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"The things we do have consequence. Our actions have consequence. The good that we do always returns to us in three-fold but not always as we would recognize it. But the evils we do, they reverberate through time, echoing far into the future. They have consequence, and they must be paid for ... sometimes at the greatest of costs."
Twenty years ago; 19-10-7002
-The Emim Estate attack a rival Estate, the Korabelim, in a bid to break the current political strangle hold on all the immortals of Dark Coast City (DCC). In the attack, Both Estates suffer catastrophic losses as both leaders die at each others hand and only a few survivors flee into the cold autumn night.
-Asil and a handful of other immortal survivors from the Emim attack, flee into the cold night with their mortal families in tow. Unsure who is friend and who is foe, or if the attack is even over, they question where they might take refuge. The youngest amongst them, Bheste, suggest they go to a potentially neutral Estate, the Anakim. Their leader, Tamsin, owns a small dishevelled club in the poor parts of town. They make their escape, and request sanctuary. Tamsin, unsure if it's a wise decision, accepts to hide them. The surviving Korabelim and their families, disappear for two decades.
-Brent, the Emim Estate archivist, is about to be a father. He prepares to take the long walk from the city outskirts to the hilltop hospital at the center of the city. He recalls the day he first met Senna and how madly in love they became. As he rushes to reach her quickly, he takes a faithful shortcut, and is shot down by an unknown assailant. Meanwhile, Senna has entered premature labor. Something it terribly wrong and her Doula, Doreen, comforts her. Senna makes her promise to save the child, no matter what happens and Doreen grudgingly agrees. But Doreen has doubts in her part to play in the evening's plans, and makes a faithful decision, throwing away a dark vial of liquid. Senna dies giving birth, and the father is reported to have just been brought into the morgue. Doreen keeps her word, taking the child under her care and names him, Adam.
A few years later.
-The sole surviving Emim, Iago, tends to an empty Estate fortress, when a knock at the door has him greet nighttime strangers. A powerful African man of some age, boasting two large horns and golden eyes, Izem; the Lion of Asael, the greatest warrior of all the Emim Estates and father to the former Estate leader, arrives in DCC. He makes Iago uncomfortable, the latter thinking that Izem has come to take control of the Estate. Izem reassures him that he is only here to learn of the circumstances of his son's death. Surprisingly, Izem offers himself as a subordinate to the much younger Iago, as a counsel, while he seeks to learn of his last surviving heir. He asks only that he and his attendant Rachel, be allowed to stay under his leadership. Iago hesitantly accepts his offer, knowing full well that having a lion in the house is a dangerous game.
Shift to modern date; 01-03-7022 CE.
-The marketplace is abuzz with people, buying, selling and haggling. A homeless person stands outside the market holding a sign that states the inequality of the classes is strangling the poor. No one pays attention to him. The sound of a converted World War truck, not commonly used as delivery vehicles, speeds up towards the crowd as it zigzags between the electric street cars. People stop and look in wonder, gasoline vehicles are rare, and people mumble that the driver is going to fast and will have an accident. A man in a grey pinstripe business suit, a soft leather satchel-case in hand, walks without paying attention, going over the notes in his notepad. The truck swerves up the street sending people scattering as it swings dangerously close to the marketplace. Two men jump out of the back, garbed in dock worker's clothes and masks, each sporting a Tommy gun weapon. They open fire onto the crowd as people scatter and take shelter as best they can. The man in the grey suit is mowed down with bullets, several bystanders are injured. A shopkeeper trying to help an injured bystander is shot dead, falling back onto his fruit stall.
Daniel leaps in the way of the bullets to shelter a young mother and her infant child. The bullet riddle the stone building around them. Samuel pulls a screaming Catherine as she tries to reach out and grab Daniel. After the hail of bullets the two men leap back into the back of the truck and speed away down towards the docks. All of it is witnesses by the Homeless man who doesn't flinch when the shooting begins.
-Investigator Rahman arrives with a signed writ of authority from Lord Madera to investigate the shooting. He has to argue with the black garbed security hired by the market [an extortion racket] to be allowed to question the shopkeepers, so he settles for the people outside the market. Then he notices the man in grey and realizes it's Michael Madera's personal accountant. He suspects that this is more than some random attack by the dockworker's mob goons. Witnesses state that they used illegal weapons, automatic guns smuggled in from the World War armories overseas if the descriptions are right.
