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8 mos ago
Current And I'm back. That was fun
8 mos ago
Away for a long weekend. I'll be as active as I feel like xx
1 yr ago
A rose by any other name would smell as sweet
2 yrs ago
... your rhinestone eyes are like factories far away...
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2 yrs ago
Hospital trip rendered me totally unavailable, I apologise to all partners and will be attempting to catch up tomorrow through the day.
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Hey there, I assume you want to know about me so here it is...

The name is gowia (g-ow-ee-ah) or Alex. Or anything else you come up with, I'm not fussy.

I am a 24 year old male, and I almost always play male characters as mains. Though comfortably I'll play anything as a side character.

I am a Brit born and bred and so that is my lingo, I use British words and love my slang, and if I don't seem to make sense I may simply be using English idioms that don't translate outside the rural country abodes I swan around.

I enjoy all sorts of things, I am an avid football (soccer) player and supporter, political activist (I try to be less active here since this down time, but if you are interested in my views please ask), adore music, and live for a good story. I am in love with history. So you will always get a decent plot or conversation out of me on that subject.

If there is anything else you need to ask, feel free too. I swear I don't bite... much.

Most Recent Posts

And so the hunt begins...

Peeling paint and chipped wooden fencing spoke volumes to just how destitute this village had become under the rule of the Hierarchy. Everything seemed to be forlorn, lagging in the gentle breeze that came down from the hills on the other side of the lake. Moss and grass had wormed through the asphalt of the roads and people seemed to walk everywhere, making the asphalt itself redundant as it was. The stench of fishing clung to the air and gave everything a salty texture. The air, the people, and even the buildings seemed built to suit a single purpose and that purpose was fast fading. Yet they had the sun, and the fresh air! Marcus knew of people living in some of the new Common-Plexes who would never see or feel either ever again. Did these folk not realise just how lucky they were? Perhaps, he mused, it was hard to when for many of them they had probably known a better time.

Even so, the lack of homelessness was a delightful break from the poverty that clung to larger cities and Marcus made sure to offer a toothy grin to the inhabitants he passed. Most starred with unabashed intrigue, clearly strangers did not venture out here often, and he did not want to alert any of them to the quite serious reason for his arrival. There was nothing he could do about them taking a guess given the equipment he had thrown over his person and he spent far more of his attention scouring dark windows and creaking doors for anybody staring too hard. He was here to hunt a Wytch. The ones he had brought in before had all been manipulative, devious, and sly creatures; he knew to be on his guard in places like this. Turning down a lane that wound around a fairly large squarish house Marcus passed a grand public garden and whistled at its beauty. Winding creepers adorned old stonework that structured a maze of multicoloured flowers and the scent was overpowering, even with the wind blowing down and forcing folk into the collars of their coats.

She was here then.

It was entirely natural and absolutely not. There wasn’t a chance something was doing that to the place and Marcus knew it had to be whatever kind of powers the Wytch possessed. He had never been privy to such things or how they worked, he trusted in the reliability of science and technology, but he couldn’t deny these magics had some strength. It was why he subtly shifted and clicked the protective cover off of the holster where his gun remained stowed. Arounds the side of the garden he could see down a winding path to the lake. It sat quite still, a perfectly serene pool of glittering light that reflected from the sun. Boats had been pulled up onto the bank on one side and even from here Marcus could spy some figures going about the business of making them watertight again. His eyes shifted on quickly and he spied the blackened house. Perhaps an old fisherman’s house? Odd they hadn’t demolished it yet, but then Marcus was all too aware of official inertia and the time it took any government controlled place to do anything. Whistling a jaunty tune he made off down the track and kicked little piles of mud that had been pushed up by moles.

He was enjoying himself, he had no doubt, and Marcus was looking forward to a chance to clean his face and sit quietly for a brief moment. He felt freed from the prison of the RamRails. He could afford five minutes to himself. Moving the opposite way up the path a young boy came trotting back, big eyes watching Marcus as he passed. The older hunter gave the lad a nod and smiled but the boy remained totally stony, even stopping and moving out of the way. It was odd, as if the boy was accusing him of some crime but Marcus didn’t know which one. Nothing to do but press on and so Marcus just carried on his way and meandered down to the water before leaning down to cup the cool refreshing liquid and drink greedily from his hand. It wasn’t the cleanest water and the gritty bits of dirt reminded him not to have too much, but compared to the hydration pills it was better than ambrosia. Gulping a few more mouthfuls he then used another to wipe down the back of his neck before standing and looking around.

