Author Topic: Chaladon: A seed of ruin  (Read 3371 times)

Offline Lord Dick Tim

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Chaladon: A seed of ruin
« on: September 14, 2013, 05:01:35 am »
The Order of Chaladon

“A civilization is truly great, when old men plant trees knowing they will never take comfort from their shade.”

Marious considered the tree before him, a large and broad elm with a gray cast to it’s wrinkled bark.  The sun was high in the blue sky, narray a cloud streaked the perfect brilliance that he could see like small sapphire jewels through the bright green leaves of the Elms foliage.
Marious was an old man, yet not one burdened over by the weight of his years.  Broad shoulders and a thick neck rose up from stately red velvet robes decorated with gold patterns chased with silver. 
His hands, still steady though marred with liver spots, touched the rough bark and closed his eyes for a brief moment till a voice interrupted him.
“Sir, it is the hour, the councillors are gathering.”  Marious opened his eyes and but briefly, when seeing his own hand, saw the flash of a small, chubbier hand beneath it, feeling the bark of an elm much like this one.

A semi circular amphitheatre, cut from white limestone left bare and simple occupied a space that looked out over a grove of olive trees growing on a lower plain that sat just above the spray of a near cerulean blue ocean.
Men and women of all ages and stations gathered in an arrangement of seats by long standing order and tradition, some of the most finely garbed and noble blooded bowed, giving way to simple looking farmers in rough homespun woolens, the gathering of the Chaladonian orders prelates did not honor the dichotomy of financial status as would most civilized nations.  This was a hall of deep respect and deeper traditions whose blood could be traced to before the great ages of the last rise of mans empires, beyond the haze that was the Age of Dust.
A tall, stately appointed man with curly white hair began the assembly by striking a round stone of black onyx against a slab of gray rough hewn slate known as the gavel and anvil respectively.

Without preamble the assembly began, the Speaker of the Order calling the assemblage to rise and recite the oath of the people, 7 basic articles that had began the great cultural unification of the various people that later collectively became the Order of Chaladon.  When all was seated he announced Marious to rise, and address the assembly.

Julius Haerule sat in the upper rows of the assembly, the son of a powerful landowner and first son of a long yet minor line of the Orders noble houses.  He watched on with curiosity as Marious Vanerius stood before the assembled, an older man who had once been speaker himself years before Julius was born, he recalled some chatter that the man had been altruistic, naive in his term, speaking of the outside nations as lost brothers, siblings that must be united and sheltered, not shunned or ignored.  So it was a surprise when this little mans steely gaze panned across the audience, the intensity of his posture and set of his jaw lending a great amount of gravitas to his countenance as he said a single sentence that came from deep within his chest, breaking the silence with a gravely, deep growl from a dragon long at slumber.
“War is upon us.”
He paused briefly, and Julius could already feel the mockery of the assembly about to rise to their lips when he spoke again, words that immediately silenced the crowd.
“The Yeshans have matched their philosophical and industrial might with action, a legion of Tiger heavy infantry and their auxiliary support marches under the shadow of an Imperial fleet of airships commanded by the Tiger lord himself, Kanto Hoi.  They march for the burrens, to expand their borders and pacify the burren peoples into a single cultural entity.”  He said, moving onto speak again before being interrupted by a young man in a bronze ceremonial breastplate baring two dancing parrots facing one another.
“But surely, this does not affect us, look about you Marious, we are surrounded by ocean, by harsh winds and rocks, by the trackless wastes of the burren to the west and the vastness to the south.”
Several heads nodded their assent, yet Marious did not give an inch as he continued as if the young man had never spoke, “The Guild raises it’s banner over Vyshtorg in response, martialing it’s vast financial resources to bring to fore a massive mercenary army to protect their trade interests across the burren.”  This had the desired effect, as the audience now quieted to finish listening, while some others nodded in agreement, their own network of informants having confirmed the same to be true.

