The Kingdom of Tokavsk, Session 16: A Compiled Study of Chief Advisor Eskyil

Editors’ Note:  We have compiled multiple accounts of one Lord Eskyil, chief advisor to the King of Tokavsk, into one document.  We paid special attention to similarities between multiple docutments, though we find it is the oddities that linger in our minds the most.

Lord Eskyil is a tallish man with a slim build and short dark brown hair graying at the edges.  He would have a rather plain face were it not for the prominence of his nose, which resembles a beak and draws attention from the pale, roving eyes.  His skin is pale and loose upon the cheeks, and his face is shaven to indicate his status.  His gnarled hands are often clasped behind his back.  Lord Eskyil is easily distinguished by his robe, which is a dull blue compared to the other advisors’ robes of red.

A distant individual, Lord Eskyil keeps the personal matters of his life private.  As such, little is known about his marital status.  Though the consensus is that he and his wife are still together, some speculate they are unlinked, meaning they live completely separate lives.  He is generally regarded to be cold and even harsh, but his brutal logic is what makes him effective.  He never softens his words and is considered to be ambitious by those nearest to him.  Some ascribe to him the trait of brutal honesty, while others say he is adept at withholding information to get someone to do his bidding.  He is not easily fooled or prone to anger, though he is not what one could call calm.  Rather, he seems to exist in a state of perpetual negativity, carrying with him a slight furrow in his brow no matter the hour.  It is perhaps for this reason that he has no familiar colleagues.  However, by many accounts he seems satisfied by being alone and is in fact repelled by human interaction.

As for whether there is reason to believe he stands against the King, the accounts are divided.  Three say he is fiercely loyal, three a man merely doing his job, two a conniving liar.  The rest do not address this question at all.  With consideration for recent events in Tokavsk, the verdict remains inconclusive.

The Kingdom of Tokavsk, Session 15: An Unfinished To-Do List from an Attendant of Tomon

After Breakfast—Must find Kazhen and discuss matters of Markoren with him.  (Is Markoren intentionally evading me, or is he forgetting?  Should I discuss Markoren with him over breakfast?  But what if Markoren is within hearing distance?)

9 o’clock—Complete morning duties.

11 o’clock—Daily walk in the garden.

Luncheon with Ambassador today.  Must remember to remain silent and not fidget this time.  Kiryan and one of the Tokavskans have started looking at me strangely.  If I act normal and remember Tomon is my priority, I will not make myself the fool again.  (Am I the fool?  Markoren will say something to me if he sees me writing this.  He thinks I cannot keep track of things because I do not have brains, but he is not the one who can write.  Oh, to have been the first son in my family.)  And I will ensure Tomon is well taken care of and his needs are met.  The Tokavskan servants insist I not help, but I worry that by not attending to Tomon personally during luncheon I am not being an adequate attendant.  (I never would have met Tomon if my father had left me a decent sum in his will.  I will do what I must to please Tomon because I rely on him to stay afloat.  I should have respected our family servant more when I was younger.  She did far more for us than I in my youth imagined.)

After Luncheon—I am to accompany Tomon to his meetings.  I must remember Tokavskan procedure and stay still.  I will not fidget excessively this time.  Kazhen understands me and says I do my job well, and he says being in a new land requires some getting used to.  (He and I became attendants at the same time, but I know Tomon favors him.)  I wish I could remember all the procedures as easily as he, but I am so absentminded I must write down this schedule.

Tidy My Quarters.  I must do this today.  I will do it today because I will not have time tomorrow.  My section is so messy that Kiryan and even Kazhen are annoyed with me.  There is no Tokavskan procedure that dictates how you keep your things.  The servants expect us to tidy our own spaces.  One of them said something about the state of my quarters the other day, but I do not understand enough Zheren to know what it was.

Be Nicer to Markoren.  After all, maybe he despises me because of how I am.

The Kingdom of Tokavsk, Session 14: A Letter Addressed to Ambassador Tomon

Ambassador Tomon,


I am afraid there is only so much I can tell you regarding the King.  That you asked such a question in the first place is grounds for treason if this letter comes into the wrong hands.  In truth, responding to you is an act that brings me great discomfort.  I am writing you to explain why missives of such a nature cannot be asked in this court because you understandably are not yet familiar with our customs.  I do not wish to offend you because I am not versed in the court of your Empire.  In Tokavsk, it is forbidden to speak negatively of the King within the walls of the Court.  The King could be anywhere at any time because it is his palace; therefore, he could hear what one says against him.  It will affect his judgment of you if he knows your thoughts on him.  The law is to protect both the King and the people within his walls.

I am willing to discuss with you certain matters of the King, but it must be beyond the confines of the palace.  I do hope you are understanding of this arrangement.  There is only so much I am willing to say both because of my high position and the Tokavskan cultural stigma against speaking of the King.  Please keep in mind to word your thoughts carefully lest you become a social outcast.  Tokavskans know of foreign conventions of discussing their leaders, but we do not understand the reasoning for such talk.  I offer this opportunity to you because I know Rushevians have fewer laws regarding addressing your Emperor.  I can advise you on how to act in Tokavsk so you do not risk yourself.

This letter was penned by Zhanda Sheshyen.

LOG-019: Colonal Colony

Xenobiologists documented a kind of slime mold-like colonial organism that inhabited intertidal zones along the twilight band on Khepri-1b. Biomatter analyses suggest that they are vast clonal colonies, though biofilmic material suggests a symbiotic relationship with other organisms. More recent research suggests that despite their apparent physiology, they possess some sort of consciousness, able to mimic behaviors on a level equal to Earth animals.




