Grayson Defense Meeting
Sept. 15, 2023, 8 p.m.
Arx - Ward of House Grayson - Grayson Mansion - Great Gray Hall
Comments and Log
Lou jumps right into things just as soon as people have arrived and gotten somewhat settled. "This is largely a meeting so I can get caught up on everything as some matters kept me away from the various defense meetings that happened early on. I figured it wouldn't hurt to invite friends and allies to attend as well, given this defense is more about our specific ward within Arx and not so much the Crownlands themselves." She pauses there a moment, then goes to settle herself at the map table, pulling a chair out and taking a seat where she'd placed a notepad next to her whiskey bottle and glass earlier. "If anyone has any further suggestions based on what our Ministers are planning, we'll certainly consider them." She waits for those who are present to finish getting settled before diving in to any questions and such.
Lou has joined the a magnificent map table of Arvum made of oak and marquetry inlays.
Vern, 2 Keaton Huntsmen, 2 Valardin Knights arrive, following Kael.
Wyla, a small wisp of an assistant, Kael arrive, following Keely.
Sira is here, moving to join the map table once Lou has settled herself into her seat. She doesn't speak, instead opting to place her own note taking tools in front of her so she can follow along with what is happening.
Tamsin, wearing a sapphire silk tunic and leather cargo pants (just wait, it'll be high fashion one day) has been waiting in the hall. She's already collected a cup of tea, holding the saucer in one hand and the porcelain tea cup in the other. After Lou finishes speaking, she puts down her tea. "General Eirene and I have come up with a few precautionary things that will work in any ward just as well as they do in our own. Some are actually made more effective when copied, such as setting up some quick watch towers where some arches can use flags and other means of signaling to relay to other towers what's happening and where the enemy might be striking or moving to."
Mattheu has been leaning up against the wall adjacent to the map table. A strong interest to the design of room, left in soft conversation to step back when Tamsin begins speaking. His movements are slow and calculated to keep bells from making too much noise in the large hall.
Ian is holding up the wall in the back of the room by leaning against it, with the air of someone intending to listen, rather than talk.
Just a little late to the party, Keely steps into the Great Hall, flush-faced and escorted by Kael by way of a supporting hand at her lower back. She clutches a fan, beating at the air in front of herself with it as she quietly huffs and puffs her way alongside her husband toward the seating area and settles as gracefully as possible. She does not interrupt proceedings with kisses for her cousins as she might normally do due to her tardiness, but she does settle nearby Lou with a warm little smile and quite a lot of assistance from her doting spouse.
Ann is standing close to Matti and schooling silence as she listens to the meeting and its opening remarks. Looking to Lou when she speaks and then to Tamsin. Hands folded before her as she observes. Her satchel around her in case she has a desire to take notes.
Tesha has found herself a spot to be a wallflower while things are talked on. The one-eyed Telmarcher doesn't look like she might have anything to share, but things are just getting started after all!
Duncan arrives, following Tibault.
Kael, while performing the role of doting husband, does pause momentarily to bow his head deeply toward the hosts before following Keely to the seating. He nods politely to familiar faces as well, but otherwise it is likely unsurprising that he remains silent.
A smile is flashed for Cousin Keely and Husband when the pair enter. "Around these watchtowers, and also at every corner, we'll have barrels of water and barrels of sand available. Black captains will be chosen and fire brigades organized under them. No one will have to go far to get water and any fire that springs up should be dealt with urgently." Tamsin continues on. "A path will be kept secure out of the ward so we can injured to the Mercies. We can have some triage here, but relly it's best to just get them out of the ward and away from the fighting."She grins a big grin at Lou and says, "Now, about the goats and sheep I've ordered..." She pauses to let those words sink in. "We'll be using animals to eat the grasses outside of the wall down as much as possible. It may do nothing, but I want to remove as much plantlife as possible and make firebombing easier if they come at us from outside the walls."
