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Discussion: Noble Privilege v. Noble Responsibility

The Salon opens its doors to an open-invitation discussion surrounding the topic of noble privilege and noble responsibility: When one comes into power, they inherit the responsibility to the people who empower them to use it wisely. They also are given a wealth of privileges in turn. But where does one draw the line between responsibility and privilege? How much does one give back to those who serve them? And, most importantly of all, does being a member of the Peerage or in a position of power naturally make you a servant to the people?

Have an opinion you'd like to share on these matters? Interested in hearing the stances of others? Then stop by the Empirical to weigh in or simply observe. A wealth of refreshments in the form of delightful finger foods, warm beverages, and enough libations to do in even a camel (ask Katarina what a camel is, if you don't know).


Jan. 5, 2019, 5 p.m.

Hosted By



Marian Sabella Isobella Daniella Norwood Alessia Ysbail Valencia Ouida Gilroy Sparte Fatima Jeffeth Macda Bree Felicia Carita



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

Largesse Level


Comments and Log

5 Redoubt Buccaneers, Bengalo, a sneaky black kitten, Luna, the sweet, studious assistant, Francis arrive, following Carita.

Bengalo, a sneaky black kitten have been dismissed.

Stepping out from the deeper recesses of the intimate establishment, Katarina smiles brightly with pleasure to find intellectuals already lounging on the plush arrangement of seating throughout the salon. "Welcome, welcome," she vocalizes in encompassing greeting to the gathered lot, descending down a short flight of steps into the sunken forum where an open space for her to stand resides. "If you've not had the opportunity, libations and fanciful little finger foods are available to your heart's content." A quick gesture reveals diligent attendants hired to staff the gathering making their rounds discreetly, delivering all manner of warm and alcohol-laced beverages on the whim of guests who summon them.

"I'll give everyone a few moments to find where they'll be sitting and make their social rounds before we get started. In the mean time, I'll reiterate the topic for tonight's discussion to let everyone have an opportunity to ponder it before we get started: When one comes into power, they inherit the responsibility to the people who empower them to use it wisely. They also are given a wealth of privileges in turn. But where does one draw the line between responsibility and privilege? How much does one give back to those who serve them? And, most importantly of all, does being a member of the Peerage or in a position of power naturally make you a servant to the people?"

"And of course, we'll be using the traditional guidelines of the Salon to structure the discussion for the sake of my sanity and all of yours," Katarina goes on to explain. "If you're going to be taking active part in the discussion, be it to ask questions, state your opinion, or challenge views, please prepare yourselves." (OOC: use +line/getinline)

"Be respectful of each other's view points and remember that here in the Empirical, we do our best to keep emotions in check and safe theatrics and offense to be settled in duels!"

2 Grayson House Guards, Elizabetta, a disapproving lady-in-waiting, Lily, an aloof lady-in-waiting, Clark, an exasperated guard arrive, following Sabella.

Marian arrives at the salon, giving a glance about to see who's arrived for the discussion. The Warchief of the North is dressed in armor and armed at the teeth; however, her swords are peace-tied showing that she's here just for discussion. She makes her way in to greet her adopted sister, Princess Katarina. There's a soft murmur given in her ear, a supporting squeeze on the shoulder, then she releases her to find her seat on the couches as the discussions begin.

Lizette, a pretty buxom barmaid, 1 Ulbran Thug arrive, following Valencia.

Nallah, a buff-looking tortie cat with green eyes, 2 House Mazetti Aspirants, Sirra, a very quiet maid arrive, following Alessia.

Sabella arrives after it seems everyone has been seated and quickly flutters her hands at her retinue to get them to scatter a bit so they don't make too much of an interruption upon entering. She gives bright smiles all around, moving to go sit somewhere close by.

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

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

Katarina murmurs her thanks toward an attendant who presses a glass of wine into her hand, then delivers a grateful and adoring smile to Marian for the soft words spoken hushedly to her. A squeeze is pressed around the Warchief's wrist before she moves to a small table, treating herself to a brief sip before turning to address the gathering of intellectuals. "Do we have anyone willing to share their thoughts first, or shall I break the tension and lead us off with my own views of the topic?"

Isobella arrived before Katarina made her entrance, but she'd gotten involved in a discussion with the head server about the wine on offer, which vintages were being served most frequently this season, and so on. At the invitation to find a seat as the discussion was set to begin, Isobella turned with a quite swirl of silk, wine balanced in one hand as she opted to perch herself in one of the available chairs.

