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Thread: FAO: [BoC] - Foreign Nations and the Patchwork of a Revolution

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    FAO: [BoC] - Foreign Nations and the Patchwork of a Revolution

    Rock, rattle and slam. The sound was the falling gangway of the grand old St. Djack's Pride, the ferry's walkway battered Radasanth's slate slab dock with elemental acrimony. Seasoned sailors stood back and observed with dutiful concern as the passengers hurried off the moored ferry. A traveller of distant origin was amongst the throng. Gum, the Xangu shaman, sighed dejectedly at the sight of the wretched island metropolis. Smoggied oil lamps were the city's merry amber beauty in its burgeoning economy of industry. Yet for all its rotten progress, the city was still mired with nature's maritime melancholy; rolling rain waved over the island from her coastal waters. A glance back at the sea made Gum uneasy. The Coronian navy's flotilla loomed heavy on the horizon, a dire indicator of paper thin power in the presence of political unrest.

    To his misfortune, Gum was vaguely unaware of the machinations at play. His naivety was not complete, but it was evident in his distinctly foreign appearance. So obvious was his unsuitability for the city that the immigration officer sighed loudly as he saw Gum approach his podium.

    "What is the purpose of your visit?"

    "I am a religious diplomat. I represent the free people of the Xangu Basin and the gods they worship."

    "Papers?!"

    Gum dipped his arthritic digits into a pouch at his waist and revealed a roll of paper sealed and stamped. The immigration official's stern grasp seized the document immediately. After breaking the seal and unrolling the parchment his thin brow folded at the sight of spiraling Xangu glyphs. "I can't read this!" his irritation drew attention. Keen with his narrow eyes, Gum watched the man's senior officer approach with goose stepping severity. "Let me see this," she commanded before she had even reached their location. The woman's uniform bore badges and emblems titled with mottoes written in a long dead language of the ancient elite.

    "Next time just call me right away," her tight ponytail and rigid nose punctuated the words.

    "Yes, ma'am," his false smile was an affront to her intelligent sensibilities.

    Ignoring her minion and his unseemly ineptitude, the superior spoke directly to Gum with a sudden sweet smile, "Senator Fordstein has instructed us to allow you passage. Accept my sincerest apologies, please."

    Gum nodded, sullen and solemn.
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    xangunationalist
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  2. #2
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    Meanwhile, Senator Lucas Fordstein pottered back and forth under a sizable stained glass window. The magnificent glass had been recently installed in his home study. A rich velvet suit, plumb in colour, with leather elbow patches compounded the flamboyant milieu. The upturned extremities of the politician's well-shaped moustache were the exclamation point of his daring lifestyle statement.

    The butler, Mr. Deozler, cringed at it all.

    "Mr. Deozler, prepare the toxins and blend them with a bottle of red! Be a champion and use the cheap stuff, eh? I doubt our provincial guest will spot the tell."

    "And if he does, sir?"

    "Then kudos to him, eh? He probably doesn't deserve to die hundreds of miles from home if he can figure out we're trying to bump him off."

    "Very well, sir."
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  3. #3
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    For the second time in his life, Gum was wandering the north's capital of consequence, Radasanth City. Some of the skills he mastered through the steam steeped struggle of life in the rainforests came of use in the urban jungle. Attention to detail kept the shaman's heart beating and his vital flesh from the belly of voracious beasts. Radasanth was a habitat for beasts of a different nature, women and men hungry for power prowled the halls and hideouts of the storied town. Though he was yet to encounter their ruthlessness, Shinsou Vaan Osiris and his opponents in the government stood forth as a prime examples.

    "Greetings," passing by, the shaman offered an even hello to the sour faced dragoons tending to their horses at one of the city's stables. Last time Gum was in the capital the military presence was minimal. The stable at which the cavalrymen were stationed at bore the sign of a private equestrian school, it seemed the government was requisitioning private property. True to the immigration officer's assumption, Gum was indeed provincial, but even he knew the dire consequence of taking away the property of a nation's free citizens.

    With every cobblestone step deeper into the city's web he became increasingly uneasy.

    Over the hill and along the way, the library's gothic outline soothed him with a sense of solid civility. Thirty steps up to the archway entrance and a clay red roof, it was everything pretty about northern architecture that he remembered from last time. Through the narrowed sight of his worrywart brow he saw a sight to be frowned at. "What is this?" the shaman muttered to himself out of concern for the alarming scene of shield wielding soldiers regimented on the steps of the library. They were pushing back a disgruntled congregation; the people were chanting for the reinstatement of social programmes and civil liberties.

    Even though Gum's traditional shamanic garb prevented him from walking the streets anonymously, he nevertheless veered from the fracas and locked his pinhole pupils on the stone broadway beneath his feet.

