(1867-10-27) Eastfield Makes Plans
Eastfield Makes Plans
Summary: Duke Darren calls a meeting to plan for how to deal with the plague
Date: 1867-10-27
Related: Plague stuff
Darren  Katerine  Randall  Dalmer  Raimond  Geraldo  

War Room - Charger's Rest - Eastfield - Rivana
See scene.

It's not odd in times of trouble to find the "War Room" at Charger's Rest occupied, even if the matters being discussed have little to do with war. That is most certainly the case this evening, as a perhaps-unusual assemblage of folks now occupies the room. Most notable among them is the Duke Darren Haldis, who nominally called this meeting. Beside him sits Lord Randall Haldis, his only surviving Uncle. Not Darren's favorite person, but faced with the grave matters they must now attend, not someone it would be wise to exclude. Others present include the Duke's half-brother, Lord Raimond Giraldi, and the Master Healer for House Haldis, Master Geraldo Silva. Also asked to attend is the Paladin Dalmer Haver, given that order's well-known expertise in healing. A few others remain nearby, but seem to be more observers than participants, as Darren enters the room last, and perhaps surprisingly, at his side is the Lady Katerine Greycen, his betrothed, who has been staying in Eastfield these past few weeks, familiarizing herself with the lands she will be living in in a couple short months. The're not arm-in-arm or anything of the sort, though she does move to sit beside Darren (opposite Randall, between Darren and Raimond) when the approach the table.

"All right, let's get started." Darren notes, his expression lacking any of its' usual humor, "We all know there's a plague spreading across the Edge. It hasn't struck Eastfield too badly yet, but we have some cases in Whitewalls, and expect it's only going to get worse there. I'm no healer. I need information and I need plans for how we're going to deal with this, and I'll have them sooner rather than later." He glances around the table expectantly, then, in his usual no-nonsense fashion.

Master Geraldo Silva— yet to accept the title of Lord, as he might have done with his family recently being raised to the Lordship of Blacksands… rumor in Charger's Edge said that he was refusing a noble title because it would remove him from his position as the Master Healer of Charger's Edge— sits after all the others have taken their seats. Before him is a wax tablet and stylus, and in the wax are several scribbles and arcane symbols.

"This plague," the middle-aged healer intones, "has completely swept Seaguard to the south of us. It is quite fatal in many cases, with fevers that kill and sickness in the lungs and throat and nose that prevents breathing. The rest of the symptoms— rash, losing hair and nails— are more of an irritance than actually fatal." It was important that everyone knew what they were dealing with, after all. "I understand that Pacitta is worse than Seaguard, and Sunsreach has more and more cases each day. There are herbs that can help with the worst of the symptoms, of course, but even so it is no guarentee to save the life of one stricken."

Seated primly opposite Darren and his intended, Dalmer doesn't immediately push herself forward to speak, given the present company. There's a look aside to the Master Healer as he speaks up, as is proper, first and foremost and the Paladin keeps her hands clasped loosely atop the table. Casually attired - she's not the sort to wander about in armor day and night - her own garb is markedly less fine than that of the soon-to-be Duchess seated across the way. But such things never did concern Dalmer. She's a Haver. The fact that she's in a dress at all, and that it's not fashioned from wheat-sacks, is impressive enough.

As Geraldo concludes, however, the blonde flits a glance toward Randall, then Darren in turn; gauging whether they've any immediate response before she ventures one. Clearing her throat gently, she offers in her coarsely accented, but pleasantly soft-spoken manner, "..if I may, yer Grace. Many, if not all, will turn to their faith, in times such as these. Hopin' for comfort, if nothing else, which I daresey the clergy may well provide. It's just.." Another flit of dark eyes goes to Katerine, then Raimond, including all in her little speech.

"..they're like as not goin' to head for Bendingbrook. Pilgrims. And that means crossing Eastfield."

