332/Un Meeting Politique

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Un Meeting Politique
Date of Scene: 02 August 2014
Location: Ivalice
Synopsis: The Marquis de Limberry, and representatives from neighboring Zeltennia and Lesalia, is deliberating providing political sanctuary to an influx of migrants from Cleyra fleeing the Alexandrian assault upon their home. With Ivalice suffering its own personal crisis, and the possibility of inciting Alexandrian anger, the answer will not likely be favorable.

Can he be convinced to take the risk, against his better judgement?

Cast of Characters: Tomoe, 129, Faruja, Mizuki, Auron, Allyn, 513
Tinyplot: Of Stones and Sins

Ultima (129) has posed:
Limberry, Limberry Castle: Foyer - *Tick ... Tock ... Tick...*

It is roughly an hour past Noon, in the eastern region of Limberry, homeland and march of the Marquis de Limberry: Messam Elmdore. Many in the land of Ivalice look upon him a hero of the Fifty Years War, and it is easy to see why. Situated at Ivalice's far eastern border, the capitol of the march which several guests now find themselves in... is a veritable fortress. A beautiful one, on the inside, but a fortress no less. Every wall is manned by legions of soldiers, and even inside... finding someone -not- wearing armor within feet of oneself is a challenge indeed.

The Foyer in which the Marquis's 'guests' are made to wait by the house staff, is wall to wall with polished marble floor and walls of thickest stone. There are finished wooden tables, and chairs, set about the room in intuitive places as well as a fireplace. Some are simple, round, tables nearest the room's corners and others - of the much longer variety - are lined up parallel in the center of the room and draped with red linen cloth. There are maps of Ivalice upon some of the walls, no doubt for strategic use, weapon racks by the fireplace, and bookshelves as well.

Light pours into the room from the back, filtered through colored glass, and falls upon the empty tables as if to highlight them. There is naught but relative silence here, for the moment... the armed guards at opposite sides of the exit ways stand as still as stone through pure practiced discipline.

...And the old wooden grandfather clock by the fireplace ticks away...

Mizuki has posed:
    Like the other times she's visited Ivalice, Mizuki probably blends right it in here. Aside from the bold crimson-on-black color scheme the predominates her dress - and maybe the color of her eyes - there's not much that stands out about her. Once she knows where she's going, she slips quietly into the home's foyer, and... would probably outright ignore every one and every thing for a good while after entering. Her gaze fixates on the colored glass, and then...

    ... the grandfather clock, of course.

    She stands almost directly in front of it, watching the pendulum swing back and forth, folding her arms behind her. While she waits for things to happen, she seems more than content to just admire the architecture, the furnishings, and even the marble. She's gathering her thoughts on the matter right now, in fact, rubbing her chin and contemplating what to say when they're actually able to meet the man responsible for the planning of this whole architectural ensemble. She wants to be flattering, but not too flattering; just so much as would be honest and help them get what they want out of this meeting, naturally. But until then, she waits, zeroing out all other noise to focus on the ticks of the clock.

    Now, this might make her stand out a bit, but... come on. It makes her think of home!

Finna (513) has posed:
    Finna has no place here. Nor does any of her handful of Ivalice-fitting alter-egos. Yet she's become more than a little curious about this world's plights, what with demons and all showing up not once, but twice, and if there's anything she knows the No Moons of the Pact would appreciate knowing more about, it's the goings-on of demons. Are these the same demons? What do they want? Are they a threat to Creation?

    Time to follow this mess, and figure it all out.

    Thankfully, even in a castle, nobody really pays much attention to the resident handful of cats and other creatures employed to keep the vermin population down or serve as pets - because as anyone will tell you, castles are a natural breeding ground for rats and other pests, if not countered. One such cat saunters into the foyer, sticking near the walls. Its fur is white, but it's an otherwise unremarkable creature...

Allyn has posed:
Allyn decided it was best to show up as his human form for this meeting, since he's not sure how well it'd be taken for an animal to just arrive. See, he can sometimes think about which form is best, even though he dislikes being human most of the time. He wanders around the foyer looking around for a bit taking a look at the things in the room.

He sees the cat and wanders over to give it a pet and scratch on the cheeks, well if the cat will let him pet it.

Faruja has posed:
The Silver Noble. A man even Faruja respects, the good Marquis well known for being popular with the lower classes despite being a noble. A man the Burmecian places roughly in the same category of his own home town hero.

Faruja, unlike Mizuki, doesn't bother with the beautiful architecture. No, he's found himself a small portion of the room to kneel and pray. Legend for his deeds or not, times are tough in Ivalice. What he comes to ask isn't something small. The rat prays he can make the Marquis agree to sheltering his lost kinsmen.

