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An Emergency Meeting of the Senate [Closed]

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An Emergency Meeting of the Senate [Closed] Empty Sat Apr 20, 2024 10:49 pm


"In my name..."

STR: 1 | SPD: 146 | CON: 251 | END: 251 | INT: 1001 | MANA: 11,650

"Bow before your queen"
- Astrid Venier

A loud clamor escaped through the heavy doors - sealed shut to effectively seal them from the world outside; men and women arguing both out of reason and passioned pleas in order to curry favor all for the sake of moving forward with their believed solutions to the plights affecting Fiore. Sessions were seldom held so frequent, certainly not only days following the most recent session. An emergency session as one described it, a matter brought before the Senate by the hands of an illicit few, a cabal consisting of the distinguished Lady Tsara, the controversial rising star Astrid Venier, and a small collective of those whom supported the pair. Few amongst the total presenting the Senate, but enough to give them legitimacy to try to convene such a session.

Others in the past had tried and failed.

Whether out of luck or good fortune, the room slowly but surely filled with Senators, senior and junior alike, whom had expected not to be in attendance for days, if not potentially weeks still.

“To what does the Lady Venier seek to convene the Senate for?” A nameless voice clamored through the cacophony of disgruntled cries and bodies dragging themselves to their respective seats.

“A matter that her father likely would not have been subjected to,” another voice called out, the cruel nature of his remarks neither hidden nor one that would be apologized for. The reality had sadly become that; Astrid’s ascent to the position not only of Senator but to that of a key voice within the Senator had inspired no shortage of jealousy amongst her fellows, many of which as much sought to see her crushed as others did hoping to be on the her side in hopes of it being the “winning one”.

Remarks towards her appeal to that of her deceased father were simply those that sought to belittle her, take away from the reality of the power that she actually held.

Or that of her allies, “A pity really, to suggest that her father were more deserving of such a basis tenant as respect. That the gentleman believes their behavior is becoming of such proceedings should consider a change in tone or should I see to them being removed?” The declaration came from that of Lady Tsara, Astrid’s most trusted associate, advisor, and like Astrid had risen in standing since the failed coup attempt by the former Lord Venier, to the point now that her threat to remove a Senator from the proceeding was hardly a threat.

“Does the gentleman have any further to say?” A voice called from behind Lady Tsara, the woman whom the earlier retort had been directed towards, the one who had pushed for the emergency session in the first place, Lady Astrid Venier, “If not, hopefully then we may begin with the proceedings. After all, seldom few had any expectation of being here, let alone being appropriately ready in any capacity for a lengthy session. You shouldn’t need to worry of me consuming much of your time,” a smile formed upon her face, sinister perhaps to those of a certain vantage, innocuous to most, “It is but a singular matter I bring to the attention of those in attendance. One with ramifications to stretch the entirety of our great nation.”

“She is certainly Venier’s daughter. Speaking of grandiose scale with the wave of a hand. No doubt a matter that surely is of our immediate response,” another voice, this time female, called too, sarcasm riddled within it.

“More astute than you may believe, the reality is our response or lackthereof on this matter will no doubt possess sweeping ramifications, enough such that we may be looking upon different faces beside us the next time we find ourselves summoned here in our official capacity.” The notion that Astrid had anything of significant importance may have been foolhardy amongst plenty of those in attendance, but for many, the idea that their political power may have been in jeopardy was enough of a reason to take her proposal with at least half an open mind. The silver-haired woman knew this all too well – a known fact that she often heard her father complain towards – with an almost cruel look about it. “Good, I will take everyone’s utter attention as enough evidence to begin.”

The machinations of the Senate Chambers began to shift, the room itself literally unraveling as it began to contort in its very shape. Everyone, whether seated within the floor of the massive chamber or that of the high balconies that lined along the walls, much like that of where Astrid and Lady Tsara were located upon, shifted in such a manner that now everyone was looking upon Astrid.

It was an engineering marvel intentionally designed to provide proper attention to those were bringing forth their respective proposal. Under most circumstances, such mechanisms would never be utilized in the presence of King Reign; the perception being this taking focus away from that of the Crown. Yet, under such an emergency session where the King’s presence was not required, instead only those of the Senators, it was as much an opportunity to enjoy such theatrics.

With eyes upon her, Astrid looked for a brief moment, surveying the crowd. Most in attendance, as far as she could tell, enough at least to hold a vote once everything were said and done. “My fellows, before proper discussions can begin, I first must apologize if I appear disheveled. Time has been a precious luxury that I’ve been afforded little of late. The past several days I had carried out discussions in Hargeon with none other than Blue Pegasus’s guild leader, Alisa Vollan. Ms. Vollan wished to convey concerns in the wake of legislature passed. In particular, the allocation of funds of government subsidies out of wealthier cities like that of Hargeon and Magnolia and instead towards that of cities in more dire need like Oak. The Reconstruction Act, if this sounds at all familiar.”

