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AoP: December 1016 AR Edition

Bring your concerns before the Assembly of Peers, and hear the latest news from each fealty!


Jan. 23, 2022, 3 p.m.

Hosted By



Grady Ryhalt Isolde Martino Lou Veronica Tesha Cassandra Sudara Thea Patrizio Mailys Sebastian Drake Terese Raven Eirene Duarte Preston Khanne Yvette Gwenna Giada Keely Tikva Natasha Victus Kael Oriana Smile Liara Felicia Berenice Benedetto Corban Sylvie Monique Jaenelle Romulius Aedric Baldessare Haakon Caspian Titus



Arx - Ward of the Compact - Assembly of Peers

Largesse Level


Comments and Log

Macario has joined the Lyceum Benches.

6 Ivory Shields arrives, following Sudara.

Grady is all playful smiles as he chatters with Keely right up until the crash elsewhere in the room heralds Victus's ignominious fall. His head snaps around towards it, eyes widening; the concern there is impossible to miss. He starts to stand up, but sits down again when Victus adopts an attitude of 'that never happened'. Concern or not, he'll play along.

Sudara has joined the Setarcan Benches.

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

Alis wastes no time in beginning the Assembly, standing up to try and call order to the

Liara has joined the Voices of the Realm.

Ryhalt has taken a seat in the Valardin section and taken to watching everyone as they arrive or chat while waiting for the event to start.

"If only he had brought the right tools to do so." Isolde muses as she glances down at the floor as they make their way to the benches, as though considering how their aide would manage it. She offers warm smiles to any who look her way, familiar or unfamiliar before sliding into the benches, to join the rest of her kin.

Lou has left the Voices of the Realm.

Crossing the Assembly of Peers, some recognition for the Malvici Duke given, Martino's chin is dipping in passing to those he knows and those he doesn't while making his route to the Lycene benches. With a faint inhale given, Martino's fingertips adjust his frockcoat worn to tighten it as the autumn air bites into him, lowering his rear onto one of the benches before easily dipping his chin to his fellow Lycene.

Aaaand, just as Lou gets settled at the table, Liara walks in. Lou perks up considerably and murmurs a few words before heading off to the Grayson benches.

Veronica leans in and whispers to Caspian and Terese. A blue eye gaze returned to watching all that have gathered, noting some she'd recognize and giving a friendly wave.

Tesha gives a look to those that are coming in towards the start of the assembly, her stormy gaze looking for familiar faces that she's not scene in awhile. She doesn't find any so she settles back into her seat as things seem to be starting.

It would be a mistake to assume that Mother Cassandra Laurent, Legate of Arts, looks anything less than stately and dignified from her place in the Godsworn benches. She sits in one of the prime seats, because her station demands an excellent view of the proceedings, and also the bench that doesn't creak a bit every time someone gets up or down or shifts their butt a bit. Cassandra is giving sensible nods toward her peers in the Faith, greeting them in silence as they pass by to find their own seats.

Lou has joined the Grayson Benches.

Alistair has joined the Lyceum Benches.

6 Ivory Shields have been dismissed.

Lore takes Liquor Bag from Large Oiled Leather Rucksack.

Alis wastes no time in beginning the Assembly, standing up to try and call order to the murmurings of the Assembly. "Quiet, please. We will begin shortly. Mother Cassandra, Carnifex, would one of you like to lead us in a Blessing to start things on the best possible note?" she requests, looking over at the Godsworn benches as she does so.

One of the more rarely-seen Pravus arrives - clad in her customary black, and bearing an air of embarrassment, the customarily reclusive Sudara makes her way rapidly from door to Setarcan seating, looking rather as if she might be hoping to pass unnoticed en route.

Patrizio has joined the Voices of the Realm.

Thea is quiet as she enters the Assembly quietly. She walks, passing Martino and Eirene at their own respectable places and smiles a moment before moving on to her own. Thea slips into her bench and nods to those already sitting, her eyes looking up to Alis as she speaks.

It's /rare/ that there's a Pravus that makes a more-fashionably-late entry than Sebastian, but there's Patrizio coming in, flushed faintly as if he's run perhaps across the city, and the as-quiet-as-he-can method of sliding into the seat reserved for Pravus at the front of the hall, glancing mindfully to Alis as he's trying to catch up with what he's missed. The familiar folio of his settling onto the table before him.

From her seat at the Setarcan benches, Mailys also looks relieved to see Patrizio arrive and take his place as the room is called to a quiet order. Then, she turns her attention back to the conversations rustling softly amid the Pravosi gathered.

Pass unnoticed? No. Sebastian -- who is, mind /early/ -- rises to greet Sudara with a rustle of noise, a kiss to her cheek, and a clearing of the benches to make space, all done with enthusiasm and sheer /delight/ at the sight of her presence. The fact that he can glance at Patrizio -- later than /him/! at the same time is just coincidence. Good fortune. What a day.

