AoW: New Member Event
The Academy of War has gained a number of new members lately, and has also been receiving further inquiries as to how people can join. This is an afternoon gathering for all members of the academy as well as those interested in joining; there will be warm drinks and snacks provided, and we'll spend a few hours meeting one another, talking about joining, go over some of the benefits/resources/services available for folks (and requirements), discuss scholarships, and review the academy's mission/purpose with our membership. If time allows (and those present make it feasible) we will also discuss some ways to get involved with things that further the Academy's mission and current goals.
All who are interested in the academy and participating in the discussion are welcome, though disruptions will not be tolerated.
May 12, 2019, 8 p.m.
Arx - Ward of the Crown - Academy of War - Headquarters
Comments and Log
2 House Riven Soldiers, Oura, a white-tailed eagle, Valor, a juvenile male Oakhaven Bloodhound arrive, following Thesarin.
There is food! There is always food at these things, though. Natalia's been hanging out near the steps for the stage, nibbling on something and sipping from a tumbler, keeping an eye on the room and people as they get settled in. She eventually nods to herself and drifts away from the stage entirely, snagging her tumbler (but not the plate of food) and drifts over to the collection of tables, instead. "Thank you for coming, everyone," she greets, lifting her voice enough to carry to those assembled. "I am hoping that this proves helpful. The Academy's primary purpose is to provide an environment where people of different fealties have the opportunity to share strategy and tactics for fighting the Compact's current threats, to promote coordination, education, and unity."
5 Grimhall House Guards, Gustav, a gruff Islander advisor arrive, following Valdemar.
Ouida has been heartily leading by example when it comes to partaking in the Academy's provisions of the night, snagging one delectable small plate after another, the tall Harthall knight apparently having the appetite of...well, a soldier. She lifts her glass in salute as Natalia brings the meeting to order--though it's filled with water rather than wine--and then moves around the room to help others get settled, always willing to gallantly pull out a chair for any guest that might need one.
Valdemar walks into the room just after the meeting is called to order, it seems. Dressed all in blue, he gives Natalia an apologetic inclination of his head before finding a mug of mead to nurse while he pays attention, trying to catch up with any business being discussed.
Irisa shows up dressed in what most would expect from a commoner knight - a warm dress and her blade, Riven cloak around her shoulders. Not quite on Thesarin's arm, but close enough that it is clear they are arriving together. Unless he's escorting her. Cuz Chief does what Chief wants. It is not her first time here so the wonderment isn't the same but she is very pleased nonetheless. With a big glass of cider, she stands by a table and stares at the spread of food. She's likely never seen so much assembled in one place. "Chief. Chief. Lookit."
Ever present is Natalia's shadow; Podraig. The lean hunter is dressed in warmer clothes consisting of wool and fur. Not bulky, but warm-looking enough. He hovers nearby, watching those coming in with intense steel-grey eyes and looking vaguely ominous. It's what he's paid for, after all. He does nibble on a bit of the bread provided by the food table, but he's as innocuous about the action as possible. The tattooed prodigal remains silent and, somehow, even moreso when the room is called to order.
Thesarin makes his way into the Academy, looking exactly like a shav from the Grey Forest that someone's given a bath and a silk overcoat. Broad, scarred, and moving with a deliberate, almost ponderous stride, he takes in the settings and gives a nod. There's just a hint of a grin breaking the dour expression at Irisa's comment, and he nods to the young knight beside him. "Well, Dame Irisa--set, eat. We're guests." The man gives a low nod toward Natalia, and another toward Peri.
"There are a number of major undertakings that the Academy is currently participating in; first, of course, we have the education that happens here," Natalia says, settling herself down into a chair. "Most of our instructors take a turn teaching classes here, which are attended both by our membership, and fairly heavily by our associated groups, including the iron guard. We also make connections between people who are interested in more individual teaching, mentoring and the like." She smiles towards Valdemar for that inclination of his head, then returns the one from Thesarin, as well.
Irisa has clearly not seen that much food before. Despite being in Arx for a good while, she's relatively unknown which is fine with her. But she also see's things later in life than others. "Can we take some home?" Is she serious? Tough to tell. But she does flash a happy smile up to him and then look back. Some people have a difficult time hiding the light inside. As discussion and introduction get more serious, the grin falls away and she looks on. Instructors and the mentioning of how it works does draw further attention and she moves to take a seat, sipping her drink.
