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I'm isolating myself when Im not at work so I theoretically have time to write.


I’m in the same boat.
Second Rhaetian Republic






The City of Krullal, the principal sea port of Rhaetia, basked in the late afternoon sun. A hundred ships swarmed across the placid blue waters of the harbour; the wares of every nation in Mycoria could be found along the wharves and in the great market square currently ablaze with colour. The streets throbbed and pulsed with life as faces of every race hurried to and fro; copper, silver, and gold, changed hands as a thousand deals were made and folk became rich.

Massive stone walls encircled the city, embracing even the harbour itself; two massive lighthouses rising from the headlands to flank the harbour mouth. They soared over a 1000 feet into the sky and black smoke poured from one now as tarred ropes, refuse from the ships below, was burned to provide a landmark even in the middle of the day. On either side, muscled arms reaching high above naked torsos, great legs braced as if pushing, were intricately carved colossus that appeared to brace the lighthouses themselves.

"I always thought they'd have bigger cocks." Captain Sonnu Zen mused aloud, staring up at the huge figures as his ship slid slowly toward the harbour mouth, banks of oars rising and falling in unison.

"I find that about many men," Senator Sessi Dren replied with a smirk. "At least the sculptors of these giants were accurate."

"Heh, fair enough." Zen chuckled. "Fair enough."

He turned to look down the length of his ship. It was the latest in Rhaetian design, slim, sleek, and fast. It would be no match for a warship - that was not its purpose - but it could outrun a more heavily armed foe. Like many other things in Rhaetia, it had been built to be practical and efficient. There was nothing luxurious about the stepped back masts, sharply angled sails, or purple, silver banded, hull; but all of it suggested speed.

"Oars in!" Zen shouted. "Loose all sail!"

Oars clattered against the hull as they were stored and sailors chanted in unison as the towering mainsail rose up the mainmast. The wind caught it at once, causing the vessel to heel over sharply so that Dren had to grab onto the rail before she tumbled into the sea. The Captain shot her an apologetic look.

"Should have warned you, sorry."

"No need to apologize. I do not sail often." She felt her stomach heave as the ships bow met the incoming sea, rising above a wave before plunging down the far side, sending up a great curtain of spray as the vessel gathered speed. "Excuse me." She lurched miserably for the side and vomited, the wind whipping it astern in an instant.
* * * * *


"Oh thank the gods..." Dren raised her eyes skyward as she felt the firm stone beneath her feet at last. She would have got down on her knees and kissed the quay in gratitude, but even in her condition she knew that was a poor first impression to make on the Arkronians. Instead, her stomach growling with hunger, she smiled at the three grey skinned Arkronians who awaited her.

"Alan Arkronis. Welcome, Senator." The lead Arkronian said with a small bow. The two of them were eye level, a gift from her Orcish ancestors, and she returned the bow.

"Alan Arkronis. Thank you, Captain." She offered a smile. "It's been a long time since I was here."

The captain smiled in response and pulled a scroll from his sleeve, holding it up in front of him. "I am afraid the formalities must be observed." He said, eyeing the dozen purple clad soldiers who waited behind her, still on the ships deck. "Is this all of you?"

"Yes, nothing fancy I am afraid."

"We expected such a simple, yet elegant, party from your people." Another smile as he did a brief headcount, recorded the thirteen of them, and then, with another apologetic grimace, he began to read the laws of the city.

“Welcome to Akronia, capital of the realm. Residence of the King of the Arkronian nation and supreme overlord of the realm. Before entering the city I must first inform you of the most common laws. The carrying of weapons within the city walls that are longer than 16 inches is prohibited. Violating this law will result in disarmament and arrest by Arkronian police. All weapons that are prohibited must be left at the gate. These will be administered and stored upon leaving the city walls, these belongings can be repatriated by request in compliance with Akronian weapon laws as stated in the book of weapon laws, chapter 8, section 17, appendix A.”