He came to look at the blackened building and he was overcome by intrigue. He was an adventurer at heart and a quick nose wouldn’t do any harm. Moving closer, Marcus got a better idea of just how decrepit this place was. It seemed to groan and almost shift in the breeze as if it might collapse at any moment. He would have to be careful. Climbing the stars to a landing and pushing at the cracked door he peered inside and froze. The door had fallen inwards and sitting in the middle of the soot coated communal space were all the signs of a squatter. Patches of dirt cleaned by the presence of a blanket or something, the remains of a dinner tucked into a basket, and the stench of someone living without indoor plumbing over the top of something far more… arcane. Marcus ran back from the house in a start. She had been here! She had to have been, and recently. His memory recalled the boy and he cursed. Clearly he’d missed someone running away from him.

But where had she gone? Back into the village was unlikely, but there were still many directions to go. She could have headed towards the fishermen, or up towards the hills, down into the forests… or even just out across the plains! Marcus cursed again, more loudly this time, and then drew four plate sized discs from the back of his belt. With a click he activated them and watched as the smaller drones whirred into life then lifted into the air. A dancing of fingers on his wrist companion sent them shooting into the sky and veering about to begin searching the area. It would be slower than he liked but the best he could manage. Even so, Marcus didn’t want to stand still and he weighed up the options. He didn’t know much about his quarry… except the garden! Plants. She must have done something to the plants. Breaking into a trot down towards the forest he hoped he was making the right call.
Bring us the girl, wipe away the debt...

A shudder in the RamRail caused a shift in the boxes that awoke Marcus from a dreamless slumber. He'd been perched atop the precarious cargo for the last few hours and getting much needed rest for as long as he could manage, each one was packed with sardine packed supplies for the peripheral village of the Hierarchy and, despite this, there was just enough room left in each to allow shifting that caused the stacks to be unstable. Not so much as to ever risk losing the contents, but then these sorts of freight had never meant to have civilian passengers and so they were a death sentence if Marcus had got caught between two in motion. Additionally, boxes did not need to see and so all the lightning had been turned off to conserve power and he was forced to rely on the dirty light that could penetrate the mottled shielding around the doors. He had been trapped in this space for the last few days, the routine buzzing of the chrono on his wrist kept him conscious of the date and time, but the stifling heat from the engine beneath him and the danger of crates meant the entire journey was feeling more like a jail sentence than a job. He hadn't expected first class or a motorcade, of course, but he had hoped his bosses wouldn't have been so cheap as to pack him away like equipment. Yet here he was.

Each box was stamped by the triangle pierced by a scroll of the Hierarchy and had stencilled into it the contents. All was probably quite inaccurate given the corruption of the bureaucracy - last calendar year there had been over six thousand executions in the finance department alone - and especially as Marcus had looted from one damaged crate a replacement grapple and line to replace the older model he had had. Stretching to the left with a crack, and then to the right, Marcus could barely himself think over the rattle of the carts on the rails and the buzz of generators directing power to whatever subsystems were meant to keep the place habitable to inanimate objects. They seemed to suck all of the moisture out of the air and replace it with an intolerable heat. Chapped lips were a worry of a past, replaced by genuine fear of dehydration followed by delirious gratitude to his Ma for teaching him to make hydration tablets on a shoe string budget. But even those were running out and they were no replacement for a cool glass of water. Marcus had heard there was a lake near the village and he fully intended to dunk his whole head under before he got to work looking for anyone whatsoever.

Skintails, rats that seemed to thrive on waste into nasty, brutish and wretched versions of themselves, occasionally became visible from the glimmer of their eyes but quickly darted back out of sight. At first a small gaggle had tried to nibble at Marcus whilst he slept, but the slash of his knife and a few shots quickly asserted his pre-eminence over the pack in the train. Now they were a helpful reminder of his fate if he failed this mission. The powers that be were never a forgiving sort and his was a long line of debts to payback for. Most not of his own creation, but then debt forgiveness upon the death of a parent had been rescinded long ago. Now, caught in the web of indebtedness and oaths, Marcus was looking for the final piece to unlock his lifelong puzzle. Suddenly, a screech of metal on metal broke his thoughts and Marcus ducked into a crevice built into a wall section and braced himself. The screeching got louder and then the train shook as a new cart rammed into the back and immediately joined the growing convoy of freight.

