Ishval is a region of South Eastern Amestris, on the border of the eastern desert. Located where it is, it's environs consist of little more than rocks and sand, with no significant cultural resources, and very little farming land. The houses are made of brick, or stone, to protect them from the desert winds. It is a harsh life, but the Ishvalans are made hardier for it, and they take pride in their strength and adaptability as a people. Ishvalans and the other citizens of Amestris have never seen eye to eye on a lot of issues, mostly concerning politics and religion, but despite this the two regions have managed to maintain a certain level of peace in recent times - despite all of the conflicts in their past. If one were to walk the streets of Ishval now, they would find it calm and peaceful, a normal country save for the occasional groups of Amestrian soldiers who maintain law and stability in the region. The people themselves happily go about their business, showing little tension with their overpowering neighbors. However, the Amestrian government has a very different story about what is going on, at least to their soldiers, and a small group of State Alchemists. They claim there has been talk of rebellion in Ishval. Nothing world shattering, but enough of an issue that the Fuhrer believes that an increased military presence in the region might be for the best, to quash these thoughts of rebellion before they could fully form. The word was sent out, and soldiers from all over Amestris began their march to Ishval, some from every one of the government's main branches. And along with the message to march, went special couriers directly from the Fuhrer. Each courier had a letter, and each letter was to be handed to a very particular state alchemist. They read... On behalf of the office of Fuhrer and the Amestrian Parliment, You have served your country well, the research and development of many new alchemical techniques has brought about incredible changes in our world. While the Parliment members and I appreciate all that you have done for Amestris so far, we believe that it is time that we take your service to a whole new revolutionary level. Not long ago during the conflict in Aerugo, we saw evidence of the incredible power that alchemy can produce when used in combat. We've also heard reports from commanders all over Amestris that many young alchemists are developing new ways to use their abilities to better serve the military. No doubt you have heard by now of the tensions rising in Ishval. Should the tide turn for the worse, we would like to include a small contingency of State Alchemists among our other soldiers, to see just how useful and practical your Alchemy related combat abilities can be. That being said, you are hereby transferred from your current station to Ishval, where you will be placed under the direct command of Military Officer and fellow State Alchemist, Colonel Antonio Russo - who is already stationed in Ishval. You will report to him there, and await my arrival with further orders. Have a pleasant trip. Your Fuhrer, King Bradley The Trip to Ishval is a long one, encompassing many long hours and involving lots of swirling dust as one gets closer to their destination. Your arrival would find the streets already teeming with Amestrian soldiers, many gathered in large groups around the outskirts of the region, but even more have already pressed in among the citizens, trying to dig out the roots of the rebellion. Any number of those soldiers would be able to point you in the direction of Colonel Russo's office, which would thankfully take you away from most of the crowds for the time being. The only group of soldiers anywhere near the office is a large group around the corner, who are arguing with an even larger group of Ishvalan citizens of various ages, apparently having accused one or more of them of participating in the questionable rebellion. Just beyond the arguing group, the street opens up into the commercial center for this district, and standing a bit taller than the other buildings is the central command of the occupied force of Amestris. It was made of the same stone as many of the surrounding buildings, and it had probably once been a mayoral or embassy building for the Ishvalans before the Amestrian occupation. Now, it was designed to house the commanding officers and the occupying force that usually inhabited Ishval. There was nowhere near enough room for all of the new soldiers poring into the region, which probably explained the soldiers setting up camp on the region border, and helped contribute to the general irritation of the soldiers. Inside, the newly arrived Alchemists would find a decently furnished room with stairs leading up to the second floor on either side of a large reception desk. Waiting at the desk was a polite young woman with sandy blond hair, dressed in a standard issue military uniform. She politely welcomes each of them as they arrive, takes their name, and then requests that they go upstairs, and into the door directly above her desk on the second floor, where they would find the meeting room - as well as informing them that Colonel Russo and his assistant would be there to meet with them shortly. The room was similar to most meeting rooms one would find in central, save for the walls made of stone instead of marble or plaster. In the center was a simple rectangular wooden table, and around that table were some simple wooden chairs, equipped with arm rests and comfortable cushions. There were also three very large windows which looked out over the buildings behind the headquarters, and overlooked the little back alley that ran behind the building.