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Let's Work Together

Discussion in 'Pandora, Year 1 - 7' started by Aulus Plautius, Feb 23, 2018.

  1. Aulus Plautius

    Aulus Plautius Britannia

    Posts:
    91
    Tag: Open!
    Date: 24th February, Year 7.



    [​IMG]

    General Aulus Plautius rode up to the settlement, two of his legionaries accompanying him on foot, their armour chinking with each step. There was little other sound, aside from the hollow clop of his horse’s hooves against stone and frozen soil, the disembodied shriek of a bird of prey and the occasional howl of the wind as it swept across the narrow nooks and crannies of the mountain.

    He’d brought Cassianus Asinius and Calvus “Axe” Axius with him, considering them his most formidable men. He might need their talents if this turned to shit…

    Aulus craned his neck, squinting up at the large watchtower that loomed above the area, the morning sun flashing behind it sharply. Its long shadow cut across the ground, but it was otherwise bright. The sun wasn’t strong enough to thaw out the iciness of the air and wind, the General’s knuckles red from the cold, his fingers numb around the reins.

    He wore his armour over thick garments, his wolf skin slung over his shoulders and adding to his bulk, the grey fur billowing idly in the wind. It kept much of the winter chill out of his skin, out of his blood. He breathed in the rich, brawny smell of a campfire somewhere in the settlement, which made him eager to get out of the fucking cold.

    Aulus leaned back in the saddle and pulled on the reins, his horse coming to a stop in front of the watchtower smoothly. There was a guttural shout from above and a guard clomped into view, peering down from the wall at them. He was a tall, broad shouldered man with dark eyes and skin, piercings gleaming in his ears and chin.

    Axe stepped forward to call out to him: “I am Calvus Axius and this is Cassianus Asinius! We are legionaries under the command of General Aulus Plautius!”

    The General gave a sharp nod of his head, his face stern.

    “We wish to speak to your king!” Axe added. “King Ezekiel* of Morhall!”


    Template thanks to Steel.

    * King Ezekiel is actually too busy tending to his zoo in the Elysium Fields. :p This line was added more to piss off Roy Mustang.
     
    #1 Aulus Plautius, Feb 23, 2018
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2018
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  2. Roy Mustang

    Roy Mustang Fullmetal Alchemist

    Posts:
    203
    Race:
    Human
    Age:
    29/30
    He didn't usually spend his time in the gatehouse, but after the recent encounter with a certain vampire he had wanted to check the defences and see if they had the defences needed to face down the beast should he ever come after them. His face was smoothed into the usual unreadable mask as he had moved along the defences and yet he had made time to stop, speaking to every guardsmen he met. He wanted to hear what the people thought, what they were saying and he fully believed in leading from the front. He had been just about to leave when the strangers had arrived at the gate, he was in the stairwell when he was called back, there was someone there wanting to speak to the king.

    Annoyance flared in Mustang's dark brown gaze, why does this keep happening? He wondered even as he kept his face smooth and moved to look down at those stood beneath their gaze. Three horsemen, their words had been formal introductions other than the call to see the king and Roy moved so he could be seen by the men below. His long blue coat billowing about him in the cold, mountain breeze, dark hair blowing about his face which was smoothed into an emotionless, brooding mask as he called out"There are no kings here..." His dark, brown gaze went over the riders once again before he went on"But if you dismount here and leave your weapons with your horses, before approaching the gate.. I Praetor Roy Mustang would be happy to help you strangers."

    Roy's voice was level and fair, but hidden beneath the calm exterior he was wary, his recent encounter with a vampire had left him well aware that there were a group of people within Morhall who the beast was after. A beast who could control others, so his wariness was for a good reason when faced with three strangers such as these. However he was a reasonable man who refused to let his wariness get the better of him, if he could make good out of the situation, he would. If these men agreed to his terms he would go down and meet them, maybe he'd also send someone off to get Hawkeye too if she had not already heard of the incident from one of the guards.
     
  3. Aulus Plautius

    Aulus Plautius Britannia

    Posts:
    91


    [​IMG]

    Another man stepped into view, his long blue coat whipping about in the icy wind. The guard gave him a reverent nod, before stepping out of the way, which suggested he was a man of rank. Was he King Ezekiel? No. Aulus’s scouts had described a man with skin as dark as Vitus’s and hair fastened into beads, jewels gleaming on his fingers and around his neck. He sounded like some bloody witch doctor out of Africa.

