Ye Olde Adventure Worlde session 13
May talks to Induriel about options regarding the Vanilorran Embassy. The Ankai select their new Gaath - Ankai Aluth Kryx, with the expectation that Faasha will succeed him. Laris appraises Calkas and Harbinger - and eventually Saḫḫiru - that he has received news that additional Thantopolitan troops are headed to Nesu Abamatu, and among them is Dianthea Lucilla Pertinax, his fiancée. Induriel conspires with his entourage about the problem of Vanilorra and how to handle May.
- Session date: 2018-06-03
- In Game date:a day or so following the previous session
May talks to Induriel about the embassy
* @May will seek out Induriel later that evening
* Induriel is in his apartments, consulting with his retinue
<May> Hey... do you have a moment?
<Induriel> Of course.
<Induriel> Please come in.
* @May will do so, glancing at your entourage and feeling slightly outnumbered.
<May> I was hoping to talk to you alone if that's ok.
<Induriel> Ah... certainly. Valtheriel, Malthiel, if you would excuse us?
<Induriel> (Malliel. :P)
* @May will have a seat across from you.
<YOAW_Narrator> (Your servants will salute/bow and see themselves out)
<May> So... you're really up in arms about the elf thing, huh?
<Induriel> Up in arms? I'm completely opposed to having them establish an embassy here, if that's what you mean.
<May> Yeah, that's what I mean.
<Induriel> Then yes, I'm afraid so.
<Induriel> You cannot allow such a thing without grievously offending the Queen. Having lived in Aethrennar, surely you must realize this?
<May> I understand your concerns, Istyar, but this isn't Aethrennar. We have very few friends out here. I'd like us to have more.
<May> This isn't about you or your queen. It's about what's best for the city.
<Induriel> Yes, I understand that, Winyamo. But the Traitor Iomelinde is not your friend. And repudiating your alliance with Aethrennar in order to curry favour with him is not best for your city.
<Induriel> What exactly do you expect to gain by such an action?
<May> No one is repudiating anything.
<May> And we're not striking an alliance either
<May> Just opening up discussions
<May> That's all.
<Induriel> No, it is much more than that.
<May> How so?
<Induriel> If you grant full diplomatic recognition to Iomelinde, you are according standing to a man who betrayed his Queen and his entire race.
<Induriel> That strengthens him diplomatically, and profoundly undermines your relations with Aethrennar.
<Induriel> You also give him a base - within Nesu Abamatu itself! - from which to pursue his ambitions to recruit the Amanya Hatal to his cause.
<May> Would you rather he do it where we can't see?
<Induriel> I would rather that you not give him any foothold at all! Why on earth should you give him a strong platform from which to recruit them?
<Induriel> I cannot think of any plots he could be pursuing that would be more damaging to Nesu Abamatu and to Aethrennar than that which you would offer him freely by letting him set up an embassy here.
<Induriel> Queen Alcarinel has been your supporter and your friend.
<Induriel> She made a place for you at her court after the Cataclysm.
<Induriel> She gave permission for you to study texts that would otherwise not have had access to .
<Induriel> She sent me to help you secure your position, as we both know I have.
<Induriel> How can you return these friendly acts by consorting with her bitterest enemies?
* @May considers.
<Induriel> I have an alternative proposal.
<May> Go on.
<Induriel> Do not accept the Vanilorran request to establish an embassy - not right away.
<Induriel> Tell the envoys that you are glad they have come, and that you have no wish to engage in hostilities.
<Induriel> To that end, you would like to establish a truce, with a clear demarcation line.
<Induriel> After all, good fences make good neighbours.
<Induriel> Propose a border that favours Nesu Abamatu, but that is not completely unreasonable. You will stay on your side of the line; they will stay on theirs.
<May> And what about trade?
<Induriel> Say that while you cannot insult your good friend Queen Alcarinel by accepting an embassy at this time, you have every wish to keep the lines of communication open. You will accept future envoys, and trust they will accept envoys from you too, should you choose to send them.
<Induriel> In the meantime, as they convey this answer back to Vanilorra, write to the Queen yourself and ask how she would have you handle this issue.
<May> That's too far.
<May> This is not Aethrennar.
<May> I'm not going to ask another ruler how to govern my city.
<Induriel> No, but in matters concerning Aethrennar, would you not like to know where the Queen stands before deciding?
<May> I know where the queen stands. And apparently I know where you stand. I came here to ask you, as a friend, to try to speak to her and let her know our side of things.
<Induriel> What is your side of things, then, exactly?
* Lan_phone (firstname.lastname@example.org) has joined #gnomeland
<Induriel> What do you hope to gain by insulting the Queen and unconditionally offering Nesu Abamatu's traditional enemy a foothold in your territories?
<May> Nesu Abamatu is not Bael Turath, and it's not an Aethrennari puppet state. We make our own decisions. The elves have a lot to offer us, both in trade and security. We have no wish to insult you or your queen, and we are not offering anything unconditionally, but they will be allowed to have an embassy.
<Induriel> Heri Mamitu, I am telling you that allowing them an embassy IS an insult.
<May> Then it's because you CHOOSE to take it as one.
<Induriel> By allowing them in, you are not asserting your independence. You are proving a faithless ally.
<May> We haven't broken any faith.
<May> Will you help or not?
