DIPLO: Spies from Sungreet
(Third variant, more Grimhall focused)
Jan. 21, 2021, 7 p.m.
Hellfrog's Dynamic GMing Room <OOC Room>
Comments and Log
The journey to Redsea Hold was quiet, with no sign of trouble. The trip is simple messenger has been refused, and with war looming on the horizon. Everyone needs to know where they stand, as the ship is anchoring into the port. As the group docks at the port, everything is hushed. No bustling, no unloading of ships, no merchants, no stalls. The only sound is the waves lapping against the pier and the sound of music in the distance. In the center of the marketplace is a large wooden sign was planted in the middle of it with a piece of paper in its center.
Written in a careful hand in black lettering is the following."Count Piotr Redsea is calling for all those with thoughts on the future of our lands. Come at once, to the great hall. We will get this sorted out post-haste. All nobles are allowed to speak or those that have been pre-approved. The date and time 40 minutes ago, it seems the debate has started."
As Valdemar approaches the sign, he lifts his helmet off to get a better look at what is written on the piece of paper. "Wonderful. We'll be just in time to make a dramatic appearance," the Duke says in a wry tone, giving a slight shake of his head and then taking a step back so that the others present can read it for themselves. After a moment, he glances in the direction of the Count's residence and adds, "At least we know why the welcome wagon wasn't there to meet us when we came off the ship."
Vanora stands back just a bit but is close enough to hear her husband, "Well. Dramatic appearances can be useful. What do we intend to do with ours, exactly? I'm not sure who is debating."
"Great," says Eirene, a longtime friend to the house of Grimhall. She eyes the note about it having started and snorts in dry amusement to herself. "We going to kick in a door or enter quietly and wait for the right moment to call something out," she jokes, glancing at the others. "I'm no damn drama queen myself but who doesn't love a bit of political theatre to break up a meeting?"
Lucita disembarks the ship, an expression of unease on noting the lack of activity shows briefly before she smooths that into one that is serenely neutral. She looks over at her traveling companions while she glances over the notice. "Seems so. Not the best of times to appear but at least we were not delayed so long we missed it entirely. Guess we should hurry along though.
"It's better that way," Norah says to Valdemar. The marquessa is dressed in a high-necked brocade gown, dyed in Eswynd purple. "The element of surprise and the theatricality of it can be a -- yes, just that," she says to Eirene. "Use it to our advantage."
"Well," says Tatyana, gesturing at the deserted marketplace, "that's something. Either this is the oddest excuse ever given for preparing for a siege without actually acknowledging you expect to be invaded, or the locals are some of the most opinionated people in the Compact."
"When we get closer to the Count's home, we should be able to tell whether they are actually prepared for a siege," Valdemar remarks to his sister before putting his helm back on. He then looks around at the others and goes on, "Well, I'm guessing that if they are discussing which side to take, we will want to talk them into remaining with the Compact. Beyond that, I have no idea what else they could be trying to suss out. Unless someone else has information that I'm lacking?" As he speaks, he begins to walk slowly toward the Keep, keeping an eye out along the way for signs of anyone other than those traveling with him.
Valdemar checks perception and sailing at normal. Valdemar is marginally successful.
Eirene checks perception and sailing at normal. Eirene marginally fails.
Vanora checks perception and sailing at normal. Vanora marginally fails.
Tatyana checks perception and sailing at normal. Tatyana marginally fails.
Lucita checks perception and sailing at normal. Lucita is successful.
Norah checks perception and sailing at normal. Norah marginally fails.
Lucita squints a little and edges away from the group to get a bit of a better angle. "Hmmm. Those... over there. See that dock edging out beyond the manor? Never saw ships like those before! They look odd... And there are... enough bits of them showing to see three, I think, yes three of them.
Eirene arches her eyebrows as she glances at Lucita. "Spending time around Domonico again," she teases, invoking the Malvici's name. "Can't say I'm familiar with it, and I've seen all sorts of ships in Southport harbor. Should we take a look before we go interrupt the meeting, or figure we've missed enough of it already," she asks of the others, keening her head slightly.
Vanora muses and nods at Lucita, adding, "I suppose I am ready to go and join the fray...the debate...when the rest of you are. Though if you want to see the ships first, that's fine as well."
"Odd? What kind of odd?" Norah asks, squinting out at the docks. She clasps her hands in front of her, craning her neck a bit as if that would help her know more about boats.
"I don't claim to be any kind of expert," Tatyana says, peering at the distant ships, "on matters diplomatic /or/ naval, but I for one don't like the idea of walking into a strange household without knowing just who else has been invited."