RamRail, so named for the technology that made it useful, functioned cheaply by having engines run twenty four seven up and down the lines, with stations collecting cargo along the route and firing full carts into the back, known as Ramming, to connect up and be carried along the line until disengaging and diverting off the rails to their destination. It was fully automated, apart from some mechanics and maintenance engineers, and had made some very influential people very wealthy. As the cart returned to normalcy Marcus pulled himself up and felt out where his boxes now lay before finding a new position to lay down and try to get more rest. It would do his back and head no good to enforce this much sleep, but the alternative was even more miserable. It would be another two days before the cart he had boarded disengaged and rolled into the RamRail depot for Brightlingsea. Loaders and porters deactivated the shielding and hauled the locking restraints back, only to wretch at the stench of of man who stepped out with a wide, if weary, grin. Coated in grime that had been kicked up in the cart and stuck to his sweat soaked body and carrying a bag filled with his waste from along the route he must have seemed like a homeless ghoul to even these brutes. But he still managed a chipper nod and then hopped down, moving between the confused faces, and marched off on his way to the village which stood a few stories high the other side of the depot.

His thick boots were steel capped and his clothes bulked to contain as much protection as he could afford, as well as conceal some of the more archeotech equipment he used to capture the very specific quarry that he hunted. Moving between the other carts being loaded and unloaded, Marcus hurled his waste behind one untouched structure for some unlucky soul to find and diverted for the gateway that led through the chain link topped with razorwire that acted as protection. One of the men on duty noticed him quickly and sniffed the air before his face split in disgust. "What the bloody hell are you, and why'd you stink? Homeless ain't allowed round here, how'd you get in?" Marcus noticed the worn Hierarchy overalls and the tremor of a drinking mans hand. This was hardly a patriot of the state.

"Got lost the other side of the rails, chum. Almost got taken out by the latest one coming in, just had time to dart over here before I was red paste on the tracks!"

"You get what you deserve wanderin' 'round the tracks like that." The man sniffed, scratching a particularly flaky patch of skin on his chin.

"Ah, but then one of you would be in the dog house until you cleaned up my brain matter. I feel I saved you a job, didn't I?"

"S'pose. Pretty well dressed for a bum, though. Where you from?"

"Oh, I travel about a bit. Find jobs wherever I can. Used to Sherriff up Routlidge way, that was until they closed the office." The employee kissed his teeth in sympathy of another stiffed worker and Marcus knew he was fine. ""So, you think I could get into town? I'd really like a drink and a lie down." There was a nod and Marcus thanked the man before moving around the arm of the barrier on the tarmac road into the depot and out into the short distance between the outermost buildings of the village and the depot proper. Spring had just arrived and the crisp autumnal air was receding in favour of warmer, but that hadn't kept the edge of a chill from nipping at the flesh and forcing people into coats. Marcus was once again thankful for his thick working gear, and practically ecstatic for the freshness as compared to the 3recyled air of the rail cart. Now, where abouts was that lake...
Marcus 'Janus' Waller

Hunter by trade, Marcus is employed to bring in - or down - targets who threaten the peace in the land. | 31
He was lowborn and raised, scrapping for everything he had until finding himself apprenticed as a hunter and now he thinks he's just found the witch to make his name famous to those who matter.

The Saa’kaleed Abiat

The abode of the Abiat representatives in Arkronia

The wind gently rustled the leaves of the gardens outside the window of the Abiat building. Earthy fragrances danced over the noses of the Saa’kaleed as many of the servants and helpers went about making the place fit for the Rea-Abi and his closest advisors, at least those that had been allowed to travel with him, whilst the clan of protectors had found stabling for their Basa and now organised shift and patrol patterns in the unknown building to ensure the safety of their leader. It was the standard procedures whenever the government of the Abiat moved to a location that was unknown and it left many feeling wildly uncomfortable. The Rea-Abi seemed in a far more jovial mood, however, and addressed those retainers not absorbed by other tasks with a pleasantly good humoured demeanor.

“I must say, for as much as I enjoy the heat of the Leed, the Arkronians certainly know how to pamper honoured guests. I might almost think we were here at the goodwill of our hosts, not as their supplicants.” There was polite smiling and chuckling approval all around as subtly everyone turned to see if the representative of the crown might offer any unhappiness at the backhanded compliment. “Nonetheless, this is most certainly a fine place for our nest to settle for the coming days and festivities. Please inform the Crown-Prince that I am most honoured by the state of our housing and look forward to the coming coronation.” A slight tip of the head, hardly the bow most present expected in deference to their leader, was offered in mute response.

