Fuzzy: Midmarch Council.   Posted by Henry LeMaistre.Group: 0
Safiya Vallani
 player, 318 posts
Sun 12 Jul 2020
at 11:29
Fuzzy:  Midmarch Council.
After all that was said at the council, Safiya is by no means sure this will be enough. However, she is determined to make the best of it now that the decision has been made.

"A question, if I may? You say we are here to defend Brevoy's southern border. Well, there is one force that is very likely to be coming here on its way to Brevoy. Mivoni. And they will certainly be hostile to Brevoy forces. What position are we going to take regarding them? If we do nothing while armies march right through our lands unopposed to rampage across Brevoy, our excuses to the king-regent will ring very hollow indeed. But if we put a stop to that Aldori may take that as a hostile act."
Andalon de Lebeda
 Player, 975 posts
 Bishop at Cathedral of
 Abadar in Tusk City
Sun 12 Jul 2020
at 11:47
Fuzzy:  Midmarch Council.
Andalon accepted a glass of wine now, too. He looked resigned to the decision rather than overjoyed about it. Safiya's question caught his attention.

"A good question, Safiya. My Lord, is that what you were thinking of when you said you have no wish to stop either side from recruiting mercenary troops? So long as they adhere to our laws, while they are here, and pose no threat to Midmarch?" he asked.
Henry LeMaistre
 NPC, 139 posts
 Governor of Midmarch
 Noble & Merchant
Sun 12 Jul 2020
at 12:44
Fuzzy:  Midmarch Council.
"So far, we have seen small bands of Mivoni moving northwards, mostly from House Yitis and House Photus.  They have all behaved impeccably while they are in Midmarch.  I assume that they are going to support the East Rostland Aldoi, although they may have contracts with The Surtova.  If that continues, I will not interfere.  Should a whole army turn up here, then I will have to think again.

That said, I am not sure that I would try to move a whole army upriver on boats, anyway.  And realistically, if I wanted an element of surprise, I would probably bring them overland and either across the Ringbridge or send them east through Varnhold.  Although even that would be difficult to conceal for long, and we have seen no signs of it.  Nor have we seen any sign of Mivon mustering huge numbers of troops and, to be honest, I am not sure that the have the ability to bring troops from all the houses together under one banner.

But my plan is all one calculated risk, that could turn against us at any point.  Hopefully, we won't have offended either party so badly that they take decide we should be their next target."

Adoven
 Player, 716 posts
 HP 40 AC 20 F+2 R+9 W+2
 Rogue / Bard
Sun 12 Jul 2020
at 13:50
Fuzzy:  Midmarch Council.
Adoven says "My Lord, to that end we need a Watchtower or Keep overseeing the Lower Tusk. Now either we clear the haunted Keep and restore it, or build something where the Sellen empties into the Lower Tusk, but we will require that in case Mivon decides to capture the canals that Safiya is building. A direct water route to Restov would be an Aldori Commander's dream."
Safiya Vallani
 player, 319 posts
Mon 13 Jul 2020
at 05:28
Fuzzy:  Midmarch Council.
Safiya nods to Henry before turning to Adoven. "Fortunately or unfortunately, once this situation broke out I have decided to delay building of canals, at least for now. Among other reasons, to avoid giving either side a reason to try to seize them."
Adoven
 Player, 717 posts
 HP 40 AC 20 F+2 R+9 W+2
 Rogue / Bard
Mon 13 Jul 2020
at 07:01
Fuzzy:  Midmarch Council.
Adoven nods. "Wise Decision. If you need other outlets for your working capital, I might have a suggestion or two."
DM
 GM, 3827 posts
Wed 15 Jul 2020
at 10:14
Fuzzy:  Midmarch Council.

Some time later



Henry calls everyone together again, to tell you about the outcome of the ‘war’.

"I have had the first reports of the war between the Aldori and Surtova, and they were not at all what I expected.

