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Tilling the Soil


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Part 1: The Collective Intent
Time Period: Sunday, 25th of August, 1974
Location: The South Palu Confederation, Altepetl Tecipanoāni, Teopac of Collective Intent

It had been over forty years since the monarchies reigned over southern Palu without checks or balances, and thirty nine years since the rise of the South Palu Confederation. When Fulgistan and Shffahkia first caused the destabilisation of the Monarchs of the Crescent Kingdom, it was quite clear they had hoped for the complete abolishment of the monarchy and for a true socialist state to be propped up. Although first several months of socialism in southern Palu had been promising, the red monarchist counter coup in 1934 had left everyone both in the government and out with an unsatisfying and unstable compromise; both monarchists and socialists had to share the nation, whilst in most countries that would only lead to a civil war, the commune-feudalist ideology of the monarchists before the socialist revolution was compatible with Syndicalist Fulgistani Communism framework, leading to Paluvian Communism, the genesis of Metztlitlaca's modern day state-capitalist model of economics.
However, all of that is a story for another time. This story is instead about the formation of the League of Alharu and Aurelian Native Nations from 1974-1981.

 

The room was immense, a large hexagon prism shape with six different imposing paintings on each of the white concrete walls. The oldest of the paintings, above a set of large wooden doors, was dated to the 1500s. A Yellow Empire merchant's depiction of the very temple the room was found inside, a crimson red and basalt black brick hexagon-based pyramid with geometric designs and patterns with three large sets of stars at equal distance intervals around the hexagons base. Suddenly, the door underneath the painting rumbled, followed shortly by a man in his mid thirties bursting through the doors. A much younger man around early to mid twenties trailed behind the man, holding a reddish brown paper folder.
"Archpriest Anoxtl, you must understand that Fulgistan has a complex relationship with monar--" But before the younger man could finish his sentence, the older man raised his left hand, causing the younger man to immediately fall silent.
"That was the case under Bozaan and Tunyaz, but Tongbin has shown himself to be a more rational and open minded individual to our government." The older man stated, continuing his walk further into the room. To his left was a large desk with numerous finely placed stacks of papers and other reddish brown paper folders. To his right, a large bed and lamp side with several books stacked neatly on top of one another.
"Tongbin has been in power for less then two years, it would be wise to show our hands now rather then in the future, when he may be less... Malleable." The older man continued, finishing his walk to the opposite end of the room, staring up at another large painting opposite to the one above the doors. The painting was the newest, only a couple decades old, and was of the previous Archpriest. The previous Archpriest, if the painting was accurate, had a large jet-black curly beard, unusual in Aslo society, with salt and pepper hair trimmed short and possessed piercing green eyes. Anoxtl couldn't be further from his predecessor: a dull beardless face with dull brown eyes and dull black hair done up into cornrows and a dull ponytail. Although Anoxtl's predecessor was twice his age when the painting was done, his scowl and determined outlook remained powerful and imposing even when done up in brush and paint. The younger man finally caught up with the older man, glancing upwards at the painting before averting his gaze quickly to Anoxtl.
"Archpriest, I am unsure if talking about our long standing ally like that is bene--" Once again, before the younger man could finish his sentence, Anoxtl lifted his left hand up again, causing the younger man to go silent.
"Fulgistan is only a long standing ally to the Teopac of Collective Intent. O’zennuewauh was a long standing ally to myself, my predecessor, and to the soul of our nation." The old man specified, continuing to look up to the previous Archpriest's painting. "Sadly," He said, "The government of '33 had the soul of O’zennuewauh buried in a unmarked ditch in God knows where, so Fulgistan is a close second."

The younger man squirmed uncomfortably.

"But what was done was done and we cannot change history, Fulgistan has been great aid and a great ally to us and our civilisation since." Anoxtl stated, a twisting smirk plastered on his face. "You may tell the Teopac of Collective Intent that my desire to visit Fulgistan has not wavered, despite your best efforts, and that my cabinet and I will be coming to the meeting on Wednesday to finalise who will be going to Fulgistan." Anoxtl declared.
"Yes Archpriest." The younger man stated, saying no more and hastily making his way out of the room, making sure to close the doors but also not let them slam as he left. Once Anoxtl was sure he was alone, he quietly trudged from the painting to his large desk, pulling out a half empty bottle of Kohlca Sweet Cactus Wine and poured himself a half-pint glass of the stuff, quickly downing the whole thing in only a couple chugs and finishing off with a sigh.
"I swear, at this current degradation of the state, this country won't last another thirty years." He muttered to himself, shaking his head and taking a seat at the desk as he began to read through a document he snatched from the top of one of his many neatly organised stacks.
"And God I hope the wine and stress will send me to Koyoxāwauh before then..."

