Assembly of Peers V
April 8, 2018, 4 p.m.
Alaric Niccolo Alis Belladonna Selene Victus Isolde Leona Margot Alistair Isabeau Dominique Barric Valencia Alarissa Marian Harlan Lianne Juliana Fatima Orazio Gaston Khanne Reese Laric Cara Aleksei Duarte Curran Derovai Asger Cristoph Ford Vanora Valdemar Mia Luis Lucita Adriel Felicia Artorius Aiden Ann Wash Catalana Jan Samael Zoey Titania Malesh Reigna Archeron Ian Jeffeth Theron Echo Saoirse Elgana Romulius Appolonia Erela
Arx - Ward of the Compact - Assembly of Peers
Comments and Log
Selene has left the Voices of the Realm.
Ezekiel the German Shepherd, 2 Sea Rover Bodyguards arrive, following Artorius.
Khanne walks into the Assembly of Peers and immediately makes her way to the Redrain bench. She does not seem to be full of energy as she plops herself onto the seat. First thing is first, she places her flask of whiskey on her lap for easy access. "Hello," she says to the others at the bench, but then she just starts to watch all the people as they file in.
Ford has joined the Thrax Benches.
Selene has joined the Commoner Benches.
Serena, a charming lady-in-waiting arrives, following Vanora.
2 Iron Guardsmen arrives, following Titania.
Olenna, Barric arrive, following Alarissa.
Laric has joined the Grayson Benches.
Romina, a silent Mirrorguard agent arrives, following Niccolo.
Jordal, a bodyguard arrives, following Isabeau.
Barric has joined the Grayson Benches.
Alarissa has joined the Thrax Benches.
Aiden makes his way quickly over toward the Grayson Benches, finding a seat next to his Bisland Uncle.
Isabeau has joined the Valardin Benches.
Appolonia has joined the Lyceum Benches.
Vanora has joined the Lyceum Benches.
Harlan enters from outside, and heads towards the Grayson benches to take a seat, nodding politely towards the others there.
Samael is that Bisland Uncle and he waves to Aiden as he sits down next to him.
Curran has joined the Commoner Benches.
Ann has been sitting here nearly asleep the whole time and wakes up suddenly to a BUNCH of people, "Right. Coffee..." She mumbles and clears her throat and tries to look awake.
Alarissa makes her way in to the assembly, wearing her armor. A press of her lips to Barric's cheeks and she's moving off to the Thrax benches to take up a seat with the others.
Having been here a little bit early, Dominique glances about for familiar faces before she heads towards the Valardin benches.
No hesitation in Elgana's steps as she arrives and glances around. She makes quick steps toward the Redrain benches, giving a curtsy those already there and takes her seat quietly.
Elgana has joined the Redrain Benches.
Alistair arrives in his typical silence, and whereas normally he would linger in the back, he makes his way to the Lyceum benches... as that is now his place to be.
Barric arrives with Alarissa and smiles at the kiss to his cheek by his sister, but as soon as they do they split apart for their respective benches. Barric offering nods and smiles, waves of greeting where appropriate and then he settles in at the Grayson benches comfortably.
Alistair has joined the Lyceum Benches.
Ford strides in and makes his way to the Thrax bench with some expedience.
Curran Grayhope makes his way in, and moves toward the commoner benches at a brisk pace, not looking to cause any sort of interruption or draw too much attention.
Romulius arrives and makes his way to the the Thrax benches.
Asger sits next to Ann and digs a small hip flask from his belt to offer to the woman beside him with a grin "Whiskey is better, the burn'll wake ya up nice and quick."
Catalana had already arrived. She made sure to leave in time to waddle on over and find a nice comfy seat...maybe.
Titania slips into the assembly and moves to find a place to sit.
Romulius has joined the Thrax Benches.
Mia strides into the Assembly with her escort, making her way at a brisk pace over to the Grayson benches. She offers a general curtsy to those gathered before sinking down into an empty seat.
Victus looks per usual, as excited as he always is to be at the Assembly of Peers for another time. He's partially splayed out in his chair with both arms set onto the table before him. He's flanked by his feline companion, Lilybelle. Recently horribly scarred from war, the ratty looking cat casts disdainful glares to every ruler of the realm that her one functioning eye finds. To his credit though, he's looking exceedingly sober today. His expression stony and his eyes set down with the task at hand.
Adriel Glynn joins the Assembly of Peers rather quietly, as is his usual method of joining things. He spends a good, long minute looking over the sheer number of people that have gathered before, before he's moving toward the commoner benches with intent to make sure he's just another face in the crowd, for the time being.
Wash sits next to Catalana, naturally.
Isolde makes her way to the area for the Voices of the Realm, as both the Archduchess and Archduke seem to be absent. Her father gets a smile and a discreet wave. As does Samael.
Cristoph is excited for another Assembly of Peers. He finds his seat at the Valardin benches and waits for the good times to begin.
Artorius arrives in silence as per the usual. The Count of Magnotta moves to take his seat in the proper seating area, his looking around with a soft smile on his features.
Artorius has joined the Lyceum Benches.
Ian is on a far end of the farthest back Thrax bench. With a flask.
Theron quietly makes his way to the Lyceum benches, settling down there. Apparently, the Sword is to represent his House until someone more even tempered comes along.
Marian arrives at the assembly, her baby bump clearly showing under her silk tunic as she carries the extra 42 pounds. She makes her way up to the Voices section since Darren, Donella and Gwenna were unable to come. She gives a polite nod to others present. The King gets a careful bow, since her range of motion is limited these days.
Titania has joined the Grayson Benches.
Samael returns a wave to Isolde, with a warm smile.
Margot settles down into the benches beside Catalana.
Fajra arrives, following Lianne.
Belladonna has been here, sitting quietly at the Lycene benches with Duarte, murmuring back and forth, a bottle of wine on the bench between them.
