Bastion Planning: Wrapping Up
(OOC: basically anything else that's not come up. Also would love to get more people in on the plot and the various events that will happen, so here's a good chance to come and see what you might get involved with.)
Nov. 14, 2021, 2 p.m.
Arx - Ward of House Grayson - Grayson Mansion - Great Gray Hall
Comments and Log
Seated at the head of the large map table is Liara Grayson. As the meeting reaches the time to commence, she collects herself to her feet, leaving aside a parchment that she had been contemplating, and begins to address the hall. "Thank you all for attending. I have some minor updates arising from previous meetings. Firstly, we now deem it unnecessary to commit particular effort to the matter in the noble district. The Silver Harpies are an issue, but not one which will be resolved in Bastion."
"Secondly, for those not yet appraised, we have available five spiders, which may help to resolve the issue in the harbour, although it is my strong suspicion that we will need them all for matters at Grayhold."
"Thirdly, we have a number of options available to dispose of matters at the western gate. However, I add to the table the option of outright ignoring the matter, because those Abandoned will flee at the sight of the Compact's forces elsewhere in the city. It would leave unresolved the question of why they are there, but free up resources."
A brief smile before she continues. "I will speak on other matters arising with regard to the cathedral and Grayhold momentarily. Before I do, if anyone has a comment on the first three raised, please do so."
Jamie has joined the silver seasilk sofa of superb repose.
Dodgy, a brown rat arrives, following Audgrim.
Bartolomeo, protege of Signora Lauretta Tessere arrives, following Yuri.
Ian slouches on a couch, scooted over to make room for all the other people also on the couch. His manner, at first glance, could be called inattentive, but his eyes, moving constantly, taking in details, make it clear that he's paying attention.
There shouldn't be a great deal of surprise that Romulius Thrax has taken up a solitary position in the Great Hall, situated with only the company of a man dressed in his house's livery who seems to be taking the occasional note on behalf of the prince after a few hushed words. Neither seem at all intent on making any comment, apparently.
Denica Thrax enters with a gaggle of assistants, a menacing sea serpent marking the front of her gown. The young woman wears an easy smile that contradicts the focused look in icy eyes. There is a portfolio tucked under one silk encased arm. A nervous assistant is handing her a piece of unscathed charcoal that she captures between slender paint-stained fingers. Eyes sweep the room and she sees a few familiar faces and so she finds her way towards one of the sofa's where she unceremoniously situates herself there. There is an unusual seriousness that echoes from her features, but she still meets the others with an element of warmth and congeniality.
Jamie quietly shuffles his way through the room, respectful nods given to those whose gaze he meets. He settles himself down at the same place as before just as the meeting commences. A warmer, more personal bow of the head given to Ian, Oswyn and Raven in particular.
Cesare has taken a place at one of the tables, and speaks up as Liara poses her questions to the room. "Regarding those Abandoned at the Western Gate, I do plan to address the House Blacktree prisoner as to whether there was contact between those mercenaries and House Blacktree at all. It may provide disposition for those of us aiming to infiltrate the city. If I obtain any further information about those at the Western Gate I will provide it to House Grayson at that time."
Oswyn has settled by one of the couches, papers ready for notes or drawings, quill in hand. He squints at people arriving and offers faint smiles to the more familiar faces.
Patrizio listens, from the spot of his repose, with his familiar folio before him. When the highlord of Grayson speaks, that stylus is working slowly against the paper as if he's making sure that he's taking notes for his kin, the faint lift of a slender brow while he's considering the matter. As he seems to have nothing to contribute for the moment, he's holding his tongue...
Raymesin is propping up the wall not far from the door, observing everything and saying nothing.
Thea arrives silently but with ease. She looks prepared and organized as she she usually is. Scanning the area, the Wyvernheart goes and takes a seat, making herself comfortable.
Seated at the map table with an air of solemnity and his usual folio out with paper atop it, Fairen listens to Liara attentively - although he turns his head to nod a greeting to Raven, Jamie, Thea, Ian, and murmurs to Oswyn, "Archscholar, we should talk soon. About the Cathedral and the Scholars in general, whenever you'd not mind."
Ivy is likewise holding up a wall on the opposite side of the door, also quiet, also observant.
Raven enters, surrounded by her guards and wearing a long suffering look that suggests she hasn't accepted her current circumstances but perhaps is somewhat on her way to making a grudging peace with it. Some day. Her guards line up directly behind the couch she settles into prompting her to turn her head and give a look like 'really, guys?'. When they fail to acknowledge that look she turns back around and gives a heavy sigh, her good hand rubbing her face.
Sir Bhandn came with his faster-at-writing assistant, the two of them giving wordless bows upon entry. Aendal is taking notes for the knight again and seeming a bit awkard at being in the presence of so many people. Bhandn himself is composed and also taking up the observer's stance, not having anything to say just yet, although his eyebrows do contract down at Liara mentioning suspicions about the castle, a faint frown appearing on the knight's lips.
Yuri ushered himself rather quickly into the great hall, hand settled against the sheath of his sword to prevent too much clatter in his hurried steps before choosing a discreet seat to where he could settle in and listen quietly.
Oswyn inclines his head more deeply to Fairen. "Absolutely. Very soon, I think."
Yuri has joined the Couch of Majestic Gryphons.
Audgrim has joined the Couch of Majestic Gryphons.
Audgrim is sitting quiet and unobtrusive on one of the couches. He nods to what Liara is saying and glances around to see who has input.
Adalyn slips in just before the meeting gets underway, which allows her little time for socializing. She makes no fuss of selecting her seat, instead sliding into the first empty chair she spots at the nearest table. A quick smile appears for those seated nearby but then she's turning attention to the conversation, ready to jot down notes as needed.
