Tuesday, June 7, 2011

497 & 497a - Black Dogs of the Imperium? & A Letter to Chevenga About Mahid

The daily agenda looked fairly boring.  The only thing possibly interesting I could see was a presentation by Minister Rafas, with an annotated speech by Assemblyman Porapas Asimir, solas, in support.  “Imperial Serenity” was all it said.

I had a thicker cushion that I had put in my official chair a few nights ago.  Stone chairs were all very impressive but cold and hard on the behind… all the way up to the middle of the back.  My cushion was the same red brocade as everyone else’s but I paid to have one made up thicker.  I didn’t have kaf that morning, to be easy on my bladder.

We sat through the list.  Assemblyman Rurik presented a petition to repair a certain bridge in his district.  A delegation, ‘Green Peas’, put forward a request to institute a national ‘Green Pea’ festival which was sent to committee.  Governor Jametzas requested funding for a series of okas girls schools that was long and hotly debated and passed.

District Atzanizan, a tiny northern district complained of the taxes they were required to pay and requested a reduction if the services were not forthcoming…

District Issene predicted a food shortage.  The weather in the weastern provinces had been very wet and the rye harvest was both less than half of what was anticipated, it was growing the mad-fungus in enormous quantity.  The district was anticipating starvation without assistance.  That passed with a minimum of debate, I was pleased to see.  People would have to shift what they ate somewhat, but hunger drove things.  They had also planted fast-growing, wet weather crops like climbing legumes.

Everyone was going to be sick of beans before this year was out. Those provinces were a ‘bread-basket’ of sorts for large parts of the Empire.  I made a note to myself to ask where Arko had bought rye before, if crops failed.

497a - A Letter to Chevenga About Mahid

Dear Chevenga,

… [excerpt]  My mother was very struck by the conversation the two of you had on election night.  She and her father talked about it and he allowed her access to the oldest of the Mahid archives.  She asked me to help when it became clear that the unburned, unscorched pages needed translation.  [I enclose my translation of the original Mahid charter].

She… and my Grandfather… were very struck by the notion of all Mahid serving the whole Empire, as the semanakraseye serves his people in Yeola-e.   We talked about it and they went to inquire what the surviving Mahid wanted… how they would vote.

One woman wished for things to stay the same.  The rest wished to swear to the Empire, so their diligence and their ability never again be stolen from the Empire by one man… or, I suppose… one woman, should we ever have a woman as Imperator again.

I am staying well out of it now, since my bias would taint their whole attempt, and might still do so, even if I have nothing to do with this.  My Grandfather told me to expect that kind of thing and considering carefully, I cannot see how people would not think I was behind this, but the surviving Mahid deserve to make their own decisions.

I told them I would ask you what you thought of the idea of a new and renewed Mahid.  I am going to be inquiring, as well, about what the family wishes to do, with Kallijas, since they are curious – as much as they allow themselves to be – about both your opinions.

Grandfather and Mother are considering how to let the Mahid be renewed in such a way as to make clear to everyone that the Mahid themselves do not ever want to go back to being the Black Dogs of the Imperator.  If anything, they wish to be one of the ‘Living Walls’ of defense of the Empire, as defined by the people of Arko.

My Grandfather suggests:  No more than fifty men and ten women, with specific bodyguarding duties for the Imperial family.

Of those fifty a certain number, to be specified by Assembly, should this be ratified, dedicated to teaching art and excellence, with a certain number of apprentices drawn every year – always by merit… so that even the Mahid children must compete to be included.

He says that Mahid should be available to work with Irefas and any other government department in Arko that requires their peculiar skills, again chosen by merit.  He says the teachers for the new Mahid have to be very special and that the teachers will rule the tenor of the Mahid.

The Assembly of Arko would need to approve any and all of this.  He sees the new Mahid medics trained by Haians and on Haiu Menshir.  There would be Mahid trained to keep up with the Imperial family, thus there would be those who fly and who transfer, those who ride, and skate.  Preferably trained by the best in all those fields.  Uncorruptible messengers are another possibility.  My mother insists that the Mahid need to work through their unimpeachable integrity, given to the service of the people, rather than blind and unthinking obedience.

There are a number of records that I have recovered that allude to Mahid that have taken the Empire’s greater good into consideration, acted and then paid the price for these actions… but I don’t have all of them in one piece, much less correctly translated.   My mother is intending to continue the work on the ancient archive.  I will not have time.

Grandfather speaks of his own greater purpose, placing his skill and researches into Haian University hands, and the joy he feels doing it, rather than the shame he felt before.  Of course, being Mahid and my grandfather he doesn’t use such direct words as ‘joy’ and ‘shame’ but has told me what he feels with the typical Mahid circumlocutions.

If Arko wills this, it should happen, but it seems to me that my sire drowned the ideals of the Mahid in rivers of blood and fear and pain.  Surely no one would see the potential that had been lost under and extreme and twisted form of torture?

My mother says all forms of normal Arkan expression should be both allowed and encouraged, and that innovative thinking and flexibility be promoted and supported.  Grandfather says that torture is something that should not be taught at all.

My thought is that there should be no attempt to ‘break’ them of being human, allowing privacy with no need to watch and inform on each other for so called failures. The rigid rules of correction should be gone.  I think that it should be taught that mistakes do not require self punishment.

There should be no promotion by either suckitude or servitude of any kind and self expression strongly encouraged.

The ideal of Mahid that they want to hold up in front of Arkans is the heroic one... the one where Mahid did extraordinary feats in service of the Empire. 

To properly serve the Empire Mahid must be willing to place a higher authority over the whim of the Imperator and that higher authority is now the Assembly of Arko.  I would love to see a committee struck to study and recommend a long-term plan how this could work.  How would the Empire want the Mahid, if they wanted them at all.

All of this is, of course, subject to Assembly, with public consultation included, something I will insist on.

You might be interested to hear that the oldest Mahid archive was put to the torch, but the fire went out when the door was sealed, so my mother is going to be finding all sorts of interesting things in there!

Thanks for you time looking this over, Chevenga.  I’m absolutely fascinated to read your response.


… postscript… Kall made a suggestion of his own.  He says that if Assembly does ratify a new Mahid, they should be assigned to help one of your Yeoli sages in their various retreats.  He says he’d like to see some of them after they’ve been with Sukala for a moon.


  1. Oh No!! poor kitty... I will pray for her quick and miraculous recovery.

    great chapter btw can't wait for the next installment.

  2. poor Terro, I hope she is well.
    Amazed and glad that you were able to post and that this (the revival of the Mahid) is being brought up by someone else. If it is the will of the people and all, plus an approved way of caste-climbing that rewards the quick and cunning (and physically gifted)