06.01.3013: The Awakened Unveiled
Summary: A number of Awakened got together for a meeting, though events likely did not quite proceed as planned…
Date: 1 June 2013
Related: None
Eilara Elspeth Sophie Lyrienne Aidan Talayla Soleil Blessed Lucretia Keanen 

The Imperius Library - The Academ, Landing
The grand Imperius Library is the largest of its kind in the whole of Haven. From the exterior, it looks like a large, rounded tower with an asymmetrical crown. There are four main entrances, each in one cardinal direction, that leads into the sprawling foyer that takes up the entire lower level. The floors are made of polished marble, with an inset compass rose taking up nearly two-thirds of its area. There is no actual ceiling to the foyer save for the crown of stained glass high, high above. This provides a breathtaking view of the wrap-around levels that ring their way up the interior of the tower. There is a series of perfectly silent, glass-encased lifts that shuttle up and down through the levels.

Each level has floor-to-ceiling shelving units that contain thousands of holo-volumes. Each volume is a simple five-centimenter-square cartridge that must be inserted into a tablet or info-sphere console to be read. There are a series of these consoles in little clusters spread throughout the library where groups and individuals can research. There are also clusters of private study rooms where discussions can be had because, like most libraries, the main room obtains a strict please-be-quiet rule.

June 1, 3013

By word of mouth, word spread to many Awakened that there would be a meeting in one of the study rooms of the grand Acdem library. Eilara seems to have brought refreshments, drinks and snacks, to sate the appetites of those that manage to stop by. Her forest-ready garb suggests she does not quite fit in with the actual students of the Acdem, not by a long shot. But she seems relatively calm, seated on the side of one of the large tables. Unlike the actual students tucked away in other rooms, she has no textbooks or actual studying to do. "Hey there," she flashes casual, but warm, smiles at people as they start to filter in. "Pull up a chair, I guess we'll-ah - we'll start as soon as people are settled, yeah?"

Elspeth is there pretty early, both to ensure nothing has gone wrong with the room reservation, and just because she doesn't exactly have far to walk. She's just come off of classes and meetings afterwards, so she's still in her robes. She bows to Eilara…then makes a bee line for the drinks, because it's been a long day. Once a drink has been secured, though, she starts to find a place to sit.

Well, meetings are good for catching up on the news, even if all of these people are kind of terrifying with Talayla's social skills. She smiles and waves to Eilara. "Hi there!" And Talayla will fill in line for a nice drink and to secure a good seat. She looks a little wide-eyed.

A couple of figures in black enter, one of them a man with a hood, the other smaller and thoroughly covered from head to toe in black cloth and black leather. For whatever reason, the pair were allowed to enter and pass through the Academ like that, perhaps having made arrangements or told security who they were.

One nice thing about being in Landing is that there are grandparents to watch the kids. Lyrienne has taken full advantage of that, coming out for the meeting unencumbered save for the earbud that keeps her in contact with family. She has smiles for those arriving, though she's also making a beeline for the drinks. Purely to support Talayla, and not at all out of any actual desire to drink. Certainly.

Aidan wanders in dressed in the same ranger chic that Eilara is. Except he also has a wineskin slung over one shoulder. Granted, it's a technologically insulated and temperature controlled wineskin but it's definitely a wineskin. It is, after all, an efficient way to store and carry a drink with you. Spotting Eilara, he wanders over to her and gives her a quick kiss on the cheek. "Hey." Turning, he looks to see who else heard and has arrived.

Sophie tries her best to enter the meeting with as little fanfare as can be possible. Of course, her good Knight takes it upon himself to stride into the room first and bow deeply, "her Lady Sophie Alexandra Sauveur." The very woman herself strides through the door just as her guard rises, smiling lightly at him, "thank you, Sir Barrow." Tonight, she has adorned herself in fine clothes with a casual bent, a green silk shirt and an assymetrical skirt covering black leather pants and black leather boots. Her amber eyes flicker across the room in mild curiosity, golden brown hair flowing along her shoulders in the act. She offers a small bow of her head to their host, "thank you for treating us to such a feast of refreshments, and for gathering us all here today." She does as suggested, pulling up a chair across from Eilara and settling down within it, her guard standing watch behind her.

Lucretia is not terribly later, it seems! The Vale's Witch strides into the room with her hat upon her head and staff in hand. She looks to the two figures in black, then to the others, looking for familiar faces and offering a smile and nod. Staff tapping against the floor, she moves to find a seat, "Seems I wasn't late after all. Wonderful, I don't have to worry about having missed anything."

