Military Tactics Discussion
March 30, 2021, 8 p.m.
Arx - Ward of House Thrax - Ebb and Flow Inn
Comments and Log
6 First Legion Centurions arrives, following Patrizio.
Patrizio makes his entrance from the winter evening without, with his centurions in tow - there's a mindful look about the tavern, when he's getting the lay of the land, with a soft murmur to his men to go and be discreet for the time being at least. Anything to foster cross-fealty amity.
Armani sits at a table near the fire a drink of something hot in her fingers, she looks around as people come to gather for the meeting.
Klau Thrax is about, dressed in a nice long grey jacket and black tunic with dark brown leather breeches of a fine cut. He makes a gesture as people begin to enter the INn, or had arrived early. "Please, please, get a drink, get some food as as we all get settled I shall tell everyone of the great battle of the dinner table which inspired me to give something like this another try. For those who do not know me, I am Klaus Thrax, and one of the military leaders of Thrax, as well as former commander of the Laurant forces when I was with my former house. Between me and everyone here, I think we shall have some informative discussions."
Serenade, a lovely nightingale arrives, following Calandra.
Ian catches the door frame of the bar and pulls himself in as much as he actually walks through, clearly grateful to be off the icy street. A little bit of snow stuck to his pants suggests he probably didn't manage the very short trip from the Kay to here without at least one spill. The note of surprise visible on his face when he sees the number of people in the room (with more still arriving!) suggests that he didn't actually know there was some kind of event going on.
Eirene ventures in out of the cold, the Riven woman well known in certain circles for her work as a battle-medic and large-scale coordinator for the Physicians Guild. She strolls her way in with the sort of confidence you get from someone either very skilled or the exact opposite. A hot coffee with a splash of whiskey is ordered and she finds herself a seat, pulling off her scarf and gloves as she warms up.
Brimming with curiosity, Calandra arrives and gently shakes the snow from her silks as she lingers in the doorway. She casts a thoughtful look around, parting with warm smiles and expressions for those she makes eye contact with, however brief it may be. There's a nod for Ian and then Eirene in passing as fingers lift to tug back the hood of her cloak and shake free dark curls.
Lucrezia enters not long after her cousin, Patrizio, and stalks over to stand beside him within whisper distance, crossing her arms beneath her breasts. See, not setting the place on fire. Yet. She rakes her eyes over Klaus with casual interest as he welcomes them, introduces himself, and bids them drink.
Calandra has joined the Barnacle Table.
Dressed for extreme warmth, Marquessa Quenia Igniseri passes off her cloak upon her arrival. She steps further into the room and out of the flow of traffic while she takes a moment to observe where everyone is settled down before picking a seat for herself.
Armani has joined the Captains Table.
/Is/ it Patrizio's job to keep Lucrezia from setting the place on fire? Maybe. There's an air about the prince that he's certainly more of a mode to /try/ to do just that, even as he's noticing some of the figures and nodding familiarly - be it Klaus and Armani, who he's just recently seen earlier in the day, or Ian, to whom he offers a deeper, respectful inclination of his head.
Ian nods to Calandra as she passes him on the way in. He takes himself out of the entryway and over to the bar, where he takes a seat and buys himself some time to figure out what the hell is going on without looking totally uninformed (which he is) by ordering a drink. He's off to an amazing start, here. He also nods to Patrizio, like a person who totally intended to be here for this thing, whatever it is.
Armani nods her head as she passes Prince Parizio, her eyes are drawn to Klaus and she mods her head also in his direction as she sips on her drink
Eirene offers a nod to Calandra, a wave to Ian, and a beckoning gesture to Quenia. "Hey, we can kill two birds, and talk about shit, yeah," she says to the Marquessa, in her rough whiskey-contralto voice.
Eirene has joined the Minnow Booth.
Calandra sinks into a chair and offers a wave for the Pravus attendees as well, Lucrezia and Patrizio. She starts with a glass of wine and waits patiently, sliding a thoughtful look to the host of the hour.
Eirene's offer settles it for Quenia. She grins over at the Riven woman and makes her way over to the booth. She spies Ian moving across the room to settle at the bar and waves a greeting in his direction, before turning back to Eirene and says, "That sounds like a great idea to me." She smoothes over the skirts of her dress and orders a charcuterie board full of sliced meats, cheeses, grapes and other fruits to share at her table, and whatever stands for good Thrax wine these days.
Patrizio offers up a hint of a smile to Calandra at the familiar face's appearance and, indeed, look in his and his cousin's direction, though one of those well-plucked brows rises in curiosity. And still, then, the jade eyes turn back towards the host, to wait to see how this is about to shape up.
Quenia has joined the Minnow Booth.
Lucrezia returns Calandra's wave with a nod. She does much the same to anyone else who greets her. To Patrizio she says, "Relax. I'm not thinking flamboyant thoughts." But, she smiles in a way that indicates that really doesn't eliminate *all* bad thoughts.
Ian is still in the process of trying to pick up context clues and figure out what he's wandered into the middle of when his drink arrives. He nods to Quenia and Eirene, but doesn't leave the bar just yet.
Eirene glances at the Pravosi suspiciously a moment before nodding to Quenia as they take up the tiny booth. She's paying attention to Klaus, dividing her focus as the meeting assembles.
Calandra quietly excuses herself after that glass of wine!
Calandra has left the Barnacle Table.
Serenade, a lovely nightingale leaves, following Calandra.
