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Gyre Straits - Calling the Banners

Fleets from the depths of the Darkwater have mobilized and are sailing toward Darkwater Watch, Crovane, and the Lyceum. It's time to call the banners, and see who will show up to defend or attack. Who will stand bravely, and who will refuse to answer the call.

The good news is, the Banners have been called, and more showed up to muster ready to fight for liege, Faith, King, and Compact than ever expected. The people are ready - this is our land, they say. These are our homes. No pirate is going to take them from us. Every day more and more people report, and now the work begins in earnest: With hard numbers, solid strategy can be crafted.

In the middle of this, Darkwater Watch and Redoubt have been evacuated. But rumors spread of a fishing vessel that sailed that way after the evacuation, only to find something horrifying: the Darkwater Deeps have seemingly expanded beyond their old confines, and the Watch is now hidden somewhere behind the fogs that cling to the dark, slick waters. With no one able to lay eyes on the Watch, there's no way to know the state of things -- whether it remains a safe harbor, or not.

And that's the bad news.

Action by Harald for Gyre Straits - Calling the Banners

(Public Action, OOC Date: Feb. 4, 2018, 7:37 p.m.)

Harald is gathering heralds and bards of the Isles to the Hall of Fallen Heroes in Grihem's Point. He will declare the summoning of all banners, and charge them with carrying his words to all lords and captains in the Grimhall chain of fealty: the war their race was born to fight is at hand. Mortal glory, immortal fame, and great wealth await those who answer, while scorn and terrible retribution will fall upon those who shrink from the battles ahead.

Vanora will be attempting to catch with honey any bannermen that Harald's fear and vinegar method does not work for completely. The Marquessa Kennex will use her charm and diplomatic skills to gently persuade those Harald calls upon to heed that call. She will be dong this via post for the most part as well as through persuading allies and friends among the Grimhall holdings to do so in person. She will be engaging with Kennex and vassals therein as well, for though the diplomatic endeavor that Octavia and Catalana will be undertaking when Kennex's own banners are called has not yet begun, she wants those she has sway over within Kennex to be ready when that summons appears. In addition among the Kennex lands still populated by new 'freedmen' she will be exercising her influence to encourage all recently freed thralls with any skills at sailing (or others useful in similar undertakings, such a ship and sail repair, ropeworks, etc) to join into this upcoming challenge faced by the Compact. These once-thralls will be reminded that they serve the Gods well and show thanks to those who cared for them when the step out to defend their homes. As well as reminded that unlike in many other trades, the widows and children of soldiers and sailors who lose their lives in battle are well care ford by the lieges.

A few particular persuasive letters will be sent in the direction of the zealot population settled into Stormward, reminding those among them that the upcoming battles are not strictly those of war but have legends implying it is a 'holy' clash as well, between the beloved gods of the Pantheon and the Heralds and Archfiends who would destroy what the Compact has built. These Orazians will be asked not only to consider offering their service to the vassals of Kennex and Grimhall, but also to use their preaching and engaging while in Stormward to mobilize freedmen to do the same.

With Edward I will use his Propaganda skill to gather as many combatants to the banners as possible. His Barony is so new it probably does not have any. So he will help others.

Turo sets about rallying the captains and soliders and sailors he knows with absolutely no hand-holding, nor discussion of future glory. Instead, he mixes a combination of straight-up ordering people to get to work, along with some mention of duty and whatnot. There's not a lot of yelling per se, but he's not really letting anyone give any excuses about why they couldn't possibly be involved in the upcoming war. He focusses on everyone doing their duty, whatever it might be, from the sailor to the captain to the ropemaker.

Faelan will be taking sailors and ships and going out to spread the word, and recruit every able bodied man he can convince to come aid in the coming battles. He'll be focusing on Navegant lands, but will also help out with Grimhall lands if it's needed. He'll mostly be relying on the soldier's fame earned during his previous battles in the ongoing war to help him draw men to the cause.

