Beaucage and Fournier resolutions
House Beaucage had pointedly challenged the Faith, and there was even an incident when Beaucage soldiers performed a massacre on holy ground and violated sanctuary, an offense that the Faith simply could not ignore. Still, much effort went into bringing Marquis Marcel Beaucage to the negotiating table. There's word that House Keaton, particularly Reigna and Apollo, worked on some sort of economic project that applied pressure on the vassals sworn to Beaucage to convince them to be more amiable. Princess Zara engaged in some quiet diplomacy, and word from the vassals at the Beaucage's holding of Greenwither is that Lady Amari Keaton reaching out to Marquessa Theresa Beaucage was instrumental in getting them to the table. But perhaps the most critical aspect was the Faith itself.
Legate Aureth Grayhope, Legate of the Lost, and representative of the Faith of the Pantheon, leads a large templar detachment to the borders of the march in order to demand answers from Marcel Beaucage, under threat of excommunication for his crime of allowing a massacre that broke sanctuary. Marcel does arrive, and the meeting is tense, with templars speaking of a massive force of Beaucage troops that encircled their encampment, with every appearance of the makings of an ambush. A battle seemed imminent, but the word to attack was never given by Marcel, and the man seemed to look pointedly at the diplomat Princess Zara Valardin for some unknown reason, before surrendering himself to the faith, and abdicating his title. He confessed in the hearing of thousands to what he was accused of and more, of waging war in order to hide the dishonorable actions of his son. The former Marquis did not go into detail on what those actions were as he surrendered himself to the Faith, so rumors abound. But Beaucage, under the leadership of Marquessa Theresa Beaucage, has bowed to the Faith and Laurent, and is no longer at war.
For House Fournier, there had been a tense peace brokered between the Oathlands and the Lyceum, but the original culprits of the massacre of the pilgrims had gone unpunished. There's a rumor that Lady Anabelle Lyonesse had been instrumental in helping discover the possibility that the guilty party was Lord Aramis Fournier, the son of Count Gael Fournier, and Lord Cristoph Laurent organized the great number of individuals seeking to help bring the count to justice. Princess Marisol Valardin led a mission to meet with numerous supporters of Aramis, as Princess Marisol, Selene Whisper and Lady Anabelle helped ease the tensions in Cassyl and talk many of the soldiers of House Fournier into not opposing the inquiry by the Faith and House Laurent, and this proved decisive in avoiding the sworn swords of House Fournier staying with their liege rather than supporting his firebrand son. Duke Cristoph Laurent led a delegation to speak to Count Gael Fournier and reason with him, hoping to secure a lasting peace and making certain no violence erupted as forces came for Lord Aramis.
This fortunately was successful, as the delegation of Cristoph, Lady Mabelle Laurent, Duchess Calista Fidante, Lady Jenessa Lyonesse, Legate Ailith, Baron Norwood Clement, Duchess Calypso Malvici and Lord Martino Malvici spent several days in negotiations, eventually managing to get Count Gael to permit his son to be taken into templar custody, and further agree to a marriage of his younger son Lord Erroll to House Daveiga to keep a lasting peace. This did just leave the matter of the hunt for Lord Aramis, who was hiding somewhere in the countryside, apparently still raiding Abandoned with forces not necessarily sworn to House Fournier.
Lady Jael Laurent and Dame Esoka Greenblood of the templars bring up thousands of troops to form a picket at the edge of Fournier lands to make sure the man doesn't slip through, while Kedehern leads a team of Norwood, Flavien, Shae and Miranda in the search, in addition to a second team of Eddard, Gawain, Ronja and Ahmar searching, as well as a young oathlander woman and her flop earred dog.
The picket led by Jael and Esoka is attacked by a tremendous number of knights, leading to a heated battle, with some claims of Jael hitting some huge far hard enough to send it airborn, but that's mostly taken as overly enthusiastic hyperbole. It's believed that Aramis was in the camp, and the forces were driven back to a smaller camp that ran into the search parties, ultimately resulting in a massive melee. The knights with Aramis oddly fought to the death, despite being given the opportunity to yield, and losses among Laurent and Templar forces were quite heavy, but the unconscious Aramis was taken into custody.
What happened next is in some dispute.
The templars carrying Lord Aramis Fournier claim they took him to a closest Knight of Solace way station that had been built on the Great Road, to be sure that his wounds were seen to and he could survive to see trial. The way station, halfway in between Cassyl and Lyon's Redoubt, was a church on the Great Road that acted as a hospital and sanctuary for pilgrims, and was holy, sanctified ground. The templars claim that the moment they carried Aramis over the threshold that the man woke, screamed, and burst into flames, turning into ash. The rumor is that templars murdered him and burned his body, but House Fournier has opted after all the struggle to not contest this, and says they will take the templars at their word in a very guarded statement. The truth, of course, is ambiguous, with many in the Oathlands believing that Aramis was guilty but killed by templars rather than having it go to trial, and there was something to hide. Possibly involvement by others in the Church? A number of conspiracy theories are going around. But Fournier sees no interest in having the sordid matter of fried-son dragged out, and considers the matter over.
Since the creation of the Great Road, there had been a number of ongoing brushfire conflicts throughout the Oathlands. While some were resolved quickly, the matter of House Beaucage and House Fournier remained. House Beaucage, a vassal of Laurent, had terrorized prodigals and Abandoned alike, warred with neighbors, and had taken actions in open defiance fo the Faith. House Fournier, a vassal of Lyonesse, had a massacre of pilgrims on their lands including the brother of the Marquessa of House Daveiga, a Malvici vassal, which resulted in an Oathlands-Lyceum border war. Individuals from the Faith, the Oathlands, the Lyceum and beyond have visited both houses in an attempt to end the ongoing conflicts.
There has been some success...