Mastery (Vozhd Keep)

Dark silk banners hang from the ceiling, rippling slowly in the cold breeze that circulates through the cavernous hall. The ceiling of the mastery is lofty and steeped. The apex of the arch is composed of distorted glass - the portion facing the rising sun actually being a large decorative plate depicting a golden wildcat against a resplendent purple corona. The remainder of the banners drape down the walls of the room, offsetting pale marble statues with a bluish hue.
An enormous fireplace dominates the front of the room near the entrance, while the back is dedicated to the master's throne. Centered on a tiered dais a cubit higher then the surrounding floor, the throne of Vozhdya is composed entirely of stone. Crafted directly in to the flooring itself, its decorated with gold filigree and precious gems.
Flanking the throne on either side are two unique statues: one, an exact replica of a wolfhound, curled and sleeping, and the other, a bear - also in repose - with its head resting on its paws. Closer inspection reveals that the hound is made entirely of silver and the bear of amber. Situated in a half-circle before the dais are five fine half-thrones, similar to the Royal seat but lesser in stature and ornament. A large table is situated in the center of the room, covered with various map-scrolls.

The Mastery is currently filled with the warmth of an open fire. The hounds of Vozhdya, the Duke's personal pets, relax in front of the hearth as light music plays from a three-man orchestra in the corner. Servants wander about carrying flutes of wine, and the Duke himself chats idly with a few other nobles near the throne. A squire waits by the door for new guests.

Amidst the bustling about, Alainne and Jacib make their way into the Mastery slowly. Alainne has her eyes widened slightly as she looks about her, drinking in all of the sights with interest. "It's so big, and busy," she murmurs softly to Jacib, shifting closer to the Carpenter slightly.

The aforementioned squire approaches the two. "Good evening, are you a guest, or submitting an item to the contest?"

"That," Jacib replies to Alainne, a smile tugging at the corners of his mouth, "'t is." To the squire, he continues, "'f I had my idea for th' contest ready, I'd be entering. I don't, though, so put both 'f us down as guests."

The squire jots this down on a piece of parchment. "Well done, then. Please, enjoy yourselves. At this moment the Duke notices the two and quietly dismisses his sycophants. With practiced charm, he nods in greeting. "... the Carpenter of fame; Jacib, wasn't it? Do you note your pieces in the Mastery?"

Alainne tilts her head to the side slightly, glancing at Jacib, "I thought you were entering, Jace," she says softly, nodding towards the squire slightly. "This is why you came, isn't it?" A bit of confusion floats around in her voice, mixed with curiosity. She then looks up, hearing the Duke, dipping her head in a small bow, shifting a bit sos he's slightly behind Jacib.

Before Markus reaches him, Jacib replies, "I was /going/ to, but I never found th' time t' actually make a model." At the Duke's words, Jacib bows. "That 't is, m'lord. I've noted them, 'nd I'd like t' make 'n apology for th' less th'n good worksmanship 'f th' throne."

A nobleman enters the mastery, obviously a Seamel by the silver embroidered horses running down his tunic. Jafron's lips form a tight frown as his gaze sweeps from one statue to the next, finally coming to rest upon the Duke. He approaches Markus, offering him a curt and silent half-bow.

A squire quietly approaches Jafron and bows deeply. "Your lordship, do you come as a guest or a competitor? Are you submitting a model?"

Markus Kahar nods, his voice hinged with dissapointment but understanding. "I had hoped for something more impressive in the Mastery, however you'll simply have to make it up to me in future purchases. Never your mind on such a subject however, you are a Guest in my home tonight. Please, eat." His eyes turn to the Seamel Lord, and he gestures in greeting, "Come come, Jafron. I haven't seen you in months!"

Alainne nods to Jacib, "At least this means we won't have to decide on where we'll have to take up residence," she points out, smiling slightly, though it disappears quickly as Markus addresses them. She shifts closer to Jacib, chewing on her lip a little bit.

