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 (Didienne) Questioning the Guardians (28th Board)

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PostSubject: (Didienne) Questioning the Guardians (28th Board)   Tue Apr 22, 2014 7:18 pm

Setting: Didienne
Board Number: 28
Time: July 8th, late afternoon.
Description: After the removal of the High Council from their stations, Guardian Feronia stays behind to oversee the transfer of the capital from a state of blissful peace to an emergency military state. Many changes are being made, and not everyone is convinced that the Guardians know best on this matter. After all, Dragons Cove has never had a reason to go to such extreme measures, and drastic change is unsettling.

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PostSubject: Re: (Didienne) Questioning the Guardians (28th Board)   Tue Apr 22, 2014 7:35 pm

The city of Didienne lay spread out before her in a panoramic view from the great balcony. Feroni was rough on her history, but she knew that this particular expensive expanse of marble porch was a fairly recent addition to the Council chambers. Quietly, she hoped that it was money well spent in better times, else she might feel guilty for admiring the quiet peace. There were few places where she could seek sanctuary from her duties, but here with a view of the white marble government buildings, the stone of noble houses, and the thatched roofs of the warehouses far on the horizon by the ocean was one of those rare places.

Her day had started before dawn when she had taken a tour of the Elite's barracks to determine the state of their condition. Feronia had struggled not to show her disappointment. The Elites were torn between their loyalty to the Guardians and their loyalty to the Council. Less than desirable of course given what Feronia was going to have them doing in the coming weeks. The new council of military officials was a hodgepodge lot at best, but most of them weren't bureaucrats, and so the early morning meeting about the changes of policy within the city had gone over much better than her last meeting with the High Council.

The late morning and early afternoon had been a study in patience as she dictated the new policies to a sea of scribes that regularly were coming and going as she talked, making as much noise as they well pleased when they scurried like little white-robed mice. She had been bombarded by lawmakers about this and that the entire time and partitioning her concentration between the paper-pushers and the scribes had nearly driven her mad.

Lunch was an affair of deal making and counter-dealing as her recently established council composed of individuals with questionable morality reported details of who-done-its and street gossips of varying importance talking at her all through her noon meal. She was still trying to pick out the honest from the ambitious and decide which to keep as things progressed, but the matter could only be properly handled with adequate time to test each of her new informants.

After that there had been a parade of the Elites at the capital for her inspection, and she had acquired some body guards along the way. Not that a Guardian needed protecting, but it was a show of status and a message to the people. The Elites were with the Guardians, and their authority was nearly as good as her own. Now her body guards were quietly waiting, keeping vigil. One was a delicate little gossamer dragon, the other a centaur. Glancing at them, Feronia heaved a large sigh. "You two are dismissed." She called, making no move to rise from her position on the balcony. "I do not believe I will be making any more public appearances today. Thank you for your service." Her words spoken, she paid the two no more mind. The gossamer seemed eager enough to obey any order that Feronia gave, and left immediately after giving the proper amount of decorum.

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PostSubject: Re: (Didienne) Questioning the Guardians (28th Board)   Wed Apr 23, 2014 5:35 pm

Taeski had not taken the usual route when it came to meeting with this Guardian, who thought it suddenly her place to completely reform the Elites herself. She had wanted to bull right in and demand to know what the hell Feronia was thinking, disrupting years of steady work with the Elites. But, apparently that was not the way to deal with a Guardian.
Taeski would still have her words. She had not run from the Peak at double the speed just to be told that she was now going to be denied. That was not how things worked, either when they concerned Taeski, or when there were important matters to be discussed. Or, yelled about.

She was none too pleased by what she had seen. Trying to be subtle, she had not declared herself properly to Guardian Feronia, but instead had taken up a place amongst the normal Elites, garbing herself in the lightest of clothing- if only to not stick out so terribly, although she wasn’t pleased about it- and watched what the Guardian had done with her day.
There wasn’t a thing she was going to leave alone, was there? What right did Guardian Feronia have, to suddenly declare herself over the Elites like this? Taeski had respect enough for the five, of course she did, but there was a difference between ruling from afar as they had done for so many years, and suddenly taking over everything as if their lessers needed sudden hand-holding. It brushed her up entirely the wrong way. They had been subsisting fine on their own; of course, not all things were perfectly up to scratch, but the Elites had been little more than a ceremonial guard for years, sorting out petty problems between farmers, and numbers had been dwindling, and all the problems they had encountered on top, but they had been doing the best they could. The Guardians should have seen that things were slipping years ago, rather than waiting so long. Information did not even travel quickly, these days; it had taken far too long for Taeski to hear of the rebels in the west. She was doubtful of whether she had heard the full story even now, snippets of information coming through here and there that were fresh even to the day.

