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Posted by on 2004 May 27 |

The Account of the First Night of Peace Talks

(86 Lirisa 376)

We stand at the Obsidian Pass, at a Zoluren Outpost just shy of the Ilithi Border. The peace talks would start soon, in fact, they were already late. I travelled down here in the company of the Prince and others of his Court, staff, and command. The performer in me hopes that someone else was even later.

I claim my seat quietly in the seating area. We did indeed have to wait for a while longer. I wonder if the participants were being given the rules of order for the proceedings. Later, I would laugh at that thought. I could see the Prince”s Table; the room is bare except for a rosewood table and several chairs, the platform area is obviously intended to be no more than a temporary ceremonial dais. Several sets of papers are neatly stacked upon the elegant rosewood table. A quill and ink rest convenient to each place setting. Finally at long last, Herald Antoc arrived.’, ‘[ooc note: There are a very few (parenthetical) remarks next to the account – and that which appears in italics were but a smidgeon of the comments going on near where I sat. Here it is as it transpired before our eyes.]

Antoc clears his throat and says, “We are gathered here on this day, the 85th day of year 376, to facilitate an accord among the provinces and the occupying government of Ilithi. Please remain silent as dignitaries are announced and escorted in.”

Antoc unlatches and opens his leather journal and pushes his spectacles up the bridge of his nose as he reads,”Representing the Outcast government…”

“Warrior King Raenilar Celendron, Yhaman, Koromas Urthil, Mairdaen – Keeper of history, Varinocae Lidh.”

Warrior King Raenilar”s group came in from one side..

Antoc turns a page of his journal and raises an eyebrow, saying, “Representing the Outcast allies…”

“Lady Jomay Maveinelei,
Votary Wyren Si’drow.”

Wyren waves at someone, who knows, maybe at everyone, as they enter together.

Antoc casually observes the area, and turns another page, “Introducing the Mountain Elf contingent…”

“Queen Morganae Sunderstone,
Prince Fayne Sunderstone,
Lady Eluresturi Ynaen”almura,
Captain Herrick Iocaste,
Envoy Getalva Suiashin.”

Prince Fayne escorts the members of the Mountain Elves group in.

Antoc turns a page of his journal and calls, “Representing the Zoluren-Therengian alliance…”

“His Majesty, Vorclaf Lasa”Sorvendig – Prince of Zoluren,
His Grace, Gyfford Theren – Baron of Therengia,
Lady Edenlaen Farrenlaore – Khalo of the Empath Guild,
Captain Shaheyra Kawhn of the Royal Guard,
Commander Bilgrath Sharcoris of the Therengian Infantry,
Captain Owaen Bannistre of the Zoluren Cavalry.”

Prince Vorclaf”s group follows.

Antoc turns a page of his journal, “Representing the Horse clan of Ilithi…”

“Chieftain Ruinyk Ganela”shyrel.”

Antoc says, “Representing the former Shard government…”

Antoc recites:

“Kulainik Emaylian,
General Kirew Deruhanae.”

We all wince at his words. Former, but give the General and Kulainik the respect we felt they should have as they enter.

Antoc closes his journal and looks forward. “These negotiations are hereby called to order.” With that, he bows.

Kirew surveys the assmebly, looking down his nose arrogantly. Vorclaf sits down on the chair. Raenilar folds his arms across his chest. Shaheyra moves behind Vorclaf”s left shoulder, hands loosely clasped behind her back. Morganae takes a seat, nodding very slightly to her entourage. Fayne holds the chair for Queen Morganae, then sits, too. Herrick stands near Morganae. Jomay casually observes the area and sits down. Wyren takes a seat near Jomay. Bilgrath moves to stand behind Gyfford”s left side. Eluresturi takes a stance at Fayne”s shoulder. Yhaman stands near Raenilar. Koromas stands near Raenilar. Getalva moves to stand beside Eluresturi, folding his arms loosely behind his back.

Jomay says to Kirew, “Oh do sit down.” He did not take her up on that invitation.

Kulainik regards the standing Raenilar, facing him across the table.

Vorclaf asks Raenilar, “Are you waiting for an invitation to be seated, or do you wish to conquer it first?”

Quietly, I ask those near me, many who are already snickering, “Who is keeping score?”

Toulom cheerfully says, “Zoluren, first point.”

Asrea takes out a small chalkboard and places it neatly on the wall. I leave the scorekeeping to the two of them and turn back to the proceedings.

Raenilar says, “It appears to present more of a threat than you do, Prince Vorclaf, and therefore I give it more consideration first.”

Gyfford says, “We will cede tha chair please sit.”

Yhaman grins at Koromas.

Raenilar asks, “Do you wish to dispense with the petty insults, then?”

Vorclaf says, “I”m sure a defenseless chair is to your liking, King. Something that doesn”t fight back and will shape to your will.”

Gyfford shifts his weight.

Shaheyra flicks her gaze briefly at Vorclaf before looking ahead once more.

Gyfford nods to Bilgrath.

Morganae remains seated, still and silent, her stance hinting at patient indulgence.

Raenilar says, “A simple ”no” would have sufficed. While you may not be interested in being brief, I”ve no interest in wasting more breath than necessary on this. And so I will spare you all the history lesson; though in regards to certain people present, perhaps it would make better autobiographical material.”

