March 17, 2019, 3 p.m.
Arx - Ward of House Redrain - Acheron Domain - Great Hall
Comments and Log
Johannes, A tall and red cloaked gentleman arrives, following Martino.
Maxene, the steadfast ladies maid, Elegance, a Velenosian Greyhound, Pellinor, 4 Thrax Guards, Honey Snuggle, a Velenosian Angora cat arrive, following Alarissa.
The staunch figure of Prince Arman Velenosa stepped into the Great Hall of House Acheron with his guard following closely behind. Despite the statesman's poised presence, the elder made motion to find a more unobtrusive location to observe the pending discussion and so found a place along the outer wall near one of the large hearths.
Arman has joined the by the bear claw hearth.
Stepping smooth in from the door, the Lord Martino Malvici arrives. A tuck of his left arm beneath his torso follows as he bows low to the hosts and to Prince Arman, "A good morning." After, the Lord Martino steps across to one of the large hearths, murmuring low to check with Prince Arman, "Might if I sit beside for this, your Highness?"
Seymour is a quiet attendee for this gathering. He finds his way to a comfortable seat, taking a moment to settle before looking to the other attendees coming in.
Ouida enters quietly, pulling off her gloves and tucking them into her belt. Without much fanfare, she settles into a seat, her expression one of gentle and pleasant serenity.
Arman gave a minor incline of his head to Martino upon his bow and approach, replying in a similar quiet to the man's request. "Please do, Lord Martino." The older statesman carefully lowered himself to a seat, untucking a ledger from beneath his arm to rest instead in his lap.
Martino has joined the by the bear claw hearth.
Grazia glides in with regal bearing, considering the gathering for a moment before silently finding herself somewhere to sit. She nods politely to Seymour when she notices him, as well.
Alarissa isn't far behind the others entering, leaving retinue outside save for the necessary two. No animals with her in the least. A restless night means lines that take up residence in the corner of her eyes are a little more pronounced this day and cosmetics barely cover tiredness. Her arm in Maxene's, she pauses at the threshold to see where to consider sitting.
Grazia has joined the by the bear claw hearth.
Seymour has joined the by the bear claw hearth.
Kaia, the guard, Krissa, the golden, long-haired cat arrive, following Radhilde.
Martino tucks himself down, a smooth brush of his hands over the cassock as he folds it underneath. His sharp green eyes gaze across the room, a low dip of his chin as each arrives as he checks low on Arman, "My thanks, your Highness... how might you be?"
As people begin to gather for the trade summit which was Kenna's idea, Umbroise is here, offering warm smiles and niceties to ensure that everyone feels welcome. To each who enters, she offers a warm smile, a curtsy, and a few words in exchange. "Please, everyone make yourselves comfortable," she says warmly, ushering people in at the door, while Kenna may still be busy in preparations. "Welcome, be welcome." She peers toward the doors for a moment, looking around for Kenna, then she's all smiles again.
Alarissa has joined the by the bear claw hearth.
Ouida has joined the by the bear claw hearth.
Radhilde hustles inside, just a touch late or maybe she's on time for all anyone knows. She slows her hustle and saunters over to Umbroise, a smile breaking out as she takes a place beside her sister and scans the gathering crowd as she speaks low, "Hello sister."
On the tail of the Princess Consort of the Mourning Isles is a representative of House Champagne, sweeping into the great hall in a ripple of elegantly layered seasilks and tastefully adorned gems. Yasmine comes to a gentle halt at Alarissa's opposite side, a gentle touch at her elbow to draw her attention. "Your Highness, you look as radiant as ever," she pays a generous compliment to her friend before turning to find a place for herself to settle comfortably while more people arrive.
Yasmine has joined the by the bear claw hearth.
Alarissa looks to yasmine and smiles. "Mistress Champagne. Please, join us." A kiss pressed ot her cheek and rolling her eyes. "I look ungainly, large and tired. But your words are sweet, so sweet."
Martino turns his head, his gaze greeting the others around the hearth as he nods low. His hands folding over his chest as he replies with an easy tone to his voice for Arman, "I am pleased to hear, Prince Arman... and I am very well." He turns his head back to ask, "Did you attend the reception later?"
Dressed in a lovely gown of ruby red seasilk, Umbroise lingers near the door as House Acheron's Voice and official representative for the moment until Kenna arrives. She offers a warm smile to Radhild, giving her a warm embrace and a peck to the cheek. "Radhilde, you're looking beautiful today," she says in a voice like rich honey. She leans in to murmur something to Radhilde, then glances around again, all smiles. The two dark ladies are an elegant pair, elder sister and younger, charming and gracious. There is a variety of food available - roast boar and quail, fresh vegetables recently harvested, warm breads and decadent desserts - for those who wish, and a Northern girl sits in a corner with a harp to play some Northern melodies that are native to the region of Aviaron's Peak, or occasionally she might sing with lovely voice. Meanwhile, servants move about the room, offering drinks to those who have come to gather.