The two figures in black, small and cowled as well as larger, male and hooded, take up a position on a far wall and lean there. They exchange looks when Sophie's knight makes sure everyone knows the lady has entered, but otherwise are very still and quiet.

Elspeth offers Talayla a warm smile as she passes her in line, because hey, always pays to be friendly. Other people she doesn't know are given smiles and shallow bows, a slightly deeper one to Sophie, before she sits down. Lucretia will actually get a little wave from her seat, before the Scholar quiets to sip her drink and listen with interest.

"Alright! Hi everyone. I'm Eilara," the Arboren introduces herself with a quick, easy smile for the group as they settle in. "Thanks for coming. I don't really have an agenda or anything like that, I just wanted to get everyone together to talk about what's on their minds. Given the demonstratino at the feast, I anticipate something.. else will be happening along those lines soon, too. So." She squints at the pair in hooded black, and lighty clears her throat. "Do you mind, ah—" she makes a de-hooding gesture with her hand, flashing an almost mischievous smile. "And, for the record, many thanks to Elspeth for securing this space for us," she waves toward the scholar with a smile. Her fingers wiggle at Aidan as he comes in, and she pats his hand while he kisses her cheek. "Hey."

Talayla smiles back, murmuring a soft "Thank you," to Elspeth. An amused look to Lyrienne. She doesn't seem to mind. "Thank you for the refreshments, hello…" She recognizes Aidan, waves, and who is - oh my. Talayla's eyes are nearly crossed at all of the people, including the arrival and announcement of a Lady. Wait, aren't there - many - ow. She's just going to quietly gather her drink and maybe a bite, peering to Lyrienne and looking for a nice, safe seat. And by safe, maybe one with a little space. She's looking overwhelmed.

The smaller figure in black doesn't speak, but the male companion says definitively, "She does mind. Don't worry yourself. Security at the Academ know who she is."

Smooth and airy soft steps whisper the arrival of Blessed Dragomir. Her soft gossamer dress wisps after her strides, and it is hard to see her feet under the graceful hems. She presses her fingertips together, forming a open polyhedron with her digits as she regards the slow-growing gathering. She starts to step toward the gathering, looking up as the young Arboren girl makes her introductions, and she arches up a dark brow with curiosity at the casual exchange. When her gaze falls upon Elspeth, she inclines her chin delicately toward her and offers a small smile of greeting.

"A pleasure to see you again, Lady Eilara. And a wonderful little idea, this." Lucretia comments. Sophie's knight warrants a roll of the Witch's eyes before she smiles at Elspeth, "Elspeth dear, how wonderful of you to help the Lady arrange this." A thin brow arches as the Cindravale woman looks to the black-clad figures again, "Oh, how -dramatic-."

Elspeth shakes her head a little at Eilara and Lucretia. "It's really nothing. The space is available for the improvement of Haven's learning, and that is what this is," she says, quietly. Although the figures in black and their responses draw a raised eyebrow, and a shrug at Eilara, as well. Blessed's arrival brings another warm smile to her face, though, and she's quick to beckon the other woman over and invite her to sit next to her.

Sophie lets her eyes wander throughout the library, arching an interested brow as she catches sight of those intriguing figures in black. She smiles brightly at Elspeth, giving her an excited little wave of her gloved hand. She nearly gets up from her seat when she spots Lyrienne, though she settles back down as their host at last speaks. She nods her head cheerfully, "yes, Elspeth was quite generous in affording us a place to meet." After a moment of hesitation, she rises from her seat in full, all but skipping towards Lyrienne with a beaming smile plastered across her pale features. She halts before she would ever go so far as to pounce on her sister…at least in public. For now, she simply stands there and moves to take Lyrienne's hand, "I am so glad to see you again, sister, after my extended stay in the Arborenin Woods. We really must speak after this."

"I'm sure the secrecy is dreadfully important," Lyrienne says with a flick of her fingers as she settles into a chair, though she levels a look on the black-clad pair that's likely been used on rambunctious children more than once. "If a little silly. You do realize that by hiding yourself you've drawn the curiosity of a room full of psychics, don't you?" A smile quirks, amused. "You're begging people to look at you." She taps at her earbud, tipping her head thoughtfully. "I wonder who in the press might want a heads up about photo opportunities…" As Sophie approaches, she flashes a brief smile, though she seems more engaged in the other topic at the moment.

