Halfshav Family Dinner Meeting
Dinner and a show?
March 20, 2020, 8 p.m.
Arx - Ward of House Redrain - Halfshav Hall - Great Hall
Comments and Log
Alecstazi has left the magnificent wood slab table.
3 Thrax Guards have been dismissed.
His Grace, a massive red roan Maelstrom destrier have been dismissed.
Sednaya, a female Maelstrom Osprey have been dismissed.
Xander, a complete asshole goose have been dismissed.
3 Thrax Elite Guards have been dismissed.
It's been some time since the family gathered like this, though, thanks to Lady Brianna Halfshav, not TOO long. The atmosphere tonight might still have a somber tone to it, due to the passing of Duke Vercyn Halfshav, but there is hopefully lightness of heart as well.
Khanne sits at the head of the great wooden table this evening, decked out in, well, essentially, head to toe Halfshav inspired things. Making small talk as she waits for guests to arrive and settle, Khanne stands when at least some of those expected are present. "Good evening, family and friends, and thank you for joining us this evening in the Halfshav Great Hall. The main item on the agenda tonight is to feast and be merry, but we shall also speak of things of import as well."
"Before we go any further," she says, lifting her glass of whiskey aloft. "Let us have a toast to Duke Vercyn Halfshav, the Hungry Wolf. His soul has left this world for now, but we shall ever be sure he does not leave the hearts and minds of anyone that might carry his name through blood or fealty." Once finished, she lifts the glass a touch higher then lowers it to her lips for a small sip.
Autumn has begun to return to the capital and so Arik has indulged the excuse for a rare change of attire. Standing behind one of the tall backed chairs at the high table the Sword of Whitehold is adorned in aeterna, sea silk, and marmot furs from clearlake. Although the clothes may be of a princely cut, flattering to a leaner swordsman figure, the hair is pulled back simply, the beard formidable and unprimped or pampered for the family dinner. One forearm resting along the chair back, the other hand snagging a whiskey glass from a servants passing platter to lift at Khanne's toast, "To the Hungry Wolf, may he inspire ambition in future generations of Halfshav."
Mirk is at the grand table, decked out in his finery: umbra and fireweave and steelsilk. The charms in his beard sway as he turns his head to give Khanne his attention. "To Duke Vercyn Halfshav," he echoes in his low, rumbling voice, raising his glass in a toast. "May his memory and his legacy be carried down to future generations of Halfshavs."
Brianna is dressed in a monochromatic column of white, making her seem even taller than normal. Caleb and Alec are seated at her side, all three on their best behavior somehow. The Halfshav lady raises her glass in a silent toast with the rest.
Sir Floppington, the soulful hound arrives, following Rowenova.
While the Halfshav estate is familiar enough to the Blackram Marquessa, an invitation to one of their family meals is not. When Teagan is shown in, she actually does show a small measure of uncharacteristic hesitation. Ultimately, however, she does push on through and toward whatever seat she is assigned or pointed to. The dark-haired woman is not dressed in overt finery, but it's fine enough and suits her. It is, perhaps, muted marginally by the woolen coat that is handed off to a servant once she's indoors. But with the ram insignia on the back, it's no wonder that she wears it in cooler weather. Notable, perhaps, are the slight heels on her boots; pushing her just past her usual six-foot height.
Arriving just in time for the toast, Teagan has no issue procuring a glass of whiskey as she listens to the words given by the others.
Tarik has joined the magnificent wood slab table.
Yes, Scout Rowenova and Sir Floppington are running late and literally running with the latter one making it here before the former one by a few strides. That human being of the daring duo shows up in a fancy flash of seafoam silk which is a Mikani-crovane design plus a Thrax-style necklace along with a sealskin coat likely made by Apollo Oakwood. Of course, she still wears her Saikland ring and copper scarf (the latter one as a sash belt) plus her kneehigh boots, the tops disappearing under the uncharacteristic dress. Messenger bag over one arm, by its shoulder straps, she zooms through and quickly bows to every noble here plus Tarik: by whom she eventually sits.
Rowenova has joined the magnificent wood slab table.
Teagan has joined the magnificent wood slab table.
Tarik haven't already probably spoke during the memorial, Tarik just raises his glass and repeats, "To the Duke Vercyn, the Hungry Wolf!" Tarik sits back down at the table. Tarik offers a smile to Rowenova as he takes his seat.
Arik watches as Rowenova hurries in and then subtly tilts his head to the side in an almost lupine manner. It's as if the Halfshav Lord were a confused hound looking at something it didn't understand. Finally he mutters to himself while pulling his chair out to plop down into, "When did she start wearing dresses." after settling silvered grey eyes spot Teagan. "Marquessa Blackram, welcome. Have you had a chance to congratulate my sister yet?" he asks in an unsubtle rumble of a voice.
Once everyone has toasted and settled, Khanne herself slips back into her seat. Gesturing with both hands towards the array of food set before them, she says, "now, please, everyone fill their plates." She herself starts putting small amounts of things on her plate. Bread and butter, an apricot jam, cheeses, and a bit of smoked fish. "Now... to begin, because things have been tinged with sadness these days, I wish to hear of one piece of good news or a bit of happiness from each of us. Who would like to begin?"
