Logs:Seeing Eye to Eye
| It's an informal meeting at the Formal Gardens of the Palais Maleband. There is a large map of Auberry and Maleband set on the ground, held together by servants as Lyov, the Steward of Palais Maleband, and the Steward of Auberry along with a few Engineers are pointing at it. Whenever Anja is to arrive, however, a squire would escort her to the back of the Palais to the Formal Gardens and announce her arrival. The squire for Anja is a cute handsome little thing with freckles and ruddy hair just at the cusp of manhood. Lyov's proverbial court garden is, in fact, filled with very good looking people.
Possessing her own ethereal beauty and grace, Anja, for the most part, would fit right into the setting with all of the other attractive individuals. Dressed in a white gown decorated with images of flowers of various sorts, the pastel colors of the flower blossoms blend into one another beautifully. Modestly cut, the gown has a high neckline, the long sleeves flow over the lengths of her slender arms and the hem of her skirts sweep over the gown in a sort train. The long waves of her pale blonde locks are drawn up into a decorative bun, adorned with flowers of a similar hue to match her gown. Her every step is made with a light well-practiced grace and the expression which she wears is mostly neutral, though there is that ever present pout that she can rarely keep from her lips.
Lyov, for his part, is dressed in all black, but like his hair starting to grow out into blond locks, he wears less of the traditional Decados uniform and something more accustomed to Yathib - long black silk kaftan and well, a lot of flowing silk in general. When Anja arrives, a wave of his hand for the Stewards and Engineers to discuss whatever they were discussing inside as Lyov approaches with a polite bow of his head, "Ah, Dame Torenson, I presume? Vice-Count Lyov Feodrovich Kurakin Decados, at your service. Thank you for taking the time out of your busy day to enjoy some light refreshments together and get to know each other better." A sweap of his hand over to some comfortable wicker outdoor seating. Servants wait with wine, iced tea, iced water, whiskey, and other refreshments as desired.
Attentive ice blue eyes make a light scan of her surroundings, Anja's gaze falling upon both individuals in the garden and flowers alike, it would seem. Though catching the Vice-Counts figure in the distance, she seems to quietly study him as the distance between the two draws closer. Her fair features brighten when a smile tugs at her lips and she gracefully lowers herself into a deep curtsey, her gaze now looking to the floor when she speaks, "Your Excellency, it is a pleasure to finally be able to meet you. In such lovely surroundings too." She remains lowered in this position for an adequate amount of time, before she finally rises to stand at full height. "Your gardens are wonderful."
"To garden in a desert world is an act of love and devotion," Lyov remarks as he offers a polite, if somewhat cold, dispassionate, smile. "Would you like something to drink?" Lyov asks as a servant brings out a platter of cheese and cold cut meat to the table. Lyov for his part asks for a glass of oaky white wine. It is afternoon still. He continues, "It is delightfully unusual to see so many Torensons out in a frontier world. My father's older brother had a Torenson as his chief Steward on Severus and there are many in the other capital worlds such as Byzantium Secundus and Tethys. I know Dame Linnea Torenson serves Lord Caelwyn. Do you serve anyone or are you here to lend support to the ongoing Crusades?"
"To be honest, I was a little worried before setting off here. There is more beauty to be found on Yathrib than I had initially thought." Anja says, her words coming out in a light, lyrical tone when she speaks. At the offer of refreshments, the Torenson maiden carefully takes up a glass of white wine in her dainty hands, "Thank you." She says to Lyov and the servant both. "I have yet to meet with Dame Linnea Torenson, though I've heard so many wonderful things about her from the Lord General Caelwyn Li Halan. He insists that I get to know the Dame and I am truly looking forward to it. As for myself, I serve as part of Countess Johburg's court as an assistant to aid her during these dangerous times."
Lyov nods slowly, "Ah, Countess Johburg. I see." He leans against an armrest and takes a sip of his own wine. "Yathrib is Yathrib. It's a strange planet, parched and hot and sand everywhere..." A blink as he just sits up and shrugs it all off his broad shoulders. "So how do you enjoy the coast along Johburg? As a lord of an inland county and having grown up in a vastly more urban household, the sea is a foreboding stranger to my house." Lyov just idly swirls his glass of wine, watching the lazy legs of the wine run down the sparkling glass before steel blue eyes focus back on Anja.
Taking a small sip of wine, Anja's gaze remains focused on the Count when he speaks and soon enough her eyes roam to take in the beauty and colors of the gardens once more. "I lived on Vera Cruz as a ward during my childhood years, so I'm used to all of this sand and the weather being overly warm for my tastes. I was originally born on Ravenna where the temperature was just fine and the world was filled with beauty. The sea has always been a lovely sight to me, though despite it's beauty, there is a vast loneliness out there in the waters and I cannot deny that it is not foreboding. Perhaps, that is why I am so drawn to it."