Both figures in black seem to…just not care about the commentary. They wait for things to begin.

Eilara peers at the pair in black, squinting for a long moment. But after thoughtful consideration of his words, her face grows solemn and she gives a crisp nod in understanding. "So," she begins slowly, nervously sliding her palms over her knees underneath the table. "We all had that same dream — the one about the singing. I trust no one has had a similar dream since?" she looks around the room, eyebrows lifting in curiosity. "I know I haven't." There's a pause. "Not yet."

Aidan nods a greeting to those he knows but it's the ones in black that capture his attention. When they refuse to reveal themselves despite Eilara's request, he looks less than happy about it and decides to remains standing where he can easily watch them. "Not so far." he answers in response to Eilara's question.

There's a faint smile as Blessed arrives, but Talayla is remaining quiet for now.

Blessed inclines her head gently toward Elspeth's invitation, and she adjusts her steps toward the Academ woman. She glances toward the black-robed figures that tend to draw attention as she gracefully takes her seat beside the Scholar. "Similar," the Seer says as she smooths out her skirts a bit. "No. But dreams come all the same." She regards the young Arboren who has elected to lead this meeting.

Sophie blinks at the simple smile offered by Lyrienne, before nervously nodding her head and declaring, "r-right…the meeting." She manuevers herself into a chair beside her sister, listening to Eilara's words and shaking her head slowly, "I have not either." Though Sophie hardly gives the pair in black another glance, her guard Caedmon stares at them as if daring them to make a move, a hand nonchalantly resting on the hilt of his sword.

"No further unusual dreams," Elspeth agrees. "But the literalness of this dream has made me reexamine previous dreams in a less symbolic light. I don't know if anyone else felt the same way? I haven't been able to pick out any definitive details I could verify, however."

"I've not, no," Lucretia comments, and then after a pause, adds, "And I admit, that dream..while the news was bad, the actual events weren't anywhere near so terrible as what conclusions I had begun to draw." The Valen woman's lips curve into a small frown, and she looks around the table to hear the others, nodding at Elspeth's words.

"I had one around the same time," Lyrienne offers, fingers tapping a tattoo on the edge of the table as she watches the pair in black. "Though I think it was more personal, and less literal. Smaller scale as well, for that matter."

"Oh?" Eilara peers at Lyrienne, leaning forward a little. "Hmm." She taps a finger underneath her chin. "At any rate, I was going to suggest a prompt discussion the next time we all get one of these.. dreams. Maybe we will be able to make some sense of them. And maybe we can act preemptively." Letting out a low, deep breath, she leans back and looks at each person in turn. "At this point, was there anything specific any of you wanted to discuss?"

The man in black, whose face is merely shadowed and not hidden, stares back at Caedmon when he notices the other man's challenging look. His own expression in the shadows of his hood seems more amused than anything, however, and he leans over to whisper to his companion, who merely tilts its head a little in his direction before responding with a nod and, after a pause, a few whispers of its own. The man then speaks up.
"How would anyone know others have had the same dream? You'll need some sort of database and people would have to be willing to share their dreams, which might actually be of a very personal nature, before anyone can determine the dream has been shared."

"A database could be set up. A psuedo-anonymous one, where one might have to register some actual contact information with a central node, but could post under whatever designation one chooses. I suggest that over true anonymity, if only to try to keep out people who might post false information, and to allow us a chance to contact someone who posts a vision that has immediate relevance in another part of the system," Elspeth says, looking thoughtful. "People could participate, or not, as they wished."

Whether there is mirth in the eyes behind that black hood, Caedmon hardly cares, simply watching and waiting while the meeting goes on. For Sophie's part, she nods her head infrequently and listens to the conversation in present silence, simply considering all that is said. After a while, she offers, "I agree with Elspeth. The concept is a good one, and would allow us better insight into the meaning behind our dreams, if only because many could scrutinize them."

"Yes, in fact, I did have something I wished to discuss," Lucretia remarks aloud, looking idly to the man in black and pausing. "Believe me, friend, you would know the difference in these dreams, I think. They have a tendency of..standing out. If I have a dream of some past lover, it is likely a safe bet that Lady Eilara did not share it." Looking to Elspeth, the Valen woman nods, "Honestly, I see no need for the anonymity. If it is a true dream, I think enough people will come forward irregardless of any possible embarassment. And with names and faces, there is no worry about fools wasting time." Shaking her head, Lu lifts a hand to adjust her hat, "Now, what I wished to bring up, was the rather notable lack of an Awakened on the Crown Council, and I wished to hear thoughts regarding that. Especially with the war upon us."

