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DIPLO: Blackram's Honor

An Oathlands count sworn to House Blackram is refusing the call of banners and has threatened to declare war on a smaller barony and invade unless they evict all of their eurusi refugees and prodigals. This could significantly disrupt the war efort.

((Moderate risk, diplomatic characters, could potentially have combat. Second variant for Blackram characters))


Jan. 18, 2021, 2 p.m.

Hosted By


GM'd By

Apostate Sorrel


Sorrel Teagan Preston Alantir Ciro Ivy Merek Apollo



Meyneth's Dynamic GMing Room <OOC Room>

Largesse Level


Comments and Log

When Blackram called their banners, Countess Claudette Rayneway refused, and the message she sent to the Marquessa was extremely hostile regarding the Eurusi refugees who have settled in and near her lands. Furthermore, she's indicated that she is having issues with her own vassal, the Baron Vincent Fosterling, and that she cannot possibly aid her liege in light of needing her troops to put down the current civil unrest. There's further notes on the absolute dispicable nature of the Eurusi. She seems mad, to put it lightly. And she hasn't replied to messages for further clarification. The baron seems unreachable, as well.

So a party is formed, to head out to see what is going on, as it seems that any number of Eurusi refugees might get murdered for as yet unexplained reasons, and to see if a peace of some sort might be brokered so that the "civil unrest" might be ended.

When the Blackram party arrives in the County of Rayneway Hill, they are directed to follow a somewhat trecherously mountainous trail that curves through rocky countryside to a small valley right at the edge of the Barony of Fosterhall. The quiet village there might be quite picturesque were it not for the pair of mounted nobles, each leading a small band of well-armed troops. Countess Claudette is seated on her horse, and she is clearly red-faced with fury as she discusses with Baron Vincent what to do about a mill sitting before them on the east edge of the village. It is obviously a very emotional exchange.

While Teagan Blackram can appreciate a firm woman who stands by her convictions (after all, it's a trait she fancies in herself), she cannot abide by one behaving in the way of Countess Rayneway. After all, the Marquessa of Blackram was one of the individuals who put together a Eurusi primer prior to Sungreet. She has welcomed Abandoned tribes into her lands. Her thoughts on such matters should be fairly clear. While she's a fairly traditional woman by other means, turning away those in need (particularly when they are willing to stand against their agressors) is not one of them.

Attired in leathers and with a bow at her back, Teagan is clearly more in a martial mood today. Her height marks her as Blackram. The signet ring she wears marks her as Blackram. Nevermind that she should be well-known enough in her own lands. And yet, the Countess did not see fit to come greet her personally: this irks her.

So it's with a subtle urging of her mount that she heads forward, approaching Countness and Baron alike with head held high and shoulders squared.

Riding a reliable tan coloured courser, the horse clad in Templar riding barding displaying the circles of the Faith, is Preston. The Carnifex of the Faith is in his armour, the thin line of red rubicund between the white and gold of his armour marking him out - though this isn't overly necessary given his visor is up and his cheek guards unfastened, letting the cool air get to his face. He obligingly followed the trail, steering his horse slowly along it. If anything he seems quite relaxed, a warm smile across his features as he enjoys the day - even as the wolf pelt cloak guards him from any chill that might try to set in, if the armour and padding were not enough. "A little while since we last made a trip through the lands. And with fewer troops behind us this time, Marquessa. And let us hope something a little less exciting than Ines Cheval at the end?" He offers across to Teagan.

Alantir is no negotiator, but he hopes that his somewhat imposing presence will encourage a more civil discourse between the feuding parties. He'd traveled with the ensemble on horseback, content to follow the commands of whoever among them would opt to take charge. Mountainous terrain could be quite treacherous, so he does what he can to assist the borrowed stallion in navigating slippery slopes and uneven surfaces. As the Marquessa approaches the gaggle of troops, he tugs upon reins and brings gauntlets to rest loose upon leather saddle.

To say Ciro isn't a horseman would be an understatement, the man having taken a fall or two during the trip out and as they near their destination the man is half raised from the saddle not used to spending much time in one. The man's lycene accent sounding out to the group, "Next time..somewhere we can take a boat to.. A nice safe boat without saddles. Gods I think I am gonna have sores on my.." The man's words falling away into a little mutter and mumble as his head shakes slightly.

When the Seraceni Lord notices the little welcoming committee he falls silent, His eyes drawing over those gathered watching the mill in silent study. Ciro stopping his horse a short distance away he moves to slip from the saddle tying the beast up before making his way towards the Baron and Countess, His honeyed voice sounding out. "Good day to you good day to both of you and well met. We come seeking an audience with the Countess Rayneway and Baron Vincent. And you two do seem to have the look of a Baron and the radiant Countess of Rayneway, the stories of your beauty do not do the truth justice." A warm smile given with the words of greeting as Ciro immediately falls back into the whispery ways he learned in Setarco.

Despite her ease with animals in general, and her training of said animals... Ivy Blackram is not a horsewoman by any means. She's been known to call them 'dangerous on both ends and crafty in the middle' while eyeing them distrustfully. So to say that she is doing her best to remain seated while trying to not give the impression of being desperate to get off the horse, is an understatement. She is, however, making the attempt. No schooling of her features can deter from the white-knuckled grip she keeps on the reins and how she fidgets in the saddle. While most are armored, she is not, wearing simple leathers designed to provide protection against travelling rather than weapons, she carries a satchel that marks her as the healer of the group. Just in case things get TOO testy.

Merek looks to be curious about the Eurusi refugees more than anything else, and with that in mind, he wears a cape on the back of his dark attire, sword upon hip while he walks along the path with the party upon the horse, taking the time to look around in the place. He nods to everyone, not speaking for the moment.

Apollo Oakwood, tanner and... apprentice Whisper? Has no obvious reason to be a horseman. But he rides out with on the back of a spirited dapple gray Ostrian gelding called Braci, happiest when left loose to run free but trained well-enough to mind his rider. Were they on a ship, he'd be green-gilled but okay. Here, he's happy to ride up alongside Ivy, murmur quietly to her: "If you talk to the horse a bit, it might make you feel more comfortable." At the welcoming committee, he slows his own horse, and dips forward in a bow from the saddle.

The military group around the nobles shifts a bit to allow for the arrival of allies, though most of the soldiers are staring down the mill like it is besieged. Baron Vincent speaks first: "Marquessa Teagan Blackram. A pleasure, of course, to have you put your personal attention on our little issue with these scum. They've occupied several structures in this town, but this mill is quite important to the village economy, and they've barricaded themselves inside." He makes no effort to disguise his disgust at the situation.

Countess Claudette on the other hand, gives Ciro a puzzled look. "What sort of courtier is this? Such an accent," she says, and despite her pretty golden hair, she does not look terribly radiant at the moment. "Yes, you have found me. I am Countess Claudette, and this is Baron Vincent Fosterling. The Eurusi are within the mill, and while we could use force to extract them, there are some concerns that they'll damage the inner workings. They're armed, though I doubt they're any match for Oathlands soldiers."

They're wary, but there's quite a bit of tension in the air.

