Grayson Siege Meeting
April 12, 2017, 9 p.m.
Arx - Ward of House Grayson - Grayson Mansion - Great Gray Hall
Comments and Log
Tikva moves toward the piano to array herself at it. She cracks her knuckles dramatically, raising her hands in the air, and tests the musicality of the instrument, playing a quick scale up and down the keys. She hums a few bars to herself, and then her fingers begin to fly over the keyboard, providing a pleasant, sprightly accompaniment to the grown-familiar tune to the theme song she wrote for Reese. She plays like a goddamned professional, and she belts out the words with both volume and a mellow sweetness to her singing voice, rather like she was born to it.
Peregrine precedes her husband into the hall by several paces. Given the long, focused stride and the impassive set of her features, it might be safe to assume that the newlyweds are YET AGAIN feuding. Ahh, romance. Young love! She possesses enough focus, at least, to offer up curt nods-- one to Reese, another to Luca. Tikva misses out but only because the notes of the piano cause a blink and a detour, the Prodigal woman prowling around the lady at her playing like a cat inspecting a rocking chair found in the middle of the forest.
Barric comes into the hall from outside, looking around he finds a quite spot to sit, whistling to Synder to follow and sit next to the seat he has found. He nods to those he knows which is everyone there it appears, words not leaving his lips as a server brings around a glass of wine to him. "Thank you." Then two words are spoken and he waits for the meeting to begin.
Reese smiles to Luca when he arrives, a smile that reaches her blue eyes and brings a flush to her cheeks. She returns the kiss, but being mindful that they are in a room filled of people she keeps it brief and chaste herself. The Grayson princess is then distracted by Tikva's song. She looks over to her with this wide-eyed expression, seemingly flattered and impressed at the very same time. "Wow...she is incredible." She say softly to Luca. She gets a few messages. Sometimes they never stop. Reese then smiles over to Peregrine, Calarian and Barric. "Oh, welcome everyone and thanks for coming. We have cake and we have lots of drinks." She says, gesturing toward the bar. "Soon we will begin.
Reese has joined the a magnificent map table of Arvum made of oak and marquetry inlays.
A messenger arrives, delivering a message to Reese before departing.
Luca has joined the a magnificent map table of Arvum made of oak and marquetry inlays.
Ainsley has joined the Plush Couch.
Tikva has joined the a mahogany grand piano with an ornately carved cabinet.
Calarian is not, strictly speaking, necessary at a meeting such as this, but perhaps he's here as an -- escort. Or chaperone. His manner is far more contained and restrained than his wife's, but the combination of chill between them certainly indicates a certain marital discord. He makes his way to the table while Peregrine detours to the piano, offering Reese a smile. "Of course," he says, inclining his head to her. "Prince Luca, a pleasure to see you again," he adds to the Lycene prince.
Peregrine has joined the a mahogany grand piano with an ornately carved cabinet.
Calarian has joined the a magnificent map table of Arvum made of oak and marquetry inlays.
Tristan strides into the hall, clad mostly in horse hair. Well, there are _clothes_ under there, but it's spring. Season of horse hair. He is accompanied by an entourage of dogs, one well-behaved mastiff, and Patches the wonder dog, who hops in happily and tries to figure out who to make friends with first.
"She seemed to get away all right," Esoka replies to Reese, of Mae. "The Bringers are fierce foes, though. It might do to pay her a call." She gets herself a mug of mead, smile broadening as Tikva begins to play. Those entering are noted and nodded to politely. Peregrine might get the slightest longer, deeper tip of her chin. Calarian, following, is looked over with some curiosity. But her eyes don't linger on him long.
There is Maude, entering the room, clad in black mail over a black dress. One never knows where stabbings could happen these days. She strides through the hall, her footsteps only subtly uneven on account of her limp, a thick leather binding tucked under one arm. There is a giant war table, so that is where she goes. The older woman stops at the edge of the map and gives it a long narrow-eyed look, panning from one end to the other, far far away, before looking up and fixing her gaze on Reese. "Princess. How are you, your Highness?" she asks with a faint smile, then looks around at the rest of the hall.
Reese smiles to Tristan as he arrives. She then looks back toward Esoka, sucking in a soft breath. "I will make sure to find her soon." She says softly, sounding worried. Still that doesn't keep her from hosting and she smiles over to Maude a moment later. "Oh, I am well and very glad to see you, Lady Maude. Can I get you a drink?"
Killian is late, but then, he does so terribly try to be fashionable. He clanks a bit, as he walks into the great hall, his armor showing signs of recently having been repaired.....again. He's at least stopped coughing at this point, though he looks a bit more pale than usual, which with his white hair just makes him look even worse. He has his helmet off, carried at his side, and his cloak is back out of the way as he strides towards the area of the meeting. At his side, as though she owns the place, is Frostbite..the wolf doesn't seem in the slightest either intimidated nor unused to the environs. His owl flutters in and perches on his shoulder, delivering some missive in the process, before settling. "Sorry I'm late," he apologizes in a non-specific murmur to the gathered.