Klaus steps up to the sand table and starts putting down rows of shield wall infantry followed by pikemen behind them. At the back he puts a group of raiders like infantry. Once they were in place he turns to address the crowd. "A few weeks back I was at Haakon Eswynd residence, invited to partake of dinner with them, and during the meal he asked me a question since I was a commander of some of Thrax's forces, what tactics did Thrax use in combat, as Eswynd, being a newly raised House, had markedly different approach to battle, and was concerned when our forces were brought together, that the differences in approach would cause complications which an enemy could exploit, to crippling effects. Thus the battle of the dinner table was born. Now in said battle, I had to use what I had on hand, so bread became shield walls, pieces of cheese pikemen, and in the end, a slice of orange as Eswynd raiders, and both he and I walked through the different approaches, and we found a strategy to play to both strengths."
He gestures to the table and the set up. "The shield wall holds, and the pikemen attack, working together as one. Then, when it is time to rotate the line, the second row of shield advances, the first row of pike retreats, and then...." He parts the formation in the middle, and through the corridor created of troops, come the Eswynd raiders. They hit the enemy front lines like shock wave, then before the enemy recovers, they fade back, and the lines reform, with fresh shield and pike at the ready to step forward to gain the ground the enemy lost. "And thus was the battle of the dinner table. Sadly though, none of the troops survived the victory." He adds with a chuckle and a smile.
"Arvum Fire is flamboyant?" Yes, Patrizio went there, and there's a playful smile, even as he's looking thoughtful about the whole thing. "I might have it on the brain at this point, indeed." Though that smile remains when he's briefly moving from Lucrezia's side and drawing over to the bar, only to come back with rum, and only after a gesture to the barkeep to make sure his and his cousin's men are kept... lubricated. Even as he gives Eirene a playfully suspicious look back... and then his attention's drawn back around to Klaus when the Thraxian prince starts to speak.
Theadora, A young Golden Eagle arrives, following Santi.
Armani nods her head "I hear the Thraxian Fire is being made available through the Alchemy School" she says quietly before she takes a deep drink of her lips before she looks back to Klaus
Arriving late may not be everyones thing, Tonight though it certainly seemed to be Santi's. The large Malvici pushing open the door to slip into the Ebb and Flow with his distinct tell tale mug of coffee and gods knew what else held in his hand.
"Most flamboyant." Lucrezia nods to Patrizio. As Klaus relays his reasoning for this meeting, she narrows her eyes with a dangerous glint. "And, the relevance of this to the rest of us, is?"
Eirene has taken a small booth with Quenia and is attacking a plate of charcuterie while the two talk. The Malvici-Riven raises a mug of coffee at Santi before glancing at Klaus. "No plan survives contact with the enemy. Or dinner table, apparently," she says in her gravel tones. "You're describing a best case scenario. You have to account for just about every damn rock that can land in your shoe while not over planning."
A breath blown out, as he's listening, before he leans in closer to Lucrezia. "He mentioned this during my encounter with him at the Traders earlier. But most truthfully, I'm looking for how to deal with the rest of the Compact forces when we're in Pieros. Might be an insight into their mindset for dealing with their ships as well, when they come to join with the Black Fleet."
Though his hand gestures briefly towards Eirene. "Exactly that," he says more firmly. "Both the matter of what happens with plans, and the tendency to overplan." And there's a note to his voice that speaks to some of that being a self-accusation.
Klaus makes a gesture about the room when Lucrezia speaks, hitting upon the point. "All of our houses approach battle differently. How does a Maelstorm commander employ Crownland crossbow me, what support do they need, what are their logistics considerations, or Oathland Archers. Already I have heard talk about Thraxan fire. One might know how to use it from naval ships, but what about landed siege engines. I do not expect for us to solve all issues of all differences tonight, or perhaps even a month from now, but the conversations should be started and started now before they play a horrendous tole upon the military we commanders here are responsible for."
Walking in at talk of planning and how they can go sideways and upon seeing that lifted mug from Eirene the entering Malvici Lord lifts his mug before Santi's own rough voice sounding like water tumbling across a rivers stones sounds out. "Only fucking plans that ever work exactly as you want are taking the fucking herbs." The man shaking his he gives his own two silver on plans when it came to war much less anything else. His movements carrying him to that able occupied by his cousin.
Ian seems to be getting a clearer idea of what the event is about, finally, although not so much that he's comfortable adding his own voice to the conversation. Or else he doesn't have anything to say. That's about as likely, really.
Armani nods her head a little to Santi's words and she mmms "but none at all make for chaos as well" she laughs softly as she listens
Quenia holds a quiet conversation with Eirene as she listens to Klaus lay down his ideas about the dinner table battle, a light, amused smirk coming to her lips. Her eyes go to Santi a moment as she listens to him talk, her brow lifting ever so slightly, then back to those speaking.
A messenger arrives, delivering a message to Quenia before departing.
Eirene says, "Flexibility will be key in cross-fealty coordination. Orders need to be given with the understanding what you consider common knowledge to your own troops may be confusing A F to another. Shifting battle plans ever as the field of war shifts. You can't stick to a plan once things shatter." She sniggers at Santi's commentary. "And thank the gods for that, cousin."
Patrizio's lips set into a thin line when he's listening, even if he's nodding a bit to Eirene's first words, not as much as the second. "Places where I wish that we had thought of having some of these sessions earlier, when we could perhaps do this in a more practical fashion. Before snow."
Hearing the response from Eirene as he nears her table Santi offers the older woman a small smile, "No fucking joke." The man's head giving a little shake before he without even bothering to asks moves to join the two women at the table setting his mug down. Moments later he does look to Armani and then to the others gathered before that focus turns to Klaus. "Ya need to know anything about Malvici formations just ask, Not near the mind my cousin Marquis Magnotta is.. But know the formations and the men and women damned well." Moments later though he does lean in and mutter something to Eirene.
Santi mutters, "the fuck ... A ..."
Ian slowly raises a hand, about halfway, then self-consciously lowers it. He clears his throat. "Have, uh. Have you decided who has the authority to give the orders?"
