Topics

I Did It My Way #James #Malia #sarnai #francesca

Steph
 
Edited

Who: General Kardos
With: James, Malia, Francesca, Sarnai
Where: A meeting room, the King's Castle
When: Friday, March 7th, 872 RoK -- Evening
 
The guards escorted the nobles to a private meeting chamber. The castle had a few of these, used in random rotation to deter eavesdroppers and assassins, but on the inside all were more or less the same: A large rectangular table with the most regal seat at the far end of the table, fine tapestries and sconces on the walls, no windows, a heavy wooden door. The tapestries added a sense of finery and dampened the echoes in the otherwise stone room.
 
General Kardos stood distinctly not at the head of the table, but rather at the foot of it, the chair nearest the door, a subtle indication that he understood he was lowest in status at this particular table. Attendants were ready to seat the Duke, Duchesses, and Consort at the table's sides. The chair at the head of the table--where the king or queen would sit in normal circumstances--remained empty.
 
Once the nobility had been seated, the attendants left quickly without being asked. The general rested his hands on the back of his chair, not yet seated.
 
"My Lord and Ladies," he said. "I apologize for interrupting this day of mourning with matters unsavory, but as you are the current voices of leadership in our kingdom, I could not, in good faith, move forward without your guidance..." 
 
"The city is in turmoil." A man of few words, he did not elaborate but trusted that his audience knew - the King had been murdered under suspicious circumstances, the storm raged on long enough that even skeptics were beginning to believe it was witchcraft, and the only leadership of King's City had been sequestered for a week now. General Kardos knew well how to lead men in the heat of battle, but he had never expected to be the one responsible for keeping peace where the people were the enemy. And when he had accepted the job, he had never imagined it would be this tumultuous nor this long.
 
"There was an attempt on Prince Elliot's life," the General revealed. "The would-be assassin was intercepted, of course, but this shows us that the unrest is growing worse. In questioning, the assassin claimed to be in league with one Oskar Von Essen - a scholar of noble birth from Queen's College." 
 
"A prompt investigation found that Von Essen was holding an assembly, at this very moment, and we have every reason to suppose the purpose of this gathering was to incite an uprising. My men have arrested Von Essen and dispersed the crowd." 
 
"The prisoner will arrive shortly. I must go keep order in the streets. I trust your decision in this matter, my Lord and Ladies." 
 
His grip loosened from the back of the chair and he stepped back, bowing deeply to them. As he turned from the table, his general's cape swished stiffly but audibly. He left through the door with that.

Manda
 

Malia: "So it seems,"


The Consort was ready to be done with this conversation and was just about to excuse herself when the guards appeared, obviously on a mission by the way they approached not only Sarnai and Malia but also James and Francesca. There were few reasons that soldiers would interrupt the King's funeral and none of them good, Sarnai's gut told her.


Soldier: "My ladies," he said with a respectful bow, "General Kardos requests your presence."


"Of course," Sarnai answered, reaching to take the offered arm and noting Malia's frown as she did. She doubted a decision had been made though; even if it had, the General would have waited until the funeral was over before requesting their presence. Still, the Consort couldn't help but wonder if this would be the moment she was to find out her future and the trepidation she felt was real.


General Kardos: … "There was an attempt on Prince Elliot's life," the General revealed. "The would-be assassin was intercepted, of course, but this shows us that the unrest is growing worse. In questioning, the assassin claimed to be in league with one Oskar Von Essen - a scholar of noble birth from Queen's College." … "A prompt investigation found that Von Essen was holding an assembly, at this very moment, and we have every reason to suppose the purpose of this gathering was to incite an uprising. My men have arrested Von Essen and dispersed the crowd." … "The prisoner will arrive shortly. I must go keep order in the streets. I trust your decision in this matter, my Lord and Ladies."


Sarnai couldn't hide the horror and worry that crossed her features at the news that the Prince had nearly been assassinated. She had questions, so very many questions, but Kardos didn't give them the chance to chime in before he was continuing on with his briefing and then excusing himself.


Sarnai's dark eyes went from one face to the next, her lack of ruling experience obvious in the unsure set of her shoulders and the searching expression she wore. She'd have been much more comfortable seeking out Elliot and making sure he was well rather than trying to find a solution with three people she could barely tolerate. And where was Sanya?