Caleb pipes up. "I helped hunt a deer!" He looks very proud of himself.
Eira, 2 Bone Wardens arrive, following Volcica.
Since she is always helping her fellow servants here, when Nova runs late -- which is not damn often -- they have made sure that her place is set up and ready to go. She quietly thanks all those in the background who have helped. Then, she gets up to cheer / toast the late duke alongside Tarik before then sitting down into her seat once more. "Congratulations, Caleb!" She calls out toward the youngest here (which is no longer herself which is kinda nice)! "Excellent idea, Duchess Khanne! I fell in love with a Northern man!" Surprise, shock, and awe: right? Except several probably already know this, especially after the open hours. She fondly spake those words. Hopefully, her liege lord will not have cardiac arrest right now. She wolfishly grins to the older man.
"Scout Rowenova," Mirk says with a nod of his head. "Marquessa Teagan. Family." The latter receives a little more warmth, though it's a subtle thing with him. "I suppose I'll offer a piece of news from my own research: Lord Rysen has agreed to compose a song of Uanna and Foraiso and Drakorsis, so I've made great strides in ensuring that their memory is honored. It's been more than a year of work, at this point, and I am quite pleased." He raises an eyebrow at Rowenova. "Who is this mysterious Northern man?"
Volcica steps inside under the cover of the cheer for Vercyn, quietly making her way into an empty place. Her Her gaze slides from Nova to Mirk, and then on to the next speaker. She's listening with interest, but not offering up her own happiness quite yet.
There's an arch of brow for Arik, but Teagan knows the man is utterly incapable of reading body language hints. So instead, she offers in a vaguely amused tone: "And interrupt her speech? I'll leave that to you, Lord Arik." Still, as she settles and regards the others around the table -- most of whom she knows, thankfully -- the woman does tilt her head to Khanne. "Congratulations, though also my sympathies for the auspices under which you rose." As for good news and happiness, she has to lean back and consider. She may not be family or fealty, but she offers up something nonetheless: "My trip to one of the clans that has bent the knee under Blackram was, I'd say, successful." There is a sidelong look to Arik who knows well how -that- all went. Successful is one way to put it!
Frosty, a friendly English sheepdog, Jules arrive, following Svana.
"Congratulations on saying a bunch of words that I don't even know what they mean, Mirk," Brianna teases him, raising her glass to him. As she talks, Caleb tries to steal a honey cake from her plate. She intercepts without even looking down. The boy looks up in awe at her ninja powers. He ain't even mad. "I don't have too much to report. Things are... oddly normal? Hopefully my good news will come once we are out of mourning."
"Good news... I'm alive, Cascade Springs is blissfully not caught up in the fervor of the rest of the continent... nor is Whitehold." Arik echoes a more basic bit of news akin to Brianna's seeming to gloss over whatever it is Teagan references with a long sip of whiskey.
Svana walks in, being escorted by her new husband. She's dressed in a very daring ensemble that she normally wouldn't wear - but there's a chance that she was in a hurry to leave with Jules. She moves to sit down and tries to wave discreetly but excitedly to several of her friends in the crowd, notably Rowenova and there's a bow for Lady Volcica. She murmurs something quietly to Jules and squeezes his hand as they sit.
"It is me, Tarik" Tarik putting his glass down as he answers Mirk's question."I am not really that mysterious.. You know me I am pretty much mundane, but I seem to be involved with interesting people." A slight smirk appears on his face as he looks over at Rowenova, "I guess it was just a mater of time that I would find myself in the company of the most amazing woman in Arvum.
Brianna gives Tarik a mischievous grin over the rim of her glass. "Not so fast, Goodman Tarik. I understand I am to give you challenges to prove you are worthy of our Rowenova."
"Ah. The peoples of the Suthyrn Reaches. The continent between Arvum and Cardia," Mirk supplies for Brianna, blinking, seeming to just realize how obscure that particular topic might be. "It was burned to ash five hundred years ago, so I've been trying to make sure they're remembered." He turns his attention to Tarik, then, making a scoffing sound at something he says. "As long as you're both happy, I'm pleased to hear it, then." He raises his glass in a silent toast to the pair of them. He nods his head at the news from Teagan and Arik, letting them both pass without comment.
Nova welcomes Svana and Jules to settle near herself and Tarik, giving them the status update about what is going on before she looks up toward Mirk and does so with a smile after Tarik answers his question. She laughs about the awed look on Caleb's face before she turns to look straight at Tarik once more with an esteemed gleam in her cobalt-blue, kohl-lined eyes. "Thank you." Although that is softly spoken, and very simple, it is spake with sincerity. Then, Bri's addition draws Nova's attention with a little laugh! For Mirk, there is another thanks. "I appreciate that, My Lord."
