Picking and Choosing (Challenge IV Prelude, Chapter 14)

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Picking and Choosing (Challenge IV Prelude, Chapter 14)

Previous Prelude chapters:

Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Chapter 6

Chapter 7

Chapter 8

Chapter 9

Chapter 10

Chapter 11

Chapter 12

Chapter 13

Picking and Choosing

Dugal and the other lords of the Small Council for Western Affairs waited for the Desert King’s emissary. The capital was still in morning, and many of the other High Lords were meeting with the lower lords in order to calm fears that Kaliphlin was falling apart. Dugal had to remind some people in his Small Council that Kaliphlin had for some years now been ruled by the High Lords, and that Flagg was more of symbol of Kaliphlin prosperity and rule than an actual ruler.

Ten days had passed since the emergency meeting with the Leander. Since that time, the council had become more polarized. Lord Bain led the pro Desert King faction and Lady Phlici, new to the council, led the pro-Ulandus faction, most of the major lords – the real movers and shakers of Kaliphlin – were still undecided or had vowed to stay neutral. Dugal was amongst the later, and more and more he began to like the idea of sending a peacekeeping force to Western Kaliphlin to keep the two sides from fighting.

Without announcement, in came the emissary. He was a strange man, with a face painted in Gold. He wore the old noble headdress that the Mountain Mummies were so fond of. He wore scant linens, and seemed naturally adapted to the mid-day Petraea heat. His staff seemed almost… alive.

16020091994_a638096c26_z.jpgDSC_1523 by skaforhire, on Flickr

“I am Ka’ha’ton, speaker for his greatness, Pharaoh of Kaliphlin, Ruler of Kaligem, Priest of the Sun, Ark'Mora Raa. I come to you to give you his terms.” The man said.

“His terms?” Asked Gideon.”

“Yes the Sun King declares that he shall take Flagg’s place as ruler of Kaliphlin. The council will report to him. He will lead the guild back to greatness. He will rule fairly, and you all will have his respect. He will take your council, but will hold final decision. For your sacrifice, he will protect Kaliphlin, he will nurture her back to her greatness, and he will see you all richly rewarded.” The ambassador proclaimed.

“Best sales pitch I have heard all day!” Said Lord Bain.

“How do we know that the Desert King can even deliver on these promises?” Dugal said.

“For the Pharaoh has already began working on these promises. He has rid Kaliphlin of Drow in the short time since he has been back. The last Drow were hunted down three days ago.” The gold-faced man said calmly. “He honor’s Flagg’s memory through this deed.”

16616463206_e877ea52cd_z.jpgDrowhunter by skaforhire, on Flickr

16641373102_12bc5e17e9_z.jpgDSC_1573 by skaforhire, on Flickr

“I don’t that could be true… Those things breed like flies, and live in the same filth.” Dugal replied.

“It is true, although Raa believes that Flagg’s assassin may have left guild territory, as none of the Drow he caught would confess to the murder.” The ambassador said. Dugal knew that any guilty drow that was caught would have bragged about the deed before being executed. Then again, he still was confused how a Drow assassin could have hid from Flagg in a totally white room…

“This is interesting, as my eyes and ears have report and extreme lack of Drow in the East, and I had mentioned to Lord DaMaximus this occurrence, and he replied that no Drow had been in Mpya Stedor for weeks according to his messengers.” Gideon said. “Perhaps we can assume that the Desert King has been the partial cause of this?”

The ambassador said calmly, “He is the complete cause of this abnormally. The Pharaoh wishes it, and it is done.”

Interesting. Thought Dugal. He wondered how many men the Desert King had. The ambassador continued, and pointed to the maps on the table. “His Greatness has claimed Sultan’s Gate as his temporary capital until Kaligem is rebuilt. He will move to Petraea when the majority of the Council submits to his rule. He will lodge himself in this great building.”

“Where will the council meet then?” Asked Lady Kylee.

“You will meet here, at his invitation.” The ambassador continued. “He wishes you all to have a part in the reclamation of honor that he will lead in Kaliphlin. Although he will be your master, he is a gracious master, and will reward you all handsomely.”

“Well, I’m sold. “ Bain stated, his voice couldn’t be more cheerful. “ All in favor of putting this proposition to the High Council, say aye!” His cronies confirmed his suggestion, but nobody else did.

“We must think on this, Ka’ha’ton” Gideon said, and the ambassador left.


The secret meeting was going well. 16642388955_c9f0147bae_z.jpgDSC_1525 by skaforhire, on Flickr

In the middle of the table, General Royce Ponce was detailing Ulandus’s plan for a new aqueduct to supply the Parched Lands and the Lick of Salt. It was a huge, expensive undertaking, but Octo was impressed with the plans. Not that it really benefited him much, but he did have a few oil wells in the Lick of Salt, and keeping workers alive and hydrated did have its benefits. The Ulandians, more specifically “first Centurion” was willing to pay the whole tab on the project to show good faith to the rest of the council. Octo really didn’t care if the Ulandians joined Kaliphlin, but he knew that there seemed to be more upside than drawbacks, even if the other High Councilors did not come to the same conclusion. So much trade could be had!

He was surprised that Lord Bain had come to this meeting, and that Phlici was strangely absent… then again so was General Lat’ve, and those two were clearly an item. What a shame, she was so pretty and probably easily seduced. At least he believed so. The talk of gold brought him back to the conversation. “Yes, there will be a large share for each of you, and the low lords in this room will be raised to high lord for their support.” Ponce said.