Fatima quietly and quickly strides towards the Thrax benches, finding a seat near the front so she can listen.
Valdemar Grimhall enters and makes his way directly to the benches where others from the Mourning Isles are sitting.
Niccolo arrives as matters are about to begin. He strides silently toward the front row of the Lycene benches and takes his place.
Lianne has joined the Lyceum Benches.
Vanora enters just a bit after Isolde does, squeezing her cousin's shoulder in parting before the Velenosa Princess makes her way to sit with the Voices of the Realm and she seeks out a place with the rest of the Lycene. Somewhere in the general vicinity of Belladonna and Niccolo.
Niccolo has joined the Lyceum Benches.
Alis did all the awkward waddling to the table before most people arrived. So she is sitting there with snacks, offering them around as other Highlords or Voices or Guards join them. She offers twice to Marian. Because she deserves it!
Jan plunks down on the bench next to Ian. She offers a slight smile to Catalana as she passes her sister.
As Princess Alis is seated at the table to represent House Valardin on the assembly, Princess Isabeau (the 'spare' Voice) moves to take a seat amoungst the other vassals of the Oathlands.
Derovai is a solitary figure in black up in the balcony, sprawled on the commoners' benches, watching the others filter in. He seems to be awaiting someone's arrival, gaze scanning the crowd below. Adriel's arrival up in the upstairs benches earns a nod and a quiet word to him, and then he nods, as if confirming an arrival to himself.
Juliana slips in quietly, settles into the Lycene benches with a smile to Lianne and Lucita as as seh settles in.
Lucita is already seated quietly on the Lyceum benches, hands folded in her lap, nods and small smiles given others she knows as they arrive and find seating.
Valencia has joined the Lyceum Benches.
Gaston enters and then finds a seat in the Valardin Benches among his fellow Oathlanders.
Leana, an Igniseri Guard, Tamsin arrive, following Luis.
Luis has joined the Lyceum Benches.
Juliana has joined the Lyceum Benches.
Lianne slips in quietly, that blonde shadow of hers lurking near the entrance as the marquessa herself makes her way to the gathered Lycenes, to the spattering of family nearby, settling in close to her cousins, an easy smile on her lips.
Laric makes his way into the Assembly building, absently waving off his guards to head where they may. He strides on over to the Crownlands benches to take a solitary perch, interlacing his gloved fingers, absently raking over the crowd with his gaze.
Terese has joined the Valardin Benches.
Catalana waves to Jan, motion to a seat near her at least since both spots next to her have been occupied.
Luis Igniser wanders in, black leathers cleaming in their recently oiled state, a true glow, a dark glow. His guards wait with the rest while he moves to find a place at the table of the Lyceum, settling into a chair and greet the others.
Draped in one of one her usual variety of mildly suggestive gowns and a veil that might be mildly familiar to at least one renowned attendee, Selene being slightly new to minister-ing does in fact start toward the wrong set of benches, get redirected by a... guard? Usher? Whatever they have. She gives a little melodramatic 'hmph,' and then finds her way to the peanut gallery instead.
Felicia's among the contingent of King's Own that files in with his Majesty, taking up a protective place near Alaric in silence.
Archeron is up at the Thrax benches, but quickly scoots down as he remembers something, smiling at Margot as he clambers over his cousin and shimmies past Ford and Wash before he makes his way down and taps Victus on the shoulder before whispering into his ear before he quickly returns to the benches of Thrax, keen not to get stabbed to death by anyone. That would spoil things.
Cara has joined the Voices of the Realm.
Cara arrives with a minimum of fuss, leaving her customary retinue outside to avoid the commotion of half a dozen people all jostling about; she heads directly to the Voices table and takes a seat in the Grayson chair, nodding politely as required by decorum.
Octavian, a silken spaniel, 3 Bisland pride guards arrive, following Zoey.
Zoey has joined the Grayson Benches.
Alaric stands and regards the hall from the center front of the room, speaking in a clear and confident voice. "We stand victorious, our great Compact of Arvum. A so-called 'Pirate King' announced his intention to attack our lands, but these were not merely pirates: perhaps thinking he would cause us to underestimate his forces, what we confronted in this 'Pirate War' was no less than the biggest invasion force our lands have seen in hundreds of years, perhaps since the Reckoning itself. Thanks to the hard and dangerous work of our scouts and other agents, we knew the truth and were able to muster unprecedented numbers for our defense, but even so it was a very close affair. Our defensive traps and preparations killed enemies by the thousands and still they nearly overwhelmed us; our valiant warriors fought tenaciously despite being outnumbered in every battle. We paid a heavy price in blood and property for our freedom."
"But free we stand today, unconquered thanks to the bravery and determination of warriors from every fealty in the Compact. Our losses were painful and plentiful, but our resolve to heal and repair is undiminished. The Stormwall, Setarco, and Darkwater Watch will be rebuilt, our losses honored and mourned. We will continue to rise to the challenges of our time and prevail over all threats to our sovereignity. The greatest days of the Compact lie ahead of us; and it is only because long and occasionally boring meetings like this are necessary to the work to get us there that we put up with them." Cue an unreserved and regally charming grin. "With that, I call this Assembly of Peers to order. Please rise for the convocation of the Faith of the Pantheon."
Orazio rises, a bit more slowly than he has in the past, silvered hair gleaming in the lamp lights, and moves to the floor. He bows first to Alaric, deeply, then turns to address the assembled, his voice rising clear and strong to reach even the rearmost pews. “In the name of Petrichor, who has given unto us dominion, I hereby consecrate this ground. Let all who abide within be bathed in the light of the gods, and be protected by the holy sacrament of Sanctuary. Until this Assembly be lawfully dismissed, to shed blood or begin violence on this ground will be the darkest sin, and shall be punished accordingly.” His black gaze seems to sweep all assembled, watchful and unyielding.
