A Meeting of the minds: Discussion
Jan. 3, 2019, 7 p.m.
Arx - Ward of the Compact - The Golden Hart Social House - Third Floor
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Balian, a Templar squire, Guy, a hunting kestrel, 1 Templar Knight guards arrive, following Preston.
Khanne is here. She doesn't look exceedingly happy at the moment, but she is here; arriving with Drysi by her side, presumably to take notes for her, and a couple of guards trailing her. She looks about and gives a smile to those she knows, then finds a place in which to observe the proceedings.
Stepping into the rooftop garden are two Redrain sisters, fair and dark -- the scarlet sister off, as usual, on some journey or quest. Helena looks around, charmed by the beautiful location, before her blue eyes fall on Ysbail. "Lady Ysbail, thank you for holding this. This is lovely -- so much less stodgy than a room full of books. Not that I don't love a room full of books, mind you. It's truly beautiful up here, though."
Mirk arrives right on time, quietly stepping out onto the roof. He offers a nod of his head to the familiar faces there, but he foregoes pleasantries for the moment, heading towards the garden and claiming a seat on one of the sofas there. He folds his hands in his lap and begins to survey the roof and, more importantly, the people gathered there, scrutinizing each face in turn with a curious eye, coming at last to rest on Ysbail.
Mirk has joined the lush garden seating.
Galiana, a meticulous and mysterious lady-in-waiting, 2 House Velenosa Guards arrive, following Isobella.
Khanne has joined the lush garden seating.
Glances around the space before moving to a makeshift podium, she draws a deep breath. "I would like to first express my gratitude to you all for coming, with so many threats on our borders - knowledge has become our most precious and most dangerous resource. Copper's sacrifice has taught us quite painfully the cost of our ignorance. This is our second chance, but also our last chance." Cobalt eyes study the figures in the room, "So in the spirit of caution, I ask everyone to consider the importance of Names, before they speak, and I would also like to extend a special thank you to Lady Valencia for the gracious provision of refreshments and space."
Merek has come to listen to the talk, while he offers a small nod to Ysbail, then he looks to Khanne as well as the sister, waving that way a bit. He settles while he also adjusts the black-emerald attire which he has on also.
Mikani smiles as she sees Khanne. "Hello. Good to see you again." She comments as she takes a seat in the garden.
Mikani has joined the lush garden seating.
Lisebet is overheard praising Valencia: For generosity and grace
Elgana is all smiles as she arrives not quite arm-in-arm with her younger sister but it may as well be for the elder of the two stays near the younger as she takes in the look of the rooftop gardens. "It is lovely to be out here in the spring, just in time to see things take a turn toward the green," she remarks idly before she smiles at Ysbail and quiets down, moving to take a seat.
Lisebet turns to listen as Ysbail provides the introduction to the theme as it were. She gets a glass of something to drink, and nods to those she recognizes as they arrive. Her expression is sober, calm and thoughtful, at the moment. The petite Farshaw lady appears to be doing a lot of that lately. Thinking that is.
Elgana has joined the fine leather sofas.
Helena has joined the fine leather sofas.
Arriving just as Ysbail begins to speak on the purpose of the gathering, Isobella takes up an inobtrusive position, her expression politely neutral as she listens in. Galiana arrives at her side as ever, the quiet young woman fetching a glass of wine that makes its way into Isobella's hand as she sits, writing implements near to hand in case there is cause to take notes.
Ysbail allows a few moments for the words to sink in before continuing. "The events at Lodge Petrichor and those at the Archive are as much a threat as the visitors in the Harbor. I believe that there are two topics connected to this, but I've only the barest snippets of information. I do not speak as an authority for any of the organizations invited. This discussion is in no way a reflection of stances of these groups, but rather that the members of both associations had expressed some interest in the topic. I believe in the case of Petrichor, Information regarding the Kindly voices, and the Sylv'alfar may prove vital, so it is in the spirit of co-operation and learning that I invite you to share the results of your research or ask questions. Please use the line to speak to avoid needless chaos. And feel free to help yourself to refreshment while we discuss."