Rahman and his partner have investigated most of the witnesses, everyone says the same thing, they were too busy hiding to notice anything. They both surmise that everyone has figured out this is a hit and Papa Rousso is behind it. People are scared that what happened 20 years ago will happen again. His partner asks if Rahman was here back then, which he says yes. It was the bloodiest time the city had ever seen since the six year war right after the city founding. Rahman notices Daniel, Samuel and Catherine and asks his partner if they have been spoken to. He says no, but they were here from what eye witnesses sat, right by the man in grey actually.
Rahman questions Daniel while Samuel trades coats with him. Daniel doesn't say much, except ask if Rahman works for Madera. Rahman asks how he knew and Daniel just says he has seen Rahman around before. Rahman asks if he would be willing to give a deposition on what he has seen, Daniel hesitates while Samuel shakes his head urging him not to. Daniel looks at the young mother he sheltered from the bullets and thinks that if he hadn't done something that mother and infant would be dead. He looks over to her and she nods her head in thank you. Daniel looks at Catherine and tells Rahman he will give a deposition and testify. Rahman is surprised. Daniel simply states that people are afraid, but all it takes is one person to stand up and say no to start others doing the right thing. If no one stops this, it will get worse, and it will cost more lives. Rahman tells him to come to his office and gives him a card, he suggests that he tells no one that he will cooperate, it will be safe that way.
Rahman and his partner go over the dead accountant's body. The briefcase and notepad are gone. This wasn't just a hit. He asks his partner where Daniel was, which was just 5 feet away. They examine where Daniel was crouched down over the mom and child. The bullets hit the wall all around them. Rahman's partner says that Daniel is one lucky bastard. Rahman muses to himself, yeah, an incredibly lucky guy, or something else. His partner asks if he suspects Daniel was in on the hit, Rahman answers he doesn't know, anything is possible. His partner scoffs and says Rahman suspects everyone, and jokingly asks if he suspects the two crows that are watching. Rahman makes a face like maybe he does. "Do you think they would testify?"
-Narrated. Two crows sit above the market looking down at the crowd for scraps of food. The guns fire off, but the crows don't fly away, they just look. They watch the bullets rip past Daniel, and some of the bullets hit him. One of the crows flies down, grabs a bread roll from the dead market stand baker, and flies back up to share it.
When Rahman Arrives, the crows start to pay attention, sitting on the electrical lines, and they watch him closely. But when they see that Rahman notices them, they immediately leave.
One flies in one direction, to Michael's office window, landing on the adjacent rooftop and watching Michael work. The other flies down to the docks, landing on a ship's sail mast and chasing the seagulls without doing anything, and watches Alonzo do the rounds and his men moving some of the goods being loaded onto a truck as Alonzo's man pays the ship captain.
-Daniel and Catherine are special. That evening they go to the parlor where Akanksha says she has heard that Daniel plans to testify. If she knows it, so does Papa Rousso. She warns Daniel to be careful, he may be immortal but he is not untouchable. She looks at Catherine. Daniel says he will pay whatever price that comes with it, because he would rather be a good man but hated by those who are evil, than be good with those who are evil. As he sits with Catherine, Akanksha tells Samuel to watch over Daniel. He suspects that Akanksha is saying less about more, so she admits to him that Daniel and Catherine are very special. She suspects that they found one another by no small coincidence, two ravaged souls, two shipwrecked on the same island beach. Daniel is not like other Anakim, he is truthful and upright. He is a mystery to her, and is either an incredibly good soul, or an absolutely evil one. Samuel looks over at the table and wonders.
