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Valardin Roundtable: III

The third Roundtable for House Valardin, rescheduled from the unforeseen cancellation of the last. A conversation regarding current events across the Oathlands. At this time the Roundtable is for Oathlanders only.

Date

Sept. 8, 2019, 8:30 p.m.

Hosted By

Kael Alis Cristoph

Participants

Derovai Amund Tescelina Ouida Tesha Sophie Richard Eshra Amari Monique Athaur Zara

Organizations

Location

Arx - Ward of House Valardin - Valardin Manor - The Vow

Largesse Level

Small

Comments and Log


Eshra has joined the Honor Table.

Tesha has joined the Quiet Alcove.

Richard has joined the Quiet Alcove.

Kael's completely and totally not late. No, please excuse the Marquis Keaton for the fact that he comes in a bit too swiftly to the Vow. Mind you, technically he is not late. He is absolutely and precisely on time. He pauses momentarily to survey those in attendance and takes a moment to compose himself - you know, deep breath, squaring up of shoulders, rubbing at exceptionally tired eyes, and even nodding to those that he is well acquainted with. He and that massive bloodhound of his start to move toward the stage, Devo pausing when Kael indicates that he should settle. Onward the Sword of Sanctum marches, moving up the steps and then nodding toward Princess Alis Valardin who clearly is in attendance, right? When he is in her vicinity, closer, he bows low. Similar for Duke Laurent. With that done he turns toward those gathered, "Thank you for joining us. House Valardin has seen to refreshments and hosting us, but hopefully we are not here for a full course meal." Kael, he smiles thereafter. He tries, you know, even if his humor is a little off.

Ouida has joined the Honor Table.

Derovai has joined the Cavalier Table.

Alis is short, Kael, but not short enough that her presence is going to be completely missed. Sheesh! "A full course meal, and the entire ceremonial prayer before and after we eat if you're not careful, Marquis." she quips back, suppressing a smile so that she can incline her head politely towards him and others who have gathered.

Derovai is present and not making a nuisance of himself, though he's set himself up rather neatly at one of the tables, with a book opened to a blank page, a pen and inkwell at hand, and another, smaller book tucked beneath the first. He's also helped himself to a modest glass of wine. When Kael enters, the man swivels in his seat just enough that he has a good view, and no farther.

Amund makes his way into the room without fanfare, his expression shrouded by his coif and opting to stand rather than take one of the various sitting options. As Kael speaks, he watches the Sword of Sanctum with intense focus, which means that his gaze also follows the Voice of Valardin for a long moment as she speaks.

Tescelina Wyrmguard is seated at the cavalier's table. Garbed in her knightly regalia, the Voice of that Old House sits with a proper straight posture and mindful, gauntlet-clad hands which cradle a teacup and savor the smallest sip as the Marquis -- who is not late -- along with the Princess and Duke, move to the front. She has an attentive, cool attention but for the momentary cinch of her brows at the mention of a full course meal. A look that says, she can only hope he is correct -- she's already had dinner. That would be so embarrassing. The knightess sets her drink down soundlessly and folds her hands in her lap.

Cristoph doesn't drag in a chalkboard on wheels to this meeting, everyone can feel a great sense of relief for this. He's perched on one of the chairs, drinking and remaining quiet as people begin to filter into the room. There are polite smiles for those entering.

Ouida seems content to be pleasantly and for the most part quietly in attendance, the tall Harthall knight sans armor for once, though she still wears her usual accompaniament of peacebound weapons. Though her lips don't curve into a smile, exactly, her expression is mild and affable.

Tesha arrives with Richard this evening, her hand tucked into his arm as he leads her. She's still sporting a bruise to the side of her face, but the large wound is healing and stitches will come out soon. Being kidnapped was weird business. She murmurs something to her escort and then leads them to sit in the alcover. Because she was still not sure just how much her head is going to allow her to be here.

Sophie has arrives quietly, looking a little tired herself, and has settled against the walls. Her hands are buried in the pockets of her white robes of Mercy. She smiles warmly to the members of her family as she catches their eye.

Walking with Tesha as her escort, Richard nods quietly as Tesha sets a direction for them. Catching his cousin's eye as she sits properly and primly at the table, the physician gives a bow of his head towards Tescelina before the pair of them move to be settled in the small alcove. "At least there will be no chalk on chalboard noises tonight?" he suggests quietly to the Telmar Lady as he settles her first before taking a seat next to her.

