Telmar Fealty Meeting
Feb. 15, 2019, 8 p.m.
Arx - Ward of House Valardin - Telmar Tower - Great Hall
Comments and Log
It's the night that those in the Telmar Fealty are gathering to speak about the choices that lay before them. It's just a few more days or about a week until the Compact needs to answer their would be Overlords. So Tesha called a meeting. There are finger foods and drinks set out for those that are attending, the Telmar Minister doesn't seem to be in a good mood, or dealing with sleep, but she gives a smile as everyone enters, letting people settle before diving into conversation.
Ansel descends the staircase from the Tower's upper levels, the Valardin-turned Telmar at his side. He's wearing a simple, presentable set of leathers, sans his usual, more ornamental, armor. Guiding Isabeau over in the direction of the small tables with snacks, the Sword turns aside to greet his elder cousin. "Hello, Tesh. Anything else we can grab before we get started?"
The ring of bells announces a Rivenshari entering but instead of Athaur it's Eshra that steps in, her bright colored skirts having been set aside for scaled leather, dark hair tied at the nape of her neck which doesn't silence the bells but muffles them greatly. "Good evening." the woman's dark whiskey warm tones fill the room without effort. "Athaur sends his regrets. He is traveling and should be back soon." in truth, there was a lot of traveling that had been happening with the Rivenshari. If one was to step into the Expanse they would find the familar sounds of children missing.
There is a Blackram present, but rather than Gaston it is Teagan. The Voice has been handling a great many of the Cloudspine's matters of late as the more martial of the family members have likely been out Dealing With Things. The tall, dark-haired woman looks tired, but her features remain smooth and distant as she finds her place within the hall. She wastes no time in securing herself a drink before making her way towards a seat.
The newest addition to House Telmar, the former Valardin princess now known as Lady Isabeau, parts from her husband for the sake of snacks, though what she seems most interested in is something cool to drink. The swelter of the summer heat might have her all dewy and aglow, but it's also making her mildly miserable. Still, she smiles for Tesha's sake, brandishing a silk fan from somewhere not far over Ansel's shoulder. Upon Eshra's explanation, Isabeau offers gently, "May the gods guide him safely back to the city."
Dame Rosario Nevarre of the Oathlands, Anouk Ardennes, Anais Ardennes arrive, following Sophie.
Tesha gives a smile to her cousin and his wife as they enter and there's a dip of her head to Ansel, "No, I think we've got everything in order." she tells him. There's a look around to the gathered and she stands from her seat, "Who here is not familiar with the proposed offers from Cardia and the others that have come to the Compact?" she asks. "I'd like to know before we get started so no one is confused." she admits. "And I'm sad not to see the Count, but you are always a good person to see Lady Eshra." she smiles to her.
"You seem to always do, cousin," comes Ansel's reply to the elder Telmar. Abandoned by his bride in favor of snack food, he meanders on over to occupy a nearby chair, pulled free from the massive oaken table that centerpieces the Great Hall. From his new position, the Sword gives Sophie's arrival a friendly, pleasant smile in greeting, though his attention returns to Tesha, a nod given.
Eshra settles into her seat after a nod to the others that have entered. No smile, least not on her lips but then there seldom is, but if one was to glance into the dark eyes, there is a wealth of mirth there and a short snort. "I would appreciate it if you let Athaur know that, Lady Tesha. He might have different oppinions when I present him with a list of potential wives on his return." settled back into her chair. "I wouldn't mind a refresher, no indebt just a who offers what again."
Sophie arrives, and sure she's not part of the Telmar fealty line, but two of her three favorite people are bound to be here, so here she is. She smiles and slips inside, her eyes scanning the room quickly for her sister and her brother in law. When she sees Isabeau she makes her way toward her, her eyes briefly moving to the front of the room where Tesha speaks. She gives Tesha a respectful nod, and she smiles before slipping up behind Isabeau.
Isabeau lingers for some time, looming with all of her lacking stature over the lovely spread of finger-foods as if attempting to determine which she might want to sample. One of each? Two of each? Hm. What begins as the former turns into the latter, but the blonde tears herself away before her small plate might be layered with thirds. Subsequently, she spots Sophie and says with some slight surprise, "Oh!" This melts into a warm laugh, which in turn is hurried hushed as she drops down into a more murmured tone to converse with her sister, "Come, find a seat! Let's not interrupt." It won't be until after Isabeau has found somewhere to sit that she'll realize she's forgotten to fetch herself anything to drink.
