Log:The Vizier's Oath
|The Vizier's Oath
8 May, 2017
Augusta is accompanied by Logan to meet the Verdant Queen and pledge her oath to Freehold and as Vizier to Fate's Harvest.
Queen Pook has arranged this meeting in the Broken Hearth. That meeting space that is quite an odd choice of meeting spaces, being how damaged it is. But he is there, at a table, near the hearth in the center. The man, dressed in a rather lovely suit of pastel blue and dark purple, is set on a table, with a small spread of food laid out before him. He doesn't miss many meals. It's here that he sits and he waits for those that seek an audience.
Seeking an audience with the Queen -- on behalf of a lady -- Logan enters the Hearth, resplendent in his white Hedgespun 'uniform,' the bright light of his mien announcing his presence before being chased by shadow, and back again. He offers a graceful bow to His Highness before straightening again. "Your Majesty. May I have a moment of your time?"
There is a presence in the Wyrd following Logan as Augusta enters. Sunlight falls from her as well, but where Logan's is chased by shadow, hers is aflame and reflected off the gold-scale robe she wears. Wisps of fae magic fall off her like mist and her fiery eyes fall on the Spring Queen, inscrutable. She remains silent, letting Logan present her as was promised when she granted him her Favour.
Now, Pook is not that wrapped up in ceremony. Certainly, he loves the showiness of it all, but so often formality can get in the way of business. As such, he normally would not rise when people approached. But these two, well, they are so very majestic. The short man smiles brightly, upon seeing the pair, and he does rise up to his feet. "Please, sit," he says, gesturing. "Sit, sit," he says, waiting only a moment before he sits down again. Whatever he's eating, it's surely hedge-side food. Odd colored berries, served hot. Some bread with a greenish hue, that might well be slowly sprouting flowers. "What is it you desire, my darlings?"
It probably pleases Logan, somewhere, that the Queen himself is rising for them. He puts a hand over his heart, offers another small bow, and then goes to take a seat with a slight flourish of the little capelet attached to his uniform. "Thank you, Your Majesty. I'm sorry to interrupt." He gestures to the gracious Lady to his left. "I would like to introduce Vizier Augusta, who has come to offer her considerable services to the Freehold." Or so he hopes. He and Augusta haven't actually had a particularly long conversation about the matter. He's mostly improvising here. Not that Queen Pook needs to know that.
Augusta offers a slight and gracious curtsey, her crowned head bowing slightly, "It is a pleasure to meet you, Your Majesty." She rises from the curtsey and moves to sit in the chair opposite the Queen, gesturing for Logan to sit as well ... the Miller part of her is oddly the most aristocratic part ... "As Sir Logan has said, as a member of the Office of the Vizieral Counsel, it is my duty to submit myself in service to the Throne and your Crown during your tenure."
Pook offers a dip of his head to Logan, and refocuses on Augusta. His smile grows. "Oh, I do love when beautiful creatures submit themselves to me!" he declares, slightly giddy. "Now, I am not so very familiar with the Viziers... tell me... in what ways do you wish to service me, my dear?"
Logan crosses his legs and places his hands in his lap -- he's even wearing white gloves today to go with the outfit. Then he watches the interplay between the pair with a slight smile on his face. His work here is technically done, but he is interested to see how it will all play out.
The old sorceress considers Pook for a moment. It is hard to read her expression as she has no irises or pupils, just glowing, fiery eyes. But the raised eyebrow might be construed as surprise. "The Office of the Vizieral Counsel is made up of those sorcerers amongst the Lost who have ... perhaps delved too deep into the waters of the Fae." Augusta is a good example with her powerful Wyrd, Gentrified Bearing and tapped out Summer Mantle. Hobs mistake her for True Fae and so have a few Lost who encountered her in the Hedge in the last week or so since she's arrived. "We pledge ourselves to a Freehold's throne and serve each Crown equally. While we may be members of Courts, we are neutral in our service to the Freehold. Our considerable power is at the Crown's command in whatever capacity they see fit. Often we serve as chief advisors or heralds, or some Crowns appoint us as judges, reeves or some other position where our skills and neutrality can be best served. Still others will use us very little ... but the oath of service to the Freehold is required. We cannot survive without it. It is not a personal oath to you, Your Majesty, but one which will carry over to the successive Crowns as they come."
