• Graded • Dreams of the Strong

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With the escalation of hostilities between Etzos and Rhakros, a series of small walled towns is being established as a network of early warnings and defenses against Rhakros' reprisals. Only the very bravest and most formidable of characters should risk themselves on the Witches' Wilds frontier.

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• Graded • Dreams of the Strong

Postby Gangui » Thu Feb 01, 2018 3:14 am

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Zi'da 90, 717

The steely mustachio stood stalwart in his combat regalia at the entrance of his lands, waiting patiently for the arrival of the Etzori administrator.

A brazenly bright image of a golden turkey was painted onto his royal blue tabard. Blue cobalt armor oiled and shined as pretty as he could possibly get the battle-worn garbs to be. A broad brimmed steel cap sat on his head, adorned with the finest blue feathers that could be mustered and trimmed according to the local style for the season. Pinned under the feathers was a succulent red lily that never ceased it’s bloom. Daggers jetted out of his belt and two swords swaggered on his hips.

Gangui was a man of war. An Etzori patriot whom the traitorous kinfolk couldn’t find a way to kill.

A man whose chevaliar attitude towards conflict was so desperately needed in this time of great struggle in the country. A man willing to brandish deadly tools of steel in open conflict with those who sought to quench the fire that was Etzori liberty; the fire that was sparked by their founder Morgan Pahrn when he made a declaration of independence from the Immortals. Their great nation, on quest to be reveal the light that was the spirit of humanity to all mortal creatures in Idalos.

The leader of the Sons of Justice was real. He was no miscreant. No sociopath out to use the hand of justice as a means to spin to the evil actions into good. He really believed everything he said. The righteous hand of the human spirit guided his very actions. The lightning bolt scar on his arm proof indeed of his encounter with the natural human power within every mundane man.

Yes. Gangui was a red blooded Etzori, the way that M. Pahrn had intended it. He ate meat. He sought to raise a proper family. He loved liberty. He liked fighting. He hated the Immortals. He despised magic.

Magic…

Gangui had been betrayed countless times. Fought tyrants in death duels. Loved and lost. Battled against bandits honorable on the plains. Patrolled the streets. Policed against crime. Seen death and given it. Wounded countless times. All the pain. All the misery imaginable. Not even the slightly sign of aging and wear on the man's face.

Everything changed though after magic. Now there was a single gray whisker on his face. No trial had he encountered prepared him for the reality that was raw magic slamming him into the dirt. The hairs on his neck pricked up as he shuddered at the thought of ether-bolts piercing his skin. Not even the iron foot of tyranny daunted him like this.

The worst part of it all, it was from a woman he once thought as an ally. Zipper hadn’t killed him the previous trial, but he was nearly broken from it. It had really shown him the reality and power of true evil being shoved down his throat. Nothing compared to Zipper’s darkness, not even Noth. He had to submit to her.

For the first time in his life, he had to bow.

Gangui pushed back the memories of that fateful trial for another time. Business was at hand now. Torvyn of the black guard would be arriving any moment to survey the land.
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Dreams of the Strong

Postby Maltruism » Sun Mar 04, 2018 3:41 am


Even the so-called "Luxury" flat boats were none too comfortable. Master Torvyn of the "Ministry of Advisers", the division that oversaw the administration of mages within the army, was not a man overly given to demand comfort. As well, he could have used the Rupture portal in the government house of Foster's Landing, to arrive a good ten trials earlier, had he wanted.

He had reports to brush up on though; and not all of them rife with positive projections. There had been an operation to establish a law-keeping presence in this satellite town. It would capitalize on an addendum to the city's charter, whereby the local population's acceptance of this group would negate an earlier point in the charter regarding political autonomy.

There was a nel amount that, when paid for services directly rendered by this group, for the acknowledged benefit of the citizenry, would constitute the fulfillment of this acceptance, and maintain the rule of Etzos over this city. They were getting within a thousand nel of this figure, and they wanted nothing to delay acceptance. But rumors were being all-too-readily repeated and confirmed regarding the stability of this "Turkey Company"s leadership.