<Induriel> I do not think the Queen will see it so.
<Induriel> So again, what are you hoping to gain by helping the Vanilorrans in this way?
<May> I don't know. trade and security certainly. Maybe more. But I'm not going to alienate them because of old grudges that aren't even ours.
<Induriel> Alienate them? You would alienate them by having their envoys executed, or holding them hostage.
<Induriel> Sending them back with a cautious message showing you are open to discussions is not alienating them. It is offering them measured progress.
<May> I feel like measured progress is exactly what I'm offering
<Induriel> I'm afraid I don't agree. You're giving them a foothold from which to pursue their ambitions on your own territory in exchange for... hopes it will lead to trade?
<Induriel> Security by strengthening their case to recruit the Amanya Hatal?
<Induriel> What harm is there in pursuing this slowly, rather than granting Iomelinde this major strategic and diplomatic coup right away?
<Induriel> Ask for the truce and the demarcation line. See how he responds, and proceed from there.
<May> We already have a truce. At least by any meaningful definition of one.
<Induriel> Has it been formalized?
<May> Has our alliance with Aethrennar?
<Induriel> Aethrennar has been your friend since the Queen pledged allegiance to Bael Turath.
<May> Bael Turath is dead.
<Induriel> More to the point, Aethrennar has not encroached on your territories.
<May> Neither have the elves.
<Induriel> Then let them prove their good intentions by formally recognizing your claims.
<Induriel> Do not give them something for nothing.
<May> So a treaty?
<Induriel> A formal truce, yes. Let Iomelinde make a commitment to respect your rulership, and not to infringe on your interests by recruiting the Amanya Hatal for his own.
<Induriel> If he agrees to that, you have better cause to explore further normalization of relations.
<May> And in return they can have an embassy.
<May> That's... reasonable.
<Induriel> Perhaps in time. It still will not sit well with the Queen. But perhaps advance warning, and proof that this is of actual material benefit to Nesu Abamatu, will reconcile her to it better.
<Induriel> Thank you, Mamitu.
<May> I can't ask them for formal recognition with nothing in return. We'll give them a small embassy. I'm going to ask you... as a friend... to try to smooth things over with the queen.
<Induriel> Please, no actual embassy until they clearly agree to your proposed borders, and agree not to pursue any schemes regarding the Amanya Hatal. And if they do, they have proven their bad faith and can expect to be expelled.
* @May sighs
<May> I'll speak to uncle about it.
<Induriel> Thank you.
<Induriel> I'd be interested in speaking to him about it as well, if you would permit me to join you.
<May> Don't thank me yet. I haven't agreed to anything for certain.
<May> Of course.
* Induriel smiles
Korivan speaks with Faasha before they arrive at Lake Ankai
* Faasha is presumably riding along with you. She's obviously not as good a rider as a Hrieffen, but she's not bad. :)
<YOAW_Narrator> (I think she's actually built a lot like Korivan, which, for a bugbear, is saying something. She tall and thin, and currently kind of gawky with youth.)
<YOAW_Narrator> (Like, even at her age, she's probably about Korivan's height)
<YOAW_Narrator> (So you can tell she's going to tower someday)
<Korivan> (I was just goint to say shes probably at elast as tall as me already :p)
* @Korivan will pull over closer to her then, probably when ai feel like were close to the lake but not like.... immediately there
<Faasha> Hmm? What was that, Gaath Korivan?
* Faasha seems preoccupied with her own thoughts. I'm sure Korivan can relate. ;)
<Korivan> (no kidding)
<Korivan> What do you expect here?
<Faasha> How do you mean?
* @Korivan keeps forgetting she spent so much time captured by a demon ;p
<Korivan> YOu aren't...yet... part of the Booyagh.
<YOAW_Narrator> (In working with/teaching/etc. her in the last few months, she does seem remarkably well-adjusted despite that experience. She has nightmares, and occasionally moments of reverie where she doesn't respond to outside stimuli, and she's obviously still dealing with her father's death, but still seems to be managing all right all things considered.)
<YOAW_Narrator> (Just a little background info)
<Korivan> (okay, cool)
* Faasha nods.
<Faasha> That's true.
<Faasha> I could be, though. I can do it.
<Faasha> Besides, we'll need to change what that means. They don't know Bane, not really, not yet.
* @Korivan nods
<Faasha> That's important. Or it will be. I can make them see.
* Faasha 's eyes flash for a moment, and you can feel her faith in you for a moment, fanning the flames of your own.
<Korivan> (do I know how long Malaga was Gaath?)
<YOAW_Narrator> (A good while. He was younger than Mygal, but not by too much. He was probably Gaath for 10 or so years.)
<Korivan> This is the strength the Ankai need
<YOAW_Narrator> (A pretty decent run, as they are usually older that Korivan and thus die off quicker ;))
* Faasha nods.
<Korivan> (So long enough that she certainly woudln't remember how that selection went down, even if she'd been privy)
<YOAW_Narrator> (No, she was tiny at the time. )
<YOAW_Narrator> (Well, as tiny as bugbears can be :p)
<YOAW_Narrator> ...I already said her dragonmark is on her head, but now it might also be on her stomach. ;)
<Faasha> If they'd listened earlier...
<Faasha> It doesn't matter. They will listen now.
