A Heretical resurgence
A lone guard patrolled the deserted nighttime streets of Morea. He was visibly tired, the dark circles under his eyes illuminated by the light produced from his lantern. When he walked, he barely lifted his feet, scuffing the soles of his leather boots on the paved streets. The guard paused to yawn, stretching his arms and arching his back. He scratched his bushy brown beard with his free hand, briefly glancing behind him. Seeing nothing, the guard continued his routine.
However, there was indeed something the guard had failed to see. At the entrance to an alleyway, a figure who's face was hidden by a hood was dragging away a body. The body was easily identifiable as a Cahirian deacon by the deacon's mark displayed on the cassock the deceased wore. Philip Ferrec was his name. He'd been a respected member of the community and somewhat famous for his work, The Poorman's Ecumenical Handbook. Unbeknown to the public however, was the fact that he was a member of the Cahirian Inquisition, an Ordinator in fact. His killer finished dragging his body away, and slunk off into the night.
The following morning, a commoner found Philip and immediately reported what he'd found to the local Captain of the guard. Upon hearing the news that the respectable Philip Ferrec had been strangled - well, assumed to have been strangled as there were no stab wounds - the captain promptly spit out whatever substance he'd been drinking, most likely beer. The captain mustered a few men and began conducting an investigation of the crime scene. While that went on, Philip was given an honorable Cahirian burial, his remains laid to rest in a mausoleum on a hill outside of the city. Within a week the killer was found, tried, and executed.
Prior to the killer's execution, soldiers had attempted to interrogate the killer. He said nothing, but while one soldier was attempting to 'persuade' the killer, another found a small tattoo of a sun on his left shoulder. This was taken note of, as it could've had some significance.
Days later, the case was reviewed by members of the Inquisition, most having some suspicions of an Argeadian resurgence. However, the thoughts were dismissed as the superiors had decided that there wasn't yet enough proof to fully determine if this was the work of only one heretic or an entire syndicate. The thought still lingers on though, the Inquisition waiting in anticipation of another incident, and by extent, an entire cult to show up on their doorstep.
Never Been A Quitter – Chapter 1
Lavrador Moziverai was, for the first time in a long time, a happy man as he returned to his estate just outside Tartessos. As he entered, Stavros was there to welcome him, surprised at the lack of a scowl on his father’s face.
“No trouble on your journey back?” the son asked politely.
“Twas clear sailing the whole way home, but here I am, and with good news.”
Stavros did his best to hide his concern – his father had not said that he had good news for a long while now, ever since he had been removed as Treasury Commissioner – but nonetheless spoke, “Best be settled afore you tell it, father,” and guided his father inside.
They settled themselves around the table in the lounge, on which Stavros had left his copy of Kirixa Tharissi strewn across the middle. Slaves brought in coffee and cigars, in precise movements to show that they were, in fact, paying full attention to detail; and soon once the father and son had settled themselves in Stavros broke the silence.
“It is unlike you in recent times to come home with good news. What changed?”
“Son, I have once again secured your future.”
Stavros did not splutter his cigar, nor did he dramatically clatter his coffee glass on the floor; but in his expression and his pointed silence the meaning was the same. “You mean to say that you have bribed the manager into having me on the team again?”
“Are you not grateful, child?”
“Of course I am grateful.”
“Then you will listen to what you father has to saw about what he has worked so hard for. Listen.” Lavrador’s attention was diverted by the paper on the table, and angrily he stood up and swept it from its position, nearly spilling Stavros’ coffee in the process. “You read this bullshit? These insult columns? These manure mechanics? Envious bastards who’ve no intention of working a day in their lives? That’s what you’ve been reading whilst I’ve been gone?”
Stavros fumed, but kept an outward appearance of calm, knowing that his father would calm down as quickly as he enraged. “Should we not know what our enemies say about us? Information is power, as you like to say.”
“You are right. I apologise.” Lavrador sat back down, slumped into the seat, sighed, sat back up, and began speaking again almost as if he had never been diverted. “Your future. A funding measure was proposed for pacification efforts in Haldekostalda and passed solely because of my approval. It passed contingent on a private binding commitment by that ghastly Stefanidis woman that you, with your experience, connections, and expertise, would be appointed to a senior position in the pacification effort. It’s your route back into politics son.”
Stavros said nothing in response to that and mulled it over.
“Father, I,” he said, before faltering. “Haldekostalda. That’s even further south than Akragas is it not?”
“That it is. Are you going to be a good son and be thankful of your father’s efforts to secure your career, your future?”
Stavros sipped his coffee again as he attempted to avoid answering the question. Yet eventually, he had to give one, and so he did, saying, “I don’t want to go back into politics father.”
