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* Plot Information for Dena Nehele

With the full force of the Guilds at her back, Rilandra Vlas seized the Territory Throne of Dena Nehele. The common born Province Queen now owes allegiance to the Master of the Guilds for his assistance in both securing the throne and securing Darcia Glassade's continual safety. Trapped between the demands of the Guilds and the demands of the Aristos, Riley is struggling to rule, finding the palace more of a cage than she could have dreamed possible.
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Author Topic: A historically parallel case  (Read 404 times)

Description: Sora, Riley (&Drake and Jer)

Offline Xiong Teng

  • Character Account
    • ss2green
    • queen
    • Role

      Dragon Queen

    • Faction

      Court of Tacea

    • Territory

      Tacea

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      [Link]

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      Reid

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      64

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A historically parallel case
« on: Oct 16, 19, 05:48:32 PM »
Please deliver immediately the following message from the Queen of Tacea to the Queen of Dena Nehele. If she is not available, deliver to the highest official available, preferentially the Steward or the First Escort.

To Lady Rilandra Vlas, Queen of Dena Nehele, in the care of Lady Sorinna Roman, Queen of the First Circle of Dena Nehele.

Madame my sister,
Upon my enthronement as the Queen of Tacea, one of my first thoughts concerned the tender bud of a relationship between our Territories. Like a seed beginning to sprout in soil lain too long fallow, our ties are too weak to withstand the conflicts that have risen between us: the enslavement of a member of our Great Clans by a member of your First Circle, the threats made upon your person by a Queen of my Territory, and the savage attack by a member of one of my Territory's Clan Courts upon a member of your first circle are all as vicious winds seeking to blow away the first fruits of our fresh planting.

As my immediate predecessor was the first to attempt to bridge this gap between our lands, I cannot promise you essential continuity. I can only promise you that under my care, Tacea will not endeavor to rule over Dena Nehele from across the sea, a fear which I would espouse were I to be placed in your situation. It is not, nor has it ever been, the Tacean way to dictate the economic or social policy of a foreign land. I fear that rust has gathered upon our practice of the diplomatic arts, and there is no simple Craft to assuage what damage has already been done. That relations between our Courts should improve, I invite the Territory of Dena Nehele to send an ambassadorial mission to Ito, where they will be received with honors and emplaced within the Court of Dragons.

Yet this will not replant what has been so crudely torn from the earth. Therefore, I offer you a token of my esteem: Lady Natsuhana has been recalled to serve as a Clan Queen beneath my auspices. The Queen who arranged for the attack upon your First Circle has been dethroned, and her Clan disciplined for its malefactors. If there is a Price you would demand, simply inform me, and if I find it meet I shall deal it in your honor.

However, it is my foremost desire to reassure you of the sincerity of my desire to see the relations between our Territories grow strong as wheat well-tended. In the Territory where I rule, it is customary to mark new alliances with the mixing of blood. I have no children nor heirs of my own, but if you too find the regrowth of our diplomatic ties a worthy task, I would offer the hand of the brother of a trusted ally for the hand of your heir-in-fact, Lady Sorinna Roman. Such a public demonstration of our Territories combined would serve as the trellis for our diplomatic relationship to grow tall as wheat, that our children and our children's children will someday harvest the bounty of our labors.

It is my dearest hope that, together, we may pursue the prospect of peace between our Territories.

Your good sister,
Xiong Teng
Queen of Tacea

Offline Jeremiah Mercer

  • Character Account
    • yellow2rose
    • bwwp
    • Role

      Queen's Shadow / Steward

    • Faction

      Territory Court

    • Territory

      Dena Nehele

    • Character Sheet

      [Link]

    • OOC

      Rated Em

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      924

    • into the darkness they go, the wise and the lovely

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Re: A historically parallel case
« Reply #1 on: Oct 19, 19, 03:27:32 AM »
It was fortunate that the letter penned by Lady Xiong Teng, Queen of Tacea, found itself being delivered on a day that all of those named were gathered together to discuss Courtly matters in a more baby-friendly environment. Sora still ruled in Riley's stead but the Opal-Jeweled Queen had, with no longer being heavy with child, been allowed to be more involved. So long as she did not push it, though that did not seem to be a problem.

As he was--for the moment--not with an arm full of Codrin (he had been, not even a minute previous, been holding him), Jeremiah took the letter from the runner that had brought it to them. There was a wealth of emotions that went through him as he read the contents. Most telling was that his face went carefully blank as he continued to read.

A breath was let out, the Black Widow Warlord Prince holding the letter out so that it could be taken. "The newly enthroned Queen of Tacea wishes to better the relationship between our territories." That was the barest bones of it, of course, because Jeremiah was still trying to pick through her word choices--so different than that of Lisichya or Maseo--as well as the fact that she had made a marriage offer for Sora.

He found himself thinking back over the word choices once again and thought to later inquire with Lisichya. Would he know of the Teng family? She obviously was not of the Great Clans but to say any more than that would be making assumptions.

"I can appreciate what she is trying to do," said Jeremiah after others had had the chance to read it, "and I believe I understand some of the reasoning behind what she offers." He shook his head, brushing silver hair out of his eyes afterward. "Even if my first thoughts are that it is an arranged marriage that ultimately led to the events that have befallen both Dena Nehele and its people."

The other part was that if there was a request to be made, a Price to be asked, his first response was: the burnt-out pieces of Yuina no Ariake's Broken jewels. There was more, of course, but that was the immediate topic due to its nature. It was also a safer topic than the path his mind spiraled down when he thought of the potential reasoning behind offering the brother of a trusted ally.

