Assembly of Peers - October 1017
June 18, 2022, 4 p.m.
Scraps Smile Kenjay Aconite Athaur Keely Mattheu Ian Caspian Oswyn Wash Denica Anders Deva Aindre Katya Raven Tesha Thea Turo Ryhalt Trevor Sydney Aella Sebastian Dagon Khanne Ember Medeia Kiera Alis Samantha Mia Haakon Victus Marina Natasha Jaenelle Theo Liara Desiree Martino Valdemar Evander Herja Aethan Iseulet Gaspar Yuri Archeron Aedric Cassima Catalana Edris Ailys Raja Romulius Zoey Savio
Arx - Ward of the Compact - Assembly of Peers
Comments and Log
Kenjay arrives without fanfare, with Bahiya holding his arm. Clad in orange and scarlet silks of a Eurusi cut, with pieces of armour never designed by an Arvani smith, it might not be expected for him to take himself and the woman with him to the Redrain benches - but he does, and he guides Bahiya to sit before taking a seat himself.
Athaur has joined the Valardin Benches.
Aconite enters, the Softest Whisper moving over to the Commoner benches where she sinks onto a bench. Thoughtful gaze scanning the room as she settles.
Lou does not look as nervous as she did back in August 2016, hosting her first Assembly of Peers. Perhaps, in part, that has everything to do with Liara being here to take the reins for any Grayson issues that arise, so that leaves Lou to just chair the meeting. She waits for the High Lords to get settled. "Good evening and thank you for coming," Lou doesn't waste any time getting started. This Assembly is one that's sure to have some interesting turn around. "We've gathered here tonight so that the High Lords of the Realm can report on any general business they feel the public should know, as well as listen to any concerns from the peers. There are no agenda items this evening, as no one has stepped forward to say they have any issues, so once the general reports are given, the floor will be opened the public to come forward to address the peers. Remember, if you are a commoner with an issue, please seek a noble to help give you some floor time." She then glances over at Oswyn, giving him a thumbs up and a bright smile, and then says, "We'll first open the meeting with a convocation from Archscholar Oswyn." Lou looks to Oswyn then, "Archscholar, if you please?" She then lowers her head while Oswyn does his thing.
The cascading sound of bells heralds the arrival of the Rivenshari Marquis. Athaur strides through the hall and takes his seat at the Valardin benches next to his brother
Shortly before proceedings start, Keely steps inside with a delicate hand curled at Theo's elbow. They make it about three steps before the princess' satchel starts wriggling, and the sweet face of a puppy appears, looking around with excitable curiosity. The prince looks down, pauses, the pair murmur together for a moment and hastily exit again before returning a few moments later, a sheepish look on the young Grayson's face and a much stiller (and lighter-looking) satchel on her shoulder. They approach the Grayson benches, do a little more murmuring, exchange hand squeezes, and then Keely takes her seat while the Lenosian prince heads over to the Velenosa benches.
Once settled, the princess sits a little taller as she looks up at the table for the Voices, beaming and giving subtle finger waves to Liara, to Alis and Sebastian, to Jaenelle. And then she leans aside to murmur warm-looking greetings to Ailys and Aindre, near whom she sits, with a soft smile for Samantha as well.
Gaspar has joined the Lyceum Benches.
Mattheu has settled into the Valardin benches, having arrived early and still trying to silence his bells for the opening of the meeting
Ian has his bag with him when he turns up, hanging from a long strap that crosses his chest. Usually, this bag contains armor. Usually, he has it with him when he's looking to get in a fight. Today, there's no armor. Instead, it clinks softly, like there are at least two glass bottles in there. He might still wind up getting in a fight, though. He takes a seat at the Thrax benches and settles into his usual slouch.
Caspian slips in with grins, smiles and waves given to the many familiar faces. he moves to the commoner benches and sits down to watch.
Oswyn stands up. He looks fairly serene for whatever reason. He has also, as usual, not bothered with robes and is just wearing his regular clothes. As a result, he really doesn't look like anyone important. Maybe slightly dapper? Anyway. The Archscholar says:
"In Aion's name, may we dream a better world. In Gild's name, may we be charitable. In Gloria's name, may we act with honour. In Lagoma's name, may we be open to change. In Limerance's name, may we honour our vows and keep sacred our oaths. May we thank Mangata and Petrichor for the bounty of our oceans and lands. In Sentinel's name, may we be just. In Skald's name, may we uphold freedom for all. In Vellichor's name, may we record our words and deeds. In Jayus' name, may we embrace creativity. In Death's name, may we understand the cycle in all things. And finally, in Tehom's name, may we consider our actions and statements from multiple angles in the hope of serving the good of all. Let us take a moment of silence to reflect."
Wash is present, physically at least. Just in case.
Arriving amongst the gathering crowds, the short Thrax princess holds her sketchbook tightly to her chest. Fingers curled around the edges of the firm leather, there isn't a need to debate seating locations. Rather, Denica makes her way instinctively to the Thrax benches to sit with her kin. There is an unusually neutral expression on her features, but her eyes can never quite shake the storm of emotions that echo within. Looking immediately for Jasher, she slips in next to him and leans in to murmur something under her breath.
There are still a few arrivals even after the Faith has led the Assembly of Peers in prayer. The doors open again and guards wearing the sigil of Nightcove and Navegant enter, fanning out and then quickly joining the Thrax benches while murmuring quiet apologies as they find seating. Behind them is Lord Anders Nightcove, Voice of Eastcrest, a vassal of House Helianthus. He doesn't stride in alone, for with him is Marquis Turo Navegant. The admiral sweeps into a bow and directs words to the Voices of the Realm, "Apologies for the interruption. We were delaying picking up an auspicious member of the Peerage." His voice is crisp, polite and the way he dips into a bow is formal and speaks well to years of being taught etiquette strictly. He doesn't distract any longer and swiftly moves to find himself a seat.
Deva is settled in the Redrain seat at the table. A smile slips toward the Redrain benches, with a bow of her head for familiar faces, but then her expression slips into something more pensive as the meeting begins. Shifting in her chair to sit up straighter as Lou calls the meeting to order, her gaze drifts to Archscholar Oswyn's opening. Her head bows in reverence, and fingers slip to tuck a few loose red strands behind an ear.
Prince Aindre arrives quietly and with very little fanfare, just at the start of the gathering. Discreetly, he navigates the seating until he can find one for himself over with the rest of the Grayson fealty. The man's hardly even sat himself before convocation is starting and he joins in.
Usually she doesn't come to these things, but considering everything that is going on, Katya makes her way in. There's a quick look around to check who is here, but then she heads quickly towards the Thrax benches to find a seat.
Raven flashes a broad, warm, distinctly adoring smile as the Archscholar gives benediction. It vanishes when Anders rolls in. An eyebrow lifts and her head cants.
Aindre has joined the Grayson Benches.
Tesha doesn't have her dogs with her, nor her guards. The Telmar lady settles into the far side of the Valardin benches towards the end so that she doesn't disturb anyone. She gives a dip of her head to those that she knows, a gaze over to the other benches as she looks for a few faces. But she gives her attention over to Lou and Oswyn when things get going. Standing for the convocation and then sitting down quietly once it's done.
Anders has joined the Thrax Benches.
Archeron has joined the Thrax Benches.
Mia has joined the Grayson Benches.
Thea silently makes her way inside, her lips thin. She takes a deep breath, but she's prepared today. Paper. Ink. She squeezes herself into one of the Valardin benches, nodding to those present. "Hello,"a brief smile appearing
There are no words from the Marquis, though, like Anders, Turo does bow, hand to heart. The gesture is a little stiffer, more military than courtly. When he turns to follow Anders to the benches - for a brief space, before finding his own spot amongst any attendees from Navegant - he smiles, small but warm.
Drysi, a young shaman apprentice arrives, following Khanne.
Ryhalt rises for the convocation then settles back into his seat within the Valardin section once it concludes.
The Duke of Sungreet enters the Assembly silently, tall and graceful as he strides alongside his compadres toward the Thrax bench, offering formal bows to his fellow peers without prejudice.
Khanne has joined the Redrain Benches.
Striding her way confidently into the Place of Peers is Sydney Waterfall, a commoner whose largest claim to any sort of recognition among the peerage is her impractically long hair and her appearances as a Champion or in the training center - and the fact that she's garbed in steelsilk armor at practically every occasion. Does she ever take it off? Who's to say? The young fighter claims a seat at the Commoner's Benches, a look of defiant annoyance plastered on her features unabashedly.
Lou lifts her head and glances back up after the convocation to give Oswyn a warm smile. "Thank you, Archscholar." She glances over to the voices' table at Alis next, "First up we will have the report from House Valardin. Princess Alis?" she queries.
Aella makes her way quietly towards the Redrain benches as she arrives, craning her neck to see who might be around before finding herself a seat and starting to pay attention to the proceedings.
Of course Prince Sebastian Pravus is late; it's just an accepted part of his character by now. If one manages to look comfortable and in place before the prayers, is it even really late? He arrives in the familiar blue-and-steel steelsilk of his House colors, his weapons peacebound, striding confidently towards the table at the front that houses the Voices of the Realm. With nonchalant ease, he drops into a seat next to Highlord Alis, nodding to those already present at the table, but it's towards the benches that house his fealty's people that his attention goes, bright-eyed gaze flickering over them with a warm familiarity of silent greeting.
