Prologue: Speak Softly [Amelia Salazar]   Posted by The First And Last.Group: 0
The First And Last
 GM, 26 posts
Tue 2 Jun 2015
at 15:20
Prologue: Speak Softly [Amelia Salazar]
"Now- now you see the problem- I say, the problem with Varlanders is that they never really got past their barbarism." said Baron Frederick Wittmendt, stroking his mutton chops with uncomfortable zeal. "They--I say, old boy, don't hog the sherry--aren't of proper Seubian blood, which can be forgiven, but what do you do with a people who reject Seubian culture as well? Eh?"

The Baron leaned back in his chair, sloshing back another swig of sherry. The room was filled with men like him; fat, pompous, and thoroughly devoid deep thought. Except two. One was the hawkish Lady Helga von Gotz, whose pinched face and narrow eyes had earned her the underestimation of most people in the room. The other was Lord Bruce Roynard, a rail thin man with a countenance that seemed carved out of ice.

He was also a Varlander.

"Now I'm sure you're thinking, I can hear it, 'What about the Ybarians, Freddie, aren't they as bad?' you're thinking it-" the Baron paused to hiccup. Two of the room's nobility drifted out languidly, making their excuses. "Well--and Miss Salazar, I'm sure you can attest--the Ybarian folk at least accepted the light of the Mother Above into their culture. They didn't have to have it browbeaten into them, y'see, not like the Varlanders."

The problem was, as it usually is, money. The Baron Frederick Wittmendt had one of the largest shipping fleets of the Seubian Coast, and was invaluable in that regard. His 'eccentricities' were something to be tolerated. His parties, like this one, inevitably turned into a drunk exposition about the various merits of the races of Midlant, with an obvious preference towards Seubians. He'd published two pamphlets about it.

"I'm afraid I must bend the Lady Salazar's ear, Baron" cut in Lord Roynard. His smile showed too many teeth, and never reached his cold blue eyes. "Excuse us."

They called him the Raven behind his back, and it was difficult not to see why-- dressed all in black, with such a severe countenance, he gave the impression of a gallows-bird. Lord Roynard offered Amelia Salazar his arm.

This message was last edited by the GM at 15:45, Tue 02 June 2015.

Amelia Salazar
 player, 7 posts
Tue 2 Jun 2015
at 19:19
Re: Prologue: Speak Softly [Amelia Salazar]
Amelia rose and met the Lords gesture, and, with a nod and curtsy toward the Baron, was led out of the sitting chamber.

As they passed through the parlor doors, Amelia began to speak in a low voice. A great and noble soul is the Baron. He has the appetite of ten men, the bravery to speak words that most would be terrified to give voice, and the confidence to stride, apparently unconcerned, where he has not been invited. She looked up at Roynard, the corner of her lips supporting a fragile smile. Oh, a mistake; the last element was mine. Still, I can see why you were so insistent that I attend Im sure his words will echo in the halls of the Crucible for ages hence, probably alongside phrenology and trepanning.
The First And Last
 GM, 30 posts
Wed 3 Jun 2015
at 13:45
Re: Prologue: Speak Softly [Amelia Salazar]
Lord Roynard rarely smiled, and when he did he looked like a wolf who had just found his exhausted prey. Still, at Amelia's characterization of the Baron the corner of his mouth twitched briefly upwards before settling back into his usual icy stoicism. Roynard led the two of them to a small library and reading room, offering Amelia a seat before summoning a servant and ordering two coffees.

"I was pleased to hear you have resolved the Aldonnean matter with Lord Lamonte," he said, settling himself into a seat, "I imagine being that far south was good for your Ybarian blood."

Lord Roynard paused. He was not accustomed to small talk.

"[Language unknown:  Terenciou ul, unter anonac conpe ul erehatith ne?]" the Raven of the Capital asked in crisply lilting Caelish. He switched seemlessly through the various tongues, "[Language unknown:  O his u ro ncwhe oumemo inteveome le ll osnowhplin seilut.][Language unknown:  Ion eenwitvororetin.]"
Amelia Salazar
 player, 8 posts
Wed 3 Jun 2015
at 14:26
Re: Prologue: Speak Softly [Amelia Salazar]
Amelia nods respectfully at Roynard's facility. "[Language unknown:  Il ter illyinrea conntethu, mo nteler, onslesous o Stioulntewas pataal reaardnce ichdi thoomeort eenun stwein i intiti fi wate'roalwa sissme. Ut mo ill dite thuherwithoumen o mi as beno ou ssek day si. Yinundble, Houwerwit fiilul u ntwewh hetapl ngsom loore. Ivndna Ne sonhathou ti Useiut iorisi tinemowill eeseal n cacaisla.]"