"Why are we acting like we haven't fought together before?" Lucrezia asks, her voice as sharp as her words. She looks between Patrizio and Klaus. "We have many a time before. Why do we think we have to reinvent working together when we have history and teachers for that?" She rakes her fingers through her hair, frustrated. "As Iron Kraken I'm not going to worry about this level of detail. Say I have an Oathland's archer commander detached to work with our forces. I would tell that commander what I need them to do. They will either say yes or tell me they aren't capable. If they aren't capable, we will adjust the strategy so they can. It isn't as if we're going to mix our forces together in one big unit to achieve the same goal where there would be no hope of working together." She rolls her shoulder in a shrug. "Communication between leadership. Period."
Quenia glances over at Ian and notes to him. "I do not believe there is a central coordinator for the battle to come. Each fealty will decide how their forces will be arranged. Though, I expect they'll be some cooperative communication."
Eirene sniggers as she explains something to Santi and steals a peek at what he has in that massive mug today. She grunts a little at the conversation and adds, "When it comes to medical issues, I sure hope whomever I'm working with defers to me. I suppose it comes down to whatever is going on and who is better versed in that situation. Since the command structures are going to vary."
Klaus made a gesture towards Eirene. "Indeed flexibility will be the key, in any contingent with cross fealty force, but as you say in the battle as well." At Lucrezia words he mkes a gesture. "In history we have fought together yes, and like most history we tend to forget more than we remember. In the past many major engagements happen within a single fealty, and thus the majority of their forces were present. The times where there were engagements with cross fealty forces, especially the encounters I was in, the end results were far from ideal. You say communication is the key. Is that not what we are doing here, communicating with one another?"
Patrizio shrugs faintly at that to his cousin. He doesn't have a good answer, clearly, before he offers quietly, "Remember that I've /not/ been such a commander before, cousin. Last time I was off at war, I was following orders, not giving them. But point well taken." And that's when his cup finds its way to his lips as he's taking a sip and quieting his thoughts for the moment.
Santi checks composure at hard. Santi fails.
Armani looks over the others here as she stands, she looks about and she sighs a little nodding her head to Pat she tilts her head a bit looking to Klaus "how can we communicate amongst factions? Ship to ship even?"
"If there is a concern, couldn't folk work to hold joint naval and combat exercises prior to battle? Work together as teams, and learn each others styles? I'd think the practical experience in such exercises might be worth far more than theoretical discussions." Though, Quenia hasn't really been in a naval battle, so who is she to say for sure? She glances to Ian, as if double checking with him that her idea might be a sound one. "I'd certainly allow those of Igniseri to work in joint exercises, so others might know what to expect. Just... you know... don't sink our ships," she says with a half amused quip.
Ian is looking pretty damned skeptical, but not to the point where he's actually voicing whatever misgivings he might be having.
Eirene answers Armani, "Flag code,possibly."
Whatever Eirene explains has Santi's features shifting from confusion to amusement, And then suddenly that mug is raised and lowered to slam down on the table as a loud rolling laughter from deep within issues from his lips. The man doubling over and actually lifting his free hand to wipe a tear as her explaination to him in those softer tones seems to hit upon the man's funny bone in a large way. A few moments pass and that laughter subsides with Santi giving his cousin a side glance as he murmurs loud enough to be heard. "Gods Eirene, I needed that. Damned did I need that, I can't wait to see the look back in southport when I tell them Old Eirene's gone genteel." The man grinning for a moment before he is looking Quenia hearing her suggestion, "Some time ago Marquis Magnotta did something along those lines, Might be good to take what was learned there and apply it to the current forces and situation."
Eirene gives Santi a smirk and the middle finger. "Shove this up your ass, how's that for genteel?" As for the discussion proper she nods to the Malvici lord. "I was gonna say, it can be done. It's like herding fucking cats, but it can be done provided everyone is on the same page. Which means it won't happen a second time." She sees Ian's doubt, indeed.
At first, Quenis isn't certain if Santi is laughing at her suggestion or not, and she gives him a very puzzled look, brow furrowed as far as a brow can furrow. Then he's addressing Eirene and that at least clears things up for her. "I was not in attendance of the Marquis's exercises, but it seems like it might be worth the effort." She nods in Eirene's direction. "Flag code could definitely work. Or if you're in sight of some of the Lyceum towers, those could give off signals. I expect, largely, it'll depend on where the fleet is being met? And, most importantly, if someone signals the use of either Thraxian Fire or Arvani fire, which will destroy our ships and theirs alike, some signal will /definitely/ need to be coordinated somewhere to announce that and have some ships back off."
Klaus raises a mug of ale he had been nursing in Santi's direction. "I am always willing to talk and gain insight so thank you sir, for the suggestion I will be sure to follow up with the good Marquis in the future." Klaus makes certain to look to Patrizio and Quenia. "Indeed in the end practical training with one another is ideal and far better than theory, but there are challenges to such. The distances alone between some of our lands, the costs to supply the march to a common meeting point. As someone said, herding cats. Not ideal, and far from easy, but it has been done before. Until them some discussion, knowledge, and communication can make a different when practical experience cannot."
Narrowing her eyes, Lucrezia laughs at Klaus. "The results were likely less than ideal because there are deep divides between houses. When the Admiral of one Great House tells the Admiral *and overall military leader* of another House that he will not work with her... Do not expect good results. While this disdain of the leadership of another house exists, we cannot expect good results no matter how much we sit around with drinks and chat about how we'd like it to turn out." She points at Quenia and nods to Patrizio. "If individual units are nervous about forces they are probably going to be fighting alongside, leadership needs to approach each other for drills. That may help inter-unit trust issues, but that doesn't matter spit in the Abyss if their fucking commander gets an order from the top to not trust that unit. We can talk ourselves senseless, but it doesn't fix the divide between us if that divide gets perpetuated the moment the door closes."
