At the start of the Market I did receive a Whispering Wind which listed the turn-by-turn directions of how to get from our Time Spider Cave Entrance, to the nearest cave entrance of the Empire of Night. Sadly with so many visitors and feast, and the cave exploration that happened later - I was not able to visit or accompany others on such a visit.
That said, Our same familiar friend and Scout returned to visit with us and on this trip brought with them a small caravan for trade opportunities as well as Gifts from the Empire of Night.
These gifts include:
- No small amount of untainted soil for use in the spring
- Enough Food that this winter we should not perform any tight rationing
- An Artifact of great power, that's boons may be called upon once per year with instructions how to reinvigorate such magics if there is a pressing need to do so. This artifact should remain in our possession for a good deal of time and not be recalled by its owner or creator in the interim.
- As this artifact is named, I am going to sit with some earth scholars and see if we can't determine how much potential remains within the work, so that we may Recall it to us should some unsavory folk summon it out from under our control.
Now, there is some anxiety and apprehension regarding the Empire of Night providing so much benefaction to our community and I can not say that such anxiety doesn't hold value, or that there isn't cause to develop those feelings. What I can say, is that there is no information as of yet to suspect an unsavory motive. The Kingdoms we have observed thus far seem to operate on a very high and intricate balance of diplomacy - which I imagine is what many of us from other lands have come to expect. They have their drama and excursions like all others and diplomacy ultimately wins the day.
The Empire of Night is our closest "Kingdom level" neighbor who is not an insular people. As The Desert Kingdom is geographically closer, but thus far have little interest in anything outside of their kingdom, including the desert above it. Lets look at things from the Primarc's Perspective.
Since our arrival in only a span of three months
, we have:
- Created a sizeable settlement that is now easily encompass a village and quickly approaches the size of a small town.
- Successfully survived a wild magic storm that otherwise left destruction in its wake and our settlement was completely unharmed
- Met with locals to the tainted region and held positive relations with nearly all of them.
- Made positive in roads with the Kin Protectorate and defeated their General in a polite honor duel.
- Learned to Harness a Pillar of Creation
- Explored the Time Spider Cave, and successfully kill an Orange Stripe Spider
- Defeat many bone drake creatures of small, medium, and run and hide, sizes.
- Made positive relations with The Seer, The Shadow, Negotiation, The Alchemist and now recently Deception.
- Peacefully interacted with The Desert Kingdom
- Made "friends" with the Retired Adventuring Farm community
This is a display of resource and ability that we as a people may "come in peace" but that our "peace" has quickly expanded from tents and open fire cooking, to a force that is not easily ignored. These gifts create a sense of friendship and "there for us when we needed it" and has the (likely) potential to be used as a friendly and diplomatic reminder if in the event they need help with something. Now this is the course of Diplomacy and friendship on a "Nation" scale. They are treating us like a Kingdom, because in the span of 3 months we have some accomplishments that long term residents of the tainted lands can't claim, and some that even residents of untainted land can't claim.
Elves are notorious (sometimes detrimentally so) for their long lives and as a result their outlook and planning for the future unknown events has some equally notorious pre-dispositions. Being our friend early, cements that we are unlikely to become a people of concern later. Being our friend early, with a showering of gifts - allow them to attempt to "buy our love" to such an extent that other kingdoms may not be capable of and as a result garner a stronger if not exclusive friendship with them. While also attempting to ensure that even once we no longer have a desire for such a gifts, we remember their generosity and should we prove to be a hostile first wave of overwhelming invasion - we would treat them kinder than others in our mad pursuit of world domination.
Thus far, from my perspective and my feelings and "gut" - is that thus far
the Empire of Night has done anything that I wouldn't expect from any Elvan Nation and their methods thus far, are some classic and routine diplomatic tactics. But no matter how "by the book" predictability these are taught to young diplomats... they have a very very high success rate, and its why that despite being predictable, they are still used. Because they also provide espionage and information of how when and why their gifts and friendship is rebuked. This is a very heavy handed, theory thought craft of "what if" and "possible events" type of evaluation that as just mentioned - Elves are notorious for, sometimes detrimentally so.
For the moment, we have every reason to need their generosity and zero reason to rebuke it or treat them unkindly. We should entreat with them in kind, give them and others the opportunity to "get in on the ground floor" of our future. So long as we continue to be polite and act in good faith with equal proportion, there is (as of yet) zero downside to it as any future "What if" will be so situation & Information dependent its simply "borrowing trouble"... but that doesn't mean we should ignore the potential and we should infact always be mindful of the consequences of our diplomacy.