A Fair Proposal - Royal Rethoric - RPLOG
It's a somewhat chilly morning, and Flora's on her way to meet with the King, arriving at the gates to the castle. She's arranged a private audience with the hippo, and for once, she's actually dressed to the nines, dress and all. Very courtly, very formal, and very unlike Flora.
Still, she's carrying her usual bag, slung over her shoulder, and filled with various papers, and her golem is walking besides her...
Papers are checked, gates are opened, and an escort is provided to the noble feline by a well-dressed buck, two-piece suit and all. "Good morning, High Lady." He greets simply, gesturing towards the opulent building as he begins to walk. "If you would, follow me. The King has been expecting you, though you are in no way late." Perhaps a little nervous, though he hides it well as he leads Flora into the building.
The King awaits in a private office, at the end of several halls, staircases and twists and turns through other rooms. The door is opened with a bow.
"Ah, High Lady Flora," he greets, "It is good to see you again. Word of your woork has been spreading, and I feel my faith in you has not been misplaced. What do you come to me today for? You have said a matter of business, but nothing more." He asks, gesturing to an purple, velvet chair opposite his.
Flora nods lightly, gesturing for the golem to lie down besides the door, and rummaging through the saddlebags to retrieve two metal items. One beam of sorts, and one metal cylinder, quickly tucked away in her own bag.
"As... Mister Lord King Good has probably heard, Flora has been... Talking to the other Lords and Ladies, yes... Flora had an idea that could help Sweetwater, yes," she notes, as she pulls out a set of sketches, and presents them to the king. "Flora has been considering the idea of Sweetwater hosting... A fair, yes. But not the usual kind, no."
The king nods, the door closed by the servant as Flora makes her way in proper. The sketches are examined briefly, before being set down on a large table sequestered against the wall.
"Then I ask you to continue, High Lady." He replies, inclining his head and seating himself. "Even if it would help our nation, I would know what you are planning before simply agreeing. It is strange not to take an idea such as this to court, for all of our nobles and our council of elders is present to debate there already."
"Flora... Flora prefers talking in private, yes. Less chance of getting off topic, yes. More comfortable, too. And Flora understands, yes," the she-cat notes.
"Technology, magic... Things that will bring Beings forward, yes? Closer to the Creators' example. But... Cliffside claims to be the best, yes?" she continues, tail flicking behind her. "And Cliffside is the capital of magic and technology, because they have the most skilled beings working on those things, yes?"
A quiet 'Hmmh' in acknowledgement escapes the Hippo's lips. "It would be a skill you would do well to build, High Lady... There will come a time when you will have to speak to many as a noble, or as a host." The last word is emphasized, and a knowing smile from the king implies it's less criticism than advice.
"Yes, High Lady Flora. I am aware of Cliffside's proud culture... Very aware. You should know of our feuding and wars, and I am well aware of their achievements and skills even in those who have come from abroad. Continue." The Hippo's brow furrows, one of the sketches quickly picked up and examined again in turn.
"Flora would figure a chance to put Sweetwater in the spotlight would be... Welcome, yes?" the cat notes, as the hippo looks over the sketch for the convention-hall she wishes to propose. "So, what Flora is thinking, is if Sweetwater were to host a fair for the best beings to show their trade, and for beings to show glimpses of their own culture, Sweetwater could thrust itself in the spot-light, make itself much more appealing. Something that sends a message, that Sweetwater cares deeply about the scholarly arts," the cat notes.
"If we are to host this festival, then I ask how you intend to provide those outside of our fair nation to attend. It is not a small journey from Shralesta or Cliffside; demonstrating the merits of our ally and rivals may be good in its own right, but if you are to expose the best of our culture to another nation, you would imply many beings will be coming to participate, not just an elite few." the King replies, leaning back in his chair - a slight groan emitted from the wood in protest. "Many beings simply could not afford to make the journey. Perhaps the Shralestans would have the grace to acknowledge where their ideas had come from, but Cliffsiders have demonstrated a great deal of duplicity. I am unconvinced that they would not take these ideas and call them their own... And as a nation, memory of the last war and Edric's treachery is still fresh on the mind. Security, then, must come into question as well. I trust this would have been discussed with High Lady Solacious. Perhaps High Lady Ironsoul as well."
"As far as travel goes... The fair would still be a few months in the future. Travel could be arranged with merchants and other travelers, yes. Arrangements can be made. Chartered ships, yes, transporting groups of beings... And Flora is figuring the event would last a while, yes, to give those interested enough time to attend, and to give everyone a chance to present their discoveries and work," Flora notes, before leaning back lightly. "Flora hasn't managed to contact Miss Lady Kilsa, unfortunately, but Miss Lady Solacious has already offered her support, and Flora has spoken with friends of Miss Lady Kilsa for support, as well. LongTech will also offer a part of its security force for the event, of course," she adds.
Considering for a few moments, the King nods. "Very well. A shame you haven't been able to contact High Lady Ironsoul... She has done some good work in her time, but without word from her for so long, it is a concern. I will not trouble you on the subject if she has been unavailable; I imagine that you refer to some of her 'Ironsoul's Defenders'."
