Zixra is known for its eruptions and tidal waves, many people would rather live in Sharoz with its unstable borders. Even some of the original founders of Zixra dislike and are forever trying to get the funds to move to another continent. I could easily support their view, or just as easily disagree. Instead, I will give you an unbiased report on its geography.
Most of the Zixran village, as there was only one village, was on the inland shore. There they can reach the water without being dangerously close to it and not to close to the mountain in case of an avalanche. The sand on the Zixran shore is not sand, but rocks and cooled magma. This is the result of all the rockslides and eruptions. If you dug down a few meters, you might find some signs of sand existing underneath all the layers of cooled magma and stone. The shore is not very large though, most of it is under the water.
On the terrestrial zone of the shore, there is no large vegetation. The plants are all small shrubs that hold onto the magma, so the waves can’t pull them into the sea, while also being able to shrink into the hollow area of the magma they create with their roots in order to not be effected greatly by any volcanic eruptions. In the aquatic zone, it is mostly algae that grows and mosses. A few other plants grow under the water, using salt instead of sunlight for photosynthesis. Some of the Mother Plant’s sprouts had begun to infest the deeper areas and it could be seen on the shore sometimes. There is very little aquatic fauna, a few shrimps and some frogs. The frogs lived in the mosses while the shrimp and other shrimp like fish swam farther away from shore.
As you go farther forward, less cooled magma appears and the soil becomes more rocky. The flora is still small because of avalanches and has the same anti-lava function, but becomes less water resistant. The plants will contract at a high vibration rate, in case of avalanches in order to be even more safe. The life on the earth is more plentiful. Wild cats and reptiles live in the fields, a few types of hawks existed, living most their life on the ground though.
Then you have the Mountain of Zixra...It has an area of about 50km2, with a kilometre of height, that is why most of Zixra is Mount Zixra. The continent is only about 75km2. That means that only 25km2 is field area, that is only 1/3. 2/3 is mountain. The mountain is not empty of life, a river of fresh water flows down Zixra. Many birds roost in the cliffs and plants can grow close to the ground(going up). In the upper part though, less life grows there. Some evergreens(mutated to grow only a few centimeters)grow in the snow and some other glacial life does exist. The snow on the top(most of Zixra)is what keeps the river flowing with water. A bit before the heat stops to raise, there is a very hot area, even if you are in the shade. Many who climb the mountain fall off due to dehydration.
One of the worst parts of Zixra, leading to its high rate of international poverty, is the lack of essential resources and ability to communicate. They do however, have a large supply of diamonds and other volcanic produce. Because of the low land value of Zixra, guilds are unstable there also. Most guilds start up in order to tax the people for funds. Then the master and elite personal take a ship off to Juroz or some other stable continent.
With this information in hand, many can see that Zixra does not have much in it. But a potential does exist, the people must only cultivate the area and dig down Mount Zixra for more area.
Once the ship hit shore, Kizox was already running off to observe the ecosystem, Kikaz was a bit unsteady and Nero was configuring the ship.
He called “Get over here you two, we need to hull this ship inland! The tide is going to raise by midnight and this slope will have any wind or avalanche send The Sea Dragon off to sea until some volcano erupts underneath it. Kikaz, you pick up anything that will get in our way, the magma is smooth enough that me and Kizox should be able to get it inland with these wheels and other utensils made for the terrain of Zixra.”
Kizox, farther away then Kikaz, still reached The Sea Dragon before Kikaz. Kizox looked at the boat, now more like a carriage, and asked “So we push it?”
“Zixra has a large slope towards the sea. If we push it, it may be pulled onto us by gravity. Therefore, we are going to pull it with a pulley, I’ll set it up while you help Kikaz clear the ground until you two reach flat land. That will be where the pulley is placed.”was Nero’s command in a response.
It took awhile for Nero to empty the ship so that it would be lighter, he had tied it to a crevice in the magma, but the twins were still told to put up a barrier behind it. The pulley was very sturdy, it was tied a few bushes and had two lines that were connected to long levers, each was to start pulling once you sat on one end of the lever. By time the twins had cleared a path, Nero had finished the system and began pressing down the first lever. Once it landed he locked it in place before telling the twins to switch lines. Once they finished connecting the second line and only after that, disconnected the first line. Nero locked the line, raised the lever and then pressed the lever he had raised. The boat came nearer. And so it went until the ship reached the pulley system. They decided it was safe enough there, but built a wall in case of an unexpected event.