Jules enters with Svana and yet seems rather comfortable in the setting or because of the people present. He waves here and there to people but is largely kept restrained and silent. Upon Tarik's announcement he gives a chuckle and a clap of his hands at the announcement. He leans over towards Svana and speaks softly periodically so as to not disrupt the proceedings of the evening.
Khanne nibbles on the few things she has put on her plate while listening to the others. She smiles first to Caleb. "Well, aren't you grown up then! Did we feast upon the venison?" She grins a bit to Rowenova, nodding then looking to Mirk. She almost goes to speak to his question, but leaves that tidbit to Rowenova herself. It is her news, after all. Arik had gotten a look when he spoke to Teagan about congratulating her, but when the Marquessa does, she dips her head and offers a simple, "thank you," before then offering a congratulations of her own. "That is good ot hear. I have heard murmurings from others in the Compact that think some of us are letting too many bend knee. I thought that was the goal?" She shrugs a little. "I, for one, am glad to hear it." Turning to Mirk, she smiles. "That is exciting! Even if I myself don't know nearly enough about them myself. It is important to keep all memories alive." She dips her head to Volcica when she enters, gesturing towards the food in silent urging for her to partake before saying to Arik, "good... on all counts. Stay that way." She greets Jules and Svana as they join the table as well, saving Brianna for last. "Your good news will come soon enough, I hope. Very soon. Unless you feel need to wait a longer period of time to mourn your father, which I would of course understand."
"Oh, well congratulations to you two," Volcica offers to Rowenova and Tarik with a small smile. She glances to Jules and Svana as they enter, and to each person as they speak. "A friend and I discovered an important secret recently. I can't share it, but it made me happy to find it, and it certainly falls under 'good news'." She glances to Khanne, dipping her head in a little nod before gathering up some food.
"You're the duchess, my dear Khanne. You were closer to my father than I ever was. I defer to your superior judgment." Brianna works on her meal. Caleb feels the need to inform Khanne, "We ate the deer last week."
"Does he have a bow yet?" Mirk asks Brianna offhandedly, nodding his head to Caleb. "Or is that once he's older?"
There is an intense look of nervousness on Svana's face as she settles in, talking to Jules softly. She nibbles her lower lip and looks over at Rowenova, her eyes lighting up briefly when a mystery is solved. She mouths the word 'Congratulations' to her, looking genuinely pleased for her friend. The merchant reaches down and squeezes her husband's hand softly, keeping her eyes on those around her who speak.
Arik leaves his plate bare while nursing the whiskey with sips as the others speak and Khanne summates. "I have to wonder, Master and Mistress Fabron. Do you both intend to stay sworn to your respective Houses or are one of you of the mind to join Crovane or Stahlebn?"
"I have a bow, Cousin Mirk. I even named it Venator." Caleb looks really proud! Brianna looks a little uncomfortable with the Draconic name he gave his bow, but she holds her peace and eats her lamb.
Tarik dips his head to Briana, "I have already told, Rowenova that I want to prove that I am worthy of her love, so I welcome any challenges." Tarik lets out a deep laugh, "Not saying I am only going to accept those challenges, just that I welcome them." Tarik pours himself some more wine, "I will be going to the area around Lastlight Hold soon, probably with about the same numbers as I had with me when I found the last time. I think with that many people we should find something of importance or I am going to hear a lot of Southern nobles complain about how I led them to get their butts frozen off.
"Mmm. The goals in society's mind are ever shifting. I find it best to avoid what the masses insist upon." Teagan has a few items on her plate, but not a lot. In her usual non-Oathlander-esque way, she seems to be heavily partial to the whiskey. There's an arch of brow for Jules upon his arrival. "It seems every time I turn around, there you are, Master Jules." It's spoken lightly enough, considering she's the non-Northerner present. When Mirk speaks of a bow, she does glance towards Brianna. "I have a bow in need of a home." But ah, the boy has one already and Teagan seems satisfied enough with that. Of course she'd support a fellow archer. It's only reasonable.
To Khanne, Nova grins back. To Volcica, she smiles brightly. Then, their intrepid scout grins broadly at Tarik, "During the open hours a bit ago, I spake to our Duchess and Lady about how you said that you wished to work to prove yourself worthy, and so I decided to defer the quests and tasks to do unto the wisdom of my Halfshavs here. Well, our Halfshavs, really." Indeed, Nova points out each one of the noble Halfshavs of which there are 4 total. After what Tarik says about Southern nobles, she laughs. "Well spake, and wisely spoken about accepting and welcoming."
Khanne smiles to Volcica knowingly and nods, then turns to Brianna again. "Well, knowing him as I did, he wouldn't want any of us to dwell on his returning to the wheel. He was a man full of life and vigor, he would want us all to truly live as well... so, then, as I said, it will be very soon." She is not so familiar with Svana or Jules, so does not put them on the spot. "Anyone else with good to share before we move on?"
"Here's my challenge to you, Tarik. First, you must defeat me in single combat. Then, you must paint a life-size portrait of your beloved. Your third task? You must prepare a feast worthy of our Rowenova." Brianna nods to him gravely. Khanne gets a small half-smile. "As you wish, my dear, darling duchess. Now that you're a duchess, can I still yell at you to eat?"