“Now, let us pray. We pray for the charity of Gild, that our every thought and action be for the good of all. We pray for the honor of Gloria, that we will stand courageous for our principles. We pray for the inspiration of Jayus, that we may tread new paths. We pray for the growth of Lagoma, that we do not reject the new for the comfort of the old. We pray for the fidelity of Limerance, that we may never betray the oaths we have sworn for political gain or convenience. We pray for the breath of Mangata, that sustains us and links us, no matter our divisions. We pray to be worthy of the dominion Petrichor has granted, and work ever for the stewardship of land and people. We pray for the justice of the Sentinel, that no innocent be condemned and no guilty man or woman exalted among these peers. We pray for the wisdom of Vellichor, that our actions be informed by knowledge and our legacies preserved for all time. We pray that we remember that Skald has given us both the right of choice, and the responsibility for our choices, and that the Queen reminds us of the price and reward of our service. Let every word and choice here be aimed to protect and exalt the Dream we live within.” There’s a pause, before the Legate continues, “We pray for the awareness of the Thirteenth, and remain ever vigilant against our own darkest desires, that we may keep our eyes to the light, and our feet on the righteous path.”
Once the last echo of the prayer has fallen silent, Orazio returns to his seat.
Zoey sneaks in and over to the Thrax benches, handing Ian a bottle of something before she takes her seat at the Grayson benches... Just in time to stand for the Invocation.
Zoey gets Black Berry Brandy with Smooth Floral Notes from a monogrammed black calfskin satchel with silk lining.
"Thank you, Father Orazio," Alaric declares after a pause to let everybody get resettled back in. "Our first order of business will be to review this Pirate War for the record. Princess Saoirse has graciously volunteered to make a report. If you would step forward, your Highness." He gestures to the space in front of the big table.
Saoirse rises, dress slinking back down to a more respectable level. Just kidding, it's a Lycene dress. It's never respectable! She glances around the room -- familiar faces. Unfamiliar ones. Still relatively new to Arx, this is the princess' first large public address - and true to Velenosa form, her demeanor is one of crafted chill.
"The war," the princess begins, stepping out of the Lycene benches and toward the front of the room. "The Pirate King was a fairly standard enemy, albeit a ..." Saoirse takes a beat, "well equipped one. Nevertheless, I'm happy to report that we won, though at a cost. Let's break down the battles, shall we?" You shall!
"Just off the coast of Setarco, the Compact's navy clashed twice, but we won. The enemy did land on Setarco's beaches and marched, as all armies absolutely march, toward the city - which was very worrying for all those who were there, but they got no further than those beaches; defenders repelled the forces. None of the enemy's agents were found in the city itself, information discovered by Count Duarte, Prince Alistair, and myself.
"The city of Stormwall was burned to the ground in order to deter the enemy; although the Pirate King was defeated, the city itself was sacrificed.
"Darkwater Watch was the first site attacked but has been freed. Much like Stormwall, however, Darkwater Watch was destroyed." A beat follows. "The Pirate King himself..." uh. "Has not been seen since." Right. "About half of the Compact's fleet was lost and nearly seventy five percent of those who defended Stormwall are lost."
Ian takes the bottle from Zoey and gives her a very grateful look, mouthing his thanks.
Reese has joined the Grayson Benches.
Leona stays behind Alaric, a silent sentinel and one of his guards, fading into the background. She bows her head at the prayer, but somehow manages to give the appearance that she's looking at the group anyway during it - always watchful. And then she listens to Saoirse's detail and one eyebrow goes up. She leans down and murmurs something softly to Alaric.
Kit, the grey fox, 1 Telmarine Armsmen, a tiny man with a BIG unpronounceable name arrive, following Monique.
Monique arrives, following Corban.
Corban has joined the Valardin Benches.
Monique has joined the Valardin Benches.
Stonewood Clerk arrives, following Malesh.
Erela is also standing behind Alaric, to the side of Leona. It's a little wall of King's Own. The tall raven haired woman gives a slight bow of her head at the prayer, but one eye is kept open, because their job was to make sure the King was protected and it would be a poor story if he was stabbed during a sacrament wouldn't it? When that is done, she straightens and there's a look to Leona and a murmur of something and a nod.
"Thank you for that perfectly normal report, your Highness," Alaric declares pleasantly. "Although I would like to issue the slight correction that the Pirate King has been confirmed dead, and no more than ten percent of his initial forces remain," he notes before turning to Victus. "The Crown would now like to recognize Grand Admiral Victus for his willingness to step up and take command of the combined fleet in our time of need, and furthermore convey our esteem and appreciation to him for seeing us through to our eventual victory. As your last act in the position, if you have any final remarks or reports to make, the floor is now yours."
Malesh has joined the Grayson Benches.
Saoirse dips a quick nod of her head to Alaric when he issues further information, turns to the room at large again, winks? maybe? and then heads back to the Velenosa benches.
Malesh slips in late, having not been on time for anything since the Battle a Stormwall. Fresh bandages wrap the crown of his head, covering the left side of his face and ear. He has a man with him, helping him a long a little but not so much as before. THey make for the Grayson seating area and mingle into that crowd.
Malesh slips in late, having not been on time for anything since the Battle a Stormwall. Fresh bandages wrap the crown of his head, covering the left side of his face and ear. He has a man with him, helping him a long a little but not so much as before. THey make for the Grayson seating area and mingle into that crowd.
Isabetta arrives, following Echo.
Echo has joined the Redrain Benches.
Gigi, an apprentice physician's assistant, Oaken, a massive Oakhaven bloodhound, 2 Novice Keaton Huntsmen, Marie, chef of Keaton Hall arrive, following Reigna.
