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Thrax Fealty Meeting: Brass' Choice

Prince Victus Thrax will be hosting an open forum for all those sworn under Thrax to discuss the offer made by Brass. Guest rite is strictly imposed. Leave your pointy bits at the door.

Date

Jan. 27, 2019, 6 p.m.

Hosted By

Victus

Participants

Scythia Ysbail Sorrel Jasher Alarissa Jan Arcelia Valdemar Klaus Sanya Skye Helle Ajax Sparte

Organizations

Thrax

Location

Arx - Ward of House Thrax - Thrax Estate - The Crosses

Largesse Level

Grand

Comments and Log


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

Dahlia, a confident red and white corgi puppy, Winter, a juvenile Oakhaven bloodhound arrive, following Skye.

Vraxese, a Kennex Corsair guard arrives, following Jan.

Teonia Redreef, Marquessa Pudding, a doughy dog, Jan, Ajax arrive, following Sorrel.

3 Thrax Guards arrives, following Jasher.

Scythia arrives quietly, her eyes sweeping the area as she travels, and there is no mistaking the look of curiosity from the young Redreef woman. She takes in the details of the Thrax Estate as she travels and when it is clear where His Grace and the Princess Consort are, she is dipping down into a low and deep curtsy. The courtier holds the pose for a great length of time before going to find herself a seat at the benches. After smoothing her skirts of course.

Scythia has joined the Right Side Benches.

Helle has joined the Back wall standing room.

Doreen arrives, following Klaus.

Ysbail does her very best to look unassuming, and is mostly quiet - likely here to observe and learn more than anything else.

Sorrel is wearing her armor today and looks like she's been working out at the training center. She enters followed by Ajax, who also looks like he's been training, and Jan, who looks prepared to train. She glances around to see who is present today.

Jasher enters the Cross Hall, his bootsteps blending in with the others' as he walks in, though his height makes him stand out enough as is. He steps off to the side and stands against the wall between the door and the alcoves, gloved hands folded behind his back as he prepares to observe.

Alarissa glances to those who look to them, a dip of her head in acknowledgement when they bow but still murmuring quietly to Victus as they talk. Sanya in particular a dip of her head.

Arriving not far behind Princess Sorrel with a guard of her own in tow, Jan greets everyone she is required to with a brief but formal manner. Her face is drawn and tired but she wears the look considerably well despite what is some underlying exhaustion. She keeps her back straight and waves off her escort to find his own place somewhere out of the way. The hook-nosed man doesn't make any response, not that one would have an easy time gauging a reaction in the perpetual scowl, but he does as he is bid none the less. Jan takes a place somewhere close, but also a bit out of the way. Her intentions to observe and offer insight if anything happens to come up that she has experience in.

Arcelia makes her way into the room and moves to take a seat somwhere not far from Victus and Alarissa's view. She is wearing a flowing dress made of a fine silk in a light blue. Silver embroidery traces the hem of the dress and a bow that settles mid dress. She offers Victus and Alarissa a nod of her head and takes whatever seat she finds, directing her unarmed guards to stand not far from her while she settles in.

When Valdemar arrives, dressed mostly in black and with his hair pulled back thanks to the warmth of spring, he bows deeply in the direction of the High Lord before moving to find a seat.



The newly wed couple does its best to discretely to enter the meeting, trying not to call too much attention to themselves. They are both however disapointingly dressed and proper.

Jasher has joined the Back wall standing room.

The Cross Hall of Thrax's estate is as dour as ever. Shadows of serpents on the walls. Of course, the stone cross itself that many enemies of the House have suffered on is placed at the center of the room. Prince Victus Thrax sits at the head of a gargantuan war table of Arvum. When the doors are shut and the rest are settled, he stands.



"Good evening. Thank you for joining us here tonight. As you all know, Brass' reappearance presents the Compact with one of several choices for its future. It comes at a steep cost, the most substancial of which is directed toward Thrax as a whole with the potential end of thralldom. It's no question that this would cause immense damage to the Mourning Isles. In the economic disaster it presents, to the rebellions and uprising that would be a certainty. Civil war would be inevitable."