Dagon enters at the head of a crown of Mourning Isles lords with his head held high and his eyes on the table where Victus Thrax sits. His icy blue eyes meet the Highlords, but there is no fury there. Nothing that might suggest any emotion at all other that utter determination. It is in the set of his chiseled jaw and in the square of his broad shoulders. He is dressed in dark, modest clothing that somehow suggests an asceticism that clashes with his handsomeness. His eyes drift over the table, stopping on both Jaenelle and Alis to give them each something like a smile before the expression fades back to seriousness. He nods to Anders and then moves to take a seat in the Thrax benches. Most notably, he doesn't sit with the other members of House Tyde, but sits near Turo Navegant, Anders Nightcove, and the other men he entered with. His eyes stay focused on the table at the front of the room, watching. Waiting.
Dagon has joined the Thrax Benches.
Khanne slips into the Assembly just in time (just a moment or so late) and moves to stand with the others at the Redrain benches, waiting for the convocation.
Countess Ember Redreef arrives with her usual fanfare -- that is to say, she looks vaguely terrifying, with an expression set on her face like she's come to the Assembly with the sole intent of strangling at least one of her fellow peers. Perhaps that intense glare is a bit MORE intense than it usually is, which in the case of Ember is like if normally people's dials only go up to ten, and hers is constantly at eleven, today it's at thirteen. Or maybe thirteen thousand. She's wrapped in her floor-length, bone-spike-shouldered shadowmeld cloak, and wears a horned skull helm until such time as she sits down. Then it's removed and set into her lap, revealing the aforementioned glare.
Turo has joined the Thrax Benches.
Medeia arrives awash in wine-soaked pinks and gold, looking - at first glance - like a traditional Islander in modest clothing. Her long hair has been braided back and then left loose to the shoulders. She searches the Thrax benches as she heads for them at her husband's side. Many are given a nod of greeting, and she stands respectfully for the convocation. She will not move from Haakon's side once seated.
Kiera moves to sit next to thea with a nod and a smile to mattheu on her way by
Trevor gives a very notable double take when Dagon arrives alongside his vassal. His eyes widen momentarily but it's not long before he's regathering his composure and offering a quite greeting to the man.
Alis shuffles through some of the paperwork in front of her before looking up to address the assembly. "Thank you, Your Highness. House Valardin has only one update to offer the realm today; we are in the process of assembling mixed scout and infantry teams to begin radiating outward from Sanctum in search of any unauthorized settlements between our holdings in the Oathlands. If any of our vassal houses wish us to assist in their own efforts within their holdings, we will be glad to supplement their own teams. That is all." Respectful nods are cast both towards her people at the benches, and then one for Lou so that it's clear she's finished. To those in the audience who've addressed her with a smile or wave she returns those as well before settling; an amused glance cast at the late Pravus Prince.
Samantha is somewhat early today, moving through the throngs of people, nodding to those she knows and giving gentle smiles as she makes her way to the Grayson benches to take her place.
Having arrived just as the convocation was starting, and thus a few minutes late, Marquessa Mia Riven waits quietly off to one side of the room so as not to interrupt any of the proceedings. It is only once the final words of the prayer have been spoken that she offers the obligatory bows to those who are owed them, then strides quickly to a place among the Grayson benches, her lips pressed into a thin line.
Haakon has two sides as he sits. On one is Medeia, the other is for whomever wills. Which seems to be a familiar face. The notorious prodigal turns a small smile to the man and speaks lowly.
Victus is still and stoic as he sits among the fellow voices of the great houses. Eventually there is a slight tilt of his head toward the benches, where his eyes scan move across his many fellow Mourning Islanders. He does not blink for the entire time that he sweeps his attention across every face, though it does linger on a few in particular. Lord Anders. Lord Turo. Duke Trevor. Prince Dagon, who he greets with a nod. His eyes also lock with each member of his family, lingering for a few moments with every one of them respectively.
Marina arrives somewhat promptly, distressingly soberly, and /probably/ not with a retinue of guards waiting outside with long poles to jab her back in if she attempts to flee. Amber eyes takes in the assembly... in both meanings, the room itself and the gathering crowd of nobility, before she steels herself for the worst sort of politics. The kind that /isn't/ the prelude to a vicious battle where at least A) Something exciting will happen and B) If it /is/ terribly longwinded, someone might kill her. Some might think Marina has a dim view of politics, but... well, her /and/ her sister did turn up in their armor. She's willing to admit she has a dim view of politics after further consideration. At least Ember is here to look even more gloomy and glowering. Marina's reputaiton as 'The fun Redreef sister' continues as she settles next to her sibling with a subtle nod.
Anders settles his hands in front of him, seated on the other side of Haakon. He leans over and speaks quietly to Medeia. His demeanor is calm and collected.
They are a study in contrasts as always when they arrive together: He, as broad as a hammer and clad in the gleaming white opalescence of diamondplate; she, as slender as a blade and garbed in midnight steelsilk stitched in structured lines. Prince Romulius and Princess Natasha Thrax waste no time and brook little fanfare upon their entrance to the Assembly's hall, with the latter pausing, briefly, to press a pale hand to her heart and bow respectfully towards the head table where her older brother, cousins and those of equal rank have settled, and the Archscholar assigned to lead the convocation. Dark eyes missing nothing, however, following the wake of Anders Nightcove and Turo Navegant as they settle on the Thraxian benches...and where her cousin, the former Sword of Maelstrom, decides to sit.
Realization, or at least a good guess, makes half-gilded eyes flicker; these days, foresight is a bane, and while her impassive facade barely ripples, there are a few tells - fingers tighten into the grip she keeps on her husband's inner elbow before she's led to the bench, left standing for the Faith's blessing, and then settling. Tension strings in the alabaster hinge of her jaw.
Marina has joined the Thrax Benches.
Turo settles, tipping his head toward the table of Peers. Does he look at Victus? Surely. But now that he's sat down, his smile is gone. He merely looks attentive, not unlike a student at lessons.
Jaenelle replies to Keely with a soft smile, the same that is then directed towards Dagon accompanied with a gentle dip of her head for her cousin. She watches people enter, then her attention turns towards Alis as she speaks before her voice lowers every so softly to those beside her.
Theo murmurs something to Keely before he makes his way toward the Lycene benches. He finds his place and remains standing while the Archscholar speaks, only to sit down once the blessing as been given. The prince adjusts his coat and feels the silver flask tucked within an inside pocket while a nod in greeting is given to those seated close by. As the Voices begin to speak, his attention falls to them.
Lou hasn't missed the new entrances at all, but neither does she miss Alis giving her report. She's eyeing the new Thrax arrivals curiously even as she nods her thanks in Alis's direction. "Thank you, Princess Alis." Her attention then goes to Liara. "Next up we have House Grayson. Princess Liara, what does the Crownlands have to report?"
Liara rises when called upon, a light smile offered over to Lou, then addresses the Assembly clearly and crisply, although her attention is turned more towards the peerage of the Crownlands than elsewhere: "House Grayson is pleased to note that with the recent period of peace, the Crownlands prosper. We will commit every necessary resource to ensure that prosperity is maintained and warded against any external threat. The restoration of Bastion continues." That seems to be it from her for now and she settles herself neatly back down.
2 House Wyrmguard Guards arrives, following Desiree.
Bahiya has joined the Redrain Benches.
Desiree has joined the Valardin Benches.
Lou gives Liara a warm, confident smile. "Thank you," she tells the Grayson High Lord. She then turns her attention to Jaenelle, "Archduchess Jaenelle, could you please give the Assembly a report on House Velenosa affairs?"
Edris has joined the Valardin Benches.
Tesha's stormy gaze looks up from the Valardin benches and over towards where the tension is coming from. And there is good reason for it. The woman notes a few things and then goes back to paying attention to the conversations going on around them.
Kalakh has joined the Voices of the Realm.
Herja has joined the Grayson Benches.
Edris has left the Valardin Benches.
Oh, just about on time, Desiree Wyrmguard makes her arrival to the Assembly of Peers, offering a polite smile to those familiar faces. Her elegant steps carry her towards the Valardin benches where she takes a seat.
Crawfish has joined the Commoner Benches.
Jaenelle lifts her voice when called, "House Velenosa and those of the Lyceum are currently tracking down those who have decided to steal from us. Those who thought to deal with Malrico will be found and justice served as they no longer benefit from such an arrangement. Other than that, things continue."
Raven's eyebrows lift and her gaze scans the assembly curiously.
Lou looks somewhat distracted by some quiet murmurings at the voices' table, whereby there might be a vaguely amused look that crinkles around her eyes. When Jaenelle finishes speaking, that amusement turns to a better attempt at looking serious and she says. "Thank you, Archduchess." Her blue gray gaze then alights on Sebastian. "Prince Sebastian, what updates does House Pravus have this evening?"
Ember, normally quick to rise to any occasion with inflammatory rhetoric, is perhaps odd in her silence in the stands. She doesn't look around. She doesn't speak. She just listens. If anyone cares to study the Blood Countess, they might see her gauntleted hands gripping her helmet so hard that her fingers threaten to crack its bone horns.
