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The Salon: Diplomacy & Warfare

The Salon gathers for a discussion - or debate depending upon how argumentative one is - on the topic of diplomacy and warfare, moderated by Marquis Hadrian Mazetti. Specifically, when should one give way to the other? When should the conviction of words stand aside for the directed purpose of brawn? When should military might be put onto a shelf and negotiation given opportunity to pave the way forward? Can diplomacy be conducted in a genuine way, free of deceit and manipulation while a war is ongoing? The possible answers are numerous and everyone will have their own stances, ideals, and opinions they believe are facts.

The Empirical's doors will be opened to members of The Salon and the public who have a potential interest in the Salon. Those interested in holding a peaceful discussion on the presented topic are welcome to attend.


Oct. 18, 2018, 7 p.m.

Hosted By



Ouida Klaus Alarissa Cambria Lethe Coraline Luis Sunniva Isabeau Lailah Katarina Vitalis Roxana Agostino Caspian Mikani Kenna Harlex Avovorinth


The Salon


Arx - Ward of the Compact - The Empirical - The Salon

Largesse Level


Comments and Log

Leana, an Igniseri Guard, Tamsin arrive, following Luis.

The Empirical has been made ready to receive a gathering of the Salon and other curious minds for the evening. Drinks, whether alcoholic or otherwise, are dispensed by the wait staff. Even food is made available in the form of easily dispensed snacks; fruits, crackers and meat, and spicy (or not spicy) cheeses, and such finery. One thing is apparent and that is that no expense was spared in providing quality refreshments. The wait staff stands by to take coats and cloaks. The meeting chamber has been scented lightly with the faint scent of vanilla. Hadrian Mazetti rises up from a chair with the arrival of some and begins to speak aloud, "Welcome everyone, whether noted members of the Salon or the curious seeking a stimulating conversation. Refreshments have been made available and you are invited to find a comfortable seat and join us. Thank you all for coming," he announces with a bright charcoal-whitened smile from the position which he stands, "Once the majority are settled, we shall begin the evenings discussion!"

Alarissa has joined the a collection of small tables and chairs gathered together.

Caspian has joined the a cluster of couches around a low table.

Isabeau has joined the a collection of small tables and chairs gathered together.

:enters the room quietly, her bright blue eyes just a touch wide with curiousity as she takes in the salon, her gaze lingering on each cluster of chairs. She is dressed simply, in soft leather breeches and a linen shirt, her claim to nobility the fine cloak with Harthall sigil clasp she wears--and perhaps the fact that she has Marquessa Sunniva on her arm. She can't help but breathe in the delicious scent of both snacks and the slight sweetness of the vanilla. For a moment she pauses, to murmur something softly to Sunniva, lingering far enough to the side of the doorway and further in so they do not impede anyone's progress.

3 Thrax Guards, Freja the long suffering, Dame Cupcake, the most elegant, Behemo, a towering man with humble eyes, 2 Thrax Elite Guards arrive, following Coraline.

1 Grayson House Guards, Thalia, a beautiful lady-in-waiting arrive, following Roxana.

Salvadore, a fire salamander arrives, delivering a message to Isabeau before departing.

At the arrival of Princess Coraline, Klaus stands up fromt he small cluster of couches were he is sitting with Mikani. "Your Highness, over here!" He says, perhaps with a bit of a chipper tone and buzz of excitement to his words.

Alarissa is already making herself comfirtable at oneof the chairs and tables near Katarina and the hosts for the evevning, all Aeterna and seasilk embroidery, a glass of wine waved for. "What brought on this choice of subject matter Marquise?" She asks.

Lethe has joined the a cluster of couches around a low table.

Cambria had arrived earlier, though not in concert with her husband. The Marquessa of House Mazetti takes a seat among the collection of small tables and chairs, she accepts an offer of one of the aforementioned refreshments.

Lethe looks around for a seat and after a moment she decides on one. She waits for things to begin.

Seeing Klaus pop up like a whack a mole, Cora grins and heads that direcion waving to those she knows along the way. Once there she smiles to Klaus and those at his table. "Hello all."

Dressed in steel armor that is recently polished to a high glossy shine, and fitted in such a magnificent way to be exceptionally functional and intricately divine, is the figure of Luis Igniseri. Helm buckled at his belt, the man wanders into the Salon and looks around, realizing for a moment, by the look of concern upon his face that it may be an evening more directed to diplomacy.. and he may have read the invitation wrong. The very same invitation is pulled from a belt pouch, unfolded and read again, 'Diplomacy and Warfare... huh That was not Displays of warfare... uhhh." He sighs, but then spots familiar faces and begins to slowly circulate.

Coraline has joined the a cluster of couches around a low table.

In the usual russet silk gown, Sunniva takes in the array offered within the Salon and affords a light smile that is meant for any who look their way. She tilts her head in as Ouida speaks with her and she gives her sister and pats with her free hand to the arm and lets it settle there as she lifts her chin to let eyes wander. "Ahh there, the Mazetti and the Princess Alarissa," she motions to the collection of small tables and chairs. Allowing Ouida to lead them closer she finally speaks up, "Good evening, we would be honored to join you if you will have us," she then motions to Ouida, "This is Lady Ouida Harthall," pause, "And for those I have not met yes, I am Marquessa Sunniva Harthall."

Lady Isabeau Telmar shines her smile as she joins two heads of the Mazetti hydra at their table. She leans in lightly to murmur something near Cambria's ear while Hadrian makes his initial announcement of welcome.

Lailah arrives in a pleasant outfit of lavender silk, and enters quietly, watching the gathering from the comfort of not having to draw attention to herself

Sunniva has joined the a collection of small tables and chairs gathered together.

Katarina just happens to be comfortably nestled within a couch all her own, a glass of wine rested in hand. A smile of warmth curls just-so at the corners of her mouth, bowing her head in gracious reception of Alarissa and those she finds joining her seat. "Princess Consort, Marquessa Mazetti. Lady Telmar, it's all good to see you."