Victus pauses, looking over the gathering. "It may be easier to understand Brass' intent if we are to recount his history. The legend surrounding the Brass know is thus. Ages ago, the man who would be known as the Brass Knight was a craftsmen enslaved in the Caer'alfar's capital - now known as Pyre. The Brass Knight was freed by the word of Amber, an artificer, who spread word of his deed to a Rex'alfar Prince. The man known as Platinum. Brass was given his name when he was inducted into the Metallic Order. Brass had no tolerance for slavery, and determined that all chains would be broken. He forged brass weapons to equip Cardian slaves so they might launch an uprising against their dragon masters. The rebellion failed, many died. Brass was retaliated against by Cardian forces and was broken by dragonfire. Rather than die, Brass cheated death by binding his soul to a metal heart. He limped himself to the wastes, far to the south, where he constructed a city of his own. That is where he dwelt, planning vengeance against Cardia and hiding from the Queen of Endings. The Queen, of course, did not take this lightly. She cursed the man to endure terrible pain and denied the souls of the people who had come to live in his walls."



The Prince pauses again, turning his head to look down upon the war table and the map of Arvum. "That legend was recounted to us, for Thrax's benefit, by Baroness Lucita Saik. We extend our gratitude to her for opening our eyes further to who we treat with."

Arcelia has joined the a large war table with space for a map of Arvum.

Sanya smiles warmly to Alarissa in greeting, giving the duke and duchess consort a curtsy before taking a seat beside her cousin.

Klaus has joined the Alcoves.

Sorrel has joined the Back wall standing room.

Jan has joined the Back wall standing room.

Skye has joined the Back wall standing room.

Skye slipped in a pale shade in white as she stands at the back wall so she can listen as High Lord Victus starts out the meeting. She looks to be a bit surprised as the story of Brass is told. The young lady gently folds her hands and listens as people talk around her.

Ajax has joined the Back wall standing room.

Victus gives time for the information to settle before he speaks again, ensuring he meets the eyes of those in the room. "It should be noted that few have been keen to speak on this past history. It's plain why. It paints Brass as a vengeful figure, whose emotion has brought great pain. When I corresponded with Brass personally, I told him that free men and thrall alike would die in droves if his option was selected. He informed me that I was correct. But that the amount of work, the struggl and the war would make a worthy atonement for the centuries of thralldom." The High Lord takes umbrage to ensure his expression remains neutral, but it's clear that it's a difficult facade to maintain. There's frustration under that veil. "It's for these reasons that I find difficulty advocating for Brass' option. For what it would do to all of you I see here today. My people and yours. Brass claims to he seeks to, hypothetically, end thralldom within one year. I asked for more time. Twenty years. Ten years. Both were rejected."



With a sigh, the Prince begins to pace down the length of the table. "I asked for opinions from many of you in regards to the choices presented to us. I have seen much the same, with many finding suspicion in Brass' option. The majority of you I would say, advocate for neutrality. The option presented by Ashe. Some even find Cardia's option to be the most efficient. Few enjoy Platinum's offer, and fewer have presented finding a new option entirely."

Jan grunts. "I can speak to the folly in it. Ford might have had the right idea, but the execution has left us with other issues. Doing something like this takes time. Though I for one believe it is the right direction." She pauses. "Though take note this is my opinion, I don't speak for the Kennex family. This 'Brass', or whatever he calls himself is no savior. He is a war monger by the sounds of it."



For once, perhaps, Klaus is serious, and any trace of mirth and mischief os gone from his features. He raises his voice, his tone polite but professional. "And if the choice is the status quo and side with neither Cardia or Platinum? My understanding such was an option, if emphasis heavily implied it was not a choice to be well received at all."

Valdemar stands up, looking toward the Prince of Maelstrom as he speaks, "I don't suppose that he has also considered that our fealty would not be alone in paying the blood price he suggests we pay as 'atonement'? Because while we are fighting civil war and reigning in the other chaos that will come of freeing so many criminals so abruptly, the rest of the Compact will be more vulnerable to whatever threats arise. They will essentially be at four fifths of their strength until we can recover. And that is supposing that we are able to...what if one of those threats targets /us/ in the midst of all this? How long will the Mourning Isles last against a threat similar to that once posed by the Gyre, for instance, if we are fractured and fighting against our own?"

