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Postby Tuuri Endor » Mon Sep 12, 2016 7:18 pm

Vhalar 18, Arc 704

"Do you remember what I said about layers?"

"In regards to efficiency? Yes Mama. Whenever possible, actions should serve more than one purpose, even should some of those purposes seem small or insignificant."

"This being the case, why are we here?"


Here was at this precise moment, the Rynmere Theatre, which was hosting the premiere performance of its most recent play. Rumor had it slotted in at strictly mediocre but.. But that was not the point. Not really.

"Osten-"

She hesitated for a moment, unsure about the word, before reminding herself that most people would not know and as long as it was delivered with confidence, most would continue not to know.

"Ostensibly,"

A slight nod from Kee said that she'd gotten it right.

"We are here to see the Play. We are also here to be seen, thus reminding others that we are major political players, as can be deduced by our favourable seating and our wardrobes, as well as by the number and seeming quality of our staff."

"And?"

"And if we're here to be Seen then.. we're also here to See?"

"Exactly. While I'm glad you did not need to grow up here, since I rather enjoy having an independent daughter who thinks for herself and understands the value of work, you are nevertheless a Ryn Noble, and you must be able to recognize your counterparts from other families."

"Yes Mama."
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Postby Tuuri Endor » Tue Sep 13, 2016 3:47 pm

"Who do you see over there?"

"The.. Venoras? There are so many of them!"

"They are rather numerous yes. Those who are less kind say they spring up more like weeds than flowers. Still, it would be a mistake to discount them. Why?"

Tuuri thought about this as she studied the gaggle of nobles out of the corner of her eye. They were more like butterflies than flowers. Brightly coloured yes, and flitting about. Everything about them was.. more than the others in attendance. And maybe that was where they answer lay?

"They're known for starting trends and being the most fashionable, which means other Nobles and the upper class, even some non-Ryn watch them to see how they should behave and how they should dress. For traders like us, they could spoil or make a year. If we focused on brocades because they were in fashion and then the Venora suddenly decided they were out... We'd lose money. I suppose smaller merchants could be put out of business entirely."

"Yes, this is true, and I should have know you'd pick up on that aspect. Just as much or more though is their non tangible power. People want beauty and influence, the Venora have both in plenty. Many of those you see around them are not even Venora by blood or marriage, only hangers on, desperate to share a bit of their shine."

"So.. they're also in an ideal place to collect information, or to disseminate it. And people would likely do favours for them without asking anything in return."

"Yes. Luckily most of them really are fairly empty-headed."

"Most. But not all."

"No, most unfortunately those set to inherit when the current Duchess and Duke hand on the titles or die."

"Duchess Ebony isn't known for.. incompetence."

"No, and she isn't, she is very traditional however, and that means what?"

"Easily manipulated once you know the rules and parameters, and that the people might respect but will not love her."

"She is strong, but she limits herself. Her apparent successors however.."

"I didn't think Lady Willow was very.."

"She's not, Lord Kaleb on the other hand.. He's from a minor family. The Venoras gained very little from letting him marry Willow."

"So if they didn't gain directly, and Duchess Ebony is too traditional for a love match, and there's not been any scandal.. Then they must have been set to gain indirectly?"

"Mm, Willow is a poor Leader, Kaleb from all accounts is not. They're certainly worth watching, and not underestimating."

"Mama?"

"Yes?"

"We don't really seem to follow the trends."

This earned a laugh from Kee.

"No dearheart, we don't. We're expected to be a little odd anyway, keeping secrets and living in holes."

"So in some ways.. Since we're never going to set trends better than the Venoras, by not following them, or trying to be second rate copies, we set ourselves apart and maintain or enhance our standing."

"Precisely."
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Postby Tuuri Endor » Tue Sep 13, 2016 5:59 pm

"Over there?"

Tuuri looked over to where her mother indicated, before letting her gaze continue drifting. It didn't do to pay too much attention.

"Definitely the Andaris."

Kee chuckled again at that.

"Definitely? You're right, but what makes you say so?"

"Just.. the way they move. Their presence. Their known for getting their way and being powerful. The other Houses might be powerful but.. Its not the defining trait used to identify them."

"True, that said, while you singled them out immediately have you seen them do anything particularly noteworthy?"

"I- no?"

"No, nor are you likely to on this outing. Most of them have perfected the art of presence. Without ever having really earned it or showing you they deserve it, they will have you believe that you are beneath them, and should do as they say. This is worth learning, though it's not something we do as a day to day affair."