"By talking to each other?" Eilara arches a brow at the man in black, speaking as if the answer is a simple one. "The solution need not necessarily be so elaborate. We -can- simply talk to another Awakened to see if they are experiencing similar visions. If so, we can prompt up another meeting." There's a pause. "I suspect the dreams are not all exactly the same, but given our experience with the feast and thinking about those dreams in hindsight, I think I find it relatively logical to distinguish the notable from the ordinary." She nods along with Lucretia's words, giving the woman a big smile. "Exactly." Leaning back, she contemplates Lucretia's topic, her lips pressing together thoughtfully.

"A database is a good idea." Aidan agrees. "It is difficult to confuse those dreams that are releveant to the entire system with what is more personal." His gaze flicks to the shorter figure in black. "Anonymity shouldn't be necessary." As Lucretia brings up a new topic, he leans back against the wall and thinks a moment. "The Crown Council would probably benefit by having one of the Awakened on it."

Blessed grows rather silent as she regards the black hooded figures. She taps her fingers gently against her thigh before she stands with a sweeping gesture, raising a hand to those around her as if to ask that the conversation be halted. "Show yourself, child," the Seer says, looking dead-on at the hooded figure. "I dreamed of a Hostile disguised amongst us. Show yourself, prove that you are worthy of being on this council." The woman folds her fingers in front of her, crossing digit over digit. "Do this, or get out."

Elspeth quietly pulls a small pad from the pocket of her robe and begins taking notes. She grimaces a bit at the turn of the conversation to politics, but doesn't object. When Blessed stands and raises her hand, Elspeth also goes still. She follows her gaze, winces, pinches the bridge of her nose and closes her eyes.

Sophie nods here head, "that is a good point. The Council is grievously lacking in an individual that could offer insight into the world of the Awakened. In place of Edward Taelith, we have my cousin on the open seat. Which I agree with. However, we should indeed have a seat for those with such mysterious powers, I should think. We would do well with a spiritual successor to Edward Taelith." She blinks at the sudden demands from one woman to the hooded figures, turning about to watch with obvious curiosity.

Talayla, for her part, is a quiet, wide-eyed audience. She sips her drink and does her best to perform the Orelleian Chair Meld.

Lucretia mmm's aloud and nods as Blessed stands, smiling faintly, "Honestly, it does seem a touch important that we at least know everyone here -is- Awakened, or somehow relevant. That's what this is, after all, isn't it?" Tapping the butt of her staff against the ground, Lu's aura flares to life, waves of ethereal blue and green surrounding her, the air glittering with flecks of energy.

Eilara looks from Blessed to the hooded figures, her expression one of grave concern. She does not say anything, nor move, as the others take their clear stance. For now, she simply waits to see what the figures will do.

Aidan has obviously been suspicious of the ones in black from the moment they walked in so doesn't seem to object to the demand. He just watches though as Lucretia makes her point, he too releases his aura and the vaguely rodent-like aura takes form around him. "Besides, we'll be able to recognize those here by their aura and be able to communicate mind to mind over a distance."

The man in black notes, "Many dreams may be of the utmost importance and yet entirely private, personal. Not all Awakened wish to make a great show of who and what they are." He looks pointedly at Lucretia as…she does just that. "We passed through Academ security and properly announced ourselves to them before being allowed through. If you have a problem with our presence, feel free to call them. This school does not belong to any of you, nor do any of you have the authority to throw us out. We have no reason to trust any of /you/ just because you happen to have been born with gifts. With that said, for your /comfort/ I will speak with the organizer of this meeting, and her alone." He approaches Eilara, pushing back his hood. He is, at least, not concerned with his face being seen.

Elspeth's expression isn't lost on the Seer, though Blessed does cast her an apologetic smile — they are on her turf after all. She turns toward Lucretia as she speaks her own mind on the issue and then back to the hooded figure. "Show your aura if you will not show your face, child." Though, she does not enter her own Awakened State. "If you are Gods blessed, than you are right to stay." She lifts her chin a bit, and then she looks toward Eilara with those ageless dark eyes.

