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Issue #103

Edward Stuttgart, Augstat, Hesse

Governor Hellwig von Gustavus created an international incident this week when he defied an extradition order from Patesi Iltani of Akkadia. The extradition order was for an Akkadian national named Sarva, a high-ranking military officer and a pa-pa in Akkadia’s Qurubuti Guard. She stands accused of orchestrating a recent failed attempt to assassinate the patesi.

In point of law, there is little doubt of Pa-pa Sarva’s guilt. The assassination attempt took place during a government assembly that was heavily attended by hundreds of Akkadian nobles, politicians, and bureaucrats. Pa-pa Sarva was a special guest of the assembly, honored and orchestrated directly by the goddess herself, Patesi Iltani. The promotion included a state treasure: the gift of Sharur, a legendary Anum artifact sword from Iltani’s home world. Upon announcing Sarva’s promotion and gifting her this powerful weapon of destiny, Sarva immediately used the sword to impale the patesi through the chest, to the horror of the hundreds of Akkadian witnesses in attendance.

The blow would have slain any mortal ruler, but Iltani is a demigod; it is speculated that Sarva may not have known this or perhaps erroneously thought the weapon was powerful enough to assassinate a god.  According to those present, for a moment it appeared as if Pa-pa Sarva had succeeded, for she defiantly announced to the crowd that she was the rightful ruler of Akkadia. According to Apuulluunideeszu, the chief engineer of the Akkadian Bureau of Aqueducts, “Sarva declared her real name was Shala and that she was the true daughter and sole surviving heir of Ahatsuna.” Ahatsuna was the former patesi of Akkadia, whom Iltani dethroned and executed decades ago.

Divinely born Iltani, the daughter of Ishtar, recovered from Sharur’s strike in an empyrean blaze of glory, and proceeded to turn her baleful wrath upon Pa-pa Sarva and her retinue of sirkatu conspirators. Explosions and screams were heard as far away as the Idiqlat River as the goddess fought off the revolutionists. Chaos rocked the Pahru capital complex as the attendees fled in panic. During the ensuing struggle, Pa-pa Sarva and her sirkatu managed to trap Iltani momentarily under the patesi’s massive land barge, which was propelled by hundreds of slaves. The barge and the Pahru engulfed in flames, Pa-pa Sarva miraculously escaped capture or death to flee after the Anumians across the Great Sea to Augstat.

Upon reaching Hessen shores, Sarva sought the protection of Ambassador Erishti, the Akkadian ambassador to the court of Hesse. Years ago, Erishti, Rab Alani of Subartu, was responsible for saving and hiding young Sarva from the Anum goddess Iltani, whose high ambitions included marrying Emperor Kordaava; Iltani intended to accomplish this through power and influence, beginning with Akkadia. She usurped the Akkadian throne through cunning and murder, assassinating the royal family in a bloody coup that killed Sarva’s mother, siblings, and household, all the way down to their house retainers and retinue. At the end of the long night of terror, the queen’s palace lay in ruin, and all souls within lay slaughtered. Save one.

Ambassador Erishti adopted Sarva, changing her name from Shala to the more common name she currently goes by, and raised the orphan as her own daughter, thus hiding her in plain sight.

According to reports, Iltani, unwilling to trust in legal processes, refused to pursue diplomatic channels and instead sent Akkadian assassins to Hesse to bring Sarva to justice—what has been described by many as her own brand of violent justice. The assassins allegedly tracked Pa-pa Sarva to Ambassador Erishti’s home in the exclusive Oldendorf Estates, and there a bloody battle resulted in numerous deaths, including Ambassador Erishti himself, who succumbed to an unnamed but virulent poison.

Alerted to armed foreigners the streets of Augstat, a detachment of Heck knights and soldiers-at-arms broke up the battle. With many of the assassins dead or escaped, Pa-pa Sarva and her private sirkatu militia were summarily arrested and remanded to Gunterbrink.

When the attempt to circumvent diplomacy failed to recover Pa-pa Sarva—though whether living or dead is unknown at this time—Patesi Iltani sent a direct communique to Gustavus, demanding Pa-pa Sarva be extradited to Akkadia immediately. In response, the governor summoned Pa-pa Sarva from Gunterbrink to Enchantment’s Guard for a private meeting to hear her account of the incident. Governor Gustavus subsequently denied the extradition demand and instead offered Pa-pa Sarva asylum. Enchantment’s Guard has refused to respond to questions, specifically as to an official statement regarding Pa-pa Sarva’s asylum status and the bilateral relations between the kingdoms of Hesse and Akkadia.