Ultimately, however, it would be Sora's decision whether or not to accept the offer for her hand. That was simply the way of things (and neither of her parents--Jeremiah or Riley--would have it any other way).

Offline Sorinna Roman

  • Character Account
    • white2rose
    • queen
    • Role

      Proxy Queen

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      Territory Court

    • Territory

      Dena Nehele

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      [Link]

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      Gavin

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      401

    • The She-Bear.

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Re: A historically parallel case
« Reply #2 on: Oct 19, 19, 10:47:50 PM »
Sora was glad for the chance to see Riley. The Queen of Dena Nehele was still spending time with her new baby, but that would eventually end. Sora still hand no idea where she’d go or what she’d do once Riley returned to rule the Territory. When Riley first asked her to stand in as Proxy Queen, Sora feared that she wasn’t up to the task. But with the support of Jeremiah, Sebastian, Mikhail and, yes, even Drake, Sora found herself growing more and more comfortable as the days passed. Between the Triangle and her own males, the Rose Queen found her rhythm with the Territory Court. This taste of rulership--true rulership, had whet Sora’s appetite for more.

And yet, she hadn’t found the nerve to talk with Riley about what came next.

Codrin stared at her from his place on Drake’s shoulder. The little Warlord Prince seemed to stare at Sora whenever they were in the same room. Sora wondered if it was because she didn’t look quite like everyone else. Riley thought he just liked his big sister. Whatever the case, it made Sora smile and she waved at him. She stuck out her tongue. She made faces at him, trying to earn a smile from her tiny little brother. The First Escort patted the baby’s back gently and said something quiet to him as the runner arrived with the letter. Sora watched Jeremiiah read the letter, her brows rising in query as his expression stilled.

That doesn’t sound so bad, given everything that’s happened. If we can find a way to exist in peace, it would make me feel better about the future.” Sora said. She took the letter from Jeremiah when he offered it, wondering what the new Dragon Mother (Lord Shingetsu taught her that term had in mind as a peace offering. She picked up her glass of water and sipped it as she read the letter.

The first thing that struck her was the language that Lady Teng used. The prose was so full of metaphor and descriptive language that Sora wasn’t sure if she was being genuine or mocking. She chose to believe the former because this appeared to take a lot of effort to put together. Why spend all that effort to be uncivil? Lady Teng was right, though. The actions taken by both sides were more than enough to sour relations for generations unless something was done.

She wants to trade ambassadors. I keep forgetting everyone who’s already arrived aren’t actually ambassadors.” Sora said, a guilty look passing toward Jeremiah. At least one of the Taceans living in Dena Nehele had been brought here against his will. The others held varying shades of allegiance to the Territory Court. “It’ll be nice to have actual ambassadors who can educate us all about how to engage with Tacea in the future.

Oh, and she’s going to recall Lady Natsuhana to Tacea as well. No offense to her, but I feel better having her across the ocean.
” she said, looking to Riley.

She kept reading even though Lady Teng’s prose had her imagining high mountains and somber, peaceful fields. She took another sip of water as she reached the letter’s end...and read Lady Teng’s further idea for improving relations between their territories. She read the last part of the letter again, thinking that perhaps she’d misread the order of the words. She had not. It was all there on the page.

Oh.” she said, setting the letter down and reclining in her seat. Jeremiah said that he understood the reasoning behind the offer. Sora took a moment to attempt the same.

Drake looked between Jeremiah and Sora, then to Riley. Codrin burbled, right before he spat up on Drake’s shoulder. The Red Prince grimaced. “Hell's fire, kid. What are they feeding you?” he asked rhetorically, before looking back to Sora.

What else do they want? Don’t tell me they want Riley to marry one of their family members. That’s not gonna fly.” he said.

Sora looked up at him. “No, not quite. Lady Teng wants the brother of one of her allies to marry me.

Drake’s nodded in understanding, seeming to think it over. He even visibly relaxed despite Codrin’s irritation.

Oh. Well, it’s not the worst idea in the world. Right?

Sora’s only response was to glare daggers at the First Escort.

Drake looked to Jeremiah. "Do we have anyone that we could trust as an ambassador?"










Offline Rilandra Vlas

  • Character Account
    • rose2opal
    • queen
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      Territory Ruler

    • Territory

      Dena Nehele

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      [Link]

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      Phedre

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      615

    • The Bitch Queen

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Re: A historically parallel case
« Reply #3 on: Oct 20, 19, 07:05:16 PM »
Riley narrowed her eyes at Jeremiah as his expression went carefully blank. She knew that look. It was a look she had seen far more often since her beloved Warlord Prince had added Black Widow to his scent, but it was not new. In a room with his Queen, his daughter, his (former?) best friend, and a trained assassin, it was hard to hide much. And with the ever increasing expanse of his knowledge, offering a neutral expression was not just a valuable skill, it was a necessary one.

"Technically, Maseo is an ambassador," Riley added cheerfully. "Just not for Tacea." There was a careful line she was walking, adding her thoughts and opinions without fully stepping back in to her role as ruling Queen quite yet. Sora had not just been a figurehead in her stead, but had been doing the work of a ruling Queen and Riley intended for it to remain that way for a few months longer.

When Sora mentioned that the new Queen had called the Ebon Gray Dragon back across the sea, Riley placed both hands over her heart. "Thank the Darkness for that," she said quietly, not wanting to spend too much time talking about Lady Natsuhana now or ever. She looked at her son, painfully aware of the risk she had taken that day in the throne room, risking the lives of everyone who around her now, including her own and her child's.