Morganae”s head turns to regard Raenilar with distant appraisal.

Mairdaen shifts very slightly, his gaze sweeping the room with alert interest.

Raenilar says, “Shard has fallen. With some small resistance near Fayrin”s Rest that we have allowed to remain while securing our own positions, so has much of Illithi. We also presently hold land north of the gondola, and our forces have engaged at least a few times even to the north of Leth Deriel.”

Raenilar says, “You have something I require, Prince Vorclaf, and you have constantly chosen to place yourself in front of the guilt of the Three, for actions in the past, and for their choices of utter inaction.”

Raenilar says, “They must face judgement, if any of us here wish to stop further bloodshed. You do not want this war on your keep”s doorstep, Prince. Wars fought on your own land are little better for morale than foreign ones.” Raenilar gazes at Gyfford.

Gyfford fixes Raenilar with a frank, even stare.

Vorclaf says, “I have nothing you require, King Raenilar, with the exception of a gallows. You invade Shard. You invade Zoluren, but yet you can not conquer and control both.”

Vorclaf says, “I have sworn my life to protect the Three, and that is non-negotiable.”

Fayne raises an eyebrow.

Raenilar raises an eyebrow.

Gyfford says, “As have I.”

Bilgrath shakes his head at Gyfford.

Jomay turns sharply facing Vorclaf with a piercing glare.

Kirew”s hands rest lightly on his swordbelt and his eyes never leave Raenilar”s face.

Vorclaf glances at Jomay, “Don”t stare at me witch, I will strike that look off your face.”

Wyren places his face in his hand and slowly shakes his head. It would become his signature move for this evening”s talks when later people recalled it.

Kulainik asks Raenilar, “You speak in half truths, and old rage clothes your words. You say you wish to avenge an old wrong, and yet you only repeat it. Is there no wisdom in your people to temper anger with reason?”

Raenilar fixes Kulainik with a serene, lofty stare.

Vorclaf says to Raenilar, “You appear distracted, on many fronts. Stay focussed on our discussion.”

Vorclaf says, “You can not have the Three. You have murdered in cold blood once, you will not do so again.”

Raenilar angrily says to Vorclaf, “Then you would do well to silence your associates while they raise such ”unfocused” matters. Tho I realize you have such little control over your allies, at least in battle.” Raenilar looks thoughtfully at Vorclaf.

Kirew glances at Vorclaf, rage flaring across his face and as quickly suppressed.

Raenilar says, “I seem to recall stories of a certain head sitting upon a certain pike in your lands. ”Cold blood” indeed.”

Vorclaf leans back and smiles softly.

Gyfford says, “Maybe you should learn from that.” Gyfford glances at Raenilar.

Vorclaf says, “We are not here to debate my actions, no matter how justified they were. The table is to discuss your invasion of Zoluren and Shard.”

Morganae turns her head very slightly, beckoning to her Captain. As he bends to her she murmurs very quietly to him, one hand gesturing with idly about the room.

Jomay says, “Lets get to the point dearie. We demand Arthe Dale and the outer clans.”

Mairdaen glances at Jomay with undisguised revulsion.

Vorclaf turns his head and blinks slowly at Jomay, saying to her, “And who are you? Other than some ancient hag.”

Yhaman says to Jomay, “Hold your tongue till required to speak.”

Wyren clears his throat.

Jomay fixes Yhaman with a serene, lofty stare.

Edenlaen gazes coldly at Jomay.

Jomay says to Yhaman, “We were promised many things, do not tell me to hold my tongue.”

Koromas shudders.

Getalva says, “Perhaps we would do well to avoid the insults where possible. On all sides.”

Jomay says to Edenlaen, “And you, don”t even try to show your lack of fear to me. I ”know” you.”

Wyren places his face in his hand and slowly shakes his head.

Edenlaen smiles blandly at Jomay.

Yhaman growls ferociously.

Gyfford says, “A king that can not control his allies has no allies just rabble..”

Yhaman inhales a great swallow of air.

Bilgrath quietly says to Gyfford, “Touche”.”

Vorclaf remains focussed on Raenilar. “Now, shall we continue?”

Jomay loudly exclaims, “I will not be ignored!”

Wyren quietly asks Jomay, “Perhaps… shut up?”

Raenilar says to Gyfford, “Well spoken, given several assaults on our present holdings after my speaking with the Prince”s ambassador.”

Gyfford says, “Not by my people.”

Eluresturi”s hands clench at her sides but she remains silent at Fayne”s back, only her eyes moving from face to face.

Raenilar says to Jomay, “Your role will not be forgotten, Jomay. But your demand has been heard, and there is more to be said.” He turns back to Gyfford, “Indeed. I did not say that it was.”

Getalva leans over to speak quietly with Eluresturi.

Raenilar says to Vorclaf, “And you asked who she was.”

Jomay says to Raenilar, “Of course, dearie, of course.”

Raenilar says, “For the important point, she is a reason we are hosting these talks here, and not further south. To put more of a point on it, she is a reason why the majority of your forces must remain in Zoluren.”

Asrea glances at the scoreboard. It reads Wyren! 1. Vorclaf 3. Theren 1. Raenilar 1. Ilithi 1.

Herrick says, “She is a creature that needs putting down and quickly.”

Fayne glances at Morganae.

Raenilar says, “Let us attempt some… simpler matters.”

