Lycene Crisis Meeting
July 26, 2022, 11 a.m.
Arx - Ward of the Lyceum - Hall of the Hundred Cities
Comments and Log
Berenice has joined the Lenosian Benches.
Nox, a kitten black as pitch with star-dappled fur arrives, following Oriana.
Grazia has joined the Gemecittan Benches.
2 Scarlet Phoenix Guard, Presunto, capable First Mate of the Red Bargain arrive, following Ariella.
3 House Velenosa Guards, Matteo arrive, following Arman.
Arman has joined the Lenosian Benches.
Sitting in the high back chair within the center of the room, the violet hued fireweave covered Archduchess sits as she waits for those who wish to attend the first meeting to sit and settle. She does not have any notes with her, though her assistant sits off to the side to take notes should they need to be referenced later. Like any good Lycene meeting, wine is served, though the pregnant High Lord has her tea with more honey in it than is actually healthy or necessary. "Welcome," she announces, the room made specifically for meetings such as these and her voice travels without needing to shout over the softer spoken words from the benches. "I am sure we are all aware of the things happening within the Lyceum, and how Malrico has been skimming from each house for what I can only imagine is centuries at this point. We are here to discuss how to move forward and to gain an understanding of what each house's goals are to see that this is fixed."
Martino has joined the Southport Benches.
Caspian has joined the General Benches.
Ariella has joined the Gemecittan Benches.
Quenia serenely makes her way, after likely a humongous amount of cursing at the snow outside -- but only outside, into the Hall. She gets quietly settled among the Gemecittan benches, folding a blanket over her legs to keep her warmer even if the room is warm. She takes a moment to look around the room, her attention going to Jaenelle once she starts speaking. For now, she keeps thoughts to herself.
Caspian moves to sit in the general benches, offering a wave and a bright smile to the faces he knows. he shakes some of the snow off and plops down, looking to Jaenelle as she begins to talk.
Pasquale takes up residence on one of the benches and tilts his head just enough that he can listen to Jaenelle's words. His frame made bulky by the various layers of sweaters, scarves and cloaks he's wearing against the snow outside.
To say that Grazia hates the snow is an understatement. Yet as she follows in her vassal Quenia, moving to sit beside the woman, it is difficult to tell if her stony expression is disgust at the weather or simply an unfortunately hostile resting face. In any case, she looks to focus on the Archduchess.
Ariella strolls in on Martino's arm, the look of disdain on her face likely aimed at the cold just like every other Lycene person here. They linger at the back prior to proceedings, finishing whatever conversation they were sharing as they stepped inside, the Igniseri Captain's hand remaining in a light grip in its curl at the Duke's upper arm. When Jaenelle begins to speak, she flashes a pearly grin at the man, flashing her gilded gaze first to the Southport benches and then to the Gemecittan benches in consideration.
Berenice has settled in the Lenosian seating, looking as well-appointed for the occasion as might be expected from the Voice of Velenosa. Her gaze drifts across the crowd as they enter and likewise settle, taking note of those present, and just the small details of the habitually observant, before she turns her attention to Jaenelle as she begins proceedings.
Arman makes an unobtrusive entrance, the staccato tap of his cane leading him wordlessly to the benches of the ruling house where he sits. His gaze sweeps over those assembled before settling quielty upon the Archduchess.
Thea strides in, bundled in a thick cloak. She's likely already settled in her seat before her brother got there, keeping it warm and whatnot. As people enter, she greets them with a slight nod of her head. Other than that, she's mostly silent.
Raven slinks in as unobtrusively as she can and joins Caspian at the general benches. Those she knows are given a respectful bow of her hean and the Archduchess is given a proper bow before Raven goes to find her seat.
Raven has joined the General Benches.
Laughing a low tone to Ariella as the two arrive, a lean to her side for a mere moment, Martino's hand is resting to squeeze in that hand on his arm. A whispering tone escaping out before the Malvici Duke is turning on his toes to the Southport benches. The scent of fading fire following along with him, the heavily structured jacket closed with the militaristic styling worn frames his figure. Upon the bench, a crinkling of his eyes to others before sweeping back his coat to settle down into the seat.
Sylvie has joined the Gemecittan Benches.