"On the matter of the Western Gates, I have had responses from Simon Hillock of the Valiant Effort and from Razija from the Crimson Blades, who have put in that they might possibly be able to help, but they both also had thoughts on how successful they might be." Lou puts in for Liara. "Since we're going for Grayhold first, I agree that waiting to see what those Abandoned might do would probably be for the best, since a number of people suggested they might flee once seeing banners."
Alakay, a cranky northwoods snow cat arrives, following Brannen.
"Or they might take more drastic steps, on their own," voices Patrizio as gently as the general possibly can from his seat. And then a shake of his head, before he breathes out. "I would suspect that the mercenary companies, though, would be much more of a mind as to what those there at the gate would be inclined to do, so I too would bow to the wisdom of their advice."
Alakay, a cranky northwoods snow cat have been dismissed.
Samantha has been here for a bit, sitting in quiet thought while awaiting the meeting to begin. Seated in a chair off by herself in an unobtrusive manner in elegant summer green, the Marquessa of Deepwood hasn't been to any of these other planning meetings. Now she sits, hands folded neatly in her lap, dark eyes shifting from person to person as they speak.
Audgrim raises a hand slightly. "Mercenaries fight for money, and usually they won't fight against impossible odds unless getting paid extremely well - and doubtfully then. Hard to spend that money if you're dead. It's possible they can just be paid off, or a larger force will in fact just scare them off. It's not that complicated."
Liara offers over a "Thank you," to Cesare, then to Lou as well, then her gaze turns over the rest of the hall for a moment.
She takes a pause, and then continues, "With regard to the cathedral and Grayhold, our intention is as follows. The majority of the army shall be committed to Grayhold. We still do not properly know what to expect within the castle. Any action taken shall therefore have to be based on information discerned as we go. For reasons previously discussed, being slow and methodical is not on the table. Boldness will be required."
A beat of pause, and she goes on, "All the same, I do not propose to commit to an assault entirely blind. Initial forays shall be made by some of the Compact's best warriors. Being that the castle has been the subject of various inimical magics, we will also have to do what we can to ameliorate that. Afterwards, I shall commit the army. We cannot plan the particulars this instant because we do not know the extent of what is within. Both of these undertakings will require volunteers."
She continues, though, without looking for volunteers this instant, "More thorough information is available about the cathedral. At present, the plan is to detach part of the army to firstly dispose of any more mobile plant-creatures, and then form a cordon about the district. Thereafter, Grandmaster Preston will move to clear the cathedral and there undertake other tasks as necessary. That shall provide a space from which to deal with the matter of the plants. This may require alchemy, ritual, or other means as yet unknown to me."
And last, she seems about to finish up: "All of this being said, I invite people to begin to put themselves forward, be it to volunteer specific expertise, skill at arms, or capacity to organise and lead these groups."
Alberico, the Malespero aide, Louis, a Malespero Armsman, Mar, the Magpie arrive, following Pasquale.
Pasquale has joined the Couch of Majestic Gryphons.
Winter, A Highhill Puppy, Angeline arrive, following Kiera.
Liara also puts forward an addendum, "On this particular topic, somebody willing to lead the team to dispose of the harbour centipedes would be most welcome. A seemingly intractable problem, which I would prefer to deal with without the application of brute force."
Haakon sniffs dryly at Liara's addendum, before rumbling with a wry curl twisting his lip, "Brute force, here. Will kill what needs killing and direct what folk as you like." The reaver spends no more breath than that.
"There are tunnels leading from the Cathedral, it is where those within escaped through. It might make it easier for Grandmaster Preston to arrive through to see the task complete," Jaenelle remarks from her place throughout the room as Liara pauses for the moment. "And I know that we're was ways of weakening the vines, if they are in fact the same vines of the Thornweave variety. It is expensive to make, but it's been proven to assist."
Raven looks around the room for someone, anyone, to volunteer for that logistical nightmare. Her head swivels and her emotive green eyes sweep the room.
Raven says, "I have the recipe for the thornweave solution if anyone has need of it. You'll need access to thornweave to make it, however."
Denica perks her head up from her sketchbook and conversation as she hears the mention of tunnels. The young woman holds a charcoal up, "a map of the tunnels would be helpful for planning purposes, on a few fronts. Perhaps there could be copies done up of any maps or information on the structures and layout of Bastion for the teams moving through it? I am sure we can find a way to share the information in a manner befitting the sensitivity of it," she wonders out loud of anyone or everyone.
Fairen "I'll go to Grayhold," Fairen volunteers in his somewhat rustic Crownlander accent, tipping his chin at Liara. "For any kind of more...esoteric knowledge that may help in that dark place." Looking back at Denica, "Yes, we ought to go through the libraries of the Explorers and here at the Manor to see if we can find any maps."
"The maps we might have of the tunnels are a few years old. They will not account for any damage the city has taken, but should I find it, I will pass it along." Lou speaks up from the sidelines. For the moment she's settled on holding up a wall, watching as she leans against it. "Same for any maps of Bastion that might show entrances to the tunnels. I have at least one other I need to find them for, so I'll make sure copies are made and distributed to all."
"We can also set to work copying maps for distribution," Oswyn pipes up. "Updated, even, from what we've learned from previous forays."
Kiera walks in in time to hear mention of thornweave "Has anyone considered lagoma's shrine's current condition as a source for thornwave material
Denica nods at Fairen and Lou and considers something, "given the damage and the changes as a result, it might be worth having some of the people that did the scouting to make any adjustments based on what they saw? Perhaps on a copy, so that we can reference both?," she suggests, before she looks down at the page in front of her and makes a few marks with her charcoal.
Liara replies to Haakon, "Thank you, my lord. That would be either Grayhold, in that case, or the plant-creatures that you previously sighted."
