Meanwhile, in the Isles
Duchess Margot Tyde heads out to the western side of Tyde Island with a small crew with her. Lord Archeron Tyde, Princess Denica Thrax, Prince Gideon Thrax, Lady Lethe Tyde and Princess Reese Grayson. They disappear in to the side of a coastal basalt column cave for several hours, and when they return, the rumors are a little suspect. Some say there was a weeping wraith. Others say there was a dog the size of a cow! It is difficult to pull the fact from the fiction as dock hands often like to tell tall tales. But one thing is for certain, they come back with a heavier load than they set out with.
Stranger still, rumors begin to spread of Duchess Margot having a basket of kittens and two puppies sent back in to the caves a week later. When the adorable creatures go in, out comes a guard who seems to have gotten lost on his adventure there a week earlier. He tells tales of an incredible journey spent enjoying dancing and feasting, but most seem to think he must have been hallucinating from lack of food and water! He swears though, his time in the cave was real.
The crisis in Stormward, the demesne of House Kennex, has become a cause celebre for much of the Compact. Roughly fifteen million silver in economic damage had been done to Stormward by the immediate abolition of thralldom, but overwhelmingly heavy investment has come from the Faith of the Pantheon, the Crownlands, the Crown, the Oathlands and the Lyceum in particular to offset the economic strain. The social hardships are another matter. Several hundred warships from dozens of houses go to Kennex's waters for peacekeeping, and House Grimhall immediately smashes and crucifies some very obvious mutineering pirates, but there still seems to be an upswing in piracy as singleton ships outside of the massive convoys of the noble houses are picked off. There is a massive disapora of refugees settling throughout the Compact, even with Kennex lands stabilizing, and millions of silver has gone into helping those refugees find new homes through a score of different domains of the Compact. The damage to Kennex has largely been offset by investment, in particular the massive amount of freedmen traveling there, though it is almost certain to have longstanding cultural shifts because of it.
Response by Isle traditionalists has been surprisingly muted, almost certainly due to Kennex's survival. Some are not particularly thrilled by the massive amount of other naval forces in Kennex's waters, but as a lord's perogative in inviting whoever he wants to his own waters is a traditionalist's stance, that's not a fight they are about to pick unless another does it for them. Some might have been privately hoping (or loudly hoping) that Kennex would collapse or face open revolt from armed thralls to give more credence to their arguments, but for now, most stay quiet and wait for the other shoe to drop. There does seem to be some alarmingly non-Isles like beliefs popping up in Kennex, and while the progressives like it, hardliners will almost certainly find -something- to hate in the coming days, if Kennex continues to recover. For now, they'll just gripe that piracy hasn't been wiped out, and about cultural changes that are sure to happen.