Highlord's Open Office Hours
April 6, 2019, 11 a.m.
Arx - Ward of House Redrain - Redrain Villa - Great Hall
Comments and Log
2 Redrain Guards, Ciro Sclafani, a world-weary manservant arrive, following Lorenzo.
Khaavren, a dutiful assistant, 2 Redrain Guards, Lorenzo arrive, following Gwenna.
Balian, a Templar squire, Guy, a hunting kestrel, 1 Templar Knight guards arrive, following Preston.
With the fresh, clean scent of evergreen and baked goods perfuming the air, the atmosphere of the great hall is warm and inviting as the Prince of Farhaven sits at the bear-carved table. A generous spread of refreshments lays out in front of him, along with enough paperwork to make even Gwenna's head spin. Court over a meal, is today's business.
Marian stands by her liege's side, dressed in her Everwinter bear white leathers and steel. Her stoic face bears no expression. She watches the group with piercing green eyes, taking in everything around her. Her weapons, while many, are peace-tied as is custom in the city. Her hands are in front of her, folded as she looks on.
Cadern picks his way into the event. He ruffles a little under his cloak shifting it as he tugs out a flask as he moves in and heads towards a wall no doubt to ensure that it doesn't collapse without his supporting it. He seems more curious than showing up with something to bring up.
Gwenna and Lorenzo enter from somewhere in the villa, the princess of the pair smiling as she takes in the scent of evergreen boasted by the room. "I was just thinking how lovely some mulled cider, like my mother makes, would be," she murmurs to Lorenzo. "I'll get us a couple of mugs?" Both an offer and query, in case her husband might be of a mind for something else. Darren gets a deep dip of her head out of respect, though the warm smile remains in place. "Your Grace," is said before an equally respective nod is given to Marian. "Warchief." The paperwork before the High Lord does seem to give Gwenna pause, but she doesn't remark on it. More polite nods are offered to those also gathering in the hall while things get underway.
Lorenzo makes his way into the office, accompanying Gwenna. Of course, she is likely to be responsible for actual work here, while the Lycene prince is here for socializing and refreshments. "Mulled cider sounds wonderful," he replies to his wife. "Very seasonal and a great antidote to the weather. Do you suppose it's the same recipe your mother used to use?" He gives a warm smile to Darren, Marian, Cadern, and the others gathered here.
Preston steps into the Great Hall of Redrain, but lingering close to the rear - it is not after all his fealty. His clear blue eyes watch the table and the leader sat at its head. After a few moments he does take a few steps closer, just to avoid the bustle near the door, but for now he stays quiet, giving a simple bow of his head to Marian, and a deeper one for Darren.
Darren rises from his chair to welcome Gwenna and Lorenzo, an arm outstretched to beckon his Voice and her husband to find a seat at the table. "Princess Gwenna, Prince Lorenzo, I'm pleased to see that both of you could make it. Come, break your fast with me? Another moment, and I might be skin and bones." He looks past them toward Cadern, his grin broadening, "Lord Ravenseye, is that you? Come, come. How does your sister fare?"
Marian bows to the nobles and guests as they come through the door. This means that Gwenna, Lorenzo, Cadern, Preston and many more get that proper greeting.
Gwenna's lips wrinkle as she considers Lorenzo's question. "It might be my mother's recipe, though it's not one she keeps secret," she notes and moves to have a couple of mugs prepared for them. When she returns to her husband's side, she holds one out. "Even if it's not hers, the way His Grace has had the hall done up is as close to being in the castle in Farhaven as one might get here in Arx." Darren's words draw a laugh and she bobs her head a few times in agreement. "You heard my stomach rumble, I'm sure? The smell of the bread alone is enough to make anyone feel as though they've been starved," she says lightly. "Lord Cadern, how good to see you again. It feels like half a lifetime, hmm?" Getting a bit of that glorious bread, she dips her head again when Preston enters further in. "Grandmaster, it is an honor to have you in our halls again. Welcome."
Cadern looks utterly curious at the arrival of Preston watching but then he blinks as he gets called out and he pushes off from the wall with a light bow. It's flowery way more than Redrain norm but he grins easily enough, "Highlord. It is indeed." He puts on his most pompous, "Though I go by Lord Magistrate Cadern Ravenseye these days." He says before admitting, "My sister sends her regard but unsurprisingly she said the weather was good so went off to play with her boats. It's almost like she thinks there's enemies in the waters and across them and is preparing for such things." He says with a wry tone. Gwenna gets a smile and e assures her, "Even a moment from your beauty seems a lifetime of sadness, Your Highness." Cadern lays it on thick and he does so with mischief in his tone.