"Guest," Jafron replies to the squire without so much as a parting glance. "Do I have the look of a common architect?" He lays a hand upon his sabre's pommel, the corner of his lips curling into a smile despite himself. "'Tis good to see you, Blademaster. I spoke with your Warmaster earlier this morning. Have you had any luck tracking that Shadow-fiend?"

"Is 't possible-" Jacib begins to Markus, cutting himself off as the Duke notices Jafron. He shrugs and snags a flute of wine from a passing servant.

Markus Kahar shakes his head in dismay, "No, but half of Fastheld is seeking him. He'll be caught soon enough, I'm sure. No one escapes the Blades. And you, how are your lands; your family?" He turns momentarily, looking to Jacib - "... Come again?"

"'s it possible th't I might be able t' submit 'n entry a little late, m'lord?" Jacib says, this time finishing his question.

Alainne stands quietly with Jacib, not saying anything, especially as Markus' gaze sweeps in their direction again. She doesn't quite cringe, but a small wince escapes her.

Jafron Seamel nods, an audible sigh escaping his lips. "T'was not a month hence that the traitor entered my very home delivering no doubt tainted furnishings." The baron remains oblivious of Alainne and Jacib at this point, or anyone else of lesser blood for that matter. "My lands flow as silk and my family prospers, though in truth I have had little correspondence with old Mullis. And your family? Has Alath's foot mended properly?"

Markus Kahar smiles lightly at Alainne, nodding his head to the girl before responding to both Jacib and Jafron, "Quite. I nearly employed Jacib to build some mines; doubtlessly they would've collapsed in on my own men. Who would've known the man to be capable of murder. As for the contest, submissions may be sent in by tomorrow at the latest. And..." he stops and stares about the room, "... as it seems that we're all here. Why don't we begin." He smiles.

Jacib nods, sipping from his wineglass. "Then tomorrow, m'lord, y' 'll have 'n entry from me." He glances at Alainne, offering her a smile.

Alainne smiles up at Jacib warmly, but stays close to Jacib, moving as his second shadow, keeping her eyes away from Jafron, and Markus.

Markus Kahar whispers to Jafron quietly, in addition, so that the 'commoners' cannot hear. "... his foot is mending, but he is wounded. I have nay heard from him in months; I worry and will soon visit."

Jafron Seamel's frown returns. "It irks me that the baseborn fool who did that has not yet been found. Perhaps I shall join you in visiting him."

Markus Kahar nods in agreement, "Indeed. As an Imperial official as well." With that, the Duke calls over a servant who quickly calls out to the small crowd: "... The competition begins. Would the first contestant, a Master Iban Goldbrick of Southwatch, care to present his submission titles 'Rhapsody'."

"Southwatch," Jacib repeats quietly, speaking to Alainne though he watches for the submission. "I met a man in th' Tavern yesterday headed that way..."

"Oh?" Alainne asks curiously, "An interesting person?" she asks curiously. "I don't believe I've ever been to Southwatch."

Jafron Seamel turns toward the crowd now, pale eyes seeking the first contestant. "I may just have to steal the winner once the temple has been erected," he remarks.

The crowd quiets to a murmur and a nervous looking youth steps forward, his hands clamped together as he steps in front of a veiled podium. That he's not a warrior is sure: lanky and thin, a gust of wind could knock him down. Yet there is something curious to this swarthy-skinned youth. Without delay, he pulls off the veil to reveal...

The Rhapsody design. A large half-oval building of pink sandstone set amidst a glittering-water pond. The dome of the building is made entirely of stained-glass, allowing light to pour in from every angle. The panes of the glass tell a single coherent story - indeed, the story of stories - the entire narrative of the Church's tome. Each individual fable and axiom winds upwards towards the ultimate pane: that of the all-redeeming Light. Crafted entirely of gold, the Corona Crown is shaped like a flame rising upwards.

