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The Eagle and the Leopard

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The meal was as delicious as the Praetor had suggested, if a little odd on Goulielmos' palate. The dishes were unfamiliar, as could be expected for a country so far away. Fleetingly, the Tagmatine had wondered if the Rihannsu would pull the old trick of giving the foreigner something like sheep's eyeballs to see what they could get him to eat. But this wasn't a public arena and if Terix was doing that, then it would display him as an odd sort of sadist. Which he clearly wasn't, as Goulielmos' hosts had gone to the trouble of preparing the odd item that he would find familiar, demonstrating that the Rihannsu were keen on operating in good faith. At least at the moment.

“It was a very fine meal, Praetor,” said Eugenios, although after the long flight and the lengthy car journey, he'd probably have eaten almost anything put before him. As Terix rose to his feet, Eugenios did the same and obediently followed the Rihannsu as he led the way. He noticed that his bodyguards were still around and he gave them a nod of greeting as he passed them. Not that either would acknowledge it, impassive in their blank helmets. The Megas Logothetes always felt it to be proper to be polite to them, at the very least. They weren't living furniture, after all, and they were charged with defending his life.

The works of art that Terix took him past were impressive, although the Megas Logothetes was no art historian but he could certainly appreciate that he was seeing something that no other Tagmatine had done before. There would be many in Arhomaneia who would kill to be able to look at them and, if all went well, perhaps they might be able to look upon ones similar. And the books... All of the copies of the Na Temyytaera that the Tagmatines had got their hands on eight hundred years ago had been burned and those that possessed them imprisoned or hanged. There was supposedly one copy was locked up within the bowels of the Megale Ekklesia, the Great Church, in Tagmatika, along with a great many other heretical books, although a layman like Eugenios wasn't aware of that.

The Megas Logothetes wasn't disappointed when Terix cut their sightseeing short – after all, they had business to get down to. He made a mental note to see if the Rihannsu would allow him to take a copy of at least the D'hwael back with him. Taking a copy of a book considered to be heretical would be pretty much a bad idea. The Church would bow to pragmatism when it came to the Megas Agios Basileos opening relations with a group it branded as heretics – after all, most other Christian states were basically heretics, too. But effectively smuggling a banned text into Tagmatium would likely be a step too far.

The walk through the rest of the palace was equally illuminating. Like Arhomaneia, but not. The Tagmatine wondered whether style was a conscious decision on the part of the Rihannsu, invoking a lost homeland and a future path that was now out of reach, or just an echo of folk memories. He decided to keep that musing train of thought to himself, in fear of offending Terix. The Praetor seemed reasonable and remarkably open-minded, from what Eugenios had seen so far, but the Tagmatine did not intend to push his host.

The guards that had been following them at a discrete distance halted behind them at the next doorway as the Praetor led the Megas Logothetes into the lounge. The Ikanatos and the Arkhontogennhemates would have stories to tell to their comrades once they were back in Tagmatium. Terix and Eugenios lowered themselves into the chairs and the remaining servants cleared from the room.

To business at last thought Eugenios, although not rudely. He picked up his coffee and took a small sip, just to wet his mouth. Terix's comment that the whole of his nation's mentality needed to shift, even with the caveat, was very intriguing. Like many other nations, the Rihan Republic had been isolationist until, well, the last few months. On the face of it, if Tagmatium had not the shared history with the Rihannsu, then the Megas Logothetes doubted that they would be having this meeting – his nation just would not really have been interested. It would be going as with the Aluxians and a dozen or so others; a tentative greeting, the exchange of diplomatic missions and going with the flow from there, or perhaps nothing more.

“I would not have thought that we were going to have anything other than a serious discussion,” replied the Tagmatine, again with a slight smile. “Praetor, that we are sat here like this demonstrates that this is about as far from a traditional diplomatic approach as possible. I cannot talk about blank slates. My nation and yours let the weight of history press on them far too much for that. I won't say that that is a bad thing, either. It keeps both Rihan and Arhomaneia grounded in a way that others are not. And people nurse grudges. From what I have been told by Pranana, some within your aristocracy and Senate would be offended by my mere presence and I do not doubt that there would be those within the more conservative parts of the Megas Agios Basileia that would be equally disturbed by a government official visiting Tagmatium.”