Torvyn was supposed to come down here and set heads to rolling if an immediate improvement was not achieved. It put him in a difficult spot. Not the obvious one of having an unpleasant task, and pressure to succeed quickly. What made this difficult was the direct involvement of one of his own; and the fact that he'd been ordered to "select" this person for this job. One "Zipper" O'Connor.

It had solved several discipline problems to put her in charge of this task, and she and her subordinate, Robin Stark, had been given new conduits for this purpose. These conduits had been given to all the mages being tasked with missions in these outlying cities. Hers admittedly was not one figured to be put to battle purposes against the anticipated reprisals from Rhakros to the south. But some of the troubling reports were in line with disturbing accounts coming up from those front line locations.

Black-outs, hallucinations, paranoia, tales of being followed , or even attacked, by shadowy figures; Necromancers having inexplicable trouble controlling their thralls, some of them even speaking, and the words often finding consistent references to past events of murder victims.

This was, of course, being swept under the administrative rug. There was no real confirmation of any of this, but Torvyn had found reasons to be concerned that the souring relationship between Zipper and her immediate subordinate, Gangui Munzorig - a relationship that had made tremendous progress in this endeavor initially - was a result of whatever corruption or anomaly was causing these other problems. It was an investigation he dared not relegate to lesser hands.

He had been cross-referencing accounts of both witnesses, victims and alleged perpetrators for all the trials of the journey, including the last few breaks in a wagon following a newly beaten path to a hilltop location that was apparently to be the site of the law-keepers' headquarters. Looking around as the wagon approached the base of the hill, Torvyn could see a fundamentally sound location. A cleared hillside with no cover for hostiles, good visibility, no indication of any subterranean weaknesses, sinkholes, signs of past landslides, inexplicable patches of dead foliage. It looked good.

He could see a man he assumed to be this "Gangui" awaiting him at the top. Ramrod straight, gleaming spit-and-polish, an impeccably poised stance, this Gangui fellow looked every bit the military commander. This was one that Vuda himself had endorsed, as a result of the Chief Adviser's run-in with a pair of mages outside of Etzos. Admittedly, the man had accomplished next to nothing of combative effectiveness to bring about the "truce" Vuda had achieved. But the man's willingness to side against two powerful mages, on behalf of his city, spoke volumes about honor and courage under attack.

The trouble was, if it was not this man who was responsible for the deterioration of command within the ranks of these "Turkeys", then it fell upon Zipper...Torvyn's own "man". When he'd given Zipper and Stark their new conduits, he'd already seen signs of severe mental stress. He was now here as much to hear another side of that, as he was to secure some financial arrangement for the construction of this facility.

Many considered Torvyn himself to be a looming and imposing figure, terrifying when angry. But he did not find cause to think he would easily intimidate this man. Hopefully there would be no need. He smiled guardedly as he extended his hand. He actually felt the impulse to put just a bit of replicative magic to secure the structure of his hand as he introduced himself.

"Commander Munzorig. I am Under-Minister Torvyn. I believe we are here to make some arrangements. Shall we retire to your command tent?"
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Dreams of the Strong

Postby Gangui » Mon Mar 19, 2018 12:57 am

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Under-minister Torvyn arrived alone. This naturally tipped off Commander Gangui to the privacy required for their upcoming negotiation. Gesturing calmly, he silently lead the arch-mage through the camp. Soldiers drilled and attended to their chores with smiles on their faces. They seemed to be jesting with each other amidst their work flow, happy on that bright sunny day. All but one or two even so much as glanced at the big-shots rolling through.

Stepping through the flap of the heavy canvas, they were immediately enveloped by the warmth of the smoldering hearth, remnants from a long cold night. The command tent was tall and fashioned in the local style: square, painted blue, and with many pinnacles holding up the heavy-duty hide. The area was neat and spacious, for it was sparsely furnished making the confined quarter seem larger than it was. A tall, square table stood front and center in the tent. Many large prints were rolled out on it, their corners held down with lamps. There were no chairs. Instead, two men stood at one end of the table. Caoin and Brandon.

