Turmoil in Southport
But under the careful direction of Duchess Calypso and her friends, allies, and family, order has been restored. From all corners of the Compact she has found assistance, and the city is starting to stabilize.
But now a force equal in population (at least) to the city of Southport itself waits outside under flag of truce - and they've asked, to a man, woman, and child, to bend the knee and be accepted into the Compact.
In short, a triumph of the Compact working together to aid one of their capable leaders.
Action by Calypso for Turmoil in Southport(Public Action, OOC Date: Jan. 6, 2018, 9:08 p.m.)
Duchess General Calypso will be heading back home to Southport to be with her people during this time of turmoil. Having a very public and visible presence with her signature state of calm and grace in hopes that it will reassure those who would otherwise be unsure of her leadership. She will be appointing new leaders to fill the positions that were lost and bring stability back to the military. During this time she will also be having her two children, Cosette and Lukas Malvici, naming Cosette the heir and assuring the line of succession. Hopefully giving the people something to celebrate. She will also be enlisting the support of allied politicians to help spread the word of her competence, and allied economists to help sure up the stability of the Duchy and make best use of its resources while others hunt down the missing silver.
Anze is going to southport to be side by side with Calypso not only to be visible along with her but to be present for the birth of their children. Anze may not have calm and grace in the same way that Calypso does but he has worked to make himself a part of the Malvici and instead of relying on grace will instead try and use charm and good nature to calm the people of Southport. Anze will also pull no stops in giving honest opinions of his wife. How she is brilliant, capable, talented, and strong and the best leader Southport could possibly have in this time or in any other.
Harald will send several longships to accompany Calypso in her homecoming, to further illustrate that even traditional rivals support the Duchess against her enemies. One ship of veterans who fought with Harald and Calypso at the Battle of Giant's Fall will get a brief vacation in the Lyceum as winter looms near. Harald's message is that so long as Calypso and Malvici rule, all is well. Should they be overthrown... not so much.
Reese would like to support Calypso by talking about how great a leader she and trying to prompt her leadership in Southport
Edain has assigned 25 of his 100 sworn blades that are present in Arx, under the command of Captain Calevaro to escort to Archlector Bianca in her efforts to assist Lady Eirene in finding the missing Southport Soldiers.
On a more personal note, Edain will do his best to show his faith in Duchess Calypso publicly, and will send some new shipments of lumber to Southport for their ship building efforts to continue and keep up with their contracts. Edain will take this opportunity to distribute some pamphlets about the great achievements of Duchess Calypso as the MInister of Defense and the leader of Southport.
Alarissa's putting her silvered tongue to good use with regards to the Duchess Calypso. Never has she met a woman who even blindfolded, knows how precisely to complete a task effeciently and correctly and come out shining on the other end. Where Calypso's name comes up or even an opportunity to apropriately laud the woman, Alarissa is doing just that. Her support of the Duchess Calypso is without fault. Sure as the sun rises in the morning, Thrax and the Princess-Consort supports Calypso.
Calista Fidante is known for being an exemplary courtier prior to taking up the role as Duchess of Roses and as such there are few who can hold a candle to her charm and grace. When called upon by Duchess Calypso Malvici to offer assistance to Southport, Calista did not think twice. One time fierce enemies, the two cities are bonded by the bridge of marriage. The pending arrival of the Duke and Duchess of Tor's first child and heir is the perfect opportunity to help assuage the ill feelings the people of Southport are feeling these days. The pen is mightier than the sword and words offer a soothing balm to ease the disgruntled citizens. There are many friends and allies to Southport who are coming out in support of House Malvici and Duchess Calypso. Calista will make sure to reiterate this to the people of Southport and do all in her power to make sure they understand they are not alone and will not be left in the dark during troubled times.
Eleyna Velenosa, Archduchess of Lenosia and Grand Duchess of the Lyceum, lets stand no question as to her feelings regarding the competence of Duchess Calypso Malvici. But it's not in what the Archduchess does that speaks to her faith in her vassal, but what she does NOT do. Despite rumors of unrest and turmoil, she does not march Velenosa soldiers into Southport to secure the city. Despite the dire situation that seems to be unfolding, Eleyna doesn't seem particularly moved to 'sweep in and save the day'. It's not as if rebellion and political intrigue are particularly unusual in the Lyceum. Instead, when she is asked, the Grand Duchess simply explains that she trusts Calypso to set things right, which speaks more to her liege's confidence in her abilities than an incessant insistence on the fact.
The Newly made countess of Magotta has a vested interest in her new county and its ports. She will reach out to the serfs and providing morale where morale is short. Spreading propaganda of Calypso's great deeds and reassuring she has the best intentions for all that live within.