Morganae says indulgently, “Now, now, my Captain. Would you refuse this one his toys? I hear no response to the Elothean”s question, and so one must assume that, as children do, he lacks restraint and lacks fully formed reason.”

Herrick bows to Morganae, “As you say my queen.”

Morganae”s gaze rests coolly on Raenilar.

Vorclaf leans back and asks Raenilar, “Do I need to wait 600 years to hear them?”

Gyfford asks, “Perhaps we can return to the simple matters?”

Raenilar shrugs briefly to Vorclaf, and turns to Morganae. “Assume as you like, and accept the consequences of whatever conclusions it brings you to.” He turns back to Vorclaf; Vorclaf seems to be waiting for him.

Morganae says encouragingly, “Indeed, the simple matters seem…best suited to the moment.” Her gaze never wavers from Raenilar, and her voice holds more than a hint of contempt.

Vorclaf glances at Morganae.

Morganae says to Vorclaf, “Do proceed.”

Raenilar says, “First, the city of Shard itself, then. We will not be forced out. And should the fate of the Three be decided, there is little reason for our presence in Zoluren. This war brings about little else.”

Vorclaf says to Raenilar, “So you agree that the Three shall not have any further bearing on these negotiations. And you further agree no actions will be taken by you to somehow ”mysteriously” make them disappear.”

Raenilar says, “Not hardly. I merely assert that should we resolve their fate, there is otherwise little use for this war.”

Gyfford raises an eyebrow. “I had thought we were clear on them already. You may not have them.”

Yhaman makes a grunting noise.

Raenilar smiles.

Eluresturi”s attention shifts to Yhaman briefly.

Shaheyra leans forward slightly, murmuring to Vorclaf for a moment before resuming her position.

Raenilar says, “Then perhaps later, I shall not ask ”for” them, Baron. There are yet other possible fates.”

Yhaman grins at Eluresturi. Eluresturi bares her teeth at Yhaman, an expression which doesn”t remotely resemble an answering grin.

Vorclaf says, “The Three remain a protectorate of Zoluren. If that means they will reside there, then so be it. They will not be given up.”

Gyfford smiles at Raenilar.

Raenilar asks, “You speak of Zoluren, or something a touch more subtle, Baron?”

Jomay giggles. (Oh yes, she really was still here. Quite ignored for the moment.)

Wyren glances at Jomay.

Gyfford says, “You are not stupid I presume…”

Morganae makes a faintly amused sound.

Gyfford shrugs.

Vorclaf says to Raenilar, “To be blunt, the remainder of your tribes to the north.”

Raenilar says, “Indeed. But I wonder what the historians might say of such an ill-advised march into the wastelands for the Baron to undertake.”

Gyfford says with a shrug, “Your old ones your women your children…”

Raenilar says, “Ah! The Paladin in you shines through, Baron. A sterling example, indeed.”

Mairdaen”s gaze flickers rapidly from Gyfford to Vorclaf.

Gyfford says, “This baron will dare it.”

Raenilar says, “Allow me to make it simple for you, then.”

Shaheyra steps back quietly, bowing slightly from the waist. At a distracted nod from Vorclaf she steps out of the room.

Gyfford says, “You sir have no room to talk.”

Raenilar says, “Do so, and I will grant you a fate the late Ferdahl would have been pleased to have.” Raenilar fixes Gyfford with a serene, lofty stare.

Gyfford says, “You may try sir. As the bonfires burn.” He smile right at Raenilar.

Getalva murmurs, “Posturing. Words.” He shakes his head with a light sigh.

Fayne leans over respectfully and whispers a few hushed tones to Morganae.

Yhaman dryly says to Raenilar, “Aman, his people would probably perish in the deserts without assistance from our peoples. Heed his words none.”

Gyfford says, “Conceed the Three and I will turn from what I am urged to do.” Gyfford smiles at Yhaman. Gyfford says, “My border lords know your desert. Fret not.” and Gyfford leans back.

Vorclaf says to Raenilar, “You see? Your cycle of vengence is not yours alone to covet.”

Raenilar says, “On this, I shall listen to Yhaman, tho his words rarely are ones appropriate for these discussions. Baron, I politely invite you to follow into the desert until your heart is content.” Raenilar pointedly ignores Gyfford.

Gyfford says, “On your head sir be those deaths.”

Yhaman nods to Gyfford.

Gyfford shrugs.

Yhaman says to Gyfford, “And when you return, perhaps my cullings will be to your liking.”

Gyfford fixes Yhaman with a frank, even stare.

Wyren quietly says to Jomay, “I really don”t like the desert.”

Gyfford leans back and whispers to Bilgrath.

Raenilar says to Vorclaf, “You”d do well to follow my advice earlier, and silence your own ”allies” if you wish any progress.”

Bilgrath nods to Gyfford, “It will be done.” Gyfford nods to Bilgrath.

Vorclaf says to Raenilar, “We are getting nowhere. Demonstrate your nobility by releasing the Three from any further harm and we can proceed further.And as for the Baron, he has his own will and strength, as do the people of Ilithi, and that will not be silenced.”

Gyfford smiles at Vorclaf.

Jomay says to Vorclaf, “They will cower in fear and be silenced. I have seen empires rise and fall, yours is nothing compared to those great times.”

Vorclaf turns to Jomay and says, “Stuff it.”

