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The Transition
« on: April 12, 2022, 01:42:55 PM »
There had been days that Emerson Ravenswood had started to doubt they'd ever get to this point, throughout his time as Viceregent he had had two significant responsibilities the first had been why the then Empress Beatrice had appointed him - to clean house, he was the outsider, he was the new broom and more importantly he was someone that could be vouched for as being free from the taint that had hung over Pyrena and as someone who wasn't going to mince his words. Cleaning house had been where Emerson had wielded the sledgehammer, the Anausa had been removed from their role as protectors of the throne, the Imperial Council had been entirely reconstructed, not to be the Empress's rubber stamp but to hold her accountable and to make sure her actions were credible. The second had been a responsibility that was equally important and one that Emerson had been preparing for from day one - to prepare the path for Asuna to take the throne, some might wonder why he'd been thinking about it even back when Beatrice had been on the throne the answer was simple enough, like most people who'd analysed it he'd understood the implications brought on by the 2018 Imperial Address, from that point Beatrice's days on the throne had been numbered, some hadn't wanted to admit it but it was the truth. From that point on Emerson, Evanthe and the Imperial Council had been building the foundations for Asuna's reign that remained ongoing alongside the day to day work that went on in Pyrena but they were now at a point where the word 'transition' was the watch word, the process itself would be lengthy but to even be considering it was a victory in itself for Emerson.

The process, journey or whatever people wanted to call it had two focuses - the first was orientated around Pyrena, the building of Asuna's platform, her support pillar and that was where Gregory McKenna came in, just an Imperial Liaison but it was just about the worst kept secret in Pyrena that McKenna was going to be Asuna's viceregent, this first prong was about getting ahead of the game, years ahead. Emerson made his way to Evanthe's study "She touches down in ten minutes and Gregory's here in five." he said "You ready to start this ball rolling?"



The second prong was happening not in Pyrena but up in the frozen north, this was about preparing Asuna in a manner that didn't seem to undermine Evanthe, in truth the Crown Princess needed experience and probably needed to develop a fair bit as well. So a fair bit of talking and taking advantage of the Network of Crowns provisions had led to this Asuna coming to Achkaerin for her higher education years, educationally speaking her first year was going to be sixth form based which would ensure she had the qualifying grades to get into university which would of course be what the other years would be about. Of course there was far more to it this was about the future Emerson and Evanthe could get Gregory and Rokkenjima ready but that was only half the equation, the other half was about prepping Asuna herself and perhaps there was an element of fate, irony or humour to it that this landed at the door of Crown Princess Serenity.    It was a well thought out idea, Asuna could accompany Serenity on her official duties and see how Serenity did it which would in turn build up her own experience, plus it would go some way to establishing a relationship between the two after all they were both going to be the rulers of their respective countries. There was a further intrigue, though perhaps not unexpected, that Asuna was bringing Euphemia with her.

Serenity leaned against her car, not one of her supercar collection in this instance but her school run car, and glanced at the clock on her phone they'd have touched down by now, so provided they didn't find themselves having to comply with a customs spot check she shouldn't be waiting that much longer.

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Re: The Transition
« Reply #1 on: April 14, 2022, 07:26:06 AM »
Asuna felt more comfortable having Euphemia joining her on this trip. After educational opportunities in Tytor and now Achkaerin it would be a while before she'd be spending time in Rokkenjima yet she knew this was necessary. While there were still a good few years before she would ascend to the Throne it remained a date which grew closer with each passing day and, with it, a creeping combination of pressure, expectations and increasing scrutiny. With these factors in mind she was at least in good company with people who would be positioned and experienced in navigating this chapter in her life.

Meanwhile, McKenna and Euphemia went over their own notes, at times exchanging texts and preparing for their time in Achkaerin as well. While McKenna would be far from his night club, a venture he vowed to maintain despite his governmental service, he was assured that it would be in good hands during his stay in the Holy Empire. As Asuna and Euphemia approached Serenity Asuna offered a smile, "Hello again. I know it's been a long road here but I'm ready for what comes next."

