01.12.3014: No More
Summary: Nikomachos continues his System tour with a visit to Nubilus at Densoric's invitation.
Date: 06 November, 2013
Related: A Crusade Begins and The Crux
Nikomachos Densoric 

The Ways of Summit, Summit, Nubilus
Sitting aloft on a platform that provides a splendid view of the sprawling city of Summit is one of the many small Ways hubs of Nubilus. Clouds constantly surround the exterior of the city, making it feel otherworldly. The skies above are often clear, rarely afflicted with storms, and allowing the small Haven sun and enormous curve of Oculus to dominate the blue canvas. Gliders are often seen roaming above the city, and occasionally, the Ring comes into view, appearing like a technological ghost moon as it moves across the sky.

Humped arches of varying sizes are scattered throughout the hub, with the largest about twenty feet in height. They shimmer to life almost constantly as gateways are established all across Haven.

12 January, 3014

Nikomachos is a polite sort of busy-body these days. And so he's sent word ahead to Nubilus with several suggestions of times to meet with Lord Densoric. The Cindravale-turned-Sauveur transits through the Waygate from Landing a few minutes before the appointed time. As his booted steps take him onto the cloud-swathed platform, he tilts his head slightly to one side, a thoughtful look passing over his features as he adjusts to the noticeably-lesser gravity of the moon. He bounces on his toes a few times, then steps out of the way of the Waygate, letting through a gaggle of Citizen girls who look to be on a bachelorette party by the veil one of them wears and the level of inebriation they have already attained.

Densoric strolls up to the Ways on time in his typical blues, an arming sword sheathed at his left hip. Noticing his guest Densoric nods politely and says, "Welcome to Nubilus MiLord, have you been here before?" either missing the testing, or simply ignoring it to avoid public embarrassment.

Nikomachos steps forward to offer his right hand to the taller man, "Please, Niko, or Sir Niko if you prefer the more formal approach. My full name is quite the horror show to force upon anyone, and simply making you resort to titles alone seems most unkind of me." A light smile settles at one corner of his mouth, and he shakes his head at the question that accompanied it, "I haven't made it to Nubilus previously, no. There weren't many tourneys here before the War, and I'm afraid I've been rather busy since." Easy laughter touches the words before he continues, "I must admit that I'm surprised not to see more airy fabrics. With the lighter gravity, I would think they would dance rather delightfully on the breeze. Or is that so last summer?"

Densoric smiles softly and says, "If you wish to speak of the styles My Lady Cousin Ariana is likely the best choice there, though if I recall the Cindravales well enough she would be your cousin as well, though to a bit more distant of a degree then myself." As he takes the hand and offers a firm shake adding, "If that is the case then welcome to Nubilus. As to titles such is my upbringing and my way Lord Sir. Please." as he gestures towards the Sky Palace, "Thank you for agreeing to meet with me so quickly, I like to honor the requests of my friends." as he leans lightly on a rather plain cane.

Nikomachos nods at the mention of the family connections, "Indeed, Nubilus has long been one of the closer of the Lashes to the Vale." His hands turn palm-up a little helplessly at the insistance on titles, nodding his head in acceptance, "Of course, Lord Densoric. And I feel very strongly about what I've been speaking with people about." Once more, the light, easy smile flashes across his lips, twisting into a crooked grin, "I think my new family is probably dreading the shopping bills that they are no doubt expecting to accompany so many Waygate transits."

Densoric smiles softly and says, "Feel free to call me as you wish, I only care what I am called during formal events." as they head towards the Palace, "I admit to knowing little beyond a desire of unity, but was told you are best suited to explain. I hope the relative altitude and low gravity is not too hard on you."

Nikomachos laughs softly, "Oh… this is far from a formal event, Lord Densoric. I have no official pull in any matters relating to what I am suggesting." He moderates his pace to the other's cane-assisted walk without any suggestion of hesitation, strolling easily along the thoroughfare, his left hand draping idly over the pommel of his sword, "No, thank you for the concern, but I think the one quite balances the other, and my Lady Wife is quite fond of high places, so I have been getting more used to them than I was previously."

Densoric nods and says, "A bit belated admittedly but congratulations on your wedding vows Lord Sir Nikomachos. And I gathered a lack of officially backing anyway, otherwise there would be more news and fanfare related to it. So how do you plan to bring greater unity to the Houses?"