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

Daniella steps into the Salon with her head twisted to the side to take in the interior, dark curls falling as she takes a few seconds near the door to see all that's available before making a bee line straight for one of the servers and scooping up a glass of white wine before moving over towards one of the more comfortable couches, looking curiously around at the other nobles to see if anyone was going to volunteer.

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

It's ten to one that Norwood absolutely just walked through the wrong doorway and now he is STUCK. It would be super awkward for the old man in the room to turn and edge himself out. So instead he's just... sit. At a table neat Ysbail and cross his arms upon his chest.

Alessia Mazetti enters the salon quietly, approaching the collection of tables and chairs, while her maid trails behind her. Taking a seat just as Katarina begins to talk, she smiles at those in her vicinity.

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

Ysbail sits at the table, low conversation continuing, what had been a hopeful expression slowly fading, as she shifts her attention.

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

Valencia arrives in a swirl of silks and wearing a bright smile and her raven-hued hair gently pulled back from her face and pinned into place with simple silver pins. The little dark eyed vixen nods to those she knows and hovers by the door so she can get a better sense of the room and the event proceedings.

Marian is quietly talking to Ysbail as she waits for the open discussion to be kicked off. For now she seems content to chat quietly rather than bring her views into public. Except to raise a hand since a matter is being debated at her table.

Katarina lets her gaze drift over the faces of those gathered in search of a volunteer to take the floor. In the mean time, Alessia, Daniella, and a few others are treated to gentle smiles of silent acknowledgement before she turns her attention back to the room. "Anyone?"

Marian has joined the line.

Ouida continues her vigil at the bar, though each new wave of entrants is noted with some delight, and the Harthall continues to sip at her whiskey. Apparently she is not volunteering to cast the first lot at the discussion, though she seems quite eager to learn who will.

Sparte has joined the line.

Gilroy wanders into the Salon, glances around and heads over to flop down on a couch. As he does so he gives Ysbail an enthusiastic wave. To Katarina he says, "I'm just here for the jokes!"

Daniella has joined the line.

Turn in line: Marian

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

Katarina delivers a placating smile toward Gilroy. "We must find our humor somewhere," she supplies in vague acquiescence, surrendering the floor to Marian with a welcoming gesture after spotting her sister's gesture of volunteer. "Princess Marian, please, share with us your opinion." The moderator edges off to the periphery.

The little princess looks to the man rooms and table. Seeing that Ouida is sitting alone, Valencia gently gathers her skirts and slips through the room to join her with a warm incline of head and a whispered hello so as to not disturb the speakers.

Valencia has joined the a glossy walnut bar.

Marian smiles at her sister as she calls on 'anyone' to speak up. She then asks for a clarification on the topic tonight, "So we've had a bit of a chat already here at the table and wanted to find out what you mean by 'coming into power'. Is this only reserved for someone like me that was born a prodigal and then married into a family where suddenly I found myself ennobled or would this apply to anyone that reached the age of majority as a noble?" She gives her sister a sweet smile, "Because many here were born into priviledge but perhaps have varying degrees of responsibility based on whether or not they're landed or not."

Ysbail can't help but let a wide smile curl over her lips as Marian speaks, teeth flashing in an almost feirce smile. Gilroy gets a nod.

Ouida rises, briefly, as Valencia makes her way over, and then slips into a seat along the bar, waiting until the princess is settled before retaking her own. She offers Valencia a bright smile and a few soft words so as to not interrupt the speakers.

Katarina considers Marian's question, her answer readily supplied and broadcasted for all to hear. "For sake of discussion, we'll treat coming into power as inheriting or earning a position or station in which there's some sort of sphere of influence or situation you have control over others. It wasn't something meant to be limited to a specific instance, such as the King or a title holder. But more, loose and freeform, as a member of the Peerage or other lifted status." She looks to the rest of the group. "Does that make sense?"

Turn in line: Sparte

Sparte nods to Katarina with a smile, glancing around the people gathered before he speaks. "I see commoners and nobles alike here. Curious minds who see this question from above it and below it. Certainly I can't speak of what a noble's duty should be, I am no peer to be heeded. So I will instead answer in the way I can, of why I chose to give my fealty to who I have. The Highlord, Victus Thrax." Sparte considers briefly before continuing. "I saw a man passionate about answering a similar question. Not in the sense of what his role should be, where his duty and privledge should be divided. Instead I felt as though he was asking what it could be. What he could achieve, not just for his sake, but for the sake of Thrax and the Compact. I don't pretend to know what the balance in his mind is between them, but I saw a man filled with resolve and capable of introspection. Two things that are not birthrights for any of us. Those are traits I chose to follow, because they are traits that spoke to me. I wanted to make his challenges and those of his people my own." Sparte shakes his head. "The pirate war had some influence on my decision." Sparte glances over to Marian with a smile. "There are certainly other leaders I would have followed if the needs of the Compact were different at the time. Yet I have at no point felt regret for my choice." Sparte looks back over to Katarina. "But I know different people need different things in a leader. Want different things. So, in the end my answer that lacks any authority to influence the peerage is..." Sparte parts his hands. "It depends."

