Summary:A Deliberative session -- vital topics are raised, and a new Deliberator arrives.

XP:C4, I4, L4, S4, V4, Z4


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The Eleventh Deliberation, 27 Ascending Earth, Deliberative Year 1.

After quite a few months of work, the elegant Deliberation Chamber commissioned by the Solars has been completed in the flying city-fortress of Crystal, nee Atzeret -- and what a sight it is to behold now.

The elegant mosaicwork on the outside walls depicts the many great victories of the Exalts over their enemies, though these victories are carefully chosen to present the broad strokes of pan-Exalt victory over the forces that aim to cast Creation's human population down: the victory in the Primordial War, the casting of rampaging fair folk armies, the defeat of the Ebon Dragon...

The chairs for the deliberators are sumptuously furnished, with a great deal of space for each to store their many accoutrements if needed, as befits a gathering of powerful Exalts; and the table for the Chair of the Deliberative is particularly lavish, set with plentiful quantities of all five magical materials, with an elaborate and swooping backdrop to draw all eyes to it from anywhere in the room.

It is here, of course, that Zahara Zhan sits, and her fellows from her Circle not far away.

The other Deliberators -- including the delegates from Haslanti and Whitewall, finally seated after much long argumentation -- fill out the space before her, though the Chamber is built with the future in mind, and as a result a gathering of less than 30 Exalts gives the whole of it a rather empty impression, as hundreds of empty seats stretch out upwards to the glorious walls...

The pleasantries that lead into each meeting over, and the unfinished business fromt he previous meeting resolved, the agenda now turns to the new items raised by the Exalts for today's meeting....

Spring removes a few papers from his mouth, studies them, then rises. "The member from Wasirru begs to introduce a motion regarding the seating of a new representative."

No objections seem to be raised out on the floor.

Spring makes a brief gesture towards the door.

D'ellenna, wearing an elegant dress uniform of spun sea-pearls, decorated with carven knots of coral, steps into the doorway with a polite bow. "Greetings, Exalted Deliberative."

zahara "Welcome. Please state your name and position for the record."

The Deliberators look at her with a mix of reactions -- her neighbors to the north and south both seem to be a little irked.

"D'ellenna Omprezzi," she says and bows formally, "Governor and Deliberator-Appointee, Greyfish Archipelago."

Spring "Are there any objections?"

There appear to be none.

Spring "Be seated."

Spring **cut that

Spring calmly asks her the Three Questions of the Deliberative Oath, and she gives the Three Responses, waiting for an Eclipse to seal them.

Imrama dutifully seals the Oath and congratulated D'ellenna on her accession to the Deliberative.

D'ellenna bows gracefully again and walks over to the seat that has been helpfully pre-marked with her name and national origin.

zahara looks over the gathering, "Welcome to the Deliberative, D'ellenna Omprezzi. Now, on to the next order of business..."

zahara "In surveying the various economies of the Members of the Deliberative and our allies, it has come to my attention that many of the nations have had much of their trade and infrastructure set back significantly by the recent depradations of war. As such, I move to return the topic of reparations from the former-Lily-states to the fore."

There is some murmuring amongst the Deliberators, as the return to this topic has startled them somewhat, but it doesn't appear like any of them quite have the same willingness to immediately object to the idea now that Zahara is proposing it.

Spring smiles slightly to himself, and gestures for permission to speak.

zahara indicates for him to go ahead.

Spring "Exalted company, we have recently been engaged in one of what appears in all likelihood to be an ongoing series of wars for the protection of all Creation."

Spring "The forces of the Red Lily were formidable and capable of attaining their aims even up to the last moment. It is quite possible that any individual act of resistance against them, however slight, contributed to the final effort to stymy them."

Spring "If we are to encourage such heroics on the part of the people of Meru, we must do our part to protect them. Those who faced Lai Misuna pledged their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor, and in many cases these prices were paid. We must do what we can to restore them, that when the next war arises, similar acts of valor may be seen."

Spring "I propose the formation of a reparations committee, to whose decision the Deliberative declares itself bound."

Imrama "Speaking on behalf of the nation of Harborhead, which wishes fervently to demonstrate its contrition and to restore its honorable standing in the concert of nations, we would welcome such an project."

Several of the Deliberators are conferring amongst themselves in a clear state of anxiety, but it is finally Akuna Ravdash, sitting upon his appointed couch some distance towards the back in a perfectly-tailored black dress suit and carefully polished black leather shoes, with an silk collar rising up around his neckline, who leisurely raises his hand to speak.

zahara "Does anyone else wish to make a statement on behalf of their nations? ...yes, Akuna?"

