CarniFacts: Crusade Discussion/Queries
March 24, 2020, 4:30 p.m.
Arx - Ward of the Crown - Templar Compound - Chapter House
Comments and Log
Eirene has joined the a round table draped in embroidered lace.
2 Kennex corsairs, Jane arrive, following Catalana.
Seryna, a charming Lycene handmaiden, 6 Grimhall House Guards arrive, following Vanora.
Talia Baseborn shows up, as she always does, alone to the visible eye. She is dressed in a plain gown, despite all of the beautiful creations she has surely made, and her hair is a bit messy. She slips into the chapter house quietly, naturally clinging to the walls as a servant might.
Elizabetta, a disapproving lady-in-waiting, Lily, an aloof lady-in-waiting, 2 Grayson House Guards, Clark, an exasperated guard arrive, following Sabella.
Eirene has gotten here early. Mostly so she can grab a seat and a drink. If no alcohol, she surely has her own somewhere. The lanky Malvici Doctor looks idly curious about the topic of discussion.
Wash finds a place to sit, both prominent and central to the conversation. He makes sure that Catalana is comfortable before he seats himself, all gentlemanly like.
Preston has been sitting at the oval table while everything was prepared, and all the tiny cakes placed around the Chapter House. Balian is quietly following around to taste test all of them. As the time is called with quick verse of canticles being heard from the courtyard, Preston pushes himself to his feet to smile at people as they gather. Not in his armour, but instead in his linens, Preston actually has a warm and friendly smile "Welcome everyone. I thought given the announcements and the chaos, it would be good to hold a few of these, so people feel they can ask questions, challenge me as they wish, or otherwise find things out. If you do have any questions, do wave a hand and let me know, otherwise please do consume the cakes - the left overs head down to the Tragedy, hence we made lots of extra for them."
Drake Wyrmguard didn't actually have very many questions for Preston, but he shows up to events like these any time he hears the rumor that there's going to be free food. There's little cakes! Terrific. He starts loading a plate up with them, trying to get a sample of each variety on offer. When Preston mentions some will go for charity, his hand stays just a tiny, little bit... but then he grabs just one more, and walks over to the table to sit down.
Eirene gets a standard steel flask decorated with black kid leather from a black leather belt with a silver falcon buckle.
Shard prowls into the Chapter House, her frown already deepening from it's usual (which, of course, is also a frown). Her gaze sweeps the interior, but rather than go for any of the cakes that have been set out, she finds a spot near the back to lean, and crosses her arms loosely over her chest.
Sir Bhandn was curious enough to drop everything and show up, and speaking of up, his eyebrows are in that state at the sight of all the tiny cakes, not to mention what's happening with the excess. He'll come in with both swords properly peacebound (the one extra so) and find a seat, keeping his grey eyes focused exclusively on the Templar Grandmaster for the time being. No questions from him at this time; Bhandn is content to listen for the nonce.
Talia nods, a little thing, as if Preston were speaking to her directly. Her gaze flicks around the room, as she murmurs something really low.
Sabella had been headed for the cakes, I mean who wouldn't head for the cakes first, but then Preston says that thing about the extra being sent down the Lowers so she shoos her ladies back and goes to find a seat instead.
Vanora Grimhall slips in just about on time, clad in stormy layers of brocade. She glances around the crowd and finds a place to settle that isn't terribly obtrusive, inclining her head in a respectful greeting towards Preston but not indicating any questions, for now.
Catalana sits beside Wash, her gown curled elegantly around her legs. She looks to her cake and then to Drake and kindly hands it over to him. "Here. A growing champion needs food." She looks back to Wash with a briefly sad look, "I miss Caspian's visits. He'd always eat everything in sight."
Ailith quietly has been enjoying a spot of apple tea, sipping as she sits off to the corner. One casual observer.
2 House Riven Soldiers arrives, following Liam.
"No, please, I have enough already," Drake says, refusing extra. He's got six of them stacked. "I think I've seen him around the training yard once or twice, so I can always bring him your extra."
Nobody seems to be speaking up too much, so he jsut raises his hand just to get the conversation started. "Fine, I'll ask a basic question. You have emergency powers of sorts?"
