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Redrain Planning Meeting

A gathering for the Northlands Houses to discuss the threats rumored to be along their southern borders, and what to possibly do about it. Northlanders are welcome to extend invitations to those with information that may be important or helpful in planning. (OOC - a meeting that may help determine if/what sort of org action Redrain may go forth with for Crisis 1577 - The Thornweave Threat)

Date

July 31, 2022, 2 p.m.

Hosted By

Gwenna

Participants

Keely Acantha Raven Volcica Zakhar Cassiopeia Lucita Mirk Lorenzo Helena Nazmir Oberion Preston Mailys Cillian Rosalind Magaen Khanne

Organizations

Redrain

Location

Arx - Ward of House Redrain - Redrain Villa - Great Hall

Largesse Level

Refined

Comments and Log

Gwenna

I think the meeting went well. There were some unexpected occurrences and information, but those will only help us with the task at hand, I believe. I am so grateful that people took the time to attend, both from the Northlands and from outside of them. What I love about the Northlands is that each House is fiercely independent and unique. With such comes a variety of experiences, knowledge, and perspectives that when put together, tends to form a stronger picture. I feel so fortunate to count so many of my fellow leaders in the North my friends as well. I am also glad for our allies in the Templars and that the Carnifex so often takes the time to join us in our planning discussions. While we may all debate the best way to go about something, or the most intelligent way, one thing I think we all agree on: protecing the people we are responsible for.

Thanks to this meeting and the generous input from everyone who attended - and I do mean everyone - I think we have the beginnings of an outline. I will have to review my notes and send out further inquiries, but it is more than I had this morning when I got out of bed. For that, once again, I am immeasurably grateful.

I should note, too, that meetings like this make me miss Marian's presence in the city a great deal. I know she needs to be in Farhaven, of course, and is busy enough with matters there. I am always reminded of being new to Arx and seeing her command the great hall for these sorts of thing, I suppose.


6 Grayson House Guards, Wyla, a small wisp of an assistant arrive, following Keely.

Gwenna stands at the painted map table and has the hints of a smile at the corners of her mouth. "Thank you all so kindly for coming. I suspect everyone has heard various stories of Bastion, and may have been there themselves during the attack. It sounds as though the forces that made that bold attack there are planning for another such endeavor. We've all heard the rumors about outlying villages of the Oathlands and Crownlands being attacked, which I feel some confidence in attributing to Helena Thornweave." She pauses to give her dear cousin of the same name a bit of an apologetic look. "I have personally crossed paths with the Thornweave in the past, and I have no doubt I am not alone here. What she is planning, and why, is not something I know. What I do know, however, is that steps need to be taken to reinforce the defenses of our Houses and the areas they protect.

Gwenna pauses a moment to glance around the room. "House Redrain has spent the years since the Pirate War trying to prepare for threats such as this in the form of favors and even silver. Neither of those things will complete the arsenal we may need, but it is my hope that they will help. As well, I hope discussions here today will lead us to a tentative plan for defending the Northlands, if possible, and perhaps greater understanding of the threat. To start, House Redrain will provide the military resources necessary to purchase one siege weapon for your holding (ooc 1000 military), should that be desired." She holds up a whiskey bottle. "The holder of the whiskey bottle has the floor, and we will pass it around to give everyone a chance to speak in turn." (OOC - please +line/getinline - help line has all the commands!)

Keely slips in, settling quietly near Raven, her dark eyes flitting over proceedings in silence.

Balian, a Templar squire, Guy, a hunting kestrel, 1 Templar Knight guards, Direhorn Jeffers, a barded Templar wargoat arrive, following Preston.

1 Saik Guard, Micana, an efficient assistant arrive, following Lucita.

Volcica has joined the line.

Volcica has joined the Map Table painted for House Redrain.

Raven has joined the East Alcove.

Keely has joined the East Alcove.

Helena has joined the by the bear claw hearth.

Zakhar has joined the East Alcove.


Acantha has wandered in from the cold and the snow with one of her leather bags slung across her body. Inside is Benny, who pokes his head out as soon as they get inside. "Just a minute and we'll sit down." she whispers to the chunk of a beaver. She gives a dip of her head and quiet greetings to those that she passes. She finally settles herself into a seat and puts the bag on the ground before she opens it to let Benny loose. He gives a look from her and then around the room before he climbs up into her lap and plops down to listen to things quietly. Much like the woman he was sitting with.


Raven is settled off to the side, here and positioned where she can watch and listen but unobtrusively. Her eyebrows lift as Keely joins her and she bows respectfully to the Princess before her gaze swings back to Gwenna.

Volcica was early, and is seated at the map table with the Redrains. She probably has a glass of whiskey. She definitely looks a little worse for wear, in the way that grief and not enough sleep will do. She's paying attention to Gwenna while the Princess speaks, giving nothing more than a little nod at mention of encounters with Helena. Just a nod.

