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Action by Niklas

(Public Action, OOC Date: July 1, 2018, 8:46 p.m.)

Let's put on a show!

After some dawdling, it is finally time for Niklas Kennex to have his debut at the Black Rose Theater featuring his comedy The Playwrights, a play about two (somewhat familiar) playwrights, and their growing rivalry during a royal playwright contest. The final synopsis of the play can be found in the The Playwrights - Final Version book (Other The Playwrights objects are of a draft and are owned by people who refuse to junk them because they are dust addicts, not that I'm talking about anyone in particular, Bastien.) and in a black journal to be posted 6/18/18. Niklas and his entourage will be working tirelessly to drum up excitement for his debut.

The following PC actors are being invited to participate in the action. (Most have been confirmed as participating. Other roles will be portrayed by NPC BRT actors.)

Lumen Whisper as Master Ashby Ravelin
Alejandro Rossetti as Lord Eduard Planchard
Yasmine Rovashani as Mistress Bailey
Jareth as Sir Miles Gloriosus

Direction by Bastien, set design by Mailys Corsetina (carpenter) and Lady Tabitha Whitehawk (painting), costume design by Aurora Thornburn, music by Nightingale Gianna and general hype by Princess Sabella Grayson and Rook Grayward.

And no, Lumen! Eduard and Ashby don't kiss!

Bastien is...grudgingly directing. But even though it was not his first choice of project to work on, he never works with anything less than total focus and dedication. The play is not his particular style, but he hones the comedy til it's sharp enough to cut -- if not in style, then at least in precision and timing. The actors likely get very tired of hearing "Pick up your cues!" but by the time the show opens, it has the pace it needs for the comedy to thrive.

Ashby and Eduard do /not/ kiss in the play. However, he will grudgingly allow the production to at least skim across a moderate amount of sexual tension. IF HE MUST.

Jareth looks forward to returning to the stage with the debut of a young protege playwright, Lord Niklas. An elder of the Black Rose Theatre, the lithe and charming actor will bring his usual flair and dedication to his craft in hopes of whooing the audience and holding them into the palm of his hand even when not the lead.

Yasmine Rovashani has made a name for herself by playing secondary characters in many of Arx's most popular productions. The Ravashari's natural comedic timing and, let's face it, ability and experience in working with Bastien, bring the character of Mistress Bailey to life in a way that makes the character relatable and yet does not detract from the performances of the leads. She'll also leverage her current popularity as a dancer and model to hype up the play and, hopefully, lure in the audience that it so richly deserves.

How does one do justice to a man as complicated and deeply, deeply, deeply feeling as Bastien--err... ASHBY. Lumen is bringing the brand of demure preciousness she's best known for to this all-around lovable grump! The whisper hides the tender, longing heart of Lord Eduard's best friend forever behind a protective armor of condescension, theatrical arm-crossing, and childlike pouting fits --- but not so thoroughly that the audience won't see the genuine man beneath, longing for others to reach out to him for unsolicited companionship!

...and then they kiss, right?

Aurora Thornburn, the prized tailor for the Mummers, creates each costume worn by the actors in the performance. She takes into consideration color, detail, and the importance of clothing in being able to portray the right feel within each scene. She wants the clothes to shine in their own right, creating emotions and bonds between stage and audience.

Almost any play is improved by having a good set and props. Therefore Tabitha will lend her skills as a painter to help out with the creation of both of these things, and maybe also with stage make-up should it be required. She'll also be mentioning the play whenever she can, talking up Niklas and the rest of the cast and crew; but really, her main task is to take care of the artistry. How fun!

It's Gianna's first time providing instrumental accompaniment for a play. Thankfully, she realizes she is providing support here and not trying to steal the show. Various musicians associated with the College will be helping her out.

Princess Sabella has been waiting her WHOLE LIFE to be able to talk up a protege like Niklas! And she will do so at every opportunity! Don't you want to be there for Lord-maybe-Prince-by-then Niklas' debut at the Black Rose? Have you seen any of his other plays? Well, this one is even better and incredibly hilarious! He's such a brilliant playwright and no party, tea party, quiet passing in the street or at the market will go without her brightly and cheerfully trying to ensure all of those seats are filled opening night and beyond!

Rook's a hype man, it's true, he can make a dozen well connected people get all very excited over one thing and obsess over it for weeks. In regards to Niklas' play, since Rook's own proteges are both acting in it and designing the costumes, it only makes sense that Rook is stirring up a craze here too! He's going to push the angle of two of the most prestigious commoners having a hand in the show; Mistress Aurora Thornburn is one of the most famous crafters within the city and Yasmine is known as one of the most well known models as well. The courtier's approach is going to focus on the upper echelon, clientele and investors he works with daily, hopefully to get some real money-movers and influencers in the house that evening.

Two of Calista's protege's are involved in the production of this play and this truly makes her one happy Duchess. She supports Alejandro and Jareth completely in all their endeavors. The Duchess of Roses adores the theater and as such offers additional 'hype' for Niklas' efforts as well as silver so that the newly crowned Prince playwright can pay his actors, stagehands, and crafters. Calista has a broad circle of influential people and she makes certain they all hear about the upcoming play.

Though acting is not his main strength, Alejandro has been recruited to take the role of Lord Eduard Planchard. He throws himself into studying the lines and the delivery of said lines, relying on his hard work and natural talent to help him perform as best he can. Being in front of a crowd like this will be new for him but he's not particular nervous. Just focused on getting it right.

In the long winter months, what is there to stop people from losing their minds with boredom? Why art, of course! And Playwright Niklas Kennex means to deliver! He takes his troop of Mummers out to the further ends of the Compact and starts debuting his play. At first, it is decently received, but as the troop gets more and more comfortable with their parts, and starts making each part their own, the audiences become more and more appreciative.

The closer they get to Arx, the greater the acclaim, until it seems all of Arx itself - or at least all those interested in the theater - are holding their breaths in anticipation of Opening Night at the Blackrose Theater. Direction by Master Bastien? Jareth not in the lead - but still playing a supporting role? Audiences do love him, and he's known for hamming it up. Yasmine, character actor and dancer? Lumen Whisper as a... man? Alejandro in a lead role?

Even the setup is amazing - Legendary seamstress Aurora making the costumes, music by Gianna, set and prop painting by Tabitha? This could be a changing point in the Black Rose history - or at least an exceptionally amusing play.