The curious thought reminded her of recent conversations she'd had with the acting Duchess of the South and prompted her to look at the information Kardos had given them with a bit more attention. Where was this alleged assassin now? Why weren't they allowed to be there when he or she was questioned? Could they even trust what the Royal Scholar and General were saying? Was Von Essen nothing more than a scapegoat? There were too many questions and not enough answers and Sarnai was tempted to call General Kardos back to answer them right this very second.


The biggest question though, was who would benefit from Elliot's death? Aside from herself, of course, but if there was one possibility Sarnai could wipe away completely it was her own involvement. Marcus was an option, though hardly one she was sold on after all of the details Sanya had shared with her.


Her eyes went to James. He was certainly a possibility . . .


"Why though?" she asked, no longer caring if she seemed naive. "Why attempt to assassinate a child who hasn't even been granted the throne?"


tags

 

turksgirl
 

James knew of Kardos, he had been part of his half brother's guard for many years and was trusted by those within the castle's old walls. He was a faithful old soldier, and his words were straight forward and to the point.

General Kardos: … "There was an attempt on Prince Elliot's life," the General revealed. "The would-be assassin was intercepted, of course, but this shows us that the unrest is growing worse. In questioning, the assassin claimed to be in league with one Oskar Von Essen - a scholar of noble birth from Queen's College." … "A prompt investigation found that Von Essen was holding an assembly, at this very moment, and we have every reason to suppose the purpose of this gathering was to incite an uprising. My men have arrested Von Essen and dispersed the crowd." … "The prisoner will arrive shortly. I must go keep order in the streets. I trust your decision in this matter, my Lord and Ladies."


The Royal consort could not hide her emotions from her face, or she was the finest actress in the realm. Although there were no fond connections between them, if any connection at all besides a dead man. The Duke surmised she knew nothing of these events, and she had a fondness for young Elliot........ More so than himself, although he had no ill will toward the boy.


Thoughts swirled around his mind, heartless he may be but Castile was cunning as any hunter in his realm. And the logic of an assassin in hire by a scholar, whom openly spoke out against the idea of the monarchy, seemed rather.... convenient. And where was the Southern representative, the daughter of the current Duchy?

Sarnai: "Why though?" she asked, no longer caring if she seemed naive. "Why attempt to assassinate a child who hasn't even been granted the throne?"

The Green Duke looked over at the consort, before glancing at the two Duchesses that sat with them. "There are many reasons, the most prevalent would be he is next in line for the throne" he stated. Or it could be more personal, perhaps against Philip and his bloodline. Castile frowned because either theory may or may not include himself, it mattered not that he had no want for the kingdom.

If asked, it would be his duty to rule and he was not so willing to part from his birthplace, the green realm, or the resting place of his heart and power. But it didn't mean he didn't seek to have someone under the crown that wasn't under his influence... Elliot was his nephew.... as would be the unborn child of the consort, or perhaps a niece. Francesca Rossi had stated she had no wish to rule, or help rule the realm. She could barely handle her own domain.

The Duchess of the North was his ally, and lover. His Lady. But she was as ambitious as they came, not that he cared... if she wanted the crown he would lay it at her feet. But he was sure that Malia preferred to operate unencumbered by the many eyes that came with the crown, and a assassin seemed beneath her. No, there was a player involved that was not in the room. Perhaps Marcus the Vile, he had been spotted in the area during his brother's murder of course trying to rescue the she-wolf. Or the Southern Duchy, it was insulting enough they ignored the celebration of the consort's pregnancy, but now his brother's funeral and the summons from the general? Insulting indeed, and perhaps more...

Turning to a man under the General's command he asked, "I assume Kardos has double the guard protecting the Prince Regent, and the Royal Consort?" For James Castile it was merely good business and duty, he cared little for either of them other than what they meant to his own land. "And if the assassin yet lives... I wish to interrogate him myself" the Green Duke had his own methods for gathering information.

Tags

Rachel Balla
 

Malia took her seat and sat forward, folding her hands together tightly on the table in front of her as she listened to the general. While doing her best to take in the details as he spoke, as soon as he mentioned the assassination attempt, Malia's attention subtly turned from the speaker to her fellow leaders. Sarnai arguably had the most motive, on paper, but the look of horror and concern on her face was telling. James's face hosted a ghost of concern. Francesca still just looked annoyed.


When he departed, Malia lifted her voice in formality: "Thank you for your service, General Kardos."


Sarnai: "Why though?" "Why attempt to assassinate a child who hasn't even been granted the throne?"


