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Ísbjörn and Dreki


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(Co-written first part of a role-play between respective nations and characters. Ateenia in green, Haru in blue for speech text)

Somewhere over the Haruspex skies.

Ena is awakened from her slumber by the “Royal Dragon” pilot’s announcement.

Royal Dragon, this is your captain speaking. We are approaching the destination, please prepare for landing in the next 10 minutes.” 

The Queen continued lying on her comfy bed for a few more minutes and then finally decided to get up and get dressed for the occasion. With no time wasted, she decided that the dress covered in the snow-white fur of Ísbirn, from the northernmost Ateenia was the right dress for the day and put it on along with boots made from the leather and fur of the Oslandi reindýr and the pants made from the skin of the same deer. As she was about to leave her cabin she remembered to take the ceremonial axe “Drottvendari”, meant to be by the queen’s side always, while also putting on her golden crown with the shape of 3 tree roots twisted around each other, with a flat surface with the emerald Trélíff carved into it, in the front.

When she was finally dressed, she exited her cabin to her office to get seated and wait for the landing. As she sat down she noticed Torvi, her minister of Foreign Affairs, rushed to her seat in the same room and quickly buckle her seatbelts as the seatbelt lights turned on and the plane began descending. She took a moment to gather her breath and looked at the queen, 

so… any idea what to expect once we land?

No, but looking out of the window, I'd say they are ready for our visit, certainly know how to greet us.” the queen responded, pointing towards the escorting fighters of the Haru air force. “Hopefully once we’re there, there will be more walking involved, tired of sitting on the same seat for hours.” Torvi continued. 

You didn't sleep?

No! I can't sleep when this damn plane keeps shaking as if Hilli herself was trying to hold us back.

Ena laughed, “ha ha, you really need to fly out more often, the turbulence in this flight was barely noticeable and if anything I’d say Hilli was giving us more speed.”

Torvi started looking out of the window and sat quietly for the rest of the trip, mumbling to herself, the greeting speech she was gonna give upon arrival.

Once the wheels of the “Royal Dragon” finally touched the runway’s of the Prathen International Aerodrome, the queen packed her bag and left her seat, to stand at the exit door, waiting for the plane to stop and open the door, She made the last adjustments to her outfit and advised the minister of foreign affairs to do the same.

When the plane had taxied into position, it would be at the precise placement of a long, red carpet, stretching for nearly twenty meters to a convoy of ebony vehicles waiting in a line. At either side of said pathway, in a row of twenty, six deep, were legionnaires of the Imperium, fully adorned in military attire as if they were to be deployed at that minute. Men and women alike, heads cocked to the left facing the Ateenian royal aircraft, berets of a light blue hue. A few hundred boots clicked in unison at the appearance of the queen and her entourage, and in the center of the carpet, waiting before the steps that came down from said craft, were two very high ranking individuals. 

On the left, that of General Elena Yars Orn, overall commander of the Imperial Royal Guard - IRG, and on the right, Duke Sias Hu'yan, highest ranking official of the Third Circle, a ministry that focused upon Foreign Affairs exclusively. 

Elena, for her part, looked very much what one might expect a Haru legionary officer to appear as. She was fairly tall at just under one point eight meters tall, angular features suggesting a Cussian heritage, more than likely that of Black Augustine. A neither thin, nor thick build of frame, short, auburn hair with a shave on either side, a style of cut known as a Very Short Pixie. A long scar that ran from left eyebrow, across the bridge of nose and stopped just at the cusp of her right cheek finished off the look under sweltering watery-green eyes. As befitting one of the military, the woman wore as those subordinate officers under her command did. A double breasted coat with sleeve stripes worn with ribbons, medals, badges, and a black dress belt. A raised collar white shirt with black neck-tie was worn underneath. with highly notable awards such as the Imperial Honor Mark, Chosen of the Imperium Cross, and or various service medals. The uniform was colored black and the double-breasted jacket had ten brass buttons and a matching peaked cap.

Hu’yan stood approximately the same height, and with a similar hair colouring as well, it was reddish of sorts, cropped very close to his scalp and shaved on the sides. He, unlike Elena, did not share in the same features however. His were slightly softer, rounded just a bit, yet even for his age, he was fit and well, his three piece suit was not ill fitting nor stretched from obesity. Neat and tidy. He bore no facial scars, though he did carry himself with a slight limp on the right side. A cane was leaned upon somewhat, and it was not ornate, just a simple black piece of lacquered wood. He was also older than the officer beside him. Elena in her thirties, he in his fifties. 

