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* Plot Information for Dhemlan Terreille

It is natural for a Long-Lived Territory to remember the past, but it is equally essential to for them step into the future, and Dhemlan’s future is Democracy. With a proud tradition of representative government already in place, post-war Dhemlan has chosen to let the people decide their path forward. With drought and starvation looming, no one knows who the next ruler will be, but they do know this: the fate of Dhemlan Terreille will be decided not on the battlefield, but at the polls.
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Author Topic: the game plan  (Read 251 times)

Description: Attn: Joana

Offline Modina Palomo

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the game plan
« on: Apr 17, 19, 05:44:39 PM »
194 Winter, Ilbeda Province Court


Modina strode through the palace like she ruled the place. She didn’t, but it was usually easier to deal with Joana’s people when she didn’t need to explain herself. The soft click-click-click of her heels on the marble floors was matched only by the sound of Miguel’s, her brother’s, boots on the same while he kept pace at her side. She wore black slacks and a white sweater that kept the worst of winter’s chill off her skin. The scar on her right calf was a dull ache, one that always presented itself this time of year.

She kept her face impassive as she carried the folder and the bundles of handwritten notes tucked close at her side. She wanted Joana to see everything for herself, but she also wanted this election to be over. When he cousin had first suggested the idea, Modina stared at her in her shock. Then she laughed because it sounded like the kind of jest that Joana would make. Queens suffered from a need to be loved, to be craved the way that they craved the touch of their Bonded and the land beneath their feet. But when she realized that Joana was serious, she stopped laughing.

She truly wanted to do this. Fine.

Modina would ensure that she won.

Are you sure about this, Dina? Jojo has a strong sense of forthrightness. She may not agree with what you have in mind.” Miguel said as he knocked on the door to Joana’s office.

She may not, brother mine. I’m going to make the suggestion at least. You know how much she loves the game. And if she doesn’t love my ideas on their face...I won’t tell her how many of them I’ve already implemented if you don’t.” Modina said, flashing him a mischievous grin.

Miguel’s expression was grim. “Ay, Dina...what did you do?

Nothing that can’t be forgiven in...two or three centuries.

Miguel’s retort was cut off when Joana’s Steward opened the door. Modina marched right in, Miguel trailing behind.

It was time to get this show on the road.

Offline Joana Palomo

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    • white2rose
    • queen
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      Ruling Queen

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      Ilbeda Province

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      Dhemlan, Terreille

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      DragonGirl

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Re: the game plan
« Reply #1 on: Apr 17, 19, 09:56:12 PM »
Joana stared out the window of her office over the stormy sea. Winter always brought storms and was one of the few times Jo was happy to have her feet on dry land. Blood or not, Queen or not, on the ocean everyone lived at the whims of Mother Night and the waves. The decades of winters where docking would mean certain capture and being tossed about on a storm-swept sea was preferable were not ones the Queen hoped to relive any time soon.

Her Steward was reading off supply reports, updating the Queen as he did every week on Mondays of how provisions were holding up through winter. This last growing season had been poorer than Jo had hoped for but thanks to her push a decade ago to double their fleet of fishing boats, Ilbeda would pull through fine.

People might just be sick of dried, salted fish by the end of it.

Then again, it was better than some of the other provinces. A diet of fish and seaweed was better than air any day. If she won the election, Jo would be able to expand her plan to turn Dhemlan into a Territory with its eyes to the ocean. The southern islands off the coast of Ilbeda that currently fell under her Rule weren’t as depleted as the mainland. The climate was tropical there, lush and green, and the seas were rich with fish. There were enough resources in and around the waters of Dhemlan to feed all their citizens, if only the Territory committed to it.

Election first, Jo, she chided herself, turning her eyes from the sea.

“In conclusion, the northern fishing villages will need citrus sent their way to avoid nutritional deficiencies due to the limit of their diet, but the southern coast can spare enough. They may not like it, but they have a surplus that would be better allocated elsewhere,” her Steward said, then paused to wait for his Queen’s decision.

“Excess sock needs to go where it can serve best, you’re right, but if the south feels cheated we’ll have riots on our hand. Does the north have anything it could trade for the citrus it needs? Does the Court have the funds to provide a subsidy?”

There were a few seconds of papers shuffling, then a shake of the head, “we’re already spread thin this year, Lady.”