Fatima has joined the line.

Marian has joined the line.

Turn in line: Daniella

Daniella carefully stands and raises her glass to the room, "Hello everyone, I dare to say that while the sentiment of nobles being called upon to serve their people is very noble and poetic I would suggest that it is really simply that, a verbal flourish rather than something with real meaning. Let us take for example John the Farmer. If John wishes to be a good farmer he must work hard to keep his crops watered and healthy, to keep the soil turned over, in a way he is working for those crops, yet we would never say it is that the farmer is the servant of the crops. Such is the nature of the noble and the commoner." She states before retaking her seat.

Ysbail has joined the line.

Turn in line: Fatima

Alessia has joined the line.

Fatima does find herself nodding along with Marian's take on things, and so she speaks in something of an echo there. "I think Princess Marian made a good point that there are different permutations. I was born to privilege of a kind... even though my father was promptly killed and my mother exiled." Oh Donrai, you scamp. "But a landless Princess can live their whole life with little power or authority at all. I did for a long time." And the cadence of her entire speech seems to suggest there's an 'other shoe' to this, "I then through other means came to suddenly command a large military force, and I feel a great deal of responsibility to them. It's a position I could hold without title, however, little tied to any detail of my birth. So what does that mean? I think our responsibilities are what we make of them. Not every nobleborn will amount to rule or authority. I have a brother that is an artist. Surely no one would deny him that calling?"

Turn in line: Marian

Marian gives a nod to Katarina as she provides clarification on the matter. She then addresses them on her thoughts after Fatima brings up her thoughts on taking a role in one's house versus just legacy of birth, "Well, that does indeed make sense. I think for me, coming into Voice of Redrain, it was a very different role than serving as Warchief. While both have spheres of power, they require a different set of skills to be successful." She is serious as she tells the group, "And both would not be within my responsibility if I didn't have the necessary skills to lead both in matters of diplomacy and war." She looks around at the others, "I don't consider it my priviledge to lead because of circumstances of my birth or by marriage. Rather my actions is what has led High Lord Darren to place trust in me. My ability to serve my people and if I didn't take care of those in my army or under my care, I would expect for High Lord Darren to replace me."

Marian does have to admit to the group, "But some roles are inherited, which is where priviledge comes in. It makes sense if one has been groomed to care for their people, such matters would pass to the next generation who hopefully where raised to take their responsibility for their people seriously." She does agree with Daniella, "I do believe that nobles have an obligation to their people, if they do not care for their people, they will not thrive like the example she used. This doesn't make them 'servants of the people' but it does create a delicate balance."

Ysbail has joined the line.

Turn in line: Alessia

Alessia slowly rises, glancing around the room. "I suppose even nobles without titles have a responsibilty as they likely have the ear of those in higher positions of power. So someone may be an artist or performer in vocation, but having a relative who holds land, puts them at an advantage. And they can use this advantage to listen to the plights of the people and carry the message along."

Katarina has joined the line.

Brother Chester arrives, following Jeffeth.

Turn in line: Ysbail

The hulking form of Jeffeth Bayweather lumbers into the salon. Keeping near the back initially, the behemoth paces a little folding massive arms over his chest before going to lean against the wall, glancing over the small crowd.

Ouida has joined the line.

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

a small twilit kingsnake, Thistleton, an elderly and devoted manservant arrive, following Macda.

1 Crimson Blades Private, 1 Crimson Blades Lieutenant, 1 Crimson Blades Sergeant leave, following Cillian.

Ysbail stands simply, "I think that in the course of this discussion we should also remember that each of the five great houses have their own cultures and definitions of what these terms mean. Long before Blackwood joined the compact I had the responsibility as a shaman of my people to do what I could to ensure their lives and freedom were kept safe, We joined the compact as a result of Brand's armies, and united the survivors after. My responsibilities to my people have not changed, if anything becoming noble has made them broader, meaning that that duty now extends to those under the Crovanne banner, and the Redrain banner and through them the compact."