"Venator, hm?" Mirk gives Brianna the side eye for a moment, but he nods his head. "You'll have to show me sometime. I think I was around your age when I started learning the bow," he tells Caleb. He falls silent after, though, and turns his full attention to Khanne.
Jules gives a smile to Svana and lightly pats her hand. He seems ever cheerful until he sees Caleb addressed and grows rather pale and a little worried. His eyes shift around and try to make an intense focus away. Thankfully Arik draws his attention and he gives a soft laugh, "Dear me, I suppose that has yet to be seen. I don't feel the urging to decide at once or wish to place anyone on undo strain." He gives a smile and a bow of his head, having lost attentoin on Caleb. At Teagan he chuckles and says, "And me without any haze today Marquessa! I consider it good fortune to see you again so soon!" At Khanne's question he looks to the duchess and says, "Dear me but I consider it good to have a delightful new wife and dear friends about me. Good to e alive." He chuckles and rubs his chin, seeming uncertain if he should have spoken up.
Caleb stage-whispers to Mirk, "Lord Rysen gave me a throwing axe but Brianna says if I throw it at anything other than a target, she'll take it away until I'm thirty."
Svana gives Jules a rather sidelong look when Arik starts asking the hard-hitting questions. She flushes momentarily and reaches out for the first glass, mug, or cup of something she can find, taking a long pull before she sets it back down. Looking back to Arik, she smiles easily. "I believe that I shall stay sworn to my respective House, and Jules to Crovane. For commoners, it is not always so easy, as both of us feel our families are within our separate Houses. I know mine certainly is; Lady Volcica took me in when I was young, and has always looked after me like an older sister." She pauses and takes another drink of whatever she picked up.
"That being said, I know that Jules' House is an extension of himself, therefore now an extension of me. I will do whatever I can to help he and House Crovane - as I'm sure he would House Stahlben, for me." Svana licks her lips and keeps her eyes fixed on Arik before she says, "Oh yes, and our good news is that we got married, as you all may have guessed by now. Hooray!" That hooray is sounding a bit dry at the moment.
To Caleb, Nova speaks, "Venator is a dangerous -- yet great -- sounding name for your bow!" She looks up with a respectful dip of her ribbon-clad noggin toward Duchess Khanne's words before she gives the table a bang of her cup. "Hooray!" she shouts out for the Fabrons.
Volcica looks to Arik as he asks after Svana and Jules, but doesn't comment. Instead, she just listens to the answers and the conversations around her. There's a small smile for Svana, of course, when she mentions her as an older sister.
"Congratulations," Khanne offers with a smile towards Svana and Jules. "Now, if I may first get some house business out of the way... " She looks around the table for any objections and assuming there are none, proceeds. "Brianna. First... yes, you can still yell at me to eat, as you always have. Second, you really do not need to call me dear darling Duchess or Duchess. I am still Khanne to you unless you have reason to call me be one of my titles." Her head tilts slightly, mist-grey eyes studying her cousin a moment. "Third, have you been working with Arik further?"
"I know, dearest, darlingest duchess. I'm just being a pain in the ass," Brianna replies sweetly.
"As for your other question, yes, I have been working with him and learning about the duties of House Sword. I've even learned more about how to use a damned sword. The things I do for you," she says dryly.
"I mean, you can still use your axe and be Sword," Khanne grins to Brianna. She looks up then to the rest of the table. "You see, Brianna is to be named House Sword soon. My brother, Arik, has made his wish to retire as such known to me, and I will honor his request. Please, do congratulate her on her soon to come title."
Arik finshes off his whiskey and seems to be staring into the bottom of the glass before actually sliding it away from himself, "We haven't gotten to public composure yet." he offers to the table as he leans forward, drink done and plate unfilled instead folding his forearms one over the other. His attention settles on Caleb as he stage-whispers, "We'll have to think of suitable things to put in front of Brianna's name. Frecklest mayhap?"
It is news to Nova that Arik is retiring the swordsmanship, and so she is momentarily surprises by this, but then she gives a couple bangs of her cup onto the table below for the new Sword, "Congratulations!" says she to Bri.
Mirk raises his glass to Brianna in acknowledgement of the announcement. "Congratulations, Brianna. I'm sure you'll be a fine Sword for our House."
As the others begin to delve into business, Teagan takes a moment to locate Chessa. The woman is interacting with some of the servants she's met on previous visits, but spots her charge's glance soon enough. She steps over and Teagan murmurs something to her. The blonde bobs her head in a nod and produces a folio, carting it over to hand to Arik. At the announcement made, there's an arch of brow that follows from Khanne to Arik and then to Brianna with a tip of the head toward her. "Congratulations. Perhaps you could encourage my cousin, Lady Teela, to do the same for Blackram. She's always been hesitant to accept."
Caleb, delighted, stage-whispers back to Arik. "/Bossiest/."
Jules raises his glass to Brianna and Arik with a smile on his face as he does so but otherwise remains silent to allow others the opportunity to carry on.
