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Should the board adopt this Succession Petition?

22 (91.7%)
1 (4.2%)
1 (4.2%)

Total Members Voted: 24

Voting closed: Oct 08, 18, 12:15:56 PM

Author Topic: Dhemlan, Terreille Petition Community Vote  (Read 934 times)


Offline phinneas

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Dhemlan, Terreille Petition Community Vote
« on: Aug 24, 18, 12:15:15 PM »
Dhemlan, Terreille Succession Petition
Community Vote

As was recently announced, Dhemlan in Terreille is under Petition.

It is my pleasure to present to you the Succession Petition application.

The HBC has vetted this Petition and found it tenable. We are now releasing it to the Community to vote to ratify the Petition.

You can choose to vote "yes", "no" or simply "abstain". Voting will remain open until Thursday, August 30, 2018.

Character's Name: Joana Palomo
Character's Caste: Queen
Character's Jewels: White to Rose

Territory Plot:
Dhemlan, Terreille has always been the most structured and bureaucratic Territory in the Realm of Light. Complex rules and regulations cover nearly all facets of life in Dhemlan, combining with Protocol to guide interactions between every caste and social position from Aristo to Commoner and Warlord to Queen. The Dhemlanese view themselves as eminently civilized, taking fierce pride in their heritage, their traditions, and their status as Blood. They are still a violent and temperamental people, but their system of laws and rules prevents most senseless violence and even ritualizes necessary violence. Males in Dhemlan are averse to serving Queens to whom they are not linked by a heart-bond, often choosing to serve their Territory by policing their villages and cities within the Territory, serving as personal escorts, or defending the borders of Dhemlan from outside threats.

Before the Purge, the Treaty of Queens saw Dhemlan subjugated into Askavi’s growing empire. The proud Dhemlanese, however, did not quietly endure their oppression. Where possible, Parliament stalled or even halted Eyrien aggression while passing information to the Warlord Princes gathering in Sarque. The mountain warriors in that province banded together to ambush and harry the Eyriens, forming a Resistance with the goal of driving their conquerors from Dhemlan. The Eyriens responded by kidnapping and killing all of the Dark Jeweled Blood that they could find, targeting Queens and Warlord Princes to damage the morale of the rebels. Their famed pride morphed into a vicious bloodthirst that forced the Eyriens to pay for every victory with the blood of its professional warriors. 

Those who could not fight still found ways to resist. The Priestesses who held and managed the Academy and Archives did not allow the conquest to destroy the records of their traditions and achievements, holding out for the day when Dhemlan would be its own Territory once more.

The Purge ended the conflict in one moment of destruction, forcing the Eyriens to retreat with their army in tatters.  Dhemlan was free after nearly seven centuries of occupation, yet that freedom came with a terrible Price. The Purge had hit it hard, Breaking or killing most of the Dark Jeweled Blood and many of the Light as well. Few were spared at least the grief of lost relatives except for the Landen. For them, the end of the Great War was an unequivocal victory, but even they would suffer in the coming years due to the lack of strong Queens to Gift the land.

Dhemlan’s famed pride was its greatest asset as the Aristos and the Territory Court opened their coffers to rebuild the Territory and return Dhemlan to its former glory. Warlord Princes kept the peace in the villages and cities. Healers and Priestesses administered charity and cared for the souls and health of the people, while the Black Widows administered justice. Even when reparations began arriving from Askavi for their unjust war, the Dhemlanese turned their collective will to ensuring that Dhemlan was known for its ability to rebuild, rather than for being destroyed. But even as the Dhemlanese rebuilt and covered up the scars of the past, new wounds festered beneath.

Though everyone helped in the rebuilding, special mention had to be given to the Hidalgos. All, or at least most, Warlord Princes in Dhemlan fell into two camps: Hidalgos and Conquistadors. The Hidalgos - primarily local forces, exempt from paying tithes and almost always commanded by a Warlord Prince who is part of the local Court - were responsible for general peacekeeping, impromptu escort duties, and preventing crime. It was their stabilizing presence that in a very real and local way kept Dhemlan from tearing itself apart after the occupation.

