Ask An Explorer
Dec. 26, 2017, 2 p.m.
Arx - Ward of the Compact - Society of Explorers - Charter Hall
Comments and Log
6 Crimson Blades Sergeant arrives, following Tobias.
Cambria strides into the Society's charter hall, taking a seat where she may while awaiting the arrival of the event's host.
Bianca stepped into the mildly familiar Charter Hall her usual vision of white though she bore a thicker onset of robes of the Faith, better maintained for the colder months of leather and fur. The unruly mane of gossamer that crowned her head was currently woven back in a tight braid, hidden for the time beneath the rise of her cowl. It only took a moment, but as the scholar's entire diet was compensated by meetings and invitations these days... she headed first for the pastries, gathered herself a small plate and then went on to find a seat.
As Tobias enters, two of his bodyguards break off from the semi-circle behind him, coming into the hall proper. Four of his bodyguards move to disperse to guard the room. Tobias smoothes down his tunic as he moves to take a seat himself. The mosiac gets a look briefly as he sits, "Nice place." Tobias remarks, the bald Lord General relaxing into his chair.
Lou comes bustling back through the doors, having been there earlier to set up the refreshments and pastries prior to the event. Some errant issue or another with her husband had taken here away. "Good day, everyone. Welcome to the Society of Explorers. For those of you who do not know me, I'm Lou Grayson," the princess who hates to be called a princess says as she sweeps into the room. "I'm here today to field any questions anyone might have about what the Explorers do, as well as any questions people might have about potentially joining the explorers or hiring them out for some purpose or another. Feel free to grab something to drink, and munch on some pastries while you are here." And, for someone who typically hates crowds and large groups of people, Lou seems quite relaxed and at home in the charter hall. This is the place where her people reside; people like her, that is.
Enyo slips through the door, a bit of an off-key whistle dying on her lips as she transitions from outside to inside. One hand lifts up, sliding fingers through her hair as she does a quick look around before moving towards a place to sit for talk.
Shard slips in just as the event starts, scooting quietly around the back of the gathering and snagging a seat for herself without a word of greeting for anyone else, though she does spare a number of quick glances.
Stepping into the hall with a rather aimless expression, Valerius looks the room over carefully, his attention momentarily dropping onto the food and drink. Pausing, he seems to consider it for a moment, eventually passing it by to find a seat. Upon spotting Cambria, the prince's face grows into a grin, and he moves to take a seat next to her. Lou's introduction manages to steal his attention away, and once through he remains quiet, listening.
Bianca rose in a fluid motion as she spotted Tobias, a man met what seemed a lifetime ago, though her attention rose as Lou made her announcement. It only took a few paces after and a brief gesture to the seat beside the Lord-General. "May I?"
"Have at it. I have no monopoly on seating here." Tobias quips to Bianca as he gestures to said seat, before he looks to Lou, nodding firmly. "I've got some questions of my own, when you're ready."
Vim, the dragon corgi arrives, delivering a message to Enyo before departing.
Cambria offers Valerius a bright grin in return, turning her head to listen to Lou when she speaks. Afterwards, the Marquessa glances around to those others gathered. She gives Valerius something of a shrug before she raises a hand and asks, "I, for one, am curious about the requirements for joining. I have at least two members of my family that will be keenly interested in Society membership."
Enyo flops herself down into a chair, legs crossing just in time for a messenger to arrive, and then be sent back with a response. Whatever was in that message seems to be good news, because she perks up from her already good mood and turns her attention towards the Princess. A seconds thought, then she lifts a hand as well, but keeps her question silent until Lou calls on her.
Lou seems pleased to hear that people have questions. She nods to Tobias and Cambria each. "I will certainly be glad to answer any questions you might have. If you could help me out a bit and form a line, I can make sure to give each of you the answers you seek. And, this way I also will not miss any questions you might have." Her glance around the room seems to indicate anyone can join the line.
Bianca nodded, slipping into the mutually gestured to seat. As others chimed up to the speaker of the hour her little plate of pastries was settled into her lap and a notebook drawn from her bag. She juggled items, obviously preparing for notation of the open Q&A.
A pigeon almost too fat to fly arrives, following Jhond.
Enyo has joined the line.