Then, Faruja stands, moving to a seat at the largest table.

A nod to everyone. Minus the cat! "Thank ye all. Please, advice wouldst be useful." This is particularly offered to Auron. The older warrior seems wise.

Auron has posed:
    Auron is in his typical attire here -- red haori, gray breastplate and pants, heavy boots. He's mainly here to offer support should something explode into unpleasantness. He also seems to have left his sword behind, as is only right for a diplomatic meeting. However, with the arm tucked in his coat, standing with back straight, he's sticking near Faruja. Looking every part the warrior and guard.

He'll sit when Faruja does, keeping to the side of the table. And he'll pay close attention to Faruja's promptings; if Auron is near a chair and Faruja shakes his head, he'll move to another chair until he finds one that Faruja approves of.

Tomoe has posed:
The Iron Lily did feel like she was a bit out of place but it was a good idea to be polite, they needed to make social connections after all so here she is. The Salamander Woman is on her best behaviour as she makes her self a bit at home as she looks about. She's still quite tall towering over six feet in height she take s moment to dind a palce and sit near Faruja and Auron.

Ultima (129) has posed:
That olden wooden clock, aged though it may be, is a picture of decadence. Its body features many ostentatious carvings and designs. Its face, and the chimes which hang suspended within its body as well, is wrought from stainless gold and silver. The Clock's face bears numerals upon it with common Ivalician script circling its outer circumference - it reads "Faith in the light of God bears all unto blissful eternity.".

It is true, the guards pay literally no heed to the wandering cat. Not more than a furtive glance, anyway. What with the plagues this country has lately been dealing, it is not an unusual sight at all.

No better a place to pray than this, surely. For the Marquis himself is also an Inquisitor, and the clock is not the only element bearing reference to the Holy host. Indeed, there are statuettes of angels carved from marble atop the fireplace and one of the corner tables... even a depiction of a kneeling priest staring into a light beam upon one of the colored window panes nearby it.

Several more moments pass, before the soft sound of footfalls begin to make their way up the eastern hall...

...In walks a well-dressed servile man, an elderly gentleman wearing a navy blue button-up coat and trousers of a lighter shade with brown leather shoes. He is a grizzled man, with whitest mane cleanly cut and clean-shaven, his impeccable bearing speaks volumes of his experience.

"...Ahem.", he clears his throat softly so as to draw attention. Both hands remain firmly at his sides. "...Evening, masters."

His scrutinizing gaze flits from one to the next briefly, and then... he lifts his left arm and crooks it such that his hand points toward the northern hallway to his immediate right and offers a cordial bow. "If thou wouldst please follow me, I shall usher you all unto the company of his grace..."

"...or, more precisely... his meeting chambers."

When they do follow, he will lead to a set of great wooden doors... beyond which is a meeting room with yet another singular table. This room is carpeted, red velvet with polished wooden interior walls. There are no windows here, likely to prevent assassination attempts or eavesdropping. There is yet another stone fireplace, opposite the table, and two figures standing thereby. One is a tall, youthful-looking, man with red hair and a goatee. He is clad in brown leathers, stained gold and silver in places, with a sword at his waist. He has to him the staunch look of a seasoned general.

The other, is a man of even more monumental frame clad in brick red robes with cowl. From the doorway, it is difficult to make out his face for the shadows of his cowl... but the barest hint of a greying beard can be seen...

After ushering them in, the butler steps out... conveniently leaving the door ajar... perhaps space enough for cat...?

Finna (513) has posed:
    "Mrowr?" The cat is being assaulted - oh wait, petted. It - or she, on any closer inspection - meows at Allyn queryingly, but doesn't seem averse to a little attention. The nearby hand does get sniffed several times though!

    As everyone starts moving towards the meeting chambers though, including probably Allyn, the cat sneezes, nose and whiskers wrinkling a little.

    But for whatever reason, it decides to follow all the movement and people, and slips through the door to slink and stalk along the wall... just moseying around.

Allyn has posed:
Oh yeah, that is right, Finna had never seen him in his human form, but he smells the same as he always does though, just a little more human. He chuckles as the cat sneezes and gives her head a ruffle before she start to wander off. He looks around and nods to Faruja, Auron, Mizuki and Tomoe and gives a bow, before he follows after the cat and the man that leads them down the hall. He doesn't look too comfortable, but well sometimes you sacrifice that.