<Korivan> There will be those who will oppose...this... because they cannot let go of their ways. Or because...they put their own power first.
<Korivan> Listened to what?
<Faasha> To the Hrieffen. To Bane.
<Faasha> If they'd had his strength, the Maazikai would never have beaten them.
* @Korivan nods
<Faasha> You and Bane saved me. I will save my people, and we will help Bane save...everything.
<Korivan> (I'm good with that I think :3)
Korivan addresses the Ankai Booyagh as they select a new Gaath
<YOAW_Narrator> All right. You can make your way to Lake Ankai to meet with their booyahg.
<YOAW_Narrator> Who are presumably already camped, and possibly have been for a while.
<Korivan> (I am going to assume there is also still a Hrieffen presence.... around)
<Korivan> (Enough to make it clear that we are in charge here for the moment >.>)
<YOAW_Narrator> (Yeah, I'm assuming this is not the first time Korivan has been back here in the last three months, and likely there have been Hrieffen warriors and shamans in the area the whole time, on a rotating basis)
* @Korivan will ride up to their camp wth Faasha and Halgalaz and whoever else is with him
<YOAW_Narrator> You'll be greeted by your people, who I'm thinking already prepared a tent for you, and various members of the Ankai booyahg, as well as Hraal Mygal, who is mostly here because it's important, not because she has a role.
* Mygal (email@example.com) has joined #gnomeland
* @Korivan will greet folks as more-or less appropriate
<YOAW_Narrator> You have some time to rest, but I'm figuring there will be a big evening meeting/meal.
* NPC1 (firstname.lastname@example.org) has joined #gnomeland
<YOAW_Narrator> You will be given a guest's place of honor. With no Gaath, the person leading the gathering, to the extent possible, is Ankai Aluth Kryx, one of the Ankai shamans and a major contender for the position of Gaath.
* NPC1 is now known as Kryx
<Korivan> (Where do they put Faasha, or is she still with me?)
<YOAW_Narrator> (Let's say she's seated near Kryx, but actually few seats down from you. She got a little swarmed by folks when you got there, but she tried to stay close to you)
<Kryx> All right, quiet down. Quiet!
<Kryx> We all know why we are here, and we are blessed with the presence of our Hrieffen allies, who we welcome to our fire and our family.
<Kryx> You all know me. You knew Malaga. He did his best, and I'll continue his tradition. He gave his life for us. Let me give my life for you, in service to Ankai and Bane.
* @Korivan nods, trying to maintain focus
<YOAW_Narrator> That receives a good amount of approval it seems, if the various howls, cries, and shouts of "Ankai!" are to be interpreted as support.
* Mygal is now known as Ulyn
<YOAW_Narrator> Next, Ankai Unlaaz Ulyn (a cousin of the Hraal) stands to speak.
<Ulyn> We are grateful to Malaga, and we are grateful to the Hrieffen and their young Gaath, but Bane is not our god. Hruggek is the god of our people, and I will not abandon him and our ancestors now any more than I did when the Maazikai tried to make us.
<YOAW_Narrator> This receives a smaller but louder show of support.
* Faasha looks over at Korivan uncertainly.
* @Korivan mostly ignores Ulyn, but nods to her
* Faasha will return the nod, take a breath, and stand.
<Faasha> You are wise, Ankai Aluth Kryx, to hear and heed Bane's call.
<Faasha> And your loyalty is honorable, Ankai Unlaaz Ulyn.
* Ulyn (email@example.com) Quit (Quit: webchat.esper.net)
<Faasha> But Hruggek is, even now, a servant of Bane, a mighty general leading our ancestors against the Conqueror's enemies and the enemies of all.
<Faasha> To serve Bane is to honor him, to honor our people, and to *bring
* honor to our people.
* Faasha (firstname.lastname@example.org) Quit (Quit: webchat.esper.net)
* Ulyn (email@example.com) has joined #gnomeland
* Kryx3 (firstname.lastname@example.org) has joined #gnomeland
* Kryx3 is now known as Faasha
<YOAW_Narrator> This garners some early calls of support.
* @Korivan nods as well
<Faasha> You are right to honor my father, Aluth Kryx, but we must do so by sacrificing as well. Sacrifice our old ways, the ways that made us servants of the Maazikai, the ways that sent me and countless others to feed their demon's hunger.
<YOAW_Narrator> That gets some cheers, and some angry shouting from what you're pretty sure are Ulyn supporters. For himself, Kryx looks contemplative.
<Ulyn> Demon bride! You are no Ankai! Eraklyosh works through her!
<YOAW_Narrator> That, somewhat obviously, stirs things up a bit.
<Korivan> (I am assuming that if she had any residual demonic influence I would probably have noticed :V)
<YOAW_Narrator> (Yeah, she's 'clean' magically speaking, though you know from talking to Halgalaz that she sometimes worries she is not.)
* Faasha frowns and pauses a moment before responding.
<Korivan> (How do you mean?)
<Korivan> (Oh you mean Faasha worries?)
<YOAW_Narrator> (Being fed and bonded to the demon had a definite mental effect on her, so Faasha worries that means she's somehow tainted, but you're pretty certain she's not)
* Faasha frowns and pauses before responding.
* @Korivan will stand, actually, and turn to Ulyn
<Korivan> Your fear and weakness show themselves...
