06.13.3013: Khournas Welcomes the Granthams
Summary: Devon and Flint Grantham come to the Blackspyre to offer aid to Khournas in the war.
Date: 13 June 2012
Related: None
Anabethe Devon Flint Nitrim Reena 

Grand Hall - Blackspyre, Volkan
This hall takes up a significant portion of one floor of the Blackspyre, backing up to the east so that Mount Drakan is visible through the window in that wall, continually burning behind the high table. The other walls are of plain metal, although adorned with trophies from past battles and drake hunts. These weapons, banners, drake-skins, and drake skulls are mounted high, out of reach, but are well maintained. Long trestle tables run the length of the hall in two rows, nearly connected at the eastern end by the high table, which is mounted on a one-step dais. The high seat of Khournas is placed at the center of the high table, where the continual eruption of Mount Drakan frames the person sitting in that seat. At the far end of the hall are the double-doors that are the primary entrance, although there are smaller doors along both side-walls as well.
13 June 3013

Lady Reena Khournas sits on a carved chair that sits on the far end of the head table, youngest of the daughters of Lord Jevon. She is dressed in regal Khourni red and gold, in a gown of crushed velvet with beading on the neckline, sleeves, and bodice, Her hair has been pulled up into a pristine bun wrapped by a braid, and jewels drip from her ears and around her neck. She watches Lady Devon enter, and stands slowly to meet her, waiting for the woman and her coterie to reach the dais.

As a good son should, Nitrim Khournas has assembled in the Grand Hall of the Blackspyre to receive their esteemed guests. He's been freshly groomed, with a jagged cut of styled hair in a forward sweep towards his brows. Smelling of ashen leaves and wearing a recently steamed coat with full rings and regalia, he too rises from his seat in concert with Reena. With his forearm balanced for comfort over the hilt of his sword and his opposite hand bent behind his back, he levels his eyes on Devon and her entourage, eyes scanning quietly as he falls into line beside his sister. As they near, he nods his head slowly, respectfully.

"Lady Reena," Devon says, obviously having researched and studied the Khournas family tree before her arrival. She warms with a gentle smile. "The InfoSphere does not do your beauty credit," she greets with a gentle curtsey — a bit more than is required for greeting a fellow Noble, but done all the same. "I am Lady Devon Grantham, widow to the Young Lord Zayne Grantham. And this here is the Lord Sir Jacob Grantham," she says, presenting Flint's birth name instead of his byname. "Thank you for welcoming us in your father's stead." And her smile remains soft, serene, even as her gaze passes over Nitrim.

"Lady Devon, Lord Sir Jacob, I welcome you to the Blackspyre and pass on my father's regrets that he is unable to be here to greet you himself. I offer you Guestright in the House of Khournas, and ask that you let me know if there is anything you require during your stay here." Reena inclines her head just the perfect degree. She is clearly practiced at this, with her father and older siblings being the busy sorts. This is what she was trained to afterall. "Would you care to sit and have a glass of wine with us? Have you eaten?" She gestures at the table nearest the head one.

Nitrim's cold, green eyes scan over Devon and Flint's retinue, tracing over the armor of their honor guard and the expressions on their faces. Counting the numbers, he waits until Reena's introduction nears an end to level his gaze back to Devon and Flint, smiling quietly. "Our Lord Father extends his deepest regrets that he could not be available for this moment. My Lady Sister and I have been anxious for the opportunity to cast first eyes on our honored guests." He glances to Reena, then back. He, too, motions to the table on the side, directing them to where they can speak comfortably.

"Wine and food both would be a wonderful offering, my Lady, and easily accepted," Devon turns toward her Knights, murmuring something to them before she steps toward the dias where the two Khourni sit. "We have not yet eaten. I did not want to be in a position to turn down the Golden Drake's hospitality." She offers another soft smile as she moves to join the pair with a sweep of her gossamer skirts. "Plus, I have heard such wonderful things about the Khourni wine, I would have been an idiot to say no." She casts a smile toward Nitrim now as she takes her seat. "No regrets are required. I don't expect the Lord Khournas to be at our whim."

