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Terix's Downfall

Mathon Terix was in a dangerous position. Two legions destroyed, a open contender was on the march, and rumors, and conspiracies were flourishing. The Praetor upon hearing the news of Kassus' advance into Rihan across the Vrekess summoned the Senate into emergency session. It would be his last session. His Praetorian Prefect entered his room, as did Avelik his advisor.

"The Senate is awaiting your presence," said Avelik. Mathon sighed. "Are the two generals locked up?"

"Yes, the Guard put them in Telvan'rey for the time being," reported the prefect. The Praetor looked at both men. "Please wait for me outside, I need a moment." Both nodded and withdew to the hallway. He inspected the room, the fine appointed drapes, the busts of previous leaders, and the endless tomes of literature on the bookshelves. He wandered over to the balony behind his desk and gazed over the Forum, devoid of people, and saw the greying skies above. Mathon knew he would not be returning to the Palace after what was about to unfold.

He took a look in a mirror. He was not wearing the elaborate robes of state -- just a purple robe with gold trimming.

It was time to leave. Opening the door, he rejoined Avelik and Prefect Liravek. The detachment of twelve guards in their pristine armor, armed with their Lirash poleaxes, were lined up. "Let us proceed," commanded the Praetor.

They emerged from the palace complex and into the forum, in what had seemed to be a much shorter walk than months ago when he believed that the Republic would see some stability.

Senators observed the Praetor as he entered the Hall of State, some chatted in the outer gardens, but all were silent as he walked into the building. Inside, there was tension oozing out of the cracks in the walls. Terix and his group entered the chamber. He saw Gathan Darok speaking with a half dozen senators. He had only just recently gotten on the Continuing Committee, much to Mathon's displeasure.

The bell rang, signaling the start of the session. Terix took his seat, for the last time, on the rostum. Proconsul Kota began dispensing with the business of the day -- a report by General Rendak of Central Command on the rapidly advancing oppositonal army led by Morror Kassus. Tensions were rising with every word that came out of the general's mouth.

"...since yesterday's battle on the Kornam Plains, the rebel forces are moving southwest towards Peldred. They will be in sight of the city within 2 days..." He was about to continue when he was interrupted by several senators.

"The Praetor is responsible for the disaster. He must be held accountable," said one. Another joined in, an ally of Kassus in secret, saying "the Praetor has been nothing but incompetent since the beginning of the war in Enolia. He is unfit to lead the Republic!" Others jumped on the bandwagon, and soon enough, chatting by over half of the room for his ouster.

Terix let them have their moment and remained silent. Then, he got up. The Praetorians in the room silenced everyone with the bashing of their Lirashs on the marble floor of the chamber. "I did what was right during the Enolian War -- and I stand by every decision I made. Many of you have never commanded a soldier or decided the life or death of another. I will not be lectured by you on such matters. You may not realize it now but you will in time, come to know that what you are asking for may only excerbate the situtation. And who amongst you will lead the Republic?" He realized that was a stupid question and continued, not before noting that the knives were coming out.

"Remove me and Rihan will devolve into chaos. I dare you to." It was a powerless threat as he was already aware through Avelik the night before that the body had more than enough votes to remove him. He then stopped and sat back down.

Nej'ahar Consul Chatak Tela called for a recess so that his coalition could meet in private. The other groups did so as well. An hour passed, then a second. By the third hour, several senators from each coalition then met in a conference room. The topic of that discussion: Terix's successor.

As nightfall fell on the capital, the Senate was brought back into session. Kota recognized Senator Braydon.

"I call for a vote of no confidence in the Praetor." Terix sat back in the Eagle chair that he had returned to after spending the recess speaking with Avelik who had decided to enoble as one of his final acts. He also instructed him to inform his wife and daughter that they would leave at once for the family estate in the countryside. His personal belongings were to be taken out of the palace at once. If he was going to removed, he might as well do so as quickly as possible.

The vote was taken and over three-fourths of the entire Senate voted in the affirmative.

Mathon Terix was no longer Praetor.

Ten minutes later, Gathan Darok succeeded him. He immediately ordered the mobilization of the Fourth Legion to confront Kassus. This was followed by strict resource rationing by anyone other than those in the military.

Edited by Rihan
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Anger

Gathan Darok's gamble at holding off Kassus' Tenth Legion was a disaster. Over half of the Fourth Legion were destroyed in the two offensives they had taken upon his defensive lines. Unknown to the Fourth Legion's scouting division, Morror had placed his fierce Zelvorian auxilaries in the tall grass, many sniping the approaching forces. The remaining half had either attempted to fight back but most routed. The initial battle plan was that the Fourth would hold on long enough for reinforcements but alas, Gathan wanted to prove to the people that he was a military leader. This defeat sparked massive outrage by the Jaridan, most of whom hated him generally speaking.

"...if you had stuck to the battle plan, Kassus wouldn't be able to march on the capital," shouted Darok. He would proceed to blame the generals in the room for their incompetence when everyone knew it was the Praetor's fault. Rendak spoke up. "We told you to wait until at least the Seventh Legion arrived but you insisted on striking first." He picked up a paper, "four-thousand are dead, as forth, less." Darok was seated at the front of the conference room table. "I will not hear excuses. You will all fix this."

"With what forces Praetor?" said another and then continued to say, "clearly fighting him on the ground isn't going to work." Gathan sneared, "then bomb him from above."

Rendak intervened, "he's encamped right outside Peldred, the second-largest city, we cannot do that." The assembled men and woman chatted amongst themselves.

"We'll see what we can do Praetor," said Rendak. "See to it that he's completely stopped or else," the Praetor ordered and withdrew from the meeting. Everyone else was dismissed and Rendak returned to his office, frustrated with Gathan. Both men had never liked each other and he clearly knew that his tenure was going to be a very brief one.

Meanwhile in Calanistra, a servant of Liviana Charvanek's, Sinda, arrives at the local Phi'Tlaru bureau. She asks to see the Colonel. Both speak privately in his office for a few minutes as she hands him an signed document about her husband. The door opens, "thank you for bringing this to our attention, we'll take care of this matter promptly. Have a good day." 

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