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[Academy RP] Taxing the Tribes


Hemahat

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In the city of Khewet, a large crowd had formed around a statue of Namaset. The statue’s outstretched arms appeared to be gesturing to the entire crowd as if greeting and comforting her “children.” However, this crowd was not a crowd of pilgrims. These were political activists, clad in both traditional and modern clothing. Some of them were carrying signs with various statements written in Hemahatik, Dochi, and even Anglish, the majority of which had statements showing disapproval in the government and the current state of affairs written on them. Others came with nothing, bar two priests to the god Anmatar who were carrying their signature incense burners. 

At the center of the crowd, standing on a shoddily-built podium made of wood, stood Council Member Wastan Aybes. Despite being the de facto leader of the Council’s opposition, he did not look the part. He wore jeans, a camo shirt, what appeared to be a Litham - commonly found amongst Dochi but not Hemahatikiq like himself -, and his almost signature aviator sunglasses. He was already in the middle of a speech about how the current council needs to be changed when a much more well-dressed man came up to him and whispered in his ear. Aybes nodded as he then turned to his right. 

“Sura Aldjya, will you please step onto the podium?” Aybes asked.

Sura was a woman much older than Aybes. While Aybes was 32, Sura was nearly 80. Unlike Aybes’ more casual dress, Sura was fully dressed in a colorful traditional tunic and head wrapping.  Her age was obviously getting to her as she climbed the steps with some difficulty. However, when she made it, she was met with roaring applause. Aybes grabbed the microphone and began to speak once more.

“As many of you know, we are gathered here today to protest C.B 24-32: New Age Tax Act, specifically Section 2 of the bill which would make Dochi clans pay taxes.” He let a murmur among the crowd settle down, possibly for dramatic effect. “I have already voted no, but I will let Miss. Sura Aldjya explain why this would be disastrous for the Dochi.”

Sura was handed the microphone but appeared confused as to how to use it. Aybes motioned for her to speak into the windscreen. “My name is Sura Aldjya, Chieftess of the Aldjya Clan.” She composed herself before continuing. “My clan has been living in our region for hundreds of years. An Aldjya chieftain had signed a treaty with Nebey Meferwet herself.” This was a lie, but an unintentional one as it was taught as true by both Dochi and Hemahatik schools. “The Dochi have paid their taxes as individual citizens of Hemahat, but this steps into an entirely different boundary. This bill makes no mention of Hemahatik Clans, just Dochi ones.” She pulled out a piece of paper from her sleeve, which had a pocket underneath, and began to read it. “C.B 24-32: New Age Tax Act, Section 2. Noting how the Dochi have significant amounts of goods necessary for the continued development of the Hemahatik State, Dochi clans must pay tax proportional to their net worth including that of all individual members combined, starting at 15%. If the tax cannot be made in monetary payment, the state shall seize land proportional to the amount owed in accordance to its value.” She lowered the paper, letting some of the crowd angrily jeer for a few moments before continuing. “If you do not understand the consequences of this, this bill will force clans to pay preposterous amounts of taxes, the majority of whom can only pay in land. This bill is a power grab corrupt members of the Council who are trying to fool the rest of the country - including their fellow council members - into thinking that this bill is ‘Necessary.’” She grabbed the paper and positioned it right next to her head. “Well, I say that this bill and the men who wrote it will fail, for I know this country isn’t stupid.” As she said this, she ripped the paper in half to the cheer of the protestors.

Aybes took back the microphone before readdressing the crowd. “You heard Sura. This bill will not be passed, because if it does through popularity, it would bring great shame to our entire nation.” He paused before continuing. “And if it gets passed through intimidation and corruption, then I will do everything within my powers to defend the people of this great nation. Anmatar be with you all!” The crowd cheered as he held Sura’s hand and raised it, championing her as a proud revolutionary just as he was.

While his words were vague, the message was clear. If this law was passed, there would be resistance by him and his followers, possibly even violent resistance. Whether this was a threat to the council directly or a poor choice of words, this threat would be another straw on the camel's back

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