Feast of Dissension II - Soups of Fury
Oct. 9, 2019, 8:30 p.m.
Arx - Ward of House Valardin - Sleepless Knights - Bar
Comments and Log
Rinel clickety-clacks her way into Sleepless Knights and looks around with mild curiosity to see who else is here for soup and word-duels.
Merek makes his way into the bar, mostly for soup, perhaps not for the word duels, he sucks at them, while he offers an incline to Amari and a wave to Rinel.
Amari has arranged for a long banquet table to be set up in the middle of the room, with a row of white chairs down one side and opposite, black chairs. There's a variety of drinks that would please the most sober of Oathlanders, milk, cider and the ever popular water. She's at the head of the table, naturally, dressed largely in white with her hair up in a neat bun. When the some argumentative types enter, she rises and beckons them over with a smile, "Good evening. Welcome. You're here for the soup, I hope."
"And polite argument, I hope," Rinel says, placing her cane before her and bowing to the woman. "Thank you for having us, my lady. I look forward to the topics of discussion."
"I'm not great with all the wordsmithing, but I do like soup, I also like to learn," Merek offers, with a nod, as well as a smile. He finds a place to settle in, while he pulls his scarf to, then he leans back.
"Polite, if it can be managed." Amari agrees gesturing the table as invitation for both to sit. There's a decision to be made, black chair or white, but she makes no fuss about which they might choose. "This may be a cozier affair than I expected. After the assembly of peers, perhaps there's a lack of appetite for debate." With a wrinkle of her nose she sits. "Or soup is not as well liked as I thought. I think we're all more or less acquainted, but we might as well begin with introductions. I'm Lady Amari Keaton, of course."
Rinel immediately takes the white chair. "Rinel Tern, disciple of Lord Vellichor."
"Ser Merek Black," Merek offers, a simple introduction, while he nods to the two, then he smiles. He leans forward a bit, "The Assembly was a bit, different. Well, either way, I like soup, if you have a lot of meat in it, so suppose I should try to do well," he teases.
Sam, who is a boy and definitely not a princess in disguise arrives, following Niklas.
Amari's chair is more gray than anything, but she's the host, she gets a special chair. It's the law. "A bit different." She repeats Merek thoughtfully, "So, I have to apologize first of all. I had more of a game planned like the last time I did this, but I'm afraid even if I alter the rules it won't work very well with only two guests. So, being adaptable, I propose we just eat soups and drink while arguing whatever we like. We can start with the assembly." She gestures for a server and the drinks are soon being dispensed. "Giving the Cardians and Undying Empire embassies, good idea, or bad idea? Your thoughts?"
2 Armed Confessors arrives, following Korka.
2 Armed Confessors have been dismissed.
Niklas wanders into the room, followed by an assistant who is rarely bold but never looks quite so nervous as when he's dragged into the Ward of the Oathlands. "...fish chowder, scallop chowder, clam chowder, whelk chowder, winkle chowder... yes, that's all of my favorite chowders." Sam looks like he has barely been paying attention to this recitation of chowders. "Gods, I hope they have chowder. I've made myself rather hungry." He looks around before heading over to the table where everyone is, dropping down in a white chair. "I think it's a fine idea, but that opinion mostly comes from the fact that I have faith that the high lords know what they're doing. None of them are idiots. I imagine that now that the idea is out there there will be much more discussion, including at the highest levels of our governance."
"Smart idea if you want to keep tabs on them, not so much for trying to tell them they have little place here," Merek offers, while he has a bowl of soup which he sips from.
"It is utter madness," Rinel says, quite firmly. "The Cardians and the Empire have taken an interest in Arvum again. The last time the Skylords took interest in our Compact, the nation of Light was reduced to a blasted land. The Dragons do not respect our Gods, and Platinum has forsaken Them. There is little to be gained by allowing them access to our city, unless we are to be granted an embassy in kind--and nobody seriously expects Cardia or Jadairal to make such an offer."
Korka strolls into the inn, hands clasped behind her back and green eyes scanning the crowd, appearing briefly surprised that there's some kind of event happening, but that is not enough to stall her steps as she moves to sit down in a black chair, "So you're saying we should just lay back and wait for the inevitable dragon fire?" She asks Rinel, tone casual with an almost lazy smile, "I don't have strong opinions one way or another, but as I understand it, they already have agents here. Wasn't one of them about to marry a Marquessa?" She looks around at the offerings, "This is all free, right?"
