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Privy Council
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  1. His hand was removed slowly from Davina's mouth. "I know how to escape the Tower and I can take you with me," he whispered.
  2. The clock had struck midnight when Davina was awakened by a man's hand over her mouth. The man was dressed darkly and wore a black mask. Somehow he had sneaked into her room. He was almost invisible in the darkness. "Sshhh, make no noise," the man spoke in perfect English. "Do you wish to be rescued from here, or do you wish to stay here without aid?" he whispered.
  3. Blackguard

    Winding Up the Season Announcement

    It is not too early to think about what your characters would like to do in the recess from court. Recesses are one of the best game innovations of AoI because it allows time to pass, other than the week or two of court dates. It allows characters to marry, have children, spend time on their estates, travel, and such. There are descriptions of recess summaries elsewhere on this site, but I wanted each player to start giving thought to the topic and to ask us questions if you have them. You will have several weeks to draft a proposed summary. If you want nothing remarkable to happen during your recess, it will likely be approved. If you want something meaningfully good to happen during the recess, we will look for an offsetting challenge, and vice versa.
  4. "Yes, yes. You see," May responded happily. Whether he suspected a lack of satisfaction or not, May wanted to have Cadell supportive of the message. He made a note to himself to send Portsmouth a gift on behalf of the King. That would cheer her surely. "Sadly, you are correct, it is an unending chore for gentlemen and husbands. The weaker vessel has many strengths but fortitude against a lack of attention is absent completely. Our ladies have many thirsts but one surpasses them all, yes? I fear it is not a thirst that can ever be satisfied fully by a monarch. One hopes that expectations can be calibrated downward, no?" He watched Cadell's face carefully for signs that the man truly understood his task, and his duty. "The Queen will give birth soon and the court will be in recess again. What are you planning for the recess?" he asked with genuine interest.
  5. Blackguard

    Merry Gang Poll

    Only three have voted so far. Please log in and vote by tomorrow if possible!
  6. Blackguard

    Taking Care of Business, Wed AM

    The Baron seemed to be less desirous of a debate, preferring instead to end things with a receipt. "Of course milord, I shall draft a receipt. Rest assured that all members of the board will receive notice at the next meeting, which I expect will occur late next week." Unlike most councils laden with the nobility, the Board met regularly during the year, though often with only a truncated attendance. "As for Culpepper, I understand the desire to have him govern from Virginia. My understanding is that he plans to return in due course. He believes he can better direct colonial policy from London than Virginia." The receipts were given and the petition was passed to one of four clerks that would see to it that copies were made, or a summary drafted. "Will there be any other service I can provide milord?"
  7. Blackguard

    Merry Gang Poll

    By the way, Rochester has asked me to encourage you all to do a write in campaign to declare him the winner. 😎
  8. Blackguard

    Merry Gang Poll

    Late last season, the Merry Gang and guests met in the palace wine cellar and agreed upon a wager about the sexual conquests of ladies of court. There was a focus on the number of points awarded for the ranks of ladies. This season, the gang met at Rochester's house to determine who won. Rochester claimed he won because he had signed affidavits from 30 ladies (of the night). Kingston spoke of the conquest of a unicorn (Caroline), while Audley highlighted his chapel encounter with Sophia, and Dorset highlighted his encounter with Anne-E in Arlington's office. The King must now decide who wins the purse. It is a significant sum of money and you should take into account the acts described as well as the story-telling. Please vote ASAP as the season ends shortly!
  9. Blackguard

    Taking Care of Business, Wed AM

    Listening patiently, Clark waited for John to finish. "It is the way of colonies, I fear," the man began. "The Spanish have closed their colonies to us, as have the French. They trade only with their mother countries, so it forces us to do likewise." He explained his view as if it represented the official position of the Board. "England founded the colonies and populated them with its subjects, so it should come as little surprise that it expects to have Englishmen profit with English goods sent to the colonies and English colonists profit by sending their commodities to England." The subject of the brewing Indian war did not cause any look of surprise. "It is for the Governor to keep control. He controls the militia, who are best armed to fight savages. Our regular army is best for fighting incursions of the French, Dutch or Spanish. Regular troops are out of place in a wilderness setting," Henry sought to explain. "If the savages overwhelm the militia and the Governor sends for soldiers, I am certain the board would take the request seriously," he assured.
  10. "And I think well of her too," May insisted in an upbeat manner. As Cadell spoke, May broke the seal and scanned the short message. He tutted to himself as he read. "Ladies are ever in need of reassurance, are they not?" he asked in a light mood as he refolded the letter closed. "Her Grace must understand that our master has needed to be attentive to his wife these last several months. Nothing must distress her in any way while she bears the heir." He sipped some wine knowing that the sentiment was obvious. "Your wife is well known to Her Majesty I fear," he added, knowing that short statement conveyed a much larger message. "After a suitable passage of time, who is to say what might happen?" It was a small ray of hope. "You should know, of course, that our master has ever been the friend of the ladies ... that have been close to him. He is a true cavalier." He put the note into a side drawer of his desk. "Let us see what next season shall bring. We shall know more then, of course," he offered quietly.
  11. The Privy Purse was about to reach for a stoppered decanter of red wine, but his clerk beat him to it. Wine was poured into a glass, the stopper was replaced and the clerk removed himself from the office, the door closing behind him. Baptist May collected the letter from Cadell and then sat down onto his cushioned seat. "A visit to the French countryside might be just the thing to lift the spirits of Her Grace," he announced cheerfully. It was noted that the lord was speaking cryptically about his spouse and the letter, causing May to examine the front of the missive. "Is this a letter to me, or is it intended for my master?" He did not wish to break the seal if there was a private note to the King contained within.
  12. Blackguard