AkunaRavdash "Ah yes," he says, and rises slowly to his feet. "I think it important that we establish the nature of the true objection here." He looks down to the area where other deliberators were nervously conferring, with a paternalistic smile.

AkunaRavdash "All the nations of Creation have suffered at the hands of the slain Ebon Dragon, and many of us, regretfully, played our part, eyes closed, in furthering that heinous plot." He looks straight at the center of the Chamber as he does so, and something in the way he punctuates his sentence seems designed to remind those in attendance of Cerin's role in the matter.

AkunaRavdash "As such, I understand only all too well the role we must play in aiding those who suffered most greatly from this conflict; it is only right, as we have come together in this Deliberative Hall." There is some audible discontent from the other ex-Lily representatives, though none speaks up to actually interrupt.

AkunaRavdash "But we bore no such compact in the previous Age, and we did come together here, in this new Deliberative, to set aside those things which once divided us, that we might better prepare for the threats of the future." He smiles, baring his vicious canines.

AkunaRavdash "In this spirit, I wish to offer myself to assist in determining the proper degree to which our nations must come together in aiding our neighbors, that this obligation might be met."

Spring "Of course."

AkunaRavdash nods and seats himself again.

Spring "To ensure a proper balance, I had expected that the committee would be made up of representatives from nations which had aligned themselves with the Lily, and other parties -- perhaps even those outside the Deliberative -- which had suffered."

Spring "For the former, you, Akuna, and Imrama, as a representative of Harborhead, would do nicely."

Spring "For the latter, I suggest a representative from the Blessed Isle, no doubt the heart of the conflict for many years, and perhaps some guest representatives from the former nation of Halta -- their leadership at the time of its destruction."

Spring "I think such a committee would serve my ends ideally."

AkunaRavdash does not stand up again, but he smiles -- a bit of irritation showing through as he sees where Spring is going with this. "There is a rather clear difficulty with this proposal, I am afraid," he says.

Spring "Oh?"

AkunaRavdash "Harborhead is an occupied territory," he says, drawing out each word as he speaks it, "a... spoil of war. It stands represented today in the Deliberative by one who stood clearly on the opposed side throughout the conflict." He runs his hand across the edge of his desk in a calculated eye-catching gesture.

AkunaRavdash "I might think it better to place Cathak Ekkarim on this committee, as a companion to the honorable Queen Ejava" -- he bows to her, with a twinkle in his eye -- "and set Harborhead to moderating the discussion, as a nation that might truly said to illustrate the means by which we may bridge the gap that this war opened between us."

zahara "Hmm it seems if we are to use such a judgment as illustrative of who the committee should be made up of, it seems relevant that Halta is, as well, an occupied territory."

Imrama "I must take afront at your assessment of my position, Akuna. I was titled the Leopard of Harborhead by the acclamation of its people. I was named the Ishadhi by its high god. At no point did an army under my command or any of my compatriots' ever cross its border or make motion to. To call my adoptive nation a spoil of war offends the honor of all its people, myself included."

Imrama 's tone is passionate and intense, but stops just short of threat. Nonetheless he holds his chin high, staring Akuna down so as to demand an answer.

Spring seizes the awkward moment smoothly. "Perhaps a compromise might be preferable to a duel, fellow Exalts? Let us accept Cathak Ekkarim onto the committee, but allow Harborhead the capacity to break ties."

AkunaRavdash "I'm... not sure that is entirely without concern, if we all are to be bound by the committee's decision," Elana Jiye says, from the depths of her ex-Lily huddle.

AkunaRavdash slides in immediately after her statement and puts his hand to his chest, to visually signal his great honesty. "I mean no offense," he says. "It is true, as the Empress says: the land of Arcadia is the product of bloody, brutal war. But then... that is the nature of this conflict in which we engaged, is it not?"

AkunaRavdash "Haslanti and Whitewall. Dynastic House against House. These conflicts far predate the war we have just concluded, and it is in the nature of one who fights for his very survival to take that which is proffered to him, yes?" His intonation makes it clear that no one is more familiar with this idea than he.

AkunaRavdash "Let us ensure that the committee's recommendations be passed to the greater Deliberative for approval, rather than bind Elana's and Winter Leaf's nations to our decision without a chance for them and their people to see and comment upon what we have dictated for their own long-lived conflict."

Spring "Mm. I had supposed that the recommendations would have to pass the veto of the Security Council, but if you are set on taking the resolutions of the committee to a majority vote, then I will support that decision. All in favor of bypassing the Council in this case?"

Spring *war council

zahara "Hmmm the general deliberative vote would seem a fine idea."