Ariella leans down to peck Quenia's cheek as she approaches the Gemecittan benches and settles at her side, crossing her legs at the knee and sitting back to loop an elbow over the back of her seat.
"So there are most likely a lot of stolen goods, more than we could possible imagine, somewhere. Perhaps in multiple places," Jaenelle says as she begins to lead with possible paths. "I am sure some of the houses would like to find those, though I have no doubt that they are somewhere rather dangerous. Malrico never struck me as the type to hide his treasures beneath his bed. Please be careful," she warns those as she looks from person to person. "The Silver Consortium has offered to seek out bank references and ledgers, in hopes of finding a money trail from the houses elsewhere. If you wish to assist them, it was Mistress Sira who reached out about this." Her fingers tap against the arm of her chair, "we have no idea who has replaced Malrico. I am certain it is someone, as they all are replaced eventually. It would be important to find out who and if they have ties to the Lyceum as well. We do not wish to be caught surprised and the Compact should be made aware since it was us who removed Malrico after all."
Duchess Sylvie Zaffria enters like a quiet whisper, wrapped in a black velvet cloak and her dark curls piled high to highlight the sharpness of her cheekbones. Her lips press into a thinner line as she slips into the Gemecittan benches just as Jaenelle begins to speak, at the mention of a certain someone.
Caspian listens quietly, nodding as Jaenelle speaks of the herald's replacement. "if i may, i suspect it won't be a meteoric rise to wealth and power either. The new herald i mean. I would expect it to once more be a slow maneuver and positioning."
"One of the items that we should be on the lookout for is an amber amulet. It is an item that may be needed in the fight against the Maw. If the stories can be believed, it has the ability to protect a person from extreme cold. The warrior we know for certain who had it last, Woehstan, lost it to the Merchant Prince, who was otherwise known as Malrico." Quenia speaks up from the sidelines, her expression as neutral as she can possibly make it as she discusses this particular item. She's not quite able to hide just how much this item interests her.
Oriana has joined the Southport Benches.
Leaning forward within his seat, Martino's elbows are resting upon his knees while his legs shift slightly apart. Finding himself something of a comfortable position on the benches. A slow inhale following in as there are calls from the benches as the Malvici Duke remains hush. His sharp green eyes for a moment across to the Gemecittan benches before flickering back to the Archduchess and her Voice.
Raven looks around waiting for others to speak, her bottom lip worried though she adds to the discussion after a bit, "It is likely possible to find the stashes without participation from the new Herald, though of course it'd surely gain the attention if anyone poked about uninvited. Anyone who's planning of seeking might want to ready the Commentary from the Jade Empress of Weijin.It is likely to be immediately relevant."
Pasquale looks from person to person as the discussion continues.
"I would not assume that the new Herald might know anymore than we do of where Malrico kept his ill-gotten gains," Sylvie murmurs with a breath of honey laughter to the words, though her grey eyes look to Raven curiously. She tips her head slightly to the Captain in what may be a greeting. "Or, that the Herald might be Velenosan. If I were in charge of such things, I would possibly go somewhere that people are not in as high alert. The snowy north has mines, after all, and riches to still be explored."
"It may very well be possible that he has yet to be replaced, and will not be so for some time," Berenice does share in regards to Malrico's replacement. "It is not necessarily an instant matter, and sometimes it can take time. Heralds are not born overnight. I would not necessarily borrow that particular problem prematurely."
"I agree," Jaenelle tells Caspian with a nod in return. "Malrico had a running head start, where he was put in a position which he should have used to protect the people of the Lyceum, he used and stole from them." Then her attention shifts towards Quenia and she receives a nod as well, "while he remains focused on the Lyceum and their goods, I am certain we were not his only targets and that houses and people from all over the Compact were affected. Perhaps not to such a large focus as the South was, but there are tales of him elsewhere. I want to make sure that whatever is found is returned to their proper places as best we can tell. I do not want his greed to spread and infest more so than it has. We are better than he, remember that." As Raven speaks, "precaution and knowledge is key in going anywhere that is dangerous. We can never expect to prepare for everything, but an understanding that not everything is what is seems and a healthy level of awareness is key. Do not let yourself get cocky entering places Malrico kept the things he held in high regards. While he might have been too proud to believe others would take back what he stole, I am certain he was not stupid enough to leave it unprotected." As Sylvie speaks, Jae nods in agreement, "while Reveka took over for the Herald before her, we can not always assume that it would be the case where another is pulled from the same location. There are tales of Greed already within the North, after all."