Martino directs his green eyes across now to the centre, for the hosts, as he converses politely hushed with the Prince, "Ah quite fortunate, I did wish I could have made it there." Turning his head back to Arman as he laughs a low chuckles, "Oh I imagine so... my brother can be quite competitive. How was the wine?"
"And you, sister, as gracious as always." Radhilde says with a huskiness to her voice and a warm smile to Umbroise as she returns a peck to her cheek then eyes yhe elder woman's dress before turning her ear to catch the lowered words, her head nodding once before her dark eyes take in this gathered already then looks to the doorway as if expecting another to show up.
Martino laughs a low reply to the Arman, a telling and knowing curl of his lips follows as he glances back. His chin dipping, "Mmm... after, we should truly your Highness, open one ourselves." He lifts his chin to attention from the introdution from Alarissa, turning his head to smile broad to the Duchess as he lifts up, "Ah, Duchess Grazia Rubino. Truly a pleasure to meet you..." He rolls forth his left hand to her own hand as he adds, "Might I? And I am Lord Martino Malvici."
Balian, a Templar squire, Guy, a hunting kestrel, 1 Templar Knight guards arrive, following Preston.
Nikias makes his way into the Great Hall hands tucked behind his back as he looks around making his way off to one side to just observe for now.
Nikias has joined the by the bear claw hearth.
Frost, a Maelstrom Forest Cat arrives, following Lore.
2 Rivenshari Clansman, Timbo, agile and cheeky rivenshari youth arrive, following Eshra.
Lore has joined the by the bear claw hearth.
Martino brings himself back down beside Arman as he instantly confirms with him, "Another time this week. We truly must... I shall have my assistant hand across a message for you if you would like, your Highness." He smiles with a dip of his chin to Nikias as he joins beside, "Ah good day."
Eshra has joined the by the bear claw hearth.
After a time, Umbroise gives Radhilde's hand a gentle squeeze, and then she makes her way toward the hearth where their guests have chosen to settle. "Good afternoon," she says. "I am Lady Umbroise Acheron, and this is my younger sister, Lady Radhilde. I am afraid our hostessis running a little late," she says, "but I wanted to welcome you all to this trade summit. To give you a little background on what we are doing here today," she goes on to say, "we wished to introduce our plans to build a great marketplace in Aviaron's Peak. The reasons for this marketplace are not solely profit-driven. It will be a marvel of Civilization, with a grand purpose - to foster relations with the Compact as a whole, for a stronger Compact. We have been working with the Faith to establish a foothold in Aviaron's Peak for the Knights of Solace there as well as a part of this project, and Whisper House will have a chapterhouse there as well. We hope that each of you may consider being a part of it," she says, "because the safety of the Compact as we know it depends upon it."
She glances around, black sapphire eyes glittering from behind the widow's veil of black lace that she wears. "A portion of the profit from this marketplace will be tithed to the Faith of the Pantheon. For the rest, well... that depends solely upon its success. Please, for now, make yourselves comfortable, enjoy the refreshments and the music, and if you have any questions about the project, please feel free to let us - Radhilde and I - know. We will do our best to answer. Most of all, this summit is meant to aid in fostering trade relations throughout the Compact, whether those relations are with Aviaron's Peak, or between yourselves, but we hope that you will join us in building stronger ties through trade and commerce." She bows her head, and then she moves to take a seat as well, giving Radhilde a little curl of her lips in a brief smile, before settling in with a delicate smoothing of ruby red seasilk.
Umbroise has joined the by the bear claw hearth.
"I must ask, not knowing the territory particularly well: is there port access? Otherwise, shall you be relying on the Great Road to transport goods? I would be quite interested in providing stone and stonemasons towards such a project, but rocks are heavy, and what I recommend to my architects depends greatly on how easy it is for things to be moved," Grazia notes, looking up from her conversation almost lazily.
Soft chime of dozens of bells herald the coming of the Rivenshari seconds before Eshra, in her wild bell woven curls, swirls of multi-colored silks and red leather boots steps into the room. Dark eyes taking in the hall with open curiousity before she turns her attention towards the gathered knot of people by the hearth and slowly crosses towards then.
Radhilde gives Umbroise's hand a warm squeeze and watches her go closer to the guests to present. She lingers back just a touch to listen and observe, her smile soft and her gaze proud as she watches her elder sister. When Umbroise moves to take a seat, her feet follow then and she adjusts her skirts to spread as she lowers to sit beside Umbroise.
Radhilde has joined the by the bear claw hearth.
Balian, a Templar squire, Guy, a hunting kestrel, 1 Templar Knight guards leave, following Preston.
Lore enters the great hall, glancing around before moving towards the hearth where everyone seems to have gathered. She dips a curtsy towards Arman before offering a nod towards Alarissa and a smile towards Yasmine. Finding herself a seat, she settles in and sets her rucksack on the floor at her feet. She listens to the introduction and gives a small nod towards Grazia's question, clearly mirroring it herself.