The captain paused a bit before he continued. “The drawing and usage of weapons is considered a violation of the law until proven otherwise in front of an Arkronian court. Weapons should remain sheeted in public at all times. Being caught with unsheeted weapons by Arkronian police will result in disarmament and imprisonment. In accordance with the laws as written down in the book of weapon laws, chapter 12, section 4. The carrying of weapons within the walls of the royal palace is only allowed in the guest quarters assigned to the diplomatic mission.”

The guard continued to state a long list of laws. With ever increasing patience, and amusement, Dren listened at to laws that governed every aspect of day to day Arkronian law. If it existed, the Arkronians would have a law for it. Rhaetia itself was not so different, though there were even more laws for the freedom of all, and rule of the majority. At least they didn't insist on reading it to everyone who visited; though ignorance of the law was no excuse.

It took nearly 20 minutes of reciting laws, and stacking of weapons, before the Arkronians began to lead their Rhaetian guests into the city. Massive walls fronted the port and they had to pass through one of the massive gates, the smell of bubbling oil drifting down from above and faces stared down from murder holes. Rhaetians were common enough in Arkronia that their passage drew few glances from the general public.

Dren would have to have been made of stone not to notice how empty the streets were. They were largely deserted and only a few scattered folk came out to gawk at the purple clad guardsmen. The streets were still neat and orderly, almost as much as those in Rhungora. The few Arkronians stood well apart from each other without trying to make it to obvious.

"Things seem quiet, captain." Dren muttered quietly to the Arkronian who walked beside her. She had turned down the offer of a carriage for a chance to see everything for herself.

The male looked at her out of the corner of his eye as thought gauging how to answer the question. Then he shrugged slightly before glancing around the street.

"Rhaetia has long been a loyal friend to the Crown. You will the find truth soon enough. Our people are dying. Not all, mostly the young and old at the moment, but that is enough." He sounded deeply sad, and Dren could not blame him. Deep down she was concerned that the plague could easily spread to her people. They were of the same family blood after all.

The captain escorted his guests through marble streets and towards the centre of the city. The strict order and fortifications were a stark reminder of the sheer power wielded by Arkronia. They walked in silence now; each lost in thought of their own people, and what the plague might mean for them all. Dren found herself imagining the streets of Rhungora as empty as those around her, the great market barren of merchants, the forum devoid of life, the river free of boats.

Their winding path, almost unnoticed now by a populace cowering from an enemy they could not see, brought them to Arkronian Royal Palace. It was a massive walled complex that encompassed hundreds of smaller buildings and the main palace itself, a titanic white structure that dwarfed anything in Rhaetia. The white walls reflected the sun so that it was almost painful to look upon the structure and the wide moat, alive with ducks and turtles, that lay before the walls.

"It is an impressive sight." Dren said, breaking the silence at last.

"Yes, though I have heard Rhaetia has impressive sights of its own."

"Nothing quite like this. Perhaps you should come and visit Rhaetia some time, judge for yourself." The Arkronian delegation in Rhungora had its own small contingent of soldiers that was well liked by the locals.

"Maybe." The word was hollow. None of them could predict what would happen in Mycoria. Only fools could not see another war on the horizon. It was not a matter of if, but when.

Their path led them across the outer bridge and into the first ring of defences. The diplomatic villas were located here, it was not Drens first time spending a night in one. The Rhaetians usual villa was among the smallest, built among a cherry blossom trees and neatly kept. A small party of servants and a handful of guardsmen, permanently stationed in the capital, awaited the senator.

"This is you, Senator." The captain said with a nod. He made as if to turn away and then paused, glancing at her.

"I hope our people can look forward to many years of peace and prosperity between our nations. We may need allies more than we need vassals soon enough." He bowed. "Until then, senator."

"Goodbye, and thank you." The senator watched him go, his words echoing in her head. She hoped he was wrong, but in her heart of hearts, she knew.

