Open Chronicles An unfortunate series of events

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A roleplay open for anyone to join

Ōjo Akane

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Akane was getting tired of the west. Most of the lower class were quite rude, barbaric, and completely inappropriate. She’d been accosted numerous times by lustful drunks and brigands who wanted entertainment. But she had a job to do, and that was to establish trade with the west, and she intended to do just that. This Princess Helia seemed to be more likely to honor agreements than any other aristocrat she’d met. So she would meet with her. But she had grown cautious, and insisted on meeting in a middle ground where neither of them held authority, and they only brought with them their immediate guard. For Akane, that was six well trained samurai.

Akane was a slander woman, and her cats ears and seven tails told an interesting story of where she came from. Her hair, ears and tails were completely white, and her kimono was of a light blue with silver trim. She was graceful as she was deadly, and carried a number of throwing needles with her in addition to twin sai daggers. She was less than eager for another altercation.

So she would meet with this Helia, but do so with caution.

She approached the princess and her retinue of guards, then she and her own did the traditional show of respect in the form of a kneeling bow, then returning to their feet, and their clothes miraculously not dirtied, Akane spoke, “It is a pleasure to meet you Princess Helia, I am Akane of the east.”
 

Helia Glacies Kyxo

Frozen Princess
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Helia, the frozen hearted princess and her retinue, arrived not long after Akane and hers.

Keeping relations as a queen with other countries and factions was a necessity in the political world, and though she wasn't a queen yet the coronation date was set.
Normally her father would be responsible for this, but his failing health made travel impossible for him.
The middle ground was decided and Helia was required to attend, and she did so with a small contingent of her paladin knights as was customary.

Helia, as well as her knights, were dressed in white, almost blindingly so. This coupled with Helia's naturally pale complexion and white hair nearly made her look as though she were made of marble. She wore a white functional travel dress and coat with a white cloak, white gloves, white boots, and a silver circlet rested on her head.
She carried no weapon, her magic was her weapon and it tended to be very versatile.

She entered the meeting room and mimicked the traditional greetings.
“It is a pleasure to meet you Princess Helia, I am Akane of the east.”
"Akane, I am honored to meet with you in person. I'm Princess Kyxo of Mardania. I hope that our countries can continue in the friendship and mutually beneficial alliance that our fathers built."
With that she turned and sat at the meeting table.
 

Callarn Osfort

Restless Revolutionary
Dreadlords
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Callarn knew of faraway strange kingdoms, where a princess could be expected to declaim poems, weave and little else. This was not the case in Arethil, nor did it seem to be the case in the east. These two princesses, Ōjo Akane and Helia Glacies Kyxo, were deadly individuals. But they were also beautiful individuals, and the Dreadlord found a strange amusement in comparing and contrasting their... assets.

The easterling was this mixture of woman, cat and dog. She was expected to attack thusly, which worried Callarn more than her 'sa-moo-rai'. Call them what they are, cataphracts! From the east! Yet so bloody quaint that as soon as he would swoon at the thought of scratching the keiji between the ears, his attention would then meander to their plates and lamellars.

Helia looked sculpted from marble, so white were her clothes and skin. This made for an chilling effect as she lead a contingent of similarly spectral knights inside the meeting room. A setback if there ever was one, she was the one that by far could cast the most powerful magic. Perhaps she could even rival the Dreadlord's plan, although this was something he would not like to chance.

It might take a moment for them to realize, but no longer invisible in the corner of the meeting room was Callarn with a crystal ball in his hand. Unlike the princesses he bore his weapons openly, two scabbarded rapiers resting on his lap and a Delbhnite barbarian to his side. Placed neatly on a stand between the two men was an harp, that Liath had been instructed to play only at the Dreadlord's command.

"Princess Akane, Princess Kyxo." he would nod with a small bow "Forgive me for not conducting the proper pleasantries, I have been left disabled by a recent contratempt." the edges of his cut lips were drawn so as to reveal the crowns of his teeth. The Dreadlord smile, is what he called it. "My name is Callarn Osfort, and I represent the interests of House Urahil of Vel Anir. As House Urahil is hosting this meeting, I think it is more than fair that you will hear our proposition, no? Then you may carry on your talks, and I with my business." Business, that was the sign for Liath to start playing. To set a pleasant mood, of course.
 
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Ōjo Akane

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She entered the meeting room and mimicked the traditional greetings.

