WA Delegate: None.
Last WA Update:
The embassy with The Alterran Republic is being withdrawn. Closure expected .
Today's World Census Report
The Smartest Citizens in Kirinna
The World Census eavesdropped on conversations in coffee shops, on campuses, and around cinemas in order to determine which nations have the most quick-witted, insightful, and knowledgeable citizens.
As a region, Kirinna is ranked 9,259th in the world for Smartest Citizens.
|1.||The Lunar Dynasties of Nylos||Inoffensive Centrist Democracy||“Our Dynasty everlasting, under the light of four Moons”|
|2.||The Golden Queendom of Theaca||Left-wing Utopia||“Peace and Equality”|
|3.||The Queendom of Azzagrat||Psychotic Dictatorship||“Many as one”|
|4.||The Golden Kingdom of Isklanapura||Inoffensive Centrist Democracy||“For Ketzani, Queen of Heaven”|
|5.||The Roving Clans of Surestan||Iron Fist Consumerists||“Sun-born, Storm-blessed”|
|6.||The Kingdom of Knissoa||Left-Leaning College State||“Serenity and Regality”|
|7.||The Commonwealth of Varadun||Capitalist Paradise||“Bane of Vokkus, Home of Doniens”|
|8.||The Most Serene Republic of Merea||Capitalizt||“Civitatem Magnam Mirantibus”|
|9.||The Empire of Aoyan||New York Times Democracy||“Jewel of the Garden”|
|10.||The Republic of Ouruum Evrani||Inoffensive Centrist Democracy||“Storm-Driven”|
- : The Lucky Holy Republic of Orca and Narwhal of the region The Great North rejected a request from Kirinna to establish embassies.
- : The Golden Kingdom of Isklanapura proposed constructing embassies with The Great North.
- : The Golden Kingdom of Isklanapura proposed constructing embassies with Blackstar.
- : The Golden Kingdom of Isklanapura proposed constructing embassies with Kantrias.
- : The Golden Kingdom of Isklanapura proposed constructing embassies with Inferno Stellaria.
- : The Golden Kingdom of Isklanapura ordered the closure of embassies between Kirinna and The Alterran Republic.
- : The Kingdom of Knissoa arrived from The East Pacific.
- : The Dominion of Grotere Leithania departed this region for New World Union.
- : The Hamlet of Mapledale departed this region for The Eternal Order.
- : Old pharadi ceased to exist.
Kirinna Regional Message Board
Kipum from Lower Administrative Overseer Yanka-damkatum to Barankati
Say to Barankati, Lower Administrative Overseer of Vendacama, my brother: Thus say Yanka-damkatum, Lower Administrative Overseer of Isklakata and Kisharratum-maikana-Ketzani, your brother. For you may all go well. For your household, you family, your children, your affairs, your work and your administrative duties, may all go well. For me, all goes well. For my household, my family, my children, my affairs, my work and my administrative duties, all goes well. For your lord, Narna-kishti, mat all go well. For great Kisharratum, all goes well, and our lady of the house is in preparation for the early time of festivals which are approaching.
I write to you, Barankati, my brother, on the behalf of Kisharratum-maikana-Ketzani, and on the behalf of the administrative office of our palace. With the festivals on their way, as you know the division of taxation and their dispersal to major centers in need of their goods has been allocated, and the orders given out. Vendacama was assigned with the task of seeing to it that three-thousand crates of your best corn flour was to be sailed to the city of Karatanu, the abode of our goddess Kushili, so that her people might be fed off of the excess spoils of Vendacama and the farming villages which are under your domain. However, when these crates were open, I am told that they were packed in only measures of two-thirds—thus only two-thousand crates were truly supplied. Additionally, I am told from the overseers of Karatanu that there has been deception in the quality of the flour, and in many cases insects had infested their contents, or the flour had become damp and rotted. Before you may so much as begin to spin your yarns and compose kipum in response, listen well to me: I am lower administrative overseer, and I have reviewed these facts, and my lord has reviewed these facts, and should corrections not be made, Kisharratum shall review these facts. Why do you withhold on your duties? Who has put you up to this? The farming lands all have provided their proper tax save for your own! Just in the way that the farmlands flow their goods and meet the needs of the excessive taxes during these ritual times, so too have the cuttlefishers and fishermen provided you with great stock—with no ill intent. If you do not rectify this issue, your lord and yourself will be brought forward to answer, as well as your own overseer. Remedy this at once! Should you not, I shall send Asharkar to investigate the matter, and they shall recover truths!
When the festival times are over, you, your lord and the lord of Vendacama, Narna-kishti, are summoned to come to the place of her majesty, to the spine. As is the case in all such deceptions to the divine order, and to the flow of state goods, legal procedures must be followed to establish guilt and mete out punishment. Should your person truly be at no fault or of little fault, you should fear not—it is our masters who command us and suffer the brunt as such. However, if your master is not responsible, and you are responsible, then by my advice you must made amends with the gods and seek their favor! Do you take the gods as fools? Or the needs of the great walled cities of Gwananki? For what reason would you or your lord or his lord withhold corn flour from this time of celebration? Furthermore, be it your knowledge or not, Vendacama is the place in which Urde-Saya has chosen to spend the festival. Should your actions inconvenience the hero of Parya, there will be grave consequence! Remedy this situation! Then bring word to your lord and his lord, Narna-kishti, of their summons, after the ritual times. For your sake, I shall give offering to Ketzani, here in her home within the palace, and hope that she has mercy upon you. May your reasoning for deception be in justice, but how one may justify withholding the wealth of one-thousand crates of corn flour, and providing foul corn flour as well, is beyond my mortal understanding. Given the gravity of this issue, I am sending two Asharkar to oversee the situation, and four palace inspectors to ensure the work is being done as needed. Barankati is a land wealthy in corns! Do not withhold your wealth from the tax!