Ivarr will be grabbing his reavers and going out to press captains and vassals of Grimhall into rallying the banners. He will include pirate acquaintances he has met in this if they swear fealty. His angle: Leave the women to making laws and doing hard math, grab your axes, and come grab glory that will make your ancestors jealous . He is promising great glory, honour, fame, and the best deaths anyone could ask for. As extra incentive, he will burn down the hall of and crucify anyone left over from the first group to refuse the call to rally, using that as leverage against any captains that do not want to rally afterward.

Sameera, as per usual for her, is organizing the people and goods that will be going with the Grimhall fleets. She'll be rallying the Coldrains that wish to fight to do as such. She is assuring food, supplies, weaponry, etc, is all directed to where they need to be so they are most efficiently done. Those under her command are given orders on what they are to do, where they are to be, and clear procceedures on what they are to do.

Also, even if just rallying, Sameera IS assuring Grimhalls and THrax Family members are not at risk (AKA in a getting dead place).

Ian will go and do some drunken carousing with friends he has among the more martial noble NPCs among Harald's vassals. He'll regale them with some of the best Brothers Kennex stories (like the time Aethan decided to sneak up on a faster ship over open waters by hiding behind the swells, and everyone thought he was crazy, but then they did it, and you should have seen the LOOKS on the pirates' faces!) and listen to their battle stories as well. As a note: He will only be going to vassals of Grimhall, not vassals of Kennex. Ford has yet, as far as Ian knows, to mobilize his vassals, and Ian doesn't want to step on Ford's toes.

Wash will pick at least one outlying vassal with a limited naval force and sail out with the repopulated Kennex fleet. He'll invite them to participate in maneuvers, and share his knowledge of the enemy and sailing with them.

Darrow Darkwater visits the nobles and captains comprising both the Darkwater vassalage, and those of Grimhall and Kennex he's known from the many manuevers and actions in the past few years. He's known amongst them for not losing his head, and its this angle he will press - to firm the resolve of the armies to rally to the Darkwater Redoubt.

Though not a bard, Caspian will still answer the call to action as a bard, seeking audiences with those within the Grimhall chain of fealty to perform songs and poetry for them. These songs and poetry are meant to inspire courage, honor, and a desire for heroism while mocking those who hide away or do the bare minium as their brothers and sisters give it their all for glory.

Baroness Skye Blackshore answers the summons, offering to help even though she has no men to call to her banners. The brave young woman who looks like she can barely stand up in a fierce wind offers to command a ship against the Gyre, citing her sailing skills are her best talent. Hmmm, perhaps other vassals will be shamed by being upstaged by a petite little lady and answer Duke Grimhall's call.

Ember will have a frank talk with her military lieutenants rallying them to join the fight that is coming. She'll give a bold speech, telling her army that the might of Redreef is needed to help with the upcoming battles. There will be a lot of yelling and posturing, but the tiny woman is adept at getting her point across. Once her lieutenants and sailors are on board to fight, she'll pass that information along to the Thrax family, letting them know that Redreef will be present and geared and ready to fight.

Valdemar will be sending letters to Grimhall's vassals, making liberal use of terms like "honor", "duty", "loyalty" and so on in an attempt to fire them up for the fight to come against the Gyre and his minions.

Duke Harald calls the Grimhall banners with a decidedly less-gentle touch. Mortal glory, immortal fame, and great wealth await those who answer, while scorn and terrible retribution will fall upon those who shrink from the battles ahead. You cowards. Lord Valdemar Grimhall also assists, making liberal use of terms like "honor", "duty", and "loyalty" in an attempt to fire vassals up for the fight to come. Marquessa Vanora also lends her softer skills, persuasion and diplomacy her watchwords to convince even the hardest of hearts and the yellowest of cowards to join the join this holy war. Grimhall and its vassals respond surprisingly well to this three-pronged exhortation.