Isobella has joined the fine leather sofas.
a small twilit kingsnake, Thistleton, an elderly and devoted manservant, 1 Grayson House Guards arrive, following Macda.
Arriving a bit late, Macda surveys the gathering for signs of how deep conversation has gone to and who is sitting where. She recognises quite a few faces, offering smiles and polite nods without taking from what has already started.
Khanne looks around after Ysbail speaks. When no one seems to make a move, she raises her hand. "I'm sorry... What do you mean by 'in the case of Petrichor?"
Ysbail has joined the line.
Sparte is a quiet observer tonight. He isn't participating in the conversation, instead he looks thoughtful to the point of distraction.
Turn in line: Ysbail
Preston steps onto the terrace, but he doesn't go too far - he carefully surveys the assembled group before he leans against one of the supports for a pegola. At Ysbail's words, Preston's lips curl into a wry smile and he reaches into his pocket to take out a small fruit and a little fruit knife to cut a slice "It may be worth remembering though, Lady Ysbail, that knowledge is not some neutral inert thing. It carries with it its own costs. To know is sometimes to force you to choose, to force you to act." He slips the fruit slice into his mouth, his lips pursing - clearly that was a bit too tart.
Lisebet looks at the group, listens to what is said, and she adds, "I don't have a lot to add, at least not yet, and I realize I'm jumping perhaps a bit, but I don't even know what a kindly voice is, or - well, what Lady Khanne said."
"Knowledge has both cost and reward," murmurs Helena, almost apologetically, as she casts a glance over at Preston. "But I think ignorance has a greater cost. Most of the time. At least when you know, you have choices. When you don't know, you don't know what your choices are." She takes a sip of her wine. "I've wished for ignorance a few times in the past weeks, but I know it's not the right thing to wish for. I can maybe do something with knowledge that I cannot in darkness."
Cobalt eyes flick to the Shaman's shape. "Vala Khanne, that is an excellent question. I will do my best to answer." She exhales slowly, "Some time back the Lodge of Petrichor came under attack by Abyssal agents who I hesitate to name openly. My own father was amongst some of the casualties, as well as many of our men. My head of the house and I believe that this was the result of Gargants which made an appearance at the lodge according to what I have been able to gather of first-hand accounts." Her attention shifts to Preston. "You make an excellent point, and I am aware of the risks I am taking with this area of study. However, I made the choice to stand with my family. Blackwoods take strength from the storm, but I expect everyone else to make their own choices and weigh their own risks."
Mirk speaks quietly, for the most part, carrying no further than those in his immediate vicinity. But at Preston's words, he speaks up, and says, "I don't think that's a bad thing. If more people feel called to act, rather than stand by and pay no heed to the struggles around them, then some of them might suffer, but we'll all be better for it." He offers a nod of his head to Helena, in agreement.
"So... You mean in the case of the Lodge of Petrichor... and not the God Pertichor," Khanne states, trying to clarify. She nods and says, "I am aware of the gargantuans... quite. Closely. They were not the only beasts to cull our people though."
Ysbail prepares to hand out her notes, "I also caution you not to speak or write certain names in this research, as it can prove fatal." She nods, "My apologies, if I did not quite make that aspect Clear Lady Khanne.
Merek seems amused, "I recall her being like, one of the most adamant against name use in the past," he tells Ysbail, about Khanne. He settles back as he listens, "Hmm."
"Gargantuans are not a name to be avoided," Khanne says towards Merek. "Trust. I've probably said it a million times. It is only a few names you have to really be careful of."
Ysbail nods, "It is not the Gargants, but the thing they serve that - causes concern."