Sparte listens carefully to what Ysbail has to say, nodding. A glance is given over to Jeffeth when she finishes, a brief raised eyebrow and a nod to an empty seat before Sparte turns to listen for the next speaker.

Managing not to not miss the whole thing, Macda snakes in to stand next to the even shorter Katarina. The familiar voice of Ysbail draws her attention and then the princess quietly greets Katarina.

Turn in line: Katarina

Macda mutters, "Nothing ... scandalous I've missed? ... look wonderful as ..."

Gilroy laughs uproariously at something said at his table. He waves toward Ysbail apologetically, shaking his head and patting his knee, finally wheezing, "Sorry!"

Bree steps in some few moments post-Bayweather, quick blue eyes darting to one table, then another, then to the line of those about to speak. Recognizing some person or other, her countenance springs suddenly from reserved and observant to bright and cheersome, and she lifts a hand in a swift wiggle of fingers hello, then snaps it back to join the other, clasped before her as she takes up something like an easeful attention, over there, holding up a wall and pinning each speaker with a keen and zealous gaze.

Ysbail coughs, nearly choking on her whiskey at something said at the table. Clearing her throat, "I'm fine. I'm fine. Sorry."

Katarina listens in earnest to the viewpoints given, sipping gingerly from her glass of wine all the while. Her gaze lingers upon each speaker in turn, some a touch longer than others until she endeavors to step forward once again. "You make a good point," the moderator softly commends of Ysbail. "As Lady Ysbail stated, culture and tradition of our respective fealty and even among different houses within a fealty dictates our definition of what noble responsibility and privilege is." This, she seems undoubtedly in agreement. "In the Crownlands, to my understanding," eye contact is made with the Crownsworn and Grayson fealty specifically, as though to be prepared for fact checking just in case. "It is the practice of a liege to purport themselves as a servant to the people. How is that principle usually manifested? Are lieges and those in seat of responsibility taught that their power and influence stems not from the fact that they were returned from the wheel as King, Duchess, or the like, but because those in lesser stations entrust them with the responsibility?"

Its definitely lively at the couches. Fatima seems to be alternatively admiring Daniella's dress and egging Gilroy on (to gods know what), people are coughing, staring disapprovingly, all kinds of things.

A light nod is given to Sparte, glancing at the appointed empty chair. There's a thoughtful frown as the massive man starts to push off his wall-post before his eyes flick over to the woman entering behind him. Brows climb high and his lips immediately burst into a sunny smile. All teeth and gleam radiating at the Dame-on-his-heels. "Dame Bree!" Is exclaimed probably way too loudly in this discussion where only one person is speaking at a time.

There is a widening of his eyes at his volume, features instantly erupting into a light crimson as the large man casts a sheepish look around the rest of the room. Then he is quickly shuffle-stepping to join Bree's side, while casting many apologetic smiles to those actually participating. Once arrived, the Knight Commander flings those massive arms around Bree with a much softer, "Dame Bree!" Hissed in a whisper at a more appropriate volume.

Sabella has joined the line.

Turn in line: Ouida

Marian looks generally amused from where she is sitting. Stifling a few laughs as she tries to keep her attention on the speakers who are sharing their thoughts. When Ysbail brings up the different Great Houses have different views, she gets more interested as Grayson's thoughts are brought up to be clarified. She glances at Sabella to see what she will say.

"If the present company will forgive a comment about the previous point," Ouida begins, somewhat sheepishly, "But my family is a seafaring one, many of us, as is necessary amongst a March of islands. A captain may well be high lord of her ship, but if one does not take care of those who serve her, she's like to go down and drown or starve or go mad amongst the rest of the crew, or lose efficiency if they are unable to work together on the ship to face adversity or to reach their destination. This does not mean that every crew member loves even a good captain, or understand how their actions benefit the whole--nor does it mean that a bad captain does not come out ahead even though she abuses hers, or isn't well loved by /her/ crew. That is what every noble must accept, to one degree or another--that we will not always be loved nor recognized by the common people, nor those underneath our banners, for every deed done in good intent large or small, and in truth we likely receive more influence and credit amongst the commons or those under the banner for things than we actually have earned in deed." She tilts her head. "Many of the present company excluded of course. It makes it both difficult but quite essential that respect flows from noble to commoner as well--in honoring their space and leaving room to listen when a new viewpoint is offered. It has made the difference and turned the tide many, many times. Regardless as to whether one believes the power ultimately comes from the people themselves or by birthright or granting of title, it is something to keep in mind."

