Naval Warfare Symposium
The princess and marquis welcome all enemies of the City of Chains to lay plans for the defense of the realm, and enjoy the freedoms so dear to the people of the Compact.
Dec. 15, 2020, 7 p.m.
Teague Giada Duarte Patrizio Wash Ember Orick Medeia Rosalind Ciro Haakon Nina Allegra Calla Sorrel Natasha Raven Scylla Aedric Romulius Lore Ari Damiana Alessia Vicarin Giorgio Vanora Victus Cornelius Khanne Mirk Ezmeralda Andromeda Sina Graziella Valdemar
Arx - Ward of House Pravus - Seraceni Manor - Triclinium
Comments and Log
Rodrigo, the Surprisingly Large Flautist arrives, following Nina.
Samuel, first mate of the Black Tide, Aedric arrive, following Scylla.
Evening has fallen, and ornate bronze oil lamps illuminate the spacious room. Seraceni servants tend the guests, while those who carry wine and spirits are accompanied by poison tasters in the Lycene fashion. Various dishes have been prepared: seafood, meats, breads, vegetables - all with attendant sauces and garnishes. Perhaps best of all are the delicious treasures of Lottie's bakery, being carried everywhere on silver trays.
In the center of the room, between the couches and chaises is a table, upon which rests a large map of southern Arvum and the known Saffron Chain. The map has been painted on parchment sewn together, and measures over seven feet in length. Along the table are carved wooden ships, and other simple shapes to be placed on the map for reference.
In the alcove, space has been made for those more socially inclined to mingle, and at varying intervals and volumes, a string ensemble from the Bards College plays for the pleasure and inspiration of the guests.
Dio makes his way into the triclinium dressed in am imperious robe of fine black umbra. He is flanked by Anne Lucennia, the first mate of The Osprey, and Owen, a man of some years, with some sparse gray hair and dressed in dark colored scholarly robes. Taking a glass of rum from a passing servant, Dio's expression is grim, but he greets each guest warmly with welcoming words and invitations to food and drink.
A call to arms. The favorite words for a warrior, Lord Teague Charon, was here to meet his Betrothed, but that can wait for this is his purpose. That massive man steps into the room, his stormy blue eyes iced cold as the tundra scans the room seeking those he knows to see who is brave enough to stand. He moves slowly, step by step with a deliberate motion, till he is at the wall. His hand is resting on the hilt of his curved blade at his side, his long coat draped around his muscled form, that tight shirt is bulging as he moves as he stands against a wall now, his arms rising over his chest crossed, waiting to hear the news, tactics, anything to tell him if it is going to be fun sailing or the kind when you bring extra weapons in cause of a storm of death.
Harlen, The Tiniest Donkey arrive, following Duarte.
The Tiniest Donkey have been dismissed.
An Unremarkable Associate arrives, delivering a message to Patrizio before departing.
When Giada arrives, it's quietly. She doesn't bother anyone, doesn't even approach anyone. The woman seems content to let the folks setting up to do their thing without any interaction from her. A cabin boy hands her a message, however, and she chuckles at its contents; the note is folded and slipped away. "You can tell Her Highness that I'm already here," she says in a strong Lenosian accent.
When the Second Reflection makes herself comfortable, it's by leaning against a wall near the northern couches, out of the way and able to see the whole room. Long legs cross at the ankles, arms cross over her chest, and she's all set for a while.
Duarte slinks in. One can tell by the look on his mustached face (and his mustache is amazing, btw) that he is ready to meet about navy stuff. He even carries a copy of the famed Naval Lexicon under his arm.
Duarte has joined the alcove table.
For once Lucrezia is not sitting on a table or sideways on some other piece of furniture, she waits for Dio to arrive before standing near him, nodding to each guest, but it seems he has the job of welcoming!
Patrizio arrives with his usual formidable entourage in tow - there aren't many other places he'd be this evening, given the matter under discussion. It's lamentable that these guards he has now are really no better than the prior batch at trying to fend off messengers, since one of them gets to him when he's bereft of his letter opener regardless and... a sigh as he reads it, before he's quickly jotting off a response and turning his attention to those who're organizing the matter for the evening.
Wash has arrived and circles the map thoughtfully, memorizing the differences between this magnificent tapestry and the maps he has stored aboard his own ship.
The Bloody Baroness, Ember Redreef, enters walking just a pace behind and a step to the left of Princess Natasha Thrax. Unfortunately, Princess Natasha is then waylaid by something or other for a moment -- a messenger huffing and puffing after them, the Abyss only knows -- and so Ember advances solo. The Baroness is in a chic, dark mermaid gown and is looking all cut up these days -- in terms of her toned muscles, not in terms of her scars from being hit by swords, though she has plenty of those as it is.
Savio has joined the alcove table.
Orick is a fellow who wears alot of green, he might even stand out at a naval meeting in all that tree inspired garb, with medallions of Petrichor and Lagoma emblazed against the lapels of his smart vest. The Guildmaster of the Apothecary College makes his way into the room and quietly grabs a seat without any small talk made on the way inside.
Arriving early enough to grab good whiskey and stake a claim on the southern couches, Medeia leads Haakon through the veritable maze that is southern architecture to find the meeting place. They're mostly quiet, though the Eswynd lady does wave hello and call out a few greetings to familiar faces as they settle.
The Tiniest Donkey have been dismissed.
Rosalind hurries in, not at all quiet. No, instead the northerner is all smiles as she breathlessly greets everyone,"Hello! Hi! Am I late?! I think I was lost for a second!" A large claw like scar takes up a large portion of her face as she smiles, her bright red hair loosely braided, practically flying behind her.
Already there dealing with making sure that things are properly situated and that the servants don't make a mess of things Ciro could be found, The man moving about and mingling. Greeting in between silent studies of those who arrive and the occasional drifting of his flask up for a nip here and there. The man seeming to not mind the unknown of the meeting, if anything given the little gleam in his grey gaze he seemed to rather be looking forward to it. Where Dio my appear grim Ciro himself appears far from it, A warm smile worn upon his lips and his eyes dancing with amusement and a hint of mischief.
Sirra, a very quiet maid, an indeterminate number of cats, 3 House Mazetti Guardians, Lance, a rebellious swan that likes to headbutt arrive, following Alessia.
Haakon had arrived alongside Medeia, and where the lady is resplendant in elegant honeysilks, the unsmiling reaver is plainly dressed in wools, hide, and iron. A few muttered words of greeting to familiar faces or official seeming folk, but for the most part Haakon keeps his mouth shut.
Nina walks in, a bustle of painted skirts and airy lightness. She walks to the Bards' College ensemble first, as if checking their performance for flaws. She gives them all a collective curtsey in greeting, and then walks to the refreshments to get a nice glass of red wine. She's treating this, apparently, like a social call rather than a purely military engagement. But, music always tends to make her cheerful.
Nina has joined the alcove table.
She was told she should attend. Such an expected large gathering was not something she was most comfortable with, but nevertheless there she was, the Princess Allegra walking in beside the woman only know as Raven. Her cane tapped lightly on the floor as she looked for a place to sit out of the way, if that was even possible, settling into a seat in the alcove and setting the can down beside her. A softly spoken word to her escort. "Thank you for accompanying me. This should be most interesting indeed. It seems to have brought out the finest people." Her eyes scan the room, lingering on faces she thinks she recognizes as she wrinkles her nose. "Am I glistening? A question asked to Raven...because Allegra does not sweat.
A messenger arrives, delivering a message to Calla before departing.
Calla arrives in a gown of puply-pink seasilk that covers her from neck to toes, a bit of a different look for the Baroness, though her saffron mane is a wild and wavy as ever. Scanning the room, her expression neutral as she heads over to the table of food, eyeing some shrimp as she goes. Catching sight of Ciro, she makes a beeline to intercept him and whisper something in his ear.
Sorrel has found herself a nice place to sprawl, her legs crossed at the knees and her dog at her feet. Marquessa Pudding is a giant white fluffy thing, large even for one of her breed, and she seems to be quite patient about all of this noise. When Ember and Natasha enter, Sorrel sits up a bit and waves to them to invite them over to where she is sitting, and the dog rises to start snuffling to see if anyone has dropped any refreshments yet.
As always, she is never late nor early in a designated appointment, having arrived in the proceedings in the company of the infamous Baroness Redreef - though a sudden piece of business has forced the Thraxian princess' to take a detour from purposeful wake within the meeting hall, keeping her at the very threshold leading in as she converses with her tow-headed aide. Whatever Torsney has to tell her, however, must be a bit of news indeed when Natasha's near-obsidian gaze slowly closes, dark lashes kissing the alabaster arches of her cheeks. It looks suspiciously like a woman slowly, silently, counting to a high number.
But it is enough to maintain the inscrutable marble cast of her countenance, a brief nod to her poor beleaguered clerk, before pivoting in a sharp parabolic turn to head further inside. Ember as always cuts a distinct figure, and it doesn't take long to identify her and reclaim her position by her side. Sorrel's wave, too, also catches her attention, pale fingers lifting in a return wave, before she, and her companion (charge?) for the evening move towards where her cousin has perched herself.
Raven follows alongside Allegra, green eyes sweeping the room, the occupants, the exits. There is with her one Iron Guard who walks on the otherside of Allegra but no more for such a large gathering. She walks at a clipped pace, careful to match her ward's pace. When Allegra sits, Raven remains standing for the moment while she takes notes of those coming and going. Those familiar of her get the occasional dip of her head or lift in hand in greeting.
"Welcome, My Lord," says Dio to Wash, standing not far from Lucrezia. Glancing with the famed Kennex sailor at the map on the table, Dio says, "It is a copy of one created by Lady Peri Seliki. If you detect an inaccuracies, I hope you will let me know." He takes a sip of rum, and then notices Hakkon and Medeia arrive, and glances towards Ciro. "Baroness," says Dio in greeting to Ember, and bowing in Lycene fashion. "Thank you for joining us. Can we get you anything to drink?"
Pasquale has left the southern couches.
Alberico, the Malespero aide have been dismissed.
Ember has left the southern couches.
Ember has joined the northern couches.
Natasha has joined the northern couches.
Scylla enters the Triclinium (I did NOT look that up, swear it) with the Blackshore lords flanking her, keeping up with relatively quick and decisive pace. Pewter eyes limned with precise kohl smudges take in the spectacle; there are so many faces, familiar and unfamiliar, that it is difficult to discover precisely where the trio might feel most comfortable. Without waiting very long to decide, she leads her small party to the northern couches, pausing to pluck a glass of rum from one of the servant's trays along the way, and takes up a seat on a cushion where they can command a full view of the host and hostess of the evening.
Frost, a Maelstrom Forest Cat arrives, following Lore.
Scylla has joined the northern couches.
Romulius has joined the northern couches.
Aedric has joined the northern couches.
Orick has joined the southern couches.
When Calla moves to intercept him she is given a once over by Ciro, the man taking in the new look before leaning in to listen to that whisper. His smile growing as he hears whatever it was that got said before turning his head to whisper something back. With those softer words spoken to the woman he steps back just slightly motioning over toawds the table with the food and drink, "Do hope you enjoy the food and drink, Think you might like the port." A quick wink given to the woman before his head dips to her. "If you'll excuse me, few more to help greet. We'll talk more later yes?"
Orick is an unassuming academic with poor posture and he leans back in his seat, making an effort to roll those pitched forward shoulder back into a more casual cant. Quietly watching the room fill up and waiting for things to begin with a patient smile on his pointy face.
A brief inclination of the prince's head as Patrizio considers all the figures that he recognizes about the room. With a familiar gesture to tell his guards to be more useful on another part of the room, he makes his way over to one side to make himself comfortable, after a smile and a brief inclination of his head to his cousin Lucrezia, who's involvement in the planning in the evening he's not envying.
Patrizio has joined the alcove table.
Wash says, "Every map has it's little idiosyncracies." Wash says quietly. "Lady Peri's ray lines do reduce the number of inconsistencies in distances, but it's a rounding error. The farther you sail without sighting land, the more the variations add up.""
Frost, a Maelstrom Forest Cat leaves, following Lore.
Ember lingers by the southern couches for a moment, quietly talking with some of the people there, and ending her conversation by punching Lord Haakon Eswynd in the arm really hard. It /seems/ to be friendly? Then Ember turns to trail after Natasha once more. She gives Sorrel a deep nod of greeting when the pair catch up to her, but for the most part her greetings are understated -- if she curtsied to everyone in the room who she'd normally curtsy toward, she wouldn't be able to fight in this war at all, due to needing a new hip.