Riley watched as Sora's expression shifted as well. She plucked the letter from the table and skimmed over it, reaching the part that had not yet been spoken aloud. "In the Territory where I rule, it is customary to mark new alliances with the mixing of blood. I have no children nor heirs of my own, but if you..." Riley looked up at the familiar sound of Codrin spitting up. The little Warlord Prince had managed to miss the towel draped across Drake's shoulder entirely, spitting up on the sweater he was wearing instead. At least it wasn't one of his suit jackets. This time.

With a wave of her hand, a fresh cloth floated over to Drake. She was enjoying being able to access her Craft again so much, she seemed to find small ways to use it whenever she could. That and it seemed kinder than just throwing it at him like she normally would. Besides, she might hit Codrin on accident.

"Hey, this is not on me. I don't understand how he turns breast milk into," Riley made circling gestures with her hands, "all the things that come out of him."

The letter forgotten in her hand for the moment, Riley's surprise was visible when Sora shared the Dragon Mother's intent. She looked down again, finishing the sentence she had been reading. "...but if you too find the regrowth of our diplomatic ties a worthy task, I would offer the hand of the brother of a trusted ally for the hand of your heir-in-fact, Lady Sorinna Roman."

"Not so fast," she said, standing to walk over to Drake, who seemed perfectly willing to gloss right over the marriage. "If you don't clean that, it'll stain," she said to her First Escort, motioning with her chin to Drake's sweater as she reached for Codrin. "I'll take this, you handle that." Settling Codrin with his back against her chest, one arm supported him from beneath while the other wrapped around him as she swayed in place. His little fist almost immediately grabbed a handful of her hair, hanging loosely over her shoulders. If Riley minded, she made no outward show of it.

"Sora, you have no obligation here. No one will force you into any kind of marriage. And... from my understanding of Tacean culture, which is still not great, this kind of offer of marriage is a big fucking deal." Becoming a mother had changed Riley's entire life. Just not her vocabulary. "I don't want to cause insult, and the Taceans seem so easily insulted. It's like a whole deeper level of Protocol on top of the Protocol we already follow."

What was it Maseo had said? Something about how even when the answer is no, you can't just say that. There must always be a way for both parties to save honor. "We could invite him to visit? To meet you and see if you get along. He may take one step onto our soil and hate it." Riley leaned forward, kissing the top of Codrin's head. "There is always the chance you will get along wonderfully. Isn't there?" The last was addressed to the baby in her arms in a much gentler voice, one that seemed to be reserved especially for Codrin.

"What do you think, Codrin? Will the handsome Tacean come across the sea and sweep your big sister off her feet? Hmmm? He could! Yes, he could." Along a Rose thread, she teased Jeremiah. *She certainly would not be the only member of this family to fall for a Tacean.* She smiled at him, waiting for the tips of his ears to turn pink.

















Offline Sebastian Bane

  • Character Account
    • broken2rose
    • prince
    • pddescent
    • Role

      Master of the Guard and Jacks Guild Leader

    • Faction

      Territory Court

    • Territory

      Dena Nehele

    • Character Sheet

      [Link]

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      Reid

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      165

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Re: A historically parallel case
« Reply #4 on: Oct 20, 19, 09:12:25 PM »
Sebastian got the letter last of all, which was fine. As Master of the Guard, he didn't need to concern himself so much with the politics as he did with the expected political results. In his absence, some things had slid that really oughtn't have done, and while everyone else had been discussing whatever the politics of the day was, he'd been sorting out the guard rotations again. He'd made the proper cooing noises after Codrin, and then he'd sat himself down at the far end of the table. When he foresaw problems, he spoke up, but part of what he'd been instructed to do to maintain his own sanity was to compartmentalize and delegate. Someone else could handle the placement of dignitaries and the arrangement of parties; he would focus on guard rotations and knowing who was where.

He didn't say as much, but he also liked the idea of Lady Natsuhana and her Dark-Jeweled entourage excusing itself from the Territory. Or being removed. He even understood why Xiong Teng framed it as a favor done to Dena Nehele, though he didn't understand how news of Natsuhana's threat against the Court had gotten back to Tacea. An Ebon Gray in Aechia was good when it came to the earth and the harvest... but bad when that Ebon Gray was hostile to Dena Nehele's leadership. And that Ebon Gray controlled a Gray and another Ebon Gray, and maybe even the Black that Sebastian knew he was never going to get rid of, no matter how hard he tried.

"A rejection of an offer of marriage's started aristo feuds here," said Sebastian, piping up at last. He seemed to recall something in Aechia some fifteen or twenty years back, a rejected marriage contract and the Myos revenge cycle that followed. But he hadn't been paying much attention then, having been only a little over his own age of majority. "I'm not sure it's so different. Besides, if you hate him, you can always have him killed and frame it as a tragedy."









Offline Jeremiah Mercer

  • Character Account
    • yellow2rose
    • bwwp
    • Role

      Queen's Shadow / Steward

    • Faction

      Territory Court

    • Territory

      Dena Nehele

    • Character Sheet

      [Link]

    • OOC

      Rated Em

    • Posts

      924

    • into the darkness they go, the wise and the lovely

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Re: A historically parallel case
« Reply #5 on: Oct 20, 19, 11:59:30 PM »
"We did host the leader of their Diplomatic Corps for a time," said Jeremiah, speaking of Lady Kyou no Izayoi, who had no doubt returned to her homeland to be part of the enthronement ceremony. It was strange to think that, of the people present in the room, Jeremiah thought--well, fondly was not the word but knowing that Lady Natsuhana was being recalled did not leave him feeling as relieved as the others. If anything, it triggered a more bittersweet feeling and a touch of concern.

Even if thinking of the day that she had come to the Territory Court still made him want to lock Riley in a room until she learned to have more self-preservation than him. Which, quite frankly, wasn't asking for a lot all things considered.