Certainly they're finding support from the haute monde, as it were. Lady Calista, Princess Sabella, and Rook all actively promoting their proteges and talking about the upcoming comedy. They plan to LAUGH and CRY and TALK ABOUT IT WHILE USING EXCITEMENT AND WILD GESTICULATIONS.

And as opening night approaches, the theater-philes of Arx are eagerly in line for tickets and ready to make it a night out on the town!

Action by Iseulet for Granato Expansion Efforts

(Public Action, OOC Date: June 21, 2018, 5:28 a.m.)

Iseulet begins spearheading a campaign to put into motion a new -MASSIVE- permanent trading route by water that stretches from the Telmarch, round the coast of the Oathlands, heading south round the Lyceum, to the Thraxian Isles, and cutting across to Arx up to Stonehearth.

Each House that participates is asked to donate 50-100 military writs for the funding of security escorts and the fightin' off of Pirates - river and otherwise). Optionally, each House can /also/ donate some social writs to help spread the word along.

The goal is to stimulate trade between Houses - Houses both import and export goods and benefit from the taxes and stimulated economy! Thereby giving a monthly income boost (and maybe some initial economic writs) to all houses represented here. Every House gets an equal share of all the profits, with the exception of the Houses contracted to secure the route from bandits/pirates (those that have attached ships to the action). Not only are these houses entitled to a bigger share of the profits (due to their increased risk) any and all contraband seized by pirates along the route will of course, be theirs.

The Count of Riva himself has taken a very strong interest in this wonderful mission, probably most likely because the idea was born out of a conversation with he and Iseulet. He knew he would be especially helpful among the peoples on the rivers and so the Count would head out to use his charm and diplomatic skill, as well as his life experiences and relationships to assist in the negotiating among not just the peoples of the rivers, but anyone who seemed inclined to hear him.

Belladonna endorses the deal, meeting with merchants and sailors around her port city and spreading word, building hype and excitement for this new trade route that will open up new revenue streams for the bold and daring who sieze the opportunity at hand!

Baroness Skye Blackshore lends Lady Iseulet the resources she needs to start the trading route, giving her military escort and blessing to move forward with these trading agreements.

Lady Tesha Telmar has spoken with Lord Ansel Telmar and they have decided that this is a good idea for the Telmarch to join in. So they are going to be providing Military and Social support for Lady Blackshore in hopes that this venture goes smoothly and without any bumps.

Always on the lookout to place Caina in traderoutes, Oriana, as a Voice of Inverno, interviews her ship captains to carve a new force from Caian's navy specifically to provide safe passage for trade from New Hope and spreads the word through her contacts and mertchant captains at home and in Arx.

As the Queen of Silver for the isles of Ischia, it's important to pursue business policy and trade like it's nobody's business. No pun intended. So when Lady Iseulet begins such a massive campaign she knew she had to be a part of it and was grateful for the opportunity. Providing ships and the Black Curs' finest corsairs, this southern House hopes to protect the vested interests (and further them when possible) of everyone involved. With the blessings of Gild and the spirits of air, luck and sea, Prisila will work closely with the Voice of Inverno and contribute her forces to helping provide safe passage as well as investing economically into this beautiful project.

Aethan will be supporting Lady Blackshore in her trade endeavors by escorting trade ships as needed, as well as clearing pirates from optimal trade routes able to be accessed by the Kennex navy.

Octavia notes the need for Stormward to be part of the building trade route, and commits significant resources to the establishment and securing of the trade route. The Stormward Fleet, an anti-pirate patrol by its origins, will certainly be excited to join the fray and tear the pirates apart.

Having received contact from Iseulet, Marquis Fairen meets with his staff and vassals to discuss the trade route, examining it's feasability to improve on the economy of Leaholdt. The resulting meeting ensures that not only does Fairen support the goals and objectives of the project, but he also uses this as a way to improve the sales on the unique product, Leaholdt Dreamwine: A rare and expensive alcoholic drink with a milky, herbal texture, and forest green in color said to produce lucid dreams if the consumer drink a full glass. Not to mention, the Marquis encourages his vassals and the merchants in Leaholdt to take advantage of this trade arrangement.

When she was a young woman, Petra listened to the wind and used her gift of clarity to guide her tribe to safe paths. Now that she is helping her family rebuild after the tragedy that Brand inflicted upon them, she has been relying on this ability again and she does so in this instance to help establish a trade route. She asked the voices threaded within the breezes which route they should follow: 'What course best balances safety and prosperity?' When she is given an answer, she relays it to the others and advises them which currents to follow.

Following the lead of Tesha, Ansel will be assisting in commiting the resources of the Telmarch to bear on establishing and maintaining the trade route project. As the northernmost bastion of the Oathlands, the Telmarch itself holds a key position in economic routes through the area, and Telmarine forces will be dedicated specifically to establishing and safeguarding the route. They will clear the way of any bandits, help establish any trading posts along the way, and provide security for the first few rounds of caravans that make the trip, in order to establish it as a safe trading route.

While the Trade Route is largely over sea, but for it to be successful once it finally reaches the end of the route in the Oathlands, where there are relatively few ports, there has to be ways goods can reach overland, as well as goods reach Sanctum and other Oathland Ports so they can travel back along the route. Edain will focus his efforts on setting up solidly defended trade line to Pride Hall to the East and Farhaven to the North. Attempting to extend the reach of the Blackshore's trade route, and to give the Oathlands, Crownlands and Northlands more ways to access the route if they are far inland from it. Where Isabeau is brokering most of the deals, Edain will do his best to make certain they are well protected and those roads are safe.

On behalf of House Valardin and the overarching route(s) through the Oathlands, Princess Isabeau will coordinate and negotiate with local merchants and militia knights to ensure that trade is fair and the caravans are secure. What's more, she will offer a small tax incentive for merchants who wish to travel on the new trade route and/or share their goods with customers outside of the Oathlands. She will also do what she can to help coordinate with the other Oathlands houses and provide assistance to them where required. (Assisting with an additional 200 writs of economic, military, and social resources.)

With the desire to trade by sea and Harthall being an Island based house, the two mesh rather well. Orvyn will work closely with Iseulet and others to best organize the ships and their routes. His own contacts among the various sailing groups will come into play as the pocketbooks of others will likely aid in ensuring that proper bribes and deals take place throughout the seas of the compact. He will commit several of the house trade ships and encourage their sailors and captains to find ways to follow the prescribed routes in an attempt to streamline the fee structures. Further organization with the other Voices and heads will take place so that two ships loaded with similar goods will not pass each other on the seas, organizing bills of trade so that expedience and profit can both be maximized.