Baron Edward Stormbreak, needing little urging, follows suit, calling his banners to fame and glory. Count Turo Navegant doesn't ask so much as order, but he leads the way in preparing for war with Lord Faelan at his side. They are clearly expecting those well-accustomed to Turo's leadership to follow suit.

Sameera Coldrain works hard to get supplies organized for everyone, and make sure that as they're preparing for war they're doing so with ships well-stocked and mended, and enough provisions for all. Ivarr goes looking for pirates, who give him the finger and sail off, shouting about how they're not going to fight for him now when Thrax is openly going up against pirates, dammit. Don't they know The Code?

Lord Ian Kennex goes drinking - as Ian is wont to do - but uses this time to swap drinking stories with buddies in the Ebb and Flow. He regales them with stories and reminds them of the fun to be had on the open seas, even when times are Grim. Lord Wash Kennex for his part sails to train others in the Navy, hoping to coordinate ship maneuvers with them and encourage them to set sail.

Lord Darrow Darkwater also calls his banners, even as his people begin a mass evacuation. Here Caspian Wild plys his skills, using songs and poetry to inspire people to answer the call to arms and subtly shame those who don't.

And not to be left out, Baroness Ember Redreef and Baroness Skye Blackshore talk to the various troops, challenging them by their size and gender alone to prove they can fighter better than a couple of women. It's maybe not the most effective tactic, but it's not the least effective tactic either.

Grimhall and their vassals sail to war. -_-

Action by Darren for Gyre Straits - Calling the Banners

(Public Action, OOC Date: Feb. 4, 2018, 11:47 p.m.)

"Let's kill some Pirates in the Snow!" - Darren is calling all the banners loyal to House Redrain to stand and prepare to fight the Gyre. Darren will be calling on his Ducal houses to provide 2/3s of their forces to his main fighting force, but is leaving it up to the individual dukes to decide how much to ask of their vassals. Instructions are given to favor land units, the Redrain and rest of the Northlands have small navies, it is the infantry, archers, pikemen, and cavalry that are needed.

As a Redrain born and raised in Farhaven, Gwenna will be going around and speaking with the different houses, encouraging them to give as much as they can to this effort. She understands that they may be hesitant, even resistant, to helping the south or fighting beside the Templars. She will gently remind them, though, that it took a Northerner, the first Redrain, to marshal together different (bitterly warring!) factions and lead them as a whole to break the demons of a thousand years ago. It shouldn't be too difficult to band together with these current people, our allies of Arvum, to smash this present foe. The North is needed and should answer the call with all the strength they have.

Marian gave a speech at her husband's funeral (OOC Note: see to rally the Redrain NPCs to action as the new Warchief to House Redrain. She acknowledges the recent challenges with losing Princess Freja and Prince Fergus but puts herself out there to help the vassals know they are in good hands. She will share her Crovane Military Analysis 12/18/1007 AR with the vassals that need help understanding what is needed.

Ann is supporting House Redrain's efforts economically by carefully monitoring the budget and seeing that the proper funds are allocated where they need to go and directed as efficiently and quickly as possible. The armies and navies must be fed and well supplied - as well as the ports at which they are planning on restocking. She sees to it that they have the financial power to suport this.

While everyone is all RAWR for war, Donella appreciates that not everyone is going to be able to fight. She sees to the very quiet, orderly evacuation of the vulnerable (elderly, infirm, very young, and gravid, etc.) as should proceed battle, to Farhaven and/or other vassals lands, leaving the burden for their care and provisioning in no one place. She is well aware there will be proud (stubborn) individuals that need convincing to go. Fortunately she has a little experience with difficult people, and hopes she can convince them.

Astraea isn't anyone important, she doesn't have a particularly adept way with words, and she won't make false promises to the brave men and women who will answer the call to banners. However, as a Knight of Farhaven she will lead by example. Letting them see that with simple steel and the blessings of Gloria that each and everyone will fight with the ferocity of ten dire bears for their homelands and their families. "Actions speak louder than words."

