Society Name: Celpalar
With a slam the gavel pounded on the podium at one end of the long table as Alareth, the chief councilman, called the meeting to order. To either side of the podium sat two of the five Ephors while the other three sat at the far end of the table, while the long sides of the table seated the other twenty nine members of the Meltoleyn, with the Kings of Maelmar and Araneth sitting nearest the head of the table.
"We now deliberate matters of the state that its people may prosper. May the Maker guide us to choices which lead to the security and prosperity of Celpalar."
For centuries the opening statement of the First Meltol had not wavered from this formula, save for the changing of 'security' to 'freedom' in times when the island had been occupied.
"Due to the import and urgency of some matters here today, the Ephors have joined us that we might seek solutions together more quickly and avoid," in a brief pause his gaze swept to take in several of the more conservative Meltoleyn as well as the two oldest Ephors, all at the far end of the table, "the 'misunderstandings' that have caused us much delay in the past. The first item is dealing with the damage from the terrible conflagration that destroyed much of the port quarter of the city of Araneth. Glatican of the Ephors speaks for them."
This last statement preempted Rey-a-Man, King of Maelmar, who was standing to be recognized. As Glatican moved to the podium, Alareth took his seat to Rey-a-Man's left.
"Although by our law all legislation must originate from the Meltoleyn, especially emergency acts where it may act without the vote of the Tol'aland, the Ephors have taken the liberty of putting together a proposal on how to deal with this disaster. In return for your due consideration of it, and one vote apiece on a final decision in this matter, we will each waive our right to veto whatever decision this council makes. We believe it best to deal with the matter in this way...."
With those words Glatican began a detailed explanation of the time, manner, and expenditure needed to rebuild the port to its former status with some improvement over older facilities. When he was finished, Rey-a-man took his turn at the podium with a proposal of his own.
"Fellow Meltolyn and honorable Ephors, I believe that this misfortune is but a piece of a bigger problem. You have all no doubt heard the rumors of foreign nationals being responsible for the great fire at Araneth. As we now have joined the wider world and made contact with many peoples in many lands, we have exposed ourselves to dangers from abroad, both without and within through trders from othr nations who come here. We can no longer afford to have all our swords in one hand. Had we not acted quickly the port would have been completely destroyed and our trade and naval facilities would have been almost wiped out. I believe we should build another port in Maelmar, around a natural harbor not far from the capital, so that sabotage of our existing one won't be so crippling. This will also enable us to increase our trade capacity and navy, thus bringing increased prosperity and security to our island. At the same time we could slowly rebuild the damage at Araneth, while it would takelonger the end result would be two major ports."
From his seat Bar-ri, King of Araneth, declared, "Both these proposals would leave Araneth and our trade with the outside world hurting for at least two years, more if my fellow king has his way. We have the means to restore the port within the year; do it now I say!" His gloved fist slammed to the table with a 'thunk'.
"But if you have *your* way," spoke Derlith the scholar from the University at Araneth, "then we'd have to cancel the expedition to north Qaiyore. It took a long time to put together and we're almost all agreed that it could very well be vital to our future survival."
Nods around the table confirmed the truth of his last statement. As debate continued, both kings realized their wills were going to be thwarted this day. Alareth finally took the podium and called for a vote.
"I believe the consensus on this issue is that we adopt the Ephors' proposal to rebuild the port over the next two years while utilizing existing facilities to their greatest extent. The rebuilt facilities will be done piecemeal and put to use as they are available, rather having to complete everything at one time. We will however survey the site in Maelmar for consideration in the distant future. All in favor?" The measure passed with a thirty to five margin. "Do any here wish to propose delaying our expedition to the continent?" None did. "Very well...."
"I would like to say," interrupted Bar-ri, "that I will be using the resources available to me to investigate the causes of this fire and find those responsible."
"Shouldn't we discuss how to go about that?" piped up one Meltol.
"As king it is my duty to protect this island. And the forces I have plus the cooperation of those reserves who function as merchants in peacetime should prove more than adequate to deal with this investigation." He looked across at his fellow king who nodded in agreement, neither wanted any in this room doubting their authority in matters of state security. Neither the Ephors or any others on the council spoke against this declaration.
