New Sovereignty
Lead a colony as it struggles for its place among others in a virgin world.
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Mindwarp

((Near death experience huh? I'm not sure I'd quite call the Ivisk xenophobic. Sure they think of others as inferior, but it's more along the lines of "how quaint, the backwards humans are trying to play at being civilized!" than "purge the world of all other species."))

"Indeed, I have prepared some of the finest wines from the empire for this occasion." Amith replied.

The Sergeant was rather confused by the general's approach. Honestly he'd been ordered there to make the whole thing look more formal. If there really was a fight it would be the Inmakar who would be staining the ground with pools of red blood before he had the chance to say "Avisk," but obviously he couldn't reply by saying that. "We work in the service of the Governor." He said instead. "He required our presence, and so he has it."

12/21/2009 #121
AspenIvan

((Unfortunately, the line between those two ideologies is very, very thin, and the two often coexist. European imperialists serve as a great example to prove that conjecture. Klau was probably living among a more extremist sub-group of Ivisk.))

"I have also brought fine wine," Haerk noted. "I was asking so as to verify that I could bring it in for this occasion."

"I see," replied Klau to the sergeant. "But certainly it is not so simple as that. Not every Ikun man-at-arms is called to guard his life of a high Arun, even if Inmakar are also present. So tell me, you higher among Ikun, what action or trait of yours has awarded you this duty? I am genuinely curious." Despite his formality, the General was merely trying to inspire some small talk. He much preferred fellow military men to nobles at home, and he wasn't ready to believe that Ivisk nobles were any better than the Survaekom ones he worked with.

12/22/2009 #122
Mindwarp

((True, although that doesn't change the fact that most Ivisk would consider the kill-foreigners crowd to be uncomfortably extremist. Please note that most rank-and-file Ivisk are commoner levies, while Ikun usually make up the leadership or professional soldiers.))

"Please do, we shall have to compare our respective vintages." Amith replied wittily. "Come, I will not have my guests standing around the pier when there is a banquet prepared."

The sergeant glanced over at the chatting nobles briefly, and lowered his voice slightly. "Between you and me, I think the lieutenant noticed that me and my squad keep our gear in good repair and practiced off the clock, and figured that we'd make a better welcome party than some slackers with rusty spears. But don't tell anyone I said that."

12/22/2009 #123
AspenIvan

((I assumed, perhaps incorrectly, that the guardsmen were of Imeren's standing army, and thus probably Ikun.))

The governor gave a hand-signal to his guards, and they immediately scuttled back to the Haerk's Wind and returned with a wine-crate.

"Indeed," replied Haerk. "Lead the way."

Jheut Klau smiled. "Soldier's honor," he spoke, bringing his hand to his heart. "I won't say a word. Sounds like you've done a good job with your unit, and your unit with its duties. It always fills me with joy to meet a genuinely dedicated military man, and here I have before me an entire squad."

12/22/2009 . Edited 12/24/2009 #124
Mindwarp

((They are, but they're basic infantry, so only the sergeant's an Ikun.))

The Ikun Sergeant gave a relieved smile and a firm salute in thanks as the party departed up the street. He and his squad would be staying at the guardhouse to salute the Survaekom's departure instead of going up to the party.

The banquet was the first opportunity the Governor had obtained to use the large dining hall in the palace. Indeed, the hall had been renovated in preparation, and was far from finished. The floor had been freshly tiled with newly mined stone from the quarries, and a great glass chandelier shone overhead as it radiated magical light down on the occupants. All of the Arun were there except for Arrilun, who was in a diplomatic meeting at Valbadu, but the Arun were not the only ones attending. Ikaram Undamal and many other high-ranking Ikun were also there, and even some of the wealthiest and most influential commoners, who pulled enough informal power to be invited despite their caste. All of them were dressed magnificently in various styles, the females in particular wearing many gorgeous and flattering dresses which caused many of the males there some hidden discomfort. As Governor Amith entered the room their chatter dropped to a lull.

"I would ask you all to welcome our guests from New Survaek: Good Governor Haerk and his entourage." He said, stepping aside to allow the Survaekom in as the crowd clapped politely.

