PRP: Enemy of my Enemy 3
This is a LOW RISK diplomatic scene.
Feb. 16, 2021, 7:30 p.m.
Outside Arx - Mourning Isles near Tyde Hall - Isles of the East Wind
Comments and Log
A month has passed since the last embassy to the Abandoned of clan Norrock, in which initial concerns and sticking points had been considered and a response prepared. The return of the Compact ships to Norrock Vorod found the island in a better state of repair; rooves have been fully re-thatched, fishing boats repaired and plying their netted trade, and the damp, muddy odor that had saturated the harbor following the cataclysm had faded to the more typical smells of a recent rain, sea air, and the smoke of hearth fires.
The ritual welcome is the same as before: the same drinks (one of simple water, for the odd Lycene) served on the same round shield to extend formal hospitality, and the same aged king and his nearest councilors greet the Eswynds and Tyde in the chieftain's longhouse. The king's son raps the butt of his spear on the floor three thudding times, and the tall king on the plain throne, with a sheathed sword resting across his knees voices, "Margot the Tyde, Norah the Near-Queen-" Janos pronounces 'near-queen' much like 'marquis', "And Medeia of Eswynd, be welcome once more into the hall of King Janos Norrock. Sit as friends and let us speak." The formal greeting given, a dignified but less grandoise, "Hello, again," from Queen Olga, and the guests are offered chairs at the king's table before the Shav monarch adds, "When last we spoke, I had asked you questions of time and title. Have you brought me answers?"
Once seated with her water, a surprised and grateful look given to the shieldbearer, Medeia takes a moment to look at each - the king, the queen, their son - in careful study. Finally, she dips her chin to Janos. "We have brought answers." It is a simple statement, acknowledging with what is left out that they may not be the /right/ answers.
Margot has to wonder if Norah's a near queen what that make herself but that thought she stores to ask one of the Eswynds later. She nods to the king and queen and approaches closer, offering a collection of vials of perfumes to the Queen in an ornate box. "My Lady, I thought of you when I found these." She offers quietly before she nods to the King's questions.
Ellani, the palm sized spider arrives, delivering a message to Medeia before departing.
Olga Norrock inclines her head to Margot, favoring the Duchess with a small smile. By Arvani standards, her manner treats the guests as her equals. "The Tyde is most generous. May the stones of your walls never tumble." The ornate box is briefly inspected, but not immediately dug into; there are weighty matters at hand.
Janos gives a short nod to Medeia, and invites those difficult answers: "None of this assures that Norrock will kneel. But if we do: tell me how long we would be given to replace our thralls." He drinks of his own cup: a silver-ornamented drinking horn.
"I understand, King Janos." Medeia speaks in a clear tone, not disguising but easing her Lycene accent to ensure there is no confusion. Meeting his eyes, she gives the answer with far less fanfare than she might with someone of the Compact. "Approximately three years, which is the time remaining for the rest of the Mourning Isles - including us. However, this comes with my personal pledge to assist in providing funds and trade partners to ease the transition."
Margot nods to Medeia's words, "Our High Prince swore and oath and made a promise which has in turn provided great protection and strength to the Mourning Isles. I understand how difficult such a time line is, I too have had to divest of my thralls, but we have some resources in place to help ease your burden, and as Lady Medeia says, you will benefit from increased trade and profits as well as soon as you join this oath."
The Shav king's grey eyes narrow in thought at the answer. "Three years," he echoes aloud, Drawing a slow breath and letting it out. Around him, low murmurings go among the other Abandoned present, perhaps less sharp than might have been feared. "It is a difficulty. But one so dire that I will not speak on with you. *If* Norrock chooses to join the Compact of Arvum, we will speak more on the.. fine details of such offered assistance." That to Medeia, in particular. "You have said no new thralls may be made. What other limits on my authority toward thieves and defeated foes would be made?"