Tikva keeps up her cheerful playing, singing out a long list of ways that Princess Ribbons has, you know, destroyed Bringers: "--Blew 'em apart, cut 'em in half, smashed 'em flat and crushed the chaff--" only, between verses, to break off. Still letting her fingers dance across the keys as she plays on the tune, she interrupts her recitation of the words to go, "Oh, are we starting?" and turn a sunny smile toward Peregrine; she trills through a musical crescendo in the upper registers of the piano's tones, caroling, "Evening, Princess Peregrine. I'd take requests, if we were here more socially. But perhaps I ought to stop?"
Peregrine is terrible because there are immense gaps in her knowledge. Like, the unspoken rule that one does not reach out and press a key while someone else is playing the piano. Tink! A sour note! But the sudden grin she gives Tikva is almost violent in its delight. "Is good," she declares both the instrument and the woman playing it. "Do more." Juuust a little bossy, and nevermind there's a meeting to be held here. She flaps a hand in encouragement-- play, play!-- and then allows that gesture to transition into a hail of Esoka. Something is called out in Crownlands shav to mark her recognition there.
Ailys moves into the area, herself left her guards outside. She moves to sit next to Barric as she looks to those that have gathered. "we have got to come together for better things. Promise me we will have a ball when this is all over.." she says to no one really.
Peregrine says in Crownlands shav, "Woman with the fists! Spirits bless you and your knuckles!"
Reese peeks over to Peregrine and Tikva and her cheeks are pink. "Oh, we can one more song before the meeting starts." She says. "But maybe just one. We have much to get to." The healing princess is then given a warm smile.
"You as well, Cal. More so in one piece after that mess at the Badger, eh?" Luca replies back to Calarian with easy, bright grin and his usual goodnatured foreshortening of names and doing away of titles of people he's got the least bit fond of. Something not everyone takes so well, especially in formal settings. He's grinning aside thought to Peregrine's fascination with the piano and using the glance to nod in turn to Reese, laughingly adding. "It's quite the catchy tune actually. I could swear I heard someone humming it the other day in the Boroughs." Glancing then aside to Calarian, he asks something quietly.
Tikva checked stamina + performance against difficulty 30, resulting in 43, 13 higher than the difficulty.
Tikva picks up her song right where it left off, which is, of course, just about right at the part where Luca comes into it. "So who would Princess Ribbons claim?" she sings out, tilting backwards slightly in her seat on the piano. "But the rascalliest blade you could name?" The keys tremor a little as she catches her breath between stanzas, and she winces visibly as the shift of her weight on the piano player's seat jars her ribs. "Ngh," she grunts, but the show must go on, apparently, because she blasts onward with a fresh force of new breath into the rest of the verse, "--that brightest spark of the Champions' Guild--" Hey, he's right over there. You'd think she'd have some shame about this, but apparently no. Bards have no shame.
Reese seems a bit confused about the situation in the badger, suggesting she only heard the short version. Still she doesn't ask at least not now. Luca might get a lot of questions later. She sits next to Luca, looking toward Tikva as she sings. The girl smiles with pleasure. She is a Grayson and so she does love songs about herself. She kisses Luca's cheek when he makes it into the song.
Maude raises a hand, then drops it again. "I suppose, under the circumstances, I should have tea or something. Is there tea, your Highness?" she asks Reese, glancing over for a moment and interrupting her contemplaton of the rest of the room. Noticing Killian, she stops and stares at her grandnephew, up and down, steely gaze traveling up and down in a thorough assessment. "Killian. You look terrible. I won't ask how you are feeling."
If Luca's shortening of his name causes Calarian great offense, he doesn't show it. He considers the Lycene prince with a brief study and the hint of humor in his gaze before offering a quieter reply to Luca's murmured question.
"Oh, there is many teas." Reese says to Maude while rising to her slippered feet. "I frequent Sir Silas' tea shop all the time." She murmurs, heading over to the bar. "Would you like to try the Orange Jasmine Tea?"
Ainsley is here, in a corner, being super quiet tonight.
Barric listens to the song and takes another drink of his wine, "A ball would be a lovely idea... though perhaps once the siege is over. With as much Bringer activity there has been in the city. It be a perfect thing to target... ESpecially one hosted by this house." he still smiles though and nods to Ailys, "But when it is all over yes... there should be one planned right away after."
Esoka settles in with her mead, only clanking some as she finds a place to sit. She's cleaned up her armor, but it's acquired several new dents over the past days. And during the course of the siege at large. That hail from Peregrine is returned. A more moderated gesture of her hand, but one of familiar greeting.
Peregrine slides onto the bench beside Tikva. She does not interfere with the keys again-- praise the gods-- but she does watch, very attentively, as the woman draws out music from the instrument. Though, when that wince is seen, her golden eyes draw narrow and she releases a soft sympathetic hiss of breath. Something quieter is said-- yes, Calarian, she is capable of quiet tones-- before she slides a look towards the map table.
Killian flashes Maude a little grin, never one to take things too terribly serious. "Why thanks Auntie, a fellow always likes to hear how awful he looks when he goes out!" He looks down at his armor as though checking himself over, before nodding, "All of the holes have mostly stopped bleeding, and the mercies aren't yelling at me every time I move anymore..as long as I don't start laughing, I'm fairly alright. For some reason the mercies seem to feel that coughing up blood every time I start laughing isn't how a body is supposed to work or something, but you know how picky and particular they can be, I'm sure it's just a flesh wound.." His voice, as he talks, sounds somewhat similar to a half dozen rusted nails sticking out of a board being drug down a rock face.
