Tale #1: On the Signing of the Null Concord
Unbeknownst to the Brotherhood of the Null, the brokering of the Null Concord almost fell flat due to the Yamato Kingdom and city of Fulgrath being reluctant to commit to a long-term non-proliferation treaty against high-tier magic research and the development of WMDs and was only saved by the secret intervention of the Shadow Society, which leveraged extensive political and financial clout behind the scenes to make the treaty happen in 156 AA. While the Senate of Fulgrath in its current form was instated with the signing of the Great Charter of Fulgrath in 292 GE (the Age of Gears and Elements) during the Founding of the Five Cities, a much smaller proto version of that senate existed to advise the Asterock family on matters of state. The Asterocks were the house of the Margrave of the Northwest, who ruled the northwestern Middle Lands back then, and several senators who were on the fence or flat-out opposed to the signing of the Null Concord inexplicably changed their positions over night during the negotiations.
Senator Cadmir dabbed his forehead with a white handkerchief, furling his brow at his mirror image. Today’s proceedings had been intense. Having representatives all the way from Guantil-ya over in the Senate Halls was equally exiting and terrifying. This was indeed the time to make history… But giving up on the most extreme reaches of magic research? As a former educator at the Grand Academy, he could not in good conscience condone signing such a clause. And besides: If any of the Keepers went rogue against the forts of the Middle Lands, who would be able to stand in their way if there was no magic powerful enough to match theirs? Certainly the Null might be able to suppress the most dangerous uses of such magic, but what about the technocrats? Who could properly keep them in check but themselves? And how were he and his people going to trust that they would? It seemed to him as though something moved in the corner of the mirror reflection. Surprised, he jumped around. “Who’s there?!” “No one… perhaps…” came a disembodied voice. It was as if it seeped out of every shadow in the ostentatious room. Doing rather well for himself, lavish carpets and curtains laced the walls and floors, but as he had never married, he was quite alone in this large house, and all the textiles around him suddenly seemed to smother him. Why had he not made more light? “L-leave me be, whoever you are!” he yelped. “I am a senator of Fulgrath, don’t you know?! You cannot intrude into my place of living like that!” “Cadmir… I can intrude wherever I please. Your house, your closets, your office, why even your dreams. Me and mine have a message for you. Will you hear it, or must I torment you some more?” A sickening odor of rotting lilies washed through the room and Cadmir stumbled backwards, tripping over his chair. “No! Speak, for gears sake, what do you want?!” “The same thing everyone wants, Cadmir. Peace… Wouldn’t you like some peace too? Well, people listen to you, so you should choose your words carefully. You may think it is good and right to make magic bigger and more powerful, but look at you now… cowering…” Cadmir’s eyes darted around. Where, where, where was it? Who was in here and how?! “We’ll be listening, Cadmir… We’ll know everything you do… This treaty will happen, or you’ll get your own personal taste of… high tier magic…. Ha-ha-ha!” The oil lamps blew out like feeble candles, and it was dark and quiet in his room.