Standing guard now for the big dragon, she thought about her day. She had not followed Feronia for the whole of it, only the afternoon at most, but it was enough. It was obvious the Guardian was acting on her own judgement alone, bypassing all of that the Elites used in their council. If this continued, they’d all be puppets under her claws within a week.
Already some of them were, it seemed, as her fellow guard eagerly departed with just the smallest of commands. Certainly they were trained… but there was a line between obeying, and following prior orders. Taeski had seen enough.
Her hooves clopped loudly on the stone floor as she stepped forwards next to Feronia, following her gaze out to the city before them. She ground the butt of her spear against the balcony, resting the length across one shoulder.
“You are not most pleased with our legions.” It was a statement, not a question.

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PostSubject: Re: (Didienne) Questioning the Guardians (28th Board)   Wed Apr 23, 2014 11:53 pm

The clopping of hooves distracted Feronia from what was going to be a session of faraway thoughts in the peace of the reddening light of late afternoon. She turned her head, watching as the centaur did not dismiss herself, but rather all but planted her hooves and refuse to budge. The smallest of smiles twitched at the corner of Feronia’s lips. Ah, to be young again.

She was not disappointed in the Elite’s opening statement and turned her gaze back out onto the city spread out before her, drawing in a deep breath and took her sweet time in giving reply. Certainly plenty time enough to let the Elite think that she was being ignored. “I am pleased with very little these days.” Feronia admitted after she deemed the silence to have stretched long enough. “I have heard very little praise for the work that I am doing here, save for those that think they can benefit from dripping honeyed words from their lips. Tell me, Elite, are you offended with my meddling?” Feronia turned her head again in a slow sweep, studying the centaur from head to tail. “Does all of this strike you as unfair, or perhaps demeaning to your station? Be candid with me, now.”

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PostSubject: Re: (Didienne) Questioning the Guardians (28th Board)   Thu Apr 24, 2014 2:15 pm

There was not much that would have lightened Taeski's heart to hear from Feronia's mouth, but what did come from the Guardian was far from pleasant to hear. It seemed like this was not going to be the easiest of conversations.
She had to pause and think herself before responding. If only to restrain herself from saying something that would just get her kicked out of Feronia's presence.
"Praise. You want praise for a day's work, when the rest of us have been trying for years in your place?" Oh, that had not been a prime complaint to speak to Taeski about. "You want praise for completely overturning everything that has been in place, with not a blink towards us who have worked our ways up the ladder through hard work and effort? You won't be getting any from me, Guardian." There had been a system in place, and although it was far from perfect, it had worked, well enough. Now they had been made to look like fools, scurrying after this Guardian who thought herself so wise, but did not think of the lost respect those who were supposed to be commanders and the elite of the Elites. Everything would fall to pieces without the structure that the Elites were built on.

Taeski drew her gaze back up to Feronia boldly; she had asked her to be blunt, and the centaur was the best at that. Yes, it was demeaning. The Guardian had time on her side, but she had been far from actively involved in their cause for a long time.

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PostSubject: Re: (Didienne) Questioning the Guardians (28th Board)   Thu Apr 24, 2014 2:28 pm

Feronia’s expression changed to something between amused and surprised to hear the centaur’s little tirade. She almost laughed at the audacity of it, her lips moving slightly to form a little bit of a smile. “You seem to misunderstand me, Elite.” She replied in a gentle tone, unflinching from the centaur’s gaze. “I do not expect praise, or even demand it. I expect cooperation.” Her gentle tone turned slightly steely, and she swung her gaze out to the city beyond. “You clearly have more personality than respect for your superiors. That is a good trait to have when people’s lives are on the line and soldiers with more care for their career than the welfare of others are handing out the orders. Tell me, how long have you worn the mantle of Elite? Why did you join the order?”

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PostSubject: Re: (Didienne) Questioning the Guardians (28th Board)   Fri Apr 25, 2014 1:15 pm

Cooperation, perhaps the Guardian would have; although less when she just barged in and took command. The lower Elites would obey her, of course, she was a Guardian, but Taeski knew for a fact that some of her associates would take very, very poorly to such a thing. Certainly worst than she had. Praise certainly didn’t come easy though, and it definitely wouldn’t come through overturning everything that was known for something utterly new.
She looked shrewedly at Feronia as she spoke of superiors. She really don’t know who I am, does she? It didn’t really improve Taeski’s opinion. Barging in to take over, and hadn’t even taken note of who was at the top of the ranks… Not the way to make friends amongst those who were rather influential within the Elites.
“I think you’ll find I am one of the superiors. Unless you were referring to yourself, in which case, I do not see you working your way up the Elite ranks like the rest of us.” She shifted from one back hoof to another, relaxed enough to look at, but gently simmering underneath. Was she one of these career Elites that Feronia so neatly lumped them all into? “Council Elite Swiftfoot.” Perhaps at your service. “I’ve been serving twenty years, and I’d think I’ve given my dues in that time.”

