Victoria returns to her residence after seeing the Queen. Handing her cloak off to the waiting footman, she says "Please have one of the lads come to me in my study, I have a message that needs delivering." The footman replies "Yes Your Grace, and while you were out this arrived for you." handing her the scroll. Victoria takes it and heads into her study. Sitting down at her desk, she quickly writes a note and seals it. Just as she finishes, Thomas comes into the room. "Ah Thomas, please see that this note is delivered to the Colonel of the Home Guard immediately." The lad takes the note smiling and bowing exits the room, off to see his errand complete. With that done, Victoria picks up the scroll and breaking the seal, opens it and begins reading.
Victoria sets aside the note from the Empress, she will respond to that in a little bit. She then gets up and moves to the door. Speaking to the guard outside she says "Please ask Stig to come to me.". Walking back to her desk she starts mentally going over the questions she has for the Colonel when he arrives.
A short time later Stig walk in giving a quick nod as he enters followed along side by a small grey wolf pup
"Thomas says Her Grace need see Stig?"
Stig looks down at the happy pup vigorusly wagging his tail
"N Roth hear him say you name. Wanted come too"
Stig reaches down giving the pup a pat on the back side and pointing to the Grand Dutchess
"Go on boy"
The pup runs up and sits at her feet wagging his tail even more vigorusly then before
Victoria smiles at the puppy, reaching down to pet him. Her hand sinking into his soft fur. Straightening she says "Yes, thank you Stig. I have sent for the Colonel of the Home Guard to come for a meeting. I would like it if you would be in the room with me when he comes. If you'll wait with me, he should be here shortly." She bends down again to pet Roth, smiling at the way his whole body wiggles with the furious wagging of his tail.
"I have a question that I have to ask him, and I hope that I will like his answer. When he arrives, we will both find out." She says, finishing petting Roth she sits back in her chair, letting the puppy explore the room as he wishes while they wait.
Arriving at their destination, Thomas and Xamot pass by the guards and make their way to the Duchess study. Thomas knocks on the door, then enters and after taking a few steps into the room bows. "Your Grace, the Colonel said he would be pleased to meet with you and will be here shortly." Watching Roth learn a new command from Stig, Victoria doesn't turn around to look at the boy but says "Thank you Thomas. Please go await the Colonels arrival, when you see him please come tell me that he has arrived." Thomas says "Yes, Your Grace!" and turns to leave. Flashing Xamot a huge smile, he darts out of the room to go watch.
At the sound of Xamot’s voice, Victoria turns around and smiles. “Xamot, this is a pleasant surprise. What brings you by today? I do hope that it isn’t because Thomas pestered you on his errand to the barracks.”
Xamot moves toward them casually. "Not at all, I am just killing two birds with one stone so to speak. I was on my way to see the Colonel when I saw Thomas, when he mentioned he was coming here I decided I would come and see how you faired with the Empress."
Before Victoria can respond, Thomas opens the door, bows and says “The Colonel has arrived Your Grace.” Victoria takes a seat at her desk and says “Thank you Thomas. Can you please take Roth outside and play with him for a bit.” Thomas nods and takes his leave, and with a signal from Stig the wolf puppy follows him, Thomas closes the door behind them.
Victoria finds herself alone once again, her meeting with the Colonel complete and Stig and Xamot having left to return to their duties. Picking up the scroll from Empress, she reads it once again.
Her Grace, Grand Duchess Victoria Masterson,
My friend, it was lovely to have seen you again, though I am disappointed the circumstances were less than ideal. I do hope you and the others made it out safely, as I departed directly after the death elixir was served, unable to tolerate the many affronts any longer. As you have spent much time in our city in the past, I am sure I do not have to explain these to you.
However, I wish to address our purported host. I was most distressed to learn from my Senator of the nefarious means which he employed to acquire the residence we attended that evening. If what I have been informed is even partially true, there is more than enough to charge him. I suspect our attendance at the residence was not intended, which would constitute multiple abductions of nobility, even if we were allowed to leave. This alone should be more than enough to have the wholly dishonorable man removed. I trust you to handle the situation appropriately, if indeed my suspicions are correct.
Further to the attempted poisoning of the nobility, I believe we owe a debt to the Sarr whom discovered that someone had tampered with drinks intended for toasting. I believe there is a provision in your laws that states any that attack a noble require punishment. While I did not see whom he attacked, I can only assume it was whom he believed responsible; it was entirely justified and I will be most unhappy if he is to receive any punishment for this. I know not what is implied with “guest right” as I am not familiar with this custom. With the behavior of the self-styled host, I would speculate this concept is entirely invented. However, if this Jaxx (I believe his name was) is to receive punishment, I would insist it be in my service as it was my cup in which the poison was detected, and I could make use of his skills.
I was disappointed to learn that you were not selected as your race’s representative to the Grand Council. It would have been welcome to have an ally in the room. Count Wheatley is pleasant enough dinner company, though I’m not sure he is entirely prepared for what awaits him at council.
Please send a reply with your safe return home. As you know, we sleep during the day when on the surface.
Empress Angerona Naeina Masq’il’yr of Shadowrose
Grabbing a new piece of parchment and picking up her quill, she opens her ink pot and begins to write a quick reply. Noting there is simply too much to discuss in a letter, Victoria requests a meeting at the Empress's earliest convenience. Sealing the scroll, she rings for a messenger to come collect it and get instructions on its delivery after dark.