Svana gives a clap of her hands at the announcement, smiling at Brianna. She may not know all the nobles extremely well but that doesn't mean she can't share in their joy, particularly when they seem well-qualified. "Congratulations!"
Nova tries hard not to crack up after Caleb's response. It is not working!
Brianna bows her head graciously. "Thank you all for the good wishes. I will do my utmost to serve my house and family with honor." Nova gets a Look, though a grin tugs at the corners of her mouth.
Arik accepts the folio from Chessa and then briefly opens it before smoothing it back out. It's left near his elbow by Khanne as he murmurs something in an aside to his sister before commenting, "I have been House Sword since my eighteenth year. Frostfang has ever been an honor to wield in the name of my house as well as in the footsteps of my Father. When Brianna is ready she will be a fierce House Sword for my sister. A pair of women will mayhap bring great change to the North once again like the time of Queen Valeria and her own sister."
Dimples, a Kite of the Cloudspine arrives, delivering a message to Arik before departing.
"I have every confidence that you will, Bri Bri." Khanne smiles at Arik a bit crookedly. "Thank you, brother. We women are forces to be reckoned with, for certain. Though naming Queen Valeria certainly gives me gigantic shoes to fill... Thank you." She looks up and around again, eyes settling on Mirk. "Now, Mirk. We have worked side by side on many a thing, and through it all, I have come to know a few truths about you. One, you are dedicated to your family and seeing our House succeed. Two, you are hard working. Three, you have a mind for politics, diplomacy, and economics unmatched by... well, just about anyone. It is these things, and more, that make me feel confident in naming you, Lord Mirk Halfshav, Voice of Halfshav House."
Arik coughs at the same time as saying "hrkdodgedthatonehewhwoofmph" brings a hand to his mouth while eyeing Mirk with a glint to those silvered grey eyes.
"I do have future plans for this position as well, but I will wait until the appropriate time to announce that..." Though Arik's 'coughing' earns an icy glare from Khanne.
Arik looks from Mirk to Khanne and then to Brianna as his hand lowers only remarking, "I'm still War Minister, it's not as if I'm shirking all duties."
Nova grins back to Brianna then looks forth to Mirk with a bright smile, "Congratulations, My Lord! Well earned!" She cannot help but laugh about Arik's reply.
"Queen Valeria is an apt description for our Khanne. The only one who could defeat me." Brianna grins. She applauds for Mirk. "You deserve it, cousin."
Mirk keeps a neutral faceas Khanne turns her attention to him, but there's a sense that he knows what's coming and isn't entirely happy with it. But there's not one word of complaint. "Thank you, Cousin, for your trust and your praise. I'll strive to be worthy of the honor and to represent House Halfshav ably and honorably," he says with a formal dip of his head towards Khanne. "And you need only tell me about your plans and I'll do my best to help see them through." Not even a glance at Arik.
Svana claps for Mirk and smiles at him, nodding a congratulations in his direction while she reaches for her drink and downs the entire thing. She licks her lips and sits back in her chair, crossing her legs while she releases Jules' hand from hers and folds her arms over her abdomen.
Jules raises a glass again to the mention of Mirk being made voice of Halfshav in toast and a smile to Lord Mirk.
"Congratulations, all of you." Belatedly, that seems to include Brianna, Arik -and- Mirk!
"Congratulations, Lord Mirk. Now all the more reason for me to bother you with various matters." Teagan is joking. Maybe. The woman delivers it in enough of a deadpan that one could be easily forgiven (and understood) for taking her seriously. She does spend a moment eating what she has put on her plate, though it's kept light. Can't take up room that belongs to whiskey.
Khanne smirks at Arik then smiles as others begin to congratulate Mirk now. Brianna's comment gets a bit of a blink but she soon returns her attention to Mirk. "As with Brianna being Sword, I have every confidence you will do so, Mirk. Thank you." She looks around again. "I do not currently have any further official announcements to make, though there are more to come, some in the very near future, some a bit further out. Now... I open the floor to any others who wish to address important issues or concerns. But first! Take more food, more drink, enjoy this time of togetherness, even if topics become more serious." She pours herself a bit more whiskey and starts to search for the pastries.
When Khanne encourages them to eat and drink, Nova happily obliges this and fills up her own plate with enough food for a small scouting unit here, but the wolf scout will likely devour it all on her own!
Rowenova says in Northlands shav, "Speaking of challenges, I accept any, to prove myself, too." says she as she fills her plate in a strategic way, "I do not mean to sit idle while my Tarik here busts himself trying to complete all these quests. So, anything that you four can think to challenge me, I welcome those challenges."
"A brief foray into politics... Given the impending Crusade and ongoing Saffron Chain war that Pravus is waging..." Arik trails off as fingers drum on the table a pause while finding the words. "It would behoove House Halfshav to consolidate various discoveries we have made over the last decade. Salt mines, shav tribes that have inclinations to kneeling, outstanding holdfasts or relics of the past within our domain. If any of you are familiar with shav tribes especially and their relative location within the Whitehold or Cascade Springs domain. I will be preparing a report for the House to make decisions."