"For what it's worth," Elspeth says, in a soothing near-whisper meant for the seer sitting - or rather standing - next to her, "I sincerely doubt that anyone that ostentatiously hidden would be an actual infiltrator. It's just not a very logical tactic." She shrugs. "But if they're willing to identify themselves to Lady Eilara, perhaps we could move on?"

Sophie waves a hand in the air, sighing softly, "oh please, they may be mysterious strangers, but they are hardly to truly be feared. Still…I would certainly feel better knowing who attends this meeting. We are not assassins plotting murder. We are merely Awakened, intending to discuss. And we should appear as such, or else there is…obvious distrust." She nods her head to the hooded man's words, "indeed, the school does not belong to us, but this meeting does. And we would have every member of it known. Or we will worry for the worst, as you can so easily see…"

Lucretia nods at Aidan's remarks, then smiles pleasantly and remarks to the room, "I offer to host any future such meetings in the Fortress, I highly doubt my sister will object to me having annoyances removed from the premises." Watching the figures, she remarks more pointedly, "There is no reason for an Awakened to hide their aura from other Awakened. Unless they have a tendency towards illegal and troublesome affairs, perhaps? In fact, knowing each other's auras will help -all- of us. With the war here, we all need every bit of help we can get." As she speaks, the Witch's eyes remain white, her aura on clear display.

The man in black reaches Eilara and shows her something.

"Feared? Perhaps not." Aidan states. He looks at the larger of the ones in black a moment when he removes his hood but turns back to watch the shorter. "But as for obvious distrust, is that not what we are seeing here? Why should I trust whoever this is when we are given no trust. I find it insulting and disrespectful."

"Some people might not want people to know they're awakened. I usually stay away from people," Talayla is one of those Awakened who fears and distrusts her power, and picks up on those being uneasy around her. "… it's sort of depressing to know that people fear you. Then again, sneeze the wrong way and someone's on fire and there's no undoing that," She notes quietly. "I am sure they are fine. Why show up to a room of us if they are going to pull something? They would be on fire so fast…"

"Technically, I reserved this study room and I could have anyone escorted out. But I will not, at least not yet." There's a pause, and Eilara straightens in her seat, her expression grave — it is almost strange on one who appears so young. As the man removes his hood, she studies him with a thoughtful look. "I understand your desire for anonymity, very much so. But surely you can understand hesitation," she waves toward the others in the room. "If you would display your auras, or—" The man leans in to show her something, and she too leans in to take a look.

Though, Talayla adds, "Besides, I suspect - we do trust the security here? Wouldn't they know or verify the hooded folks?"

Elspeth straightens up and glances at Talayla. It's obvious that she considers being offended, but after a deep breath, says only, "The Academ's security would verify hooded visitors to a meeting of this sort, I believe. We're not unacquainted with security concerns, from feuds and the like."

As he shows Eilara something he also speaks to the room at large. "You think knowing a person's face, or seeing their aura, is any guarantee of trust— you are sadly mistaken. There are numerous people with these gifts. The enemy hides in plain sight. If you were to trust my companion simply because you know who she is, you'd be making a mistake— much as she'd make a mistake to trust you for the same reasons." he looks back at Eilara.

Sophie sighs softly, nodding her head to Elspeth's words, "though I should caution we might be more reticent to speak freely amongst those that conceal their identity…the topics of discussions would not be so frightening to be publicly known." She nods again, more firmly, "so the matters at hand include a means of publicly sharing our dreams, and suggesting to add an eighth seat to the Crown Council, as a spiritual successor to Edward Taelith."

"Sit down, and stop talking, please," Lucretia remarks to the hooded man. "If your companion wishes to speak, she can do so herself. If you do not trust us, you can leave. Now. And you've made it quite clear you do not trust us. I believe you know where the exit is." Lu turns her all-white eyes to the shrouded woman, "You, are insulting everyone here. Blatantly. At this point, you had best hope I do -not- find out who you are." Looking back to the others, the Witch remains in State, "Yes. Let us move on. I wanted to hear thoughts regarding what I brought up."

Elspeth's expression changes as Talayla looks pained. She grimaces an apology back at the other woman, and ducks her head. She looks down at her datapad and continues to take notes. Or at least pretend to take notes. "I support the Awakened having a greater voice as the war comes on. People will be asking what we can do for the war, and I would rather have an advocate at the highest levels who understands our capability, rather than someone who only knows us from action vids."