As your greeting gift, I give to you a box of golden ornaments to provide good offering to your patron god. I also give to you a tablet detailing how one may read the Sawari printings with their fingers, and not their eyes. May your gifts be received well, and any who should do harm to them, or hinder them—may harm be done unto them! Do not detain the messenger who sends this message! Receive him with kipum, return him with kipum, and have him restored to the place of Isklakata at once! Send word when you have heard and understood my words, and send word back to me, so it might reach our mistress.
The Bronze Mystery, A Village in Panick
It had only been two days since the mysterious but beautiful aurora, within the night sky all over Varadun many Doniens looked out to the night sky to see a shimmering light. Many look up taking it as a blessing from Zendrarth and his sons, many believed it could be a message or signal, and many even believed they were seeing not just the spirit world, but the promised Blue Plains from the tales of old, the realm which Zendrarth truly lays dominion over. However, they were Doniens that were not close enough to see or hear the bronze cages crash onto the ground like a crashing star, or the chaos it brought with it. While Doniens far away starred up at the night sky with awe, the village of Eerdse was suddenly awakened to the sounds of loud explosions, those who were not already awake to hear the far-off sounds of a fierce battle. Men-at-arms have gathered as before the explosions as in the distance many of the villagers could hear the sounds of a fierce battle, though no one knew why, the Crimsonblade and their allies were gone, and had been gone for a while now. There were no screams of pain from this direction nor battle horns, but the loud clashing of metal and the blood-curling screeches put fear in many of their hearts.
Though the explosions would occur, and what followed a horror of fire, ash, and most importantly, bronze and other metal parts raining from the sky, heavy metal arms, legs, heads, torsos, and more crashed down on many of the buildings of the villages, as well as on the heads of many unfortunate enough to be outside. Homes and other buildings were either damaged or destroyed, villagers were getting injured and bruised, or even their heads busted open and their tails broke, but it was then when the true horror was shown, or a taste of it at least. A massive monster of six legs, made of bronze, descended from the burning forest into the village. The village militia found that the creature was already heavily wounded, it was bleeding but it was not normal blood, but a strange orange liquid. It crashed into one of the houses that were largely undamaged by the metal rain, while there were splinters and a broken tail no one inside was killed are fatally injured, and the creature was now dead. For the rest of the night, the inhabitance worked to flee the town and seek shelter in a town 30 miles to the southeast within the mountain pass.
This night would not go unheard of, word quickly spread throughout the taverns travelers merchants, and the word was sent to the capital with a request for a full investigation into the matter. Time would pass, but surely, people from the capital would arrive in the village within the early hours of the day. In fact, within the collection of royal guards, scholars, clan nobles, and two generals, the High King himself could be seen in the middle on the back of an armored Drake, a four-legged Draconic creature that stood taller and stronger than a horse, but a creature that was not easily domesticated and kept feed, a beast only the likes of clan lords could ever ride. Zelerac hopped off the back of his Drake and was surrounded by his royal guard and others as many of the villagers looked on. The village overseer approached along with others of his clan, giving a polite bow.
“Greetings Lord Zelerac, welcome to Eerdsa. I am very happy to see you got my message.” He spoke, an older Donien with pale scales in a fine tunic.
“Your message would have been very hard to believe, it was not for the aurora that took hold that fateful night, all of Varadun and clans beyond witnessed it.” He spoke. “That is why I decided to come here myself. I came here to see if the tales were true, is the dead creature from the rumors still in this village?”
The local ruler nodded his head at a rather fast pace. “Yes my lord, the creature is massive, much bigger than even your Drake, we did not move it from the house it crashed on.”
The high king nodded his head. All around him, the carnage from those nights before was ever-present, limbs and other lost parts made of bronze stiller littered much of the ground and on top roofs, though the villagers had begun rebuilding the village. So far it looked as if these forest villagers were telling the truth, these were not just drunk merchant stories after all.
“Very good, take me to it.” The High King spoke. “And lord Teligon, your village will be fully confiscated for the destruction, the Kingdom of Varadun will ensure your village is able to recover quickly from this.”
“Oh, thank you, my lord, that is great to hear, we are forever grateful.” The local lord replied.
Both parties walked along with the village, more of the carnage, and the very burnt forest was made much clear to the High King and his party. Two other figures appeared from behind surrounded by another group of guards, two Doniens who wore nothing but rags and chains, they were prisoners. It didn’t take long however for the house in question to come under view, and there laid a strange beast made of bronze, six massive horse-like legs made of bronze, and absolutely nothing like any of the lizards had ever seen before. Even the high kings starred in awe, it was massive, and exactly like what the messenger described. He could see the beast that was a bronze sphere with a bronze ring, and it had six bronze legs. The sight sent a shiver down his spine, he had no idea what to think. He quickly looked to the scholars, but to his horror, they too stared at the creature with the same level of confusion and worry as he, which did not help with the shiver down his spine.
“Here it is my lord. We still don’t know why it came, we don’t know what its intent was, but there is no denying it has a connection with the bronze and other metal parts that fell from the sky.” He spoke. “Ever the less, it scares many Doniens of the village, especially the hatchlings, I do not want this thing in my town.” The local lord spoke.
The high king nodded his head, staring at the dead creature as he lay deep in thought. He hoped to Zendrarth and his sons that the creature would not come back alive because he agreed that that creature, as well as the bronze figures, should not stay in the village. The local lord would speak again suddenly.
“We also found something in the burnt woods, something we did not expect.” He spoke.
The high king and others looked over at the Donien. “What is it that you found.” The high king would ask.
“Something happened in those woods, there is a field in those woods, it is filled with destroyed bronze statues, it looks as if something massacred them. That is not all, however. We found giant metal cages in those woods, but those cages look as if they were obliterated. There are also holes in the ground, large ones, it looks as if no group of mortal lizards could have done this. I do not believe even the Vokkus cult is involved.” He replied.
At his last statement many within the group looked in disbelief, to many, what other explanation is there?
“Whenever the cult is involved will be found out.” The High King replied. “We’ve brought captured cultists here for that reason. We will find out what happened.” He spoke, many of the group shifting their eyes at the two prisoners. The prisoners were cultists, lucky enough to survive a hideout raid in the middle of the night, now they cursed to a horrific fate, and likely wishing they died with their friends. “Ever the less, please, take us there, show us the site."
