(2017-04-18) Meeting at the Military Headquarters
Meeting at the Military Headquarters
Location: Amber's Military Headquarters
Date: April 18th, 2017
Summary: Rian meets with Carmichael at his office.
Characters: Ashby, Carmichael, and Rian.
NPCs: NPC soldiers

Suggested Sound Track: He's A Pirate (Extended Edition)

Sometime mid afternoon a young boy shows up at the location Rian would have been told Carmichael's office was located at if he asked around the Palace for that information. The young boy hand delivers a paper note which reads…

Sometime after the note was sent to Carmichael…

A slate speckled gyrfalcon delivers a note. The elegant little fellow watches whilst its read, taking off only when it's clear that his return-message services are not required.

Carmichael nods assent to his knight, reaching to the man's elbow where he stands, to give a touch and squeeze to the fellow. A gratitude that is an obvious, but silent thing.

The Military headquarters is a little like a beehive. There's activity within it, almost constantly, day in day out, with adjuncts from verious regiments and gofers coming and going at all hours from the offices, records rooms and other subterranean vaults of the building.

A rather pleased grin returns to the cavalier as his free arm flies up into the air, "Then so it shall be, Highness! I will set to it immediately and you should consider it done!" Ashby once again bows as he backs out of the room, spins, and begins walking toward the entrance in the manner so many Mons do.

Because he was actually waiting for the message in the entry at the Palace, Rian makes it to the Military Headquarters fairly quickly. If he is allowed to he makes his way to the office he is directed to after showing the message from Carmichael.

Carmichael's offices are located just off the main foyer, beside stairs that go up and down and the evidence of older fortification that this building represents. Ashby however, is without of those offices.

In a room full of Adjutants, runners, and a mishmash of others of the military, Ashby de'Mandrake stands out like a sore thumb. Coming from upstairs, he finally remembers to remove his cap and tosses it over toward an Adjutant, "Do take care of that for me, would you?" Blue eyes swivel to another Adjutant closer to the door, "A Lord Rian is expected sometime soon. When he arrives, would you direct him my way so that I might show him to His Highness?"

Rian doesn't introducee himself at the doors as Lord Rian but as Rian of Cameron and this causes some delay before he is shown in finally and introduced as Ashby referred to him to the Mandrake officer. As the soldier departs Rian says, "I'm not really sure if its proper to call me a lord," to whomever will listen to him.

Ashby's eyes brighten and lock onto Rian as he moves toward him briskly, raising a hand high in the air as he does, "Ah, Lord Rian. I am Sir Ashby de'Mandrake, a Captain in the Amber Army and Knight under the Banner of the Gryphon! I believe I had read you were staying at the Chantris Suite? Are you of House Chantris?" With a hand, he gestures further into the Headquarters so that the fellow might walk with him. "Come, let me show you the way."

Rian nods to Ashby. He says, answering the questions and comments, "I have; I am the son of Jocelyn Chantris, so yes; and thanks for the further escort, Ashby." His own gryphon, for those who are familiar with him and his companion, has been left outside, perched on a nearby rooftop rather than bringing him into the headquarters.

Ashby grins devlishly as he nods his head sharply, "Then there you have it! You are a Lord of House Chantris and are to be referred to as such! I must confess I had seen your letter upon Prince Carmichael's desk and did want to offer you one piece of advice along the way." A hand then gestures up the stairs before he sets in that direction, his hands then clasping behind his back. "I would strongly urge you not to be informal or overly familiar with a Prince of Amber when asking a favor of them, without having received some invitation to do so. Minding his station is… expected." Reaching the door, Ashby turns, winks once to Rian, and opens it before stepping in to click his heels together. "Your Highness. I have Lord Rian of House Chantris to see you!"

Before the pair enter the office but as the door is opened, Rian asks, "I've not been recognized by either family I'm from and you aren't calling me a Prince so until I am, can you just call me Rian, please?" Although he is not speaking loudly, it likely can be heard by anyone nearby with heightened senses, doors or not.

Carmichael looks up at the door and thus is actually gazing that way as it's opened, inclining his head to AShby and to Rian. His face hardens an increment at the sight ot the second man though and his nod is crisper. "Come in. Take a seat…" he indicates the way across from him. "Ash, would you please look over these…" he proffers a stack of reports and maps in a folder, the details rather obscured by close handwriting and the binder itself.

Ashby bows his head to the Prince and steps in to take up the binder with a nod of his head. "Certainly, Your Highness! I would be happy to put some eyes on that!" One hand holds the binder open as the other wiggles fingers over top and sifts through as his blue eyes beging running through it.