AkunaRavdash There is some murmuring, but no one raises an objection.

Spring "Excellent."

Spring "I am most gratified at the passing of this motion, as it will no doubt help to inspire and protect all the people of Creation in the event of another full-scale conflict -- on the subject of which, the Arch-General must report to the Deliberative."

Spring "It is presumably apparent to most that our diplomatic situation with regards to the Hundredfold Alliance is currently rather uneasy."

Spring "It is my observation that there is a real risk of armed conflict in the near future. To attempt to prevent or prepare for this, I propose to call up forces from the members of the war council, thereupon to engage in maneuvers and begin preparing for the possibility of war."

Spring "It will, of course, be necessary for us to deploy these forces for the duration into a theatre under our control."

Spring "I have selected Arcadia as the ideal location for this deployment, since it was previously volunteered to the use of the Deliberative in just this situation. We are most grateful for your willingness to bear the costs of this action, Akuna."

Spring smiles with all the sweetness at his command.

AkunaRavdash "Of course," he says. "We will be certain to document our contribution to this effort to present to the just-formed committee. The defense of Creation against its enemies is quite important, after all."

Colapso raises his hand, "If there is nothing else in this topic, I would like to address the assembled Deliberative?"

Imrama notes in the minutes that silence is equivalent to assent.

zahara "Go ahead, Lucent."

Lucent As soon as Imrama gives him voice Lucent rises, "Thank you. We have all been talking about the war with the Red Lily and the terrible price paid by Creation on its front lines. Certainly few wars before can measure with it on the sheer ammount of death and devastation left on its wake. And I think we can all agree that not Direction suffered this devastation more than the South."

Lucent "As we all know." He looks towards the representatives of Chiaroscure, Ventann, An-Teng and Harborhead. "The Shadowed Unlife Equation cut throuh the beauty and life in the desert, devastated tribes and the few cities thriving on it in one fell swoop. We all know about the situation in Harborhead, but the finishing blow was Gem, when the awakening of Ata'la brought down the South's beating heart in a conflagration of countless dead."

Lucent His words echo through the room, making all remember, making all feel the same pain, loss and sorrow as they would have their own family members. Something personal, something that could not be ignored.

AkunaRavdash The room is visibly moved by Lucent's words.

zahara bows her head in what might be prayer

Lucent "As a citzen of the South I have taken upon myself to repair this damage. I have called upon weavers of dreams to repair the ancient gem as well as they could. We need its firedust," he waves to Chiaroscuro, "its dreamstones," and to Varang, "its ores," and to Ventann. "And we need it working for the lifeblood of the south to flow. It is in a perilous place, however, now with the threat of metal locusts..."

Lucent ((* SON, not citzen))

Lucent ((Ignore the whole perilous bit))

Imrama "I commend your bold efforts, Lucent Copper Haze. Through such leadership, the South shall surely rise again. On a related note, I would now present the subcommittee on Essence-based Transportation's report, if it please the assembly." Imrama holds up a sheaf of papers.

Lucent "And in this spirit, I would like to ask those of you here representing southern nations to take word of this to your people, so we can reopen the trade routes that once existed. And I would like to propose the formation of an Exalted task force to watch over it, to protect the commerce and goods flow of the south from being disrupted by any possible enemies on eventuality of war."

Lucent "Any donation of force in this instance would be appreciated."

Lucent nods to Imrama, showing his respect and appreciation of his comments to all assembled.

Lucent "And you will be able to see in those letters mention to a country you may not recognize. I intend to create a country in the southern heartland, in the remains of the Equation's path and uniting as many of the tribes as I can, to protect that area of Creation. I ask for the goodwill of the remainder of southern nations, and hope our relationship will always be of equality and respect."

AkunaRavdash Kivir Khalosh stands up in response. "A nation carved from the ruins of the south can only benefit us if it swears to the Deliberative, no? They will make strong trade partners and fast allies."

Imrama nods to Lucent and rises to speak. "Eji, Flame of Glory and I are pleased to announce that the pioneering of five codified paths through the Wyld in order to connect Meru to Xara, Wassiru, Elysion, Tesearah and the Isles of Glass. With a properly trained and instructed navigator, it is now possible to travel from the Palace of the Deliberative to the seat of our honored member's Mnemon's...

Imrama ...authority in less than a day. Preparations are now being made to create a similar pathway to Atomnos."

AkunaRavdash ^----- Some of the other Southern Deliberators nod in agreement. It seems like a pretty popular proposal -- a legitimate nation would certainly seem like a superior option compared to potentially dangerous anarchy, Deathlord armies, or invading fae...