Frost, a Maelstrom Forest Cat arrives, following Lore.
Teague stands there now, his eyes scanning the room, watching those heading for the map. His face is a slave of unmoving stone as he waits now. His hand is reaching into his pocket of his long coat. Removing a hand-carved buzzard pipe, his lips wrapping slowly around the pipe. His fingers packing into the back of the buzzard tobacco slowly, with a steady large finger. The coin is coming out of its mouth twinkles in the light as he lights it now, taking a deep inhale, as his cold eyes close to enjoy the smoke, before they dart open once more.
Nina slides into the alcove, still all breezy in skirts, smelling like fruit and carrying a glass of wine. She seems to be in a mingling mood.
Aedric, appearing tired and in his customary platemail, follows Scylla without offering any polite greetings. He has quite clearly been overwhelmed by the sheer splendor of Seraceni Manor -- the smells, the colors, the exquisite foods and wines. As soon as he sits, he slides either of his gauntlets between his sternum and breastplate, permitting the armor to support the weight of limp limbs.
This is the part of parties which always bores Lucrezia, told by her yawning, which she doesn't bother to cover up. Bad hostess! She crosses her arms beneath her breasts, an effort to keep herself from pacing out excess energy.
Striding in beside his uncle and Scylla, Romulius Blackshore is quick to grab tumbler of rum en route to the seating that Scylla has selected for the trio. A nod of greeting is given to those he's familiar enough with, coupled with a quick, "Your Highness." to each member of the Thrax family nearby. Like his uncle, he is dressed in plate armor, though the strange seating arrangements force him to remove the baldric that carries his scabbarded and peacebound greatsword, an almost awkward pause before he sets it at his feet. His gaze scans the room, looking for familiar faces as he takes his first sip of the rum.
Giada remains quiet, though the sight of Sorrel brings a crooked, wry smile to her lips. "Princess," she greets, unfolding her arms. Her eyes turn finally to Dio; she pushes off the wall. When she arrives at the Marquis' side, she inclines her head politely to both he and Wash. "Hello," she greets with a quick, raffish smile. "Giada Morello. Thank you for allowing me to attend, Marquis. A pleasure to meet you both."
From her perch standing alongside Sorrel and Natasha, Ember does take a moment to scan the room. She gives nods to the Blackshore contingent -- respectful and deep ones -- and her eyes then cast over the various members of the Pravus royal family who she never met during her time of closer association with the latest Great House. The Bloody Baroness has a stony, poker-faced expression, but really, if that's all it took to rattle a Pravus royal, they wouldn't be a Great House, would they?
Whatever Ember said and did at the southern couches left Medeia in a fit of laughter, though she quickly attempts to compose herself. Her eyes scan the room as she murmurs to Haakon and Rosalind, offering waves and nods to others who have arrived that she knows.
Rosalind is chatting away over by the southern couches, grabbing something to drink. "Aella couldn't make it. So I'm afraid I got sent,"a smile appearing for everyone that walks by. "Lady Rosalind Ravensye. Nice to meet you,"she greets them.
Lady Astraea, a provincial Oathlander, 4 Valardin Knights arrive, following Damiana.
Rupert, the Laurent Archivist, 2 Valardin Knights, Damiana arrive, following Cristoph.
Smile deepening at the whispered words, Calla dips her head in a nod, her cheeks just a touch pinker than before as she quickly whispers back. To the offer of food and drink, she nods, "Yes, I am planning on it, the port you say? I will make sure I get a glass. Do your thing, I'll catch you later." And then she goes to the table to get her glass of port and a plate of shrimps and some dipping sauce, and brings them to the Southern couches, where she spies a bestie. "Lord and Lady Eswynd," She greets the couple with an amused smile before sitting down.
Dio glances back to Wash and nods. A slight smile touches his lips. "So it has been in my experience as well. I am most curious to hear your thoughts on the best means of keeping our forces organized, given weather and those variations you mentioned." The marquis's eyes pass to Aedric and Scylla, and he raises his glass in greeting. Saying again to Wash, "They will almost certainly try to set traps for The Wanton, and our other assets that they will consider threats."
Dio turns to Giada at her words. "The pleasure is mine, Giada. Thank you for coming - and for your commitment to help the wounded under the conditions we're likely to face."
It is difficult to be completely neutral in Sorrel's company; the very glimpse of her green-eyed cousin is enough to interject some measure of expressiveness on the coral line of Natasha's mouth, though she is far from ready to deliver any fond touches unsolicited. The softening of her air will have to be enough, easing into the space next to her while giving Ember room to sit on her other side once pleasantries are dispensed. The Blackshore contingent does manage to catch itself in the wide net cast by her curious scrutiny of the unfurling affair, ochre storms and their inherent intensity resting upon Aedric, Romulius and Scylla once the Sword's greetings are given. "My lord Romulius," she says with a faint incline of her head. "Lord Aedric, Admiral." To the latter. "Thank you for your assistance on the previous matter," she tells Scylla. "Would you be willing to meet me in the Thrax estate at the end of the week, before my departure to Maelstrom?"
Fez, 3 Black Fleet Reavers arrive, following Ari.
Haakon inclinces his head with a wordless, "Mmm," in initial greeting to Calla. "Fair met, once again," he adds with real words in the next breath.
Raven gifts a lofty sniff and a distainful glance towards Savio though most of her attention seems to be divided between Duarte and the rest of the room. She remains standing rather than taking a seat. Nina is given a polite nod in greeting.
Lore sweeps into the room with all the aplomb of a cat. Or an empress. Take your pick! Looking for all the world like one of the noble set, she even has one of the Claw's spawn draped across her shoulders, licking its claws. There may be a few spots of blood dotting the golden skin of the Artiglio as she makes her way towards a relatively secluded space in which she can settle in. Jade eyes move through the crowd, picking out those she remembers, lingering on the faces unfamiliar.
"Someone has to," Giada replies simply to Dio, words spoken with matter of factness. "I'm just glad we're not scrambling this time. I'll be back over by those couches," she says, pointing to the northern end of the room. "Whenever you're ready for my questions, please let me know. I intend to listen otherwise."
"I have some thoughts in that area, as well, the difficulty is if those strategies are too simple, then they become a weakness when they are leaked to our enemies." Wash explains. "But I have some ideas. Why they would want to trap your ship in particular is beyond me Lord Saraceni."
Ari arrives quietly, and not entirely sober. But he arrives, a grim look on his face, as lately all discussions of the coming war have him displeased, but war is coming, and who's going to lead the galleys of the black fleet? So, he walks by the map, glancing over it, and then, in a corner, squats. To listen.
Once Profesor Orick has greeted those seated nearest to him, he glances down and awkwardly fiddles with the cuff of his shirt as he waits for things to get underway.
Haakon exhales sharply, and raises his voice to carry above the common level of conversation, "Will folk be saying aught of worth soon, or is this a fucking tea party?"
Allegra's own glance catches that of the Redreef Baroness, her own eyes narrowing as well, then simply giving a nod and the slightest little finger wave and mouthing the words. "I see you."
Dio's raised glass is reciprocated with a polite nod and small smile. Cerulean gaze then shifted to Natasha, who was offered a similar greeting. "Good evening, Your Highness."
Dio's dark eyes follow Giada, clearly intrigued with her response. "I am happy to speak to what I know," he replies. "Though my mind is a dull spark compared to those that blaze in this room."
Washes words cause Dio to laugh, however grimly. "I was of the same opinion until recently - but my experiences have taught me the futility of my typical strategies."
When Haakon speaks, Dio takes a sip of rum, and glances to Lucrezia. "Perhaps we should start with what we know. Are you willing to brief us on what we're likely to face, Your Highness?"
Ember's eyes narrow slightly at Allegra's mouthed message to her and finger-wave. She dips her head in a grim nod of her own, though for some reason a frown very faintly tugs at the corners of her lips. And then she keeps staring for a moment, before forcing herself to look away, back toward Natasha and Sorrel and the Blackshores and so on.
Wash says, "By all means, enlighten us Lord Saraceni."
Teague nods slowly pushing off the wall as he makes his way forward with each slow delibrate step, trying to hear better it was the moment of truth. Something interseting at last in one of these dainty tea parties, that they called meetings.
Medeia giggles, quickly covers her mouth with a hand and then whispers something with a very stern face to Haakon.
Damiana enters late, led by a lady in waiting and a duke who she says goodbye to. Her friendly nice knights are peaceknotted although they're dour. Hearing Haakon's outburst she looks his way before having a seat near someone Astraea has picked out. "Perhaps a quick prayer to give us unity and remind us of our oaths, a very quick one and then sharing of information."
Her smile lingers at Aedric's greeting, however faint, though it isn't long until dark eyes slip surreptitiously to the side, Natasha regarding Ember's profile askance - and ultimately following the ephemeral line of her attention to Allegra Pravus. The silent exchange, while caught by the woman's ever-circuitous perception, is unremarked upon, however, before she turns her attention forward now that the briefing seems about to begin.
Rosalind straigthens. Getting ready to listen, really. Because she promised to pay close attention. Ravenseye has the naval yard after all, and she's a Ravenseye. So lets do this!
After some quiet words with her cousin Natasha, Sorrel turns her full attention on the conversation of the room. She scans the faces she knows and those she does not know, then pipes up, "We've got some Godsworn here. I"m sure one of them would be thrilled to lead us in a prayer."
Duarte coughs once and clears his throat loudly. Seems involuntary.
Lore takes a tin of earthy Northland cigars from Large Oiled Leather Rucksack.
Scylla holds her glass of rum out to clink against Romulius' whether he realizes it or not, and then presses the clear edge to her full lower lip to tilt back for a healthy sip of that spicy amber liquid, the sting of it as a salve to her spirits. It is only after her head is righted once more that she spies Marquis Dio's toast from across the room. The woman returns the gesture, and then takes that opportunity to take yet another sip. Princess Natasha's arrival stirs the woman's spine to straighten some, as though her sheer presence commands a healthy degree of poise and respect. "Your highness," the admiral rasps in reply, that hand steadily balancing aloft that half-empty glass vessel upon the armrest of the sofa to her right. "Of course. You know I'm happy to assist, and will certainly make the time to meet with you." Brows knit with some curiosity, but otherwise whatever inquisitive words she might utter are reserved for a more private audience.
Lore takes ARAK from Large Oiled Leather Rucksack.
Giada looks at Sorrel at something and then nods. "Sure. I can lead a prayer." At least she uncrosses her arms again and stands straight. But then things change. Reaching into her bag, the woman ties a mask of mirrors across her face, and lifts her hands slightly.
Nina was chattering away at the alcove table, but goes quiet when it seems to be time for prayer. She puts her wine glass down, and nods her head, watching Sorrel for a moment, then Giada. The mask gets her attention.
There is a stiffled chuckle when Haakon raises his voice from Ciro, the man silencing the chuckle with his flask taking a deeper pull of it as his head gives a little shake. His focus soon turning to Dio at his cousins words listening closesly. When the offer of prayer is made that flask is quickly drawn down and behind his back, Not exactly putting it down should there be prayer. But at least he wouldn't be taking any drinks during one.
Lucrezia nods to Ari as he enters. Interjecting herself into the conversation between Wash and Dio, she says, "We will cover that." As Dio suggests that they start, she glances about the room, a sharp smile upon her lips. "Yes, looks like everyone's settled and more than half are ready to climb into your rafters out of boredom." She is, for sure! With a confident stride, she goes to a point that is central in the room so she may address everyone equally.
"For those who do not know, I am Princess Lucrezia, the Iron Kraken of Setarco. Shortly, I am charge of all military and naval matters within Pravus. Marquis Dio and myself wish to help our coordination by relaying what has been experienced in fighting these people in the past." Again she cuts her eyes about the room, smile fading from her lips.
"When we fought them at the Saffron Chains while our forces were fighting outside Piero, they brought magic against our fleet. The sky darkened and sent lightning down upon us. Several of our ships succumbed to the fires set by those strikes. They also raised the sea against us, smashing smaller ships. All of us who were in Arx the past year or more have seen a similar power brought to trap us here in Arx with that whirlpool that stopped only our ships. If your fleets aren't prepared for these types of attacks, you aren't ready. As I understand it, the same happened at Sungreet, at least the lightnings."
