Has been quite a while since I’ve done one of these (nearly TWO YEARS in fact). As usual, I was really pressured, so I’ll see if I can do more of these going forward. Work on The World, is progressing at a sluggish pace (it being a two person project thus far, hasn’t helped), but I believe a great 50%+ of it shall be done in my life time.

Today I’ll discuss a bit about one of the five arcs I’m currently focusing on,  the Vermillion Atol. The story in Vermillion Atol actually came about thanks to the introduction of the character Naota.

Naota is a bum-like character that has a knack for tactics and strategy. He’s discovered by an Admiral Broadshaw Arnschent while a certain sky island is getting evacuated and manages to pique the Admiral’s interest. This of course opens up a way for him to leave the island officially and he comes to work under the admiral.

Fast forward to Vermillion, the War of the Admirals is still going on and Estellion Council appoints a Duke Lynch (name subject to change) to oversea the Vermillion Atol. The Vermillion Atol is a series of islands that is used as a kind of conservation area for the Were species. The local humans (numbering about 20% of the population on the Atol islands) are ancestors of the settlers there and aren’t exactly fond of the Were. Lynch, in a surprise move, appeals to the minority, which allows him to bolster the armed forces that he arrived with. This of course angers the Were populace, but they are afraid that Lynch may call for more forces, they grudgingly put up with his enacted policies. Wanting to make sure that Lynch is fulfilling his duty, the Council sends Admiral Broadshaw with a small fleet to Vermillion to perform a checkup. Broadshaw sends Naota and a few other people down as his representatives, preferring to stay on board his vessel to maintain the sector, lest a surprise attack by the Flavians were to occur.

On Vermillion, Naota has his suspicions about Duke Lynch, but he keeps his thoughts to himself. A few days later, the Duke’s forces raid one of the “Leopard Queen’s” suspected manors and they captured a few suspects. Naota notices that a few of the captured suspects don’t show symptoms of Were (eye color changes and transformation under duress or when angered) and suggests to the Duke that they may be human slaves of the Were and that they ought to have their DNA checked to verify their identities. Naota is particularly interested in a girl named Elsa (name subject to change).

When the results come in, Naota’s suspicions are confirmed when Elsa’s DNA matches that of the Arnschent family. Naota has one of the men placed under him, conduct separate research into Elsa’s case. In the meantime, Naota pays off the researchers to submit false DNA data concerning Elsa. Leaving the matter aside, Naota begins gathering logistical data about the Atol’s islands. He uses a survey ship to search the smaller islands and comes upon an small island not mentioned on any of the maps. On the island, he meets a well built man, chained to  The research is delivered later but the report is accidentally switched with one to be delivered to the Duke. The Duke, by this time, has already developed a crush of sorts on Elsa. He proposes a marriage to her and but she declines. The Duke’s main motivation for the marriage is to gain House Arnschent as allies and use of Broadshaw’s fleet as his personal defense forces. Judging from history, House Arnschent have always been loyal to their own blood over that of the empire’s interests and the Duke knowing this decides to make his move.

During these events, Naota had traveled to the Rock of Atrium, an island not marked on any of the maps he received. There he found a well built man, chained to the rock named Maciste. Maciste had been left there to die many years prior by the Were due to the whole Vermillion Rebellion of 9987 incident. Naota frees Maciste from the chains and Maciste pledges to assist Naota whenever he is in need. Naota and Maciste board the airship as Naota receives word from his soldiers about the Duke’s upcoming marriage to Elsa. Hearing the name Elsa, Maciste inquires about the situation and Naota explains to him the whole ordeal. Afterwords, Maciste decides to tell Naota the story of why he was chained up in the first place as the two travel back to the Duke’s palace.

Ever since he was a young lad, the Duke had always placed politics as the most important aspect of his life and had paid no heed to the romantic antics of those around him. However, ever since attaining the right over Vermillion, the Duke had began to think about his life after settling in. It was during that time, that he met Elsa. When his soldiers returned from ransacking the one of the Leopard Queen’s manors, he was surprised at the sight of other humans being brought back with them. Naota explained to him that they had been servants to the Leopard Queen and needed to undergo DNA testing to confirm their identities so they could be returned to a life of freedom. Elsa was rather attractive for a human and the Duke felt that her rather miserable living conditions over the years would make her a suitable candidate to be his wife. The Duke wanted to solidify his position in the eyes of the humans of Vermillion as their leader and to properly do that he needed to marry someone from the same sector, so that the people would strengthen their support for him. He saw in Elsa the attractiveness and humble attitude that he wanted in a wife and decided to formerly bring up the offer to her.

Elsa had lived as a servant to the Leopard Queen for as long as she could remember and though she never had the respect that Were did, she felt that she needed to properly serve her mistress for bringing her up healthily all these years. Her being a good servant was more of a gratitude for raising her than anything, though she did not see the Leopard Queen as a mother to her. She was surprised when she received the marriage proposal from the Duke. He wasn’t particularly attractive and she wasn’t sure of any of his good qualities, but the proposal caught her off-guard. Elsa had never thought of settling down and the idea of matrimony seemed foreign to her. Realistically speaking, the Duke’s offer was the best any girl in her position could hope for and with her lfie the way it was, if she left his care now, the work she would find outside would be few and dubious at best. She asked the Duke to wait on her answer and he kissed her hand telling her that he’d respectfully wait for now.

Elsewhere, Gaius, the Supreme Commander of the Imperial Frontier Security Forces, receives a letter from a subordinate named Decicus detailing a possible coup by the Duke with support by Buburuks. Gaius sends this information to the Estellion Intelligence Network and they decided to send Claris Gish with a team to investigate.

Wow, that post was alot longer than I intended, but after starting this story, I feel that it has developed quite a bit since the concept. Chronologically, we are about 1/5 in to the story, but the main points were to introduce Naota, Elsa (Teletha), Broadshaw, and Lynch. Some of these characters appear in other story arcs, but for now I’m using this story to introduce them.