Valardin Crisis Conference
July 31, 2022, 8 p.m.
Arx - Ward of House Valardin - Valardin Manor - War Room
Comments and Log
Alis makes an OOC note using pose for the log, so people can reference it - ((This meeting is about the @action we intend to submit for the crisis associated with Helena 'Big Mad' Thornweave. There will probably be too many of us to have a live GM'd scene. So, there is also a prp in the works once they are opened again to address smaller patches of Thornweave/Legion/Traitor threats in the area that will be open to those who are looking to beat some shit up. Fear not! We will appease both those traditionalists and our bloodlust.))
"Welcome! I'm glad for all of you who could make it, and trust that you will pass along some meeting notes for those who should be here, but couldn't." Alis address the group semi-crowded into the war room in a projecting voice, to cut through any of the chatter, and draws their attention to the map table. "I've put some pins in where we know of Thornweave Trees appearing, and disappearing. So, Red Run, Arden Woods, Oakhaven, and Blancbier. There's also a separate pin at Riva, since we believe they are the most at risk from Helena Thornweave and their legion-thralled members' attack. So, before I relay what we think might be the best use of our resources, is there any disagreement with the current assessment?"
She opens the floor for comment, with that. But, quickly holds up a hand. "I have no idea yet where what happened at Cloudspine fits in. I suspect it may be related to the disappearance of people along the Crownlands/Northlands border. But, it's too early to tell unless we have someone here with more information already."
Willen arrives, following Lou.
Raven has joined the a comfortable blue sofa with ivory pillows.
Akamos arrives, looking around, offering an upnod to those who greet him as he enters, the trident house Magnotta just shuffles to the side, finding a convenient post or column to lean against and listen to what's being discussed around him, acting as an observer for now.
Cristoph has been her since before the meeting began, dressed in the standard leather and silk with military span that he favors. He's found a place to rest his body, pitched against a wall. There's a drink in his hand and he takes the occasional sip, glancing out over crowd of people.
Drake has joined the a majestic brown oak table with a map of Arvum carved into the surface.
Princess Katarina is present in her capacities as many things, for many hats are worn upon her voluminous mane of curls. She's a Princess, for one. She's a minister, for another. She's a naval admiral, for a third. And she's also the arm candy of Prince Alistair Velenosa. Katarina arrives on the arm of the High Inquisitor, and makes polite greetings to those she knows as she drags Alistair along. She takes a seat near Alis at the map table, and once seated, looks over to Alistair with a smile. Then she hushes, to listen to what people have to say.
Drake arrives and has a seat at the table. As is frequently true for Drake, he seems high energy, but he's not too excitable considering the matter that's going to be discussed at the table today. He shakes his head: no disagreement with Alis so far.
Raven slinks in barely on time, chilled, and somewhat wearied looking but doing her best to not make a scene or even standing out. She finds someplace to settle and eases down with a slight wince as if nursing a healing injury.
Richard arrives, in diamondplate armor shined to an impossibly perfect standard. At least, it might well have been, if the driving snow that coated him even in the short distance didn't leave slight splotches on the front of the breatplate, earning the faintest of frowns from the Oathlands knight when he notices. Still, he's quick to select a seat at the table once he's secured himself a tea, though he lets it cool as he bows his head towards the Highlord and Voices. His gaze is on the map, ticking over where the various pins are noted, particularly that of Blanciber. "A fair summary of what I've also heard, Your Grace," he inclines his head to Alis.
Ryhalt shakes his head to Alis that he neither disagrees with her assessment nor has new information concerning Cloudspire.
Lou slips in just on the cusp of overhearing Alis's opening statement. She nods her head quietly in the Highlord's direction and then goes to find a place to lean against the wall so she might har what's going on.
The Inquisitor is here! Alas, probably not many tax evaders and criminals about here. The man is very much out of place amongst the Valardin, for a variety of reasons. He gives a slight bow to Alis, "Princess of Sanctum... the Princess Katarina informed me of the topic today. And I will remark that Helena Thornweave is of particular interest to the Crown's Inquisitorial Order..." Make of that what you will... before he takes a seat next to Katarina and resolves into his eye piercing silence. Hopefully no one talks about forbidden untoward subjects.
A small choir of bells echo through the hall as Mattheu Rivenshari wanders into the war room in a aloof state, stopping only to find the table of food to then turn and weave throughout the crowd assembled to find himself a small platter probably meant for serving and makes it his own. A pile of cheeses and bread, even room for some tea to balance upon the pilfered tray as he proceeds to prop himself up in the corner to listen in.
Tesha arrives quietly and without the guards and pair of dogs that she usually has with her. Better to leave them at home given there was already a group that had gathered before she got there. She's dressed in the usual crimson that she is. She gives quiet greetings to those that she knows, but takes up a spot on so that she can listen to what is being talked on. She does give a look to Richard, offering the man a soft smile and a nod of greeting, but not interrupting things.
Raven wonders quietly, "Has anyone compared the history of the lands where this is happening against where Thornweave has struck?"
Kael arrives precisely on time - really, before Alis speaks - with a few brief words spoken to Edris. He clasps his cousin on the arm before navigating with Keely (who happens to be on his arm) toward the seating area. Since Katarina has moved on one side of Alis, he assists the Grayson relatively near her other side. After all, the Highlord is her patron. As for the Keaton himself, he steps back and is moving to naturally stand a little bit behind and to the side of the Valardin. "For those that are unaware," Kael says, speaking up. "Oakhaven and Arden Woods-" and the Keaton glances to Edris to ensure that the Elwood is fine with his continuing, "have successfully repelled an attack recently. As such, we will not be pursuing any martial activity at this point against our trees and ask that any visitors to our demesne are respectful of their presence."