As befitting royalty, especially related, however distant, both knelt upon one knee to greet the queen and her entourage, eventually rising up and each stepping to one side, gesturing at the automobiles in the distance. It was Hu’yan however who spoke first.

My Lady, Queen of Ateenia, welcome to the Imperium. May your visit bring good tidings and cheer.

Thank you! I am glad to be here. I’m a little disappointed that the empress herself couldn't be here to greet me. I'm guessing she has other matters to attend to?” Ena asked, as she began walking towards the vehicles.

Ah, she is attending to matters of the royal court, thus she could not attend. However she will be present when you arrive at the palace within Prathen.” General Yars Orn commented towards the Ateenian Queen as they strolled towards the vehicles. 

An officer waiting, opened the rear door of the command staff car that lay in waiting between two SUV’s. Overhead a pair of Dymuh class gunships thundered overhead, swirling the air and leaves about as royal guard security officers slid into the SUV’s, and the more obviously military vehicles behind the three piece entourage. The general and the duke would also sit in the back of the staff car with the queen and her minister.

Should be a pleasant trip, the old city has been well prepared for your arrival. The citizenry have just been informed of the link to the Kalinka bloodline. There is a surge in popular support for your nation, and for the visit.

Ena looked out of the car window and looked at the city and all of its people, and responded. “That's good, I wish I could say the same about my people, the truth is, most Ateenians both fear and hate the outside wurld and all that comes from it. It’s been this way for at least a hundred years. I'm not really sure how well my people and my jarls will take this visit and the increasing relations between our people but I do hope that one day an Ateenian can call a Haru a brother or a sister. That is why I'm here, to bring us closer to that goal.

She fell into thoughts for a bit and then looked at Torvi.

How do you feel about this Torvi? And be honest.”

Well my queen, I do believe we are moving in the right direction but I'm not sure how this will impact Ateenia as a whole, if you and our government keep pushing our people and our jarls too much, i fear all of our progress might come rumbling down as distrust and dislike for you and the government grows, i fear your brother can use it to her advantage and take the throne from you instead and i feel that he would not have the same vision as we do. Overall, I'm glad that we are building our relations with our lost brothers and sisters but must advise you to not rush this because all of it can come crumbling down faster than we are building it.” 

Ena fell into even more thoughts with worry on her face. She knew that Torvi was right and that to get the desired result, she must take her time. While Ena was too busy in her thoughts, Torvi started her conversation with Hu’yan.

So… how’s life as the minister of foreign affairs of Haruspex? I'm guessing you are as busy as I am with this profession?

The duke smiled before responding. “I am busy with a great many affairs, not only the running of the ministry itself, the representation to a select few nations in person, but the training of those who are placed in positions of representation, and the managing of the city-state that my bloodline has ruled for nearly eighty years now. So yes, quite busy.

A traverse of gaze to the protective windows, the crowds at the side of the road, the waving of small Ateenian flags by said people, the banners of the Imperium flying from some buildings above in the wind. Eventually, to not be impolite, attention was brought towards Torvi again.

I warned my Empress, same as you warn your Queen however, that we must be cautious, the kingdom of the old line is quite far away, no telling how we as a people differ. For example, our two people speak different languages, despite being of the same heritage, our languages differ so much that you could not tell that they are related in any way based on words and letters alone.

A slow lean back into the soft leather of the seat. A light tapping of the index finger against the cane for a moment. “We are at the crossroads, yours and mine, to determine not just the fate of the Kalinka line here, but of interactions in the future. It should prove interesting.”

Torvi lit her cigarette and nodded.

It sure will be. Hopefully things go well rather than bad, it's about time Ateenia got more involved in international politics, we’ve been rather isolated since my kingdom first fell almost a hundred years ago and well, a foreign affairs minister of an isolated kingdom is no real foreign affairs minister.

She continued smoking in silence and just as she finished her cigarette, her silence was interrupted by Ena.

Torvi, once I'm at the destination, I need you to continue on to the Ateenian embassy here to inspect their work and to check up on them. I believe they will be honoured by your visit. I trust it won't be much of a problem.

No, not at all, I was planning to visit the embassy at one point anyways, glad i didn't need to bring it up myself. I wonder how Björn is holding up, he sure didn't like the news when I assigned him here 2 years ago. Time to pay my old friend a visit.” Torvi looked at Hu’yan and asked. “Will I get to the embassy with this car once Ena gets off?.”

