Artshall Rebuilding: Not Worth the Paper
May 9, 2023, 7 p.m.
Agric Cillian Neilda Orland Ryhalt Sira Vandorean Delia
Outside Arx - Oathlands - Ruins of Artshall
Comments and Log
Ico arrives, following Vandorean.
4 Silvershields, Elexa the reliable apprentice dressmaker, Buxby the mediocre apprentice dressmaker, Vandorean, Delia arrive, following Sira.
Laborers swarm over Artshall working to restore the devastated city. Some backed by nobles. Some backed by merchants. Some backed by the Faith. Some an amalgam of those. Wagons roll in and out of the city on streets increasingly clear. Efforts are spread out and, as the saying goes, 'many hands make light work.'
But construction the northern and eastern district overseen by the Better Artshall Company is struggling to achieve deadlines. And yet the Laurent's silver is being spent. Unable to attend matters herself, Lady Mabelle has dispatched a group of trusted agents to get to the bottom of things and clear the way for reconstruction efforts to get back on track.
Lady Mabelle has asked her agents to meet with or otherwise learn what is happening and has made available whatever resources they require, within reason. And, finally, directions to given the Company's headquarters. A partially constructed building that will, at some uncertain point in the future, house shops and residences. Which is where our scene begins...
Shouting issues from the building, "This is unacceptable. Unacceptable!" The shouting continues, but the words become indistinct. Work continues, all around, though it's not as busy as other districts.
Sira is here, having offered Mabelle both her assistance and that of the Silver Consortium. The woman is standing rather still, dressed in refined traveling clothes, with her thick auburn curls held back in a loose coil. Her nose wrinkles as she looks in the direction of the shouting from within the building. To that point, she'd been just observing the comings and goings of the work. As the shouting ceases, her head shakes. "How unseemly." Then she's looking around, remembering there were others for her to work with on this situation.
Vandorean wore his armor last time and all they encountered was a bunch of rats. This time he forgoes it, wearing instead his blue Artshall Velvet cloak over a yellow gold shirt and a pair of blue pants. The lord comes in with Delia Whisper on arm and a dueling sword on his opposite hip. "Looks like things are really clearing up now Delia, last time you could not go down many of these streets with all the debris. That was an interesting expedition was it not?" He chuckles at the thought of everyone jumping around trying to avoid the rats last time but his laughter is cut short by the sound of angry shouting. "Never a dull moment is there my dear?"
The last time the Northern Lord was in Artshall was a week or so ago helping clean and finding seeds for when the farms are rebuilt. But he also fell into a nest of Rats as well, so now Cillian moves along dressed in his leathers. Sword at his hip and bow on his back with a small pup in his arms, he is not letting him down at the moment the Rats may try and snag him! "Lets me careful this time." he says softly to himself as he looks around.
Delia enters with Vandorean. “I wonder what all the commotion is,” the Whisper wonders. Dressed in a blue silken gown, beaded slippers and a cloak to ward off the chill, she releases Van’s arm to turn in that direction. With a nod, she agrees. “It has come a long way yet there is still much to do.. We should check and see if there’s some problem to be dealt with.”.”
A door opens unseen and from the far side of the building, a man and woman hustle away, shoulders and spines stiff, if their posture is any indication - they are *unhappy*. They pass along the good cheery by shouting at the laborers gathered and waiting for orders.
Nearer, the door that creaked open SLAMS! There is loud disgruntled muttering. And another voice. At least one. Maybe two?
Ryhalt walks with purpose to their destination. As one of Mabelle's close friends he wanted to help make something right though the rebuilding would take years. Hearing the shouting emerge from the partially built building which seemed to be their destination, he scratches wryly at his side-whisker. Stress and high tempers in a situation like this isn't unheard of and he grins wryly at Sira's assessment. "Perhaps. Let's go see what's wrong." He strides up to the building and looks about as he enters, looking for someone who is either screaming or looks to be in charge. He pauses a moment as the door slams shut. With a shrug to say this is normal, he smiles and continues on in. "Hello... we're here on behalf of Lady Mabelle."
