A Letter of Trade [ATTN: Oberon]

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A Letter of Trade [ATTN: Oberon]

Post by Maikuolan on Sat Jul 16, 2011 2:28 am

Via a small Erynnen trade ship returning from the Holy Empire, a sealed envelope arrives at the desk of High Captain Ciltesse - A diplomat from the Empire entrusting the ship's captain with its safe delivery in exchange for a generous payment.

* * *

Dear High Captain Ciltesse,

I am writing to inform you that I have recently taken power in the Holy Empire, and that in light of this, I have a proposal that I believe will be in our mutual interest.

As you are undoubtedly aware, the Holy Empire, for nearly century, has been relatively isolationist. Indeed, our two countries have traded with one another freely and openly, but perhaps, in fear of cultural differences, have never taken relations any further or fostered this trade relationship to reach its fullest potential.

I intend to destroy these isolationist views and bring the Holy Empire out of the dark age it has been in for nearly a century, but to do that, fostering friendships with foreign powers is critical.

First and foremost, I would like to invite Erynnen to establish a formal embassy in the Holy Empire, and request that Erynnen allow the Holy Empire to do the same in Erynnen in return.

The Holy Empire currently shares embassies with Capua, but with no other country - I would like to expand our mutual circle of friends to include one another, if you are so willing.

Additionally, I would like to inform you that I am currently in the process of several major development projects in the Holy Empire, one of which could significantly contribute to fostering a stronger trade relationship - An official trade center. As one of the Empire's largest, or in fact, only, trading partners at this time, I would like to discuss with you what measures you would find most beneficial for Erynnen in seeking this trade center's completion.

I apologise for my predecessor's lack of contact - In actuality, this is likely the first official letter received to you from the office of the Dominante in nearly a century. I would like to assure you that regardless of what stance my predecessor may or may not have taken towards foreign powers, I am not my predecessor.

Kind Regards,
Dominante Trévutó Dâutên Kšetai Rakhát.
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Re: A Letter of Trade [ATTN: Oberon]

Post by Oberon on Sat Jul 16, 2011 5:37 pm

A short missive would arrive on the Dominante's desk a few days later, scribbled in Ciltesse's own hand.

Dear Dominante:

This trade proposal is pleasing to me, but as the political situation may be currently delicate, I think we should speak of this face to face. With your recent coup, and the violence in the former Kingdom of Capua, I must look to my captains to ensure myself of their loyalty. My flagship, the
Albatross, will be in your waters in a week. Bring your officials, I will bring my advisors, and we shall discuss this face to face.

Signed,
High Captain Ciltesse of the Erynnen Isles
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Re: A Letter of Trade [ATTN: Oberon]

Post by Maikuolan on Tue Jul 19, 2011 1:21 am

A reply is received shortly before Ciltesse's leave.

* * *

Dear High Captain Ciltesse,

You are most wise to be cautious, and I agree with your decision. I will take all necessary measures to ensure we are prepared for your safe arrival and that our discussion may take place as per planned.

Additionally, though we expect no trouble, our history has shown temporary increases in naval crime during times of political instability, therefore, as a precaution against potential piracy, I recommend that you adopt any additional security for your flagship possible.

I look forward to meeting with you.

Kind Regards,
Dominante Trévutó Dâutên Kšetai Rakhát.


* * *

A week later, at Erynnen's preferred imperial dockyards, the Dominante and a handful of other high ranking officials, accompanied by trusted security, awaited, looking out towards the sea as Ciltesse's flagship made its arrival. Notably absent from the gathering were the Dominante's brother and sister, busy attending other duties, but appropriate representatives stood in their place.

The shipyard was siginificantly larger than most international shipyards, but ironically, filled with significantly less ships than most - Though several large ships and a handful of small boats were present, the vast majority of the Empire's naval contingent had, of course, recently been salvaged to scrap in preparations for a massive overhaul of what the Dominante had deemed a decrepit naval force.