Ion slowed his pace as he approached the central chamber where his father, Glyon, arka of Bylos, met with his advisors and other important individuals within their territory. Ion himself was not required to be present, and often attended when he desired. Today was one such day. Ion’s father had long been building relations with the city of Ikos on the island of Therus. The relations between Ikos and Bylos had been mixed over time, sometimes foes competing for influence in the islands around them, and at others trade partners. Ion had decided to attend today’s session as he had his own views on the subject.
Ion rounded a corner along the marble halls and reached the doorway to the main chamber. It was flanked by a pair of guards in ceremonial armor. They wore breastplates that gleamed in the light of the morning like shined silver. Their helmets were long and covered their faces fully and had a plume of red atop. Their shields bore the symbol of Bylos; A red octopus. They both glanced toward Ion as he approached.
“The meeting has already begun,” said one of the guardsmen.
Ion arched his brow as he stopped before them. “I was not informed. How long have they been in session?”
The two guards exchanged an awkward glance before the one spoke again. “They began two hours ago.”
Ion could feel his irritation rising. This was not an accident or a slip of his mind. Had his father not wanted his presence because of his own stance? Ion did not like being left out when he had something to add.
“Stand aside”, he ordered and the guards quickly did so, letting him pass.
Ion picked up his pace as he entered and soon saw the others gathered. It seemed an informal mass of people, small groups discussing here and there. The main discussion had clearly ended. Now the various factions were debating their next moves or others were seeking support.
He quickly found his father surrounded by some of the older members of the assembly. Ion approached, giving a respectful bow to several of those around. “Father” ,he said toward Glyon. “My apologies for missing the session. I was not aware it was meeting so early.”
Glyon merely nodded. “Yes, well, it was a sudden decision.”
One made to stem dissenting voices, I’m sure thought Ion. He smiled, letting the matter pass. “And how did the vote decide?” he inquired.
“The vote was in favor of ascension. I will be drafting a letter for the arnaxus, recommending that the League ratify the admittance of Ikos.”
“I see”, replied Ion. He was not pleased, though he had expected the vote to go this way.
His displeasure must have been evident, in his tone or on his features, for Glyon spoke again. “I take it you do not approve.”
“I do not. Why should we admit a potential rival to our influence? We could have instead conquered them and enjoyed their benefits for ourselves. With the League behind us, they could not defeat us.”
“The League would never support such an action, and nor would I. Your aggressive desires are why you were left out of the session today.”
“Buit..” protested Ion, but his father raised a hand to silence him.
“Enough, I will hear no more of it. The vote is done.” said Glyon. The elder man then moved off toward the doorway Ion had come from. Others offered parting words as he went.
Ion remained rooted to the spot. His anger was higher than when he had first learned the meeting had begun without him. His father was a fool. Why should they share what could be theirs in full. An approaching figure returned his mind to his surroundings.
“Greetings, Ion. A shame that we did not get to hear your thoughts today.”
“Aeson”, said Ion as he attempted to push the irritation out of his tone. It was mildly effective.
“I understand your frustrations.” Aeson said.
“Do you?” doubted Ion. He did not see any sincerity on the other man’s features, but then he never did when it came to Aeson. The man was a nobleman whose family had risen through the military. Aeson was older than Ion but younger than many of the assembly.
“I do. Your view has its merits.”
“Had its merits.”
“Ah, so you have already given up on them then?”
“Father has spoken, as has the assembly. He may be right that the League would not support the action either.” Ion relented.
“Perhaps for a war. But there are other ways to gain an upper hand in relations with other cities. Some of your goals may not yet be beyond reach.”
Aeson had gained Ion’s curiosity now. “What do you mean?”
“Perhaps you’d care to join me for a short stroke? I could elaborate a bit more.”
Ion gestured forward. Aeson began and he followed. He would listen for now. Already his anger had dissipated over the results of the vote done without him. Aeson’s words had roused new thoughts within him. Perhaps there could still be ambitions gained. He would listen for now, and think about what his next actions would be.
- I do not want to and I’m not drinking! - declared a farmer, stretching his hand out towards a wooden cup full of wine. He emptied it out quickly. And, in place of a snack, wiped his moustache with his dirty sleeve.
“I’m telling you, the kind heart of this owner… What am I supposed to do?”
The table was full of food. Fruits, meats, bread, anything an honest villager could ever ask for. It was one of seven tables that stood inside the “Liberty”. The atmosphere inside was gloomy. A few patrons were seated by other tables, the grub from their cups decorating the floor like a murder scene. The odour could have knocked out anyone that had not been around such places their entire lives.
Miraculously, the cup once again filled up to the brim with the Goddess’ gift. But in a fit of rage, the farmer pushed the goods away from himself. In a sudden mood swing, he put on an angry expression. Now he wished to argue with someone.
-I don’t want it! Do you take me for a fool? You pour me wine, meanwhile behind my back you try to court my wife. - he angrily exclaimed. - Wifey! We’re going home! - he screamed with a weird throaty voice, trying to stand up from his bench.
His effort failed. He tried once again, but once more his limbs did not wish to cooperate.
-As if anyone needs her! Who would think of going after a married woman? There are plenty more around here! I see you as a good and honest man, that’s all. Come on! - claimed a youngster, the evening’s mecenate. - Come here! - he said, pouring wine through the farmer’s moustache straight into his open jaws, while the honest villager shook his head and hands pro forma.
In the now empty, devoid of visitors main hall, barely blinked a single lamp. A sleepy owner was getting ready to clean up for the night, extinguish that final lamp and go to sleep upstairs, alongside his wife and two kids, who had the pleasure of growing up in such a vibrant atmosphere.
The inn was empty. That is, if you exclude four patrons, sitting in a corner and taking their drinking more seriously than their daily work. Nobody batted an eye about them, though. They’d been there about as long as the inn had stood. They were practically part of the inn’s inventory.
