906/Ishgardian Resolve

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Ishgardian Resolve
Date of Scene: 03 November 2014
Location: Gridania, Black Shroud, Hydaelyn
Synopsis: The Ishgardian Envoy does not bring the warmest of tidings to their once, long ago, allies.
Thanks to: Wo for temping E-Sumi-Yan
Cast of Characters: 522, Wo, 595

Gaius Van Baelsar (522) has posed:
Gridania got word of the Envoy being sent by Ishgard and given Ul'dah's state and the earth-quakes that continued to trouble the area as of late, the meet with the Eorzean Alliance would need to be held behind the Conjuruer's hall within Gridanian itself.

Notice to the other two heads of the Eorzean Alliance were sent out. To the leader of the Immortal Flames Raubahn Aldynn and to the leader of both Limsa Lominsa and the Maelstrom, Merlwyb Bloefhiswyn. Though for Gridanian, the Elder Seedseer herself could not be present due to her own troubles given the woods still anger, even though the land had been cleansed of most of the problems-- greater problems still linger within the natural order. It is for this reason one of the other Seedseer's has to step up and that privilege was given to E-Sumi-Yan.. head of the Conjurer's guild and perhaps ever as equal in understanding the matters Gridania has to face daily.

It is her where beautiful smooth stands act as the ground with gentle moving streams of water, do all three wait for the Envoy's arrival from Ishgard. Table set in the middle almost naturally put there it would seem, with chairs for those to sit at-- if they so wish too at least. A few wood wailers stand on guard here, their wooden masks hiding their eyes from being seen.

Raubahn himself stands near the edge of the table. Large arms crossed over his chest, his gladiator eyes closed for the moment as he waits for this Envoy. Whatever could Ishgard want with them, given far as the gladiator knew, Ishgard turned their backs on them after all. This war could have turned out so differently if they had put aside their concerns for their religious war with the dragons...

Admiral Merlwyb (595) has posed:
Admiral Merlwyb is not looking forward to this meeting. Any meeting is usually a cause for dread, but most of the time it is easily handled and everyone moves on. But the sheer cheek of an Ishgardian envoy appearing now of all times does not sit well with her. Where was Ishgard when the Eorzean Alliance was reformed in the dusk of the Seventh Astral Era?

The fact that the meeting is taking place upon the same table where the Alliance was sworn by herself, the Elder Seedseer, and Raubahn does not improve the Admiral's mood.

As it is, Admiral Merlwyb is trying to be a good sport about the whole matter. She is seated at the table, one leg crossed over the other at the knee, arms folded over her chest with her chin tilted downwards, almost resting on her chest. Her eyes are open, almost peering from under her eyelids to keep track of whom is coming and going.

A passing thought gets her to smirk silently to herself, however: It would be a very bad time to mention there is a Bahamut allied with the Union, wouldn't it?

Wo has posed:
    The area immediately around the Fane is not nearly so grandiose as the feasting halls and pubs the distinguished visitors may be used to, but the Twelveswood does provide some comfort - especially compared to some sectors of the outside world. E-Sumi-Yan, while not typically called upon to play host for visiting dignitaries, had little choice in the matter: With the Elder Seedseer unavailable and her siblings doing their best to quiet Elemental unrest. Not to mention.. Well, regardless, as the one most in residence, though protocol is not precisely his forte, he has resolved to make the best of things.

    He is not without concerns of his own, however. While the realm of Conjury extols patience as a primary virtue, the eyebrows knitted over those silver-tinged eyes of his express in his face what his words would not dare to: A growing frustration with the Ishgardian inaction towards anything that isn't covered in scales. And they would call for an audience here, and now, after all this relative silence? While some customary gifts of the forest, in the form of traditional food and drink, have been set out on offer, he has not touched any of it.

    'Please enjoy our hospitality,' he would like to say, but the tense atmosphere makes levity difficult to summon, even for the current head of Girdania's stable of Conjury. So for now, he offers, "Our comrade from the North should be arriving shortly. A special security dispatch of the Adder will insure their safe arrival." Unlike the greeting they all would have if they strayed in the other direction. Also unspoken is how the Shroud itself would react -- the Hedge is coming unbound often, as of late, and even he finds it difficult to predict. Hopefully this envoy will be expedient!

Gaius Van Baelsar (522) has posed:
Raubahn opens one of his eyes to look at the Admiral who seems to have a coy of a smile find her lips. He then looks at her directly at that point, "Hmm?" Is all the large gladiator says to the female admiral hoping not words need to spoken to carry out what he like to ask.