At Lucretia's command — she is a noblewoman after all — Blessed retakes her own seat next to Elspeth. She folds her hands in her lap, regarding the others with a slightly cooler and haughty expression. "We were discussing dreams," she offers helpfully to return the conversation to its track. "I did have an opportunity to speak with Miss Adeyemi about some concerns I had heard from several young Awakened… that they felt their dreams were being hijacked and taken hostage by the Hostiles themselves… I am curious if there are others who feel the same way." She also nods her head gently to Elspeth. "I apologize, but we were discussing advocating for an Awakened to sit on the Crown Council, were we not?"

"I answer to someone of higher status than yourself," the man in black says casually to Lucretia. "Your penchant to take insult also doesn't concern me. And you're showing precisely why she doesn't trust you."
"Enough." The smaller figure in black speaks, at last, and after that there's a pause. "There is no official Awakened council, no official organization. At the point there is I am sure those of you who wish to feel powerful can establish yourselves as leaders and invite and disinvite whomever you please but as of /now/ we are not some happy little family. I suggest you all start thinking rationally and realize the damned Academ Security— one of the finest in Haven— has done its duty and assured that no bloody assassins have invaded your midst. Now, can we let lady Eilara get on with /business/ or do you want to keep puffing out your chest?"

Eilara seems to arch a skeptical brow at what the man shows her. "One moment." She steps away, out of her chair, to speak with a member of security just outside the study room. "I will not force you to leave, but realize that your continued efforts to conceal your identity will only serve to discredit what you have to say. Our discussion may not be as productive because of your secrecy. Next time, if you do not wish to show your face, speak to me personally. I am happy to raise issues you have during the meeting, and share the results later. But carrying on a facade only makes us all uneasy." Instead of speaking to the man, she speaks to the smaller hooded figure, her eyes level and serious. "At any rate." When she sits down, she wrinkles her nose at the smaller figure again. "If you are unhappy with the way the meeting is being run, you are free to leave."

Lyrienne has been quietly inspecting her nails, which have very little to actually inspect. At Blessed's question, though, she looks up. "I've had the some concern myself, actually," she answers the woman. "That they're somehow inserting themselves into our dreams. They've managed to advance everything, from technology to their own bodies, each time they've been away. What's to say they can't have adapted Awakened abilities to start building dreams?"

"I'd just like to see it be allowed to continue," the black-clad woman says, and falls silent, since it seems at last things are moving on

Sophie nods towards Elspeth again, "indeed. As well, the details of being Awakened are largely still quite a mystery to us all. Placing an individual with knowledge of all matters pertaining to Psychometry on the Crown Council would both be a means to offer us a voice and show the significance such an aspect brings to society." She sighs, "of course, I imagine there are few well educated in Hermeticism, Mysticism, as well as Sorcery, so deciding on a particular individual may be a challenge…" She nods her head slowly, "I propose, similar to how the Elder of the Conclave is organized, that the three heads rotate upon the seat. That is, the Archdruid, the Magus, and the chosen official of the Hermetics."

"Amusing, you bring up all these things no one here brings up, and talk about us wanting to puff out our chests. And yet, you are sitting over there, doing everything humanly possible to draw attention to yourself, and point out how you are right, and we are wrong. Do not act all high and mighty with me, child." Lucretia remarks to the small figure in black. "We are not a happy little family because of half-wits like yourself. Nobody is accusing you of being an assassin, I think we're accusing you of gross stupidity. Which, sadly, is not actually a crime." Lu smiles and pushes to her feet, "I will be on my way. You all have fun." She turns to head for the exit.

Elspeth nods to Blessed, then to Lyrienne. "I've had similar concerns, although more technologically oriented. I don't know if we've found all of those pods, yet, or the Hostiles who were in them, but if they've had 500 years to advance…if I were dropping scouts, I'd probably drop infiltrators as well. As for the other dream, about the water," she glances at Lucretia as the other woman moves to leave, and sighs, "I've…spoken with Lady Lucretia about a concern that this could presage some attempt to taint the water of Haven."

Talayla just blinks at Lucretia. Well, maybe this sort of thing isn't for her. "… my fish are on fire." And with that, she quietly stands and wanders out.

Eilara takes a moment to lean in to Elspeth and murmur something quietly.