There's the faint rustling of steelsilk as Prince Sebastian Pravus rises, a bow of his head given to Lou as he does so. He takes a moment, gaze drifting towards the Thraxian benches, roving over various cousins and cousins-in-law there with interest; particularly Dagon's positioning with Nightcove. His smile deepens. "House Pravus continues to expand our holdings within the Saffron Chain. We have seen increasingly fewer remnants of the Skal'daja that once riddled spaces there, plying their trade in slaves. Of course, we will not rest until they are removed entirely. We are well, and thriving." He sinks down into his seat after another nod towards Lou.
Having been comfortably set within the benches for the Lyceum for a while, the Duke Martino Malvici's dip is dipping low at the Archduchess' update from the fealty. The corners of his eyes crinkling while bringing a gloved fingertip to adjust a chain worn across the fitted shirt. Leather boots crossing one-over-the-other. Perfume of the day, an ethereal seabreeze along with a toasted coconut finish to welcome and tempt those on the Lycene benches.
It seems that they are saving the most troublesome fealty for last, for Lou turns her attention next to Deva. She gives her friend a warm smile and nods in her direction. "Princess Deva, is there any news from House Redrain?" Every once in awhile, though, Lou will glance in the direction of the Thrax benches as though to make sure there's no trouble coming from there.
Deva adjusts to straighten in her chair, and returns Lou's smile before raising her voice to address the assembly with clarity and confidence. She maintains a grip on her feathered quill, lightly tapping the ink-dipped end into the stack of notes before her. "House Redrain gives its heartfelt thanks to the Faith and our Northern houses for the inspiring display of camaraderie during our tour. I remain ever grateful for the vibrancy and tenacity of our people." Her expression, for a flicker of a moment, softens into a fond smile toward the Redrain benches. A beat later, she sharpens her attention once more. "We maintain focus ever northward to steady the lines along the Everwinter, as always." Toward the end, her tone slips into one firm and steeled, ringing with determination. Concluding there, she bows her head and returns her attention to the other leaders at the table.
"Next we have House Thrax, after which we will then open the floor to
"Next we have House Thrax, after which we will then open the floor to the peers who might like to approach the council and speak." While Lou's tone is light, there's also a sort of steel behind the words, as though she fully expects folk to wait until after Thrax has given its report to speak. She looks to Victus. "Prince Victus, if you may, please give us an update on the situation in the Mourning Isles?"
Mirk has joined the Redrain Benches.
Raven, along with the entire assembly surely, turns her attention to Victus.
Ember stares at Victus with barely-contained fire in her eyes.
Medeia's attention does shift to Victus, expression fixed into a stoic mask. Whatever quiet conversation has been happening around her has made her go quiet. Pointedly, she withdraws a hand from Haakon's arm and places both her hands over her abdomen.
Valdemar has had the same, mildly unpleasant expression on his face since sitting down. When the time comes for his High Lord to speak, his attention is more focused than before, even if the look on his face doesn't change a bit.
Tesha swivels her head when the High Lord of Thrax is called upon and the woman quietly watches for the time being. Interested in what is going to be said...and the reactions that were sure to follow.
Lou leans over to whisper something quietly to Deva while she awaits the Thrax report. She remains otherwise alert and attentive.
It takes a while for Prince Victus to make any motion once his time is called. An almost awkwardly long pause as the High Lord just sits and does... well, nothing in particular. With seconds ticking by, the Prince of Maelstrom finally makes to stand. He turns to the rest of the Assembly. Hands upon his hips as he casts his gaze across the peerage. He steps out to the side, silent, and begins to pace. There's nothing but the scuff of his boots on the floor, whilst he rubs his bearded chin in thought.
Finally, his chin tilts to regard the gathering. "What can I tell you that you don't already know?" His voice is firm and low. "What can I tell you, that individuals in this room have not orchestrated and perpetuated with their own hands? You know. You know the death, you know the betrayal, you know the controversy. So what can I say? Hm?"
After another pause, the usurper continues. "About seven years ago, I stood in the middle of this room and proclaimed thralldom was at its end. Every second I sat there, in anticipation of speaking before you, my heart was hammering in my chest. When I was finished, I felt my stomach drop. This tension in my head, this trembling in my hands... I was very scared. It didn't set in that with my breath and words alone, I was going to condemn millions to death. Millions of my own people. But eventually, I managed to wrap my head around it, and afterwards I started having... these dreams, that'd make me toss and turn at night. I was standing on a shore, fitted in platemail, and I was walking slowly into the ocean. With every step I took I'd heard these... voices, these nails on my skull and this black... this black cloud, hung over me the whole time. The cloud it-- it would hover over me and say... Who do you think you are, bastard boy? All of that you have, that throne, the woman who loves you, the children that run into your arms when you come home... It wasn't supposed to be this way. None of this was supposed to be this way. This wasn't /yours/."
He takes a deep breath and looks to the floor, gathering nerve before his mouth opens again. That stoic exterior is gone. It's just him. Raw, in that moment. "The nerve of you, the cloud said. The NERVE of you, Victus, to think that you deserve any of this. As the water started running around my neck, rose above my nose and I started to suffocate... I'd wake up. This cloud, this /thing/ hanging over me, still in my mind. Doubt. Doubting everything."
"So foolishly, I thought, I could minimize what was to come. Diplomacy, allies, a fellow Islander having another's back-- I thought that might be enough. I sat there and I listened to you defend tradition while you aligned yourself with the Skal'daja. I nodded my head while you said to me that it
Herja has left the Grayson Benches.
Edris has joined the Valardin Benches.
Samantha has left the Grayson Benches.
"I nodded my head while you said to me that it wasn't slavery, and shook hands with the unrepentant slavers of the world. I waited while you did nothing to stop them from taking our people into chains. I feel as though I have extended my hand to you... and watched, as you bit off every one of my fingers." He looks up then, and the impossible occurs. He /smiles/. "Every pang of pain I had, every drop of blood you spilled, I understood. Slowly, but I got it. It would never be enough."
Resolved, Victus turns his head once more, a slow pivot that lets him address the Assembly while turning on his heels. "I am a bastard born of Prince Argus Thrax's undisciplined actions and I do not apologize. I was not the heir that was meant to be and I do not apologize. I am trying to tear down a corrupt, cruel, WEAK system that has been tradition for centuries and I DO NOT APOLOGIZE!" His voice raises, shouting across the crowd. "I have never been more sure of what is right in my life! Because of you, I understand, that there isn't a damn thing I would do differently in this life. I am done asking for your permission and your forgiveness, and I am done with formality."
Having said so, he points to the Thrax benches. "LORD ANDERS NIGHTCOVE, YOU FUCKING BILGE RAT! Stand up and let's stop pretending this is anything but inevitable! Say what you came here to say!"
Samantha has joined the Grayson Benches.
Ember, as if on cue, turns in her seat to stare at Lord Anders. The hate roiling in her gaze is radioactive.
Evander climbs on the table and screams at Anders, "FUCK YOU FOR DESTROYING THE LIGHTHOUSE!"
Haakon shouts, "Hear!" to Victus' last. By comparison he's being quite restrained.
Aethan checks composure at hard. Aethan fails.
Trevor checks composure at hard. Trevor is successful.
Ember checks composure at daunting. Ember fails.
Raven's eyebrows lift in a incremental degrees as Victus carries on, at some point her eyebrows can go no further up and she winces, turning her head away a bit from the uncomfortable display of exposition and sentiment and there's actually a relieved and perhaps a smidge exasperated exhale of belief when he finally gets to the part everyone's been holding their breath for.
Medeia checks composure at hard. Medeia is successful.
As Evander jumps on the table, the King's Own peel off from the edges of the room and moves toward the Thrax benches to remove the unruly lord from the assembly hall. They do it politely, but firmly, leaving no room for argument or discussion.
As much as he might like to keep his composure during this whole thing, a look of pride comes over Aethan's face at Victus' words, followed immediately by stifled laughter at the utter absurdity of Evander's actions. He turns to him and says something only those around him might here.
Iseulet slinks in fashionably late, and seems like just in time! She finds the Thrax benches in a state and goes to join Duke Valdemar, taking his arm to whisper to him.
Evander has left the Thrax Benches.
Iseulet has joined the Thrax Benches.
Raven stares at Evander.
Ian's expression has been stony, stonier even than usual, for the whole of the proceedings, but as Victus' speech starts to rise towards it climax, that begins to change. Gradually at first, bit by bit, he breaks into a smile. A cold smile, but a real one that brings a light to his eyes. When Evander jumps up, the smile becomes a coughing fit that totally isn't stifled laughter.
Valdemar remains seated, remains quiet, barely notices when Iseulet first takes his arm. After a moment, though, he leans his head toward her to whisper back to her.
Keely's eyes go wide as she watches tensions rise, and her hold on Ailys' arm grows just a little tighter. She looks Deeply Concerned, whispering quietly to those at the Grayson benches and sparing a glance to the head table, to her big sister and her patron.
Ember's gaze of abject wrath is briefly broken, supplanted by a look of... let's call it 'wrathful astonishment' as Evander leaps up, hollers, and is led away. She blinks a few times, and tries to re-focus her hatred to find an intimidating glower again, but it's just not coming.
Thea actually blinks at Evander. Then watches as he leaves. She watches the Thrax benches however, lips thin.
With the outburst at the Thrax benches, Medeia manages to shroud herself in calm. She's looking at Anders, just on the other side of Haakon from her, within arm's reach.
Oswyn reaches up and pinches the bridge of his nose with a vaguely pained expression. Some random Godsworn beside him murmurs something, and Oswyn squints at the woman and looks incredulous.