Zixra’s only village, Zixra, is not a dense area, even though the only other communities of Zixra are hermits. The village of Zixra is more then ninety-nine percent of the total population. And its population is only about three hundred. Most of those people work their lives trying to leave a large estate for their children, or to leave Zixra.
The problem with the economy is that everyone is poor, and everyone gains money at about the same rate. In this fashion, the money becomes less valuable at the rate that people make money, and that makes everyone stay at that level of wealth. There are no rich people, and because everyone is poor, there are few poor people, in relative terms. Any rich people can afford to leave Zixra, and that makes the currency go down even more.
Nero was a specialist in many fields and had looked at Zixra’s economy and what they had to work with. He had thought of a plan to raise their economy. First, he would donate a portion of his wealth to them. Then he would make a business that payed well in the mining industry. He would move from there to cultivating the land and educating the people. Once he had their trust, he would build forts and plan an attack on Zovna. With most of Juroz, he would be able to set up trade and work on stabilizing the economy. There were a few faults in his plan, but he found that good plans never work because they were too fragile. He liked to improvised more.
This place was where they were headed, a poor slum many would call it. But the area had little competition, so nobody would attack while preparing. And so they walked, Nero knowing where the town was by reviewing his mental maps. By the evening they entered the small village, more a vast field where people worked on there poor crops that were drained from years of usage, only growing enough to get by. Nero walked on the bare road, by the few side passes until he took a turn into a field growing wheat. By time they reached the shack the sun had set, and a slightly red lighted rune hung in the window. Nero knocked on the door, waiting there calmly. It opened to reveal a young lady, her hair was cut cheaply short and she looked at Nero with slight recognition. He formally answered her unsaid question with “I am Nero, a good friend of your parents, may I come in?”
The door shut, then locked. A little ruckus could be heard in the house until the door opened again, this time the host was an old man. He asked “Nero my friend, must you always appear at the time in which you have almost been forgotten?”
“No, but I guess I’m a very busy person, and my time to visit all my friend’s children is very short. Could I join you? And when are you going to refurnish that light, you know it is becoming blue. What will you do when it set your house on fire?” Was the response with a question.
“I have it attached to a string, attached to a metal hook above a bucket of water.”
“Well, I think we should start some alchemy here...But, may I stay here with these two kinors?”
“My house is open to you for any day, Nero.”
Nero walked in, the twins shyly behind him...
The Death of One Guild, the Birth of AnotherEdit
“So, what brings you here?” Berlin Kred asked Nero once they had sat down.
“Juroz’s plans to take total control, my plan to create a guild here and some other events.” Nero responded.
“I’m afraid we are dealing with a guild right now, the community is starting to plan an attack on them.”
“Perfect, I could use something to help them with, Berlin, how much trust do you think I’d gain if me and these kinors took down this corrupt guild?”
“A lot, they’ve been trying to tax us...”
“Good, tell the people that this new guild is going to be...not replaced but...banished by the immortal Nero...”
“Yes, that will give you some trust, and I’ll help you because I know that you will not betray us.”
Shortly before midnight, with the moons making a bar across the sky to cause it to be the brightest night in years, Nero and the twins headed for the local castle where the guild was heard to be making plans. It was an abandoned castle, the first guild had made it. They had not been corrupt, as guilds normally were on Zovna now. It was designed to hold off an attack, and had many fool-proof locks and other systems, or so it was thought to be fool-proof. But Nero knew the map of this castle very well. He knew how each lock worked and how to break it, what each walls weak points were and what materials were used to make everything.
By midnight, they had reached the old castle. Kikaz had headed for the window that could be unlocked after some negative charges, Kizox had came under Nero’s advice, in case they had to soul bond. Nero flew to the higher tops and started working on pulling and loosening the roof’s rocks.
Inside, Kizox worked on finding the armory, remembering the maps and following the path he had made, they had to hold it off so that nobody could get weapons, but mainly so that they could stock up on weapons and most likely runes. Kikaz watched for any of their new enemies. They finally were at the corner to the armory, when Kizox took out a few shruikens that curved and some more that went straight, he grasped his dagger in his mouth for quick retrieval. Kikaz got the message, guards were placed there.