<Faasha> Your ways fed me to that beast. Bane defeated it, and my father sacrificed himself to ensure that, to make restitution. What will you do to repay the children you fed to that monster, Unlaaz Ulyn?
<Korivan> Eraklyosh is gone, his taint cleaned from these land and our peoples, as you should know.
<Ulyn> You are a foreigner here, Hrieffen Gaath. By what right do you speak in this gathering?
* Ulyn definitely seems to be trying to deflect, as Faasha's point seemed to stick with the crowd.
* @Korivan looks at the other Booyagh
<Korivan> Who you choose to lead your people as Gatth is your own choice - But know....we will not have as allies those who offer us insult, or cowards who fear the glorious future that Bane offers you.
<YOAW_Narrator> The tide does seem to be turning against Ulyn, as Korivan has a pretty good reputation with the Ankai Booyagh by now.
<YOAW_Narrator> That quiets folks for a moment.
* Ulyn is seething, but seems unsure how to respond.
* Kryx steps forward, neatly ignoring Ulyn.
<Kryx> It may be that new ways are the best way for the Ankai, ways I am not the speaker for.
<Kryx> Faasha will lead us, today or tomorrow. Know that I do not wish you ill, that I am thankful for your return to us, and I welcome your wisdom.
<Kryx> But you are young. Much will change for us, and we will need an anchor to the past. That will be me whether I am gaath or not.
<Kryx> I will not tell you who to choose any longer. Listen to your heart, to the ancestors.
* Kryx will step towards Faasha and extend his hand.
* @Korivan will sit back down while attention is on them
* Faasha glances at Korivan, but takes Kryx's offered hand, and is then drawn into a (bug)bear hug by the older goblin.
<YOAW_Narrator> That receives a huge round of cheers.
* @Korivan nods
<YOAW_Narrator> The choosing is pretty close, but ultimately Kryx emerges the new Ankai Gaath, with the pretty obvious expectation that Faasha will be next.
<YOAW_Narrator> There will, of course, be a big feast the next night to celebrate, and a ceremony in a few weeks, both of which Korivan is invited to attend.
<Korivan> (cool, I like thse things!)
<Korivan> (And we can start having preliminary talks about lands and forma alliances and stuff >.>)
Laris lets Calkas knows of the news he has received from home
<Laris> He could talk to Merula and see if she's heard anything about this
<Laris> and he'll need to talk to Calkas as far as making appropriate preparations
<YOAW_Narrator> All right. Why don't we do Calkas, then. Not that I don't like Merula, but her answers is going to be no, she hasn't heard anything. :p
<Laris> heh, fair
<Laris> well, Laris will give her a heads up anyway, that this is happening.
<Laris> "do whatever it is you do to prepare for guests, i guess. clean up the bird poop?"
* Laris will find some time to talk to Calkas, who I'm sure will have noticed that he's stressed.
* Ulyn is now known as Calkas
* Calkas presumably knows you got a letter, but perhaps not the contents.
<Calkas> Ill news from Thantopolis?
<Laris> No, not... precisely. Puzzling news, I would say.
<Laris> My betrothed has written to tell me that the Senate are sending "additional forces".
<Laris> And she will be joining them.
* Laris will just show him the letter, it's easier than summarizing everything.
* Calkas will take a moment to read over it.
<Calkas> Ah, I see.
<Calkas> Why puzzling, though?
<Laris> Well, she seems to think I will already have heard all about this, but I've had no other word than hers.
* Calkas nods.
<Calkas> Summer storms are a problem. Likely the other letters were lost.
<Calkas> Not that that helps now.
<Calkas> There will be much to prepare.
<Laris> As a result, I am uncertain what to expect when they arrive, or even when they are likely to arrive, beyond her statement that they will leave in a matter of weeks. They could be here almost anytime.
<Calkas> We must begin at once, then.
* Laris nods
<Calkas> It's unlikely they send too large a force, yes?
<Calkas> When we've made do with your archers alone for so long.
<Laris> I would not think so.
* Laris nods
<Calkas> I'll prepare for, say, 300 to encamp, just to be safe?
<Calkas> We'll have to greet the officers with a dinner, and Fata Pertinax of course.
<Calkas> She we house them here at the villa, or speak to Domina Lalu about their staying at the keep?
<Laris> I am not certain what their intention is. To bolster our position here? To strengthen our claim on the city? I cannot imagine they need to send troops simply on the grounds of a ... religious abnormality.
* Laris is still pondering, and is drawn back to practicalities by Calkas's question
<Calkas> (Shall, not she, rather)
<Laris> ah... let us say at the keep for the moment, if she is willing to accomodate them. If their numbers are too great, it may be crowded here, while there is more space available in the city.
* Laris says in what is totally not an excuse >.>
<Calkas> Of course, though I had meant to house merely the officers here. The soldiers themselves will presumably be encamped.
<Calkas> And Fata Pertinax, of course.
* Calkas adds, to gauge your reaction.
* Laris nods, more slowly again
<Laris> (would it be inappropriate for us to stay in the same house before we're married? I am just wondering what our expectations would be.)
<YOAW_Narrator> (I think, under the circumstances, likely not. She's not likely to be travelling alone, either, so there's probably some mitigation there.)
<Laris> Yes... it is appropriate for her to stay here.
<Calkas> It is, of course, Domina Mamitu's privilege to host them as the city's ruler.
