Thirrmod, Post the First
"I, Garmidion, the Fifth Senzero of this mighty Thirrmodian motherland, welcome each and every one of you, to the Council of the Bow" the Senzero stood in a large circular room, and all the members of the Council sat around a semi-circular table of great size, while the Senzero stood facing them, an imposing, powerful figure, bearded and bald with many scars gained in battles. The Senzero was the strangest of all Thirrmodians, for he alone ever learnt to wield anything but the bow, and the scars he had were caused by swords, gained in the many battles he'd had as a mercenary on the mainland, for that was another part of his training.
"The past week has been a most fruitful week indeed! We have once more held our annual competition, and those worthy of being in the Council, are now in the Council, while those who have lost that privilege are no longer with us" he looked over all of them, his perceptive golden eyes piercing each of theirs.
"And know that anyone of of you can lose this great honour and responsibility should you break the laws and decrees of this most high and valuable position" he turned from the table and looked up at the wall behind him, where paintings of the last four Senzero's were up, each of them different in their own right.
The very first was a woman of great beauty, her eyes were a piercing green, and Garmidion always could not help the shiver which ran down his spine every time he looked at her.
The second Senzero had been a thin wiry man, with eyes which showed great intelligence and cunning, but no malice. He had clearly been a man who knew what to do and how to do it, and the history books and state of Thirrmod even in this day and age were proof of that. The third Senzero had a very ruffled and unkempt look about him, as if the painter had caught him in the middle of the jungle and forced him to sit for a while, he had a certain freedom about him, his eyes looked right though him, as if he was somewhere far off. the fourth Senzero, Garmidions master, was a very intimidating figure, with eyes that glared and nostrils flared, it was a shock that the man did not just walk out of the painting and scold Garmidion for standing around doing nothing but staring.
"These are the faces of the past" the Senzero said, waving towards the four paintings, "a long and glorious past indeed, one...which we must preserve" he turned back around and looked at them all.
"Know that even as we face the future and its challenges, even as we make this nation grow, we must always look back to the past, and learn from, that we may not repeat the mistakes of our forefathers" he allowed a few seconds of silence to pervade the air, allowed the tension to rise, breath to quicken, then he whispered in a low voice.
"This position you're all in...is no game" he rose to his full height, seeming to tower over the table itself, "do not treat it as such."
The silence continued for a while longer before Garmidion finally let out a sigh, and the tension dispersed.
"With these words of mine, I open the first session of this new year, let the Council of the Bow...be once more!" with that he backed away and sat in his elevated throne of sorts against the wall, flanked by the paintings of his predecessors, as if to add to his already great authority and power.
The first to speak was the white headed Flarius, a man who had been part of the Council for the last thirty years without a break, he was a veteran amongst veterans when it came to the Council, and had heard Garmidions opening speeches many times before, but they never ceased to amaze and inspire awe in him.
"Thirrmod is very stable in this period, our trade is going well, our economy is growing at a sustainable rate, and the people are very happy and inspired, we must now begin to strengthen our weaknesses" he looked around the table, there were a few faces from the previous Council, but many more young faces, in fact, this year had been a great shock as the two youngest Council members in Thirrmods history had risen to the seat, an extremely talented boy of sixteen, and a very skilled woman of eighteen. There success had caused much controversy, and many thought they should not be allowed to join the Council, but intervention from the Senzero had convinced most people that tradition should not be meddled with, and that if they earned it than none could take away their reward.
The boy spoke up, "That is a very broad thing to say, Thirrmod may be doing well, but its weaknesses are many, we cannot solve them all in a year. We must choose one and focus on it-" he was quickly interrupted by an irritated Flarius, who clearly did not take well to a boy who could be his grandchild talking to him in such a manner.
"I know, boy! I was just getting to that" the boy - Zaraxus - was taken aback by this hostile reaction from the older man and decided to sink into his seat and look at the table, fiddling with his hands, clearly offended.
"Our main weakness is our little expansion..." he chuckled suddenly, "sorry, slight mistake, we haven't expanded AT ALL in the last century or so. After uniting all the warring clans in the War of Unification, we've just sat on our butts and done nothing. We MUST change that" Flarius looked around, not to check if anyone was in disagreement with him - they could not be - but just to make sure they were all understanding him, they were all half his age or younger after all they could not be expected to grasp such complex ideas.