A piece of shrapnel came flying into a guards face, another in the other guards face and then Kikaz and Kizox were running forward, Kizox tossing the shruikens into the guards knees and Kikaz electrifying them. Once they reached the door, Kizox stabbed the guards with his dagger and quickly started to turn the combination lock slowly, listening, with Kikaz’s groaning, for any clicks it made. Eventually when he pulled on it like he had for some time, the door opened. Kikaz placed himself in front of the door as Kizox searched through all the weapons and collected all the rune sacks.
Nero had gone through five layers, he knew that this was the last one now. But it was the mot difficult, he needed to choose the right one for all the bricks to fall instead of just letting a moon beam into the room below and giving his enemies a warning. He revised where all the beams were and where the weakest rock was, pulled it out while beginning to hover, the ceiling collapsed right into the dining room, where the meeting was being held. He spread his wings and let himself fall slowly, intimidating the crowd he was to face. He landed, stared at them and shot one without looking at him and the victim fell over, gasping in his last conscience thoughts, his brain having been overloaded with energy.
“You know I could do that to every single one of you weak minded humans. So here is what I have to tell you, and you can follow what I, Nero, tell you, or you can choose to die.” Nero said in a monotone voice he knew would intimidate the all, them not seeing him with any emotional weakness or showing signs that he would hesitate. “You are going to go home, and live quiet lives. I am going to take over the responsibility you don’t have the capacity to handle.”
Each one of them ran, Nero following them and any who took a wrong turn were soon no longer living. The crowd moved quickly for the entrance, their hearts beating furiously. Eventually they came to the door, and when it opened up, a large mob was waiting. Nero smiled slightly, he had not known that Berlin had been so wise in getting everyone to come. Nero decided to let the people choose the correct form of justice, that is what law was for. He set a wave of kinetic energy into the prisoners and they landed into the mob waiting for them, they did not live very long, but they were lucky in that fact.
After all of this Nero stared out at the mob, they were slightly refreshed and he decided that they trusted him by now, “Hello, I’m Nero as it is rumored and I’d like to know if you will except me to help you. You know I can be trusted and I have a history of 50,000 years of loyalty to Zixra and if you are not newly immigrated,” a sad chuckle went throughout the crowd, “Then you probably have some point in time where I helped out your family,” the crowd nodded in memory of how Nero had saved them one year or another, helped tend the crop, help with a house save them out of a rockslide or some other sort of dilemma, “So, will you except me, trusting with past knowledge that I will help you, unlike most guilds here to exploit you and run away from here, like the group that has ceased to exist only a few moments ago?” The crowd was in obvious approval. Nero was now the master of Zixra...
The Plans are SetEdit
A legitimate vote was taken the next day, and only a few voted against. Nero took up the castle, rebuilding and perfecting the building to resist Zovna. The economy rose a bit, Nero had sent word bidding Huetai advertise Zixra and buy any Zixran herbs he could use. The turf Huetai lived in followed suit. But Nero needed more help, he needed to bring in his friends of international business. They were human, all profit men he did not meddle with. The type who will cut your throat for some spare change always ended up betraying you, it had caused the death of him before. He sent more messengers off, loyal friends he had on Zixra that he knew would come back. In a few months businessmen from all the neighboring countries were coming, including Juroz.
One day, an unscheduled guest, a fikos, came. He demanded seeing Nero. The guards would not let him, but he persisted that they tell Nero that Fikar wants to see him. The guards sent a message, and Fikar was immediately summoned.
“Hello Fikar, how was Huetai?” Nero asked after they were left to converse in private.
“Fine, some guild paid my expenses. Though it would have been free otherwise.” Fikar responded.
“Yes, the twins were a little naive on that point, it got Kizox a scar in his stomach. I have had some talks with Kikaz, he seems like he is more docile then Kizox. You have been out for awhile, so while you are still well and healthy, I’ll fill you in on my analysis of the twins. First I will have Kizox, he is willing to learn. He is very intelligent, but he is mainly into strategy, physics and other variables used in battle. When you went out, he took charge of the situation. The ship’s hospital had you and was apparently preparing to execute you, so he battle the doctors out and took a hostage. He followed through by cutting all the Kisasis’ secondary veins and slicing everyone’s limbs. He held them humble with an iron fist. That is hard to keep stable when you are young and out numbered. In the end, I would have dealt with it differently, but wisdom comes with age and he did keep us alive. He also seems to be very stubborn, not willing to give up till the end. He truly follows the human idiom, it isn’t over until it is over. At the battle of the clock tower he proved this well by defending Kikaz until he had feinted. He does show sympathy for human life, as he had not killed the doctors, but he also shows that he is willing to do what it takes to get ahead.