Preston chomps on his fruit - om nom nom healthiness - as others respond. He pauses to begin to cut a second slice, slowly twisting the fruit against the knife "Except, if you are forced to act from fear of what you have found, desperate to avoid a fate you now forsee, you make yourself vulnrable. Desperate and fearful, these are the people the Abyss preys on most. But equally, you are right. Ignorance can forstall true choice by some lines of thought. And more people acting is good. Yet, then, you take responsibility for those that act. And many will act once and then never more." Preston grimaces at all the mention of the Gargantuans "The lodge was a hard battle, for all who were there, and not the first time. When the silence came many groves of petrichor were corrupted - and we went out to cleanse them after. "
Meticulously copying the notes into her own handwriting, Isobel voices a query. "Considering how these abominations are formed, is there any idea where the sacrifices might have been reaped from? I don't imagine anything so large marched on the Lodge out of thin air."
"I was not there, for such I apologize... I was a bit occupied with naval matters, now even moreso," Merek looks then to Preston, "I've learned not to live in fear, lost too many friends to do so, that said, I still practice some caution, except in cases where it's important I share." He nods a bit, looking to Isobel with her question.
"t does make it difficult to explain many things when they cannot be named properly," Lisebet says ruefully. "But some things cannot be helped as yet." She adds softly. "I too am aware of the gargantuans and that there were other beasts." Her corroboration is likely not needed, but she puts it in anyway, just in case. Her gaze goes to Preston, listening to what he says. "Is that too a name that should not be spoken?" she asks once he is done, uncertainly.
Merek says, "Ya, you uh. Did just name one there..."
Cobalt eyes flick to Preston, studying him, bright eyes intent. "I speak only for myself, I can make no one else's choices for them. I do not fear to act, only action without knowledge or understanding of the thing that is faced. " As to Isobella's query, Ysbail shakes her head. "I expect the same places the Bringer armies got them during the Silent Wars. Though more research is needed to provide any kind of a definate answer."
Khanne looks around, her brows furrowed. "What name? No one has said anything wrong as of yet... Spirits... relax."
Sparte nods to Khanne. "Yeah, I havn't said anything at all." A pause. "Gonna get quiet again and not jinx it."
Lisebet looks over to Khanne, and she says, "You may know exactly what names are not to be used, but some of us are not so experienced at this. But thank you, I appreciate that information."
Isobella nods, once. Her expression is still one of politely distant apathy, even as she notes, "I'd be interested in contributing to such research should anyone be interested in looking into what, if any, areas have suddenly undergone any sort of mass culling. Gargantuans don't just grow on trees after all, if someone has them, they're making them from somewhere. Or so I'm led to believe."
"I believe many of the Gargantuans are quite ancient, from the names trapped within them," Mirk says to Lisebet and Ysbail both, a somber seriousness coming over his face. "Though that isn't to say that all of them are." He turns his attention to Preston, then, and answers, "Everyone has a responsibility for their own choices. Some, offered the chance, make poor choices. Other die. You're right. But if I could choose to offer someone the knowledge to act, I'd rather do tit and hope that person makes a difference."
Elgana is speaking softly at the very comfortable sofas until her lady approaches and murmurs in her ear. An apologetic smile is given to her company as she murmurs to them, "I'm terribly sorry. Something I need to attend." To Isbobella she says, "It was very lovely to meet you. I hope we'll get the chance again." Helena gets a cheek kiss and a gentle hug before the Redrain is up and slipping off, careful not to disrupt.
Elgana has left the fine leather sofas.
Lille, the dauntless companion, 2 Redrain Guards leave, following Elgana.
Preston chuckles a little to himself at that "It is an odd sentiment for a noble, my lady, but I appreciate it is a sincere one and principled. And yes. Many were sacriiced to build the gargantuans - you could see their faces writing in the flesh of the beasts. And strangely animals were within - perhaps the living construct onto which they were formed?" Preston lits his shoulders "Khanne may know more on this matter." The questions around safe terms causes him tos hake his head "The term I used, and Lady Ysbail used, is a group term. Not an individual. Just as I am a Templar, but there is no person called Geoff Templar."
