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Manfred turned to Hyperion.
"Exactly how difficult will it be to travel back to Ceres without the bridge?"
"As the Kelutral ships have been recalled due to escalation in the war, quite difficult. I maintain contact through scrying mirrors. At the current level of ship technology in Keimin, and lack of knowledge of navigation between the Continents, possibly impossible. The land bridge is an excellent way to provide the connection needed. I also ask this Council if they are in need of any supplies or reconstructive magics? We have managed to maintain a healthy decent lifestyle, despite the war. It appears your continent has not learned how to balance war against a healthy upkeep."
Hyperion says, without intent of insult
Manfred silently winced. He really hoped no one took offense to that. But now the stakes were set. Time to see who was willing to participate.
Samuel frowned at the upkeep statement
If war is easy to maintain, then what is its purpose?
I-ahem-Exbaltaira throws its support into this land bridge idea. As concerns this god…thing, the last time we dealt with divine artifacts with ridiculous names, it resulted in an animated statue. I also suggest reconnaissance be taken before we make any definitive plans. These are dangerous forces, clearly, and, if the nations of Ceres are as magically inclined as you suggest, it would be fool hardy to launch a full scale operation without doing so.
That said, I once more recommend the Crusaders. They are a comparatively small group, good for information gathering. While there, if it’s deemed necessary, they can act. The construction of this land bridge would make maintaining contact between the Crusaders and the Council easier.
Elder Cupboard reconvenes with the other Elders.
Then they come back inside.
Elder Cupboard stands in front of the Council.
"The Council has decided to allow the land bridge to Bree, if King Manfred truly wishes it. The nations of Ceres will undergo the same process of entering as Ko’ebbe. A representative must join the Crusaders for a time until the Council feels the nations are ready to join."
HP and Hyperion turn to Manfred
"Is this alright with you, King Manfred of Bree?"
Manfred nods. "Of course it is. I gave my approval before, didn’t you hear it?"
HP nods to Manfred
Hyperion says to HP
"I am more than qualified to join the Crusaders on behalf of my people. I thank you greatly."
Hyperion lifts his chin in HP and Cupboard’s directions.
He is then escorted out.
HP turns to the Council
"As most of us have previously discussed, the Council needs a common exchange currency. Especially now more than ever, as the war has devastated our economies. The Bank of Jarlsjalfi backs the Arvir of Kasinthia as the common exchange currency of Keimin. This does not replace your own kingdom’s currency; it merely lubricates trade between Kingdoms."
King Aldo stands up
"Kasinthia once again supports and recommends this action."
Manfred just sort of slowly raised an eyebrow and then very deliberately raised his hand.
"And how would this work if there were a hypothetical country without currency?"
"It would work much like your arrangement with Olad and Famardy. Except with everyone."
Manfred shrugs and nods. He didn’t really like how it would turn out, but he saw no reason to argue with people who were already using other types of currency. He would just see what others thought.
Samuel grimaced. With the dismal state the Exbaltairan economy was in, this could either save it or break it. Unfortunately, he left his economic adviser in his other jacket, so he had to make a choice. He held his voice, waiting to see the others’ arguments.
"Famardy supports this idea." Matarian said simply.
Samuel’s eyes darted at Matarian, and he began to sweat
“Crap! I meant to throw my support in as well, but I waited too long! Now it will seem like I’m just following Matarian’s initiative. I can’t appear weak now, not in front of that a cursed reporter. I need to stall…”
Samuel cleared his throat.
What are the possible effects this decision will have on the individual economies? If one nation experiences an economic depression, will the rest be dragged down?
Samuel sat back, satisfied with how smart his question sounded.
"Don’t be silly, King Samuel. The Bank of Jarlsjalfi will be maintaining the balance of the economies, as we have for centuries. One country’s downturn would be more easily helped by the other countries, while my Bank keeps the balance and backs the deals."
Elder Cupboard rises
"The Council will understand that when Mchreil referred to the Bank as his, he was speaking as an executive of the Bank, and not as the Jarlsjalfian Representative."
In that case, I also support the new currency.
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