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Mourning Isles War Table

House Thrax opens the doors of the Cross Hall for Houses of the Mourning Isles and allies. Discussion will primarily be on the upcoming conflict with the Skal'daja and defense of the Saffron from the slavers. Ivan the Apostate's threat to the Isles will also be addressed. Drinks will be provided at the door.

Date

Nov. 8, 2020, 7 p.m.

Hosted By

Victus

Participants

Tyrus Lou Valdemar Ian Ember Catalana Avary Dycard Alarissa Kalani Azova Evander Haakon Monique Sabella Romulius Juliana Scylla Zoey Natasha Aedric Niklas Shyanne Liara Cornelius Ophira Ethan Carita Xyander

Organizations

Thrax

Location

Arx - Ward of House Thrax - Thrax Estate - The Crosses

Largesse Level

Grand

Comments and Log


4 Redoubt Buccaneers, Luna, the Darkwater Assistant arrive, following Carita.

Jaq, a solemn looking assistant, 4 Redoubt Buccaneers, Carita arrive, following Evander.

Elizabetta, a disapproving lady-in-waiting, Lily, an aloof lady-in-waiting, 2 Grayson House Guards, Clark, an exasperated guard arrive, following Sabella.

4 Redoubt Buccaneers have been dismissed.

Orion, a healer's surly Assistant, 2 Redoubt Buccaneers arrive, following Azova.

Evander has joined the a large war table with space for a map of Arvum.

Ember has joined the a large war table with space for a map of Arvum.

Dycard has joined the Extra bench seating - 1.

Griffin has joined the Extra bench seating - 1.

Sabella has joined the Extra bench seating - 2.

Carita has joined the a large war table with space for a map of Arvum.

Natasha has joined the a large war table with space for a map of Arvum.

Thrax's compound is not often a place to host a social event for all corners of the city, being a far cry from a welcoming abode. But it is fitting that on the rare occasion, the focus was usually on martial force against their own sworn enemies. Tonight will be no different. Servants hover at the entrance of the room, the only retainers that aren't armor clad. They offer a quick word of introduction and an offering of rum or mead, before directing the nobility toward the center of the hall. There sat an extensive table carved of oak, with a map of the Arvani continent inlaid on its surface.

Wooden pegs representing ships in colors of the Mourning Isles, Lyceum, Pravosi, Oathlands, Crownlands and Northeners are set at the lower eastern corner of the table's oceans. Approximately where one would expect the Saffron to be, though few islands are actually detailed insomuch as placed in the general vicinity. The miniature fleet of the Compact stares down a line of black ships, encroaching from the east. Notably, a coin forged of brass sits just behind the Compact's fleet, while a charcoal black coin flanks the Eurusi menace. Perhaps more interestingly is that the line of Eurusi have an unfilled hole in their center. The ship that would've occupied it is sitting on the Compact's end of the conflict.

Prince Victus is sitting at the head of the table. Adorned in a mix of snakeskin and ceremonial armor, his coronet hangs over on his head. Hands are drawn together, fingers intertwined, his eyes set upon the centerpiece of the table as allies and guests begin to arrive. At least a dozen armed soldiers stand at his back. No peacebinds on any weapons here.

Tyce the gruff and disapproving, 2 Scarlet Phoenix Guard arrive, following Juliana.

Tyrus arrives alone, save for the usual escort of guards left behind when he enters the room and a dark brown tabby cat of exotic spots and stripes that follows his every step. The prince himself, clad in black at the present, inclines his head to Victus at the table in polite greeting. "High Lord cousin." he says before taking a seat at the table for himself. The cat doesn't wait long before jumping into his lap, yet instead of settling down, it remains seated there, watching the table and its occupants. Tyrus, says little more, instead observing the map and the information laid out.

"... and we'll need to make sure that everyone stays on task. While the rest of us are busy with Eurus we can't let the Metallic Traitor get to Pyre," Lou emphasizes to Willen as she makes her way through the door. "So anything the Explorers can work on to make sure that doesn't happen is important. So keep a running list of people staying home since I'll be embroiled in the Eurusi side of things. That way we can give the Queen a list of other folk who might be able to help with that task." Lou, ever the pragmatist, has her head spinning several different ways in organizing different tasks for the Eurusi affair. Or, is it more than just an Eurusi affair? Willen nods here and there at her words, takes notes, and has all the notebooks needed for taking notes this evening as well. She pauses a moment to look for a seat.

Valdemar arrives more or less on time for the war table, dressed mostly in black with a somber expression on his face and refusing anything to drink, himself. In addition to his retinue, who promptly get out of the way, he has Lady Kalani Seliki on his arm. Looking around the room briefly, he proceeds to the large table and bows respectfully to the High Lord, greeting him, "Good evening, your Grace." After rising again, he finds a place to sit at the table for them.

Valdemar has joined the a large war table with space for a map of Arvum.

Ian comes in more or less with Haakon, having probably run into him on the way in, or something of that nature.


Ember Redreef arrived early. It's a meeting about war; the Bloody Baroness showed up so early and with such apparent anticipation that one would think she'd been told it was a party in her honor.

Catalana is one of the few who comes unaided and without armor. Hardly surprising to those who know her however. Her usual smile is a little tighter than usual and the bags under her eyes speak of the countless late nights of late but she dips into a polite curtsy to Victus and the others assembled before finding a seat at the table.

A rare thing, the Sentinel's archlector arrives in the Thrax compound with a templar escort. Avary's face isn't one with a smile but a coolness like winter. The topic seems to have pulled her out of the shrine.

Sweeping in with the Blackshore detail, Dycard makes a polite bow of his head to the assembled peerage as he removes his hat. "Good evening, Your Grace," he offers before padding over toward one of the extra benches to the side, allowing his more military minded family members to attend to the table.

Alarissa sits not at the war table, leaving that for the more martially inclined individuals and instead has taken up a seat in one of those lit alcoves and watching the ongoings, the servants at t he door and those who enter. The coronet of the Princess of Maelstrom on her own head and no false arm on the left today.

Lady Kalani Seliki, co-voice of Seliki, sinks into a graceful curtsy at Duke Valdemar Grimhall's side, "Good evening, your Grace," her words following Valdemar's in a quiet echo before she straightens and moves with the Duke to take a seat.

Azova can't quite sneak in, with the fiery red hair that acts as a beacon no matter where she goes. But she can enter the room quietly and without a word to anyone until she spots Carita and Evander (or wait for them to arrive) and then silently move to sit near them.

Kalani has joined the a large war table with space for a map of Arvum.

