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     A Royal Welcome, Baldr, Nyka, Roderick, and Illyriel
    Roderick Kramar
     Posted: Nov 13 2017, 09:50 AM
    Quote


    King of Hembria
    Ram
    Half-Adventhian Dragon, Half-Kadmian Human
    Avatar of Creyos
    Aldcliff, Hembria
    Lawful Neutral
    Level 21+
    Member Inventory: View


    19 Augana 502 AS

    Measures had been taken and plans made, yet for all that could be done, an uneasiness had settled about some few residents of the Royal Grounds that Augana eve. Whispers abounded among those select, trusted few but none dare speak or think heavily upon what was to come that had the nation's monarchy so prepared as this. Crimson and black in his attire, formal in reception and scaled in the nightscale craft of unrivaled smiths, Hembria's God-King wore a war-ensemble expected his ilk but not the ceremoniously beautiful and purpose-built Malkadian plate given him by his most cherished wife so long before he took to the throne by way of force and magical prowess. Tri-colored hues alight with command and paranoia of the guests to come, Roderick looked to the private hall of the Royal Wing with earnest, and troublesome emotions.

    Food and drink were brought forth, set upon the table that was a place to both welcome and discuss amongst themselves and their incoming guests. Normally, such an occasion would be cause for celebratory exultations and song within his great hall but it was the identity of those expected that called for some measure of secrecy. With but a few extras in attendance, only the most trusted of his number were allowed joint attendance to this gathering, a representative of his Order, his Iron Sons to stand as guard, and Bartrand, his most trusted Second, all of them unconsciously shifting where they stood before the diplomatic table within the private, Royal Halls. But one of them had learned the exact identity of the man and woman whom came to them, and their identities made the grizzled, Dornish warrior settle the palm of his hand upon his sword's pommel most uncomfortably.

    His own holy relic held fast to his hip, Adraste's heir clung to him as it always had, in the form of a brilliantly crafted sword, its very essence thrumming to its master with the call of battle. Though a battle was not wanted, Hembria's king planned accordingly given the identity of those who came. The Sargothian kind were rarely an ilk worthy of much beyond deadly suspicion, and he had learned well of these sorts, most assuredly his focus upon the pureblood that came to him, Baldr Thralsyth, King of Harmalk. The mere title trifled with Roderick's senses and crinkled his nose, even more so in knowing that the Sargothian's whelp resided upon his royal grounds, courtesy the machinations of the wife to whom he had made the call already.

    Illyriel's own seat made ready to stand alongside his, Roderick spared his wife a cautious, sidelong glance meant to scold her as much as make known to her his apprehension of this arranged meeting. "When you told me who we'd keep within our home and I agreed, I did not think to have the whelp's father and said father's wife demand audience with us on an official day. Pray the beast and the beast's wife know at least some modicum of etiquette." Calling to the woman whom he called his own beloved queen, Roderick looked to the glimmer of alloted magic at the entrance of his hall. Power thrummed and hummed loud enough to make the hair upon his arms stand straight, powerful eyes narrowing at the entrance of two figures, regal and true, their names and titles known in an instant enough for Hembria's own King to speak aloud. "Welcome, King and Queen of Harmalk."
    Nyka Valdys
     Posted: Nov 13 2017, 12:11 PM
    Quote


    Lady of Darkhollow
    Sato
    Half-Sargothian Dragon
    Necromancer, Cleric of Death
    Darklands, Kadmus
    Lawful Neutral
    Level 16-20
    Member Inventory: View


    Illyriel, dressed as regal as the finest cut ruby in all the lands, stood tall in her crimson gown - adorned with her Lyserian elf-made crown and glittering jewels gifted to her by the Queen of Vihera. Ever the gleaming beacon of new Hembrian light, the lovely brunette was nothing short of stunning as she spared her husband a ruby-glinted smirk, despite the knot of nerves twisting her insides like a vice. She'd met with the King of Harmalk two weeks past, and the interaction still had her feeling shaken to her very core.

