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Arx Defense Planning

General Eirene Riven hosts a meeting for those -not- going to defend an outside city to plan the ongoing defenses and preparations in Arx. Everyone from all walks of life are welcome, nobles and crafters and merchants and soldiers alike.

(OOC: Not taking your character to a special event? Want to make a contribution to Arx's defense in the final stories? Come on by and discuss plans, tactics, etc.)


Jan. 24, 2024, 7:30 p.m.

Hosted By



Ian Skaldia Nurie Lucita Mirk Titania Sen'azala Isolde Sabella Thesarin



Arx - Ward of the Compact - Traders Tavern

Largesse Level


Comments and Log

2 Saik Guard, Micana, an efficient assistant arrive, following Lucita.

Ian has joined the Quiet Booth.

Eirene has decided the Trader's Tavern is a good central neutral point. She's set up a three-dimentional model of the city and it looks like the kind of thing you play a war-game on. Complete with little figurines representing armies. The general, dressed in no particular uniform other than her black leathers, waits for people to join her in the assembly. She's opened a tab, so she's at least providing refreshments.

(OOC)The scene set/room mood is now set to: A three-dementional model of the city has been set up, the kind of thing you play war-games on. It even has little painted lead figurines for armies.

Ian is a slouching presence, sitting at a booth with a glass of whiskey that looks more like a prop than a thing he's really drinking.

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Skaldia arrives, Libera on her shoulder as always. There's something a little different about the Harrow huntress, though it's hard to place. She seems even more hawkish with her gaze than before. Maybe her eyes look a little less brown, a little more amber. There's a fierce determination in her expression as she gives Eirene a nod, another to Ian, and then she goes to find a spot where she can gaze down at the model of the city that has been set up. She studies it with intent focus, Libera rustling feathers on her shoulder.

Nurie slips in to the tavern quietly, a small basket over one arm, and though she wouldn't be out of place within the tavern itself she might well be from those that be assumed to gather at a defense meeting of any sort. The delicate young woman takes a seat, setting her basket under her chair, and for the moment folds her hands gently in her lap. Ungloved, burn scars mar her hands and much of her forearms to the elbows.

Lucita slips into the tavern and glances around for seating. On spotting Ian, she heads over toward the booth and sits down. A glance is given the glass of whiskey but she does not comment on it. A few parchment sheets, ink and a quill are pulled from her pack and set before her. A hand is lifted and discretely waved toward Eirene and her city model.

Mirk arrived early, settled in a quiet corner with his staff propped against his shoulder. He says nothing for now, but he notes faces with interest.

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

Titania arrives moving into the Tavern looking around nodding to those she knows, she moves to find herself a seat and sits down. She is quiet for the moment as her eyes of ocean blue look to Eirene.

Nurie has joined the Table by the Fire.

Ian nods to Lucita when she joins him.

Mirk has joined the Table by the Fire.

Eirene looks around. Her expression is a little flat. "Was hoping for more. Okay." She claps her gloved hands together and the leather slaps. "So. Defense of the city. I'm trying to coordinate the different forces already in the city; not those coming from another capital's defense. So far we have about thirty thousand troops, not counting the Faith Militant. They have a fuckton more," she says in her usual dry way. "This includes the nine thousand under my command from House Riven who did not go to Bastion, eight thousand Thraxian soldiers, four thousand from House Grimhall, and about seven and a half thousand Iron Guard." She plucks at little figurines, each one representing a thousand troops.

"So far, any questions?"

Skaldia listens to Eirene as she lists off the different forces that are arriving so far to defend Arx. "It probably won't help a lot, but you can add about 270 Harrow Banshees. Cufre put me in charge of them for some reason, even though I'm not really a military leader." Says the girl who led those same Banshees against the forces of the Horned God at Harrow Hall and maybe helped sneak a certain few VIPs inside to call the Kindly Voices. "Oh, and Hawk is with us." She doesn't seem to be referring to Libera. Even so, the bird shifts on her shoulder, and trills. "And the other Primordia. Prima Sen's mission was a success. Not counting the Consorts," she says, and seems to be holding back some laughter, eyes gleaming with mirth.

