Will of the Helm, Part IV: Meetings Three

With the Free City beset on all sides by calamity, the Council of Five made haste to act in the best interest of the people. Confident that the Hammer of the Dawn could contain the plague after Councilor Qayyam besought their aid, Holgraid, Tirriki, and Rhav sought to entreat similar cooperation from the other nations of Sapience. Official missives were sent from the desks of each councilor, requesting that a delegation from the cities meet with them upon an individual basis within Delve’s governmental district.

The Dragon of the North was the first to meet with Delve’s Councilor Tirriki, a notable bureaucrat and senior tax collector. The councilor explained that famine had continued to wrack the people of the city, driving civil unrest and culling the city’s population in droves as starvation took its toll. The Tarpen told the Spirean delegates that Kull Evrenn had confirmed that the eld’akathi’s death had unleashed a tide of misfortune and disaster upon Delve, the debt of accumulated ill will no longer held at bay now that Aiillassa’s protective power had been stripped from the city. She insisted that these catastrophes would continue to befall the city for so long as the newborn was unfound, but that the Prelate and his associates already sought the being by their own means.

Briefed upon the nature of the grain spoilage and the pests plaguing crops, the Northern conclaves were swift to propose ideas to the Tarpen. Anything from Lgakt manipulation to Ankyrean preservation was brought to the table as the excited citizens supplied idea after idea to the leader buried in paperwork. She stressed to those gathered that she would need an official proposal to review, so as to put any available resources at her disposal behind such a joint effort, before dismissing them. When pressed upon the nature of payment, Councilor Tirriki merely stated that she would find a way to provide compensation for the North’s efforts, with the allowance that the solution would serve in future events of catastrophe. With all matters discussed, the northerners departed from the embassy, eager to draw up documentation that would outline their intent to aid the Free City of Delve.

The Sanguine Fist was next to meet with Delve’s leadership, with Rhav Maslak serving as their point of contact. The gruff Golban battlemaster seethed over Lord-Provost Wahelei’s foolishness in his attempts to retake Helba, mentioning that the losses had stretched the city’s resources thin where it pertained to security and protection of citizens. He went on to explain the circumstances of the current campaign to the imperial officers gathered in the embassy, mentioning that an all out assault would not be a fruitful endeavor. Relaying the meager information of his scouts, the Unbroken warrior mentioned that the Shil’tok were constructing a tunnel between the mines of Helba and the town proper.

Though the meeting was carried out in an orderly fashion, the imperial leaders were not bereft of question or skepticism. It was Maeve Visara that brought up the clear inconsistency in Delve’s request for aid, and she even went so far as to point out that the city had declined to assist in the recent War of Night. Though Rhav insisted that he had heard no such request, he was swift to place blame at Tirriki’s feet, calling her a bureaucrat with a love for paperwork. Several imperial servants were quick to supply ideas, with Rijetta Alhazrad championing the idea of weaponizing the dead to spread plague within the Shil’tok’s entrenched position inside the village. Towards the end of the meeting, Maeve once again spoke up and inquired upon the nature of the eld’akathi’s protection, with Rhav providing an analogy born in soldiery: the Golban claimed that Aiillassa’s protection was akin to a shield guarding a marching fist of soldiers, protecting from all manner of danger. With Warleader Bulrok’s assurances that the city would have its answer one way or another, the imperial delegation departed to think upon their stance and the final answer they would provide.

In the final hours of the 21st of Lleian, the Heartwood met with Councilor Holgraid. The Golban woman was as swift as her fellows in engaging Sapience’s delegates, eagerly explaining that she sought assistance with tackling the most mysterious of Delve’s problems: death. Holgraid echoed the sentiments of her fellow councilors in her explanation, freely sharing Prelate Kull’s wisdom: that the eld’akathi’s death had visited catastrophes of fate, fortune, and probability upon the Free City. The councilors admitted that they had experienced prescient visions in the last few weeks, their shamanic senses piqued by these improbable deaths. Though her surprise was obvious, Holgraid was quick to recover, citing this supernatural connection to death itself as a boon in the work she would soon ask the Duirani people to assist with. Outlining that Muadi’s cults were overwhelmed with the recent deaths due to famine, war, and parasitic plague, she sought aid in ensuring that these unnatural, unlucky demises were averted in as great a quantity as could be managed – as well as seeing to the proper burial of those deaths that could not be prevented.

Moving on to more pressing matters, Councilor Holgraid admitted that she would require aid with another matter: investigation of the cult responsible for Aiillassa’s death. Explaining that the Council of Five believed that it was a plot engineered by Drakkenmont, the Golban woman lamented that Adesot, leader of the Brass Jackals, was not thoroughly questioned before Lord-Provost Wahelei saw to his execution. Though the prevalent faith of the Free City forbade the Council from seeking answers from those within Muadi’s holy halls, Holgraid requested that the Duirani Council act in her stead and utilize their own ritualism to commune with Adesot’s wayward soul to find answers. The Golban’s second request was met with reluctance and unease, with Duirani councilors insisting they would need to meditate upon the matter before providing Holgraid their response in the coming weeks.

Delve’s survival continues to hang in the balance as the Free City waits for aid promised and withheld…

Penned by my hand on Kinsday, the 22nd of Lleian, in the year 506 MA.
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