People are gathered around, some standing, others sitting. Many have refreshments, and Lou is just asking people who might have questions to get in line so she can make sure she doesn't miss them. (+line/getinline)
Tobias has joined the line.
1 Navegant Marines, Dahlia, a confident red and white corgi puppy arrive, following Skye.
1 Navegant Marines have been dismissed.
Dahlia, a confident red and white corgi puppy have been dismissed.
Cambria has joined the line.
Skye has joined the line.
Turn in line: Enyo
Lou waits a few moments for a line to form, and once it has a good number of people she starts to give each person her attention. "Lady Enyo," she calls o the Malvici woman, whom she's had the pleasure of meeting.
Skye arrives to the meeting late, slipping in to stand on the edges to get a view of what is being spoken about. She gives a shy smile to anyone that looks her way. She moves over to try some of the refreshments while she waits for Princess Lou to be free.
Jhond steps into the Society but does not move into the apparently dreary line. Instead he makes for the table of refreshments to get himself some snacks while he watches the others.
When the call to get in line comes up, Enyo hops to her feet and moves forward towards said indicated lining up spot. When called she lifts a hand, giving the Princess a wave, "It's a quick one, and I apologize for it being a pretty selfish question, but I was wondering if there was possibly going to be time after the questions for trying those trials again? Or like...maybe getting another time scheduled, if well...possible."
"We shall see how long the question and answer session will be, and if there is time I would be glad to give you the trials once more." Lou smiles warmly at Enyo. "I'm glad to see that your confidence has returned, and that you are willing to try again, Lady Enyo. Explorers must learn and grow from their experiences, so that we can be much better prepared for the next thing to come, as you never know what you might find when out searching among the ruins, or helping others scout things out."
Skye stops herself from getting refreshment and then moves to the line since that's where questions can be asked. She gets in behind a few people that moved faster to her and then settles herself in to line to the other questions that are being asked and Princess Lou's answers.
Even as Lou says this, she spots Shard in the crowd and says, "For instance, I've recently learned how to speak Northern shav.... so I no longer have to play charades with some shav'arvani in order to communicate. Of course, when I was kidnapped by shav'arvani for one of the scouting missions I did for my sister Reese, I neither knew how to be stealthy or to speak any shav'arvani languages. Mind you, they are not requirements for joining the Society. Just, one must always improve their skills to be better at what they do. I've since improved both, and hope not to be spotted so easily or in such a situation again."
Shard doesn't actually say anything. She does, however, give Lou the faintest of nods. Just the slightest dip of her chin. After a moment she crosses her arms over her chest and leans back a little in her chair.
"Wonderful.." Enyo replies, flashing a smile at Lou before she moves herself right out of the line for the next person. With her most pressing question asked she moves towards the refreshments to grab a pastry and stick her tongue out at Jhond before settling in to listen to the others.
Turn in line: Tobias
Jhond grins towards Enyo when her tongue sticks out towards him and makes his ways towards her to lean in and speak quietly so as to not disrupt the next in line.
Lou nods at Enyo, then looks over at Tobias. She's never met him, so doesn't call him by name. "Your question was next?" she inquires.
When his turn is up, Tobias stands, giving a slight bow before he asks, "I've been curious about the Society for a while, but haven't been able to find the time to talk to any of you. What are the long term goals for the Society?"
"We are primarily a group that facilities exploration and discovery," Lou tells Tobias, and considers the question more carefully, adding. "And, I'm not sure we have a larger goal beyond that. Or, you might say, we gather the information from the past, so that we might put it to use in the present, or at least preserve it for future generations. Pathfinder Aislin has us work very closely with the Scholars of Vellichor, to this end. For myself, personally, it's always a wonder to be able to walk the halls of some long lost ruin and imagine the history that happened there millennia ago, and find some long lost artifact or tablet that hints of things long ago. I've had the good fortune to have spent time in places from the four ages that I know about." She furrows her brows. "I know there are some such tablets, or documents, that have gone missing after our discovery, so - it's likely that information from those times is vastly important."
Bianca multi-tasked, notation and food. Pastries were carefully balanced on one knee while the other held the weighty, leather bound journal she so often had in hand. It nearly fell at one point, a small skirmish taking place as she re-balanced the item and saved a plate full from certain doom in a tumble to the floor. Silvery glance flicked up shortly after the mention of the Scholars, taking back to prior notation like she didn't just nearly sully the Hall floor with an over piled bout of pastry.