Ever the peacemaker, Delia greets those disgruntled workers (the man and the woman) a gentle smile. “Greetings. I am the Whisper Delia, and this is Lord Vandorean Laurent .. is there a problem that we should be aware of?” She’ll allow the others to introduce themselves as she knows some of them only by reputation, like the Duke she nods to in greeting.
Sira gives Ryahlt a pointedly, perfectly polite bow of her head and murmurs, "After you, Duke Farshaw." She follows, just a step or two behind and slightly to his left. There's a look over her shoulder to the others. She looks at Vandorean and Delia for a long, silent moment before giving Cillian a nod. "Coming?" Once at the door, the seamstress is also looking, her expression unfriendly for whoever has been shouting.
Cillian nods to Sira as he follows along after the Duke, he looks at Vandorean nodding his head. His eyes look to Delia, tilting his head but then snaps back to watch ahead of him as he follows them into where the voices were coming from.
Vandorean inclines his head to Delia's first comment then watches in silence as she introduces them to the workers. It is then he notices Sira and Ryhalt, moving over in their direction and the direction of the slammed door. "I think whatever the issue may be over here. Good afternoon Master Sira. " He nods to Ryhalt then, never having formally met the man. "Lord Vandorean Laurent at your service...Ah well I suppose pleasantries can wait, I wonder what in Arx is going on here."
4 Silvershields, Elexa the reliable apprentice dressmaker, Buxby the mediocre apprentice dressmaker, Agric arrive, following Sira.
A large wolf looking dog of silver gray and black comes bounding in and walks up to Vandorean. The beast pants and wags his tail as his master wanders into the building.
Delia inclines her head to Sira and greets the other woman with a smile. ‘’Master Sira, how do you do?’’ Her smile to Cillian grows softer, ‘’Glad to see you’re still here with us. Let’s hope that whatever the problem is this time that we don’t have to deal with any four-legged pests.’’ She inclines her head to Ryhalt, greeting him as well but in silence. She’s rather distracted by the dog that’s just rushed up to Vandorean. This draws a small smile from the Whisper.
There is one other member of the group who has remained mostly silent since he arrived, joining as a representative of The Court to help spur along anything that might be holding up reconstruction. He dresses simply, but impeccably, and frowns at the commotion that's heard in the company building. Since introductions are going around, he nods to those attended. "Lord Agric Leary," he says. "Let's see what the fuss is about." He settles his gaze over to where Ryahlt is heading.
To Delia: The knot of workers getting shouted at scatter to jobs and the two who exited the building turn at the sound of a pleasant voice - pleasant meaning not raised, because that's what's going on here. Shouting. Their eyes go wide first at sight of someone so finely arrayed in a construction site, and then wider at someone in obvious Laurent dress. "Uh, no. There's-" a curtsy, a bow, quickly executed. "There's nothing amiss, Whisper. We're just a bit behind." That was the woman. The man adds, "We should get to it. Our regards to his lordship." They both look, together, at Vandorean beyond Delia, with an expression of 'this day couldn't get worse.' Bobbing curtsy and dashed bow, they escape.
"What?" The answer to Ryhalt's query is a sharp utterance, thick with Oathland disdain. "What is this who are-" 'Lady Mabelle' it's a magic word, hereabouts. As the group files in, one finely dressed person after another, the man, a ruddy-complected man, tall with wispy graying hair and short-cropped beard, draws up. He's leaning over a table of drawings and stacks of ledgers. His nose is smeared with ink and the wisps of his hair are wild from his hands having been worry the flyaway strands. He bows quickly, "Lord Laurent," Artshall gets its due first. "Esteemed..." and now an armed man holding a ... dog. And another DOG. His lips twist with frustration, but he smiles, "...guests. How may I be of service?"
"Master Sira Illuso, Voice of the Silver Consortium," The woman says to the shouting man, as she's pretty sure everyone else knows her - she's knows /them/, anyway, and that's what matters to her. "This is Duke Ryhalt Farshaw, Lord Vandorean Laurent, Lord Agric Leary, Lord Cillian Blackwood, and Delia Whisper." She sniffs, eyeing his ledgers curiously. "We've come to see what..." Then she looks to RYahlt and changes what she was going to say. "The Duke may have some questions."