It is Hadrian's attention to set about making arrangements for the planned commerce within the city-state of Ostria through acute applications of... delegation! Putting the proper minds to work within Ostria itself to work in establishing the necessary measures to safeguard Ostria and House Mazetti. Making absolutely certain that visitors, whether merchants or otherwise, to the city-state adhere to the laws and traditions of Ostria and remain in the Outer Round. The fleet of House Mazetti shall patrol their own waters and, if necessary, defend traveling merchants with utmost tenacity from the First Ostrian Fleet. Ostria will welcome escorts attached to commercial traffic in order to maintain the safety of the convoys of merchant vessels. The escorts will however be expected to maintain a respectable distance from the Walled City by the Sea. House Mazetti too will be promoting the endeavor, urging those citizens in need of employment to make inquiries at the docks with the potential boom of new trade. Finally, Hadrian will be dispatching his invaluable lawyer to review any documentation before providing his final nod to Hadrian before anything is agreed upon by the Hydra.

Lady Catalana Kennex will be supporting these endeavors. She will personally speak to every noble of Stormward to negotiate such things. She will happily trade with Blackshore of course to boost both of their economies.

The Crown Minister of Coin permits the use of the harbours and ports in the vicinity of the City of Arx as part of the trade route and provides a measure of support in economic waivers, military permits and social connections for the suitable parties. All in all, the effort is more administrative, indicating that on behalf of the Crown and King that the initiative will not be hindered. All they take, of course, is their cut through taxes from any eventual profits.

Malesh is going to commission a brand new trade center at Stonehearth. Port facilities will be expanded, as well as new warehouses and vaults. City defenses in general shall be beefed up as well, in an effort to make Stonehearth THE place to trust your goods with quick an easy access to several trade routes including this new one. As his people handle that at his expense, he will be busy touring the existing routes speaking to the benefit of this new route as well as the virtues of Gild and, of course, the value of trading through Stonewood. Stonewood forces will take charge of protecting the final leg of the trade route, from Arx to Stonehearth, both on the river and along side it. (1000 Economic Resources, 500 each Social and Military)

Ariel will be hosting a trade fair and festival to Gild to coincide with the trade route announcement. She is aiming for a week-long event showcasing the goods, services, and performers of the region. A tithe of 10% will be given to Gild of all money's made/raised. She will be putting forth the money to host the event so the craftsmen spend nothing out of pocket to set up. The trade fair will run during the day why the night will be devoted to performers. Singers, dancing, and theatre productions.

Amari, acting as House Keaton's Minister of Finance, will oversee the Oakhaven leg of the trade route, while the Riverdogs under the command of her cousin are committed to escort merchant ships and inspect them for contraband. A strong supporter of Lady Iseulet's endeavor, she'll tout the benefits to local merchants and others in Arx she's dealt with during her tenure and offer incentives to bring them on board. Otherwise she mainly concerns herself with the numbers and logistics of the undertaking with a lawyer's eye for detail and compliance, trying to make sure it's all as profitable and legal as can be.

Operating as a merchant for years, Lord Fredrik knows the best and most profitable routes among the Isles. How to avoid pirates, how to get the best profit for your returns, and how to make certain that you are not ripped off by the hundreds of hidden fees that are scattered in every port authority. He will bend this knowledge to help the trade efforts, as well as examining the rest of the route thoroughly for wastage or investment opportunities, trying to make this route one large, flowing river of product that benefits everyone involved.

Duarte represents not only Bravura, but also the greater goal and group, in negotiating trade routes and costs with transporters and contractors, mercenaries and merchants. Tying together such an intricately detailed route and nailing down precise agreements for the benefit of all is not always as straight forward as 'Let's do the thing!' and Duarte is there to help smooth the waters and finalize the commitments as a new, but adept, diplomat.

Lys, Voice of Afflua, will of course help! Granted, Fen de Lire is not particularly nearby the water. So she'll be doing what she can to put the word out for the project and see if she can get people to help with it! And of course they'll provide some extra muscle via the Valorous Few.

Lucita evaluates the maps and plans shown her and decides to assist. She uses her charm and skills with propaganda to heighten interest in this project, both locally in Saikland Greens and amid the trade partners she has already established, Secure trade and steady protection and trade partners can only help build the economy and strengthen the military protection against pirates of all who are involved. 100 military resources are put into helping fund the protection from pirates, 300 economic resources are invested.

Lady Cadenza Fidante is happy to assist with this endeavor. As both the Voice of Hawkmour as well as the Admiral of the Tempest Rose, she will be ensuring that Tor and their vassal's lands are properly patrolled and protected as they have always done. She will see to it that the waters around Tor and Brassfall March are properly guarded for the trade route to be safe and successful. In addition, of course Brassfall will be taking part of this trading endeavor to boost their economy.

Duchess Calista Fidante is well know for her charming ways and when it comes to public relations, there are few who can match her talent. She speaks with the Merchants of Tor about new trade commissions and how this opportunity will stimulate the economy. Tor is a city-state that is rich with resources. More trade means more money and everyone likes money.

While gratuitously thanking House Malvici for its offer to protect areas which include areas under control of Tor, their offer will have to be declined. House Fidante has protected Tor and her surrounding lands for a very long time. Knight-Captain Ignacio Fidante shall instead however increase patrols within the Torean region to ensure any efforts by bandits or pirates will be thwarted.

Quenia hears out Iseulet's plan, and agrees to talk to her merchants and her nobles. She works to convince them that this would be a good idea, bringing in new goods, and much needed new avenues for export. She also reminds them that all the new goods would also be traveling to Gemcitta, since Granato is the hub for trade with Rubino-Zaffria lands as well, which should help convince them. She talks to her fleets, and sees that they handle additional protection around the ports of Granato. It's not that she doesn't trust Malvici, getting on with the Duchess well, just she wants her own people to be out in the waters as well in a combined effort to protect the trade routes. Working as one Lyceum. As such, she invests military favors (100) and economic favors (200) into seeing this prosper.

House Malvici will most certainly not come anywhere near Lenosia with its ships. House Velenosa shall protect its own waters, with their own ships, and ensure the proper passing of any trade vessels along its part of the sea route. Prince Mydas Velenosa makes that abundantly clear, before setting to work on using his own knowledge of economics to ensure the venture is a successful one. He also brings in the Silver Consortium as its Voice, to supply their expertise and existing networks to the effort. All for commerce! And to each their own waters!