"I imagine most things are less exciting than Ines Cheval," Teagan notes sidelong to Preston. "-Sungreet- was less exciting than the Marquessa Cheval." There is a tightness in her mien when the Reaper is mentioned. She does glance back toward Ciro at his complaints and there's a slight twitch at the side of her mouth, but she does not say anything. Though he does and her mouth forms into a bit of a flat line.

There goes giving the two houses opportunity to supplicate themselves. Gloved hands tighten on reins and she turns back to face Countess and Baron alike. As they describe the situation, she looks down to the mill and settles back in her saddle.

"Has anyone tried speaking with them? I imagine that would be a far preferrable solution to utilizing force. I imagine we can all-" and here she fixes the Countess, especially, with a firm gaze, "appreciate more willing hands as we head into the winter months. If none of you speak Eurusi, I do, and I imagine some of my companions do as well. I am certain we can find an -amenable- solution." She leans forward marginally in the saddle. "Now, understanding I will ask the refugees the same thing... Why have they overtaken these buildings? Mere shelter? Were they chased there? Were they given the impression -- on purpose or accident -- that they could live within them?"

"Sungreet was less pleasant. And a bit too close to being forced to abandon a Legate of the Faith to our enemies for my liking. But. People so rarely listen to my cautions." Preston answers across to Teagan. As they approach and come to a halt he leans forward in his saddle, the reins held in one armoured hand "This is odd. This looks like a very small matter to need a whole County and her attendant Baronies attention with all their armies....I do not suppose your Seraph rode out with you, Countess? I would be most intrigued to hear whether he sent his Templars to muster given this most apparently grave threat."

The knight's attention shifts to the mill. While damage to the structure would likely require repair and cost a fair amount of silver, he doubted that the refugees would risk setting the building ablaze. To do so guaranteed their destruction and would functionally bolster the animosity shown toward them. If the Marquessa spoke Eurusi, resolving the matter diplomatically was certainly feasible. Assuming, of course, that any negotiated peace would be upheld by the locals.

Hearing the words from the Countess and the question there is a soft laughter that spills from Ciro's lips, "The accent of one born to the chain and raised in Setarco, But have no fear Countess. We are here to help." A reassuring smile is offered before his gaze drifts to the mill. The Seraceni Lord unarmored and dressed for a day out in the city causing trouble or finding some courtly intrigue to enjoy looking to the Mill. The mention of the armed Eurusi within and the current problem the Countess and Baron find themself under seeming to be mulled over by Ciro before he is glancing back to the others, His gaze briefly focusing on Teagan. "If.. they butcher me, First..burn my private journal. It's under misschiefs bed. Well no that's second, First avenge me.. second burn the journal." The man not seeming to mind in the least bit making the request of a stranger, Moments later he looks to the Countess once more "Please stay your men and have them stand down, I will go talk to the refugees. I am sure we can all find a suitable..solution where you can call your banners and they can leave your mill without any blood being shed." With that said he looks to the mill as he return to his horse pulling from its bags a few bottles of rum before he is raising his hands high calling out to the mill but not in Arvani no instead the Seraceni Lord calls out the refugees in their tongue. The man more than happy to leave others to talk with the Countess and Baron while putting his own neck on the potential butchers block.

Ciro checks charm and diplomacy at normal. Ciro is marginally successful.

Ciro says in Eurusi, "My friends in the mill, Might I join you for a drink and bit of discussion? I bring no weapons only words and drink."

"I speak Eurusi as well," Merek offers, looking like he could actually be Eurusi if not for the fact he's born in Tor. He does take a look to everyone, and keeps to himself. He has no desire to involve himself in noble affairs, just the task they were sent for to assist in refugees. Still, he's a diplomat and he will do what he can, "We will do what he can." Elegant, he's pretty confident in that, let's see how that works for him. The man takes a drink from the flask with him above the scarf. He doesn't comment about taking them away by force.

Merek checks charm and diplomacy at normal. Merek marginally fails.

Preston checks perception and empathy at normal. Preston fails.

Teagan checks charm and diplomacy at normal. Teagan is marginally successful.

Alantir checks perception and empathy at normal. Alantir marginally fails.

Ivy checks perception and empathy at normal. Ivy is marginally successful.

Ivy glances sidelong and shakes her head, "I'm already considered something of an odd duck, Master Oakwood. I will manage, but thank you." Approaching the group, her eyes run across the Countess and her troops, the Baron and -his- troops, then towards the mill where the Eurusi are hiding. A small frown settles on her lips and asks, to the groups at large, "Does anyone know if they have any ill or injured within they may be trying to protect?"

Apollo gives a deferential smile and dismounts, petting Braci as he goes. He stays quiet, listening and attentive to the Count and Baron, only a flicker of a glance given to the mill when it's indicated. With plenty of Eurusi speakers, his attention is better placed there - on the surly nobility and their posture, their needs.

Apollo checks perception and empathy at normal. Apollo is marginally successful.

"Their broken Arvani makes them impossible to communicate with," Baron Vincent declares in a mildly annoyed sort of way, sniffing a bit. He shifts in his saddle a bit, but finally adds, "They lie constantly. The mill is not for them. No one has chased them there. They have been told they have to leave, but they refuse." He makes a sour face, then looks to the Countess.

Claudette considers for a moment, weighing her words more than the baron did. "Indeed, we have tried speaking with them. And the County Seraph is in the shrine at the village center, with a few Templars. She has been trying to speak with them, but their lies continue and they get quite agitated at the negotiations. Language is definitely a barrier."

The county soldiers look a bit concerned as Ciro saunters over towards the mill, and someone shouts in Eurusi, <<No further, else I shoot!>> Presumably they have archers somewhere. But they do not shoot, and there are some sounds of shuffling inside.

A very petite young woman with Eurusi features climbs out of a window and sits on its ledge, the better to talk to those who are trying to be diplomatic. <<My brothers have their bows trained on you,>> she says in Eurusi. <<Tell the lord that the mill is our possession. We will not be treated unfairly here so far away from home. We have worked hard for this mill.>>

Ciro checks charm and diplomacy at normal. Ciro is successful.

"That man is not of the Oathlands," Teagan says promptly as Ciro starts off before the Countess can even answer their other queries. There is a very, very sharp and frustrated tone to her voice. As if the explanation covers all slights currently perceived by the Marquessa. "You will have to forgive him and his lack of proper courtesy." She sits up straighter in her saddle and gestures to herself and the others. "Please give us a full accounting of what transpired here when the refugees arrived."

There is a nod for Preston and his query, with a look to the Countess and Baron: interest in the response. As for Ivy's, that earns a look of curiosity as well. "The Cloudspine will gladly provide what is needed for any wounded." It is a hint: that she is willing to put forth the necessary funds and means for all parties... with the right reasoning." As things increase a bit down by the mill proper, she tilts her head slightly.

"If they speak broken Arvani, how can you be certain they are lying? Perhaps it is something lost in translation." She moves to dismount, looking to the woman in the window. In Eurusi, she calls: "<<I would like to speak with your leader, would they be willing to come meet with me?>>" And then, to the Countess and Baron: "Have someone make ready a meal. We will all sit down and talk this over. And with a few translators-" her smile is not kind. There's a few too many teeth. But it is a smile. "We will find the truth of the matter. You can tell me how the refugees arrived and came to take up residence in these structures as we walk." She's clearly expecting them to dismount as well.