Ian adds to Eirene's total: "The Orazian Sentinels are mostly into the city, now. It's hard to get a count on them, but I think the number clears five-thousand. We've also got what's left of Kennex's fleet in the bay."

"Please forgive me, General," Nurie's voice is gentle, though not timid. "The Knight Commander of Solace sends his regrets that he cannot be present today, but has empowered me to represent him this evening to receive any requests made, and I will not the needed points of coordination for the Knights of Solace." She pauses for a moment. "I do not speak for any others, but it is also my intention to stand with the common people to defend the city as well."

Lucita has no troops to contribute. She just listens attentively to the others as they speak.

Speaking of... Sen prowls into the tavern almost on the heels of her name being spoken, her steps practically full silent against the back noise of everything else. She looks herself, if a little weary, but the firelight plays strange with her shadow, casting it in ways that it shouldn't. There's a suggestion of four legs moving instead of two, of ears and snout that aren't human. By the time she reaches the table, however, her shadow is mingled enough with others that nothing can be made out.

Ian lifts his chin in greeting to Sen when she comes in, before turning his attention back to Eirene.

Skaldia inclines her head respectfully toward Sen as she arrives. She makes room at the table, and turns her gaze back to the model, eyes seeming to gleam golden and hawksih when the light hits them in a certain way.

Lucita has joined the Quiet Booth.

"Lou told me y'all were successful when she got back. Good fuckin' job," Eirene says cheerfully to Skaldia. "When we have some time for stories, what's that about consorts?" Her eyebrows raise in amusement. "But no, good. I'm not going to even try to tell the Primasen what to do. Or their familiars. I trust their judgement on the battlefield as I don't know their capacities." Sen's entry is met with a nod of appreciation and a little clap of a job well done. Hooray for successful missions.

The general grabs another few figurines from Ian's estimations and adds them to her pile. "If you know who their commander or coordinator is, send 'em my way. They're probably best left to their own devices and would want to probably engage the enemy as infantry and pike. They strike me as get your hands dirty types."

Then Eirene nods to Nurie. "Thank you. The Knight Commander is probably best protecting and guiding the civilians out of danger zones into shelter and assisting with holding the line to evacuate any territory we lose. However, I defer to his wisdom in the matter as he best knows the capacity of his soldiers." She dips her head again, this time more respectfully. "Have a fallback plan, if you're going to be joining a people's militia. I believe Lord Ian's been working with the Lowers folk in his copious spare time." She smirks at him, friendly like.

Ian's mouth compresses a little bit. "I haven't been able to spend the time with them that I would have liked to, and I'm about to take a trip out of town. If anyone's got a name for someone who's staying in Arx and has some ties to the Lowers and a military background, I need someone to pick up where I left off."

"Dhiib'andzi is sending their armies," Sen says, as she looks over what Eirene's laid out. "I'm not entirely sure how many that is, I think it will depend on their negotiations with the Primasen of the Hawk. Given the choices of their Primordia," there's a brief glance toward Skaldia, "I wouldn't be surprised if we had other primasens sending forces as well, but we shouldn't count on it." There's the briefest shake of her head. "Unfortunately, it will take time for them to get here. I'm not sure if that will be before Azazel's horde is at the gates or not."

"So noted, General," Nurie replies with a warm smile. "While I am no coward in raising a blade, I am not a trained combatant. I do have a friend that...well. He has more of a gift for that than I." She listens to Ian's words and her smile does not change, though she looks down at her lap for a moment, and then continues to listen quietly.

