A meeting of the South

A meeting of the South
Summary: Princess Fayre calls a meeting of the Southern nobility to discuss the current situation.
Date: 6 July 2013
Related: None
Deidra Eldrick Elenore Fayre Morla Niniane Pawel Prada Tamara Xander 

Wolveshire Castle - Lord's Hall
With its high, arched ceiling and flying buttresses, the Lord's Hall is one of the loftiest rooms in the keep. Grand, stone fireplaces occupy opposing walls as the heat from both is required to warm the entire room. On the walls in between, extraordinary tapestries intricately woven and colorful in features outline the history of the Taniford kingdom beginning with Taniford Eikos and ending with a decadent depiction of a battle with Corsairs. The final touch is a scenic depiction of current day Wolveshire and surrounding lands. A dais dominates the area of the room opposite the entrance, and the high table upon it is surrounded by a series of chairs for the Duke and his guests.

Near the dais, a small door leads back into the kitchens. The main entrance is marked by a pair of heavy, wooden double doors leading into the entrance hall.

The Lord's Hall has been organized to serve as a council chamber today. Central is an elegant chair with Summer flowers and silk ribbon woven through, no doubt serving as the seat of the Crown Princess and voice of the queen, who, today, will hold court for the first time. The tables have been moved to the walls and chairs have been placed before the Princess's seat, with an open space before the dais. There are seats that seem to be reserved for each person of importance— the various Houses are each represented, as well as a place of honor for Duke Pawel, this being his house, and he being the host. Various courtiers have gathered to the sides of the room, and servants wait in the shadows.

Sat Jul 06, 1329

Before things begin, as servants ready the halls, Fayre was already here. Perhaps to settle nerves, or reflect. Around her everyone bustled and worked, but she moved as if time were at another pace for her, her eyes roaming the tapestries that told of a history she knew very well— but not as well as others. She was not supposed to be the one through whom history would flow forward, after all. Seventeen. Today, in fact, seventeen. She'd forgotten until just now.
Her closest Lady in Waitng approaches and murmurs softly to the princess, who seems to have grown another inch in the last three months.
Fayre turns to regard the makeshift throne room, and for a moment pictures someone else entirely sitting there on that chair. Then, with a deep breath, she goes forth and takes the seat herself.
And that's how they will find her when they begin filtering in, sitting like a princss but about as far from the image of a girl with a stick up her ass as possible. She leans a little to one side, one arm on the arm of her chair, the other in her lap. Her dress is beautiful and tastefully ornate, a royal blue with silver embroidery. Upon her head is a tiara that looks like twigs wrought of metal, a concession to her whimsical nature. She wears a smile, slight and a touch guarded.

Eldrick made his own punctual entrance without fanfare. Upon entering the great hall, the solemn heir to house Lohstren made the appropriate gestures of respect to the throne of Taniford as liege and Varghem as host, before silently taking the seat marked for his family in Fayre's court.

Simply and quietly slipping into the Lord Hall is the very rescently wayward and still slightly pale Lady Elenore, the proper level of curtsey delivered in the direction of her Princess cousin. Before the more expendable Taniford seeks one of the seats befiting her place in the world, which is to say no where near the the front and most likely off to the side, to listen more than anything.

Standing somewhere in close vicinity to Princess Fayre's seat, although slightly to the back, is the Deputy Commander of the Blue Guard. The steel armor of Sir Deidra the Swift seems to shine even more today, in reverence to the official occasion, the blue cloak immaculate and clean. Steely green eyes glance attentively about the room, eyeing each of the arrivals carefully, while she shifts her weight from one leg to the other. Her gaze shifts to her Princess then, ready to react to any order or hint of an order even. The slight tension in Fayre's manner finds an echo in Sir Deidra's demeanour, which is as alert and determined as fits the impending topic that will be discussed.

Holding open the door for Tamara, Pawel looks inside for a few moments, waiting until the lady is inside before he steps inside himself. "Let's hope this gets done rather quickly, shall we?" he offers quietly to the red-headed lady, before he moves further inside to move in the direction of his own seat now. A brief nod and a half-smile is offered to Fayre. "Your Highness," he greets her, not saying much more at the moment.

