dropped his sword and clutched his shoulder to ease the pain. The opponent thrust again with the spear still in Ali’s shoulder, a move which knocked Ali to the ground and ripped the spear from his shoulder. The spear rolled away. The man turned and with a few strides caught up to his weapon and picked it up. When he turned back, however, Ali had gritted his teeth, stood up, picked up his khopesh and charged. The man thrust with his spear and Ali slashed wildly, unable to dodge. By sheer luck, he sliced off the top of the spear, and continued running. He heaved the sword up and struck the man’s spear-hand. The man bellowed and dropped his stick, and Ali quickly jerked the sword out of the man’s arm and backed away. His opponent picked up a rock and hurled it at Ali, missed and whilst he was trying to pick up his stick Ali struck at his exposed neck. Without the strength of an adult, he did not kill his opponent but that was the last straw for the man. He swung his fist at Ali’s face and made contact with his nose. Pain bursted through the boy’s face, but he stayed firm and swung at the man’s throat. Blood gushed out of him. He fell down, dead.
#FreeNSGRojava!
FREEDOM, DEMOCRACY, ISLAM
FREE PALESTINE
STAND WITH THE UKRAINIAN PEOPLE
Call me Muqaddasia.
Proud member of the UIC, CFTC, LITA, the DEA and the ICDN. Host nation of SETZA. Founder/Co-founder of the (now defunct) IDSF Founder/Co-founder and first in command of the UCA. Founder of the ICRD.
BREAKING NEWS: Galapagos war 4 might be coming | “Aursi among best Muqaddasi allies,”, says government official | Muqaddasi weapon industry expanding WIP

User avatar
Orostan
Negotiator
 
Posts: 6040
Founded: May 02, 2016
Civil Rights Lovefest

Postby Orostan » Fri Apr 29, 2022 11:49 am

Aaron Dawson’s Story

Year 16 Month 9 Chinese Imperial Calendar - 2964 BC


Luoyang

Aaron set down the cup of tea on the table. The producers of the drink had been getting better at it much to Aaron's satisfaction. And Tan's, judging by how he took from his own cup. Aaron's eight year old daughter Lei was playing on the floor some distance away from the two men with a toy steam locomotive and cars. She was a great appreciator of the simple toy that Aaron had made for her, and even though it was not of very high quality Aaron took pride in making something that could make his only remaining child happy. Lei spent most of her day being educated by her mother Shun, her father Aaron, or a teacher who taught physical and mental fitness. Aaron sometimes wondered for a moment if he was pushing her too hard to get a good start on education, but every time he did memories of his son murdered during a bandit raid on Luoyang would spring into his mind and he'd be even more dedicated to make his remaining offspring the strongest they could be. Tan's children were older, and late into the day Aaron would frequently ask Tan over for advice. Tan would provide him the advice and also talk about the methods of parenting that were done in the other parts of the empire he semi-frequently visited on this or that project to increase administrative standards. Aaron eagerly listened but the customs Tan usually described were strange to his 21st century mind.

Aaron had also begun to try and test the durability of his political system. Where once he made new laws and administrative changes daily he had frequently been delegating various work he took on himself before to various other offices, including Tan's. So far this had the desired effect of reducing the empire's dependence on Aaron, occasionally he would even ask some advisor for a recommendation on some policy and follow through with it even if Aaron believed the policy was sub-optimal. The important part was not the actual policy created but the impression that advice given to the highest levels of government would be taken seriously. For every five policies which resulted in little or no improvement to the administration or economy suggested by some overconfident bureaucrat there would be one excellent suggestion that Aaron would never have been able to come up with himself.

This was contrasted by the consequences of bad administration both to the empire and to the bureaucrats responsible. This was another common topic of discussion over the table while drinking tea with Tan and where once Aaron had not agreed to the death penalty for all but the most serious administrative mistakes he now supported Tan's idea of making "examples of idiots". Where corruption had once been discouraged with warnings before any punishment due to the shortage of administrators Tan argued the spread of literacy allowed for easier appointing of replacements. The impression of a secret bureaucratic police which could appear from nowhere and bring corrupt officials to trial and then execution in a matter of days also would create a climate of fear among the corrupt. Aaron's agreement with this policy had certainly done exactly that and administrators in the cities and provinces now kept obsessive records of tool and grain distribution as any lapse in record keeping could be seen as evidence of corruption or misdirection of resources towards certain clans.

It sometimes struck Aaron that many of the moral maxims he had tried to live his life by were being turned upside down. On some level he had believed before that absent all other things it was right and good to rule people the way he would want to be ruled, and issue orders and policies that he would like to follow if he wasn't the one making them. Certain exceptions had to me made of course, but as long as he had followed that rule he believed in general things would be alright. After the war though his view had changed, and Aaron's rules had become more coercive. Even if Aaron could get his policies approved by the assembly he did that with his own personal influence now more than a genuine democratic debate. Roughly half the assembly agreed with Aaron, but the other half which represented more clannish interests were in opposition but would never show it in the votes. Occasionally to maintain the idea of democracy Aaron would allow some motion to fail in the assembly. Normally he'd want the vote in the assembly to a confirmation of something already agreed on but "today the idea of democracy was more important than its actual reality" Aaron would say to Tan. Tan would agree with him, and also add that at least for now the idea of a central government which obeyed the wishes of the provinces through the assembly was more important than a central government that actually did listen to its provinces.
“It is difficult for me to imagine what “personal liberty” is enjoyed by an unemployed hungry person. True freedom can only be where there is no exploitation and oppression of one person by another; where there is not unemployment, and where a person is not living in fear of losing his job, his home and his bread. Only in such a society personal and any other freedom can exist for real and not on paper.” -J. V. STALIN
Ernest Hemingway wrote:Anyone who loves freedom owes such a debt to the Red Army that it can never be repaid.
#FreeNSGRojava
Z

User avatar
Suriyanakhon
Minister
 
Posts: 2815
Founded: Apr 27, 2020
Corrupt Dictatorship

Postby Suriyanakhon » Tue May 03, 2022 10:10 pm

Kinoshita Grace


Manchuria


Nurhaci was a bear of a man, in both size and temperament. He had made a name for himself as a supporter of the great Sugedai, reiving across Northeast Asia, and amassing for himself an immense amount of gold, wives, and even more liquor. He was not a stingy man, neither was he an exceedingly generous one. He occasionally gave gifts, but for the most part, he jealously guarded his wealth, his women, and his alcohol. His neighbors learned it was best simply to not approach him, for those who minded their manners, he would mind his. But he always remained in the corners of their mind, in a space of unease.

Therefore, it was a surprise to many of the townspeople when the feared Nurhaci shaved his head and was ordained as a monk in the order founded by Daigen. Much of his wealth he gave away, what he didn't went to assuring that his household were able to comfortably maintain themselves until his firstborn son was able to come of age, and his old collection of alcohol was smashed against the walls in the name of his new religious rejection of alcohol.

“From henceforth, your name shall be Reisetsu.” Daigen recited after Nurhaci, now Reisetsu, received the ten precepts. Another novice monk, perhaps a former barber, proceeded to shave the hair off his head until the new initiate was bald. “You have renounced your wealth and status in the world. Now your family is of the Shaka's. Have faith in the Buddha and practice diligently for the salvation of all sentient beings.”

Nurhaci rose after the ceremony finished and spoke with Daigen for some time before another novice entered. “The venerable converter of Maharaja Sirpa, Jaku, is coming to greet you, venerable Daigen.” he stated, bowing like he would to a chieftain or to a spirit. In some ways, these new novices saw their elder monks in similar terms, as high and mighty beings, like mountains or clouds, that one might approach and venerate. Daigen thanked the novice and dismissed him, and the youth returned to his previous duties.

In little under an hour, Jaku entered the small temple. “How are you, brother?” he asked.

“I am the same as I always am.” Daigen replied, a faint smile breaking from his neutral expression at seeing his younger brother, who did not, however, return the emotional display. “Come now, I understand that you believe in dispassion, but it is a means to an end, not the end itself. The Lord wouldn't begrudge you some warmth to your brother.”

“Forgive me, it's not out of cold heartedness I'm so reluctant. Love of family is my greatest attachment, surely you remember that.” Jaku replied. “I have journeyed far and lost my attachments to many things, but family remains a thorn in my heart and it wounds my self-respect not to have rooted out all affection.”

“I have heard that you have converted the great raja Sirpa, in a short span you accomplished more than I expected. Truly such a feat is a service to the Dharma.” Daigen said impressed, with no insincerity.

“That I have, he has been an ardent pupil and a dear friend. A man like that is hard to find in the Three Worlds.” Jaku answered, smiling when remembering a Dharma lecture he had given Sirpa before he had left about the nature of karma and rebirth. The metaphysical was where Jaku truly excelled, his brain loved the deep theories of birth and death, and he always found ways to explain them that conveyed their vastness but also divine simplicity. “It was not an easy feat and I paid a heavy toll, but it was much worth it.” he held up his flayed hand to Daigen. “A hand for a good friend and salvation of sentient beings, I would have surrendered more.”

“You will have to tell me more about your travels later, brother.” Daigen said, gesturing for his brother to follow him. “I must give a lesson soon to the neophytes, please follow me and help me along in that way you do so well.” Jaku acquiesced and followed his brother into the adjacent hall, where the two brothers, ex-princes, gave a lecture to the impressionable youth about the nature of samsara and the nature of Buddhahood.
Private residence


The Hayashi were a family of complicated origins. Tracing their family lead one back to a wealthy great-grandfather who made his fortune organizing the sale of food to the imperial court, they were not aristocrats, but were burghers who occasionally made decent trade, but never really left their home provinces for the outside world. They had never thought about taking to the sea and seeing the Great Yellow River Country, or the Shen State, or the southern islands. Instead, they focused on trade in Honshu, with the occasional deal with travelers between there and the smaller islands of the archipelago.

The great-granddaughter of this founder, however, Hayako, would perhaps prove more influential than anyone in the family had imagined. A short woman who stood at 4'8", she did not strike an impressive figure, and did not inspire followers because of her strength or presence. Her words were what inspired them and her ideas about how things ought to be that were strangely beguiling. She could evoke high dreams of the future, a Hanajima that was not dependent on the monasteries or the governor system, but was a strong and secular cultural state centered around the Empress.

“Religion is inferior to culture,” she was fond of telling her literary associates who came to her residence the last of every week to have a poetry competition and discussion about world events. “We have grown up so long believing that our country is superior because of its religious dogma, because it is the center of the earth, or something else. No, our country is not dependent on such things. It is superior because of its customs which evoke awe and reverence. It is the wellspring of culture in the world, and it spreads these to foreign lands through commerce and diplomacy. We do not require divine favor. All we need is to raise up the youth, like we are doing now. This shogun accomplished much, in small increments, but what we need is a strong Empress who will bring about the changes that the state really needs to survive.”

She was always keen to emphasize the point of a strong Empress, not a strong leader. Hayashi revered the throne, and saw it as the wellspring of the national spirit, even if she did not believe the divine origin myths written down and transmitted. For a demagogue to come along and take power and make the changes she wanted was not something that she wanted to imagine, least of all encourage, happening.

Her associates understood her ideas well, and had guessed, although not been told, that she was the author of many of the infamous tracts spread along the Kansai region that were banned for spreading disbelief and radical reformism.

“There are some who believe that the Chinese are growing too powerful in our country,” one of the attendees remarked after a bout of poetry recital. “That the immigrants have occupied too many roles in the lower civil service, making it harder for native clergy and noblemen to apply. That they receive preferential treatment too, being employed more by the court than other smiths and weapon masters. Then there's the merchants who come along, I've heard rumors that they settle sometimes and marry Hanajima women for the purpose of converting them to their strange religion. Although I've heard other rumors that if they do, it does not turn out too well for them in the end. They aren't familiar with the power of women in our country.” she looked over at Hayashi. “What about you, Teacher? Are you a xenophobe?”

“In olden days, although no one likes to say so nowadays, our country was a mix of different people.” she answered. “The barbarians who worshiped animals, and in some parts of the country, still do. The civilized people who came from the east and conquered the land of the reed plain under the first Tenno. The first Tenno was also a foreigner, although it is not popular to say so today. She was a conqueror who bent the bow and slew the rival chieftains, and installed herself as the object of worship.” the audience breathed in somewhat to hear this. Although they were not surprised by her opinion, it was still taboo to say aloud, a violation of the law which carried a stiff penalty. “Those who come to the country and adopt the civilized customs ought to be allowed to stay or go at their pleasure, provided they do no harm to the nation. If the barbarian king of the Shen were to adopt our customs and come to me for protection, I would provide it.” the audience laughed at the idea of the barbarian king, who they imagined as a tall brutish figure, little distinguished from a beast, wearing the delicate clothes and style of the court.
Imperial palace


To be the fourth Tenno was a lonely affair, little did she get to see the outside world except for her gardens, and it showed on her pale melancholic face. The court was empty except for the ruler, who had arranged for a troupe of actors to entertain her for the day, but was yet for them to arrive. She took her fan out and sighed, writing down a note to remind herself of some meaningless thought on the back. Despite being the supreme ruler of the land and owner of every being under the sun of her islands, impatience was not an emotion she was trained to express. As she waited, she entertained herself by drawing on the rest of the back of the fan.

Finally, the guards announced the arrival of her guests and the Tenno, somewhat embarrassed, hid her brush in the sleeve of her robe. The acting troupe approached and prostrated before the throne and offered a thousand pardons for their tardiness, fear arising that she would punish them extremely. The Tenno accepted their apologies and clapped her hands for them to start. Extremely grateful and eager to proceed lest her graciousness dry up, the troupe obeyed.

The dance opened with a recital of the background, about a tormented ghost of a sinner who had carried on numerous sins in life and was being tormented by devils. The actor who portrayed the ghost wore all white, as well as white makeup and bleached hair, which added to the uncanny nature of the performance. The Empress was enthralled, watching with intense interest that encouraged the troupe. The ghost launched into a soliloquy about the nature of impermanent things, but Her Majesty's thoughts were not merely on the performance.

After the performance had finished, all of the troupe, except for the head, an old man, left. He bowed and spoke to the Tenno. “Your Majesty, I hope that you enjoyed our play.”

“I did, I did.” she responded enthusiastically.

“We are wanderers, we receive the occasional patron, but our goal has been to reach the imperial court and ask for your support for our establishment of an acting school for our lineage.” the head explained more and more to the Empress, who listened, although her thoughts were elsewhere.

“You shall have my support.” the Tenno replied. “Although I am curious about something else.”

“Of course, Your Majesty.” the playwright bowed.

“I was curious about that girl, the Ghost of the play.” the Tenno said, recalling the woman's features.

“Oh! That is my daughter, Yuu.” the playwrighter exclaimed cheerfully. “She is a fine actor, is she not?”