Ouida falls silent as the hostess begins to speak, her attention fully on Umbroise. She considers quietly, though nods once as if of similar mind of inquiry, as Grazia offers her question. "Harthall too would seek to know the trade routes, especially by sea. As there has been some uptick in privateer and piracy in certain areas, that we have shared with those concerned," she adds, gently.
Martino holds his gaze, his attention upon the centre and the hosts as they speak of their projects and plans. The Malvici Lord's lips curl at the discussion of trade, of sea routes and potential before nodding in agreement with the Duchess Grazia's questions.
Cadern ducks his way into the room shifting under his cloak a little as he searches for an area. Cadern draws off to the side to find a bit of wall to prop up rather than joining the hearthside. He smiles as he considers the various different visitors his head tilting to the side as he considers each thoughtfully.
"How precisely does the safety of the compact depend upon this marketplace?" Alarissa asks, frowning. "It seems very odd that it would depend upon a marketplace."
"There are two rives that end near the mountain range.. the Rivenshari can move supplies that far, we sail the rivers as easily as the Thrax do the seas." Eshra's voice is dark and warm and the last part if given as a nod towards Alarissa. "However others would need to transport from river up into the mountains."
Arman nodded in concurrence with Alarissa's question, indicating he shared similar curiosity.
"That is a rather ambitious statement," Yasmine observes, chiming in similar sentiment of Alarissa's question. "And how does this marketplace encased within Archeron-owned lands necessarily lead to the mutual benefit of the rest of the Compact, rather than an assorted collection of Houses who may be investing in it's foundation?"
"Have you already gained the agreement of all the Houses whose land the rivers pass through? The seas have the advantage of being open waters, belonging to no one. The river belongs to many," Lore enters her own question before adding, "and there are three rivers that end near Aviaron's Peak."
"By... a marketplace?" Alarissa looks somewhat confused.
"I agree that the more common markets that we have across the territories, the more potential there is for strong ties that do not break easily," Ouida opines to Alarissa. "Disruption of profit can be a powerful motivator for some lords or ladies to not act immediately to every offense. So in that, I could see the point. But my concern would be whether there is the will for swift and good communication when there are problems--because disrupting that trade is also a good way to attempt to provoke, by third parties, or to target others." Her eyes rest on Umbroise. "If there is danger within the mountains, my lady, may I ask why bringing more and more people of various desires and motivations closer to it would be one that is good?"
Martino curls his lips to draw in Nikias further, "Mmm... it would seem that this is quite the start of a further plan being developed." He leans back into his seat as he awaits the answers to various other questions for putting forth his own.
Yasmine paces herself through gentle sips of her wine, ruminating over Umbroise's presentation thus far before deigning to speak again. "It sounds to me that, in a nutshell, you're wishing to attempt a river-based version of the Great Roads, my lady. A network of ports connected by a litany of trade agreements for a common cause running along the major river systems stemming from Archeron and through the rest of the Compact has an opportunity to evoke the same problems currently plaguing the rest of us. Or do I interpret your intentions wrong?"
Princess Sally Acorn, an acorn toting red squirrel, Princess Muffin, the fluffiest white mountain dog arrive, following Kenna.
Eshra's dark eyes flicker to Lore, head bowing a little. "There are three, but to come up through stonehearth and follow the river would be to have to transport suppilies over the ranger. Stonedeep also is further to travel on land. Coming through Farhaven would be the most logical. It is closer, less mountains to cross to Aviaron's Peak. Also, it has the benefit to come through Riva and Telmar, so permissions are not an issue unless Farhaven has objections."
The questions about the specific dangers are notably avoided, but Umbroise focuses her attention on Alarissa. "It is not simply a marketplace," she says in answer. "There will be other works involved, which the Faith will be involved in, in conjunction with the Marketplace. What it comes down to is balancing civilization with its opposite, and in so doing, maintaining a certain balance. This marketplace will be dedicated to Gild." To Ouida, Umbroise dips her head in acknowledgement of the question. "I understand your concerns. Basically, the marketplace is to act as a Seal on what lives beneath the mountains," she says quietly. She glance toward Yasmine then as she speaks, and she shakes her head slightly. "Honestly, we do not have any plans to create another Great Road incident. But then, when the Great Road created so much havoc, none were expecting the damage it caused. Would it not behoove us then to learn from those mistakes, and in the making of this project, try to avoid them?" She lifts her shoulder. "That doesn't mean that we shouldn't do it. We should just be more aware of the dangers that can come from such a sweeping project."
Arman had fallen to quiet, allowing his side conversations to drift to the wayside as the gathering proceeded on topic. Mentions within the circle of individuals he sat garnered their own acknowledgments by subtle fluctuations of his brow or brief nods. Eventually he let his voice be known, "It sounds as if the topic of 'things buried in deep places' is a matter of discussion between House Acheron and the Faith. Let us stay focused on the purpose of this summit to encourage trade under the premise it has no bearing on the "safety of the Compact," but instead start with the Compact's prosperity and how we may protect /that/ element that is indeed a responsibility of all its Houses great or otherwise." He nodded then toward Yasmine's request for clarification, conceding in a return to silence though he did lean a murmur toward Lore and then Alarissa soon after.
