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Questions of Cardia


Please join us as Lord Marcus Sulla, Princeps of House Sulla of Cardia, speaks at the Vellichorian Academy. He has agreed to answer your questions in the interest of furthering our knowledge of Cardia. Please respect the basic rules of etiquette of the Academy during his visit:

1. Lord Sulla is offered full Guest Right during his visit. Weapons are to be peace-tied, save for those Templars who will be present to ensure that the peace is kept. We expect all due courtesy will be afforded our guest.

2. Because we did not receive many questions, we will be opening the floor to questions in a structured format. Please do not interrupt speakers at the event.

3. When the floor is opened to questions, please wait your turn and limit yourself to /one/ question.

4. Please keep questions brief and on-point.

The event will be held in the main lecture hall of the Vellichorian Academy, and will be open to the public.

Date

June 30, 2019, 7:30 p.m.

Hosted By

Sina

GM'd By

Sina

Participants

Delilah Laric Vayne Peri Felix Mailys Ouida Tescelina Mirella Rinel Ilmia Roxana Marcus Irisa Shard Ian Brianna Jasher Octavia Petraea Merek Helena Mia Juliana Mikani Antea Khanne Alecstazi Fiora Alessia Lucita Fecundo Holden Alarissa Aleksei Danvir Emilia Mirk Willow Victus Quintin Lottie Samithel Brigida Galatea Rysen Fortunato Darren Agostino Duarte

Organizations

Scholars

Location

Arx - Ward of the Compact - Vellichorian Academy

Largesse Level

Grand

Comments and Log

Samithel

It was a warm spring day; surprisingly warm, especially with so many in the lecture hall at the academy. And of course, strangely turbulent skies. There were some emissaries from Cardia in the Vellichorian Academy--a praetor named Marcus of house Sulla and his…complement, Petraea of house Livy. She may have called herself a tribune? There were many strange names which I could not put to paper for lack of understanding of the language. It is enough to raise an epoch of questions. More practically, why did Marcus allow Petraea to accompany him?
There was some conversation of a small argument regarding her attendance, but it is clear they do not see eye to eye in many issues, and yet there she stood, answering questions along side him. Petraea is either poor with her masks or far better at this noble dance than he. It is almost as if she is the true diplomat, and he some kind of warlord.
Certainly his misuse of the word rabble did not win any favors with the nobles. Could he not tell how little they cared about his wish to keep Jad-airal off Arvum? Surely he could tell some questions were specifically searching for weaknesses, otherwise he would not have been so vague. Why is Arvum neutral ground, and why would they break it to destroy a house Darkwater?
Still, it was nice to witness moments of humanity--they do not care for their losses, and Marcus finds sentimental value in his Sundyr sword. There seems to be a title associated with it. Would it make him Marcus of house Sulla, Sword of the Black Spire? He is almost surely not the lord in the skylord relationship. They like adding the word sky to nearly anything. Maybe there is a story there, too, particularly considering those things which they do not feel beholden to.


As the time approaches for Marcus Sulla to arrive, Sina steps out of the Archscholar's office slightly ahead of schedule to take up her position at the front of the lecture hall. She is wearing her aeterna robes over exotic leather, her long black hair pinned up in an elegant bun at the back of her head. Her silvery eyes scan over those gathered, her features composed into an expression of quiet calm. There are templars present, of course, to ensure all weapons are peace-tied and to ensure the safety of all present. Meanwhile, her assistant Jacinthe is here with her baton for when the floor is opened to questions, as before. Her other assistant, Arindais, is here as well, seated at a desk where he can take notes for posterity of this momentous day.



When the time approaches, the Archscholar steps up to the podium that has been placed at the front of the room, and glances around, lifting a hand for everyone's attention. "Good day," she greets, her voice carrying pleasantly across the lecture hall. "Today," she says, glancing around, "we have invited Lord Marcus Sulla of Cardia as our guest to speak with us about his homeland. There are a few ground rules, which I would like to make certain everyone is aware of before we begin: One. Please afford our guest all due respect, the same as any teacher or presenter here at the Academy." She glances around. "Two. When the floor is opened to questions, please take the baton from Jacinthe when it is your turn," her assistant raises the simple wooden baton for all to see, "and try not to interrupt those who are speaking. Three. Please keep questions simple and to the point. One question per person. Try to avoid multi-part questions if you can. Questions should not include negotiations of any kind," she finishes with a more solemn look. "Please keep them limited to questions about Cardia. Other than that, I hope you will all learn something of value today. In Vellichor's name," she finishes, bowing her head to all present.



With that, she steps aside, and turns toward the doors leading into the Academy, to await the arrival of the Cardian Ambassador.

1 Crimson Blades Sergeant, Aegis, a large red Oakhaven bloodhound, Rurik, a prodigal assistant arrive, following Mirk.

Mirk has joined the a sturdy pine wooden bench.

Stefano, an inconspicuous Lycene bodyguard, Carmela, a gleaming dusken-feathered crow, Ambra, a plain-faced Lycene scribe arrive, following Mirella.

2 Leary House Guards, Aurous, A Golden Eagle arrive, following Ilmia.

Mirella has joined the a sturdy pine wooden bench.

Samithel has joined the a sturdy pine wooden bench.

Alessia has joined the a sturdy pine wooden bench.

2 Leary House Guards have been dismissed.

3 Thrax Guards arrives, following Jasher.

Aurous, A Golden Eagle have been dismissed.

Felix has joined the Student Desks.

Peri arrived early enough to get a seat at one of the student tables that is back from the podium. She has been here long enough that her blank journal titled 'Questions of Cardia' is already bordered in doodles of scales, barren trees, and a volcano. One leg is hooked around a chair leg and the other is bouncing with nervous energy. Every now and then Eina leans in to whisper something and the bouncing stops. Those who know Peri and Eina might miss them at first because of how differently they are dressed. Eina is wearing simple reds and blacks, and Peri is dressed in a prim white and peach frock. Her wild hair has been gathered into a bun and pulled snug against her scalp. Her head is surrounded by a halo of ombre auburn wisps. She looks nothing like a tomboy from Pearlspire.

3 Tyde Houseguard, 2 Redwood Initiates arrive, following Lethe.

Roxana has joined the Student Desks.

Damien Pierce - A Charming Assistant, 1 Redreef Warden, Vagari - Cinder Kitten, 1 Order of the Firebird, 4 Byrne Mountain Men arrive, following Mikani.

Felix arrives, with his glaive peace tied, early enough to take a seat. He's got a small folio with him, and a charcoal pencil to make notes with should he need. Sitting iddle with eyes closed until Sina steps out, he sits up when it becomes apparent that the event was about to begin. Listening with a little nod, then settles in to listen, with a glance to those who share the space around himself to see who else has joined in.

Ilmia has joined the Student Desks.

Jasher has joined the Observation Seating.

Mailys looks to Felix, lifting a hand to wave to the smith from her seat!

Mikani has joined the Student Desks.

Tescelina has joined the Student Desks.

Juliana has joined the Observation Seating.

Tescelina has left the Student Desks.

Tescelina has joined the Student Desks.

Lethe has joined the Observation Seating.

:looks every bit the epitome of an Oathlands knight tonight, including the ramrod straight posture and Very Serious courtly expression. Her face has that freshly-scrubbed look about it, her hair braided back very simply to be out of the way should a helmet need to be stuffed upon her head, but her weapons are very obviously peace bound. Her sky blue eyes take in the gathering without comment, and she makes her way to the observation area, finding a spot amongst the benches and settling herself just so, her hands resting lightly on her knees. Her expression doesn't change, and her voice is deadpan as she answers the perhaps rhetorical question. "Thirty minutes or three questions in," is her wager, freely given.

Tescelina moves in to the hall quietly, finding a student desk to settle in and folds her hands in her lap that is after laying out her note-taking equipment.

Rinel has joined the Student Desks.

Mirella arrives! Doing her best not to be noticed. Just a simple dress, indigo silk. A quiet step, an impassive expression. A polite nod or wave or curtsy here and there as required, with a bit more of a smile (or as near as) to people she knows and likes. With little inclication or need to chat for the moment, she looks for a place to sit. And then, having spotted a likely place, she heads over where there seems to be a real dearth of smiling faces, at least on a cursory inspection. Yes, that is the bench for her.

As Sina's Voice, Delilah is slightly off to the side, claiming a space at the front desk. A slim grey volume lies on the table, watched over like a chick by two guards of a different feather; one an Inquisitor, the other wearing the Graypeak attire. Like the rest, their weapons are peacebound but the duchess doesn't bother with any such things. A pen rests in her hand, a variety of others in a small case where she can easily exchange her way through them. She sweeps a thoughtful look over the many present, and then gives Sina a smart nod, murmuring something to her.

Rinel slips in quietly and makes her way to a familiar face.

Lady Ilmia Leary enters quickly and quietly, she handed Aurous off to the guards with her and then gave them a dip of her head before they head off. She heads over to the Student Desks and gives a smile to those sitting there, "Lady Peri, Master Felix." she smiles to them and then has a seat. She then takes a book out and her quill for notes.

Alecstazi has left the Teachers Desk.

Roxana arrives at the exact right moment, nothing like infashionably early, but not so late as to miss out on her exact choice of seating at one of the clusters of student desks, tucked in next to Agostino. She's dressed in mostly Cardian snakeskin, dark and fitted. One leg crosses over the other lazily and she whispers something to the man next to her, no ledger for notes.

2 House Mazetti Aspirants arrives, following Antea.

Marcus has joined the Teachers Desk.

There's a relatively large entourage that starts to arrive from outside, led by Lord Marcus Sulla, the Praetor of Arvum. He turns to his steelsilk clad soldiers and informs them loudly enough to be heard, "Return to the ship, there is nothing here that can reasonably threaten me and I'm told it is undiplomatic to remind them of their poverty and weakness." He then strides purposely through the doors and walks up to the teachers desk, his eyes blazing with anger that seems undirected... and largely how he always looks. He folds his hands behind him in parade rest, looming next to the desk, "Your religious head teacher for your village, called Sina, did hand me a list of several questions in advance. With her permission, I shall address those first and then open the floor to questions. I will attempt to keep my answers understandable by Arvani, but if you are confused, please do not cry as I have little tolerance for it. I'll simply repeat with smaller words until it is within your grasp." He then clears his throat and looks towards Sina, "Is that agreeable?"

Mia has left the Teachers Desk.

Antea has joined the Observation Seating.

Alecstazi has joined the Observation Seating.

Ondine, a red-breasted sparrowhawk arrives, following Brianna.

Irisa arrives with Mia. Two blades, the diamondplate and the rubicund, both peace tied. She looks serious, escorting the Countess with the other guards outside. She moves towards the seating with her venturing a glance to Ouida. A wink slid that way with a smile. Ahem. Yes. Srsfas.

Brianna has joined the a sturdy pine wooden bench.

Shard, slumped comfortably in a chair, crosses her arms over her chest and directs her attention toward the front. Her eyes are narrowed, and remain so, though there's just the briefest lifting of her eyebrows.

There's a smile playing around Ian's mouth, pulling at the corners in little twitches, as Marcus starts to speak. He's also drinking (from a flask he retrieved from an inner pocket of his coat), so maybe that explains whatever it is that he finds funny enough to change expressions.

Cornelius, the crested iguana have been dismissed.

Brianna slips in, going to sit next to her cousin Mirk. Her expression is drawn and dour.

Jasher enters, turning to the array of benches to take a seat where there's room, gloved hands folded at his lap. The Praetor's words has him watching with a curious blue gaze, but he remains silent.

Alecstazi has left the Observation Seating.

As Marcus arrives and approaches the teacher's desk, Sina inclines her head toward him in greeting. "Welcome, Lord Sulla, to the Vellichorian Academy. Yes, it is agreeable. The floor is yours, whenever you are ready." She turns to those gathered then and introduces, "Lord Marcus Sulla, everyone." She then steps to the side, and takes a seat near Delilah at the front of the room just off to the side, so that Marcus can begin.

Alecstazi has joined the a sturdy pine wooden bench.

Octavia rolls her eyes at the Praetor's condescension, flipping open her notebook and taking a quill from her assistant. Looking over to Jasher, she says something under her breath to the man.

Lady Petraea Livy enters as a part of Marcus' entourage, looking upon those gathered with a confident gaze and a lifted chin, making her appear even taller than she already is. Clad in gleaming steelsilk with her long, dark hair intricately braided and coiled atop her head, she is undeniably beautiful in a way that just touches on the exotic. Unlike the soldiers, she remains even after Marcus' dismissal. She gives the growing crowd a brief glance and her smile hardens just a trace when Marcus addresses Sina. Still, she remains smiling as she leans in to murmur to Marcus, "Shall I sit with the crowd or would you prefer me closer?"

Merek makes his way into the place, with his longcoat adjusted about him. He then finds a place to settle in and relax as well also.

Drysi, a young shaman apprentice, 2 Redrain Guards arrive, following Khanne.

