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Assembly of Peers: January 1016 AR

The Assembly of Peers meets so that any petitioner can bring up business before the Voices of the Realm, the leaders of the Compact so that the full Assembly can hear of pressing matters. Whether it's elevations, crises, or ornery kooks that are desperate to be heard and are dragged out by the Iron Guard, the Assembly is where the Compact theoretically gets things done.

Date

Aug. 27, 2021, 4 p.m.

Hosted By

Gwenna

Participants

Cristoph Eleanor Denica Ian Audgrim Sen'azala Calista Raven Katarina Cassandra Savio Rosalind Zakhar Mabelle Martino Tesha Petra Bianca Zoey Haakon Apollo Cahal Giada Graziella Jasher Amari Ryhalt Lucita Aella Lou Eirene Aindre Symonesse Mathis Jaenelle Merek Liara Ophne Patrizio Victus Smile Mia Athaur Raymesin Aureth Alarissa Romulius Preston Evelynn

Organizations

Location

Arx - Ward of the Compact - Assembly of Peers

Largesse Level

Grand

Comments and Log


Lou has left the Voices of the Realm.

The Assembly of Peers is given an overall sweep of his eyes and after checking to make sure that his weapon is kept appropriately peacebonded, Cristoph strides toward the benches that contain the Voices of the Realm. He takes up the seat designed for the representation of House Valardin and folds his hands in front of him as they wait for the proceedings to begin.

Jasher has joined the Thrax Benches.

Tarik has left the Redrain Benches.

Eleanor appears from somewhere within the depths of the vast chamber and weaves through the crowd toward the large center table, where she takes a seat without much of a fuss. More focused on scanning the crowd than on anything that may be happening between the High Lords of the realm, she catches Kathivor's entrance and her brow knits together with a little frown of pensive concern.

Arriving with a focused look, a portfolio tucked under one arm and a Malvici on the other. Denica takes in a quick breath as she sees how many people are gathered in the room. Expected. A quick whisper to Martino, before she parts ways and makes her journey over to the Thrax benches. The warmth of her coat is shrugged off before she sits down and pulls out a little piece of broken charcoal from a pocket and flips open her book. A glance is given around the room, meeting familiar faces with a friendly smile, though most are lost in the crowd. Denica seems keen to sit down somewhere quiet as she focuses her attention to the matter at hand.

Ian arrives into the Assembly of Peers on the arm of a stout servant in Kennex livery, and he arrives pretty early so as to avoid holding up foot traffic due to his slow-ass self. Between leaning on the arm of the servant and leaning on his cane, it's doubtful that his legs are bearing much of his weight. The servant settles him onto a bench and then withdraws, leaving Ian to sit with the stiff posture of someone with a bandaged midsection and probably broken ribs. His face is more haggard than usual, a little more pale, with pain carved deeply into its already craggy lines. But he's here, the human embodiment of stubbornness beyond all reason.

Audgrim stalks inside and makes no noise of himself, he just goes to sit down at the commoner benches. Though there's still some looks his way that gives him a pause as he sits, staring around with some surprise.

Nirai slips in along with the press of commoners that are arriving (to gawk, presumably), and continues along toward the appropriate benches. She brushes the snow from her shoulders only once she's sat down.

Merek arrives, following Bianca.

Calista steps into the Assembly of Peers just as things are about to start. The Duchess of Roses is resplendent in her gown of damask roses, naturally. She offers a surreptitious grin to someone in the crowd before slinking into a seat designated for the Lyceum.

Raven's eyebrows shoot up and her mouth forms a small 'o' of surprise when she spots Ian. And then a firm frown of brooding worry.

Katarina enters unveiled -- the Assembly of Peers being the biggest stage yet to show off that she's quietly made the decision to stop covering her face with the traditional Suj'abbati garments. (That is, if anyone can see the diminutive woman in the crowds of much taller peers.) Aside from the occasional hello and polite curtsy to friends and close connections and the like, Katarina heads straight to the Valardin benches without fanfare or incident.

Cassandra enters /briskly/, having left her templar retinue outside the assembly proper. Brisk. She's not running late. That she shows just the barest sign of relief once she's reached the godsworn benches is unrelated.

Savio is parked at the Setarcan benches with an arm companionably around Raven's shoulders, because neither of them is able to handle winter. Ian's arrival is observed with concern, but in such a group, no comments made.

Rosalind quietly murmurs something to those at the Redrain benches, fidgeting a bit with the gown.

The old man shuffles in with the crowd, pausing for a moment at the door allowing the guards to verify that everything upon him fits for the manner of the meeting and safety to others. He then heads towards the Commoner benches with nearly grim look to those gathering.

Mabelle inclines her head from afar toward her Duke, Cristoph, while settled in the Valardin benches alongside Petra, in muted conversation before proceedings begin.

Stepping in smoothly with Denica, the scent of his seabreeze perfume along with Lenosian Iris and Torean roses escaping, the Lord Martino Malvici is laughing with a low laugh to the Thraxian Princess' ear before peeling away. Making his way to the Lycene benches, his chin dipping to the gathered Lycenes before sweeping hands beneath his coat to sit comfortable.