Edited by Metztlitlaca (see edit history)
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Part 2: Dining Al Fresco

Zhao Tongbin tapped two fingers on the table next to his empty cup. As the waiter came around to fill it with more yellow wine, he took a moment to take in the view. Sanbao was one of Fulgistan's most unique settlements, a relic from a bygone time that few remembered and even fewer cared to preserve. Called San Paolo by its Limonaian founders, the small city of less than 200,000 was a charming, scenic beachside resort, with many of its buildings still showing the marks of the colonial days. The visiting heads of state had spent all morning and almost all of the afternoon in Bogd Gioro, but, craving an escape from the heat of the low-lying, smog-heavy capital, Zhao had arranged for the visiting heads of state to join him on the newly-built Samarkhand-Zexi Express Line, a blessing that many fellow officials were using to flee Bogd Gioro for cooler climes on the weekend.

The waiter arrived and poured Zhao another drink from the earthen jug, rice wine sloshing in the porcelain cup as the sun began to set overhead. Against the advice of his Secretary of Diplomacy, Ma Rujin, Zhao had chosen an outdoor venue, the courtyard of the renowned seafood house Li Jia Zhu Yu. Though Ma had practically been apoplectic about car bombs and bell-tower snipers, the secret police had the neighborhood under a watchful eye. It was a beautiful Huang-style pavilion overlooking Sanbao Bay, although the table setting was simple. Round, as was the Huang custom, and topped with a Lazy Susan on which shared dishes were placed. 

Sooner or later, we all have to learn to share, he thought as he turned to the Queen across the table.

"Something to drink, Your Majesty? The tea is quite refreshing, it clarifies the palate and clears the head."

Inwardly, the young General Secretary wondered if he seemed too much like a dandy, rather than a diplomat. It was impossible not to be taken in by the food and drink offered at Li Jia Zhu Yu, but Zhao knew he had to stay sharp. In government circles, his political instincts were considered relatively weak compared to his predecessors; he was the first leader of the country to be born after the Revolution. His choice of Sanbao as the dinner's location, however, was a shrewd move not only related to the climate. The city's Limonaian architecture was no doubt familiar to both Oyusards and South Paluvians, a reminder of the product of unchecked empires. The neighborhood naturally steered the conversation and the tone, with the spires of immigrant churches and the gables of the courtyard hanging over the diners. Another steaming dish was brought to the table, and the Fulgistani delegation dutifully spun it first to their guests.

"This is a specialty of the city, clams in black bean sauce. Please enjoy."

Zhao waited for the lazy susan to make a few rotations before he stopped eating and ventured back into the conversation. It was a carefully considered question, one that he had rehearsed several times the night before. In asking, the General Secretary hoped to reveal some information about where each party saw themselves in the negotiation process, and to what they might gravitate in the future.

"Your Majesty, Archpriest; as a government official, I believe that across almost all societies, we appoint our leadership with the understanding that they have a duty to their people. With that in mind, I wish to know...what do you believe is your duty to your people?"

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  • 1 month later...

“Please, I do not consider myself a true monarch. Your Excellency would suffice.” Yulaa proclaimed, accepting the tea offered to her.

Since the Sudden Dissolution, Oyus’ one and only leader has reigned absolutely. Nearly twenty years of continuous stable rule. Manginaolona-better known as Yulaa-has molded the role of Kera as one of a kind but stern mother. The effort was rather obvious given the absence of true leadership or care by the previous government. Not only did she craft her role to, but also the framework for a sustainable future for her people long past her expiration date. The world was continuing to change and eventually it would be clear that sooner or later Oyus would have to do more than merely tolerate outsiders. Given the amount of focus she had given to making sure the machine on the inside worked, it was long past time to begin to look outwards, even if it was just ever so slightly.

"To protect my people, of course. I would not consider myself so much being an appointment by my people. More so, a parent having custody and responsibility of my children. They must be protected, watched over. Taught everything necessary to continue living their best life. Prepared as best as they can be to be their own." 

