RP:The Houses Convene
Part of the Phoenix Rising Arc
Synopsis: The Leaders of the Seven Noble Houses of Rynvale convene in session to debate issues of city security and commerce, relations with Larket being a matter of primary discussion.
Characters: Arien of the First House Illaren, Nirrarien of the Second House Falirae, Pallas of the Third House Larethian, Ayameko of the Fourth House Glorindol, Allanon of the Fifth House Nonalla.
Location: Rynvale; The Royal Townhouse Council Chambers.
Nirrarien :: Council was in arms, as it always was when Arien was late to arrive. Even without definite subject for debate, the House representatives had found cause to bicker amongst themselves. In defiance to his usual backseat presence, Nirrarien has also found something about which to toss word in both support and rebuttal, though still the mage has the space to muse on why arguments today were much more... spirited than in previous weeks. Perhaps, muses the Magistra, sharp glances and stoic visages were a mask for universal notice of a metaphorical elephant in the room. For all could be caught, on at least one occasion, glancing over the newest unannounced female addition to have assumed mantle of heading the Fourth House, and also running eyes over the empty chair at her side, signaling the absence of another to have recently risen to noble prominence, who was late for his or her first council.
Ayameko was silent as she listened and took in the arguments of the nobles around her. She sat with grace and poise as she took in each word, in the back of her mind she wondered if her family was in their right mind for putting her in the mantle of leadership of their house. Her parents had fled, a lesser cousin had been leading the house, and now she was here to take up the mantle. She noticed the glances that roamed over her every so often. She was going to bring honor to her house, she was going to show them all that her house could be counted on. Her mind went over the pettition for the Academy of Magic, if her studies could continue, then also her place now as a leader of the house.. she could do this. She gazed around, looking for any sign of Arien or someone she at least recognized.
Arien was not late, precisely. The governor had been waylaid on her way to chambers more times than she could count by this point, in the brief journey from her study to the council meeting. Twice had secretaries delayed her with requests of things that needed a signature immediately, and as she had passed her bedroom door, it had been a smaller, more needy culprit who had demanded a moment for cuddles and murmured conversation. She had vowed never to place her family second again. Council had waited. The elf swept into the room. “My Lords and Ladies..I bid you good eve..” she murmured with a smile. It would not do to begin with apology, to draw attention to what might be perceived a breech in protocol. A nod was offered to Nirra, before eyes swept around the assembled present and missing. Her cloak was brushed aside as she lowered herself into the seat of the First House. “Have we an order of business?..”
Nirrarien has little choice but to gift Arien with the reimagining of public face, following the Larket fiasco. That being, she is not entirely ignored, but the returned nod is stiff and small. The Magistra lounges in his chair, fingers stroking the tip of the chair's arm while those on the opposing hand rest curled beneath a sharp elven chin. Falirae's gaze is clouded with deliberation, and it is this deep thought that has him hesitate to answer Arien's query, letting an uneasy quiet settle amidst the Heads of Houses before calmly raising a hand. "I have given the matter a great deal of consideration," he begins, leaning forward to bring the interlaced fingers of his hands to rest on the table before his person, "and the aggressions of Larket towards the greenskin species must be addressed. Not for ethical matters, but for the possible threat they could pose to the stability of Rynvale itself." The surrounding faces are viewed before Nirrarien continues, "Larket originally had plans for Gamorg before rediverting attentions towards Kregus. Something these areas both have in common: Mines rich in mineral ore. Rynvale's blacksmiths are surviving off of what we can obtain through trade with Gamorg and importation from Xalious, but these are expensive endeavours. If Larket's expansion continues, and Gamorg does indeed come to fall under Queen Jacklin's banner, then acquisition of mineral ore may become all the more difficult. The economic backlash would be significant. Rynvale must secure their own mines, and quickly. The only notable source of ore on the island lies within Ogre territory. There is no other alternative: To protect Rynvale from Larket's expansion, we must annex Gamorg."