Eirene had thought there would be a briefing before questions. She shrugs at Drake and raises her hand a little to go 'next'.
"Well, if no one has anything pressing, I should probably tell everyone the facts of the matter as they stand. You will have seen that Father Aureth is to perform the rites of excommunication on Duke Helianthus, for his attempts to welcome and deal with the Eurusi Dune Empire. The Faith has recognised the Eurusi invasion as a threat, and appointed a Carnifex, namely myself, to deal with that and to oversee the crusade to repulse their invasion." Preston closes one eye, the other looking up to the ceiling as he tries to recall the details of what is going on. As revelation dawns, Preston smiles once more, his eyes opening "Ah, and to be clear this stage of the crusade is defensive only - to save our lands. But we will dedicate ourselves thereafter to freeing Eurus, not conquering it." Preston turns his head and nods to Drake as the question is asked "Of sorts. A Carnifex is an old position of the Faith. It is someone who takes on the authority of the Faith, just as Legate might when acting as voice of the Dominus, to deal with a threat. If it is a scholarly threat, so a Scholar might be appointed. A physical threat, a Templar. I can act in this with all the authority of the Faith and the Dominus."
Shard's expression sours, but briefly, and then she, too, raises her hand.
Eirene rattled off her question in her sharp whiskey-soaked tone. "Can you provide us your military qualifications? I know you have an extensive record, I just want a better idea. I trust Razi -- The Dominus' choice, I just want to hear it for the sake of our house,s information."
Drake, happy to have gotten the briefing started off, eats another small cake, leans back, and listens in.
Liam slunk in and finds a spot along the wall to lean on and prop up. The Knight of Solace looks thoughtful as he considers the information being passed on but mainly he seems to be watching reactions.
Talia's also against the wall. She does a little shy smile towards Liam, before she too slowly raises her hand in the very back.
"My military qualifications?" Preston repeats the question, rolling it around his mouth before he perches on the edge of the oval table. A thoughtful hrm twists his lips as he furrows his brows for just a moment in thought "In many ways, m'lady, it is a question I expect more. Dame Thena and I often mused on our positions, and why we had ended up where we were. And in truth there are none alive who have faced or mobilised the Faith Militant in the numbers we do now. But. My own experience." Preston takes a breath "I squired for the Grandmaster of the Templars, and saw combat shortly after coming of age against Abandoned who had killed pilgrims on the road. For my efforts, I was raised to full Knight and brother of the Templars, and assigned to guard Dominus Fawkuhl Valardin, a role I have never formally been dismissed from and consider my duty to this day even if the Dominus who I guard has changed twice. I served several small conflicts, including into the Gray Forest with Princess Reese Grayson, being confirmed as Knight Marshal of the Templars."
"I led our armies to Stormwall, the largest force there deployed, and the largest gathering of Faith Militant for generations. I commanded at Maelstrom before that against the Gyre. And since then I have commanded at the Lodge against Gargantuans, at the Fournier Pickets against the Knights of the Swarm, and I destroyed the forced of the Malardin in the north of the Oathlands, and killed Ines Chevalle, the Rearper of the Oathlands in personal combat." Preston concludes, his smile returning and his head tilting a little "Does that answer the query, m'lady? It has not been a quiet few years. And nor has it been without cost or error."
There is some nodding from where Bhandn is sitting, but it's a thoughtful nodding as the Templar Grandmaster answers Eirene's query in some detail. Bhandn's head and eyes both swivel to look around at the number of questioners to be, and here is where he'll finally raise his hand, but his eyes are now glued to Shard once he sees /her/ hand elevated.
A messenger arrives, delivering a message to Wash before departing.
Talia keeps her hand raised, glancing to Eirene to see if her question has been answered, and to Shard as well who also keeps her hand raised.
Eirene is satisfied. There was little question in her voice before but the listing of the engagement s and duties is met with a sharp nod of approval.