Ari stands when he hears of leading a prayer. Attention to Haakon briefly, he chuckles. "The enemy wants to destroy our way of life, such as it is. Shall we beat them to the punch?" Nobles may be crazy, but they're HIS nobles, dangit. But at that, he pulls a small piece of sail cloth from a pocket, and holds it as he lowers his head, and closes his eyes.
Someone wearing an artfully concealing stygian mirrormask pauses before speaking when Lucrezia does.
Settled in at her out of the way space, Lore pulls out a small tin of cigars from the North, and a bottle of... something interesting from Not Here. She makes herself at home, lighting up one of the cigars to draw on and unstoppering the bottle to pour herself a glass of the clouded, milky liquor. Puffing contently, she occasionally dips the unlit end of the cigar into the glass before drawing on it again. Watching the gathered people, then giving her attention to Lucrezia.
Teague stands there waiting now as he waits for the prayer, he will honor the gods. But then someone is speaking, as his eyes move slowly towards Lucrezia as his headn ods listening to the words, with a smile slowly creeping over his face. A look shining there, of a warrior hearing of battle, chalaneges, and things to be meet on the field.
"The only thing I'm likely to enlighten is a mark's cargo," replies Dio to Wash. When Damiana, Giada and Sorrel speak of prayers, Dio nods. "Let us consider first what we face, and before we shape our plans, prayers from our godsworn would be most appreciated." His eyes pass over those in the room. "Are there any others who have encountered the Skal'dajans, and can speak to there capabilities?"
Haakon fixes his eye on Lucrezia as the Princess speaks of the battle at Piero. "Beside sky fire and sea rise, did their sorceries turn the winds?" the Prodigal reaver wonders in a level voice. To Dio, he voices, "Fought Gildorians, aye. Not the Skal'daja.. not with their magics."
Someone wearing an artfully concealing stygian mirrormask nods at Dio when he signals, and she lifts her hands again palms facing upwards.
Her voice is quiet, almost tender, but it carries. "Blessed Thirteen, it is by your grace that we stand today in unity. We gather to honour the gods and their ideals, their principles and their teachings, by the application of our passions and the guidance of your wisdom as we prepare once again for war. Bless us with insight tonight, understanding that in all things, there is unity." Then, simple as you please, she falls silent and removes her mask.
Ember clasps her hands in front of her and dips her head down, eyes shut, during the prayer. And as she prays, for whatever reason, her frown only deepens.
Teague nods slowly his eyes closed for the prayer, as he mutters softly with the words. His hand is over his chest, as he loses himself in that moment of divine prayer.
Though she arrived just a little later than she perhaps ought to have done, Alessia did manage to acquire a seat somewhere without a sound, quietly listening as the discussion goes on. She gives faint smiles to familiar faces though remains attentive. She closes her eyes during the prayer, bowing her head in reverence, her smile warming once it ends. She gives Giada a nod in thanks.
Professor Orick stands up and explains to the room at large, "Good evening everyone, I have reached out to some of you in recent months my name is Professor Orick and I am the Guildmaster of the Arx Chapter of the Apothecary College of Tor." Trying having that mouthful an official title, "I am here tonight, to let the planning committee know that my students and staff have been tirelessly preparing for war by making stores of Arvani Fire. It is a very expensive endeavour but by my calculations the College has perfected a cost effective method by making large batches. We can sell Fire at cost and save the Compact thousands." He bows his head to the room, "How you all use the Fire, I will leave to the War Specialists... we're just providing the Fire."
After standing reverently to pray with Giada, Sorrel resumes her seat in a languid sort of way. "Marquis Dio, I realize that you're a known criminal with a reputation for being tasteless, but honestly, we are gathered here as a Compact, and as Arvani with Faith in the Pantheon, we start every gathering with a prayer," she points out with a small smile that is not entirely friendly. "Thank you so much for leading us in prayer, Sister Giada. Your words are appreciated."
Giada leans back against her wall, ankles and arms crossing again. "Sure thing," she tells Sorrel, grin quick as she falls silent again.
Damiana hears a prayer being started, and as she stands, lady Astraea and her look towards the west and give a few silent words in support before sitting back down. She has folios held by her assistant, who also is starting to take notes.
Ciro's eyes settle upon Lucrezia like many of the others as she speaks, listening closely to the mention of the magics before his attention is brought to flit away. The man listening to the others as they speak. When the masked woman's voice sounds out he goes still dipping his head as his eyes fall closed litening to the prayer being spoken by Giada. When it ends his head lifts and he glances around smiling softly as he begins to make his way over towards the alcove only to have his movements slow slightly hearing the words from Sorrel directed to his cousin.
During the prayer, Medeia angles her face toward her lap where her hands lay clasped. Once the prayer is over, she stays that way a moment longer. The skull combs in her hair may offer insight into the additional prayer she makes in that time.
Ari raises his head back when the prayer finishes. Slipping the cloth back into a pocket. He clears his throat, and looks to Lucrezia. "Admiral," he nods, before he steadies himself again to listen.
Rosalind has her head bowed in the prayer. Quietly. When it's over, her eyes immediately start looking around. Again. When Calla offers her something in her hand, Rosa is quick to nod her head,"Please!"
As the prayer is spoken, Romulius bows his head respectfully enough to be considered polite. At it's conclusion, his head remains bowed a few moments longer while his lips move wordlessly, until a thumb comes up to quickly sweep over the clasp of his cloak, the blue stone a remarkably similar shade of blue to his own eyes and those of his uncle beside him. His attention shifts over to his side for a brief moment, a flash of concern quickly melting into an amused smile at Sorrel's address of the host that he moves to hide behind a sip of rum.
Haakon turns his eye from the prayer to Orick as the professor rises to speak of Arvani Fire, the scholar getting a small nod to acknowledge the offered aid. His eye returns thereafter to Lucrezia and Dio, awaiting any answer on the question of winds.
Dio, also bows his head in prayer. Afterward, he nods to Haakon. "Aye, their sorceries turned the wind. We'd attempted to ignite their vessels with alchemical fire. It was cast back on our own forces, and many of our ships were lost."
Dio's gaze turns on Sorrel. "We are in the Ward of House Prauvs, Your Highness. If I started with a prayer and some tea, I'd never live it down."
Dio turns to Lucrezia, and nods his thanks for her explanation. "The control the anointed masters over their minions is not natural, and the weapons they employed at Sungreet could have catastrophic effects on our fleets without developing specific counter measures. As to what those might be..." he takes another drink of rum, and crosses his arms. "That is the goal of our symposium tonight."
Arturo, a young but rugged looking Saikland Sealion officer, Rodolfo, a grizzled, powerfully built Saikland Sealion veteran arrive, following Vicarin.
Nina speaks out suddenly. "Oh, that's right. If we had a magic artifact, I suppose-" Then she stops. "Well, that's a bit of a long story, so I'll leave that aside."
"I'll let the Faith know of your disinterest. Sir Preston was so very concerned about getting Templars to aid you in the Saffron Chain, but if you disdain prayer so much, perhaps he will reconsider," Sorrel replies casually to Dio, shrugging slightly. "He asked me to bring the Order of East Light with me. We're not a religious knighthood, but we do have honor. But you do seem to disdain honor so. Perhaps we'll reconsider as well." She continues to lounge on the sofa near her companions, her smile not at all friendly.
Praying? The seriousness of Lucrezia's expression doesn't change, but she gives Dio a look. Right, then. Of course, praying, so faithful! She mumbles an appropriate response. Doubtful, but maybe. After, she listens to any responses to Dio's question and to questions as they come before answering. She looks to Haakon first and says, "They raised a storm, so yes, winds were involved along with lightning. It was nasty to fight through since you can count on your ships to be as difficult to control as in a bad storm *while* you are also fighting." Next she nods to Orick and his offer for the Apothecary College, "Thank you Master Orick. On the topic of fire, *both* sides utilized it last time, too. It was not just fires that came from lightening that destroyed ships. They did not use a fire such as Arvani Fire, but they have had enough time in the past year of refugees in our midst to take your recipe. All of us should expect to see Arvani Fire used on both sides. Until such a time as your scholars have given us a protection against it, in this type of battle it will be horrifically dangerous to utilize because there is no way to control where that fire goes unless we send people onto their ships with it." Her smile turns wicked at this point.
"To answer why certain ships, including my Wanton, may be targeted... When they struck at my ship with their magics it was *their* mage that perished. Given their importance on magic, we would be stupid not to assume they will want revenge for such deaths. But it is those mages we must target at all costs. And, it will cost us dearly. At the battle in the chains it was a very difficult battle. If they come at us with a force that is the same or greater than ours, expect very deep losses."
Haakon draws a slow breath, nodding to Dio at the further details. When he does speak again, it is to voice, "For any who have not heard, the foemen fleet numbered at Thrax's last count eighteen large ships of sail, fifty dromonds, and two hundred smaller ships of oar. I'd offer to those with the ear to listen that we'd be wise not to rely overmuch on our own caravels, pretty and fancy as they may be.. when faced with foul winds are raging seas, oars are more steady, as the enemy fleet makes clear." To the hosts, he adds, "Your scouts have any more recent count of the foe?" Aside to Sorrel, he sniffs sharply.
Raven listens to the problem at hand. Studying the grim expressions in the room somewhat pensively, "Do we know of scale? The size of these affects of ability of these mages? Would something like misdirection? Decoys? Not that I can imagine there will be many volunteers. It seems the choices are: eliminate this magical resource of theirs-which seems unlikely from what little I have heard. It sounds as if the options available are: One, we can find a way to strike this resource of theirs. Two, We misdirect or draw their attention and their magic with another tempting target. Three, We do not engage them at sea at all. Four, we engage with none of these things and be prepared for catastrophic losses. Does anyone understand the jist of this matter any differently?"
Damiana has joined the northern couches.
Patrizio has been holding his tongue while he's listening to the back and forth about the matters of the naval engagement. Jade eyes seem to be considering carefully how it perhaps weighs on his own plans.
Calla holds out the shrimp to Rosalind as she's quietly, but intensely, listening to the talk going on around her, amber gaze bouncing from one speaker to the next and then back again, slightly in awe.
There's no surprise at Orick's words, though Natasha still listens intently to the Guildmaster's remarks on Arvani Fire, keen interest present on her features and leaning forward slightly on her seat. After prayer, and through the course of the opening remarks, she has removed her small journal from the pockets of her gown, stylus in hand - though she doesn't start writing yet. There is something about Ember's posture, situated by her elbow, that arrests her attention - but only briefly, and waits until Sorrel and Haakon are done speaking. To the collective, she provides as an addendum to Lord Eswynd's estimations: "From what we managed to gather, Sungreet *has* impacted their numbers, though the extent of it is presently unconfirmed. But these past experiences in the Chain corroborates what we've learned about their mages' capabilities in battle over open water - skies changing, storms at seemingly their beck and call and their slaves driven to fight like madmen."
"The ability to summon a storm at will gives the advantage to larger ships. Longboats will be scattered or beached to protect the crew." Wash pauses. "Boarding is also more difficult in choppy water, which negates the only advantage longboats have over larger craft." Wash pauses. "We should prioritize keeping those ships for shore defense."
A messenger arrives, delivering a message to Nina before departing.
"I have disdain for no one who fights for freedom," replies Dio to Sorrel. "Clearly you do not feel the same, nor have courtesy to show the slightest respect to a peer in his own House, who has welcomed you as a guest." Dio listens to Lucrezia, Hakkon and Raven. His finger taps lightly his glass of rum, but finds himself nodding in agreement with Wash. "I am increasingly convinced that spreading our forces - especially those who do not have the ability to contend with the enemy's magic - would be a grave mistake. Is there anyone who can speak to our assets, aside from the Wanton, that might allow us a chance at victory?"
Rosalind's eyes look over to Wash and a look appears in her eyes and she starts scribbling away.
Haakon winces, voicing back to Wash, "Mayhap.. though I'd add that using longships for our scouts, and keeping a good fucking number in reserve for cutting off their flight would be fit. If they waste sky fire on a single longship, they're lackwits." His head tilts curiously as he turns his eye back to Dio. Of specific arcane assets, he goes silent.
Teague watches and listens now quietly, a burst of smoke rising from his body as he exhales the smoke.
Vicarin walks in, looks around, spots Wash, and goes over to his side.
Seryna, a charming Lycene handmaiden, 6 Grimhall House Guards arrive, following Vanora.
Giada murmurs something quietly to Sorrel as the Godsworn continues to scan the meeting.