"Vera Cruz. I have heard much from my late step-mother. I had myself been to Sutek during the Emperor Wars but never to either Aragon or Vera Cruz. My wife speaks much of Ravenna, but as with all things, I seem to miss the beauty of Ravenna, seeing only Leminkainen and Delphi." One of the debutante wards playing in the garden laughs with no care in the world, offering the Vice-Count and the Dame beautiful pink and yellow roses." The timing is impeccable, even spontaneous acts of happiness seem, not forced, but measured, pre-destined. "So if I may ask, how did you end up at the service of the Countess so far from known civilization?" Lyov asks as he takes a bite of some cheese and ponders if the combination with the wine works. A little shrug as if it is neither a hit or a miss, "After all, in our neck of the woods, Van Gelder isn't exactly a household name." He just takes a breath of the heady rose's perfume.
"Vera Cruz was... interesting." Anja speaks out, that faint smile still on her lips, "And I'm certain that I stood out terribly from those native of that world. Still, it was beautiful and I was treated well enough, so I cannot complain. I've never had much of an opportunity to travel, though I am hoping to be able to at some point. After my appointment here." Her smile becomes all the more prominent when several pretty roses are handed to her, "This place is like paradise, Your Excellency." Her gaze now returning to look upon the Vice-Count at his inquiry, "My uncle is a crusader who had met with Countess Johburg during his time here. He believed that I would be a perfect fit for the Countess' court, boasting of how lovely her palace is in Akko. Thus, I am here, to offer whatever assistance that I can. Not just for Countess Johburg, but to aid the war effort as a whole."
Lyov nods and takes a sip of his wine, "I see." He ponders Anja's words and says, "Hardly paradise, m'lady. But it is a certain garden and I like to tend to it well." He finally says, "It is the responsibility of all nobles. We tend to our figurative gardens, the priests tend to the flock, the League build the homes we inhabit." He just chuckles at some other thought and looks over to his garden once more.
Anja emits a gentle laugh just before she takes another quick sip of wine. Lowering the glass now, she does comment, "A paradise enough. There are parts of the city that remain so bleak and dusty. I do admire fondly these little diamonds in the rough, so to speak. But yes, your words are your true, Your Excellency." Idly, her gaze dips momentarily to view the roses within her hand just as she asks, "How are you liking your stay here on Yathrib? I've heard that you are facing some difficulties, I believe, with your vassals? I apologize if I am in any way touching upon a topic that you do not wish brought up."
Lyov just ponders Anja's words and states, "A complicated matter, to say the least." He lets out a sigh as he looks over to Anja, "Why do you ask, m'Lady? It cannot be simply idle curiosity on your end," Lyov says with a polite smile. He empties the wine and the servant pours another. "My stay on Yathrib has thus far been an interesting situation... thus far."
"Oh, I do understand if you are a little wary of my curiosity, but it is mostly just that. Curiosity and I do hope to meet with all of the Counts and Barons on the planet to get a better understanding of the political climate here, Your Excellency." Anja starts, her eyes on the roses once more, before they lift to regard Lyov with her full attention, "With our march to Revelation looming ahead of us, I was thinking that any friction within each County should be smoothed out, because we will need everyone working together as it is. Though, that is probably where things will begin to work themselves out, I suppose. Trust can be gained if we are watching one another's backs. I have yet to meet with Marquis Karl, but people have told me so many things about him."
"I see," Lyov just says with a polite smile and a tilt of his glass. "What do you propose that we do to work out the friction within our counties, m'lady?" A pause as Lyov sips his wine again. "And what about the manifest friction between our counties? The House that is the Curia is divided and on the edge of collapse. The foundations are rotten."
Lyov ponders Anja's words as he raises a brow, "I see, m'lady." He tugs at the hem of a sleeve as he says with a polite smile, "If discussions that we have taken up north do not blossom, we will likely see a difficult war season in the North, yes." A pause. "And it sounds like we will also face certain calamity in the East. And an unknown variable to the South." A pause. "Meanwhile, the Crusader State: the Guardian, the Vale, Auberry, Oultrejoyeaux, Leon, Johburg - all our lands - are facing our greatest threat - ourselves. Our small, petty, selfish desires..."
"This is quite new to me, being thrust onto a war torn planet in such a way. I find it both frightening and a little exhilarating at the same time." Anja says as she turns in a graceful manner so that her attention can settle on Lyov once again. "So here I am, trying to quickly learn and absorb everything which I can so that I may be of some help somewhere." She then nods quickly, "Oh yes, the words 'selfish' and 'greed' has been tossed around quite often regarding these crusades. Though our troops have already been called upon, so everyone must work together to either protect what is /ours/ or try to put a stop to all of this madness in Revelation for once and for all. It won't do if people refuse to offer aid, but everyone must be ensured that their own fiefs and provinces will be well protected still."