    "Be at ease, my love. They would not have come this way for a fight." Caressing his palm with her fingertips before turning her attention to the glowing gate that marked their guests arrival, Illyriel adjusted the young in her arms, and felt her heart ache for what was about to come. As a mother, she couldn't imagine her own son being raised by another. And though this meeting would give Nyka a chance to meet with the babe, it would be heart-breaking to watch them say their goodbyes at the end. Dipping into a proper curtsy, she welcomed them as well before presenting their child with a soft smile. "Your Majesties. Your son."

    ~~~~~~~

    Nyka clamped down on the urge to vomit as her husband's magics swept them away - hundreds of miles across formerly enemy lands - to the home of their newest allies. It wasn't the magic nor the fear of being caught that had her riled up in knots. It was getting to see their son again that had her aching in a motherly fashion she couldn't even begin to describe. No, she'd not birthed young Nykolai, but he was her son no less - and yet another woman was given the honor and privilege of raising him, nursing him, loving him.

    Dressed in form-fitting black-scaled gown, she appeared all the more menacing for her statuesque height - and the nearly-brazen way she refused to hide her growing belly. The gown covered her from head to toe, for sure, but she wasn't about to be ashamed for the young growing within her. The future of her's and Baldr's lands rested safely within her womb, and she'd have the world know as much. Upon seeing her son in the Hembrian Queen's arms, however, her pride pricked and her glacial-blue eyes stung with need.

    Barely sparing the Hembrian King more than a glance, Nyka dared stalk forward to meet the petite half-elven Queen and took up her son in her arms. He'd already grown so much, and the rosy glow of his warm cheeks sang the praise in which he was doted upon in her absence. It was very clear upon that moment that Nykolai was in the best hands she could have asked for. Pressing a kiss to his forehead, the tips of her fangs shone as she smiled down upon him, and then afforded Illyriel a nod of her regal head - the bones and black diamonds she wore made slightly less menacing in that moment alone.

    "King and Queen of Hembria. Thank you for welcoming us into your home." Certain it was no easy feat to swallow, she turned her pale blue eyes towards the King and took in the man who would act as father to her son in Baldr's stead. Beyond the fact that Adventhian blood ran through his veins, she saw little else to fault in him. The power he displayed alone was commendable - the Iron Sons alone were fairly impressive - as were the feats of strength he'd undertaken to claim these lands where many before him had failed for thousands of years. "And for taking care of our son. A debt I am certain can never be repaid."
    Roderick Kramar
     Posted: Jan 2 2018, 08:45 AM
    Quote


    King of Hembria
    Ram
    Half-Adventhian Dragon, Half-Kadmian Human
    Avatar of Creyos
    Aldcliff, Hembria
    Lawful Neutral
    Level 21+
    Member Inventory: View


    A man fierce and dreadful, it was only by thanks to an assumed form that one would improperly consider Harmalk's king as something so mere and insignificant as human. Tall and powerful in all his splendor, the Sargothian Wyrm had taken to great lengths in ensuring he appeared as almighty as he truly was, without assuming his own, natural state of wings and claws. Garbed in the finest black silks their vast wealth could muster, trims of gold outlined him in an otherworldly sheen, his circlet crown crested upon his grow and shining with the arcane, whereas his own, frigid gaze of blue kept alight with the eldritch mights of his contracts. Unnecessary sword belted at his hip, his decorative cuirass stood in direct contrast to the otherwise unarmored dragonness who stood behind him. After all, they were off to meet some Adventhian bargainer, why assume declarations of war were an impossibility?

    Through the portal and into the vast chambers of Harmalk's royal palace, Baldr stood alongside his beloved, lips pursed and face drawn into a scowl upon seeing those whom did welcome him. The same queen as before, a woman made surrogate mother to his offspring who even now held the boy. Alongside her, though, a visage whose mere sight made blood mutually boil, two titanic figures of raw, chaotic, and barely controlled powers so inherently adverse and opposite the other. Where Roderick found his powers in the light of day and glory of battle, this Sargothian king found his in the deceptive might of infernals, and for those few reasons, he doubted much in the way of honest hope beyond mutually agreed upon measures for Nykolai.