Sen'azala adds, "What I saw of their soldiers, however, was...*impressive.*"

Skaldia gives a secret smile to Eirene, and a hand lifts in a 'tell you later' gesture. Then she is all fierce purpose again, nodding along with Sen'azala. "I think Hawk understands the importance of aiding," she says. She shifts her stance, and for a moment, there's a glimmer around her, then it's gone. "Where are the non-combatants going to be sheltered?" she asks. "We can't shelter them in the catacombs, since that's the prime target. Where can we direct people to safety?" She looks to Eirene and Nurie.

Titania looks to Eirene, "I am going to attempt to have the bay and the waters around the city secured, I will be working to call in those of the ocean to aid us, in defense." she looks around the room at everyone then back to Eirene. "We should at least have the Dolphin clans to help."

"I can take some into Halfshav Hall," Mirk suggests. "Not enough, but we have guards in the city and a defensible manor. If enough noble houses do likewise it might add up to something."

Jaxon, Champion of the Reflection, Bruiser, a merle teacup chihuahua wearing a diamond collar, Slaine, a wallflower, Rex, a large blue cane corso mastiff arrive, following Isolde.

Ian looks up from a quiet conversation with Lucita to add to the discussion: "I've set the Navegant Redoubt up as a shelter. There are supplies and medical supplies. Place is as hardened as I know how to make it. There are too many windows in the Kay to really make it safe. Too much glass." Then, looking to Eirene, he adds: "But I wrote to the General suggesting that there are a lot of empty manors in the Thrax quarter. The civil war hit us hard. With Prince Victus' permission, they could probably be set up as a place to stash people, just to get them off the streets. There might be places like that in the other wards, as well."

Skaldia nods to Titania, brightening as sh ementions Dolphin clans. "That sounds promising," she says, before looking to Mirk. "The Harrows can offer Skullhaven as well. It is within the inner city, rather than the Lowers. It will be safer than the Lowers." She shrugs her shoulders a little, as if settling a mantle about them or something, and Libera flaps her wings in protest, before settling again. "I was going to defend the catacombs," she says, "but Hawk wishes to soar. So we will take to the skies and do what we can."

"Neither chance nor fate," Eirene quotes to Sen, the words of her birth house of Malvici. "So while we can hope they make it in time, we'll fix our battle plans around the forces we know are committed." Ian's request is met with a grunt. "I don't know anyone who's free, sadly... Maybe the Templars could help? Or the Solace?" She turns to Nurie with eyebrows raised. Then Titania speaks and Eirene looks mildly impressed. "Whatever we can do helps. Every little bit can mean the different between victory and defeat. Keeping them off the coast will give them at least one less front/"

As to refugees, "House Riven's taken in as many people as we can on our grounds. I know others have requested empty estates and other places be turned into shelters. I know the Golden Hart is ready to receive those in need. I believe the Faith's plan is to shelter people in the Cathedral and the Archive, and move into the tunnels from there. The Thinnest Point is located elsewhere, so the danger is greater in other locations."

Eirene points to the miniature cathedral on her map and the buildings making up the Archive. She doesn't say where the Thinnest Point is.

Lucita says, "Till the area fills up there are tents set up to accomodate some refugees in Saik Gardens. It is not as protected as being inside stone walls but at least there is shelter and they are off the streets."

Ian seems to be taking note of Titania's words, maybe to refer back to later.

"I think those of us who make our home in the burroughs shall take in as many people as we can. But there are also institutions that might also serve. The Crafter's Guild Hall, perhaps. Or others. If no one has contacted the Commoner's Council or the Crafter's Guild I can try to do so, though I am unsure of the weight of my word, as my voice is one that is probably not much remembered now. But with your permission, I can try, and direct any interested parties to you to notify about other points of shelter," Nurie replies. There's been a steady flow of soothing motion in the glint of knitting needles as she apparently works while listening and speaking.

"The Nefer'khat embassy is open," Sen says, "but I wouldn't call it particularly defensible beyond being a sturdy pair of buildings." There's a squint at the map. "We don't want anyone sheltering along the walls if we can help it. The Upper Boroughs should be evacuated as much as possible, the Lowers..." She just frowns. "Fuck, the Lowers are completely exposed, I'm not sure there's much more that can be done about it."