Teagan checks command and diplomacy at normal. Teagan is marginally successful.

Whatever he hears in Eurusi has Ciro sighing, The man does stop albeit only briefly. Slowly turning in a circle so those within could see he truly did not carry any weapons only rum. With that little show given he moves more slowly towards the structure as he calls out in Eurusi to the group <<You may shoot me if you wish but that won't help either of us much. And then who will drink the rum?>> , his honeyed tone sounding out as he calls to the /archer/. When the woman slips out and offers that response Ciro's eyes settle upon her and he smiles softly. <<I can not blame you for wanting a place safe from harm to have as your own, But these armed men seem to think different. But that does not mean there is no hope for a solution. I come in peace and to try and find a solution so no blood is spilled this day, And may have a solution..and a far that you and yours could enjoy. Come down and share a drink and talk with me, Let us reach peace and show them they are wrong in their assumptions of your people.>>

Merek looks between everyone, while he dismounts from the horse. Then he walks along to wait next to Teagan. He nods a bit to the woman, and waits for an ok to speak. When he has that, he does. To the mill, he calls back in Eurusi, "I am Ser Merek Black, I wish to tell you that we have no desire to fight. You can't hold up there forever, why don't you explain in what way you're being treated unfairly! What are your demands that you'd take it this far?"

Merek checks charm and diplomacy at normal. Merek marginally fails.

Ciro drops Lost and Found Distillery - Saffron Siren Rum.

Ivy checks intellect and medicine at normal. Ivy is successful.

"Indeed? I might have hoped they would have come out if there was this hubub, and I would have liked to meet them. Given how important all this is - after all, these refugees were brought into the compact as guests. And of course these allegations are most troubling, for people to be rejecting that right through bad behaviour?" Preston tuts a little from the back of his horse before he looks again over at the mill "Though I am still curious. It is a mill. And you have a military, Countess. How many do they have in there?" Preston squints across at the mill, trying to work out if it is somehow unusually fortified or why this might need a whole army held back.

Preston checks intellect and war at normal. Preston marginally fails.

Alantir carefully dismounts and fetches his longsword from the scabbard attached to saddle, prepared to accompany the ensemble on their approach to the mill. He did not understand Eurusi, but he could at least marginally perceive the inflections in the refugee's tone. Combat, at this stage, did not seem inevitable. No matter the outcome, though, he stood ready to complete whatever command the Marquessa issued. Gauntlet raises and drops armet's visor, preferring countenance to remain hidden.

Apollo attends what Teagan says, then Preston's words. "Sir Preston, this sounds like an exhausting affair for everyone. The Marquessa's suggestion is wise. A meal and a moment to gather wits, right moods - that's the ticket." He glances at Teagan - a moment of checking in - and then steps toward the Baron, leaving her to her direct vassal. "Baron Vincent," he greets, "Apollo Oakwood." Even split whether he hopes that name has recognition here, further north in the Oathlands than he typically travels, or not; it's only polite to offer it. "Very good to meet you, despite the circumstances. I don't imagine the situation will worsen appreciably with a little distance. Would you like to walk with me? It was generous and kind to take in refugees in the first place - I would love to hear about the experience while we await the meal."

Apollo checks charm and empathy at normal. Apollo is successful.

Ivy seems to have focused in on the girl that's appeared to yell from the mill window. Peering closely at the Eurusi, the frown grows and she looks to Teagan, "They -need- food. Water. That girl is far too thin, almost emaciated. More than comes from a few days."

The countess dismounts momentarily after the marquessa does, and she gives a dirty look to the baron, who scrambles off of his horse in the most dignified way one can gracefully fall from horseback. A stumble, and he rights himself to fall in behind Teagan and Claudette. The military troops with them seem unwilling to completely abandon the standoff at the mill, but some of them do follow along as the group starts to head further into town.

Claudette says to Teagan as she leads the group into the village, "We will head for the inn. I am given to understand from the baron that it is still neutral."

Vincent clears his throat at this. "Yes," he agrees. "They arrived and were quite peaceful. Hardworking. Grateful for every scrap they got. But not long after that, they started moving to take over the buildings. And it is not just the mill." He looks to Preston, then. "Several shops in town have been overrun, and they have harvested foods from farmlands that they did not own. There were fisticuffs involved. After that, they started barricading themselves away from the locals in a hostile sort of way." There's clearly a measure of relief when Apollo introduces himself. "Ah, Master Oakwood. I have heard of you. Yes. Let us all walk together."

Meanwhile, the Eurusi girl is leaning back in the window to confer with her brothers. After a muffled debate, she looks to Ciro and nods, then hops down from the window. <<I will walk with you, since you are not hostile, but if anything happens to me, it will be bad for everyone. My name is Sabé. My elder brother owns the mill. The lord does not recognize this. He tells us to leave the mill.>>

Merek takes a cigarette from his belt, while he begins to light it from that tinderbox he keeps with him. Then he takes a drag from that while he scratches along his stubble. He doesn't answer on the talk of the 'scraps' even though that seems to make him not all that happy. He checks his flask while he takes from his pack a ration to hand to the girl, <<"Food for you,">> he offers, with a nod along to Ciro.

Merek checks charm and empathy at normal. Merek fails.

"Thank you," Teagan says to the Countess and Baron both and there is genuine appreciation in the tone. "We will sit, eat, and work this out. I am sure an appreciative middle ground can be found." As they walk, she gives a small nod to Apollo; thankful for him stepping in to speak to the Baron. To Ivy: "Ask around town, if you can. Find out the overall food stores. Take anyone with you that you need. If the refugees need food, it's possible everyone here does."

She tilts her head to listen to the accounting by Vincent... but also overhears what the Eurusi girl is saying to Ciro. The two matters are considered, balanced. "Could they have been led to believe they were allowed to do these things? I am not saying purposefully or otherwise, but there is a language barrier. Is it possible they were misled in some way or perhaps your people were- inadvertently?"

Teagan checks perception and empathy at normal. Teagan fails.

Preston lets out a heavy sigh as he dismounts, leaving the horse with one of the attendant Templars and moves to follow the group "This does seem very...messy." Preston observes, looking around the town "I am also very sorry you have had to deal with something like this Countess, I am sure it has been most stressful. I know the Faith was keen to place additional resources into helping the refugees integrate fully - as we have been keen to do the same for the prodigals that the Oathland houses keep on taking in. Harmony is important, and I commend your honourable restraint." Looking back to the Mill and those still with the Eurusi, Preston gives a questioning look to Teagan.

Ivy checks perception and empathy at normal. Ivy is marginally successful.

Preston checks charm and etiquette at normal. Preston is successful.

