Caes could again sense the… disrespect? No, that was not it, necessarily. It was more like being worried about a young man going to war. But even that didn’t quite describe it. It was almost like worrying over a pet going to war? He couldn’t quite fathom it- as dukes usually are, he had been focused on the internal politics of Ghratos- and he had rarely seen cultures other than that of the Xhaasans and Amisans. He was not a prejudiced man, that was for sure, but he was also not a professional diplomat- Ghratos didn’t have those, although that was surely an institution which needed to change, at this point. He just couldn’t understand quite why she was treating him like he was fragile- all dukes led their armies when necessary, although it rarely was- He was not special for it. The Xarban Incident was a terrible time, and a terrible war while he was involved, but she probably didn’t know that, and was speaking in general terms anyways. What a strange cultural norm- he couldn’t even figure out what it was. It was also the comment about statecraft- Whom more than a Duke or Duchess knows more about statecraft? Only a king, queen, emperor or empress. Still, he had a job to do, and regardless of these half-disrespectful half-concerned statements, he was going to do it.
“I find this a favorable proposition indeed, Duchess. Of course, it would not make much sense if I did not let you examine our products before you made a deal, so allow me to present them.”
He took the items out of the bag and placed them on the table. From left to right, there were the pelts- It was clear that whoever killed and skinned these pelts was a professional. The three presented were that of 3 distinct animals- One was white with black spots, another brown with black swirls, and the last was green stripes in a lighter and darker shade. It was implied that these three were only samples, and that a greater variety was indeed possible.
Next was the Sun Stones- some looked like regular orange rocks, but a couple of them were glowing, one so brightly that it illuminated the table around it- and there was a clear sense that they emanated with power. When he took them out, he explained in basic terms their function.
“These are Sun Stones. As their name implies, they are powered by the sun- They can do all kinds of things. At home they power weaponry, are used as heat sources for the Amisan winter, as well as power for furnaces, and even for cooking- I do not see why a simple fire cannot do as well on that last point, however I suppose a chef would know better than I in that regard. They also have distinctive magical properties, some which we have not been able to exploit since the Dark Age.”
As for the last item he had to present with him, it was very clear that it was a magical artifact. It glimmered with every stray ray of sunlight that hit it. Despite the power that seemed to flow from it, it was very small, only about the size of a pin that would go on a shirt. It was shaped like a staff, with a giant snake- most likely a Magejo, the massive species of snake that roamed the Xhaasan sands- curling around it.
“This is an artifact that was found about a week ago in a newly discovered ruin. I would demonstrate its usage for you, but i cannot- It is too new, and I was only given it today, which
I suspect is the point of why it was given to me to present. One man can spend a decade of his life tampering and figuring out how to use one of these. Over the years, I have heard of artifacts just like this one doing wondrous and terrible things- driving away Magejo, destroying buildings, powering a furnace for years without needing to be replaced, and many more. Since the decentralized and destabilized period we call the Dark Age, there was little demand for making powerful things like these, and the sunlords who learned how to make them quietly let this craft fade away. I am telling you all this for a specific reason- To emphasize that we cannot currently make more of these. These artifacts are a product of their history that we can only hope to replicate modernly, and as such the Triarchs are certainly reluctant to export them, although I assure you that it can be done. I was instructed to let you keep this specimen here with you, as a gift of sorts, but that is the exception rather than the rule. Unless you can reciprocate in kind with something as powerful, the Triarchy will most likely export a minimum. You have a better chance of receiving “Explorer’s rights” to a region, where you pay a fee to allow some people or a person to explore the Xhaasan desert in search of a ruin. You may keep any artifacts found. While I understand that this should perhaps be discussed more thoroughly a bit later, but I wanted to outline this fact for you now so that it doesn’t come up as a surprise then.”
After presenting his items, he waits for the Duchess to respond.