[CANON] [RP Episode] Paitiyas


#41

“Excellent! Follow me if you please.”

The messenger gestured back towards the city, and began to lead the way, moving towards the keep.


#42

Gilgamesh held up a hand. “You will wait. We must prepare for the occasion. An hour should suffice - though two would be better.”


#43

The messenger bowed.

“But of course, my apologies. I shall tell Caesar of this, and returned in 2 hours.”


#44

Two hours later, the Shahanshah and his entourage had donned their ceremonial robes, applied facial paints as was proper, and generally made ready for the evening. Accompanying the monarch was a retinue of his elite soldiers, six in total, and a small number of nobles that included the Lord Yatavo.

No ceremonial drums were in evidence, due to an unfortunate accident back home where a cook left all available drumplayers indisposed and all toilets occupied.

Said cook was later seen displaying an unusual amount of golden jewelery.


#45

The messenger brought them into the keep of the great fortress, passing through the many towered walls and enormous gates. After pacing down many corridors, they entered a taller chamber, with a great map upon one wall showing all of Allura, and a long table running down the center of the room. Several Steelguards, silent as stones and covered in armor stood at intervals along the walls. Torches of white light illuminated the room, and a small group of Valkorian officers of varying ages stood at the the near-most end of the table.

A shorter, stockier officer detached himself from the group and walked down to meet the Shah. His grizzled beard and greying hair, and slightly bent nose, clearly showed that this man was not no politician playing at war, but a real soldier. His gait rolled slightly, the perfect picture of a sailor on land.

He saluted in the Valkorian manner, and said in bad Kavehan:

“Greetings your majesty. I welcome you to Caesar’s hall.”


#46

Gilgamesh inclined his head in reply. “I am pleased to make your acquaintance, mister…?”


#47

”…Aetius, Admiral Aetius.” The man grinned. ”Just got back from my fleet, had a few repairs to get underway. Still, I bet the north needs a few more.”


#48

Gilgamesh perked up and offered the man his hand. “Ah, Admiral! Your men put up a stout fight. My pilots tell me the enemy was already half-crippled by the time we arrived.”


#49

”I sincerely hope so. But those Keelish are quite the foe. They got the drop on us that time, but I dare say we gave as good as we got. But come, let us take our places.” he gestured towards the table, and lead the Shah to the head of the table. As they walked, a door opened, and Caesar entered, clad in his regular red tunic and wearing a long cloak. He met Gilgamesh halfway.


#50

The Shahanshah regarded the Imperator gravely. Emperor, I pray our talks will prove more productive than this morning.


#51

He bowed his head gravely. Caesar gestured to the table.

”I sincerely hope so. But first let us eat.”

He sat at the head of the table, Aetius taking the chair to his left and placing Gilgamesh at his right hand.


#52

They were served a fine selection of Valkoran foods, fish and wines, and made polite conversation as they did so. Gilgamesh and Aetius had a long discussion about the virtue of gun versus missile-based armaments, one that ended with the two men almost shouting at each other as each praised the qualities of their weapon of choice.


#53

As the meal drew to a close, servants cleared the dishes away and Caesar dismisses most of the other guests. Leading Aetius and Gilgamesh after him, they walked into a comfortable, well lit study. Hundreds of books lined the walls, and a small fire was blazing in the corner, keeping the room just warm enough. The Emperor looked at the Shah.

”Now we may continue.”


#54

Gilgamesh nodded. We were discussing trade, I believe. Slipping into formal speech, he continued. “The Shahanshayr of Kaveh proposes the following: the Valkoran Empire will permit Kavehan merchants full access to local markets, with no tariffs or duties levied. This includes the financial sector, which is freely permitted to invest in Valkoran businesses and give out loans. Both the Shahanshayr of Kaveh and Valkoran Empire will strive to keep the sea lanes clear of pirates, and will assign naval assets to this purpose.”

“In return, the Shahanshayr of Kaveh will likewise permit Valkoran merchants and artisans full access to the Kavehan markets, with no tariffs or duties levied. The Shahanshayr of Kaveh will permit its merchants to share certain certified technologies with Valkoran customers, including transistor-based electronics and vehicles using diesel combustion engines. Also, the Shahanshayr of Kaveh will purchase a yearly stipend in Arejo crystals from Valkoran miners, against the full market price.”

He looked at the other monarch. “Is this acceptable, Caesar?”


#55

Nodding, Caesar agreed. ”It is indeed. Hopefully I will not need to use these weapons for sometime. The war against Danheim sparked national fervor, but now that it is over people would rather live in peace. Most, unlike General Marius, my commander of the north force. He would not rest until Danheim is a memory and nothing more. He lost his wife and child to their raiders.” Gaius passed a hand over his forehead.


#56

In his mind’s eye, Gilgamesh once again stalked the streets of the Tlalocoban city. All around him, the houses burned. The air was thick with smoke and screams as his vengeful soldiers brutally set upon the terrified, powerless populace and butchered them where they cowered. His feet stopped in front of a wounded man - barely more than a boy - who laid groaning on the street. His hands were pressed over a grievous gut wound, courtesy of one of the Kavehan mages’ swords. Calmly, Gilgamesh pointed the pistol in his hands at the boy’s head and pulled the trigger.

The sound of the shot was lost amidst the cacophony of the dying city.

With an absent note to his voice, he replied to the Valkoran emperor. “You cannot fault a man for wanting revenge.”


#57

“No you cannot. Which is why he is in the north at the moment. I gave him a task that should keep him busy for a few weeks. After that…” his voice trailed off.

“But now.” he said, all business again, "“Valkoria will send traders to you, and receive Kavehans in return. No military alliance can exist between us however. The Empire cannot be dragged into a war for sometime, or it will fall.”


#58

Gilgamesh raised an eyebrow at that. “I’ve no need for such an arrangement at this time, Emperor. But if the northern savages once again come howling from their frozen wasteland waving axes, you can be sure the Ãswaran will be more than happy to aid you in your defence.”

“My interest in Vallenora, however,” Gilgamesh waved a hand. “Is strictly commercial. Do not fear any imperialist designs I may have, because I do not. There are far more …refined methods to get what Kaveh needs.”


#59

“Valkoria will give you what you need without trouble, provided you pay for it. But keep your agents out of my empire Gilgamesh. They are rather easy to spot afterall, shorter by a third as they are…”


#60

The Shahanshah grinned. “My agents? I wouldn’t know what you’re talking about.”