Lucita has joined the by the bear claw hearth.

Zakhar settles in to opposite side of Raven, a nod to Keely before he pokes at Raven and offers her a flask of unknown drink.

Oberion has joined the Far Corner.

Arriving with haste in her step, which may be on account that the woman is shivering, clutching her cloak tightly around her. Cheeks are rosy from the cold, and the young woman who stands well over six feet might be chattering her teeth too. It's cold for a Southerner! But then she is inside, safe and warm and she takes in a couple breathes, a friendly smile easy on her lips. Meandering through the room at Nazmir's side, she takes in the sight of the unfamiliar room as she follows him to a spot to sit down at. There's a gentle nod to those she is familiar with, and she dips a polite curtsy to their host, Gwenna. There might be a whisper or two to the prince, but otherwise she is quiet and seems keen to listen to learn.

Cassiopeia has joined the Map Table painted for House Redrain.

Lucita steps quietly into the Great Hall and after glancing around, heads over toward the warmth of the bear claw hearth, just like a southener to head straight to one of the warmest spots after trudging through the snow the wintery cold to get to the meeting.

Mirk arrives right on time, still moving a little stiffly, hinting at injuries hidden underneath the steelsilk. He takes a seat near his family, offering Khanne a nod of his head, and then turns his attention to Gwenna. "Thank you for hosting us once again," he says in a low, rumbling voice.

Lorenzo is settled in a spot not far from Gwenna, casting a warm smile and a wave in the direction of friends and family members as they arrive. He is mostly here to listen at this point.

The return of Helena //Redrain// seems to be poorly timed with the belligerent campaign of Helena //Thornweave//, and Princess Helena smirks a little at the commiserating look from Gwenna. Her gaze flits to the door now and then. As Oberion enters, a servant comes and murmurs in her ear, and she nods, then rises from her seat to try to discreetly move in that direction, as her cousin speaks.

Raven blinkity-blinks and turns to give Keely an arched eyebrow for some reason.

Helena has left the by the bear claw hearth.

Helena has joined the Far Corner.

Having arrived before the meeting started, Nazmir walked along with Cassiopeia in murmured conversation as he made his way over towards where Gwenna had claimed a spot the map table. There's an incline of his head given in the direction of his cousin, along with the hint of a smile before he's turning his gaze to the others that have begun to filter in, offering each a nod of his head, along with a smile. For the moment, he's quiet, though he does draw a small notebook from his pocket so that he can jot a couple of things down as the meeting begins.

A tall, quiet figure enters the Great Hall of House Redrain. He keeps his cloak pulled around him, hood up enough to cover his head but leave his face adequately revealed so that the guards aren't put off by him. He either doesn't need or care for introductions, because he greets not a single person and instead immediately slips to a quiet corner of the room where he can observe the proceedings without interrupting them.

Preston steps into the Great Hall, his hands folded behind his back as he strolls in. He offers a warm smile to Gwenna, before giving a respectful bow of his head in greeting, and he moves to the map table to peer a little at the arrangement of the map. His finger traces some paths along the map with a finger in the air and smiles before he turns his head "I hope I am not imposing by attending, your highness?" Preston offers quietly before looking up for who is to talk.

Preston has joined the Map Table painted for House Redrain.

Acantha watches Mirk as he enters, but she doesn't go over to see her patron, too many things going on and she didn't want to be in the middle of talking and be rude to whoever was going to be up first in the lines to talk. She does let her gaze trail after the tall and cloaked figure as he goes, but she makes a note of it for later. Then she goes back to paying attention and sees Preston, she offers a smile and a little wave to the Carnifex. Benny is given a pat after that given he's not ran off to try to eat a table yet.

Gwenna dips her head politely to Mirk and gives him a smile. "Thank you for attending, especially considering," she notes with a nod, and one to Khanne as well. An equally warm smile is returned to her husband, Lorenzo, and then to her cousin Helena, and others she knows as they move to take seats. The figure moving to the corner is noted, but Preston's kind remarks draw her attention away. She dips her head politely to the Carnifex. "Not in the least. You have been an ally and friend to House Redrain all my years in Arx, and are always welcome." That said, she turns and hands the whiskey bottle to Volcica. "Marquessa, my condolences again on the tragedy of losing Marquis Magnus. Please, speak when you are ready."

Turn in line: Volcica

Zakhar has left the East Alcove.

Mirk has joined the by the bear claw hearth.

Looking quite unwell and deeply upset, Keely departs from where she had settled and tries to slip out without drawing attention.

Keely has left the East Alcove.

6 Grayson House Guards, Wyla, a small wisp of an assistant leave, following Keely.

Raven looks ceilingwards with a frutrated exhale before drawing in a sloooow, fortifying breath and turning jade green eyes to the matter at hand.