Victus takes a stand from the table, taking a step back so he might address every peer as equally as he can. "The fleet at Setarco faced heavy attacks, twice. We deployed the entire might of the navy some miles off the coast of Setarco and were subjected first to one large push by the enemy. Their first incurison was without proper leadership or tactics, their ships being old and barely able to be called sea-worthy. We imagine they hoped that sheer numbers would win the day. But the Compact's combined armada outnumbered them and we ended the day in a decisive victory all around as they ran aground against our ranks. After we returned to Setarco, the Pirate King launched a second assault. This one better equipped and with an admiral at the head of it, one who we believe to be Reveka Tyde, a survivor of the Tyde rebellion. This force broke into three separate columns of attack with a fourth that encroached on Setarco's shores."
He pauses, taking a slow pace left to right as he speaks. "Reveka Tyde brought many new tools to the fight. Siege weapons, catapults, and as I'm sure some of you have heard the story - the enemy did indeed tame a gargantuan shark to their cause. It was a rather... unique looking shark. Some would say, almost like glass. I can tell you this is of course hyperbole, but tall tales will do their thing, eh?" A beat. "The flagship of the fleet, The Red Serpent, was lost after being run-through by a boulder. We set alight the stores of Thrax fire in the cargo and sailed it into enemy lines to damage as much of their forces as we could, a plan that worked out quite nicely. Afterwards, we began to encounter trouble with this 'shark'. An order was sent through the ranks to not engage the beast for the /completely/ normal strategy of focusing on the enemy fleet, but unfortunately during the chaos of the battle it was still struck down."
Here, he raises a finger up high to the ceiling. "This is where things get fucky. For whatever reason, honestly most certainly an entirely normal reason, the shark's body was just absolutely filled with toxic substances. Whatever those pirates had been feeding it, my god, they did a fucking awful job keepin' her healthy. It's blood was a funky dark color, I would even hazard to call it nearly black. That cluster-fuck of sludge spread all over the water, making it ironically quite DARK-water. It was disgusting and of course, we had no intention of touching something so vile to our well-built Compact ships. That would be just, fucking GHASTLY. So everyone did the sensible thing of steering waaay out of the way." As he takes a few steps back to the table, he raises both hands. "Now you'll have to forgive me for this part. Battle is awful fucking difficult to make sense of, especially when you're fighting for your life. But I do want to be honest with everyone, I totally blacked out here. But I do want to say, I weren't the only one. I had this most peculiar fever dream though... Like that sludgy water all suddenly became really, really red. I guess the shark's innards got healthy there at the end. Then wouldn't you know it, I started seein' shit. I coulda sworn I saw a goddamn kraken JUMP OUTTA THAT WATER, and eat the whole pirate fleet whole!" His arms fly into the air, doing his best to mime the occasion with all the ACTION it deserves.
"... Needless to say though, that was just a fever dream. And I apologize, so so much, for hallucinating at my post. The human mind is fragile and I am but a man. But that incredibly odd metaphor for winning the day by Compact strength made manifest by a wild imagination should not detract from those who saved the day. I would like to extend thanks to every single ship that participated with us that day, and my condolences to all who lost their lives in the defense of Arvum. Their sacrifices bought another day for us to continue living. I salute them and I would implore the peerage to do the same."
Isabetta has joined the Lyceum Benches.
2 Silvershields, 6 House Velenosa Guards, Roger, Aurum arrive, following Mydas.
Mydas has joined the Lyceum Benches.
Reigna has joined the Valardin Benches.
Orazio slowly, and without his expression changing noticeably, rubs at his face with one weary hand. There might be a sigh heard by those closest to the Legate.
Reigna makes little todo about her arrival, late as it is, and hurries to join the Valardin benches while Victus is speaking.
Ian looks at Victus. Then at his flask. He puts his flask back into his coat and opens the bottle of brandy Zoey dropped off.
A messenger arrives, delivering a message to Ardoin before departing.
Oddly enough, of all the thinks that came spilling forth from the Thrax lord's mouth, it was the name 'Reveka Tyde' that made Mia's eyebrows shoot up. And as soon as it spilled from her lips, the poor things stayed there, climbing higher and higher as he spoke. It was as if they were trying to beat a retreat -- step by step -- towards the safety promised by hiding in her hairline.
Niccolo watches the reports with a slight frown, but is otherwise impassive. He looks back at a few people in the row behind him, but only for a moment.
Reigna bobs her head and flashes a smile to Prince Ardoin, "Hello, lovely to see you, your highness," She waves to Dominique and Corban, Monique as well, trying not to distract too much from the procedings. She nods to Margerie's words and inhales a deep breath, "Thank you." Her brow furrows a little, listening to Victus' words.
Leona leans down and whispers something to Victus now too. Because he does tell a story.
At the mention of Reveka Tyde, Echo's nose creases the slightest bit before she lowers her voice to murmur something to those around her at the Redrain benches.
Graham has joined the Grayson Benches.
"Well, I suppose a little dramatic license makes for a better report. Sailor tales always grow in scope and scale in the retelling anyway," Alaric agrees unflappably. "It's just like you to retire your Grand Admiralship with a bang, Victus. I'm sure they'll be talking about that one for a while." He grins and takes a sip of wine, refreshing and composing himself to keep the meeting going forward. "Now then," he begins more solemnly, "the Compact can give no higher honor than enshrinement in our Hall of Heroes. As one of the few buildings that date back to the Reckoning era, the Hall has stood emblematic of the heroic potential of the people of Arvum and their valiant willingness to put themselves in harm's way for the sake of others, making the ultimate sacrifice if necessary. As we've heard, regretfully many have given all for their Houses and their Compact. The Crown will now request of the Voices of the Realm their nominations for induction into the Hall. First of all, however, we have previously tabled a motion by Prince Victus to unenshrine Koraj Marin from the Hall of Heroes to investigate the matter further. I believe there has been sufficent time to come to a judgment on that matter," he notes a trace dryly. "Are the Voices of the Realm in favor of Marin's removal from the Hall?"
"It was my understanding that some research was going to be done, to look into whether an un-enshrinement has happened in the past or not. Was that done?" Alis wonders, first, before voicing a decision.
