VS 215 Political Letters

Varanis — 1626 0951a Politicalletters

????, Storm Season, Harmony Week


Context

Storm Season, Harmony Week? [[[s02:session-25|Session 25]]]

On the Plains of Prax, after meeting up with Mellia and Venlar’s caravan. Varanis asks Xenofos for help with a series of letters.

Follows on from [http://journeyoftheheroes.wikidot.com/varanis:1626-0950-politicalplay Political Play].

Events

After reconnecting with Mellia, Varanis spends some time in deep discussion with Berra and Venlar. Berra disengages from the conversation and bounds over in the direction of the Praxian warriors, while Venlar and Varanis continue to talk. Whatever they are discussing obviously matters to the Vingan, as she is gone for some time. At long last, they part ways. Venlar makes his way towards his love, having been parted from her for over an hour! Varanis heads directly to Xenofos. Her cousin is taking care of Zukko and Stripey.

“Xenofos? Can I interrupt you?”

He looks at her. “Sure, cousin. What is it?”

“I’ve been speaking with Venlar… he now knows pretty much everything. I needed to sort what he knew from what he guessed and decided it was just easier to have it all laid out in the open if he and his family are to be true allies. We have a plan to move forward to support Kallyr, but it means I need you to write an awful lot for me in a short time.” There’s an intensity to her gaze. As though she has discovered purpose and seized it.

“Writing is something even I can do. My Heortling is not too good though.” The scribe asks, “Who do you need to write to?”

“You’ll be writing back to Nochet. There’s another piece that I’ll have you do that Venlar will produce a translation of, but the letters to Nochet take precedence.”

“Very well, my lady.” The answer comes professionally.

She accepts his reply with a simple nod. “Tell me when you are free to sit down. We will need to plan a little before you write. These letters will take careful wording.” There’s a wry twist to her smile. “It’s time to play politics again.”

He nods and leads the zebras to drink from the muddy watering hole, returning promptly.

Once the scribe is seated, Varanis begins. She hasn’t settled in place, preferring move as she thinks aloud. “The whole time we were in Nochet, I was playing the political game, seeking potential allies for Kallyr. As you know, I met with some success, at least in terms of words.” She paces slowly, constantly shifting, but calm rather than agitated. “Now is the time to call on those promises and see who will actually follow through.”

Xenofos raises his eyebrow, and brings stylus to wax tablet.

“We need to start with Grandmother. Some of the people we want to call on will respond better if they know that she will back us. I wish I knew whether or not she will back us. Ironically, of all the families in Nochet, ours is the one I am most uncertain of.”

“To Grandmother from Varanis, her obedient granddaughter, humble greetings?”

Varanis arches an eyebrow at the word obedient, but nods.1V: Sorry! I don’t have the brain power to actually draft the letter to Gran.
X: OK – overview of contents and recipients later?
V: Yeah – this may need you and Tom to chime in anyway. We roleplayed me having some very successful politicking, as well as some less successful. I can comb through old logs to see which parties were the good ones. But it was left pretty open-ended. So, I’m not entirely sure if we need to come up with a list of families to write to or if we can just handwave it and Tom can decide which of them will actually help out.
X: Also from good receptive audience at a party to actually travelling to Sartar there is quite a step.
V: Exactly. Which is why I think we might need to involve Tom.
X: Varanis writing confidently to all houses who she thinks will back Kallyr at her instigation sounds like fun especially if reception is mixed. I am evil that way.