"I could admit that I passed him off when I did on purpose," said Jeremiah, "but that would imply I'm a certain level of evil that I'm absolutely not." There was a glint in his eyes as he looked at Drake, watching as the cloth was carried over to him by Riley's Craft. It was true that he had passed the young Warlord Prince only a handful of moments previous but then he had also ended up covered that morning himself. (The experience had to be shared, that's what it was.)

The Black Widow Warlord Prince shrugged. "I'll give you the information for the tailor I use, Drake." Why? Because cloth that was made to handle getting dirty and be easily cleaned was a thing. The look he was going for was ruined with the thread of Rose from Riley. Bright blue-green eyes cut towards her, Jeremiah raising a hand and tucking a lock of loose silver back behind a pink-tipped ear. Shush, Ryllis.

Mostly because he didn't need to waylay his thoughts towards Lisichya or--even worse--have the Black-Jeweled Healer pick them up. If it had not been an offer for Sora, it would have most likely been for one of Riley's males and-- No, that thought process was firmly shut down with the same quickness that he did not think about why it was honored brother that was offered.

A sharp look was given at Drake's remark--sometimes it was easy to tell where Sora gathered some of her glares from--which softened to a pinch of the bridge of his nose when Sebastian spoke. His hand fell away from his face, fingers wiggling at Codrin when he caught the baby's gaze on him.

There was a part of him that wondered if it would matter for the one that they sent. If he did not like Sora, would they expect him to endure for the honor of being selected by the Dragon Mother? Or would they be horrified--like some Taceans--to have been sent to wed a barbarian Queen? Either way, he was just going to flat ignore Sebastian's statement for the time being.

Mostly as he was certain that a death, even if it was framed as a tragedy, would likely go over poorly.

"... on the topic of ambassadors, however, I do have a Prince in mind. We would be sending him and his wife, however. They're a pair and, to be honest, he would fair better with her than sent alone." A breath was released, his gaze falling on Sora. "In the end, it is your decision to entertain the suit or deny it. Our support is with you no matter what. I do think Riley has the right idea of it: invite him here and see what happens. I believe that the Dragon Mother will understand this given that our cultures are different. Especially if it is worded appropriately and with proper respect." They would, in a manner, be giving a chance for the seed of the wheat she spoke off to begin to take root.

Offline Dragos Cutrov

  • Character Account
    • opal2red
    • prince
    • Role

      First Escort/Myos Leader

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      Territory Court

    • Territory

      Dena Nehele

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      [Link]

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      Gavin

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    • A straight-razor coated in honey...

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Re: A historically parallel case
« Reply #6 on: Oct 21, 19, 01:22:14 AM »
Drake’s nose wrinkled at the mention of Maseo, though he passed it off as a reaction to cleaning up the contents of Codrin’s belly. The little Warlord Prince was going to be a holy terror when he got older, but they had some time yet. Drake nodded at Jeremiah’s mention that he’d get him the information for his tailor and then listened to the others discuss the letter. He mentioned Sorinna getting married as (mostly) a joke, but he didn’t miss the way the younger Queen glared at him. She’d learned how to hide her dislike of him from most people. Drake didn’t let it get to him.

Better that she dislike him in theory than in truth.

Sebastian’s suggestion was properly cold-blooded and Drake was glad that someone said it, because it would have drawn stares to have the Myos in the room bring up killing people. He grinned at Codrin and thought over the information offered by everyone available. Sorinna seemed to be mulling over the idea. Marrying a man she didn’t know just to keep peace with the Taceans seemed extreme to Drake’s mind, but if it kept Rilandra from doing something foolish in exchange, Drake would gladly sell her off her daughter. He may have had other motives for his comfort with allowing Sora to be married elsewhere, but this wasn’t a place to consider those.

Jeremiah had an idea for an ambassador to Tacea. When he mentioned that said Prince’s wife would go with him, Drake thought he knew the couple in question. “If it’s who I think you’re thinking of, we could do a lot worse.” Drake said, shrugging.

Look, Sora, it’s like Riley and Jeremiah said. You’re not required to accept anything. We’ll iron out things with Tacea one way or another. Might take a longer time if this doesn’t pan out, but we’ll make it happen. Sending a diplomat will get the ball rolling.

Sora took a deep breath. “You all have a point. This is a chance to reset relations.” she said.

She looked to Riley. “If this helps you make inroads, then I’ll do my part. I’ll meet their ambassador and talk to him. If it looks like it’s going well, then...he needs to know what he's walking into. As do I.

Drake watched the Rose Queen’s mind work, noting the differences in leadership between her and Rilandra. He understood what his Queen saw in her heir. He’d seen Sorinna Roman at her most vulnerable. But all the things that should have crushed her had only polished the edges and formed her into a Queen who could survive Dena Nehele. If she turned out any good, was he responsible for any of that?

Sounds like we’ve got this ironed out, then.” Drake said, looking around at the assembled.

Sora nodded. “Jeremiah, will you prepare the response to Lady Teng? And then tell me about the ambassadors you have in mind. I’d like to know more about them before we make the offer.









Offline Rilandra Vlas

  • Character Account
    • rose2opal
    • queen
    • Role

      Territory Ruler

    • Territory

      Dena Nehele

    • Character Sheet

      [Link]

    • OOC

      Phedre

    • Posts

      615

    • The Bitch Queen

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Re: A historically parallel case
« Reply #7 on: Oct 22, 19, 02:26:31 AM »
Jeremiah's Queen simply smiled at him in response to his privately shushing her. She never tired of watching his ears turn pink, especially when she was the one who made it happen. Even with the continued needs of the Court, they had fallen into a pattern with Codrin. He was, perhaps in part because he was almost always in someone's arms, a very happy baby overall. He disliked sleep, but then so had Riley until Drake forced the issue.