Alis tips her head in thanks to each of those who offer their agreement for what she's stated so far, and turns her attention momentarily towards Alistair. "Your Highness. If you've an interest in joining us in any action we take to address House Thornweave, we would be happy to accommodate. Or anyone you designate, of course." she offers politely. ((ie - add you to the org as an ally for the duration of the crisis so you can join the action)).
To Raven, she comments. "We have. It is why we believe the lands of Riva are most at risk." A gesture is made towards Mattheu there, before she adds. "Which leads me to what we think will be the best use of House Valardin's resources. And that will be to shore up the defenses of potential targets. We hope that Houses who are not targets will join with us in doing this. So far, Riva is the primary target identified and we hope they will accept our assistance. We know it must be their choice. Is there any other House who feels they are a target?"
Alis also gesture towards Kael. That. Yes, that too.
Edris enters along with the Keaton contingent, slightly behind Kael and Keely, though he remains at the back of the room as they move forward. The tall Elwood's expression is it's usual solemn resting face, but at least he's made some offort to be presentable, leathers polished, everything trimmed, so he's looking more like a peer of the realm rather than someone who just stumbled out of the woods. Though he doesn't disrupt the meeting as it begins, he does offer a deep bow towards the Highlord and Admiral, and then other courteous ones towards the other assembled lords and ladies. Richard, Ailys, and Raven are even offered fleeting if warm smiles. He nods solemnly to Kael's words, when his cousin and liege. Especially on the latter point.
Keely looks mildly exhausted, her face drawn and void of color save for the faint, dark circles beneath her dark eyes. Today she is using Kael's arm as more than a token of escort, leaning a little into his support until the draw near enough to Cristoph that she can gently disengage in order to greet the Duke with gloved hand squeezes and soft whispers. She then returns to the Keaton Marquis and lets him help her into a seat beside her patron, where she settles quietly and listens on without comment so far.
Marquessa Dominique Wyrmguard, recently returned to the city from Blancbier with her husband, Calarian, arrives with little fanfare. Dipping her head with the utmost respect toward Alis, the Marquessa leads the way toward a pair of seats at the table in time to hear the brief assessment. She looks to Calarian briefly, her expression grim as she hears the tail end of what Alis has to say, and then she looks down at the various pins with a slight frown on her lips, particularly the one near Blancbier. She listens to Alis, waiting for her to finish, and she nods her head slightly. "I do have a report concerning the situation at Blancbier," she notes. "I am not certain if it will be helpful, or if you already have access to the information, but I am certain every little bit helps." She waits though, to see if anyone else wishes to speak up.
Kiera enters after her brother's and quietly takes a seat near drake, getting out her notebook to take notes
Lou turns to Raven at her question. "The Valardin fealty has a long, in depth history of helping House Grayson with the traitor, and I believe some of the smaller fealties have their own issues with him as well. My best guess is that's where he's concentrating the most, those that might have once been allies or thorns in his side. Which is not a play on words, but statement of fact." That said, the Voice of Grayson and leader of the Explorers looks back to the meeting at hand.
Drake nods to this, as Alis lays out the plan. He gives a glance to Mattheu, a friend of the family who is one mostly directly impacted by all of this. This can't be an easy discussion to be a part of. He raises his hand, with a small pause. "Su'tavi, who are known to be allied with the Traitor, had set up camp somewhere in the woods that way, though this intel is quite old by now. I was thinking about investigating their movements further."
Ailys, settled cozily in a chair appropriately distant from the map table for an ally, flickers a little wave to Edris. The expression on her face goes more solemn, however, when she observes the state of her cousin Keely.
Katarina remains silent, keenly listening. When Alistair speaks up, and Alis acknowledges him in turn, she offers each of them a polite smile, but otherwise her expression is a serious (though not quite solemn) one. She has a small journal in her lap, and she's taking little notes in flowing, calligraphic Eurusi script.
Ryhalt shakes his head to Alis. "I've seen no evidence to suspect that Westrock is a target." He looks curiously to Dominique.
Calarian's own expression is similarly sober as he nods ever so slightly towards Dominique. He is otherwise quiet as the Marquessa speaks up, taking instead the time to direct his own assistant to begin writing down notes for the meeting. The man himself, meanwhile, listens intently to every word spoken... and how.
Thalamina arrives to the war room fashionably late, seemingly in accompaniment to Prince Alantir Valardin. The hood of her cloak is eased off of her head, careful not to disturb willful strands of copper hair she wrangled into a single plait down her back. She angles for a location near the back of the room. If she hoped to maintain an unassuming presence, the her companion's noisy plate armor does a perfect job at undermining it.
Raven bows her head, "Between something the Spirits said in warning to the spirit walkers and something-...something a scout at Grayhold saw via magesight, I am particularly interested in the history of the places under threat-I am interested because I have the suspicion that not only will that reveal which places are possibly under attack-but also likely contains a clue of how they might be best defended-it is likely to be similar ways that they were protected before."
Although Richard has no writing implements, he does appear to be listening intently in place of taking any notes. He's not unaware of what else is going around him, however, dipping his head towards Drake, Tesha, and then Edris in turn, and though there's no smile, that's normal for the Commander. The newly arrived Wyrmguards, too, get a nod, to cousin and cousin-in-law, before he turns his gaze back to Alis. "Do you wish to deploy the infantry to shore up Riva, in particular, Your Grace? I am thinking perhaps a part force at a handful of the larger Valardin localates, ready to assist with back up if needed, while the bulk remains at Sanctum."