When Lord Arik speaks of making reports about the shav tribes as well as the geographical resources, Nova perks up. "I would love to assist that one."
"I'll await hearing more, then," Mirk says with a nod of his head to Arik. "But I trust your judgement regarding military matters. This sounds like an excellent time for consolidation, since we're likely to be left undisturbed for the time being, at least in Whitehold."
For the moment, Teagan lapses into quiet as she alternates eating and drinking while observing the others. At one point, however, she does comment: "This is much more structured than any Blackram gathering has been. We usually just drink, eat, and hope we don't forget to bring up the important matters at some point in the proceedings." Ah, the savages of the Oathlands.
Khanne gives a nod to Arik at his words and with Mirk's. "I will look forward to the report. Thank you." Smiling, she says to Teagan, "oh, most of ours are not at all like this. But sometimes, there are matters to take care of. I believe... you yourself were invited here to speak on a topic of great import?"
Svana takes the opportunity to load up a plate with nearly one of everything. She glances to Nova, then her plate, as if to tell her 'look, I'm eating' - but she merely nibbles at some of the things. She is begrudgingly munching.
Tarik raises his glass and dips his head , "Congratulations, Lady Brianna." Tarik lets out another deep laugh, "So, I guess I will try to defeat you in wrestling, because obviously sword fighting is now off the table. Tarik cheers Mirk followed by another dip of his head., "Congratulations, I guess I will be pestering you even more, Lord Mirk." Tarik turns to Arik, "The only information I know is the information I uncovered with Lady Clover's help about the shav's tribe that were noted by Scholar Francis the Pedantic.
"This is the most formal Halfshav dinner I've ever attended," Mirk says in a dry tone to Teagan, chuckling. "Of course, this one is a special occasion." He nods to Tarik, and then looks between Teagan and Khanne, expectant.
When Svana demonstrates that she is eating, Nova seems satisfied and smiles. Reaching over, she gives the woman a squeeze on her shoulder before she then frees her to eat without pestering. Nova casts her cobalt/kohl-lined gaze toward Tarik beside her, curiously observing him and raptly listening, too.
Jules glances around for a moment, having seemed to have lost himself for a good little bit of time and leans over to whisper to Svana.
Brianna looks over to Caleb and Alec. "Why don't you tell us about your momentous stag hunt? I know Caleb is dying to tell everyone."
Jules stands to try to discretely leave behind and gives a few waves to those present and a smile still on his face as he prepares to depart with Svana.
Svana quickly grabs up a honey cake from her plate and pushes the rest away, bowing to Lady Volcica and the other nobles while winking at Rowenova before she links her arm with Jules' and heads out.
Frosty, a friendly English sheepdog, Jules leave, following Svana.
"Well, that's good to know at least," Teagan tells Mirk and Khanne. "Can't have the North being more civilized than the Oathlands." This is much more clearly a joke. Especially from a woman who spends more time with Northerners than she does her 'own' people. At the mention of having something of importance, she looks around the table. Mostly at those she doesn't know at all. Hesitation brews. This, here, is the classic Teagan. Stoic. Withdrawn. Finally she takes a deep breath and gestures to Arik and the folio she'd had passed to him. "Show that to Lord Mirk and your sister, please."
The woman opts to stand for this part, but not before refilling her whiskey and taking a large drink. "Unfortunately, then, it falls to me to be the one to deliver ill tidings. Myself and the leadership of Telmar were contacted recently by Princess Zara Valardin. Latest intelligence shows the Thornweavers are moving towards the northern edge of the Oathlands. Towards the Cloudspine. Which puts them on a trajectory for the northern border. They're seeing to free other Sylv'alfar. She has asked that we let her know what of her boon from King Calithex will be beneficial. I bring it to you-" she looks to Arik and Khanne, "before Farhaven -- though they are Blackram's nearest neighbors -- because we have ties. My cousin grew up in Sanna. And I know Lady Tesha was invited to be here as well. I've also worked with you before and know I can trust your insight. We hold territory in the Red Mountains. That gives us connections in the earth." She looks to her glass and takes another drink before shrugging. "And if I'm to contemplate such horrors -- having witnessed, first-hand, what just one of these bastards can do -- I would rather do so with friends."
Alecstazi has been quiet during this dinner, though when Brianna mentions the hunt, Alec smiles and reaches out to ruffle Caleb's hair. "I will say that Caleb showed great bravery during the hunt. He found the spoor twice and got a great shot on the stag."
Nova chows down with a fork in one hand with opposing hand is under the table, but then she swallows down her last bite and Nova looks up toward Teagan, "Thank you for your trust in House Halfshav." says she with deep sincerety, apparently finding a deep respect for the mentioned ties. "I would like to somehow assist in helping protect the sleeping Sylv'alfar, if we can find them before the woke ones do."
Arik slides the folio to Khanne since they're beside one another, letting her and Mirk get some context before commenting himself.