Niniane Rhaedan is not quite sure why she was invited and it shows on the northern princess' face as she quietly enters the room and looks about to those gathered. A small nod of the blonde's head is given to the southern heir before she looks about the room and clears her throat hoping someone may direct her to the proper seat, not quite sure of protocol in such a situation.

Tamara enters before Pawel and gives him a small smile as he holds the door for her. The Taniford steward follows the duke to where to Princess sits and bows at the waist to Fayre, "Your highness." She chimes in her happy voice before sitting down near Fayre, opposite of the Duke of Wolveshire.

Fayre inclines her head to each bow an curtsey, offering a slightly brighter smile to those closest to her in kinship or position. When all have arrived and taken their places, she passes her eyes over the crowd, and takes a deep breath.
Rising, "Welcome, those loyal to the One true ruler of Eikeren, Queen Regina Taniford. Long may she rule. May the legacy of Taniford flow through her for all time, even to the ends of the earth. Long live the queen!"
The girl is no longer quite a tiny princess. Those who have not seen her in months, or ears, will see that it is not quite so odd as they expected to have little Fayre holding court. Her voice is full and strong, but thoroughly the voice of a young woman. She pauses for the gathered crowd to echo her sentiment, her chin high and her eyes imperiously focussed.
When silence has again fallen, she lowers her chin a touch.
"Thank you to my loyal cosuin, Duke Varghem, for opening his castle to us. Thank you, loyal Tanifords for your attendance. Let us commence."
And she sits.
"We have several issues to discuss, an I wish to hear each of you voice your concerns. Speak as though you speak to the queen, for every word of this meeting shall reach her. We wish to address several issues for our part. Firstly, the renewed conflict with the Northern pretenders, the Rhaedan. For centuries we have acknowledged them as Kings and Queens, princes and princesses. Shall we continue to do so, in light of the heinous crimes committed against our throne?
"Secondly, we have amongst us one of these Rhaedan, the sole Princess of the family who has /not/ attempted to seduce one of my brothers and usurp the throne— thus far.
"Third, we wish to hear renewed vows of loyalty from each of the houses in this time of trouble, since it seems certain former members of our esteemed nobility have seen fit to throw honor to the wind.
"I wish now to hear your thoughts." Phew. She takes a deep breath and leans back in her chair.

Eldrick echoes Fayre's invocation aloud, strong and steady: "Long live the Queen!" When the crown princess lays out the issues before the council, the heir to Summit Hill voices aloud, "If it please the Crown?" He rises, and repeats the proper respects to those present: "Unto the line of the Summer Queen," a deep bow to Fayre, and those near her, "And unto my Lord the Duke of Wolveshire," a crisp bow from the waist to Pawel, before rising again to his straight-backed height. "The northern border of our nation is secure. Horsemen patrol the southern bank of the River Rothim, enforcing the Crown's closed border. A very small number of peasantry have been taken seeking to smugle goods north, but of northmen, there are naught.
"The Baron of Westmark has placed a number of trebuchets at likely fords, attended by a token crew, with timbers driven into the banks to deter landing, but such measures pose no threat to Taniford. I invite word of the defenses of Taniford's eastern shore, as the familiar foe of Rhaeden inspires no dread in House Lohstren. It is the unfamiliar foe of the east that occupies our mind." Eldrick's oration is spoken level and steady in tone, his regard passing evenly amongst those assembled.

The northern princess' eyes widen at the speech from her younger, southern 'cousin' and she takes the seat left in the back, clearly not a place of any sort of honor, separated from the southerners. Niniane smooths her dress down as she sits and watches the southerners gives their undying loyalty speeches, not a hint of distress showing on the princess' face. Her green eyes do turn down towards the ground though as she folds her hands in her lap.

A pause, and suddenly the Princess's eyes seem to linger on her. Deidra clears her throat, aware of all the curious gazes, and takes a step foward to be better visible to all present. "My princess. As… turbulent as the recent weeks may have been. I feel the main threat does not come from the Rhaedans - and yes I know, it's hard to let go of old enmities - but from the Traitor King and his Whore in the cursed lands of Ellowe. Falling back into our old wars of years ago would serve them best, I am sure. I still believe in the worth of reason. Even a Rhaedan, or one of their vassals must have enough sense in them to see, that we have to do something against the horrible monsters that lurk there. Ignoring the threat will not make it go away. I would advise to seek a temporary truce with the Rhaedans. We can deal with them, when King Darrin and the Whore have been taken care of." The Deputy Commander inclines her head, before she steps back again with a nervous flicker in her steely green eyes.