The proposed trade-route precisely fits with Sudara's hopes for the kingdom as a whole and the Truesworn in particular. Given Esterhold's location, this plan could bring many advantages to her beloved Prodigals: she is committing herself and her little House to its support. Personally, this entails uncovering as much relevant information as possible, and accurately passing it on to her people to help them serve as guides and guardians in their home waters: the latest maps, schedules, accounts of seasonal changes in weather and currents and tides, recognition signals and flags for all the nations and Houses, and more besides. Her hope is that she can make the waters near Esterhold as safe as possible for merchant shipping, and turn her little fief into a favoured port of call.

Tenebrae, like her Lady Sudara, is devoted to helping her people gain power and riches that they deserve. She will do all she can to assist in this endeavor, though with her skills, it will probably be restricted to ensuring the safety of ships around Esterhold and assisting with the navigation of the nearby seas.

Pasquale represents Malespero in seeing the trade route established, putting what military weight his young House has into helping secure the waters and encouraging Nilanza's sailors and merchants to utilize the route for buying and selling. He also puts some of his own personal time to use in studying the raiding patterns of pirates along the route and tries to come up with strategies to avoid and combat them.

Duke Harlan Ashford will also supply social and military support towards this endeavor, but also bring up the fact that he's expanding Fortune's Harvest in Oak's Rest -- and suggests expanding the trading route towards there, especially as he's already building a road from Arx that will lead there -- and the Knights of Solace are patrolling (see action 2250)! The duke will also be allocating 100 military and social writs to the cause.

Lady Olivia authorizes House Ashford's participation in the route, as well as encouraging its (NPC!) vassals to participate and supplying resources in support of the endeavor. In terms of personal contribution, while not a merchant, she is an expert in agricultural affairs and will effectively use that skillset to try and leverage Ashford's participation in the network as a food exporter, studying crop patterns and directing a focus toward those likely to create surpluses in excess of local use. She can also to a degree export that agricultural knowledge as a good itself, ie by selling good seed stocks and other such bounties to their trade partners, hopefully increasing production among all the participating holdings.

Dycard will be working his way through the social scene, reinforcing that this is a great idea and the profit should be rich - and that other trade routes will likely come of it. Not in on this one? Well, when it's a success, there'll be others. Worried about changes? Life is change, and not all changes are for the bad.

Turo commits to protecting the trade routes to and from his waters, ensuring clean hand-offs of responsibility to other fleets as they occur. He also commits his formidable skills and experience in planning naval efforts to maximising these routes. Turo collaborates with the merchants in Escuma, as well as the Arts Academy, and brings Estil - the minister of Income - into those discussions as well.

Arcelia will work to support the additional trading routes at port sites around Escuma. She will also attempt to combine her own efforts in establishing trade routes(@action 2257) for Escuma with Iseulet's much larger expansion of trade routes around Arvum. She will attempt to utilize her relations with the Marin'alfar to expand trade routes to them as well, an attempt to see to it that our potential underwater allies are well supported.

Given the proximity of House Darkwater, Redreef, and Blackshore - Edward already knows these routes fairly well. These are the routes that his family, when he was still Redreef, had him personally following and tracking to ensure efficiency and little loss of cargo for the two Houses. Now he will apply this same knowledge for House Blackshore, showing Iseulet how to incorporate House Blackshore into these trade routes which includes at least two routes down to the Lycem, one specifically going to Setarco. This information is meant to be used to not establish the route since there is one but to ensure the depth of its efficiency - knowing when it is safe to push hugging the coast line against when it is okay to move out. How much cargo can be moved before spillage takes place in terms of perishables, and what the most commonly desired imports for those places are so there is no guesswork to be had.

As Voice of House Tyde, Archeron is keen to promote trade which takes Tyde's hardwoods and other exotic goods wider than just the Mourning Isles and the East coast, especially as they are trying to expand their forestry. Tyde provides a good number of resources to acquire military guards, even recommending a few of the old reavers who have retired from House service but who know the waves and how to defend goods. They also put the feelers out to their vassal houses, spreading the word through their social skills and resources. Archeron will be as charming as he can, of course, to those who wish to trade - showing them the fine qualities of Tyde hardwoods, with the confidence a woodsman has. And of course, direct the leaders to the best and most skilled former soldiers, as mentioned, to defend them.

While her brother, Valdemar, sets up the trade routes, Ingrid's focus is to ensure an economical boost to exports while expertly managing the taxes and other red tape associated with establishing a trade route coming in/out of Grihem's Point. Understanding that often you must spend resources to net in a bigger profit, House Grimhall does just that, using some of their economical clout to influence potential new partners.

Ember prepares Redreef Shores for an influx in trade by organizing patrols to protect the trading ships entering the waters near Redreef shore as well as meeting with local merchants so Redreef Shore may benefit from the new trade.

Donato will take command of Caina's fleet and help to secure the burgeoning trade route. He will drill the sailors and inspect the fleet to ensure they are fighting fit and disciplined and help to plan out the most effective and efficient naval patrol routes to ensure everything goes according to plan.

Demura has given Anabelle the responsibility to oversee the new investments of the Trade Route with Blackshore, and as such the girl has taken an interest in learning more about the world of Investments and the Finnacial Stability of Lyon's Redoubt and her family. The girl seem very interested in the potential of this great partnership to be used for something more among the Dominions, and will make sure that the profit is guaranteed to all parts.

Marquessa Demura Lyonesse will command personally the Lyonesse navy to make sure the first few days of the trade route will go smoothly. She will organise routine patrols and establish proper scouting alongside her strecht of the route to make sure no merchant will be harmed while trying to pass through the Lyon's Redoubt, while promoting the incoming trade goods among her folk. (100 military resources will be donated, 100 social resources will be donated and the Lyonesse navy will be added to the action)

Clover would give aid in spreading the news about this campaign, talking to people and getting others interested in not only investing but using this new trade route once it's settled. She has friends in all sorts of places, and connections plenty. She would see if she could also get independent captains willing to provide help with protection.

House Farshaw adds to this trade route some of its merchant fleet to assist in the shipment of goods as well as two ships to help with escort. What is good for the betterment of the west also is for the betterment of Westcrown. All in Farshaw are in agreement increased trade is to the benefit of all. There is a profit to be made here.