Vitalis is not a member, but he is ever curious and ever seeking, and so, he comes to see the Marquis-consort hold forth. The young explorer avails himself of the wine provided and makes a study of the environs and those arriving with nods for those he recognizes, his cousins of course, Cambria and Hadrian himself, "Marquessa, Marquis." And, "Highness," a bow for Alarissa. Else he keeps to the back, leaning comfortably against a pillar. He looks the part of an adventuring lord, leathers and a sort of ranging energy about him. Not restless, more alert.

A familiar looking guard and a familiar looking woman, Roxana Grayson is not quite on time, but not late either. For anyone else, one might think she was aiming towards 'fashionably late' but those who know her know the struggle is real. Dressed in shimmering aeterna, she too surveys the treats before deciding to settle down. Where Katarina is, and the Princess gets a rueful smile from the other Princess. "Told you I'd come!"

Roxana has joined the a collection of small tables and chairs gathered together.

Ouida has joined the a collection of small tables and chairs gathered together.

"Fashionably late as ever, but here you are all the same," Katarina commends dryly toward Roxana, a motion made to see the princess treated to a glass of wine. "Still, it's good to see you."

"Ah, Marquessa Sunniva, Lady Ouida," Cambria greets as the two Harthalls approach. "It is lovely to see you here. Oh," she smiles brightly as she spies Isabeau nearing as well. "Pri- Lady Isabeau, I hope that you shall be joining us. We are growing into quite a contintent. If I am not mistaken, there is Princess Katarina and the Princess-Consort herself." More and more distinguished individuals begin to enter, Cambria can only smile. "This promises to be a lively debate," she says to the group at large. "Ah, cousin," this to Vitalis. "I hope you intend to participate."

Hadrian's attention drifts to Alarissa as he reaches out to procure a glass of deep red wine that passes nearby. Following his claim on it, Hadrian's attention drifts toward Sunniva and a broad grin flashes across his features, "You're welcome of course, Marquessa Harthall. Lady Ouida?" He says with a glance toward Ouida, "Welcome and I do hope that you'll enjoy yourself". Then Hadrian's attention drifts back to Alarissa and he lifts a hand to gesture vaguely at the air and nothing in particular, "It's a complicated topic that can have an incalcuable number of answers. Which makes it perfect fodder for a discussion. Point and counterpoint can thrive in such a setting".

Hadrian's attention then turns back to the gathering as a whole as he begins to speak, "As the moderator for this gathering my own purpose will be to ensure we stay on topic and moving along. One should mind their manners and remember: an idea can be questioned, so keep attacks on a speaker to oneself... the question is simple and I ask it of you all now: at what point should diplomacy or warfare step aside for the other?"

"I might have had two glasses of wine already, while deciding what to wear. So don't expect stunning debate from me tonight love." Roxy quips as she takes the wineglass offered and has a sip.

Glancing to Ouida, Sunniva smiles and dips her head to say something to her as the Harthalls will move to find a seat, "It is good to see you again, Marquis Mazetti. Always a pleasure." Settling her skirts into place she smooths her hands over them and looks then to each, catching names and offering Alarissa a deep inclination of her head. She glances to her counterpart but watches keenly as others arrive.

"When one realizes they have come dressed for warfare, to a discussion on diplomacy, one probably should secure their swords and submit to the latter... though the counterpoint is also true. Should you be dressed for diplomacy and come under attack, one may wish to submit to warfare lest they be overrun without retort." Luis replies out loud before finding a seat to settle down upon.

Klaus is a very eager squirrel and if he had red hair might be mistaken for Dorren with all of his bottled up excitement. Still he does his best to keep his voice professional with an easy to follow verbal cadence. "Warfare and Diplomancy are not seperate but part of the same whole. The purpose of the military is as a diplomatic lever to be used, a blunt instrument yes, but it is a diplomatic insturment all the same, though people with a moral compass would see it as a tool of last resort."

Cecily, a coy secretary arrives, following Agostino.

Whether Alarissa might reply, one might never know as a messenger from Thrax steps in abd it's clear it's something that needs dealing with now instead of later.

Alarissa has left the a collection of small tables and chairs gathered together.

Maxene, Pellinor, 4 Thrax Guards, Honey Snuggle, a Velenosian Angora cat leave, following Alarissa.

Luis has joined the a glossy walnut bar.

The arrival of the armored Igniseri garners Ouida's notice, and her smile broadens. She lifts a hand in greeting to him. Though when Hadrian begins to speak, her attention moves to the host, and she listens quietly, her brow furrowing just a little in serious thought as she absorbes the rules.

Since he is late, it is a good thing that Agostino is good at being unobtrusive. Doing his best to keep from interrupting anything, he makes his way over to the collection of chairs and tables to take a seat.

Agostino has joined the a collection of small tables and chairs gathered together.

Caspian has joined the line.

Klaus has joined the line.

Noting the wave from Ouida, Luis settles into the bar and orders a drink of something stiff, even as his metal armor creaks and clanks as he leans against a stool, choosing to stand rather than make it awkward. Drink in hand he raises it in reply to Ouida, with a similar nod of greeting to Caspian and the retreating Alarissa.

Hadrian flashes a smile toward Luis and his own point of view; a nod is offered toward Luis in quiet acceptance of the answer. Hadrian seems to consider it for a moment before he nods once again. Soon enough his attention bounds to Klaus whom he considers before nodding toward, "Yes, I can agree with that sentiment. As I said a moment ago: they're separate things, but also intertwined. Same, same, but different," Hadrian's hand lifts to wave about for a moment.