Raimond Giraldi has a few papers in front of him, notes written upon them in a precise script, "I've been speaking with a few healers in the past week or two. Some of those herbs grow here in Eastfield, do they not, Master Silva? And perhaps more worringly, the most effective of them…the…" He studies the paper a moment, "Willow bark…has a limited range in which it grows? Am I correct in this?" He glances to Dalmer, frowning a bit at her words and writing out a few more notes on one of the (more blank) sheets.

"Pilgrims. The One help us." Randall Haldis mops his face a bit, which at least prevents him from glaring at Katerine Greycen, who seemed to have caused a bit of an unpleasant stir in Lord Randall with her presence, though he has the tact not to speak of it openly, "We can't close our borders, we're too spread out. We could try to block the roads, but…" He shakes his head.

"Is it not the duty of the Paladins and Templars to see to the Pilgrims?" Lady Katerine interjects, looking towards Dalmer, "Trying to keep them out would be a waste of time and resources. The best option would be to try to keep them contained to a few open roads, and let the Paladins do their work." Of course, she speaks as though she were not a relative stranger here, and with a tone that doesn't expect much in the way of challenge. Less in a snooty way and more in a "I dare you" manner, which seems more pointed at Randall than anyone else.

Darren frowns a bit, rubbing at his lip in thought before adding, "I'd hoped to bring the Paladins into this to help elsewhere, but Sir Dalmer's likely right. They're going to be too busy to help and I don't really have the authority to tell them otherwise." They may be tenants on his lands (or at least those of his vassals), but there are long-standing agreements that give them a good bit of autonomy.

"That's right, Lord Raimond," Master Geraldo responds, "Silver willow bark only grows in the northernmost areas of Normont. And it is the best herbal remedy to use for fever. We have a few that grow here in Eastfield: feverfew, peppermint, meadowsweet… catnip." He chuckles at the latter to himself. "Not as effective but they will do some good."

"Certainly once they arrive in Bendingbrook, m'Lady." agrees Dalmer, serenely. "But how and when they get there is, of course, in their own hands." Noting the subtle (or not) tensions rippling between her Uncle and the Greycen, the blonde bites contemplatively at her lower lip, before turning her attention toward Raimond's question and the healer's addressing of it. A wry smile and a nod of assent is offered, backing up the man's explanation, though she does offer an additional query. "How long will the supply last, if this sickness continues to spread..? I expect the priority would be directed to Sunsreach."

To Darren himself, her expression softening just a fraction at that pensive rub to his lip, she adds, gently, "..I could petition for further aid, yer Grace, if you wish. It depends on how inundated the academy gets, I reckon.. there's only so many pairs of hands as can be useful at a time, after all."

"Not long." Raimond looks towards Dalmer. "I'm no expert on plagues but I do know economy. That bark is going to explode in price and disappear regardless. Poorer houses may damn near bankrupt themselves to get a supply if they are late-hit." He glances to Darren, "I think we should move faster than that. Buy as much as we can, from whoever will sell to us. House Giraldi can front some of the necessary capital but…" He glances to Master Geraldo once more, "Master Silva, your house is renowned for its' Alchemical expertise. Is there some way we might be able to leverage that expertise to…stretch out the supply of the Silver Willow? Perhaps in combination with some of those other herbs?"

""Front the necessary capital?"" Randall scoffs, "We're looking at an oncoming plague and you're thinking like a merchant. Though I suppose I shouldn't be surprised." Randall doesn't even bother to hide the contempt in his voice.

"Oh, my apologies, Lord Haldis. Did you assume we were going to gain a supply of Silver Willow bark through magic? Or perhaps we'll simply march into Normont and seize it? Did you stumble upon a dragon's hoard after all the coin that's been spent rebuilding Eastfield?" Raimond's words are definitely biting, "Or did you just hide away a trove of your own that you're now suddenly more willing to part with?" He narrows his eyes at Randall, "I realize you and yours like to spit the "merchant" word like it's a curse, but there aren't many houses left in Eastfield with the means to assist in this manner, so yes, this "merchant" has volunteered to do so."