Shard asks, once Preston has finished speaking, "Is this plan to liberate Eurus a...long term one? Because I don't think you need me to tell you the likely nightmare of invading somewhere across an ocean we haven't set foot on for who knows how long, have no real maps of, no idea on their numbers or capabilities, and who probably have access to things we've entirely forgotten about." She pauses. "...All while some very dangerous threats are lurking out there in Arvum, that certainly won't wait until business with Eurus is settled. I'm biased in favor of going after one of them very specifically, obviously."
And there Bhandn's hand goes down, as he turns his attention back to Preston and points at Shard.
Ailith glances over at Preston before lifting an eyebrow.
Vanora listens to Preston's answers and to individual questions, though Shard's has her nodding in assent or agreement of some kind.
Eirene gives a dry snort of amusement. "I think that's on all our minds," she says mostly to Ailith.
Drake seems at least slightly impressed by the long list of military accomplishments, though it's just on his face, as he's quiet about it.
"As Carnifex, my duty is done once we have completed the defense against this Eurusi campaign. As Grandmaster? The liberation of Eurus will take the time that it takes, and involve hard work, involve working with others, involve research and consideration. There is no one part of the Faith that has every answer to how we transform a society we have, as you say, struggled to visit. But. We do have friends and allies, we hope. And those we - and I pray to Gloria for it - capture in the coming battles will be allowed the freedom denied them, and offered passage back to spread the hope of freedom if they wish it." Preston's voice almost seems wary in answering Shard, cautious as though he expects ambush from behind a nearby rock "But you are right, there is much that lurks here as well. And I have dispatched armies to help Oathland houses who need it as well - in truth even if I wanted to bring the full might of the Templars to Sungreet, we lack the shipping, we lack the time and Sungreet lacks the space."
A messenger arrives, delivering a message to Eirene before departing.
Wash asks his own question. "My understanding is that Eurus is not yet unified. Is there an intent to engage diplomatically with one or more of the current leaders of Eurus, or have you yet to find one that demonstrates values that the Templars will feel comfortable aligning themselves with?"
Shard exhales slowly, her nostrils flaring just a little bit. But it's more a relaxing than anything else. "I'm wary of crusades," she says, blunt and honest. "Always. But Pravus kicked a hornet's nest and Skaldaja's coming whether anyone likes it or not. And I have /no/ problems with killing slavers, particularly these slavers. I just...worry, about a very specific slaver who's already here." A beat. "And I really do want to kill him." She gives Preston a sharp nod, clearly finished, and settles back against the wall.
Talia keeps her hand raised, but doesn't yet ask her question. Instead, her attention turns to Shard, seeing if she has anything to follow up. She frowns a little, curious, before she turns to-- hear Wash asking a question.
Vanora takes a few steps towards where Shard is leaning against the wall, murmuring something quiet that lifts at the end like a question, but softly enough not to interrupt.
Ailith announces gently, "The liberation of Eurus is not a campaign relatively speaking in the terms of a single generation. The Faith is researching and exploring our options as what Shard has pointed out -- the Compact faces many threats here. What we plan with Eurus after our focus with Sungreet is an entirely separate matter and one continually being discussed by our leadership as well as our individual efforts and research. The Grandmasters continually assess their armies and the current campaigns to determine all our parishes and roads are safely defended. The specific slaver is not one we've ignored, either. That is what I mean by assessments and these matters in Eurus shall require time and careful planning and preparations with all Houses."
Sabella watches Shard thoughtfully, looking back and forth between her and Preston, then giving Wash a bit of a smile at his question and a little wave.
"I think everyone shares that concern, Prima Shard. And I understand the wariness. Crusades are a blunt tool - they are a statement of belief, of intent. But that comes with license to others, it comes with zeal. And we must always understand that zeal untempered, even when coming from a place of Faith, can lead us to dark places. If I can offer the re-assurance that we are not blind to the risks, nor the other threats, I hope it soothes some of that worry?" Preston gently offers to Shard before he nods to Wash, a simple affirmative to his question before expanding "I hope we will find friends in the other powers on Eurus. We have found suggestions of shared histories with some. But, it will involve all the Faith." And as Ailith speaks, Preston gestures for the fuller answer to Wash. Talia gets a look, Preston's head tilting "Please, what would you know?"