Samuel brings over their glasses, a drink for Samuel, a raspberry tea for Catherine and water for Daniel. Catherine asks what will happen if Daniel testifies, won't Papa Rousso have him taken care of. Daniel shakes his head and says he can't. She asks why and Samuel explains that Papa Rousso is the lead family amongst the familia, and is the stepfather of Alonzo Viajante, the leader of the Rephaim Estate, a powerful and founding family of immortals belonging to the Akibeelim bloodline. Papa Rousso is bound by oath not to harm any immortal or related mortal kith, under penalty of death. Harming Daniel, or even Catherine, would be signing his own death warrant. His own stepson would have to kill him and Alonzo is not someone you want as an enemy. He can be as ruthless as Papa Rousso, but has powers. Catherine asks what kind? Daniel explains they can kill your soul. Catherine is shocked. Samuel clarifies, where Daniel can influence people's emotions through the use of Essence [Pneuma], and Samuel can see and bring out a person's worst desires, the Rephaim can look at your Essence, manipulate it, even turn it against you. They claim that they can kill you with your own energies.
At that moment, Izem arrives, his heavy hooded cloak does nothing to hide his horns. Catherine asks who he is, Daniel, fascinated, says he is the most powerful immortal in the city, a warrior that is well over a thousand years old. He is Izem, the lion of Asael, a title he earned by leading the legions into Africa to explore, establish a colony and apparently fight a hoard of demons. Few returned and those who did were scarred for life, but Izem, he returned glorious, laden with trophies and drenched in blood. Catherine asks why he has horns, she explains that he an Emim of the blood od Asael. They are shapeshifters, capable of altering their skin, muscles and bones to grow horns, fangs, claws, wings, anything that may imitate a demon or an angel. When they over exert themselves, some of those traits become permanent. It is part of their curse. What Daniel is wondering is what is he doing here at the Parlor, he thought the Emim never leave their fortress unless they were looking to fight.
Everyone at the Parlor is shocked, even Akanksha is a bit surprised but she gracefully floats over to greet the prestigious guest, stating it is an honor to have him grace her establishment. She ushers him down into the catacombs and signals others to continue their conversations.
-As Izem is escorted through the back streets by a group of young Asael'im, he pulls the hood over his horns. Two of them walk ahead in the dark streets, making sure the road is clear. As they walk down the alley to the entrance into the Parlor, Izem stops and considers if he can go through with this. Victor looks at him as he holds the door. The noise, voices and music waft out into the alleyways causing him to clench his jaw. He walks into the room, and all the voices stop, the music ends, all eyes on him. He glares around the room at the faces and eyes upon him.
He is fighting the desire to just attack, to slaughter them for seeing him in his weakness, in his fear. Then his eyes lock with Akanksha, who seems to read his emotional and mental state right away. She floats over and greets him with platitudes on how he has honored her with his presences. He grinds his teeth and she quickly realizes it. She guides him to a back door and down a stone staircase.
Standing very elegantly, she asks Izem what she can offer as services. His eyes examine every little part of the bare stone room, seeking any potential methods by which he might be observed. Akanksha steps forward and places her hand gently on his arm to reassure him, stating that her world is her bond and she swears no one will be privy to what happens or is spoken in the catacombs.
Izem relents, and states that he requires of her special Batraal'im gifts. It is said that in the old days, the Batraal would open their doors to all, offering physical and spiritual release from ailments no one else could heal. Is this still true? Akanksha smiles gently, and answers of course, we have, and we still do, albeit not so openly as we once did millennia ago. Many purges have forced the most gifted Batraal'im to practice in hiding. Tell me friend, how can I help?
Izem is plagued by fears and regrets. At fist this manifested as doubts, as ruminating memories and regrets. But of the past few decades, those ideas have begun to manifest, as images. There is a girl, a child, that was killed when I accompanied the into the Dark Lands. Her village was just beyond the border of the midlands. We were altogether surprised that humans had managed to live in a place rumored to be filled with monstrous demons. I was even more astonished when she offered me water and food, showing little fear of my horns and battle ready appearance. Only when I returned to my normal visage did she fear me, recoiling at my human appearance as if she had been deceived.
Izem slowly walks into the shadows beyond the candlelight, as if to hide himself from being seen. He goes on to state that the next six days were uneventful. We met village after village, all offering me and other Emim water, food, and all reacting to our human form with fear, disgust or mistrust. Then the demons came. It was the new moon, the night was so thick that even my enhanced senses could not pierce it. No small feat, for he was an elder of some centuries at the time. The demon onslaught was breathtaking, savage beyond any words. Mortal and immortal warriors, seasoned veterans of the Legion, were moved down, some flailed of their skin where they stood. The strongest of us threw ourselves into the frey but quickly realized we were no match for this enemy. We had calculated so terribly wrong. A general retreat was sounded, which quickly turned into disorder and chaos. The deons made sport of it, hunting small parties of survivors all around us. My group escaped by combination of speed and sacrifices made.