    Watching the diminutive to him frame of his bride step forth to retrieve their son, kingly eyes kept themselves locked fast upon one another, enough that Nyka's own words did barely work through, enough at least for regal protocole to remain. Shifting attentions from Roderick to the woman he'd spoken with before, Baldr addressed her accordingly. "My Queen speaks rightly for the pair of us. But I would see any notion of debts cast aside in haste, for the sake of mutual gain. That is also why we come." Glaring eyes shifting to the God-King before them all, the focus of his words likewise shifted. "To solidify terms between Harmalk and Hembria in kind, to better position our respective realms of wealth, and to see my heirs kept safe for all the better." This time addressing Hembria's very own king, Baldr stepped forth so the sum of his size came better to view, towering even over the God-King himself with but a few paces left between them.

    -----------------------------------

    Brazen as the acts and words alike were, Hembria's king seemed a man calm, even in his state of angst and disgust. To have a Sargothian of pure blood within his halls, a Wyrm of all sorts, parading about under the guise of diplomatic and paternal intentions had him set to the proverbial edge. Yet, despite the cool and sharpened tone of Baldr's words, alongside the towering position the Sargothian put before him, Roderick maintained himself, and raised hand enough to see the shifting movements of his Iron Sons halted. He was sure enough, that Baldr would be no man foolish enough to declare war by kingly attack within his own realm. Glancing to his wife, and then lastly to Nyka, the coarse king cleared his throat and made himself better known by the convayence of words, and the might his mere presence commanded.

    "We will discuss terms, of course. But first, I would see the pair of you fed at my table, and the boy properly nursed by the only woman with right to be called his mother. To the tables, we'll be joined appropriately by some few of my advisory council, and a scribe to officiate our words in true." Spoken like a man true-born to his position, Roderick nodded to those gathered, allowing his wife to escort Baldr, and taking to escorting the Queen Nyka herself. The dragoness truly rivaled him in height, standing but maybe a hair's breadth or two shorter than he. Surprised, albeit pleasantly, at the motherly demeanor she carried herself with, the sight nearly reminded him of his own wife, enough to earn a brief smirk from Hembria's own king. "The role of doting mother suits you, your Majesty."
    Illyriel Kramar
     Posted: Jan 2 2018, 01:56 PM
    Quote


    Queen of Hembria
    Sato
    Half-Lyserian Elf
    Lady, Druid, Sorceress, Witch
    Aldcliff, Hembria
    Neutral Good
    Level 11-15
    Member Inventory: View


    The dragoness offered Creyos' avatar a nod of her head but said nothing else on the matter. With her son returned to her arms, Nyka couldn't have cared much for what else the Hembrian King had in store for them. They could have ridden out to war this very moment, and she'd have been happy just to have her namesake against her breast once again. Regardless, she followed suit and gave only a fraction of her attention to the grand halls and beautifully decorated rooms. All she cared for in this moment was the brief reunion with the child that should have been born of her own womb.

    It made her wonder if the child she carried now would be raised within her own home or even that of her husband's either. Would they have to send this child off to another territory too? While the Empress had attacked and failed both attempts on Harmalk and Darkhollow, there was no guarantee they wouldn't be able to stave off another bout against the Dark Army. Especially since they were lacking in nearby allies. It was something they had both spoken of lightly before, but for the time being, it was but a small matter. They had Hembria now, though negotiations to keep a balance between them would have to be made.

    Taking a seat where it was appropriate, Nyka cozied her son up against her breast and let him take what nourishment he might from her. It had been a process, to be sure, but she kept up her supply just for him - and to prepare herself for the child growing within her. Glacial-blue eyes lifted to take in the half-elf who had been caring for him, and she pondered for a moment how such a small, delicate thing was able to not only provide for him, but her own child as well. Surely the Hembrian Queen was exhausted, for she too swelled with the young of her King. "There is a strength in your Queen you must be rather proud of, Demigod."