Beatrice Anselmo
Grand Chancellor of the Independent Order
Empress of the First Empire of Rokkenjima

Factbook of the First Empire of Rokkenjima - Kingdom of Clysperis

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Re: The Transition
« Reply #2 on: April 24, 2022, 08:02:49 PM »
"We'll see." Serenity said giving Asuna a hug, this was going to be an interesting time for them and Serenity wasn't the type to give Asuna much in the way of leeway there was a great level of professionalism involved here. After embracing Euphemia and nodding to McKenna she opened up the boot of the car and helped load the cases "We'll start off nice and slow." she said "Get you the tour of the Palace, get you settled and then later on take a look at the diary and see what's in there for you to make your start at." she half smiled as she closed the boot and they got into the car "We could stop by the sixth form college you'll be attending on the way it's not much of a detour."

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Re: The Transition
« Reply #3 on: April 29, 2022, 12:47:26 AM »
"Sounds good to me," Asuna replied with a smile, "I'd love to stop by the college, too. Hopefully I won't find myself tripping over anything there," she said, referencing her experiences in Tytor.

"And what of the night life?" McKenna asked, earning himself a sideways look from Asuna. "Naturally I'll behave and tend to my duties but, all work and no play makes for a rather dull McKenna. You saw how I was when I had to stay aboard the Austrana for that week due to security concerns," he turned to Serenity, "I was not myself, let me tell you. And perhaps this is why I've ended up in Rokkenjima," he chuckled, "never was a military genius like my uncle but I seem to have a way with words and government so, here we are."

Beatrice Anselmo
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Factbook of the First Empire of Rokkenjima - Kingdom of Clysperis

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Re: The Transition
« Reply #4 on: May 13, 2022, 06:32:42 PM »
"I'm the last person you want to ask about the night life in terms of parties." Serenity said "I don't really do that sort of thing" the last time she'd gone clubbing had been a night she really wanted to forget. "But there's plenty of things to do in the evenings, sports events, concerts, shows, musicals. We're not that far off the Edelweiss festival either. There's always something."

Serenity drove them through Valtheim eventually parking up outside an average looking high school "Lady Morgana High School, with a sixth form college that you'll be going to." she said pointing it out "Place of education for pretty much every Azurewind for the last two hundred years. It's not the biggest or most prestigious school in the country but it's a good one with good teachers and a nice uniform which you don't have to wear being in the sixth form and all that and is a fifteen minute walk from the Palace. Come on we're expected."

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Re: The Transition
« Reply #5 on: May 14, 2022, 08:42:45 AM »
"Well then I shall be certain to look into them," McKenna nodded.

Asuna was intrigued by school she would be spending her time at as well as hoping to make less of a splash as she had done in Tytor. She followed Serenity, with McKenna in tow. McKenna, meanwhile, updated the Empress on their progress thus far.

Beatrice Anselmo
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Factbook of the First Empire of Rokkenjima - Kingdom of Clysperis

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Re: The Transition
« Reply #6 on: May 22, 2022, 10:16:48 PM »
Inside the school the group were met by the schools headteacher Johnathon Parkinson, a man who was getting towards the end of his teaching career, though he did still have a few years left in him and the expected smart suit, he'd also been around long enough to have been the headteacher here when a fair few of the student body had been royals so another one wasn't too troublesome. He smiled and gave a respectful bow "Your Highness I'm Johnathon Parkinson the headteacher." he said "Allow me to show you around."

"It's not much to look at, a nice group of buildings. Different departments, spread around the campus, science labs, music rooms, dance studio's, art rooms, computer labs, workshops for everything from wood work to electronics and of course the school library."  he said as he showed Asuna around the high school section of the campus "Of course we have more typical classrooms for the more academic subjects - languages, maths, history, geographic and so on and the playing fields, gym, swimming pool and sports hall. All the rooms have a letter and a number code so you can find them and your school journal has a map of the school in it." he grinned "Now if you come this way." Serenity led the way across a small square shaped yard to a small building, two stories high "This is the sixth form block, generally speaking this is where you'll be having lessons unless you need a specialised environment such as a science lab or a dance studio, it's got its own common room, library and computer suite as well. The school day consists of five lessons a day and each student gets three P.E lessons a week, we do a variety of sports and have a lot of clubs. I know you'll only be here for a year before going to university but I give all the students who come through the doors the same advice. Stand out from the crowd, give yourself the best chance."

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Re: The Transition
« Reply #7 on: May 24, 2022, 07:23:57 AM »
"It's great advice, and I shall keep it in mind," Asuna replied with a smile. "I must ask, are the floorboards in the library even? I've had, well, poor luck in the past and I'd like to avoid that here," she continued, recalling her time in Tytor.