She nods as she listens to Jaenelle, then the others who raise maps and tunnels, then replies, "Thank you, your grace, your highnesses. Conveying that information to Grandmaster Preston would be most useful. Access to the cathedral would allow people a place from which to seek to dispose of the plants without the plants being able to encroach upon them."
Denica nods to what Oswyn says!
Pasquale finds a seat close to Audgrim, Yuri and Romulius and takes a few moments to gather his thoughts. He too looks around, attempting to gauge interest from the others. He doesn't seem to see a great deal of it because he looks back towards Liara and offers "I could organise one of the teams Princess Liara. Be it the harbour or otherwise."
Raymesin continues to lurk and listen quietly; his eyes flick to Denica at her question, and then he's looking to Kiera as she arrives and asks hers. "Those ain't vines," he informs her quietly. "No use for that."
Lou glances over to Kiera, furrowing her brow a bit. "I've heard different stories about the shrine and that the vines are really bugs? But, nothing confirming it they are plant matter or bug matter for certain." She glances around for representatives of the Faith present who might know!
"It's likely that the 'vines' in Bastion are also not vines," Cesare says. "So the solution we have is probably of limited use. Thornweave is blood magic. The magic of the Traitor and his servants is Abyssal magic."
"If there's a Sylv'alfar involved, I'm fairly sure they can tap into both their ancestral magic and Abyssal magic," Lou counters to Cesare. "One doesn't necessarily exclude the other, after all. I'd just assume they'd use whatever they felt was most prevalent at the time."
Raven pauses and her gaze swivels towards Fairen and an eyebrow liiiiiifts, head canting to the side as she studies the man curiously. She grimaces as absolutely no one speaks up about the Centipede cleanup crew. Looking around AGAIN for volunteers she begins to chew her bottom lip. There is open and active relief as Pasquale speaks up. She comments to Kiera, "I'm told it's not actually Thornweave, my lady."
Towards Lou and Liara Raven adds, "I am willing to assist anywhere that lacks enough hands but I'd ask any public acknowledgement of my contribution go unmentioned, if possible, for...reasons."
Thea speaks up from her seat, confirming Raymesin's words. "Those were definitely bugs. Not 'vines',"a brief look to her hand. There's a look of agreement to Cesare as well.
"I can't profess to be terribly well informed on the specifics of thornweaving, but the su'tavi witch that was turned up in the Crownlands with another of her pets certainly wields thorns - and she was present at Bastion, atop the gargantuan in the harbor." Romulius doesn't seem terribly committed to that assertion, though.
Liara says to Fairen, "I am grateful for the offer, Marquis. Thank you."
Then Liara nods to Pasquale. "Thank you, my lord. As I said, the problem remains somewhat intractable. It may require substantial improvisation. If you are willing to lead that team, that would be excellent."
Briefly, Patrizio arches a brow as he's listening to the discussion of magic and the various natures of the mystical things that might be being employed in Bastion. Romulius' comment gets another brief scribbling in that folio before him, but he's not speaking again, the faint, firm press of his lips as he's weighing all the information.
Oswyn raises his quill hand up to draw eyes toward himself, very much like a pupil in class. "Pardon. Will the Deathspeakers be in the harbour? Will they need more support there?"
Jamie lets a soft sigh escape his lips as he listens to the exchanges, his gaze following the shared words. A firm nod of respect would be given toward Pasquale as he volunteers to lead. Upon hearing Raven speak up he'd also make his voice heard, "I too wish to help out where I might. Should any team need an extra blade."
Lou glances over at Oswyn, "I believe the harbor team is already set and ready to go, however there will be another opportunity to assist them in the crypts at Grayhold."
Liara confirms to Oswyn, "They will be in the harbour to address the matter of the ghosts. I am confident that they are of sufficient strength. As Princess Lou says, that does not resolve the matter of ghosts in Grayhold."
"I'm taking the Deathspeakers out there to do their thing," Ian says, turning towards Oswyn. "That team is set, and we're getting ready to leave. I don't want to take a lot of people and then have to chase them everywhere when ghosts take them over and try to jump in the water or something."
Samantha's brow knits as she listens to the various problems presented in Bastion, and the plans to deal with them all. After a moment, she speaks up. "I am not skilled in martial or esoteric matters, so will be rather useless in direct combat. I can commit some of House Deepwood's troops, however, and offer my skill in diplomacy and leadership if needed."
"But the centipedes at the harbour - do they still need people to deal with them?" Oswyn asks, squinting.
"It sounds like an interesting puzzle." Pasquale replies to Liara. "I would be willing. I will need to know more about the situation before I can promise any particular solution however."
Cesare clears his throat, folding his hands in front of himself. "My understanding of the matters at Grayhold is that there may have been a spirit present who lived during the time of Caithness Anthy and was personally known to her? If so, I understand it's unlikely to be an excellent time for questioning, but it's a matter of importance to Whisper House, and it would be beneficial to have one of our number on the team."
Audgrim raises a hand again. "Is there any research team? About what might counter centipedes?" he wonders, glancing around. "Might not be a team that goes to Bastion, but clever minds might come up with something useful."
Raven says, "There are numerous research teams investigating several topics but I've not heard of any particular solutions on that front." She looks to Oswyn, "Are you aware of any such thing, Archscholar?"
Liara says to Oswyn, "Yes, indeed, Archscholar." She gives a little nod to each of Pasquale and Audgrim, and notes, "Work so happens to be under way on an elixir which I am told may be effective at destroying the creatures. It is to be tested soon. If it does not work, then another means will be found."
Audgrim nods to Liara and leans back, looking pleased to hear that.