Santi falls silent, the man though not missing that middle finger that is shot at him by Eirene. "Now that doesn't sound much like sound medical advice." The tease delivered deadpan before he is looking to Klaus. "He and his family mourns, I will look for my old journal from that time and see if it can't provide the insight you are wanting least so far as our naval forces are concerned..Bloody ships.." His head shaking clearly not fond of them himself as some of his family before he suggests, "Might be best we sort out what units are best at what from each fealty. Mean ya put some of that Arvani or thrax fire on a northern ship and might end more of us than them not used to workin with it. Same with if'n you try tossing cavalry on a ship. Won't be doing a thing but holding their.." it's then he stops himself short not wanting to make the asme mistake as he had at dinner.
Kip, the smart-mouthed agent arrives, following Carmen.
Patrizio clearly's not about to wade into the first part of his cousin's comment - he's not touching that with a pole-arm, from the look on his face. But the second part gets a nod. "Or at the very least, familiarity between the commanders, one would think, to build some of that necessary trust," voices he more solidly. "And commanders can meet more easily to build that trust that we need."
But then he gestures faintly. "Not trusting another unit is just self-destructive on our part, and is exactly what our foes want from us. It might make sense for us to /try/ to keep units that can't get their mutual acts together apart, but we're not going to have that option on the battlefield. So." There's a lift of his cup, and then it settles, as if there's no point in his taking a sip yet. "This sounds a lot less like needing a discussion of tactics, and a lot more like needing a discussion of how to get ducks in a row. Wave the right bread at them and they'll fall in line." The jade eyes do look about the room, as if appraising.
Klaus turns towards Lucrezia, his face calmly professional as addressed her. "Princess Lucrezia, I have treated you with nothing but respect, but you are here, at the invitation of a Thrax Prince, enjoying food and drink as if under guest rights, and have not returned the favor in kind. This discussion was also in the hopes divides can e overcome, as we have had but mere glimpses of what is out there, and we surely cannot defeat it apart. If you feel such strongly, perhaps it is best to depart, before...misunderstandings happen."
Carmen slinks in from the back, trying very hard to become i n v i s i b l e, which isn't easy when you're over six feet tall. She sits down meekly in the back.
Eirene checks composure at hard. Eirene fails.
"The thing to best keep in mind is that we're being watched by the Emissaries of Jadairal and Cardia," Quenia pipes up again, looking around the room. "Who have made it more than clear that if we cannot work together and keep ourselves safe from dark forces, that they're more than willing to swoop in and either make us their slaves or bind us to their writs and do it for us. That should be /more/ than enough to unify our forces, and perhaps some Commanders need to be reminded there's more on the line than simply pushing the Skal'dajan's away."
Eirene nearly chokes on a grape as Klaus starts to dress the Pravus Princess down. She quickly washes it down with a glass of wine as she tries not to cough too hard with laughter.
Ian eyes Quenia. "Didn't the Lycenes make a deal with Cardia?"
Armani mmms a little as she stands, and she moves slowly to the door.
It would seem that Ethan was just off to the local pub for a drink, and now...he's in the middle of a room with people throwing around some heated words. The steward of Blackshore comes to a stop, as if pondering turning around and walking right out, but, instead, he soldiers on, and heads for the bar. He comes to a stop there, orders something strong, and then turns towards the discussion, perhaps to watch the fireworks, or perhaps to figure out the opportune moment to speak up.
Armani has left the Captains Table.
Quenia glances back to Ian, "A /faction/ of Cardia. Not all of Cardia. The faction that didn't attack House Saik and destroy part of its lands, for instance. Or, those responsible for the attack on House Blackshore." There's a pause as she adds, "It seems not everyone agreed with their esteemed leadership. and they are seeking to make their own alliances. And, not all of the Lycene were particularly happy with that alliance made either."
Patrizio definitely goes for his drink at this point, taking a good draw from it, before setting the cup down out of the way, as he's listening, his lips set into an uncharacteristic thin line.
Santi himself falls silent watching with amusement and interest at the verbal exchange between the Pravus Princess and the Thrax Prince, the man's massive mug raised for a slow sip to be taken in that absence of roasted nuts to pop back.
Carmen seizes the opportunity to join Ethan by the bar, ordering herself one of whatever he's having...never pays to show up somewhere late.
Ian takes a sip of his drink while Quenia explains to him. "Seems like Cardia and the Undying Empire aren't waiting for us to fall apart before they find cracks to sneak themselves in. Like this is really about a sort of scramble for Arvum, for them."
Lucrezia lifts her eyebrows at Klaus as far as they can go. "Ah, truly? You see pointing out the truth as disrespect." Flashing an irritated look to Patrizio, she almost takes up Klaus' rude suggestion to leave when she'd done no wrong, but looks back to Klaus. "Yes. I have strong opinions on our inability to work together because we cannot even have a meeting like this without scorn. It is a tactical flaw I see in us. But, you do not wish to address it. It has been noted." Lucrezia falls silent and just looks around the room aimlessly.
Quenia points in Ian's direction, nodding, "Exactly that! If Eurus takes over Arvum, they'll go to war over who gets to clean up the mess and have already started creating alliances. So, there's a much larger picture to keep in mind. For instance, those of Jadairal are having the Abandoned bend the knee to them on land they acquired in Arvum and are teaching them those things which we cannot yet learn ourselves. It's been written about openly in journals."
Ian raises his eyebrows to Lucrezia. "You're the only person here trying to pick a fight," he points out. "Everyone else has been trying to figure out how to make things work."
Ethan picks up his drink, and asks in an aside to Carmen, "Has it been this contentious from the start?"
Carmen shrugs and raises her glass to Ethan. "I just got here meself."