“We have finally arrived, my sons, and despite the long and arduous journey it appears that for the foreseeable future we will enjoy a respite in the lapse of luxury to soothe our weary legs and our sore bottoms!” A rousing cheer of approval greeted the news. “We are to follow the rulings of the Arkronians as we conduct ourselves about the capital, there will be no reason for the Crown-Prince to doubt our good intentions, and if I hear of any amongst our number acting in a way to cast aspergers over the honest will of our mission then I will personally pull every tooth from his mouth until he babbles his sorrow like a newly born babe.” Less cheering followed the threat, though the lizardfolk appeared contented by the threat, whilst the Arkronian appeared somewhat taken aback at the distasteful barbarism. “Our hosts have provided an agent of the crown to act as our guide and handler whilst here, I expect you all to listen closely as they run us through the arrangements for the festivities and beyond.”

The well dressed man of grey, with the veneer of a broad smile, stepped up beside the Rea-Abi and patted him gently which drew a discontenting growl from one or two of those present. “Thank you, Rea-Abi, the Prince appreciates all of those loyal to the crown and your presence here to see his inauguration. We are the honoured ones, truly.” Aram Sallah nodded his head graciously and smiled wickedly when a few voices muttered Haka Marea. “Your Rea-Abi is right, however, it is time to go through the rules regarding how you must carry yourselves here in the capital. Whilst we respect your individuality as a people and the uniqueness of your culture, it will be doing no good for you to act well outside the norm in front of the other noble families. The power of the crown must be respected.” The Arkronian spoke cooly, with the primness and etiquette of someone trained in the art of diplomacy by an overlord, and with none of the tact of someone who had spent some time amongst the Saa’kaleed. At least back in the Leed the Crown Agent had learned how to best approach the emotive folk of the Leed.

As the rules regarding court of the Arkronians were lecturedm, and many pretended to pay close attention whilst desperately hoping attendants were actually keeping notes, the Rea-Abi sat patiently and smiled amicably as he went about the business of okaying the decisions of the house. Menus needed to be cleared, wardrobes were being selected, and the assortment of goods that would constitute the gifts for the crown had to be made final. All the while the words of the Yuravian representative continued to run through his mind. Deviance by devotion? Empowering a weak crown to create room for which to wiggle until the time was right to throw off the yoke of the Arkronian was a tempting ideal. It was passive and drew so little risk, it merely meant acting out loyally, but it also was the equivalent of doing nothing and that brought domestic issues of its own. He was an old lizard now, whilst not decrepit he still feared he would not live to see the sands of the Leed under the stewardship of the Saa’kaleed alone.

Furthermore, a number of the other clans that dominated other cities across the desert were vitriolic in their desire to see the Arkronians deposed. It was one of the reasons his court had grown so small as of late. Protest by absence was becoming common. Which was why the letter that was passed to him kept his attention far longer than any others. A Forgotten Tribe of humans ready to rebel? This was unexpected and deeply suspicious, were the scheming machinations of the Arkronians reaching new levels and producing threats to their own supremacy to draw in traitors? This required more investigation. Very well, he decided, the help would find themselves in receipt of a night off in thanks for their service in the journey. From their number he would find his agent.

Aboard the Oasis, off the shores of Ikesh

If in the north the Rea-Abi enjoyed a warm breeze and the budding of new flowers, off the shores of Ikesh it was a veritable holiday. The waters remained calm at anchor so close to the harbour of one of the very few settlements that straddled the shore of the island. Brilliant light warmed the blood and made it necessary for the Grand Vizier to spend most of the days under the shade of a canopy that had been erected over the top of the barge’s deck and allowed meals to be eaten at perfect comfort. The little coin they had was slowly trickling into the coffers of the nearby village as Saa’kaleed traded for the necessary supplies to remain at their meeting place for as long as possible. Days had turned to weeks and by now it appeared that the Aegiren party would not be arriving to discuss the dealings over the island.

Whilst this had been an incredibly pleasing break from life in the capital, Faisal Hassan had lived with the specter of the future hanging over him like a cloud. His instructions had been reliant on the possibility to diplomatically find some solution to their impasse that would make a quiet and simple assumption of control over the island and the straits. Now, that seemed impossible with the failure of the other side to appear to have those discussions. That left him with the choice of settling to ignore the subject and report he had been unable to even pursue his task, or being more confrontational when playing his hand. Was this island worth fighting over? Certainly many of the coastal clans thought so. It was their distant cousins who now shared the settlements on Ikesh with other human colonists from the Aegire and formed a semi-independent state made toothless by the posturing of the divorced parent states.