He smiled slightly again, heralding another weak joke. “Perhaps by being so clandestine, we make it look as if we're guilty of something when we are not.

“I said we cannot talk about blank slates in terms of the past but I will say that we have been given the chance of a blank slate for the future, a better one than most other countries have. Our nations have a connection, whilst built on a shameful past, that allows us to have a better idea of each other. The Agios Basilikon Kounsistorion wishes to reach out to Rihan, perhaps even to eventually to... well, apologise for its past actions.”

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"I do not expect the Empire to completely wipe away history and assume that all is well - that the history of the past was nothing more than an illusion. I think it is fair to say that we both recognize that the events that transpired were from a period of time that both my own people were still developing their actual place in the universe and the ongoing orientation of Tagmatika moving forward from the ashes of the Aroman Empire of Old. We were nothing but one of the hundreds of warring peoples from the Central Europan Steppe only to be pushed into the West by other likeminded peoples. Even under the Tagmatine Emperors, and with our past arrangement, it was still foreign."

"But history is history, and we must respect it. Even in the worst of events," he paused. "It is the same history that we meet under. Right now, as you've mentioned, we meet removed from others. I did this not to admit guilt nor force you to do so to save face, but because there are genuine concerns. The passage of time is vast. Many a noble lineage here harken back to the days of the Departure, some even further back to the very earliest of recorded days. However, the Rihannsu may long memories and hold vendettas against their fellow aristocrats when it suits their interests, they know the world is changing. I know it is too."

"The road will be long," he lamented. "I do not expect the climb to be easy or without setbacks but I firmly believe, and there are others in the Senate, namely those who subscribe to the Suketh alignment, who believe we must shed away some of the paranoia and stigmatism of foreigners and embrace international cooperation. While I may not agree with them on some of their values, I do share their concern when it comes to the Republic's relationship with the global community. We cannot remain isolated. Nor remain isolated and brood."

Mathon, a man with a longstanding career in the navy, was saying things that many Jaridan or Jol Tan aligned senators would utter. "I asked for the secrecy of this meeting because I want this effort to succeed over the long-term through measured, cautious movement that can be undertaken without prescription of causing headaches for either of us." Terix imagined they were speaking on the same level but even he was being careful with Arhomaneiahis words around Eugenios. He picked up the coffee pot that was at the center of the table and poured himself another cup, took a sip and continued on. "I fundamentally believe there is a way to move our shared history in a positive direction, setting us both up a better future," he adjusted himself in his curule chair, put down his cup. "Perhaps not a formal embassy nor consulate - the establishment of diplomatic missions both here in Rihan and Tagmatium, led by representatives deemed acceptable to each party."

"Beyond that," he started, "to begin healing, we must learn from each other, break down barriers and stigmas." He wasn't so sure the Tagmatine Minister would go along with his next suggestion but he decided to take a step forward. "Perhaps," pausing, "a limited cultural exchange could be arranged to test the waters and if successful, a larger 'opening' for more from each people a chance to see the wonders of Tagmatium and the mystery of Rihan."

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Mathon paid attention to every single word Eugenios had said. "A mission sounds modest but there is nothing saying it couldn't elevate to a proper embassy in due time. I merely propose such a minor step in the name of protecting both my own actions here in Rihan and for the Emperor who I am sure will have to deal with some level of criticism from the Church that doesn't exactly...approve of us. I think the cultural exchange is a good mechanism to test the waters under the auspices of a proper arrangement and if successful, it would warrant much more 'coordinated' deliberations."

"I may need the militant Jaridan and the deviously wealthy Nej'ahar to get many of my proposals through but when they consist of men and woman who would rather take a blunt approach to solve a problem - either through the barrel of a rifle or through the sacks of money - it isn't always the right method. Now, as you are aware, I am a military man myself, a long career in the Navy before being appointed the Praetorship, this sounds counter. I may be a political man now, and surely you may not believe what I am about to say but I never 'clawed' for the position. I accepted it because it was my duty to serve. I do not formally pronounce my political alignments in the Senate in the name of safeguarding the Republic - above all. The Suketh may be a small contingent of the Senate membership, they are right. I privately consulted many of them in the early days of my tenure - and this meeting is the product of such discussion and debate."