Oyusards have resonated with this message since Yulaa’s ascension. It is not a new one either. It stemmed from the times in which the nation was more monarchist than it is now. Culturally, there was such reverence and respect for women. Mothers above all else. Acona, the creator, was the mother that birthed the life of all those in present company - at least that is the general belief of Acona’s devout followers and the faith of most Oyusards. Mother knows best. When the leading role of millions is framed this way, it is in many ways easier and other ways far more difficult to walk the thin line between irresponsible and overbearing. Yet it was something for nearly twenty years she had done well. 

“When it comes to protecting your family, however, you can only last so long trying to do it on your own. Friends are important to have even if in many ways you may not see eye to eye. So long as we stay true to ourselves, life is better together than in the shadows alone.”

The mistake was continuous and common throughout Oyus’ history: placing a high value on isolated independence, hidden from the world believing you will be left alone. Twice it has happened that Oyus had been disturbed and badly hurt by those wishing to inflict it harm. In both instances Oyusards barely made it out alive, rather miraculously. Yulaa, an ever astute student of history, did not miss this rather common pattern that came up. In both scenarios the difference of having just one friend from the outside world likely could have made the outcome far more favorable in a conflict or avoided it altogether. 

To Yulaa, she understood by once more continuing to lead Oyus by a common system, she could not have a common policy with history. There had to be change for it to last. It would be no different otherwise. The fight to drive out those who were corrupting Oyusard society will have been all for naught, continuing the vicious cycle of once more inviting those unwelcome to the islands. 

She also understood the local delicacy was rather delicious.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Archpriest Anoxtl sipped from his glass, the yellow wine felt refreshing compared to the continuous drool and both metaphorical and literal heat of Bogd Gioro.
His advisors and the council at large had warned him that the air pollution of the Fulgistani capital was even worse then the industrial valley districts of Altepetl Īnenōh (modern day Altepetl Tekaken). Of course he simply thought that they were just trying to dissuade him from going in place of a different government official seen as 'less hierarchical' in their title. But no, the dying sounds of hacking coughs and raspy breaths coupled with the yellow-orange haze of ground-level ozone made even the industrialist-orientated Archpriest queasy after a couple hours. Anoxtl was glad for their departure to the more scenic - less polluted - town of Sanbao, although he had taken notice of the numerous references to the Yatotla nations, particularly Limonaia. He knew - and was sure Yulaa knew - coming to a location with such imperial architecture on the same day as a discussion about a potential anti-imperialist economic treaty was no coincidence. If he did not play his cards well, he could quite easily make himself - and by extension South Palu - appear foolish. Thankfully Zhao provided an easy escape with his question.

"I would have to agree with my fellow guest here," The Archpriest stated lowering his glass to the ground beside him and returning his eyesight to the delicacy provided towards him, dividing a portion of the black bean sauce clams onto his plate, less then a third.
"I was placed into my position as I had proven myself to both the people and The State. I had proven I had the skills and mind to be a competent leader, as previous Archpriests had done before me." He continued, twisting the top piece of a claim open to allow his chop sticks to grasp the innards.
"I was not appointed to a duty of the people, nor were the people appointed a duty to me. We have a duty to The State, and under the state-" The Archpriest turned his head to meet Zhao's gaze "-we are equals, the people who twist the gears and those who build them. That is what the communist truth means to us, it is a truth that has found itself already within the cultures of South Palu and one that has maintained our nation through the darkest chapters of The State" He turned a gaze to one of the churches behind Zhao, then to one of the many Huang bodyguards present. "And any future troubles that might plague our nation."

He concluded, taking a silent sip from his glass beside him to mask a flinch of a confident smirk. The Archpriest was sure of his words, ones he truly believed and lived by, although he certain there were many within his own government who did not see eye-to-eye. By starting his answer by siding with Her Excellency, he'd force Zhao onto the offensive, he would have to convince them together of any future plans, rather then just the Oyus representative or just Anoxtl. At the same time, Anoxtl made clear he would not call Yulaa a monarch nor prostate to title of such hierarchy.
"Even I know when to be humble" The Archpriest thought to himself, swiping a glance to the Kera. He'd hope his apathy to dynastical titles would resonate with Zhao and go unnoticed by Yulla, or perhaps she have the foresight to not pressure the use of any titles from the Archpriest or General Secretary. Finishing his wine, he'd return his attention both in equal parts to Yulaa and Zhao, settling the glass beside himself.