As more and more people filter into the hall, Volcica seems to get less and less comfortable. What warmth and relaxation she had before the meeting drains away, and she's left with the cool, distant demeanor most are familiar with. She stands as she accepts the bottle from Gwenna, bowing her head to the woman. "Thank you, Princess. It has been hard." She pauses, refilling Gwenna's glass and then her own from the speaker-bottle. "My brother's death is.. a bigger part of this than.. any of us would like. It confirmed an alliance that I had hoped wouldn't be true." She takes a breath, and a sip of whiskey, fortifying herself. "It was a Thornweave that murdered him. She said it wasn't personal, that she did it in return for 'services rendered'. By the Maw of the Blizzard. He sent his regards." Her voice is harder, chilled. "We are here to talk about the Thornweave and how to prepare, so I need to make it known, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that we also need to prepare for one of the First Born, who has consumed his own kin and perhaps the primal Spirit of Blizzard itself. As such, I want to suggest that all the Houses of Redrain take a chance to scour their lands for signs of the Thornweave, be it strange trees, vines, whispers.. and I think that we, as a fealty, should look at fortifying our holdings, and our lands. Stahlben and Clearlake should look to the Everwinter, as well."

Mar, the Magpie arrives, delivering a message to Lucita before departing.

Gwenna bites her lip when Volcica explains the tie and then takes up the glass the Stahlben filled for her. Vaguely uncharacteristic of the Redrain, she takes the whiskey down more shot-like than tends to be her habit. "That is...very troubling news," she says after a moment. Shutting her eyes and taking in a breath, she opens the former as she sighs it out. "I was with a group that helped free some of the Thornweave. There were three, though only two survived - Lunesca and Eylion. They were not trees when we came upon them, but perhaps similar endeavors might free others. It is not easy work, though," is remarked with a quick shake of her head. "As I said before, House Redrain has resources put aside for this very sort of thing. Please do not hesitate to reach out for help. I am agreed with Marquessa Volcica, though; we must do what we can to protect our holdings. They may need to serve as safe havens for those in the outlying villages should we call for evacuations."

Wyla, a small wisp of an assistant arrives, delivering a message to Lucita before departing.

Raven is for now, attentive and for once-silent as she listens. As the conversation continues her brow furrows and her bottom lip is worried between her lips.

Listening to what is said, mainly by Volcica and then by Gwenna, Nazmir is placing his hands on the table, leaning forward a bit, "We should ensure that we keep an eye on those outlying villages, as well. If we look to House Grayson as an example of things that are transpiring, they had lost contact with some of those smaller villages on the outskirts, within the Gray Forest, without a trace of villagers to be found." A pause and then, "It wouldn't hurt to consider regular patrols or a series of check-ins, so that we don't discover an issue to late to address the problem."

Lucita hesitates and then after a moment ventures. "If any should need a copy of the True Song from Jan. 9, 1018, let me know and can share it with them. Some of these matters, and many others, are referred to in that song."

Mailys isn't entirely confident about where to sit. As a guest with interest to listen, the dark-haired woman in a warm furry coat took up a spot near the back to hear out the causes of action. The Maw and the Thornweave references make her eyes turn towards the speakers, but her face searched for context and found it in the explanations of severity. Evacuations are never something that happens out of mild worry for safety.

Preston furrows his brows as discussion goes onto talk of the everwinter and up into the far north, his mouth twisting as some thoughts run through his mind "There was some thoughts that the Traitor had turned his mind to something in the Everwinter. I think we determined that wasn't the case, but that possibility is there." Preston admits before his shoulders lift "The Thornweave are Sylv, they serve Legion. Are Legion. And driven by the Traitor's desires. That they do favours is interesting. But not unexpected, Thornweave are mages - if they work for the Traitor's head of mages, she is a devious one. Or was."

When talk of Stahlben and Clearlake needing to look to the Everwinter comes up there is a nod from Acantha, "House Clearlake is always willing to help brace against the Everwinter." she states to that in her usual level tone. "We have the Templar Sanctuary that could be used for overflow of evacuees if it comes to that as well. If that is alright with the Templars to share some extra space." she offers. She then goes back to quietly listening, her grey gaze flicking to one particular corner before turning back to the others.

Canting her head to the side, Cassiopeia is listening to everything, there is a thoughtful expression on her faze, azure blues bouncing from person-to-person as they speak. Her shoulders tense briefly, betraying her concern and care around the issue. Her brows knit together briefly, but doesn't have anything to add, but rather takes everything in, quietly.

Cillian frowns hearing Prestons words he takes a deep slow breath, his gloved hand comes up to rub over his whiskers and looks to Lucita leaning in to say something to her in a soft tone where they sitl

Raven speaks up, "May I ask how that determination was made, Carnifex? What information made it clear what Lady Thornweave's machinations, or the Traitor's were or were not in this case?"

"The True Song implies that the Maw's alliance with the Traitor will be used to take aim at the Rex'alfar in the Everwinter," Mirk observes with a thoughtful frown, his hands folded before him. "That's not a certainty, but it matches what we know of the Maw; it cares primarily for its territory - the Everwinter - and its grudge against the Rex'alfar."