Ariella listens in silence, her gaze flicking hither and thither to follow the conversation.
"Does anyone have any leads on where some of those places might be?" Quenia speaks up again from the sidelines. "At least in general. I imagine no one has any specific leads." She tilts her head, looking around towards the others, and not specifically Jaenelle, to see if other Houses have anything to add. "Any new reports received that could be shared? Having a direction to start looking is helpful. Given Malrico was Pravus I imagine some of his hoards might be there, but he was equally back and forth between Setarco and the Lyceum as a whole."
"Not in specific, but we do know that Malrico married within Pravus, that he engaged himself to a Gemecittan lady, that he married within Velenoa-- I would imagine that he may have hid his treasures as he did his marriages," Sylvie muses, examining her nails briefly. "If we know when the amber amulet was lost and who he may have been married to at the time-- We might have an idea of whose lands he hid them in."
"I believe that Malrico and Procella's marriage is what marked the eventual founding of House Velenosa," Berenice says. "They may have been named Pravus at the time of their union, but they built a new house together. I think I am aware, Duchess Sylvie, of the painting you have seen with Malrico gifting a ring to Duchess Vedette Zaffria, but I am unaware of that it marked an engagement or betrothal."
Arman comments dryly from his position upon the Lenosian benches, hands folded neatly within his lap. "I think it is simplistic to think of Malrico as man who has simply stolen and hoarded treasures. He was a force. As primal as fire or ice. His absence has created a vaccuum of sorts. Perhaps the discrepancies in certain treasuries can be explained by that. Greed drives profit as sunlit begets growth. Does its absence therefore not explain any declines in accounts?"
Quenia glances over at Arman, furrowing her brow. "It's hard to say, that. House Igniseri's accounts have advanced since Malrico's death and not declined at all. But, I do suppose following the money trail is maybe one of the best ways to start the search, and see where it goes." Which is not a thing she had considered previously, and now she looks at things in a new light. She glances over at Sylvie when she mentions dates and such. "We know Woehstan had it during the Reckoning as that is when he fought the Maw. It would be sometime after the Merchant Prince traded the amulet for a 'book of monster weakness' to Woehstan, for he was supposedly some great northern monster-slayer, that eventually ended in the warrior's death as he slew a great wyrm that fell on him and killed his party."
Raven notes, "Malrico was a gregarious sort who had many friends. I imagine at least some would be near places he frequented. Places of abyssal power give themselves away. Also Malrico was awfully impressed with himself so I'd expect them to be in places that mirrored opposite of Lyceum's wealth, so I'd start looking in places of squalor of mundanity places he was known to frequent, if it were me." she tilts her head and notes to Arman "Decline in income is one thing, but my understanding was acquired wealth has gone missing. Am I miss informed, highness?"
"It was an impression I received from Malrico long ago. A decade ago. Archduchess Procella was his first wife, but not his last," Sylvie replies quietly, looking to Berenice with a thoughtful frown. But then she smiles at the younger woman, a quick, bright thing.
Leaning back for a moment, Martino's hands are moving either-side of his knees to push himself up to his feet. The Malvici Duke's fingertips adjust his jacket, ensuring it remains well-hung against his shoulders and chest. His chin lifting up, a drawing out of his voice is following after, "While I admit that the interest to seek whoever may have replaced Malrico is tempting, if there is any at all, it may also be a distraction from recovering what has been stolen from each and every Lycene House. That, while I appreciate we may be able to divide our attentions, at this time of conflict in the Compact a focus is needed. Malrico would not have operated alone, he would have had friends and allies. Confidants and those who would have aided him achieve the scope of what he did." A gesture out to the room for a moment, "Which is why we, in House Malvici, will be seeking out who within our holdings aided him. It will be them, the alive, who can present to us an answer on where the trail of silver goes. Their Master is dead and they will have spent these months looking over their shoulders." Martino's voice tenses, a stress upon it for emphasis. "It is high time, then, that we paid them a visit. To take action against those who -wronged- each and every fealty here in this room." Pausing a few ticks before drawing once more to that easy Lycene roll of his tongue."To supplement this work with that the Archduchess, Princess Berenice, myself and others have done in visiting other agents of his."