    Taking Care of Business, Wed AM

    "Sir, a pleasure. Have you just arrived from the colonies then?" Clark asked. "You can deliver the petition to me. I shall see that the Board is informed of its contents." He motioned towards a wooden chair in front of his desk. "If you would have a seat, I am willing to listen to your news."
  13. Blackguard

    Taking Care of Business, Wed AM

    At length, Palliser was approached by a supervisory administrative official. "I am terribly sorry that none of the lords are present in the offices at the moment." That was not unusual. Lords rarely visited mundane offices except for important meetings among the board. "I'm afraid you will have to make due with me. I am Henry Clark, the Chief Supervisor of this Office. How might I be of assistance?"
  14. "Yes, I see," the clerk responded. "Do wait here if you please or choose a seat if you wish." In a moment he was gone, behind the closed wooden door. The rest of the outer office looked like any other office, with small clerk desks and bookcases full of ledgers and binders. Another young clerk sat at a small desk against the wall. He did not look up from his work. It was but a minute or two when the inner door opened and remained so. The older clerk approached and uttered "Master May will see you now." Once inside, Baptist May stood to greet Cadell. His burgundy jacket was hanging from a coat tree, so was left with his black waist coat to contrast against his white linen shirt. "My lord, do come in and have a seat. Would you like a glass of wine?" There were two visitor seats in front of his massive oak desk and May pointed to one for Cadell to sit upon. "How are you and how is her Grace? How can I be of assistance?"
  15. Blackguard

    A Judgement at George's (expense!)

    Naturally, Rochester was disquieted that the King had not been more laudatory of his tale. Frankly, having a high opinion of his wit, Johnny was in great need of flattery from royal circles even though he acted in a contrary manner. At the end of Chatham's story, Rochester belched following a deep sip of wine. "So, if we are to boil this story down to its basics, our lovely Lord Chatham had an assignation with the wife of some Catholic lord in the loft of a church? Have I it right?" Sedley shushed him. "The telling of the story is masterful. I daresay Audley has the skill to write his own plays. A grand telling." He applauded with his hands as well. "Yes, a damn fine telling" Roos agreed, and Merriweather nodded vigorously. "It did have a refined florid nature that was engaging," Rochester sniffed. "Audley is a worthy addition to our gang." "Yes, bravo," Dorset called out," as a good sport. "This telling was finer than the last." "Bore us with your own," Rochester sighed out loud, sensing his own upset victory evaporating before his eyes. "As for Doctor Bendo," Johnny added as he turned towards Rowley, "I am thinking of spending the upcoming recess as Father Bendito, a Catholic curate at a French country chapel, hearing confessions of troubled wives and fallen women, and giving them personal absolution." His eyes gleamed with the thought. "Audley has inspired me oddly," he laughed gaily. Taking to his feet after placing his glass on a nearby table, Dorset readied his tale. Eyes shifted to him. "My fellows, Chatham spun a grand tale of deception and betrayal. What it lacks is a story about the husband being evil or not. Was he pompous and full of bluster? Was he in need of chastening? It would have added to the antics and garnered more accolades." "As for me, my tale too is one of deception and betrayal, but with an added tale of abandonment, burglary, chastening, and a prank of the highest order. It too, has religious overtones." He walked about to maintain eye contact with everyone. "There once was a merry gang of companions which laid out challenges about ladies seduced but also of a courtier that was in great need of being put in his proper place. He is a man with an ego second only to our own Rochester of course. Where our Earl clutches opium close to his chest, this man clutches a white staff of office, a font of authority and gravitas to a man woefully derelict in both. Even the throne of England would find it difficult to locate a lord more in need of a prank." His glance to Rowley acknowledged a prior challenge given. "In holiday spirits, a plot was hatched by the finest wits and worthy colleagues a man could have." Here Dorset's gaze swept the room. "Lord Arlington needed to be pranked. Everyone was ready to join the grandest conspiracy set into motion by such an august group." He walked to the table with his drink, pausing to take a sip for dramatic pause. "Yet, it was my fate to be abandoned by these very fellows lost to holiday revelry elsewhere. It was in my hands alone to accomplish the prank. Rather than retreat from plans to distress the Chamberlain about the status of his staff, I adopted even loftier goals. What hero of Greek legend ever turned his head from a challenge that Olympus had ordained?" "Soliciting the assistance of a lady not unknown to the throne, entry to the locked offices was gained. Note that the portal to this denizen of bombastic pomposity was not easily coaxed, unlike the open doors of a church. Though the silence inside was almost hallow. The lair of a beast can instill such feelings. And it was in this lair that the Grail was discovered. Its hue was as white as the fleece was golden to Jason. Our goal had been to change the hue of the staff and move it in such a way as to be blasphemy to the High Priest that wielded it. This was done." Draping himself over a nearby chair, Dorset continued. "Yet, why stop there, my friends?" he asked rhetorically. "A further sacrifice was needed to the unholy. A great desk of polished wood shone like an altar to a pagan god. It seemed only fitting that a pagan ritual should be practiced upon it. A lady accomplice previously unknown to my embrace was my virgin to sacrifice to the shadowy gods of dark bookcases. Upon this altar her virginity was sacrificed, pool of faux blood left prominently behind, with additional liquid pearls draped liberally upon the cushioned throne before the altar. It was not evidence, friends, that could be removed by a light rain. No, the dark alter, throne and previously sacred scepter were forever violated. " A dramatic pause. "The anger that ensued the next day, I am told, rivaled the wailing of Polyphemus, when Odysseus had blinded his one eye. And, gentlemen, like Odysseus, I have sailed home to you like Odysseus, under the threat of Poseidon. Yet here I stand before you seeking my due and your discretion. The story of my feat is woven in a tapestry of two wagers, not one. The seduction of the lady and the prank fulfilled that others were loathe to do."