The Winters had finally ended and the sun had finally began to peek through the clouds overhead. Sitting within his office, the Dakila Building's windows were pierced by the suns vibrant rays. "The Winter has finally ended and just in time, we can finally plant the crops we need for the rest of the year" said a woman who was glancing out the window. The people from below were going about their daily business casually, not even aware of what was going on within their own Chairman's office.
"Sisne, has there been any word from Paghalay? Are they seeking a treaty... or are they looking for war?" asked Chairman Ulan.
Sisne let out a sigh. "Still no word"
Ulan simply nodded at the door. "Well then, I want to be left alone until word is sent" he said roughly. He watched as his assistant complied and left the room. Letting out a sigh, Ulan turned from his desk and glanced at the map on the wall to his side.
"One day..." Ulan muttered, his eyes locked to the map. Three red circles surrounded the country of Kurema on the map, with no other indicators whatsoever. "If Paghalay won't assist us in taking the land to the South, we will take it all for ourselves." Ulan said, folding his arms promptly.
Meanwhile, in Kurema...Edit
Activity within Kurema was fierce. The Emperor had declared the day before that he wanted to expand Kureman territory. Already, the first expeditions were ready to go underway. Several teams of scouts were sent, headed north and south, to search for suitable places to expand.
Alvar Takala was the leader of the north-ward expedition, traveling with the caravan that carried the supplies necessary to set up a settlement. He rode one of the wagons pulled by oxen, sitting next to the teamster as the other directed the oxen ahead. There were ten of these wagons in total: more than enough to build a small settlement for the time being, until further caravans could arrive with more supplies. Only two of these wagons were crammed with foodstuffs while the rest were loaded with precious wood. The food should be enough to last a week or so without hunting, according to estimates. It was the wyvern-riding scouts' job to make sure that their settlement was well placed geographically as well as holding a nearby food source.
Kauko Rinne headed the south-ward expedition. With knowledge of a large desert to the east, there was no reason to attempt to cross it in search for suitable land: it looked forsaken. Already, the scouts reported a large lake to the south, which was promising for a settlement. He continued onward with his team of oxen-pulled wagons.
Meanwhile, in Malamig... Edit
Soaring through the skies, a large white hawk landed on a wooden bar. Letting out a coo, it began to peck at some feed in the bowl tied to the wooden pole. "Here we are... this might be the notice from Paghalay about the treaty" said a young looking man in Malamigian tongue. He popped open the white tube that sat on the hawk's back and read the piece of paper that he pulled out. "Chairman Ulan will not be pleased..." he muttered faintly.
Meanwhile, down in the streets below, arguments were breaking out between a merchant and a Malamig citizen. "You didn't pay for that!" shouted the merchant in Malamigian. His fist was waving through the air furiously.
"So?" replied the man. His hand grasped the handle of the blade at his waist. "What of it merchant scum?" asked the man.
"N-Nothing..." the merchant said, turning from the man and going back to his work. He heard the man chuckle in a mocking tone as he walked away.
"Those Satanas... so cruel" the merchant muttered, holding back his rage and tears.
Satanas... the term used for what many have dubbed "Weavers". In Malamig, this power gave a sense of authority as even those who ruled had fear of these beasts.
The Dakila Building was quiet today as Chairman Ulan sat in his chair. He was contemplating what Paghalay's response would be. Even though he had complete fate within his people to take control over the southern areas, Paghalay's support would greatly help. He wasn't as familiar with the land or the people that could exist to the South.
"Chairman..." Sisne said, walking into his office.
"Word has come?" Ulan said. His hands were shivering at the thought of the answer. Had he really fallen to such a place where he was fearful of the answer being no?
"Paghalay doesn't wish to negotiate peace at this time... they are willing to let us set up a base within their territory however" she said slowly.
Ulan sighed heavily. "The demons just want to patronize us, they would probably use that base to intercept our Hawks anyway" Ulan said.
"Are we going to go ahead with the expansion, sir?" Sisne asked.
"All will go as planned..." Ulan said, tapping his fingers along his desk slowly. "I want to speak with the Satanas... Buwan immediately" Ulan said.
"Sir... he has stated multiple times that he has no desire to aid your causes. If we anger him, we don't know what he'll do" Sisne stated.
"We are not going to let this... mongrel tell me what and what not to do... and this time, tell him that there will be a reward for his services" Ulan said.
"Yes Chairman" Sisne remarked.
In the SouthEdit
At the neck of Higashi, which divided the South from the North, ten companions, mostly in their early twenties and dressed as men of little import, sat about a fire as the cold set in, following the dark that had made its home there only a little while before. They all spoke of the sighting of the week before, and what would become of it. Two amongst their number had seen men, strangely garbed and clearly not of the kind seen most naturally, passing towards the north but eight days past. The others had thought them drunk, for the desert was no place inhabited by men, no matter how strange a kind, but a tracker had discovered marks of the strangers' journey northward, and of a previous travel from the north. They, the subordinates of an ill-tempered man who had made his own grave just days before, had no plans ready for this.
And so they had sent word to the capital, and in doing so broken their diplomatic silence, the silence of those thought too incompetent to heed, the silence of the post too far from home to matter, too rarely seen to have cause to speak. They were the failures, the ones not suffered elsewhere, deemed too useless. Their commander was always of a different sort, for fools had more need to be watched than other men. Their past commanders had been of many different styles: disagreeable men, exiled political enemies, disgraced veterans. The last one had been a disagreeable old drunk, whose antics had at last made him fully intolerable, at least in the company of those with some marginal success. He had died in a fire, caused solely by the rage and stupidity that were his own. A bottle thrown at a subordinate, a lamp struck by the bottle, and then the flames took him. The remainder were a leaderless bunch.
That had been mere days ago, and the message had been sent with the news of the strangers. A response should be forthcoming, of that they were certain. Of what out of the north should come, they were less sure, but they felt, in their weak but wizened old bones, that it would approach soon. And so by the fire they sat, talking when rest would have suited them better, for none could be at rest when mysteries were afoot beyond the desert that the Šarratians never essayed to cross.
The south-bound Kureman settlers decided to create a settlement at the lakefront, calling their town Etalakau and the lake Aurin Lake. The constructs were simple, but not crude: they are meant to last, even when the more plentiful supplies of wood arrive to expand the settlement. Kauko took charge in administrative duties, ensuring that issues were resolved and the town managed.
The north-bound Kuremans faced greater hardships. One of their wagons of foodstuffs was damaged, forcing the caravan to abandon some of their precious wood to make room for food; the wyvern scouts reported little sign of creatures to hunt. They continued traveling north, to the edge of the mountain range. It was here that Alvar decided to start a settlement. He did not want to venture out of the familiar landscape without a place to return to if there was nothing of value farther ahead.