Following the coup of 399 in AQUA, the new regent, Tupelo Cornus, wrote to world leaders in an attempt to explain his actions.
A Letter from the Senior Council of AQUA, to the Leaders of Telluris.
By now many of you will have heard about the change in leadership amongst AQUA. Many of you will little remark or take notice of our leadership changed. To those, we say, thank you. This is an internal matter. We will do our best to continue to honor all trade agreements made in the past, and continue to support the values of free trade and peace we have long championed.
To those who are upset by the recent actions taken by the council, we ask for your understanding. The actions taken by our new Regent, Tupelo Cornus, and the members of the Senior Council could be seen by many as aggressive, violent, and unnecessary. They were not. We understand that the Grant family was extremely popular on the Continent and beyond. To a person, they are clever, witty, and possess great physical charm. But there is more to leadership than charming the nobility of other lands. In the AQUA regions, her charms were less overpowering, and her faults far more evident.
She spoke of peace, and yet sent our men and women into no less than military engagements where AQUA was not directly threatened. She could have supported the Union of the North in their war against the Ignato Empire. Instead, she stood aside and allowed other ships to be used as transport, increasing the carnage of that battle. Her actions so badly damaged that relationship that thirty years later it is still unrepaired. She went to war against the Salterri to defend colonial interests, making an enemy with a powerful navy heritage to protect her “allies” who support her sister’s domain on the continent. She then chose to put our people in harm’s way once again, against the combined forces of an ally and the Salterri to defend an the soldiers of Bordeaux- despite having little formal relations with them. And during that entire time, she continued to spend significant amounts of time and treasure on military buildups and secret projects.
She spoke of trade, and yet the richness of her trade agreements were channeled into the pockets of her friends and relatives. Often, this was done at the expense of the people of AQUA. Lumber from the sacred lands of the Isle of Birds and the Blackadder forest flowed out from our lands. She ‘acquired’ countless acres to increase the fruit exports of our nation. Yet in a land-poor nation, did she stop to consider where the land would come from? From the people, forcing them out of their traditional independent living and into farming. Yes, it was done in the name of commerce. But when one family controls all shipping amongst an island nation, it is more slavery than free enterprise.
And who received the benefits? Raaneki trade wine, to her and her cadre? Mammoths- did the people ever see the meat they were promised? No. The silk she traded for, did the people see it? No- it went into her mighty fleet. The continent burned, and she took from her own people to ‘gift’ others, to make herself look like a generous savior.
Amber was not the generous, welcoming ruler she projected to the rest of the world. Her magnanimousness aboard was countered with callous indifference at home. Our council and advice was routinely discarded. Our concerns for the integrity of our lands dismissed as fear mongering. Our religions threatened in the name of cultural understanding. No, the voices of the people of AQUA never found a ready ear in the Regina. She stocked the Council with sycophants and dependents to assure herself of assent to any policy she chose. She gave license to those who she controlled, positioning them so as to remain in control for generations. Voices of dissent found themselves given ‘promotions’ to far flung outposts where their concerns would come as too little too late.
What was done by this council was an attempt to take back control of our lands; to stop the plundering of our resources and heritage upon the altar of her personality. It was done in accordance to the established covenant and in accordance to our heritage. The particular methodology was deliberately selected to endanger as few people as possible. No civil wars, no fleet battles, no decades long sacrifice of good men and women for the untethered ambitions of a despot.
We acted as we did to prevent a civil war within our borders. It was clear from the many Council meetings that the Grant family would not relinquish control without a fight. When their dwarf ally retired, did they open the Council to the people? N0, they brought in an outsider from a nation allied with them. When their matriarch retired, did they call for elections? No, they had intended to hold her proxy and leave the seat vacant. The Council had to force her hand by calling for an internal vote, negating her vote and her mothers. It was the only way. She responded in typical despot fashion, shipping the newest members off on a months long “diplomatic” boondoggle while she maneuvered to negate the change by creating an alliance of smuggling agents to do her will secretly across Telluris.
We regret the loss of life. We lament the course of action we were forced to take. With no other options available, we chose the path we saw as the least destructive to our lands, our people. We ask, simply, for time to recover and organize to better serve the AQUA. If you choose to turn away, we will mourn the loss of goodwill this act engendered. But it is our fervent hope that the nations of Telluris will accept that this is an internal change in leadership. We will do our best to remain honorable, concerned leaders.
We welcome any opportunity to speak with you and clarify any details or concerns you might have.