They drank freely, quarrelled - at first without any appetisers, later switching to old, dry pieces of bread decorated with salt. Their cheeks and noses grew redder, and their chats - louder.
Suddenly, the talks stopped. A problem occurred! The pitcher was empty. One of the patrons angrily slammed the table. The owner soon rushed downstairs to check on his beloved guests.
-What’s the matter? - he asked.
-Give us a refill, Pere. Scurry! - said the bravest and reddest of the bunch.
His wish was soon fulfilled. Another pitcher full of wine of questionable origin and flavour arrived on the table. The guests continued.
The Sunny Shores
The sun broke the horizon, meeting the still cold clay and stone houses in their brilliant oranges, reds, blues, and browns. The sun, stretching itself over the still sleeping isles made its presence known, giving day to the people of Knissoa. Morning began, still slow at a slumbering pace as the markets began to open. Fresh fish caught in the later evening and early morning before the sun, stretched out and cut open, some roasted with local spices and butter. The butchers began their work too, as did the artisans. By the time the sun had reached the furthest parts of the kingdom, all the isles had awoken and began to have the hustle and bustle of the day. The queen began to rise later than her subjects, waking to the bustle of the cities.
The seas had their share of sun as well, calmly undulating in their mesmerizing waves, crashing softly on the warm, sandy beaches of the islands. Shells washed up and children collected them, some simply to have and others to make vibrant jewelry and others to make products like dye. The fishermen walked about the streets with the mid-morning catches, selling them to restaurants, in markets, and simply eating some as their breakfast.
The stonemasons worked in the quarries in the now noonday sun, the light kissing them as they worked, bringing stone up from the earthen pits of the islands. Far, far south of that, lumberers cut down mighty woods, making their days full of readying and selling the olive-esq wood to the local island and to the other isles of Knissoa. Strange sights to others but not to Knissoans, large hulking tree trunks loaded onto wooden ships, barely able to hold the bulk of their loads, moving, sailing to the other isles. The markets today were good, very good. Coin flowed through the isles, as it always did. The internal market was strong, very strong.
The halls of government finally opened after lunch for the days' operations. The Ypourgós formed their assembly, debating local legislation of the country, firmly debating each law in all parts. The queen, having finished her lunch and enjoying her morning, headed this assembly, leading debate and legislation, before finally the laws finally became passed with their durations determined and their intents agreed. Following this, the queen herself took the laws to the local garrison, showing the new laws to be enforced, then taking them to the courts. By the end of the week, all of Knissoa would know the new legislation and law that now governed this vast kingdom.
The garrisons took their spears and swords, their light armor, and their gleaming helms and began the rounds, policing the civilization held so dear in their hearts. Every so often a crime would occur, with due process, sentencing, and enaction of said sentence all done within the week following the new laws changed. Most criminals were those stealing, some were more nefarious, though in a place as close as Knissoa, most crime was alleviated by a sense of familiarity amongst the locals of each island or each city.
Knissoa was good, and doing well, their markets empty at the end of the day, the fishermen going out to cast their nets, the masons heading to rest, and the queen resting at the end of the day, fully satisfied in her kingdom, her people, and herself. This was a well-run nation, full of life and breathing itself new life every day. For this, she thanked the spirits, sending some of her dinner into the flames to offer as good practice. The gods were long gone, but the spirits remained alive and well in the hearts and minds of Knissoa, influencing many, but not all, aspects of life.
Cisrian Frontier - 604
She sat upon her chair, listening to the bombardment of rain pelt the tent. The only other sounds were the running of soldiers in the background, sloshing around in the mud, horses racing about with their crying neighs, and the occasional order being shouted. The Cisrian general had yet to arrive, and her advisors ran out of small talk to waste time. Now they sat in silence.
Velthuria had wrapped herself up in a thick layer of cloaks and blankets to keep warm, but the sight of her breath reminded her body to feel the cold weather causing her to shiver, which further gnawed at her patience. She and her council sat around a long table, with several seats for the Cisrians left empty. If it hadn’t been raining, she would have already ordered their departure in cite of the Cisrian absence.
“I-” she began to speak before a group of three men barged through the tent flap. They were drenched and brought the smell of mud and horse with them. Two of the men wore typical armor of an officer, an iron breastplate and greaves with yellow epaulets. Which matched their white and yellow dyed tunics. Their helmets sported tall fathers o distinguish them in battle. The first men, however, had a double-crested helmet of feathers. One white, one yellow. All three of the men were handsomely built in her eyes, their armor glistening from the rain.
The priest, announced their arrival.
“Caputis-Fetum Thefri, of the Ataris tribe, general of the great city of Cisria.” The priest paused. “Queen Velthuria of the Hurace tribe, Mistress of the great city Caletra, daughter of King Teuitu, wife of Quintis of the Papis of Tribvrsi.”
The three men bowed. That latter of the men removed his helmet. He had short greying hair but looked reasonably young. “Please,” she said, attempting to hide her shutters. “Come sit.” The men silently approached the table. Thefri sat directly across from her, his two companions on either side.
Wine was brought out for the three men. For a moment, the rain continued to dominate the conversation as they all sat in silence, the three Cisrians enjoying their drinks. Finally, Velthuria spoke up.“Thank you, Caputis, for meeting with us. You do us honor.”
“The pleasure is mine, Mistress.” He said bowing his head a bit.
“Why, thank you.” It was clear that she would need to pull the conversation forward. “My advisors, particularly Caputis-Fetum Versni...” She motioned. Versi gave Thefri a nod, who responded in kind.
“... of your exploits against the renowned Caputis Mamarce.”
Thefri was silent, him looking down for a moment. “Yes, Caputis Mamarce was a worthy adversary. I, even now, think highly of him. Though I would strike him down again, I only regret not burying the man. Now he is lost to the void…” Velthuria didn’t know how to react, she truthfully didn’t know much about either men, just retelling was she had been told. Fortunately, he continued. “I too have heard of Versni’s exploits, particularly of your campaign north in Tribvrsi. I hear it was costly, yet you achieved victory.” Versi subtly scoffed at his comment. “However, I assume this was arranged not for battle stories, I assume it is for Harbinger?”