In contrast the Conquistadors suffered worse than most. They were warriors, many of whom fought against the Eyriens either before the Treaty of Queens was signed or as rebels after. They often served as border guards and could be called upon by the Black Widow covens to carry out their justice. These men found a place and purpose in serving Dhemlan as a whole and unless they Bonded to a Queen had little reason to intermingle with the general populace, something both parties were relieved by. Their stories, though, were often tragic. These men gave everything to keep the Eyriens at bay and then to try to take back their homeland. They gave so much, in fact, that many - if not most - suffered long term consequences. Be it scars upon the body or soul, these brave warriors were largely unable to re-enter society even after their war was over.

Food production was greatly slowed due to bad harvests, recovering but still disorganized infrastructure, and a lack of Queens to feed the land after the Witchstorm and occupation. While famine wasn’t widely evident, only the wealthiest families could afford more than the basics at each meal and many had to do without even these. Hearth Witches learned to make food nutritionally dense and use every scrap in order to feed the people, especially the Dark Jewelled that remained. Tapas bars closed, vineyards lay fallow, and choices had to be made every year about what land should be Gifted.  The Eyriens and the Purge combined to destroy several Aristo bloodlines through the loss of high-Casted and Dark Jeweled members. Families with vast holdings that hadn’t paid tithes in millennia were now forced to deal with tithes that strained their ability to live as well as they once did, leaving less time to dabble in politics. Only the most prominent families remained invested in Parliament, guiding the Territory to the ends that they chose, rather than working for all of the people. Some Dhemlanese married into other families or sold their lands to keep money flowing in. Still others turned to less reputable means of earning money just to avoid poverty.

Even the Dhemlan Academy, an elite training opportunity located near Euskara Estate, felt the pinch, with fewer funds directed at it every year. Every decade, thirteen males and thirteen females were selected from the greater population of Dhemlan for specialized training at this Academy. The Dean was responsible for arranging tutors for the various lessons the children had to take. These children were almost always the movers and shakers of tomorrow and were granted great respect and held to high standards but in these times of turmoil the Territory was looking years ahead, not decades and so the push for education slowed. While the current class still studied the attention of the Territory shifted its focus elsewhere.

The Dhemlan Archive, in conjunction to the Academy was responsible for maintaining both a complete lending library and careful census records. It maintained branches in all five Provinces, as well as most Districts, and was an oft-consulted body of knowledge. Census records tracked births, deaths, Birthrights and Offering Ceremonies, as well as voting rolls they were responsible for keeping anonymous. Unlike her sister institution, the Archive has been vital during the past few years and will continue to be as leaders look to both the past and the future to find solutions to keep Dhemlan alive and return it to glory.

Under such stressors, national pride could only go so far, and the brave face Dhemlan had worn for nearly two centuries began to crumble when their Queen of many years,  Elisabetta Euskara, died of old age with no clear replacement to be found.

Savion Euskara, son of the Queen who submitted to Askavi and who had ruled them ever since, lead the efforts to rebuild Dheman in the wake of its destruction. Once his mother died, Savion went to Parliament with a plan to revive Dhemlan. He’d “rescued” a young Queen from Dena Nehele at the tender age of seven who would have otherwise died due to the cutthroat politics of that land. She had been enrolled at the Academy and was being raised to serve the Territory. This news and Gabriella Robles’s Purple Dusk Birthright won him the majority vote, making an enemy of Isadora Diamente, the Purple Dusk Queen of Atholi with Dhemlan’s darkest court, who believed that she was the natural choice to rule.

Savion Ruled Dhemlan from the winter of 189 to the spring of 192 in relative peace. While there were still those who opposed his rule, the promise of  potentially Dark Queen kept most factions in line. Under his rule the Territory found some measure of stability though prosperity still eluded them. Reparation payment from Askavi helped some, though they became less and less frequent as that Territory too began to feel the pinch but Dhemlan was recovering.

Then the unthinkable happened.

The young Queen who was due to save them disappeared.

Succession Plan:
When the news reached Parliament that the young Queen chosen to one day rule them had vanished in the spring of 192, they gave Savion Euskara a year and a day to find her. For a year and a day he searched, but upon the eve of the deadline, he was forced to admit that he had come up empty-handed. Once more, Isadora Diamante petitioned to rule the Territory, but Savion, in his last act as Territory Ruler, revealed to Parliament proof that she had illegally sold Dhemlanese natives to the Salt Mines of Pruul among many other horrors. Once she was under arrest many more came forward to testify against her, principle among which were the males she had ensnared into her games, including Prince Casim Vega. Her petition to rule was denied, and she was stripped of her power and sentenced to death. Prince Vega requested the honor of acting as executioner and was permitted to do so. Her Court was dissolved and any wrong doings her males were accused of pardoned where there was evidence of use of a control ring to direct their actions. Meanwhile, Savion was commanded to retire and to avoid all political life to avoid a resurgence in support and the division of the Territory. It was made clear to him that if he ever attempted to reenter the political scene, Parliament would be forced to take more drastic action, but they were willing to allow him a quiet life in the country in thanks for his service to the Territory. He refused to comply to their wishes and when he failed to abide by the terms Parliament set for his retirement Hidalgos were sent to arrest him. Savion fought back and in the ensuing fight was taken down and slain.

