“Welcome all viewers from all across the Imperium! I am”
Earl Samsu Charcho
“your distinguished noble reporter of the Zaqaru Commentary Service, the ZCS, live on the”
Grand Conference of Hallow!
A plumb older man with a broad smile in some of the finest teal wear decorated in golden trim is reporting amidst an observer niche in the Grand Conference of Hallow. Being recorded by several dragonfly drones made of emerald, his recording is broadcast live throughout the Imperium, to nobles and the people alike, in several media forms, from audio to hologram.
“It is here that the fate of the Sector for the years to come will be sealed. In recent years, we have seen how the despicable Democratic Collective has been beaten back by valiant noble warriors from the very core of the Imperium and now the nobles of Hallow have gathered to once and for all decide who will inherit the Pale Throne, the seat of the King or Queen of the Hallow Sector.”
“Also referred to as the Imperial Sector, as our late Emperor Maximilian Laramy held the Titanium Throne from the center of the Imperium. Unfortunately his most promising eldest children died in tragic incidents, leaving his least competent children to squabble over the inheritance, Archduke Alexander Laramy and Crown Princess Persephone Laramy. But even they are denied the Titanium Throne, seat of the Emperor, as it does not acknowledge either as a worthy successor.”
“So for two decades they have sought to gain the upper hand over the Laramy territory to proclaim themself King Alexander Laramy or Queen Persephone Laramy, instead of trying to prove a worthy successor to the Titanium Throne, by setting out to fulfill the test of worthiness as overseen by the Imperial College of Sciences.”
“As we are present here, it should be obvious neither have succeeded so far, so let me tell you what this is all about. I’m here on the Grand Conference of Hallow, organized by the wise Duke Ernst Berger, to gather all the nobles of Hallow and decide whether Archduke Alexander Laramy or Crown Princess Persephone Laramy should inherit the Pale Throne.”
“Now let’s take a look at the Hallow Sector!”
Besides Earl Samsu Charcho, an image display a current map of the Hallow Sector, indicating which systems are held by which House.
“So that’s a grand total of 7 Houses within the Hallow Sector! And a regrettable criminal element holding sway too, let’s hope we won’t encounter them here. The six Houses besides House Laramy all have a Duke title, though not all have a Duke title within the Hallow Sector itself.”
“So which ones are Dukes within the Hallow Sector? There is Ernst Berger, Duke of Raymill, the wise noble who organized the Grand Conference, in the right part of the sector. The venerable Ewout Mertens, Duke of Violetsage, renowed for his market connections and old age, in the left part of the sector. Torbin Gilkara, Duke of Vertmist, is a relative newcomer to the scene, as his family regained the Duke title a decade ago, at the topleft of the sector. That is a total of three Dukes, besides ofcourse the Laramies themselves.”
“So what about those who hold their title outside the Hallow Sector?”
The image next to Earl Samsu Charcho expands beyond the borders of the Imperial Sector.
“There is House Vastadd, where Izabella Vastadd, Duchess of Pinebridge within the Whitewynne sector beyond the lower border of Hallow, also controls the Pryhollow Duchy in the Hallow Sector, composed of 5 systems. House Voss, led by Brechtje Voss, Duchess of Dahsiu within the Akkadu Sector, controls the Eastsage Duchy, composed of three systems, in the lower right corner of the Hallow Sector.”
“Last of the noble Houses is House Arnos, who controls two systems out of three in the Waterton Duchy in the topleft corner of the Hallow Sector, while Raudos Arnos, Duke of Aelhaven, makes his home in the Canzanelli Sector and also controls systems in the Dorvale Sector. Finally the criminal element I touched upon earlier, the Exiles’ Consortium, who controls Silvermallow in the topleft of the Sector. Run by the criminal overlord the Outcast, they hold their influence in the former capital of House Xincliar within the Shadowfox Duchy and also extend their influence in the Byvale Sector.”
“These Houses, these Dukes and Duchesses, will determine the future of the Hallow Sector. Also of note is that both Archduke Alexander Laramy Archduke and Crown Princess Persephone Laramy enjoy support from the Liness Sector, in the forms of House Jinks and House Kelse respectively.”
There is a short break in the speech. While Earl Samsu Charcho reaches out for a drink, the cameras zoom towards the Dukes and Duchesses arriving. Hovering over the gathered Dukes, they settle on Archduke Alexander Laramy and record how the announcement declares Queen Persephone Laramy instead of Crown Princess Laramy. Her entrance and the stoic expression of Archduke Alexander Laramy, as well as the shocked expression of nearby observer nobles are witnessed by the Dragonfly drones.