Lavrador was an easily angered man, but not an easily stunned one, yet Stavros had managed it, reducing his formidable father into a dumb silence.
“I don’t want to go back into the rat race. I don’t want to be at the whims of the fickle crowds and petty hatreds. I want a quiet life, one where I’m not constantly being pushed to be more ambitious and power-hungry. I just want to see this estate prosper sedately, calmly, as I’ve been doing since I returned from Chalsardas.”
“You. Cannot. Be. Serious,” Lavrador answered tersely and sharply. He stood up again, and as he paced the lounge continued to speak. “Where did I go wrong with you? I spent so many days, so many months, so many years bringing you up, ever since your mother was no longer around. I brought you up in my image, you know – I tried to raise a scrapper, someone who stayed in the fight, someone who didn’t give up. I didn’t raise a coward, did I Stavros?”
“No, you did not.”
“I didn’t raise someone who gives up at the first obstacle, did I?”
“I didn’t raise a quitter either now, did I?”
“Then why are you all three?” Lavrador asked harshly.
“I’m not,” Stavros answered weakly.
“I have never been a quitter, son. And you know why?” He paused for dramatic effect, letting the question linger in the air for a few seconds before continuing. “Because a man is finished when he quits. I did not sit back apathetically, content with the dirt scratches that my father called a farm. Instead I strove, I worked, I put in the hours in the arena, on the pitch, in the coffeehouses. This estate?” he said, pointing for effect around the room. “My work. I built this. It is because I built this that you even have the privilege of being able to question whether you need to keep labouring or not. Well, the answer is no. Are you finished, Stavros?”
“Because a man is not finished when he is defeated; a man is finished only when he quits. And you have not quit. Have you? Say it, son. Say it.”
“I have not quit,” Stavros stammered.
“Then on the morrow you will take the first ship south to Sekeiza, in Haldekostalda, and you will take up your post. I have had a plan for this family, Stavros, ever since I became an adult. Events may have altered it, but you still have time. For you are my eldest son, you have potential. The least you can do is not waste it. The Black Sun shall guide you whilst I am in Chalsardas.”
Stavros sailed south two days later, for an adverse wind had kept his ship stuck in the harbour of Tartessos that day, but eventually he arrived, and only then found his role.
It was as paymaster.
It involved money.
He understood money.
Vertlodet, Messaria, and Dahr-har
The Final Push
Year 23, 4th Era
The Empress was still sick; her condition was stable but it would be quite some time before she could rule again, at least according to the doctors.
Being in charge of the Imperial Council allowed the Aviskonian King to make decisions that would normally require the Empress' approval. Now he could set about bringing the Anaman Empire to its destiny as a great power in Xedas. But before that could be achieved, Anama had to completely control the Anaman continent. The public, the nobles, the Imperial Council; everyone seemed to want the conquest of Southern Anama. The course was set. It was finally time to incorporate Southern Anama into the Anaman Empire.
Plans were soon drawn up to launch attacks against the southern tribes. Multiple armies would divide up into smaller divisions to cover more ground and assault the many smaller settlements of the south's inhabitants. A swift and easy victory was the aim of this expansion with minimal Anaman casualties. However a small faction of statesmen and military commanders within the Imperial Council protested this, demanding that an ultimatum be sent to all the south's inhabitants offering better lives in return for joining the Empire. The Council had reached a stalemate. For two weeks, the Council couldn't agree on anything regarding the matter. Finally, the King decided to give in. An ultimatum was drafted and printed so that it could reach all communities within the south.
Three Weeks Later...
Sancturia, Anaman Empire
The Imperial Council was assembled around noon. The Aviskonian King had called today's session to go over the results of the ultimatums which had been sent out three weeks prior.
The Council was gathered at a large round table in a large room inside the Anaman Imperial Palace in the center of the newly constructed city of Sancturia, which serves as the Empire's capital. The other councilmen were mostly statesmen, governors, and military commanders. All of them were in their late thirties to their early fifties. The King, however, was 61 and the last one to arrive.
The King sat down amongst the other members of the Council. One man rose from his seat. "Are all members of the Imperial Council present for today's session?" Everyone was present. "I now declare today's session in effect. The King of Aviskonia has the floor." The King arose from his seat, and prepared to address the Councilmen gathered around him.
"Honored gentlemen of the Imperial Council, we have officially received the replies to the ultimatums we delivered to the southern inhabitants three weeks ago. Here are the results..." He pulled a piece of paper out from his pocket containing the responses. "Thirteen out of the known thirty-nine settlements have agreed to a peaceful annexation. The other twenty-six have decided that they prefer conquest."