"Rihan may be as far away as the rest of Eurth and it some ways, that is a good thing in the name of maintaining the stability of the Republic, but as you said, no one nation survives on its own. Since my ascention to the position, I've taken far greater steps at continental affairs than many Praetors before me, only concerning themselves with Aurelia overall when there was a situation that was too...complex for our own address. Today, the Rihannsu and Kirvinska are as close as we've ever been. The Phi'Tlaru has been quite useful in probing the wider globe in keeping us abreast of developments abroad. I do respect Arhomaneia cause of keeping Europa at least at some level of stability," another boost few other Praetors would say unless it was meant to get something, "and I am aware of a great many things many governments would not like us to know," he gave a slight chuckle.

"In regards to the cultural exchange," he moved towards the first trigger that would reconnect former complements, "the definitive program would probably center around nationally-sponsored trips. I'd like to say we could do an exposition but I have the sense that many in the Church who may want to suppress some of our 'creativity' but I think you can work out the final format with Senator Pranana and the Civilization Minister. Obviously embarking on this type of arrangement would involve some revisions in visa policy between us and the establishment of protocols that our two nations would uphold in the spirit of making this a success."

He knew Eugenios would bring up the one difficulty in pulling such an exchange up. "You do not need to apologize for being flippant," he began, "I don't think these exchanges would be quite so 'popular' but perhaps targeting them to particularly 'enlightened' individuals - academics, of culture. Yes, there will be detractors, as will be the case here, but nothing should stop us from making a complete attempt. And I am prepared to spend political capital to make it happen. I am by far a more liberal politician than you may find in the Senate. Yes, the three-hundred men and woman of the chamber will be a challenge. But I've succeeded in getting numerous reforms through in some rather unconventional ways." Terix had noticed at this point that the coffee pot was empty following Eugenios' pouring a final cup. Mathon quickly moved it out of the way to a side table.

"It will be hard. But," he paused, leaning back in his chair, templing his hands, making his guest curious about the hand gesture. "Recognition must happen. And it will happen."

The clock, placed on the opposite of the room, struck ten. The moon shined brightly in the sky, the crescent fully visible in the cloudless night.

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The Praetor might say that he had accepted his office on sufferance and cast aside his own political affiliations for the good of his country, and who was the Megas Logothetes to argue? Eugenios was reminded of part of the coronation ceremony of the Agios Basileos – the person elected to the office would be called upon three times to take up the role and would turn it down the first two times, proclaiming themselves unworthy of the exalted office. On the third time, they would accept. He didn't know enough about Terix to truly judge whether the man was being honest with that statement that he hadn't clawed his way to power, but it didn't really matter, he supposed. What did matter was that Terix was in the position to start to improve the relations between Rihan and Tagmatium.

When the Praetor leant back in his chair and put his fingers together, Goulielmos suppressed a smile. The gesture was possibly unconscious and psychologists often said that signified that a person was confident – as well as being a pose that Kommodos often took. The Praetor and the Agios Basileos kai Autokrator were very different people, as it seemed that Terix had to take into account the wishes of a powerful Senate, whilst Kommodos ruled in the manner that his title suggested – an autocrat. The suppression of the Tagmatine senate in the aftermath of the 2005 Civil War might well be something that Terix dreamed of replicating on occasion. If the Rihannsu and Arhomaniki rulers ever met on personal terms, Eugenios doubted that they would get on all that well.

As the clock struck the hour, the Arhomaios minister resisted the urge to look at his wristwatch out of habit at the chimes. He wasn't feeling all that tired, despite the busy day and meeting with the Rihannsu leader. A whimsical part of him was indulgent enough to think it was because the pair of them were forging history. It was actually likely because of the numerous cups of coffee that he had drunk.