He emerges from the darkness into the light, and his face is contorted in a grimace of pain. But they made examples not just of us, but of all the villages. Some were eaten alive, others tortured or dismembered. The little girl however, was made an example of, I later understood that it was because she offered me food and drink, for the same offerings were resting beneath where she has been impaled. She has been opened up, strung up by her flesh and skin, but kept alive somehow, her innards resting in a bowl attached to her side. She could not speak, but her eyes screamed for release. Izem looks at his hands, now clawed. I did what was needed.
I placed her in the back of my mind with the numerous other failures the campaign had wrought. I devoted myself to being the greatest warrior the Asael'im had, I was awarded the honor of Lion. I am a devout soldier, obedient to our ways. But I was never a good father. I have sired many children since then, and I have outlived them all. Tigran was my last and my most hopeful. My legacy died with him. In this modern world of civilized sensibilities, few women would bear the child of one who looks as I do. [Akansha sighs in sympathy and comfort]. I was not a good father to the boy, I left it to the Estate to raise him, as I had been raised. But the ages have changed, we have changed.
He steps forward, his hands turned palms upward to her. Since Tigran's death I have begun to see the girl. At first it was as I closed my eyes, but now, now it is in my waking moments. I see her, everywhere. [he stares at the corner of the room, to a diminutive shadow standing in the dark behind Akanksha]. He looks at Akanksha. I know this is guilt, and fears, and regrets. They are loose in my mind, I know the signs of my coming judgement, I am no fool. I must atone, release these demons I have created and part in peace. Can you help me?
Akanksha steps forward, smiling and gentle in her reassurance. My friend, venerable Elder, I will aid you in all the ways that I can. I will do this, gladly. Not to curry favor or payment, but because I see you are suffering and it is my wish to easy that pain. I will. She places her small naked palms into his large monstrous and clawed hands. Together, we shall face our demons.
-Catherine goes to the washroom, everywhere she goes, people look down on her or give her disapproving or furtive looks. She knows & is made to feel like she is not one of them. When she enters the washroom, conversations stop and everyone leaves. She sighs and does her business. Jokingly she talks to herself and asks herself if it's her BO, then smells her armpits. She shakes her head and swears to herself while using water and a towel to rinse her armpits, when she stops. Her expression changes, flowing from disbelief, to anger, to fear. Catherine has discovered a lump under her arm. But she won't tell Daniel. She goes back to the table and puts on her best smile. Daniel looks at her and whispers that they will get use to it, they will accept her in time. Samuel however, perceptive as ever, keeps looking at her. She looks back. Their eyes speak everything that needs to be said at this time.
-A few months earlier at a counsel meeting of the Estates, Tamsin had argued with the council against letting Catherine in on the Nephal world. She argues that Catherine is too much of a risk, an artist, a former drug addict prone to relapses. She is not the kind of risks the immortals of DCC need to be taking with their secrets. Akanksha argues that she, Samuel and Daniel have been helping her with her weaknesses. She reminds Tamsin that not so long ago, it was Daniel who was the same risk. Tamsin strikes back that Daniel is Anakim, he is an immortal, and capable of much more willpower than Catherine, who isn't even kith or blood related to, ANY Estate. She is a shipwreck waiting to happen. Doreen doesn't believe so, she argues that she and Daniel have found each other, and that their love is her salvation. She has witnessed great change in Catherine from the day she and Daniel came wandering out of the wilderness. The fact that they walked the coastline from New Gloucester to DCC, spending weeks in the wilds with little but the clothes on their backs and each other demonstrates a strength that she notes even Tamsin might not have the fortitude for. Tamsin rebukes that Doreen has no clue what she has had to endure, and she will not endorse Catherine's admission into the immortal circles. She is not of the blood of the Anunnaki. Iago agrees, this is too much of a risk to take. Alonzo opposes this on the basis that it breaks their laws. The First Oath is that of Secrecy. Everyone who accepts the Rebirth takes this oath. It flies in the face of everything they have sworn to do and Michael is only demonstrating his lack of good judgement and poor leadership. He MUST oppose this and be the voice of reason.