Reena gestures to waiting servants and they bustle over with carafes and plates of cheeses, fruits, bread, and meats for the guests. She rounds the high table and moves to sit at the head of the table she directed the guests to. A servant pulls out a seat for her, and another does the same for Devon, as wine is poured into goblets. "I hope your journey here was a pleasant one?" she queries, lifting her glass to sip from it so no one needs to wait.

Flint has been there, but he's been mildly distracted by other matters. Like a comm call. "Later, I'll take care of them. But you're kind of interupting in the middle of something, Sergeant. I'll talk to you later." Turning the comm, then he regards the Khourni there and then at Devon, grunting something. "She means Sir Flint." he corrects her. "But," he then conceeds, "Sir Jacob I suppose will work too."

Returning Devon's smile, Nitrim nods his head respectfully to her and turns his attention to the table. He presses his hand to the front of his coat to hold it closed as he turns to his own chair. Before sitting, he motions to a servant to the side, calling him over to him. Nitrim grips the man softly by his upper arm. "Please ensure that the guards of the Lords of Grantham are provided refreshments and seating, should they feel the need to partake." Orders given, the servant moves off to a waiting trio.

With his father's often grim brow, Nitrim seats himself and gives Devon a scant glance before turning his attention to Flint. "Sir Flint it is, then. Since you've not eaten, I should probably suggest the Broiled karr bark. It sits well with the Khourni red."

"Quite," Devon agrees with Reena. "Ignis beats the Crescent when it comes to lava and extreme heat, but you at least have blue skies to be seen and the Haven sun is not completely blotted out by ash." She casts the young Khourni a grin before she settles down more comfortably in her seat and pours herself a cup of wine. She glances toward her Uncle-by-marriage, casting him a wide smile before she sobers a bit to consider the pair of Khourni. "We actually came to offer some assistance to your Father's house. The Pit has not yet been invaded by Hostile units, and Lady Grantham has approved some of the Ash Legion to offer our strength to others."

Reena takes only a few tiny morsels to her plate, playing the part of the dainty little thing. Nitrim, however, would know she eats like a drake when not in front of guests. She's very good at wearing the mask of lady-ship. "Sir Flint, then, of course," she says with a warm smile. Devon's words have her tilting her head slightly to one side, regarding her curiously. "I cannot speak for my father, but I am sure he will appreciate your kind offer. I've seen what the Hostiles can do in the triage area of the Ring, and humanity as a whole needs to work together if we are to survive."

"And on behalf of House Grantham, we are only more than eager to assist." Flints states, taking a seat next to his neice. "The Legion chomps at the bit for the real fighting to begin. I cannot wait myself. So wherever they land on the Crescent first, I intend on being there." Once Devon has finished with the wine, he gets his turn. Maybe it's time he drank something other than Ignis mead. "Devon's idea, really, to make an appearence." The former heir of Grantham is more than happy to nod at Reena. "That's exactly what I'm talking about. We need solidarity, now more than ever. And when we're finished, we'll tell glorious tales of our soldier's deeds."

Nitrim's arm stretches out like a slow moving viper to lift his wine glass in an underhanded grip. He takes a quiet sip, eyes turning to Devon over the rim of his glass to watch her as she presents Lady Grantham's offer. His eyes linger, though not for long before swiveling over to Sir Flint. His rings tap lightly against the goblet as it is set back down and he nods in agreement with his sister. "The Ash Legion will have plenty of heat to fight in. Where there's lava there's fire, no?" He smiles darkly, giving the man a nod bearing the solidarity he seeks. "We'll burn them off of our lands, and should fate allow every one of your men will have a kill to speak proudly of."

"I studied extensively in medicine at the Academ before I became a soldier of the Legion and a field medic," Devon says, folding her fingers gracefully around her cup. She settles back into her seat, quite relaxed. "The Ash Knights themselves will offer their services directly to the Khournas until our liege or Head of House summons us back to Oculus space." She casts a smile toward her Uncle before she refocuses her attention on the pair of Khourni. "For now though, relaxation, good food and drink, and perhaps fine company is all we require until I can speak more directly to your father." She flickers her gaze around the hall briefly. "How many Khourni enlisted to fight with the navy?"'

