Visit with the Empress

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DragonKitty

Scholar
It is late in the night when Victoria leaves her estate accompanied by a couple of her guards and makes her way to the city home of the Dark Elves, for a meeting with the Empress.

Approaching the front gate she is greeted first by two Dark Elf guards, who upon recognizing the Grand Duchess, bow and allow her to pass. The door of the mansion opens to her knock and she is shown inside by a servant. Instructing one of her guards to remain here at the front, Victoria and her second guard are quickly taken downstairs to one of the opulent rooms below. Victoria is shown into a lovely drawing room, filled with rich fabrics, dark wood furnishings, lit only by candlelight and a warm fire flickering in the fire place. Her guard that accompanied her downstairs, stands to the side of the door and waits outside the room.

She settles into a chair by the fireplace to await the Empress.
 

Aclodava

Artisan
The empress enters the room, and proceeds to formally greet the Grand Duchess, “Your grace, thank-you for coming at such a late hour.” She then sits in the chair opposite. “Before we begin, I have ordered refreshments. They should arrive momentarily.”

A dark elf woman with pierced ears enters the room carrying a silver tray bearing a silver teapot and two finely decorated cups with saucers. Another follows carrying a tray of a section of snacks and treats, both dark elf and human. The food is set on a low table between the chairs. The servant bows and backs out of the room. The other serves the tea before leaving the room as well, closing the door behind her.

“Now, where shall we start?”
 

DragonKitty

Scholar
Having stood at the Empress's entrance and given a formal bow, Victoria resumes her seat. After the tea is poured, she takes a sip and smiles at her host.

"Let me start by saying how sorry I am that you were distressed at the recent Masquerade. It was definitely not a normal series of events and certainly quite unplanned." Victoria pauses before continuing.

"In fact, I have discovered through my discussions with both Queen Ava and the Colonel of the Home Guard, that the Masquerade was to have been cancelled. Not just moved."
 

Aclodava

Artisan
Angerona raises a white eyebrow, “distressed is putting it very mildly.” She sets down her cup. “I cannot say I am surprised that the original event was cancelled. There were many indications that we were not supposed to be there.” She selects a white pastry. “My senator informed me the coward of a host disappeared shortly after I left, when the gathering was attacked. Has he been located yet?” She sits back and takes a bite.
 

DragonKitty

Scholar
Victoria scowls "No, the treacherous rat has gone into hiding. I've put my best men on the hunt for him. As you requested in your letter, I will find him and see that he pays. My conversation with the Colonel enforced my belief that our host is a member of the Sect. A group who seems to have substantial resources. A Baron by the name of Morteg was confirmed to have been working with the Sect last winter, I suspect that he might not be the only one of the world's nobility to be in their ranks." She takes another sip of tea and reaches for a pastry herself. "If nobles are involved, the matter of dealing with the Sect could become more difficult as greater delicacy might be required." Taking a bite of pastry she looks deep in thought.
 

Aclodava

Artisan
“This sect is quite a problem. As open supporters of Al’Zoon, they need to be dealt with. Unfortunately, humans have lost memory of the villain, making your race easily swayed by his false promises. I have not forgotten his visceral evil. He has begun as he did in the past, trying to divide us. We must make every effort to remain united.” She pauses to sip her tea. “I have an excellent hunter quite adept at catching rats should you require assistance. I do hope Regent Az’Caine returns soon. I’m sure he would have the perfect punishment for him, while avoiding his becoming a martyr. We will also need him for the vote.”

Angerona pauses, in thought. “What of your nephew, the prince? I hear he also made an appearance after my departure?”
 

DragonKitty

Scholar
Finishing her pastry, Victoria sips her tea before speaking. “I agree, my friend. We need to see an end to this Sect once and for all. Al’Zoon is a vile creature, who doesn’t need any help from mislead supporters to make him more evil. We should be concentrating on defeating him, not having to first subdue our own peoples who have fallen for his lies. But, alas deal with supporters we must, so we start small one Sect leader at a time, which right now is this so-called Knight Blaukner. I shall welcome any assistance your hunter can provide, perhaps we can demonstrate the effectiveness of working together. Unity is going to be required amongst all our realms races, if we are to have a hope of defeating his evil. Let it start with you and I, as friends and allies, we can prove that it can be done.” She smiles at Angerona, thankful that her brother had sent her all those years ago to handle the treaty between the Dark Elves and Calanda. At the time she never expected a friendship to form with the Empress, but over the years has been very pleased that one did.