12/22/2009 #125
AspenIvan

((That can't work. Commoners cannot carry arms outside of war, and that is part of the very duty of a standing army.))

First Governor Haerk, and then the rest of the Survaekom party bowed before the Ivisk.

"Thank you for so kindly receiving us," spoke Haerk, as he began to rise back up. "Now, my primary reason for coming, despite my warm regards for your hospitality, is to give the words due to you after the recent debacle up North. This I must do before I may even consider indulging in any feast. Do not worry: I will only give as many words as are needed, and will not drag on unnecessarily.

Yes, we of New Survaek did send warships North to force the relocation of the Whitefoot tribe while Imeren citizens were among them. This was out of necessity under unfortunate and extenuating circumstances. Yet, this does not erase our misdeed, this does not put us in the right. Thus, on behalf of the colony of New Survaek and the Grand Empire of Survaek behind it, I offer my apologies to the colony of Imeren and the Reaching Empire for our violation of its sovereignty, and pledge henceforth to commit New Survaek to the utmost trustworthiness and benevolence in relations with Imeren. May our nations thus live in mutual peace and abundance."

12/22/2009 #126
Mindwarp

((A lack of distinction on my part then. Commoners cannot own arms, nor carry them outside of service. If they're serving in the military they're exempt from the restriction while on active duty. Even then the arms are technically owned by the state, and only issued for the term of service.))

Haerk's speech got a much better applause than his entrance. His humility and acceptance of his place impressed them mightily. Still, most of those present had experience in politics, so the question on everyone's mind hereafter would be whether Haerk would live up to his pledge. Amith didn't leave them time to contemplate before he spoke up.

"In a new world there will always be trying situations. If we are to prosper, no nation should seek the enmity of another. Thus, as Governor of Imeren by commission of the High Council of the Reaching Empire, I accept your apology. Let this day be a celebration of the renewed trust between our two nations."

Seemingly the Governor's speech was a cue, for the moment he was done the servants began bringing in platters of fine food to be served. Fish, breads, fruits and vegetables had all been done in wondrous style by an expert cook. There seemed to be no specified seating arrangements, with most of the Ivisk sitting wherever they pleased, wives didn't even sit with their husbands unless they preferred to, but the Governor's seat was distinct, and many spaces around it had been left open for his guests.

12/22/2009 #127
AspenIvan

((Okay, that makes sense.))

The Survaekom party applauded energetically at Amith's words. All were joyful and relieved that Haerk's apology had been so readily accepted, especially the governor himself. The nobles then olitely took the seats saved for them, except for General Klau, who slyly tried to work his way out of the midst of the Survaekom and Arun, hoping to find a place with some higher-up Ikun or commoner without drawing too much attention.

"Thanks, thanks again, and yet more thanks to you for this wonderful reception," spoke Haerk to Amith as he sat down. "And my regards to those who have prepared the food, for it smells and appears excellent."

"Indeed, this may well be the best feast I have looked upon since I left the motherland," added Duke Opaelu.

12/23/2009 #128
Mindwarp

General Klau had the luck (if it could be called that) of landing a seat between commander Undamal of the Imeren Company and the temple priest, who was the closest thing Imeren had to a religious authority. His reception seemed rather cold, since both noted his arrival and then went on as before. With Undamal this might have just been habit, since the Ivisk on the other side of his seat was desperately trying to get him involved in a conversation, to no avail.

"One does not come to civilize a new province without bringing along a chef who can turn rations into prize meals. I have sacrificed many indulgences to be here, but good food is not one I intend to go without." Amith replied wittily.

12/26/2009 #129
AspenIvan

Haerk and Opaelu chuckled politely. "Yes, if only we had had your foresight for our own expedition," the Governor bemoaned half-jokingly. "Not until now have we received a proper cook: the cargo convoy dropped him off along with another Byrnian, a quite capable ambassador and a friend of sir Gaunu's."

Ambassador Gaunu himself nodded in agreement. "He is a conoisseur of more languages than I can count, and he has been to nations far in every direction from Survaek. I believe he once stayed with your people, like the good General Klau. Last I heard, he was already out negotiating with another newly-discovered colonial neighbor to our West."