Princess Roxana Grayson was first and foremost a Malvici and is loyal to her siblings, cousins, nieces and nephews just as they are to her. She will attempt to assist the family while staying in Arx, letting Calypso handle what needs handling in Southport itself. Roxana will be writing letters to nobles she is in contact with back 'home' in Southport to reassure them that the Duchy is as safe and reliable as it ever has been under the rule of House Malvici, and praising the work of her sister Eirene and her niece Calypso in their dedication to addressing this turmoil. In addition she will be sharing those same opinions with her contacts in her house-by-marriage, House Grayson. Her status as a Grayson princess and a widowed one at that has elicted warmth and sympathy for years, and she will leverage this through gentle cajoling and occasional hints of manipulation. The focus will be having Calypso's competence praised on several fronts, enough so that any support among her contacts for a rebellion in Southport is quashed and redirected.
Donella doesn't just talk Calypso Malvici and her leadership up at home with Northerners who do business in the south. She makes overtures to captains on the Lycene coastal transport routes (esp. those interested in Redrain business), and puts a ship or two of bullish veterans who served as raiders and soldiers during the Silence crisis on shore leave in Southport. With extra coin to spend on resupply and repairs, of course. She makes sure that crews talk war stories on the way into port, encouraging effusiveness in their praise of the Duchess, and generosity during the process of social lubrication. Because nothing speaks louder, literally or figuratively, than a man (Thrax or otherwise) waxing poetic about the woman who successfully led them in battle. It just doesn't happen that often, unless there's something extraordinary to praise. The captains themselves can speak to the prosperity of Southport with an outsider's perspective. "The princess-consort of Farhaven will gladly take Calypso's leadership wherever it lands. Arx would not still stand if not for her able administration of our defense effort."
Karadoc will call in every favor he has to stimulate trade to and from Southport, get the silver flowing, even if, in some cases, this means trading IOUs for IOUs until the coffers can support the ebbs and flows of day-to-day exchange. He will lean hardest on markets that need Southport goods the most, and are thus most likely to accept brief hiccups. (He will, of course, try to keep the hiccups modest to low. Eradicate where possible!)
Marquis Mydas Nightgold aids by applying his knowledge of economics to Southport's aid. As such, he works with Karadoc to not only ensure trade flows, but pays particular attention to ensure proper book-keeping is kept of the finances, with as many copies as is required to ensure no information regarding the economy is lost. As such, his role is far more the one of an accountant, than to personally encourage further trade or making deals with various houses and groups.
Cicero will work with Karadoc and Mydas to bring trade and commerce to Southport to get that tax/customs money flowing. Silver Consortium gonna Consort
Dafne works on encouraging trade between Gemecitta and Southport, assuring Gemecittan merchants that such trade is both safe and profitable, and Southport is stable under the rule of Duchess Calypso. Among the goods flowing to Southport is a certain amount of Gemecittan granite, just in case any fortifications need repair.
Quenia will be speaking to her various nobles and merchants, and sending letters to Granato, letting her people know she has complete faith and confidence in House Malvici and Duchesss Calypso. She'll also remind them what an important trade hub Southport is, and that if trade fails there, that the effects of the disrupted economy may very well hit their own bottom line.
The King of the Compact aims to cut off support to rebellious factions in Southport by any party who wants to hedge against a possible change at the top (or get ahead by getting in on the ground floor of an potential transition) by making it known through various diplomatic channels that the Crown judges the situation in Southport to have very suspicious indications of an externally directed plot to personally discredit an effective Minister of War by foreign powers that would stand to gain a lot by the Compact -not- having an effective Minister of War. As such any aid at all to the rebellious factions is actively discouraged by the clear implication that anyone found doing so will draw attention to their own dealings in Arx and with the Crown for invasive scrutiny by the Inquisition for any other evidence of collaborating with enemies of the Compact. And the Inquisition has a reputation for being good at finding things, whether they were originally there or not.
Alis will be singing Calypso's prpaises as a General and a Leader every chance she gets, going so far as to give anecdotes and stories from each of the battles they have fought together. Strong, smart, capable, loyal. And she will encourage those cavalry that were given to Malvici as part of the marriage contract between Edain and Caelis to do the same.
Khanne is known for many things, for those who know her. She is not widely known as an economist though, despite her role in the NDC (she prefers to be thought of as an idea person on that front), so lets Darren and Mydas help support Calypso and Southport when it comes to their economy. She is not known as a soldier, so is more than happy to let those more capable help there. She is also not widely known for her negotiating skills or diplomacy so to speak... though she does have experience there. What she might be known for is her ability to connect to people, understand their concerns, and speak to them in ways that ease their minds. This is where she focuses her time in helping, knowing and working with Calypso for some time, as a fellow Crown Minister, she assures them that the Duchess General is more than capable in her position, and is not responsible for Southport's current issue. She agrees with King Alaric that it was an external force of some sort. She would emphasize the fact that all of the Houses of the Compact are behind her offering their support and assistance as needed to help Southport thrive again, through economics, trade, and whatever support is needed. She would talk to those in Arx, but would also travel to Southport to spread the word if it would be of further help.