"It was, and as it turns out there are indeed historical precedents, Princess Alis," Alaric replies.
Ann speaks up a question, "What will be done with the sculpture? Is it to be moved to another hall of rememberance - lest we ... forget? Not to honor, but to remember."
Victus does lean in to hear something of Leona. Realization suddenly flashes over the man's face, with an ensuing 'slap' as he smacks the side of his head. He does lift his free hand to the motion set forward, perhaps unnecessarily. "Aye. We believe Koraj Marin's story should be told as to understand mistakes made and what happens when hubris can eclipse reasonable choice, but I am of the opinion that he should not be set in a home of revered heroes, as his actions contributed to an attempted dooming of the Compact."
Her question answered she bows her head in thanks and Ann settles back down, "Thank you, Your Grace."
"Is there a copy of that information I can look at?" Alis requests next, looking over at Victus and giving a brief nod. "Valardin will support the petition, with the provision that none of the research that was done turned up any ... unintended negative consequences at a later date for doing so. I heartily support the idea of using the story as a teachable moment."
"Grayson supports removing said individual, pending scholarly review," Cara says quietly. "And the statue may be placed wherever High Lord Victus deems best, in my opinion, as the individual in question is primarily tied to the history of the Mourning Isles."
Leona slowly rotates her head to regard Alis, her mouth set in a thin line at the official Valardin stance, but she says nothing.
"Redrain supports removing the status from the Hall of Heroes, provided that his statue can be removed to a setting that where Koraj Marin's story can be remembered as a cautionary tale," Marian offers for Redrain, "So we do not forget." She gives a smile to Ann who asked her earlier question.
"Velenosa stands with Valardin on the matter." Isolde comments, speaking quietly but firm. "We offer our support but on the condition that research proves it is a safe move. And that he be remembered in some form, as a lesson."
Glancing up from the book where she is apparently taking a great number of notes on the proceedings, Appolonia's slate blue eyes flick from one speaker to the next, a thoughtful biting of her lip before she resumes her work, quietly scribing away.
A messenger arrives, delivering a message to Fatima before departing.
Mia checked composure + etiquette at difficulty 15, rolling 20 higher.
"Very well, then. I pronounce the judgment of the Realm that in the light of new information Koraj Marin no longer merits inclusion in the Hall of Heroes. His statue will be moved to a new location pending a future agreement between the Crown and House Thrax on its next home. House Valardin will be sent a copy of the relevant documentation," Alaric proclaims. "Now then, to the business of new enshrinements. The Voices of the Realm will now put forward their nominations for new heroes to be so recognized by the Compact."
Laric glances over at one of his Confessors sitting at a nearby bench. He lifts a few fingers and waves him close, taking a folder from his coat and passing it on. This folder then makes a slooow journey around the Assembly, passing it off to a member of the King's Own with a few hushed words. It ends up in Leona's hands.
Zavi arrives, delivering a message to Zoey before departing.
Gods help the woman, but *something* that *someone* was doing over at the Valardin benches had caught Mia Riven's eye. Whatever it was appaeared entirely unexpected, as -- for once -- the woman actually cracked a smile. In public no less. Worse yet, she was forced to lift a hand to her mouth, where her long, slender fingers brushed against her lips just in time. Had they not, she might have even giggled at the sight.
Felicia breaks formation briefly when the folder is spotted coming around, accepting it from the Confessor to transfer off to Leona with the hushed request.
Alis stands from her seat to make her request, hands still placed on the table in front of her. "House Valardin would like to nominate Lady Eirlys Greenmarch for induction to the Hall of Heroes. For her sacrifice during the battle at Stormwall, we feel she exemplified the ideals of our fealty and in giving of her life, deserves that ultimate recognition."
Cara lifts her gaze away from the book she's been taking notes in and says clearly, "House Grayson nominates Lord Killian Ashford, Paladin of Ideals, and Dame Zhayla of Old Oak. Lord Killian lived a life of remarkable courage and service, and his record is well-known. Dame Zhayla resisted evil with her every breath and through her valiant battle and sacrifice, gave us time to prepare for the Pirate's onslaught. We believe that both are worthy for inclusion in the Grayson wing of the Hall."
Alis also has both eyebrows raised by the time she's done reading the folder that is passed along to her. Not because of what anyone says, but because of what she's read.
Isolde looks towards the others at the table before speaking up. "House Velenosa would like to nominate Baron Estaban Saik. For his valiant sacrifices at the naval battle for Setarco and faithful service to the Compact. We would also like to nominate Princess Serafine Velenosa--for resolving to hold the line at Setarco, even though it would cost her life.."
Erela's emerald eyes scan the crowd as the assembly goes on. There's a look to Leona and to Felicia when there is the folder that is being passed, but Felicia is already breaking off to get it. The scarred woman gives a nod of her head to her fellow Knights before she relaxes back into her watching. Always watching.
Victus takes a stand as well. "House Thrax wishes to nominate Lord Darrow Darkwater, a disciple of the Sentinel. Despite the fact that he was not supported by any larger force nor had any civilians to defend, he still took it upon himself to lead the remaining garrison at Darkwater's stronghold to delay the enemy. His 300 men held out against 40,000 pirates until his dying breath, buying precious time until Darkwater could be relieved and freed. He died for his home and we wish to ensure his sacrifice is remembered always."
A messenger arrives, delivering a message to Ardoin before departing.
Ann gives an approving nod to all the suggestions, very solemnly, arms crossed, a hand coming to her chin, brows furrowed seriously.
Ugarte arrives, following Fortunato.
Fortunato has joined the Commoner Benches.