The two sides squared off  in West Rostland.  The Aldori, Khavortorov and the dwarves of Brundeston, with a contingent of Mivoni mercenaries  on one side.  There weren’t many Mivoni, and many of those were from the Yitis and Photus families, although there were a few others as well.  However Duma, from the Gronzi forest, made another of his sudden appearances as well – on the basis that he had fougfht with the Aldori when they were so badly damaged at the valley of Fire, and that he was prepared to help right the wrongs that were perpetrated there.
Surtova had support from House Garess, Baron Drelev, although neither sent their whole armies, and a contingent of troops from New Stetven.   Apparently there wasn’t much between the two armies.
Suddenly there was a fanfare of trumpets and two old ladies appeared in the middle of the battlefield and demanded a parley.  It was the Dowager Duchess of the Lebeda, who was accompanied by Lady Luna Cartan, who is grandmother to our own Lady Valoria Lebeda-Ondari of Ringbridge.

The Dowager Duchess summoned the leaders for both sides, and told them that she represented the Great Houses of Brevoy, and that they would not stand aside while the country was ripped to pieces.  Instead, she insisted that a treaty should be signed.  Surtova was particularly dismissive, while the Aldori, insisted that would only be acceptable if it gave them independence.  At which point the duchess told them how the other Brevoy troops had been deployed.

Apparently the Lodkova fleet was anchored just outside Port Ice, while House Orlovsky had deployed their troops to the Great North Road, between the Garess and Surtova holdings.  House Medveyedd was massed on their southern borders, threatening both the Khavortorov holdings and Brundeston.  She then pointed out that the only thing that stopped the Orcs of the Icerime Mountains invading the Gronzi, was a treaty with the Medveyed.  Half of the Lebeda troops had been moved into New Stetven, the rest were afloat ready to head down river towards Fort Drelev and our western borders.

After much grumbling the two sides retired to consider their options, and eventually returned to the parley point -  which by this time had a massive pavilion flying the flags of the Noble houses and a small contingent of guards -  as well as the Lords Medveyed, Lodkova, Orlovsky and Lebeda.

Eventually a treaty was signed, although grudgingly.

While we will be sent a copy of the treaty shortly, I am informed that it contains the following clauses. I assume this will be supported by new charters, as appropriate.
  • Noleski Surtova will remain as Regent, and will collect his income from the lands around New Stetven.  He will not have the right to raise taxes in the lands of  other Noble Houses
  • House Aldori will be recognized with Jamandi Aldori taking the rank of Countess - which will be a hereditary title.  He was also awarded the lands to the east of the road as her holdings.
  • Neither Khavortorov nor Brundeston will be punished, and are granted the right to expand their holdings.
  • I have been declared Baron Gates and elevated to the position of Viscount Midmarch, although there are other restrictions that affect us.
  • The position of Viscountess Skywatch is also confirmed.
  • Restov is confirmed as an independent city, outside the authority of Countess Aldori.
  • Tusk is granted the position of Independent City and granted rights to the land that surrounds it.  Tusk will no longer be beholden to me.
  • Varnhold, Fort Drelev and other similar holding are declared as Marcher Lordships.
  • The Regent cannot change any of this  without authority from a newly established Brevoy Council - which will consist of the Lords of the Lebeda, Orlovsky, Medveyed, Lodkova and Garess.



There are other restrictions that will apply to Midmarch.  While I may consolidate Midmarch’s position, I cannot expand to the south.  I am, however, ’encouraged’ to develop to the west, as far as the river, and to support the establishment of new Marcher Lordships on our southern border.

It also means that Silverton will fall under the auspices of the newly independent Tusk,  rather than Midmarch as a whole."

This message was last edited by the GM at 13:21, Wed 15 July.

Andalon de Lebeda
 Player, 977 posts
 Bishop at Cathedral of
 Abadar in Tusk City
Wed 15 Jul 2020
at 12:48
Fuzzy:  Midmarch Council.
"That is wonderful news!" Andalon exclaims in absolute delight. "Congratulations to you, Baron Gates, Viscount of Midmarch! You certainly made the right decision. After hearing that news I can't tell you how proud I am to be a member of House Lebeda! What a masterful piece of diplomacy that was."

