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    The realm rejoices as Paradox Interactive announces the launch of Crusader Kings III, the latest entry in the publisher’s grand strategy role-playing game franchise. Advisors may now jockey for positions of influence and adversaries should save their schemes for another day, because on this day Crusader Kings III can be purchased on Steam, the Paradox Store, and other major online retailers.


    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

CzokletMuss

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Kentarchos Nokas:

Nokas together with two guardsmen escort White Speaker to the room. Kentarchos opens the door and lets senator Pylaeus in, following him into the room. He closes the door - with both guardsmen on the other side Nokas and White Speaker are now alone. He takes off his helmet and approaches Pylaeus - you notices that he's missing a huge chunk of his right ear where the long scar on his face ends.

- His Excellency illustrious President of the Imperial Senate salutes you, White Speaker. His Excellency expresses his deepest regret that the situation had to be resolved in such decisive manner - alas harsh times call for harsh actions.

Nokas smirks and you have serious doubts whether he personally have any regrets regarding what happened.

- His Excellency acknowledges however that despite the sad state of the Senate filled with... unreliable men there are still true Romans among the senators, those loyal to the Throne and who put good of the Imperium above their personal goals. Those who can act with dignity and discretion. His Excellency considers you to be among them.

Nokas looks around the room before continuing.

- His Excellency considers the White Demes to be the only reliable faction in the Senate, especially after what happened today. He respects the position of the White Demes on the subjects of this session and indeed agrees with them. The Senate should show his unanimous support to His Imperial Majesty by supporting the bills. No matter the outcome of this session, His Excellency respects industrious and diligent men.

Nokas looks you straight into the eyes.

- Due to the Plague many of the important offices have been emptied and new officials are yet to be nominated. You do have a son, don't you? And your colleagues in the White Demes...

Nokas pokes you at the chest and you can feel the weight of his metal gauntlet.

- His Excellency is a generous man, especially towards his friends. I would like to ensure His Excellency that you are his friend, senator Decius of the House Pylaeus. Are you?
 

CzokletMuss

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Eunuch of the Sacred Palace:

One of the eunuchs, the same you gave your letter to, approaches you and bows.
Senator Marius Serapis of the White Demes
----
To His Holyness the Ecumenical Patriarch of the True Christian Faith.


Your Grace, as you may already be aware, the Senatorial President Nikephoros Dalassenos has presented the Senate with a resolution to seize some of the lands of the Holy Church. It is unclear at this time wether this destructive measure will pass trough the Senate or be rightfully rejected. As you may also be aware the situation in the Senate has been chaotic and the venerable institution is still divided, at such a time any sign can shift the balance. Therefore I humbly request, for the sake of the future stability of the Imperium and out of concern for the lives and souls of her people, that your Grace interceeds to protect and uphold the House of God.

Forever your humble servant Senator Marius Serapis, of the Monastery of Divine Light
----


He closes the letter with his seal and hands it to another of his servants. "Have this letter delivered to the Ecumenical Partiarch with all haste." There, that should at the very least let the Patriarch take his own steps to protect his personal fortunes and grant House Serapis a powerful ally.
- Noble senator Marius of the House Serapis. I've delivered the letter to one of the logothetai in the palace of His Excellency Archbishop of Konstantinoupolis and Ecumenial Patriarch. The guardsmen... they inquired about the author and recipient of the message. I told them what they wanted to know and they let me through. They...

He looks at senator Serapis.

- They laughed, noble senator. I think you should know that.

He bows deeply and walks away.

{{ @Serpent }}
 

ThetrueColt

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Senator Decius Pylaeus (Vice President of the Imperial Senate, Faction Speaker of the White Demes):

Kentarchos Nokas:

Nokas together with two guardsmen escort White Speaker to the room. Kentarchos opens the door and lets senator Pylaeus in, following him into the room. He closes the door - with both guardsmen on the other side Nokas and White Speaker are now alone. He takes off his helmet and approaches Pylaeus - you notices that he's missing a huge chunk of his right ear where the long scar on his face ends.

- His Excellency illustrious President of the Imperial Senate salutes you, White Speaker. His Excellency expresses his deepest regret that the situation had to be resolved in such decisive manner - alas harsh times call for harsh actions.