Faruja has posed:
With a small breath to calm himself, Faruja rises and nods to the elderly servant. The priest crosses his chest, and offers a kindly smile. "Lord's blessings upon thee, and mine greatest thanks." He follows along until they're presented with the meeting room as well as

Faruja blinks as he enters, spying the pair of gentlemen in the room the Marquis would soon be within. Clearly he hasn't expected others! It takes a moment, but just /whom/ the man is hits Faruja like a ton of bricks. His only reaction is a flick of his tail, but it's telling to anyone who knows his people.

the party gets discrete nods towards the table, though he doesn't yet sit. Good opportunity to at least get seating arrangements planned! Auron gets a nod to the rat's right, and similarly, Tomoe gets one to his left. It's only proper, after all, to have his 'body guards' close by. Should Mizuki seek his approval, he'll nod close to Auron. The proper place for his 'advisor'. Allyn would be offered a seat near Tomoe.

"...Lord Beoulve. Hail, and Lord's blessings upon thee. I pray we art not interrupting thyself and thine companion?" Offers the rat politely, before bowing deeply. He motions to the others.

"Inquisitor Faruja Senra, 'tis an honor to meet ye, and the good Ser...?" Still no sitting. He won't do so until bidden.

Tomoe has posed:
Tomoe takes a moment to look at the clock, it's quite the bit of work really a level of craft work that relaly has died out in her world really. She stops bing distracted for a moment. She will get up and follow after the rest of the group she takes a mment to look about and get a feel for the place. She does not attempt to be imposing anf is actually being on her best beheaviour. She is however still quite tall she looks to Faruja nods and takes her seat.

"I'm known simply as Tomoe and it's an honor to meet you sir."

Auron has posed:
    When the older gentleman enters the room, Auron looks up. He stands when the butler indicates the hallway. He'll also wait until everyone else has left the room, to leave it himself. Did he hear a meow? He looked around; whether he sees the cat or not, he doesn't mention it. The nod from Allyn is noted, and returned subtly. He doesn't want to look like he's planning something horrible.

    He follow quietly until they're brought to the location of the meeting. A quick look around is force of habit, mentally marking the exits and entrances, possible hiding places, and other such hazards in the room. That done, he looks to the people therein...

    And pauses a moment. Brick red robe with cowl. Much like Auron's hooded robe. The one he was wearing when he was mistaken for someone else. So that means this is... 'The Thunder God'? He looks between the two men, and offers a polite and respectful bow. He remains behind Faruja, acting the part of a guardian, perhaps without realizing it.

Mizuki has posed:
    Mizuki files in with the group quietly and gravitates somewhat toward Faruja. She gradually works her way closer and leans in to whisper, "You did a fine job of covering up your battle wounds for the evening's processions, so don't worry overmuch about that." She giggles lightly. "That is, if you were worried in the first place." After she's said her piece, she breaks away again, keeping her arms folded neatly and officially, her head likewise held high with her nose pointed toward the ceiling. The Father Senra could almost wonder if she was showing off so that she, too, might be counted among the numbers of the inquisition... but then, he knows better, doesn't he?

    Yes, the girl is a very different kind of detective. Nevertheless, though, she should be nice to have around tonight; could always use someone with a silver tongue at meetings, right? Even if this one happen to live in a place the reeks of sin. Still, the intrepid may-be heretic doesn't skip a beat, quickly noticing the pair that occupies the room and giving a low curtsey in greeting. Her omnipresent grin isn't gone, but it's reasonably toned down so that it would come off as more pleasant and less haughty to all but the most keen of eyes.

    Rising from her gesture of greeting, she moves her hands to her waist. "A lovely evening to you both. I trust your lord will be with us shortly?" Her words are reserved, but serve to create at least the illusion of warmth. Such is the purpose of pleasantry, yes? "In the meantime, if you might indulge my curiosity... who are you gentlemen, and what do you do here?" She raises an inquiring pair of fingers to her chin.

    Oh, yes. She's certainly in her element here.

    After giving Faruja an understanding nod, and one more of respect to the other men, the lady has a seat beside Auron. She can act as an auxillary advisor and bodyguard both, as the need arises.

Ultima (129) has posed:
Zalbaag is, surprisingly, not the first to respond. The cowled man is. From within his robes, a soft but mirthful chuckle comes in deep, rich, tone. He speaks, with the voice of a wizened man, but a man of great strength as befits his bearing, "...The hour must be quite late, that you would not recognize e'en me... Lord Senra." He turns, slightly, giving barest glimpses of darkened steel plate over black leathers and the scarred and weathered face of an elderly soldier. There is much masculine power in those chiseled features, skin brown as desert sand, but despite the hardness of his features... there is softest kindness in those eyes, "...Perhaps, 'tis the hour... or that I, like the stories men tell, am swathed in layers until rendered utterly unrecognizable."