“Dear watchers, you just heard it too, Crown Princess Persephone Laramy has just declared herself Queen and her brother remains seated! Has the rivalry between siblings ended? What is going on here? We’re here to find out!”
Meanwhile, the view moves on to Duke Torbin Gilkara who is the first to respond.
“Crown Princess Persephone Laramy, who has just proclaimed herself Queen, an overeager act as naturally there must be a coronation first, has demanded the Grand Conference will not be to determine who will inherit the title, but to reaffirm the oaths of loyalty! And already one is responding!”
The words of Duke Torbin Gilkara are repeated, one Dragonfly drone zooming in on the Duke sitting relaxed in his chair.
“Duke Torbin Gilkara has come forward! He speaks of being a knight to Crown Princess Persephone Laramy! Of conquering the other Houses to bring them under control! Such aggressive language is not unheard of from Duke Torbin Gilkara, as the unjust declaration of war from House Gilkara and House Greenflame made House Berger back off in a war to take a system from House Laramy. Which in turn led to this Grand Conference, so he is certainly using the opportunity.”
“Though I am curious why he refers to Archduke Sebastian Laramy, as Crown Princess Persephone’s father is Emperor Maximilian Laramy. Nor does he refer to the Pale Throne, the Throne of Hallow, but the Titanium Throne, the Imperial Throne. Are these mistakes or intentional? We’ll soon see!”
Meanwhile, a Dragonfly drone has caught sight of the arrival of the Admiral from the House of Steel and the High Concubine from Tatarus in their silver dress.
“Yes, dear watchers, you’re seeing this correctly. The two commoners, the Admiral of the House of Steel and the concubine of Tatarus have arrived at the Grand Conference of Hallow. Not invited by Duke Ernst Berger, but at the behest of Crown Princess Persephone Laramy. She has promised to the warmonger of the House of Steel and the manipulator of Tatarus noble titles in exchange for their vassalage. A cunning plan by the concubine of Tatarus to elevate her status, while the House of Steel brought devastation amongst nobles in the Byvale Sector.”
“So far, it seems to have intimidated Archduke Alexander Laramy enough to not directly respond to her declaration, perhaps as he waits to see how the other Dukes and Duchess with influence in the Hallow Sector react. Something that is on all our minds, perhaps especially for Duke Raudos Arnos, Duchess Brechtje Voss and Duchess Izabella Vastadd, as they all hold their capitals outside the Hallow Sector.”
“It remains an important question for Duke Ernst Berger and Duke Ewout Mertens, for will they associate with a liege who is willing to grant noble titles to commoners who were not granted such titles by the former Emperor Maximilian Laramy and commoners who brought war against nobles? Will Duke Ernst Berger, organizer of the Grand Conference, accept the insulting behaviour of the commoners? Will Archduke Alexander Laramy stand idle or act as the two commoners disrespect protocol and do not even acknowledge their superiors, in addition to their other flagrant violations of noble standards, letting his sister take what he desires? Let’s watch and see!”
The Dragonfly drones zoom to catch sight of what is to happen.
Meanwile, sitting besides Duke Ernst Berger is his wife:
Duchess Litte Zaqaru
Spoiler: House Gilkara
Dear Torbin Gilkara,
Thank you for coming to the aid of the nobles in Byvale against the encroaching might of the commoner House of Steel.
However, I have conflicting reports on your attitude towards the House of Steel. May I know your opinion of them?
Diplomat Namzara Zaqaru
Spoiler: House Starosta
Diplomat Namzara Zaqaru seeks out the noble observer of House Starosta at the Grand Conference of Hallow. After short introduction, he begins: “Thank you for coming to the aid of the nobles in Byvale against the encroaching might of the commoner House of Steel. As you can see, they encroach even here. What is the opinion of House Starosta on this matter?”
Spoiler: House Voss
A transmission from Diplomat Namzara Zaqaru to one of the nobles of Duchess Brechtje Voss at the Grand Conference of Hallow. “House Voss owes no allegiance to the Hallow Kingdom. We support a denial.”
Spoiler: House Arnos
A legal request for confirmation of records is coming in from Zaqaru, informing about the officially recognised liege title by House Arnos at the time Emperor Maximilian Laramy was alive.
Spoiler: House Vastadd
A legal request for confirmation of records is coming in from Zaqaru, informing about the officially recognised liege title by House Vastadd at the time Emperor Maximilian Laramy was alive.