Rian nods to Carmichael and says, "You seem to be mad at me. About a private communication that I sent you… I even tried polite words…" he pause and asks, "Why did you invite me here if you are angry with me, Your Highness?" He can't help it, there's a slight verbal twist when he says the title because he is annoyed at the apparent annoyance from his cousin.

"I made a note to you already and I am not in the habit of repeating myself, that your presumption of familiarity is unacceptable, sir," Carmichael replies to Rian. "You are capable of using your Highness when face to face with me, yet you are incapable of finding a convenient schoolmarm or cousin that can doublecheck your etiquette before you request services of a prince of Amber." Carmichael replies. "The fact that I -am- a cousin of yours is reletivist, not endearment and yet you have been quite apt to tell me that your father is the regent, a namedrop that places me politically in a constraint I do not appreciate, nor approve of, in your education. I was patient of it once. Once only. Until you have earned a mark of respect with me, by action or deed, you do not have the /right/ to act as if we are bosom buddies."

"I beg your pardon for your misunderstanding, Your Lordly Highness," Rian says as he turns red-faced from anger. "But I didn't address it to you as a buddy but as a relative who was expressly stating that this /private/ communication was to you as a relative and not in an official communication. In my poor understanding of etiquette I thought that an obvious private communication would be between myself and the addressee." He's getting quite a head up here as he says, "I clearly was mistaken due to my common life and as I have arranged for etiquette lessons I will depart and not sully your precious Lordship's life with any further interruptions." He then adds for good measure, "Sir!" and begins to turn to depart.

Ashby senses the sharp shift in tone between the two, reading much of it on Rian's expression as he is being dressed down by Carmichael. As the man launches into his response, the cavalier makes his way to the door and shuts it at the very end. Blue eyes go to Carmichael first before sliding to Rian as he holds up a hand, "Lord Rian, you have not been dismissed. Please, take a seat and stay for a moment. It is regrettable you were not able to obtain some basic instruction in etiquette from someone willing to teach or an appropriate book, but here you have thrown yourself into the deep end without checking the depth of the water. In the military, we would call what you have received as being dressed down by an officer. It's a tool of instruction and it may be best to take it as such… rather than doubling down on a poorly played hand, hmmm? You seek a favor of a family member, do you not? Amongst the royal family, there is still a way of doing things and it must be respected. I am sure that High Highness will do his best to be patient, but I would suggest you do the same." Gesturing toward a seat opposite the table, he says, "Now, may I offer you each something to drink to ease some of this tension?"

Carmichael's jaw set at least, when the anger flashed up and once there were words from Ashby. He does not leap forth from his seat, but the eyes are cold amber-green flashes and there is deceptive calm in his body. A spring that is coiled and under tension, ready to release, even if it's in neat lines according to its form. "Whiskey, if you would," his tone though, is remarkably calm.

Rian glares at the two men and, before walking out of the room, says, "I don't care to drink right now. I don't need your permission to leave the room as I am not a member of your military. And you'll be pleased to know that the next lecture I get on this subject this week will be answered by my fist knocking teeth out. I am trying to adapt and if you could remove the yard arms from your arses for a moment you might be able to see that!" This time he was yelling and he follows it up by opening the door and stepping out of the office.

Ashby simply sighs and rubs a hand over his face. His chest begins convulsing before laughter can finally be heard. "I'm sorry! But sometimes I simply can't help but laugh at how absurdly terrible a situation might be!" The Mons jovial tone he had been carrying well from the moment that he had trumped in earlier disappears so that the stoic expression of a more traditional soldier might take it's place, "Lord Rian, it is not some military custom I have attempted to convey to you, rather politely I might add, but it is how one acts in the presence of a Prince of Amber. My goodness, he even just agreed to have a drink with you after all you said! While some measure of ignorance of etiquette is understandable, as someone who has lived a common life for some two centuries… I can very soundly and authoritatively say from all perspectives that you have very poorly played your hand, doubled down on it, and then barreled right on to going all in. I don't know that I can help you much further now…"

Editor's Note: At this point the scene paused and resumed again the next night. For OOC reasons Ashby could not attend and Carmichael and Rian continued without him with his approval (per Carmichael).

Carmichael relaxes back a little into the seat of his office, eyes closing at the anger that's displayed now, lifting his chin in a measure of attempt to calm the savage beast perhaps. Then there's a soft "Ashby, thank you," which sounds a little as if it's a closure on anger. Opening his eyes to watch the furious minosian, he takes whiskey when it's delivered and "…the rum," nodding as that too is provided, a lovely cameron dark spiced. It's set on the opposite side of the desk from him with a glass. He gestures at it, raising no hand, nor voice, to stop Rian, if he chooses to go, but the gesture was still plain.

