Imrama Inside Imrama's office on the sky-city of Crystal, the collection of objects from Harborhead has increased somewhat, but the theme of artificial flight remains just as strong. The Eclipse sits behind his great desk and profers a tankard to his guest. "Thank you for coming, Japhir. Would you care for some Veridian Mead?"
Japhir "Please," he says, and seats himself -- though his shield does not leave his arm.
Imrama The drink is cold, sweet, potent and minty. Imrama sips a bit of his own. "I asked you here in order to extend my personal congratulations to you on your accession to the Deliberative, and to talk with you a bit about your intentions as a member."
Japhir "Thank you," he says -- with obvious pride, though also a certain amount of curiosity regarding Imrama's motives. "I will endeavor to answer your questions as best I can, of course."
Imrama "Well then, sir. Now that you have joined our august body, what role do you see for yourself in pursuing the ends established for the Deliberative?"
Japhir pauses for a moment, as if the question had not quite occurred to him. "I imagine that I will... fulfill the responsibilities that arise... in the course of the Deliberative's work." He swishes his drink aimlessly for a moment.
Imrama "Ah," says Imrama, raising an eyebrow just a tad. "A noble commitment. Do you have any personal ambitions, though? Anything you particularly want to accomplish here, or in your life generally?"
Japhir takes a measured sip of his mead. "I wish to ensure the vital place of Great Forks amongst the grand states of Creation, of course," he says, and pauses for thought again. "I... suppose I am interested in the application of military forces, and the distribution of Essence use amongst the populace."
Imrama "With regard to the vital place of Great Forks, I'd like you to take a look at this and tell me what you see." Imrama produces a map of the East, with those nations under the mandate of Deliberative members outlined in blue.
Japhir "We are surrounded by nations with no declared allegiance to the Deliberative," he says, matter of factly.
Imrama "A wise assessment of the facts of the matter. I look at this map, Japhir, and I see opportunity. An opportunity to expand the stewardship of the Deliberative to include more of the peoples of Creation, until all humanity shares equally in the bounty, security and freedom we are working to make possible."
Japhir "Hmmmmm," he says, looking carefully at all the tiny nations whose names he learned growing up: Xachi, We-Dikune, Ith-Ben-Lur, Jerrahi....
Imrama "At present most of the nations of the East with sizeable Exalt populations are already members of the Deliberative. Most of your neighbors seem unlikely to produce strong candidates for Exalted stewards. This means that their most likely route to our banner is to ask a current Deliberator to add their land and people to her or his portfolio."
Imrama "Our council depends upon the might which its members bring to the table. This includes not only our personal powers and panoplies, but also our influence and authority beyond the bounds of our committee. The greater our power as individuals, the greater our power as a group."
Imrama "Tell me, Japhir. Have you now any thoughts as to how you might increase your own power in the days to come?"
Japhir "There are... ways that present themselves, yes." His eyes wander back to the map once more.
Imrama "I'm glad to hear that, Japhir. And I'll be very interested to see what you come up with."
Japhir nods. "I am... glad you called me in here, today."
Imrama "And I am very glad that you came. I appologize for the abrupt conclusion, but I have to be on my way; there are several leaders of the Hundred Kingdoms that I am due to speak with about union with the Sunlands. Please feel free to stay and finish your mead."
Japhir "I will," he says, and swishes the drink around one more time before taking a deep sip.