“I should like if she might visit me sometimes, and tell me more about the craft. I have always been interested in the specifics of theater.” the Tenno replied. not entirely untruthfully.

The playwright seemed surprised and bowed again. “Yes of course, Your Majesty. We would be honored for our daughter to be an attendant of the imperial court. Such an honor... we never expected.” the old man seemed like he was about to choke up.

The Tenno gave him her blessing and sent him on his way.
Kampung Rayang


As someone who once conducted rituals to venerate the sun, the irony of me quickly entering my hut after a long day to escape the hot oppressive ball of fire above was not lost on me. The day had been so tiresome, part of a week campaign against a tribe which had attacked us, bolstered with the belief that the talismans that the Chinese merchants had given them would provide them with some protection against the elements and weapons of the enemy tribesmen. Spoiler: they didn't.

Besides my role as a translator for Bambang, he had also started to entrust me with the task of leading sections of his army. It had been a long time since I had lead troops, but the draft and time as a merchant's crewmember had given me the physical experience to keep up and manage in the face of the weather. At least in public. In private, I was still as whiny and pathetic as I was before I even entered this world.

I collapsed into the bed on the floor and tried to fall asleep, but couldn't. Every time I tried, I just remembered the blood and death.

As I lay and twiddled my fingers, Zhou came through the door, In some ways, she had assimilated just as well as me, if not better. Although given her fondness for men, I wouldn't be surprised if a bunch of cuckqueaned wives didn't burn our house to the ground some day. Well, so long as I wasn't inside when it happened, wasn't my problem.

“How was your day?” Zhou asked, sitting down aside me. I rolled onto my side and she wrapped her arms around me in a hug. It was a weird ritual that we had. Everything felt so strange and foreign here, it was nice to have someone else who came from the same cultural world as I did.

“I hate this climate,” I replied, enjoying the refreshing honesty I could express around Zhou. I told her about my entire day, leaving none of the details back, even those that it probably would have been wiser to keep secret. Zhou listened with her typical nonjudgmental attitude that I had come to appreciate and we spoke for hours until it started to become nighttime.

“You're adjusting better than what you would have expected though, right?” she asked, and I nodded my head. That much was true at least. “It's not uncommon for people to have some amount of shock when entering a climate totally different from the one they're used to. Especially since you've never seemed to have left Honshu before you joined the crew.” I felt a little better than what I had before, which I was grateful for. “How... do you speak so many languages?”

“I just have a gift,” I replied to her, technically not being dishonest. It was a gift, and a curse. “A rare gift, one it's best that the fewest people know about. Lest it invite another one's eyes who shares the same nature as me.”

Zhou seemed confused, but respected my privacy and avoided saying anything else.

The next morning, we were greeted by knocking at the door. I groaned and rose from my bed and opened the door. In front of me stood Arief, a small and timid village boy who was used as the town messenger. “What is it?” I asked with some irritation that made him wince. I felt a little bad for that, kid was just doing his job.

“The Chief wants to see you.” Arief replied, and I nodded.

As I walked to the village center, I noticed that a lot of the villagers were staring at me. The months that I had stayed here had been few, but my reputation had grown massively as a sorcerer and a warrior. I couldn't tell whether it was respect, or fear, or a combination of both. I hadn't been feared for a long time, I didn't want to be again, although I assumed it was inevitable.

Bambang grabbed me into a bear hug which no breathe of air could've prepared me for. The chief's hugs were a force of nature, like a farmer in a hurricane it was best to just roll with them and let them take their course. He gestured for a young woman to sprinkle water on my forehead. I simply stood, confused, unsure of what was going to happen. “My friend, you have rendered me many services, for the good of my person, my household, and my village. I have promised for a long time to reward you, and today is that day. I am granting you land to the north to make yours and five dozen slaves to work the fields.”

It was no exaggeration to say I was more confused now than I was before, stammering a thank you, but in reality having no idea how to really respond. “There is no need to express gratitude, this is merely the result of all of your good service, nothing to do with grace. Settle the land well, respect its spirits, and grow your wealth for the good of Kampung Rayang.”

No, not again.
Resident Drowned Victorian Waif & Theravada Buddhist
dO yOu LiStEn tO gIrL iN rEd

User avatar
Endem
Senator
 
Posts: 3643
Founded: Aug 19, 2018
Liberal Democratic Socialists

Postby Endem » Thu May 05, 2022 2:35 pm

Aleksander
Nafsi al-Hasa


He had begun to descend a flight of stairs from the former palace of the former prince which he took as residence. And he was greeted by the cheering crowd, all in unison, all together, in a singing voice gave him yet a new nickname. Voice of the Unseen. A nice sounding way of saying prophet.

He had sadly noted, that these people still didn't understand. They did not understand the freedom which he gave them, the freedom which they now had. They didn't either understand he wasn't their king. These people didn't know any of that. They thought of him as their new king, a God-King anointed by the divines, and just as he had cast their shackles off, they so readily put them back on, and tried to give him the chain to which they clung.

Every step down the white stairs felt heavy, as did every wave of cheering. Truly this scenery was food for narcissistic thoughts. In his mind images of just how easily he could clasp his fingers and become yet another of history's tinpot dictators. They certainly wouldn't even notice, for they already treated him like so. With a word he could have his haggard rags exchanged for finest clothes, and on his temple would be placed a golden wreath, and prospective candidates for his hand would lineup to spew out proposals for creation of a new royal dynasty.

He almost wanted to spit these thoughts out, but he worried if he did, they'd land on fertile ground and fester. He felt that, despite wanting to make something new, he was only destined to repeat a mistake. He felt not one man who was walking down, but three, three distinctive failures, and the one in the middle the undecided fool between them.

He could certainly become a teacher. A benevolent dictator who'd enshrine the modernity from which he came, and who'd race for it at breakneck speed. To go back to comforts of the life which he escaped, that boring malaise. And he would crush the uniqueness of this world under homogenized modernity. To become an enlightened absolute monarch. Another Peter the Great or Louis XIV. L'etat c'est moi and aprés moi, le déluge. For he'd leave the world in the same place he departed it the first time.

Or then he could swing the other way, embrace the Caliph and the Khan. Rally the desert and really the tribes. And then would come a jihad in his name, he'd make everyone from Oman to Kazakhstan scream his name, scream of fire from the desert. As he would let run wild his followers, tell them what was right and what was wrong in corruption of his own words. And he'd have the waters of the gulf run red with the blood of the unbelievers as he sat on the throne made from their skulls, and watch as the heretic was burned on a stake. Caedite eos, Novit enim Dominus qui sunt eius. As he'd let history shape the world again the same way it had shaped it once.

Or perhaps instead of writing history again, he'd simply give up, become a hermit and be submerged by the ever shifting sands of time. And he'd let his people write the Bible in wait for their messiah who has left and who never will arrive. He'd see as what he had built would crumble, over and over , and over again, forever and ever in a cycle of death and rebuilding.

Just as he had reached the last step, he realised he had found himself lost in thought. It happened to him so much recently. He blinked thrice, his eyes filled with tears. But his vision cleared itself of the clouds of his own thoughts which surrounded him and made his judgement clouded. It was now not the time for philosophy, he had to receive important guests, and then begin preparations for departing himself.

Two riders on camels strode through the crowd, as they rode through the street leading to the palace. He recognized in them Azzam and Zakiya. They rode up to him before dismounting and dropping onto a knee. Azzam spoke in a tone indicating religious elation.

"What you have commanded, we did o Prophet. The djinn nestled in the stone has been vanquished."

He nodded sagely before signaling for them to raise up.

"What of the stone? And where is Mahir and the rest?"

Zakiya this time answered.

"The stone was taken by Yanba'awi heathens."

He thought for a second of possible consequence of that, but determined that the actual physical stone was less important, it was only a hunk of rock afterall. But he did make a mental note to inform Mufid to spread the news of this cleansing.

"And Mahir?"

Once again the speaker alternated.

"The influx of people ravaged the land both by sword and famine, not many tribes survived, neither went unschated, a new one formed around Mahir from those which did not die. It has claimed lordship over the Rub Al'Khali, and wishes to join the Freedmen, to become part of the al-Muharirin."

"We welcome our brothers naturally."

He hugged then both of weary travellers, like a father hugs his returning children. The realm once again expanded, and with it, a new flank for the brewing war with Magan has opened.
lol

User avatar
Orostan
Negotiator
 
Posts: 6040
Founded: May 02, 2016
Civil Rights Lovefest

Postby Orostan » Fri May 06, 2022 2:22 pm

deleted
Last edited by Orostan on Tue May 17, 2022 11:55 am, edited 4 times in total.
“It is difficult for me to imagine what “personal liberty” is enjoyed by an unemployed hungry person. True freedom can only be where there is no exploitation and oppression of one person by another; where there is not unemployment, and where a person is not living in fear of losing his job, his home and his bread. Only in such a society personal and any other freedom can exist for real and not on paper.” -J. V. STALIN
Ernest Hemingway wrote:Anyone who loves freedom owes such a debt to the Red Army that it can never be repaid.
#FreeNSGRojava
Z

User avatar
Suriyanakhon
Minister
 
Posts: 2815
Founded: Apr 27, 2020
Corrupt Dictatorship

Postby Suriyanakhon » Fri May 06, 2022 6:47 pm

Kinoshita Grace


Imperial Palace


There was an almost deafening silence filling the imperial court, the knowledge that any day now the retired Empress could breathe her last. Whatever ailment she had, the exorcisms of the priests and the herbalism of the Chinese could do nothing to save her. “It is the end of an era,” they told each other, for the ruler who had accomplished so much and created the modern empire was about to depart forever. For many, there was genuine mourning and fear. Who would lead the country through the turbulence of the new world, with fearsome barbarians such as the Shen and Yellow River Dwellers? It seemed that the country would not last long with the mere hands of the current generation. For others, the dread of her death was not primarily the filial piety that is romanticized between subject and lord, or even love of country, but the fear that the always vengeful retired Empress' grudges would come back as angry spirits to torment the palace.

“So this is how it will end.” Ruyanpe murmured to herself, laying in her bed with members of her family surrounding her. Her daughter was a sobbing mess, and for once, Ruyanpe didn't have the heart to chastise her daughter for weakness. She reached her hand out and wiped some of the tears from the Empress's eyes, something of a futile gesture given their downpour, but Ruyanpe wanted her daughter's last memories of her to be kind. A pang of regret entered her heart. “I have done so much, but I feel I have accomplished so little, and you all, you have to carry the burden of what I failed to do.”

“Don't say that, Your Majesty.” her cousin choked between tears.

“Bring me my old coat,” Ruyanpe commanded a servant, who bowed and hastened to obey her wishes. “May the kamuy forgive me for ever putting on another. I've destroyed the customs of my ancestors and made heaven angry with me, for this is my reward. To have lost my husband, my son, my firstborn daughter, and my cousin. All because of my own ambitions.” for the first time in decades, tears started to fall down Ruyanpe's face.

The gathering sat stunned, unsure of how to respond. Ruyanpe attempted, with some difficulty, to regain her composure. “If I could go back to before all of this, before I first became the Tenno, and could reverse all of it, how happy I would be! But we have adopted so many foreign customs, it is impossible for us to go back to the old ways. These ways are rotten and cheap, the make believe of a girl who has departed from us, and from me. I'm alone, I'm so very alone. You all are here to comfort your aged relative, and I appreciate it for all my harshness. But there's only one person I desire to see and,” she stopped and allowed a servant to fit her into the old worn out coat. “I cannot find her and tell her I - ” coughing overtook her, which she attempted to cover with her sleeve, but it overpowered her.

For the rest of the night, the Retired Empress was unable to take and drifted in-between consciousness and unconsciousness, until finally she breathed her last.
Taiwan


As I contemplated how I was going to deal with the new situation that I had been dropped into, something felt odd, not quite right if you will. I couldn't place what it was, perhaps one of those weird ominous feelings you have that don't really mean anything. It was no use thinking about so I put it out of mind and focused with renewed attention on how I was going to get out of this mess.

The slaves numbered little under a hundred, more than me and the guards put together. I was confused why they didn't rebel until I saw the tattooed markings over their faces and bodies. It distinguished them as slaves, nothing more and nothing less. Even if they ran away, all of the villages around would know them as nothing more than slaves, and either have nothing to do with them or force them into servitude. A cruel master was at least a certainty, you knew the hand you were dealt with. To throw it out and try for a new hand was even more frightening.

Bambang had had the slaves construct a new house for me on the land I had been granted, fairly large by tribal standards, as well as start plowing the fields to grow crops. Whenever I saw the slaves outside toiling, it reminded me of the last time I owned slaves, and I shut myself in to avoid acknowledging them. I had to go out sometimes, it was expected of me, and I wanted to make sure that the guards Bambang entrusted me with didn't mistreat them too hard. Zhou herself didn't seem too fond of it either, although she didn't share the same horror as I did. To her it was just a regular part of her world, albeit not a desirable one.

I wanted to free them, but to do so would be considered the height of ingratitude, and the last thing I needed was to enrage the one patron I had. Bambang expected me to give a surplus of the harvest that they gathered with him as tribute, if one day the slaves up and went, it would be a massive violation of my unspoken social contract with him. It would also run into the problem of what I mentioned earlier, there was nowhere these people could go. They would be shunned and rejected wherever they turned, or worse. It was best to keep them with me, to protect them if I could.

“What do you think I should do?” I asked Zhou when we went out for a walk one day. She shook her head. That was helpful.

I needed a way to be able to free them, but not invite Bambang's wrath. As I thought about it over the next week, an idea started to form in my head. Over the course of the month we first settled in, I talked to the slaves and made sure to get to know them before I did what I had planned. Finally I called them to gather outside of my house. They came, unsure of what to expect, and confused as to why I had not called the guards either. After they had prostrated to me like they did others considered their social superiors, I spoke.

“You all have done hard work,” I stated, thinking carefully about what I was going to say next. Fortunately I had the odd ability to speak in other tongues, so I could speak in their dialect, in a way more accessible for them to understand than if I had just spoken in Rayang's. “And I want to reward you with an offer. I shall free you,” there were loud stirs of confusion, all of them disbelieving. Zhou stared at me as though I had gone mad, and to tell the truth, perhaps I had. “In exchange for your service as farmers and builders. The food you grow will belong to you, the structures you build will be yours. Allodially. I give it to you now, and it shall never be subject to revoke. All that I expect is taxation, of course, the same as if you were anywhere else under a lord. Your tattoos mark you as slaves anywhere else, but I don't care what ink is on your skin. So know that you will be free for as long as you reside here.”

“Why would you do this?” one of the crowd asked with a mixture of awe and suspicion, an emotion that the crowd seemed to share.