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PostSubject: Re: (Didienne) Questioning the Guardians (28th Board)   Sun Apr 27, 2014 11:10 pm

“Swiftfoot…” Feronia tested the name on her tongue, mulling over the name briefly. “I do not believe that I have ever had the pleasure of making your acquaintence. Although, given your naked hostility, I doubt that the meeting would have been pleasurable for either of us.” The Guardian heaved a huge sigh, tilting her head slightly to the side before looking back down at the centaur. “So, Council Elite, is this how you handle all of your diplomatic relations? You have spent twenty years in this occupation, and yet when myself and my scale-brothers came to this city, a riot came to us. A riot! The people of the city of Didienne marched on the High Council with grievances strong enough to warrant disobedience.”

Feronia lifted one of her paws, pointing her claw at the Elite’s crest of station. “So, Council Elite, at what point were you going to use your superior station to correct the status of the Council along with your brothers in arms? It is in your job to communicate with them regularly, after all. Or did that change while I wasn’t looking?” Her lips curled back in a small sneer and she dropped her paw back on the ground, tucking it underneath her breast with the other one and heaved a huge breath. “Either way, the situation is going to be amended. Unlike the Council, I plan to take responsibility for my errors. I suggest that you prepare to do the same.”

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PostSubject: Re: (Didienne) Questioning the Guardians (28th Board)   Sat May 03, 2014 6:42 pm

No, you haven’t had the pleasure of my acquaintance, because you’ve been off for years gallivanting without barely an appearance to even tell the rest of us you were still alive. Taeski had to mind her tongue. Hopefully the Guardian couldn’t read minds though, otherwise she would have been party to some even more acidic words than those that the centaur did choose to speak.
“A riot; my Elites must have looked on that as a change from their normal drills, as that is not a common occurrence. Perhaps you provoked them.” Feronia seemed rather good at that.

Taeski fondled her spear between her hands as the dragon pointed a claw to her, trying to palm off this whole mess on her personally. Really, from another, it could have been seen as childish. Oh, you’ve all been doing a terrible job, you’re failures, look at the mess of this place, you obviously can’t do a thing without me overseeing every tiny little detail. No, it was not like that. No, she would not be belittled by this absent ‘god’.
“Perhaps you have spoken to a different Council to the one that I’ve had to wrestle with, because you try one tiny thing with them, and it’s a year before you’ve even got a permit to do a fraction of the thing you first asked for. And you want me to go overturning everything myself? Please. Even you can’t do that- riots in the streets.” She waved out to the open city in front of them, quiet… for now. “There’s a thousand more errors on your shoulders than there are mine.”

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PostSubject: Re: (Didienne) Questioning the Guardians (28th Board)   Sat May 03, 2014 7:28 pm

Feronia heaved a huge sigh. “Why am I not surprised to still hear nothing of taking responsibility for your station?” Unfolding her paws, Feronia stood from her position, stretching her wings briefly before draping them against her back once more. She nodded her head toward the city before them. “I slept as the island slept. There was peace, no blood, no war, no riots. Yet the appearance of the Guardians was enough to set the people stirring with rage, and without us even having to say a single word to the masses to fan the flames.” She nodded once more at the centaur, gesturing for her to follow and began walking the length of the balcony.

“I do not believe I asked if you, all by your lonesome, had tried to change the Council. I believe I asked if you and your brothers in arms had been the ones to try. I unfortunately know the answer to that query.” At the edge of the balcony, she stopped, overlooking a tower that had been erected some centuries ago. It was inscribed at the very top with gargoyles sculpted in the visage of the five guardians, below it rows of stained glass rose windows of figures bearing the mantle of councilors. “The Elites and the Council were supposed to represent beacons of hope. They were established as leaders of this nation. Once upon a time, it was the men and women who sat in the seats and bore the crests who made the station what it was, not the other way around. The honor of the station has been corrupted, and that was not my doing. Nor was it the doing of the other Guardians.

“That fall from grace sits entirely on the shoulders of yourself and your forerunners.” Feronia leveled a look at Taeski, her gaze stern and a little bit disappointed. “We gave the Elites and the Council their oaths, their duties, and their mission. It was up to you to carry that out and continue to provide the light and hope that all the races of Dragons Cove would need. We gave the races of men, fairy, and dragon the opportunity to forge their own path and make for themselves a society that would embrace all. This whole episode has only proven how utterly wrong we were in placing such high hopes in your races.” Feronia drew another deep, long breath, her face softening slightly, turning more passive.

