Grayson Ward Emergency Planning
Aug. 17, 2023, 8 p.m.
Arx - Ward of House Grayson - Grayson Mansion - Great Gray Hall
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Eve, a morose academic arrives, following Agric.
The time for the meeting comes... and goes... people filter in, and out (like the tide, you can't explain that) and then... Ian. He's well beyond fashionably late, and looking about as flustered as Ian goes, with a sheaf of notes in Eirene's illegible handwriting gripped in his free hand.
Agric has not been in the Great Gray Hall in some time, and is thankful for this meeting at least in allowing him to see it once again, with is macabre history and lavish decor. He sits at the map table with a glass of red wine in front of him, half-empty, and looks to Ian and his notes. "So, there are some emergency plans in place for the ward?" he wonders, knowing little about the state of things at the moment.
Ian's forward momentum carries him into the hall, and then he draws up short on entering, like crossing the threshold has driven into his head that oh shit, have to actually do meeting things. He blinks a couple of times, and then clears his throat, and looks down at the papers in his hand. "So, uh. I guess there was a... look, it was either a bedtime emergency or a boredom emergency. Lady Eirene's handwriting's really bad. So I'm here now."
"Are you Lady Eirene's replacement?" Tibault asks from his place at the table. "Is she well?"
Agric lifts his glass to his lips and one brow to Ian. "Both sound dreadful in entirely different ways," he says, a disdain for emergencies clear across his face. "Please, come share whatever you could decipher." He waves Ian over to the table with a look to Tibault and his kind-hearted query.
Ian's smile to Tibault is a mix of pained and apologetic, really more of a wince. "Lord Ian Kennex." That might be intended as an introduction. "I'm not much of a replacement, but I think I know most of what she wanted to talk about. Which..." He looks at the notes he's still holding in his left hand with a note of resignation. He makes his way further into the room and sets the papers on the table, signaling that he will not be attempting to read them today. "So I assume everyone here knows that there's a... traitorous... warlord... person? Who's got it in for the Compact as a whole?"
Tibault nods seriously. "I have heard the stories and proclamations. Aren't his forces quite a long way to the north or west though?"
"Men like him never just stop at the Compact but we do seem like a juicy starting point. As though he thinks we're balls of meat he needs gather together." Evelyn interjects as she follows Ian into the room with a warm smile.
Agric immediately nods his head to Ian, but thinks better about what he actually knows and decides to shake it sorrowfully in the end. "Vaguely, only. I still remember the last meeting in this hall, but haven't received much word on things since then." Hence why he came here early, and very nearly with an eager step.
Ian starts to nod in response to Tibault's question, then Evelynn's voice prompts him to look up with surprise written on his expression. Ian's clearly not much of a liar, at least not when caught off guard, and he is very much off guard right now. "Uh, yes. Balls of meat." He clears his throat and looks back at the gathered Graysons. "His forces are all over the gray forest right now, into the north as well. But a lot of people think that it's only a matter of time before he comes here, and if that's the case, it probably won't be a siege situation, like it was during the Silent War."
Carissa, a Southport bodyguard, Planchet the Lycene maggiordome arrive, following Eirene.
(OOC)The scene set/room mood is now set to: Maps of the district, markers, little wooden beads, and note written by Eirene's aide(So they're visible) are set up around the table.
Eirene rushes in late, a bundle of papers in her arms, and addiitonal carried by her aide. "SO fucking sorry," she says to those gathered by means of introduction. "My son was dared by his sister to slide down the railing of the staircase and forgot that splinters are a THING." She gives a grimace by means of apology.
Cufre enters, dressed in the sturdy, common cloth of the sturdy, common class. There's a softness of expression in her eyes, even upon entering the grandeur of the Hall, that suggests that whatever her station, any hardship, if ever there were, hasn't settled deep within. She makes her way to a seat a fair distance from the maps, and looks around quickly. If she recognizes anyone, she doesn't make an obvious sign of it.
Tibault frowns deeply at Ian's words. "Are you suggesting that a situation like Bastion is likely?"
Ian breathes a sharp exhale of relief when Eirene comes rushing in, freeing him from having to try to guess what she intended for this meeting. "It's worth being prepared for the possibility," he says to Tibault, while stepping away from the table, grateful to be handing the meeting over to the person who called it.
There's a look of smug satisfaction on Evelyn's face before Cufre Harrow walks into the room. She stares at the woman for a few moments, any semblance of good humour dropping before she turns to leave, rubbing her shoulders as though she feels something on them.
Eirene dumps her maps onto the big map and then has Planchet start handing out her agenda. He wrote it, so it's actually ledgible. "So this meeting is to prepare the Grayson district for emergencies. What to do, where to go, and what the fuck to do if we have to bug out. Princess Tamsin is minister of infrastructure and will be assisting with this, but for now, take my word as Sentinal-given law as Minister of War." She glances at Ian and grins. "What've you been telling them," she asks dryly.