“Unless the situation changes on the world scene dramatically, or either of our nations do something that makes it politically untenable, only then can I see any recognition between our nations not happening,” replied Eugenios. The emphatic nature of Terix's words, the drama he seemed to invest in them, struck the foreign minister as a little hammy. But everyone had their own quirks and so far the Praetor seemed to be a man of integrity and sense. If he wanted to play somewhat to an invisible audience, then Megas Logothetes was prepared to let him. So far, the Tellosanos had been perfectly hospitable and certainly Terix was very keen to heal the rift between the republic and the empire.

Eugenios hesitated for a moment before continuing. “The biggest problem might be that the Republic could be construed as a slaver state. I do not doubt you have read the proclamations that the Megas Agios Basileia has made about that. Again, the history books will show you that Arhomaneia once had vast numbers of slaves, and until relatively recently, too. The tide turned against slavery since then and in no small part due to the Church. It could be something of an impediment towards our aims and it will require some careful work to get over that.”

Hopefully that wasn't too much of a puncture to Terix's mood but it would have to be surmounted before dealings between the two nations could improve. And it wasn't like Arhomaneia had much leverage over Rihan to try to force the issue, like the embargo that was in place against Derthalen. After all, that would defeat the entire point of a careful warming of relations that was being planning in the Valley of Chula. But it was not as if Tagmatium had allied or worked with nations and governments it would otherwise be opposed to in the past. There was a reason that Arhomaneia had garnered the nickname of “Pragmatium” in some of the Anglish-speaking nations. The Rihannsu would likely be no different in this regard than many others. Perhaps even the mystique of the past history and interaction between the two nations could work in their favour.

It was a good job that Agios Basileos kai Autokrator had a propaganda ministry, the Logothesion ton Deeseon, for just this sort of occasion. The minister in charge was an archbishop, so there could well be a conflict of interests, if the Church really wanted to make the situation awkward for Kommodos.

“I will look forward to working with Senator Pranana and the, ah, Civilisation Minister,” Eugenios said. Even an open-minded Tagmatine with a good working knowledge of the affairs of Eurth such as the Megas Logothetes couldn't help a slight raised eyebrow at the idea of a nation of barbaroi having a Civilisation Minister. “We have similar ministries within the Agios Basilikon Kounsistorion and I'm sure that we will be able to work something out that will be palatable to your people and mine. An exchange of the academically-interested would be a start, of course. The Departure, however it is spun by historians, novelists and film-makers, remains a topic that does often fascinate people. And not just in the manner that might seem obvious, that of good Christians triumphing over those who would wish to ride roughshod over the Lord's work. Sometimes the people who would become your ancestors are cast as resistors of an oppressive state.”

Not often, however. At least, they didn't make it past the censors of the Logothesion ton Deeseon with much regularity. And then the Esoteriki Epitheorisi Pliroforion, the secret police, might get involved, much to any author's detriment. If it hadn't been suggested to the Tagmatine government already, then perhaps Eugenios would have to bring it up at the next meeting of the cabinet – one way to improve perception of the Tellosanoi would be to have some carefully edited versions of these works make their way out for public consumption.

“But, of course, just sending academics might mean that any message of thawing relations doesn't filter down all that well. I wouldn't want to project, of course, but I imagine that academics within Rihan often have... certain stereotypes associated with them, one which seems true the world over. A wider exposition would be help spread our nations to a larger audience. But I'm repeating myself, and needlessly so.”

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It was getting late and he could tell his guest was quite exhausted. Mathon listened attentively to Eugenios. The Praetor suspected that his rhetoric was more the place for the Senate floor and not in a private session with the Tagmatine Foreign Minister of all people but after all, the onus of intentions was firmly in his court to persuade Eugenios of his sincerity on the matter. He was content in knowing that formal recognition of the two nations was possible. "Ah yes," he remarked, "our practice," he paused, "is not what it once was. The number of enslaved people is at its lowest point in over 300 years. "The Phi'Tlaru has kept me informed of the Emperor's proclamations on our practice, not specifically towards us per se, but on a global level but I can tell you that I am keenly aware of its...unpalatability abroad. It is on the way out. The current generation is the last to be tied, every generation before them, by and large, have been freed to end a political crisis between the high and common classes several decades ago. I foresee a major paradigm shift on the matter in the coming years for sure."