Raenilar says, “I believe ”nobility” has firmly thrown itself through the door.” Raenilar glances at Gyfford.

Wyren places his face in his hand and slowly shakes his head. (See, by now, that is his signature move; The Votary”s contribution to the night.)

Eluresturi hisses to Jomay, “Be silent, you mad creature. Honorless, faithless, empty of spirit and heart, be still.”

Wyren looks around for the nearest exit.

Raenilar says, “Apparently, we have both chosen some poor allies.” He smiles at Vorclaf.

Kulainik says to Raenilar, “You are strong, there is no denying this. You may even have the favor of some dark and angry god to speed your way. But you are no king, only a hunger and a spite. Until you learn what it is to rule, and that it means to serve as well as to command, you will be no more than the most vicious dog in a pack of curs.” Kulainik fixes Raenilar with a calm, clear stare.

Edenlaen smiles at Eluresturi.

Vorclaf asks Raenilar, “Oh I have confidence in mine. I put my lives in the hands of Zoluren, Ilithi and Therengia. Can you say the same for yours?”

Gyfford smiles, “And the gypsy part of your plan rots in my prison.”

Wyren turns to Raenilar and gives a wide grin.

Raenilar nods to Wyren.

Bilgrath snorts, loudly and nods to Gyfford.

Toulom gave us the score:

“Outcasts: four
Theren: three
Ilithi: three
Zoluren: six
Wyren: two
Mountain Elves: five.”

Jomay says to Wyren, “Yes dearie, you are good boy.”

Raenilar says, “You might say that, Prince. And your zealous Baron may wish to realize who else sits in whose prisons. Some are … far more dear to us than… others.”

Gyfford says, “Be glad your viceroy doesn”t sit in my prison.”

Raenilar says to Ruinyk, “It is good, then, that we have came here for both.”

Vorclaf asks Raenilar, “And your Viceroy has been treated with respect and dignity even in the dungeons. Can you say the same for Zoranyl?”

Ruinyk says to Raenilar, “There cannot be both. You fight those who, themselves, did nothing to you, and offered to right those wrongs committed by their ancestors.”

Yhaman grunts at Ruinyk.

Gyfford says, “Yes let us speak of a lack of nobility..when we speak of how you have treated him.”

Wyren furrows his brow. Wyren quietly asks Jomay, “What is he talking about?”

Yhaman asks Ruinyk, “What, her offer of us living under her thumb?” Yhaman makes a grunting noise.

Vorclaf glances at Yhaman.

Jomay says to Wyren, “Nothing, be silent.”

Raenilar turns to Kulainik. “And you. You, who preach so elegantly of leadership. Follower of leaders that do not know justice. Follower of leaders that would stand upon the graves of ancestors forced from the land so they could have what they wished. Follower of leaders that would do nothing to right this wrong, until its righting was forced upon them. Follower of leaders that has brought you to … what?”

Ruinyk says to Yhaman, “And so you killed her, rather than talk, rather than see if something could be arranged.”

Kirew glances at Yhaman, saying harshly, “You speak without knowledge, for you never paused to hear her words. Say what you will now, but those of us who witnessed remember the truth of the matter.”

Gyfford says, “Explain to your ally Wyren….tell him what you think fair treatment is.” Gyfford fixes Jomay with a frank, even stare.

Kulainik says to Raenilar, “I say again – you speak half a truth, and you made no attempt to learn the rest.”

Vorclaf says to Raenilar, “I believe you underestimate many things, King Raenilar.” Vorclaf stands up, “First, you underestimate the resolve of the Ilithi people.”

Kulainik says to Raenilar, “I say again – you speak half a truth, and you made no attempt to learn the rest.”

Ruinyk says, “Was it? No, she would not give up Shard, but would she have allowed you to remain within the borders of Ilithi? Would she have attempted to set land aside for all of you to live outside of the desert? She may have. I think she would have, but you killed her.”

Vorclaf says, “Secondly, you underestimate the strong alliances we have formed. Theregia, my good friend the Baron,” he smiles at Gyfford. “Ilithi, even what remains of their force.” Vorclaf smiles at Kulainik with those words, and continues, “And let us not forget Qi. Yes… Qi. Strong warriors, who have driven your forces and those of the red sash of their islands.”

Vorclaf asks, “Can you say, then when you are in a position of need, that anyone will answer your call?” Vorclaf glances at Raenilar. “Even occupied, Qi did not hesitate to come to aid when I gave word.”

Morganae yawns delicately, and says in a soft, disinterested voice, “Come, gentlemen, cease this posturing. Begin to come to an accord, or….perhaps you wish me to watch as you eat each other alive, and leave none standing after you?”

Kirew glances at Morganae.

Vorclaf asks, “Can you say that your witch here…” He glance with Jomay with amusement. “Will come and aid you in -your- time of need? And yes, even our new allies in the Mountain Elves. Vorclaf bows respectfully to Morganae.

Getalva gives an ironic bow.

Vorclaf turns to face Raenilar. “Can you say, that your allies will stand with you?”

Eluresturi eyes flash to Morganae”s face very swiftly, anger readily apparent before she lowers her gaze cautiously.

Yhaman folds his arms across his chest.

A shimmering mirror of shadows appears momentarily in the air above, briefly revealing Osur”s face. (Oh! What timing that mirrored face would be – Osur is one of Ilithi”s Three.)