Sophie nods her head toward Isabeau, following her back over to sit down, sinking into the chair next to her. She gives Ansel a warm smile and leans back to listen. She leans in to whisper something to Isabeau, before rising and going back to the refreshment table to fetch two drinks - juice of course, and when she returns to her seat she offers one glass to her sister and tilts her head to watch Tesha as she prepares to summarize the offers.
Tesha gives a nod to Eshra and there's a smile, "I'll try to get that sussed out as well. I'm going to explain it how I think it's best for all of us to hear. If there's any problems. Let me know." she states. There's a soft nod of greeting to Sophie when she sees her, "Your Highness, welcome." she smiles.
Then she takes a breath, "If the offer from the Platinum Empire is accepted, then people with magical abilities are going to be taken. Anyone who displays magical talent will either have to go into hiding and operate in secret, avoiding Platinum's enforcers, or else will be taken to Jadairal and put under Writ to ensure they cannot abuse the Art." she tells them.
"If the offer from Cardia is accepted, then new wealth and resources flood into the Compact; the prices of high-end materials will drop considerably. However, the current rulers must all give up their positions -- no more High Lords, no more King -- and submit to Cardian rule under a Governor they will appoint. Further, Cardian law will apply, which most notably means that slavery /will/ be legalized in Arvum once more, and that the Faith of the Pantheon will be disarmed, losing all political power and relevance." she states the second offer.
Then there's a look to the others as she stops to get a breath, "If the offer from Brass is accepted, Thrax will have to do away with thralldom, taking a huge economic hit, and all fealties will take a smaller one because of the ex-slave Metallic's insistance on better pay for serfs as one of his terms. Cardia will also be angered by the Compact's alliance with someone they consider a criminal; trade between Arvum and Cardia will end, causing the costs of high-end materials to sky rocket. However, Brass will provide training for crafters to create weapons and tools to use against the threats that the Compact faces, and may step in to provide other aid. Nothing else about the governance of the Compact will change." she tells them.
"And last, but not least, we have Ashe. Who I think a lot of people are behind." she admits to them, "Ff Ashe's suggestion is heeded, then things continue apace; Arvum remains free and independent, the current rulers retain their positions, and very little changes. However, neither does the Compact have any outside aid against the various threats out there." she states "Ashe's offer was basically to continue as if nothing was going on. Just us keeping to the normal." she adds.
Ansel gives an affirmative nod to Tesha's words as his cousin gives an admirable attempt at summarizing the breadth of the offers posed to the Compact. "The decision is approaching, and with Thrax expected to oppose Brass' offer, vehemently, I'd expect Ashe's to be the one taken, unless something dramatic changes before that time," he punctuates.
Eshra tilts her head a bit, eyes narrowing before she nods. "Something that Athaur had asked me and I wasn't able to give him an appropriate answer. What does the Platinum Empire consider magical? Inherently able to hear the whispers of the Spirits? Down and dirty spell craft? All the above?"
"I would like to note, briefly, that -if- the offer of aid from Brass is entertained, it will not only be Prince Victus and House Thrax who will have to shoulder the burden of thralldom's end, it will be each and every one of us, in every House, Great or otherwise, title or none," Lady Isabeau offers from where she sits, otherwise sharing snacks and quiet commentary with Sophie. "...I would encourage every House to consider how much silver and land they might be able to afford to offer as a means of absorbing these disenfranchised peoples, lest they find better welcome beyond the Compact's borders..." As for Eshra's questions, well, those find the former princess falling silent once more.
"Considering that Brass admitted, directly, in the Assembly, to attempting to sacrifice the King's son... I would consider him a criminal myself." Teagan's words come simply, in an almost flat tone of voice. "One must also consider the cost of crafters who receive this training. It's not as if they would provide what they make for free once they know how to do it. And how long would it take Brass to teach them? Would -he- give the training free or would he charge exorbitant prices to any who seek him out? And they, in turn, would -- understandably, mind -- charge high prices because the cost of materials and their skill would have sky rocketed. Everyone, across Arvum, would become woefully poor. We would not even be able to afford these tools to use... and then he -might- step in to offer other aid." She all but scoffs as she looks to the drink she's taken up. "I think Brass is signing our way into not just poverty, but death." She glances up, once more, as Isabeau speaks and lifts her cup to the Princess' (or former) words: "This, too. Can we afford not only the cost in living to our serfs, but to all the others we must take on? To the rise in material prices. To the rise in -everything-? And then to wage a war with those prices. Commoners are more than happy to entertain this because they are not the ones who have to consider this. They just stand with open hands."