Ryhalt smiles pleasantly despite the sharp tone, letting the name drop do its magic on the man's attitude. Coming to stand beside Vandorean, he nods to the man addressing them in passing acceptance that there was recognition that a Laurent was with them. "We're all friends of Laurent here." After Sira's introductions he grinned wryly, something about the exchanges between him and Sira seeming to amuse him. A personal joke, maybe? "Oh, yes, I'm sure we all have questions and I'd like to hear you answer them all for us. Starting with... What is so unacceptable that you send people running out of the building in dismay? I'm sure if Lady Mabelle heard of this behavior she'd... well," he tips his head towards the dogs, "have some words with you." Words that ended with tiny dogs latching onto the man's ankles.
Delia taps her chin thoughtfully as the pair moves off, sapphire eyes following them for a moment. Looking back to those assembled, she remains quiet for the moment, waiting to see how this will play out. She remains attentive, listening as she does.
Cillian nods his head as he looks to Delia, "Yes, no four legged ones this time." he breaths deeply when he speaks its with a thick northern accent, there is a twitch of a smile but then he looks to Agric as he holds the dog in his arms and then he looks to the other dog and blinks. "Huh." he says to himself and then looks up to the man Ryhalt is speaking to his intense Hazel eyes just stare watching him.
Sira scowls. At the ledgers. Yes, definitely at the ledgers.
Vandorean seems amused at something, merely inclining his head to greeting for the workers before turning to Lord Ryhalt and the others. As the man greets him and his dog he just nods again. "Good day and thank you for the introductions Master Sira." He glances to the others "She makes excellent dresses too." The Lord then quiets up a moment as the duke speaks, he knows a little of what Mabelle wants done here. "I imagine most of the issue here is just how off track you are with the rebuilding. And please just ignore Ico, he is a good boy and definitely will not do anything in your business that I do not tell him to."
Agric glances over the dog Cillian is holding and forces a smile. Then, he takes a step forward to glance over the paperwork strewn about the table, seeing what he glean from them. Ryahlt's question is a good one, and he will level his gaze at the man after his brief look at the paperwork to await and answer.
"Jean-Luc de la Roche," the man bows as introductions flicker about. "That won't be neccessary. Everything is fine, I assure you, Duke Ryhalt." The man draws up and begins to dig through the papers, "We're getting new shipments of stone and timber in," he riffles more, growing increasingly agitated. He begins to mutter. Something about a mutt in there for sure. "Marie-Claire! Mar-" he pauses, tucking his chin, "Marie-claire, could you attend, please? We have ...guests."
A woman, who has NO DOUBT heard all the bellowing and probably the introductions, too, cautiously sidesteps into the room. She has a ledger clutched to her chest like a myrmidon's shield and swallows and curtsies to those gathered, glancing wide and wider-eyed at all of them. "Yes, Jean-Luc?"
Agric checks perception and investigation at normal. Critical Success! Agric is spectacularly successful.
Cillian looks ay the man calling himself Jean-Luc de la Eooche, "If there is yelling going on, it tends to mean something is not fine." he states looking to Lord Agric watching as he moves to look at the papers on the table.
Capt'n Waddles the small cock with a bell arrives, delivering a message to Cillian before departing.
Marie-CLaire's arrival, with that clutched ledger, draws Sira's attention. Her eyes narrow a little at the thing, then she gives the woman a more careful once-over. "Did you both live here, before the attack?" Her gaze moves from Marie-Claire to Jean-Luc.
"Oh, all is fine... huh?" Though Ryhalt continues to smile as he says this, a sternness enters his blue eyes as the man's behavior became agitated. "Then it won't be a problem for us to view the ledgers. Then have a tour to see where the previous materials have been used." He tips his head towards Cillian's point that yelling is a sign of not fineness. "It'd be a shame if we had to report we were...lied to." He looks to the others. "Perhaps he didn't like my question, hmm? Shall we challenge him with a better one?" There is a hint of mischief in his smile as he invites the others to interrogate the man and his shield, Marie-Claire.
