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Infrastructure: Part Two Hundred and Fifty Four
By Imperator-Zor   |   Watch
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Published: July 31, 2016
© 2016 - 2019 Imperator-Zor
House del'Liberium had ruled over the Avesian Isles for four centuries and has done so from five different lodgings in the Porta Liberium area. The first one was a set of tents which was superseded by a keep of local wood, volcanic rock and timbers from broken ships. This sufficed for about seventy years until it was damaged when a rival pirate fleet made an attack which prompted a long overdue upgrade. In it's place was erected a larger and sturdier stone and brick fortress designed by an actual architect which remained part of the defenses of the city. Even so while it was a solid defensive structure it was built with defense first and with comfort second. So 217 years ago a palace was built with pleasure in mind in dazzling luxury. The end result of the efforts was a monument to gaudiness and bad taste which put quite a few visitors in mind with a whore house when it was in it's glory days, which due to substandard materials and workmenship decayed soon afterwards. As such (in part by the prompting by a daughter of a Torionese Marquess who married into the family) the current palace was built to replace it a little over a century ago, which was a tastefully made affair done mostly in imported marble mixing the best of Torionese, Anvosi and even western Qanthrathi elements. It was cool in the tropical heat, while keeping the rain out while the garden and central courtyard were excellent places to unwind, meticulously maintained by gardeners who not only had pride in their work but also a dread of what would happen if their workmanship was substandard.

As far as king Tilsio-VI thought the history of the royal residences was a nice summery of the history of his house as it gradually rose from it's mercenary origins to assume it's place among the noble lines of the mainland. They might have looked down and sneered at his line for being nothing more than "slaving pirates" (by who's origins generally lay with some ancient warrior who'd hacked and slashed his way to power) and "bedfellows to Dark Elven vipers" (which they said while wearing doublets of Valnothron spider silk, in any case Drow merchants broke their contracts far less often and were much more forthcoming with compensation when they did than the overwhelming majority of mainlanders) but even so House del'Liberium had risen like a star in wealth and influence that had managed to gain their recognition. For thirty one years he'd worked on his contribution to the dynasty's legacy: breeding new progeny to marry off into (admittedly mostly lesser) mainland noble houses while bringing in (one way or another) new artists to create schools to train more of their kind to help him gradually polish his rough city (or at least part of which removed from the ports) bit by bit into something beautiful. The fact that it made his chattel more valuable was a most welcome side effect, but to him money was a means to an end. He dreamed of the day when del'Liberium blood flowed through the veins of Princes, Kings and Emperors. 

Even so there were other tasks which required his attention. In particular he'd just finished a working lunch hammering out a trade deal with the Count de Sensaseperan and a representative from a Janilonas merchant house when he was confronted with one of his footmen who approached him at a running pace.

"My King and Master," He'd said in a slightly paniced tone as he made a hasty bow, presenting a slightly muddy piece of what looked like waxed paper "Moments ago hundreds of these notes fell into the city. They are addressed to you, your majesty." 

King Tilsio took the piece of grubby paper and read it.

To King Tilsio-VI, ruler of the Avesian Islands...

It has come to our attention that your nation has for centuries engaged in the buying and selling of human beings as chattel. At an average it has been estimated than some 28,000 slaves pass through your realm annually. In doing so your state has actively encouraged piracy and by extension have disrupted maritime commerce, have been complicit in the violent deaths of millions and the misery and brutalization of millions more. In particular the largest buyers of the sapient chattel that you accumulate and break are Dark Elvish states, most prominently those which have launched unprovoked attacks upon our efforts. Many of the slaves that they acquire ultimately are put to work in Drow weapons factories, cannon foundries, military shipyards and similar industrial activities supporting the Dark Elves ability to wage war if not being employed more directly as sailors on-board Drow warships. Ultimately your nation's economic efforts have directly aided their war effort against our state. As such for the good of our state we are forced to place the following non negotiable demands of your country...