    ~~~~~~

    Illyriel felt a bit lacking where the other three in her company were concerned. Her petite figure and swelling belly left her a vulnerable piece in the game. Feeling much less a queen in their company, and more a pawn, she remained close to her husband and prayed all went well tonight. She could practically taste the palpable hate running through the ancient veins of the dragon-blooded royals before her. Should it come to blows, Illyriel knew well she would do all she could to protect the child, as well as those growing between the two of them.

    Watching Nyka nurse her son made Illyriel's own body yearn to nourish her own child. Hector, for the sake of safety, had been tucked away for safe-keeping with her father in Rosepoint for the time. Until they had an arrangement with the rulers of Harmalk and Darkhollow, she couldn't risk the only child that had survived her. The one growing in her womb now still held a chance at life, so long as this arrangement held. Surely, her husband would ensure their lives as well, but at what cost? For that fear alone, she remained poised, calm, and ready to negotiate however she might.

    Taking a seat at the furnished table, the half-elf accepted a glass of Lyserian spiced whiskey and waited until the others were served as well before finding her senses again. Finding mutual respect in the other Queen, Illyriel felt more at ease - knowing she wouldn't flounder too terribly so long as there was that connection. "For myself, I am proud to have him for a mate and husband. Surely you understand the sort of conditions we have to set here for this arrangement to work in the long run. We have discussed our options at length, and I hope the two of you agree. For our children, if nothing else."
    Baldr Thralsyth
     Posted: Jan 19 2018, 09:58 AM
    Quote


    Lord of Harmalk
    Ram
    Sargothian Dragon
    Hellfire Warlock
    Harmalk, Darklands
    Lawful Evil
    Level 16-20
    Member Inventory: View


    A resolutely powerful man in regal splendor far different than the Sargothian pair's own, Roderick looked to the de facto queen of Harmalk with a sidelong glance. Her height rivaling his own, she made for an awkward woman to speak with, particularly concerning affairs of state and the boy Nykolai alike. Still, the God-King was far from discouraged from the topic. Hesitant and otherwise cautious where the Sargothian coupling were concerned, he'd have been a fool to completely disregard the notion of forging an alliance with the border-living pair. Sargothian-blood though they were, Harmalk and Darkhollow alike made up a significant part of the border between Bermina and Darklands alike, commanding sovereign power over nearly the whole of the mountain ranges. That alone made them potentially useful allies, or, at least, trading partners. Still, he wondered precisely how well he could expect the Sargothians to work along with any terms they sought to establish here.

    Seating himself in sync with Baldr, after their own respect wives, the demigod looked to Nyka when she complimented towards his wife. Affording the half-dragon a brief nod in honest acknowledgement, his powerful voice descended upon them all like a smothering blanket. "Illyriel Kramar is a woman unrivaled in this land in terms of beauty and strength alike by my own terms. Thank you, for recognizing her strength in taking up the responsibility of caring for your son." Accepting Nyka's compliments in courtly full, the demi-god looked to his guests, and to the few seated in kind as council to hear them all converse. "But it is not for children alone that brings the ruling pair of Darkhollow and Harmalk alike within my halls. Is it? I've been given the impression that you mean to discuss terms of diplomatic agreements, particularly in trade and military." Voice cutting through the fog of uncertainty, Roderick took the initiative in bringing about the true topic, though some measure of distaste lingered upon his features at the notion of a military agreement or alliance with such a couple as these.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Taken to walk alongside Illryiel to the grand table at which negotiations would take place and a meal to follow, Baldr parted to seat at the head opposite Roderick's own. Eyes of murderous blue overlooking all those few gathered, his penetrating gaze hardly seemed to traverse far from Roderick and Illyriel in kind. He'd spoken with Hembria's Queen before but this made for his first arranged interaction with the woman's husband, and thus far, impressions were otherwise inconclusive. The demigod acted in a manner that refused to surrender dominance in the room but also refrained from being overtly aggressive, putting the Wyrm at odds and on edge where the matters of diplomacy were concerned, particularly so when the God-King at last sought to grasp for the root of the matter in whole.