T.G. Cid offers a polite smile to Faruja's company, "Cidolfus Orlandeau, General of the Black Lion." He bows, somewhat, before casting a sidelong glance at his younger companion.

Zalbaag finally turns a curious eye over his shoulder, seeming to draw it from the fire reluctantly, "...I had not heard that the good Marquis would be entertaining more guests." He pauses, momentarily, and then turns to face Faruja. "...But where are my manners? ... Forgive my impropriety, Inquisitor." He, too, bows, but slightly more rigidly than Orlandeau's relaxed demeanor. "...Nay, 'tis no interruption ... nor choice of mine, the company the Marquis keeps." No insults there, its very polite in tone... but perhaps noteworthy that this one is... blunt.

"Greetings, one and all..." He gestures, vaguely, then glances at Orlandeau.

"...Mayhap talk of war is best saved for the meeting...?" Cid adds, before proceeding to the opposite side of the table. ... But not before stopping to attempt to pat the cat on the head. "...A lovely sight before mine eyes, when plagues are abounds. 'Tis all I hear of as of late in Zeltennia."

Cid seats, then acknowledges Mizuki's queries, "...I suppose you know our names, by now. ... As to your other question... we are here to meet with the Marquis on the subject of border security." He pauses, leaning back into his chair a bit, "...I suppose I can tell you that, after all... you'd not be here were you all not trusted. ... As to the Lord... no one but he keeps his time."

Zalbaag adds, taking a seat himself, "...Such is his privilege."

After a time, though, the doors again do open... and this time another man enters. A man, probably in his thirties, with flowing silver mane and sharp features. His attire consists of dark colors, navy blue, black, and blood red. His attire is pure, finest silk... a collared shirt with pressed pants and polished leather footwear. In before him, comes the Buler, "...His grace... Marquis Messam Elmdore."

Allyn has posed:
Allyn moves to take a seat beside Tomoe, after giving a bow to the others gathered, but then remains standing as the Marquis arrives. He's not rude so he doesn't sit until the others have, or until they are told that they can sit. He doesn't want to start any problems here at least. He does look around the room a moment for the cat though.

Mizuki has posed:
    Once she's seated, Mizuki's look of inquiry cements itself on her face. Quickly, the room has been filled with people who her authorial sense - aided by Faruja's reactions, naturally - has identified to be quite legendary. Her expression dips just a fraction of what might be a noticeable change. Hmm. Suddenly, she's rather glad that they came here to talk, and not to fight. Or, well. Not to fight outside the realm of verbal retorts, at least, though these men seem polite enough for the second thing not to be a serious concern. Otherwise, though, the lady just listens; at the least, she's here to be a reassuring presence, and at the most, a facilitator. No monologues for her tonight, even if the setting is perfect for them.

    She smirks to herself. Not for her, anyway, but if Faruja was given reason to break into one of his 'preaches', she wouldn't be at all opposed to hearing some of his passion incarnate.

    It's not terribly long, though, before the man they had been waiting for steps in. As the name is announced, she bows her head in a rather convincing display of reverence, holding her position for a long time indeed. She may not have any idea of his prevalence here, and she has only just learned his name, but that won't keep her from at least playing the part of the awestruck onlooker.

    When she raises her head again, she finally has the opportunity to get a good look at him. And... you know? She's not disappointed. He doesn't look more crotchety or callous than a ruler needs to be. She widens her smile just slightly, folding her hands in her lap and settling back in her chair. This... might just be a pleasant night after all, but she doesn't want to speak too soon.

Faruja has posed:
Faruja manages to keep his mostly warm, but appropriately subdued smile as he whispers back to Mizuki. "Possessing wounds upon the face oft sets others at ease when spying other signs of injury. Rarely art others impolite, or brave enough to ask." Useful, that trait! He's glad to have the pair of Auron and Mizuki along.

Allyn and Tomoe get a glance, the pair getting a discrete nod. Polite to a T, the both of them. He makes a silent prayer for such useful and well mannered allies!

Faruja's single eye squints, and he lowers his head just a touch to see beneath the cowl. Blink. Faruja freezes for a good two seconds, before horribly feigning a cough. /This/ he wasn't expecting.

At least Faruja can recover easily enough with his tongue, if not his body. "More than a few late hours, I am afraid; stricken me blind as a newborn! Mine deepest apologies, Lord General Orlandeau. I...am still yet unused to meeting men of thine calibre, it seems." A deep bow of apology.