“The Reconstruction Act, that you pushed for and championed?”

“The very same. Ms. Vollan was, to say the least, an interesting person to discuss the matter with. One as influential within not only her own city, but likely to many here as well, one would be a fool not to provide an audience and hear her position on the matter. And I am grateful for that, as our conversation proved not only to be stimulating, but enlightening as well.”

“And how did Blue Pegasus feel towards your robbery written as reparations?”

Astrid chuckled. “Believe it or not, Ms. Vollan was one who was far more open-minded to the idea of Reconstruction. But, like any matter of this scale, there will no doubt be challenges. Hardships. And unexpected circumstances. Needless to say though, I will stand my position and I believe the legislature was the proper course of action.” She paused, observing the faces. Some who expressed doubt, some whom seemed to respond positively to Astrid’s commitment. Still a generally mixed bag. “But the idea of reconstruction only works when the cities use their funds appropriately…”

“Hargeon is suffering, not due to the reimbursement of funds to Oak, but out of its own illicit greed and corruption that failed to properly distribute its own respective fund. With a deficit, now such allocations or lackthere are amplified. Likewise in Oak, one of the main benefactors of all of this, not all of the funds are going where they should. And in both cases, it is the fault of the cities and their leadership.”

“So, a meeting with Alisa Vollan only to criticize Alisa Vollan for negatively affecting her city?”

“Hardly a proper position to take, especially for a visiting Senator having siphoned funds, if you ask me…”

“An ignorant position to assume. For you to think that a guild master and political figurehead are of the same and therefore share responsibility for the failure of one another, that is both foolish and shows your lack of understanding to their dynamics. But I digress, however one may assume the respective governance of a city, even those of the localities within their established borders, must recognize the risk that what aid we are providing them fiscally is being wasted. Blind trusts have been forged with blank checks written, dispersed throughout the country with no accountability other than the hope that such matters are handled accordingly. That is what you have been doing for how long now?”

“Are you suggesting that we are at fault?”

“If you disagree, Senator of Astera, please enlighten us as to the exact distribution of your city’s funds. After all, do you not receive notable contributions to protect against the volatility that the azure sea presents? Would you stand before an audit and defend how such funds are allocated?”

Several eyes cast upon the woman having previously spoken, yet not a word was spoken. Only silence, a silence that was as ultimately telling as admitting that one did not know.

“How we have approached the matter of aiding the cities within Fiore has come to a point where it cannot be sustained. There are those who do not receive enough of our aid and support, whilst others benefit far too greatly. Good intentions by ourselves are undermined by failures of those the people elected into locality rule. They are intended to speak for their people, as are we, but if common ground cannot be found, if trust cannot be preserved, then there simply is no point in prolonging a failed system.”

It was clear that an impact was being felt, the reality that seldom any within the room would be willing to recognize, that the massive allocations of funds and support out of Crocus towards all of the various cities were neither checked, audited, verified, no form of responsibility taken to ensure that the process was done as intended. Even Astrid, who carried out a massive redistribution of funds out of several cities into others, failed to wholy account for this. The tragedy of it all was that it seemed her alone being one to recognize the failings of her own part, and simultaneously understand the need for the process to be modernized.

“Your proposal then?”

“A halting of all funds,” a bevy of gasps and shocks of disbelief echoed throughout, the suggestion that Crocus no longer aid the rest of Fiore being unconscionable. “Not permanently, not at all for such a length. Only until their budgets have been presented to Crocus, wherein a new office, a department of Auditors, directed under the operation of the Senate, provided with the required funding as provided by the Senate and Crown, will conduct and clear the disbursement.”

“Such a suggestion, an idea of this sort would be no shortage of a massive undertaking… It would demand every province within Fiore to be in compliance. That seems near impossible for some of the less-funded to be able to adequately determine necessary aid.”

“Not only that, but how many are offset by other cities? The idea that towns outside of Hosenka can properly know the full depth of aid they receive, let alone Hosenka be able to sufficiently know what they will have to provide. Your idea, is novel, but near impossible to achieve.”

“Certainly so, at least it would seem. The cities would provide their audits and work with the department to otherwise determine distribution and aid moving forward. If a million Jewels are dispersed to forty cities every year prior, with a proper understanding of what they actually require, would we be looking nine-hundred, eight-hundred thousand? It is not as though records are destroyed. They are not lost to war, gone by the ages. We have the information. One simply has to look at it as us updating the status quo.”

There were no shortage of private discussions echoing within the Chamber. Astrid presented a reasonable position, one of which seldom any could argue. The system in place had no sense of oversight, and in this came one such option.

A Senator stood up from one of the balconies perched, his voice booming, “Reform is needed, but we cannot destabilize what is in existence. Lady Venier gives a bright idea, one that perhaps in future times may be adopted. But… it is hard to weigh the value over putting Fiore’s economy, and its stability, on hold.”