It is perhaps rather unnoble like and might gain frowns from some of the Peerage but when the Eurusi woman climbs down Ciro moves to sit down on the ground setting one of the bottles before him as the other is set aside, <<Come sit, let us talk. So long as your brothers do not level any threats or any volleys of arrows I think we both should see this through just fine.>> A brief pause is given as he thinks over her words on the mill before he asks, <<Tell me, the mill. Your brother owns it? How long has he held it and how did he come to it? And I wonder, is a mill truly where his hopes and dreams lay? Does he not wish for something else, something somewhere more..warm perhaps?>>

Apollo gives the Baron a bow, and and smiles - with a glance back over his shoulder that seems just enough to establish there are others, also moving. He leads Braci alongside himself, chatting easily. Though he hasn't advertised it - perhaps believing the Oathlander nobility will be warmer to someone they believe to be firmly on their side - he does speak Eurusi, and that the refugees believe they own the mill is notable. "It's very curious behavior from a people who've been otherwise grateful," he says to Baron Vincent. "I do agree with the Marquessa; I think some nuance may have been lost along the way. Tell me, do you know from which of the Dune Kingdoms these refugees hail? Or is it from many places? It might help to understand and move the conversation to a more productive place, my lord."

The knight follows after the Baron, Countess, Marquessa, and this Master Oakwood, gaze surveying their surroundings as they march in the direction of the tavern. A mild paranoia has surfaced from somewhere in the darkest recesses of his mind -- the fear of a loose arrow striking him clean between the shoulder blades or beneath the thin space unprotected by gorget. Such anxieties are carried by many, though, and fail to keep him from focusing upon the task at hand.

Ivy focuses on the Baron for a long moment, watching him as he explains the situation. Her lips purse up, eyes darting back to the Eurusi girl, then back to the Baron. Teagan's request has her breaking contact and giving a nod, "Of course, Marquessa. I'll join you shortly." Turning, she 'requisitions' a few people to follow her and heads towards the town itself to better determine the food situation with the area and its people.

It is not long before the group finds the inn, such as it is. It is not a big village, and the inn is largely an overgrown house that has been added onto over many years, resulting in an architecturally hideous structure. There are bouncers on either side of the door, one local Arvani and one Eurusi. They watch one another with open distrust, but neither have drawn arms at this juncture. Both bow to the nobility as they head inside the common room of the inn, where food is served on long tables.

The room bustles with activity, but there are clearly several groups here. Some local farmers sit in one corner, getting drunk and slowly getting louder in volume. Some Eurusi sit in the corner farthest from them, getting drunk and slowly getting quieter in volume. And in a third corner is a group of merchants, already drunk and already cheerfully raucous.

"I assure you, no one has misled them," the baron insists to Teagan in a desperate sort of way that suggests maybe he isn't lying about this. "My people want to help them integrate, and the county seraph has been instrumental in helping with this, but we are at an impasse now that they are barricading themselves in places."

Claudette answers Apollo's question, though, which the baron has already forgotten about. "Suj'abbat. They are known to lie, lie, lie, lie, lie," she declares in a bit of a vicious sort of way. "I am not certain they belong in the Oathlands."

Sabé, the Eurusi girl, walks with Ciro and Merek, but she seems hesitant to take any of Merek's food. She shakes her head. <<I cannot pay for that now. We must get the mill going again, and their military has blocked the movement of grains from the fields to the mill,>> she explains, and when they enter the inn, she waves to the Eurusi table, and they nod to her.

As Ivy wanders town, there are indications that commerce has largely ground to a halt. Different links in the economic ecosystem have been taken over by different groups, and it's probable that no one is eating the right diet due to the many standoffs.

Merek looks to the girl, and nods a bit while he pockets that ration, <"No cost, but if you are sure."> He then takes a drink from the flask with him, while he drags from the cigarette and looks around in the Inn. He adjusts his potion belt while he nods to their escort, and finds a place to settle in, "A round on the house for everyone," he offers to a server, motioning to everyone, Oathlanders and Eurusi included, while he offers an entire purse of coin.

"Suj'abbat and lies is a misnomer. An assumption. It is more complex and layered than that." Teagan keeps an even, but firm tone as she speaks. She looks over the structure with only mild concern for its stability, making a mental note to perhaps send a corps to help shore it up. "And do remember these are people who have -fled- those lands. One must assume they are, in part, attempting to break away from those traditions." She does look to the young woman that has joined them and dips her head in a nod.

"<<I am Marquessa Teagan Blackram,>>" she says in Eurusi to the girl, providing her attention for the moment. "<<Princess Katarina Al'Muraq-Sabbat is my patron and a dear friend. If there is any news of home or anything you would like me to pass on to her, do let me know.>>" There is what she hopes to be a warm smile to the girl. And then, she switches back to Arvani for the others: "I am glad for your efforts, Lord and I hope we can find the reason for this snarl and disentangle it, yes?" As she finishes this statement, she gives a pointed look to the Countess. "The refugees are welcome in the Stoneburner Hills. I will see them settled in the Cloudspine if I must, but I would rather be able to bolster -all- of our lands with the added hands this winter."

Teagan checks charm and diplomacy at normal. Teagan is marginally successful.

Apollo's brows lift. "If they are from Suj'abbat," he says, "it isn't solely that they lie. But they expect to be lied /to/. In ever and ever more inventive ways. That is how they've been brought up." His lips press. "Countess, I beg you: imagine being suddenly in that city, where nothing spoken can be trusted - having been raised in the Oathlands, where word is bond? Can you imagine coming to function well in only some months?" He glances back to the girl, walking with, and then turns back to the Countess. "There are ways to sort out the truth while they are learning to speak it as a matter of course. Which I have every confidence they can. People are resilient. Whisper-trained courtiers on-hand to act as translators, perhaps, treating lies as a foreign tongue. They love the truth, too. They take an unfortunately meandering path to it."

Ciro moves with the group at the tail of it with the Eurusi girl, the Seraceni Lord even going so far as to offer his arm up to the young woman as he lisens to her words and her dismissal of the food from Merek, A little glance is given to the man and a small smile before he refocuses upon her telling her in a tone of warmth, <<You need not pay for it, I will compensate him for it. A gift from me to you like the bottle we left back at the mill for your brothers.>> A brief pause is given as he looks to the Eurusi table within the inn dipping his head to those at it before he refouses looking once more upon her. <<While it may be no mill I do know that back on my home isle of Ischia we have need for those with such skill. And such drive to succeed, tell me what would you and your brothers want to give up the mill? To come join me and those of my home in warmer climates far more kind to those of Eurus?>> When he hears Teagan's words there is a nod of agreement from the man hearing her too looks to the Countess, "As they are welcome in Ischia and within the halls of my family. If they are not welcome here.." With that said he looks to the Eurusi woman and begins to translate for her what Teagan had said before adding in at the end <<You and your people will always have a home on Ischia, And help getting settled should you wish it.>>

Apollo checks charm and empathy at normal. Critical Success! Apollo is spectacularly successful.

Ciro checks charm and diplomacy at normal. Ciro is marginally successful.

Merek checks charm and diplomacy at normal. Merek is successful.