The treaties with Arkronia had made all nascent seafarers across the continent, but even so the Abiat was remarkably ill developed by that standard. Once the Basa were landed control would be guaranteed, but if they made some move and the Aegire managed to intercept them at sea it would likely be a slaughter that he would never recover from in the eyes of the court. There had to be another way that didn’t bring them to outright war, but that would make the intentions of the Abiat quite clear. On the way back to the Abiat he might have more time to think about it, unless…

“Captain! Prepare us to sail, and make for the port. I intend to land on Ikesh.” The outburst caused the ship to fall silent and all looked at him astonished, according to custom no official of his stature could land. “Are we deaf aboard this vessel? I said to land! I intend to go ashore, Hashim?” The Grand Vizier turned looking for his closest agent. “You said there is a group on the island who support annexation by the Abiat, correct?” The slight form of the lizard nodded his head reservedly.

“Yes, Grand Vizier, but they are a minority. And another group support protectorate status from the Aegire. Most seem content to await for a peaceful solution and to accept what may come. Though, a unilateral occupation would likely polarize the people and radicalise both groups. What do you intend to achieve by landing?”

“We are going to stay with some of our friends for a while, enjoy the cooler weather out here in the straits and try some local cuisine. We will observe and be present, though I want that to be clear before I set foot on the land. When we dock you will go to the houses of our supporters and find us accomodation, then I will disembark and make immediately for the house you have found. I am sure the Aegire will hear news of this soon enough, but it will take too long for the message to reach them before we have comfortably settled in and made contact with everyone who is sympathetic with the cause. Meanwhile a letter will be dispatched informing those remaining in the Abiat to prepare a punitive group. If the Aegire attempts to storm the island then our lives may be lost, but we can seek restitution from the crown, let us turn up the heat of these debates without resorting to an invasion. If the Aegire still fail to respond then the continent will know they no longer keep their claim to the straits and we can freely move in.”

“You play with fire, Grand Vizier, what if the crown holds us accountable for this breach of tradition?”

“By the time they can send anything to respond to us, we will have fermented the support we need. The crown are only good if this comes to a conflict, because their fleet will not be stopped. A diplomatic faux pas? I’m willing to take the risk we’ll be asked to evacuate at worst, and by then we will have achieved everything we need to.” Even as the Vizier planned the chain of the anchor was being ratcheted up and the prow of the ship was turning to face the small harbour of the seaside village. Soon the Abiat would have one of their highest ranking officials on the lands of Ikesh again, it was a gamble that could very well go wrong, but if the Grand Vizier was right then there was every chance he could maneuver around the Aegire.


The Bacchus Brew Tavern

There was a rasping cheer as the crowd of lizards pushed their way into the Tavern, jangling with the extra coin provided by the Rea-Abi for the evening’s entertainment. It had been an unexpected boon when he had generously given them all the night off as a reward for the journey and funded a debauched journey to the drinking holes of the Arkronian capital. Many had never left the palace, however, let alone the country and so the city was a total mystery. Thankfully Ksar Abdulh had journeyed here before and directed them to the Bacchus Brew Tavern, somewhere he quoted as the best place to drink away all the worries in the world. He hadn’t explained that it was a place dominated by the human servants of the Arkronians though, and the lizards were loathed to part as a group, even feeling more unwelcome than before as they caught the glares of the few patrons of the place. Even so, Ksar convinced them to stay, paying for a round first out of his own pocket.

This wasn’t the only place the lizardfolk were visiting, but it was one Ksar had convinced a crowd to go to. He hoped given the spread of his people this night that agents following them might be divided and he’d be able to meet with whomever the contact was without drawing the attention of the crown. “The largest drink you have, please. For us, the forgotten tribe.” He hissed to the man behind the counter, paying for his drink and the round with a purse. Taking the flagon provided he nodded as the man pointed to a small alcove in the back of the tavern. It was the third drinking house they’d visited and Ksar pulled up his hood and made his way to the alcove, confident his fellow lizards would be caught up in drink and the haze of the drinks they had had to even notice his slipping away.

The Saa’kaleed Abiat

Somewhere en-route to Arkronia

"A Sickness that spreads far and wide through their whole people? Such a pestilence must be terrible indeed." The Rea-Abi mused, flicking his forked tongue over his bottom lip. "Solutions will be found, or at least we have to assume so, Kasim. The Arkronians may be dying now but they are anything if resourcefulness and given the deception surrounding the end of the last war for independence I am loathe to trust that they are so terribly afflicted as the Yuravian's suggest. What exactly did they say of their agent?" Kasim briefly recounted the exact wording of the translator. - A man I with so great of honor I may hold even his most ridiculous of tales to truth. - Such praise was rarely entirely the truth but spoke of how much credit the Yuravians put in the report. At least, that is what Kasim reported back. "Perhaps we shall see some of these villages as we pass through Arkronia, it would be good to allay the anxiety of being deceived by one side or the other." It was astoundingly irritating for Kasim to listen to these musings again, Aram Sallah had made no mention of the other matters that the Yuravian envoy spoke and appeared to not even consider the matter as he chatted on and on about the truth behind rumour of the plague. Travellers were less common in the Abiat and such mutterings had been heard but with far less detail and conviction as the horse people spoke now, this was to Kasim confirmation and the addition of an incredibly important new matter.