Oswyn squints over at Audgrim and Raven in turn, then back to Liara. "There isn't a Scholar team as far as I know, but there could be if more than the elixir is required. It might be good to have some backup regardless."
"Lady Amy Rowlston was indeed there," Lou says to Cesare. "We spoke to her. She gave what information she could on the matter of the item that the Traitor took, and was most unwilling to speak any more on the subject. She was not the only ghost there, however. Many of the Grayson dead were speaking to the team that went to Grayhold. Our foremost concern is seeing the dead are put to restful peace once more."
Angelica has joined the a regal sofa with green silk cushions and silver accented carvings.
Liara gives a nod to Oswyn, and suggests, "I shall indicate to those involved the efficacy of the elixir once it is known."
Angelica arrives quietly, taking a seat on a sofa with green cushions, removing her baldric and hat but keeping the former close at hand as she settles in to listen.
Oswyn twirls his quill between thumb and forefinger and nods to Liara. No more questions from him. For now.
"Perhaps Lady Amy might be more willing to speak to a member of Whisper House," Cesare replies. "As Softest, I would certainly be willing to attend. I admit I don't know what goes into seeing them put to rest, but if seeing out her duty to Caithness's wishes may be part of it, I would be happy to assist. Research suggests it was Caithness who found the artifact in the first place."
Patrizio arches a brow slightly at the mention of ghosts.
With planning turned towards the specifics of volunteering and coordinating specific teams, Romulius seems contented with what he's gleaned from the meeting. Rising to his feet along with his accompaniment, there's a quick bow offered towards Liara, "Your Grace." Heavy footfalls mark his exit not long after, a polite nod offered to a few familiar faces as the prince's retinue trail after his departure.
Romulius has left the Couch of Majestic Gryphons.
Ballard, a grizzled mariner, 4 Thrax Guards leave, following Romulius.
Ian having been thus stirred to say something, and having thus said it, Ian now returns to his previous seemingly inattentive slouch.
"If you have information on the centipedes, wish to share ideas, or wish to join a team to put them down." Pasquale says to the room in general. "I will be happy to speak with you after this meeting. I have no doubt that between us all we can find a solution that the Archduchess approves of."
Samantha looks with interest toward the discussion of putting ghosts to rest, and she fiddles with the edge of a forest green sleeve thoughtfully. "I have never spoken with a ghost before, but that does sound like something that perhaps I could assist with?" she offers toward Cesare, and then glances at Liara. "I would also be interested in knowing more about the artifact in question, if someone would be willing to fill me in?"
Lou tilts her head at Cesare, giving him a puzzled look. "Are you not already leading the Ravashari 'entertainment group'?" she wonders. "Or, is someone else heading that mission?" she asks.
Liara ventures a suggestion as the conversation continues, "I hear and appreciate the concern about the ghosts. To ameliorate risk to the army, considering the entirely understandable potential of ghosts having an adverse impact on people's minds, might I ask for a volunteer to lead a party into the crypt to address the matter?" To Samantha, she says, "Quite possibly so. I am not familiar with how one communicates with them."
Cesare raises his eyebrows. "I am," he replies. "I wasn't aware I wasn't capable of both leading one mission and partaking in another. I'm rather used to juggling multiple tasks."
Oswyn nods when Ivy speaks, even as he continues to make notes on his map.
"We don't entirely know when the Deathspeakers would be going in. It would probably be best to assign the task to another Whisper, so that you're available if they happen to be going on at the same time. Grayhold will take several missions an the crypts will be among the last we tackle, as the castle itself is the main priority," Lou explains to Cesare, hopefully answering the question better. "I do not see that we'd take issue with it, but also know it is the most dangerous of all areas to be in. Make sure they are well armored."
Samantha lifts her hand slightly as LIara calls for a volunteer to lead a party into the crypt. "As I am somewhat late to these discussions, I feel a certain need to make myself useful."
Thoughts recorded to parchment, Adalyn looks up from her note-taking and adds her voice to the discussion. "I would like to offer my skills and pitch in wherever volunteers are needed most. I'm best with a blade in hand, but can assist with other aspects as well if necessary." Her gaze settles upon Pasquale. "I've dealt with centipedes a time or two. Perhaps we can talk after this?"
Liara gives a small incline of her head to Samantha. "Thank you, Marquessa. Princess Lou would be able to apprise you what manner of talents would be helpful for your team."
Her thoughts shifting back to another matter, Liara suggests to Haakon, "Lord Haakon, considering that it is very much a matter of brute force, and possibly with a trap or two if feasible, might I take up your offer to deal with the more mobile of the plants in the cathedral district? The overall goal would be to render the area sufficiently safe for other means to dispose of the plants to be tested."
Pasquale says "I would appreciate that." when Adalyn offers to fill him in on previous centipede encounters.
Kiera hms "If Whisper cesare has a particular reason to be in the crypts. Is it not equally possible to find someone else to lead the faux entertainer group
Lou inclines her head over at Samantha, making note to find time to talk to her.
Samantha inclines her head to Liara, and glances to Lou. "Perhaps we can meet and discuss it soon,?" she offers. To Cesare she says, "Of course, if you think it would help for you or, if needed, another Whisper to come to the crypts, it would be an honor to work with you, Whisper Cesare."
Haakon nods once with an eloquent, "Mmm," to Liara's suggestion. "Can clear the cathedral, and avoid the worst shit in getting there. Destroy what can stir, and let folk poke at the rest after."
Nara, an enthusiastic young sailor arrives, delivering a message to Oswyn before departing.
Liara notes to Haakon, "Thank you. I might clarify: I would like to see the fighting dealt with on the fringes of the cathedral district, if possible, and damage to the cathedral preferably avoided. Sufficient military force will be available for the task."
"Would siege weaponry be of any use?" Audgrim asks, looking over at Haakon. "Against the bigger enemies."