Preston bows his head a little to the two bouncers as they head inside. Merek's offer gets a look from Preston "Mm. While well intentioned, we might wish to avoid pushing more drink into this mix." Preston observes gently to the Lycene knight. He turns to lookat the Baron "I am glad the Seraph has been helpful. I'll make a note for when I'm Sanctum. But yes, this seems like there is some issue that can no doubt be overcome, and see your lands prosper - and your people freed for their duties to holy Crusade. Long have I told those in Arx that the Oathlands leads the way as the beacon of the Faith - I would not have that light dimmed even for a moment." On the subject of the Suj'abbat, Preston just shakes his head "Eurusi ways are foreign and strange, but they have been held as slaves. Their entire culture is beholden to the notion. And it is easy for such things to take root. There are old stories, of the last King of Sanctum. Who was killed and replaced by a being from beyond the mirror and sought to hold the people back from uniting. It was not until Dame Sugan came and revealed things, that the Oathlands was free and the people could join in the stand at Arx. Old stories, of course, but the lesson is most clear. That one must walk the honourable path and save people from false leaders. As the Oathlands must save these Eurusi from their 'Emperor'."

Preston checks command and theology at normal. Botch! Preston catastrophically fails.

Ivy moves through the town, utilizing the extra people to distribute fresh fruits, vegetables, grains, and meats as needed to the people of the townfolk. Asking for people to be patient with the new refugess as they acclimate to their freedom and the Faith. Asking for those that are willing to help try to breach the language barrier so they can more easily integrate the refugees into their new homes. Offering medical assistance to any in need, checking the livestock and making sure feed and grain is being provided for the beasts of burden as well. She'll end up back at the mill with a basket of food and a distinct lack of weapons or any sort of threatening manner. "Hello the mill! I am a healer from Blackram! I've come with food, water, and if anyone needs medical attention I can provide it! May I enter?" She does not know Eurusi. Hopefully one of them will understand ARvani.

Inn? The tavern was seedier than several he'd visited in the Lower Boroughs. Fortunately, half its customers appeared as if they still had their wits about them -- intoxicated or otherwise. So long as the drinks kept flowing, the knight suspected that all would end well. Unless, of course, the wrong words were spoken to the right person. The effects and magnitude of insults were directly correlated to alcohol intake. Alantir settles within arm's reach of the party, preferring to stand versus sit, and folds his arms across breastplate.

<<I like it here," Sabé says with a measure of confusion to Ciro, glancing around warily at the group. <<You are not coming to make us move again? We just bought the mill so recently, and we do not have silver to relocate. Not until we get the mill going again. And the lord and lady would have to allow commerce again. Now, all we can do is use the merchants as a go-between.>> She glances to the rowdy crowd in one corner -- the one group that isn't starting to get hostile.

The countess listens to her liege for a moment, and she nods slightly, though she does not look like she entirely believes Teagan. "It is just that life has ground to a standstill here," she points out with a measure of deep frustration. "Perhaps Master Oakwood is correct. Translators. Something to help them acclimatize."

Sabé looks impressed at Teagan's mention of the princess, though, and her eyes widen. "Ah!" she says. "Friend!" There's a pause while she searches for words, and then she shakes her head and goes back to Eurusi. <<Tell her that we were happy when everyone treated us fairly. Tell her we love these mountains but that we miss home.>>

Out in the village, Ivy finds that everyone is willing to talk to her. Everyone. Citizens and immigrants alike. Most of the Eurusi do not know much Arvani, but they are willing to trade for anything she seems willing to sell with a bit of coin.

At the inn, things are growing tense. The farmers have gotten louder, egged on a bit by Preston's words, and they keep looking over at the Eurusi table, which has gotten quite a bit more quiet. "YOU HERETICS!" one of the farmers finally yells over at the Eurusi table, and both tables stand up angrily, hands on weapons. The mood in the room has transitioned from fairly peaceful if tense to potentially very violent.

Merek stands up from the seat, while he takes a moment to place that ration in front of the girl. He clearly means for her to take it, then he walks between where the two tables are. "Let's not fight, remember your oaths to your liege. Spilling blood in the Oathlands will do nothing," then to the Eurusi, he adds, <"Keep in mind, you will make life difficult for your brethern in the mill if you do anything, we will try to make peace and bridge ties, don't fight.">

Apollo is cheered by the progress with the weary Countess, and bows to her, ties his horse outside the inn. Inside... less cheerful. He blinks at the conflagration, and turns to Preston, lifting his voice. "Grandmaster Preston," he says, "shall we call them heretics who were slave to a lie?"

Merek checks charm and diplomacy at normal. Merek is marginally successful.

Apollo checks charm and manipulation at normal. Apollo is successful.

"<<You need not leave,>>" Teagan says to the Eurusi woman in a loud enough voice to, hopefully, also be heard by the table in the corner. "<<You are welcome here and we will find the source of the issue.>>" There is a smile for the woman when she speaks to the Princess. The Marquessa dips her head in a nod. "<<I will tell her. I am certain she can understand and I am certain she can also provide advice on settling into the Oathlands: it has become her home, as well.>>"

Turning back to the Countess, Teagan stands tall (not difficult for the Blackram, truth be told) and considers the woman. "Well, we can't have that, can we? Many of us here can speak Eurusi. I can also send up a collection of the primers I helped pen to aid your people in communicating, as well. I think first things first is to get a full accounting of what is needed. Food. Construction supplies. These we can see to providing. Next is reaching an accord, which I hope-"

And then the shouting and she takes a deep breath, closing her eyes briefly. When she opens them, she looks to Preston: hopeful. This is where the Carnifex can do the most good.

"Oh, I'm quite certain I didn't say heretics." Preston answers, before he inclines his head to Teagan "My apologies, Marquessa, Countess, Baron, for the noise." Preston slams his armoured gauntlet down on a nearby table to try and cut through the shouting "Settle down!" he calls to them all "My name is Sir Preston, Grandmaster of the Holy Knights of the Temple of Gloria, Carnifex of the Faith of the Pantheon. And by the Gods. At Sungreet, when the Eurusi showed how they wished to break free of their slavery, the one place I knew they would find safety was the Oathlands. Because of the honour of the Orthodoxy, of the Faithful. We /teach/ the others, with patience, on the true path. We give respect to friend and enemy alike, with honour. And we do not fight in taverns like /LYCENE/." Preston looks across at the tavern keeper "Send the costs for everyone's drinks and meals to the local Seraph, the Faith will cover the costs. And now...having paid for everyone's drinks, you are - Eurusi and Oathlander - my guests. And any attack on one another will be a serious insult to the honour of the Faith."

The initial words from the Eurusi woman have Ciro's head shaking, <<No one is going to make you leave if you don't wish to, it was just a suggestion and offer. But if you and your family bought the mill then it is yours to do with as you please. Who sold it to you if I might ask? It might help to ease tensions if we solve if they were proper and right to sell it or if someone is causing trouble simply so they might profit.>> And then there is the call of Heretics and movement, A look of alarm briefly showing over Ciro's features as he quickly moves to try and place himself between upset farmers and the Eurusi table. The man giving a glance back to those from Eurus, <<Do not raise arms save to protect yourself.>> With that said his eyes level upon the farmers, "You call them heretics? Yet you know not their tongue. Know nothing of their people or of the trials they have had to endure." A pause is given and he motions to one of the farmers, "You there tell me how many years did you spend beneath the chain and whims of another with nothing to show for it but the scars of servitude?" His attention then drawing to another, "Or you, tell me have you had to leave all you knew in the hopes of a better life in recent years? When is it you said goodbye to those you loved and sought to escape being enslaved? You know nothing of what they have gone through and yet you condemn them?" His head shaking as his hands lift showing he is not armed, "You wish to strike them down or fight them then you must first attack me. I will not fight you, And will glady give my life so that they might live.. As will your deeds of killing a member of the Peerage over hatred and ignorance will live on.."