He takes a glass of wine and raises it high.

"To Henry LeMaistre, Viscount of Midmarch, long may you lead us on the path of peace and prosperity!"
Cass Mordane
 Player, 587 posts
 Bard/Sword Scion/Diplomat
 My Sword Sings
Wed 15 Jul 2020
at 13:21
Fuzzy:  Midmarch Council.
Maybe less diplomacy than leverage, but then again, much of diplomacy was indeed leverage. “A masterpiece indeed.” Cass joined Andalon. “It would be hard for anyone to paint a more favorable outcome for all those involved. I am thinking that a monument to the Duchess Lebeda is in order.”

Cass raised a glass of perlet in salute. “And Midmarch’s first family of nobility is just as it should be. To the Baron and the Baroness, the Viscount and the Viscountess. Long live LeMaistre! And long live Lebeda!”

Cass smiled as he inhaled the wine. Henry had pulled it all off without any bloodshed. And Cass himself was now in a position even better than he had hoped to carve for himself. Still, Cass couldn’t help but try to shake a secret sense of foreboding. Midmarch had managed to avoid this threat, but what about the next?
Adoven
 Player, 718 posts
 HP 40 AC 20 F+2 R+9 W+2
 Rogue / Bard
Wed 15 Jul 2020
at 14:48
Fuzzy:  Midmarch Council.
Adoven joins the toast, but has a question. "My Lord, when you say we may not extend ourselves southward, does that mean the border is Tusk itself? Or are we free to establish the border South of the lakes? Is the haunted Isle or Pipre's mother within our borders, or not?"
Henry LeMaistre
 NPC, 140 posts
 Governor of Midmarch
 Noble & Merchant
Wed 15 Jul 2020
at 14:52
Fuzzy:  Midmarch Council.
"It means that I am not to extend Midmarch to the south.  However, I am allowed to 'encourage', Marcher Lordships there." Henry replies to Adoven.
Kiera
 player, 216 posts
Wed 15 Jul 2020
at 22:43
Fuzzy:  Midmarch Council.
She listens to the terms, but she's not really smiling as much as others- instead, she's studying and thinking through the terms.

"...I think we're missing something.  Like these 'other restrictions'- what are they?

Not to mention turning Tusk independent and no longer beholden to you?  Who's in charge of it if you're not?

I'm also a bit suspicious of this Brevoy council- I mean, we don't have a voice on it, so we need to figure out where we stand with these families- how many of them love us, how many hate us, and how much dancing are we going to have to do to get what we want if we need to go to them?

I might not know all that much about politics, but it just feels like all we got out of it is a shiny title for our lord and a few others."


She sighs.

"...why do I have the feeling we got fed a bit of honey and got a knife stuck in our back at the same time?  I don't know.  I think we might be celebrating a bit too early- and we need to keep our eyes and ears open.  An independent Tusk means it's open to people screwing around with it, and I wouldn't put it past a few bunches to try it."
Henry LeMaistre
 NPC, 141 posts
 Governor of Midmarch
 Noble & Merchant
Wed 15 Jul 2020
at 23:02
Fuzzy:  Midmarch Council.
Henry responds to Kiera's thought about Midmarch and Tusk by expanding on his earlier words.

"The restriction say that I cannot expand Midmarch to the south, although I can consolidate my position.  I will take that to mean I can 'tidy up' around the edges, but Midmarch won't develop anything south of our current borders.  I can, however, continue to expand Midmarch towards the East Sellen.  I suspect that is primarily intended to let me establish a strong defensive line across the whole of the border with Brevoy. However, it also lets me complete the trade link from Restov to The East Sellen.

However, I am 'encouraged' to support the establishment of >archer Lordships.   That means you can develop independent holdings further south of the type that Zelona has been considering. Although we can work closely together, I will not govern you.  Again, I suspect that is intended to stop me from becoming too powerful, while still building military and scouting outposts to help secure the land to the south of us.  Yet another way to strengthen Brevoy's southern border.

