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Human and Avriel Factions

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The Aerie
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The Crown Guard
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The Overguard
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The Nest Keepers
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The Path Markers
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The Dominion
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The Shadow Wings
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The Twisting Winds
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Human Factions


The Athartian Slave Raiders
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Free Minds
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The Ban'Drahl Family
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The Windshear Brotherhood
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The Shipwrights
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The Trevender Family
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The Crop Cartel
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The Arbor Alliance
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The Door Wardens
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The Cult of Valtharn
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The High Council
This name not only refers to the level of status those members of Athartian society that are allowed to attend council meetings enjoy; it also refers to actual elevation of the meeting site. These are held in the Temple of Glory, in the Forest of Stone, the avriel sector of Athart; in a chamber that commands a view of a dozen miles or more in every direction.

These meetings are consistently attended by:
1). The Grand Aeolian, Gleneah, the current ruler-in-chief of Athart, and three advisors.
2). 'Griffeon' Vakier, the commander of The Overguard,
3). Kooloona, the Grand Mother of the Nest, highest rank among the Nestkeepers,
4). Krenda and/or Whilliki of the Path Markers,
5). 'Shadrem' Truluk, commander of the Shadow Wings,
6). Lynrae Fara, 'Raider-General' of the Athartian Slave Raiders,
7). Fre'Gahn Claspell, elected representative of the Lower (human) Commercial District,
8). His counterpart, 'Crawdek' Trakko, of the Avriel Production Union,
9). Petreni Ban'Drahl of the Windshear Naval Coalition,
10). Larkin Trevender of the Trevender Agricultural Group,
11). Burke Corley, the head of the C & S (citizens and slaves) Education Committee,
12). Crovak, Administrator of the Overland Transportation Combine.

Every one of these members are regularly accosted by those with sub-proposals, favors or outright bribes, that may sway the direction in which they apply their vote. Many socially elite members of the community have no connection to this political body, but have interests that overlap those of various members of the Council, human and avriel alike. There are other, more shadowy, factions that use different methods to see their interests met in council.

It should come as no surprise to anyone that there are more avriel on this council than humans. But even just 15 arcs ago there were no humans whatsoever, so none are of a mind to protest this remaining imbalance. The humans of the council have learned that when the avriel appear to be about to take a party-line stand on a racial basis, the best strategy is to "inadvertently" drop subtle suggestions of veiled insult by one avriel leader against another, and hope that wounded pride will undo any previous pro-avriel arrangements.

Every representative is allowed to send a replacement once a cycle; and every representative is allowed a single bodyguard. Any drastic escalation of hostility would see the humans outnumbered not only by the imbalance of membership, but also by the presence of the Crown Guard, who keep a discrete distance, but still hear most everything that is said. But such an incident is extremely unlikely in that there is no place for the humans to fight through to, since the Temple is atop a tall tower of stone with no descent that does not require wings. One of the first things a human representative learns is to suffer insult at the hands of the avriel without reacting.

There have been a few times that tempers grew so short that the following meeting was held on low ground because the human attendees declared legitimate fear of being "accidentally" dropped on the way up or down, and refused to attend, and damn the consequences. The fact is, this tactic remains one of the cheapest, simplest and most common forms of interrogation by the avriel against a human subject. This concern also applies to the one additional 'expert' per meeting that every representative is allowed, to support their view of one project. Only the Grand Aeolian herself attends every meeting with three advisors. They do not vote, but their word carries weight.

The council meets four times a cycle. Everything from progress reports on current projects, to proposals for new projects, to military actions, to civil disturbance, to escaped slaves, to diplomatic takes on feigned reverence to this or that Immortal, as a diplomatic gesture to some visitor, to exploratory incursions to find new resources, to commercial upswings, to competition on the world slavery market, to new cuisines and dress styles is discussed. Many commercial projects are found to require adjustments in approach, to achieve more lucrative results. And as these often require concessions by one faction, for the benefit of another, a heated debate is a frequent occurrence, usually resulting in a vote. Even the date of the next meeting is up for a good argument most of the time, as one representative ends up feeling insulted by having the 'personal convenience' issues of another take precedence over his own.

Often, after such contentious meetings, the avriel look back with surprise on how many things turned out favorably for the humans. The strategic point being that they end up blaming each other for this result, as they can not qualify the concept that their impulsive behavior may have been "played" by such riff-raff as a bunch of humans.

Both the humans and the avriel have other levels of council that are usually race-exclusive in nature. But these are primarily to secure the exact nature of the vote that one single member will be bringing to the high table.
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