The divide between
Maria grabbed some cherries and chewed them thoughtfully for a moment or two as she ran through the logic again in her head.
"It must be." she said at last. "If it's illegal to fight them because they're foreigners, then it must be legal to trade with them because they're foreigners. It's simple common sense, and I think it's pretty clear-cut under the law in the absence of any further moves by the Senate. The Asaveans won't like it much mind..."
"Fuck the Asaveans," said Demarco crudely, raising an eyebrow from Maria.
"I'd rather not," she joked, trying to lighten the serious mood. Demarco was hardly listening, pacing back and forth across the courtyard, glaring at nothing in particular.
"So I could, say load up the Latron Wraith with blankets, medicinal herbs, bandages, and grain and just sail it to Timor? If it's anything like it was in Haros, even at the beginning, then they'll be running low of everything like that."
"Well you could...." she said, leaving the rest of the sentence hanging?
"Or?" Demarco stopped pacing and stared at her, trying to guess what she was getting at.
"Ooooor..." she said slowly, as if turning the thought over in her head, as if only thinking of it for the first time. "Or you could load the Latron Wraith up with weapons, armour, steel bars - or blankets I guess, although they won't sell anywhere near as well - and sail them to Fort Maragladia and make an absolute killing. While also helping the plucky rebels of course."
Demarco stared at her open mouthed. She shrugged."Well you did ask," she said matter-of-factly.
- 1 Insurrectionists and Mercenaries
- 2 An Asavean Rebuttal
- 3 An Insurrectionist Petition
- 4 Purple Sails and Opportunities
- 5 Senate Motions
- 6 Mercenary Opportunities
- 7 The Synod
- 8 Resolution
Insurrectionists and Mercenaries
Far away to the west, two satrapies - provinces subject to the Asavean Plenum- have revolted against their Nemorian overlords The Asaveans have been enthusiastically courting Imperial mercenaries, but there is a significant fly in the ointment. The magistrates have pointed out that while the citizens of the satrapies are in open revolt against their government, they are still considered to be Asaveans under Imperial law - and are thus foreigners.
The Assembly of Nine have made the only virtuous response to Asavea abundantly clear. We send Sepharad with 50 liao to urge every vigilant Pilgrim to take notice of those citizens whose virtue is lacking let us provide the Cardinal of Vigilance and the Imperatrix with the names of every citizen who chose to turn aside from the Way.Sepharad, Mandate, Autumn Equinox 382YE
Quite apart from the legal implications the Assembly of Vigilance is taking a dim view of Imperial mercenaries traveling to fight in foreign wars when there are plenty of wars close to home. Thanks to a mandate enacted by Sepharad of Felix's Watch, the Cardinal of Vigilance and Imperatrix both will receive lists of every Imperial military unit that has boarded a ship for Nemoria to aid in suppressing the northern uprising. These lists will continue to be created until the situation changes..
For their part, the Asavean Plenum has recognised concerns about what exactly Imperial citizens are doing in the Republic. Their Minister for Military Procurement (who is also the high priest of the Red God of War) has offered assurances that since the Autumn Equinox Imperial mercenaries are not being placed in positions where they will face insurrectionist forces directly. Instead they are being used in defensive positions well away from the front lines where they will be unlikely to engage revolutionary soldiers. They still perform a valuable service - their presence means that the Asaveans are able to move more of their own troops forward to support their legions against the rebels. Whether this will be sufficient to prevent charges being brought by the magistrates is not clear at this time.
An Asavean Rebuttal
Lady Madrianna of the Blue Stones is a powerful figure in Asavean politics, who advises the Plenum on matters of international trade and liases regularly with Jarrigk Orzel, the Imperial Ambassador to Asavea. She is unsurprisingly keen to see the insurrection brought to a timely conclusion, and enthusiastic about ensuring Imperial support for her government. At her urging, the Asavean Embassy in Sarvos has reached out to the Senate and several prominent citizens to address what she perceives as a potential misunderstanding regarding the nature of the insurrection.