Though when the E-Sumi-Yan speaks up, Raubahn looks over to the Padjal, "Let us hope it is indeed safe, given I have heard of the unrest of the forest." the tall man's face frowns about then, as he looks down at the table. "I also hope the Lady Kan-E-Senna recovers soon. Feels strange to be here without her presence."

It would not be to shortly after this, does E-Sumi-Yan prove to be correct, as with the dispatched group, walks in two Ishgardian knights and the Envoy in his robes between the two. Elezen all the same and the Envoy's eyes showing a great disdain for being here. Though with a inhale, whatever disdain was there left once he exhaled. "I send greetings from Ishgard," He says to the three present, "It seems the Fury favored I travels here, as the snows laid calm, as it would seem so did your ever.. enchanting forest."

Admiral Merlwyb (595) has posed:
Admiral Merlwyb gives Raubahn a sly look without raising her head, acknowledging the question while refraining from answering for the time being. She'll have to let Raubahn in on the joke later. T'would not do for the Ishgardian envoy to overhear such a statement before talks have even begun.

"Aye, 'tis odd indeed," she agrees with Raubahn concerning the Elder Seedseer's absence. "With that said, your presence here is appreciated, E-Sumi-Yan. I pray this meeting will not be overly taxing." She picks up a goblet of Gridanian drink to sip at, more out of politeness to their host than actual thirst.

And of course, it is about this moment that the envoy makes his appearance. She sets her goblet down for the moment as she turns around in her seat, inclining her head in a bow as she rests a hand over her chest. "Well met, Envoy of Ishgard." Her rough voice is neutral in tone, but still welcoming. She isn't rejecting the Envoy out-of-hand at the very least. "How fares Ishgard these days? We have heard precious little since before the time of the Calamity."

Wo has posed:
    The concern shown by Raubahn is touching, though also easily understood, given all the three leaders had been through to this point - and that the future of their lands possibly hinge on that common relationship. That is enough to bring a half-smile to the still-tense E-Sumi-Yan, though held in check by his more subtle emotive nature. "I expect she will be back to her post, as soon as she is able," he responds to both their guests. "I will pass along your well wishes." Kan-E-Senna is quite a work-a-holic, if allowed to be - in that little different than her peers gathered here. Though, she thankfully caved to the wisdom of taking her rest, in this case.

    "It is not off-putting," he says with a light shake of the head, "It is...sometimes good, to get to talk to others from outside the Fane's halls." The partial qualifier may or may not be poignant for the current reason of the gathering. "We have many talented Conjurers that are able to 'hold down the fort' for me, as it were." With that, he settles in, perhaps the forest's whispers having clued him in that his expectations would soon be met. And lo, here is their visitor, flanked on each side by enough armor for two men, by the Padjal's estimation.

    He is not without manners, at least, and as host rises to his feet to give a more formal greeting. While the Admiral and Master Raubahn might be among their equals, he does not see himself at quite that level. "I trust, then, that your journey through the Twelveswood was without incident." Given that the special detachment was also supposed to blaze a trail through some of the wilier terrain left in the Calamity's wake. It is with some thankfully, purely internalized, pain that he invites, "Please, make yourself at home, as our guest, and share your tidings whenever you are ready."

Gaius Van Baelsar (522) has posed:
The Envoy makes his way to the table and goes to take a seat, taking one of the already poured goblets. He takes a sip from it with closes as, perhaps just taking in the moment out of the cold, freezing weather that has befallen his own homeland. To the Seedseer he addresses first, glancing over to what to him almost seems like a child-- yet those eyes say so much more.

Curious lot the leaders of Gridanian were, "It was indeed, thank you for the concern and the timely aid of your men." The Envoy then looks to the Admiral, "Coerthas does not fare well. Bahamut's arrival has stirred the hearts of Dravanian horde with far greater diligence then ever before.. and even worse.. with Bahamut's attack on the lands, where we knew of the Shroud suffered from great fires-- our lands now suffer from even greater snow fall. The once lush green hills and lands now cover in never-ending snow."

The Envoy's eyes narrow dangerously for that moment. "..and no end in sight of either.." The envoy takes another sip from the goblet.

Raubahn who has remained quiet, took a seat at some point once the Envoy had done so, he places one arm on the table as he goes to speak. "My condolences to your people. Ul'Dah suffers something of near equal with the continued earthquakes out in some of our lands. Shifting of water ways and falling of once mighty mountains. I fear none of us, be it small or large, went untouched by that primal's wrath."

Admiral Merlwyb (595) has posed:
Admiral Merlwyb nods gravely, returning to her own drink. "Aye, on that we can certainly agree. The seas rose to wipe Limsa Lominsa off the map in the Calamity's wake," she smiles mirthlessly, "but on that it certainly failed." She pretty much left it at that, not wishing to get into more private details at the moment.