"Oh, yes, I suppose I will have to surrender the crown eventually," Pook says, putting on a big show of a crown. "Come Summer. When everyone gets all hot and bothered," he says. Then there's a low sigh. "I do wonder who might be crowned..." he murmurs out, his glance going off and away. It holds a moment, then his eyes find Augusta once more. "Fair enough! So, tell me, Vizier. Why are you in Tamarack Falls? Why do you seek out Fate's Harvest?"
Logan remains seated, hands folded, legs crossed, a slight smile on his handsome case. Still engaged and still ready to jump into the conversation if he is needed. But for now, he doesn't interrupt. His light glows softly and steadily, at least until the shadow comes again to try and chase it away.
The Vizier nods to Pook, before continuing, "I was born in Tamarack Falls ... born Augusta Miller ... that was back in the 1870s. I had served as Vizier to the Blue Apple Freehold in Ithaca, New York for the last fifty years, but matters changed there and after all this time I felt compelled to return to the place of my birth. It was not until I arrived that I learned about what happened to the previous Freehold and the founding of the new one. I suppose in the end ... this is my home. Where better to serve than here?"
"Mmmm..." Pook responds, and gives a small nod. He's an active listener! Nevermind that he's picking at his food as Augusta speaks. Nevermind that he didn't actually offer any to either of them. "Well, now you have me curious as to what happened in Ithaca..." Pook replies, as he watches Augusta for a moment longer. Then there's a gaze to Logan, to check to see if that man might know.
Logan's smile brightens, and he sits up a little straighter. Just a little. He is not a fidgeter. "Yes," he says to Augusta, "I would be curious to know as well, Vizier Augusta." So he doesn't know, but that doesn't make him any less curious than the Queen.
There is a long pause before the Vizier says, "There is an old enemy of mine. He is known simply as The Knight. He is a Loyalist of my Keeper and has been hunting me for the past century that I have been free. After some time, he caught up to me in Ithaca. For the safety of the Freehold and with the Crown's permission, I agreed to leave. After hearing about what happened here and the resources and allies that I might be able to acquire, I thought it best to retreat here. If The Knight finds me again ... and that may not happen for another fifty years ... I will be better prepared. It is an old game we play. We were forced to play it out in Arcadia and now play it out here. Until such a time though, as a Vizier, it is my duty to serve you as you see fit, Your Majesty. I have held many positions over the years ... Castellan, reeve, chancellor, herald, judge ... whatever fit the Crown to whom I was serving at the time. The role is your perogative. The oath to the Freehold, I am afraid, is not."
Pook is so happy and warm and jovial. Entirely inviting and welcoming. Until he is. Slowly his eyes narrow, his green-eyed gaze becoming entirely critical. Slowly, that gaze turns to Logan. The obvious displeasure on the Queen's face is now leveled on Logan, the man obviously in trouble by proxy. He looks back to Augusta. "You come to my Freehold with a Loyalist in tow? One that you have been battles for decades and have never dealt with?"
Logan blinks. It surprises him as much as the Queen. But he is cool and calm and collected, and he says to Pook, "Your Majesty, I have personally witnessed the extent of Vizier Augusta's prowess in battle. Given her great power and calm under pressure, I cannot believe that she would willingly put our Freehold in danger by coming here." His eyes move to Augusta next, the expression rather unreadable.
Augusta gives a grateful nod to Logan, as her fiery eyes turn to the Queen, "Your Majesty ... the threat The Knight poses is a real one and I will not diminish it. However, the Blue Apple Freehold did not have the means or numbers necessary to defend against a Loyalist. I was their only defense and I know that I cannot take on The Knight on my own. We are nearly equal in power. Here in Tamarack Falls, however, I believe there to be the means to defeat him, should he find me here. Not only is this my home by right of birth, but as a Vizier, there is no option for me when it comes to belonging to a Freehold. I cannot be on my own, or I would easily turn into the very enemy who follows me ... or worse become one of the Kindly Ones. My membership in the Vizieral Counsel defends one such as I from falling into that ... but it requires that I serve a Freehold. And what better Freehold than the one here." She pauses and her tone takes on a consoling tone, "Believe me, Your Majesty ... if I could go out on my own and await my enemy far from others to protect them, I would do so in a heartbeat. But I have experienced first hand what I am without the Office. Blood is one my hands. I cannot, for all the gold in Arcadia, survive without bearing oath in service to you and the Throne. You provide me that stability ... and in return, you and your successors have at their service one who has acquired much power over the last century. All that I am is yours to command. Provide me with a service ... a role worthy of a Vizier ... and if and when this threat arrives searching for me, I will make sure that it is destroyed once and for all."