As things begin to heat up Santi slowly raises from his seat giving a look to Eirene, The large man muttering out in Lycene Shav before he turns and strolls to the door giving a little wave to he gathering as he muses, "Not for nothing but guest right likely ends at the square if ya both wanna measure." And on those parting words so slipped back into the cold Santi.
Santi says in Lycene shav, "Domonico says not to start any wars, Not sure about the rivens though. Let me know if you do though.."
Lucrezia focuses her wandering gaze to Ian. "Indeed. We *all* have. If challenging the idea that we are actually at the point that we will all send troops together to train is not popular, that just says right there it will not work. If we can't train together, warring together is impossible, no matter how sound the tactics."
Quenia raises both brows at something Santi says and glances curiously over at Eirene. Shaking her head, she looks back to the room, ignoring the verbal exchange between Klaus and Lucrezia. "So, a flag system would probably work well," she goes back to Eirene's earlier ideas. "Signals for Arvani and Thraxian fire. Signals for when to maneuver. Signals for ramming other ships. Signals to board ships. Signals to back off or retreat. Also, possibly, maybe even musical signals? Things people can hear over the din of battle? Drums with a cadence?"
Klaus waited before he responded. "I have never had an issue with truth. Tone and word choice it is wrapped about yes. As you say noted. Again, the premise made was if I was told to take my men upon Black Fleet, I would. It does not seem based on your point of view the reverse be true. The reason why I did not make it a major point as how the division between houses is beyond near all of us here, and lie in the hands of others. Our task is, when it happens, is to engage and kill the enemy. Call me a fool for wishing there to be far more of them dead than my men. Such communication, discussions, and an open mind among different fealty military minds and commanders to resolve issues, not to make them wider."
Theadora, A young Golden Eagle leaves, following Santi.
Carmen gestures to the room with her glass for Ethan's benefit. "You see, sir, this is how you know things haven't gotten bad yet. We're still arguing over what to do. That's a luxury only afforded to people before and after the real fighting. Once the shit hits the fan we'll pull together, and the ones who don't end up dead."
Eirene has no idea what Santi said, judging by her narrowed eyebrows. She shrugs as she pushes off from her table. "Gloria grant," she says to Carmen. "I'm juggling civilian healers for this enterprise because not everyone has a medical force to deal with this scope engagement. But. Another topic for another meeting. Thank you, Prince Klaus. For trying, at least. But I have to bugger off home."
Carmen nods to Eirene and raises a glass in acknowledgement. "Charmed," she mutters.
"Good. This isn't troubling at all," Ethan says mostly into his glass in reply to Carmen. He sighs quietly at the longer explanation, and then replies, "Having been attacked once already, I would vastly prefer not to see the bickering prior to a second assault. But, this is why I am no soldier. I would vastly prefer to engage in diplomacy; words that build relationships than trying to cut each other over our shared frustrations about the difficulties of war."
Carmen lowers her voice so only Ethan can hear her.
"No. You are wrong." Lucrezia says simply of Klaus' assumption Thrax would not be welcome on the Black Fleet. "If the Thrax Admiral has reversed his statement to me that he would not work with me that is grand. However, until that happens, I know to not expect Thrax's ships to stand with ours. You are not a fool to wish for this to change so more of *all* of our people won't die. We all wish for it. Our hand was offered for cooperation at meetings previous to this and we were shown exactly how we would be treated. Show me a tactic that will work despite that."
Patrizio briefly is nodding to Lucrezia at something murmured between them, before there's the slow shift of his expression, and he's drawing his gaze around to comment on his own regarding Quenia's points. "Drums might well be confusing over some clashing of things, but the musical note idea would carry further. Trumpets or the like, something that's very clear. So long as the commanders are all aware of what each of the different calls mean. Flags risk being not being seen through smoke or darkness." There's a brief glance at Lucrezia, as he /is/ paying attention to the interaction between Klaus and she, but there's a holding of his tongue on that account for the moment as it seems things might be calming on that front.
Ian finishes his drink and pushes to his feet from the barstool. He takes up his cane. "Good seeing you again," he says to Klaus. "Sorry this fell apart. Your heart was in the right place." He seems to be on his way out, as well.
Eirene murmurs something in amusement to Quenia before she goes back into the cold.
Eirene has left the Minnow Booth.
Carissa, a Southport bodyguard, Planchet the Lycene maggiordome leave, following Eirene.
Quenia gives Patrizio an appreciative nod as he tacks onto her idea with ones of his own. "Horns of some sort, at the very least. The types of signals can be communicated across the fealty chains, and maybe one specific signal for each commander so they know who is giving a particular order. That should at least let those groups working under that commander know which group the order is meant for." She just keeps running with the idea. "At least, that's something to consider."
Klaus inclined his head towards Lucrezia. It was a point, and little gained to gnaw upon the argument like a dog with a bone. He turned to the other discussion happening, some of it he had been following. "Trumpets and drums have been used in the field, but do not give up upon the idea of flags. There are minerals out there which can be dusted upon them to be seen, and then there are signals with lanterns for darkness." Klaus acknowledges Ian, clasping him by hand before turning back to the host gathered about him. He does give Patrizio a small smile as if in the way of apology towards him.
Nodding simply to Klaus, she silently agrees to abandon the pointless discussion between them. To the ongoing discussion of signals, Lucrezia interjects, "Remember, these people utilize magic as a weapon. Plan for anything to be used to be able to be seen or heard in the worst storm you have ever seen, times ten. They brought thunderstorm and fire and the sea itself against us. Every unit needs to be preopared to be cut off from all communication unless we have some minds to figure out how to communicate despite this."