Four alcoves flank the High Temple in each corner, all spiraling upwards and crowned in domes of their own - each representing one of the four basic elements of creation - and in each, a signal fire. The minarets themselves are of polished white marble, glinting in the sunlight.

Markus Kahar narrows his eyes, saying nothing but listening closely to the comments of the crowd.

Jacib nods at Alainne. "Curious guy...looked like his nose was broken a few times." He looks over the model. "Decent," he says. "I c'n do better."

Jafron Seamel's brows rise as he observes the domed temple, although his scrutiny lacks any real depth. "A fine piece I suppose. Though I am a poor judge of anything but warhorses and steel."

Alainne laughs softly at Jacib, "Such confidence, Jace," she says softly, smiling a little bit. "Be patient, there may be others that are better."

Adaer Kahar enters the Mastery a bit flustered and in a hurry. He looks up towards his Uncle and starts off towards him as he considers all those in the room with a nod. Behind Adaer walks a servant who wheels behind him a cart. In the cart is something rather large. Perhaps the size of a small horse and yet it's invisible. Invisable in the sense it has a large golden drape casscaded over it. Adaer walks up to the empty podium as to not delay things any further. The servant wheels the cart in further but then pulls it to the side carefully while sweating immensely due to the fact the cart weighs a ton.

The aged Duke's eyes raise in surprise, a light smile on his face. "It seems my nephew Adaer has volunteered a design. Well then, well done young man." He poses to the last contestant, who ambles away from the nobleman. "... Please Adaer, without delay explain to us your design."

With a sweep of his arm, the Vodz-Kahar introduces a noblewoman and her bodyguard, presently standing at the entrance of the Mastery. "May I present Damiante Nillu, Baroness of Aerie Heights, and her guard," he says in a loud, but gravelly voice. Bowing to her Ladyship, he steps aside.

Damiante nods a thanks to the herald, then sweeps into the room, hands behind her back, her guard, two steps to behind and to the side. Her hair braided and her eyes steady she walks toward the Duke Vodz-Kahar, bowing a few steps from him. Her guard does the same.

Jafron Seamel clears his throat as Adaer and his servant burst in, his attention sliding first to the cart, and then to Damiante and her guard. The nobleman shrugs his silvery cloak off one shoulder, leaving it to drape from the other as he turns to meet her. "Baroness. You're timing is impeccable, I believe an interesting submission is soon to be presented."

Markus Kahar smiles in pleasure, bowing his head to the Baroness as Adaer's servants go about setting up the model. "My Lady; a pleasure to have you in my lands! You know the Baroness and Jacib, of course. This is Alainne, I believe, his companion. I hope the Light has kept you since we last spoke?"

"Of course Your Grace," the Baron starts, "My pleasure." Adaer takes a bow to his uncle and makes a gesture to his servant. "Over here Joshua! I need it closer!" says the Patron of Marble Grove.

Joshua begins to sigh before catching himself. Joshua begins to tug on the cart wheeling it in closer to Adaer.

Adaer starts his introduction, "People of Vozhdya. Our stupendous town, our glorious people; we are the immaculate perfect township. None other prevails over us. The Vozhd Empire being the most powerful, the richest, and the perfection of Fastheld needs this to reflect into every facet of our home. That is why I have decided to design our new Temple, the Temple to The Holy Light, myself." Adaer makes a subtle gesture to Joshua who the unveils the large model. An awe-inspiring sight indeed! The model composed of mostly glass looks as though it was sent by a god. The perfection in detail is stupendous. The courtyard starts out with a large garden and fountain and sweeps up into steeps that trail high into the sky and reach a large Arch. The Arch is a carved glass rafter that sweeps high above the steps even. And upon the outside of the Temple the walls are spotted with carvings and sculptures placed inside the walls. The depict many differant scenes including the slaughtering of Windlings during the Wilding Wars and scultures of past Emperors. The model is crafted like a dream including 4 differant gardens. A large gathering area for prayer and many capartments and rooms. The model obviously displays all the Adaer spoke about in his introduction, "I give you! Our Temple!" Adaer smiles widely as he looks over to his uncle.