Samantha has left the Grayson Benches.
Jaenelle nods towards the King's own who move from the wall to escort out those who feel the need to disrespect the Assembly, her chin lifting to watch Victus though her attention easily shifts to Anders.
Cassima checks composure at hard. Cassima is successful.
Sebastian is not watching Victus during his speech. Not all of the time, anyway: the Pravosi prince is watching the crowd, and particularly various occupants on the Thraxian bench to see their reactions to their High Lord's mind. It's not the challenge, nor the swearing that makes his brows rise and the prince sit up with sudden interest, but the sudden leap of a Lord onto a table, screaming. "Well," he says, amused, giving a noiseless clap to the King's Own as they remove the man.
Alis looks first towards the Thraxian benches at the outburst and then pins a warning gaze at those seated in the Valardin benches. Clearly, she does not want anyone to follow Evander's example.
Victus shouting his name at the top of his lungs abruptly pulls his attention away from a quiet conversation that he'd been partially paying attention to, his eyebrows lifted. There's a glance spared to the others around him, quietly surprised by not fully astounded to have a High Lord shouting at him at the top of his lungs. He's much more baffled when Evander straight up climbs onto the table several feet away. He blinks a few times, remaining seated as the King's Own escorts Evander out."
Once that's over with, he stands and begins smoothing down the front of his doublet. He carries on as if there wasn't a lot of shouting. Just business as usual. "I would first like to thank the Assembly of Peers for its time today. I put before you an important and urgent demand." His volume goes up, voice pitched to reach the entire room. "The Mourning Isles will no longer tolerate being ruled by the bastard usurper of House Thrax. We will no longer have our traditions torn away, stomped on. Our legacies /destroyed/ in the name of progress that has only brought us more war." He turns now and extends a hand toward Dagon, indicating him. "I present to you the /true/ High Lord of the Mourning Isles. Prince Dagon Thrax. He is prepared to restore the Mourning Isles to its proper glory, to the martial power and force that it once held. I request that the High Lords of the Realm, /remove/ Lord Victus Thrax and replace him with its proper and true heir."
He takes another breath and goes on to say, "And if this recent outburst is any indication, we have a long way to go before we're restored to that state again. The current High Lord's behavior is simply unacceptable, and the behavior off those that follow him is equally reprehensible. They speak of justice and liberty while stomping their feet and screaming like petulant children. It surprises me not that a former Kennex had to be escorted out by the King's Own."
Prince Aindre's expression is as stone throughout the conflict and the outburst in the middle of it. A total case of Resting Grayson Face, watchful and taking it all in.
Valdemar checks composure at hard. Valdemar marginally fails.
The chaotic movement of Denica's charcoal seizes and she presses it down against the parchment. It's a little too firm and focused, and so the charcoal cracks and little pieces scatter across the page, leaving a mess.
Desirees eyes widen and flit between Victus as he finishes he speech with what she can only describe as passion. Then there's Evander on a table and the King's Own moving in. Desiree draws in the reactions from others and honestly if she were not clenching her jaw, it would be on the floor.
Dagon rises when he is indicated by Anders. He looks every inch the Prince as he draws in a breath and looks at the high table, lifting his voice to say, "I stand before you as one who has watched the fealty of my birth gradually tear itself apart in the name of 'progress' but without ever considering how much of our tradition and our -culture- that we lose with every Prodigal that is made noble, with every centuries old tradition that is crushed under the boot of 'progress'." His dark blue eyes meet Victus'. "Cousin, I have stood by after you took my place, thinking that perhaps you were the better leader as you have always been the better soldier. Yet, the Isles today is weaker and more fragile than ever before. I can stand by no longer."
Ember checks composure at daunting. Ember fails.
Iseulet gently, quickly dearms Valdemar and gives his arm a gentle squeeze, attempting to calm him down, "Now, my Duke..."
Kenjay murmurs something to Bahiya at the Redrain benches, then rises to his feet in silence.
Ever the image of serenity, Gaspar watches the commotion on the Thrax side with no small amount of interest. Whatever 'mask' he wears now does a damned good job of hiding that which lingers beneath the surface.
Valdemar stands, and turns to Dagon, looking at him directly. "Now, /Duke/?" he asks in a cold tone, "You choose /now/ to exert your claim? You couldn't have done this eight years ago? Ten? Before he," and here the Grimhall Duke indicates Victus, though he doesn't look at him, "had a chance to weaken us and lead us into...this? And /now/ you expect the Isles to follow you? You abdicated your claim long ago. You have a right to go back to Tyde hall and hang your head in shame and nothing more."
Raven's eyebrows loft back up again and she watches those at the Thrax bench with intent verdant gaze, bottom lip worried between her teeth.
Tesha gives a quirk of her eyebrow when Anders brings Dagon forward and the Telmarcher gives a bit of curious look over the Prince that she's not seen in years. Then she is turning to settle her gaze back on the others at the Valardin benches.
Turo rises smoothly to his feet, any smiles or attentiveness gone from his features as has hands clasp lightly behind him. He does not look at the Lords of the Realm as a whole; he looks at Victus, and only Victus. "When we stood against the Eurusi, Lord Victus had words for the Isles. Words that I remember. Words that have rung in my ears for years to follow. 'We did not start this fight', he said. We must defend our homeland from those that would bleed it dry of its people." His voice lifts, the steel of a commander of men in his voice. "These are the words of Lord Victus Thrax: We are loyal to our traditions! We are loyal to our houses!" His gave sweeps over the rest of those seated at the Thrax benches, eyes briefly resting on Anders. On Dagon. "We will not be chained! We will not be broken! The Leviathan shall weather every storm across the Mourning Sea!" He looks front again. "For our houses, for our traditions, for our families, that you have thrown to the dogs in search of approval from distant crowns and heretical archlectors, for the misery that you brought and would bring to the Isles! House Navegant stands with Prince Dagon Thrax. This Far and No Farther!"
After Anders, Dagon, and Turo speak, others begin to stand in the Thrax benches, not to speak but to show where they fall, where their loyalties lie. Grimkin rises quickly, resolutely. House Greywalke, a vassal of Grimkin, rises as well. All in all, about half of the Thrax benches rise, House Highwater. House Seabright. House Windsheer. House Bloodbrook. House Dredcall. One after another, they rise to look at Victus, expectantly.
Edris has left the Valardin Benches.
Aconite watches the forum. The Whisper's face pensive as she watches not only the reactions of Thrax and those in their vicinity but skipping over the other fealties as well.
Medeia gapes at Turo. "You dare speak of loyalty when you toss my sister aside at her miraculous return? You dare invoke the reflection of Mangata in this assembly?"
Turo checks composure at daunting. Turo marginally fails.
After Anders, Dagon, and Turo speak, something finally snaps within Ember. The Crimson Countess of Redreef Shores rises out of her seat and turns her whole body to face the trio of them, perhaps oblivious to the symbolism of other Houses' representatives standing as well. She doesn't scream, doesn't stamp her feet, doesn't even start taking off her earrings to hand off to Marina. Perhaps because Evander just got thrown out; perhaps because Ember is pregnant. Still, the look on her face is a downright murderous one. She stares in truly hateful silence for several long moments, and then the only motion she makes is to put her grotesque skull-helmet on, covering her face and shrouding her eyes in shadow. She continues to stand and stare. Someone will probably need to end up tugging her back down into her seat.
Raven's eyebrows lift and now there's what passes for active Concern stamped across her features.
A woman sat behind Valdemar on the Thrax benches with reddish-gold hair, known to many as Lady Sidara Dredcall, narrows her eyes. A renown justiciar. "He never abdicated. The seat was taken unlawfully. His Grace..." She nods to Dagon. "is now amending an error that was made years ago. An injustice." She stands, presumably on behalf of Dredcall.
The consistent tapping of metal upon metal of gauntleted fingers ceased as Yuri's gait shifted far forward within his seat at the Lyceum benches, eyes darting furiously amongst the gallery of the Thrax benches; a breath held idly during the exchanges.
Denica checks composure at daunting. Denica marginally fails.
Lou ls glancing around the room for the King's Own when she already sees the members of the silver order moving to do their duty. Should any look in her direction, she'll give them a nod of appreciation. She's otherwise silent on what reactions there are, other than to say. "Those that wish to address the assembly are reminded that there's a process for doing so." Again there's that steel behind her words, and strength, as though she expects folk to remember decorum in light of the chaos that's about to fall out. "Please form a line. The High Lords, if they choose, will address the concerns of those who have already spoken first."
Edris has joined the Valardin Benches.
Archeron bangs his hand on the bench beside him before he stands, the laughter of a moment ago gone "Duke-Consort Dagon /Tyde/ is sworn to this house. He has been released of no oaths. Tradition is spouted. Dagon swore to defend our people, and his wife. He swore to be faithful. I am Margot's voice, the Voice of Tyde, and we have no peace with this. It was our people who were led to insurrection. It was our people who died in those attacks." Archeron's eyes grow dark "I will not damage Duchess Margot's children by denobling their father. As Voice of Tyde I simply condemn him to death - the isles, and House Tyde, has no room for those who will abandon their oaths and worse betray them."