Evander is here, escorting the Countess of Darkwater into the Thrax manse, both armorless and weaponless. A bow of his head is given to the man at the head of the table. "Your Grace," he murmurs. He manages to suppress the urge to cough and pulls out a chair for Carita at the table, settling into the next one over. He is the difficult one that asks for tea, rather than what's on offer, clearly intending to keep a clear head as he gets out a notepad and writing implements.

Sam, who is a boy and definitely not a princess in disguise arrives, following Niklas.

Dycard is overheard praising Esme.

Haakon sits silently at the table, clad in maille and Abandoned iron. Faced with a choice between mead and rum, he'd grimaced and settled for rum, a cup of which sat barely touched before him.

Monique arrives with little fanfare and just a showing of glorious crimson hair and lavender silk. There's a pause to survey the table, those gathered, and the interloper Greenmarch spies Alarissa. It's in that direction that she slips, a smile claiming her carmine-stained lips.

Niklas has joined the Extra bench seating - 2.

Ian has joined the a large war table with space for a map of Arvum.

Octavian, a silken spaniel, Ruslana, an aide in Kennex livery, 2 Kennex corsairs arrive, following Zoey.

Zoey has joined the Extra bench seating - 2.

Sabella and Niklas arrive a bit more quietly than usual, giving a smile to Victus first up at the table and then to Alarissa when she sees where she's sitting. A few other people get waved to and Lou gets a brighter smile than anyone as they head over to a seat out of the way.

The sight of Evander and Carita draws a much more genuine smile from Catalana. There's a long moment of waiting for the Darkwaters to settle before she's slipping slightly closer to them and trying to fuss/not fuss over Evander.

Striding in the with Blackshore detail a half-step behind his uncle, Romulius makes his way towards the assembly with a polite bow offered on arrival. "Your Grace." He takes his place, eyes noting the rest of those gathered.

12 Grayson House Guards arrives, following Liara.

Juliana has joined the Extra bench seating - 2.

Lady Juliana steps in, dressed well loved leathers instead of her normal silks and gowns. Dark hair braided down her back. Pausing just inside notes a number of familar faces, maybe even smiling to a few before finding herself a seat.

Scylla walks into the room following close upon the heels of the attending members of House Blackshore. She has donned her usual leather armor for this occasion, sans weaponry despite the lack of peacebinds, and waits until her liege lords take their seats, first. Before taking her chosen seat, a ceremonious bow is afforded to the Thraxian highlord, the words, "Your Grace," following thereafter. A cursory glance is spared to those seated at the war table with her.

Zoey makes know great show of her arrival, simply offering the appropriate polite-but-quiet greetings before settling into a seat beside Ian.

It must be the onset of Inquisition business that draws Natasha Thrax into her older brother's war room dressed in the organization's quintessential scarlet and black instead of her preferred understated finery, clad in a high-collared coat tailored to fit, snug breeches and boots that rise over the knees, with her dark hair swept in an impeccable coiffure that camouflages its pins and combs, and sends the impression that some manner of wicked feminine sorcery is at work that her curls manage to stay up by their own power. Neither early nor late, her quicksilver strides cut through the distance between awning and table, stopping at the end before gloved fingers brush over where the relentless engine within her chest beats in a rhythmic staccato, bowing towards her brother's imposing figure at the very head of the table.

She doesn't join the others there yet, though. Instead, she pivots so she can move to greet her sister-in-law properly first, espying the resplendent form of Alarissa Thrax by the alcove, as well as a brilliant flash of red hair that belongs to the infamous Minx of the Marshes. "Sister, Lady Greenmarch," she murmurs, before dipping her head towards the latter to dispense a quiet word - or three.

Approaching the center table with at least three others, Aedric promptly dips his chin and bows respectfully before the Highlord of the Mourning Isles. "Your Grace," is offered in formal and polite greeting. Attention then shifts to the impressive map laid out upon the structure's surface, momentarily staggered by its incredible detail and craftsmanship.

After a few indecisive moments, Lou decides to sit at the map table, making her way there to take a seat. Willen goes over and takes a seat on one of the other benches, ready to take notes.

Lou has joined the Alcoves.

Lou has left the Alcoves.

Lou has joined the a large war table with space for a map of Arvum.

Victus gives a faint nod to those who address him directly. For the most party however, the High Lord is remaining silent until the majority have shuffled into their seats for the evening. There is a brief moment where he gives a double-take at Tyrus' cat. But otherwise, his visage is stoic and hard. It's several moments of quiet chatter before Victus takes to his feet and gives a hard 'thump, thump, thump' on the edge of the table with a closed fist.

"Good evening. Thank you for joining us tonight. Fellow peers of the Isles, allies, strange invaders and so on. Tonight we will be addressing the upcoming conflict with the Skal'daja. Invaders from beyond the sea, from the Dune Kingdoms of Eurus, led by the Dune Emperor. I will be sharing what we understand of the enemy at present and invite those of you with military knowledge to partake in an open forum." That said, he gestures to the Eurusi forces laid across the map. "Alleged numbers of our enemy is as follows. 18 Caravels, 50 Dromonds, 200 Longships and Galleys. We cannot be certain of this, or how their numbers have been impacted for better or worse after the battle of Sungreet. Among other things, numbers and soldiers alone are not the only weapons our enemy possesses." He slides the black coin forward. "There is an unknown number of mages and adepts present aboard the slaver vessels. Reports from skirmishes at the Saffron tell of skies blackening at the Skal'daja's arrive, great storms sweeping through the seas, and warriors along with slaves that battled with the fervor of madmen."

Here, he gestures to the Compact side of things. "The battle is not expected to be on the scale of the Gyre. But we cannot discount the potential destruction our enemy can wreak even without a massive navy. The Compact is gathering en masse to mount a defense at sea to expel the invaders, and shake the Dune Emperor's hold over his recently conquered territories across the ocean."

Monique leans in to both greet and murmur something quietly back to Natasha, a smile of gratitude for the Princess, before she settles back to listen to Victus.

"Princess Natasha." Alarissa greets her sister in law, dipping her head to the other woman, the same dip given for the others who have arrived. Whatever she says in the wake of that, is for the alcove.

Looking up from a quiet conversation with Kalani when the High Lord begins to speak, Valdemar listens intently without his expression changing. Once he is finished, however, the Grimhall Duke speaks up to ask, "Since you mentioned him, your Grace, do we know if the Dune Emperor is already with the Eurusi forces on this side of the ocean?"

Ian sits in silence, settled into a comfortable slouch with a drink, just listening.