After murmuring something to those nearby her, there is a small huff of breath and a restrained effort to *not* roll her eyes on the part of Princess Helena, and she jots down a couple of words in her journal.

Khanne has joined the a sturdy pine wooden bench.

Mia slips into the room quietly, or at least as quietly as she can manage, at Irisa's side. She moves not to take a seat, but to find a quiet corner in which to stand, her hands folded across her waist.

1 Greenmarch Guard, Soraya, the out of place Lycene lady's maid arrive, following Margret.

Lady Igniseri enters, then pauses, slowly glancing around at the various face in order to find a face she knows. Spotting Jasher ahead of her, Jules takes those few quick steps to slip her hand into his, following to the benches where she will settle at his side with a smile.

Mikani enters taking a seat quietly. She has her notebook and she looks more serious than normal.

Jasher's eyes flick towards Octavia as she murmurs his way. His lips move in his own reply, reciprocating the quiet tone.

Holden has left the Observation Seating.

Margret has joined the Observation Seating.

Mailys props an elbow on her chair, leaning her chin in her hand as she watches the proceedings.

Margret has left the Observation Seating.

1 Greenmarch Guard, Soraya, the out of place Lycene lady's maid leave, following Margret.

Antea enters with little fanfare, casting a quick glance around the room with a brief pause on the visiting Cardian before making her way around towards the observational seating. Settling in, she pulls a clay jug from her pack and pulls the cork. This may demand drinking.

Marcus frowns ever so slightly as Petraea arrives and gestures towards the steelsilk clad woman and then his side, "Very well, you may stand closer rather than sully yourself with the rabble." There's a pause and he clears his throat, holding up a hand, "I mean no offense by the term, some of my best friends are rabble and I do not think it translates well in Arvani."

Holden has joined the Observation Seating.

Khanne walks into the academy and just makes her way over to where her cousins sit. She is quiet, trying not to interrupt anything that might have already begun. She does, however, try to pay respect to anyone who might greet her otherwise.

Alecstazi stares at Marcus, at that commentary, a single thick black brow spocking upwards, his eyes turning cold. He says nothing, but his expression is flat and disapproving.

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

Mikani is not phased by the comment. She's used to being called rabble.

What's the command for emit at tabletalk?

Ouida doesn't seem terribly offended the terms Sulla uses. In fact, there might be a bit of a twitch of the corners of her lips in an upward direction, for a brief moment.

Something which Marcus has said tugs at the corners of Mia's mouth -- a funny thing really, given how rarely it is the woman smiles outside the walls of her own hall. Then again, it's not a smile. Not really. More a flickering ghost of dry amusement at some recollection she's had or some quicksilver thought that fades as swiftly as it struck.

Sina glances to Petraea as the woman murmurs something to Marcus, studying the steelsilk and her exotic appearance curiously. But she offers the woman a polite smile as she settles into her seat, and a welcoming nod to join those at the front, and folds her hands in her lap over her aeterna robes while she waits. She does clear her throat slightly as Marcus suggests the people of Arvum are 'rabble'. But other than that, she gives no further reaction.

Petraea tips her chin and bows her head to Marcus just enough to be respectful as she moves to stand where she is directed. For Sina, there is a touch brighter smile and maybe just a little bit more of a nod before she looks back over the crowd, draws in a breath, and seems to hold it for a moment before slowly exhaling, as if steeling herself for what is to come.

Ian clears his throat softly when Marcus starts to explain the poor translation of the word 'rabble'. Whiskey can be pretty hard on the throat, after all. He's definitely not not-quite-succeeding in suppressing a grin.

Delilah's countenance bears that same caged-in inquisitiveness that any stranger of particular status might warrant, the focus of her brilliant summer-sky eyes turned between Marcus and Petraea. She inclines her head a fraction and picks up a pen, holding the instrument ready just as so many probably ready to do the same. With a slight dip of her head, she then smiles at Petraea. But the lion's share of her attention, as naturally must be, goes with the Cardian emissary.

Marcus looks at the crowd and pulls out a sheet of vellum engraved with Cardian writing, "The first question presented by Archscholar Sina is 'Will you consent to giving your version of the history of relations between Cardia and Arvum?'." The Praetor seems to not notice the looks he is getting, or supremely indifferent to them as he continues, "Of course. Arvum, as you must understand, is a provincial backwater of minimal importance to the Skykingdom of Cardia, and was briefly noteworthy during the Period of Unfortunate Incidents a thousand years ago, which we believe you call the Reckoning." The hulking man glances in Shard's direction, "As her majesty is doubtless informed, there was a gathering of human cast offs of the elven kingdom upon this continent, which gave it some strategic importance during that period. As humanity and elven kind proved themselves completely inadequate to face the threat, they of course turned to Cardia for assistance, which despite us having no real strategic need to do so, we graciously lent our aid." For some reason, he looks at Ouida as he speaks, "Cardia of course gloriously led an attack upon the cause of Period of Unfortunate Incidents, destroying it and turning it into the place named Pyre. With the center of the problems destroyed, Arvum was likewise saved, and we lost interest in this place for the next thousand years." He gestures towards Petraea, "She may have something to add."

Shard's expression doesn't change at all as she's addressed as 'her majesty', and neither does her decidedly un-royal slump, though she does lift her chin just a little. Assent? Acknowledgement? Just a muscle twitch? Who knows.

Tescelina looks up from her note taking as the /specific version/ of history is given when Your Majesty is said, she looks toward Shard following the glance and then -- lifts her hand and waves. She returns to her notes.

Ouida looks at Marcus as he looks at her, her expression solemn, her chin lifting ever so slightly.

Sina has joined the Teachers Desk.

The Malvici woman shoots a look over to Ouida, brow tightening slightly. Fiora leans forward somewhat in her seat, jaw tightening.

Lethe has left the Observation Seating.

3 Tyde Houseguard, 2 Redwood Initiates leave, following Lethe.

Octavia looks over at Shard with a bit of a smirk, then looks back up towards the man who calls himself Praetor. The Chief Magistrate is wearing the same sort of expression that those who have worked with her would recognize as her 'tolerating this to see where you go with it' bench face.

Sina settles in to quietly listen as Marcus begins to address the questions that she had initially presented to him from those that were submitted from her earlier call for questions of a few weeks ago. She lifts a hand to tuck a stray lock of black hair into her bun, out of her face, then rests her hands in her lap once more as she listens with avid curiosity. The Archscholar's features remain smooth at the language used by the Cardian representative, her silvery gaze focused through her dark lashes, which she never quite fully lifts to reveal those silvery eyes, throughout his speech. When he finishes speaking and turns things over to the woman accompanying him, Sina's gaze shifts toward her with a curious look.

"I believe you have stated the abbreviated history quite well. I believe further elaboration would be difficult given the constraints of time." Petraea answers in a smooth voice as she gives Marcus a little nod before fixing that brilliant smile on the crowd, a definite contrast to Marcus' more dour countenance.

Lost as she is in the crowd due to her lack of height and quiet manner, Mirella's face is nonetheless touched with a look of deep though. Lips slightly pursed, brows drawn together. She sits at the frownyface bench and listens without speaking, eyes occasionally drifting to the impressive blade that Marcus has brought with him, if indeed he has.

Marcus places the last piece of vellum on the desk and removes another one, squinting down at it, "The second question presented is, 'Can you tell us of the history between Cardia and Jadairal, and your version of how your conflict came about?' And of course, I am happy to speak about the duplicity of the treacherous dogs of the so called Undying Emperor." He clears his throat and places the vellum down, as he paces back and forth in front of the teacher's desk, gesturing towards the crowd, "What you must understand is that despite his pitiful attempts at self-aggrandizement here, the Undying Emperor is a duplicitous and sly tyrant that thirsts for power. After Cardia's glorious success during the Period of Unfortunate Incidents, he and his coterie of flunkies became very jealous of the Skykingdom's wealth and might. They attempted to sow great discord in Cardia, and were successful in being instigators in a civil war, several centuries after the so-called Reckoning. While their craven efforts failed and the Skykingdom proved stronger than ever, they attempted to slyly sue for peace some time later, and we brought all of his servants to justice." Marcus shakes his head sadly, "Unfortunately, the Emperor himself, coward that he is, was not there and escaped destruction, and fled to Jadairal to twist its people to his will, and has hungered to extend his rule over the world entire. He's too weak to oppose Cardia, so he dares not interfere in neutral ground such as Arvum." He glances around, "Any questions on that point of ancient history?"

Cristoph has joined the Student Desks.

Cristoph has left the Student Desks.

Cristoph has joined the a sturdy pine wooden bench.

Golden, an Oakhaven bloodhound, Gunther, a Rottweiler, Micana, 1 Saik Guard arrive, following Lucita.

Alessia locks eyes on the baroness Saik as she enters, beckoning her to join with a hand if she so chooses.

Lucita has joined the Observation Seating.

Maxene, the steadfast ladies maid, Pellinor, 3 Thrax Guards, Honey Snuggle, a Velenosian Angora cat, Elegance, a Velenosian Greyhound, 2 Thrax Elite Guards arrive, following Alarissa.

Lucita comes in quietly, gives a curtsy and silently takes a seat to listen.

Octavia dutifully takes notes, but her expression is something more of bemusement at this point. She looks up to acknowledge Alarissa when she enters, then waits to hear what topic the Praetor addresses next.

Silently shadowing every move made by the Praetor from the shelter of that same desk, Delilah rarely looks away from Marcus. Still, she writes once he starts speaking, the ribbon of dark ink forming on the parchment that drinks it up. A momentary pause follows once she exchanges one pen for another, resuming writing once more. Her expression turns thoughtful, a fine line radiating between her brows.

After a moment and then a shrug, Lord Marcus Sulla withdraws a final piece of vellum and recites off the page, "'How does government work in Cardia? Is the free human population of Cardia more or less self-governing, or do the Skylords directly influence day-to-day affairs?' From our noble houses, we select a senate and have appointed consuls, with many tiers of local governance below that, and provincial governors. With, of course, a military praetor appointed, that operates as military governor for any region not yet under Cardian control." He then repeats the line, 'do the Skylords directly influence...' Marcus laughs and shakes his head, "Do dragons interfere with local day to day affairs? Of course not, what a silly, Arvani question. It's very charming, though." He chuckles again and shakes his head, repeating to himself, 'day-to-day affairs. Hah!" He looks at Shard with an exasperated look that says, 'Arvani, amirite?' He then clears his throat, "At this point, I shall take any questions, you may form a line and I shall call upon you in order."

Rinel has joined the line.

Fiora has joined the line.

Merek has joined the line.

Holden has joined the line.

Turn in line: Rinel

Peri's gaze moves from Lord Marcus to Lady Petraea. She takes notes and even sketches the two. After Marcus gives his answers on ancient history, she pauses in her note taking to speak to others at her table.

Shard returns the look with a sort of thin-lipped...expression. It's definitely an expression. If she was trying for any kind of smile it never even managed to get into the vicinity of one, though.

Petraea just manages to hide her wince when the Jadairal question is read aloud by Marcus. She takes a breath and, luckily, she is looking away from Marcus when that 'oh here he goes again' expression flits briefly over her face. Then, she is all smiles again, her grin fixed like a mask beneath those hazel eyes that seem decidedly less amused, yet more observant. She delicately clears her throat and speaks up, "To elaborate just a bit on the point, the Skylords are otherwise occupied to involve themselves in human affairs of governance. The Senate serves to guide the people of Cardia well." There might just be a teeny, tiny bit of emphasis on the word 'Senate'.

Fiora has left the a sturdy pine wooden bench.

Sina listens quietly as Marcus addresses the first three questions, and then she dips her head to him in acknowledgement and appreciation for his indulgence. She's careful not to show any sign of upset at the way the questions are answered. They are answered, and that's all that matters. She's mostly silent. She's a facilitator of this event, little more. But there's a slight tension in her eyes when she sees Rinel is the first person in line.

Getting to her feet, Fiora moves quietly to another table and plunks down. There may be a hard look given to a few people.

Fiora has joined the Student Desks.

Fecundo has joined the line.

Fiora has joined the line.

Rinel stands and makes her way haltingly to a place that seems suitable for questions to be asked. She gives Marcus a polite bow. "Praetor. I have made some small intellectual ventures into the realm of religious practices. I understand that the worship of human Gods is outlawed within the extensive domain of the Skylords. My question, then, is if there exists an equivalent, however rough, to Arvani concepts of Aion and Tehom, Dream and Reflection. I apologise if it is improper for me to ask a mere human to speak on behalf of beings as distinguished as the Skylords of Cardia--if it is, I would humbly restrict my question to the humans of Cardia only." Her voice, for once, is startlingly polite. Apparently learning something is more important to the firebrand than making a point, for once.

Tescelina slips out of the hall as the line begins to form, taking her notes of course.

Tescelina has left the Student Desks.

Brianna has joined the line.

Mirk has joined the line.

Mirella actually looks momentarily bamboozled, eyebrows raising, as Rinel offers forth what might well be a carefully-phrased question. Such restraint being exhibited there, it would seem.