"If you will forgive me, I am a soldier first," Ouida says quietly. "But when there is a great threat that should be buried and contained, it does not seem meet that one should set up a wider and larger source of people coming into and out of the area, where stragglers and strays will be more understandable. But perhaps I misunderstand, my lady. Can you help me see? Will this marketplace, for Acheron, perhaps mean there will be a different source of income for her people, and perhaps draw them away from the dangerous areas, so that they might be better contained away from the population, and make those who would seek to interfere with that more visible? If so, that would seem to me to be a noble strategy, at least in intent. Has Acheron spoken with the Silver Consortium for advice and support as well? It may be some of those within it would have good and tested advice to consider as well." Her brow knits at the mention of using a marketplace as a seal, and she shakes her head. "I do not think I understand how this would not endanger even more people. But I am not a scholar of such things." Her tone is kind, but her words are blunt.
Kenna is overheard praising Umbroise.
Michael is overheard praising Umbroise.
Martino dips his chin firm, a low murmur follows to Arman, "Well said, your Highness. It seems we have drifted to matters of security and details, rather than over true trade." With a gradual mull he lifts himself forth a moment, to incline his head towards the host, "If we are dealing with increasing the prosperity of the Compact... our self resiliance and mutally beneficial trade. Then, you will most likely have me as one of the first stepping forth to lend their support."
Eshra falls quiet, tilting her head a little to study Umbroise.. then her dark voice is heard again it is rather void of emotion. "You say that this is to seal something into the dark areas under the mountians? And that is the job of the Faith being involved. But that the market if vital... may I ask, is the populace of the market being used to.... fuel the ... enc.... " clears her throat. "seal?"
Umbroise looks to Arman, and inclines her head slightly. "Regardless of the purpose, I believe it is within the best interests of the Compact to see what we might do to foster trade, and encourage stronger relations," she agrees quietly. "Much chaos and upheaval has been caused by the Great Road, and House Acheron has not been immune to that upheaval. However," she says, glancing to Ouida, then, "I don't believe that it would be in anyone's best interest to speak of these things without knowing of the potential dangers. While I cannot speak fully on the details, I wanted you to know that there is some risk involved. So I am being fully transparent, as much as I can, so that those present will know of the benefits, and the risks. Nothing we do that is worthy is without risk," she says, with a slight shake of her head, "and especially when it comes to commerce. We have to weigh whether the potential risk is worth the potential reward." She seems thoughtful then at a certain point in Ouida's line of questioning, then she says, "We have not spoken with the Silver Consortium yet, but it would be a welcome conversation. This summit," she goes on to say, "is largely to allow all those interested in fostering better trade relations to pool our resources. It is not solely about our marketplace. We would like to know, too, what projects you all have in the works, that we might in turn lend our own aid, if desired." She glances to Eshra then, furrowing her brow a bit at that question, and then she shakes her head. "Absolutely not. That is, quite frankly, and absurd notion."
"Pardon, you want... to have a marketplace that serves as holy ground to seal away something so profoundly terrible that it is a dire threat to the compact. Sealing requires acts of magic so great that we have long lost that skill and until Primium is cleansed, is beyond our reach. Materials that we may not even have and usually, enormous sacrifice. Profound, sacrifice. I know first hand. I partook in such a thing for the betterment of the compact. Btu to place a marketplace on top of something that is -that- dire? Place people, families, individuals from all walks right where..." There's a glance to Arman, then Oiuda then back. "Unfortunately, Prince Arman, they tie the one, to the other, so to separate the one, from the other would be hard to do. It sounds more like they wish to create the empyrean, but on the riverways and then connect to the great road. And I sincerely doubt that we have the capabilities to ensure a seal of that nature. The last seal that was created -sacrificed- a great city beneath the waters and they still fight to this day now that what was there has been removed, to reclaim their home and will be fighting for centuries to do so. I would call that an inordinate amount of risk. Perhaps far too much in my eyes."
Eshra arches a brow a the answer, bowing her head with a soft chiming of her bells. "Of course, my lady." though the tone is dry and doesn't sound at all convinced. Then as the Princess speaks up, there is a slight arch to the Rivenshari's brow as she glances back towards Umbroise and awaits the answer.
"I disagree," Ouida says mildly to Martino and Arman. "If security and safety are not continued we will see further disruptions in trade. The Great Road issues have already spilled over to the the sea routes, as Harthall has attempted resolve with our neighbors. We have a vested interest in increasing and strengthening trade, and have proven our mettle in doing so. We have responded respectfully to issues when they arise--even when other parties have not responded in a timely or like manner. Such is the cost of trade. We have assisted in helping other domains with their endeavors to grow their trade, and we are interested in doing the same here--but it is not unseemly that we would seek to inquire about security and responses to issues, or there to be a good record of such things being handled. We have asked the same of every project that we have invested in--as have others who have invested in our own."