"Why not?"

"The same reason we don't take part in most of the dramatic diversions or excesses of the other Nobles. Tuuri there are things you were brought up knowing and understanding without ever having had explained to you. Think about where we live."

She did. It was one of the things they were most known for after all. Not being powerful, but being secretive, in part because they lived underground. Most had no idea of the beauty and the artistry that actually went into their dwellings and pictured only crudely hewn holes.

"We live in enclosed spaces, and you know most of our citizens have less room per person than many other settlements. Particularly during Cylus when we venture out less. We can't afford to enrage our citizens, or to encourage anything other than cooperation really. Imagine if we played like the Venoras and let jealousy run rampant over a cold season?"

"I suppose there would be a lot more fighting. Maybe even murders when people can't get far enough away from each other or go anywhere to cool off. Which is also why we have the Gardens isn't it?"

"Precisely. Calm, level-headedness, that's what we must promote if we're to continue to thrive. Its also why, other than for educational purposes of course, we do promote being close-mouthed over gossip. Practicality. If we acted superior at all times, to that extent, if we made our citizens angry or even made them feel oppressed or fearful at all times, eventually those feelings would reach a boiling point."


"That.. makes us seem a bit weak doesn't it?"

"I suppose, certainly its not something we discuss outside of the family. That said, and keep in mind I'm only allowed to say this because I married into the family.. Think about the King. Ultimate Ryn authority yes?"

"Yes."

"What happens if people don't listen to him?"

"Well he sends his armies and then has his headsman execute people I would think."

"But what if his armies decide not to march?"

"Well. But they can't."

"They can. The King, the Noble Houses, at the end of the day we have power because people believe we do. Even coin is only powerful because of belief. Will gold feed you or keep you warm without others belief that it is worth something? Is not a cow worth far more than a chunk of rock no matter how it glitters?"

"Mama, I think this might be treason."

"No, it is wisdom, though some might take it as such. Never push your people so far that they do not want to believe your lies any more. We sell ideas and dreams, and have power only as long as they are bought."


"I.. I understand. I think."

"Seven save us."

"What?"

"Rah'lyn brought her brat. He's five, he doesn't need to be here, she just wants more people to tell her how beautiful he and she are."

"Mama that's unkind."

"But accurate. Say what you will for Benji and his charming attitude, at least he didn't bring his entire horde."
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Postby Tuuri Endor » Thu Sep 15, 2016 4:21 pm

"There?"

"I'm not actually sure.. I think most of those are servants. That older couple look like nobles to me, I feel like I should know them but.. I'm not sure."

"You're right, those are Duke and Duchess Warrick. Most of their children have youngster at the moment and unlike some people-"

Another frost glare in the Andaris direction.

"They have the sense not to try and make babies sit through a Play."

"Warricks take care of most of the food production right?"

"Yes. Often overlooked in the Game, I've always found them to be as trustworthy as anyone of another family is likely to be. They're often more down to earth as well, because they tend to actively involve themselves in the trade of the home. Shoveling shit tends to strip away some of a person pretentiousness."

"Mama!"

"Luckily for you there's no sons near your own age, they have a tendency for twins as well, and let me tell you, one child does enough damage. I'd rather not think what two at once would do. Your brother and his giant head was bad enough."

"Mama ew!"

"Not that that would stop your father if he got it too firmly in his head, but I will at the very least try and see you with someone near your own age. Older isn't terrible, but men mature so slowly. They can hardly keep up with us as is let alone when we've a decades head start!"

A raucous laugh rose from nearby.

"Surely you know them?"

"Burhans. I've met several of their traders, plus look at all that blue!"

"Mm, we often recruit crew for our ships from them, and certainly if you're looking to have a good time without the knife in the back you can expect from the Venoras, they are ideal but.."


"But what Mama?"

"Just a feeling. This last lot.. Too much seawater in their veins perhaps, they seem unreliable. Turning like the tides. Ah, don't let me worry you too much though dearheart. At the end of the day we can only really trust family, but thats no reason not to be friendly or to worry."
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Postby Tuuri Endor » Thu Sep 15, 2016 7:19 pm

"Which leaves us?"

"Krome and of course the Gawynes."

"And what do we know about the Kromes?"

"Don't bother."

Her tone was so flat and wooden, and laugh escaped Kee before it could be stifled.

"And what does that mean?"


"It's what Papa always says. He says they've so many coins everyone wants to do business with them, but they rarely follow through on deals and they always f- uh. That you often wind up worse off for dealing with them."

