Interlude 12. Divine Conference
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Thump. Thump. Thump!

Orlag set the hammer aside and cast a look over the table. Satisfied with the level of quietness and attention, he nodded sagely and cleared his throat.

"I hereby announce this divine meeting open." - he stated, opening the folder in front of him - "Does anyone have any emergent issues to be brought up?"

He examined the table yet again. Assorted gods shuffled in their seats, but no one piped up.

"Excellent. In that case, let us proceed with the first item on agenda." - he proclaimed - "Manoc, what is the status of season change?"

God of winds and weather shrugged lightly. "Everything proceeding according to schedule." - he proffered confidently - "There was a slight issue with monsoon winds exceeding expected speeds, but they were safely vented through the supercell. The storm shall pass through the southern ocean and disperse in a series of thunderstorms well away from populated areas. Cumulus saturation is nominal and proceeds according to projection C. Bharat will experience a short heatwave, but it will be offset by rains at the onset of winter. Other countries are within climactic optimum without further need for adjustments."

God of sun and crops nodded, crossing the first line off - "That is heartening to hear. How about solar coverage projection? Do you require any adjustments?"

"Not at the moment, thank you. The dispersion grid update will be in your inbox this evening, but I do not foresee any need for direct changes." - Manoc demurred - "Sineval's scheme of using oceanic flows for temperature regulation continues to pay dividends, so barring any unforeseen developments, we're tentatively at self-regulating stage."

God of oceans buffed his nails on his shirt, adding lazily - "I have a proposal. Lateral trench is finally reaching projected depth, and I would like to run a limited test of deep flow feedback. The details and calculations are already in the inbox."

"Noted. Gia, do you have anything to add?" - Orlag inquired. Goddess of earth shrugged and shook her head silently.

"Very well. For now, let us consider the climatic scheme for the following decade approved for observed functionality. Please report any anomalies that crop up." - he concluded - "Very well. Second item on agenda. Civilization advancement. Argyl, Kinov, Marra, Lothak, Zali. I believe your uplift project had turned up some unexpected results?"

Aforementioned gods exchanged glances. After a moment of indecision, Kinov spoke up - "Yes and no. The results themselves were expected, but emerged much earlier than projected. Project Archon so far proves herself to be far more efficient than we hoped for."

He nodded towards Argyl, who continued - "So far, most of developments are in my and Kinov's spheres, though Marra enjoys some developments of her own. Furthermore, certain flags had been set for Lothak's and Zali's goals full year ahead of schedule. I am pleased to report that project Archon had surpassed my wildest expectations. Kingdom of Champagne is currently in the process of promulgating pitch-polymer paved roads, which already pays dividends within Kinov's sphere. Dwarves are significantly ahead of schedule, twenty seven percent of total current population already congregated in the vicinity of Grand Forge, further thirteen are in transit. By the next year, we expect over the half of population to reestablish societal cohesion in the northern part of Aleph mountain range, both within Grand Forge and a number of satellite settlements. Due to swift actions of project Archon, dwarves had already recovered most of metallurgy and stoneworking know-how, as well as added a number of advanced techniques and limited mechanization to their repertoire. Of most notable developments, I want to point out introduction of steam engine and cupola furnaces. Project Archon is currently working on introduction of mangalloy and railway knowhow, both of which will boost the logistics of the realm by three hundred percent within the next year. Furthermore, project Archon had successfully located and inspired key person Seafarer towards deep modernization of seafaring. He had successfully completed and tested sloop design and I am fully confident that brigantine will make it's debut by the spring."

He tilted his head towards Zali. Goddess of war and politics chuckled wryly - "From my side, I would like to report that project Archon had successfully initiated logistical integration of Champagne and Kraut kingdoms, starting with promulgation of pitch-polymer paved roads into the kingdom of Kraut through the Ashenvale and southern passes of Aleph mountain range. Due to project Archon's proactive stance in establishing connections and alliances in surrounding countries, I feel confident to report that Vallahian expansion will be managed with considerably less bloodshed and stagnation than expected. After the initial upset, I expect the Confederacy to begin integrating economic and mercantile ties between it's states at accelerated pace. Situation in Oijan Sultanate is another unexpected early success. While at this juncture the dissolution of Sultanate into several allied emirates is all but certain, it will help to disperse such a massive shock to the system while completely eradicating slavery and potentially establishing the basics of post-scarcity society. Unfortunately, this will also cause an extinction of dragons as species. Sad, but unavoidable."

Lothak flipped through his folder, chewing on his lip. "My gains are more meager, so far, but I am pleased to report that the concept of newspaper had been introduced and well received by society. Project Archon had managed to locate eminently qualified managerial core and successfully imparted onto them the basics of crowdsourced journalism, both of which significantly advance the societal acceptance of freedom of speech. Furthermore, sovereign of Champagne had been favorably impressed by the notion of newspaper and that very same concept is gaining traction in Kraut. I am still reevaluating my projections for mass media, since even the most optimistic plans did not account for such an early success. Preliminary findings strongly suggest the newspaper is gaining notoriety and renown sufficient to evoke attempts at mass media within Kraut Kingdom and Oijan Sultanate within next year. Besides that, sovereign of Champagne had been introduced to the basics of restraining order and social childcare." - god of laws weighed in - "As my esteemed colleague Argyl, I am well impressed by project Archon's progress."