At first Arcelia is silent but after Victus continues she speaks up. "Realistically, the rest of The Compact probably wants to side with Brass? What position will it leave the Thrax Fealty in if we don't fall in line with them?" She looks to Victus. "Do we risk civil war with the rest of The Compact if we refuse? If the King outlaws Thralldom and we don't fall in line... that sounds worse than civil war within our own countries." Not that she seems thrilled with either option, she wears a mask of neutrality which probably means she's anything but. "

Sanya rises from her seat, speaking calmly. "A hero who would suggest such a thing with little thought for the long term impact on our lands is no hero at all."

"Cardia will be disappointed that they cannot rule us, and Platinum will be disappointed, but we will probably go back to the status quo under Ashe," Sorrel says, crossing her arms across her chest. "We will face harder challenges than we faced when we had Copper to protect us, but things will likely be the same. The real trouble with the Compact deciding to eliminate thralldom is that it will cause enough chaos and unrest that we risk the Archfiend breaking free. The Dark Reflection of Civilization. That is really the card we must play on the Compact."



Klaus adds in his own voice again as the debate does focus upon the consequences of refusing Brass' offer. "More like civil war within the fealty itself rather than hostilities with the rest of the Compact, though it does present the High Lord with the unenviable position of if he does follow the King's orders if it is indeed his choice, or not. Neither are good options, the later will issolate Thrax from not just one but three opponents. If he agrees, then all effort will be focused merely trying to maintain order and basic civil services, even food production. Either case, the Compact would loose the bulk of its trained military naval presence, along with some of the larger warships hulls currently afloat, to say nothing of the martial skill of marines trained for both sea and land combat. Those are merely the mundane issues. I cannot speak to the metaphysical consequences."

"Create another Metallic Order," Helle mumbles from her place at the back of the room, beneath the curtain of sable hair that obscures her pale, dour face. "Buy another five hundred years of time to get it right."

Victus listens to those who speak, turning his eyes to one after another. The first is Klaus. "I should be more specific. Ashe's option presented was an option for status quo to continue. Ashe claims to be Copper's apprentice, the Metallic Hero that had been protecting Arvum from... Well, all of this. 'Apprentice' is not to be taken lightly in this context. We are not talking about someone who shares the experience and power as the late Copper for our defense. But she is formidable. Much more so than any of us could hope to be right now." With that he looks back to Valdemar, regarding the Duke with his full attention. "It is a concern I share. Most worryingly, I think of Eurus. They have already planted an eye in the city. If ever they were to invade from the East, the Mourning Isles would be the vanguard against their forces. No question. To sacrifice our strength now along with the rest of the Compact could be disastrous. We have recieved offers from the rest of the Compact mind that would support us as they supported Kennex." He raises a hand. "But. Kennex was the result of 20,000 thralls being released at once. The whole of the Mourning Isles makes up a million, to one point five million total thralls. No amount of money and no amount of soldiers is going to fully brunt that in the course of a year to five years."



Next Victus turns to Arcelia. "This choice as it is slated currently will go to the ruling council. Myself, the other High Lords and the King. I share one fifth of a vote. I am certain that the masses would enjoy higher pay and a world where thralldom does not exist, but the leaders of Arvum understand that these things are not black and white. King Alaric is young, but wise for his age. He will understand how much damage the realm could sustain if Thrax collapses." Then to Klaus once more. "In a situation where thralldom is abolished, Thrax itself will no doubt fracture. Traditionalist houses will raise banners in alarm, and many more in regards to facing total economic collapse of their domain. It would either be a situation where Thrax stands on its own against the rest of the Compact, or we tear at each other. Neither one bodes well for our continued survival."

'Three billion, seven hundred and fifty million silver would be the total cost for the debts of Thralls within the isles." Alarissa supplies. "Give or take fifty or so million."

