Summary:The Empress takes beverage service on Imrama's ship, where they discuss matters of expansion.

XP:I1, Z1


< That Sounds... Ominous | Sol Invictus Logs | What I Am Promised >

Imrama The Fable of the Reconstruction hangs high in the air over Solaria's outskirts, just to the north of the Cascade. The drive ring spins silently around the ship's hull as Imrama directs Mr. Iggles-Lux, who in turn directs Kubernistes Bogaroth and Navigator Xoctl as they arrange a tasteful set of low tables, cushions and an ornate Southern coffee service. Soon, all is in readiness for Zahara's...

Imrama ...arrival aboard ship.

Zahara arrives in due course, riding Tantamount (who spends the whole trip nattering on as usual.) She steps from his back with a fond pat and bows politely to Imrama. "Good day to you."

Imrama returns the bow deeply. "And to you as well. Please take your ease. May I offer you coffee - it is both rich and sweet?"

stryck "Please." She smiles and takes a seat at the table, crossing her legs and glancing over the service with approval. "Have you been finding your diplomatic endeavors successful lately?"

Imrama "I have." Imrama opens the valve of the great silvery device which is both a kettle and a stove, filling two cups and passing the first to Zahara. "For this reason, there are now just over twenty nations that are over-joyed to accept union with the Sunlands, and to have you for their Empress." Imrama raises a silver carafe, "Cream?"

zahara "Your good news is cream enough."

Imrama nods to his guest, pours a bit of cream into his cup, and recites a formal prayer in Firetongue thanking Ahlat. "I am glad to know that this is pleasing to you. And I am glad to see the many small and vulnerable nations of the Riverlands gathering to your mighty banner. We are far stronger together than apart."

zahara "Our banner, yes." She sips the coffee and smiles.

Imrama sips his coffee. "It is and ever shall remain your Empire, Zahara. I am very happy to be a part of its growth and success, and am grateful to you for giving me a home here. But I recognize it as yours, as do all of your citizens. Your nation is the heart of our work, just as you are the heart of our Circle."

zahara "You do me honor, Imrama Stormfound." She bows again, gravely.

Imrama gives Zahara a broad smile, refusing to match her somber affect. "I only speak the truth, Empress." Another sip. "Your manner seems grave - what weighs on you? Could it be the foul variety of Death Lords now arrayed against us?"

zahara sips her coffee again before speaking. "That is indeed one of the many thoughts on my mind. In this specific case, I had wondered if you know anything of use about the Walker in Darkness."

Imrama "I know that with this latest round of territorial gains, your Empire now borders his realm, a frustratingly large gash in the flesh of the East and one of the few parsels of land south of the western Yellow river that is not under your sway. Beyond that, I know only what I have read in the biographies that Birds created. And what I have inferred from that."

zahara "It seems I must obtain a Monstrance from him."

Imrama "I see. I would like, ideally, to rid him of all of his Monstrances, in order to liberate and purify the shards constrained by them. But one step at a time. I noticed, when I was reading the accounts of our Circle's one and only meeting with him, that he holds a terrible grudge against the Mask of Winters - apparently blaming him for his death. Perhaps I should say that he held that grudge -...

Imrama ...the Mask caused the Walker to loose all interest in attacking him, in a manner that sounds to me quite a bit like insidious and malicious mental influence. I thought we might use this to our advantage."

zahara "Yes, I was witness to the selfsame grudge, but I do not want to ally with him."

Imrama "Nor do I. But if he has been manipulated by the Mask, there may be a way to unravel that and set him back on his grudge - just confronting him with evidence that his mind has been altered may be enough. Now, if we are very clever and also very lucky, we might even be able to turn this into some sort of bargaining chip, and perhaps get something in return for our troubles."

zahara "Hmmm... a fascinating tack."

Imrama "I'm glad you think so! More coffee?"

zahara smiles, "Indeed, thank you." She holds out her cup. "I can always count on you for interesting solutions to my problems."

Imrama clearly enjoys the compliment. "Thank you. I did have one particular topic I hoped to touch on when I invited you for coffee: I hope you do not mind. I thought we might discuss the matter of your freshly completed fleet of airships?"

zahara "Certainly. Now that they are built, we will have to find crew and proper deployment for them."

Imrama "I will be more than happy to assist in training, and now that my father Vanileth has been restored to his former glory, I believe that he will be more than happy to help you in any way that he can. Selecting crew may be a bit more difficult - the art of sailing is not so well known in the interior East as it is on the coastal South, or in the West."

zahara "I am pleased to hear about your father. It was a shame to see him so... unfocused before. As for crew, I have found some few that might do. Perhaps the Roseblack would be able to suggest some candidates from among the Dragon Blooded?"

Imrama "An excellent idea. If you are willing to reach outside the Sunlands for candidates, you might also speak with Oara. The men of Wavecrest have centuries of experience at sailing the sea, and many of the same skills apply to travel by air."

zahara "I would rather have the ships flown by people of allied nations than shattered due to an inept crew. We will, of course, have to be sure they are trustworthy."

Imrama "Of course. Once you have established your fleet and made known the unquestionable air superiority of the Sunlands, I hope that I will be able to speak to you in my capacity as leader of Harborhead about purchasing whatever craft you are willing to mark for export."

zahara "I'm sure we could work out a favorable arrangement when the time comes."

Imrama "Once again, I am exceedingly glad. Returning to an earlier subject, then, there are a few more potential avenues of expansion you might consider: the Water Wardens and the Rojesh. There are also two potential problems that might be converted into new sub-nations of the Empire: the Arczekhs and the Wyld Zone east of Rathess."

zahara "Hmm tell me more."

Imrama "The Arczekhs are Wyld mutants, and have harried the far eastern city states now under your purview for generations. I would like to think that they could be led away from brutality, particularly if their mutations were cured or mitigated, and that could lead naturally to their joining your Empire. And the Water Wardens are now the very last of the Eastern forest tribes, other than the...

Imrama ...Arczekhis, not aligned either with you, the Silver Pact, or with Raksi. That is currently all I know about them."

zahara "Hmmm that reminds me, we do need to deal with the Silver Pact. Find out more about them."

Imrama "I wholeheartedly agree. Among many other things, I would like to know where they stand on both of the groups I just mentioned, as well as on Raksi and her followers. I would also like to know what they can tell us about other Lunar powers in Creation - to date, they remain the only ones we know well."

zahara "Oh, I know one other rather well."

Imrama "I am sorry Empress, I did not mean to bring up foul matters inadvertently. I only meant that there ought to be some three hundred Lunars in Creation, yet the Silver Pact is the only sizable grouping of their kind we have encountered, and they remain sequestered all the way at the furthest edge of the East. Have they any counterparts in the other directions?"

zahara "That would be an excellent question for Serenal, were she back from her excusion."

Imrama "Ah yes. Would that she were, and Kai with her. I have long wanted to talk with Kai about Nexus - something clearly has to be done about that city."

zahara "As always, the list of things to do grows at a pace unmatched."

Imrama "Most certainly. I know that you are eminently skilled at manipulating and codifying Wyld energies. The city of Nexus has a major Wyld zone at its heart - it might be an interesting exercise to close it and see what impact that has on the city as a whole."

zahara "That shouldn't have any repercussions at all," she says drily.

Imrama "It could be unpredictable, yes; but I have to believe that it would improve the lives of Nexus' citizens."

zahara "I haven't antagonized any fae for ages now, it sounds like good fun to me. And the thing about the citizens."

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Page last modified on March 16, 2009, at 08:36 PM