    The man introduced himself coolly, his use of Praetor catching the General’s interest. His scouts had also told him about that particular quirk... Some of the people here referred to each other with titles you'd find in a Roman government. Well, well, well… It looked like they’d made them citizens of Rome already…

    “No kings?” he called out to Mustang. “Then we must have received an out of date bit of news. We were led to believe you were ruled by a king. A King Ezekiel. Bloody hell. You went and sacrificed him to your gods?”

    That was usually the way with these ruddy pagans.

    Aulus had smiled with faint bitterness at his own question, but his face now grew solemn as he considered Mustang’s words. That sounded like an ultimatum to him… Obey or fuck off back into the cold. The General didn’t like the idea of abandoning his weapons and making himself powerless in this settlement, but it wasn’t just that which displeased him. He wasn’t about to obey a tribesman and make him think Rome was subservient.

    “We can’t leave our weapons,” Aulus stated matter-of-factly. “But I’ll make you a compromise instead. I’ll leave my men here and come to you on my own.”

    With those words, he reinforced the illusion that Rome wasn’t a nation that took things by force or rolled over and played dead, but a nation that worked with others and made negotiations. Each one of them. They were equal. Until he replaced their leaders with ones more willing to pay taxes and turn their backs on their gods.

    The General took a fleeting look at his men, noting their frowns. He could read those bastards like a book. They weren’t frowning because he’d offered to go on his own, but because they’d have to stay out here fuck knows how long in the flaming cold.


    Template thanks to Steel.
     
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  4. Riza Hawkeye

    Riza Hawkeye Fullmetal Alchemist

    Posts:
    258
    Gender:
    Female
    Occupation:
    Soldier
    Race:
    Human
    Age:
    27
    Alignment:
    Neutral Good
    There were moments when Riza wondered, despite knowing the rich resources of the mines beneath the mountain, why people had considered it worth their attention. It wasn't as though most of the community's problems had come from miners or developers, but every vaguely military-inclined group wanted to have some talk or other about who was in charge, despite their seemingly lack to take any more advantage of the resources than those here already were. It was bemusing, baffling and more than a little frustrating, but also par for the course.

    Riza had been out riding Saffron, letting her mare find a bit of exercise while she looked around the general area for signs of trouble and ranging a bit further than usual- but it was hard to miss the signs of a group like this, and she hadn't. Not wanting to assume the worst she'd ridden closer at a quick but reasonable pace and had a chance to hand her horse off before approaching the gatehouse from the side entrance, and to walk over as Roy's statement was answered by the older man. There was a military demeanor to him, but that wasn't as intimidating to the Lieutenant as it might be to others, but she could respect it, at least until there was some reason not to.

    Glancing at the Colonel she raised a brow, not sure how that was going to go, so far as the weapons were concerned- but at the same time, there were others here carrying weapons anyway, soldiers on their side, and if they were all taken out by this one man then it didn't matter how many weapons he had, or didn't have. They were outclassed anyway, and why argue with what seemed like a compromise that made both sides equally uncomfortable? Besides, she had her guns and Roy's back, as ever. He was Praetor though, and it was his decision to make- and one she'd fully support.
     
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  5. Roy Mustang

    Roy Mustang Fullmetal Alchemist

    Posts:
    203
    Race:
    Human
    Age:
    29/30
    The man who appeared to be the groups leader responded to his words about kings and having the wrong information, Mustang knew the information was not necessarily wrong but more misleading. He was going to have to talk to Ezekiel about the complications him insisting on being called king kept bringing him, the conversation was unlikely to make there friendship deeper. Either way he did not bother to correct the man so far below, he didn't bother giving him an answer at all, just gazed coolly down at him. Then the guy was responding to his terms, he did not seem happy about the terms Mustang offered, nor did his men and yet nothing in Mustang's stance or expression offered any kind of lenience. Even as the man was responding to him Roy could hear familiar footsteps behind him, yet he kept his dark, brown gaze on the man below him and he was tempted to send some flames down to send them scurrying on their way, he had little patience for compromise on this.

    He stepped back from the wall's edge, out of sight as if he was debating leaving them out in the cold but in reality it was so he could glance back at Riza. The sight of her stoic face calmed him and the slight tenseness that had been in his bones moments before, noting her expression he instinctively knew that she thought it a decent compromise. Knowing that he stepped back into sight, happy to of left them wondering if he was going to even consider compromise, keep the strangers on their toes and called out to them"Very well, your men will stay out there... I would suggest they take shelter a little bit back the way you came, in a sheltered area of cliff faces with a slight overhang... As for you, General, you may enter on the gate man's signal..." Then looking to the guards manning the tower he spoke to them"The men left outside, if they come within a foot of here send them warning shots... If that does not warn them off shoot to kill, I am having no trickery today... Any problems send a messenger for me."