Tesha gives a bit of a look around, "Since the Telmarch is on the border to the North we've been asked...and advised to start reinforcing our armies. Which I had started to do when strange occurences started. The trees from Redrun are accounted for and we've not had any other issues come up that I can think of, so I think that we're going to focus on making sure that our vassals are taken care of in this as well as provide support to Valardin with protecting to the North." she states. "I will make sure that Duke Ansel doesn't have other plans though before setting forth in others." she adds.
Mattheu nods softly to Alis then Drake and Raven as they speak. Looking to Raven as she brings up locations again, "You've mentioned these places before, though where are they specifically Raven? As you know I have my own research into similar ideas which would be helpful to know if they have any cross over." Then looking to Alis and Richard as they speak of sending troops to his home, "I cannot speak for my siblings, though I know that they have answered in previous meetings that any help in ground forces would be appreciated. We know the seas and rivers well and will have our floatila there, battle upon the ground..." He shakes his head gently, "We need help with."
Alis appears to rest her hand briefly on Keely's shoulder to give a supportive squeeze, looking out over the rest of the room with a smile cast towards the back of it, before she continues on watching for reaction and listening as well. Until Richard speaks up and she gives a nod of approval. There's a moment where she looks towards Kael and Cristoph to affirm or hear of any disagreement. But barring that, she offers verbal agreement as well. "Some of our archers might be a good idea as well. I worry that the horses will have a bad reaction to... the things House Thornweave does. So, the cavalry will have to remain behind. But, infantry and archers. Pikemen. Along with any traps or siege weapons or building resources we can provide." is confirmed; a grateful smile cast towards Tesha, then. "Thank you, Lady Tesha. Please send my regards to the Duke and Duchess when you speak to them." And a nod for Mattheu. "Of course."
Once settled into a seat, Dominique pulls out a folio from beneath her arm, and sets it on the table. She opens it, leafing through the documents there, before settling on one. "Yes, so it appears that according to my guards who went to investigate the situation, the people hanging from the trees died from massive blood loss, as they were pale and cold to the touch when found. However, there was no source of blood nearby. All five were fairly tall, with strangely sharp features and... unusual ears." She clears her throat, delivering the report in a stoic monotone. "The guards note that it was all very strange. The bodies, for now, have been placed in cold storage for the winter," she condludes, glancing around the table, "and the trees are being left alone for now. The villagers have been advised to find paths around them, and it is our plan to burn them, though we will refrain if anyone has any reasons why we shouldn't do so. That's all I've got," she says, closing the folio and sitting back. She listens with concern to the others speak, and nods. "It is my plan to gather as many as will follow, and further investigate the source of the trees. I am willing to commit the forces of Wyrmguard in a more offensive approach if we are able to discover the plans of the Thornweave and head them off."
"I'll talk to my cousin about sending help too, if he hasn't already made a commitment," Neve offers to Mattheu before reaching for his platter. Apparently she had elected to stand nearby him when she quietly found her way to the meeting.
Alistair folds his hands together, going silent as the Valardin Houses discuss preparation. "Simply High Inquisitor, at this time..." the man remarks to Alis, denoting the capacity he is here. "It might be helpful to do a joint working, but we are gathering information until we know more." He says in that dour quiet whisper that is his manner of speaking. He then glances around, eyes scanning those who are present... as if looking for someone.
As the others speak, there's a glance spared to the conversation between Lou and Raven and Cristoph comments more generally, "The Oathlands was once a major theater during the Elven War. At one point it needed to be entirely taken back, there are numerous keeps and families with connections to this period in history. And even beyond that. I don't know any targeting is happening because of prior connections to Grayson so much as the regions connection numerous other things."
Alis inclines her head towards Alistair in recognition of his comment, and then Dominique. "Good plan, Marquessa. Does this mean you do not think you'll need any help shoring up defenses, then? If so, please don't hesitate to reach out. We'll help as much as possible, those who ask."
"My lady," Edris speaks up, when Dominique shares her plan to burn the trees, "If I may, I have a request to make of you regarding that, though it can wait until after the meeting," he offers quietly, but in a respectful tone. But then he falls silent again, listening.
Richard dips his head towards Alis, his expression like he's making a mental note. "I'll reach out to the other Commander and we'll coordinate mixed units." He tips his head towards Mattheu. "I shall write to them and make the offer, Lord Mattheu. Thank you." While Dominique speaks, his gaze is on his cousin. "I speculate that was a message: not for us, but perhaps for Lord Oberion Thornweave. It may be that we are merely caught in the middle."
Alistair's eyes fall upon Cristoph as the Duke of Artshall speaks up. That gaze of the High Inquisitor lingers there.
Raven smiles apologetically to Mattheu, "I do not know yet, Lord Mattheu. These would be places which are of particular import to local legends or perhaps even the shaping of the houses, perhaps how a house came to power, it would be places where strife has occurred in the past. Blight, battles, castrophies. I have been seeking such places but either I am not communicating effectively or there are few people who have knowledge of this specific history, so it has been slow going."
Raven snaps her fingers and points at cristoph, "That'd be an excellent point to start."
When Alis is glancing back toward he and Cris, Kael dips his head once in agreement to the Highlord. His gaze tracks to Richard himself and he nods to the man before he is shifting his focus toward Mattheu. "I actually wished to speak with the Rivenshari, in particular, about their knowledge of the rivens and the waterways. For some areas it might be beneficial to set up plans of evacuation, should it come to it. Your expertise should be utilized." His brows lift there in unison to the Rivenshari lord before he glances across the area as a whole. He looks on to Tesha with her comment regarding reinforcing the border and he dips his head politely to her by way of gratitude.
Alis mouths a quiet thank you to Cristoph for fielding that, since she's trying to keep up with the other details. And Kael. Because teamwork makes the dream work everyone!
Katarina, meanwhile, is still taking notes, occasionally looking up in the direction of whoever is speaking.