Tesha arrives alongside her guard Cora who has helped the Telmar Lady to the end of the Valardin benches where no one will have to scoot by her for a seat. Her pale face is looking determined though as she gives a nod to the redheaded Knight and a smile to her before the woman leaves her there. She's healed well enough to attend and she wanted to hear what was going to be said here today.

Petra watches as people trickle into the Assembly from her spot at the Valardin benches. Fingers fold elegantly in her lap as she waits patiently.

Bianca arrives with Merek but bids farewell to the knight quietly to join the Godsworn benches, the otherworldly Legate of Creation making her way slowly, purposefully through the throng, catching eyes here and there for looks of Meaning.

When Zoey arrives at the assembly less early than she had meant to, she quickly makes her way to the Thrax benches. She quickly curtseys for the princes and princesses who preceded her before taking a seat beside her husband.

Haakon had arrived quietly some time past, claiming a place toward the rear of the Thraxian benches, saying little upon arrival, and saying less ever since. His face is schooled into an expression of something like disinterest. Or perhaps it's wariness. Might be joy, for all anyone can tell.

Apollo arrived quietly and slipped toward the Lyceum benches with only a few murmurs of greeting and a handful of waves across the assembly.

Bianca has joined the Godsworn Benches.

Standing from her seat at the center of the front table, Gwenna manages a brief, warm smile and raises her voice to address the assembly. "When we last met, an orchestrated attack on the Whisper House had just occurred. This time, we gather after the overwhelming events in Bastion. It seems we are often presented with these challenges, along with opportunities to come together not only to discuss them, but also to consider how the Compact might respond. This often leads us to rise, to build and to grow, so that we might all be stronger and prosper despite, or sometimes because of, these terrible provocations. What happened in Bastion goes beyond what many of us have ever seen or thought possible. Hopefully, together, we can try to consider any next steps to be taken." There's a small dip of her head as she turns her eyes to the benches occupied by members of The Faith. "I expect there will be much to speak on today, or that may be tabled until more is discovered, but first I ask you all to rise for the convocation of the Faith of the Pantheon, being given by Archlector Giada of the Thirteenth."

The chatter in the Assembly of Peers pauses as the door guard announces, "Highlord arriving!" Their fealty respectively rises while until they are seated.

5 King's Own Guardsmen arrives, following Symonesse.

Symonesse arrives, following Aindre.

Cahal arrived early and had already taken a seat amongst the Valardin peers before the assembly started. An occasional smile is shared but he doesn't move until the convocation calls for everyone to stand.


When the time arrives, Archlector Giada of the Dark Reflection rises from the benches of Godsworn and walks quietly to the centre of the chamber's floor, a whisper of aeterna on the stone. Fingers tie umbra ribbons behind her head to bind a stygian mirrormask into place, and it tosses crystaline reflections with every shift of her now hidden face.

Her hands drift up parallel to her waist, palms held upwards. Then, the Lycene commoner-accented voice lifts. While it carries easily through the peerage, there is a tenderness and intimacy in her voice that almost makes it seem hushed.

"Beautiful and cherished Gods of our Faith, we welcome you among us. In this place where the fate of Arvum is so often decided, we bow our hearts before you. Your people once again ask for your wisdom, your protection, your gracious favour; we are as children in the dark without the Light you give.

From Aion, we ask for Life. From Death and the First Choice, we ask for boldness to choose and the protection of our souls. From Gloria, we pray for resolve. From Jayus, inspiration; from Vellichor, wisdom; from Gild, preservation of civilization; from Limerance, the remembrence of Oaths. May the Sentinel bless us with eyes to see clearly, may Lagoma favour us with flexibility, may Petrichor protect our lands and their governance, may Mangata purify our hearts and minds. And from Tehom, we ask for Balance in all things.

Be with us, Gods of all our hopes. May your hands of blessings be generous over your Faithful that we may battle the Darkness in your names.

May the Faithful lift their voices in praise."



Whether the Princess Graziella Pravus meant to draw more eyes or less with her fashion choices, the black spidersilk veil complete with uniquely macabre lace in the form of tiny spider spinning webs only partially obscures her indentity. Anyone willing to give the darkly dressed Princess a second glance can quickly figure out who is under the veil because the lace is made to resemble wide open spiderwebs. She arrives, walking in on steelsilk boots made to look like squids, and quickly.. quietly.. takes a seat with her ward.

Graziella has joined the Setarcan Benches.

Symonesse has joined the Grayson Benches.

Aindre has joined the Grayson Benches.

Jasher strides into the Assembly with a purpose-driven gait, vibrant blue eyes observing the multitudes seated on the fealty benches. His gaze pauses on familiar faces, but short of a nod indicating brief acknowledgement of any who happen to make eye-contact with him, he continues to stride forth to join family and vassals in the appropriate section. An empty space is claimed; he has no time to notice who may be flanking his position. Strict attention is afforded to Princess Gwenna as she addresses all.

Amari sits near Mabelle but not close enough to crowd her or Petra. There's a murmured greeting to the pair, then an idle sounding inquiry: "No Baron Beesbury today?" She'll doublecheck by leaning forward a little and peering further down the bench. A more thorough search will have to wait, as Gwenna is then standing and addressing the assembly. She turns to watch and listen, and stays intently focused through Giada's opening prayer as well.