Calypso is going to be using her newest assets to their fullest extent. While using the new naval base (still pending @action, Apost still needed to review early) as a logistical strongpoint for her fleet, she will be directing it to help ensure that the ships she is applying to the trade route not only are deployed properly, but that she is exercising the best coverage. Being relied-on to guarantee the southern route for now, she will be ordering her ships to keep a watchful eye for pirates. Ships Captains are expected to prosecute pirates with extreme prejudice. Her vessels will not be entering waters recognized as belonging to other Houses, however. In the meantime she has been coordinating with Valardin about the logistical angles while building out her combat fleet (Apost is aware of plans, pending base @action approval) and plans to spend a few days in Southport directly rallying her troops and sailors, getting them motivated and putting her best people forward. (The Army attachment should include pending additional Longship purchases, as discussed.)

There's a lot more pirates than expected. A -lot- more. And they seem to have caught word of exactly this new trade route, with a suspicious amount of forewarning about exactly when and where different galleys would be making port calls, as well as a decent amount of resistance by coastal lords who are resistant to seeing any warships in their waters even to guard commerce, which makes things tense and difficult.

It's still a spectacular success.

The amount of diplomatic work in easing tensions, and the amount of military forces dispatched to help oversee this, even with the limitation on where they can and can't go, means that the overwhelming majority of galleys are making their port calls, and after a few crushing defeats of piratical forces, it doesn't look like much will threaten that... provided that the forces stay committed to patrolling the waters of their domains.

The Empyrean Trade Route, as it is being known, covers over thirty primary domains as ports of call or in-land trading partners, and the gains in commerce is significant, even if it is just starting.

Action by Rook

(Public Action, OOC Date: June 7, 2018, 6:25 p.m.)

Master Rook Grayward, Mistress Yasmine Rovashani and Mistress Aurora Thornburn teamed up for a fashion show and auction for three outfits in high quality linen, silk and seasilk respectively. The proceeds brought in were for profit but there's a propagandist movement to espouse their names and reputations as a courtier, celebrity entertainer and legendary seamstress. Rook's circulating rumour and encouraging people to speak highly of the efforts to keep fashion alive in the Compact. Winners of the auction were courtiers Radiant Selene Whisper, Mistress Mirari Corsetina and craftswoman Mistress Petal Penrose.

At the request of Rook Grayward, Aurora opened the doors of her shop to his needs, providing unrestricted access to her assistance as well as her eye for detail. Each piece of clothing not leaving her shop less than in excellent condition with some pieces appearing even touched by the Gods themselves (divine quality 4 piece of common cloth outfit). The fashion show was well attended, and many praises shared in regards to the clothing, the modeling, and the planning.

Serving as the model for these exquisite garments, Yasmine Rovashani dances. She struts. She stalks. She does everything in her power not just to charm the audience, but also convince them to bid for the clothing on her back. Many of the designs themselves were based off of more traditional Ravashari clothing, so she finds it easy to throw herself into play the part of model. Given Rook's other goal in the evening, Yasmine also plays it up to the audience in effort to make it a memorable evening.

Master Rook Grayward, Mistress Yasmine Rovashani and Mistress Aurora Thornburn teamed up for a fashion show and auction for three outfits in high quality linen, silk and seasilk respectively. It is well attended and goes over well amongst the fashion-minded crowd, with Radiant Selene Whisper, Mistress Mirari Corsetina and craftswoman Mistress Petal Penrose winning the auctions for the outfits.

Of particular note is Aurora's incredible attention to detail, and Yasmine's phenomenal way of finding the light and moving just so, all the better to accentuate and show off the divine garments. Surely these were inspired by Jayus himself!

It's an enjoyable evening that people continue to talk about well into the latest season. Such fashion!


Action by Rook

(Public Action, OOC Date: April 18, 2018, 10:16 p.m.)

After his anullment to Katarina as a prince of House Valardin, and his polite refusal to rejoin House Grayward for more than a couple of days, Rook takes his oaths to turn Crownsworn. Packing up a set of gilded armour with far too much gold to rightly make it practical, he places it in the chest that he sets before Gild's altar. A quiet prayer is given as he reflects on his journey, upon all of the fortunes he's held in his hands, and how he's chosen to return to the commons despite it all.

"Holy Gild, I was bitter once, bitter that I was born common. I felt I was better, that I deserved better by birth, that I would've been right to be amongst the Peers with power and wealth. I chose the path of the Courtier so I could walk among them, act like I was one of them, -become- one of them. It sure worked. Then I found my way to the City of Arx, and I worked hard and dutiful to have my family enobled with a minor Barony, another stepping stone to greater fortunes. There was greed along the way, certainly, but my greed made good things happen too. I used this to find princedom, in time, far better in the eyes of many than a lordship. Then I saw that I didn't need any of this at all, that all my riches given and earned at my hands were in turn paired with your grace. I'm giving it away now, and I'll begin again, to prove it once over with a new journey. I've lived life in the highs and the lows and I can walk where I want and how I want. I know that. Thank you."

Taking the breastplate out, centered with dawnstone, he sets it at an angle on top of the chest and then leaves the key to it. He cuts his pouch, a mere eight silver in it, because of course the Crown Minister of Coin doesn't walk around with that on him. It's symbolic if anything.

The altar doesn't change. Not with Rook's prayer, nor his offering. It stays still and unresponsive - but of course it's an inanimate object, so it would. But late that night, when he is falling asleep, he dreams. And in his dreams is all the treasure he ever wanted, and he sees himself walking away.

And then on his path again, more treasure - but he turns from that too.

Again and again he turns, walks a little further. Reaches treasures beyond imagining. Sometimes he walks away. Sometimes he takes a little and walks on. Sometimes he gives it to the needy. The more he does it, the more he realizes that wealth is but a tool, and the real goal lies ahead: a shining city of hope and happiness, civilization in all its glory. And he knows if he can just reach it, he will be welcome.

Action by Rook

(Public Action, OOC Date: Jan. 6, 2018, 3:13 p.m.)

It has been tasked to Rook to audit the Valardin family financial records to determine if there has been any foul play in the past. Cross-referencing archives of records in Sanctum and Arx to determine if anyone's ever stolen any money, used it creatively or otherwise 'played' with the numbers. Double-entries, offshore accounts, made up businesses and other such tactics to silo off money for nefarious or greedy reasons are the main interest of the investigation. Naturally the second step is whether or not any can be recovered, though this is of less importance than knowing if and what has happened.

Princess Isabeau, acting as House Valardin's Mistress of Coin, will accompany Prince Rook to Sanctum and assist in reviewing what financial records may be found there as well as interviewing those who may have access to the accounts directly.

