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From ember, comes the flame

For a brief moment, I found myself facing the Emperor Dexton.

We were working in the imperial office, celiakos Lyan Cexius, Ibiphan Dynix, Dios Apotheps and myself, one of his closest advisors. Lykos, Emperor of the Burning Desert, stood before us. The intensity of his smoldering gaze was equal only to the force of his voice as he paced behind his imposing carved wooden desk. The ground, silent witness of a recent chaotic scene was littered with a bulk of various documents and objects.

A slight rustling of robes caught my eye, and I saw Plenatheus Ibidos, the young scribe of the Emperor, who bewildered by this unusual luster, had prudently walked a few steps back to take refuge in the shadows.

And there, suddenly, I smiled.

I had lived this scene so often in the past! The late Emperor Dexton had the same look, flaming and explosive in the same way when something important displeased him. But it never lasted, and always a decision marked of the four pillars appeared soon after. Lykos, acting as his father once, finally came, paradoxically, out of his shadow, and I had been lucky to witness the scene.

Those were the facts. The Empire was wrong, the Atreus case had divided Patriots and the Emperor himself had been betrayed by his own. He responded with mercy, but his outstretched hand had been rejected. The enemies of the Empire no longer hesitate to come to mock up the doors of the Great Pyr. It was not the time for speeches nor compromises anymore. It was time for determination and action.

Lykos made a clean sweep of the past, as he had done a clean sweep on his desk moments before. Any hesitation disappeared from his eyes and his voice. Determined, confident. A great Emperor.

He summoned Denathus Deukos, current Burning Lieutenant of the Imperial Guild of the Burned Faces, in whom he had confidence, and he appointed him as the new Ardent Master. He was then given a unique atysien month after the official induction ceremony, to be held the next day, to reorganize his guild and bring it back to its maximum efficiency.

Lykos took charge of the political structure of the imperial cities. The ancestral method of electing akenak, known as the "The vote of the dagger", became unmanageable on the ground, because of the lack of candidates and lack of electoral enthusiasm among the Patriots. There was only one akenak left  in Dyron, one in Pyr and none Thesos. The reason was simple: files were gathering dust because of a slow decision system. The Imperial cities had entered stagnation because of administrative delays, and the whole Empire seemed to have gone into hibernation. This couldn't last. A simplification of the system was needed.

As for Thesos ... Ah! Thesos ... The city that was both my pride and despair ... I closed my eyes for a moment, feeling dizzy, thinking back to the pillars outraged by so many Thesos Patriots. Why had I not been able to see the disaster coming? Why could I not keep intact the four pillars in my city? I felt old for a moment... as if Atreus had taken some of the vitality that I once had.

I felt the fiery eyes of sharükos on me. Opening my eyes, I straightened up, almost unconsciously smoothing the folds of my celiakos robe. I felt, reborn in me, a new strength. His strength. As I turned, I was ready to face the future.

The Emperor conversed with us, calmly, without detours or false pretenses. He listened to us, we shared with him the proposals of the Senate. And he decided.

Lykos went to his scribe and dictated decrees. In an emergency, we needed urgent solutions. The first decree detailed the new system for choosing akenak and akenos, and the responsibilities incumbent on sharükos new representatives in the cities. The second, exceptional and temporary, politically sanctioned the passive, or active, complicity of a part of the inhabitants of Thesos in the  Atreus case. It was up to them to gain the Emperor's trust again. You do not mess with the four pillars.

A few weeks later, the two Imperial decrees were published in every city of the Burning Desert.


From "Inside the Imperial Power"
written by celiakos Abycus Zecops, 4th AC, 2584

Last edited by Chronicles of Atys (3 years ago)

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