Rubicon River Hold - Meeting Room
The hold's Meeting Room it a small quiet room with a large table placed in it's center. There are also a few ornate tapestries placed around the room, but the main concern is placed on the room's purpose, which is to provide the staff with a place to meet and plan the hold's and hall's activities.
It is still early morning at Rubicon River as the last of the Lord Holders have arrived, brought from across the continents to attend this Conclave which will decide who will become the new Lord Holder of of Rubicon River Hold. The presiding Harper has settled at the head of the table, the older gentleman waiting for everyone to settle before slowly standing up, calling the Conclave to order.
"Gentlemen, and ladies.." The man inclines his head briefly to those few Lady Holders in the room, before continuing. "Today we are here to decided the fate of Rubicon River's Lord Holdership. We must decide whether Lady Ryeira ab Bitra will become Lady Holder in her own right after the assumed death of her husband, the late Lord Leonidas, or if their young son Lyerdes will be the new Lord Holder. If that is the case, we must decided on a Warden, to govern in the young child's steed until he is of age." His gaze slips over the room at large, attempting to ensure the situation at hand is understood. "However, we must also settle the situation that has arisen with Lord Eyvindr at Hannista Hold. Lord Eyvindr," And the Harper nods at the middle-aged Holder, "Has filed a grievance regarding the land division between Rubicon River and his own Hannista. However, we will address Rubicon's leadership first." A nod to the Lord Holder on his right, and the room is passed to him. "Please, share your thoughts, as we all will, and then in turn we will vote."
"Grievance. I'll give him a grievance." A gruff, haggard looking man mumbles to a small gathering of cotholders. Serato, once holder of South Range cothold, seems to have gotten more lined and stern-faced during the past few months. His gray hair clings to his face in stringy strands, his eyebrows knitted with distaste as he shoots a look towards the Hannistan Lord Holder. As most in the tightly knit group of border dwellers are not major holders, none stand to say their piece… yet. Instead, they murmur amongst themselves, pausing now and again to listen to others speak as they wait their turn.
As the floor is called to open, the stately Lady of Rubicon rises from her seat. She carries the dress and looks of a woman of Bitra. Cool and composed. Rumours might even have passed around that she never even shed a tear for her supposedly dead husband. Was it just a rumour? One so easily to believe as she stands there, looking slowly up from the table. Her gaze shifting from one face to another, her slate blue eyes meeting each holder in the room. The pause on Lord Eyvindr's face for a little while longer before she raises her head to address the room. "I am Ryeira, Lady of Rubicon Hold. I am married to Lord Rubicon, Leonidas. We have beget two healthy children, a boy child of almost 5 turns and a girl child of 11 turns." She pauses in her speech but for a moment. "I propose that nothing be changed in that arrangement until Lyerdes comes of age and can take on the mantle. Most in the region well know I have handled the day to day running of the hold for sometime, even before the disappearance of the flag ship. I have proven myself as dedicated to the hold, the people and its lands since my arrival at Rubicon nearly 16 turns ago. A dedicating that has only grown with each passing year." Her words a formal tone, not breaking into emotionality. She is a well contained woman. "The sea has seen fit to take away from our hold the adult men of the line, which leaves but a child to inherit. I would claim full rights in his stead to be reevaluated upon his 18th birthday." With those words she once again looks around the room before gracefully settling down in her seat once more. Not yet talking on the Hannistan issue.
Lord Holder Toban of Black Rock Hold waits, fingers tapping on the table as he listens to Lady Ryeira's words before he in turn is standing, pushing his chair back noisily from the table. "Black Rock Hold has worked with Rubicon River in the past, and despite many differences, we have had no complaints with Lord Leonidas's rule. However, we cannot agree that this Lady of Bitra be installed as Lady Holder in her own name. While she may have run the hold, even our holders whisper on her lack of reaction. We vote that their son be placed, with a Warden, as Lord Holder of Rubicon River."