Vorclaf says to Raenilar, “I suggest to you this. Release the Three from your ”blood oath” and we can proceed further.”

Gyfford nods.

Fayne glances at Raenilar.

Raenilar asks, “They have, and they will. Take care your words, Prince, and your bowing to your ”allies” of the Mountain Elves so soon after they idly offer to consume your lands as well. Take care you not overestimate your own position, or do you truly wish to learn who must experience their ”time of need” earliest?”

Gyfford says, “I will stop my border lords from planing this minute,” then he adds, “If the Three are no longer on the table that is.”

Kulainik glances up sharply as the last shadow mirror shimmers breifly.

Wyren expresses a sigh of relief at not having to go to the deserts and glances at Vorclaf and Raenilar in turn.

Raenilar says, “I will make no such offer, Prince Vorclaf.”

Gyfford says, “You have gained much king do not let being single minded blind you.”

Raenilar says, “If you wish to continue, I suggest other matters be discussed, should this war indeed come to an end and a suitable fate for the Three be found.”

Morganae says to Raenilar, “Perhaps it is that your grasp of the Common is lacking in some manner. Perhaps you really do only hear what you wish to hear. A little advice – that is never a safe thing. You must seek to hear what you do not wish as well, or surely you will fall in the end, victim to your own folly.”

Getalva says, “And here we begin again.”

Wyren glances at Morganae.

Jomay begins to stare at Morganae then turns away.

Bilgrath slings a covered shield over his shoulder.

Morganae”s head turns to regard Wyren with a meditative air. Wyren looks down, trying not to be noticed. (Too late, Votary…you are in her gaze.)

Then Toulom gives us the current score:

“Outcasts: five
Theren: four
Ilithi: five
Zoluren: seven
Wyren: two
Mountain Elves: seven
Zaldi Taipa: two.” (Zaldi Taipa?)

Eluresturi”s mouth curves slightly in a very small, very private smile.

Edenlaen nods slightly to Eluresturi.

Ruinyk says, “If this point will not be compromised, it would seem there is little need for further discussion…”

Raenilar chuckles at Ruinyk.

Gyfford says, “Then let us discuss a gesture of good faith….You remove your barricades for free travel.”

Wyren says to Gyfford, “One has been destroyed by an angry tog.”

Toulom exclaims, “Hello, Gurt!”

Gyfford says, “Always a scarey sight sir. But now remove the rest.”

Wyren leans over and whispers to Yhaman.

Raenilar waves a hand dismissively. “Should we agree to end this war, granted. You lead well into a topic perhaps some progress can be made on. Trade.”

Gyfford says, “Bah.”

Yhaman dryly says to Raenilar, “I see again how a truce was broken, even after a talk with an Ambassador.”

Gyfford says, “There can be no trade with barricades.”

Raenilar glances at Gyfford, “… Thus why they would be removed. I did not believe you so dense.”

Yhaman dryly says to Raenilar, “If their truces equate to what their words mean here, they are worth nothing.”

Gyfford leans back, and Vorclaf shakes his head in disbelief.

Gyfford says, “A simple request king. And you choose insult.” He stands up.

Varinocae mutters to herself, “Children.”

Vorclaf says, “Sir, trade is done with nations who do not hold hostages. Trade is done with nations who allow their citizens travel through their towns without molestation.”

Gyfford says, “I was asking the barricades to come down now as a gesture of good will.”

Vorclaf says, “You wish to discuss trade? Demonstrate a gesture of good faith. You have yet to present anything to this table of worth.”
Gyfford nods to Vorclaf, “Just so.”

Kirew makes an impatient gesture, cut short sharply. His angry gaze meets that of Kulainik, and he settles to tense stillness once again.

Vorclaf asks Raenilar, “I have asked for the Three, you have refused. I have asked for removal of troops from Zoluren, you have refused. What -do- you offer?”

Raenilar says, “Trade is done with nations that do not threaten to crusade against the old and the young. You groan of hostages, and keep your own prisoners. Cease this utter foolishness, Prince.”

Herrick says with a shrug, “Perhaps he fears you will march troops down those barricadless roads…”

Mairdaen”s gaze shifts from face to face, alert and concentrated.

Vorclaf says, “Sir, we do not ”kidnap” innocents. If the sound of that does not taste good to you, then perhaps you should find a new vocation. Your Viceroy was captured and treated fairly. Your ally Raellia, was captured and treated fairly.”

Getalva says, “Gentlemen, this does no good. We can point blame and accuse each other all day, and that day will be wasted. Someone needs to give.”

Herrick bends over to whisper to Morganae while Eluresturi”s hand fists slowly at her side.

Raenilar says, “And consider to listen as well. Occupying Zoluren is of little value should this war end. I”ve said that much already.” Raenilar snorts, loudly.

Morganae”s head turns slightly, inclining to her Captain as he speaks.

Vorclaf asks, “You dare to have your witch here perform her acts of necromancy on my guardsman?”
Wyren glances first at Vorclaf, then at Jomay.

Raenilar asks, “I da– what?” Raenilar peers quizzically at Vorclaf then glances at Jomay.

Vorclaf asks Jomay, “Do you deny it?”

Jomay clasps her hands infront of her. “I deny nothing, I took his pain, nothing further.”

