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Gyre Straits - Calling the Banners

Fleets from the depths of the Darkwater have mobilized and are sailing toward Darkwater Watch, Crovane, and the Lyceum. It's time to call the banners, and see who will show up to defend or attack. Who will stand bravely, and who will refuse to answer the call.

The good news is, the Banners have been called, and more showed up to muster ready to fight for liege, Faith, King, and Compact than ever expected. The people are ready - this is our land, they say. These are our homes. No pirate is going to take them from us. Every day more and more people report, and now the work begins in earnest: With hard numbers, solid strategy can be crafted.

In the middle of this, Darkwater Watch and Redoubt have been evacuated. But rumors spread of a fishing vessel that sailed that way after the evacuation, only to find something horrifying: the Darkwater Deeps have seemingly expanded beyond their old confines, and the Watch is now hidden somewhere behind the fogs that cling to the dark, slick waters. With no one able to lay eyes on the Watch, there's no way to know the state of things -- whether it remains a safe harbor, or not.

And that's the bad news.

Action by Preston for Gyre Straits - Calling the Banners

(Public Action, OOC Date: Dec. 31, 2017, 6:36 a.m.)

With the growing threat in the East, and at the request of the leaders of the Faith and acting on behalf of the Grandmaster, Preston approached Cassandra and requested her certification that the cause of fighting against the Pirate King and the heretical cults supporting him was a righteous cause for the calling of the Templar Levies. Cassandra agreed. Accordingly, Preston has sent out missives to all parishes of the compact for their Templars to muster and assemble.

The plan is to have the forces form into three and a bit groups. The current Templars on Parade force will remain at Arx to secure the nearby beaches and act as a strategic reserve. We will be splitting the newly raised infantry roughly in the middle between the two main columns, one going to Crovane under Sir Preston and one to Serteco under Blessed Cassandra. Archers we will bias in favour of Serteco. Pike biased towards Crovane (as they only have limited ability in terms of holding gates etc in a siege) and cavalry entirely towards the crovane force (for field warfare). A small force of 50 infantry and archers will be broken off to go to Darkwater Watch under Emilia.

In his letter, to which Preston will include missives from other Faith figures on the importance of the raising of levies, Preston will urge the seraphs to ensure the full force is sent - not only urging that we now face not just a threat to the compact but to the Faith, and now for the first time in centuries the Templars must fulfill their duty to the full and muster their full strength to ensure the Faith remains undespoiled by invaders. He will of course list the great successes, and talk about how not since the time of the 4th Great Valardin Crusade has the order gathered in these numbers, that it will be something the disciples will talk of to their children, their grand children, their names will be carved on the stones of their parishes, and any left in bed who did not answer the call would shrink in regret and shame each time they passed the shrine.

Between studying doctrine, the letters by Preston and Cassandra, old notes left by the former Legate of the Arts (Guiscard Blanchard, former Grandmaster of the Knights of the Temple), and the stories of the Faith Militant commonly told in the Oathlands, Ailith has a firm basis in which to compose an impassioned plea to the Templars -- reminders of their oaths and vows and of Gloria, how by rising up they stand shoulder to shoulder to make history like many of their heroic Templars, and ultimately of the righteousness to defeat the evil in this realm.

Cassandra is already busy writing letters to the disciples of Gloria and everyone else, but she adds to her work to send out even more missives to the distant realms of the Compact on behalf of the Templar forces. She writes to the leaders of more remote cells from Arx, targeting groups of known Templars or their allies, and calls them to arms.

    Gloria teaches us the ways of honor and chivalry; she demands of us that we retain these concepts and codes when we go to War. The Compact is going to War, my friends; honor and chivalry demand that those of us with strength defend those without. Your sword is needed; your courage is needed; your hammer and anvil, your bandages, your soothing touch: all these are needed.
    Across Arvum the banners are being called and soldiers rally for war against the pirate king sailing from the east. You are now called. Gloria demands your service, and the Faith issues the summons.

    Archlector Cassandra of Gloria

With all his charmed talents Saedrus willingly steps in to assist Preston to help gather the Faith's strength to arms. It is with an empathic call that Saedrus helps rally the Templars to the cause. Missives are sent, and the courtier meets with small groups to voice poignant prose to stir the recipients to answer their duty, to bolster them in the face of their fears and remind them that great honour is found in their bravery.

Under the leadership of the redoubtable Sir Preston, the Templars are gathering. From Crovane to Setarco, throughout the land the call goes out - the Gods need your strong arm. Seraph Ailith reaches out to the Seraphs of Arvum, reminding them of their oaths and their vows, of Gloria and how this is their chance to rise up and stand shoulder to shoulder to make history. This is their moment to see that Arx stands triumphant against the forces of the abyss.

Archlector Cassandra of Gloria joins that call too - a reminder to all Templars as she calls them to arms. "Gloria teaches us the ways of honor and chivalry," she reminds them. "She demands of us that we retain these concepts and coddes when we go to War. The Compact is going to War, my friends; honor and chivalry demand that those of us with strength defend those without. You are now called. Gloria demands your service, and the Faith issues the summons." Saedrus Whisper joins this call with an empathetic summons of his own, reminding those who don't respond of the need to protect their smaller parishes, reminding those who do to serve with honor.