“Yes, however it is you that attracts me.” She saw Thefri crack a faint smirk of surprise. “You are a man of talent and virtue. I believe you have the gods' favor, having been placed as controller of their bearer and your countless victories on the field.”
Thefri seemed to be immune to the flattery.
“I do not know what the gods see in me, but I do what they command…”
“As one should.” Velthuria reaffirmed. “It is the man you are, which has compelled me to meet you in person and offer this to you personally.”
Thefri leaned back in his chair, the cogs in his brain visibly turning.
“I wish to invite you under my service. I make no demands of you; only that should you accept, we unite the world only our great-great forefathers would have envisioned. Need nod worry about your allegiance to Cisria for with you by outside, so will they. Our armies united, alongside the Tribvrsi…”
“So you plan to be a puppet of the northern tribsmen?” Thefri retorted.
She was taken back. It had been a moment since someone spoke so brunt to her. “No, I do not.” She straightened her back, yet it did little to improve her image as she sat bundled up in her blanket. “The Tribvrsi are no threat to me. However, should our realm be fractured amongst one another, with our southern neighbors gloating in wealth, the northern men could pick us off.”
Velthuria almost felt as if she had impressed Thefri. She certainly impressed herself.
“What of the Harbinger?”
Velthuria looked to her priest, who simply looked back at her. “It shall be moved to Caletra where a proper shrine shall be made. A beacon of unity of our people to the gods.”
Both of Thefri’s companions both broke their silence and leaned into Thefri’s ear. She knew they wouldn’t like to hear they’d lose the Harbinger, yet she refused to lie to the man.
“Mistress,” Thefri spoke up, “Would you permit me to consult with my men outside the tent for but a moment?”
“Of course…” She felt as if they might just take off and run. Thefri smiled, bowing his head as the three Cisrians stood up and left the tent. Several minutes passed, and they had yet to return. From her seat, she could see their legs underneath the tent flaps. The rain suppressed any chance of eavesdropping, but soon they returned. Once again, soaked, they approached the table.
“Very well, Mistress, you will have my sword.” The three men bowed. Velthuria felt the relief wash over her as she sighed.
Once they finished their formalities, Velthuria walked through the tent’s flap to the outside world to be greeted with blinding sunlight.
Reges Palatium, 603 AH
Following the battle of Midellus and the conclusion of the Uder-Tiburr border war, the Red, Lucius Sergius called a council of the top commanders and governors to discuss army reforms. In the council chambers all stood silent for the words of the Rex to be spoken.
“Legatus Basilus, I wish to thank you for leading the army against the northern scaled men. But I will be the first to say that the army underperformed. The men were not ready and I wish to know why.”
Legatus Basilus stood up from his seat. His armor was an iron chest plate, adorned with the horses that represented his family. Basilus’ helmet was adorned with a single row of red feathers running from ear to ear in the middle of his helmet, signifying his rank as Legate. Basilus wore a red cloak that hung behind him.
Basilus removed him helmet and kneeled before the Rex before speaking. “My King, I offer my resignation following the battle. The troops were not trained and unready to take on a battle of those proportions.”
“And yet you prevailed. I do not accept your resignation, Basilus. Tiburr and it’s people need you more than ever. Besides, I did not ask nor demand people be accountable. I asked them to fix this army.” The Rex descended from his throne and placed his hand on the shoulder of the kneeling Legatus.
Basilus lowered his head upon feeling the touch of his Rex before attempting to speak before he was interrupted by one of the younger provincial governors.
“My king, if I may. It was not the training of the men, but their organization. The men were not set nor trained for heavy shock combat. The levies could not stand up to the heavy forces that the northern army deployed.” A man stepping down from the group of governors spoke up.
“So what do you suggest nameless man?” The Rex inquired as the young governor continued towards him.
“My name is Aurelius Remus. I stand in for my father who is ill. He is governor of Midellus and the surrounding region. I watched this battle after hearing your call. With me I brought the few men that could be mustered from the village. I commanded the unit from Midellus and fortunately, we were never committed into battle. This allowed me to watch the chaos unfold in front of me.”
“So you saw the flaws in the army?” The Rex asked, taking an interest in the words young soldier spoke.
“Yes my king. The issue was not the training, nor the discipline. Sure, some of the men fled the battlefield in panic. But the archers prevailed, the chariots crushed the enemy and the heavy infantry crushed the northern pikemen. No problem was the light infantry. They could not use their mobility in this battle. This led them to their deaths as the heavy shock troops of the northmen were able to drive into them and force them back.” Aurelius paused briefly to ensure the Rex had his full attention before continuing. “My suggestion is we abolish the levies system completely. Make the provinces responsible for fielding professionally trained units for the use of the kingdom in future engagements. Light infantry should not be neglected, rather retrained as a light fighting force. The other units performed well but we need assistance. The use of field artillery should be of utmost importance.”
The Rex pondered the words of the young soldier before speaking. Very well Aurelius. I’m appointing you as a Tribune under Basilus. Carry out these reforms. I want to be prepared.”
Maikana-Ketzani, the Epic of Whispers, Tablet I: Maikana-Ketzani's Justice—Royal Palace of Isklakata, Heart of the Golden Kingdom, Isklanapura
Wailing screams and desperate pleas—it was a symphony of sorrow, but as sweet as a golden reed to her royal ears. Maikana-Ketzani sat upon a mahogany chair, basking in the light of day, surrounded by the lovely colors of her garden. Intricate golds and blues and fiery oranges were all around her, but nothing was more vibrant than the deep reds which pooled before her. There, amidst terraces of flowers and groves of palatial trees, was her vengeance enacted. Silver cloaks had made it into her palace so long ago, but not without silver-tongued conspirators.
Accused and tried, it was a party of some twenty Isklana—men and women—who had been deemed responsible conspirators. Nobles, courtiers, palatial staff, and even two Isklana captains who she had in her personal employ—all were guilty of this. Those left kneeling now, bound in shackles of copper with Asharkar spears to their backs, were eight. The remaining twelve had met their fate in any which way her grizzly appetite had demanded.
