To be able to take the lives of so many in your hands, and lead them to greatness, is a daunting task indeed. Many men have been killed for their position, or their abuse of it. Others have been rallied for their great deeds and the rich lives they bring to their kingdom. Some people will look back and say king Sesh was a good man and a great leader brought down by trying times. Others will say that, like his father, he was mad and let his power go to his head.
Sesh was sitting in a large chair, made of oak and fine burgundy velvet. Before him was a grand table suitable for many guests. A tapestry covered the table, weaved of hand spun cotton by the master weaver of Venti. Usually he'd have his family at the table, along with a few select guests. Today, however, a different meal is being served. Today was the monthly meal of news. Sesh invited Lieutenant General Aekus, along with two Brigadier Generals; the grand-master blacksmith for news of production and supply needs; the town criers who acted as a representative of the people, bringing the peoples concerns to the meeting, and the meeting's contents to the people; the islands chief engineer was also in attendance.
Once everyone was seated Sesh thanked everyone for coming. He started with the engineer, Tony: who was a larger man and a little short. For almost twenty years he'd kept the homes warm, the lights on, and the island in the sky.
"The boilers are in running order, though we are in need of copper pipe for maintenance; there have been some leaks in the tunnels, leaving some villagers without heat in their homes. We've also managed to maintain altitude so far, but I fear without that pipe we may have to cut the town's steam supply all together." Tony replied.
"We have a shipment of copper waiting to the east, our supplies have run thin since last months shipment. What pipe we can make will require us to cut back on wire, and other generator parts needed for repairs." said the blacksmith, down the table.
"What of our siege on the copper mines in Cerata? Shouldn't we have taken it back by now?" Sesh asked.
Aekus stepped forward, "Our last attack on the mining city was a success: my plan to have a small group of our best men drop in to the enemy barracks at night, took the city with few civilian casualties. It was a great success. However the enemy soldiers who survived retreated up the mountain, posting guards, and shutting their iron doors to the mine. Unfortunately they would spot any advance from air or land. To try and blow open the doors could mean collapse of the mines. Until we can get those doors open, our hands are tied on the mines."
"I see... I trust your judgement Aekus. We cannot afford to keep shipping our supplies from so far off, we must continue our attack." Sesh replied.
"Yes sir. I'm confident we can hold the town until then: we've bolstered our defenses since the takeover, and have taken care not to disrupt the town too much. The last thing we need is a civilian uprising on top of trying to attack a well defended mine." Aekus replied.
"Agreed. Aekus, send some of your men with the next ship to the east, I want them to be ready if there is an attack on our shipment. Is there any other news?" Sesh turned to the criers.
A crier replied, "There are rumors of a mysterious priest roaming through the town but as of now they are merely rumors. Patrols report no troubles from any priest, few have even seen him. A small group of villagers are looking into the matter, they are concerned that there has been no news of a new priest coming to the church, yet a stranger walks their alleys. Aside from the investigation there is nothing else to report."
"I see. If he is found have him brought to me. If he causes no troubles he'll be free to register for travel or stay, otherwise he'll have to be escorted back to the mainland. Now if there is nothing else let us eat." Sesh replied.
The servers brought in a bounty of roast duck and, hand picked fruits from the mainland. As they ate there was a low din of chatter, these meetings had been held for a few years now. Everyone seemed familiar with each other, and the meetings seemed to bring a greater understanding of the town's inner workings to everyone. After the meal was over and everyone had left Sesh stood slowly then turned to leave. The doors opened and shut behind him with an echoing low boom. One of the meal servers for the night came to him.
"Sir, for tonight's meal we have either fresh salmon or smoked ham for the main course, which would you prefer?" He asked.
"Let the chefs decide, either is fine with me. I am tired and need to rest." Sesh replied.
These little choices he had to make every day wore him down over the years, sometimes he felt that no one could make a decision without his say. Choosing a meal was, to him, trivial. He had hired many people to make some of the decisions for him, such as decorations, and flower arrangements, he had assumed the chef's could choose a meal on their own. Ten years since he was named king, and many still feared to make their own decisions, though his father was to blame for that. Sesh would try to leave a better kingdom for his son, than what was left for him.
He proceeded through hallways of the castle, each step echoing through the wood and stone. The electric hum of the dim orange bulbs that protruded from the walls. It felt like hours before he reached his chambers. He pushed the heavy door open revealing the large four-post bed. It called to him, all he wanted was to rest. He made his way to it, feeling every step rattle through his body. It almost felt like the bed was sliding away from him, but at last he made it. He turned and sat on the bed with a great sigh. Finally he turned and fell back, not quite asleep, only meditating, the meeting still fresh in his mind.
There it is! Episode one of Priest's Gambit!
EDIT: rewrite from rough draft