Marcus briefly glances to Petraea and then shrugs, turning back towards Rinel. "You mean the elven concepts that you embrace here in Arvum? Well, certainly we recognize the existence of the world in Aion, and he is the only one the Skylords hold superior. We have the Temple of the Stars, and commoner and noble alike in Cardia worship the Sun, the Moon and the Stars." He then waves a hand airily, "We don't worship your elven gods. They are peers of the skylords, not above them."

Turn in line: Merek

12 Thrax Elite Guards, Crow - Thraxian Steward, Lilybelle - The Claw of Arx arrive, following Victus.

Rinel bows politely. "Thank you, Praetor." And so she makes her way back to her table.

Merek moves forward to ask his question, "I have a simple question, it's the one I ask most places. What is medicine like in your nation, Praetor?" he asks politely, while he offers a bow as well.

Shard's right eye narrows a little more than her left. It doesn't seem to be a gesture of anger or temper. She looks, for once, merely blatantly curious.

Fecundo watches the guests curiously, but politely, seeming to pay close attention to the questions asked and answered. Aside from this, his expression is calm, even relaxed as he stands in line, awaiting his turn.

"Oooh, that sounds pretty." Roxana whispers loudly enough to be overheard, before noticing her volume and blushing just a bit.

Sina tilts her head curiously as she hears Marcus' answer to Rinel's question. She does not seem particularly surprised by the answer to Rinel's question, however. What seems to surprise her more is the fact that Rinel didn't flub her words, or her manners, even once. She gives the former Scholar an approving nod of the head, and then looks to the next person in line.

"Well for slaves, it's much like yours." Lord Marcus begins, gesturing towards Merek, "As they fumble around with herbs and bandages and whatever they wish. It toughens them up, and makes them more useful if they survive. For freemen and above, of course, all ills are addressed by the Art. As only slaves and morons would fumble around with herbs and the like." He holds up a hand, "No offense is intended, I am certain your physicians have great talent in their fumbling about in the dark."

Turn in line: Holden

Merek checked willpower at difficulty 20, rolling 0 higher.

Mia has joined the line.

As his turn comes, Holden gets to his feet. The big knight meets Marcus' gaze levelly, though the tension in his shoulders is clear. The way his jaw is faintly clenched. "What is the Cardian position on the Abandoned known as the Malardin?" The question is put bluntly. "The ones who attacked Sanctum nine years ago, in an attempt to eliminate the Valardin royals? Their backers are rumored to have had Cardian ties."

Alarissa shifts through the doorway, a look to Octavia and taking up a spot beside her.

Victus has joined the line.

Merek seems thoughtful about that, and manages to keep his face from showing how he feels about the same. He then offers a bow, "Thank you, Praetor," he says, while he makes his way back. Only then when his face is away from view does it shift to a look of something akin to emotion.

Mailys has joined the line.

Aleksei startles visibly as Holden rises to his feet next to him, the shock clear on his face as his brother addresses the Praetor. His gaze shoots back to Marcus with a certain tension to his frame.

Intrigue, a sleek, diminutive raven with blue-black plumage arrives, following Willow.

s It's a remarkable contradiction, really, the way Mia's expression falls at the very same moment that one of her brows arches upwards -- as if the lower half of her face had given way to gravity in order to allow the upper half to escape its grasp. There's a quiet murmur offered to a night at her side, but a decidedly short one at that.

Ian has left the a sturdy pine wooden bench.

Willow has joined the a sturdy pine wooden bench.

Lucita keeps her expression one of calm interest as she continues to politely listen, saying nothing that carries beyond the ears of those adjacent to her.

Ian has joined the a sturdy pine wooden bench.

Octavia looks up at Holden's question, tilting her head slightly to see how the Cardian answers it.

Jasher turns his gaze towards Holden. His lips move in quiet discourse to someone or other on the benches he's on, but otherwise, he remains silent. Waiting.

"He /is/ a real Oathlander," Rinel can be heard saying with obvious admiration.

Petraea's dark brows lift and she stares -intently- at Holden in the wake of his question, a mix of curiosity and brief respect in her gaze before she glances away. She then looks to Marcus, head tilted as if just waiting to see how he plans to answer that one.

Delilah taps her pen twice against the book she makes her notes in. Whilst the questions are raised, she turns to murmur something in response to the Archscholar. The briefest hint of a smile vanishes away back beneath the surface, and she too turns to see what Marcus' response might be.

Marcus shrugs helplessly as he's addressed by Holden, "It's hardly surprising that some Arvani would turn to dragon worship, in a misguided attempt to elevate their provincial backwater. My understanding is this is coming from outcast chattel who have some long standing feuds with your province. We wish you the best fortune in suppressing your regional slave revolts and the like."

Turn in line: Fecundo

Something said at the student table causes Peri to laugh out and she quickly covers her mouth to quell the laughter. She looks alarmed after.

After a short conversation at the benches in the back, Ian is suddenly REALLY REALLY INTERESTED in the questions and their answers. And his drink. So interested.

Fecundo steps up for his turn in the line, offering Marcus a half nod, half bow, that calm remaining and it seems to take him a moment or two to form his question, "Praetor...like some of the others, I have a simple question. In your knowing...learning...or understanding...has the heart of the world ever skipped a beat?"

Danvir comes in looking around

Holden remains standing for a moment longer, regarding the Cardians with what could be considered an uncharacteristic barely-repressed fury. As another questioner steps forward, the veteran of the Tragedy simply nods once, a curt attempt at his usual deference, and then retakes his seat. The tension does not fade from his posture as he does so.

Danvir spots willow and head to the bench to sit next to her

Danvir has joined the a sturdy pine wooden bench.

Ouida's fingers brush over her heart again as Holden speaks, as if in deep respect, though she in unable to keep all of the suprise from her expression as she listens to the answer, her brow furrowing ever so slightly as she seems to digest that.

Fecundo's question to the Praetor makes him pause, and he stares at the other man for a long moment before finally settling on a brief answer, "Once. When your clocktower fell."

Turn in line: Fiora

Emilia has joined the line.

Fiora stands up and takes a few steps forward, finally unfolding her arms. She looks down at Roxana for a long moment before looking back to Marcus. Her icy gaze rests on Marcus, "How long have you had your job?" A beat. "How did you earn it?" She pauses, looking at the line. "I have a followup question. But I can walk back to the end of the line, if you would prefer."

Fecundo nods, "Thank you, Praetor." He turns to go back to his seat.

Samithel has joined the line.

Sina rises to her feet briefly as Fiora mentions a follow-up question, and says, "One question only, please, out of fairness to everyone, my lady." She sits back down again, and dips her head to Marcus. "My apologies Praetor, but I wished to ensure that we make the best use of your time."

Fiora glances to Sina, lips thin. She looks back to Marcus. "How long ago and in what fashion did you earn your current position?" Her gaze then flicks back to Sina with just a touch of irritation as if to say, 'Better?'

Mirella checked composure at difficulty 15, rolling 5 higher.

Danvir whisper Willow=missed you. What have I missed

Emilia had arrived a little bit late. Being a Templar, her sword is not peace-tied and she stands far in the back. Though she follows the questions and tries to get a good look upon those who ask them, her focus is still very much set on Marcus for the most part.

When the Praetor mentions the falling of the Clocktower, Khanne looks up from the conversation where she sits, a frown upon her lips and a touch of sadness in her eyes before she looks back down.

Marcus nods in agreement with Sina as he addresses Lady Fiora's first set of questions, "It has been my great honor to serve the first Skylord for nine centuries. I distinguished myself in the Blood Pits of Civis Draconum, killing eighty five champions in a row, winning my freedom and going from worthless to freeman. Then I served in the twelth legion, and distinguished myself as the second winner of a Corona Graminea since a previous consul, was ennobled, and elected to Senate. I found myself in service to the First Skylord. Pretty standard, really." He waves a hand airily.

Turn in line: Brianna

Brianna rises slowly, as if making a show of pulling herself up to her full height. She strides forward, firmly rooting her feet to the ground. She meets the Praetor's gaze unflinchingly. "At the Assembly of Peers last year, you claimed that your people are holding King Alaric's firstborn bastard son. If we truly are such an inconsequential backwater, why do you still have him? I'm sure the child has a family here in Arvum who loves and misses him dearly. Why have you not returned this Arvani child to his home and loved ones? I've heard the argument that it is for his 'safety', but we have many children in the Compact who are at greater risk than he, and I haven't seen your people concerned for their wellbeing." She tilts her chin up slightly.

Suddenly Roxana glances up with a look of alarm, grabs a piece of parchment from someone sitting behind her, and a quill too! She scribbles off a note and sends it with a servant and a whisper, looking pensive once she's finished.

Sina merely gazes back at Fiora, and lifts her eyebrow. Then she turns her attention back to Marcus as he proceeds to answer the lady's question. She tilts her head curiously at the answer, and then turns her gaze to Briana as she asks her question in turn. She maintains a quiet composure throughout the question, but she does turn a concerned look toward Marcus to hear the answer.

Marcus seems surprised at Brianna's question, "Why, the prophecy, of course. And the treacherous Brass Knight was intending to use him for that reason. Certainly the Emperor would seek to do so as well, and they are happy and well in the Skykingdom, and do not speak of missed parents, to the best of my knowledge."

Turn in line: Mirk

There is a tight scowl on Fiora's face as if she is about to ask something more. Her lips shut tight as Brianna asks her question, the Malvici's brows narrowing and shooting back over to Sina. With some irritation, the woman goes to reclaim her seat. Taking all that scowling and hard looking and sending it right to her aunt.

Petraea's expression remains placid for the most part through the asking and answering of Fiora's question, though she does give the woman a long look. Brianna's question makes her lift those brows sharply once more. Marcus' answer has her deliberately turning her face away slightly before she clasps her hands behind her back, her forearms tense from clenching them together.

Alecstazi watches as Brianna stands up and asks her question, his eyes turn to Marcus and narrow significantly at the answer given. He shakes his head and mutters something that sounds suspiciously like a curse at the answer given. In the wake of the answer, he gets up and joins the line.

Alecstazi has joined the line.

Brianna's glare at Marcus could kill. She clenches her jaw so hard that she might crack a molar, her short fingernails biting into her palms. She returns to her seat, sitting ramrod straight.

Mirk listens to the question preceding his, his jaw clenched, his expression fixed, though the answer has him looking around at Brianna. It takes him a few moments to realize that his turn has arrived. He clears his throat, and manages an even tone when he asks his question: "In my studies, I have been told that there is no shamanism in Cardia, that such religions are banned by the Skylords. Can you elaborate more on why?"

Emilia's expression is part stone-cold and part surprised when Marcus answers Brianna. It's the kind of expression when someone's expectations are blown out of the water. The Templar rests her forearm on the hilt of her sword, but other than that, nothing else seems different.

Octavia is not writing anymore. The magistrate is sitting back, looking amused, and occasionally whispering an aside to Alarissa or Jasher.

Peri studies Petraea.

Mirella blinks at Alecstazi, and though her expression is cool, there's something about her scrutiny that has a hint of 'o shit' about it. She keeps her hands folded upon her lap and then peers towards Marcus and Petraea.

Mirk's question wrests Willow's attention from the bench and those nearby so duskstone eyes land on the Praetor, narrowing faintly with attention undivided on him.

From among the observation seats, one Valardin knight stops his own glare of fury towards the Praetor long enough to give Brianna a brief, respectful nod as the noblewoman retakes her own seat. Perhaps Holden cannot help but approve of someone else who seemingly feels a similar fury towards the Cardian emissary.

Jasher remains seated, eyes half-shut, listening either to the questions, the answers, or the asides murmured his way as appropriate. His hands are folded in his lap; his face impassive, silent and unmoving.

Marcus nods at Mirk, "It's extremely unwise to allow slaves to worship other old races or demons or the like. It simply is a distraction, and it's offensive to the Skylords. Imagine if you had humans that deified your Nox'alfar! It's much like that, really."

Turn in line: Mia

As Mia moves to take her turn in line, she pauses for a moment, her lips parting with whatever question it was she had prepared. It is set aside for a moment, her brow furrowing as she considers first Marcus, then Petraea, and then Marcus once more. "Forgive me, Praetor, as I believe you have expressed both amusement and frustration at our ignorance before. I had meant to ask you something far more interesting, at least in my opinion, but now I am simply curious. What prophecy?"

Mirk tilts his head, considering the answer to the question, and then sits down beside his fellow Halfshavs at the bench without comment, except that his jaw clenches even tighter, dissatisfied perhaps more with the situation than his answer.

Sina leans forward a little curiously as Mia asks her question, resting her arms on the teacher's desk. Silvery eyes focus on Marcus a little more intently.

Ouida's gaze breaks from Marcus briefly, to look towards the the back of the room, but quickly returns to the speaker and questioner.

Delilah is overheard praising Mia.