Having found his seat, Pawel lets out a bit of a breath, before he nods a little at what's being said now. "I'm not sure even the Rhaedans would engineer something this risky, so there seems to be a much bigger threat more important to deal with. Unless we find some way to deal with the threat from the East, I'd advice against war with the Rhaedans. If we do, the vultures in the East will sniff out the most wounded side, and overrun them, getting the strength to take the other side as well. Like our ancestors when the Corsair threat arrived, we should keep old enemities off the field for now, and concentrate on our common enemy."

Fayre listens to each, not so much as dipping her head— guarding her thoughts seems a wise move, even amongst the loyal. "Jerric wants a war," she notes. "I am not inclined to give him anything he wants." She pauses, and her eyes drift across the room to land on Niniane.
Niniane, whome Fayre has known, though not well, for a while now. Niniane, who cme to live at the Citadel when her dear brother went North. Niniane, who was ever so briefly forgotten when her counterpart was snatched away by her sister. It has been a quick and smooth transition from honoured guest to near-despised captive. Does Fayre look at all symapthetic?
Hell no. Just now, Niniane gets to be Kerilyn by proxy.
"We have a way to control Jerric," She says, and everyone in the room must know exactly what Fayre is thinking, for she's looking at Niniane as she says it.

"With respect to His Grace," Eldrick voices, turning his eye to Duke Pawel, "I am unconvinced Rhaeden sees a common enemy, nor have we need to await their cooperation. Let Taniford take measures to learn what threat is found in the east, and let Rhaeden stew if they will not act. If they stir to the common defense so much the better, but we must not sit idle, waiting on the good sense of any northerner."

Taking a seat near her brother's side, the colorless Flower of the March has remained silent in favor of Eldrick's own words. Yet as mention of dealings with the North begin, she finally intercedes, "Jerric has a temper and would see it satiated with Southern blood over the honor of his sisters, Your Highness." Morla pauses for a moment as her gaze, too, follows to land upon Niniane, "You might be inclined not to give him what he wishes, but inviting his sister to sit as a 'guest' upon this council session is far from wise lest you wish the contents therein to find every detail carried to the North." Eldrick's words summon her attentions as she nods slowly, "The Harpy of Ellowe poses no threat to Rhaedan at this juncture as she has made no attacks personally against the house of her birth. As my brother has stated: Until such time as she slays one of her own siblings, she will remain but an instrument of Braec, himself - one they shall allow to continue, untethered against us. You shall have need of some other method of bringing Jerric to heal. But it would be my advisement that if this discussion is to continue with merit, we take measures to ensure the contents therein are contained solely within these walls." Her pale depths strike back towards Niniane with scrutiny.

Niniane does visably shift in her chair as Fayre turns that gaze on her. The northern princess smooths down her dress and just smiles to the southern princess before dropping her eyes to the ground once again at Morla's entrance and words.

"A conflict with one will weaken us for the other," Fayre says, a note of helpless humor in her tone. "It's the same reason, ostensibly, neither the North nor the South has moved to take over Laketown all this time. If we turn our attention East, we'll miss it when the North comes to slit our throats in the night." It's a graphic metaphor for a princess, but Fayre always was the one that could be depended n for that!
A pause ensues after every speech, before Fayre answers with her own thoughts.
She turns to Morla, regarding her for a moment in silence as if she needs to study the woman to let the words sink in. "Niniane," she begins, and for now there is no title attached, "will have no opportunity to communicate with the North. But I do wish to hear her speak. She deserves to know where she stands with us. Her wretched family's sins are her own and yet she is allowed redemption, should she prove worthy of it." So, just for the record, it seems a bad idea to mess with Fayre's brothers. She seems to take it badly when people do.
"The honor of the Rhaedan women has been tarnished by all but one of Jerric's sisters. I am sure now that he's down to just one woman of worth, she must be worth something to him. Anyway for now I wish her to hear what we have to say. So, we do not wish to oblige Jerric wit a war, but I believe ging to war with the East will make us vulnerable to the North. Furthermore Lady Morla is correct— the North has no reason to attack the East— Kerilyn serves Jerric's purposes. So tell me, wise men and women of Taniford, what would we do?"

