At a table on a remote hilltop, representatives from the Gythian mages, warrior, traders, cartographers, and advocates face the heads of the five Technologist Dynasties.
“The Dynasties demand equal seating at the Gythian council,” says Serena, head of the Campestrian family, “and equal shares of steel.”
“Ludicrous,” hisses the archmage. “You are not Gythian.”
“The first Gythians were Aullerian.” Alaric’s old voice booms as strong as when he addressed his troops at the Gythian Wall twenty years ago. Kinetic, his heir, glares across the table.
“You are asking us to halve our shares,” says a paladin.
“Demanding,” says Jovius of Renaia.
“One,” says the archmage. “The provinces may have one seat at the Gythian council and distribute one share of steel.”
“If equality is not given, it will be taken.” Alaric rises and turns to go, his hand on Kinetic’s shoulder for support. By the time she sees the steel cord that unspools, lighting quick, from Jovius’ bracelet, it has wrapped around Alaric’s throat and sliced his jugular.
“The seat is mine,” says Jovius, snapping the cord back inside his bracelet with a spray of blood.
“Very well,” says the archmage.
“Treachery!” screams Serena.
Alaric collapses into Kinetic’s arms.