From the back of the wall, Ajax remains standing his lips pursing for a few moments before he rumbles outloud with his brows furrowing, "I was under the impression, Brass promised support. Taking aside his actual demands for his support. Do we have any evidence that his support would actually outweigh what we'd lose by pissin' off Cardia keeping him around?"

Once more, Duke Grimhall's voice rises, "It sounds as if we, at least, are all on the same page, regardless of the reasons. One year will not be anywhere near enough time to eliminate thralldom peacefully, regardless of whether one believes it is the right course or not. Twenty years would be pushing it, in my estimation." He pauses then, and looks around for a moment before his attention settles on Victus once more. "So the question, it seems, is how to convince the others involved in making this decision. Do you have any ideas in that regard, your Grace?" Valdemar asks intently.

he Countess nods her head to Victus in understanding. "Then would it be wise to levy your vote in our favor by negotiating our cooperation in what may be a unanimous vote in favor of Brass if... They divert a certain amount of their efforts into helping us ensure things run as smooth as possible?" Arcelia pauses a moment. "Naturally, Navegant wants to see as little death as possible result from all of this even if as a House we are not keen on the idea. We do realize that it is the most superficially alluring offer on the table and thus that it is possible we end up facing what is down that road." She takes a breath at Alarissa's declaration of price. "What would the plan be to handle the Thralls that were sentenced to that life for various crimes? Will we create some sort of prison system? We can't just let murderers and rapists and such run free. I've no problem helping place non-criminal thralls in better situations... Though I worry for their safety in general as well." She looks to Ajax and then to Victus to see what he has to say on that matter as well. When the Duke of Grimhall speaks she nods her head in agreement. "One year is very little time to accomodate."



Klaus shakes his head as he looks towards Ajax. "Help for the Compact yes, not necessarily help for Thrax. From what Prince Victus told us, this is a man who hates slavery to the very bones of his being. He would not lift a finger to aid those who in his eyes have been nothing more than slave masters, certainly not to the tune of what would amount to over one hunderd and fifty tons of silver, give or take a few grams or so."

Sanya nods at Klaus' statement. "I too suspect if his offer is accepted, our concerns will be largely disregarded once we're demonised as evil slavers."

"Brass /has/ offered his help. I admit that I do not fully understand what that entails as the man possesses powers beyond anything we've seen for hundreds of years." Victus clarifies as he raises a hand again. "From what I understand, the man is capable of producing weaponry more powerful than steel and diamondplate. Same as Cobalt had done, when we used their armaments to combat the Gyre. Along with that he possessed technology capable of replacing parts of himself with... machine." Here the High Lord grimaces. "It's all very new and untested. The only story we have of Brass' aid to go off of is one that ends in a failed revolt and incurring the wrath of one of our Gods. Wrath that has no subsided with his forgiveness, as I understand. Regardless, it's value is to be considered in the conversation. We do not have many beings who have lived for a thousand years that are willing to fight on our behalf."



Victus draws in a breath. "There does not exist a situation where I would side with Brass' option if we are not given aid from our allies. The other Great Houses, the Faith of the Pantheon, any others that would be willing to help. I have already received invitations to negotiate what aid could be offered, which I will update you all on when I am able. Suffice to say, /if/ this option is chosen, we would not stand alone. That much has been made clear to me." Though onto Valdemar's question, Victus suddenly gestures for Princess Sorrel at the back of the room. "I have my own advice, but I believe our most powerful argument comes from what Princess Sorrel has informed me of. Would you speak of the Archfiend of Ruin to the room, Princess?"

"Whatever aid is offered by the rest of the Compact will fall short. The scale of the problems will make what happened in Stormward seem like a breeze compared to a hurricane. The mainland houses do not have enough money to throw at the issues that accepting his offer would cause, even if they /are/ willing to part with some of it," Valdemar states, before growing quiet to listen to whatever explanation Princess Sorrel has of the Archfiend and how that might relate to this situation.

Doreen have been dismissed.