"Rhaedan has tried and failed to conquer Taniford for centuries, Your Highness, directing our eye East will not grant their horses the power to ride over rivers, nor their mountains the power to conjure forth the grain needed to sustain a campaign. Within a year any offensive of the north- bereft of our crops- will collapse." Such are the plain words of Eldrick in answer to the first of Fayre's comments. "As for what we do, Lohstren offers this: there once was a city within easy passage of our lands- the center of all roads and commerce within fallen Ellowe. It had powerful walls that no enemy breached. I recommend that scouts be sent to Overlake, to judge the state of the enemy in that place, as well as to judge it's suitability as an advance Taniford post in the fallen continent, much as Rhaedan maintains Haven as a shield for its own borders."

"Which is why avoiding one war is very important," Pawel replies, before he adds, "As my father used to say." A brief pause, before he adds, "Only an idiot fights a war on two fronts. Only the heir to the throne of the *kingdom* of idiots would fight a war on two, or even three, fronts." A brief pause again as he listens. There's something in his expression very briefly as he hears the rest of what's being said, but he doesn't offer anything more for the moment, shaking his head a little bit now.

Just opposite the kitchen doorway stands two together hidden in the shadows in silence. Neither wishing to join the present pissing contest and preferring to listen. Both smirking at different parts of the conversation and occasionally rolling their eyes at some comment. Such as it is for Xander Lohstren and Prada Varghem. From the words of one to the next does the pair follow the conversation, glancing at times to the other with unspoken words of like mind.

Casting his eyes back and forth as if watching a badmitton match, Xander and Prada do end up exchanging looks, and on occassion coin as they both seem to have vested interest in the meeting, just not a reason to want to engage.

Tamara remains calm and situated in her seat near Fayre scanning the faces of those present. She gives Pawel and Deidra small nods at their assessment of the potential of war before her eyebrow raises to Morla's words. She does not say anything though as she mouth sets in a solid line. The Citadel's steward casts the Duke of Wolveshire a quick glance as he fall silent again but does not add her own voice into the mix.

It is brief, but Fayre's expression— how tragic! Mention of Ellowe has the princess turning her eyes for a moment to distant dreams that, like a receding shoreline, only grow more distant. Unfortunately it is clear to the entire room— or at least those with the wit to see— that Princess Fayre would a thousand times rather be in a different chair than the one she warms now.
"It would be wise of us to gather as much information as possible, however. Leverage. Very well."
She turns to Niniane.
"Rise, and step forth. Speak your mind, both as former ambassador, as captive, and as sister to our enemies."

"And no man ought fight an unknown foe," Eldrick states, in answer to Pawel's comment. "Rhaedan is a known foe. Rhaedan is a foe that cannot overcome us. As I noted: they have sought to do so without fruit for centuries. I do not suggest we ignore the north, but surely three houses such as Sollinger, Lohstren, and Varghem can manage to learn how dire a threat is poised on our eastern doorstep? I cannot say how the Royal Traitors commanded a host of beasts against Prince Samwell's forces. Can any here give answer? I say again, the north we know. the east we know not, this must be corrected." As Faye speaks and invites Niniane forward, the solemn Sir Eldrick goes silent.

"Know thine enemy - no words ring more true than these. We know Rhaedan and the threat to the North, but the East may be no more comprehensible at this time than the myths and legends of old," Morla echoes as she glances between her brother and the Duke, "I think even the lowliest of fools is aware that no kingdom, whether North or South, can fight a war on multiple sides - Your Grace. I would be interested to hear what you propose we should do…" she pauses as Fayre intercedes, "… after we hear from the Northern 'guest', of course." She bows her head respectfully towards Niniane and falls silent once more.