Ryhalt having arrived in the mass of people attending and taken a seat in the Valardin area, he rises for the convocation of the Faith. After joining his voice in praise he resumes his seat.

A shrug is offered to Amari's questions, but she remains silent. As prayers are offered, she stands respectfully, closing her eyes and opening her heart. It isn't until the prayer is finished that she moves, settling back into her seat.

Bianca is overheard praising Giada: Well spoken, of course.

Lucita respectfully rises for the convocation then retakes her seat, to speak a few near inaudible words to those with whom she sits.

A somber expression is on Aella's face as she rises for the convocation, settling her gaze on Giada as she begins to speak, then bowing her head. At the end, she joins her voice to the rest before sitting back down.

Lou seems relieved when she sees Liara walking in. She quickly makes her way back to the Grayson benches, but then the convocation is called. She remains standing while it gets underway, and then quietly slips into the benches. That she's managed to go out into the public at all, after Bastion, is a blessing.

Lou has joined the Grayson Benches.

Bianca's silvery eyes close at the Convocation, her commune with the Gods a silent one as Giada gives her stirring sermon. When they open once more, they are alight with approval for the Archlector.

Eirene grunts a little as she stands for the invocation. Aching bones in the cold weather. Her gloved hands clasp over her waist as the words are spoken. Once done, she resumes her seat with the others, murmuring a few words. She grins at Lou now that the princess is free from the Highlords table.

Ian doesn't even make an attempt to stand for the convocation. It's questionable whether he could if he wanted to. He looks pretty serious through all of it, though.

Among all the faces arriving and arrived at the Assembly of Peers, Prince Aindre is there too having slipped in nearing the beginning of it all as much as anyone can slip anywhere with Queen Symonesse at their side. He's unassuming in his entrance, finding a spot at the Grayson seating but offering the first of choices to the Nox'alfar on his arm. There are a few smiles and nods for the people who are already occupying the area, cousins and friends.

Mathis has joined the Godsworn Benches.

Raven rises and bows her head though she remains huddled with Savio-shivering miserably and clutching her rum tightly.

Tesha rises a bit wobbly when the convocation is called, but she stands for it, head bowed and eyes closed for the time being. When it's done, she retakes her seat with a murmur to the others sitting at the benches.

Rosalind rises when the convocation is said. Her head is bowed and she remains silent. When all is said and done, Rosa goes to sit. Going on to listen to Gwenna.

Gwenna once again dips her head briefly before raising her gaze to the assembly and speaking. "Thank you so kindly, Archlector Giada, for your inspiring words. Let us all take our seats and begin. As seems tradition, I would like to ask those representing each of the Great Houses to speak on whatever matters you would like the Crown and Compact to be made aware of. Your achievements, your challenges, your concerns, and whatever else you wish to share with this assembly. After that, we will open up the floor to the peerage." That said, she retakes her own seat and glances to her left and right. "Let us begin with House Velenosa, followed by House Valardin, and then House Thrax. House Redrain currently has no specific business. After that will be House Pravus, and finally House Grayson." Some might notice that the list of houses has been done in reverse alphabetical order, which probably isn't surprising coming from this particular Redrain.

Queen Symonesse arrives, looking resplendant if a little care-worn, her smile bright but briefer than normal as she moves into the Grayson seating area. While the prayer is said, she bows her head a little bit and the expression on her face is one of heart-felt earnestness as she mouths a few words of her own in addition to those said by the godsworn. She glances, briefly, toward the commoner benches, gives a little wave in that direction, and then settles into a seat, seeming grateful to be sitting down.

Giada puts an artful and unnaturally reflective stygian mirrormask in a cambric cloth pouch with filigree embroidery.

Mathis has been here the entire time and rises in turn with his head politely bowed and hands clasped before himself as the Archlector of the Thirteenth speaks for the Faith. As unassuming as he is, he's probably hard to miss as the only new face among the ranks of the Godsworn, but he remains silent and focused and simply settles back down among his fellow devotees to listen, trying not to eye-bug or head-swivel too much at all the royalty present.

Jaenelle remains standing after the prayer as she is first. Without hosting duties, she is not overly wordy today it seems. "Since the last assembly where I spoke of the ongoing project the Lyceum has undertaken, House Velenosa has gained the needed resources to update Lenosia's defenses. That is underway, with Velenosa's vassals to follow. I would also like to formally let House Grayson know that the Lyceum is behind you in whatever must be done to make sure that your lands are reclaimed and your people recover. House Velenosa offers one million silver to aide in the rebuilding of Bastion."

Merek walks along into the place following Bianca, and as she will move to the Godsworn benches, the man walks along and to the commoner benches.

Merek has joined the Commoner Benches.

Cassandra has left the Godsworn Benches.

Seated nearby enough, her left arm drawn up in a sling, Liara offers a small inclination of her head towards Jaenelle at the offer, though she holds her silence for now.

"Thank you," Gwenna says to Jaenelle and then turns to Liara while the others prepare anything they might have. "I had said that House Redrain had no specific business, but we would like to match the offer made by House Velenosa and pledge a million silver to assist in the rebuilding."