"Culture?" Jaenelle asks Dagon with a smile. "Culture is your sister sitting at the dining room table and had to ask for her meat to be cut up for her to prove a point because we were not allowed to touch knives as they were weapons. Culture is women being forbidden from protecting themselves and their loved ones, their people, because the delicate were expected to be at home taking care of the hearth. I dare you to tell your wife that she is less than and weak, Dagon, just because your traditions dictate that she was born such." She stands, "I was there, or do you forget. When you agreed to the challenge by combat from High Lord Victus. I was the one who had your blood all over me as I held you while we called for a healer to save your life because your hubris was more important than your people were. You think the Isles would be better after all this time with you leading the fealty, because you have done...what with your time since that dinner where you laid in the dining room bleeding from a lost duel. Dagon," she says his name sadly, sighing heavily, "what are you doing here? This is not you."
Valdemar turns to the woman. "And where the fuck has he been since then? He could have averted all of this by acting much sooner than now. He abdicated through inaction," he growls back at her before turning his attention back to Dagon.
Turo turns his head, slowly toward Medeia, and his voice turns to ice while his eyes light up, "She returned. As all things we love can, and may, and should. Don't speak to me of loyalty, or my wife."
Haakon barks, "Form the bloody line already!" He stands and takes a step in from of Medeia, eyeing Turo.
Raven's eyebrows find higher to go still somehow as Jaenelle enters the fray.
It's not Anders or Turo that Victus rests his gaze upon, but Dagon himself. For all the bravado he'd had moments ago, now his face had softened. The fire is in his eyes, but the grief is in the features. "I don't begrudge you, Dagon. I do not deny that I did wrong by you, in a manner that an apology alone would never suffice, and an apology is all I have ever had to give. But I remember what they said about you, when they thought nobody was looking. In the places your father's gaze didn't reach--" He throws up his arm. "They said you were the most honorable among us. That you would reject the brutality, the lies, the tortured webs Donrai weaved and bring us peace. These men." He gestures across to Turo and Anders in kind, "-they have killed more of us than you or I. They will continue to do so. They will not stop until we are drowned by darkness. It doesn't have to be this way, cousin. It doesn't have to."
Kenjay has joined the line.
Haakon has joined the line.
Ember has joined the line.
Aethan has joined the line.
Aedric Blackshore settles his attention upon Turo Navegant when the man rises from the bench. Following the Marquis' declaration, the sailor slowly shakes his head -- his cerulean gaze, usually cold, at this moment conveying both a profound sadness and disappointment for the newfound allegiances of his nephew.
Tesha looks a little pale in the face when Donrai is brought up. Like someone was talking about a ghost story that made you shiver.
Despite numerous vassals rising around him, Trevor seems to be studying his calloused fingers, as if just noticing a bit of dirt under his nails. No member of Helianthus rises, nor do they offer any support to Victus. They just look ahead with distaste. For who? No one can say.
Cadern has joined the Redrain Benches.
Denica is unaware of the mess of charcoal and splattered across her lap, rather she sits as the colour drains from her already pale features and she is staring at her brother, Dagon. There are a series of emotions that plays across her and she just looks at him as though she is hit by the entirety of life's memories all at once. Unable to form any words and the princess doesn't quite know what to do in those moments, where she finds herself in silence. It's unfamiliar and her fingers begin to shake.
Dagon looks directly at Jaenelle and says with his head held high as he says in a voice that isn't unkind, could almost be something like affection, "I grew up, cousin. I grew up and realized that I made a bad choice. I shouldn't be surprised that you side with the Usurper, though. Did you not do the very same thing in the Lyceum? So well you have adopted the sneaking, manipulative ways of the Lycene. One can barely recall that you were once a Princess of Thrax."
"I would like to point out, that Prince Victus has a wife and children now; heirs to Thrax, with ties to the houses of Grayson and Valardin. If there was to be an uprising against the rule of Prince Victus, it should have been before then. The Isles accepted him as their ruler when they did nothing after his unorthodox ascension. They are now bound by their oaths of fealty to him. And while Valardin has always made clear our discontent with how his rise to power happened, we wonder how much more additional instability would be caused by deposing him now. Along with the wife and children both we and House Grayson have ties to, and influence over." Alis speaks firmly, and in an even tone.
Lou gives Haakon a nod of appreciation, then notices Kenjay as the front of the line. This causes her to raise a brow at the Redrain prince returned from captivity. She holds up a finger to him, as if 'just a moment' before she looks to the High Lords. "Does the Assembly wish to address the concerns brought forward before those from the floor come to bring their issues forward?"
Aconite is leaned back now. Dark eyes wide and her features drawing tighter as things proceed. She leans to murmur to one of the Apprentices on the bench nearby before turning her attention back to the forming line. Then turns her head to murmur something else with her eyes glued to the Assembly.
Medeia glares at Turo around Haakon, features twisted in anger with words left unsaid. But the time, the place... She is a /lady/, and she is doing her best to remember this.
Deva is generally an expressive, lively person, but right now she stares at Anders, Dagon, and company with a strange chill in her eyes. The Redrain voice sits with a tense jaw and tight white-knuckled grip around her quill as words swirl throughout the assembly. She does not interject, not yet, clearly processing instead of bursting. As Kenjay rises, she bows her head toward her uncle with restraint and clear respect.
Dagon glances to Victus and sighs a little, pain in his eyes that doesn't reshape the resolute expression on his face. The way he focuses on Victus, it is just the two of them in the room as he says, "Cousin, look at this. Do you think this is what the Mourning Isles needs? Really? Maybe those voices in your dreams were your conscience. You know this is wrong. It has been wrong for a long time. You have a chance to make this right. Right here, right now."
Gaze shifts towards each and every house that stands, Cassima moving quill in a taking of names and looking picturesque as chaos continues to swirl on the rising tempest. A pause as a line is called to be formed, continuing to take idle stock of current surroundings before Alis speaks which brings a smile to tug at the corner of lush lips, gazing now to see where her words have landed on those keen on supporting Dagon.
Rising from the benches, she leans over to whisper softly into Natasha's ear before the hiss of her skirts and clack of heeled boots echo as the Princess exits.
For a Voice of Thrax, Natasha is silent even as the rest of her fealty clamors all around her and the growing storm starts to ripple across the Assembly's confines, dark eyes watching her signet ring turn on her finger with a gesture of her thumb. She only looks up when Cassima whispers to her, nodding once before she turns to look at Dagon, and then Victus again.
Jaenelle tsks, tongue clicking towards Dagon's words though she does not seem angry or upset in the least, "we all grew up, Dagon. We all were taught by Donrai weren't we? To do what was needed when it was needed, as leaders were meant to do. While grandfather's decisions were effective, they were faulted and wrong and cruel. They were selfish and destructive. He was a terrible man that should not be used as a hero or thought of as someone to inspire others to be. And," she settles back, "he would be so so very embarrassed with you, you certainly did not grow up to be anything that he would have wished for you to be. A follower. We aren't angry, just disappointed. Perhaps you have more growing, Lord Dagon."
Raven's eyes widen and there's a flicker of sudden 'oh no' for some reason as her gaze swivels towards Dagon and her mouth sets in a thin line.
Tesha gives a look towards Archeron, who had said that Tyde had not released Dagon from oaths. Apparently she was just making a list of what all was going on...or what wasn't rushing by with how everyone was coming forward. She gives a look to the others at the Valardin benches before she shakes her head.
Turo looks at Haakon, briefly confused - with a tinge of visible annoyance, but he addresses Romulius. "If only I could believe she would be safe in your care."
Desiree is invested in the Assembly. She is not stoic, nor does she wear a mask of calm. Her delicate fingers lightly press upon her lips and to a very astute eye, they may see the digits tremble a bit. It is difficult to remain completely composed when the rising rift grows deeper.
Iseulet has joined the line.
Cassima has left the Thrax Benches.
Sorrel has joined the Thrax Benches.
Hearing the opinions around her from the Assembly regarding the matter of removing Victus from his title, Lou decides to move forward with those from the floor. "Prince Kenjay Redrain, you have the floor now."
Turn in line: Kenjay
Kenjay, already standing, waits for his turn to speak. And then it comes. "The traditions that they speak so highly of, those who claim they will not be chained, are the traditions that place chains on others - chains that insult and betray the ideals of Skald, the need for freedom at the heart of every man and woman within the Compact, the freedom still denied so many in the Isles." His Arvani is tinged with Eurus at the edges, and his clothing is almost defiantly Eurusi, for all that he sits at the Redrain benches. "And now they call upon Mangata's reflection - Mangata, a name that was never lost to Arvum, a name revered by sailors or so I was told - they call upon her reflection as they speak so highly of their own freedom and right to enslave others. Their right to betray the gods we all hold dear, and the oaths of fealty they have sworn as nobles - it seems that at least one more god's ideals have been betrayed upon this floor. My heart weeps for the Isles, and what will come of this day, for I feel that it is nothing good and in fact a horror beyond words to speak." He looks to the Thrax benches, then. "I simply hope that those who wish to follow them have seen the ramifications of the powers they choose to swear by, and the oaths they have chosen to break. We are defined by our choices, and I know that those choices would make me full wary of following such." And then he nods to Lou, and retreats to take his seat next to Bahiya once more.
Victus has joined the line.
Trevor rises with a quiet word and ducks out of the Assembly with his entourage following, not looking back.
Trevor has left the Thrax Benches.
Smile has joined the Thrax Benches.
Keely has joined the line.
