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[IC] The Great Meeting

#1
Dear Honoured Leader,

On behalf of the People's Assembly, and the People of the Procellian Empire, I do hereby extend an invitation to a summit to be held in the port city of Afgurla. This purpose of this summit is discuss the great conflicts and stresses that our world faces in these ever more challenging times. Our hope is to promote open dialogue and diplomacy as an alternative to the wars that have plagued your nations for centuries, as well as provide you the unparalleled opportunity to see one of the great cities of the winter kingdom. We will happily provide you with quarters in Cuzarit Castle which we assure you will be most comfortable, if desired you are of course welcome to stay in any hotel within the city limits. In between meetings we highly encourage you to visit Dreta and Carolornur, our top attractions in the city. I pray for your prompt reply and safe journey.

His Holiness the Imperial Ruler of Procellia,

Dras Ishay
______________________________________________________________________

OOC: Your servants have delivered you this letter, hand written on paper of foreign make. The Empire of Procellia, a nation that has isolated herself from the world for over a thousand years, has invited you to a summit in one of her cities. Little is known about the nation, or those that inhabit it. All that is known is that it covers a continent far from the rest of the world, where ice and snow forever coat the mountains and ice sheets will make the nation impossible to access for months at a time.

#2
Dras Ishay, his neatly tied back white hair bobbing slightly, gave a great sigh as he made his way down the stairs of the castle. It seemed that every morning since he had sent out those invitations he'd been summoned to the People's Assembly to argue with the elected officials. Those backwards windbags never were the types to enjoy change, and it had only been with the support of the religious majority in the body that he'd avoided any legal repercussions. Some days it was good to be the child of the demon king, and recently he'd had a lot of those days.
"Col-ri why is it that some people live in mortal fear?" He asked the old man walking beside him, who was his most trusted advisor
"I don't know your majesty. Perhaps they have become so accustomed to the doldrums our empire has suffered under for the past thousand years that any risk seems unreasonable" The old man mused, offering a smile to the stressed monarch
Ishay sighed frustrated "Yes but those doldrums have come at the expense of our economy. We've stagnated because everyone already has everything they need, and with a growing population we need economic growth or everyone's level of living will end up going down. It would be one thing if our population was stagnant too, but our fertility rate is still above 2."
Col-ri nodded aimlessly, not really listening since he'd heard this rant more than a dozen times in the past few months. "Well your majesty there are worse problems to have than a country full of well fed and comfortably living people."
The demon king cracked a smile "I guess that you're right. But even still I better get at least one world leader willing to come to the meeting, or it'll be my successor that has to try this again."
He stopped and looked at his adviser, his crimson eyes glimmering from the strong emotions he was controlling.
The old man put his hands on the ruler's shoulders and said "You shall not fail Ishay. The great and glorious king of hell hand picked you to rule this country for a reason, even if this meeting doesn't work out you will succeed in the end. Your legacy will be remembered."
Dras Ishay smiled in reply, somehow the old man always knew what was really bothering him.

#3
An envelope was delivered to the desk of Council President Marco Valerio. A relatively young man, he had recently been named to the highest executive office in Sartoria.  It had truly come as a surprise, considering how he had never sought higher office, but so was the way of the Prince, and so was his duty to comply. Close to three months have passed since his appointment, and so far his term had been mostly uneventful. Still, for some reason he sensed that things would soon change.

He looked at the envelope: carefully sealed, with a foreign-looking seal on its outside. Intrigued, he opened it and took out what seemed to be a letter, reading its contents. It was an invitation, that much was clear, but from which country? Apparently, this Dras Ishay came from a place called Procellia, located far beyond eastern Selene. Initially he though of that country near the Grand Lakes, but then he remembered it was called Sylon. How obscure could they be? To remain hidden, inaccessible for so long, without any semblance of contact? Or was he somehow ignorant?

"Minister?" he lifted his gaze, and there was his personal assistant. "You look doubtful."

He was feeling more than doubtful; he was confused. "I wouldn't say doubtful, but...Procellia? Have you heard of it?"

What followed was a brief conversation, since the assistant had indeed heard of it, and then an unplanned call to the Foreign Councillor, consulting about the contents of the letter. A few hours later...



Ufficio del Presidente del Consiglio
Risposta sulla Invitazione del Governo di Procellia

In response to your invitation, I am willing to represent the Prince Patrizio and Principality of Sartoria at the summit to be held in the city of Afgurla. As President of the Council, I look forward to discussing our bilateral relationship and the steps that could be taken to make this world more interconnected and safe for generations to come.

Foreign Councillor Grazia Marelli shall be waiting for further information on all relevant details in anticipation of the summit.