Riley was not at all surprised that someone in her Triangle raised the idea of simply killing the Tacean sent to marry Sora after the wedding if he was not to her liking. What did surprise her was that it was Sebastian who had said it. Not the Black Widow Warlord Prince, not the Myos assassin, but rather her Master of the Guard. He had always been precise and practical in his manner. Events since joining her Triangle (by force at the Guild Master's hand, but joining none the less) had stripped away the need for pretense.

Those events included his wife giving birth to a child of his own, a baby Queen. The fact that Riley knew about his daughter's caste was due to Claudia's loyalty, and not Seb's own disclosure. He didn't know that she knew, and she intended to keep it that way until he felt comfortable enough to tell her himself. The very fabric of Dena Nehele was woven together with secrets. She would not be the ruler she was if she didn't understand that.

"If you're both in agreement about potential ambassadors, that's about as high a recommendation they could get." When Drake and Jeremiah agreed on something, very little could get in their way. In fact, she could think of only one thing they had agreed about that she had overridden them on. It was the very confrontation and near loss of her own life that was being discussed with the return of the Ebon Gray Queen to Tacea. Everyone was being kind enough to not point that out, but Riley was sharply aware of what it had cost Drake and Jeremiah both, and the reality that neither her nor Codrin might be sitting here right now if not for Lady Natsuhana's mercy.

Riley sat down cross legged in one of the armchairs. She was having a much deeper appreciation for using furniture as it was designed now that there was a small child attached to her most of the time. She arranged him so he could still see everyone if he turned his head and offered him her fingers. The little Warlord Prince released her hair and grabbed her hand, gumming against her knuckles. "Thank you," she said to Sora. They could talk more about it later privately, and she was sure they would. For now, it was enough that she was willing to even consider the idea.

The Opal Queen very nearly continued on to tie things up, but realized quickly Sora was perfectly in control of that. She smiled down at Codrin. His big sister had given him a gift he might never truly understand the value of. She had given him the chance for his mother to be simply that for a little while longer. Just his mom.

   

















Offline Sebastian Bane

  • Character Account
    • broken2rose
    • prince
    • pddescent
    • Role

      Master of the Guard and Jacks Guild Leader

    • Faction

      Territory Court

    • Territory

      Dena Nehele

    • Character Sheet

      [Link]

    • OOC

      Reid

    • Posts

      165

    • View Profile
Re: A historically parallel case
« Reply #8 on: Oct 24, 19, 01:49:11 PM »
His suggestion had been perfectly reasonable, but he supposed he understood why it went largely ignored. It wouldn't have been a popular decision with the Taceans, even if it was treated as an accident. All deaths in Dena Nehele occurred in suspicious circumstances, after all, and they needed to be above suspicion to avert an Ebon Gray catastrophe. Still, he wasn't sure it was as simple as the other sides of the Triangle made it seem.

"Our cultures are different," agreed Sebastian lowly. "But we currently have custody of a Black-Jeweled Healer from one of their main lines who's proven willing to attack us." He was the only one in the room who'd come away from the Decimation broken of a Jewel, and though he knew they'd all suffered losses--lovers, males--sometimes he felt his was the keenest cut. "And the Conservatory is largely staffed by Taceans. Their clinics bring in immense monetary value even though they don't charge. All those people back at work after injuries that should've crippled them..." He doubted Xiong Teng failed to notice the fact that she could make their lives difficult with nothing more prosaic than a letter recalling the Healers from the Ariake Province. More likely she'd elected to politely not mention the headsman's axe until it looked likely that she would have to make use of it.

He looked at Sora. "We need to remain on good terms with the Taceans." Perhaps it was hypocritical of him to harp on that when his life had been massively changed by following his heart to a love match, when he thought he might kill to defend Elisabet from making choices she didn't want to when she was grown. He wasn't a Queen in a Territory bereft of them, though, and neither would Elisabet be, once she was older, and even if she was she still wouldn't be Riley's heir. The situations were, as far as he was concerned, completely different. "I don't think this prospective suitor is being sent as an ambassador. That'd be completely out-of-character for the Taceans, wouldn't it? Their males are often illiterate, the males we've met notwithstanding. Who's to say he's even capable?" He shook his head. "They'll take it as an insult if we offer to simply introduce their suitor to Sora and let things take their course. We need some counter-offer that shows more than our willingness to let him into the Territory."

He'd spent a lot of time with Ji Yoon Moon and her brother before they'd left for the Tacean enthronement.

"We can't lose the Conservatory," he said. "And we can't survive another Decimation."









Offline Jeremiah Mercer

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Re: A historically parallel case
« Reply #9 on: Oct 25, 19, 07:00:44 AM »
Jeremiah was making notes--something that he had ensured he picked up so that when Sebastian returned he could not--and looked up when he heard the mention of his name. There was a nod of acknowledgment (it was Drake speaking) before he turned his attention back to writing.

He paused, giving Sora a smile. "Of course, Sora. I can prepare a response. While we are going over it we can also discuss the ambassadors." It would be the Viktorovs, it would have to be. Jeremiah could think of no other that would fit the bill. The Black Widow Warlord Prince grew quiet as Sebastian spoke up. It was the mention of Lisichya that made him pause, made his chest tighten.

Of all the people in the room, Jeremiah had been the one who had only felt the touch of the Decimation through others. His mother had been long dead before she had been dropped at the party hosted by Vitali Atreides and-- A breath was let out, the guilt placed aside. The only thing he could do was to strive to ensure that the concern about Lisichya stayed exactly that: just a concern. Eventually, in time, it would fade but everything was still fresh over a year later.