For those who had been least responsible, but still demanded death, her mercy had been given. Three Isklana maidens, servants who had become absorbed in these dark schemes, had been executed swiftly, their bodies left to boil in the sunlight upon the carved stone. Others were not so fortunate, nor would she allow them any such easy escape. Two administrative elites she had made sure to punish for their crimes—for just in the way their grubby hands had given way for the organization of such schemes at the behest of others—she had torn their horns off, and impaled their own hands with them. When the Asharkar brought down their spears and severed the hands fully, nailing their impaled graspers to a grove tree, she had allowed them to die by proper execution.
Others died in a kaleidoscopic manner, but her favorite punishments thus far had been the flaying and the casting. A handful of unlucky souls, her captains included, she had strung up and stretched out by cord. Then, with an executioner handy, she had their carapace carved out of their body, and their legs totally severed—and as they writhed, she had felt such satisfaction to hear those blessed screams carry far and wide, as their tanned skins were split from their body. Greater yet than the skins she’d collected was the casting. For two handfuls more, she had brought out the castings of two pillars to be made of bronze. Forced into the tight casts, the two groups each were crammed into a hollow pillar, with bones snapping and suffocating tightness. As they screamed and pleaded and sought salvation, hot bronze had been poured atop of them. There were no more screams, and soon she’d have new art pieces for her private collection.
“Isn’t it lovely, Vancha-arnketzum?” Maikana-Ketzani remarked gleefully to one of the kneeling who awaited their death. “Ah, the symphony is lovely.”
Vancha-arnketzum, a eunuch, beaten and bloodied, looked up at her with wide eyes. This beardless creature had been one of the first to greet her back to the palace—a survivor of her purges—only now he’d found his way once more into her sights. While so many of these people had been knowing or unknowing tools in this construction of this grand scheme, it was Vancha-arnketzum who she’d discovered was the orchestrator of it all. They’d found tablets and kipum in his possession, they’d found ceremonial offerings to Ketzani for his good fortune, and they’d extracted confessions which all led him.
“M-m-m-maikana—,” he stuttered and sputtered, some of his teeth plucked from his parted lips. “Why? I… I’m innocent. P-please.”
The man wept, but Maikana-Ketzani could do little more than roll her eyes. He had conspired against her. He had brought this upon himself. What guilt was there to feel? What shame? Rulers would not tolerate any form of dissent. She was Ketzani’s chosen, the bearer of empire, the one to establish dreams. No worm would take that away from her.
“Innocent men don’t plot to kill their Kisharratum. Innocent men don’t offend the Ketzanid dynasty.”
“Staged! P-please, believe me! I had no idea! I was just as shocked as you!”
Maikana-Ketzani groaned. This would go on forever if she let it. No, she knew what punishment these eight would get, but she sadly couldn’t see it fully due to the danger. She’d have to visit the work another time.
“Vancha-arnketzum, I sentence you and your conspirators—left—to a hive death. Your eyes shall be removed, and in their bloodied sockets a daggerfly queen will be placed. As they carve your body into their hive, and you wither and die a slow and painful death, I want you to consider closely your actions which led you here. Perhaps Ketzani will have mercy on you, and a nymph or a god will come to put you down.”
“Daggerflies?” Vancha-arnketzum gasped, the others forced to the ground as well. “Please, please no! Put me in a pillar! Put me in a pillar!”
With an elegant smile, she watched as the eight struggled to get up, as though they could flee—but the cracks of wood from the Asharkar spears brought them down. With only one to a prisoner, the eight condemned to die were dragged away, kicking and screaming, as their lupine executioners pulled them out of the garden, and toward an archway to a secluded space. They couldn’t execute them here, but they could at least perform the blindings before rushing them down to the lower levels of the palace.
Perhaps a daggerfly will get out and cause some chaos—ah, Ketzani, wouldn’t that be fun? Couldn’t you send daggerflies after any of my foes I couldn’t catch?
Lurking in the shadows behind her, a messenger had been standing for some time. Amused by her works, and the long suffering of her foes now wrapping up, she snapped her fingers, summoning the chaskum. Kneeling, he presented to her a kipum, to which she whisked her wrist to command him to read. After a few moments of feeling the knots and examining the colored cords of yarn, the chaskum cleared his throat.
“Your heroes, Zarika and Ahrnakir, have made it to Narri, and are preparing to execute their plan to hunt down your ultimate enemy there. If possible they shall return the mastermind to you alive, but if they are unable, the body shall be brought to you intact. When next you hear from them, it shall be a report of their victory and homecoming.”
Sighing in contentment, she slipped into her chair.
Then it’s all coming together. You stupid sister of mine, you really thought you could conquer a monarch such as I from the grave? I’m an empire building, a dream caster, Ketzani’s chosen—you had no chance. Death is your prison, and when the dread goddess comes to silence your ghost, I’ll be laughing. You and all your little shadows, you and all your little voices, poof! Gone! Ah the silence shall be lovely. Your rot will be even more delightful. My enemies grow fewer, but my dreams grow larger.
“Chaskum, go to the scribes and compose a message for me, if you will.”
“Anything, your highness.”
“The festival season is coming, and so he has this time to stay where he wishes—I believe I heard he was in Karatanu? Anyways. Send word that I want him to prepare for another expedition, this time to the south. I want him to come to the palace to speak with me before he leaves, though. With a little luck, he’ll come around the same time this Narri business is done.”
The siege camp and the city it surrounded fell completely silent.
Nemyeh was a great walled settlement on the coast of Lake Aruna. It was the greatest city in all of Uren, housing thousands within it walls and in the slums around them.
