VELENOSA: A Random Evening with Your Minister of Loyalty
Aug. 9, 2019, 2:30 p.m.
Arx - Ward of the Lyceum - Velenosa Estate - Audience Hall
Comments and Log
Saoirse sits on the Velenosan family seat and listens with absolute RAPT attention to a commoner explaining that his chicken -- just the one -- laid TWO eggs instead of FOUR today and something Must!BE! DONE!!!!!!! It's an outrage! He goes on and on and on and when there's the briefest of gaps in the prattle, the princess says, "We'll give you two chickens." He seems placated, if startled that this was so easy.
Valenzo steps in from the street, mostly confident he wont be asked to leave. Pulling the fancy hat from his head, he smooths his hair from his face.
Berenice has slipped into the Audience Hall from deeper inside the estate, a curl of amusement in the tug of that smile on her lips. But beyond that amusement, there's a small hint of pride in the way she watches Saoirse take to her new role. She drifts over to some of the seating reserved for the family to settle in with a hand smoothing down her skirt.
Berenice has joined the Seating for the Voices of House Velenosa.
Gaspar arrived from deeper within the estate and settled himself far enough off to the side, settled on a bench along the wall with a glass of wine in hand.
Not at all, not at all - if anything, Valenzo seems startlingly welcome here. Maybe it's because he didn't bring a chicken in to complain about it. A servant pushes wine into the common man's hand and gestures for him to address Saoirse. Videl is given drink and invited in.
Valenzo steps forward and presents himself to the Princess. Placing his hat against his chest, he bows his most flourishing bow and introduces himself, "Thank you for hosting this audience, your Highness. My name is Valenzo Vincinatti, Captain of the Tasty Terrapin, in the service of my Lord Atorius of House Magnotta, and our esteemed lieges in both House Malvici and the greatest of Royal Houses, the Velenosa."
Videl comes into the audience hall accompanied by an assistant bearing a sizable stack of paperwork. She nods politely to the gathered people, to Saoirse first, other royalty second, nobles third and commoners last. With some sub-ordering for status in there.
"Quite a mouthful," Saoirse intones dryly. "But I suppose
Berenice crooks a finger over at Gaspar, inviting him to her table despite -- gasp! -- him not being a Voice. Scandalous.
"Tasty --" Saoirse steals a quick glance at her cousins in the Velenosa seats. "Turtle? You'll have to share how that name came about." The princess flickers a flash of a crooked smirk to Valenzo, a sort of conspiratorial inner joke kind of smile. "I like Lady Fiora very much, please give her my hellos." And that seems to be the invitation for Valenzo to speak his mind.
The prince quirked a brow at the offer but there was no hesitation as he eased over to take a seat alongside his cousin.
Gaspar has joined the Seating for the Voices of House Velenosa.
Valenzo explains succinctly to the Princess and assembled nobility "Your Highness, Caer Morien is a land of opportunity. Beyond the cocoa trade, the full potential of the land and her people is not yet known. I plan to mount an expedition in earnest to learn just what treasures await us, and could use support in that regard."
Saoirse turns to a servant lurking in the shadows -- such a Velenosan stereotype -- and briefly inclines her head, just the barest of dips. The servant takes pen to paper and writes things down. To Valenzo, Saoirse asks, "Do you have a proposal written for the expedition and a business proposal to show recoup of investment?"
Valenzo betrays his wanderlust with a disarming smile and a confession "No, Highness. I've never been very keen on such details. All I have is a vision, a ship, and a crew ready to sail her. But I'm not simple enough to think it doesnt take resources."
Videl waits patiently for her turn, not seeming inclined to hurry along. Her assistant, however, does seem to be getting tired of all that paperwork she's carrying.