Tusk will fall under the solely under the management of Tusk Council led by Lord Mayor Cass Mordane.  Again, reducing my personal influence, which will reduce the chances of me competing with the great noble houses.  I suspect that is the same reason for Restov to be confirmed as an independent city - the great houses don't want too much competition from the Countess Jamandi."



Henry smiles softly, "I suspect any other city either of us build would soon be declared 'independent' as well."
Domitius
 player, 401 posts
 Half Elf Fighter/Rogue
 AC:21 HP:38
Wed 15 Jul 2020
at 23:07
Fuzzy:  Midmarch Council.
Domitius looks crestfallen "So we remain slaves to Issia still, a black day." he raises his goblet to the toast but it is plain to see his thoughts are elsewhere.  He looks around the room to fix it in his mind as he wanted to remember this place where he heard the news he had dreaded and the faces of those who rejoiced at the downfall of his peoples hopes.

He placed the goblet back down on the table, the wine now bitter to him and joined Keira in her sigh.
Kiera
 player, 218 posts
Thu 16 Jul 2020
at 00:22
Fuzzy:  Midmarch Council.
The corner of her mouth turns up as she looks to the absolutely over-delighted mayor of Tusk, swallowing the last of her wine.

"Indeed, hooray for Midmarch being hamstrung like a lame deer and our new overlords of House Lebeda taking control of Tusk with nary a swing of a sword, yes?  But at least a few of us got some nice, shiny titles out of the deal, hm?

The region's economic and population center for a few shiny titles... a fine deal, if you could pull it off."


Don't mind Ki, she's just... suspicious as all get-out of people she's never met and doesn't trust- and there's not a whole lot of people from up north she actually does trust at the moment. :P
Alisa D'Medvyed
 player, 322 posts
 Half-elf Cleric
Thu 16 Jul 2020
at 00:28
Fuzzy:  Midmarch Council.
She said nothing.  Only listened.   Her features a poker face that gave little clue of what she was thinking.

First and foremost, Alisa felt relief that the worst had not come to pass.   No  horrendous bloodbath to stain the benign works and progress of recent years.  For that much, she gave silent thanks to any and all powers watching over the people of this land.

Of course it wasn't the work of gods so much as mortals...in particular the nobility of Brevoy's most prominent houses, including Medvyed of which she was distant and minor relative.  She found it reassuring they hadn't caved to the demands of the regent...and by the Spear, it was terribly satisfying to hear him formally called that, rather than king.  This seemed to be a broad acknowledgement that he was in fact not the latter.

She tended to agree with Kiera that there were likely aspects of this whole thing which were not apparent, intentionally hidden.   But wasn't it almost always true in politics, and its maneuverings?   Time would tell.  She had faith that nothing vicious had been conspired, at least.

It was hard for her to hear Domitius express his pain and frustration; she knew well what this meant to him.   She had earlier spoken her own viewpoint of Surtova, her mistrust and dislike of them.   However, she didn't share Dom's loyalty and zeal for the Aldori cause.   She admired them; their spirit and courage. Was gladdened they'd been legitimized and given holdings.  They deserved no less. But, Countess Jamandi had not impressed her as a particularly wise leader. And flocking to her banner would have been a mistake, she believed.

The lord-regent capitulated to the great houses of Brevoy. That was a victory, in her book.   Yet she had entirely meant the warning she'd early given Henry; were it possible, she'd give it to the Ladies Lebeda as well.  Though she was relatively sure they were already wary; knew much more than she did.

She glanced to the side at Domitius, and her face finally, briefly yielded an expression.  Showing her sorrow at how he was taking this.   And her worry what it might lead him to do...
Cass Mordane
 Player, 591 posts
 Bard/Sword Scion/Diplomat
 My Sword Sings
Thu 16 Jul 2020
at 02:25
Fuzzy:  Midmarch Council.
“I think that there is a misunderstanding of the victory gained here today, and the reason for my own rejoicing.” Cass said placing his glass down. In all sobriety, seriousness, and sincerity, he continued.

