AoW: Lines of Communication II
The first series of practical exercises for the Academy of War is the establishment of a particular line of communication when faced with very unique obstacles. This meeting is a continuation of that project. We are getting back together to talk about the project, plan, and see if there are places people can help or focus. Bring your thinking caps! Attendance at a previous meeting is not required for this one; we encourage people who missed the last one to join us, as more brainstorming means more ideas.
The event is ICly open to all AoW members and associate members (Whispers, Iron Guard, Solace, Inquisition), and those who have been invited; if you would like to come but aren't invited, one can presume OOCly an invitation was possible where reasonable. If you're not sure, please ask! The open nature of the invitation is on the OOC side, to ensure players who want to participate may. If you need help coming up with IC reasoning to join us but are OOCly interested, please let me know!
Aug. 1, 2021, 5 p.m.
Arx - Ward of the Crown - Academy of War - Headquarters
Comments and Log
5 Silvershields, Jeeves, a sophisticated valet arrive, following Rook.
After standing in line for a moment, Rook and his compatriots enter the academy, finding a seat among the bleaches to listen in on the exercises.
2 Redrain Guards arrives, following Bahiya.
2 Redrain Guards leaves, following Bahiya.
2 Redrain Guards arrives, following Bahiya.
The big map tables from the center of the room have been moved out of the way to make room for the seating to be pushed into a circle; there's tables and clusters of chairs, a couple of couches, all arranged in a way to make conversation relatively easily, for all that one would need to lift their voice a little to ensure it carries. Two tables along the far wall have been setup, one with food (things that can be eaten with fingers, good for nibbling) and the other with drinks (of the light variety; there is tea, coffee, ale, and cider--mostly tea and cider). It's expected that those present will serve themselves, as there really aren't people about to serve -- those that are working, they're keeping the tables stocked, but that's about it. Once the meeting starts the guards at the doors move to stand in front of them (on the outside), and no one is admitted without a Loud Knock and then a Long Pause, just in case discussions need to be paused.
Natalia herself is watching people arrive and get settled, standing near the arm of one couch and sipping from a cup of something. She smiles and dips her head and generally acknowledges everyone, though no conversation is offered yet. Eventually, she does clear her throat, setting her cup down at the little table beside her seat. "Thank you for coming, everyone; I see a few new paces, so welcome. Our topic of discussion is opening lines of communication with the Dune Kingdoms, ideas and suggestions for how we might go about it, and starting to work on some of those ideas. Currently, we are exploring an option for--a relay, with a new sort of ship being constructed, and reaching out to try and find people who have contact with those who are already going back and forth."
Dolente, a mourning dove, Dolce, a collared dove arrive, following Cesare.
5 Silvershields have been dismissed.
Jeeves, a sophisticated valet have been dismissed.
Kenjay, having arrived with Bahiya and gotten her settled into a seat first, sorts out a plate of nibbles and a cup of tea for Bahiya, and then another plate of nibbles and cup of tea for himself. Clad in scarlet and orange silks of Eurusi cut as usual, with the usual few pieces of armour never designed by an Arvani smith, if he and Bahiya hadn't brought a few Redrain-liveried guards with them to park along the walls, there would probably be being questions asked by someone. And of course there still might be questions asked.
Lore has been here for a bit. She may be a little paranoid about being late.. arriving a quarter hour before the event even truly kicks off. Garbed in umbra with a claoked top that is wrapped around her, the umbra studded with bits of silver like stars in the night sky, she's settled along one of the couches and is sipping on a glass of wine as people filter in. The glass lifted to Kenjay and Bahiya as they enter, she turns her attention to Natalia as the meeting kicks off. "By a new ship, do you mean the sloop that was recently presented, or is this an entirely new design itself?"
Cesare drifts in with the usual aplomb, offering a warm smile to Natalia, but doesn't waste much time before planting himself in a seat and pouring a large glass of cider. A little journal emerges from one of the pockets of his coats, and he dips a quill into ink in preparation to take notes. "Evaristo and Vulpiano had proposed a new design, I believe," he murmurs. "Was that the sloop?" Neither of them is here. Miscreants.