  1. The institution of Chattel Slavery in all it's incarnations is to be unilaterally abolished. All slaves are to be freed immediately, absolved of any obligations to their masters and the claiming of ownership of any sapient being as a slave will be a crime. All slaves will be classified as citizens of equal standing to any other denizen of the island.
  2. Each emancipated individual shall be paid by his/her former 'master' compensation for the time expended in their bondage a sum of no less than one Imperial Pfennig for every day served rounded to the nearest year. In the case of agricultural slaves, plots of arable land shall be considered an acceptable substitute for cash compensation at a rate of one square meter per day served.
  3. Any slave owner which refuses to comply with said demands shall be arrested and sentenced to ten years of hard labor.
  4. Any individual employed as a slave driver shall be arrested and sentenced to ten years of hard labor.
  5. The nobility of the Avesian Islands is to be abolished as a class, the king of the Avesian Islands shall be retained as a constitutional monarch ruling in conjunction to a democratically elected diet and prime minister. The franchise required for voting in said elections is universally achieved for all adults over the age of 16 years.
  6. A boycott of all trade between the Avesian Islands and the Drow States of Galthirith, Hansoliath, Janilonas and Valnothron for the duration of the conflict.
  7. The implementation of said efforts shall be overseen by our Bureaucrats.
Failure to submit to these demands shall be considered an Act of War, you have Twenty Four hours to give your response. This is your only warning.

Delivered (Approximately, local time) 13:00, Day 13, 2nd Month, 37th Year of the Infrastructural Age
Supernova, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Central Committee of Infrastructure 

It had the Hexagonal Seal inscribed on it. He'd heard about the state through various means, given the impression that they'd made on the world state it was hard to do so. The destruction of the slave markets of the Black Ports had been a boon to them, both from the fact that two of their rivals have been eliminated and the fact that a few hundred wealthy refugees and their slaves had made their way here (among them some which had greatly improved the local weapons industry) and he'd heard the reports (which, like every free man on the islands he'd hoped were grossly exaggerated) about their navy of iron hulled warships with their mind boggling guns. For the most part he'd assumed that they had contented themselves with their frozen wasteland and (more recently) whatever in the far west had compelled them to sail across the globe. There had been a few who had warned against them turning their guns to these warm islands in their insane crusade, but those had been ignored. Weather it was because of wishful thinking or sober calculation based on inaccurate information that the majority disagreed was irrelevant now. The same went for any notion for what this message was anything other than a face saving declaration of war. Even if he was craven and stupid enough to give into their demands he'd most likely be dead soon enough and even if he did survive by some miracle he'd be left as an an impotent figurehead.

As such, he fumed with anger and crushed the message. "Send out a call to arms. Man the forts. Hire every mercenary. Press every foreign ship into service. We will make our stand!"

"Of course, your Majesty." The servant said.

Previous-Infrastructure: Part Two Hundred and Fifty Three
Next-Infrastructure: Part Two Hundred and Fifty Five
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Comments4
anonymous's avatar
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Euel's avatar
Looks like Infrastructure's going to have another war.  Not quite a curb stomp, hopefully something fairly interesting...
Pokermind's avatar
Looks a lot like how I imagine Don Hernan DeDivino Dicha in the Destroyermen Series would look.  The hat something a tad more Aztec with a long flowing blood red robe that almost touches the floor.  Taylor Anderson is having a contest with autographed books as the prize you could enter him with little modification and just add some color.  Details here:

BOOK CONTESTS!!!
For a chance to win signed copies of the lates THREE books, send a photo, drawing, or painting (done by you) as a message and I will post it here. I will post a deadline and call for voting in August.

A SECOND contest for the same prize will be for the best MODEL. Quite a few people have built models, even scenes from the series, and others have expressed an intention to do so. Send pics as a message and I will post them as well. Given that models often take longer, I will post a deadline and call for voting on this part of the contest in September.

As suggested, the criteria for both categories should be whichever contributions "best embody the spirit, style, and themes of the series."
How does that sound?

If you don't do Facebook you could enter on his author's webpage contact me feature: www.taylorandersonauthor.com/i… just provide a web link to the art.  No end date published yet my guess is sometimein September.
Imperator-Zor's avatar
I always imagined old Hernia as being taller and lankier.
Pokermind's avatar
The long blood read robes were noted as making him appear to float in the Epilog of Deadly Shores.  PS Taylor just put last date to enter fan art as August 25, 2016.  Currently only 4-5 entries.
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