Ah, yes, if you would be willing to keep an old man company, this vehicle will take you to your embassy. It is on the way to another destination of mine anyways.” His words coincided with a passing of a checkpoint, the Haru legionary with the half masks in place, the nearly universal sea-water green eyes focused and attentive to the passing of the vehicles at hand. As the SUV’s pulled to one side, the staff car proceeded up a driveway towards what could only be described as a castle. Passing through another checkpoint, this one at what was once a gate house, perhaps it still was. Then another, and another, the outermost rings, the innermost, and then the central ward, the royal palace loomed upwards and outwards. Everywhere were legionary, standing at rapt attention. 

The vehicle slid to a stop before another carpet, the co-driver and a security officer stepping forth and acting as a valet, pulling open the suicide styled doors to either side to allow the passengers within, exit. More rows of legionary, though these were much different then those at the plane, these were the elite, the commandos of the House Renor Elemmiire, the primary bloodline of the Empress, and the current reigning house of the Landsraad. 

Duke Hu’Yan remained within the vehicle, and spoke to Torvi. “Now the real dragon awaits, and with her, the Imperial Court.” 

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  • 4 weeks later...

(Co-written first part of a role-play between respective nations and characters. Ateenia in green, Haru in blue for speech text)

Once Ena was off the car, she began walking towards the palace while also waving goodbye to Torvi as the SUVs began driving away. She checked her pockets, her bag and her axe to make sure she didn't forget anything and then continued walking all the way to the palace door where Empress Kira'Karn and her wife were waiting for her. Once she reached them she extended her hand for the forearm shake to greet both of them.

Good to see both of you again. Your last visit to my kingdom left little time for us to actually talk about the matters of our two great realms and about our history.” She said while finishing up her forearm shake with Ayn.

The greeting was taken in stride from both of the women, and a faint nod of head as Kira extended her right arm and hand in a walk with me gesture. Her two tone dress gown was of a popular style, not just for the royals, but for many women across the Imperium of late. The hues of black and red, proving to be her choice today as eventually placed both arms behind back, hands clasping one another. Ayn trailing behind in a fairly modest three-quarter sleeve godet styled dress of a soft golden hue. 

I do apologize for not meeting you at the landing of your aerocraft.” Kira began. “I was taking a conference call from my senior officers of the Kaldana expansion operation. ”She mused further. “It seems to be going well, despite the dangers of an Anglian presence within the region and other powers that be.” A pause to look upon a piece of art. “They say this piece has survived four centuries, the archer upon the mount, the spear piercing the heart of a foe, under the burning sun, and the weeping sky.” Kira made a slight tilt of head. “We are close sister, but far apart as well. Whatever query you’ve burning within, feel free to ask it, and anything else you’d desire to know.” A slight reposition of her body, facing Ena. “We are kin, you are afforded our attention to the fullest.

Yes, yes, sure!” Ena responded while completely ignoring Kira after they entered the palace because she was too busy looking at Kira’s cousin, Ajax who was watching them both enter the palace. Ajax could not get his eyes off of Ena and neither could she get her eyes off of him. When Kira noticed them two, distracted by each other, she turned to Ena to introduce her cousin to her.

That is Ajax Hur Elemiire, my cousin. Cousin, this is the queen of Ateenia, Ena Kalinka and she will be staying with us for the next few days. Come Ena, let me show you to your room where you can unpack, we’ll be going out in an hour.” She then took Ena to her room where she left Ena to unpack.

After a few minutes of unpacking, she heard a knock on the door. It was Ajax, when she called him in, his eyes were met by Ena who just changed into her spare clothes, wearing red pants and shirt made of linen and a coat made of wolf fur, she asked him. “How do I look? My dress is warm and nice and all but it's heavy and I really don't like being burdened by heavy clothes.” She tied her hair and asked again. “So, how do I look?

Ajax being stunned by Ena responded; “You uh, you look better, i feel like these really suit you, somehow you manage to look better in common clothes then you do in fancy clothes.

Ah, very good, I thought so myself.

She then put on her armband of Valdahöll and the amulet of Estrid.

I like your armband and necklace,” Ajax noted.

Oh, it's an amulet not a necklace. Every Ateenian gets this armband upon reaching maturity and the amulet is worn by any woman that wishes to carry the glory of the Allmother with her.”

I see. I assume this allmother is one of your vjoldinist gods?

She isn't just any god, she is the queen of all gods and goddesses, the mother of all.

I apologise for my ignorance, I do not know much about your religion, despite it having a strong presence here in my homeland as well.” 

“It's not just my religion, it's the only religion that is true.” Ena answered with a more aggressive tone.

Ajax, not wishing to cause any more conflict, apologised and asked to talk about something else.

Of course, my apologies, let's not speak of this any more. Say, what do you think of the palace and my homeland in general?