Drake arrives and takes a quiet seat in the Valardin section. A little more serious than his usual laid back self, but still giving a nod of greeting to those others present in the benches.

Terese quietly enters the Assembly, listening to Veronica as she whispers to her and Caspian. Caspian parts ways to join the commoners and Terese joins her family at the Valardin benches, seeming to focus on the event

Raven beams warmly towards Sudara, her haggard visage brightening for a bit though she turns her attention dutifully forward.

Sorrel has joined the Thrax Benches.

Eirene gives Thea a wave of hello from her spot. She looks bemused.

Evensong, a twittering songbird arrives, delivering a message to Eirene before departing.

Duarte likewise dotes over Sudara's arrival - even standing and bowing ostentatiously for the Princess.

Preston bows his had to Cassandra after some murmering on the benches before he looks to Alis "The Mother Cassandra, Your Grace, will bless things. She is more eloquent and a voice of peace and reason, a voice that more suited to the Assembly than the voice of a Carnifex. A voice to solve strife." He gives a warm smile to the Valardin and a small respectful bow of his head.

Yvette has joined the Redrain Benches.

Alis tips her head politely in return towards Preston before uttering a quiet but sincere thank you. "Welcome, Your Highness." is commented then towards Patrizio, and her gaze lands on Cassandra expectantly. Preston has apparently created some big expectations, so she's listening intently for that blessing.

Actually blushing a bit in response to the array of attention received, Sudara finds herself dipping into a formal and prolonged curtsey to acknowledge the courtesy paid to her, before doing her best to settle unobtrusively into place - albeit right beside Sebastian at the forefront of the Setarcan delegation.

For a moment, Lou's gaze fixate's on Patrizio. She still hasn't forgiven him for all the fire commentary during Bastion's meetings. She hrmphs softly.

Khanne turns her eyes to Cassandra once Preston introduces her.

Yvette gracefully makes her way into the meeting while adorned in Northern leathers. A bow is resting over her back and a quiver of arrows is at her left slender hip. She goes to take a seat on the Redrain benches.

Reedy, a King's Own aide arrives, following Corban.

Corban has joined the Voices of the Realm.

Patrizio at least has the good nature to look semi-abashed about his tardiness as there's a dip of his head towards Alis, but his jade eyes turn quickly enough towards Cassandra. That Lou is glaring at him for things goes, perhaps, slightly unnoticed, though there's a play of a smile that finds him, as if he's perhaps aware of the looks he's getting.

Veronica leans in and whispers once again to Caspian, her gaze still amongst those whom are speaking.

Raven reaches into her sling and pulls out a bottle of Rum, offering it to Duarte.

Gwenna's attention moves from Alis to her cousin Cassandra, after Preston's remarks, and with a warm smile tugging at the corners of her mouth as she awaits the opening prayer.

Giada has joined the Godsworn Benches.

Giada sneaks in a little late and moves to the Godsworn benches.

Baldessare has joined the Lyceum Benches.

Lots of soft chatter is happening among the Grayson princesses who sit near one another at the benches awaiting the blessing, grins exchanged and, at least in Keely's case, quiet giggles joining the din. Then Grady begins talking and the youngest Grayson present sobers a bit, falling entirely quiet.

Tikva is also full of chatter at the Grayson benches but shows little sign of having even the capacity to be quiet.

Giada has left the Godsworn Benches.

Giada has joined the Godsworn Benches.

Oriana has joined the Lyceum Benches.

The Legate of Arts stands and steps forward after being introduced by Preston. Cassandra takes a moment to stand there with her hands folded in front of her lap, resplendent in steelsilk and aeterna holy vestments. Her eyes survey the gathered peerage, perhaps reading what kind of blessing would play well.

"O Triad of Arts," begins Cassandra, "may you and all of the Pantheon look down upon us today at this Assembly and favor us with your grace. May each moment that we experience bring us closer to you, and in becoming closer to you may we become closer with one another -- may we, as individuals, stand together. We are each of us alone in that there is only the one of us, but even so we dream together, and through that shared bond, let no one be lonely in times of trouble, let no one stand so apart that they feel the help of their peers is beyond their reach."

Cassandra continues: "Vellichor, we look to you as we strive to learn from both the mistakes and the successes of the past. It is through the works that you inspire within us that we are able to collaborate, to build upon the works of days past and refine the ideas of thinkers long since returned to the Wheel. Gloria, we look to you, because it is through you that we learn to win our battles -- fights which are won because when one of us falters, there is another of us there alongside them to catch them. Jayus, we look to you, because this dream we share is one that is defined by the moments of inspiration and creativity that come like lightning out of a clear sky -- the new ideas that become new ideas by first arising in one person's mind, and then in time become status quo as they are shared, until they withstand every test and become traditions, the bedrock upon which Arvum rests."