Faruja isn't quite sure if his more 'fuddy duddy' portion is insulted by the blunt manner of the general, or if he finds it refreshing. Jury's out, but he'll hardly be rude. Another small, half-bow, the rat standing firmly on ceremony as his kind often do.

"A surprise all around then. Nay insult done, M'Lord Beoulve." A glance between the pair. Plague. Border security.

"How fare the people overall in Zeltennia? Lord curse such senseless suffering." Asks the rat of Cid upon the mention of plague, half-hopeful for something akin to good news. Perhaps the plague is small? The rat wouldn't be money, but he sure can pray.

Before Faruja can inquire about the turn of the war thus far, in walks the Marquis. The Inquisitor parts way for the man, motioning to his companions to do the same.

Then, the rat once again bows. "Faram's blessing Your Grace. Inquisitor Senra, and mine companions. Thank ye for thine hospitality, and thine time in meeting."

Auron has posed:
    Auron can appreciate the bluntness more than false pleasantries, actually. As such, he offers a bit of a smirk to Zalbaag. "A pleasure to meet you both," he offers. "I am Auron." No titles or surnames... the introduction of a commoner? He doesn't have the bearing of a noble, it's true. But he stands straight and proud nonetheless. The bearing of a warrior.

    He won't sit down until the man of the hour has arrived and the others are seated. Mizuki may just end up sitting closer to the head of the table than he, since he's not foreseeing a need to speak up too much during this meeting. He's here to listen and provide backup if needed. Maybe to defuse an argument. Maybe something else. Only time will tell. He'll introduce himself to the Marquis if he's asked to.

Tomoe has posed:
Tomoe looks to Allyn for a moment he would find that Tomoe has /no/ sent she smells of whatever ambient sents are in the enviorment and that's it. She however seems to be paying close attention she just knows she's the low person on the totempole here and she klnows it. She seem to be serious enough for a moment.

"I'm afriad I'm used to late hours I admit."

The curse of the VR MMRPG junky, the sleep patterns nuked from orbit.

"Yes you are a fine host and thank you for seeing us."

Finna (513) has posed:
    "Mrowr!" The cat offers happily to Cid's petting. Finna had ben wandering without intending to gain much attention, but apparently this cat is a sucker for attention, and she rubs her body all along Cid's offered hand for a few brief moments. But soon it's back to wandering.

    Only pausing briefly to bat away at Faruja's tail all of a sudden! Thankfully without claws.

Ultima (129) has posed:
Elmdore stands, quietly, before the door with not a word said for a few moments after his arrival. He simply seems to take stock of the room, offering subtle nods where appropriate, as he reaches with his right hand to adjust a golden band on his left. Behind him, the servile gentleman sees himself out... closing the doors swiftly behind.

The audible closing of the door serves to mark what is officially the beginning of the meeting.

"...Tiresome days, these... with much to be done." The silver-haired noble intones, voice deep yet smooth as the silks he wears. An elegant gait carries him across the floor to the head of the table, with his back to the fireplace. But, ... not before attempting to scoop up the cat. If Finna will allow him too, he'll tuck her neatly into the crook of his left arm and against his chest. Regardless, he does eventually take his seat... crossing his right leg over his left as he does. He looks lordly, to be sure, but his tone is less than imperious, "...Greetings to all. I pray the accomodations of my home may provide you all with modest comforts, at the least."

It maybe a trick of the eyes, but as he seats before the fireplace there is a somewhat more noticeable palor to his face. It does not seem to redden with the heat and, if Finna were with him, she may notice briefly that he is comparitively cold to the touch. ... But the fireplace quickly begins to mask this, even so.

"Yes..." He pauses, eyes turning toward Faruja slowly. "...Lord's blessing." His expression is as cool as he is, facial expressions even... and subdued.

Cid offers, suddenly, "...Pardon my curtness, Lord, but mayhap we should begin? Time waits for no man."

Elmdore smiles, if subtly, "...Yes. War then. ... What of Archades march on Fovoham? Does the Lord Barrington hold his ground even now?"

Zalbaag frowns, but little more, "...If but barely. He has requested assistance twice, but Lesalia is slow to respond. The Lord Larg has attempted aid by cover of the Yuguewood, but even that did not escape Archades notice."

Cid taps his fingers against the arms of his chair, anxiety apparent, "...Were it my choice, I'd sooner crush Archades advances myself than see Fovoham fall..."

