Xorus (prime)/Letters/Analysis of the Great Powers Decision on the Elven Village Question - 08-21-5118

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Subject: Re: Dual Decisions on the Elven Village (August 16 story recap) on 08/21/2018 09:42 AM EDT
Category: Cities, Towns, and Outposts
Topic: Wehnimer's Landing
Post: 13439

Storyline: Landing vs. Vaalor on the Elven Village

The envelope on the Mayor's desk in Moot Hall is sealed with the wax imprint of a six-taloned hand.

In consulting the declarations of the three powers in question, there were no surprises on the actions of House Vaalor and the Turamzzyrian Empire. Concerning the Imperial response there was the expected ultimatum concerning the lands surrounding this village, as well as appeasement on the point itself as they are unwilling to provoke war over a few tents in a strategically indefensible position. Breshon expresses idealistic and romantic sentiments of the Wyrdeep Elves utterly out of place when speaking of the Great Houses. One may only presume this is his youth, waxing poetic on harmony to a military, as well as his familial identity which holds no relevance to the Vaalor.

(A) The Imperial Decree

The salient points are as follows: Breshon asserts he is speaking on behalf of the Empire, but does not issue the threat against expansionism from the hand of a higher voice, which might be intended to avoid the appearance of an excess of hostility. The Vaalor in turn do not dignify him by name, calling him a mere "representative" of the Empire. This was likely regarded as a sign of weakness or even an insult in the Wyvern Keep. Breshon once again asserts the surrounding lands as an imperial protectorate, implicitly denying the right of military movements. The substance of this is that the Empire, rather than Wehnimer's Landing, is granting this village (and nothing else) to the East.

Breshon has officially recognized their claim upon the village, but issues it to the "Elven Nations" rather than "House Vaalor." This signals that the Empire will regard unilateral expansion or aggression by the Vaalor as an act by the United City-States, with the implication that it is upon the other Great Houses to restrain their cousins. This is a threat of escalation that was likely taken instead as a sign of weakness. The Vaalor had not yet stated the premise of their rights over these settlers. It was foolish to acknowledge such "right" rather than merely granting the land as an act of generosity. It would be like signing a contract in perpetuity without first knowing its details or the fine print.

(B) The Vaalorian Decree

King Qalinor Vaalor has affirmed the vision that was expressed by his Lord Chamberlain. There were three possibilities for the basis of their claim of rights over these villagers, listed in order of increasing scope and aggression: (1) The Red Forest is part of their own sovereign lands and this village is upon its western border. (2) The right of Great Houses to claim the lands settled by their expatriate descendants. (3) The right to reclaim any land or people once controlled by House Vaalor or the Elven Empire.

The Crown has signaled it is the second and third. The phrase "the return of lands currently occupied by elves" treats the second as motivation rather than the ultimate scope of ambitions. The continued logic of the second alone may one day be expanded to the forests all along the eastern side of the Turamzzyrian Empire. The assertion of descent from more than twenty thousand years ago speaks to its universality. It implies that there is no distance of descent which grants Elves independence from their ancestral Houses.

The phrase "regardless of their lineage" signals the Vaalor assert the right to make claims of protection out of lands exposed to the "chaos of men" which are occupied by elven settlers whatever their descent. They do not admit the necessity of Vaalorian ancestry. They will be "negotiating" a mutually beneficial "accord" with the village, though this is concerned with local autonomy rather than sovereignty. It amounts to settling the conditions of their peaceful submission. This is now an internal affair. It would be surprising if they so much as acknowledged, much less honored, the ill-advised request by our Town Council for a grace period to move any of "the red elves" who might object.

(C) The Town Council

I will not belabor the point of the infelicities and poor wording choices by Thadston. In terms of our long-run interests the Vaalorian insertion is a limited win toward the end of dynamic equilibrium. In my own opinion we will need a new council to properly profit from it. While our present council has merely recognized the lack of claim to that land, the Vaalor continue to assert that we are the ones "renouncing" it. They refer to the Town Council as "the de facto rulers" of the town, which holds out the possibility we may regain the ability to steer the ship. In the legal sense the council is not "de facto", but they are likely setting it in the cast of a kingdom, rather than implying foreign control.

As it stands, this was perhaps the best that could have been hoped for, given a Town Council consisting of two formerly ranking Imperials and three humans with a dissident half-elf. It was undoubtedly the intent of issuing a joint statement by the present and former commanders of the Hendoran Outpost that Wehnimer's Landing is falling in line under its status as an imperial protectorate. The Vaalor have made plain that they do not recognize it, nor that it is the Empire forfeiting the land. This is exactly as predicted.

There are times when caution is more perilous than boldness. It is more dangerous for lands to hide behind an overwhelming auxiliary over the long run. The Town Council was undoubtedly seeking to tame internal dissent, and making a priority of protecting lives over the future independence of the town. One imagines them comfortable with one day being the equivalent of Solhaven in the Barony of Darkstone, whose Baron could very well be Thadston himself. Without changing the constitution of the council more to our advantage we will only avoid this by accident. While they have avoided acting foolishly, they failed to act wisely. We should use the Vaalor irritant to flush in the Faendryl.

By my hand,

Lord Xorus Kul'shin

(OOC Note: This was written after declarations were given by the three powers involved. Thadston on behalf of the Town Council denied that Wehnimer's Landing has any claim over the Elven village. Breshon Caulfield on behalf of the Empire granted the Elven village to the Elven Nations as a whole, but none of the land surrounding it and warned of further encroachment. The declaration from House Vaalor only referred to Breshon as a "representative", retained the right to repatriate lands now possessed by elves, and framed it as the Landing renouncing the land. One year later the political calculus changed. The Valley of Gold summit was held to the east of the Elven village, near the Dragonspine Mountains, where the Mirror signed a treaty of friendly relations with the Emperor. King Qalinor was unhappy with it, and objected on its lack of necessity. House Vaalor has a long-standing mutual defense military alliance with House Illistim. This effectively neutralizes the situation, though House Vaalor has made use of Icemule's airspace. The Vaalorian fortress around the Elven village remains unbuilt. The "Barony of Darkstone" was not declared until November 2022. Earl Jovery offered to make Thadston the commander of the new Barony's military. Thadston declined and Sablo was appointed instead.)