And at the new words between Dio and Sorrel any thought of the alcove is lost, the thoughts of checking on things at the table within falling by the wayside as he turns his gaze and attention on Sorrel. With a subtle grace he moves, Making his way to place himself into her line of sight where Dio once would have been found. The man offering a warm smile as he turns to the woman dipping his head to her, "My dear cousin meant no offense to the gods or to you and your order. This is not a war about him, it is about all of us. The people who call the isles home and beyond. What greater honor is there than to protect those who can not protect themselves. What greater duty than to serve with the tools the gods have given you and you have honed in order to protect not him.. But those who reside beyond these halls. In this place and in the places we all call home." A pause is given as he takes a sip from his flask lowering it he adds moments later, "It has nothing to do with a disinterest in the faith or in prayer or even the gods. He is just eager to find a means to address our enemy and the threat they pose."
Wash is unconvinced. "With respect to the owner of the house, you're speaking out your ass Lord Saraceni. Unless you have longships that can weather a fifteen foot chop, then concentrating your forces in any one location means one storm can scatter them, let them get cleaned up in the aftermath. Are you ignoring my points, or do you just think I'm wrong? They outnumber us in capital ships, and have better coordination. The longships can scout and defend more effectively than concentrate our forces."
Orick nods to the thanks but he is silent, not trying too hard to sell the dangerous Fire or weigh in on how to use it. He is a conduit, a provider, not a weapons specialist.
*** Ember has called for an opposing check with Dio. ***
Ember checks command and intimidation at easy. Ember is spectacularly successful.
Dio checks command and intimidation at easy. Dio is spectacularly successful.
*** Dio is the winner. ***
Allegra is listening carefully, not saying a word, processing all that she is hearing. Words spoken in haste are words best unspoken. However, she eventually does offer something, her soft dulcet tone barely audible in the large room. "Strategy. Strategy by its very word is using your knowledge to your advantage. We choose where and how the engagement occurs. Take that away from them. Battles are won before the first arrow is fired. You all know this. Perhaps we spring a trap. Clearly engaging them directly puts us at a clear disadvantage. We are smarter than that...are we not. They expect us to repeat exactly what we did before. Does the winner ever change course with somehting that worked form them so well prior?" She shrugs and leans back in her seat from the Alcove. "Something to consider."
Raven speaks up again "I am inclined to agree that spreading out seems as if spread out might exhuast their mages, or the magic from which they draw from. A phased attack, where efforts are launched separaded by time not just distance might work in our favor. I cannot believe these efforts to call storms or roll the seas are not taxing endeavors. If we can minimize the harm that these events cause then we can launch a more robust answer when they are exhuasted, no?"
Lucrezia Lucrezia seems to ignore the tension in the room with anything except a grim look upon her face. She's an Admiral, she knows how testy sea people's personalities are and not to be cowed by them. When asked of the estimated force to be brought against them, Lucrezia says, "About four months ago the number is: eighten cavaral-class, fifty dromonds, and two hundred longships or galleys." She nods to Natasha to confirm that Sungreet did damage the numbers. "But that was four months ago, so keep in mind they may find allies as the recent strikes here in Arx have proven."
Next Lucrezia looks between Hakkon and Wash, "While you may leave your Cavarals at home if you do not wish to bring them, it may be folly unless you have confidence you can overwhelm them with your numbers. Pravus *will* be fielding her cavarals, regardless."
Lastly, she looks to Raven and nods, "Given that none of us can use magic, we will have to use every means in our hands to bring down those mages. Every minute in the battle they remain alive costs us lives and ships we cannot afford to lose. They will expect us to target them, so it will not be easy. If we let them land and dig into the land we won from them, they will know the terrain better than we who have only ruled it the past few years. The fight they will bring on land may be worse than on sea because there are countless Abandoned in the Chains that would answer them and the Chains are dangerous in and of themselves."
Damiana has joined the line.
After Wash issues his protest, Ember -- from her seat at the northern couches -- turns her head to fix a yellow-eyed death-glare on Dio. There's the usual stern stoic et cetera of Ember Redreef, and then there's the Bloody Baroness focusing her intensity and bringing it to bear on something. Or someone.
"Listen to Lord Wash," Ember says to Dio, her voice as cold as everwinter. Alas, what pirate hasn't faced down worse threats to life and limb? After all, Ember's just a single, humble Baroness.
Cloudy eyes are framed in a frown of concern as Damiana's hand raises to politely wait to speak.
Calla puts aside the plate of shrimps as she's too distracted by everything that is going on to think of eating another bite. She catches Ciro's intervention for his cousin, and the next time she catches his eye, she'll give him an little smile and a quick wink.
Teague watches it all with a shake of his head as they are bickering fighting, his eyes moving from each of them for a moment with a soft annoyance in his eyes, as he exhales the smoke.
"Did I even mention leaving caravels at home? I was talking about longships. I think you are aware of the difference." Wash clarifies. "You picked this fight your highness, you think that everyone is going to pile on if you threaten and bully us enough?" Wash asks Lucrezia.
Duarte checks charm and diplomacy at hard. Duarte marginally fails.
Alessia has joined the northern couches.
Duarte stands and claps his hands together. He smiles a great, friendly smile. He voice is smooth and silken like Setaraco's main import. "My lords, ladies. Highnesses.. " Then he forgets what he's going to say and sits back down, content to watch the dumpster fire unfold.
Haakon snorts once, and answers Lucrezia. "You take my point amiss. Bring your ships of sail. They're fine transports for warriors. My words were not to neglect them, but not to rely on them at the expense of all others. Have heard too many lackwits act as though a caravel is all a body needs, in any battle." Then words around him get testier. The prodigal reaver glances aside to Medeia and mutters.
Haakon mutters, "... fuck. Here it goes."
Vicarin checks composure at normal. Botch! Vicarin is simply outclassed. This is monumentally beyond them and the result is ruinous.
Giorgio has joined the alcove table.
This time, Giada doesn't bother to hide the spectacular rolling of her eyes. "Gods," she mutters. She exhales and lifts her voice to a respectable level. "Would the assembled gentles please return to the intended topic? We still have some business to attend." Her fingers rub at her forehead. "There's got to be wine here, right?" she asks, looking up.
"I'm not interested," Sorrel replies to Ciro, who is the one who approached her, and she shakes her head slightly. "Calling a criminal a criminal might be rude, but it's also facts. The Compact prays before meetings. And if Lord Wash Kennex says that your pirate cousin doesn't know his prow from his stern, Wash is who I'm going to believe." She smiles in a manner that is absolutely meant to be unconvincing at Ciro. "If he has a problem with me, he can let me know by calling for a duel. We can call for Champions, or I can apologize for saying facts aloud. Now. Go sit your ass down unless you have something to contribute to the conversation about warfare."
Some popcorn sails across the air and hits Lore atop the head. No one knows where it came from.
Vicarin checks composure and diplomacy at normal. Vicarin fails.
Vanora has joined the southern couches.
Allegra turns to a few members at her table and literally says loud enough to possible be heard. "I feel like we should be fighting." She pauses a moment and simply blurts out. "Sit down Duerte before you hurt yourself."
Orick has said his piece and all of the conversation happening now doesn't concern him directly so he quietly slips out, leaving his regards with the house staff and letting them know he can be contacted at the College to follow up on Fire orders.
"This is almost as good as northern meetings,"Rosa can be heard muttering from the southern couches with a wry grin.
Late to the meeting but here all the same comes Giorgio Pontelaeus. The merchant arrives just in time to overhear Sorrel's words and he stalls in his stride for just a moment before he offers the room at large a dip of his head and moves over to join his brother at the seating within the alcove.
Vicarins normally serene and sometimes jovial face begins to sport a larger and larger scowl. He's standing where the isles people are and he mutters something that sounds like, "Y.. ri.. is.. rap"
Medeia has been sitting quietly, attentively. Her eyes move from one speaker to another, doing her best to follow the various threads of conversations and keeping her expression as neutral as possible - even as things become more heated. A few quiet words with Haakon has her shaking her head and looking around for the source of that popcorn. She wants some.
Orick has left the southern couches.
5 Grimhall House Guards, Gustav, a gruff Islander advisor, Vladimir, a shaggy brindle Grim Wolfhound arrive, following Valdemar.
Valdemar has joined the southern couches.
The Duke and Duchess Grimhall arrive less promptly than they would have liked to surely, but arrive all the same, slipping in as unobtrusively as possible and finding seats on the southern couches.
Lucrezia frowns at Wash. "I was not saying you said to leave them at home, he did," she gustures at Haakon. As Haakon clarifies his point, she narrows her eyes, but inclines her head to him. "My mistake. But, you also mistake us in assuming we will be using Cavarals primarily. I am relaying to *all* of you what we have faced so that you may consider your strategy for dealing with what we have already faced." She laughs wildly at Wash saying this fight is theirs and she leans towards him, the hard-sea look on her face alight despite her temper, "Trust me, if I threaten and bully you -you would know it-. This is a *war* we are going to fight, if we all," she takes her eyes from Wash and looks around the room at all the voices that are rising in contention, "go like this, they will be at us because we can't fucking trust each other to sit in the same room, relay information, and strategize from it. Do you all seriously fucking want to die?" Oops, the Princess is PISSED. She tosses her head like a wild animal and sets her jaw. "This, right here, right now, is what our enemies *want* to see." From her tone it's best that she does not have a drink or she'd be throwing the glass. "So, if this is how we behave in a meeting, shall we take six or more different fleets against them which will get in each others way in the chaos? That is what I am hearing."
The response from Sorrel has Ciro's brow lifting, the man saying nothing though as he listens to what she has to say. The man turning away from her only to stop as his head tilts, the man glancing back to her. "I wonder what honor there is to come to a meeting in the guise of help but with clear animosity in your heart. And disinterest born upon your tongue." The man giving a little shrug before he turns to move away from Sorrel, When he sees the look from Calla and the wink he offers her a smile in return.
Damiana is having a serious conversation over at the couches she's sitting at, her hand still up waiting politely. But hearing Lucrezia, she claps a few times in polite support. "The host has called for silence and to refocus, I'd remind all we as guests should honor her request."
Rosalind climbs to her, large hazel green eyes look around. "Stormheart does have a naval yard. I'm pretty sure that if you would like to use it, it won't be a problem. It's the only one in the north you'll find." Not that they're traveling north, but hey..."Or if you need help...." All that said, Rosa hurries out, just as quickly as she flew in.
Rosalind has left the southern couches.
Connal, a Northern Wolfhound, Honeymare, 1 Ravenseye Warrior leave, following Rosalind.
Teague exhales the smoke through his nose with a look at the rest of them for a moment, as he shakes his head slowly. He is moves up slowly to glare down at the map, maybe that will hold more answers than the voices, his eyes stormy icy color reading it.
Giada snakes a hand out to stop a servant passing. "Red. Strong. Quickly." That bit of self-care done, she looks back to the others, waiting for things to get back on track.
12 Thrax Elite Guards, Lilybelle - The Claw of Arx, Scarf, a sinewy, serious, shiny-seeking otter arrive, following Victus.
Dio raises his glass to Ember, sensing in the baroness perhaps a kindred spirit. "Lord Wash certainly has my attention, Baroness." He seems surprised at Wash's outburst, and shrugs. "I'm not sure you understood me." His dark eyes rest on the Kennex lord for a moment, and then pass to Sorrel. "My goals was to share ideas - constructively if possible." The Pirate Lord paces slowly around the map table, finding himself nodding in agreement with Lucrezia as she speaks of how the slavers of Skal'daja would laugh with glee at the state of things. "I not a strategist. Are there any here who are, who might be willing to share what they might propose given that they will need to be flexible?"
"I note the king's absence. Is that because he's delegated the defense of the Compact to you Princess Lucrezia?" Wash asks mildly, in the face of the Pravosi discomposure. "We are all interested in how the Wanton survived, was that luck, or something you can share with us as intelligence to protect us from the enemy?"
As Victus enters, Aedric stands and dips his chin respectfully. "Your Grace."
Haakon's stony manner neither chills nor warms, his expression remains stoic and there is no visible ire in his eyes or manner. When Lucrezia answers with escalating temper, he simply rises, gives a short bow of the head and shoulders to the host and hostess, turns and lifts Medeia off the couch, carrying her out toward the door. A short dipo of his head and muttered word to the newly arrives Thraxian highlord on his way out.
Ember checks composure and performance at daunting. Ember is marginally successful.
Medeia is carried off.
Ember watches Haakon scoop up Medeia and leave -- and the look on her face is only slightly inscrutable. She's clearly envious -- but of which one?