Lou raises her brows slightly upon seeing her cousin Keely and tips her head in the other woman's direction, her smile widening somewhat in welcome. Something Keely says, however, surprises her and she looks between Kael and Keely a moment before she mumbles, "Uh... congratulations, I hope?" She really /does/ hope, but there might be a look of condolences there too. She clears her throat and looks back to the room, before her eyes fall on Tamsin again. "Thank you for that brief update. Perhaps, before we go into those specifics, someone could brief us on the reason such defenses might be needed? Someone suggested the Traitor might be turning his forces to Arx? Are there any reports to back that up, or is it mostly supposition?" That question is open to the room and not just for Tamsin, even if Tamsin is planning for such matters.
Iananswers the question posed to the room with a vague shrug.
"I think enough people suspect it to be the next /logical/ target," Sira speaks up, noting, "After Bastion and Artshall. Though, there are /other/ targets that I imagine are illogical but meaningful to the Traitor." The woman shrugs, fiddling with the writing implement in her hand. "Admittedly, I have only heard as much as you - that people think it is his next target."
Mattheu's bells echo gently in the hall as he shifts in his lean against the wall, offering a small wave to Keely and Kael. Looking to those that have spoke of their plans. Seeking to listen intently, learn.
Tamsin takes a sip of her tea, looking around the room and snapping her attention to where someone is talking. "I think the city-wide dream makes a lot of us think the next target is Arx. Though it could just mean we are /a/ target, admittedly. Or something else entirely."
Ann shifts in her stance and is biting her lower lip as she hears the conversation pick up around her. But she has nothing new to share then the talk of it being the Traitor that is coming. Finally she says, "All I have heard is that we need to put aside any prejudices and come together in an united front. In order to succeed in this." Vague. Supportive? That really is all this Redrain princess has to offer in her words. Inquisitors and Iron Guard have been quiet working behind the scenes. Nodding when she hears Tamsin.
"That dream was over a year ago," Ian points out.
Kael answers Lou's words with an inclination of his head, in brief. He will evidently take it as congratulations, even if he's more neutral in expression. When the question is posed by the woman regarding specifics, he answers this with a shake of his head in negative.
Tibault asks "Aren't his forces moving east?"
Sira looks over to Ian. "And what do you suppose a year means to a - supposedly - immortal being?"
Tesha seems like she's trying to remember something that was said at some point. The one-eyed woman pulls a small ledger from her pocket and looks over a few notations that have been written and then shakes her head.
"Arx has existed since the Dance of Skulls, after it was built by Harren Harrow as a gift to Death. Attacking it would probably definitely mean something to the Traitor. He might do it just to spite our hubris that our walls have stood the test of time for so long, against the Bringers of Silence, against the Gyre, against his attack various minions he's sent here, like the Su'tavi mages who attacked Whisper House. But, I would not say it is the only target. There are other targets out there equally important to him, perhaps even bigger in meaning. However, it is also the seat of where the Grayson family rules. He's got a long, exhausting list of people he hates." Lou lets out a soft breath after she says all of that. "Or wants to kill as well." She folds her hands on the table then adds, "However, preparing for the worst and hoping for the best is not a bad plan. At most, we expend some resources and might be safer for it, more prepared." At least, that's how Lou sees it, in terms of practicality. She looks over at Ian, considering his comment before she counters, "What's a year to someone that's both a mage and elven and who has been planning their revenge for nearly 500 years?" She looks back to Tamsin and says in deadpan, "I thought you were kidding about the sheep and goats."
Ian raises his eyebrows to Sira, and then Lou. "In that case, and if he sent it, he might be planning on turning up anytime in the next century. Look, I'm just saying that a lot of people are taking a bunch of speculation and deciding that if everyone's talking about it, it must be true, and that seems like a great way to overlook something due to nobody talking about it."
"Nope!" Tamsin chirps. "I don't know that it'll do anything, but it nothing else it's less to burn if we lob some Arvani fire at them." She's mostly listening to the back and forth rather than adding more to it at the moment.