Volcica looks to Preston, and offers a small smile. It isn't.. pleasant. "The Traitor seeks the crown of Queen Alarice, and a few have had a vision hinting that it's in Albamons'alfar. The Maw wants nothing more than to destroy Albamons'alfar, and the Children of the Sun." She looks to Raven, offering a little nod. "I believe this is why the Maw allied with the Traitor." She nods again, this time to Mirk. "My brotherr's death was a warning to my House. I don't think the Maw would worry about us, were we not on the right track. Why trifle with lowly humans if they do not help or hinder his plans?"

Lucita listens to those who are speaking as she quietly passes out copies of the True Song lyrics to those who discretely requested them of her.

With a glance toward the stranger beside her, Helena steps forward a little out of the shadows to speak. "Not all Sylv serve Legion. Thornweave was freed. Helena Thornweave //chooses// to serve Legion; the others are free to choose, and they do not want this, Sir Preston." The quiet princess' cheeks are flushed, her eyes flashing, their lashes damp. "Please do not lump all Sylv into one common enemy. I know I've been away, but surely that is not where we've come to, is it?"

Vern arrives, delivering a message to Raven before departing.

"That was the theory" Preston agrees to Volcica with a nod "There were some questions whether that was indeed the crown he was after. And if it was indeed in the Rex fortress." Raven gets a look from the Carnifex, regarded for a moment before the Templar speaks "Their machinations? That I don't necessarily know. If I were able to understand their machinations in advance, it is possible the Sylv'Alfar might never have fallen to Legion. But. We can be sure that whatever one of them does, they all know of and agree to. Calyana Vinekeep would not allow any to threaten the Traitor's plans or disrupt them. Oh..." There is a pause and Preston looks sidelong to Gwenna "Oh, the Headsman of the Red Mountains' axe is with them too. And perhaps more. If they bring such weapons north, well. Entire House Guards have been slaughtered by that blade here before. It is how the chance to capture the blade was lost." Preston's attention is taken by Helena and he snorts a little "Mm. There are other houses that sleep, of the Sylv. Though they broke their oath to their King. But, he died after joining legion. Somehow."

Gwenna nods her head as Nazmir speaks. "It is not for me to direct any of you in matters of your lands, but the suggestion is a sound one. Patrols, if the people can be spared to do such, should check in on the outlying villages. Perhaps we should see if some might be brought in closer, so as to keep them safe from the...attacks. Legion has enough already," she says with some anger briefly in her tone. A grateful nod is offered to Lucita. "Thank you, truly. The songs are often insightful and I would love a copy if you've the time to spare." Her brows arch a little when Preston offers words next, and then furrow. "Much of what I have been learning has been worrisome, and likely things I shouldn't be surprised by." More nods of her head are offered, this time to Acantha. "If we can offer aide there in the form of food or silver, please let me know." When Raven makes an inquiry to Preston, the Redrain looks to Mirk next. "I'd rather the Northlands be prepared, even if it is not a certainty. Thank you, Lord Mirk, for that insight."

When Volcica offers more details, Gwenna quiets to mull the implications over for a bit. "So, our preliminary plans may be to bolster our defenses as best we can, check on our outlying villages, and possibly bring them closer to the main holdings. Redrain can offer support to those who may need it." That said, she glances to Helena. "She /chooses/ to serve the Traitor? Gods and spirits..." A nod quickly follows. "As I said, I have seen some of the Thornweave freed, and they promised us help when the time came. I do not view them with anything but appreciation, personally." Preston's additional words elicit another sigh. "I have heard of special weapons being sought out, and have no doubt Farhaven will be a place they target. Sleeping Houses can be woken and freed, but it is not easy work, nor guaranteed."

Raven bows her head respectfully when Preston speaks and again when Volcica, Mirk, and Gwenna share additional insight.

Mirk pales a little at the mention of the Headsman. He says nothing of that, but it doesn't seem to sit well with him. "I've heard rumors that most of those woken and freed have been hunted down and slain by the Traitor," he mentions to Gwenna. "So that isn't much of an advantage unless we can protect them once they can be woken."

Lucita nods to Gwenna and rises from her seat, moving to hand her a copy of the lyrics before returning to sit with the Halfshav's. She tries to not interrupt those talking.

Connal, a Northern Wolfhound, Honeymare, 1 Ravenseye Warrior, 3 Sanna House Guards, 2 Northern Rangers, a Whitehawk rusted hawk arrive, following Rosalind.

Vern arrives, delivering a message to Raven before departing.

Rosalind is LATE! late! She hurries in though like she's been here the whole time, inching toward a seat. Silently

Benny's all too vigilant when talk of the Horned God comes up and he looks rather protective of the woman he is sitting with. "It's just planning, you can calm down." she whispers to the beaver. He continues to stand on his side of the chair that they were sharing. Talk of the Traitor being up and hunting again makes Acantha a little pale. Probably why she is being quiet again.