Gangui took his place opposite of the Turkey Captains, allowing for Torvyn to take place front and center to the stack of prints lying on the table. Gauntleted hands fell upon the western edge of the Etzori domain map, covering the details of the Westride plains. His captains made their necessary introductions. Watered-wine was offered, but no other comforts shown. Torvyn seemed strong and healthy, so their was no need to offer any other comfort until their business talk was done.

“I appreciate you coming Torvyn,” Gangui began, “I’ve prepared a debriefing for you.”

Saying ‘debriefing’ kept the tone as professional as the self-educated warrior could manage, but in reality it would be the pre-amble speech that would set the grounds for official talk. The proceedings before this point had only been small messages delivered between the Black Guard’s official handler, Zipper, a mere middle-mage to the actual authority that was the state's magical arm.

The mighty magical arm it should have been said, for mere middling mage, a mere puppet of the state's will had shook Gangui down to his core in the previous trials.

"Unfortunately, before we go over those details," Gangui said with a deep breath, showing reluctance in his voice, but courage in his eyes, "I must address the issue of Advisory Liason Zipper," He looked into Toryvn's eyes showing his soul to the man, not afraid to speak earnestly. Knowing deep down the the spirit of humanity would guide his words.

"I can no longer work under her. Her incompetent leadership is plaguing our ranks," There was no reason to get into details of these failings, for the results were all that mattered.

Gangui continued, "In the spirit of the free market system, which is what our contract is based on, having a middle-man between the Sons of Justice and the Authority is terribly inefficient and allows for more error. The results from this... barrier in the way of our success is huge. I propose to you a direct channel of communication in the spirit of Classical Pahrnism." It being the philosophy behind the anti-immortal economic system developed in Etzos' early days.

Gangui shifted in his stance and waited for honest words from Toryvn, "Let's cut the mire of bureaucracy away and allow me to take accountability for these ventures. Let us open a clear line of communication between each other."
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Dreams of the Strong

Postby Maltruism » Sun Mar 25, 2018 2:27 am


Torvyn could not technically begrudge the Commander his tent, styled though it was in the same manner any of the Marshalls could boast, save for the memorabilia of amassed military honors. Somehow though, Torvyn felt it was likely this charismatic zealot would soon be framing similar laudits.

Torvyn had certainly visited the command tents of Etzos' acknowledged military leaders before, and the warmth and smell of efficiency was as prevalent here as it was in any found to the north. He accepted his wine readily, pulling back the hood of his robe to reveal jet black hair, dark, intense eyes, and a thick moustache running down his jowells to form a forked goatee.

"Thank you, Commander. I confess I find it not entirely unexpected you might have prepared something of that order. But if this is done out of concern for your standing in the eyes of Etzos, it may come as somewhat of a surprise to you to hear that Miss O'Connor has mostly spoken quite highly of your progress and efficiency."

Torvyn took a bit more than a sip of his wine and set the goblet on the table before him, waving for a stall to any response, so he could continue. "But let me clarify, sir. I am well aware of a number of reports that belie this assessment. Arguments in public, disagreements over the bounty on this "Prince of Mercy", his defeat, unaccompanied by his apprehension, the manipulation of some character named Vorval, who may or may not have played a part in setting up the confrontation, as well as an outright duel between "Zipper" and you."

He leaned back for another sip, "It is understandable that you would assume I am here to relieve one of you. And understandable that, having thus far heard only her side, that it would be you I am here to replace." He let a moment of silence reign as he paced, gauging the professionalism of the three men with him. It impressed him that Commander Gangui and his two lieutenants stood by, patiently awaiting permission to speak. He'd wanted to see if the man would launch unbidden into some defensive rebuttal.

He returned to take his place upon the camp stool provided him. "I apologize Commander, for my testing of your discipline. Miss O'Connor told me I would find no lack of such, but I needed to see for myself. Let me assure you, these reports have not been committed to official record. Miss O'Connor herself wished for them to be completely expunged. She does not deny them, yet she declares that they should not be held against you. I find her difficult to understand sometimes. Her written reports seem ready to take the majority of the blame, though her verbal tirades, as you can probably imagine, heap the bulk of it on you."