Quenia nods a bit at Lucrezia. "I can only offer mundane suggestions, unfortunately. I suppose someone could talk to members of the Choir? See if there are ways to enhance any sounds if horns and such are used? Though I suppose it'll also depend on how they are planning to help given they've had some success in dampening effects." She looks around, "Has anyone looked into Cobalt's swords and whether or not they'll be helpful? Like with the Gyre War?"
Quenia adds, "Maybe ensure the captains of the ships have the swords? So orders can be heard or seen?"
Carmen clears her throat. "It seems to me if you can't beat them on the sea you shouldn't try. Maybe you can find some way to make the seas impassable? Fortify the coast? Dump a few thousand gallons of oil into the bays and light them on fire as the enemies try to land?"
There is a chittering from the table and Doreen brings up some parchment. There is an ink jar at the sand table table and he starts to take some notes himself. "Ah, the development of new tactics. I do like the idea to see is someone has found a way to enhance sound. Harbor defenses are another thing to consider as while my brief time as a sailor has told me, not all ships can use the coast, and ships carrying troops can only land in certain places, and those we can have defenses raised."
"Then multiple of the methods prepared to fall back on, when each one fails. We shouldn't, moreover, assume that our foes aren't going to be figuring out either or attempting to confuse our forces with our own signals." Patrizio's voice picks up again when he's listening and... a gesture briefly to Carmen. "I don't know about the former - I'm not a naval officer myself." There's a faint indication to Lucrezia, since his cousin's clearly on that end of things. "And some of us have thoughts on the latter, regarding the matter of repelling things from the coastline and keeping the cities safe. Including application of fire in such a manner." Does Patrizio look delighted about that last idea? Maaaaaybe.
Quenia crinkles her nose a bit at Carmen, "I would much rather not allow any of their ships to get near my city. You're be asking folk to spread their forces thin to try and protect every bit of landable coastline, and that creates other problems. That's assuming they even come for mainland Arvum, and not to, say, the Saffron Chain or the Maelstrom. But its something to consider." Quenia rises from her table then, wandering over to catch her cloak. She notes to Klaus. "Thank you for setting up this meeting. I'd love a summary of the notes, and to know if there will be likewise follow ups." And with that she departs.
Quenia has left the Minnow Booth.
Captain Curls, an attentive, ebony guard poodle, Aspira leave, following Quenia.
Lucrezia shrugs to Quenia's question about Cobalt's swords. "I have not heard, but most houses are keeping their plans close to their own chest." She gazes curiously at Carmen. "I actually *prefer* to fight them at sea. Once we allow them land in the Saffron Chain or, worse, to gain allies they know there or land upon which they know much better than us, the war will go that much worse for us. While I'd love to set the entire sea on fire." She sounds serious! "We don't have the skill to survive that yet. The Chains are massive and most not in our control. It took us years to get even the foothold we have. We have strong defense planned for those places since they are obvious targets they want to remove. Our goal is to prevent them from eaching either."
Ethan finishes his drink, and then, seems to finish his conversation with Carmen, "Sadly, Carmen, I must be making my leave. I was just in for a quick nightcap."
Carmen raises her glass to Ethan and drains it. "Good evening to you, sir."
Carmen places her empty cup on the bar and stands, deciding that's enough of the nobility for one night. She makes her way out the door, no further words exchanged.
Kip, the smart-mouthed agent leaves, following Carmen.
Klaus took another sip of his ale. "It is understandable some...operational details...are not widely known. Still despite strong points of views, which I can respect, I believe this evening had some merit. Perhaps another night, and if someone else wished to host in their ward, I would be glad to attend."
6 First Legion Centurions leaves, following Patrizio.
Lucrezia inclines her head briefly to Klaus. "Perhaps. We seem to talk about the same thing at all these meetings. No real asking of what we need or plan to do. Other than Thrax and Pravus, I don't know any other House will initiate as they may not see it is their place." She shrugs slightly.
Klaus takes another sip of his ale. "The first thing I divined when I learned to swim one must take the first step off the boat. The second thing was when I could not take the step, my wife to be shoved me off her damned boat. Lastly was to flail to get back to the boat before the sharks ate me. We merely need to extend invitations to others, shove them into the water, metaphorically, and tell them to swim before the sharks get them."
Lucrezia cocks her head to the side, a somewhat wild look in her eyes. "It's been well over a year. After the way one of Pravus' vassals got insulted in his own house while he was hosting, I refuse to host another within the Pravus ward. Do not take my harsh words as criticism of your own effort. I think we all grow weary of talking and talking, when we all come out of these talks with less interest to engage with each other. You haven't been in the city long enough to have attended all of them?"
Klaus pours himself some more ale, feeding some nuts to Doreen since she had been remarkable well behaved (for a squirrel). "Understandable and me, I love talking. Oh I like action as well too, but still talking means there is dialog and the chance to learn. As for me, in the city. No I have been in and out much of the last few years as my wife fought pirates on her big boat. At times I joined her when we knew where they were and to smash them to splinters, but other times it was riding from port to port."
Lucrezia grins slow like a shark at mention of hunting pirates. "Oh, yes. They have gotten bold of late, too, thinking to take advantage with the war. As for the war, I don't know much learning is going on beyond ideas thrown out and those of us who have fought these people pointing out how such and such won't work. That leads to hurt feelings and silence and the room emptying. There isn't much willingness to listen to what is needed."
Klaus makes a gesture towards food and drink about. "I am listening, and sounds like we do have something to build upon. Pirates, slaving ships among those not part of the Compact, yes I very much enjoyed those times of bringing justice to them, even if it was on a boat." He drinks more of his ale. "How do you initiate boarding? Do you go right in, or do you gnaw at them from a distance first."
Lucrezia continues to ignore the food and drink, the latter being somewhat of a trial. "Depends on my mood, the weather, and the target." Tossing her head slightly, she says, "I prefer it when they see us and break in fear, trying to elude us... So we get to hunt them down."