Koromas glances at Raenilar.

Wyren glances at Jomay.

Antoc pushes his spectacles up the bridge of his nose.

Raenilar says, “Explain your claim, Prince Vorclaf.”

Vorclaf laughs once. “My claim?”

Raenilar says, “Whatever it is you”ve just gone on about,” as he gestures towards Jomay.

Vorclaf says, “Yes, I heard you, I could not believe you do not know what magics she is performing. Countless witness have observed this ***** and the necromancer performing… rituals.”

Jomay waves her hand dismissively.

Raenilar asks, “And this has… what to do with these proceedings?”

Vorclaf looks down and shakes his head. “You… you are unaware of what goes on beneath your very nose.”

Mairdaen draws a little further away from Jomay, expression a mixture of disgust and wariness.

Raenilar says, “Spoken by one that needed the older Baron”s assistance to claim the crown. I”m still looking for why this is relevant.”

Vorclaf says to Raenilar, “Release the hostages. Now.”

Gyfford fixes Raenilar with a frank, even stare.

Gyfford says, “You are not worthy to mention my lord father even in passing. And that has no bearing here.”

Raenilar mutters into the air something about short-sightedness.

Vorclaf says to Raenilar, “You hold my cousin, Keresyk. You hold my guardsman, Zoranyl, and it”s reported you even hold the Goblin Prince.”

Vorclaf says, “Release them.”

Gyfford nods to Vorclaf.

Fayne glances at Morganae.

Jomay says, “We”ll do nothing of the sort.”

Raenilar asks, “In exchange for… what? What do you offer for this request that I must immediately fulfill, Prince Vorclaf?”

Morganae says calmly to Raenilar, “Do you seek to prove to us that you are only and utterly a fool? Your position is not so strong as all this, that you can antagonize all in this room and hope to stand alone.”

Yhaman growls low in the back of his throat.

Fayne says to Yhaman, “Keep your growls down, less you find yourself with no head to speak from.”

Bilgrath says to Fayne, “It is a peace talk, we should keep it to that Milord.”

Raenilar says to Morganae, “I see much blind posturing, threats, and requests from those whose lands survive this day solely because of these discussions. I do not see much more, yet.”

Fayne asks Bilgrath, “And who are you?”

Bilgrath says to Fayne, “I am a Therengian Milord, I just imply too many threats are being used in these talks.”

Yhaman says to Raenilar, “More threats it seems my Aman.”

Getalva says, “You speak as if you are guiltless of the same.”

Vorclaf says to Raenilar, “I will return to you, your Viceroy in exchange for the hostages.”

Herrick glances at Morganae.

Morganae”s head turns slowly as she fastens her remote gaze on Raenilar once again. She says distantly, “You are tedious. Strength without wisdom is always so, and you begin to wear on my patience.”

Antoc jots a few notes in his journal.

Vorclaf coyly says to Raenilar, “However, in addition to this trade… I want you to deliver me the goblin.”

Raenilar says to Vorclaf, laughing, “Should you come across a suitable heir of mine, such an exchange would be quite appropriate. As is, I have no desire to hold these prisoners indefinitely, but nor shall I offer them up solely in exchange for those you hold. You demand your heir, -and- my ally, for the Viceroy? I am pleased you value the Viceroy Egolan so highly. Indeed he is valuable.” Raenilar smiles.

Eluresturi says to Raenilar, “He is only slightly less a cur than you.”

Koromas looks thoughtfully at Eluresturi.

Vorclaf says, “A more than fair trade. Your ally is inept. Your Viceroy is as I understand, quite knowledgable and also your right hand.”

Raenilar says, “Certainly. You may have them, for the Baron”s head and but one of the Three. Now, perhaps, we can dispense with these absurd notions again.”

Morganae gestures to Eluresturi to be silent, but she doesn”t seem displeased.

Jomay laughs at Vorclaf.

Gyfford sits down on the chair.

Jomay says to Vorclaf, “You stupid human. You have no idea.”

Raenilar smiles at Gyfford, “In this I mean no offense.”

Gyfford says, “Understood. Amusing all the same. My lords…”

Eluresturi appears to be concentrating intently on something.

Eluresturi raises her eyes and fastens them on Jomay warningly.

Vorclaf says to Jomay, “At one point in my life, I piked a traitor”s head. I swore I would never do such a deed again. You, madam, would make a liar out of me.”

Wyren says to Jomay, “Good thing Jourok isn”t here.”

Raenilar ponders.

Fayne folds his arms across his chest.

Raenilar says, “We shall withdraw to the south side of the gondola. Providing your people, Baron, withdraw into your lands.”
Kirew says to Raenilar, “You stand firm on your demand for the Three based on the belief that they owe you something for the crimes of history.”

Yhaman folds his arms across his chest.

Raenilar says, “We both know how quickly such a decision can be unmade.”

Gyfford says, “I can not withdraw my people I am sworn to help the prince.”

Raenilar says, “Perhaps it is a suitable start.”

Kirew says to Raenilar, “You operate under a mistaken premise in this determination to kill more of the leaders of Shard and of the Elothean people. None knew of your…ancient grievance save our Ferdahl, and….” his head turns towards Morganae momentarily. He resumes, “And of those two, the Ferdahl knew only what was written by her grandfather, and in that, there was no word of where those of your people who were driven forther went to. You vanished from all knowledge for those centuries – even those of your people who did remain and joined with ours forgot you in time.”