    Glancing partially in Nyka's own way, Baldr projected himself within the room in similar fashion as Roderick did in first. "Agreed. On the matter of trade, we would seek to establish unfettered and open trade with Hembria and Vihera. Though absent an envoy of Vihera may be, we are aware that your brother is similarly crowned by thanks of marriage. Lyseria, as well, with no penalty upon export from our lands into your own. In return for the profits your smithies will reap from our ores of Iron, Copper, and Mithril, we ourselves will implement only a minor importation tax on all products from Hembria." Speaking briefly of the economic matters, Baldr sought to capitalize on the unique position held by the likes of themselves. Harmalk and Darkhollow alike boasted an economic power otherwise unbefitting such small nation-states. Yet, their rich deposites of ore could very well make themselves in a position of unrivaled negotiating power where other nations were concerned. Particularly so, as he saw it, for the war-raging nation of Hembria. For there was always rumors of the God-King's need for metals for his Iron Sons.

    "And of military matters..." Baldr's voice lingered upon itself for a moment, conjoining the topics of economic boon and military obligation. "Hembria and Vihera alike will ensure open routes between our borders and act jointly in the defense of our lands. In reconciliation of this boon, not only will you enjoy a lower cost for our metals but I will also give consideration to the allowance of a permanent bastion made within our borders, one permitted to freely move about and deploy into Berminan and Darkland territories alike before retreating to the safety of our mountainous nation." It was a bold move, to be certain, welcoming foreign powers within his own lands but with the promise of multiple children to his name and blood, Baldr acted as any jealous Wyrm might, and saw to strengthening the defense of his horde of wealth, even if it meant contracting out for that extra power.
    Illyriel Kramar
     Posted: Jan 19 2018, 10:28 AM
    Quote


    Queen of Hembria
    Sato
    Half-Lyserian Elf
    Lady, Druid, Sorceress, Witch
    Aldcliff, Hembria
    Neutral Good
    Level 11-15
    Member Inventory: View


    Illyriel felt her cheeks warm a bit as her husband spoke of her. No man in all her days had ever made her feel so lovely and cherished as he did, and the fact that he openly sang her praises was more than she could have wanted. Smiling brightly, the half-elven lass sipped at her wine and turned her attention to more important matters at hand. She'd spent the majority of her free time with her mother - traveling the highways from home to home, town to town, offering what medical aid she could provide. The court had mostly been like a prison to her, and she'd left as many of the political matters of state to her father and grandmother. Even her cousin, Henry, would have preferred the life of a free merchant and pirate to one cooped up at Court.

    Now, to catch up on what these two were trying to figure out, Illyriel concerned herself with all the matters they might not have seen. Strong men as they were, they had good warrior hearts and political minds, but did they see things from the views of their people. That was a big part of why she had wanted to be in on this discussion. She saw the world how the common folk did, and if the two kings over-stepped to harm them in any way, she'd rise up in their defense. Thankfully, they seemed to have the betterment of the entire realm in mind, which put her heart at ease.

    Harmalk was closer to Vihera's newly-acquired Windrell, and Darkhollow was a straight-shot to Delver's Dale if they could avoid Idrandor and their ever-roaming forces. An alliance with either city could help open the way to filtering in their own armies and carving out a chunk of the Empire. However, there was still the matter of the other cities and territories that fell under the Empress' rule. Atrasia was no small matter and neither was Und'laeria. Sure both locations had their own freedom fighters same as Hembria did, but with such massive armies under the Empire's heel, she didn't see how they could fight back.