Turn in line: Sabella

Isobella has joined the line.

Daniella has joined the line.

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

Norwood is not at all sneaky, but he's totally going to slide out of the doorway and away unless someone catches him.

Sabella gives a bright smile all around, "I am Princess Sabella Grayson, for those that don't know, and a princess that until recently did not have very much to do, what with being a middle daughter and while in line for the crown, very, very far from it. And I have always felt very strongly, as I was telling my table earlier, that nobility in power ought to use their position and privilege to help those less fortunate in any way that they can. While this of course does not mean that you say yes to every request that ever comes across your desk, it does mean that you must remember those who have sworn fealty to you, whether this be a vassal house or a commoner with no titles nor land to their name. They are the soldiers that our decisions send out to fight our battles. I am not a warrior and I am all too aware of the price that those brave people pay, but also of those that they leave behind. And as a princess that no one ever thought would become much of anything, I am now minister and voice in my house with great influence towards these things, which is why you hear so often of my fundraisers for charity work. And now that I've said all that, I'm not sure I've directly answered your question. I don't know that I'm a servant to the people exactly, but I am very aware of their hard work and sacrifice and work hard to ensure that they are taken care of in return."

Katarina discreetly steps aside, intervening Norwood's departure and linking her arm through that of the newly ennobled baron.

Norwood has joined the line.

Turn in line: Isobella

Bree unclasps her hands, drawing herself up from her position with her back to the wall and drawing her feet together from their shoulder-width ready stance while Ouida makes her speech-- then sets two fingers to her mouth to produce an exuberant whistle of approbation in the wake of Ouida's words, in the aftermath of which show of support she tosses Ouida a grin and goes back to her leaning and listening.

Valencia applauds politely as the speaker make the points, pausing to offer Ouida a warm nod as she returns to her seat. Leaning aside she shares a few whispered words with her as she retakes her seat.

After having shown due enthusiasm for the fams, Bree's attention jerks sideways when there's a Jeffeth on her, and she gives a muffled laugh and slides her arms up around his middle while his arms bear hug her like that. "Hey, what's up?" she whispers, amiable and sunny-eyed.

From her expression, Macda didn't think Katarina was wrong on the idea of the Crownlands idea of a responsibility. Sabella is seated at a table and a much better speaker when it comes to the 'better and greater' style that House Grayson projects. So she sees no issue in letting her cousin cut if the feeling was necessary. The princess, however, was inclined to listen with a continued stream of unfamiliar voices waiting to give their thoughts.

"I'm Isobella Velenosa," she introduces herself simply, likely well aware of the sheer number of Velenosa princesses in the city making this introduction less flashy than it might otherwise be. "I don't inherently disagree with any of the points raised thus far," Isobella begins, the wine glass in her hand a gracefully balanced prop as she turns it between her fingers. "But what I would address is the notion that being a member of the Peerage or being in a position of power might make one a servant to the people."

She smiles briefly, wryly. "As has been mentioned, some of us are born to our stations and others may ascend to them, or be appointed them, as life dictates. But the role of leadership is, in my opinion, one of guidance and maintaining order. If it's your born lot in life, it's likely something you've been groomed to do. If appointed, it's likely the appointment was made because someone saw your potential to do this and recognized a need for your skillset. But much like a parent, when things are going well there's no need to apply a firm hand, and when things begin to go awry, it's imperative that one step up and ensure order. Being accomodating while remaining an authority is more often a skill, not a talent, and it's one that I believe is important to cultivate, whatever your origins, should you choose to take up or maintain the mantle of leadership."

Turn in line: Daniella

With a barely contained enthusiasm, Jeffeth is releasing Bree and stepping to her side. His smile brilliant, and eyes shining bright. When he speaks it's once more overly loud, and then volume control is applied and adjusted and the big man speaks in a low rumbling murmur that is still kind of loud and probably annoying to the group that is actually paying attention, but at least his words are just an unintelligible rumble of bass notes. That makes it better, right?

Daniella stands back up when it's her turn to speak. "It is worth mentioning I think, that in no house that I know of does noble privilege actually hinge on noble service. One can be born into a noble or royal family, and live out their entire life in wealth and luxury without ever having to lift a finger for the lower classes, and still retain all the advantages of nobility." She points out, pausing for a moment before continuing. "So it seems to me that noble advantage must have a justification beyond that of service or leadership, that that might be part of why it exists but it cannot be the whole story." She suggests, not offering any indication of what the justification might be though as she retakes her seat.