"Greetings," Delia inclinces her head to the newly appeared Marie-Claire. She glances back to those around her and leans in to mutter to Marie-Claire before giving the woman an encouraging smile.
Agric exhales softly at the sight of the attendant. It's not her fault, he just wants to get down to business. He turns away and takes a step closer to the table, head tilting at something he sees there. "I don't know," he says to Ryahlt, before turning to Marie and Jean-Luc. "It depends on what you all were going to tell us about these shipping reports here. Under the drawings. I'm absolutely sure you were about to bring them up since they may affect any contracts that have been signed."
Delia checks charm and performance at normal. Delia is successful.
Vandorean is happy to stand by for now, nodding in agreement with Ryhalt's questions. The lord turns to Delia then and watches her whispering to Marie-Claire and seems a little curious. Mostly he pays attention to Ico who is still in the shop and being a well behaved doggy, certainly not a mutt! Finally he turns back to the assembled group and asks Jean-Luc. "Well facts are facts, and the fact you are behind is quite obvious. Do you have a good explanation of why that is before we go through papers and waste our important time trying to get to the bottom of it?"
Philippe arrives, following Orland.
Vandorean checks charm and leadership at normal. Vandorean is successful.
Orland checks dexterity and stealth at normal. Orland is successful.
Orland checks intellect and economics at normal. Orland fails.
Amadeo. Neo-noble, known for vacationing at Artshall, known for helping out in the past, certainly married to an infamous husband. Well, it is probably a good reason that Orland's hung back, knighthood or not, he's still got some tricks up his sleeve and keeping his immediate presence there could lead to some interesting results. In fact, he shuffles forward, scooting around those standing about with a polite 'excuse me' because he totally learned his lesson from being rude before. Eventually he extends out his hand to Ryhalt, "A ledger like this one?" He gives it a little side to side, "Lots of numbers - definitely a sign of bad things." What does he know!
Jean-Luc barely contains a *seething* look directed at Cillian, "As you say, my Lord." He will not refute the man to his face. And, it's getting harder and harder to maintain the 'this is fine' facade. He tenses at Ryhalt's question, lips pressing flat.
Marie-claire glances to Sira and says, "I am from Raille, to the North. Jean-Luc is from Caire. Philippe Dubois, our architect, is from here. From Artshall." She looks to Delia as the woman leans in to address her and nearly *wilts* at whatever it is that Delia says. She looks with imploring eyes to Jean-Luc.
There's a grunt, and when Agric indicates the stack of documents, it is another chip in Jean-Luc's brave face. And then, the Laurent lord himself, asking directly. A man can only hold out so long against rank and stress. "Fine," he seethes, face reddening. "Fine!" He bellows. "Excuse me please. Marie-" he waves at her. Carte blanche. A mixture of shame and anger follow the man out of the room in a cloud as he retereats to the room beyond.
Marie-claire gapes at the sudden appearance of another noble in their midst. She looks at the stack of ledgers and gawps. The whole day is strange. "I don't even know where to begin." She pushes the drawings aside, gazing at them sadly, and spreads the ledgers and paperwork out. "It is all here."
Sira checks intellect and economics at normal. Critical Success! Sira is spectacularly successful.
Orland checks intellect and investigation at normal. Critical Success! Orland is spectacularly successful.
Agric checks intellect and law at normal. Agric is successful.
Ryhalt checks perception and economics at normal. Ryhalt is successful.
Vandorean checks perception and streetwise at normal. Vandorean fails.
Cillian looks to Delia, "Good whisper, would you hold him please." he does not wait he hands her the pup, "His name is Haldir." he states as he moves after Jean-Luc as he moves into a different room.