The Templars are called to War.

Action by Victus for Gyre Straits - Calling the Banners

(Public Action, OOC Date: Feb. 4, 2018, 11:50 p.m.)

"People of the Mourning Isles. I come being the bearer of bad news. We are beset upon by by an enemy who shrouds himself in his ignorance. He has bent the knee to those who would destroy the world, taken every evil in his path for power. The Deep 'King' and his followers hold onto a dying past which they seek to rebuild on top of our ashes. For one thousand years Thrax has held these Isles together with the force of our might and we shall do so by a fucking thousand more.

The Isles will stand united as one. One fleet, one legion, one order to destroy the tide of darkness that seeks to swallow us all. Bear arms and army, ready yourselves across the deck. The time of Thrax is now and forever. We do not fall.

Tears in our wake, never at our wake.."

After fighting and dying against the forces of the Gyre for centuries and then some, High Lord Victus Thrax has launched an ultimatum: No inch of ground will be given without wading through an ocean of blood. The Maelstrom has stood the test of time and the Gyre's fleet shall not be appropriately named so long as he stands.

Victus calls the banners from every corner Thrax's influence reaches. Forces that owe allegiance to the Sea Serpent's banner and Allies of the Mourning Isles are called to join. The High Lord himself will be donning the mantle of General and Ruler, calling all armies and fleets to the Maelstrom to organize into one solidified presence. The 1st Thrax Fleet and the 1st Thrax Marines alike. Those with the skill of diplomacy and propaganda are asked to send his message through every street and upper echelon, to motivate and drive every Thraxian in defense of their home. In survival as a race.

Grimhall, Tyde and all vassals below them will receive similar calls to action and be invited to participate. The might of the Grim Legion, Tyde's Fleet and all those like them that would pledge support in this pact. Whether it's soldiers, agents, smugglers, diplomats, or priests offering prayer - all are welcome. All are going to be needed in this coming battle, and Victus calls them all.

He dubs this unified front "The Mourning Onslaught". He will spend his preparation ensuring that the name will be heard as a beacon of hope for all as its strength is soon to be put to the test.

Duke Grimhall sends his heralds throughout the domains loyal to his house. The letter they read is not subtle: all warships are summoned to battle. The foe which approaches is the enemy our race was born to fight, all true hearted warriors of Mourning blood will join the coming battles. Of the rest, any who refuse will be held in scorn and named faithless before Gods and men, treated as traitors once the war is won.

When Victus makes his declaration to Thrax and calls for the banners, Alarissa is standing there beside him literally and figuratively as a proper High Lord's wife - in the traditional sense - a solemn, respectful and calm figure, even going so far as to make sure she's holding the heir to thrax who has been carefully wrapped and swaddled in that thraxian shade of red.

In the subsequent days, she's visiting noble houses of those in the Thrax fealty, both high and low that Fatima hasn't. Where it is the liberal leaning houses, she brings Astrid with her, conversing with the house so that she can have with her a visual reminder of the change that they have been fighting for, has happened and the future that each house if they throw their full might or as many as they can spare, into helping overcome the pirate king. She's not above using her daughter for a little propaganda pimping. Yes, the wives if the nobles even get to hold her if they want and start the threads of their investment her future and that of Thrax - and in turn theirs and their children. The losses will be hard, but they are Thrax. They know hard and how to overcome and Alarissa is proud to have married into such strong and able people. That she looks up to them in these tumultous days for the strength to help Victus lead and protect all that they and she hold dear.

For the more traditional houses, she goes with Victus, having fed him the lines that he likely needs to speak if he needs them. She borrows a line so recently heard from Harald and encourages them to do the best thing for Thrax and that's to set sail with all that they have and can spare and "Make their ancestors jealous" of the stories that will be told in the days to come. She plays that part of proper wife, not a hair out of place and with complete confidence that Thrax will get through this with their full support.

Then there's the ladies. The wives of the sailors, the soldiers, the supporters of the men who lead, the ones who manage the finances and at times, know how to tip a spouse one way or the other to what they want and to make it seem like it was the spouse's choice. To tea she invites them, small intimate affairs of 'frank' conversations. It's going to be hard and in truth, some spouses will not be coming home. This is the fight for thier lives and the odds will be so much better if the full might of the fealty combines into the Onslaught. They are in for a battle, a war that has been a long time coming and it's time to face it with all weapons, at the ready. Even if it's just ones two hands tearing up cotton to make bandages to be used to help with the wounded.

Fatima, as a Voice and Princess of Thrax, is taking her place in gathering the banners. She starts by visiting all the Thrax nobles in Arx, having quiet, one-on-one conversations with every lord that has soldiers, sailors, or influence. She spreads out to the more distant lords next via letter, and then personal visits when necessary. She reminds them of the might of House Thrax, the alternatives of failure, and the rewards to be gained for a successful campaign. And above all else, she's going to go personally visit every noble that previously showed fear for her and ensure their banners are called.

Margot calls the banners of all of the Tyde Vassals to support the efforts to fight the Gyre. Insisting that the Northlands turn out (and quietly insinuating that she will be very disappointed if they can't put out a better showing than the Grimhall vassals).

