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Stories from Seylos


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A place for miscellaneous stories from Seylos.

Corporal Terry Dodge walked into the small shop that sold breakfast next to the border, walking right up to the counter and giving a wave. The owner, a jovial old woman smiled and approached.

"Hello Terry! The same?"

Dodge nodded, "Buttered fish scone as always Ms. Pompania."

Ms. Pompania beamed and tottered off to the kitchen behind the counter. Dodge sighed a little and leaned back gazing outside the shop's windows outside. It was a bustling day outside in Southern Cunetio, the townsfolk were extra busy preparing for an annual festival, one that Dodge wasn't entirely sure the purpose for, but still sounded like fun one the less. She had taken a liking to coming to this shop ever since she had started her guard duties on the border, and of course it helped that the military had granted an extra stipend for serving on such a possible volatile border itself. In truth she had been grateful, she had had a lot of friends from home that had to deploy to Ceris, but somehow she had been lucky enough to have been here. Though she wouldn't lie, the stress of worrying whether or not the Haru ( @Haruspex ) would spill over the border one day was fairly heavy.

"Here you go my dear." Ms. Pompania's voice called out from behind her.

Dodge turned around and grabbed the wrapped scone before taking a second thinking to herself, "Gratias panis et piscis"

Ms. Pomapania gave a chuckle, "You are getting much better Terry. Kind of. Keep practicing!"

Dodge shrugged and gave a half wave as she walked out of the shop, walking towards her post at the border. It was a stark contrast between the two sides. On the southern side, NAU guards casually patrolled, taking the occasional moment to interact with the random civilian who might walk by. Beyond it though on the northern side, things were much different. Red house banners hung from many of the buildings, and from their position all they could see were Haru soldiers or North Cunetian policemen making their rounds. One thing that she hadn't expected though was what looked like the Haru starting to bring down the earlier hastily constructed wall between the two sides of the city. As she approached another NAU soldier, another corporal from Ostros, threw up his hands.

"Guter gott! What is it with you and those fish scones?"

Dodge unpacked the scone holding it up, "They're delicious Wähner, come on just try one."

Wähner shook his head, "I didn't think even Seylosians could try something so terrible sounding."

Dodge broke the scone in half and handed the other half to him. Wähner stared at the piece with mild disgust while hesitantly reaching out to it, "Just give it a try, I fuckin promise you'll like it."

Wähner snatched the half in his hand glancing around, "Fine, just this once. Es ist deine Schuld, wenn ich kotze."

He took a slow bite from the scone, slowly chewing it before bringing it up to his face, "Jesus Christ this is amazing."

Dodge threw her fist up in triumph, "See I told you!"

"Alright, to be fair this sounds terrible," Wähner said, starting to roll his eyes before catching himself. He was trying not to adopt the strange Seylosian habits he had seen on display here, "Look like they are taking down that shitty wall."

Dodge took a bite of her scone, glancing over the border, "Really? They seemed so intense about it earlier. Still seems like they have more soldiers than civilians over there."

"Probably," Wähner said, shrugging, "Still can't get one of the masks to talk to me."

The soldiers on the border had taken to calling the Haru soldiers 'masks' since none of them, beyond the officers, had taken off their gas masks yet. Wähner had spent the last few nights on a personal project trying to get one of the Haru border guards to talk to him, since for the most part they stood stoically at the border rarely moving beyond changing shifts.

Dodge held up the remainder of her scone, "Maybe we should get them a fish scone?"

 

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  • 5 weeks later...

They had been out of the country for the past year, and all of them were excited to get back to Seylos, well all of them but Kieron. He had never seen the country before, in fact the only place he had ever known was Hodrea. Despite its reputation, Hodrea hadn’t been the worst place in the world to live. In fact he had been living what had equated to a life of luxury before the war. Of course now he knew that had mostly been due to his Aunt’s extensive intelligence work, which he had never suspected. But now all that remained was ruin, and the life she had built for both of them was long gone. He had thought about staying in Hodrea, but where would he go?

What Kieron hadn’t expected was the level of respect they had gotten on their journey back to Seylos. When they had finally made it back to the ruins of Liechnenfax, the Seylosian military had arranged for their transport back to the mainland. When they had boarded the plane, he had remembered the confused looks on Oswin and Maura’s faces as the pilots, technically their superiors, had addressed them as one of a higher rank. He guessed that word had spread about what had happened with their exploits through the war torn country.