“I find it abhorrent to enslave another human being, and would prefer it not exist as an institution.” I replied, unsure of whether I seemed someone with high ideals or a clown. Oh, who cared. “But I am a subject of Bambang Kepala and can only accomplish so much. Please be my subjects and not my slaves, I leave it up to you.”

I had expected the crowd to be talkative, but they had gone silent, except for one who seemed to be their appointed spokesperson. “I... we... happily accept.” he said, bowing before me and the rest followed. “Long live Hyou Kepala!” they shouted and raised their hands, to the surprise of the guards who came rushing until I informed them of what happened.

“How dare you!” one of the guards shouted. “It is property that the chieftain gave you. Do you mean to say his gift isn't enough?”

“When a gift is given, you can use it however you please.” Zhou replied angrily, walking in front of me as though to protect me. The rest of the audience also seemed on my side, making loud and threatening noises that put the guards on the alert.

“Our Lord will still receive what is due to him, of that I promise.” I said, hoping that that would be enough to satisfy them. “You can tell him that yourselves, for I have no more need of you. Go back to Rayang, thank you for your time.” the freedmen stood agape as did the guards. When the captain was about to say something else, I shouted. “This is my land, and I stand here as its lord and master of the animals, spirits, and people who reside here. Say what you want but don't anger a tiger in its own den.”

Fearful of me, or perhaps the army of freedmen beside me, the guards nodded their head and acquiesced. As they left, I spoke to the crowd. “I grant the houses that the guards used to live in as nurseries, hospitals, and storehouses for you to use.“ after I had finished, they stood there, unsure of what to do. “You don't need my command to go to your quarters now. Do what you like, its your liberty not mine.”

Cheers and celebration broke out which continued into the night, and my attempts to go to bed were stopped by the throngs of celebratory freedmen who hoisted me up on their shoulders and tossed me in the air. It was the first time I was genuinely popular and I was completely terrified.
Last edited by Suriyanakhon on Sun May 08, 2022 9:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Resident Drowned Victorian Waif & Theravada Buddhist
dO yOu LiStEn tO gIrL iN rEd

User avatar
Suriyanakhon
Minister
 
Posts: 2815
Founded: Apr 27, 2020
Corrupt Dictatorship

Postby Suriyanakhon » Sun May 08, 2022 10:26 pm

Kinoshita Grace


Kampung Kembang


As one villager hung up the new flag of our settlement, a violet colored flag with a golden flower in the center, I watched from the bamboo window of my house, slightly elevated more than comfort for someone with a fear of heights. I sat in the one room I had with a small makeshift desk to rest the bamboo that I was writing on. I was starting to think, if I wanted to preserve my knowledge for this place, so that the future generation could learn and grow, I needed to invent a writing system.

But what would be the nature of this new writing script? I could use the Japanese script of kana, repurposed for the use of the sounds in this Rayangese language (as I had started to term it). But I grimaced at that, it seemed wholly unsuited, and unoriginal too. A plagiarism that would accomplish nothing but keep me bound to the same demented thought patterns that made me try to force my world onto this one.

Something original, perhaps? The thought sparked a memory from my past, in my old world, where I had been a simpler girl. I'd worked on conlangs, for fictional worlds I used to build for fun. Most of these had been drawn somewhat on old classical tongues, no one could be completely original. But I could try my best to break the mold and make something new.

An abugida seemed the most fitting for the language, I decided, writing out the characters for the new script. As I continued writing, I became more and more invested, almost stopping my breath from anticipation. I decided to use a system of organizing the script similar to gojūon in Japanese. So many plans popped up in my mind, for a monolingual and bilingual dictionary, grammar book, etc. I could create a language for a new village... no, a new city, that would be a beacon for the world.

Were the seeds of redemption that I had wanted for so long finally going to be planted in my mind? Could this be the way to make amends for my past and to start a new life, one where I wasn't Kinoshita Grace, but Hyou Rin, the ex-merchant army girl? If I managed to convince Bambang of the truth, that my ways were better, that slavery was not a necessity, that we could have a free and strong island where men and women were brothers and sisters, not masters and slaves, wouldn't that be an act of the utmost merit? If the two of us worked together, we could spread this philosophy across the whole island and make it one federation. My hand quivered as I was overtaken by the mental phantoms of new cities, books, people, all of the signs of civilization. Not modeled on an old dream, but on a new one.

There was only one problem that stood in my mind... the Yellow River Trade.

It seemed wherever I went, they were there. From what I'd gathered, Taiwan was part of Hanajima's land, but the Yellow River merchants were still allowed to wander back and forth, to extract resources that were the rightful property of the Empress. How could Ruyanpe allow this? I gritted my teeth. At least leave the people of this place to their own devices, not to the barbarians who flew the flags of a failed ideology from me and their king's world.

They would need to be dealt with, removed from the island if I was going to carry out my plans.

There was a knock on the door, a minute later, Zhou entered. “Bambang wants to see you.” she said, her voice shaken.

I stiffened, my bravado from when I sent the guards away no longer there. “If he wants to see me, he has to merely ask.” I replied, although my shaking hands might have conveyed less confidence than what I had wanted to present.

“He wants you to come to Kempung Rayang... Hyou, I don't think it's a good idea to go.” Zhou sat down and hugged me, taking me by surprise. Tears were starting to fall from her eyes and she buried her head in my shoulder, I found myself petting her head to try and console her. Suddenly she pulled back and looked at me. “Let's run. You don't have to go. We can head south, I can find us a fishing boat. We can go south, find a new home. I don't... I can't...”

“I'll be fine,” I said with as much firmness as I could muster. In truth, I had no idea if I was going to be. But I didn't want to see her cry, given what we had been through. “If... if I hypothetically wasn't... I trust you as my successor.” Zhou seemed taken aback and unsure of how to respond, trying to mouth No, but being overtaken by sobs. “The people trust you, or at least the men do.” ha, even with imminent death hanging over my head, I was going to slutshame my best friend. Japan 1, China 0. “You've run a ship before, what is a village except one giant ship that needs a captain?”

Zhou smiled a little and tried to say something but was suddenly overwhelmed by sobbing again, I simply hugged her and stayed like that for several hours until I couldn't wait any longer.

As I got up and went outside, a large group of villagers stood outside in front of me. “I assume that you've all heard...” I said, trying my best not to seem grave, but failing. “I am going to Kempang Rayang. The Chieftain wants to talk to me about some matter. Please don't worry, I'm sure I'll come back in one piece. If I don't come back, remember the laws that I've laid down, and revere the local spirits. I'm sure you'll all do very well.”

Adiputera, a young man with a tattoo around his right eye, spoke. “Bambang calls himself the lord of this place, but it's you who freed us, and it's you who we elected our Kepala, to protect us and guide us. Many of us were warriors before we were captured and made into slaves. If he harms so much as one finger on your hand, or a strand of hair, we shall lay siege and slaughter them in all directions, and people will know that we aren't slaves any longer, but the Kepala's sons and warriors.” he bowed to me, and the other villagers did as well.

I muttered something about how I was sure it wouldn't come to that, although deep inside, part of me was filled with love for them. They were my children, my people, more than the people of Hanajima had been to any real extent. To some extent they still saw me as possessing some supernatural authority, having some spiritual power or Mana, as many of them called it, but they also saw me as a person, who they trusted with the power. At the moment they had not much choice, I was the only person who could really fit the role, but maybe in time, it would be by free choice and not necessity.

I bid farewell to all of them, except six who volunteered to be my guards, and made my way toward Bambang's fort.
Kempang Rayang


Hours passed before I reached it, but the guards of Kempang Rayang recognized me and let me in, although they made my guards stay outside. I told them that everything would be alright, and while they were not satisfied with that answer, they acquiesced. I walked further and further into the village, my eyes darting from all of the people who seemed friendly but my brain whispered paranoid thoughts about.

As I reached the village center and entered the central building, Bambang sat, looking extremely grave. “Is it true that you freed all of the slaves I gave you.” he asked calmly, which made me worry more than if he had been angry.

I nodded. “I did,” I replied, not defiantly, but calmly, as though I did not see anything wrong.

“Do you have a good explanation for the disrespect you gave me?” Bambang asked.

“I thought that it would be even more beneficial for you, and pay back your generosity more than if I had kept them as property,” I replied, thinking out what I was going to say next. “Free men grow more crops than slaves do, they are more loyal, and can serve all sorts of roles that slaves would not be trusted with. They have agreed to live on my land and pay me in taxes for what they grow, those taxes go to you, my lord. If this is disrespect, I am not sure I would ever be able to meet the standard of respect.”

“You are a witty one, sometimes too much for your own good.” Bambang muttered, although thinking over what I had said. For a second he seemed to change demeanor, but then went back to interrogative. “But why dismiss my guards if you are still loyal to me? Everything on the land belongs to me, for I am the source of Mana, how can you do what you like with all of that property without asking me?”

“I dismissed the guards because the freedmen would never have respected me if I had kept their oppressors there. These people have been beaten and oppressed by your guards, they won't live happily beside them.” I replied fervently, for the first time being powered by the conviction of my words. “I also would not have their trust, for it would imply that I don't really see them as free and that I am keeping the threat of a return to servitude over their heads. In regard to all property being yours, I would never contest that, but the merchants are allowed to do whatever they want with the land, so why shouldn't I do the same thing with my own slaves?”

“Watch yourself, Hyou.” Bambang warned.

“I have always been your benefactor, and have never been otherwise. But these merchants are allowed to go unquestioned, through the woods, and tearing up land. They anger the spirit lords and bring down curses upon us.” I stated, to the surprise of Bambang.

“They are tearing up land?” he asked, he looked at his advisors who also seemed surprised.

“They are mining constantly near the north of your border.” I stated with some disgust in my voice, which surprisingly made Bambang flinched. He seemed unnerved by what I said. “They try to buy the silence of villagers so that you won't be informed. This is what they do in places they plan to conquer. They trade and then conquer. My friend has come from there, she knows what they are like. Why do you trust them, but not me? Have I angered you that much?” I was laying it on thick, but Bambang seemed to buy the act, and was filled with wrath, not at me, but at the target of my own wrath.

“Take an armed contingent at once to the north and tell the merchants to leave.” Bambang shouted to one of the advisors, banging his hand against the bamboo wall. “They've disrespected me, and the gods of the land. I won't have anything more to do with them.” the advisor nodded and made haste to carry out the order. Perhaps it was because I redirected his anger, but Bambang looked at me. “I'm sorry to have doubted you my friend. In some ways, you are much wiser than me, and I respect that. You can stay the night if you wish.”

I bowed, relieved. “Thank you, my lord.” I told him. “But I would much rather go home to the land you gave me, to see my friend again and let her know that I'm okay. She worries a lot, and I don't want to make her wait longer than she has to.” Bambang gave me his blessing and I went on my way, hoping that that would be the last I would see of the merchants for a long time.
Resident Drowned Victorian Waif & Theravada Buddhist
dO yOu LiStEn tO gIrL iN rEd

User avatar
Saxony-Brandenburg
Minister
 
Posts: 2474
Founded: Mar 07, 2016
Civil Rights Lovefest

Postby Saxony-Brandenburg » Mon May 09, 2022 3:08 pm

Here begins Book II of the life of Olivia Ingels.


THE ROYAL CITY OF URUK
SUMERIA
2964 BCE


Halls of tall colonnades and ancient frescos from days of yore. Hundreds of bodies, clothed in tufted dresses and long, flowing capes dash about. They cary the sparse wealth of a region which is fat in abandoned plunder, her poorfolk gaunt from years of poverty, waves of famine and pestilence dwindling their number. A region of whom only the ruthless have managed to drag their way to prominence. They command a city among the largest of her kin. An island of urbanism in this tide of blood. The city is like a hill, with rings of houses and streets and markets winding towards the highest building in all the land. The white temple. That most beautiful and immortal house of Anu and his bride Inanna. And within this home of Lord and Lady, one man rules as priest and king.

“Hail, Lord Jushur!” The voices trumpet down the hall. A man of large stature and strength, dwarfed only by the long images of his masters, the gods, standing behind him. The long rays of daylight stream across the hall, illuminating his shimmering golden jewels upon a hairy and strong face and chest. His eyes cast authority, and yet they are concerned. For the doors of his hall’s entryway are cast open with a great force, and a man in a guardsmen uniform stumbles down upon his knees, so violently had he entered.

“Speak to me what you have so desperately came to tell.” The lord says, his voice loud and deep, resonating through the chamber.

“My lord! An army is upon your city’s gates!”

A man rarely often disturbed, his face contorts with disbelief, his knuckles tighten around the arms of his chair. “An army? But it is not close to campaign season, for the shephards are still out taking their sheep to pasture, and there is much harvesting work to be done in the fields. No Black-Headed one would dare violate his people’s welfare and let them starve by taking them all to war! Are you sure this is an army at my gate, and not some herd of refugees? For if you are blind and have worried your lord so, I will not hesitate to blind you full!”

“No, no lord!” The man gasps, struggling to his feet. “They carry themselves upon the backs of camel-beasts, and hold in their arms spears and bows, and aloft above their heads do black cloths with strange symbols fly!”

The Lord looks down at his feet, and woe soon comes across his face. “An army at my gates, by the gods… I was not prepared for this on such a day…” He looks to his left, his bald-headed eunuch of a vizier holding his tongue until now. “Of what do you make of this then Niggina? Am I to worry who shall sit upon this throne by tomorrow day?”

The bald-headed man shook his head, seemingly far less worse for ware than his troubled master. “My lord, I believe fortune has struck you this day. Do not the Gishimmarri also ride upon camels, and carry with them strange customs to show their pride? Could this not be the very same queen of the Palm trees, the mistress of black-headed slaves, to whom you have promised to be wed?”

The king looked at the man in disbelief, but nodded slowly. “Surely, I had thought, that they would be a bluff. That no such a queen would humble herself before me, and bledge a thousand warriors strong to my throne, all but for a husband?”

“And, let us not forget my lord, upon the chariot of lady Inanna herself.”

The king turned his head to gaze upon the royal image of his mistress, the goddess who resided within the chamber. His lip quivered for a moment, as he took a deep breath. “If her word be true, and this truly be the lady to whom I have sworn by hand to… It would be a great disservice to my Mistress of heavens above to deny her favored woman, would it not?”

“Surely not sure.” The bald-headed one agreed.

From across the hall, a man with metal bells in hand leaped out from behind a column. Hairless, effeminate, and covered in feathers - he jumped about before the group, giggling to himself as he chanted. “The lord had feared an army had come here for his head. Little did he know, he would sooner have a wife to bed! And thought he had been conquered, but little did he know. He would be the conqueror, with a woman down below!”




Harsh winds blow sharp across their bodies, the long robes of the Gishimmari fluttering, shielding them from the mist of dust across the air. For, though this was the greenest lands many had ever laid eyes upon - from the west, the dry expanse of the Aria brought the familiar dust with them. They could only hope it was not an omen of ill fortune.