Meanwhile, Jheut Klau glanced at each of the Ivisk beside him. Neither seemed to be the receptive type, but one was wearing military attire; Klau noted the symbol of Ikun rank.

"Greetings, good Ikun," Klau spoke to the commander. "I see I have a fellow military man beside me. I am General Klau of the New Survaekom Army; whom do I have the honor of meeting?"

12/26/2009 #130
Mindwarp

"This is the same convoy of ships that recently passed by towards New Survaek, is it not?" Amith inquired. "What business did it have that was important enough to justify traveling all the way from your homeland, if I might ask?"

The Ikun paused and turned to face Klau, gaining the foreigner a hostile glare from the female on Undamal's other side, who had been vainly attempting to start a conversation for some minutes. "Ikun Ikaram Undamal, Commander of the First Imeren Company." He replied graciously appraising the man with a sharp eye, even if he seemed uninterested and made no attempt to continue the conversation.

1/1/2010 #131
AspenIvan

"That is a perfectly acceptable query," Governor Haerk assured Amith. "The convoy arrived for the primary purpose of acquiring a cargo of lumber our colony prepared for it. The good and noble Emperor Yvor also managed to bring us a few specialists: a team of cooks and another ambassador, along with telegraph machines and wires. These are systems for quick long-distance communication."

"Good to meet you, good Commander," Klau replied with a respectful nod. "Does such rank make you head of the Imeren Army -below the Governor alone-? If so, we share quite a common profession." The General met Undamal's eye with an intent, pensive look and a slight, barely-noticeable smile.

1/2/2010 . Edited 1/5/2010 #132
Mindwarp

While he lacked knowledge of specific technologies, Amith could guess at the uses and format of "telegraph machiens," especially since he knew they required wires. "I see." He said. "The convoy was undoubtedly worthy of protection then."

Satisfied with his pensive inspection, the Commander's attention returned to his glass, at least partially. "The Empire's armies are subordinate to the High Council alone, not appointed governors." he replied to Klau's inquiry without explanation.

1/4/2010 #133
AspenIvan

"Indeed," Haerk replied matter-of-factly. "However, it is one of what should be very rare such arrivals. The Empire is currently quite busy with a range of matters at the moment, and given our colony's self-sufficiency, it need not interfere often."

"How are matters for your own Empire?" Senator Opaelu then offered after taking a sip from his wine-glass.

"Of course, as is the Grand Survaekom Army to the Emperor Yvor," General Klau noted in his calm, even tone. "However, this does not rob commanders and generals of all authority, given that High Councils and Imperial bureaucracies alike can only send so many messages in so much time. Otherwise, why would one hire officers at all?" Klau's smile widened ever-so slightly as he anticipated the Commander's response.

1/5/2010 #134
Mindwarp

"Playing their games as always, but the Council has nothing but general disinterest for Imeren at the moment. They're quite happy to have me and my companions out on this 'adventure' of ours, and will likely only get involved if something serious happens; which is precisely why I must make sure nothing serious happens." Amith quipped. "I quite prefer being out from under my peer's thumbs for a change."

"He means that the Governor does not have authority over the Imeren Company." The lady from directly across the table explained to Klau. Dressed in a fine shoulderless gown of vibrant blue and gold, she swirled some drink gently in her red gloved hand. "It's a precautionary measure- keeps governors and more influential Arun from trying to sway the council with an army at their back, and keeps the generals out of civil affairs."

"Precisely." Undamal added succinctly to the golden-haired female's explanation, smilingly ever so slightly as he attended to a slice of some exotic bread at a leisurely pace.

1/7/2010 #135
AspenIvan

Amith's statemen evoked a brief, uncomfortable silence in Haerk and Opaelu. The comment seemed too rebellious, individualist, and demeaning of authority to be appropriate. Such words were practically taboo for Survaekom nobles, at least in public. Governor Haerk managed to quickly regain his composure. After a moment of reasoning, he felt that he could understand and appreciate Amith's sentiments despite their boldness. Senator Opaelu, on the other hand, was clearly still reeling from shock, although he painfully tried to hide it by averting his gaze from Amith and attending to a veal cutlet.