Another man, a commander, rose up from his seat. "We have 20,000 troops ready to march into the south. Our men are professionally trained and disciplined warriors, while the southerners are not. We can simply brush them aside." The King nodded. "Good, send in the army then. I will address the nation on the coming campaign."
Three Days Later...
Imperial Palace, Sancturia
A massive crowd was gathered before the Imperial Palace in the center of Sancturia. Like in the past, magic would be used to broadcast the King's voice so that the entire mass of people could hear him speak. At precisely 1 o'clock in the afternoon, the King stepped forward onto a balcony facing the enormous crowd. Their cheers were deafening; the King could hardly hear his own thoughts. He held his hand up and the roars fell down to near complete silence.
He could now begin to speak.
"Citizens of our Great Nation, our beloved Empress has fallen ill. Until she recovers, she will be unable to rule our Empire. In her absence, I along with the Imperial Council will be ruling Anama. We have heard your calls to unite our mother continent Anama under imperial rule, and we agree." The crowd erupted into cheers and the King once again had to motion for them to hush.
"Thousands of men will march southwards to conquer what remains of an Anama disunited and in chaos. We will finally unite our mother continent under imperial rule. Anama will be united!"
Jorhan sat at a desk in a nicely decorated room with paintings and rugs and a piano in the corner. He was reading papers; reports regarding the establishment of the Iphas colony on southern Koemashita. A knock came from the door. "Come in," Jorhan said loud enough to be heard by whoever it was on the other side of the door. A man in a white coat over a red shirt stepped in and shut the door behind him. "Your Majesty wanted to see me?"
Christoph Gessner Leopold von Gutenberg was a well known I military commander within the Empire. Not as well known as Mad'am Esedethia, a well known Carcian commander, but still well known and respected by his troops. He treated his men like they were his own children. He ate with them and slept amongst the same tents as they did.
"I did, commander," Jorhan said as he pointed to a seat in front of his desk, "I have a proposition to make you."
"Yes, Your Majesty?" Christoph took his seat with his hat in his lap, revealing his white wig.
"I want you to command the expedition force to conquer southern Anama. Mad'am Esedethia is ill so I see no one else more fit for this responsibility than yourself."
For a moment Christoph was speechless. The King was choosing him to basically finish the Anaman Conquests. It was an honor he was hopeful to be presented with for a long time. "Of course, Your Majesty. I would be honored."
Jorhan nodded. "I will make the preparations to have you instated as commander. You may see yourself out." Christoph arose from his seat and exited he room.
One month later...
20,000 soldiers from all over the Empire trusted into Southern Anama. It was finally time to claim this land and secure the Anaman Empire as the total ruling state on the continent. The massive force split into four smaller forces of 5,000 men so they could cover more ground.
Division A was set out to conquer the easternmost part of the south. 5,000 strictly trained men faced approximately 9,000 undisciplined barbarians. The barbarians were situated on the bottom of a small hill, whereas the Anamans were positioned around said hill. The Anaman forces were outnumbered, yes, but their discipline and better equipment, armor and weapons made them no less effective. A large chunk of the barbarian force charged up the hill at the Anamans. The barbarians were reliant on the idea that Carcian-speaking and Aviskonian-speaking soldiers would be unable to communicate with each other. Thanks to mandatory lessons for either language for officers and commanders, this was avoided. The barbarians were baited into a trap, encircled, and slaughtered. The Anamans then moved onto the remaining force of barbarians who were still at the foot of the hill. Bodies tumbled downwards. Blood painted the grass a dark and blackish red. The rest of the barbarians charged up the hill and attacked the Anamans. The battle lasted another 56 minutes before the last surviving barbarians retreated.
Division B had cornered a barbarian force in a large forest. It was dry season, so the division commander ordered her men to set the forest ablaze. They did this with torches and simple fire spells. One could hear the barbarians screaming in pain from inside the burning array of trees. Many barbarians could be seen running frantically out of the forest, the whole of their bodies on fire, before they eventually collapsed onto the ground. Afterwards, Division B continued onwards to a barbarian encampment, and laid siege to it. The siege lasted for only a few weeks before the starving and demoralized barbarians inside surrendered.
Division C had come across a small river with a large barbarian force on the other side that nearly matched them in size. The division's commander used the darkness of night to sneak some of his troops off and get to the other side of the river in order to launch a surprise attack on the barbarians' rear flank. When dawn came the next morning, the commander baited the barbarians into attacking as he had made his force appear much smaller than it actually was. On top of this, the force that had crossed the river had concealed itself well. As the barbarians were in the middle of fighting the half of the Anaman force on the opposite side of the river, the force that had hid itself behind them launched itself out of hiding and attacked. Few barbarians survived.