Turn in line: Norwood

Katarina has joined the line.

Bree tips up her shoulder in an effortless shrug despite the layers of mail weighing it down, responding to Jeffeth with a tipping up of her gaze and a side to side wobble of her head as if in equivocation. Her own voice is similarly muted, though certainly less likely to make anyone's insides feel its reverberations.

Easily the oldest man in the room Baron Norwood Clement was caught before he could edge his way out of the door by Katarina. Upon her urging he takes up the thread of the conversation, though his tone implies more than a bit of impatience with the entire topic. "I see no difference between noble privilege and noble responsibility. They ought to go hand in hand, and the noble that does not see it that way..." Something causes Norwood to pause and put a hand on the hilt of Queensguard. A tiny shake of his head. "There is a job to be done, noble or commoner - just get the damn job done and go on with it." When he finishes he raises an eyebrow at Katarina. Is she happy now?

Ysbail applauds the old oathlander.

There's a shrug to Bree, slightly widened eyes as Jeffeth looks up to the front where people are speaking as if surprised they're there. Then back down to her with a quiet laugh. Folding his arms over his massive chest he leans against the wall and while murmuring quietly to Bree now pays a bit more attention to the front.

Marian is greatly amused by Norwood's words but resists the urge to applaud like Ysbail is. She also is quietly having a conversation at her table with those that are sitting near her.

Felicia is, well, no two ways around it, late. Still, the redheaded Harrow steps into the room and finds a place out of the way near the door to linger and take stock of the situation.

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

Elizabetta, a disapproving lady-in-waiting have been dismissed.

Lily, an aloof lady-in-waiting have been dismissed.

2 Grayson House Guards have been dismissed.

Clark, an exasperated guard have been dismissed.

Daniella also claps earnestly for Norwood when he finishes speaking.

Valencia smiles gently and seems to approve Norwood's brief but compelling thoughts, joining the applauds of the others who seem to appreciate his insight into the matter.

Ysbail shivers, "I don't think there's anything that can prepare anyone for the things faced at stormwall Gilroy."

Ysbail says, "hard as one might try."

Sparte looks grim as he echoes Ysbail's sentiments. "Nor what we faced at the Lodge."

Katarina takes hold of a decanter, refilling her glass. She smiles toward Norwood, appeased. Grateful. In a smooth flick of the wrist, the red wine is polished off gracefully before the moderator tentatively seizes control of the floor when the round of opinions come to an end. "I've decided to play the role of contrarian," she forewarns, her smile apologetic. "And before I deign to speak further, I caution to remind that it is to challenge one to think and consider differing viewpoints with an open mind, rather than immediately reject it."

With that said, the princess sets her sights deliberately upon Carita. "Countess Darkwater," she calls. "I have a question for you to consider, and the others of the Thraxian fealty as well." A deliberate pause, seeking out Fatima and Sparte's faces in the crowd as well. "House Grayson believes everyone is called to serve, regardless of station. From a lowly beggar to the King of the Compact himself who sits upon the Elfbone throne, they -serve-. The greater the one ascends, the more they are -obligated- to diligently see to those lesser than them. Fidelity with Limerance requires nothing short of this. That is how None are Greater than Grayson, after all." She coins the phrase liberally, sliding close.

"But that's not the views of the Mourning Isles, is it? What are -your- views? As representation of House Darkwater, do you believe yourself to be a servant to your lessers? That you're obligated to consider their needs and consciously act to always better their lives? Or, more traditionally, it is only the obligation of your servants to, of course, serve their betters?" It's clear she's attempting to antagonize and provoke, tastefully of course.

Bree bounces a little bit, stamping a foot to join in with the general din of approval for the Baron's compelled appearance. Continuing to converse quietly with Jeffeth, she leans a little bit away from the wall and scans the room with her eyes narrowed into keen blue slits. Then, standing up again, her eyes widen with a sudden idea and she wears a somewhat terror-striking ear to ear grin, bouncing a few more times in conveying a notion to her fellow knight.

A gracefully arched brow lifts at the applause, but Isobella is distracted from the brief din as Katarina takes up a position of devil's advocate (or some thematic variation thereof). She looks to those Thrax indicated, sipping from her glass of wine as she awaits the responses, her own words quiet and focused at her table.