Elmdore turns his eyes away from the pair, and toward Faruja, "...Then there is the matter of Alexandria. It is my understanding that you are here to request that I allow a border crossing... and sanctuary, yes?"

Zalbaag doesn't speak on this matter, but the glance he gives Faruja's lot says he definitely has -a lot- to say about that idea...

Allyn has posed:
Allyn takes a seat next to Tomoe once everyone else has seated themselves. He's just here to listen to pretty much, unless there is something asked or required of him. He glances around the table from person to person. Well, he can't help that he's pretty quiet when in human form, he just doesn't have too much to say, not like when he's in some other form or other. He does give Tomoe a smile though.

Mizuki has posed:
    Mizuki watches the marquis intently as he strides across the floor, and is immediately taken by the subtle, but readily apparent, humility in his words and actions. His words may sound tired, but they don't convey disinterest; a king yearning for an end to a storm, or perhaps freedom from the worry of an impending one, but not those of someone haughty or rude. Still, even she is surprised when he leans down and attempts to sweep the errant kitten off its paws. That... earns a smile from her. While his subordinate looked upon it with a wrinkled nose and went so far as to call it a 'pest', this man had no problem touching it and even letting it crawl on him. Naive or not... she doesn't care. He's a man of good humor, and someone she can respect.

    Swiveling her neck a little to free up her position, she sets her hands - not her elbows, naturally - upon the table, making a small arch with the tips of her fingers. She watches him stride to the fire, and... well, she makes a few more observations.

    But these, sadly, are not so cheery. His skin color is as pale as her own; naturally, that shouldn't be the case for a healthy human. Also, the tiredness in his words is... enduring, and this exhaustion is mirrored in the grooves of his visage. She inhales... and exhales. He is a ruler in wartime. It's only natural that he would be sleep deprived and plagued by exhaustion, but she dearly hopes... that that is all the man is plagued by. She entertains the idea that he purposefully placed himself by the fire to mask his eerily ivory palor. If so, it was a wise move on his part. He must look strong in meetings such as this one, after all. For his reputation. For his people.

    Another sigh. Even if Mizuki isn't a genuine ruler herself, she's always felt an affinity and understanding for those in positions of power. In this case, though, that doesn't equate to condescension so much as it does sympathy for the marquis.

    After the exchange regarding the state of the war concludes and the spotlight turns to Faruja, she gives the nezumi a rather deep and complex look. Somehow, though, the rat would certainly know what she is trying to say: 'Be gentle with him. Reasonable. Understand the needs of his people and the needs of those you wish to protect, and things will proceed... as fairly as they can.'

    Or some approximation of that, anyway; that's quite a lot to say with a long stare.

Finna (513) has posed:
    The good nobles find no protest from Finna as she's picked up! The cat does blink and, like many cats in this position, looks slightly bewildered and slightly annoyed, but, well.... cats.

    Once the creature's settled in however, she purrs quietly, pausing only briefly for some odd reason or another... and looking about, ears flicking, tiny nose sniffing at the air.. and a paw lightly pushing against Elmdore's arm...

Auron has posed:
    Auron is also mainly just listening to the situation. There's a lot going on, and Archades seems to be the heart of a lot of it. But he doesn't have a lot he can offer as assistance in most of these situations. He might be able to poke the Al Bhed for machina weapons, but they'd be at a premium. And there wouldn't be time to train the soldiers in their use.

    Keeping quiet, though. Still, his thoughtfulness might be glimpsed if one were glancing in his direction. He's thinking what he's seen thus far, and the differences in how war happens in this world as opposed to his own. There are indeed very big differences. Hmm... maybe...

Tomoe has posed:
Tomoe is just making herself at home. It's a strange thing to know your somewhere but not there. Given how often she lives her live as her avatar, it's funny the thought even comes up for Tomoe anymore.

"You have done quite well to provide for our comfort and I thank you."

She looks to the rest and to the noble who is their host.

"Arcadades seems to be quite aggressive in my limited experience with them."

Faruja has posed:
Faruja's tail wiggles! He tries to not squeak in response to the cat. It would be undignified!

Faruja takes his seat after the Lord of the manor, this time offering no motions to his companions. By now, he's sure they'll get the hint.

"'Tis quite so." Assures the rat quietly, taking in the Marquis' measure. Almost cold, this man, very subdued. No doubt a fearsome opponent, given his nickname, and likely calculating. The rat is sure to sit up straight, trying to seem somewhere in the ballpark of these great men. It's so very strange, for one lowborne as him, to find himself in the company of Lords.

Faram help him.