Lyov says with a perk of the brow, "War has been a fact of life for too long. But we cannot be stuck in our wishes. We find ourselves in grave danger of being on the brink." He ponders his next words, a certain cadence, measured and calm even as he speaks of calamity. "You see, everyone is not working together. Surely you know that there lies a great gulf amongst our lands. I do not speak for your mistress. The Countess and I have rarely convened with each other, and from what little she has spoken with me, there is grave emnity. But it would seem, we are forced into an arrangement, a need to cooperate."
"I will be speaking to Countess Johburg about this as well. I know some of her feelings, but I believe that she is merely working carefully even though she may accidentally step on a few toes." Anja says, her gaze remaining on Lyov, "Especially since the Jumpgate had opened and a new reality started to set in. Here, the Van Gelder are still a powerful and prominent House, where their powers had waned considerably in the Known Worlds, so I can understand her uneasiness. But I am hoping that she and others, will understand, too, that we do have one goal and that is to follow the Pancreator's will." "For what it is worth, my mother was a Van Gelder. I loved her so," Lyov offers with a look to the roses. There is a cream yellow rose, the size of a saucer plate that he offers to Anja, "The Eternal Canary, a prize rose from Severus. My mother's favorite." He says after a pause to let Anja sink in his words, "Honestly, the Countess and I see very little eye-to-eye in pretty much every detail of this world, but yes, the Pancreator's Will, and the synergy our disparate Counties can bring together for victory."
A light smile playing on her lips, Anja asks, "Oh was your mother now? Then this would make you family of sorts to the Countess. But you do understand her concerns and where she is coming from, correct, Your Excellency? Yathrib is far different, politically, than what we know of in the Known Worlds and I can see where she may be concerned that the Crusaders and all of those new to the planet will look down on her, for being Van Gelder, because in her own eyes and in Yathrib's history, the Van Gelder never fell from power. Now, in regards to other topics on politics or even military matters, that I am still trying to understand, myself. I do not know where you do not see eye-to-eye."
"Of sorts, I reckon," Lyov says with a polite smile. "I am aware of what ails the Countess of her reputation." He taps his bearded chin and says, "I won't belabor what differences stand before us. Some are bona fide differences. Others are miscommunications." He leans back and takes a bite of cubed corned beef. "I think the lesson to get out of all this is that whatever the differences, the view is that they are indeed very petty compared to the immense difficulties manifest in this coming war season - vastly more difficult than the last or the one before, lacking the backing of a called Crusade. I hope your Countess and my Court can work together to build something better than to face manifest suffering through our lands."
Anja nods quickly, the motion forcing a stray pale blonde lock to spill out before it is once more tucked carefully behind her ear. "I'm hoping that all of the Counts will be able to meet, just the four of you, and work out battle plans to see who will be sending vassals and troops to be doing what and where. Coordination and working in unison. Of course, this does mean that you need to have your vassals on the same page as you are, ready and willing to take orders or at least being willing to discuss their own plans so that there is no misunderstandings. But I shall make this suggestion to Her Excellency when I return back to Fisher Palace."
"I wish I had the loyal and dedicated vassals as the Countess has," Lyov offers with an idle gesture of his hand as he stands up, "But we are all to deal with the hands we are dealt." He looks over to his stewards already waiting as he says, "The border Counts, as we are, should meet up, absolutely. Perhaps more importantly, suggest to your mistress that a proper tete-a-tete summit should be held between Johburg and Auberry. I think that gestures to show our vassals that we are united in war and respect our differences will boost morale. Leon and Oultrejoyeaux and their emnity distracts. Johburg and Auberry can build synergy, and if, even superficially, we can show unity, surely this war season will maybe be in victory rather than a bloody stalemate or otherwise." A beat. "It was my pleasure to host you, Dame Torenson. Please, if you have any questions, let me know. I have an appointment with several of my baronets, but we shall surely discuss matters of state together again soon."
"Well, I should be meeting with Marquis Karl at some point in the near future, along with Baroness Avenal, and I will see what they say. There looks to be friction within Oultrejoyeaux as well. I'm uncertain on whether that was ironed out or not." Anja says, her brow furrowed gently, before her features soften once more. "Of course, Your Excellency, I shall pass that along to Countess Johburg and see about setting up a meeting with you. And, yes, it was a pleasure and an honor to be able to speak with you here today in such fine surroundings. You have been a very hospitable and gracious host, Your Excellency." With that, she dips once again into a formal curtsey, her head lowered to show her deference before once again rising to stand. "May the Pancreator shed light upon your House and your lands, My Lord."
"I hope a visible and public summit, provided it goes well, will show Yathrib and the Crusader State that we can transcend our pettiness and work together to liberate Revelation," Lyov just states, offering a bow of his head. "My best regards," Lyov offers before he does note, "A rehearsal or two would not be a bad idea." A wink as he heads into the Palais. Whenever Anja is ready, she would be escorted out by her charming squire.