06.25.3013: Arboren Peake Family Meeting
Summary: The Arboren and Peake representatives meet to discuss the Emund and Janelle situation. Decisions are made.
Date: 25 June 2013
Related: None
Aelewen Agnes Brienne Declan Eilara Keanen Llacheu Tristan 

Grand Rotunda — Elder Seat, Arborenin
The edifice of the Elder Seat has been built around the tall, old, and stalwart tree known as the Wise Wood. It has been nurtured for millennia, and unique advances in botany have allowed the Paramount House of Arboren to shape the tree to their needs without fully interrupting its natural processes. The most evident of this is the Grand Rotunda — the main entrance hall of the Elder Seat. The cavernous antechamber literally bisects the tree's thick body, allowing for the room to be completely open without the interference of the trunk. Grand columns have been erected from floor to ceiling along the outer circumference of the room, however, to allow nutrients to continue to flow from the roots far below to the topmost leaves high above.

Everything about this room is natural and earthy from the oiled wood floors that integrate the Wise Wood's rings at its center, to the petrified wood that is used to construct the walls. Soft light glows from the ceilings, dimming and brightening based on the levels of natural light. The curved walls are almost entirely accented by large windows that provide breathtaking views of the Arborenin Woods, save for the wall that is directly across from the enormous entrance doors. This wide section of wall is occupied by a enormous staircase that leads up to the first exterior terrace of the Elder Seat, and thus to the rest of the Arboren's noble lodgings.

This room is almost never empty, looked after by patrolling guards when there is not a celebration taking up the expansive area of the rotunda.

25 June 3013

The great rotunda of the Elder Seat has been cleared to house this meeting of Arborenin nobles and citizens, with a great round table set in the center of the space, the naked and unfinished wooden piece echoing the natural surroundings of the Wise Wood. Although the table lacks a head place, the Young Lord Declan Arboren sits at the side far from the entrance, just slightly off-center. The actual central seat remains empty, belonging to the High Lady Eryn Arboren. Numerous other seats circle the table, and another set ring the exterior of the chamber, allowing enough room for the citizens of the Spine to join in observing the meeting.

Guards are posted, although they are unobtrusive, and one might wonder if the actual security isn't hidden somewhere, given the tendencies of the ruling House. As people file in and sit, Declan greets them each, and waits until people have mostly settled before beginning to speak. "Thank you all for coming. House Arboren has called this meeting to discuss the situation brewing among own liege lords, in the Royal House of Saveur. I am sure many of you are aware of the rumors surrounding the conflict between the Crown Prince and his sister, as well as the rumors from recent Crown Councils."

Lady Sir Agnes Peake, sister of Lord Sir Trentin, current head of House Peake, sits in stoic silence in the section of the table for the vassal house representatives. She is wearing simple garb, a tunic under a leather vest, breeches, boots, and a dark cloak draped from one shoulder. Her lips are pressed in a tight line and there is a crease in her forehead that indicates her stress over this situation.

Well it doesn't seem like much has changed during her period of mourning, aside from a few more silvery hairs and wrinkles. It still is nigh impossible to get Aelewen in a dress, save for the most formal of events. Still she is at least out of her hunting leathers into something vaguely more formal. She nods and smiles to her family then to Agnes as well before assuming her seat "Lovely to see you all" she says in her faintly raspy voice "My eldest sends her apologies, she is will her unit still. I will fill her in" she adds whilst dropping down with a boneless grace into her seat and listening to the Young Lord attentively, although she casts a faint frown to her sister's empty chair.

Llacheu is among those who have arrived to listen in and watch, unless he's one of the unobtrusive guardsmen on duty. Whichever the case he has not taken a seat. A position to lean against a wall suits him with a view of the large chamber, not far from the entrance but to one side of it. He stands relaxed to observe those who arrive, gaze slipping from one to another in silence. Llac isn't dressed as finely as the nobility and seems content to keep to himself and listen.

Eilara is not usually one for meetings, or politics, or anything that requires sitting terribly still for particularly long periods of time. But goodness, she's -trying.- A few seats down from her brother Declan, her jaw sets in grim determination as the gathering officially begins.