"Also, is there a way I can keep at least somewhat of a low profile here? I'd like to leave the spotlight behind and blend in as much as possible, so if that's something which is possible I'd love to know. Otherwise, I am excited to begin my studies here and am thankful for the opportunity."

Beatrice Anselmo
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Empress of the First Empire of Rokkenjima

Factbook of the First Empire of Rokkenjima - Kingdom of Clysperis

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Re: The Transition
« Reply #8 on: May 28, 2022, 10:36:54 PM »
Parkinson smiled "The library floor was even when I walked through there this morning." he said "And don't worry about attracting attention. This school has seen and still sees  plenty of royal or noble students, over the years we've seen your mother walk through these doors, the current Duchess of Aquitaine went here, the Crown Princess and her brother went here, the Emperor went here, the Crown Princess's two children are currently in our Primary division and no one really bats an eye, there are no formalities when it comes to you either as far as the staff go, you'll be addressed by your name not your title so it'll be Asuna or Miss Anselmo and I expect your fellow students will just use Asuna. Point is we're used to this situation, the students are used to it and to a large extent so are the parents and we have a standing agreement with the press that they keep a respectful distance from the school grounds unless invited in. You've got nothing to worry about around here."

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Re: The Transition
« Reply #9 on: June 02, 2022, 01:14:57 AM »
"Excellent," Asuna replied with a smile. "I'm amazed by the people who have walked through these halls before me, I haven't always met her standard," Asuna looked to the side, recalling the beach closing she effected, "but Serenity....err, the Crown Princess has been an idol of mine through the years, so walking these halls as she once did is inspiring. I'm looking forward to my studies here," she continued, "so even if the walls and halls aren't much to look at I'm in awe. I cannot wait to start."

Beatrice Anselmo
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Factbook of the First Empire of Rokkenjima - Kingdom of Clysperis

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Re: The Transition
« Reply #10 on: June 05, 2022, 04:57:09 PM »
"Well you've got a few weeks before term starts." Parkinson said "Go on."

"Come on." Serenity said guiding Asuna away and down the hall "I've got something to show you." she led Asuna back to the first corridor they'd walked into near the entrance, this was where the school's trophy cabinets were kept, it wasn't overflowing with trophies but was fairly well stocked, a handful did have Serenity's name on them but most didn't and there was a trio of replica Ozzie's in there as well. It wasn't the cabinet that Serenity wanted to show Asuna though instead it was the two large blue painted panels that ran either side of the corridor each with names and pictures on them "The school's head boys and head girls." Serenity continued "Your mother's here." she pointed to the name "Just a few weeks after she finished here she was on the throne." she smiled "I'm down there and I'm the only one in the family who's on the wall. Might be you up here next year you never know." she grinned "So shall we get you to the Palace?"

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Re: The Transition
« Reply #11 on: June 12, 2022, 01:50:51 AM »
"Mom," Asuna said with a smile, "Of course she would, but she gave up so much growing up, it's always thrown at me that she gave up a normal childhood because she had to save Rokkenjima," she looked to McKenna for a moment. "But it seems she found some happiness here, some sense of normal, so maybe it wasn't all lost?" "Of course it wasn't," he would reply, "I happen to know that Empress Saisei was always happy, even in the darkest of times, and it is a trait which you very much embody. We can't change the past dear," he continued, "so focus on making the most of your present. It is, after all, yours to write," he said with a smile.

"Let us go to the Palace then," Asuna replied, her spirits restored.

Beatrice Anselmo
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Factbook of the First Empire of Rokkenjima - Kingdom of Clysperis

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Re: The Transition
« Reply #12 on: June 14, 2022, 06:56:54 PM »

The Marble Palace was probably not the most ostentatious royal residence on Mundus, but it was certainly up there with the most iconic, sat in the heart of Valtheim its position dominating the locality it was hard to miss. Serenity drove the car up the driveway, through the gates and round into what was technically the Palace garage but was generally regarded as her workshop as this was where she kept her supercar collection and such, after all when you were one of Mundus's most prominent petrol heads you needed somewhere to tinker. "Home sweet home." Serenity said getting out of the car. Waiting at the residence door was Serenity's stepmother Renee "Let me guess." Serenity said grinning "Covenant Address meeting running over?"
"Yep." Renee said "I did try to tell him ninety minutes wouldn't be enough for a meeting about the biggest speech of the year."
"Asuna, Euphy, Mr McKenna my stepmother Renee." Serenity said
"I'm what passes for the welcoming committee." Renee said giggling "I'll show you your rooms and all that and then you catch up with Serenity."
"I'll be helping Astrid and Lisa with their homework." Serenity said
"And hopefully starting to think about Edelweiss, it's your turn on Royal Night." Renee said
"I thought it was Simon's." Serenity said
"It was but he's on deployment with the Air Force at the time." Renee said
"He's stitching me up." Serenity said laughing as she headed inside.