There was a sense of tension within the Chamber as the man continued. A veteran Senator, one of the more influential figures; he had been among those whom had shown respect towards Astrid throughout, at times at the ire of his associates. Despite this, he was one that when he spoke, the Senate listened. “Lady Venier, I applaud you. I applaud your efforts. The Reconstruction Act, though flawed perhaps in some capacities, has shown a much needed level of attention towards the diligence that should be expected of those we hold and elect to power, both at the local level and within the Senate. However, I feel that this idea, without the proper sort of preparation and trial, can only lead us to a road of ruin…” He looked around, noticing the attention of everyone now focused upon him, “If there are no objections, I feel that it be best that we cease the discussion and vote. All in favor?”

“Hold on!” Astrid called out, her blood boiling with every word spoken of the man. On one hand, validation for her efforts was appreciated, but this was not how she wanted this to end. She still had a hand to play yet. “Do not get me wrong, I understand the concern. I understand the apprehensiveness towards such an ambitious program. Then, as you have said, allow a trial of the matter. A test, an early adoption I suppose some might even consider it.” She looked, waiting for the approval, or at least acknowledgement of her proposal. Once received, she continued, “Oak, Hargeon, Magnolia, and Hosenka. The same cities most affected by the Reconstruction Act, we proceed with them, and if it should fail, then we know proper.”

“The challenge there still is in the organization. Who shall set up such a department? And who will perform said audits?”

“I will,” Astrid announced, to wild exclamation by the Senators around. It was an ambitious idea, one that to some degree the people no doubt had to have perceived as foolish. Nonetheless, she seemed to have been steadfast in her position. “I will handle the audits of the cities. They will provide what information is needed to my office and staff, and from there it will become clear, what is being taken, what is being lost, what can be afforded, and if changes to the forementioned legislature must be executed. And if it should fail, if the project proves to be too ambitious, too difficult to manage, then we fall back to the current status until, as you have suggested, such a time can move forward.”

She looked around, noticing the attention of nearly everyone now keenly focused on her, some of them looking to see if she were simply putting on a façade, others perhaps believing her to have bitten off more than she could chew. Whatever their reason, all that mattered was their attention was turned to her.

A brief illumination emanated from her left eye, every eye cascaded upon her face inheriting the same command, the same demand that echoed out of her mouth, “I encourage that we now hold a vote to approve my role as the head of this temporary audit department, don’t we all agree?” Casual conversation seemed to return to the Chamber as if nothing had happened, Astrid fairly confident of the likelihood of how the vote were to go. Her confidence turned to utter assurance as the Senators, one by one, all voted in favor of providing Astrid with exactly what she wanted; the formation of a temporary agency. The successor to her Reconstruction Act, now Astrid had more than just the ability to move funds, but to determine to what degree. It was all part of her deal with Alisa Vollan; in order to reverse course in Oak Town, she needed the authority. But as she realized on the return trip from Hargeon, she had the potential to do so much more. This idea, this system that she proposed, it was secondary to her.

What mattered was the vote. In an instant she had managed to convince almost all of the Senators in attendance to vote in favor of a proposal that even she could not guarantee success towards.

That was what she wanted more than anything else, to see that work.

And as she, Lady Tsara, and those in their camp departed like most leaving the Chamber, the session having been concluded, it was simply a matter of handling a small few logistical steps before making a return visit to where this chapter of her life all began…

Oak Town, where her Reconstruction Act had helped reshape, and that she further intended to reshape.

In her name.

Name: Submission
Rank: S
Mana Cost: 500
Requirements: Makima's Controlling Eye
Type: Supplementary
Element: N/A
Range: -
Cooldown: 2 Posts
Duration: Sustain
Effect: By gazing upon a chosen the target, the user can force others into submission and obedience as long as they have seen the user's eye. To use the effect, the user must issue an order, while the target may either submit to the user and obey, or attempt to resist the spell. Should the enemy attempt to resist, they must roll a D100 and roll higher than 50 in order to resist successfully; if they fail, they will take 1S rank damage directly to the head, while their Speed, Intelligence and damage dealt will be considered one rank lower for that turn. Additionally, the difference between the user's and their enemy's reputation will affect the threshold needed to successfully resist. Every 1000 points of difference in reputation between user and target will increase or reduce the dice success threshold by 1 depending on who has the higher reputation: The user or the target respectively. The threshold cannot increase above 75 or decrease below 25. In subsequent turns that the target attempts to resist, they may roll again to break free of the spell while taking only A-rank damage if they fail. Each success or failure in resisting will decrease or increase the threshold by 5 respectively. A target cannot be asked to commit actions such as the taking of their own life, committing explicit actions upon others, or other actions that would be considered taboo according to site rules. Attempting to have these actions carried out will result in the spell failing upon the target for the remainder of the topic. Though the user may look at multiple targets, they may only issue a single command per turn.

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