Still not sure how this scene is going to go.
The Castle knows its shtick, at least. When they throw a spectacle, everything’s laid out just so. And you can count on enough bright smiles and happy faces to satisfy even the sweetest tooth. Even when nobody wants to be there; although you’d never, ever know it from looking at our nobles. Reading between the lines of the sagas, a lot of their ancestors were pretty damned good at bald-faced lying, and their descendants have kept in practice.
So I expected the Dominion ambassador had nothing to complain about, although he’d probably complain anyway. There’d be some symbolic humiliations, but this wasn’t the Cold-Lands or what used to be Deseret; some places, they’d offer gold, slaves, or a sacrificial goat. Here, it’d just be ritualized phrases of submission, perfectly uttered and with no weight to them whatsoever.
And if the Ambassador didn’t like it? That was a real good question. On the one hand, we had sent their last two Ambassadors home in a jug and a box; but that was on the other hand, too. If I was the Castle, I’d be a little worried about how much madder than usual the Dominion was feeling right now. Which was probably why they invited me to this do: I had gotten away with skipping the last couple, because normally nobody cared. But they cared enough now to send a process server after me, and I was a little worried about that.