Medeia maintains her posture, sipping from her water as the king responds. "That is fair, and I look forward to that discussion." It isn't a cocky tone, but rather an earnest and confident one, that speaks in. For the next question, she glances to Margot before providing that answer. "Truly? Very little limitation. Each holding is fairly autonomous on such matters - with the exception of having to follow any laws from above them in the fealty chain. If you declare the punishment for thievery is death? None will step in to stop that - though it may strain relations with less stringent houses."
Margot nods to Medeia's words, "I have found that executing those who care to thieve from or strike at my people to be both a wonderful diversion in these tense times and a causionary tale dissuade those who may think to do such a thing in the future."
Janos considers that answer. Olga wonders aloud, "And if the King were to declare that a thief was bound to labor for a year from the one they stole from?" A few low rumbles of restrained laughter at the question, and a few more as Margot mentions the diversion of a good execution.
The king's spearbearer interjects to Olga, "He would not *be* a king, then. Nor would his heirs." The young man looks to the Arvani ladies. "What would the Chieftain of Norrock Vorod become?"
Margot straightens a touch, looking over Olga, "Dead." She says simply and definitively.
Margot straightens a touch, looking over Olga, "Dead." She says simply and definitively. "If he was to bind someone against our oaths to cease enthralling others. As for titles that would be up to your new liege." She motions to Medeia.
"That," Medeia replies softly to Olga, casting a sharp glance in one direction laughter comes from, and then a surprised look to Margot followed by a nod, "Is thralldom. And thus, not allowed." To the son and the king, she offers a faint smile. "Norrock would enter the Compact as a barony, vassal of the March of Eswynd. King Janos? You would be known as Baron Janos Norrock, your queen as Baroness, and your other family as Lord or Lady." Her head tips slightly, a thread of hope in her expression. "To be clear, that is a starting point. Over time? You, or your heirs, may grow your holding and thus elevate your house to further prosperity. And you /will/ know prosperity by taking this first step."
Margot nods in agreement with Medeia, "And as nobility you and your family will be extended privilages and respect amongst those of the Compact."
"To my understanding, a Baron is the least of the Arvani chieftains," Janos muses. To Margot, he looks next. "Respect," the Norrock echoes. "How many ships must I count before gaining a Jarl's dignity?" Several in the ha bristle at the implicit words of death, but even the young spearbearer seems to recognize the hard line being drawn against any form of compelled service.
Medeia meets Janos's eyes, answering plainly, "It is. Though, you are not far from..." The word 'jarl' gives her pause. Surely Haakon had mentioned this at some point. It takes her a moment, whispering aside to Margot, "Count." A look back to Janos brings a smile. "You already have that."
Margot nods, "I would suggest you conquer one of your enemies tribes and claim your land to demonstrate your prowess, once you have laid claim to a lesser land you should be able to claim the title of Jarl."
Medeia checks charm and diplomacy at normal. Medeia is successful.
Margot checks charm and diplomacy at normal. Margot is successful.
The suggestion to conquer earns a rumble of approval from the hall, and a slow nod from Janos. "This is good. For the words you both have brought me, I will give you words to take back: Tell the Eswynd that the Lord of Northhold will voyage to Eswyndol to forge bonds of blood and silver. The North Rock and East Wind will make peace, to be sealed with a marriage. So speaks Norrock."
Margot smiles warmly and genuinely to the soon to be Baron, "Wonderful. Welcome to the Tydelands. We are most pleased to have you amongst our number."
Medeia checks composure at normal. Medeia is successful.
Medeia keeps from outwardly sighing in relief at Janos's words, or looking at him like he has two heads at the mention of marriage. She stands and gives a sweeping curtsy to Janos, Olga, and their son (whose name I forgot). "I am pleased to be able to deliver this message on your behalf, future-Baron Janos Norrock. I look forward to our discussions to come and," her gaze cuts to the son, "I will begin the search in earnest for a suitable bride."
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