Peri tucks away her quill and work when Natalia invites everyone to meet and share food. She stands up from the small table and waits to greet Natalia until after she has made announcements. She spies someone she does not know with Count Thesarin and walks up to introduce herself. "Hi Count,Thesarin. Hi," She says to Irisa. "I'm Lady Peri Seliki. Are you going to join the academy? I mostly help with naval exercises, but I'd like to help mentor people in sailing." That is Peri's version of small talk.
Smiling back at Natalia briefly, Valdemar finds a seat and settles in to listen to her explain what the Academy does. Peri receives a bow of his head when he realizes she is here, before he sets about nursing his drink. The others in the room are given brief glances, though he does nott seem to recognize any of them.
Valdemar has joined the a comfortable ivory leather and mahogany wooden sofa.
Quintin eases his way into the chamber, pulling his hood down and tugging his gauntlets off. The young Ashford lord glances about, taking in his surroundings. First the place, then the people. A nod for Podraig and also for Peri, whom he recognizes.
Ouida settles into a seat so that she can observe the room comfortably, her attention mostly resting on the Whisper, though there's a grin that plays over her lips as she overhears the Riven knight, and she glances backwards for just a moment befor sipping at her water. There's a softer smile given to those whose eyes she meets, though she doesn't interrupt.
"Lady Peri. This here's Dame Irisa Wainryte, knight o' the Twainfort." Thesarin gives Peri a nod, glances over at the arrivals, and flits his attention toward Podraig. He looks at the other tattooed man for a moment, taking him in. The two of them could probably have a dour-off. Riveting for any audience fond of grumpy men not moving.
Catching sight of the nod, Podraig locks his eyes on Quintin for a moment before returning the nod. He then casts his attention over the rest of the small crowd, studying them one by one while Natalia speaks. His arms fold over his chest as he stands back and off to the side of Natalia. He doesn't look overly suspicious, but one could not doubt his commitment to his work. Steel-grey eyes fall on Thesarin and the lean hunter just watches him, like a hawk. This lasts for several moments before he moves on.
"Lady Peri." Yes, this is Irisa's serious face. There's even a serious wink for Ouida. Very serious. "Ah, thank you. I've already joined at the recommendation of a friend. I'm afraid I still need to meet some members, though. Lady Ouida is asking me to help with teaching." 20-something Commoner Knights teaching? Thesarin has the right of the introduction, though. "Pleasure to meet you." But her focus is back on Natalia and Ouida, waiting to see what else is coming.
Offering an encouraging smile to those who glance her way, Natalia does stop talking long enough to sip from her tumbler and spend a moment or three watching the room. Eventually, she chuckles. "We've been working to assist Grimhall with the founding of their naval academy, and so we'll have those classes available to our members, as well. The academy has also been doing whwat we can to provide assistance both for integrating ex-thralls and newly joined prodigals, and the number of people who can help educate others on the matter is increasing swiftly. If anyone knows of any domains struggling with integration, let me know. We're about to the point of being able to help anyone who needs it."
Now that she's settled in, Ouida has a chance to valiantly attack the small tart that she's brought with her to her seat, a little taste of warmer days, what with the preserves at its center. One bite draws an inaudible sigh of appreciation, and if she catches Irisa's eye, she gaze down at the confection meaningfully, before offering the other knight a nod. Non-verbal scouting report right there. "Lady Ouida Harthall," she introduces herself, with a smile, to the rest gathered. "I assist those who wish to improve or gain further leadership skills, as well as occasionally mentor those who find themselves elevated to their position without much experience, having walked in their shoes myself, and grateful for the ones who offered me a helping hand as I was trying to find my bearings in grief as well. Sadly, it's something that many in the domains face, at one time or another." She bows her head to Natalia's update, though, something of eagerness at the prospect of helping more people.
When his family's endeavor is mentioned, Valdemar sets the mug aside for the moment. "Construction has begun on the Harald Grimhall Naval Academy, and so far everything is on schedule according to the reports I've been receiving. Your assistance has been a great help, and is appreciated. We look forward to hosting the students that this Academy sponsors once it is completed," the Duke tells Natalia and the rest of the guests in attendance.