The doors of the city were closed when they arrived, and little had been seen coming from them. All the people of the surrounding villages seemed surprised to see them, boarding themselves up in their reed hovels as the caravan passed through. It seemed as though their future refuge would not give them a warm welcome.

Their lady and prophet, dressed in white, stood upon the back of a great beast. A platform of ivory and wood laid across the back of the massive creature, dwarfing the camels her guardsmen clung onto. She leaned forward, squinting, waiting for any answer to come from the silent doors. Some reply, anything, to meet their presence. For she had promised her people a new home, where food was not scarce and where fresh water ran in great bounties. And they had listened, and parted with their homes, sold everything, to join her on this journey. There would be no going back, no matter what reply they would be given.

“Rasulah! Look!” A man below her shouted, pointing wildly as the gates began to part. A man dressed in undyed tunic sprinted forward, down the earthen path out of the city, and towards their mass. “O hear me Gishimmari! O hear me Gishimmari!” He cried, as he ran. “I come from the King! I come from the Lord of Uruk!” When finally he neared them enough to shout clearly, he fell to his knees, his chest heaving. And yet by some miracle he had the breath to call out to them, his voice loud enough to speak over the wind.

“I bear the ring of King Jushur, servant of Lord Anu and Lady Inanna! I come with his word, unto you to give! O Lady Inanna, promised bride of the Lord, he welcomes you to his city! He did not expect your arrival, and thus was unprepared to be a host! On behalf of the lord, I apologize to you for such a misdeed!” The messenger bowed his head towards the earth, kissing it for several seconds, before he began to stand again. “The Lord wishes for your presence, my Lady! He wishes for you to come with your servants to the white temple, where he may speak to you in true presence!”

Their prophet let the air sit empty for a moment, as the frantic messenger waited for her reply. She looked back to her people, tired and hungry beneath the sweltering sun, and called back to him. “And what of my people? My army of loyal servants, who have come to swear loyalty to my bridegroom. Shall they be permitted to enter the city, and rest themselves from the long days journey?”

“No!” Came a strange reply, left alone for a moment before the man responded. “The lord requests only you come, mistress Inanna!”

Her reply came quicker this time. “Tell your Lord that, should he wish to make up for his lack of hospitality, he may do it now. I will come to him, after he has provided for my tired people. Let him give his new guests food and water while they make camp, and when they have been fed I will come to meet him! Depart and ask such of him now, we may wait until you do.”

Thus another long wait would have to come, as the poor young man began the run back towards his master to deliver his bride’s request. And beneath the hot sun and between tall reeds, the Gishimmari began to unpack their things. From the backs of camels, they took their tents and blankets. They drank long and desperately from their bottle gourds, hot and thick water, but necessary with all the sweat that stained their robes. Ropes tied, stakes hammered, and tents pitched - the watchers from the city’s high walls would soon see a village spring up within an hour. Between the reeds, many laid themselves in the little shade they could find, while many others left their makeshift camp to gaze upon the marvelous sight of the roaring waters of the Euphrates. What was only storied to them in myths from this north-eastern land, now was real. For though few of them had looked upon the Jordan river, and had been told of the Nile none of them could have imagined its size, or the vast wetlands which radiate from its lifeblood. The wild birds which fly in droves from its banks, or wade in its waters. The immigrants basked in the glory of the land which they would soon call home, and their lady, it seemed, did not lie.

When next the gates of Uruk opened, it was not merely one man who came fourth. For behind him was a small team of mules, dragging behind them carts with spoked wheels, carrying bags upon bags of what they could only guess was grain. Not only this, but people too followed from them. Trumpets and drums banged and whined, as the grand welcome they had expected finally was given. The men around their Lady laughed, and said to her: “There it is, the festivity of a true queen’s welcome.” And finally could she relax, and smile. Perhaps, this great gamble would work out after all. Perhaps, she thought, she had not led this many people astray.




Olivia Ingels


When first I had laid my eyes upon that which I had only read in far future histories, I could never imagine how real it would feel. For though I had lived within the past for many more years than the future, I was shocked to discover how real it felt to see before me the ziggurat of Uruk. That shining white stone temple which stood upon a hill of man’s creation, thousands of stones which made up those massive walls, humbling me before a building the size of which I had not yet seen since the sky-scraping pillars of Dallas. The stones were not smooth upon its base, for hundreds of hands and breaths of the wind had no doubt traced their paths across those within arms reach, and made those lower ones rough to the touch. As I made my way up the stairs towards the gods home however, the more smooth they became. The fewer feet or hands had ever touched, the farther I walked up towards heaven. The temple itself was quarried Not of some simple common stone, as the Ziggurat’s hill had been, but of stone pure white, polished and smoothed so that its crystals shimmered in the sunlight. Nothing of Yanbu could compare to its glory, for this was the sweat of thousands which I felt. A monument which would surely outlive me.

The entryway itself was rather short, yet packed tighter with guards and nobles, scribes and priests, upon the summit of the hill. All around the temple they gathered with their servants, watching the column of foreigners approach their house of gods. I was alone at the front, and for the first time in a very long time I was deeply afraid to be there. It was as if I was a kid again, entering a world I was unaware of. Washed up on some god forsaken shore upon the desert’s coast. Yet now… I was a different girl. But that feeling was deeply familiar. Perhaps this is what it means to be humbled. To feel another’s power as strange and alien.

The doors opened, and horns blared their brass call. A massive room with columns the size of trees. And in the middle of it all, staring straight down towards me - the tall visage of two elongated, terrifying beings. A Lord and Lady, Anu and Inanna both. And before them both standing, the man to be my king.

It is strange to imagine that I would feel a dreadful sense of guilt as I looked upon him across the room. I had had relations with another but Alya before, when she had abandoned me to trouble herself greater with the affairs of state. Yet I knew I would soon be pledging myself to him as I had done to her. I could not shake the feeling I was betraying something then, that a taught string had finally been oh-so sharply snipped, and left to fly away with the wind.

He was a tall man by black headed standards, but my own he was probably a little shorter than me. He carried himself in the style which you may expect from the ruler of men. His beard was combed, long, neatly kept. His hair was tied behind his head, and upon his brow a golden circlet rested. From his ears hung heavy golden tassels, and from his shoulders flowed a yellow toga of sorts, speckled with vibrant red flowers sewn within the cloth. His wrists hung heavy with gold, and even his sandals were dotted with jewels. But what struck me in the most were two things. The light, which came from the distant walls in long, stark rays shimmered in eyes of green. Even from afar I could feel them better than I could see them. Perhaps it was from kohl or another feat of cosmetics, but they made me shiver with a kind of authority expected from a lord. The other was the great deal of hair which covered his chest and arms. Dark and black, which most of his dress exposed. He was large, not fat, but what I might have lecherously called in the future a “dad bod”. The kind of masculine authority which, I could not deny, was deeply intriguing.

“Hail to thee king Jushur the dauntless, son of Dimuzid the fisherman!” Called a man from behind, and those within the hall fell to their knees, and bowed their heads. “Hail to thee Queen Inanna of the Aria!” Came the same man, and again they bowed their heads to me.

With the gaze of so many weighing upon my brow, my heart only began to beat faster and harder within my ribs as I approached the Lord himself. The sickly smells of a temple rocked my stomach with fear. He did not smile as I approached, but cocked his brow with judgement. When last he finally spoke, his voice was loud and warm, but not with friendship but natural authority.

“You are young, but as tall as an olive tree. Is that why the Gishimmari had chosen you to be queen?”

The sudden question shook me for a moment, as I began to ask myself what he meant. That was before I remembered just how I looked in my own reflection. How I hadn’t truly aged since I was eighteen. I blushed a little, and tried my best to look back at him confidently. “I have lived to see thirty five summers, my lord.”

He seemed surprised by this, with a little curl on his lip. He chuckled, scratching his beard. “Then you are blessed by the gods. A giant with radiant youth… Is that why you do not cover much of your skin?”

Perhaps it was that my white robes were too loose, or that I never covered or cut my hair which made him think that. But he was not offended, and thus all I could do was go with what he said. “If my beauty is a gift from the gods, lord, should not I show it off and treasure it? To keep it hidden beneath thick cloth would be an insult to my blessings.”

“Your piety is proven enough, I do not doubt it. Perhaps, I think, you are fit to bear the name Inanna…” He reached out, and my spine shivered as he touched my jaw. “You have stronger bones than most women, in the jaw and shoulders. Yet your skin is soft, and you seem to have enough meat upon your bones to not be sickly. As I have promised your messengers so I will agree, I will accept your proposal to be my wife.”

I smiled sheepishly, feeling small before him. Perhaps this was the feeling women who love only men have caught addiction to. “As we have agreed then? Of the bride price in grain, wool, and cloth? Of land for my people, of status in the temple, and rooms within your palace quarters?”

He grinned for the first time I had seen, and his stoic command warmed into something which approached a welcome one. “Yes, as I have sworn. You will get your corn for your people, and your wool and cloth for their livelihood. They will have land to farm, and fields to graze. And you befit the power and status of a priest-king, though of womanhood it is uncommon. And of course, you will have a bed in my palace quarters.”

I chuckled, a bit surprised to see him say the word ‘bed’ in the tongue of the Gishimmari. “So you sleep in my peoples custom upon beds with stuffed mattress.”

He shrugged, not looking away from me with those green eyes. “Even civilized folk may take wisdom from barbarians.”

I flushed brighter red than before, as my tongue snaked from my mouth with wanting words. “Then make it a bed large enough for two, and I will cease my demands.”

“Two?”

With embarrassed fear I looked away towards the ground. “As your first wife, I am entitled for you to share it with me am I not?”

He laughed, tears appearing in the corners of his eyes. It would have been patronizing, had I not wanted for his appreciation.“Am I to neglect my other wives then? Surely their jealous ire would come from it.”

And though I was embarrassed,my tongue has a way of wit that responded to his appreciation. Perhaps I wanted to amuse him more, or perhaps I simply wanted greatly for more of his precious attention. “A lord may drink whatever he wishes when he feasts. But let him first sip his finest wine before he drinks of beer or water. It is only right that you take your noblest wife first, and then may enjoy the others. For, women are like flowers in your garden. The most beautiful must be tended regularly if they are to be of prized quality.”

“A poet for a wife then. Alright then I will relent and give you a bed for two in your chambers, so I will feel obligated not to neglect you as a wife. Is that all your newfound demands of me?”

“That is.”

“Then I will accept these terms.” He nodded, and from his finger slipped a ring into his palm, and held it out for me. “Take this.” He ordered, and with a delicate touch I took it, and placed it upon my own. “For first you and your people will swear your loyalty to me and become black heads as subjects. Then we can plan to be wed before the gods. What I have given you is a ring with the word “King of Uruk” inscribed upon it. You can bear it in my stead, as a sign of royalty. Do not dishonor it, or it will curl and twist, and fall off your hand as a serpent may. If you will now, kneel, and pledge yourself to your new Lord.”

I fell to my knees, and upon his outstretched fist rested my forehead. And looking down upon the ground, spoke in his tongue one final treason. “I will speak in your tongue he oath which all my subjects will swear to you in theirs. That blood is blood, and blood not to be paid for is blood not to be paid for. That I am of you, and you are of me. And I will wage war against those who wage war against you. And I will be at peace with those to whom you have made peace with. And I will render unto you all the tithes and obligations I am given as Lord and master. This before the gods I swear.”

And with curt nod of approval, he raised his hand from me. “I accept your pledge. Sit then beside me, and preside as your subjects do the same.”

And from their place at the front of the hall, the high men of my people then approached the king. With their long robes of many colors and patterns, their long hair and copper jewels. They knelt before him as I stood upon a stool beside him. And for the first time I could glimpse what being a queen of Uruk might be like. I found it tantalizing. The ritual, the authority commanded by this old hall. This hall which once housed the king and gods of a dynasty which held fealty over all of Babylonia, only laid low by the dynasty of Ur. I felt connected in a long line of kings, even as an outsider. And there I watched my people, the Shari’i, take from their belts their knives, and place them at Jushur’s feet. There, they bowed their heads towards the stone floor- and spoke in their Gishimmari tongue what I had said. That their blood is one, and blood not to be shed is blood that will not be shed. That they are one and the same. That they will wage war against their kings enemy, just as make peace with those their king had made peace with. When they rose, and belted again their sworn blades - the king removed eight more of his rings, and handed them to each. He spoke in the Sumerian tongue, and I translated like an echo as he spoke to them.

“You are now nobles of the Black-headed, servants of the Lord of Uruk, the true king of kings and ruler of the two rivers. That means you are entitled to the privileges of your station, and the trappings of your nobility. I have given you each a ring stamped with the emblem of a palm-tree, to signify you as Gishimmari nobles. Wear them with pride, for its authority comes from my own. As befits your station, each of you will be given a spoked chariot and team of horses. You can learn to ride them just as well as any camel I am sure, for that is how black headed nobles go to war. As well, I will give unto you each a village for your tribes to settle into, with land to work and much labor to be done. As your lady has made me agree, you are exempt from most taxes for these early years - but I will expect of you to fight for me with the loyalty and ferocity known from your people. Do you understand?”

They bowed in obedience.

“Then rise and go to your tribes, and have them swear the same to your ring. And through this, the bonds of loyalty are sworn. The links which form civilization, the order of life.”

“Hail, lord Jushur.” They muttered, and departed then.




And when the nobles left the Ziggurat down to the hill, they found their people left their encampment, and brought into the city’s walls. And there, they saw them feasting in their streets, in long rows with their newfound brethren. And they watched as their people feasted upon fava beans, with mutton and Persian shallot. And with the drippings of the meat smeared upon loaves of flatbread, and drank their fill from massive urns of beer through reed straws. And local and foreigner alike danced in the firelight, and caroused drunkenly with the sunset. Thus with their stomachs were bought their new king’s loyalty. And their lady’s promise of abundant food and drink fulfilled.
"When Adam delved and Eve span, who was then the gentleman?"

User avatar
Empire of Techkotal
Spokesperson
 
Posts: 118
Founded: Apr 09, 2020
Psychotic Dictatorship

Postby Empire of Techkotal » Tue May 10, 2022 1:02 pm

Berlin, Germany

It was early in the morning and I was riding the subway again. While I was in the subway, I read Kemp's book over his experiences in the Spanish Civil war I fell asleep. In the background there was still the rumbling and screeching of our beloved S-Bahn (*hustle). Then it faded away until complete silence set in.

