Cheraki Survival Council
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By Unknown (Mirrored from the old wiki)

The Survival Council is an institution left over from the early days of Cherak, when surviving Shogunate Officers and other prominent citizens would meet to discuss their options in response to the hardships and dangers they faced stranded in the North. Though not an official body, the Council does contain important members of Cheraks rulership, and it has a great deal of influence in the city.

The Cheraki Survival Council meets when its members think there are dangers to or opportunities for their city. Currently it sees changes happening to the North, ones that the Realm appears not to be willing to act against, and the council wonders if this is an opportunity for House Ferem to advance itself. The Pinnacle of the Eye of the Hunt is nearby - by allying closer with the Immaculate Order in opposing the Anathema led Northern Pact, perhaps they can gain glory and win allies. Perhaps with the right allies they can even take the Throne of the Realm

The House has no chance of doing so of course, as it lacks any support from the other Great Houses or experience with the politics of the Realm. But the Cheraki Survival Council don't have much experience with the world outside their region, so they don't really appreciate the subtilties of the situation. If they declare themselves as contenders they are likely to be greeted with derision from the Dynasts, though some (perhaps someone smart like Mnemon) may offer polite back-room support for their cause. Mnemon's purpose in this would of course be to lead House Ferem to ruin by setting them against "mutual enemies", thereby weakening a real contender for the throne she sees as hers by right. Ferem would be oblivious to such manipulation however, and is likely to walk straight into it. Facing off against a real Dynastic House would be a disaster for the House, but they probably won't find out until it's too late.

House Ferem dominates the council and considers itself to have much in common with the Seventh Legion at Lookshy. These ties are more in the minds of the Cheraki than founded in reality. They see the Seventh Legion Dragon Blooded as cousins, descended from survivors of a Shogunate legion as they themselves are. The Cheraki don't appreciate the differences eight centuries of independant development have fostered, and they overestimate their own status as Shogunate warriors. The Seventh Legion see them much as the Dynasts do - a bunch of country bumpkins with delusions of status.

The Cheraki also overestimate the power of the Seventh Legion, having only heard second hand of Lookshy's arsenal of Shogunate weaponry. In particular, they make wrong assumptions about Lookshy's ability to deploy troops in numbers away from the River Province. The Council might waste effort trying to set up mutual support pacts with Lookshy, being puzzled when their counterparts seem stand-offish or even outright confused by what the Northerners are suggesting. Ferem would offer Lookshy maritime support, unaware that their fleet wouldn't last an hour if House Peleps bothered to deploy a fraction of their own fleet resources against it. For their part, the Lookshy families might realise that the Cheraki are in over their heads, or they might actually believe Ferem is as powerful as it thinks it is.

Members of the council

The Survival Council has around three dozen members at any one time, with others called in to contribute their specialised knowledge at need. While the Dragon-Blooded tend to have authority, they do also listen to the mortal members and generally the council operates on quite a democratic basis. That said, the mortal members can be overruled quite easily, especially if Ferem Malkator Yesihau decides to take a stand - he is feared for his cold-blooded approach to dealing with matters of insurrection, and most of the rest of the council would defer to him if he insisted.

Admiral Ferem Helkar (Fire Aspected Dragon-blooded - Admiral of the Cheraki Navy) Helkar is a huge man, seven feet of muscle who looks like a one man boarding party waiting to happen. He's rarely available to take part in council debates, being busy at sea, at his estates outside Cherak or in conquoring one (or more) ladies. His reputation as a rake aside, he's highly respected and liked for his good humour and excellent company. Some people believe he's not as dumb as he makes out.

Ferem Malkator Yesihau (Earth Aspected Dragon-blooded - commander of the Cheraki Guard) An authoratative and experienced Dragon-Blooded, Yesihau is not a hugely innovative thinker, but he is a systematic one. Given good information, he is able to come to the logical conclusion. Sadly, the poor state of Cherak's spy service largely leaves him without good information when dealing with matters outside the city-state itself. Within Cherak's borders he has much better resources, and the Guard's internal activities are therefore more efficient. However Cherak's internal policing suffers from a level of corruption at all levels below their commander, and members of the Guard can usually be induced to look the other way in criminal matters for a nominal contribution. Ferem Malkator Yesihau himself is a tough, uncompromising individual, and when he decides to crack down on something, the Guard is authorised to use considerable force. Many of its members enjoy doing just that, and there have been some very nasty incidents. As a result, relations with citizens of the city are not what they could be.

The guard itself is both a police force and the city-states army, though it is recognised that certain individuals are better at certain roles than others. Officially, all officers are military personnel - unofficially, many are policemen, and in wartime they would be expected to remain in the city to keep order instead of taking the field.

City patrols deploy with Talons of four men wearing lamellar armour, armed with halbards and hand axes. They count as regular troops, with a subsidiary unit of around 40 being more highly drilled, and containing a few God-blooded and entities of similar power, making them Elite. This unit is usually called in to unusual situations as a kind of SWAT team. It is rare for Dragon-Blooded members of the guard to patrol the streets themselves, but if they choose to, they will almost always be accompanied by two talons of nervous troops.