Jingle jangle... Eshra and Athaur can be heard before they appear in the door. With Eshra holding onto the Count's arm, she tries very hard to not waddle but the truth be told, the Rivenshari Voice is very pregnant at this time and takes the chair gratefully when her brother leads her to the Honor Table, lowering herself carefully into her seat with a nod to Ouida.

Barf and Amari aren't too far behind Kael. When they enter, she gives a quick curtsey to the assembled and hangs back some as if waiting to see where everyone decides to sit before fitting herself and her gigantic dog in somewhere. Cristoph gets a wave besides.

It's hard to tell when Monique slipped in to The Vow, but all of a sudden the flame-tressed Greenmarch is just there, claiming a seat in her tight black leathers and fantastical mantle as if she'd been there the whole time.

Monique has joined the Cavalier Table.

Athaur saunters into the room with a wide smile on his face. Or rather saunters as much as he can as he escorts his siter to a table. He even pulls out the chair to help her take her seat. "Can I get you any of the refreshments Eshra?" Once his very pregnant sister is scene too, the Rivenshari court offers a flourishing bow to the room, the bells covering him jingling merrily as he does.

Kael's lips quirk in a rather wry manner toward Alis before he dips his head. There might be a low pitched, "*You* get to talk through it all then - not the prayer of course," tossed her way. Still, he takes a slow and deep breath and then continues on, voice traveling the expansive chamber, "As I said earlier, thank you all for joining us. We have done well, the Oathlands as a whole, to facing numerous threats in this last - half year or so. Regretfully, I have no doubt that many more threats will be seen in the future. There are still those out there that have wronged us and we would see this remedied. However, for the agenda of this meeting, I would like for representatives to speak of matters that have occurred within your lands - those resolved, ideas on making us stronger, and any pressing threats that you believe you might need assistance with from others. Afterward, of course, a general opening to the floor if you have any additional business to share." Kael pauses there, glancing to Alis and Cristoph, to see if they have anything to add.

Tescelina returns a polite nod toward Richard and Tesha as they pass by, briefly noting the healing wound. She lets her attention drift back toward the front of house at mention of representatives. Oh that's her, yes.

"One /never/ talks through a prayer led by the Sanctum of Seraph, let me tell you." Alis murmurs. "I am sure I need not go into all of the loss the Oathlands has suffered of late. If you have information that would spare us more of the same, we are open to hearing it." That, it seems, is all she has to add to what Kael has said.

Cristoph rests his glass onto the table in front of him and looks out toward the gathered people, then runs his fingers along the glass as they wait. "I'll start us off. I'm glad to say that after many months of fighting and strife, House Lyonesse, House Laurent and our many allies in the Lyceum were able to forge a peace between House Fournier and House Daveiga. It wasn't easily won as Lord Aramis turned against us and attempted to fight us with his army of misfits. But we expected such a situation would occcur and were well prepared, though we did experiences some heavy losses. For anyone here that might have been involved in that resolution, I thank you. As well as the diplomats that joined us in Cassyl, their expertise in forging a long lasting bond between the two houses is invaluable."

Monique smiles so brightly at the mention of House Fournier. It's a vivid thing, full of indulgent pleasure, and she resettles in her seat, stretching almost catlike.

Tescelina reaches up to flick her hair aside after standing to address the room. Her voice is a bit muted but clear enough to be heard, "I will speak on our findings during a scouting venture to High Hill. There is pertinent information to the movement of the perpetrators of the -- massacre." She becomes aware of herself, standing in a room full of people, speaking. There is a small clearing of her throat.

Derovai picks up his pen and begins to scratch a few words into his open book, though he spends far more time studying the other occupants of the room; primarily those speaking, but not exclusively.