She leans back in her seat incrementally, casting a keen eye over all involved. "E-Sumi-Yan, forgive me for my forwardness as you are our host," her focus settles on the Ishgardians in a sharp, but not hostile, look, "but why come to us now? Surely it is not merely to compare our tales of woe."

Wo has posed:
    It is only through his daily meditations and preparedness that E-Sumi-Yan contains himself at this news. Even with the land laid waste, the first thing that comes to this visitor's lips is their ongoing hostilities with the dragons - not that anything else should be expected. Nonetheless, the emissary seems sincere in both his tone and the language of his weary body. Even if he were able to release it, it would be difficult to unleash anger on one such as this, whom has obviously suffered as they all have. "Indeed, those that had been dealing with the situation in our Northern reaches had spoken of this," he confirms for the other esteemed guests; "But we had no idea as to the extent. That is most distressing."

    He dares not venture outside his comfort zone of speaking of the elementals' oft wrathful natures, at least as concerns other regions. An unceasing winter, even to one untrained, obviously speaks volumes to something be *terribly* wrong with the natural order. As to what could be maintaining an effect that wide of an area, he - sadly - has no answer. Instead, he finally takes his own seat, again, resting his hands on his lap as his eyes narrow in both thought and concern. "If we had known, we would have made attempts to send aid, though it seems we can spare little ourselves. Even after the initial chaos, we are still dealing with the unrest of the Woods' spirits." Though..the proud Ishgardian people would have likely turned it away, anyway, it would have at least been something.

    His knuckle digs lightly into the table, as there are plenty of unanswered questions he would like to ask of this visitor. The Ixal. Various rumors. But it would be rude and presumptuous, when they came to them, after all. Thankfully, perhaps the Admiral astutely picked up on this, as she puts a voice to what he would not. With that out, his silvery eyes fixate on their guest from the now-frozen North, "It is not my place to moderate you, Admiral. Please speak your mind."

Gaius Van Baelsar (522) has posed:
The Envoy only simply mms as the equal troubles of others, keeping quiet for the time. The two Ishgardian knights gazing over the area as if waiting for something to leap out of the shadows of the open area here. Including given sometimes equal gaze right back at a few Woodwailers who are in equal turn staring right back.

Steel versus bone would not be a pretty sight in all truth.

Raubahn speaks up in agreement with the Admiral, "Aye, do tell us why Ishgard comes to us and why you have called for us all here." Though there is so much more he like to say, but it was not his place nor the time either.

The Envoy takes another sip before he rests the goblet down. He inhales deeply, formulating the words in his head before he speaks, "In pasts time, Eorzea has been allies with Ishgard. The Twelvewood even longer allies by our close borders." The Envoy looks at all gathered, before his eyes come to rest on the Conjurer's own. "Yet something has come to our ears. Though the houses do not believe it to be true, a warning is to be set never-the-less in these troubled times."

The Envoy then places a scroll on the table, one he keeps his hand on. "Because of the mysterious bringing to this new world and because of the gathered strength of the Dravanian horde. The Great houses of Ishgard and to the Holy See himself requests that in order to continued maintained peace between our borders that the Eorzean alliance allow no dragon to reside within their borders."

"If a dragon to be found within their domains and not dealt with swiftly, then we have no other option but to deem the Eorzean Alliance heretics within the religious order and be dealt with as such. No tolerance can be given, not even to those from outside our lands. For any could become an ally of the Dravanian horde, as we have found even among some of our most trusted."

Admiral Merlwyb (595) has posed:
Admiral Merlwyb listens closely to the Envoy's words, expression passive and neutral even with most of her face hidden within the goblet she has kept to her lips. One eyebrow rises noticeably as the Envoy makes the demand that no draconic being -- Eorzean or Outsider alike -- be allowed on Alliance lands. Alright, that raises the hackles, but nothing that can't be... wait.

Slowly, the Admiral lowers her goblet to rest on the tabletop's surface as the Envoy finishes the second part of the demand. "Pray tell if I heard this correctly." Her voice is quiet and calm, almost pleasant to the ears... very much so like the calm before a storm. "You did not wish to involve yourself in the Eorzean Alliance when we first approached you with the subject a scant few months ago. Now that the Calamity has befallen us in equal measure, you now have decided to unilaterally involve us in your war with the Dravanians. Not only that, but you also feel some Gods-given right to dictate to us how to deal with our own people and to determine who visits our lands from without."