“As for my wayward nephew, Yes, he also made an appearance. And was taken, we believe by the Sect, during the chaotic attack that happened.” Victoria looks sad for a moment and quietly continues. “Queen Ava and I believe his appearance there was an impulsive act of taking advantage of the situation, rather than actually being part of the despicable plan that had us all there. He, like his father is impulsive and brash, and he is still young and eager to prove himself a man without the calming influence of time and experience to curb his impulsiveness. Something that I hope that he will gain eventually. While I can’t support him for the crown or even support his current course of actions for which he must be held accountable, as his Aunt I do hold a small glimmer of hope that he might eventually come around in a few years’ time, to being a better man.”
 

Aclodava

Artisan
Angerona nods. “Such is the way of youth, whether decades or a handful of years, the only way to maturity is experience. I wish you luck with him, you and Queen Ava; it appears you will need it.”

She sips her tea. “As for the hunter, I will have him sent to your estate to work with your men. He is fluent in common so there should be no communication issues. This Blaukner will be caught and made to answer for his actions. The show of cooperation is a nice little bonus.”

“Lastly, I wish to inquire after the Sarr that found the poison, Jaxx? Undoubtedly, his honor would have demanded he stay and defend his actions. What is to be done with him?”
 

DragonKitty

Scholar
“Ah Jaxx, he did remain for the rest of the event. I did not feel the need to ask him to defend his actions to me, for I was quite thankful that he had acted. I am not certain if any of the other nobles spoke with him. However, I did visit Magi Corstar after the event and after some discussion, we've concluded that unless Blaukner comes forward and formally charges Jaxx with assault or mockery then he shall face no immediate legal punishment. As you know, the guest rite isn't legally binding; it's more implied manners that we all follow and typically doesn’t need to be announced the way that Blaukner did. So, it will be up to each individual present to decide for themselves if either Jaxx or Blaukner were in violation of the guest rite, and if such actions were justifiable. There may be those that will no longer trust or think less of Jaxx because of his actions, but the actions themselves are not legally punishable.”

Victoria smiles as she says “I kind of hope that Blaukner does come forward to accuse Jaxx, as then we will be able to find the rat easily." Looking thoughtful she continues "I should ask Jaxx for his assistance in dealing with Blaukner once he's found, I am sure that he would quite enjoy seeing the man brought to justice."
 

Aclodava

Artisan
Angerona smiles wryly. “No doubt.” She finally finishes her pastry.

“There is quite the long list of names for the high crown this time. I must say I was surprised to see your name on it, along with a number of other human nobles with whom I am not familiar. As this is my fourteenth Grand Council, I intend to speak with every candidate. Perhaps it is time for a woman to take command. The men have made a complete mess of things. May I ask your motivations?”
 

DragonKitty

Scholar
Victoria nods and sighs “My desire and goal would be to bring us to a position of strength through unity. We need a ruler who is able to see the big picture of looking at the entire realm and all its strengths and weaknesses, not focused on just one part. It is my firm belief that our next ruler must unite all the races, to get them to work together, as that is the only way we will win against Al’Zoon and the Dark Reaches. With my experience of diplomatic negotiations it seems to me that I might be well-suited to that task. We have valuable resources at hand, such as the newly re-discovered Lux Obscura, which will be imperative to defeating Al’zoon and so must be protected. But that alone will not be enough, our best hope is total unity, combining the strengths of all the people of this great realm and focusing them into one cause to defeat evil. I would like to put my skills, compassion and experience towards that noble goal, unity and seeing an end to Al’Zoon and his threats.”
 

Aclodava

Artisan
Angerona nods. “We are in agreement. There is no greater threat than Al’Zoon, and we must be united if we hope to defeat him. I would like to ask you further about this Lux Obscura, but I believe we have run out of time. Thank-you for coming at such short notice. It has been a pleasure, as always.”
 
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