Though somewhat spartan in appearance and designed from a clearly utilitarian perspective, in preparation for their guest's arrival, the Empire had taken measure to ensure absolute optimum condition, hygiene and maintenance to the dockyards itself and those few naval craft which resided, those officials in waiting dressed in appropriate regalia.

* * *

OOC - Omitting imperial response to flagship's arrival as to give Oberon an apt opportunity to post whatever he'd like to post on sighting imperial land and etcetera.
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Re: A Letter of Trade [ATTN: Oberon]

Post by Oberon on Tue Jul 19, 2011 10:41 pm

Ciltesse shaded his eyes as he peered towards the massive landmass of the Holy Empire. "Quite a bit of land there," he observed, slightly surprised that such a huge realm could fall to a mere coup. It had taken him years to get the other captains in line, even after ascending to the high seat legitimately. Must be the people, he thought. What I would give to have obedient captains...

"What do you think of them?" asked Marin, leaning on the rail beside him.

"Certainly seem to be good subjects. As for good trade partners... we'll see. So long as they don't try to kill and eat us as soon as we reach the shore, I will consider this diplomatic mission a success."

"What about establishing trade?"

"Secondary concern," scoffed Ciltesse.

"We're approaching the dock now, sir," called the steersman. "You may want to take up your position."
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Re: A Letter of Trade [ATTN: Oberon]

Post by Maikuolan on Wed Jul 20, 2011 11:58 pm

Excerpt from Rásvál's primer on Toškhát diplomacy.

As previously described in this primer, sudden and unexpected, almost always lethal, physical assaults, are a common fear for foreigner's engaging in Toškhát diplomacy - In part, this is justified, but, on this page, I hope to describe several ways in which to help avoid it.

When engaging in diplomatic affairs with a group of Toškhát, it is important to determine who is the group leader - Though not always, generally, this can be determined through either physical appearance, attire or by differing body language used by individuals within the group. Once determined, it is important to make friends with and gain the trust of that individual first - If you're friends with the leader, the rest should undoubtedly cause you no harm. A slight against the friends of the leader is a slight against the leader, and most would not dare risk slighting their leader.

If, while in discussion with an individual, you are threatened or insulted by another individual of lower rank, but the individual you are in discussion with is on friendly terms, you are likely being tested - If you respond, it is an invitation to a fight for dominance against that individual, which usually ends in fatality - It is best to ignore it. So long as the higher ranked individual doesn't show signs of aggression, you have nothing to worry about.

A note regarding smiling - A smile is mostly an international greetings, commonly understood by most nations in the same way and manner. The meaning of a smile in the Holy Empire is somewhat different to most, but the implications of it are generally the same. However, while there is nothing wrong with choosing to smile while in the Holy Empire, be absolutely sure to not bare teeth - Closed smiles are accepted, but baring teeth is commonly regarding in the Holy Empire as a very strong sign of aggression. As Toškhát very rarely ever back down from perceived aggression - thus somewhat contributing to higher domestic mortality rates - this could undoubtedly lead you to trouble.

A note regarding salutations - A formal salute is given between individuals as a sign of both respect and recognition. To receive a formal salute from an individual of equal rank or power is for them to demonstrate that they respect you and consider you a friend. To receive a formal salute from an individual of lower rank is for them to demonstrate that they recognise your rank and submit to it. A higher ranked individual will almost never give a lower ranked individual a formal salute, in its place, giving a less formal acknowledgement, or simple nod. In light of the highly regimented and militant culture of the Holy Empire, it is wise, and goes a long way, to always formally salute those of equal and or higher rank, as this can avoid any potential perception that you do not acknowledge their position. There are no strict rules against saluting a lower ranked officer, and it should not lead to direct confrontation, but is generally discouraged - It can cause that individual to become nervous, uneasy and apprehensive, which will reduce efficiency of your purposes.