The normally somber Evander actually smiles at the sight of his sister, welcoming Catalana and gesturing towards a seat to join them, a nearly liked welcome given Azova as he welcomes the Mercy with a quiet murmur of greeting. He puts up with the fussing of his sister with the air of someone long used to it. Ian, and then Zoey's arrives earn fleeting smiles their way, turning to thank the servant as he sets fresh tea in front of the thin man. The thumping makes him reach for his notepad. He clears his throat, before he asks quietly, glancing more broadly around the room since he wasn't present at Sungreet, "Was there a note of the numbers of Skal'dajan ships taken at Sungreet? Did those change?"

Natasha has left the a large war table with space for a map of Arvum.

Tyrus says nothing following Victus' introduction, nor does he speak up as more information is shared of the enemy forces. There's a slight frown to be seen on the prince's face at the mention of the great storms, but he otherwise remains without too much expression, careful to control it. The cat, meanwhile, stays where it is. While it did seem to focus on Victus for a moment, surely it was because of the man's initial thumping on the table.

Natasha has joined the Alcoves.


Ember remains silent in her seat at the map table, and is listening quite attentively. Those who are familiar with the Baroness of Redreef Shores might find something off about her tonight, in a way that's difficult to put a finger upon.

It may take a few moments to realize that it's because Ember is smiling. The Bloody Baroness's amber eyes are nearly alight as she listens, and the corners of her lips, normally left to a baleful scale, are oh-so-gently turned upward.

Jayne, Burly Sailor, Oakshed, an aged and white haired valet arrive, following Wash.

Juliana's brows arch slightly at the numbers given, the Igniseri remaining silent where she sits, she at the moment is simply here to listen.

Niklas sits next to his wife, a glass of brandy in hand, keeping quiet for a change of pace. As Victus discusses the night's discussion his expression sours a touch, but he remains silent.

Easing away from Monique, a brief, subtle smile curves Natasha's mouth upwards - enough to threaten a crack over features as if cast from marble, but not quite managing it though present enough around the eyes. She returns Alarissa's greeting first, before responding to the redhaired lady, keeping her in the alcoves for now.

Azova smiles back at the Count-Consort and returns his greeting quietly as the table thumping begins. No drink in hand yet, though she looks tempted when the sheer number of ships is mentioned. And the extra advantages that the other fleet will have. She's no mental mathematician, but that sounds like a whole lot of injuries waiting to happen. And, as a result, her expression tightens and she too makes several notes.

Crossing his right leg over left Dycard listens with a carefully blank expression before his brow furrows at the mention of sorcery. He drawls quietly with those next to him while observing those at the map table.

A stern nod is offered from Romulius as the processions begin. His eyes shift to the southern end of the map table, considering the forces represented by wooden pegs. "The caravels present a problem as command vessels. If their sorcerers and magisters are aboard, we've little chance of decisively engaging them so that their influence might be wiped from the board. How many of the Compact's caravels can we expect to be appropriately outfitted for war and directed to join us at the Saffron?"

Catalana turns her gaze to Victus when he begins to talk. There's a bit of mental math going on but she dismisses it with a shake of her head. "I imagine it would be unwise to take any information fed to us about the Dune Emperor. It could be a trap or false information."

"Fuck the caravels," Haakon mutters to Romulius. "Fifty dromonds are a solid force, but these numbers?" A shake of his head. "They'd need a lot of bloody magic, or a lot more allies." He looks to Victus. "I dread more our traitors."

"I nominal 'Fuck the Caravels' to be someone's war cry." Azova comments, a flash of a smile appearing.

"We do not suspect that the Dune Emperor is among his forces." Victus replies to Valdemar. "However, we do understand that the fleet is being headed by several royals from Skal'daja. Notably-" Here he grabs at the black ship behind the Compact's ships, moving it out in front. "-the siblings of Prince Damik, whose name I will not attempt to pronounce in full. Prince Damik of course being the man who defected during the battle for Sungreet to Compact forces, after instrumental effort from Lady Monique Greenmarch. He's been happy to provide us with what pieces of knowledge he does have of the enemy. Which is one of three advantages I believe we hold over the Skal'daja." Raising his gaze to Evander then, Victus must shake his head. "The battle was chaotic, with the Compact being heavily outnumbered and several Eurusi changing sides in the middle of things. However, Ivan the Apostate and his rebels escaped with the Skal'daja. It can be assumed that Helianthus loyalists are likely with the bulk of the fleet."

He sets a steel-clad finger atop Prince Damik's ship. "According to the errant Prince, the Dune Emperor's grasp on the Dune Kingdoms is less solid than we are being led to believe. If you've heard Ivan the Apostate's proclamations, than you are also aware that the Dune Emperor's true identity is theorized to be Alaric III. The king lost at sea during the Tyde Rebellion. This would mark his arrival in Eurus as only some decades ago. Not only is he a foreigner, he is a foreign conquerer at that." He gestures across the map. "The people of Eurus are not submitting easily. Likewise, they do not see the same value in Arvum as he does. Eurus is several millions to our own population. To them, we are savages. Barbarians. Underestimated and seen as unworthy of their time."

Once more, he gestures to the Compact's side of things. "Causing this invasion force a second defeat and incurring more loses is expected to rattle the Dune Emperor's political hold."

The Prince's eyes turn to Romulius after that spiel. "It's unclear. House Thrax will be committing its own, the Mercies and healers will be operating a caravel as their floating hospital. The majority of Arvum's caravels being spread across so many seafaring houses means it'll be whoever shows up."

Juliana raises a hand at Victus's comment about the Healers. "Actually, I am lending them two for hospitals, both the Desert Queen and the Lady Jewels."

Ian half raises a hand. "What are the chances that the Apostate will strike elsewhere in the Isles as a way of keeping Thrax's forces bottled up elsewhere? Is it certain they'll be with the Eurusi fleet?"

Shyanne looks over as the healers ship is mentioned

The opening statement so eloquently delivered by his Grace to the masses elicits nothing from Admiral Scylla but a solemn inclination of her head. When others begin to accept the invitation to share information and ask questions, she levies that piercing pewter gaze upon each, one after the other as they speak in succession. It is only when Haakon makes mention of traitors that the woman leans forward in her seat, the action causing the chair beneath her to lightly creak. It seems that this topic is of particular interest but she offers nothing, yet, to the discourse. A dark cloud passes over her visage as she patiently waits, and listens closely.

Liara volunteers mildly from her spot at one of the seats to the side, "House Grayson captured six Eurusi vessels and caused damage to a number more off Sungreet. Unless there was any other substantial engagement at sea that I am unaware of, then the invaders' fleet remains largely intact and likely as Prince Victus outlined." Then she settles back to listen once more.