Keely just smiles, first at Lou, then Tamsin, and then Mattheu, before her fair features sober again due to the topic at hand. She leans a little more heavily against Kael's side, making only the light woosh-woosh-woosh of her fan beating at the warm air.
Lou gives a small shake of her head in Tibault's direction, her face clouding over somewhat as the whole 'forces moving east' thing is brought up. "The Traitor has many forces with many lieutenants," she tells him. "One of his forces is moving east. Helena Thornweave's contingent," she says in a very sober voice. "And she's killing everyone she can on her way, turning them either into amalgamations to be used against others or farming them as sacrifices for other . . . dark things. Whether she turns toward Arx is a whole other matter, but my belief is she might be heading towards one of the Grayson holdings. That's just my belief, though. There may be other facts and evidence suggesting otherwise since some of her forces may have also been seen all over the Oathlands and the Northlands. Truthfully, it's hard to prepare for where she might go because she's always been, every single place we looked, ahead of us, leaving nothing in her wake except one lone survivor, who was half eaten and dead by blood eating vines when we found her."
Mattheu steps forward from the wall, "The Valardin Ward has already been under attack twice." He speaks clearly as the others discuss where forces might shift to. Looking to Kael for a moment before looking over the table to the others. "There was a large bug and they took something from the Wyrm? I think? It feels forever ago now..." He drifts off without explaining the second.
Ian nods towards Mattheu. "That's the other thing. If he wants to come to Arx, he's shown on multiple occasions that his people don't need to come in the front door."
Keely's eyes linger on Ian for some time, even after he has finished speaking. After some time, however, they do slide away, turning aside to Kael, to whom she murmurs something softly.
Lou leans in to something Tamsin says to her, then gives her a thumbs up and an encouraging smile after her remark. She nods in Ian's direction. "That is true. They can also just hide in plain sight. There's no telling if a member of the Compact is one of his cultists or not just by looking at them. Still, some precautions, I think, wouldn't hurt." She looks to Tamsin, "The watchtowers, I think, are a wonderful idea. It can spread word quickly between districts for as long as they can be manned. Have you considered where we can send people for triage if they are injured, or is that more an overall - get them to the hospitals sort of thing?" Lou seems confident that Eirene has a plan for this, but she's still asking to be sure.
"General Eirene feels it would be best if we can just get them to Solace Square and let them be worked on by the Mercies," Tamsin answers Lou. "It wouldn't hurt to have a few horses and wagons that can be used to cart multiple injured people at a time."
When Mattheu is remarking about the Valardin ward being attacked twice now, Kael's focus is moving to him with a quirked brow. However, when some reference of time is made, his shoulders ease slightly and he shifts his attention back to the hosts. That is until his wife is murmuring to him and naturally she gets his ear. He dips his head once and offers a quiet word or two back to her.
Lou seems to nod at Tamsin's comments. She looks over at Kael, asking. "Are there any precautions that the Valardin ward is taking that might benefit from cooperation from other districts?" She looks back to Tamsin, "Have you had the opportunity to reach out to the other districts yet?" So many questions.
Sira looks away from Ian and focuses her attention on Tamsin and Lou as they speak. "Princess Tamsin, we have already spoken briefly on this, but I'm willing to contribute some time and other resources toward helping to procure flags and barrels - or at the least, raw materials for employing craftsmen to do what they do best. I can also help find craftsmen, if for some reason those are lacking." And, given that there's a swatch being cut through Arvum of dead people, they might be.
Tesha checks 'recovery check' at normal. Tesha is successful.
The blonde princess shakes her head. "No, I was given the impression that there had been one meeting with all the wards and that another was forthcoming once everyone had time to review ideas and percolate some more." Tamsin smiles at Sira. "Wonderful. Thank you, Master Sira." She gestures toward Ian. "It may come to naught and just be an exercise more than a need, but at it might make things better for us too. Unless someone has better ideas." She, too, looks at Kael.