Ayameko takes in the words of Nirrarien, letting each one of them resonate with her as she considers her words carefully. At the moment she really felt like she was a little girl attempting to play in the big leagues. She takes a deep breath as she says, "My understanding of this, is new, and most is of what little gossip I've picked up in my travels from my family's outer estate back to these lands. I have no shame in being perhaps naively honest in this. You speak of a need for securing our own mines so that our blacksmiths can survive. I agree to some extent to this. However to annex Gamorg in order to protect our island from Larket's expansion? That seems to be quite a jump to me. Our Island has survived much, we've survived wars before this, and I am confidant we will survive much more in the decades to come. Why do we not seek to alliance with the Larket Queen or even ally ourselves with the orge territory nearby or at least open up a trade agreement. It seems to be that War is consistently exploding around us. Why not instead seek more political alliances. A greater danger than Larket seems to be the corruption in Cenril, and the ruined Rynvale ships I just saw in Cenril ports. If tradesmen can't trade and export some of our goods then our livlihood is in danger. Cenril seems to be a greater danger at this time to me."
The instantaneous burst of babble that erupted at the suggestion of the Magistra would be enough of an indicator that this particular discussion was almost certainly going to be one of the more heated that had occurred in a while. Arien’s own voice was notably absent from the fray. The emerald gaze of the leader of the First House had cooled significantly, both in response to Nirra’s frigid greeting and absence of sense in his logic. She allowed the furor to continue unabated for a few minutes before speaking just loudly enough to demand the deference that was due her station. Silence fell in the room. “Am I to believe, Falirae, that you would propose that -after- I have made a declarative and definitive stand on the matter of conquest and annexation, you expect that we should take our people to war against a mighty and warring race who has made no move to harm our interests..in direct opposition to the principles which I have established we hold?” The governor seemed incredulous. “At what cost security? As our sister has indicated, is it not more profitable to establish alliance with Gamorg, rather than attempt annexation? It is the fastest way to invite instability to our own shores. Do you not see what Larket faces in response to their own encroachments? You wish the same for our people? You do not speak wisdom Nirra, and I for one am surprised for it.” The governor fixed him with a steady look. Eyes were cast to Ayameko, “There is no shame in speaking honestly of ones state..and you speak wisdom for one so young to the ways of politics. I have had my eye upon Cenril for some time…the hold of the street lords is weakened there. You may be correct in noting that the time for action may be right on that front.”
Nirrarien :: "Before we see fit to intervene overseas, it should be our first priority to ensure we are protected on the mainland." Nirrarien's tone holds only passive objectivism, allying with neither his friendship with the Governor nor those who would challenge her recent decree. It was difficult, however, to refrain from taking sides when Illaren thrusts its political bent beneath the noses of those who may seek to diminish it. Already, from the corner of his eye, Nirrarien caught mutterings between two nobles, both of whom had spoken strongly when considering response to Arien's meeting with Roldan's representative. "It was stated clearly in letter that we do not all support the 'declarative and definitive' stand that you, and at the time you alone, took against the plea for aid. Establishing alliance with Gamorg could have catastrophic consequence. If we support the Ogre and Larket do indeed come to their shores, we will be forced to defend them. The cost will be far greater than invasion of the Ogre village, and far, far more than any of us present would wish to bare... No?" A fair brow lofts, challengingly and pointedly, to the Governess, before returning to survey the room in general, with special focus on Ayameko, "the disorganised, chaotic rabble of Cenril is, at present, no notible threat to Rynvale City-Port. Perhaps we may take a hand in ensuring stability after we have cemented the continuation of our own." Arien, again, is the focus of the Magistra's gaze, "we need not tackle Gamorg alone. Has Larket contacted you further regarding aid against the Goblin revolution? An offer could be made; aid for the Dutchy of Kregus of the Duke's superiors will support us during a campaign against Gamorg. If you do not wish to meet with them after dismissing their envoy, I could do so on your behalf."
Ayameko dipped her head in a certain deferment to the first house before she looked over to the second. She kept her voice calm and emotionless, doing her best to be logical as she says, "With all do respect my Lord, we need to seem a united front, especially since our Lady Arien has taken a stance as Govenor. I would think it would be in our best interest to support her in that as an united front. What done is done and cannot be changed. I can not fault her for making a decision when my own house was disorganized as many of others were as well. I do not suggest that we stabilize Cenril but our own ships, our merchant ships, do need protection. Do you not think that allying with the orges could give us some brute strength and added protection. And making our allies known if we seek an alliance with Larket should lend them perhaps to not annex our neighbors on this island."