Nokas smirks and you have serious doubts whether he personally have any regrets regarding what happened.

- His Excellency acknowledges however that despite the sad state of the Senate filled with... unreliable men there are still true Romans among the senators, those loyal to the Throne and who put good of the Imperium above their personal goals. Those who can act with dignity and discretion. His Excellency considers you to be among them.

Nokas looks around the room before continuing.

- His Excellency considers the White Demes to be the only reliable faction in the Senate, especially after what happened today. He respects the position of the White Demes on the subjects of this session and indeed agrees with them. The Senate should show his unanimous support to His Imperial Majesty by supporting the bills. No matter the outcome of this session, His Excellency respects industrious and diligent men.

Nokas looks you straight into the eyes.

- Due to the Plague many of the important offices have been emptied and new officials are yet to be nominated. You do have a son, don't you? And your colleagues in the White Demes...

Nokas pokes you at the chest and you can feel the weight of his metal gauntlet.

- His Excellency is a generous man, especially towards his friends. I would like to ensure His Excellency that you are his friend, senator Decius of the House Pylaeus. Are you?
"I think the President went a little overboard in the extinction of two entire Aristoi houses, soldier. But I also know that harsh times require drastic measures to preserve order and stability as best as possible.

I am honoured by this vote of confidence in my person as well as my faction. We are the ruling faction for a reason - if it was not for us, everything would have gone even more wrong. When it comes to the proposed bills, I can assure you that my faction will support the majority of the proposals, as the wisdom of His Imperial Majesty truly knows no bounds."


Decius smiles at the Kentarchos, his poke meets an unusually hardened chest for a supposed scholar and senator.

"Im am indeed blessed with two sons. We of the white demes and the Pylaei in particular view themselves as vanguard servants of Rome and the Holy Autokrator. If we were to be blessed with positions to serve the Imperium more fervently, I am sure that everyone - Decius makes sure that the soldier understands this as an expression of support for his master - will benefit from this."

Observing the various corners of the dark room, Decius takes a moment before he continues.

"His excellency can count on the support of the white demes, and the house Pylaeus in particular, to further our mutual goals to the benefit of the Imperium. I can think of no greater honour than to be able to call Nikephoros Dalassenos one of my esteemed friends. Does that satisfy your curiosity, Kentarchos?"

*Decius give the man a knowing smile, waiting for his answer.*


{{ Some proper intrigue to grab more power? Now THIS is something Decius can get behind.



I always thought of the Whites as dynatoi anyways. Cheers!

Oh, and yes, this will probably get all of us killed. Fun times indeed.}}
 

McGrey

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ParrotGuy

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{{Btw, Czoklet, let's say the national focus will be administrative and the Senate policy is proposed by the Blues... Who is then the faction in power?}}
 

CzokletMuss

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Kentarchos Nokas:

Kentarchos bows his head.

Senator Decius Pylaeus (Vice President of the Imperial Senate, Faction Speaker of the White Demes):
"His excellency can count on the support of the white demes, and the house Pylaeus in particular, to further our mutual goals to the benefit of the Imperium. I can think of no greater honour than to be able to call Nikephoros Dalassenos one of my esteemed friends. Does that satisfy your curiosity, Kentarchos?"

*Decius give the man a knowing smile, waiting for his answer.*
- Wise words of a wise man. I shall notify His Excellency of your answer. Now...

He approaches the door and opens it, letting sunlight into the room.

- I won't take more of your precious time during the recess; after you, White Speaker.

Nokas isn't one of those man who smile easily but you can swear there is satisfaction in his gaze.
 

CzokletMuss

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{{Btw, Czoklet, let's say the national focus will be administrative and the Senate policy is proposed by the Blues... Who is then the faction in power?}}
{{ Good question. On the one hand senatus consultum is more important than policy, on the other in case of tie like this it would be fair allow the more numerous Faction to become dominant. Or I can just give 50 influence to the Blues and 50 to the other Faction and let the random events in game decide, I haven't make up my mind yet. }}
 
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ThetrueColt

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Senator Decius Pylaeus (Vice President of the Imperial Senate, Faction Speaker of the White Demes):

"Thank you for taking your time as well, Kentarchos."