"I think," Saoirse says coolly but not-unkindly, "that should be your first step. I suggest you reach out to Prince Antonio, Lord Dante Fidante, and Lady Cadenza to develop your seagoing plans. Prince Antonio is our Admiral and can assist you with those logistics. Lady Cadenza is within your fealty and also a seagoing captain; Lord Dante Fidante is in need of a project and has a good mind for detail. If the business plan returns to benefit House Velenosa, I'd be happy to take a look and see if we can also throw some resources behind it." The princess steals a glance at Videl's assistant. In the AGONIZING silence -- because it's very clear that no one should chat during this moment -- one quick glance to a servant sends a table draaaaaaaaggggggiiiiiiinnnnnngggggg over to said assistant. There. A place for papers.
Valenzo bows his apologies and bids the Princess "Of course, Highness. Thank you for your time and counsel."
"I've sent a message of introduction," Saoirse says as she ... does so. She also beckons Lady Videl to step on up.
Valenzo backpedals several steps before turning, returning his hat to his head, and making his way back to the docks.
The paperwork is dutifully placed on the table, and the assistant even begins splitting out in several smaller piles. Meanwhile, Videl approaches. "I would like to discuss with you a matter concerning a modest complaint regarding the state in which certain Lenosian sailors behave while on Granatan soil." She explains, "Though I do not think it is a matter of major concern, I would appreciate it if you went over the incidents that have been recorded and filed."
"Certainly," Saoirse says to Videl as she steals a glance at the piles of papers. "Picked the right princess to pour through all those, but why don't you give me a summary of the most egregious and we'll figure out what's going on." A beat follows, then Saoirse adds, "You said certain, were there specific ones or is this more general?"
Videl gestures towards her assistant and picks up an example, and she reads aloud. "The sailor, a scruffy dirty fellow who seemed unfit to scrub the decks much less interact with clients, was clearly less interested in treating my son and trusted assistant as the client he is and more as a mark for some kind of scam." She explains, "Stuff like that. As minister of petitions I must make sure their complaints are heard, but I admit to me it sounds much like sailors being sailors. There's a few names that crop up repeatedly, but no particularly egregious offenders."
Saoirse wrinkles her nose and motions for a servant to bring her a handful of the petitions. She skims them as she adds, "I ...was not aware that sailors -take- clients, whatever that means. They work for their captains, who charter or own ships that sail under our banners but," seems neither here nor there. Saoirse hands off the paperwork and studies Videl for a moment or two. "I'll pay a visit to our fleet; the appearance of a princess tends to see men scrubbed up and more well behaved. I'll remind them of their duties to Velenosa and how we wish to be seen." The princess taps a finger on her chair and leans forward slightly, studying the pale, frail lady before her. "Are all of those reports just about our sailors' misbehavior?"
"Given the context, it seems likely that the client was a client of whatever mercantile venture the ship was involved with and the sailor was acting as a representative of the captain, presumably the actual captain was busy, though I wouldn't know what would be more important." Videl explains. "And yes, to varying degrees of misbehavior."
"Seems easy enough to nip," the princess concludes. "Consider it done -- but before you go. Could I ask a favor of House Igniseri?" The request is given with a friendly smile, as if Saoirse is trying very hard to make sure Videl thinks this is going to be the smallest favor in the world but, really, it isn't. A few of the commoners gathered shuffle their feet. Oh dear, is that how this game works? They ask for help from Velenosa and Saoirse turns around and asks something of THEM?! All eyes are on Videl -- HOW WILL SHE REACT.
Videl smiles politely towards the Princess, "Well you can always ask your highness. Please tell me, what is it you would request of us?" Videl answers in response, clearly not going to agree to anything sight unseen despite how polite she is about it.
"Will you send Velenosa a few cases of olive oil when you get a chance? I keep hoping they'll appear in our stores but they haven't and we've been making do with... an inferior source." A commoner off to the side AUDIBLY exhales. Phew. He doesn't have olive oil presses, Saoirse can't ask ANYTHING of HIM.
"I'll make sure to forward your request for the finest of olive oils to our merchants, who I'm sure would be pleased to do business with house Velenosa." Videl answers the question in turn, "You won't any olive oil more worthy of your kitchens, I'm certain."
Saoirse makes her enthusiastic thanks and then handles whatever commoners wander in until there are .. no more!
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