Southern Thailand, in yet unknown position

As I opened my eyes again, I was blinded by the light. The first question, that came to my mind, was to if I had missed my station. But to my surprise there was no station at all. I was surrounded by bushes and tree. The whole vegetation was completely unrecognizable and had more in common with a sub tropical jungle as with the deciduous forest in Germany. The ground was soft and wet so I stood up. While the wind blew around me I noticed, that not only were my surroundings wrong, but I also had lost all my clothes. My boots and backpack were all gone. What the hell was this, a crude joke from someone? No.. impossible I couldn't have gone from Germany and to bottom of the world. This.. something was definitively wrong. I panicked and searched in the bushes for a trace of my stuff, but there was nothing. Then I heard a shriek. I looked at the direction from there it had come and tried to be calm. Then came a shriek again, but this time closer. Whatever it was. It was closing in. Suddenly something similar to a wild boar ran towards me, while shrieking. I narrowly avoided its tusks and came to rest in one of the bushes. Then just as suddenly as the boar had come a men came running. He ran straight past me his eyes fixed on the boar.

My eyes and mouth were wide open, while I starred at this muscular one men, not because of that, but because he hold a spear with a pointy stone at its end in his hand and a wooden club at his side. I swallowed my last doubts. Confronted with the face of the awkwardness of the situation and the danger I was in. I had heard of uncivilized tribes in the yet untouched corners of the world, which kill outsiders. Slowly I crawled away from the place I had been at. I hear the rustling of bushes around me and then everything was silent. Moving a leave in front of me to the side the toes of an unidentified person came into view. Hoping that I hadn't been noticed I crawled backwards. Just to find the way I came was blocked. A spear pierced the dirt next to my face and I knew it was over for me.

I looked up and saw the red face of a man. He starred right back at me with. His gaze pierced my heart and I cowered to his feet praying. By god how the hell did I get into this position. He was definitively a dangerous men. I'm still young I shouldn't die like this, but honestly what do I have to lose. I shall die with dignity, looking at death and not cowering down like a Wiener Würstchen(wiener sausage). A German has to be prideful in face of his death. So I slowly stood up, but no matter how much I tried to encourage myself I still looked pathetic, pale and shivering in face of this men. Who to my surprise was smaller then I.

He just continued to stare at me without saying a word. So I took all my courage together to ask him:

"Hello. I'm very sorry about this, but I seem to be lost."

Silence. Oh hell of course there was silence. This red monkey who had never lived in civilization would never understand me. But nonetheless I continued.

"You see I come from a place called Germany and I don't know what happened to me. I woke up here without clothes and my belongings. I shouldn't be here."

The men still starred at me. The bushes rustled and even more men came towards me. Oh. God I had fucked up there was no escape. This was the end.

"Tie him up we will bring him back to the village. I have many questions."

Said the men in a strange language. Even stranger I could understand him without problems. Even though I'm sure I have never learned or heard such a language before. The men pushed me to the ground an bound my wrist behind my back together. I was then forced to stand and walk behind them. One of them was always behind me with his club ready. Sparring a few glances at those men, I could say that they were most likely Asian and from the vegetation around me we could in every got forsaken jungle left in Asia. Though they wore more clothes then their primitive cousins you see from time to time on a picture about strange isolated tribes and they looked different from the very old pictures from our colonial times. In any case this was definitely not Africa or the America so I shouldn't have to many problems.

The group made its way out of the undergrowth and came into the open. Before me vast fields filled with water and some plants stretched out. We walked over a path towards a collection huts standing on wooden logs. Their roofs seemed to consist out of straw, but on this distance it could be everything. Sparring a glance backward I saw my guard and behind him two men carrying the bound boar. He was already dead. Before we even reached the village or that is what I would call it, children come to us while cheering and shouting. They looked at the who had starred a hole into me and he greeted them. Then they looked at the boar and cheered even louder. Once they saw me they fell silent and just starred. Honestly that starring was starting to scare the shit out of me. What was wrong with me. Had I become some strange sacrifice my mind thought of every possibility worse then the one before.

Then we finally reached the village I saw that it was even dirtier then I had imagined. Animal rest hang out in the open and broken pottery lay around. The huts were made out of wood, but didn't look very comfortable.
After arriving at the center of the village the group dispersed. The men with the boar went away and the red faced man went into the biggest wooden hut I had seen yet in this rundown village. Only the guard remained. Several children, old men and women gathered and whispered, while starring at me. A strange smell came from the big hut and we had to wait for a time, which felt like eternity to me. This position was already uncomfortable and then having to stand motionless was even more uncomfortable. Not to mention that I completely naked. Oh lord please just release me of this hell. If this is purgatory then I would like to just
die without a chance to got to heaven.

After a while the men came back followed by an old women clothed in simple garnets decorated with colorful stones and bones. She held a stone knife in one hand and a bowl in the other. She came slowly closer to me. The guard pushed me to the ground and then the woman cut my arm with the knife and collected some blood. Afterwards she went back inside. There was again some strange smell and the red faced men went inside. After taking his sweet time he came out again and proclaimed what he had heard from the old woman.

"The gods have spoken this pale skinned man is not a messenger of death he seems to be from a far away land. I shall personally acquire more about him and this mysterious land."

After having proclaimed this the people slowly parted and the men came towards me.

"My name is Obashku and I'm the brother of the chieftain. What is your name?"

"My name oh Obashku is Alfred. I'm but a simple person from Germany who lost all his belongings and clothes and I'm currently lost in this strange land."

Obashku smiled. "So you are a merchant. It definitely fits, but you must understand I still have doubts about you. But first we shall find you some old clothes. You cannot continue to walk around like this."

That said he went into the hut and brought a loincloth out. I happily took it and then he guided me to a fireplace inside.

"You are now my guest and shall remain here until my brother comes and decides what we do with you. In the meantime you will earn your stay hear and help us out. Now I'm interested in the your land Alfred pale skinned."

I told him about the topography of my land and told him that we were technological superior, but I avoided to mention the technologies that would seem like magic and make him doubt me again.

"I see your land was one of milk and honey. That might be the reason for your sickly appearance. You never had to fight against nature and never became strong. But what brings someone like you so far away?"

"I don't know I was there and in the next moment I was here. Something strange happened which only the gods can explain."

"Indeed only the gods can explain your appearance out of nowhere. I would have certainly heard of someone like you before. But now its time to sleep. There is still a wood hut with a bit of space. The men that lives there is currently on a journey with my brother. So you can stay there for a while."

And so he guided me to the hut and wished me a good night. When I went to sleep I heard someone at the door. Maybe it was the guard again. After waiting for a while without anything happening I slept in.

User avatar
Saxony-Brandenburg
Minister
 
Posts: 2474
Founded: Mar 07, 2016
Civil Rights Lovefest

Postby Saxony-Brandenburg » Wed May 11, 2022 2:15 pm

THE ROYAL CITY OF URUK
SUMERIA
2964 BCE


A black-headed woman sits atop her home, her hands are dirty and covered with mash. Her wrists burn from the strenuous labor that has taken her all day. Yet this is her turn to work, and soon she will enjoy the fruits of her labor. As she works, she chants a hymn to her goddess, blessing her brew. Upon the shelf just above, a small figurine of that same goddess watches over her work. Together, they sweat and labor to brew the life-giving beer.

“Borne of the flowing water,
Tenderly cared for by the Ninhursag,
Borne of the flowing water,
Tenderly cared for by the Ninhursag,

Having founded your town by the sacred lake,
She finished its great walls for you,
Ninkasi, having founded your town by the sacred lake,
She finished it’s walls for you,

Your father is Enki, Lord Nidimmud,
Your mother is Ninti, the queen of the sacred lake.
Ninkasi, your father is Enki, Lord Nidimmud,
Your mother is Ninti, the queen of the sacred lake.

You are the one who handles the dough and with a big shovel,
Mixing in a pit, the bappir with sweet aromatics,
Ninkasi, you are the one who handles the dough and with a big shovel,
Mixing in a pit, the bappir with dates and honey,

You are the one who bakes the bappir in the big oven,
Puts in order the piles of hulled grains,
Ninkasi, you are the one who bakes the bappir in the big oven,
Puts in order the piles of hulled grains,

You are the one who waters the malt set on the ground,
The noble dogs keep away even the potentates,
Ninkasi, you are the one who waters the malt set on the ground,
The noble dogs keep away even the potentates,

You are the one who soaks the malt in a jar,
The waves rise, the waves fall.
Ninkasi, you are the one who soaks the malt in a jar,
The waves rise, the waves fall.

You are the one who spreads the cooked mash on large reed mats,
Coolness overcomes,
Ninkasi, you are the one who spreads the cooked mash on large reed mats,
Coolness overcomes,

You are the one who holds with both hands the great sweet wort,
Brewing with honey and wine
You the sweet wort to the vessel
Ninkasi, you the sweet wort to the vessel

The filtering vat, which makes a pleasant sound,
You place appropriately on a large collector vat.
Ninkasi, the filtering vat, which makes a pleasant sound,
You place appropriately on a large collector vat.

When you pour out the filtered beer of the collector vat,
It is like the onrush of Tigris and Euphrates.
Ninkasi, you are the one who pours out the filtered beer of the collector vat,
It is like the onrush of Tigris and Euphrates.”


And when the work is done, and the beer is filtered into the collector vat, she divides it into four jars. Those four jars to be delivered to her four neighbors, the ones who she shares beer with. The next week, another among them will brew the beer, and sing the same hymn as she did while she worked. But for now, the thick soupy liquid grain can rest. And to reward herself, she pours from her own jar a cup, and raises it towards the figure upon the shelf.

“To you, Ninkasi.” She speaks, and takes a welcome drink of the divine elixir.




Elsewhere in the city, a bald-headed man, with long nose and dark eyelashes points towards a stone carving upon the wall. Six young boys each look up in wonder at the carving, where three hemispheres cover the world one after another, growing greater and more cosmic the farther out the grow. The man is a priest of the god An, the personification of the heavens itself. Thus he, not only a priest, but a man who had gazed upon the blankets of stars from the highest points - and been taught to recognize each as a holy and heavenly body and constellation.

“And who can tell me what consists of the first layer of heaven?” He asked, pointing to the smallest hemisphere above the earth.

“Jasper!” One boy excitedly replied. “And the stars!”

“That is correct.” The priest replied, motioning his hand all across the sphere. “And this is where all the lesser beings reside, those which are not god but are not of our mortal plane. The realm of the heavens in which we look up to and see beneath the night. That great darkness between the heavenly bodies. This is also where the eyes of the gods themselves reside. That where you can see Inanna shining yellow and white. She resides there, so she may look upon her people.”

“But where do the Anunaki live?” Another boy asked. “Aren’t they weaker, and lesser than the Anuna?”

“Ah, that would be upon the second layer!” The priest responded, pointing to the second hemisphere around the earth. “Where their slaves, the Igigi were exiled. Do you remember what I told you about the Igigi?”


“Uhhh… No.” Another among them plainly stated, with none others chirping up to fill the void.

“Well, you ought to remember your studies, or perhaps you will end up like them! The Igigi were beings created long before man, who looked much like you or I, but now carry the traits of many a beast. They rebelled against the Anunaki, and thus were punished for their insolence to be cursed with beastial traits. After this curse, the Anunaki banished them from the earth and created man with greater wisdom. Now, the Igigi, cast far into the second sphere of saggilmut stone, only come to earth as a curse. They are demons, and only seek to harm. Thus the Annunaki protect us from their cast of creation.”

“Thats scary!” One boy yelled, pointing angrily at the carving above. “They are like Jinn! I don’t want to see any!”

The man snorted. “Then do not wander into the ruins of the old ages young one. Those dwellings of rough stone, or caves with painted walls, which were dwelled in long before the last cycle. Otherwise, you may be cursed by the Annunaki’s rebellious slaves. Heh heh…” He looked down to see many of the children frightened, and, realizing that he had actually scared the children, felt a pang of embarrassed guilt. “But. Eh. Let us move on then… The third layer is the god Anu himself, for he is all the cosmos and thus wraps around it, and within him all the universe is. He is made of luludānītu stone, and acts as a shield for all things. He keeps within himself the ordered universe, for outside of him is the great saltwater sea of Nammu. Eternal chaos, which no ordered thing can be within. His consort, Ki, is the earth we live upon. She is all the earthly things we know, and it is between Anu and Ki that all things knowable to man can exist. Ki is both what we see here, and what lies below the ground since it too is able to be known by man. Because within Ki lies the land of the dead…” He looked down to see the children scared out of their witts, and, in a panic, tried his best to smile. “Oh! Do not be alarmed. There is nothing wrong with the land of the dead. For it is not a scary place, but one just as familiar to you and I upon landed surface. Where all the dead go when they are buried, and sink into a great lake of Abzu! Fresh, clean, happy water… yes, where all the dead are together and far away from evil saltwater. Isn’t that nice?”


He said these measly assurances, but nothing it seemed would shake the fear from their eyes. His head felt light, and he began to terribly worry how it was he was going to explain to their parents why these children could not sleep tonight.

From the corner of his eye, the priest began to notice a woman staring straight at him. For a moment he was convinced she wasn’t, but as he flicked his gaze over to her, she made direct eye contact with him, and waved. He didn’t think anything of it for a moment, before he began to notice more about her. Dressed in loose white robes, with long black curls and a gold circlet upon her brow. He looked down at her rings, and saw one upon her middle finger which unmistakably was royal. It took not long for him to connect the dots, and guess this was the king’s future bride to be.

“O-oh! Uh, may I help you?” He asked sheepishly, looking around to see the children had fled elsewhere in the temple.

“I hope I did not disturb you too greatly.” She replied, walking from the corner and up to the stone carving. “I only wished to speak with a priest of the black head’s sky-god. I am fascinated by all aspects of your culture, I must confess.”

The man smiled nervously, unsure what to do, or why she had come here alone. He watched as the woman traced her fingers across the domes covering the earth, and followers the stars with her fingers as their movements circled across the sky. “Well.” He stammered, seemingly enchanted by her fixation with the model. “We are the land of Kengir, blessed by the gods with wisdom of the heavens! The Annunaki themselves came from their sky-palaces to deliver this knowledge to us.”

Her eyes flicked suddenly to him, as his last words seemingly flipped a switch in her mind. “The Annunaki you say? They came from palaces in the sky to teach you about the stars?”

“Well- yes that is correct. Not I but, our ancestors…”

“The Annunaki, who hold slaves of proto-men, and live in the most distant stars?!” She asked, pointing violently towards the outer rings of the carving.

“Well- yes!” He said with a certain confused starkness.

“Aliens…” She muttered to herself, a strange sounding word in an utterly foreign tongue he could not understand.

“Yes…?” He said, having no idea what he was agreeing to.

“These Annunaki- did they themselves tell you the earth was flat?” She asked, stepping closer to him.