Jo nodded, considering the problem. “Well then, sweat equity perhaps. Contact the northern villages and request volunteers to travel south as soon as spring hits. Planting season is always a week or two earlier in the south. Let them help for a fair but low wage so that the best land is in production the longest. The excess labor force should more than make up for stores they don’t require to get by.”

“There might still be grumbles now, my Lady.”

Joana sighed. She had an election campaign to start and the first task would be convincing Ilbeda to vote for her. That would be harder if her subjects were feeling the pinch. “Then lower the tithes for any family that volunteers to either offer the north the fruit and vegetables they need, or participates in this work exchange. Not a lot, just enough to incentivize.”

She might have said more but a knock came at the door.

“We can finish this later,” Joana said to her Steward, then smiled as he opened the door to reveal her cousin. “Modina, Miguel, come in, please.”

The Queen stood and greeted both her cousins with a kiss to each cheek and a hug, then gestured them into chairs near the large bay windows that overlooked the sea. As she joined them, Jo gestured for the other members of her Court in the room to leave them, then sat, taking care not to overly wrinkle the folds of the cream-colored dress she wore today. She had an appearance later today to talk to some of the movers and shakers (financially) of the province and good impressions always helped when dealing with wealth.

“What can I help you with?”

Offline Modina Palomo

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    • te2pd
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Re: the game plan
« Reply #2 on: Apr 18, 19, 12:11:08 AM »
Modina nodded to Joana’s Steward, watching the man rise and leave the room with his sheaf of papers. They’d clearly been in the middle of a discussion and Modina could guess what it was by the look on Joana’s face. Growing season was coming. It was always a struggle to get people in the same Province to work together, even when the signs clearly showed that they’d do better supporting each other than worrying over who would get the scraps if it came to a fight.

Modina put that out of her mind for now. She was here to give her cousin good news.

Miguel hugged Joana first, paying her tribute as the Province Queen before stepping back to allow Modina to do the same. The Priestess wrapped her arms around her cousin and held her tight for a few seconds, glad to be in her presence. Modina enjoyed, truly enjoyed, the company of few people in her life. Two of them stood in this room. The third was in Sarque, working on his devotions and wondering who was coming to ruin his day. She released her and stepped back, holding Joana’s hands and took a long look at her. She fussed over her like an elder sister more than a cousin at times, and she smiled at the Rose Queen.

Funny you should ask. We were here to ask how we could help you.” Modina said.

They sat down in the chairs by the window, with Modina sparing a glance out the window toward the ocean. She often joked that her cousin was part-fish, the way she loved the ocean. But Modina knew that she was born at sea and it called to her the way that the land called to other Queens.

A little bird told me that you’ve got a meeting with some important people later today. You and Prince Suarez will charm them into backing you. I’m sure of it.” Modina said.

My concern is how you’re going to get Illbeda, and then the rest of Dhemlan, to support you. I know that your heart is set on having this election because you want them to choose. I’ve told you my feelings about it, so I won’t rehash them. Miguel and I are here to help you however we can.” Modina said, getting more comfortable as she watched her cousin.

But I will level with you, Joana. The people coming out of the woodwork for this race are going to tout their experience, or their military records, or their skill with money. They’re going to talk about Dhemlan’s pride and how we need to reclaim our pride. Your message has to be clear and concise, but hopeful.

We want to be on your campaign team. Who have you hired to help you get your message out?
” Modina asked.


Offline Joana Palomo

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    • white2rose
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      Ilbeda Province

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      Dhemlan, Terreille

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      DragonGirl

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Re: the game plan
« Reply #3 on: May 25, 19, 10:27:52 PM »
Joana sat back as her cousin began to speak, her fingers coming together in a steeple as she considered what Modina said. Even when she finished, Jo took her time to think over her answer. Not that the Queen thought the Priestess would mind her half-finished thoughts, or a quick back and forth of conjecture, but Ilbeda and Dhemlan deserved her very best. Instead of going with the raw, unfiltered desires of her heart, Joana breathed in deep of the ocean air and waited until she could formulate.

"Dhemlan is resilient, but it is no longer strong. We lost much during the War and even though we have begun to rebuild, our insistence on our strength and our pride has kept us rooted in the way things were instead of the way things must be."

She turned her eyes from the sea to Modina.