Brie had arrived early and sits quietly at the table somewhere near her eldest brother and probably her younger siblings as well. Her fingers are laced together loosely, forearms resting on the table as she leans forward, listening to her brother Declan begin the welcome and thank you speech. With a completely neutral expression, she hears of the reason of the call to meeting and doesn't look surprised at all. For the moment, she remains silent, though occasionally her gaze flickers around at others, gauging reactions from any faces easily read.

"I won't sit here and give any long speeches on the topic," Declan goes on to say, shifting only slightly in his seated place. "Our House has a good relationship with Prince Emund, and have long supported him as the rightful heir. But I think most here will acknowledge that his grief has made him ineffective of late," no cautious words here, "and that Princess Janelle has been working much more aggressively to garner support. So there are two main issues to discuss: First, if our House or any of our vassal Houses see cause for changing our support and if not, what can be done to assist him or encourage his action, and second, if the matter comes to a war over the sucession, how far our support and involvement may extend." This said, the Young Lord spreads his hands. "We are all gathered to discuss this, so the floor is open."

The door opens and Keanen saunters in as if he owns the place. "What up, all?" he says loudly as he makes his way in. He waves at his siblings, and then flops down on the nearest empty chair. "Did I miss anything?" He lifts his brow a bit, "Are we having catering? I could go for some of those little weiner things wrapped in the croissant roll, what do they call them?" He smiles, "Meh."

"Of all the fucking times for a succession crisis" Aelwen says, her raspy voice a low growl as she leans forward a little, sharp blue eyes shifting around her kin then back to Declan "I can't say I trust The Nightshade, or anyone who moves against their own blood, especialy at a time like this" she says with a shrug of her broad, archer's shoulders.

Having found his seat somewhere near both his sisters, Tristan looks a bit thoughtful as he listens to what's being said now. He's never been quite that comfortable with meetings, and today seems no different. Nodding a little, as he listens carefully now.

"House Peake stands with Prince Emund," Agnes states firmly. "He has military experience, and will get through his grief. I think everyone here should be concerned about the sincere /lack/ of both military knowledge and experience the Princess has, being as the Hostiles are already here, early, and moreso that she would seek to undo the rights of succession. Would she also seek to undo other rights, other titles and holdings?"

"It has yet to be a year since his wife has died. Has no one the heart to give the man time to grieve? He lost the love of his life and people would sit and judge him for his grief? When has time been cut down from a year of grieving allowed? If any one of you lost someone you cherished, I challenge you to get immediately back to work. He needs a little time, surely his crown should not be taken away from him over a loss and a broken heart?" Brienne states rather fiercely, offering a nod to Awlwen. "Agreed. Anyone who will turn against her own family will turn against their people."

Declan's head bobs along slowly in the points raised around the table. "I think there is value in his experience as well. Princess Janelle is well-advised, but that means it would be her advisors running things, people who we have no ability to scrutinize or vet. And who may have ambitions of their own, even if her own end with the throne." Then he looks back to his sister. "Ideally we would give him as long as he needs, but the rumors from the Crown Council are troubling. I would think they'd be troubling even to his strongest supporters. It's a simple fact that he needs to act; to keep his inheritance in the short term, or to defend his realm in the long. The Hostiles care little for grief and his military experience means nothing if he is not exercising it." And again, he looks toward Agnes. "Do you have any insight here? At the post-tournament ball, when he danced with you, that's probably the most social anyone has seen him in recent months, while his sister was of course chatting up the room."

Llacheu is interested in the current events, things he's only heard rumors of so far. He keeps his place as well as his silence though he shifts his hands to remove a small flask from his belt and open it to take a drink of water from it.

"Sometimes you do need to put aside your grief to do your duty…" the recently widowed Aelwen says softly as her eyes shift away from the table a moment "…anyway. Nothing I have heard would lead me to trust the Nightshade. She is a politician" she adds, making that term sound like a curse before she adds "If we come out strongly in support it may help bolster him to take more action"

Keanen lifts his brow again, looking around the table. Apparently, his entrance was completely ignored. He purses his lips, chews the inside of his cheek a moment, and then nods, and stands. "Lemme know how this works out. I'm hungry," and he heads out the door.