"We cannot," agreed Jeremiah, to both things that Sebastian said, "but I also do not believe that the Conservatory is in jeopardy. Not when the Dragon Mother has extended the olive branch that she has. Unless we make a misstep, we do not handle this appropriately, then the Conservatory shall continue onward. Besides: we will be seeing the first of the Healer Escorts soon and the Healers by next fall." The Healer Escorts were an important part, ensuring that their Healers would be protected when the time came.

Making another note, the Black Widow Warlord Prince continued. "He is right, however, that the suitor is not being sent as an ambassador. Though there is a chance that he's educated--if he was a geisha or part of a Clan, it's possible. As it stands, I believe the offer made is because Healer Ariake is already part of our Court." Which generated a great deal of disquiet in him that he pushed aside. Those back in Tacea did not understand, did not know, and still thought of Yua no Ariake instead of Aleksander Moon. There was a brief thought about perhaps requesting a female suitor as well--knowing Sora favored both equally--but it would be seen as greedy in light of his spoken words.

Jeremiah would also not discount the education of the male until they met the would-be suitor. "As for doing more," said Jeremiah, as he turned to look towards Sora, thinking of the potential insult and how to side-step it neatly. "We should offer a position within one of the Circles of the Territory Court. It would also include an offer that he will be granted a position within your First Circle when the time comes for you to rule your own Court, Sora. If we move forward with that, I believe they will understand our desires mirror theirs."

Offline Sorinna Roman

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Re: A historically parallel case
« Reply #10 on: Oct 25, 19, 10:25:37 AM »
Sebastian’s words had the intended effect, evident in the Rose Queen’s expression. The Conservatory was already helping the Territory in major ways and every new Healer that joined a Court or opened a clinic would keep people healthy and able to work. That work would heal the land and keep Dena Nehele prosperous. That prosperity would allow them to rebuild in the wake of the Decimation.

If the Dragon Queen thought they acted in bad faith, the consequences were dire. Lady Teng was ordering Lady Natsuhana back to Tacea; she could easily send her back to finish what she started. Less visibly, it was as Sebastian said. The mere presence of Tacean Healers kept disease and crippling injuries from becoming rampant. Losing them would cripple the Conservatory’s progress.

Jude wasn’t just Sora’s teacher; the Healer had saved her life. Thousands of people benefited from her vision. Millions more would benefit in the coming years. When Sora weighed that against her desire to remain unattached, it sounded selfish by comparison. It was the desire of a child who wanted to have her cake and eat it as well. When she considered it, there was every chance that this person would expect devotion. Sora had little idea how Tacean culture operated in terms of marriage and treatment of its Queens in that area. She supposed that she could ask, but her choices were Lord Shingetsu and Healer Moon, who was responsible for the attack that they feared happening again.

We can’t survive another Decimation and we can’t lose what we’ve rebuilt.

Jeremiah’s words were comforting and Sora found herself curious about this person they would send. Did they really keep their males from being literate? It was a strange though when she considered how urbane Lord Shingetsu was. The Warlord conversed easily on many subjects and he talked Jeremiah often as well. Sebastian’s concerns, however, were valid. Healer Moon was a danger to the entire Territory and they had to tread carefully with him and with his homeland. They couldn’t afford to  alienate or anger either one.

She hoped Jeremiah knew what he was doing.

Dena Nehele’s security is my primary concern and you’ve all made good points.” Sora said. She wanted to talk to Gabri about this. She couldn’t see the strands of fate like Jeremiah could and she didn’t have the analytical mind that Sebastian or Drake possessed. They could plan and plot outcomes that she wouldn’t foresee, so this was a time to take their advice into consideration. Her gaze landed on Codrin, which made her think of Sebastian daughter as well. What kind of Territory did she want them to inherit? She wanted a peaceful land and a quiet people. She wanted their lives to be their own, that they could live as they wanted so long as they harmed no one.

A land where they did not fear those who were different.

I like your plan, Jeremiah. We mirror their desires and place this suitor in the First Circle. I’d be happy to maintain those relations by bringing him into my Court when the time comes.” Sora said, her gaze moving to Riley for a moment. They would have to talk it over eventually. She had ideas about where she could do the most good, but she wanted Riley back to work in full before presenting her case.

"Sebastian is right, though. Preserving the Conservatory and preventing another Decimation are the most important things now. As is ensuring that slavery is stamped out in every corner of Dena Nehele. That’s what got us into this in the first place. Riley made a vow to see it ended. Lady Graveworthy has already done her part. I’m sure that Lady Pavel has done the same. We just need to make sure the rest of the Territory follows suit." Sora said.










Offline Sebastian Bane

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Re: A historically parallel case
« Reply #11 on: Oct 25, 19, 12:42:50 PM »
Seb gritted his teeth. His grip on his pen tightened, a gesture so subtle that he was probably the only one to notice it. It was true that among the five people at the table, Jeremiah was probably most familiar with one of the scions of Tacea's Four Great Clans. His friendship with Ji Yoon and her brother set aside, they were not aristo as Tacea measured aristocracy; Healer Ariake had been. Healer Ariake was also insane, and Sebastian didn't trust three out of five words that came out of his mouth. Having recently been insane himself, he felt he was in a position to make that call.

However, Riley (and Sora, he thought) had been in conversation with Lord Shingetsu often enough that he thought they would at least understand the possible dangers that were posed by a people so notoriously close-mouthed. (Sebastian still didn't believe that Lord Shingetsu was honestly there on a diplomatic mission from Raej, or that he was as legitimate a businessman as he pretended to be.) They ought to know better than to assume anything about a Territory that had only returned to the Realm stage in the last five years, which was no time at all in diplomatic time.

