Log:Alderaan: Belsavis Debrief
The Palace was in its evening shift with the change of guard underway in the courtyard. The ceremony happened every night at the retiring of colors when a color guard marched out to collect and fold the banners for the evening, and loud-speakers played the evening songs. Service men and women came to attention where they stood outside and saluted until the tunes faded, and the color guard retreated to pass the colors to the next shift, signifying the inheritance of duty, and an oath to protect the royal banners.
Lord Ty was caught by the colors, but when the tunes concluded, and the guard changed, he stepped into the palace and asked for an audience with the Prince-Consort at the welcome desk. Originally, he was told his Highness was retired for the evening, but upon presenting the royal seal, a sigil used to indicate the Lord had important information for the crown, the Prince was disturbed in his leisure time and asked if he would meet with the sea lord of Delaya.
Lord Ty was instructed to meet in the throne room, and it was there he stood, looking upon the united banners of every noble house of Alderaan. Ancient, great, and lesser as one. It resembled an unending tapestry of colors and sigils that hung from the ceiling and decorated the walls; thousands of houses represented under one roof as it had been for tens of thousands of years. Pride in this history left the young Lord standing taller, or so he felt.
Ban takes only as much time as is needed to don a cape and swordbelt atop his more casual attire in marching to meet Lord Ty. It is a sign of his subtly decreased formality and comfort in receiving Ty that the Prince-Consort folds his gloves and tucks them into the swordbelt rather than drawing the formal articles on.
Bootsteps bear him audibly nearer in Ban's habitually measured and precise paces, until the bearded swordsman lays eyes upon and acknowledges, "My Lord Admiral; I bid thee fair met, once more."
"Your Highness, apologies for the late hour." Ty says, turning and bowing as Ban approached. "I have just returned from assignment, an operation orchestrated by her Majesty to find and retrieve House Rist." Ty seemed uncomfortable saying the name, but he managed to recover his composure.
"The Lady Livia Rist makes for Delaya to meet with the Grand Duchess about the reinstatement of the Shadow Tower, the Rist seat. Would you care to hear of our mission, Ser? Or would reports suffice?" Lord Ty brings his hands to clasp at his lower back, a show of deference before the Prince.
Ban promptly gestures for Ty to rise from his proper bow, hearing our Ty's initial description. "I would hear all of the mission which you see fit to share, my Lord. Reports have their place, but that place does not overawe the views of a trusted eye. Proceed."
The naming of Rist does not shake Ban's familiar solemnity, his expression remaining well schooled, with even the old scar on his jawline from a Rist blade largely hidden by his beard.
"Yes Ser," Ty says, using again the title Ban had earned through military service. "My team arrived on Belsavis and happened upon a woman calling herself Kristy. Presumably, she was an inmate there, and knew well the lay of land where we might find the Rist. We did not know her motive beyond wanting to help us, but I held my doubts. No alarm rose from the Sith Lord traveling with us, so I assumed we would be safe to trust her, at least in helping us navigate the terrain and arrive most expediently to our objective."
"From Kristy, we learned that Rist were taken captive by another inmate and his gang, and were held hostage in a fortress, as trophies. To earn an audience with this alien named Jaloosi, we must slay his vanguard occupying the court yard and make our way inside to make our demands."
"Kristy informed us that the fortress had defenses, mechanized turrets on the walls which might discourage most pilots from flying, but you may be pleased to know, Ser Bors flew anyway..."
Ban's green eyes narrow subtly at the description of the Rist as prisoners, but he does not interrupt. Only when Ty describes Bors flying in anyway does the dragoon sniff in dry amusement. "It is a reassurance to hear that some truths of the universe have remained constant, my Lord." A nod invites the younger nobleman to continue.
"So we invited ourselves to the court yard. Ser Bors flew our craft whilst I shot from the back ramp. Kristy drove the Councilor, a trooper, and Mr. West into the court yard where they could get out and climb the towers. Each side of the wall had control towers which controlled the turrets. So whilst the turrets fired at the ship, some thirty or more vanguard fought on the ground."
