A Celebration of Common Interests - RPLOG
The party starts when Lanette starts her playing. Some of the assembled beings sit for a while and enjoy the music. A lot of beings seem to be around the hall. Standing furthest away from the crowds are two beings in Creator Church robes, both obviously high ranking, but both seem to be from a different nation.
William takes another sip from his cup before looking at Edmund and nodding his head, "Sympathies appreciated." he comments as he eyes Zuri and shakes his head when looking back at Edmund, "I am rather unfamiliar with Ridgewell and his supporters." he comments idly as his eyes glance another being, a red deer who seems to be mingling with the other scholars, but he quickly averts his gaze to focus on his entourage.
Next to the food table is a rather portly, mid-twenties gray wolf. The being is sporting a humble attire, in comparison to the more gaudily dressed people in the room, and is happily wolfing ((HAHA)) down food, currently there seems to be no one around her except a larger white oryx, who seems to be her body guard.
Zuri watches the beginning of the performance with a happy, wide smile. He walks over towards another table of refreshments, this time picking out a drink out of a tray. He sips daintily out of the fancy crystal glass as he regards the nearby being, a gray wolf who is clearly enjoying the food.. a lot. He paces close, careful not to invade his personal space too quickly. "Greetings sir! Quite the party this, isn't it?" He smiles, and proceeds to introduce himself.
Edmund turns to face the stage, still standing close to William. "I confess, I know little of him myself, save that he has brought in our Sweetwater Freeswords recently for several caravans and expeditions," the hippo says, "Based out of Braevales, I understand." He sips from his champaigne. "I understand that you arvying for your father's seat on the council?" he probes.
It isn't Lanette's first time performing for a function like this, and she knows enough to be able to play her notes and sing in her alto tones in a way that doesn't detract from the discussions themselves. She keeps it a quiet, hopefully pleasing ambience for the audience. Gentle lyrics of waning summer days in, where else, but Cliffside, accompanied by the melody of the harp.
Like tends to draw like, and Mindaugas diverts his course and attempts to shuffle towards the fellow Church members. Unfortunately, he brushes against Reginald nonetheless, and he immediately tenses up. Just his luck! All he had wanted to do was speak with some cohorts, and instead he has to hang behind because this...Lynx can't be bothered to look where he's going! With a stiff motion that suggests lots of practice but little experience, he turns around and gives a very slight bow. "Pardon me, good sir," he mumbles, waiting for an acceptance of his apology so he can get on with it.
Reginald turns to the moose, stunned by his own actions. He hurries out a response to the gaffe. "My most ... ," the lynx pauses for a moment, searching for the right words. " ... sinc.. sincere of apologies for my clumsiness", returning the bow in the attempt to placate. Despite his lack of experience with the decorum of high society, there is obvious desperation in his voice, as he is aware that it is he who owes the moose an apology, not the other way round.
Some of the beings, mainly foreigners, stick around the stage listening to the exotic, for their ears at least, music and singing.
Ridgewell can be seen speaking with a rather old looking, early forties for those keeping score, golden hamster.
William nods his head, "As far as I know he moved there recently due to that ruins he discovered." the bat says as he sips his wine, "And indeed as everyone knows I am vying for the late Elder's position. And unlike what my detractors claim, I am doing so based on my own merit. The relationship to the previous elder is simply coincidental. I don't want people thinking that we base hour leadership here on some blood connection."
The gray wolfess finishes a piece of pastry on her steak before handing her plate to her bodyguard and nodding her head to Zuri, "Ah, hello there, cutie." she says with a smile as she extends her hand, "I am Maria Contanto, a merchant of sorts from Olispona." she says in a rather heavy Andrussian accent. Anyone who ever bothered going to the Emerald Isle would know that the 'humble' wolf merchant is actually once of the biggest heads of commerce there, some even joking about her owning half the city's craftsmen.
Lanette's singing eventually tapers off, though the harp work continues a few more moments before it, too, draws to a close. With her song done, the wintery wolf stands to offer a bow, a few smiles, and even a couple of waves to the group that had approached the stage. With promises of her return, she vacates the stage to allow for the other entertainers to make their presence, taking her harp back to her room.
Edmund frowns a little at the veiled jab at Sweetwater's monarchy, but lets it slide. "On what merits does the council choose the late elder's successor?" he asks.
Zuri reaches over to take the wolfess' hand in a hand shake, smiling up at her pleasantly. "Zuri Pondleaf, of Sweetwater. Senior partner at the Pathfinder's Society. A pleasure to meet yet another being from the fine Emerald Isle! Beautiful place, and beautiful people too." He says with a brief smirk.