* Calkas offers as an out.
<Laris> I ... do not know what her expectations will be.
<Laris> for accomodations, or... me. or anything else.
* Calkas nods.
<Calkas> Doubtless she feels the same.
<Calkas> If May will allow her to stay at the keep, it may give you time to resolve the uncertainty.
* Laris nods
<Laris> Perhaps that is best.
<Laris> If she wishes to stay here, we can discuss that after she has had a chance to settle in.
<Calkas> No doubt May will enjoy having another young woman of station closer to her age visiting.
* Laris nods
<Laris> we should prepare some manner of welcome celebration as well.
<Laris> and... I ought to speak to Harbinger as well, since it appears that to some measure his presence is the reason for this delegation.
<Calkas> I'm sure Domina Lalu will be happy with a celebration, as well..
* Calkas nod.
<Calkas> It seems both wise and good to forewarn him.
<Laris> I would not wish him to think it was meant to be a secret from him.
* Calkas nods.
<Calkas> Thank the gods her letter got through, at least.
<Laris> yes... it would have been very unfortunate if they arrived without any notice at all.
* Laris rubs his forehead a bit, tense
<Calkas> Perhaps you need to take some time to...process this information.
<Laris> how will I explain.. any of this.
<Calkas> Any of which, specifically?
<Laris> The arrival of more Thantopolitan troops to Domina Mamitu. The arrival of my betrothed to Sahhiru. The ... anything at all about me, to Dianthea.
* Calkas nods.
<Calkas> Thantopolitan troops are ostensibly a show of support for House Lalu, so hopefully Domina Mamitu will take that well.
<Calkas> Sahhiru...has different mores in this matter, and may not be particularly concerned, at least for himself. Perhaps some for you, and even your betrothed.
<Calkas> As to Dianthea...only time will tell, and while it merits thought, I'm not sure it merits worry just yet.
* Laris nods
<Laris> I am afraid I will not be what she expects.
<Calkas> If your time with Sahhiru is what concerns you, you may be being somewhat naive, Dominus. Dianthea is grown woman, and has not seen you in almost two decades. If you think she has been unfailingly physically faithful to your betrothal, I would quite definitely take that bet.
<Laris> no, I...
<Calkas> From what you have said, she seems like a reasonable sort, and a solid match for you. I do not think she will be unreasonable, and will be perfectly content with you.
* Laris nods, settling back in his seat again
<Laris> I hope that is the case.
<Laris> thank you for your assistance.
<Calkas> We all do what we can.
* Laris will take Calkas's advice to have some time to 'process' and feel a bit less anxious
Induriel consults with his entourage
* Induriel sighs
<Malliel> What did she have to say?
<Induriel> I'm afraid that Mamitu Lalu seems determined to establish some sort of relations with the treacherous rebels of Vanilorra.
<Malliel> Ungrateful little...
* Malliel sighs.
<Induriel> Hush, Malliel.
<Valtheriel> It's understandable. She's young.
<Valtheriel> Isn't this why we're here, to offer guidance?
<Induriel> I think I managed to persuade her not to rush into anything... but not to dissuade her from it entirely.
<Malliel> I could go kill them. They're outlaws, so it's not like it's illegal or anything.
<Induriel> No, Malliel.
<Induriel> While I appreciate the sentiment, that would only cause a diplomatic incident - and make us look bad.
<Induriel> We must deal with things as they are, not as they should be.
<Valtheriel> Besides, Loce Camillia is at least your equal, and she's not alone.
* Valtheriel says with something of a smirk.
* Malliel growls at that.
* Induriel says severely.
<Induriel> Do not taunt my bodyguard, please.
<Induriel> We need to work together now, more than ever.
<Valtheriel> I am here to provide you information, Lord Antalanon. I am but your servant.
<Induriel> I suggested to Heri Mamitu that she should seek ironclad guarantees and recognition of her right here before entertaining any notion of granting their requests.
* Valtheriel bows her head slightly in acknowledgement of the rebuke, though.
<Induriel> She indicated that we could discuss this proposal with Lord Sahhiru.
<Malliel> And her response?
<Malliel> (sorry, typed too slow)
<Malliel> Is she the ruler, or he? 'Lord' Sahhiru isn't a noble.
<Induriel> I have hopes that he will look on it favourably, and I intend to make the case as strongly as possible.
<Mifflepon> He's more than he seems, Malliel, as you well know.
<Induriel> No, Malliel, but he *is
* someone who has taken care of her all her life, and easily her most trusted advisor.
<Malliel> Well, you do know him better than anyone else here, Lord Induriel.
<Induriel> So, if I'm successful in persuading them to negotiate for terms, how will the Traitor Iomelinde respond?
<Valtheriel> The hope would be that he dismisses such claims, and reveals his motives, but I doubt he is that foolish.
<Induriel> No indeed.
<Induriel> Militarily, how much of a threat do his forces pose to Nesu Abamatu?
<Valtheriel> Asking for a border agreement is a good trap. If he agrees, breaking it will bring dishonor. If he fails to agree to it, it brings lesser but more immediate dishonor.
<Malliel> Hard to say. If he were to commit forces to an invasion, Nesu Abamatu could not withstand him.
<Induriel> I also suggested that Mamitu should ask for guarantees that they will not scheme to recruit the Amanya Hatal.