A raise of her eyebrow is the only response seen for the northern princess as Fayre's inability to use her title and lack of caring for her presence in the rather fragrant mud slinging towards her sisters. Niniane is about to open her mouth anyways as Fayre asks her to speak and the northern woman pushes herself up from her chair.

"While I may not and can not speak for my family at this time. I do hope I am correct in assuring you that since the northern forces did recently join with the southern against the creatures of Ellowe, and our men and woman were slaughtered just as readily, that the north worries of the growing threat of my former sister. So I urge you to consider reopening negotiations with my brother and father." She remains standing and looks to Fayre with a stern expression on her face she attempts to soften for the southerners benefit.

"Your sister murdered mine," Fayre says, simply to Niniane. She pauses to let that sink in.
"She slit her throat and cut off her head. I haven't so much as heard a 'sorry' from the so-called Northern throne. Meanwhile my brother was seduced into these nefarious plans— how do I know he was seduced? Because he wanted to be king of the south but, to appease Kerilyn, has succumbed to a position of nothing more than consort.It's not really in my brother's nature. And—" she continues, her voice picking up in volume to carry ringingly through the whole room, "WHILE this was happening, your /other/ sister was here in my kingdom attempting to seduce half a dozen of my loyal nobles, as well as my remaining brother. Tell me why, Niniane, I shouldn't send you back to Jerric in pieces."
Fayre quickly holds up a finger, and with a grim smile adds, in a softer but still cool voice, "I'm not saying I will. I just want to know why you think any of you deserve the slightest measure of respect, accommodation, or tolerance." And people just got the first hint of what kind of queen Fayre might become.

"Guardians preserve us. Gods, what a laughable comment. It is going to take more than the guardians to keep us from destroying ourselves. We need not worry of the North. At this rate the South will be theirs for a song." After handing the last of her coin to Xander and growling once again for losing to the man, Prada steps from shadows and speaks unbidden and without care. As her usual way.

"And brother dear remember also his words. A victor seeks not the easy route. Seek the weakness and exploit it to your gain. She.." The woman comments with a pointed finger to Niniane, "Is their weakness. We have before us, in the way of Princess Niniane a bargaining chip. Could she be used as a peace measure, most certain. Though should she? Doubtful. We do not know the exact limit of her knowledge of the south. What we do know is her family will not attack as long as she is here. Yet they assume she is in the Citadel. They will focus their methods upon gaining her freedom where they believe her to be. Move her. Often. Daily it must be so, under constant guard. The threat does not lie to the North. The threat lives happily in one anothers bed to the east. Keep the Northern eye focused here, play upon the desire to negotiate her release. The send to Ellowe a small, very small group to do nothing more than study and learn. We know of the North, we can plan according for an attack from them. We do not know Ellowe."

Deidra inclines her head in a nod of agreement as she hears Niniane's statement. "Aye, we fought there together. They still see Queen Kerilyn as a threat. We should use the opportunity, my princess, to negotiate and accept the help Princess Niniane offers us here… To kill her… send her back in pieces bars us the only way out of this. And would show us to be no better than that Kerilyn Whore. We would accept her eveil ways by persuing them ourselves…" The Deputy Commander is almost shocked by her audacity to speak this candidly in this council, but her words are uttered with a firm determined voice.

"Because you keep claiming that you do not want the war that Jerric supposedly claims he wants." Xander can finally no longer hold his peace, so speaks. "That Her Highness was willing to allow one of the nobles that was seduced by the Northern Princess to marry Sir Dalyros to find his redemption, and now you make Princess Niniane beg for her life? If we are to claim to be the noble and upper hand, should we be acting as the spurned child or the steady and strong adult." Following Prada out, he hands his own coin back to her. "Play the game to the North, but keep the watch on the East." he agrees with Prada finally.

Dark eyes simply drift between the various speakers as they have their say, speak their thoughts on what occurs, what should occur. Of her own thoughts, there is little indication to what they might be, for the pale Elenore simply stays quiet and generally still in that spot off to the side. The occasional twitch of a finger as her hands remain clasped tightly within her lap.

On the heels of Prada and Xander's outbursts, Eldrick comments simply to Fayre, his expression grave, "If Your Highness is finished threatening the guest protected under Her Majesty's word of honor, may we return to the question of Ellowe?