Raenilar says to Kirew, “Indeed, your people nearly succeeded in forgetting. It is good that they did not.” Raenilar looks at Kirew and shrugs.

Gyfford says, “And this you knew when you made that offer.” Gyfford shrugs.

Raenilar nods to Gyfford.

Gyfford says, “I will not be foresworn for barricades.”

Raenilar asks Gyfford, “Indeed, but should this war end, what need do you have of your forces in Zoluren?”

Vorclaf asks Raenilar, “You are so focused on the Three and the house leaders, yet you have mentioned your desire to seek vengence on another. And she sits at this table. Will you demand the Queen as well?”

Wyren says to Morganae, “I believe he”s referring to you.”

Fayne fixes Wyren with a serene, lofty stare.

Raenilar says to Gyfford, “And should these talks devolve into the outbreak of war, you are quite capable of returning.”

Yhaman grins.

Gyfford shakes his head.

Raenilar says to Gyfford, “Just as we are quite capable of retaking land.”

Kulainik asks Raenilar, “Are you indeed the rigid, intemperate *fool* this queen names you?”

Kulainik regards Raenilar with disbelieving astonishment.

Gyfford says, “I can not be foresworn for stone and metal..”

Raenilar says to Vorclaf, “Then perhaps with your permission, Prince Vorclaf, you may offer permission for your ally to return to his lands. As he seems to feel he would be ”abandoning” you.” He chuckles.

Morganae sits poised and still, her attitude eloquent of sorely tried patience.

Raenilar says, “Demand the head of Queen Morganae.” Raenilar ponders.

Vorclaf says to Raenilar, “You become too distracted and switch from topic to topic, ignoring the ones of importance. One would wonder if you are truly intent on these discussions or are preparing some deception.”

Raenilar chuckles at Vorclaf, “Perhaps for once, you should listen to your ally the Baron, then. He has spoken of worth, when suggesting at least some minor matter be solved.”

Yhaman growls low in the back of his throat.

Vorclaf says, “I begin to wonder if your ability is only in the body and not in the mind.”

Yhaman balls up his fists stiffly at his side.

Koromas shakes his head at Yhaman.

Raenilar says to Vorclaf, “Pray it is not, Prince Vorclaf; you would abhor the consequences if it were. I am, after all, still -here-.”

Yhaman glances at Koromas.

Gyfford asks, “Why? when you will not bend?”

Yhaman inhales a great swallow of air.

Vorclaf says to Raenilar, “I have brought valid issues to the discussion, which to be pointed -you- wished in the first place. Do you intend on making a mockery of these talks, or will you demonstrate some sort of intelligence in making a decision.”

Mairdaen”s gaze scans the room, resting on each face in turn, his own expressive of nothing more than concentration and profound thoughtfulness.

Herrick shifts his weight.

Raenilar says, “Your demands are from an untenable position, and unreasonable to accept, Prince Vorclaf. If you do not desire these discussions, then perhaps a little time is needed before you do. I would advise against you taking that course of action, however.”
Vorclaf says to Raenilar, “And in regards to the good Baron. I have no intention of ”sending” him home. Zoluren and Therengia share a long history of alliance. His armies march through Zoluren with my blessing. Why? Because, we have trust in one another.”

Morganae says very softly to Raenilar, “Little, nameless, forgotten whelp of a desert dog, you place too much faith in your position. It is not as strong as you pretend to believe and all here know it.”

Vorclaf asks Raenilar, “Explain to me how the release of your hostages for my prisoners is unreasonable?”

Vorclaf asks, “Do you not hold value on your Viceroy? Your right hand as it were? Or do you fear that the only way you can control a situation is to be nothing more than simple kidnapper.”

Eluresturi turns her head slightly to meet Kirew”s gaze for a long moment.

Toulom gives us another score update:

“Outcasts: six
Theren: four
Ilithi: seven
Zoluren: eleven
Wyren: two
Mountain Elves: thirteen
Zaldi Taipa: two
Gurt and Nuark: one.”

Antoc turns the page of his journal and continues his documenting.

Raenilar says, “Perhaps you should value your heirs more highly, Prince. I imagine that unlike my people, he was not willing to die over this.”

Gyfford asks, “You who would make war on a child?”

Vorclaf says to Raenilar, “Keresyk is of age to make decision and serve. I honor his choice as I honor all who choose to serve.”

Vorclaf says to Raenilar, “I do not hide in my Keep, I met you on the battlefield, as did Keresyk serve on ship.”

Raenilar says, “Hardly. He is treated well — which is far better than what you threaten just this night, Baron.” Raenilar looks at Gyfford and shrugs.

Vorclaf says, “You are nothing more than a thug, with other thugs serving.”

Wyren quietly says to Jomay, “I”m not really a thug.”

Mairdaen glances keenly at Wyren.

Raenilar asks, “Shall I spit your words back at you, Prince? What else would you call the man that threatens so boldly to march on what old and children alike he can find amidst a desert?” Raenilar glares at Vorclaf.

Raenilar says, “”Your good friend” if I recall correctly.”

Vorclaf asks Raenilar, “With respect, you have no idea how he is treated. You were unaware of Zoranyl”s treatment. And what of the Goblin prince? And what other hostages do you hold that we are unaware of?”