Kenna absolutely had a wonderful reason for not being here, and it's shown in the developing black eye upon her face. There is also signs of hurried cleaning and washing up that must have happened to get her here. The curls aren't quite tamed into place. Someone mentions the Silver Consortioum as she enters. "My brother, apologies everyone. I was held up with a Dust bust in the lowers that didn't go as well as I would have hoped, reached out to the Consortium but did not hear back. We would love to work with them." There is so much chagrin in the younger Acheron's tone for not being here. "I had intended this meaning to be be more of a meeting of minds and an ability to make connections to find solutions to and end goal. Trade is the basis of our civilization. Does not Gild say that Avarice Builds Cities? Lady Ouida speaks wisely - security will be a great issue to face. These are ones that cannot be made whole scale though, but require conversations upon conversations to put in place."
Seymour clears his throat. "I have no particular views on the religious implications of what has been proposed. However, having never been to Aviaron's Peak myself I have to ask if you are proposing what I think you are proposing. Building a trading post atop a piece of terrain less than ideal to the purpose. The logistics I am imagining leave me perplexed at why you feel traders and merchants would choose to embrace those complications."
Yasmine has left the by the bear claw hearth.
1 Silvershields leaves, following Yasmine.
Umbroise glances to Alarissa as she speaks, listening with a quiet patience as the Princess voices her concerns. "I understand your concerns, your Highness," she says quietly. "I will be happy to speak of the particulars to anyone who wishes to know more, in private. But... let us just say that there is a brick in the Shrine of Gild that explains the concept of what we are trying to achieve." She inclines her head to Ouida then, and smiles softly. Kenna arrives then, and Umbroise looks very relieved. "Ahh, Lady Kenna!" she says, rising to her feet, and smiling warmly. "I wondered where you had gotten off to." She glances to Seymour then, and tilts her head. "Aviaron's Peak has been situated in that place for a great long time and has survived the years, and it is already a fairly bustling center of commerce, dealing in the trade of goods from our mines. We would only be expanding on what is already there."
Martino's head dips with some agreement to Ouida as he replies, "Oh, nor should we charge along into it without understanding all the risks..." He curls his lips slightly to Ouida as he adds, "That is, for my family, my own role. Consider the back up's plan back up plan. Likely a few more plans back as well." He leans a moment, back to Arman to murmur hushed with him anew.
"I made a request to hear of the specific benefits involvement in this endeavor would bring to the Compact beyond the unspoken threat referenced." Arman replied. "To be straightforward, I was under the impression this meeting was to discuss a new trade project and not the protection of yet revealed dangers and so I am left unprepared. I appreciate the full disclosure, but if we could at least begin the pitch in explaining what participation could offer in plain and simple terms and then follow with know risks I would appreciate it. Right now all I know of this project is it is similar to the Great Road."
Seymour is mollified by the response, leaning back in his seat with a respectful nod to Umbroise. "Intriguing. I should make the trip myself some day, it must be a marvel." Then his attention shifts back to listening to others.
Kenna reaches out a hand to Umbroise's shoulder, then turns towards the crowd, Arman in particular. "I am afraid Prince Arman, that is my fault with my absence. This was meant to be a meeting where we discuss simple trade between houses. Mundane business such as who has what, and who would perhaps need what. The first step along the road to trade is personal connections. I find these almost impossible to establish within a laid back or social event as there are always other diversions. I wonder if I might steer us away from the discussions of the great market and towards smaller matters? I am representing both Whitehawk and Clearlake in this, as Lady Acantha was unable to be here."
Arman inclined his head to Kenna's words, seeming satisfied by them and happy to return to quiet observation.
"If your people are endangered because they may have to give up part of their livelihood in the mines to protect us all, in sealing this great threat, then I can assure you that Harthall will do what it can to help them as part of our debt to Acheron in sacrificing for the Compact's safety," Ouida says to Kenna. "Whether or not the best way is to build a greatly expanded marketplace so close to that source of danger and to turn it into a great crossroads of trade--that is where my own concern lies. But if you are seeking to bring expanded opportunities to your merchants and common folk, building a great marketplace in an accessible location is not a bad idea." She nods to the shift of conversation. "Mostly I came to let others know that in Harthall's patrols of its own waters and the border areas, we have seen a disturbing uptick in potential aggressive privateering under noble banners. Thus far, just our presence, without any interception, has been enough to scare them away. We have not yet successfully been able to speak with the aggressors or their associates. But it may do others well to be wary and to be prepared for a litte more showing of not being vulnerable. HOpefully that will be all it takes to contain much spillage from the Great Road unto the sea routes."
"It is a long way between the North and the Lyceum," Grazia observes after a moment. "Thus it is of great interest to me as to whether there might be interest in the sort of luxury goods that I might offer, as it seems a long way to ship basic building materials, my other chief export."