He had been silent most of the journey by plane, staring out the window taking in the sights as they went along. The plane journey wasn’t terribly long, and as such they hadn’t taken too much altitude. He got to see the northern coast of Seylos as they passed it by. Everything from this high up felt so much more peaceful than he knew from the ground. Another hour passed and he could feel the plane begin its descent. He watched as the farmland, forests, and cities passed by until he watched the urban sprawl of Selbourne take shape.

When they landed he stepped out with the rest of the team, the plane wasn’t large enough to taxi up to an umbilical, so it sat on the tarmac of Selbourne International Airport and let its stairs down. At the base of the stairs, a group of people had arrived, two or three cars with them. A man approached the team, his arm outstretched.

“Welcome back to Seylos, and a proper welcome to you Mr. Bretz. I’m Major MacKay from Army Command. I’ve been sent by the king to bring you back to the Royal Residence.”

All three of them stood there slightly shocked. Oswin took a moment to speak for the three of them, “The King, sir?”

“Yes, corporal. He’s watched your journey fairly closely and wishes to speak to all three of you.”

Maura took a step forward glancing back at the other two, “As long as we can shower first sir?”

----------------------

After a long overdue rest stop, the small convoy had split up, and the car carrying the team had made it to the front of the Royal Palace. After a brief security check, they pulled up to the residence’s main entrance. When they stepped out they were greeted by an older man, dressed smartly who approached them hands behind his back.

“Welcome to the Royal Palace… or residence as some may call it. My name is Waylon Bradley, head steward of the royal household. The King has requested your presence and as such you will respect royal protocols. I will explain as we make our way through the palace.”

The group followed Waylon as he went on about various royal protocols. Kieron couldn’t help but barely pay attention as he was distracted by all the sights and sounds of the residence. It was much more busy than he had imagined, with what he assumed were government officials and even some military personnel shuffling about the corridors. He noticed that Waylon held some disdain for this.

“Please excuse this racket. The King has deemed it necessary to have certain… functions within the Palace proper. Normally the Palace would not have so many people milling about the place.”

They continued their journey until they reached the door to a room. None of them had expected to approach what was the equivalent to an office, least of all Kieron. He had always imagined the King of Seylos to sit in some sort of great throne room, surrounded by courtiers and the like. Instead he saw Waylon knock on the door and open it, revealing the large office within. He walked in, gesturing subtly behind him for the trio to follow.

“Your Majesty, may I present Lieutenant Róise Maura, Corporal Royle Oswin, and Mr. Kieron Bretz for your audience.”

At the end of the office, King Aidan stood up from his desk, walking around it, “Please! Come in. Waylon, thank you for bringing them to me, you’re dismissed.”

Waylon gave a curt bow and closed the door behind him, leaving the group and the king together.

“Well whatever he told you to do, I’d be happy if you didn’t do it. It’s hard enough trying to run an entire country, let alone behind a wall of tradition,” Aidan said, gesturing to the chairs in front of his desk. “So you three. We have a lot to thank you for.”

Maura shifted uncomfortably in her chair, “It’s just our duty, Your Majesty.”

“Just duty?” Aidan asked, “Your mission was to gather some intelligence and be extracted. Instead you stayed behind enemy lines providing invaluable targeting for our air strikes. You found and destroyed Sentist chemical weapons, and revealed their capital. Most of all you captured the fucking High Priest. It wasn’t just duty, it was fucking brilliance.”

With the other two speechless, Kieron spoke up, “It… was sehr gut.”

Aidan briefly pointed at Kieron, “See he’s got the spirit. But now I’ve finally got the opportunity to do the good part of my job. I’ve spent the past few weeks telling families how they won’t see their loved ones again, and I won’t lie, it's good to give good news.”

Aidan stood up, with the other three quickly following suit. He fished two small boxes and a folder from his desk holding them standing before the three.

“Lieutenant Maura, you’ve led your team through something I couldn’t even imagine. You made sure that not only that the people under your command came back alive, but you went far beyond your team’s original objective in Ceris. I’m proud to present you with the rank of Captain, and the award of the Adelia Cross, our nation’s highest military award.”

He gave her a brief salute, which she returned in kind. Aidan smiled and stepped over to Oswin, “Corporal Oswin, your technical skill and combat proficiency ensured not only the survival of your team but was instrumental in the capture of the Sentist High Priest. I’m proud to present you with the rank of Sergeant as well as the Adelia Cross, and if you choose to pursue it, I’ve arranged for your entry into the officer candidate program. Any other requirements are waived, but you’ll still need to pass the test to do it.”