"So, the delay in building doesn't affect you and your home," Sira mutters, stepping forward to look over the papers as Marie-Claire indicates more in the piles. Her head shakes gently, looking disappointed. "It would be a shame if the Silver Consortium made sure to never work with merchants in Raille or Caire, if the trade routes never passed through those towns..." The seamstress' tongue clucks as one piece of parchment is lifted and inspected more carefully.
Delia looks to Cillian as she's handed a bundle of fur. "But of course," says she smoothly, taking the pup from him. She remains where she is near Marie-Claire. Her head for business isn't as good as others here, so she turns to Marie-Claire again and arches a brow at the woman expectantly. "What seems to be the problem? It would do wonders just to speak it rather than have them discern it themselves."
Marie-claire's hands tremble at the threat Sira is leveraging, her expression goes from despairing to angry and then frustrated. But she says nothing as color creeps up her neck to her cheeks.
The young woman ducks her head in shame, "It's all there for anyone with eyes to see." Not anyone, but Sira's eyes can definitely see.
Vandorean holds up a slip of paper and looks like he has found something. "Redoubtermen, sounds like a gang. Are you making payments to gangs or is there some sort of criminal influence here? " He shows the paper to whoever else is nearest. Only then does Van spot Delia being handled the dog and he just chuckles, giving her an apologetic look. The lord gives the Whisper a small shrug then turns back to his find. "They definitely are into something off, why else are they being so reluctant to tell us?" His gaze follows Jean Luc as he walks off. "Are we supposed to follow him? He just took off."
Ryhalt keeps an eye upon Jean-Luc as Orland extends his hand and he looks to what Orland's referring. "Lots of numbers aren't always bad, it's lots of...unusual numbers which is bad." If anything his smile widens, if there's one thing besides coffee which excites him it's money, lots and lots and lots of money. "Drawings?" He glances over to Cillian. "OH yes, tell us--" Jean-Luc runs out the door and leaves poor Marie-Claire to deal with the situation. "Well, running away is a sign of everything is fine, too." Such sarcasm, such happy-coffee smile. Boy is Lady Mabelle going to hear an *interesting* story from him! With irony he says to Vanorean, "I think his answer to your question is...no." He watches Cillian go after Jean-Luc before turning his eyes back to the poor Marie-Claire. He doesn't even bat an eyelash at Sira's words, just continues to smile. With Delia's last words, he nods slightly. "So someone beat Sira to the game. I'm impressed."
Suddenly, Sira holds up a hand. "I..." Her brow knits together, annoyance evident in her expression. "Duke Farshaw..." She trails off and looks directly at Marie-Claire. "It seems my words were... premature." Frown. "My apologies, Marie-Claire." She hates apologizing. The paper is held out to Ryhalt. "It's all above-board. I mean, it's... /Stupid/. Horribly stupid. But, it was mostly bad luck, and then a run of poor choices as a result. There's no purposeful wrongdoing, here." She then points out the specific bad-luck parts, and the bad choices parts. "I think they just need to be trained in managing these projects. And better trade partners." Both she could supply. More frowning, specifically at Ryhalt.
In the room beyond, Jean-Luc stands over a long table filled with beautiful drawings. His shoulders are shaking. "Philippe. I wanted to make this for you."
"Nothing intentionally out of place?" comments the Whisper, slanting her head a little to the left as she studies the table of papers and ledgers and drawings. It's just a cursory glance as she's not seeking anythng specifically. Instead, she turns to Marie-Claire and offers another gentle smile. "Are you in need of some more talented bookkeepers or another steward? I'm certain there are some at the Laurent estate who can help you, if you need it. Or, perhaps as Master Sira says, a teacher is in order, or a supervisor to ensure that everything is running as efficiently as it should?" She's not here to assign blame but to try to get things back on track.
Cillian moves into the room with Jean-Luc leaning on the door frame looking to the long table, "Make what for him?" he asks in his thick accent, his eyes looking from the man to the drawings. Pushing off the door frame he walks in further to look, his eyes scanning the room he does not have the pup in his arms anymore.