“Well- no I do not believe so. That is simply common knowledge. If you look upon the earth, it is flat. We have stories of the four corners of the earth but, they come from our own history.” There was a pause as she considered this, and as she began to think, she walked over to a piece of papyrus and pen, and began to fiercely scribble something down.

“Are you alright my lady?” He began to ask, before she suddenly rushed back towards the carving upon the wall.

“Does Anu cover merely the top of Ki or does he encompass all of it?” She asked, pointing towards where lines of the hemisphere touched the earths surface.

“Why, it covers it.”

“And does Abzû possess any borders but its’ wall with Anu?”

“No, it flows forever outwards.”

“My people have pictured earth as an island, surrounded on all sides by Abzu. I look at your model, and I see that in fact, Abzu can still touch the earth here, for if it flows all around, it surely touches and pollutes the fresh water underneath lady Ki.”

He saw her point, as she wildly touched at where, seemingly by the picture, the two oceans meet.

“And what of Ki’s freshwater? Should it now all flow out the sides of the earth, or does it have walls to hold it in?”

“It does not.”

“So how does it stay there?”

“Well… it merely does! That is the order of the universe.”

“I look to the earth to try and compare this to, and do you know what I see?”

“What?”

“An egg.”

“What?”

“An egg.” She repeated, and pointed at the drawing she had made. Three concentric circles with each were labeled Ki, fresh water, and Abzû. “What if- what if!? Forgive me, but I have long asked what if Anu wrapped around the universe like the shell of an egg? Completely, upon all sides! An egg’s shell, when not porous, completely keeps water out from its precious insides. That water is the salt water of Abzû, and within it are the yolk and white, correct? Think of the stars and the gods as suspended within the white, and the earth as the yolk. Then the earth must not be as you have said, us humans believe flat- but spherical! The shape of an egg’s yolk!” With heaving breath, she pointed frantically at the page.

The priest, not knowing what to do, looked from her drawing to her eyes. He hadn’t noticed it before, but they weren’t quite normal. Her pupils were oddly large, and the whites of her eyes were very red, as if filled with some combination of priestly inhalations. He was shaken for a few moments as he wondered “Is this what divine possession looks like?”

When he realized he had not replied to her frantic motions in quite some time, the woman sighed, and placed down the papyrus. “It is alright to not understand me… I have been taken over by my passions.” She muttered, and looked back to the carving. “Forgive me if I have misstepped.”

“No!” He replied, trying his best to reassure her. “They say you speak with spirits do you not? Perhaps you have been sent this by the Annunaki! Of course, one cannot know for sure…” He smiled in a half-hearted attempt to make her feel better, and in return she gave him a little smile.

“Thank you. I am glad to see someone who understands. I would like to ask a favor of you, if you would not mind.”

“What is that?”

“I want to see your star charts. The positions of the gods upon the heavenly spheres. And if you would not mind, I would like your assistance for a few moments. I have… been overcome with a passion of this project.”

“Of course but, should you not be with your husband? Should the king not worry of your absence this long my lady?”

“I wish to impress him.” She replied, taking a few steps back and staring at the floor. “He knows I am blessed, but I am not confident he knows of my connection with the gods fully. I want to show him my knowledge, so that I may be more than a wife to him. To also be an advisor on godly matters. If I am correct, then surely he and all who question his appointment of me to the service of lady Inanna will no longer doubt my authority. Why, the secrets to the gods may be better unlocked with a better understanding of the constellations.”

Very confused as to why this woman, taken up by some kind of spiritual mania, would come to him for assistance. Unable to question it however, he simply did as she had asked. “And what would that mean?”

“Teach me your ways of understanding the stars, and I will gain your lords confidence. And for this tutoring I can better stand to reorder this chaotic land. Where many a god has been defiled, and where perverse foreign beliefs of barbarous folk have poisoned the two rivers by the fools of Ur. My bridegroom and master seeks to reclaim Kengir for the dynasty of Uruk, then it is my duty as his bride to assist him the best way I can, in understanding the will of the gods above.”

He paused for a moment, considering the request. “If that is what you wish… I can find some tablets to take with you, that you might be able to study the nights sky with. But do not break them - for they are fragile and old. Not as many look up to the celestial bodies in dark times as these. The people of Ur smashed many when they had banned the worship of the Annunaki and the gods outside seven.”

The strange woman nodded somberly as he said this, and then looked at him, unsettlingly, straight into his eyes. “Not for long will this dark era of ignorance last. Do not worry. I will one day scrub every mention of Ur, her queen, and their seven from living memory. No one will remember them, or what they did to the wisdom of Kengir.”

The priest stood there, confused - for he felt a great deal of rage within the woman, who he believed meant every word she said. When last she released her clenched fists, and breathed a sigh of release, she looked at him much more pleasantly. “I will send a servant to collect the tablets when you pull them from your records. Thank you, Abgal, for your assistance tonight… I found it… enlightening.”

“Well my lady, I did not do much but listen.” He said with a shrug. “But I appreciate the sentiment.”

“That was enough.” She replied, and, with a gentle nod, made her way down the hall and into the world below.
"When Adam delved and Eve span, who was then the gentleman?"

User avatar
Suriyanakhon
Minister
 
Posts: 2815
Founded: Apr 27, 2020
Corrupt Dictatorship

Postby Suriyanakhon » Fri May 13, 2022 7:20 pm

Kinoshita Grace


Kampong Kembang


With the ordinance that the merchants were to leave all of Kampung Rayang's territory and not to return, Bambang announced to his neighboring kin that the merchants had wounded his honor grievously, that they had no respect for either him or the gods of the land, and that they were pulling the wool over all their eyes as it were. He let it be known that anyone who desired freedom from the merchants would have his backing if they refused to leave when told. All of the tribes related to Bambang immediately announced for him, ordering the merchants out of their hunting grounds and other hereditary territories, and being prepared to give battle if their orders weren't accepted.

Seeing that the arrogant Chinese could be driven out, and that they had little power over the chieftains of the island, other villages started to express interest in the same thing, having long harbored suspicions and aversions to the merchants who traveled over their land. Others, less outraged and more cynical, saw the opportunity to rob the merchants while they were making their departure.

All of northeast Taiwan was in the hands of either Bambang or his kinship group.I had no idea how the merchants were going to react to this, but for the moment, they were out of my hair. Now I could focus on what I loved doing best, creating and teaching, rather than being disturbed by strangers.

I decided that I was going to teach Zhou my new writing script before anyone else. She took her seat next to me, curious, as I explained what each syllable meant, and how to write them properly. I had to admit, the gentle touch didn't come easily to me. The fact that Zhou was illiterate, and that her grasp on Rayangese was rough to begin with, compounded on my troubles. By the time we got through our first lesson, I was about ready to throw away my brush and decide teaching wasn't right for me.

Before I could do that, a guard entered through the door. “Kepala, we captured a dozen Chinese merchants who were trying to cross through our territory.”

Me and Zhou looked at each other, before making our way to the town square. Kampung Kembang was still very primitive, with elevated houses that could withstand potential flooding but weren't much in the way of comfort. Despite that, as I walked pass them, I felt a sense of pride. This sense of pride gave way to amazement when we finally reached the square and I saw ten faces that I had not expected to see ever again.

I didn't know what to say, so luckily Zhou broke the silence before I had to. “Hey Huang!” Zhou exclaimed with inappropriate enthusiasm to see her old crewmates, waving at him as though we were a distance away. The village guards looked very confused, I ordered them to drop the famished castaways onto the ground. From the looks of it, none of them were in much state to run away.

“Hi Zhou...” the most vocal of them, Huang coughed, from being roughed up or just thrown in the dirt I couldn't tell. “So you're the head of this village now... how did that happen?”

“We constructed it.” I replied, crossing my arms as I thought about what to do with Huang and the other merchants with him. None of them had ever been cruel to me, or Zhou, I don't remember a single one of them wronging me.

“What happened to you?” Zhou asked them.

“We washed ashore and have been wandering around this island for months. Foraging, hunting, making traps. Anything for food.” Huang replied. “All because of that damn Hiroto and his desire to steal that statue. I suppose you're going to throw us out... or kill us?” the other crewmembers tried to hide their fear, but I could tell they were unnerved at the position they were in, and didn't know whether to appeal for their lives or not. Perhaps they might that would make me even angrier and make whatever punishment I was going to give them worse. If that was the case, I decided to relieve their fears.

“Regardless of the fight that caused us to crash, I don't have any ill will toward you.” I told them, which seemed to relieve a number of them who slumped down as though they were holding their breaths before. “You've never actually done me wrong, and I'm not going to execute a bunch of hungry castaways anyway. You can stay here until you're better, and leave if you desire, or...” I trailed off as though I were trying to create suspense, but really I was just trying to see how to make this scenario work best for my ends. “You can live here and swear fealty to me, the Kepala.”

Huang didn't seem to know how to respond, so I continued. “My hospitality isn't contingent on how you respond, but keep this in mind. We are more than happy to receive people who can fight, plow, and trade. You can have a home right now, so long as you remain loyal to my person and,” I glanced at Zhou. “To my co-ruler, Zhou.” she looked surprised, but Huang and the others nodded their heads and bowed to us, announcing that they would serve us in exchange for our protection and care.

“Banyu, please take these men to the infirmary and make sure they have food.” I ordered the guard captain, who seemed apprehensive, but bowed his head and obeyed my orders. “We'll organize construction for their houses soon.”
Resident Drowned Victorian Waif & Theravada Buddhist
dO yOu LiStEn tO gIrL iN rEd

User avatar
Orostan
Negotiator
 
Posts: 6040
Founded: May 02, 2016
Civil Rights Lovefest

Postby Orostan » Fri May 13, 2022 8:53 pm

deleted
Last edited by Orostan on Tue May 17, 2022 11:55 am, edited 2 times in total.
“It is difficult for me to imagine what “personal liberty” is enjoyed by an unemployed hungry person. True freedom can only be where there is no exploitation and oppression of one person by another; where there is not unemployment, and where a person is not living in fear of losing his job, his home and his bread. Only in such a society personal and any other freedom can exist for real and not on paper.” -J. V. STALIN
Ernest Hemingway wrote:Anyone who loves freedom owes such a debt to the Red Army that it can never be repaid.
#FreeNSGRojava
Z

User avatar
Islamic Holy Sites
Negotiator
 
Posts: 6598
Founded: Mar 20, 2021
Democratic Socialists

Postby Islamic Holy Sites » Sat May 14, 2022 7:29 am

Ali looked at the people, no, not the people, his people, his subjects. All twenty of them. He had called them to The Murder Place (as everyone now called it), where two deaths occurred in less than a minute. He cleared his throat.

“I recognise that this town-“, someone scoffed, “-this town is culturally and geographically independent from Uruk and the rest of Sumer.” Several less educated people frowned. “This place is really different from everywhere else,” he explained. “And so I declare this town exempt from taxation.” No reaction. “We shall develop this area and make Uruk and Babylon embarrassed at their feebleness in comparison.” Several people started chuckling. “I have thought for hours and finally made this code:

The use of money with other members of this community will be strictly forbidden.” Several people tried to object, but Ali shouted them down.

“The use of money with other members of this community will be strictly forbidden! We shall be divided into several jobs: teachers, hunters, farmers, traders, workers, cooks medicine-people and warriors. More jobs may be added as the need for them increases. Those too old or young to work will be exempted from this rule. Everyone shall have rations depending on their needs. The hunters and warriors will provide the rations for everyone, as well as anyone who has spare time. People are allowed to have two jobs. If a hunter or warrior catches extra, they may keep it. Traders will be the only ones allowed to use money. The warriors will act as a police force as well as defenders. This town will offer the poor and unhappy a new home here. Our homes will be made more durable. Homes will also be built on the ground instead of on the river, for inhabitants who are uncomfortable. And finally, a new number system will be added, due to me having a blurry vision which revealed them, and showed them to possibly be much more practical than the current version. Thank you.”

Ali retreated into his house and everyone dispersed.
Last edited by Islamic Holy Sites on Sat May 14, 2022 11:37 am, edited 1 time in total.
#FreeNSGRojava!
FREEDOM, DEMOCRACY, ISLAM
FREE PALESTINE
STAND WITH THE UKRAINIAN PEOPLE
Call me Muqaddasia.
Proud member of the UIC, CFTC, LITA, the DEA and the ICDN. Host nation of SETZA. Founder/Co-founder of the (now defunct) IDSF Founder/Co-founder and first in command of the UCA. Founder of the ICRD.
BREAKING NEWS: Galapagos war 4 might be coming | “Aursi among best Muqaddasi allies,”, says government official | Muqaddasi weapon industry expanding WIP

User avatar
Sobeiska
Spokesperson
 
Posts: 142
Founded: Oct 17, 2016
Left-Leaning College State

Moonfall

Postby Sobeiska » Sat May 14, 2022 11:23 am

Moonfall


Anna woke up in a ditch: the shower’s dew beaded up against her skin like goosebumps, dying myrtle trees heaped their crisping fiery petals around her. The moon was at its perigee, bright and proud as it ever could be, as its ghostly light bounced off Anna. She started to stir as an inquisitive child started poking her face, trying to wipe what she thought was stage makeup off it.

Anna shot up, “who are you, where am I?”

The child was mortified, the makeup would not come off, she ran to get water and started to try and rub Anna’s shoulder with the wet cloth.

Anna: “Are you okay? I’m perfectly clean, I don’t need another bath”

The Kid: “My name Ah Lam”

Anna: “Hello?”

Ahlam: “My name, my name is Ah Lam”

Anna: “I am Anna, where is your home?”

Anna stood up and realised she was naked, and was without stop mortified.

Anna: “I’m so sorry!”

Ah Lam: “It’s not summer! Go get clothes, it’s c-cold!”

Ah Lam: “But lady does not have clothes, her makeup does not come off, it must be her skin! She is from the moon!”

Ah Lam: “You must come with me, I have to show my mommy, I found the moon!”

The child, without even letting Anna speak, immediately grabbed her hand and dragged her over a hill, from which Anna could see smoke in the distance, and soon she could see hatched straw roofs climbing up, and beautiful skin-covered lanterns. Anna of course was not going to argue, she quite literally had nowhere else to go and she could smell the inviting scents of a rich harvest: squash, mustard, radishes, all kinds of wondrous things. It was the Mid-Autumn festival, a tradition long-dedicated to the worship of the moon, its participants hoping to one day become immortal like the ever returning moon.

Soon the kid let go of Anna, and ran straight to her mother, who dressed in a heavy hemp robe, keeping the cold air out.

Ah Lam: “Mom, look, it’s her, look!; We’re going to live forever!”

The Mother: “Oh my, by Yaunshi, it is, her majesty!”

Anna was uncertain if the mother was playing along for the child, or dead serious and the high expectations of her sudden and jarring arrival began to concern her. Was she a deity to these people?