"We have engines and they will not be put to use elsewhere; we rather need Grayhold to be recovered intact," Liara supplies at Audgrim's question to Haakon.
Lou stares at Audgrim. "Why are we trying to knock down more walls over plants?"
Lou mutters, "First they want to burn all ... things ... ... now they want to knock ... ... ... down. Why ... ... ... to keep ... ... ... further!!"
"I wasn't clear. I was thinking more like ballistas," Audgrim clarifies.
Ian clears his throat. "We needed ballistae to kill the gargantuan," he says, speaking up just loud enough to be hard. "So it's not such a weird suggestion. If there's somehow anything that big, it might come in handy. Seems like you'd know if there was, though."
Haakon shakes his head to Audgrim, "Nay. Can't sneak a catapult through back alleys and cisterns, nor are the foe so large as to need them." A flat look to Lou.
Patrizio turns his head at hearing the faintest sense of Lou mentioning the burning of all the things, as if this is relevant to his interests, the faintest hint of a smile finding him... and then the's turning his attention back to the other matter of the strategy being espoused and weaponry to be employed.
Raymesin, meanwhile, just keeps propping up the wall and listening.
Pasquale chuckles softly at something or another.
Denica sits at the sofa engaged in somewhat lively conversation from time-to-time. All the while she moves the piece of charcoal across the page, wild and chaotic strokes that form some sort of image in front of her. Looking up, now and then, there are few things that catch her attention, but seems content to let things play out before making any comment. Thick, dark brows furrow as she considers something, whatever it is, seems to go into whatever she's drawing.
"Details might be determined in due course. I can liaise with the various leaders about specific needs," Liara goes on to suggest. "In principle, I think that we are agreed that we shall have people who will, in short, strike the moving plants until they stop moving."
Samantha glances around at the people discussing siege weapons and gargantuans, but remains silent. She pulls a satchel out from under the seat she is occupying, and removes some writing implements and a sheaf of parchment in a folio. She takes some notes down, while still keeping an eye and an ear on the discussion.
Adalyn's lips twitch as she hears snippets of Lou's muttered remarks, but she remains uncharacteristically quiet, following the conversation with focused interest.
Haakon agrees with a level, "Mm."
Jamie would simply offer a hand, "I'd like to offer up my assistance and blade to Lord Haakon in the matter then, should you have room and need of it. I'd wager I could be of some use in the hitting things until they stop moving department."
Siege weaponry? Fairen stops chewing on the end of his pen and squints through his glasses at Lou. "Did someone suggest fire with catapults this time around? It seems like we're escalating when it would be ideal -not- to destroy more of Bastion. Just a thought."
Samantha has joined the Couch of Majestic Gryphons.
Cesare receives a messenger, the contents of which make him blow out a breath, rise to his feet, and slip quietly from the hall.
Dolente, a mourning dove, Dolce, a collared dove leave, following Cesare.
Ian gives Fairen a flat look across the room. "If you guys keep putting people down for making suggestions, you're going to start finding people with suggestions pretty short. We needed ballistae to kill the gargantuan. They're siege weapons. It's not unreasonable, if they're looking at another big threat like that."
"If you're fighting a huge monster, you rather send ten men to die, than hit it with a ballista? You're moving large groups of troops in, aren't you? A ballista or five won't be a huge deal to bring with, it's not like you'll be able to sneak an army inside anyway. Set them up at higher points and cover your troops." Audgrim speaks with a level but clear tone of voice here. "I'm no general, but I don't see why you won't use what you can."
Lou checks composure at hard. Lou marginally fails.
"I'm not particularly suited to /leading/ anything, Your Grace, but as I've said my blade is yours for this undertaking," Bhandn says, speaking aloud for the first time since getting here. He's mostly been in nearly whispered, one-sided communication with his assistant as to what notes to take this entire time. He looks ready to say something else, but there's a distinct purse of the lip that shows that Bhandn is literally biting down to keep back remarks now. He's not happy about something.
Andre, the messenger who can't even arrives, delivering a message to Liara before departing.
Lou tries to keep calm. She really does. She really, really does. She fails. Not badly, but it's still a failure. "The only large plants in there that moved were only just slightly bigger than a person. No one knows how they can be defeated because no one stuck around to fight them. Also, ballista still put holes in walls! Next you'll be suggesting FLAMING BALLISTAE!" Yeah, the last bit is shouted.
Liara gives a light tap of her fingers at the table's edge. "If we might proceed. We now have Lord Pasquale to lead the team to the harbour to dispose of the centipedes. Lord Haakon will lead a team to engage the unusually mobile plants and anything else that would prevent research being conducted into other means of disposing of them. Grandmaster Preston will bring a team to the cathedral itself, and there, I believe, he may have in mind certain preparations. Marquessa Samantha will lead a team to Grayhold's crypt. Prince Aindre will lead one of the forces that will initially enter the castle. That leaves a few other matters to be arranged."
She receives a note, which she reads with a brief smile, and she suggests to Haakon, "My lord, you might include Marquis Dante DeFidante in your team."
"I'm sure the Generals will decide if they wish to bring in Ballista or not." Pasquale says after a moment. "We really don't need to discuss this matter anymore. It is distracting us from the actual discussion. If we must discuss ballista then let us do it later."
Haakon voices to Audgrim, "There's no foe so large as that near the Cathedral." Lou's outburst draws another flat look. A nod to Liara at mention of Dante.
Bhandn lets out a rather explosive breath when Pasquale suggests that the topic is diverging, visibly relieved to have not been the one to blurt out that particular thought.
Oswyn fidgets in place, frowning.
