Xorus (prime)/Letters/Letter to the Town Council Concerning Regional Sovereignty - 01-09-5123

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Subject: Letter to the Town Council Concerning Regional Sovereignty on 01/11/2023 12:36 AM EST
Category: Cities, Towns, and Outposts
Topic: Wehnimer's Landing
Post: 15381

Server: GemStone IV Official
Channel: Wehnimer's Landing
Date: 01/10/2023

Storyline: North by Northwest and Winter War

To the Town Council of Wehnimer's Landing:

In light of the turmoil in world affairs, I must offer warning on our shifting predicament. When House Vaalor in 5118 Modern Era demanded recompense in apology for the past transgressions of Wehnimer's Landing --- the depredations of Barnom Slim upon Vaalor as "Lich King" and the arrest of Illistim scholars by Mayor Walkar Wellington, and their subsequent torture and murder by krolvin marauders --- it was in the form of "returning" the wrongly taken Elven settlement near the Red Forest. In the most striking and fortuitous of coincidences, this village happened to be a vital choke point in the northwestern trade routes by both land and river, and controlled the access toward their western borders. 

Mayor Lylia Rashere graciously acknowledged this deep historical injustice on our part, and as her chief adviser, we both emphasized the wisdom of giving that land to House Vaalor. Mind you, over misguided and ultimately futile objections, quibbling that it was not ours to gift.

This was an implicit recognition of the surrounding environs as the sovereign territory of Wehnimer's Landing. Much as the Elven village is south of the Locksmehr River, so too was there much land between here and there, contiguous with the whole width of Vornavis to Talador. These very lands have now been declared instead the sovereign territory of the Barony of Darkstone, under the writ of the Northern Sentinel, Earl Eddric Jovery of North Hendor. 

There are a number of sources for this unfortunate turn of events; some of which may be blamed on the Illistim court, whilst others are mostly the fault of poor choices by Wehnimer's Landing. The Valley of Gold treaty in particular and its outgrowths are responsible for gelding our deterrent, and emboldening the Empire when it would otherwise have lacked the will to hazard resources from its war torn baronies. Much of the blame however is due to our Marshal at the time of the Elven settlement question, which was then part of the Town Council, for the council failed to fully cooperate with our policy on this matter. By deferring to the Empire, they allowed the Empire to give that land instead, thus reasserting its own claims. Thadston as you know was once the Knight Commander of the neighboring imperial fortress, built under him to enforce our status as a protectorate of Tamzyrr, and now as Mayor remains a close personal relation of the Northern Sentinel.

Without recapitulating the whole history of events, I will say that the present weapons and defense arrangement with the future Baron Elidal Dhenin of Darkstone is placing Wehnimer's Landing in contradiction with its prior commitments, namely its agreement with the Czag Dubra of Glaoveln to not interfere in the future Krol invasion of the Deadfall. Tyrrax will be invading the Barony of Darkstone, and he will mount his offensive through our side of the border.

With the Empire now importing Taladorians to make flesh their annexation --- which is bizarrely subsidized by House Illistim continuing to undermine its own military alliances and its mistaken notions of aiding "refugees," who once waged war on us and whose very presence is inciting the violence from which they need aid, while the Empire itself is conspicuously not committing its own material resources and thus draining our own --- in much the same fashion it absorbed the Kingdom of Torre, and many other realms in its history of conquest, the Landing must take stock of what is left of its strategic position. 

The borders of the Barony of Darkstone, as now written, at no point touch Darkstone Bay. This makes it plain that they will eventually be moved further north and encompass this town. The Vaalorian sphere of influence is the only reason the northern marches have temporarily halted at the Locksmehr River. For this you are all welcome.

What irony that with the annihilation of Talador our lands should instead become forfeit to it by imperial fiat! The Earl could have spared us the war. Perhaps the Lysierian Hills will one day be ruled by a Hochstib from the seat of Gryphon Hold.

Whether it is a single Barony or split between two Barons, the whole rim of Darkstone Bay will eventually be annexed. Briarmoon Cove will be on the edge of this new borderland. Thus, Briarmoon Cove has made the eminently reasonable and wise decision to enter an exclusive trade agreement with House Vaalor, which has unfettered military movement in the air and lands to its east. (Notwithstanding the illogical and self-destructive repeated attempts by Icemule Trace to renege on its apologies and wriggle out of its commitments to House Vaalor.) Had more sage counsel prevailed in Wehnimer's Landing in the past several years, we would not now be in our present situation of losing half our territory to the Empire.

