Scarlet Sky Conspiracy

RY 767 Resplendent Water - Carmela Contarini

Resplendent Water 7, RY 767

What in the actual fuck, Realm.

What in the actual fuck.

I have been on this island for this long and nobody told me about ice cream?!

I've been tearing my hair out with worry for weeks and it takes a bunch of kids to introduce me to ice cream? WORDS will be had.

The rest of the letter goes on an entirely harmless tear about hitherto-secret frozen confections.

An awful lot of people needing funds now. Loans to Aisa, mercenaries to Quelaana (still waiting to hear back from the company I sent overtures to), now exotic material components for Akashan? I said I had money, not that I was a national economy unto myself. Still, I'll see what I can do.

So, let's see. My attempts at tracking down the source of my Magistrate's assassin have hit a dead end. But, I've got a symbol that might be something significant – a golden crane, made of paper. I found it in what was supposed to be a clandestine meeting place – an inn which turned out to have been abandoned for years (really, I checked) and devoid of anything helpful for magical communication (hearths, trees, coins, beehives, mirrors, charcoal, locusts, bird's nests). Too well abandoned for years; if it had really been so, even if the squatters had left it alone, birds and bats would've started moving in. Everything about this stinks of Titus' friends in the dark, so I guess I'm happy to have merited attention above my station.

On the other hand I'm not entirely sure what to do about an enemy that can run to Heaven when endangered, and might be directing all this from there without ever leaving.

On to things that don't relate to a slowly descending pendulum aiming for my neck: so, Fate must have a sense of humor because a metric fuckton of refugees have started to show up on my doorstep, families and all. Apparently "Magistrates won't declare you outlaw and have the Houses take all your stuff because you're in the way" and "you might actually be looked after if your father died fighting for the Realm" is a huge step up from the surrounding regions, because haha, it turns out that the ideals that Realmsters hold so dear are mostly just words once you stop being rich and peaceful. Turns out you're just as barbaric as everyone else! Honestly, it's kind of gratifying to see; outside my tents is a scene that wouldn't be out of place in the dirtiest, nastiest parts of the Threshold. So in spite of how much of a national embarrassment it probably is to the dragons next door, I'm sort of in my element! I just executed a slave trader for trying to kidnap one of the kids I'm looking after (hey, remember how that sort of thing Absolutely Did Not Happen On the Isle?) Feels like home already!

Anyway, long story short I don't have the manpower, the expertise or the resources to take care of these people, so I'm allying the Legion Magisterial with the local chapter of the Immaculate Order to handle the crisis. They're in trouble too; most of the Dragons with dynastic ties have been taking 'leaves of absence' that conveniently place them near or within their family's lands (see again: ideals being just words), and lost eggs are pursuing spiritual matters (keeping gods in line, ancient wards in place, that sort of thing). So the Order that I'm working with here is a collection of enthusiastic but underfunded mortals who have been desperate for help for some time now. They won't be easy to bring under my sway, but they seem to have their shit together.

So the relevant part of that is that I'm shaping up to acquire religious power, military power and legal power. I will leave Aisa to enumerate the things you need to be an Empress; what I seem to be developing are the things you need to be a Queen. If I avoid getting beheaded (by no means certain), I… have basically accidentally started to create a splinter kingdom?

That'll be fun, I'm sure. It's quite a fixer-upper as it stands.

Carmela Contarini