After Division D (sent to secure the easternmost parts of the south) had achieved similar success, Divisions A through D surrounded a large barbarian encampment on the southern coast. The total estimated count of barbarians numbered at around 30,000.
The War Tent...
Things were going very well. The Anaman Imperial Army was besieging the encampment on land. The Anaman Imperial Navy had blockaded the shores around the encampment. The barbarians were completely cut off from the outside world, left to starve inside their encampment for seven months. Spies have stated, however, that the barbarians were planning one final attack to break out of the siege.
"The barbarians have their own catapults and 30,000 warriors at most. However, they are demoralized and starving," one officer pointed out, "perhaps we can offer them a chance to surrender peacefully. Avoid a battle and make things much easier for the Empire as a whole."
Christoph sat there and began to draft up an offer of surrender. When it was finished, it was given to the leader of the barbarian encampment and agreed to. 30,000 men surrendered to the Anaman Empire. The barbarians were allowed to govern themselves under Anaman law, forming the Anaman Kingdom of Thorgeir.
At long last, Anama was under the total control of the Anaman Empire.
Hello, I am Jumguma. I was recently talking with people on the discord server. I let my sister have my device and she logged out of my discord (which I just created, along with an email adress). I have forgotten my email address and as such may need to log in with a new account. Is this okay
Shagarmatha, Chalsardu, and United republic of god
Crystal Clear: Part 1
His Highness Zevran I Chrystalis-Arainai, Emperor of the Crystal Empire of Valassyria, was not the happiest of men. The burden of rulership, of holding an entire country’s fate in his hand, was not so enjoyable as it had once been, when perhaps he had been too eager to become Emperor, to have people kneeling before him in fealty, instead of being eager to be Emperor, to have all those responsibilities placed before him.
He sat on the veranda of the Crystal Palace, looking out north-westwards over the Imperial Harbour of the Crystal City, and as a slave poured him a glass of zivania and he began to drink it, he reminisced. It had been a long century for century for him and he had come further than most. From being of the lowest of the low of Brakara, son of a longshoreman and a prostitute, raised in a family where the mother was never known and the father neglectful; he was now here. He’d had to take charge of the family when he was but fourteen; he remembered the harrowing days and nights as Rinna suffered from the gangue plague, perched upon the edge of life and death for months whilst Taliesen never cared.
Tears could be seen on his face as he remembered those dreadful days, but he was not alone with those. Not anymore, for Auroriel was there, sat with him, and as he cried she wiped away his tears with a handkerchief, the warmth of her soft hands on his face bringing him comfort.
“What is the matter, love?” she asked tenderly, her voice soft in the evening air.
“The past,” he said simply.
“The past. I started to think about how I ended up here, how I ended up here with you, and I remembered – “ he paused, trying to put his thoughts into words as the tears returned. “Did I ever tell you about Rinna?” he finished softly.
“Rinna? Possibly, Zevran, but it is not something you have broached in a while. Was she dear to you?”
“She is – or was, I suppose, I do not know – my sister,” he answered slowly. “When we first met, I believe it was, I told you about her.”
Auroriel visibly thought back through her memories of the two of them together, and something clicked. “Yes, now I remember, I remember you talking a little about her. I recall little of that, but I remember.”
“It was the year of the gangue plague, when it spread through Brakara and rampaged up and down Chalsa. I was only fourteen at the time, and Rinna, my sister, the only part of my family who was related by anything but blood; she was eight, she was young, she was weak, and she came down with the gangue.” Zevran drank more of the zivania, steadied himself, and as the slave refilled his glass he continued to speak.
“She had high hopes at the time, and was always cheery, but the gangue; it is a disease of the lungs, of the throat. She could barely breathe for such a long time, could barely eat and drink, for her throat was barely wide enough to let the air through.” He struggled with the words, but the alcohol helped him focus on it a little, or at least it helped him to not cry as he spoke. “For many months, whilst Taliesen did not care for his children, I had to care for her myself, had to support myself and her at the age of fourteen with no inheritance to rely on. Only my mind, my body, and my tongue; I – “ he stopped speaking as the tears returned.
“I know that they’re painful memories,” Auroriel replied as she embraced him, letting the tears fall onto her evening dress, “you don’t have to be thinking about them right now.”
“I could,” Zevran answered, “it’s just – “ He sighed, and slumped into Auroriel’s arms.
“What is it?”
“I’ve been thinking, you know. I’ve been an emperor for two years now, and here for a year before that. A century ago I was born into nothing, and now I’m here. But I’ve never been in the same spot for long, not since I became an adult, and now? I don’t know.”
“Zevran? You sound unsure. What are you unsure about?”