Nikomachos lifts his eyebrows slightly, smothering a hint of a sign, "That's the part that everyone seems to focus on, the 'greater unity,' but really that's only one part of the whole. I'm hoping that the Generation of Vengeance can break the traditions of the past, putting aside arguments between Valen and Khourni, between Arborenin and Orelle, between Grantham and Volen. Yes, I hope that, but most than that, I'm hoping that we can break the tradition of putting personal and political advancement ahead of the good of Haven."

Densoric nods and says, "I find nothing objectionable as of yet. In truth I am a bit of an… Oddity for my own House already as I tend to treat Citizens well enough. Though by the sounds of it I'm not sure how much I may be of assistance as I have no real authority, influence, or power. I assume that is more of the brief explanation, as you have others on your side i assume you also have some form of plan. If I can find a way to be of assistance I will do what I can." as they pass through the concourse into the gardens of the Sky Palace, "Mind the more aggressive flowers, they might claim a finger." winking playfully.

Nikomachos turns his gaze upward to take in the Sky Palace as they approach, nodding slowly in appreciation. The Larent's words draw a quiet laugh from the man, "None of us do, in the grand scheme of things, Lord Densoric, except for a few Young Lords and Young Ladies. Thus, the grassroots approach." At least as grassroots as is possible when it is a Cindravale-turned-Sauveur approaching other noble scions. "Do you have somewhere more private to speak, Lord Densoric? A favored cafe or something along those lines?" He smiles a little apologetically, "What I have to say is not an indictment of individuals, but it could very well be taken as such, and I have absolutely no wish to cause problems." The playful warning gets another light laugh, and he carefully tucks his right hand close to his body as well, hanging his thumb behind the buckle of his belts.

Densoric nods and says, "There is always my sitting room if privacy is of value Lord Sir. If that will serve. Though with the company of heirs I'm even less sure what I could contribute, especially with little influence even over my own cousins. But then i suppose they have grown up with me and so might know me too well." chuckling softly.

Nikomachos nods at the suggestion, "If you don't mind, that should do admirably, Lord Densoric." Following the Larent through the Palace, he purses his lips a moment, "I think you mistake me, Lord Densoric. What I am envisioning is not the efforts of a few dedicated influencers. What I am envisioning is a Haven-wide swell of support by people ignoring personal gain, all aiming to ensure that we take action against the Hostiles. That those Senators who are not looking to build a personal fiefdom, but who are looking to help shepherd Haven through this War are elected. That Knight Captains and Knight Lieutenants more interested in leading soldiers into decisive battle than hanging back and waiting for the enemy to make a mistake are given commands. What I envision is the youth of Haven stepping forward and saying 'No More.'"

Densoric nods as they reach a door in the residential wing of the Palace and Densoric opens the door and stepping inside saying, "I suppose the limitations would define the methods in such a case." once Niko is inside, he closest the door.
Inside the room is mostly a dark turquoise floor and molding around wall panelling. A cyan ceiling and the coloring of the middle of the wall panels. The outer wall is in fact a large view screen which depicts the clouds of Nubilus as though filmed from a glider and placed on a loop. A row of benches provides seating to view the screen, where dark turquoise sofas and chairs with cyan cushions provides seating facing inwards. In the middle of the room is a floor to ceiling aviary filled with colorful songbirds, mostly native to Nubilus, which provides a degree of visual beauty for those who finds beauty in such things as well as auditory beaauty by the songs of the birds.

Closing the door reveals it belnds perfectly into the flow of the wall panels, though it is centered on the wall and has a molded copy of the House Sigil of Larent. The same sigils can be found centered on the other three walls as well, though as there are no visible knobs it is questionable whether these are also doors or not.

Nikomachos tilts his head to one side as he steps into the open room, "I'm not sure that I follow, Lord Densoric. My eventual hope is to have Young Lords, Young Ladies, Lords, Ladies, Senators, Citizens, Knight Captains, Knight Lieutenants, and Knights all espousing the same ideas — a disdain for personal power politics, and a drive to decisive action against the Hostiles. Certainly, we will not get the support of some currently in power, even some on the Crown Council, as they are caught up in their power politics and strategies of delay, but if the youth of Haven calls out with one voice, I should hope that their elders would heed that call."

Densoric says, "Based on typical perceptions of younger generations We would likely be ignored as children trying to act like grown up, or condescended to as being innocent and naive. I was speaking of something more practical, though finding those with the influence and skill could be problematic. Basically use the system to change the system. If unity is desired then manipulate those in power to achieve the desired ends without them noticing, or simply manipulating the system itself from within in subtle ways so those in power do not notice it."