Second Rhaetian Republic




The First Consul tugged the front of his robe down and shrugged the heavy material forward so that it rested more comfortably on his shoulders. It was a raw early-spring Rhaetian morning, with the temperature barely hovering below ten degrees; the light had a cold, bleakly clear quality, as if you could cut yourself on the blue of the sky.

He walked slowly over to the heavy curtain and opened it with a quick flick of his wrist, the heavy lead balls that held the fabric in place clacked loudly, whistling tunelessly as he did so. Outside he paused to take in the view - a panoramic vista of Rhungora - and breathed deeply of the wind that blew down from the mountains; his breath a blast of white mist in the still morning air.

Below him, spread out like a painters dream, was the city of Rhungora. The First Consuls apartment had been built into the side of the Great Forum and Senate - both buildings split from each other by a long narrow pool of water - and served as the home of the Republics elected leader. Even as he felt his bare feet against the night cooled marble he took a moment to enjoy the very best part of his day, the sunrise.

It struck the mountain tops first, the peaks flaring like so many giant torches as the sun lit the snow caps. Minute by minute the sunlight moved swiftly down the tree darkened slopes - highlighting the deep green of the forest - like a world being reborn. It never got old.

He felt the heat suddenly wash across his face as the sun touched the Senate Chamber, the highest of all the buildings in Rhungora. The dome, built of stone but sheathed in copper and trimmed with silver, flared like the mountain peaks. Below him the city itself was hidden from a view, an almost inky black pool among the hills that surrounded it.

The high mansions appeared first; white washed walls, tall thin trees and nearly red tiled rooves crowned the hills and slowly marching down the hills until, at long last, the sun hit the city proper. A thousand streets, crowded in upon by three storied white homes, numberless towers and copper domes, crisscrossed a maze of canals and the two rivers whose blue waters had lit up; their deep blue colour shooting away in three directions, marking their passage from the mountains toward the sea.

He let out the breath that he had been holding and held out a hand. A servant, waiting quietly out of sight behind another curtain, hurried forward and gave him a crystal glass filled with wine.

"The Senators are here, First Consul." The servant said as he withdrew into the apartment.

"Send them in."

There was a gentle tapping on the marble floor and a door opened onto the terrace from the main Senate Chamber. A guardsman - his cloak a rich purple and fastened with gold - glanced in, caught the First Consuls nod, and then stood aside as three Senators stepped onto the terrace.

"First Consul Dosit." They said in unison, dipping their heads in greeting; Rhaetians did not shake hands.

"Senator Tul Bisner, a pleasure as always." Dosit greeted a tall male who bore a unique blue tinge to his skin; broad shoulders and a vicious scar down the left side of his face - dissecting one milky white eye - hinting at his profession before entering politics. The male was a fierce Royalist and had waged war in the name of the King.

"Senator Luunri Greanad, nice to see you again." The senator returned his smile. She was about shoulder height on him, shorter than most Ruline, but all the more dangerous for it. Those who underestimated the slim, silver tusked female, did so at their own peril. Here was the greatest threat to Rhaetian loyalty to the crown - a Ruline determined to chart her own destiny - and she made no secret of her desire to see influence of the crown curtailed.

And Senator Sessi Dren, welcome back." Strong white teeth flashed in the narrow face, canines tipped with silver. She was among those who belonged to the third faction in Rhaetia, the same faction Dosit had come from. Effectively considered neutral, they did not fall one way or the other among Royalist or Republican, but their numbers had been dwindling lines began to get drawn in the sand.

Together, the three of them represented the three most powerful factions in the senate. There were independents of course, a couple of small fringe factions that held no weight, and of course, the First Consul. Officially, he belonged to no party and served as the binding agent for all. That was becoming increasingly difficult as voices of dissent grew louder and the Arkronain Crown teetered precariously on the edge of ruin.

"Thank you for the invite, Dosit, I love coming up here." Dren purred as she stepped up to edge of the balcony, long slender fingers caressing the intricately carved handrails. "Always a treat."