"We were invaded but never defeated. We fought hard to make sure that Dhemlan would remain Dhemlan and part of our platform must be a sense of pride in the traditions and unity that saw us through the War," she took a breath,

"however,"

Golden eyes grew firm and the Queen sat up straighter in her chair, "we no longer have the resources to do things the old way. Ilbeda has bounced back not because of my Rose, but because of the fact that we have been willing to try anything to recover. We must hear the voices of all those who have something to contribute, whether they be the youngest Landen child or the oldest, wisest, Dark Jeweled Blood. That is why I am backing this election and why I deserve to win it. We need a government that is truly representative of the people it serves, and I have a record of success in doing just that."

Then her lips curled up into a smile. "Is that clear enough for you? Or do you think it needs to be tweaked? There are other elements, of course. I think that we need to focus more of our efforts on our oceanic and costal resources. They were not affected as much by the Eyriens as they are not a seafaring people, and I believe we have to do away with the nepotistic selectivity of our scholastic system, but those, I think, are not as strong a message."

in her lap, Joana's hands fisted and she added one last thing, "Oh, and Askavi... it needs to pay. Money that no longer flows is no reparation for the thousands who aren't with us anymore. "

Offline Modina Palomo

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Re: the game plan
« Reply #4 on: May 25, 19, 11:14:50 PM »
Modina watched Joana process the questions she’d asked. She was close with her cousin, close enough that she knew the difference between the Queen as she spoke to her Court and when she was talking to her. She watched Joana consider the question and saw the Queen square her shoulders and sit up a little straighter in her chair. Modina knew, then, that she was about to the Queen’s Answer to start, the one that she’d give to others when they asked about her plans for Dhemlan.

But Modina also knew that Joana felt safe enough to give her that answer because they were all here together.

Joana said nothing that was factually incorrect, but Modina wondered how well it would play to remind people of what they’d lost and how the Treaty of Queens had weakened them at home and abroad. Dhemlan had beaten back Askavi once, but no one remembered that. The history books pointed to the Occupation and left it at that. Modina nodded in agreement at the reminders of unity and tradition that kept had seen them through that brutal time. It was only their famed systems of governance that kept the Eyriens from doing greater damage to Dhemlan than they’d managed.

Ending with the bit about Askavi is good. You’re going to find a lot of people who agree with you on that, even if they disagree on your other points. Focusing on the oceans and the coasts to rebuild our economy is also a good idea. Chaillot’s embroiled in civil war right now, so their navy is occupied. There’s no better time to challenge their superiority on the seas.” Modina said.

You could tweak a few more elements, but it’s a good start.” the Priestess said.

If you’re elected, how would you force Askavi to resume its payments? And how would you conduct diplomacy with the rest of Terreille?” Modina asked.

Offline Joana Palomo

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    • white2rose
    • queen
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      Ruling Queen

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      Ilbeda Province

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      Dhemlan, Terreille

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Re: the game plan
« Reply #5 on: May 25, 19, 11:48:04 PM »
Joana nodded along to Modina's points, finding wisdom in each of them, exactly as she expected from the Priestess who had been so influential in her life from her earliest memories. "Chaillot thinks they've always been the masters of the sea but we were sailing when they were still banging rocks together. You're right, though. Now is the time and the ocean is still a vastly untapped resource. So many Territories do not have adequate access to it, nor the shipbuilding technique for deep-sea sailing and fishing. If we build up our fisheries we can trade with Hayll for grain, though we'll need Jewels, ice, or salt if we plan to trade fish with other Territories on a large scale. That is, though, merely a logistical problem, not something that will be hard to surmount once we put the right people on it."

While thinking about it, though, Joana did make a note in her agenda to make contact with a few of her old agents in Dena Nehele and Pruul to see about setting up some appointments. Even in DHemlan was not yet hers, Ilbeda was, and the same ideas that would make Dhemlan thrive would and could help the Province Joana already ruled.

"As for Askavi, that's more complicated. They say they cannot provide reparations because they do not have the coin or the resources to both pay them and feed their people and defend their land. If they don't have the population to work their land, then they don't need that much land. I would go to the other rulers of Terreille and propose that Askavi be divided up among the Territories it has wronged. We'll leave them something, of course. They don't deserve to have their culture taken from them any more than we did, and it does us no good to become as evil as they were, but if they are not making use of their territory and others can, they should not have it. I know there are Territories which have begun talks with Askavi but it seems like it is only the short-lived who stoop so low and their opinions have a way of changing  every couple generations. It not now, then in a hundred years, but the time will come when they will pay for what they did to us."