Daniel But Daniel, Sammy & Akanksha use their white cards to override her, Iago and Alonzo's votes and they get the support of Doreen and Michael to balance the odds. Michael sternly warns Daniel that he will be held accountable for Catherine, and will share her fate if she breaks her oath. This means that should she reveal their secrets by her own actions or of those that she shares her knowledge with, she will not be made an outcast for she shares no blood with the immortals. She will be sentenced to death, and Daniel will share that fate. Akanksha and Samuel will share in the responsibilities, and in the council's judgement. They shall be exiled, marked and hunted by their brethren. After a long silence and interchanged nods between Daniel, Samuel and Akanksha, they all agree. Tamsin grits her teeth, clenching her fists in controlled rage and mutters to the council that their kindness will be their undoing.
Doreen glares at her and whispers that her cruelty will be hers. [this foreshadows what will happens to the council, that most will die and that Tamsin will succumb to her own evils].
-Jeremy's home is a rundown apartment complex in the hovels. A drunk stepdad works as muscle for papa Rousso. John has a penchant for booze, drugs and abuse. He keeps Jeremy's mom doped up so he can have sex with her whenever he wants. Jeremy takes care of his little sister, she's about 4 or 5 years old and rarely leaves her room. He feeds her his portion of supper and puts her to bed, telling her that he will take her on a great sailing ship one day, and go to a place full of wonderful things. Then he muses over the papers and brochures for the architecture colleges overseas, admitting to himself that he'll never go to any college. He tells her to keep the door locked, he has to go to work. Jeremy swings by an illegal apothecary, and trades him some pills for powder for Papa Rousso. He takes it to the docks to the mob lord and trades it for access to the underground theaters. Papa Rousso comments to him that if his dad had half the brains Jeremy had… Jeremy cuts him off and tells him that John isn't his dad. He apologizes for being rude. Papa Rousso sighs deeply and tells him that we can't always choose our families. They are what we have and we just make the best of it. Jeremy nods and looks at a painting of a younger Papa Rousso and a beautiful young girl [his daughter].
-Jeremy is trying to get a letter of reference from Tom/Todd to get into a college. He takes them to an illegal/underground realizes they are stalling him so he will blackmail them. Jeremy's secret are manyfold. He's incredibly intelligent but plays the role of a street urchin. He has dreams of becoming an architect engineer and studying overseas but needs a letter of reference and money. The latter he can get easily with threats. His inciting incident is when he realizes that Tom never had any intention to help him get a letter from his dad.
-The four (minus Adam) meets at the parlor, where Akanksha sees Callen. Adam arrives late, with bruises and a black eye. Sarah hates that they are bullying him. Adam hates coming to the parlor, he wishes there was a better place to meet. Sarah hides his black eye with some concealer, but when Phil sees him, he teases him just the same. He sees how uncomfortable it makes everyone and he says he doesn't understand why he hides it. He buys everyone a drink, but the teasing makes Frankie very uncomfortable.
>> Introduce the information that explains how the Rephaim control the mob, the connection between kith, kin and Nephal. Pappa Rousso came to power thanks to Alonzo , who married his daughter. The law prevents any immortal kin or kith from killing or harming another without just cause or sanctioned warfare. The question then comes up as to why Catherine is allowed into the parlour if she isn't immortal or kith.
The four are at the parlour discussing who will be their warders. The choices are pretty limited in Dark Coast City. The Emim, the Gibborim ... Maybe Akanksha.
-Early scene of Adam's weakness, he drops a glass as his arm just goes limp. This will happen often until the evening that he finally gets angry at Phil who asks him why he wants to be an Emim so much, and then compares his loss to Adam's and Adam rebukes that he still has his dad, and the memory of his mom, Adam, has nothing, not a photo, or a letter or even a word. Being an Emim, is the only connection he has.
-Frankie wants to be reborn, because it’s expected of him, to take over the family business, it’s actually what he wants. Frankie wants to please his dad. His secret is his gender identity and that he has a boyfriend that he visits in the parlor catacombs. His inciting incident is his mother leaving, which tore his family apart and made him choose to be Frankie because Francheska reminded Alonzo of his mom.