James: "There are many reasons, the most prevalent would be he is next in line for the throne"


"The most obvious suspect would be someone with an - arguably - equally valid claim, hoping to remove competition," Malia mused, but cast a glance at Sarnai and, with almost too much ease, dismissed the possibility. "Clearly not." The comment came across as an insult, insinuating the young consort would not have the stomach to arrange an assassination, and indeed drew a wry sort of laugh from the Duchess of the West.


But as Malia continued, the barb faded from her voice and she seemed to extrapolate on the Green Duke's point as if explaining the situation to the Consort - or perhaps to herself, as her thoughts proceeded as if she was having them in the moment and simply explaining to herself.


"If there is no king and no rightful heir, power becomes decentralized from King's City." People would look to their Dukes and Duchesses instead. "It would allow quite a bit more…. freedom to lower nobility." Malia recalled reading a book to this effect years ago, although it had been a combination of lords and clergy involved in the conspiracy, which did not quite follow in Eventyr - unless one could substitute scholars for monks? She struggled to find adequate parallels, but it wasn't ridiculous…


Following the train of thought aloud, Malia went on. "Which means the next suspects would be the Dukes or Duchesses…." And immediately, her mind aligned in the direction James' had been going, and her gaze lingered pointedly on the empty seat. The South had been quite absent.


James: "I assume Kardos has double the guard protecting the Prince Regent, and the Royal Consort?" "And if the assassin yet lives... I wish to interrogate him myself"


The soldier addressed nodded vigorously, but did not dare utter a word. He did not actually know anything about the young prince's security except that a friend of his had been called in during the last hour from the alehouse to guard duty, and that was the same, right?


Malia's fingers unfolded, and although she was not as forward as to touch the Greek Duke's substantial hand, her palm pressed against the fine mahogany tabletop between them. She chose her words diplomatically - if James insisted on re-interrogating the assassin, it would show a lack of faith in General Kardos, who was already faltering visibly in his control of the city. So instead, Malia redirected James' attention where they both knew it belonged.


"Where is the Duke of the South's daughter?" Malia asked, rhetorically at first, allowing the obvious question as to why she had not been at the funeral to echo silently in the room. Then the Duchess went on, more pointedly, "She is a…. student, is she not?"


tags!

 

Manda
 

Castile: "There are many reasons, the most prevalent would be he is next in line for the throne"


Malia: "The most obvious suspect would be someone with an - arguably - equally valid claim, hoping to remove competition," Malia mused, but cast a glance at Sarnai and, with almost too much ease, dismissed the possibility. "Clearly not."


Sarnai didn't even bother to try and hide the scorn in the dark glare she shot the Duchess of the North. The change in the woman's demeanor tonight was downright shocking and the only conclusion that the Consort could draw was that Malia was just now beginning to see her as a threat. Sarnai wasn't sure whether to be flattered or insulted that it had taken this long.


Malia: "If there is no king and no rightful heir, power becomes decentralized from King's City." People would look to their Dukes and Duchesses instead. "It would allow quite a bit more…. freedom to lower nobility." … "Which means the next suspects would be the Dukes or Duchesses…."


Regardless of Malia's additude, Sarnai was appreciative of the explanation - not that she'd say as much aloud. The finer points of politics were still a struggle for her to understand and without Philip to help explain things in the moment, or her handmaiden after the fact, Sarnai was a bit out of her depth.


Feeling a touch smug that her earlier thoughts hadn't been too far off the mark, Sarnai's eyes went from one face to the next once again. None of them here seemed to be acting particularly guilty and without Sanya here to chime in . . .


Malia: "Where is the Duke of the South's daughter?" … "She is a…. student, is she not?"


Sanya's absence was beginning to look suspicious in light of where this conversation was going and Sarnai found herself shifting uncomfortably in her seat, one hand going to her belly as a mild contraction tightened her middle. Sanya had been nothing but kind and supportive toward Sarnai, ever since their first meeting, but then so had Malia . . .


"She is," Sarnai answered, leaving the implications of her confirmation hanging there in the air above the table. If Sanya had anything to do with this, it was likely at her parent's behest, the young Southerner silently rationalized.


"Francesca," she said suddenly, turning her attention to the pale Duchess of the West. "Have you any theories?"


tags

 

Rachel Balla
 

General: *explainifies*


Malia: "Thank you for your service, General Kardos."