I find it both different from my own but at the same time, familiar. It's a beautiful land I must say, though I will always find my own home more beautiful. This palace looks bigger than my own, a lot different too. So far I like it. Now if you will excuse me, I will speak to you later. I have more unpacking to do before we will be on our way to wherever Kira wishes to take me.

Of course, I will see you later.” Ajax responded to Ena as he left her room. When he closed the door behind him, Ena resumed her unpacking.

Half an hour later, Kira knocked on Ena’s door and asked her to get ready. Ena quickly got her things and left her room and followed Kira. When they reached the vehicle, both of them heard Ajax run outside of the palace towards the car, asking both of them to wait for him.

Cousin, Ena, may I join your trip?

Sure, I have nothing against it. Do you not have other duties though?” asked Kira in response.

No, I have some time.

Well alright then, you may come too.” Kira then turned to Ena. “I hope you don’t mind my cousin coming too.”

Not at all.” Ena responded.

Gazed upon Ajax a moment, cool eyes studying the prince who was normally well put together. This was not a side known to her, and it was somewhat worrying to see him so tame, as if a yoke of beauty had been placed about his neck by Ena. “Cousin, such an interesting side of yours. Truly unexpected.”

Ajax blinked, then composed himself, seeing Kira’s studious gaze and the somewhat menacing undertone that came forth with her words. “A true man does bear his sensitive side at times, my Empress.”A slight tilt of the woman’s head as she leaned back within the plush leather of the staff car. “Mmn..perhaps, though if you wish to pursue her, you will need to remember your duties. Should be interesting.”

My cousin has funny jokes sometimes…” Ajax told Ena while laughing nervously with a little blush..

Huh, I see…” Ena responded and then looked away out of the window showing a faint smile.”

A faint flick of fingers, a gesture to the driver of which nodded and the staff car began to drive down the roadway. An armored SUV was leading the way, with an APC following behind. Passing through the checkpoints, saluting soldiers and the banners of the imperium swaying in the wind as the rising sun’s light pierced the heavens and downwards.

As the convoy left the palace grounds, Ena started searching around in the car, looking under the seat, under the rear window and in the sides of the seats until her search was interrupted by Kira.

Did you lose something?

No, I'm just… where do you store the mead in this damn car?” Ena asked in response.

Kira sighed a bit and then nodded to Ajax. An area between the fore seats, on the other side of those occupied by herself and Ena, held a cooler that appeared to be a seat. The prince lifted up the container lid and brought out a bottle of local honey wine, aka mead. A slow pull of its top, an easy swing cork lid style. A little over nine and a half percent, the green glass was of a dark hue. “Here.

Ena took the bottle and took a few big sips to satisfy her thirst.

My gods, this is almost as good as the ones we have at home, you Haru truly are our descendants it seems.

She then gave the bottle to Ajax, offering him a drink, which he accepted and took a humble single sip before giving the bottle back to Kira.

The rest of the trip was spent, drinking mead and chatting. Once they arrived at the destination, all they could see was the Vjoldinist temple of Heilagur Kitra. With walls of stone covered with wooden frames, a roof reaching the skies with a tree made of gold at the very top, guarded by stone statues of the god Hamirr and goddess Sverðeti that sit at the front, guarding the large wooden doors that give access to the temple, Ena could do nothing but be amazed by the structure dedicated to the gods in all of its glory.

Kira stepped free of the chariot that had brought her, alongst with cousin and the Ateenian Queen. A slow, studious gaze passed over the front of the temple, noting its intricacies, and design. “It appears very old, though it is not. A recreation I am told of that which is in your home country.” Slow steps taken to the base of the stairs, hands behind back, clasping one another, a preferred style. “Perhaps we shall have to make a visit to the main temple of Tyng Sudran, here in Prathen. Third oldest hall of worship in all the Imperium.” Tilt of head towards Ena. “The style of build will be drastically different.

Perhaps we shall, it will be interesting to see what your temples will be like, despite being dedicated to false gods.”

You really need to learn to be better with your words Ena, that wasn't very diplomatic of you and wars have started for less offenses than that. Cousin, please excuse Ena, she clearly hasn't had much experience with diplomacy.” Ajax responded, trying to avoid a conflict between his cousin and Ena.

If I could be goaded by such a statement, I would never have ascended the throne, cousin.” Mildly vexed, dismissive wave of hand towards Ajax. “We are chosen of the gods, their will be done, their dreams manifest, their voices, songs to our ears. Do not forget that cousin.” Drawing herself upwards somewhat. “With that in mind, the Imperium tolerates specific religions, so long as they remain where they belong, in the minority.” Eying the temple some a bit more, afterwards a calming look overtook her appearance and she was once more, cool, and collected.

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