"We're certainly not having a ball until the siege is over," Calarian says on the breath of a long-suffering sigh.
Reese smiles at the mention of a ball. She seems to like the idea.
Ainsley does speak up on the heels of Calarian, "Our most wise Cousin is correct." He rolls his shoulders a moment, "No balls until the Siege is over." So sayeth the Voice.
Tristan just sighs at this talk of balls. Loudly.
Between verses, Tikva pipes at the piano, "Our collective balls should be quite occupied with standing up to the forces of the Abyss, anyway."
Killian mumbles, "I'm not letting the forces of the abyss anywhere near my balls, thank you very much."
Ailys nods and she did say 'when it was all over.' but she grins and smiles a bit as she waits for things to start. "yes me neither."
The Languid Prince Luca looks further delighted and distracted when he hears the new part of the song and it turns out to be about himself, a rich laugh escaping him and a thumbs up sent Tikva's way enthusiastically. A quiet nodding reply then to Calarian's at table, and a pause to arch brow at the talk of ball before he's asiding something to Reese, whose hand he's slipped his into where he stands by her, at least until she has need of it. His lips seem to part as if he were going to add something to the talk, but he shakes his head and quiets down before he begins, just murmuring something aside once again to Reese.
Maude turns to Reese again. "Orange and jasmine? Why not, I suppose? It'll keep my tongue entertained." she says with a smile and leans a hand against the edge of the table. Then her gaze turns back to Killian. "Next time I'll lie, then." she deadpans, then clicks her tongue and smiles. "Hmm. Yes. I prefer wounds on my /outside/ flesh but that's just me." she puts down her binder and rolls back her shoulders with a slight wince.
Reese looks over to Ainsley, giving the voice of nod of agreement. She then looks over to Esoka, moving close to her and trying to murmur softly to the woman. At some point she brings Maude a mug of tea. Maude might the only person in this room the princess will fetch drinks for. She smiles over to Tikva and Peregrine. "Do you mind if I start now and more songs after?" She says just a bit sheepish as if liking the music and wanting it to stop herself.
"Talk!" Peregrine is not a singer but her voice /does/ carry. She punctuates this instruction with a gesture, rolling through the air to indicate that the meeting should carry on.
Reese gives Luca's hand a gentle squeeze. She listens to his murmured words, smiles gently and says something softly in return.
Tikva finally stops bashing on the piano keys, and turns -- slowly, sloooowly -- to face the others with another wince for the impact of the movement on her broken ribs. "Ow." Tilting herself there on the bench, she draws her bootheels together, and says, "By all means. I'll play us all out when the meeting is over. For now, I'm sure you're right, there's work to do." Her bright gaze tips in Killian's direction and she grins a crooked grin as she adds, "Balls or no balls."
Esoka's brows arch to Reese, but she nods readily, murmuring something quick in return. Definitely //not// done softly is the snort that Killian's comment gets. She is amused. She seems happy to let the meeting get underway, for her part.
Killian is overheard praising Peregrine for: The tyrannic iron fist keeping the rabble (read: noble folk) in line!
Reese looks over to Peregrine, seemingly encouraged to start the meeting at her word. She then peeks over to Tikva, having a gentle smile for the redhead. Finally Reese looks over the room. "Tonight we are gathered to talk about the Grayson actions during the siege." She says lifting her voice to carry. "An attack is expected to happen soon. The Graysons along with the Lyceum are guarding the Eastern gate together." Reese then walks around the war table, pointing out the Eastern Gate in the Upper Boroughs to everyone. "We will be stationed here."
Whoever is standing closest to Killian, gets an aside from the white haired young knight as he notes, "I wonder if we could perhaps convince yon Princess to attend all official meetings and councils, to keep them running on focus and time," in a quiet tone before shutting up to listen to Reese...for the moment.
Luca brought his and Reese's laced fingers up to his lips to briefly kiss her knuckles at something she said, then was freeing her to do her war organizer thing while he just watches on growing vaguely more serious as the topic deserves.
Tikva sucks a little on her tongue, and finally pushes herself up off the piano bench to pace slowly, slooooowly, carefully, stiffly, over to Reese's map table so that she can squint down at it and get a better look at it. "Are the Ashford scouts going to be stationed with the rest of the Grayson forces?" she asks. "Or is there room for-- uh, not that I'm particularly in a condition for trying to stealth out of a besieged gate..."
Barric nods a little, not needing to see the map really to know where she speaks of. Knowing the wall and gate there pretty well. Then again he knows the city all over really well. He made a point to know it though. He nods to Reese, letting her know he understands.
Maude leans forward onto her fingertips by the table's edge, studying the map quietly for a moment before her attention shifts back to Reese. "Hm." she makes a sound, but nods along, otherwise silent. She glances at Tikva for a moment and purses her lips tightly. "For the time being, I don't believe there are any plans to send troops /out/ of the city. This may change."
Tristan leans over to study the map. His mouth twists a little, thoughtfully.