At Bree's stamp-stamp bouncing murmuring Jeffeth's smile is brilliant and gleaming until she proposes something. His features somber some, taking on something far more thoughtful. One hand comes up to scrub at the stubble on his jaw as he looks at the front. Brows knit, he bends some to murmur back to the woman.

Felicia stirs herself to motion and heads over in the direction of the bar to take up a spot, seemingly content to listen for now.

Carita's clearly been lulled in to a casual conversation at her table, an air of easy-going complacency settled over her. Though when she hears her name spoken, her blue-eyed attention flicks up toward Katarina who earns her full attention. She clears her throat, a smile offered to her table-mates, before she speaks up. "Some might not be aware of my beginnings being that of a commoner, but I married in -- and later was given a title myself," she shrugs a little, "when I was divorced." There's a sniff, her attention shifting to her lap a moment as she smooths her skirts. "I think some people forget that without commoners the privileges you have may not exist." She smiles warmly Katarina's way, "In my opinion, bettering the lives of those that are now my responsibility, betters my life, and in turn the lives of those up the fealty chain." Her brows furrow a moment, "If that answers your question?"

Felicia has joined the a glossy walnut bar.

Alessia studies Katarina thoughtfully as she poses the question to the Darkwater, shifting in her seat, before glancing at Carita. She smiles as the countess responds, nodding at her words.

Fatima makes a show of tapping on her lip a little in considering Katarina's question, giving Carita time to answer as well. "It may be an unpopular example to some to raise, but I can't avoid it. Having variously disposed of my parents," which is a great way to start any story, "I was essentially raised by - or at least under the directions of - my grandfather, Highlord Donrai Thrax. Feared and hated as much as he was respected, he represented Thrax thinking very well: House before self, results before..." She waves a hand, "...any other fancy shite." Here she takes a pause, reaching to sip from her drink. "Thrax of that era obviously thought nothing of serving those beneath them, and much the opposite. Every house took thralls, they -bent- others to their own service. To be a good Thrax was to master others, yet of course that requires one's own competence. To do poorly was to live a short, unremarked life. This was an order ordained by the gods and by the traditions of the isles. Inviolate."

Of course, Fatima's prefaced all of this as Donrai-era thinking, giving herself some wiggle room, as she reclines back into the couch. "I think there is something in pragmatism. A good leader should not stop to question themselves for the sake of every vassal, soldier, and peasant with an opinion. A poor leader should be discretely removed by their own kin. But cruelty has its price, in morale, and perhaps in intangibles of the soul. I think that sometimes kindness can be a motivator, and so there is no reason to discard it entirely from 'pragmatic' rule. A leader should do as well as they can for their House, but their House includes their people."

Bree's expression turns somewhat sly, glancing far to the side as though someone might be trying to listen in to her quiet discourse with Jeffeth before giving a rather short answer and then nodding her head with ample enthusiasm.

Marian feels a lull in the conversation, and starts to quietly gather herself since she has to be going. She gives a quiet signal to her sister to let her know she's slipping out. Then says goodbye to those at her table before respectfully taking her leave.

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

Ender, a Silver Gyrfalcon, Ursa, 2 Redrain Guards leave, following Marian.

Sabella takes a long drink when thralls get mentioned, although when she sets her glass down again she's all smiles.

Katarina furls her fingers beneath her chin, taking up station behind one of the couches comfortably. "How eloquently put, on both accounts," she observes to Carita and Fatima, her lips upturned in soft approval. "I believe such statements carry with it the respect of past tradition and the result of progression equally. Or as you put it, Princess Fatima, doing away with the Donrai-era of approaching things." She straightens up, seeming contemplate over the group around her.

"Your Highness," she speaks to Daniella. "You expressed a dissatisfaction with accepting noble advantage as the simple answer of noble privilege since it doesn't simply hinge upon noble service. Would you disagree if I dared to claim that it is our noble *right* to squander away wealth and luxury afforded to us simply because we were born in the station to do so? We have our leaders and others who bare the mantle of responsibility to tend to the house and lessers, so why should we - those who do not inherit, rule, or lead - even think to serve those who bear no significance upon our family's wealth?"

Norwood has been louching by the doorway, but Katarina's purposefully provocative statement has him shaking his head. "I think any that came that need several seasons serving either in the army or out among the commoners planting. I know of several places I could put such worthless bodies to use."

Ouida has left the a glossy walnut bar.

2 Harthall house guards have been dismissed.

Niall RedTree, adorably awkward page have been dismissed.

Katarina smiles faintly at Norwood's commentary to her inflammatory hypotheticals, bowing her head in solemn agreement.