Quintin's attention shifts to each person in turn as they speak; for the moment, he stays near the back and just listens. Offers a faint smile to anyone who glances his way.
Thesarin grunts from his seat, giving a low nod to all in attendance. "Riven's had... some practice at bringing in Prodigals," says the obviously Prodigal Count.
Seeming content to listen for the time being, Podraig's eyes fall upon Natalia first as she addresses the work the academy is doing. Hi expression remains stony however, and his eyes vigilant. Seen, but not heard. That's the blonde prodigal's general outlook it would seem. He looks on with interest as Ouida explains her area of expertise, nodding a bit in the affirmative to her. With a quiet, graceful gait he moves over to the refreshments table to take a bit more bread and one of the drinks. Probably wine. He's not picky. Without looking, he tilts it back and take a long swig.
Irisa listens on with the possibilities and work ahead with the group and there is real interest in her eyes. Appreciation. She glances up to Thesarin, then back - only to catch Ouida's eye. Tart? Tart. She tilts her head to identify said tart and match with one at her table. She reaches quickly for it and wastes no time digging in. She does listen to Ouida and as the woman talks, Irisa slows her enthusiasm and holds a softer look for her friend. A more honest smile. And when Thesarin speaks up, she clears her throat and stops eating. Yes, perhaps she should say something, "Ah, I'm Dame Irisa Wainryte. Knight to Riven. I've been brought on as an instructor. General Thesarin is correct. We have a lot of direct success with our efforts at settling more than ten thousand prodigal refugees on our lands, and working with them to bring them in. The General doesn't speak to it deeply, but we can lend expertise in some cases."
2 House Riven Soldiers have been dismissed.
Oura, a white-tailed eagle have been dismissed.
Valor, a juvenile male Oakhaven Bloodhound have been dismissed.
"Wonderful," says Natalia, of construction beginning on the Grimhall academy. "I am full of hope, to see where those currents take us." She smiles, clearly pleased with herself for the turn of phrase. There's an agreeable nod for Thessarin's words, her attention shifting to Irisa when she elaborates. The blonde tips her head to the side as she considers the two of them for a moment, but ultimately she offers up a smile. "If you would like to assist with our efforts in that area, it would certainly be welcome," she says. "We'll have dinner sometime soon and discuss it, I think." She pauses there briefly before asking, "Does anyone have questions about the academy for me?"
Quintin tips his chin up and calls, "Lord Quintin Ashford. Hello. Are there any requirements for joining the Academy?"
Floofus, the fluffiest Graypeak Mountain Puppy, 2 Redwood Initiates, 2 Redwood Regulars arrive, following Ajax.
"What requirements are thre for being an instructor or mentor?" Peri asks. "Lady Peri Seliki," she adds, following Quintin's example.
Peri has joined the a comfortable ivory leather and mahogany wooden sofa.
"For being an instructor or mentor -- having something to teach," answers Natalia first, sending a smile Peri's way. "And then teach it, of course. We work out an individual schedule with all of our instructors. As far as requirements to join as a member, there aren't any. Member fees are one hundred silver monthly for those of common birth, two hundred for unlanded nobility, and five hundred for landed nobility. Alternately, one can join as an agent, which is essentially signing up to do work on the academy's behalf instead of paying tuition."
Ouida keeps her seat, and her quiet for the moment, but as another enters she will offer Ajax a smile of welcome. There's still plenty of room to join the seats at the gathering, and also if one is so inclined, still plenty of food and drink on offer as well. Natalia is currently leading the discussion, though there seem to be various introductions going on as well.
Podraig very well may have questions for Natalia, but holds them for now so that other people can have the floor. Those questions, after all, can wait for another time. Besides, nothing about him seems like conversation is one of his favorite pasttimes. He drinks from his wine, ticking his servere gaze from person to person over the rim of the glass. He then focuses once more on Natalia as she fields one of those aforementioned questions.
Quintin nods to Natalia, his expression thoughtful. "Understood. Thank you." The young Ashford lord rustles as he clasps his hands behind his back.
The mention of dinner to Irisa, from Natalie, gets a firm nod of understanding. She may have shown up here a bit silly and overcome with the sort of grandness of the event.. but she is settling nicely. When Thesarin needs to step away, she seems comfortable without him and takes up her glass to sip once more. She has more to teach, that she knows.