Preston checks command and theology at normal. Preston is successful.

Ciro checks charm and diplomacy at normal. Ciro is successful.

Teagan checks wits and etiquette at normal. Teagan is marginally successful.

Merek turns around and just stares at Preston.

The drop of Preston's gauntlet is unexpected and causes Alantir to startle, though this subtle motion might have been difficult to notice given the heightened tension and increased risk of drunken fisticuffs. He observes the crowd closely, curious to see how they would respond to the crusader's invocation.

Ivy leaves the basket of food and waterskins outside the mill for the brothers to get into, then turns and heads back to the inn. She walks into a tenser situation than she left, making her pause to take stock. Glancing around, she moves towards Teagan and the others, reaching out to lay a soft touch to the back of Teagan's arm. "Marquessa, I don't know if this is helpful but... these merchants that have been passing through the village seem to be viewed as something of neutral parties. They can treat with both sides equally. The Eurusi and Arvani both will deal with them. Perhaps they can be of assistance?"

First to stand, first to sit, the Oathlands farmers in their corner have a deep and abiding respect for the Faith, and if they are all guests of the Faith, well, no violence just now. The Eurusi contingent is far slower to sit, with one of them rapidly translating for the others. But it seems that the County Seraph has done her job well, for they also settle down, even if they are all a bit ready should the Oathlanders decide to fight in a tavern like //Lycene//. Well.

There's a moment of almost complete silence when Ivy speaks, as if her timing was just precisely perfect, her words ringing through the inn perhaps more notably than she intended them to, but the murmur of voices picks up again after a moment. The group of merchants in the corner have become far less rowdy suddenly.

<<The head of the merchants' guild did,>> Sabé tells Ciro, and then looks to Teagan seriously. She smiles, and offers a meek, <<Thank you.>> She follows it up with a heavily accented, "Thank you."

The countess and the baron are both nodding in agreement, though they both look nervous about the sudden flare of unrest in the tavern. Baron Vincent says, after a moment, "No, we cannot have that."

Apollo turns to the Baron, there, having kept near to his side. "Is there trouble with the head of the merchant's guild?" Apollo asks. His eyes tighten a moment, and then he says: "I've worked with quite a number of them; have they got a name?" Indeed, he's been all over the Oathlands, established trade routes, worked out tax structures, glad-handed merchants all over - it's not a far thought that he might know the person.

"Thank you, Sir Preston," Teagan tells the man with a broad smile. One she keeps wearing as she moves to take a seat: perhaps pointedly. There is a nod for Ivy's words. "Wonderful. I am glad to hear it." She folds her hands in her lap: sitting relatively prim for someone in full leathers. With a look to the Eurusi woman, she tilts her head just a bit: "<<Is there a merchant you prefer to parlay with over others? Who would you prefer act as liaison once we depart?>>"

There is a gesture for the Countess and Baron to join her. "If we all calm down, the others will follow suit. Now, let's have a meal and see if we can sort this all out."

When the diplomacy from everyone manages to settle down the people willing to fight, Merek takes a moment to look between them. Then to Preston, "Reminder that you have Lycene with you, trying their best to resolve this matter peacefully." He puts no emotion into the tone, but it's clear that the Templar has not won any favors from the man in the slightest. When Teagan thanks the Templar, he just watches. Then he walks to the Eurusi table, and settles in to ask questions quietly, <"Tell me a bit more about the issues you all are having?" he asks.

Teagan checks command and diplomacy at normal. Teagan is successful.

With things having at least calmed enough for farmers and finally the Eurus refugees to settle back into their seats Ciro moves to retake his, Hearing the answer from the young woman his head nods <<We will get to the bottom of this and get things settled.>> His gaze turning to Ivy having heard her words on the merchants before he asks looking between Ivy, Teagan and the Baron and Countess. "She says the head of the merchants guild sold them the Mill, If her words are true and I see no reason she would lie.. And if it was theirs to sell it seems that this fight is not with them if you take offense to them running the mill but with the head of the guild who sold it to them. It took all they had to buy the place." A pause is given as he hears Teagan's words to the Eurusi woman. Hearing Merek's words Ciro nods in agreement before lifting his hand with two fingers held up, "At least two of us.. Ischia may be home but I was raised and trained in Setarco."

Ivy frowns at Ciro's words and looks towards the merchant's table, "I don't see how any merchants that aren't even from here would have ownership of a mill, let alone the rights to sell it to anyone. That mill should belong, part and parcel, to the lord of these lands." Her eyes shift towards the Baron and Countess. "I believe we may have found where the -lies- are coming from. And it doesn't appear to be the refugees."

"Very good." Preston says as things calm down and he turns to give Teagan a small bow of his head "And, of course, Countess, Baron, there are some lucrative contracts the Faith has coming up in the area. We will soon be building up those lands granted to the Faith on the border between the Blackram and the Acheron lands. To protect and monitor the border - but that will certainly need food supplies while the farms are growing." At Merek's words, Preston lifts a brow "One must embrace one's people, Sir Merek. In all that they are. And know what beats in their heart, and how they see the world even if you do not share that vision. There is a surprising power in people, like a river's flow."

Preston checks charm and diplomacy at normal. Preston is successful.

"I don't know the head of the merchants' guild," Baron Vincent admits, flushing suddenly and looking a bit nervous. "I... I didn't even know there //was// a merchants' guild." Claudette turns on him and gives him a look that suggests she thinks he's a bit of an idiot at the moment. "You're the baron here. How do you not know about your own merchants' guild?!" she demands with a measure of annoyance. "Do you pay attention to anything at this point?"

Sabé nods to Teagan when asked about merchants, and she points to one sitting at the table with the others. <<Sorbo is the head of the merchants' guild. He is sitting right there,>> she says easily. The man does have the nicest clothing on of the lot, and a very fancy hat with a lot of feathers. He looks somewhat uncomfortable with being pointed out. And much like the baron, Apollo has no idea who this fellow is. Never seen him before. But the Oathlands are big, right?

Everyone else in the inn is starting to settle down. Both the farmers and the Eurusi are grumbling into their drinks, but the tension is dissipating and they're back to ignoring one another again. Only the merchants seem agitated now, where they were calm before.

And then Ivy all but spells it out, and the table of merchants look like they may be trying to gauge the odds of making it to the door before the knights with the nobles intercede.

Hook, line, and sinker. Alantir agreed with the healer's assessment. He knew of few merchants who could afford a mill and seriously doubted the refugees had the means of purchasing the property. The potential for predatory lending and business in such a volatile political climate was great.

Merek notices the Merchants then while trying to question the Eurusi. Instead he stands up, then he begins to maneuver along right into the front of the Inn door if he can. His cape shifts a bit, nodding simply to Preston's words. At the moment he just wants to keep this from becoming a full on chase if they decide to make for the door.