Logan's response does nothing to comfort the Queen. If anything, Pook looks less settled by the man's response. He gives a sigh, and looks back to Augusta, and waits for her words. When they come, the man still does not look contented. He nods, acknowledging the words and his understanding. Then he leans forward, take take another one of those odd berries. Once the fork has delivered the food to mouth, and once he's chewed and swallowed, he makes a small gesture. "If you truly are here to find the strength you need to defeat this enemy..." he starts. "I want you to prove that to me," he tells her. "Next Spring, you will bring proof to the Spring Crown that your Knight is destroyed or otherwise pacified. And if you do not, you will leave Fate's Harvest," he says.
Logan would probably not be pleased to know that his words have somehow made things worse, but his face betrays no feelings of any sort. It's nearly masklike in its generic pleasantness, at the moment. He glances to Augusta, but really, his gaze hadn't moved much from her at all when she was telling her story. Now he is waiting to hear her response.
To say that the old sorceress sits like a regal, but frozen statue would be an understatement. Nothing moves for a long while, except the fae magic which literally falls from her like golden mist. She finally speaks in a formal, albeit respectful tone, "Your Majesty wishes to place upon my Vizieral oath, the foundation of my Entitlement, a clause that could very well destroy me and if that Entitlement fails, likely destroy Fate's Harvest with it. That is, as the Crown, your perogative and in all things, a Vizier obeys the King or Queen of the moment. We cannot favour one or the other Court. My counsel would be otherwise, but I will pledge this oath. This is my home. My children's children's children, all that I have left of the family the Keeper stole from me, are here. I will do this thing. Within the year either The Knight or myself will find one another and the final battle will commence." She stands slowly, blue flames flickering down the golden scales of her hedgespun raiment, "In return, Your Majesty, I am at your service and the service of the Crowns that follow you. In what capacity shall that service take?"
"As a member of Fate's Harvest, my dear, you will have the Freehold to help you. You need not fight your Knight alone," Pook tells her. "We've mortals and Changelings alike that can find people, that can fight, that can ensure your task is carried out," he tells her. "So, yes, this is the task I will give you, along with this Oath," he tells her. "And as you agree to it, I'll have you pledge yourself to the Freehold. As for your work, I have no immediate task for you. But I will have some, soon."
Augusta drops into a deep curtsey, her golden crowned head dipping to the Verdant Crown sitting in front of her. "I pledge my time, my talents and my fealty to Fate's Harvest. I swear that I no longer serve the Fae, nor will I while this promise stands; that while I am under its protection I will obey the principles and bylaws of the Fate's Harvest Freehold as ratified by Monarch and Council, in return for the support and safety they provide. May I perish in exile, should I be forsworn. In addition, I pledge as a member of the Office of the Vizieral Counsel, to serve the Verdant Crown and all successors after him ... and in return the Story of the Dragon and The Knight shall be resolved and comes to its conclusion in the span of one year and a day from this pledge. This I take as a Vizier's Oath." The golden mist and blue flames that flicker around Augusta reach out to intermingle with the Crowned Mantle of Reginald Pook, sealing the pledge to the Wyrd. She rises from her curtsey. "Young Logan here has been granted my Favour ... it is my wish and request to you that he be found some appropriate title or office for that service. His loyalty is assured and it is my counsel as your Vizier that some reward for that loyalty be given if you so wish."
Logan, who has continued to stand here with that pleasant expression on his boyish face, glances between Augusta and Pook as she asks that he be found some appropriate title or office. He offers the Queen another small bow. "I would be honored to serve you and the Freehold, Your Majesty."
Pook sits just a bit straighter, as the pledge begins. He can feel it. The power behind the words. The power of the Crown. Once the words conclude, he looks thoroughly satisfied. He dips his head. "Welcome to Fate's Harvest, Vizier Augusta," he says. There's a glance to Logan, and the man considers for a moment. He looks back to Augusta. "I will see what I have for him to do," he says. "Thank you both."
Augusta nods and taking Logan's arm and with a final curtsey, goes with the younger Lost out of the presence of the Crown.