-Sarah wants to be reborn, because with her goetic gifts, she could help more people. wants to be reborn, her secret is she is a twin and she loves Phil. She has loved him for almost a decade now but believes him to be shallow and callous and a womanizer. Her initial motivation is to become immortal and have the power to help others, protect her sister and thereby feel fulfilled.
-Phil doesn’t want to be reborn, at all. He doesn’t believe the rebirth is a gift, it’s a curse, and he wants to choose his life, not become his father. He wants to live! doesn't want to be immortal. His secret is he is an artist and he also secretly loves Sarah. He doesn't want to change the world through powerful gifts or money, those things don't change the world. He wants to create things art that will make people think. His inciting incident is refusal to accept immortality, and his desire to eventually die and see his mother one day.
-Phil tries to get Sarah to come home with him, saying he could show her something that would take her breath away. She rebuffs him. Phil leaves and meets a girl who he takes to an apartment loft. Sarah is pissed, because she actually has feeling for him.
-Adam desperately wants to be reborn, but Phil keeps reminding him that he and his weak arm, would never survive the trials. wants to be an Emim, his secret is he knows Sophie. The inciting incident for Adam was the death of his parents and being raised by Anahavah. He wants to connect to his own and prove his worth, but believes himself too weak to survive the trials.
-Reveal Adam's upbringing, his weak arm and his connection to Sophie (Sarah's twin).
-Alonzo arrives with two other Rephaim, they take their stall, and Alonzo calls Frankie over. Alonzo tells Frankie that he will be taking him on some business runs in the next few days. Frankie seems excited at first, hoping to spend some time with his father learning the business. But the mood changes as Michael Madera enters with his people. Alonzo quickly dismisses Frankie in mid-sentence and leaves for the catacomb door.
-Phil's father Michael makes an appearance in midday, prompting Sarah to ask Phil what he is doing here, usually he works all day. Phil, who doesn't seem to want to look at his father and who's mood has become quite somber, answers that whatever it is, it's mostly self-serving. When Allyssa comes up from the catacombs to fetch Michael, Phil then adds that it's most likely something that no one wants to acknowledge or see.
In the catacombs, Allyssa leads Michael down a corridor, into a dimly lit room where he is given a leather strap and presented to a woman tied to a wood frame. Allyssa tells him to remember what she told him in their last session, and who has control, and who has to let go. Allyssa nervously looks at one of the mirrors on the wall, as she tells Michael to begin. Michael, visibly struggling, tightens his grip on the whip, and starts to shake. His face contorts and he winces as if he is whipped in his memories. He shuts his eyes tightly, his mind flooded with sounds and images, laughter and cries. With great difficulty, he utters to Allyssa that he can't, and crumbles to a knee. She kneels down to him and tells him he can, that he can control this. It does not control him. He gets up, and shakingly raises the whip, and it cracks once to a woman's scream of both pleasure and pain.
-Alonzo walks down the dark corridors of the concerted catacombs, past Allyssa, passing her a small leather pouch. They exchange emotionless glances as she heads upstairs and he enters a dark room. There on a tripod is a camera pointed at a black glass window on the wall. He closes the door behind him and stands in the dark. After a few moments, a light emanates from the other side of the glass, as he watches Allyssa lead Michael into the room. At the end, is a half undressed woman, strapped to a wood frame with her exposed back and buttocks exposed. Alonzo grins maliciously as he watches the scene play out. Taking photos [it's a single photo system, much like the early 1920's Kodak cameras that you had to insert a unexposed tablet, expose it, then take it out, then place another. He continues as Allyssa and Michael talk, then Michael screams in anger, frustration and pain and the whip cracks, accompanied by a scream of mixed pleasure and pain. Alonzo takes photo after photo.
-His mind travels back to nearly 5 decades ago to when he spoke to his father, trying to convince him to go into business with the Madera boy. He convinces him that his new ship designs are going to allow faster cross Atlantic runs, potentially doubling the city's commercial capacity. His father , questioningly asks only one question; do you, Alonzo, believe he can do this? Alonzo thinks for a moment, then answers yes. I think he can.