Agric asks and shakes his head at everything that's being said. Warlords, Bastion, *splinters*. All of it, just dreadful. "Well, I for one am happy to know there's some semblance of a plan in place. Thank you for gathering us here."
Ian looks over at the door for a moment after Evelynn goes, his mouth compressing slightly. It's not disappointment, surely. He looks back at Eirene, his answer coming out a bit distracted. "That it's been suggested that the warlord traitor guy could come to Arx, and it's not likely to be another Silent War situation if it plays out that way."
Cufre's gaze manages to catch at at least some of that look, so when movement hints at Evelynn Helianthus' leaving, she turns her attention to watching the woman leave. When she looks back to the table and those surrounding it, her expression is calm, save for the occasional narrow-eyed glances she aims at the map itself.
Tibault gives Eirene a serious nod. "It does sound potentially useful. How can we help?"
Eirene says, "Right so - where to start. Basically yes. A warlord, who is a millenia old psycho, bound himself to the God of Slavery but he wants to take over and make HIMSELF a god. To do that, he wants to basically re-write history to be the winner in the war against Alarice." She sighs and gives the short-short version of this story. "Part of this is to capture Arx, for multiple reasons, but it's like a game we played as children, "Alarice and Elves" whomever takes and holds Arx wins..."
Eirene says, "So my plan is to prepare the Grayson ward for emergencies. Fire brigades. Supplies stashed in noble houses and prominent shops. An evacuation plan."
Ian doesn't actually leave just yet, even after ceding the floor to Eirene. He leans against the wall near to the door, and listens.
Tibault frowns at Eirene's description. "His goal is to unwrite several hundred years worth of history? By holding Arx?" He looks from Eirene to Ian. "What did you mean when you said there would be no siege? Are you suggesting that if he attacks we lose?"
Agric turns from Ian to watch Eirene carefully as she gives the broad strokes of this story. It's harrowing to hear, and he turns his eyes downward in thought for a moment. "House Leary will do all it can to help the ward," he says, before looking up again, this time to Tibault, whose ultimate question is, of course, an important one.
Since Ian was the person who downplayed the possibility of a siege, he answers the question: "His people have gotten into Arx before. It's probably safer to assume they could do it again."
"No, if he takes the city, we stand a good chance to lose even if we get out alive' Eirene clarifies for Tibault. "And it's a lot more complicated than that. I'm giving you the 'pushed off the cliff notes'. That info you get at the last second which might save your life, but there's too damn much of it to share at a single go." She nods at Ian, "He's got a point, there are ways into the city, which isn't great for defence but they can't all get in that way, so it's best to prepare for both a siege and other related disasters."
Eirene nods to Agric thankfully, "It's appreciated. What I'd like each noble house to do is to host a stockpile of supplies - food, water, medical, camping. Consider themselves rally points, where the common folk can gather and then get the fuck out with the things they need to sustain once away from home."
Tibault takes a hearty swig from his drink as the conversation continues. "My estate should make a satisfactory location for people to fall back to if they get seperated from their families or to get medical attention."
Ian clears his throat. "I occasionally go deep into the... the 'too damned much' part. All of the crazy details, at least as well as I understand them. This isn't the right place for it, but I'm probably due to set up in the Hall of Heroes again before too long." He looks at the door again on the tail end of saying this.
Cufre rises from her seat, speaks up. "And the commoner houses. War Minister?" she asks Eirene, "What are our responsibilities?"
Agric looks to Tibault and nods before saying, "I will also place the Leary pikemen on heightened alert." When Ian mentions the Hall of Heroes, he tilts his head slightly in curiosity, before his attention is drawn by Cufre's question.
Eirene smiles at Cufre, nodding her head. "Keeping your cool. Those of you who can round people up and get them to the prescribed 'drop' points, should. You can also help by organizing a bucket brigade should things get on fire. Some of this shit is good practice. More than some chucklefuck is trying to get us, it's good for all sorts of emergencies." Tibault is given a smile. "Thank you, Count Tibault. I'll assign a list to all the noble houses of Grayson to prepare, and if they need coin or supplies from the Graysons directly I'll arrange it."
She walks around the room and hands out emergency preparedness lists to anyone who wants one. Things which can last and be readily carried to eat. Waterskins and barrels for drink. Blankets, clothes, and shoes. Rope, canvas, and poles. And then medical supplies... "All these things can be kept in ready-wagons or trunks, for when the time comes. When, not if. We know shit will do sideways and I want to ensure it's ready."
As Agric brings up pikemen, she nods to that. "To the military side of things, I'd like to run a drill with the troops from each house. How to form defensive lines and help evac the civlian population out of the gates to the city proper. From there, we're working on the next step. I suggest the House of Solace as a fallback, it's readily defended and has supplies - more defendable than the Saving Grace anyhow."
Cufre Cufre's gaze falls just before she dips her head in acceptance of her, and her family's, would-be role. She settles back into her seat, clasping her hands in her lap.
Eirene says, "It's my hope that your ties to the Queen of Endings won't be needed." She gives Cufre a faint smile. "The goal is to get as many out alive as we can."