Turo [yregards Romulius for a long moment. "The years have changed all of us." He pauses. "You will see," he adds, with a certain urgent, emotional note. "You will see, Romulius, everything will be better. We can rebuild. We can return it to what it was." But his attention is drawn back to the larger arguments, and he stares at Kenjay. "The *Reflection of Mangata*? I speak to the THraxian fleet! The power of the Mourning Isles, at the command of the usurper. Is even *that* so easily forgotten?"
Turo regards Romulius for a long moment. "The years have changed all of us." He pauses. "You will see," he adds, with a certain urgent, emotional note. "You will see, Romulius, everything will be better. We can rebuild. We can return it to what it was." But his attention is drawn back to the larger arguments, and he stares at Kenjay. "The *Reflection of Mangata*? I speak to the THraxian fleet! The power of the Mourning Isles, at the command of the usurper. Is even *that* so easily forgotten?"
Lou inclines her head in Kenjay's direction. "Well spoken, Prince Kenjay. Thank you." She then glances to the next in line. "The Assembly recognizes Lord Haakon Eswynd. Please come forward and speak."
Turn in line: Haakon
Archeron has joined the line.
Raven makes a face as if she bit into something bitter and her hand combs through her hair in open distress as she shifts restlessly where she sits.
Sydney can be seen flailing her arms and routinely smearing her hands down her face as though utterly tortured by her inability to raise her voice to add to the din. She wisely keeps her voice down and can only be heard by her fellows at the commoner's benches in spite of her gesticulations.
Herja has joined the Commoner Benches.
Martino has left the Lyceum Benches.
Haakon stands to speak in a visibly black temper. "First. Every Lord in the Mourning Sea aknowledged Victus as Prince, don't any of you worms DARE claim to speak for all the Isles. Next-" he points a gauntleted finger at Dragon, "You're not even Duke Tyde, let alone Prince Thrax! You're alive because hiding behind your wife's skirts kept you so. Good for you that it seems Margot let you borrow your grown man pants for the day, but you really ought have let her keep them." He points at Grimkin next, "Your ships and men we smashed alongside the Slavers at Pieros Bay, as you 'honored tradition' by kissing the ass of Skal'daja. We broke your worst there, and we'll break what's left of you should you persist in this. If you love tradition, have pity on the last of your precious bloodlines, for they will be hunted to the furthest rocks of the Mourning Sea to see the last guttering sparks of your rebellion stamped out. Have pity on your future kin and relent this treason, or be damned forever as the generation who steered ancient houses to wreck and ruin. And YOU-" He looks to Anders Nightcove.
"For you there is no relent. Your blows are struck, your due is cast and your blood already spilled. You I will meet again in battle, as warriors ought. But first... I bring you a gift." He draws a sword by the bound blade, do that he is not seen as brandishing it (the falchion is not in a sheathe, but has been peace bound with a long strip of leather bound around it's point and cutting edge to reveal intricate etching on the blade. "When last we met, I boarded your dromonds and struck this from your hand. I would see you armed with more than these paltry allies when next we meet, so come and have it back." The sword is dropped on the Assembly floor with a clatter.
Haakon drops Nightcove falchion.
Ilmia has joined the Grayson Benches.
Raja has joined the Commoner Benches.
Catalana has joined the Thrax Benches.
Smile has joined the line.
Lou does not seem to address any of Haakon's comments with anything but a nod when it seems he is done. She looks next to Ember. "The Assembly recognizes Countess Ember Redreef to come forward and speak."
Others stand to speak, but Dagon has eyes for no one but Victus, his sole focus waiting for his answer in this hurricane of words and threats.
After his words are spoken, Anders watches for the reaction to roll across the Assembly of Peers. His eyes drift from the table containing the Voices of the Realm, to the the interplay between Prince Dagon and Prince Victus. But he is respectfully quiet, he doesn't interrupt or join in with the prattling laughter at the Thrax bench in any fashion. His composure is set and when Haakon speaks, he tips his head and listens to him. There is disagreement that crosses his face at one point, but then it smooths away to his normal severity. Then the man is speaking directly to him, and this he's not surprised by, not in the way he was by a man climbing atop the tables. The falcion is produced and here, eyes widen, then it drops to the floor. He nods to him, acknowledgement and acceptance of those words. He continues to respectful, as he has not been given leave to speak. But a Nightcove guard does quietly beg leave of the King's Own to retrieve the weapon from the floor and then scurry back to the benches.
Natasha quietly watches Trevor when House Helianthus vacates the benches; something about the gesture fails to register as surprise on the princess' features. It may simply be expressive neutrality - she tends not to reveal much on her face, but it lingers there and the way Anders watches him leave, and the retrieval of his lost sword.
Victus hears Dagon's words without so much as a twitch to his face. Instead, he turns away from the benches and tilts his head to the floor. Those close would see the widened eyes, the subtle heaving of his shoulders. Then he looks to Jaenelle, that pain evident, even as he tries to bury it away. He turns back to Dagon then, locking eyes with his cousin. In the moment, his word is for Dagon and Dagon alone. "... I'm sorry." It's a simple thing, but it carries all the weight of the future's inferno. That pain in his face is finally pushed to the back. He looks upon Dagon now not as family, but as the enemy.
"Nothing but mockery and threats," Turo murmurs toward Anders, though he doesn't address Haakon directly. He's rather stopped looking in the man's direction entirely. "It's not too late," he says to Valdemar instead. Urges. Comforts? "It's not too late. Never too late. You'll see." He smiles again. Warm. But Victus responds, and his attention is drawn back. He quiets. Expectant, though he doesn't look toward his fellows.
Raven grimaces at Victus apology. Visably. Physically. Pained.
Anders takes Nightcove falchion.
With a silent rustle of her floor-length shadowmeld cloak, Ember does indeed step forward. The cloak opens as she walks, revealing full armor, all in shadowmeld, newly refitted to curve over the very beginnings of a baby bump. That detail sort of lessens the intimidation factor from the Blood Countess. Perhaps that's why she's wearing her helmet, a shadowmeld hood fixed with a blackened skull over her face, hiding her visage and shading her eyes, and massive, curved animal horns. She looks, in a word, demonic.
"Esteemed Voices of the Realm," Ember says, without removing her helm. "I stand before you to affirm that House Redreef stands loyal to Prince Victus Thrax, and recognizes him as the only Highlord of the Mourning Isles." There's a pause for a beat. Maybe that's all Ember had to say!
"Dissenters will be killed." Ember turns without waiting for acknowledgment and begins walking back to her seat. /Now/ she's finished!
Turn in line: Ember
Turn in line: Aethan
Lou nods to Ember, then glances over to Aethan. "Duke Aethan Kennex. You may address the Assembly."
Aethan has remained fairly quiet through this entire shitshow aside from exchanging quiet words with those around him or admonishing Evander for his actions. When Turo spoke, his eyes narrowed and he stared daggers at the man. And so he has bided his time. Watched. Listened. Waited. And now it seems its his turn to speak. He clears his throat and then addressed Victus. "My Prince. First thing first, House Kennex stands with you and with House Thrax. Now that's been said, I want to speak on this subject of 'culture' or 'tradition'. I can't speak to the rest of those present who are from the Isles, but to me, being from the Isles means a love of freedom, of sailing the seas and knowing the joy and the freedom of going wherever the winds will take you."
He pauses to scan the room for a moment before his gaze locks on Turo. "Turo Navegant, your sniveling, cowardly ass swore an oath of fealty to House Kennex. We spent blood, sweat and treasure to help House Navegant get to where it is today, and you want to spit in my face? Fine. I'll say this before every person present today. I am going to kill you and anyone of your house that takes up arms against me and my rightful lord, Prince Victus Thrax. I swear this to you and to everyone here. I will make House Navegant a relic of the past and use your lands to set up settlements for freed thralls and freed slaves who wish to make a home in the Isles and who wish to stand up for the ideals of freedom."
Returning his gaze to Victus he nods. "Please feel free to call on me whenever you'd like, Your Highness. Alright, that's my peace. For now." And so he goes back to his seat.
Turo has joined the line.
The smile that's been coming and going across Ian's face turns into something a lot more dangerous in the light of his older brother's promise to kill Turo. Especially given that he's smiling AT Turo.
Victus regards Duke Aethan with gratitude. The thanks is unspoken, but there in his mannerisms.
Medeia has joined the line.
Valdemar has joined the line.
Iseulet has joined the line.
Dagon watches the change in Victus' expression, the hardening of it as the shift between them from family to enemies happens there in just a breath of a moment. An acknowledgement that the rift between them opened up all those years ago will now drag an entire fealty into war. There is a small, almost imperceptible nod and the briefest flash of sadness in those midnight blue eyes, a second of grief, before his own expression returns to that previous resoluteness as he stands tall, proud, and regal. For the first time since he stood to speak, Dagon's gaze leaves Victus and shifts to Anders, a conversation happening there between them in glances and silence as the wave swells around them. The others that stood with them do not waver in their own resolve. They remain standing but quiet, a wall of silence.
Ryhalt nods in approval to Aethan's words.
A messenger arrives, delivering a message to Mailys before departing.
Catalana is still being caught up on what she's missed. She nods along in agreeance to everything Aethan says but the look of surprise and disappointment can not be hidden when mentioning Turo.
A messenger arrives, delivering a message to Mailys before departing.