"The songs will be many, and of course there will be tales of the bravery of our citizens in the face of the Hostile threat," Reena confirms. She lays a linen napkin into her lap, even though she has yet to touch her food. "There were many. My cousins, Sir Asher and Sir Victor, and Young Lady Sir Johana Imbrahm were among those on the Shadow of Intent. Also, Knight Lieutenant Thalo Khorax, sworn to Ibrahm, was one of the commanders for that operation." She nibbles a piece of cheese. Reena is sitting at the head of a table (not the high table) with Nitrim, Devon, and Flint, drinking wine and eating.

Flint chuckles lightly to Nitrim. "I could boast all day about the Legion if I could, but I'd of course bit a bit biased." A drink is taken. "That is certainly what we're looking for, no doubt about that. And I suspect that the Legion won't be required until the Hostiles make a direct assualt on Occulus itself. They may come to Ignis eventually, but I think even they realize that the enviroment is just dangerous to them as it's inhabitants. But indeed, like my neice says, before the eve of battle, we enjoy the things we love most. For tomorrow might be our end. I only hope it'll be a glorious one." There's a gesture at his glass and smile at that. "Remind me, should I survive the battle, I might have to trade some of this Khourni wine for Grantham mead." As the list of names are read off, he grins. "They were the first to taste battle then. They all returned from the sound of it?"

"I assure you, Lady Devon, fine company can always be found in the Blackspyre as well as in Obsidia, and may the Gods lead you and yours to them as they see fit. Have you ever been to Volkan, My Lady?" Nitrim replies to Devon, picking up his goblet of firey wine, eyes reaching across the table to her presence, curious indeed, complete with a cocked eyebrow. With Flint's question, Nitrim nods, sparing a glance to his sister before responding to him. "My Lady Sister was quite relieved to see that the first attack was victory, as we're all rather closely knit. There were losses to our men, but not among the names she just listed."

"The Wall," Devon says as she recognizes Thalo's name. "I have heard of him." She brings her cup to her lips as she sips at the red, red liquid. She lifts her fingertips to tuck a bit of aquamarine hair behind her ear thoughtfully. "But, the Crescent was well-represented…" She does glance toward Nitrim briefly before she lifts her cup to her Uncle's words. Then she settles into a calm, tranquil smile once more. "I have, though only in passing. It has only been in the last couple years that I have had enough time to call my own to venture beyond the Pit." She taps her fingertips gently against the cup. "I would not mind a tour though, if you are offering, Lord Nitrim."

"Thank the six, yes, they are all safe. There were injuries, but they've been treated. I worked as a volunteer medic doing triage when the ram ships returned to the Ring," Reena explains. She shoots Nitrim a look for just a moment. "And we mourn those we lost, while celebrating the safe return of the rest." She sips her wine and looks between her brother and Devon with her sweetest smile. "I am sure my dear brother would be delighted to give you a tour, Milady."

"Look, it tried to tell me there were fifteen men in the Company when there were clearly twenty," Anabethe says irritably as she stalks into the hall, pressing a helmet on an engineer. "So something's off in the recognition. Run the test thingy again. And no, before you ask, I didn't throw it at anyone, so don't try and say it was something I did. Besides, it's a helm, it's made to take a hit isn't it? Thank you." Sighing heavily, she reaches up to push a hand through her hair before catching sight of the gathering at the table. She grimaces, but she's in now, and it's too late to go change out of armor. So instead, she puts on her best face and starts toward the others.

"It's been awhile for myself as well." Flint acknowleges. "Training the lost souls who come to the Legion for their new life, burning the ashes of their old one behind them." There's a pause for mention of the dead. "Then may the Crone guide them on the next step of their journey, wherever that may lead." Before he continues, Anabethe's one-sided commentary gets a glance before he turns back to those gathered. "I would offer a tour of the Red House as well, should any of you find yourselves on Ignis, but…" he can't help but laugh a little. "I can't say that the Pit is on the top of everyone's tourist locations." A wink is given at that.

"Then you must take what time you have rather seriously. How rude of it would it be for me to refuse you a tour." Nitrim retorts to Devon, raising his goblet in a salute to her. "As my Lady Sister suggests, I would be delighted to do so." His eyes lower to his glass as he sips, though they narrow slyly as they often do. "Speaking of Lady Sisters," He sets his wine down and extends his arm from the table towards Anabethe. "Might I present to you Young Lady Sir Anabethe Khournas, who, like your Ash Legion, has been training around the clock for the fight ahead. Please, Sister, come join our guests, the enigmatic Lady Devon Grantham and her uncle, Lord Sir Flint Grantham. Lady Grantham has sent the Ash Legion in offer of their support of the campaign against the Hostile at Volkan."