Ian shakes his head. "Looking for places that are totally safe is probably perfect becoming the enemy of good." He finally picks up his drink and takes a sip. "My guess is that anyone under a solid roof and not near windows will have reasonable chances, as long as the whole city doesn't get overwhelmed. The soldiers are going to be the lower hanging fruit. And anyone who doesn't have the sense to get off the street. But it's still going to take us tracking down any sturdy building that we can. Arx is stuffed."

Eirene gives Sen a feral grin. "They're taking care of that. Boobytrapping the ever-living fuck out of it and backing out. They're going to make the shards fight for every inch of ground they gain." She taps the Lowers section of the model. Nurie's calm words are met with a more gentle smile. "The guild halls are an excellent idea, if you wouldn't mind reaching out to them?" Lucita's information is met with a nod. "You also have some household guards which might be able to protect your people." She then adds, "I believe there was discussion of possibly wrecking the Pravus bridge after evacuating their district and... a whirlpool in a pond, I wasn't sure on that but others have that under control."

Isolde Velenosa quietly enters the Traders Tavern as the discussions are proceeding with a faint smile on her lips, a finger waggle offered to the familiar faces in greeting. She studies the 3D model of the city with awe. It's really well done. Uncanny.

"The Velenosa Estate is of course accommodating." She interjects before taking a seat.

6 Grayson House Guards, Maureen, an unflappable nanny, Clark, an exasperated guard arrive, following Sabella.

Sen'azala gives Eirene a tight nod of approval. "The one good thing about the Lowers is it's a wide open road up the cliff to the rest of the city. Anything going up that way will be completely exposed from above. If we're able to close it off after the Lowers defenders reach it, they'll have a hell of a time getting to the gate."

"The Spirit Walkers have plans to bring forth Old Gods local to Arvun in the Stone Grove, so please leave gatherings there undisturbed," Mirk mentions offhandedly. "Rituals nowadays can be a bit dangerous."

Ian gives Mirk a brief, dry smile when he mentions rituals becoming dangerous.

Lucita says, "I am not sure, but if there are empty shops around, some of those might also be of use."

"I am unsure of who will be station at any gates in different parts of the city," Nurie says quietly. "But if I might appeal to you for the list of commanders or organizations later General, I am making cords that while they may not bar them from being crossed, might cause some damage to those that do. At least the first wave. I cannot be there for any but one, of course. But they will not need to be strung by my hands."

Princess Sabella Grayson enters the tavern in gold and pink leathers, maintaining her usually graceful posture while still looking a bit out of place in both her attire and the venue. She doesn't seem bothered by this. There is a soft smile given to those she recognizes before finding a seat and bidding her guards to do the same.

Isolde has joined the Table by the Fire.

Eirene says, "Something which was discussed was digging shallow pits on the grounds leading up to the gate, filling them with Thraxian fire, and then firing on them with ballistae to cause explosions." Mirk's announcement is given a solid nod. "Roger that, nobody in the grove. Old Gods at work." Once more, Nurie gives Eirene pause. "Cords... with magic? Like lines in the sand? And I'd be happy to give the names of the other generals I've been working with. Sir Preston, Sir Ainsley - those come to mind immediately." Sabella is given a welcoming nod. "Princess, can you assist with securing some of the unused manses in the Grayson ward as shelters? We had as much in place for the attack Helena amassed on the city, but we ended up not needing to execute those plans since she never got past the walls... Much like the shops. The city's bursting to full and we still haven't gotten all the refugees from the outlying regions like Lenosia."

Titania nods her head, "General Eirene, who else has put ships with in the harbor?" she asks in a curious voice, "I think this will be a ;and and water fight." she looks to Ian then back to Eirene, her eyes look to Skaldia then back.