"None that would not benefit the other wards," answers Kael, looking away from where he was studying Keely. Which is just as well, for his expression was far too serious. Clearly due to the topic of conversation at hand. He clears his throat before continuing on, "Communication between wards, of course, to allow for swift evacuation should danger arise and reinforcement if necessary - both of which I believe has already been discussed. And naturally should danger come from our side of Arx, we will disperse news swiftly -- and if necessary, discreetly, to the others." He tilts his head to the side. "Are there any individuals in particular we should look for? To disperse information in an organized fashion through Grayson?"
"Outside of myself, your primary contacts will be Princess Tamsin Grayson, General Eirene Riven, and Lord Agric Leary; although I have not had a chance yet to inform Agric that he's being awarded the Minister of Morale title as yet." Lou flushes a bit. "I got distracted by a potential exploration." Which would be the one thing that pulls her away from Voicing stuff. "But with matters becoming more serious, I'll be letting him know soon." She looks to Tamsin, "Be sure to include him in your planning, since his job will be to keep people from panicking, essentially, if shit starts to hit the fan." Not Keely's fan though!
Tamsin bows her head in Lou's direction. "I will do so," she promises her cousin. "And from your side, Marquis Kael? Who do you designate for these things?" Remembering she has tea (probably spiked), Tamsin picks her cup back up and as a couple slow sips.
Sira speaks up again, offering, "The Silvershields will be mainly focused on maintaining the security of the Consortium vault, however, I have just hired a new commander for them and hope to hire on some more shields. Though the hall is not close to the Grayson or Valardin wards, it is close to the bank and city center. I can have the commander coordinate with any among the wards who may need messages or signals passed across those distances."
Carissa, a Southport bodyguard, Planchet the Lycene maggiordome arrive, following Eirene.
Lou inclines her head in a grateful manner toward Sira. "We may indeed utilize your people for that task," she gives the seamstress an appreciative look. She looks over at Tamsin once more, asking. "Were there other plans that you were considering or suggestions on tasks that you were looking for? There's some pretty bright minds here, so if you're looking to get ideas, now would be the time to solicit for them."
As the names are offered, Kael is nodding his head in swift response. At least Lou's additional commentary earns her a slightly rueful grin, even if it's a distracted and brief thing. He's sobered already when he turns to Tamsin and says, "Start with her Grace, Princess Alis Valardin of course. From her, Duke Cristoph Laurent and myself appropriately. In matters of defense, traditionally the Sword of Sanctum has been involved, which would be Princess Gwenys Valardin. For dangers of the sea, Princess Katarina Valardin. Should news require swift distribution where it is a matter if half hour markers rather than hour marks on the candle, I always recommend the Ducal Houses be also swiftly informed, including Duchess Isabeau Telmar or Tesha Telmar and Duke Ryhalt for Farshaw." For a moment, just a moment, it seems like Kael might continue. He refrains though and instead tips his head to Tamsin.
Eirene strides in, better late than never, right? She is briefed quickly by one of the servants, probably Lou's aide, and then she asks, "So did we mention the horses? Wanting the watchtowers to have a fresh horse for getting out and getting info to other districts."
"Thank you," Tamsin addresses Kael's information before Lou's. "I believe there will be a small batch of plant-monster-killer to be applied to a some of the defender's weapons." And Eirene is here! Tamsin smiles and gestures to the general, yielding the floor. "We've covered towers, flags, barrels, and how this could all be for naught depending on what's chosen to attack us and how. And getting the wounded to the Mercies and out of the ward," she does a quick recap.
"Watch towers were mentioned, but I didn't hear anything about horses, or I missed it." Lou replies to Eirene before glancing over at Tamsin apologetically in case she /did/ miss horses. She does, however, perk up a bit at the mention of weedkiller. She looks to Eirene hopefully, "Have you gotten another batch that's effective?"
It is with a shine of pride that Keely watches Kael speak, a gentle and impossibly adoring smile upon her lips. She ensures her fan is aimed at them both as it flutters in the air before them, but adds nothing of her own to the conversation at hand. Like many others in the room, she is primarily listening.