Decius leaves the room and strolls back to the white meeting.

"Did anything happen while I was absent, my friends?"

In the back of his mind, he thinks about possible implications of this. If the fool Dalassenos in his thirst for power presents an opportunity for him and his demes to rise up in the ranks of the ruling class, it is all the better. But his lust for power will also bring about Dalassenos' fall, Decius was sure. So it will be best to accept this ladder of his and use it to climb a couple of stairs, but not without missing the right point in time to jump off to preserve any gains before the ladder gets kicked over.


{{
{{ Good question. On the one hand senatus consultum is more important than policy, on the other in case of tie like this it would be fair allow the more numerous Faction to become dominant. Or I can just give 50 influence to the Blues and 50 to the other Faction and let the random events in game decide, I haven't make up my mind yet. }}
I'm all for the randomness - it may even be possible that the focus switches several times during 20 years, which never happened before. This IS madness, right?}}
 

CzokletMuss

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{{ BTW guys only 2h 40min of recess left, so make good use of this time. }}
 

ThetrueColt

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Senator Decius Pylaeus (Vice President of the Imperial Senate, Faction Speaker of the White Demes):

After getting to know that he missed nothing of importance, Decius gathers Senators Melissenos, Ouranos and Serapis and makes sure that only they can hear the following.

"Just to have us all on equal terms: We shall try to convince the reds and the willing blues by agreeing to a policy that profits trade and cuts army expenses. The other factions will in turn support the administrative reform conceived by His Imperial Majesty and they will also oppose the confiscation of Church lands to preserve stability. As we have always done in the past, you can make up your own mind about the other decisions we have to make on an individual basis. Any questions?"
 

luciusmalfoy012

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{{ Good question. On the one hand senatus consultum is more important than policy, on the other in case of tie like this it would be fair allow the more numerous Faction to become dominant. Or I can just give 50 influence to the Blues and 50 to the other Faction and let the random events in game decide, I haven't make up my mind yet. }}
{{ it seems like there are more things that the Blues will win on in the actual voting currently. Not killing the Jews seems like an anti-white decision at the very least, if not a pro-blue. Enlisting privateers is obviously pro-blue. And seizing church lands is pretty anti-white. Tariffs don't seem like something that will affect the factions much. The only damaging thing is the mothballing of the navy. }}

Senator Alexius Colombo (Speaker of the Blue Demes):

*Speaking again to Este-Ravenna, the Red Deme Speaker*

"It appears our Demes has come to a general agreement, that being a policy of {{ +15% Trade Efficiency, -10% Land Maintenance }}.

Will this be a satisfactory policy for the Reds? It slightly favors the Blues, but there are no good policy combinations such that I can find that would be equal between the Demes, and it would make little sense for a combined Senate policy to favor the Reds at this moment."

"If you assent to this proposal, I will propose it shortly after the Session resumes."

*Colombo starts to turn away, but then stops.*

"Do not trust the Whites. They are the natural allies of the Dynatoi and the Speaker, who has so brutally murdered and tortured our comrades. We have no need to speak with them, God forbid deal with them. Only the combined power of the Reds and Blues can stop their rein of tyranny, and bring justice and stability to the Imperium. I hope you remember this, should a White snake try to slither into your ear.."
 

TurtleShroom

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{{ Still, bold move @TurtleShroom
BTW I appreciate your creativity when it comes to your senator and his Mongolian ancestry but please limit yourself to your House and character. None of the senators have ever met the Emperor - you can't just claim you did. Likewise I can't allow you to continue elevate your position in the Church or among the Mongols by claiming to be the most important bishop in the "Roman Far East" etc. - all players' characters are required to be aristoi and thus at best moderately powerful and influential.