The mimicry of their greeting was slightly amusing, but not enough to force a smile onto her face.

"Akane, I am honored to meet with you in person. I'm Princess Kyxo of Mardania. I hope that our countries can continue in the friendship and mutually beneficial alliance that our fathers built."
With that she turned and sat at the meeting table.

“On that’s we agree Princess.” She said sitting down as these westerners did. She still wasn’t not used to these chairs, and much preferred to kneel at the low tables of her homeland. But she wasn’t uncomfortable. She folded her hands in her lap, while the six samurai behind her, clad in their tosei-gusoku armor, kabutō helmets and their frighteningly hideous masks of steel, or menpō.

The easterling was this mixture of woman, cat and dog. She was expected to attack thusly, which worried Callarn more than her 'sa-moo-rai'. Call them what they are, cataphracts! From the east! Yet so bloody quaint that as soon as he would swoon at the thought of scratching the keiji between the ears, his attention would then meander to their plates and lamellars.

He’d guessed her weakness already. A scratch behind the ears left her basically defenseless, and always forced a purr into her throat. But she was far too dignified to attack like a dog, and she had no canine traits whatsoever, Keiji being only feline and human in physiology. She’d attack swiftly, accurately and with feline grace if threatened.

"Princess Akane, Princess Kyxo." he would nod with a small bow "Forgive me for not conducting the proper pleasantries, I have been left disabled by a recent contratempt." the edges of his cut lips were drawn so as to reveal the crowns of his teeth. The Dreadlord smile, is what he called it. "My name is Callarn Osfort, and I represent the interests of House Urahil of Vel Anir. As House Urahil is hosting this meeting, I think it is more than fair that you will hear our proposition, no? Then you may carry on your talks, and I with my business." Business, that was the sign for @Liath to start playing. To set a pleasant mood, of course.

Akane bowed in respect to he really host. “Master Osfort, as our host it would be meet of us to hear your proposition. And we will most certainly give it fair consideration.”
 

Helia Glacies Kyxo

Frozen Princess
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"Princess Akane, Princess Kyxo." he would nod with a small bow "Forgive me for not conducting the proper pleasantries, I have been left disabled by a recent contratempt." the edges of his cut lips were drawn so as to reveal the crowns of his teeth. The Dreadlord smile, is what he called it. "My name is Callarn Osfort, and I represent the interests of House Urahil of Vel Anir. As House Urahil is hosting this meeting, I think it is more than fair that you will hear our proposition, no? Then you may carry on your talks, and I with my business."
Right off the bat this "Representative" rubbed her the wrong way. Perhaps it was his skeletal smile but she couldn't help but feel repulsed by him.

It was quite unusual for the host of a political meeting have input in regards to the concerned parties, as well as hardly necessary for the host to be present for the meetings in the first place.
But if princess Akane was willing then Helia had no objections.
She didn't say anything or hardly looked in his direction, but she gestured with her hand for him to proceed and then folded her hands demurely in her lap while she listened intently.
 
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Callarn Osfort

Restless Revolutionary
Dreadlords
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Years of practice, conditioning, were not enough for Callarn's smile to hold. Feeling much too small in his chair and robes, surrounded by princesses, armored men and an overmuscled barbarian, the Dreadlord should have perhaps not let his contempt show. He would never understand royal folk, much less those who aspired to such heights.

Alas, here he was forced to dance to their tune. Leg cast be damned.

The smiling facade dropped, Callarn looked again as though he had never experienced joy or sleep. "His Grace, the Patriarch of House Urahil, has seen it as his duty to offer your Highnesses sanctuary to conduct business. His Grace, the Patriarch of House Urahil, would like to further serve your Highnesses as an impartial party in this meeting to come. It is his Grace, the Patriarch of House Urahil's understanding that then and only then will the missives meted out from this meeting bear any legitimacy outside of these walls. For this purpose His Grace, the Patriarch of House Urahil has chosen me to mediate for the night, and to tomorrow accompany your Graces to Ver Anir." he sighed soundlessly.

"It is my understanding that His Grace, the Patriarch of House Urahil, plans to throw a surprise ball in your honor." it'd be a surprise for the small folk, the noblelings, not for the guests of honor and certainly not for their retainer "And sign charters of trade. And acquaint your Highnesses with his sons." to hell with their titles, all seven of them! The little inbred freaks would have to know of it first.
 