Orland shrugs at Ryhalt as he returns to the stacks where Marie is wilting under the pressure. FLIP FLIP FLIP. His dexterous fingers are put too good use and not once is there... okay maybe just once there's a sudden inhale of breath as he cuts himself on the paper. "Dang it..." but he keeps going, rifling through and not afraid to do so, lalala, let's see what we can find. He furthers along until he goes, "Oh ho, what's this!" He finds a letter, flipping it this way and that, "Not sent." He hums a little as he reads it, "Philippe - I know a Philippe." He glares back at his man servant, "This isn't you, right?" He waves the page at the man before he goes back to reading, doing a gesture of 'keeping my eyes on you Philippe' before he goes back to it. "Seems this Philippe has a desire to build their home up grander than ever before. Something about Jean-Luc telling him to revise the drawings. AHh and the ledger I pulled it from, belongs to Jean-Luc." He finger points at Jean-Luc, "Before our Philippe's have a knuckle buster about which one is the REAL Philippe," he waves the letter at Jean-Luc, "Was this upgrade reported in and approved? What's this about 'we cannot sustain the expense of your designs' mean?"
Agric begins to look through the paperwork, turning to Vandorean when he mentions a possible criminal element. “Everything here actually looks above board, just very very expensive. A shame, really. It’s going to take a strong and steady hand to turn this around.” He paces the room, focusing mostly on the paperwork, tsking here and there as he wears a heavy frown.
Sira's eyes flick to Agric as he paces. "Lord Leary, you are a lawyer, yes?"
In the room beyond, "This," he covers his eyes with a hand, fingers a bridge on his brow, and gestures at a beautiful building facade. Hard to even describe - graceful and strong, details finely rendered, it seems to leap off the page."
In the main room, Marie-claire shakes her head, "I don't know what to do at this point. The more we try to dig out, the deeper we end up." She sniffs and looks at Sira, then at Agric. Then Vandorean, looking puzzled, "The Redoubtmen... are artisans. They took the name from a streetgang. We hired them for detail work." Entirely too soon. Then Orland, "Oooh." It's half a moan and she slumps, hand going to her cheek.
Marie-claire looks at the letter Orland is holding, "Lord Laurent, I beg you. I have no excuse other than we were trying to make something beautiful and-" she shakes her head. "Just- if you could-" she makes an entreaty on behalf of Jean-Luc - or at least digging out. "We will take any help you can offer. It's ruining Jean-Luc."
Ryhalt glances between Vandorean and Sira, something between what they were saying wasn't adding up. Hearing Jean-Luc's voice again, he stares at Sira as she frowns at him. His smile slips a little. "Wait..." He rubs at his side-whisker. "You apo--" He coughs, catching himself. Oh yes, that's what surprised him! "I mean... What bad luck?" He glances over to Orland and grimaces slightly. Having the city razed was not quite the same as bad luck, but... For a moment he looks like he hasn't had quite enough coffee to deal with this, but then he smiles once more. "Luckily Lady Mabelle is a very generous person... an understanding person." He glances over to her cousin, Vandorean. "It's one of the things that makes House Laurent great, but... none of them enjoy being taken advantage of." Curious, he goes over to see what Jean-Luc is talking about in the modifications to the original plan. Soft, he says, "As the others say, there are many ways to fix this. Budgets are but investments, not limits in the right hands. Lord Vandorean will probably agree, but the Lady would approve this. She is..." He hesitates a moment before he says, "She wants Arthall restored and bigger and brighter and more wonderful than ever. That's always been her vision for this city and the fealty." He rests a hand on Jean-Luc's shoulder. "That is a challenge, not a moment of despair. Happily several of us here are well connected and skilled in the ways of generating more money from money you have. Stop running from us and just... ask for help. That is what we are here for." Hopefully Marie-Claire approves!
Agric glances up from his paperwork when Sira speaks to him. "I am," he tells tells her. This question put on by Orland has his attention, too. He sets aside the paperwork and rests a hand on his hips, listening to try and put it all together.