Please keep this in mind in the future.
}}
{{ I made an error. I thought that each of the Senators had to accept their appointment by the Emperor in person. I had no idea that wasn't so and I hope you can forgive my error. I was not trying to control your character(s) or to try and push you to any conclusion. Please forget that part ever happened. }}

{{ As for Bishop Dooley's power, I thought that you said that he couldn't be an Archbishop and so demoted him to Bishop based on the irrelevancy of the regions he controls. As I noted, he doesn't have much temporal power but has only temporarilly come into it because of the anarchy of the Plague. In other words, although Bishop Dooley is unusually powerful now, he won't have power when Rome restores order outside his power in the Church. }}
 
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varetta

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{{ it seems like there are more things that the Blues will win on in the actual voting currently. Not killing the Jews seems like an anti-white decision at the very least, if not a pro-blue. Enlisting privateers is obviously pro-blue. And seizing church lands is pretty anti-white. Tariffs don't seem like something that will affect the factions much. The only damaging thing is the mothballing of the navy. }}
((What makes you think that anything anti-white is automatically pro-blue? We have three demes, not two.

I agree that Jews and specially Church´s decisions seems to have a clear white position but Reds are so friendly to jews or Church as the blues can be.

Privateers are fairly blue policy and tariffs seems neutral.

In my opinion Administration focus and not seizing Church properties seems as White victories.

Not seizing jews lands seems a white defeat in the same way that mothballing the fleet is a blue defeat.

Privates are blue victory obviously. Tariffs are neutral.

In my opinion the result, if the vote goes as expected, would be a tie between wins and defeats for both blues and white while reds does not win or lose at anything, so things should go as they are or depend on the Senate Policy finally adopted))
 

TurtleShroom

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{{ @Enlil , I took a few liberties here because you explicitly said that your character would do whatever ritual Bishop Dooley asked for. }}

-------

Reverend Senator Dooley Azizid, Bishop of the Roman Far East (Blue Demes):


I would gladly pledge my support and brotherhood friend.It seems you are the only member of this Senate who has not succumbed to the madness of Alexandros and Pylaeus. I stand by you, and all prerogatives you may seek.
The Mongol's eyes widened, similar to how they would if he was shocked.

"Then we agree."

{{ Begin music. }}

He placed an arthritic hand on Senator Capponi's shoulder before he turned away. He took Capponi's arms and placed them under his own forearms, at his elbows.

"Senator Capponi, the Andah literally translates to 'blood oath' or 'blood brother'. I hope you can understand the implications of this."

The Senator looked around for something to draw blood, but he remembered that he was already bleeding.

"The Andah requires blood from each of us. Since we're already in prime bleeding condition, we..."

The bishop reached behind him and up his vestments, scratching a fresh scab.

"We won't need to draw it."

He paused.

"The blood oath is normally sealed with Kumys, but all I could find was water. I got the cups shortly after I woke up."

Taking out a wineskin filled with water, he handed Capponi a cup and filled it.

"Place some of your blood in your cup," he said as he did so himself, "as I do."

Waiting for Senator Capponi to do so, he continued when he was ready.

"The heathens of the chötgor Tenger normally sealed the oath by drinking each other's blood. That is a sin under Acts 15 and no Khristed-itgegch can be allowed to do it. So, instead, we Mongolchuud simply splash the Kumys on each other's faces, or water in our case. You go first."

The two Senators soaked themselves in this stage of the ritual. Bishop Dooley lowered his voice.

"(in Mongolian) Then the pact is sealed. (end Mongolian)"

He smiled to Capponi, taking his arms as he did earlier.

"The Anda is a very simple oath. You and I are brothers: we will defend each other, aid each other, and help each other, loving each other as Yesüs first loved us. Our Clans will, hopefully, do the same, sharing our wealth, our wisdom, and our friendship."
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zolgokh
The Bishop leaned forward and brushed his head against Capponi's cheek, then, leaning back and repating it on the other cheek. He released Capponi's arms opened the door.

{{ End music. }}

"Thank you, Andah Capponi, for being my best friend."
 

luciusmalfoy012

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{{ @Enlil , I took a few liberties here because you explicitly said that your character would do whatever ritual Bishop Dooley asked for. }}

-------

Reverend Senator Dooley Azizid, Bishop of the Roman Far East (Blue Demes):




The Mongol's eyes widened, similar to how they would if he was shocked.

"Then we agree."

{{ Begin music. }}

He placed an arthritic hand on Senator Capponi's shoulder before he turned away. He took Capponi's arms and placed them under his own forearms, at his elbows.

"Senator Capponi, the Andah literally translates to 'blood oath' or 'blood brother'. I hope you can understand the implications of this."