Archeron looks down at the folder that gets passed from Laric to Leona, squinting a little - perhaps even peering (get it?). An intrigued eyebrow lifts but then he is quickly distracted by the list of names. Killian gets an approving stomp of his foot, before he breaks into nods for the other. Darrow's story however gets another eyebrow lift and he leans over to murmer approvingly at his cousin
Leona listens to these nominations. "As these actions are considered, I think it is important to know what they did that no one else did that saved the Compact from absolute defeat, or what outstanding heroic singular effort they made that was not considered doing their duty so much as taking on unfathomable odds. Deaths at war are tragic. Heroic deaths at war are honorable and deserve to be remembered, in story and song. But the Hall of Heroes is generally for those who have single-handedly saved the Compact in some manner, or gone so far beyond the calls of duty that indeed their sacrifice saved us all in some way." She pauses, and adds, "I realize this is not a popular opinion, nor does this mean I do not honor their sacrifices, great and small. That you love and honor these people is important, indeed vital. But there is a certain level, above and beyond what could be expected of simply great hearts doing brave deeds on the front line of battle."
Mia's eyes swept slowly around the room as the names of the dead were listed. She was drinking in their reactions among the Assembly, one face at a time. Finally, her lips pressed into a thin line. And slowly, silently, she rose from her seat, waiting to be recognized and given the chance to speak.
Orazio speaks up, "The Faith supports the Lord Commander in her caution. These were all brave and valiant souls - but there are thousands of brave, valiant souls in this war, both living and dead. I do not see anything that distinguishes these from the thousands of common soldiers, of Knights Templar, or of sworn knights who died beside them, in deeds just as brave."
Reigna looks to Mia and then Orazio as they speak, her head nodding in silent recognition of their words and the wisdom found within them.
"Princess Serafine protected the Singers at the Tower from a completely normal but absolutely oversized threat, under extreme danger. I was there, I bore witness to it, and I fought beside her." Theron states, outloud, finally. "And I was in the front in her final moments. If anything, the protection of the Singers saved the Compact from the worsening of a threat, and that merits her inclusion."
Shard checked composure at difficulty 15, rolling 8 higher.
Cara glances at Leona. "Dame Zhayla acted as an agent of intelligence against her father, the Pirate King, and willingly offered herself as bait to draw his forces out and delay him. No other person could have done what she did. As for Lord Killian, he chopped the head of the self-styled Herald Tolomar Brand. I daresay that is unique enough for anyone's inclusion. If you would argue otherwise, I am quite willing to listen." Her face suggests otherwise.
Isabeau does not appear to be doing much in the way of talking with the other occupants of the Oathlands bench, as her attention is fixed and focused on the goings-on at the main table. Her cobalt blue eyes do not pay much mind to any particular speaker, but rather seem to sweep from whomever happens to be speaking to those nearby, as if attempting to discern their various reactions by expression or gesture before real reply.
Zoey puts Marquessa Marigold's Mint Madness in a monogrammed black calfskin satchel with silk lining.
"Lady Khanne, if you would be able to speak of Lady Eirlys actions at the Stormwall battle, perhaps a more objective determination can be made?" Alis seeks out the woman from the crowd, posing the question to her.
Aleksei is sitting on the edge of his seat, elbows braced on his knees, gnawing on his bottom lip. And then he rises a bit suddenly. "I can -- speak to Lord Killian in the fight with Brand," he offers, his voice firm, if nervous. "If the King and High Lords wish to hear it." He pauses a moment, and then adds in a lower voice, "It was actually Ainsley who, uh, did the chop, but, you know." And then he sits back down, clearing his throat, and waits to hear if anyone wishes to call for him to speak.
Victus rocks on his heels a moment. "Lord Darrow did contribute directly to the final incursion that ended the war and his sacrifice may have saved the combined efforts on all fronts, as it was that same one that drove the Pirate King into his current disappearance. He did not allow any further forces to reinforce those we were already fighting these unfavorable odds against. As the leader of hundreds versus tens of thousands in the face of certain death, for the Compact's safety, I find that to be legitimate reasoning to put him forward." After that he sits once more.
Cara glances to Aleksei and smiles, though it's not a broad one. "There were five Paladins, I believe, Blessed Aleksei. Unless they do something magnificently terrible, I expect that most of them will end up in the Hall after they are gone."
Valencia shifts a little in her seat and sips her wine, her expression becoming one of schooled serenity.
"I would speak for Lady Eirlys Greenmarch as well, Your Highness," Mia interjected, "if my words would be heard."
Leona looks at Cara, and her expression is level. "I suspect this is a discussion best had outside the Assembly of Peers. Perhaps a smaller group, standing among those honored in the Hall of Heroes, when enough time has been given to distance ourselves from those who have fallen, might be best. I am not objecting to any particular inclusion, but to the idea that fighting in dire circumstances alongside thousands of others who also fall singles any one person out." She shrugs.
Isolde remains quiet, listening to the arguments presented and appearing to mull them over. Then finally, a softly spoken addition. "As much I wish to see the deeds of each nominated person recognized, I see merit in the Legate and the Lord Commander's concerns. Like Dame Leona proposes, I believe this is much better discussed in private. These losses are recent and emotions may still be raw, coloring our choices."
Alis smiles warmly at Mia, but glances at Leona first and then Alaric. "Your Majesty, are we tabling the discussion for another time at the Lord Commander's suggestion? If not, I would like to allow Countess Riven to speak. As I was not present for the battle in question."
Valencia raises her hand in an effort to be recognized and given the floor so she may make a suggestion.
Khanne looks up and says, "oh... Well, Lady Eirlys saved the life of another, yes, by jumping in the way of that demonic blade. She sacrificed her life for that of Esoka. That in itself might not warrant a statue in the Hall of Heroes, under the guide that Leona has mentioned. However, her death caused the Spirits to rally, to weaken that... abyssal creature.. so that it could be killed, and that... well, was definitely a turning point."
From within the Lycene benches, a soft clapping can be heard directly after Isolde's suggestion.