Has not the end of Chaston's Edict, you might ask, softened the heart of Vaalor, appealing to its famed virtues of equality and racial harmony? It is an absurdity. The issue with Chaston's Edict is not that Elves were unable to own land and property, for after all, that is how the Elven Nations has always conducted its own affairs. It was that existing property was seized by the Sun Throne, and as the Empire expanded by swallowing its neighbors, so too did this theft of assets. 

And so the rescinding of Chaston's Edict has essentially no meaning without the return of what was taken. This freedom to now buy back what was stolen, with no guarantee that a future heir will not simply take that as well, is a fool's bargain. The Elves certainly will not respond in kind, allowing totally unfettered immigration.

Make no mistake. The Elven courts are mostly unmoved by the revocation of Chaston's Edict, which seems little more than a sugar coating on its renewed theft of lands, and they are not warmed by the Valley of Gold. The Illistim policy toward the West is only causing friction with the other Great Houses. Courtiers undoubtedly whisper among themselves how the Mirror herself, only a few years ago, was vehemently opposed to aiding the West. Ask Lylia how she nearly lost her head, when she cracked the Mirror. 

In this there is great opportunity. What the town council should do, unless it wishes to ultimately become subjects of the Sun Throne, is reach similar accommodations with House Vaalor. Should you treat with their High Lord Chamberlain, Retassal er'Anlan Vaalor --- though I would urge you to delegate this to our former Mayor Lylia, thus illustrating our continuity of governance and court protocol --- I would suggest the following: 

The Turamzzyrian Empire has exhausted its "imperial protectorate" claim by demarcating its northern border. Though we dispute the legitimacy of their illegal seizure of our southern lands, their forfeiture of the north is manifest and self-evident, and so the remaining territory up to the limits of that claimed by Ice Mule Trace and Briarmoon Cove are the sovereign dominion of Wehnimer's Landing. Widely recognized as the Kingdom of Darkstone by all peoples, in all times and places, and by all ancestral rights of our founding monarch --- the great Rone Wehnimer, first of his name and leader among men, whose claim is held upon all lands touched by the waters of Darkstone Bay. Issued from his throne at Darkstone Castle, now under siege by a foreign usurper.

In a most terrible turn of further misfortune, the krolvin who violated Illistim's scholars are a resurgent threat, now led by a far more clever warlord. The nefarious force behind the theft of the Ravager. There are even dark rumors of the return of the lich Barnom Slim, who so unjustly accosted House Vaalor some years ago, said to have been brought back from his banishment in an infernal demonic realm by an Adjudicator of the Hall of Mages. Indeed. Such is the danger to all civilized peoples that we humbly request Vaalorian forces patrol our territory up through Darkstone Bay, until such time the krolvin are expelled and Glaoveln is returned to its ancestral rulers.

The High Lord Chamberlain I feel may be convinced of the wisdom of this and speak on our behalf to his Sovereign Commander. In this fashion the Turamzzyrian Empire will not be able to expand further without risking a great war. You will then have to decide how to handle Mayor Thadston and make budget for windows.

By my hand,

Lord Xorus Kul'shin
Former Mayoral Advisor
9th Lormesta, 5123 Modern Era
Year 54,020 of House Vaalor  (IC Status: Semi-Private)

(OOC: Xorus is being slick and coy on some points. For example, he states the "only" reason for halting the northern border at the river is because of Vaalorian influence, and their control of the eastern river. But other parts of his argument tacitly acknowledge the Empire is importing loyal citizens to the adjacent land and make the imperial population there bigger than the Landing, so that the Landing becomes increasingly more dependent on the Barony over time and will itself increasingly be populated by imperial citizens, which will make it much harder for the Landing to resist being swallowed later. He is overstating Thadston's imperial alignment. Thadston's actual position was more about staying out of the way of what the two big players were going to do anyway. He is intentionally glossing over the use of economic leverage on Icemule with the Briarmoon Cove deal as a disciplinary action by the Vaalorian rulers. The over-the-top rhetoric is meant as coded language for Retassal. Per usual, he is not being a reliable narrator, masking his own interests.

This was written ten days before King Qalinor raised a defensive posture against the Darkstone Bay Consortium to guard all elven settlements. It is not yet clear if this is only a pretense to puff against the Empire without recognizing the Barony of Darkstone, or if they also have a legitimate grievance with Amos, who is known for instance to import weapons and more recently juggernaut equipment from the dwarves past that Vaalorian holding. It was written 19 days prior to Earl Jovery responding to a letter from the town council of Wehnimer's Landing, refusing to revoke the protectorate and explicitly spelling out its legal status as a feudal dominion.)