A heavy sigh preceded his next comments, "I am honestly not sure what game is being played here, but let's set that aside for now. We can return to it when you wish." he reached into his robe and withdrew a scroll. He hesitated just a telltale moment before receiving clearance for the Commander to go ahead and upon it across a section of the map. "Now as you can see, I have outlined a walled-in bailey containing a hall and barracks with a tower, a privy and a command center. There is a bricked sublevel mirroring these dimensions as well, with a tunnel between the two buildings."

He directed the collective gaze to the cost key, anticipating some note of dismay. "As you can see, we are talking about a base cost of six thousand nel, plus; which will not include any further infrastructure - stables, parapets, furnishings and the like. Now the remaining nel to confirm the overturning of Foster's autonomy bid will go toward this cost, but will still leave a good five thousand nel.

"Assuming the bid IS overturned, Etzos will underwrite a match of any payments you or your men make toward this debt. So, in effect, The Sons of Justice will be required to pay twenty five hundred nel over the course of...well, by the looks of it, you have five arcs to do it."


He looked up into the eyes of the three men, "Naturally, any means by which you obtain any further materials you need to...fill the corners...so to speak, will not be questioned. We trust to your honor, as far as such acquisitions go. So if this is acceptable, you may sign...here...and we can return to the subject of this "direct line of communication" you mentioned. Otherwise, I am open to any questions you have about this facility."
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Dreams of the Strong

Postby Gangui » Thu Apr 05, 2018 8:13 pm

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Gangui listening patiently to everything that Torvyn said. He took it all in, looking the man in the eyes and giving him his nearly all his focus; he took mental note of the man’s forthrightness about the Zipper situation. He also appreciated the man going straight to the point in all matters instead of beating around the bush.

Once Toryvn had finished, Gangui looked to his two lieutenants without losing focus on the initial offer. They read each other silently for a tick before the bard took a drink from his goblet. Brandon summed up their conclusion simply, “It is not enough,” Caoindelbhan nodded in agreement.

The turkey commander turned his gaze back to Toryvn before taking a drink himself, “We play a dangerous game master Toryvn. While we are grateful for the fortress you intend to give us, in order to actually operate as an arm of the Black Guard we need a larger loan. Simply put, we need the opportunity to make more nel to cover the impending costs that will accrue. This type of venture needs a minimum of fifty onyx nel in order to actually make an impact and grow. While two and a half surely does allows us to get through the summer, one-hundred onyx would actually allow me to expand.”

The mustache on his face bristled, “A two and a half onyx investment is not enough to ensure your goals are brought to fruition. There is not some additional quest you would see done or some righteous intention you would see acted upon under the Sons of Justice banner?”

The commander knew he was reaching far, but he didn’t care. Leading from the front lines, he could die at any moment. Thus, his only option was to go bold or go to the grave a failure. It was an easy choice really: help Toryvn accomplish his goals and he would be able to create a wave big enough to actually change things towards his intentions.

“It all starts with me Toryvn,” he pointed on his chest, the spirit of humanity speaking through him, the electric liberty burning in his eyes, “I will change everything in myself and do anything to make sure I see my mission through. Allow me to answer to you directly instead of the bureaucrat O'Connor. Grant me a larger loan so that I may gather the forces of good before the impending evil - that has already been already rallied - consumes us all and we loose everything. I would go to hell to make sure we don't lose our great nation to the clutches of the backwards Immortals.”
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Dreams of the Strong

Postby Maltruism » Mon Apr 09, 2018 1:11 am


The eyes of the mage narrowed in response. But it was not at the mention of the "fifty onyx nel". That much was more or less anticipated as the general dynamics of haggling, though this Munzorig fellow was clearly going to an extreme in his approach. What surprised Master Torvyn was the mention of "two and a half" onyx. That suggested a real focus on details.

When Torvyn had made his initial proposal, he had fully expected an outlandish counter-proposal. This mercenary troupe was doing a service for Etzos. It was to be expected they would make an attempt at a larger concession on those few occasions where they had a face-to-face with someone that could modify the deal. Torvyn had not even been really focusing on the small disparity in what he'd stated as the remaining balance to confirm Foster's dependence to Etzos.