As General of the Thrax Marines and by very nature of their status, Galen knew his men would be ready to fight. His cousins and diplomats had no doubt reached out to every noble across Arx, but Galen was different than the others, he certainly had many of the same connections, maybe even more than some, but, he also had the benefit of having literally sailed to every known port in the compact, a few very strange ones, and even Port Defiance, though this he didn't speak of openly.

Regardless the Prince knew how desperate these times were, so he summoned together his crew, his most trusted loyal men, and gave them some simple instructions, "Send word, by whatever means as far and wide as you can...To everyone, and I mean everyone who has ever had our aid in any way shape or form, let them know I am not asking for such in return, but now I need help, and I would appreciate such." his crew knew what that meant. You see, the Prince was known on the seas for both being a force of swift justice when needed, and the saving hand of grace, to people of good, or questionable character who found themselves in trouble and in his path, though if we are being honest, often Galen's path was directed toward them. His men would carry out his command with haste, to those around the isles and beyond, merchants, mercenaries, various ports, no doubt even to some of the Abandon themselves.

Galen know what was at stake, he wondered if the reason he was given what he had been given and done the things which he had done, had all been for the culmination of this moment, of this action, a need so great that he himself had to risk all favor he had earned, all alliances he had made, after all, this wasn't just for him, or his family, this was for everyone!

Magpie receives the notice from Victus and stares at it intently for a long time. Then the man stands before his people -- the Free Nation of Magpie (A Grayhope Enterprises Division) -- he raises his voice loudly, and calls out, "Magpie! Will you help Thrax in this battle?! Will you stand strong and fight with them?! Will you follow Victus Thrax to the tentacles of death?!?" ... The man lets silence settle, then finally answers himself. "Probably. If I have nothing else going on that day."

When it is time to raise banners, what can a commoner do? Answer the call, of course. But is there anything more?

Sparte has decided to speak with others of his choice to join Thrax in their darkest hour. To sign on with the banners in the face of the deadliest foe they've known since the reckoning. His audience may be Crownsworn and Prodigals, mainly, but he speaks to those in Arx who still seek a purpose for themselves or have had one stolen.

"I am not someone who was destined for greatness. I am no prince or lord. I herded sheep." Sparte gives a self effacing chuckle. "But when times were dark, and the Iron Guard gave the call, I answered. With so many others, I helped hold these walls. Just as I now stand to protect Thrax. Not because of faith in myself or the gods, but because of faith in people. Because I believed that there are those unable to protect themselves who are deserving. I don't know who they are. They may be mothers and fathers, they made be children, the sick or infirm. Injured soldiers who fought for us once, and can no longer raise a blade themselves. They may be righteous souls or cads and blagarts, I don't care. When true evil rises against the compact we know in our hearts if he has the strength to stand and fight."

"I am not asking you to follow me, I am not even asking you to join me in pledging to Thrax. I am asking you to find that fire within your own hearts. To recognize that no matter how dark the day may seem, the light of tomorrow must be fought for to see it through. All I want from you is to be able to say, when times were dark, others stood with me. Please stand with me, if you can. For those who cannot."

At the call by Victus, Catalana is compelled to have the people listen. Wanting to make her family proud, this Lady Kennex speaks to all of the nobles with the reach of her voice and beyond to plea that in order to survive this, we must unite. "Please....this is no time for petty squabbles. This is a time to set aside differences and to unite as people! We will face this head on and show our enemies that this is not a group that is divided...but united!"

Caspian Wild is going into every tavern and inn of Arx, singing renditions of popular Thraxian war songs that have a twist of being about fighting for The Mourning Ises and Thrax against The Gyre, with the goal is to inspire Thraxians to join the fight. To help things along he'll be buying rounds of drinks.

Many people find it easy to be around Caith -- she has a friendly and unassuming air about her. She is also a passionate and evocative storyteller. Leaning on these qualities, she goes around visiting various vassals. She spends many an evening with them by the fire, sharing a drink or two, listening to tales of their past glories and trading stories of heroic deeds.

The princess tells them tales of legendary heroes, of battles won, of days saved when all hope was thought to be lost. And as they sit together by the warm, rosy glow of the fire with drinks in hand, she tells them that it is in moments such a these -- this precipice that they all find themselves on -- when heroes rise up and legends are made. She points out that she can only tell these stories now because people, when faced with the toughest options in the darkest hour, made the brave choice. They stood up. They answered the call. If they had not, their names would have faded into obscurity until they were entirely forgotten; however, their heroic actions granted them immortality, their names and deeds living on beyond them.

Caith urges the vassals to become heroes themselves. Their deeds today will become the legends that will be spoken of for all time. Glory and honor!

High Lord Victus steps up next, calling on all Thraxians to prepare to set sail. No inch of ground, he declares, will be given without wading through an ocean of blood. Forces that owe allegiance to the Sea Serpent's banner and Allies of the Mourning Isles are called to join.

Duke Harald hears the call and stands now not just as Duke but as Warlord of Thrax. All warships are summoned to battle. All true hearted warriors of Mourning blood will join the coming battles. Any who refuse will be scorned and named faithless before Gods and men.