"Prince Niklas is for embassies, perhaps not an unexpected stance from Princess Sabella's husband." Amari summarizes with a smile, looking to Rinel right after, expecting a rebuttal. It's not long coming either. Her hands come together with a soft clap and she looks utterly pleased. "Rinel has some valid points. So, I would ask you, is it best to wait for dragon fire peacefully with hope in our hearts, or violently opposed?" Korka's question is given a nod to confirm, "I was requesting people argue for their soup, but I think I'm relaxing the rules. Take part in the discussion and a soup is yours, we even have chowder." The last is directed more to Sam than anyone else.
"They have access already," says Niklas, giving a shrug as he looks around for some soup. "They're everywhere, and we have no idea where. Give them an embassy and, if absolutely nothing else, we know one place they're apt to be. Prince Victus had the right of it and too few people seemed to listen or believe him. If either of these powers decides to attack us, it may very well be the end of the city. If the both decide to go to war using the Compact as a battleground, it may very well be the end of the world. Arx is the center of civilization, after all. These two might as well be made to know it." He gives a slight sniff at Amari's comment. "My wife and I are distinctly different people, Lady Amari. We do not always agree. I've spent some time thinking about this notion. Many aspects of it are distasteful, but things that are distasteful are not always wrong."
"There is one thing that can end the world by destroying Arx, my lord, and it is not in the possession of either Platinum or Malar," Rinel says darkly. "And let us not pretend to unearned grandeur--we are recipients of the Platinum Shift, yes, benefitting from a land of wonder, but we are children stumbling blindly through a library without any to guide us or to teach us in letters." She shakes her head. "You will not see the shaper of Arvum impressed by the wonders of Arx. He was here when Brass crafted the first sparklemite. He grieved when Gold sacrificed everything to slay Shaivassa. As for the Dragons... they predate our Gods. Our city will no more impress them than did Caer'alfar. No, our pride must come through our Faith, and that alone. We are the only remnants of humanity who hold to the truth of the Gods." She sips a spicy Telmarch vegetable soup and smiles in pleasure. "This is very good."
Merek lifts up a brow at Rinel's words.
"Oh, for the love of--the Thricesworn and the Thinnest Point are hardly uncommon knowledge, Sir Black. Don't give me that look," Rinel snaps.
"Yes, you are." Amari nods, taking the correction from Niklas with grace. With an aside to one of the servers, she asks her to serve the rest and the vegetable soup is the first out. She declines hers and pours herself a cup of cider to sit with quietly instead, listening to the words bandied about. "Do they want embassies? I don't recall either side requesting them."
Korka's green eyed gaze slides to Rinel for all of that, "Do tell," she says mildly of the mention that there's one thing that can end the world, "I don't know that giving Cardians leave to walk the streets is a great idea, but I find it interesting you mention heroes that fought back in one breath while seemingly advising that we spend our time on our knees in prayer hoping that the Gods will save us. From things that predate them?" She raises both eyebrows to see if she got that point right, "What kind of soup do you have from the Oathlands? Any potato?"
"There are lots of worlds, Goodwoman Rinel. The Thinnest Point will surely end most of them, but one needn't go that far to end the world. My world has ended twice, when first my sister Renatta was murdered by the Bloodsky and next when my sister Elara was crushed by falling statuary. Should I lose Sabella, my world may very well end for good. But in a grander sense, the world does not have to be unmade and cast into the Abyss for it to end for the vast majority of Arvani should, for instance, sorcerers go to war with dragons in the Gray Forest, Cardian praetorian guard marching down the streets of Bastion and Sanctum while Platinum zealots purge settlements across the Compact, leaving none alive in their pursuit of spies and agents." Niklas fetches himself a big bowl of chowder. "But yes, while a war between these two great powers may leave the entire continent a scoured waste of fire and smoke and blood, it is merely the cataclysmic death of millions I am talking about, as opposed to someone canceling creation. So I'll give you the point there." He sounds just a touch sarcastic, but when he tucks into the seafood chowder he perks up. "Ah, the perfect panacea for a cold day." He nods to Amari. "So we offer. And perhaps they say no thank you."
Merek checked composure at difficulty 15, rolling 16 higher.
