New King on the block

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New King on the block

Post by Nabonassar on Thu Jun 16, 2016 11:39 pm

Nabonassar had been watching this city for a while. He stood out in the crowd, certainly, but not so much that people’s curiosity would overcome their better judgement. He started by watching the common people going on about their business. One could tell a lot about a city or a government by how the common people acted on a daily basis. Especially on a planetbound Empire such as this. In a spacefaring empire, government tended to differ the farther one got from the interior worlds. Here, there was no escaping policies laid down from on high. And so he watched, the mysterious man in the suit, smoking his pipe and standing before this storefront or leaning against that stall in the bazaar. He was never there when someone went to look twice at him, and he never appeared in the same place twice.

He watched the daily lives of the people until he felt like his eyes would bleed. He caught a glimpse of Maur Prima’s underbelly, eyeballing it for a while. The people were like most people one finds out in the universe. Happy, sad, harried, lethargic, energetic, frustrated. These were much like any other people on any other world. Most were content with their lot in life. Others less so, but the great majority seemed to have no difficulty in living the life they chose. He then turned his eyes upon the Ziggurat.

This was an interesting structure, seeming to be filled with two parts university, one part museum and one part lodging for the Empress and the Ordo. He found it curious that religion and university be grouped together. Perhaps they had managed to found a faith that embraced science and all cosmic mysteries. He had yet to be inside, of course, but through use of his power he had seen what it was like inside. A whole world unto itself.

Now was as good a time as any to introduce himself. Time to ring the doorbell. He had seen imperial officials, delegates from other races and other such types going into one particular entrance. He opened the portal, stepping into it from inside an empty room and then out into the late afternoon sun. The portal was nothing grand or explosive. But there was a certain flair to the way he stepped out of it. He exuded confidence and a slight smugness. As if he believed himself superior to those who looked on him. He was, of course, in many ways. Perhaps not all, he was not so full of arrogance and vanity to believe that his kind were perfect, but in most ways yes. He straightened his suit jacket and smoothed down the front of his three-piece suit. He looked around at whatever guards were nearby and he spoke, ”Good afternoon. My name is Nabonassar, of the Collective of Kings. I am here for an audience with Empress Ghanima.”
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Re: New King on the block

Post by Ghanima on Thu Jul 07, 2016 5:35 am

Nabonassar had materialized in the mezzanine floor of the huge structure known as the ziggurat. It was a sprawling museum full of artifacts from each ancient provincial state and bloodline in the continent’s history. All nine Houses occupied a rather healthy section of the enormous structure’s bottom most and largest floor— and he had come through his alien method of transportation directly into the displays for House Asaha-Jallebi. Thus, the King was surrounded with quartz shadowboxes displaying huge bundled of pure gold bandoliers, cuff and other accoutrements worn by figures of note, alien weaponry, precious metal artifacts, gems which had been worn by royals a millennia or more ago when it was truly nine rival kingdoms prior to reunification and paintings of beautiful people with dark or russet skin and startling pale eyes. They may have resembled the Africans and Arab folk of the Earth on which the Kings were designed and originated— and yet they also did not.

Three of the guards who rushed to him under the warm lights high above the King’s head were a touch lighter; their features more chiseled but with fuller lips and upturned eyes. The other two resembled East Asians but with coarse, tightly coiled hair. All wore full, oiled beards along with silver accoutrements of rank over military jackets, harem pants and soft boots with turbans. A silver sun medallion adorned the deep, royal blue of the fabric by a metal pin. An interesting amalgamation showing that all houses had some military presence even in Maur Prima. They surrounded him with polearms topped with khopesh like blades; looking quite rattled but ready to fight until he did them the service of introducing himself.

Seemingly, his method of dress and introduction somehow did the trick— or were they truly aware of the King’s collective? In any direction a long pause would stretch before they lowered their weapons and returned the Khopesh tips to true north; still warily staring at them and mumbling amongst themselves in a language Nabonassar likely hadn’t added to his lexicon as of yet. One of the men with clues upon his person of higher ranking first spoke after touching his fingertips to his left ear— apparently the silver cuff and chain they all wore was some sort of closed circuit communication network between themselves and other militants and commanders— and then cleared his throat to speak.