"So right now, the Society is meant to retrieve knowledge of history for the Scholars." Tobias nods slightly, "What's the difference between your Society and the Scholars themselves, then? Is there a reason your organization has not become part of the Faiths structure?"
Lady Teldra, a Lycene noblewoman, Steadfast, a guardian dog, Buchanan, a Champion arrive, following Cara.
Cara arrives a touch late, glancing apologetically at Lou and some of the others she's acquainted with, before finding a seat and settling into it to fold her hands neatly in her lap as she listens.
"Well, we're also more than that." Lou tells Tobias, "We help nobles discover things on their lands, such as ruins, we've mapped areas for others - especially those looking to expand their holdings, and we've also helped other expeditions and military groups with their own projects, either through funding or through other means - research, scouting, an extra pair of hands, or as on the spot translators or healers." She pauses, then looks to Bianca in that moment, furrowing her brow. "My impression is that the Scholars primary collects information from people, where as the Society of Explorers actively goes out into the world to discover new places or things that may help protect Arvum at large; at least that's how I've always viewed it, coming from a long line of Grayson explorers. We, in turn, share the information we gain with the Scholars so they might record it. Archlector Bianca may correct me if I'm wrong in that assessment." She nods to Bianca, who is taking notes. She also nod lightly in Cara's direction, acknowledging her greeting.
Bianca nodded, quick to chime in. "The Scholars of Vellichor do have Field Scholars that do more or less what the Society of Explorers' does in tangent. We have at our disposal thousands of disciples for such endeavors, but we work hand in hand with the Society of Explorers to ensure there are no gaps or information losses. Cross-checking each other. That relationship between us is incredibly valuable to both our independent groups as well as the Compact on the whole as the primary function of the Scholars is documentation and protection of our history. We take information in any way it comes to us and we're responsible in the task in ensuring it is recorded and added to the Archive." She made a few little corrections, though got more to the point. "The main difference is the Faith and the amount of resources. The Scholars is a denomination of the Faith and the League is non-secular. The Scholars are a sweeping force of dictation, the League is the scalpel. At least that is my understanding of those differences."
Willen arrives, following Aislin.
"So you're a Compact wide civilian group of scouts and historians, who happens to give all your knowledge to the archive as a side effect." Tobias gives another nod of his head, "How are you funded? What's your policy on looting and personal interest in any items you aquire from these exploratory efforts?"
"Was there a line for questions, or is it open conversation?" Cara queries, lifting her voice just enough to be heard clearly by the room. "And should we limit our questions to one or so at a time before allowing someone else to speak? I'm sorry, I missed the suggested method of proceeding."
Aislin makes her way into Charter Hall a bit late -- perhaps she's been busy preparing for Killian's upcoming wake. Either way, she arrives and takes up a position near the door, though offers a nod of support to Lou -- if she's needed to field questions, she's here, but otherwise she's letting this be the First Seeker's show.
Skye raises her hand and meekly offers, "I'm in line..." Then she puts her hand down and lets the people in charge decide how the Q&A is going to proceed, "But I don't mind waiting..." She gives a shy look to Tobias.
Cambria is also in line, though she passes the time by having a quietly spoken conversation with Valerius beside her - when not listening to the questions and answers as they come.
There is a small crowd of people who have come to ask Lou questions about the Society. There is indeed a line where people can jump in to ask their own questions. It currently contains Cambria and Skye. "We are often hired by nobles to map their lands, or to see if they have any ruins on their property. The Society is also funded by the Crown, and has Crown support. We do not loot items. We work directly with the people who own the land, and come to a mutual arrangement regarding the items found. In many cases, we can take etchings of tablets or make copies of documents for ourselves, since it's not hard to shade over pieces of paper what coals or other things we might have on hand, and writing implements are easier enough for us to carry on hand." She nods to Aislin, and smiles at her when she arrives. She notes to Cara, "There is indeed a line." She gives Skye a light smile, then looks to Tobias. "I'd be happy to answer further questions you might have, if you'd like to rejoin the line."
As the others speak up, Tobias gives another nod, moving out of line and back to his seat, silently.