Tesha gives a look to Ansel and there's a bit of a nod to him, "It might be their choice, yes." she states. "But what do we want?" she asks them. "What would our choice be?" she adds the question. She then looks to Eshra, "I think it's safe to assume all of the above for now. Just in case. But I'm guessing they mean people like Princess Sorrel and others that can cast or work magical spells." she frowns. "Personal preference is not to choose the Platinum Empire due to things." she shakes her head. Then there's a look to Isabeau as she speaks and there's a nod of agreement, "As Lady Isabeau said, we'd have to take on a great deal financially as well." she admits. Then she gives a look to Teagan as she speaks and there's a bit of a nod, "Brass did state that, yes." she states. "Honestly, none of the offers from foreign soil are good. So I expect that most will back Ashe, but again, it's good to know where others stand." she states to them.
Again, Ansel nods agreement. "There's elements of distaste to pretty much every choice offered," he states. "The easiest to swallow is doing nothing and rolling the dice, as it were," he suggests, rolling a shoulder in a shrug. He drums his fingers on the tabletop surface for a few moments. "Tesha is right, though. I think Ashe's choice will be the one accepted, in the end."
"It is also my understanding from Count Navegant that it is likely that if Victus did not oppose Brass, that the elder more traditional houses are likely to revolt. Which addes Thrax in a civil war to an already unstable mix. It is very possible at the end of such that High Lord Victus does not find himself in control." sitting back into her seat. "So if Ashe is the choice, that gives us what? Three, four enemies? What honestly is the likelihood if us standing our own?"
Sophie's quiet as she listens, sipping her juice, and stopping every once in a while to whisper something to Isabeau, but staying silent for the most part. When Ansel and Isabeau speak she listens, and when Tesha speaks she listens to that too. She folds her hands in her lap neatly.
Isabeau makes a quiet noise that might be a subtle, tongue-clicking 'tut' or else she may have some bit of food awkwardly stuck to the roof of her mouth. After a moment, she speaks up to say, "If the King accepts Ashe's offer, we will have neither more nor less enemies than we have now... Platinum and Cardia, as well as the Dune Kingdoms, have always been waging their shadow wars within our borders, so that is unlikely to change. The only choices guaranteed to bring us immediately into war, are to side either with Platinum... or with Cardia... and, conversely, against the other." After a beat, the blonde noblewoman notes, "I think it's fair safe to say that our wise King will not plainly put his people in peril, no matter what false promises of protection they might try to offer."
"Personally, I would recommend Cardia," Teagan says once she is settled. "I know it is not the most... tasteful choice to some, but..." She sets her drink down and crosses one leg over the other, hands folding in her lap. "There is the fact that we need not join them wholly. We can take them on as an ally. Still accept some of the aid, the lower cost of materials. Yes, the High Lords would have to step down, but..." She looks around the room, "It would have no affect on us. We would still manage our lands, but we would do so -more easily- and with a greater aid in what lies ahead. I fear for the loss of life in what we will face. I do not wish to rely upon pride alone. Is it the likely option for the other fealties? Perhaps not, but it is the one I would vote for were it my choice." She looks down to her lap and takes a deep breath. "Something that was brought to my attention by someone I trust... where are our Nox'Alfar and Marin'Alfar allies in this? Why have they offered nothing? No alternatives? No voice of support? This is another part of why I feel perhaps we should reach outside our borders rather than looking only inward. It is not a weakness to ask for help. It is, however, a folly to be too stubborn to admit when you need it." She looks to Isabeau, then away. "No, something is coming. That much is true. The Lodge showed us this. Some of us have seen it. Others felt it. We can't deny portents like a castle suddenly appearing from one day to the next outside of the city. I would rather not be left relying on a single woman who claimed, suddenly, in the midst of Assembly... that she can be of aid. She could be anyone. She could be lying. She could abandon us. She could mislead us. She could crumble under the pressure. We are, in short, doing exactly as it is said: going forth as if nothing is changing, nothing is happening, when we -know- something lies ahead."