"Right this way." Renee said to the trio of Rokkenjiman's.

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Re: The Transition
« Reply #13 on: June 19, 2022, 06:09:17 AM »
"Feels like home, but bigger of course," Asuna said before following Renee. Perhaps it was due to her upbringing in Pyrena Castle but Asuna felt perhaps the most calm and secure since her arrival. Could it be the stone, the smell of dew still interacting with it? The why wasn't important, she was just happy to feel calm and collected, and not so nervous as to what would be coming in the immediate future.

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Factbook of the First Empire of Rokkenjima - Kingdom of Clysperis

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Re: The Transition
« Reply #14 on: June 19, 2022, 09:43:27 PM »
Renee smiled "I don't think this is bigger than Pyrena." she said "Though it is a bit like a TARDIS in that there's so much stuff in here it feels a whole lot bigger than it actually is." she led the Rokkenjiman's through the Palace "We don't do offices, this is a home not a business headquarters, the Emperor has his daily briefings and weekly meetings in his study, if we get into the realms of crisis response then meetings are in the Round Table Room and if that happens Your Highness it'll be one of those things where you'll need to be a little more understanding as such things tend to impact schedules. We have a living area comprising several rooms but notably a lounge, everyday kitchen, music room, games room, gym, dining room, ballroom which is where I teach most days and the library, if you want to borrow a book out of there feel free to do so just fill in the ledger so we know where the books are." she took a breath "In the more formal rooms we have the throne room, reliquary and gallery along with a banquet hall and the banquet kitchen. Also over there we have our doctors clinic. Outside we have the courtyard, the gardens, the stables, Serenity's garage and riding trail access."

Leading the guests upstairs Renee pointed out the various bedrooms so that the guests knew where they were - Asuna was across the hall from Serenity's rooms, Euphy was down near Simon's rooms and as for McKenna he got the room just down from where Nettie Taylor slept "Now three things I do need to mention. Number one if our security tells you to do something you do it, no argument no debate, number two everyone who lives in this Palace operates on a first name basis, number three you may be aware that Princess Astrid is deaf so you will need to have some understanding of sign language, we do have an interpreter on staff if you need help with that. Any questions?"

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Re: The Transition
« Reply #15 on: June 20, 2022, 03:40:20 AM »
"Auntie Eva got rid of the offices once she assumed duties, so it's not so different," Asuna replied with a nod. "In Pyrena you have the chambers for the Empress and the Emperor, the later being disused at this time obviously, a study for the Vicegerent, and the chambers of the Imperial Council. Other than that Auntie Eva restored much of the original plans, so there's more living areas now in Pyrena than in the Saisei Era." Asuna's eyes lit up at the prospect of a music room, "Silly question maybe, but does the music room have an organ? It's something I learned from mum, and I don't want to miss out on practicing as much as I can, so that would make things easier. A harpsichord would do too, in a bind," she continued.

Upon learning the rules expected to be followed all three nodded, a question from McKenna didn't have the chance to escape his mouth after a glare from Asuna caught his attention.

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Factbook of the First Empire of Rokkenjima - Kingdom of Clysperis

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Re: The Transition
« Reply #16 on: June 21, 2022, 10:15:31 PM »
"We're more of a piano nation. Something Nettie's taken like a duck to water to" Renee said "Organs generally aren't the sort of instrument we keep. There is one on the estate which is in the Chapel of the Trinity, Gemma will be able to show you it's a couple of minutes down the track but it's worth it and we don't mind if you want to play on it." she grinned "I'll let you settle in. Come down when you're ready Peter's making pizza if he ever gets out of this meeting."

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Re: The Transition
« Reply #17 on: June 23, 2022, 02:27:27 AM »
"I would love to," Asuna said returning her grin, "I'll have to invite you to the Ashinxao Broadwalk Hall someday, we've the largest pipe organ constructed by the hand of man there. She...it," she corrected herself, realizing others may not personify it as she had, "took some damage during the Federal Republic but we're 90% toward fully restoring he...it. The deepest registries.....I envy you if you should take me up on seeing it in person, it's an experience like no other."