Marco Valerio
Presidente del Consiglio, Principato di Sartoria

#4
Dras Ishay patiently reclined behind his large elm desk, listening intently to the interpreter reading to him a letter they had just received from a foreign power. The translator, one of a precious few who could speak Latin, was an ancient man who sat in a wheel chair pushed around by a bored looking guard.

The king's face remained expressionless through the reading, the room silent except for the old man's stunted speech as he translated. Once complete Dras Ishay thanked the man and dismissed him and his handler. Once the room was vacant he slumped back in his seat with a sigh, letting his almond eyes stare at the stone ceiling above him. His mind raced at the implications of Sartoria accepting the invitation, and silently wishing that he knew anything about the country. To send them an invitation he'd been forced to send spies into Selene with a stack of the letters, and after they came back it was clear they had rushed the job and only found out things about Selene.

The demon king sat like this for over an hour, patiently deciding his next move. He had to ensure that the diplomat was escorted safely to Afgurla, but also didn't want to risk looking overly eager (or even worse paranoid). With a groan and a sigh he rose and stretched, his traditional red silk robes glittering slightly in the light streaming through the ancient window over looking the city. From his castle in the capitol he could see the whole of the city stretched out before him, the world's largest historic preservation site. The slate roofs of the city absorbed the light of the setting sun, it was spring in the winter kingdom and the snow had already melted from much of the city. Behind the historic island lay the glittering sheet of Maga Lake, the ancient glacial lake that had protected their city for thousands of years. Even further still he could see the white frosted peaks of the mountains that encapsulated the lake, rising high above the city as if standing guard against any would be invaders.

With another sigh the king opened the door of his study to address the guards outside "Find your best soldier and have him brought to my office by the end of the hour. And so help me if he is less than divine I will have you both stripped of your ranks and assigned to the most miserable post and can find for the rest of your enlistment."

Without even a moment's hesitation both guards bowed and declared loudly "Yes your majesty!" then ran off down the hall at a pace that even a professional runner would envy.
-----------------------------------------------

True to their orders within 30 minutes there was a knock on his door as a guard announced "Staff Sergeant Vemel of the Royal Guard wishes an audience with his king!"

"Audience granted!" He shouted back, silently enjoying the ritual

Through the now open doors walked a tall well built man, dressed in his costume uniform he looked like an apparition from an age long gone ( https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/736...3e99a2.jpg ).

The Staff Sergeant was, Dras Ishay thought, a perfect specimen of a Procellian man. His red tinted skin looked fierce in the light of the setting sun, and his almond shaped eyes curved perfectly to frame his brown eyes.

"Your holiness I am honored you would call for me!" Vemel said in a deep booming voice as he dropped to his knees in a bow that was so respectful the demon king fought back a blush

"Rise and listen carefully, and if you dare tell anyone of what I am about to tell you then I will personally make sure that you are locked up for life in prison for threatening national security. Am I clear?" The pale king said in a calm voice, but in a tone of power. The unfazed royal guardsman expressed his understanding with an affirmation.

"You are going to be escorting the leader of Sartoria to the meeting in Afgurla. I will be giving you three items, and you are to guard them with your life. If ever it becomes obvious you will fail then destroy them."

With a slow, deliberate, movement Dras Ishay opened a desk drawer and pulled out a small wooden box carved with Procellian characters saying "With honor".

"In this box is a gift for the head of this council of theirs. Make sure you deliver it to him"

Reaching into the same drawer he pulled out a second item, a small book bound tightly in fine leather and gold

"This book is a gift for their nation's library. It is a short history of Afgurla, I trust they will find it fascinating"

Reaching into the drawer one final time the demon king pulled out a small rectangular device about the size of a smart phone.

"This is the GPS that will show you the safe route that you will be taking to bring him to Procellia. This passage is top secret and if it becomes common knowledge could open us to invasion. You are to be the only person that knows of its existence, and of all the things you are protecting this is the most important."

Sliding the items across the desk towards the soldier he continued "You may bring ten men with you to guide the ship, however I request you use less if you can get away with it. You have three days to obtain all the supplies you need and depart Procellia. Money is no object, I am personally financing this expedition."

#5
V swore under her breath. The staff meeting she was in currently was a boring briefing over her plan for the next month, and it wasn't even for any questions to be answered. She was there for no other reason to show her support for her own plan. V scoffed, and adjusted the nameplate that read, "VICTORIA GALLO, FIRST MINISTER".

Finally, an orderly stopped by and poked his head in. "Shir Gallo? There is an invitation, mailed direct." V sighed of relief, and stood up to walk towards the door. Her enthusiasm was well noted.