Zoey has left the Extra bench seating - 2.

Zoey has joined the a large war table with space for a map of Arvum.

Monique looks up at the mention of her name and does preen, vain Minx that she is. And then it's back to the quiet conversation in the alcove.

"I can have the Queen Genevieve crewed and sailed, even if I do not command it myself." Tyrus remarks, referring to his own caravel, as his gaze moves from the map to Victus. "Do we have any idea as to the ability and skill of the mages and invokers in their ranks? Was Prince Damik able to supply any such information?" he asks. The cat, meanwhile, seems to have found the task of cleaning its claws more interesting.

The alcove with it's trio of women are talking quietly, watching the table and the information being shared. And the cat. Mostly the cat. But then Alarissa's rising. "The Lady Greenmarch would offer, those who desire it and should it assist your houses and sailors, information about the enemy, and the deserts from which they hail." And then the Princess sits again.

Azova smiles in gratitude at Juliana, though it's hardly the time and place to run over and squeeze the stuffing out of her in an unwelcome hug like the Mercy would probably like to.

Wash has joined the a large war table with space for a map of Arvum.

Valdemar nods his head at Victus' answer to his question, looking over the map as everything is discussed. "If his situation in Eurus is so unstable, then some concerns I've heard voiced recently may carry even more weight, then. Whether or not he actually is Alaric III, if he wants to exert that claim, he cannot do it in the Saffron Isles. He'll need to take Arx. What is to stop him from bringing a second fleet while we're all focused on the south, sailing north of the Mourning Isles, and attacking the northwest coast of Arvum while it is left vulnerable? Yes, he might lose some ships due to the climate up there, but probably less than sailing straight through the Mourning Isles," the Duke goes on to point out the possibility, "Seems a better prospect for him than waiting around to lose his hold on the Dune Kingdoms."

:Juliana sits quietly after her comment, not aware that she has escaped having the stuffing squeezed out of her. Instead the Igniseri's blue gaze follows the conversation with interest.

Cornelius studied each speaker as the plans were drawn out among the gathered council, doing his damnedest to transcribe some notes on the ship totals in his ledger with his left, less dominant hand. It looked to be a struggle but the lord was managing as proceedings continued.

Romulius offers a wary look to Haakon before his attention returned to Victus upon being addressed. A nod is given to his response, before Romulius responds to Valdemar. "So long as he counts the Prophet as an ally, the Dune Emperor will be able to find some measure of support in Eurus. Duke Grimhall is correct - a victory for us in the Saffron would not eliminate him as a threat, and certainly not while his hold over the slaver cities wanes."

"The chronology parses," Natasha remarks from her place in the alcoves with the Lady Greenmarch and her illustrious sister-in-law, in response to the Duke of Grimhall, before her slender figure rises from the bench as well. "Alaric III disappeared in 993, around twenty-one years ago. If the dates in the reports regarding the Dune Emperor's conquests can be verified as falling around the same time frame, it at the very least provides not-insignificant credence to his identity. And I suspect that is precisely why His Majesty lifted the restriction on the number of knights and soldiers that are allowed in Arx, in the event that the invading fleet does manage to breach our lines."

Having arrived late the Siren of Setarco does not join her new Blackshore kin but finds herself gliding towards the alcoves. Ophira dips dark head respectfully with lush lips curling into a smile, eyes flash towards the current conversation being had - committing each and every person here to memory.

Ophira has joined the Alcoves.

"Two caravels for hospitals. And Prince Tyrus', as he has offered." Victus corrects with Juliana's mention. Though something she says does catch his curiosity. "One of 'em is called the Lady Jewels?" As quick as that thought is spoken, his head shakes to banish it away. Though he does glance at the tapestry of Thraxian flagships on the wall. One of those ships is called the 'Red Serpent', he has no wiggle room to talk. It's to Ian he looks next. "It's possible, but not likely. We're expecting to see continued piracy and raiding over any concentrated attacks on Isles domains. We have no indication that Ivan the Apostate has remained in the Mourning Sea, nor that he intends to return before the Saffron campaign is complete."

The Prince gestures to Valdemar then. "Which is related to the Grim Duke's concerns. According to Prince Damik, the Eurusi continent is near as ignorant of us as we are of them. For again, the same reasons. We are no different than Shavs to them. It's unlikely any of them had heard of a House Pravus before the proclamations of war were made. Even /less/ likely that anyone of import is aware of the name Duke Ivan Helianthus beyond the Dune Emperor himself. Pravus' conquering of the Saffron is the strongest excuse the Emperor has to invade. Even still, his people see it as an eccentric interest, one of an old man clinging to the past. He /needs/ to be successful in avenging Pravus' conquest before he could convince them of anything more than that. He will not be gone from our lives, but he will have to tend to settle his own domain before he can think of trying us again."

Victus places a hand over Maelstrom. Or the tiny version of it, at least. "We /can/ expect unrest from the traditionalists to continue. Once the Eurusi are defeated, then there'll be no exterior threat to focus their ire. After which, the 'traitors' as Lord Haakon puts it will likely enter into open conflict."

Scowling at the mention of civil unrest amongst the Isles, Dycard leans forward and props his chin up in one hand atop his leg. His head lists to the side while his brow furrows in thought and he takes in a deep breath, sighing ever so slightly while continuing to listen.

Catalana asks Victus, "You don't believe they will take advantage of the chaos? The traditionalists, I mean."

Shyanne has left the Extra bench seating - 1.

The tone that the High Lord of Thrax uses to describe the supporters of Helianthus draws a curious look from Romulius, enough to summon a query, "Would you call them differently, your Grace?"

"My sisters and I received a letter from the Dune Emperor. The handwriting was that of our cousin," Lou takes a moment to speak up at the map table when people keep trying to parse whether or not Alaric III is the Dune Emperor. "There is also sufficient evidence from reports that his Vizier may be Bertold Ruger." There's a pause as she notes, "Or, at least, a version of him." She doesn't go into what that might mean. "I do not expect either will be coming to Arvum to fight this battle, but that's more opinion than fact."

Haakon sniffs sharply, the ghost of a smile curling his lip as Victus mentions the Arvani being thought of as no different than Shavs by the foreigners. "If that holds... and the traitors don't move," his smile sharpens for an instant before settling back to his more familiar glower, "The Easterners are fucked. Course.. if they *do* stir while the bulk of the Thrax's teeth at at Eurusi throats, then *we're* fucked."