Princess-Consort Alarissa stands ready, solemn and respectful and calm, exhorting by diplomatic turn those who the others fail to reach. To progressive houses she brings Princess Astrid, encouraging them to respond to the call to banners while holding the visible reminder of the change they've been fighting for. She praises the strength of Thrax, knowing full well the might of the Isles and reminding them that this is the time to show that will and strength. To the more traditional houses she goes with Victus, encouraging them to make their ancestors jealous of the stories that will be told in the days to come. And of course, knowing how much power there is in the quiet talk of women she makes sure to speak with the women - whether they lead the houses or not - encouraging them to form a united front among progressives and traditionalists alike in supporting the call to banners.

Princess Fatima personally visits each noble Thraxian in Arx, using one-on-one conversations to encourage them as she might. She reminds them of the strength of Thrax, of the results failure may bring them, and the rewards for a successful campaign. She targets those who she knows already hold some awe (some might even say fear) of her, using intimidation where she can to its best effect.

Duchess Margot calls all Tyde sailors and vassals, insisting the Northlands turn out. In her own way she encourages them slyly - It sure would be a shame if Grimhall turned out more numbers than Tyde, wouldn't it? Let's not let that happen, shall we?

Prince Galen reaches out to people he's met in his travels across the land, asking everyone who has ever had Thraxian aid to come forth and join them. The Prince himself is well-known as a hospitable spirit, a man who will buy the drinks in a bar for complete strangers, and sometimes has a habit of turning up at just the right time when someone is in desperate need. And now it's time for old debts to be repaid.

Officer Sparte, newly in fealty to Thrax, shows his loyalty. Now he goes to the Crownsworn and speaks to them. I am not someone who was destined for greatness, he says. But with so many others I helped hold these walls. Just as I now stand to protect Thrax. Not because of faith in myself or the gods, but because of faith in people. Because I believed that there are those unable to protect themselves who are deserving. When true evil rises against the compact we know in our hearts if he has the strength to stand and fight. His speech wins the hearts of the commoners, and even more answer the call.

Lady Catalana emphasizes the need to stand together. Wanting to make her family proud, inspired to answer the call by Victus, she urges people to set aside petty squabbles and unite as people. To show their enemies that this is not a group divided, but united in one common goal! Meanwhile, Caspian visits the taverns and inns of Arx, singing renditions of popular Thraxian war songs. Everyone loves a good sea shanty, and every really loves to sing good sea shanties when someone else is buying the drinks.

Not to be left out, Princess Caith visits various vassals, spending evenings by the fire sharing a drink or two, listening to tales of their past glories, encouraging them to tell stories of heroic deeds. In turn she tells them of legendary heroes, battles won, of days saved when all hope was thought to be lost. And as they sit together by the warm, rosy glow of the fire with drinks in hand, she tells them that it is in moments such a these -- this precipice that they all find themselves on -- when heroes rise up and legends are made. She points out that she can only tell these stories now because people, when faced with the toughest options in the darkest hour, made the brave choice. They stood up. They answered the call.

With tales of glory, drinks in hand, with the urge to stand united, with diplomacy and orders and threats and cajoling, by any means possible the word goes out. Thrax is called to war!

Action by Harald for Gyre Straits - Calling the Banners

(Public Action, OOC Date: Feb. 4, 2018, 7:37 p.m.)

Harald is gathering heralds and bards of the Isles to the Hall of Fallen Heroes in Grihem's Point. He will declare the summoning of all banners, and charge them with carrying his words to all lords and captains in the Grimhall chain of fealty: the war their race was born to fight is at hand. Mortal glory, immortal fame, and great wealth await those who answer, while scorn and terrible retribution will fall upon those who shrink from the battles ahead.

Vanora will be attempting to catch with honey any bannermen that Harald's fear and vinegar method does not work for completely. The Marquessa Kennex will use her charm and diplomatic skills to gently persuade those Harald calls upon to heed that call. She will be dong this via post for the most part as well as through persuading allies and friends among the Grimhall holdings to do so in person. She will be engaging with Kennex and vassals therein as well, for though the diplomatic endeavor that Octavia and Catalana will be undertaking when Kennex's own banners are called has not yet begun, she wants those she has sway over within Kennex to be ready when that summons appears. In addition among the Kennex lands still populated by new 'freedmen' she will be exercising her influence to encourage all recently freed thralls with any skills at sailing (or others useful in similar undertakings, such a ship and sail repair, ropeworks, etc) to join into this upcoming challenge faced by the Compact. These once-thralls will be reminded that they serve the Gods well and show thanks to those who cared for them when the step out to defend their homes. As well as reminded that unlike in many other trades, the widows and children of soldiers and sailors who lose their lives in battle are well care ford by the lieges.

A few particular persuasive letters will be sent in the direction of the zealot population settled into Stormward, reminding those among them that the upcoming battles are not strictly those of war but have legends implying it is a 'holy' clash as well, between the beloved gods of the Pantheon and the Heralds and Archfiends who would destroy what the Compact has built. These Orazians will be asked not only to consider offering their service to the vassals of Kennex and Grimhall, but also to use their preaching and engaging while in Stormward to mobilize freedmen to do the same.