Patrizio looks briefly more interested at the suggestion of flaming ballistae, and there are a few notations made in the folio before him, but there's nary a response to be seen from the Pravusi prince. Well, maybe a faint smile.
Ian sinks back to the couch and pinches the bridge of his nose when Lou starts shouting, but he's apparently said all that he intends to say.
Jamie gives a slight frown at the outburst, though he allows Liara's words to overthrow it, choosing to simply let out a heavy breath rather than argue.
Raven purses her lips and studies Lou. After a long thoughtful moment she shows a phenomenally rare moment of prudence and allows her gaze to shift towards Liara, "What other matters remain which need addressing, Highlord?"
Denica quirks a brow at the mention of a flaming ballistae, she begins to sketch something furiously.
Audgrim nods concedingly to Liara and Lou and says nothing more about ballistae. Seems like he isn't that concerned about it in the end.
Brannen had been standing close to one of the sides of the hall, silently watching and listening. The matter of siege weapons and the consequential outburst of emotions manages to elicit first a frown and then a relief of said frown, nonetheless.
Collecting her thoughts, for a moment, Liara goes on to say, elaborating on what is still required, "I am in need of leaders for a few undertakings still. A second team to make an initial foray into Grayhold. A group will need to attempt to mitigate inimical magics to be found at Grayhold. As for a total commital of the army, if required, I mean to oversee it myself."
She also adds, "I believe Lady Ivy means to lead matters relating to the cathedral plants, although I ask for a second person with knowledge of magical matters if they might provide assistance; the scale of the growth was substantial, and a mage may yet be involved."
Blue, a cantankerous western bluebird arrives, following Gael.
Lou looks much calmer after shouting, the shout probably having some sort of cathartic effect on Lou. "If no one else is willing, I can lead one of the missions into Grayhold. Either the magical one or the other needed. I have sufficient contacts still that a group can likely be put together for the former and I have more than sufficient contacts that will likely step up for the latter."
Gael arrives late and in a hurry for it. He quickly ushers his clumsily broad being through arches and tables; through puzzles of furniture and people, as to gain access to a semblance of front from which to witness most of the delegating party and ongoing discussions.
Raven considers, "I can assist with the initial forray into Grayhold if need be, Highlord. I have limited means but more importantly know those far better qualified who are not here which might be helpful in addressing magical concerns unless such a team has volunteered or cultivated."
Samantha glances up when Liara calls out her name regarding the crypt, and inclines her head, and she glances briefly at Lou and her shouting. Her brow knits again with concern, but then she goes back to her note-taking. Occasionally, she murmurs some things to those nearest her, but otherwise listens silently as the plans come together.
"I've made a bit of a study of magic itself," Bhandn offers quietly, looking a little embarrassed to be admitting as much, "enough to attract attention, but I've no real experience at actively /dealing with it/. Still, I'm willing to do what I can for either effort, though I feel better utilized for protecting a group from danger than offering what would amount to no more than my opinion based on vague source materials."
Lou glances to Bhandn and nods, seeming to make note in case Liara puts her in charge of that group.
Jamie has left the silver seasilk sofa of superb repose.
Liara gives a small inclination of her head to Lou, and suggests then, after considering the offers put forward, "You might take that team into Grayhold, please."
Then, to Raven, "If you are willing, those contacts would be most useful for certain matters pertaining to the cathedral district. I have some measure of information yet to piece together, but when that is done, then I can clarify precisely what will be needed. Lady Ivy is assembling a team to look at alchemical solutions, as opposed to what one might term the occult. With the nature of what is there, as I understand you saw first-hand, some capacity at arms may be required." A faint purse of her lips. "As I say, clarity will follow."
To Bhandn, she says, "Thank you, Sir Bhandn. There is plenty to be done requiring skill at arms."
Jamie has joined the silver seasilk sofa of superb repose.
Raven inclines her head, "There is, of course, Lord Mirk and the Shamans, the others I might recommend I am obligated to seek their permission to reccomend."
"Do you think someone would get angry if I went into the crypts?" Jaenelle asks Liara, considering how much trouble she would get into if she died in Bastion. "On a scale of one to ten, would it create a diplomatic issue?"
"Crypts can be lovely places if they're not filled with troublesome creatures," Fairen opines to Jaenelle, fingers folding the end of a piece of paper over and over again. "But if they're not your crypts, then dying in them is hardly convenient. It could be considered poor etiquette."
Ian slips a flask out of an inner pocket of his coat. "Would that leave Prince Noah running the Lyceum if you died down there?" He asks, his tone impressively neutral considering the question, before taking a drink.
Carissa, a Southport bodyguard, Planchet the Lycene maggiordome arrive, following Eirene.
Liara gives a nod and a quick smile to Raven. "If they might have means to aid with any matters, I would be curious to hear of it."
She breathes a low, amused noise at Jaenelle's question and then at the follow-up from Fairen, before mentioning, "I suppose that someone will get angry about just about anything that a person does. I imagine that it would not be the very healthiest outcome for the Lyceum, though."
Eirene is late, true, but better she show than not. She slips in towards the back and looks around, listening to try to get on the same page as the rest of the assembled. She makes a nod to Liara to signal she has stuff to say if/when called on.
Samantha gives Jaenelle a concerned look, but she's hardly one to talk about taking risks. "If you do decide, your Grace, let me know?" She rises to her feet, tucking her notes away. "I am afraid that I need to depart this meeting a little early. Thank you for including me." To Lou she says, "I hope we can get together to discuss plans soon." She sweeps a graceful and perfect curtsey toward Liara and then proceeds out of the room, her guards peeling themselves away from the walls outside to follow her.
Raven's eyebrows lift and her head tilts as she studies the Archduchess. So curious, that gaze, intrigued, really.