“There is only one error sitting upon my shoulders, Council Elite Taeski. That error was believing that you could function without us there to hold your hand and keep you from straying off the path we had paved for you. The Council arrogantly refused to come to terms with this reality, so I struck them down. The Elites are beside themselves without their Council masters pulling their strings and spoon feeding them directions. What is worse, we have an invading army from across the sea that will spread blood and death across the face of Dragons Cove, and there is not a single thing that our crippled government body can do about it in its current state. The era for patience and gentle handling has come to an abrupt halt, and I will not make the same mistake twice. So I am sorry if this offends you, but it is the way it must be. You cannot blame me for my absence and then complain when I finally grant the guidance that you have been craving. We no longer have time for hypocrisy.”

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PostSubject: Re: (Didienne) Questioning the Guardians (28th Board)   Fri Jun 06, 2014 8:29 pm

“I have taken responsibility!” The words were loud and indignant from Taeski’s lips, the constant accusations from Feronia starting to irk the centaur. She was not easily angered, but the apathy and blame that dripped from the dragon’s mouth onto all that she had strived for for years was like a knife to her side. Taeski did not ask for recognition or appreciation, but she did not like that what she was given instead was a knife to her own work, and blame for others’ poor conduct.
“We have kept the peace for all the time that you weren’t here. You’ve been absent for years. What did you expect, on your return? Fanfares? You’ve been letting down the people for every problem they’ve had, and people remember the bad better than the good.” Taeski certainly would be remembering this, her opinion of the Guardians dropping like a rock.

Clopping after the dragon with her fingers wound tightly around her spear, the dislike was quite clear on her face. “What am I supposed to do about those who were Elites before me, when they are history now? I can’t change history, especially when I wasn’t here for it. You were around though.” She pointed her spear-tip at Feronia, her hooves skittering on the smooth stone underfoot. “Criticise all you want, but you’ve been negligent. We’ve tried our best, we’ve kept the peace in this day, but what do you want? Instant perfection?”
Her hoof kicked up sparks this time as she struck it against the ground. “You are not an innocent in this, however much you try to lay the blame on my soldiers. And now, you have ripped out all confidence in us completely!”

Perhaps it would have been better thought of Feronia to not let Taeski grow angry, as she was now; the Guardian dragon, for all her years, had not spoken well to justify her actions and placate the centaur. “The good we have done is disregarded now, because you have shown you give us no trust! The citizens of Dragons’ Cove will not show us any now either; who is it you expect to restore the peace? You cannot yourself, when the people riot at the sight of you. How can you even understand the situation, when you have not been here? And yet, you think still that your opinion is so much better than all the rest of us.” It was prehistoric.

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PostSubject: Re: (Didienne) Questioning the Guardians (28th Board)   Mon Jun 09, 2014 6:13 pm

Feronia by the nature of her existence was a patient creature. She had an innumerable amount of experience dealing with creatures of lesser knowledge who were under the impression that they knew everything to shave down the rough edges of her personality. There were few things that could spark her legendarily short temper, but this centaur was rapidly wearing on a nerve that had been exposed and raw ever since she set foot in Didienne. "Your indignant behavior is unbecoming of your station, Council Elite." Feronia's voice was dry, her gaze narrow. "When I gave you leave to express yourself candidly, I did not expect you to become belligerent. I trusted that as an extension of the Council and an accomplished diplomat on their behalf, that you would know how to properly handle yourself in a situation where you are entertaining a conversation with someone you clearly disagree with." Her tone was icy as she delivered this stern reminder. Feronia was disappointed that the bar for such a prestigious position had been dropped so low and gathered the tattered edges of her patience together with a deep breath.

"Let me state this very clearly for you so that there can be no mistake: I expect obedience from the Elites and the Council. That is all. War is coming. True, bloody, vicious war. War that you cannot fathom, because it has not happened on Dragons Cove in too many ages to count. Only myself and my brothers and sister of scales know what horrors will shortly be unleashed upon the world and we are going to use all of our knowledge and power to try and mitigate what is coming." Feronia locked her gaze to Taeski, her resolve as an ancient warrior long dormant now surfacing again after hundred of years of idleness. "I trusted the Council to fairly govern the people. They failed, and lost my trust. I trusted the Elites to protect the people and the Council. They failed that when a mob entered the High Council chambers, and so too did the Elites lose my trust.

"Trust is not something that you gain back by whining like a child. I am not whining. I am acting, and it is those actions that will earn back the trust in the Guardians. I will pull the Elites out of their own squalor if I must, and the Council is being reshaped back into its glory. Those that try to cling to the current state of inequity will be swept aside, because I have no time to reform those who are stubborn enough to resist. War is coming." Her words were tinged with a low, primal growl that rumbled deep in her chest. "And before the end of it we will lose hundreds of lives, cities will fall, and there will be great suffering. But it will be worth it, because the alternative is utter destruction of all life as we know it. I expect absolute obedience, because without it Dragons Cove is lost."

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