Lord Jossan of Ressac Beach Hold rises next to address the conclave from his seat at the table. A kindly face and an air of quiet assuming dignity give this rugged man a natural authority despite the fact that he is not an old man. Startlingly blue eyes, intelligent and keen despite his burnished, weather beaten complexion, give this man the look of learning as they sweep over those present. “We held no quarrel with Rubicon’s missing Lord,” a hushed whisper stirs those gathered at his omission of the word ‘deceased’. He simply waits patiently, nodding his understanding of their protest before continuing, “We have met a consensus of agreement at Ressac Beach Hold that it is premature to declare the Lord deceased.” Again that stir and he waits, “We were not satisfied of the evidence put forth of his death and with the strange goings on of several holdless bands in our area, we are not convinced that he has not met with foul play, but may still be alive. Therefore we will vote for a warden until the heir is of age to take the place of his father.” He sits impassive and unmoved by any response from the crowd.
The towering Lord Holder of Benden, Lord Cestaem, waits for his turn, before standing, inclining his head to the Lady Ryeira, and then turning his gaze on his peers. "While Benden has no qualms with the Lady Ryeira, we do believe that it would be unfair of the child to have his Lordship passed to his mother rather than to the rightful heir. With many at Bitra looking to profit at each and every turn, Benden feels that should Lady Ryeira become the Lord in her own right, they would turn their eye to the south." The heavy man pushes his brown hair back from his face, the gray beginning to show at his temples as he turns his gaze on the problematic Lord Eyvindr. "And, Benden feels that there are already enough opportunistic Holders in the South." His heavy gaze lingers on the younger man, letting his large stature serve as intimidation, before slowly he resettles in his seat.
From Roma Hold, in the Honshu area, is Lord Howell. The stuffy older man is here without his fair Lady Tilee, as she was too heavy with child to make the trip, and the portly man looks less than pleased to have been called from his Hold, and doesn't even stand to speak. "If the Lord is indeed alive," he shoots Lord Jossan a brief look, his voice had been among the mutterers. "then surely he would have been found by now." he intones in his deep and droning voice. "However," he continues, tone stern as another Holder tries to cut in, "Roma feels that a Warden would take more time and effort to adjust to the position, and have no complaint with Bitra, or those from Bitra. We vote in favour of Ryeira as Lady Holder." he votes, finally nodding to the next Holder to proceed.
Lord Sheof and Lady Sofafi, the pair from Bitra, sit together talking quietly amongst themselves, sending rather dirty looks at those Lords who dare to bring up Ryeira's lineage as the reason for their vote for a Warden. Waiting their turn, it is Sofafi that rises to her feet, the short woman turning her large, violet eyes on the men present, paying particular attention to those Lord Holders such as Cestaem who are as of yet unwed. "While many of you may feel that my Lord and I may be biased, we believe that the Lady Ryeira would be a most appropriate Lady Holder in her own right." Her tone is sweet, and her manner quite charismatic, as her pretty gaze continues around the room. "Lady Ryeira has done as much for her hold of Rubicon River as each of you do for your own holds, and we, Bitra, vote to give her the title to accompany the duties." Her gaze lingers on Lord Howell, noting his agreement, flashing him a coy smile as she settles back down in her seat, leaning once more to converse in hushed tones with her husband.
The man in the Ruathan chair stands as it becomes his turn, though it is not the short Lord Piapan, but rather a man wearing the knot of a Ruathan Steward. "My name is Eneid, and I speak on behalf of my Lord Ruatha, who felt that in light of Xanadu Weyr's involvement in hold affairs, it was unsafe for him to travel here personally. Ruatha believes that the right to hold belongs to the son, and support him being named Lord Holder. While we understand that the Lady Ryeira has been managing the hold, however, we believe the role of Warden is best let to another." Though, the man makes no suggestions as to who that would be, instead settling hurriedly back down in his seat.
Mezuch, Lord Nerat, has been waiting for his turn though with not even a vague appearance of patience. Eneid is barely in his seat before Mezuch's hand is brought down firmly on the table and he stands. "Full rights? I think not Lady Ryeira. We all heard the rumours and you have done nothing to make us believe they were anything other than the truth. When will you mourn your husband? Do you even mourn him? Convenient he should vanish when your son is so young. Nerat votes for the child, with a warden chosen by conclave as trustworthy."