Rum. Yes, that word is heard most definately and has an effect on the mariner. Rian stops, still holding the door knob. With teeth gritted as he forces himself to be polite despite his anger, "Would that happen to be Minosian or Sukhoti coconut rum, sir?" of the men he's currently not facing.

"Cameron dark spiced. I have coconut rum, but I tend to bring that out when someone wants it with juice." Carmichael replies in a calm tone, stretching in the chair with a creak of leather.

Rian closes the door gently and turns back to his cousin. A slightly pained expression shows on his face as he fights back a smile as that is another favored type of rum. He says, "If the invitation still stands I'll take a mug of the Cameron dark." He doesn't move to take a seat yet as he actually /is/ trying to behave properly… as he understands the matter.

Carmichael gestures across the desk once again, open palmed at the bottle, the glass and the seat. "Please, help yourself," he offers. "Consider now, I suppose, that you're drinking in the captain's cabin and the first mate has informed you that the captain's in a mood. Forewarned, forearmed, whatever you wish to call it, we're now here."

Rian nods and moves to a chair facing Carmichaael from the other side of the desk and pours a mug of the offered rum. "May I speak candidly on the subject using the example you just used?" he asks.

Carmichael lifts the glass, a toast made with level gaze and a nod. "By all means," he sips upon the whiskey, waiting whereof might come.

Rian lifts his mug and takes a drink before speaking. "A visiting family member on board is not expected to follow ship customs as long as they stayed out of the way of the functioning of the ship and her crew. And… would be right to expect that private communications didn't have to follow strict protocol and would be kept in confidence…" he trails off for a moment and then adds, "At least in the circls I'm from. Can you understand that I might rightly feel wronged in this, sir?" No more Highness right now, but he isn't using familarity at least. Maybe its an improvement?

"I can understand it, certainly. But I cannot tolerate it. When in rome, you do as the romans do. If I was in minos, I would be expected to abide by the strictures of minosian etiquettes and society. My station would achieve me some leaway, but I am by no means diplomatically immune." Carmichael notes, swirling his whiskey. "Ignorance of a protocol, when you carry the blood and the heritage, isn't an excuse. It -is- however, why you've just been spoken to, rather than anything else. Believe it or not, I want you to succeed, not to fail… but I cannot make an exception for you, when I would not make an exception for -anybody- else. Do you see my position?"

Rian nods. "I see it. I will risk your anger by saying that I feel you have taken it to a foolhardy extreme but you are right that this is not my world," he says and adds, "I find myself more at home in the lower city than up here in the upper city."

Carmichael nods. "And you are entitled to your opinion," the prince sighs softly, pressing his lips together. Apparently this matter is dropped, his expression one of stone, even if his tone is pleasant enough. "You experssed a desire to come to grips with the pattern. To what extent, might I ask?"

"I understand that I should be able to apply it to some effect," Rian says. "Dirk told me I could do that bird thing you and my brothers have done. I can't figure out how… or anything else our family is rumored to be able to do."

Carmichael nods slightly at that. "You can certainly learn how to do such things, along with a miriad other abilities. A great many, your brother Dirk included, seem only to care to know how to walk between worlds." He taps the glass of whiskey with one fingernail softly. "Do you intend to master it, or simply dabble?"

Rian drinks some more rum and then says, "I think its too early to commit to one or the other. A wise captain doesn't set out for a long haul without making sure his basic supplies are in order first after all."

"So the trivial of it all. Very well," Carmichael swigs his whiskey back, licks his lip afterwards. "Tell me what you know of the pattern. Nothing is trivial or silly, as much as you comprehend to be the case in your perspective."

"Basically what you told me before I walked it," Rian says and then adds, "Plus it allows you lot… well, our family I guess is more appropriate… to travel the shadows more easily than a Captain using his compass and charter. And I guess summon birds… and once a frog by the way… to deliver messages to people they know in a was that could be similar to the Chantris magic I can tap to send messages via the wind."

"Very well…" Pondering a moment, Carmichael offers further probing. "So, why did you wish to walk it?" Which seems a bit like a nonsequitur in some respects.

Rian grins and asks, "It was my right?" And then, after only a brief moment's pause, he says, "Its an alternative to acquiring a compas and charter and one that I cannot loose. Having been stranded twice now I do /not/ ever want to be so again," with a much more serious tone.

Carmichael laughs lightly at that. "As good a reason as any," he muses to himself, setting the whiskey aside. "How do you know where you are going, when you travel, Rian?"
Rian finishes the rum in his mug and says, "Well, cousin," he uses infomrality to match Carmichael's use of his first name, "It depends on where I am going naturally."

"I actually very much doubt it," Carmichael replies with a flick of a smile. "So, how do you know where you're going? How do you get there? What do you do to get there? What steps are taken?"

