Velociryx Promoted!

INN (Illyriad News Network) reporter The Blind Scribe Reporting:

Velociryx, one of the Lords of the South, currently residing on Devil’s Island, in Kumala, was recently named HighLord in the STEEL Dominion Alliance [REALM], where he shares power with that alliance’s current HighLord, AvidDriver.

This reporter journeyed to Devil’s Island to get full details in hopes of an interview, and although the elusive Lord agreed, the details gleaned from that meeting were cryptic at best.

Here’s what we know:

First (if the author may be permitted a moment of personal observation), Devil’s Island is aptly named! The entire place is a steaming morass of punishment. Towering trees, oppressive heat, and the promise of death at every turn, courtesy of giant anacondas, fierce jaguars, or worse.

Fortunately, Velociryx’s forces are vigalent, and keep the main byways cleared of the worst of the dangers, but between that, and combatting “Devil’s Vine”, the troops are kept in near constant motion.

And what is “Devil’s Vine,” you may ask?

Simply put, it’s an awful, rope-like, thorny vine that “sweats” a viscous goop that burns like fire when touched and causes a rash that lasts for days (and it can grow up to a foot a day! “Reminds me of Kudzu, blasted stuff.” Velociryx told me during one of our walks outside the city gates).

The author knows the full extent of these effects because, alas, he attempted to use some of said vine to fashion a hammock so as to avoid sleeping on the ground (sleeping on the ground in Devil’s Isle is formally known as “A Very Bad Thing.” – army ants, rogue anacondas, cats who will drag you off and eat your head, and all manner of other dangers…no no…it’s no good to sleep on the ground…it is not advised, however, to try and fashion a hammock out of Devil’s Vine either, as the rash you get in places you don’t want a rash, EVER, is beyond unpleasant).

All that to say that this author was not in his best form by the time he actually reached Vel’s capital of Cerilon.

Once there, however, I must say that the city itself was pleasant enough, and though large, it still retains some of its backwater charm…a thing I’ve discovered that is common of many of the townships of those most excellent SouthLanders.

As to the man himself, he actually had relatively little to say on the promotion, jokingly toasting me with “here’s hoping I have not just risen to my level of incompetence.”

In speaking with him, I came away with the picture of a man who is a passionate reformer, very interested in the safety and well-being of the Lords of the smaller townships in the realm, and not much interested with the comings and doings outside Kumala.

I asked him about the trouble between NC and STEEL, and he had this to say: “From the look of it, only one side thinks there’s a war on…the other side’s sending care bears, or care vans is it? Something. Anyway, it usually takes (at least) two to Tango, yes? But…they are far from one another, so beyond opportunistic sniping, I don’t see it developing into a full blown bloodbath. I could be wrong, of course…we shall see.”

On alliances in general, he told me:

“The current alliance system is broken and makes no sense…allies all over the continent…impossible to do more than offer moral support for your supposed alliance brothers and sisters. Being in an alliance should MEAN something. If you get in trouble, it ought to mean more than sending you well wishes and a prayer, but if it takes two weeks to get troops to your far flung allies, then in times of war, it means the promise implicit IN the alliance is bound to be broken for those far from the alliance core…and that’s in cases where alliances HAVE cores…most are more like extended social clubs, really.”

When asked how he planned to do things differently, he replied, “I won’t say no comment, but I will say that there are some alliances who are already on the right path, and we could learn much from them. Think locally, trade globally. The hubs are one of the keys.”

Beyond that, he would say no more on the subject.

When our conversation turned to the smaller and independent Lords of the Realm (those not affiliated with any alliance, or smaller Lords, regardless of alliance affiliation), he talked at length about the need for all of Illyriad to continue the time honored tradition of safeguarding the small and the weak, and ended with the cryptic phrase, “The Chimera Project will begin to change the face of that though…change how we go about doing that. At least in Kumala, and who knows? Possibly beyond, in time.”

I stayed in Cerilon for three days, then took a tour of the other seven cities in Velociryx’s steaming, off-the-beaten-path realm, and by the end, I found myself not wanting to go back.

There is no way of telling how serious a reformer he actually is…time and his own actions will tell the tale better than I could, but I am both interested and curious. He is a serious minded fellow (a rare trait among humans, in my experience), and has some interesting ideas, but I left with as many questions as were answered.

What did he mean “The Hubs are one of the Keys?” How does “think locally, trade globally” translate into an actual, usable alliance strategy? And what, exactly, is “The Chimera Project?”

This reporter will be watching with interest, and as I learn more, you’ll be the first to know!

~The Blind Scribe~

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