As the slow trudging mercenary known as Ajax enters, he looks towards the men following him, "Best behavior you lot." he offers with his normal grumble, his eyes shifting towards the floor properly, his thick brows furrowing in vague recognition of Ouida giving the woman a dip of his head, as he draws closer his eyes flicking to Podraig next following the same greetings.
"It is also known," Ouida offers quietly, after a moment's warm gaze at Natalia, "That sometimes there are circumstances where such a cost may be a hardship. In that case, I would urge anyone interested but for whom this would present a hardship to speak privately with Chair Natalia, Marquis Keaton, or myself, and we may be able to come to an arrangement. Our goal is to ensure that those who wish to train and learn together with the aim to strengthen the Compact have an opportunity to do so, and it is important to us that talent and willingness are not turned away. But those funds do help to educate many beyond our membership, and to support our mission."
The mercenary is someone that Podraig recognizes from the Traders Tavern. He inclines his head in a nod to Ajax and lifts the wine he's holding up in a form of greeting. He's then back to watching the crowd and hovering just a few feet away from Natalia like a statue. This seems to be the stoic ranger's general mode, however, and looking grumpy seems to make him happy. If one can wrap their head around that logic. He swirls his wine around in the glass, inspecting it for a moment. Then he sniffs it. His nose wrinkles a touch, but he tips it back to drink more anyways. He then turns his head more fully to Natalia and raises a brow.
Quintin's attention shifts to Ouida; he nods to her in turn, mouthing 'thank you'. Once he spies Ajax, he tips his chin toward the mercenary, recognizing him.
"A fair amount of our income comes from the sponsorship of noble houses, as well -- in return for financial support, all members of given noble house and those that serve the household directly may make use of our resources," Natalia notes. She nods her agreement to Ouida's words, taking a quick swallow from her glass before she adds, "Most of the silver we bring in from the dues goes to paying the instructors we have who teach here as their livelyhood. Some of it goes towards equipping our agents, as well."
Valdemar is quiet for a time, listening to the talk of requirements, dues and whatnot. When Natalia brings up sponsorship, however, his expression turns thoughtful for a moment before he speaks up, "Mistress Whisper, what is necessary for a noble house to sponsor the Academy? It is something I would like to discuss with others in my family about, given the importance of the work being done here."
"Does the Academy report to any particular body or sponsorship organization? Does it fall under a particular House or is it a purely academic entity set apart from everything else?" Irisa asks, lofting her brow. The question is more casual than anything. Certain group report to the King, others to different groups like Inquisition.
Peri has left the a comfortable ivory leather and mahogany wooden sofa.
As Ajax draws closer to the crowd gathered, he eyes the glass that Podraig is drinking from, his lips curling into an easy going smile, before he heads towards Quintin, offering something quietly towards the man with a dip of his head towards the lord.
"A noble house becomes a sponsor by agreeing to set up a recurring donation," Natalia answers Valdemar. "The amount is entirely negotiable. I'm sure we could come to an agreement that works for Grimhall, if you would like." She sends a smile his way before looking to Irisa for her questions. Hmm. She considers for a moment before breathing out a little chuckle and lifting her now empty tumbler of whiskey in the woman's direction before setting it aside. "We are our own, independant group," she says. "Beholden only to the crown, as all who are part of the Compact are. Marquis Kael Keaton and I founded it a bit over a year ago, to further our mostly educational mission. We have agreements with a number of other groups in the city -- their members can use our facilities freely, as our service to Arx and the Compact."
Although he doesn't much like the wine, Podraig couldn't find the water he wanted. Initially anyways. Rather than speak up and draw more attention to himself that (in his mind) he doesn't need, he suffers through it. After taking another drink and sniffing again, he makes a face and sets the glass back down. Once more, he wanders over to the refreshments table while keeping half of his attention on Natalia while she takes care of business. He's not necessarily rummaging, but it could be construed as such. When he finally finds the water, his determined look becomes one of quiet, self-satisfactory triumph. This he tilts back first, rinses his mouth and then swallows again, trying to get the taste of fermented graped off of his taste buds.
Quintin shakes his head a little and murmurs something back to Ajax, though the majority of his attention remains on Natalia.