Lou gives a dip of her head in Cristoph's direction for his answer back to Raven as well, acknowledging his words. For a moment her eyes stray over to Keely, observing her cousin's state, and she immediately starts digging around in her backpack. Her eyes widen in consternation, then she frowns at what she finds, or doesn't find, within. She grumbles under her breath and then gives Keely an apologetic look before turning her attention back to the meeting.
Tesha gives a dip of her head to Alis after she speaks, "Given that Riva is in the most danger we'll send more troops that way to help with their reinforcement and then work from there through our other vassals." she states. She has stopped smiling, it might be eerie how she can turn that off and on. She gives a dip of her head to Kael. Then her dark gaze goes about those gathered at the moment.
Dominique nods to Alis and adds, "We could always use aid safeguarding our people while we foray into the fight," she says gratefully. She glances to Richard, and nods to his words. "I do not think Blancbier is a target, but I do not have enough information to know for sure yet."
Katarina does pipe up with: "Whatever I can do to guide House Valardin's ships in aiding any such plans, it shall be done." Then back to note-taking.
Alistair continues to stare at Cristoph, the Velenosa having not fully domesticated the beast it seems. "I have heard that House Laurent harkens its history from House Durand, yes?" He remarks quietly, his gaze peeling away to sweep the crowd as he poses the question. He reaches into his uniform jacket, pulling out a small folded paper.
Alantir Valardin's ignorance of this subject matter, and general confusion regarding the state of the Oathlands, remains concealed beneath the closed visor of his helm. The last time he questioned the credibility of reports of walking trees and blood-starved bodies, Duke Cristoph Laurent gave him a very firm (and questionably polite) chewing out at the training center. So he bites his tongue, at least for now, and instead permits his gaze to shift from speaker to speaker when they engage each other in strategic discourse.
Dominique gives Edris a slight nod as well, offering him a brief smile. "Of course, my lord. We can speak of it after, if you like." She totally didn't miss that.
Raven remains attentive and lapses into silence, the one salient point she had to contribute communicated and-apparently understood. She focuses now on information being discussed and trying to make sense of what she's seeing on the map, even if she has to get off the couch to get a good look.
Tesha looks down to the information that Dominique gives and she pales a bit, "I had a feeling they were eating them." she whispers to herself. Then she looks up when she hears someone speak on House Durand and her nose wrinkles at the mention of the House.
Edris bows his head in respect to Dominique, with a brief smile offered her way as well. But he continues to listen, quietly.
Drake looks up at the conversation about Blancbier, but doesn't have much to add to it, giving Dominique a nod as well.
"To summarize so far: Those who believe they may need additional assistance are Riva, and Blancbier. I'm adding Arden Woods to that list. Those offering aid are House Telmar, and Laurent - which I believe is focusing on aid near Oakhaven and Arden Woods. Is there anyone else? High Hill, will you need reinforcement?" Alis, very focused on specifics today!
Drake looks at Alis, and nods just once, being acknowledged. He speaks now in a more official capacity, his chin up. "We're working on reinforcing our military capabilities, but don't believe Highhill to be a direct target. There is neither motive nor any intelligence from scouts of problems headed our way. I'd like to volunteer to assist Blancbier if it might be necessary, since, it was my home as well."
Alistair is looking at Cristoph, so Cristoph is now looking at Alistair. He doesn't say anything though, just looks. He's distracted by Raven snapping her fingers at him, something that gets a look extreme perplexation. "Yes, thank you," he begins uncertainly. "I've spent much of the last ten years researching all of that. I guess it does make a nice 'start'." He drinks again and then with an arch of his eyebrows looks to Kael and Alis, But then Alistair IS talking to him and he turns to regard the man, this question earns a faint smile. "Yes, it does. House Durand was the prior ruling family of Artshall."
"I have yet to determine where the Society of Explorers will be assisting, but generally overall we're geared toward events surrounding the latest series Thornweave activities since they're likely affecting three different areas. So, if a particular House or group wishes our aid, we are available." Lou speaks out from the sidelines, offering her leadership hat in the way of the Explorers.
Thalamina casts a glance up to the suit of armor standing motionless at her side, a helpless look registering on her features that could possibly read, 'You too?'
"The Eventide Flotilla, which I command separately from the rest of House Valardin's fleet, will be made available to whomever requires its aid," Katarina says, before going back to her note-scribbling. She's very note-oriented tonight. It keeps her hands busy.
Kael glances toward Cristoph when House Durand is mentioned, but it is a brief thing followed by a rub of his nose. When Alis is making notations of specific Houses that need attention, Kael nods his head. "Duke Laurent is sending troops to the Shadowood, where we are expecting assaults to fall toward us. Thankfully I do have a substantial amount of the area reinforced, but..." He shakes his head before chinning toward Edris as the representative Elwood on the premises. "I will increase activity to the south, to reinforce Arden. Additional assistance, given the history..." He trails off, expression going more grim by the moment.
Alistair unfolds the paper, reading a few lines. "The Inquisition's knowledge on House Thornweave is... limited." he says quietly. "I found very scant, but it appears before his death, the former Master of Questions Ruger..." Not the one that Alistair, Laric, and many of the veteran Inquisitions helped... remove, "Was doing research in the Oathlands. There seems to be a connection between Durand and Thornweave, beyond that obvious link... perhaps some have seen his notes floating around. It speaks of some kind of Seal... related to another problem we are all keenly aware of."
Dominique inclines her head to Drake as he offers assistance to Wyrmguard, and then she turns her attention to Lou, with a hint of interest. "If the Explorers would like to explore the trees in Blancbier lands more closely, they are welcome," she says. "I am certain we could do with the expertise when it comes to delving into unknown situations. I would like to organize a party to do so, to see if we can root out any clues as to the intentions behind this atrocity."