She leans forward on her elbows, folding her hands underneath her chin as a dangerous smile pulls at the corners of her mouth. "Did I hear you correctly, Honored Envoy. Pray, correct me if I have misunderstood."

Wo has posed:
    E-Sumi-Yan, too, listens as carefully and calmly as he can to the envoy's response to the calls for directness, and gives a subtly swept hand towards the local guards in order to try to calm their nerves. Indeed, it would not be a favorable encounter, but the Shroud still has its ways of protecting its own, should that unfortunate circumstance become necessary. Nonetheless, that is before their guest lays it on as thick as only an Ishgardian's zeal can muster.

    It's rare that something is able to get a noticeable reaction out of a Padjal. Well, at least the elder ones. But this proclamation earns the emissary a look of first disbelief, then a furrowing of the eyebrow. If were it not for his place of origin and manner of dress, one might mistake it for a jest. However, as the saying goes, one does not shoot the messenger - as far as the Conjurer knows, this is merely what he was told to recite, not necessarily his own feelings or endorsement. --of course, for their people, the word of the See doubles as such.

    After gathering his thoughts, he gives his own response, as measured as he can to avoid provoking him further, while simultaneously refusing. "We acknowledge your feud with the dragons -- but, I would counter-advise that discriminating against outsiders similarly would be a gross error. They are not involved in your campaign, and they far outnumber even the standing armies of Ishgard." He stands again, and while his height is nothing to be intimidated of, that unsettling stare of his, centuries old for all the visitor knows, stays fixed directly upon him.

    "In time, the Elder Seedseer will speak of this matter, herself. But I have confidence that she will believe as I do: We will not turn away assistance merely because the one giving it may possess draconic aspects." The Gridanians, especially, have long standing, positive relationships with a few of the beast tribes. If anyone can look past an exterior or odd behavior, it would be them.

Gaius Van Baelsar (522) has posed:
The Envoy stares right back at the Admiral, "It is what has been given to be my the great houses to inform. Yes." He stands up a bit more straight, those elezen eyes though never breaking away or becoming unsteady as he speaks. "If the Dravanians believe for one moment they can come to your lands unhindered, then we will be dealing with the beasts on two sides instead of just a single-- and bad enough we already lost one of our forts to the bloody animals."

Raubahn sits up his chain. Having to refuse to slam his hand on the very table before him at this. Silence also holds him, as he the syndicate holds more say on what Ul'dah will do then he can admit too and though the Sultana trusts him to make the right choices.. the Eorzean Alliance will act as one.

The Highlander Gladiator also knows that this befalls Gridanian more then any of them, as they are the nearest neighbors to Ishgardian lands. If Ishgard is declaring a warning to war...

Though when the Padjal speaks the Envoy stares at the young man as he stares. Those eyes locked in that moment, such look though-- does cause the Envoy to sit back a bit more in his chair, but never does it leave that scroll. "Then you do understand that the great houses may be left to no choice in this matter. We must protect our lands and if these outsiders are ever as vast as you say.. they too could be a threat to our society, as the Dravanian horde might even find shelter there." he shakes his head, "Nay, perhaps even that of allies."

The Envoy lowers his head gently. "Please reconsider this.. the houses truly do not wish to cast away what little remains of the friendship Eorzean and Ishgard once had, but in these troubled times, as what forced you to even create the alliance in the first place, we must do what must be done."

The Envoy then looks at all here once more. "Either follow the request given, by signing in agreement to what is on the scroll.. or I shall go back empty handed and the already strained friendship shall be ever broken as the scroll that is left behind."

Raubahn speaks up about then, his eyes narrowed but his words calm as one could gain from a Gladiator of his stature. "Did it ever come to your Great Houses attention that perhaps if they put aside their pride, they could join blades with us and together we could work to handle the situation? Be they so prideful they forget they could possible gain more allies in these troubled times then make that of enemies?"

The Envoy looks over to Raubahn, "The Houses thought hard before sending me here.. but I am but a simpler messenger. What choice was made was made for the best interest of Ishgard and best Interest made by that of the High See."

Admiral Merlwyb (595) has posed:
Admiral Merlwyb mmm's softly. "All or nothing, Envoy? You spurned our offer of alliance already when freely offered, so now you feel you must forcibly take it now that you believe our backs are against the wall as much as yours?" Her voice is still calmly quiet, but her eyes have narrowed and her dangerous smile has not changed one bit. "Oh, how little you know."

Her voice rises in volume incrementally. "Do not forget that the Garlean Empire has grown more active as of late, and they too have allies from the Outside. They care not from whence their allies come, only that their own goals are met. My ports are already beseiged by metal-hulled ships of a make far beyond my own, and you would have me sacrifice my sole means of countering them due to your own shortsightedness?"