"Absolutely not," Jaenelle tells Ian with a shake of her head. "I would continue to run the Lyceum as Lord Ian seems to think ghosts take over a person. That is not the case and ghosts are perfectly happy to remain as they are in their own image." She, and it seems the spider on her shoulder exchange looks, before she nods to both Liara a d Samantha. "I most definitely will."
Liara offers a light smile to Eirene, then a parting smile for Samantha. "Thank you for attending, Marquessa."
Raymesin, still propping up a wall near the door, offers Eirene a polite nod on her arrival.
Samantha has left the Couch of Majestic Gryphons.
Judge, Kessi, a big-eared, fuzzy fennec fox, 7 House Deepwood Guards leave, following Samantha.
Oswyn frowns after a moment, beginning to gather his things. Thankfully the ink has dried on the paper he's been marking up since the meeting began.
Oswyn has left the silver seasilk sofa of superb repose.
3 House Velenosa Guards arrives, following Baldessare.
Oswyn quietly slips out.
Surely something pressing must have kept Baldessare from arriving at the gathering until its near conclusion - he is so infrequently late. As such, he slips in quietly, or as quietly as he can muster, and remains at the back, trying to catch up on the discussion.
Apparently in no particular hurry, Fairen remains at the map table with fingers tapping together, perhaps a little concerned. Perhaps just something entirely different on his mind. He looks over at Raven, "We should speak more soon."
Liara takes a moment, then puts a question to the hall as a whole, after giving a quick smile, "That is the broad outline of matters in order. Has anybody other business to raise, while we are here?"
Eirene lifts her hand to request the floor. She carries a portable writing tablet with her with papers on it, tucked into her arm. A pencil is behind her ear, which she plucks out and twirls between her fingers.
Raven Frowns and glances after Oswyn then chews her bottom lip. After a moment she leans over to murmur lowly to Ian. She pauses and there a pinch of her expression and a dip of her head to Fairen.
Raymesin clears his throat, looking up at Liara's question from where he's standing by the door.
Patrizio lifts his head when Liara's inquiring if there's other business, but the prince-general seems more inclined to be seeing who else might be speaking up, rather than raising a salient point himself. The jade eyes glance about, and there's the consideration of the late comers... and then he's going back to the writing in his folio.
Liara upturns a gloved hand in a small gesture towards Raymesin. "Please, go ahead."
Lou nods her head toward Eirene, noticing she wishes to talk. "After Raymesin, Lady Eirene wishes to say something as well," she notes for Liara's sake, in case she missed it.
Raymesin's eyebrows lift when he's called on so soon, but he leans away from his wall to stand straight. "Seems we're gonna 'ave a lotta folks doin' stuff all over the shop, in lots'a different groups, as may or may not know each other," he says. "We got any way ter identify who's friendly?"
Moving along the border of the room, Baldessare finds a place to adopt a pose. He stands straight, hands clasped behind his back. He takes a few moments to allow his gaze to sweep the room, inclinging his head in terms to the attending friends and family.
Adalyn lifts her gaze from her meticulous note-taking as the conversation is opened to other business. She shifts her weight in her chair, attention turned toward Raymesin, expression growing contemplative as she gives his question a moment of silent consideration.
Liara gives a small tip of her chin in apparent understanding of Raymesin's question, and ventures a mild reply, "Heraldry is sufficient in most cases, but your point is taken. An armband or similar to denote that a person is involved in these undertakings may be helpful." And in apparently lighthearted addendum addendum, "My helm is adorned with griffin wings."
Raymesin's eyebrows lift at Liara's response. "I ain't stickin' a gryphon's wings on my 'at," he says. "Gryphon might object. Thanks, yer 'Ighness." And then he's propping up the wall again, and looking to Eirene.
Liara exhales an amused huff at Raymesin's reply, and says after, "We shall look into the possibility of armbands."
Then she looks to Eirene. "Lady Eirene, please."
Angelica has left the a regal sofa with green silk cushions and silver accented carvings.
With a nod to Liara, Eirene steps to the head of the room and speaks in her husky yet commanding tones. "So the Physician's Guild has run the numbers to deal with the resettlement and safe housing, feeding, and medical needs of the displaced citizens of Bastion." She taps the pencil on her tablet. "We haven't been able to get an exact headcount, with the folk scattered as they are between other villages, refugee camps, and then those who made their way here. But in order to properly settle them, we would need donations, silver, and materials along the lines of 200,000 resources total."
The Assistant Guildmaster pauses before stating, "Obviously, this is a huge resource drain in an already lean time while preparing for war. Any contribution of resouces over 10,000 will result in a greatly improved situation. As such, the Physicians Guild is able to contribute 15,000 - 10 from Lady Mabelle and 5 from our own coffers. Mercy Avoza is looking to host a fundraiser to gather more. Although a drop in the bucket, this should help get people safe and secure - with food, hygiene, and medicine- until we can reclaim and restore Bastion to being a safe place to live." And all that said without a single curse-word.
"Lady Eirene, I shall be able to personally commit 10,000 resources, divided between economic and military, personally, after this week," Lou notes to the Riven noble woman. "Gladly."
"I can offer another three." Pasquale says when Eirene is done and Lou offers her own contribution. "At this moment. Perhaps more in the fullness of time."
"I can supply 4000 of those, split between the same types, myself," Bhandn adds, on Lou's heels. "Also gladly."
Raymesin simply nods, ever so slightly, to Eirene.
Watching the conversations flow, Baldessare looks to Jaenelle, to take inspiration from her as to the family's stance on this. He himself remains silent, a statue overseeing the affairs dicsussed by others.
"Crafters Guild will donate four thousand economic," Audgrim says, raising a hand to show who speaks to Eirene. "We send them to you?"