    Thankfully, these proceedings were more about alignment and trade than actual war. Or at least they were before matters of the military arose. As it was, Hembria was situated in a very safe corner of the realm - which was why it hadn't been conquered in nearly two and a half thousand years. They now had allies in Vihera, Lyseria, and even Havenland - which was something Harmalk and Darkhollow could benefit greatly from - especially being on the Empire's radar as they were, surrounded by no one but enemies.

    "Would you be able to offer protection to merchants and their families as they travel between our countries?" It was a blunt question of power coming from a woman who used to travel alone through the boarders of the Darklands and old Hembria alike. She knew there was no guarantee of safety, but some proof of reassurance could go a long way when it came to convincing trademen, healers, and merchants alike to travel so deep into enemy territory. "And will you make the same offer to our allies in Vihera and Lyseria? Just how deeply do you hope this alliance with the northern territories goes, and to what end? Do you both wish to separate yourselves from the Darklands to form your own territory, or just keep your own cities safe?"
    Baldr Thralsyth
     Posted: Jan 19 2018, 11:17 AM
    Quote


    Lord of Harmalk
    Ram
    Sargothian Dragon
    Hellfire Warlock
    Harmalk, Darklands
    Lawful Evil
    Level 16-20
    Member Inventory: View


    Roderick watched, and listened on in disciplined silence, allowing Harmalk's king to lay forth the terms of negotiation as he would like them to be. In whole, the terms of trade were nothing grossly out of the ordinary. Harmalk and Darkhollow sought to establish themselves economically as an independent power, free of direct reliance upon any singular power, and offered his own nation, Hembria, the benefit of relatively unrestricted and prioritized trade in the process. Though Hembria certainly boasted mineral deposits wealthy enough to fund a dozen campaigns, the ability to mine those materials out in a rate fast enough to matter was an entirely different sort altogether. Harmalk and Darkhollow, likewise, were city-states boasting incredibly easy access to copper, iron, and mithril alike, the third being the most relevant concerning the creation of new generations of his Iron Sons.

    Yet, as the matter turned to military obligations, Roderick's own ears perked, alongside suspicion and hesitation. Just as Illyriel's own voice rose the question, so too did his own concerns rise within the confines of his mind. He allowed his wife to speak in turn, though. This was a matter of state in all ways, and as such, his queen would harbor and hold equal standing in this meeting as he himself did, even if she didn't quite possess the knack for military topics as he did. "My Queen speaks and asks with due wisdom. Tell us, King and Queen Thralsyths, how far does this agreement go? I would not have my kingdom take on the responsibility of defense of your own lands without proper promise of reconciliation. Do you mean to make yourselves a Protectorate of Hembria?"

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    His own base for negotiations set forth, the Sargothian King looked to his opposite party with a faint scowl, hearing the rise of tone from Hembria's own Queen which sought to question him, and the resulting echo of Roderick's own voice, one that spoke with a conclusion that let alight a fire in the eyes of the Wyrm. "Protectorate? You'd be a man daft to think we come to you, groveling and begging permission for your protection." Baldr's voice immediately rumbling with the threat of a dragon's own power, it deepened and shook, reverberating throughout the room with such ferocity that one could've sworn the lights themselves dimmed with fear of a dragon's might. The whelp before him may well have been a demigod by his own might but Baldr was no quarter-bred infant, he was a Wyrm, true and proud. The mere insinuation that he'd beg for protection and to be put under the administrative rule of another crown was insult.