"I find your lack of imagination very disconcerting, dear Councillor Flarius" it was Varona, the eighteen year old girl, Flarius's eyes bulged at her words, while Zaraxus looked up in intrigue, surprised to see someone around his age take a stand to the old Councillor.
"Indeed we have not pursued an expansionary policy in a long time, but do you not think that we should strengthen out navy before going on an offensive? It will be a most humiliating thing if our armies were destroyed before they reach land" Flarius's face was slowly turning crimson with anger and embarrassment, "especially if all we have is a few barely sea-worthy vessels, and they are no ships of war, mere merchant ships and troop carriers, completely useless against the far more superior navies of other nations" Varona looked around, and her eyes met those of Zaraxus, whose smile she returned with a subtle one of her own.
"How ludicrous!" Flarius was on his feet, "our navy will naturally strengthen once we have conquered another nation! It is the natural way of the world!" Varona raised an eyebrow at the old man, he had clearly gone slightly senile, even if his archery skills hadn't.
"Please Councillor Flarius, do not be ridiculous, the likelihood of us managing to overcome any nation in our current naval situation are very close to nil, and what's more, we have no reason to go to war, our economical situation calls for further negotiation and trade agreements with other nations, and through THAT, our navy WILL naturally become stronger" Varona too was on her feet, not in anger however, but as a display of authority and fearlessness. Flarius waved her away.
"How pathetic, such a thing would never work, what would a little greenhorn like yourself know? We must pursue an offensive strategy to bring greater riches and power to Thirrmod, we don't need this 'negotiation' or trade with other inferior nations, we are not so weak or so desperate!" the other Councillors sat in relative silence, none wanting to take a side for fear of reproachment from either of the two, Zaraxus clearly did not suffer from their inhibitions however, whether from his young age and naivety, or ability to discern a right choice from a wrong choice, and opportunity from a potential failure.
"Councillor Flarius, I'm afraid that I do not see the logic in your argument, your strategy will only waste precious lives and create enemies out of those who could be friends and potential allies, I believe Councillor Varona is going down a much safer and useful route than your relatively absurd one" Zaraxus too was on his feet, and Flarius was outwardly taken about by the unity of these two youngsters against his idea. However, he waved them away again.
"what do you two know? Have you thirty years of experience under your belts? Have you lived the life of a Councillor for as long as I? No, of course you have not, what would you know about the way this world works?" he looked around him and continued, "our two young friends think we need 'friends' and 'allies' to grow and become powerful! Since when has mighty Thirrmod depended on the good will of others to rise and thrive? NEVER! And we shall never allow such a thing! It would be a taint on our unblemished history! A completely disgusting idea which should never even be considered! Why, I would go so far as declaring both of you traitors and have you hanged for treason for such radical and preposterous ideas!" Flarius's arms were waving around all over the place, spit flying out of his mouth, his angry face getting angrier and angrier.
"And who are you, Councillor, to hang two loyal citizens of Thirrmod, and whats more, two loyal Councillors! Our ideas are neither preposterous nor radical, they are the rule of these times, we either cooperate with others, or we are chucked in the dustbin of history! I prefer the former, and I am certain everyone else does too" she looked into the faces of the other Councillors, and it was clear that their minds were made up.
"I call for a vote!" Flarius shouted out suddenly, "so that you children may know your place and not try to bring your treasonous ideas to this most honourable place!" he looked around and gestured for people to raise their hands if they agreed with him. No one did.
"Go on then, get your hands up!" he laughed, thinking they were confused about something. Varona shook her head and looked around once more.
"Who thinks that we should not go with Councillor Flarius's ideas, but with those I have put forward?" she asked. The reaction was immediate, with every arm rising in agreement - even that of the Senzero's. Flarius shook his head in disbelief, and without a word, he turned and left. His leaving meant the session had to come to an early close as not all Councillors were present.
"Tis clear that the Council agrees with trade and economic growth" the Senzero said as he got up from his throne, "and that is the policy we shall pursue. This session, has come to a close" and with his words, all Councillors upped and left, many crowding around Varona and asking her about how she was planning to do all these things. She was more than happy to answer.