The meeting inside is getting heated voices can be heard comign out of the home now, and the sound of a hand smacking against a table.
Valdemar is already looking in the direction Lucita points when she speaks up, nodding his head when she points out the number of ships. "Yes, I see them, Baroness, there are three. But I can't tell much about them, either. Would need a better look," he remarks in response to her. When Eirene asks whether they should take a look, the Duke goes on to nod his head at what Tatyana says and replies, "I think we should. Knowing whose ships they are could tell us more about what we're preparing to walk into."
Lucita waves one hand rather vaguely. "I don't know the right terms for things. The angles and the back part and the er...cabin? Is that what they call it? Estaban, my late husband, and Wash, and Domonico... have sailed with them all and faith. You eventually get used to seeing the different ships and hearing them spoken of enough to know those look different.
"It sounds like the meeting is getting rather heated. Should we not go on in and see what it's about? If we go looking at the ships first by the time we are finished our opportunity to participate may have passed." Vanora asks
Eirene snap-points to Vanora. "That's my vote, but this ain't my show," she says, deferring to Valdemar's decision. She checks her weapons settled at hips to make sure the diamond plate blade is at the ready should their entry be unwelcomed.
"Hmm. Who says he gets to be in charge? Other than the fact that he is the Duke, and the only male among us." Vanora quips back to Eirene, though her smile for Valdemar is sweet. "Whatever you think then, darling. But my suggestion is the meeting." She points a finger towards the house.
"We go in," Norah says firmly, positioning herself behind Valdemar and Eirene. They are much fightier than she.
"Well, whether we are deferring to the Duke or trying our hand at democracy, it seems we are decided." Tatyana says. Her voice is calm-approaching-imperious, but this attempted bravado is notably undermined by the way she scurries for the relative safety of her armoured brother's shadow, drawing her cloak tighter as if hoping to disappear inside it.
Raising a brow at Vanora, Valdemar then glances at the rest of the ladies. "Very well, in we go," he says, going along with the consensus and beginning to lead the way toward the argument that is apparently ongoing.
The doors to the hall are open, allowing people to come and go as they please. Guards are on either side of it, allowing you to enter. Inside of the large hall is packed with bodies lining the commoners' walls as they are watching. In the center is a place for speaking around it are tables facing the center of it. Right now, four people are standing there talking with their hands. Two women and two men as they are dressed in cheap clothing, skal'djain based on the accents, as they are arguing a point for his aid to their case.
Sitting in a large chair watching this with his hand is stroking his beard is Count Piotr Redsea, as his head nods at the wisdom. It seems most of the hall commoners and nobles are nodding with him, is the cause already lost before the Compact can even try to sway the man.
Lucita defers to the others, trailing along with them, her steps crisp and gaze taking in her surroundings. There is a warm, charming smile on her lips as she tips her head while she listens hard and studies those with the accents and then the Count. "Not over yet. At least we have to try."
Eirene strides in confidently and settles with her arms folded over her chest, above the turqoise of her steelsilk bodice. She lets the more seasoned talkers speak first. She's just there to provide backup if needed and look mildly imposing. But for the moment, she wants to hear what's being said and what promises are being made.
The Duchess of Grihem's Point enters this count's hall as any Duchess might, with an air of aristocracy and authority, even if hers is an indirect one here. Gentle fingers are placed on her husband's arm that they might make a show of him leading her in, and of impressing upon this Count and his people the presence of House Grimhall. She's dressed in onyx and mirrorsilver, though the dark fabric is embroidered with designs of the sea. Silver crosses across the bodice and upon her jewelry offer the symbol of her House, should it not be obvious.
Trying to lend to the drama of their fashionably late entrance, Norah strides in with the rest of the entourage, looking every inch a proper Isles lady.
At the arrival of the Compact everything is queit, as they turn to look now as the floor is waits for them. The lead woman steps forward now with a bow towards the group."Hello, we are about to sign our pact. Thank you for coming to watch, it will be pleasure to have such noble eyes watch the ink." Her voice is a hiss, as she is pushes back her black hair from her face, watching them with cold green eyes."Now than. Count Piotr Redsea, we have your promise. We will help you find those in arx, that slayed your kin and help you punish them. All we need is your aid in this upcoming war." The Count nods slowly, as he rises to his feet, looking for his royal scribe not seeing him quiet yet.
Tatyana flinches subtly, at the foreigner's words, but does her best to silently position herself beside her brother as if this is just one more tiresome social engagement.