Again, Liara inclines her head, this time in acknowledgement of Gwenna's offer. It's the sort of thing that might usually come with some 'thank yous', but the Assembly isn't really a back-and-forth sort of affair.

Raven frowns gently as she listens. The level of skepticism stamped across the face suggests she's dubious about the task or the incentive.

After Jaenelle has taken her seat, and Gwenna has also spoken, Cristoph stands and folds his hands in front of him before addressing the assembly. "House Valardin would like to recognize Baroness Amari Redire in her successful campaign to carve out civilized land from the wilds of the Shadowood." In the direction of the Valardin benches, he inclines his head once toward the newest head of household in the Oathlands. Then he refocuses on the rest of the room once again before turning to address Liara directly, "House Valardin would also like to announce our intention to assist House Grayson with whatever aid they may need in the reclamation of Bastion. Be that silver or otherwise. The knights of the Oathlands stand ready to assist the Compact in fighting against any invaders that threaten and harm our people. Steel bends, honor holds."

Bhandn has joined the Commoner Benches.

Athaur has joined the Valardin Benches.

Gwenna dips her head kindly. "Thank you, Duke Cristoph, and congratulations to Baroness Amari Redire." There is a warm smile sent the way of the Baroness at that. "Prince Patrizio, please feel to share anything from House Pravus. Then we will hear from His Grace, Prince Victus, and following him, Dame Eleanor has some words as well."

No further prizes are forthcoming for guessing how Liara replies: she offers a small bow of her head to Cristoph, even a brief smile when the Valardin words are said.

Ophne casts a solemn look across the assembly from her place in the Redrain benches. A quiet smile forms when Amari is lauded; she looks in the woman's direction for a moment, acknowledging her.

A breath, a nod to Gwenna when his name is spoken, and Patrizio's taking to his feet, with a look to the other illustrious ones who are at the table he's taken a spot at for the day. "House Pravus, like the other houses, sincerely mourns the loss suffered by House Grayson in Bastion since the last assembly where we all gathered," he says, in a serious tone, as the jade eyes briefly flick to Liara, and then over those assembled. "An attack on one of us is an attack on us all, and we stand shoulder to shoulder with our Compact to do what we must to protect what is ours. Our people think of what was done in the name of the defence at Pieros, and we Sins stand ready to assist in any way we can in return."

Gwenna wrinkles her nose. "My apologies. House Grayson after House Thrax, and then Dame Eleanor. And thank you, Prince Patrizio. An attack on one of us is, indeed, an attack on all of us."

Amari doesn't stand, but does lift a hand as if to confirm that she's the new baroness in question. Guilty. There's a respectful bow of her head to both Duke Cristoph and Princess Gwenna in turn, and a smile for both. Otherwise, she's not going to make a spectacle of herself.

Prince Victus makes to stand next, assuming his usual squared and stoic posture. "House Thrax offers its condolences for the losses suffered by House Grayson, and would offer our assistance in kind. Any enemy who seeks to challenge the Compact's sovereignty should be put to the sword. Thrax's warriors stand ready, willing and able to do so." Having said his piece, blunt and concisely, he settles back into his seat.

Liara Grayson rises quietly when called, her left arm drawn up into a sling. First, two simple words are offered to the others at the central table, along with that same small inclination of her head to each of Patrizio and Victus after they speak, "Thank you."

She takes a moment, gaze roaming across the assembly. Then, her words clear and crisp, she starts, "At our last assembly, I referred to a period of peace and prosperity. Now, that has been wrest away from us by a monstrous foe. Bastion's walls, which had stood strong for many long years, were shattered in moments. Our enemy is entirely without honour, and killed unarmed people, of any age, as readily as it did soldiers. It is only for the valiance of the city's defenders that anyone who was there yet lives."

An instant's pause follows, and there's a shift to a slightly more positive tone. "I thank all who have offered their aid with the reclamation and indeed restoration of Bastion, whether here at the Assembly or by correspondence. Once the strength and disposition of our enemy's forces is ascertained, I shall determine whether House Grayson will need to call its banners once more or indeed seek aid from beyond the Crownlands. I do not do so at this particular moment, lest we bring too much strength to bear and find ourselves lacking elsewhere."

There's another brief break in her speech, then she continues, "Our enemy desires nothing less than the utter obliteration of the Compact. We must and we will do everything that is in our power to thwart our enemy. We will not treat with our enemy. We will not yield. We endure."

She takes another brief look about the assembly and repeats with some fervour, "We endure!" Then, quiet, she makes to resume her chair.

Audgrim gets Fernerra - a digestif from Saikland Greens from ranger's winter backpack with bedroll.

Mirk has left the Redrain Benches.

Rurik, a prodigal assistant have been dismissed.

Giada shifts slightly to murmur something to Preston.


Graziella watches from behind her gauzy black (but very transparent) veil, limited commentary from her, as she keeps her hands folded demurely in her lap and her haunted gaze turned toward the speakers of the realm.

Raven watches Patrizio gravely, verdant gaze intent as she listens to his words VERY carefully then sweeps her gaze across the assembly to guage the reactions both to the incentives and the declaration Patrizio's made.

Katarina, seated in the Valardin benches in a place of high visibility, cranes her look around after Liara finishes speaking. She starts applauding at a modest clip, hoping that she can gather some momentum from those around her.