Vitalis shakes his head at Cambira's encouragement to participate, "If I have something to add." A beat, his smile slips lopsided, "I expect I'll learn more if I keep my ears open and my mouth shut." He lifts his glass to Cambria and turns attention to the ideas already being offered. His brow furrows, lips pursed at Luis' declaration, chewing on that a bit, before shifting gray eyes to Klaus with a nod for his point and Hadrian folding it into the discussion. He presses closer to the pillar he's leaning against to make room for Agostino as the man ducks by, offering a quiet greeting and then turning attention back to the matter at hand.

Caspian checked intellect + theology at difficulty 15, rolling 6 lower.

"Oh Tino you came! Come sit with us." Roxana declares, patting a chair as Agostino makes his way there anyway. "The wine is good, Kat always stocks the best. I'm on my second glass! I don't remember what we're debating anymore, but I plan to have a very strong opinion."

Caspian rises to his feet, a smile on his lips, he speaks to the crowd, "So, in the question between war and diplomacy, and all the questions that come with it, I say...why make it complicated?" He then draws his redsteel knife, and makes a thrusting motion forward, "Few problems can't be solved without enough stabs!" And then he bows, saying, "Okay, debate won, lets get pickled!"

Lailah has joined the line.

Content to listen for the moment, Sunniva does motion for a glass of wine for herself and then whatever Ouida will have. There is an understanding look given to Vitalis before the Harthall gives the Igniseri a considering glance. She dips her head thoughtfully before she touches Ouida's shoulder and speaks softly to her. Her hand falls back but is soon ready to accept the glass he ordered moments before. Quick servers these. There is a faint huff of a laugh from the Marquessa for the point made with movement of a red steel knife. She merely sips at her wine for the moment.

Caspian's words wake the Harthall knight from her snacking reverie, and she grins, her plate balanced delicately upon one knee as she almost begins to clap--but then at the last moment remembers she shouldn't embarass her sister in law too much. And so then she merely raises her glass in salute to him instead.

Katarina flits a long-suffered look in Roxana's direction. "Diplomacy and warfare," she kindly reminds the lady-in-waiting, her smile a most patient one for her Grayson compatriot. "At this rate, Princess Roxana, I'm going to have you host -and- moderate the next Salon meeting," she jests, turning her gaze up toward Caspian when he presents his disposition. Her brows lift, though not terribly surprised.

Klaus stands next and bows towards Caspian at his response. "There are times I wish it were so, Sir, and not to say your point is wrong, pun intended there." Klaus then turns to the rest of the group assembled. "One must take into account the cost of a standing army. A skilled diplomat with a cunning military leader can arange the battle field as such negotations of surrender is the wiser course of action and not a sword drawn or arrow fired."

Caspian checked intellect + theology at difficulty 15, rolling 11 lower.

"Oh! I remember now. That's a lovely topic. Which side am I on? Personally it would have to be diplomacy because I don't know how to wage war, but in general..." Roxana ponders, and drains her glass to gesture for another. "Now my fourth. Or fifth. Are you keeping track or am I?" She turns her attention to those standing up to the debate, with genuine if tipsy interest in their points.

"B-But...knives! Stabbing! Fighting! Don't make me useless!" Whines Caspian in a playfully childish tone, unable to hide his grin from Klaus and the rest.

Roxana has joined the line.

Hadrian lowers himself down and into his chair in order to hear out Caspian's point of view. Hadrian seems to consider it at length, his lips pursed together and his brow lined with a look of contemplation. He takes in a deep breath and then holds it. When he does finally speak it is toward Caspian, "An eloquently spoken stance, indeed". A smile is cast toward Caspain and then Hadrian's attention drifts toward Klaus as he offers up his own rebuttal. A thoughtful nod is given while Hadrian remains seated, one leg draped over the other, and a booted foot bounces with funneled energy.

Mikani shakes her head, "Cousin sit down before you start a knife brawl ...." Mikani laughs and signals Caspian to come back and sit down.

Ouida says something to Sunniva that leaves the Harthall Marquessa with a smile and an attempt to hide her laugh. There is a brief, delighted kiss to the other woman's cheek and she sips then at her wine. Eyes lifting to the next speaker as she tilts back her glass. A long sip and she is lowering it to her leg. No food. Just drink. Klaus' words bring a nod of her head, looking to appreciate the thoughts put to words.

"Well, just assume this is number four, and keep track from here." Roxana informs Agostino. "This is very typical assistant work, so you have to do it. I think I'm on Diplomacy. But I could switch."

Vitalis has to laugh at Roxana's plans to have a strong opinion on an unknown topic, his laugh a bright bark that sets gray eyes alight. Caspian's obvious grandstanding gets a smaller reaction, a laugh for its preposterousness. "A finely nuanced stance indeed, Grandmaster. And certainly a luxury that one of the realm's finest warriors can indulge." He lifts brows to Klaus' rebuttal, nodding and gives a laugh again, lifting a glass to Klaus and Caspian both, if only for their willingness to stand and speak.

Luis has joined the line.

Turn in line: Klaus

Turn in line: Lailah

Katarina has joined the line.

Lailah has been listening quietly to the topic so far, but when her turn comes to speak, she gets up from where she was sitting and offers her own opinion. "There are three facets to consider when it comes to figuring out whether diplomacy will do or war must be had. Honor, Justice and Cost." She begins her opinion, "Honor of course is one that is important to maintain, but rarely should it lead to war. War is costly, and in most cases, one can solve matters of honor with far cheaper means." She explains her position, "But sometimes, duels of honor do not resolve the problems, and insults and slander are flung without delay. At that point diplomacy has failed and the only way to resolve it may well be war."

"Similarly, justice. When oaths are broken, justice must come to pass. Diplomacy may be able to accomplish that, and this should be the first route taken, but we all know how much one can trust the word of an oathbreaker. Other lesses offenses to justice should be easier to resolve this way." And then, "Both of those cases must be tempered with cost. Honor is rarely worth bankruptcy, and we can only look at all the oathbreakers who have left the compact without being taken to justice for no reason other than that the price to bring them to justice is unreasonable."