Marra spoke up next. "I am well pleased with progress in my sphere, but due to unexpected development, I am still in progress of reevaluating the situation." - she mused - "My projected schedule relied on project Archon introducing the medical treatments via the temple and royal physicians, and unexpected redirection of key person Gatecrasher towards my sphere requires significant revision. In essence, this unexpected but pleasant development negates the possible cataclysm triggered by key person Gatecrasher entirely, while redirecting his significant mental facilities towards development and systematization of arcanophysiology. Furthermore, introduction of viable tuberculosis treatment half a century ahead of projected schedule is liable to have vast knock-on effects across the world's populace at large. I am still crunching the numbers on this, but if I were to guesstimate, I predict a whopping twenty two percent reduction in deaths before seventy, and unbelievable forty one percent reduction in children and teenage mortality within this decade. I will distribute the new estimation of demographic progress as soon as I manage some specific number, tentatively tomorrow in the afternoon. My apologies, but it seems like all of my esteemed colleagues in the societal department will have to reevaluate their own schedules and projections as well, taking in consideration additional labor to be available."

She tilted her head towards Kinov, who nodded and began to speak - "Economical situation is very promising. Project Archon already began to disseminate the concepts of labor distribution and mechanization, which resulted in a vast number of new wares on the market. Coupled with her incessant focus on logistics and timely introduction of assorted free market principles, I predict an increase of interest in luxury items and foods, as well as a boom in domestic convenience wares. Development of viable aerial vehicle this early will further contribute to increased interest in logistics spreading out from Champagne and across the whole continent, simply by the dint of shock and awe experienced by any other polity witnessing the dirigible. While I do not expect any independent development in aeronautics to occur for at least another decade, it is entirely likely that polities would compete for a chance to commission a dirigible of their own from project Archon, and therefore, make themselves amenable to her economic overtures. I have distributed my preliminary figures yesterday, but I am already working on revision that takes in account dirigibles being used for diplomacy, major landbound tract being reopened and renovated and an impending introduction of Champagne and Kraut kingdoms to concrete. Early availability of advanced construction material coupled with impending populace boom reported by colleague Marra implies a number of pleasant things across the board."

Orlag nodded with satisfaction. "Project Archon is really showing potential, I see." - he concluded - "Very well. Does anyone else have any comments about project Archon and her impact on the world?"

He did not expect much out of that question and therefore seeing Memiri raise her hand was a surprise. He gestured towards the goddess of sleep, wordlessly requesting an elaboration. "I have concerns about project Archon's metaphysical stability." - she stated bluntly - "I have already raised this issue at the last meeting, and I am sorry to report that palliative measures did not pan out as well as I have hoped. While project Archon is in no danger of losing bond cohesion, the metaphysical connection to Ur-World's plegmagnosis remains a problem. I believe that at this point, our best option is to anchor down the connection and synch it in with project Archon, ramping up the bandwidth until the gnostic pressure on project Archon evens out. Unfortunately, we have missed the window of opportunity where anchoring could be done inconspicuously. If we are to put it in action within the next week, project Archon will experience an arcanochtonic event. Past that, gnostic pressure might increase to the point of project Archon manifesting arcanochtonic events spontaneously until it is alleviated, either by anchoring or severing the connection. I must stress that severing the connection will severely impact project Archon's productivity and mental capacity."

"Well, we certainly don't want that." - Orlag retorted - "And one arcanochtonic event is certainly better than several of them at random. But... could we possibly do something to mitigate the event impact?"

Gia rose her hand suddenly, suggesting - "Mayhaps we need not the mitigation... Merely a direction."

Memiri consulted her papers. "Hm. That is an intriguing proposition. What if we take a cue from project Archon herself on the direction? That might be the easiest solution to let her subconsciousness decide on what it should dream into existence. My evaluation of project Archon suggests she is not prone to self-flagellation or confidence issues, so chances are better than even the end result of event would be something beneficial for her." - she replied thoughtfully - "I ask for the vote. All in favor of anchoring the connection at the earliest opportunity within this week, please say aye."

"Aye!" "Aye!" "Aye!" "Aye!" "Aye!" "Aye!" "Aye!" "Aye!" "Aye!" "Aye!"

"All in favor? Wonderful. We have our course of action then." - Orlag summed up, jotting down the resolution and passing it around the table to collect signatures - "With this, I believe our meeting is concluded, unless someone else has an issue to bring up. No? Very well. Gentlemen, ladies... let's make this world even better."