For Kikaz though, I found that he was more docile, easily persuaded and willing to help if it does not hurt him, even if he has nothing to gain. He is interested, and excelling, in all subjects and has read the encyclopedia you gave him, as did Kizox. He seems to be more timid when Kizox is around, I'm guessing this psychological effect happened while they were on the island, Kizox intimidated Kikaz because Kikaz did not know about magick and therefore seemed weaker then Kizox. I did have some time with him, and without his brother, when we were in the clock tower. He seems to want to help and accepts new ideas easily. I don't think he could take charge as well as Kizox, I suggest we keep him with Kizox for their ability to soul bond and so Kizox can take charge as a unit's commander and Kikaz can be his right hand. That gives Kikaz authority, but not the burden of command. What was your early analysis?”
"You've stated what I was going to say, though for me it was less evident."
“Alright, so what do you think we should do with them?”
“I think that maybe we should do as you thought. But I believe that the unit should be a selected few who will sneak into the building as a diversion unit. That way, you can travel as they pretend to be the ones coming in to get Virk.”
“No good, Virk knows that I would not rely on another group of people to do the vital attack. Though we could have them ready to come in…Perhaps their telepathy will be tested. I believe that I will bring Kikaz with me, and if we have a problem, Kikaz will call Kizox’s unit, a selected few, as you said, will come in and reinforce us. They will hold our area, while waiting, in the general area…Not at where we entered though until Kikaz tells Kizox to move in closer. As we get closer into the castle, they move in. I want you to hold the main attack, at the front. That way they can not estimate where I’ll enter. I’ll have Berlin hold the back entrance, waiting for you to smoke out Zovna. We can have some other units take the sides, but they will not be part of the main play, mainly a wall and another hassle for Virk. We need to give him many little things to deal with. He is a smart man, and can solve a problem quite well. But when the pressure gets on him and he has to make many simple choices he starts to get frazzled.”
“Okay, sounds good to me…Who is Berlin?”
“A good friend of mine, I’ll ask him to come tonight. He has a mind for strategy.”
Berlin was called forth that day and introduced to Fikar. He was explained to about their plans of what they wanted to do when they when to Zovna. Berlin agreed to cooperate and started looking through the maps of the castle, both castles. Nero could trust him to hold a secure station.
Fikar was also brought to see the twins, Kikaz was the first to get out of his chair and greet him in great joy with a, “Oh my gosh, Fikar! Has it really been only a few months? How are you, please sit down.”
Fikar took the offer, as his body was still recovering.
"Oh, I’m fine, Huetai cured me quite well. And it took me awhile to get here, but it is good to see you two again.” Fikar responded wearily
"Well, we could use some help with this strategy.” Kizox added with a glance.
Fikar listened to the plan and looked at the castle’s maps. They looked throughout thirty floors of cobwebbed passages and chambers, estimating the safest paths to take and which drains Kizox could safely bust and which ones would be best left alone.
The plans were made, the frame was finished, the blue prints drawn. The gyro set into motion and only the ones who held it could stop it from spinning, but they must let it go at the right moment for it to spin correctly, and they had so little time that proper analysis of the variables would render the window of opportunity to be opened. But there were more then just one window, there were many. And some lay behind others. They all had to be opened at the right time, and in the right order...
The businessmen came and were sent to lounges to wait. Eventually they were all there, and that is when Nero decided to greet them. He walked in, staring at these men of currency. He opened his speech after planning it in the moments of how to persuade, "Friends, I thank you for coming and I believe you all know the risk of business. You and I know that you hold more power then the government for economy and many other factors. I have called upon thee to entreat you with a large and daring investment. I would like you to begin business in Zixra. I have made plans to make it quite a metropolis, and you would have the early foundation of Zixra. Unfortunately, if you decline this matter Zixra will continue being a hopeless continent. I know you are human, men of profit who still care. Will you not care for the Zixran people and all its potential?"