He had thrown out a general figure of a thousand nel. In truth, that was off by a bit. It was, in fact, off by two hundred and forty eight nel. That made the balance one thousand, two hundred and forty eight gold nel; exactly two nel off from the "two-and-a-half onyx" total Gangui had just stated. Such a statement spoke volumes on how closely these 'turkeys' were monitoring the details under which their charter was operating.

Torvyn was impressed, and he knew he'd betrayed that fact with his reaction, regardless of how he'd tried to hide it. He took another drink of his wine, "I stand corrected, Commander. I had assumed you were dependent on missives from Etzos to know where you stood in regard to the charter we have with Foster's Landing. It is to your credit that you not only know this detail, but that you willingly inform me of this fact. You do not try to play stupid with me. So let me return the favor."

The mage set aside his mug and leaned forward, his gaze locking on that of his haggling opponent. "You seem to be operating under some misconception here, Commander. We only sanctioned this group to fulfill the role of the required law-keeping force that would negate the autonomy charter claim that Foster's was due to submit this arc. Not to become a genuine military power in the region. This was only ever supposed to be an outpost of The Army of the Etzori, held and co-commanded by you and your men."

He leaned back again, "Now, I have no doubt this comes as a disappointment to you. However, it IS possible that original goal could be...updated. But you have already fluctuated between a suggestion of fifty, and one of a full hundred onyx." He shook his head, "Whatever goal you think Etzos feels obliged to underwrite for you, Commander, I can assure you, it will not fall anywhere between those two figures. Even the fifty is not going to be forthcoming."

There appeared to be some response forming on the lips of the soldiers before him. He raised his hand, "Did Miss O'Connor fail to explain that you were to be subordinate to the Etzos military, Commander Munzorig? That it is not YOU dictating the manifesto of this outfit? I apologize if this is the case. You are clearly a competent and organized asset to the region, and I would hate to see you disband in anger over such a misunderstanding. So I will allow that our offer could be doubled to encompass a loan of twenty onyx nel. That's TEN thousand gold nel. This should allow you to significantly increase both the size and defensive reinforcements of this installation; as well as 'filling the corners', as I said before. I will also give my recommendation that you be sole commander. How does that sound?"
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Dreams of the Strong

Postby Gangui » Tue Apr 10, 2018 7:12 pm

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The turkey commander took a deep breath at the thought of Zipper. They had their differences, however he would not blame her for anything. “Zipper explained this to me, yes,”

Now he would follow his gut feeling. The natural blood of leadership flowing through his veins. Speaking through his eyes he nodded his head solemnly at Torvyn, contemplating the moral conundrum that faced him now. He knew deep down he needed to swear fealty to the state in order to get the funding he needed. By doing this, however, he would abandon the ideology of the free market; the belief that independent private contractors were more efficient that the government. He knew deep down he didn’t want to walk down the path of an official army officer, but...

Sometimes leaders needed to make sacrifices...

“Zipper explained this to me, but—“ Suddenly the commander fell silent. His eyes fell from Torvyn’s glare only to focus on the map sprawled out on the table. Pride had stifled his instinct to immediately submit to the government.

Instantaneously, he was thinking completely different; electrified into a frame of mind that dictated to keep pushing boldly into the negotiations. Subconsciously he knew this was the spirit of humanity inspiring him, lifting him up from the limitations of normal human fear. He had to flow with it before fear returned.

The downward cast lifted up again to look Torvyn in the eyes, “But, I have ignored it,” he said effortlessly despite visibly struggling on moments ago. Apparently the Aukari side of his blood was no match to his spiritual inspiration.

“The Sons of Justice has a manifesto and it’s not changing,” Gangui’s eyes asked Torvyn to allow him to finish his point, “But Turkey Company doesn’t,” The commander paused again, looking at the Master for non-verbal understanding of his inference, “There has to be some type of rewrite of the contract. I must be allowed to pursue my mission, because that is my primary objective,”

“Has Zipper iterated to you my true purpose?” Gangui said with wide eyes, remove his gauntlet to reveal his lightening touched hand, “I’ve been struck by lightening and I talked to the spark. I spoke to the spirit of humanity and he laid me out on what I need to do to in order to save Etzos from failure. Even now, the spirit of man speaks through me,” Gangui portrayed all his honest intention to Torvyn.