A messenger arrives, delivering a message to Alecstazi before departing.
Khanne takes the folio in hand, leaning towards Mirk so they can both read it.
"House Stahlben will help however we can, as well. I'm not sure how, but we'll figure it out, I'm sure." Volcica glances from Teagan to Khanne, then to Mirk and Brianna.
"I'm working with Sir Corban to help thwart the Thornweavers. We'll see what comes of it," Brianna says grimly. She smiles at Caleb, proud of his hunting bravery.
A messenger arrives, delivering a message to Brianna before departing.
Alecstazi turns his attention to Teagan as she speaks and when the pages are passed towards him, he offers to share with Brianna, reading along. "This is, indeed appreciated, Marquessa Blackram. Everything I have heard about these woodelves has been disturbing, to say the least."
"I don't particularly trust any elves, if I'm being honest," Brianna mutters.
Khanne tilts her head to the side and back. "I like the marin'alfar. They've been the most... sane? That I've seen." Looking to Arik and Mirk then, she asks, "thoughts?"
"I've been raising the Thornweaver movements and Undying Empire settlement within the Red Mountains as a concern for some time. If House Telmar and their vassal have cause to become involved then all the better for us to act early and prevent the Thornweavers from coming North of the Red Wall of Telmarch." Arik points out in a matter of fact tone.
Mirk accepts the folio, nods his head, and studies it as Teagan speaks. There's a deepening frown on his face, and he looks back up with keen attention. "This is not good news. I'm open to any suggestions on how to respond to their movements, but I'm not certain how to fight them. Their power is...utterly overwhelming. But we know that there are other sleeping or sealed Sylv'alfar."
"Thank you," Teagan tells Rowenova before she retakes her seat. She downs a fair bit more of her drink. "Lord Mirk, I know you worked with Marquessa Igniseri regarding research into the vines. I plan to reach out to her again since she spoke of success with Artshall. If not in defeating them, at least keeping them away. I also have intent on seeing as much Elfblight planted through the Cloudspine as possible. I recommend convincing any in the North to do the same." She tips her head in a nod to Alecstazi and Volcica both and to Brianna she says: "In this, the Nox may be beneficial. They are enemies of the sylv'alfar. And I will tell you, from what I saw at High Hill... They are not to be underestimated. Just one of them decimated the forces of Telmar, Blackram, Rivenshari, and Valardin. We need all the help we can get." There is a tilt of her head towards Arik. "My cousin, Lord Cahal, should already be reaching out to some of you regarding scouting through the Red Mountains. Extra precautions will need to be taken in light of this-" she gestures towards the folio, "news."
"That, I can at least address. Scout Rowenova," Mirk says, looking to Rowenova. "If you would care to discuss the findings from House Igniseri regarding the Thornweave vines?"
"Elfblight isn't something the northlands will permit mass planting off nor is it something that can truly be planted very widespread. Not the sort of elfblight that does anything to Sylv'alfar." Arik remarks with a look towards Khanne and Mirk as the rare plant is brought up.
Brianna has left the magnificent wood slab table.
2 Halfshav skilled veteran guards, Domino, A Pridehall Highlands Cow named Sunflower leave, following Brianna.
Tarik remains quite as the talks of the elfbright and Thornweavers are being brought up.
Volcica hesitates a moment, before speaking up. "We could try to find the names of the sealed and the sleeping. It would be dangerous, and we'd need to find someone who can.. give them back, but it's something to look into."
Khanne nods and looks to Teagan, "I have been helping others as well on this very matter, albeit in other ways. Whatever Halfshav can do, we will. And I would encourage our vassals," she nods to Volcica at this, "to aid as well if they are willing and able." She nods again when Arik speaks. "Elfblight... is not something that can be planted just anywhere, by our old traditions." She pauses. "The Spirits do not like workings of blood, you see. Also... I would not wish for it to harm the sleeping ones."
Arik adds, "Also there are not enough people capable of growing and -watering- it to plant it in fields or something of that nature."
After Teagan's thanks, Nova nods back. She also nods once more after the request made by Mirk before she tells them all. "Aye, I recently went on a scouting trip for House Igniseri. We travelled to where Thornweave vines were and we managed to cut off ends and bleed-and-milk them for their vine sap, so that the alchemical solvent which can work against them can be made, but that is not all: we went deeper to see that the vines had captured many people, so many people, in these twisted clusters. All those people were /still alive/. Lord Ian Kennex managed to help free a single person: bait-and-switch tactics before the archers in the party could mercy kill a few..." One of those was probably her. She presses her cherry-glossed lips together in a flat line before speaking further, "Before... the whole vine mess went crazy from being 'bothered awake'? Like it had a primal mind of its own to lash back plus reach out for further kills, too." She almost says more but then shuts up for a brief breather here.
After the briefest pause, "There are plans to go get more sap very soon."
"Names, alchemy, Elfblight are all tools. If we have nothing better the fallback has always been send House Swords with small portions of the army to try and handle the situation. Ideally something a little less brute force and simplistic but... If time is running short." Arik shrugs and judging by the way he says it, this seems to be old hat for him in the advice department.