Cristoph watches the crowd before he shifts forward after speaking quietly to Isabeau. He lifts his hand and speaks in a polite, respectful tone: "Your Majesty, if I may? Perhaps it would be more efficient for the High Lords to put forth their suggestions to you in writing, with whatever corroboration they wish to supplement. So that you may review them and give them more attention than is possible here in the Assembly of Peers."
"I stand by my House's nominations, and have no particular desire to wait on yet more meetings and deliberations." Cara says bluntly. "They are worthy, and I would have them honored. If others wish to pontificate on their choices, by all means, but our dead have waited long enough." She glances to Khanne and tilts her head, "Lady Khanne, do you believe that Lady Eirlys understood that to be the result of her actions? That she gave her life to rouse aid in that manner? Or was it more of an unintended but blessed side effect?"
Khanne looks to Alaric for his response to Alis' question before she says more.
Ann adds to Khanne's statement, "And the spirits - or gods - I can't profess to know who or what did it has commemorated her sacrifice in the form of a field of flowers - red in color - shouldn't be up that far North. If the spirits or gods are remembering her, so should we?" A beat. "But I agree this discussion could be lengthy, maybe we should put it in writing and submit it to His Majesty to be determined at a later date."
Orazio says, quietly, "There are many heroes in the Compact. There are several heroes in this very room. But to be interred into the Hall of Heroes is to say, 'Without this one person, the Compact would have been lost, irrevocably." He looks to the table, and around the hall, thoughtfully. "Remember that, please, when you put forth your nominations. It should be people who, two hundred years from now, no one needs to ask, 'Who was this person? What did they do?'. Many of our loved ones have been lost. All should be remembered. The Faith fully supports statues, buildings, and acts in memorandum of the fallen. But the Hall is for those who have gone farther than any others of their generation."
The little raven-haired princess nods politely, assuming she has been offered a chance to speak. "Thank you for allowing me to speak. It goes without saying many have lost loved ones and the wounds of our hearts are still fresh. There have been so many who have served bravely and have sacrificed," Valencia begins. "I would not wish to discuss anyone's worth over another while people still weep. May I suggest this discussion be tabled for another time to be considered with the fullness of their deeds be weight without the colour of fresh hurt?" she suggests earnestly. "I would have all that fell honoured with such grace, but I think some of the points here are well made. May we table this conversation for today?"
Khanne nods a little and says, "perhaps a new wing could be built... to honor such people that might not have singlehandedly saved the entire Compact, but certainly made a large impact in doing so?
As the conversation around the room swirled, Mia simply stood, patient and waiting. She inclined her head to Princess Alis; should the matter be tabled for another time, then she would save her words until then.
Ian's bottle of brandy is slowly circulating through the Thrax benches.
Catalana wishes she could partake of that brandy that smelled so good.
"We are indeed tabling a decision on the nominations," Alaric declares calmly. "Enshrinement is a notable honor, and with very rare exceptions a permanent one. I encourage the Voices of the Realm to do their due diligence in evaluating the names that have been put forth for nomination before our next gathering." He clears his throat lightly. "During her regency, my sister issued a number of medals denoting honorary membership to the Crown's 'Order of Hope', as a way to recognize important accomplishments and sacrifices made for the Compact so that we commend our living as well as our honoured dead. To that end, we will be accepting nominations for indivduals to be so recognized for their exemplary actions in this regard during our recent trials. I will be entrusting the Crown Observers with this project; expect an announcement regarding the details soon."
Alaric continues, "The Crown would like at this time to recognize Duchess Calypso Malvici, who will be leaving the post of Minister of Warfare in order to more fully focus her attention on the present needs of her duchy. She has seen the Ministry through extraordinarily dangerous times for the Compact, and her tireless work was very important to our success in both the Silent War and the Pirate War. We thank her for her service and wish the best for her and her House in the future."
Valencia gracefully takes her seat again and smiles gratefully to Alaric for his wise decision.
Cara slants a look at the king and goes back to jotting notes in her book.
"The Crown is proud to announce the elevation of Lord Commander Silas Whitehawk as the newest Minister of Warfare. Lord Commander Silas will oversee a reorganization of the Ministry in order to bring its role in overseeing the operations of the Iron Guard into more of a central focus. As such, the Ministry of Defense's internal agent program will be disbanded and folded into the Iron Guard proper, and their existing relationships with the Ward forces of the Great Houses will expand to include the Ministry's information sharing programme. Once again, congratulations to the Lord Commander on his appointment," Alaric declares, allowing a little applause or huzzah huzzah break (or just some time for a steward to come up and refill his wine goblet).
At Alaric's words, Mia simply offered a curtsy to those seated amongst the Voices of the Realm. She then resumed her seat, though her eyes hadn't left the lot of them. No, she was a determined creature, and she would speak, even if she had to find them one by one to make her words for Eirlys heard.
Duarte says, "huzzah"
Victus spins his finger in a circle. "Wooo..."
Alis gives several of those in the crowd a grateful look, and continues to look composed whethere she is or not. Crunchy snack food helps.
Aiden stands up during the announcement of the Lord Commander, but we all knew that he'd show bias there, right? He applauds standing up and then promptly sits back down once the huzzah moment has passed.
Marian offered no nominations for the Hall of Heroes, and politely claps for Lord Commander Silas Whitehawk being recognized as the newest Minister of Warfare.
Isolde claps politely at the news, looking a little tired and ever so slightly disgruntled. Could be the pregnancy.
Archeron holds all of his huzzahs, woops and caterwailing until he sees how Victus reacts. Which, knowing Victus, could involve everything from said huzzahs through to throwing small furry animals at peoples faces.
"Moving along to other business of the Realm," Alaric declares, "we obviously have major rebuilding projects in the works to recover from the damages wrought by the Pirate War. First of all, the floor is open to the Voices to speak about any efforts in Stormwall, Darkwater, and Setarco that they would like to discuss and raise support for. The Crown, of course, will be very involved in the material contributions to these efforts."