Perhaps to some, the office of Minister of Coin promises a lot of dusty, dry work in warehouses and offices where the light of day is little more than a rumor. Yet as Isabeau and Rook work, they are clearly in their element. No out of balance condition is too big or too small for them to tackle. The four silver balance from twenty years ago? Reconciled. The 400 silvers gone missing a fifty years ago? Not missing - allocated and noted inappropriately, but used to rebuild a small children's park in Sanctum. Also found. When Isabeau and Rook get done looking at the books, they've balanced their hearts out - but find no evidence that any embezzlement shenanigans have been going on at any point that they can find. And that's how you balance the books.

Action by Aleksei for Thralldom in the Isles

(Public Action, OOC Date: Nov. 12, 2017, 12:03 a.m.)

The Liberators of Skald have promised aid to all freed thralls: relocation if they wish it to any demense of the Compact, room and board within the housing of the Faith, and assistance finding work or training for it until they have found their feet.

The Liberators of Skald were not expecting twenty thousand people to need this aid at once.

And so Aleksei has reached out to -- pretty much everyone. All the noble houses. Merchant fleets. Friends who have maybe one ship! Basically he's organizing a mass effort to make contact with the newly-freed thralls in Stormward and either get them resituated in Stormward or give them transport elsewhere in the Compact that they may want to go. All of this is stuff he's already set up, but he's having to haul in major support to try and do it on a much larger scale than he was anticipating.

Aleksei will endure the terrors of seasickness to travel to Stormward personally to oversee the efforts of the Liberators and do his best to keep matters calm where possible and work as efficiently as he can.

For those generous enough to offer ships for transport, Aleksei will make sure each ship will have some sort of representative of the Faith on board to help keep an eye on things and discourage any untoward actions in regards to the freed thralls.

Indeed, the Valorous Few are Being Helpful! Since Victus so kindly invited people, Audric (and Shard, and probably a handful of the friendlier types) are heading up with the Liberators. First and foremost will be offering the fabulous life of a sellsword, to any who wish to join up! Money, plunder, see the world, get to kill people fairly frequently, there's nothing but upside, really. Oh, and I guess if there's any room left over they'll help transport some people.

After speaking with Aleksei, the Few have agreed to find space on the ships they're using both for his Faith representatives and his freed Thralls. In fact, Shard's stated her intent to pack everyone in as tightly as possible for the journey, comfort be damned so long as the crew can still function, so between that and Audric's hope to annoy the ears off of the poor priest who gets stuck on his boat, it probably won't be a very pleasant series of trips at all, but at least there will be more people getting to where they need to go.

In addition to this, Shard will be putting in a few words--or many words--or some not so gentle nudges--and maybe some heavy coin--to some people she knows who know some people who know some other people about extra boats and ships for the sole use of Aleksei's cause for the duration. Just don't look too hard at these boats or ask where they came from. They don't take kindly to questions.

Killian is dispatching ships from the Ashford navy to assist with the evacuation of freed thralls, per Aleksei's request. The ships will be providing transport, and staying together with one another, their orders to guardian one another and transport their passengers safely to the appointed destination.

Nicia has agreed to aid Aleksei and the Liberators in their task of helping to resettle the freed thralls, as such she has decided that one galley, and three longships from the Laurent military should be sent to help resettle the freed thralls. Allowing them to choose where they wanted to go, the help is not dependent on them coming to Laurent lands, although she will also make a point of stating that Laurent is willing to accept the resettlement of thralls in their lands.

Belladonna is putting Pravus's fleet at the Liberators' disposal for this. They are fresh and probably antsy for something to do. A skeleton force will be held back to patrol Setarco's borders as they have been, and a scout vessel or two are kept standing by in case the fleet has to be recalled swiftly (plus the ship kept in Arx!), but otherwise they can have use of the fleet as per the terms laid out by Aleksei. They are placed under Alrec's command, and Alrec is directed to report to the Faith on this one (using his judgment). Members of the Faith are most certainly allowed to be on every ship.

As well, she has put forth to both Aleksei and Bianca that those particularly suited for the role of a courtesan and interested in doing so, she will pay for their tuition to and support during the attendance of one of the courtesan schools in Setarco. And! Pioneering spirits that she might be able to interest in Luciva, they are being accepted that way too.

Boots on ground in Stormward while ships are there and have access to people (likely very briefly, but still), they are directed to aid in calming the populace, and provided talking points to do so by Belladonna.

Ford will be kept in the loop by her men as a matter of course throughout the entire mission.

Thena has agreed to assist Aleksei by providing as many Solace agents as can be spared to represent the Faith on ships transporting and resettling freed thralls. Since these agents are already out in the field acting as protectors to travellers and pilgrims, and have a presence long established in the Mourning Isles, shuffling things around shouldn't be too difficult. In addition, Thena is slated to send aid to the Mourning Isles for the Darkwater exploration and should be able to combine these efforts.

Thena is also dispatching a newly commissioned galley to help with transport. The galley will be crewed by freed thralls.

The Knights of Solace will accept freed thralls who wish to work either as soldiers or support staff and pay them a living wage for their services. They need not take vows, though should any wish to follow that path, instruction will be arranged.

Aleksei has asked for support to guard the ships, and knowing that the Knights of Solace will be focusing on supporting the Thralls this means the Templars only need worry about protecting the ships and ensuring that the ships are not mobbed when they land. Accordingly, Preston is making available Templars from the Arx Templars to sail out with the ships and hold order while Solace and the others help the former Thralls. The priority for the Templars is preserving the majority - the boats, the Faith people helping the Thralls. But they are also not the local police force. So. If the boats are at risk of being swamped or a mob forms and attacks the rescue attempts, they will defend. If a mob forms and isn't threatening the boats? Thats for Kennex.

Although she cannot be there in person, Katarina will be sending part of her fleet in her stead; three longships and a galley. These assets are to be used to help ferry newly freed thralls to their intended destinations, with gentle emphasis on a wealth of opportunity that can await them in Valardin-owned lands.

Hana is not the world's best teacher, but she's often been lucky in instructing others. And she's nothing if not enthusiastically devoted to Jayus -- the god of both crafting /and/ of hope. So she travels to the Isles as well, trying to give hope to the former thralls who need to learn a new trade -- those who worked menial jobs and desperately want to do something new, something that provides a chance at a better life. She'll be organizing lessons, yes, but she'll also have worked to encourage other Disciples of Jayus to the same -- to travel with her, and to teach /their/ skills as well. Tailoring, baking, carpentry, and so on. Hopefully, it at least makes a small difference.