Sorrel steps forward to address the room. "The Archfiend of Ruin is bound by magical seals that keep it at bay. But certain actions, like the chaos caused by the Great Road, have eaten away at Civilization and strengthened the Dark Reflection. The seals are weakened now, and we don't know how much. Research is being done to look into this, but it takes time. Still, chaos caused by another freeing of the slaves as per Kennex would be damaging enough to Civilization that the Archfiend of Ruin might slip his bonds and become a real and present danger," she says seriously and loudly.

Ysbail winces at the name but says nothing aloud, remaining in quiet conversation with those at the table.

Jasher remains standing, still, and silent. His eyes are grave, and some of the colour had bled from his face.

Skye pales as Sorrel's story paints an even worse consequence if Thrax were to fall to bankruptcy and ruin from freeing the thralls. She drops her fan and murmurs a soft apology before picking it up.

Sanya's eyes widen at Sorrel's words, lips parting as she takes in the threat.

Arcelia nods her head in understanding of Victus' words. "A lot of people are going to be angry and a lot of people are going to be scared. As a fealty, no matter what the decision and who we side with... I would like us to get together and work through ideas for a sort of campaign to organize our thoughts and actions as a fealty. We might be able to buy many of our people to our side before chaos hits if we use our time and resources wisely." She looks to Valdemar. "Naturally, nothing will quite be enough. It will be more about mitigating losses, damage control, and recovery at that point. Something that I think as leadership we can work together on and forge a united front. We won't be able to afford our people thinking we are holding swords to our own throats." When Sorrel speaks she is silent again and listens, nodding her head. "That is a very real threat and it is good that it is brought to everyone's attention. All the more reason that if this road is chosen that we will need to work together to brace ourselves and hold the Archfiend back. Though, I admit, my knowledge on such is not as well rounded as yours seems to be."



Klaus takes in the information and listens to the other points present before responding. "Contingency scenarios do need to be discussed, and which ones to fall upon decided upon, but such a discussion might be for a later time, and one I would like to be a part of. I think today we might wish to focus on how to convince the four other high nobles not to decide upon Brass as their suggestion to the King, as well as means to influence the King himself.

'Contingency plans for each option, do need to be considered yes. Because in his grace has said, he is one fifth. So the Isles would ne to be prepared for any options to be chosen, as well as try to prepare ourselves for any options that may arise put forth by other fealties that are not already mentioned. Including, any that those in the isle might think of or propose in the meantime." Alarissa speaks up. "Thrax will be working with it's economic minister to look for ways to soothe it's own economic perils should Brass's offer be chosen, and how to mitigate damage as best it can."

Dame Tommelisa Thistlefur arrives, following Sparte.

"If Brass' offer is chosen, we will very likely be in no position to help the rest of the Compact against the coming of another Archfiend. We will either be bracing for rebellion, or in the midst of it, when that fight begins. And that conflict comes for them, it will impact their ability to help us mitigate the damage the choice does to us. It is for the best if the King and the rest of those helping him to make this decision understad that," Valdemar points out, his gaze shifting about the room, before going on to add, "Contingencies do need to be discussed, but there is not much time for diplomacy in the Isles before this decision must be made. Time is a luxury that the situation as a whole just does not afford us."

Ysbail taps fingers lightly against the table expression going paler with each speaker. Biting her lower lip as she continues to listen.

Victus nods solemnly. "As she says. We are coming closer and closer to unleashing an incredible monster on Arvum. A rebellion across the Isles might be the spark that sets it free. That I will not accept." He gestures toward Valdemar. "You are correct, Duke. There is no amount of aid that will prevent destruction and war. Brass' choice is a willing walk to a harsher future for all of our people. It is my prerogative to prepare for every eventuality however. I cannot turn away every advantage we could have if we are forced down one road. Though I will do everything in my power to prevent it." He moves back to his seat, running a hand down the armrest. "What I can suggest, beyond Sorrel's word, is that we combat the ignorance with what we know. Many will see 'end of slavery', 'fairer wages' and will be willing to abandon all talk of consequence for what they see as morally right. They do not understand how much death, how much destruction they could bring on their world if they do not think through their actions. Do as I am doing now. Inform the people. Tell them the truth of the cost. The truth of who they side with, so they might determine for themselves if Brass is someone worth supporting."