Nina also watches the exit of Haakon and Medeia. "... I definitely wish I'd brought a fan." She fans herself with her hand instead.
Haakon has left the southern couches.
Medeia has left the southern couches.
2 Eswynd shieldbearers, Klavdiya, who is definitely a handmaiden and not a pirate, an Eswynd warrior named Erik or Alric, Fluffy, the wary wildcat leave, following Medeia.
2 Prodigal reavers, Medeia leave, following Haakon.
Duarte checks wits and war at normal. Duarte is marginally successful.
Lucrezia checks wits and sailing at normal. Lucrezia is successful.
Giada soon has wine in her hand, and she relaxes against her wall again.
Calla checks intellect and war at normal. Calla is marginally successful.
Victus' entrance into the Triclinium with little fanfare, trailed by his retinue of guardsmen. Clad in mix of snakeskin and ceremonial armor. The High Lord has a raised brow, as the first thing coming toward him is Haakon with Medeia playing the role of precious cargo. "... Hm." Is his end-all answer to whatever Haakon mutters on his way by. The Prince's eyes scan the proceedings, drifting from one familiar face to the next. It's one face in particular, Count Duarte, that he drifts toward.
Victus has joined the alcove table.
Teague checks perception and war at normal. Teague is successful.
Allegra checks wits and war at normal. Allegra marginally fails.
Vicarin checks intellect and war at daunting. Vicarin is marginally successful.
Ember checks intellect and war at normal. Ember is successful.
Duarte reads the Naval Lexicon as things proceed to sail off the proverbial water fall. But it looks like he's learning some things. "So that's where the archers would stand..." he murmurs. The sight of the High Lord of Thrax moving his way has him quickly snapping the book shut and standing however.
Scylla checks intellect and war at normal. Botch! Scylla is simply outclassed. This is monumentally beyond them and the result is ruinous.
A Beautiful, Young Knight in Golden Armor arrives, following Ezmeralda.
Teague studies the map his eyes tracking it with a finger as he starts to move around it, plotting out a course from Arx slowly. It is out of the way, it is dangerous but one not likely to be seen."There is a route here, old trade route closed due to pirate attacks, it might be good to retrace it. Long abandon, most likely not watched."
Wash checks intellect and war at normal. Wash is successful.
Arturo, a young but rugged looking Saikland Sealion officer, Rodolfo, a grizzled, powerfully built Saikland Sealion veteran leave, following Vicarin.
Valdemar checks intellect and war at normal. Valdemar is successful.
Alessia checks composure at hard. Alessia is marginally successful.
Giada checks perception and streetwise at normal. Giada marginally fails.
Something Teague says has Giada moving. She sips her wine, moving to inspect the route with a practiced eye. She says nothing, however, bending in to inspect a few things more closely. Apparently, she's got nothing yet.
Aedric checks intellect and war at hard. Aedric is successful.
Calla stutters a bit as Medeia is picked up by her husband and removed from the meeting forcefully, then waves wistfully at her bestie. "Well do drinks sometime!" She calls after before getting up off the couch she was on to head over to the table to study the map and try to offer insight where she might.
When Dio notices Victus arrive, he bows after the fashion of the Lycene court. "Welcome, Your Grace." His eyes then pass to Teague as he traces a finger over the map. He drinks the rest of his rum as Calla arives beside the map, and it is half a breath before Owen offers him a fresh glass.
Ciro's movements do take a slight detour on his way over towards the seating where Calla and others were, just barely catching sight of Medeia being carried out. A chuckle slipping from the man as he heads fo the table with drink and food to get himself a glass of not wine or even rum. Ciro instead diving right into the whiskey pouring himself a tall glass. With the glass in hand finally turns noticing Calla with the others discussing plans. The man giving a small shug as he stands back working on his drink.
Calla has left the southern couches.
Victus dips into a stiff bow for Marquis Dio as the assembly's host and lord of the house, alongside the Iron Kraken Lucrezia. He turns then to speak at his chosen table, though not before gesturing for a drink.
Slard, a whip-scarred bodyguard, 2 Black Vanguard, Marwyn, a one eye'd scarred raven arrive, following Cornelius.
To Wash's question of the King, Lucrezia rolls her shoulders. "I am not someone who could guess at the comings and goings of the King. I have not heard that he has attended all meetings from other fealties regarding the war, so perhaps it is premature for you to question our veracity because he is not here. No, he has not appointed me to any such position. This is just Marquis Dio and myself trying to share information with other naval leaders or those interested in fighting in this what they will face. The only responsibility I have is what I told you from the beginning: all Pravus military matters are mine to coordinate. I do not presume to control any higher strategy. From what I hear here today not one of you would bloody well accept me if I did take that role. One of you gets to fight for that fucking honor." She laughs at what she thinks of that idea, but gestures for them to proceed if that is truly what they wish to do. She gestures for Damiana to talk, "Talk or we will ignore you."
For Wash's final question, she looks at him. "We cannot die." Calling herself WE??? That was more trust than any of them showed to *her*. "I don't know the mechanics of why we struck back, it was a reflex, but I will assume they will either come after me more fiercely because of what we did *or* will avoid the Wanton entirely because they know attacking us with our magics is not wise."
Giada has left the northern couches.
Giada has joined the alcove table.
Giada has left the alcove table.
When Victus enters, Ember's yellow eyes set upon her Highlord, and she watches him for a long moment. Then her attention returns to the brewing debate, or fracas, or whatever it's become. Her eyes flick to various others in brief greeting -- Alessia, for example, and Cornelius -- but those 'greetings' are literally just moments of eye contact as if to confirm that Ember has spotted them. Ember does pause for a moment, though, when she notices Natasha nodding to Damiana out of the corner of her eye. Ember leans over in her seat to whisper to the Thrax Princess.
Calla leaves, following Ciro.
"There is, of course, a riskier gamble," the sailor finally chimes in, shifting his attention to Dio. "Some weeks ago, a small flotilla of whaling ships flying the banner of Blackshore were approached by several Skal'dajan scouting vessels. Before they could intercept and capture these civilians, a great beast emerged from the depths and swallowed them whole. If there is any truth to this story, it would suggest that the Darkwater Deeps are no friend to the Eurusi -- regardless of their magics and rituals. If even a fraction of their fleet could be lured into the accursed place, they would likely suffer a similar fate." Aedric does not appear particularly fond of this strategy, but he would be remiss to ignore the opportunity to share intelligence.
Cornelius Blackshore slipped through the chamber doors before they were to close shut upon him, jostling his arm out forcefully; a simple flick of his eyes upward as if he surely paid no mind for the abrupt noise before the door quieted itself behind him. Eyes then scanned for familiarity, settling over to where his family had settled.
Cornelius has joined the northern couches.
1 Crimson Blades Sergeant, Rurik, a prodigal assistant, Aegis, a large red Oakhaven bloodhound arrive, following Mirk.
Drysi, a young shaman apprentice, Mirk arrive, following Khanne.
Khanne arrives, following Ciro.
At his uncle's speaking, Romulius perks up, seemingly uninterested by the earlier somewhat tense exchange. His gaze scans the room to judge what reactions there might be had to Aedric's proposal.
Giada checks perception and streetwise at normal. Giada is marginally successful.
"In Sangris," Calla speaks up, a little meekly at first before she finds her voice somewhat. "We would use the terrain against stronger forces to turn the tides in our favor." She nods in agreement with Aedric. "Exactly that. Lead them to an area where we will have an advantage over them."
Ember's eyebrows lift, and she turns to look at Aedric for a very, very long moment. Or it feels like a very long moment, anyway. "Or that magic is appetizing," Ember says, loud enough that it can be considered to the room instead of just to Aedric. "Think of how you smell a delicious meal before you can taste it -- perhaps such is the way with the Hunger and vessels laden down with sorcery."
Teague walks away from the map, as he nods to Giada, as he looks over at Dio. His hand is lifting a glass of rum slowly, pouring it with a soft shake of his head, listening now as it seems to be back on track.
Ember adds, quickly: "However, what we do not know is if the beast would be /strengthened/ by a such a diet -- and then we would have another problem to deal with."
"Reveka Tyde stylizes herself as the Queen of the Free Seas." Victus speaks of from his spot at the alcove table. "There is no love of slavery with the Abyssal forces in the Darkwater Deeps. Only that they can devour whatever is foolish enough to wander within their territory. The beasts would attack the Skal'daja, certainly. But they can hardly be controlled."
Giada seems to be ignoring the verbal jousts at this point, looking up to incline her head to Victus. "Your Grace," she greets before looking back at the map. "That route that he mentioned. There's an old trading post on this side, just past that screwy looking rock. If we can get back up, I can send my people there with medical supplies as a restocking point. Won't be too hard to ship things in if we come from this direction... here."
Damiana hears lady Astraea whisper in her ear that she's recognized by the hostess and the blind dragon turns her face to look in the general direction of all the talk as she stands. "Thank you, princess Lucrezia. You're a gracious hostess and I thank you for your hospitality."
"I believe the Pravus, Velenosan and Thraxan navies are uniquely adapted for the naval battles that will be happening and would welcome admirals or captains to share their knowledge perhaps with our captains. I ask because the Skal'dajan fleet with their Eurusi bloodmages are helped by the heretical Helianthus supporters so they can pick and choose where the battles will be should Valardin forces simply arrive. Having southern allies giving strategic points and maps to our captains would be a great asset, such as an updated Skal'dajan fleet and incursion report."
"My eyes though are on Eurus throughout this, to liberate that place from the False Prophet's mad teachings that have corrupted fully and the Skal'dajan fleet of the Tyrant is a hinderance from a crusade being launched successfully in Eurus. There are relics and the Faith to mitigate the power of the mages but I am most concerned about the lieutenant of the Tyrant, the White Singer. She represents a significant threat to us."
"Ri-ight." Wash clearly has no idea what to make of the Princess' answer, it's clearly nonsense to him. "The Thrax Leviathan has pursued the enemy fleet from isle to isle. They leave shav islands desolate and empty when they resupply. They can retreat to the bloodwater if pursued too aggressively. It should be assumed that they are taking enough slaves to bolster their ranks of rowers and free up all their soldiers for land or sea engagements." Thats about the extent of the interaction with the Thraxian forces, for now.
Raven's green eyes swing around to Damiana, abruptly and intensely interested, "I would be quite keen to hear of this White Singer. Another time, perhaps?"
The mention of the White Singer catches Vanora's attention too, and pale green eyes turn towards the source as she inclines her head at Damiana.
Giada clears her throat. "I should be getting back to my storehouse soon, Marquis," she tells Dio. "I'm assuming that the Physicians Guild can expect some support from House Pravus on the supply lines?" Her eyes turn to Lucrezia confirmingly.
Patrizio has left the alcove table.
6 First Legion Centurions leaves, following Patrizio.
Arriving rather late are a couple shaman, Mirk and Khanne. The Vala tries to look inconspicuous, murmuring apologies as she tries to sneak into a seat somewhere.
Dio listens thoughtfully to Aedric's intelligence. "That is a very interesting proposition, My Lord." At Victus's words, Dio nods, but his attention is soon fully on Damiana. "There is great hope in your words, Your Highness," says Dio to the Valardin Princess. "Prince Sebastian has also expressed concerns regarding the White Singer," he adds, glancing toward Lucrezia. "We are also told that Prince Damik'uhl'daja will sail with us against his brothers." With a number of plans being drawn by those skilled in the arts of war, a light seems to gleam in the marquis's dark eyes. His eyes pass briefly to Victus, but he turns then to Giada. "It is not my decision to make, but I will make sure Seraceni sends all the support she can."
Mention of the White Singer lids Natasha's near-black gaze, but otherwise she says very little else to the collective about it. She does turn to regard those with her at the couches to address them quietly, though, whatever she has to impart lost in the growing hubbub within the hall.
"Excuse me, Prince what? Damit'all'towhat?" Duarte is trying to take notes. "Can you say that again?"
"Mirrorborn are rather difficult to dispatch with swords, I hear," Mirk says in agreement with Victus as he approaches the table with Khanne. In contrast, he doesn't seem to apologize for his lateness, merely finding himself a seat and then settling in to listen to the discussion around him, getting his bearings before he contributes much more to that discussion.
"Prince Damik!" Nina says, looking at Duarte with some surprise, but then... drinking some ine. "He's very nice," she adds.
Savio has left the alcove table.
