“Kyvon and I have been fighting with each other for a long, long time. Every time, Father would kick one of us off the estate to force us both to cool off. This time was little different. Granted, I was accusing Kyvon of embezzling and piracy, but we have been making accusations against each other for a long time. I had handed the relevant documents over to Father and trusted him to make the right decision. I believed that after a week or so, Father would have finished going through the evidence and called me back, so that me, Father, and Kyvon could discuss the allegations that I had raised. After all, this is what normally would occur.
But Father’s death changed EVERYTHING. Scarcely three hours after Father’s death, Kyvon held a press conference, where he ignited speculation that I-I! was responsible for Father’s death. He also told the reporters that I had been voted out of the household! Scarcely 12 hours before, I was ready for Father to call me and ask me to return and explain the allegations that I had raised. Now, I am in reaction-mode, and so is my staff! We are struggling to find a way forward.
After I learned that I had been kicked out, I ordered my staff to begin planning for the construction of a colony in Venal. A colony where my supporter could live in peace, away from persecution by Kyvon and his allies. But we are in little shape to set up a government of our own. We only have about ¼ billion ISK in funds, and maybe a few hundred million in assorted scrip. I can only hope that Kyvon will be occupied with the running of the family and refrain from cracking down on my supporters.”
-Duke Shasta Ardeind
15 December YC 122
Amarr VIII (Oris) Emperor’s Family Academy station, in the blueprint control room.
“And hit ‘START’, and that should do it!” Shasta said, straightening up to face his friend, industrialist Shawn Kennin. “And tomorrow, when we come back, we’ll have 1,500 XL Antimatter Charges and 15 Bantams waiting for delivery!”
Shawn chuckled. “And after a few days, you’ll have a profit. Yeah, I know how it works. Come on. If you’re done for the night, we could hit up some of the bars and pubs. See if we find any friends!”
“Yeah, sounds good,” Shasta said, as the two men walked towards the door. Suddenly, a young man dashed in.
“Shasta! Lord Shasta! You need to see this!” the man shouted as he ran in, clutching a holoprojector in his hand. “Sir, your father died, a few hours ago. Your brother’s just finished giving a press conference.”
“What? Andrew, calm down! Talk slowly. What’s this about a press conference?” Shasta said as Andrew ran up to him.
“Ah … ah … about three hours ago, sir, your father, Duke Tion, had a massive heart attack. He was rushed to the hospital, but the doctors couldn’t save him.” Andrew said, panting.
“What? I-I-Why, I’m so sorry, Shasta.” Shawn said, stunned by Andrew’s words.
Shasta cursed under his breath. “And Kyvon succeeded him?”
“Yes, sir. He held a press conference with almost all of the reporters. During the conference, he expressed speculation that you were responsible for the death of your father.” Andrew said, wincing.
“Wait, what? He accused ME of killing Father?” Shasta said, looking hard at his young aide.
“No, well, sort of, not, not really,” Andrew stammered. “He only remarked that it may have been possible that you were responsible, and he was hoping that the investigation, he announced an investigation, would uncover any wrongdoing.”
“Oh. Well, that doesn’t make me any happier, but you, Andrew, should not be the target for my anger. Did Kyvon say anything else?” Shasta said.
“Err …” Andrew hesitated.
“Come on, Andrew, out with it. Even if it is bad news, I won’t bite your head off.” Shasta encouraged.
“Err … Well … Um … Kyvon … Err … He said that he had called for the council to meet and vote on expelling you. He remarked that the council had voted in favor of expulsion, and therefore, you are now expelled from the family and House Ariend is cutting all ties to you.” Andrew said timidly.
“Oh, Andrew. Yes, this would make me angry, but I know better than to take out my rage on you. You need not fear giving me bad news. I know better than to shoot the messenger, as they say.” Shasta said, laying a hand on Andrew’s shoulder. “Now, would you please leave us? Me and Shawn have some important matters to discuss.”
“Of, of course!” Andrew said as he turned to walk away. Meanwhile, Shasta took Shawn by the arm and led him back into the blueprint control room.
“What will you do?” Shawn said as the two men walked towards the far wall.
“I will probably start a new family. Give myself the title of “Duke” and start compiling evidence of Kyvon’s crimes,” Shasta replied. “I’ll also gather those that support me and begin moving them. I’ll see if I can find any uninhabited planets in Venal where we can settle. But just because I’m planning to do this stuff doesn’t mean that you have to join me. After all, you have a cordial relationship with most of the Ariend Arms factory overseers on Sarum Prime. If you come with me, you’ll be losing out on business opportunities.”
“True, but Kyvon has never liked me. Actually, that’s putting it mildly. He’s always resented me and my friendship with you. I don’t think I’ll stay. I’ll come with you. After all, you will need to have an industrial sector in your colony. And plus, I’ll see if I can score us some of the Ariend Arms blueprints, so I can build arms to equip your security forces! That’s also a business opportunity,” Shawn pointed out.
“Alright, it’s your decision. But we’re probably not going to move out any time soon. It’ll take time for me to gather my supporters. Additionally, don’t forget that I’ve been cut off from the family fortune. I don’t have that much ISK, and the Dark Wolf Legion has even less. And your fortune is in Amarr script, which, no offense, isn’t worth as much. I don’t think we even have 300 million ISK in capital. It’ll take me some time to get enough money for us to start moving out to Venal. In the meantime, could you start arming the troopers of the Dark Wolf Legion? I intend to use the legion as both the military arm of the family, and the colony’s security force.”
“Sure thing! I’ll get on it right away,” Shawn said, beginning to walk away. “Oh, wait! One thing. You said you would give yourself the title of “Duke”, but under succession rules, isn’t Kyvon entitled to the title?”
“Sort of. He’s entitled to being the Duke of House Ariend, but he kicked me out, remember. And I can forge my own family. If I can get land and form a colony under my control, I could call myself Duke as well. I’d call myself Duke of House Ardeind! Different enough from “Ariend” that I am legally allowed to hold such a title, but similar enough that whoever sees it will associate it with my roots, the House Ariend.” Shasta said.
“Oh, that’s brilliant! Well, I’ll be off!” Shawn replied, walking off again.
“Bye!” Shasta replied, walking towards his suite. He had a lot of work to do.