Shard continues to listen, silent but alert. She glances over when Aislin arrives her attention lingering briefly on the woman before she looks back to Lou.
Cara has joined the line.
Turn in line: Cambria
Bianca leans to offer a brief whisper to Tobias, but not before a small smile and nod of greeting was offered to Aislin's entrance.
Lou smiles at Cambria, nodding her head. "Your question?" she asks.
Cambria, now officially called upon, asks her question a second time, though she does not seem too burdened by this fact. She offers Lou a smile in return. "As previously mentioned: I am curious of the requirements to join. As an addendum, I should also like to ask if there are any standards or codes of conduct the Society wishes its members maintain." Thereafter, she resumes her seat.
Aislin offers a half-smile and a nod in return to Bianca, but otherwise remains silent, just listening to what Lou has to say on the questions.
An Unremarkable Associate arrives, delivering a message to Valerius before departing.
Most of this question is one that Lou can easily answer, as she's already talked to several people about it in the past. "We've recently implemented a brief test to ensure that anyone who wishes to join the Society has some of the necessary skills to work themselves out of most situations. What we do can be rather dangerous, and in fact some people have been seriously injured on expeditions. What we do not want is to send someone out unprepared, where they might get themselves killed. So, we give you a set of tasks to complete, or give you a scenario, and see how you cope with it. We judge you based on how well you can work yourself out of a situation or problem, and if you score well - you're let into the Society. If you do not score well, we ask you to gain a bit more training, and ask you to try the trials again." She pauses a moment, then explains, "The trials are not meant to be a bar to entry. We just need to know that you're not going to compromise yourself or the group that you're with if you get into some kind of trouble, and you /can/ get into trouble on expeditions. You could run into a group of hostile shav'arvani. You could fall down several stories through a bad wooden floor. You could find yourself stuck in a rather compromising position, caught in a trap... All as examples. Not that I've, you know, actually ever been in such situations before... er... well, maybe I have." Lou comments, a light flush coming across her features. "Or, you know, kidnapped because you can't play charades with shav'arvani to talk to them because your hands are tied behind your back," she alights on her earlier comment. "As for other standards or codes of conduct, I deflect that question to Lady Pathfinder Aislin Ashford, if she might be willing to expand upon that." She nods in Aislin's direction.
Cara snorts softly with laughter at Lou's answer, though she tries to keep it quiet so as not to interrupt.
Remaining silent as questions and answers are given, Valerius' attention drifts back and forth between those participating. With the arrival of a silent messenger and a note that's passed to him, he looks it over, and moves to unobtrusively rise and make his way towards the exit.
Aislin steps forward; if she's going to answer, she might as well not linger near the back of the crowd. "The Society was founded," she notes, "to provide explorers a place to come together -- to pool resources and knowledge before setting out." She gestures towards the Map Room in the back, then adds, "And to find others to travel with when you /do/ depart, as well. So the general standard we try to hold people to is simple: work with your fellow explorers -- help them on their expeditions, and look to them to help you on yours. Share your knowledge and experience with them. And if you find something of historic value, bring it to the Archives for the Scholars to study." She then steps slightly back, yielding the floor once more.
Cambria nods her head to both women, saying politely, "Thank you."
Turn in line: Skye
Skye steps forward and gives a shy look to Lou, focusing on her rather than the other people that are now looking at her because she's asking a question, "Since the group funds exploration, what is the approval process or requirements to get expeditions submitted if a member would like their expedition funded? You mentioned how outside agencies, like nobles, can fund an expedition but do you source them from within?" She fumbles with her skirt since she's a bit nervous about speaking in a public forum, "My apologies...that's two questions...but they're related." She then feels the need to add, "Thank you...for your patience, and I look forward to hearing your answer..." She then steps back to let Lou answer the questions that she just asked.