Alecstazi glances to Mia with a lift of his brows and an expression that clearly reads, 'Hey! That was MY question'. He looks to Marcus however, expectantly.

Rinel stands with a muffled groan and limps over to where Mirk is sitting with others.

Rinel has left the Student Desks.

Rinel has joined the a sturdy pine wooden bench.

Marcus looks surprised by Mia's question and looks briefly at Petraea for some reason then turns back, "Well, you understand that prophecies can be prevented, thanks to the First Choice. Otherwise what would be the point of them?" He shrugs as if that is common knowledge and then states flatly, "The child would be used to destroy the Skykingdom of Cardia. Unclear how."

Turn in line: Victus

Vagari - Cinder Kitten arrives, delivering a message to Brianna before departing.

Petraea meets Marcus' look with a gaze of her own, clear-eyed and yet inscrutable. While still looking at Marcus, Petraea smiles slyly and says, "Yes, indeed. Prophecies can be prevented. That makes them seem a little pointless in a way." Then she looks away from the Praetor to the next who approaches with a question.

Victus pops up from somewhere in the back to peer at Marcus. "One of Cardia's Skylords destroyed the Isle of Blackshore. How was Cardia justified in destruction of Compact lands?" He'd ask over the crowd.

There's a fond smile for the mention of Skald from Helena, which turns to a quick smirk at Petraea's comment. The Redrain princess then turns to murmur something to those nearby.

"Ahhh. Perhaps I should have been more specific and asked 'Which prophecy?', instead of what. Still, my thanks." Mia offers deep nods to both of their Cardian guests. They're not bows -- not quite -- but then again, they are foreign dignitaries and that makes the politics of etiquette a bit more complicated, doesn't it? She moves to rejoin Irisa, perhaps with a bit of a shrug at one of their hostesses on her way back to the corner the two Riven women had claimed.

Sina tilts her head curiously at the answer to the question of prophecy. Her features remain smooth, however, and as Victus steps up with his question, her curious gaze is once more shifted to the Cardian lord. She shifts a little in her seat, but otherwise she doesn't do much other than listen to the back and forth of questions and answers, and occasionally keeping the event running as smoothly as possible.

Irisa hasn't moved much. Not even with the question. But the answer got a very, very deep frown. However there is no missing the prideful look for her Countess on return.

Mailys looks to Victus, a bit surprised.

Marcus clears his throat at Victus, "It was justified, Count Maximilian Darkwater had caused grievous offense." He looks towards Petraea, "She can speak to that."

Holden blinks, staring towards Victus. And then the knight's attention snaps back to Marcus. This should be an /interesting/ answer. And then when the Praetor defers to Petraea, the knight's attention shifts to the Cardian woman.

Turn in line: Mailys

Octavia sits up at the mention of the death of her brother's vassal, looking first to Victus, then towards Marcus, and then towards Petraea. "Grievous Offense was Max's middle name, but most are capable of refraining from killing an entire house over such things."

Mailys rises from her seat, and actually approaches the floor. She's small, charming, and has eyes for all that steelsilk. "I'm something of a tailor, and your steelsilk is exquisite. May I touch a bit of it?" Her eyes switch back and forth between Marcus and Petraea, her voice rising again. "How is it made? Have you tried with other me-- Oh, that's too many questions. I'll stick with my first one." She smiles, but remains near the floor, hopeful.

Ian was in the middle of taking a drink when Octavia speaks up, and he almost chokes on it, swallowing a couple of coughs to keep them as quiet as possible.

Aleksei has joined the line.

Petraea smiles at Victus, something feral very briefly flashing in her eyes as she speaks just after Marcus, "It was beyond justified. Count Darkwater's actions were as traitorous to the Compact as they were to Cardia. You should thank us for removing the problem that it seems the Compact allowed to fester into an infection." As Mailys approached with her question, the Cardian lady's expression softens a bit and she steps away from Marcus, inclining her head as she holds her steelsilk clad arm out, "It is lovely. I don't blame you for wanting to touch it."

Quintin has joined the Student Desks.

Octavia has joined the line.

Mailys reaches out to brush her fingers against the fabic, rubbing the hem of the sleeve between thumb and forefinger. Feeling the weight of it, the smoothness. Marvelling over it, really. "Someday, I hope to have my own gown like yours." Softly, perhaps truly a dream? With that, she's heading back to her seat with just a hopeful glance that Marcus might answer one of those other questions. She's really not counting on it, though.

Victus raises a brow at that. "I see, and this needed to be accomplished with the obliteration of an entire barony." He opines dryly. "Fascinating. Thank you for your time." The High Lord strides back through the rows of seats, fading into obscurity in the background again.

Quintin sidles in kind of late and quickly takes the first available seat he can find, at one of the student desks. The young Ashford lord stretches his right leg out under the desk and has a glance around.

Brianna is overheard praising Victus.

Sina watches with interest as the questions turn from the destruction of Blackshore to the discussion of steelsilk, just like that. She blinks at the sudden shift, but otherwise, she remains silent as the event progresses. It's very difficult to do in some cases, but she has a great deal of practice in holding her tongue, for various reasons. She settles back in her chair again, exchanging a glance briefly with Delilah. Then she turns her attention back to Marcus and Petraea.

Turn in line: Emilia

Mailys checked composure at difficulty 15, rolling 6 higher.

Roxana has left the Student Desks.

Marcus does answer Mailys' other question by way of an aside that's confusing, just absently mentioning, "If you know it, it doesn't work."

After a moment, Petraea gives Mailys a smile and steps back into place next to Marcus, a distracted look in her eyes for a moment before she refocuses on the crowd.

"And the concept of 'innocent lives' -- the thralls, the children, who had no choice and who died in flame -- seems to be foreign to Cardia. Or perhaps they simply don't care," Holden observes towards Aleksei darkly, with a nod of agreement. And perhaps a bit more loudly than he intended, inasmuch as it can be heard from nearby benches. He seems to realize this belatedly, and quickly lowers his voice to continue.

Keski, a nervous disciple of Petrichor, Aletta, an even more nervous disciple of Petrichor, 1 Templar Knight guards, Oswald, the war pig, a lively Ostrian gelding arrive, following Brigida.

Lord Marcus Sulla, the Praetor of Arvum looks to Holden and decides to comment, "For myself, I shall not trouble you with specious pretenses. Since you know as well as I do that right, as the world goes, is only in question between equals in power, while the strong do what they can and the weak suffer what they must."

Victus mutters, "... an ... lot ... my ..."

When it is the Templar's turn to ask a question, she offers a little chuckle and begins pacing further up. She doesn't want to shout her question across the hall. "I've had so many questions," she says, "but now I have only one." She pauses briefly, glancing to some of the people seated nearby, before focusing her gaze on Marcus again. "How does someone - someone who has no respect for our 'backwater' and has abandoned the Gods we worship - expect to reach a diplomatic resolution with us? More specifically: What happens when you are sent back to your masters empty-handed?" The way she phrases her words, and her mannerisms, is very particular.

Lottie snuck in as quietly as a mouse, scooching her way along the outer circumference of the Academy Hall before spotting a few free seats. She made her way up into the Observation Seating from there, careful not to step on any Peer feet and muss up elegant slippers or anything unfortunate like that.

Petraea looks between Holden and Marcus as she takes in a faint breath, muttering softly, "I wish there were more questions about steelsilk." Her gaze meets the Templar's and she opens her mouth as if to speak, but then stops herself short with a very visible exertion of effort.

Lottie has joined the Observation Seating.

Sina clears her throat a little, looking to Holden as he speaks up, but she settles herself as Marcus decides to answer the question. She's been silent throughout, and continues to be so. Her attention shifts from each person to the next as they ask their questions, finally settling her gaze on Emilia as she approaches with her own question. She tilts her head slightly, and glances toward Marcus to see what his response will be.

Marcus holds up a finger in response to Emilia, as if to raise an objection, "Not abandoned. The skylords lived before your elven gods, and abandoned would imply they ever embraced them. That would be false. But I would simply say that while the Black Spire of Cardia has full faith in my diplomatic tact, they are more concerned about the Empire manipulating simpletons and obtaining a toehold. So that being thwarted is still considered a success."

Turn in line: Samithel

Alarissa has joined the line.

Peri's eyebrow almost crawls off her face at "diplomatic tact."

Petraea's smile pretty much freezes onto her face as Marcus mentions his 'diplomatic tact'.

Peri is overheard praising Petraea: she has such diplomatic tact.

The short woman steps forward, bows in the fleeting span of silence, and offers a polite, barely-there smile. For a moment, there is no fear or meekness in her, only implacable determination; it does not show in the cast of her face, it is absent in the set of her shoulders, and in the hands that rest at her sides. But her eyes, silver and green, winter starlight and summer canopy, seek the foreign lord's own.

"Might you describe your Skykingdom's greatest triumph--" a pause, a search for a word "--Wastelander? Or failure, if you prefer." asks the Ranger. "It seems you come here to eat the very sand which you preach."

Samithel takes a breath and looks away. "If you would humor a request from the rabble, of course, praetor." And suddenly it is gone, the servant standing there, her words left hanging as if by someone else as she returns to the bench. Never once does she glance at the woman beside Marcus, as if studiously avoiding doing so.

Marcus is overheard praising Petraea: Almost as diplomatic as me.

Mailys sighs softly, looking to Petraea. Her voice is pitched not to interrupt the proceedings. "..I wish there was more about steelsilk, too.."

Ugarte arrives, following Fortunato.

Jasher lifts a hand to his mouth, but his cheeks don't quite hide the grin he can't quite suppress.

Fortunato has joined the Student Desks.

Octavia twists her lips in a smirk at mention of diplomatic tact.

"We have never known defeat, and the Skykingdom of Cardia has never been successfully invaded, despite attempts to do so." Marcus answers the shorter woman crisply, but he does hold up a hand, "I would say there were some incidents thousands of years ago that could be described as a draw. Before my time, of course."

Turn in line: Alecstazi

It isn't Marcus' mention of his tact which brings about another twitching of Mia's lips. It's the frozen smile on Petraea's face, her dark eyes landing on the women and studying her expression with a good deal of interest -- and perhaps a touch of sympathy.

Alecstazi checked composure + etiquette at difficulty 25, rolling 18 higher.

Mirella checked composure at difficulty 15, rolling 11 higher.

Shard was, just a moment before, looking toward Holden and saying something that doesn't carry, though a certain amount of prickliness certainly does. And then she turns toward Ouida so suddenly that she's half out of her seat before it's likely to register, and fully up right after that. Her lips don't seem to form words, but they do peel back slightly from her teeth, and she makes a noise in the back of her throat that's quiet enough, but one of extraordinary displeasure. If looks could melt people, the other woman might be in trouble.

After a bit of time, Fecundo rises from his seat, speaks softly to his assistant and makes his way to leave the Academy.

Fecundo has left the Observation Seating.

Brigida is preceded by a clacking as her wooden staff bangs against the floor and she is in the process of giving one of her poor nervous Disciples a chastisement. "...so you are not to refer to the Praetor as the 'dragon's pet person' again and definitely -not- in his presence and- What? What do you mean we are here? Of course I knew that. Now shut up and let me find somewhere to sit."

With that the Archlector stomps her way to find a seat, clearing a path by batting the occassional shin or foot with her staff.

Rinel stares at Brigida with mute and utter adoration.

Willow checked composure at difficulty 15, rolling 1 lower.

Brigida has joined the Observation Seating.

Mirella checked composure at difficulty 15, rolling 4 higher.

Emilia scoffs at Marcus's objection. "It must be nice... being delusional," she says, slowly heading back to where she was earlier. She looks like she has more choice words for the 'diplomat' - clearly, she is not fond of him. Though that might have less to do with him and more with who he represents. In the end, she doesn't add anything to that.

Willow lifts a hand to cover her snickering. It covers the sight but not the sound.

"Not again," Merek says with a sigh.

Lottie was not long behind Fecundo, once again quietly making her way through the seating then down and around the outer peripheral. Brigida was given a wide berth due to that flailing staff then out she went.

Lottie has left the Observation Seating.

Mirella doesn't snicker at all of this, but a delicate 'ahem' can almost be heard.

Fecundo does stop to offer Brigida a formal bow, outside of the range of her staff and then slips out.

Brianna is overheard praising Brigida.

Alecstazi steps forward, lifting a hand to comb his hair back, giving himself a moment to gather himself. His voice is calm, centered as he looks to Marcus. "Forgive me a moment to put context to my question. We have heard that you stole the firstborn son of our King because, as you put it, he is a child of prophecy, who could be used to destroy the Skykingdom. You have also said that prophecies are essentially pointless since they can be changed. It was also said that the manner to which this child's involvement in the destruction of the Skykingdom is unclear. My question then, is this. If you do not know how the child, a child of a backwater, ignorant, backwards and utterly inferior people, can be used to destroy the mighty undefeated Cardia, if you do not know that continuing to hold said child of a foreign ruler hostage might *just* be the cause of said destruction, due to woefully underestimating the love of a parent for said child and they motivation that nation might get from being repeatedly abused, insulted, and periodically ravaged by your superior nation, when is it that we might expect that child to be returned?"

