A Fair Proposal - House Blackback - RPLOG
The halls of the Blackback Manor are quiet and orderly, as usual. A pair of guards in Blackback livery, a large badger and a skunk striped, blue reindeer escort Flora along an empty hallway to an equally empty drawing room. "Lord Blackback will be right with you, Highlady," the Reindeer promises as the guard usher her into the well furnished room, "You just relax and get comfortable."
"Flora is... Not a fan of waiting, no. Busy. But okay," Flora concludes after a moment of contemplation. This'd be easier if it was Angus. She can just walk into his office, generally. Well, once she's past the doors to the manor, of course.
Still, she waits in the room, flipping through her notes for a bit, tails twitching behind her.
The guard shrugs apologetically as the pair withdraw from the room, leaving Flora alone. The rain patters outside the large picture window and portraits of well dressed skunks look down from the walls. A small fire burns pleasantly in the large fireplace and three soft chairs are scattered around a low table with a steaming tea setting and some warm buns.
Flora seems to be... Mostly just waiting. No drinking, no eating the buns, not even looking out of the window. Sure, she's still flipping through her notes, making a few marks on the sketches and drawings, but not much more than that.
After a few more silent minutes, the door opens with a creak to admit a well dressed, Lord Blackback. "I am sorry to keep you waiting, Highlady," he says, closing the door behind him, "Now. How can I help you." He strides over to stand beside the fireplace.
"Yes. Flora had... An idea. Something Lord Blackback might enjoy," the she-cat notes, as she unrolls a couple of large papers. One design-sketch for some sort of... Large building, one... It almost seems like an advertisement.
"A promise-wide expo, yes. Something Promise has never seen before. Technology, magic, everything, yes. Flora figured Lord Blackback would be interested in joining."
The noble skunk raises an eyebrow. "Expo?" he asks, "You mean a fair? I'm not sure that I follow. All of promise already knows about House Blackback's contributions to the world. What exactly would we have to gain from this kind of thing?"
"Not -just- House Blackback. Sweetwater as a whole. Showing Promise that -Sweetwater- is at the forefront of technology and academics, and, by extension, the Houses are... It'll draw more academics and innovative craftbeings, yes? And that is something both House Blackback and LongTech can benefit from. Something the country benefits from. No?" she offers, her brow raised.
"A month long, academics and inventors flocking to Firmament, to show the best that the whole of Promise has to offer."
"It may even draw more creators to Firmament. The creators seemed interested in Being Technology before, yes. And magic."
"I think I understand what you are saying," Lord Blackback says, "But I am not sure how it would be anything other than a drain on resources. It is not as though there are many great thinkers or inventors out among the populace in general. Most of the peasantry can hardly understand the First text when it is read to them, let alone come up with original thoughts."
"Flora is sure there's more than enough talent on Promise to fill a month. Send invites to Cliffside, Thera'Dor, Shralesta, everywhere. Give word of mouth time to spread te word. As for financing... Ticket-sales, a small stipend on sales of spells and wares. Flora thinks its possible. And even then, not every project has to be profitable in terms of money, no? Sometimes, standing is more important.
"Flora is obviously not asking House Blackback to fund everything. LongTech will be pitching in, and Flora will be talking to the other Lords as well, yes. Flora figures House Solacious might be interested in any gunmakers attending, and House Strongheart might be interested in magic and tools applicable to farming and fermenting."
"And Flora is sure the King would be interested in a project to improve Sweetwater's standing on Promise, yes."
Lord Blackback turns to look at the large portrait on the wall over the fireplace. "I can't say that the idea is not intriguing," he confesses, "What, exactly would you need from me for this little undertaking?"
"That depends, yes. Depends on whether the other Houses are interested, and on where we want to host the exposition. We could host things at the academy, in which case, we'd need the funds to host there, food, drinks, everything. but the academy is rather busy, and potentially too small for everyone, especially with classes happening. May not be the best place, in that regard.
"Alternatively, we erect a fairground for this specific purpose, and, perhaps, gift it to the crown or the academy as a sign of goodwill afterwards. Or rent it out to the latter," she notes, pushing the rudimentary sketch she's been working on over.
"Wouldn't be a small project."
"As for funding... Flora was thinking LongTech would match House Blackback's share, we ask the crown to fund ten, maybe twenty percent. The remaining money comes from the other houses and minor sponsors. Each sponsor is mentioned, of course, but LongTech and House Blackback would get the biggest mention. Equal recognition, of course."
Lord Blackback considers Flora's sketch. "I see," he says, "And how much of this space would be alotted to House Blackback, if I decide to take part?" He picks up the sketch and looks over the top of it at Flora. "And, you must forgive me, but I am a bit reticent about aligning myself with the new head of House Longtail so soon after your asencion to the nobility."
"During the fair, none. None for house Longtail or LongTech, either. It will be for the fair. After the fair, we jointly decide what to do with it, and it, or the proceeds from selling or renting, will be split equally. Costs and profits should be split fairly. A joint venture, beginning to end, better or worse. And Flora understands," she notes, her tails twitching behind her.
The noble skunk's eyebrows shoot up at Flora's statement. "None?" he asks, surprised, "We will be alotted NO space to show our own advancements and discoveries?" He lays the sketch back down on the table. "If you do not plan to display any of your own work, then I really cannot see the point at all."
"No, no. Not what Flora meant, no. Flora doesn't want to designate any floorspace as being funded by LongTech OR House Blackback, is what Flora means,"
"Right... Units only make sense to LongTech right now," she mumbles, as she looks at the drawing. "Flora is imagining the building large enough that there is wiggle-room if someone needs a bit more space," she notes, as she pulls out a more detailed, internal sketch, pointing at some of the spaces. "The size of a lecture hall at the academy. We have enough space, and time, to figure out how much is needed for everyone. And with a duration of a month, it's possible to cycle, too, making sure that both LongTech and House Blackback have a permanent space, however large is needed."
"I will consider it," the large skunk says, "I will send someone to talk with your people when you have something more concrete. If the other houses and the crown are willing to contribute, then you can count on House Blackback." He has touched no food or drink, leaving it all for his guest. "Is there anything else I can do for you, High Lady?"
"Flora has... One more thought. But it isn't relevant for now, no. Will have to sketch some things out, work out how to do it, and how to present it. A gift from Sweetwater to the world is appropriate, yes. And Flora has ideas, but it needs to be worked out properly. Flora will show it when Flora has a prototype."
"Very well," Lord Blackback says, inclining his head to Flora, but not offering his hand. Looks like he remembers her preference. "Please, don't let me keep you," he says, turning once more to consider the portrait on the wall.
"Of course. Flora will inform Lord Blackback of the proceedings on both ends. For now, though, Flora must tend to LongTech once again," the she-cat adds with a small smile, a faint bow.