Calarian mostly remains quiet as the meeting begins; he is, after all, a diplomat rather than a warrior or a general. His opinion would probably not be very good.
Esoka does need to see the map, still in many ways a stranger to this city. So she noses in for a look. When told they'll be fighting with the Lyceums, her eyes go to Luca. Looking him up and down in a weighing sort of way. Then, back map-wards.
Reese stands near the Eastern gate on the map. The war table is quite large, meaning one has to walk around it to get to locations. From a box she takes a little roughly carved wood figure of lion and she takes a queen chess piece putting them on the map. Reese looks over to Tikva. "I have reached out to Lady Aislin about that. I believe they will be nearby on the rooftops and such of the lower boroughs, but not actually with our forces. They will be keeping watch, passing messages and probably getting ready to rain down arrows from the rooftops if needed. I am leaving the exact details in her capable hands though." She then turns her focus to Maude, nodding in agreement. "The plan current is that we stay inside the city and hold the gate. We will be side-by-side with the Lyceum in this effort. I am putting the forces in the command of Lady Maude and Duke Gabriel." She says, pointing to the figures. Reese then looks to Peregrine, likely to address her next.
Peregrine is also quiet. It is possible that's due to not entirely following the entire conversation. It is also possible she's a little distracted-- every few minutes or so, there's the softest little 'tink' from the piano, as her hand sneaks to the keys to press one. But, like all semi-feral beasts, she senses eyes upon her and looks up to stare back at Reese.
Reese takes a little and rather wild looking carved wooden bird, setting it on the map next to the chess queen and the lion. She looks over to Peregrine. "My hope is that the Princess Peregrine would be willing to join our Grayson forces at the gate." She says, looking in her direction. "Would you be? And do you have archers or mostly land troops?" She questions, lifting her voice to carry, but keeping her tone gentle. She is clearly asking and not commanding.
"All right, that makes sense." Tikva settles her weight on her heels, counts to three in her head, and manages not to grunt about her ribs, for all that there's a hint more pallor in her face than might ordinarily show there. She stares across the map surface with an intent frown for a long moment. "I'd almost prefer to be up on the walls by the East Gate, though. The Lower Boroughs themselves ... roofs or no roofs, it's not actually high ground. Anything beneath Esera's Bridge--" That's not what it's called, Tikva. "--feels like shooting blind. Well, I mean, we could guard against any further attacks that infiltrate from the harbor, but... I'm not a general, I guess." She teeters into silence, frowning.
Killian leans to one side to get a better look at what's going on and the map and such. He stares at it in intense thought for a few moments, considering it with a tremendously worried expression..before he looks in Luca's direction and gives a sort of shrug before settling back with an expression like 'yep, no clue what's going on' on his face as he listens. At least he looks like he's listening.
Luca remains attentive to the map other than a brief grin, shake of head, and murmur to Calarian, going back after to his slouching, hip-cocked thoughtful assessment and listening. No one's ever accused Luca of being a Lycene war leader or strategist, even though he's second in command of the Mirrorguard, but it seems after a number of real world bloodings against the Bringers, he _does_ have some small sense of things. Or at least enough to know when to pay attention and not just let his tendency to boredom overwhelm him. The tinking of the piano draws his cinnamon eyes upward and another lopsided flash of smiling teeth, but then Reese's question of the wild princess focuses his attention more curiosly there. He holds tongue for now on questions he might have, though he does nod briefly to Tikva's pointing out talk of being up on the walls.
Peregrine flicks a glance at Calarian, a look broken by a slow blink. "We are not like griffin armies. Gold Feathers, we are..." But Arvani confounds her and she switches to her mother tongue, a ripple of foreign words that are tossed at her husband, that he may translate for the room at large.
Peregrine says in Crownlands shav, "It is not our way to stand rooted like trees. We are quick and mobile, good for lightning strikes, for sweeping to flanks. We have three hundred archers but they do not need to be high, they shoot on the move. The rest are face to face fighters, best on foot. But we will go where the city griffins place us and do as the city griffins say. That is what we swore."
Ailys looks to Ainsley "if you need to reassign my guards you can, I employed myself a Champion" she says quietly. She looks over those in the room and she tilts her head listening watching the map before her.
Oh. This is happening. Calarian straightens up a bit, listening to Peregrine as she speaks and offering a quick, ready translation overlapping her words for the rest of the room. "It is not their way to stand rooted like trees. They are quick and mobile, good for lightning strikes, for sweeping to flanks. They have three hundred archers but they do not need to be high, they shoot on the move. The rest are face to face fighters, best on foot. But they will go where the city griffins -- ah, she means Graysons -- place us and do as the city griffins say. That is what they swore."
"Well, that sounds excellent," Tikva says a little wistfully, looking between Calarian and Peregrine with, like, naked envy in her eyes for guerilla warfare, apparently.
Peregrine somehow manages to both lift her chin with haughty pride /and/ nod at the same time, confirming Calarian's translation.
Killian clears his voice and speaks up, "There's..a high probability of the walls or gates being breached. If they would be willing to stand in reserve, then they might be an extremely effective force for eliminating those creatures which might penetrate into the city?"