“Acting as mayor of Tusk has been my personal contribution to Midmarch and its people. And gaining a fancy title to continue to do so brings me not one whit of joy. My own personal interests have always been the establishment of my own independent territory, and with Silverton in the works, any continued participation in the governance of Tusk prevents me from realizing that full potential. I will hold more freedom and power as a newly invested Marcher Lord than I ever would as a city official.”

“And the same holds for each of you, should you take the opportunity to form your own independent territories. And for anyone with the proper dedication to Tusk City, I will gladly hand over my keys to the council room. But from early days, Henry mentioned his desire that should the opportunity present itself, he would prefer to see Tusk as a city independent of Midmarch itself. That way it could act in the best interests of a confederacy of free lands created and governed by those of the Charter who desired to do so. I believe such independence also allows Henry a breather to focus on his own family and family ventures even though he has agreed to maintain the responsibility of Viscount of Midmarch.”

“While the Aldori may not have had the sweeping victory on the battlefield that they hoped for, in Lady Jamandi they now have a greater footing than ever before as Countess. The whole resolution is one made to benefit all parties for the longest period possible. Surtova has been neutered, Regent in name, but truly no more powerful or with any more authority than any other noble family of Brevoy. This includes the Rostland Brevoy, the Midmarch Brevoy, all new Marcher Lords, and the Free City of Tusk. Cooperation rather than conflict will provide the greater benefits to noble and commoner alike.”

So saying, Cass turned directly to Domitius. “I also prefer to believe that whatever new holding that you establish in your own name as a Marcher Lord will be of greater benefit to your family and your people than what you may have gained by focusing your efforts in Rostland. No offense to your abilities, but you have a surfeit of space and economy that you may not have in closer boundaries. And your military might could be even stronger.”

“But I too have my concerns, most directly that of the possible threat from the River Kingdoms in general and possibly Pitax in particular. I am also not beyond suspicion of Drelev as well.”

This message was last edited by the player at 02:42, Thu 16 July.

Safiya Vallani
 player, 320 posts
Thu 16 Jul 2020
at 06:22
Fuzzy:  Midmarch Council.
"This was the most we could have hoped for in this situation. The important part is that further bloodshed has been averted, and hopefully both sides will cool down now." Safiya gives her opinion on the situation.
Adoven
 Player, 723 posts
 HP 40 AC 20 F+2 R+9 W+2
 Rogue / Bard
Thu 16 Jul 2020
at 06:27
Fuzzy:  Midmarch Council.
Adoven asks "how does one become a Marcher Lord? Build a keep or Defensive structure, then cultivate a village or city surrounding it?"
Kiera
 player, 220 posts
Thu 16 Jul 2020
at 07:34
Fuzzy:  Midmarch Council.
“Yes, the Aldori got what Midmarch did- honey-sweet titles that mean nothing in the grand scheme of things while getting effectively neutered by the ruling families with the loss of their capital city to become an ‘independent town’.  I expect it to happen again and again in the coming years, too- Henry gets too powerful, gets a big city- nope, independent, try again- until he loses his nerve and gives up or comes crawling back to beg for whatever scraps the Council sees fit to toss him- or we fail and find ourselves fish amongst sharks as the Houses and River Kingdoms divide us up.

Same thing with trying to get us to split up and start our own little kingdoms- dividing and conquering is easier when your enemies divide up for you- and then we get played against each other.  Sting, I bet the ambassadors are already on their way to Tusk as we speak to see what they can wrangle out of Mr. Mayor over there as far as getting outposts and camps and military set up here, without having to worry about Midmarch forces or advisors stopping them.

I’d almost go outright and think the Houses stirred this whole thing up for just this conclusion- the Regent answers to them, Midmarch and the Aldori all but neutered, and encouraging the lot of us to splinter away from Midmarch.  They’re playing a long game, here, and the first roll went their way.  We ought to stick together, and we should have split away completely. Keep an eye on the Aldori lands, that’s where they’ll work next.