“How do you suppose that will happen, the whole council will have to vote on that. First Centurion could not control this.” Lord Octo said.

“Were you not paying attention?” Bain said. “IF the Ulandians have to force their rights by fighting those who oppose their rejoining the guild, then there would rewards for the low lords.” Octo knew Bain could not be on board with this, he was too proud of being a high lord to willingly let others join the rank. In fact, Octo was pretty certain that Bain was only here to spy on the Ulandians for the Desert King.

“So in conclusion, First Centurion offers his hand in friendship. The five high lords of Ulandus offer their embrace as brothers, and the Legions of Xersia will be at the council’s command for the upcoming attempt to put a king on the throne of Cedrica.” Ponce said. “We offer new aqueducts, new trade routes, our navy, and our expertise of the Southern Ocean. All of these will help grow Kaliphlin commerce to new levels.” He cleared his throat. “I believe our good will has already been shown. The Thousand Suns have rebuilt some of the Southern villages already. We have brought food to places struck with famine. We have provided military training for those who want to be able to defend themselves, and we have already given much gold to you all, and many of the Kaliphlin lords. It is time for the rejoining.”

16458577960_17e76d49bb_z.jpgThosand Suns by skaforhire, on Flickr

16644567421_d263f75215_z.jpgDSC_1682 by skaforhire, on Flickr

16458587820_7b6febdc07_z.jpgDSC_1686 by skaforhire, on Flickr


Dugal confronted Bain in the Small Council room. He had thought that the council was meeting without all its members, and he assumed Bain had been the source of this break in procedure. He assumed that Lord Bain just wanted to muscle more low council members to his position, be it on the Sand King or on Eastgate.

16616453886_1891dbd6ec_z.jpgDSC_1530 by skaforhire, on Flickr

“Why have you broken procedure? You know our small council is to meet as a whole.” Dugal said.

Lord Bain smiled. “You think I called a meeting to sit down with the Ulandians?” Dugal had not known the Ulandian ambassador was back, and oddly enough Phlici was not in the city today.

“I suppose not. Who called the meeting” Dugal asked.

“I have no idea, I received a letter under the crack of my Inn room door this morning. It said to come here and meet. Whoever put the meeting together must know your position to stay neutral. You have been a steadfast supporter of the peacekeeping force these last few days.” Bain changed his tone, “how they did not know my opinion, I am not so sure.”

“So you spoke against the Ulandus plan?” Dugal asked.

“Of course not, they paid me well to sit in that meeting, and I was curious to what they were up to.” Bain said. “If you have noticed, their grain trains have even reached the gates of this very city.”

“I have, although my messengers say that none of that food has made it to the Eastgate area.” Dugal replied.

“That is because they don’t want to feed your army. They know you are competition, and one of the larger forces the council has. If your army starves, they will desert, when your army has dwindled enough, you will be forced to side with them. This is an easy strategy to spot, Dugal.” Bain said as if he thought Dugal had not thought of this already. “You finally made a sound move and brought some of your forces West for the peacekeeping mission, spreading your forces will help you feed them better.” As he said that last part, Dugal had a bad feeling. Bain never gave compliments. “Now that I have won the debate in the High Council over your use of Kaliphlin soldiers for your war of heredity, I think the bad blood between us should subside. I encourage you to listen to the Desert King’s offers. He is most generous, and he is a true Kaliphlin leader. I fear that if the majority of the council keeps upon this path of neutrality, we won’t get a say in our new government.”

“Who said we needed a new government?” Dugal asked.

“You are stuck in the past, McLean. Kaliphlin is headed for great things, and we need to choose the right ruler.”

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Choosing between an old Pharaoh and a dictator... Lord Damaximus is pretty sure to choose the stay neutral option.

And yes that means Stedor will be in the middle between different legions and yes that means Everlast will have to call their soldiers back out of Nocturnus, Mitgardia and Avalonia (because Everlast was one of the key points in the ancient empire of Kaligem, so I am pretty sure the odd Pharaoh wants to conquer Everlast as it is very close to Sultans Gate)

Well, the good news is Amenor (for the new members, Amenor, Ximus and Atlarka are guilds far far away, very important in the stories of Damaximus) is sending a complete army to Stedor!!

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"Nothing is true, everything is permitted..."

From my lands on the border of Kaliphlin, I shall be following these developments closely, before declaring for any of the sides in this matter.

While he promises peace, I fear power over Kaliphlin will corrupt the Sand King, and doubt the true motives of the Ulandians, although they have shown signs of good faith. And what are their plans for the rest of Historica?

One wonder what alternatives there will be... Perhaps the lesser of two evils will be a necessary choice...


This story and these builds - I very much appreciate the effort put into this, and I am very pleased with the output sofar, both in terms of storyline and builds. Can't wait to see more!

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Looks like both sides are warry of the Nestlands Clans, since Aturl Prndrn seems to have been excluded from these meetings.

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All these intros have been great! But what piece are the Ulandians' helmets?

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The turbans are Brickforge, the ones that are two pieces are the turban and the Arabian helmet, they snap together instead of using the top of the turban. I think green turbans are on deep discount right now.

But Ulandians can have any headgear, as noted before, even though each legion has a assigned color, how they are uniformed and armored differ from company to company, and even from squad to squad.

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At last we hear from the king! All these factions and politics are making my head spin. This is such an amazing set up

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