Jacib subjects Adaer's model to close scrutiny, nodding slowly as he does. "Pretty good," he comments, then leaning over a little to whisper something to Alainne.

Alainne giggles a little bit at what Jacib says, before bowing respectfully to Dami, "Baroness," she says softly, a faint smile forming. "It is a pleasure, as always."

Markus Kahar clears his throat, his face burning a deep red at his nephew's words, "I... I...", he glances to his noble peers, murmering, "... youth." He then turns to scrutinize the model, his eyes glinting over every detail. "Impressive, to say the least nephew. And glass to the glassmaker is, of course, the proper format. Interesting usage of space and scupltures - explain the gardens."

Damiante smiles and bows toward her noble cousins. "My pleasure to be here, Your Grace," she says. She raises an eyebrow toward Alainne and Jacib. "I know of these two," she replies warmly. "They are both in my employ, Your Grace. Though I hadn't realized they would be here also." She waves to her guard who bows and steps back toward the entrance of the Hall, her he posts himself as sentry.

Jafron Seamel darts a glare at Adaer, but manages to flash a brief smile and shake his head. "Youth indeed. But commendable work." He slips past a few commoners, pausing closer to the display, fists planted against hips as he studies its intricacies.

"'Evening, m'lady," Jacib says in Damiante's direction, bowing as he speaks. Courtesies thus given, he turns back to face the model.

Alainne turns to study the model again curiously, leaning against Jacib happily, passing a brief look in Dami's direction.

"Aye Your Grace. Certainly." Adaer continues by actually steping down from his podium and walking up to his sculpture. "The entrance Garden is dedicated to the Royal family and namely our Emperor, Talus Kahar XIV! I have choosen to dedicate it to our Emperor to show our unwaivering loyalty; devotion; alligence" The Baron gestures with his arm as he speak, "And this Garden here," Adaer points to a smaller yet still grand garden off to the right while looking at the sculpture head on, "Is dedicated to the departed; our bretheren; who have died during the Wildling wars and fighting for the Light. Something I know out Vozhdian citizens can appreciate since our township holds so many in the armed forces." Adaer gestures to another yet smaller garden, "This garden is devoted to our township. Vozhdya. Notice here the sculptures of our close ancestors, Uncle. This garden is dedicated to the Vozhd-Kahars. This is the smallest garden as to show meekness among the other dedicated gardens. I, certainly, wouldn't hold myself higher than the Emperor!" Adaer continues after pointing to the largest garden in the middle of the temple building, "This garden, the most beautiful garden is devoted to the Light. And our devotion to it."

Markus Kahar wets his lips with a pleased smile. "Well done, nephew, well done. The gardens are quite beautiful; I am imprssed with the detail to our ancestor's features. You have done well, my boy."

Markus Kahar pauses and looks around the remainder of the room, "Well then, unless there are any more entries... I suggest we adjurn until tomorrow so that we may see Jacib's entry. He should have a fair turn - once viewed - we will come to a decision."

Damiante stands on tiptoe and weaves her head to try to see around the many bodies that have crowded around Adaer's models. She scrunches her brows, then delicately begins to weave her way toward the model. "Pardon," she says repeatedly.

"What did y' think 'f th' models?" Jacib asks Alainne curiously.

The two models are centered in the room - one, the Rhapsody, the other, Adaer's Glass Temple. The small crowd circulates, admiring each piece as Markus does the same. Subtly, however, within the crowd Markus makes a gesture to Damiante and Jafron, nodding to the door and shaking his head 'no', indicating he'd like them to stay when the crowds filter home.