Prince Artur has been seen moving amidst the nobility and vassalage of the Redrain Fealty on something of a charm offensive! Everywhere the counts and barons or the like meet to discuss the calling of the banners, it seems Artur pops up with that winsome smile, recounting the heoric tales of Rathlander Redrain and the like. It's an attempt to stir up northern pride and encourage his cousin Darren's bannermen to commit as many of their troops as possible to the defense of the realm.

Cirroch will go around to the other vassal houses of Halfshav and trying to rouse and inspire them up for war, encouraging them to join him in sending send House Halfshav 2/3s of their fighting force to war.

As Duchess of Nightgold, Lydia rallies her people to Darren's call. Of course she orders the regular troops to provide what Darren has asked for, but beyond this, she uses her [Charm] and [Propaganda] to rally the vassals of her lands, determined that Nightgold be remembered, hopefully for glory not sacrifice.

As Voice of Nightgold and Marquis of Acheron, Mydas makes use of his authority and leadership to encourage the vassals of both Nightgold and Acheron to raise their own banners. The North requires infantry, archers and pikemen, and the mountain men are well-suited to provide those.

As Voice of House Sanna, Tila works to rally those counties and baronies that bend the knee to Giant's Reach. She reminds them of the strength and protection her House has granted them, their oaths of fealty, and assures them their bravery and sacrifice will be rewarded when the fighting is done. She lays out the threat to the Compact - particularly to the Crovanes - and tries to make it clear it must be stopped now, before it threatens areas for beyond the coasts.

In an effort to assist with the gathering of troops for Redrain, as he has pledged to do so on Cirroch's behest, Jacque Valardin will be visiting each settlement, bringing some measure of wealth to give to families and making generous use of his family's reputation as honorable warriors to call every able-bodied man and woman to arms. He will attempt to impress them with some trick of swordsmanship, expending his resources and money to incentivize these displays in the form of local tournaments as well, promoting the need to defend their land from the aggressors and the duty of every person of the Compact - not just Northerners - in the defense of Arvani ancestral lands.

Jhond speaks to the people of the north he encounters, from the low born on up, of the threat coming to hem all the the need to face it. to heed the call.

As ordered by the High Lord, Kaede is reaching out to her own Ravenseye Tribe, along with any Barons that are beneath the Tribe. She doesn't exactly have the authority to demand such, but she's more than a little convincing when she needs to be!

Prince Darren Redrain issues the call to Redrain. They're a little less affected by the calls of the Faith owing to the large number of shamans in the fealty, but they're still members of the Compact and by the spirits they'll answer the call! Princesses Donella sees to the evacuation of the elderly out of Crovane and to Farhaven or other safer places. Princess Ann watches the ledgers, making sure supplies are bought and sent where they'll do the most good, and the armies and navies are well suppled and stocked.

While others work to prepare and protect the populace, Princess Marian Redrain steps up as Warlord of Redrain. Princess Astraea lends her public support as well. Jhond Whisper speaks eloquently on behalf of Halfshav in support of Marian too, and throughout the lands of Redrain warriors, healers, shaman - everyone that can respond and hears the message seems to start making plans to get to the muster points.

On the diplomatic front, Princess Gwenna and Prince Artur take the lead, spreading the High Lord's word through their vassals, helping where needed, lending their voices to the various leaders of the fealty as they talk to their people. Duchess Lydia, Marquis Cirroch, Marquis Mydas, Lady Tila, Prince Jacque Valardin - acting in concert with Cirroch, and Lady Khanne Halfshav answer the call. Even Kaede Starfinder reaches out to her Ravenseye Tribe to convince them to help - and help they shall!

Even as a fleet sails toward Crovane, Redrain unites for war.

Action by Cambria for Gyre Straits - Calling the Banners

(Public Action, OOC Date: Feb. 4, 2018, 8:59 p.m.)