Rook liked ships but new nothing about sailing, let alone the logistics of running communication on one. He listens in on the talks of the new ship design but remains quiet.
"The bards are also looking into stories about other possible routes; there are a number of rumors and...legends, I suppose is the right word, so the college is looking into seeing if they can find any stories with enough merit for us to follow up on," Natalia adds. There's a moment's pause when the question of the ships comes up, and eventually she laughs and tells Lore, "I believe they are working on yet another new design, but it may have been they got involved with the sloop's creation when it was almost finished."
Bahiya murmurs thanks to Kenjay, sipping her tea and listening to the others. She can't see Lore raise her glass to her, but that's because she's blind and not because she's rude. "In my dreams, we use the chains they held against you, against us and the people for so long, and drag them across the bottom of the ocean to tether our countries together, and create a bridge of boats." Her expression is sad. "Such a feat of engineering that would be, but it is only in my dreams, isn't it?"
Darting glances between Cesare and Natalia, Lore gives a nod and earmarks to reach out to one or both of the people involved to find out. The glass is lifted for a sip and she offers, "If we can find a way to get there, a way around the sacrifice, I have contacts we can speak with. People that I've done business with, that I've spent time with. I won't say we can one hundred percent trust anyone still living in Eurus, circumstances being what they are, but if we can reach out... we could re-establish lines of communication, even trade. Possibly even without alerting the Dune Emperor." She lifts a shrug, "A lot will depend on the state of the city-states when we can reach out. Most of my contacts will be from Gildorian, some few from Ahj'on." Her gaze shifts to Bahiya, head canting, considering, "That would be one very long pontoon... but less literally speaking, the relay of ships would bring about a similar effect. So not so far-fetched."
"Chains," Cesare says, entirely helpfully. "I think there's someone involved with these discussions who may have contacts in Mangaldissi, though I can't say that for certain, but I can ask. Asking never hurts." He nods to Lore. "Trust, I would say, is never guaranteed, and not at all essential in this juncture. Communication, however, is. On my end, I did reach out to Marquis Giorgio, though I haven't heard back from him regarding the Eurusi contacts in Tremorus. Perhaps I'll just have to badger Lord Savio about it, he's far better at annoying his brother than I am."
"I do not think it literal, but I also think it is--not only in your dreams," Natalia tells Bahiya, sounding quite certain of herself. "If taken as metaphor, then that is precisely what is happening here. Taken as prophetic, it means we will succeed. Not that I've any doubts of that, anyway." Her attention shifts to Lore. The woman's words are considered, and eventually she gives a solid nod of her head in agreement with Cesare. "We do not need to trust any of them," she says. "It will be as much of a risk for them to trust us, so we will make certain we take that all into consideration. So you know people on the other side, that is...going to be incredibly helpful." Cesare's words have her nodding her agreement. "If you have not heard back, it seems like it might be a good idea. Let me know if you need anything from me about it."
Kenjay stays quiet and sips his tea - at least until Natalia's spoken. "There might be other people there that we of Arvum can trust," he says quietly. "I will need to think, and speak with another." There are tinges of Eurus at the very edges of his Arvani.
There's tension through the lines of Bahiya's features at the suggestion of the dream being prophetic, but it's gone soon enough, the Ambassador bowing her heads. "We have funding to offer for this endeavor," she says quietly, her features turned in Natalia's direction.
Flickering a smile towards Cesare, she gives a nod, "I'm just putting the warning out there. We can never be certain if it will be more profitable for them to trade with us, or to have us turned over." Nodding to Natalia, she offers, "If we can set up a relay, I'll volunteer to be on the first ship out to help establish contact personally. I know the sea routes from the Eurusi side, so I might be able to help in determining where to send our ships that we might have a somewhat safer area to meet in. Shipping lanes that are less used, have less of a military presence, that sort of thing." Kenjay's comment has her turning towards him, "Do you speak of the Rose Knight and the others? If so, that would be a -huge- boon..."
"I imagine we can make almost certain it is more profitable for them to trade with us," Cesare acknowledges, "as long as it remains unknown to those authorities who move against us in Eurus that they're doing so. After all, there are already smugglers making the effort to bring goods to the Saffron without the backing of funding or approval from any substantial organization." He tips his head. "But it will be to our advantage to conduct this in as subtle a way as possible, I imagine." He's doodled a a chain across the page of his journal, rather than taking notes.