It was strange, how even though she thought about this topic and the war a lot, speaking of it always made Joana agitated. She would have to see if there was some time to sneak in a fencing session some time this evening, or a long swim. It would not do to let her Court and people feel this sort of agitation from their Queen. Not that Jo pretended to be anything other than human, but they worked better if she was composed and confident.

"What about you? You have always had a good feeling for these things? Is there a message in line with what you know I believe in that I should focus on? I want the people to choose who leads them but that doesn't mean I don't want to put my best foot forward and you know I've always held to letting those most qualified on any subject take the lead. You're a Priestess, you have an insight into the soul of Dhemlan that I will never have. What is your opinion?"

Offline Modina Palomo

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Re: the game plan
« Reply #6 on: May 26, 19, 12:44:59 AM »
Joana could get excited when talking about economics, trade, and resources. Modina thought all of those things were well and good, but they weren’t exciting topics by any stretch. Still she let her cousin go on because she could see the passion in the other woman’s eyes when it came to solving problems. Joana could have pressed the Executive Council to consider her for rulership of Dhemlan without the spectacle of an election, but she wanted to let the people choose. The Treaty of Queens had done damage to the reputation of Queens and lead to Savion Euskara, Mother Night damn his soul to Hell. His rule was not short enough.

You’ll find less traction on that path with say, Dena Nehele or Shalador, but Pruul definitely be an area of trade. Dena Nehele would be an excellent source of corn and wheat. Their largest province, as I understand it, has a great deal of arable land. And given Dhemlan’s…unique history with Dena Nehele, it would be worthwhile to get an understanding of them sooner than later.” Modina said, focusing on Joana.

We have no idea where Gabriela Robles ended up, or if she’s even alive. But if she is and her people ever learn where she ended up...they could demand a Price. Our next leader would have to address that.” Modina said. She didn’t know if such a thought had ever crossed Joana’s mind but Modina wanted to at least put the thought in her head.

The discussion of Askavi also had Modina agitated, but for a different reason. Miguel must have sensed it because it was he, the Warlord Prince, who was extending a hand to take one of Modina’s. The Priestess counted down from one-hundred in her head, allowing herself to work through her thoughts where the Eyriens were concerned. She cared nothing for the troubles or their lack of money. If they were so destitute, they could serve in other ways. But taking Eyrien land meant going to the mountains of Askavi. The idea of making the beasts deal with foreign boots on their soil for the next eight centuries didn’t make Modina feel better or feel avenged.

They needed to suffer more.

Fuck Askavi.” she said, nearly cutting off Joana’s sentence. The scar on the back of her leg throbbed, or it felt like it throbbed. Modina knew there wasn’t really any pain there, but when she got agitated or thought about the Eyriens, the pain returned.

Realizing what she’d done, Modina took a deep breath. “Apologies, Jojo. I...I didn’t meant to interrupt.” she said.

Once she’d calmed down, Modina understood that Joana’s message needed refinement, but they couldn’t refine it without asking an important question.

Joana, before I answer your question, can you answer one for me?” Modina asked.

When election day comes around, whose support are you counting on to win this? Are you speaking to the aristos and their money? Or are you speaking to the Landen and the working-class people who just want to ensure that their families are fed and they receive fair wages for their work?” Modina asked.

Offline Joana Palomo

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    • white2rose
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      Ruling Queen

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      Dhemlan, Terreille

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      DragonGirl

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Re: the game plan
« Reply #7 on: May 26, 19, 01:20:07 AM »
Jo frowned a bit at the mention of Gabriella Robles. She was a problem or would be if she ever popped back up, which Queens tended to do if they didn't die first. Jo had not liked the idea of a short-lived Queen ruling in Dhemlan when it had first been brought up and didn't like it any more now. Not that she had issues with the short-lived in theory, she just didn't want to be ruled by someone who would be so nearsighted in their views and plans for the future. Dhemlan needed a long-term strategy, not patches holding bits of it together while the rest burned.

"If a Price is demanded, it will be negotiated. It's not like the girl was harmed, she was given a stellar education, fed well, and kept safe. If she demands a Price for the years taken from her, we can plead ignorance and minimize it. Not that she does not deserve something, I would be the last to deny a Queen her due, but Dhemlan does not have the resources to pay more extravagantly than the crime demands."