Cillian looks up. "If they are being hunted and slain after freed, can we not bring them in to protect them?" he asks as he looks up from the paper being held in his gloed hands. He speaks with a thick northern shav accent, "Can we not offer them some form of protection instead of leaving them to be hunted down and slain?"

Helena's gaze finds Volcica and she nods twice -- in affirmation and again in appreciation for the woman's comments. "She has killed her own people; they do not serve her. They do not serve the Traitor, and need deserve our protection, not our blades at their throats."

Magaen has joined the line.

Gwenna takes in and lets out another long breath. "I had heard rumors, but hoped...and still hope...that some might remain hidden. I have not heard from the two I'm aware of, and have no idea if there is anything we can do to help any of them stay safe." Cillian seems to be of similar thought. "I imagine we can offer, and I would gladly do so, but I suspect they will worry their presence will bring retribution upon us. We were told in visions not long ago that for every one we freed, a village would be taken. There are so many dangers and I often feel overwhelmed trying to think of ways to keep our people safe from them," she admits. As Lucita offers her the song lyrics, she gives the Baroness a warm smile and grateful dip of her head. When Magaen steps up for the bottle, the Redrain waves for the Countess to take it up.

Turn in line: Magaen

Raven frowns gently, "Is Redrain in the position to make protection a priority? There's considerable threats as others have expounded upon. I don't question the goodwill or the desire to aid them, only observing a gap between more pressing matters and perhaps the means to accomplish such missions of mercy."

Magaen's arrival was without entourage, and her taking position toward the rear of those assembled further emphasizes an initial intent to keep on the 'information gathering' side of matters. So much for intent. The countess of Glacial Grove moves forward, bows her head to those at the Redrain table. "Charon is a House in its infancy. This is not to say we are not without defenses, but our defenses are not without close limits. Until today, I was under the belief our eyes should be turned eastward, toward the Gray Forest, for the threat - something we certainly have the vantage for. But given our holding's natural protection is the grove itself, I have reservations about coaxing the nearby villagers nearer. There is no shortage of 'strange vines,'" this is said with a nod to Lady Volcica, "on our lands, after all."

"You may also wish to speak to Laurent." Preston suggests to Gwenna "If the Swarm or others have moved from Farhaven, that was a great stronghold of the Sylv. If not, then at least you know he is not committing fully to the north, and that might tell you the scale of what to expect from his forces at least. I know he has attacked recently there." The surprise of Volcica to the choice to serve gets a slight guffaw and a smirk from the Templar "They all chose to serve at first, m'lady. Admitedly Calyana and my..Traitor did convince A'kioh and the others through cunning tricks and lies, still they chose to serve. They wanted power to stop our people." As he trails off, he gestures across to Acantha "I will happily provide additional resources to the sanctuary at Clearlake. If he does send Calyana or another bearing the dark weapons he has recovered, well. Without doubting the bravery of the Northern troops, which I know well, you may need help to hold that line of a more....creative nature."

Cillian nods his head, "Perhaps if we can find a way to bring the people in so that when we free them they have no villages to slaughter." he looks to Raven and breaths then looks to the others, "If we can keep those Sylv that are free from being slaughtered perhaps in the end we might get them to help fight the traitor in the end with us?"

"Such villages have a purpose, otherwise people would all simply live in cities," Mirk says with a frown. "Usually to farm the lands that we depend upon for food. We cannot protect everyone behind high walls forever, though I think we could work on having some plan to protect our people in emergencies. Smaller outposts intended to signal the arrival of enemy forces, or something of the like."

"House Stahlben will shelter any of the Sylv'alfar who come to us, but our lands are probably among the least safe for them. Any who oppose the Maw and the Traitor are welcome to our protection." Volcica pauses, looking to Cillian. "Perhaps instead of worrying about freeing them, first, we could simply.. do our best to find them, while fortifying ourselves. This is not going to be over quickly, and drawing more retaliation before we're remotely capable of handling it is not going to be conducive to our longevity." Another nod to Mirk, appreciation for the thought of watchtowers and outposts.

Cillian nods his head at the answers falling silent again looking down at his paper a frown etched on his face.

Standing and looking over the map before her on the table a moment, Gwenna glances back up and toward Raven. "I do not know, to be perfectly honest. We were in the Bay of Pieros to aide, we contributed funds to House Thrax recently. We are a small house with limited resources, but if we can somehow put them in as many places as we can conceivably do so, that is what I hope we can do. It may not be possible," she admits. Next, she nods to Magaen. "Something, indeed, we should consider as well. I don't like leaving our people at the mercy of these attacks, but neither can we keep everyone safe, I suppose. Ah, thank you Sir Preston. I will reach out to Laurent, which may bring us more insight and help us concentrate where it may be best to do so. It is, truly, why we're holding this meeting - to try to figure out the best avenues we should be taking, if we can." Turning her attention to Cillian again, she says, "Some of them have pledged to aide us already, but as noted, such will do us no good if they are hunted down and slaughtered." There is a lot being said and the Redrain seems to be taking and reviewing quick notes on it all. "Agreed, Marquessa Volcica. And Lord Mirk, I like that idea very much. Outposts may be the smarter option than trying to uproot all of the people under our purview. Having warnings, at least, would give people the opportunity to try to get to safety and not be made part of what the Traitor uses against us."