Fiora has joined the seating by the fire.
Isobella counters, casually enough that it's clearly in subdued jest, "You don't know what your Templars call themselves alone in their rooms; perhaps there is one that styles himself Geoff Templar, Extraordinaire. And he flits about his room in a fabulous cape."
Making her way towards the fire, a little book hugged against her chest, the woman turns to the group at large and raises her voice. "Not to disturb. But if any of these minds that are meeting would be willing to answer a few questions, I am working on a personal project and would love to ask a few questions of some of you. They are mostly on opinions. I'm sure not many of you have many of those. But if at some point in the evening you would like to come speak to me, I would be most appreciative. Though I can only do one at a time, I promise it will be fairly quick." Then she takes her seat.
Ysbail swallows thoughtfully, as though weighing how much to say. "I have suspicions based on the nature of the Enslaver's Herald, but I need more details to confirm, hence the topics of this discussion. We know that the Enslaver's herald is Sylv'alfar, but much of what we know of the Sylv was - lost." Her attention sharpens its focus, "None of the people here are sworn to my house Sir Preston, but perhaps we should focus on the topic rather than wax and wane on Politics."
Ysbail clears her throat, "Does anyone have information they would like to provide on the Sylv'alfar? Or the Kindly Voices?
Shard prowls onto the roof with an expression that is mostly guarded, though there are hints of what may be suspicion here and there. She's very quiet, and she stays near the edges of the gathering, until she eventually finds a spot she seems to favor. Then she settles, arms over her chest.
Sparte has joined the line.
Turn in line: Sparte
Khanne heaves a sigh, shaking her head as she reaches into a bag she carries with her, pulling out a well loved wooden flask that she brings to, well, just about any meeting. She opens it up and takes a good swig of it before closing it up again and holding it on her lap. "Mirk and Preston both seem to have the right of it, on Gargantuans, but... in defense of Sir Preston, I do not think he's waxing poetic on politics at all... but that's just me." Seeing Shard enter then, she does let a smile curl her lips, just slightly.
Looking at the parchment that Ysbail handed her, Helena frowns, teeth raking over her lower lip. It's just then that she looks up at the cheek-kiss from Elgana making her exit, and it's clear there's something she wants to tell the other Redrain, but instead she dips her worried expression behind her wine glass. Once the glass is lowered, her expression is still pensive, and she jots down something in her journal, scrawl loose and angled, with her left hand.
Lisebet inclines her head, relief showing briefly. "Thank you all. It is important to learn such things, for those of us less well versed." She shrugs delicately at Ysbail's next question. "I do not have any knowledge to share on those two topics. I do think there were rumours of at least one large group of deaths that I have heard of, but I did not at the time know to mark it."
Attention shifting toward Lisebet, Isobella wonders, "Might you recall where this happened? It seems every day brings tidings of some sort or another, it's a sign of the times that such a thing has just become matter of fact at this point," she laments with some measure of sincerity, sipping from her wine glass afterward.
"or no, perhaps it wasn't large enough," Lisebet puts in, after a moment. "Now that I think hard on it. I believe it was thirteen deaths, but not the thirteen by thirteen required. Still terrible, but not quite so dastardly."
Shard narrows one eye, and her frown deepens.
Sparte nods to Ysbail, glancing over to Khanne a moment before speaking. "What I said before was in jest, I hope I don't say anything here to cause people concern." Sparte looks up at the sky with a thoughtful expression. "But I will say something of the Sylv'alfar. I known it can be easy to paint a people at enemies because their leaders turned against us, but we need to avoid that urge. Guide people away from it. The Sylv'alfar found on both sides of their war five hundred years past, many died assisting the Compact. They had been our allies before that." Sparte smiles a little bit, then looks down with a sigh. "But that means they may be our allies again. To speak openly about those that are not aligned with our enemies is to put them at risk. Please forgive me if it seems like there is more to be said that I do not wish to say, secrets are not always our own." Sparte gestures to Ysbail. "But the Kindly Voices, they are a different thing entirely. They are those who, long ago, tried to understand the inner workings of the Great Dream and in doing so changed into what they are now. The enforcers of the laws of the Great Dream. I can't tell you what the laws are, I don't myself fully know. I've... I've been trying to get a list myself. Seems sort of important."