Elspeth blinks as Eilara leans in, but turns her ear to catch the whisper. Then the Scholar's lips twitch. She covers them with a hand until her control returns, before whispering something back.

the Woman in black chuckles softly at Lucretia. "You do like to put on a show don't you," she says, before speaking to the whole. "This entire thing brings up a very important point. If Madame Blessed has had dreams about infiltrators, if there are literally hundreds, even thousands of Awakened in the System, how are we to trust one another simply because we have this power? Criminals, ruffians, perhaps even Hostiles themselves. An aura, a known face— none of it is any guarantee of anything. So, Lady Eilara, if trust is an issue, how is trust to be established in a way more meaningful than simply believing that showing one's face means trustworthy?"

"Security was never a major concern. Your insulting lack of manners are." Aidan tells the short one in black with a snort. "I'll join you, Lucretia. Eilara, I'll give you my thoughts tomorrow. I'll just summarize and say database, yes. Awakened on the Council, yes. No disguises next meeting, mandatory." He joins the Vale witch on the way to the door.

"That's quite enough," Eilara arches a brow at the woman in black. "If you're going to continue to harp on the issue, I -am- going to ask you to leave. You are being obstinate, and I don't have the patience for it. You chose to come disguised. People are bothered by your facade. It makes you seem untrustworthy. Deal with it." With a flick of her wrist, she turns away from the hooded figure and toward the rest. Frowning as Aidan and Lucretia leave, she nods once. "Next time." Nodding to Elspeth, "Every time I step foot into the forest now, I anticipate seeing more." Her eyebows lift in curiosity, "That would make a lot of sense."

Sophie peers curiously at the hooded figure when it is mentioned that they answer to someone of higher status, before frowning deeply at Lucretia, "may I advise, since we do not yet know who truly lies beneath the hood, that it would be best -not- to outright insult them, nor antagonize them further than neccessary." Still, she frowns when her proposal goes unnoticed, sitting back in her chair and sighing softly, "Sir Barrow? Would you bring me a drink?" The guard nods his head and replies, "at once, my Lady." He walks towards the refreshments and soon returns with a glass of juice, which Sophie thanks him for providing and gingerly takes a sip from the vessel.

"The issue I raise by my mere presence is of no concern to you?" the woman in black seems actually confused now. "These things are important. Trust is clearly important to me, and to everyone else here, and a black cowl separating the trustworthy from th untrustworthy is the most absurd thing I have heard. I am not harping on the issue. But by gods if you want to ignore Madame Blessed's warning of a snake in your midst because you're too irrationally caught up with the fact you can't see my face, then I am quite sure this is a disaster waiting to happen to begin with."

Elspeth dares to reach out to give Eilara the lightest of comforting touches on her arm. She whispers something else, before also rising to try and intercept Talayla, skirting around the whole issue and presence of the woman in black. When she catches up with her, she says something else quietly.

Keanen saunters into the room, glancing around as he walks in. His composure and gait is that of someone who clearly thinks they own this room. He looks around, tilts his head, folds his arms over his chest, and simply says, rather loudly, "Wow. This is the WORST party I've been to in MONTHS. And I was in Inculta last night, so… You know… Wow." He looks at the woman in the black veil, points, and smirks, "Wait. Is this an evil wedding? Should I have dressed up?"

"Trust is obviously important, yes, but you are presuming it rather than earning it." Eilara rolls her eyes. Nodding to Elspeth, she lightly clears her throat and pushes away from the table. "I must take my leave now. Good evening to you all." With that, she slips on out of the study room for good.

A pause as she's caught up to. Talayla's fish are totally on fire. Talayla looks apologetic. She smiles weakly and shakes her head. She replies quietly.

"No, what I am saying, quite clearly, is none of you should trust /anyone/ including me." But the woman in black is exhausted with the nonsense, and seems done as well.

The Seer glances toward Sophie as she speaks, and a kindly smile actually gently brings a hint of age to her otherwise ageless countenance. "The secret of the Hermetics is that you may never know who sits at the top, isn't that the case?" She does glance toward the others as they start to dissipate and then back toward the black-cloaked figure, but then she shakes her head a bit. "I perhaps am of the minority who feels that this is not the Hostiles finding a way to disrupt our dreaming… consider the things we have seen… a Hostile bursting from our own flesh, a cloaked figure in white standing behind us, a firsthand account of the fall of the Gauntlet, and hearing the very song that would be sung the moment we heard of those lost lives… I do not believe these are things the Hostiles want us to see… I believe that this is precisely what they do not want us to see."