Klaus smirks a bit. "AH yes, the hunt. I can understand the call of it. Me, when we have a large enough deck to handle mules, sending over burning pitch, followed by barrels of caltrops. Then we wait for them to abandon ship. Once there, arrows to bleed them, then leave them to the sharks."
Lucrezia nods to him, a hungry look in her eyes. "Wicked. I tend to a more...personal assault. Not that it isn't amusing to watch enemies drown or be torn apart by sharks. Just, it doesn't feel like a fight when you don't even cross swords."
Klaus smirks a bit more and winks. "Ah you do like it up close and personal. Something I can also respect, in more ways than one. Now, to you like to go in hard and fast, or take your time and play. Mind if I ask your weapon of preference. Me, I am straight forward, I blame my Oathland upbringing." He say as he touches "Truth's Sting" at his side.
"The closer, the better." Lucrezia affirms with a sharp-edged grin. "Close enough to taste their fear. I do both. Sometimes there is no time or interest in play, other times I just want to let them try to keep running, because it's fun. Sometimes I let them run so they betray their den. No mercy once that is found." Unconscious, her hand falls to the thorned hilt, avoiding the points with the ease of deep acquaintance with every inch of the blade. "Swords. When I was a child I wanted to be a knight. Swords seemed like the most romantic and best weapon. Now it holds my life. I have used other weapons, sometimes things get drastic, but it's such things that can be found on a ship."
Klaus takes off his hand off of "Truth's Sting" and unbuckles it and hands it close to Lucrezia and makes a gesture for her to examine if she so desires. "Princess, we perhaps did have some past beyond our control put us off on the wrong foot. Apologies for the way perceptions were clouded?"
Lucrezia accepts his blade, holding it carefully so as not to put fingerprints upon the blade as she peers closely at the curious honeycomb design upon it. "Pretty. Looks entrancing." She hands it back to him with the same care with which she'd taken it. "Is that design from how they forged it?" She rolls a single shoulder in a shrug. "I am a Princess of Pravus. Everyone has predispositions towards us which are typically negative. Our culture is too far different from others for their to be comfort when they look upon us and how freely we live. Think nothing of it."
Klaus takes the blade back. "Master Felix crafted it for me. It was a nod to my past since my family was Laurant, and their sigil is the bee, and we do have honey farms as one of of our economic exports. As far as negative reaction, up till this evening, for a brief moment, I had none. Poking fun at oneself, and when thinks they are being mocked are two different things. Different cultures I have found can be interesting. I mean whoever thought a knight who did not even know how to swim would be in Thrax now?"
Lucrezia nods to how his sword was crafted. "I see. It turned out very well." A brief smile touches her lips, but fades. "Not all share that view. The majority tend to be fearful or suspicious. It only shows what they wish to hide from themselves. You can always learn to swim, though? Unless you hold an inordinate fear of water."
Klaus smiles. "Oh no, I learned. That story was true. My wife to be pushed me off her boat into cold ocean water with sharks. I learned very quickly. They were small sharks, and would not have bit me, but still."
Lucrezia throws her head back and laughs. "Your wife sounds quite the formidable woman! Who is she?"
Klaus laughs as well, then drains more of his ale. "It is in part why I call her ships "boats" to goad at her, and to remind her what she did. Still, I did take her horseback riding so she could not sit right for a weak. Coraline Thrax is my wife, the Commander of the Order of East Light."
Lucrezia tilts her head as she listens to the name, but shrugs, having not met her. "I haven't met her, but she sounds fierce and interesting. Making a sailor ride a horse, very cruel."
12 Thrax Elite Guards, Lilybelle - The Claw of Arx, Scarf, a sinewy, serious, shiny-seeking otter arrive, following Victus.
Klaus chuckles. "Well my horse now loves her more than me, even Doreen here takes her side. She is indeed interesting. Fierce indeed. I think there were two inn common rooms, and private rooms, we destroyed over the last six months or so. I wish I can remember the details."
Restlessness gets the better of Lucrezia and she starts pacing, laughing at Klaus telling of the destruction he and his wife have caused. "Maybe drink less?" She grins all avidly sharp, like she's actually daring him to do that.
Then there was Victus. Bereft of his usual entourage of guards, but still with the usual greatcoat to protect from the cold. It'd been flecked with snow after a walk through the ward. The fuzzy hat he wears isn't exactly the coronet of his station, but warm ears will occasionally trump the presentation. Closing the door behind himself, he snakes his hands into his pockets as he approaches the only occupied table. "Hm. They told me you all cleared out already. Bit late for a drink, isn't it?" His eyes dart toward the bar, squinting at a low lantern light with agitation.
Klaus is now a bit nervous, wondering perhaps what else Astrid has said her favorite uncle Klaus has taught her lately. "Late, but the discussion is pleasant. Please do join us, High Lord. You can see on the table there my grand retelling of the great Eswynd dinner table battle."
When Victus enters, Lucrezia gets a brief look across her face much like a kid caught with their hand in the jar and is wondering how to blame someone else, but it changes to a smile. "It is *never* too late to drink. Or early, for that matter."
"You started a fight at the Eswynd's? The same Eswynds with prodigal traditions and skulls for decor?" Victus deadpans in Klaus' direction. "Well. I suppose it's on beat." He grasps the edge of a chair and pulls it out to sit, adopting a lazy posture almost immediately. Legs spread, arm at rest, head propped against a fist. "Apologies for not making it to the meat of things. And good evening, Princess Lucrezia. I'm looking forward to when I can see the Iron Kraken in action on the waves."
Klaus smirked and shook his head. "No no, I was at dinner, and Haakon asked me about Thrax tactics, so I used bread and cheese and nuts and fruits to demonstrate. It was what led me to have this discussion tonight. It was spirited, as expect, but some decent ideas were exchanged."