Cassandra lifts her hands at her sides, palms outward. "We pray to you, O Triad of Arts, that in this Assembly, we will reflect the ideals you set out to us: we will bring our new ideas to be heard, we will stand up for those among us who require aid, and we will build upon what has already been built, to make a stronger Compact and a better world for all." Cassandra then ends the blessing without fanfare -- she pauses just long enough for people to process that it's over, and then she sits down.

Terese bows her head during the prayer respectfully, taking time to let the words soak in

Raven's head bows and her head bows. It does not rise when the prayer concludes. So, So pious, the Blackheart is.

Grady has been encouraging the chatter among the Grayson princesses with chatter of his own up until now, even though he REALLY ought to know better, but once Cassandra starts to speak, he bows his head in a respectful silence.

"Thank you, Mother Cassandra. That was a lovely blessing, and one we should all take thoroughly to heart." Alis bows her head towards the Legate, and gives people another moment to settle before continuing. "House Valardin reports that work continues apace to rebuild what was damaged in the attack on Blackram's estate here in the city. Otherwise, we have nothing additional at this time." A nod is given next to Victus, as it seems it's been decided he is the next to give a status report to the realm.

Eirene stops smirking at something long enough to patiently await the end of the prayers. She gives a nod of agreement at the end.

Gaspar has joined the Lyceum Benches.

Tesha dips her head as the blessing is given by Cassandra and she clasps her hands lightly in her lap. The redhead then lifts her head, her fingers untangling for a moment to brush her hair back from her face. She then lets her gaze find the voices of the realm to see what they will have to say today.

As the Legate of the Arts rises to begin, Natasha lowers her head, fingers clasping in front of her during the eloquent benediction. Once it is finished, her hands untangle, and her head turns to address those in the benches with her very quietly.

Victus stands, his demeanor completely opposite after that earlier *thing*. With his arms folded behind his back, he addresses the peers with a quiet but confident tone. "House Thrax has nothing of significance to bring before the realm. We assure our fellow peers that the unacceptable oathbreaking being perpetuated by Helianthus' vassalage is under close watch. We are prepared to take decisive action should wisdom continue to allude those in open revolt." With that said, he sits back down and bows his head.

Veronica bows her head respectfully, she mutters something or another under her breath about the Sentinel. A small blessing of her own for justice, law and order.

Gwenna dips her head politely to those at the table after standing, and then glances across the chamber. "House Redrain has no business of interest to present to the Assembly at this time. The world is, of course, ever changing, but for the moment..." She lifts her hands palms up and then retakes her seat, lacing her hands together to rest on her lap.

Kael straightens from his place at the Valardin benches, his conversation - greetings and so forth - ceasing before the start of the blessing. His own head bows, solemn, and his eyes close. His chin only lifts once the reports begin from across the realm. Each is listened to with no small amount of interest.

Watcher has joined the Commoner Benches.

Raven's head remains bowed. shoulders sagging a bit, her arms draped in her lap. She's not quiet asleep as she murmurs something and shifts on the bench.

Across the room, Veronica catches Kael's figure. She offers a friendly dip of her head and smile to accompany it. She stands nearby with a hand resting gently the hilt of her Oakhaven blade.

Grady's coat softly goes 'crinkle crinkle' as he tries to extract a large-ish waxed paper packet from an inner pocket as quietly as possible. Mostly without success. Nothing like a quiet room to make waxed paper into something comparatively loud.

Oriana sits near Martino and she smiles as she nods to those at the Lyceum benches as she listens.

Both of Keely's hands rise to cover her mouth as Grady begins crinkling his candy bag Most Disruptively. Her eyes press closed briefly before sliding aside to him looking quite apologetic.

Tikva checks composure and etiquette at normal. Critical Success! Tikva is spectacularly successful.

Victus' comments prompt a combination of approval from the peers in the hall, stony, impassive expressions from some of the Islanders in his benches. And of course one Helianthus lord looks a little affronted by something but knows to guard his tongue.

Rising when she's called upon, Liara takes a few seconds to survey the Assembly, a light smile touching her features. Then she starts, her words crisp, voice carrying easily, "We will soon reclaim Bastion. House Grayson offers its gratitude to all those involved in the undertaking until this point. Their ability and their valour are noted."

She curls a wrist, upturning a palm in a broad gesture to encompass the vast chamber. "As we come to the final retaking of the city, I extend an invitation to any member of the Compact who wishes to have a part in it, or to bear witness, to come to do so. I note that House Grayson does not seek any army from beyond the Crownlands, but will welcome the aid of any willing individual."