Valdemar waits for the Eurusi to finish making their point before removing his helm. Looking at the woman who addresses them, the Duke laughs aloud, "That will be difficult given you are a foreign invader with no authority at all on this side of the ocean, soon to turn back east with your tail between your legs," he tells her before turning his attention more fully to Piotr. After a moment to let those words sink in, he goes on, "Count Redsea, please tell me you've not bought what these charlatans are selling? What is this about your kin being slain? You know me, and more than that you know my /family/. If you'd come to us, House Grimhall would have gotten you justice, and we still can."
Lucita's gaze sharpens and she looks toward the woman. "Without even granting the right to speak? This is typical of your ways? One sided?" She looks toward the Count. "Your mind is so firmly ... made up you will not follow your own words printed on your poster at the market... that all nobles might speak?"
Valdemar checks command and diplomacy at normal. Botch! Valdemar is simply outclassed. This is monumentally beyond them and the result is ruinous.
Lucita checks charm and diplomacy at normal. Lucita is successful.
Count Piotr Redsea turns now on his heel his eyes narrowed at Valdemar, as his finger is points forward towards."Scholar Jonathan Grimkin, is the name and it was a year ago. He was a traditionalist, and he was murdered for in Arx. Right under your nose, oh I have writen so many times about this, did it get miss placed!" The voice is a howl of rage, his eyes narrowed right at Valdemar, as he steps forward now as coming down to the center of the room. His eyes flaring out with pure rage.
The crowd nods slowly at Lucita's words as she is speaking, a few calls of a let them speak. As they see the wisedom, but for now the count is lost in his blind rage, as he grunts throwing his hand down into a table splintering it in his rage, now the room is quiet."You are right, have your moment to speak, but I'm afraid my mind is now made up."
"Count Redsea," Norah says, her voice clear and firm, making direct eye contact. "Will you introduce us to your friends?" Her tone implies that she will not take kindly to an answer in the negative.
Eirene scowls at the Count's angry outburst at the news of a murdered kinsman. But she continues to hold her tongue. Her blue eyes shift to the foreigners and the armed men in the room, watching for possible threats to their little party.
Vanora checks perception and empathy at normal. Vanora is marginally successful.
Tatyana simply stares at the Count, her earlier fear having been driven off by her more natural state of cool disdain.
After listening to Lucita and Valdemar approach Count Piotr and using her impressive people skills to deduce that he seems a little bit angry, the Duchess glances to Valdemar as if confirming that she has leave to speak for Grimhall, but doesn't appear to be actually watching for him to nod in return. Just a gesture for the true traditionalists in the house. "Count Redsea. I am pleased to see you and your lands, though I wish it were under more pleasant circumstances. I am not sure if we've met before, but I am Vanora Grimhall, the Duchess-Consort. I do apologize if you have been seeking word from us about the murder of your kinsmen...I'm not sure if House Grimkin has been entirely forthcoming with their liege lords of late. If an error has been made I do hope you will give us the chance to correct it...and hear us out regarding aligning with the Compact in this upcoming conflict."
Vanora checks charm and diplomacy at hard. Vanora marginally fails.
Lucita checks charm and performance at hard. Botch! Lucita is simply outclassed. This is monumentally beyond them and the result is ruinous.
Valdemar nods slightly at Vanora when she looks to him, and listens to what she has to say. "It must have been misplaced, because I never received a letter from you, Count. Now if you'd care to draw blades over it, I will be happy to oblige you here and now, but Mourning Islanders fighting amongst one another is /exactly/ what these people want. And I am not the one responsible for the Scholar's death in any sense of the word, so your rage is misplaced," the Duke tells Piotr, pointing toward the foreigners. He then goes on, raising his voice for the rest of the room to hear, "Your mind is made up to go back on /all/ of our traditions then? Oaths of fealty mean nothing to you, then? Our Gods? Because these invaders you're pledging yourself to do not follow our gods. They keep none of our traditions. They will use you and your people, and then enslave you when you when they have gotten what they need from you. Is that how you wish history to remember you? As the one who got the people of Redsea clapped into chains by the Eurusi?"
Valdemar checks command and intimidation at hard. Valdemar marginally fails.
Lucita starts to sing the Song of the Sentinel, one which encourages people to seek the advice of the Sentinel, to seek his justice but sea voyages and the humidity are not the best on her instrument strings and she turns pale as when it really counts, her talents fail her.
The count looks over at Vanora with a nod of his head."Well, meet Duchess-Consort Grimhall. I wish it were under a better light, but you have failed my people. That is all that matters to me." His voice is cold. The rage is still simmering but coming down from a boil to a light touch as his hand strokes along that beard, pulling it roughly.