    Then looking to Riza he offered her a respectful nod before continuing in a softer tone"Lets go down and greet our guest." With that he vacated his position atop the tower and took the quick route down to meet the stranger, pulling on his ignition gloves as he did so, just in case. They arrived on the other side of the gate as they opened to emit the newcomer to their sanctuary and Roy stood waiting, in a stance which suggested his background included a fair amount of military grounding. His face was unreadable, if anything he looked as if he was brooding and his dark brown eyes had little warmth to them. A wariness clung to him and he knew it was all a certain vampire's fault that he was so wary of newcomers, although the way these men had stated who they were spoke of the military to Roy, another reason to be wary in his mind because military organisations could be a threat just as much as a powerful vampire.
     
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  6. Aulus Plautius

    Aulus Plautius Britannia

    Posts:
    91


    [​IMG]

    Mustang slipped out of sight, which made Aulus frown faintly. Had he rejected his suggestion? He wouldn’t’ve been the first. He’d met leaders of tribes who’d outright refused to listen to any Roman, which was always a flaming pity. The General would much rather negotiate with them, or give the illusion of negotiating with them, than pick off their people until they agreed to his terms and conditions. Although fighting and raiding was always a good bit of fun, he hated to waste potential sources of labour and money.

    Before he could turn his horse around and reconsider his plan, Mustang resurfaced and agreed to his proposition. Excellent. They were back on track.

    Aulus dismounted and handed his reins to one of his men, responding to their wary frowns with a curt nod. Nothing bad was going to happen to him, otherwise he would’ve felt it in his bones by now. And the people here had no reason to do anything bad to him.

    At least not yet…

    The General stoically watched his troops trudging off to find this sheltered area, his horse’s hooves clopping against the rocky ground. He was on his own. Some figures of authority might’ve found that a terrifying prospect, but he enjoyed the peace and quiet. He got so bloody fed up of being surrounded by his own men twenty-four hours a day. Aulus couldn’t even take a flaming dump without one of them scuttling after him, insisting that they stand guard while he was squatting in case he got attacked by sea serpents, a devil’s army, or a giant fucking squid.

    He strolled through the opened gate and met up with Mustang. He’d brought a young blonde woman along with him, who looked like she wouldn’t hesitate to stomp on balls to get some respect. The new Queen of Morhall?

    “Bloody freezing today,” Aulus grinned broadly at them, rubbing his bare hands together as though to prove his point. His extremities had gone numb, but the large wolf hide slung over his shoulders kept most of the cold and ice out of his joints.


    Template thanks to Steel.
     
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  7. Riza Hawkeye

    Riza Hawkeye Fullmetal Alchemist

    Posts:
    258
    Gender:
    Female
    Occupation:
    Soldier
    Race:
    Human
    Age:
    27
    Alignment:
    Neutral Good
    She knew Roy's tension well, and his wariness- it was his job to keep this place safe in the midst of the chaotic wilderness that life could throw at them from any side this world chose, and with evidence to show how badly those around him could be hurt she couldn't fault him for doing his best at it. Even if it did likely seem a little abrupt to those who didn't know the situation, it was the right thing to do. So long as he didn't slip into inflexibility or tyranny there didn't seem to be any reason to call any of it into question. So she managed a small look, sideways, a faint glance from the days of Amestris. It said that she knew and understood her orders, and how this worked, and that she was ready.

    As she stepped forward with him she stayed to the side, equal in status but without the piercing glance Mustang tended to give; instead, her look was steady, calm and utterly composed, a statue of stoic flesh and cool blood. It was a quiet leader's look, someone who didn't speak unless it absolutely needed saying. And why waste words anyway? This man looked like he had his own objectives in mind, good or bad, and wasn't about to be cowed from them- though she didn't have that in mind, at least not for the moment. At least he didn't argue, and he let his soldiers leave. If he offered them trust and respect, returning it was the only ethical thing to do.

    A small look of agreement crossed her face at his assessment, though it wasn't quite a smile, and she nodded. "The weather on the mountains is rather brisk, but it's a bit more hospitable inside. I see you've already met our Praetor. I'm the Aedile, Riza Hawkeye." With that, she glanced at Roy and raised a brow, waiting for him to see if he wanted her to go ahead and make preparations for a meeting space.
     