Ōjo Akane

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Years of practice, conditioning, were not enough for Callarn's smile to hold. Feeling much too small in his chair and robes, surrounded by princesses, armored men and an overmuscled barbarian, the Dreadlord should have perhaps not let his contempt show. He would never understand royal folk, much less those who aspired to such heights.

Alas, here he was forced to dance to their tune. Leg cast be damned.

The smiling facade dropped, Callarn looked again as though he had never experienced joy or sleep. "His Grace, the Patriarch of House Urahil, has seen it as his duty to offer your Highnesses sanctuary to conduct business. His Grace, the Patriarch of House Urahil, would like to further serve your Highnesses as an impartial party in this meeting to come. It is his Grace, the Patriarch of House Urahil's understanding that then and only then will the missives meted out from this meeting bear any legitimacy outside of these walls. For this purpose His Grace, the Patriarch of House Urahil has chosen me to mediate for the night, and to tomorrow accompany your Graces to Ver Anir." he sighed soundlessly.

"It is my understanding that His Grace, the Patriarch of House Urahil, plans to throw a surprise ball in your honor." it'd be a surprise for the small folk, the noblelings, not for the guests of honor and certainly not for their retainer "And sign charters of trade. And acquaint your Highnesses with his sons." to hell with their titles, all seven of them! The little inbred freaks would have to know of it first.

(I'm a little confused by such fancy language )

Akane looked him in the face calmly. "I don't see any major issues with this proposition as it stands. It seems fair."

Truth be told, she had yet to be completely fluent in the language of these Western continents and was having difficulty understanding some of the fancier phrases this man utilized.
 

Helia Glacies Kyxo

Frozen Princess
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"His Grace, the Patriarch of House Urahil, has seen it as his duty to offer your Highnesses sanctuary to conduct business. His Grace, the Patriarch of House Urahil, would like to further serve your Highnesses as an impartial party in this meeting to come. It is his Grace, the Patriarch of House Urahil's understanding that then and only then will the missives meted out from this meeting bear any legitimacy outside of these walls. For this purpose His Grace, the Patriarch of House Urahil has chosen me to mediate for the night, and to tomorrow accompany your Graces to Ver Anir."
Still without looking at him or shifting her neutral expression she responded.
"We're grateful to House Urahil for graciously hosting this meeting. As representative for the Kingdom of Mardania we extend every gratitude for their benevolent hospitality and moderation."
Her words fell flat insofar as feeling or emotion, but the word of a princess was binding even if it was merely duty that required her to say it.


"It is my understanding that His Grace, the Patriarch of House Urahil, plans to throw a surprise ball in your honor."
"And sign charters of trade. And acquaint your Highnesses with his sons."
The Eastern Princess accepted the invitation to Vel Anir easily enough. Helia was less sure. Her coronation was scheduled for within the year and even being out like this was a calculated risk. Several factions within Mardania and the capital of Mardus were opposed to her ascension to the throne and some might be desperate enough to make sure she never returned.
But still, an alliance with Vel Anir was difficult to ignore.
She glanced at her paladin captain with an unspoken request for confirmation, he gave her a cautioning look behind his visor before she turned to finally look at the scarred face of the representative.
"A visit to Vel Anir was not in our plans. I'm sure you understand that as a princess my schedule has very little flexibility. Will it be possible to pursue this opportunity at a later date?"
 
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Callarn Osfort

Restless Revolutionary
Dreadlords
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Something in Callarn eased, having reeled Akane, only to be stifled again when Princess Helia said her piece. Perhaps the danger of less than total compliance escaped her? The Patriarch could have her hanged just as easily as wedded off to his most jaw-jutted bastard. Now, how to put a diplomatic twist to reality...

"Your Highness, consider what bitter fruit such open refusal might bear. His Grace, the Patriarch of House Urahil, seldom extends invitations to personages of any sort. It is considered the greatest honor in Vel Anir, and for it to be spurned it so... brazenly." he rubbed his chin with the crystal ball, pretending to be deep in thought. "We live in times when tariff and toll can be as devastating to a people as war and disease. Are you certain that you cannot find time to satisfy this one caprice?"

The lull of his head, the dryness of his tongue, the pain in his leg, they all made Callarn crave for volare oil. He craved for, no matter how brief, respite from this cursed land of princesses and patriarchs and shows of power.

"But your Highness does intend to at some time come. That is good. Know that this is not an opportunity, however, but a test." he said, "I know the man I serve."
 