“The Baronies are small and vulnerable, heavily dependent on Guild trade routes to supply food to their populations and fearful of losing their buffer to a much larger and stronger Yeshan Empire.  The Angleans will come to whichever side pays the most while the Vulture of Arashi surveys the chaos for easy opportunities to expand his borders and gain access to lucrative Guild ports.  And what do we do, nothing.”

A different person spoke up, a woman from the south, by the way she was garbed and heavy accent, “And why should we do something?  Foreign wars, foreign problems.  I will not send my sons to fight another mans war.”
There was much nodding and loud agreement to her protest, though Julius doubted all the intentions behind them were as motherly, many great families could stand to lose more than a son to a war with the other nations, there was land and holdings to consider, with the populations that relied on the law and peace the Order provided.

“And then what will your grandsons do when the Yeshan thirst for expansion sets its eyes on our emerald island?”  He replied, now not appearing as vibrant as he did, the color from his cheeks having turned a shade of grey as the emotion of the moment began to wear on what was clearly, still a very old man.  “Only a century ago we lived an agrarian existence, studying philosophy and arts, cultivating the land to bare greater and more wondrous marvels.  While the rest of the world hardened itself, the age of dust and gray plague stripped them of weakness, while we idled in lush gardens before verdant green fields.  When the first Guild airships crossed our borders they were a marvel to behold, and our great thinkers quickly assimilated the technology of our peers to use for our own ends.  But what of guns, troops, supply lines, munitions?  The city of Anvala sits within a ring of fire, its foundations propped on the hammered muzzles of guns from an age of warfare.  That, my friends, is but a single stone of defiance in a sea of chaos that will be churned to dust under the boots of a Yeshan army marching at full force.  If the Anvalans will surely fall beneath this sea, what will we do, when Yesha has added the industrial and economic might of four other nations beneath it?  We, whose sons carry arms to hunt deer, will find themselves the prey of Tigers.”

Here it comes, thought Julius, the vote, he’s been building up to this moment with a theatrical dramatization, over simplifying a problem that is much broader than simple Imperial conquest, but sometimes the simplest explanation was the best one to stir up the most votes when delivered with the correct balance of passion and conviction.

“I call for a vote, a vote that has never been cast for a ballot that was at one time, unthinkable.  We marshal what forces we have, and build more.  During this time when the war drum of Yesha is just a rumbling thunder, let us prepare for the storm it heralds.”

One black stone for no, one white one for yes.  It was a simple process, and none knew what stone another cast into the clay jar as they past it, each having two in their hands.  When the stones were spilled and counted, the vote was close.  37 against, 41 for.  It was not the two thirds needed to marshal all the forces of Chaladon together into a single military power, but it was a start, the seed of an idea, and the Chaladonians were anything if great growers of seeds.


Offline Sgt. Spoon

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Re: Chaladon: A seed of ruin
« Reply #1 on: September 15, 2013, 11:33:26 am »
Really enjoyed this piece. Managed to paint a beautiful but powerful picture without the need for any "action".
« Last Edit: September 15, 2013, 01:59:43 pm by Sgt. Spoon »

Offline Keon

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Re: Chaladon: A seed of ruin
« Reply #2 on: September 15, 2013, 03:42:52 pm »
Yeah. Just wow. Is there going to be more?

Offline Lord Dick Tim

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Re: Chaladon: A seed of ruin
« Reply #3 on: September 16, 2013, 06:19:17 am »
I did it more out of the joy in crafting a narrative from the Chaladonian perspective. 
I don't expect to make another part to this, as the story and world of Guns is still being given to us.  I've had kind of a mood altering force to my little stories and I don't always feel like I'm helping by putting down these seeds.

Additionally editing these stories is difficult, with only my voice usually against a wall I don't notice as many flaws, or disruptions to the narrative as there are in the above, things I only notice maybe a week onwards when I've moved onto another project.

But then again, I'm a sucker for just writing, I'll likely do something with it.  And for not other reason than I can. 

Sky Whales.

Offline Shukketsushi

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Re: Chaladon: A seed of ruin
« Reply #4 on: September 16, 2013, 06:53:02 am »
Excellent work as always, LDT!