As Valdemar threats land on his ears, a cold look of displeasure as he moves forward now to snatch a quill dipping it in ink, as he walks towards the skal'djain as his hand is grabbing the paper out of their hands with a soft sigh."I see, they are right about each of you. I was hoping it was not the truth, but here I tell you of one of mine's death, and you ask for blades to be drawn. I see exactly where I stand. Do you have anything helpful to say before I sign this?"
Eirene quietly says, "What do they promise you, Count? What can they do to avenge a death in a city they can't hope to access. Especially on the eve of war." She arches her eyebrows as she looks to the four. "What's the terms they've requested?"
Eirene checks charm and diplomacy at normal. Eirene is marginally successful.
Vanora checks perception and empathy at normal. Vanora marginally fails.
The count turns slowly his hand is twisting that quill between his fingers. As he speaks slowly, as his eyes arewatching Eirene."They have promised to honor my people, to help us find this killer after the war. To allow, us to be free of the liars, and the cheats that have controled us. To truly be lords above us, caring for each of us. They promised us to expend our lands, and vengence on the city that failed me."
Norah checks command and diplomacy at normal. Norah is successful.
"You say this man was a 'traditionalist?'" Tatyana Grimhall suddenly cuts in. "I hope for Master Grimkin's sake you are mistaken as to his feelings, sir." Her voice remains calm, just, but her eyes betray a genuine anger. "I'll challenge you to find a woman in all the Isles, hell, in all the Compact, more loyal to 'tradition' than myself and I cannot think of a worse dishonour than what you describe. To die, to be /murdered/, in service to those traditions only to have my memory stained with treachery done in my name." She pauses, trying to collect herself and mostly succeeding, "My Lord, I give you my word as a Grimhall, justice will be done. If what you say is true, I will not rest until the culprit is given a criminal's death. Please, do not do this, do not trade any hope for justice for a slim chance at vengeance delivered to you by foreigners who know /nothing/ of the traditions we both wish to protect."
Tatyana checks charm and diplomacy at normal. Tatyana is marginally successful.
The pen is held as he drops it slwoly down on to the table, as he thinks for a moment his eyes are closing now. As he breaths in and out, lost at the moment, his hand is reaching up to stroke his nose with the right and the left working his beard slowly."If what you say is a promise, maybe there is a better way than this." His hand is holding the paper in his right.
"Of course what Lady Tatyana says is true. Her word is impeccable. She is also a devoted Disciple of the Sentinel, as well as a member of the court. Justice is everything to her, as it seems to be to you. A shared value of the Sentinel's teachings no...because you are a traditionalist house indeed yourself and thus honor the Pantheon with such passion." Vanora speaks to lend weight to Tatyana's claims, and to remind the Count and anyone else listening that breaking with the Compact is breaking with the gods as well. "You have my own word as a Grimhall that we will honor your people as well, and if you believe we have failed you in that task it /will/ be corrected, you have our assurance. Where is it you would expand your lands?"
Vanora checks charm and propaganda at normal. Vanora is marginally successful.
Valdemar falls quiet and simply observes.
Eirene is watching the foreigners carefully. Her hard eyes stay focused on them as the others try to turn things around.
"My Lord, have faith in the Compact," Norah says to the count. "I know sometimes, it isn't an easy thing to do. People are people, but the Compact is your people. We can be held accountable. What would you do if these Eurusi double-crossed you? What would be your recourse?"
Lucita slowly recovers from her failed song and spends time listening to the others. Finally she says. 'Was an investigation done to know 'who' killed him? I do not know the circumstances of his death, a thug or drunken thief or someone.. or something trying to cause trouble. There are others who benefit from causing a rift within the Mourning Isles, others who seek to cause ... difficulties." Tactfully she does not name who nor even glance at the foreigners. "I would seek justice also, but try to do so while keeping my given word to my liege, my people."
Count Piotr Redsea looks between Venora and Tatyana and then at Norah. His hand is rubs along his beard now. As his fingers tear down the middle of the paperwork throwing it down as it floats there as his right boot lands on top of it, as he speaks now."Fine. I will give you time to look into this murder. They would leave me high and dry without my honor or my family. I was doing this out of rage, blinding myself. I wish to honor him with the honoring of his values. I will side with the compact. You will have me on your side when the battle comes."
As he spins on his heel glaring at the skal'djain, they look at each of the compact members as if to remember their faces for later. Before they are sulking out of the back of the manor, to board their ships, leaving behind their scorn and rage, but will that come to play another day.
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