"Thank you, Lady Roman," he said, bowing his head for a moment in acknowledgement of Sora's decision. If she wasn't going to accept the suit outright, placing the suitor in a place of honor in her Court--and in this one, in the meantime--was the next best thing. It might even assuage the sting of rejection for Lady Teng, though he didn't know the woman, which was why they needed fucking ambassadors.

For a moment, he'd almost been his old self, but that moment was over as he scowled at Jeremiah. "From what long-standing relationship with someone of actual political rank in Tacea do you draw this understanding? How long have you known Lady Teng that you feel qualified to draw the conclusion that she won't see the Court's rejection of her offer of marriage as an insult worthy of withdrawing this 'olive branch'? She's sending someone she evidently values highly to a Territory that doesn't treat Tacean aristocrats very well and entrusting us with his wellbeing." He slapped his hand down on the letter, a loud crack of sound. "Perhaps Lord Serban didn't leave me adequate notes to inform me of the Court's long history of cooperation with this specific Queen, or even our knowledge that she fucking existed as an option?"

He glanced around the table, but only for a moment before returning to his argument. "Perhaps Lady Teng thinks Healer Moon is held here against his will, Prince Mercer. Perhaps Lady Teng is sending this male and making this specific offer as a test to see if we want a male who answers to her near the Black Jeweled noble Healer that is never allowed out of the Court's sight. Perhaps she doesn't give a fuck about whether Dena Nehele ever recovers from the Decimation--Tacea will not endeavor to rule over Dena Nehele from across the sea, it is not the Tacean way to dictate the economic or social policy of a foreign land--and is willing to cripple us if we don't play her game? Maybe she wants to know only that a literal living demigoddess from her homeland is well-treated and safe, but maybe the Taceans selected a sociopath who wants to watch the world burn and has at least two Ebon Grays and maybe a Black with which to burn it.

"We can't know that. Until we know Xiong Teng and until the Conservatory is stable and until we can field our own instructors of Healing Craft, we have to react cautiously, and that means not risking the future of diplomatic relations with a Territory that could crush us--" He broke off there, pressing the heels of his palms against his temples, which throbbed with a sudden headache. "The solution is workable. If Lady Teng is honest, she'll accept our counter-offer in the spirit in which it is meant. If she's not, then--we need to come up with a plan to assist the Conservatory with diversifying its instructional team, even if Lady Grigorie doesn't want us to."









Offline Jeremiah Mercer

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Re: A historically parallel case
« Reply #12 on: Oct 26, 19, 12:30:41 AM »
Jeremiah did not let out an aggrieved sigh, though he wanted to. It wasn't as if Sebastian's words were a surprise, they were quite well thought out and he could agree with several of the points. The issue was that he--

Well.

Mostly the issue was that Sebastian came straight at him and--when were they going to sort their shit. Jeremiah could already hear Arkadie in his head about it, resisting the urge to pinch his nose or give some other tell. It was not that she was wrong but that there were only so many hours in the day and getting his schedule to line up with the limited schedule of Sebastian's while not impossible was not easily said or done.

So he bit his tongue and did not bite out that it was a mixture of his ability and knowledge to gauge situations and Black Widow instinct. It wasn't as if Sebastian had been comfortable with the fact that he had pursued the path that had been laid out before him as a Black Widow. Bringing up either of those points would go over incredibly poorly.

Thus Jeremiah just looked at Sebastian and said nothing as to where he pulled his knowledge from and let him work through every little bit that he had to say. There was no point in cutting him off, after all: this was part of Sebastian taking better care of himself. No bottling up, no holding it back, and--quite frankly--it was what needed to be said.

"You are right, Prince Bane, that we cannot know but I as I'm sure you've realized: I'm not advising we do not take safety precautions or make other arrangements." He had, after all, brought up the position within the Territory Court and Sora's future Court to ease the burn of the potential denial of a marriage suit.

"I also want to trust this new Dragon Mother--and while this opinion will not go over well--I have faith in Lady Natsuhana that she would not support the removal of the Ariake from the Conservatory." A breath was released. "Where I do not have knowledge of the Lady Teng, I do of Lady Natsuhana." If not his word on the matter, then they could speak with Arkadie who also would have opinions of the Ebon-Gray Healer Queen. If Yuki was returning to become the Queen of the Ariake then her weight, her opinion, was one that would hold considerable sway. "We can also come up with contingencies--though someone else will be the one speaking to Lady Grigorie. My nose in the Conservatory, beyond that of Healer Moon and the well-being of some the Healer Escorts," the ones that were Jacks that had been sent his direction, "is not taken particularly well. We have other allies and it honestly makes sense to diversify beyond just the Inaba School," the Ariake Clan's school, "when it comes to healing." To be so reliant on another was never wise. What he said next, however, was probably not a surprise for some in the room.

Or maybe it was. Two years ago and Jeremiah would have likely not suggested something like this. He was still idealistic, yes, but it had its place and being realistic had to come first.

"While ambassadors are all well and good they will only see so much. In the ideal situation we do not send just ambassadors. We have the resources available to make this so." Jeremiah leaned forward, fingers pressed together on the table. He wanted to call to hand widow's thread, to follow the spark of a path within his mind, but that would only upend things further. "I believe that it'd be in our best interest to either find a trusted member of our Court or make use of a Shaos contract to give us another view of the political climate of Tacea. A more complete picture that we are lacking." His eyes had closed briefly, chasing that path that had sparked to life before he spoke again.