"Yes, always nice to get an invite, but let's cut to the chase." Bisner, ever to the point, had clasped his hands behind his back and was standing with the easy stance of a fighter. "Forgive my abruptness, but I believe we need to get a delegation on the move. We're already a week behind."

That much was true. The Senate had debated around in circles about who they should send and, in the end, the only thing they had agreed upon was that someone definitely needed to go. In the end the four who stood on the balcony had declared an emergency council, sent the rest of the Senators home and then held a hurried council before deciding to vote on it in the morning.

"Right, of course," Dosit flashed the imposing ex-soldier a quick smile and was rewarded with a small twitch at the corner of the others mouth. "We do need to send someone."

"Well I suggest we don't send someone who wants to rip the whole damn system down." Bisner plowed right in, his eyes fixed on Greanad as he spoke. There was no love lost between the two and she scowled back at him.

"Of course, we might as well send a royal ass licker instead and make them think they can walk all over us, as per usual." She snarled back. Dosit raised a hand quickly to calm the two. He had known it would likely turn into a verbal slug fest between the two and was prepared.

"I suggest we send Senator Dren." He nodded at the neutral who shrugged in agreement. "Neither of you will support sending the other and I will not be attending. Someone will have to keep this ship of state on course while we still can." He glared at the two faction leaders who had the good sense to look somewhat embarrassed.

"I would be delighted to go." Dren gave them all a smile that lit up her face. "See what we can accomplish without committees and voting!"

"You're advocating for Empire now?" Dosit teased her and was rewarded with a dismissive look.

"Of course not, but you have to admit it sure makes things simpler. I do get tired of everyone yelling at each other until we've battered the other side in submission." She massaged her temples. "Really tired of it."

The other three either smiled, rolled their eyes, or grunted in acknowledgement. The fact that Rhaetia had somehow even ended up a Republic was still a bit baffling to them all. It had been born in blood when the Arkronian created noble order had been decimated, but somehow the link to the Crown had never been quite thrown off.

"So, we're agreed, Dren will go?" Dosit asked. He held up a hand, followed by Dren. The other two raised their hands quickly, trying to out do the other in a show of support. "It's official then."

A scribe, seated at a small stone table in the apartment of the First Consul took note of the vote, but not the conversation itself. The apartment was one of the few places of government that no conversation was ever recorded. This served to protect security and privacy alike, though Dosit had no doubt the silent servants would quickly be rushing to tell their families of the vote.

"I'll leave at once then." Dren was muttering to herself as she looked over the city which was now fully engulfed in sunlight. "Ride overland to Krullal and take ship for Arkronia."

"That would be best, yes. I'll have a dozen guardsmen go with you. We need not send anything lavish. The Republic is hardly known for grand displays. Take a couple of scribes as well. We need to know everything that happens." Dosit said as he sipped from his wine. "The winds of change are blowing and we must known which way they will go."
Second Rhaetian Republic




First Consul Kohu Dosit stretched his back momentarily, careful to not upset his kajukki as he took a moment to relax. The small craft was sharply pointed at either end and propelled by a double bladed paddle; a leather skirting kept the water from flooding the vessels hollow interior. He lay the paddle across his lap and quickly drank several handfuls of the cold river water, leaning back for a moment and staring up at the rapidly narrowing white cliffs on either side of him. Trees crowded close about the clifftops and thick green ferns, fed by the river, presented an unbroken shoreline for as far as he could see.

The water beneath him, for the moment, was crystal clear and he could see schools of large yellow fish lazily rushing past him downriver toward the unseen sea so many hundreds of kilometres away. The river bottoms was of white stone, all of it having once fallen from the cliffs above; the stones had been rounded and smoothed by the rushing water so that he could have walked along the bottom with ease.

The steadily growing roar of the river began to change in timbre as he floated along and he picked up his paddle, craning his head to see around the coming river bend. A pair of huge rocks, roughly the size of a horse, had fallen into the centre of the river and he would have to pass them to continue his journey.