God, the Northern Duchess was such a kiss-ass. It was not unexpected since she was of low birth, but the way Malia seemed to go out of her way to legitimatize her inferiors was just obnoxious. But as Francesca scanned the faces of her companions, it became clear they were all affected by the news….


Sarnai: "Why though?" "Why attempt to assassinate a child who hasn't even been granted the throne?"


James: "There are many reasons, the most prevalent would be he is next in line for the throne"


Malia: "The most obvious suspect would be someone with an - arguably - equally valid claim, hoping to remove competition," "Clearly not."


Francesca laughed, the dry, humorless sound echoing off the walls unpleasantly, but the Duchess did not seem to pay it any mind.


Malia: "If there is no king and no rightful heir, power becomes decentralized from King's City." "It would allow quite a bit more…. freedom to lower nobility." "Which means the next suspects would be the Dukes or Duchesses…."


James: "And if the assassin yet lives... I wish to interrogate him myself"


Malia overthinking everything. James reaching for violence in the absence of answers. Predictable. The pale Duchess lowered in her seat, slumping shoulders as she rested an elbow on her armrest and two fingers massaged her temple, annoyance screaming through her posture. They would talk themselves into the floor soon enough, decide to sleep on it and reconvene tomorrow, Francesca was sure, so all she had to do was wait until she could leave…


Malia: "Where is the Duke of the South's daughter?" "She is a…. student, is she not?"


Sarnai: "She is," "Francesca," "Have you any theories?"

...Until the young consort explicitly asked for her opinion, which caught Francesca completely by surprise - the straightening of her spine and the lift in her brows betrayed that, as the Duchess met Sarnai's dark eyes for a moment.

"What theories?" Francesca groused. "The attack was thwarted. The assassin confessed. His conspirator is arrested." She shrugged thin, bare shoulders as if to dismiss the whole situation as overblown and meaningless. "Let Kardos execute them both in the public square so we can return to the funeral and then our Duchies."

Tags

Steph
 

Who: Oskar Von Essen
With: James, Malia, Francesca, Sarnai, and guards
Where: A meeting room, the King's Castle
When: Friday, March 7th, 872 RoK -- Evening

Oskar Von Essen made a point to be as courteous as possible toward the arresting officers once he was in custody. Making a scene had its advantages, but this appeared to be an instance where cooperation would garner the most net positive results. He needed to know the reason for his arrest--no one would tell him. Who ordered his arrest--again, no response. The question of where they were taking him was rather obvious as they set forth due east, straight toward the castle. He knew the city well enough to recognize the change when the wagon bumped from paved roadway to drawbridge then onto the smooth courtyard road. He wasn't the least bit surprised to see the door of the prisoner wagon open on the prisoner's entrance to the castle.

Not that he'd seen the prisoner's entrance before, personally, but he knew the general architecture of it, the general layout of the castle. Understanding the design flow of architecture had been a part of his academics, something that he used when he offered advice to business owners. Improved traffic flow and efficiency had a positive correlation with profit. He was certainly all about the profit.

He didn't bother with asking too many questions as the guards led him into the castle, down twisting corridors, to a meeting room somewhere in the heart of the castle. He couldn't tell which way would be the fastest route out, and he doubted he'd be able to backtrack the path they'd taken. Another intentional element of design within the castle. If attackers or assassins couldn't navigate it easily, they'd have a much lower success rate. The fear that had started gnawing in his belly receded, though, considering the upward direction. The dungeon was a cold, uncaring place. The castle, though rigid in its security, held greater... promise for a positive outcome here.

Finally they came to a stop in front of a door. A guard knocked twice, then when bidden, opened it and stepped inside.

"Esteemed Lord and Ladies, presenting Oskar Von Essen, accused of treason against the crown, for your judgement," the guard intoned very formally.

Oskar noted the omission of his own title, one he'd worked hard to earn back, and he cast a disdainful look at the guard. "Lord Oskar Von Essen, young sir," he said firmly.

The guard kept his eyes forward and did not offer a correction, only standing next to the shackled headmaster. Oskar's frown deepened for a moment, but he brushed it off as best as he could when he looked between the four faces that apparently had summoned him.

"My Lord, my Ladies," he said. "It seems I am at your disposal. Pardon my rudeness, but your soldiers have been admirably tight-lipped. If  someone could explain the precise accusations against me, I would be most appreciative. "

<tag!>

turksgirl
 

The Green Duke made an expression that was clearly mild annoyance, the ladies did not make any attempt to hide their feelings toward each other…. Well, the Duchess of the North did to some extent.