Justice had been served and Savion removed from power, but Dhemlan was still left without a ruler. The Executive branch of Parliament stepped up to govern on an interim basis until a new ruler could be found and has kept the Territory running ever since. To aid in this the endeavor of maintaining the peace until the elections concluded, Lady Kesare de la Fuente was asked to return home and given the leadership of the Judicial Covens of Dhemlan, to maintain the rule of law in the absence of a ruler.

The situation across the Territory was grave, with each region having different challenges and needs. No obvious successor was available so Parliament, after a much-heated debate, came up with an idea proposed by Joana Palomo the White to Rose Queen of Ilbeda. They knew that Dhemlan had to remain unified if it was to rebuild, and recognized that morale and the will of the people were paramount to this. After two leaders that were highly contested they had to be united and that, they decided, mattered more than who they were united behind.

They would hold a popular vote. Any male or female, as long as they met specific criteria and could raise funds to campaign, would be allowed to put forth their name for Territory Ruler. Each town, then village, then district and province would vote until five candidates remained, one for each Province. At that point, Dhemlan as a whole would choose its future. Parliament would oversee this election, screening the candidates and ensuring a fair and honorable race and would have the power to deny a candidate their run at any point before the final vote if evidence came to light that would make them unsuitable for the high honor of ruling Dhemlan for the next fifty years.

Their solution might have seemed revolutionary to some Territories, but Dhemlan has always had a history of choosing its rule. The only true difference in this instance was that the whole Territory, not just their representatives in Parliament, would get to cast their ballots. It would give each and every citizen a say, though the tradition of counting Dark Jeweled Blood as three votes, Light Jeweled as two, Blood as one and Landen as 3/5th would hold.

In the wake of this decision, excitement spread throughout the Territory. Starvation still loomed, the land still cracked and produced only feeble shoots, but the people were hopeful. Across the Territory men and women with dreams of power or the desire to help fix Dhemlan’s problems began to gather their resources for the battle ahead. Queen and Landen alike looked at the highest seat of power and thought: what if it was I who sat there?

With a whole new procedure to set up, Parliament has set a date for the District elections one year from the day of their proclamation, with the Provincial and Territory elections to follow in the months that followed. In this year, anyone who met the following criteria could put their name forward for consideration.

Age five hundred or older.
Citizen of Dhemlan.
Cleared by a Black Widow Judiciary Coven with no significant crimes against the people of Dhemlan.
Up to date in the census and with all necessary tithes paid in full.
Able to secure funds needed to campaign.

As expected, hundreds cast their name in. Arguing, predicting, and campaigning for your local favorite became a national pastime, distracting adults and children alike from their growling bellies. While the populace debated, the leadership of Dhemlan set about the much more difficult task of ruling the Territory for the period of up to two years until a long-term ruler would be elected, as well as organizing the election itself.

Not everything was as smooth beneath the surface of the public eye, though. What appeared to be a unified government to the masses was actually a roiling sea of opposing viewpoints. The idea of an election had squeaked by with the necessary votes, but it was by no means unanimous. The Legislative Branch was primarily in favor of these elections. The voice that rose to speak for this majority was the solitary Landen tie-breaker legislator who had gained the respect of many through his long career or service to the Territory.

Among the Executives, the decision was more contentious. Each Province ruler had a strong opinion, many of them planning to run themselves, and the Caste representatives equally had much at stake. While united in public, behind closed doors voices were often raised in anger. The Queen of Gravardi has been the major peacekeeper throughout this process, having a habit of reminding them all that remaining united is the Dhemlanese way.

Behind the scenes and in Ilbeda and on the floor of the Executive branch or Parliament, Queen Joana Palomo is both preparing her own run and trying to remain neutral and open to the possibility that someone else might win. She is favored in her own Province but has only been ruling for fifty years. Her relative young age, at just below 600, and lack of resume means she will have a long, hard road ahead but her charismatic nature got enough people on her side to agree to this idea of an election in the first place. Supported by a Dark Jeweled Consort and a very loyal Priestess, she has her eyes on the whole Territory even as she works to rule her Province.