She suddenly places her hands on the tabletop and stands, arms straightening as if pushing herself up to her feet. She leans fully forward on one arm, the other hand resting on her hip in a jaunty fashion as one would expect of a pirate. Her voice, similarly, takes a very hard edge yet still does not lose the calmness that makes her so feared by those of lesser fortitude. "Do not place the blame on us, you prideful lot. Messenger you may be, but you are a prime example of Ishgard herself, and 'tis not flattery but a travesty."

She draws one of her pistols only to rest it on the table, far away from the scroll the Envoy holds. The Ul'Dahn Gladiator will recognize the gesture, the Gridanian Conjurer would possibly recall it from the past. "Raubaun, El-Sumi-Yan. I feel we are already in agreement, but just for the sake of official record--" She pinns the Envoy with a piercing gaze of her own. "I say that the Eorzean Alliance shall not be strong-armed into the short-sighted benefit of a land who has proudly stood apart until they believe us to be in a weak enough position to be cowed. Should one of us decide otherwise on their own, so be it -- but let not the decision of one land determine the path of all free Eorzeans."

Wo has posed:
    This inflexibility, this obsession..this strains their relationships more than any dragon ever could, if only they could realize it. E-Sumi-Yan is wholly of mind of what exactly is being put in front of them here. It is not, as some might say, precisely a declaration of war. The elites of Ishgard are a bit savvier than that, and they know the value of being on the upper hand of history. What the horned 'boy' realizes, then, is that what they are looking for is a license to do what they want, while still being able to portray it as having attempted the diplomatic solution.

    Despite the envoy's half-flattery, and words he might himself believe, the truth behind it is transparent to an older one like E-Sumi-Yan. This is a wholly calculated move on their part - and they likely already knew their position on the matter. With that notion in mind, it makes it even easier to call the bluff, for an entire people. Even if it is regretful, he - mostly symbolically - nudges the offered scroll side, and gives a shake of his head with his eyes closed. "Do not let that snowstorm render you blind. As written, this agreement would cripple our alliance, more than strengthen it. In Gridania, we live by the will of the Twelveswood, and so forth it has been welcoming of the outsiders. Should trouble come of their visits, we will deal with it of our own volition, not as part of your blood feud."

    Some of the words spoken by their visitor were true. It is a valued alliance, albeit one that has been strained by various events and missed opportunities for understanding. But - this is not the common ground they are looking for. With a heavy heart he verbally affirms the Admiral's words, "As the Elder Seedseer's representative, and for the people of Gridania and the Wood, I refuse to sign this. It is my hope that your leaders will also reconsider." That leaves only the representative from Ul'dah, whom the Padjal's eyes now travel to. He cannot speak for Raubahn any more than Merlwyb could, but something tells him that it will be just as untennable.

Gaius Van Baelsar (522) has posed:
When Admiral Merlwyb stands and makes herself known, the Envoy frowns at what he hears. When the Seedseer speaks, it is met with an equal frown and the light in his eyes start to leave. Is this really how it shall be? Then as Raubahn speaks, the Envoy only stays quiet still. "Though I can not speak for the entirety of the Syndicate, I am in agreement with the Admiral. We shall not simply stand away from our allies beyond because of your nations concerns. Though noted they may be, but we will continue to fight with our allies. Be they man or beast. Our swords and shields, will forever remain at their side, so long as they too aid us against the true danger that threatens us all."

Raubahn then points his finger to the Envoy, "For do not think of a moment that the Garlean Empire will not turn their eye to Ishgard. For now they may ignore you, lucky as you may be, but they will come for you and with no allies to your backs. Your blades ever may as well be dull and your greatest of armors that of rust in the desert sand."

With a heavy sigh, the Envoy then goes to stand. He takes the scroll and does as instructed to do if such came to it. There was hesitation in hands though. For so long Gridania, all of Eorzea in truth, have been allies with Ishgard. Ishgard after all were the ones that provided Eorzea with the Chocobos, though when they had to close up the gates...

...such promises of raising was left in the wind. Only with the Ishgardians who refuse to come home now call this land home and the Envoy knows what this could mean even for them.

"Then it is decided." The Envoy says with some disdain in his own words, perhaps that was the look on his face when he arrived. He knew, in his heart, it would come to this as well. He takes the very scroll and break it in half, tearing it, before leaving it upon the table.

"I am sorry that it has come to this and I will inform the Great Houses and the High See of what you all have said. If that be all, I shall now take my leave... May the Fury all have mercy on us..."