Gwenna inclines her her head to Victus. "Thank you, Your Grace." Liara's words draw the hints of a smile, one more rooted in pride than any measure of joy. "Such words are an inspiration and reminder, High Lord Liara. We endure. When House Grayson is ready, I have no doubt we will all be here to assist however you deem best. Dame Eleanor, you wished to speak as well, and the floor is yours."

Tarik has joined the Redrain Benches.

When Liara speaks, the hall quietens, intent to absorb her words on the attack. When she finishes, the response is firm among the peerage. "We endure." The loudest response from the Crownland benches.

Cahal echoes that "We endure."

Tarik has left the Redrain Benches.

Tarik has joined the Commoner Benches.

Nigel has joined the Grayson Benches.

Petra calls out from her own place in the Valardin benches, "We endure!"

Eirene echoes the cry with an added, "Damn straight we do," murmured more softly at the tail end. She looks resolved at Liara's words, and more than a little angry at the circumstances.

Giada's grin swiftly follows Eirene's reply.

It's the Crown's turn to speak, but Eleanor lingers in her seat for a moment before rising, allowing Liara's statement and the crowd's response the appropriate space it deserves. "The Crown would like to echo Her Grace's words; this enemy will not be content to stop at Bastion. We are unwilling to sacrifice even one city to this foe, so the Crown pledges three million silver to aid in the retaking and rebuilding of Bastion. Additionally, the Crown pledges to provide further resources toward any measures that can be taken to put a stop to this threat to the Compact as a whole."

Lou seems to be nodding along with Liara's speech, particularly at the end. She might be silently saying a few things to herself, as though to reassure herself they do indeed endure. However, it's Eleanor's comments that grab her attention and hold it for a moment. Contemplation rests within her gaze, and she sits up just a bit straighter.

Once again, Gwenna dips her head respectfully, this time to Eleanor. "I fear you are correct; this enemy has shown little regard for anything, much less what village or city might stand in the way. The Crown's support is one that we are all surely not grateful for, but can take some measure of comfort from. None of us will be without consideration, without assistance, or without each other." She quiets a moment to look across the benches of the fealties, her smile touching the corners of her mouth again. "Does anyone from the peerage have matters to bring forth today? If so, we will can begin with those now."

Aella has joined the line.

Oura, a white-tailed eagle, Valor, a juvenile male Oakhaven Bloodhound, 2 Greenwood Tribe Blood Warriors arrive, following Thesarin.

Ivy has joined the Valardin Benches.

Thesarin has joined the Grayson Benches.

Noticing movement at the Redrain benches, Gwenna nods in that direction. "Countess Aella Ravenseye, please feel free to speak to this Assembly," she says kindly.

Turn in line: Aella

Mia has joined the Grayson Benches.

When called upon, Aella stands and arranges herself with her cloak pushed back from her shoulders - a cascade of gleaming raven feathers falling to skim the floor. Her posture is that of a woman with a steel spine, confident and imposing with her height. "First, I wish to express my condolences to the Graysons and people of the Crownlands. House Ravenseye pledges our shipbuilders to the cause of repairing or replacing any of your fleet that was damaged or lost in the attack." Clearing her throat gently, she speaks again, "The other reason I come before the Assembly is to request the elevation of Stormheart from county to march."

She pauses, hands clasping neatly in front of her. "Over the past decade, under my leadership, House Ravenseye and the people of Stormheart have been working hard for the Compact. Our military has bolstered forces in Setarco, Sungreet, Pieros. Our expertise in sailing and shipbuilding has expanded opportunities for the northlands, as well as being of service to House Grayson before Sungreet and serving as a subject of study for House Velenosa. My sister and I have personally gone to the frontlines to defend what we believe in and hold dear. And we were both in Bastion, able to help save lives amid the chaos and destruction." Her eyes cast about the hall before settling back upon the Voices. "I recognize that there may be some disapproval of my request, though I come with the blessing of my liege - House Blackwood - and theirs - House Crovane, with promise of being released from oaths and taking oaths, respectively. My house has begun the early stages of a project to provide space and resources to the Faith - notably disciples of Mangata with Archlector Felix, and with intention to include the Knights of Solace, Mercies, Liberators, and Templars." Here, she glances toward the Godsworn benches before continuing. "And any others who wish to have a stronger presence along the Storm Coast." With that, the countess falls silent.

Patrizio turns his attention forward once more, when there's the mention of the matters to be brought forth by the peerage, as if to consider what might be brought up.

Given the fact that she is very decidedly *late* and appears to be more than a bit irritated by that simple fact, Mia slips into the Assembly room as quietly as she can. With a quick sketch of a bow in the general direction of the high table, she moves over the the Grayson benches and assumes a seat.

Rosalind looks up at Aella and smiles briefly. Then she finds her gaze at those surrounding her. Rosa sits back. Quiet. For once. It's a strange thing, honest!