"It has perhaps not been since Stormwall I've had the pleasure of Redrain's halls, your highness." Comes Preston's response to Gwenna, complete with another bow of his head "I hope I am not intruding? I saw his grace was holding open hours but no restriction to the Fealty. And well, the North is - for manifold reasons - in all our thoughts in some way at the moment. But not limited to Princess Marian's kind support in ending a threat to us all in the Oathlands. Two tribes of Abandoned who served our enemy and the warband of an Abandoned warlord lie dead from that aid."
2 Redrain Guards, Lucien, a bright-eyed pine marten arrive, following Helena.
Darren smiles wryly toward Cadern. "We cannot begrudge the Countess for abiding by her very nature. Though her presence is missed, I'm pleased that you remain in her stead to see to your house's affairs here in the capital. Congratulations are in order for your new recent appointment over the courts as well," he says, a low chuckle given at Gwenna's words aside. "Careful, or I'll believe you're feeding for two." A pointed look is afforded to Lorenzo, brows lofted a smidgen before his attention is brought upon Preston. "The Faith will always be welcome within these halls, Grandmaster. A great many are fortunate for Princess Marian's martial prowess and tactical mind, none more than myself."
"If you anyone among you wish to bring anything to my attention or that of my Voices, now is the time to do so freely. Otherwise, you are welcome to drink and eat til your heart's content," the Highlord's voice rings loud and clear through the hall.
Marian bows to Preston when he mentions the support that she has given, "It was my honor to serve the Northlands by keeping such a dangerous and violent shav tribe out of our lands. I am thankful that we were able to deal with the matter so swiftly." She quiets as Darren calls for any who wish to approach either him or the Voices. She glances about to see who might need her help.
Gwenna laughs outright at Cadern's remarks. "Ah! Such a compliment! Surely House Ravenseye prospers with someone so gifted with flattering words, my lord. It is, indeed, good to see you. My belated congratulations on your recent appointment. Should your sister ever come back to shore, please give her my regards as well." Returning her attention to Preston, she quickly shakes her head. "You would never be an intrusion, Grandmaster, and I did mean it when I said it is an honor to have you visit again. Your efforts with recent troubles in the Northlands, as well as keeping us informed and involved, are things I remain grateful for. I'm glad we can work together so well, even if I wish there were more opportunities for more casual reasons to gather." An amused roll of her eyes and chuckle seem answer to Darren's remarks. "Snowballs, is my mother sending you secret letters encouraging grandchildren? I think she expected one nine months and a day after we were married on the ship coming back from Stormward," she says and grins. The invitation for all to eat and drink, or bring forth inquiries, at least, give her leave enough to nibble some of that bread she mentioned.
Cadern assures Darren, "I can begrudge her all I want, it's my gods given right as a brother." He says this without any rancor and there's a pause, "I am of course happy to do my best to drink your whiskey and eat your food, in her stead." He looks between Gwenna to Darren, "But thank you both, I am hoping that I can do the office Justice." He delivers this last with complete and utter deadpan.
Lorenzo gratefully accepts a mug of the cider from Gwenna and selects a couple of morsels from the selection that has been laid out to snack on. "Traditions are one of the best things about family," he says. "And I'm always fascinated to be introduced to Northern ones." He gives a warm smile and a nod to Preston as the man arrives. Darren's comment is meant with a laugh. "Believe me, you will be among the first to know if and when we will be anticipating offspring. Given that heirs are no concern, we are in no great hurry." He smiles over at Gwenna and gives her arm an affectionate squeeze.
A sleepy looking Helena enters the hall, stifling a yawn and carrying a journal with her. As usual, she looks just a little too pale, dark beneath her eyes as if she wants for sleep. Seeing those assembled she flashes a bright smile toward her cousins and others. She dips her head in deference to the High Lord, but her smile for him is much more familial and fond, as she makes her way for the food table to grab a bun and mug of mulled cider to nibble on. "I think if you ever have a girl you should name it Helena, and if it's a boy, Heleno," she says brightly to Lorenzo and Gwenna.