She even manages not to get distracted by the candy bag!

Pride shines in Keely's smile, now revealed when her hands drop back to her lap, as Liara speaks. She watches the Crownlands Highlord in admiration, nodding a few times in silent support when her words have been spoken. But then she is distracted by Grady again, a hand reaching to carefully accept something from his noisy waxed paper bag and then pop it into her mouth.

Felicia taps a hand on her knee a few times, it's a quiet kind of applause, accompanied by a few nods of approval for Liara's words.

As Liara speaks her piece, Berenice remains attentive, as she has for each of the other Highlords. And then it comes her turn, and she rises in her seat to address the Assembly. "House Velenosa has no business to present to the Assembly at this time." She inclines her head, and then returns to her seat.

Cassandra, the former Archlector of Gloria -- you know, goddess of war, no biggie -- looks on with visible approval as Liara announces her plans. She then has her attention caught by something in the benches, and murmurs that-a-way.

Benedetto gives Berenice a 'subtle' thumbs up and an encouraging grin, like it's somehow possible she has stage fright.

Patrizio takes a moment to draw a breath - and to peek at the notes before him in his folio - as the other lords and ladies are reporting for their houses. And in his turn, his palms rest on the table as he rises to his feet, to look first to those others at the table where he sits, then out across the chamber, that jade gaze finally settling on the benches filled with those from his domain. "House Pravus has nothing of import to bring before this Assembly at this time. We continue to steel ourselves against the threats against the peace, from without and within, and stand as one with our fellow citizens of the Compact." And with a slight dip of his head, he eases himself back into his place.

Raven lists to one side towards Tyche a moment then slowly lists towards the otherside, head still bowed.

Oriana smiles a little watching over the brothers, he murmers over to Martino then listens to the others that actually speak

When it is time for the report from the Crown, Corban steps forward from his protective place next to Alis forward to be more level with the rest of the Voices of the Realm.

"His Majesty looks forward to open and productive dialogues with the Peers of the Realm on the subject of new ennoblements and how the Crown might reinforce the traditional ties that bring the Compact together. The Sovereign's Own Royal Guard, in addition to its traditional duties to the Royal Family, is pleased to announce a tour of certain lands throughout the Realm. We will parade and drill and share the stories of our Order in hopes of reminding those we see of the Traditional values of unity and shared sacrifice that hold us together as a Compact."

Sylvie is late when she steps into the Assembly of Peers. Instead of trying to fight her way into some of the commoner seating that is a free for all (as she did at the last assembly, when she was early), she instead moves to take a seat amongst the Lycene nobility.

Ellani, the palm sized spider arrives, delivering a message to Evaristo before departing.

Sylvie has joined the Lyceum Benches.

\Zzzznnnnoorrr, comes the rough nasal sound as Raven's shoulder bumps into Giorgio's before she begins to til forward a bit.

"Thank you, Sir Corban, Your Graces, Your Highnesses..." Alis addresses each in turn as the updates come to an end, and then a gesture is made towards the Assembly at Large. "Now is the time for any here to come forward with the topics they wish to see addressed by the Realm. Please remember to be respectful and courteous as we are all here to promote unity. A line should be formed so that we can address each person in order."

Oriana chuckles to Martino and she gives him a little nod ofher head "I would so not mind."

Benvolio, a beleaguered valet in search of a better job arrives, delivering a message to Evaristo before departing.

A brief moment, as Patrizio casts a glance to Corban at those words about new ennoblements, but he's nodding approvingly certainly about the rest, and then his gaze comes forward once more to see who might approach to speak.

It is only to be expected that close attention is paid to all those speaking - and most especially the one who gives voice to the Crown's concerns. Still, Sudara Pravus - as an 'old' noble who (a generation ago) married a barbarian to make him and his people into Prodigals - cannot help but arch an eyebrow at the return to the political stage of the topic of ennoblement and tradition.

Veronica was still quietly listening to everyone that spoke up. Her blue eyed gaze scanning peers amongst the crowd before shifting and opting for a more relaxed lean against pillar.

Duarte, along with the rest of the Setarcan delegation, seems more amused by Raven's slumber induced teetering than embarrassed by it. He extends a finger and reaches over to poke/jostle her awake, however.

Monique's expression seems to mirror Sudara's. Strange, that.

Tesha gives a curious quirk of her eyebrow at the words from her cousin Corban, but other than that she files the information away and continues to pay attention to the proceedings.

"A fine initiative." Victus comments to Corban's words. "The Crown is wise to tackle the diluting of our bloodlines. Very good." He's silent again, hands clasped together as his eyes wander around the Assembly.

Felicia doesn't seem to have anything to try and say at the moment, eyes going over the the different noble benches thoughtfully before settling on the High Table once more silently.