Merek looks over to Rinel again, "Polite," he mentions of the conversation, then he nods a bit, while he lifts up his soup, while he sips from it, "Either way, I am satisfied with doing my everyday job. I think too many people have shifted from focus from that, personally."
Amari considers Korka's request carefully, "I believe we have a butternut squash soup prepared in Oathlands fashion, nettle soup, baby carrot and fennel, spiced mussel soup, and wild mushroom soup with sprigs of thyme. The lamprey stew didn't quite turn out, unfortunately. There's also the Telmar vegetable soup, and creamy fish chowder. I'm not sure which sort of fish, perhaps Prince Niklas can discern it. I didn't ask."
"The tragedy of life is that it continues without those we love, my lord," Rinel says, very quietly. She sets down her spoon and looks at Niklas. "Neither side desires the destruction of the continent. Yes, there will be bloodshed if there is war between Jadairal and Cardia. How, exactly, do you propose handing them a knife and brandishing our breast will avert this conflict?"
"I'll take the mushroom. To go, if possible," Korka tells Amari, leaning back in her seat and looking back and forth from Rinel to Niklas, "It seems like these two have the argument well in hand."
"Goodness me, Mistress Rinel! And they call me dramatic!" Niklas offers Korka a wan smile and gestures in her direction. "Be my guest, Inquisitor Korka. I don't see any merit to replying to 'handing them a knife and brandishing our breast'. To be true, having the good woman against the cause seems as good an advertisement for it as anything else could be." The Playwright holds up a spoonful of his soup. "As for the chowder, there are at least three kinds of whitefish and some clams. Whole bellies! It's quite good, though in the Islands there'd be at least a few tentacles."
"The wild mushroom is very good." Amari approves of the choice with a wisp of a mile before gesturing to one of the servers to see Korka provided for. She looks over everyone in turn, expression pleasantly neutral, and says, "May I admit something? I thought this would be good fun, like the last time, but I'm not enjoying it in the least. Not that you're all terrible company, or debating poorly. This is like, having last night's leftovers for conversation. I regret having brought up the topic of embassies and Cardia, and the Undying Empire deeply. My bones are aching with regret over it. It's painful."
Merek eats at the soup, while he nods to Amari, "It is not a subject with any one answer," he offers, then he says, "I would like to say though, I am happy the Great Road has been connecting trade between our cities. A worthwhile endeavor even for all its issues."
"Among the scholars, my lord, failure to respond to a question is generally considered a concession of the point," Rinel says mildly, as she picks up her spoon and returns to her vegetables and broth. "But as the Lady Keaton is in pain, let us move on without further discussion. This soup, my lady, is magnificent. I am positively nostalgic for my home."
Amari rubs her eyes and sits back in her chair, looking like she'd melt through it and disappear beneath the floorboards if she were physically able to. "Do you know why fish prefer salt water?" She asks no one in particular.
Niklas barks a loud laugh at Rinel. "Really? So no matter how ridiculous a thing a person says, among the Scholars it is deserving of a response? Honestly? What a tremendous waste of time. Though I suppose it explains a lot about the way you choose to conduct yourself."
"I don't know, is this a pun?" Merek asks Amari, not offering commentary to Niklas and Rinel's conversation.
Rinel checked composure + etiquette at difficulty 25, rolling 13 lower.
"I preferred Your Highness' attitude when he was perpetually followed by the pelican," Rinel says coolly. "The ever-present smell of fish must have preserved some sense of humility. A pity there is little of either to be had in the halls of Grayson."
Merek narrows his gaze at Rinel.
Amari leans in over the table some, to address Merek more directly with an answer to her own question, actually, "Pepper makes them sneeze." Which is maybe a punchline, or should be, but she delivers it straight. Like it's a fact. "Talis told me that, and for a child of three, he's very wise, I think. I should go hug him senseless." With that, she stands and pushes back her chair. There's a formal, precise curtsy for the prince and a nod for the rest, "Thank you for attending. Please, enjoy the soup."
Merek seems amused a bit, "I was thinking about something akin to that, I thank you for doing all this for the people," he says then to Amari, attention back away from the two talking.
Rinel looks unhappy at something. "Yes--thank you, my lady. I apologise for... all of this." She stands and leaves, crimson-faced.
"It was my mistake." Amari replies, as Rinel scoots. She has a few quick and quiet words to arrange what's to be done with all that soup, offers a smile just generally to all and sundry, and departs.
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