"In simplist form? Plot a path either from memory or charts… or a map… then use the chosen method of transportation to get there, be it walking or sailing or what not… and finally reach your destination," Rian says.

Carmichael nods to this, pressing back into his seat. Idly, he laces his fingers over his midriff. "Now, pare it down even more simply: What do you do when you go from point a) to point b)? Physically speaking?"

Rian asks, "Move?" sounding like he isn't sure what else could be being asked for.
(Amber) Reading 1 message(s).

Carmichael nods. "Yes, that. But also other things, I'm sure. I do not walk through the world blind and I'm sure you do not either. You look where you're going? Look for landmarks, automatically if you've been there before, search for them if you have not and are sailing on a bearing until you do? Yes?"

"Well yes, of course," Rian says as if Carmichael asked if water was wet or some other truism.

"I did say, the very basics. When you are walking using the pattern, this is the very -fundamental- of what you are doing. You are looking, you are landmarking and you use your eyes to define what it is you're looking for. When going from one place to another, this involves seeing the qualities of the landscape around you in /profound/ detail. Is that tree the right colour? What about the quality of light? The shape of leaves on a tree? The contours of that rock? And keeping these things in mind, you bring the pattern to your mind; the shape of it clear and true there… and seek within your mind and the landscape around you, the qualities that are different from the here. One at a time, you walk, keeping what you look for in mind, until each detial is as it should be." The prince notes here with a lifted fingertip. "You'll likely get frustrated and get it wrong several times, but eventually this becomes easier to achieve."

Rian nods as he listens to Carmichael. When his cousin finishes he asks, "I've heard that it can be used while on a ship as well, do you have to walk the deck to make this happen we well?"

"You might the first few times you do it, but it's travel that's fundamental. You're learning a new instinct, that can take a little time to aquire," Carmichael replies.
"And so that's it?" Rian asks, seeming to find it odd that it could be that simple.

Carmichael nods. "The fundamental of it, yes. You'll find what sounds easy in principle, is an absolute headache in practice. I'd take it slow the first few times you walk and go to familiar places. It's also far harder get to Amber than it is to leave it. The further out you go, the easier it is to shift things. The closer, the more difficult. You have to push yourself until you simply cannot shift any more, to guarantee that you have reached these clement shores."

Rian nods and says, "Alright, thank you." He then asks, "If I write or whisper to you again you want me to use your full formal title, right?"

Carmichael nods to Rian. "Particularly if you're requesting a favour. You and I, we do not know each other well — much the same way as you would not address a minosian captain by their first name, but by their captain's title, until such time as they tell you otherwise."

Carmichael adds though. "There is considerably more. That is the basics of walking. Finding things in shadow is a trickier phenomenon, but under the same kind of overview."

Carmichael says, "And probability manipulation is another thing besides. As is shaping the fabric of shadow."

Rian nods. "Alright, I'll try traveling with your advice in mind," he says and then asks, "I'll also keep your advice on the addressing you in mind. Could you and your's address me as Mister Rian for now since, at this time, I am neither an officially acknowledged member of the blood nor a recognized member of House Chantris… just a bastard mariner from Minos who happens to be related to the two families who haven't publicly identified me as being a branch on their trees?"

Carmichael tilts his head to this. "You are not a mister though, Rian. You have walked the pattern. A son or daughter of any of the elders of Amber, which you can prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that you are, is entitled to being called Lord or Lady. You are royal. Also, you have the gifts of chantris house, which by definition makes you chantris, as you cannot have them without it. Presented to your duchess or otherwise, that makes you a chantris."

Rian shakes his head and smirks at Carmichael and, dropping formality for a moment and leaning closer to the desk as he speaks, he asks, "I am uncomfortable with the title. Could you, as my cousin who is not my buddy, please humor me for a time as I get adjusted to the etiquette unless I'm formally recognized somewhere before that?"

Carmichael's eyes fix upon the smirk, his expression closing off tighter again, slight though that might be. "As you wish, mister Rian. Far be it for me to argue." He pours himself a fresh whiskey. "You know… there's one of the blood of storms that I think is probably a better teacher for you than I. Besides which I am a busy man and do have a great deal of responsibility. If I heard right, you are working for Mandrake at the hospital these days? If so, inquire with Celeste regarding a pattern savant of your bloodlines. She may be able to direct you to a -far- better teacher than I."

Rian nods respectfully and says, "Thanks," as he sits upright again. "Thank you for the advice, sir. I will ask Cel about that then." He stands and says, "I may have taken too much of your time and I think I should depart. Plus Keir likely is getting worried about me."

Carmichael inclines his head. "Good luck, Rian." He turns then to his paperwork.

Rian nods and departs.

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