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Helia Glacies Kyxo

Frozen Princess
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"Your Highness, consider what bitter fruit such open refusal might bear. His Grace, the Patriarch of House Urahil, seldom extends invitations to personages of any sort. It is considered the greatest honor in Vel Anir, and for it to be spurned it so... brazenly." he rubbed his chin with the crystal ball, pretending to be deep in thought. "We live in times when tariff and toll can be as devastating to a people as war and disease. Are you certain that you cannot find time to satisfy this one caprice?"
Her gaze remained impassive, but she wasn't the only one to catch the implications of his words. Armored hands slowly came to rest on the hilts of sheathed swords... Waiting for the word.
Helia was deep in thought, carefully considering her options.
She turned her gaze to Akane, trying to understand her and her own willingness to go along with this.

She was hesitant, but she tried once more to regain the upper hand.
"I will postpone my answer till after the negotiations between princess Akane and myself have concluded. I will carefully consider your words in the meantime... And their implications."
With that and her own silent warning delivered she turned her full attention back to Akane. The Paladins did not relax, now more concerned with the Dreadlord and his barbarian than the Samurai across from them.
 
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Callarn Osfort

Restless Revolutionary
Dreadlords
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How poor must Mardania be, for the threat of tariffs to have retainers reaching for their weapons! Let them come. So too had Callarn come prepared, for threats greaters than a band of upjumped plaster-smeared limp-speared sons of rutting b-

The princess spoke up, and Callarn's wrath tapered off.

"Very well." the Dreadlord briskly replied, staggering to a seat at the table. It was pink marble, finely notched, and draped over it was a fine cover tacked to with in brass. The fabric, made from wool of some beast even further to the east than the Keiji folk, was a pleasure to the touch and eye. Urahilic crowns became trees, suns and saw-wings, woven in more colors than they had in true.

"By the authority of His Grace, the Patriarch of House Urahil, I cede this property to no man or nation. Just law reigns here now, and the dealings from it shall be just in turn." he beat on the table with an small ivory gavel, his badge of office for the night. "May it be so." he smacked it again, only partly because it made a full, rich noise. Begin."
 
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Ōjo Akane

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Akane watched with interest at the proceedings. Definitely a threat issued, and responded to, by more than just the Knights. The samurai we're a little sneakier, their left hands always gripped their scabbards behind the guards of their katana, and each of them pushed their katana out slightly with their thumbs, ready to cut down anyone who posed a threat in a flash.

But it was resolved, and the meeting began. Akane took from one of the samurai a small bundle of cloth. She laid it down in front of Helia and unwrapped it. Inside were a few items, small.

"The cloth is eastern silk." She said, then she indicated a small plant. "Rice. A good source of food, a type of grain and grown in abundance." She indicated a small smooth stone. "And jade, of two types, a precious stone where we are from. These are resources we offer in trade, we ask only for iron in return."
 

Helia Glacies Kyxo

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Helia made no further complaint of their host. The threat of tariffs would presuppose that they had a trade agreement with Vel Anir in the first place, and it also presupposes that heavier tariffs from one trade stop would be enough to effect Mardania in any significant way. But more than that it was the fact that he dared to use a threat on Helia at all that the Paladins picked up on the hostile undertone and reacted.
But as the meeting began they relaxed.

"The cloth is eastern silk." She said, then she indicated a small plant. "Rice. A good source of food, a type of grain and grown in abundance." She indicated a small smooth stone. "And jade, of two types, a precious stone where we are from. These are resources we offer in trade, we ask only for iron in return."
Helia nodded and one of her paladins brought a small chest forward and placed it on the table.
"Yes, the trade our fathers agreed to. Your eastern products are in high demand across Arethil and it's brought great wealth to my country and to you by extension. We will continue to trade iron in return for these valuable resources, but I believe iron alone is pitiful payment in any quantity or quality for the great gift your trade has been for my country and my people."
The paladin opened the chest revealing the glittering contents, crystals of an elongated shape and manufactured composition. And they glowed with a slight aura of magic.
"Our Artificers guild calls these manufactured crystals "catalysts". A versatile multi-tool of magic, they have been a groundbreaking achievement in developing much of our magical technology. I thought it only fair that we share it with you in return for the prosperity you brought us."
 