"As for Healer Moon and the concerns therein ..." This was a sore subject and Jeremiah knew that he was both biased and compromised in so many ways. "Lady Graveworthy has been speaking of putting together a group, more Mind Healers beyond just us, to work with him. With that in mind, I believe it's advisable to also reach out to Lady Teng and request assistance in finding a Tacean Black Widow that specializes in Mind Healing. That way if there is a concern of theirs, they will be able to see that all that can be done is being done." The process of healing the mind of a Black whose Chalice had been turned to almost dust was a long one.

It was still bad enough that some days Jeremiah had to be careful himself or face the possibility that Lisichya's wandering could pull him. (Though that would always be a concern, a hand absently raising to press to the tattoo on his arm. If he focused, he could feel the sensation of the water flowing, the slick feel of scales, and the scent of-)

"I think that on top of the other solutions discussed, should provide us with more security in our future dealings with Tacea, the Dragon Mother and her Court. As we must be in the best position possible in a worst-case scenario." Here, Jeremiah finally looked to the others in the room. To Sora, to Riley as she cooed at Codrin, and Drake before he turned his gaze back to Sebastian.

Offline Sebastian Bane

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Re: A historically parallel case
« Reply #13 on: Oct 26, 19, 01:26:24 AM »
"You've said the Conservatory is in no danger and that the graduation of one Healer class is sufficient," said Sebastian scornfully. "Don't be coy, Mercer, you're not my type and it doesn't fucking suit you."

He didn't know what the hell to say to Jeremiah's relentless optimism. The function of Tacea's Court wasn't one where a Province Queen could gainsay the decision of a Territory Queen. No Territory in the Realm worked like that. If Xiong Teng said jump, he fully expected that the proper cultural response was how high, your serene majesty? "So you know Lady Natsuhana. I'm sure you know her very well, what with all your many duties. Certainly you're capable of being entirely rational about someone that your lover considers a sister and a mentor. And Lady Graveworthy is, like you, able to be circumspect about one of her own lovers." The next thought he had was cruel, cutting even, but he couldn't stop himself from saying it: "The same way she was so circumspect about the rapist she now keeps captive in her Court. Forgive me if I don't consider Lady Graveworthy a stellar judge of character."

The mind healer suggestion was a good one, and he shrugged it off. Somehow, knowing what he knew about Tacean culture, he suspected the difficulty would be in finding a mind healer worth the name, let alone one that would be willing to travel to Dena Nehele. "Keep up," he said, peevish now. "I've already contracted a Shaos. Infiltraitor's in Darkwood, studying the Tacean embassy before she departs for Ito. She's been there since before my breakdown."

At least he could be honest about what it was with the Triangle and the Queens who served there. And his hackles were down now that he'd been reassured that people were taking the situation seriously, if not quite as pessimistically as he'd like. Trust, but verify. "Though if your ambassadors are any good, they'll be at least as useful as she will be."









Offline Jeremiah Mercer

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Re: A historically parallel case
« Reply #14 on: Nov 06, 19, 11:48:33 PM »
As much as Jeremiah wanted to respond to Sebastian, Jeremiah just shook his head and did not. Even the don't be coy, Mercer, you're not my type bit. Or how he had never actually said that one Conservatory class would be sufficient. No, the entire point was that with one class under their belt the Conservatory would be in a better position to solicit response (and potential assistance) from other territories within the Realm.

The one thing he did respond to was the matter of the ambassadors--really, trust Sebastian to make a dig about keeping up--as they would be exemplary. Which he said as much.

Jeremiah's attention turned back to the letter, carefully laying it down as he called to hand a fresh piece of parchment to craft the response.

To Lady Xiong Teng, Queen of Tacea,

My most understanding sister,
Though your letter was unexpected, your words have both given hope and reassured us of the future shared between our two Territories. In turn, we wish to instill the same within you and your Court.

We accept the invitation to send an ambassadorial mission to Ito. Once the arrangements are made they will travel forthwith to Tacea as our representatives and help to foster the growing relationship.

The previous Ariake Clan Queen almost saw Dena Nehele brought once more to its knees. To know that she has been dealt with, this individual that worked to sour the relationship for terrible gains, is reassuring but not enough. So the Price we ask is this: the burnt-out Jewels of Yuina no Ariake. This will grant not only peace of mind but assure those among the Territory Court that justice has been done and carried out swiftly.

This also brings us to what is a humble request for assistance. The mind of the Healer, the very one the Ariake sought to control, has been damaged greatly. Within Dena Nehele there are too few skilled in Mind Healing, fewer still that the Healer trusts, and so we hope that you might offer us guidance. If there is one you trust, one that is skilled in such things, and they are willing to travel to our Territory then they would find themselves welcomed within our Court.

There is one matter that might not be so easily discussed: that of the offer of a betrothed for Lady Sorinna Roman. Let us be clear: while we cannot say yes, this is not a no either. While such things do happen, we cannot simply agree and give her hand. Instead what we offer is this: send this brother of a trusted ally to our Territory Court. He will be given a place within the Circles of the Territory Court and a place within Lady Roman's First Circle when she comes to rule her own Court. Let him and our heir-in-fact find the shape of their future together; their relationship the guide in which we will follow.

With the belief that we are taking the first steps towards peace between our Territories,
your kindly sister,

He set his pen down, tapping it against the low table before the letter was passed over to Sora for her to look over. At certain points he was certain that they had been of the same mind--the burnt-out Jewels especially--but it still required her to look it over. It would pass to Riley as well but Jeremiah would likely hold it for her to read (as her hands were still very full with Codrin).

All that remained was for confirmation and then a signature and the response could be sent off.

 

 

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