Lucita nods to Mirk as he speaks. "The watchtowers have been effective in my holdings, a quick alert to oncoming bandits and such."

Acantha listens to those talking and she gives a look to the far corner again. She refocuses though. She dips her head to Preston, "That is appreciated and welcomed, Carnifex." the Countess states to him. "And we will see about what we can do to guard our villages and other things against the powers that might be coming. Lord Mirk has a good idea in the watchtowers and things." she nods to this. There is a moment of thought, "Much like Marquessa Stahlben stated, Clearlake is also open to housing displaced Sylv'alfar, but I don't think them being that close to the Everwinter and the Maw is to their benefit, but we'd protect them as well." she tells the room.

Rosalind speaks then. "As others have said, Stormheart would happily take people in. We're pretty secluded by the mountains." She looks around noting,"A watch tower can easily be built by our shipyard.."

"..Marquessa-Regent," Volcica corrects quietly.

"Have you ever felt the full weight of Legion pressing against your mind, Carnifex Preston?" the man in the corner asks now, drawing himself up to his full height. His voice is deep, and it carries across the space of the hall until it reaches the other man. "I have. I will tell you a little of what it is like to awaken and find yourself subsumed. First, you resist? It's just a light buzzing in your ears, after all, you can ignore it for a time. Then, everything that is dark creeps into every available space of your person before you can stop it. Physically and emotionally. It eats away, it consumes you. It makes what is you, part of itself. You scream in agony but no one can hear you. Your voice carries on, it feels, for centuries. But nothing and no one hears you. And little by little, what is you starts to die. You watch as you're forced to commit horrible acts at the will of some other thing that has no name. Friends, kin. Places that you loved. You burn them all to the ground even as /you/ are ground down into absolutely nothing at all. Now when you scream in agony, all of you scream in agony. Because you are one." He cants his head, green eyes on the Carnifex. "But I doubt my words will mean much to you or that they fully encapsulate the horrors that await you and your people."

Rosalind looks at the man in the corner and bites her lower lip.

Raven shifts weight between her feet restlessly as Oberion speaks, her bottom lip cruelly captured and worked between her teeth as she listens. Softly, "They ain't all deaf ears, my lord."

Mirk has joined the line.

Cillian head snaps up hearing a voice that he does not know, his head and eyes turn to look on the man speaking watching him. His hazel eyes locked on Oberion tilting his head watching.

Gwenna pales a bit at Oberion's words. "I have heard the screams, as someone was taken, and then it was nothing but silence. That was horrible and something I still have nightmares about. Hear in my nightmares. That it continues on so awfully for those taken..." The Redrain shakes her head. "We will build outposts and reinforce the Templars and patrols as much as we can. I know there are bigger things, darker things, we will have to contend with, but we need to at least make attempts to keep our people and lands safe, or we will have no one left to fight these things with." As Mirk indicates a request to speak, Gwenna motions the bottle be passed his way.

Turn in line: Mirk

"I do have one contribution to add to any plans of fortification," Mirk says, rising to his feet to address the entire gathering. "Some time ago, before the Thornweavers were freed, I assisted in the development of an alchemical solution that weakens and kills Thornweave vines. I am no alchemist, so I cannot produce it myself, but I can teach Northern alchemists how it is made, and we can attempt to prepare it for use against Helena Thornweave. There is only one catch to this." He pauses, grimaces. "An essential ingredient of the solution is a sample of the vines themselves. Acquiring that can be a very dangerous endeavor in its own right."

Helena looks ready to speak again, but stops as the stranger beside her speaks out. She closes her eyes at the description, and her brow knits, as if she can hear the buzzing as he speaks. Her lips press together and she glances up at him, giving him a small nod of understanding.

Raven calls out, "I'll collect that shit. For those who can prove to me a practical application-I may even do so more than once."

Acantha looks as the figure in the far corner finally speaks. The words chilling her to the bone. That sounded like a wholly horrific experience to go through. She doesn't comment as she has nothing to say after that. She looks down to Benny and tries to smile, but it just comes across as a grimace really.

There are some replies, but it's difficult to tell what the stranger really thinks of them. His green eyes are dark and leans back once more, melding against the stone as if he's part of the furniture.