Talia blushes, clears her throat. She even curtsies a bit before she asks, "How can those of us help, who may not be able to join Crusades, who are not noble and do not command armies, whose livelihood is here in Arx?"
Shard tips her head toward Vanora at the whisper, and murmurs something in return, though she's clearly listening to Ailith, and then Preston in turn. "Like an avalanche," she responds to the latter. "Yes. And it does. I didn't expect you'd forgotten about him, but...just to be sure."
A messenger arrives, delivering a message to Eirene before departing.
Ailith smiles brightly. "It is always a good thing to be made certain. That threat is among the many we cannot lose track and the Faith has kept an ear open to stirrings by those join you in that battle. If we do not vocalize about the specific efforts, it is out of necessity for protection. Just as we'd advise people to be careful what they say or what's revealed in public to other foreign nations. But that is a general precaution I'd expect from any militant or diplomatic gathering." She quiets to lean toward Eirene and the Legate siiiiiips her tea.
"There is much that can be done by those who are not noble, I promise. I was left as an orphan in a basket about, oh, 2 minutes walk from where you sit. Outside the Rectory doors. Mother Ailith equally comes from a common family of the Oathlands. But, commoners don't have to turn to the Godsworn to help. The armies prepare to march and the crusade goes off, but still there are many here in the city who will need kindness. There will be many coming back injured, many who will not come back at all, and families that feel that grief. You will find the shrines full of worried families, whose loved ones are at war. You will hear the forges beat and tired smiths make their way home." Preston answers to Talia before he bows his head in the direction of Ailith "Mother Ailith has taught me that there are two things that anyone can provide to help in any situation. The first is hope, and even if you cannot provide that hope, provide kindness. Listen to the worries of others, pray for the safety of even those you dislike. And if I dare make reference to current noble dramas, be kind to those who lose those they love." There is a pause "If you wish something more practical should the crusade continue, then there are many things. You can join a discipleship, if you are a seamstress you could make clothes, a farmer you could grow crops, for we march on the tithe of your food. We find a space for everyone."
Eirene makes an awww face at Ailith as they talk quietly over other matters. And tea. Her eyebrows perk at current noble dramas and she sips her flask. Because she has no tea to sip.
12 Grayson House Guards arrives, following Liara.
Talia nods, ducking her head to the Grandmaster, before she steps back against the wall again.
Vanora nods at Shard slightly and offers a gentle smile the Prima's way, and then the whole of her attention is turned back to those speaking, to Ailith sipping her tea and Preston telling his moving stories. To the latter there is a meaningful look when current noble dramas are mentioned, and it seems affirming.
Ailith notices Talia after hearing that familiar voice from around the Palace. Her eyes brighten and she wiggles her fingers, "Goodwoman Talia, there IS a project that I could use your assistance. It would provide a measure of hope and wisdom. Your previous exhibitions of dress designs, particularly the prismatic one, do create opportunities for people to begin discussions on freedom. This specific idea, let's talk soon?" And she murmurs back with Eirene as she pours the former Guildmaster a spot of tea with a splash from the Malvici's flask.
"It-- glows now. Seraph Prism made it glow," Talia replies on the topic of the dress, even as she nods agreement. There's a gesture of scribbling against her hand, rather than continuing to speak and interrupt the meeting.
Liara shows up and, following a quick look about, she strolls round the edge of the chamber to find a seat near Sabella and some cake (on the balance of odds, probably also to be found near Sabella).
A messenger arrives, delivering a message to Wash before departing.
"Fucking glows," Eirene echoes, voice dubious. "It's Prism, that shouldn't shock me...," she concludes. She has no issue with her bourbon being shared. It's of high quality, after all.
2 Kennex corsairs have been dismissed.
Jane have been dismissed.
"Well I already know how I am helping out so far," says Drake, who so far has eaten three small cakes, and is picking up a fourth. This comment therefore seems lazy, and a bit sarastic, but there is some sincerity when he adds, "But if anyone does have need of a sword in the farther future I can make some time on my schedule."
"My experience of glowing is generally that it is good, even in dark circumstances - Crusader glows from time to time, when it finds its purpose." Preston pats the blade at his side. As Liara appears though, he lifts his hand in a little wave, wriggling his fingers at the Highlord to welcome her "We were just discussing questions and queries on the Crusade, your grace. And on a Carnifex."