"I have exchanged a few letters with him. He is working through his situation, but I have not had a response to my last missive, reporting on the heroic actions of our people in the ram ships and offering House Peake's condolences on his father's health," Agnes responds. "That is as much as I know."

Tristan pauses for a few moments as he listens now. "Not spending all your time chatting with everyone does not neccessarily make a person weak," he remarks, before he nods a bit at the rest of what's being said. "And it's true that some times one will just have to soldier on, but on the other hand, grief and needing to work through that can be difficult, even at times like this." Another brief pause, before he adds, "And yes, having someone who leans fully on the weight of their advisors can be quite bad in this situation too, I believe."

"Do the letters give any hint to his mindset?" Declan wonders, still focused on Agnes for the insight her position seems to grant. "I think we need to do a little more than support him. Not just for his own sake, but for the realm's." A nod is given toward his aunt. "Maybe you could speak with him, to offer your own perspective on that front? I am afraid I am myself no one to lecture him, a bachelor with far more supportive siblings. But the fact remains that he must either put it aside, as you say, or if he must still grieve, then he must at least empower other individuals that he trusts to act with his authority. As it stands, the lack of royal orders leaves houses to fight independently, or to scramble and coordinate between themselves. I fear this approach will not be sustainable, particularly if the next wave of Hostiles is more aggressive than this first one." Which his tone would suggest he believes quite likely.

"He has sorrow, but he is not lost in grief," Agnes states. "I imagine having his King Symion on his death bed and his own sister trying to usurp him in a family line that has already seen far too much tragedy is weighing heavily on him. But I believe, honestly, that if we show our support, vocally and by our presence, he will step up."

Eilara appears very solemn throughout all this. Perhaps surprisingly, her attention is rapt and she listens closely to the discussion at hand. She refrains from adding her input, for now.

His belt canteen is stoppered and reattached to his belt. Llacheu faintly turns his head at something that comes over his ear bud. A moment later he pushes himself away from the wall and quietly removes himself.

Aelewen leans back as she considers Declan's words, her lips pursing a moment "Eryn was always closer to him than me" she says at last in reply. She idly taps her leathery fingers on the table as she falls silent for a further time "Still I have a better idea what he is going through yes." As Agnes speaks she turns to the larger woman and nods "Some kind of public demonstration of support as well?"

"Yes, Lady Aelewen," Agnes notes with a grim nod. "Janelle and her supporters are very vocal, while Emund has taken the high road and not dredged his sister through the mud, speaking ill of her. We need to speak well of him, his intellect and military strategy in this time of war. We need to show the other Houses we stand by him and why. Otherwise the crown will be stolen by manipulation and avarice. I shudder to think of that."

"Perhaps we should have a vote here, Declan. Ask who is in favor of Emund, our Prince. Or the Princess who would usurp her own brother to take a place that was never rightfully hers?" Brie challenges lightly.

Eilara glances toward Agnes, and the woman's words seem to settle well with the young woman. She nods in firm agreement, though her attention quickly shifts to her sister as she speaks.

"The difficulty is that it is hard to speak to his intellect and military strategy when he is neglecting those duties," Declan points out. "So, while I am all for public support, the man must make himself worthy of it, if it is to be heard as anything but purely political speech." Toward Brienne's suggestion, he chuckles but shrugs. "It doesn't sound as though anyone in the room actually supports Princess Janelle? But I suppose if anyone does, they ought speak up. If there is no contention, no disagreement, then there is little to vote on."

"Perhaps if those of us who are more socially acquainted with the Prince went to Landings to convey our condolences for King Symion's health in person, if an opportunity presented itself, someone could speak to him and let him know our concerns?" Agnes suggests.