Kael's dipping his head sharply by way of agreement to Alis there - no argument at all from the Oathlander Orthodox Marquis. When his chin lifts he is taking another slow and deep breath, his eyes lingering for a moment on Cristoph as he speaks. His expression is solemn and he nods his head in response to the other man's words. "I will not speak on the matter of House Beaucage--," and his eyes are flicking toward Amari yonder there for just a moment, "--but rather on an issue of defense for my own part to tell. During our last roundtable there was mention of defenses and keeping those close to home. I would like to talk about the village of Woodward in Oakhaven. The village was attacked by... dark, vile forces. Around Oakhaven we resurrected additional watchtowers, trained militias, and with Lady Shae Keaton's help we engineered a carrier pigeon system for quick defense. My understanding is that the village was spared only due to these preparations and I would say that the communication system was a success. If there are those that would like to incorporate something similar, I suggest that you reach out to Lady Shae Keaton for assisting with the training. For placement of military defenses, I do not mind assisting, nor I imagine would many within the Academy of War. Ideally, I would like to see a superior messenger system - with trained outposts for deployment - across all of the Oathlands, but I am not unaware of the exceptional amount of politics, effort, and resources involved. For now, I stress that incorporating something that would work for your lands would be beneficial. I have reason to believe that there is something far bigger coming and hope we are all prepared, but I pray that it is paranoia alone." When Tescelina speaks, Kael is shifting his attention swiftly her way and listening with keen interest to the Wyrmguard.

Amund glances at Tescelina, focusing his attention there, now.

Alis snorts quietly under her breath. "It's not paranoia when they're really out to get you." Maybe that's what Alis is writing down as the others speak. "I do like the idea of a military and diplomatic specific system of messaging. Perhaps a way to give those messages or messegers priority through the Oathlands during certain times." She may be musing to herself, but, her gaze does settle on Tescelina before the woman speaks.

Eshra sits, as comfortably as she can, having declined the offer of refreshments, the Rivenshair's hands rest on the table as dark eyes move from speaker to speaker. When Tercelina stands, there is a pause, a tension that settles into her shoulders, her eyes settling on the Lady, face paling slightly as if bracing for the memories.

Athaur nods his head in agreement to the discussion of a messenger system though he keeps quiet for the moment. He turns his eyes towards Tercelina, leaning forward slightly as he takes a seat.

Richard glances up when Tescelina makes her presence known. As she speaks on what she needs to share, the knight physician pulls his lips into a brief frown, but his nod to his cousin is one of encouragement. She's got one fan in the room at least.

Monique adds, on the heels of Tescelina's comment, "I had the vision that some had, around High Hill and Thornweave, though I've found there was a bit more to the vision, that spoke of how one might defeat Thornweave."

Ouida nods to the words of Monique. "I too have had that vision, and think I understand a little of it."

Tesha takes a moment to let people talk on what they have heard or what they are needing to say for their house and then she stands to speak, pushing a lock of hair back as she does, "I'm Lady Tesha Telmar, Voice of Telmar." she greets everyone. "You know most of the things that have happened with our House recently, Duke Arn was killed. My cousin Ansel has taken his place as our Duke." she states. "Recently the Academy of War and Telmar were having a War Games exercise and towards the end of it a group that was not part of the exercise swept in as they thought we were another group. That resulted in my being taken." she states. "We've been trying to keep track of a group that was under these Platinum Throne banners that have turned up, the group that was in the Telmarch left it fairly quickly. Moving up towards the Red Mountains. They seem to be staying fairly mobile and they like to keep to the edges and less patrolled areas." she informs the room. "I'm not sure if they will try to trickle back down into the Oathlands, but we're keeping an eye on them." she gives a dip of her head and then retakes her seat quietly as others stand to speak.

Kael's voice is but a murmur in offering to Alis, "Perhaps Princess Zara Valardin might be of assistance?" in turn to those words that she speaks. When Monique speaks regarding the vision, and Ouida similarly, his dark brows are furrowing. Now, Tesha's speaking up - that has his focus moving toward the Lady and regarding her words with no small amount of interest. "Thank you, my lady," he says to her when she finishes her report, inclining his head. A pause before he adds, "I am pleased you were not taken *entirely* and your safe return has been had."

Tescelina draws in a breath and rests her right hand on the underside of her rapier's hilt, against the scabbard, while placing her left upon her chest. She lets the others speak before she begins: "High Hill was /not/ taken by ordinary means. The area overgrown to an unfathomable degree. Not from mere weeks of disrepair, but as if centuries have passed. Turning a Castle that once stood proud into an ancient ruin, in no time at all. Villages as well, were bodies and skeletons were stewn upon tall trees and thorns, thick as lances. There were -- no survivors. In the great hall, we came upon a mystery stranger. He bid us peace. A traveling scholar, I have no doubt, who braved the ruins. He was proficient in a unique dialect of Sylv'alfar, which the Thornweavers speak, and was able to translate runes left behind; 'Trespassers shall perish', it read. A final warning. For it seems that High Hill was a former home of House Thornweave. This stranger was tall, with red hair, and crippled in one leg. If any happen to come across him. He recommended we begin the process of growing Elfblight Orchids in our domains. It might not be enough, but it is a start for a defense. They are not finished, the Thornweavers. He believed most of their dozen traveled to the Northlands." That's right. A dozen. "They might be seeking allegiance to the Horned God."