Callarn Osfort

Restless Revolutionary
Dreadlords
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Garb fabric, a delicate plant and jade. It was impressive just how unimpressed how Callarn felt, was this to be the reinvigorating lifeblood of trade? Jade had interesting properties to be sure, but the Dreadlord had yet to see it used for more than vanity charms. He was reminded of long dismissed rumours of westernlings, beyond the edge of the known world, that fashioned entire weapons from the stone... but Méchanteau was hardly a reliable source, and perhaps he had heard him poorly from the other side of the maelstrom.

What really captivated Callarn were the Mardanian chest. Now that was worth sending a Dreadlord over. Already he was plotting up ways to get hold of a crystal, and then have it sent to the Academy. It'd be the devious work of a lone highman, or some house rival to the Urahil. Those Vidrak really could stand to be taken down a peg or twenty.
 

Ōjo Akane

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"Yes, the trade our fathers agreed to. Your eastern products are in high demand across Arethil and it's brought great wealth to my country and to you by extension. We will continue to trade iron in return for these valuable resources, but I believe iron alone is pitiful payment in any quantity or quality for the great gift your trade has been for my country and my people."
The paladin opened the chest revealing the glittering contents, crystals of an elongated shape and manufactured composition. And they glowed with a slight aura of magic.
"Our Artificers guild calls these manufactured crystals "catalysts". A versatile multi-tool of magic, they have been a groundbreaking achievement in developing much of our magical technology. I thought it only fair that we share it with you in return for the prosperity you brought us."

(Okay, I was under the impression that their fathers had agreed to trade but sent them to negotiate the terms. Okay, I think I understand a bit better now. Sorry.)

Akane looked over the long crystal, it's glow was certainly appealing and the magic that came off of it could be felt from there, though she wasn't a mage herself, she did know what magic felt like. She nodded gratefully, "Your offer is most magnanimous and is gratefully accepted Princess Helia. Though I will say that my father is hoping for more than simple trade. He was hoping to further our trade reaches into the countries around you, and hoped to secure permission to build a trade center in some area within your territory, where shipments would be recorded and archived so that our trade might reach farther. It would only require formal permission, building resources and workers would be brought over from my home to do the work. I hope that your highness finds this acceptable."

What really captivated Callarn were the Mardanian chest. Now that was worth sending a Dreadlord over. Already he was plotting up ways to get hold of a crystal, and then have it sent to the Academy. It'd be the devious work of a lone highman, or some house rival to the Urahil. Those Vidrak really could stand to be taken down a peg or twenty.

Akane was an observant woman, as were her samurai guards, and saw the way that Callarn looked at the crystals, as if in envy or a desire to take them. As opposed to Helia's guards, the samurai were a lot slower to calm down after threats had been issued, such threats wouldn't be issued unless the one issuing them was desperate or confident in the fact that they were untouchable by the highly trained, well armed, well armored men from two powerful factions didn't pose a threat, they were far less trusting after those particular sentences.
 

Helia Glacies Kyxo

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(Mine, sorry bout that!)
"Your offer is most magnanimous and is gratefully accepted Princess Helia. Though I will say that my father is hoping for more than simple trade. He was hoping to further our trade reaches into the countries around you, and hoped to secure permission to build a trade center in some area within your territory, where shipments would be recorded and archived so that our trade might reach farther. It would only require formal permission, building resources and workers would be brought over from my home to do the work. I hope that your highness finds this acceptable."
Trade rights were certainly on the table, her father had discussed with Helia the possibility that they might request this and they had concluded together that granting them such a license would be beneficial to all concerned. Allowing them to essentially set up an embassy in Mardus itself would be a generous gesture, though over time they would inevitably be drawn in to the battlefield of Mardanian politics, a fate she wouldn't wish on anyone. But it was an offer too tempting to refuse.

Normally Helia would have given a friendly smile at this point in the negotiations and re-cemented their alliance on the friendship it was founded on, but her face muscles simply wouldn't respond to form that expression, and since any expression she was able to make was negative she chose to make no expression at all.
"Mardania would be happy to issue a license for you to build your trade center in our country. Our capital in Mardus is the main location where the most trade passes through. But most of our other fiefs are good choices as well.
I and my father have also discussed extensive relations with you and your people, and we would be honored if you would establish an embassy with us to represent yourselves as our allies, and we will open our gates and opportunities to your people."

This was all delivered with stone faced cordiality, but every word was sincere.
 