Duchess Rossi had given a humorless laugh, and the sound made Castille arch a brow as theories were thrown about. Questions and accusations. And when the consort asked Francesca what she thought, it was like she had thrown a basin of frigid water on the Duchess. James tried not to find any satisfaction over it, because her lack of interest … As it was with all things… bothered him.

"What theories?" Francesca groused. "The attack was thwarted. The assassin confessed. His conspirator is arrested." She shrugged thin, bare shoulders as if to dismiss the whole situation as overblown and meaningless. "Let Kardos execute them both in the public square so we can return to the funeral and then our Duchies."

Castille let his hand curl into a fist. “You find it it not at all convenient?” he grunted to the trio of females. But a dual knock at the heavy wooden door stopped him from continuing the thought. Yes, he was a violent man, one of action, but he was not a fool. “Enter!” he barked out ready to throttle the intruder if it was a trivial subject.


"Esteemed Lord and Ladies, presenting Oskar Von Essen, accused of treason against the crown, for your judgement," the guard intoned very formally.


Oskar noted the omission of his own title, one he'd worked hard to earn back, and he cast a disdainful look at the guard. "Lord Oskar Von Essen, young sir," he said firmly.


The guard kept his eyes forward and did not offer a correction, only standing next to the shackled headmaster. Oskar's frown deepened for a moment, but he brushed it off as best as he could when he looked between the four faces that apparently had summoned him.


"My Lord, my Ladies," he said. "It seems I am at your disposal. Pardon my rudeness, but your soldiers have been admirably tight-lipped. If  someone could explain the precise accusations against me, I would be most appreciative. "


“Perhaps you should be more concern that you are accused of treason most high, rather than a lack of your title…. Headmaster” Castille replied looking up at the man in a glare that promised nothing but pain if he didn’t rein his haughty attitude in.


“My ladies, allow me to attend these matters” the Duke of the East advised, he was notorious for getting to the heart of things. This would not be a delicate matter.

tags

Manda
 

Francesca: "What theories?" ... "The attack was thwarted. The assassin confessed. His conspirator is arrested." ... "Let Kardos execute them both in the public square so we can return to the funeral and then our Duchies."


Castile: “You find it it not at all convenient?”


Sarnai likely shouldn't have expected anything more than the disinterested reply she got, but still Francesca's blithe dismissal of Elliott's would-be assassination rankled. The Duchess of the West had supposedly cared about Philip, yet she couldn't be bothered to muster up even the slightest bit of care for his son . . .


Soldier: "Esteemed Lord and Ladies, presenting Oskar Von Essen, accused of treason against the crown, for your judgement,"


Oskar: "My Lord, my Ladies," he said. "It seems I am at your disposal. Pardon my rudeness, but your soldiers have been admirably tight-lipped. If  someone could explain the precise accusations against me, I would be most appreciative. "


Castile: “Perhaps you should be more concern that you are accused of treason most high, rather than a lack of your title…. Headmaster” … “My ladies, allow me to attend these matters”


Rising to her feet, Sarnai circled the table and moved closer to the Headmaster, studying the man before them with a sort of hostile curiosity. This was the man behind the attempt on Elliot's life? While torturing him was certainly one way to go, the Consort couldn't shake the gut feeling that his confusion seemed far too genuine to be faked.


"Wait, James," she said, holding up one dainty hand, but her eyes stayed intent on Oskar. Castile was so quick to deal out physical punishment but in Sarnai's limited experience, torture was rarely a reliable method for gathering information. Rather, much could be learned through body language brought on by simple questioning.


"Lord Oskar," she ventured, watching him carefully, "there was an attempt on Prince Elliot's life and the resulting investigation has lead us to you."


tags

 

Rachel Balla
 

Sarnai: "She is," "Francesca," "Have you any theories?"


Francesca: "What theories?" "The attack was thwarted. The assassin confessed. His conspirator is arrested." "Let Kardos execute them both in the public square so we can return to the funeral and then our Duchies."


James: “You find it it not at all convenient?”


Luckily, James voiced the words that Malia was going to funnel into an exaggerated eye roll, and so instead she was able to simply raise her brows in an agreeable inquiry. This situation required examination. Even Kardos had known that, even if he hadn't been equipped for the analysis himself. But Francesca's willful ignorance was important to notice - if she wanted the easiest way out, they ought not give her opinion much weight.