Terese has had quiet focus the whole time. She seems to quietly note anything important that is said but keeps quiet as she listens intently

Raven starts upright, head snapping up wearied Green-eyed gaze as her eyes casts about. She tugs her coat strait and wipes her chin with the back of her hand, back strait and head held high.

a line of Islanders who do not appreciate this slander has joined the line.

Alis watches the line of Islanders form a line of Islanders, and attempts to look neutral. Really she does. "Please, feel free to address the Assembly." a gesture is made.

Turn in line: a line of Islanders who do not appreciate this slander

Thea takes out her flask and listens, eyebrow lifted.

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

12 House Velenosa Guards, Ibasia, the Velenosa Lady-in-Waiting, Ellani, the palm sized spider arrive, following Jaenelle.

Victus cocks his head toward the line. One could almost hear the sound of stones grinding from his neck.

Jaenelle has joined the Lyceum Benches.

Veronica lets out a soft sigh, eyebrow arching at the very long ling of Islanders.. Well this is going to be a doozy. She leans in and whispers to Caspian amidst the talk and chatter.

Eirene produces a flask, much like Thea. She's watching Raven but her distraction is made with the Islanders getting up.

Oriana has left the Lyceum Benches.

At the formation of the line, Archlector Giada of the Thirteenth lofts her eyebrows. Her face is one of intent scrutiny.

Jaenelle would casually slip into the assembly if it weren't for the people who loudly inform everyone else that she has snuck in. She sighs at being announced but makes no move towards the front as she settles into the Lyceum benches.

Natasha's expression is as unreadable as a marble bust as she watches a line form to address the Assembly, noting the faces within. Whatever conversations she has been carrying on quietly in the benches in between declarations by the Voices of the Realm have ceased.

Khanne takes a sip from her flask, her brows arching up as the group of Islanders get up. She remains quiet, but a little more alert.

Kael sits up just slightly, his eyes drifting toward the line before looking across the assembly. Once he spies Veronica though - evidently having missed the earlier greeting - his brows lift in unison and a pleased smile is offered. He chins-up toward her, a reverse sort of nod, and glances in brief to her company before refocusing on the official proceedings.

The first in the line is the previously affronted lord of Helianthus - a distant cousin to the duke. He clears his throat and manages to compose himself before airing whatever grievances he might have. "While His Grace has all of my respect and deference, I feel a need to petition the usage of my family's in such negative contexts. It's always "Helianthus's vassals" or "Helianthus's domains". Why not Grimhall's vassals? Or Tyde's vassals? Or Kennex's vassals? Duke Trevor has done all that his liege has expected of him, can we please stop with such unfounded negative connotations linked to the family name?" The Islanders behind him give him a mix of dubious or frustrated looks. Clearly he has not addressed /their/ issues at all.

Though she is definitely interested in the development of the disgruntled-Islander group, Sudara can't help but look to the just-arrived Jaenelle - raising a hand and offering a sympathetic smile.

Keely sits a little smaller in the Grayson benches, watching the grumbly islanders and glancing up toward Liara at the head of the room briefly. There is no more chatter from her to her cousins, all of her attention on what is occuring on the floor.

Tikva catcalls from the Grayson benches, "Duel for the slight and be done with it, you jackanapes."

Alis looks like she's writing down the word 'jackanapes' as soon as Tikva's spoken it. She wants to remember that one.

Romulius, largely quiet since the Assembly's onset, looks towards the agitated Islanders with interest, Thrax's Deputy Warlord strangely seeming to perk up at the issue the first brings before Victus.

"What is a 'jackanape'?" Duarte asks Raven.

To Duarte's question, Mailys also turns to Raven for an answer at the Pravosi benches.

Eirene claps for Tikva's suggestion. "We got House Swords for reasons," she agrees, nodding.

Painbow, a militant pygmy goat arrives, delivering a message to Keely before departing.

A messenger arrives, delivering a message to Keely before departing.

Grady stands up abruptly and, looking more than a little green around the gills, makes a swift (but dignified!) dash for the exit.

Grady has left the Grayson Benches.

Prince Victus stands and strides around the table, putting himself at a position where he can address the lord from a forward face. His arms crossed over his chest, a note of irritation present at the corner of his eyes. Still, he speaks with gruff composure when he does answer. "I apologize if the nomenclature offends you, my lord. Were Grimhall, Tyde, or Kennex's vassalage currently in open revolt -- or hypothetically run off to join a foreign invader as the late *Excommunicate* had -- I would certainly mention them among our troubles. Rest assured that Duke Trevor has House Thrax's full support in his endeavors to wipe the stain his father left upon your family. If it pleases, I will have a list drafted of all those who remain loyal in Helianthus' fealty to be announced, one by one, with formality and the utmost respect when next we broach this topic."