"That all seems a bit too...convenient...to me, your Grace. I don't doubt that you're right about how the Eurusi see us, but if this push into Arvum is as important to the Dune Emperor as you say, I believe it likely he will bring a second invasion fleet if he can, in order to better assure his success. And perhaps the Prophet can help him drum up the ships and soldiers needed in order to do so," Valdemar tells the High Lord. When Lou speaks up about the letter from the Dune Emperor, though, he looks over at her curiously and asks, "Can you tell us more about what this letter said?"

"A version of him. An accurate description of who once was Alaric III. Torture at the Gyre's hands and his master's saw to that." Tyrus remarks, his tone dark, grim. But that is all he says.

"Keep in mind," Monique speaks up finally, "that the Prophet of the Sands is a fractal whose desire is to release the dark Sleeping God in Pyre. And to do that, he will use any tool that comes into his hand to reclaim the magical weapons that may be reunited to rouse Gloria's Dark Mirror. It is no coincidence, any of it, that he sends Alaric III and others here, where some of the weapons may be found."

Ian settles back into silence, still listening, but apparently with nothing else to say just yet. He looks over at Monique as she speaks, though.

"It spoke about how he had been betrayed," Sabella answers Valdemar, "I assume he means by Donrai. But I believe it also insinuated that he would not come here until he had a firm hold on Eurus and that he intended to unite the two kingdoms. So, I do not think that should we win this battle now we have to worry about him following up soon."

1 Templar Knight guards have been dismissed.

Valdemar inclines his head to Sabella. "Thank you for that, your Highness. But my concern is not him following up. That implies a gap in time between invasion attempts, giving us time to rebuild and educate ourselves better before he comes back again. My worry is that we might be too easily dismissing his capacity to attack multiple places at the same time," he clarifies for her.

Dark eyes lit with the hunt draw towards Lou Grayson as she speaks of a letter and Berthold Ruger, and what Tyrus Thrax has to offer on the same subject. Natasha's expression barely shifts save for a spark of recognition, its luminous alabaster cast maintaining an unyielding mask of its own. Her regard falling to Monique once again as she speaks, it gives her enough time to catch Ophira's approach, with a nod of greeting and a faint smile to the newly-married lady. After a quiet whisper to the newest Lady Blackshore, she starts to move slowly out of the alcove and closer to the proceedings, and to obtain a better glimpse of the arrangement upon the war table.

Lou glances to Tyrus briefly. "I was referring to Bertold when I mentioned that. Though rest assured, our cousin has seen his own fair share of dark times. I'd rather not go into the details about his once trusted advisor though, for they're worse than grim." Lou takes a moment to confer with Willen and then papers are passed to her and she skims them. "He reminisced about how how long it had been since he'd been to Arvum and since he was betrayed. It was many years since he healed in Eurus and rose the Griffon banner. He talked about how the Compact would expand from Arvum to the Dune Kingdoms as he intended to return to reclaim his throne. He felt that there were many things stolen from him. He thought all battles needed ot be won before he turned his attention here, but he was reconsidering that notion. And, er. He's pretty intent on vengeance of past deeds against him." She pauses, then notes, "There is a group of Arvani in Eurus who are helping the Dune Kingdoms who are still not under his banner to stay that way. There are three? Still not under his control." But she seems a bit uncertain of that number.

"There have been disturbing reports that the Oathlands and North has been dealing with a number of issues that has been keeping them occupied on a lot of fronts. I say this as an example that there is trouble arising suspiciously to keep the Compact busy. I would agree with Duke Valdemar that once The Black Fleet takes most of the naval hit, they will assault us swiftly in places we are most weak and will not allow us a moment to take a breath." Ophira's voice is spoken out in an eloquent manner, dipping her head afterwards.

Victus backtracks to Tyrus' earlier question after a moment of pause. "We can assume they've been trained since birth. That they've lived in a continent where magic is possible and a part of every day life since the beginning. While they're not elves, they are destructive, and they've been practicing bending slaves to their will for centuries. However, it seems they have had difficulties using the full brunt of their powers in Arvum. We can only speculate as to why. My guess is the poisoned primum."

Turning toward Valdemar once again then. "He cannot dispatch a second invasion fleet if he cannot maintain control of those kingdoms he has conquered to now. While I don't discount the possibility, I do see it as a foolhardy move. We would have to assume he's reckless enough to risk everything he's gained to regain Arvum. If he's accomplished as much as he has now, we have to assume he'll accept the bitterness of retreating and regrouping to fight another day. Prince Damik would say he has already pushed his luck. His invasion has lost a Prince and a battle against underwhelming numbers, with little to show for it in his own people's eyes." He cants his head toward Sabella then, gracious for her input.

Over to Romulius now. "I have no doubts that Ivan the Apostate and those who follow him are traitors. But I am cautious of using such a word. There are those who are going to go to war for their ideals, and those who are willing to argue them in words. Both of them are our people, and we must be vigilant of who we're pointing our steel at. I'll suffer no more death of our own kin than is absolutely necessary." Then to Catalana and Haakon. "The traditionalists will absolutely take advantage. But in gathering our banners, I saw greater fervor in them for the death of enemies from the outside than what's begun internally. In an extreme case..." He places a finger atop the brass coin. "We will use the metallic's weapon to force them to a stalemate until we can regroup."

Haakon gives Victus a short nod, accepting the answer and offering nothing further on the subject.

Natasha has left the Alcoves.

Natasha has joined the a large war table with space for a map of Arvum.

Liara chimes in briefly from her seat to the side, "I would not worry about the security of mainland Arvum. In the event that an invasion is attempted, by whatever force, my banners will be ready, and only those soldiers needed to crew ships will have been sent abroad. That may change if the Horned One takes some overt action in the meantime - one hopes not."

Ian leans over and murmurs something to Romulius in a low tone.

Evander looks distracted for short time, at least, he stops writing, glancing towards Carita and exchanging a quiet word with the Countess. He resumes writing as he catches up with the conversations at hand, glancing around to identify the speaker where he doesn't recognize them. The mention of a metallic weapon makes him look upwards. "Could you tell us more about that weapon, Your Grace? Do we need to position our own fleets to make sure they are not at risk, also, if it is to be used?"

"My information may be outdated, yet is there not at least one of the Dune Kingdoms still resisting, not to mention whatever unrest he might be plagued with after the fall of the others? So long as there remains trouble at home, he is unlikely to send all of his forces elsewhere, especially given the Dune Kingdoms are of far greater interest to the Eurusi than some backwater like the Compact's lands." Tyrus notes. To Lou and her words, he nods, though his attention shifts to Victus when he speaks of the mages. "I see. So while they may have the advantage, it is not so great as to put every other consideration aside. Good."