Preston bows his head once more to acknowledge Darren's words "I have kept Marian informed with all that I know of in the Northlands, and your statement against the Seraph of Fireside brought great comfort to us, your grace. I am sad though that some within the Faith would plot such deeds at a time when division is least needed, and that so many of my brothers and sisters would listen to such words, rather express their concerns in the proper manner. I am sorry, for my brothers and sisters, that this has placed you in such a position. And that I should darken your hall with such talk." Preston offers the Redrain royals a warm smile. He soon fixes his attention on Marian "I think I heard that Sir Leif is back from his duties. I might suggest he assists in matters with Redrain? As I am sure you are familiar with him."
"Your mother sends a great many things along in her missives," Darren replies cryptically toward Gwenna, then turns his gaze upon Lorenzo with a look of reassurance. "There is no rush indeed, Lorenzo. As long as my cousin remains glowingly blissful in her marriage, I am content. How are you settling into the life of a Prince of the North? Markedly different from the Hundred Cities, but surely not such a hard adjustment?" His expression sobers toward Preston, but nonetheless amicable while in brief contemplation over the Grandmaster's words. "That the Seraph was successful in causing a divide among so many of the faithful worries me that it is only a symptom to a problem that needs to be addressed, lest it fester unchecked. What that problem is, however, hasn't been identified." He looks toward Gwenna and Marian to ask, "Has much information been gathered on these heretics? Their origins?"
Gwenna can hardly help but give Lorenzo a bright smile, her expression betraying great affection. "We have such a list of things to do before children, I think," she says and then turns and laughs at Helena's words. "I actually do like the sound of Heleno," is quipped after a sip of her drink. Preston's remarks give Gwenna a bit of pause, the princess allowing a brief flicker of what might be sadness to cross her features. "We will always welcome such talk, Grandmaster, as not speaking of things, ill or not, do little to correct such matters. Oh, though? About Sir Leif? I swear he is off on another duty before I ever manage to catch up with him." Another roll of the eyes follow, the type that daughters so often give when speaking of their mothers. "I've no doubt, Your Grace. I swear she has spies here in Arx that titter off every small doing when they return to her in Farhaven," she says with a wry laugh. Her gaze shifts from Darren to Marian as the heretics are remarked upon.
Marian leans over and softly murmurs something to Darren's ears, making sure that Gwenna overhears, and then carefully answers the question, "There's been inquiries and rumors but nothing I am comfortable speaking to at the moment." She gives a look of apology to Preston, "But if I gain something more than shadows, I shall of course send it your way. It's our intention to provide escort as needed into the Northlands. I've got a meeting later today and it's one of the items we'll be discussing."
Lorenzo gives a chuckle at Helena's suggestion of names. "We'll take that under advisement, I'm sure," he says, then grins over at Gwenna. "Heleno does sound a bit Lycene," he agrees, clearly willing to be swayed by whatever his lovely wife desires. As the talk turns to more serious matters, though, he settles in to listen and sip his drink, many of these issues being things that he doesn't have much knowledge of.
Cadern seems content to grow quiet watching the group and he offers to Helene, "Hellion is also an excellent name for most youths I've met." He says brightly but otherwise seems content to take a sip of his drink and fade to the background. He does glance to Lorenzo and Gwenna in amusement.
"Leif's back?" says Helena, looking pleased at the news. "He was here so briefly last time. Do tell his brotherliness to get his knightly rear end over to the house, please, Sir Preston, to say hello to his family?" She then casts a quick smile over to Gwenna and Lorenzo for humoring her name requests, but sobers for the more serious talk of Seraphs and heretics. She finds a fur-clad bench to perch on, ink-stained fingertips tearing off a bit of bread to dip into the cider and then to her mouth -- somehow delicately.
At Cadern's comment, Helena grins his way for the word play.
Darren leans over, listening to Marian's quiet words shared between himself and Gwenna pensively. He says nothing in return immediately, simply bowing his head before breaking into a quiet chuckle toward Lorenzo and Helena. "While you are taking suggestions, I would not be against having a young namesake of my own among your future brood," he jests mildly. "Have either of you anything you'd like to share? Privately or openly otherwise?" He asks of his cousins.
2 Redrain Guards, Lucien, a bright-eyed pine marten leave, following Helena.
Drysi, a young shaman apprentice, 2 Redrain Guards arrive, following Khanne.