The differences between a formal and non-formal salute are ... (Etcetera)


* * *

As the Albatross made its way to the dock, the Dominante and entirety of his contingent remained silent and at attention, stood straight and looked directly ahead to the Isle's flagship - Something that perhaps, to other races, may appear somewhat creepy and ominous, but was, in contrary, a good sign. A Máténante (medium ranked non-combatant officer) of the Imperial Navy moved aside the rest of the group and gave a few standard international naval hand signals as the flagship approached -- You are welcomed here; Depth is safe to anchor; We are prepared to receive -- An entirely unnecessary gesture, but polite formality nonetheless.

The Dominante and his contingent had already planned and discussed their guest's arrival at great length prior to, and thus, until docking, few words were exchanged.

Once anchored, the Máténante and another moved in position to assist preparing the loading ramp while the rest of the group stood to attention. While the rest of the contingent appeared to mostly be waiting for some sort of cue from the Dominante to be allowed to do anything, once within view, the Dominante looked straight towards Ciltesse alone, and mostly ignoring the rest of the ship's crew, with a formal salute and friendly tone, spoke. "Welcome to the Holy Empire, High Captain Ciltesse!"
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Re: A Letter of Trade [ATTN: Oberon]

Post by Oberon on Thu Jul 21, 2011 10:34 am

Ciltesse, Marin, and Alandar, the bosun of the Albatross, walked down the gangplank. Once they set foot on the dock, all three saluted. Ciltesse, having read a treatise on diplomatic relations among the people of the Empire, had decided that the salute common in the Isles would serve their purpose well enough: the general idea, one of submission and vulnerability, was the same.

"My thanks to you for your gracious greeting, Dominante Trevuto of the Toshkat," said Ciltesse, his foreign accent making the Dominante's name and race different words entirely. "It is good to see that our peoples are moving closer towards mutually beneficial trade agreements. To where shall we withdraw to negotiate?"
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Re: A Letter of Trade [ATTN: Oberon]

Post by Maikuolan on Thu Jul 21, 2011 1:22 pm

The Dominante smiled - a friendly smile; not aggressive - turning and indicating to both the group and the guests a particular direction, towards the central fortification of what was primary a trading port city. "Indeed, it is! We've a fairly apt chambers in our main fortification - Mostly used by trade parties for negotiations and the likes when in use, but empty for the most part. I do feel there is a great deal that we could both gain from one another, and I am very happy to be able to see these negotiations take place."

The Máténante and assistant remaining behind to ensure the ship were secure, the group moved onwards, the Dominante continuing as they headed towards the central fortification. "I am certain that we will able to come to agreement mutually beneficial. Additionally, if I may say.. Though trade was always the primary objective of our meeting, there've been several recent developments, to which end.. There are some additional proposals I'd like to make afterwards if you'd be willing to hear them out. That aside.. I take it you encountered no trouble on your way here?"
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Re: A Letter of Trade [ATTN: Oberon]

Post by Oberon on Fri Jul 22, 2011 9:06 am

((The message Ciltesse signs is SIC, in case you had any delusions about reading Erynnen sign language, or even realizing that he was sending a message. :p))

"I think that will be sufficient, Dominante. As for troubles along our route… well, no lesser vessel would dare attack a flagship of the Isles. Our navy is, after all, the finest in the world.” Ciltesse waxed eloquent, using expansive gestures to illustrate, but hidden in those gestures was a signed message to Marin. Be on your guard. The meeting is far away from the rest of our crew: it may be that they’re trying to isolate us.

Ciltesse finished his message and drew his oratory towards a close. “I hope I am not boring you, Dominante. Any Erynnen with an excuse to talk about ships will continue to go on and on as long as you let him.” He smiled self-consciously, careful not to let his teeth show. The last thing we need is more reason for them to attack us.

They soon reached the meeting place, and took their places around a table that seemed to have been hastily modified to fit the elven captains. Ciltesse took a seat and steepled his fingers.