Lou glances to Skye as she steps forward, offering her a warm smile. She considers the question seriously. "I think it would depend on what you want to accomplish, and whether or not you have permission from the land owner, or fealty, in question. If there's something illegal about your expedition, or if you are trespassing on other's land without proper permission, we're not going to do the expedition." She taps her chin as she thinks. "The best practice is to have a clear idea of what it is you want to explore, or have mapped out, and what your needs are. Have an outline of how you mean to accomplish it, listing who resources you need to complete the task, be it writs or silver, and what types of people you'd accomplish your goal. Do you need cartographers? People experienced in climbing? People who've fought sha'arvani or abyssal creatures? Those who can translate lost languages? People who are good with traps and avoiding them? Etcetera. We need a good idea of whether not we'll be able to provide the kind of aid you are seeking, and a list of any dangers that you expect to encounter. We're not going to send our people in blind. They have to know how to prepare. As for funding, that comes from any number of sources. Some of us are fortunate enough to be able to fund things ourselves, while others pool resources together. Others seek ways to aid the Society to their mutual benefit." She looks to Aislin to see if she has anything to add.
"The Society's funding comes almost entirely from donations," Aislin adds, with a nod to Lou. "And a small stipend from the various organizations who like to support our efforts. If you need funds or resources for an expedition -- not just the assistance of specific skillsets -- then speaking to one of the Seekers, or myself, is the quickest way to see about getting access to the Society's accounts."
Skye pulls out her journal that's in a pocket in her skirt and piece of charcoil that was wrapped. She quickly starts to take notes on the suggestions that Lou and Aislin describes. She takes a moment to look at her notes, make sure she didn't miss anything and then lets them know, "Thank you...that answers my question." She puts the notebook away. She gives the ladies on a panel a bright smile.
Turn in line: Cara
Lou nods to Skye, then looks over at Cara. "Princess Cara," she calls forward. Cara is the last person in line.
When it is her turn, Cara rises with a rustle of skirt and smiles quickly to Lou, "I hope you'll forgive what might seem like a silly question, but I've always wondered -- aside from instances where you've been requested to explore an area, how do you choose where to go? Is there a particular criteria or feature of a destination that catches your eye, or is it more the lure of the unknown without specific appeal?"
Lou's pretty much explored all of Arvum, and she grins a bit when Cara asks this question. "I cannot speak for other Explorers, but for myself it's the marvels of the unknown.... or the lost. In Arvum, I've explored places from what I call the Four Ages: The Age of Dreams - which dates prior to the Reckoning ever happening. The Age of Songs - which covers anything that was lost after the Reckoning. The Age of Queens - which was the time of Alarice the Great. And, finally, the Age of Crowns - which happened when House Thrax violently overthrew House Grayson for rulership and threw the Compact into civil war. Each age has its own wonder and mystery, but there's never anything more appealing to me than something that hasn't had people who had visited for millennia. But, to talk about each of those ages, and what I've discovered would require a whole other Ask An Explorer meeting," she grins. "Which, consequently, I intend to do again in the future."
Cambria, having listened to the last answer given, gets to her feet and quietly makes her way to the exit, walking around so as to be as unobtrusive as possible as she does so.
Jhond steps back from Enyo with a smile and dips into a small bow towards the noble woman before making his way towards the door to slip out.
"Ah, thank you, that's very helpful." Cara takes her seat with another quick smile, "I've always been fascinated by history, so I quite agree, there's little more delightful than beginning to unravel a mystery from the past."
A pigeon almost too fat to fly leaves, following Jhond.
Skye steps aside since matters are starting to close for the meeting to receive a messenger.
A messenger arrives, delivering a message to Skye before departing.
Lou grins at Cara. "I couldn't agree more." She looks around the room at those who are still there. "Are there any other questions?" she asks.
Bianca rose from her seat, a small and gracious nod offered to Lou rather than interrupt any possible questions and a whisper descending to Tobias as she packed up to leave.
Skye gives a shake of her head and starts gathering her things to head out. She looks satisfied at the answers that were given for her questions.
Bianca made her way through the line up of chairs toward Aislin, leaning in to spare another whisper to the woman.
Lou waits a bit of time before saying, "Then, I thank you all for coming, and I hope that you might be able to give others answers about the Society if it ever comes up in conversation. I'm always happy to answer any questions people might have."
Shard pushes up from her seat. She takes a moment to stretch in place, grimacing briefly, before letting her arms drop to her sides.
Bianca gave another small bow of her head to Aislin before moving on and out!
"Thank you, Princess Lou," says Cara with a bright smile, "That was most informative."
Cara is overheard praising Lou for: For an informative event!
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