Where Gods Fear To Tread

State of the World

Is this the right choice?

Kendra Schylo, Minister of the Independent Nation of Tephra
Year 174 B.K., Mid-Spring

Sometimes I wonder if this war can even be won. It’s been two decades since the Great Ban, and Bezerel shows no sign of relenting. I worry that our struggle here is fruitless, and will result in us being absorbed into that behemoth.

But I have to cast aside such worries. A meeting with the Council of Elphatal proved that they have similar worries, though I was impressed with their brave fronts. Some of them even have faith that their gods will find a way through the Ban, though I am much less sure. I wonder in a way if this isn’t their design; that it might be a message from WIldfire that we have lived for too long, and that something else must now follow. But how, then, could it not also be that damned empire’s time to fall?! No, I will not accept that.

I have established one final mission, state-sponsored, to look for the source of the Ban. Alma still refuses to leave the capitol, and I understand her reasons just as I’m infuriated by them. However, she recommend another, an arena fighter who she says could take her place. The Elphatalians also had several recommendations, so I’ll be using a few of them as well. Unfortunately, Elka’s new prototype isn’t done yet, so they’ll be going in one of our older model ships. Just as well I suppose, they’ll be less conspicuous that way.

If they don’t find anything, this will be the end of us. I would fight tooth and nail for my freedom, but I cannot risk endangering the lives of my people. We are proud, but not stupid. I will give the expedition until the end of summer, and then I will make my decision, whether to die with my pride, or to live with my shame.

Christian of the house Merocles, head of the Resurgent
Year 4682, in the Calendar of Their Noble Bodies

Time grows short, and I am glad. For it is now that these people, so long complacent in their own death, will rise up and throw off the shackles of their divine prison. For too long have we allowed the Gods to control our lives, and now that we are free of them, we bemoan our fate? We children of Oreas, the only true divinity, long for our captors to return so that we may gratefully take up the yoke of slavery? No! Never again will I allow my fellow citizens to fall under the oppression of the divine, whether those gods are Bezerelian or Elphatalian or of any nation!

My contacts in the Council tell me that another expedition to Bezerel is being planned, to find a way to break off the Ban. In truth, I both hope for their success and their failure; for their success would be a great blow to Bezerel, that damnable empire of arrogant fools, but it would bring back those “gods” who seek our dominion. But fortunately, I am not without options. If I can sway but a few of them to not abandon their cause, but rather adjust it, I can accomplish both goals at once.

But now night approaches, and I must retire. The expedition leaves soon, and I must be ready to act. Perhaps Sorralodine can be persuaded to my cause, assuming I can extricate her from her lab. I shall consider it come the morrow.



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