With Edward I will use his Propaganda skill to gather as many combatants to the banners as possible. His Barony is so new it probably does not have any. So he will help others.

Turo sets about rallying the captains and soliders and sailors he knows with absolutely no hand-holding, nor discussion of future glory. Instead, he mixes a combination of straight-up ordering people to get to work, along with some mention of duty and whatnot. There's not a lot of yelling per se, but he's not really letting anyone give any excuses about why they couldn't possibly be involved in the upcoming war. He focusses on everyone doing their duty, whatever it might be, from the sailor to the captain to the ropemaker.

Faelan will be taking sailors and ships and going out to spread the word, and recruit every able bodied man he can convince to come aid in the coming battles. He'll be focusing on Navegant lands, but will also help out with Grimhall lands if it's needed. He'll mostly be relying on the soldier's fame earned during his previous battles in the ongoing war to help him draw men to the cause.

Ivarr will be grabbing his reavers and going out to press captains and vassals of Grimhall into rallying the banners. He will include pirate acquaintances he has met in this if they swear fealty. His angle: Leave the women to making laws and doing hard math, grab your axes, and come grab glory that will make your ancestors jealous . He is promising great glory, honour, fame, and the best deaths anyone could ask for. As extra incentive, he will burn down the hall of and crucify anyone left over from the first group to refuse the call to rally, using that as leverage against any captains that do not want to rally afterward.

Sameera, as per usual for her, is organizing the people and goods that will be going with the Grimhall fleets. She'll be rallying the Coldrains that wish to fight to do as such. She is assuring food, supplies, weaponry, etc, is all directed to where they need to be so they are most efficiently done. Those under her command are given orders on what they are to do, where they are to be, and clear procceedures on what they are to do.

Also, even if just rallying, Sameera IS assuring Grimhalls and THrax Family members are not at risk (AKA in a getting dead place).

Ian will go and do some drunken carousing with friends he has among the more martial noble NPCs among Harald's vassals. He'll regale them with some of the best Brothers Kennex stories (like the time Aethan decided to sneak up on a faster ship over open waters by hiding behind the swells, and everyone thought he was crazy, but then they did it, and you should have seen the LOOKS on the pirates' faces!) and listen to their battle stories as well. As a note: He will only be going to vassals of Grimhall, not vassals of Kennex. Ford has yet, as far as Ian knows, to mobilize his vassals, and Ian doesn't want to step on Ford's toes.

Wash will pick at least one outlying vassal with a limited naval force and sail out with the repopulated Kennex fleet. He'll invite them to participate in maneuvers, and share his knowledge of the enemy and sailing with them.

Darrow Darkwater visits the nobles and captains comprising both the Darkwater vassalage, and those of Grimhall and Kennex he's known from the many manuevers and actions in the past few years. He's known amongst them for not losing his head, and its this angle he will press - to firm the resolve of the armies to rally to the Darkwater Redoubt.

Though not a bard, Caspian will still answer the call to action as a bard, seeking audiences with those within the Grimhall chain of fealty to perform songs and poetry for them. These songs and poetry are meant to inspire courage, honor, and a desire for heroism while mocking those who hide away or do the bare minium as their brothers and sisters give it their all for glory.

Baroness Skye Blackshore answers the summons, offering to help even though she has no men to call to her banners. The brave young woman who looks like she can barely stand up in a fierce wind offers to command a ship against the Gyre, citing her sailing skills are her best talent. Hmmm, perhaps other vassals will be shamed by being upstaged by a petite little lady and answer Duke Grimhall's call.

Ember will have a frank talk with her military lieutenants rallying them to join the fight that is coming. She'll give a bold speech, telling her army that the might of Redreef is needed to help with the upcoming battles. There will be a lot of yelling and posturing, but the tiny woman is adept at getting her point across. Once her lieutenants and sailors are on board to fight, she'll pass that information along to the Thrax family, letting them know that Redreef will be present and geared and ready to fight.

Valdemar will be sending letters to Grimhall's vassals, making liberal use of terms like "honor", "duty", "loyalty" and so on in an attempt to fire them up for the fight to come against the Gyre and his minions.

Duke Harald calls the Grimhall banners with a decidedly less-gentle touch. Mortal glory, immortal fame, and great wealth await those who answer, while scorn and terrible retribution will fall upon those who shrink from the battles ahead. You cowards. Lord Valdemar Grimhall also assists, making liberal use of terms like "honor", "duty", and "loyalty" in an attempt to fire vassals up for the fight to come. Marquessa Vanora also lends her softer skills, persuasion and diplomacy her watchwords to convince even the hardest of hearts and the yellowest of cowards to join the join this holy war. Grimhall and its vassals respond surprisingly well to this three-pronged exhortation.

Baron Edward Stormbreak, needing little urging, follows suit, calling his banners to fame and glory. Count Turo Navegant doesn't ask so much as order, but he leads the way in preparing for war with Lord Faelan at his side. They are clearly expecting those well-accustomed to Turo's leadership to follow suit.