"Wait, Gallo. We aren't finished yet." Her Second Minister stated directly towards her. While she knew the implications of such a statement, especially given the First Minister's absolute power, she was also presenting it for her Minister, and it would look bad if didn't even stay to support her own plan.

"Finish it. I have better things to do in my time," V responded. With that, she walked out and grabbed the orderly's paper.

--

RECIPIENT: Dras Ishay, Imperial Ruler of Procellia
SENDER: Victoria Gallo, First Minister of Sylon

SUBJECT: Invitation

MESSAGE:
Shir Ishay,

I am terribly sorry to inconvenience you in this matter, but I must refuse your invitation to this summit in Afgurla. Sylon has no desire to establish additional foreign relations with such an isolated nation, but the people wish Procellia the best in their attempt to reconnect themselves with the rest of Artemis.

Thank you,
Victoria Gallo
First Minister of Sylon


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Constantine Lambros
Crown Prince of Selene | Contact him here

Evangelos "Vangelis" Dimitriou
Prime Minister of Selene | Member of the Ekklesia from Kalosia


#6
In a poorly lit office, Marco Valerio stood right behind his desk, looking at the various papers laid out on it. He wasn't reading them as much as just starting, gathering his own thoughts. As Council President, his responsibilities were many and varied, but tonight his attention was focuses on the summit in Procellia. He couldn't explain why exactly, but something felt off about the invitation, about the lack of most knowledge about their prospective host country, and about the fact that their invitation had come so out of the blue.

"Presidente?" A voice said. "È tutto bene?"

"Sì, tutto va bene. Stavo pensando sul vertice in Procellia. So che non c'è nessuna ragione per non volere andare, ma per alcun motivo sto inquieto."

Andrea Malene, his Foreign Policy Advisor, nodded. "Credo che capisco quello che hai detto, ma sicuramente è la incertezza. La verità è que non sappiamo molto sulle Procelliani, quindi non sappiamo che aspettare." Heading for the door, Malene finished. "Sto sicuro che sono persone respirabile."

#7
Vemel looked stone faced at the city around him. His journey to the lands of Selene (for as his homeland saw all other lands were mere puppets of those miserable beasts) had been slow and tedious. He was thankful that he had taken his Majesty's advice and chosen a crew of 3 others, because any more and they would not have been able to slip unnoticed through the waters of Sartoria.


For his crew the Sergeant had chosen a short female translator, and two of the best special forces in the Dras' Navy. Through a mixture of luck and skill they had managed to make their way into the capitol, but now he knew they had to make their presence known. If they were caught sneaking about then surely Procellia would be accused of spying or even worse an invasion.

"si shilta ocuir svabol annishic ekess qe asta taoul filki vi mile myvillion. yth re ekess lekar wer taoul vur announce hesina lae representatives di procellia, wer xiekivi ui|ulph assembly vur jacida majesty." The leader whispered to his troops, as he gently placed his right hand on his chest, where the letter from the Prime Minister sat sealed that gave him the authority to speak on behalf of the government. Even with this letter there was no telling what would happen, they could be arrested by these barbarians and tortured for all he knew.

He slowly rose from his hiding place, revealing the civilian robes he like the rest were wearing to avoid looking militaristic. It had taken a lot of effort for him to convince the special forces to leave behind their uniforms and wear civilian clothes, and it was only the authority given to him by the Dras that had eventually forced them to submit.

https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/736...e4b010.jpg

The proud soldiers, and their civilian translator, walked the final mile to the capital beside a wide road well traveled with cars. Despite the off scene the four made it seemed to him that none took any notice of them and drove past faster than any he had ever seen.

One of the special forces, a thinly built man, commented "It seems that these barbarians are either blind or unobservant."

Vemel made no comment as the reached the out skirts of the city. Here people were talking around despite the late hour, and to his surprise they were all pale. Not the beautiful alabaster color of the royal family, but a warmer more muted white that glowed under the street lights.

#8
Palazzo Malzo

Many tourists would often complain that the Government Palace was easy to miss, hidden as it was behind rows of luxury shops, ancient statues and sites of interest. This was true, but Mekselians liked it that way. While the Royal Palace was a staple of the city, hard to ignore even if one wanted to, the Privy Council worked from a building that could only be found once one walked through a number of the aforementioned stores and historical sites, as if implying that the government owed itself to those who had build the economy and the national history. In a way, that was how it had been. Influenced by its omniprescent neighbour Selene, the smaller Principality of Sartoria had inherited not only its aristocratic lifestyle, but also its monarchical form of government. As the centuries passed, the Prince ruled fairly, but without input from many, and that had eventually annoyed the growing middle classes. A little less than three centuries ago, Prince Matteo saw it fit to appoint a wealthy merchant to his Privy Council. What he could not have foreseen was that Giuseppe Malzo would amass a huge amoung of political power, hence why most historians now consider him the first Council President of Sartoria.