She plans to run on a platform of focusing on the ocean as a means of feeding the Territory, tithing aristos and common people alike, which will be a strong message for the masses as the influx of funds to the Territory would assist it in securing more food and resources. As much as the general populace likes her, Joana’s proposed plans have been met with outright rancor by the aristos who would see their holdings tithed for perhaps the first time in generations. Joana’s plans also include expanding the student body of the Academy from a single class to a full University to further Dhemlan education and prosperity in the long term. It is expected that she will command a large percentage of the youth vote with this dream. 

While many plan to run, it is the Landen, as a whole, who have the most to potentially gain. While their vote only counts for 3/5ths of a vote each, their numbers vastly outweigh those of the Blood. While many see this as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity most simply do not believe they have a chance. Despondency and a lack of faith in the idea that a Landen could ever rule over the Blood become a self-fulfilling prophecy but if they could only unite and get their numbers to the polls the outcome might shock everyone. An informal council of Landen have met in the early days of the election and hope to find a candidate with enough sway and charisma to at least make an impact on what other candidates have to promise and the topics of discussion in the debates, even if they cannot win the election.

Roles of Castes specific to Territory:
While Dhemlan adheres to Blood Law and Protocol in most instances, there are some cultural norms unique to its proud people.

Priestesses are primarily responsible for education, and as such are heavily involved with recordkeeping. The High Priestess is almost always either the Dean of Dhemlan Academy or the Head Librarian of the Dhemlan Archive. Priestesses are also responsible for maintaining the traditions of Dhemlan and carrying out all necessary rituals. Though the worship of Mother Night is not a strong part of Dhemlanese culture, she is remembered by the Priestesses of Dhemlan, especially during these trying times when many have begun to seek more spiritual guidance. Many have found themselves turning back to the Priestesses for more spiritual guidance at late which has caused quite a stir among the highly academic branch of women.

Black Widows are responsible for providing justice. The Hourglass coven is divided into several smaller covens, known by the name of their District, each of which is comprised of seven Black Widows drawn from the ranks of the greater coven itself. For ten years at a time they anonymously dole out justice. Not even a Queen can overturn their rulings, though there are checks and balances put in place by older, wiser, Darker Jeweled Black Widows who have already served their time in a Judicial Coven.

Healers, working closely with the Warlords and Princes who make up the bulk of the men who serve as their escorts, are responsible for the logistical aspects of keeping Dhemlan running. From sanitation to road work, they don’t sit around and argue the merits of actions; they do. The High Healer of Dhemlan is responsible for the overall health of the population from birth to -hopefully- death at a venerable old age. This forward-thinking mentality means they look much further than the body when it breaks down, preferring to ensure that every community, every home, and every person has the resources it needs to live a healthy life.

Warlord Princes are responsible for the protection of Dhemlan. There is a distinct divide between those considered Conquistadors, or soldiers, and those considered Hidalgo, or guards. Unlike in other Territories, though, these men rarely serve in Courts unless they are drawn to a Queen through a Bond. Instead they remain independent and apart, considering themselves dangers to society or unwilling or unable to re-enter it because of soul wounds from the War.

Impact on the levels of District/Province/Territory/Realm:
Dhemlan, Terreille has five Provinces: Gravardi, Sarque, Atholi, Visanda, and Ilbeda. Even in these impoverished times where food is scarce, each region boasts their own unique cuisine, their own ways of dress, and of course many stories and legends that any Priestess or indeed child would be happy to tell you.

Atholi used to be ruled by Isadora Diamente, who had a longstanding (and secret) agreement with the Geiba Tribe in Pruul. It is now ruled by her apprentice Queen, Guadalupe Fabrizia and all eyes are on her to see if she will follow in her mentor’s footsteps or chart her own course. Others still worry that her association with the former ruler will kill her chances of impacting the Territory as a whole in any way.  Atholi as a whole has taken an divisive stance to Parliament and their decision to strike down Lady Diamente since it affected the productivity of their land and the Province has been grumbling about it ever since. Complicating this are the Rogues lead by Lady Diamente’s former Master of the Guard. They are hiding in the mountains actively opposing the current Queen and threatening a full-blown and localized civil war.