Without question, Saedrus has agreed to assist Aleksei. First and foremost he intends to accompany Aleksei, and other Liberators, to Stormward not only as a Disciple of Skald, but as a composed and diplomatic voice in what might be a chaotic situation. Though he cannot offer ships or safe escort, he can be present to try and mollify vassals (or persons of the general populace) crying out against the current crisis. A little charm can go a long way, and hopefully Saed can keep things calm.

In addition, though he cannot take many, he will let it be known that the Grotto can take on a small number of ex-thralls as attendants, board and basic needs seen to, and assistance in finding them trades and future work. Furthermore, pending approval of the Radiant, he can take a handful in under the Whisper House as house staff until either they settle to other livelihoods or to continue on for potential future training. The total is miniscule in comparison to the twenty-thousand, but every little bit helps.

As a Liberator Ferrando is coming along to Stormward to try and generally help un-clusterfuck the situation. He's not really a logistical type or a big public speaker. He's a bouncer! It's fair to say his #1 skill to lend to the effort is an ability to move around heavy stuff. He's probably just going to end up dealing with minor things Aleksei is too busy for.

As promised the Scholars of Vellichor are ready to assist at the word of the Archscholar. Messengers have been sent to the parishes of the discipleship present in Stormward to open the doors to their smaller libraries and utilize donations already in stock to help in upholding the offer of a living wage to freed Thralls seeking higher education or tradeskill apprenticeships. Bianca will also be accompanying Blessed Aleksei to Stormward directly to aid immediately with her own diplomatic abilities and personal resources.

Mydas will be making use of his substantial ability in logistics and economics to ensure the resources deployed to aid the newly freed Thralls are not ill spent or wasted. To summarize, Marquis Mydas Nightgold will play the role of the accountant.

Seraph Ailith will reach out to the local Seraphs in aiding the Faith's efforts of providing solace, community outreach, and humanitarian efforts for the many believers. Using her presence and prowess of propaganda, she'll help kindle hope, compassion, and support among the Faithful and within the Faith such as sermons with stories of the compassion, love, charity, and hope, the many gifts of the Gods, in hopes to soothe and provide a steady familiar place of solace (worship in the shrines) during this chaotic time. When not doing these things, she personally heal the injured and sick who come to the Faith and assist them on their way to the outbound ships, should they be departing.

As minister of warfare and with authorisation to release about half the Velenosa armada into a committed liberation fleet, Talen is overseeing the leading arrangements in that regard. Ensuring the that there are captains who know what they're doing to act as transportation for ex-thralls is key. Faith and Liberator representatives are permitted aboard and allowed to direct the efforts with all reasonable requests to make things easier. The Velenosa are focusing primarily on carrying people, so any security escorts to defend the ships from external attacks will come from the Thrax, and Velenosa vassals organised by the Lyceum aid council.

Lianne is lending ships from Nilanza's navy to aid with the safe transport of the recently freed to Arx. Modest financial assistance will be provided to individuals or families interested in resettling in Nilanza, particularly if they are skilled in a trade or capable sailors interested in enlisting in the navy. Representatives of the Faith will be welcomed on board each vessel.

Victus will be providing transport via the 1st Thrax Fleet, namely in his stated offer of paying work in the Maelstrom and safe haven until they can be transported elsewhere in the Compact. Aleksei's Liberators and other agents of the Faith will be allowed passage on these vessels making runs to and from Stormward to assist in the relocation efforts for Thralls lacking employment. With the exception of any ships provided by Grimhall, per Harald's request. It should be noted that freed Thralls who have gone on to commit crimes against Kennex will not be offered the same on Victus' own vessels, as they are Kennex's right to judge for their actions.

In an unofficial capacity, though with no less focus, Rook will be duplicating the efforts of Mydas Nightgold in an effort. It can't hurt to be certain, can it? Resources in, out and spent all about. In addition there's the counting of ex-Thralls shipped out, sprinkled across the Compact, giving as accurate a set of numbers as possible to all takers of the refugees. Did any go missing, how many died, do they have at least enough coin and resources to keep this mission up until all of Stormward's loose freemen are, well, free?

Lacking much in the way of funds or resources, Fortunato employs his skill and that of his apprentices to make flyers, encouraging people of great means and small means to donate to the resettlement effort and otherwise help smooth out the transition, perhaps by hiring the displaced. Need someone in the back room? Someone to knead dough? Someone, perhaps, to draw more flyers?

Monique will accompany the flotilla and use her charm and diplomacy to convince freed Prodigal thralls to resettle in the Compact, using her knowledge of their native tongue to win their trust. She will also use her significant silver to see they are set up with necessities when they arrive at their destinations.

They manage to avoid violence, which is no minor miracle as of the sheer amount of naval force in the region now. Setarco's massive navy is significantly larger than the pride and joy of many Isles houses, a fact most seem completely unaware of even as House Pravus' dromonds and dozens of longships arrive in Kennex waters under the command of Admiral Alrec to assist the liberators. This is not, in any way, to diminish the forces sent by the Knights of Solace, House Laurent, Lianne's fleet of Nilanza, or the detachments by House Velenosa, Katarina's Oathlands fleet, Ashford or Thrax, but all combined it roughly doubles the overall size of the force, which would likely make any lower rank peers of the Isles distinctly uneasy if they realized its scope.

Fortunately, that's unlikely to happen, as the fleet takes place in a great disapora. There is still a significant percentage that opts to stay in Kennex lands with the support to do so, and in this, the Faith is instrumental. The Faith is one of the great consistent institutions across the entire Compact, even in the shamanism heavy north, but the Isles have always been closer to the Faith than that. Orazio, Thena, Preston, Bianca, Ailith in particular are able to make a great deal of difference in many staying, particularly with the economic work by Rook and Mydas helping to make a chaotic situation be broken down into stabilizing a destroyed economy, and peacekeeping efforts from the forces sent. Killian's Ashford men, Nicia's Laurent forces, Lianne's Nilanzans, Audric and Shard's valorous few, Preston's templars, Thena's knights of solace, Setarco marines all do a part to keeping peace on the ground, with the aid of the Valorous Few being a little questionable and a few of them seem determined to put the 'liberation' in Liberators to mean goods that belonged to individuals. A few hangings by Audric fixes that (and these were the friendlier ones, a shame), as well as Ferrando helpfully letting others know where the problematic elements are.