Mathon had hoped his response was sufficient enough for the time being. "I feel that we've made a major step forward between the Empire and the Republic," he said, "Senators Pranana and Vrandet will work with you and your staff on the details of the arrangements. As he said that, he had thought about opening the exchange further - if you feel there is enough of a reason to expand the opportunity for those beyond academics in regards to our exchange conversation, I am not opposed to it -- I only suggested a measured approach because of only how far we've gotten and how much further we have to go. But I trust yours and Pranana's judgment on this, but for now, I think we've talked enough for one night. There is much to reflect and contemplate on" he said, walking over to the door and summoning one of his servants. The Tagmatine minister's guards were still outside the room they had been talking to. "Please bring the Minister to his sleeping quarters for the night," he instructed. "Yes sir," he responded. "Please follow me..."

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“If I am able to give my assurances to the Agios Basileos kai Autokrator that slavery is no longer what it once was in Rihan, Praetor, then I'm sure that we will be able to move past that as a sticking point.”

Although that statement did sound like he was trying to dictate policy to the Republic, that certainly was not the case. Eugenios was glad to hear that the practice of slavery was on its way out and, ultimately, he imagined that he would have to get the precise numbers and statistics from the Rihannsu before his time in the Republic was over. It would be useful to have the numbers on hand and the proclamations involved, to show that slavery was declining and no longer a force in Rihan. Some of the more hot-headed members of the press and even the Church had recently called for military action to follow on from the statement against slavery and economic action against Derthalen. That crisis had cooled for the moment, but Arhomaneia was definitely not the only nation that found slavery quite so unpalatable. Personally, Goulielmos would not be surprised if a war against Derthalen was not on the horizon. It did not seem that they had been brought to heel like most hoped, and they were nowhere near as sensible as the Tellosanoi when it came to seeing which way the wind was blowing.

Partially, the Megas Logothetes was also curious as to how this political crisis would have been solved by the release of slaves – maybe the fact that they could be cheaper to employ than free men, by releasing them, they were no longer competitors to the lower classes? That didn't sound all that right, even though economics and social history were not really his strong points. He would have to ask Terix if he could take a book on Rihannsu history home with him but Eugenios fear that it might have to be something simple, almost a child's primer. It would be good to know how they viewed themselves, especially if the Empire and the Republic were going to have – hopefully – closer relations in the future.

“If, Praetor, you feel that it would be better to keep it just academics, then I can respect that,” said Eugenios, taking note of the Praetor's seeming reticence towards making contact between their nations too broad, too quickly. “Perhaps I am getting too ahead of myself. I imagine that our nations have been able to use each other as a convenient scapegoat or bogeyman for far too long for this to change overnight.”

One of many, sadly, for the Tagmatines. Naughty children who didn't want to go to church got snatched by Tellos. Naughty children who stayed out playing after their parents called them got snatched by Skiithiroi, the horse-tribes. Naughty children in the west of Arhomaneia who didn't listen to their parents got snatched by the Haru. That last one had more than a little grain of truth to it, but Goulielmos guessed that it hadn't happened in years.

“A measured approach would undoubtedly be best,” continued the Megas Logothetes. “I am sure that we will be able to discuss opening it up further in the future, once our peoples have gotten more used to each other. I doubt tourism is something that we would be able to properly talk about for quite some time, although is most certainly a shame. I look forward to being able to talk to the Senators.”

When the Praetor stood, so did the Tagmatine. For today, the meeting was over and Goulielmos had been effectively dismissed, although it would be impolitic to acknowledge it as such. As well as damaging to the occasionally monstrous amount of pride that the Arhomaioi had.

Despite the informal air of the meeting, the Megas Logothetes was still a guest of a foreign head of state at the heart of his nation. The balance of power, should Terix had chosen to carry the meeting in that manner, was entirely in his hands. However, the Praetor showed himself to be of a rare breed of national leader with the way he had conducted it. Very few other heads of state would have allowed hours of unfettered access of the like Terix had done. The Agios Basileos almost certainly would not have, even with someone who might have come close to being considered an equal, such as the Empress of Orioni. Their styles of ruling, as had occurred to Eugenios before, were very different.