"*Ahem!* Then we should turn our attention to the reports of natives on Golaren."
"Why would they show now after all the time we've...."
"Maybe our kings could be convinced to look for them rather than phantom arsonists...."
"I don't like it. There's going to be trouble if they consider that land theirs with our colon...."
"We've got to try to contact them. Think of the knowledge they have of exotic plants and...."
Slowly, the assemblage came to order and debated action on the reports from the colonies. The Ephors returned to their own duties as the discussion went on into the evening. Eventually the Meltoleyn decided to send small diplomatic expeditions into the rain forest to make contact. As they adjurned for belated dinners, the King of Maelmar pulled aside several members to further discuss the harbor in his land.
Strategic, External (year 1 of 5)
Type: Observation/Diplomatic Actor: Ephors
Expedition to Bega and northwestern Qaiyore (esp. Annaeyana)
Primary Determinant: Resources
Secondary Determinants: Scholastics, Magic, Relations, Military size
Long term expedition composed of the best and brightest of navy, scholars, wizards, wise men, merchants, and diplomats of Celpalar civilisation.
Reaction: Business as usual
Few will think of this as more than a large trading expedition. With such a high volume of traffic through limited port facilities, few will even notice the ships are gone.
"Some of the civilians, well, they're griping about theratios, sir."
"Tell them they'd better get used to it. It's a long way to where we're going, and we'll be there a while."
"Is there something else?"
"Do you think we'll make it back? I've heard the legends, this place is deadly, with dragons and lightning and powerful sorcerors ten feet tall who can kill you with a look!"
"We'll make it back. I've been in the navy more than thirty years. I was second in command of that fleet which opened up a lot of our trade in Midsea. I've been anchored off the coast of Mir and lived to tell the tale. We'll get back; we just have to play it smart and watch ourselves. But we're more than capable of doing that." Then almost to himself, "By the Maker, we'll make it back if I have to pack us up all on one ship, run my shirt up the mast, and blow on it real hard."
"Yes, sir. Thank you."
Hmmph, thought the admiral as the man walked away, wouldn't have volunteered if I weren't going to come back. But I've got to have a look over the horizon, around the next bend. One time, I won't come back, but it's too important this time that I do.
The fear of the Ephors is the return of a threat like Annaeyana, a huge, magical base of operationsfor a foe to conquer Celpalar as the sorcerors of Mir once did. The main priority of the expedition is to travel to Bega to see if it can be determined why Annaeyana nearly was destroyed there, and whatever investigation is possible of the flying city itself. To forward this mission, the best of Celpalar acedemia and wizards which would go have been sent to get their insights. Nearly one third of the navy plus many merchant vessels are carrying this expedition along with a significant armed force for protection. Some of the better artisans have been sent to analyze the construction of Annaeyana from a distance and any fallen pieces that may be found. Diplomats, explorers, and merchants have been included to make contact with any kingdoms or tribes onthe coast or in the Shadowlands to seek their knowledge and, secondarily, begin relations.
Strategic, Internal (year 1 of 2)
Type: Develop/Invest Actor: The Council
Rebuild the damaged areas of the port in Araneth
Primary Determinant: Wealth
Secondary Determenants: Craft, Magic, Resources, Military size
The acquirement of materials and labor will be drain on the treasury
Reaction: Business as usual
"Why do we get this grunt work? Aren't there laborers they can hire for this?"
"You'd rather be drilling again? Or cooking that slop they serve us?
Besides, I heard they think the ones that did this may try again. Who better to stop them than us?"
"Still lousy work for a soldier I say. When I reupped figured I'd get duty on one of the colonies."
"Still might, if it's true and they found people there."
"Yeah, but if they send us now, somebody'll be trying to kill us."
"Emphasis on trying."
*Snort* "Yeah. Tribesmen against thebest soldiers around. Maybe it wouldn't be so bad at that."
Both men chuckled as they continued clearing the rubble.