She concludes, "Our major discovery was that this was no army. They did not move in great number. This was a mere handful who ruined the county of our vassal. Most of the tracks we found headed North. One to the South -- A pair of them toward the East. We know only that Duke Arn laid one of them in his final moments."

Oh, that's her name. Zara lifts her head to give both Kael and Alis a nod of acknowledgment. She is otherwise drinking tea and taking notes, like a good 90% of the room.

Derovai's eyebrows lift slowly, and his writing pauses as he looks up over the quill at Tescelina, his expression decidedly pensive.

There's something in what Tescelina's words that cause a flicker of emotion to course across Ouida's serene features, her eyes blinking quickly, as if tears are stirred. She remains very still, however.

"The one in Acorn Hill is southbound. I believe Lady Monique can shed light on that," Amund looks to Monique, nodding to the Greenmarch in greeting. "I should warn you that entire scores of your men will be killed were you to take up arms directly against the Thornweave, but Spellsingers and 'Oldsouls' are the key to defeating them."

Alis gestures with her quill towards Tesha, her first actual smile of the night appearing. "My thanks for the news, Lady Tesha. This... group has been on our minds of late, and it's a relief to know House Telmar has it well in hand." Of course, that smile also quickly disappears with the news Tescelina brings. "That answers the question of the sudden interest in elblight orchids that I've been getting messengers about. Apparently we better get on that." Scribble; a return nod towards Princess Zara. And then a glance to Amund and finally Monique. "Would you speak to us of this, Lady Monique?"

In the wake of Tescelina's words, Kael takes a deep breath and offers forth: "Acorn Hill was similarly conquered by no army. It was a single individual, and - similarly - no ordinary means." Looking ready to say more, when Amund speaks up there is a quirk of his brow and that brow lifts even higher when Monique is pointed out. Then, swiftly he adds to Tescelina, "-- and yes, there is likely an alliance sought there, and not with Thornweave alone. Others whisper as well." His gaze lingers for a moment on the Wyrmguard before shifting focus back to Monique.

Monique listens to Tescelina as well, and then nods to Amund. "Exactly so. That familiar icy voice mentioned it at the end of the vision so many have had, 'Duke Arn Telmar slew one of the ancients of House Thornweave, but just one. More remain, and they have been driven mad. Old souls may rise to the challenge, you may be able to stop them, but beware. They are mighty.'" Monique does a passing credulous job of sounding overly dramatic and icy.

Tesha gives a look to Tescelina as she speaks and there's a bit of a frown on her face. She'd loved High Hill and now ti was just gone. And everyone dead. She gives a look to Richard and then there's a dip of her head to Alis regarding the news from Telmar. Then she's back to listening to the others.

Athaur lets out a breath and glances towards Eshra for a moment before he rises. "Those formally of House Thornweave are almost certainly servents of the Horned God. They are seeking to lash out against people who still have their names. Spell singers can be used to return names to those who have lost them, and those wielding heirloom blades can strike them down. It seems they have other ways of causing damage. I have reports of one sinking into the river and not returning. But several people have drowned since then and the waters have become more treacherous."

Sophie's voice raises as she finally speaks, "We know who this House Thornweave was. We also know that the Valardin were given the responsibility to assure that their vault was not opened too early. We failed them, and I do hope that finding a way to release them from ... the one that holds them is seen as the most ideal solution while openly fighting them is regarded as the last resort." Sophie crosses her arms over her chest and sighs.

Tescelina clears her throat once more, because she is so quiet. "The Thornweavers madness comes from an incomplete ritual. Though they might be bound, having lost their Names, its not whole. Its a fractured. Releasing them might be death -- it might be another solution. I cannot say, and Wyrmguard stands with whatever action is sought against them. But I felt it worth mentioning. They are -- broken. They are not completely one way or another."

"Apologies," Derovai says, as he pipes up from his self-claimed spot at one of the tables. "But I assume this red haired traveling scholar didn't happen to say what his name was?"

