by Max Barry

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The Za Grimdark Wārudo of
Democratic Socialists

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6

Inner Circle

Ambrosia's inner circle is composed of six distinct individuals in regards to appearance, race, power, wisdom and age. These beings are extensions of the current federal president of Bloodshade, Ambrosia von Carstein. Simply put, members of the circle are tasked with keeping the peace, administrating regions across Bloodshade, protecting the populace, ensuring unity across the land, acting as emissaries on behalf the state and advising the federal president on political matters. There can only be ten members of the inner circle at a time. Such an organisation was created when the confederation of Bloodshade was formed. Only one member may be added by a federal president and if the inner circle shall pass ten members, they must partake in a tournament of mind and matter, with the lowest ranking individual having to bid farewell to the circle. While a member may rejoin in the future if picked once more by a future federal president but most end up being overshadowed by new blood or shamed into hiding.

Member

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Vishala Springborn

Stalwart, persistent and blunt. Vishala sees herself as a servant of the downtrodden. While she might not be as proficient as the rest of the circle when it comes to administrative matters, she makes up for it with her desire to protect the settlements of Bloodshade, with no regard for her own physical and mental well-being whatsoever. The lapine overcomes whatever hurdle that's thrown her way with a sense of stoicism and stubbornness. She sees no reason to burden others with her own worries and would rather heal her wounds by empowering and defending others. Such a mindset and drive has earned herself an infamous, well-deserved reputation among the banditry and criminal underworld of Bloodshade. Vishala's history with Ambrosia is rather complicated and if you didn't know any better, you'd think they have a chilly relationship at best but that's far from the truth. Ambrosia is like the sister she never had and she is rabidly protective of her, placing her body and soul on the line for the only person that's ever earned her love and respect. To sum up the lapine's political standpoint, one might consider her a libertarian. She simply couldn't care less about how people interact with one another so long as their dignity is upheld and the authorities serve, rather than rule. Simply put, she wants a state that is can guarantee the safety and livelihoods of the people while giving them the freedom to blossom.

Henrietta 'Fellwind' Hornbostel

This elvish mage is one of Ambrosia's most trusted and competent of advisers and administrators. Henrietta's initially found her way into the inner circle due to multiple professional letters of recommendation and her impressive alma mater. With her unmatched expertise in the field of public administration and law, she's practically been a crucial pack mule to Ambrosia, clearing through a swath of paperwork and red-tape for her superior wherever she may go. Arguably, Ambrosia's been a significant, influential figure for Bloodshade but behind such a figure, Ms Hornbostel keeps the gears of bureaucracy running and well oiled. Henrietta and Ambrosia posses a rather complicated relationship. The former is in mad love with the vampire but Ambrosia continues to firmly reject her advances, which only seems to spur the elf onwards in her quest to enrapture her someday. Compared to her compatriots, Henrietta finds that the masses are hysterical, dangerous animals that ought to be taught their place while individuals are beautiful, intelligent creatures. In her mind, a technocracy is the most logical system to adopt, possibly because she knows she'd be a member of such a council but also because she despises political bickering as it's a waste of energy. There is no such thing as equality. Some are born with more talent, drive and fire than others and the cream of the crop must be selected to lead the nation forward.

Hozqa-Tli

The leader of the Lizardmen Tribe, the Sentinals of the Sun, is known far and wide for his no-nonsense attitude against any that oppose his kin and their Great Plan to prepare for the second coming of the Old Ones, the creators of the universe according to their limited information, the form of ancient stone plaques. Hozqa-Tli first encountered the vampire after being captured in a skirmish with Bloodshadein forces. However, a simple conversation was enough for the Countess to convince the Skink Chief that his life was worth more than his pride and they struck a deal, In exchange for his loyalty and his species's collaboration with the people of Bloodshade, Hozqa-Tli was spared his life and given a spot on the circle, working in tandem with the authorities of Bloodshade, ensuring that both his people, master and gods cooperated with Bloodshade. Despite this, however, the Skink's ideology remains firm. He's a religious ultranationalist. He couldn't care less about anyone other than his own people and his own gods. The plan of his Slann overlords are what matters to him the most and when the time comes, all agreements and relationships with the warm-bloods shall be made null and void.

Victoria Hofmeister

(Undergoing retconning)

Alarielle

Dubbed 'the Everqueen' by the Elves of Bloodshade due to her immortality and regal nature, Alarielle is seen as the spiritual leader of the elves and perhaps, she is the famed 'Mother Nature' that people have been raving all about but while she is only recognized as such by her own race, she is the only being on the planet Tejon with the ability to manipulate the forces of nature and whatever elements that are connected to it. Her degree of control over the planet's flora and fauna is uncontested. However, the Everqueen sees no need to disrupt the natural balance of Tejon, only to restore when disrupted. In all actuality, the Everqueen is a lonesome individual and spent countless eras watching everything and everyone around her crumble and disappear into the wind. As calm, poised and elegant as she might be, her heart has hardened due to the loss and suffering that she's been through. Her only eternal companion is nature. It is the only thing that gives her life purpose and she will live and die for it. However, that doesn't she won't enjoy a nice chat with you over a cup of tea in the middle of a tranquil forest. However, simply put, Alarielle's an eco-centrist, believing that all civilizations should base their existence off of the living world, rather than be seen as a means to an end. Progress should not come at the cost of the environment and any that recklessly strive to do so will suffer her wrath.

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