Ilmia is overheard praising Brigida: She is all of our spirit animals at the moment.

Helena has joined the line.

Octavia is overheard praising Brigida: Some people are old enough to not give a damn.

Octavia is overheard praising Alecstazi: also, /damn/

Rinel is overheard praising Alecstazi: The house of Thrax bows to no one save the Faith and King.

Sina has joined the line.

Willow just looks at Alecstazi a long moment. The temptation to applaud is resisted, because it's overwhelmed by curiosity as her focus shifts sharply back to Marcus.

Mikani is overheard praising Alecstazi.

Mikani is overheard praising Brianna.

Mikani is overheard praising Sina.

Brianna sits tall with her hands clasped in her lap, seemingly holding her breath.

Felix sits up slightly in his chair at the details and the question presented, a shifting of the glaive - peace tied - at his side so it doesn't fall over, and a glint of gold at his chest with the motion. his interest becoming far more involved than it has been.

Sina rises to her feet after a time, looking to Alcestazi. "Your Highness, with all due respect, we have a few set of simple rules in place here at the Academy for this event. It is important to ensure that your question is kept brief and to the point." She glances about to all the rest present, as a not-so-subtle reminder. Then she settles back into her seat.

Petraea gives Alecstazi another of those long looks of hers, this time her face showing nothing of the thought behind it. Her face seems to go from unreadable to so very expressive in the space of a heartbeat. Yet, her eyes linger on him.

In the course of a whispered conversation with Irisa, an indelicate snort escapes the Countess. It's a quiet enough thing, but not entirely hidden amongst there whispers. Whatever caused it, though, she swiftly falls silent -- first at the arrival of Brigida, and then at Alecstazi's polemic. Whatever they'd been speaking of, whatever amusement or indignance she may have displayed at the subject, is swiftly replaced by concern.

"You misunderstand." Marcus replies to Alecstazi flatly, "If the child was ignored, he would have destroyed Cardia. How is immaterial. If Arvani ignore a coming storm and refuse to take prudent measures, that is their will. You may ignore prophecy at your own peril, but we will take any and all prudent measures to protect the Skykingdom, and I would burn every man, woman and child in this city if it was necessary to do so." The praetor holds Alecstazi's eyes levelly for a moment longer, "He shall be returned if the skylords deem it wise."

Turn in line: Aleksei

Another frozen smile fixes itself to Petraea's lovely mouth, though it doesn't quite hide the naked frustration in her eyes. It might prove an adequate distraction from the way she clenches her left fist until her knuckles are white with the effort, though.

Alecstazi does not respond to Sina, not right away. His entire focus is on Marcus. When the Praetor answers, the prince's expression proves he is not satisfied with the answer, still he very slightly bows, barely an angle, but it is there, his head tilting more than bowing. "Thank you for that answer, Praetor Marcus." Alecstazi offers a deeper bow to the Archscholar and murmurs, "I will be more concise next time." And immediately moves to the back of the line.

Alecstazi has joined the line.

Aleksei straightens and then stands when it comes his turn, his fingers a bit tense around the baton he's been given to mark his turn to speak, his gaze lingering a moment on Alecstazi who spoke before him. And then he takes a breath, chin lifting a bit, and he asks Marcus, "What was Cardia's justification for their Skylord's murder of Baron Eos Saik and his soldiers?"

Victus shares a look between the Praetor and Alecstazi's passionate delivery. A hand moves to his chin while his eyes follow his cousin to the back of the line. Observing with a flat expression.

Marcus looks confused by Aleksei's question, glancing around the room to see if he misunderstood, "He picked a fight with Malar. I'm uncertain I understand the question."

Turn in line: Octavia

Sina is overheard praising Rinel: She showed surprising poise and wisdom today.

"Praetor, Lady Petraea, I am Marquessa Octavia Kennex. House Darkwater is my sworn vassal. In the Arvani system, that means that any treason they might be accused of is /explicitly/ my province of rule." Octavia has intentionally put on the same sort of patient, somewhat arrogant tone that Marcus has been affecting in his own explanations. "What I've heard from you today is that Maximilian Darkwater committed treason against the compact, and yet this is the first that I am hearing of it. My brother, the former Marquis, would not have kept something that vital from me. Will you explain your accusations, or will you leave them baseless and accept the likely honor duel from his house?"

Marcus bursts out laughing at the question, nearly doubling over. He starts to try to talk, laughs uproariously again and holds his chest, while holding a hand up to catch his breath. He finally manages to catch his breath after a moment and wipes a tear from his eye, "If... ahah... if ah, you would... you would like to have an honor duel with First Skylord Malar, I can... harahaha... certainly... suggest it. To him."

Aleksei's brow creases in a fierce frown. It is clearly not the answer he was hoping for, but maybe it's the answer he deserved. He looks just a bit liable to snap off a response, but Octavia is already next with her question, and so he sits down a bit sharply.

Turn in line: Alarissa

Delilah puts her hand upon the desk, ceasing to write. For all the varied responses emotionally, she might as well be graven from marble or an ancient stone. The usually capricious duchess shows none of that airiness now, observing from a place as remote as the stars and as little emotive.

Octavia looks around the room calmly and responds, "I see no Skylord here. All I see is you, who once again have evaded the question. Now I understand how much the rule of law means to Cardia. Thank you for your time."

Ouida's placid features move into a frown at Marcus' laughter, and while she exchanges some words with Shard, there is a slight movement of her foot, bouncing impatiently with the cadence of someone unused to such stillness starting to FEEL that stillness a little too much.

Petraea looks directly at Octavia, smiling, but not in a way that would make anyone feel comfortable. "Count Darkwater took possession of one of the daughters of the Gyre with every intention of selling her to her father, in exchange for his own share of power. He planned to give away the Compact to become a servant of the Gyre. How many of those daughter ended up dying in the care of the Compact, by the way? From what I heard, nearly all."

Alarissa steps forward and offers a deep inclination of her head. "My question is far more light than most have been and I hope, delightful to answer. By both of you if permissable." Alarissa smiles wide. "In your many generous years of life, especially in relation to our own short ones, surely you have wielded many weapons and have a favourite, both of you. What were they, how did you come by it, why is it your favourite and do you still have it?"

Mia checked composure + etiquette at difficulty 15, rolling 6 lower.

Holden checked composure at difficulty 15, rolling 2 lower.

Galatea lingers near the back of the gathering, expression inscrutable. She offers no words out loud, but a scrunched brow and pursed mouth are evidence of significant thought behind the silent facade. She watches quietly.

Fortunato has joined the line.


**********************************************************************
The clouded skies over Arx turn dark for a moment, as something seems to move in the clouds. Many in Arx explain it as possibly a strange trick of storm clouds, though the clouds are fairly white, and there doesn't seem to be much risk of rain.
**********************************************************************


Marcus says in Draconic, "He's not far."

Octavia nods to Petraea and smirks a little. "Now /that/ is a valuable answer. Thank you, Lady Petraea. I should think that the Black Spire would have been wiser to send you as their emissary." She doesn't seem terribly surprised by the accusation.

Merek looks back to the entry way, then back forward.

Shard has sat down again by this point, though she still looks as though she's having to restrain her temper. She's talking again in a low voice, but at Petraea's words she turns her head sharply and stares.

From the back of the room, from that corner she'd tucked herself into, there's a quiet hiss -- the sharp intake of breath from one Mia Riven. "The Daughters of --", she blurts out, momentarily. "What do--," her words cut out again, likely as the result of bright white teeth sinking deep into lips tinted a dark shade of mauve. Her dark eyes flick to Irisa, narrow slightly, and then she does no more than let out a quiet (and rather unladylike) grunt. Perhaps her husband's mannerisms were finally starting to rub off on her after all these long years.

Marcus inclines his head towards Alarissa, seemingly pleased by the question. He gestures back to a greatsword that's peaceknotted on his back, "I am honored by the opportunity to bear Sundyr, the Greatsword of the Black Spire. I've had many blades, but none I'm so privileged to hold."

Turn in line: Helena

Brianna peers at Marcus curiously, then leans back in her chair. Her leg bounces as she thinks.

Petraea looks at Marcus and nods very faintly. She looks at Alarissa, offering a smile as she holds out her empty hands, palm up, "I prefer more subtle weapons. My hands were not crafted for a blade."

Brianna checked composure at difficulty 15, rolling 2 lower.

Victus is hot on Alarissa's heels in an instant, clapping his hands on her shoulders as the pair from Cardia answer. He seems intent that wherever she's going next, he's going with her.

Rinel is saying something rather firmly to the Lady Brianna, but then the light coming through the windows suddenly fades. She frowns, tilting her head--and Marcus is speaking a language she does not understand. She looks to the nearest window, then stands and limps her way towards it, raising it slightly and sticking her head out to look up at the sky. A warm spring breeze fills the hall.

Helena steps forward, a soft jingle accompanying her movement on account of the hundreds of minuscule copper discs adoring the skirt of her copper gown, and she dips a nod to the two Cardians as she takes the baton. "Thank you. My question is actually not for the Praetor, though it is good to see you again. Let it be known, you are a fine dancer," she says lightly, blue eyes glinting a little mischievously, if coolly. She then turns to Petraea, instead, and smiling. "But it is actually for the lady. I apologize if I have missed your introduction. The Praetor has deferred to you on a few questions, and so some of us were curious -- What position do you hold in Cardia?" A beat. "Diplomatic Tactician, perhaps?"

Brigida mutters something loudly along the lines of ...'compensating like men do...'

Suddenly, Brianna's eyes widen and she sits up straight again. Her gaze is fixed on Marcus, hawklike. She puffs her chest out, and looks like she is about to rise unless someone stops her.

Alarissa dips her head politely. "Thank you" A glance when Victus places his hand on her shoulder and she moves with him instead of going back to octavia's side, calm and smiling.

Ian puts his hand on Brianna's shoulder and says something to her in a low voice.

Merek looks over to the place at the window and up to watch that, then he blinks at Brianna. Seeing others move to her, he makes no move himself, though he keeps an attentive watch upon the place either way, looking between all the people to assess.

Sina remains in her seat while words get a bit heated, but her lips do curve into a little frown. "Please maintain civility," she notes as a reminder, "or you'll be asked to leave." She doesn't call anyone out specifically, but it seems rather to be in response to the general turn of the mood in the lecture hall.

Petraea's smile is warm and bright as she inclines her head at Helena a touch and offers, "I am Petraea Livy, Tribune of House Livy. I have chosen to join Praetor Sulla as a complement to his... diplomatic strength here in the Compact. We have worked quite well together previously and it was believed that we could do so again."

Victus gives one nod at something quietly spoken. With a flare of his arm, his greatcoat waves outward, the snakeskin now partially wrapped around Alarissa as well. "Thank you for asking that. I've been admiring the big one's sword since I arrived." He walks with her back to her spot at Octavia's side.

Brianna reluctantly settles back down against the bench. She glances at Ian, replying in hushed tones.

Lygeia, a calligrapher and alchemist arrives, following Rysen.

Turn in line: Sina

Helena's mouth tips up in a small smile at Petraea's words. "I can see that. Thank you," she says, handing the baton to Sina as she returns to her seat. She's not unaware of the tensions in the room, glancing at those who seem poised for action. She exhales softly as she sits down again, glancing to the others nearby, then over to Brianna.

Brigida has joined the line.

Felix stands from his seat, and offers those he's been seated with a quiet bow and a murmer of thanks for their company. Closing up his folio and taking his time in rolling it up to tuck it away, before the smith gathers up his polearm - making sure the laces are snug on the peace tie, before he turns to depart. Taking with him that scent of burning coal and hot metal that clings no matter how much one scrubs.

Brianna mutters, "Someone needs to ... that smug ... grin off ... ... ... ... ... I'd ... ..."

Rysen and Lygeia arrive in the Academy, and slip quietly into some of desks typically reserved for students.

Rysen has joined the Student Desks.

Samithel remains quiet--perfectly still, even--, seated at the bench. Her eyes slide to the window only once.

Sina accepts the baton from Helena, and rises from her seat at the teacher's desk. She turns toward Marcus and Petraea, and dips her head to them respectfully. "Thank you both for coming here to speak with us today. My question is not for myself, but for someone who indicated they could not be here today. It is somewhat related to Princess Alarissa's question, with regards to your blade, Lord Marcus: Sundyr, you named it. Can you tell us of the history of that blade, and its importance to the Black Spire and to yourself?"

Felix has left the Student Desks.

Brianna's eyes go wide, gasping, her hand coming up to touch her ear. She blinks a few times, looking around.

Emilia has been quietly standing in the back. She doesn't even once look at the window - her focus is entirely on Marcus. Her usual gentle appearance has been replaced by one that is stone-cold, ever since 'burning every man, woman and child' was mentioned. The Templar doesn't seem to take that kind of speak lightly. A few Templars have come to her side, and slightly to the front, perhaps as a subtle reminder that the guests are under protection of Sanctuary. Ironically, they are also there to ensure that Emilia isn't the one to violate those rights.