Cid gets the meeting going, and the rat doesn't miss Zalbaag's glance. It seems he may even be sparring with Lords this day.

Faruj is silent throughout the mention of war, though the grim set of his fuzzy face may well show how much he finds the news unpleasant. A look to Cid. If only he could help, at least openly. For now, all he can do is see to matters at home.

Faruja's own eye turns to Mizuki. There's almost a nod there. He fully understands.

"Correct, Your Grace. Alexandria hath destroyed both mine home, Burmecia, and Cleyra. I know naught whether his Highness, nor the young Prince yet live." There's a barely perceptible growl to the mere mention of the name; pure unadulterated hate bubbling beneath the surface. Perhaps not unexpected, given the destruction of two of his homes.

"Nay doubt they seek to conquer lindblum as well. 'Twould hardly surprise me if they would seek even Ivalice, for the Mad Queen's avarice knows nay bounds."

"And therefore I come to ye; passage into Ivalice proper for mine people, and sanctuary amongst thine people, Your Grace. What I ask is...difficult, in war time." Admits the rat. He'll not play naieve.

"However left to mere camps, they shall fall prey to bandits, brigands, and the Alexandrian war machine, utterly wiped out. Should ye take them in, ye shall find mine people to be honest, hard working artisans. Ones whom remember their debts." A glance into the noble's eyes.

A lick of the muzzle.

"Many wouldst swear themselves to thine service out of honor; too many art there soldiers without work. With so many soldiers to war, 'twould be a boon, that some manner of order might be more easily maintained. Nevermind the number of farmers whom escaped with their city-dwelling bretheren, healers, artisans...we art a people of /skill/, your grace. And should the King or Prince live? Ye wouldst hath gained an ally, for him to forget such a debt wouldst be..." Faruja shakes his head. He couldn't /imagine/ such impropriety.

"Furthermore, shouldst Alexandria threaten Ivalice? Whom art more willing to fight than those whom hath lost everything to a common enemy?" Truly, Faruja has little to offer, other than the skills and knowledge of his own people.

"In the obvious absence of a proper ruler, I wouldst be willing to mediate between what little of the government yet remains and Your Grace, as needed as a fellow representative of the Holy Church." A perfect opportunity, of course, to shift his people towards the Church rather than royalty.

Ultima (129) has posed:
"...I am against this." Zalbaag finally speaks his mind. "We already find the door to war ajar, but to open it so boldly and allow it to consume us for the sake of so few..." He glances toward Faruja, and then back at the Marquis, gesturing with a gauntleted hand swung wide from the arm of his chair, "...T'would be madness. Surely, I am not the only one to see this... a thousand pardons, Lord Inquisitor but...!"

"Though I am known for my appreciation for the arts... victory can not for us an Artisan bring." The Marquis lifts his right arm, bringing it to rest upon the arm of his chair. Finna could feasibly run if she wished it. "...But is it not true,..." He casts a knowing glance toward Zalbaag, "...that Burmecia hath some of the finest Dragoons in all of the lands? Though their soldiers may be weary now, passionate hatred can drive a man's strength when all else fails. A nation of warriors scorned makes for a fitting ally."

"...And Alexandria? Have you considered that this might all be -exactly- as planned? Mayhap the razing of Cleyra was but a ruse, ..."

Cid interrupts, stroking his graying beard, "...Mayhap... but have you considered that inviting war with Alexandria could be to our benefit?"

Zalbaag looks incredulous, "...What?"

Elmdore cuts in again, "...He is correct. That woman cannot see past the end of her nose. Though Archades may be difficult to control, Alexandria is far more questionable. If we could perhaps provoke these dogs to fight over our table scraps..."

Zalbaag goes quiet, sinking into his chair... clearly annoyed but unwilling to speak up against the other two any longer.

Elmdore flattens his hands against the arms of his chair, fingers of his right tapping rhythmically, "...I cannot tell you, today, that I will grant this... Lord Senra. But I shall heavily consider this, and discuss it further with his Majesty at my earliest conveinance. At least, I can assure you... I see value in this." He offers another subtle smile, this one seemingly slightly less lethargic than before.

Cid nods quietly, "I agree. I am always looking for opportunities to pit my enemies against my enemies."

The Marquis gestures to Faruja's company, and asides, "...Pardon the lack of proper hospitality, I assure you all... the chef is working diligently." He drops a hand in his lap, glancing at a wooden clock on the opposite wall, "...Is that all on that particular issue? I am sure we are not quite done with discussions of border policy as yet but..."