Victus stands up, again. He's getting an awful good leg-workout from this Assembly! "Exact numbers are still being drawn, but the damage of Darkwater is thus: All housing, ships, ports, and most everything beyond the castle was completely destroyed in a fire that during its retaking. We however have the privilege that most civilians were evacuated in the weeks before any pirates made landing. As the land is not so irreparably damage as we saw during Blackshore's destruction, we expect that Darkwater's rebuilding will be your average colonization effort. As there is absolutely nothing left beyond a stronghold, that will involve starting the county back up from scratch. Needless to say, support is appreciated."
Zoey goes to sip from her cup and finds it empty. She pulls a bottle from her satchel and refills the small silver vessel before offering it to the Grayson bench at large. By and large, however, her eyes stay on those at the head table.
"Duke Asger Crovane can speak more towards the exact costs for restoring Stormwall. However, port city and castle were burned in efforts to keep the enemy from getting a foothold in the North. Approximately 75% of the ground troops and 50% of the navy were destroyed in the Battle of Stormwall and the Battle of Setarco. We are currently investigating the costs around pensions for the Fallen," Marian stands up and offers the initial overview before turning it over to Duke Asger to continue with the costs involved with restore Stormwall to it's former glory.
Asger clears his throat as he stands to his feet, tucking a flask he has in hand back within his belt "We've had our scouts and skill craftsman out to assess the damages in and around the port of Stormwall. Right now our estimates are putting us at twenty two and a half thousand writs to see our city rebuilt, while our current endeavors have seen us build up to eighty four hundred in the bank, thanks in no small part to the generous contributions of those of the compact, including but not limited to the generosity of Lou Grayson and Marian Redrain. In addition to this we have the construction crews of Seymour Oak waiting on site at the port to begin construction once we can start funneling the funds." A dark frown crossing his features he pauses for a minute before continuing "During our assessments we discovered that tar pits had sprung up outside our city where the foul demon had tread, and have quarantined them off and are working to see them dissolved."
Laric turns away from the others at his bench, listening to Asger. After the man has spoken, he clears his throat and speaks up, brief and to the point, voice clear and firm. "You'll have to forgive the interruption, my lords and ladies, but I am behooved to remind you all that there have been 'consequences' to openly discussing 'superstitions' here in the past. Kindly be mindful of how you phrase things in such a public venue." The words are laden with subtext - and it's not at all threatening. He makes an apologetic gesture to Asger and then to the head table, then lowers his hand and says nothing else.
3 Rubino and Zaffria guards, Ariadne, Penelope arrive, following Dafne.
Dafne has joined the Lyceum Benches.
Alistair is present as well. And if any scoff at Laric's reminder, they kind a kindly piercing stare from the High Inquisitor.
Ardoin has left the Valardin Benches.
Titania has left the Grayson Benches.
2 Iron Guardsmen have been dismissed.
Alaric nods lightly. "Thank you for the reports, I will have them sent to the Ministry of Coin. I encourage all to assist in the efforts to rebuild as you are able to. Is there any other business relevant to our Compact the Voices of the Realm wish to put before the Assembly at this time?"
Fatima has left the Thrax Benches.
6 Thrax Guards have been dismissed.
Marian gives a nod that indeed she has business that she would like to put forth to the Assembly. She stands up carefully, her baby bump not making it the easiest and then starts to speak in a clear voice, "Hall of Heroes currently has a wing for each one of the Great Houses. Our ancestors have recognized many great heroes in those houses. Just as we have heard some worthy warriors put forth for consideration today." She gives a respectful nod to all the representatives there, "However, I would put forth that another group within our fair city should have a wing dedicated to their Fallen. For in this war, the Godsworn fought side by side the Great Houses. But there is no opportunity to recognize men and women. So I propose that the Godsworn be given a hall for their heroes, and that the Scholars do a project to study our history for those unsung heroes that deserve to be added to the Hall of Heroes."
Sir Alren arrives, following Bianca.
Bianca has joined the Godsworn Benches.
Cara glances at Marian and frowns in puzzlement, "I thought they went in the middle. That's where Gold is, after all."
"The Faith appreciates Princess Marian's suggestion," Orazio says, "but the godsworn are recognized as Crownsworn when recognition is required. In addition, we build memorials to honor our dead, including one that Sir Preston is championing in Sanctum, the Holy City. The Faith does not request any alterations to the Hall of Heroes on its behalf."
"Thank you though your Highness! It's nice to be cared about!" Sir Jeffeth calls out with a bright smile.
Leona looks at Cara. "Gold is there, not because he was a Hero of the Compact who had no House to call his own, but because his sacrifice was so great that it transcended any thought of fealty whatsoever. That is why the Last Hierophant is there as well. And others, who were not Godsworn but still saved the Compact."
Reese looks over to Marian, having a smile for the Redrain warcheif.
Cara points out mildly, "They were also chosen of the gods -- or at least Gold and Pena Stormrider were. One cannot discount the importance of their Faith in their heroism, though. I think the heroes of the Faith will be in good company there."
Marian gives a nod at Father Ozario's words, "Then I shall withdrawal my suggestion Your Majesty since it is not needed." And then the Warchief sits down after giving a smile in Jeffeth's direction.
Wynna has joined the Commoner Benches.
A messenger arrives, delivering a message to Alistair before departing.
Aiden has left the Grayson Benches.
1 Grayson Guardsmen, Sir Frances Flappington IV, an albino crow leave, following Aiden.
Alaric nods agreeably, supervising the discussion as it seems to work itself out without any royal intervention necessary. "Very well then, as that seems to have settled itself readily enough and no other issues have been brought forth for our attention, I declare this Assembly of Peers of the Compact of Arvum adjourned. May our Compact prosper and thrive as free and righteous people," he declares regally. Class dimissed!
Ann politely leaves, giving bows and waves and smiles where needed and appropriate, slipping away! Awaaaaay....
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