Nikomachos frowns at the suggestion, reaching his right hand up to rub at the back of his neck in thought, "That seems to me that it would only exacerbate the problem, drawing more and more people into maneuvering against one another in the political arena rather than supporting the maneuvering of our soldiers against the Hostiles in a military arena." His hands spread a little helplessly, "Granted, I may be missing something. I was trained as a jouster, not a courtier."

Densoric nods and says, "That is what I mean, manipulate the system to maneuver those needed into positions they can best benefit the people. As a bit of a simplistic example, say there is a Knight Lieutenant deserving of a greater status. Manipulate the system to have them placed into a smaller position of power, but yet one where they can prove themselves too great for their victories to be ignored. They become elevated in spite of those trying to hold them back. Once they have the title befitting, it would be easier to move them to a position where they can do true good. Granted it won't be that simple, but it is merely an example of what I speak of."

Nikomachos laughs lightly at the explanation, "Personally, I had just planned to speak loudly and ain the presence of Knight Captains about knights who are deserving of becoming Knight Lieutenants, such as Young Lady Sir Anabethe Khournas. I can no longer send personal mail to the Knight Commander," He smiles dryly, "so I think it may be more difficult to influence the promotion of Knight Lieutenants to Knight Captain — not that Father ever listened to me about promotions, nor that my thoughts on the matter were worthy of consideration — but I worry that facing these power-driven policitians on their own battleground may risk getting drawn into fights detrimental to the cause, but if you believe that you can do so, by all means, it could be of benefit."

Densoric says, "For the reasons you just listed is why I propose these measures. I will be honest I am unsure if I could do any better, but…" He grows quiet thinking for a moment saying, "I suppose for one of martial pursuits it might be better explained in terms of strategy and tactics. To my understanding tactics is the short game, the winning of battles where strategy is the long game and wins wars. In this context, consider the end goal the war and the positioning of individuals as the tactics. Maneuver those needed to further the strategy as you would maneuver troops on the battlefield. With that said, those with the greatest understanding of both noble and Citizen politics would make the best recruits, as long as they can be trusted. Unity of the whole relies on unity of the small. Those to be trusted with this remain together and act as the strategists keeping things coordinated and supporting each other in their ways. The trick is finding those of benefit, whether they know of your movement or not, and placing them where needed to further the goal."

Nikomachos frowns slowly through the explanation, "Father would say that Tactics is the winning of battles, Logistics the winning of campaigns, and Strategy the winning of the war." It's a repeated lesson more spoken to himself than to the other noble, a thoughtful murmur. Raising his voice to a more polite volume, he puts in, "It seems wrong to use the tactics of those we are railing against, Lord Densoric. I understand the need for politically-knowledgable people to counter the actions of the power-politicians, but engaging them with their own tactics would make us no better than them. The merits of those who are deserving of promotion should show how they are deserving. They should not need the behind-the-scenes maneuvering to see to their advancement." A faint smile touches his lips, and he adds, "It certainly is not my movement, either. I may be a catalyst, but I am not the owner or the commander."

Densoric nods and says, "I confess I am very much logical and practical minded, though I also have more of a political mind but I am limited to the sphere of the politics of nobles not Citizens. As to the 'tactics of the enemy', consider it this way. We learn the tactics of Hostiles to better counter their attacks, it is more a case of knowing the enemy so you can predict their actions before they make them, then manipulating them so your goals are achieved. As to the merits of the deserving, if the politicians prevent them from being given the chance to gain the position they deserve, then work within to give them positions thought unimportant where they can show greatness none can deny. use the machinations of the enemy as an exploitable weakness to position our 'troops' so that even the enemy cannot deny them their rightful place. Perhaps not the most flattering of terms to use, but I use them more to make my point. Use subtlety and knowledge of those who serve themselves to benefit the cause. I'll admit its not a very honorable path, but i am no knight. As proven by my fighting style." smiling softly at the last remark.

Nikomachos nods his head, "Yes, we learn the tactics of the Hostiles. We use counter-tactics against them. But we do not attempt to use their own tactics against us." Anger flickers behind his grey eyes, although it and the heat in his voice are directed outside of the room, "We do not scourge and torture them, because we are a godly, human people." Clamping down on his anger, he lets out a breath, "As for the deserving, I do not believe that they are being held back so much as there are undeserving in the positions currently, so they are not promoted into them. As for honor, while I hold it dear, it is not honor or dishonor that concerns me. Rather, if we engage in political backstabbing and mudslinging, we are contributing to the fall of Haven just as ready as those already entrenched in positions of power and using them to gain more power, rather than to prosecute the war against the Hostiles."