She leans forward faux-conspiratorially and with a sly smile, perhaps just to see if she could break the Raven's stoicity once more, and perhaps just because she was finally enjoying herself. [Language unknown:  Tr taca pr olwana orenteourillear u iventiectionore redthaourure, Te Oulvirica.]
The First And Last
 GM, 32 posts
Wed 3 Jun 2015
at 19:35
Re: Prologue: Speak Softly [Amelia Salazar]
"[Language unknown:  Oulortbut paeve. P wheeraect Ai whihasure nath user caca werwhithu nelathreespe nce ilmopeulan o wa acwepapetr Ineouseve resherles.]" the Raven says, steepling his fingers and letting his chin fall to his chest pensively. He waits for their coffee to arrive, slipping up a cup with long, delicate fingers. He takes a brief sip, producing from a jacket pocket a small envelope that has been carefully sealed.

With the signet of the King's Royal House.

"[Language unknown:  Esbe ame notwa pr der san pota undnc urearecomsti. Yinndeith Fo stol usioofin caie, Ch yinbutnce nde rea ndson plet encthuati Evethista ncrome iote niate usicadanfo me haes rooust.]" Roynard said finally. He slid the envelope to Amelia and returned to his coffee.

quote:


"[Language unknown:  Wh reaichvir os reasomand men ion aros'nclile strlo m ngllwi i sti Enolck. Om, M ernghi, paeeee menwittio pe tedsonkor wit estec omeanyhasthe.]" Roynard said, crossing one leg over the other, "[Language unknown:  Day ate hasbutnti cetoeeprsa ssac eenonsted ad whtoesfila be strek set redshelarbut, day wapl'tithsa setverouteve ilthse ai ilat ersres'houovesta. Encnt. But haprildi.]"

This message was last edited by the GM at 19:37, Wed 03 June 2015.

Amelia Salazar
 player, 9 posts
Wed 3 Jun 2015
at 20:22
Re: Prologue: Speak Softly [Amelia Salazar]
As Amelia's eyes scan the page, her eyes begin to widen. She spares one quick look up to Roynard, and confirms in his eyes that this is as serious as it appears.

She leans back in her chair, stunned to blankness for a few moments, then recovers. "I am no... Ahem. [Language unknown:  Vorted'traher. Wheivever, K on ol trtrul tioted'presan urte i eean terwe resectcomour. Ble st ame m hintur fo ut... ro, celedi... evetinartfor. Anst eval a o rutallblesta chal, son? K ingad m somic?"]

Amelia got a 24 on a History check to remember any pertinent rumors regarding Jurgen in an attempt to intuit whether she's dealing with him through the Raven, or whether Roynard is serving without Jurgen's knowledge. And anything on Catalina's reputation, while she's at it.

This message was last edited by the player at 15:13, Thu 04 June 2015.

The First And Last
 GM, 35 posts
Thu 4 Jun 2015
at 14:12
Re: Prologue: Speak Softly [Amelia Salazar]
The name at the end of the letter is not specifically memorable to Amelia-- but it is notable. deFalstead would mean she was nobility on the island of Falstead, in the Cadiz Bay. And the Signore deFalstead did have a daughter who was rumored to be ill.

Unfortunately, it is impossible to tell whether or not Roynard is acting of his own will or at the behest of some higher power. As if sensing her concern, Roynard set down his coffee.

"[Language unknown:  Ol vires ofpr it.]" he said simply, gesturing vaguely towards the letter, "[Language unknown:  Un i undkoreenand o urevai er korstaateerewer ntica An toofricest atntwa. Manmo ith oun i et, mo manthuomerat potene alom li tin lint'ntwa. Ic manmenntinti, ica prevll riusin iou atos of ard pl ble Manrutundpro o n hasionati ss o manot tewhfo prla werom ticatiing.]"

The Raven stood suddenly, wincing and holding one knee as he did. He paced over to the nearby bookshelf, running a thin finger over the volumes there. After a moment he plucked one out, opening it seemingly at random.

"[Language unknown:  Teroretedkor lesof ecar ti yinbutand ss oulwilhat cena Combutsti Ecchiohi adarofca ro prostrill nadillwh lo een hasmenoul, din Ectrutpro.]" he said finally, "[Language unknown:  Ou rileou en intonsera encithwas t be iveouteen iepr.]"
Amelia Salazar
 player, 10 posts
Thu 4 Jun 2015
at 15:13
Re: Prologue: Speak Softly [Amelia Salazar]
Amelia looks visibly relieved. "[Language unknown:  Ad ic bleicaoururende sti ntirestic erewasint, Forwe Ichliness. N ek estromsom etac, th Oulersate somwhiwit haelol st cand andri. Rifi io o neatan m ndeoutver, tio ne a vervenill siwh se k.]" She stands as well and approaches the bookcase.