Eirene scowls a little at the mention of the plant-killer. "I have to remind everyone it's not a guaranteed thing, the poison. It's a gamble. But that's pretty much what we went over the previous meeting so I don't know what to add other than fresh horses, wagons pre-stocked with supplies..."
"We're working on lining up ingredients for a fresh supply," Ian says to Lou, finally breaking his silence. "But it's going to take some doing, probably a lot of time, and might not result in more of it being possible to make. It's not something I'd advise counting on."
"And horses," Tamsin agrees, admitting that the ones by the watchtower had not been covered yet.
"Do you think we might be able to do a mission to that Grayson barony that was taken over by vines to get more supplies?" Lou asks Eirene, tilting her head at the general. "Although, those vines haven't been yielding to any sword blows, so I'm not even sure we could collect them. . . . " she frowns as she considers that. She glances over at Ian and nods, seeming at least a bit mollified that people are looking into it. "I only know what Eirene tells me about making it, but I do know there's a potential opportunity if the vines are still all over the barony's manor house. House Gilthern," she says, after looking down at her notes about /which/ barony it was. "It's in a lonely stretch of forest between Pridhall and Bastion."
Tibault asks "It seems Arx is well in hand. What if he attacks a different city? Do we have any plans in place to deal with refugees and humanitarian needs then?"
Eirene nods to Tibault, "The Physician's Guild has been stockpiling and preparing for just that." She looks back at Lou, "Yeah, it may just need alaricite weapons to cut through the vines, but the fresher the plants, the better the chance it will work."
"Does Aindre know where that barony is?" Ian asks Lou. "I'm hoping to get his help tracking down more of the vines."
"I can give you guys a map of where it is," Lou replies in earnest to Ian. "Although I'm certain he'd know the place once he's seen it, given his Bisland roots. I was there with the army when it was found in that state." She looks over at Tibault. "Bastion still has plenty of empty space after loosing half of its population in the Traitor's initial attack. So, if it is one of the Crownlands holdings, we've got space to send people. They might just need to be a little bit willing to help with cleaning up with what's left of the rubble to make that space a bit spiffier." Her expression sobers even more when she talks of her home city.
Did Tamsin's jaw just clench? Maybe. She takes a drink of her tea and looks down at the map table and studies someone's version of Arvum. She's otherwise keeping quiet and listening.
Ann shifts in her stance and moves her satchel about but otherwise she is quiet too. She's learning a lot though.
Sira stands as quietly as she can and, without any clear reason why, departs from the meeting.
4 Silvershields, Shekies, A black and white marbled cat with yellow eyes, Elexa the reliable apprentice dressmaker, Buxby the mediocre apprentice dressmaker leave, following Sira.
Ian nods his thanks to Lou.
"Are there any other suggestions or things we should consider? If not, this may be a good place to end the meeting." Lou takes a moment to look around to see if anyone else has anything before making the ending official.
Tamsin shakes her head. "I have nothing else," she says to Lou, taking her tea cup and stepping back toward where Matti and Ann are haning out.
Not really hearing any objections, Lou turns to Eirene and Tamsin and states, "Thank you for all of the hard work and thought you've put into the defense of our district. It's very much appreciated." To Eirene she states, "I've asked that Lord Agric Leary, who will be named Minister of Morale very soon, be included in discussions and be brought up to speed moving forward. I figure if we're going to ask him to keep people from panicking he might need to know the reason why."
"I've offered to fill him in," Ian comments. "Just waiting to hear from him about when he wants to do that."
Eirene says, "That sounds good. Send him my way then."
Keely shifts a little in her seat, looking between her cousins with a mild tilt of her head before turning back to look at Kael in profile. Her fan finally stills, coming down to her lap, and her hand slides gently into his grasp.
"The meeting is officially concluded. Thanks to all who came as well." Lou states as she gets up from her seat and gathers her things to head further into the manse.
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