Sameera Coldrain works hard to get supplies organized for everyone, and make sure that as they're preparing for war they're doing so with ships well-stocked and mended, and enough provisions for all. Ivarr goes looking for pirates, who give him the finger and sail off, shouting about how they're not going to fight for him now when Thrax is openly going up against pirates, dammit. Don't they know The Code?

Lord Ian Kennex goes drinking - as Ian is wont to do - but uses this time to swap drinking stories with buddies in the Ebb and Flow. He regales them with stories and reminds them of the fun to be had on the open seas, even when times are Grim. Lord Wash Kennex for his part sails to train others in the Navy, hoping to coordinate ship maneuvers with them and encourage them to set sail.

Lord Darrow Darkwater also calls his banners, even as his people begin a mass evacuation. Here Caspian Wild plys his skills, using songs and poetry to inspire people to answer the call to arms and subtly shame those who don't.

And not to be left out, Baroness Ember Redreef and Baroness Skye Blackshore talk to the various troops, challenging them by their size and gender alone to prove they can fighter better than a couple of women. It's maybe not the most effective tactic, but it's not the least effective tactic either.

Grimhall and their vassals sail to war. -_-

Action by Darren for Gyre Straits - Calling the Banners

(Public Action, OOC Date: Feb. 4, 2018, 11:47 p.m.)

"Let's kill some Pirates in the Snow!" - Darren is calling all the banners loyal to House Redrain to stand and prepare to fight the Gyre. Darren will be calling on his Ducal houses to provide 2/3s of their forces to his main fighting force, but is leaving it up to the individual dukes to decide how much to ask of their vassals. Instructions are given to favor land units, the Redrain and rest of the Northlands have small navies, it is the infantry, archers, pikemen, and cavalry that are needed.

As a Redrain born and raised in Farhaven, Gwenna will be going around and speaking with the different houses, encouraging them to give as much as they can to this effort. She understands that they may be hesitant, even resistant, to helping the south or fighting beside the Templars. She will gently remind them, though, that it took a Northerner, the first Redrain, to marshal together different (bitterly warring!) factions and lead them as a whole to break the demons of a thousand years ago. It shouldn't be too difficult to band together with these current people, our allies of Arvum, to smash this present foe. The North is needed and should answer the call with all the strength they have.

Marian gave a speech at her husband's funeral (OOC Note: see to rally the Redrain NPCs to action as the new Warchief to House Redrain. She acknowledges the recent challenges with losing Princess Freja and Prince Fergus but puts herself out there to help the vassals know they are in good hands. She will share her Crovane Military Analysis 12/18/1007 AR with the vassals that need help understanding what is needed.

Ann is supporting House Redrain's efforts economically by carefully monitoring the budget and seeing that the proper funds are allocated where they need to go and directed as efficiently and quickly as possible. The armies and navies must be fed and well supplied - as well as the ports at which they are planning on restocking. She sees to it that they have the financial power to suport this.

While everyone is all RAWR for war, Donella appreciates that not everyone is going to be able to fight. She sees to the very quiet, orderly evacuation of the vulnerable (elderly, infirm, very young, and gravid, etc.) as should proceed battle, to Farhaven and/or other vassals lands, leaving the burden for their care and provisioning in no one place. She is well aware there will be proud (stubborn) individuals that need convincing to go. Fortunately she has a little experience with difficult people, and hopes she can convince them.

Astraea isn't anyone important, she doesn't have a particularly adept way with words, and she won't make false promises to the brave men and women who will answer the call to banners. However, as a Knight of Farhaven she will lead by example. Letting them see that with simple steel and the blessings of Gloria that each and everyone will fight with the ferocity of ten dire bears for their homelands and their families. "Actions speak louder than words."

Prince Artur has been seen moving amidst the nobility and vassalage of the Redrain Fealty on something of a charm offensive! Everywhere the counts and barons or the like meet to discuss the calling of the banners, it seems Artur pops up with that winsome smile, recounting the heoric tales of Rathlander Redrain and the like. It's an attempt to stir up northern pride and encourage his cousin Darren's bannermen to commit as many of their troops as possible to the defense of the realm.

Cirroch will go around to the other vassal houses of Halfshav and trying to rouse and inspire them up for war, encouraging them to join him in sending send House Halfshav 2/3s of their fighting force to war.

As Duchess of Nightgold, Lydia rallies her people to Darren's call. Of course she orders the regular troops to provide what Darren has asked for, but beyond this, she uses her [Charm] and [Propaganda] to rally the vassals of her lands, determined that Nightgold be remembered, hopefully for glory not sacrifice.

As Voice of Nightgold and Marquis of Acheron, Mydas makes use of his authority and leadership to encourage the vassals of both Nightgold and Acheron to raise their own banners. The North requires infantry, archers and pikemen, and the mountain men are well-suited to provide those.

As Voice of House Sanna, Tila works to rally those counties and baronies that bend the knee to Giant's Reach. She reminds them of the strength and protection her House has granted them, their oaths of fealty, and assures them their bravery and sacrifice will be rewarded when the fighting is done. She lays out the threat to the Compact - particularly to the Crovanes - and tries to make it clear it must be stopped now, before it threatens areas for beyond the coasts.