’She….her infernal majesty sir….she will see you immediately. Please follow us.’ And it seemed to be a decision they all did not quite agree with as a few glances were sent back to the well dressed pale man of strange, foreign eyes and black hair. As if he might attack them in the lift so massive it was furnished that they lead him too. Moments later, they almost unwillingly lead him down a hall of black, silver and blue. The party was much higher in the ziggurat now and the King was flanked as enormous double doors of black lacquer and metal with strange, violent carvings were opened and he was introduced into a chamber where the shining black onyx tiling gave way to equally dark sand. It was a circular chamber with iron hexagonal grating protecting the chamber from the elements outside. It wasn’t the throne room...it looked something like a temple. Some sort of room meant only for conferring but it seemed to possess no furniture. Against the supporting wall a roaring hearth stretched nearly nine meters and was currently active. A woman in deep red and gray fur stood across the room and appeared to be gazing out at the landscape yawning beneath the traveling sky  city. Currently they were high in the northlands; flying over snowcapped, rocky mountains.

The woman was small; flanked by two robed ‘Sibyls’ from the Ordo Oriatte-Adur who she had personally chosen to offer tutelage; they wore hoods over their features but turned to stare when the King was ushered in with an entourage meant to protect the image. Ghanima’s long silver and blood hair was restrained in a thick fishbone braid; contrasting with the fur across her narrow shoulders.

’My protectors say you are one of the “Kings”. I have heard of your….kind. Or are you a family?’ As, by now, she knew by rumor there was one amongst the Dorian, her allies to the empire and yet another one amongst her enemies, the Celesin. And this one was the empress, no less. Ghanima had spent a lot of time pondering these beings but other than the knowledge being confirmed that they were common in such high places….she knew next to nothing about them.

Save for legends of immense and mysterious power.

’Collective, they said. That is a strange choice of words. What is a King….King Nabonassar? Do you rule a fief or is it something else?’ and she had a surprisingly husky voice for the figure; not deep but with resonance. The diminutive woman finally turned; training her heart shaped face on the man who’d been allowed to come toward the center of the chamber. Her eyes were sienna and cerulean in a hazel theme and highly irregular. Nabo wouldn’t see her arms as she stared at them as they were tucked under the red fabric and warming pelt.

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Re: New King on the block

Post by Nabonassar on Thu Jul 07, 2016 10:41 pm

Nabonassar, it seemed, was unexpected. Perhaps they had no way of tracking energy spikes? He had been using his power quite liberally, moving about the planet upon which Black Sun was established. For all their trafficking with superpowers amongst the stars, it seemed prudence was a bit low on the scale of priorities. He would need to speak to someone about that once he was established here as Ghanima’s advisor. He smiled pleasantly at the gentlemen with the polearms, waiting for the command to be given for him to be brought before the Empress. He chuckled softly when he was told that Ghanima would see him, “Well then, boys, lead on! You know they layout of this place better than I.” His wink ought to lessen the reassurance in that statement. He wanted the little folk around here cautious. Of him and of every other King in existence. Family Esarhaddon and Nebuchadnezzar might be, but Celesin was the enemy and Dorian the tentative ally.

Into the lift they went and he really couldn’t help but be impressed. He even moved around the large space, poking and prodding the seating arrangements as though he’d never seen such things before. The certainly looked comfortable, but even in a structure as large as this, he couldn’t imagine they were all that useful. Unless, of course, the lifts ran horizontally as well as vertically. It would make more sense. Out of the lift and into the hall where he eyed his surroundings surreptitiously. Beyond the oversized gateway he sighed, seeing the sand, “I absolutely detest beaches. I always get sand in the wingtips. Oh well.” He stepped out onto the sand toward the three figures standing before the hearth. Two turned and his head canted to one side fractionally, curiosity spiking as the two simply stared. And then the Empress spoke and he arched a brow. He smiled slightly at the inquiry, “A bit of both, actually. A species, and yet all uniquely related to one another. It’s rather complicated.”