"Four," Monique adds to Lou quietly. "Mangaldissi, Vel'ichalah, Gildorian and Lagadorus remain out of the Dune Emperor's hands."

Something that Victus has said has Alarissa looking toward the door and a gesture for someone to come and take dictation. A quick few minutes of discussion and the servant is scurrying off.

Lou gives Monique a nod of thanks for providing the information which Kingdoms are still out of the Dune Emperor's control.

When Victus gives his opinion on the possibility, Valdemar inclines his head toward him. "Very well, your Grace," he answers simply before falling back into quiet conversation with Lady Kalani.

Romulius gives a nod of understanding to Ian after a hushed whisper is delivered, then turns his attention to the council at large. "The Prophet and his agents make efforts to draw those Kingdoms under Alaric's influence, though their resolve is admirable. If we do not expect Helianthus and his supporters to take advantage of our divided attention, I would echo Lord Eswynd's sentiment that their numbers don't demand terrible concern."

"One of the primary reservations of this body, it would seem, is that the bulk of the Mourning Isles would be vulnerable to a secondary invasion or rebel insurrection should we sail the bulk of its navies to greet Eurus in the Saffron," Aedric interjects, concerned that the direction of the conversation would soon be lost to speculation. "If this is truly a concern, what strategy could realistically be employed to alleviate those fears? Because, based upon the reported number of ships under the Dune Emperor's command -- of which no one in this chamber has openly contested -- there seems to be no practical alternative to engaging the enemy alongside our allies. To abandon them now would destroy the foundation of collective security and make clear that fear and self-interest dictate our decision-making."

Victus slides the brass coin into the center of the conflict, next to Prince Damik's piece. His eyes look to Evander, but he speaks loud enough for all. "The weapon is fitted to the Nightstar. Primum-based artillery. As this is more or less a public venue, I cannot go into detail. But the potential for destruction and collateral is /massive/." There's a grim seriousness to his face when he says so. "Its minimal power will cut through a dromond. It's most powerful will level a city. I consider this weapon to only be used as an /absolute necessity/ when all other options are either exhausted, or found to be too costly. It will be present at the battle for just such a possibility. It can make the trip from Arx to Maelstrom within a timeframe of twelve hours. So if need be, it can also be repositioned to act as a deterrent if skirmishes spawn on the Isles."

His hand sweeps toward Aedric. "I'm afraid that is the crux that you've hit on the head. The only surefire way we could ensure the Isles are protected from every inevitability is to simply not sail for the Saffron. Which in turn leaves our allies devoid of the Leviathan. If the Skal'daja do manage win and secure their foothold on the Saffron, then it only opens the rest of the Compact for a certain invasion. It will only be a Pravus problem temporarily, and a problem for /all/ of us very quickly. Taking the chance is our best bet to prevent an even more difficult future."

Ian shrugs as he exchanges a few words with Haakon without much change of expression, followed by a drink.

Catalana questions, with a flick of her hair behind her shoulders, "There's no way to do both? Divide the fleet somehow?"

Tyrus mostly listens afterwards, absent-mindedly petting the cat when it nudges his hand, staring at the map. "Has there been recent movement from the Darkwater Deeps? Anything regarding that particular Archfiend and its most recent Herald?"

"Mardomum." Tyrus corrects himself.

There is something about Victus' words that fills Natasha's midnight gaze with visible concern as she eases herself in an available gap within the war table, to look upon the arrangement therein with silent, but intense scrutiny. Presently content to listen, that old habit manifests again during her examination, a pale thumb sliding underneath her palm to press against the sea serpent signet on her smallest left digit, and causing it to turn slowly. There's a briefest glance towards Tyrus when he speaks, though it almost *immediately* dovetails towards the cat.

Valdemar glances toward Tyrus when he brings up Mangata's Dakr Reflection and the Tyde woman. "The last time I looked into her activity, which was some time ago, she was massing her fleet somewhere in the Saffron Chain. What she's waiting for, I have no idea, but I do believe she is capable of using the Bloodwater to move her ships around very quickly," he offers in response.

Evander writes carefully, the furrow of his brow an expression of concentration more than concern as he captures the High Lord's response. "If it were to be used, we should establish some signal to our ships, to warn them, give them time to disengage." He glances up as Tyrus mentions the deeps, but shakes his head to indicate he hasn't heard anything himself.

Ethanis mostly sticking to the back of the room. He has a piece of parchment he occasionally jots notes on, as he listens to the peers discuss their warplans. Occasionally, he sits up just a bit to look at the war map, and confirm what he is hearing.

Monique has left the Alcoves.

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

There's a pained expression on Victus' face at Catalana's question. Something that very briefly betrays a hint of frustration behind his eyes. "I'm afraid we're already working with a divided fleet. One hundred and twenty houses were sent the call to arms when we'd called our banners originally. Forty houses under Helianthus sent no response, and much of them are with the Skal'daja now. Sixty houses sent their banners, with only thirty-seven of them answering with full force, while the rest sent only what was necessary. Twenty more houses did not respond at all." He takes a deep breath, bringing back his original notion of calm.

Back to Evander then, Victus nods. "Aye, a fine idea. Much of the current crew for the ship is in this room." He seems to be particularly looking between Tyrus and Lou. "We'll figure something out that will work across the fealty lines."

After a moment's pause, the Prince reaches underneath the table. Drawing out a tiny vial of something deeply black. Oil? "I would pose the question to you all. How many of you are aware of Arvani Fire?"

"Intimately, your Grace." Romulius tilts his head, if only slightly, at the substance's presentation, gaze shooting towards Ian at its mention.

Juliana looks up at the mention of Arvani Fire, arching her brow to glance toward Ian and Zoey before turning her attention towards those being asked.

"I am," Lady Kalani Seliki answers the question from where she's seated, "as are many physicians, I would imagine. And anyone unfortunate enough to have survived their exposure to it."

Azova may well be the only one aside from Kalani that just stares at that vial of liquid and looks extremely uncomfortable. "I hope if that is used, we are very careful not to do so in a way that will spread to our own ships."

Dipping her head to speak to Alarissa, Ophira perjs up at the mention of Arvani Fire, a smile curling at her lips as she glances towards the pod of Blackshores.

Giving the vial a look, Valdemar addresses the High Lord again. "Have you made progress with finding a reliable way to use it on a large scale without our own troops and ships burning up?" he asks Victus, leveling his gaze intently toward the head of the table.