Giada's green eyes begin to twinkle as she listens to the heckling. An elbow rests on her knee, and she props her chin in the palm of her hand. Oh, she's paying full attention.

Benedetto checks charm and performance at hard. Benedetto is marginally successful.

Raven says, "Cheeky cad."

Veronica catches Kael's gentle reverse nod before quietly slipping past the crowd and making way to the Valardin benches. Before doing so, she'd nudge Caspian letting him know she was attending to her lord.

Veronica has joined the Valardin Benches.

Aedric Blackshore settles his gaze upon the first of the Islanders, gauntlets stuffed neatly between breastplate and ribcage. His thoughts on the inquiry remain indiscernible due to to the neutrality of expression, though there is certainly a degree of severity carried by the weight of his unblinking attention.

"Parden?" Duarte asks Raven. "Were you answering my question or calling me a name?"

Macario has left the Lyceum Benches.

1 Malespero Guard, Salindra, the task tracking assistant leave, following Macario.

Martino has left the Lyceum Benches.

Alis quiets as Victus says his piece, and then looks to the gaggle of Islanders. "Have you anything else to bring forward to the Assembly, my lords?" And ladies, if there are ladies in the group. That pretty much settled it, right?

"That is all I ask." The Helianthus lord says, completely oblivious to how unreasonable such a request may be. Good thing he isn't a Voice as he then decides to take his leave. Then it's the lady behind him who practically sneers at all of these happenings. "Lady Cynthia Lostlan." She introduces herself with a formal, polished voice, though that's undercut by her look of distaste. "Open revolt? I don't understand. There are real enemies among the Compact and you focus on your vassals because of a few words of discontent?" She lifts her hand in confusion.

Gwenna turns her gaze from the Islanders to Victus, a few nods of her head following the High Lord's remarks. When Lady Cynthia comes forward, the Redrain's attention shifts once again. If she has any particular thoughts or feelings, they don't manage to appear on her expression.

Alis nopes quietly to herself. That definitely didn't settle it. Another note is recorded: Send Victus a case of rum after this Assembly.

Victus lifts a hand toward the Lady Cynthia. "I am well aware of the many enemies the Compact is burdened with, Lady Lostlan. Several of which I personally witnessed in the bay of Pieros. When the despot across the sea sent barbarous Shavs, slavers, agents of a wicked church, and as I recall... Several Islanders who abandoned their oaths of fealty to the Compact's one true king, his majesty Alaric IV, to battle their own people." A beat. "Yes, I recall very well what standards they represented as they plunged steel into our own. I would expect you to be more weary of your neighbors after such an act, my lady, but I commend you on your clear-headed decisions." There's no smile, but there is an imminent *threat* of a smile looming behind his stony expression. "It would be remiss of me to ignore the concerns of security in the Mourning Sea with the Eurusi still prowling about, no doubt burned from their crushing defeat. If the Isles cannot stand as a bastion against the East, the whole Compact may well suffer. We cannot allow that. So it is an unfortunate circumstance where vigilance is required so very close to home."

"MY HAT!" comes a cry from the Lyceum Benches, Baldessare looking *utterly* scandalised as he bolts upright from his seat, leaning down to pick up his fallen hat, glaring at his brother the entire time as he *urgently* tries to straighten the peacock feather shoved into his cap. And then he sits down primly.

Giada blinks rapidly at the outburst.

Tikva starts to giggle.

Alis casts an irritated look towards the benches at the outburst, but says nothing.

Raven is watching this action between the islanders and Victus with a dark, ill-tempered scowl as if somehow drama between Thrax and their fealty affects her at all. That blissful state of being at ease just a few minutes ago has vanished.

Keely covers her mouth as her gaze turns toward Baldessare, her eyes blinking owlishly and then her petite shoulders beginning to shake with silent mirth.

The diplomatic and slightly snarky response from Victus gets a pleased smirk. But there's a roll of Eirene's eyes as her head shakes at the hat comment.

Tesha's stormy gaze is drawn from the line of disgruntled islanders to the outburts at the Lyceum benches. She looks there for a few moments before she looks back to the conga line.

It would not be accurate to say that Berenice glares daggers at her brother Baldessare. The look is much cooler and more composed. And yet the impact might be felt similarly.