Thrima did not believe such claims at first, despite Jakub's insistance that he spoke the truth. He thought the Uremite turncoat was exaggerating, for it was impossible for any city no matter how large to house so many people so close together, like rats or livestock. But as he layed eyes on the great stone and plaster walls of Nemiyeh, taller than even the Deva, when he trampled over the vast cropfields that seemingly stretched for miles, when his men seized the herds of cattle pastured in the hills around the city, tended by quivering herders... Then he believed this city would be a prize unlike any taken by Surestan before... If the walls could be surmounted. Even with lightning, those walls were made of sturdy rock, and could weather many impacts, and the usage of Orlanth's blessings greatly tired the Deva who accompanied the armies of Surestan. As such, the armies of the steppe settled down for a long siege, surrounding the city of the Ailur, while Jakub's machinations gave them more reinforcements, as men from many surrounding Uremite villages came to reinforce the besieging army, eager to throw down their Ailur rulers.
It was late in the evening, the sky darkening as the sun sank beyond the western horizon, with a light, cold drizzle falling over the besiegers' camp, that it happened.
As if night turned to day, a great aurora shone through the sky, like a crack in the darkness revealing a world of shining blues, greens and reds, stretching from the distant east, beyond the horizon, to the west, as if following the setting sun. The crack in the face of heaven remained there, as silent as the shocked besiegers, defenders and civilians. For long minutes it remained so, until a sound like the cracking of flames and the galloping of horses broke the silence.
Thrima's heart sank.
A shining chariot, like molten bronze, flew across the heavens, illuminating the sky and land below. It was not a chariot like Orlanth's, of darkened storm clouds, gray metal and the white light of lightning, but one shining like brushed bronze, like orange copper, like yellow gold. They were staring at a god, of that he was sure, but not the Storm Lord the Surestani worshipped, but the god of the Dosos and Uremites. The Herald of Sunlight, Yelm.
Cheers and chants could be heard from the city, as the locals saw an omen of their victory fly from the distant east, and in the army of the besiegers, cries of terror and prayers begging for forgiveness came from the herders and turncoats of Urem, now convinced their god was on their enemy's side, and that they would be punished by their blasphemy of rising against their betters. One of the other giants, snapping out of his shocked, strung his massive bow and attempted to loose an arrow at the god, as it flew west towards the camp of the besiegers. The frightened Uremites yelled in terror at the sight of the giant shooting at their god, but they dared not raise their arms against him. The size of the Deva intimidated them, and even the Asura men of the west were taller and stronger than the average among them, so instead they watched in horror as the arrow flew. The god, however, was much higher up than any arrow could reach, and the spear-sized projectile fell back to the ground harmlessly, though that didn't stop some of the Uremites from crying out "It was deflected! The god is upset at us! We cannot triumph!" At the same time, the cheers coming from Nemyeh became war cries, as the locals, guided by religious fervor, began taunting the enemy beyond their walls, and seemed to be getting ready to sally out and crush the demoralized enemy forces.
Thrima despaired as he saw panic spread through his army's ranks, even the Asura and the other Deva were uneasy at the sight, and he was sure the army would disband, and most ofthe progress made in Uren would be undone, all due to that vision in the heavens. But then, one voice rang out beside him.
Hwektar, a young Asura chieftain that had been one of the first to claim land in Uren, stood, his finger pointed at something moving behind the god's chariot. His cry was parroted as other soldiers noticed it too. What seemed to be bronze cages followed the chariot, manned by what seemed to be ranks upon ranks of armored men. From the lead cage, an large arm rose, like one of the Deva, spining in its massive hand a golden lasso. Thrima's heart skipped a beat as murmuring spread throught the Surestani ranks of his army. "Guhtama", the name of the legendary first patriarch of the Deva, was repeated many times. Was the chariot being pursued, or had the spirit of their legendary patriarch, freed from the cycle of reincarnation, now detained by the evil foreign god?
As chariot and cages flew away into the west and became smaller and smaller, the answer was obtained. In the distance, where the river met Lake Aruna, a golden flash of light was seen for a moment, and the chariot fell. A muffled crash was heard across the fields, as the cages, now small lights in the distance, descended upon the fallen fire that was the chariot. A harrowing cry of pain and anger was heard, loud enough that Thrima felt it screamed into his own ears, and then silence. When the small lights rose again, they were slower, and as they returned east everyone saw they were carrying, as in nets, the lifeless chariot of bronze they had seen fly past. The cages took their prize into the shining aurora, flying higher and higher until they became engulfed by the aurora's light, and then the aurora itself vanished, bathing the land once again in darkness and silence.
It was Thrima who broke it. "Their god is dead! Make them follow it!"
The palace at the center of Nemyeh was an impressive structured. Roofed with thatch and built with timber and adobe, the halls were spacious, and the roof tall enough that a Deva could stand in its full height untroubled. The large, glass windows on its walls let in the orange light of fires, as the Surestani and Uremite troops ravaged the city and claimed slaves, riches and lives. In the palace, in front of the elaborately carved wooden throne, knelt the once king of Nemyeh, now bound and injured. Thrima studied the old Ailur, lit by the hearth at the center of the hall. The man was, if Jakub was correct, around a hundred years old, though he looked at most to be in his sixties. The wrinkles, gray hair and short beard did not make him look much different than from any of the other Ailur in the palace, who had surrendered to the Surestani. They all seemed to have rather similar features, almost like they were all releted, and perhaps they were, as far as Thrima was concerned. Their king had fought incredibly fiercely when his men broke into his palace and killed his guards. With a massive war club made of bronze, the old king had alone slain five Asura and twice as many Uremites before he was subdued by a blow to the head and an arrow to the knee. He now stared at the yellow eyes of the giant, his own grey eyes burning with cold hatred.
"King." Thrima spoke, looking down on the kneeling figure. "What is your name?"
The Ailur spat blood and remained staring at him, not speaking a word.
"You are different from the men you ruled. Even from the other Ailur here in your palace. They are weak, frightened. Your kin stands around you unbound, yet they can only stare in terror, like frightened deer. And yet you seem unafraid. Your long-eared warriors outside showed great prowess too, and yet none killed as many as you did. So tell me your name, so it may be kept alive in song."
Without moving his eyes from the giant's own, the Ailur replied. "Szhner. Son of Korvic. Now quit acting like a cat with a wounded rat and finish us off already, storm demon. I kneel only because my leg was broken, but none of my people will kneel to your degenerate kind."