Densoric shakes his head and says, "Do not mistake me, I don't speak of backstabbing and mudslinging, I speak of maneuvering. You say the undeserving are granted positions to, I assume benefit the personal ambitions of those in power, which leaves the deserving in positions of greater limitation. Then what I speak of would be to separate the deserving from the undeserving to give the deserving the chance to prove how great their contributions are to haven. By doing so they gain the position they deserve through skill and merit not political maneuvering. The maneuvering in the examples I am speaking of is to separate them from what is preventing them access to the positions they deserve. And the more chances they gain to prove themselves the more authority and responsibility they are granted as individuals, which in turn places them in positions to best serve Haven instead of politicians. I hope that better illustrates my point."

Nikomachos's frown returns as Densoric explains his meaning further, "But all of that is still diving headfirst into the arena where these power-driven politicians thrive. Into just the sort of fight we're trying to avoid. It is power politics for another's sake, but it is still placing Havenite against Havenite. My goal, and hopefully the goal of those I've spoken to, is to place all Havenites behind active leaders, against the Hostiles, rather than striving against one another."

Densoric says, "I don't mean to place anyone against anyone among our own people. Simply give those who are 'active leaders' as you say the chance to shine and let their abilities take them to the heights they deserve. Place them in areas that might be overlooked by the politicians, yet still of importance to the war so such leaders can do some solid good and prove they are more deserving of command then the lackeys of politicians. That is the subtlety part, move them where needed so its unnoticed because they aren't places of 'great importance' in the minds of the politicians. This grants them the chance to serve the people and prove their skill in fields they normally would not be allowed access to due to the undeserving holding them back. Get them out from under the thumb of the politicians and their lackeys and let their skill and merit shine so they may earn rightful positions through means of honesty and honor. The manipulation I speak of is simply removing them from the influence of those that would hold them back, but not in ways to create conflict."

Nikomachos nods his head, "But you would do that through political maneuvering. Maneuvering against other Havenites. This is exactly what I have been referring to, Lord Densoric. Our first instinct is to attempt to out-maneuver one another, to try to strive against one another in order to get what we want." His hands spread helplessly, turning palm up, "Do you see that? Do you see how our focus on stymying one another is exactly the old style of thinking that we must get away from if we are to survive the Third System War and the peace that will follow?"

Densoric nods and says, "i see your point, I am simply offering an idea. Yes it would place us against other Havenites in those terms, but the end result is we'd have the deserving in the strongest positions and they at least would have earned their place and would lead the way for future soldiers. basically my suggestion, and that is all it is, would result in removing the illness when it is still relative young to provide the way for the healthy tissue to replace it. To use terms my Lady Cousin might favor." Taking a breath he adds, "To be honest I am most accustom to the ways of house Larent, and as you may or may not know, our Citizens tend to be looked down upon by my family, I fear more with the new generation especially. I admit I was counted among them when I was younger but I've had realizations my cousins have not which grant me a different outlook. Perhaps this is why my mind leans towards such subtle manipulations I cannot say for certain, but it is an honest answer and might give some perspective to the types, even outside of politics, you may be forced to face. Granted the more martial of my Cousins might be more willing to accept Citizens of great skill, but that doesn't necessarily mean they would welcome them into our home or socialize with them."

Nikomachos listens to the response, the fingers of his left hand trailing through the color-shifting ribbons attached to his sword's pommel. "Many nobles, especially those who have grown up in a place as beautiful as Summit, are likely to ignore the world outside their ivory tower. But that is something we can address after the war. If any of the Citizenry are to survive this war, we will have to win it first. And that will require active strategies such as those put forth by Father before he was removed from his position as Knight Commander. Too long have we let these incursions sit on our soil and fester as we gather forces that are ready and waiting to be thrown into battle."

Densoric says, "I recall a conversation to take action and support some of the lashes as strategically valuable, I even spoke of excuses to make it appear more voluntary and 'coincidental' instead of as orders to avoid potential political backlash. I believe that led to your Lord Father's 'reassignment'. That is the type of outcome I speak of avoiding by my methods. As I said though, they are suggestions, advice, it is not my place to dictate the actions of others, simply to offer what little help I can."

Nikomachos nods his head, "I remember hearing about that. Father was trying to go through the proper channels at the time, but his hands continued to be tied. The ultimate goal of this movement would be to see the people at the top, the Crown Council and the Regnant, either driving action themselves or allowing those who wish to take action to do so. It certainly wasn't the fault of the Lashes that Father was removed from his position, Lord Densoric. You need not fear any grudge on that account. Father gave the orders that needed to be given, no matter the cost to himself. That is the sort of leadership that the soldiery of Haven needs."