Jafron Seamel purses his lips while listening to the diorama's explanation with mild interest. "Well, it is a difficult decision," he decides at last. "And one I am grateful is not my own." The duke's gesture does not go unnoticed, Baron Seamel returning it with a hardly perceptible nod of his own. He slips free from the gathering to wait for its dispersal alongside a wall.

Adaer Kahar steps back a bit as he looks to the crowd admiring his sculpture. Adaer looks over to the other entry for a moment and admires it briefly.

Alainne smiles slightly at Jacib, watching everything around her curiously, "I think they were both pretty," she says softly. "And I am not sure if I want you to make something that will outdo them," she adds. No worry that Jacib will have trouble doing it.

Damiante finally manages to get to the front of the crowd and paces around the models, nodding appreciatively at each. "Your Grace," she says turning to the Duke. "These are all very beautiful. When do you intend on beginning constuction?" As she walks her braids softly sway against her back and her skirts rustle against the floor.

"T' be frank," Jacib remarks to Alainne quietly, "I liked th' first one better. What about you?"

Markus Kahar chuckles lightly, looking to Jacib now - "... and you'll have it prepared by tomorrow? I look forward to seeing it, my good man. And you, madame." He bows his head once more to Alainne, "... your man, surely, will do his talents justice." He smiles at the Baroness, his eyes twinkling softly "... when a winner is decided upon. We must be selective in our choices, this will be the temple representing my lands - the only one, I mean. As such, we must impress upon my charges the majesty of the Light. Or at least explain the lavish spending to the Corona." Markus winks to Damiante.

Damiante returns the Duke's smile. "I can only assume the Corona will not object to the spending," she says. "If /you/ are the one footing the bill." She inclines her head.

Jafron Seamel stands rigid, the stance of a soldier to be certain; a soldier who feels naked outside his armor and awkward off the saddle. After a time he looks back to the statue's flanking Duke Kahar's throne, the wolf in particular, and detaches himself from the wall to inspect its design more closely.

"Yes, m'lord," Jacib replies to Markus. "My entry'll be done by tomorrow, but I have a question: how big 're y' looking for th' finished, full-sized temple t' be?"

Alainne nods her head to Jacib slightly, "I do like the first one more, and for more reasons than I don't like the Baron," she says softly. "I like the simplistic design of it. The Light is not gaudy, and neither should any of it's temples."

Markus Kahar smiles lightly at Alainne, nodding his head to the girl before responding to both Jacib and Jafron, "Quite. I nearly employed Jacib to build some mines; doubtlessly they would've collapsed in on my own men. Who would've known the man to be capable of murder. As for the contest, submissions may be sent in by tomorrow at the latest. And..." he stops and stares about the room, "... as it seems that we're all here. Why don't we begin." He smiles.

Having satisfied her curiosity, Damiante makes her way toward an unfamiliar noble, at least unfamiliar to herself. She steps lightly across the floor and approaches the noble standing like a soldier near the Kahar statue. "Good eve, Excellency," she says with a slight bow. "I am Damiante Nillu." She waits, a warm smile on her face.

Markus Kahar clears his throat lightly, signalling an end to the festivities, "... then, I look forward to seeing it. The size, however, is *up to you*, young architect. By chance, bring it by the Keep and my servants will take it. I would like a personal presentation as well, perhaps later in the evening if you are free."

Jafron Seamel looks up from the silver hound, bowing his head marginally. "And a good eve to you, Baroness. But I do know who you are." His smile reveals little, as do his placid eyes - trained to shield emotion as well as wield a blade. "Through your husband, Warlan, though I've yet to have the honor of meeting you. I am called Jafron Seamel."

"Tomorrow indeed, m'lord," Jacib replies. "'nd believe me when I say 't'll be worth th' wait."

Adaer Kahar walks over and stands next to his Uncle. He has quite a smile about him as he speaks to Jacib, "G'luck to you."