Agric takes a deep breath and follows that up with a sip of wine. When he sets the glass down, he reaches for one of the lists and glances over it, then looks to Eirene and says, "Reach out to me when you have a time and I'll assist in organizing a schedule for the troops."
Cufre smiles at this last address, and this time when she nods, that smile touches her eyes.
Eirene nods at Ian. "I think the first backup should be the House of Solace. I sent word to the defense coordinators. Second might be that dock you mentioned," she adds to him. "If we need to clear out beyond the city." Agric is given a small smile. "I'll send word to all the houses to coordinate defense drills. And I'll talk to Tamsin about an evac drill for the common folk, so we can get all our ducks in a mutherducking row." Yes, she said ducking. Autocorrect got it right this time.
Ian nods to Eirene. "Depending on what's happening outside the city, the bay might be the best way to get a lot of people away safely." His accent definitely gives him away for an Islesman, no surprise that the first place his mind would go would be to ships.
"Are the evacuation plans the same for the nobility and commoners alike?" Cufre asks, "I spend a lot of my time not so far from the docks, and I can't imagine holding a city of us on what I've seen there."
Eirene says, "Nobles got the obligation to carry shit for the commoners, switching things around." She snorts a little in amusement. "In this case, it's their responsibility to make sure the goodfolk get out safe, and if we have to abandon the city, GODS FUCKING FORBID IT COMES TO THAT," she says, knocking wood, "then we'll coordinate evacuations via ships. It probably can't be the entire city, but I'll be damned if I let some chucklefuck claim first entry because their ancestors did something fancy they're milking the ride for. A kindgom is only as strong as its' people, and as far as I'm concerned that's the commonfolk. The nobility should ensure their protection, that's the tradeoff." She glances at Ian, soapbox decended. "Anyhow, we may have multiple evac sites beyond the docks, that's an easy target for the enemy."
The commoner winces at the caps intensity, but it's short-lived. Probably thanks to the words that come soon after. Cufre says a quiet "Thank you," to those, smiling again, briefly, and settles back.
Agric clears his throat and taps a finger against the side of his glass. "I have to ask," he says, looking around the table, "what we believe the likelihood of this attack to be. And the timetable, if his forces are spread as suggested earlier."
"There's some disagreement about that," Ian comments, breaking his silence, finally. "I'd be surprised if it happened this year, and I wouldn't be surprised if it didn't happen at all. But I know I'm in the minority."
Eirene grunts at Ian. "We plan for the worst, hope for the best," she answers Agric. "I don't think it's come to our gates -yet-. I think we still have some time while the enemy marshalls his forces."
"And weakening him before he arrives here? Is that possible at all?" Cufre asks, "I mean, is it something being tried?"
Agric shakes his head head and then lifts his glass to Cufre. He may not be able to face off as a warrior, but he's very interested in plans being concocted. "Let's hope there's something."
Eirene nods to Cufre. "Yes, people are working on it with various projects; diplomatic, esoteric, and militaristic. It's one of those kept compartmentalized for safety kind of things. Taking out his allies, finding new ones of our own..." She doesn't go into more than that. "But if ANYONE has ideas, no matter how bugshit nuts, we're open to entertaining them."
"If anyone were to be working to weaken him in some way, I'd hope they'd keep it to themselves," Ian says in a voice kept carefully neutral. "It's been suggested that he's got people in Arx currently, listening for word of those sorts of plans."
Eirene points at Ian. It's why she didn't elaborate.
Cufre looks to Ian. "Yes, but knowing we aren't wholly focused on how to evacuate helps, my lord. We might not all just rush to packing and leaving right now. I know I'm not in need of the details. Or even the wider plans, for that matter."
Agric presses his lips together for a moment, then says, "It's all well and good to be cautious, but being silent makes it difficult for people like me to help." Perhaps it's not help that's needed, though.
"Last time I know of that people threw caution to the wind, I just about died trying to get everyone out of Whisper House before it got eaten by a tree," Ian comments. "The world's weird, and I don't fault anyone who wants to keep their plans silent. Excuse me." He nods to those in the room and goes from leaning against the wall next to the door to disappearing through it.
Eirene offers Ian a casual salute farewell. "Trust me, it's frustrating as fuck to not be able to openly plan shit. But the plants have ears, apparently. Not literally. Or maybe they do, the elves can do weird shit with them..." She shakes her head. "Anyhow, that's it for tonight. I'll send the noble houses the list of things to stockpile, and local merchants what I'd like them to keep on hand. And I'll plan a date for the district to practice evacuating through the gates. I'm sure it will be neat and orderly." She smirks, she knows how it goes for real.
Agric nods and says, "Well, we wouldn't want anyone else to die." He drains his wine and stands, since the meeting comes to a close. "Thank you again for the update. I look forward to speaking more soon."
Cufre rises from her seat, sighs, then makes her way around anyone lingering as she heads out.
Eirene nods to Agric. "Appreciate your offers of aide. I'll be in touch."
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