The rebuilding of the port commences with the use of some of the army as security and general labor. The state's coffers are paying for the finest materials and builders to remake the port better than it was. And more secure. Less wood and more stone will be used in the buildings, and added security towers and a barracks near the facilities will try to keep it safe. The streets will be widened to prevent easy spread of fire (a major factor in the size of the last blaze) and also to increase traffic flow.
+1 Good Wealth
0 Normal task
-1 Soldiers are unenthusiastic and lacking in some skills
+1 Building work is hard but well within the scope of a soldier
Dice rolls so far:
Year 1: (-1 +1 +1 +1) = +2
The rebuild is going very well - the reinforcements are a welcome addition and the populous is supportive - volunteers from the countryside are arriving to assist the hard-pressed military.
Type: Develop/Invest Actor: The Meltoleyn
Making better use of the undamaged facilities to continue trade at present levels.
Primary Determinant: Exploitation
Secondary Determinants: Trade, Relations, Wealth
Frieght must be moved more quickly into and out of the city as storage is limited and unloading time is shortened to accomodate more ships per dock.
Reaction: Business as usual
If successful, there won't be much grumbling.
"What's the hold up? My ship's been sitting in the harbor for too long."
The harbormaster looked up from the schedule in front of him. "Sorry, there's been a hold up with one of the Arysian ships. Apparently some new diplomat is demanding to see the Meltoleyn."
"What for? I've got cargo to unload and little enough time to do it even with the extra labor."
"Accusing us of plotting against them with their neighbors. Wherever they are. Not to worry, several piers are ahead of schedule, when a slot open up, you'll be in."
"But then I'll have to move my workers."
"What's walking down the way with a few men? Besides most of the work gets done by the state hires and they'll be on other piers same as this one."
Still fuming the merchant trudged away.
Cargo handlers and people to route ships to their slots on the piers are added by the Meltoleyn to the surviving parts of the port. Merchants scour the countryside looking for conveyance for their goods as storage area is scarce and costly. As each section of the port is rebuilt it will be opened to increase capacity.
+1 Good exploitation
0 Normal task
-1 Building works interfere with the re-routing
Result: +1 +0 -1 + (+1 -1 +1 0) = +1 Success!
The Meltoleyn's handling of the disaster is exemplary - foreign merchants congratulate the Celpali on their organisation. Incredibly balance of trade is unaffected for the year, in spite of the loss of much of the quayside.
Action 4 - secret
Action 5 - secret
Type: Diplomacy Actor: King of Maelmar
Convince the Meltoleyn, Ephors, and people of the need of a port in Maelar
Weight: Single (Extra)
Primary Determinant: Influence
Secondary Determinant: Consent, Authority
Exerpt from Rey-a-man's speech to the Toland: "...And it is my fervent belief that we are not safe so long as there is only one place for our fleet to be docked. We are an island nation, our navy is our first line of defence. But as was proven to us recently, agents from other lands can easily deprive us of a base to operate our navy from. And how our trade will suffer from this blow, we do not yet know! We must--I repeat *must*--have another large port for our security and our livelihood. I therefore propose...."
The king has long considered himself not as an equal to his fellow king from Araneth. While it was true most of the army and reserves were in Maelmor, it was the navy that served as the banner for Celpalar in other nations. And the General Staff was quartered within Araneth as well, along with the military's intelligence service. There must be a new port, so he too would have a piece of the navy. And if enough of the people believed, he could simply declare it a military necessity and take the funds from the navy budget. The Ephors and Meltoleyn would have no say then; he'd just have to deal with Bar-ri in that case....
-1 Rey-a-man's mediocre influence
0 Normal task
-2 second extra action
+1 his argument makes sense
Result = -1 +0 -2 +1 + (-1, 0, -1, -1) = -5 Mythic failure!
Rey-a-man's whining initially stir his populous, but his persistent badgering and manoeuvring irritates the Ephors and isolates him from the Meltoleyn. Then a copy of a document highlighting his plan for siphoning money from the naval budget is leaked. The Council is up in arms - there are even calls for his abdication.
His consent plummets to -2 (Poor). His Authority is -2 (Poor) for the next 5 years.