While a small but significant percentage stays, what truly happens is a massive disapora led by the combined fleet. Some prodigals. Setarco, Nilanza, Maelstrom, Maelstrom, and Ashford lands all see a significant amount of ex-thralls wishing to settle, with Setarco as an example seeing a large bump in capable courtesans at Setarco's schools. The Lycene is a bit more popular as in terms of climate, Setarco or Nilanza is closest to the saffron chain, and what the vast majority of former thralls originally came from. Monique as a prodigal has a great deal in common with many of the newer, louder voices from factions of former thralls, and is able to help many peacefully find new homes throughout the Compact- a smaller percentage opt for different vocations in Arx, with Hana having new weaponsmiths, Saedrus having some new employees at the Grotto and potential Whispers, the Valorous Few see a bump in questionable fellows replacing the ones hanged with Shard sorting out the most promising. There's quite a few new templars, knights of Solace and Scholars, particularly from those wishing to see Arx as godsworn. All in all, a massive amount of refugees are resettled peacefully.

All that's the good, the bad is minor but still significant- the huge amount of ships flying Oathlands and Lycene flags are allowing some pirates to take advantage of the confusion and fly false flags to escape justice, with hundreds of ships in Kennex waters without an overall central command, no one really knows who is who which is allowing some smugglers and pirates to hope that Thrax doesn't have the balls to pick on Oathlands or Lycene ships and provoke an incident (unfortunately for all involved, this is probably untrue). Also, while the great disapora helps the refugees, it doesn't help Kenenx- the recovery they see is modest, as most of their workforce is, in effect, leaving with only a minority staying. They still need a massive amount of investment to survive.

Action by Rook

(Public Action, OOC Date: Aug. 28, 2017, 5:30 p.m.)

Rook has acted as an information broker to the Scholars for a long time, since the days of Aldwin establishing the order, even. He's a linguist (linguistics 4!), he's a researcher (investigation 4!), and a teacher (teaching 4!). He has been known to study social pursuits - obviously as a courtier - as well as a academic ones. When Aldrin begun digging up dirt from fell powers, lost heroes such as Palladium and other such mysterious entities? Rook took a step back. It was felt, at the time, that such matters would cause Undue Attention and so Rook stepped back to offer a more mundane approach. Having the Despite wipe your memory (which became apparent in a discussion with Aldwin where he blanked an entire conversation previously had) is a pretty serious indication not to Fuck With Fable. So, Rook does as he does best, sticking to the wall and picking up information by those who trust him as a social and political backbone to the Crown and advising scholars where and when they should and shouldn't investigate matters-- or at least share it around. Essentially, Rook's involvement should be seen by now as a logical mind and a helping hand that guides wayward, naughty scholars who want to go right for the Black Books (a la Samwell Tarly).

"It seems time, even if you are a disappointment to us all by not becoming godsworn and becoming a -true- scholar of vellichor with no worldly distractions to take you from valuable research." There is an appropriate amount of harumphing, (just enough, not too much!) as they agree that it is time to promote rook to rank 4. They still wish more would become godsworn and not be distracted, but there's plenty of scholars that don't go that far.

Action by Silas

(Public Action, OOC Date: June 12, 2017, 2:42 a.m.)

The Iron Guard will be forking over 1 million silver to the families of the 3000 men who fell during the siege. With assistance from the Crown and the Crafters Guild, they will hopefully be able to cover the 3 million needed to take care of everyone. (I'll be roping Rook and Joscelin in!)

I just went ahead and did this and updated Vox. If Josc disapproves she can talk to me and I can tweak the numbers, but I wanna move stuff forward.

Action by Rook

(Public Action, OOC Date: May 21, 2017, 10:33 a.m.)

Rook's been learning more and more about the Lower Boroughs and its connections with foreign money, so he's going to do digging and investigate. On top of this, however, he really wants to focus on the Grayhope family-- former residence and assets of Chanse Grayhope will be audited.

Any information provided by his protege, Yasmine Ravashari, will be used to help direct him. Their former interactions may give him additional clues.

Oddly, when Rook arrives at the bank to go through the Ledgers that were related to Chanse Grayhope, it turns out the ledger that should have contained all his transactions are mysteriously missing. That -never- happens. The ledgers are kept under lock and key in the 2nd floor office of the Chief Banker of Arx, and a dozen Iron Guardsmen patrol the bank after hours during the night. And yet somehow it vanished.

Action by Rook

(Public Action, OOC Date: March 23, 2017, 9:38 a.m.)

With the assistance and under the guidance of Lark, Rook is going to be trying to find the whereabouts of Dawn's 'censor', the rune-covered artefact which is rumoured to protect from occult beings and forces. With information leading to his belief that she's gone off to study with her mother - the mage - Copper, he assumes it wasn't something she needed to take with her. As such, in an effort to acquire it as a helpful asset in these dark times, he's searching the palace and the Grayson estate as well as any of the nooks and crannies he may have spent time with in her company. This goes from her room to the secret passages behind Alarice's study in the palace that he was shown one time, where original findings were made regarding the treaties and such.

Near as Rook can tell, it was taken by Dawn when she disappeared mysteriously, he can't find any trace of it. Later, a strange note is left in his room, a piece of parchment sitting on his desk though his room was locked and no one was seen entering or leaving. The writing has extremely bad handwriting, like someone trying to scribble with the wrong hand, or was in great pain. 'Wouldn't work. Customized.'

Action by Rook for Silence

(Public Action)

Lord Rook Grayward is accompanying Duke Gabriel Bisland's as a diplomatic envoy to help assist with the efforts regarding the remaining Abandoned that they're trying to convert to Prodigals. In the accompaniment of a small force designed to protect the lord courtier, he'll shill his perspective on why they ought bend the knee-- in not so many words-- to ensure protection from eradication, misuse of darker entities and general unification of the Compact.

Notable talents to assist him would be his nature, genuine charm (oh god that can only go well), as well as diplomatic and linguistic talents. He'll be wearing his armour (ornamental steel covered in so much gold he's probably just a target for ransom at this point but YOLO), taking his champion retainer (Quiet, #26) and just generally being a convincing mf'er.

It's a hard, hard sell. Most of the Abandoned groups have been being slaughtered by the Compact, the Bringers of Silence, or both and have gone into deep hiding. It's hard to find them to begin with, and while Rook is charming and persuasive enough that most are willing to hear him out, the Abandoned for the most part are very intent on plan, 'Run the fuck away' and are very, very reluctant to become prodigals by bending the knee. He softened some of them, and he thinks they might come around eventually, but only handfuls become prodigals and take up arms against the Bringers.