The room was silent, then Robinson stood up to speak, "If we invest into Zixra, will you invest into us?"
"Well of course, you know how investing works. I'm sure in your early days of business you hoped to have only a few grand of investment, and you were given it. You had brains and applied the money until it multiplied, and now you are some of the most wealthiest people in Synava. You know I have brains, and if you don't then you do not know me."
Etta stood up after this "I know your intelligence, you have studied for years, as you seem to be immortal. I do not put my doubt in you, but the people of Zixra."
"Do not worry, I have already agreed to fund you and the people follow me, I am one of the few they trust. They all owe me."
Karl stood now, "I think this might work, as long as we all invest. The only time investing fails is when the people you are handing the money to are idiots, which we all know is false here, or when not enough is invested. If we invest into Zixra, all of us, then we can probably have a monopoly on this place. So why don't we exploit this opportunity?"
The group seemed to be nodding as a majority, most thought a few moments and just agreed, Zixra and themselves would gain from this. Another window was opened...
Kizox and Kikaz were in their sectors, looking through the maps of the enemy castle. The maps were that of the warlords, and therefore they held every secret vent and little weak points of the castle. The easiest point was where the catapults were, they had balconies that came out for wider range. The twins decided that when the shields opened, Nero could get into one, shoot down all the catapults while Kizox just walked into the castle. He would head for the intercoms and stop them, that would stop communications. Kizox would not have a unit and would also travel around, taking down the communication. Then Nero would glide in, and, hopefully, kill Virk.
Berlin also was called for strategy, as he was taking the back entrance. This was a common and vital point. It would be the exit, they needed to hold everyone inside, and reinforcements could not be allowed. Berlin was given a large unit, he was not powerful, but Nero had found that he had a honest eye for strategy and could command a large amount of people. He would hold defense at the entire back, unfortunately Zovna was in a hexagon. Berlin was given three sides, Fikar the other three sides. Nero was not going to command a unit, he was not a commander, he worked best alone. He only gave those he could trust the rank of commander. Kizox was going to get inside and give updates and cut off communication. Kikaz would stay with Nero until told to go to Kizox.
All of Zixra had joined Nero’s battle, he had near eight hundred and would be facing more then twice as many. He was to commence a battle of the wits also…
The Gyro Begins to SpinEdit
Nero began to organize his units, Berlin was given five hundred troops and Fikar three hundred. For more precision, Berlin had:4 alchemist, 10 doctors, 1 cleric, 5 scouts, 450 soldiers and 30 people who were prepared to take any tasks which needed to be done. Fikar had:1 alchemist, 3 doctors, 1 cleric, 10 scouts, 35 people who would do anything and 250 soldiers. This is against:1000 soldiers, 50 doctors, 10 alchemists, 100 scouts, 5 clerics and 500 people who were free to be given any job. All figures are rounded estimates.
But Nero showed no fear, he was not afraid of numbers. Statistics were against him, probability said he had no chance, but skill said he had a fair chance. Many knew of the numbers, but they felt encouraged by Nero’s presence. Nero had any able bodied people work on many ships to reach Juroz. Five ships were made, and while they were being done the alchemist were busy working with the smiths on rune blades. The clinics were making energy tonics and other tonics while the doctors worked on bandages and practiced their art. The soldiers were put through vigorous training, a few mages selected and some archers. Farmers were busy harvesting the food and many started mining at the points Nero thought were likely to hold the highest amount of loot. Nero sat back and rested, he needed to let himself be ready.
Half a year later, once all was prepared, the boats were made and everyone finished what they were doing, Nero took the twins and himself on his ship, Fikar and Berlin had divided their unit with the other boats. And off they went, they were at the brink of releasing the gyro.
The ride did not take long, Nero piloted about the seas and the boats followed him. Many took a rests and everybody waited, anxious and afraid. Afraid of death. Afraid of the torture and pain that lay staring in their faces. Afraid of the future generations that may be ruined. But hopeful of the greatness Nero may portray into their lives. They held loyal and were prepared to pay their debt.
Zixra had been abandoned. And nobody noticed except for the businessmen who already knew that it would be happening, as they would invest after the people returned. They were preparing to open many windows…