Torsney, an attentive high strung law clerk arrives, delivering a message to Victus before departing.
"Good evening, High Lord Victus. I can't wait for it either. It seems the Skal'daja fleet has been shattered somehow, so seems more mopping up than a big fight at this point. Still, I'm looking forward to seeing that flying ship of yours." Looking eager for the fight ahead, Lucrezia looks to Klaus and Victus when she asks, "Eswynd has never fought with Thrax before?"
"I'll be much happier if the battle doesn't need the intervention of the Phantasm." Victus replies in regards to a flying ship, which /theoretically/ exists of course. "But rarely do things turn out that fortunate." He cants his head toward Klaus then, the faint ghost of a smile playing at his lips. "I feel regret to have only joined their warriors once, during the riots. I really should take the time to pick their brains on similar tactics, especially if the catering will be free..." A beat. "Eswynd and Thrax were never precisely at war, but they were shavs and they were hunted when they maintained their independence. Though you might be hard-pressed for details, our captains will throw all Shav'arvani together into the same group."
Klaus picked up a piece of fruit. "Sadly, after victory was declared, all forced were devoured. I took the orange slice representing Eswynd's raiders and used it to kiss Coraline after she poked me for not paying attention to her. Haakon was crying out something like "not my infantry!" when I kissed her. As expected, his infantry did not survive."
Torsney, an attentive high strung law clerk arrives, delivering a message to Victus before departing.
Lucrezia grimaces at Victus' hope, but nods her head. "Yes, I agree. Let us not get that desperate." She says fervently, though with a hint of doubt since it is true that that is a rare fortune. Listening to Victus' answer to her question, she furrows her brow, but nods once more. "I am sure there will be plenty of opportunity to get more hands-on view of their tactics soon." She chuckles lightly at Klaus's details of the dinner fight. "Sounds like there was more 'fighting' than eating, though."
"Ha." It's not exactly a laugh, but it's about as close as he comes to expressing actual humor. "So it was a food brawl, then. I remember a similar incident at the Thrax estate. Although that was more of a free for all, spawned by a live octopus escaping from the hold." He pauses to grimace. "... I'm not sure we ever caught it. But I don't hear anything in the walls at night... Usually."
Torsney, an attentive high strung law clerk arrives, delivering a message to Victus before departing.
Klaus shudders slightly. "Do not mention octopus. I have nightmares." He stands up and scoops up Doreen, putting her into a fur lined pouch. "Speaking of my wife, I need to be getting back to her. If you both will excuse me, and have a good evening."
Lucrezia tilts her head, curious at an escapee octopus. She bursts out laughing as Klaus excuses himself short after, but waves after him. "Good evening, Prince Klaus." Containing her laughter, she looks back to Victus. "Must have been a giant of an octopus for it to produce nightmares."
Victus gives a nod as Klaus passes him. "We keep quite a few sea creatures in the kitchens. We try to keep everything as fresh as we possibly can. Sometimes this leads to unintended consequences." He cants his head toward the door. "Prince Klaus was raised an Oathlander, I imagine seeing an eight-legged monster scuttling his way is enough to turn stomachs."
Laughing wildly at the image of an eight-legged monster, Lucerzia nods in somewhat sympathy. "Too be fair, they do look more creepy than a spider. Bigger head means bigger mouth and all. Though, I would think they would move far slower on land than in water."
"You wouldn't think it, but the fuckers are resourceful." Victus mused. "Smart, too. They figured out how to unlock a cage in under a week. Frankly, if that one makes it back to the shoreline, its well earned its freedom. I wouldn't even be upset if it ended up biting one of us in the night." His jaw stiffens. "Well. A bit upset."
Lucrezia looks impressed at an octopus being unable to unlock a cage. "I didn't know they were that smart. I'm not sure, it might be best not to allow that one out to freedom. It'll start a revelation in the octopus and we'll have to worry about magical octopus next!"
"I wouldn't mind seeing it." Victus offers with a shrug. "I would at least feel more familiar with those than say... Dragons. Or Griffons. I /presume/ that the octopus wouldn't be as much of a problem on land even in that form... But fuck if I know. I'm not built for magic."
"As long as you contain them to Thrax lands, enjoy your magic octopus scholars." Lucrezia laughs, shaking her head. "Now, if they learn how to fly, I'm just going to attack them, no questions. Nothing with eight legs has a business flying!"
"You know, I've heard the Nox'alfar have spiders large enough to ride. Eight legged beasts that scale the side of buildings." Victus tilts his head to the side a moment. "Not that I've ever seen one. Not that I ever /want/ to see one. But take a wrong turn in the forest beyond the city walls and you may well..." He gives a shrug of his shoulders. "This is why I tend to stick to the East."
"Spiders large enough to ride..." Lucrezia looks both fascinated and horrified by the concept, eyes shifting to the side as she is probably calculating just how big that has to be. "That might be worth taking a walk to see. A calvary charge of giant spiders." She giggles uncontrollably. "I think that'd be more frightening than horses and knights."
"What, you're /excited/ by that?" Victus' eyes narrow a touch. "They still have their fangs, to the best of my knowledge. And the hairs. And the eyes. And the... everything else." His grimace turns sideways. "I don't get on with spiders. Gods, I hope we never go to war with the Nox'alfar." Shaking his head, he sits up a little straighter. "Perhaps I should make an early retreat to bed. Lest I spend the rest of the night thinking of what else could possess eight legs at unusual size."
Lucrezia shrugs and grins widely. "Sure, why not? Fear is a practical weapon in war. Especially one that is fairly common." We'll just gloss over how to come by a bunch of knights brave enough to ride spiders... "I won't keep you. Have a good night and I'm sure we'll talk soon."
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