"House Leary will provide five thousand," Fairen informs Eirene with a tap of his pen against the paper after doing some quick math upon it and adjusting his spectacles.
Raven says, "I can offer three thousands. I have expected some day someone might need such for the ritual of the five paladins and have been saving up since I discovered the ritual."
Angelica leans back in her seat, one elbow hooking over the back of the sofa, head tilted as she listens and observes, otherwise silent.
Raymesin's gaze flickers to Angelica as she moves, then around the room as he goes back to taking everything in.
Ian is still paying attention to the collecting of resources, but he's also engaged in a quiet conversation with Raven that's taking up at least some of his attention.
Eirene is taking notes on who can offer what. A nod and a point of the pencil to acknowledge. "With your permission, Highlady," she says to Liara, "I'd like to make it known publically so we can obtain further donations from other people." She maths a little and says, "Between everyone's contributions so far, we're nearly to 50,000. This will be a considerable amount to helping the refugees, so you are all fucking awesome." THERE it is.
Blue, a cantankerous western bluebird leaves, following Gael.
Haakon says nothing and offers nothing. He dispatches a runner, but voices nothing aloud.
Liara gives a small incline of her head to Lady Eirene after she listens, her lips pursed subtly, and then she offers simply, "Thank you for the analysis, my lady." Various offers are forthcoming, and Liara offers a small incline of her head to each. She mentions to Eirene, considering, "House Grayson can cover the costs, my lady, although as you note, there are also other matters to be prepared for, and so I will certainly not turn aside aid in this."
With the speed of a glacier, Baldessare progresses along the edge. Eyes forward, back to the wall, hands clasped, taking in all of the discussion, debate. The offers of support. He continues his orbit of the room, towards some destination.
1 Saik Guard, Micana, an efficient assistant arrive, following Lucita.
"It's not much in the grand scheme of things, but I can donate 1,000. More with a little time," Adalyn pledges with a nod to Eirene.
Lucita has joined the silver seasilk sofa of superb repose.
Angelica spots Bhandn and gives the man a small nod. Raymesin gets one as well, though there's also a small smile too.
Lucita quietly enters the hall and slips into a seat and nudges those with whom she sits as she whispers in a low tone the request to catch her up with what is happening.
There's a clear chuckle from Patrizio when there's the nudge around and, shifting only slightly, slides his folio over to where Lucita can see his notes from the discussions so far, in his careful hand.
Eirene grins as she bows her head to Liara. "Thank you, princess. Your people will be glad to know they're being taken care of. I'll contact y'all to get the donations, at a later time. I will also inquire if the help of your soldiers and social comforts will be helpful, so I'll keep everyone posted." She gives a general nod to the room, grateful for the help, and steps back to a sideline to listen to the rest.
Jaenelle smiles towards Baldessare when his eyes find her in the gathered, though she remains silent in her place as the funds seem to have been risen in the short time. She doesn't look surprised when Liara states the amount is easily found.
Raven rises, bow towards the high lady and there's a stiffled siiiigh and eyeroll as once she clears the cough on the way to the door, her guards close ranks around her once more and follow her out.
A silent nod to Jaenelle from Baldessare, and a smile returned. He continues to observe in silence, as his strength in meetings usually involve far more horses.
Once it is clear that the money is raised quite easily, Fairen sits back in his chair again, returning to a more observational role. Folding and unfolding a piece of paper. Over and over.
Liara offers over a smile to Eirene. "Thank you, my lady. I will look forward to hearing from you, and thank the guild for its undertakings in this regard."
Her gaze turns on about the hall once more, and she inquires, "Is there any further business arising?"
Raven has left the silver seasilk sofa of superb repose.
Audgrim stands up and bows, murmurs an apologetic 'I have to go, thank you all' and then slinks out.
Audgrim has left the Couch of Majestic Gryphons.
Dodgy, a brown rat leaves, following Audgrim.
There is a distinct and rare frown on Denica's features when she sees Raven eye-roll as the woman leaves the room of collected people giving their time to help others.
Carissa, a Southport bodyguard, Planchet the Lycene maggiordome leave, following Eirene.
Patrizio has left the silver seasilk sofa of superb repose.
3 First Legion Centurions, 3 Setarcan Royal Shields leave, following Patrizio.
Thea has left the silver seasilk sofa of superb repose.
Finn the large Northern hunting dog with icy blue eyes, Rocco, the rascally assistant, Strawberry Pupcake, the Graypeak Mountain Dog leave, following Thea.
Raymesin is overheard praising Liara.
With matters seeming to come to a close, Liara offers up, "Thank you all for attending. There will be further correspondence in the coming days to clarify any matters. I thank everyone who has offered their aid."
Raymesin is overheard praising Lou.
Raymesin nods to Liara, apparently waiting for the nobles to start clearing out before he slips out as well.
As the gathering starts to break up, Baldessare stops his snail's pace progress along the side, electing instead now to remain at the same post as people begin to shuffle out. Avoiding getting in their way.
12 House Velenosa Guards, Ibasia, the Velenosa Lady-in-Waiting, Ellani, the palm sized spider, Sir Thad Quackington leave, following Jaenelle.
Yuri has left the Couch of Majestic Gryphons.
Pasquale has left the Couch of Majestic Gryphons.
Denica has left the silver seasilk sofa of superb repose.
Brannen salutes, his metal armor creating more sound in consequence than he himself did during the whole meeting and nods politely towards the nobles before leaving.
Once the meeting has adjourned, Adalyn rises from her seat and tucks her notes under her arm. She murmurs farewells to those nearby and strides toward the door, her expression far more solemn and pensive than usual.
Alphonse, a long-suffering assistant leaves, following Adalyn.
Bartolomeo, protege of Signora Lauretta Tessere leaves, following Yuri.
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