The Senator looked around for something to draw blood, but he remembered that he was already bleeding.

"The Andah requires blood from each of us. Since we're already in prime bleeding condition, we..."

The bishop reached behind him and up his vestments, scratching a fresh scab.

"We won't need to draw it."

He paused.

"The blood oath is normally sealed with Kumys, but all I could find was water. I got the cups shortly after I woke up."

Taking out a wineskin filled with water, he handed Capponi a cup and filled it.

"Place some of your blood in your cup," he said as he did so himself, "as I do."

Waiting for Senator Capponi to do so, he continued when he was ready.

"The heathens of the chötgor Tenger normally sealed the oath by drinking each other's blood. That is a sin under Acts 15 and no Khristed-itgegch can be allowed to do it. So, instead, we Mongolchuud simply splash the Kumys on each other's faces, or water in our case. You go first."

The two Senators soaked themselves in this stage of the ritual. Bishop Dooley lowered his voice.

"(in Mongolian) Then the pact is sealed. (end Mongolian)"

He smiled to Capponi, taking his arms as he did earlier.

"The Anda is a very simple oath. You and I are brothers: we will defend each other, aid each other, and help each other, loving each other as Yesüs first loved us. Our Clans will, hopefully, do the same, sharing our wealth, our wisdom, and our friendship."
The Bishop leaned forward and brushed his head against Capponi's cheek, then, leaning back and repating it on the other cheek. He released Capponi's arms opened the door.

{{ End music. }}

"Thank you, Andah Capponi, for being my best friend."
{{ I see that other Senators are getting into the blood drinking business. Alexius would be very happy to show you the ropes and to teach both of you more advanced studies. }}

{{ Hopefully we can turn the entire Senate into ravenous cannibals in 50-60 years! }}
 

Serpent

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Senator Marius Serapis of the White Demes

Eunuch of the Sacred Palace:

One of the eunuchs, the same you gave your letter to, approaches you and bows.

- Noble senator Marius of the House Serapis. I've delivered the letter to one of the logothetai in the palace of His Excellency Archbishop of Konstantinoupolis and Ecumenial Patriarch. The guardsmen... they inquired about the author and recipient of the message. I told them what they wanted to know and they let me through. They...

He looks at senator Serapis.

- They laughed, noble senator. I think you should know that.

He bows deeply and walks away.

{{ @Serpent }}
Marius says nothing, but his eyes flash with cold rage. Vile scum, how dare they? Why would they dare? What did they know that he didn't?

Senator Decius Pylaeus (Vice President of the Imperial Senate, Faction Speaker of the White Demes):

After getting to know that he missed nothing of importance, Decius gathers Senators Melissenos, Ouranos and Serapis and makes sure that only they can hear the following.

"Just to have us all on equal terms: We shall try to convince the reds and the willing blues by agreeing to a policy that profits trade and cuts army expenses. The other factions will in turn support the administrative reform conceived by His Imperial Majesty and they will also oppose the confiscation of Church lands to preserve stability. As we have always done in the past, you can make up your own mind about the other decisions we have to make on an individual basis. Any questions?"
"If you believe that is wise, Speaker, I will support you in this. It is a cautious approach that will let us keep some of our influence, even if it costs us our control of the administration. It is not an approach I would have chosen, but in the interest of unity I will do what I can to help. Salamis of the Blue Demes already supports this plan and he should be able to convince at least some of the others, even if the Blue Speaker seems set firmly against us."
"I'm afraid my talk with the two unaffiliated senators seems to have led nowhere. They seemed more interested in discussing local German affairs than senatorial policies." He shrugs.
 
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McGrey

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Senator Decius Pylaeus (Vice President of the Imperial Senate, Faction Speaker of the White Demes):

After getting to know that he missed nothing of importance, Decius gathers Senators Melissenos, Ouranos and Serapis and makes sure that only they can hear the following.

"Just to have us all on equal terms: We shall try to convince the reds and the willing blues by agreeing to a policy that profits trade and cuts army expenses. The other factions will in turn support the administrative reform conceived by His Imperial Majesty and they will also oppose the confiscation of Church lands to preserve stability. As we have always done in the past, you can make up your own mind about the other decisions we have to make on an individual basis. Any questions?"
Senator "Lazaros II." Melissenos (White Demes)

Like Senator Serapis I agree. Everyone will win some kind of victory and the Imperium will benefit from that. Let's hope that we can persuade enough of the other senators to agree on this deal although I have the ill feeling that several of them hate us like the plaque. And probably wish it to us. Still, we don't need all of them.