Nitrim looks to Reena, glancing quietly to her as he reaches out to pour Anabethe a glass of Khourni red wine. He saw the look she shot him, and lets her know he saw it. "Oh, nonsense, Sir Flint. I have a certain fascination with the way that nature hardens the ground around it, and how it changes us as people. You know, I recently visited the Sky Palace at Nubilus? It was all clouds and tall peaks, light as air. They're people have a certain beauty about them, but…there's ash in my blood. People like ours are forged by this fury around them."

Devon looks up as the Young Lady of Khournas approaches, and she slowly sweeps to her feet to greet the woman properly. "Sir Anabethe, a pleasure to meet you in the flesh. I have heard much of your exploits. The Crimson Drakes, yes?" She says with a knowing quirk of her lips before she glances toward Nitrim at his words, and her smile gains a slightly sharper edge. "Thank you, Lord Nitrim. I promise not to be a bothersome tourist. Just the highlights." Then she slowly takes her seat once more as she reclaims her cup of wine. She nods her head in agreement to Flint's words, though she does not say much more as she waits to hear what Anabethe has to say about their offer.

"Sister," Reena greets Anabethe with a warm smile. Clearly she is putting on a show for the guests and playing nice. She rises and offers the seat at the head of the table for the Heir. "Please join us." Servants shuffle her plate and glass down beside her brother as she sits there. "I imagine the Hostiles would have quite an unpleasant time if they tried to invade the Pit."

"Lady Devon, Lord Sir Flint," Anabethe greets the pair, smile slipping crooked. "That's very generous of you, and I look forward to seeing them. Actually, at this point, I'll go with them myself if it gets me to the front sooner." She tries to wave it off when Reena stands, but rather than protest she settles in after a moment. "Forgive me, I wasn't expecting company. I keep hearing about Hostiles and I haven't run into one yet, I'm starting to get antsy."

"Never stopped them from trying." Flint remarks lightly. "They learned the hard way the first time, when the great Gage Coram and his men took back his homeworld, bathed and rebirthed through the fire battle, baptised into the one who would later create the Legion. And again the second, only the second time there was the Legion to drive them into the rives of fire, the oceans of magma. I suspect somewhere on burning rock, there's still husks of dead Hostiles." A smile. "I like to think of them as warnings. No one survives Ignis unless chooses it. The strong survive and weak are weeded out. Such as it there as it is in the Legion." Like many Granthams, Flint has a habit of storytelling, and he seems to catch himself before he goes further in a diatride. A brighter grin is turned on Nitrim. "Ah! I like your conviction, Lord Nitrim. You are more than welcome to visit the Red House. When this battle is over, we'll feast as brothers and sisters in arms. I've always said that Grantham related more to Khournas anyways." As Anabethe nears, he's still wearing a smile on his face. "All good things comes to those wait. But yeah, I share your impatience. But! For now, enjoy the quiet, only to savor the chaos when comes to bear." Beat. "It makes every weapon blow all the sweeter."

A servant waves at Reena from the side of the hall. "If you will kindly excuse me, Lady Devon, Lord Flint, I have business I must attend to. Please let me know if there is anything you need during your stay." She inclines her head, squeezes her brother's shoulder (perhaps too hard), and departs.

"I haven't spent my whole life preparing for this just to sit and listen to other people talk about fighting," Anabethe replies to Flint, leaning back in her chair and raising a hand to a servant to get food brought in. "Got my living in. Time to get to the killing." Her smile is grim, but there's no sadness there either. "I've heard Ignis has a similar sort of mindset. And I remember hearing you've a tradition of unarmed combat. I'd like to meet with your people. They sound like my sort of crowd." She reaches out to take a glass of wine while food is prepared, smile flashing at Nitrim. "You coming with us?"

"If you will excuse me, I should check in with Lady Grantham," Devon says to the table as she slowly begins to stand. She offers everyone a gentle smile as she starts to step away.

