Throne Room <Fastheld Keep: Palace District>

The high ceilings of this gray stone chamber are supported by rows of massive columns along an aisle that features a purple carpet that extends from the arched entrance to the Emperor's throne room and ends at the first step of the dais that holds the gleaming majesty of the Imperial throne - a chair of gold, armrests encrusted in jewels, back and seat cushioned with stuffed pillows covered with crimson velvet.
Torches flicker in stanchions attached to the columns. The fluttering wings and twitter of birds can occasionally be heard in the shadows overhead, where the fowl have nested after coming into the estate through one of the balconies or the courtyard.
The seal of Fastheld - a crown within a dark, unbroken circle - is on the tapestry that hangs behind and above the throne of Talus Kahar.

At the moment, Emperor Talus Kahar XIV sits his throne, various guards and attendants gathered around, and a fool capering about in motley. One of the attendants, bearing a raven on his left arm and a scroll of parchment in his right hand, is summoned forward. He presents the scroll to the emperor, kneeling as he does so. Talus Kahar accepts the scroll. "Your Emperor thanks you," Kahar says by way of dismissal. The attendant replies, "The honor of service is thanks enough, Majesty." With that, the attendant departs with his squorking raven. The emperor leans back in his throne, unfurling the parchment so he can read the contents.

With Merielle beside him walking in stride, Alieron steps into the throne room, coming in a bit past the door before pausing as he stands silently awaiting to enter the "Imperial presence". His face appears to be humble.

As gracious as a swan, as deft and lithe as a bird in flight, Merielle moves into the Throne Room with Alieron. On her own visage, the smooth, implacable look of someone who knows their place in the order of things and what their purpose and function in life is to be. She waits, as calmly as a porcelain figurine.

Talus Kahar reads the scroll, rolls it tight again, then hands it to a squire before noting the arrival of the Chancellor. "Lord Alieron, your emperor welcomes you. Approach, if you have business with me."

Alieron Mikin nods, stepping forward in a refined, and yet subservient gait. His posture shows his royal origins, and yet at the same time his body language has changed to one of a respectful humble kind before the Emperor. When he is within easy speaking distance of the throne, he executes a deep genuflection. "I hope I have not disturbed Your Imperial Majesty?"

For the moment, not having been given leave to approach, Merielle remains behind. Her attention carefully upon the Emperor and her husband, she seems more than content and at ease.

"Not at all, Chancellor," the Emperor replies, smiling faintly. "Unless you come with a crisis of ill tidings. In that case, I must admit, I shall be quite put out."

Alieron Mikin replies humbly, "I do not bring you any news of a crisis, your Imperial Majesty." He stands upon the carpet that leads to the throne. The torches causing his shadow to fall dimly upon the stone floor. He hmms, "I only wished to inquire if the decision to send Mullis Seamel to the wall hints at future troubles with the Wildlings?"

"The Blademaster made that appointment," Talus Kahar responds to the Chancellor, "but it was a choice made simply because my great uncle, Syke Kahar, has grown too old and weary to stand the Aegis. It is no specific omen that draws us to imbue the wall with new blood. The Wildlings are always a concern, admittedly, but, no, they did not motivate this action." He scratches his chin. "Have you heard any talk in the townships about Wildling movements?"

Merielle Mikin's face does not flicker at Alieron's question. There are times to be subtle; there are times to be direct.

Alieron Mikin shakes his head slightly, as he stands in straight posture, with his hands behind his back. "I have not your Imperial Majesty, and I hope that we do not hear of any Wildling movements. It seems the Imperial Spymaster was interested in possibly recommending that the Shadowscourges be given some of the authority of the Blades in keeping order, and sending more Blades to the Aegis in order to protect it. I found this an interesting recommendation."

"Aiden Zahir has yet to make such a recommendation to me," the Emperor replies, brow furrowing. "Let him know, if you see him in the Keep, that we should discuss such matters in a formal council of the crown."

Merielle Mikin listens attentively, although it might not seem so, as her eyes flit around the room - to see who is there and what they are about.

The fool in his motley makes his way toward Merielle, and stands before her as he begins to juggle three wooden balls: one painted red, one painted orange, and one painted green.

Alieron Mikin speaks agreeably "Indeed your Imperial Majesty that would be of benefit to us all. Might I inquire into Your Imperial Majesty's good health, I hope you are in overall comfort?"

Merielle Mikin's eyes sparkle a moment as the sight of the fool in motley present themselves in front of her. And, it is with quiet delight, that a smile touches her lips as she waits to see what else is done with the three items of juggling endeavor.

"Your Emperor is well enough, Chancellor," Talus replies, then bows his head slightly and asks, "How do you and your lady wife fare?"

Not one to disappoint, the fool tosses the red and orange balls with one hand while holding the green ball in the other - and then, after reaching a rhythm with the two balls, he ducks the green ball behind his back and then flips it up, over his shoulder and into the cadence of the one-handed juggling, so that red-orange, red-orange, red-orange suddenly becomes red-green-orange, red-green-orange. The maneuver is flawlessly performed.

Alieron Mikin smiles slightly, "Thank ye for inquiring Your Imperial Majesty. My lady wife, and I fare well. We are as always active in our service to Your Imperial Majesty, and the Empress."

Merielle Mikin's eyes continue to dance in silent merriment and mirth, only partialy distracted from the discussions at the head of the throne room. Clearly impressed, by a betraying incline of her head, in acknowledgement of his prowess, that same action also asks for a continued performance.

"Your Emperor and your Empress rely on such devotion and service, Chancellor," Talus Kahar says. "It is well appreciated." Another raven flutters into the chamber, a parchment scroll bound to one of its legs, and settles on the arm of an attendant. "Do you have further matters that require your Emperor's attention?"

The fool, pleased with the reception of his performance, ups the ante a bit: He juggles the red and orange balls back and forth, but uses the knee of his right leg to bounce the green ball, higher and higher. Up it goes, past the arcing orange and red. Down it comes, just missing the orange and red. Up it goes, down it comes. Up it goes, down it comes. And then he bounces the red ball from one hand to another while knee-kicking the green ball with his right leg, and knee-kicking the orange ball with his left.

Alieron Mikin gazes silently for a moment, and then states "I do not have any further matters of such importance as to detract from Your Imperial Majesty's valuable time. As always, I am your humble servant." With that he executes a genuflection bow again, and then backs away slightly as not to "turn his back on the Emperor". He then turns around after stepping back a few steps, and walks with a brisk yet unsuspicious pace toward the doors as he nods to his wife to accompany him out.

Talus Kahar inclines his head in acknowledgement to the chancellor as another parchment scroll is delivered for his perusal, from an attendant on bended knee, head bowed.

It is now, thoroughly and utterly charmed with the fool's performance, that Merielle laughs - a light and airy thing that echoes with almost musical notes. Her hands clap together slightly, softly, to murmur her appreciation for his diligent efforts. "Your efforts surely ease His Majesty's troubled mind when such is needed. But, alas," noting that her husband is departing, "I must leave - to hopefully enjoy your performance another time." And, with that, she turns to follow her husband.

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