“Many things, I suppose. But,” he hesitated, drank some more zivania, and continued. “Emperor. It always sounded cool, always sound desirable, alluring, *important*. To be an emperor, to be someone who commands and at least part of the world obeys, always sounded, I don’t know, like a life goal of sorts. Not something I ever expected to attain, but something that would be *nice* to be.”
“Really?” Auroriel replied, looking mildly but visibly crestfallen at this new-found knowledge. She blinked several times, now likewise uncertain.
“I’m sorry, but it is a part of it. I love you Auroriel, since I first laid eyes on you I loved you, and I wouldn’t put that aside for the world.”
“I love you too Zevran,” she said, and she kissed him square on the lips, placing her hand on his bare chest, feeling his muscles under her palm.
“Not right now,” he said as he guided her hand off of him, “I can’t get that out of my mind.”
Auroriel complied, a little disappointed. “Can’t get what out of your mind, my dear?”
“Can’t get out of my mind the fact that since becoming Emperor – hell, since becoming Minister Plenipotentiary, even since I left Brakara in the first place – I haven’t done anything to find RInna again. I last saw her alive when I left Brakara to join the navy. She had recovered some, was alive, but her throat had been scarred by the gangue and she would never sing again,” Zevran replied, stopping before he would start crying again.
“That’s,” Auroriel responded in a sorrowful tone, “that’s awful. She wanted to sing?”
“She had a voice like a goddamn angel that even Sarula would look up to!” he shouted as he started crying again. “And the plague took it away from her! And yes, I may have stopped her from dying – but when she needed me more, when she had lost that which let her be what she wished, I left her! I ran away!” He paused, out of breath, and Auroriel embraced him again.
“It’s,” she said, “it’s fine.”
“I spent thirty years at the other ends of the world because I fled that,” he continued to say, his breath recovered but his voice ragged, “whenever I returned to Chalsardu I avoided Brakara. I spent eighty years fleeing my responsibilities, Auroriel! I abandoned her! I had all those resources, all that time at my disposal, and instead of trying to find her again, instead of trying to ensure that she was safe and healthy, I did nothing. I didn’t lift a finger. I’m an Emperor now. If an emperor can’t even find their younger sister, then - WHAT’S THE POINT?”
He took deep breaths in between his crying and managed to drink a little more zivania before he collapsed back into his chair.
Auroriel kept quiet briefly, waiting for Zevran’s shouting to subside, then as the rage turned into sadness embraced him again, wiping away the tears that rolled down his bronzed face. “It’s not too late Zevran,” she said softly as she held him, the love of her life, in her arms, “it’s not too late to try. You’ll still be an emperor in the morning, with all the power that entails.”
“I didn’t need to be reminded of that Auroriel,” he replied tersely. “I am well aware that tomorrow you and I formally swear fealty to my fatherland, as Valassyria becomes simply a protectorate of the Commonwealth. It’s why I was thinking in the first place; thinking about the decisions that led me to this point. A century ago I was nothing, barely even Elven; now I’m an Emperor, about to bow before a democracy.”
“There is no need to admonish yourself so,” she responded, resting her head on his shoulder. “You’re a good man, you’ve worked hard, kept the faith, been loyal. You have much to be proud of Zevran.”
“You’re right,” he answered, the sorrow and despair of his voice weakened but still present. “I did do right by my countries. I represented the Commonwealth abroad for over a decade. I could have represented them for many years more, had it not been for you.” With that, Zevran held Auroriel and lightly kissed her on the forehead.
“Do you regret it at all?” she asked sweetly.
“There are times when I think back to back then, when I had fewer responsibilities and much greater rein to travel as I wished. I did not hold the fate of millions in my hand then as I did now. The role itself had its perks as well.”
He smiled at a fond memory of his, and turning back to Auroriel, asked her, “do you remember at our coronation and wedding, when the day after we shared our chamber with Elxiras and Elessar?”
“Indeed I do,” Auroriel replied with a devilish smile. “That was a fascinating decision of yours which worked out very well for us. Why do you ask?”
“For I was Elxiras’ lover for a while,” he said. “For a while, whilst I was Minister Plenipotentiary, she and I had a dalliance; first under the nose of her husband Elessar, then on a couple of occasions with his involvement. I understand that she left that part out of her anonymous retelling of events.”
“Really?” Auroriel was visibly and exaggeratedly scandalised by this, of course, totally unknown, revelation. “It would explain why they agreed to join us. But that doesn’t quite answer my question now, does it?”
“Indeed, it does not. You asked if I regretted leaving that life behind to live with you. The answer is very simple – no, I do not, and never have. When I walked into the Crystal Palace that fateful day, I did not expect to be in your bed, let alone your life, but the affection was sincere and that is what we became. I would not give it up now for anything.”