Lethe has left the a cluster of couches around a low table.

3 Tyde Houseguard leaves, following Lethe.

Turn in line: Roxana

Klaus does rap his mug upon the table and lifts it in salute to Lailah. "Well said!"

Ouida accepts Sunniva's kiss on the cheek with delight, though at Sunniva's mention of no food she looks scandalized. It's softened with a smile, though. And then a slightly narrowed-eyes glance at her wine, as if just remembering something. She is distracted again by Lailah speaking, and listens to the scholar respectfully. Lailah too receives her raised glass salute.

When it is her turn, Roxana stands up, her words wine-laced but still delivered with impressive diction. "War is expensive. Hiring soldiers, feeding them, arming them. Very very expensive. Diplomacy, on the other hand, costs nothing most of the time, and occasionally a diplomat's salary. This is just silver, when one considers the cost of's the best choice by far, and war ought be a last resort. Kind of like she just said." A gesture to Lailah.

Luis nods as he listens to the comments regarding the applications and he shakes his head as he raises a hand before adding in the moment that it is his turn to speak, "While a standing army is expensive, it is also vital. We have a soldier's saying, 'Better to have a sword and not need to draw it, than to need a sword and have none.' So it is with diplomacy, one must have a standing army lest all your diplomatic overtures be seen as but glass instead of diamond. Without the warfare component, your words carry little weight." There is another pause as he sips from his drink to wet his tongue and then he continues after a breath, "There is no honor in war, there is no justice in war, and the costs of war are never acceptable. One can carry their own honor, justice can be obtained, but never through war itself. Diplomatic overtures should be sought from a position of strength, or with an understanding that one will likely submit something otherwise, but warfare will always trump diplomacy when acts of the dark reflections are encountered. There shall be no diplomacy, nor reasoning. To suggest otherwise, suggests one is greater than the pantheon, knowing more than they, and in doing so does align oneself for corruption of the darkest sorts." He sighs, shaking his head, but going back to his drink once more.

Cambria brings her hands together for Lailah's response, nodding as though in agreement with the other woman's sentiment.

Turn in line: Luis

Turn in line: Katarina

Hadrian is overheard praising Caspian.

Hadrian is overheard praising Klaus.

Hadrian is overheard praising Lailah.

Hadrian is overheard praising Roxana.

Hadrian is overheard praising Luis.

Sunniva has joined the line.

Katarina rises from her seat, her wine glass lifted in gesture toward Luis. "That is an interesting stance to take, Lord Luis. But perhaps it is a rather limiting view to believe wars are only waged by blade, and diplomacy by the honeyed words of the astute and socially adroit," she proposes, her stance posed in drastic turn to provoke thought. "War and diplomacy often go hand and hand, do they not? Two faces of the same statecraft? Diplomacy is never truly set aside in favor of war, nor is a war truly won without diplomacy."

Turn in line: Sunniva

Sipping again at her drink, Sunniva shares that minor exchange with the other Harthall before she is looking to Lailah, a furrow of her brows to come, turning her glass in hand. A glance is given to the others around her to see their responses and is given more to contemplation than immediate response. She does however take a piece of food from Ouida's plate and chews it slowly. It is the Igniseri's lords words however that draw her attention, her chin lifting in thought as she looks over him, hesitant at first before she clears her throat, lowering her glass of wine, "Diplomacy from a position fo power is all well in good when concerning warfare, boundary lines, and more. But with a show of strength the opposition is likely to not be so willing or inclined to agree at times. I think it is not so simple, I think each instance is defined by many things and in this case must be assessed for the best possible choice. A show of power can be seen as an act of aggression. Diplomacy is not always so when backed up by the threat of power." She offers. Glancing to Katarina, offering the Princess a nod of her head. She remains seated during this and glances to Ouida briefly after.

The line has been dismissed by Hadrian.

"A very sporting debate thus far," Cambria says to all those gathered, including the participants. "I believe there is something to be learned from each speaker here, don't you agree, Lady Isabeau?" Asked as she leans in to the other woman. Then, to Sunniva, "Quite a well reasoned response, Marquessa." She then glances towards Lailah, as if anticipating a counter from the Bisland Lady.

Princess Muffin, the fluffiest white puppy arrives, following Kenna.

Kenna has joined the a collection of small tables and chairs gathered together.

Luis has joined the line.

"Factors. So many factors," comes the chiming opine of Katarina in warm-hearted aside to Sunniva. She settles back within her seat, her glass of wine refreshed by a servant while she ponders the Marquessa's stance, then the Igniseri's yet again. But in the end, it's Lailah and Luis that her attention turns toward. "Lady Lailah, you say that honor is very seldom worth turning to war for," she recounts. "And Lord Luis, your point was that war is without honor, and justice. What would you sat to those of us who are of the Oathlands? And disciples of Sentinel? War waged as the final answer to right great injustices or to liberate an oppressed people are not honorable means to an end? What say you to that, in this instance?"

Turn in line: Luis

Caspian has left the a cluster of couches around a low table.

Hadrian is overheard praising Sunniva.

Hadrian is overheard praising Katarina.

"Indeed, they are most certainly intertwined when you look at the nuances, it was my belief that we were speaking general terms, for even a conversation contains elements of warfare and diplomacy." Luis first replies then addresses the question, "Firstly if the war must be waged to right the injustice aside from the purpose of the dark reflections as noted before, then you are not finding justice, but settling a matter. While the one wronged may find resolution in their honor, or the justice that they see served, what of every family left without a member? What of every dead man and woman? Did they find justice... did they find honor? Their families would spit on your ideals, and if you do not know this, then I would challenge you to meet the families of those whom are under your command... especially the ones whom have been slain. It is a heavy burden that we as Commanders and Generals must bear."

Klaus raises his voice. "Well said my Lord, well said and the sign of a great commander who sees the people under their command as more than mere tools or weapons."