Governor Gustavus’s distaste for Patesi Iltani is well documented. As a young Imperial officer, he was stationed in Akkadia at the time of the former Patesi Ahatsuna’s assassination, an event that likely informed the governor’s feeling toward the current patesi. It is unclear whether Gustavus found Sarva’s claim to the Akkadian throne credible or if he simply wanted to send an unspoken insult to Patesi Iltani.

Sarva and her retinue of elite Akkadian sirkatu warriors were later transferred from Gunterbrink to Enchantment’s Guard, where they remain under house arrest.  Informants from within the palace say the Akkadians are far from prisoners and are, in fact, being treated more akin to foreign dignitaries.

Governor Gustavus has a long history where Akkadia is concerned.  Forty years ago, during Kordaava’s rise to world domination, it was a young Tribunis Gustavus who assumed command of the 10th Legion when the former legatus was slain attempting to take the capital. Gustavus and the 10th were stationed in Akkadia for some time after its subjugation, and as the highest-ranking Imperial military officer in the kingdom, it is likely he knew Sarva’s mother, the late Patesi Ahatsuna, well.

Speculation as to Governor Gustavus’s endgame plans runs rampant. It seems inevitable that Emperor Kordaava, who is betrothed to Patesi Iltani, will override the governor’s offer of asylum and demand the would-be assassin be returned to Akkadia to face justice. As Gustavus often makes public reminders regarding his friendship with the emperor, some say this incident seems a poor reason to put that friendship to the test and risk straining relations with the Pa-Neck Throne.

Kinahhu Complains about Hessen Beef Tariffs

Hessen love of sausage has created a huge market for beef and pork throughout Hesse, Munchkein, and Stollhofen, and Kinahhu merchants have been eager to help fill that demand. Now Hesse has implemented a protectionist tariff on beef imports in response to concerns from cattle farmers that imported beef will hurt the Hessen economy and lower beef standards. Kinahhu claims these tariffs are unlawful and has filed a complaint with the Imperial Consul of Commerce, Ramzi Ka’adir Kalib.

Lady Sternberg Implicated in Marn Drug Scandal

When a group of Augstat city guards investigated a lead on smuggled drugs from Marn, the trail led them to Lady Greselde von Sternberg’s family estate. Sternberg family guards refused to grant officials access to the estate, leaving the Augstat bailiff with limited recourse. Drug laws in Hesse are rarely enforced, but given the highly publicized involvement of a prominent Hesse noble family, this story remains to be concluded.

Garnon Rangers Lose Contract

Ventiss, the Warden of the Forested Lands of the Kordavan Empire, announced he would not be renewing the Empire’s contract with the rangers of the Garnon Wardens Conclave to patrol and protect trade along the Emperor’s Highway through the Garnon Forest. Delia, a representative of the conclave, said, “The effort it takes to patrol a highway through a magical forest is staggering.”  To this, Ventiss responded, “And the cost was staggering, too, which is why we will no longer pay it.”

New Graduating Class of the Contubernium Raises Old Questions

Every year, the Contubernium, the elite military school for the Imperial Legion, produces another graduating class of military officers: centurions, tribunes, and legati. But now people are beginning to ask why. Chaldea has, for much of the time, been at peace for 35 years. Concerned citizens ask why the emperor requires twenty Legions to keep the peace. Many note he still has a hundred drasildar, which should more than suffice. Officials have not addressed the public speculation.

Another Bumper Crop for Roosh

Repetitive though the news may be, for the twenty-eighth year in a row, Roosh has produced a record harvest of wheat, barley, and peas. The Church of Set was quick to take credit, citing the divine and loving care of Set for the people of Chaldea. And in fact, all of Chaldea does seem to benefit from these crops. Of the forty-two kingdoms, depending on how you count them, thirty-eight import one or more commodities grown in the fertile steppes of Roosh, where two-crop seasons and perfect weather have become the norm since Emperor Kordaava’s ascension.

Issue #104