"Just Aelwen please, I mean you used to sing to my children" Aelwen replies to Agnes, turning a fond smile to the larger woman. Her face becomes more serious as she considers Declan's words "One thing though. If we can't get him moving and the Princess becomes Queen, we will have to throw our support behind her. We can't afford a split with the Invasion"

"I would think you would be a good person to speak to him about such things," Tristan offers to Aelewen, nodding a little bit. "Perhaps one of the things he needs is to know there's someone that's been through the same, and is willing to talk, and listen, after all?" A brief pause, as he seems to consider a few things. "Perhaps someone speaking to his intellect and military strategy is what's needed for him to realize he's still valued, and get back into things more forcefully? But after all, I'm not really a politician," Nodding again now, "But it's true, we, and everyone else, needs to support whoever it is that ends up with the throne, or we might have handed the Hostiles a huge advantage here."

"Aelewen," Agnes says quietly, "I could go as your escort, and speak to him about needing his military mind in this trying time?" She looks a little bit stressed at the thought of a face-to-face with Emund, but the situation is dire, and growing moreso by the day.

"We can leave it to Agnes to draw him out of his funk. But as for a vote, it looks like Emund is the obvious winner." Brie mentions with a crooked grin. "I'm going out on patrol, this is the most I've been inside in weeks. If you need me, comm me." Assuming the bulk of the meeting is over, she stands.

Declan nods back at Aelwen. "I can suggest to my mother that she speak with him, or you could, but you know that family business takes much of her time." When Agnes suggest the both of them go, on top of her urging to go and pay condolences, the Young Lord nods. "That seems like a sound plan, for the two of you to try and see and speak with him, together or seperately." And then, more generally. "It does seem we have a consensus of thought, which I will pass on to the High Lady." His terminology turns more formal in the latter part. "And I will suggest that we make our support known, loud, and public as everyone seems to agree is best. Are there any other outstanding matters?"

Aelewen considers Agnes for several long moments before a small smile touches her face. It is somehwat mischevious for a moment before the seriousness of the occasion causes it to fade slowly. She considers everyones words then simply nods "Well I wouldn't be -my- first choice to offer sympathy, but maybe he needs a polite kick as well as sympathy." Nodding to Declan she shrugs one shoulder "At the least I could carry a letter or something. And yes. Two things. The scouts" she pauses here her expression and tone shifting to something more professional "From what I understand they have some kind of optical camoflague. I have a theory this may not cover scent, so we might like to pass that around to see if I am right or not. And secondly…" she says turning her direct gaze to Declan "I have been mostly out of contact, but with the war comming, I beleive I speak for everyone else in the line of sucession in saying that we need you married lad" she says with her usual bluntness

"Take care out there," Tristan offers a bit quietly to Brienne, before he nods a little as he hears Declan's words. "Sounds like a good cause of action," he offers, before he pauses as he hears Aelewen's words. "Scent? What would the plan be, to send dogs out to sniff them out?" Sounding a bit curious now, before he nods a bit at that last part, unable to hold back a half grin, as his gaze moves back to his oldest brother.

Agnes gives Declan a sympathetic look as his state of matrimony is brought up. "If you will kindly excuse me, my Lords and Ladies, I should go set some matters in motion if I am to escort Aelewen to the capital." She rises, and bows.

In the process of leaving, Brie looks at Tristan and grins, bending down, she brushes a kiss over his forehead before ruffling his hair. "See you soon, lil brother. Be good."

"As to the latter matter… there are some negotations in progress," Declan offers in a tone that suggests he will not be giving anything else away on the subject. "But I am concerned about the camoflague technology the Hostiles seem to employ. Our skill at stealth and scouting is one of our strengths, but this technology frankly allows them to outclass all but our very best. It would be interesting to test out the hunting dogs," and he nods, acknowledging his brother, "While in the long term perhaps see if we might be able to develop, with other houses, some sort of sensor that would make use of this weakness if it proves true." He nods to those departing, and then sits back with a thoughtful expression.

Aelewen nods towards Tristan, her expression tightening just a little "Sadly if they are as smart as I think they will start targetting the hounds" she adds softly, then as Agnes heads off she nods and smiles a little "Was good to see you again, my children send their love" she says quietly then nods to Brie "Take care out there" she adds, voice still soft. She looks back to Declan and nods sharply "Good to hear, I can't imagine your mother letting it slide"

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