"I can understand how you feel," the governor commented earnestly. "Freedom can be quite the opportunity to develop one's skills and bring ideas into reality."

The senator, gradually returning to his polite calm but still letting slight tremors of discomfort in his speech, added hastily, "But, of course, you surely do not mean to suggest that you have any ill-will towards your Council?"

-

"This seems an excellent policy," Klau noted. "I apologize for misunderstanding. I sometimes wish for a policy like your own, but then again, with the Governor's mandates requiring ratification by the Senate, I can see the reason in letting the Governor have a fair deal of power." The General chose his words carefully: he could indeed see the reason behind the policy, but certainly did not agree with it. "Now, it seems you have entered the discussion, good madame," he spoke, addressing the woman across the table. "I am General Klau of the New Survaekom Army. Whom do I have the honor of making my second aquaintance at this fine dinner?"

1/7/2010 #136
Mindwarp

"It would be difficult to bear ill will towards the Council when I'm on it." Amith pointed out, cheerfully twirling the conversation about in the most amiable manner. "No, while there are certain people whom I shall not mention here, many of my fellow Arun have endeared themselves to me. I merely enjoy running Imeren without said people attempting to use my every move to discredit me."

-

"Arun Almas Illuvarn." The lady replied. "Sister of the great general Illuvarn, of course. A pleasure to meet you, Klau."

1/7/2010 #137
AspenIvan

"I can see your predicament," Haerk replied, "and I am glad that you have found a skillful way to solve it." He smiled. "Now, while I have the opportunity to have you as my conversational partner, let us discuss our nations, and our plans and hopes for their future relations. The topic may seem almost too appropriate, I know, but I think it could benefit us to learn of each other's desires for their peoples."

Senator Opaelu, meanwhile, realizing that his role in the conversation was about to become quite minimal, turned his attention more fully to his food and drink.

_

"I see I have chosen the best seat at the table, then," Klau spoke, allowing his slight smile to extend more fully across his face. "I have before me already two Ivisk of good, military kin."

1/8/2010 #138
Mindwarp

"Indeed." Amith replied. "But do you mean the vision we each share with our country and empire, or the reasons we both find ourselves far away colonizing a new land?"

-

"Charming, but I must disappoint you there." Almas languidly remarked. "I know very little of my brother's profession. I prefer a glass of wine and the company of my peers to weapons and warfare."

1/10/2010 #139
AspenIvan

"Both, or whichever one would interest you most," Haerk offered.

_

"Oh well. If not military company, then good company nonetheless," Klau replied, hiding his disappointment with a jovial -but, as always, measured- tone. "Wine and friends are not bad preferences, nor could I myself claim to be opposed to them."

1/10/2010 #140
Mindwarp

"The goal of the Reaching Empire is simple: to unite all Ivisk under its leadership. Of course, that doesn't explain why I am here setting up a governorship that need not exist. I lead the foundation of Imeren in the hopes of creating a solid addition to the wealth and extent of the Empire. I suspect the Council permitted it because it meant I would no loner be voting in council decisions." Amith admitted the last bit honestly. None of the Arun avoided the fact that many of their activities were politically motivated."

-

"Is that so? I've always found military men to be either restless or hedonistic: anxious and uncomfortable off the battlefield, or in a hurry to enjoy themselves while they can. Just look at poor Ilmer here." She gestured languidly towards Ilmer, who glanced at her with a tilted expression of annoyance.

"I would appreciate being left out of your games, Arun Illuvarn." He said, twisting the obligatory title so that it sounded only marginally respectful. It was a skill any high-level Ikun honed to a fine point among the company of those who were technically his betters.

"You see? I pity the girls who try to catch his eye. He rarely talks at these things, and he's almost as quiet alone as far as I can tell."