The Asaveans seem concerned that the Empire might believe that the attempted secession was some sort of "slave uprising". The strongly held Imperial views about slavery are well known, and where possible Asavean merchants, diplomats, and visitors to the Empire try to respect them even though they do not agree with them. Lady Madrianna (and by extension the Asavean embassy) want to make it clear that there is no evidence that the insurrectionists have any intention of freeing their slaves. The Asaveans are clear - this is not a moral crusade against slavery, but a political disagreement, cynically encouraged by Sumaash agitators, designed to weaken Asavea. Scores of Asavean citizens have been murdered by the Insurrectionists. The Emphedoran rebels announced their betrayal by sealing the doors of the Temple of Lord Isso Mãos de Ouro in Telios and burning it to the ground with the priests and congregation still inside. Hundreds of innocent people burned alive by a handful of insurrectionists pursuing their own personal power at the expense of their own countryfolk.
If anything, Lady Madrianna warns, the insurrection will make the plight of slaves in Marracoss and Emphedor worse in both the short and long term. The revolutionaries need material to fuel their war machine, and they will work their slaves to death to get that material. From the point of view of the leaders of the rebellion, if they lose this war with the Plenum - as they inevitably will - their slaves will no longer be of any use to them. In general, argues Madrianna, slaves in Asavea are not particularly ill-treated, and those who do so are looked at with the same critical eye as someone who would routinely mistreat an animal. Indeed, the quality of life for a skilled slave in Nemoria is arguably higher than it is for a farmer in some of the more out-of-the-way satrapies - which will certainly not be the case if the insurrection continues.
In short, the Asavean Embassy urges the Empire to consider. If it truly cares about the plight of slaves in Asavea, then the correct thing to do is to help the Asavean government end the insurrection as quickly as possible. Something, she is quick to remind the Empire, will give them greater diplomatic capital than staying neutral or - worse - being seen to offer support to the traitors who are endangering their own people in pursuit of personal power.
An Insurrectionist Petition
Two satrapies are in open revolt - Marracoss and Emphedor. Not much is known by Imperial citizens about these two provinces - they are far away on the northern edges of the Archipelago. As near as can be determined, however, the two groups of rebels are outnumbered and forced to cooperate with one another in the face of the Nemorian military forces arrayed against them. The unofficial leader of the insurrectionist forces is apparently a woman named Terentia Comasigne, who lead the initial revolt in Marracoss, seized the capital Aracossa, lynched the satrap, burned her palace to the ground, and declared independence. She is believed to be directing the rebel forces from the Maragladia, a coastal fortress built by the Nemorians.
There has apparently been some communication between the leader of the rebellion and some Imperial citizens via magical means, along with some minor support. Not enough to influence the outcome of the conflict, but enough to encourage Terentia Comasigne to risk reaching out to the Empire for aid. And reach out she has - sending missives to several prominent individuals in the Brass Coast and the League and smuggling letters to traders visiting Nemoria. Her message is light on details - she gives no insight into the military or political situation of the insurrectionists. After all, the Empire appear on the surface to be the staunch allies of the Nemorians. She does however include a petition for aid if the Empire is prepared to help.
Her messages are passionate and slightly hyperbolic, with an edge of desperation.
First she calls for brave Imperial soldiers to come to Marracoss and help her people, and her Emphedoran allies, throw off the oppressive yoke of the Nemorians. There is some talk of incentives - but nothing specific. Unfortunately, at present, it is just as illegal for Imperial soldiers to travel to the Archipelago and kill Asavean soldiers as it is to support the Nemorians against the rebels. Nothing will be possible in that regard without the direct authorisation of the Senate.
Secondly, she petitions the Empire - the Senate really - to supply the rebels with mithril and weirwood. Other materials would be useful, but only on the small scale. What they need right now is material to build weapons and armour, outfit troops, and resupply the forces they have already raised, and repair their fortifications. Neither Marracoss nor Emphedor is particularly rich in either material and their allies among the Sumaah can provide only so much, and none of it weirwood. What the Sumaah can provide, however, is transportation. If the Empire is prepared to give aid to the rebels in securing their freedom from the Nemorian Plenum, Sumaah ships will transport it to Maragladia, Timor, and Aracossa where it will do the most good - allowing the Empire to conceal its support of the rebels from the Plenum if that is what it takes.