The Mother: “I am Aeuj Aen, and you have deeply humbled me, your grace; please you must let me give you something”

Anna: “Have you anything to wear, it is getting terribly cold.”

Aeuj: “Certainly”

The woman invited Anna into her home, she found a burning fire, as the noise of the festival behind her faded and a variety of bread and poultry laid out on the table; the house smelled of the oak that lined it, among other less pleasant odours. As Anna kept looking, she saw that Ah Lam had come in from behind the corner and was playing with some small stones, tossing them as if she was tossing dice. Perhaps she thought it was her lucky day? Aeuj handed Anna a rather fine robe made of ramie, anything was better than nothing, but this was certainly something.

Anna at this point was quite grateful to the woman and thanked her, but she made sure to keep herself reserved, if she was to be thought a goddess why risk blowing the cover?

Aeuj: “It is my deepest honor, please you must meet your priestesses”

Anna kept her head up, realising that she was entirely serious, and slowly walked through the curtained doorway of the house. Back out to the sound of children playing and adults chanting. There was a large bonfire in the centre of the village where many were gathered for warmth on the cold autumn night. Gathered in front of a relatively large stone building were 11 priestesses, with another in front of them all. They were singing something, but it was hard to tell in all the noise.

Aeuj ran up to the head priestess, who immediately became upset at the intrusion, but upon realising the occasion was struck with disbelief and annoyance, that was until she turned around, and saw Anna.

Priestess: “I am Fahn Cinq, I am of a long line of historians and wisepeople, your makeup doesn’t deceive me you profane the goddess!”

Anna: “Wipe it off my face then, go ahead and try”

Fahn rushed up to Anna and grabbed her by the cheek and did not find the chalky paste she expected to find, she found milky soft skin, utterly harmless, and without a blemish on display. She suddenly felt a great shame

Fahn: “I-I-I am sorry for what I said”

Anna: “You best be, perhaps you can earn my forgiveness, but let you be cursed with a short life, the life of a fly, until you learn to keep your faith when it is right before you!”

The village soon came to notice Anna’s booming shouts, and soon the collective delusion took root in them all, there were wails, and shouts, all in desperate attempts to calm her. Without any merit to her name, she had enraptured the entire town, purely by being a pasty sunfearing fuck.

Anna, quick to make something out of the chaos, snapped into command.

Anna: “Since it is my day, and you all are such excellent cooks, so excellent that I myself could not resist but come down from the heavens, you are all forgiven”

Anna realised this delusion would not be easy to keep up, she had all the tools in her head to maintain it though. She would use the next eclipse as a powerful moment to cement her authority, but she had no idea how she would build the instruments to get the precision she needed, it would be quite the puzzle.

User avatar
Empire of Techkotal
Spokesperson
 
Posts: 118
Founded: Apr 09, 2020
Psychotic Dictatorship

Postby Empire of Techkotal » Sun May 15, 2022 3:17 am

Panic, a meal and the village were I shall stay a while in

Birds were chirping and people were talking. Somewhere outside the sound of stone meting stone was heard and the sound of grinding stone together. No matter how much I tried to ignore it. It wouldn't go away. So I opened my eyes and stood up. I was in wooden cabin or that's what I'm gonna call it, but it looked more like a rundown hut. The ceiling was made of hay....upon closer inspection it wasn't, but I'm unfamiliar with what it was. Even though this was definitely not my attic, I couldn't remember how I got here. Panic surged up in me. I looked around for the door. Problem being that this room had no windows and there was barely any light coming in through the walls and roof. Which in turn doesn't speak for the quality of this room.

Completely confused and panicking I went to the door. Had I been kidnapped or what happened to me. This hole place looks just as shit as a Russian dacha. Once I had arrived at the door I swung it open and saw a few children in front of me. They immediately run away and shout "The stranger awoke!"

They left me completely puzzled, as a primitive village lay in front of my eyes. Wooden huts with some sort of hay like roofs and all around me half naked men and women were walking around. To my shock it seemed like I wasn't in a much better position then they were. My clothes amounted to a single loincloth and that was it. No trousers, no shirts, no socks and shoes were laying around in the hut.

Oh shit, it came upon me. I had landed somewhere in Asia or Latin America. There was no other solution to the sight in front of me. There was no trace of civilization. Looking at the people and their facial features it doomed upon me I was at the bottom of this world in some shitty unexplored Asian Island or the jungles of the south Asian countries. No!!! God have mercy! Why did I have to land in this uncivilized place surrounded by Barbarians. No way they could be cannibals. Yes! That might be the case. My brain went through all the things I associated with uncivilized tribes in unexplored lands and dug up more and more disturbing ideas in my head.
There had been enough reports from our Asian colony in Papua about cannibals, so I was sure, they might also be some. Even though these reports were over a hundred years old.

I started running. I had to get out of this village. The longer I stayed, the more dangerous it would get. Running around a corner I crushed into someone and stumbled to the ground. A man in his thirties looked upon me with a grin and sharp eyes, that seemed like they were mocking me.

Ah right. I remembered what happened. I had landed somewhere in the endless depths of hell with the devil incarnate before me. Well if I'm already here it can't come any worse. The man before me had a name. He called himself Obashku. By all means, if someone asked me if he was the devil I would say yes. His eyes pierced my consciousness and seemed to read my thoughts. He only needed a pair of horns sprouting out of his head and a pair of hoes so he would look perfectly like the devil.

I might be exaggerating, but my brain was on full stress mode and I was already dehydrating as it had always been the case.

"Alfred what do you run around. You seem desperate. Could it be that our hospitality isn't to your liking?" Obashku said, while smiling at me.

"No. How could that be. I like it here very much and I was just looking around." I answered hastily. It might not have been a good answer, but it was all I could bring forward.

He looked at me unconvinced and then laughed. "It must still be uncomfortable for you, but don't worry we won't do anything to you until the chief comes back. Come now we are going to eat."

And so he lead me to his hut. There his wife had already cooked some sort of rice in clay pots and served it alongside some leaves and small weird fruits, which I couldn't identify. They ate everything else first and waited a bit for the rice to cool down until we started eating it together. Now eating with bare hands might be unhygienic, but I had no fork, knife or spoon. So I ate it with my bare hands. Afters we had finished they gave me a clay bowl filled with water, though it wasn't the clearest I had seen in my life. They drank it without hesitation and looked at me confused.

"Why don't you drink the water. Its good for you. You must drink water to stay alive." Obashku said.

Still having doubts about the water quality I hesitated a bit longer, but seeing the look in Obashku's eyes I drank the water. He seemed satisfied. Having eaten he stood up and went over to me.

"So you said you wanted to see the village? If you really want to see it, I shall guide you around."

Obashku's offer seemed tempting enough for me to accept. There was now way I would get away from here anytime soon anyway and it was unlikely that someone would come to safe me. Not to mention the fact, that my arrival and me understanding them was still a mystery for me.

"Indeed I was just going around looking at the village. So of course I shall accept your offer."

He then went out of the hut and I followed.

"This is my hut. My brothers hut is the big one right next to my. Our village has many huts."

Obashku said and then guided me to the outside of the village.

"These are our fields." Said Obashku and pointed on a vast open area full of wheat like plants. They sure looked like wheat, but their corns were smaller and looked different. Not to mention, that some parts of the field were in wetlands and pools of water. Though the use of flooding their own fields made no sense for me.

"Why do you flood your lower fields?"

"Because they are close to the river and the water keeps many pests away from our fields. The divine water god protects our crops." Said Obashku.

He then pointed down to the field bordering the woods.

"There the river is flowing. You can hear it from here. It gives us protection and gives us food. It protects our fields and makes it hard for wild animals to come to us. If you follow the river in the direction of its flow you will get to the big city. My brother is there currently."

He pointed into the distance. Afterwards he guided me to the river. It was big. Maybe around 30 meters wide and the current was relativly slow. The river unlike the rivers in Germany was wild untamed river, which went its own way through the land and didn't follow the route planned by humans. At a point he pointed at the ground. The ground was a little bit sandy, but it resembled clay. At some points the ground was indeed very similar to clay without being to sandy.

"This is there we get our clay from. I shall show you in the following days how we make clay, if you want?" Said Obashku.

"I certainly would like to make some pots and if you are willing to show me how you do it with this clay then I will do it." Certainly this was something I could look forward to.

"Then lets get back to village and come back with a basket to collect some clay Alfred" said Obashku.

User avatar
Saxony-Brandenburg
Minister
 
Posts: 2474
Founded: Mar 07, 2016
Civil Rights Lovefest

Postby Saxony-Brandenburg » Sun May 15, 2022 4:22 pm

THE ROYAL CITY OF URUK
SUMERIA
2964 BCE


Horns blare and drums snare, the people watch from their rooftops as the royal parade goes by. Winding through the streets, the noblemen and royal court wear their finest of garments. They ride upon their spoked-wheel chariots, and solemnly follow their Lord and Lady. Their servants, slaves and freemen alike, toss gifts to the hungry crowd, whose hands desperately grasp at the bread, coins, and polished stones which are thrown out upon the road. At the front of the train, many more toss loose grain across their path, sowing the seeds of a happy marriage. Their master wears his fine cotton robes, beautifully patterned, expertly painted. He wears all the regalia and rings of his kingship. He holds in his hands the scepter of his status. For today, he holds up the heavens. Today he is Lord Anu himself. His lady stands beside him, riding the chariot he commands. She holds him close, as the cart jumps and shakes as it passes along the road. She is veiled and modest, hardly does she show more than her forearms to the sun. Crisp, loose fabric of cotton and linens shroud a dignified and submissive queen. One worthy of being his bride. For tonight she is not Inanna, but Ki. The Lady of the earth herself.

Their legion of scribes and bureaucrats, craftsmen and soldiers which are in the Lord’s own employ stand along the ceremonial stairs to the white temple. The holy ziggurat of his Lord’s charge. The steps are littered with more wasted grains and nuts, spent like sand for the occasion. The birds do not even dare to pick at them, however. Even they know not to defy tradition in a moment such as this. They carry in their arms dozens of gifts, weighing heavy on their straining muscles, having waited there for hours. Their toiling for sake of ceremony was simply par for the course on such an occasion.

And when they had come to a halt, the Lord’s nobles and courtiers departed their chariots, and made to form a line behind him. The Lord hands the reigns to a slave, who dutifully takes hold of the ponies. With each step, he must embody the seriousness of the occasion. Not like the joyful carousing that comes with some people’s weddings, these were affairs of the state, and of the world. He steps off first from the cart, and holds out a hand for his bride to take. She bows her head to him, and, grasping his hand, steps off as well. The two, hand in hand, thus begin their ascent. Four flights of steps, each stopping at a level, another event. Now at them, they throw dried beans, and barley, and nuts at the couple as they stop at each flight, one after another. The slaves laugh as they do this, while the two are made to pretend this was a somber occasion. Blessed is the bride for the veil she wears, for even she cannot help but grin as she suppresses her laughter. The poor groom is meant to still himself, and continue his somber disposition until at last he had reached the top, and looked down upon the sea of his subjects below.

Awaiting him at the top is her servants to be, handmaidens who gently tidy her robes and sweep off the litter clinging onto the fabric. One of them bows to her master, and hands him a pitcher of oil. Carefully, he takes it into both hands. Holding it aloft for the crowd, he pauses for dramatic effect. When whence he felt that all eyes were carefully transfixed upon him, he lowered the pitcher to his chest, and began to speak with a voice which echoed down the steps and through the rows of men and women below. A royal voice. The voice of a ruler.

“Before the royal court and the sworn nobles of the King of Uruk. The High priest of Lord Anu and ruler of the four corners of the earth, Jushur, son of Dimuzid the Fisherman, has come to issue a proclamation on this day. Let it be recited in all the squares of Uruk, and let it be recited in every village and settlement beneath Uruk. And spoken to every shepherds' camp and upon the banks of the sister-rivers. And that this knowledge be carried to the court of every city in Kengir. That on this most blessed day, the King of Uruk has taken a new bride. That her name is Inanna, and that she comes from royal blood and of outstanding reputation. That she is both beautiful of looks and of virtue. And that through all of her children will flow the blood of my royalty. Let all hear this and attest to this betrothal as bound by the law and my honor.” And as the Lord said these words, the lady’s handmaiden removed the veil from her head. And his Lady, knowing then what was to happen, bowed her head towards him. And her Lord then began to drizzle the oil upon her head and brow, letting the sweet, sickly smell waft into the air. And when he had finished this, he handed away the pitcher of oil, and bid her raise her head with a strong yet gentle hand upon her chin. And, looking deep into her eyes with a newfound sense of paternalistic devotion, he said to her. “Thus do I solemnly declare, she is my wife.”

The trumpets cheered as he spoke his word, and throughout the city streets the people of Uruk heard their echoes. That this proclamation was an event which all must recognize. And when their loud note had ceased, the cheering began. Loud screams of “Long live the House of Dimuzid!” came from the most flattering of courtiers, while those with less groveling tones merely applauded. And while they all forced themselves to cheer for their lord, the handmaidens of their new Lady dragged forth a throne upon which to sit. And then, when she had rested, they put the veil back upon her - that her head and hair was covered by the white cloth, and secured by a bronze circlet. And when she had sat down, the long train of noblemen of Uruk began to climb the steps towards them. One after another, in careful file, holding in their hands bundles of innumerable assortments. And when the first of them came before her, he bowed his head to her, and standing below her upon the step, the Black-Headed lord offered a fine woolen dress of red feather-tufts up to his Gishimmari lady. She waved to him, and, giving him the appreciation of a bow of the head, allowed her servants to take it with them.

And so this continued, one after another. They offered her more robes and dresses, veils and scarves of foreign pigments and beautiful woven and painted patterns. They placed jewelry and pendants upon pillows and presented them at her feet. They gave her fine sets of cookware, and drinking vessels, and storage urns inscribed with stories from mythology, or painted with men and animals, which seemed to dance as one looked across them. They offered her whole cloth for sewing, and foreign herbs and spices. Coffee had made its way, all the way from the lands of Yanbu and Murabek. Fine oils and perfume, combs and brushes to maintain her youthful beauty. Makeup from Egypt and shells from the white sea. And on and on this procession went, getting less extravagant yet still in such great quantities as nobles were replaced by courtiers, and courtiers by scribes, until each had gifted their new lady in a way which befit their station. The lesser people gave her works by their hands, furniture hand-carved by the royal workshops, and godly statuettes from the temple’s masons. Such was the quantity of the wedding gifts for a queen, that a great pile had amassed of these gifts, stacked atop eachother, that it overshadowed the woman herself.