Lou inclines her head to Aethan, then looks to the next as she notices the line growing ever bigger. "Prince Victus... you wished to address the Assembly more broadly."
Turn in line: Victus
After Victus offers that apology to Dagon and others have exited, Anders seems to shift into a place of acceptance and moves to his feet. He takes from the table the bottle that was given to him. There's an exchange of silent words between himself and his chosen prince. He inclines his head to the man and then makes the first move to leave the Assembly, a gesture of his hand sees the other members of Nightcove, rise standing and following with him. They're not the only ones to rise and exit as well, when they go, they take roughly half of the Thraxian benches with them.
"Dagon Tyde, Anders Nightcove, and Turo Navegant are guilty of treason against House Thrax. For their crimes, they are now our attainted enemy, and those who support them will join their fate. I hereby call our banners to war." With that declaration, Victus recedes back and finally retakes his seat. "Tears in our wake."
Tesha gives a look to those who speak from the line and then there is a look over Turo, Dagon and Anders. These guys might have a bad time ahead of them. The words from Aethan make her nod idly, but she goes back to listening when Victus speaks.
"Tears in our wake," Natasha echoes after Victus officially declares war. While she doesn't rise as her instructions have already been carried out of the hall by another member of the family, her dark eyes do slip over to Romulius sitting next to her.
"Tears in our wake," the masked Ember says, standing back up out of her seat to join in the rally, even though she had only just sat back down like, two seconds prior.
As Anders turns to leave, Dagon nods at the gesture and claps the shoulders of those that pass him, a gesture of solidarity that earns upnods and grim smiles from those who are leaving, as they pass to follow Anders. Dagon lingers behind, a last look at Victus, before he turns to follow suit.
Desiree's sapphire gaze moves from conversation at the Valardin bench towards Aethan when he rises to speak. The Wyrmguard spares Turo a look when he he called out but her attention returns to the Kennex. However it is the declaration from Victus that has the young noblewoman drawing in a breath and holding it there for a moment.
Turn in line: Keely
Lou is solemn as she hears Victus. She turns to Keely, "Princess Keely Grayson, you may address the Assembly."
Keely's turn in line comes, and for a moment she just stands there, frozen with the look of someone who is second guessing standing up at all. She opens her mouth, and at first, nothing comes out. Following a deep breath, however, she tries again, though it becomes evident that what she says has come too late.
"Thi-- this is a distraction," are her first, tremulous words when she finally finds her voice, dark eyes lingering on Liara for a moment before she forces herself to turn and look at the Assembly at large. She clears her throat, trying to lift her soft tones so they can be heard by most of the room, though it is clearly a strain and made a challenge by her obvious nerves. Focusing on Dagon and his cohorts even as they rise to leave, she says, "My lords, you speak of your concerns that tradition is under threat, and you are heard." Another pause, her lips pressing together a moment to stop them trembling before she continues. "I implore you to consider that your own actions threaten that which you cherish far more than any Highlord Victus has undertaken. There are threats far greater to all of us than a disagreement over succession, as we saw in Bastion, as we have seen here in Arx time and again even in the last year." She has to pause again, swallowing thickly, hands at her sides clutching into her skirts to stop them shaking. "Divided, like this, we do not stand a chance. Killing one another is only making the tasks of these threats to humanity easier. What good is preserving tradition if we will not stand together in the face of that which would render it moot?"
She drags in a breath, looking over her shoulder to Victus, and then forward, to Haakon, Ember, Anders('s back?), and back to Dagon. "-Please-," she implores with more emphasis than she ever says anything. "Please lay down your arms and find a way toward peace. For the strength of the Compact. For the strength of us all."
Looking like she is ready to pass out, she exhales all of the breath in her lungs and trips her way gracelessly back to the Grayson benches where she tucks herself between Ailys and Aindre, white as a sheet.
Aethan stands when Victus gives word, "Tears in our wake!" Then he sits down and talks to others around him.
Edris's expression is grave, though he remains quiet. His hands rest lightly on his knees. But there is a certain weight of momentary grief that washes over him as well, as the words flow around him.
Aconite's tense expression softens to warm approval for a moment.
Sydney stands firmly from her place at the Commoner's Bench and applauds Keely's words, full-force, like each hand is viciously furious with the other. She doesn't speak, but her applause are irritatingly forceful. SMACK SMACK SMACK SMACK.
Turn in line: Archeron
Sydney is overheard praising Keely: CLAP CLAP CLAP CLAP
Kenjay nods approvingly at Keely's words.
Lou nods to Keely, then looks to the next person. "Lord Archeron Tyde may come forward and speak to the Assembly."
Ailys offers a hand to the returning Keely, to steady her as she reseats herself. Her expression is somber, but she nods approvingly. "Well spoken, cousin."
Iseulet gets impatient in line and seeing as how those who she wished to address are GONE, she steps out. Again. Sighing, and of course returning Valdemar's sword back to him.
Oswyn one hand rubbing his bearded chin, Oswyn nods a little when Keely speaks.
Raja glances up from her place at the commoner's bench and brings her own hands together with Keely's speech.
Catalana listens to Keely with a nod of compassion but to those beside her, she admits quietly, "This war has been brewing since we began freeing Thralls.This has always been inevitable."
Zoey checks composure at normal. Zoey is successful.
Valdemar gets up from his seat and stalks out of the Assembly.
Archeron stands once more, this time a lot calmer as he pulls at his shirt and straightens it "Your Graces, Highnesses, fellow nobles. The first I wish to underline is that Duke-Consort Dagon Tyde speaks only for himself, and whatever the outcome I hope this body will recognise his betrayal of his oaths to House Tyde, and attach no blame to House Tyde, to Duchess Margot or to their children for Duke Consort Dagon's....well. Even the bluntest of tools might be useful in the hands of skilled farmer, I suppose."
Archeron coughs gently at that point and moves on "The other thing I wished to make clear is where Tyde stands. There are probably none in this assembly who have reason to hate Victus Thrax more than me. In fact I told him so on our first meeting. He laughed and agreed. Victus led the troops into Tyde Hall for Donrai. The killing of my family down to those of us who now remain. Because of him I was a boy in exile in Grayson lands, who became a ranger of Ashford to make myself useful. I was taken far away from the life I should have had, and left with the responsibility to speak for the family who could no longer say so. Duchess Margot was taken to Donrai as a child in chains. Perhaps if she were here she could claim a better right."
"But you see. The Victus who killed my family, even the Victus I met that day when I came to the city? He isn't here. He is dead. Killed by the responsibilities and choices he has made. Something better came in his wake, forged in the fires of his errors, and of the times we have all come to. House Tyde stands by the betrothals of Duchess Margot's heirs to Victus' heirs, and we stand by House Thrax. We would have the Victus we have come to know, the forge-hardened steel, over well..." And Archeron gestures at Dagon "House Thrax has no need to call us to war. We are already at it, since now it seems clear Duke-Consort Dagon conspired with House Nightcove and rebellious Tyde vassals to attack Tyde itself. And that betrayal wounded us. But the thing about a wave. It falls, yes. But each time? It rises once more. And, dear sweet feeble Dagon? Here we come." And with that he sits.
Having been a largely silent observer of proceedings, apart from a few quiet words now and then to the others at the central table, Liara stirs herself enough to give a gentle incline of her head in apparent agreement with Keely's first words about a distraction. Then, she goes back to listening.
Valdemar has left the Thrax Benches.
With the Royal House of Thrax having officially called its banners, and those they've been called against making their departure, Romulius rises from his seat. The prince looks down towards his wife, a hushed word offered to Natasha before he pivots on a heel to leave.
Romulius has left the Thrax Benches.
Natasha has left the Thrax Benches.
Natasha leaves, following Romulius.
Lou inclines her head in Archeron's direction, then turns her attention and curiosity to Turo. "Marquis Turo Navegant, you may step forward and address the Assembly."
Turo does not look toward Aethan at the address, or the insults. He's eyes front again. When it comes his time to speak, however, he steps forward, turns his back to Victus and the others at the table, and looks out over the gathered, over those of Thrax, and finally at those of House Kennex.
"House Kennex. You have been true, you have been loyal, you have done what you felt is right, however misguided, however you have stumbled along the way, as we all do." He lifts his chin ever so slightly. "And what has it earned you, this path that he has, and will, lead you down? What does Stormward have in exchange for following a man that has no right to be followed? *Misery*. Ashes. Your brother murdered, your coffers emptied, your population in chaos? What came of this, the misguidedly selfless act to free murderers and bandits to run across the Isles unchecked?"
He pauses, but only a moment. "*Scorn*. Humiliation. The assistance of the other Houses and the Faith, but always with a sword graced tongue, begrudging and condemning, because you did it 'wrongly'. They insulted and belittled House Kennex in this very Assembly for doing the thing they claim they want. Freedom for the thralls. Freedom to die at their hands. And what then? What now? We will all crumble, we will all fall in the face of our enemies, while our 'allies' laugh. While *you* laugh, and call for blood. I do not threaten you. I stand for what I believe is right. For what *is* right. I make no calls to end your houses, though I hope you may see reason and sense before you end them yourselves."
He bows to the Assembly, and then turns to leave as well.
Raven's eyes widen and her nostrils flare as Kennex is addressed directly. Her jaw sets and lips press into a pale-lipped scowl.
Zoey checks composure at hard. Zoey fails.