Sen'azala's frown deepens. "I'm concerned about using that shit anywhere in the city. If a fire catches, there won't be any putting it out, we'll do most of Azazel's work for him." She glances to one end of the map. "...What about the Crown Ward? The palace? We could stuff it to the absolute brim, and anything that isn't flying would have to cross the bridge to reach it, if they're interested in reaching it at all. Those are probably the sturdiest buildings in the city, too."

"You have Halfshav's navy, such as it is," Mirk says in a dry tone. "It wasn't needed at Farhaven. I can get an accounting of the ships soon, but it isn't much."

"Whatever ships survived the trip here from the Isles should be in the harbor," Ian says to Titania.

"I agree. It has a tendency to harm more than it helps." Isolde says regarding thraxian fire. "Perhaps as a last resort if the fight is close to being lost but I wouldn't suggest it as an initial defensive measure." She says evenly.

"'Twas my idea, yes, General," Nurie replies to Eirene. "It will not be as effective as some things. But with intent, even delicate threads can be woven be as sharp as steel under certain conditions. I do not think it will be more than a hunter's tripcord. But it is better than nothing. And it means it can be reinforced with what would normally be used. I've seen--" Even her needles pause for a moment, dreamy dark eyes sharpening to the present for a moment. "We know they'll have big things as well as small things," she says. "It is worth a try."

"Last resort," Sen agrees. "Torch the entire Lowers, but not the road."

Sabella looks up, gently surprised at being addressed in this meeting - she'd intended to observe! "Oh, I'd be happy to! I can't say 'yes,' but I'll speak with Liara and Lou," She says, her voice carrying with brightness even on such a heavy subject. "I imagine they will agree. I will let you know as soon as I can!"

"I'm pretty sure I read somewhere that the Thrax were supposed to be headed to Arx, and abandoning the Mourning Isles. I suppose they will bring ships. I'm not really the ship girl," she says with an apologetic smile to Titania. She listens to the talk of Arvani fire potentially burning the Lowers down. She frowns at this, but doesn't say anything. After a moment, she finds a seat, and ponders things.

Sen'azala glances toward Skaldia with an expression that's a mix of understanding and apology.

The casual reference by Skaldia to 'the Thrax' abandoning the Mourning Isles makes Ian tense up a little bit. He knocks back the rest of his drink.

"A good question," Eirene replise to Titania. "I believe Redreef, Thrax, and Kennex have ships, yes?" She answers Sen and Isolde, "No Thraxian fire in the city, but outside of it. On the approach. Maybe the beaches. I also asked the Queen if she could shelter the palace district against fliers like she did with the Thornweaver attack, but she's been too busy to reply. I'll send another request to her." Nurie's idea of tripcords is a good one, and she nods. "Probably helpful on the thoroughfares nearest the gates, but yes, you'd have to coordinate with the Carnifex and the captain of the Iron Guard for that. Sir Jeffeth too, of course. "

A messenger delivers a note to Eirene and she reads. "Hm. Lady Medeia has offered a building just outside the gates on the beach as a possible barracks, or even an explosion. Well, to Sir Jeffeth. His call, I suppose." She smiles a little at that and turns her focus back to her model. "Princess Denica and I are planning on having netting strung across several of the thoroughfares to prevent fliers from getting in. Tangling them in fishing nets."

Sen'azala's frown intensifies. "...Do you think we could do anything with the lighthouse?" she asks Eirene. "There's a tunnel in the basement, but it's otherwise vacant. There's some sort of a...Brass...thing up there that signals to the ships. You've got a view of the entire city and the river."

Titania nods her head to Mirk, "Thank you Lord Mirk, I think we should ask those who have ships to put them in the bay, with Thrax coming in we should be set for protection in the bay, I can handle the water if it is needed Eirene."

Eirene says, "I could see it being a signal tower. But it would probably become a target quickly."

Lucita continues to listen to the plans being hashed out one by one, remaining politely silent unless need arises that it seems she should speak.