Rising from a seat among the Thraxian benches, there's a resounding. "ABSOLUTELY NOT." From a man most know as Marquis Windswipe with outrage among the Islanders nobles to echo his own. "You would deign to make such a request of the peerage after what your ilk have done??" There's another noble rising from the Valardin benches to look imploringly at the high lords, a lady of House Fournier. "I would ask you to please think twice about such a suggestion. We've empowered them for far too long. And if this continues. Sanctum will be next." Her eyes widen. "There were probably prodigal spies who aided the attackers near Bastion." Even among the Grayson benches, there are nods of agreement, a steady stream of rumblings. Multiple peers among the Lyceum benches stare at the countess, gritting their teeth as if it to say 'awwwkwaaaard'.

Raven quietly offers the bottle back to Savio, sharing her furr shawl with him as they both try to survive outside in winter. Her lips press a bit and she takes a moment to note exits and where people behind her are sitting.

Gwenna listens to Aella and nods her head here and there as she does so. "There is no question that House Ravenseye has been very active in all of her endeavors. Ones which House Redrain has, itself, benefitted from, as well as no few others in the Compact, as you have stated." Her gaze shifts to the Thraxian benches and her head tilts to listen to Marquis Windswipe. "My lords, my ladies, please hold a moment." The Redrain looks back to the Countess. "The climate for such an elevation is contentious, at best, and one I think some have advised you about. Did The Faith give their approval? I ask as it was not specifically noted."

Ian has been passing through this whole thing with a neutral, slightly pained expression, occasionally drinking from a flask, and Marquis Windswipe's outburst actually makes him jump a little bit. His expression isn't so much angry, offended, agreeing, or afraid. It's baffled, a sort of 'WTF' widening of the eyes. He says something under his breath that doesn't carry, which might be for the better.

Petra casts a glance to the people objecting to the request being made. She then looks to the Lady Fournier, her brows furrowing slightly. Yet, she remains silent.

Calista watches the events unfold from the Lyceum benches. She has been mostly quiet for the duration of the meeting. Her shadowed emerald eyes fall upon those of House Fournier for a moment before drifting towards other houses who have gathered. Her attention moves to the High Lords table and back to Aella who is awaiting a final word.

Perhaps tellingly, Giada just leans back in her seat to watch the gathered nobility spar.

Rosalind lifts large green eyes to whomever shouted from the Thraxian benches. It's clear there the disagreement written on her face, but she swallows and bites her lower lips.

Athaur lifts a brow from his relaxes space in the Valardin benches, his eyes glancing between each person that speaks after the Countess' request. He tilts his head to one side, the bells braided in his hair jingling with the movement.

Quite like Calista, Mabelle's eyes fall upon the Fournier woman. She seems a tad indignant, but probably not for the spoken up reason.



Graziella maintains her aloof presence on the Setarcan benches but there is a sharp uptick in one of her brows at the outburst. She blinks rapidly a few time and glances down to her hands folded in her lap as if not wanting to make any eye contact with someone having such an outburst.

Eirene mutters, "... didn't read the room, it ... Bad ... ... a house to ... to elevate. ... a prodigal house."

Merek speaks to the woman with him, an assistant, who then takes the time to bring a message to Jaenelle quietly amidst it all.

Ophne has left the Redrain Benches.

Tesha gives a look to those that have forgone formalities and decided to have bad manners in front of everyone at the assembly. Well, this wasn't going to end well at all.

Lou seems to crane her neck a bit to get a look at the nobles who are grumbling, glancing from one to the other. Being the explorer that she is, she's probably not met either of them.

Having been in much the same position only a month before, Apollo watches the Stormheart countess with a look that might be sympathy, or study, or hope, wondering at her answer, or the manner in which it will come.

Aella's jaw tenses, lips pressed together as she listens to Marquis Windswipe and Lady Fournier. Her attention shifts back to Gwenna. "The Faith is aware of my request. When submitted some two years ago, I was informed the climate was contentious then. That it could cause the traditionalist houses to engage in civil war." Her eyes flick to Windswipe. "After that information from Legate Ailith, I withheld the issue from the peerage to see if things would improve. However, in that time? Traditionalists have attacked this fine city and assassinated our Dominus. They have joined the Skal'dajans at Pieros. Things which House Ravenseye has defended against. 'My ilk' are the people of Stormheart, of the Northlands, and of the Compact. And we have had no part in treachery against Bastion or anywhere else." With a slow breath, she offers, "If you are asking for me to have a letter from Dominus Aureth Grayhope? I don't have one. I have the support of others within the Faith."

Giada's eyebrow arches slightly.

Bianca blinks in tandem with Giada's eyebrows.

Eirene lets out a low whistle at Aella's retort.

"Indeed? Then every single person in Ravenseye who can hold a weapon should be charging in to Bastion right now to help take it back. EVERY." The Marquis insists, shaking his head. "If you cannot offer that, your words are wind."

Lucita's gaze moves back and forth between the speakers. Prudently she says nothing, just observes, listens.


Graziella smirks from behind her veil but she hasn't changed the angle of her head, or moved much at all, as she maintains the curious study of the floor and her folded hands.

The nobles in the Grayson benches nod vehemently at this, an approving look cast toward the Marquis.

"Done. Will you join us, Marquis Windswipe?" Aella looks at the man firmly.

Petra glances to Athaur, brows arching, then to Aella. It is clear the woman is biting her lip.