Randall goes red-faced, starting to rise from his chair, "I'll not let this merchant's bastard sit here and accuse-"

"Enough!" Darren barks, slamming a fist on the table, "The next man that speaks in anger will make me angry, and I'll gladly show you what a mistake that is." He glances between Randall and Raimond, "That goes for both of you. We need cool heads here, not petty feuds."

Raimond and Randall both deflate a bit, nodding to Darren, Katerine remains silent, but she does seem to regard Darren…speculatively. And not at all unapprovingly. Meanwhile, Darren looks to Dalmer, "Yes, you should go speak with the Paladins. If nothing else we can try to coordinate our efforts. If we can get some of them to help more directly, then One be praised, butI won't allow us to rely on it if we don't have to." His attention looks to Master Silva once more, "Master Silva, Raimond's idea…is there a chance it could work?"

Geraldo considers, hmming lowly to himself as he scratches on the wax tablet in front of him. "It is quite likely," he says finally. "Though such Alchemy is beyond my skills personally. However, my family would find the concept quite an intriguing conundrum, and there is little I would put past my cousin Hector as far as ability, Your Grace." He frowns. "It would entirely depend on how much of the willow we could get to him and the other alchemists in Blacksands, along with the other herbs I mentioned earlier. If we brought them a large enough amount, I am quite sure they could come up with a way to combine and stretch them."

Well, that didn't take long. As tempers flare, Dalmer remains perfectly still and apparently unperturbed; merely observing the heated exchange, to an idle glance. But anyone who knows her well enough could guess she's weighing both men on the quality of their behaviour.. and the nature of their interests. It's not her place to scold them, but she does visibly relax when the Duke intervenes, a tensions she hadn't noticed existed now dissipating from her slender shoulders.

As for Darren's agreement to her suggestion? She accepts that with a simple nod of understanding. Why can't everyone keep their tempers in check? It's not that bloody difficult.

In the wake of Geraldo's musing, the Lady Paladin looks between Raimond and her Uncle once more, even chancing a thoughtful glance to Katerine, perhaps curious as to her thoughts. "..perhaps Sir Raimond has a point, Uncle." Addressing Randall directly, if in an aside, should the others be speaking further, Dalmer steeples her fingers beneath her jaw, lips twisting in a vague sentiment of sympathy. No, they don't all have to be friends. But they do have to work together, in this. "Would you have us go short on supply, merely for dislike of those with the weighty and willing coin purse? Of course you wouldn't." She has an easy manner with the formidable old sot, just as she does with everyone else.

"Yes, Sir Dalmer, you are correct." Randall notes, nodding towards the Paladin, then looking towards Raimond and speaking through clenched teeth, but speaking nonetheless, "My apologies, Lord Raimond. And to you all. It was unseemly to let my temper escape me." He doesn't exactly look pleased, but he does at least look calm again, more so after Raimond nods towards him.

"And my apologies to you, Lord Haldis. This is a difficult situation for all of us, and with Whitewalls already starting to suffer I fear the matter strikes close to my heart." Raimond nods to Dalmer after he finishes speaking.

Darren notes, "All right Raimond. Buy what you can. I'll get you what coin I can from the coffers here and of our vassals, but you know it won't be much." Rebuilding has cost a great deal, and while it hasn't put Eastfield in the poorhouse (largely thanks to plenty of Tracano support and a bit of Normont "reparations"), it has depleted their reserves.

"Actually…" Katerine speaks once more, "I would suggest you speak with my mother on this matter. Or my brother if she has taken ill." Katerine notes, "She may be a stone-cold bitch with little regard for niceties, but she would crawl through fire while dock rats pissed on her if it meant keeping Seaguard whole and secure. Thad would do no less."