Densoric nods and says, "My point is simply that he was punished for doing what was needed. My suggestion at the time was perhaps to have those sending troops to claim the troops heard of the trouble and volunteered to go. Less honrable or brave perhaps, but it would be a greater problem for the politicians, as there would be no proof of an order being given, as the claim all were off-duty volunteers acting on their own for the good of all. To challenge them would make them look bad, which politically is a bad idea, meaning the wise option for the politicians would have been to let it happen and not make a fuss. The job would have been done and your father would still hold his position, as the war continues he might have been able to give orders with the support of the current Regnant as if memory serves the regnant's health was in question and the position of heir was uncertain. But once again I think more in political terms."

Nikomachos shrugs a little helplessly, "There may be times when we need to go around the political establishment to save lives, but it's my hope that we can change the establishment so that such deceptions are not necessary, not because they're any less brave or honorable, but because they can cause confusion and dismay. These politicians are quite intelligent, unfortunately. A sudden and massive wave of volunteers to go fight on the lands of another House would not only be obvious to them, but would also require the intervention of the Lords or Ladies in question — not just those whose land was 'invaded,' but also those whose soldiers 'deserted.'" His lips twist in distaste as he adds, "His Majesty King Emund, and the new Hand of the King, Sir Godfrey, were the ones who removed Father from his position."

Densoric nods and says "At the time it was uncertain who would become heir, also your father lost his position for giving an order without permission if I recall correctly. What I proposed means secretly they would have had the support of those in need as they did, but publicly those who went would have been volunteers who were 'off-duty' at the time. The politicians no doubt would have known, but proving it to convince the Citizens what was done was for the best would have been harder. As from the public's view heros who fought to save their fellow Havenites in a show of unity would have been punished or dismissed by politicians sitting behind the scenes and not taking the steps to lend the aid that was needed. I understand your desire, I am simply just pointing out potential flaws from the perspective of noble politics at least with your goals and what you may end up facing whether you like it or not."

Nikomachos's brows furrow as he listens to the other man's words, "I'm… not sure how to respond to that, Lord Densoric. I think that you are wildly underestimating the intelligence of the Citizens and nobles alike." He seems genuinely confused, speaking a little slowly, "I should think that if thousands of soldiers suddenly went off-duty with their weapons and armor, only to show up on a battlefield, not only would it cause problems with discipline later, but everyone in Haven — and the Hostiles — would be able to see exactly what happened. If there is some flaw that you have seen in simply ensuring that those with the power to promote see the value of those worthy of promotion, and disdaining to engage in backroom brawls with other Havenites, I am most open to hearing them."

Densoric says, "The matter is moot now anyway as its has been some time since those circumstances were in play. Though I didn't not mean for them to suddenly go off-duty anyway. But for your father or even a collaboration to arrange the 'volunteers' would be off-duty by the time of the planned attack. Some could have gone off-duty or been given leave earlier and others later, but the time of the battle would coincide with all of those being 'off-duty' in one form or another. ANd I'm not saying Citizens would believe the story, but as long as the battle was a success, would the people, especially in the areas the battles took place truly care? It would have been victories, positive morale, something to be cheered. As a result for the politicians to punish them for it would have the potential of not only lowering morale but potentially causing a public uproar, as for the people, whether authorized or not, the politicians would basically be punishing victorious soldiers and knights for a great victory. That is the backlash I meant. The drawback would be if the attack failed, then it would be all negative. And yes they'd want to punish someone, and your father may or may not have been involved, but the job would have still been done and there would have been plausible deniability, especially if your father didn't take part in the actual battle, as he could have claimed no prior knowledge. But as I said that is moot now as there is no way of knowing for sure how things would have gone, and right or wrong my suggestion was ignored and i blame no one for that, after all why listen to me without knowing anything of my knowledge, experience, or skills?"

Nikomachos shakes his head slowly, "The job was done, without breaking discipline or the bonds of fealty." There's a moment's pause, and then he admits, "Except in that Father did not have orders from the Crown." Shaking his head, he adds, "And you are still suggesting playing the politician's game, Lord Densoric. Artful lies that give plausible deniability? No one believes those. Nor should they. The plausible deniability should not be necessary. It is my hope that the Crown will see this, and allow the Citadel to pursue victory as they will, or — even better — to take an active role in helping to pursue that victory." Frowning, he shrugs slightly, "Thank you for your time, however, Lord Densoric."

Densoric nods and says, "As i said its the way I think. Though i do wish you and those with you luck in your efforts. I have my doubts about your ability to avoid such conflicts but you may well prove me wrong."

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