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Callarn Osfort

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Callarn's attentive gaze hid a meandering stroll through thought-gardens of theory that, while captivating to him, would be a less than delightful experience for the present Highnesses. But perhaps they would be in favour of repartitioning their lands? Not without each of daddy's permission... He wished he had a daddy. And a mommy. And a house by the sea. Alas, life had dealt him a poor hand, but there were people worse-off than even him! He ought to be grateful. As should the Archons and Lords that he had yet to ascend to their ranks, retribution would be swift and bloody!

The Dreadlord blinked back to life. Embassy?

He rustled in interest, very gripped to his cane. He leaned forward, only to be repulsed by the movement and letting out the smallest sigh "Nevermind, nevermind. It's the leg." he admitted before any could ask and belch out disparaging sympathies "Any marriages- planned?" there was sweat on his brow and a searing pain on his leg, but his commitment to acting fine was - although a clear fib - laudable. "His Grace, the Patriarch, would be honored to officiate." he slammed his fist on the table, rested his burning forehead on it. Pain shot up, down and to the sides in his body, revealing itself in very slight trembles, like those of a person waking.
 
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Ōjo Akane

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Akane looked at the man with concern as he began to be in obvious pain. “What is the matter? What causes you pain good sir?”

When asked about possibly planned marriages she looked away with a blush, “as of right now, none.”
 
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Ōjo Akane

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Once the dreadlord was confirmed to be alright, she returned her attention to Helia. “You honor and humble us by your offer of alliance and the permission to establish a trade center and an embassy in your homeland. My father would be ecstatic if such an arrangement were to be agreed upon.”

She smiled warmly. “An embassy would be most beneficial for both our countries. And we happily accept the offer, and thank you for licensing the construction of a trade office in your lands.”

There was no real point in being concerned about them being dragged into politics. Her people were experts and both war, since they’d been in a solid millennia of constant warfare, and politics. Mardanian politics might be rough, but Keiji politics were brutal, ruthless, unforgiving and pitiless. The Shinobi no mono (origina Japanese word for ninja) were trained Fromm birth to be spies, saboteurs and assassins all in one, and they were masters in their arts and even combat, outclassed in that only by samurai, even if there was some overlap.

Helia had nothing to worry about, they were well prepared.
 
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Helia Glacies Kyxo

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He rustled in interest, very gripped to his cane. He leaned forward, only to be repulsed by the movement and letting out the smallest sigh "Nevermind, nevermind. It's the leg." he admitted before any could ask and belch out disparaging sympathies "Any marriages- planned?" there was sweat on his brow and a searing pain on his leg, but his commitment to acting fine was - although a clear fib - laudable. "His Grace, the Patriarch, would be honored to officiate." he slammed his fist on the table, rested his burning forehead on it. Pain shot up, down and to the sides in his body, revealing itself in very slight trembles, like those of a person waking.
The sudden interruption of their host in pain drew an annoyed glare from Helia that was painstakingly suppressed but not before her obvious contempt leaked out of her façade.
At his question she return to looking straight ahead but past Ojo with a blank expression, but that question obviously made her angry.
"No. My father has no sons, a union by marriage to seal this alliance would be impossible."
She purposely pretended he was talking about union between Akane and Kyzo families. Callarn had hinted that his master intended to marry off one of his sons, and while she was the only eligible offspring she had no intention of marrying in the foreseeable future... For reasons that were her own, for reasons for which she now clenched her skirt with a freezing grip that stiffened the fabric to where it would have shattered had she not calmed herself.

“You honor and humble us by your offer of alliance and the permission to establish a trade center and an embassy in your homeland. My father would be ecstatic if such an arrangement were to be agreed upon.”

She smiled warmly. “An embassy would be most beneficial for both our countries. And we happily accept the offer, and thank you for licensing the construction of a trade office in your lands.”
Helia tried to smile back but again her face simply wouldn't make that expression.
She inclined her head in a seated bow.
"I am glad this deal is satisfactory. May our alliance continue in friendship for ages to come."
The gifts were exchanged and the necessary records were filed.

Now came the dreaded moment.
She turned her attention to the moderator.
"I've decided to accept your invitation. If your Patriarch has business with me I am willing to meet with him."
 

Callarn Osfort

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"Jolly good." he hissed full of spittle, as only Dreadlords who didn't feel jolly or good at all could. So what if he had forgotten that there was a reason why Helia was the heir? Was it his fault that the powers that be had decided to make it so? Judging from this chilling breeze Callarn tried to fend off by retreating back to his cape, the icy princess thought it so.