Tescelina replies to Derovai with a shake of her head.

Derovai gives a single nod, and returns to writing.

Cristoph looks to Derovai when he asks his question and taps his nose. However he's largely quiet, absorbing information for the most part. Though he does break his silence to say, "House Laurent has been growing elfblight orchids in our gardens here in Arx as well as in Artshall. If anyone is interested in pursuing growing them in your own domains, we've offered help in that area before and are prepared to offer it again."

Ouida smiles, though there's a great sadness in her eyes, as the scholar is mentioned, but she remains quiet, cradling a water glass in her fingers.

"That is because they are fully capable of sprouting trees and whatever else they want to grab and tear you apart." Amund states to Athaur. "I am in the process of trying to purify an heirloom blade of old that has the stated purpose of defeating 'the maddened kin of Lord Oberion Thornweave'. It is made of a variant of the wood that they create with their abilities." He regards Cristoph, nodding. "I will take you on that offer, my Lord. I am assembling a few trusty men and women to take the fight to the south-bound Thornweave before it crosses over to Torean lands."

Alis can certainly be seen muttering something at the table she's seated with Cristoph and Kael. But, she's gotten quiet good at keeping that voice low enough to remain unheard. It's definitely nothing fit for polite company though, if anyone happens to be a lip reader. "I suggest that if people have options that we must choose from, that they present a researched and actionable plan to the Voices of the relevant Houses as well as Valardin. We cannot act on something in a half-witted manner. We see where that's gotten us in the past. I refuse to repeat it."

With Tescelina and Tesha handling the things for the two houses he's most attached to, Richard listens quietly to the talk, trying to take it all in while keeping an eye on Tesha's condition in case he needs to escort her off.

"I can likely show you how to distill them into a cream or a lipstick as well," Monique adds, when the subject of Orchids are brought up. "If you favor more subtle methods of use."

When Derovai asks that particular question, Kael is glancing over toward him. There's that furrow of dark brows once more, and ah-hah, a flicker of recognition. As though somewhere in that head of his the wheels spun and connected some dots. He chins-up to the investigator before murmuring to Cristoph, "House Keaton," in answer to his offer. "At least to discuss a matter." For Alis' mutter, she's the recipient of a wry sort of smile. However, Amund remarking that he is taking a few trusty men and women to fight the Thornweave has him focus squarely on him. A few words are quietly murmured to those near him.

Tescelina sits back down at her table. Hands in her lap. Listening to the others as they speak.

"That would be appreciated," Amund mentions to Monique. "Though not for what you'd expect, in terms of subtlety." Derovai's focus and subsequent murmurs have him focusing on the man as well, but he says nothing on it. To Kael and Cristoph, though, "With your permission, I'd like to try and keep track of its whereabouts. That will require scouting in your land. I can also provide information on House Thornweave itself on the next fortnight."

Laurene, a military adjutant arrives, delivering a message to Eshra before departing.

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

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

There's a faint uptick of Cristoph's eyebrows with Amund's request, then he nods his head. "We can speak later about you scouting for things on my land."

Ouida clears her throat slightly, after taking a sip of water. "House Harthall had the pleasure of assisting House Rivenshari in the efforts to patrol and keep eyes upon the rivers," she says quietly. "And as currently Fair Harbour remains calm with little tumult to speak of, we once more stand ready to assist other Houses that wish us to add our strength to theirs in their endeavors. Please do not hesitate to let me know if that is something desired, and I will personally see that the call is heeded." A pause, and then she adds, "I have been doing some personal inquiry into the matter of oldsouls, and believe that I have come across some of the connections mentioned here tonight before. I would be happy to assist others in their efforts in that regard, as I can, or will continue to move forward and share information as I gather it."

Monique nods her flame-bright head to Amund with an easy smile and then rises, stretching out. "I'm happy to discuss this more with anyone who wishes, too, and to share the vision itself, though I'm afraid I've another appointment right now to get to. But if you wish more information, please, do send a messenger." She sketches a graceful bow in her leathers to the room, and then turns to slip out, her mantle giving an entirely-intentional dramatic flare as she goes.

Monique has left the Cavalier Table.

Kit, the grey fox, Primus, First of Monique's Assistants, 1 Greenmarch Guard, Tertius, Third of Monique's Assistants leave, following Monique.