“Then let me help you find your sister.”
“No.” A sudden reply, a stern one, a terse one.
Silence. A pause, pregnant with anticipation. “Why?”
“Because,” Zevran answered, lost for word, “because I don’t want to be dragging you to the ends of the world for her sake.”
“Do you really think that I would let you bear this burden alone, my love? Do you believe that I would sit idly by and not help you? We’ve been ruling together for two years now. We haven’t taken a proper break for that entire time. Come the morning, we shan’t have so many responsibilities. We’ll have the time to go. And did you not say that you enjoyed travelling the world? Take me with you this time, Zevran.”
He saw the pleading in her eyes, heard the earnestness in the voice, felt the love in her heart. He could not deny her this. “I will, Auroriel. We shall search for her together.”
I'm new to this reginn
Please join the discord for casual conversations, the RMB is reserved for rp. You can find a discord invite link in the region description.
Please join the discord for casual conversations, the RMB is reserved for rp. You can find a discord invite link in the region description.
A Heretical Resurgence - part 2
Briesk. Verka Brusov as a majority of its residents knew it as. By some accounts a great, modern city, one that could even rival Pravel, maybe even Morea, the jewel of the Fatherland. By other accounts, a hive of an untrustworthy people and enemies, and a heavily fortified one at that. It was all in how you viewed the city's ethnic majority, which, unfortunately, quite a few Vallsichs viewed as barbaric, and mistrusted them. This opinion wasn't unreasonable though; there'd been a number of conflicts between the Vallsichs of Messaria and the people that now inhabited Briesk. In fact, Briesk was the latest in many solutions to those conflicts.
Such were the views on the Langvachs and their rather recently acquired city.
The city square, though almost always bustling with market vendors, soldiers, civilians, and holy men, seemed more... alive today. Ruzslav walked through the streets, observing his surroundings and occasionally stopping to make small-talk with various citizens, Langvachs and Vallsichs. The young merchant tended to avoid the city square, as he found it crowded and boring more often than not. But today, Ruzslav found himself smiling and enjoying the square. In his right hand, he held a bottle of Shovyak, the sweet beverage which Messarians so loved. The drink's taste hadn't graced Ruzslav's tongue for over two years, as it was hard to come by abroad. Upon returning to the Fatherland, Ruzslav had found out just how much he truly enjoyed the comforts of home.
As a boy, Ruzslav had enjoyed the peace that seemed to only be found inside the Briesk Woltéhais (the equivalent of a church). The building had burned down once during Ruzslav's early childhood. It was rebuilt, then it burned down again. The cathedral was then erected in the old Woltéhais' place, and its marble facade and gleaming domes of gold still stood tall, just as Ruzslav remembered.
Upon entering the building, Ruzslav was somewhat surprised. During his youth, he'd familiarized himself with the attire of the Cahirian clergy, but the individual who was preaching wasn't dressed like one. That being said, he wasn't dressed like a civilian either. Instead, the man wore a simple golden-colored robe and a mantle displaying a sun design. The preacher spoke of something called 'the Great Sun' and repeatedly denounced the Cahirian faith in a number of ways. It became clear to Ruzslav that this man, whoever he was, was a heretic.
Ruzslav heard the preacher' words, but they were muffled, fuzzy, and merely drifting in the background. The young merchant didn't usually pay attention to any matters of the theological or ecumenical sort, although he was a practicing Cahirian.
People eventually turned around to leave, as most had better things to do. Ruzslav was no different. The citizens of Briesk - or at least the majority - tended to leave discussion of religion for the priests.
"I once heard the Langvachs were an ignorant people, but I never really believed that. Well, look how wrong I was. You turn your backs to the true faith, you live life under the yoke of the Vallsichs, and you view your pathetic city as great." Sneered the preacher as he watched the small gathering leave. Ruzslav stopped in his tracks, right as he was nearing the cathedral's great lacquered pine door. The preacher's words were meant to try and cutdown the spirit of the Langvachs, and Ruzslav did not like that. "The yoke of the Vallsichs? What do you propose we do about this so-called yoke?" Ruzslav was indeed angry, but he wouldn't show it. Instead, he'd oblige the preacher, let him feel as if he'd succeeded.
"You must break it, of course! Rise up against the Vallsichs, and the Great Sun shall favor you, for the Vallsichs have forsaken it!"
This was a call to arms, an attempt to disrupt the peace, and a war with the Vallsichs could possibly destroy the city they took so much pride in. Ruzslav didn't like that at all. "So, a war, in short. Is that what you mean?" Said Ruzslav, now slowly advancing towards the man.