Catalana has a flash of that similar frustration as Victus, followed by a briefly disappointed look before her gaze is locked on the Arvani Fire. "Is that wise to have in here?" She may briefly look around for any wayward animals or children who may knock the vial over.

Lou nods back at Victus when she's nodded to and leans over to whisper something to Willen to be added to the notes he's taking for her.

"I see." Tyrus says of the aforementioned Tyde woman, nodding once to Valdemar. "Something to keep in mind, but not necessarily an active threat." Regarding the weapon and its crew, Tyrus nods to Victus. Message received. "I've been made aware of it and have received information regarding its potential uses. Should there be need to share the information, I can help." The cat, meanwhile, yawns and curls up in his lap.

Kalani shares a solemn nod with Azova, "The report that I read indicated that attempting to use it while at sea created a burning whirlwind. It would need to be deployed in a manner that somehow negated the affect of wind on the dispersal area."

Ian looks between Zoey and Juliana, but doesn't seem to have much to say on the subject of Arvani Fire. Or any subject.

Aedric's cold gaze settles upon the vial of liquid produced by the Highlord. He nods.

Dycard parrots Ian's behavior. But with Griffin.

Scylla leans back and strains her neck in one direction to very pointedly focus those sterling irises upon Lady Ophira.

Azova leans over to murmur to the members of her family for a moment, and then leans back again, ready to take more notes.

Zoey's lips curl into a faint smile as she sits quietly in her seat. Yes, it would seem that she remembers the Arvani Fire, in research for which she had some small involvement.

Natasha says nothing about the Arvani Fire, but that is telling in itself - if she was completely unaware, doubtless that she would be asking Victus all the questions already, and organized by order of priority.

Victus answers Catalana with a blunt, "No it's definitely not. But who wants to be the unlucky bastard that burnt down the Thrax ward?" If that was supposed to be a joke, his tone definitely didn't carry any jesting to it. Nonetheless, it's a tiny thing. It probably wouldn't do /that/ much. "Nonetheless, I assume I don't have to explain what this is as many of you are aware. As Duke Valdemar has just alluded to, this is incredibly dangerous. This /also/ poses a high chance for collateral damage. I do not recommend liberal use of this in any case. But with that said, this is war. And this is a very effective tool at killing. That is the hard grim truth of it."

Once again looking to Valdemar. "At a distance, it's... /more/ safe than usual. Loaded onto siege weapons and launched deep into enemy ranks would be more effective than anything at mid to close range. Theoretically you could fit a catapult onto the deck of a dromond and have it act as a roving deliverer of fire. I, again, don't recommend this. But I'm certain some of you are going to do it anyway. So let's not beat around the bush." He harumphs. "Loading a ship with enough Arvani Fire to be effectively utilizied is estimated at a flat cost of one thousand resources. Professor Orick, Guildmaster of the Apothecary College, claims that the Apothecarys can lower that cost by at least sixty percent. As I understand it, he's begun funding to do just that and ensure it is an available option to as many of us as possible."

His lips pull back into a thin line. "Yes. That is horrifying. So I expect we'll all be accounting that into our planning and strategy and also expecting the absolute worse."

Ophira shifts from the Alcove to ease closer and her voice lilts for all to hear, "I had a suggestion for it's use in which it minimizes damage to our own ships." Bright hazel eyes flicker over everyone before resting on Victus with a nod of head, "There is currently a way to safely have it transported in sealed pots which can be made sea safe until detonation. My thought is that we set up a blockade, points on a map we all known so as to help negate any accidental explosions. We bait the Eurusi fleet into these seaweed concealed areas, use their own bravado against them as they seem to think they've a keen upper hand with these zephyr wind caravels which host their blood mages."

"While it could be launched as you suggested, I think that could have the potential for disaster should a mechanism go awry."

Carita's faint smile lifts at the whispering words between her family, causing a faint bit of laughter before she turns her attention back to the current speaker, nodding Evander's way.

"Hopefully, should it be used at all, it ends up aimed directly at their mages. If they're able to conjure up storms, a strong gust of wind shouldn't be too much outside their ability." Tyrus remarks. "Even if we end up sinking a score of their ships with Arvani fire, if we fail to deal with their mages... then all that fire may be turned quickly against us. Something to keep in mind when evaluating whether things have grown dire enough to risk its use."

"If anyone /is/ going to do that, I hope they have their most experienced catapult crews doing that work. And that their ships are not hit by any flaming arrows from the enemy. Dropping a container of that aboard your own ship while loading it into a catapult means you lose the ship, at the very least. I'm sure I don't need to explain why the flaming arrows would be dangerous to a vessel carrying that stuff, but they're a common enough weapon during naval battles," Valdemar states flatly, giving a shake of his head.

Catalana takes a discreet message that is passed her way. A brief sigh and an apologetic dip of her head and she slips out of the maw.

Catalana has left the a large war table with space for a map of Arvum.

Juliana remains quiet listening to the other speak. They were asked to create the substance not how to use it. That might actually cost extra.

The two women remaining in the alcove have gained the cat, it seems, that occupied Tyrus' lap and Alarissa at least seems to have gone very still, while looking to the table and listening to the meeting.

Cornelius glanced up from his ledger, nodding affirmatively to the Siren's suggestions; graphite hitting the parchment to add to his list of notations.

Romulius shoots his eyes towards the alcove as Ophira voices her thoughts. "Lady Blackshore's proposal would minimize the danger presented to our own ships, and allow us to dictate what shores and waters we might be engaged in. If Professor Orick can bring the costs of production so low, it would allow us to ensure the initial engagements to be in favorable waters." There is emphasis, there, naming the newest member of his house.

Haakon doesn't speak on Arvani fire, or wisdom of its use. Instead his narrowed eye is upon the heraldic color of the model Compact fleets. "This portion accurate as to what the rest of the Compact is worth in the fight ahead?" he wonders, idly.

"That is a sound idea." Victus nods toward Ophira. "One I would say worth considering in full. I had also thought that the substance could be loaded onto the metallic's weapon, to drop upon the Eurusi fleet. It could theoretically get quite deep into their ranks at a faster pace than other ships." Intentionally vague, though he doesn't seem to be elaborating any further. "Nonetheless, I encourage any of you aware of the formula to explore options of its use as safely as you can. It's spread far enough that there's little use trying to control it, only that its utilized with responsibility for its destructive potential."