"If it would be approved," she continued, "the Anselmo Family has a spare harpsichord which sees little use. If I were to ask that it be shipped here for the duration of my stay, and after my departure, would you accept it as a gift? Yes it's a little selfish as it'd mean having a harpsichord here on the Palace grounds, but if you get to keep it after I leave, I'd say that's a fair trade. Plus maybe you get some musical experiences you haven't had before. I can even teach Nettie on the harpsichord some, if she would like."

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Factbook of the First Empire of Rokkenjima - Kingdom of Clysperis

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Re: The Transition
« Reply #18 on: June 23, 2022, 09:50:30 PM »
"We'll see." Renee said smiling "Now feel free to settle in and we'll see you for dinner."

It was about forty five minutes later that Peter, now safely out of his meeting was in the middle of cooking pizza's. The younger girls in the family were sat around, Serenity helping her daughters with their home work while at the other end of the table her brother and sister in law were doing the same with their daughters. Peter grinned when he saw the Rokkenjiman's walk in "Welcome to the evening routine." he said "What toppings would you like? We have a decent selection." he indicated a selection for them to pick from "Once we've eaten and the girls are in bed we'll talk about how this is going to work."

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Re: The Transition
« Reply #19 on: June 25, 2022, 06:14:38 AM »
Asuna's gaze was cast upon the fires of the brick oven as Peter laboured away, absorbing a bit of his knowledge as he practiced his craft. The perfect discs, at least from her perspective, emerging from the oven were proof enough for his method that she could anticipate the tastes before they hit her tongue. "Pineapple and ham," Asuna said without hesitation, it was her preferred style after all. Savoury, yet sweet in finish, the tastes were a perfect compilatory force. Asuna was so taken by the craft before her that she was in a state of amusement, "And why not stop there? Mushrooms and bananna peppers pair well too, perhaps halves of each?"

With tastes dancing upon her taste buds and a belly full Asuna looked aside, "I know we've work before us but thank you," she said with a smile.

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Factbook of the First Empire of Rokkenjima - Kingdom of Clysperis

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Re: The Transition
« Reply #20 on: July 01, 2022, 07:00:24 PM »
'Grandpa Peter's Pizza's' as the younger members of the family called them were always well received, now couple that with the family cheesecake recipe and everyone was quite full and soon enough the kids were upstairs. Peter sipped a glass of lemonade and smiled a little as he glanced at Asuna, part of him had always wondered how different things might have been if he'd had more time to raise Beatrice or done things differently or maybe if his own father hadn't died suddenly when he had, well now maybe he had that second chance. "The thing about transitions is that they're about individual people not on whose head does the crown lie." Peter said "You know where you're going in a few years you'll be crowned Empress of Rokkenjima, you're up here to study, to have the education your mother wanted you to have and generally hang around with us so you get used to what it's going to be like for you when that comes, because the truth is that as much as we try to pretend otherwise being a royal is being part of a family business, everything you say and do is picked apart, analysed, sometimes twisted, it can be rough to put it mildly, but those days are the minority they get most of the attention but bad news sells more papers, gets more views, is better clickbait but most of the time it's being able to make a difference, about drawing attention to worthy causes, it's about doing some good in the world and sticking to your principles regardless of what certain others may think because their approval doesn't change the metric, there are days, that are now thankfully few and far between, where we have to deal in absolute rights and absolute wrongs, take those out and there aren't many moments in leading a country that don't have a nuance to them, end of the day I'm the Emperor of Achkaerin not the Emperor of the people who agree with me. Contrary  convictions are every day realities in government, so we listen to them, we consider them and we make a decision one way or another. You can't please everyone, you're not going to be liked by everyone, we're here to lead and that is what we do."

"Peter this is becoming one of your speeches." Renee said

"My apologies." Peter said "My point is you know your part in this, but it's not just about you there are a lot of people who are all on this transition path as well, Evanthe and  Emerson know where they're going, I suspect a few months after you're crowned in a few years time that they'll take a well earned retirement, Mr McKenna is journeying to the Viceregency, Euphemia is still figuring out where she's going to fit into all of this and then there's Thomas and Gemma. We'll get you all where you need to go, and you're stronger together than you are alone."

"As for tomorrow." Serenity said "We're starting you off nice and easy, I'm scheduled to be at the Valkyria Festival of Speed, fast cars, bit of racing, adrenaline, whole load of fun and some media stuff."