"There is far too much pride amongst these people, they seem to think this gift is a merit to their own worth." The black clad woman is /thoroughly/ disgusted, though pretty much everyone who had earned her repsulsion has stormed out. She approaches Blessed now, the man who had at first spoken for her, joining her side.
"Perhaps we can actually accomplish something now that the senile old woman has left."

Elspeth straightens from her conversation with Talayla and watches Eilara go. She eyes those remaining, with an apologetic smile for Sophie, and another one - more rueful - for Blessed. Bowing to no one in particular, she murmurs, "I believe that I shall also take my leave. Good evening everyone, and may the Six watch over you." And then she slips out, all robes and bustle.

Talayla smiles politely at Elspeth and heads out. Her fish are on fire!

Sophie smiles back at Blessed, sipping the straw of her juice the moment it is placed in her drink, "perhaps you are right. But then, if that is the case, they can alter their traditions of secrecy or simply decide upon a figurehead to relay their desires to the Council." She slowly nods her head, "that is certainly an intriguing way to perceive the situation…" She pauses expectantly, waiting for a name before adding, "perhaps there is a purpose behind the Awakened becoming what we are, or our powers subconciously guide us towards survival." She offers those leaving a wave of her hand in farewell, before reclining in her seat and taking yet another sip of her glass of juice from the straw.

Keanen lifts his brow a bit. Everyone he knows is leaving. He considers things, shrugs, and then just waves. "Guess I'm out." He winks at the woman in black, "Congratulations." And then he heads out too.

"It's evolution," the woman in black says with a shrug. "Genetics, mutations. And whether you believe that is derived from godly intervention or the chaos of the universe, simply being awakened is no guarantee of anything. I am astounded at the willingness of people like Lady Lucretia to promote her skills as if they are a show in a circus. I for one desire no such notoriety. yet I find that people like her seem to desire nothing but notoriety. The simple fact is— seeing my face, if you trust me then you're a fool. There is no honesty in a face. The greatest dangers to us all lie in plain sight. So if anything secret is to be discussed here, then some sort of care needs to be taken that goes far deeper than 'let me see your face'." The woman sighs and inhales deeply, turning once more to Blessed. "Why don't we have a productive conversation now, yes?"

Blessed breathes out a bit of a sigh, bringing up her fingertips toward her temple as she taps gently at the tender spot. She glances toward where Elspeth had gone, and then back toward the hooded woman as she speaks to her. She considers this for a heartbeat, and then she shrugs her shoulders a bit as she flourishes out her palm. "Truth be told, I need a moment to find my center once more. If you will excuse me," she offers, quite politely despite the currents that had been racing around the room just moments ago. "My Lady," she says to Sophie, though she is unsure how to address the black-hooded woman, so she merely inclines her head. She stands in a sweeping motion of gossamer.

Sophie smirks at the woman in black, "perhaps, perhaps. But there is a difference when one willingly conceals their face from view. It supplies the sense that there is a reason you act as such, and fans the flames of suspicion compared to those that remain physically unhidden." She nods her head firmly, "I agree. Let us have a productive conversation. On the count of giving voice to the concerns of Awakened, I would propose that an eighth seat be added to the Crown Council. Similar to the Elder of the Conclave, the Archdruid, the Magus, and a chosen official of the Hermetics would rotate on the seat. I regret that our members have dramatically slimmed, but I would at least wish to hear opinions." When Blessed rises from her chair, she forces a small smile upon her lips, "of course, of course, I understand. Perhaps this meeting should be postponed until the topics earlier mentioned can be at least briefly considered."

The woman in black glances over to watch Blessed go, and seems to expect nothing by way of farewell. She turns back to the sole remaining member of the group, Sophie, and then suddenly utters a light laugh. "At least you managed to make sense, hm?" She says, which is oddly familiar for an unknown person to say to a princess's daughter. "I think this whole gathering of the awakened thing is a bad idea. I came to see what might come of the talks but this has been…enlightening in quite a negative way."

Sophie watches the Seer head out, before her amber eyes flicker towards the hooded woman in black, "at least I tried. But if nothing else, some topics were put to scrutiny, and now I have ideas to consider for the future that I did not have before. I wonder what my cousins would think of an eighth seat…" She smiles, "no matter. I shall take me leave as well, I think." She rises from her chair and sets the juice glass upon the table, offering a tilt of her head in farewell as she strides from the Academ library.

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