Shard's attention shifts fully back to the front of the room, though she doesn't speak up again. Not right now, in any case. She listens, and her gaze flicks repeatedly between different speaks, studying each in turn.
Liara leans over to murmur something to Sabella, then, when she's addressed, she flashes Preston a smile. "Thank you, Grandmaster. I fancied I might come along to see if there were any new details that I had missed."
Wash decides he has one more question. "Will the Templars be raising a fleet, or increasing the size of their existing fleet in the coming years to arrange for the invasion of Eurus? Or will the expectation be that the Great houses will supply that part of the invasion force?"
Bhandn's eyes might have sharpened just a bit when the Templar Grandmaster talks about Crusader's glowing, especially the /when/. He doesn't open his mouth to speak, or raise his hand, but he is watching closely. The knight has been sitting quietly this entire time, eyes darting to each speaker as they make their queries or give responses to those questions.
"Now that is an interesting question. We do have a small fleet, a donation from the Isles Canine actually. Part of Fatima's atonement." Preston's eyes flick back to Ailith, the Legate of the Faith "I do not know what plans there are in the wider Faith..." he cautious prompts before continuing "But for us? I suspect we will. Given how much was raised for the fortresses by Princess Alarissa, it may mean that I can allocate resources towards a caravel or so. As to whether the Great Houses will contribute, or are expected to? I always leave the door open to work with the Great Houses, though I recognise always we have different priorities and different answers at times because of that. We will do what we do regardless because it is an honourable quest and a righteous path, but welcome those who wish to travel the path with us."
"I expect that the Great Houses will transport their own troops, whichever join the Crusade. But I'd like to offer my services in updating and expanding the Templar fleet." Wash says. "I've some experience building caravels."
Ailith smiles in Wash's direction, then nods to Preston. "The Faith wouldn't be opposed to any who expressed interest and offered direct assistance in the expansion of our naval support. I'd propose that Grandmaster Jeffeth or Dame Bree be brought in as a representative for Solace. Even naval passages need defending, from along the Grey River in support of the Crownlands, down to," name for southern river, "cutting through the Oathlands and Lyceum."
Liara offers up, "For our own part, House Grayson procured a number of extra ships over the last several weeks, and we expect to be able to move a reasonable number of Templars to Sungreet. A trip to Eurus itself is a wholly different matter, and possibly beyond the scope of this meeting?" She arches a questioning eyebrow at Preston.
Now seems a good time for a query, so Bhandn raises his hand. He'll wait patiently, his other hand absently fiddling with his two swords he set to leaning up against his seated form.
Drake doesn't speak for a Great House but does find the conversation interesting, looking, attentively, to Liara. Or perhaps he just looks attentively to Liara just because.
"The future crusades got queried, your Grace. The question of whether it was an immediacy, or if we were going to also consider the threats currently close to home." Preston offers in explanation to Liara. The offer from wash is acknowledged with a bow of his head, as Preston turns his attention back across to the Thraxian. Smiling, he adds "I will get in contact when we get ready for this, Lord Wash. And yes. as Mother Ailith says, the Solace I'm sure will be eager to take advantage of expertise." Gesturing to Liara once more, Preston changes topic "Though, the Highlord makes an important note. We are moving in this first crusade with the kind support of Grayson, Velenosa, Redrain and Thrax - spare capacity on their ships is allowing us to rally the army quickly, before the Eurusi arrive at Sungreet. And so be able to defend Sungreet rather than having to siege it."
Shard's eyes narrow at something Preston says, and for a moment, just one, her lips part as though she were going to say something. But she doesn't. She stays quiet, though her lips thin, and her frown deepens just a little.
Seryna, a charming Lycene handmaiden have been dismissed.
6 Grimhall House Guards have been dismissed.
Liara inclines her head in understanding to Preston and settles back on her chair, occupying herself with some of the provided cake for now.