In an effort to assist with the gathering of troops for Redrain, as he has pledged to do so on Cirroch's behest, Jacque Valardin will be visiting each settlement, bringing some measure of wealth to give to families and making generous use of his family's reputation as honorable warriors to call every able-bodied man and woman to arms. He will attempt to impress them with some trick of swordsmanship, expending his resources and money to incentivize these displays in the form of local tournaments as well, promoting the need to defend their land from the aggressors and the duty of every person of the Compact - not just Northerners - in the defense of Arvani ancestral lands.

Jhond speaks to the people of the north he encounters, from the low born on up, of the threat coming to hem all the the need to face it. to heed the call.

As ordered by the High Lord, Kaede is reaching out to her own Ravenseye Tribe, along with any Barons that are beneath the Tribe. She doesn't exactly have the authority to demand such, but she's more than a little convincing when she needs to be!

Prince Darren Redrain issues the call to Redrain. They're a little less affected by the calls of the Faith owing to the large number of shamans in the fealty, but they're still members of the Compact and by the spirits they'll answer the call! Princesses Donella sees to the evacuation of the elderly out of Crovane and to Farhaven or other safer places. Princess Ann watches the ledgers, making sure supplies are bought and sent where they'll do the most good, and the armies and navies are well suppled and stocked.

While others work to prepare and protect the populace, Princess Marian Redrain steps up as Warlord of Redrain. Princess Astraea lends her public support as well. Jhond Whisper speaks eloquently on behalf of Halfshav in support of Marian too, and throughout the lands of Redrain warriors, healers, shaman - everyone that can respond and hears the message seems to start making plans to get to the muster points.

On the diplomatic front, Princess Gwenna and Prince Artur take the lead, spreading the High Lord's word through their vassals, helping where needed, lending their voices to the various leaders of the fealty as they talk to their people. Duchess Lydia, Marquis Cirroch, Marquis Mydas, Lady Tila, Prince Jacque Valardin - acting in concert with Cirroch, and Lady Khanne Halfshav answer the call. Even Kaede Starfinder reaches out to her Ravenseye Tribe to convince them to help - and help they shall!

Even as a fleet sails toward Crovane, Redrain unites for war.

Action by Cambria for Gyre Straits - Calling the Banners

(Public Action, OOC Date: Feb. 4, 2018, 8:59 p.m.)

Cambria's plan of action is two-fold and arguably ambitious. To begin, however, she seeks to rally her banners. The people of Ostria are her first priority, followed by the counties that are under her jurisdiction. The counties are encouraged to reach out to their own baronies, though Mazetti leadership does not ignore these, either. Intimidation, coercion, and threats are not the name of the game. Rather, vassals are given the information shared at the meeting jointly held by the Velenosa and Pravus heads of Houses. Reminders of loyalty and fealty are given, and there is encouragement to stand by ones fellow man in a time where divisiveness and back-biting can only end in tragedy for all.

The second half of her plan to to reach out to those friendly, or at least neutral Abandoned tribes with an open offer: any who are willing to meet, will be freely given information concerning the Gyre as well, and asked to fight alongside Ostria as allies - with no expectation of these tribes bending the knee...before or after the battle to come. Further, for those tribes that are skeptical, Cambria offers this: honorable combat between two champions, to the first blood. If the Ostrian champion wins, the tribe in question will be expected to show up and fight as an ally. If the Abandoned champion wins, no expectations are placed upon them at all.

Acting as the Voice of House Mazetti, Marquis-Consort Hadrian Mazetti's stepping up to not only get the Ostrian war machine mustering and prepared to march, he is of course calling upon those vassals loyal to House Mazetti. Those aligned with the Compact are contacted and given rousing speeches, favors called in, and brutal truths spoken: a new Reckoning is on the horizon. It is time to assemble, prepare, and stand together in the face of renewed threats against humanity. Pointing to the siege of Arx itself as evidence of the seriousness of such matters. Those who refuse, will be met with challenges to their House's honor and challenges issued that the Sword of Ostria will be asked to uphold.

In addition to those loyal to the Compact, Hadrian has another plan in mind. To reach out to those Abandoned bordering Ostria. Elaborating the threat to them as well, through emissaries. It is time to renew old bonds and reunite against a common enemy, one that will undoubtedly move onto the tribes of the Abandoned should the Compact be destroyed - or, worse in some eyes, trample those tribes underfoot in their ravenous march to destroy the Compact as little more than bumps in the road or newly conscripted slaves. Hadrian will offer those willing to swear their loyalty to the Compact and House Mazetti, the protect of House Mazetti. Those unwilling shall be provided with a counter-offer to their initial refusal: fight alongside House Mazetti as allies, with no expectations of their servitude. Such matters can be discussed after the fighting has concluded or when those Abandoned allies decide the time may be right.

Finally, Hadrian will be mustering a number of writs and calling in a number of favors across Arvum in order to muster mercenaries to the service of House Mazetti against a common threat.

Valerio, as Marshal of Osteria immediately sends out messengers to activate pre-planned mobilizations. He'll utilize almost all of the Navy for this as fleets are the primary threat. The Ostrian Army is split to be able to surge for any breakthrough point on the costlines, with half o the Guardians held behind them as a shockassault reserve. For the Abandoned troops, he plans as a secondary force to mirror the army dealing with breakthrough. Of course, noone will be able to deter Valerio himself from the field one way or another.