"Thank you, Count." Alis nods at Drake. A glance is slid towards Neve, then. "Does Greenmarch need any assistance? Or should I write to the Marquis separately to ask?" she wonders, making sure that they know they are not forgotten.
Tesha frowns at herself for a moment, maybe she was getting the Knights of the Swarm confused with another House. Maybe it wasn't Durand. So she goes back to her neutral face for meetings. It doesn't change the fact that the memory of the Knights makes her skin want to crawl off.
Raven offers an apologetic bow of her head, "Forgive me, Duke Christoph, I've just been asked to give suggestion or starting points and been at a loss with one to offer. Your observation is most timely and helpful, please forgive my impetuousness, and thank you for the most helpful insight. I'm meant to be stabbing things not researching." She shrugs her shoulders and draws in a deep breath, watching Keely briefly with a small, troubled frown.
"We've been going different directions for so long that I'm not sure what the Marquis might be planning," Neve admits to Alis. "I expect my cousin to return to the city again soon though. Writing him directly is the better idea."
"Where it comes to the Thornweave, it is true that Highhill was at one time... completely overwhelmed by them," Drake says, sounding puzzled for a moment, though even he isn't sure why, until his face lights up again. "But it never crossed my mind as a strategy that they'd simply try the same angle of attack again."
"To the best of my knowledge House Durand and House Thornweave existed at the same time," Cristoph begins in further explanation to Alistair. "But Durand was a half-blood house. They were part Sylv'alfar, but also part human. So they were not..." he holds a hand out and makes a wavering motion. "They never quite 'in' so to speak. Caught between two worlds, and susceptible to a madness that might be befall half-bloods."
"In addition to addressing House Thornweave, I think we will need to keep some of Legion's forces at bay. If there is anyone who will not be focused on shoring things up for those who need the miltiary aid, let me know and we'll also work on some plans to scout Legion controlled villages near the targeted areas to clear them out." Alis adds this, after a moment's thought, and looking down at the map table, moving some things around with a frown.
Lou glances over at Alistair when he mentions Berthold Ruger. Her expression is impassive and she frowns ever so slightly. She pushes from the wall and casually makes her way in his direction.
"I intend on leading a party to observe the trees at Blancbier," Edris says quietly. "Though it is somewhat narrow in scope. The findings will be shared with Grayson, Valardin, and also of course Wyrmguard. But if it would be useful, perhaps the findings can also be shared with the Society as well. It is uncertain as to if they will be relevant wholly, but it may very well be that any information, from a wide manner of angles, will be of use eventually." But he nods gravely to Alis. "Aye, Your Grace. I think it is important to not overly focus on this one aspect. The threats are many and I have little doubt distraction will be used to their maximum benefit."
Tesha looks to Alistair and there's a bit of a nod to him, "Your Highness, I have a small folio of Thornweave information if you'd like me to share it with you. Some of it might be information that isn't what you're looking for, but Thornweave is difficult to find things on." she states. Then Drake talks on Highhill and she gives a deeply sad look. She did miss Seth terribly in moments like this.
Keely continues to quietly listen, her dark and tired gaze mostly lingering at the center of the map table, though she will occasionally glance up when Alis or Cristoph speak.
Alis makes another OOC note here!! (( Okay, it looks like our action, as part of 'shoring up defenses' will include wiping out Legion controlled villages to make sure they can't help Thornweave. Since we won't be able to do a prp. So sorry for my confusion on that, everyone. So anyone interested in that can tag on to our action too. I'll let you all know when I write it up, and ask for who wants an invite.))
Ryhalt glances over to Drake. "I was under the impression that the reason why they attacked Highhill...already passed. Unless one got bound there again, I don't think they'd attack again?" He shrugs slightly as it's hard to tell if something was neglected in that attack or not.
Lou looks back to Dominique as she realizes someone was talking to her. "I will deliberate on that, Marquessa Dominque and get back with you shortly," she says in response to the request to look into the trees at Blaccbier.
Kiera hes "I thought of those events as past, said events having parcipitated the attacks four years ago. thornweave seal. breached attacks on high hill
Drake nods to Ryhalt, not in confusion but in agreement.
Alistair inclines his head to Alis as she speaks of Legion, "I trust it comes as no surprise to those present here. Those who confront Helena Thornweave will likely be confronting the Occult and the Abyss. If you have the time and resources, reach out to Inquisitor Natasha Thrax. She has developed contacts which have provided great tools in fights against such entities. And in the past I can vouch for the effectiveness of ... ballistae." The man then turns his attention to Tesha, "Any information shared would be appreciated."
Katarina does look over at Keely, and waves her pencil at her a little bit, to discreetly say 'hi' in the middle of this deadly serious gathering. Then she's back to notes.
Richard finally sips his tea, it being cool enough now to drink. He gives a nod towards Lord Edris, his gaze flickering to Dominique afterwards. It's Alistair's words now that has the Knight turning to see the source of the voice. It might just be he aapproves of ballistae though.
Mattheu speaks softly with Neve and Kiera, sharing from his platter in manner that both are stealing from it.
Alis looks so very interested at the mention of ballistae. "As a matter of theory, of course - could one .. theoretically..." She reiterates this a lot, and definitely does not look at Kael or Cristoph right now. "Could one be used to launch a well armored person at the enemy?"
Alistair squints slightly. "That sounds very... unwise... what if you miss?"
Dominique glances over at Alistair as he speaks up with his recommendation of Natasha Thrax's expertise, and she nods thoughtfully. She looks to Edris then and says in response to his stated intentions, "As that was also my intention, perhaps we might team up on that score, my lord?" she suggests, with regards to directly scouting out the issue with the trees at Blancbier. "Perhaps another thing to speak of after the meeting?"