The Marquessa of House Leporidae can be seen winding her way through the tangled masses. At first sighting she is already close to the man of the House's side, leaning in to offer her polite greeting no doubt. One polite kiss on either cheek later and she leaves the man to his devices so she can make way to the wine or whatever it is they are serving to drink here. Although she may be easy to miss it is no doubt due to the towering woman beside her, one of Tremorus' finest from the looks of her. Lucrezia is given a polite raise of the glass in passing, since Ezmeralda seemed intently headed towards the Merchant Prince of Tremorus.
Dio chuckles and nods to Duarte. "He is the Eurusi Prince who fought with us at Sungreet: Prince Damik'uhl'daja, or just 'Prince Damik' as Lady Monique used to call him."
"We shorten it to Prince Damik for that reason." Victus muses toward Duarte. "The Marquis is correct. Prince Damik lends his expertise to the Compact and is present among the other High Lords in planning for war. I would speak in praise of his conviction." A beat. "Although, he does not very much appreciate the 'death to slavers' mantra. So please use it sparringly in his presence."
Ember grumbles after Victus says that last part.
Ezmeralda has joined the mosaic floor.
"An entirely unfortunate and improbable name," Duarte considers. But he nods. "Thank you..." and he motions cordially that the meeting should continue.
Looking toward his brother as he leaves, Giorgio spies Ezmeralda making her way toward him and he rises from his seat on the couch and makes to meet the Marquessa to shorten her walk, gesturing toward the mosaic floor.
Giorgio has left the alcove table.
Giorgio has joined the mosaic floor.
Andromeda has joined the mosaic floor.
Dio,quite charmed by Ezmeralda's greeting, bows in turn. His attention turns to Mirk, and he takes another sip of rum. A look of concentration appears on Dio's face at Victus' words regarding the 'death to slavers' mantra, and he commits this fact to memory.
Listening to the others talk Ciro remains silent, The man moving around the table and those at it talking of war and tactics and the issues presented, Finally he moves in to stand beside Calla as he voices aloud the question that had begun to dwell on his mind. "Another thing..to perhaps think over. Seek out those in your wards who speak the language, To know the orders and meanings behind things with our enemies. And of course to help should any be taken prisoner to gather more information to help with the fight." The suggestion made he falls silent leaning in to whisper something to Calla after a sip of his whiskey.
Giada nods. "We typically have Solace with us as well, but personal knowledge of the coastlines will be invaluable," she replies to Dio, one thumb hooking in her belt. "Local fishermen, guides, whatever you can find, I'd like a couple on board to help the navigators and helmsmen." <repose>
From her seat, Khanne tries to catch Dio's attention, albeit subtly, to let him know she did, in fact, attend. For the moment, her attention is spent on catching up to the conversation.
Damiana sits down as she brought her concern, "It's a difficult proposition to support any Eurusi exiles if they're desiring to return to their heretical religious beliefs that are against the Pantheon after they use the Faith's power to claim what was taken from them."
Lucrezia looks to Aedric as he speaks of monsters from the depths. For a moment wonder spreads over her face before the stern, annoyed pirate look returns. "Did any of their number survive to send word back of this danger to them in those waters?" She listens as Damiana speaks, barely NOT laughing at being called a gracious host after half-chewing out part of the guests. Let alone being called a gracious host at all. "Of course, what maps and intelligence of numbers we obtain, we will share with all. I can't speak for Thrax," she glances towards Vicus, but doesn't assume he would or not, "But Pravus is willing to send someone to speak with your people should you desire it, we will arrange a time beneficial to both of us." Wash's news of the fleet snatching up slaves as they go earns a grim nod. "Yes, we do well to remember that these slaves do not have a choice. Don't grow weak and think you can turn them. Killing them may and will be the only expedient release we can give them if we wish to survive this war."
She nods to Ezmeralda and glances to Dio, nodding in support of what he says to Giada. To Giada, she says, "Yes, we will give you all the support you require. I will be blunt to say that most will die, being beyond your ability, but all that you can return to the fight will be needed. Your help to us is vital and will not be neglected. The same goes for any others who will be sending aid in a support rather than military fashion. Protecting our supply chain will be important if this is not a short engagement."
"As for taking the fight to Eurus, we may have to do that at some point, but that isn't the current scope. We need to survive the threat sailing against us and learn how to counter their attacks so every fight we have with them isn't a barely won matter."
Alongside Ezmeralda towers Andromeda, the Titan of Tremorus moving with powerful steps. She inclines her head in greeting to Dio as the Marquessa greets him, but seems content, for now, to be quiet - though the subject matter has her clenching her fists and giving a small scowl. Still, she moves with Ezmeralda towards Giorgio, two steps behind and one to the left, giving another nod to Lucrezia to mimic that of the Lady of Leporidae. Once they reach the Merchant Prince, however, she stands, arms crossed and her expression that of the resting mother hound - wary and distrustful.
Vanora notices Ciro and Calla and responds to the former's suggestion with, "I know Eurusi, and am more than happy to help those in my ward or this one who might find that useful."
Lucrezia's words bring a nod from Giada. "Thank you, Highness. We'll do what we can, and I'll make sure we have supplies if you can keep them off my back."
Giada glances at a messenger hanging around. "Excuse me. Have a good night, all."
Wash says, "The Eurusi are convinced of one thing, that they are superior to us in every way. I am less certain, but think it likely, that they will seek to kill the traitors to their cause. My proposal is to use one of these two weaknesses to exploit them into a conflict that is detrimental to their cause. A force that is weaker in appearance but flying Prince Damik's flag. Perhaps at what appears to be an undefended island, where we can turn the tables on them. That's the bare bones of a successful ploy that would hand them a second loss."
Frost, a Maelstrom Forest Cat leaves, following Lore.
Raven bows to Allegra, then towards Lucretia. Her ironguard stays behind to to guard Princess Allegra when the Blackheart steps away.
Sebastian, an adorable gray and white tabby, Jacinthe, Arindais, a dour-looking Scholar, 3 Templar Knight guards arrive, following Sina.
Frost, a Maelstrom Forest Cat, Sina arrive, following Lore.
Calla shoots a glance to Ciro when he comes up next to her, she nods in agreement with his suggestion. "That's a fair point." Then to Vanora, she smiles softly, "I could certainly benfit from that. Thanks."
Raven has left the alcove table.
3 Black Fleet Reavers, Moonsilver, the pale-feathered raven, 1 Iron Guardsmen leave, following Raven.
Nina clears her throat, a bit, as Damaina mentions exiles. "Do you think... there is work of course for diplomats to do, as it benefits the exiles and so on? I am not one for warfare. But I am a good poet, and sometimes... that helps!"
Victus has left the alcove table.
Victus has joined the northern couches.
Damiana agrees with Nina, "I very much think diplomatic and humanitarian efforts would be good, even with the Eurusi exiles that already are here within our lands. We're better for our diversity, also recognize and protect each of our unique histories. I'd be very happy to hear recommendations on the diplomatic side of this coming war."
The words from Vanora draw Ciro's gaze, the man giving her a small nod. "I am sure it will be helpful, even if just a few key phrases. A good thing I would think to know what orders are being shouted out by your enemy." The man giving a sidelong glance to Calla when she mentions needing help with it. A brief look of surprise showing along his features though it quickly vanishes as he murmurs something to the woman. When Nina speaks up and asks over diplomatic efforts Ciro speaks up again, "I would like to be counted among those for such endeavors as well, I might be shit with a sword and more likely to stab myself or a friend but with words I do far better. Perhaps we should put together a group for those purposes? So those of us not with blades in our hands are able to work together to secure alliances for the coming fight and assist those affected by it."
"That," says Dio to Wash, "Is a plan I like very much. I must assume they will try their utmost to destroy Prince Damik first, supposing him to be one of our greatest assets." Noticing Khanne, Dio moves slowly from the area near the map, laying a hand on Ciro's shoulder as he passes.
"Thank you for coming, Duchess," Dio says in his warm Lycene tone. He bows, and says a quiet word to her and to Mirk.
"None survived. Victims of their appetite for conquest," the mariner replies, returning to his seat shortly after. Absent support from the Prince of the Mourning Isles, who seemed to question the proposal's viability, Aedric would refrain from pushing the matter further. Gauntlets return to the artificial pockets of breastplate.
Terribly late, Sina arrives and inserts herself into the crowd in the room as unobtrusively as it is possible to do, followed by three Templars. She moves to a place where she can observe, standing for now, trying to catch up on what's been said so far. The Archscholar is wearing a simple black Scholar's robe today, her hair pinned up in an elegant updo to keep it off her neck in the sultry summer heat. She glances around briefly, to see who else is here, but mostly she is quiet, trying to get a sense of what is being said, her expression solemn.
Duarte stands. He smiles to his companions in the alcove and then drifts across the room. He slinks to the beverage table and grabs one. Walking around in a low key fashion he edges closer and closer to the exit. Then slips out.
Duarte has left the alcove table.
Harlen, The Tiniest Donkey leave, following Duarte.
Wash says, "A flotilla of longboats will encourage them to use their stormcalling, to crush them against the shore. But if we have a fleet to take advantage of those winds, we can bring a fleet of sail ships in behind them, make their strength into a weakness."
Teague stands there quietly listening, as his eyes move now from face to face, voice to voice. Nothing to add yet.
Allegra raises her hand from her table, simply stating. "If a group is to be formed for diplomatic purposes. I will partake if requested. I promise to hold my tongue." There is a small pause. "Mostly."
For some reason as the conversations in the room continue, Alessia's demeanor seems to only grow worse over time. To the point where she's notably suppressing -something-. Her nails dig into the skin of her arms as she sits in silence, staring ahead, a hint of fury becoming apparent.
Wash steps up to the map, chooses an island and starts moving ships. "You don't have to split the fleet, just divide them so that if they use a storm against us, they hurt themselves as much as us." Wash demonstrates by moving ships around. "A storm that crushes the longboats here, puts them downwind from our caravels, we get the advantage, and can put them in our lee. Damned if they do, damned if they don't."
Nina looks at Allegra, and nods. Then she puts her glass down, and folds her hands. "I volunteer as well, of course."
Teague watches the room as he walks forward now slowly making his way back to the map, as he stares down at it. Processing the infomation given, as his cold storm eyes look over the others, still quiet as the grave. His gears, turning planning, thinking, it was not the time for him to speak.
Fluffy, the wary wildcat arrives, delivering a message to Calla before departing.
When the call goes out for diplomats, Ember looks over from the conversation at the northern couches, again looking at Allegra for a long moment.
And then, thank the gods, Ember remains quiet and does not volunteer herself to help with /that/ effort.
"Those who wish to try diplomacy with those who said they want to kill and/or enslave all of us are braver than I. Those that wish for a diplomatic solution should meet to make yourselves up plan. Just please send word back to your houses' military leadership so we don't compromise what you do or we plan a fight right on top of your talks. I have not heard if such already exists, but I don't pay attention to dipolmatic matters unless someone tells me to listen." No one wants Lucrezia trying diplomacy! Hearing Aedric's reply, she grins. "Good, then, we should plan to try to lure them there. Perhaps Prince Darik would be a tasty enough bait. Splitting their forces to a more manageable size will go better for us." She laughs at Wash's strategy of smashing them on their shore. "Do keep in mind that if we use the Chains for that it is water they know better than all of us combined. Unless we can have them sail for somewhere other than the Chains that may not go as well for us as can be hoped unless those wanting to utilize that strategy spend time in storms there." Too bad storms couldn't come at their command for that purpose. "The map can only tell you so much before storm conditions make it useless. Perhaps there is where the Arvani fire could be useful. Lure them to places to shoot it down upon them from the coast, trapping them between us and the fire. That way the fire wouldn't come back on us unexpectedly." Well those pour souls on the cost? Her preference to ships is clear!
After a few quiet words with Dio and Khanne, Mirk turns his attention to the rest of the table. "There is another matter that may impact the course of the war in the Saffron Chain, though I don't believe that it will ultimately favor either side of this conflict, us or the Eurusi. There is a great spirit imprisoned beneath the Saffron Chain, which has been stirring of late. It is responsible for the earthquakes that have reached Arx. If it stirs again, such earthquakes have the potential to impact our forces, whether we fight on land or at sea. The Spirit Walkers will be on hand to placate any spirits distressed by its actions, and with any luck ask for their aid in mitigating the effects of such things; we might also be able to enlist such aid against Eurusi blood magic, though such things are, of course, deeply uncertain at the best of times."