Arman's question brings a smile to Umbroise's lips, and this, at least, seems to be a topic she is far more comfortable speaking upon. "The fostering of trade relations," she says, "is not the same as what was sought with the Great Road. Really, consider this more a meeting of the minds. I do not mean to make it all about our marketplace project," she says, with a soothing gesture, still standing now. "The entire Compact may benefit from knowing one another better, and knowing of what projects we are all working on, that we seek aid on. Our marketplace is but one example of such a project." She dips her head then to Kenna, offering her a soft smile. "Learning what goods we wish to trade, and who may be interested in them, learning about one another's projects and what we are lacking, that others may fill a niche, fostering relations... those are the things that build the foundations that can aid in the building of a better Compact." She falls silent hten, letting Kenna take over now that she is here, resuming her seat, and giving the newest Acheron an encouraging smile.
Umbroise turns her attention to Ouida then, tilting her head thoughtfully. "Might I speak with you privately on that matter, for a moment, Lady Harthall?" she murmurs to the woman. She'll shift to a seat closer to Ouida, to murmur something quietly.
'Then this something that I shall see remanded to our Minister of Productivity, as this would fall under her purview and she can then speak with the High Lord and Voices to see if this something that Thrax will have the wherewithal and the resources to additionally participate in, if we're not fully engaged with our own borders and current impending economic crises." Alarissa offers up. "Might I suggest then, that in the future you perhaps venture forth in inuiry to the ministers of productivity for other houses or the respective positions without houses, and youm ight find better traction? And with less 'the compact's safety and livelihood depends on it' as an opener?"
Martino lifts his chin in attention, a lean across the hearth before he curls his lips disarming to Ouida, "Lady Ouida. We should, perhaps speak with my brother Lord Domonico, about how best to secure the coast around Harthall... around Southport it has become more secure. Especially after the very successful naval exercises recently."
Arman looked to Ouida upon her addition, inclining his head to her latter statements in a show of appreciation for her insights. Grazia's observation beckoned another nod, turning attention toward Umbroise as she continued and then eyes went to Alarissa and Kenna.
Kenna turns towards Alarissa when she speaks and bows to the princess. "As I said to Arman, the fault in this conversation's direction lays upon my shoulders. I had intended to be here but was unavoidably detained. Lady Umbroise has been so gracious as to hold my spot without even my notes. Please, I hope that I can perhaps turn the conversation to things such as..." This turn in her words has her brightening considerably, never mind that her smile can't reach that eye that is quickly sealing itself nice and shut from the bruise, when Grazia brings up luxury goods. "Luxury goods. I can assure you that there is a market within Whitehawk for these things. As the barony pushes itself out of poverty there is more and more call for such that our people could not once afford. I believe I can speak for many new baronies in this way. Once substiance is settled, luxury can be encouraged. My question in return would be to ask what you would wish in exchange for such luxury items?" Kenna pauses and then adds, "Bethany Mercier has already said she would consider the use of Mercier wagons and boats to help in the transport of what trade we might consider."
"Harthall's coast is secure due to our own exercises," Ouida assures Martino. "But as you know, merchants cross many territorial waters. Our own piracy problem has been reduced greatly. However, it is the borders, especially in areas of high tensions, that they seem to be more vulnerable---it is other waters, not our own, that we have seen the issues, though our presence was enough at that time to keep things calm. We would urge all whos maritime territory falls along the sea routes to perhaps step up their own patrols to ensure the saftey of merchants, in cooperation with their neighbors if at all possible. When war breaks out, it can hardly be helped I suppose. But until that time, we urge responsibility and cool heads and cooperation, with the understanding that of course there will always be outliers." She bows her head to Umbroise. "Indeed, my lady."
A messenger arrives, delivering a message to Kenna before departing.
Grazia laughs softly, a deep mellow sound, somewhat amused. "I am from a rich duchy, and we wish to continue to be richer. We are also interested in luxury goods, as well as resources of all types. And silver. No one turns down silver, of course," the duchess purrs in her husky voice, sounding amused. "My people have silver to spend on fine objects."
Umbroise glances toward Alarissa as the Princess speaks, and inclines her head. "I understand that House Thrax may soon be mired in its own crises, your Highness, given the High Lord's admirable announcement during the Assembly of Peers, which I understand has resulted in a response less than favorable by some within your fealty. Rest assured, it is not intended that we pressure anyone to involvement, who cannot spare the resources to do so. But your offer to speak with your Minister of Productivity is appreciated, and if there is anything we might do to aid you in turn, please do let us know. It was, in fact, my intention to reach out to your Ministers directly before this meeting, but alas, time slips away with many duties," she says, somewhat apologetically. "Your Highness is gracious and wise, and I will take your advice to heart." She bows her head to Alarissa, and then falls silent, glancing between Kenna and Grazia.