“I shall bid you goodnight, Praetor,” Eugenios sresponded as he was walked over to the door. He gave Terix a half-bow before leaving the room. Outside in the corridor, he gave his guards a nod of his head and they fell in behind him as the Rihannsu servant led the way towards the rooms of the Arhomaniki delegation. The sound of the soldiers' armour clanking behind him didn't disturb his thoughts. It was a background noise, one that anyone who spent any time in the Imperial Palace Complex grew used to quite quickly.

And there was certainly much to think about for the evening. The Praetor was right about that.

It had been a long day and the Megas Logothetes would have liked to have gone to bed as soon as he was in his room. However, Eugenios was going to write up notes for his monarch before he went to sleep, as well as find out what the aides had been doing in the meantime, and what observations the soldiers from the Ikanatoi and the Arkhontogennhematai had seen. Kommodos would certainly want an account of all that had been said between the two. The Tagmatine monarch had the same wish as the Praetor, that the relations between Rihan and his nation would normalise, for the first time in eight hundred years. It would likely be foolish to do it later and, even though he was tired, it was better to do so whilst fresh in his mind.

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      ~Act 1~
      Rihannsu politics is a dangerous game. Formal coalitions existed in the chamber, but their membership was always in flux, a senator cooperating with Jaridan one day may be helping the far-right Jol Tan the next. Every move, every vote was carefully taken, not so much for the masses they represented, but for their own personal self-interest and desire for further influence and power amongst their colleagues. There were 300 of these individuals, of both genders, seated in the round Hall of State, at the very heart of the capital. Presiding the Senate was none other than the Praetor, the effective head of state of the Republic. They had near-dictatorial power, such authority was the dream of every senator. Most would never get it as many Praetors were highly popular both with the military and the lower classes and taking action upon them could potentially lead them to political suicide.
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      On the right-hand side, he could see Senator Gathan Darok, the second-richest man in all of Rihan taking his place. Darok's family was not initially aristocratic. Rather, they bought their way to influence. The family possessed many thousands of melakols (acres) of farmland on the Aihai outside Dartha, growing vitally important wheat. His grandfather had invested the wealth generated from it to purchase two profitable iron mines in the D'Kalla Mountains. Between the farms and the mines, he possessed tens of hundreds of slaves. Garthan's father, Kaol, had converted their wealth into power. When Aerv Nanclus passed away, his seat opened up. Kaol would spend hundreds of thousands of Chaks in bribes to several senators with clout over the Continuing Committee to get himself appointed. Just after he was formally confirmed by the committee, he passed away. In recognition for his dedication to the state, the seat was allowed to pass onto his son, Gathan. He was not content with his family's holdings when he became the head of the family and immediately went about gaining another hundred thousand melakols of farmland and more slaves to cultivate the fields. Using the new land, he would curry favor with the military to make him a preferred provider of foodstuffs to the army, giving him a tidy profit. As his fortunes grew, he decided to exchange it for influence. He alongside two others close to him would pool their money into bankrolling much of the Festival of the Republic, including a 15,000-person banquet and five days of entertainment in the Orventis Arena. His decision to back the Praetor's plan to provide food for free to many low-income people in the capital was just another step. The latter ran up against the more 'free' market elements of the Senate, abet 'caring' for the people, the Nej'ahar.
      Terix then turned his gaze to the upper left benches where he could make out the beautiful Liviana Charvanek. She was gorgeous, attracting the attention of many male senators and nobles outside the chamber, attempting to get her attention. The Charvaneks were a noble family, tracing their lineage all the way back to the Arrival. They were the rulers of the city-state of Calanista, the heart of Rihan's wine country. At the conclusion of the Clan Wars, they decided to accept the dissolution of their 'absolute' power over Calanista, and submitted to unification into the rapidly forming Republic in exchange for being given a Senate seat, a seat they've had within the family since their signing of the D'Vatta. Although not as wealthy as Darok, her family did retain control of a substantial vineyard and attached villa on the outskirts of Calanista, as well as a smaller urban