Rinel has left the a sturdy pine wooden bench.

Asking about the sword seems to distract Marcus from any of the tension, and he gets rather invested in it, actually nearly gushing to Sina, "It is the honor of the Black Spire, so named during the first battle of the City of Dragons when Orgurthrix the Wingless attempted a coup against the King of Sky and was slain by the First Legionaire. It was later held by by the great Caecilia, when she slew Grazithyrx the Betrayer. It has a storied history in defense of the Skykingdom." He confides to the Archscholar, and is probably one hundred percent accurate when he says, "I could talk for hours about it."

Victus says, "Please talk for hours about it."

Rinel has joined the line.

Petraea doesn't roll her eyes. That wasn't an eye roll. There was just something in her eye and she needed to move it around a bit.

As Marcus answers her question with such thoroughness and enthusiasm, Sina listens with an avid curiosity, drinking up every morsel of information. When he finishes, she offers him a soft smile. "Those who carry the honor of their Houses here in Arvum carry their swords with equal pride, Lord Sulla. Thank you for answering my question. Sticking to her own rules, she keeps it simple, and merely resumes her seat. She does glance toward Victus though with a little smile at his words, before folding her hands in her lap once more.

Ouida's breath catches ever so slightly at something said, her eyes widening slightly and clearly caught off guard.

"I should like to hear some of the stories as well," Mia chimes in, albeit with a throat that has tightened just so.

Octavia is overheard praising Victus.

Bear, a war mastiff, 6 Last Watch Sentries, Nils, an aging Northern steward arrive, following Darren.

Darren has joined the Observation Seating.

Jasher leans forward slightly in his bench, brows raised a touch. For all appearances, he seems genuinely intrigued.

Turn in line: Fortunato

Alessia checked composure at difficulty 10, rolling 0 higher.

Fortunato steps forward. He is a small man in umbra. What else is there to be said. He bows, slightly. "Praetor. I understand you have held your position for 900 years. I know some little of your empire's history in the time of the Reckoning, a thousand years ago. For the sake of filling in a bit of continuity, who was your predecessor?"

In the benches there is a little bit of shuffling as Juliana levers herself and her belly up and moves to the other side of Prince Jasher, settling between him and the Baroness Lucita.

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

Delilah once more plucks up her pen, and starts no doubt committing the whole of the conversational answers provided by the Praetor to some kind of record. Scholars, after all. The messenger slipping in to deliver a word with her goes unnoticed, intercepted by an older man with silver hair and a way of moving discreetly.

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

Ashe, the studious Stormward paralegal, 4 Kennex corsairs leave, following Octavia.

"I want a damned great sword that majestic," Darren provides in open commentary of Marcus's great sword, hiding his envious grimace behind his clay mug of whisky. "But perhaps now after all. Who knows what sort of feckery he did to get it."

Khanne has been listening attentively, but quietly, for a while now. However, something causes her to stand up suddenly and flash a look towards someone at the benches she is sitting with, then to the Praetor speaking at the front of the Academy. She then does a bit of a look around and just sits down again.

Marcus looks uncertain how to answer Fortunato, "I hold different titles. There was no human predecessor for Voice of First Skylord Malar, as he opted against one for some time. Praetor of Cardia would have been a different holder during wartime, and she was the dragonrider for the King of Sky. The previous Sword of the Blackspire and holder of Sundyr would have been Consul Caecilia of House Servius, rider of 48th Skylord Corusadin."

Peri receives a messenger and blanches. She looks towards the windows with a fearful look.

Turn in line: Brigida

Fortunato bows deep. "Thank you." He returns to his seat.

Ilmia has left the Student Desks.

Sina leaves note-taking to her assistant Arindais, and therefore is freed up to listen and observe. She listens to Marcus' answer to Fortunato's question, though her eyes do occasionally drift toward the back where the Templars have gathered near Emilia. She studies her fellow Godsworn with a solemn look on her features, but otherwise doesn't seem too concerned, given the fact there are several other Templars near her to maintain the peace. Then she glances down, and then toward the window, before she rises to her feet. "Are there any other questions for Lord Sulla?" she inquires, glancing about.

Brigida gets the baton passed to her and gives it a look before she pushes herself to her feet with her staff and clears her throat before leveling her gaze at Marcus. "Blessed Brigida, Archlector of Petrichor." She identifies herself with a slight smile before she coughs and gets a clay jug that had been passed around near her and has a swig from it.



"Excuse me my throat was dry. Where was I? Ah yes. As we know your Skylord Malar decided to kill Baron Eos and his soldiers and deprive Arvum of one of the finest dancers I ever knew. That man knew how to move his bo-" she gets cut off by a tugging on her sleeve from her terrified Disciple Keski and listens to her whisper.



"Yes I know it wasn't relevant Keski. I just remembered he was a good dancer!" The Archlector snaps at her Disciple before focussing on Marcus again.



"Your Skylord did an incredible amount of damage to Petrichor's domain when he did that and left a legacy of taint after it that took a considerable amount of time and effort to clean up as the taint ran deep and affected wildlife and the vegetation... all of which falls under the purview of Petrichor. So my question is I suppose," her tone shifts to an icy one,



"Will you kindly tell your Skylord Malar from me to stop coming over here and shitting in our garden?"

Brigida checked command + intimidation at difficulty 15, rolling 38 higher.

Mailys claps for Brigida.

Marcus listens to Brigida with an unreadable expression and then shrugs, as if to concede a point, "It was the consideration of other Skylords that Malar's actions were childish, and he shall refrain in the future to chasten individuals that attempt to provoke him." He then nods towards Sina, "That shall draw the questions to a close, and I shall be leaving to confer with the Skylord. Thank you for the invitation."

A squawking bird flies past the window. Wait, no. It's Rinel. She's hanging out of the window, doing her best to stop from laughing and failing utterly.

Mirella checked composure at difficulty 15, rolling 82 higher. Mirella rolled a critical!

Willow looks from Brigida to Marcus to Brigida, then to Rinel, out the window and back to the Archlector again, before joining in the clapping.

Mirella doesn't laugh. She's probably laughing on the inside. Face, though? Might as well be made of stone.

Khanne is overheard praising Brigida: Preach, Sister!

Delilah has left the Teachers Desk.

Mikani is overheard praising Brigida.

As Brigida speaks up, Sina gazes toward her with somewhat of a look of consternation on her face. She glances toward Marcus as he actually responds to the question, however, and then curves her lips in a little smile. "Thank you for coming to speak with us, Lord Sulla, Lady Livy," she says, offering each of them a respectful dip of her head. She glances at Delilah then with a slightly worried look. But she stays where she is, smoothing her robes. "Thank you everyone for coming," she says, to all who attended. "We look forward to hosting other speakers at the Academy in the future."

Petraea takes a breath and exhales slowly as Marcus decides to adjourn the meeting. Under her breath, she mutters, "I need a drink."

The blithe, copper-haired Voice picks up her books from the desk and neatly hands them over for Scribble to go deposit likely in Sina's office, or one of those particularly exciting book drops that no doubt feeds things into the bowels of the building. No doubt secret gnomes work down there along with the captive bookwyrms.

Mia leans forward for a moment as a passing servant comes to whisper something to her. One of the Duchess', maybe? Whatever it was that's said to her, her lips press into a thin, tight line. "Dame Irisa, I believe it is time we made our way back to the Grayson ward. Now, if you please." She makes no other attempts to excuse herself or offer niceties to anyone present which, although the Countess can be rather brusque at times, is a bit unusual -- even for her.

Jasher holds himself still and straight, but his shoulders quiver with suppressed laughter.

Marcus has left the Teachers Desk.

1 Inquisition Confessors, Scribble, a Delicate Social Butterfly, Pearl, a Maelstrom Forest Cat, 1 Graypeak Aerie Warden leave, following Delilah.

Holden has begun to rise, turning towards Sina as though perhaps to approach and offer apology to the Archscholar for his outburst; the mention of Skylord Malar causes the knight to hold in place for a moment. It seems if the Cardians are about to leave, the eldest of the Morgan siblings is not inclined to cross their path as they exit.

Mirella has left the a sturdy pine wooden bench.

Stefano, an inconspicuous Lycene bodyguard, Carmela, a gleaming dusken-feathered crow, Ambra, a plain-faced Lycene scribe leave, following Mirella.

Irisa is looking off towards the Oathlander benches. Just sort of staring, then to Marcus as he is stepping away. Its finally Mia's words that draw her back. "Of course, Countess. With you."

Shard normally isn't someone in any real hurry to leave these kinds of things, but as soon as it's clear the event is over, she pushes up out of her chair, looking tense and fidgety and generally uncomfortable.

Alessia rises from her seat with a small smile. "That was a great way to end it, I'd say." The cap of her flask is replaced as she bids everyone farewell and leaves the room.

Willow has left the a sturdy pine wooden bench.

3 House Riven Soldiers, 1 Greenwood Tribe Blood Warriors, Lianna, Feydin, a white-tailed eagle, Vigilance, a juvenile female Oakhaven Bloodhound, Berthold leave, following Mia.

Danvir stands as the others do

Danvir has left the a sturdy pine wooden bench.

The slight servant stands amidst the commotion of farewells and departs, leaving the hall with as much fanfare as she entered--which is to say none.

Warrick has left the Observation Seating.

Alessia has left the a sturdy pine wooden bench.

Nallah, a buff-looking tortie cat with green eyes, Sirra, a very quiet maid leave, following Alessia.

Ouida rises slowly, though her stare towards the departing Caridans is a thousand-yard one. She still wears an expression of shock, but gets to her feet despite it, moving deliberately and slowly towards the exit.

Ouida has left the Observation Seating.

Samithel has left the a sturdy pine wooden bench.

Rinel finally pulls herself up out of the window and composes her features. "Ahrm." She wipes her face. "What a lovely spring day," she comments, before beginning to make her way slowly toward Sina.

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

Ian lets the thick of the crowds thin without trying to push out as well. Instead, he makes an attempt at threading his way Jasher-ward.

Cosimo has left the Observation Seating.

Ian has left the a sturdy pine wooden bench.

Cristoph has left the a sturdy pine wooden bench.

Faye has left the Observation Seating.

3 Armed Confessors, Orva, a discreet assistant leave, following Faye.

Helena has left the Observation Seating.

Brigida waits patiently for people to leave, hanging onto the baton before she gives Jasher a small swipe with it. "Behave yourself Prince Jasher."

Peri exchanges unhappy words with those at her table and then stares as Marcus leaves. She is pale and unhappy. As people begin to leave she stands up, but does not seem certain where to go.

Emilia gives a silent nod as the interview comes to an end. She seems to soften up a little and even cracks a smile.

Rysen rises to his feet, making his farewells to those nearby. There is a look of dismay and deep concern on his face, as he turns to make his way from the academy.

Quintin flashes a quick smile at Brigida as he makes his way out.

Quintin has left the Student Desks.

Mailys rises from her seat, and once more makes her way down to the floor. It's only so that she can place a metal flask on some surface near Petraea, though. She looks like she's about to turn and head for the door.

Mikani moves and follows Rysen out.

Mailys has left the Observation Seating.

Rysen has left the Student Desks.

Mikani has left the Student Desks.

Damien Pierce - A Charming Assistant, 1 Redreef Warden, Vagari - Cinder Kitten, 1 Order of the Firebird, 4 Byrne Mountain Men leave, following Mikani.

Lygeia, a calligrapher and alchemist, Mikani leave, following Rysen.

While she'd spent much of the evening at the Thraxian Prince's side, when the baton swipe comes in, Antea somehow manages to be just a seat away, taking a casual drink from the clay jug. She looks to the Archlector with an utterly serious expression and intones, "I'm certainly glad that you didn't drink too much and speak out of turn, Archlector." Then she offers the jug up once more.

As Marcus sweeps out, Holden approaches the front of the lecture hall -- and the Archscholar. "Blessed Sina," the knight says. "I fear I owe you an apology for my outburst earlier; a gathering like this -- to share knowledge, to honor Vellichor -- should be treated with respect." Grudgingly. "As should those willing to speak at one. My own strong feelings on certain subjects are no excuse."

Zara has left the Observation Seating.

Alette, a discreet lady's maid, Isabel, a calm diplomatic aide, Elena, a solemn knight attache leave, following Zara.

The baton thumps Jasher in the shoulder. That gets a slight wince, unsuited for a thump like that, but he takes a few deep breaths before straightening, schooling his face back to its usual stillness--or at least an attempt at such. His face still twitches every now and then. "My apologies, Archlector," he says in a strangled voice.

Standing up and stretching a bit, Agostino then looks around the room for a moment. Glancing at Fiora and Forunato for a moment, he bows to the former,a nd then tells them both, "Good evening Lady Malvici, and to you as well." With this, he steps away from the desks and picks his way through the room to where Holden is speaking with the Archscholar. He hangs back, though, waiting for them to finish their conversation.

