OOC Thread _____________________________________________________________________________________________ It was autumn. A chill had fallen over Lieda, and sharpened winds ran through the streets, threatening the advance of even colder weather in their wake. The gray clouds that perpetually enshrouded the coastal city hesitated overhead, seemingly unsure of whether or not rain was appropriate for the frigid day. The rising sun had slipped from view early on, and left the city lit in pale blue and gray hues. In the dim early day, crowds had gathered along the main street of Lieda, one of many broad roads that fed into the nation's highways outside of city limits. It was unique in that it ran from the outermost edges of Lieda, curling amidst the oldest quarters of the city, and terminated directly before the capitol building of Arcartus. The Lieda House of Affairs, the grand hall that served as the primary organ of the imperial government. Representatives and consultants from home and abroad populated the building, but the people had not turned out for them. They stood on the sides of High Street, jacketed against the cold and fogging the air with their breath, in order to watch a parade come into town. Only a few had even noticed when the procession entered the city, but by the time it was in the core districts of the city word had spread. A single black carriage, pulled by a duo of unassuming horses and draped in the white and pale blue bicolor of the Arcarti Military, was making its way towards the capitol. Before and after the carriage, formations of soldiers bearing decorated pikes marched along and kept vigil over their charge. It was the carriage of a high officer. With the House in sight, many parts of the crowd were no longer cheering but making calls of challenge. Calls had been started, and now only drowned amongst each other as an incoherent mix of protest and support. What had started as a gathering of the curious and aware quickly escalated into a spectacle that drew people several blocks away with the noise. Many ran further with exaggerated rumors of riot and conspiracy in the heart of the capital to spread to their acquaintances. At the end of the road, the carriage driver reined in his horses, their heads bowed low but unperturbed even by the great noise of the crowd. The procession came to a halt, and began to wait. With the streets vacated, the people further down the road had moved closer and into the street, surrounding the carriage on three of its sides. A few of them continued to venture further, pulling the crowd forward and pressing as close to the carriage as they could. The driver looked about nervously, watching the advancing crowd and hearing only the jeers, but the troops that had come along with him simply stood out the wait with jaded indifference. The first flakes of snow had begun to fall on both parties, streaks of white tossed around by the brisk wind. Mechanically, the rear detachment of soldiers turned and moved and formed lines. Set apart from the crowd by the gray-green of their uniform, they shoved indiscriminately at those who came to near, and the corporal in their midst could be heard screaming, "Disperse or face the bludgeon!" over the crowd. Regardless of what was said, the cadre of troops was enough to force a stalemate and little more, and for the moment those not caught up in the mob watched the outburst in dull fascination.