With a sigh, the Prince of Maelstrom sits back down. He nods to Arcelia. "I would encourage all in this room to start doing the same. We do not have the luxury of time, as Valdemar says. We will have to act as often as we are able. I believe with everything we know at current... My choice would lay with Ashe."

"There's also the possibility that we choose Ashe NOW, and slowly free the slaves over the period of fifty years, and THEN choose Brass," Sorrel points out seriously. "Things are changing in our lifetimes, but there's no reason we can't play the long game. And Brass is a powerful entity with a lot of patience, considering that he spent hundreds of years defying death. Let us negotiate deals with him on the side while we build up and learn to be mages ourselves. We don't know how long we have, but Brass does not want to see the world end, and neither does Platinum. They may not be good options as leaders, but they could make very useful allies in the long term."



Momentarily, Sorrel adds, "Ashe is a personal friend of mine and I would stake my reputation on her competency."

'Do you know that brass offered to sell himself to the Cardians if they would foot the bill for the release of Thralls Princess Sorrel?" Alarissa asks. "That he would supposedly, willingly, go to Cardia, place themselves in his hands, if they would pay the three billion and change?"

"Is money enough?" Sorrel wonders of Alarissa, looking slightly concerned at this idea. "The Kennex ex-thralls suffered. How do we keep these people from suffering?"

Nodding his head, Valdemar agrees with the Prince of Maelstrom and Princess Sorrel, "Ashe's option is the only one I've considered feasible from the start. It might well be the hardest of the choices, at least on the surface, but nothing worth having has ever been easy. Her way allows us to seek solutions that fit us as a people." After hearing that Brass offered to sell himself to the Cardians, he considers for a moment. "There are two problems with him doing so, your Highness. First, it would leave him unable to provide the aid to the Compact that he promised. And second, even if every thrall debt is actually paid for, we are likely to face civil war. Such conflict will be as much about the forced removal of our traditions as about the economic impact. That is not counting, of course, what happens with the freeing of the Archfiend. I get the feeling money won't do anything to keep it sealed away," he remarks in reply.

"It is not the time to discuss them in detail, I agree." Arcelia offers to Klaus. "More to know that we should be preparing to do as much. On an individual level our houses need to start doing what we can now to prepare for the worse. Needless to say... more time would be kinder to us but we will need to work with what we have and do so fast and united." She looks around at her betters, her peers, and those that may not have noble standing. "We seem to all have pieces of a greater puzzle. Perhaps now is the time to start sharing them with Thrax directly so they can trickle the information down the lines to everyone else. The more information we all have the better decisions we can make and the better information we can provide our peers outside of Thrax. Without ensuring this we risk passing on ignorance or looking a fool ourselves. If we are to sway the opinions of the rest of the Compact we will need to be well armed against their prejudices regarding the practice of Thralldom."



Arcelia pauses a moment and looks to Alarissa when she says that Brass is willing to sell himself to the Cardians. "That seems... twisted given their requirement on us is legality of slavery from Cardia." She pauses again though seeming to agree with everything being said. "Is Ashe then the vote that Thrax wishes to present? Or where do you and your house stand, Your Grace?"

"No. As I said the other night in the salon. Handing the money over does not solve the longer term. Of whether they will stay, whether they will go, if they go, how many. If they go, how do the jobs that they filled get carried out. Kennex already is dire need of farmers. It is too drastic a change, to contemplate. Not to mention." A nod to Valdemar. "And the faith would likely, if this were to be considered, most displeased. I am of the belief that this is an empty offer. In as much as the staggering of release for a year is an empty one as well."

"Maybe that is the problem. We're sending people this Brass regards as slave masters to treat. Maybe it would do us well to expose him to the thralls that have suffered from being freed overnight. If he truly claims compassion for them, it couldn't hurt to show him the consequences." Jan shrug. "At the very least we would present another side to the coin."