Inhaling deeper for a moment, Martino's chin dips across to the Archduchess before gathering once more to his feet.
Carissa, a Southport bodyguard, Planchet the Lycene maggiordome arrive, following Eirene.
Eirene has joined the Southport Benches.
Thea has left the Southport Benches.
Finn the large Northern hunting dog with icy blue eyes have been dismissed.
a nameless overwrought highstrung pygmy goat have been dismissed.
Rocco, the rascally assistant have been dismissed.
Strawberry Pupcake, the Graypeak Mountain Dog have been dismissed.
Raven's eyebrows loft a bit as Martino speaks, the man given a brief but curious study as he speaks.
"We got some information when we traveled to seek the trails that had been left, and we still anticipate more will come when we travel to Caith to learn more, but unfortunately nothing has been gained since that lead," Jaenelle tells both Martino and Quenia. "I need to know how I can assist," she tells the room. "What is it the houses of the Lyceum wish that House Velenosa move forward with to aid the others. I am always willing to hear how you all believe we can be of the greatest service."
Arman says to Raven in answer to her question, "I am not privy to the ledgers of our vassals but you are correct that it would seem that the balances are lower than expected."
Eirene has a warm warm fire weave cloak on in Malvici red. She sneaks her way in and joins her kin.
Quenia pulls out a notebook she brought with her and thumbs through some notes. "For those that are more minded for the adventurous way of seeking things, although I say this with a large modicum of caution, there is a place called Halfblood's Woe that was spoken about when the Shadowspeakers were camped outside of Southport. I do not know if anyone has been there since learning of the place or the name of it, to speak as to where that might be exactly, but it is a potential lead that some facility may wish to follow." Quenia does not look like it is a lead /she/ wishes the follow. "If it is the kind of place I suspect, there might be... Abyssal creatures there as well, so a great deal of caution would be needed."
Berenice looks thoughtful and curious at Sylvie's response, dipping her chin in acknowledgment of it. "Interesting. It is not a part of his history that I am acquainted with. It would make sense, given the longevity of his life and his interest in controlling the politics of the Lyceum."
Thea has joined the Southport Benches.
It is only once Berenice has processed that, and remarked on it, that Sylvie ponders with a quirk of her head slightly, "Though, I suppose that makes him an oathbreaker, doesn't it? If Archduchess Procella still lives as he claims-- well, claimed?"
Berenice's lips quirk with a hint of wry amusement. "I can't say I know the contents of whatever contract was between the two of them to remark upon it. Nor do I know if it was ever dissolved. I think Malrico was more likely to slip his way out of things than directly break them, given his nature."
Raven says, "Abyssal creatures tend to be anywhere there are people but if you find those nooks and crannies where the local population avoid then yes, I expect they would make it clear that you are unwelcomed. May wish to bring with you with...ah..particular knowledge of such things, should you know of such individuals.""
"Perhaps you might one day find your ancestress's contract, signed in blood, and we might put the matter to rest," Sylvie suggests, her smile playing at the corners of her lips before she finally tips her head to Berenice in acknowledgement of the woman's answer, and a way to allow her own derailment to trail off.
Arman passes a glance between Berenice and Sylvie at the exchange, he says to Sylvie with a wry smile of his own, "Most of the stories claim that it was Procella who seduced and subdued Malrico, not the other way round. So I imagine if Malrico remarried it was because he was cast off, much like the Librarian."
Fingertips of his left hand lift up, Martino's chin once more is drawing up to allow his voice to carry through the large room. "Thank you, truly, Archduchess for the offer to aid and assist us in Malvici to deal with the matter of Malrico's theft over these years. If I may, then, to utalise some of your best legal minds and investigative ones to aid us rooting out the enemies that have hidden among our ranks for these years. Your support there would be truly appreciated so that we Malvici can locate -where- it when and handle the matter in the same efficiency as we have done so recently with the Abandoned." Turning his chin across to address the other nobles and rulers, Martino's sharp green eyes are crinkling in their corners, "And, I offer to you all as well, my own attention as one of the... best investigative minds that we have. Should you require one to extract lost stories, lost information. Be it in archives, documents or from people. You have merely to ask as we can, together, aid each other."