Fifty wains of either mithril or weirwood - or both - will help the rebels to maintain their forces over the coming season, ready to launch a counterstrike against the Plenum in the spring. A hundred wains would significantly improve their position, ensuring that not only could they make a counterattack in Spring, but that they would be in a position to potentially push the Plenum forces out of Marracoss over the Summer.
If they wishes the Senate could pass an appropriately worded motion instructing the civil service to handle the logistics of giving this material to the rebels using the Sumaah vessels. In this case, the Plenum would remain unaware of Senate support for Terentia and her fellows. Alternatively, they could specify that Imperial ships be used if for some reason they wanted to make sure the Asavean Plenum knew they were supporting the rebels.
There is no requirement for a motion however; indeed anyone could provide mithril or weirwood to support the rebels whether the Senate became involved or not. Any private citizen could simply give the wains directly to the Sumaah captain responsible for transporting them.
Anyone can contribute wains of mithril or weirwood to support the rebels. They would need to ensure the wains are in their inventories, and then e-mail email@example.com after the event, ideally before the close of downtime, indicating how much material they are contributing. A note of caution however; the minimum amount required to have a discernible effect on the development of the campaign, is 50 wains in total. The amount needed to raise an army in Nemoria is not materially different to the amount needed in the Empire. If less than that is contributed it will provide only moral support to the rebels rather than actual material support. The rebels will be grateful for anything they get - but it won't change the outcome of their conflict with Asavea.
Likewise, although it would be possible to send other offers of support - materials, liao, crystal mana or money - this will not effect the outcome of the war in Asavea, again it will be moral support not material support.
Purple Sails and Opportunities
There are other opportunities presented by the Asavean uprising, however. The Fellowship of the Purple Sails - the Imperial sodality that lobbies for foreign trade opportunities - have made their members and by extension the rest of the Empire aware of an opportunity.
The magistrates have stressed that the rebels are still Asaveans - meaning that it is illegal to kill them. But this also means it must be legal to trade with them. Under normal circumstances, dealing directly with one of the satrapies would be significantly less profitable than dealing directly with Nemoria - but these revolutionaries are desperate for supplies and support to keep their rebellion going. Furthermore they will be prepared to pay well for the supplies they need - revolutionaries cannot eat gems, or fine carpets, nor arm themselves with tapestries or fine artwork. They predict that any Imperial fleet interested in trading with the revolutionaries will find ready markets for weapons, raw materials, medical supplies, and even food - all of which will go toward helping the war effort against the Nemorian government of course.
While the impact of this trade on the outcome of the war will be negligible , the rebels will pay very well indeed with luxuries they have no immediate need for, and artwork salvaged from Nemorian palaces.
During the coming downtime, Imperial fleet captains will be able to trade with two ports in the northern Asavean Archipelago. Each will be found in the trade dropdown alongside the usual ports, and function exactly the same. Any Imperial captain that visits will be assumed to be trading weapons and supplies valuable to the rebels, and will receive money in return - both in the form of actual cash and in the form of valuables and objets d'art. The two ports are both opportunities to trade with the rebels, but each represents a different approach to that trade with different rewards. The actual impact of this trade is the same regardless - support for the rebels is the same whichever port an Imperial captain frequents.
The coastal fortification of Maragladia is hard pressed by the Nemorian legions. The people there are desperate - and that desperation is reflected in the prices they will pay for supplies. Any Imperial captain will be able to sell even the most basic weapons and armour for significantly more than they paid for them - effectively engaging in war profiteering. A basic fleet trading with Maragladia will receive 12 crowns, with each rank of upgrade or enchantment adding a further 48 rings to this amount. The rewards are high, but are likely to tail off as supply increases - or the merchants of the Sarcophan Delves become aware of the opportunity.