Sparte smirks at Norwood despite himself.

Daniella tilts her head towards Katarina when she's addressed, takes a moment to visibly considers the question and stands to give her response. "I think this somewhat brings back my friend John the farmer, at least some thought must be given to tending the crops, or commoners as the case may be in order to simply keep the whole thing working." She adds before pausing for a moment,

"But I wouldn't disagree that it is basically the right of a noble to squander their wealth, it is theirs after all, earned by the great deeds of their ancestors who have chosen to pass it on to to their children and their children's children. What is more I would say that if it wasn't their right, then there would be nothing remarkable about those nobles who do serve, it would not be any great thing because it would be their responsibility, instead of a choice freely made for the good of the compact." She explains and then almost sits down before changing her mind to add in, "And we all know commoners are happiest when they're working hard and being told what to do anyway." She adds before retaking her seat.

Macda smirks as Katarina scores the topic of -we- in her continued provocative manner. She whispers something the Princess' way before Norwood speaks. The Baron manages to elicit a more amused expression and a drink from her flask.

"All of a family has bearing on how it is perceived, positively or negatively. This is particularly true when it comes to nobility." Felicia speaks up from the bar,"Setting aside the potential for things like death to upset the line of inheritance, there's also the future of the family as a whole to consider. Spend too wastefully, or without an eye towards the future, and a family can fall very fast. This doesn't mean that certain... trappings, aren't sometimes expected, but, well, there's a difference between buying steelsilk while your people starve, and buying it in a time of abundance."

Ysbail has joined the line.

Turn in line: Katarina

Turn in line: Ysbail

Katarina barely quells a hushed titter at the whispered words Macda shares. There is a single bow of her head before her attention is rerouted to the discussions at hand. Daniella's retort is met with a pensive set of her mouth. "That is an interesting thing to bring up, Your Highness. It sparks a new question I'd like to hear everyone's thoughts on in a bit," she chimes, settling in to a seat with a bow of her head receptively to Felicia's wisdom. "One would be foolhardy to forget how emphermal power and status can be, this is true. So easily can a fragile system be toppled down." With that said, she's looking to the next speaker with gentle anticipitation.

Jeffeth hunkers down and murmurs to Bree quietly. Though at times.. Is he humming? It's hard to tell. Perhaps he's just trying to get his pitch right.

Katarina glances over to Jeffeth and Bree, morbidly curious of the pair for a brief moment.

Ysbail stands, drawing a deep, slow calming breath. "It is that kind of flippant thinking that puts the compact in real danger." Cobalt eyes moving to focus on each face in the room. "Yes, there are expectations amoungst the peerage, and to an extent those expectations must be met, I feel Dame Felicia has addressed the reasoning soundly though I have an addition to make. Desperate people make poor choices, If you have squandered your families wealth and status to the point where rebellion is in the ranks, you should perhaps also consider how many of our enemies right now are willing to hand out the promise of a better life - true with shackles attached, but hope is a funny thing."

Felicia folds her arms before her and tips her head in the direction of Ysbail in seemingly agreement with her words. Her lips pressed briefly together before she offers a wry kind of smile.

Katarina sets down her wine glass, smoothing out her skirts with a demure brush of palms upon her rise to stand. "I cannot find nary an argument in the face of such wisdom, Lady Ysbail. Dame Harrow," she concedes, mollified in general for the development of the discussion. "With this, I believe this might be a natural conclusion for the official discussion tonight. In a short while, our doors are opening for a more relaxed hour of mingling for members of the Salon, as well as curious intellectuals. I invite you all to stay, if you might, and enjoy yourselves. I think I've certainly enough to digest from tonight's event!"

Quiet, a Valardin champion have been dismissed.

A dutiful Valardin aide have been dismissed.

Katarina sets down her wine glass, smoothing out her skirts with a demure brush of palms upon her rise to stand. "I cannot find nary an argument in the face of such wisdom, Lady Ysbail. Dame Harrow," she concedes, mollified in general for the development of the discussion. "With this, I believe this might be a natural conclusion for the official discussion tonight. In a short while, our doors are opening for a more relaxed hour of mingling for members of the Salon, as well as curious intellectuals. I invite you all to stay, if you might, and enjoy yourselves. I think I've certainly enough to digest from tonight's event!"

Sparte nods as Katarina finishes. He lifts his hands for polite applause. "Thank you for this enlightened evening, Princess Katarina. May people remember to ask the difficult questions regardless of how difficult the answers."

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