"We aren't sure if the Eurusi are even aware of this spirit, which we know as the Great Blood Spirit of Cataclysms, or That Which Dreams Beneath the Saffron. We don't believe that there is any immediate danger that it will be released from its prison, which is fortunate; the last time it was free, the Blood Spirit was responsible for the creation of the Saffron Chain, by shattering a continent known as Dawnhome into the innumerable islands that we know today."
"Lord Wash..." Vanora addresses the Kennex man from her seat. "Forgive me for the ignorance of the question, warfare is not a strength. The way you speak of longships though, do you believe it advantageous to have a fleet of them for those purposes of distraction?"
Nina looks over, shocked, at what Mirk just said. "....What? That was what caused the Earthquakes?" She blinks several, wide-eyed times at that.
The talk of diplomatic things is listened to by Ciro, the man making mental notes as people volunteer before he offer as a flask is pulled free with his left hand and pressed into Calla's nearby hand. "I am sure that Lady Medeia Eswynd will be of use and help as well. I am sure of it in fact...just need to mention it to her I suppose." Ciro almost casually offering up anothers help with diplomatic efforts. When Lucrezia speaks Ciro falls silent and listens, The man giving a small nod murmuing softly for a moment to Calla.
"We're fairly certain of that, yes," Mirk says to Nina, a grimace on his face. "We aren't sure whether there will be earthquakes or tidal waves, truthfully, but given its proximity to the fighting and its recent stirring, we're wary of the possibility."
Rising from her seat, Alessia excuses herself quietly to those around her, relaxing her hands as she nods to the hosts and then leaves the room. A few cats, suddenly appearing in view, follow her out.
Sina tucks her hands into the long sleeves of her robe, and continues to observe the meeting quietly. She does not, yet, offer any words of her own, her expression remaining smooth. Her gaze does turn toward Mirk as he mentions the rather scary-sounding spirit that lies beneath the Saffron Chain, but her features register no surprise. She does shift on her feet a little, before turning her eyes to the map, if she can see it through the press of bodies between her and it.
Alessia has left the northern couches.
Sirra, a very quiet maid, an indeterminate number of cats, 3 House Mazetti Guardians, Lance, a rebellious swan that likes to headbutt leave, following Alessia.
A messenger arrives, delivering a message to Giorgio before departing.
Teague turns now talk of talk, is not his thing. Quickly the man makes for the door, without a look back out into the world, he needs to find a drink or a fight. Hopeful, in the reverse order, with that he is gone.
Wash says, "Look, they have a storm that can overwhelm our superior number of smaller vessels. So we need to make that storm a weakness for them. If we put them in a position where calling a storm to swamp our longboats gives our caravels a way advantage, then they will at the very least hesitate before making that decision, perhaps long enough for our longboats to have a greater impact before the chop scatters them."
Damiana puts it out there like a little tiny worm on a hook, "There might be others who could be interested in helping against a rather common threat of the Dune Kingdom, if it was asked."
Dio's expression suggests that Mirk's words on the blood spirit were more dire than he had supposed. "Thank you, Lord Mirk. At least I suppose we can take comfort in the fact that it is unlikely to aid our enemies." He drinks more rum; his eyes are now glassy. The marquis glances toward Victus, and moves in his direction, stopping for a moment to offer a respectful bow to Sina. "It is good to see you in the new Seraceni Manor, Archscholar. I know my sister appreciated your company very much." He listens to Wash, thinking, and then says to Sina, "I also suspect the followers of Alaric III will coordinate their attacks with those of the Skal'dajans."
After indeed taking a couple of drinks from the flask offered to her, Calla goes a bit pale when Mirk speak of the great spirit of the Saffron chain, taking a breath to steady herself.
Rising up from her seat, Lore leaves the tin and bottle at her little space she's carved out for herself and approaches the northern couches. There's a general, all-purpose bow towards the nobility and royalty offered, but she seems intent on putting a few words in the ear of the High Lord. Leaning in to murmur to Victus even as she reaches to clasp his forearm and offer her own in return.
Ember speaks up regarding Dio's last point: "I can only speak for the barony of Redreef Shores, but my plans for the immediate future are to engage the major shav tribes of my waters -- I have no interest in making them my friends, but if I can convince them that life under the followers of Alaric III is a worse prospect than life under Prince Victus and the King and so on, then... as I said. If I can't add to my own friends, I can at least try to add to Ivan Helianthus's enemies."
Wash has ignored the mention of the blood spirit entirely. Mention of Alaric piques his interest though. "We got word that the Skal'dajan fleet was headed our way with plenty of notice. And we have better information on the Dune Kingdoms now. If Alaric launches a fleet, that puts a clock on this engagement, but it should not weaken our resolve. If Alaric the last wants to help the Skallies, then he'll threaten Stormwall or Maelstrom. We can trust that neither of those will surrender easily."
Hearing Mirk, Lucrezia nods, acknowledging the dangers unstable tides would have to fleet and armies alike. "Well, this gets more cheery." Lucrezia sounds cheerful, though! Fighting a host that outnumbers them and adding angry spirits on top? Fun times. "Do let us know if there is any actions on the Compact's part which is making it worse. The seas will be unreliable as it is without us doing it to ourselves."
Looking to Wash once more, Lucrezia nods. "If we can. I am certain they are far, far more experienced with fighting each other at sea with storms than we are. We ought to be prepared that they will be aware of such tactics. We will need to do all we can to split them up." To Damiana she says, "If you have allies that you haven't called on yet... now is past time to start writing. Pravus has been working on forces friendly to us and assume others have as well. If that turns the tide to our favor, it'll be to the good. We can't count on a 'may' to win a war."
As Dio pauses to greet her, Sina inclines her head in return. "Marquis," she greets him pleasantly. "It is a pleasure to finally meet you. Yes, your sister and I were... close. Practically family." There is a strange smile on her lips at that, part sad, part ironic. "If I can be of any aid in providing knowledge for the war effort, please let me know. The resources of the Scholars are at your disposal." She tilts her head slightly, listening as he speaks further to her in response to what Wash says. "It would not surprise me if this is the case. I strongly suspect that the attack by the Skaldajans may simply be a diversion. It is known what the Dune Emperor's ultimate goal is... to return the Compact to his rule."
After standing by and witnessing the proceedings the Lady of Tremorus raises her brows but refrains from sharing her thoughts aloud. The glass in her hand is set down on a passing platter carried by a servant and a polite whisper of thanks. Ezmeralda gives a look to Andromeda and Giorgio after the Merchant Prince received his missive, without further ado they began to move towards the exit but not before passing the gathering of Pravosi on the way to offer her final thoughts.
Victus shares some hushed, hallow laughter with the circle he's barged into at the northern couches. Spying Dio on the approach from his peripheral, the High Lord turns and straightens up his posture to it's tip-top shape. "Marquis." He greets and patiently waits. While Occasionally canting his head to answer something to his side or behind him, as well as have an ear toward what Lore says quietly between them. Those hushed words put a smile on his face. A genuine smile, a true rarity.
Giorgio offers a nod for whatever conversation he had been having with Marquessa Ezmeralda and Lady Andromeda. When they make ready to leave, Giorgio doesn't delay. Offering nods of farewell toward those assembled whom he knows, Giorgio makes for the exit.
Giorgio has left the mosaic floor.
"There is one other warning about this Great Blood Spirit, that is directed at House Pravus and its vassals rather specifically," Mirk adds, once the news has sunken in. "We were warned to 'beware digging deep in the Saffron,' as it might disturb the Blood Spirit's prison."
Nina has had a bit to drink, and has a lot to think about now, but... when she stands, there's a certain determination to her stride. "When... ever someone is in charge of the diplomatic efforts... please do reach out to me. Unless you do need someone to lead the efforts, but I'm not sure where to begin." She grabs her skirt and curtsies politely at this. She then looks at Mirk.... and pauses. "..That does, sound scary."
Damiana frowns and she finally says, "I don't recognize him as Alaric III, he is a Tyrant, the Dune Emperor, the servant of the False Prophet or any other name. Alaric III died in the sea, the man that is the pretender has no honor and without honor he is no king or Alaric III."
Ezmeralda has left the mosaic floor.
Andromeda has left the mosaic floor.
A Beautiful, Young Knight in Golden Armor, Andromeda leave, following Ezmeralda.
Retaking his flask Ciro is quick to tuck it away, seeing the sudden shifting in demeanor from Calla at the mention of the blood spirit beneath the isles the man reaches out. His left hand briefly touching against her shoulder befoe the hand withdraws. His glass of whiskey is raised and a deeper sip is taken as he looks on listening and watching. When Ember speaks of talking to the shav tribes and seeking to have them help there is a small cough before Ciro speaks up, "I could help if you need it or want it, Find a way to show them that things are better under Victus and the king..Or give them reason at least to be a very large thorn in the side of our enemies."
Wash says, "I don't think that the Dune Emperor is coming to help the Skallies." Wash says. "Skallies' lose, Skallies, win, either one strengthens his case as Emperor. He gave them permission to come, anything victories they have are in his name. If they lose, then the rest of Eurus recognizes that they have an enemy across the sea and they need to unify to oppose us. Compact for Compact. We beat the Skallies, Emperor raises a million new spears to take the holdout kingdoms in Eurus."
Allegra slowly rises from her seat, cane in hand and with careful steps and a light tapping upon the floor, the Pravus Princess makes her way for the exit, tho pausing to listen to something murmured to her from Ezmeralda. There is a firm nod given and a light touching of the woman's hand. They know where she stands. They know what she can offer. They know where to find her.
Ember looks to Ciro, and nods. "Well. My family has only been destroying the settlements of 'House' Blackreef--" Ember's air quotes around 'House' are audible, as is her utter disgust for a shav tribe claiming to be a noble House, "--for around... two hundred and fifty years. So. I can't imagine they'll be difficult to bring to the table, so to speak." Ember wags her eyebrows. She's speaking as though she's being dead serious, but she's /almost/ certainly being sarcastic.
Khanne watches Mirk address the others, informing them of the Great Blood Spirit. She nods along with him, but something Wash says catches her attention and she focuses there for a moment.
Allegra has left the alcove table.
Dio bows to Sina. "Thank you, Archscholar." He listens to her warning, with its significant perspective shift - at least for him - with a grim expression. He moves slowly again toward Victus. "Your Grace," he replies to the High Lord. He is silent for a moment, and then speaks a quiet question lost amid the general conversation.
Sina glances over to Damiana, and gives her a nod. "He is, at that. And no doubt, his loss to the sea has left what remains of him forever marked. It is difficult to define what to call him, precisely. Even using the term Dune Emperor may be giving him power, and it legitimizes his role and his claim, as he sees it. Names do have power, after all, and the more they are spoken, the greater that power becomes. The more... fixed, it becomes, within the Dream, if that makes sense? Perhaps we should simply refer to him as 'you know who', just to be safe." There is really no humor in the words, her features quite grave. "It is a tricky business, names and titles."
Khanne murmurs a bit to Mirk then looks around the gathering, biting her lip. "So um... it's a long shot, but since Wash mentioned storms... I have um, some experience.... we might be able to counter their storms with out own. If we can get the Spirits to agree that it is a good idea...."
Nina can't hold this in any longer. "...There's an item we've been searching for that could help," she says, aloud. She then clears her throat. "The last I heard, it was lost at sea, taken by pirates."
Lucrezia frowns at what Sina has to say, but nods to her. "I'll take note of that and make sure when we plan to be careful we we call him. We'll make up something suitably...fitting." The way that she smiles indicating it'd be a name not fit for noble company. What Khanne has to say make her stare at her. She points. "I want it. If you have the power or calm or reverse their storms, we *need* it to be tried. If we're fighting with just normal fire and weapons, that'd help spare a good number of our soldiers and sailors."
Vanora glances over at Nina, an eyebrow raising slightly. "Which item?"
Wash says, "Will that require the Spirit Walkers to be at the site of the conflict Duchess Halfshav?"
Calla looks at Ciro when he squeezes her shoulder, smiling softly to something he says as she steadies herself and takes a breath before speaking. "If I can help with personal knowledge of the Chain, please do let me know. I was hoping to help here, but it seems as if no one wants to asks those who will be most affected, since our homes are there, and we might know more than those of you new to the chain." She nods towards the exiting Marquessa Laporidae. "Her and I could be invaluable, and yet we've hardly been noticed." She smiles and shrugs. "But I'm not used to working with others when it comes to these kinds of things, so you'll have to excuse me if i'm unfamiliar with how things work here."
A messenger arrives, delivering a message to Lore before departing.