Allanon listened and observed all those around him. His position on this was, so far, still undecided. He had his own opinions of things but as of yet believed he had not heard enough to act on them. While Nirrarien spoke he continued to think and build on his own opinions which so far were still neutral between the current proposals. Ayameko spoke next which he listened to as well. He was fond of Ayameko, and so his position on this may have been swayed ever so slightly with her own opinion. Still he listened, observed, and wondered what the next voice would tell.
Arien was not so foolish as to believe that any support within the Houses was guaranteed, or to think that the ties that had existed between her own house and that of Falirae would protect her from the Magistra’s own ambitions. It did not quell her own disappointment in just how overtly he seemed set upon openly stirring dissent..even if his points might carry merit in the view of some. Her expression was carefully neutral when she spoke. “In the first instance Falirae, I have already made my apologies to the House leaders for the hastiness of my action. As I have pointed out in my letter, and as the Lady Ayameko has presented, I have been too used to unilateral decision making while the Houses were in disarray. I shall endeavor to be more forthcoming in seeking your contributions upon matters of vital interest to the court in the future,” she murmured with a slight inclination of her head to those gathered. “However, I feel the need to point out, especially for those newly assumed their roles..and evidently to you as well My Lord Falirae..that Larket does currently hold an established alliance with Port Rynvale. An alliance does not, however, mean that we will agree on every point or walk in lockstep. At the moment, I have said all that I intended to say upon the matter of Kregus, and that horse has left the proverbial stable. We are currently awaiting the response of both the Duchy, and Larket. Our future course will be determined by said contact. We have, for better or worse, declared our hand and the next move is theirs. This is not to say that some effort at communication and reparation of any damaged good will cannot take place.” The elf leaned back. “That being said, I still hold myself opposed to any attempt at annexation of Gamorg, and see it quite unlikely that if a choice has been made by Larket to defer from that course now…that it will be taken up later. I would propose, if it be your concern, that we send an envoy to Gamorg to speak of alliance and stabilization on that front.” A glance was proffered Ayameko, “He does have a point however, one hurdle at a time, yes?”
Nirrarien nods, evidently swayed by rebuttal, though still has voice on the subject. "It is a notable fact of this island's history that Sylvan refugees from mainland Sage in the wake of the Crown Wars were decimated by warmongering Ogre hordes as they made their way north to found Gamorg. Vhys is the only remnant of that once great Empire, and they have been twisted by evil and dissent. If alliance with Gamorg is to go to vote, know that I cannot be swayed from opposing it. Just as your own consideration of Rynvale's history affected decision in acting with the Duchy of Kregus, so shall I do similar. That being said, the motivations behind considerations for Gamorg remain thus: Rynvale needs a stable source of mineral ore. Could it instead be considered to re-awaken the high-elf embassy in Craughmoyle? Perhaps the establishment of a mining colony in Xalious?"
Ayameko dipped her head in response to Arien's words. She also silently acknowledged Allanon, though she was thankful for her veil which hid most of her face from view. She remained as calm as she could possibly be but she felt so nervous. Realizing she still had her travellers cloak on she gently removed it, draping the cloak on the back of her chair. One thing at a time needed to be focused on and she agreed on that, but if it was between annexing and supporting their merchant ships, she'd vote on the merchant ships being protected. She listened to Nirrarien's words once more then shook her head... it was true elves had long memories but...such opposition to something that could prove advantagous to them now? It was perhaps... against traditions but still... she'd rather see their homeland safe and secure than let old bloodshed keep them from it. She kept a sigh internal before she spoke again, "I have to say I agree mostly with our Lady. As to the high elf embassy in Craughmoyle and re-awakening it, that seems to be a rather good idea to me. It could most definitely be advantageous to trade and keeping our blacksmiths supplied with the materials they need. Not to mention the jewels and metal quality they have not only our blacksmiths but jewelcrafters would benefit."
Allanon nodded his head in response to Ayameko's words before speaking for the first time since his arrival. "I must agree with Lady Ayameko's words on this. I believe protecting our own land first is priority, however, being able to do that may also rely upon the tools ones soldiers use. So yes, I also support that something is done so that our smithy's are able to receive the ore and other minerals needed to create such items. Then, once our own lands, we could venture to Gamorg or Cenril, whichever way that may be." With his words spoken he would sit and after a moment his gaze would fall upon the next to speak.