    Glaring heatedly at Illyriel and Roderick alike, Baldr stood at his end of the table, palm resting on table top, claws daring to dig within the wood. "I would see my lands kept safe, and the strength bolstered by shared trade and military movements between borders of ourselves, and your own allies." Better spelling out the sum of his goals, Baldr's shoulders tensed as he drew back his growling tone as best he might, yet despite his own control, the rumble of his voice was a permanent thing, pure outrage halted only by thanks to the proximity of Nykolai, and his wife with swollen belly. "Security and safety of trade routes between our respective lands would be jointly ventured, with all involved, Lyseria and Vihera in kind as well. But I will not sacrifice our sovereignty to submit our cities to another, be they Empress or Demigod."
    Illyriel Kramar
     Posted: Jan 19 2018, 11:50 AM
    Quote


    Queen of Hembria
    Sato
    Half-Lyserian Elf
    Lady, Druid, Sorceress, Witch
    Aldcliff, Hembria
    Neutral Good
    Level 11-15
    Member Inventory: View


    A spell of protection ever at the ready, Illyriel held herself firmly before the rising tide of the dragon male before her as his temper broke the surface of their seemingly placid negotiations. Surely it was a misunderstanding, but one that could prove too costly not to fix immediately. Placing her hand gently upon her husband's forearm to keep him from mirroring the Sargothian's violent reaction, the beauty in red and gold simply tilted her chin to face their guest more properly and spoke with her mesmerizingly soothing voice - one no dragon could refuse.

    "No offense was meant, King Thralsyth. Only a clarification of terms." Carefully worded, she made sure to keep her whiskey-gold gaze steady and her heart beat as best under her control as possible. She had faced down her share of terrors and still remained standing. With her husband by her side, surely she was as safe here as anywhere else in the realm. Still, she didn't want this to come to blows by either party. Not within her own home, and certainly not with unborn and infants present.

    "We run things differently here in the north. We protect not only what is ours, but that of our allies as well. If either of your lands were in need, we would come to their defense. That's simply how we are." Thanks to the blood relations they had with Vihera and Lyseria, there was no reason to deny them aid. Even with their political connections to Havenland now, they'd lend a hand if they were able. Adding another pair of cities so deeply seated in the black pool of the Empire, however would mean more effort, manpower, and resources - so it would have to yield something in return.

    "The same would be asked of you as well. Should the need arise to come in defense of your allies, will you make the call to arms and lend your strength and support against our mutual enemies?" Unsure, and truthfully uncaring if she was overstepping her bounds, the woman had become rather fond of the young now curled up in his mother's arms. So if an arrangement of protection and open trade was what it took to keep him and all others like him safe, then she wanted to make sure it was mutually assured. She wasn't about to send merchants and their families to a sure death when they could work together towards a common goal.

    "Strong as we are apart, any connection we make now against the Empire is a step in the right direction - in becoming even stronger as allies. Surely you can both see that." Making sure to keep the playing field here even as possible, Illryiel knew she didn't have to spell things out to the men before her, but some smoothing was needed, and was her forte. "The weaker the Empress is, the more we thrive. I, for one, would welcome such an arrangement -
    for there's no knowing when our enemies could strike again."
    Baldr Thralsyth
     Posted: Jan 19 2018, 02:03 PM
    Quote


    Lord of Harmalk
    Ram
    Sargothian Dragon
    Hellfire Warlock
    Harmalk, Darklands
    Lawful Evil
    Level 16-20
    Member Inventory: View


    The Sargothian, already a being predispositioned to hostility, found himself poorly amused by the words of the woman across the way from him. Even if it had been by a mere misunderstanding, the Wyrm was not a being to be slighted, and he'd be certain to make that fact known, even as he returned the deathly glare given by Roderick himself over Baldr's words. The terms were clear, insofar as he was concerned. Retaking his own seat at the notice of Illyriel's control over her own husband, Baldr's sneer still refused to vanish completely throughout the remainder of the Hembrian queen's words.

    True or not, Baldr's glare persisted, even in glancing to his own wife in watching her tend their son. The boy she held in her arms was the precise reason they sat where they did then, along with the babe growing in her womb, and those women among their shared harem in Harmalk that sought to bear young for him. Positioning their city-states in such a way that permitted better economic growth, and military alliances further safeguarded Baldr's own brood. Meaning to see his familial line prosper and made numerous with a dozen or more by way of wife and concubines, he'd not permit anything less than total dominance within their region. To achieve that, such would require the assistance of the Northern powers. Hembria, unfortunately, acted as the keeper of the keys for any fruitful alliance with Vihera, Havenland, and Lyseria alike.