Reparations made, Mindaugas tries to disentangle himself once more, slowly and genty cutting a path through the room towards the Church affiliates. Please don't leave, he thinks--at the very least, he might get fresh news from another land. And maybe learn why, exactly, he's stuck standing around here.
After dropping off the harp with her golem, Lanette makes her appearance again, working across the hall towards the feasting table once more. Taking in the various travelers, some more foreign than others, she takes mental notes and helps herself to a few of the finer, smaller foods.
The bat takes another sip from his glass before finally handing it to one of his minders, "Ideally, an elder is chosen depending on his skills in politics and administration, his diplomatic ability, and obviously his own history about how he achieved what he did."
The wolf smiles at Zuri and nods her head, "Oh, you flatterer, and an adventurer too. That must be quite the nice job." she says with a smile, "Well just so you know, I will be holding a contest there on Olispona so you might want to come visit us again soon."
By the time Lanette is out of the stage a group of minstrels arrive, quickly setting up, before they start playing some traditional Cliffside music.
Edmund passes his own empty flute along and joins in polite applause for the retiring singer. "Forgive my ignorance," he says, "But I know little about the goings on in Cliffside, except in the most general terms. What is it that you are best known for, Mister Alington, that would set you up to take your father's seat." All this politicking is hungry work, and the hippo stops a servant and relieves them of their entire tray of edibles, waving them away when they try to protest.
Zuri blinks at the wolfess, than smiles. "A contest? What manner of contest?" He giggles. "With our society attracting folks interested in travel and seeing distant lands, maybe I can get you some contestants to go with it as well." He briefly glances over the rest of the party, then returns his attention to the wolfess. "How goes the trade nowadays? What with the situation in Cliffside messing things up for everyone in one way or another?"
Reginald , keeping one ear trained as much as possible on the conversation between Edmund and William, circles the two beings. It isn't long before he comes across a small group of Cliffside merchants positioned not too far from the pair, and takes the opportunity to join and enquire about how business fares for them. As for the answer, he only offers up token engagement, mind currently focussed on other matters.
"I understand Father Hawkes." says the aging Arabian Leopard, with what is clearly a Shralestan accent before he turns around and nods at Mindaugas, "I see that one of our Thera'Doran brothers has arrived."
The Cliffsider otter being known as Father Hawkes quickly turns around to regard the moose, the otter seeming of similar age as his partner, both late thirties, "Greetings child. I am Father Hawkes of the Creator Saints Church of Cliffside." he says with a nod as he gestures to the other being, "This is the honoured Azzam Bahij. He had graced us with his presence here today." he says with a smile. "The pleasure is all mine." the leopard adds before looking back at the younger, larger priest, "What is your name, child?"
Edmund eats his full tray of goodies quickly, but carefully, not spilling so much as a crumb. "To be honest," he says around a mouthful of some sort of stuffed bread roll, "The Crown has little interest in who wins the council seat. Only in seeing that this disruption does not halt trade or diplomatic relationships."
Mindaugas finally breeaks free of the clot of beings towards the middle, hos long drooping face almost turned up in a smile as he draws upon his churchly fellows. "Please, parrdon my intrrusion, good beings. I am Mindaugas Alderrman, of Therra'Dorr, and it is my pleasurre to make yourr acquaintances, Fatherr Hawkes, and good...Azzam Ba...heedge," he says, imitating Hawke's pronunciation a little too literally. A flash of heat burns hours normally-cool brow as he worries about losing face...especially in front of the head of a Church.
The wolfess grins at Zuri and leans closer, "Why a marksmanship contest of course. But the reward is what I am excited for." she added with a snicker, "I gave one of my master artisans all the materials he could ever need and told me to be creative. He made a really fancy one of a kind pistol. That will be the reward of the contest."
The bat nods his head, "Of course, keeping our trade relationship and peace with Sweetwater is one of our top priorities. Despite what house Wirefurs attempted to do." the bat tucks his hands behind his back, "Of course, of course. You would not know much about my work. You see I mainly focus on the trade between my nation and the allied nation of Andrussya. I mainly trade with the mainland rather than their colonies. Exchanging fruit wines and Cliffside literature for glassware and their more exotic fruits." he adds idly, seemingly not caring for the hippo's savage way of eating.