"And a sickness that only affects the Arkronians themselves, with no seeming effect on any other race? Deeply suspicious, though to turn back now would guarantee our deaths either way. It seems we are to be the test subjects for that hypothesis, my child." The Rea-Abi laughed and reached to squeeze the shoulder of Kasim as they rode next to each other, their Basa lizards playfully slicking their tongues out at one another and trying to strike flies from the air in front of them.

"Perhaps we should respond to the other matters they raised, Rea-Abi. It would be good to have at least one other power present who we can rely upon to support our moves." This only brought another laugh from Aram Salah.

"Moves? My boy, you have been raised on too many stories of dark dealings and coups in palace corridors. We will not be permanent fixtures in Arkronia, and despite the discussions we are having now it is not in any way an official diplomatic assembly. It serves us in no way to play our hand and reveal any colours we might have when we are nominally only there to recognise a formality." When Kasim hissed the Rea-Abi shook his head. "You think me naive, Kasim? I can see it clearly enough. You will need to get better at hiding your emotions or I will send you home again. I do not believe that overtures will be made and plotting will occur, but how much do you think will actually happen? Any sign of a sizeable retinue coming with the other signatories will be held somewhere along the border and it takes weeks to communicate home. We are drawing lines and going to understand the lay of the land, not ready for battle. Call it reconnaissance." Kasim bowed his head before responding.

"Very well, then what is it you would like to carry to their emissaries? That we have no opinion?"

"Do not assume, Kasim! Nothing of the sort. Thank them for sharing the stories they have heard, they are deeply concerning but hopefully the reality is not as dire as it is made to seem. Their concerns over the influence of House Rhaskozikan are obviously understandable, and we share them deeply, this is no time for radical men to start dictating the world. Make sure they understand the Abiat will support no people who seek to exterminate another, this Empire rests and many shoulders and none are any less deserving of life. Regarding the crown, they speak of dangerous matters. The Abiat is loyal to the crown it swore fealty to, whoever might now wear it. We fully intend to honour that agreement and enjoy a peaceful coronation, though we would be honoured if before the day of the ceremony we might host a dinner for their delegates? It has been many years since so many have come together and I would like to remember our ancestors together in veneration of our shared history."

"You make us sound like whipped curs sitting politely for our master, Rea-Abi, I cannot say this is what I expected." Before Kasim could move away he added. ""If we truly came to do nothing, then why am I here?"

"Because if you were to use your brain you would understand why we are all here, boy. Do not think I am not too old to beat you in front of strangers and family alike." A fire had ignited in the eyes of the older lizard, and Kasim gave a gulp before bowing his head in apology.

I am sorry, Rea-Abi. I- I still do not like this situation at all. Haka Marea." Then Kasim shifted forwards again to rejoin the trail of Yuravians and pass along the message, exactly as it had been dictated. The longer he thought the clearer he thought he understood the message. This was an embassy not meant to declare war, forge a new rebellion, or overthrow a crown. This was taking stock, making 'friends', and reassuring everyone else the Leed was not about to flare up again. It was as much for everyone else there as for the crown they were meant to meet. He thought, at least. The Rea-Abi had not confided in him and the best he could do was guess.

@Yam I Am
The Saa’kaleed Abiat

Somewhere en-route to Arkronia

Kasim Mul’rahh was hopelessly miserable. He had run into the Yuravian party whilst on their own way to the inauguration and swiftly passed along the missive and communicated exactly how the two parties could coalesce into a single unit. The wild nomads of Yuravia had always been one of his least favourite neighbours given their wild and brutish demeanour, though given their shared animosity with the crown he had been much less vocal than regarding other states and their peoples who seemed eager to suckle at the tit of subservience. This natural distaste had only been intensified when he realised he had received no other instructions except to see them safely into the path of the Rea-Abi, requiring of him a level of small talk and diplomatic nicety that did not come simply. Great lengths of time were spent uncomfortably silent as he came up with suitable distractions from the fact he was in fact in no position to speak for the Abiat.