Sen'azala says, "Exactly."

"Stuff it full of Thraxian fire and attract attention to it?" Mirk suggests, head canted in thought.

"Were you using actual fishing net or close to it?" Nurie inquires of Eirene. "If you've already made it then I cannot be of much use, but if it's only just begun I could try to lend my aid to that as well." She crinkles the bridge of her nose just a bit, with an impish smile. "Just to add a little extra oomph."

Ian eases into the shadows of the booth a bit more. "Maybe be careful about lighting the flyers on fire."

Eirene laughs a little. "So we do the same. See if we can use it as long as we can, and then make it bait for a trap. Maybe use one of our dragon friends to fire on it and take out whomever is swarming it." Mirk's comment is given a point to the nose. She frowns at Ian. "Everything isna risk. If there's an escape tunnel, those manning it can get out," she then asks, "Where does it lead to?" On the topic of the bay, she nods to Titania. "If you got that covered, T, then yes." Nurie is answered, "Fishing net. It's sturdy and we have a lot of it in the docks already. I wouldn't want it stretched anywhere near the possibility of flaming imps getting to it, so probably the distant part of the city on the western side."

Thesarin arrives to the meeting late, moving in the way of a man trying very hard to hide the fact that he's forcing his way through a limp. He's dressed lightly for the summer heat, sleeves short, making no effort at all to hide the brown tattoos that cover his arms to the wrist over nearly every square inch of exposed skin. He gives a curt nod toward Eirene as he enters, and starts to move to have a seat.

Skaldia nods in agreement with Ian's comment, finally speaking upagain. "Yes, some of our friends will be flying. Let's hope the nets don't catch the wrong bait," she says with a slight smile. Libera, on her shoulder, looks offended at the very idea.

"Fuck," Sen says in response to Mirk. "Can you imagine that showering over half the city? But maybe...I don't know. Something sharp, pointy, and delayed." To Eirene's question, she draws an index finger down the map. "There's a central tunnel here. It's a whole network. Goes to the Cathedral, the theater, the Lowers, the Crown ward...and it connects to the Whisper tunnels, not that anyone but me at this point, I think, knows how."

Ian raises his eyebrows. "Flaming winged things in a city of wood and pitch roofs is a pretty damned big risk."

Eirene sighs. "True, true," she agrees with Ian. Thesarin is met with a small smile and a lift of the chin in greeting. "I'm just trying to think of ways to take out as many as possible."

Sen'azala hehs, though she seems to be lacking in any actual humor. "The dragon fire might be bad enough." She looks at one particular point in the Upper Boroughs, frowns, and then leans over to say something to Eirene ins a much quieter tone.

"Fortunately Nyx has ice," Mirk says with a shrug of a shoulder. "So I won't contribute to that problem."

"Ought to set folks to bucket chains. Work crews." Thesarin draws himself up, resting one big arm on the table; to those who'd seen him before he left for Bastion, he's picked up a few scars on his cheek. "We're teeming with refugees and more coming by the day; most'll be glad to have a use."

Sabella listens quietly, but she has nothing much to offer. She does, however, look deeply uncomfortable about pretty much everything - even with rumors suggesting she came through Bastion just fine. Her eyes are simply sad.

Ian looks over at Thesarin. "Long as they're off the streets when the fighting starts."

Skaldia listens for a time, but she doesn't seem to have anything else to offer. Rising to her feet, she inclines her head toward Eirene, Sabella, and Sen'azala, and then she quietly makes her way out.

Libera, a quiet hawk leaves, following Skaldia.

Eirene nods back at whatever Sen'azala whispers. "Ooh a blue or is it silver dragon, Mirk?" She's read a little on them and knows colors have flavors). "Anyone else have ideas or suggestions," she asks the room. Bbnew

Eirene nods back at whatever Sen'azala whispers. "Ooh a blue or is it silver dragon, Mirk?" She's read a little on them and knows colors have flavors). "Anyone else have ideas or suggestions," she asks the room.