Lailah rises when Katarina speaks. "I never said that honor is seldom worth turning to war for. I said that it rarely should lead to war. Most matters of honor can be resolved through duels or restitution. When those and other lesser means fail, war is no doubt the solution one should look for; and of course some offenses are grave enough that diplomacy is nigh incapable to resolve the matter." She answers calmly, then turns to Luis, "And I I would never say war is inherently without honor. I am a Bisland, I hope I need not remind you that we win glory. To shy away from war when it is called for is cowardice and dishonorable. I would gladly spend my life to defend my family's honor, should that be a choice I'm faced with. But you are, of course, right that war should not be your first solution, when it comes to matters of honor war is most certainly the solution of last resort, but a solution of last resort is still a valid solution."

There is SERIOuS talk being done, but Kenna has no part of it. Instead she stands on tip-toes to examine the room and then makes a line for Katarina's side so she can toss herself into a spot next to her patron while also doing her best to NOT be annoying. Just listening now!

Hadrian remains settled into his chair. Comfort seems to become a thing he accepts as he drapes one umbra wrapped leg up and over the arm of his chair. He lounges and drinks from his wine as his gaze flits from one speaker to the next. For the sake of those debating the topic Hadrian offers a cheerfully bright smile, "Oh, yes, I did forget to mention... I'm going to choose a winner for the debate later. That doesn't mean your argument was more right than any other... it just means I thought it provoked the most thought. There will be a trophy. Big and shiny. It'll gleam and everything". That little incentive slipped into the conversation and Hadrian returns to his silence to observe and reflect, while the booted foot that hangs over the arm of his chair continues to bounce with carefully controlled and directed energy.

Luis has joined the line.

Harlex attempts to maintain his steady, unhurried gait but the room makes him a bit trepidatious. He's quick to move off to the side, maybe arriving as a spectator rather than anything else. There's an allure to the drinks at the bar though, he navigates the space. Trying to be inconspicuous. Trying. But he is a black-clad swordsman, dressed as he is--the task is daunting.

Ouida has joined the line.

Isabeau lifts her brows in interest and not surprise when Cambria addresses her directly between takes on the measure of diplomacy and war. The new Telmar noblewoman concedes at first with a nod and then offers, "It is certainly interesting to hear each new point of view, though I find that I agree most with Princess Katarina when she stated that the arts of diplomacy and war remain ever intermingled."

"All of life is intermingled," Cambria says, grinning into her drink.

The debate has taken on a life of its own now, with arguments being dissected and discussed. Vitalis watches the verbal fray attentively, the ebb and flow of ideas and words, challenges given and met. He'll lift a glass to Hadrian, the host, with a smile and a nod, "Well, I can hardly join the debate now, with a prize on offer. You couldn't give possibly give it to me, however devestating my arguments." Bright teeth flash against his beard and gray eyes note shifts int he room, the entrance of a dark-clad man of martial bearing. He nods to Harlex, fellow lurker, gesturing with a nod of his head for the man to take up a lean next to him. A silent offer.

Smiling at Katarina, Sunniva sips from her wine and listens to the follow up as finer points are demanded and debated. A rueful quirk of her brow grows before she hen pecks a bit more from Ouida's gathered arsenal of food. This is definitely war over here or maybe diplomacy as the Sword of Harthall doesn't seem to be putting up much resistance to the looting done by the Marquessa's hand. Eyes follow to those near her and she quickly huffs a laugh at something that is said before she sips at her drink. Settling back into her seat her eyes linger on Lailah, a light tilt of her lips upwards.

Katarina gives Luis a long look, seeming to truly consider her friend's words. "If warfare and diplomacy were so easily cut and dry, it would be easy to answer those questions. I can argue that those who take up a weapon and pledge themselves to a life of knighthood, be it by land or sea, make their peace and find honor in completion of service, fighting for what they believed in, and upholding their sworn duty in the line of battle as an admirable death. Does it make the voids our passing leave behind any easier for the mourning? No, potentially not. But, it's a comforting thought all the same. As someone who has played the role of leader and the soldier, that is at least my personal belief."

"There are many foes that will sneer when one attempts to parley, whether from fear or pride or madness," Ouida muses, after listening quietly. "And there are times when to stall war will only prolong the inevitable and create more suffering, both in the wait and in the aftermath. War and diplomacy are not competitors, though it seems we are drawn to make them so. Lord Igniseri is correct that even for the most holy of causes, the most rightous, the most honorable--that will matter very little to the child who looks upon me from their hiding place with the blood of their mother upon my hands. Diplomacy is not a means always to prevent war, but also to soften the aftermath. Those of us to take up the sword do so in the now, to bring what must be done now to fruition. We rely on those who are more inspiring to trust and deliverance to ease the hatred in the hearts of those before and those remaining so that we must take that action less. But so long as there is evil or even lesser conflict than that, there will be times when blood will be spilled. Perhaps to aid in the next attempt to stave it with discussion first."

Mikani stands and nods to those at her table. "You all have a good night."

Mikani slips out quietly.

Mikani has left the a cluster of couches around a low table.

Damien Pierce - A Charming Assistant, 1 Redreef Guard leave, following Mikani.

Sunniva's expression changes with Ouida's words and there is a softening as whatever jest may have been had amongst those near her is lost. She reaches her hand over to rest on the arm of the Sword of Harthall. There is a squeeze and she dips her head, "And not even that much to drink before you placed yourself to the blade. Well said," she remarks before removing her hand and instead rifling through more of the food. Looting of a plate is being had.

Kenna has left the a collection of small tables and chairs gathered together.