Sophie stays silent, after all, it's not her place to speak up in this meeting, but the look she gives Teagan is one of disbelief - utter and complete disbelief. Sophie then looks toward Isabeau and then Ansel. She leans in to murmur something quietly to Isabeau.
Tesha settles back into her seat and takes a sip of her whiskey as she listens to the others. "So what I'm hearing is that we all think Ashe is the best option?" she asks them. "I just want to make sure that we're all on the same page. No choice is perfect, but we're approaching the time quickly." she nods to this. The Teagan speaks and there's a bit of a blink, "Given Cardia has kidnapped the Kings son and is holding him, I don't think that Cardia is a good choice. Not to mention what they might do. There's so many Cardian rules that would have to be learned and I fear that not knowing them going in that we'd loose a lot of people to unecessary deaths via execution because they angered the Skylords." she states.
"Cardia... was responsible for the Tragedy at Sanctum," Isabeau replies flatly, cobalt blue eyes now fixed and focused entirely on Teagan. The look that the former princess offers is not an inteimidating one, especially for someone born of House Blackram, but it is... pointed. To say the least.
Eshra stands, moving towards the table. Food is ignored, its the rum that she wants. Assuming it's there. A glass poured, then sipped with her back still to the others before she sets it down and simply stares ahead. When her voice comes, it's dark and thick with the liquor and an astounding amount of emotion. "I can not say that I have an answer on choices. But I have a caution to express. Be careful of thinking that one can stand alone. I realize this is not the same as my clan standing against Brand, the scale... but it is the same.. feel. The same pride that says one knows there is something a head but refuses to believe that it can be worse than offers made to help." another sip of her rum and deeper breath. "In the end.. a quarter of our people still lived, all plagued with memories and nightmares that make us envy the dead." There is a tell tale dash of a hand against her cheek, the soft ringing of the bells she wears before shoulders straighten again and the Rivenshari turns to face them. "I can not say that there is a right choice or even a not bad one. I just caution. Do not let pride be the deciding factor."
The Blackram Voice just remains as is for a moment. At least until she reaches out to pick up her drink. "The story is that Brass was intent on killing the child and Cardia saved him and placed him with a family for safe-keeping. While they should have returned him, yes, I would call what Brass did more the kidnapping than Cardia's actions. As for the skylords and Sanctum..." Teagan's brows furrow as she looks down at her wine. "I... believe the skylords as a whole are not terrible. I think the concern is one of them. And just as we would not wish to have all of our people judged on the actions of one terrible soul and his or her followers, I cannot do the same. I will not do the same. Nor will I become the same."
Ansel's attention slides over to Isabeau and Sophie a moment, as the back-and-forth goes between them and the Blackram. "I don't think anyone is suggesting we forget what happened at Sanctum. I'm sure the Thrax find Brass' offer just as distasteful as the Valardin find Cardia's, both for valid reasons of their own," he inputs, quietly, even as his focus remains over on Isabeau and Sophie. "I am certain that Prince Edain, and the King, would be very mindful of such things when the time comes."
1 Blackram novice guards have been dismissed.
Tesha gives a smile to all of them, "The good thing is, we aren't going to turn on each other over differences of opinions." she tells them all. "I want to thank you all for speaking so candidly and for letting your opinion to be known." she states. "I have an errand that I need to run, so I'm going to step out. If you would like to continue speaking and things, feel free to do that." she states.
Isabeau is overheard praising Tesha: A resolute voice of reason.
Eshra looks at them all for a moment. "Just know, that in the end, the help the Rivenshari refused, the freedoms we thought we would give up. Is the same that we came to in order to survive what happened to us. Perhaps..." she shakes her head again, the ringing louder and the last of her rum bolted. "I have another meeting. If it kills me I am getting Athaur married before the snows fall again." seting the glass down and bowing her head to them. "Lady Tesha, thank you. Lord Ansel. Ladies." the last given to the other three. As has been promised and will be upheld. Rivenshari is your's to command. We will of course be at your side no matter what choice is made." to which she turns and in a ring of bells strides from the room.
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