<Malliel> But, firstly, getting the elves to do anything as a group is an exercise in futility. Secondly, it could mean leaving weaknesses in their own border defenses.
<Valtheriel> That is commendable, lord, but will be difficult to enforce.
* Induriel sighs
<Induriel> I'm afraid so, but it seemed important to mention it.
<Valtheriel> Of course.
<Induriel> I am open to further suggestions, if you have them.
<Valtheriel> A non-alliance stipulation sets the stage for future opposition to Amaranthine influence on the Amanya Hatal.
<Valtheriel> Perhaps the least likely gamble, but we could always attempt to speak to Amanya Hatal ourselves.
<Induriel> Are they open to negotiation from us? From what you have told me before, they have little use for any of us.
<Induriel> What could we offer them?
<Valtheriel> Perhaps if we can convince their people of Nesu Abamatu's benefits to the region, it might soften their opposition?
<Induriel> Also, I'm afraid that having stipulated that it's a threat if Iomelinde recruits them, it would look... odd... to try to do so ourselves, now.
<Valtheriel> They do not visit the city, but it has goods they could use.
<Valtheriel> Of course.
<Induriel> I suppose that is one possible approach. We would have to pursue it on behalf of Nesu Abamatu rather than in our own right, but still...
<Induriel> Better that than let the traitors gain ground there.
<Valtheriel> It would cement an ally here and deny one to the Amaranthine.
<Malliel> I stand by my plan to kill them, but, failing that, the border agreement seems promising.
<Induriel> Back to the military question, how desperately does Iomelinde want a port? That surely is another factor behind this move of his.
<Malliel> Perhaps we can ask for reinforcements? Nesu Abamatu needs troops, and we could offer material support.
<Induriel> If Mamitu wishes it.
<Malliel> They need one, badly, and we need them to not have one.
<Induriel> However, could that provide a pretext for Vanilorra to invade "pre-emptively"?
<Induriel> Also, I'm afraid that Mamitu seems particularly anxious not to be seen as a "puppet" of Aethrennar. She might take any suggestion of increased presence the wrong way.
<Malliel> We have the run of the west coast since Arkhosia fell, but, since the cataclysm, that means giant reivers, demons, and refugees, for the most part. If Vanilorra got access to the eastern sea, then they get much quicker access to the riches of Morro.
* Malliel nods.
<Malliel> I doubt a small force would provoke them, but if the little domina is feeling touchy, it might set her off.
<Induriel> So, what is the best way to deny them this advantage, given the unfortunate fact that Mamitu seems convinced that trade with them will be advantageous for Nesu Abamatu?
<Valtheriel> It would be, for a time, at least, until they feel the need to remove Mamitu as a middle-man.
<Valtheriel> But, for the moment, Iomelinde is offering a carrot, so we need a stick, which will further alienate this ally, or a larger carrot of our own.
<Valtheriel> What does Heri Lalu want?
<Induriel> Prosperity for the city. To be seen as a capable ruler.
<Induriel> To usher in a new age.
* Induriel says wryly.
<Malliel> Why not that?
<Valtheriel> Why not that?
<Valtheriel> Formalize an alliance.
<Valtheriel> Let her feel like a ruler, but it won't change her situation.
<Valtheriel> She'll feel like she can push further with the Amarantha, and we can feed that, try to get her to alienate them all on her own.
<Valtheriel> In reality, it will cost us almost nothing, and she'll feel like she won.
<Induriel> How can we accomplish this? What would be the terms of the alliance? At this point, it seems certain she would want us to acquiesce to this embassy.
<Induriel> At the moment, I have made that contingent on the traitors accepting her terms.
<Valtheriel> That may be the best we can hope for for now, then.
<Malliel> That's better than they should get.
<Malliel> She's as much Aethrennari as Turathi. Has she forgotten so easily?
<Induriel> I fear that people have been playing on her vanity.
<Valtheriel> It's not as though we can play to her wisdom. >.>
<Induriel> My former student is not unintelligent, Valtheriel.
<Induriel> I think others have been playing on her insecurities, that's all.
<Valtheriel> I said nothing about intelligence, Lord Induriel.
<Valtheriel> I'm well aware how clever she is.
<Valtheriel> But she is young, inexperienced, and clearly overwhelmed.
<Induriel> Malliel: if it did come to a question of military aid, what exactly could we offer her to help the defense of Nesu Abamatu?
<Valtheriel> We knew this would be a delicate assignment.
<Malliel> My suggestion and hope would lean towards the magical end of things. A contingent of sorcerers. A small force, but a force multiplier.
<Valtheriel> Not to mention, it plays into Heri Mamitu's love of all things magical.
<Induriel> Yes. I agree.
<Induriel> Also, there is perhaps another issue we can use here.
<Induriel> But... no, that is premature.
<Valtheriel> We thought to bring Fairë Roanne here as a possible consort. He is a well-renowned sorcerer, and House Roane is looking to reestablish royal favor.
<Induriel> That is exactly what I was thinking. If we can somehow leverage this to strengthen the case for a marriage to an Aethrennari...
<Induriel> But would such a marriage be worth having the traitors in our midst? I think not.
* Valtheriel nods.
<Induriel> Still, if needs must, it might be presented as a way to placate the Queen. We must prepare for all eventualities.