There's a bit of a murmur at the bar and he's given a whisky, neat. Harlex catches the nod from Vitalis and moves in that direction. He takes up the lean and offers an appreciate incline of his head. He has the subdued look of a tourist; someone wandered in to a whole different world entire although when it came to the wolfish sellsword--he couldn't help a hint of menace to that carriage. But, hey, he's leaning, he's drinking. Seems as though he's not up to no good. He looks to his fellow lurker, "I was in the neighborhood." And that seems all the reason he needed to give.

"We are adding terms and concepts that stray from the original point of the debate, I will attempt to bring us back with the caveat that I implore those who see the concepts of justice and honour, courage and cowardice, to seek first the depth and meaning of the word 'duty' and to meditate upon how following that can often be misconstrued by others as the former concepts," Luis breathes and sighs and there is a weariness within his eyes as he finishes his drink. He asks for another and while waiting, continues after a nod to Klaus, and a smile for the exchanges that happen after, drawing him from his weary mood, "We were tasked with one should defer to the other, the question proposed in such a way as to make for a tantalizing argument. Under said conditions, I would say that excepting for the sake of righteousness, warfare should always defer to diplomacy. War is chaotic even when victory is assured, accidents happen, and sometimes things are fickle... I would take a solution through word and contract that avoids the necessity of bloodshed any day, night, or whatever may be."

Hadrian's attention drifts toward Vitalis and a quiet chuckle answers first, "You could win it, if you earn it. I'll save nepotism for lesser people. Earn it of your own merit and it's yours". Then Hadrian's attention returns to the unfolding points made. He nods toward Ouida with a moment of considered a gloved hand rises up to rub at his chin. He then casts a nod toward Luis and presents a question of his stance, "Peace is preferable, yes. Provocation can be presented in many forms though: at what point should diplomacy be abandoned and warfare taken up to answer that provocation?"

"Indeed," Ouida lifts her glass to Luis. "On the point of seeking to find any solution before one takes the field and dashes all hope of it...that too would be my most fervent hope. But if it cannot be, then it is my sworn duty, freely taken up and held reverent, that I will bear the burden of blood along who remain to clean the aftermath; just as when words fail, I can only but imagine the grief that the ones who crafted them must face." Her smile is rueful to Hadrian. "To that, at least for now, I leave to my betters and more talented brothers and sisters. I do not envy them /their/ field."

A messenger arrives, delivering a message to Isabeau before departing.

Hadrian is overheard praising Ouida.

Sunniva has joined the line.

"Hear, hear!" Vitalis finally chimes in at Ouida's point on stalling. "Negotitations cost time and that can cost lives." He leans forward a bit to offer that from the safety of a pillar, as he settles back to nod at Harlex and offer his glass for knock. He grins at Hadrian, "I'd rather stir the pot from here." He lowers his voice to Harlex, "That's my cousin," he sights along his finger and squints along a finger pointed at the master of ceremonies. At Ouida's new and more sober point his face grows a bit somber and he takes a long slug of his wine. He murmurs again to Harlex, pointing this time at Luis, "He's clarified it a bit, but we're discussing," he clears his throat mildly, "They're discussing the relationship between diplomacy and war."

Luis chuckles at Hadrian's query and nods to the man, "You are asking a Lycene about how he would handle provocation, I fear that should it get to that point, someone obviously has had some unmet needs for a time," he adds with a wink to Hadrian. "Diplomacy is never abandoned wholly. Does one swear justice to a man? Slaying an entire army after the offending general or lord is dead? Do we throw diplomacy away and carry on the battle with reckless abandon? No... even in warfare we move to it as a step down, knowing that as soon as we may step back up, we do so."

Katarina is overheard praising Luis.

Katarina is overheard praising Ouida.

Katarina is overheard praising Sunniva.

Katarina is overheard praising Lailah.

Vitalis is overheard praising Sunniva: Good points!

Vitalis is overheard praising Ouida: Good points!

Vitalis is overheard praising Luis: Good points!

Looking to Hadrian, Sunniva sets her glass aside and considers his words, "That is a good question. I find provocation is a way to test the will and wisdom of a person, to see if their first reaction will be to war, or will be to sass out the best form to address the provocation with. It is easy to draw a sword in response to a slight or a questioning of one's strength. It is an instinct we all have but it takes the measure of a man's soul and true strength to stay his hand and find within him why he is being provoked. Diplomacy should win out, our thoughts should win out before our blades are drawn. Only in the most dire of circumstances where life is in jeopardy should we. That is war though and almost always not a provocation."

Sunniva is overheard praising Ouida.

Sunniva is overheard praising Luis.

Sunniva is overheard praising Katarina.

Sunniva is overheard praising Lailah.

Sunniva is overheard praising Hadrian.

Roxana has left the a collection of small tables and chairs gathered together.

Isabeau has joined the line.

Harlex follows Vitalis's cheer to Ouida, whom he seems to know for the sellsword offers a half smile and a deeper nod to the Harthall Lady. He knocks glasses with the Lord, touch of a smirk on his hard lips, and then he's following the indications and catching up on the debate. "Diplomacy and war," he repeats, as though it needed repeating. He had a marked, rugged and rural Crownlander accent. He sips from his drink. "Afraid I only know one form of diplomacy myself. Maybe I'll learn a thing."

Agostino has left the a collection of small tables and chairs gathered together.

Cecily, a coy secretary leaves, following Agostino.

Turn in line: Luis

Turn in line: Ouida

Turn in line: Sunniva

Turn in line: Isabeau

Lailah has joined the line.

Masterful debating is taking place in the Empirical. Drinks are flowing, snacks are passed from wait staff to recipient like a haze dealer in the central market of Arx, and the conversation is hot!

Hadrian's attention turns to Sunniva and a smile flickers across his features as he offers a nod, "One could say that our tradition of dueling to resolve slights and the like is little more than a focused and smaller form of the topic we're currently discussing. Differences can definitely be resolved with words; an apology, a threat, blackmail, or whatever else that words can accomplish... or we can get people to swing their swords, clubs, pointy sticks, genitals, or whatever else at one another because for some words are very hard."