"I seem to believe there have been many refugees from that land openly welcomed by the peers of the city." Cynthia says on the subject of the Eurusi but she shakes her head rapidly. "It's not them I speak of. No, the real enemies are those that linger among you. The prodigals that aided the shavs that snuck into the Rectory and killed numerous members of the Faith. -Including- my brother." She attempts to keep her voice level as she goes on. "They couldn't have gotten in without some help from those you choose to trust." Baldessare is given a look at the exclamation and her eyes widen, before she turns back to Victus. "The tumult you speak of in the Isles is the cause of the /criminals/ you allowed to roam free with the abolition of thralldom. Of course, you wish to blame your vassals so you can once again turn a blind eye to the /criminals/ you have accepted into the Compact. Not to mention some brigands had invaded Helianthus lands to free the thralls in Sungreet without the leave of the liege -or- his heir. There are rules for a reason. You point a finger at your vassals unfairly."

Jaenelle has the look on her face of someone who grew up with two brothers. She offers a charming smile at any who turn to look their way. "One should never underestimate head coverings, especially when one's head is misshapen." Smile.

Preston checks composure and etiquette at normal. Critical Success! Preston is spectacularly successful.

Duarte booos Lady Cynthia.

The usual warm friendliness of Preston has dissipated, and the Carnifex of the Faith taps his finger slowly against the bench as he glowers darkly at the Islanders. His jaw sets and he grinds at his teeth, managing - for once at an Assembly - to keep his lips sealed. Satisfying himself with a quiet murmered aside on the benches.

Benedetto grimaces at the sudden boo-ing, glancing towards the commoner benches for the culprit.

Monique checks composure at normal. Monique is successful.

Mailys checks composure and etiquette at normal. Mailys is successful.

Dycard has joined the Thrax Benches.

Tikva remarks just loudly enough to be heard over the general murmur, "It's so good of those who sympathize with traitors and excommunicates to make themselves so publicly known before all the Assembly."

Lady Monique, from her place at the Valardin benches, smiles *broadly*. It's not something she seems to care to hide.

Haakon siiiiips from a bottle.

Eirene is also taking a drink at this one.

Jeeves, a sophisticated valet arrives, delivering a message to Eirene before departing.

Natasha's expression has become progressively stonier at both the ambient interruptions andd the next point that the Lady Cynthia speaks, lips pressing in a thin line to prevent herself from immediately arguing from the position of her house. That impregnable composure manages to hold, albeit it is a visibly more determined effort now. There is a slow and deliberate inhale, before turning dark eyes to Victus, presently in the Assembly hot seat.

Upon hearing a very sensible idea from the Grayson benches, Preston gestures to one of the Templar Godsworn who retrieves a small quill and ink well to be settled on the bench next to him and Preston hands over some blank sheets before he gestures at the islanders and then at the paper.

Caspian stares at lady lostlan, the normal mirth in his features bleeding away. a dangerous glint flitters into his eyes as free hand tightens into a fist. he seems about ready to spring up from the bench

Quietly, Mailys seems content to hold her tongue, keep her posture, and smile. That seemed the best procedure for deflecting from any notion that the booing came from benches in her direction.

Victus remains composed through the retort, although something toward the end does cause his brows to tick up. Almost too theatrically to be taken at face value. "Brigands, you say?" There's a modicum of shock to his voice. "Brigands...? My lady, you surely don't refer to the Templars who arrived to do their duty. Protecting those who sought refuge upon holy ground? The same Templars who were forced to action when *guest rite* was BROKEN?" A bit of anger leaks out in that last, emphatic statement. "No, no, you must be speaking of something else. If Duke Trevor has a problem with bandits, I will send him a missive immediately offering my assistance. Thank you for bringing it to my attention." He places a hand to his chest and dips into a slight, stiff bow. "It is a shame, however... How many generations of crime have carried over into our thralls today. Sons and daughters, born immediately with a debt accrued for something that was not even of their own hand. I would hope that their grandparent's debts would be repaid by now, but alas. Their children, their literal children that is, would simply have to toil a few years longer." He gives a grim nod. "It is unfortunate that we must cast off those legalities to ensure the Compact is rid of all vestiges of indentured servitude. But nothing good comes without sacrifice. We are nothing if not duty-bound to ensure our noble lines enter the future in line with the traditional teachings of Choice."

"Lady. Cynthia." Alis begins, icily. "Have you any proof of your accusations against members of the Compact? If you've names of those who aided the shavs in their apostasy and proof of their perfidy, and broke guest right, it matters not whether they are prodigal. Give us the proof and they will be dealt with accordinly. If you cannot, or will not, offer such, then I suggest you watch your words carefully." Thus spoken /after/ Victus, to whom she nods.

Cadern has joined the Redrain Benches.

Yvette is a prodigal noble and so when she hears Prodigals being spoken of negatively, the slender redhead straightens her back, seemingly on the alert and a little ill at ease. She peeks over to Khanne and then to Cynthia, giving the woman a look that might be more of a glare than anything.