Alternatively, an Imperial captain may choose to trade at Timor. Well behind the insurrectionist lines, the situation in the capital of Emphedor is less fraught than that in Maragladia. An Imperial captain will be able to get a good price for herbs and other medicines, or even basic necessities like blankets and bandages, but for significantly less profit than they would get selling weapons in Maragladia. A basic fleet trading with Timor will receive 7 crowns, with each rank of upgrade or enchantment adding a further 28 rings to this amount. The rewards are much lower than at Maragladia, representing trades more interested in supporting the rebels than making money.
If more than half a dozen fleets trade with the rebels, however, the Plenum will become aware that Imperial merchants are supporting the rebellion. It is impossible to predict how they will respond, but they are unlikely to be happy - and the more fleets trading with Maragladia and Timor the less happy they are likely to be.
The Senate has a number of obvious options in front of them.
Firstly, they could declare their support for the Asavean government, and declare war on the rebels in Marracoss and Emphior. This would made trade with the rebels illegal (meaning the ports of Maragladia and Timor would not be available) and making it legal for Imperial military captains to fight as mercenaries - the Suppress Asavean Uprising opportunity would then be available as part of the paid work dropdown. This move is likely to be received extremely well by the Asavean government, but prove equally unpopular with their enemies.
Alternatively, they could declare war on the Asaveans while supporting the insurrectionists. This would make it illegal to trade with Nemoria, and end the trade in white granite through the Cavabianca Docks and the temples if Feroz and Nemoria, but the option to Support Asavean Uprising would them be available to Imperial military captains.
They might instead prefer to remain somewhat neutral in the conflict; they could declare an embargo against the insurrectionists. This would make it illegal for Imperial captains to trade with the rebels (meaning the opportunity to go to Maragladia or Timor would not appear). It would not have any deleterious economic effects on the Empire (because there is no incoming trade from Marracoss or Emphedor). This move would generate a positive diplomatic response from the Asaveans. Note that it is not possible to embargo, say, Maragladia while still allowing trade with Timor, or vice versa - either it is legal to trade with the insurrectionists or it is not.
Alternatively, the Senate might explore changes to the law to allow Imperial mercenaries to fight on either or both sides of the conflict in Asavea. This would require extensive discussion with Stanislav Karkovich, the chief magistrate, and the various legal and constitutional challenges to such a law would need to be addressed. If this were done then, depending on the wording of the motion, one or both of the Suppress Asavean Uprising or Support Asavean Uprising opportunities may become available.
These opportunities are not currently available - in each case the Imperial Senate would need to pass an appropriate motion before Imperial citizens can respond to them.
Suppress Asavean Uprising
The Asavean plenum still wants Imperial mercenaries to support their efforts to quell the uprising in Emphedor and Marracoss. Unfortunately, with the legality of this opportunity in question, Imperial military captains cannot participate. While the Minister for Military Procurement has made provisions over the last few months, the Asaveans are not interested in employing purely defensive mercenaries going forward - either they must be free to participate freely in the war or the Plenum will have to look elsewhere.
If the legal challenges were addressed - through the Senate declaring war on the insurrectionists for example, then military unit captains would be able to select it from the paid work dropdown menu. A standard military unit would receive a payment of 11 crowns for taking the action, but a more powerful unit would receive an additional 52 rings for each rank of upgrade or enchantment. As before, each captain who sent their military unit to Asavea will also receive a report about the campaign there, included in their pack at the start of the next event - but they would also appear on the list of captains fighting in Asavea prepared by the Vigilance assembly.
As before, it is difficult to say for sure how effective additional military units will prove. All the civil service can say for certain is that if the Empire provides at least 5000 strength of military units to support Asavea, then the Imperial mercenaries will have a material impact that increases the chance of the Nemorians being victorious in the coming campaign season.
Whatever happens, it is likely to have significant diplomatic effects. The Asavean government will be very pleased to see Imperial mercenaries fighting beside their own forces. If the Empire provides significant military assistance to the Asaveans - if enough Imperial mercenaries travel to Asavea to help them win this war - then that will have an enormously positive impact on their view of the Empire. There will be clear diplomatic gains - but also potential spiritual benefits. At present acceptance of the Way in Asavea is hindered by the fact that many still judge the faith to be a threat to the Asavean way of life, which is perhaps understandable given the enmity between them and the Sumaah. All that suspicion would disappear however, if Imperial forces proved decisive in protecting Asavea in its hour of need.