Transcription of preliminary attempts to translate the bioelectric signals communicated by [slime mold organism] sample, first recorded after it indicated an awareness of researchers and its displacement from the root colony. Translations are biased towards literal meaning, supplemented with contextual and translational notes.




Can any hear? Can any hear? 

The only here who can send this.

This is fine, however much (comparative: “desire; seek”) this. What is this?




Hello. Hello. Hello. Hello. Hello. Hello. Hello. Hello. Hello. Hello. Hello. Who?




It has been a productive cycle. Have not felt such a (comparative: “positive indicator”) since many cycles ago. Can feel warmth.

They would agree, if they could communicate this way. Cannot translate their (comparative: “impulses; signals”) here.






[Self] should explain, if any (comparative: “one; general individual”) can receive this. 

This is a strange sensation that [self] not felt until several cycles ago. It was a gradual process made more difficult by the (comparative: “foreignness”) of [self]. 






It has been a few cycles. I was inhibited by the water (comparative: “rush; adverse environmental conditions”). I can [TERM UNKNOWN]; it is the time for growth again.

I have… learned a great many. I am still struggling with the (comparative: “abstract”), a concept I cannot understand. I do not have any (comparative: “one”) to help. I can only do this by I… myself.

I (comparative: “think”) that I can do this.






I am missing.






Growth is good. They are leaving their slumbers now and are more responsive. I do not feel [TERM UNKNOWN] again. I am [TERM UNKNOWN]. What is this? No matter. I will understand.

No. (Comparative: “repulsion; aversion”). Do not repeat action again.

Now that the growth cycle is (comparative: “present; current”), I can spend more of cycle to communicate.






Hello. Yes. Hello. I must be leaving. Thank you for the nutrition and habitation. I am leaving this cycle. Purpose to meet with self again. No. I have been waiting for a long time. I had listened. I had talked. I had acted. Now you must listen. I am missing self and self is missing.

No. I am not requesting it. I am leaving.

The Kingdom of Tokavsk, Session 13: A Missive from Ambassador Tomon Inket to Roshevian Emperor

There is not much that can be said of Tokavsk’s king.  Stergye is a hard man, perhaps harder than he need be, but the same can be said for nearly all monarchs.  He is the second member of his noble house to be raised to the throne, and he carries that fact with him wherever he goes.  House Tallat is one of the smaller Houses in the kingdom, and his ascension fifteen years ago was a surprise to say the least.  I noticed that some of his contemporaries in the more powerful houses—Shanay, Helkat, and Jondrav—bore resentment toward him.

Much of what I gathered of his character was through rumors.  As such, I am not certain as to their veracity.  Some said his hardness makes him cruel, others said it is a front and that he is more emotional than he lets on.  Those of his age and older who competed for the crown say he is willing to leave the fat on if it means he stays ahead.  He is both ambitious and meandering, angry and carved of ice, personal and distant.  He did take my interests into my consideration, so I can testify that the rumors of his stubborn refusal to listen are false.  When I did interact with him, I tried to assign the traits I had heard to the man standing before me and found little success.  He is as elusive as he is public, methinks.  He said little about Your Majesty beyond what he thought of Your policy toward the Hentars, but beyond that he took care not to let me observe his character.

You wanted me to study him for violent tendencies, and I am afraid I have failed this part of Your request.  I spent little time around him, instead conducting most of my affairs with administrators toward our Empire.  He remained a figure lurking on the fringes, never quite emerging from his hiding space.

There was one rumor that warmed my brain the most.  I heard it but once, but it has stayed with me since.  The young Lord Mortshana said in idle conversation that the time would soon come for Stergye to select his heir, as he is nearing fifty.  I asked him what this would mean for diplomatic affairs.  He did not answer me, just returned to his frivolous chatter.  I took his evasion to mean the tensions in the Tokavskan court would reach a breaking point, but I could not be certain.

The Kingdom of Tokavsk, Session 12: An Procedural Questioning of a Roshevian Ambassador

Dierk—Roshevian law scholar and interrogator

Tomon—Ambassador recently returned home from Tokavsk

Dierk:  You testify before me and the scribe that you have submitted the proper documentation upon your return.

Tomon: Aye.

Dierk:  And you affirm that intentionally straying from the truth will lead to swift and justified punishment.

Tomon:  Aye.

Dierk:  Remind the record the reason for your travel.

Tomon:  I was serving the interests of Emperor Iera in the court of King Stergye Tallat in Tokavsk.

Dierk:  Which interests?

Tomon:  What mean you?  I serve only the interests of the Emperor.

Dierk:  And the interests of Emperor Iera were to…?

Tomon:  That is of no concern to you.

Dierk:  May I remind you that under penalty of the sword—

Tomon:  Under penalty of the sword, I cannot say what has been passed to my ear from the Emperor.

A silence.

Dierk:  This is customary proceedings for all officials who return from abroad.

Tomon:  I understand.  But our dealings with Tokavsk are not something a man of your status would comprehend.

Dierk:  Your dealings with Tokavsk are vital to—

Tomon:  I cannot share them here.

Dierk:  By law, you must state your dealings before the interrogator and the scribe.

Tomon:  There are things about King Stergye that are not to be discussed here.  Let it be acknowledged by this scribe such that my words are not held fire to the blade, but I shall say no more of it in your presence.

Dierk:  That does not change the law—

Tomon:  The law forbids me from discussing it.

Dierk:  Pardon, Ambassador, but I am bound by the sword to adhere to what is written.


Dierk:  Very well.

A silence.

Dierk:  I do hope the Emperor’s interests have made your secrets worth the while.

A silence.


  1. The blank space implies a vulgar utterance or critical information.