"So, I ask what it is you would ask of your King and country in this endeavor. None of these endeavors are cheap. I am no architect but your designs are elaborate. Is there something else you would ask of me? I am quite busy, I unfortunately do not have a wealth of time remaining for this discussion. If you could, summarize any more you have to say that we ensure you finish stating your intentions and requests before I must depart. I will be able to respond in due time, should I have heard your full proposal at least."
Flora nods lightly, her tails twitching behind her. "Friend Selena, yes," the cat confirms, before she pulls out a map of the area surrounding Firmament, pointing to an area to the southwest of the city, where she's drawn a small, preliminary district. "Permission to expand the city, and partial funding for the project. The Houses are all pitching in," she offers, as she pulls out a contract, already signed by each of the High Lords and Ladies.
"And finally... Flora is working on providing a gift to Promise, yes... Which may mean House Strongheart has to open another mine for the needed metal, yes," she offers, as that metal beam and cylinder come out of her bag. "Prototypes, yes. Not made of the right materials yet, but used for testing the design."
With a nod, the Good King examines the plans again. "And you understand how much this will cost." The presence of the signatures of the many houses prompts the king to produce a quill from an inkwellresting on his desk. "I would prefer it if you could provide such plans as these to the court and council in future, but I would be doing my people a disservice if I was not to have their voices heard. You will take these plans before the People's Council, and be sure that they are in agreement. I did not vest them with the authority to overturn royal mandate for nothing, nor did I appoint them to turn a blind eye or deafen myself to their voices... Many years ago, our queen has said 'no child of mine who would take a gamble they were not already sure of winning is fit to rule my people' when casting out her first choice of heir over a gambling habit gone bad. I understand your enthusiasm and pre-preparation, but I would seek their council as well before offering a final verdict." Penning a letter with fluid strokes of the quill, he looks back to the objects offered.
"Again, High Lady, If you would elaborate. I see a rod and small cylinder; prototypes of what, and how will these be gifts?"
"These are standards, yes. Length, weight. The Thermometer standardizes temperature, and Flora is trying to figure out how to get a standard time... Clocks don't keep the time consistently, and sundials don't work at night."
"Right now, merchants ands craftsbeings each have their own standards, if they have them at all, yes? Beings measure distance in arms, fingers, hands. But every being is a different size, meaning one arm isn't the same as another's. It makes it hard to work accurately, it wastes supplies, and it wastes money, yes."
"With these... And more importantly, the service LongTech is willing to provide to Sweetwater, and others, there will be a simple standard to compare to. Merchants can use their standards, but at the same time, they can compare, because they know how long theirs is, compared to the official standard, yes. And because Sweetwater's standard has been compared with Shralesta's, and Thera'Dor's, and so on, it helps with international trade, too. How heavy it is. Flora would imagine others would perform the same duties in Cliffside, in Thera'Dor, and in Shralesta, although Flora would be happy to provide LongTech's assistance there, too."
"This fair city would not have come about without some form of 'standard', but you are quite right that it is not all the same across Promise, or even between buildings in many cases." The king finishes penning the letter, signing with a flourish of the quill and passing it to the feline. "I will have Mione organize a meeting with the council - a private meeting, you are welcome - to discuss the matter of the fair, with knowledge your position has been held by the members of our noble houses. I do not imagine you'll have too much trouble, and this letter should ensure you are given the authority to move forwards with my blessing should you secure the support of a majority. You may find them to be valuable allies in their own right; their word carries great weight among the common people of fair Sweetwater."
"I believe you may have difficulty unifying the standards used by the houses locally may be a difficult task. They are quite taken by their own, though it has been some time since any of our houses have tried to present their own as national. But you may proceed in your endeavors, until you should have the appropriate material." He suggests, then rubbing his chin. "My final words on the subject. Despite the best teachings of our Creators, there are a jealous few that may view your house's rapid development as a threat, rather than boon. I ask you to take care, in service of our fair country, there will always be those few that would covet your position and power." A meaty hand is briefly placed on Flora's shoulder as the King provides a nod. "I believe you understand this already, but in light of your recent plans and... eccentricity, I wish to be sure there is no misconception now of all times." The hand removed as quickly as it came, he then gestures to the door. "Now, I regret to say that is all the time I have for today. I have a meeting scheduled with the Creator Church and Shralesta's ambassador. Creators bless you, High Lady. I believe that I have made the right choice in electing you to restore your house."
"Of course, yes. And Flora does not intend for it to be Flora's standard," the cat notes, her tails flicking behind her. "It is merely a proposed standard for Promise, and for Sweetwater as a whole. Like Flora said, though, comparing privately owned standards to the national, or international one, means they can be compared, and that is a more important goal than replacing them right away, yes."
"Flora will prepare for the meeting, yes," the cat offers, her ears flicking lightly atop her head. "And Flora is... Well-aware, yes. But right now, rapid growth is what the House, and LongTech need. But Flora is working on things. Flora is confident, yes," she offers, although her ears do fold back the moment his hand touches her shoulder... Seems she's still not a fan of being touched.
Still, the meeting is practically over, and Flora takes her leave, standards, sketches and all. "Flora will provide a photo of the contract later this week, yes. So each House, and the crown, has a copy, yes."