Agostino has left the Student Desks.

Coming over to Jasher at about this point, Ian quirks an eyebrow at him, half inquiry, half commentary.

Holden beats Rinel to Sina, so the woman waits, resting on her cane, as he speaks. "It is difficult at times to balance the righteousness of our Faith with the respect owed others, Sir Morgan," she says sympathetically.

Contrary to expectation, Petraea doesn't immediately follow Marcus out. Instead, she lingers a moment to observe the crowd, a faint frown on her face as she absorbs these impressions. Mailys' approach and offering are noted with a faint smile. Petraea's eyes linger on Mailys as if committing the woman's features to memory.

Shard wrinkles her nose in Rinel's direction.

For a time, Sina lingers in the lecture hall, either to answer questions or confer with people. She doesn't seem to be in a terrible hurry to leave. Templars remain on hand to ensure that everyone leaves safely, including the would-be Praetor of Arvum. As Holden approaches her, Sina turns to him, studying him for a time, and she inclines her head. "I know that this was an unusual sort of event, and there are a great many strong feelings related to Arvum's visitors, both from Cardia and the Undying Empire. Honestly, the whole thing went better than expected, all things considered."

Mailys drops a sleek, portable flask of a unique blued metal.

Juliana tries to lever herself to her feet, then gives Jasher's hand a tug for him to help her. Having not let go of his or Lucita's hands. "Maybe we should look for some place quieter." a smile given to Ian as he gets closer. "Lord Kennex."

Mailys returns a quirk of her lips to the Cardian, and then makes her way outt.

Khanne has left the a sturdy pine wooden bench.

Drysi, a young shaman apprentice, 2 Redrain Guards leave, following Khanne.

Brigida gives Jasher a stern look before her face cracks into a smile and she retakes the jug and sips it again before looking at Lucita and saying, "Forgive me Baroness. I could not not say that to him."

Darren has left the Observation Seating.

Bear, a war mastiff, 6 Last Watch Sentries, Nils, an aging Northern steward leave, following Darren.

"Well, that was interesting," Merek says, while he stands up. He then nods a bit to the others, while he looks to Sina, "I'm... Going to restock some books or something. I have a lot on my mind," he adds.

Ian nods a greeting to Juliana, and another one to Lucita. "Lady Juliana. Baroness. Prince Jasher. Mind if I tag along?"

Peri approaches Archscholar Sina, "Blessed, thank you for arranging this and passing on my question."

Mirk has left the a sturdy pine wooden bench.

Brianna has left the a sturdy pine wooden bench.

Ondine, a red-breasted sparrowhawk leaves, following Brianna.

Alecstazi has left the a sturdy pine wooden bench.

3 Thrax Guards, His Grace, a massive red roan Maelstrom destrier leave, following Alecstazi.

1 Crimson Blades Sergeant, Aegis, a large red Oakhaven bloodhound, Rurik, a prodigal assistant, Brianna, Alecstazi leave, following Mirk.

Ouida pauses at the doorway to glance back at the Cardian who remains, though her gaze is still distant, her color has almost completely returned. A few heartbeats of study of Petraea, and then she turns back, heading out into the evening.

Jasher takes a deep breath, or two, or three, finally regaining some of his composure. "Yes," he utters, rising stiffly to his feet, "yes, of course. Let us proceed."

"I..." Holden grimaces. "Bear little love for Cardia, for various reasons." It sounds as though this might be an understatement. "But they were guests, and deserved due respect; emotion is no excuse. My reaction wasn't worthy of Vellichor's domain of knowledge, or Limerance's domain of guest right. So if there's an atonement I should make, I'll accept it." But then he steps aside, letting Rinel approach the Archscholar.

Rising up, Antea peels away from the group to approach Petraea with a measured step. She offers a swift bow to the woman and murmurs, "If you do not mind, I had a question for you but I did not feel it... appropriate, to put to such public forum. May I ask it of you now?"

Lucita says, "It has been difficult to figure out just what to do, and a lot of prayers given that choose the right path to take." She says to Brigida and then gives a nod to Ian. "After this, could use a drink or three.""

After a moment, Agostino seems to change his mind about something, and instead goes to slip out of the academy.

Cecily, a coy secretary, Omero, a hulking bodyguard leave, following Agostino.

"Lady Petraea." Fiora calls out, going to push herself to her feet. "The Praetor said the name of the holder of the sword Caecilia, previously but I couldn't hear what he said on the name of the Praetor before him." She starts on her way out, but pauses near Petraea. "Do you happen to remember her name?"

Jules nods. "Of course Ian, we need to get Jash and it seems Luci a drink. He didn't like what I had to offer."

Emilia remains standing in the back, making sure the remaining guest is safe - that everyone is safe. At some of the words spoken, Emilia says, "Having Guest Rights is not an excuse to insult us and drag our names through mud," the Templar says. "Respect is a two-way street."

Jasher has left the Observation Seating.

Juliana has left the Observation Seating.

Tyce the gruff and disapproving, Honore, the proudest and prettiest peacock ever, 2 Scarlet Phoenix Guard leave, following Juliana.

Lucita has left the Observation Seating.

Golden, an Oakhaven bloodhound, Gunther, a Rottweiler, Micana, 1 Saik Guard leave, following Lucita.

3 Thrax Guards, Juliana, Lucita, Ian leave, following Jasher.

Sina considers Holden's words, and after a moment, she says, "If you are seeking penance, I am certain we can come up with something suitable. But perhaps it is a thing to discuss more in private, which I am willing to do. I'll have my assistant send you my schedule if you wish to arrange a meeting, and perhaps we can spend some time discussing your concerns of Cardia as well," she offers. She gives a nod of acknowledgement to Merek as he says he will take his leave, then turns to Peri, and inclines her head with a soft smile. "It was my pleasure, Lady Peri. I hope you found the answer informative." Her gaze turns to Rinel then, and offers her a smile. "Rinel," she greets. "I thought your question was eloquently-stated today."

Antea's approach tears Petraea's attention from Mailys' departure as she nods slightly, a faint smile curving her lips. "Of course. Might I have your name?" As she waits for it, Petraea looks at Fiora and smiles slowly, "That's not really the answer you're after, are you? You and I should talk another time, my lady. Soon."

Rinel bows deeply to Sina. "Archscholar," she says. "Your words are kind. Though I appear to have wasted my question, however eloquent, given your expression at the Praetor's answer. It would seem you are quite aware of the peculiarities of Cardian theology." It's less of a query and more of a comment. "If you would deem me a worthy student, Blessed, I would be honoured to learn more of it from you."

"I don't need to burden you with my feelings about our southern neighbors, Archscholar," Holden assures Sina, inclining his head politely, and then moving to withdraw. "The personal concerns of one knight are hardly worth that much attention."

The Malvici shrugs her slender shoulders. "When people avoid answering a question, however artfully, it makes me feel I'd rather like to know that answer. In general." Fiora returns to Petraea before glancing over to Anthea. "Apologies. I didn't see you." It's rather flat for an apology before Fiora glances sidelong at Petraea. As to speaking soon, Fiora just looks at her for a long moment, wordless, thin lips. She steps past and makes to leave.

"What was it the praetor spoke, after the mention of challenge?" Peri asks Archscholar Sina. "I did not recognize that language."

Sina nods to Holden as he withdraws, and says, "If you change your mind, let me know," she says calmly. She tilts her head thoughtfully as she regards Rinel, and after a moment, she asks, "Are you familiar with the Canticle of the Dawn? If not," she suggests, "I recommend researching into it. It may hold some of the answers you are seeking. Though some of those verses are lost to time, enough remain to give us a glimpse into Cardian beliefs, I think," she says carefully, though she does glance to Petraea who is still present, somewhat curiously. She glances to Peri then as she speaks of the language the Praetor spoke, and she gives a little frown. "I am uncertain of the answer to that question," she says.

Aleksei rises from his seat, scrubbing a hand over his face and then twisting fingers through his hair a bit in a restless sort of gesture. His gaze lingers on Petraea with a certain curiosity, but he doesn't approach as some of the others do. Curiosity from a distance.

"Lady Antea Mazetti. My apologies, my manners are not what they should be tonight." the thin young woman looks towards Fiora, then back to Petraea, waiting silently for the pair to make their plans. When she looks back to the Cardian lady, she murmurs, "As someone whose hands were also not crafted to hold a weapon, I was curious. You mentioned a more subtle weapon. You speak of the Art, as you call it?" Antea lifts a hand quickly and adds, "I don't mean to ask for tutelage, I am aware that would be deadly to me. I am only curious what other talents you may have learned to compensate for a lack of martial skill. If there are any aside from the Art that I might be able to study."

As Holden withdraws from Sina and makes his way out, he pauses by Petraea long enough to offer a tense, curt nod of apology. The Valardin knight says nothing, however; perhaps he doesn't intend to intrude on the conversation Petraea is having with Antea. Whatever the reason, he doesn't even stay long enough for a good glipse at his face and, moments later, he's on his way towards the door once more.

Brigida gets up and clomps her way over to Sina and Rinel, giving Rinel a 'look' in the process. "I'd rather you not laugh in the future when I ask a serious question." There is a moment before she then smiles and bobs her head once, "Thank you though." She hands Sina the baton back and offers, "Blessed Sina. I apologise if my question may have been a touch rude. I could not stand by and leave what Malar did to both Petrichor and Mangatta's domains unchallenged."

Peri nods in acknowledgement of Sina's answer. She gathers up her notes but stops her departure. The conversation between Lady Petraea and Lady Antea draw her attention. She tilts her head at the Lady, waiting to see what she says.

Rinel bows deeply to the Archscholar. "Perhaps if I am judged worthy of rejoining Lord Vellichor's discipleship, Blessed, I might have the opportunity to revisit an old section to learn more of that Canticle." She turns to Brigida and smiles wryly. "A woman cannot fairly be blamed for laughing with joy at the beauty of the spring, Blessed. With my head so far outside the window, the wind tickled my face." There's a slight pause, and she lowers her voice slightly. "Though I could see nothing that would explain the darkening of the sun." She frowns, then bows again. "Archlector. Archscholar. Thank you both." And she makes her way slowly to where Petraea and Antea stand.

Holden has left the Observation Seating.

Petraea is almost grinning as she watches Fiora step away, lifting her voice to answer, "The name doesn't matter. It gets you no closer to the truth you seek." As she looks away from Fiora, she catches Holden's nod and offers a quizzical expression in return. Then, her attention settles fully on Antea and her voice drops to an almost conspiratorial tone, "There is the Art, yes. But there are other weapons that can be wielded as effectively as a blade. The right word at the right time. The ability to read a crowd and determine what they need in the moment. There is an Art to that as well."

Merek looks over to Petraea, and blinks a bit. He offers the woman a polite bow and wave, while he seems to consider, then he contents with shifting his longcoat about himself as well.

As Brigida comes to join them, Sina turns briefly away from Rinel to incline her head respectfully to the elder Archlector. "Blessed Brigida," she says pleasantly. "I admit, the tone of your question did have me a little worried, but I understand, and accept your apology. Lord Sulla promised to be diplomatic, and I thought that his answer to your question was the most diplomatic of all. I hope that you can I can enjoy a cup of tea sometime soon. I should dearly enjoy catching up sometime," she adds after a moment. She gives a brief glance to Rinel then as she speaks of rejoining the Discipleship, and she is thoughtful. "It may be that we can revisit that discussion, based on what I saw today. Let us speak on it some more later, if you like," she says quietly.

At Petraea's answer Peri has a look of 'a-ha' and nods. That seems more like what she expected. She looks at Rinel and then the window.

She does not storm out. She walks out. Very calmly. She's not flailing. She's not. Fiora is gone now, in a very calm sort of manner. There is the sound of something being bumped outside.

Shard seems to shake herself out of whatever thoughts were occupying her. She moves toward the door at a brisk clip, glancing to no one as she goes.

Shard has left the Observation Seating.

Fiora has left the Student Desks.

Nunia the discreetest handmaid leaves, following Fiora.

A shadow of an /intensely/ satisfied expression flits briefly across Rinel's face as Fiora departs and a thumping sound is heard from a distance. But it is gone very quickly. The woman bows politely to Petraea. "Tribune," she says respectfully. "My apologies for not asking my questions to both the Praetor and to you. I had a question of language--or perhaps honourifics, I suppose."

Nodding, Antea flickers a brief ghost of a smile at the response. Hands clasping behind her, she offers, "I'm afraid I lack your innate charm for such things, my lady. Mine is a face more suited to scowls and piercing glares, but I do try to know when to speak.. and when to not." She flicks a brief glance towards where Marcus had stood, then looks back to Petraea, "If nothing else, I remember the words my mother drilled into me as a child. If I have nothing sweet to say to a person, it is ofttimes more prudent to say nothing at all. I am, however, working on reading others, to spread the right words at the right time. Thank you, my lady." She turns as Rinel speaks, then glances back to Petraea, "I am certain that you will experience your own tide of querents now, I shall leave you to it. Thank you again." Nodding to Rinel, she steps aside and moves towards Sina and Brigida, drifting towards the Archlector and Archscholar quietly.