Ty continues, "Once control of the turrets was accomplished, however, the resistance proved more nuisance than threat. We moved uninjured into the structure itself and found the occupants in the corridors slaughtered. Kristy believed these to be others who had attempted to reach Jaloosi but failed."
"Jaloosi was where Kristy said he would be, and upon reaching the main room of this facility, I attempted to barter with him. When accused of holding Rists hostage, he pointed out a young girl in a cage suspended above us all. Starved, dying, and laying in her own filth. I.. was outraged. Suffice to say, I produced my sword, which may have endangered our mission if not for..."
He trails off and looks down with disappointment. "If not for the fact we had been deceived. Kristy, the inmate, was Lady Livia holo-disguised. Twenty-one men stood between us and freeing that young scion, and Lady Livia had them all assassinated at the clap of her hands. Our team had been manipulated to gain access to the facility and allow them to rescue her niece..."
One dark brow lifts slightly when Ty casually notes that his team moved uninjured past thirty defeated foes, but once again does not speak immediately. The summary of manipulation is heard out with a small nod. He is aware of the holographic pledging of fealty, but waits for the Sealord to bridge any remaining approach to that moment.
"Ser Bors and I addressed Lady Livia about returning to Alderaan. She seemed to understand that by accepting the invitation, she would need to swear fealty to her Majesty. I am certain you are well aware of this already, but I now understand why House Rist merits such caution." Ty seemed to have doubts about this course of action, but he did not voice it.
"I have reservations about a woman who makes ease of lying, and doing so spectacularly. I do not discredit their craft or reputation, but..." He trails off, clearly disturbed by the introductions that House Rist had made.
"To the first," Ban begins. "I daresay thy righteous ire at the cruelties done unto a child presented the very face of our New Alderaan which Her Majesty most wishes the exiles to behold. I commend your command and your company in piercing this barbaric stronghold unmarred. Be assured that such was not lost upon they who could not do the same, even to save a tortured child."
A slow breath is drawn as he orders his next thoughts. "To the second: you are wise to be wary. Those folk of dishonest habit ought never be wholly trusted. Yet I hope it may assuage thy concern however slightly to consider this: our people are surrounded by enemies, and by allies we cannot trust. Whatever else Rist is, was, or will ever be, they are of Oldest Alderaan. Even the most dubious of Our people shall have the opportunity to return home." The slightest hint of a pointed smile touches his face. "There is an old proverb apt to this, good ser: better to face the devil one knows, rather than the devil one knows not. The Rist can perform services that no other gallant heart could undertake with success, and- Mother and Father allow it- in doing so, perhaps atone."
Ty is quiet for the lesson, nodding when Ban had finished to acknowledge it. For a moment, the silence allowed the words to sink in and Ty's shoulders seemed to relax. "Do you believe they will find the treacherous lot tainting their name and bring them to justice? Or were it just words to warm the honey?"
"I cannot say with certainty, my Lord," Ban admits, plainly "That there was some schism within House Rist seems quite likely, as I cannot expect that those without Rist itself would consign so many to Belsalvis: most would execute a captured Rist, fearing to leave such a foe living."
Another slow breath is drawn, Ban's shoulders and chest rising with it. "Our Queen has a gift for inspiring faith among those once counted as deadly foes. Be wary of these Rist, as you would be wary of any power coming into Alderaan from without. But so too, you may trust in Our Queen. Always."
Ty again nods. "No truer words have been spoken, your Highness." Brushing his coat open, he unclips the royal seal and offers it back to Ban. The seal was to be returned at the end of each crucial mission to ensure its use would not be abused in gaining an audience or being privy to data they did not rate. It, too, was a reflection of humility in turning over the power once the task was completed.
"The seal, ser. I believe I have completed the task as best I could. Your words inspire confidence in the choices I made, and that is payment enough. By your leave, your Highness.." Lord Ty bows again.
"Fare thee well, Lord Admiral. Go with Our thanks," Ban voices upon accepting the seal. A short bow of his head and shoulders is given, as to an honored individual of lower station. The dismissal given, Ban will linger a moment, regarding the banners and making a mental note of where space will need be made to accommodate the return of Rist's blazon, should all go well.