I also had another idea. If it becomes foreseeable that the senate wont be able to come to an agreement on the policy, you could try to reintroduce a measurement the antique roman senate used: The
senatus consultum ultimum. It was used to empower the consuls to do anything that was necessary to protect the roman state. In our case we would pass it in favour of the Augustus. I know this would diminish the importance of the senate somewhat but it would at least show that we stand united behind the emperor if we proof unable do come to an mutual consent.

Again: It should only be proposed as a last ditch effort, but we can keep this option in mind.
 

Ponce_The_Great

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Senator Leon Taurinus (Red Demes)

*Looks arund in confsion for other Reds, Este Ravenna is still wandering around, somewhere chatting with Blues,
The Mongol is doing some blood ritual thing that makes him uneasy and reminds him of the Mongol threat to his home.
he sits on a bench and decides to wait and hope that the Reds and Whites triumph over the Blues and whatever madness they cook up.*
 

ParrotGuy

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Senator Nikephoros II Salamis (Blue Demes):
*After telling Colombo his mind, Nikephoros looks at the sun. The recess will soon be over, yet he had some urgent business. The other Blues seemed... not very talkative, perhaps shocked of the recent events, yet he needed a bride... And he also needed to decide whether he will go with his original plan, to support the administrative reform, or... to support Colombo's plan, in case the speaker manages to convince the Reds to vote with him.*
Senator Arrius, Senator Raoul, Senator Hvide, and any other of you, Blue Senators- you may remember, shortly before we arrived in Konstantinopolis, I told you that I am young, 22 years of age, and unmarried, and looking for a bride.
I ask this of you again- does any of you, my esteemed friends, have any suitable bride in your close family, to seal our houses? Remember, house Salamis is old and considered on the stronger scale of the Aristoi houses... I also have two young cousins, a boy and a girl, 14 and 15 years old, and I am ready to betroth them to any suitable candidate from your houses.
Also, I assume we agree to replace ship durability focus with reducing the war exhaustion of the population?

{{Game-wise, is war exhaustion better than privateer efficiency?}}
 

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President of the Senate Nikephoros Dalassenos:

The time scheduled for recess has ended and members of the Imperial Guard escort all of the senators back to Magnaura. Upon entering they notice that Nikephoros Dalassenos is already sitting behind his desk, his robe cleaned from bloody stains. He waits until all senators take their seats; when Vice President passes by him to take his seat Nikephoros nods toward him. You made a good choice, he thinks to himself. A very good choice. Nikephoros strokes his beard. He looks to his left to the side entrance to the Magnaura. Any moment now.

Finally, when all senators have taken their seat, President of the Senate rises and takes the Fasces from the carrier. He steps to the centre of the Great Hall and hits the floor with the iron ending of the Fasces.

- The Senate is in session.

As it was arranged, before the echo of his words went silent the side door to the Magnaura opened and three men entered the Senate. Their tall hats and white silk robes embroidered with gold clearly indicated their rank; the middle one appread to be carrying a little box. Nikephoros turned toward them.

- Vestai of the Sacred Palace, I welcome you in the Imperial Senate. What brings you here?

Obviously he knew the answer to this question. After all these years his patience shall finally be rewarded and – he almost smiled – it will happen here, in Magnaura, before the eyes of the hoi poloi. How did his brother called them? The Emperor's favorite monkeys? The bars may be made of gold but Senate for so long was a cage for him, locked here with the small aristoi. But not any more...

The vestai stopped several paces before him. The eunuch in the middle approached him and opened the small box without saying a word, his companions bowed deeply. Nikephoros couldn't stop his smile this time for there it was – the letter he has been waiting so long for. He turned to the senators.

- A letter with the seal of His Imperial Majesty!

Nikephoros looked at the assembled in triumph. He then turned to senator Pylaeus.

- Vice President. Break the seal and read the letter.

He showed his white teeth. The day has come.

- Loudly.