He reached up and into his jacket pocket, ignoring any movement by his escorts. He didn’t really care if they pointed their weapons at his unprotected back. This was just a shell comprised of neutrinos. He had already turned off it’s pain receptors just in case the Empress decided to try and capture and torture herself a real, live King. He would have made a wonderful Boy Scout, if he was even aware of who and what they were. Or cared, really. He pulled out the antique meerschaum pipe, carved with the head of a Gorgon, and a pouch full of pipe tobacco. A pinch of tobacco was thumbed into the bowl, “I rule nothing, I’m afraid, save my own mind. But rather, it is a little nickname we have for ourselves. The intelligence named us, each and every one, after ancient Earth Kings. An obsession, almost. Even the women! They, too, bear the names of men whose bones have long turned to dust.”

He lifted the pipe to his lips, pausing for a moment, “Do you mind if I. . .?” He motioned with the pipe in his grasp. If she offered an affirmative, he’d place the stem between his teeth and rub the pad of his thumb against those of his index and middle fingers, his skin blackening and electricity jumping between his fingers and the dried leaves, setting them aflame for a moment before they settled to slow-burning embers, “No doubt you’re wondering why I am here. Allow me to say this. When the Collective was formed, there was an arrangement to safeguard the galaxy. The universe we occupy is top-filled with beings of immense power. Too much, some would say. So we Kings formed an arrangement. One of us would be sent to any civilization with enough strength, be it martial, technological or arcana. We would place ourselves near to their ruler, to advise them in their course.” He took a long pull from the pipe between his teeth, which he had been talking around. His words, however, were strangely clear for someone in such a predicament. The cloud of smoke he exhaled remained formless for a moment, before it shifted into several figures sitting in a circle, all reclined in their own preferred posture. Nebuchadnezzar’s decidedly feline lounge, Esarhaddon with her perfect posture. Nabonassar with his own relaxed feel, and Ozymandias as well, and all the others. He blew it away with a puff of air, “Of course, most would be suspicious of us and whatever agenda we might have. The only one is the good of the entire universe. And so we devote ourselves to our newfound homeland, taking its goals and values upon ourselves as much as possible. We become part of the nation that we choose, and protect its interests while also attempting to steer everyone on a harmonious course through life. I sometimes feel as though Esarhaddon has been failing miserably of late.”
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Re: New King on the block

Post by Ghanima on Fri Jul 08, 2016 3:04 am


The Empress looked the man over. She’d met Esarhaddon before and felt somehow if she were again staring into that woman’s eyes. Were the...man before her not tall, broad and decidedly male with facial hair quite close to the style in which men in the Black Sun’s cultures wore it they could have been twins. Did they all have such similar features?

Immediately, she understood if the King wanted to harm her there was not much the Sibyls at her side could have done. Besides, the chamber had enough mirrors in it at each black supporting column and she had purposefully invited him as soon as she’d received word of his title. A wave of her hand and dual curtesy-like motions from the two low level practitioners before they left her side not for the doors but for the mirrors— which they walked through with casual practice; their surfaces rippling with unnerving fluidity until settling once again to a solid shine.

’I do not mind…’ Would be her answer to his smoking. ’Neither do I see a challenge in something ‘complicated’ which bears explaining. You may inform me another time.’ With that, Ghanima turned away from the hearth and padded across the black sands to the center of the room. A hand revealed itself from under her robes and furs; small and brown with a huge red gem secured on the back of her palm by a black chain and rings on her alterior fingers, thumb and wrist. It lit up as she spread her digits over the sand at breast level and summoned a black stone pillar from the stands which was half height and stout enough to use as a comfortable seat. A similar one had risen across from her for the King guest. The empress would seat herself on it with cross legs; soon leveling her gaze at the creature-male.