Aconite murmurs to a Whisper Apprentice seated on the other side of her. Then the Apprentice gets up to leave.
Iseulet lingers long enough, but in the end, she decided it's best for her to depart too, though she does so silently, shaking her head.
Ian says a few words to Aethan and then braces on his cane and pushes himself to his feet, following on Turo's heels out of the Assembly.
Iseulet has left the Thrax Benches.
Thea lifts her eyebrow a touch at the words being spoken.
Lou raises a brow faintly at Turo, then dares to call from her spot. "Children are not murderers and bandits. They're /children/ yet they are thralls too." That's all she says on that matter before she turns her attention to Medeia. "The Assembly calls Lady Medeia Eswynd forward."
Scraps has left the Voices of the Realm.
Dagon has left the Thrax Benches.
Anders has left the Thrax Benches.
Smile has left the Thrax Benches.
Turo has left the Thrax Benches.
Ian has left the Thrax Benches.
Herja has left the Commoner Benches.
Crawfish has left the Commoner Benches.
Turn in line: Medeia
Zoey is on her feet before she realizes she is moving, she opens her mouth as if to speak and speak *loudly* at that, but something seems to stop her from doing so. Instead she turns to Aethan and seems to ask him something.
"I come before the Assembly in many roles," Medeia says as she addresses everyone around her. "A daughter of House Saik, a noble of House Eswynd, protege of Duchess Margot Tyde... And as the Assistant Guildmaster of the Physicians Guild and Voice of the Apothecary College of Tor." Clearing her throat, her attention lands on Aethan. "As a daughter of Saik, I ask that my sister Arcelia be given leniency when war finds Navegant. If no leniency is to be found, I pray that her children - the heirs to the lands of Escuma - be given the best supports for ruling when they are of age. We are being asked by those who supported the attack of our fair capitol and the murder of our Dominus to break under their demands. No. And I will see to it that Saik gives Navegant /nothing/ to aid in this treason." She looks up at the Voices, then her attention moves to Haakon and Archeron with a small smile. "As the second and third roles, I ask nothing, but know that my house will follow our liege - as is our duty." For a brief moment, she considers Victus before bowing her head and returning to address the whole of the Voices of the Realm. "On behalf of the Physicians Guild and the Apothecary College, I vow that none will be left to suffer needlessly of curable ailment or injury. And no aid beyond that will go to the houses that have pitched war against Faith and Compact." At that, she sits beside Haakon once more.
Paler than usual, Denica stands up and starts to walk towards the door. If people are still talking, she isn't fully focused, but rather she is moving quickly, like she's about to break into a run, at any given moment. Sketch book clutched to her chest, she is holding onto her emotions, as tight as the book before she's gone with the train of blood-red starlight silk dragging behind her.
Denica has left the Thrax Benches.
Aconitestands with a few words to those near her on the benches and heads out the door.
Aconite has left the Commoner Benches.
Raven pulls out a flask and looks towards the voices-gaze resting on one in particular.
Savio shakes his head at the whole situation In General, murmurs something discreetly to his companions at the Setarcan benches, and gently makes a discreet exit.
Savio has left the Setarcan Benches.
Aella has left the Redrain Benches.
Bahiya is overheard praising Kenjay: He speaks from the heart; there is no better voice to speak with.
Lou glances to see where the line starts and no one else there. 'Is there any one else wishing to speak before the Assembly?" she'll give it a moment or two.
Giorgio has left the Setarcan Benches.
Zoey has left the Thrax Benches.
Sydney is visibly seething, her arms folded tightly, one leg bouncing irritably, but so far she's managed to keep herself in check, and refrained from any outbursts, save for that rather /enthusiastic/ bout of applause when Keely spoke.
Jasher has left the Thrax Benches.
Khanne has joined the line.
Mailys has left the Setarcan Benches.
"So many lives," Deva comments gravely, sliding a hand over her mouth as her expression skews into one of grim concern. She looks toward her fellow Northerners at the Redrain benches as the moment washes over her.
Lou smiles a bit as Khanne joins the line. She motions the Halfshav woman forward. "Duchess Khanne Halfshav, you may address the Assembly."
Turn in line: Khanne
As Anders Nightcove, Turo Navegant, and Dagon Thrax leave the Assembly, the assembled guards and retainers watch them file past with curious expressions. It's not like they couldn't hear the shouting and didn't witness Evander Darkwater get 'gently encouraged to leave' by the King's Own. As they walk past those Thrax guards in attendance, Dagon makes eye contact with some of them as he walks past. Slowly, one then several of the guards abandon their weapons, tear their badge from their uniforms, and follow their Prince on their expeditious walk to the docks and their waiting ships. In the end, nearly a third leave their posts to join up with the Traditionalists.
Edris has left the Valardin Benches.
The line has been dismissed by Lou.
Aindre has left the Grayson Benches.
Khanne rises to her feet and looks around the Assembly, those who remain, and then to the Voices of the Realm. "I will make this brief, as much has been said this day. House Halfshav is aligned with Thrax through marriage. That alliance was made under High Lord Victus, and we intend to uphold that alliance. On a personal note... It is not merely because of the oath we gave, but because we believe in the changes Victus has made. We believe in freedom. We believe in the choice Skald has granted us, and we will stand by the side that represents that freedom." She gives a nod, looking to Victus. "Thank you," she says to the Assembly and retakes her seat.
Gehenna has joined the Thrax Benches.
Wash stands to follow Aethan out.
Raven rises and rolls her shoulders and her head and begins to file for the exit herself.
Wyla, a small wisp of an assistant arrives, delivering a message to Theo before departing.
Gehenna has left the Thrax Benches.
While her brother departs, Ailys stays to hear Duchess Khanne's remarks, then stands as well. Her expression is tired, and sad. "Let's go home, Keely."
Lou inclines her head solemnly in Khanne's direction. "Thank you. On that note, I call the officially meeting to an end."
Lou inclines her head solemnly in Khanne's direction. "Thank you. On that note, I officially call the meeting to an end."
Sydney stands from her seat and turns so fast that she smacks the poor soul next to her on the commoner's benches with her hair as she stomp-walks out of the building, fists clenched.
Archeron is overheard praising Khanne: The Northlands came to Tyde's aid when last we faced a Thrax prince with unhealthy ambitions, glad to fight alongside them again now Dagon attempts a poor mummery of that.
With the calling for the meeting to end, Raja rises from her seat. More offerings of nuts and dried berries are offered to those in the benches near her. "Well. I guess it is time to head home then." She grins to the others, "See you guys around."
Sydney has left the Commoner Benches.
Theo stands up from his seat at the Lyceum benches and slips a small journal into the inside pocket of his coat. He gives a nod to those seated nearby before he departs to make his way toward the Grayson seating, keeping his focus on Keely if she chooses to leave. If she does, he'll escort her out of the Assembly.
Raja has left the Commoner Benches.
Deva upnods toward the Redrain guards lingering in wait for her. As Khanne concludes, she gives the Duchess a warm look accompanied by a bow of her head. It's still not quite a smile, given the gravity of it all, but it's the closest she has seemed this whole time. "Thank you, Princess," she tells Lou as the Grayson calls the meeting to an end.
Theo has left the Lyceum Benches.
As a fiery Assembly of Peers starts to draw to a close, exhausted riders from the Oathlands gallop through Arx, delivering messages to all the wards of the city. A massive, coordinated Abandoned attack has occured just north of Riva and Greenhaven, destroying several villages, shrines, and acres of valuable forest. The few survivors speak of the attack being led by a strange woman with a blood red bow that shot arrows further and harder than any of them had ever seen. There are other, stranger stories that seep out, of some parts of the forest eaten down to nothing within minutes by swarms of massive insects and infestations of small, blood-sucking bugs that ran rampant through the villages. Most just consider those the thoughts of traumatized minds rather than stories that one should set store by.
These messengers also return with the devastating news that Lady Monique Greenmarch, the Minx of the Marches who just happened to be traveling through the area, is a casualty of the attack. They relay that she engaged in single combat with the archer-leader of the attacking Abandoned, and seemed at times that she might best the other woman, but in the end fell. Survivors claim that the Minx was taken out by an arrow to the heart that sprouted blood red vines that slithered over her, but, again, the messengers stress that terror can make people see strange things.
Without a word of goodbye to anyone, and still wearing her gruesome helm, Ember rises to her feet and makes her way to depart.
Aethan has left the Thrax Benches.
William, a taciturn quartermaster leaves, following Aethan.
Ember has left the Thrax Benches.
A pack of giggling and gossiping Redreef handmaidens leaves, following Ember.
With the Assembly officially called to conclusion, Natasha rises from the Thrax benches and moves towards the aisle. She doesn't leave just yet, however. She patiently waits for Victus at the base of the dais, pale hands folded in front of her. It seems that she intends to walk back to the estate with him, and will remain until he is ready.
Desiree begins to rise from her seat. Hands smooth down the rose leather and silk gown while she bids her Valardins adieu.
Ryhalt has left the Valardin Benches.
Raven has left the Setarcan Benches.
Tesha gives a look over all the departing and then up to Khanne as the Duchess speaks and there is a nod to her words. When Lou officially calls the Assembly to a close the woman rises, looking like some of her color has came back since the spooky word 'Donrai' had been used. She makes her way out quietly and alone.
Tesha has left the Valardin Benches.
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