Randall looks positively scandalized by Katerine's words. Darren looks surprised and more than a bit amused. Raimond looks more towards the "amused" part but adds, "Well, having Seaguard's wealth behind the deal would certainly bring a much larger supply. Perhaps even enough to entice the t'Rannis into sellling a bit of their supply, though they'll no doubt ask for vastly inflated prices. We'll need to move quickly though. It's like as not but a matter of time before one Crown or the other decides we can't afford to sell the bark across borders."

There's a moment, a couple of heartbeats, in which Dalmer's jaw might be in danger of hitting the table as she blinks across at Katerine. And then she simply laughs, heartily. Everyone else might have the etiquette just to gloss over that coarse little speech, but she is just going to appreciate it a little longer.

"Ahem.. aye. Well.. hopefully nobody successfully plies that as a cure-all, in the meantime." The blonde Paladin regains her composure, but it's with considerable effort and only a tenuous hold; her lips twitching subtly, suggesting the threat of further chuckling any second. Quick, focus on something else… "If we're sittin' here discussin' it, I reckon it's a safe bet folks at larger tables are doin' the same. That decision may already have been made." Dalmer settles her gaze thoughtfully upon Raimond. Is she impressed? Difficult to say. Probably not. Besides, the more pressing matter remains: who will broker these deals? The Giraldi might be the best for conceiving of them, but.. alas, there's still not many Houses that would see his arrival as much of a mark of respect from the Duke.

"What? I was told you horsefuckers were coarse in speech and manner. Was I lied to?" Katerine's tone now laces itself with brazen humor and even a bit of mock innocence as she plays at batting her eyes at Darren.

Raimond, who had been in the process of taking a drink of water, promptly starts half-choking, half-laughing, pounding his chest and shaking his head, but grinning. Darren blinks a moment, then roars with laughter. And even Randall manages to chuckle in spite of himself.

"No, you weren't told untruly, milady." Darren finally replies, wiping a tear from his eye, "Though we usually save the best curses for more casual affairs."

Katerine nods oh-so-solemnly, "I will keep this in mind in the future."

"Master Geraldo." Darren speaks, growing serious once more, "Send word to your kin of what we've discussed." He looks to Raimond, "Rai, this was your idea. You'll own it. Get the Greycens on board and get the Willow Bark to the Silva…with a separate supply for us to keep in reserve." A brief flicker of a glance to Katerine, "And the Greycen get their own portion if they join in, of course." He then looks to Randall, "Uncle Randall, I'll need you to see to directing the gathering and collection of the herbs we already have in our lands, and buy what supplies are available. If any of the vassals bellyache, let me know." He takes in a deep breath, letting it out slowly, "Anything else anyone can think of?" He searches each face in turn.

"As you command, Your Grace," Geraldo bows his head obediently. "I will write my cousin at once, and if I have your permission, send it to him via Faegate. Time seems to be of the essence, of course." He glances to the others at the table.

Privately, Dalmer finds herself wondering if the best is yet to come then, in regard to the 'best' curses. Because they've been impressive thus far. Grinning broadly across at the other woman as the men dissolve into amusement, the blonde leans back more comfortably in her chair, calmly watching and waiting for the mirth to abate. A shake of her head is the only response to Darren's latter question, her own gaze turning aside to Geraldo as he speaks. "I'll visit Bendingbrook in person and do what I can. Could be they're already well prepared and perfectly keen to oblige.. but if not, it might take some convincing." Those big brown eyes shift to Darren, beneath a quirked brow. "I'll prepare to leave at sun-up, if that pleases yer Grace."

"Nothing further, Your Grace." Raimond replies to his brother, gathering his notes and mentally preparing a checklist of what he'll need, even as a few other ideas start to form along the way. Wheels within wheels and all that.

Randall nods in acquiesence. "I'll send messengers tonight."

"Yes, use the gate. I'll send word to her majesty and the Archduchess of what we're planning as well. Perhaps the crown will pitch in as well." Darren replies to Geraldo, and nods to Dalmer, "If you need anything for the journey, just ask. Or just take it and I'll smooth it over later." He glances around once more, and nods, rising to his feet, "All right. Let's get to work, then."

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License