<Induriel> So Faire Roanne is ready to come here?
<Valtheriel> It is unlikely to take much to entice House Roane to send him, with a contingent if necessary.
<Valtheriel> Malliel's proposal calls for a small group, which could prepare and move quickly.
<Induriel> Well, as I recall, we had a number of candidates in mind.
<Valtheriel> Yes, my lord.
<Induriel> Anyway; a contingent is not necessary unless Heri Mamitu desires it, I think. He should be able to arrive safely with only a personal guard?
<Valtheriel> They could be one in the same, with the right group.
<Induriel> Perhaps it is time to set that in motion, then.
<Induriel> For our first candidate, at least.
<Induriel> Oh; about the traitors, what is the view of the local populace?
* Induriel asks suddenly
<Induriel> I imagine they must be curious... but not overly eager to see their former enemies establish a foothold here?
<Valtheriel> For the most part, they have little opinion either way about Vanilorra, but, yes, properly presented, they could be made to see them as villains.
<Induriel> That is something else to keep in mind, then.
<Induriel> Well, I think that is all we can do today.
<Induriel> I thank you both for your good advice.
<Induriel> While this situation is obviously not all that we hoped, perhaps we can still salvage it.
<Valtheriel> Of course, lord.
* Malliel will nod.
Laris appraises Harbinger of the situation
<Laris> Where has Harbinger been staying?
<YOAW_Narrator> I imagine he has a place at the temple, though it's basically a place to put his stuff.
<Laris> or, where would I find him :)
<YOAW_Narrator> Such as it is.
<Laris> okay, I'll go try to locate him there, then
* Harbinger can be found in the rookery of the temple, tending to the birds.
<Laris> Good day, Harbinger.
* Harbinger will look up from feeding a raven from his hand.
<Harbinger> Good day, Dominus.
<Harbinger> It is nice to see you.
<Harbinger> Is aught well?
<Laris> The birds seem quite accustomed to you.
* Laris says, glancing around.
<Harbinger> I find them comforting, somehow.
<Harbinger> They seem to appreciate the food.
* Laris smiles faintly at that.
* Harbinger smiles.
<Laris> I wanted to let you know about some new arrivals who will be coming here soon. I relayed word about your ... arrival here to others in Thantopolis, and they are quite interested to meet you.
<Laris> Another priestess of the Raven Queen, among others.
<Harbinger> Someone familiar with my kind, perhaps?
* Harbinger says hopefully.
<Laris> I am not certain. I hope that she will be able to provide more insight, and perhaps that there are those among the group who accompany her who may also know more.
* Harbinger nods.
<Laris> I admit I know very little about who is coming, aside from her, or what they may bring with them.
<Harbinger> That would be my hope as well.
<Harbinger> Well, I do have some reason to worry about strangers from afar.
* Laris nods
* Harbinger says with a sad smile.
<Harbinger> But I feel no sense of these people.
<Laris> She said that your presence here has drawn interest from among the clergy as well as the senate, and that they are sailing here with some additional forces.
<Laris> Yes. I don't know if it is a small delegation or a larger force.
<Harbinger> I was a warrior, before. I suppose I could be still, or again, but I do not think that is what I am now.
* Laris nods
<Harbinger> Is this a problem? More troops seems like a response to danger.
<Laris> It may be merely that they believe we are vulnerable here and wish to aid in the defense of the city.
* Harbinger nods.
<Laris> I want you to know that, whatever it turns out their purpose may be in coming here, I will do my best to ensure that you are treated with respect and dignity. I feel a sort of ... kinship with you. I would not want to have you come to harm.
<Harbinger> I appreciate that. I would not want to come to harm.
* Harbinger smiles.
<Harbinger> But I look forward to any help that might be had in finding out...what I am for.
<Laris> I will make sure that I am there when you meet with them.
<Laris> ... that is, if you wish for me to be there.
<Harbinger> I would like that. I, too, feel a kinship between us. You have been good to me, and I appreciate it. I am unsure of my place, but less unsure when I speak to you.
<Harbinger> (crud, sorry, brb, bio)
* Laris nods
Laris eventually tells Sahhiru that his fiancee is coming to visit
* Sahhiru will partake of delicious foods.
* Laris picks at his food, not having much appetite.
<Sahhiru> Everything all right?
<Sahhiru> You seem...distracted.
<Laris> ah... I suppose I am.
<Sahhiru> Something I can help with?
<Laris> I received a letter from my betrothed. Apparently the Senate are sending some sort of extra forces - and she is accompanying them.
* Sahhiru looks momentarily nonplussed.
<Sahhiru> Ah, that's an...interesting development.
<Laris> it was unexpected.
<YOAW_Narrator> (How much, if anything, would Laris have mentioned about Dianthea?)
<Laris> she seemed to suggest I would already have heard about this from other sources but her letter was the first I learned of it.
<Sahhiru> That's certainly concerning.
<Sahhiru> Can we afford to operate your ships as escorts for the time being? Make sure nothing is disrupting our shipping lanes?
<Laris> (well Sahhiru knows she exists, because we talked about it at some point early on, and probably Laris would have mentioned her name at least. Beyond that... he would probably know they write to each other, and he'd know that Laris has never shown a particularly strong attraction to her or anything like that - probably he'd know they haven't actually seen each other in decades)
<Sahhiru> I'd hate to think we're missing out on information outside of our little sphere here.