Cillian nods his head at the man, "You should have spoken up, when you do not speak it makes others think you are lying." he looks over the image. "It is truly beautiful, but it is pulling you behind." he looks to the man, "Perhaps, get what is needed done first then go back to build this?" he asks, "Who is Phillipe? Is he your son?"
Vandorean frowns and tosses the paper back on the desk. "Ah well paperwork is not my strong suit, I'm more of the action oriented type. " He walks over to Delia and Marie, reaching over to give the puppy in the Whispers arms a pet. "I honestly have no idea if they are crooks or incapable, either way it looks bad for having things built in time." The Laurent's eyes dart towards Marie and he listens to her plea, nodding in understanding. "I see, well Duke Ryhalt and the others are probably best suited to assisting in this. They are good with books, numbers and merchants. I on the other hand am mostly good at losing money. Lady Mabelle will see that Artshall is rebuilt but are you responsible enough to continue the rebuilding, that remains to be seen." He leaves out the things he is good at, probably not best to talk about those in polite company.
"I did," Sira replies to Ryhalt's half-asked question, a little snappier than she meant to sound. She looks away quickly, landing her attention on Agric. "My lord, perhaps you and I could put our heads together on behalf of the Consortium and the Court, and provide guidance - or find reputable, capable people to provide guidance, to these people? To ensure the project finishes with proper management, quality materials, and without breaking any laws?" The woman looks around at some of the others, taking in the various details of what's happening. "I can provide some of the budget shortfall, but I would expect Consortium approved merchants be used for my personal investment." Another glance back to Ryhalt, then, as she waits for some sort of response from anyone.
Cillian checks charm and leadership at normal. Cillian is successful.
Orland holds onto the letter as Marie gets talking and Ryhalt moves over to speak with Jean about it. He side glances at HIS Philippe who is starting to look like a rabbit, perking up every time his name is mentioned, but ready to bolt. Orland smirks, then watches the rest of this play out, folding his arms across his chest, brows lifting at Sira's mention of personal investment. Like oooh idea. "Amadeo can pitch in, no strings attached," he offers, "I mean, I'd love some trade to flow our way eventually. Artshall and Bravura have worked together in the past, so naturally, I'd be happy to commit to it again. But, you know, practice 'we need' buildings first. Then the wants later, beautiful as it is."
Delia offers Marie-Claire another encouraging smile. "It's as they say: honesty is best. I've found that the Laurents, especially Lady Mabelle, are all very understanding and forgiving." A glance is spared for Van with a pointedly raised brow. "Rather than try anything more on your own, perhaps you will acquiesce to assistance then? I'm certain between Master Sira, Duke Ryhalt and Lord Vandorean that suitable help can be found." Delia gestures towards Sira as she's already starting to do just that. "See, it's nothing that can't be handled. But next time, a word of caution, 'tis better to ask for help when it's needed than to have it handed to you."
Agric listens to Ryahlt and Jean-luc, his frown becoming more empathetic as he realizes what is happening. Then, he turns to Sira. "Of course, I would be happy to help. As it's been said, this will be a challenge, but it's not impossible." He says this loud enough for Jean-Luc and Marie to hear. "Let's find a time to get together when we're back in the city. I'll organize the necessary legal paperwork."
Jean-Luc nods and swallows, glances at the drawing on the stand and then bows a bit to Cillian and returns to address the others. He bows his head, "I am ashamed. Better Artshall Company was meant to ... better Artshall. It is not Philippe's fault. Or Marie-claire's. It is mine, I will... do whatever is needed to address the ills we have caused." He is a man defeated. And then the offers of help from Vandorean - wisely delegating - to Ryhalt's broad offer of support, Sira's offer of training and financial backing, to Orland's pledge of Amadeo silver, Agric's keen legal mind, to Delia's encouragement. Jean-Luc bows his head, throat tight and voice husky. "Thank you. Thank you on Philippe's behalf. This dream is his." Marie steps up to Jean-Luc's side, "Yes, thank you." And with a look at Delia, since she just said ... reach out instead of waiting. "Philippe has gone missing. We haven't heard from him since he left for the quarries two weeks ago." And that, folks, is a mystery for another time.
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