’Such strong words for the empress of Celesin. You make your motives obvious to me and I wonder if she made hers plain for Mesiphidon? If so, I cannot help but agree with you...but perhaps there is only so much advising even one of you Kings can do for a ruthless despot such as he.’ A portly man in a fez all but bumbled into the room to stand between the diminutive ruler and the pale man. He had brought with him a decanter of wine and two black vessels which he filled with the best known libation of the Black sun: Sigha; a strong liquor which tasted of sweet but powerful cinnamon, pepper,honey and wine. Like port with with a strong spirit content and an effect that warmed the belly. He passed it with a smile to the crowned head and again to the King.

’King Nabonassar— you mean to say you have arrived to join my court and advise me, is this correct? I am sure you were told I have been bereaved of a counselor somehow. To what extent am I to put an immediate faith into you and your abilities?’ Ghanima sipped the wine and used her free hand to push silver and crimson hair behind her ears.
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Re: New King on the block

Post by Nabonassar on Fri Jul 08, 2016 8:04 pm

Ahhh, it was so nice to find someone with sense. He had figured that the two with the Empress were bodyguards, of a sort, and as she waved them off he smiled. But then curiosity lit in his pale eyes as they made, not for the doors, but for the mirrors set into each of the support columns. As the robed figures disappeared into the suddenly liquid-like surface of the mirrors he perked both brows before tilting his head as the mirrors returned to apparent solidity. He moved, then, heading for one of the mirrors the pair used as an exit. He stopped before it, a slight, curious smile on his face staring back at him as he reached up with his free hand and ran the tips across what he guessed would be an ordinary mirror to him.

And the Empress, of course, was correct. There was nothing those two could have done should he have decided to harm Ghanima. He doubted there was anyone, save the concentrated might of the Ordo, who could even put up a decent fight if he decided he wanted to rip the Ziggurat apart. She drew him from his reverie by speaking after she had summoned the seating arrangements and he turned to find a jolly man offering him a drink, which he accepted with a smile and the raising of his pipe in a sort of salute. As if he were tipping his hat. He sipped, finding the taste enjoyable, however he did not experience any sensation of warmth. All part of switching off his receptors.

He moved to take the seat she had summoned and found that it wasn’t really that comfortable. For Esarhaddon, who enjoyed sitting with back straight, sure. But for him? Not so much, no. He took another long pull from his pipe, “I don’t suppose you’d consider summoning a couple more of these for me? I always preferred armchairs to stools. Or a rather nice winged armchair might work.” He smiled pleasantly, “As for what Esarhaddon told Mesiphidon, I honestly wouldn’t know. But some of my family can be a bit. . . cloak-and-daggerish at times. She might have even gone there with the intention of becoming Empress, better to guide the course of the Imperium. Though the latter may be true as well. Someone like that might have required a firmer hand that Esarhaddon’s.”

He sighed, “But I digress. There’s no use crying over spilled milk, as the humans say. As for what I heard, that is simple. I heard nothing. But I knew that Black Sun had no King within it’s ranks, and that puts you at a distinct disadvantage in the great cosmic game in which you now have a part. But let me see if I can put your mind at ease. . .” Another great cloud of smoke and this one revolved into three distinct faces. Mesiphidon, Arcerion, and Ghanima herself, “These are the players of Sanctum as it stands now. I know that Arcerion sent to you an Exercion named Sergei Deker. If alliance is all it proves to be, then fair enough. But there is something of the Exercion that you may not know. They all feel hunger, of one kind or another. I know that hate is a powerful thing in the Dorian Emperor, and it may be that one day his hate will turn its gaze upon Black Sun. It will be, I wager, a day far in the future, after you are gone and Sergei has returned to his cousin. Mesiphidon, of course, is a warmonger, whose pride and vanity rival his titanic strength. To put it simply, he wants the universe. The whole universe. And so he becomes the immediate threat.”

He leaned toward her, “My purpose here, Ghanima, is to ensure that Black Sun remains Black Sun, long after you are gone. Mortal you may be, but trusting me is the first step upon a path that leads to a legacy of independence and strength for your heirs. If you accept this offer, I become a member of Black Sun, fully and completely, with only one ulterior motive. The one I have already exposed to you.”
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