The Oathlands are so big. And opportunism is everywhere; trying to get refugees in trouble, commonplace in insular locales. Apollo - who is neither knight nor noble - wanders over to the table, like it's all fine, like he didn't hear Ivy at all. Because what's more defusing than a fellow merchant just coming to ply his trade? "Sorbo?" he asks, as he approaches, and smiles. "I think there's been some confusion. I'd love to clear it up." No need to run; it's a chat. See?

Apollo checks charm and manipulation at normal. Apollo is marginally successful.

When the man is pointed out, Teagan gets to her feet. She leaves the Countess and Baron be for the moment: this is a matter between the two of them. She'll interfere if need be, but she does prefer to let her banners handle their own and so on. It makes everyone a little happier in the long run, especially her. It'd undermine the Countess if she stepped in and piling on more shame right now would be a bad idea.

So, the Marquessa makes her way over to the table of merchants... quite boldly at that. "Sorbo, I assume?" Her voice is pitched lopud enough to be heard by most. There is a sidelong look to Apollo, a tilt of her head. "Is he familiar to you, by chance?" It's a safe assumption, possibly: the tanner being well enough known in the Oathlands. "Might I see the papers of sale for the mill, indicating your ownership prior to the refugees?" She's just going headlong into the situation... considering the general attitude of the table itself.

Teagan checks charm and diplomacy at normal. Teagan marginally fails.

Preston gives Teagan's shoulder a gentle touch before he takes a step towards the Tavern door to stand very much in the way "So, it would seem today's lessons will be provided by the Sentinel, Limerance, Gild and Jayus. A fitting combination. I suppose Gloria as well." Preston muses, he looks across to the Countess and the Baron, and then to Teagan again before he looks back to the merchants and he nods in agreement with Apollo's suggestion "Yes, I would listen to the gentleman and matters can be cleared up."

Preston checks charm and diplomacy at normal. Preston is marginally successful.

Ciro checks charm and manipulation at normal. Ciro is successful.

With the revelation and the man pointed out Ciro raises slowly, hands moving to settle against the table before him. His eyes leveling upon Sorbo as he looks to the man before finally offering in that same honeyed tone albeit with not near the warmth from before. "Whoever isn't Sorbo may wish to slowly slip back from the table and go drink at another. But do not leave, I would hate to have to make the cutthroats waiting outside run you down, and hate even more to be the one to make them run them down." A warning perhaps of one form or another before he speaks directly to the man in question, "If you try and run I will have you hunted to the ends of the compact and dragged back here to answer our questions by your heels.. with hooks through your ankles. Do not make me be /that/ bastard and live up to my families darker times and visit such a crime upon such fine clothes as to bloody them. Now tell us what happened and speak honestly." A little dip of his head is given to Preston, "The gods are watching. Do not anger them or us. Now tell the Marquessa the truth and give her what she asks for."

Sorbo suddenly discovers he's getting a lot of attention, and he rises to his feet in an effort to bypass Apollo, intent on getting out of Teagan's way. "Yes. Confusion. I need to run get some paperwork. I don't have it on me," he insists in a casual, everything-is-fine-we're-all-fine-here manner. He does not look like he wants to be diplomatic with anyone at all right now. The other merchants at the table look like they may be inclined to turn into thugs, guest right or not.

"C'mon, man," Sorbo says to Ciro. "I don't carry that sort of thing //on// me. I'll be right back. It'll be real quick." He casts a glance briefly in Teagan's direction again, but mostly he's trying to avoid her.

The baron and the countess are squabbling over what an idiot he is. The countess hopes his daughter is more perceptive than he.

Sabé looks uncomfortable about everything that is going on, and she has a frightened, wide-eyed look as the nobles confront the merchants. "Eurusi pay. Cost big. Big cost, mill. Big cost, shop. Eurusi mill. Eurusi shop."

Apollo gives Ciro a /look/. "I'm pretty sure exacting violence on the peoples of another holding is going to cause more trouble than it solves," he says. "And I'm sure Sorbo can have accompaniment to get his papers. They'll no doubt be very orderly, won't they." His affect is flatter than it has been; he is not particularly pleased.

When no one seems like they will be fleeing, Merek walks along to the table. "Just be honest with your liege, because trust me that is the best path for you." The man pulls up the hood which he keeps with him, while he takes a drag from the cigarette. He does nod to Apollo, "That or he can tell us where it is and we can have it sent for."

Merek checks charm and diplomacy at normal. Merek is marginally successful.

Apollo checks composure and manipulation at normal. Apollo is marginally successful.

Apollo gives Merek a nod sidelong.

"Do not worry," Teagan informs the merchant. "Lord Ciro has no right to dictate what happens in these lands. He cannot call armies down upon you. However, I can see to it that you do not do business in this region again." She does not move and there's a look given to the other merchants.

"I do understand not having the paperwork on you, but you have to understand my reticence to simply let you leave at this time. What I can do, however, is have someone accompany you." She nods toward Merek at his suggestion. "Or one of us can go and fetch it. I would like to see the documents of sale for -every- building the Eurusi claim ownership to at this time. I would also ask to see your-" and here her gaze takes in every merchant at the table, "guild credentials. So that I and the Baron can feel more confident about those buying and selling in these lands. I am certain he would like to know, by name, those he may be doing extensive business with in the future." It's a strong hint: if they're legitimate and willing to play ball, it could turn out to be lucrative.

Teagan checks charm and economics at normal. Teagan is marginally successful.

"Yes, it has got quite dangerous here. And as we are all guests, well, perhaps we should send Sir Merek here with a small note form myself to the Seraph to muster some Templars to provide escort?" Preston suggests in agreement with Apollo. Though he smiles a little bit at Ciro's comment "Ah, the Gods are very forgiving, as is the Holy Church. Though I have found the Orthodoxy to be in protection of their Faith and their Gods, and the ideals they hold to. As a fun aside, do you know that it was Carnifex Alor Valardin who invented the Silent Reflections during the Crusade of Broken Mirrors so those who swore false oath might be seen for what they are, but unable anymore to spread their poison to our people? Lessons come in many forms."

"Yes, it has got quite dangerous here. And as we are all guests, well, perhaps we should send Sir Merek here with a small note form myself to the Seraph to muster some Templars to provide escort?" Preston suggests in agreement with Apollo. Though he smiles a little bit at Ciro's comment "Ah, the Gods are very forgiving, as is the Holy Church. Though I have found the Orthodoxy to be in protection of their Faith and their Gods, and the ideals they hold to. As a fun aside, do you know that it was Carnifex Alor Valardin who invented the Silent Reflections during the Crusade of Broken Mirrors so those who swore false oath might be seen for what they are, but unable anymore to spread their poison to our people? Lessons come in many forms."

Teagan checks perception at normal. Teagan is marginally successful.

There is a slight lift of Ciro's brow hearing the words from Sorbo and hearing his defense of not having the paperwork on him. A clearly skeptical look given to the /head/ merchant, When Apollo speaks up and mentions that someone could accompany him and that exacting violence on people in anothers holding there is a sigh and nod from the man. "Fine but if he runs it's not me that's running after him, And that's only so long as he remains in anothers hold.." Ciro's head giving a little shake as he moves not to the table where the others gathered instead opting to join the table of Eurusi refugees to sit and enjoy in his drink leaving things to others now.