A system of heliographs and bells set at points throughout the city allow rapid communication between units at different locations, and a pool of reinforcements is maintained to allow rapid response to emergencies. The city normally maintains three legions of approximately 2,500 troops each, plus support units of another 2,500 (such as firemen). In wartime, they follow the standard Imperial plan of battle.

Cheraki Trackers: The Trackers are the other half of Cherak's Guard. They operate outside the city itself, patrolling the countryside. Generally they steer clear of the estates and plantations unless invited - the Dragon-Blooded who operate the big estates don't like mortals bothering them. Mainly equipped for taking on highwaymen and scouting for the approach of bandit groups and Icewalker raids, Trackers typically aim to report back and call in tougher units if a serious fight looks likely.

The Trackers deploy in Talons of four men wearing mammoth hide buff jackets, armed with bows and chopping swords. They also act as skirmishers, runners and missile support for the rest of the Guard in times of war. Cherak maintains a single legion of approximately 2,500 men, plus support personnel of around 500.

The Watchers: The Cheraki spy service. Up to a few years ago, its main concern was with internal security - a few spies have been planted in other lands but have mostly been identified and are not allowed near anything important. Part of the problem is their leader - Ferem Modina Wiso is an elderly Earth Aspected Dragon-Blooded who is very loyal to Cherak but is also a very rigid military thinker. Cheraki spies are easily recognisable as being ex-military personnel and almost always represent themselves as being part of Cherak's "diplomatic corps". A recent "innovation" in Cherak's information gathering approach is "Northern Dragon Trading", a cover organisation which almost all of Cherak's neighbours immediately identified as such and subsequently watch carefully.

Losayu Funidone Peocho (Fire Aspected Dragon-blooded) With Cherak's reliance on technology, the quartermasters corps were established to stockpile and account for all technology which could be useful. Unfortunately Cherak lost the capacity to maintain most of it's Shogunate Era wonders long ago, and much of what the quartermasters guard is no longer working. Peocho is a slightly pompous individual but does his best with what he has. An un-exalted cousin of his is an active member of the Cult of the Illuminated and runs one of the cells in Cherak.

Virtuous Cloud (Sidereal - acting as a mortal with influence in many of the manufacturing trades) Virtuous Cloud is really Battleworn Rainbow, a Sidereal of the Maiden of Serenity who currently follows the Bronze Faction. She is fairly young, having exalted less than 200 years ago, and this assignment is considered to be a training exercise for her as much as anything. Battleworn Rainbow is keen to prove herself, but is suffering from a bit of a crisis of conscience. She knows that the Bronze faction would willingly sacrifice the population of Cherak if it gained them advantage, and she's still in touch with mortality enough to feel guilt over this. The right arguments might sway her to the side of the Gold faction. Battleworn Rainbow specializes in social skills and is an expert in mortal trading practices and organisations. She is nervous about her ability to control the senior Dragon-Blooded of the council however, and prefers to deal with them at second hand - by manipulating the other members into pressing for the actions Battleworn Rainbow wants in such a way that it seems like their own idea.

Rotigohi Retichu (Mortal - heading up "resource management" for the new city wall project) Retichu is an architect, delighted with his role in the huge project to build the new outer wall around Cherak. He finds the exercise of logistics fascinating, and considers the slaves he oversees to be "production units" with a finite operational lifespan. If they last longer than two years he's delighted to have broken even on his budget, but other than that he doesn't consider the fate of his "units" important at all. The Guild supplies almost all the slaves to Cherak, and Rotigohi enjoys good relations with the Guild factors he deals with. In order to keep his friends happy, he ensures that the slaves work very hard in poor conditions, which tends to keep "turnover" high. He is probably responsible for more human misery in Cherak than any of the current population of Dragon-Blooded. Battleworn Rainbow dislikes the man intently, but fears any replacement might even be worse.

Brilliant Tooth (Mortal - farmers collective representative) An elderly man, Brilliant Tooth is known for his set of gleaming crystal false teeth. He has told several different stories about how he acquired these, and is generally regarded as an amusing and entertaining individual. He has considerable influence with other merchants in Cherak. In truth, he's actually a half-fey who's secretly on the Guild's payroll, taking bribes to subtly advance their agenda. Battleworn Rainbow is aware of his contacts with the Guild, and occasionally uses him to feed them information she wants them to know. He of course believes he is the one manipulating her.

Sad Sapphire Lance (God-blooded - representative of the artisans collective) Sad Sapphire is a permanently morose individual who represents the savants who maintain the cobbled together magitech much of Cherak relies on. He works closely with Losayu Funidone Peocho, who heads up the Quartermasters, and the two usually see eye to eye on political matters. He's knowledgable, but was elected to this position mainly because his fellow savants wanted to keep him out of their hair. Once stirred up about a subject, Sad Sapphire Lance doesn't shut up about it, and often he gets his way by simply wearing down the other members of the council. Battleworn Rainbow finds him useful to push through things she wants to get done.

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