2 Redrain Guards, Lucien, a bright-eyed pine marten arrive, following Helena.
"It was clearly long planned, your grace. In truth, I think we should probably be glad there have been fewer incidents over the years - this is regretable, but it will be handled. I pray for the success of Mother Bianca in convincing them of their error. While my brothers and sisters have erred in supporting this, I cannot yet believe they would forsake Limerance and Gloria and raise their hand against their brothers. Still. If there is anything we can do, you only ever need to ask. And if I learn anything, I will share it. Though I fear beyond that it was planned and that several whole domains now fall under its sway, I know little." But, Helena's question is a brighter one and he offers her a smile as he nods "Mm. I believe so. And I will ask him, even if I might quibble and say former family because I am a pedant. In truth I would rather think of him as having two families than none. I may send him to the holds that remain loyal, especially at Crovane. I know he is divisive among some people, but with the Templars he is not."
Gwenna chuckles again, this time toward Cadern. "I think if our first child is Hellion in both name and temperament, there may not be more," is noted with amusment. Marian's quiet remarks sober the princess a bit, a nod of her head following. Moving to take a seat as well, that grin returns. "Darrenella, surely," is teased to the High Lord and then she gives a shake of her head. "Currently, the coffers and resources seem in comfortable standing and it is my hope that we continue to grow, slow as that may be. While I do not hope for a tragedy that might be of great financial hit, we are fairly prepared for such." Her attention then turns to listen to the other conversations.
Khanne walks in casually, looking around to see who is about before finding herself a quiet place to stand and observe, preferably with a wall or piece of furniture to lean against.
Marian murmurs to her high lord she's going to circulate in the room and then steps away so she can greet Vali Khanne. She gives her a quiet exchange and then moves on to the next guest.
Khanne nods to Marian with a smile before murmuring back.
Drysi, a young shaman apprentice, 2 Redrain Guards leave, following Khanne.
Drysi, a young shaman apprentice, 2 Redrain Guards arrive, following Khanne.
"He is always family to me, whether he bears the name Redrain or not, Sir Preston," Helena says, in warm tones, of her older brother. "Thank you for your kind words. I am sure he will serve well wherever you place him. He's a good man, even if he's a little uptight sometimes." Her eyes sparkle a bit at the teasing of her brother, and perhaps vicarious teasing of the knight she speaks to by association, but it's clear it is just that -- teasing.
Darren leans forward into the table, brushing aside financial ledgers more befitting Gwenna's mental auspices than his own. Briefly, his gaze trails after Marian's path through the room before returning to Preston as he speaks on the heretics. "It is the collective hope, I believe, among us all here that the situation meets a diplomatic and quiet end. All the same, it troubles me that their influences have already spread through several domains. We respect the Old Ways and the Faith, but to pollute them and turn them into a bastardized religion is unacceptable. I'd like for it to be fully looked into, and perhaps efforts made to reaffirm the trust in the Faith among the Northlands."
Khanne nods gently in agreement as she listens to Darren. "I consistently show my own faith in both and encourage others to do the same."
Marian further adds to Darren's words, "We shall be asking a few volunteers to look into the matter, if it does not step overboundaries with the Faith. Of course we are happy to share such inquiries." She places a hand over her heart, "I shall be happy to arrange any escorts for delegations coming in and out of the Northlands till matters with this Seraph is resolved."
Lorenzo grins over at Darren. "If we're not careful, either our children will be stuck with a long, unwieldy string of names or we'll have to have a dozen children. You wouldn't mind having a cat for a namesake, would you?" The talk of Templars and concerns of the Faith makes him listen quietly, though, until he says, "If you have any diplomatic efforts you need assistance with, I would be happy to help."
"As always," Gwenna says with a quick dip of her head. "I remain available for any diplomatic endeavors or assistance that might be requested, too. As a pair, we bring both our Northlands bloodlines along with those of the Oathlands and Lenosia." Her lips wrinkle a moment. "As well, with our contract with the Whisper House, we could see if any of them might also be available for such, should that be necessary. I am unsure if the situation has grown too large for just diplomacy, though." She glances at the others for any thoughts on that, it appears.
"For now, it is being dealt with as a..ah, diplomatic event? Mother Bianca and Grandmaster Thena lead things, as it will be a case of envoys and talks. If there was conspiracy though, well. I will be happy to provide what aid we can to any investigation. That shouldn't interfere with Mother Bianca's mission. And what must follow should they refuse. Though, should it come to that I will speak with you all first. And ensure Templars are drawn from places with more...genial historic ties to the North." As Khanne makes her appearance, Preston offers her a gently nod, a small smile flickering at his lips "Vala Khanne. I was just speaking with your brother the other day. He was training me on how to survive the cold."