Reese turns her attention to Tikva, listening to her with close attention. "You might be right." She says in her direction after a moment of quiet thought. "Would you mind talking to Lady Ailsin and seeing what she thinks? If she agrees with you, then I am all for that." She then reaches in her box for a little wooden tree, setting it on the map. She looks to Peregrine with curious interest as she speaks. She then turns her focus to Ailys. "I would prefer you keep all your guards. We need you safe. I was also hoping Princess Ailys, was going to ask..." She says an then pauses. "If you would come to the gates and stay in the back, ready to help our injured forces? I was am thinking that maybe you and Princess Isolde the healer for the Lyceum could coordinate this?"
Reese then looks to Peregrine and Calarian, once again all thoughtful. "I don't know much about that kind of warfare. If you would bring your forces and command them and set them up to fight how they fight best, that would be great though. There might be some standing around, I must admit. Your forces might be really good to help take down anythign that gets through the gate and past us, as they are so mobile."
Ainsley shakes a glance at Ailys and says, "Everyone should have at least one guard. I'll reassign one off." And then there is a glance to Tikva, his expression seeming rather torn; smile or frown? He appears to be trying to do both.
"We stand where is needed because when it is time, we fly," states Peregrine. That must be agreement to Reese's suggestion. And it is punctuated with another soft musical 'tink'.
Esoka offers a little bow of her shoulders to Maude. Commanding as she will be. "My sword shall be yours, my lady. For my part, I'm best in a straight melee, and shall hold the gate to my best." There's a look between Peregrine and Calarian, as he translates. Some measure of approval for the Grayson lord in her eyes. Her own Arvani is fluent, if accented with the sound of one who did not grow up with the language.
"If I may, your Highness." Maude says with a brief look and a nod of agreement to Reese, looking to Tikva and Peregrine next. She goes on on in a dry, explanatory tone, "The gate itself is very small, comparatively. We cannot simply mass the entirety of the Crownlands banners there. I am assuming either the walls or the gate /will/ be breached at some point. We will need troops to prevent the enemy from moving freely about should the outer perimeter be breached and fall on our forces from the rear or sides or simply strolling into the Lower Boroughs and the pit and so forth. There will be forces on roofs, there will be forces on the inner walls, to the Lower Boroughs and to the Ward of the Compact, etc, etc, etc. There are a number of prepared positions at various - ah - chokepoints and so forth." She nods curtly to Esoka as well.
Ailys nods her head to Ainsley, and then to Reese "I can be wherever you place me, Max and I can be silent as necessary" she smiles listening.
Reese looks toward Killian, sucking a soft breath. "It could be breached. We do have some internal defenses in the city. The Iron Guard, the Knights of the Solace and the Inquisition. That being said they are not going to be near the gate, I don't think and having mobile forces close to the gate that could chase down a breach, seems good." She then turns to Ainsley, nodding in agreement with him. "Especially those who can't fight and even those who stay home, should be protected." Reese looks upon Peregrine, giving her a hopeful smile as she agrees. Reese then turns to Maude, seemingly thoughtful and giving her a nod. "I would be a fool not to listen to you, lady Commander." She says, looking down at the map as if reconsidering things.
"They'll make good counterpoint to flank opposite the remaining Mirrorguard as we're alternately ground or stealth largely." Luca offers out as his first actual taking of part in things beyond just hanging near Reese. And holy shit, it seemed vaguely cogent as a thought compared to what might be expected. Apparently he's not _just_ a foppish flashy duelist anymore. After which, he's asking question of the gathered, specifically tailored at Reese and Maude, as the latter seems well-informed. "These preparations all seem inclined to preparing for inevitable breach of the gates. Is there anything being done actively to stop or slow that from happening? At least so far as is possible without dangerously opening the gates to try and push the forces back I mean?"
Reese smiles gently over Ailys. "Thank you. I hope that you and princess Isolde can run a triage station."
Dash the Guard Corgi, 3 Iron Guardsmen arrive, following Silas.
Barric stands and walks over to the table, "I am going to assume my place is simple as always... At the gates encase there is a breach?" Seems the PRince hasn't heard a thing about what he is too do yet and that seems the simplest answer and most likely is right.
Reese looks toward upon Luca as she speaks, seemingly thoughtful. "That is true. I am not sure what the mirror guard is doing exactly, only that the will be there, but I should reach out to Prince Talen and find out. Actually, that is something you could do, Prince Nimble." She says to Luca, giving him a job. "But maybe having the mirror guard and Princess Peregrine's forces stationed a bit more internally and mobilely instead of massed at the gates would make sense?" She says, looking over to Lady Maude. After all she has lots of experience. She then turns to Barric. "Yes, are one of our heaviest hitters, so it would be good for you to be there. I will likely be with you. Dame Esoka might be with us as well. Also your presence at the gates could help to inspire the Grayson forces. It helps to see us fighting with them. I a hoping that Prince Aiden will join with the archers."
"I'll talk to him." says Ainsley, of Aiden. He doesn't ask where he's going to be during all of this-- he seems to know his part.
Silas arrives with his small retinue, though he attempts to make his entrance as understated as he can manage. He nods to those he's familiar with and bows to the rest he knows only by name. "Just here to observe and consult if necessary. And to make a delivery or two," Silas announces before sidling towards the end of the table. It was Reese's show.