Ryhalt choke-laughs at Alis' question. Water went down the wrong way, definitely isn't laughing at High Lord. Noooope, nooope.
Cristoph puts a hand on Alis' shoulder and just says, "No."
Katarina puts down her journal and /glares/ at Alis.
Katarina checks command and intimidation at hard. Katarina is successful.
Alis makes a bit of a sad face, but continues on anyway. "That's why they'd be well ar... mored." Fine, fine. She scowls at Cris, and Katarina. "It was just theoretical." she mutters.
"I'm willing to try, Your Grace." Is Richard volunteering to be the one inside or the one pulling the trigger? Unclear.
Kael glances toward those discussing Highhill, looking from one to another individual in brief before he turns his attention back to Edris in brief. When Alistair remarks about Natasha Thrax, his focus shifts appropriately and he nods to the man. He remarks, "I have already started to communicate with Her Highness, and yes, she is an excellent individual to converse with regarding numerous topics. I have a debriefing scheduled with her soon." He looks on the cusp of saying something else, but Alis' words have him shift his focus to her. He looks absolutely straight-faced as he stares at her, and after Cristoph sets his hand on her shoulder, he nods. "No," he confirms.
Ailys chokes quietly on a mouthful of her tea.
Lou raises both brows at Alis's question about ballistae. She covers her mouth with her hand; is that a smile or a chuckle she's covering? Maybe. Just a tiny one.
Raven's brows knit, "What the-" She squints at Alis but looks more puzzled than alarmed. She looks around, clearly having missed something in this conversation.
"Your Grace, you are my sister, and I love you with all of my heart." Katarina picks her journal back up. "But if you die and stick me with the regency of the Oathlands, I will find your next turn of the Wheel and kill /them/."
"Aye," Edris replies to Dominique. "And even if not combined, coordination will likely be very important, given the nature of the nature of the situation. Alis' words have him glancing that way for a moment, a half smile briefly and uncharacteristically quirking his lips--but then it's back to resting stern face.
Tesha gives a look to Alis and there's a bit of a chuckle. Then she looks to the next person who volunteers and it's Richard. She gives him a bit of a look, "My Lord, didn't you just get that armor made?" she asks him. "It would be a shame to dent it hitting a wall." she adds.
Keely actually, for the first time in this meeting, shows some life, and turns her head to crack a smile at Alis. It is small but genuinely full of mirth, and she momentarily secures her patron's hand beneath the table for a small squeeze of consolation when her ideas is shot down. Pun intended.
Drake tries not to look like he's smirking at the comment toward Richard, but, well, he's laughing a bit.
Calarian slowly blinks as the talk takes such a peculiar direction, but through numerous years of diplomatic experience, says nothing and manages to keep a straight face.
When the tea situation is under control, Ailys, usually so quiet and calm, stares daggers at Alis and the Richard.
Richard sips his tea with ease, his taciturn expression unchanged. "I have a squire, Lady Tesha."
Alistair continues, seeming oblivious to everyone else. "But if you don't miss. It could be effective, depending on the fighter that is launched."
Dominique inclines her head to Edris, her own features remaining rather unmoved by the banter going on around the table, presenting an outward stoicism. She does remain attentive, however, to any other important tidbits that might pop up in the conversation.
Katarina discreetly, but not discreetly enough, whaps Alistair in the side and sotto-voices, "High Inquisitor, no."
Tesha looks to Richard and there's a squint to him, "Oh well it'll be character building for them then." she states quietly.
Alis looks completely innocent here, though a bright smile is cast towards Richard. Whether he's volunteering as tribute, or tribute thrower - obviously they think alike on this one. A wink is given towards a few at the back of the room, even, and she outright laughs at Kat's response, before clearing her throat. "You understand my thoughts on the matter then, High Inquisitor. I think it could be worth looking into if we're able to perfect the aim." That's all she says. "Okay - another summary! I'm getting it right eventually, I promise! We will be...
First, providing military aid to Riva, and possibly Blancbier and Arden Woods. Shored up by further aid from Telmar, and Laurent.
We will also put together teams of interested people to go wipe out Legion controlled villages.
Is there anything else?"
Kiera looks to Richard and simply states "I will not be explaining balistae to our mothe"
Drake pauses for a moment. "Is there a manner by how these teams would be decided. I'm sure many would be willing to volunteer."
Raven frowns, "Ahhhhh. Pardon me, Highlord. I erm..." She flicks a glance at Lou and then back to Alis, "There may be a way to spare some of the need for raids but it is something perhaps discussed later."
Katarina lifts her pencil. "Ah, I have something to request, actually, Your Grace."
Lou's only response to Raven is to raise a brow in her direction. She's not sure what The Blackheart means, it seems.
"Anyone willing and an Oathlander. ((Or an ally in the @org))." Alis says promptly, of by how teams will be decided. "Once we know who is volunteering, something will be figured out." she promises, though her gaze flickers towards Raven. "A way to wipe out Legion controlled villages without raids? We can discuss, obviously. It's not fire, is it. Is it fire?" she wonders, and then gestures for Katarina to go ahead.
Kael clears his throat. "Some of the heads of the Household - and others - have been made aware of an additional verse of a particular song that has been said and is said to have events of truth take place. In particular, for those of Valardin, we are considering the following:
Dragon stand tall
He'll come for all
Take vengeance piece by piece
While this is not the focus on this day, I do wish to reinforce the importance of defensive preparations. If anyone would like to see a copy of the song in full, it is in the Valardin library. If you would like to discuss it in detail, any of us," Kael gestures toward Cristoph, Alis, and himself, "will make ourselves available." Did he just glance sidelong to Cris since he is volunteering him? Perhaps. The twitch of his lips is indicative of that. At least he sobers substantially when Katarina speaks, shifting his focus to Her Highness.