Lucita says, "I know what it is to have one taken over and made, under unstoppable compulsion to do things but none of what I suffered was so bad as that, I only had to sing." She speaks softly, with a sympathetic note in her voice, to Oberion. "And I have had... memory affected by the Metallic Traitor.""

Gwenna bobs her head a few times. "I've heard of this solution, Lord Mirk, and wondered if it could be something we might manage to get. Perhaps if we could have even a small amount at each of the proposed watchtowers... As you said, though, it seems a hard solution to create due to the needed ingredients. If it is at all possible, I think House Redrain could help contribute toward the efforts." There is a faint grin offered to Raven, likely a respect for someone willing to take on such a task.

When Oberion begins to speak, Khanne looks up and over to him. The more he says, the more concerned she looks, the more pained. Suddenly, she turns away, eyes nearly closing, murmuring in an emotion choked voice, "I am so sorry... I am so sorry for all who have felt that, still feel that."

Preston turns his head to the man in the corner, and he lifts an eyebrow as he listens. He lets the man lay it out before Preston smiles gently "Myself? A little. I have visited the Fortress of Chains, known the pull and been almost lost. But no. Never fully. But. I do know there are escapes." Preston observes "Death, for one. Even their Sylv king died after becoming one with Legion, escaped from the writ in that way. His soul unbound and unchained by the promises his son forced upon him. And I also know the demands the Gods place on us, and know their reflections would demand no less either. It is the nature of such warfare, of such belief, of such...devotion. My Goddess demanded that I should be willing to lay down my life to be seen as worthy, I did so. So, in that I have some understanding of the demands they face. Of the subsuming of the personal. The difference is, each time I do it, I have choice."

Cillian is frowning and his hands are flexing a bit, the sword of Blackwood is looking tense at the moment, his eyes still on the stranger then close his head tilting as if remembering something.

"You have my knowledge of the substance at my disposal," Mirk says with a dip of his head towards the others. "But I lead it to warriors to arrange to find the ingredients and alchemists to create it."

Dark eyes linger on Oberion when he finally speaks, but she says nothing. What could she say? "I am not an alchemist, or much of a fighter. I won't be of use collecting vines but I can send support, and our best alchemists to learn." Volcica dips her head to Mirk. "I will also redouble my efforts to puzzle out the Song, and its warnings. ..The ones that haven't already come to pass, that is."

Raven shifts weight between her feet restlessly. She's gone a bit pale and queasy looking. She sits and then is promptly back on her feet shifting weight restlessly between her feet.

Lucita hesitates and then says to Gwenna and Mirk. "You will need me, or one like me to help with that substance. Let me know when you need me and will attempt to assist."

Gwenna runs a finger along her notes, tracing a line here or there before glancing back up to the room. "I do not believe we will have a complete plan at the end of this meeting, but I believe we are leaning to watch towers in our lands to help warn people before attacks? Fortify the Templars and our own patrols as best we can, and perhaps work with or aid a group that might be willing and able to produce the substance." When Lucita speaks, the Redrain nods her head. "Perhaps the Apothecary College might be able to assist? Would you be willing to reach out, Baroness? Perhaps you and Raven might even collaborate? Not just for Redrain, of course, but I imagine many in the Compact could use such a defense."

After Oberion's words brought some memory of hers to the forefront of her mind, Khanne seemed a bit in her emotions. Drysi quietly steps forth to her and hands her a rather thick stack of messages. Looking up to her assistant with questioning eyes is answered only with a shrug of Drysi's shoulders before the assistant steps back out of the way again. Khanne looks at the messages in her hands and sighs, beginning to open them. However, she also says, "Halfshav will do all we can to assist in matters, even if we are called upon to house any of those freed. We will definitely look into fortifying our holds and assisting our vassals if they need." She looks up from a message to Mirk with a nod. "We'll check on our smaller villages too. Perhaps foremost, our Springs?" The last is a question directed to Mirk specifically.

Lucita glances toward Raven and gives a little nod. "I will do what I can. There i a meeting with Lady Eirene later, not sure when as yet, that may expedite matters.

"Probably for the best," Mirk says with a nod of his head to Khanne. "It's too close to the Grey Forest for comfort, these days."

Cillian speaks up his voice shaky at first but he attempts to collect himself, "Do you think Lord Mirk arrow heads could be dipped into it and used that way?" he breaths in deeply like he might be sick swalowing hard.

Raven bows her head, "I am always at your or Lady Eirene's service, Baroness."

"I'll send word to Clearlake Hold to continue preparations for trouble that might incoming and to expect more Templars coming to the area given things." Acantha nods to that. She then settles back into her quiet mode and watches the others as the meeting continues.

As Gwenna studies her notes, Helena chews her lower lip and steps forward again. "There is a relic in I have learned of, that was used to //some// success -- not ultimately, but it did buy some time -- in fighting Legion. I may request some resources for a trip to learn more about it," she says. "If anyone is interested in assisting me or traveling with me, do let me know. When it's safe, of course. Or safe-ish." Is anywhere truly safe, ever?