Cambria's plan of action is two-fold and arguably ambitious. To begin, however, she seeks to rally her banners. The people of Ostria are her first priority, followed by the counties that are under her jurisdiction. The counties are encouraged to reach out to their own baronies, though Mazetti leadership does not ignore these, either. Intimidation, coercion, and threats are not the name of the game. Rather, vassals are given the information shared at the meeting jointly held by the Velenosa and Pravus heads of Houses. Reminders of loyalty and fealty are given, and there is encouragement to stand by ones fellow man in a time where divisiveness and back-biting can only end in tragedy for all.

The second half of her plan to to reach out to those friendly, or at least neutral Abandoned tribes with an open offer: any who are willing to meet, will be freely given information concerning the Gyre as well, and asked to fight alongside Ostria as allies - with no expectation of these tribes bending the knee...before or after the battle to come. Further, for those tribes that are skeptical, Cambria offers this: honorable combat between two champions, to the first blood. If the Ostrian champion wins, the tribe in question will be expected to show up and fight as an ally. If the Abandoned champion wins, no expectations are placed upon them at all.

Acting as the Voice of House Mazetti, Marquis-Consort Hadrian Mazetti's stepping up to not only get the Ostrian war machine mustering and prepared to march, he is of course calling upon those vassals loyal to House Mazetti. Those aligned with the Compact are contacted and given rousing speeches, favors called in, and brutal truths spoken: a new Reckoning is on the horizon. It is time to assemble, prepare, and stand together in the face of renewed threats against humanity. Pointing to the siege of Arx itself as evidence of the seriousness of such matters. Those who refuse, will be met with challenges to their House's honor and challenges issued that the Sword of Ostria will be asked to uphold.

In addition to those loyal to the Compact, Hadrian has another plan in mind. To reach out to those Abandoned bordering Ostria. Elaborating the threat to them as well, through emissaries. It is time to renew old bonds and reunite against a common enemy, one that will undoubtedly move onto the tribes of the Abandoned should the Compact be destroyed - or, worse in some eyes, trample those tribes underfoot in their ravenous march to destroy the Compact as little more than bumps in the road or newly conscripted slaves. Hadrian will offer those willing to swear their loyalty to the Compact and House Mazetti, the protect of House Mazetti. Those unwilling shall be provided with a counter-offer to their initial refusal: fight alongside House Mazetti as allies, with no expectations of their servitude. Such matters can be discussed after the fighting has concluded or when those Abandoned allies decide the time may be right.

Finally, Hadrian will be mustering a number of writs and calling in a number of favors across Arvum in order to muster mercenaries to the service of House Mazetti against a common threat.

Valerio, as Marshal of Osteria immediately sends out messengers to activate pre-planned mobilizations. He'll utilize almost all of the Navy for this as fleets are the primary threat. The Ostrian Army is split to be able to surge for any breakthrough point on the costlines, with half o the Guardians held behind them as a shockassault reserve. For the Abandoned troops, he plans as a secondary force to mirror the army dealing with breakthrough. Of course, noone will be able to deter Valerio himself from the field one way or another.

As part of the Mazetti family supporting the defense of Gyre, Giulio will work with those bringing the new Abandoned in an attempt to discern their loyalties and either remove the disaffected or see that they are identified as necessary.

Theron, naturally, is going to stand in as champion. If it would not be socially censurable to do so, given that it is a trial by combat so the Abandoned view the efforts of the Compact to defend against the Gyre as righteous, he will wield Allegiance, the heirloom diamondplate greatsword of House Mazetti, to further impress how seriously they take this threat.

Duchess Cambria Mazetti calls the banners of Ostria to war. She reaches out to her vassals and her people, reminding them of unity and loyalty and fealty. She gives them gifts and encourages them to stand strong with Velenosa and Mazetti. Duke Hadrian stands with her, calling in favors and giving rousing speeches that remind everyone of the urgency of this call.