Martino nods firm, utter agreement with Ouida's words and suggestion as he comments, "Oh quite so, and well spoken Lady Ouida. Truly... it benefits us all when people drive out the rogue groups who plunder." He notes aside as he adds, "However, I am quite sure your neighbours are doing all that they truly can to protect against this as well. But..." He adds aside, "From Southport we are developing a new steel and plan to move a lot through the coastal route without such fears."
Radhilde has remained quiet and observant for a time, looking to each who voices concern and questions, her orbs moving back and forth and her hands clasped together in her lap, a lips a shadow of a smile.
Eshra who has been standing back a bit, quietly watching, her quick gaze flickering between people watching the interactions as the conversation turns. Finally raising her voice again to the less volatile topic. "Riva has few in ways of luxury items. Fishing, furs... but also we offer transportation throughout the veins of the Compact. There are no other that knows the rivers better and we have a large fleet to aid in transportation."
"As an island march, White Harbour seems to import mostly luxury or exotic goods," Ouida explains, "And exports raw materials for others to use. In addition, our merchants participate in helping others to ferry their goods all over the Compact, especially if they do not have have their own ships, they may find berthing upon one of our merchants'." She nods to Eshra. "But we are only one of the many outside conduits to getting things in the hands of the vital people who move things overland and along the rivers." Though she pauses then, to briefly and gently touch Umbroise's hand if permitted, speaking quietly to her.
Arman offered a slight nod of his head to some murmured conversation between himself and Lore, confirming whatever was the topic. After such, he rose from his seat with a short bow to those surrounding them though as he passed Alarissa the woman received a gentle squeeze of her shoulder in parting. Otherwise, he made his subtle exit so as not to disrupt the continuance of the conversation at hand.
Kenna's hands clap together when Eshra speaks up. "I bet there is a market in more land-based houses for seafood which they do not see often. The issue would be finding the best way to transport it without loosing the freshness. Salted fish for some time is... well." Kenna will let her voice trail off and her expression take on one of complete 'EW' at salted fish. "However, perhaps your rivers could be part of the solution. Lady Acantha Clearlake has asked if there might be any interested in the furs coming from Clearlake?"
Arman has left the by the bear claw hearth.
2 House Velenosa Guards leaves, following Arman.
"Or not take it. You'll not find me upset if you don't Lady Umbroise. I apologize, I should take my leave but I shall, as I said, relay to our minister of productivity. She and his Grace can decide if we wish to partake." And then she's shuffling forward and rising, following Arman's departure.
"Transportation of goods is a reasonable thing to trade," Grazia points out thoughtfully, nodding once to Eshra. "It can be the point to build an even greater trading empire from."
Alarissa has left the by the bear claw hearth.
Maxene, the steadfast ladies maid, Elegance, a Velenosian Greyhound, Pellinor, 4 Thrax Guards, Honey Snuggle, a Velenosian Angora cat leave, following Alarissa.
Nikias has left the by the bear claw hearth.
Martino leans a moment forward to Nikias sat opposite him, speaking hushed tones, "Do hope you have found these talks not too... overwhelming?" He asks with a tilt of his head before he takes his leave. Lifting his chin anew as he returns forth into the room, "Mm... new furs was it to be?"
Adding smooth, Martino says, "Would be welcome just before winter sets in."
Balian, a Templar squire, Guy, a hunting kestrel, 1 Templar Knight guards arrive, following Preston.
Eshra dips her head towards the Ouida in acknowledgement. "It is easier to keep fish fresh in the winter months then the summer." added to Kenna. Though it's Grazia that gets a slight almost smile from the quiet Rivenshari. "So I have hear, my lady." then as if as an after thought there is a slight arch to the woman's brow before adding with almost arid dryness. "Oh and we have bells." Joke? not by tone but there is that flash of humor in dark eyes.
Lore rises as well, lifting her rucksack onto her shoulder and offering a faintly apologetic smile towards Kenna, "I'm afraid I should be going as well. When everything that organized a little better, perhaps we can speak again. But I have to admit, I've already brokered southern trade into the northern holds through Cascade Springs." She offers a quick bow towards thoe gathered before heading off.
Lore has left the by the bear claw hearth.
Frost, a Maelstrom Forest Cat leaves, following Lore.
"And I've got quartz in many colors, so perhaps we could put together some quite fashionable jewelry," Grazia suggests with a measure of amusement to the Rivenshari. "But that's a conversation for another time. Do be in touch." And with that, the Lycene duchess heads out.
Grazia has left the by the bear claw hearth.
Gia the peregrine falcon, 3 Rubino and Zaffria guards, 2 Armed Confessors, Rary the Lycene beauty leave, following Grazia.
"Perfect. I will tell Lady Acantha to reach out to you Lord... oh dear, I am not sure we have met before." When Alarissa, Grazia and Lore all make to leave Kenna bows to each in turn. "I cannot be curious about these bells Eshra. Would you seek to ring in good trade relationships between us?" Just to keep going on that joke.