Fayne says to Raenilar, “What you fail to see, is that while the Human Prince holds prisoners. You hold hostages, there is a difference.”

Raenilar snorts at Fayne.

Yhaman dryly says, “This is pointless. If I wanted to hear threats, insults I could of just stayed in Shard and listen to the Commanders talk. My Aman, we walk in circles in these talks. Word games not good, direct should this be.”

Fayne says to Raenilar, “Do not snort at me, or perhaps you forget the fatal blow I dealt to you so soon. There is more of that where it came from.”

Raenilar says, “Such a selective memory for memorable encounters. Spare your threats, I tire of them.”

Gyfford sighs.

Raenilar says, “It”s clear nothing shall be accomplished this evening. I suggest we end for now, and return on the next day for another attempt.”

Vorclaf asks, “Again… you stall, for what purpose?”

Gyfford asks, “Perhaps you will come back to the table with a more open mind if we do break?”

Vorclaf says, “Give the hostages back, take your troops back off Zoluren lands, relinquish your quest against the Three and the Queen, then we can deal with the next issues.”

Raenilar says, “For the purpose of -not- destroying more keeps than I need to, Prince. Or perhaps you should ask what you have left to gain with your foolish demands. Demands like those, for which you have nothing to offer.” He turns to Gyfford, “Let us hope that more than just “I” return with an open mind,” then scoffs.

Gyfford says, “Sir my mind is open.”

Vorclaf says, “For the hostages and the Goblin Grishnok, I will return your Viceroy.”

Morganae says, “This is pointless. Desert cur, end this posturing and come back to this table as a man with something which might distantly resemble a working intellect, rather than a posturing ego drunk on blood. Otherwise you may find that rather than drink, you may drown in it.”

Raenilar fixes Morganae with a serene, lofty stare.

Morganae flicks one hand sharply, an irritated gesture.

Wyren quietly says to Jomay, “This is getting quite tense.”

Raenilar says, “Silence your words, ”Queen.” You more than -any- present bear guilt for this situation. Any at all. You have -no- right to presume as you do.”

Wyren fixes his sight on the exit.

Gyfford says, “You are showing one thing are showing that your rule should it occur will be without mercy and without compramise.”

Raenilar says, “I grow vastly tired of your insults, and will tolerate them no longer.”

Getalva asks, “And what will you do?”

Yhaman joins Raenilar”s group.

Herrick says, “Yes what will you do …”

Morganae says to Raenilar, “You are a fool, and only I know what guilts I MAY bear, and what triumphs I may cherish. Child, fool, intemperate creature.”

Herrick smiles.

Wyren quietly exclaims to Jomay, “I almost thought about gating but then remembered.. I don”t have beam!”

You say, “…and Wyren is playing to the crowd again.”

Yhaman dryly says to Wyren, “One has been arranged.”

Gyfford asks, “Or is that you intend to rule with an iron fist and are giving a preview?” Gyfford peers quizzically at Raenilar.

Raenilar says to Herrick, “If your Queen would be so kind as to show herself outside of her mountains, and not under pretenses of these meetings, perhaps you will find out. This, too, is a course of action I do not advise.”

Getalva smiles. and says, “Oh, yes, by all means. ”We cannot fight you on your terms, so we will puff ourselves up until you meet us on ours.””

Edenlaen shifts her weight, gazing at the expression on each face around her.

Morganae says, “Ah, puppy, you see, I do not see any need to pander to your ego. Should you live long enough you may learn subtlety. You may learn to be clever.”

Raenilar chuckles at Getalva.

Morganae says, “I am not sanguine, however.” and waves a languid hand.

Herrick smiles.

Gyfford sighs.

Raenilar asks, “Well. Do you all wish to continue for our people to die, or shall we simply depart and attempt this again tomorrow?” Raenilar raises an eyebrow.

Vorclaf glances up smiling, “King Raenilar, these talks have shown one thing.”

Eluresturi”s hand closes so tightly on the back of Fayne”s chair that her knuckles gleam white and a very thin trickle of blood trails down her fingers.

Vorclaf says, “When I agreed to your cease fire, it was with the honorable intention of maintaining such a truce for talks I understand this day one of my lieutenants destroyed one of your barricades. I had intended to discuss the matter with him, however, I am now in firm belief, that he is owed a commendation for his efforts.”

Raenilar says, “And here I was polite enough to not raise that issue, for the purpose of moving these forward.” Raenilar smiles.

Gyfford chuckles.
Vorclaf says, “You have shown no effort for gesture of peace. You have made no concessions other than to firm your beliefs.”

Vorclaf says, “The talks this day are now over. Zoluren leaves the table”

Yhaman says to Vorclaf, “I see, then I understand my next course of actions should be.”

Eluresturi glances at Getalva, and then down at her hand, looking faintly surprised. She relaxes her hold, straightening where she stands.

Vorclaf pointedly ignores Yhaman.

Gyfford says, “As does Therengia.”

Prince Vorclaf”s group just went west.

Morganae says to Fayne, “My son, I see no great charm in this company.” and she stands up.

Toulom’s the final score:

“Outcasts: 6
Theren: 4
Ilithi: 7
Zoluren: 12
Wyren: 4
Mtn. Elves: 16
Horse Clan: 2
Gurt and Nuark: 1