He closed his book around his quill, and stood up from his bench. He barely came up to their shoulders.
"Can I help you gentlefolk?" he asked in neutral tones.
They did not look like citizens. They were human enough in outline but their eyes were the eyes of beasts. Golden iris, massive black pupil, like owls perhaps. They had horns too - although the civil servant knew of no people who had both stag-like antlers and ram-like horns on the same head. He was keenly aware that they were well-armed - each had a six-foot spear, and a number of knives.
The two figures continued to watch him for several moments. One turned its head from side to side, looking at him first with its left eye then its right eye, then looking at its companion for confirmation of something. Jorgen began to feel uneasy - a creeping awareness that these creatures were weighing him up against some set of criteria he was not privy to. He could not shake the suspicion that if he made any sudden moves one of them would stab him with its spear. Flint spears, he noticed incongruously.
"Is everything alright?" There was a rough semicircle of militia behind the two hide-bound visitors. Beyond them a small crowd of interested onlookers were beginning to gather. The more inquisitive of the two visitors turned slightly to the side and gazed impassively at the crowd behind them. It shifted it's hand slightly on the haft of its spear. The militia captain made it clear she was ignoring it, and made a great show of focusing her attention on Jorgen.
"Everything is fine, captain, yes. I am sure these two gentlefolk just have a question...?"
"Are you the archmage of Spring?" the taller of the two spoke suddenly, its voice rumbling and low like a growling bear.
Jorgen considered for a moment. This might explain what was going on though. "No. I'm a civil servant. Do you have a message for the Archmage?"
The figure nodded slowly..
"A message was sent. To Capradan. Asking for a meeting."
"Oh, that explains it then. A plenipotentiary from the Archmage. Is that what this is about?"
They stared at Jorgen for several moments, then the taller continued as if Jorgen had not spoken.
"That one will not speak with you. That one has not been given leave. The one we all serve does not care for you people. Send no further messages."
Jorgen opened his book again, made a note. The shorter of the two watched intently as his quill scritched across the page. It reminded the civil servant of the way his cat watched a beetle skittering hither-and-yon across the floor.
"And who is the message from?"
Neither creature replied. They just watched Jorgen, as if waiting for him to do something, as if his words had no meaning.
"Is it from ... Yaw'nagrah? Arhallogen? Ira Harrah? Llofir? Or - now what is it, oh yes - Siakha? One of those? The oneyou serve?"
The larger one blinked slowly. It narrowed its eyes. it's voice when it spoke again was flat, unimpressed, cold.
"The message comes from the one we serve. The one Capradan serves. The one who does not care for you people. Send no further messages. Do you hear what has been said?"
Jorgen nodded. Swallowed, his throat suddenly, unaccountably dry.
"Then the task is done. We will leave now."
The two turned on their heels and walked back along the road at an easy pace, neither fast nor slow, trailed by the militia and some of the interested onlookers. The rest went back to their business preparing for the influx of guests who would soon arrive at Anvil for the Spring Equinox.Jorgen grumbled under his breath, and went to tell someone that the Archmage of Spring's plenipotentiary reply had arrived.
- Ylenrith, Estavus, Sorin, Adamant, and the Boar King have publicly responded to plenipotentiary messages.
- A plenipotentiary from the Spring Archmage has been declined.
Each archmage has the ability to send a plenipotentiary message to an eternal once during each summit. Following the Autumn Equinox, six eternals have responded to these messages and either confirmed that they accept a formal parley, or declined to attend a meeting with the archmage.
In each case, the eternals have specified the topics about which they or their representatives will discuss. Within the bounds of the parley, they are likely to refuse to discuss matters that fall outside the potentially rigid list of things they have agreed will fall under the purview of the parley. It is still possible to try and bring up topics outside of the matters agreed on in advance, but there is absolutely no guarantee the representative of the realms will want to discuss them - and some of the more formal entities might well be annoyed enough to end the parley early if they are badgered by (for example) a crowd of magicians all wanting theiropportunity to explain why the eternal should pay attention to them.
A week before the Spring Equinox, a pair of strange heralds arrive in the Hall of Worlds. They are humanoid in outline, each with a pair of stag-like antlers surmounting a pair of curling ram-like horns. They are dressed in scraps of leather tied to their rail thin frames, and their faces are concealed behind masks made from the skulls of unfamiliar animals. Each is armed with a flint spear decorated with feathers, talons, teeth, and bones. Their manner is quiet and contained, but everyone who interacts with them receives the impression that at any moment they might explode into bloody violence.
A message has been sent, they say, to a creature called "Capradan" by the Archmage of Spring. Capradan has not been given leave to respond to this message; their mutual master does not wish to parley with the magicians of the Empire. It is not clear who they represent, but the heralds do not seem to serve Siakha, Yaw'nagrah, Arhallogen, Irra Harah, or Llofir.