He then remember to show some politeness to the critter-eared one, as she had showed him the most nominal preoccupation before blushing at some far point in the distance. An acknowledging nod, was as much as he could force before feeling the coming of a new shock. He wished for black opium again, and a draught of gnome wine as he whipped himself to his feet.

"We part at dawn! His Grace, the Patriarch of House-"he groaned, balling his trembling hands into fists "His Grace, you know his title, will be pleased. Know that he will treat you as if you were his own flesh and blood." More's the reason to marry them off to his sons, he thought.

"Sleep." he departed in quick stride, tip-tapping on his cane and being cared at a distance by the lute barbarian.
 
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Ōjo Akane

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"Jolly good." he hissed full of spittle, as only Dreadlords who didn't feel jolly or good at all could. So what if he had forgotten that there was a reason why Helia was the heir? Was it his fault that the powers that be had decided to make it so? Judging from this chilling breeze Callarn tried to fend off by retreating back to his cape, the icy princess thought it so.

While the spit flying from his mouth was most unsightly, her disgust was more than matched by her concern for his wellbeing. To see someone in such obvious pain filled her with the desire to help. Only she was no medic, and she knew nothing of human anatomy, even if it was similar to their own.

He then remember to show some politeness to the critter-eared one, as she had showed him the most nominal preoccupation before blushing at some far point in the distance. An acknowledging nod, was as much as he could force before feeling the coming of a new shock. He wished for black opium again, and a draught of gnome wine as he whipped himself to his feet.

The nod of confirmation was certainly not very reassuring. While she understood his meaning in asking about whether she was married as of yet or betrothed, she was obligated to speak truth.

"No. My father has no sons, a union by marriage to seal this alliance would be impossible."

Akane understood Helia’s words and the purposes behind them. Though a marriage to seal the alliance through family ties would have been preferable, she found herself somewhat relieved, because if she had any brothers, she was afraid she might have to accept that offer, as her father was also looking to get her married. Her father, Daimyō Samakura Honganji, had been looking for a proper suitor for a long time. Preferably he was of samurai blood, which is why she was spending such a long time looking for deals to make here in the west, so she might marry herself off to someone who wouldn’t make her life a total misery. ‘Don’t stop the blow’ her sensei had taught her, ‘redirect it’, and that’s what she planned to do.

Helia tried to smile back but again her face simply wouldn't make that expression.
She inclined her head in a seated bow.
"I am glad this deal is satisfactory. May our alliance continue in friendship for ages to come."
The gifts were exchanged and the necessary records were filed.

Akane smiled at the frozen woman and getting up did the kneeling bow from before, “your generosity and kindness to our people will never be forgotten princess Helia. Know that you have a friend in us.”

Now came the dreaded moment.
She turned her attention to the moderator.
"I've decided to accept your invitation. If your Patriarch has business with me I am willing to meet with him."

"We part at dawn! His Grace, the Patriarch of House-"he groaned, balling his trembling hands into fists "His Grace, you know his title, will be pleased. Know that he will treat you as if you were his own flesh and blood." More's the reason to marry them off to his sons, he thought.

Akane watched the man leave with concern, she always had a bad feeling in her stomach when someone was hurt, unless it was a fight, then they were her enemies so why should she care. She bowed at the waist as he left. Then turning her attention to Helia, “I look forward to seeing you there Princess Helia. Sayōnara.”

With that she bowed and left with her samurai guards, and went to the room she had been given for the night. Her samurai stayed in rooms nearby, to reassure them that she was safe from harm.

(The following afternoon)
They had arrived. The city was beautiful, very different from cities back east, but beautiful. Vel Anir, what a strange name. She wondered about the language spoken here, and their culture. Surely they would be willing to share this knowledge.

She had never been to meet anyone above a local warlord or baron until the previous night when she spoke directly with Helia. Now she was meeting someone of similar status and his family. She could not deny that she was nervous, concerned that she wouldn’t make a good enough impression. Her guards were worried that she’d make too good of an impression, bringing to memory the lord who had hired someone to kidnap her for the purpose of keeping her as a pet. She shuddered at the memory.

But now she was in a city, and her guards had never relaxed since then. She was fairly safe so far as she was aware. And so she walked with Helia and Callarn Osfort towards their destination.
 
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