Cambria says in a faux whisper, "We called him the Club."

The Harthall knight's cheeks color just a touch, perhaps at the unexpected amount of agreement--or maybe it's the fact that she's into her second or third glass at this point. Though as the conversation moves on she relaxes just a touch, reaching for a piece of cheese upon her plate that is no longer there, and then shaking her head a touch, a soft smile brightening the solemnity of her expression. It grows even stronger as she notices the Crimson Blades Lieutenant has joined the group, and she bows her head to him in cheerful greeting. She is just beginning to take another sip of her wine when swinging nether regions are mentioned, causing her indelicately spit a half-swallow of wine back into her glass lest she choke on it.

Hadrian begins to laugh aloud with a look cast toward Cambria. He stifles it quickly in order to turn his serious and contemplative face back toward the conversations at hand.

For some time, all Lady Isabeau seemed inclined to do was make quiet comment from time to time and otherwise keep her peace amongst her chosen company. However, the new Telmar noblewoman seems to be struck by notion enough that she stands from her seat in order to speak to the rest of those assembled in the salon and impart of previous private opinions of the topic at hand. "Diplomacy... is both the leash and the lure to war. I would like to suggest that the art of diplomacy, while often used to deescalate tensions before they lead to war... diplomacy can also be used to precipitate war. It can be employed on some occasions to encourage an unprepared or unskilled opponent into exposing themselves to a costly and potentially decisive attack. The key is to make your opponent believe that they move to war of their own volition, and not yours..."

Hadrian is overheard praising Isabeau.

As the debate grows salty, Vitalis grins, "Ah, my father's spirit yet lives." He notes the exchange between Ouida and Harlex with lifted brows and murmurs, pushing off from his lean to offer a hand to Harlex.

Lailah listens to the back and forth between Luis and Ouida, but she becomes more interested in raising her voice when Sunniva speaks up. She pauses for a good turn, "Not all provocations are mere words, and some provocations are overt threats without even having to reach for a blade." She smiles and brings up a point, "If you see the hand of your neighbours behind the disappearing of merchant caravans, the sabotage of your infrastucture and wildfires that threaten your people, but they deny fervently that they have anything to do with it. That's not war, not yet, but where else could it lead?"

Turn in line: Lailah

Katarina is overheard praising Isabeau: Well said.

Harlex rolls his tongue up over his teeth. He seems to be thinking about something, he turns the whisky in his hand until a hand is offered and then he's shaking firmly with Vitalis. He speaks quietly, considerate to what's said.

Avovorinth seems to have arrived a bit late and thus trys not to draw too much attention to himself. He rolls on his heels and looks for someone he recognizes. "Ah, Harlex. Might I join you?"

Avovorinth has joined the line.

Turn in line: Avovorinth

The pillar where Harlex and Vitalis lean is just the place for newcomers looking to join inobtrusively and kibbitz from the sidelines. "Please," he offers in advance of Harlex accepting. He pushes off his perch and eases towards the refreshments, "What are you drinking?" This directed to either of the two, both, Harlex and Avovorinth. He'll return with a bottle or bottles and top everyone up.

Harlex eases off the wall as a missive arrives for him. He reads it and lets out a breath. "Well. Duty calls. Guess before I ramble on, I'd say my piece. If anyone asks what a sellsword has to say. That you got to knock a man down and put your knife at his throat before he'll hear you. A hateful truth, but it works like a charm." He hands his whisky glass to Avovorinth. "It's whisky. Take my spot. Keep the Lord here company," he nods to Vitalis. "Take care."

Sunniva has joined the line.

Avo steps forward and coughs gently. "It is my belief that words are in fact the best weapon. With a word one can command. With a word one can inform. With a word one can deceive. In fact I would go so far as to say that with the right words one can do anything you could do with a sword if not more. However like a sword one must train with them in order to use them efficiently. That is why I have chosen to practice exclusively with the word." Avo bows and motions gracefully with his arm then steps aside for the next speaker.

Avovorinth's words bring a smile to her lips and a light clap of her hands to show her agreement. The Harthall shifts however urning to Lailah. Sunniva says, "But a provocation is just what it means, a way to provoke another into action. To war, to fight, to respond without thought. Provocation has one purpose and that is to benefit the provoker. Why give them what they want?" The Valardin Marquessa lifts a brow, curious at least. "Provocation is the will of the weak." Her opinion at the very least.

Hadrian considers Avovorinth's position, his lips pursed for a moment before he asks, "What of beloved rulers who are assassinated for one reason or another? Surely their words, deeds, and everything about that most beloved of rulers was well-loved... but someone saw fit to eliminate them for one reason or another. Words didn't help him or her, unfortunately. Maybe a fine sword should have been on-hand?"

Hadrian is overheard praising Avovorinth.

"The value of words," Cambria says. "Is their ability to adapt. But some might claim that instead, words can grow corrupt. Depending on which side of the river you stand on may decide the meaning of a word." She leans back within her seat, contemplating the latest speaker. "Words can be weapons used by those who see others with contempt."

Turn in line: Sunniva

Luis has been silent as the debate has carried on, but then he nods, offering a Lycene soldier's salute to Hadrian by way of parting. He will meander away, clanking and the like as he offers farewells to those nearby, especially those whom were engaged in the debate. "Alas... duty calls." He explains and then is gone.

Luis has left the a glossy walnut bar.

Katarina is overheard praising The salon.

Coraline has left the a cluster of couches around a low table.

3 Thrax Guards, Freja the long suffering, Dame Cupcake, the most elegant, Behemo, a towering man with humble eyes, 2 Thrax Elite Guards leave, following Coraline.

Sunniva is overheard praising The salon.

