I must say that Zara is fitting into her new life as well as I had hoped. She has been rising early in the morning to make everything ready for my day before I wake, then dashing off to listen in on one of the first year classes in thaumaturgy. Do not fear that she is neglecting her normal studies either, however – I have arranged for one of the Patricians I aided last month to serve as her tutor, teaching her mathematics and history every afternoon before evening classes end…
(Members of the conspiracy will see the following)
Honored members of the Scarlet Sky Conspiracy, it is time we make our first coordinated move. We can, in one stroke, free the Slave Coast, place House Tepet iredimibly in our debt, and stake my claim to the moral authority so many elders of the dynasty have forsaken. I have a proposal to place before you all.
It begins by throwing the Slave Coast into open revolt.
Or rather, somewhat less dramatically, it begins with me meeting with the remaining leadership of house Tepet to see if they are interested in backing us, and extending subtle feelers to house Cynis. If the great houses are not interested in playing their parts, then no one need risk their lives.
But assuming a level of cooperation, the next step is convincing house Cynis that their best bet is to abandon the project, rather than crush the northern revolt with much bloodshed. This is where house Tepet comes in. With the Tepet legions destroyed, most of their satrapies are also in open revolt – but some of them could be brought to heel with no more than a show of force, which Cynis can muster easily but Tepet is incapable of.
I can mediate a trade – the Slave Coast, a slowly exploding powder keg, in return for some of the rich Tepet lands of the south-east. I hope that house Cynis will be only too glad to make the trade. House Tepet I will have to convince the hard way, that it is an opportunity rather than a trap, but it will help that this is easy to cast as a moral move as well as an expedient one. It keeps the Realm strong, maintains peace in the Threshold, and, truly, the members of the Dynasty are not as insensitive to plights of other nations as we may seem. It is only seldom that we are given a chance to act on our sympathies without compromising our politics.
With the region no longer under Cynis control, we can move the new Legion Magisterial north, where it will prove completely effective at ending the revolt. A magistrate, if given the support of the ruling house (as Tepet will give him), has almost unlimited authority – enough to end the revolt simply by granting its demands. The Empress' justice can be served, order restored, and the Slave Coast granted permission to change itself for the better on the condition that it pay tribute.
That ought to make Carmela look damn good. It will also grant her men their first taste of combat, for surely not all the revolutionaries will be happy to remain under the Realm's guidance, even if the drug induced stupor over the country is lifted. The northern coasts will remain under Realm control, but in return for continuing to pay tribute, they can be granted a great deal more autonomy by their new overlords. Tepet is in no position to make unreasonable demands. House Tepet will owe us a great debt. They are in vital need of a change for the better in their fortunes. A tribute paying satrapy is not enough to return their power, but it is enough to grant them hope – and for the purposes of gaining their gratitude, that is even better.
Such a radical move will require everyone's support, and temporarily at least, place on opposing sides of physical violence – Ferem Quelaana and her people against the Realm. It is dangerous, but I believe the potential is worth the risk. What do you all say? Can it be done, and should it be? I will not set anything in motion without your approval.
I have much other news to share this month, but wished to present this possibility immediately, rather than waiting while I decide which new secrets of mine I can share and which I must hold in trust for their owners.
Yours in leveraging right into might (might it be possible?),
- Mnemon Aisa
Scarlet Sky Conspiracy
RY 767 Resplendent Water - Mnemon Aisa