Setting the vial up next to the brass coin and Prince Damik's ship, Victus presides over the board. His eyes on Haakon. "Aye. At least what we /know/ we'll have to now. The Mourning Isles will commit what of the Leviathan has gathered and our standing navy. House Velenosa and Pravus' formidable fleets will join us. House Grayson likewise will be in the water with their generous spread of dromonds. To a lesser extent, the Oathlands and the North will lend what they can. It's significant. But still not guaranteed to be enough. Thatis why we must not fail in our duties."

Victus quickly adds, "The Templars as well. Of which they have a caravel."

Juliana finally raises her voice. "I am working on a way to easily put it out if it gets turned back on you. The biggest issue being the wind of course. But I don't know that I will have the /antidote/ if you will, prepared in time for this battle. Research is expensive and takes time."

"Why not utilize the Mourning Isles as a staging grounds for mainlander armies?" Aedric inquires, stuffing his gauntlets between his chest and breastplate. "If we keep a steady supply of infantry and cavalry near shipyards and harbors, traditionalist usurpers might think twice about initiating rebellion. And this would make transporting troops much easier should ground combat in the Saffron be found necessary," the sailor reasons, mind mulling over potential uses for the alchemical concoction championed by those in the rafters.

Liara offers some further clarity, "I anticipate that House Grayson itself will be able to field a full one hundred dromonds, many freshly constructed in anticipation of this very event. There will be smaller vessels to accompany those - I do not have a solid number for you as yet. Our banners will contribute yet more ships." She settles back down again, seemingly minded just to provide information more than any sort of opinion while she's here.

Victus crosses his arms, addressing Aedric. "That would be a complicated diplomatic issue. We would need to convince mainland houses to lend their forces to the Isles firstly. Then also negotiate what domains will accept them for stationing. Also ferry them across the Mourning Sea from all parts of Arvum. With tensions being what they are, I don't see it going well." To Juliana he offers, "If it's funding you need, House Thrax can contribute."

The offering from Liara gives him pause. Rather than say anything, he shuffles his hand in a drawer at his waist. "... I don't have one hundred dromond pieces. You'll need to utilize your imagination. Apologies."

"Aye, the Eurusi are fucked," Haakon decides aloud, flat in tone. He suggests to Victus, "Even without the new built ships.. any body who knew aught of Arvum would know such a force as the Eurusi sent would have a sheep's chance among sharks. This makes little sense."

Snorts in laughter, eyes lighting up at Haakon's declaration while nodding his head.

'Their forces they've sent, pale in comparison to what we faced with the Gyre." Alarissa offers to Victus. "This will be handled well, I have confidence."



Having been asked to join Valdemar, Xyander was a bit late, he's still getting to hang of the land and area of Arx. The dark skinned young man moves in once he is permitted to join teh council here. His eyes scan the group of people here and upon finding Valdemar, he walks over to where he is and he moves back to not be in the way as he scans the others here.

Ian's expression turns darker, like a cloud passing across the sky.

Liara flashes Victus an easy, amused smile, "That is quite all right - my imagination is quite ample, although I do find the little figures helpful nonetheless."

Zoey notices Ian's expression and leans toward him.

Dycard converses idly with Griffin following Haakon's assessment, nodding and waving a hand about emphatically.

Lou clears her throat. "And, something else to consider, is that some mainland houses will be dealing with an entirely different front altogether, that hasn't to do with Eurus at all. The Queen has recently informed us that the Metallic Traitor, also known as the Horned God, will be making a move as well, taking advantage of the distraction the Eurusi provide, and there are a number of people working to help stop that. So, there are two fronts to this issue that divides attention."

Victus gives a final nod to that. With both arms folded over his alaricite chest, he paces down the length of the table. "I like your enthusiasm, Lord Haakon. So. Let us summarize. The Compact fleet will likely outnumber the Eurusi's own numbers. This may be offset by their number of adepts, mages and whatever else they could be hiding up their sleeve. Their magic is dulled, but not entirely disarmed. They will come at us with slaves and warriors in equal measure. They will be augmented beyond the normal abilities of humanity. We have a defected Prince, the weapon of a metallic, and fire that burns on any surface. We face unrest from traditionalists on the home front. When we return from battle, this will likely heat up into a more intense conflict."

The Prince pauses a beat. "We do not have everything we could. There are some holes that cannot be plugged. Some of this hinges on faith and chance. What tools we do have at our disposal will have to be utilized effectively and with cunning. We will expect heavy casualities and plan for the worst. When the battle is won, we will have to return our attention to the Isles themselves." Another beat. "And work to bring Ivan the Apostate to face justice. Before the sea." He glances at the stone cross that looms over their meeting. "As things stand, they are not ideal. But I believe we've worked with worse scenarios."

Quietly is Ophira taking in all that is said before a messenger slips in to deliver a message in elegant script, reading the missive over there is a quiet sigh. A hand comes to rest on Aedric's shoulder briefly before she slips away, offering a bow to Alarissa and the feline to whom she was especially respectful towards - like knowing like.

Ophira has left the Alcoves.

Ian exchanges a few words with Zoey in a low tone of voice that matches his darkened expression.

Valdemar inclines his head to Xyander when he arrives, but keeps his focus on the topic at hand and his quieter discussions with Kalani. His brow furrows deeply at mention of the Horned God, but he says nothing further of the matter for now. Instead he focuses on Victus' summation of what they face.

"Justice before the sea," Aedric repeats, rapping his knuckles against the table's surface.

"If we can expect the traitor Duke to stand aside while we deal with the greater threat, then he will be brought to answer for his transgressions on his own time. Whatever losses may be suffered, the Leviathan will win the day, and Helianthus will find his fate in Mangata's realm." Romulius speaks with conviction, blue eyes reflecting betraying bloodline as they scan the map one last time.

The cat can once more be seen peering at the map while seated in Tyrus' lap. It is a well-behaved cat, however, and thus does not jump upon the table to push every little figurine off one after the other. It does have a paw extended towards the table, however. "The slavers will be sent to the bottom of the sea, one way or another. Through whatever means necessary." the prince says, his gaze dark as he looks at the table, envisioning it all in his mind's eye. He pets the cat. It purrs.

Arms spread and palms flat on the table, Prince Victus leans forward as affirmations echo from the gathered sailors. "Our goal is clear. Smash the Skal'daja. Rattle the Dune Emperor's hold on his conquered lands. Deprive Ivan the Apostate of his master's ill-gotten love." He dips his chin, his gaze a shade darker. "Not one ship returns home without a slaver's head hanging from its bow."

He recedes back into his seat, raising an open hand in the air. "Thank you. Dismissed."

Aedric has left the a large war table with space for a map of Arvum.

Natasha has left the a large war table with space for a map of Arvum.



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