Tikva nods slowly, her breath quivering faintly as she lets out a long low breath. Rocking forward onto the tips of her toes, she plants both hands on the edge of the map table and leans the brace of her weight on her palms. Her voice strained with the pressure she is putting on her ribs for basically no reason besides to get a better look at the map, she asks just a little squeakily, "--What about you, Reese? Where will you be inspiring us?"
The talk has moved on but Peregrine is content. Her place might not yet be firmly decided. That's alright. She has a piano. Tink.
Barric nods some more to this and it was as he suspected really, "I think getting that new set of armor should be a priority now. I may have to give up my view of keeping things simpler for the idea that even that, could prove to help the troops rally if needed."
"The forces at the gates and on the walls are tasked with preventing just that, of course, generally speaking your Highness." Maude says to Luca with a nod and a wry smile, though she raises her hands, "We've seen what /could/ happen to a force ordered to go out. But fuck if I know. I'm no an expert on the magical and theological aspects of the situation. I am waiting to hear from Lady Calypso's opinion as the forces of the Lyceum will also be on the eastern wall." she picks up her cup of tea for a sip to wet her lips, "It may be safer to prepare for a breach and bleed the enemy further once it's inside the city, with a series of - hm, concentric defenses, if you will - but that remains to be seen."
Silas has joined the a magnificent map table of Arvum made of oak and marquetry inlays.
1 Grayson Guardsmen arrives, following Aiden.
Reese looks over to Ainsley, giving him a nod. "Thank you." She then turns to Silas, giving him a smile of greeting. Finally she turns to Tikva. "I am hoping to be with the Grayson troops, fight and hoping to help inspire in them. I can be back up leadership to Lady Maude and Duke Gabriel, but I having them take point." Reese then turns to Barric, giving him a nod. "We may e side-by-side like we often are." Reese then turns to Maude, listening to her closely. "We don't plan on leaving and we hope to hold the gate, but we might hold the gate. I am all for setting things up to defend in the case of a breach."
"I'll get with him to discuss." Luca nods to Reese's talk of Talen, apparently taking tasks well enough. Something that'll be useful later on no doubt when they're married and she's bossing him around properly. Going on though more somberly, he adds. "They took a hard hit at the Giant's Fell, but they're still some of Lyceum's best and will do their part, whatever it comes to." A pause then, a slight discomfort at speaking up at things like this, but apparently wanting to ask it regardless, the Lenosian prince glances between Reese and Maude again to ask. "If the breach is inevitable, is there any way that it could be...helped along in way that's most ideal for our side? Draw them into a trap that seems like a genuine breach I mean?" Leave it to the Lycene to consider the underhanded strategies. And Luca always claims he doesn't have a devious bone in his body!
1 Grayson Guardsmen leaves, following Aiden.
There's something about what Luca says, about drawing the Bringers into a trap, that has Tikva pricking up her ears -- not literally, she can't do that, she's a human with ordinary human ears -- and peering towards Luca with bright-eyed, animate interest. But she doesn't actually say words about it.
Reese turns her attention to Luca, looking all serious and down to business despite the relationship between them. "Its not inevitable." She says with all this naive hope, as if thinking it won't happen, but then she doesn't have Maude's experience. "However...we could lay a trap just in case." She adds, peeking over to Tikva and then looking back away.
Esoka's lips thin at the talk of traps. This is not where her particular set of skills lies, from the look of her, and there's a wariness to such things about her. She listens sharp to Luca, though. Thick brows arched. Silas' entry is noted, and he receives a little dip of her chin in acknowledgement.
Ailys stands and eases her way away from the table. She nods her head to those that remain as she retires.
"Is good, traps." Peregrine again. She caught that bit! "Best traps save lives."
Silas casually helps himself to the tea and cake. "Traps served the Cullers well when they got through the Docks..."
Killian doesn't whistle innocently at the mention of traps or such, his eyes roaming aimlessly about the room without meeting anyones eyes.
Ainsley looks up toward the ceiling, rocking on his feet a little bit.
Maude looks up from her cup of tea and stares at Luca for a moment, impassively. "Why, yes, your Highness." and saying that the corners of her mouth curve upward and her eyebrows arch, with a twinkle in her eyes. "There many ways to accomplish that. I myself have drawn up a few small plans for that possibility. Allow them to break through, bleed them dry on unfavorable terrain, encircle and destroy. If we were faced with a mere human enemy, that would be child's play. Unfortunately, we are not, which complicates things. Perhaps."
Tikva looks a little troubled, her brow creasing. Her gaze skips up towards Reese, skips over innocent Killian, and slides towards Ainsley across the room, and then she looks back towards the piano, reaching up as though she's going to rake her hand through her hair -- and then stops for fear of dislodging her hairpins, and lets her hand drop back to the surface of the table again.
Ainsley catches that look from Tikva, and sends her a half curl of his lips in a slow smile. Gray eyes briefly silver bright. Then his attention shifts to Maude.
Reese turns to Maude, seemingly thoughtful. "If we are going to do anything like that, we need to speak with General Calypso. It sounds promising and if she agrees, I am okay with it." She then pauses. "I am thinking in terms of having Princess Peregrine's troops being are more mobile troops, chasing after breaches. Of course if anyone wants to lay any traps, they are welcome to. I think the Ashford scouts, might be able to think of some traps to help contain breaches." She murmurs thoughtfully.