"Ha!" Flint barks out a laugh. "I like you! You have a spine -and- you show promise." Draining off his wine much like one downs a beer(look, he's used to drinkng mead), he almost makes a motion to slam the container onto the table much like he would a mug in a mead hall, but then remember, oh it's glass, then sets it back down. "This." he gets up to acknowlege Anabethe. "This is what Grantham was meant for. The Legion of Ash is dead, Gantham is dead, I am dead. There is nothing to fear, all that lies on the battlefield is the glory of battle, and what a battle it'll be. This we were born for. Fighting the Hostiles is our sole reason for exsistence, and it's a fucking worthy exsistence at that." There's nothing grim in the former heir's eyes. If anything, he's bristling with anticipation, like a pacing tiger. "Good to know here, they must be damn eager to look to their end."

Nitrim stands to politely take notice of Lady Devon's departure, nodding to her as she slips away back to her people. Left to his sister and Sir Flint, he lowers his body back into the chair and rests his heavy boot against one of the lower rungs that hold the table to the floor. Another grape is slipped between his teeth and he looks over to his sister. A look of genuine affection, somewhat rare a sight among his family members but all too unnatural to his guests, is cast towards her. His brows lower and his head softly nods. "I wouldn't miss it for a thing, Anabethe. I belong beside my brothers, sisters, cousins, and our allies." Then…something shifts in response to Sir Flint's words. He turns his head to watch the man rise from his seat. He bares his teeth to the man in a grin, but it's all for show. "I've seen my death a hundred times, Sir Flint, in a hundred different ways. Everyone is dust and we're all going to die sooner or later. Best we get on with it while we can choose the manner, yes?"

"Best we get to dying doing something worthwhile," Anabethe agrees with the others, raising her glass in a toast. "To the good fight." She drinks, then looks between the men. "Was Da planning on meeting with you?" she asks. "I can't keep track of where he is lately, but I'm starting to just pick things up. If he has a problem with it, he can tell me about it after the fact. But what's the point in being heir if I can't accomplish the things I'm good for?"

While Flint is usually the soft-spoken type, the talk of the one thing that he believes he was made does tend to wind him up in particular fashion, as if there was some kind bubbling rage akin to a lava flow that could boil over if exposed to too much oxygen. Or maybe Granthams just run hot on certain topics. But int he span of two breaths, it's simmered down. "You father, I believe, was preoccupied with other matters. Like the landing parties, I'm sure. In any case, it's just fine. I think my sister would've liked to of come along, but someone has to keep hold of the reigns." There's a nod at Anabethe. "That's why I stepped down from heir of Grantham. Things I'm good for are really not matters of state. Marah handles it a lot better than I ever could."

"Yes, I think our Lord Father was pulled away unexpectedly by the reports of the landing of the Hostiles on the Crescent. I'm sure his official decision will come soon, but until that happens please enjoy our offer of guestright, our food, our drink, and our warm beds while you and your men prepare for battle." Nitrim rises from his seat and pats the pommel of his sword. A slight bit distracted, he gazes off toward the food on the table and turns to Sir Flint. "Our seneschals will see you to your quarters. In the meantime, I need to make some preparations as well. Please…excuse me the both of you, and good night."

"Luckily for me, someone in the field is what we need right now," Anabethe nods to Flint. "Da can take care of the logistics here, and I can be a presence in the fight." She drinks, then settles back into her chair, making room for the plates the servant returns with, loaded heavy with carbs and proteins. "So, I've always been interested in the story of Gage Coram," she prompts, nodding to Nitrim with a flash of a smile. This, she's got.

"That's kinda it's same in the Pit as well. Marah at home, Ashleigh on the field. I'm just another run-of-the-mill Knights. But…hell, I prefer it that way." There's a pleasant smile to Nitrim. "It was good to meet, Lord Nitrim. And thanks for suffering through my wordiness. All too aware of how annoying it can get. If it gets too bad, feel free to tell me to shut up. Others have done it before. And I'll be happy to you show you around Ignis if you're to it once this battle is over with." Then he turns back to Anabethe. "See, now part of me wonders if you're actually curious about Gage Coram or if you're just letting me induldge." And for the moment, he actually ponders it. It's a short moment. "Long before, during the depths of the First System War, General Mathias had start combing through prison systems for capable fighters. That's where he found Gage Coram, a man left to rot, sentenced for murder, killing the man who killed his own son…" he starts, even beginning to add in the expressive hand gestures.

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