Preston bows his head to Gwenna "The Templars will do what we can to ensure we have troops placed to help you - and I will speak to the Solace about ensuring patrols keep the roads as safe as always. Though we have always been weaker in the North, and lack the experience of the snow." Helena's comment causes Preston's head to turn quickly though and he quickly asks "Ah. Is it, hmm. Spherical by any chance?"

Raven scrubs at her face with a palm and grumbles to herself, unprepared for the way to alcove sends out sound, "Fucking snow."

"I don't know," Mirk answers Cillian simply. "I'd say it may be worth trying, but if it doesn't work out then the archers may be in a very unenviable position."

Volcica shifts her gaze to Preston, thoughtful. "We don't have a sanctuary, but we can board Templars as well. We can also help with training and preparing for the snow, if you'd like." A little pause. "..We could talk later, when time and resources permit, about a training facility and barrack."

Rosalind looks to Volcica, telling her,"Ravenseye can help if you'd like. Maybe we can get every northern house to see about preparations and training."

"It is definitely a good idea to get those unfamiliar with the reaches of the Everwinter and colder areas familiar with it before setting into battle. The shock that might come from a first experience might be a tipping point in a fight." Acantha states with a nod to that. "If House Clearlake can help just let us know, we'd be happy to." she adds with a dip of her head.

Gwenna adds a few more notes to her little Book of Notetaking while nodding. "Of course, Helena. I recall the relic you've mentioned and the gods and spirits know anything that might help is worth investigating." Cillian's inquiry leads the Redrain to look thoughtful, but Preston's words soon draw her attention. "I do not wish to burden the Templars, Carnifex, and we will do what we can to make things easier. Winter is never a kind season, never mind in the Northlands. Please let me know what you may need." There's a grin when Raven makes about the same remark, but far more honestly, and Volcica and Acantha offer the Templars assistance as well. "Alright then, I think we may be at a place to conclude the meeting and try to put more details behind the tentative plans we've discussed. I am incredibly grateful to all of you for taking time away from your duties to share your thoughts, information, and assistance with further planning. I welcome messengers, of course, and feel like I may be sending inquiries to you all as well. House Redrain has resources we can help with, so please do not hesitate to let me know if you've a need. Did anyone wish to add anything else?"

Cillian nods his hea to Mirk, "Once some is made perhaps we can test it out, if so I would tske some for my scouts." he breaths deeply, "Blackwood will help as well." he looks to Rosalind giving her a look then his eyes go back aaround the room.

"Charon will turn its focus inward to better assure those who know the challenges of the grove have a place of safety within it," Magaen states, "inasmuch as we can while our scouts keep their eyes to the Gray Forest. It is too near to wholly turn away from.. Should our resources be needed elsewhere, let us know and we will do as we can."

Helena's deep in conversation with her special guest for a moment, but turns to find Preston again, and shakes her head. "No, Carnifex, it isn't. It's a little bit of esoteric lore." She nods to Gwenna's words, a smile of appreciation for the other Redrain princess. She turns back to Oberion once the meeting is all but officially ended.

Volcica is overheard praising Gwenna.

Cassiopeia is overheard praising Gwenna: Fantastic organizational skills!

Cillian is overheard praising Gwenna.

Magaen is overheard praising Gwenna.

Benny The Beaver leaves, following Acantha.

As people seem to move to quieter conversations or prepare to depart, Gwenna dips her head respectfully once again. "Thank you all for attending, once again. I will call an official close to the meeting, but please feel free to linger and continue to speak. Sir Preston, thank you again as always for taking your time, too, to be here. We truly value the Templars and all they do for the Compact, and especially in the north."

Cillian has left the by the bear claw hearth.

With the meeting more or less over, Volcica rises. She makes her way towards corner that Helena and Oberion have tucked themselves into, though she stops a respectful distance away. "Thank you for hosting this, Princess. It has been.. enlightening." She glances to Helena and Oberion as again, trying to judge if it was a good moment to intrude or not.

"Ah, good good. Just didn't want you going after something that is no longer where it was." Preston says to Helena with a warm smile before he bows his head back to Gwenna "The purpose in clearing Waldo was to refocus on the Traitor. And, Gods willing, we will be there. And we always try to help where we can, your highness."

With things beginning to draw to a close, Nazmir is casting a look about before turning his attention over in the direction of Gwenna, a quick smile given to her, along with an incline of his head, "Thanks for putting this together, Cousin. It was so very informative."

Lucita waits till the meeting seems near over and rises from her seat. She murmurs to Gwenna and Preston on her way out. "If you have need of me, I am easy to reach by messenger. Once I speak with Lady Eirene, will let you know what she says." She also pauses a moment to speak with Raven.

A messenger arrives, delivering a message to Helena before departing.

Raven bows her head respectfully as Lucita as she approaches.

Lucita has left the by the bear claw hearth.



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