And they reach out to the abandoned in the area as well. Reminding them that if the Compact is trampled they are next in line. Offering sanctuary in turn for loyalty to the Compact and Mazetti. Sir Theron, Sword of Mazetti, offers this to those reluctant to join - an honorable challenge, a duel to first blood. If he wins, he offers, they join the Compact and fight for Mazetti. If he loses they are left alone - or they can join the Compact anyway if they prefer. Some take him up on the offer, and some lose - and some win and join anyway. Some few win and decline joining the Compact too, but House Mazetti keeps their word and moves on. Perhaps that will come back around and prove beneficial at some point in the future.

Lord Valerio works on integrating all forces together in a cohesive battle and deployment plan. Lord Giulio works on making sure these newly-joined prodigals are truly sincere. All in all, House Mazetti makes the call and their people respond, and their armies swell as they join the muster.

Action by Quenia for Gyre Straits - Calling the Banners

(Public Action, OOC Date: Feb. 5, 2018, 9:24 p.m.)

Quenia will take the time to travel to all of her vassal's holdings, so she can speak to her people face to face. While she's at each of the holdings, she'll take the time to purchase local goods and products, and hold a small community event. At these community events she'll talk about the bonds of family and community and how there is strength in both. She'll talk about how if that family or community is threatened, they need to come together in a show of support to stop that threat; to preserve not only their family and their community, but also their homes, their culture, and their way of life. She talks of the threat they are facing now, with the ships out sea, and how they are threatening family, community, and homes. Their freedom, their livelihood, their ability to take care of the people they love. She does her best to stress the importance of joining the fight, and how if they overwhelm the fleet, they'll have a better opportunity to win the war and protect that which they love. She pledges House Igniseri to that fight, to fight for their homes, their loved ones, their livelihoods, their continued freedom. She also pledges that House Igniseri will help rebuild, once the war is over. At the end of the gatherings, she formally issues a call to the banners, asking her people to rally and fight.

Lucita assists Quenia in her efforts using her skills. She writes an inspirational and morale lifting song 'To Arms, Came the Rallying Call'. It is crafted to avoid causing guilt or fear but to turn thoughts toward heroism, working together, protecting home, family, friends and how people from any walk of life can help. To assist bringing the message to commoners she hires with economic and social resources a bard to speak encouragingly to people on their level and sing the song for them, to create an amicable and receptive atmosphere with providing a round of drinks. She uses her charm and performance abilities to display to her representatives how she wants Quenia's efforts supported and enhanced. A copy of 'To Arms, Came the Rallying Call' is located in the bookcase in Saik Tower - Music Chamber.

While Quenia is going from place to place speaking to the general populace and the nobles, Luis will attend the soldiers and guardsmen as well as anyone whom shows interest in joining the army,. He will encourage them with his Charm and his skills, while also encouraging those younger lads ato listen to the older veterans when it comes to being ready. He will stage some mock spars with the sergeants and the like, letting himself be beat at times on purpose so as to build the respect for the trainers in the troops, and trounce the hotshots to help them realize they still need to listen to those above them. In the end, he will appoint new soldiers, raise up others that need to be, and encourage unit cohesiveness throughout the lands.

Marquessa Quenia Igniseri takes the time to travel to all of her vassal's holdings, holding events in the communities, purchasing local goods and products. She takes the time to talk about bonds of family and community, the strength of Igniseri and the bonds of loyalty, fealty, and friends. She speaks of freedom and the life they love and encourages them to fight for it, pledging Igniseri to stand with them and help them fight, and to rebuild if necessary afterwards.

Lord Luis speaks with soldiers and guardsmen, training and inspiring them. Reminding them of the need for experienced soldiers and eager soldiers alike. And Lady Lucita helps by writing an inspirational song that makes its way through the various corners of Igniseri lands. People sing it around the fire at night, and while they're mending their armor and readying for battle, and as they call the banners, people come.

'To arms, to arms!' Came the rallying call.
'Guard your freedom, your family, your all.'
Faith sustains us through troubling days
To find heroic bravery not fearful ways.
Unity binds us giving strength and hope
Like fragile fibers wound into strong rope.