<Laris> It might be worthwhile considering.
* Laris agrees re. the ships
* Sahhiru nods.
<Laris> (Laris might have mentioned she's a priestess, or basic info about her family, that sort of thing, if it came up in conversation)
<Sahhiru> And you're...concerned about her coming to Nesu Abamatu?
<Sahhiru> The two of you haven't seen each other for decades. Yes?
<Laris> I really have very little idea what to expect.
<Laris> and yes... the last time I saw her I believe she was nine.
* Sahhiru smiles at that.
<Sahhiru> This should be quite different, one would assume.
<Laris> yes, I imagine so.
<Laris> I don't know what her expectations will be, or what she might intend once she's here.
<Laris> ... whether she intends to remain. for instance, as my wife.
<Sahhiru> Do you think that's likely? Waiting until you're both back in Thantoplis would be more traditional, would it not?
<Laris> (I assume yes, it would be more customary to get married back home?)
<Laris> It would be. But already her making the journey here is somewhat unusual.
* Sahhiru nods.
* Laris shrugs a bit
<Laris> I'm uncertain whether she will expect to... ah, assume a role here, with me. or ... what she will want from me :/
<Sahhiru> That's understandable.
<Sahhiru> I can't pretend more players don't complicate matters.
<Sahhiru> Do you trust her?
* Laris considers that
<Laris> I have never found any reason not to trust her, based on our correspondence. She has always seemed quite... open in her letters, and I have no reason to think that is not her true disposition. After all, I have been reading those letters since she was a child, before I would imagine she would be interested in or capable of dissembling.
* Sahhiru nods at that.
<Laris> She strikes me as sensible and practical, and she has provided wise advice from time to time. I think she has the best interests of our families at heart, as well.
<Sahhiru> Isn't there something pleasant, then, in the thought of a confidant, a trustworthy ally of equitable station present in the city?
* Sahhiru says with a smile.
<Laris> well... yes, in that regard, it doesn't sound so bad.
<Laris> I don't know if she will expect me to give up ... other such confidants >.>
<Sahhiru> That is a not-insignificant concern, but one not precisely requiring a dire outlook just yet, I would think.
<Sahhiru> Paramours are not uncommon among your people, though perhaps more uncommon than among the Turathi or Aethrennari.
<Sahhiru> And you already know I am not a jealous man.
* Laris nods
<Sahhiru> You afford yourself few enough comforts, Laris. I don't begrudge you finding them where you can.
<Laris> It is less that I am concerned she will require me to give you up as that I worry she might... expect the same type of relationship. between us.
* Laris tries to think if he can explain better, but is already feeling super awkward about talking about this
<Laris> I have a duty to treat her with respect and to do what is right for our families. But I don't know if I can... hurry into things >.> which I know sounds ridiculous given that we have been engaged for 20 years.
<Laris> She has waited a very long time, I suppose. And ... even though Calkas said it's entirely possible she has not been, ah, physically chaste during all that time, still... I hope she is not disappointed with having to wait longer >.>
<Sahhiru> I do not wish this to seem a ill-omened phrase, but if she does not have patience, I feel your union would be a poor match.
<Sahhiru> However, those twenty years speak well of her ability to wait.
* Laris nods
<Laris> I suppose you're right.
<Sahhiru> I, ah, hope you weren't expecting some other reaction. I do hate to disappoint you.
<Laris> I have rarely if ever been disappointed in you.
* Laris says with a slight smile
* Sahhiru will smile at that.
<Sahhiru> I must confess likewise.
* Laris reaches over across the table to take his hand.
* Sahhiru entwines his fingers with Laris's.
<Laris> I thought, at least initially, it might be best if she and any other officers they send are given quarters at the keep, if it is acceptable to Domina Mamitu.
* Sahhiru nods.
<Laris> once she is here, it will be possible to better ascertain what her expectations and wishes are ... whether she anticipates having a room here, for instance. It would be appropriate as long as she has her own room, and some chaperone or other >.>
* Sahhiru chuckles a bit at that, but nods.
<Sahhiru> I imagine it would not be difficult to house a few more visiting nobles.
* Laris nods
<Sahhiru> And I think, in general, May enjoys guests.
<Sahhiru> Our current one's notwithstanding.
<Sahhiru> (ones, rather)
<Laris> Perhaps another young woman will be some companionship for her.
<Sahhiru> That would be nice. I fear May is isolated here.
<Sahhiru> For a multitude of reasons.
<Sahhiru> And while that cannot be helped to some extent, it is still a concern.
* Laris nods
<Laris> Dianthea also spoke of a surprise, which causes me some concern. She thought it would be pleasing, at least.
<Laris> Surprises are almost always awful though :p
* Sahhiru smiles.
<Laris> perhaps this will be one of the rare exceptions.
<Sahhiru> I know they are not your favorite thing in the world.
<Laris> If I know something is going to happen, I can prepare for it. I dislike being unprepared.
<Sahhiru> I'm not unaware.
* Laris smiles a little at that.
<Laris> I suppose I... we... will deal with this when it comes to pass.
* Laris amends his original statement carefully
<Sahhiru> That is all we can do.
* Sahhiru places a slight emphasis on "we."