Ivy checks perception and linguistics at hard. Ivy fails.

Alantir observes the exchange from a respectful distance, prepared to intercept anyone foolish enough to flee. Following the merchant's convenient excuse, he scowls -- though this expression remains hidden beneath the visor of helm.

Something... isn't lining up for Apollo. And surely, nothing he can do with the merchants - or merchant-pretenders - is going to have more authority than Marquessa Teagan. He signals he's slipping back, and does so, going to sit and speak quietly with the refugees. <<I'm sorry I didn't come speak with you earlier,>> he says. <<I think the sale of the mill and other buildings to you was false. Sorbo didn't own them, could not sell them to you.>> He looks back at the Countess and Baron, gestures to them. <<They've said you're from Suj'abbat, all of you - is that right?>>

"<<Curious, I do not recall Blacktooth being a merchant's guild.>>" Teagan speaks in a different language this time: one of the shav dialects. She fixes the so-called 'guild leader' with a firm gaze. "I do believe, Sorbo, that you may wish to explain why you and your... friends are attempting to lie not only to the liegelords of these lands, but also to a Valardin prince, and the Carnifex." The corner of her mouth tilts into a smirk: almost cruel, but... "Leading us to the Blacktooth tribe would be quite a misstep for you, indeed." This last bit is spoken a bit more loudly, so that everyone can hear.

"Well, it's pretty clear now that they are not legitimate businessmen," Merek notes upon Teagan's words, then he nods to the Merchants. The man seems to think about it while he takes a moment to pull back the hood, taking a drag from the cigarette. "It seems that the Eurusi aren't the issue here in the slightest, so that can be resolved easy enough with a little communication."

"Oh no, matters are of course for you and your vassals to arrange, Marquessa. And you are most kind, were I a false merchant I would be rushing to refund these refugees their silver and compensate the nobles for the disruption. Of course, were this a Faith matter and I were Carnifex, I would be most interested in knowing if this was an oral agreement or a written agreement - it is not appropriate to cut off the wrong appendage as punishment afterall." Preston muses, armoured arms folding as he looks on "My life is always so interest when we are close to Bellerieve...."

Cirosits there enjoying in his drink making quiet conversation with the table of refugees. Discussing things such as drink, the weather and of course offering well wishes for their futures. The Seraceni Lord having spoken his peace with the others and helped as he could and was allowed.

"Well, it's pretty clear now that they are not legitimate businessmen," Merek notes upon Teagan's words, then he nods to the Merchants. The man seems to think about it while he takes a moment to pull back the hood, taking a drag from the cigarette. "It seems that the Eurusi aren't the issue here in the slightest, so that can be resolved easy enough with a little communication."

"Oh no, matters are of course for you and your vassals to arrange, Marquessa. And you are most kind, were I a false merchant I would be rushing to refund these refugees their silver and compensate the nobles for the disruption. Of course, were this a Faith matter and I were Carnifex, I would be most interested in knowing if this was an oral agreement or a written agreement - it is not appropriate to cut off the wrong appendage as punishment afterall." Preston muses, armoured arms folding as he looks on "My life is always so interest when we are close to Bellerieve...."

Cirosits there enjoying in his drink making quiet conversation with the table of refugees. Discussing things such as drink, the weather and of course offering well wishes for their futures. The Seraceni Lord having spoken his peace with the others and helped as he could and was allowed.

<<Yes, we are from Suj'abbat,>> one of the Eurusi men at the table says to Apollo with a nod. <<We have been learning about how to be Oathlanders, though. We are honorable. We pay our debts. Sometimes we lie, but it is to make the truth more beautiful. It is a habit, but we apologize when we realize that we have done so. We wish to be Oathlanders. Oathlanders do not lie.>> He glances to his friends and they grin a bit. Another pipes up, <<We have tried to teach them Two Truths and a Lie, but they do not understand. But we do try. They were more willing to try to play before...>> A third finishes the thought: <<But now they just call us liars all the time.>>

The countess stands up when she hears what Teagan says, and she looks even more furious than before. "I thought you'd driven back Clan Blacktooth!" she says angrily to the baron. He looks defeated. "I thought I did," he admits. "Shady shavs!"

Sorbo, for his part, decides that a hasty retreat might be called for here, and attempts to leave, even if he does have to somehow go through Alantir to do it.

Legitimate or otherwise, this deal was far from fair. The Carnifex's sentiment regarding a "just" punishment for so heinous a crime was certainly warranted. These refugees were merely victims of ignorance and could not be held accountable for the malicious actions of a manipulative merchant class. And if this matter had not been resolved peacefully? Conflict -- perhaps on a regional scale. As Sorbo bolts, the knight stands firm. In a last-ditch effort to discourage the man from fleeing, he raises a gauntlet and asserts simply, "No."

"Well, it looks like we've resolved it, although there's another issue," Merek notes, then he takes a look between everyone, "Although, I think that we are successful in finding at least one of the issues." The man motions a little while he maneuvers along and tries to intercept directly.

Merek checks dexterity and athletics at normal. Merek is marginally successful.

Apollo smiles at the refugees he chats with, nods easily. Replies in Eurusi, <<You're doing a good job. Even Oathlanders try to make the truth more beautiful. Keep at it. It's a clever game.>> He glances at the nobility before adding, <<They are good people, and will try to protect you from those who would cheat you or hurt you. But sometimes they are lied to as well. You can help them see the lies.>> Hubbub behind him? He's... trying to keep an eye out for it, but projecting calm as best he can.

"Of course being guests under false pretenses frees me from obligations under Guest Rights towards the gentleman the knight is now tackling. And so, I feel, this has been a very useful lesson on the nuances of guest right." Preston peers over before he looks towards the nobles "Though, this still leaves the matter of the refugees and gainful employment. They seem to enjoy milling, so, might I suggest that whoever does own the mill is maid the same offer this scoundrel suggested to see if they are amiable? And I will ensure that orders of milled grain for the construction efforts come this way, in recompense for the delay?" Preston isn't going to roll around with people on the floor, though he does stay blocking the door and his hand rests on his sword's pommel.

The shady merchant goes down like a ton of bricks before he even gets to the knight, tackled by Merek. His friends look nervous about surrendering, but they're highly outnumbered here and can easily be arrested and brought to justice. Naturally, they have hardly any of the silver they took from the refugees, having frittered it away on fancy hats and ale. They're pretty unwilling to give up the rest of their clan, though, so any efforts to track down Clan Blacktooth will be another story on another day.

There are a number of shop owners and farmers who also want recompense for their losses, which are likely things that can easily be provided by someone with deep pockets, and the promise of building up the town with additional construction to handle its growth due to the influx of Eurusi is greatly appreciated. Silver goes a long way to make peace between the locals and the immigrants.

The County of Rayneway Hill will now provide troops to their liege as promised, and though Baron Vincent makes lame excuses about needing to hunt down and eradicate Clan Blacktooth, the Barony of Fosterhall will also meet their obligations.

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