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  8. Maes Hughes

    Maes Hughes Fullmetal Alchemist

    Posts:
    51
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Father
    Location:
    In your heart
    Race:
    Human
    Age:
    29
    Alignment:
    Lawful Good
    Maes had been talking to some of the union type groups, about conditions and communications with the business types. It'd taken a little time but he'd convinced both sides to work things out amicably and to the benefit of everyone. Just as he was walking away, a worker who was off duty came up to him and told him about some guests. They looked like Roman soldiers, he wasn't exactly a history buff but he knew enough to know Romans weren't something to scuff at.

    He was also told that Roy and Riza had gone to meet them, so he took off on a jog and came to the gate. He'd slowed down before getting there so he would like as if he was coming in at a normal speed. Maes had heard the introductions by his friends and the comment about cold, he came into view with a hand of hello up. "I'm Quaestor, Maes Hughes. Welcome" greeted Maes with a smile as he decided to stand next to his friends.

    He didn't know the complete circumstances but it was good that they stood together, would make things easier on the part of Morhall and them as a whole. "So what brings you to Morhall" asked Maes in a simple then cheerful tone, knowing you got more things done with honey then vinegar.
     
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  9. Roy Mustang

    Roy Mustang Fullmetal Alchemist

    Posts:
    203
    Race:
    Human
    Age:
    29/30
    Close up the man before them was an imposing being, though he had equipped himself well for the weather what with the thick fur that hung from his shoulders. Roy's face was smooth of emotion as his piercing dark gaze fixed on the man's face as he offered them a smile and spoke of the weather, which Roy did not deign to give a response to as he continued to silently asses the current situation with the man stood before them. Aulus was coming across friendly enough but Roy had spent his time caught up in enough political circles to know that a smile didn't always mean anything, Riza was responding to the man's words now and Roy caught her glance towards him as she finished and even as she looked to him there was movement in one of the passageways off from the entrance.

    Hughes was suddenly there too, also introducing himself in that bright way he always did and Roy felt grateful for both Hawkeye and Hughes' presence because if this guy turned out to be a threat he could not think of two better people to have at his side than them. As Maes spoke his question Roy finally spoke up, his voice calm but authoritative"I believe there is a room just off the corridor Mr Hughes emerged from where we can discuss whatever matter this man has brought us in private... And where he will be better able to recover from the cold." He indicated the corridor he mentioned, while meeting the newcomers gaze and then he was off leading the way trusting Riza to have his back if the stranger tried anything in that moment.

    While also trusting Maes to keep the tone friendly when he felt distinctly unable to after recent circumstances. Upon reaching the room he led the way inside and turned to face his companions, waiting for them to follow him into the selected room before his dark, brown gaze settled on Aulus again as he asked"Now, as Mr Hughes asked earlier... What brings you to Morhall? How may we help you?" His voice gave nothing away as to what he was truly thinking though it had gained an edge of friendliness to it and yet his intense gaze was now fixed on Aulus' face as he waited for the man's answer.
     
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  10. Aulus Plautius

    Aulus Plautius Britannia

    Posts:
    91


    [​IMG]

    The young blonde woman introduced herself as Riza, another man joining them and offering his own name more obligingly. He was a right cheerful bastard, unlike the other two po-faced sods.

    Aulus followed the trio down the passageway, the walls sheltering him from the cold. They’d been smart to turn a cave into a settlement, its natural structures effortlessly keeping out the elements. He’d remember that after he’d taken over Morhall.

    His extremities were thawing out nicely by the time they’d reached the room, the wolf hide almost too hot and snug. The General remained on his feet, meeting Mustang’s surly gaze unflinchingly. He seemed the most cautious of the bunch, followed by Riza. Had something happened to make them this way? Was it something he could use against them?

    “Better yet,” Aulus began his campaign, his voice loud and chummy. He didn’t drop his gaze from Mustang. “How can we help you in return?”

    He let that hang in the room, before adding amiably: “We have our own settlement in the Elysium Fields at its closest point to Mt. Pompeii and Morhall. It’s a shit hole right now… Nothing more than a military camp, full of tents and men who think their balls are bigger than coconuts. But with time and effort it could grow into a community.”

    He’d been honest about the location of the Roman camp, intending to build a fake layer of trust between them. He wasn’t concerned about these people running off to attack them, because his men were highly trained and accumulating a stockpile of weapons.

    “We see that you’re also a developing community,” he said, breaking eye contact with Mustang to glance between Maes and Riza. “I’d like to propose some sort of trade network. We offer you a resource or service and you offer us one in return.”