1/10/2010 #141
AspenIvan

"I suppose that the Survaek Empire, likewise, exists to unite all Survaekom. At the same time, it seeks to increase their welfare as a whole and bring them honor. This sometimes entails conquest, but more often involves active exploits in trade and expansion outside of war, such as is the purpose of the colony I head. We contribute to the reputation, influence, and wealth of our empire altogether with this one colony, and thus to the greatness of our nation. In regards to relations with your nation and others like it, we hope to progress for the mutual benefit of all in trade and treaties. We have the utmost respect for foreigners who do not immediately look upon us with hostility or suspicion, like most unwisely do."

_

"A silent man is better than a man who speaks unnecessarily," General Klau countered. "In fact, the good Undalam may have a great wisdom behind his silence: if one speaks excessively, what they say has little weight. If one barely speaks at all, what they do say must be of great importance, for they only speak when they have something important to say." Klau allowed himself to grin briefly as he added, "As for your comments on military men, I will not dignify them with a response."

1/10/2010 #142
Mindwarp

"You Survaekom are a most intriguing people, Governor." Amith admitted. "How then do you plan to accomplish your goals here? How will New Survaek bring welfare and honor to your Empire?"

-

"My, you are curious, Klau." Almas smiled ever so slightly, a dangerous tint of amusement born of a life's power and leisure, like a subtle twist of an artist's hand on a masterpiece. It suited her extravagant and, from a Survaekom point of view at least, scandalous aesthetics "You simply must bring your wife next time, I have so much to ask her. Iderum has told me so many stories about how your women get by. Ah, I suppose I should acquaint you." She gestured gracefully to the priest Ivisk at the general's right. "Arun Iderum Urallak, head priest of Imeren's temple and my husband."

-

By now the dinner was winding down as servants picked up platters and refilled glasses. The Governor's seating arrangements seemed to have worked, apart from a few unlucky guests. The din of conversation could be heard through the dining hall, while some few Ivisk broke off to continue in more intimate settings or to leave early.

1/11/2010 . Edited 1/11/2010 #143
AspenIvan

"I suppose all peoples are intriguing to one another," admitted Haerk. "However, you are right that I should better explain the justification for New Survaek. It will bring welfare by working as an emergency stockpile of resources to support the motherland in any time of need to come, creating settlements to which the those struggling with squalor in the motherland may move to, establishing defences against the potential colonial advances of enemies, and bringing us into contact with foreigners from whom we may benefit in relations. It will bring honor by establishing our name and flag on a new horizon and adding to the Empire's size, power, and influence."

_

"You won't get the usual perspective from my wife. She is a traditional Byrnian," Klau stated. "Perhaps you should try the good Governor Haerk's wife." The General then turned to the priest as he was introduced. "Honored to meet you," he spoke to Iderum. "I am General Klau of the New Survaekom Army." He extended his arm sideways across his chest for a handshake.

The General took note of Almas' attitude. He had no issue with her words or her subtle breaches in propriety, his reasoning told him, or at least he wouldn't unless he got to know more about her. Yet, under his calm, unchaning expression and tone, he could not help but be disillusioned at the similarity between her words and those of so many Survaekom noblewomen. You are curious, Klau.

1/12/2010 #144
Mindwarp

"Indeed, it is only natural for one to be curious about the ways of others." Amith admitted, although behind his always friendly exterior he was deep in thought. Speaking with Haerk was very enlightening, and from his point of view, somewhat worrisome despite the Governor's insistent friendship. "So here we are, both set upon bringing wealth and honor to our peoples. We are near completing a draft of legislation allowing open trade with New Survaek: may it bring the glory we seek to both of us."

---

The Priest pointedly ignored Klau, concentrating on his plate in front of him while his wife tattled on in her fey manner. "I would love to meet them both. You must ask the governor to bring his wife to the next party, perhaps I'll host one; things have been dreadfully dull around here lately." She complained, as one who was used to weekly balls and fine wine at every dinner.

"It is time for me to inspect the barracks." Undamal said abruptly, pushing his seat back with more grace and haste than a simple soldier could manage. "Perhaps the honored general would like to join me?" He asked, looking directly at Klau with a straight face that said quite clearly that the Survaekom should not make light of the offer.