-Within years, DCC has become a shipbuilding capital, schooner after schooner is launched into the Atlantic, countless dock workers and craftsmen fill the shipyard. Alonzo sits across the desk from a very serious Michael who goes over the books, flatly stating that an additional seven foreign entities from overseas want to enter into ship contracts with us. If we accept, it will round up our profits threefold on the shipbuilding alone. Commerce from the last trade winds has doubled, as projected. The issue now is supplies. We are quickly running out of nails, timber for the frames and are in need of more manpower. He states that they are becoming the victims of their own success. Alonzo says that they are going to need more celebratory whine! He ensures Michael that he can get the materials and workers, it won't be an issue. Michael turns his chair to face the docks and thinks. Alonzo pours them each a glass, Michael accepts it and Alonzo looks at him in silence. He tells him that he knows his mind is working. Michael puts the wine aside and stands, stating they need to scale back. Alonzo casts a disbelieving look at him and asks him if he unwell. Their profits are record high, possibly the greatest prosperity the city has ever seen, why would anyone want to cut back? Michael picks up the glass and says it's simple supply and demand. If we scale back production, we avoid additional labor costs, while keeping the skilled labor we have working year round. The requests for our ships will still be fulfilled, but the lower production numbers mean we can charge more for the same product without falling behind because of materials costs. The demand will additionally increase as a result, as competing parties will be vying for a product they all want and think they need. Alonzo smiles and shakes his head, and to think that you were making cabinets and furniture in the old world…. Michael smirks, and answers that he would be surprised how much people will pay for them. Michael asks Alonzo if he trusts him. Alonzo stares at him for a moment, then puts his glass down, placing both hands on Michael's shoulders and stating; like you were my own blood. I do. Michael places his hands on Alonzo's shoulders as well, and tells him to then trust him on this decision. This will succeed.
-the following decade, DCC saw unprecedented wealth, it's population boomed, and the Madera and Viajante families were made famous.
-Phil repeatedly tries to get Sarah to come home with him, but she keeps rebuffing him. It seems to genuinely hurt him, but she won’t be another of his conquests.
-Adam later walks Sarah home and meets with Sophie in secret at the cometary. He thinks back to the day he was hidden in the basement, because no one could know he was alive, and Sophie arrived. Adam is terrified of the basement, he's scare there are ghosts there. Sophie tells him that she knows, but they are everywhere. Sophie comforts a scared Adam, telling him that she sees them and they aren't scary. She says that there is a man there, he's watching over you. She reassures Adam that he shouldn't be afraid of them. From that moment on, Adam would love Sophie.
The inaugural ceremony for the new year's festival of Akitu takes place on the steps of the temple of the central space of the city. In the center is a massive stone & bronze statue of a ship fighting a large wave that is threatening to take it over. The statue was erected as both a reminder of the city's foundations and as a memorial of those lost at sea. The statue is decorated in evergreens and flower garlands, representing the hope of renewal in the new year. A furled sail reminds attached.
The priests recite the prayers of sadness, reminders of the losses of the year, as well as those lost at sea. The crowd answers with their own prayers of sadness and requests that the gods protect them from the coming unknowns in the new year. The priests remind everyone that tomorrow offerings may be made at the temples, all will be open and all are welcome.
After a moment of silence, Michael Madera steps up to the podium to speak. He offers his condolences to those who have lost over the past year, and speaks of the hardships the city has suffered in the past years. DCC has seen better days….
His speech is cut short as the sail on the statue unfurls, revealing the latest painting by Anonymous [the artist]: The Costs of the Trade Winds. The piece was painted on an actual sail, and shows the golden lands bearing the overseas flags as it rains gold on them, while sailors sail off to their deaths in a sea graveyard, leaving weeping widows and orphan children standing on the docks in a city that has become dilapidated and impoverished. At the bottom corners of the sails sit two masked men, clearly meant to be depictions of Michael and Alonzo, sitting on ornate thrones, bearing scepters and swords.
The crowd is in silent awe and disbelief. Whispers and furtive looks towards Michael wash over the crowd. The gamut of reactions from the crowd ranges from anger and disgust to tears, laughter and outrage. But Michael is silent, unflinching and his face remains placid and cold.