"There is no pressure to come to a particular conclusion with your thoughts, but trustworthy contacts would be helpful," Natalia tells Kenjay, offering over a reassuring smile. "Just know that it is not necessary; if we have to proceed with considerable caution, we will manage. Any effort we do not need to expend, though, is an effort applied elsewhere." She shifts her attention to Lore. "Do you currently work with anyone who is making the trip from their side? Perhaps you should start working on putting together what we will need, for that initial foray. Ambassador Bahiya has the funding we will need to begin solidifying those plans." Cesare's words have her nodding agreement. "Yes. I we need to enlist the help of the Explorers," she suggests. "I think that as we start to chart a path for our relay, their expertise will be invaluable. Does anyone here already work with them?"
Kenjay gives Lore a flat look. "I have not confirmed anything, nor will I," he says, then sips at his tea while the others talk. There's a nod for Natalia, but he stays quiet.
"Sadly no, none of mine have braved the trip back to Arvum since the war. Many are still hesitant to draw the attention or wrath of the Dune Emperor. But I think if we can place ourselves in their path, they can be convinced that the shared risk will be worth the profit," Lore gives a small shake of her head to Natalia. Her gaze shifts to Kenjay as she lifts a shrug, "That is your prerogative, Your Highness." Looking back to Natalia, she chuckles, "I am an Explorer. But I can certainly speak with Lou if you'd like to get a few more of us onto the project. I'm certain there would be at least a few more that would volunteer their efforts."
Bahiya tilts her head, expression stoic, but she does smile a little to hear the plans begin to form.
"If you don't mind, I would appreciate it," Natalia confirms for Lore, tipping her head. "We particularly need someone who works with sea charts, and planning those voyages; if that's you, perfect. We might not have the ships to place yet, but we need to start figuring out how many we will need, what we need to put in them, and the logistics of keeping them afloat long enough to be useful. It presumes that our being designed ships will be successful, but I think they will be."
"I can follow up with Ev and Vulpiano about the ships," Cesare asides. "Evaristo and I speak frequently, and Vulpiano and I reside in the same building, I'll slip a note under his door." He taps his quill thoughtfully against his lips. "If I can get Lord Savio's attention, I know he's quite a competent sailor, as well. Perhaps he'll be interested in lending his expertise." Big if.
"That would be me, yes. But I am not the only one, so I'll still reach out and try to get us a few more Explorers with expertise in sailing and cartography. I can also try to reach out to my patron, he's one of the best damned sailors in the Compact. The adventure of it might spark his interest," Lore confirms to Natalia with a nod before smiling to Cesare. "I can also try to reach out to the Marquis and see if I have any better luck. He and I used to collaborate on economic matters prior to his ascendence." Drawing in a breath, her eyes go unfocused as she calculates, "Offhand, if you plan to leave a ship out near the edges of Eurusi waters to act as the relay... besides the costs needed for the trip itself, we would also require food and water for the crew. And likely weapons, armor, and ammunition, in case someone not friendly finds them. I can start getting you amounts and figures as soon as I know distance and have the specs of the ships."
Kenjay remains quiet, listening now rather than contributing. The contents of his plate are vanishing, though.
Ellani, the palm sized spider arrives, delivering a message to Cesare before departing.
"Perfect," Natalia proclaims for Cesare's words, and then she beams at Lore for her statements as well. After a moment, she turns to look over at Bahiya and Kenjay, studying them both briefly before she says, "I think we should start considering what we will do once we have a way to communicate. How we are going to track down our interests and the like." With that proclamation made, she turns back to Cesare and Lore. "Thank you both," she says. "Cesare, once you've followed up with our shipbuilders, if you could pass along whatever you learn to Mistress Lore here, it would expediate matters. And let me know if their work is hitting any snags, so we can throw money at it."
Cesare slides a wink in Lore's direction. "It would be entirely my pleasure," he agrees. "I feel I've let the ball drop a bit, but Baroness, I'm sure you know these past couple of weeks have been somewhat eventful. I think I should be able to narrow my focus considerably to this project at this juncture. Do feel free to poke at me if you like, a little chastising is always motivating."