James:  “Enter!”


Guard: "Esteemed Lord and Ladies, presenting Oskar Von Essen, accused of treason against the crown, for your judgement,"


Malia regarded the prisoner with quite a bit of interest. His features were soft - and when he spoke, his voice was higher than it should have been. Malia deduced quickly that this was a transgender man - good lord, what a burden that must have been here, now. He must have been an intellectual force to be reckoned with, she deduced quickly - for if he was not, he would never have climbed the ranks. But was he also a political force? Was he dangerous?


Oskar: "Lord Oskar Von Essen, young sir," "My Lord, my Ladies,"  "It seems I am at your disposal. Pardon my rudeness, but your soldiers have been admirably tight-lipped. If  someone could explain the precise accusations against me, I would be most appreciative. "


Malia unfolded her hands, leaning gently against the back of her chair. Surreptitiously, chocolate hands sought the book she always kept on her person. Subtly as she could, Malia opened its pages and gave the parchment a cursory glance. The scene seemed to be about a girl fretting over a lamb that had gone missing on her watch…


James: “Perhaps you should be more concern that you are accused of treason most high, rather than a lack of your title…. Headmaster” “My ladies, allow me to attend these matters”


Sarnai: "Wait, James," "Lord Oskar," "there was an attempt on Prince Elliot's life and the resulting investigation has lead us to you."


The very pregnant consort made her way to her feet, defying James' attempt to excuse them, and Malia closed her book with a muted thump and tossed a glance toward the Green Duke that said clearly she had no intention of leaving. To do so would have conceded status as de-facto king to James officially, and while in some ways that perception was advantageous to her, not this time. Still, Malia couldn't help but makes a bemused dig. "You heard him, Francesca. You can go."


Malia knew little about the accused before them - but she knew plenty about the academic life. Her husband back on Earth had been a professor. And she, a lovestricken student, had fallen for him. It had been quick, easy, too easy. There was a magnetism to an intelligent, well-spoken, impassioned professor…


"Headmaster," Malia said, with a sugar sweet smile that most in the room would immediately see through. Probably Von Essen, too, if he was as intelligent as she expected. "Nobles are often threatened by powerful scholars." Not something a noble would often admit, and thus a rhetorical concession that she hoped would gain her a measure of trust. "And when they rail against Eventyr's academic institutions, their accusations are always the same: you're corrupting the youth."


"Is that what you have been doing? Is that what you were doing at this gathering today?" Malia asked, tone walking the edge between inquiring and accusing. She doubted that this man had ordered or paid the assassin, but that hardly meant he wasn't responsible. "What have you been telling these... scared, impressionable young people?"


Tags

 

Steph
 

Who: Oskar Von Essen
With: James, Malia, Francesca, Sarnai, and guards
Where: A meeting room, the King's Castle
When: Friday, March 7th, 872 RoK -- Evening

The Green Duke's answer was less than forthcoming, although it did provide a little bit more context as to the severity of the accusations. Oskar kept his expression as smooth and neutral as he could. Showing weakness to a hunter was rarely a good idea.

Sarnai, though, he graced with a grateful smile and a deferential bow of his head. She looked so young, but she chose to stay when the Duke had dismissed her. He knew she was a contender to the throne, just as much as Castile, but she so much less advantage, political outsider that she was. A common woman, but she held herself nobly. He had to wonder how much she was performing. He empathized.

"Thank you, Lady Sarnai," he said aloud.

And then there was the Duchess of the North, speaking before he could offer more than that quick thanks. Technically she was the duchess his family owed fealty to, with her sickly sweet smile that was more like a a cat showing her sharp teeth than any sort of kindness. She, too, gave him substantially more to work with than the Duke of the Eastern Forest.

"Hardly corrupting, if you'll excuse my bluntness," he said. "A well-designed thought experiment challenges students to consider new perspectives that they might not have otherwise. And that's all my lecture tonight was, I assure you. Part of a series of thought experiments exploring the fiscal advantages of decentralized power. Each of you dukes and duchesses, and even you, Lady Sarnai, understand the assets and the liabilities of your areas of authority. What does it benefit your duchies to offer welfare to the South from among your riches, for example? How much do you lose in taxes to the Royal City that you could instead use to repair roads or fend off enchanted threats in your own lands?"

