The Plagued Oasis: Part One

Nick Martins, Staff Writer

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A cloud piercing obelisk towered over the empire of Aczen. A few small pyramids were established next to it curving to the north. The wind carried sand over the empire’s capital. Buildings were made of hardened clay and sandstone. The people wandered the streets attempting to trade with one another. The unfortunate ones begged on the street for at the very least copper coins. Some of the priests sweep through the streets and give out a variety of coins. Silver and gold coins were given out if the priest was generous enough. Farm lands were located in the northeastern districts. The southwestern districts were rich in materials such as copper, bronze, iron, and gold. They mostly lived in prosperity whilst the people of the northeast lived very simple lives.  

Aczen is a part of the four ancient empires located in the Oasis of Infinity. This oasis is located in The Great Desert. The royal palace, located in Kade Aczen’s capital, is housing the other three emperors to make peace in the Oasis of Infinity. The council has been called in because of the high temperatures of the summer. This is always a concern, but this year is twice as brutal as the last and they’re only a few weeks into summer.

“The oasis is going to dry! We must stop this bloodshed at once and alert the public,” said the emperor that was missing an eye. He was wearing a silk emperor’s robe of the Fidu variety due to the emblem stitched on his chest.

“Kha’em. Your empire took my people’s farmlands. How are the Idma going to survive.” He was wearing a silk emperor’s robe of the Idma empire due to the emblem.

“The Idma empire is filled with nothing but radical dogs following their false religion. Not to mention Aufaa, the taking of your farmlands were twelve years ago. And we both know our empires have aged quite well. Especially yours.” Kha’em had a gross scar that starts from his forehead to the bottom of his right eye, a long beard that reached his chest, and was wearing bronze chainmail on his upper body.

“Gentlemen the oasis is dying and we’re here bickering about a past wars that are irrelevant!” the other emperor yelled, “Now I suggest we behave like proper men and negotiate a temporary status of peace in the oasis. And I would have to agree with Ngozi in an earlier suggestion. Perverse the oasis and calmly alert the people of the hardship ahead.” Like any other member of Iasbaha empire, they’re complete brute when needed.

“Thank you, Eopeii and for stating the obvious. Banter of war isn’t going to establish peace just start more wars. Focus on the present to guide the future. Now we must halt any advancement from either party and stop any bloodshed from occurring. If bloodshed is used from a warring party, the empire responsible will face a heavy price of giving their arms to the victim. Swords, shields, bows, arrows, camels, and men.” Ngozi said.

“And if the empire refuses to pay such a price.” Kha’em chuckled.

“Only you out of the four of us would say such idiocy.” Aufaa said.

“Careful Aufaa, you came alone to the council and my guards are at my disposal,” Kha’em said.

“I would suggest you to be careful as well. If whisper spreads that I have been killed by Kha’em the great leader of Aczen, there would be no Aczen. Your crops burned to the root, Kade in ruins, your mines depleted of their valuable resources,” Aufaa said staring into Kha’em’s eyes.

“Gentlemen!!! The only thing that is going to be depleted is my patience. Do we have an agreement on temporary peace?” Ngozi said in furious tone. The emperors looked at each other across the large cross shaped table.

“Agreed.” Eopeii said.

“Agreed.” Ngozi said moments later.

“I’ll agreed if Kha’em agrees,” Aufaa said.

“Disagreement in the statement of paying my arms to my hypothetical victim but agreement to the halt of bloodshed.” Kha’em said.

“How dare you Kha’em! The Oasis of Infinity is becoming more finite by the day and you disagree?! How dare you!” Aufaa stood up from his chair.

“Hold your tongue Aufaa or I’ll rip it out of your own mouth.” Kha’em stood up as well.

“So be it!!! The time for war is at a pause and the time for conservation is at play gentlemen. It was good discussing it with all of you,” Ngozi looked at Eopeii, “Some more than others.”

Later that evening, Kha’em prepared to give a speech to the public. He walked out the main hall and onto a balcony overlooking the central of Kade. Guards equipped with bows to his left and right stood honorably. He waited approximately three minutes for a crowd to form.

“People of Aczen. Our enemies. The Idman Empire, Iasbaha Empire, and the annoyance that is the Fidu had their emperors pay a visit to the palace. I have spoken with their so-called emperors. Aufaa of the Idman empire was acting rather immaturely during the conference. I really tried my hardest during the conference to establish some sort of agreement in our favor. So it was. But at the sacrifice of war,” The crowd began to murmur amongst themselves, “There is a temporary peace agreement. The war isn’t over it is just halted. This was due to the extreme climate of this great desert. This season has been the worst and hasn’t been seen like this in years. So please out of the sake of all four empires and their people, most importantly for the sake our empire, conserve all resources gathered from the Oasis. In the meantime, I think constructing walls where our soldiers left off in their advancement into enemy territory would very advantageous in a military sense. Not only advantageous but it would help us claim borders and stop any of those savages from coming into our prosperous empire. I thank you for your time. Remember, conserve all natural resources you have gained from the oasis and spread word of our conservation attempt across all districts, cities, and villages. Good night to all of you, the best of dreams. I shall return for another address in three days.” Kha’em walked back inside the Palace from the balcony. Heading toward his room he encounters his third wife.  They both walk into the master bedroom.

“I heard your address. It was as pathetic as your first-born child,” she said.

“If you were an irrelevant piece in this puzzle I’d have your head on a pike for saying that,” Kha’em said.

“I also overheard your conference with the other emperors. Eopeii and Ngozi are going to form a stronger alliance compared to us and any other empire. I hope you’ve noticed that, Kha’em. Not only that but it appears there will be attacks from Idma radicals. Aufaa exposed his plans to you. They’re going to start by burning our crops and if they don’t they’ll attack the mines. If not the mines they’ll raid our empire,” she said.

“Akela, might I say you are my favorite piece.” Kha’em paused and lay back on his bed. “Did you completely rid of Nizam.” She walked over to the bed and laid with him on his right.

“Just because he’s of royal descent doesn’t mean he’s immortal Kha’em.” Akela said whispering in his ear.

“What exactly did you do to him.” Kha’em asked.

“Is that sympathy I hear?” She sat up and gave Kha’em a foul gaze. “I told the priest I knew to make him forget his past. He owed me so I asked him to do me that favor. Not only that, I took Nizam and threw him in the middle of the desert.”

“Why didn’t you just kill him?” Kha’em questioned once more.

“The priest told me he was important to keep alive yet disposable, temporarily at the least.” She said.

“And when am I going to meet this priest? And not to mention the desert is a cruel mistress and will end up taking Nizam’s life.” Kha’em said

“I have advised the priest of Nizam’s location in the desert and he assures me that he will take him to a small village. You need not worry my darling emperor.” Akela kissed him sitting up and then surprisingly slapped him across his left cheek. “Don’t you ever show sympathy for anyone else ever again.”       

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The Plagued Oasis: Part One