"Mm, they are well off, and many people come to try and nibble away a little piece of their wealth. When seen this way, their.. reputation is more understandable no? They are a behemoth, sweeping away parasites who come for their blood. But no, I would not put much value in their word. Arranging things for their own convenience is a habit they've been perfecting for generations. I'm told they've added Immortal blood to the mix.. Hm. It will be interesting to see what comes of that."

"What?! I didn't know that!"

"Oh its not well known of course, but really, you go about not aging in a group of people who note and obsess over every single wrinkle? Please. It's not as if one of the seven wasn't Mortalborn. Just because we don't kowtow to them doesn't mean we're ignorant. Knowledge is power after all."

"Yes Mama. At least I know I'll not be marrying one of them!"

"Ha! True. Though we stay on good terms with all the Houses, I think your Father would sooner see you marry a commoner. He's rather stubborn your Papa."

"Not like you at all then Mama."

"Tch, don't sass your Mother, it's impolite."

This was said with a smile though.

"The Gawynes?"

"Papa likes them. He says they're a bit mystic for him, but that they're good folk. They honour their deals. They're good to find things out from too."

"Mm, they've stayed shockingly humble for a Noble House. People think we are as well, we're really not. We just can't be bothered to play the games. Even that is a form of ego, who are we to think we're above everyone else? Still, pride has its place, and Endor pride is well earned, we've accomplished much where others could not. Your Father would probably marry you to their heir if he had his way, but the truth is we've not much to gain by it. We're already on good terms. They've nothing we really want nor vice versa. It will always be a possibility, but it is unlikely."

"Who do you think I might marry Mama?"

It was a source of some concern for the girl. In Endor she was granted freedom and worth. In another Noble house she might be no more than decoration and broodmare. Sometimes marrying a commoner seemed the better path to her.

"The Andaris, Burhan, Venoras, Kromes and Gawynes all have eldest sons near your own age. Andaris likely have the most to offer politically but.."

Kee shrugged.

"Rynmere is small, the Noble Houses get very caught up in ourselves, they forget the rest of the world. Perhaps you will introduce new Qi'ora blood into the line, and bring us a Master Craftsman. Perhaps you will find a Merchant-Prince or a Noble in another city to be a trade partner for us. It is hard to say. Don't fret about it darling. That's the best advice I have for you, hard though it is to follow. It will be as it will be, and you will always have our backing and support, you will not be married off and then abandoned."

"Thank you Mama."

Tuuri whispered, ducking her head. As usual, her Mother had seen through the question she'd asked to the one she hadn't, but actually wanted answered.

"Now, hush, the Play is starting."
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Postby Kingdom » Sat Sep 17, 2016 12:10 am

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Tuuri Endor

Knowledge:
Tactics: Layers
Location: Rynmere Theatre
Nobles: Must be recognised
Venorans: More weeds than flowers
Venorans: Trendy and fashionable
House Venora: Trades with House Endor
Duchess Ebony: A competent figurehead
Lady Willow: A poor leader
House Andaris: Believe they are above everyone else
Politics: Doesn’t go well with gossip
Philosophy: People make gold powerful as easily as they do kings
Lord Benji: Charming
House Warrick: Control who eats in the kingdom
House Warrick: Trustworthy
House Warrick: Shit Shovellers
House Warrick: Famed for birthing twins
House Burhan: Blue Banners
House Burhan: Famed sailors
House Burhan: Unreliable
House Krome: Not to be trusted
House Krome: Crooks
House Krome: Extremely wealthy
House Krome: Mortalborns?
Philosophy: Knowledge is power
House Gawyne: Wise
House Gawyne: Honourable
Family: Your mother loves you


Loot: n/a
Injuries: n/a
Fame: n/a

Story: 5/5
Collaboration: 0/5
Structure: 5/5

Comment: The grind is real, but there were enough lol-worthy moments to keep me entertained throughout. Sometimes I got confused about who was talking even though you use colour. I would suggest a little more beef around them dialog bones, but as with all feedback, take with a grain of salt. Great work, I am really looking forward to seeing what Tuuri turned out like a few years on. I think she’s going to be a power house. Super excited to see someone play a character from Endor, they are secretly my favourite.

"Luckily for you there's no sons near your own age, they have a tendency for twins as well, and let me tell you, one child does enough damage. I'd rather not think what two at once would do. Your brother and his giant head was bad enough."

I choked on water… too funny.
A N D I T' S A L L J U S T S M A L L S T U F F, B A B Y.
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