Caoindelbhan, with his white beard, interjected with fierce eyes, speaking words of wisdom, “It sounds crazy Master Torvyn, but it’s real. The day he fought Cuckoo people say a Diri was present, influencing the scene to the benefit of the vile bird. This is a spiritual battle and Gangui has been touched by the electric liberty: the same spirit of humanity that inspired 338.” The grizzly old man also spoke truth through historical eyes, “We are fighting men with noble and virtuous intentions. Guided by the principles of the free market, we will combat all visible and invisible forces that seek to shatter our emancipation and our wealth,”

Gangui took Torvyn’s attention one last time before waiting patiently for a response, “We are patriots, Master Torvyn, a resurgence of the spirit of 338, the spirit of man that founded Etzos in the first place. We only arrive on the scene when history demands it. And now Etzos face a time a great struggle, so here we are, to fight the toughest battles and lead the people spiritually...”
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Dreams of the Strong

Postby Maltruism » Thu Apr 12, 2018 6:36 pm


Master Torvyn's expression soured at first, but only with the belief that the Mercenary Leader's diversion from accepting or denying his last offer was just some haggling tactic. But as the man carried on, the mage grew more and more angry. "You ignored...-?" he began, only to collect himself from interrupting the man's next comment. It was his turn to speak, after all.

But waiting through the next change of verbal tack did not improve anything, from his perspective. "Your manifesto? That contract was scribed in Etzos! It is not subject to..." Gangui's expression again asked for patience that he might finish. Torvyn restrained himself from continuing. But the next series of comments was not going to be left unchallenged.

"No you don't! Your 'Sons of Justice' is the same body as this 'Turkey Company'! You do not get to void a contract on the basis that you up and arbitrarily changed the name of one of the signing parties! You do that and I'll be back here tomorrow with a signed declaration that Etzos is now...Stoneville...and all deals are now null and void. And then when Foster's gets her autonomy, we'll..." he was interrupted by a remark spoken softly, but with heavy implications.

A tense silence held sway for a moment as Torvyn took a deep calming breath, but not one that was going to make him more willing to knuckle under. "Did I hear you right? You want a rewrite of the contract? Contracts don't GET a 'rewrite'! Where did you-? Your what? Your mission? This makes no difference! Your personal objectives are irrelevant to this discussion. Sure, you have a mission; the mission you signed on to do for Etzos! Nothing else has any bearing on these proceedings."

His anger sufficiently spent, Torvyn began to retake his seat, "Now can we get on wi...-" This time the lieutenant commander added his support as Gangui spoke at length about his 'true purpose'. Torvyn's mouth gaped in astonishment when he'd finished. he stood up slowly, his voice starting low, but growing in outrage.

"You're mad. BOTH of you! Do you hear what you're saying? It's not just the absurdly grandiose claim of reaching the same plane of purpose as our founder; but you actually suggest that Morgan Parhn had to have been possessed by some spirit, that knowingly and deliberately manifests in order to fulfill the rightful ascension of human culture! Like we all depend on some inhuman force to accomplish all this. Do you not see the INSULT you fling in his face? You would say that, were it not for this 'spirit of humanity', Etzos would not exist, and any progeny of the founding citizenry would all still be under the feet of the Immortals! You would strip all the glory of Morgan Parhn's great rebellion, and attribute it all to some spirit that MADE him do it! That's no better than calling us FOLLOWERS!"

Torvyn's face was red with indignation, but he subconsciously placed a hardened air shield around the edges of the map to prevent it from being soiled by the ale that had spilled when he repeatedly pounded his fist during his tirade. Between breaths, he regrouped, "Is this some test? Some way to gauge MY loyalty? I honestly hope it is, else I am no longer sure you serve Etzos' interests here."

He pointed a silencing finger at the men, "No no, it is still my floor here. So you feel inspiration and you choose to attribute it to this...thing...this spirit. All well and good, as long as it's goals align with Etzos. But what if it should tell you that Etzos is failing? ALL things founded on a profound ideology will suffer the dilution of this purity as time goes on. The future generations have only the stories, not the reality of the enslavement we broke from, and what it cost. You cannot force appreciation of history into a mind that has no experience with it. They will have to learn on their own."