    En route to his meeting with Senator Fordstein, Gum walked directly by a Castigar safe house, of course, without knowing it. The snoops inside would surely be able to spot the strange man navigating the city with such purpose.
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  4. #4
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    A greasy gleam of pubescent oil shone through the chimney sweep's coal coated face. The kid poked his head out the window of Senator Fordstein's second storey and into the polluted air outside. Compared to the chimney stack, the city's air quality was a relief to his little lungs. A lithe teen waited in the alley below. The sweep cleared the swell of mucus from his tight throat in a discrete attempt to gain his accomplice's attention. Waving his arms, the teenager indicated for his younger comrade to lower something. The sweep rushed back into the house and trailed a series of tied bedsheets down into the alley. Legs flailing, the alley urchin clambered up the makeshift rope.

    Once inside, the sweep shushed his friend along a hallway and over to a loose panel in the wall. With the assistance of a silver butter knife he pried the panel away and shoved the teenager inside.

    Successfully in place, the unaffiliated spy would be free to eavesdrop on the senator's prearranged meeting with the Xangu shaman. The information would hit the street for anybody with ears big enough to listen and pockets fat enough to pay.
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  5. #5
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    "Ah, Shaman Gum, we have been waiting for you all afternoon," the pleasant words came from behind the creaky door of Senator Lucas Fordstein's private abode. It was the tuxedoed gentlemen in Fordstein's employ, Mr. Deozler.

    "Senator Fordstein?" asked Gum tentatively.

    "No, not I," giggled the butler beneath his outward facade. The notion of the two ridiculously dressed men meeting for the first time tickled him.

    "Ah, I am sorry,” Gum apologised to the man before him. Deozler's piebald attire reminded the shaman of a penguin. The butler had a fat belly like a penguin too.

    "No, not at all, not at all. I'm the help. My name is Mr. Deozler."

    "A pleasure to meet you."

    While the two exchanged nervous pleasantries through the delicate lens of international diplomacy, they had somehow managed to amble inside. Senator Fordstein came jumbling down the stairs in all his ornate finery. The beaming grin of the seasoned politician afoot was instantly captivating to Gum. Reciprocating, the shaman smiled in kind.

    "Gum, Gum! Fordstein!" the senator gave Gum's right hand a vigorous two-handed shake, "A PLEASURE!!!"

    "It is an honour to meet you, Senator Fordstein. Thank you for inviting me to be your guest, I know these are difficult times in the city."

    "That they are, my friend. They truly are. We are working against factions and individuals every day."

    Gum nodded, uncertain of the voracity of Fordstein's outward persona, "Perhaps we can help each other?"

    "You don't waste any time, do you? You will be a gooooood diplomat, Gum. I can feel it in my bones!!! Follow me, to my study. Listen, do you like the house? I hope those damned revolutionaries don't ruin the place when the time comes."

    Awash with Fordstein's suffocating charisma, Gum focused on the last point only: the supposed beauty of the man's home. Every wall was decorated with portraits going back generations. The carpets were well stitched with intricate details, they seemed like elven imports. Born into the rainforest, Gum was understandably comforted by the presence of fine woodwork carved from hardwoods endemic to the Xangu Basin.

    The study was at the top of a flight of stairs.

    "Here we are!" declared Fordstein with gusto as he took a seat beneath a regal portrait of himself.

    Gum was uncertain of how to best compliment his host, "This is a home to proud of."

    "Thank you, thank you, thank you. Take a seat, old bean," the senator kicked a leather seat with casters attached to the bottom in Gum's direction.

    "Ah, let me just," it was the shaman's first time sitting on a chair with wheels.

    "Hahaha!"

    "It is my first time."

    "My first time was with a lass called Petunia!"

    Gum was perplexed and silent.

    "Anyway," continued the senator, "I can tell you're a man who loves his people and likes to talk business. So let's, shall we?"

    "Of course. Please."

    "Excuse me my candor, but let me outline how dire our own situation is to begin with. We have lost--to assassination no less--Senators Woodheight, Francis and Augustus. And the dots are there to connect. It is openly known that Kelechi Collins assassinated them.”

    If only Storm Veritas could be a fly on the wall to hear with frustration his continued aptitude for the avoidance of notoriety. The credit for his kills was even misplaced by a politician who took great pride in being in the know. Kelechi Collins was at best a hitman, and at worst, just a drug runner's thug.

    "I am sorry for their loss. The passing of life from the Overworld to the Underworld is a difficult transition for the living and the dead."

    The senator stymied his colonial contempt for the shaman's hocus pocus, "That may be, but I wouldn't want to suffer the same fate as dear old Edwin Francis! I have life to live yet here on the, ahm, Overworld, as you so poetically put it."

    "Yes, you could affect the world a great deal with your decisions."

    "Thank you. Let me tell you, Gum, right now we have forces violating the borders of elven nations in search of these Castigar rebels."

    "I understand," the Xangu native possessed a limited grasp of geopolitical issues beyond those of his own fledgling nation.

    "What motivates them? The dragoons chasing Harore I mean. Is it patriotism? Pft. And a better question, what motivates the Castigars? Historic entitlement? Is theirs a type of patriotism?" After a moment's pause he posed his guest a question, "Tell me, who do you think are the good guys?"