Gravardi is Atholi’s staunchest ally and traditionally votes in lockstep with Atholi. Of late, though, that has begun to change as the truth of Lady Diamante’s dark dealings struck a nasty cord with those who had supported her here. There has been a great movement in Gravardi to stop spending so much of their energy in supporting Atholi and the Territory at large and instead turn their attention only on themselves. They are a particularly proud people and this push towards local thinking means that there has actually been a bit of a resurgence even though their reputation at large is suffering for it. The Queen of Gravardi is an older woman who survived the Purge but lost both her Jewels. Her expertise and cool head have kept her in power, but many have been the voices asking for her to step down in favor of a Queen with Jewels. Pragmatic and sensible, she has no interest in running in this election herself but she’ll be damned if she’ll let the Parliament not appear united in this time of change. No one knows if, or who, might run from Gravardi in her stead, or who might rule it, for this woman might be old and Broken, but has loudly stated that she has no plans to retire.

Sarque maintains traditionally tense relationships with Atholi and Gravardi. The Province situated around the Sema Mountains is fiercely independent and is the stronghold of the Conquistadors. Considered the backwater of Dhemlan, Sarque was the fiercest supporter of Savion’s rule before the current Province ruler’s sudden rise to power. In the wake of the many changes in this Province, they have made noises about breaking from Dhemlan, but everyone with any sense knows that this will never happen. The fall of Isadora Diamente helped ease these tensions, and for now, there is tentative peace. Everyone knows that with resources spread so thin Dhemlan just can’t afford a civil war. The Province is currently ruled by Priest Prince Mamoru Salazar, who while a strong local figure and well respected is still new to power. The Conquistadors in this region are not altogether happy with his rule or his past anti-Savion leanings, especially as their leader - a well respected veteran of the War - has a Birthright Yellow Queen daughter who just came of age.

Visanda has been hit hardest by the drought and lack of Queens, for it is a primarily agricultural Province. The Euskara Estate is located within Visanda, as well as the capital city of Ardath. It is here, right on Parliament's doorstep, that the famine of Dhemlan is most noticeable. The large percentage of Landen and non-aristo Blood are angry and trying to rally their vast numbers to push for more political power. They are mad at the tithes, at being hungry even after such a long day’s work, at the political infighting that has yet to yield a viable Queen ruler. Like a cauldron ready to boil over, it is the Healers and Black Widows of Visanda, with the help of the Hidalgos, that keep the peace and pray that something happens soon to quiet the discontent. The rule of Visanda was held by a Summer Sky Queen until recently when her death left her position unexpectedly vacant. Until a new Queen can be found, the Judiciary Coven with help from the wise masters of the Academy have been managing the district. The Landen have been vocally enthusiastic about the chance at campaigning for Territory Ruler, and it is expected that several will run in this Province right alongside the Blood.

Ilbeda is the westernmost Province and the only Province to share no border with a foreign Territory, though Chaillot is just across the ocean. Due to the many fisheries along the coast providing a reliable source of food many now flee to this coastal land in search of a better life on the ocean. Their Queen, Joana Palomo has a light Jewel, only a Rose, but is actively trying new things and forging new alliances. The presence of a strong Priestess in her First Circle and a Dark Jeweled Consort have solidified her position into a strong one, even while she is young by long-lived standards.This general vote will likely see much support and resources thrown in her direction, though her egalitarian platform will he a hard pill for many to swallow.

In these years of upheaval, more pressure than ever is being put on the Parliament and local leadership to keep the peace and keep the Territory running. Hope, though, is keeping the populace in line. Hope is a powerful force, especially among those who are desperate and the leadership is using it as the tool it is. Dhemlan is a Long-Lived Territory, one that has suffered a war, an Occupation, a decimating Witchstorm; it is a Territory that will have an impact on the world by simply being one of the bastions of education and longevity in the Realm. The Parliament knows that it will not only have the eyes of its own people but of many others pointed in its direction in this time of change and is determined to see it go smoothly, come Hell, drought, or revolt.  •  Discord: phinn#0798  •  Writer Tracker

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Re: Dhemlan, Terreille Petition Community Vote
« Reply #1 on: Aug 30, 18, 07:54:17 AM »
Dhemlan, Terreille Succession Petition Results
Voting is now closed.

HBC would like to congratulate
on a SUCCESSFUL Petition!  •  Discord: phinn#0798  •  Writer Tracker