The old leopard chuckles and shakes his head, "It is Bahij, brother. Do not worry about it, it is always a hard name to pronounce." the leopard sighs, "Father Hawkes have been just discussing with me matters of church in Cliffside and his attempts to increase our influence here in Cliffside." To which Hawkes quickly nods his head and starts speaking, "Indeed, I am planning on working to become a candidate for the elder council. A member of the church in such a position will be able to increase the standing of the church here in Cliffside. The honoured Bahij however thinks that it is a job that will move a priest away from his work for the good of beings and teaching them about the first text and into a life of politics, what do you think young brother? The opinion of the young might help us older beings sometimes."
Having nibbled on her 'fill,' or at least until she can have her privacy to really eat, Lanette taps her chin before wandering off to find someone to mingle with, even if they're not of a particularly prestigious position. Though she pauses when she over hears the mention of a marksmanship contest. That might be fun!
Edmund sucks a dollop of sauce from his thick fingers, foisting his now empty tray into the hands of a passing servant. "I am more of a military man, myself," the hippo says, nearly tripping another servant as he relieves them of their food tray, "Trade and diplomacy are for others. I'm really just here to see what happens." He nods again to the bat and turns to mingle some a bit, his round ear twitching at the hint of conversation between the priests.
Zuri smiles brightly. "Marksmanship! You know, that sounds like very good fun, especially with such an exquisite prize." He glances around to find out where Edmund is, then continues. "You'll find plenty of challengers among the beings of Firmament and Sweetwater. Our very own Lord Edmund is said to be an artist with the bow. Not so sure about the pistol but.." He grins sheepishly. "Myself, I am not that good, but I will gladly participate. Nothing ventured, nothing gained, isn't it?"
Edmund finds himself instantly deflected from his original course by the combination of his name and shameless flattery. "What is this about a marksmanship contest?" he asks, plucking tasty munchables from his purloined plate.
A sheep being accidentally collides with Lanette as she walks. The being quickly lowers his head and wiggles his fingers, "I am really, really, really sorry, my lady. I did not see you there. I am a bit clumsy at times, sorry." he says as stands there avoiding her gaze, it is obvious that this being is out of his depth among the people around him.
The she-wolf grins at Zuri and shakes her head, "Bows? I guess they are acceptable for war or hunting, but no true Andrussian marksmanship contest can be done without at least everything firing a musket once." she adds with a grin, "Mind you the pistol is kinda of a new-fangled thing. So it is definitely not something that someone should use as his main armament." the merchant adds as she picks up some more food for herself.
Lanette has her attention snapped back to her front when the sheep bumbles into her, but she shakes it off and frowns. "That's quite alright." She steps back, offering a hand. "Lanette Lockwood, and you are?" she asks, eyeing him with an appraising gaze.
Edmund puffs out his chest. "Not so bad with a musket, myself," he boasts, "I prefer something a bit lighter of course, for the sake of mobility, but I am a good shot with nigh anthing as fires a ball or bolt!" The short hippo gives an appraising look at the wolf. "I feel like I should know you," he says, "Andrussian, I assume, from your accent."
Zuri straightens as Edmund approaches, offering the hippo a polite bow of the head. "Lord Edmund!" He looks between the two, happy to let them talk while listening in.
Reginald interest is piqued upon hearing of William's connection to Andrussya, and, now that Edmund has departed, the lynx makes his way towards the bat. "Mr ... William, is it?" Reginald does his best to look as innocent as possible. "Pardon the intrusion, but I am told that, when it comes to trade with Andrussya, your the man to speak to. The names Johnson ... " He breaks for a moment, hand outstretched in greeting. "I'm but a small time merchant, however I was recently approached with a deal from some Andrussyian traders and I wondered if, as long as it isn't too much trouble, you could offer some advice on your experiences with them?"
Reginald also feels sorry for Rokarion, who now has to deal with 4 different conversations (sorry :) ).
The sheep being nods his head before finally looking back at the singer, "It is an honor to meet you, Miss Lockwood. I am but a humble merchant, Bidemus Woolsworth." he says with a nervous smile, "I was actually quite surprised when Mister Ridgewell himself invited me here." he says with a sigh, "I think he really liked the cloak that I made him."
The wolf merchants looks at Edmund and nods her head, "First time I see one of the fabled Goods of Sweetwater. I see that you are as horizontally gifted as the rumours claim." the wolf says with a wink, "And aye, I am Andrussian. From the city of merchants too. I am hosting a contest there, Maria Contanto the name." she adds as she hands yet another empty tray to her solemn guard.