"They tried, without success, centuries, that is correct," Pawel replies to Eldrick, his voice a bit patient. "Yet, when a third force arrived, they were wise enough to know that it was far safer to fight that third force without having to fight each other at the same time." A brief pause, before he adds, "I agree that we need to know more about what's happening in the East, though." Another brief pause, he nods a bit as he hears Prada's words. "And keep her disguised while moving her." There's a look to Xander as he hears the man's words, nodding a bit, "And yes, we need to be acting like adults here." A brief pause, and a grin, before he adds, "Although, if you want a less mature reason, I can tell you that in all of my dealings with Prince Jerric, the one thing that seems to frustrate him the most is when he doesn't get what he wants. And he wants this war, which gives another good reason not to give it to him."
Xander whispers to Prada.

Niniane visibly pales at Fayre's words but the northern princess sets her jaw and takes a deep breath as the Lady Prada and the others words and says quietly in a calm tone, "I remind you 'cousin' that I was here as a guest during all the afore mentioned happening thought I accept you have a right to be angered." A slight sigh passes her lips as she stands still waiting to be dismissed or for all she knows killed on the spot. The second thought shows in a brief tremble of the princess' hands before she clasps them in front of her quickly.

The mention of her brother elicits only the mildest of twitches upon Morla's brow as she looks from cousin to brother to the Princess, "Your Highness, while we all have the deepest respect for the pain you have endured at the hands of Kerilyn and by proxy, House Rhaedan - I would caution to not tread lightly upon such threats. As you are in your right to do as you please, retaliation in the slaying of one's kin is never a matter to be broached with such lightness - even when made in jest." Prada's words bear a moment of consideration before offering a nod of agreement, "Lady Prada is indeed correct. Jerric wishes his sister's return and it is something we cannot allow. Whether she bears the legacy of her sisters is a moot point. As long as she remains in our care, he will not dare seek to attack out of fear of repercussions to her own well-being. However, make no mistake he will comb our lands in search of her and seek to utilize any potential turncoat he can find to do so. No house, no matter how deep our loyalties to our sovereign might lay, is immune to his influence. I ask that should we commit to this endeavor, each House be willing to cut the poison from within where it lies, regardless of the depth."

"No," Fayre says, calmly. "She needn't beg for her life. But she does need to do more than say the North fought too. This is her chance to be heard, and I hope compelling reasons, before this entire council, can be spoken in favor of a kinder, generous course of action. And I want her to give them. It was my sister slaughtered. Remember this, all of you. I knelt by her bedside for three days before her body was carried back to my broken hearted mother. I did so so that I would carry in my heart the anger for all time, so that I could temper my every act in future with the fire borne of murder. Not an act of war, not trampling borders. Your future queen was murdered. If you are all to have that fire in your hearts so quickly quenched, I guarantee you, her highness will likewise be disappointed in you."
Fayre shifts in her chair, focusing on Eldrick. "Niniane is no longer a guest. I would very much like to reinstate some honourable status to her, for some might call her a victim in all this. But let her speak of what she can /do/, not what she or her family deserves. For as it stands, all of Rhaedan /deserves/ to be razed. Is it the wise course of action? Certainly not."
Fayre turns to Niniane. Her lips thin.
"You are not going to be executed. Don't think I am threatening you. Understand only that justice demands something which politics, common sense, and mercy prevent. Do not beg— there is no need. But tell me how you would oblige us in making up for what Rhaedan has done."

Her green eyes widen a touch as Deidra watches the mental and verbal battle between the Northern and the Southern Princess. The Northern is clearly at a disadvantage. Her hand that rests casually on the pommel of her sword tightens for a moment, while the Deputy Commander's gaze shifts from Niniane to Fayre. Waiting for an order that might conflict with her own conviction it is clear she would obey. She is a Blue Guard after all.

Knowing she will be followed Prada steps closer to Niniane, perhaps a bit protectively and tilts her toward Fayre, " Your Grace may I ask you something simple? You would risk the one advantage your Mother has over the North bore of a wound suffered? I am not saying treat her with trust or respect until she has proven otherwise. She does serve a great purpose to us all. Do you wish your brother returned and redeemed? Do you want nothing more than your home land safe and secure once again. Perhaps it is the death of the one who truly took your sister. Harm her, and you will lose that chance."