As part of the Mazetti family supporting the defense of Gyre, Giulio will work with those bringing the new Abandoned in an attempt to discern their loyalties and either remove the disaffected or see that they are identified as necessary.

Theron, naturally, is going to stand in as champion. If it would not be socially censurable to do so, given that it is a trial by combat so the Abandoned view the efforts of the Compact to defend against the Gyre as righteous, he will wield Allegiance, the heirloom diamondplate greatsword of House Mazetti, to further impress how seriously they take this threat.

Duchess Cambria Mazetti calls the banners of Ostria to war. She reaches out to her vassals and her people, reminding them of unity and loyalty and fealty. She gives them gifts and encourages them to stand strong with Velenosa and Mazetti. Duke Hadrian stands with her, calling in favors and giving rousing speeches that remind everyone of the urgency of this call.

And they reach out to the abandoned in the area as well. Reminding them that if the Compact is trampled they are next in line. Offering sanctuary in turn for loyalty to the Compact and Mazetti. Sir Theron, Sword of Mazetti, offers this to those reluctant to join - an honorable challenge, a duel to first blood. If he wins, he offers, they join the Compact and fight for Mazetti. If he loses they are left alone - or they can join the Compact anyway if they prefer. Some take him up on the offer, and some lose - and some win and join anyway. Some few win and decline joining the Compact too, but House Mazetti keeps their word and moves on. Perhaps that will come back around and prove beneficial at some point in the future.

Lord Valerio works on integrating all forces together in a cohesive battle and deployment plan. Lord Giulio works on making sure these newly-joined prodigals are truly sincere. All in all, House Mazetti makes the call and their people respond, and their armies swell as they join the muster.

Action by Quenia for Gyre Straits - Calling the Banners

(Public Action, OOC Date: Feb. 5, 2018, 9:24 p.m.)

Quenia will take the time to travel to all of her vassal's holdings, so she can speak to her people face to face. While she's at each of the holdings, she'll take the time to purchase local goods and products, and hold a small community event. At these community events she'll talk about the bonds of family and community and how there is strength in both. She'll talk about how if that family or community is threatened, they need to come together in a show of support to stop that threat; to preserve not only their family and their community, but also their homes, their culture, and their way of life. She talks of the threat they are facing now, with the ships out sea, and how they are threatening family, community, and homes. Their freedom, their livelihood, their ability to take care of the people they love. She does her best to stress the importance of joining the fight, and how if they overwhelm the fleet, they'll have a better opportunity to win the war and protect that which they love. She pledges House Igniseri to that fight, to fight for their homes, their loved ones, their livelihoods, their continued freedom. She also pledges that House Igniseri will help rebuild, once the war is over. At the end of the gatherings, she formally issues a call to the banners, asking her people to rally and fight.

Lucita assists Quenia in her efforts using her skills. She writes an inspirational and morale lifting song 'To Arms, Came the Rallying Call'. It is crafted to avoid causing guilt or fear but to turn thoughts toward heroism, working together, protecting home, family, friends and how people from any walk of life can help. To assist bringing the message to commoners she hires with economic and social resources a bard to speak encouragingly to people on their level and sing the song for them, to create an amicable and receptive atmosphere with providing a round of drinks. She uses her charm and performance abilities to display to her representatives how she wants Quenia's efforts supported and enhanced. A copy of 'To Arms, Came the Rallying Call' is located in the bookcase in Saik Tower - Music Chamber.

While Quenia is going from place to place speaking to the general populace and the nobles, Luis will attend the soldiers and guardsmen as well as anyone whom shows interest in joining the army,. He will encourage them with his Charm and his skills, while also encouraging those younger lads ato listen to the older veterans when it comes to being ready. He will stage some mock spars with the sergeants and the like, letting himself be beat at times on purpose so as to build the respect for the trainers in the troops, and trounce the hotshots to help them realize they still need to listen to those above them. In the end, he will appoint new soldiers, raise up others that need to be, and encourage unit cohesiveness throughout the lands.

Marquessa Quenia Igniseri takes the time to travel to all of her vassal's holdings, holding events in the communities, purchasing local goods and products. She takes the time to talk about bonds of family and community, the strength of Igniseri and the bonds of loyalty, fealty, and friends. She speaks of freedom and the life they love and encourages them to fight for it, pledging Igniseri to stand with them and help them fight, and to rebuild if necessary afterwards.

Lord Luis speaks with soldiers and guardsmen, training and inspiring them. Reminding them of the need for experienced soldiers and eager soldiers alike. And Lady Lucita helps by writing an inspirational song that makes its way through the various corners of Igniseri lands. People sing it around the fire at night, and while they're mending their armor and readying for battle, and as they call the banners, people come.

'To arms, to arms!' Came the rallying call.
'Guard your freedom, your family, your all.'
Faith sustains us through troubling days
To find heroic bravery not fearful ways.
Unity binds us giving strength and hope
Like fragile fibers wound into strong rope.