Eventually Kasim had settled on deflection and deferring inquiry for until they rendezvoused with the Rea-Abi some days later, which he found thoroughly humiliating. Was this really the great work he had been picked out for? Now, having met on one of the great crossroads of states that dotted the central regions of Mycoria the two parties seemed to ride besides one another, rather than together. The Rea-Abi had insisted that the two parties be seen as separate entities for any passers by - not that there had been a soul on this stretch of the road - and instead resorted to hastily written notes or briefly exchanged words that Kasim had to pass along to the Yuravian translator and then return to his own master with the response. He did not appreciate being an errand boy, no matter how grand the errands were supposed to be.

"Friendship? They wanted to speak rekindle friendship?" Aram Sallah had chuckled, his mirth like that of an elder having caught his youngest great grandchild with sweet pastry crumbs sticking to his cheeks. "I must admit, I have missed the simplicity of the Yuravian people. They share our wildness of the blood, if perhaps it shows itself in others ways. We will have more than enough implicit dialogue in the coming days once we arrive at our destination. I shall enjoy some genuine discussion." Though, the reality of this 'genuine discussion' was instead brief comments and notes passed between one party and the other. Kasim had yet to know of any real matters of state passing between the two embassies whatsoever. That was, until roughly two weeks into the journey.

"Kasim, come closer." Aram had said, waving the younger lizardman forward and waiting until he dutifully acquiesced.

"Haka Marea, Rea-Abi?"

"Inform the chief his last remark was very funny, though our people lay eggs and I recommend he save it for only those who have some familiarity with their reproductive cycles." Kasim nodded, he hadn't understood it but apparently the Rea-Abi had enjoyed it greatly. Laughing quite heartily in the gentle rasping whisper that was common for their species. "Ask him of our destination, if you could. I have been doing some reading on our trip and there are... troubling reports, but it is difficult to verify their validity. I would appreciate if he was candid about what, if anything, he has heard. Some say quite worrying things about the state of the Arkronian throne." Aram nodded his head and Kasim seemed to spark with new energy. The Arkronian throne? This was the kind of thing he wanted them to be talking about, and he caused a small incident with one of the posse as he extricated himself from the procession too hastily and got in the way. Pacing his mount forwards to join the Yuravian group he weaved through until he could relay the information on to their chief once more.

Aboard the 'Oasis', still harboured in the Abiat

The wind tickled the bared head of the Grand Vizier, causing him to shift as if his scales had just been tickled down his spine. Despite something of an aversion to water he had always enjoyed going to sea for his missions. The waters were an unimaginable endless void, the secret home of the people from across the sea who had conquered their land. It was mystery of who or what was even out there, though many academics had speculated. One remarkable claim had it that the world sat atop the back of a great leviathan, remarkably adding when questioned about what the leviathan was atop, that it was lizards all the way down. Such theses drew little attention these days, in the enlightened days of science and modernity. Even so, the unknown was enthralling and encapsulated perfectly by the sea.

"We're ready to sail, Grand Vizier, if you are?" A naval officer remarked and Faisal Hassan nodded his head, turning to move to the bow of the ship and look out. A dispatch had been sent a few days earlier inviting the First Lord of the Admiralty to a meeting just off the coast of Ikesh. It had seemed apt to discuss the island within sight of its shores, and having their discussions aboard vessels allowed the pair to discuss options away from the prying ears of those who could run away. It was a long swim back home for either side and rumours caused by the meeting could be forestalled at least until each party had returned to their respective port. When the oars swing out and dragged the light craft away from the jetties there was a lurch in the lizard's stomach. The first motions was always the strangest and he doubted he would get used to it again until it was time to disembark, such was the luck of a traveller and landsman.

Even so, it was spectacular to begin the journey into the bright blue waters of the sea. It should be a pleasurable few days before they arrived off the north coast of Ikesh and anchored in waiting for the Aegire officials. He would have liked to take the sights in, but there was work to do. Turning back towards the cabin of the ship, Faisal plodded carefully back into the shade of the indoors. "Now, tell me about their hold to this island. Undoubtedly it involves some kind of prior occupation they claim was first?" He shook his head. This land was Saa'kaleed by blood, lost to them and then promised in return many years ago. He would do his best to recover them, or at the very least keep the issue open. He would not be the one to sell his people's patrimony.

@Yam I Am
The Saa’kaleed Abiat

The audience chamber of the Rea-Abi, one hour after sunrise…

”...that they are granted the honour of being invited to the inauguration ceremony of crown prince Rakon-Da.” A titter of hissing laughter erupted from the circle of lizardfolk sitting atop the great plush cushions and stools of the private audience chamber. Only the Rea-Abi sat atop a chair - a plush stool of lacquered wood inlaid with gems and gold leaf - and only he refrained from revealing his thoughts as he absorbed the rest of the letter in serene silence. ”Yours sincerely, Drokon-Al, Steward of Arkron.” The orator finished, lowering the letter and darting his eyes between the other council members present. ”The king is dead, long live the king. Perhaps our new overlord will not be quite so unbearable in his demands of us.” A further chorus, this time of ardent support from a number of the Sa’kaleed who clearly shared this sentiment. ”And, perhaps, we might finally broach the subject of how exactly we might extricate ourselves from the bonds of this incessant web.” Further support was voiced, louder this time, though opposition finally found its expression.