Raven's eye ticks and her jaw sets. Her green eyes bore into the borish Marquis as if she were trying to will his head to pop like a zit even as he stand there converting perfectly good air into utterly offensive noise.

Raymesin's black-gloved hand lifts to his face and slowly drags downwards.

Calista sits back in her seat. Though her attention appears on the scene taking place, she speaks quietly with someone beside her. All the while, idly twirling a particular ring on her finger.

"The Faith being aware of your request," Gwenna notes after some discussion at the table and listening to the room. "Does not constitute approval. Until which time you have you have the explicit approval of the Faith, this question must be tabled until it is received."

For her part, the First Reflection of the Mirrormasks has a ghost of a smile in her olive green eyes.

Preston has joined the line.

Mathis folds his arms, glancing around at the others assembled at the Godsworn bench. He speaks quietly to the other Godsworn and then stands to address Aella. "The Archlector of Petrichor will be happy to meet with you personally and continue the discussion." Then he sits back down promptly.

A short burst of laughter comes from the Commoner's bench as Zakhar quickly muffles his face in a wool scarf

Athaur exchanges a glance with Petra. Unlike his aunt he appears to be somewhere between amused and curious.

Giada nods at Mathis' offer.

"I have never been a traitor to the Compact." The Marquis says firmly, a defiant tilt of his head before he sits back down. "Unlike you and your kin." Then he's settled back into silence, mollified by Gwenna's words.

Binky, an asshole crow, Greguin, an organized priest, 7 Templar Knight guards arrive, following Aureth.

"Ravenseye has been fighting along side those within the compact for a long time, as well as HELPING those in the Bastion,"Rosalind blurts over to the Marquis. "Were you there??"

Bahiya has joined the Redrain Benches.

"The timing of this matter is very questionable." Victus' face is not often in a state beyond 'not amused' when in the presence of so much nobility, but somehow it seems even darker in that moment. "With casualities against the Skal'daja and the occupation of Bastion, now is far from the time we should be upsetting the traditional order of the peerage." Looking toward the other Highlords then, he speaks loud enough for his words to carry onward. "House Thrax formally objects to an elevation."

There is a brief flurry of noise at the back of the Assembly as a white-clad man with long hair arrives, listening to a flurry of hubbub from a pair of messengers with a baffled look on his face. Aureth finally just waves off the person he is abstractedly listening to with one hand. "Never mind, I'm sure someone will catch me up," he says.

When Aella states that she doesn't have the explicit approval of the Faith and cannot name a single person from the Faith that does support it, Cristoph shakes his head with an astonished expression written across his face. "House Valardin could not possibly agree to any elevation that does not involve the official approval of the Faith itself rather than nameless supports. We are very disappointed that the Assembly's time has been wasted in such a way when there are important matters at hand."

Aureth has joined the Godsworn Benches.

Theres a look of tacit approval on Alarissa's face at the words of her husband's decline to elevate the house.

Rosalind's words on Bastion earn the quirk of a smile from Romulius Thrax, jaw setting a moment as though the prince intends to respond to her comment before responses from the Voices of the Realm sound out their opposition.

Isabeau has joined the Valardin Benches.

Raymesin's second black-gloved hand joins the first on his face, and both of them start drawing slowly downwards.

Gwenna raises a hand briefly toward the Marquis and then dips her head respectfully before speaking again. "We value the concerns put forth, as well as the many, Compact-assisting achievements House Ravenseye has given over these many years. No few of us fought beside House Pravus, all of us allies and none of us any more or less deserving for our contributions. Again, without the necessary approval of the Faith, this matter will be tabled until such time it is acquired. Did anyone else have matters to bring before the Voices of the Realm?"

Aella's stormy eyes just keep from rolling at the marquis before she looks from Gwenna to Mathis and back. She holds a hand out to Rosalind, calming and quieting. "It is, as it has been, then. I accept the decision of the Voices of the Realm and will continue to serve the people of Stormheart as their countess, and serve the Compact and the Faith as I have. Loyally and with honor." One last glance to the Thraxian benches has her shifting her attention to Liara. "Should the high lady wish it, every able bodied man and woman of Stormheart will come to bear upon Bastion to reclaim it for you. And they will come to any, /any/ house who calls for aid." She retreats to her seat.

Aureth pitches his voice to carry after a few murmured words with some of his priests at the Godsworn benches. He rises again, having only just sat down, so as to give his voice more power to carry. Politely, he says: "Please inform me the names of the priests who provided you with approval to ask for elevation at this Assembly."

Mabelle observes as the debate gets heated, looking back and forth between cries of reproach and opposition, but her Cousin's remark, both cousins, is met with a quiet, concuring nod.

Petra is overheard praising Aella.

Eleanor's turn. She looks utterly bland as she states, "The Crown cannot acknowledge the elevation of any House without the official, explicit approval of the Faith." That seems to be all she has to see on the matter, and oh look - Aureth can take over. Eleanor sits.

To Aureth, Aella replies, "Archlector Felix approved of my taking up the request again."

Raven grimaces at Aella's retort as if finding it deeply unfortunate, or perhaps anticipating the cost to the house such an endeavor will bring. She uncomfortably looks down at her sling."

