The best defense


Jeers and swears flooded the forum.
“What we need is another WAR!! Enough of this shit!” It was Noran again. Of course it was. The crowd roared in agreement nonetheless.
“If the militia can’t handle it, we need the regime to step in!” said another. More cheering.

Hannowatha rolled her eyes and sighed under her breath. The guildmaster screamed for order above the rioting. Thank the heavens. After a moment the noise died down.

“We know, okay? We know. We are hurting too. I lost two of my shipments last year, don’t you think that pisses me off too?” rebuked the guildmaster. Mumbles from the crowd. “Look, we don’t have the manpower the Kavans have. You all know this. It’s been this way for-”
“Are you saying we should just sit and take it in the–”
“Enough! ENOUGH! I swear on the heavens, if you all don’t– hh! …Look. I am going to slowly and calmly talk this through. Lobbying will not be accepted until after I have given the word! Are we clear?” the guildmaster stressed the last syllables with purpose as the guards adjusted themselves to appear more imposing.

More mumbling from the crowd. Hannowatha tapped her tail. Come on…

“Okay. We are here to address what to do about the ‘Kavan issue’. Piracy has gone through the clouds in the past few years compared to what it used to be. Again, we know many of you have lost cargo and even hands to the raiders, and we know that this has impacted your trades in the extreme. We suspect much of this is sanctioned by the Kavan government in an attempt to harm Deltani competi–”

This time the shouting lasted for several minutes before order could be reestablished. Several of the more violent protesters were beaten by the guards and dismissed. Noran was one of them, thankfully. The exacerbated guildmaster continued his address, more of the same. Everyone knew most of his content already.

Hannowatha’s husband leaned over to her.
“What I don’t get- is why the Avato navy isn’t more aggressive about this. Or just let ours do it. Why don’t they shut this crap down?”
“Other than it would mean helping the Deltanis?” she whispered in an irked tone. He rolled his eyes knowingly and chuckled.
“Yea yea… But it hurts them too. If we’re getting hit this hard I’d hate to imagine what Rokur or Tontako is feeling right now.”
“Uh. Yeah.”
“Is Avato scared of pissing off the actual Kavan government or what? Cause if they’re- er- the pirates- …if they’re supported by the government… and surely Avato know if they are… then maybe they’re worried that killing these pigs would make Kavan retaliate officially?”
“Wouldn’t that be a bit extreme for Kavan?” Someone behind interjected, “It’s basically like declaring war at that point. Would they really do it? I mean Avato could probably take them-”
“-Well I don’t doubt that their land troops could, but I’m not as sure about the navy…” her husband trailed on. Hannowatha stopped paying attention.

Nothing was really getting done. Anywhere, it felt like. She was just angry that their family’s shipments inevitably came under attack and confiscation by the Kavans and it was killing their livelihood. But as to why the upswing in frequency was happening was just speculation. No one had a clear picture of the politics behind the scene. Most people in the crowd were just talking to each other at this point. As her husband trailed on about his theories she began to listen to the guildmaster’s vain attempts to persuade his audience. He started to wrap up. She elbowed her husband and he paid attention.

“We are already filing our official protest with the Deltani government. I know for a fact that around 30 other ports around us are doing the same. They have the ear of Avato. I have confidence we will see results very soon.”

Bureaucracy to the rescue. Again. Fantastic.

“On the bright side, when our trade is hurting theirs hurts too. That might make ‘em pay attention.” whispered her husband. Great.

The guildmaster began to end his lecture. Some more minor speeches, some questions from the crowd as a formality… The whole gathering itself was really just a formality. Just to let the people know the Port Authority was aware of the issue. What made people angry is they just couldn’t do much about it, and the Authority knew this. People began to leave. Just had to pray that Deltani could afford to mobilize enough forces to defend its people and their trades from the eastward scum. And that Avato wouldn’t get in the way. Again.

Again… ugh.

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Deltani – Beyale

Some call the sun the beacon of hope. Others, the clear wind following the storm. I have no need for these.
The sun shines on the bay. The winds push it forth. But it stretches beyond them both. The sea is my home, and the spire my only knot.
It reminds me that I am free…”

Memoirs of a Sailor, -12y

Valley Star. The Gateway. Beyale. Jewel of Deltani and the port city of the civilized world.

The Deltanis often claim that the site of the city was marked with lightning by Robalem himself nearly 600 years ago. Once seeing it, it is hard to dismiss this claim. The grandeur of the city needs no defense.

Whether marked by lightning or not, Beyale was founded around 600 years ago, likely by the old Deltanis. The city has changed hands and names several times but has been a key player in trade and diplomatic relations in the area for centuries straight, almost entirely due to the location of its port. With mountains on the north and east, it is shielded from weather and is a safe haven for ships to winter. Its vanguard location in the bay and close proximity to several other major cities such as Deltani Mer and the Avato ports of Carthis and Rokur cement its status as the undisputed trade queen of the region.

Land travel in the area is difficult but not insurmountable. The mountains necessitate pack animals with hardy dispositions. Defense of the city in the past has been won or lost by the defenders holding the high ground, of which there is no short supply. Once passing the northeastern ridge, the land flattens drastically and the area is much friendlier to travel. Those that do not take the coastal route through Carthis often use this course to reach the Avato Capital.  

While the status of Deltani as an autonomous vassal of Avato is often a sensitive subject, Beyale is thankfully one of the less volatile centers and frequently seems less preoccupied with the political scene at large than the rest of Deltani. Riots are bad for trade, and many Beyales roll with the ethnic punches as a result to protect their livelihoods. Taxes may be another story, but that is a worldwide constant.

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