Niniane's lips upturn in a touch of a weary smile to her southern counterpart as she clears her throat, "Pray tell me Princess Fayre what I can do to make up the acts of my siblings to you? Would you not have me beg? Then stop pretending to not ask me to." She drops her hands to her side again and moves to sit down in the seat she was given, so far at the back of the room.

She watches Deidra's hand drop to her swords and the northern princess' eyebrow raises, "If you wish I can part my hair for your guards sword cousin, I have nothing at the current time but my life to offer you in repayment for someone else's acts. What would you have of me? Pray, tell me what I could possibly offer, other then to be used at revenge or a bargaining chip. I am more then willing to be serve in my intended role as ambassador." She looks to Prada and a faint smile touches the blonde's lips.

With the increasing tension between two princesses, Morla rises from her seat as well though makes no motion to draw closer towards Niniane's side. Instead, pale depths drift back to regard Fayre with collected composure, "Your Highness, you mistake reason for antipathy over the loss of your sister. But you do no service to any of us by seeking to toss your authority around so needlessly so. Princess Aylanora was the best of us all but behaving like rabid wolves seeking the bones of Princess Niniane is beneath us all, especially you. Jerric would revel to see us divided so - fixated upon spilling the blood of his house. You desire recompense for the loss of your sister, then as Lady Prada has said - let such a blood price be paid by Kerilyn." Glancing back over towards Niniane, she continues, "We have wasted far too much time seeking a reason why Princess Niniane should be spared when the simple truth is that to do otherwise would render us at a loss we cannot, at this time, afford to bear."

Pawel just keeps silent for the moment, expression a bit stony as he listens to what's being said.

Fayre is very sharp— she didn't grow up embroidering banners. The youngest of four in a royal household full of politics and intrigue— she is used to watching. And so she knows when Deidra puts her hand to her sword, albeit a subtle movement. She looks sideways to the Blue Guard and gives her head an almost gentle shake. She knows when the tension in the room has grown and the courtiers are agitated— not that they were doing a good job hiding it! Hm, people really do take it seriously when a /crown/ princess talks about cutting someone up into little pieces! Noted.
Still, this exercise in expressing just how serious Fayre wants them all to take the renewed hostile stance toward their age old enemy is not one the princess appears to regret at all.
"I have made it clear she's not going to be harmed," Fayre says.
She closes her eyes. "/Enough/. Enough with the 'pity me poor victim' stance. You are here as a representative of Rhaedan, and thus you represent them in /all/ that they do, for good or for ill. You have been told I have no intention of having you killed, merely that it would be just to do so. Stop playing up the threat. I have given you the opportunity to offer some idea of how you can assist us but I see you have nothing but sarcasm. So be it. Think about it. Maybe you'll come up with something. In the meantime you're nothing but leverage."
Fayre turns to the company and rises. "At this time, Princess Niniane is honored with her title but nothing more. Her treatment is to be fair and non punitive, and nothing more. As she came to us in good faith and was abandoned by her brother when he fled north with the whore, as she has behaved with decorum in our presence for years, we will endeavor to see good faith restored with her after the destruction wreaked by her family. And I sincerely hope she will, in good faith, endeavour to make herself useful."
"Of the rest we will speak when Princess niniane has been removed back to her quarters."

Eldrick had drawn a breath to speak when his sister speaks first. As Morla, Prada, and finally Fayre speak, the stonefaced knight holds his peace. A slow breath is drawn in and let out through the nose as he waits for the Rhaedal princess to be removed, before speaking any further.

Niniane's green eyes lower as the northern princess contains her anger with such treatment and simple says, "Well then if you will excuse me." She stands and shakes her head as she does, "And I only endeavor to make myself useful in such times cousin, as Lady Prada suggested I am more then willing to assist with a plan to keep my brother unaware of my current location. I can write letters saying I am still at the citadel while you attempt to find out more of the troubles to the east. I do not wish for an attack from the north on your home by any means." She then inclines her head to the crown princess of the south and turns to leave the room.

