Holding the ceremonial staff tightly in one hand, Tiberius listened as the foreign emissaries began their salutation to this historically rare session of the Senate. His icy blue eyes narrowed at the old king who spoke and the knight beside him, who stared right back.
"Greetings from his Holy Imperial Majesty, the King of Annexus and of all the Kaczardans, the Duke of Lower West Drogovia, and Prince of the Northern March, Emperor Ludoric-"
Tiberius' face remained stoic as he interrupted. "He is not here. Who are you?"
Unflinching yet clearly vexed, the old man responded just as powerfully. "I am Ceowulf, Duke of the Eastern Bhairdoff, and Elector, and King in Eisenburg. I come before you-"
"King in? Why not king of?" Tiberius stifled a slight smile so as not to offend those of the Senex. His recent outbursts clearly worried many members of the Senate, particularly those of the Juvex portion. Regardless, he was fiercely patriotic and strived to establish this with the foreigners to show that he would not be easily manipulated.
Well seasoned in politics himself, Ceowulf shook his head slightly and continued in the same tone. "Clearly my titles are of no concern here, and bear no interest on the matter of which I am presenting to you, Consul, and the members of your Senate."
The tension increased tenfold as the senators murmured amongst themselves before Tiberius struck the marble floor with his staff several times to bring the chamber to order, drawing annoyance from the elder consul to his left. Once the chamber was silent, Tiberius pointed to the narrow channel running between the two sides and through the atrium, continuing outside and into the streets of the capital. It was several feet deep and just as wide, and none of the senators would come within more than ten feet of it. "This is the extreme border of our Pomerium, and I, Metellus Tiberius, Western Consul am the Protector of it. Our Senators are forbidden to cross this sacred boundary. You are on the edge of the most precious district of our capital, and are therefore subject to our proceedings, offensive or not." Nodding slightly, Ceowulf continued in his same tone. "I am well-aware that you all know why I am here. If we could continue, our differences aside, then we will soon discover if my journey has been fruitful." Meeting his icy gaze, Ceowulf nodded to Tiberius, his own eyes exhibiting the respect he had developed in the years since his coronation for foreign leaders. "On my own part, I implore you."
The elder consul broke his silence, grasping his own ceremonial staff. "I am Licinius Hylas, Eastern Consul and Defender of the Capital. We are willing to hear you, King in Eisenburg, but according to our proceedings."
"Of course, Consuls. After all, we have come to you."© ©