As High Lord of Redrain, Darren will offer his public and private support to Calypso and the Malvici family as a whole. Darren is going to be sure anyone who will listen will hear about how much confidence he has in her leadership, and at a time when evils from outside the Compact threaten our shores, we must all stand behind the Minister of Defense. Patriotism and all that. Finally, to seal the deal, Darren is going to encourage the distillers on Farhaven to release a special, "Calypso's Reserve" whiskey brand, top shelf stuff with the slogan "Strong, but smooth - like the General herself." Because, you know, the Northlands!
And now Duchess Calypso Malvici arrives in Southport herself. She brings offerings from her friends, and she brings friends as well - a special limited edition whiskey from Redrain, a ship full of Redrain sailors speaking well of her. Grayson charm and Velenosan confidence, words of support from Fidante, praise from the Princess-Consort of Maelstrom and longships of Grimhall as an escort. Soldiers from Valardin and trade credit from Saik and the Silver Consortium alike - well and carefully accounted for. Trade with Gemecitta and personal friends too, as well as an endorsement from the King of the Compact himself!
All of this means that Calypso arrives with friends and allies and gifts aplenty, ready to set things right in Southport. Indeed, as she arrives she finds the path eased for her by Hadrian and Melinda. She finds work done by Eirene, Orazio, Bianca, Leola, and Sophie. She works to establish order. She works to make peace, to fill in the ranks that were decimated by soldiers not at their posts. In short, she steps off the ship and she goes to work.
Is it enough?
Action by Talen for Turmoil in Southport(Public Action, OOC Date: Jan. 7, 2018, 8:12 p.m.)
Under the orders of his wife and liege and at the behest of the Duchess General Calypso, Talen is taking a few choice agents out to acquire information about the clans acting under the Eater of Stories' command. Any information about the numbers, locations, composition of the army and how fast they're moving is extremely important in advance of any furthers decisions that will be made to wage war in the coming months. Any additional information that can be gleaned about the Shadowspeakers and their Shadowhunters is secondary but still very much of interest.
The overall plan is to scout out fringe towns and villages in as discrete a manner as possible, utilising the different skills of the various agents brought along for the ride. Talen's the primary interrogator (if there's anyone seems worth it to snatch and torture that the others can kidnap) and part of the heavy cavalry in case anything goes wrong and needs a sword swinging to rescue the others.
When the group moves into a town Costas, wearing mundane street leathers and wielding an equally mundane cutlass (items in my possession) will look for opportunities to display his skill with a blade: find a fighting ring, training center, provoke some local troublemakers, etc. The aim is to catch the eye of recruiters from the traitor army looking to hire talented sell-swords. If he gets any bites, Talen will make the call about trailing them or capturing them for interrogation.
While the sneakier members of the team are out scouting and getting into fights, Stefano will stay with Talen. Laying low, only heading into action if they're needed to assist the others in case something goes wrong.
Being as discreet as possible, Acacia will listen for word on the street and use her talents to gather information to support the goal of the mission and its agents, including but not limited to where any money might be flowing into the area and where it might be coming from; who is hiring sellswords (to rise up against the Southport soldiers) and any news on anyone who might know anything about an Abandoned clan who is amassing his soldiers to fight the Malvici family. Any logistical info about the army that can be culled will be noted and reported as will any talk about Shadowspeakers or Shadowhunters. Any targets for further interrogation will noted and scouted, and then be reported to Talen. As required, she will assist other members of the team, otherwise, her work is to be her charming streetwise self as she gathers info without endangering the mission in anyway. Prior to her departure, she will see to her own personal business just in case she is detained, permanently or otherwise.
Fiora will be shadowing as many members of the group as she can from afar. Constantly in the shadows, blending in with the crowd, watching out for ambushes or anything suspicious, such as people following her group mates.
Archduke-Consort Talen Velenosa takes the time to pull together a scouting team and heads out of Southport to try to get some idea of rough numbers facing them. He handpicks a set of scouts - Costas, Stefano, Acacia, and Fiora go with him. Combing the alleyways and bars and dives, then heading out of town to try to find more information, they come back with grim tidings.
It looks like the Shadowspeakers and their pet Shadowhunters have instilled many of the shav in the area with terror. Worse than that, their army is at least the equivalent of what Southport can muster, even now. Even worse still - they're well-armed, probably thanks to the money stolen from the Malvici treasury. And whatever they're planning is big - big, and there is little discussion among them of what might happen if they lose. No, they have thrown their lot in with the Eater of Stories, and they know it is succeed or be devoured.
But not all of the shav are privvy to this plot - not all of them are fanatics. No, beyond the Shadowspeakers are other shav tribes still, and these now are undecided about Southport and the Compact. Some of them are well armed and armored, but Shadowspeakers do not walk among them, and it's harder to tell where their allegiance lies.
It's hard news they come back with indeed.
"We have seen your recovery. Your will. Your strength. We wish to bend the knee and join the Compact."
Well. Now what?