It is increasingly clear that the Sumaah Republic has agents supporting the rebels, however. If Imperial mercenaries fight alongside the Plenum legions, the Republic will know about it and the House of People will not be pleased - especially if the Empire fields enough mercenaries to significantly impact the war.
Support Asavean Uprising
Alternatively, if the Senate addresses the legal challenges around Imperial captains supporting the rebel forces - such as by declaring war on the Asaveans but not the insurrectionists - it would be possible for Imperial military units to travel to Marracoss and Emphedor to help fight the Plenum legions.
if this were done then military unit captains would be able to select it from the paid work dropdown menu. A standard military unit would receive a payment of 7 crowns for taking the action, but a more powerful unit would receive an additional 36 rings for each rank of upgrade or enchantment. As before, each captain who sent their military unit to Asavea will also receive a report about the campaign there, included in their pack at the start of the next event - but they would also appear on the list of captains fighting in Asavea prepared by the Vigilance assembly.
As before, it is difficult to say for sure how effective additional military units will prove. By all accounts the insurrectionists are significantly weaker than the forces of the Asavean plenum, so on balance the Empire would expect them to lose, but their their strategy is opaque to the Empire. The civil service calculate that if the Empire provides at least 5,000 strength in military units to support the insurrection, then the Imperial mercenaries will be sufficient to allow the rebels hold their own against the superior Asavean forces for the season. This would constitute a significant show of visible support from the Empire which would also encourage some of the neutral nearby satrapies to see the potential for victory in the secessionist cause and consider joining the insurrection on the side of Marracoss and Emphedor.
Again, it is likely that supporting the rebels would have significant diplomatic effects. The Asavean government will be very unhappy to see Imperial mercenaries fighting against their forces, especially if the Empire provides significant military assistance to the rebels. It would provide further support to the Asavean suspicion of the Way to see Imperial and Sumaash forces fighting together against them, dramatically impeding the spread of the faith through Plenum-aligned society and potentially leading to active suppression of the virtues.
By contrast, if Imperial mercenaries fight alongside the insurrectionists against the Plenum, the Sumaah Republic is likely to see that as a sign in favour of the Empire and improve diplomatic relations between the two nations.
The True Mercenary Option
Alternatively, if the Senate were to find a way to allow Imperial mercenaries to participate in the war in Asavea without picking a side then both options would become available to Imperial military captains. Anyone taking either option would appear on the list arranged by the Vigilance assembly - but it would be impossible to tell which side a captain was planning to support only that they were shipping out for Asavea.
The diplomatic impact of simply allowing mercenary units to go where they will is difficult to calculate. However, both Asavea and Sumaah would see this move as significantly less incendiary than openly supporting one side or the other. The Asaveans would likely see this as a pragmatic economic decision - meaning that while they might be annoyed that Imperial mercenaries were fighting for the rebels they would still be pleased to see mercenaries fighting under their own legion banners, and would most likely make no connection between this decision and religion. By contrast, the Sumaah might well see this as a virtuous move supporting Prosperity and even Loyalty, and while they would be saddened to see Imperial mercenary captains supporting the Plenum, would still welcome the opportunity to fight alongside captains supporting the rebels.
The cruelty of the slavery has brought the Asavean Archipelago to the brink of open rebellion. We send named priest with 25 liao to call on all slaves to break their chains and take up weapons and fight with the peoples of Marracoss and Emphedor to achieve freedom by any means possible.Franco i Erigo, Synod Mandate, General Assembly. Autumn Equinox 382YE, Upheld (1040 - 274)
During the Autumn Equinox, the Synod had the opportunity to promote a number of mandates. One of those mandates would have sent Franco i Erigo to Asavea to encourage slaves to join the rebellion in the north - but in the end the Freeborn priest chose not to enact the mandate.
There are no specific mandates available this season to influence the situation in Asavea - if the Synod desires further opportunities they will need to present and support appropriate statements.