Eirene isn't familiar with the term Librarian. She glances at Arman with a furrowed brow.
"He did remain very, /very/ upset with her, so it was certainly him who was spurned," Sylvie agrees to Arman, nodding. But she turns to Martino, watching him with wide, grey eyes, before she nods. "Archives and documents certainly could make excellent leads," she agrees simply.
"I hope to one day find the original treaty, though I have not heard of it in quite some time. I wonder if it is still possible to be found after so long. Maybe Malrico had kept it as a prize and we'll be able to find it now," Jaenelle mentions.
Raven's eyebrows loft up as Arman mentions The Librarian- the reference catching her swift attention.
Quenia looks back to Jaenelle as the Archduchess asks how she can help. Her brow furrows at the question, as though she's genuinely trying to consider how to answer that. "I think the best thing everyone can do is follow the money and see where it leads. And if . . . " Quenia's words cut off at Arman's comment, her train of thought now lost. Unlike Eirene, Quenia looks like she's trying to puzzle out the meaning of Librarian, like there could be more then one definition. Or, if it could be the same. She frowns in consternation.
Caspian looked over to Arman, head cocking slightly, "The librarian? i dont think i've heard that name before. what story are you referring to if i might ask?"
Raven murmurs softly to Caspian.
Arman's eyebrows loft briefly as he's addressed by Caspian, "Ah, Messere Wild, I apologize I did not see your entrance. I was referring to the Herald of Despair."
Quenia lets out a breath after Arman's clarification. It is not, in fact, the same as whom she thought. The relief is clear and evident on her features.
"Huh" says Eirene. "Never heard that. Anyhow..." She trails off, nothing more to say on that topic.
Sylvie seems blithely unaware of any librarians. She is currently examining her fingernails again, between lifting her grey eyes under her lashes to peer around the room
Arman offers a general bow to those assembled and the Archduchess before excusing himself, his cane tap-tap-tapping him out of the Hall.
Arman has left the Lenosian Benches.
3 House Velenosa Guards, Matteo leave, following Arman.
Quenia seems to shake herself of the distraction and get back to the question. She lets out a breath before saying. "Honestly, I haven't the foggiest what help to even ask for." This is addressed to Jaenelle. "Not when our coffers are definitely larger than they were. But House Igniseri is happy to help any of the other Houses with issues they are facing."
Orianaslips out again as quietly as she arrived.
Oriana has left the Southport Benches.
Nox, a kitten black as pitch with star-dappled fur leaves, following Oriana.
"I have a vague idea of what people shall be moving forward with," Jaenelle states to the room with a nod, "please keep me informed if you would on your findings and we shall come together again later to discuss the outcomes of each. It is important that we work together to fix this, and while we all might be doing our own investigations, that information is important for the fealty. I will be hosting another of these meetings later this evening, you are all welcome to attend that one, I just wished as many people the opportunity to speak as possible." Jaenelle turns to her assistant and nods, clearly indicating that the meeting is coming to a close. "Does anyone have anything else they wish to add before we go our own ways?"
Quenia gives a small shake of her head in response to the latter question posed by the Archduchess. She's offered everything she has.
Raven says, "If anyone requires seasoned blades or access to research I am happy to assist however I may-discretion upon request of course.""
Sylvie leans close to Grazia for a moment to murmur quiet words to her fellow Duchess, thoughtfully studying the younger woman.
Caspian offers a smile and looks to Jaenelle, "Im not much use in digging into finances.. but as raven said.. if you need a blade to deal with abyssals or in geenral.. i am happy to help. as well as looking into matters."
With an easy shake of his head, Martino's expression is completely one of saying he has no further business.
Jaenelle dips her head towards both Raven and Caspian for their offers, "I am sure blades will be needed, even if I can admit that foolishly I would hope they aren't. Thank you. I will reach out to share what is happening to see if either of you wish to assist when the time comes."
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