Hadrian offers a light smile back toward Avovorinth, "Sometimes it's those closest who are the first to draw their blades. No matter if the hypothetical ruler is beloved or not. Greed, envy, and many other factors can contribute". Hadrian nods toward Cambria with her addition. Hadrian rises up smoothly from his seat as one gloved hand moves to drape across the small of his back. The opposite continues to hold his wine glass steady, even as it rises up and into the air in toast toward the room-at-large, "You've all presented thought provoking and provided civil discourse, stances, beliefs, opinions, or thoughts. It has been my pleasure to oversee the discussion, dabbling in it, and each of you has said at least something that has given me points to consider. Thank you all for employing your minds and showing that thought still has a place in the world". Hadrian sips from his glass of wine. When it lowers again his harlequin eyes dance across the room in consideration of those present. Finally he offers a nod of his head, "It is a very difficult decision to make. To decide who will get the trophy indicating their... well, not winning. We all know in a topic such as this, there isn't a distinct winner and loser. For ease though we'll say winner..." Hadrian falls silent. Perhaps to permit suspense to build as his attention drifts over the gathered speakers once more. Each individual who has spoken their stance earns a glance and Hadrian's lips purse together with a look of sincere contemplation.

The line has been dismissed by Hadrian.

Ouida is overheard praising The salon: Thank you so much for the lovely event, and bringing a wide variety of people/views together!

Cambria is overheard praising Caspian.

Cambria is overheard praising Klaus.

Cambria is overheard praising Lailah.

Cambria is overheard praising Luis.

Cambria is overheard praising Sunniva.

Cambria is overheard praising Katarina.

Cambria is overheard praising Ouida.

Cambria is overheard praising Isabeau.

Ouida is overheard praising Hadrian: Thank you for a unique and fun event. It's not easy to keep things moving along and organized, but you did it superbly.

Cambria is overheard praising Avovorinth.

Cambria is overheard praising Hadrian.

Avovorinth is overheard praising Cambria.

Avovorinth is overheard praising Sunniva.

Avovorinth is overheard praising The salon: A most admirable event and organization.

Katarina has left the a collection of small tables and chairs gathered together.

Quiet, a Valardin champion have been dismissed.

Onuris, an Eurusian hand-maiden have been dismissed.

Hadrian begins to chuckle aloud as he looks over the gathering, "I can say without a doubt that each of you have given me a difficult task of choosing a...winner-but-not-winner". He considers everyone once more, looking from face to face before he nods along with his own thoughts, "You all couldn't make this *easy* for me, could you?" He laughs good-naturedly as he takes another long drink from his glass of deep red wine. When it lowers again his wrist flicks, sending the contents swirling while he considers. Finally his eyes alight and he begins to speak, "First, an honorable mention. Marquessa Sunniva? You made many thought provoking points that stood firmly. Unfortunately...", Hadrian's attention then drifts around to another face, "...Lady Lailah? I decree you the winner-but-not-winner of the Salon's gathering on this topic. Your stances displayed some idealism, but with the grounding of realism. I will have your trophy delivered to you in a few days time. Thank you, in advance, for your patience".

Then Hadrian's attention turns back to the gathering, "I wish to thank each and every one of you for your attendance and participation. If you didn't participate, your showing up to take in the discussion and pseudo-debate is much appreciated. This is the first of my Salon hostings, so in the future I'll be certain to smooth out the process and - hopefully - make it better for all involved. Participant or observer. I welcome you all to attend our next Salon debate: Participation Awards - Yes or No?"

"No," Cambria says to Hadrian's question. "That would remove the impetus for participants to do their best, as opposed to simply their average, as they know they will receive /something/ in the end. Although..." She glances about. "I do not think these bright minds need the lure of an award to speak with clarity and intellect."

"Is it the next debate already?" Hadrian asks with a sudden glance toward Cambria, "Ssshhh." Hadrian physically reaches out in a bid to press his index finger over her lips. "Sshhh."

"But I don't underst--" And there's a finger against her mouth.

The Marquis direct use of her own language is noted as its thrown her to stand in as prescribed provoker. She draws a breath, pauses and then smirks at him. "Clever, Marquis Mazetti, clever." She sips at her wine and looks to Lailah, "Well done," she remarks but glances to Ouida, noting her plate with what food may be left. Looting ensues once more, a piece or two here for the Marquessa to partake of.

Lailah smiles when she is declared the winner, but she actually laughs at the mention of the next debate. "I'm sure many interesting opinions can be had on that, though I feel like the stakes of that topic are a lot lower."

Assuming Hadrian eventually removes his finger, Cambria claps for the pseudo-winner that is Lailah.

Ouida really could not look prouder of Sunniva than if the Marquessa had placed second in the only competition that Ouida is overly familiar with--a tournament. She practically levitates out of her seat with excitement. "Honorable mention!" She blurts out towards her sister in law, and clapping her hands. "Well, we will have to come again, so that you can strive onward to even further victory!" And indeed the wheels are turning, as if she's already devising some sort of training routine for her poor Marquessa. But then Laila is announced and she is properly saluted with the wineglass. "Well done, my lady, and congratuations!"

The announcement of the 'winner-not-winner' arouses a brief bit of polite applause from Lady Isabeau before she slowly finds her feet and makes her goodbyes to her companions at the table.

Lailah is overheard praising Luis: Good debate

Lailah is overheard praising The salon: Good debate

Lailah is overheard praising Sunniva: Good debate

Ouida's excitement for her only earns a soft laugh before she tugs on her arm, "It is a double ended honorable mention," Sunniva remarks.

Lailah is overheard praising Ouida: Good debate

Lailah is overheard praising Katarina: Good debate

Hadrian maintains the position of his finger. At least for a moment. Eventually he removes his finger and offers a smile toward Lailah, "The stakes are higher, I think. What faster way to spur someone to action that to threaten their personal investment?" Hadrian offers a playful grin before his attention turns back to the gathering, "Again, thank you all. You're welcome to remain, indulge, and enjoy yourselves. Or not. I'm not your Dadrian."

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