William is once more diverted from his conversation as he looks at Reginald. The bat rubs his chin and quickly puts on his diplomatic pose as he fails to recognize the being's foreign accent, "Ah, of course, sir. Cliffside holds nothing but respect to the fellow Andrussian government. They are indeed some of the fairest traders in all of Promise. Might I suggest focusing your trade in the Emerald Isle colony. It is the center of trade for their nation, and it is perhaps the closest island they have to this continent. After all going any further will prove risky from someone a nation that mus be far away."
Edmund is momentarily startled and almost forgets to swallow before speaking. "THE Maria Contanto?" he asks, obviously surprised, "What brings you so far from home? Not just Mister Ridgewell's party, I would guess." He lets the comment on hus weight slide. He IS a hippo now, after all. Only dignified for a hippo to be moderately stout!
Mindaugas would have been as giddy as a schoolgirl, if a life of rigorous discipline and orthodoxy hadn't sucked it all out of him. An earnest discussion with fellow memebers of the Church! People with the exact same problems he was having! Asking his opinions on important matters! The Grand Moose strokes his beardlike dewlap as he weighs over the predicament in his mind. "The Alderrmann family rrefuses to sit upon the thrrone of Therra'dorr for the rreasons you name, Brrotherr Bad-heeje"--there he goes, stumbling over that name again!--"but then, faith in the Churrch rruns strrong in Therra'dorr," he muses gruffly, rolling those Rs together. "Each noble family has at least one Alderrmann with whom they may consult and confide in, and we will gladly offerr the guidance of the Firrst Text to those in need, be they of noble or common birrth.
"Howeverr, in my time spent in Sweetwaterr"--his droning voice takes on a tone of mild distaste at this--"they do not appearr to pay as much heed to the Churrch, favorring theirr good forrtune, theirr land of plenty, and these...Spirrits of unknown orrigin, who awarrd followerrs with gifts forr serrving theirr inscrutable ways. They attend the masses, aye, but I do not see them upholding the true spirrit of the Firrst Text, keeping themselves strrong that they may tame a harrsh, unfamiliarr worrld.
"Nor do the nobility appearr to elevate the institution, that I know of. They honorr theirr academics, theirr harrvests, theirr arrmy officerrs...but only turrn to the Churrch for cerremony and charrity." A loud, huffing snort escapes from Mindaugas as he turns to the Otter, eyes wide and curious. "Fatherr Hawkes, in your estimation, how do Cliffsiderrs currently hold the Churrch?
Zuri nods at the wolfess' words. "Lord Edmund is a true ambassador for the Goods and the King, a being of true nobility and substance." He smiles. "And an appreciator of the finest delicacies the world over. Is it true that Andrussia boasts some of the finest, sweetest wine to be found in Promise?" He says, in a very obvious bait for the hippo.
Reginald responds to the bat with a slight bow of his head in appreciation. "Thank you for you invaluable advice - there is just one thing more. The traders that approached me said they were of House Kanmi." The lynx peers at him intently upon the mention of this house, looking to discern any kind of reaction, before swiftly continuing, "I wonder if you yourself have had any dealings with them, and could vouch for their trustworthiness?"
Lanette folds her hands behind her back, then, nodding at the sheep. "Well, you must have done something impressive to be invited here, so don't be so nervous. Everyone here is here because they did -something- impressive once, to the right people. Be it managing academies, running trade, singing, or... Making cloaks."
Edmund slurps a bit of sauce from a finger, then strokes his finely trimmed mustache at Zuri's flattery. "Fine wines AND a marksmanship contest?" he ponders aloud, "I suppose it HAS been a while since an official ambassador has been to Andrussya. . ."
Edmund slurps a bit of sauce from a finger, then strokes his finely trimmed mustache at Zuri's flattery. "Fine wines AND a marksmanship contest?" he ponders aloud, "I suppose it HAS been a while since an official ambassador has been to Andrussya. . ."
Maria shakes his head and snickers, "I guess the lack of Andrussian ships and presence in Sweetwater makes us look quite distant, doesn't it?" she asks with a snicker, "The Emerald Isle is in fact about a week's journey from Braevales if you are using a loaded merchant ship. So it isn't quite that far from this city, but the mainland on the other hand. Now there is a journey." she adds as she looks down at Zuri as he praises his nation's 'royalty' but makes no other comment. "Ah, well a Cliffsider would claim that they make the finest fruit wines here, but in Adrussya we do praise ourselves for our vineyards, among other things."