Ian looks over at Sen. "The tunnels. Are there ways for people to move between districts?"

"Blue," Mirk supplies with a chuckle. "The tunnels could be a good way of funneling forces unexpectedly, too. Bring in reinforcements..."

Ian nods towards Mirk, a silent indication that the other man has probably spoken at least the general shape of what he was thinking.

Sen'azala shakes her head. "I think most of my contributions will depend on when the khati forces arrive." When; she's confident. "Though, I can get eyes in the sky that are rather less conspicuous than a dragon, if we really need them. More than one pair, if people cover me." She looks toward Ian. "Yes, and with the Whisper tunnels, between Wards, if they understand how those work. They're not enormous, you won't move huge numbers of people through them easily, but runners? Small forces? I've mentioned the chamber below the Cathedral a few times, which I think would make for good shelter. There's also an exit from the city, it comes out pretty damn far into the forest. We might want to be ready to block up or collapse that, but I'm not sure if we want to do it preemptively."

Eirene says, "The Templars and Faith have plans to move into the Cathedral as a fallback."

Ian pushes a hand through his hair. "I'm not sure how it'd best be done. But as the fighting moves, people being able to move with it to reinforce other groups wouldn't go amiss. I know a lot of people are focused on the Thinnest Point stuff, but Arx is a big damned city and not everyone will be down there. Not everyone can be down there." The second statement probably encompasses civilians, as well as soldiers, a nod to the fact that there will be people trying to shelter all over the city.

"Fire'll kill a body no less dead than any nightmare spawned from the Pit," Thesarin rumbles out, looking toward Ian and then back over toward Eirene. "Twice so in a place like Arx, once it's begun to spread. And I ain't reckon we'll have so many soldiers we can spare. We ought make arrangements for folks can't fight to fight fires, carry wounded, and such work that'll need doing while the battle's on."

"We should also keep in mind," Sen says, her tone and words turning as grim as they have been the entire conversation, "that by the time that horde arrives, Arx will be holding most of the surviving population of Arvum. We're trying to save the future in more than one way."

Titania nods her head with what Ian has to say, "I had plans to go down there and I want him stopped as much as the next but if everyone is down there, the city will suffer. I will stay in the bay and in the city till its not needed." she looks to Thesarin nodding her head then to Sen, her troubled blue eyes look to her hands for a moment.

Eirene says, "Yeah. The priority is holding the city to keep them from destroying everything. But we have to make sure we have something to hold on to for who the fighting is done."

"I greatly appreciate the sacrifices that will be made by those who will place themselves where they know they are most needed, rather than wholly where their heart desires. I am no warrior, but I know how hard it can be to wait as guardian until the fight comes to where you are. Or at least, I know what I've read in the faces of others." Nurie's voice is still gentle, perhaps accentuated by the calm of her knitting. "We will do our very best to try and not impede and to try to keep morale."

The Velenosan princess seems to be overcome with melancholy since she suddenly rises from her seat. "I'm sorry. I have to make preparations. I hope we meet again." And she hurries away.

Isolde has left the Table by the Fire.

Jaxon, Champion of the Reflection, Bruiser, a merle teacup chihuahua wearing a diamond collar, Slaine, a wallflower, Rex, a large blue cane corso mastiff leave, following Isolde.

Sen'azala eases back onto her heels. "I'm not sure I've got much more, but you know how to contact me. If I hear anything more about the khati forces, I'll let you know."

Eirene says, "Any other ideas, let me know. For now, I think we're about as good as we can get."

Sabella stands and quietly follows Isolde out, looking similarly melancholy.

6 Grayson House Guards, Maureen, an unflappable nanny, Clark, an exasperated guard leave, following Sabella.

Ian says something vague about other work he needs to be doing and gets up. There is, indeed, someone in Kennex livery waiting for him right outside the door, and both of them walk off together at a quick clip.

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