"Although we are still in our primes, I believe it is in all our best interests to speculate on the future, to what our nations may be like beyond the 20th century and into the 21st.  One we can all hopefully see with pride of our work. I am confident that South Palu would exist far into the two thousands under competent leadership and have convinced its imperialist neighbours that the truth of equality and socialism exceeds those of borders and nationalities. Perhaps Palu may even have unified under a single banner after old blood has cooled and the hatchet has been buried. Where do you see Oyus and Fulgistan in the 21st century?"

His intent of his question was probably a bit too on the nose, it was a clear challenge of confidence and leadership, but sometimes being obvious and open is more beneficial to future relationships then being closed and subtle.

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  • 2 months later...

Zhao leaned back in his chair contemplatively, his tongue pressing against his cheek in a gesture of contemplation that revealed his peasant origins. This was a natural response to his own question, and an answer from all parties would be necessary if the provisions agreed that morning were to ever develop into a reality. It was, Zhao decided, time to speak from the heart.

"I will begin, if I may, with what I do not see in our nations in the 21st century. I see no more devastating famines, or outbreaks of preventable diseases. I do not see any mothers wondering whether they can afford to support their children. No dirty air, no beaches littered with trash. What I do see, however, is a continent that for the first time stands up together, unafraid, to the bandits and vultures that come to exploit it. What we have achieved today is a moment that will resonate through the history of the wurld. If we are to do our duties, in time it will be a much greater achievement than our own puny contributions to the matter.

As for Fulgistan itself; my duty is to serve the people. I was a farmer before I became a government official. In that way, I came to understand the importance of real democracy, real willingness to pitch in and do the job that you have to do. So in the case of my own countrymen-- I'm not sure if this saying is understandable, but: I cannot guide the tiller, I can only draw the map. What those who follow me choose to do is not my decision; and certainly, I hope I'll be retired thirty-six years from now! But it is my hope that as a result of our doings here, the Fulgistanis who follow me in office will be better able to care for their own people, and to extend that hand of relief across Alharu to our sister states who are less advantaged. Of course, one must count on Northerners like us to always have fiery hearts; I expect that the Worker's Republic will take a continued interest in the defense of herself and her allies. In time, I believe that this will prove the chance for my people to reunite our Huang cousins under one flag, and truly realize the visions of our revolutionary forebears. However, as in all things, there will be much work to do."

Zhao reached for a bottle on the lazy Susan, a gold-stamped bottle of Jintou plum wine. Traditionally, it was aged and sold in the miniature clay pots used for rice wine, but both the bottle and the ostentatious label were a concession to changing tastes, especially among the bureaucrats who got to serve the good stuff more than once a year. He filled three small cups with the honey-colored liquor and stood, lifting one of the cups toward his guests. 

"Would you join me, then, in a toast to new beginnings?"

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  • 2 weeks later...

"Rather inspirational that is. I rather agree." the Kera said in response to Chairman Zhao's continental vision. Oyus had for the most part always held such a view, but it differed in how it acted and worked to accomplish it. The Kera, and those that preceded her, always worked towards one or all of what he mentioned to resolving. The issue for Oyus was never that it was not capable of accomplishing those things. It was more than capable. Oyus simply lost focus, as many did. Oyus would make decisions that would only have it regress when it came close to achieving the utopia-like setting it once had centuries ago under an ancient kingdom. It was time to change that and steer the isles in the right direction.

She stood, clearing her throat. "If Oyus finds its friends, it can turn its potential into reality. Stable rule once more and becoming the shining nation on the hill to be emulated. A nation of compassion and respect. Proof that there is more than one way to achieve the ideal nation. In the future Oyus will have little use for a standing military force. Its only army, an army of diplomats. A nation which needs not worry for itself but for others."