3 Thrax Guards arrives, following Jasher.

Fortunato has been sitting politely, quietly at the desks, but at Antea's comment about charm, he suddenly speaks up. "Charm is hardly /required/, my lady. I have always preferred preparation and wits, myself. Indeed, wait, listen, and speak only when you are sure."

3 Thrax Guards leaves, following Jasher.

Alarissa remains within the lee of Victus' greatcoat still, head barely coming to a stop just below the man's shoulders. In uiet conversation with Willow, she remains generally quiet, gaze going up to Victus, then in front of her to willow, back and forth like a game of catch being observed.

Brigida bobs her head in agreement, "Tea would be wonderful Sina," dropping all titles before she chuckles, "We shall organise something. Preferably with less drama than today." She beams, "For now I better get back home and have a lay down... far too much excitement for an old woman like myself."

Sina smiles to Brigida, and inclines her head. "I will look forward to it," she tells the very respected Archletor of Petrichor, and then she turns her gaze back to Rinel. "We'll speak again soon, Rinel," she says, before she turns to the approaching Antea with a curious look on her features. Fiora's not-storming out doesn't receive a second glance.

"It's my pleasure, Lady Antea. As has been said," Petraea nods to Fortunato, "it's not always about charm. In fact, I would counter that it isn't about charm at all, but about empathy and preparation. Everyone has a desire. If you pay attention, almost everyone reveals it eventually. Then, you know how to proceed. Should you wish to speak further, I would be delighted to meet for tea sometime. Scowls and piercing glares do not trouble me. After all. I spend time with Praetor Sulla." The words are said completely deadpan before the brilliant smile lights up her face. To Rinel, she says, "I was a last minute addition. I have taken no offense to not being addressed directly for some questions. It was his show. I was only here to... assist."

"I see," Rinel says. "I was wondering, Tribune, if you might explain to me the meaning--if meaning there be--to the suffixes -din and, er..." She fumbles with the unfamiliar sounds. "ther--therrer-- Bah, bookworms." At last she approximates it. "-din and -/thrix/." She blushes. "My apologies. I should very much like to learn the esteemed tongue of the First Children, but I have not had that opportunity. But I have heard those sounds often, and I thought they might hold some meaning, much as 'a'sib denotes a person with but a single name in the tongue of Eurus."

Antea turns back to Petraea and gives a swift nod, "I would like that very much, my lady. Thank you." Turning back towards Brigida and Sina, she bows once more and murmurs, "I just wished to express my thanks to you for hosting this evening, Archscholar. It was quite informative and interesting and even had its... humorous moments." Her sepia gaze darts briefly to Brigida, then back, "but it would not have been possible without your aid. So thank you." To Brigida she murmurs, "If I may, I would like to pay visit sometime. I hear you have a companion that is a rather large war pig?"

Sina checked composure at difficulty 20, rolling 6 lower.

Brigida wags a finger at Antea, "Boar. But he is a very well fed pig. Feel free to visit me at the Shrine of Petrichor. For now. I need to get myself to bed."

As Antea speaks her gratitude for the opportunity, Sina inclines her head gently. "I am glad you think so. I thought it was quite informative as well. Humorous moments, yes. There were a few of those as well," she admits, after a moment. "It is always somewhat of a risk, putting on such an event, but I did not wish to pass up the opportunity to allow the Compact to learn more of Cardia. Thank you for coming," she says with a smile. As Antea then moves on to speak to Brigida, Sina glances toward Rinel as she mentions the name a'Sib and her desire to learn the language of Cardia. The Archscholar's expression takes on a brief flicker of undisguised worry, though it's unclear if at the name a'Sib or Rinel's desire to learn the language of Cardia. Maybe both. She turns slightly, dipping her head to Brigida with an effort, and makes her way over to Rinel and Petraea.

Petraea's smile widens just a trace as she responds, "There are many Cardians that believe it unwise to allow those not in service of the Skylords to learn their tongue. Much as there are those of your Faith that hold some rituals and secrets away from the public eye. At the moment, given the complexity of the situation between our nations, it would be unwise for me to speak too much about these things, no matter what my own thoughts on our language might be. But, if you would allow me to offer a sliver of clarity?" She leans in somewhat, her voice dropping as she murmurs something to Rinel before she straightens, her smile once again in place. She bows her head respectfully to Sina as she approaches, "My thanks to you for hosting this event, Archscholar. It went much better than I think many could have hoped. Your efforts are appreciated."

Brigida has left the Observation Seating.

Keski, a nervous disciple of Petrichor have been dismissed.

Aletta, an even more nervous disciple of Petrichor have been dismissed.

1 Templar Knight guards have been dismissed.

Oswald, the war pig have been dismissed.

a lively Ostrian gelding have been dismissed.

Standing over in a cluster of murmuring people, Willow tugs on one of her curls, nervousness plain on her features after having laid out some long and rambling speech to Victus and Alarissa.

"Of course, Archlector. I will look forward to visiting the shrine," Antea murmurs, stepping aside to give Brigida plenty of room to exit. She offers a mute nod towards Sina as the Archscholar heads towards the Cardian and Rinel but doesn't say anything further. Instead, she moves towards Fortunato and murmurs, "My apologies, I did not mean to ignore your advice earlier. I will admit that I am more of an intellectual than a socialite, but I do try to keep a passing knowledge of certain skills. It helps to keep peace among my soldiers."

Rinel bows politely. "I see. I humbly request that you forgive this provincial for the misunderstanding. I would not wish to cause offense by requesting that which is not freely provided. Thank you for all the words you have given. It was an honour to make the acquaintance of a Tribune of Cardia."

Willow checked composure at difficulty 15, rolling 4 lower.

Willow continues fidgeting a bit.

Alarissa's reaches out, closing her hands around Willow's as if trying to still them.

Fortunato glances over at Antea from his observatory post, giving her a small smile. "Ah! It is only natural you should be more interested in the words of a luminary of Cardia than a simple artist! Still, I, too, am an intellectual, not a socialite, and yet I am an apprentice Whisper. You may be surprised what your gifts qualify you for."

With a firm resolve, Peri heads out.

Peri has left the Student Desks.

Eina leaves, following Peri.

As Petraea answers Rinel's question, Sina comes to a stop nearby, a smile painting it sway onto her lips that seems a bit forced. Nonetheless, she listens curiously as Petraea speaks so diplomatically to the difficult question posed to her. She seems to relax just a hair, but not by much. She tilts her head curiously as the Cardian noblewoman whispers in Rinel's ear, and then the smile she offers to Petraea is considerably warmer. "Lady Petraea, it was an honor hosting both you and Lord Sulla today. I only wish that I had been able to do so sooner. Do you and Lord Sulla plan to linger in Arvum much longer?" she inquires curiously.

Brigida gives everyone a bob of the head as she heads out, banging her staff against the ground loudly.

Rinel taps her cane softly against the ground in response.

Keski, a nervous disciple of Petrichor have been dismissed.

Aletta, an even more nervous disciple of Petrichor have been dismissed.

1 Templar Knight guards have been dismissed.

Oswald, the war pig have been dismissed.

a lively Ostrian gelding have been dismissed.

"There is nothing to forgive as there is no offense taken," Petraea says easily to Rinel with a shrug of her shoulders. For Sina, Petraea smiles and says carefully, "Lord Sulla has resolved that our delegation will remain as long as the Jadairal delegation is still present within the city and the Compact." The way she speaks indicates that she's likely giving the most diplomatic spin on that as she can. "I would certainly like to stay long enough to meet more of the Arvani. Tonight has been fascinating."

Giving a wave of her hand, she mutters, "It wasn't that, I was just eager to thank the Archscholar and speak briefly with the Archlector before she left." Still, there's a tinge of pink to her cheeks. "I am certain the Whispers will be lucky to have you, however. They seem to be much more widespread than they were even a few years ago. Its good to see the house flourishing." Antea lifts a sharp shrug and murmurs, "But I did want to say that I did hear you, and it did register. I am never going to be as at ease as the Lady Petraea, or even some of the others that were here tonight. My only hope is that whatever I am a boon to my own House."

Fortunato makes a low tch noise. "You need not look for reasons to say 'never' about yourself. Your capacities will come down to what you want, and where you would refine yourself. If you wish to be as at ease as the Lady Petraea, that is within you. If you wish to be a boon to your house, you are like to be. But do not preface it with 'only', my lady. Too much humility!" He touches his chest. "And to me, of all people! I am your social lower! Hold your head high. And, ah, feel free to scold me for being a scold."

"Quit being a scold, Master Grayhope," Rinel says amiably, having bowed and murmured respectful thanks to the Tribune. She limps her way over to the two. "I doubt the lady has had as much time to practice as the Tribune."

Petraea's answer brings a slight nod from Sina, and a brief smile. "I see," she says after a moment. "We have found this evening to be equally enlightening, I am certain. I am curious... how is that that Lord Sulla is able to confer with the Skylord? Is he here in Arvum, then?" she asks, somewhat cautiously.

Aleksei has totally been lingering here. Innocently. Not eavesdropping! (Kind of eavesdropping.) But Sina's question has his gaze shifting a bit suddenly over to her with just a /hint/ of worry. (More than a hint.) And then he looks back at Petraea.

"Lord Sulla is a devoted servant. At times, the most devoted of us as blessed with communication from the Skylord that we serve." Petraea's expression is a touch wary as well as she carefully answers the question. She looks into Sina's eyes and says softly, "You already know the answer to that question, don't you?"

"We revere still the Skylord who brought low Shaivassa," Rinel says softly. "And his familiar."

Harlen arrives, following Duarte.

As Petraea confirms aloud that which everyone likely suspected, Sina nods her head slightly. "Yes," she says, with a faint smile. "But I only wanted to hear you say it. Thank you," she says with a dip of her head. Then she says, "If you'll excuse me. I'm afraid I have some others to greet. Please, stay today as long as you feel comfortable." She dips her head again briefly, taking a step back, and casting a brief glance at Rinel, before turning away to look to Victus and Alarissa. After a moment, she begins to make her way in their direction.

"I have no wish to gain personal fame or glory, though. At least, my ambition in that regard is merely to reflect well upon my House. My personal ambitions are just that... personal. They will speak for themselves when they come to fruition," Antea responds with the faintest upward twitch of a corner of her mouth. She glances over to Rinel and nods, "Mistress Tern. You were quite eloquent today, I was impressed. I'm not sure I could have framed a question that nicely." She glances towards Petraea, then back, "And no, I am unsure how old the Tribune is, but I can very nearly guarantee that I am nowhere near as experienced." There are nice ways to call someone old!

Petraea bows her head slightly as Sina departs. She stands up a little straighter and starts to move toward the door herself. As she overhears Rinel, she stops in her tracks, briefly, and draws in a breath, blinking rapidly as if trying to clear her eyes before she lifts her chin and moves on.

"Farewell, Tribune," Rinel says quietly. "Non omnis moriar."

Fortunato stands up. He barks a small laugh in Rinel's direction. "Alas, I am a scold! And it saddens my dark little heart to hear people speak of how little they care for personal glory." He turns toward the door himself, but at Petraea's reaction to Rinel, he seems startled for a moment, caught by the observation. Before he, too, moves to move on.

Aleksei's gaze shifts curiously to watch all of those moments. But when it looks that the room is finally clearing out, he too makes his way to the door.

Aleksei has left the Observation Seating.

Fortunato has left the Student Desks.

Ugarte leaves, following Fortunato.

"The first thing you do when you meet a new person these days is make them cry, Rinel?" Duarte asks as he slips in, having observed the briefly exchanged look and misty eyes of the dignitary exiting. "Such a shit emissary, you. But I think we all knew that already." He clears his throat and leans to one side with a palm flat on a desk. He looks around. "At least you're in good company..." Oh! "I have a gift for you. More of a hand me down, but I think you'll like it."

Alarissa looks to Victus and Willow and steps away from Victus, from outside the leather to slide her arm into Sina's and speak with her to leave Willow and Victus to talk.

Sina dips her head toward Willow and Victus with a soft smile, and then links arms with Alarissa so that they can murmur softly together, even as Petraea makes her way out. There's a brief and visible sigh of relief when it seems the event is drawing to a close and more people begin to filter out. She exchanges a few quiet words to Victus and Alarissa both, before whispering softly with Alarissa.

"I believe the Tribune would be pleased to learn of Aurumadin's cairn," Rinel says, to nobody in particular. And then, to Duarte. "Ah. The Count Bravura. Good evening." Her voice is polite and little more. She, notably, does not bow.

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

Duarte shrugs his shoulders and stands, "Nevermind. I'll give it to someone else. Or keep it." He tips the corner of a non-existent hat and coolly heads to the tearoom...because that seems new!

Harlen leaves, following Duarte.

Merek looks distantly in thought to the side, while he sighs.



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