"[Language unknown:  E A on osanelut ilsteiwili foon n somiv steeck t eensti-oulere, sa e ma on lat? Ie t I larstaill is utevwa k stringort eirut ieich ntiughsom'hisame?]"
The First And Last
 GM, 39 posts
Fri 5 Jun 2015
at 03:24
Re: Prologue: Speak Softly [Amelia Salazar]
"[Language unknown:  I utcast ha es es ittrss thiivebut.]" Roynard said, snapping the book shut and turning to face Amelia. His eyes roamed her like a butcher's roams a pig corpse on his block. "[Language unknown:  Ne pe stthe stfipa eene ngnoponeen un ai tedicaver inna nillck pre his, le celelope. Re fias noeeelro et arewerson n her Alluresti Ithstidinticrut whi hiall hat il di ove Plmina lona paio. U t o nc stitinsom iou ati n room mo.]"

He paused, lips pursing as if something had just crossed his mind.

"[Language unknown:  Ulusbe osna isne n onto ameai casa ou ck Deriveany Eswianli, somat miho alit.]" the Raven said. He had a manner of asking a question which made it sound like an imperative.
Amelia Salazar
 player, 11 posts
Fri 5 Jun 2015
at 09:07
Re: Prologue: Speak Softly [Amelia Salazar]
Amelia frowns at the mention of the Hound, her displeasure evident. However, she chuckles despite herself at Roynard's last question. "[Language unknown:  Es ckati olee di hat nceilloul? A larossio atear Loncseac Thnc, ta Whe atall hatvortic alitto. Whete whha-oloffo eralin'illble m k heca atestired andoveeveome u lessna e wafor fianouac ntealliou behas iv eeos as erivmoai t p. Ons isck astastderasteen o it isprwe a ngar iouous-oerear anhadi, sima ai istawi u ofrat waofch. Nd essstitin ughallmenica ioerwach ou Era earreaand thandeany t, nd rutessate Th icaameour omecof mala ilar oveconpreres?]"
The First And Last
 GM, 46 posts
Sun 7 Jun 2015
at 03:48
Re: Prologue: Speak Softly [Amelia Salazar]
"[Language unknown:  N o for o ro osioicch menineerahou, Foie Poadch,]" Roynard said slowly, perching himself like his nickname over one of the chairs, "[Language unknown:  On At ni menur artyinwit ntesanard e ortoutterand-ticstiera staverman n llwamihi]"

"I say, d'mind where-- erp, d'mind pointing a fellow towards the privy old chap?"

The Lord Roynard was by reputation a cold and uncompromising man whose political influence defied the question 'exactly what is your job?'. He held no office, nor title beyond 'Lord'-- and even that, curiously, came without apparent peerage or land tenureship. Lord Roynard simeply was. The downturn that touched one side of his pale lips was as close as the man came to bellowing his displeasure. Not that the inebriated Aldonnean noble noticed.

"The Marquis Jacques Bissette, son of the late Marquis Dominique Bissette; you've some fine land just south of Saint's Rest. I believe your mother asked me to visit the vineyards once this year's vintage is bottled." Lord Roynard said, the precise clip of his voice relaying none of the civility his words expressed. He was speaking for Amelia's benefit, identifying the youth for her, "You studied at Cudd Lygrall, did you not? Lady Salazar and I were just discussing the Vingian Invasion-- perhaps you could clear something up for me. What were the reasons for it?"

"I say old bean-- yes, Cudd Lygrall through and through. Mother would-- hic-- wouldn't, eh, would not have have had it any other way," the young Marquis managed, straightening imperiously, "I can see why you'd ask, Mister Roynard-- Lord, m'lord. Crucible's a fine school but-- well the Vingians they wanted th'land you see. Fertile land, in Midland, and the Old Country is all tapped out, as they say-- eh, I think it was Janet Pierson wrote about it, y'see. Said the Vingians were all a'flutter about a shortage of metal or water, as you know, so they pop over here to test the old Midland and have a go, y'see."

Roynard smiled like a shark, his eyes flicking over to Amelia.

"I do believe, Lady Salazar, that you may correct the Marquis' misconception regarding a Crucible Keep education." he said tonelessly, "Because I daresay the Marquis has challenged it."
Amelia Salazar
 player, 13 posts
Sun 7 Jun 2015
at 10:18
Re: Prologue: Speak Softly [Amelia Salazar]
Amelia looks at Roynard with a sigh, then begins the lecture. "That's just like Cudd Lygrall thinking - myopically focused on the economics and little else, as though nations are no more complex than a beast. The wolf wants for water, so it travels to the river; it is hungry, so it brings down prey. The Vingian Empire is not a wolf.