    "This is not a matter of good or evil," the question had been answered correctly.

    "RIGHT!!! So we're the bloody good guys, got it?!" laughed the senator.

    "Okay. I understand the implication."

    "Malevolence, benevolence, ambivalence. For me, it's power. And for them, it's power. Whatever brings power."

    "That is not a noble cause," Gum shared an honest opinion to bait the senator, he wanted to flush out how the politician really felt.

    "You know," boasted Senator Fordstein, "they wanted to, ahem, cleanse those Whitevale people and I put a stop to that."

    "I am unfamiliar with Whitevale people.”

    "Do you know that they kill their own soldiers? Yes, it may only be degenerates and deserters, but their own men? Can you imagine?"

    Developing his strategy, Gum kept his next contrary thought to himself and allowed the senator to ramble on.

    "And speaking of degenerates--I must declare to you the seedy roof under which many of their deals are done, that of the Black Rose."

    Gum nodded. Gum stayed silent.

    "Hahaha, I'm boring you, aren't I? Back to the point," the senator was tapping his index and middle fingers together against his forehead. "Your people, the bestu pygmies and the Xangu humans, can't cope with the encroachment of the Drakari and their dragon worshiping loyalists? Correct? Correct. So, you want our Imperial Armed Forces to intervene and secure the Xangu Basin as a free and independent nation? Now, with all of our problems at home, why the heck would we help you out?"

    Gum was floored by the sudden switch in the senator's words.

    "Precisely," prodded Senator Fordstein in a typically political power play.

    "If you believed I had nothing to offer then you would not have invited me to your home," the shaman's insightful rebuttal was equally unexpected by the senator.

    "Fair play, old bean. I'll be honest, I had you down as a bit a bumpkin!"

    A sullen scowl came with the response, "You were mistaken, Fordstein."

    "Okay, so we will send our ships to Dheathain to pick up... what? A thousand of your pygmy berserkers to take part in the defence of Corone against the revolutionaries. How does that sound?"

    "But Senator, I am asking you for military assistance right now. Why would we send our soldiers away?"

    "Because a pact of mutual defence will scare off the Drakari, old bean. Keep up, won't you?"

    "Perhaps," the shaman was far from convinced.

    "And in the meantime, you will remain in the city in my service. You're not just a holyman, you're not just a diplomat. How many have you killed on the battlefield?"

    Gum rubbed his forehead with reflective dejection, he said nothing.

    "And tell me, shaman, how many enemies have you assassinated? We need assassins for our side. And who could be cleaner than a foreign national, eh?"

    "Your side?" asked Gum with concern for the quality of the senator's judgment, it was difficult to contain a rebellion indefinitely.

    "I represent a third party. We are not Imperialists and we are not with the red and black."

    "Senator Fordstein, I am not sold on your rhetoric. My loyalty is to the free people of the Xangu and I am simply looking for assistance in the fight against a brutal invasion. If you cannot provide us with that without these entanglements then I will bid you good day."

    "My dear shaman, have a drink won't you?" the senator poured and offered a drink of the lethally tainted cheap stuff.

    Gum held the glass to his mouth and said, "To be clear, I am not so naive to think that I must become a crony of yours for our actions and objectives to come together as tributaries of the same river. We can work together temporarily."

    Upon hearing Gum's acquiescence the politician grabbed the glass from his guest's grip, "No, don't drink that. This one is much better," he said pouring a fresh glass from another bottle.

    Gum was alarmed and sensed something was afoot and lied immediately, “Regardless, alcohol is forbidden by my religion.”

    "Let's get this deal sealed, Gum. Sign on the dotted line for a month. A month in the city, working for me! And in return I'll have Corone be the first major nation to recognise the Xangu region of Dheathain as a free nation. And as part of that recognition we'll immediately condemn the Drakari aggression and sign a mutual defence pact."

    "Okay. Yes," Gum's gut rumbled at the prospect of swallowing such a unsavoury deal.

    "Agreed?"

    "Agreed."

    The senator and the shaman shook hands.

    The snoop heard it all.
    【LƎVƎL.3】
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    xangunationalist
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  6. #6
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    The plate panels in an Imperial grunt's armour rubbed together as she banged furiously at a nail and a sign. The message she was posting to one wooden surface after another was dreadfully draconian.

    ATTENTION

    Effective immediately, the colour combination of red and black has been outlawed. This prohibition extends to clothing, political signage, flags, banners and all other symbols.

    Maximum Penalty CR.20,000

    Report violations to your district prefect.

    A snotty grubber, he might have been five years old, whined at the officer as she rattled away with her hammer, "They're all showing red and black in Whitevale, officer. Please. A reward?" With an eye roll the soldier raised her gauntlet covered backhand to the little boy, "Back to the workhouse boy," and he scurried and screeched down the street. In her heart she knew she'd be a damned fool to enforce the ridiculous grandstanding regulation.
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  7. #7
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    "Yes Baldrick, but you never said 'wibble'."


  8. #8
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    "Yes Baldrick, but you never said 'wibble'."


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