When at last they could bare no more the attention, and the line of courtiers had grown thin, replaced more and more by common people who give only their well-wishes, and the mid-day sun had grown to begin to descend - the palace’s own scribes began to pack and account their offerings, and the palace guardsmen began to clear the stairs. And whence a clear path down the stairs, and through the crowd below had been made, the Lord of Uruk took his bride’s hand, and led her down the steps of the Ziggurat. Down the steps and through the masses, their servants followed behind waving fans of palm fronds and carrying their most valued gifts for the bride’s household. And thus did this royal convoy snake through the cheering crowd, who then began again to throw nuts and beans and grains at them. All this assault of festivities continued, until at last the two of them arrived at their palace gateway. And as the royal entourage finally disappeared through the gates and into the hallowed halls of the royal residence, the strong wooden doors of her gates slammed shut in a final conclusion to the day.




Olivia Ingels


When first my Lord and I had escaped the gaze of the entire world, and the doors behind us had closed, he reached over and grabbed me by the waist. His arms still glistened with oil in the evening light which seemed to shimmer through the windows as beautiful gold. The world was a picture, a painting by the most skilled artisans of fantasy. The world it seemed to me was endless swirls of beautiful color, my soul seemed to be fighting to tear itself from my mere body with delight! I had loved twice before, but never had I known a man like this. So strong and commanding, yet benevolent and soft as he touched me. I had become drunk on this feeling, this excitement he sent shivering through my veins. And with those strong, manly arms he wrapped the other around my waist, and before I knew it he lifted me up above his head! I could not have imagined it, and with glee I laughed with delight, like a young girl might, as this man carried me through the halls. All the while, he laughed and sang, startling the servants and making even the most mild mannered among them giggle with delight at the sight of their so-serious Lord dancing through the palace. He carried me past the many rooms of jealous-looking handmaids and concubines, past the dining rooms and kitchens, through the many rooms of innumerable functions and envious eyes. He carried me, holding me close with those strong muscles, as I drank in his smell. Masculine, with the scent of sweat from the heat of the day. Yet he was royal, and thus wore perfume and oil which mixed to create an intoxicating scent. Perhaps it was not so, but it was his scent, and thus it made my heart flutter and my skin tingle, and my arms and legs clench with delight. He carried me then until with a sudden stop we approached a doorway, with two fine doors of smooth carving and bronze handles confronted us. He looked over to me, a great beast in his arms, and smiled so warmly, rich and smooth like coffee. “Would you like to see your new chambers my lady?” He asked, and without hesitation I excitedly exclaimed “Yes!”

And when he opened those beautiful doors of dark foreign wood, the beautiful scents of luxuries wafted from the room. Of fresh-cut flowers, and burning incense, and jasmine flowers. And I gazed upon the large room, with polished stone floors and plastered walls painted a royal red. I saw many of those luxurious offerings already placed within there, with chairs long enough to lounge in, with plump cushions upon them, and tables laden with ivory and metal. A large rug which, having been woven as a circle, looked decidedly modern, as if from another time. It had fringes of loose wool, and a pattern of beige red and blue which looked as if it belonged in a department store, much less here in Uruk. Upon the walls were tapestries of the gods, polished bronze mirrors, and lamp holders. And far across from us, the walls opened up to a balcony unlike anything I had seen in 18 years of my life! With linen curtains which fluttered in the gentle breeze outside. But what was most impressive was, in front of my view, a large bed bigger than anything I had since I had entered this world. Perhaps it was a Queen size, though I would not be able to recall exactly. It would certainly be appropriate. But it was large and stood atop a frame of wooden beams of the quality the men of Ur must use to build ships. And upon this frame was a great large mattress, what a gorgeous thing, which must contain an entire flock’s worth of sheep-wool inside it. Layered atop this beautiful, immaculate bed which caused my heart to swell, clean linens which matched the walls and rug with that samer royal reds, teals, and beige.

It seemed as though I had viewed this piece of art for an hour, soaking in the sights, in the moment it took him to set me down. I gazed at the room with tears in my eyes, because I did not think I would ever experience, even as ruler of Yanbu, such levels of homely comfort. That he had bought all this for me, and it surely did purchase my heart. I screamed with delight, and threw my arms around him. “Oh Jushur!” I wailed, rubbing my face into his chest. “You have given me a home greater than I could ever have imagined! You have blessed me with a room fit for a goddess to inhabit!”

He pulled me from his chest, and held my shoulders. Looking deep into my eyes with those chocolate brown beads of wisdom and authority, of love and masculine comfort - he smiled and said so kindly to me. “For surely a temple for my goddess Inanna. A bedroom of comfort and splendor for the queen of sexuality and passion.”

He made my heart skip a beat, filled with the thrill of being wanted, of being loved. Of a man who honestly saw me as beautiful, and the object of desire. He smirked, and abruptly turned his head towards the door, and grinned. There I turned and saw his three other wives looking through the doorway, blushing and giggling into their hands. “Be gone with you, you jealous women.” He said with a hearty laugh. “And shut the doors upon your exit.” And when they did so, he motioned a hand towards the table and lounging couches in the corner, where a large jug and two massive drinking vessels sat. “Perhaps you would join me for a drink then? Your Lord wishes to enjoy your company once more.”

And, as my face became bright red with blush, he led me there and, sitting down upon the couches, he began to pour out bowlfuls of the deep purple liquid.

“And what may we be drinking tonight?” I asked with a gitty playfulness.

“Ah, a wine I think you should very much enjoy. Made from the wild berries of the mountains to the east, flavored with honey and spices and herbs.” He reached across the little table, and there grasped hold of my cup. And, taking it, he bid me open my mouth. With a steady hand, he tilted it upon my lips, and made me drink my fill in a large gulp. It was acidic and bitter, yet syrupy sweet beneath its first shock. It was perhaps the finest drink I had tasted in my life. It was pure liquid and smooth, without the slightest hint of debris of powder, like the thick porridge of the Sumerian’s beer. It was strong too, sharp and medicinal in a way which cut itself into my mind, forcing my eyes to squint as I tried to swallow it all. Seeing my reaction, he couldn’t help but laugh. “That’s alright, just get it down. I know you can do it my brave warrior queen.”

I rolled my eyes, and could feel my already flushed cheeks warming even more. “Alright then big guy, hand over your bowl. And I will make you drink.”

And thus we traded, drink after drink, until I could no more contain myself as the alcohol washed away our inhibition. “Oh my Lord.” I said with heart galloping like a racehorse. “I can no longer wait to have my bridegroom, oh how you have cruelly deprived me of him for too long.” And, climbing over and atop him, I leaned down to plant a passionate kiss upon his wine-stained lips. And there I embraced him, kissing him, drinking in his scent, feeling his body’s warmth. Until it was that he too had his fill of waiting, and sat up to face me. And, grabbing hold of my dress, faded the world into lustful heat and love.




I held him close, and felt his warm breath upon my neck. Both of us covered in sweat, too hot and tired to burry ourselves beneath the fine linens below us. I was right, the bed was immaculately soft, and it seemed to hold me just as well as his arms. I turned my eyes up to see him, looking down at me. I knew he wanted to speak, I knew he had something across his mind. And though I was basking in the happiness, the warmth, the residual pleasure of the night… I could feel a welling of worry come down my throat.

“What is on your mind my love?” I asked sheepishly, tracing my fingers across his chest.

It took him a moment to think it over, before his large chest rose and fell with a sigh, and he looked me plainly in the eyes. “I did not know you were a eunuch.”

I looked away, ashamed of myself. For surely I should have known this would need to be discussed. And in our winds of passion he had for sure recognized this, but our love was in alternate ways. I didn’t know what to say, as part of me hoped he would simply not question why it was I could bear him no children after he had seen my nakedness himself. When finally I had swallowed my fear, I finally answered him.

“I am sorry if I had deceived you.”

He shook his head, looking away. “No… No you did not deceive me dear. I remember now. Your slave had told me you posessed no child-bearing womb, I should have guessed as such.”

My throat clogged, as waves of worry and relief rocked my mind and sickened my stomach. “Then you are not mad at me?” I asked, on the brink of shaking.

Finally, his gaze returned to me, and in place of his frank expression was that warm, loving smile which was so addictive, and in a single glance rested my mind to ease. “Not at all… Your embrace is perhaps more pleasurable than any of my childbearing brides. For they lack a spirit of yours, and the ambition to eh… perhaps try unorthodox tactics upon the field.”

And with delight I squeezed him, and kissed his cheek over and over again. “Oh bless you Lord, bless your kindness and understanding! And for this I reward you with eternal devotion and faithfulness. Think, not of womb or childbearing body, your new bride can never besmirch her master’s honor! For I can bear you no rival children to challenge your beloved son Gilgamesh’s right to rule this city. And unlike the other women, who you must only allow eunuchs or handmaids to see for fear of bearing you an illegitimate child of a bastard’s descent, I cannot possibly dishonor you in such a way!”

He let out another sigh, this not of stress or relief, but comfort. And with his large hand wrapped around my shoulder, and gently touched my arm. “Oh I do not worry of your honor, my dear. For I know you are an immensely virtuous woman, and the gods would not favor one unless she had loyalty in her heart. And besides, I find your eunuch body just as, if not more lustful and nymph like than any of my harem. For your body is just as soft, and full of youthful spring and energy. And your face is without wrinkles, and your skin doesn’t sag. Only boys care for woman’s breasts, like children in need of suckling. Real men desire a greater conquest, which you provide for me just so.”

I can’t help but feel deeply embarrassed with just how much he fawns over me. A man of such power, of such pride, singing praises of a woman such as I. One who, as a child, was constantly told how masculine and ugly I was. How broad were my shoulders, and how large were my ribs. Of how sharp my jawline, or how straight my waistline. Yet he saw me as the perfect triumph of femininity. A perfect flower for he to pluck. I could not take it. It was too kind, too undeserving was I, that I began to weep into his arms, burying my head into his skin.

“Oh my sweet, do not weep. What I say is not flattery, but the truth. And I of serious disposition and cool blood would not decieve you. I would not embrace you as I do should I be repulsed by any part of my newfound woman.”

And, trembling, holding his warmth so close to me, I choked out a reply: “Thank you… I… I love you, Jushur. I love you so much.”

And he replied those words which made me forget for a moment all the hurt and pain I had ever felt. All the love and loss, the separation, the guilt and the shame of what I had done. After how I had treated my marriage to Alya. About how angry I had been made to feel by her abandonment.

“I love you too, my Inanna.”
"When Adam delved and Eve span, who was then the gentleman?"

User avatar
G-Tech Corporation
Khan of Spam
 
Posts: 60852
Founded: Feb 03, 2010
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby G-Tech Corporation » Tue May 17, 2022 9:08 am

Part 6, Chapter 22: The Mountain Cannot Bow


December 22nd, 35 AG

He was bloody, his face mottled with crimson, scarlet, the yellowing of old bruises and the deep radiant purple of new. And yet defiance screamed in the set of his jaw, the wild fire in his eyes. The guards dropped him to the dirt floor of the tent with little sympathy, stepping back only reluctantly at my gesture. I squatted next to the warrior, nearly to the level of his face as he stared downward into the bare soil, his chest heaving and his breath coming labored with pain.

"You don't need to do this. He is one man. Why suffer for someone who has abandoned you?"

The warrior's face turned up to mine slowly, his teeth bare in a rictus of a grin.

"He waits. A trial for the faithful, to prove that we are worthy of him. Your armies will burn like chaff before the flame. He said you would come, would make us pay in blood for our trust in him. Your time will come."

I exhaled through my nose a fraction, tamping down a wave of irritation. These men were broken records, their minds possessing little more than the ability to regurgitate what they had been told. I had hoped that a captain might have better faculties to draw information from, but thus far had been disappointed. Even the commanders of the ragged bands that called themselves the 'Faithful' were unsophisticated brigands, barely removed from the Neolithic savagery which any tribal kinship could claim. Their weapons, stone, their tactics, crude.

Chaff to the flame. An apt metaphor for the knots of wild men swearing fealty to this Camden which had boiled intermittently out of the landscape to decorate the snowy hills and evergreen forests with their butchered corpses. Most had little better than hunting bows and spears to take against ironshod soldiers and cavalry companies, and their numbers were sparse and growing smaller with every passing week. This Camden, at any rate, had little regard for military strategy for his followers, save to, like an ancient pagan king, pile the corpses of his servants for a pyre of his own demise.

Attempts to convince them to give up their priest-king had proven fruitless, and interrogation likewise futile. Operational security for the location of their ruler was very high, so high that I was beginning to get the impression that most of his followers genuinely didn't even know where he was supposed to be. It had taken less than two weeks march to disperse the hovel-settlement which the locals called Sariah - barely more than an assemblage of a few hundreds mud huts and roughhewn leantos, mired in filth and human waste.

It had had to be burned to the ground, more out of a very real need to prevent the outbreak of disease than any malice toward the inhabitants. Most had few worldly possessions and had carried away little even when given time to collect their belongings. The Eyes had confiscated several copies of what I took to be a holy scripture, the assembled scrawlings of a madman with a very shaky grasp of what might have been liberation theology, or perhaps one of those Evangelical cults.

Definitely a cult in modern interpretation, of course. Interviewing just a few of the locals had revealed a very real lineage of the prophet Camden, who it seemed had been married to both men and women of prodigious numbers - nearly two dozen brides, and that number again of young nubile boys who formed his 'spirit-lovers'. A matter which, to be frank, had set my stomach to turning, though I still tried to do my best not to judge the iniquities of the savage in unfair terms. There were certainly plenty of children, most under the age of ten, both from the clan of Camden and the various kinship groups which had inhabited Sariah.

Lord-Commander Blackblade harrumphed as the bloodied man was dragged out of the command tent. From behind his camp-desk he leveled a gaze at me.

"Do you have more you wish to question? I think it is clear this is a fruitless endeavor. We'll just have to hunt down this coward the old fashioned way."

I rose, stretching out my spine with a satisfying crack, before sinking into my own chair once more and shrugging broadly.

"I'll let Aviana continue speaking to the captives, those which she adjudges potentially of value in terms of information. You never know when something could be useful. I merely regret mobilizing so many men for this venture."

I did, and thankfully Gershwin let the matter drop into quiet. It had been my insistence that a man out of time would be a deadly foe which had sent two thousand men marching out into the frozen wilderness, where perhaps a quarter of that number would have more than sufficed to put down the armed resistance we had seen thus far. I had regrets now, to be sure, but part of me kept on trying to justify my initial assumptions. After all, news from this far west along the Alps was subject to exaggeration, and obscurity. A man like Isaac might have easily resisted a smaller force with bloody results. But not all men were like the ex-Sevrant of Icedonia.

Thank goodness for that.
TG if you have questions about RP. If I don't know the answer, I know someone who does.

Quite the unofficial fellow. P2TM Mentor specializing in faction and nation RPs, as well as RPGs.


Advertisement

Remove ads

Return to Portal to the Multiverse

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Olthenia

Advertisement

Remove ads