His eyes narrowed, and he subtly gathered ether in case it became necessary. "So. Are you proposing to embody some new lesson? Against Etzos? No one ever said we are a free market, Commander. The state DOES impose restrictions for a variety of reasons. Some of them have also gotten teamed with various factions' agendas. Some deserve their cut, some do not. Are you planning some 'cleansing' campaign of your own, Commander? Expecting Etzos to foot the bill for its own destruction?"
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Dreams of the Strong

Postby Gangui » Fri Apr 13, 2018 12:42 am

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“You are right, you shouldn’t foot the bill.” The only point that he could hold agreeable with Master Torvyn.

Gangui sighed with frustration, “Let me elaborate,”

Yes, he was struck by Torvyn’s words. Yes, a lot of what he said made sense pragmatically. However. The details of the contract did not in fact detail restrictions on any of the things he was iterating. It was not his place to argue these petty facts though.

Unfortunately the wizard and the warrior did not speak the same language and Gangui realized this. As a leader, it was his duty to take accountability for his actions. Thus, he countered Torvyn with wild eyes of true intention. Regardless, the commander accepted his own imperfection and was willing to speak openly. His goal was to convince Torvyn that what he was doing was unfortunately real. It could be called business proposal perhaps.

“Frankly, you need to speak to me on a higher level than the basic rhetoric taught in the schools,” he spoke deep, “We are patriots. I’ve stated this explicitly. We believe in Classical Pharnism, the concept that minimal government regulation allows for the free market to bring forth the smartest and brightest people to the lead of society. This results in the push of the greatest innovations known to man,”

Gangui took a breath, “The immortals made us to be subservient creatures. Workers. This is a fact you have to accept. When you do, you realize that the only way we are going to achieve our goals is through work... even Etzori indoctrination doesn’t affirm any super powers given to man. We must work to win,”

“Any fool can see that the simple human emotion of pride won’t construct a society that is capable of beating the immortals. Nay. As an Etzori people we have subscribed to the concept of the free market. Yes, I know it is not Etzori rhetoric, but it’s the truth. The theory that a lack of hubris from a single heroic person is patently false.”

“Like I said we are Etzori patriots, not common men. We do in fact come from the country and working class, but there is still noble blood flowing in our veins. We are of the blood of the first men in the Southwood River Delta,” He didn’t iterate this, but as he spoke he felt the spirit of humanity flowing through him.

“The hubris of the government has led Etzori culture down into a sniveling hellhole where base nihilism prospers. All in the name of rejecting the Immortals. That is the the most horribly comedic part: criminals are subsidized and the working man is taxed. All with the invalid supposition that THIS system is the only result possible from emancipating themselves from the Immortals,”

“Empires rise and fall,” Gangui continued, “As all things in life, things need to balance out. It has been roughly 400 arcs since the foundation of Etzos. History is clear. It is time that the circle comes full round, it is time for a classical resurgence. Prosperity has created weak men who can’t maintain the country the strong men of yore created. Now that the weak men have crumbled everything around them, the flow of history calls upon strong men to replace them. This what I mean by: history demands us. It is clear that a classical resurgence is needed in order to gain the strength for the hell that we are about to endure with the inevitable collapse of the state.”

“You accuse me on impiety, that attributing the spirit of man to our success is blasphemous to our foundation myth. You affirm that all this society is supposed work completely secularly, when you yourself are a mage.”

He paused tensely.

“I fought Zipper and lived. I stood for Vuda — ready to give up my life— in battle agaisnst mages and lived,” he made sure to reiterate his experience so that he could hammer in the point he was not ignorant, “Torvyn, Master Mage, we all know that you give up your soul to perform magic. So let’s not waste time arguing points rooted in the government rheotric,”

He didn’t touch his magic-reflect sword, but he wanted to. It was the only reason he survived Zipper. Torvyn was her superior, so it probably wouldn’t do him any good. Regardless, he would resist anyways even if his speech angered the man.