”And perhaps whilst we are at it we might also ask the Arkronian advice on how best to counter their forces and if they would be so kind as to give us their navy. Please, Kasim Mul’rahh, allow wiser and more venerable minds to advise the Rea-Abi whilst you and your cohorts return your attentions to more immediate matters. This is no time for childish suggestions.” The put down, worded calmly drew guffaws of anger and muttered insults from the younger advisor. Before long heated debate became an argument, the room fell into a shouting contest, and all the while, sitting stoically on his stool, the Rea-Abi watched and considered. ”You speak of wisdom, Faisal Hassan, but I would wager your experience has not grown since the last rebellion.” Kasim said, voice dripping in menace.

”At least I have a war to remember, do not think yourself so big now I could not beat you.” The threat was given coldly, and the shouting intensified. Suddenly there was a loud tapping sound as the Rea-Abi landed the butt of a staff onto the stone floor and everyone turned to see what he had to say.

”Brothers argue; old and young, quick and slow, wise and foolish, you debate like hounds in the desert over the last scraps of meat. There can be response without peace, peace amongst you and peace with what I must say.” The others, bowing their heads, muttered the single veneration together. Haka Marea. Peace to the Father. With order restored, the Rea-Abi continued. ”There is no question of acquiescing to the will of this dictat. We will send an embassy and they will arrive in the fullest intention of renewing our vows to the Arkronian crown. To do otherwise would be death for our people and punishment by the cowards across the continent who no longer value their freedom.” The younger Sa’kaleed who had voiced opposition to this position earlier raised his eyes as if to counter this response, but thought better and bowed his head again. ”I will lead the embassy personally, anything less would be considered an affront. And it would be good to speak with those who still hold true to the bonds of blood that bound us all those summers ago.”

”Then I wish to accompany you!” The youth blurted out, rising to his haunches and looking up.

”As you shall, Kasim, for you should see what shores outside of the Leed really look like. Perhaps you might learn some patience.” The younger courtier sat down again, rebuffed yet honoured in a single stroke. ”Meanwhile the Vizier will be seeing if he still has the spine you claim he has lost.” A ripple of lighthearted laughter. ”The time has come, once again, to send our demands to the Aegire that they relinquish their claims to the island of Ikesh. I imagine, as usual, this will result in the same drawn out talks. But, if we fail to raise the issue once again we will be implying that our own demands no longer matter. A thankless task, Faisal, but one I am certain you will manage effectively.” The coy knowing smile on the Rea-Abi’s lips told the elder lizardman to expect the most boorish of assignments.

”I serve at your pleasure, Aram Sallah, Rea Abi. May we find success in this venture where others before have failed.”

”You fail to mention the number of years you and I have spent working on this exact issue together, it does not befit a good Abi to ignore his own failings. I simply wish to see if any advantage may be eked out of our timing. In any case, I shall have an exact list of those joining me drawn up by midday, and we will be leaving as soon as the proper preparations can be made. I believe a route north would serve us best, Kasim, I have an important assignment for you prior to our main departure.” And so it was, that same evening, that Kasim Mul’rahh - Makr’a’aar to the Rea-Abi - left along the main highway in an attempt to head north and then follow the main roads towards the Yuravian Confederacy. A missive in his possession for the Gardinâ and hope that he could reach a representative before their embassy left. Far more lethargically, intended to arrive after the main procession from the Aegire Oligarchy had departed, a formal attache requested to bring to the attention of the remaining authorities a timely request. A number of days later a much larger procession emerged from the capital, making a swift and relatively underwhelming march north and towards the grand highways that would lead to the capital of the continent. The Basa, long having lived exclusively to the desert climate of the Leed would ride once again. Not for battle, but for veneration. A corps of advisors followed the Rea-Abi as he led the way, accompanied by a family of his closest guardians.

@Yam I Am

Repost so its easy to find. Think I have finished ^^
@Blandina Thank you! I spent just long enough on it not to immediately hate it xD

But for sure I definitely wanted to try a tribal desert people, its a culture/enviroment I never really explore in these sorts of things and I like the different kind of narrative I've got to usual even in just writing the nation up.
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