"And yet some outside already did." Thrima said. Szhner's eyebrows twitched for a second, the betrayal still infuriating him more than his own death, even at this time. "What happens to the rest, depends on their own choices. The only one who would die regardless is you, whether you remained defiant or begged for mercy. But I am glad you showed the character of a king."
"We do not beg. Least of all to barbarians."
"You show an impressive strenght of will, Szhner of Nemyeh. Unlike any I've seen so far in any foreigner."
The Ailur swore at him in his own language. He knew the end was near, and he used his rage to subdue his fear.
The giant took a step closer. "I will take that unusual strenght into myself."
The Elf-king's swears became louder as the Deva picked him up with both hands, as if he was a small child, and the swears became screams when the giant bit down into the side of his chest, cracking ribs and tearing out a large chunk of flesh. The giant's sharp teeth cracked through bone like those of a hyena, and chewed on the piece of lung he had torn off the gurgling Ailur before going for another bite, sucking on the blood and bone marrow pouring off of the king's side like a man would do with an orange. The other Ailur, probably the king's kin, though it was hard to tell when all of them looked alike, screamed in terror at the sight, the younger ones and the women wept. The men of Uren stood on shocked silence, gaping in fear as their new lord tore into the chest of their old lord, swallowing raw flesh while his eyes almost bulged out of his face, pupils dilated, as if in a state of trance. And the Asura men, the blonde charioteers of Surestan, remained in solemn silence, honored to have such a sacred ritual performed in front of them. Some even smiled.
When he had drank and eaten his fill, Thrima dropped the former king's dead body down dismissively. The chest cavity had been completely destroyed, mangled remains of broken ribs and bloodied tissue remained around a visible spine. The stomach, lungs and heart had been devoured and the intestines were falling out of a hole in the Ailur's side. His arms were now unbound, though only because Thrima had eaten the left one. Half of the king's face had also been bitten off, but the king had been long dead by the time that happened. The giant stood, staring at his assembled audience, fresh blood still dripping from his beard, his pupils slowly shrinking back to their normal size, as his communion with the god had been carried out successfuly. Chief Hwektar stepped before him, facing the crowd of frightened Ailur nobles and disarmed guards. One of the latter pulled out a dagger and with a cry of something between terror and anger, charged at the young chieftain, but a quick thrust of Hwektar's copper spear sent him to the ground, clutching his bleeding throat. Not giving the would-be assassin a second look Hwektar addressed the crowd.
"Your old chieftain's spirit has been claimed! Your sun-god was defeated! This is your new chieftain now!" He gestured at the bloody giant towering over everyone gathered there. All those who wish to serve, will kneel now! All those who wish to join your old chieftain, remain standing!"
A long moment of silence followed the Asura's proclamation, then one by one, all the Ailur in the palace were kneeling. Nemyeh was Thrima's fief now, and the remaining Ailur became his servants.
From the northern Tyrrhuscan city of Caletra, ships sailed across the sea. Bracing the waves, they went south to Orcakciu, where the delegate ventured to a city known to the locals as ‘The First Meadow’. They sailed eastwards, towards the great city of Asimaya of Eosakciu, and lastly to Knissoa of Acnasaciu. The delegation, composed of priests, statesmen, businessmen, and, more prominently soldiers, demanded an audience with the respective leaders. The delegation handed forth the following letters, all written un-translated to the foreign courts.
Just as the tears of Vinia filled the basins to make the seas, so did his tears create man. Creation is in our blood - it is our natural destiny. However, what we choose to create defines what our legacies are and, more importantly, how the gods may guide the realms of mortals. It is with this understanding we come to you, whether with hand or sword lies within your actions. In service of the gods, we must create something worthy of their glory, something used to please them so they may bless our fields, put winds in our sails, and stave off their wrath. You are to join the Tuhumech League, a league of people devoted to the gods and the protection of the greater realm.
In this league, we shall learn from the gods. From Vinia, father of the gods, we must make personal sacrifices for the continuation and prosperity of our creation, the league. Furthermore, the gods unite around Vinia as their father and creator, and so shall the nations unite around the Tyrrhuscan realm. Secondly, from the goddess Lurushil, mother of the gods, we learn to love one another - love for one another, and the gods will guide us through troubles we face. We will care for another as a family of the world. To Arnthur, to teach us that the company of others is the way towards unearthly delights. Alone we fall. To Venthi that our united wealth serves the betterment of our safety. We shall protect our trade, nations, and people from the invader. To Hastia that the unknown will be conquered. To every edge of the world, we shall snuff out those that oppose us. To Shertur, that our fervor will be a beacon for others to rally around. The gods will bless our armies that march forth. To Thancia, that the world's chaos will breed conflict that will bring others under our wing, and lastly to Arria, that it is our posterity that shall carry on our desires and further our unrelenting will.
We will speak with no guise. There is but one option you have to choose - it is Tuhuthais. It is Tyrrhusca. Shall you accept, our league will encompass the Asterion. If you refuse, you will suffer the wrath of our armies, your villages plundered and your people slaves to fuel the league. We come to you as friends, but like the gods, should you prove unwilling to sacrifice to appeasement, you shall become the embers that will fuel our blaze.
Upon your entrance, you shall accept Tyrrhusca, under the rule of the Hurace tribe, as the permanent leader of the league. As consequence, tithes (10% of wealth) shall be collected and consequently owned by Tyrrhusca. Secondly, a tenth of your military shall be contributed to a united army under the command of a Tyrrhuscan general to be used in the common defense of our league. Lastly, all valse idols to gods the subvert Tuhuthais (The Tyrrhuscan pantheon) shall be destroyed and cast away for an insult to the gods will result in their ire directed towards our peoples.
We expect a swift response, and upon our union, we shall all meet to discuss our new friendship.
Queen Velthuria of the Hurace tribe, Mistress of the great city Caletra, daughter of King Teuitu, wife of Quintis, of the Papis, of Tribvrsi.