The preacher could sense that something was off. At first it was only a small suspicion, but it gradually grew over time, so much so that the preacher knew it as a fact. As the young merchant drew closer to him, the preacher truly felt fear in his life. However, if this young man tried anything, the preacher would kill him if need be, for in the folds of his golden-colored robe hid a small dagger.
"Get back, young man. Maintain your distance from me." Said the preacher, backing up. "Your lecture is faulty. You would plunge the Fatherland into war, and see our great city burn." Ruzslav reached into the inner folds of his red coat, where he hid a thin-bladed dagger. The preacher and him thought alike.
"No, no, not like tha-" The preacher's sentence was stopped short as he looked down and found Ruzslav's blade in his gut. The preacher tried to pull his own dagger, but it didn't matter. The light was already fading from his eyes. The last thing the preacher saw was the scowling visage of Ruzslav from the checkered marble floor of the cathedral.
Ruzslav was thrown in the Briesk prison, course. The city guard couldn't let an incident like that go. The young man languished in Briesk prison for a month, as it seemed his sentence was cut short, in this case by two heavily armed and armored men. Their faces were concealed by helmets, both bearing face masks instead of visors, which, on an off note, reminded Ruzslav of the helmets that Langvach lords wore. Those face masks looked to each other, then Ruzslav before a hood was slipped over the young man's head.
Ruzslav had brought the attentions of the Inquisition to him, and had gotten himself involved in something he didn't know anything about, and didn't want to know anything about. On the way to... wherever they were going, Ruzslav knew he was in for some trouble.
Neki nation and Chalsardu
The Livanates Herald view on the Livanates Aqueduct: An Unmissable Opportunity
Today, the Mayor of Livanates, at a ceremony attended by every magistrate and Representative of Livania, will formally declare the Livanates Aqueduct open. The project, five years in the making on paper and eight years in practice, will bring clean and fresh water directly from the slopes of the Black Mountains into the homes, workshops, bathhouses, and fountains of our fair city. It is a welcome development that this paper has long been pushing for, and as our city continues to grow it is not a moment too soon.
What the project does reveal, however, are the many deficiencies at the heart of our infrastructure system. Our nation is run on the principle of confederal government, of placing the local at the heart of politics, and in many ways, this places us as the greatest nation of the world for citizens’ voices to be heard. Yet when a project expands beyond the confines of a city or district, it is vulnerable to a lack of co-ordination; for example, the aqueduct was delayed by six months due to an argument with a single landowner in the Mutanji District who objected to the channel running along the edge of his field but within his property. The full story of the aqueduct’s travails has been printed in past editions, as long-standing readers should be well aware, but this example is emblematic of the issues.
The support of the Commonwealth government has been helpful to the aqueduct, with funding from the Treasury Commission crucial in the later stages of the project after cost overruns threatened continued construction, but it has been uncoordinated. Ensuring co-operation between the various stakeholders of the project has been on a wholly ad-hoc basis, led by temporary working groups of disparate representatives and powers-limited subcommissions with little institutional knowledge, forcing far more of the responsibilities onto the City of Livanates itself than appropriate.
The fact of the Aqueduct’s completion is heartily welcome. But lessons need to be learned. This paper has long been an advocate of more formalised regional governments, allowing for greater co-ordination between districts without needing to operate bilaterally or all the way via Chalsardas. The other lesson that needs to be learned from this is of the necessity of a joined-up infrastructure policy. Therefore, this paper argues, and is supported in this by many other national and local titles, that this fair Commonwealth requires an Infrastructure Commission.
Why did I get banned without warning, simply for defending my friend who got kicked? Everything I am being accused of is just me getting mixed up with him and me acutally being in the correct chat. All my effort put into RP-ing is going to be naught if my ban isn't lifted.
Hello there. This RMB isn't where much chit-chat goes on; our activity mostly resides on our Discord server: https://discord.gg/PpfkrTp.
Never Been A Quitter – Chapter 2
It was a sunny winter day, in a picturesque Vindeirmeri village on the slopes near Altasir, but Stavros was not enjoying it to the best of his capabilities. Rather, and much to his dismay, he was getting married. Not to say that the festivities were not enjoyable - to say so, given the generosity of all the hosts, was patently absurd – but the impending responsibilities nonetheless weighed upon his shoulders.
It had been a busy past few months for Stavros, bouncing from locale to locale across the length and breadth of the Commonwealth. Until the start of autumn he had been in the Aralur, a paymaster for the campaign there, but he had gone down past the Commonwealth’s southern borders and found the source of the insurrection’s support. He had been with the army detachments, from both the standing force and the waiting one, that had tightened the noose around the insurrection until it had nowhere to turn but to the mercy of their rightful masters. He had been the one to report back to Chalsardas with the news that it had been defeated and that the brave men and women who had volunteered to protect their people could now go home.