Tesha gives a small moment of thought and then reaches to write out a small message to her guard. The Tower's not far from the manor of Valardin. But one of the guards returns with a small sheaf of papers and hands it to her before he retreats. She then walks them over to Alistair, "I hope that these help, your Highness." she tells him quietly. Then she gives a dip of her head and steps back to where she was. "A few of us have puzzled out that the Maw and the Traitor might be trying to work together...which is bad news for the Oathlands and the Northlands if this is true." she frowns to that.
Alistair takes the sheaf of papers that Tesha offers, taking a moment to read through the many notes. He does so in complete silence, and without commentary, as the meeting goes on. When he is done he looks up to Tesha and gives a nod to her. "Very useful, Lady Telmar. The Crown is apprecative of your sharing of knowledge... if we can return to favor in the future you may call."
Raven blink-blinks, "No, highlord. It's not fire or distroying the villages. I'll explain later. In short...I believe in some of the cases taking care of the thornweave issue will clear at least some of the villages on it's own. It's about choosing the right target first."
There's a raising of his eyebrow for the conversation at hand, but Cristoph doesn't interrupt, leaving Alis and Kael to handle the arrangement of meetings with Raven. "Yes, I'll be there if you need me, of course."
Kiera hms "There are other lines in that verse I believe are directly related to po persons of interest
Katarina is about to speak, when Kael brings up the True Song. "Ah, you're missing part of it, Marquis," she says, and flips backward through her journal. "The stanzas are paired. 'Though home reclaimed, And allies gained, Griffin will find no peace; Dragon stand tall, He'll come for all; Take vengeance piece by piece.' So. I can only imagine that the Griffin is an allusion to House Grayson, but... I truly believe that to understand the one part, we must also understand the other." A smile from Katarina.
"But, er, as I was about to request," Katarina says next. "The Oathlands currently lack for a Minister of War. While I am honored to serve as the Minister of Population, as I have for some years, I believe that matters of signing off on birth notices and the like rather pale in comparison to the need for... someone to lead and coordinate in what could become a vicious struggle. As I am already Fleet Admiral, I would like to nominate myself -- offer to you, and the esteemed Voices of the Oathlands, my stepping down as Minister of Population, and stepping up as Minister of War. If you will have me."
Dominique's attention is pulled toward Kael as he speaks that snippet of poetry, and she looks thoughtful. "Yes, I seem to recall receiving a messenger about that. I should like to see the poem in full at some point," she agrees. Her attention then t urns to Katarina as well as she tries to get Alis' attention. The Marquessa glances to Calarian at her side briefly, as if measuring his reaction to all of the things. Then she looks toward Raven as the woman speaks of knowing the right target. The Marquessa studies the woman with a thoughtful expression, before looking to Alis, and then back to Katarina.
Tesha gives a smile to Alistair, "Thank you." she tells him. Then she's going back to silence. Though her mind does drift to home and things there that are connected to this.
The Elwood knight's expression darkens at the mention of the poem, for some reason, for a moment Edris almost looks brooding. His gaze is distant, but then slowly returns to its usual calm.
Ryhalt smiles to Kael. "I'd like to discuss that at some point if you would. I apologize for not writing sooner."
Alis ahhhs, and inclines her head slightly. "Yes, of course. The right targets are necessary. We want to be sure that none of the legion controlled villages can attack when Thornweave tries to press their advantage and make a larger more offensive move." she murmurs, turning her attention to Katarina when she speaks. "Thank you, Princess Katarina. You know it always warms my heart how readily you volunteer for additional responsibility. It's the Oathlands way, is it not?" Her smile appears for that, of course. "We'll be having a meeting to put together our notes from this, and we'll discuss then and let you know before any announcements are made?" She looks approving at least. Kael gets to field all the poem inquiries. Though, she does add. "I saw this one being sung. And I'd just like to remind everyone about the toll is takes on the one who sings it, to bring us the song. We should take it seriously, and never take for granted the warnings hidden within."
Raven notes the brooding Edris and her head tilts, eyebrows lofting slightly in questioning look.
When Katarina brings up the griffon part of the stanza, Lou speaks up. "There have been attacks from Whitepeak down to just above the mountains of Cedar Vale, in a large swath, on both sides of the river, where peple have gone absolutely missing. This includes the very large tribe of the Arbres, who seems to be no more as well. This is why Liara has called the banners. We've surmised the Traitor is clearing homes and villages again, but it's not limited to just shav'arvani any more. Some of those holdings were baronies." She steps forward to point out the exact places on the map. The smaller spot she points to is the Arbres. (OOC: Map is here: https://imgur.com/a/CNeLZHg - Red Is Arbres)
Katarina nods -- her expression is a bit solemn, more dutiful than smiling. In fact, not smiling at all!
Drake looks a bit inspired by Katarina's speech, watching over for a second, before turning his attention back to Alis.
Richard frowns visibly, whether at the mention of a song or just his default thinking face isn't wholly clear.
Dominique leans forward to look at the map as Lou points out an area, then sits back, looking ponderous.
"Are they?" asks Kael in turn to Katarina, and you know, with this question there is a slight softening of his expression. To say that it is humor evident there is a disservice, and it is not, but there is an echo of it there. It fades swiftly however when the request comes forth, a slow and deep breath taken as he rolls his shoulders up to a squared position. A step is taken in the direction of Alis to add his addition, and when the Highlord makes that declaration he dips his head before shifting his focus to those making notes regarding the song. He inclines his head to Dominique first of all, and thereafter nods to Ryhalt. "Of course, my lord." His interest shifts to the map, naturally, when Lou speaks.