Miary paused catching herself for a moment before continuing on, "With cooperation with the likes of us all something meaningful can be forged. Where we are proficient we can help those that are deficient. A continent far and wide willing to stand together will achieve far more for its people than one that stands apart from each other. This a painful lesson Oyus has been taught but not learned several times over. Not only together to help ourselves, but together against those who hold ill intentions and maligned goals towards our sovereignty and peoples. I see that together, with others in the future, Oyus can ensure the safety of others from obstructionists and allow us to guide our nations properly." She took the cup poured by the Chairman and held it in her hand, distracted for a moment by it. She took a whiff of its smell, an interesting one she'd not expected despite what her face said. She stood once more silent gathering herself, her thoughts before speaking once more,"Gentleman, if we are to forge something here today, let it be something that will last for the ages and stand the test of time. I see ourselves in each other, even if our ideas might be different." She raised the cup with Zhao, high, "A toast to new beginnings and lasting friendships." she said, before taking a sip of the liquor.

"If I may say though, when I say I see myself in you gentleman, I don't mean I could see myself as man." she giggled, taking another sip.

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  • 1 month later...

Anoxtl sat back on his chair as he maintained a poker face throughout Zhao and ‘Her Excellency’s optimistic speeches of the future of their nations and the continent. Of course he didn’t think they would bring anything negative to the table – that wasn’t the point. But it gave the Archpriest more to add to the profiles of his two Alharelian comrades, something that would become important as their relationships improved. After all, barring any unfortunate accidents, he will be working with the duo for the rest of his foreseeable life.

Slowly, Anoxtl took his small glass of plum liquor and rose up like the others and held it out high. He turned to give a faded smile to the Kera’s last comment before starting his own:
“A toast, to new beginnings, to the start of a new chapter of Eurth. The end of imperialism and barbaric violence across the Adlantic and to our fair lands of Alharu and Aurelia. And the start of a great partnership, a brotherhood, a league of solidarity and prosperity.”
The Archpriest’s glass clinked against the others, accepting the toast, before quietly sipping the Jintou Wine.

"May this friendship last a thousand years."


Part 3: Homes Under The Hammer (and Sickle)
Time Period: Sunday, 6th of March, 1977
Location: ???, ???, The Aurelharun Economic and Defence Bloc Temporary Meeting and Drafting Hall

The room was dark, only lit by a rim of white and yellow bulbs tracing out the perimeter of a large donut-oval shaped Shffahkowood table with 12 basic chairs - each with red cushions - and sat in each chair were representatives from South Palu Confederation, The Worker's Republic of Fulgistan, and the Matriarchy of Oyus. Four each, with their names printed on paper and stuck to their own name plates . Across the inoffensive cream-coloured walls were maps of the three nations as well as the most up-to-date maps of their capital cities and other cities of similar sizes. Altepetl Tecipanoāni, Bogd Gioro, Yulaa, Wulumuqi, Azcapotzinco, and others.

Behind the representatives for Oyus, two large double doors were closed by two similarly large men in black suits, who left the room through said closed doors. The central South Paluvian representative (the nameplate of whom read 'Citlālin Xapel (si-tlaa-lin sha-pel)'.
"I would first like to start the meeting by thanking everyone for coming to the fifth conference on the development of the Alharelian Economic and Defence Bloc, name pending, for the discussion of the location for the primary headquarters for the Bloc where official Bloc meetings will take place, the main location for the departments for the Bloc's services, and to house the embassies of the other two parties with full consular services and multiple ambassadors. As well as other services we agreed upon on the last two meetings."

Citlālin Xapel coughed into a tissue, apologising afterwards before continuing.
"To start our meeting, I will like to begin on why the primary headquarters of the Alharelian Economic and Defence Bloc should be located in South Palu. As the furthest place from Europa and Aurelia, it would be far out of the way of a potential second Great Alharun War, or the main line in a similar war. South Palu is also close to Oyus, make geographic sense for our three nations."
Citlālin Xapel argued, another South Paluvian representative, a lady to his left called Tlalzaca Colōmpo raised her hand before speaking.
"We believe Altepetl Tecipanoāni or Altepetl Azcapotzinco would make the most cultural and political sense, Pomodoria City also possesses great potential as headquarters due to it's coastal nature near one of our most accessible natural bays. Pomodoria City would also be one of the cheaper locations due to its flatter topography and ability to easily expand."
"We will also like to place our support for Yulaa in Oyus due to it's strategic location as the closest to our geographic centre if we decide not to build the headquarters in South Palu."
 Citlālin Xapel interjected, Tlalzaca Colōmpo and the third representative nodding in agreement.

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