Shard eyes Sparte now, very carefully. After a moment she inhales a little roughly. "Where did you learn that information?" And, without really waiting, she says, "I know a few. Kinslaying, breaking sanctuary, murdering people who have given you protection, or betraying people you've given protection. That's not...all, I don't think. But definitely those."
Ysbail nods to Lisbet, "The information would be helpful, as well as when it happened, it would help to compose a timeline. It would seem that usually it's the Shav tribes which are attacked first - the abandoned whom the compact fears and does not count save to guard against them." There's something significant in the pause as she falls quiet. And there is a deep nod, "No Scholar Sparte, you are right, and I did not mean to imply that the Sylv'alfar are an enemy. I think however there may be details specific to their history and nature which could provide a better understanding - it is a discussion perhaps for another time." As the topic shifts to the Kindly ones she nods, "Scholar Rinel has also mentioned them, the idea that the great dream has laws is new. Any information how miniscule would be of great import." Falling quiet as Shard speaks and scribbling furiously.
Preston gives Isobella a warm smile "Ah. I am afraid that is where our simplicity prevents such fanciful thought, your highness. Many of us live simply in the barracks. At most one has a curtain. Peace and quiet, such as one finds it, is found in a stable, and wearing a cape in there is liable to get a horse deciding to purloin it for a blanket." As she defends him, Khanne gets a nod too, Preston lifting another slice of the fruit to his lips but pausing before he chomps "Perhaps it will be my retirement, Khanne? A political philosopher. But, yes. I just was concerned people knew knowledge is not neutral, and it is also not the same as understanding...." But Rinel is mentioned and Preston just pinches the brow of his nose.
Mist-grey eyes go to Sparte as he begins to speak. She shrugs and says, "I don't... fully disagree. While a person of a race that is an enemy does not mean that the entire race is an enemy, there are some that... perhaps... we should be more way of than others." looking to Shard with wider eyes she says, "I did not know those.... I knew OF them but not the specifics." Preston gets a crooked grin as sye says, "I could see that..."
Ysbail nods to Preston, "Forgive me, I may be a little over sensitive. I've heard a lot of how I'm - not a normal noble of late. It's hard to know what is insult and what isn't. Ysbail replies to Preston in a softer tone.
Khanne said all that, about the races, then nodded to Preston.
"According to some things, while that might be true, there is also the note that humans are one of the only races with 'true' free will," Merek offers, with a nod.
Shard gives Merek a squinted look.
Lisebet stares at Merek at that, curiously. "There's a note about that?"
Wine swirled lightly in her glass, Isobella offers toward Ysbail, "Where I'm from, that's considered high praise. I wouln't take it to heart."
"You have anything to support that? Or just accoridng to 'some things'. That's a very vague reference." Fiora pauses as she looks Merek over. "Fella."
a small twilit kingsnake, Thistleton, an elderly and devoted manservant, 1 Grayson House Guards leave, following Macda.
"The Canticle of the Dawn," Merek offers, with a nod, "As well as a fair bit about the Doctrine of Skald," he also adds.
Taking on a gentle chanting tone, Preston utters "'The Gods are born, the first children rebel. The elves are created, so the First Children they'll quell. With the First Children and elves cosntantly at odds, the First Choice created men, unbound by the Gods'." before he gesture to Merek "Likely what is suggested...but. I would be wary making too much of that." Preston's eyes flick back to Ysbail and he smiles once more "I tend not to give much opinion on being a normal or abnormal noble, my lady. Providing a noble holds to the Gods and their oaths, well. I am sworn to hold no land, father no children....the game of nobles is not one that really makes much sense for me to engage in."