"Oh, the magical instrument," Nina says, with another curtsey, one-handed. "It is a Lyre. I believe I had mentioned it with the Bards once or twice. But now that we know what we're up against, this seems like a stronger imperative."
Khanne nods to Lucrezia. "Because it worked before does not mean we would be successful, but, we can try." Turning to look towards Wash, she says, "we already have plans to travel with the Templars..." She pauses, looking to Mirk for confirmation there. "I believe we plan to be there, Lord Wash."
"We will be with the fleet," Mirk confirms with a nod of his head. "Which should be close enough. The uncertainty lies in whether the spirits will assist us in that fashion. They have before, but that's no guarantee for the future."
A messenger arrives, delivering a message to Lore before departing.
Sina turns her gaze to Lucrezia, and inclines her head. She turns her attention to Nina then as she speaks up about a magical lyre. She looks thoughtful, silvery gaze turning inward briefly. But she doesn't seem to have anything to say on the subject, her eyes refocusing without any recognition of the story in question. She falls back into silently studying the map, though she seems to be thinking inwardly, rather than really focusing on it.
Wash says, "All any of us can promise is to plan to be in the right place at the right time."
Lucrezia tilts her head to Calla. "Marquis Dio has asked numerous times this evening for *all* who have suggestions or experience applicable to this fight to speak. Do you need us to address you by name and title for you to give your aid?" She shrugs to Calla. "Seems you do, so: What do you suggest?"
Lucrezia turns her gaze to hear of Nina's treasure, but shakes her head, having nothing to offer of it's whereabouts. To Kahnne she says, "I appreciate that. Even a failed try is help. It gladdens me to hear that we will have the support of those trying to nullify the storm, thank you."
Ciro's smile actually grows hearing the words spoken by Calla, the boldness lacing her mention of the knowledge of those who call the isles their home and her mention of the knowledge between her and the departing Marquessa have the man giving a small nod. Not speaking up as he listens in full what she has to say remaining beside her. When there is mention from Nina of a lute he briefly looks her way, "We will need to talk later on the lute..and on what it might do to help if it can be found. My sister..does love finding what is lost, and what is..unusual."
6 Ivory Shields, Oubi the Owl arrive, following Graziella.
Victus' words to Dio cause the marquis's jaw to drop in unabashed surprise. He soon recovers, and seems energized as he turns to listen to Mirk, Sina, Lucrezia and Ciro.
"No, of course not," Calla replies to Lucrezia, cheeks glowing pink for a moment as she drops her gaze. "I just want to offer my knowledge of the Chains if anyone needs it. That's all." She steps back from the table then, out of the main conversation before turning to Ciro and whispering something back.
Graziella arrives and finds seat out of the way where she can listen without injecting herself directly into the war talks, the Princess here to eavesdrop not to participate.
Graziella has joined the alcove table.
Scylla has left the northern couches.
Samuel, first mate of the Black Tide leaves, following Scylla.
Nina nods to Ciro, and to Vanora as well, muttering something to her. "Thank you. Please... send word for me, for anyone who has information about the diplomatic works as well. I'm sure that ... if we work together..." and here she looks around the room, at many people here. "All of us. We CAN do this."
There's some hurried nodding from Victus as he mutters to Dio, though the only things he says loud enough to be heard over the ruckus is, "No reason to think otherwise. On my honor, I promise."
The High Lord turns his attention back to the group at the couches, although now it's Natasha that's occupying his ear.
Ciro checks charm and manipulation at normal. Ciro is marginally successful.
Ember checks charm and leadership at hard. Ember marginally fails.
Nina's words make Ember's eyebrows bounce, and the very beginnings of a smile form at the corners of her lips. "I agree, Messere Autumndale. We CAN do this," Ember says, adopting her stately, public-address Baroness Voice for a moment.
"We CAN slaughter them all and leave no survivors." Ember doesn't adopt a 'rah rah team!' intonation or anything, but her talk of butchering the opposing enemy and killing them all seems to be intended to inspire the room.
Seems to be intended.
Ciro gets Raspberry Chocolate Cordial Port.
Whatever is whispered by Calla seems to be enough for Ciro, the man not leaning back in to whisper in response. Instead his left hand draws behind her and he guides her over near the drink table the man setting his glass down replacing it with the bottle of port. A look is given back to the gathering before he catches the eye of a server moving out the door, "What's that, A message? Well only right to step out and take it." The man's words spoken softly before he is quickly moving with Calla for the door clearly bringing her with to see to the /messenger/.
Nina claps happily at Ember's totally rah-rah teamwork attitude.
Damiana hears Ember's strategy and says "There's much to be said about leaving nothing but ash and glass, purging the problem with fire or so says my sister Emma. Although I've only just learned you don't send all your ships to one battle, you apparently are supposed to leave some in reserve."
Victus will just... raise his glass in Ember's general direction. Not exactly a rah-rah, or a team, but he does acknowledge it. That Baroness sure did just say some stuff about murder.
"Your sister sounds like a very wise woman," Ember asides to Damiana, because Em- names stick together.
"I like to get to the slaughter part as neatly as possible." Wash says. "Faster and smoother, means fewer casualties."
Calla lets herself be let by Ciro as if going to get a drink, and decides to go along to see what this oh-so-important messenger might be.
Calla leaves, following Ciro.
Lucrezia nods in agreement to Nina saying they can do it. "Indeed, there is no option to fail." She finds a smile for her sister, Graziella. Back to Calla, she nods. "Thank you. We do need all the advice for fighting in the Chains that you can give. We can hardly expect to know all the good places to lay traps yet. Those you offered already are useful and all others you can think of we'll take to mind."
Mirk grimaces at the talk of slaughter. Clearly it doesn't sit right with him, though he doesn't voice any protest. Instead, he merely listens closely to the discussion and pours himself another glass of wine.
Graziella is seated at her table dripping in stygian and iridescite without a care for the current conversation, she makes sure to elongate her neck enough to really show off her new choker when some of the other fashionistas begin to whisper about people's outfits.
Dio bows to Victus, and comes in his slow fashion to stand the southern couches near Vanora and Valdemar. His eyes pass from Ember to Nina, but his gaze comes to rest on Damiana - though the buzz among the Seraceni servants at the legendary fashions of the evening cause him to smile, and finish his second glass of rum.
Vanora has left the southern couches.
Wash glances around for any more constructive input on preliminary engagement ideas.
Nina does make a little show as she steps away from the table, but only because she is leaving, and she has of course drawn attention to herself as she gave her very short, but determined, speech. "I think I will have just one more drink before I depart, but... Hm, the Dancing Father is open all night if people want a little after party!"
Vanora rises to her feet in a swirl of brocade silk dark as the sea..that she's worn many times before. The Marquis is given airy not-quite kisses to each cheek in the Lycene fashion, and she murmurs, "Thank you so much for asking us to come in particular."
Victus is overheard praising Dio.
Victus is overheard praising Lucrezia.
Dio is overheard praising Victus.
Dio is overheard praising Lucrezia.
Vanora is overheard praising Dio.
Dio is overheard praising Mirk.
Graziella is overheard praising Dio.
Vanora is overheard praising Victus.
Graziella is overheard praising Lucrezia.
Dio is overheard praising Ciro.
Vanora is overheard praising Lucrezia.
Damiana is overheard praising Dio: It isn't easy to plan strategic events, practice makes perfect. A concerned ally!
Nina is overheard praising Lucrezia: Thank you for holding this strategy meeting!
"Marquis Seraceni, thank you for the invitation to this assembly. I apologize for not bringing anything particularly useful in terms of strategy. We are nonetheless prepared to sail to the defense of the Saffron and your holdings," Aedric concludes, granting Dio a respectful dip of chin. "Justice before the sea," is offered in response to Ember's declaration, although tiredly and without enthusiasm. "Your Grace," to Victus. "Your Highness, and Your Highness," came next, gaze shifting from Sorrel to Natasha. "Duke Grimhall, Duchess Grimhall," to Valdemar and Vanora. "Baroness Redreef," the sailor finishes. Or so he thought. "Cornelius. Nephew. Good evening."
Vanora is overheard praising Calla.
Nina is overheard praising Dio: Thank you for holding this strategy meeting!
Damiana is overheard praising Lucrezia: It isn't easy to plan strategic events, practice makes perfect. A concerned ally!
Aedric is overheard praising Dio.
Dio shakes his head. "It was an honor to host you, My Lord," he replies to Aedric.
Lore puts a tin of earthy Northland cigars in Large Oiled Leather Rucksack.
Lore puts ARAK in Large Oiled Leather Rucksack.
Ember gives Aedric a deep nod. Deeper than some others have gotten.
Khanne is overheard praising Dio.
Khanne is overheard praising Lucrezia.
After a time, Sina rouses herself from her thoughts, and takes a moment to glance around and admire everyone's fashion sense. Her gaze rests on Dio, and she offers him a bow of the head. "Marquis," she says, and then to Lucrezia, "Your Highness. Thank you for allowing me to sit in." She glances to her Templars, signalling to them that she is ready to leave.
Valdemar stands up when his wife does the same. Inclining his head to Dio, the Duke tells him, "Yes, thank you Marquis. It was enlightening." Then Aedric is addressing him, drawing his attention for the moment. "Good evening, Lord Blackshore. It is good to see you again," he says.
Sina is overheard praising Dio.
Graziella is overheard praising Romulius.
Sina is overheard praising Lucrezia.
Like his uncle, Romulius has been largely silent for the majority of the evening. He does, however, offer a dip of his head as the man makes to depart. "Uncle. Be well. I will find a chance to see you at the manse soon." Whatever it is that is drawing his attention earns it once more as the man falls quiet once more.
Damiana stands up, lady Astraea at her side. "Thank you, Marquis Seraceni and princess Lucrezia for being excellent hosts. This being my first time in the Pravus ward, I couldn't think of a better event than planning with allies, family and friends on how to safeguard the Compact and break our enemy. I look forward to another invitation here."
Gathering her things together as the meeting winds down, Lore picks up a bottle separate from the one she'd been drinking from. Glancing around the room, she approaches Wash and offers a quick bow. "My lord. Your brother suggested you might enjoy this. I hope his advice was sound." She offers him the bottle with a smile.
Natasha is overheard praising Dio.
Natasha is overheard praising Lucrezia.
Natasha is overheard praising Aedric.
Natasha is overheard praising Victus.
Nina has left the alcove table.
Rodrigo, the Surprisingly Large Flautist leaves, following Nina.
Dio bows to Sina, Valdemar and Damiana, offering words of gratitude and thanks.
Sebastian, an adorable gray and white tabby, Jacinthe, Arindais, a dour-looking Scholar, 3 Templar Knight guards leave, following Sina.
On her way to the exit Graziella stops by Lord Romulius to whipser something to him and then disappears on Nina's tail as she makes for the Dancing Feather.
Graziella has left the alcove table.
6 Ivory Shields, Oubi the Owl leave, following Graziella.
Wash takes the bottle of rum. "Ooh. This is a limited edition. See the 1000? Means that is the number they made with this exact flavor. Which brother? I'm an only child, so I assume it was Ian, Porter or Aethan. Nevermind, who are you? And what can a loud-mouthed admiral do for you?" He opens the bottle to get a whiff of the aroma. "That's me by the way, the loud-mouthed admiral."
Aedric has left the northern couches.
Fez, 3 Black Fleet Reavers leave, following Ari.
Lucrezia smiles lightly to Damiana, "I'm glad you could make it. Is always thrilling to be in a room full of those passionate about sailing. Now we have some things to think about we can go and come up with more concrete ideas another time." After looking about the room and finding most are engaged in their own conversations by now, she looks to Dio. "Think I should stop terrorizing them now." She grins like that actually ever stops with her. "Thank you for opening your house for this."
Cornelius has left the northern couches.
Slard, a whip-scarred bodyguard, 2 Black Vanguard, Marwyn, a one eye'd scarred raven leave, following Cornelius.
Damiana has left the northern couches.
Romulius has left the northern couches.
Lady Astraea, a provincial Oathlander, 4 Valardin Knights leave, following Damiana.
Seryna, a charming Lycene handmaiden, 6 Grimhall House Guards leave, following Vanora.
"Ian." Lore confirms with a small chuckle, then shakess her head, "Its less what you can do for me and more what I can do for you, my lord. I'm Lore Artiglio. Its a pleasure to meet you." She flashes a grin towards him, glancing towards the bottle, then back to Wash with a nod, "He suggested I bring you something -good-, and that is one of the better rums I'd been holding onto."
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