A week before the Spring Equinox, a message is delivered to the Civil Service hub in Anvil. It arrives late at night, brought to the desk by a short, bald, wizened creature with eyes like saucers. It has large protruding boar's tusks that make it hard to understand what it is saying. The message claims to be a reply to "Little Owl of the Academy, the Archmage of Night" or possibly "Little Owl and the Archmage of Night." The message is from the entity calling itself the Boar King, an eternal of the realm of Night. It agrees to a formal parley, and asks that the Archmage ensure that Little Owl, Sovica of the Company of the White Fame, and anyone else who has business with the King of the Boars attend said parley at nine-o-clock on Saturday night.
A herald dressed in the manner of a Highborn wearing a deep red surcote over a white tunic appeared in the Imperial regio shortly after the Winter solstice, representing the Eternal Ylenrith, called the Swan. It politely announced that the Eternal Flame would be pleased to attend a parley with the Archmage of Day during the Spring Equinox.
As a state of enmity exists between the Empire and the Pure, it suggests a place of parley that is neither of the world nor the Realm - a chamber - and invites the Archmage to bring as many as eight other people with them should they agree to attend. Servants of Ylenrith will be in the Hall of Worlds at eleven o'clock on Friday night to transport the Archmage and the rest of their party to the chamber. Conditions of a formal parley would, of course, exist during the meeting.
Halfway between Winter Solstice and Spring Equinox, a messenger brings a missive from the eternal Estavus. A squat construct of brass and porcelain in the shape of an oversized child, it delivers its message in a clicking, off-kilter voice.
The Forgemistress agrees to another parley with the Empire. It will meet with the Archmage and no more than four others. Estavus will send two representatives to the meeting. They will allow Imperial citizens to trade personal materials for Autumn vis - Estavus desires them to bring Ambergelt only. She will give them one pouch of ashes for every five measures of ambergelt they bring to trade.
She has no interest in arranging a long-term trade deal or arranging for ashes to be made available by any means other than the ritual Before the Throne of Estavus which she has already shared with the Empire. There will be no discussion of this matter. There will be an opportunity to discuss the matter off the lost art of the blacksmith; she anticipates this will make up the bulk of the meeting. The meeting will be a formal parley; as such there will be no fruitful discussion of other matters.
Assuming these stipulations are acceptable to the Archmage, a guide will be sent to the Hall of Worlds at one o'clock Saturday afternoon.
OOC Note: As this is taking place in a chamber of Estavus, the meeting is likely to involve some smoke, and some walking from the Hall of Worlds to an encounter tent.
A koboldi messenger of King Adamant delivers a proclamation written in a neat cursive hand on fine parchment to the Timekeeper of the Conclave a week after the Winter Solstice. Dressed in a beautiful moonsilver mantle, the short herald is excruciatingly polite and reads the proclamation in a reedy, chirping voice before handing it over to the civil servant. King Adamant confirms that he will send a representative to treat with the Summer Archmage during the Spring Equinox. The King on the Granite Throne expresses some mild disappointment that in most cases the boons the Empire request are boons he has already offered in one form or another and had declined, but he is minded to be magnanimous.
His representative will speak on four topics: the Throne of Stone and its construction; the Walls of Holberg; the fortification Remember Exile; the mines of Skarsind. The herald will indicate the actions the Archmage can make to secure the boons that have been asked for, but should be aware that the King is not a common peddlar or mendicant tinker and is disinterested in haggling over minor details. The boons come in return for the acts required - the Silent Mountain is confident the Summer Archmage understands this.
Formal parley with a high-ranking representative of the Court of the Gnome King shall begin at nine-o-clock on Friday night.
The staff at the Castle of Thorns recognise the soberly dressed Draughir with dark red hair when she arrives at dusk one day midway between Solstice and Equinox. Ania of Necropolis is once again bearing word from the Heralds of the Silent Kingdom, and this time they speak for The Tomb King himself. The message she hands over is from a Herald known as Evanesce. It states "Since misconceptions about the nature of the Silent Kingdom abound in the Empire, from smallest child to proudest Archmage, The Empty One will respond to the plenipotentiary message sent, under formal Parley. Be prepared to receive the wisdom of The Hungry Wolf and his Heralds within the Hall of Worlds at 3 o'clock on the Saturday of the Equinox." Ania also hands over a list of people expected to attend. Others might have been apologetic, where she was not, because the list is not short.
- Archmage Emilia
- A representative of those who claim to know better than the Hungry Wolf himself what was fair and right punishment for the Chapter of The Forest Oak
- Syn Nighthaven and any three Imperial Generals, who should bring with them the Testament of Ahasaver
- Ursa of Wintermark and at least two others who suffer from a curse from the same source
- Eleanor Novarion
- General Jack of the Marches
- Bloodcrow Shettehs
It concludes with a note: the Heralds may engage in discussion with others not named. It should be firmly understood that The Empty One will not do so and will only speak on the matters directly raised in the plenipotentiary.
OOC Note: We intend to use low levels of smoke in this encounter, please let us know if this is a problem for you personally and this encounter is important to you and we will make adjustments. Some of the Sorin and Herald costumes make lip-reading impossible and some speech in this encounter will be via loudspeaker. Please let us know if you expect to be at the centre of the encounter and rely on lip-reading we will ensure that the parts most relevant to you are not delivered through the horse head masks.