As to why Palazzo Malzo was located in that particular place, rather than out in the open, that is truly one of those stories that might be fit for another occasion. It suffices to say that its location was an open secret nowadays, and locals always had a good laugh watching tourists try to find their way to the Palace. It was an unspoken rule that nobody should be more assistance than that which a map might offer, when attempting to locate the Palace for the first time. It was in honour of this tradition that every Council President would walk from the Royal Palace to the Palazzo Malzo in silence, surrounded by the people, the day they were named to the position. As many said each time this happened, as long as the Council President respected the tradition, the people would make the walk with them. It was a social contract of sorts, one that worked to keep the nation united.

Valerio had done this twice. Once when his parents had taken him to visit Mekselia, as a child, and the second one when Prince Giuliano had invited him to lead the Privy Council. He would occasionally wonder if he would have the opportunity to make the walk a third time, but not now. Instead, he was currently concerned by the intelligence report he had just received. His conversation with Malene had alleviated his concerns, but all that had been thrown out the window when his latest brief had arrived, the following afternoon. It appered that a small party had managed to enter Sartoria and was now in the outskirts of Mekselia, though their exact location was presently unknown. There was no consensus on where the party was from, but Valerio somehow knew that they had to be from Procellia.

Via Grande

Alessando Cavallaro was walking alongside the Via Grande, watching the luxury cards drive fast out of the city, or back from the countryside. A young man, he longed for a future in which he would be the one driving one of those cars, instead of watching them drive past him, the driver inside completely oblivious to the fact that he existed. Alas, his line of work made it difficult that he could afford such an expensive item. He would have to made do with his standard-issue vehicle, the one given to all patrols from the Mekselia Police. As a junior recruit, he had been assigned to check the Via Grande, one of the major highways in Mekselia, and either process traffic violations, or report to dispatch any incidents that required additional assistance. It was his third month in that assignment, and by now he could conclusively state that nothing of interest could ever happen in the highway.

Just as he thought that for the nth time, he spotted four people walking along the road. Their oddly colourful clothing made him chuckle, thinking they must surely come from the highlands in the western border, even though he had no idea how highlanders looked like. But their build, their manner of walking, their overall look. They felt wrong. Alessandro kept his eyes on them as he contacted dispatch.

"Sede, ho quattro persone portando vestiti strani."

"Repete?"

"Ci sono quattro persone portanto vestiti strani. Credo che sono dalle montagne, ma non sono sicuro. So che suona ridicolo, ma c'è qualcosa su loro che non mi piace; non posso spiegarlo. Voglio richiedere supporto."

"Capito. Il supporto sta arrivando."

Once he heard confirmation that backup was on its way, he walked towards the group, though keeping a safe distance, and speaking out loud, asked them:

"Signori? Posso aiutarvi?

#9
SSgt Vemel and his troops looked at the curiously dressed white man, as they pushed the female interpreter behind them.

"How can I help you sirs?" She translated into Procellian

Through her the leader of the small unit said "My name is SSgt Vemel of His Majesty's Demon Guard. My liege has sent me to speak to the head of your council, please inform him we have arrived.", her thick accent and poor Italian though made the speech very difficult to understand to the point that it nearly sounded like another language entirely.

The small group studied him quizzically, though their faces expressed nothing of it. Like the others he had seen this man was also the pale color of peach, that seemed almost an insult in comparison to the skin that marked those touched by the demon lords. Vemel hid a smirk as he made this last thought.

#10
[SECRET, V. GALLO]
[REC: MARCO VALERIUS]

Presidente,

I hold a deep fear over this nation, Procellia. They have spontaneously appeared from the Far Lands of Artemis, and it does not bode well if they have any power in their nation. Lest we forget, historically, there was a nation similar to them, and when it came out of its isolation, it was to modernize for war. if they have decided to bring themselves out of isolation in order to accomplish the same task, then we can expect some increased hostilities in the area as those former colonies continue to destabilize, as well as possible Selenian intervention. None of those are good for business, not especially when Sylon is attempting a canal through to the Grand Lake and through to the other side of the continent. Sartorial business would no doubt thrive with the increased contact with Procellia brought on by this, but we must continue to be wary of the new nation.

Therefore, I propose a non-aggression pact with both Sartoria. I ask that we put aside historical differences in order to try to be certain of our own safety and security from Procellia.

Signed,
Victoria Gallo
First Minister of Sylon

[SECRET, V. GALLO]


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Constantine Lambros
Crown Prince of Selene | Contact him here

Evangelos "Vangelis" Dimitriou
Prime Minister of Selene | Member of the Ekklesia from Kalosia




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