Ainsley briefly leans toward Peregrine, to murmur something quietly to her.
Luca looks mollified that someone else has considered this, and to Maude's point about the troops not being human, he nods simply, but lips quirk again to lopsided, roguish smirk and he adds. "There's some things to account for certainly. And I'm sure some are a lot more savvy than the rest. But by and large, the wall of Bringer skulls I've collected attests to them by and large being rather brute sorts of bastards that go down hard, but go down most certainly. Some have powers others don't, and no doubt some are actual strategic thinkers, but the hordes are just muscle, as are most of the beserkers and even most infiltrators I've found when it comes to it. Their strength and speed is the biggest thing, but they're overconfident because of it. I'd love to see them penned into some situation where their strength doesn't help them much. Drown them or burn them out once they're penned in. That sort of thing. Unfortunately, I'm shit with this sort of strategy, so I'm just babbling wishes and dreams here, but maybe something that can be brought up and coordinated with the Lycene side. Some of them are much more inclined to that."
The piano's charms have waned, and the talk is nothing that maintains Peregrine's interest. She stands and finds Ainsley there, leading her to tilt her head, to listen, and give the Prince an assessing look, after. A look soon split by one of those thunderstorm-force grins. Her response is softer, a quick word, and then she slides by the man to depart with only a sidelong glance flung towards Calarian. Prodigal on the loose!
Peregrine has left the a mahogany grand piano with an ornately carved cabinet.
1 Grayson Guardsmen leaves, following Peregrine.
Ainsley glances Calarian's way after Peregrine whispers to him. His lips curl upward a look of pure mischief on his face. Oh no, poor Calarian.
Maude puts down her cup and leans over towards the map of Arx and nods to Reese, "I'm waiting on Lady Calypso's reply on a missive I sent." then she nods to Luca, "Let me put it this way, then. If our enemies were humans and Bringers, we would have won already. No, your Highness, my problem is Brand. How much power does Brand actually wield? If he could have destroyed the troops at the gates like he did to the Valardin knights, why didn't he? And so on, and so forth. It would hardly do to invite the fox into our burrow by accident, no matter how sharp we think our teeth are."
Reese looks toward Luca, nodding in response to his words. "We could lay a trap and have some of our badass fighters waiting to take them down. It is a risk allowing there to be a break in the wall and some to get through and I am not sure how General Calypso will feel about that. However, if they break through, we could lure them in a certain direction and have some or badasses there waiting. We could set this up, without intentionally making a breach in the wall." Reese then turns to Maude, nodding in response to her words.
Calarian looks between Peregrine and Ainsley. His gaze lingers on the mischief in his cousin's face, and then he stands. "Excuse me," he murmurs, and then he turns to trail after his wife.
Calarian has left the a magnificent map table of Arvum made of oak and marquetry inlays.
1 Grayson Guardsmen leaves, following Calarian.
Ainsley rocks on his heels a moment and says mildly to Reese, "I could ask for... advice?"
"We could lure them," Tikva says with mild complacency, looking off into the middle distance as she laces her hands together.
Reese turns to Ainsley. "Of course." She murmurs softly. She sits down at the table, seemingly thoughtful. She might be slow to answer.
Ainsley squint a little bit at Reese and says, "I could /ask/ for /war/ advice? From You Know Who?" He's REALLY BAD at this.
Esoka mouths 'You Know Who' and stares at Ainsley. She does //not// know, plainly. A look is exchanged with Tikva, like, 'wha'?
Tikva checked composure against difficulty 15, resulting in 9, 6 lower than the difficulty.
Silas has left the a magnificent map table of Arvum made of oak and marquetry inlays.
Dash the Guard Corgi, 3 Iron Guardsmen leave, following Silas.
The look that Tikva swaps back to Esoka is ... noticeably guilty.
Reese looks to Tikva, giving her a hopeful smile. "We can. I think that maybe we should to those who get through the wall on their own, without opening the wall on purpose?" She says, but her words are questioning. She is open to advice. She then turns to Ainsley. "Oh!" She says, having been a bit slow. "Please, please..ask. Thank you."
"Of course we wouldn't breach the wall, your Highness." Maude assures Reese with a quiet nod. "The walls are a precious historical monument." she deadpans. "I merely meant we could feign a retreat. This is always an option if we realize the gate or a section of the wall is about to be overrun. Feign a retreat from a previously arranged position, draw the enemy's attention that way, encourage them to break through, then close the gap and kill them all. That's the general principle of the thing." she says with a smile, and nods to Tikva. "We could." But then her attention turns to Ainsley once more.
Reese turns to Maude nodding in response to her words. "Okay, that sounds good." She says in her direction.
Ainsley checked composure + manipulation against difficulty 15, resulting in 24, 9 higher than the difficulty.
Oh look, poker face. Nothing going on here. Ainsley looks up at the ceiling when Maude and Esoka look his way. Smiling lazily.
The look Esoka gives Tikva is one laced with more concern than anything else. She does not appear suspicious of Ainsley. Smiling, poker-faced Ainsley. //Curious//, perhaps, about whatever so fascinating on that ceiling, but not suspicious.