Pallas enters the council chambers with a gait and stature that gives nod to his training as a soldier. His spine erect, jaw set, chest jutted just enough to have an air of pride. Currently the left side of his mouth is slightly curled and gives the resonance of a sour mood. The look slightly more intense than necessary for the minor annoyance of being admitted this far into the Governor's chambers. Surely he thinks that the secretary would recognize him by now. Without any motion of the neck Pallas takes stock of the four other nobles in the chamber, two that he knows and two that are strange to him. His ashen grey eyes moving over each individual reverence glinting as he sees Arien and Nirrarien, and faint curiosity but no less respectful as he gets first glance at the newcomers. With military stiffness he makes his way to the seat of the third house and doing a swift yet graceful about face takes his place among the council content for now to listen to the current conversation and attempt to catch up before speaking.
Arien relaxed subtly upon realizing Nirra’s willingness to negotiate. The Magistra’s influence was not insignificant both at court and with the people, she would rather not have him openly opposed to her on matters of import. She nodded gently his way, allowing him the freedom to assert his own principle on the matter of Gamorg. “ Your dissent is duly noted Falirae, and if I must speak true, I would rather limit our engagement with the ogre while they fight their own civil war with the goblins who rebel as slaves. It would indeed seem hypocritical to refuse trade with one territory that subdues the goblin, while doing so with one which actually enslaves them. Perhaps, for the sake of the harmony of the Houses we may turn to that on which we seem inclined to agree. I propose that we put the matter of opening relations with Craughmoyle to the vote?” The governor was already leaning forward, reaching for the quill with which she would make her eventual mark and signature. A stirring at the door stilled the action, however, and emerald gaze tracked the noble form of Larethian across the floor to his place at the table. “ How good of you to join us, Pallas..” she murmured, with the ghost of a smile in her gaze. Her relationship with the commander of the regiment was such that the familiarity was permitted, though he might not be inclined to be entertained by the gentle tease in public. “Have the guards been giving you trouble again?” There was a further disturbance, this time, one of the youthful pages carrying a scroll that had been delivered by courier. It carried the seal of Larket. All semblance of jest faded from the governor’s face as her slender hand extended for the missive. What lay within its confines could forge all their futures. The scroll unfolded, eyes skimmed its contents. The flowing of tension out of her body and the pensive expression in her eyes would be enough to communicate that war, at least, was not immediately at hand. “The king seeks an audience. I am invited to Larket to further discuss my concerns about Kregus. It is my belief that we should not waver upon our stance, but, in the event that convincing argument is made, I would know the opinion of the court on this matter. Should the Port City facilitate the conquest of the green skins in enriching the coffers of Kregus with our trade?”
Nirrarien regards Allanon's input with an agreeing nod. "Indeed, first and foremost we must be resourceful. Though if we are in easy acquirement of mineral ore, then Gamorg can be ignored. The mines are its only benefit..." The Magistra lapses into silence, during which the entry of Pallas is recognised by means of lofted brows, and a welcoming nod. It is to the courier, however, that primary focus quickly shifts. A long-legged spider crawls from the neckline of Nirrarien's powder-blue robes to skitter along the fabric of his sleeve and duck into its dark confines, just as the mage's interlaced fingers lift to support his sharp chin. "I would think," the Magistra replies, "that consideration of convincing argument should be made by the individual. The King can wait a day or two while the Houses consider him, no? It need not be done so in formal council, breakdown of his points in letter shall suffice, and respondant vote done so in similar manner."
Ayameko gazed to the High Elven male that took the seat next to her and between Nirrarien. So this was the man in charge of the third house. She appraised him for a moment even as she nodded her head respectfully to him. After all, this Lord was above her in station as well. Her attention moved to the Lady Arien as she moved to put the opening relations with Craughmoyle to a vote. Then the courier's arrival became a focus for a time. She looked to Arien at the announcement then nodded her head as she says, "I have to agree with the Lord Falirae. It would be best for the council to go over the contents and potential discussion materials together vote on it, so we can represent a unified front and ensure our support is seen by the public for what is decided."
Allanon would wait for a moment to speak which came once again after Ayameko. "I agree once more with Aya and Nirrarien. Let us see what the king has to say and then with his words shall we decide amongst ourselves as a whole on what it is that we must do." Allanon looked about the room, wondering the thoughts on the others minds.