“So, trade. Our countries have already been trading for some time, but what I propose is a more complete agreement. Rather than occasionally using one of our ships as cargo, you will agree to use our ships exclusively, barring a surplus of goods that requires one of your larger freighters. If that is the case, Erynnen will provide two escort ships to make sure that it reaches its destination. In return for exclusive privilege of shipping, we will reduce the price of our shipping by… say, twenty-five percent.” Ciltesse leaned back. “Is this agreeable to you?”
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Re: A Letter of Trade [ATTN: Oberon]

Post by Maikuolan on Fri Jul 22, 2011 1:18 pm

The Dominante looked thoughtfully at Ciltesse as he made his offer. Taking a deep breath, after several moments of thinking, he made his reply. "While I appreciate the intentions of your offer, unfortunately, it would conflict with numerous free trade agreements already held between the Holy Empire and several other factions. Additionally, such exclusivity would damage the integrity of the anti-isolationist policies to which is central to the principles of my administration. In light of this, losing out on potential discounts for trades with Erynnen seems trivial at best, despite our already close trading ties. However, that being said, there are.. Other ways, in which similar agreements could achieve the same result."

The Dominante kept his cool the entire course of negotiations thus far as intending to do so for the remainder, giving little to no cue for emotion or opinion of his guests, their offer or their presence. A quality, generally rare for any Toškhát as history would demonstrate, but a valuable one nonetheless - A race highly responsive to body language, their leader's cool demeanor keeping the rest almost robotically in line. Looking directly at Ciltesse in the eyes, he continued. "If I may be frank.. From my understanding of Erynnen, there is a particular goal we share in common - As a means to protect our assets, those assets need security, and to gain that security, we both need power, I believe it'd be a fairly accurate assessment to suggest that Erynnen's assets lie primarily in its trading prowess. Likewise, the Holy Empire's assets lie primarily in its military prowess. The Holy Empire seeks to reverse over a century of isolation between itself and the world, to which trade is the greatest catalyst. Likewise, beyond direct competitors, one of the greatest threats to Erynnen's assets lies in its relatively small size and population, as opposed to other nations. Ne?"
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Re: A Letter of Trade [ATTN: Oberon]

Post by Oberon on Fri Jul 22, 2011 8:56 pm

Ciltesse restrained himself from grinning nervously, reminding himself that if he showed his teeth, one of the foolish aides would doubtless see it as a deadly insult and kill his entire party. "True, Dominante. What are you getting at? A military alliance? How would that benefit you?"
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Re: A Letter of Trade [ATTN: Oberon]

Post by Maikuolan on Fri Jul 22, 2011 11:26 pm

OOC: Trialith Ore is essentially Lodestone, but with a slightly stronger magnetic field and slightly harder. See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lodestone

* * *

The Dominante, giving a friendly grin, continued.

"What I propose are a number of measures.

Firstly, a straight forward, simple and honest free trade agreement - Trade parties between Erynnen and the Empire will not be charged for the import or export of goods, and additionally, both nations will treat the other's ships as they would their own sovereign vessels. To clarify what I mean by that latter point, neither party would be required to put forward measures beyond what would be considered normal, but should, say, for example, an Erynnen vessel fall under an attack by a third party, it would be considered an attack on the Empire, and visa-versa.

Secondly, filling the gaps that we both share. Foremost, as you landed at our dockyard today, you would have undoubtedly noticed its significant size in distinct contrast to the lack of ships that it docks. This is because they were deemed to not be sea-worthy and I've ordered them destroyed and new ships built in their place. However, progress is slow, and with the flow of international politics, I can not guarantee that these new ships will be completed in time to compete against any naval threats that may present themselves, if it be a foreign power, a pirate fleet or something else. Which is why I've devised an alternative solution. Without a doubt, so far as naval expertise is concerned, Erynnen is a world leader that to-date has remained unchallenged.

Now. If I were to ask for Erynnen to share this expertise, undoubtedly, our motives would be questioned and Erynnen would question if it's naval dominance could potentially be put in jeopardy, so I do not. Equally, if I were to simply ask Erynnen to fill this gap by the Empire paying Erynnen to secure its waters in the Empire's stead, Erynnen would likely not be capable of this due to the sheer size of the Empire's territories in contrast to the size of Erynnen's fleets, and even if it could, there are factions that would question my allowing this. But there is a middle ground here, and I do hope you see where this could mutually benefit us both."