villa in Dartha. Over the generations, the Charvaneks would be patrons of the arts and education, sponsoring the construction and eternal endowment of the Beryk Institute, the greatest school in the Republic. Other members of the family over time had been dedicated officers in the military, and every second son in the family had maintained a full career in the service. Liviana did her required duty but serving long was not in her interest. Liviana had lived a pampered life, and due to her family's fortune, she never needed to work. She was given the family Senate seat when her mother Isha decided to step down to enjoy the final years of her life in the countryside and her father decided to not take it as he had just completed his fourth tour in the military, wishing to join her in retirement. Since joining the Senate, she would use her beauty and charisma to get what she wanted. In regards to the proposal on the docket at the day's session, she was fully onboard with it. The Charvaneks had been firm members of the militant Jaridan, the largest coalition, urging for greater expansion of the military for defense and always seeking opportunities to grow the territory of the Republic further. Liviana would bolster her feminine advantages by invoking her family's respected military history when needed.
      The Praetor once again turned his attention to the middle of the chamber. Sensing that most of the members were in the room, he motioned his Praetorian to bang the bottom of his Litesh polearm against the floor several times, calling for order. "This session will now come to order," Terix said. He readjusted himself in his seat before continuing. "The matter before the Senate today is for the allocation of monies sufficient for the implementation of a free food program for low-income citizens here in our glorious capital.." For over an hour, senators would generally speak in favor of the motion, including Darok and Charvanek. The Praetor listened to every word they had uttered. The speeches would eventually cease and a division would be called for. It would pass 154-146. Upon hearing the result, Darok was the first to stand and clap, not to be outdone, Charvanek, joined in as did the rest of the individuals supporting the motion. Both gave glances at each other and then at the Praetor as they clapped. They both wanted the Praetorship, by whatever means.
      A lunch recess had been called, lasting an hour, before they would return for an afternoon session on matters related to foreign affairs. The Praetor prepared to leave the chamber with his Praetorians, both senators would approach him just as he had reached the door and commended him. He thanked them and continued on his way. Gathan and Liviana looked at each other once more, coldly, before leaving the Senate chamber.
      Rihannsu politics is a dangerous game.
    • By Rihan
      Morror Kassus
      Honorable Noble of Rihan (Khlinæ'eri emotæ mnea Rihana)
      General of the 10th Legion (Dæus ih'Khellrea Nudhar)
      and Senator of the Republic (Deihu mnea Rheilhhu)
      does hereby announce:
      a week of feasting, arena games, and boundless entertainment lasting from Brax (March) 15-20
      in the name of
      our brave men and women who won a glorious victory at Duronom
      Free and open to the public, all provided at the personal expense of Morror Kassus
      OOC: As you will see concerning the date, this will take place following events yet to be played out in the "In the Shadows" plot line but I wanted to set it up now for when the time comes. Also, if people have ideas or designs for a personal seal for Morror Kassus going forward that I can use, let me know.
    • By Rihan
      Amosarr: Rihannsu Innovation on the Rails, for All the World
      Amosarr is Rihan's sole manufacturer of railway locomotives and rolling stock, established following the Senate's declaration of financing a substantive high-speed and conventional rail network throughout the Republic as a means to combat rising traffic congestion between the capital and the provinces. Although the Republic has only just begun to get serious about rail as a mode of travel, it recognizes that it is a space that is ripe for innovation in both fabrication and design. The areas the company has rapidly gotten involved in include electric locomotives, single and double-decker passenger cars (plus sleepers, baggage, and dining cars), subway cars, and assorted freight wagons. Amosarr's manufacturing facilities and offices are located in Vribera.
      Current Clients:
      Talasagam Rheilhhu Rihana: Up to 2,100 assorted passenger cars with an additional option for 3,450 more. 52 S-Class High-Speed Trainsets. Up to 15,210 freight wagons of assorted types. 384 electric locomotives running on AC power. Built for use on 7 ft. Broad gauge. H'sarin: 60 V-Class Metro Trainsets for Purple Line, expected to build an additional 210 trainsets for remaining lines and increased service through 2028. Built for use on 7 ft. Broad gauge.
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