    That was the General’s honest plan, except right now they were equals. His secret long term ambition was to subjugate the people of Morhall, bring them all under the banner of his nation.


    Template thanks to Steel.
     
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  11. Riza Hawkeye

    Riza Hawkeye Fullmetal Alchemist

    Posts:
    258
    Gender:
    Female
    Occupation:
    Soldier
    Race:
    Human
    Age:
    27
    Alignment:
    Neutral Good
    The trio of them seemed to fall into their old roles just fine, with Mustang being their 'strong leader', Hughes being ever amiable and Riza quiet, polite and watchful. What the other man thought of this she couldn't say, but she also didn't very much care. Following them into the caverns and then the meeting room she took a moment to arrange one of the other civil workers to bring some warm drinks and snacks. It was an old habit, but fortunately it served her well enough in her position as Aedile that it wouldn't seem out of place. Plus, it let her keep her eye on Roy's back, and Hughes' too, just for good measure.

    Once everyone was in the room and the arrangements were made she slipped inside, just in time to hear the stranger begin his speech. It started out very much like the car salesmen she'd heard before, which made her wary- but not enough to jump to too many conclusions, or change her stoic expression even a wink. Not even his pronouncement of brutal honesty about his camp could do that. Did he say it because he thought they assumed as much, having seeing his accompaniment here? It didn't really matter in the end. He seemed to know what they needed, and what they might be looking for.

    Either that or he was a clever man who happened on a very lucky coincidence. In Hawkeye's experience there were either rare, or planned.

    Nevertheless she considered his words, cocking her head and bringing a finger to tap against her lips as she glanced at her fellow council members. Trade was always useful, but not at the price of their domestic security. They'd never had a person with a settlement this close offering that kind of opportunity- and there was always that other settlement collecting of those former Saviors that Ezekiel had cast out. "Morhall appreciates the offer of trade. It sounds like an amenable proposition, and as you can see there aren't a lot of options for trade in this area." she replied steadily, linking her fingers together before her. "But the question of what we can offer each other remains. We are, as you likely already know, a mining settlement. What would you offer us?"

    She had no doubt that Mustang and Hughes would have their own questions to pipe in, but this seemed like a good starting point- at least it would let them learn a little something about this new leader so close to their settlement.
     
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  12. Maes Hughes

    Maes Hughes Fullmetal Alchemist

    Posts:
    51
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Father
    Location:
    In your heart
    Race:
    Human
    Age:
    29
    Alignment:
    Lawful Good
    Hughes had followed along with his friends, bringing the Roman General into an offside room often used for such out of the way discussions. Like Roy and Riza, Hughes was sizing up and observing the man. Taking in what details he could as well as mannerisms so as to use them later on or just for the discussion itself. When they went into the room Riza had called for refreshments, thinking ahead was something she was quite good at.

    Maes listened to the man and finding him oddly similar to those high up types he met in parties, weather he was in his espionage days or when he was in administrative time. When he spoke of a settlement that existed between here and Pandora Town, his first thoughts came to the Myrtle Woods settlement. And even though his words about it spoke of something different in location and appearance, given that he'd already looked in on Myrtle and had people keeping an eye on it.

    "Yes, trade is always good but I'm not sure what we'd be trading. Do you trade with anyone else, maybe some examples could be helpful" added Maes in his usual friendly tone but his question had a lot more to it then a simple discussion on trade. It was actually his subtle way of seeing if he had anything to do with Myrtle Woods, knowing full well that both Roy and Riza would be thinking that as well.
     
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  13. Aulus Plautius

    Aulus Plautius Britannia

    Posts:
    91


    [​IMG]

    Riza and Maes were quick to ask questions, which Aulus supposed was a good sign. Well, better than them telling him to fuck off and then throwing him off the side of the flaming mountain.

    “You’re the first community we’ve approached about a possible trade network,” he told them, his solemn gaze on Maes since he’d been the one to ask that particular question. “But we’ve traded with plenty of other groups before we came to Pandora. Mostly, we offered them protection… Security. And they paid us taxes or provided labour in return.”

    Labour was a kinder way to describe enslavement.

    “How about that then?” he asked, turning his head to regard Riza. “We can protect you against anybody or anything that dares threaten your settlement. I’ve got a number of highly skilled soldiers that have fought in many military campaigns, trained to use a variety of weapons. Providing us with a percentage of the resources you mine would make us even.”

    Or give the illusion of them being even…


    Template thanks to Steel.

    @Roy Mustang
    @Maes Hughes
    @Riza Hawkeye
     
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