"First, my rebuttal. You say 'water' and 'metal' was their goal? Water, because of the rumors that their lakes had grown foul and poisonous? That claim was propaganda meant to cast them as bad stewards, as though the land itself could not bear their heresy. Even if it was true, they have access to the same aether as us. It isn't the most elegant of solutions, but a well-rested aetherist can systematically purify the waters. Even the Vingian traditions can do this. As for metal, there is a shred of truth there. While Vingians have an abundance of practical metals - your iron, copper, lead and tin - they almost entirely lack gold and platinum. Such materials aren't necessary for the running of an empire, but they certainly look nice.

"Which brings me to my actual answer of the question. If a nation isn't hounded by base needs into a conflict, why does it fight? ...at the behest of its Emperor, and its nobility, of course. When you look at pre-invasion Vingian society, gathered both from intelligence and their own history texts, you see a surge in both public discontent with the empire and in religious fervor. Looking further back, you begin to see a pattern: if the Vingian population is unhappy, then their leaders deflect their anger toward a foreign power. I doubt it will be a useful long-term strategy, but it works for now. Given the simultaneous surge of both the religious and political anger, and the prodigious influence of the king's own patron-mage (a radical of the Father, of course), the prodigal sons and daughters in Midland were an easy target. The common people of the Empire were sold a holy war and the assurance that the Father Below would reward their Empire. The nobility were sold a chance to correct their families' ancient mistake of letting us leave, and, yes, of course, the gold was certainly an attractive lure.

"Don't misunderstand me, Marquis. War can be as simple and base as a resource-grab. But war can be petty and useless, too."

"If you need to relieve yourself, I suggest speaking with a servant. They all look Seubian." She turns back to Lord Roynard, dismissing the Marquis.

"[Language unknown:  Ng ncaita, diomof es tedfi inol iong elomec onan i ni n t ckekad caon Weringstaven but. Prol-naat ardes ecreas was romovebut direek ectstaithhatort ul somourint ain un romessred.]"
The First And Last
 GM, 53 posts
Tue 9 Jun 2015
at 14:44
Re: Prologue: Speak Softly [Amelia Salazar]
The Marquis blinks slowly, then opens his mouth to speak.

"Do not let us detain you, Marquis," Lord Roynard said, his smile cold and sharp. "[Language unknown:  Er eielaros ameast-antiveithithort ratme I noonse hisca n Tioiveeve Menanyconratyin set Nitael be Linsanatison o ofurst?]"

The Varlander noble glided over to his coffee and plucked it up, sipping despite how much it had cooled. He waited for the Marquis to slink out before resuming.

"[Language unknown:  Lesch liel erse focaivis o adutiv strhisthutinher ncing icnesimi p p ate ssouul he Larstaeve Walala beilom. Cknti k wemoil reroeccana ll icali ndst Hasaad Olcaan inglesion u.]" Roynard said, carefully arranging himself in one of the deep leather seats. "[Language unknown:  Aveionithncemen, evil utpr mi un tedome'outthu conli ave Earmanvir Hepasiekbe hisdayund u pabeer rima. Ilev ameratain. Omth utntst atiughome ourdi Alldiningder Ekweri in tr Ac Proonswer her plilncnd alei utilieit wileaupre, tril Miispo Weunna eveck atiartithndeoretio asut'miou, ort Urineepr Tiisng wil p sspre ing io methsewh, ut al Ionho ers menearherhou wi preoertin ch ncomos paasnc.]"

Roynard's eyes glittered in the room's muted light-- there was a hunger there, deep and dark. For a moment, Amelia could see how desperately isolated a man the Raven of the Capital was; in this moment, in this room, he yearned for his motives to be understood even incompletely.

"[Language unknown:  Ear wi ear cachmein, Ac Vorwheons, virca andnc menichest ant pl paaite. U noreno pl me Alpolero ati om usiculdi omtemape eareauicawhiastain. K pronticom anwhck, ear fo ivrifi the trni oveonefor asonadfi?]" he paused, and the hunger in his eyes was gone. Returned was the carefully cultivated stoicism. "[Language unknown:  Osmen wilos butiv houfi Stecpo ng Ckun-acaipr heel wi Urro Ilmeitof. E th hatshever po ncave itsien se the wilonevirthe antra thiallundvor rut in il th res n hi. M proce stenll pl tioiv enthasnti ar se hinila p ileve stiromich.]"

Roynard gave his coffee one last sip, not looking directly at Amelia. The Raven had collapsed into himself, in some private counsel.

"Do not let me detain you, Lady Salazar."
Amelia Salazar
 player, 15 posts
Tue 9 Jun 2015
at 15:21
Re: Prologue: Speak Softly [Amelia Salazar]
Amelia had been listening intently, drawn into the intensity of her glimpse past the Raven's guard, and was startled by the abrupt dismissal. After a small, shaking breath, she locks eyes with Roynard and nods. "I am already eager for our next conversation, Lord Roynard. Until the wind brings us together again, take care."

She rises and, after a few slow, thoughtful steps, strides to the parlor's exit.