The priests rush forward demanding that it be removed, but Michael lets out a strong no. He eyes the crowd sternly, until all eyes are on him. He waits for the silence then addresses them, telling everyone to look at the painting, the Anonymous artist has struck again, yes. Yes, we have suffered so that the lords of the old country may enrich themselves. Yes, my own family is part and parcel of that wealth. But MY family made that wealth HERE, in DCC! My forefathers built the ships that made this city great, because of a vision. But now steel ships are in more demand, having proven their worth in the Great War. Like this monument, the industry that made our wooden sailing ships the greatest in the western world, are but a remembrance. We need an innovation. The torch must be passed to another generation. New minds, new ideas and new technologies must carry us to greatness, to a revitalization of our great city. [Michael looks at his son Phil and pauses]. But that knowledge will only be learned in great center of learning, collegiates and academies. This has always meant sending our flowering youth across the ocean to the old world, at great costs, meaning only the richest of the city could do so. No more. [the crowd murmurs]
[Michael picks up the power and pace of his speech and stands in anAdlocutio stance.] I will personally place all my familial wealth, power and name, into creating a great academia of learning, HERE, in DCC! [the crowd starts to speak] This academy will the first of its kind in the colonies, and will be made available to ALL of the peoples of DCC, regardless of status, wealth or not. [now the people are really talking]. Great dormitories to receive students will be built. But this will not be all. Surrounding the center, will be built apartments, the largest the city has seen, not slums or shoddy, but stone and safe, to house the growing number of families that will be arriving. Affordable for rich or poor [some people start clapping, others cheer]. It will be a grand project, creating job, requiring trades and labour on a scale not seen in decades, not since the great days when this city launched schooners into the city on an almost daily basis [now the crowd is riled up]. We will attract great minds, new ideas, a fresh generation of leaders, skilled labourers, families and commerce, and THEY will pave the way to DCC's awakening, our rebirth onto the world, and that wealth will flow HERE! [he finishes his riling speech by pointing to the ground at his feet and the crowd explodes in applause]. Garlands of flowers are thrown into the air and a great sense of hope for the coming year washes over the city square as people smile and pat Michael on the back and shake his hand. All but two, Phil and Alonzo. Both, away from one another, stand, staring at Michael, and at the painting on the sail.
-The Tammuz & Akitu festivals. Day 2 of 13 days of celebration.
The second day is marked by ritual bathing/cleansing/cleaning and special prayers at the temples.
-Alonzo talks to his subordinates, he has a plan to get revenge on Michael and put his family back in power. He is going to chip at the pedestal he has been set upon, until he crumbles under the mass of his own weight.
-Alonzo's plan starts with destroying Michael's public image, turn his council against him, remove his own Estate council and take his financial power. He is doing this because he wants his family back and please his dad who sees him as a failure.
-That evening at sunset, Sherri pulls the young ones over and says they need to get the Parlor ready for sunset. Daniel, Catherine and Samuel offer to help. Akanksha explains the ritual of the new moon's candlelight ceremony. The parlor empties, the guests all leave as Akanksha graciously bids them good night. Akanksha retells her story of the Rakshasa and why she fled to the new world.
- As everyone prepares Sherry speaks of the legend of the lady of the tower, said to turn anyone who sees her to stone. Woe who look upon her face, basically presenting her as the Gorgon Medusa. When the 4 young ones asks Akanksha if the legends are real, she very seriously says yes, and suggests that none of them be foolish enough to seek her out. Even if they survive the beast that lurks the forest, facing the lady of the tower, is an entirely greater danger.
Your feedback on the following excerpt would be greatly appreciated. This is a very rudimentary plotline, with no detailed dialogue, descriptive scenes or character development. What I am looking for on this first reading is:
A) Story interest: was the introductory section [Part I] of the novel's story plot engaging enough in its rough form that you would want to read the next chapters?
B) Character Engagement: Was the interaction between characters believable, relatable, humanistic enough? After reading Part I, can you identify the protagonists and antagonists, and possible conflicts/relationships?
C) Setting immersive-ness: Was the environment immersive enough without detailed descriptions to get an idea of where the story takes place? Was there enough environmental context to situate yourself at a glance?
Thank you so very much for joining me on the journey to creating these books. Your feedback will be mailed to me directly. I may not reply to you immediately, but all feedback will be collected and used to edit the Beta version.
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