Martino lifts himself from the hearth before tucking his arm beneath his torso to bow low to the hosts, "My thanks for calling us here today. Truly, it was interesting to be around my fellows interested in such matters." After he bows low to the others upon the hearth before making his way for the door. In passing he murmurs to Ouida, "Should you wish to, good Lady Ouida, to discuss it further. Merely let me know."
"Salted fish is a delight," Ouida says, with some incredulity that anyone could not find it to be so. "Though truth be told, I have never eaten so well from the waters as I have in the Lyceum. Though some of those delicacies are not so easily preserved by drying or salting." And indeed, the Oathlander seems truly sad about that. She too, however, seems about to take her leave, finishing the last of her wine. "It was a delight to meet you Lady Umbroise, Lady Radhilde, and to see you once more, Lady Kenna. Will you give my kind regards to Lady Rhea and Lord Riagnon? But alas I must return soon to my own duties." She bows her head to Martino. "It would be a delight to, my lord."
Martino is overheard praising Umbroise.
Martino is overheard praising Umbroise: Brave Lady talking on an entire group from the City to speak of trade
Martino is overheard praising Kenna: Brave Lady talking on an entire group from the City to speak of trade
Martino has left the by the bear claw hearth.
Johannes, A tall and red cloaked gentleman leaves, following Martino.
"Ah my lady.. the bells we wear are for the benefit of the rest of you. After all, the most dangerous Rivenshari is the one you don't hear coming." Eshra returns then there is a nod of her head and the dozens of bells woven into her dark curls sing softly as if to add to the teaser.
Preston steps into the great hall, his hand steadying the pommel of his swords. Preston looks a little sheepish as he bows his head upon entry "Apologies for my tardiness. With all that is going on, I suspected the Faith might be able to help but....I am afraid matters kept me." Preston looks around, trying to spy any Godsworn and then sighing at the absence "I am sorry we were not able to muster some support. Trade is to be encouraged. It pleases Gild and Jayus."
Kenna's laughter rings up and through as Eshra shares that bit about bells. "I am forewarned now! Silence shall always be a tad unsettling." She softens the jest with a wink before turning towards Preston. "My thanks for coming. I do believe we are winding down. A few connections have been made, and I am pleased for such. I would hope that if we can move beyond simply a meeting of minds to firm negotiations that perhaps the Faith would be willing to advise us all on matters of security, especially if we are to use the newly made road in this matters."
Umbroise has been quietly speaking with Lady Ouida, but now she focuses more on the conversation at hand again. As some begin to take their leave, Umbroise dips her head to those departing, murmuring thanks to those who came to attend. She offers a warm smile to Ouida, and inclines her head. "It's been a pleasure meeting you as well, my lady," she says, rising to her feet once more. "Of course, we will give her your regards." Meanwhile, servants continue to serve drinks, and there is still food to be had. As Preston arrives then, Umbroise turns toward him, inclining her head.
Then, to Ouida, Kenna tacks on to Umbroise, "I would be pleased also to pass on such, and then tell Riagnon how much he must go visit you. Soon." Because Riagnon would just love that, wouldn't he? "Thank you for coming."
Kenna has joined the by the bear claw hearth.
"Well, then I am glad for that and I heartily encourage that, my lady." Preston answers to Kenna's update on things, his head bowing a little. "I must admit I had a slight ulterior motive, in wishing to put my face in with the Northlands, I know there are increased tensions at the moment, so it is good for people to see the Faith Militant helping. I suspect any help we can offer will be more from Solace and Dame Thena, but please do contact her if they can be of help, my lady. I am always happy to volunteer Dame Thena for extra work."
"Ah yes that is the concern is it not? In any dark and quiet place there could be a Rivenshari waiting." Eshra pushes off the wall then, the sound of her bells a soft halo of music around her. "It has been a pleasure.. and intersting. Until a night before I had met none of the northen houses and yet here we are. Thank you. All of you please accept an invitation to the Expanse if you wish to explore what can be done between our houses."
Ouida moves to rise, pulling on her gloves after untucking them from her belt. She offers a courtly bow to those still remaining, making a motion to her squire to join her at the door. Even if the other nobles have nibbled lightly at the food and drink provided so graciously, it's likely that Ouida's gangly squire has eaten enough for four--horses. Or exceptionally large puppydogs, take your pick. "A pleasure to attend, and to meet you all. Let this not be the last meeting of trade." She smiles at Kenna. "Why, my lady, I would hope that you would come along too!" But with that, she is moving towards the exit, speaking quitely with her squire.
Ouida has left the by the bear claw hearth.
2 Harthall house guards, Niall RedTree, adorably awkward squire leave, following Ouida.
Umbroise delicately arranges her ruby skirts, and then settles back in her seat near the fireplace. She turns her attention toward Preston as he speaks of the Faith Militant, and she smiles softly. "Your offer of assistance with our troubles is most appreciated, Sir," she says warmly. "In fact, Sir Jeffeth has already agreed to accompany us to deal with a certain matter that has been troubling us, along with some of the Knights of Solace. We hope that it will have a favorable outcome."
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