Not many understand what power can do to someone. I saw what it did to Old Staggy, and we’ve seen what it did to the Regent. Let’s not let it go to our heads let we end up like him or Kressle or the Redbirds or whatever else is out there.”


Her throat dry, she would drain another glass of wine and sit back, a bit closer to Dom and Alisa.

This message was last edited by the player at 07:41, Thu 16 July.

Cass Mordane
 Player, 592 posts
 Bard/Sword Scion/Diplomat
 My Sword Sings
Thu 16 Jul 2020
at 07:47
Fuzzy:  Midmarch Council.
“So I am just some pathetic little bootlicker ready to roll over at any scrap thrown to me by my masters?” Cass bit back a laugh. “It is good to know your true opinion of me.”

This message was last edited by the player at 07:49, Thu 16 July.

Kiera
 player, 221 posts
Thu 16 Jul 2020
at 08:20
Fuzzy:  Midmarch Council.
“...I think I’ve had too much wine tonight, I apologize.  I’m just scared, Cass. Things are changing out from under us and I don’t know what to think. An independent Tusk isn’t something I anticipated, and my mind’s whirling at the things going on here. We’re getting outplayed, and we don’t know by who.  I hate not knowing.  All I can ask is we be careful, because things just got a lot more dangerous for us.”

She would scoop up a half-empty wineglass and drain it, setting the glass down slowly.

“I might need to stop pickling myself in public...”


OOC: Hope no one is taking this personally, Ki is just drunk off her behind and venting and scared out of her mind.

This message was last edited by the player at 08:23, Thu 16 July.

Cass Mordane
 Player, 593 posts
 Opportunist
Thu 16 Jul 2020
at 08:41
Fuzzy:  Midmarch Council.
Cass allowed his face to soften. “I do seem to recall that you are much more well versed in applejack. Perhaps you will have enough time to practice before I have a fully functional whiskey distillery.”

“I can see how this seems more like a defeat than a victory. And you are correct that under the wrong set of circumstances, those Issian lords that hold your suspicion could gain time to carve up Midmarch at their pleasure. But consider this possibility should we have have taken fully to the battlefield. Even in victory, our forces could have been severely depleted. Enough so that the forces that the Issian lords held in reserve could have easily dominated.  Or the forces of Fort Drelev, easily three times the current military strength of a Midmarch could have put an end to our forces. Or Pitax could have decided to bring war from the west. In any of those cases, Midmarch would already have been carved up. But while our rivals waste time and effort against each other, we have time to grow strong and stay united. I see fortified territories held by March Lords such as Adoven, Domitius, Kendrick, and others as more than a match for more overly confidant rivals. I may be wrong, but I didn’t make it from sleeping on the streets of Restov to where I am today by betting on more losing propositions than winning ones.”
Henry LeMaistre
 NPC, 142 posts
 Governor of Midmarch
 Noble & Merchant
Thu 16 Jul 2020
at 09:01
Fuzzy:  Midmarch Council.
Henry sits quietly as people work through their feelings, and has little more that he can really say until the Charters and patents are delivered from Brevoy - until then, he is as much in the dark as anyone else.   However, he can correct one thing ...

"Restov has been an independent city from the very beginning of Brevoy.  While it was the centre for Aldori  politics, and has many Aldori residents - there are many other residents as well.  I don't think the Lord mayor of Restov would have been impressed to be told that he now worked for his First Sword Lord ..."


OOC:  We'll work the charters out between us in OOC.
Alisa D'Medvyed
 player, 325 posts
 Half-elf Cleric
Fri 17 Jul 2020
at 20:26
Fuzzy:  Midmarch Council.
Alisa nodded at Cass' last round of words.

"And this is exactly why I'm relieved, if not elated, with the outcome.  The cost for going to war now, for this particular reason, would almost surely have been too high.   And, I agree wholly that building our strength, as well as planning carefully for the future -- taking into consideration the shrewd, ambitious personalities of some of our neighbors -- stands a better chance of making the most of independence, and increasing both prosperity and security for the broader population." 

This message was last edited by the player at 21:35, Fri 17 July.