Sparte slips in late, attempting to find a place to sit and listen without disrupting anything.

Sparte has joined the Left Side benches.

Ysbail clears her throat after a time, nodding once it seems she is given the okay to speak. "I would tend to agree with the Princess on this point, but regardless if Ashe's option is chosen - the fiends must be dealt with and there are evidence enough in history of how bonds on others weaken when it is done improperly. Princess Sorrel, do you think that the research into Gild's reflection might yield an option such as what was used against the first Gyre? A binding rather than an attempt to slay the henchmen?"

Jasher's gaze turns to regard Ysbail. Sudden and sharp.

"Fifty years we my first offer to Brass." Victus states. "It was the first he rejected. He will not accept any offer that would not see every current thrall accounted for freed. I would not be opposed to further treating with the Brass Knight if his option is not to pass. But an abolition of thralldom on our own terms is an entirely different discussion." The Prince puts his hands together, fingers intertwined. "Money itself will only help so much. We would still require systems for these thralls to re-enter society. We would still see a mass emigration as freed thralls seek employment in other lands. We would need to account for over a million new faces, all of which being criminals, the majority being war-criminals that were once Shav'arvani."



To Jan, Victus looks a little more morose. "Respectfully Lady Kennex, Brass has already made peace with the idea that loyal citizens of Isles and the recently freed thralls would die by the thousands. I'm not sure that showing him that freedom may not be a better alternative for all would be worthwhile, given that their lives are already willing to be sacrificed."

Victus also adds to Arcelia, "Any decision is subject to change before the council meets. We all have our incomplete understanding, our ideals and our goals. But for this very moment and unless some significant information comes to sway me otherwise... Yes. Thrax will stand with Ashe."

"We're not mages," Sorrel says to Ysbail evenly but seriously. "We cannot make the sorts of prisons that are required for things like Heralds and Archfiends. We do not have the magic for it. And it would probably take quite a lot of human sacrifice to do such a thing, which we have largely decided is immoral save for what the Nox'alfar do in the Tiend. I mean, we do have the humans to sacrifice: the obvious answer to this would be to use those criminal thralls and take their lives for the greater good. But before we get in a debate about human sacrifice and the immorality of that, let me remind you again that we are not mages and do not have the magical tools required."

"Well, then I maintain that he is no hero at all. He's not willing to sacrifice them for any 'greater good', he's being sanctimonious." Sanya comments evenly with a shake of her head.

Ysbail goes a little green but nods, "I was - afraid that might be the answer." She shakes her head, "Which I think is why many of the other houses in the Compact see Brass' offer as the best choice - even when it would weaken us just as surely as the others." Falling silent, "And I would never suggest such a thing I assure you." Falling silent again merely to listen.

Jan nods, "Then perhaps we can make use of them in another way Your Highness. They could be used to rally others that are willing to listen to reason. Frankly, I'm not very up to date on things here, but I do know people prefer to listen to their own. If we can't get to Brass, perhaps we /can/ get to his supporters." With a glance about, "Brass has arranged all the pieces on the board already. Usually, that means an entirely new strategy, something unorthodox, is required to even the odds. I for one am under the assumption that magic is fueled by belief. If you remove those that continue to believe in him as an immortal savior, you might just rob him of enough of his strength to stop this madness before it infects us all."

"That stance pleases Navegant." Arcelia offers to Victus. "And we will stand by and support Thrax's vote for Ashe as it is also our preferred option. If the Compact would see thralldom abolished I would rather commit to The Compact a promise that we do so on our own terms then in a way that will see so much death and suffering for our people." She shakes her head. "I do not hide that as a Lycene born Lady I am not in support to the practice of Thralldom but I understand the implications of upturning our societies. It is unacceptable to Navegant that we willingly let this happen and further unacceptable to myself. If The Compact is to force our hand to rid Thrax lands of Thralldom I would rather make the promise directly to The Compact and be allowed to do it over a period of many years to mitigate those losses." Talk of human sacrifice gets Arcelia to adjust in her seat and crinkle her nose in distaste.