Beyond the stones, the rivers placid surface was turning into frothing white mass as the canyon narrowed into a series of angry looking rapids. He grinned and hefted his paddle, sweeping it backwards to direct his kajukki between the two stones. He felt himself drop, his stomach leaping into his throat, then he hit the water with a loud crack. Ahead of him the rapids raged, the water pushing high and white over rocks beneath the surface. A deft twitch of the paddle and he began his descent into the canyon. It was a good day to be alive.
* * * * *


Three hours later, blanket around his shoulders and hands stretched out to a roaring fire, Kohu listened as his secretary read the letter from Arkron. He was sore, battered, bruised, and the exhilaration from his day on the river had been replaced by trepidation at the news of the kings death.

"The inauguration ceremonies and festivities will take place five weeks from now in the royal palace in Arkronia. As honoured guests and subjects to the crown, your attendance is expected." The secretary finished, holding out the letter to Kohu until the First Consul shook his head. It went back into its envelope before getting tucked into a saddle bag.

"Well that makes life interesting." Kohu muttered as he scootched closer to the blaze. The river had a way of chilling one to the bone and he suspected it was his Orchish heritage that made him robust enough to survive the trip. Maybe he should have a suit made that would keep him warm and dry. A thought for another day. " Nothing else?"

The secretary shook his head. Matthel had served as First Secretary for the last three First Consuls to lead Rhaetia, but Kohu was certainly the most fascinating of them all. The noticeably fit Ruline lived for excitement and adventure - riding rivers in his small boat was just one of several adrenaline packed activities he seemed to take joy in. No matter of state was ever rushed into and Kohu's exploits had made him infamous throughout the land and inspired a whole new generation of daredevils; the days of simply being good on horseback were swiftly drawing to a close.

Kohu was also the youngest male in several generations to take the role of First Consul. Unlike several of his predecessors, he had not inherited wealth from his parents and was entirely self-made. It was a sign of a new age in the Republic as old money, long associated with blood ties to Arkronia, was slowly fading away. The spoiled youth of the rich were fewer and fewer as Kohu introduced taxes and policies to strangle old family monopolies and invigorate the majority of Rhaetians.

"Get the boat loaded up, we'll ride to Rhungora and summon the senate. Someone will have to go, but who..." Who indeed. The recent weakness in the Arkronian crown had brought a host of new issues to light within Rhaetia. The younger generations, emboldened by their adrenaline seeking leadership, had begun clamouring for more tax revenue to be kept at home and some even seemed determined to cause a crisis by calling for complete autonomy from the Crown. Two factions had been slowly developing in the senate and lines were being drawn in the sand between Republican and Royalist factions. So far there had been no blows but with Rhaetia clinging to the belief that every citizen had a voice, it was only a matter of time.

Two servants had hurried forward and began strapping the kajukki onto a patient donkey who swatted at them with a shit stained tail. Food and the First Consuls wet garments joined the load - horses were led forward and the small party mounted. Four soldiers, their armour a matted green in colour, formed up in pairs in front and behind. Once Kohu was satisfied that nothing had been forgotten he gave the river one more longing glance before nodding to his escort and riding for Rhungora.

@Trinais, I’m curious, is your nation not in complete disregard to what @Milkman states in the OOC?

4. The Arkronians have banned the development of shipbuilding technology throughout the continent and monopolized it for their own kingdom. This means that the other nations aren't allowed to develop ships that can cross the ocean to reach other continents and are confined in how large of a mercentile and military fleets the other nations are allowed to have. In short the combined fleets of all other nations might be at best equal in size but subpar in quality.
My apologies for the delay in posting. I intend to rectify such a travesty this evening.
Is our infallible GM still around?
@Milkmanif the IC moves to Discord, I’m out. So good call.
@Chenzor, yes it does. Best of luck going forward!
@Kangutsoyou can have my spot.
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