Irisa does seem rather pleased with the answer and nods happily. "Excellent to hear. Makes me wish I'd been born Peerage so I could try and donate like that." There's a hint of the light and heartened enthusiasm that Irisa seems to have a problem with hiding. Some people wear their hearts on their sleeves, though. She goes back to eating the tart and looks to Ouida the a thumbs-up gesture to that delicious morsel!
Ouida continues to relax and monitor the room, sipping at her cup of water, and listening attentively. Irisa's thumbs up breaks the pleasantly reserved mask, however, and she offers a warm smile and a wink in return. Though when there is an appropriate lull in the conversation, she will ask with courteous curiousity, "If I may ask the group assembled, as we move into further planning, is there anything in particular that those new to the membership or considering it would like to see from it?"
"Do you limit sponsorship offers to just noble houses?" Ajax wonders in Natalia's direction, after he nods towards Quintin's direction, offering something towards the lord, his fingers moving to scratch at the stubble on his chin curiously.
"No, if another group wished to act as sponsor, I'd be perfectly happy to discuss it," Natalia tells Ajax with a grin, a touch of humor winding into her tone for the words. "We would be more than happy to work with a mercenary company, certainly." There's a look to Ouida for her question of those present, and she sends her own look around to see if anyone has something.
Quintin nods to something Ajax says; looking to Ouida, he says, "I'd like to know more about agents. What is expected of an agent?"
With water in hand now, Podraig watches the gathering more closely once again. He stays there at the refreshment table for the time being however, drinking down water to get rid of that infernal taste of grape. Once that glass of water has been downed, he takes another and walks back over to where Natalia is to stand his post once again. Quietly he sips, observing those taking part in the meeting. He hasn't said a word yet and sees no reason at all to spoil the trend. He does look sidelong at Natalia briefly, thrusting his chin gently towards the refreshment table. He then looks her way, raising a brow in question.
"A willingness to be tapped on the shoulder to assist with missions that support the academy's goals," Natalia answers, glancing over towards Podraig. There's a nod for the lift of his brow, a very light gesture with her hand towards her empty whiskey. If one wasn't looking for the movement of her pinky, it would be easy to miss. "Which is about clear as mud, I know -- but it's any number of things. I need _things_ done fairly regularly, and being an agent means you're volunteering to be one of the people I come to bother when I need those things done, be it an escort for a group heading off of the beaten path, or joining me in someone's demesne teaching them how to spot spies."
"I see. Then I will discuss it with my wife and other advisors, and then reach out to you so that we can decide on what that arrangement will look like," Valdemar responds to their hostess, a slight smile on his face again before finishing off his mead. Falling quiet, he listens to the discussion about agents and mercenary groups with interest.
Quintin nods again to Natalia. "Alright," he says, after a moment's thought. I think I understand." He seems sufficiently satisfied; he's kind of eyeing the tarts now.
He picks up on it easily enough. Podraig's responsibilities don't include 'waiter', but making the trip back to the refreshments table keeps him busy and moving. After arriving at the table once more, he begins rummaging again, looking for the whiskey. When no fresh glasses reveal themselves, he simply takes one of the bottles from the table. He gives a look this way and that to make sure no one's paying attention and then pulls the cork out with his teeth. He drops it into his free palm and then carries it on over to Natalia, gesturing to her glass for her to lift it and then tilting the bottle to fill her glass about halfway.
Ouida smiles understandingly at the question, though she seems a little relieved when Natalia answers, probably because she's got another piece of tart in her mouth when it's spoken. But instead she nods sagely, and swallows. She too glances around the room again, to search for any sort of inquiring faces, with an encouraging expression.
"Thank you," Natalia tells Valdemar, sending another smile in his direction before shifting her attention to the group in general again. "Does anyone have any further questions? If not, I think I will end the formal part of the afternoon. Again, thank you to everyone for coming."
"Gratitude, I would welcome such a discussion before the winter fades entirely." Ajax rumbles with an easy going smile, his hand resting against his hip, he follows Quintin's gaze towards the tarts and seemingly more interested now in snacking, though, his attention does flicker to the center of the room.
Ouida raises her water glass again to Natalia, as she brings a meeting to a close. "Thank you as well for your time, and all those who shared this evening with us," she offers with a warm smile.
Quintin is now over at the tarts. He picks one up, and then a second, and brings it back over to Ajax to offer him one silently. "Thank you for your time," he tells Natalia and Ouida both.
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