And then almost immediately afterwards he was informed by Lavrador Moziverai, Spokesperson for the Treasury Committee and his father, that he was to marry. The Seianter clan, the most prominent of Vindeirnesi, had at long last become receptive to Lavrador’s alliance-building, and Lavrador and their paterfamilias had agreed on a marriage between Stavros and Hiranur, the pearl of the Seianter. Arranged marriages had fallen out of fashion in Chalsardu proper, but out west beyond the Gailura the traditional customs of the Vindeirneiri still held sway, and so Stavros found himself here.
It wasn’t that Hiranur wasn’t beautiful – she was widely regarded even amongst the Seianters’ enemies as one of the most beautiful Druchii women of the Commonwealth - it was more that, being an arranged marriage, he simply hadn’t had the time to know her well. It wasn’t like his dalliance with Tomyris, where the two of them had gotten to know each other through work, gotten to know each other very well, then gotten to know that the spark simply wasn’t there anymore. He may have had fond memories of those times, but he was also cognisant that they wouldn’t be coming back – especially now that that Russo boy had arrived not just in Chalsardas but in Chalsardas.
His main worry was, as it always was being Lavrador Moziverai’s son, the political side. The Seianters were the powerbrokers of Vindeirnesi, having stepped into the political void that existed between the death of Asir Oderil and the incorporation of the isle into the Commonwealth. Lavrador was Lavrador. And Stavros had, at one point, been the Commonwealth’s youngest-ever commissioner. This was a match designed to catapult Stavros to the Protectorship and the Seianters to the First Family – and Stavros, for one, was not massively keen on it, but what could he do?
His trail of thought was interrupted as Orel Seianter, the unloved son of the Seianter clan, clapped him on the shoulder. “You’re at a Vindeirnesi wedding man,” he said, “the husband shouldn’t be moping in a corner by themselves.” He pulled up two chairs that were stacked there and sat in one. “Come, let’s mope together.”
A strange statement, he thought, but he sat down with him nonetheless.
“We’re more alike, you and I, than you think,” Orel said as a slave refilled their glasses with grappa. “We’re both unambitious sons who’ve been pushed for great things by our families whether we like those things or not. How are you finding the place?”
“Oh, it’s a delightful little town,” Stavros replied politely, “I imagine it’s much better than that zoo called Dreklion that you’ve managed to escape temporarily.”
“True, it’s not a particularly wonderful place,” Orel answered, “but it gets me away from the clan. Same reason why I became a Representative in the first place actually – being in Chalsardas a lot of the year meant a lot of the year when I wasn’t living under Papa’s roof.”
“I know that feeling; it’s why I was glad to no longer be working in Chalsardas, because then there was a lot of the year where Pa wasn’t at the estate and I was left to manage it.”
“Lucky you. But any other thoughts about the place?”
“Well,” Stavros responded cautiously, “I’ve never witnessed a wedding like this. I know a little about Vindeirmeiri weddings, but this seems even more peculiar than those.”
“That would be because it’s one officiated by the Black Sun.”
The Black Sun? A hint of recognition crossed Stavros’ faced, but it was buried amongst the confusion.
“Is it a name you’ve heard before?”
“I think it is, but I can’t remember.”
“It’s a group that’s been around a while, but recently got bigger, and Papa’s involved with them. Gotten quite devout these days, which was something of a surprised when I returned from Dreklion.”
A bell chimed, and the guests began to hurry about.
“But it is still a Vindeirmeiri wedding, and you’re still the husband. The part of the reception where the men and women must be separate is over Stavros, come on.” Orel stood up and hauled Stavros up with him.
And as Stavros walked towards where he would meet Hiranur again, it hit him. Lavrador invoked the Black Sun before.
What have I gotten myself into?
From: Johannes Kapers
To: Christiaen Hoekstra
I write to you in the hour of my death. It seems time has finally cought up with me. Some foreign illness has strucken me, rendered me bedridden and deathbound. I’m afraid the best I will be able to fair in this battle must be second place. I doubt I shall ever see the day the party comes into power, in fact I doubt anyone ever shall.
This is why I have taken up my pen. I have given my aprentice and dear friend Jakobus Maertens orders to take my place upon my passing, and to lay down all arms against the republic. He realises, as do I, that your ideas and beliefs stray not to far from our own, it is in our methods there lie the difference. I am sure that once the red ones have layed down their weapons, the black ones will soon follow, for they are leaderless and unguided. They work from the shadow of the party, without us, there is no them.
I hope this news reaches you before I come to pass, and wish you the best of luck in your days to come.
May the Lord protect you,
Johannes Kapers, leader of the Red Party