For your consideration, I humbly submit my entry for DL Hammons, High Drama Blogfest. Honest feedback would be much-appreciated, and be sure to check out the other entries!
There was a different tone to the buzz of conversation in the Council Chambers this morning. Officials of all the realms had found their cliques, and talked excitedly about the impending session. Surely, the Regent would need to announce today what would be done about the threat of the Khemites.
Shani was wanting to stall, allowing another week for the Priest's envoys to return, but he was not hopeful. None of the Council knew of the second mission of envoys, and the official dispatch had returned the day before yesterday. The Councilors had heard what they expected to hear; what Shani suspected that they had paid to hear. The second batch of envoys was to be without such allegiances, and therefore, providing a less biased account of the threat.
The five-minute bell sounded, and Councilors made their way to their seats, as pages continued to drift about. Shani waited with the other heads, three priests and three governors, until the herald announced them.
“Representatives of the Blessed Realm, please rise for the Regent, Shaniraquey.” They emerged and strode to the dais amid polite applause.
The Seven took their places, Shani in the center, three Prime Governors on his right, and three High Priests on his left. All others were then seated.
Shani checked the day's itinerary, and found no surprises. His stomach lurched at the names, unofficial heads of factions, all. Naturally, all wanted to be heard by the Assembly, but time allowed only five for certain, and up to twenty if there was minimal debate.
After Aliber said Prayers and Adorations, Shani stood. “The Realm recognizes Councilor Alna.”
A handsome man in his early forties stood. “Blessed Regent and distinguished colleagues..,” Alna waxed loftily of the history and dignity of Atlantis. As was customary for any pronouncement. Finally coming to the point: “...and now, our way of life is threatened by savages! We can no longer deny that the Khemites are building a fleet to bring war to our very shores! We have provided them with every opportunity of education and culture, yet they rise up against us!” Approval exploded through the Assembly. Shani's face betrayed nothing, not the uncertainty of his inexperience, nor the tremble in his hands. Nothing good ever came from a Regent declaring war in his third month, but he was loath to show weakness.
Alna continued. “The reports of our envoys are irrefutable. We must descend upon them, and remind them of the Glory of Atlantis!” No one disagreed on this point, and it took several minutes to resume order. Shani dreaded the response, and relished the moments between now and then.
Shani stood and held up a hand for silence. “It has never been our way to make war. We are not the Blessed Realm through force of arms, but through commerce and culture. We have always sought peace, for the individuals, and for the nations. However,” grumblings were escalating quickly, “insolence cannot be tolerated. And insolence from those who were our kindred until the time of our grandfathers must be addressed. A disciplinary campaign will be launched as soon as it can be arranged.” He felt as though the words had been spoken by another, cryptic and hollow.