"Did Blessed Felix instruct you to go against the directions of Legate Ailith and myself by bringing it to _this Assembly_?" Aureth inquires, his tone unwavering but his smile reflecting a faint thinning of his lips. "Today?"

Martino has left the Lyceum Benches.

Eleanor has left the Voices of the Realm.

6 King's Own Guardsmen have been dismissed.

Narses have been dismissed.

Aella's brow furrows. "Blessed Felix has never once spoken against Mother Ailith or you, Most Holy. He had said he felt our elevation was deserved and approved of it. I had exchangd letters with him this week, asking if he would be present today to support it." There is a small motion toward the Voices. "I have accepted the denial of my request."

"Very well. Thank you for your clarification." Aureth tips his hand in an airy wave and resumes his seat at the Godsworn benches. His eyebrows still retain some of that cinch of baffle as he leans in to answer something Preston has murmured to him. "If it please the Crown and Your Graces, the Faith has no interest in the beating of dead horses, please carry on with the business of the day."

Gwenna nods her head to Aella and Aureth. "Thank you both, quite kindly and sincerely." She then glances around the room to see if anyone else might be standing to be recognized. As there does not appear to be, she stands. "As it seems we have addressed all the business that was brought forth today, Gwenna says, her voice loud enough to carry once again. "I wish to thank all of the High Lords and Voices for their representation and words here today. As well, I would like to thank the peerage and all who attended. I can think to end this meeting on no better words than those spoken by High Lord Liara earlier: We endure."

3 Armed Confessors, 3 House Velenosa Guards, Thomas the Faithful, the Silver Honey Badger arrive, following Alistair.

Lyra has left the Grayson Benches.

Gwenna nods her head to Aella and Aureth. "Thank you both, quite kindly and sincerely." She then glances around the room to see if anyone else might be standing to be recognized. Seeing Preston, she makes a small motion with her hand. "Carnifex of the Faith, please, the floor is yours."

Turn in line: Preston

Giada whispers something quietly to Bianca before she falls silent to listen to Preston.

Preston slowly pushes himself to his feet, bowing his head across to Gwenna "My apologies, I am quite aware I have no great title of nobility. But on the matter of Bastion I think I have some standing to comment. I think it is important that all nobles here, whether they are Orthodox, Pragmatic, Liberal or other must remember that Bastion is not just a seat of temporal power, but is also the seat of the Seraph who holds great importance in the Faith. A mighty Cathedral sits in Bastion. And Templars died in the assault, alongside the troops of House Grayson and others." Preston pauses before he bows his head to Liara "Which is not to state that our grief is any greater. But as we understand these invaders to be heretics, their possession of such an important seat of the Faith is not just a threat to noble houses, but represents an intolerable insult to our collective faith. And not just a duty but an obligation on this body to see it returned to faithful rule. The Faith will assist if we are needed - but we do urge action, even as I recognise the wisdom in the Highlord's comments that we must manage threats everywhere and not simply have all our houses rush for glory at Bastion."

Rising slowly, looking just a little fatigued, Alessia makes her way to the exit of the Assembly, though forces a placid smile to familiar faces as she leaves.

Alessia has left the Lyceum Benches.

There is a touch of sadness that crosses Gwenna's features. "I was in the Cathedral that night with many brave, fearless fighters, the Templars no few among them. The Seraph's actions saved many lives that might otherwise have been lost."

Giada checks composure at hard. Giada is successful.

Aureth remarks, because now he's here and it's impossible to keep him quiet, "The relationship between a seraph and their long held post is unique within the Church, for our priests are our family, yet also yours. We mourn together. The Faith is prepared to donate funds as well as the military aid the Carnifex presents. As ever, it is our role to offer charity to those in need, from the least, to the greatest of all."

Though she doesn't seem to be in a speaking up sort of mood this instant, Liara nods lightly along with and then gives a duck of her chin in acknowledgement of the various speakers.

Preston dips his head to Gwenna in solemn acknowledgement of her words "A Templar's place is between the innocent and the sword, your highness. Gloria expects no less of us. But, the expectations and support of the Faith expressed, and seeing the High Lords have heard it, I certainly have no intent to delay the assembly from their suppers." Preston bows his head respectfully to Gwenna before he takes his seat.

Petra has left the Valardin Benches.

Gwenna, too, gives a dip of her head once Aureth speaks. Both the Dominus and the Carnifex are offered a warm smile before she checks to see if anyone else might be waiting. Like really, really checks this time. "As it appears we have addressed all the business that was brought forth today, I wish to thank all of the High Lords, Voices, Crown and Faith for their representation and words here today. As well, I would like to thank the peerage and all who attended. I can think to end on no better words than those spoken by High Lord Liara earlier. We endure." (again)

Tesha is overheard praising Gwenna.

Mabelle echoes from the Valardin benches, "We Endure!", and rises from her sit, inclining her head to Gwenna in gratitude.

Eleanor is overheard praising Gwenna.

Calista is overheard praising Gwenna.

Eirene is overheard praising Gwenna.

Bianca is overheard praising Gwenna: Excellent problem solving skills.

Griffin has left the Thrax Benches.

Tesha has left the Valardin Benches.

Victus is overheard praising Gwenna.

Katarina is overheard praising Gwenna.

Symonesse is overheard praising Gwenna.



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