Arik does belatedly tick off names, "Dame Morrighan, Sword Cillian, myself, Telmar doesn't have a sword but Duke Ansel is a possibility."
"It also responds to use of primum," Mirk mentions to Teagan. "Even the smallest use will do. Any with special talents should be cautious near the Thornweave's works."
"I have been wanting to experiment with non-human blood. Everyone I've spoken with assumes it requires it or has refused to try, period, because of the required component. If it could use animal blood, well. We butcher enough to feed ourselves that we may as well see the blood put to use." Teagan seems utterly nonplussed at the idea of it. But then... that's Teagan. "I know Artshall grows quite a bit in their gardens. I think it should be considered as a precaution nonetheless. Even if members of armies are just instructed to wear one. I know of some who do so regularly, as if it were another piece of armor." She looks to Khanne, tilting her head slightly. "I understand not wishing to disrupt the Spirits, but I also truly believe we need everything we can get." Nova's story doesn't seem to surprise her at all. "All were dead at High Hill, most speared on vines. Prince Caius died in an instant. From one breath to the next he was there and then he wasn't; a tree of vines and spikes in his place." Beat, tilt of her head from side to side. "Well. Pieces of him were still there. Some have said a specific kind of magic is the only way to defeat them. I refuse to believe that. I have seen evidence it's not true. They are just, unfortunately, very difficult to defeat." She does look to Arik and gives a small shake of her head. "A Sword and a small contingent would be wiped out. The Valardin knights, my pikemen, Telmar's infantry. In seconds they were all gone." The Blackram does tilt her head to Mirk in a nod. "This is why I do not think those with special abilities are the only way. King Calithex gave the boon in specific response to a request for aid against them. I have to trust what's been offered will be of benefit and to find a way to use it to its maximum potential." Beat. "Though, as Princess Zara, I am not certain how to make use of a rabbit, but I hunt them. I don't tend to them."
Arik clucks his tongue quietly and clarifies, "All blood magic is abhorrent to spirits whether it be animal or otherwise. The power and thus deterrent of the elfblight is linked to how potent the primum offered is. Animals may make elfblight that makes sylv'alfar sneeze at worst."
Khanne smiles politely to Teagan. "I also believe in using everything to our best advantages. In my experience, which is not quite a small amount, I have had better luck staying on the good side of the Spirits and Elements. They can be asked to assist at times. And if they were to, well... I would hate for them to turn away with disgust. That said... they do not see the flowers themselves as abhorrent, but the act in which they are watered." She waves a hand. "It is a grey area and complicated. There are other ways, and we can help with those."
Tarik leans in and kisses Rowenova on the cheek. Tarik rises from his seat, "My apologizes, I have a meeting that I must go too." Tarik dips dips his head to the nobles and heads out.
Mirk looks skeptical at the mention of animal blood, but he doesn't offer a word of advice or correction. Instead, he scowls at the mere idea of blood magic. "I'll leave that to your discretion, Marquessa, but I don't believe I'll be partaking in that particular experimentation. All I can say is this: Old souls might rise to the challenge of defeating the Thornweavers." He nods his head to Tarik. "It was a pleasure to see you, and thank you for being here."
Tarik has left the magnificent wood slab table.
With one last squeeze to Tarik's hand, Nova lets go. "Do you want company?" Curiously inquires the wolf scout before looking forth toward Mirk.
Since Tarik runs off before she can get that answer, Nova shrugs slightly before turning back to her Halfshavs. She gives a smile to Mirk. Though, it only lasts so long because they are talking about the sad Sylv'alfar.
"We have a shaman in Blackram." That -might- be a surprise to some. Maybe not, those that know Teagan and the Cloudspine are far, far from your typical Oathlanders. "I may send her your way, Lord Mirk, to discuss what can be done. I have no want to anger the Spirits, but I also do not wish to put my people in harm's way. There's been too much of that in recent years." She moves to clasp her hands, but shifts to run fingers over the charms on her bracelet instead. "Thank you though, all of you. I'd like to schedule a meeting with Telmar and Princess Zara soon to discuss concrete plans. I'll be sure to let you-" this mostly directed to Khanne, as Duchess, and Arik, as War Minister, "know once we do."
"However we are able without going against our beliefs, we will help," Khanne assures to Teagan. "We can perhaps have a more quiet talk about it soon." Nodding she adds, "perhaps with them, if you like, or before.... or after...' She looks around the table and asks, "Anyone else have any business before we get too far into the bottles?"
"That sounds good," Mirk says, nodding to both Teagan and Khanne. "I have nothing to add to the discussion. It's been a night." He forces a low chuckle, shaking his head slowly.
A messenger arrives, delivering a message to Rowenova before departing.
Nova cleans her plate of every spec of food unless it was bone. She leans back with a bottle in hand, "Quests and Tasks for Tarik and me are my only business which also involes you three, if you wish it to." With her bottle, then the Halfshav servant motions to Khanne, Arik, and Mirk. "Otherwise good."
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