1/12/2010 #145
AspenIvan

"Would this take the form of a treaty for our approval, or will it be a legislation under the authority of your own colony for itself?" Governor Haerk asked. "In the case of the latter, we will need a treaty as well." Haerk, although interested in deep topics such as national motives and colonial justifications, found himself much more comfortable discussing matters he was ready to respond to on the basis of simple, factual knowledge. He was not a philosopher, after all. This psychological adherence to the usual and perfunctory also made him generally oblivious to the subtleties around him, such as Amith's brief, worried look, which he would rather not delve into in the first place.

_

"Then she will come along the next time I arrive here," the General replied to the priest's wife, while returning kind for kind the intentional inattentiveness of the priest himself.

At Undamal's request, Klau replied, "Of course," promptly stood up, bowed to the other guests whom he was leaving, and proceeded to follow the Imeren commander. He had immediately caught Undamal's look and its connotation, and he did his best in his quick response and satisfied expression to convey that he was beyond happy to accept the offer.

1/13/2010 #146
Mindwarp

"Our current treaty dictates that both our nations consider trade legislation." Amith pointed out, swirling a glass of wine he had not drunk out of in the last seven minutes. "The legislation under review will open the door to trade from our side. Whether New Survaek will reciprocate and be willing to trade will be at the behest of your own government."

--

Undamal lead Klau silently out of the mansion with quick and measured strides, saying nary a word until they had left the building and were walking down Imeren's streets. Once they were more or less alone in the streets, the Ikun slowed down and addressed his companion. "You seem to have caught Arun Illuvarn's attention, so it is only fair that you have adequate warning: She is a very powerful woman, and she can be very dangerous if slighted. Her influence could decide the relationship between our two colonies, so be careful around her."

1/13/2010 #147
AspenIvan

"This seems most acceptable," Haerk replied. "I will propose our own bill immediately upon my return to New Survaek, and it should take no longer than a week to have it approved. As for your own legislation, how long do you expect it will take to be passed?"

_

"I have principles, good Undamal," General Klau explained, his tone turning solemn. "That is why I do not like politics." As usual, he kept his words few but honest and used his tone to convey the complexities behind them. He did not like being in a situation where he might have to submit unjustly to another for any reason. Survaekom nobles had learned to live with him and he with them by simply leaving one another alone for the most part. He sat in on a few Senate meetings, kept himself a friendly aquaintance with the few nobles he could stand, such as Haerk, and otherwise stayed informed on politics from a distance. No issues, conflicts, or scandals would arise. But now, unexpectedly, he was being told that he might have to make a new , to play the game of petty politics to avoid a catastrophe. So she is the classic noble type he thought to himself.

1/13/2010 #148
Mindwarp

"I expect the new law will be firmly in place when your own is passed." Amith replied, cheerfully hiding the fact that the only person he had to convince was himself. "I look forward to seeing Survaekom merchants in Imeren's markets." Then he smiled, sipped the smallest bit of wine, and after just long enough of a pause, continued. "I have noticed many of your ships passing through the seas. You have, perhaps, explored a great amount of this new world, am I correct?"

----

"I do not dictate what you should do." Undamal said softly, his words clear as a bell but soft as a breeze. "But I give you fair warning so that you do not find yourself trapped unknowing. The lady Arun has few friends in Imeren, but she has the ear of many back in the Empire. If you will take my advice: avoid her, but do not snub her. In time she may lose interest."

1/14/2010 #149
AspenIvan

"Indeed, indeed," Haerk replied, his polite tone showing signs of joviality. "Given our positions and resources, trade between us should be most excellent and fruitful. By the way, speaking of resources, I have heard rumors that you have found gold to your North. Is this true?"

_

((Undamal and Klau seem to have very similar tones, soft-spoken but clear and honest. Perhaps we could agree that we each take it for granted that their tones will always be this way until we state otherwise.))

"Very well, I will heed your words," he acquiesced after a moment of consideration. He knew well that if Illuvarn truly had an interest in him, there was no way of avoiding her without insulting her. "So, what now?"

1/14/2010 #150
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