Barely breaking the monologue, he momentarily turned to one of his aides, speaking in his native tongue. "Bring the samples."

Turning back to Ciltesse, he continued, the aide moving out of the room.

"The Empire has copious natural resources at its disposal, and I would be willing to provide Erynnen with all the resources it requires to expand its navy to a strength it deems adequate to fully safeguard its assets, for free, and would actively endorse this to happen, in exchange for two things: Firstly, for every ship that it builds from our resources, it builds a second for the Empire - Where there are shortfalls in labour, the Empire can provide, but the Empire would require the full guidance and expertise of Erynnen; Secondly, Erynnen allows a small number of my scouts to join its naval forces - a number you'd be comfortable with - for an agreed period of time. They would periodically report to my office when possible, but be ranked amongst ship crew and entirely follow the orders of the ship's captain as per expected. Holy Empire scouts serving aboard Erynnen vessels would serve two purposes: Firstly, as additional security for those vessels, and secondly, as my eye to the outside world until our own naval assets can be improved. There are certain things I need to know about our common neighbours and can not be learnt without seeing them, and mostly, along common trade routes."

By that stage, the aide has returned, carrying one large, wooden crate, reinforced with wrought iron, and one similar but smaller crate. The Dominante looked with interest towards the crates. "Ah! Ciltesse - I've something to show you that you may find interesting."

As the crates were placed onto the table between Ciltesse and the Dominante, the Dominante waved his aides back a bit and opened the crates himself. Inside the first, larger crate, lay two objects, not hugely impressive on first glance - A plank of wood and a silver, cube shaped, metal block. The Dominante briefly raised the plank of wood and metal block without much interest. "Standard samples of the wood and iron ore we've used in the past for our own ships. Not too different from what you'd find anywhere else, but included for standard quality check purposes. However.."

Putting the two objects back into their crate, the Dominante opened the smaller crate - Within, lay a dark, spherical, black rock, not unlike volcanic gemstone in appearance. Holding it as so that Ciltesse could see it clearly, he continued. "This is Trialith Ore - A well-guarded material found only in the Empire. Has many strange properties and is the material we've regularly used for our composes and the likes in the past. Watch."

The Dominante placed the small rock at the far end of the table. Moving to the other end, he withdrew the metal cube from the larger crate and placed it at the other end of the table. After a few seconds of waiting, without assistance, the two objects pulled towards one another, and with a metallic clang, met, and stuck together at the table's middle, in front of Ciltesse. "It attracts metal. But that aside, I offer it to you as a gift."
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Re: A Letter of Trade [ATTN: Oberon]

Post by Maikuolan on Mon Jul 25, 2011 11:41 am

OOC: I don't mean to be sound pushy, but the game is being held up a bit by this. 24 hour notice - If there's no new replies to this by that stage, I'll make my own assumptions about how this ends up rolling as to bring it to a timely conclusion.
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Re: A Letter of Trade [ATTN: Oberon]

Post by Oberon on Mon Jul 25, 2011 11:06 pm

OOC: Please do. I don't have the time or brainpower to make a competent post for this. I've had rehearsal for Richard for six hours a day, and I haven't been able to get much sleep. Walking like a gimp is TIRING. Your conclusion would be a blessing.
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Re: A Letter of Trade [ATTN: Oberon]

Post by Maikuolan on Tue Jul 26, 2011 12:57 pm

:: OOC ::

I know where you're coming from, and completely understandable. I hope it all goes well. Smile

For benefit of anyone else reading this, the conclusion of this thread has been cleared and green lit by both Oberon and Red. To avoid bloating, I'll make mention of what effect this has when mentioning it is relevant. It is assumed that everyone leaves happy and that my final counter-offer is accepted. Because I'm feeling too sickly with the flu at the moment for repeating myself to be all that entertaining, to know how this ends, just read what I offered. Kudos.
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Re: A Letter of Trade [ATTN: Oberon]

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