"We are patriots, blood of the first men who settled the river delta. We seek to restore the original spirit of 338 and have been operating within the law. If you want me to further elaborate I will," Gangui said finally, "I am sorry Zipper didn't communicate this to you, but it is only further proof the bureaucracy doesn't work. It furthers my case why an open line of communication is necessary to form a business relation, because look," Gangui pointed out, "I have not sworn to you, but we have upheld our end of the contract. We have only been real with you and willing to help,"

He hoped Torvyn understood that. He hoped Torvyn could at least find some common ground with him.

Gangui also prayed that Torvyn would dig deeper in the conversation rather than obliterate him or dismiss him. Because at the end of any conversation was a friend.

This was the spirit of man, the principles of the free market.

But too bad no modern Etzori dug that far...
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Dreams of the Strong

Postby Maltruism » Sun Apr 15, 2018 9:04 pm


It was all Torvyn could do to hold off as long as he did. He thrust an angry finger at the man he was increasingly perceiving as an adversary, "I think, sir, you are confusing bureaucracy with chain-of-command. Would you have a new recruit break that discipline arbitrarily? Certainly there will be times that it would have been beneficial to ignore that structure. But overall, the chaos of having no such structure in place will be far more of a detriment."

The mage drooped just a little as his anger waned sightly, "No, Zipper did not get this philosophy of yours clarified to us in what limited missives she was able to deliver. Perhaps she figured I was better served hearing it first-hand, rather than endure a long briefing where I might not even believe her."

Even his cloak did not conceal the heavy sigh as he resumed his seat, "Alright, I understand you probably felt that this would be your only opportunity to express your long term plans for restoring the purity of Etzos' guiding philosophies to someone that could actually help you implement them. But you and I appear to have vastly different priorities on which definition of 'patriot' we choose to embody."

Counting on his fingers, he repeated some pertinent points, "You stood in support of Vuda...You have operated within the law...You've upheld your contract...and say you're willing to help. This is the adherence to Etzos' interests we have been expecting. Yet now, everything else you've said would suggest you must feel like some sort of traitor to mortalkind for doing so."

"Rhetoric or not, I believe in what I am doing. If you are going to self-righteously attribute this to the spark of magic that I have also turned to the defense of my home and my beliefs, then I ask you to abandon these word games, and tell me flat-out, right here, that you think me corrupt. I find it infuriating to have you treat me as a potential ally if only I can be cleansed of my erroneous concept of patriotism!"

It stood to Gangui's credit that Torvyn still found enough merit in the man's motivation to continue debating, rather than accosting him with magic and having him dragged back to Etzos to be tried as a subversive. "You are no fool, Commander. I can see that. At a different time, and different circumstance, there would be a place for such a demand for upheaval and revival. But now is not the time!"

Again, the Master's own passions drove him to his feet, "This is not a case where we have just escaped subjugation and are simply building a stronghold. We are now an existing government, under siege by enemies north and south, and possibly to the west as well. And who knows what may invade from the eastern shore of Bailey Peninsula! Some of this 'crumbling' is very likely the work of operatives of these same enemies. It is only the unified belief of the people, in the current regime, that keeps us safe. You bringing upheaval at a time like this would be an invitation to invasion by our enemies."

His arms swung wide to encompass every direction, "You know as well as I that this whole network of towns is not for tourism. These are not vacation sites. They are to be an early warning against incursions from the Rhakrosi. And you will be backing up responses against those incursions. We need you here and we need you strong! If I go back describing you as an advocate of 'Free Market and Classical Resurgence, Now!', your cause will be lost before it could ever begin."

There was clearly some resentment on Torvyn's part regarding Gangui's comparison of a voluntary embrace of magic with a likely IN-voluntary possession by some spirit. He leaned in more closely now, speaking softly, "Besides, Commander, you take it as given that the ideological purity and interpretation of patriotism of all your men is identical to your own. Even if it were time for revival as you seek, you can not guarantee that there won't be opportunists and mages within your own ranks that will collude to maintain the status quo with themselves taking key governmental positions."

He leaned back, lifting his mug for the first time in several bits, "Let fate take its course on that grand scale, Commander. Take the deal, and take your time. Wait for the right mood of the citizenry. Don't try to force it. Or all you will bring is anarchy."
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