"Which brings us back around to House Beaucage, strangely enough," Amari says from the back of the room where she's standing still with her dog sitting beside her, "Trevor Beaucage the son of the now former Marquis, who is very dead now, was responsible for releasing House Thornweave before their ritual was complete. His father attempted to hide the extent of his son's crimes by saying it was the shav responsible and letting his forces off their leashes. This led to them murdering prodigals on our own lands, including one in the shrine at Oakhaven. Through an economic plan devised by Marquessa Reigna and Apollo, the diplomatic efforts of Princess Zara and myself, not to mention the hammer of the Faith militant knocking on his door, the situation was resolved. I gave the evidence about Lord Trevor to the Voice of House Beaucage, Lady Theresa, and the Marquis submitted himself to justice and she's taken over."

"I can tell you that Oakhaven was scouted," Kael responds first and foremost. The foregone conclusion that nothing was found is not shared. Instead, he adds, "If you are not opposed, my lord, I will speak similarly at the meeting and we can discuss the tactic then." He nods to Amund before turning toward Ouida when she speaks. The Harthall is actually the recipient of a smile, too. "Thank you and House Rivenshari," he nods toward Athaur and Eshra there, "-- for your efforts. I should point out a reminder that during our last meeting we discussed combing your lands for potentially dark or devious forces. Word came back from House Keaton and we did have some people testing us for weakness. Abandoned masquerading as Oathlanders, if I understood right, with a rumble of... a war, perhaps, at our doorstep. They are choosing sides, which makes the woman who appeared with her platinum throne sigil convenient in timing." When his cousin - the Voice of House Keaton - reports regarding House Beaucage, Kael is inclining his head deeply to her. Naturally there's a mouthed, "thank you" added when his chin lifts.

Richard has left the Quiet Alcove.

Sophie listens for a little while longer and then she pushes herself off the wall and slips out as quietly as she arrived. She does glance back at a few people as she leaves, though.

Dame Rosario Nevarre of the Oathlands, Anouk Ardennes, Anais Ardennes, Triage, The white dove of Mercy, 3 Valardin Knights, 1 Templar Knight guards leave, following Sophie.

Eshra has sat quietly during the meeting, occasionally passing notes, but for the most part the Rivenshari has stayed silent. Kael's nod is returned with one of her own.. which sends bells jingling and Ouida gets another.. but other than that, she just looks uncomfortable.

Derovai taps the tip of his quill a few times against the inkwell, looking briefly pensive again, before writing down a few more words.

Tesha gives a look to Amund and there's a quirk of her eyebrow as she eyes the Sword. Then she stands and starts to move off with her escort. Her head was starting to hurt and that made for a bad time.

Tesha has left the Quiet Alcove.

Atramentous, The Highhill War Hound leaves, following Tesha.

"Thank you." Amund nods to Cristoph, then to Kael after he mentions Oakhaven's scouting.

Kael's glancing across the room, eyes flicking in brief to Cristoph and Alis, before he clears his throat and offers forth, "With that, I do believe that we are soon to finish. Are there any additional topics that people wish to discuss before we close the meeting? Ideas, suggestions? And, as always, if you wish to speak with me - or any of us in private - do feel free to send a messenger and a meeting will be arranged."

"We have not neglected that duty," Ouida reassures Kael. "I am sure it is only a matter of time, and of course there are the wilder areas of the islands that are less accessible. But we have asked our merchant fleets to also be aware of strange activities, and that those who share information will be rewarded, and that bears fruit steadily, if not often very dramatically." She sets her water glass aside. "I have an interest in connecting with those who share these visions as well. Though I have been slowly gathering names and reaching out through things found by chance in the whites or by conversational happenstance, it would be good to make contact with other Oathlanders in that regard as well, so I am happy to hear it mentioned tonight. One cannot chase after every dream, but there are a number of things that seem to be converging."

Athaur lets out a small breath before he stands. "There is something that I feel that I should touch on, if I may."

Alis rises from her seat, then, and gives a quick nod towards Eshra, Cristoph, Kael, and Zara. "We will meet in the way room once Athaur is finished." she murmurs, hands clasped behind her back in a sort of parade rest.

"If I hear of any that have those dreams," Kael offers forth to Ouida, "I will certainly direct them to you." He inhales a slow and deep breath and when Athaur rises, Kael bows in turn to him. "Of course," he says, drawing back a step to grand him the floor so to speak. His eyes flick to Alis and he nods to her.