Ryeira is quiet through these proceedings. Her face showing no outward thought for the words being said. Though as each lord speaks of her unsuitability, her lack of mourning. There are cracks in the facade. She finally can not sit still no more. She rises up with her usual stately grace and looks to the Lords of the counsel. "I may not grieve openly, but I mourn for my husband's loss as any other woman would. How would it serve Rubicon for me to cry and wail upon the widow's walk above our hold? How would it serve the people, my husband's people, for me to lose myself in grief? Can any of you deny that I have ever served anything but the interests of Rubicon in all that I do. Yes I am Bitran born, but I am Rubicon wed and bed. My children are Rubicon. My heart is Rubicon and beats as strongly as any man who would take my place. For mine heart beats FOR my children and not just for what political gain I might have for controlling them. Mine heart beats for my people, for Leonidas people. Please I ask you, leave me the dignity of my private grief so that I may take care of my husband's people." There is a touch of passion to those words, breaking through the ice, though not overly emotional. Her gaze once again travels the crowd before she takes her seat once more.
Mezuch's fist slams into the table once more at Ryeira's outburst. "Sit Down, woman, and learn your place. You grieve for my nephew like a whore deprived of his money, not a wife! Desperation is never an attractive quality no matter who wields it."
The Lady Holder of Keroon, the widowed Masopia, slowly stands as Ryeira finishes her speech, shaking her head and turning to look at those Lords gathered in the room. "Each and every one of you sits here in judgement of this woman who has yet to do anything wrong. If it t'wer your wives, you would wish for such respect for them." Lord Nerat's outburst has the older woman's glare shifting to him. "Lord Nerat, if my fellow lady were to cry, you would just as quickly jump to prove it a sign of her incompetence." Turning back to the Conclave as a whole, she shakes her head. "Keroon votes that the Lady be granted her wish - that she will serve as Warden until the boys eighteenth turnday." And then she's gracefully settling back in her seat, rearranging her full skirts.
The outburst from Lady Ryeira is enough to cause Serato to look up from his mumblings amongst the small holders. Face knitting tightly into deep set lines, the man slowly pushes his chair out, the sound of wood grinding against the floor. "If I may speak?" His voice is cold, hands balled up into fists as he looks over the faces of the Lord and Lady holders. "I am Serato of South Range cothold. I speak on behalf of the southern holders of Rubicon." A few murmur agreement, but the rest remain silent for the time being. "With all due respect to Lady Ryeira…" The man's voice growls out the name, as if barely kept under control. "None of us are satsified with how she has handled certain 'recent events' near our lands." Speaking through clenched teeth, the man eyes the Hannistan Lord Holder, but for now he keeps his anger contained. "We would prefer to see the boy named holder, with a warden other than our late holder's wife." Curling his face into a sneer, the cotholder sits down, drumming his fingers on the table.
As each of the Holders in the room take a few moments to explain their reasoning, hoping to sway the other Lords to their side, eventually they work their way back to the Harper overseeing the Conclave with a minimum of outbursts. After a few words, papers are passed around, and ballots cast, the results being dutifully counted by the Harper. Clearing his throat, he looks around him at each Lord Holder and Cotholder present, gaze then resting on the Lady Ryeira. "This Council has ruled that the young Master Lyerdes will become Lord Holder on his sixteenth turnday. Until that day, Lady Ryeira will serve as his Warden, to continue to oversee the management of the hold." He lets his words sink in, before turning to look at Serato. "However, in light of recent events, the Harper Hall rules that an additional warden be put in place, to ensure the safety of the Hold, and its people."
As a ripple of whispers courses through the room, Lord Evyindr is the first to move to leave, taking the Harper's announcement as appropriate permission to do so. However, a sharp word from the man at the front of the room has the noise stopping abruptly, all heads turning to stare at the source.
"Lord Evyindr, if you would." The Harper nods to the empty Lord's seat, pausing a moment for him to settle, before continuing. "In light of Lord Evyindr's recent actions, and the testimony of those Holders effected by his greed, I will not arrange the return of those guests at Xanadu Weyr until such time that all Hannistan Holders can be verified to be on their own land, and restitution is made to those who suffered through the ordeal." Its a muffled sound of anger that escapes Evyindr, the Lord Holder shooting up from his seat once more, taking off without a word. A shrug, and the Harper indicates that the Conclave has adjourned, leaving the Lord Holders to spread the news of the arrangement.