The next topic, Askavi, was touchier. Jo was a little allarmed by the loud exclamation but not surprised. No, she had tended too many veterans of the resistance not to have developed a thick skin to curses and profanity, especially those directed at those winged bastards. Jo waited for Modina to take a breath then reached across the space between them to take her hand and squeeze it tight, imbuing the Touch with a little Rose Craft. "No apology necessary, not to me, not ever. I know what they deserve. They deserve to be wiped off the face of this Realm, destroyed as they should have been in Witch's Storm all those years ago, man, woman, and child. If it were up to me and no one else was involved, I would do it in a heartbeat if the occasion arose, but it's not. We must be smart about this. They are, for all their supposed struggles, still vicious fighters and Dhemlan cannot afford another war, so we must attack them where it hurts without hurting ourselves. We aren't alone in this... Hayll remembers, Shalador remembers, many people in many places will never sleep easy until the sky is clear of their warfaring ways for good. It will happen, Modina, just not today."

With another squeeze, Jo let go and smiled. "And never think I don't love you for your fierceness."

The subject shifted back to the elections and Joana let it. She was sure it wouldn't be the last time they discussed Askavi, but for now there were other pressing concerns.

"I want the vote of the common people, blood and Landen both. I want to show them I have a concrete, realistic and well-thought-out plan for making their lives better, and a vision for returning Dhemlan to a state of prosperity and comfort. I'll never get all the Landen vote, not when they have a chance to back one of their own, but I want a portion of it. I also need money, though, so we will have to make some concessions to the Aristos," here, Jo wrinkled her nose, and only because she was in private with peole she trusted. She and Modina came from simple fisher folk, people who had money because they worked for it, not due to accidents of blood. If it were up to Joana she would toss the whole concept of aristos out the window and start from scratch but it wasn't up to her, not yet, and if she ran on that platform she would get not a penny towards her campaign. "as much as I don't enjoy rubbing noses with most of them."


Offline Modina Palomo

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      Gavin

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Re: the game plan
« Reply #8 on: May 26, 19, 02:06:39 AM »
Modina agreed with Joana’s assessment of the way Gabriella Robles was treated in Dhemlan. She didn’t think the foreign Queen deserved anything, not when she’d lived a life that belonged to someone else. It should have been her daughter attending the Academy and training under Joana in preparation to rule. Savion’s Pet had been kidnapped from Dhemlan and, hopefully, would never darken their door again.

She took Joana’s hand and held it, basking in her Touch as the Queen gave voice to the thoughts in Modina’s mind. The Eyriens deserved torment and death for what they’d done to Terreille. Mother Night knew it as surely as all of the people they’d harmed knew it. The Dark One, called Witch by most, had struck them down and made them retreat, but she allowed them to live. They could still ruin lives by existing, warping people into monsters to fight back against their depredations. “Thank you, Jojo. That means...that means everything to me.

Miguel's hand rested on her shoulder, a grounding force against the emotions that threatened to drag her under and lock her away once more.

Then that’s your target audience. Our people need food and they need to know that they’re safe. Your idea regarding the coastal fisheries and establishing a maritime presence are both very good and should get people talking, one way or the other. “ Modina said.

Opening the Academy to more students may be a harder sell, but talking to Lady Belona, the Dean, should help you figure out how to address it. If she’s on your side, you have a good chance of swaying the aristos that send their children there.” she said.

Keeping Dhemlan secure and unified is a good topic to discuss. Lady Diamente was vocal in her desire to reunite Sarque, Gravardi, and Atholi into the Anagon of old. Let me tell you, my darling, that Sarque will never allow it to happen, nor should they.” Modina told her cousin. “Lady Diamente is dead and gone, but her followers are not. We can’t afford to fight outsiders. We definitely can’t afford to have those provinces at war with each other.” Modina said.

Infrastructure. Education. Defense. That’s a good start for a platform, in my opinion. Use it or alter it as you like.” she said, smiling.

Though on the subject of Dena Nehele...perhaps that’s a matter that the Priestesshood can address with their Conclave, at least to start. My research has revealed that the Conclave of Dena Nehele carries deep influence in the Territory. They might aid in learning Lady Robles’ final fate...or help smooth the waters if the worst happens.” Modina said.

I could make some inquiries, if you like.

Modina felt Miguel’s eyes on her, then.

She ignored him for the moment.