"This may be an unpopular opinion, but I feel the need to speak on it." Athaur takes a deep breath before he continues. "With the rise of this group of Platinum throne, I feel that we should reach out to the Shav's in our area. They are our neighbors. We have fought with them, and they have fought with us. But they are not our enemy. Not by nature of existing. But many will instinctively flee away if they feel they are being forced. The Compacts nature of 'join or die' is not something that many will give in too. They cherish their freedom to much, as I am sure we all do. They should be sought out as neighbors, as potential friends. It is clear that we have far greater enemies then the shavs in our lands. Common enemies. I think the hand of friendship should be offered and would be far more effective at working together with them then the hand of the conqueror." He shrugs his shoulders slightly. "That is of course, my opinion."

A touch to Athaur's arm in support. Eshra struggles to her feet, hands steadying her on the table in front of her before she nods to Alis and the others preparing to follow behind.

"It's going to be an unpopular opinion in the broader sense among most of the Peerage," Cristoph replies to Athaur as he speaks. He folds his hands together on the table, "But that's something I'd like to discuss in greater detail, if you'd be interested in working on something with me, Count Athaur?"

"I understand and empathize with your opinion, Count Athaur. But it would be treason for someone loyal to the crown to knowingly allow a partnership between a House of the Compact and an Abandoned tribe who refuses to bend the knee. Until and unless His Majesty, King Alaric, proclaims otherwise." she offers, as explanation. "If you and Duke Laurent come up with something we can bring to the Crown as a proposal, by all means."

To this particular topic, Kael does not speak. His brows remain furrowed, drawing and gathering up even more, for each word and point that Athaur brings forth, but no words actually come forth. He is instead exhaling a heavy sort of breath in the end, nodding toward the Rivenshari Count by way of acknowledging his words, and thereafter turning toward Princess Alis and Duke Laurent. To their responses he nods.

Amari offers a curtsy to the assembled, her expression neutral, even if she did hear Athaur out in full before dismissing herself from the meeting. There's a murmur to her dog and he grumble-growls back onto his feet to follow her out. She scolds him mildly, "Well, I don't know what you're complaining about. You got a nice walk out of all this."

2 Novice Keaton Huntsmen, Barf, the Bog Dog leave, following Amari.

Ouida's gaze moves to her prodigal squire, though briefly. "There are many ways to seek to draw in others," she agrees quietly. "It need not always be by bloodshed to the point of exhaustion. Nor does every outreach need to start with a skirmish. We have walked that path as well, in Fair Harbour. It is a difficult path to tread, however, especially when there are heresies or cults uncovered that will draw the attention and ire of the Faith militant as well. But Princess Alis speaks true--there are many things to consider, and lines that cannot be crossed. I understand, at least in part, the heart behind your words. We are enriched, not diminished, by those who bend the knee, and especially when it can be done with respectful accord between us."

Alis inclines her head towards Ouida. "You've said what I feel with far more grace then I'm able to. Thank you." is murmured, as she gathers up her things. "My husband is prodigal. My children have the proud blood of the Greenmarch flowing through them; I do not forget that, so please don't think I do." But with that, she makes way towards the hall. "I must prepare for the next meeting."

Tescelina rises as a missive arrives for her and she studies it closely, offering a respect nod to those present. "If I am needed, please do not hesitate to send a message." The Knightly Wyrmguard Voice slips out after that, farewell!

Tescelina has left the Cavalier Table.

Deimos, an enigmatic barn-owl leaves, following Tescelina.

Zara has left the Cavalier Table.

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

Eshra has left the Honor Table.

Athaur has left the Honor Table.

1 Rivenshari Clansman, Lucky, the fishing cat, Patock, A clever Youth leave, following Athaur.

2 Rivenshari Clansman, Timbo, agile and cheeky rivenshari youth, Apria, Starling of the jeweled wings, Athaur leave, following Eshra.

Sir Rhys, a Valardin Knight, Laurene, a military adjutant, Zara, Eshra leave, following Alis.

Derovai finishes off his wine in one long, indulgent sip, and then stands up to start gathering his things together.

"Thank you all for coming, once more," Kael offers forth to those gathered. A bow to all parties in attendance before he takes a deep breath and, also, moves on. A low whistle has Devo coming to heel.



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