AkunaRavdash The Deliberators listen carefully to Imrama's report. "Is this dangerous?" says Winter Leaf. "How certain are we that these planes do not bear menaces that might threaten Meru?"

Imrama "A wise concern. Each of these passages is a carefully plotted route through partially-solidified realms of chaos. Traversing each is impossible without first being given a unique set of instructions. Furthermore, all of them lead to a cluster of points over this very city, so if the enemies of Creation ever should seek to use them against us, they will enter into a bottle-neck guarded by...

Imrama ...two of the greatest weapons in existence, and Meru's mightiest heroes besides."

AkunaRavdash The Whitewall representative nods, satisfied.

Imrama "Also on our agenda is a as-yet theoretical bit of arcane technology that Flame of Glory has dubbed 'Flashfire Rail' - a grid which would accelerate the current speed of over-land trade in the South forty-fold. We will have more to say on this subject after we open negotiations with the Court of Orderly Flame."

Lucent "Hmmm, that would be incredibly useful."

AkunaRavdash This measure draws murmurs of general assent and approval from the Deliberators, with Kivir and Flame of Glory both looking particularly pleased.

Imrama "With the return to authority of the Shogun of Artificial Flight, the prospects of a Third Age-air travel infrastructure are finally becoming tangible. On behalf of my father Vanileth, and with the blessing of the subcommittee, I would like to formally request permission from several of your nations to establish flight hubs in certain cities already essential to international trade, among...

Imrama ...them: Diamond Hearth, Greyfalls, Solaria, Chiaroscuro, the City of the Steel Lotus, Seven Carps' Eyes and, of course, this, the Seat of Human Power."

AkunaRavdash Once again, the concept of heightened trade seems like a winner: the faces of the reps suggest that several will be drawing up formal permission very soon.

Imrama "Finally, we are compiling a list of cities and other localities which are to be "exempt from the lattice", so-to-speak - places in your respective domains that need to remain private and closed to at least the most public forms of expeditious transport. Those of you who wish to add to this roster should speak with Eji or another member of our subcommittee.

Imrama With this, Imrama rests to yield the floor.

Varanim is all dressed up for the Deliberative meeting, in the sense that as usual she's dressed much like a field laborer with a soulsteel arm. She's been slouched unobtrusively in a doorway to one of the side chambers, apparently dozing, but now perks up a bit, shuffles out, and says, "Oh, funny thing."

Varanim "So long ago there was a blue sun, but he got all blown up and turned into a red sun, and it was sad for a long time. Now he's blue and not blown up anymore, which is great because it means there's another type of Exalt running around to play dress-up chess with the fate of the world. To that end: Injara, Shadeborn rep." She jerks a thumb over her shoulder to the room behind.

Injara stands there, in all her glory: a thin, wispy woman, incredibly (but tragically) beautiful: long locks of hair that might once have been deep mahogany, hanging down behind her in gentle waves; a robe of what is clearly the deathly approximation of the very finest of silks; and on her head, a shimmering, spectral crown.

Injara "I greet you, Exalted Deliberative."

zahara raises a brow, scanning the woman and recalling with some measure of wistfulness her time with Rovash before he'd summoned her.

Imrama 's eyes widen in surprise before he thinks to bow in welcome to his friend's oathsworn love.

Injara walks down, with polished, elegant grace, to the center of the Chamber

Lucent bows to her, still smiling from Varanim's silly sum of the life and times of Pluto

Injara "I hereby offer myself as a candidate for service on the Exalted Deliberative," she says, and bows a formal bow to those assembled.

Varanim ::Is it always this dull? I'm assuming there's some sort of loathsomely decadent party afterwards, the thought of which is the only thing sustaining you all through this.::

Imrama ::That doesn't come until Resplendent Wood.::

Injara At the bottom of her bow, Injara -- ever-so-formal, as usual -- breaks her emotionless visage for just a moment, to flash the tiniest hint of a greeting smile to Lucent.

Lucent smiles to her, a flash filled with memories. ::Actually, I had the Sisters set up a party this time. Although Imrama is still right we are holding debauchery until then. But I think you will like it, it will have copious ammounts of alcohol.::

Injara There's quite a bit of reaction from within the crowd. A few of the Deliberators begin to whisper to each other, trying to figure out exactly who she is; a few of the more knowledgeable ones seem to relish the ability to explain.

Varanim ::I only drink professionally, not socially. And if 'the Sisters' aren't some sort of temple prostitute organization, they missed their calling with that name.::

Lucent ::You still have not met Blonde, Brunette and Red? And here I was sure I had introduced you...::

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