Dash the Guard Corgi, 3 Iron Guardsmen arrive, following Silas.
Reese sucks in a soft breath and goes to sit next to Luca at the table. "Maybe we should have Dame Esoka.." She murmurs, but trails off as if not quite sure she wants to finish that thought.
Maude stares at Ainsley for a moment, then looks up to the ceiling. "I do believe I'm too old for this." Maude says dryly and nods to Reese. "The specifics of the plan, of course, will depend on Lady Calypso's agreement. And on our theologians, I suppose." she goes back to her tea.
Silas gets the Iron Guard crest from a simple velvet bag.
Reese sits down next to Luca, trying to reach for his hand. She then looks over to Maude, giving her a nod. "Okay, just let me know, but I trust you both immensely in this matter."
Luca nodded to Maude's talk of Brand and then went quiet, staring thoughtfully at the map, and in general being seeming oblivious to the back and forth about asking of someone not to be mentioned here. Perhaps he's used to that sort of thing from growing up a Velenosa and is good at just feigning disinterest, or perhaps he's genuinely not bothered by it. Either way, he's just shrugging after whatever thoughts are bouncing around his head, smiling again a bit to Maude's talk of being too old, and then settling back near to Reese again to take up her hand say simply, warmly. "Well, whatever it comes to. I'm in. Just let me know what I can do to help. And I'll speak to Tal, and prod Caly about replying and such."
Esoka notes the trailing off from Reese, attached to her name as it is. She doesn't seem //too// concerned with whatever thought the Grayson princess might not want to finish, though. Her own eyes are on the map, setting the lay-out of the city in her brain. "I shall serve as called, Your Highness, though I am a simple sword and the task seems a straightfoward one. Hold the gate until it can be held no more, and then fight them to the last. I shall take the Grayson plans back to Count Thesarin and the Riven forces. We shall be ready to get it done." Simple as that. Even if nothing about this battle can be called simple in truth.
Reese gives Luca's hand a gentle squeeze. She then looks over to Esoka, nodding in response to her words. "That would be great, thank you." She says when she speaks of talking to the Riven forces.
1 Grayson Guardsmen have been dismissed.
Synder The Wolfhound have been dismissed.
Silas gets the Iron Guard crest from a simple velvet bag.
Reese changes the topic completely. "Our marriage is approved. Not sure if we are doing a small quick one or waiting until after the siege, but the engagement is official like." She seems all happy about it and maybe should have announced this later, but sometimes its hard to keep quiet.
Silas continues to listen passively. When things seem to get quiet, he slips his hand into the velvet pouch he was carrying and hands over what appears to be a badge to Reese. "A gift from the Iron Guard and Mistress Joscelin, by the way. In case you need something more mobile than a cloak."
Tikva squeals excitedly and claps her hands, and then immediately regrets it because, as aforementioned repeatedly, her ribs are broken. Thus her squealing is followed by, like, a whiny noise. She's been making a lot of those whiny noises today.
Killian perks up a bit, because he's been basically comatose in his armor, and sounds awful still as he talks and says, "For the love of the gods, do it as soon as possible. First of all it will keep you both out of trouble, and secondly, being completely honest here..but..long engagements haven't had a good track record in our city lately.."
Maude nods and takes up her cup, thinking as she contemplates the map laid out in front of her. After a sip, she puts the cup down and leans forward, the lines on her face deepening as tension mounts in thought. Then the old general looks up, stares for a moment at Reese, glances aside to Luca, and inclines her head. "Congratulations." she offers with another slight smile.
Luca's cinnamon eyes go fractionaly wider at Reese's sudden announcement to all and sundry, but he takes it in stride as only a lazy Lycene can, simply grinning a lopsided cheshire fox grin. It winces a touch at Tikva's pain, but he nods thanks her way. And then Kill's comment earns him a snort and small shake of head. "No, not particularly have they? I'll honestly do whatever makes Reese happiest. But you know me, Kill. I'm one for spectacles in the ring, not in anything requiring me to have more etiquette than a vaguely house-broken puppy, so I'm not exactly going to weep if we did a quicker, low-key thing and put off the whole mess of two great houses coming together and the ungodsly social occassion that's going to become." He smiles warmly aside to his apparently now official fiancee and winks her way. "But it'll be what Ribbons wants. I'll not be accused of stealing her dream wedding if it's how she's wanting it."
Silas reclines in his seat, grinning wryly at the couple when the wedding plans are brought up. "I sense more furniture-making in my near future..."
Killian pipes up again, "quick ceremony now, so that you two can get in plenty of practice and such," and he actually suggests that with a straight face and zero hint of a blush, though any who know him well will certainly see the mischief in his eyes, "then a proper full blown spectacle of ceremony when victory is declared, perhaps as part of the grand celebration of victory?"
Reese reaches out for the offered crest and smiles. "Oh, this is nice." She says and pins it to her ribboned bodice. She then looks over to Killian, giving him a smile and her cheeks are pink. She gives Luca's hand a squeeze. "I am not very picky about it. I would be nervous about throwing anything big now, cause you know, might lure bringers." She then turns to Silas. "Maybe." She turns to Killian. "We could do that."
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