"The... Templars were responsible for freeing the thralls?" Cynthia looks sharply at Victus before turning to the Godsworn seating. Numerous peers in the Islander benches seem to turn that way too to get confirmation. "I do not support excommunicates but you do not go to a man's domain and /free/ his criminals without going through the official channels. There was a thrall rebellion and we know they were helped." She's still staring at the Godsworn benches.

Maharet has joined the Setarcan Benches.

Sofia has left the Lyceum Benches.

In the little gathering of Godsworn, Giada murmurs something to Preston when the paper and ink come out. The reaction of the Islanders distracts her and she waits for the reply.

"What are you talking about? Who is Sir Frederick?" Duarte asks over to Raven with a frown.

"It was unfortunate circumstances, I agree completely, Lady Cynthia." Victus bows slightly once again, his face falling to a frown. "However, even in the face of such great adversity, we must remember the sacred pillars that hold this Compact together. Honor and tradition. Whether they be the King himself or the lowliest of souls, when one is invited to share in guest rite, it is the obligation of the host to protect their charges from harm." He unfolds his hands, his palms spreading to either side of himself. "I suppose the Templars simply knew tradition better than the late Excommunicate. It was a shame, but it is my hope and prerogative that House Helianthus is compensated for their losses in full."

Sudara also looked concerned when prodigals were so prominently mentioned - but looked more visibly upset by some of the heckling of a woman speaking of the murder of close family.

Preston is murmering quite forcefully at the Godsworn benches when his ear is pricked and his head turns. The Templar coughs. Loudly. "If it may please their Graces and the Assembly. The Templars went to Sungreet to provide the Apostate Ivan a choice. One he refused. Inside the city, Apostate Ivan ordered an assault on the Shrine where a Mother of our Faith sat, tending and listening to the concerns of a people facing foreign occupation due to the betrayal of their Duke. The Thralls rebelled at this time. And Trevor, hearing his father's order, refused to obey and joined that. The Templars did not start that rebellion, but by the Gods, we ended the Apostate's misbegotten illrule. And whoever did start that rebellion is better friend to the people of Sungreet, the Faith, and to Duke Trevor, than those who bleed the Isles by supporting the last upstart of that heresy, Waldo. But." And Preston smiles "Do not worry, My Lady. Sungreet was a quick battle. We had little time to gather our forces. To protect you from apostates, we have had much more time. The Faith will always keep the isles safe and closest to the Gods."

Duarte is once again confused by Raven. "Who is Dame Itall?"

The line of Islanders is quiet as Victus speaks and then the Carnifex makes his point known. Cynthia's features are stony, as are many of those lined up behind her. "I see." She says with a clipped tone. "Thank you, sir. Your Grace." And then they are making for the benches again. There seems to be a shift in the expression of maybe half of those in the benches. Barely concealed resentment.

Terese seems to take little time is socializing or talking. She is intently focused on everything that is said and done around her

Benedetto nods in clear approval along with Preston, as the man speaks.

Perhaps a tad weary, at this point, Alis stands when Cynthia and the other Islanders retreat. "I believe that is all. I hereby bring this Assembly to a close. Thank you all."

One more time, Victus bows as Cynthia makes her exit. There's an appreciative glance toward the Godsworn benches as well, though he's certainly not doing so till the cavalcade of annoyance has their backs turned. "Thank you for bringing your concerns before me. Rest assured, I *will* ensure order and stability is maintained in the Mourning Isles." His look darkens. "When the shores are lined with our enemies upon the crosses." That said, his smile finally breaks free. Small, but genuine and hearty. He recedes back to his seat, his shoulders slumping.

Giada nods quietly alongside Preston, her expression thoughtful as the Carnifex speaks. There's careful observation of the Islanders as they react.

Patrizio does little to hide how he draws a deeper breath when Alis is bringing everything to a close, and.. that hand moves to his cloak as if he's about to reach for something within it again, before he's instead reaching to close his folio, and resting his hand atop it. Yeah, that's the more appropriate thing for while in the Assembly chambers.

Gwenna lets out a small sigh as the Assembly draws to a close. "Thank you, Your Grace," she offered to Alis. "For once again holding a well-run and informative meeting."

Gwenna is overheard praising Alis.

Veronica is overheard praising Alis.

Gwenna is overheard praising Cassandra.

Titus turns to head out following those interesting islanders from a polite social distance.

Gwenna is overheard praising Victus.

Veronica is overheard praising Cassandra.

Evaristo is overheard praising Victus.

Evaristo is overheard praising Alis.

Victus is overheard praising Alis.

Victus is overheard praising Preston.

Mailys is overheard praising Alis.

Eirene is overheard praising Victus.

Veronica is overheard praising Victus.

Caspian is overheard praising Alis.

Terese is overheard praising Alis.

Sebastian is overheard praising Alis: An excellent hostess and worthy Highlord.

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