Damiante tilts her head to one side, blue eyes sparkling. "Ah wonderful!" she exclaims. "And well met, Lord Seamel. I knew you for a solier by your stance. Your name is known to me also. You hold the Keep at Silkfield, yes? I have oft thought of travelling there as I have not yet had the chance."

Alainne smiles proudly at Jacib, clear affection in her eyes. She then glances at Adaer, shifting closer to Jacib, and slightly behind him.

Markus Kahar grins lightly, "I will await it then. G'eve to you both then, yon Carpenter, Madame." He extends a nod to Alainne, before clasping his nephew on the shoulder with a grin. He leans his ear in to whisper, "And you my boy. Arrogance is not a virtue to be proud of. Your exuberence is befitting your age, but really - a Vozhd Empire?" He chuckles, not seeming upset, but only a famlial chastisement.

Jacib inclines his head deeply in Adaer's direction. "'nd to you 's well, m'lord. 'f y' don't mind me saying so, your entry was quite beautiful."

Adaer Kahar smiles and nods, "Point well noted Uncle. I don't know what became of me." Adaer then notes how alot of the commoner crowd began to clap at that part of his introduction, "I'm not sure about our noble guests but the citizens seemed to enjoy it." Adaer chuckles to his uncle, "But did you like the overall presentation?" Adaer Kahar then turns to Jacib and ohs, "Ah yes, of course. Thank you." He nods to Jacib and Alainne, "G'show. May the Light be with you in your travels."

Jafron Seamel casually attempts to adopt a less rigid stance as he exchanges words with the Lady. "Your presence would leave Silkfield enchanted. Your husband's as well. 'Tis good the Horseman have been marshalled after so long."

Markus Kahar bows his head and excuses the two before gesturing Adaer towards the Seamel and Nillu, "... lets join them, shall we? There is some small business for us to discuss."

"Warlan is glad to be in the saddle again, so to speak," Damiante replies. "Though the reasons for the Horseguard appearing again are disturbing." She purses her lips, seeming to consider her next sentence. Shaking herself slightly, she regards the young noble. "I hope you will visit us also at Aerie Heights," she says. "Our last event was quite well attended, and I would enjoy seeing you also."

"I must apologize for missing the previous," Jafron remarks quickly, hands clasped firmly above his abdomen, "I live at the whims of old master Hartnek. It was my lot that eve to lead a patrol along the Aegis."

Jacib nods once more towards the group of nobles and begins to move off in the direction of the exit.

Alainne strides after Jacib, her eyes flickering over the nobles a little nervously.

Adaer Kahar nods to Markus, "Aye Your Grace." He begins walking toward the nobleman and noblewoman as the crowd is about gone.

Damiante half turns as she sees her two vassals head out the door. Her eyes narrow slightly as she takes a step toward them, but stops as she sees the Vozhd-Kahars approach.

Markus Kahar approaches the two nobles, his own nephew in tow. He smiles lightly, running a hand through his short whitish beard. "... again, thank you both for coming. I must admit to you know that I had an alterior motive for this event. I needed a venue to speak with both of you quietly - in a fashion to not arouse the suspicion of the other two, notably absent, Landed Houses."

Jafron Seamel turns to meet the two Kahars, a hand returning to the polished pommel of his blade. The is a look of curiosity about him, quickly covered by a stoic mask of indifference. Nothing is spoken, the noble merely nodding his head so as to say, 'go on.'

Adaer Kahar steps in behind Markus and looks to him as he speaks. When Markus pauses once Adaer, Patron or Marble Grove, then nods to both of the nobles. The Baron is a bit perplexed although he hides it well with a sincere look of interest in what Markus says on his face.

Damiante turns full on, facing the Duke. "What is this about, Your Grace,' she asks. "You sound grave."

Alainne continues tow ander slightly, moving slowly, taking the time to peek at the two designs again.