The two older priests listen intently to the moose before he sends a question to Father Hawkes. The otter being shakes his head, "While I would argue with you that nobility in itself is an institution that devalues the church no matter how religious, let us focus on your question." Hawkes rubs his chin before sighing, "In Cliffside only certain parts of the First Text are really taken to heart, like the importance of merit, and how all beings are equal. But in general the nation is far from religious. The masses are attended and the praises are said, but by the end it is the meritocracy that rules us here. Which is great, however a lot of beings forget some of the other teachings of the First Text in this race of merit, choosing to lie, cheat, sabotage, and using other unfavourable means to prove their 'capability'."
William rubs his chin and tries to focus at the mention of house Kanmi before nodding his head, "Ah, house Kanmi. I believe that they are a minor merchant family in the Emerald Isle, their ship recently survived a piracy attempt. But I do not deal with them so I would have no idea. You see my focus is on the mainland of Andrussya, not their colonies."
Reginald is noticeably saddened by the bat's response. "That is a shame, and it was such a favourable trade deal. Unfortunately, I can ill afford to risk my livelihood unless I know who exactly I'm dealing with, especially in such uncertain times." Suddenly, the lynx turns to William, last ditch hope shining from his eye "I know this is a long shot, but I don't suppose you know anyone who has had dealings with House Kanmi? If so, I could go to them to hear of their experiences, and, if all goes well, the deal could still go through?"
Mindaugas squirms noticably as Father Hawkes disparages nobility, given that he himself technically is. Before he can raise an objection, though, the Priest returns to the discussion at hand, and the Moose is obliged to drop it, instead thinking over the right way to handle this (and not aware that this is, in fact, dabbling in politics! The horror!) "The Firrst Text implorres the strrong and able to lead theirr community, as ourr shepherrds lead their flocks. But it also states that we should seek to avoid fighting amongst ourrselves, as this weakens us all." He rubs his chin in thought. "I would rather not prrovide any endorrsement orr rreproval without the furrther apprroval of my family orr my goverrnment, but if you swearr to conduct yourrself wholly in line with the teachings of the Churrch, and do not stoop to the level of those cheats, those saboteurrs, those who would considerr virrtues merre obstacles to success, I could find no fault with it. "Howeverr, I would fearr forr yourr churrchly duties, should yourr time be consumed by yourr political ones." Not a bad compromise, all things considered! Perhaps Mindaugas is more politic than he would care to admit...
Edmund holds out an arm to the large wolf. "I would be glad to hear more about your country and this contest," he says, "Perhaps if you would like to join me for a late supper?"
The sheep being nods his head to Lanette, "Oh, of course. Mister Ridgewell had invite a lot of normal beings like myself too. He truly believes in merit, I think he is a perfect example of what an elder should be like, showing all what Cliffside stands for."
William rubs his chin and shrugs, "As I said, they are a really minor house. I think anyone who deals with them can be counted on fingers and all of them will be found in Braevales, but I do not know who those people would be."
Father Hawke nods his head, "Ah, in the case of my election most of my priestly duties would be attend by others of the church. I would spend most of my time representing the interests of the church in the Elders Council. I think it is an acceptable compromise for a stronger presence of the church in Cliffside. But we can discuss this matter more in the nearby church here, we can use the library in there." The otter says as he motions for the two priests to follow him.
The merchant wolf smirks, "Sure, we can do that, but you are paying for supper." she says with a giggle before looking down at Zuri, "Come cutie, I bet you will be interested in knowing what are the best wines to get."
Lanette smiles fondly at the sheep, nodding along. "Yes, it sounds like it. I can't say I know him very well, personally. I'm a city girl. I can't say I recall what his sort of business is, but it doesn't seem to be the show business! Which is my business. I'm also not one for politics. All that... Decision making, advising... Not my thing. More than happy to sing and play for them, though."
Zuri reaches over to snatch one last canape as he begins to follow the wolfess and Edmund to this dinner. He's more than happy to rub elbows with the lovely Andrussian and with one of the Goods. He grins sheepisly up at her. "I'd be honoured to join you both.
Reginald thanks William for his time and excuses himself, subtly looking back over his shoulder when out of the bat's sight, but otherwise focussed on other matters.
Edmund leads his date +1 out of the party, chatting happily about his own exploits and high hopes for Andrussya and the trip he has already planned in his mind.
As the most of the celebration dies down, Mindaugas gladly accepts the invitation to continue further discussion of boring politics and even more boring Church work. Any observers might notice this is the most excited the giant stoic Moose has displayed, outside of a weekend in the wilderness.
And with that the party goes on for a rest of the evening. As the guests slowly depart one by one, each with their own agendas in mind.