Mattheu lets his tray down and moves closer to the table to get a better view of the area pointed out, as if noting the distance from Riva and trying to see where marked rivers are within range.
Cristoph settles into silence again, but he does gesture for his attendant to supply him with some writing utensils. He finds a place to the back of the room and scrawls out a missive, considering it briefly and then nodding, before sending it out into the world. His arms are folded over his chest and he's content to let this meeting flow to its natural conclusion.
Raven has lasped into silence, gaze attentive as jade eyes sweep those gathered.
"Okay, I think we have everything we need to make final decisions." Alis looks towards Kael and Cristoph and then back out towards the crowd of people who came. "So I want to thank you all for coming. We'll be here for a bit yet, if you've any additional questions. And we're always available for messages if you need to mention anything you need help with, or are volunteering to help with."
((I'll have an @action written up within a few days, and I will post about it to the Valardin board. Let me know your interest once the bbpost has gone up, and I will extend an invitation.))
Mattheu looks to those around the table as the discussion of the second verse is made. "I'd be interested in discussing the second verse with any that are available. There's several stanzas that have us worried."
Raven moves to amble towards Kael, pausing to murmur lowly as she passes the lord.
Dominique closes her folio and tucks it back under her arm, before rising to her feet. She looks to Calarian. "Are you ready? I am eager to get back to the estate. There is much planning and catching up to do." She lifts a hand, pulling the hood of her cloak up around her face.
"As well they should. Take it seriously, yes. But also with some caution. The last time a song was being discussed over and over again by a large group of people, Su'tavi attacked the Whisper House at their last meeting." Lou points out after she has gone back to lean against the wall again.
"Thank you, Your Grace," Katarina says to her sister. (That would be Alis, for those not up on sisters. And no, they neither look nor sound alike.) "I again reiterate to all present -- if there is any way the Eventide Flotilla can be of aid, please do write to me. I am all too happy to help." Katarina then looks over at Alistair, and smiles at him, a silent thank-you for escorting her.
Calarian nods as he finishes writing a note and giving it to his assitant. "I am." he tells Dominique before bowing politely to the room. "As ever, a pleasure." he says before offering Dominique his arm, polite as ever.
Edris nods solemnly to Lou's words of warning, though his momentary brooding seems to have visibly eased. He straightens from his position in the back of the room, as things draw to a close, but does offer both Dominique and Calarian a respectful bow as they make to depart.
"Once the Inquisition has thoughts on the action it can take, I will send word. Perhaps there is coordination that can be done there, especially if the majority of the conflict is within Valardin lands..." Alistair says with a slight inclien of his head to Alis before he looks over to Katarina, "Thank you for the invitation Princess Katarina." Let it not be said that all the Inquisition does is jail people, beat them up, or black mail them!
"It was my honor, Prince Alistair," Katarina says, reaching over to give the High Inquisitor a platonic pat on the forearm.
Dominique threads her fingers around Calarian's arm, and inclines her head toward Alis. "Thank you for hosting this, your Grace. It has been most illuminating. If there is anything else Wyrmguard may do to be of assistance please do not hestitate to call on us." She inclines her head to Edris as well, and then she turns to leave with Calarian.
Tesha gathers the armored coat of hers and slips into it again. Preparing for when it is time to leave. She didn't show up with anyone so it would be a quiet walk home! Not that she minded. It gave her time to think and talk to herself.
Willen leaves, following Lou.
Drake has left the a majestic brown oak table with a map of Arvum carved into the surface.
Calluna, A Young Highhill Mastiff leaves, following Drake.
Raven bows to those gathered and after a glance around turns to make her way out.
3 Laurent Guards, Piri, a matchmaking devotion, Melli, an excitable aide leave, following Eiran.
Raven has left the a comfortable blue sofa with ivory pillows.
2 Iron Guardsmen, 3 Black Fleet Reavers, Moonsilver, the pale-feathered raven leave, following Raven.
Dominique has left the a majestic brown oak table with a map of Arvum carved into the surface.
Philip, an overworked assistant, Crown Observer Barcus, 2 House Wyrmguard Guards leave, following Calarian.
Metzger, a great grey shrike, Jok, the muscley muscle knight, Maximus, the drooly Highhill Mastiff, 2 Veteran White Dragons of Sanctum, 2 House Wyrmguard Trained Guards, Calarian leave, following Dominique.
Ailys sets her teacup aside and gets to her feet, stiffly and with a wince. "I believe I will stop by the library on my way out, if you don't mind," she murmurs to Alis, and then gives Keely a look that promises some sort of checkin later before she walks out of the hall.
Max, an emperor tamarin leaves, following Ailys.
2 Farshaw trained guards, Suzette - a Westrock Aerie Page leave, following Ryhalt.
A dutiful Valardin aide, 2 Valardin Knights leave, following Katarina.
Max, an emperor tamarin arrives, following Ailys.
Tesha gives a dip of her head to those that are still present, "Be safe in your travels, all." she tells them. She does pass by Richard on the way out, stopping to offer something quietly before she heads out the doors.
3 Armed Confessors, 3 House Velenosa Guards, Thomas the Faithful, the Silver Honey Badger leave, following Alistair.
Kael offers a few discreet words with this and that individual before catching sight of a servant in the hallway after someone leaves. Kael strides in that direction and offers a few brief words there before coming back to the table as a whole, and Keely in particular, to offer her his arm in support. His eyes flick across to Edris and he tilts his head toward the sofas in indication with a quirk of his brow. The invitation and question is a clear thing.
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