Only after Liara has settled back does Bhandn finally shift and adjust himself so that he can lean forward a little. "Suppose this all comes to fighting, and some of the leaders of the invasion are captured. Who is taking custody of them? The Inquisition, or the Faith? The excommunication rite is a fairly straightforward action for consequence, but I haven't heard anything about how the Eurusi leaders will be settled. One assumes this is under discussion, though."
Preston seems about to answer, then licks his lips and falls silent again for a moment, rethinking "That is a difficult question, but also, well. You speak of the slave masters, those leading this of their free intent. Those dedicated servants of the Dune Emperor and his prophet. I am sure the Inquisition might have interest in questioning them, and we have in the past come to arrangements to allow questioning of prisoners by the other, so prisoners in Templar custody questioned by the Inquisition. In truth? As those that take them in battle, I would feel honour bound to - as far as possible - see to their good treatment by holding them in our custody. The Crown may also find itself not wishing to be formally holding Eurusi prisoners." The Templar turns his head to look at Ailith "Does that conform to what you would expect, Mother?"
Shard grunts. "Better the Faith or Inquisition handle that than me, then," she says. This is probably some sort of a joke, though she still seems distracted by something else.
Ailith speaks softly, "The matter of any prisoners is directly handled by the liege. The Faith will support the needs put forth by Highlord Victus, who may likely choose to coordinate with the Inquisition. The Faith shall only take custody of our own."
Wash piggybacks onto the previous question. "That seems to raise the question. Would the Templars frown on ransoming back nobles to the Eurusi if a House captures one?" Wash adds. "Obviously that's not ideal, but for many poorer houses, giving up such fiscal options would impair their war efforts."
There's a soft noise that comes from Sir Bhandn's throat, but he makes no reply. A vestige of a nod is given to Preston and Ailith both, but no words. He's satisfied, for now, but Wash's question leaves him blinking once or twice before Bhandn focuses upon Preston to see how that particular query gets answered.
"Send them back? Really?" Eirene turns in her seat to look at Wash. "They don't hold to Limerance's law. We can't trust they won't turn around and attack us again." But she's not in charge here so she shuts up.
Wash looks at Eirene like she's grown a new head. "A ransom includes no oaths. It's money, for people. Usually after the war is over."
"The houses as I understand will engage the Eurusi mostly at sea, that seems difficult to capture. In terms of ransom, it isn't something I'd personally feel comfortable with, I suspect it's something that your liege's should discuss with the Legates as it feels like it has greater theological questions than the Templars can answer. The difficulty would be that to return any to Eurus in ransom would require blood sacrifice at the moment - I don't think anyone needs reminding of the Faith's view on that." Preston gestures to Ailith at her small table "I am sure Mother Ailith can advise. The Eurusi are not an ordinary foe though. They worship those beyond the mirror."
Eirene snaps, "I know how a ransom works." She nods as Preston answers the question.
Wash looks skeptical.
Ailith sets down her teacup and solemnly nods. "The Crown and Great Houses have been in coordination and communication over matters of importance to the Compact. The Faith sits on the Crown Council as advisors. Should the matter arise at Sungreet, there are more than enough Godsworn and the Carnifex present to advise the lieges and their voices."
Shard lifts her hand, though this time she doesn't actually wait any amount of time before she speaks up. "Preston--uh, sorry, Grandmaster," that title sounds almost foreign when it rolls off her tongue, "if I could ask you something in private, after we're done here. Just a personal clarification."
Wash seems satisfied with the answer Ailith gives, even if it isn't a yes or no.
"I'm always happy to make time for you, Prima Shard." Preston answers, bowing his head across before he looks around the room "Well, are there any final questions, or cake desires, or requests, or shall we bring things to a close?"
Shard looks vaguely, briefly, maybe even darkly amused by that response, though this is mostly in her eyes and a faint twitch of her mouth. She's serious enough when she nods back, however, and as Preston asks for anyone else to speak up, she glances over the room again.
Having polished off some cake, Liara remarks, "Rather tangential, but if people are interested in seeking a route to Eurus that does not rely solely on Skald's aid being available or on throwing people to the Leviathan, they might send me a note."
Ailith remarks to Liara, "I shall be contacting Lou as you advised earlier. Thank you for your suggestion. I am excited to see what we cooperatively discover."
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