Pallas takes quick note of the courier's arrival intent not to let this stranger s movements evade his penetrating gaze, for to do so would be against the training regimen he not only received in his younger years but was now attempting to employ with his troops. The tension of his body which would be perceptible to a trained eye only eased once the footsteps of this stranger reached what he perceived to be a safe distance from the chamber. After listening to his fellow council members provide their input and knew that it was now time for him to conjure an opinion on the subject the soldier takes a deep breath allowing him to avoid any sort of kneejerk reaction to what has been said. The elf turns his ashen eyes yet again to Arien not quite daring to make full eye contact as he is well aware of his position within this gathering. In even tones his speaks to his superior for which his admiration only ever grows, "I agree with my fellow council members. It would be wise to know what the King intends to use as his argument to sway you before any sort of vote is to be had or a private meeting with said royalty is to be held. Also I would like to suggest that if this meeting is to take place that you have at least one military escort with you. If I may have your leave I would volunteer for such a mission." Having spoken what mind he currently has on the subject Pallas averts his gaze and turn his eyes towards the center of the table intent to reserve any other opinion until all have spoken.
Arien nodded then, leaning back in her seat. She was satisfied to hear the unanimous verdict. Eyes turned to the commander, her head graciously inclined. “I am pleased enough to accept your escort Larethian..” she said quietly, “ The king has granted permission for me to bring a guard.” Her eyes swept the gathered assembly. “As it is decreed, so let it be done. I shall hold council with the King of Larket and hear what arguments he might present upon the matter of our relations with the Duchy, and thereafter call an assembly of the houses for further debate upon the matter.” She reached for her quill again. “And now that it has been decided, upon the matter of establishing diplomatic relations with Craugmoyle with the intention of forging a trade agreement for ore and gems.. the Houses will cast their votes.” The elf offered another look around the table. “The First House, Illaren, votes ‘aye’.”
Nirrarien said, "The Second House, Falirae, votes in favour."
Pallas said, "The Third House, Larethian, votes aye."
Ayameko said, "The Fourth House, Glorindol, votes 'aye'."
Allanon said, "The Fifth house Nonalla votes 'aye'”
Arien took note of the vote as it passed through the sixth and seventh houses. It was one unanimously in favor. "Very well, I shall speak with our ambassador about the assignment, and report on the outcome of our efforts." She set the quill aside. " And now, Ladies and Lords..if that is all our business, my family has not seen me all day.." Her smile was faint. "We are dismissed.." The governor rose to her feet, signalling her pending departure.
Nirrarien said to Ayameko, "You did well."
Ayameko rose to her feet after the Lady rose, she swept into a graceful curtsy in respect to their Govenor and the leader of the First House. She would then also incline her head with great respect for the second and third house. At the words of Nirrarien she murmmured, "Thank you for your kind compliment Lord Falirae."
Nirrarien said to Pallas, "And you seem to have adapted admirably well."
Ayameko said to Pallas, "It was a pleasure to meet you today Lord Larethian as well."
Pallas rises more gracefully than most of his other actions would suggest he is capable of and bows first to Nirrarien, "Thank you Lord Falirae" then he bows to Arien, "Lady Illaren it is as usual a great pleasure. Pallas then turns to the head of the fourth house takes her hand and bows low, "Lady Glorindol it was a pleasure to meet you and know that if ever you are in need you may call upon me." That having been said Pallas exits with a saunter indicating that for the moment his not in his "military mode".
Ayameko smiles as she curtseys at his words as his hand holds hers. "I shall remember that Lord Larethaian, please be well."
Arien’s lips curved in a smile, “Indeed Lady Glorindol, you have represented your House well this day. Wisdom sits in your breast..they are in good hands. “ Falirae, Larethian, I bid you all good night.” And with that, and a final, gracious nod, the governor took her leave.
Ayameko felt reassurance blooming in her heart. Maybe she could do this... past and all... she was still a daughter of Glorindol.... and she would show the world she was still a Lady and just as capable as any other Noble to lead her house.
Nirrarien frees a pipe from the folds of his robes, offering Ayameko a warm nod as he makes his exit. Arien is gifted a guilty smirk, and would later find a lead-lined box on her desk, containing a small number of fluttering fiery butterflies that the Magistra hopes her son and daughter will find most pleasing to chase.