Chapter 29

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The Khaballean Conclave of 2999 began the following day at mid afternoon. First was an introductory statement by Nherycyn welcoming the group and thanking them for their expected participation. The King tried to paint a picture depicting the realm as stable and the rulers in control despite the recent rumors and accusations. He wanted it known that the seat of the kingdom was working from a position of strength. This was meant to quell any challenges that might be voiced regarding questions of authority before they were brought out. It was also an attempt to diffuse any alliances that might have been created between the cities to weaken the King and his government during the negotiations.

The formal introduction of the attendees followed. Next, the stating of the agenda for the upcoming week took place. This was marked by the obligatory petty arguments of trying to position certain topics at what were considered more favorable times. Some requests, particularly those by Sevhert'ah and Rheg Nhor, were designed to be rejected in order that the refusals could be used as a bargaining point for later negotiations. One part of the agenda passed unanimously, however. It was decided that the first order of business would be concerning Uriel and the disappearance of the Rune of Destruction. After the agenda was finally ratified, the Conclave adjourned until the Welcoming Banquet.

One could say that the business of the Conclave actually began at the banquet that evening. The guests included the cities' representatives, members of the Ministry and the High Witch. Though they were assigned specific seats, it was not long before they broke up into little cliques and began plying each other with ales and wines. Even those who did not necessarily side with each other on certain issues shook hands and patted backs, hoping to chance upon a careless word or loose tongue. Only those diametrically opposed to one another, the elves and dwarves and the moderns and traditionalists, did not bother with attempts of subterfuge towards each other.

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