"Skald created humanity, but he freed more than humans," Shard says, before she leans back. She's no longer squinting, but she's a little narrow-eyed, and she glances sidelong toward Preston at his recitation.
Khanne looks to Preston and says, "that is pretty... what is that from?"
Lisebet inclines her head. "Something else to study, I see," she says wryly.
"Your interpretation might need some work, fella." Fiora states over to Merk, just a touch dismissively.
Ysbail grins to Preston, "I apologize for my mistaken assumption Sir Knight." She nods, "Are those texts in either of the libraries? The Canticle and the Doctrine of Skald? I confess I am in the process of procuring one of Lady Aslin's complete collections of Elven history, of them, The Sylv'alfar are said to have gone mad, Pena Stormryder, the Last Heirophant was said to have stepped in to Queen Alarice's aid in the Battle of the Blackwood, but other than 'Precious Metals: The last Heirophant' And her monument in the Heroes Hall I've not found much other mention of the battle."
"It is the end of the Canticle of Dawn." Preston explains to Khanne "It is not often sung, the canticle has fallen rather out of favour. It has found a little bit of a resurgence among some of late. And even if we do not sing it often, it is important to know the canticles. It would be embarassing if we were called upon to provide it and yet couldn't. But, you should be able to get a copy from your House seraph if you brought them to Arx, or pick one up in the temples."
Sparte looks over to Shard, furrowing his brow a bit in thought. "Which, well, part?"
Rising gracefully, Isobella hands off her nearly emptied wine glass to Galiana who discreetly disposes of it. "An illuminating gathering, thank you for hosting it," she offers to Ysbail, but she doesn't linger overlong once she's decided to take her leave, exiting with the quiet whisper of silk.
Shard makes a vague gesture with one hand. "The part where the Kindly Voices used to be people."
3 Last Watch Sentries, 3 Redrain Guards arrive, following Donella.
Isobella is overheard praising Ysbail: For hosting an illuminating gathering of the minds.
Isobella has left the fine leather sofas.
Galiana, a meticulous and mysterious lady-in-waiting, 2 House Velenosa Guards leave, following Isobella.
Merek is overheard praising Ysbail: 5
Merek is overheard praising Ysbail: Great thing!
"Do dwarves have free will?" Helena asks, curiously, though it seems mostly an aside. Preston's explanation of the canticle earns him a glance. "For everyone or Geoff Templar?" Her impish smile suggests she's kidding, before she takes another sip of wine, and jots down more things in her journal.
Merek nods a bit to Fiora, accepting that, "I might not be interpretting it right, I just... Don't know what to make of that, all said, I will give any elf the benefit of the situation, if I meet them." He nods then to Ysbail, "This was quite a gathering, you did well, m'Lady."
Helena is overheard praising Ysbail.
3 Last Watch Sentries, 3 Redrain Guards leave, following Donella.
Ysbail flushes with the sudden praise. "I did what I could, no more no less." Her eyes shifting over the room. "Dwarves?" Helena's question gets a lift of both brows, "For those who wish to stay and continue the discussion you are welcome to do so but I also understand duties abound. thank you for coming."
"Precious Metals: The Last Hierophant?" Mirk asks, raising an eyebrow at Ysbail.
Mirk is overheard praising Ysbail.
Sparte reaches to rub at his jaw thoughtfully. "It was attached to a passage by Platinum himself, of all sources. An old one, nothing recent. It is possible I need to read it more closely. It seemed to imply they were once ritualists." Sparte sighs. "But I suppose my head is too jumbled right now to be sure. I am sorry, I really am trying to keep up."
Ysbail nods to mirk, "There's a copy in the Stone Watchtower, and the Great Archives, it is a rather illuminating read, since it mostly matches her monument I think it's a fairly trustworthy source as monuments go."
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