Bahiya reaches out for what she knows to be Kenjay's plate, and makes a noise of abject sadness to find it nearly empty. She grumbles in Eurusi but she's smiling. She catches the voice-change in Natalia, the direction of it aimed at herself. Her good humor sobers immediately and she nods. "There are plans being made," she says in agreement. "And ... obstacles to adapt to. I am hopeful, and I thank you, Baroness, for all you have done and will continue to do."
"Gladly, and you're quite welcome. I've been hoping to re-establish contact with Eurus anyhow, so this was perfect timing." Lore dips a nod towards Natalia with a smile before flicking a sidelong glance towards Cesare and letting the smile grow a touch more. Turning her attention towards Bahiya, she offers, "I won't presume to know what your plans are, or the obstacles in front of you, but if you need help with any part of it... I have friends in Eurus that I'd like to eventually get OUT of Eurus. Establishing communication there is essential to getting them free. Anything I have that would be of use is yours."
Kenjay smiles when Bahiya tries to raid his plate, and he murmurs something back to her in Eurusi. That said, he picks up her empty plate as well as his own, and makes his way back over to the food. The set of his head suggests that he's still listening.
Ducking her head, Natalia clears her throat to avoid...the little laugh that escapes anyway, for Bahiya's sad sound. She grins for all that the woman can't see it, though there's warmth in her tone when she speaks, "You are welcome. The more we stand together, the better our chances for survival in the coming storms." She rolls her eyes quite melodramatically at Cesare, shaking her head. "We are not--in quite so much of a rush," she assures him. "We all have multiple competing priorities, and _this_ project involves shipbuilding and lots of time at sea. If I chastise you at all, it will be for pushing yourself too hard." Lore's offer Bahiya-wards has her looking cat-praised-for-eating-canary smug again.
A messenger arrives, delivering a message to Cesare before departing.
Rook stands up after receiving a message, leaving the hall momentarily to handle some business.
5 Silvershields have been dismissed.
Jeeves, a sophisticated valet have been dismissed.
A small but very warm and very genuine smile crosses Cesare's face, directed at Natalia, Lore, and then, although she can't see it, Bahiya. "I'll be very careful to continue getting every minute of well-deserved beauty rest I need, Baroness."
Bahiya feels her beloved move to get her more food, pleased, and then catches Lore speaking to her again, or she assumes so, as her name isn't mentioned but the direction of the voice shifts. "Then our goals are aligned," Bahiya replies, smoothing her hands over her lap and lacing her fingers together. She nods in Natalia's general direction, bowing at the waste after the Baroness speaks. "We will be careful not to tax ourselves; it is prudent that our most valuable resource be well cared for."
"It would be quite a loss for the Compact if you did not," Natalia informs Cesare primly, though there's an impish smile to follow the words. "Good," she says, for Bahiya. "Did anyone have anything further that they wanted to address? Otherwise, I think we are done for today. Our next meeting will be a bit further out this time, though I will reach out regarding individual pieces of this project between now and then, and please do let me know, anyone, if you need any support for your pieces."
"I always have multiple projects ideas going at once, idleness is the bane of my existence. But I will try not to burn the candle at both ends -too- often," Lore chuckles softly before finishing her wine and setting the glass aside. Turning towards Bahiya, she gives an unseen nod and murmurs, "It will be a pleasure, Ambassador." Looking back to Natalia, she chuckles, "My congratulations on hosting one of the first meetings I've ever been to where goals have been set and something has been accomplished without it coming to blows or name-calling. You are truly a credit to the Compact, Baroness."
"Thank you all." Cesare nods, flutters his lashes angelically in Natalia's direction. "I don't believe any name-calling or punching has occurred at any of the Academy of War meetings I've attended. How disappointing."
Bahiya smiles at the sound of Cesare's pleasant voice. "There is always next time."
"You can't fight in here," Kenjay says drily, bringing a refilled plate back to Bahiya, "This is the Academy of War."
"No ideas," Natalia says, her tone playfully warning for Cesare. She smiles his way though, and then she's laughing brightly for Kenjay's dry words. "Indeed."
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