Mizuki has posed:
    The expression on Mizuki's face lights up like the stars in heaven as Faruja speaks. Impassioned, like everything that comes out of that fuzzy muzzle of his, but it had tact; a gentility and understanding that made her... well. That made her -proud-. In the moment, she doesn't care if it's strange or wrong for her to be feeling that about something that came out of the mouth of such a new friend, but damn it, she doesn't care. The corners of her mouth turn up just a bit more than is normally befitting a polite grin, and when the spirited Burmecian rests his case, she gives a strong and very noticeable nod in his direction.

    If she had a glass of tea, she would be lifting it in his honor right now, but for the sake of the meeting she stays her tongue. For now.

    The marquis's response only makes her all the more jubilant, though, and once he, too, has finished speaking, Mizuki clears her throat to politely request an opportunity to speak. If it is given to her, she would stand, assuming the same formal posture as she had when she was walking in.

    "If you will pardon me, milord," She gives a faint bow that comes dangerously close to being gracious, "I can personally attest to the strength of this individual, Father Senra, and his ableness to put his words to action. If his passion is any indicator of his peoples' ferocity and loyalty to those who have shown them kindness, then know this: if you offer those he speaks on the part of asylum, your investment will be returned in spades... and a bond that will transcend ages." She takes a breath and allows for an effectual pause. "I am but an unknown who has come here to observe and, perhaps, to comfort, but for whatever it may be worth, that is my earnest and heartfelt opinion. I know that times like these can make it seem as though the sentiments of love and loyalty are worth little, but one day, they may yet be your saving grace." With another bow, and perhaps a lingering smile in the direction of the marquis, she sits back down.

    ... but not before looking to Faruja with the same.

Faruja has posed:
Damnit, but he can /understand/ Zalbaag's concerns. The rat might not like it, in that passionate heart of his, but he can understand. He can't even get offended.

"War marches inexorably." Mutters the rat quietly, voice utterly certain. He knows the Queen of Alexandria, the fool. She'd walk into the Abyss itself for the slightest gain, no matter the risk.

Faruja latches onto the sliver of hope desperately. "Ye speak truly, Your Grace. With all due respect to Ivalice proper, there art few whom can equal their skill. One may say we were born to the skill." Faruja flexes his good leg here.

Then, he gives a bitter smile. "I assure ye. Ye shall find none whom art more hateful of the Alexandrians than we." if the Inquisitor ever needs proof? Just give the rat an Alexandrian Heretic.

The rat makes a mental note to either buy cid a beer, or give him a thousand prayers. Likely both. It's gone far more well than he could ever hope.

Faruja nods, a deep, seated bow. "'tis all that I wouldst ask, Your Grace. Ye hath mine gratitude for so thoroughly considering mine proposal. Shouldst ye choose to offer mine people sanctuary, ye shan't be disappointed in their calibre. Nor shall such a thing go forgotten by myself." The subtle smile is returned in kind.

"That is all. I shall prepare a list of surviving governmental functionaries, in either case, that this matter may be most easily resolved."

Mizuki's words leave the rat speechless for a moment. Faruja remains visibly in that slight-smile, a touch forced. If he were to break out grinning, it'd be impolite.

"As ye can see, I hath found a most exhuberant and worthy advisor, whom doth do this humble servant of Faram and country far too much credit." His words are humble, and modest, but his eye gleams towards Mizuki.

At this rate, he's going to be drowning her in tea and scones in thanks.

Ultima (129) has posed:
When Mizuki asks to speak, the Marquis gestures quietly as if to beckon her to stand. All listen, for the duration of it, and though the man maintains a cool composure throughout... the fact that leans in, resting against his arm and staring contemplatively, gives credence to the idea that he is listening intently.

When she is done, Cid is the first to laugh, "...Hahaha... I like this girl!" He pats the arm of his chair, leaning forward a touch as if to speak across the table, and adds, "...your words are wise, girl. It is true, that love and loyalty will not feed a man... or destroy his enemies in and of itself. -But- there is great strength in unity and cooperation. If all could think this way, we'd have a better nation." He balls a fist, striking the chair's arm gently with a guantleted fist, before letting his hand rest on it again, "Through famine and plague I have attempted to instill this idea in my people..." He leans back again. "...but finding ears less deaf is a challenge in this day and age."

The Marquis nods to Faruja's words as well, "...Your advisor is quite an interesting one." He steeples his fingers, and his eyes flit toward the door as a knock comes, "...and I shall gladly take all of the information you can provide. For now, ..." He stands, moving to get the door... "...Let us take a brief rest, perhaps over tea... or perhaps wine?"