Lorenzo's comment about a cat makes her smirk, but she nods to Darren and Marian. "If you need research assistance, I am happy to help. Or a bit of eloquent writing to try to encourage the masses to stay loyal to the true faiths," definitely a plural there, "and not 'bastardizing,' as you say."
Marian gives a nod to Preston, "Of course, I shall leave it in the Faith's hands, and provide escort upon request. If only to keep those not involved out of any conflict." She turns to Lorenzo and smiles at his offer to assist, "That would be excellent. I would encourage others in our fealty to urge others to stand firm in one's traditions and Faith."
"The root of the matter with the Seraph and his followers may very well be beyond the measure of diplomacy," Darren says of Gwenna's thoughts, fingers laced under his bearded chin in deep contemplation. "But that would be for the Faith to decide, should it be unfortunate that more ... decisive action needs to be taken. In the mean time, it does not mean that we cannot do our part to overturn the Seraph's influences through re-education and other demonstrations of following the Old Ways or the Pantheon, as Vala Khanne mentioned earlier. The right strategy can go a long way to keeping this from evolving any further," he expresses, passing a thoughtful look over toward Helena and Lorenzo. "There are, of course, other matters, while not as pressing but nontheless important, that need be addressed."
MSiling to Preston, Khanne dips ehr head towards him. "Good. You'll need that knowledge if you don't have it already. Winter is coming." Dun dun dun. "I am glad to hear he is being of help to you. if you need more assistance from us, well, let Uncle or I know." She nods again to Darren. "I am going to plant a tree in the mountain pass of Stormwall, as soon as people get their ducks in a row. It is to honor the memory of Eirlys, the Spirits, and the Gods all. Hopefully people will see these things as how things should be, not this... blasphemous move that fools are attempting."
Gwenna gives a few nods of her head to Darren. "I thought it may be, Your Grace. Sometimes the sword is, indeed, mightier than the pen," she says with a touch of regret in her tone. "If there is some other way to be of assistance, I will do so without hesitation." Khanne's remarks let the hints of a smile touch the corners of her mouth again. "A tree in her honor and memory is a wonderful idea, regardless of the troubles. Perhaps we could all plant a tree in our lands for her and what she gave."
Lorenzo nods agreement with Gwenna, before he looks back to Preston. "Diplomatic assistance can help wtih many efforts. I know others have been more involved in these matters than I have, though, so if you have already settled such things, I'll take no offense. Even though this is happening in the Northlands and it's for us to deal with, it's a matter that concerns all of the Compact."
"I am sure Vala Khanne and I can have a long debate later as to whether it was the spirits or the Gods that interceded at Stormwall, but I must admit I was grateful for that intercedence, and for the sacrifice Lady Eirlys made. The Greenmarch are well loved by Petrichor." Preston answers, a little wry grin there, before he finally takes a seat "And your offer is kind, Prince Lorenzo. I will pass it along to Dame Thena and to Sir Leif. While I am ever confident of my abilities, I am also conscious I am a divisive figure in the North. If I am to be involved, it should be only at that final point. And in truth, there are enemies of Gloria that must be hunted by her Sword in the Oathlands." An apologetic and slightly sheepish smile is given to Darren "My apologies, I did not mean to so divert your meeting. Indeed, my intent was to come and ensure my support was offered to you, not to seek support. But I am glad to find Redrain as lovely as I recall."
Khanne smiles at Preston with a gentle chuckle. "I am sure that we could, but, whatever it might have been, I am glad for it as well. The Greenmarch are well loved by Petrichor, yes, and the Spirits." She winks at him as if this has long been a topic of conversation between them. 'We should, perhaps, have that debate sometime. It's been awhile."
Marian quietly slips from the room as others are talking, having made her rounds to those there. She motions to her two guards to meet her outside and then with a discreet bow to her high lord, the warchief is gone.
The mention of 'other matters' from Darren gets a small, wry smile from Helena, before she takes another sip of mulled cider.
Cadern continues to listen for a time but when Marian slips out he does the same shifting under his cloak absently.
Darren raises his hand in a gesture of reassurance toward Preston. "It is something that would have eventually been brought up," he says, then turns a look over the mixed party. "Does anyone have anything else they'd like to bring to my attention?"
Gwenna gives a small shake of her head. "I do not, Your Grace. Thank you for arranging this. I can't put to words how nice it is to feel the warmth of family and friends here in the hall again. Even when there are shadows at the fringes of the Northlands, the open discussions and just speaking about things is something I've missed."
Gwenna is overheard praising Darren: Great open throne meeting!
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