    "We need little in the way of instruction, concerning the make and purpose of alliances, young Queen." His tone sharp, Baldr cut off any further instruction or speculation concerning where and how Harmalk would be involved in any alliance. Of course they would act in accordance to alliances made. "If Hembria and the whole of the Northern nations accept these terms, then Harmalk and Darkhollow alike could be expected to meet and match with military strength, assuming the lending of forces at that time does not ensure the destruction of our own lands." Submitting to that much, at least, Baldr looked to his own queen for added support in the words before he dared expand. "Campaigns in which joint efforts would see to the conquering of immediately adjacent Berminan, or Dornish lands, though, will be led by ourselves, with the wealth of the land brought beneath our banner. Spoils of coin, weapons, and livestock can be distributed to participating parties other than ourselves."

    With words that gave hint to a silent desire for expansionism, Baldr sought to better position themselves within the scope of these negotiations. Why would he care for Dornish or Berminan lands that immediately joined their own? For the simple fact of being able to better distance enemy armies from their primary cities. That, and the wealth of people, for he sought nothing in the way yet of changing how he operated their joint city-states internally. "We do not seek to expand our borders for wealth. But land must be redistributed should joint efforts conquer southern lands. If such comes to be, then I'll not have our territories encircled by others with little but security to show for it, particularly when such ambitious plans would require facilitation through our cities and holds. Do you have protest?"
    Illyriel Kramar
     Posted: Jan 19 2018, 05:41 PM
    Quote


    Queen of Hembria
    Sato
    Half-Lyserian Elf
    Lady, Druid, Sorceress, Witch
    Aldcliff, Hembria
    Neutral Good
    Level 11-15
    Member Inventory: View


    Holding her gaze firmly with the blistering cold glare of the Sargothian, it wasn't until he took his seat once more that Illyriel reminded herself to breathe. A slow exhale was all she afforded herself before her lungs felt like they weren't burning within her chest. She truly hated conflict, which was why she always seemed to maintain the facade of peace and tranquility. The epitome of such, only a handful of people had ever seen the horrors she could bring upon those who dared push passed her calm facade.

    "I have no protest save protecting those who are innocent of war's vile touch." Laying out her views plainly, Illyriel reached out to take up her wine and drank with a careful hand - making sure she was steady before she continued. While she was more than accustomed to working on a courtly level with men of terrifying caliber, this one was a cut above the rest. She had one thing he needed, however, and that was sway. Her word could cast him forever apart from the free world - cut the couple off from the possibility of making an alliance and getting them out of the Empire's shadow.

    From what she knew of Darkhollow was that the city was one of only a handful in all the realm that had never been breached by outside forces. Considering the rumors of it's design, it was no wonder either. But that wasn't saying it was impervious to harm. Nor was Harmalk, for that matter - though she knew it had withstood the force of nearly half a million Empire soldiers, and still stood under the Sargothian king's rule. But how long could they remain untouched? Sooner or later, their isolation would lead to their downfall.

    "I'm no stranger to the horrors of war, though I can attest that many find the beauty in it. If expansion is in your future, then I ask the innocent people under the Empire's thrall be spared - either by allowing them to live as they have in peace, or escorting them here where they can be safe." Delicate fingers traced the stem line of her wine glass as she spoke, but not once did Illyriel's hardened gold gaze linger from the Sargothian's. He had a feeling he cared something for his people, though it was likely on a whole different level than what the half-elven Queen did.

    "Much like your own son, there will always be a home and protection for those who stand against the Empire. I think our alliance would do well on such a front, don't you?" Resting straight-backed against her chair, Illyriel slowly removed her gaze from the snarling dragon to meet Nyka eyes, and found the woman was already nodding in agreement. She had seen the Dark Court first hand. She knew the risks they took with this meeting alone. "Fear and egos aside, what do we really need to do here to make this work out?"
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