The letter to Grandmother Saiciae gets written, with customary polite forms of address despite raised eyebrows from Varanis, with passionate plea for Kallyr’s and Sartar’s cause. Xenofos does not voice objections or comment this.2V to GM (Tom): Do you want anything from me in terms of details about who I write to? List of houses, rolls on orate to see if the letters are good, anything I may not have thought of? In case you didn’t see the earlier conversations- V is going to call on some of the houses of Nochet to aid Kallyr.
X in role of GM from the relevant period: Who did you think to write to? I do not think we had grandmothers at parties?
V: No, but the whole point of the parties was to win friends and influence people. She talked up Kallyr’s cause at every opportunity. It’s even built into the logs. So, I imagine the letters go to the people who she believes will be able to influence their matriarchs. E.g. from the House Hulta party: As always, Varanis makes her now familiar rounds. She speaks of the weather, the food, the beautiful masks, and other inconsequential things. But as and when she can, she speaks of Sartar, Kallyr, and the fight against the Lunars. People seem to listen to and pay attention to what she is saying. – passed intrigue.
Tom as GM: All of the above.
V: One roll per house? Or one roll for the whole activity? Could do orate and intrigue, perhaps? Though rolling intrigue is dangerous as it’s a low stat. But the risk makes it fun. Oh. INT could be useful.
GM: One for each. By name.
V: First roll of the dice was for Saiciae. Decided I’d start with buffing orate with Air. The rune dice are the ones I always use for inspiration. The rainbow ones are for skills. Please tell me I can use that buff for all these rolls because hot damn, I couldn’t have asked for a better start! Rest are sent in a separate document.

In the letter, Varanis points out that if Sartar falls into civil war, the Lunars will take advantage and sweep in. Before long, they’d be in Esrolia again, and we need to prevent that. A show of support for Kallyr, in terms of resources and military aid, would be well worth the investment if it protects Esrolia. Moreover, Grandmother could exert her not inconsiderable influence on the other matriarchs and lead the way forward.

Varanis also dictates a letter to a Queen Samastina, subtly reminding the queen of the services the Vingan has rendered in the past. She points out the same things – a united and strong Sartar means a solid buffer for Esrolia.3GM: Meanwhile Granny wonders who ghostwrote the letters. Varanis’ player objects: Now Tom! Varanis is reasonably bright and one thing she’s good at is passionate speeches. Xenofos’ player adds: and she has a scribe.

Xenofos makes comments on proper grammar at times, but not content. At times his pen is too slow to follow the flow of Vingan’s thoughts and he needs to return to previous sentences.

She paces as she talks, gesticulating passionately. From time to time, she remembers to let her beleaguered scribe catch up, but then the words begin to flow and she takes off again.

There is some pause when the wax tablet needs to be changed to papyrus, but after that scribe can almost keep up.

By the time she’s done, Yelm has sunk low in the sky and Xenofos has crafted over a dozen letters to various political players in the Houses of Nochet.

The scholar prepares the wax for sealing the papyri. “Too bad we don t have clay tablets for these, that would be proper in this context. Whole batch could go to the House and clan scribes could make copies…”

Varanis shrugs. “There’s only so much clay you can carry.”

“It might be most practical to get these to our house as a batch and get them delivered by servants from there anyway. Recipients are all in Nochet.”4GM interjects: Intrigue rolls pls. V: Oh hell. Bahahahaha. All those lovely orate rolls may be about to go down the toilet. Please pass, Xenofos because I rolled 99. X: Not a fumble… X has no idea that lets Granny see who gets letters and also choose who gets them. GM: Heh heh heh.

“It means there is only one package to protect from elements and to get into Nochet.”

Varanis nods. “Send everything to Grandmother, and she’ll make sure the others are sent to the right places. Perfect.”

“Or just put a small note to house scribe to make sure they are delivered. Of course, Granny would do it but no need to bother her with small matters like mail.”

“Good point.”5Volatile, politically explosive mail, shy would she want any control over that. A chance scribe follows instructions on the note without asking. But no certainty. The list of recipients should ring bells before sending anything out.

Xenofos writes a note for the house scribe, detailing the various recipients and asking these to be sent out by house servants at first opportunity since Varanis considers these missives urgent. A small watertight package is made of all the letters. “Did you have a plan on how to send these?” he asks Varanis.

“Yes. We’re going to ask the caravan master to release his guards so I can hire them. Then we’ll serve as his guards the rest of the way to the Paps.”

He nods.