Oswin took the box holding both his new rank patch and his officer candidacy papers. He looked up and gave a salute which Aidan returned. He then moved to Kieron, “Mr. Bretz. Kieron. You aren’t in the military and obviously I can’t promote you. But, I can still present you with two things. First, the Montgomery Cross, our highest civilian award. Your work as an analyst regarding Sentist intelligence was instrumental to defeating them with the lowest amount of loss of life. I’d also like to offer you this.”

Aidan took the envelope he had pulled out of his desk and handed it to Kieron, “If you want it, I want to give you Seylosian citizenship. What you’ve done for not only our country, but all the countries in Ceris is beyond what should have been expected of any single person.”

Kieron took the envelope, “Staatsbürgerschaft… Citizenship...?”

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  • 2 months later...

"Alright... one hundred Seylosian pounds... will come out to twenty six thousand and eight hundred Tenges." The man in the window said handing her the bills through the slit. Chloe Sinclair took the bills in her hand and turned excitedly to her friend, Merilyn Alberts.

"What do you think this'll get me? Twenty six thousand, that has to be a lot yeah?"

Merilyn laughed looking at her holding the Tenges up with pride, "I imagine that will get you a hundred quid of things love."

Chloe grimaced a bit looking down at her bills before giving a quick smile, "Well it's the first time I've held twenty six thousand of anything, that's something right?"

The two laughed before rejoining their group, which had just got out of the airport in Bogd Gioro, @Fulgistan after traveling all the way from Kirkwall in Seylos. Mordon College had arranged some the trip some month earlier, which the Fulgistani embassy in Selbourne had been happy to rush the applications for. Everyone had been excited for this trip for so long, especially since it had been harder to get out of the country recently with all the troubles in Ceris. Parents had been worried that their darlings would get murdered by evil Sentists, or abducted by perfidious Dolch pirates prowling the seas. Of course for Seylosians it had been just about as safe as always to travel, but it had taken until now for normal travel to resume internationally. The group had chartered a bus specially procured for them from the Fulgistani government. Undoubtedly it had been hired to make sure nothing bad happened to Seylosian children as they made their way through the capital, but the school was grateful nonetheless, and all that accompanied them were the bus driver and perhaps the most bored policeman of all time, considering they were probably never going to run into any trouble.

The bus wound its way through the streets of Bogd Gioro, everything feeling just a little more chaotic than in Seylos. The two girls stared out the bus's windows as the passing buildings. Sometimes they would pass through narrow alleys, and other times into large avenues displaying the size of the city.

"It's so different innit? Everything feels so much more busy." Chloe said glancing back at Merilyn in the seat next to her.

"Probably just the old roads? Fulgistan has been around a lot longer than Seylos."

"Really?" Chloe said, adjusting herself to look back at Marilyn, "I suppose everything looks a bit old doesn't it."

Merilyn rolled her eyes and laughed, "The city has been here since... Forever. Selbourne has probably been around what... a little over four hundred years? Bogd Gioro has been around for like two thousand."

"Oh wow, no wonder."

"Were you even paying attention in history Chloe?

Chloe gritted her teeth, "Not really."

The bus came to a stop outside a large wall with the doors opening up. One of the teachers stood up and clapped her hands briefly before addressing the student, "Alright everyone, we're inside Kongque Park, and we've been allowed to pull up right beside the old palace grounds. Now we are going to be escorted by a few of the park's caretakers through the grounds. Before we enter the palace though, we are going to grab a spot of lunch. I've heard they have to very good Jianbing on the street carts."

The students hurriedly jumped off the bus, filing out into the open park next to the palace walls. Chloe and Merilyn walked out with the rest of their group and stared out across the massive park. Nearby were a group of older Fulgistani participating in what looked like some sort of aerobic exercises, and beyond them the trees stretched out marked by paths. Of course it was hard to forget it was a park and not a forest as the city was easily spotted on the edges of the park itself.

"It's so sweet innit? All those old couples getting out and about." Chloe said giving a smile to Merilyn.

"Yeah... it is. I wonder if we'll be like them."

"Oh I hope so, my grandparents spend all their time in front of the tele. Sounds like a bore to me to be honest." Chloe said staring out across the park. "By the way, what's a Jianbing?"

Merlyn looked back towards a collection of street carts their peers were all flocking to on the outside of the park, "I think it's like veggies or meat or something wrapped in a pancake."

Chloe's eyes went wide, "Oh really? I love pancakes, I need to go to more of those Fulgistani restaurants back home then."

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