The Silver Kings Awash in Crimson
Musings On - Kobalas City
Kobalas, Kobol, City of the Lords
An ancient home to the precursors of the Tengese, abandoned in a great exodus to what is now An-Teng. The Lords of Kobol, the ancestors of the Tengese princes, had ruled from this place, and their decrees formed the underpinnings of Tengese culture. The city is hardly as impressive as that of the Steel Lotus, or other major Tengese settlements, but that is because it comes from a simpler, and more austere era. Even so, the buildings have stood the test of time, remaining erect even if the wind and rain have scoured away decorations and the features on statues.
Those rare scholars who remember this place speak of the Last Lord of Kobol, who sensed that a cycle of darkness would come upon this land, and decreed that all inhabitants should begin a long trek north, to a new land. But just as the sun sets and rises again the next day, the Last Lord knew the darkness would not last forever, nor would the new land remain forever free of shadows. One day, it was said, the people would return to Kobalas in a time of need, and their ancient home would give them the strength they need to reclaim the north.
It is a lie, of course, but a useful one. By fabricating a legend, we create a more immediate sense of attachment to the settlement, and bolster the patriotism of the refugees. By creating a prophecy, we give them hope, and instill the idea of a destined return to An-Teng. The ancient, weathered nature of Kobalas, along with the culture we will concoct for the city, should help to explain away the relatively rudimentary nature of the settlement. And of course, we shall weave ourselves into the prophecy, as champions who have been ordained by the greatest powers of Heaven to lead these people home. And between the “lost lore” of this place and our own pre-ordained authority, we shall have ready tools to make adjustments to their culture as we see fit.
We are settling among foothills, and so I propose using terrain to our advantage. Find the highest peak around, perhaps make some minor alterations to it, and then build structures directly into or over it to give an illusion of height and grandeur. Surround that central “temple complex” or “palace” with other structures along more humble lines, still making maximum use of allowed dimensions. Ring the whole place with moderate walls, not just for protection but to create a suitable image for travelers arriving at its gates.
Depending on rainfall and other weather matters, we should excavate cisterns to supplement any wells we are able to find. These cisterns and catch-basins, especially any we are able to build atop the hills, can be used to cunningly supply the city with something akin to the running water found in the Despot’s palace in Gem. If this amenity was not known to the Tengese before, then its presence here will suggest a wisdom held by their ancestors that has now been lost.
Among the potential ways that this project could go wrong, we must consider the following eventualities:
- The Tengese become too comfortable in the city, and lose their desire to go home.
- The Tengese become too attached to the city, and wish to take it from Meliora Posi.
- The Tengese become too entrenched in their own culture, and refuse our authority.
Efforts must be made to prevent or mitigate these. Reaction plans should be put in place, as well. I propose the following:
- Work counter-memes into the legends and prophecies we fabricate.
- Arrange visible and ostentatious displays of goodwill from ourselves and allies.
- Insinuate ourselves deeply into the confidence of leadership figures.
- If they become too comfortable, we may arrange a looming disaster to spur them.
- If they become too jingoistic, we may assassinate or discredit the aggressive leaders.
- If they become too stubborn, we may forcibly suborn and humble their leaders.