Markus Kahar clears his throat, speaking as quietly as he can. "... As you're both well aware, tensions are growing between the Houses Zahir and Mikin. Recently I invited both of their paeterfamilia to join in summit in Vozhdya - to find a peaceful resolution to the conflict. Most recently..." he pauses, peers back at the lingering Alainne, and calls out, "... good evening, Madame."

Adaer Kahar moves in a bit closer to hear the hushed tones. He looks over to Alainne as Markus calls out to her but then throws his attention back to the noble group.

Damiante follows the Duke's eyes toward her bard. "I'll see you at the Keep, Alaine," she says with a nod. "No need to wait for me. I must consult with my noble cousins in private." Her voice is stern, yet kind.

Alainne bows politely to Dami, "Yes, M'Lady," she calls backs softly. "Forgive me if I've intruded upon a noble matter," she adds, before turning towards an exit swiftly.

Jafron Seamel drums a silent tattoo against the brass pommel all the while focused upon Markus. "That fool of a Mikin stamped the life out of a good man," he notes, "I personally shared posts with him on more than one occasion. But yes, a peaceful solution is in order..."

Markus Kahar glances back to Damiante admiringly, "Your sense of noblisee oblige is admirable; it does service to your family name." Upon Jafron's comment, however, the Duke purses his lips. "Fool; perhaps. My own nephew tried to breach wounds with the House, also to no avail. They sought an alliance - politically sensible, except in terms of a Kahar household. We may make no alliance that jeopardizes our Emperor's power."

Markus coughs, seeing Alainne leaving the room. "... in any event: most recently, I received a dispatch back from the Mikin Duke. He rejects my invitation and instead relegates his sister, Rowena, to attend. While I am fond of the Duchess, she does not hold the authority to heal this matter. He feels that his squabble deserves an Imperial audience only. He already has it. The Emperor wishes me to heal this rift, quietly, and in His wisdom cares not for the parties to know of it. Alieron is being somewhat uncooperative. This is why I seek your help."

Damiante stands, hands behind her back and listens closely following the Duke's movements with her eyes. "What would you have us do, Your Grace," she says. "Although I appreciate your confidence, my resources and position are limited in this matter."

Adaer Kahar nods when Markus mentions him. "Of course," Adaer says chiming in about not wanting to jeopordize our Emperor's power. Adaer the listens to what Damiante has to say and merely looks back to Markus.

The drumming ends and Jafron withdraws the hand, arms folding across his chest. "And what means would you take for Alieron's cooperation?"

Damiante's guard approaches the Baroness and after bowing to each noble, bend to whisper something into her ear. The Baroness listens carefully, a frwon forming along her brow. "Yes, of course," she replies quietly, then turning to the Duke and the other nobles, says, 'Your forgiveness, Your Grace, Excellencies. My guard has just informed me of an important matter that must be attended to before I can retire. I ask your indulgence, and hope you will allow me to return at a later time to disuss my role in your plan, Your Grace."

Markus Kahar nods, looking between the two nobles. "That is up to you. He is an intelligent man, and you are both people known to have ways and means in these sort of matters - Jafron and Damiante - write a letter. Speak with him privately. Make clear that the other great houses are concerned about the security of the realm. My point, perhaps, is that the Emperor would surely appreciate knowing that certain members of the Great Houses are working for his betterment in war and... in peace."

Braids swinging, Damiante bows. "Of course, Your Grace," she replies. "I will do what you ask in due haste." She a smile and a bow to each Baron in turn, she says, "I hopw to see you all at my home soon." And with that, she follows her guard out the Mastery doors.

"I will do what I can," Jafron says, "Though I am not so confident in my skills of persuasion as you are. If that is all then I shall take my leave, there is a long road home. I thank you for an enjoyable evening."

Markus Kahar nods, "Light keep you. I will call a carriage for you. Thank you for your help, and good roads home."

Jafron Seamel draws his cloak about himself and departs then.

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