Fayre waits for Niniane and some of the non essentials to be removed. "Lord Eldrick, I am in agreement with your desire to learn more about Ellowe." SHOCKING. "I would like your ideas of how we may best go about that, since you have given it some thought. However I wish you to focus energy on patrols of the borders to keep them secure. I am further in firm agreement that now is not the time for war or warlike gestures, as much as I would like to take such an opportunity to denounce Rhaedan's criminal claims to any throne at all. We've tolerated them long enough, but it is not the time to strike. We will best Jerric by avoiding the war he wants, and our greatest asset to do so is Niniane. However, I wish for a plan as to the particulars of her use."

"Highness," Eldrick answers promptly, "The north will be secure, as I do not advise sending the knights and warriors of my household to survey Ellowe. Lohstren shall remain a wall to Rhaedan ambitions, as we ever have. I council thus:" he draws a fresh breath. "Under suitable leadership, gather an expedition of freeriders, sellswords, and scouts to travel by boat from Laketown across Shelter Lake to the island outskirts of Overlake. this serves the double purpose of depriving Rhaedan of their services. Should a suitable landing point be found that offers security and ease of withdrawal, if strongly opposed, a camp should be established and supplied so as to enable us to judge the suitability of that ancient city as an advance post. The state of its walls, the supply of fresh waters, and any opposition to be encountered. If suitable as a redoubt for reconnaissance of the surrounding countryside, so much the better. In short, Highness: I would know how far the arm of the Royal Traitors reaches."

"As you say," Fayre says, and she turns toward Prada. "Lady Prada, please take this project. I suggest seeking the sellsword Roltoff in Laketown." Fayre is trying to restrain her gloom at the idea of not leading it herself, but the weight of the whole meeting, the tensions, and the sprinkling of crushed dreams on top has her barely able to keep from a major seventeen year old pout. Whataday.
"I am going to laketown in the coming days, to meet with Mother Tylon." She pauses.
"Lady Morla, please devise a plan for utilizing Niniane to hamstring Jerric."

At some point in it all, Elenore's eyes just close tight, no looking let alone moving between those who speak. Staying so as she does yet listen, ever quiet as fingers twitch ever so oddly. Eventually dark eyes opening again as the northern Princess is removed but taking to staring at her hands and seeming to not dare look up again to track between people as the matters pick up again.

"Very well your Grace. Roltoff is currently in my service as it is." Prada comments to Farye as she turns about grabbing Xander by the arm and motioning toward the kitchen. "Shall we prepare?"

As the meat of the discussion actually commences with the departure of the Northern princess, Morla nods silently in agreement with those spoken. Though as mention of the expedition encroaches, she offers easily, "I believe it would be a suitable mission for Daly. If needs be, I am certain Malcolm will accompany him to ensure things run smoothly." She looks back towards Fayre as she continues, "House Lohstren will make an offer of these loyal subjects to the task with the understanding that this be considered, in part, atonement for my brother's transgressions against your own, Your Highness." Looking back towards Eldrick with a deep breath, she then slips her focus back towards the princess, "As for the Northern Princess, I will see what can be done to utilize her as a tool to further neutralize Jerric."

Eldrick bows to the Princess' declaration, offering aloud, "Should Lady Prada wish it, I would speak with her later on the subject of the expedition." That said, he hears out Morla's words, expression wooden. No words pass between them.

"Lady Prada will not go on any expedition to Ellowe without me." Xander offers quickly as he moves to follow Prada back to assist in the kitchen - that is to stand there and look pretty while Prada makes foods.

"Hopefully, she will know that it's the right thing to do for her to origanize it, and send someone else to do it," Pawel's words comes right after he hears Xander, as he leans back a bit more in his seat now. Looking between the others at the moment now.

"I have no doubt that Lady Prada is well aware of the /right/ thing to do, Your Grace. As a brother, one should have more faith in the capacity of their sister to respect limitations and utilize their skills to the best of their capabilities," the Flower of the March counters with a faint offering of a smile, "However, perhaps you would assist in helping finance the supplies for such a mission, Your Grace? It would certainly help lend a great contribution to the campaign. May we count upon you for such assistance?"

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