Klaus leans into Coraline a bit before responding. "My place in this House is for when banners are called. I stand by Prince Victus's decision, and make myself available to lend my expertese in any military contingencies which need to be decided upon. I will leave the spade work, as it were, of convincing other nobles to the Prince's thinking to those with the skills to be able to debate and sway opinion."

Skye notices other houses sounding off on their thoughts, and makes sure to add her own, "House Blackshore will support Thrax's plan to choose Ashe. We see no reason to even consider Brass, even with Blackshore running successfully thrall free. The impact to Thrax and its vassals is too much. What happened to Kennex would happen on a larger scale if forced too soon without proper preparation." After sharing her thoughts with the group, the baroness steps away, leaving the others to continue the discussion.

Skye has left the Back wall standing room.

Dahlia, a confident red and white corgi puppy, Winter, a juvenile Oakhaven bloodhound leave, following Skye.

Victus nods slowly. "Your loyalty is a great example of Navegant's honor. Thank you, Lady Arcelia. As I said earlier and so I will say again, I encourage all of you to spread what you've learned here to the rest of your vassalage. If you are questioned, answer truthfully. What we've discussed here is all we know of Brass' intent and the ruin it will bring." He looks toward Jasher. "The pun not intended." Then to the rest of the room. "Standing with Ashe, we stand to also determine our own future. There will be many that will oppose it. The Abyss, Cardia, Platinum, Eurus... All of them will still attempt to wring their influence around our necks. But we have not come as far as we have, we have not killed and died alongside our fellows and we have not survived this long to allow a foreign domain to chain us. The Compact's future is its people's to dictate. That choice should never fall into the hands of those beyond our borders." He raises a hand. "I cannot promise that all of this will come to fruition. My voice is one weighed equally by my peers. I will drive this initative forward as far as I can."



Raising up then, he plants his hands on the war table as he leans forward. "If any have words to other options, questions, or otherwise toward Thrax's stake in the coming choice, please speak them now. The topic of this meeting has been spent I feel. Other considerations such as Ruin and stances on thralldom going forward are their own beasts."

4 Thrax Guards arrives, following Galen.

Jan shakes her head. "Whatever is decided, my fealty to Thrax will be shown through the Kennex Corsairs." With that she falls back to silence. Allowing others a chance to speak.

"Thank you, your grace. This has been very informative and I'm glad we've had this opportunity to discuss our options." Sanya offers the high lord a kind smile. "I am in full support of the choice we've made and pray it comes to fruition."

"House Grimhall stands behind this decision, your Grace. If there is anything we can do to assist with convincing others, we will gladly do so," Valdemar tells the High Lord before going on to add, "As to other options, there was a possibility I had discussed with some people, but it would require more information and negotiation than we likely have time for before the Crown has to reender its decision. If they choose to accept Ashe's advice, then there might be time to see how viable that possibility really is."

Arcelia nods her head to Victus. "Your words are kind, Your Grace. Thank you." She listens to what he has to say at this time and nods her head to show she follows and agrees. "We will prepare ours as best we can, Your Grace." She looks to her assistant who has been quietly standing with her house guards and taking notes. The assistant nods his head before Arcelia looks over to the Grimhall Duke. "Let me know if there is anything that Navegant or I can do to assist you Duke Valdemar. As always, you have our aid if it is desired."

Though Scythia has been silent through the whole of the meeting, listening attentively of course, she rises at this point. She might not verbally offer anything on behalf of self or House Redreef, but there is that curtsy once more to the High lord and his Consort as well as any other members of the royal family that might be positioned there. A low and deep thing, held at length, with respect unquestionable.

The High Lord nods. Not smiling, but his expression is a little softer at least. "Very well then. My thanks to all of you for coming and listening. I hope it has been enlightening. I call us adjourned." Victus raises both hands and then claps them together. Finality.



Nothing actually happens, but, you can imagine it did. "Those who want more documentation on Brass' past, feel free to ask myself or my wife through the next week. We will be giving that out as freely as we are able. Be armed with the knowledge and remember well that we are still weeks out from a consensus being reached with the other Great Houses. Use that time wisely."



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