He shook his head and gave a sigh, eyebrows gathering with what at least seemed like sincere concern."I would expect my students to understand the difference between a thought experiment and an actionable plan. And especially to understand the wrongness of attempting to murder a child, let alone the Crown Prince. Even if he is not crowned as the next king, and the honor instead goes to another selected by the Royal Scholar and General, his blood grants him status and influence that could be a source of stability in our fine city. I'm an academic and a merchant, no fighter. I never advocate for violence. Violence is bad for business."

<tag!>

Rachel Balla
 

James: “My ladies, allow me to attend these matters”


Francesca's exasperated expression resolved into relief when James offered to handle it. She did not care about this, not at all, and so she rose to her feet at the same time as Sarnai although with quite opposite purpose...


Sarnai: "Wait, James," "Lord Oskar," "there was an attempt on Prince Elliot's life and the resulting investigation has lead us to you."


Malia: "You heard him, Francesca. You can go."


….and paused, spine stiffening, at the Northern Duchess's comment, and Francesca returned it with a glare that promised murder, but Malia paid her no mind, moving on to question their suspect and that indifference just fueled Francesca's anger.


Malia: "Headmaster," "Nobles are often threatened by powerful scholars." "And when they rail against Eventyr's academic institutions, their accusations are always the same: you're corrupting the youth. Is that what you have been doing? Is that what you were doing at this gathering today?" "What have you been telling these... scared, impressionable young people?"


Oskar: *explains*


Francesca, who had paused, standing, laughed - the sound high and musical, if totally devoid of humor. "So, your thought experiment features the benefits of a Queen in the West?" The duchess returned to her seat, but made a show of attentively leaning forward to place an elbow on the table and her chin on delicate fingers that accentuated the interest in her gaze - and not an academic interest in the least. With a lascivious smile, Francesca concluded, "You have my attention."


Tags

 

turksgirl
 

The Green Duke wondered if he was going to have to get between the Duchesses of the North and West. The kingdom did not need petty squabbling, if Francesca wanted to be left to her grieving and not be involved, than so be it.

It did not escape his notice either when the consort actually called him by his first name. It seemed they were at least unified in their concern for Elliot. James might not want to be ruled by a boy unless he had direct influence over him…. But he would not see his nephew harmed.

Still being common born Sarnai probably had no idea that calling him by something so familiar in the presence of the duchesses was unusual. Doing it in front of the headmaster, should he survive long enough to speak of it, would raise many eyebrows and set tongues flapping.

He politely nodded his head to the consort, before rolling his eyes at the Duchess of the North for digging at Francesca, who in turn looked ready to murder.

The headmaster seemed less than concerned when the consort informed him he was accused of hiring an assassin. Or when Malia asked him questions about his teachings, about the gathering where he had been apprehended. James narrowed his eyes and watched Von Essen like a hawk watching a rabbit, as he explained.

"Hardly corrupting, if you'll excuse my bluntness," he said. "A well-designed thought experiment challenges students to consider new perspectives that they might not have otherwise. And that's all my lecture tonight was, I assure you. Part of a series of thought experiments exploring the fiscal advantages of decentralized power. Each of you dukes and duchesses, and even you, Lady Sarnai, understand the assets and the liabilities of your areas of authority. What does it benefit your duchies to offer welfare to the South from among your riches, for example? How much do you lose in taxes to the Royal City that you could instead use to repair roads or fend off enchanted threats in your own lands?"

He shook his head and gave a sigh, eyebrows gathering with what at least seemed like sincere concern."I would expect my students to understand the difference between a thought experiment and an actionable plan. And especially to understand the wrongness of attempting to murder a child, let alone the Crown Prince. Even if he is not crowned as the next king, and the honor instead goes to another selected by the Royal Scholar and General, his blood grants him status and influence that could be a source of stability in our fine city. I'm an academic and a merchant, no fighter. I never advocate for violence. Violence is bad for business."

James gave a snort, clearly he had no idea how to conduct the business of violence. It was necessary, just as was peace. Each had their place in the world.

Francesca: "So, your thought experiment features the benefits of a Queen in the West?" "You have my attention."

The Green Duke leaned forward as well, “Or a King in the East, or perhaps both to the South. Dividing the kingdom will not benefit the duchies in the end…” He frowned at Francesca, he preferred her to be selfish as always, and disinterested. But most of all...silent.  “We must remain unified!” he growled eyes going to the faces around the table. “Von Essen… Headmaster, if I were to believe your innocence in these events….who would gain from your guilt and death the most?”

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