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 Post Posted: Fri Nov 29, 2019 2:27 pm 
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Arkady starts writing...first to Dolmant:
Arkady wrote:
Your Grace, I want to try to get Vanire and Undul to talk with me outside the meeting room. It would be helpful if you could present a glowing, and lengthy, talk about Ortzel's many charming qualities to your fellow patriarchs...you might even want to mention that he has already apparently lost Azash's vote, if being attacked by his champion is any indication. But that I leave to your judgment, you know your colleagues best. Arkady.

Then to Vanire:
Arkady wrote:
Greetings. I have asked Patriarch Dolmant to give a lengthy and glowing description of Ortzel's many wonderful qualities so you, I, and Patriarch Undul might have a talk in the anteroom outside the hall. I need you to bear witness to things I have claimed about Raven, lest Undul and his friends accept his proposals without knowing what it is they are bargaining for. Otherwise I thinking they may well accept him, as I am not the best at persuading people by writing and Raven is apparently quite good. Arkady.

Then to Undul:
Arkady wrote:
Your Grace, I wish to meet with you and Preceptor Vanire in the anteroom outside the chamber to discuss certain matters previously raised. I am doubting there will be any surprises in what will be said for the candidates, and if these matters are true then you and your colleagues will have been cheated should you accept certain persuasions. I am thinking that is something none of you are wanting. Arkady.

As he sends them he looks at Lady Sephrenia and whatever knights might be present. "I am trying to arrange a discussion with two men downstairs, outside the chamber. It would be best if no one hostile to Ortzel were to interrupt. Do any of you know how that can best be arranged?

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 Post Posted: Mon Dec 02, 2019 3:48 am 
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"Outside the chamber is unlikely to work," suggests Sephrenia. "If they leave the chamber, Makova can call a vote while they're out. Mind you, you could always talk to them in an out-of-the-way corner of the guest gallery, it is mostly empty..."

Dolmant does, indeed, stand up to speak in favour of Ortzel, citing a number of points. Many of these seem fairly trivial from an outsider's perspective - what does it matter what he thinks of the proper design of clerical vestments? - but as a delaying tactic, it works.

Vanire goes and has a word with Undul, and then sends you back a note.

Vanire wrote:
UNDUL SAYS KEEP WORD. NOT VOTIN TODAY. TAK AFTER SUNSET.

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 Post Posted: Mon Dec 02, 2019 4:43 pm 
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Arkady shows the note to Lady Sephrenia.
"That might be fun to watch, though they may be a bit hungry when they're done."
He tells Theresa: "Undul told Vanire that his crew will not vote today. We have not told anyone local about the truckload of tithe; I am hoping it does not get to the point where I need to. So let's keep an eye on them all. Especially the crow."
With that he goes back to reading the crowd (and the peanut gallery).

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 Post Posted: Tue Dec 03, 2019 3:17 am 
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Arkady: Empathy: +5 Theresa: +2 Roll: -1 Total: +6

Arkady watches the ebb and flow of the meeting over the next few hours, on into mid-morning. It quickly becomes clear that:

- With over half the Patriarchs thoroughly bribed, no-one who is not Raven can possibly be elected.
- Makova is arguing that, at the present moment, having any Patriarch is preferable to having no Patriarch.
- Several of the unbribed Patriarchs (both inside and outside Undul's group) are giving this line of reasoning serious consideration; if Raven's eventual rise to Arch-Prelacy is inevitable in any case, then why not get it over and done with? They're not voting for him yet, but they're seriously considering the possibility.
- Any news from outside that supports the idea that it's more urgent to have any Patriarch than to have that Patriarch not be Raven will only encourage more people to vote on Raven's side.

It's in the midst of this dangerous situation that a messenger enters, bringing news that he whispers to Makova; Makova announces that the 'pilgrims at our gates' have come in through the outer walls.

"And I am sure," he adds, speaking over the audible despair of several Patriarchs. "that we would all wish a duly elected Arch-Prelate to give these travelers a proper welcome, and ensure that there is no chance for... misunder-"

He's interrupted by a rumbling boom that shakes the room.

"What was that?" asks one of the Patriarchs.

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 Post Posted: Wed Dec 04, 2019 12:44 pm 
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Arkady sends a note along to Vanire, running it by Theresa as he writes:
Arkady wrote:
Some of your colleagues are starting to think they have no choice but Raven because there's an enemy army here and no help in sight. As preceptor of the Pandions and the only soldier in the room, I am thinking now would be a really good time to tell them that your men are riding. And as for the explosion: remember the trees. Time is being bought, and they need to hear that. Arkady

Then he sends a note to Dolmant while the first is en route, ditto on the running English:
Arkady wrote:
Your Grace, Preceptor Vanire is about to try to put some spine into your colleagues by telling them that help is coming and time is being bought for them. Please assist him in that effort; once it leaves the purely military sphere I think you are better capable of convincing your colleagues than He. Arkady

Finally, he holds his phone where Raven can't see what he's doing and texts to the other Terrans:
Arkady wrote:
Things tense at the meeting, we heard the explosion. Are they blocked for now?

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 Post Posted: Wed Dec 04, 2019 6:36 pm 
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Felix's reply is terse.

Felix wrote:
Dropped some buildings on Martel's goons. Assessing damages.

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 Post Posted: Thu Dec 05, 2019 2:10 am 
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Vanire does try to calm the gathering with an insistence that word of 'current events' had already been sent to the Pandion Chapterhouse. Makova counters by suggesting that anyone leaving the city would doubtless have "stopped for a meal" with the "pilgrims at our gates" (presumably out of sheer politeness) and may be "somewhat delayed" as a result.

Vanire: Rapport: +2 Complemented by Leadership: +1 Roll: +1 Total: +4
Makova: Rapport: +4 Roll: +0 Total: +4


The debate swings back and forth for a while, with no firm consensus being reached.

Arkady, being a fairly smart fellow, has of course set his phone to silent during the Patriarch's deliberations, so it doesn't make a sound when Felix' message comes in. Given the general opinion of the Elene church on things that look like magic, this is probably a very good thing.

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 Post Posted: Sat Dec 07, 2019 11:25 pm 
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Explaining to Theresa what he's trying to do, Arkady is reading the brought and paid for clerics to see how many don't seem happy about being in that position. He's looking for an estimate of how many can be conveniently bribed to switch sides if it came to that. Hopefully Dolmant will be more convincing when he starts to talk.

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