(1866-07-04) Old Friends, New Plans
Old Friends, New Plans
Summary: Aidric and Tristan sit down and have a rather detailed conversation about the past, the present and the future. Oh, and a dead Baron as well.
Date: 07.04.1866
Related: Baron Hogan Stuff
Aidric  Tristan  

Tristan's Sitting Room
See first pose.

It is the day after the Queen had asked a number of Rivanans to come and speak with her regarding the murder of Baron Hogan. As he promised, Tristan had messaged Aidric letting him know when and where to come meet him.

Currently Tristan is sitting in his sitting room, the walls of which are decorated in an alternating pattern of dark and light shades of green. The floor has been covered in Alhazredi carpeting. Of note in the room is a large painting over the fireplace showing an antiquated ship sailing stormy seas.

As Aidric is shown in by a servant in the livery of House Tracano, Tristan stands and offers a faint smile. "Aidric, good to see you, please, have a seat." He gestures to an open seat at the table where he has been sitting. Tristan resumes his seat and then pours a goblet of wine for both himself and his guest. "It has been a while since we last did this, I think. How have you been?"

Ushered into the room Aidric surveys his surroundings briefly, pausing a moment to study the painting of the ship "A curious piece," he remarks before continuing across the rugs to claim his wine and greet his host. "The polite lie would be to say I've been well, the truth though is I'm as adrift as your ship there," he says before taking a sip of the wine. There is a faint closing of his eyes as he savours it. "Despite that I somehow find myself with no shortage of things to do," he continues with a faint shrug as he turns to his old friend and cousin. "What about you?"

Tristan takes a sip of his wine and follows Aidric's eyes as they flit to the painting. Smiling slightly, he glances over at it and nods. "It is, I found it in one of the wings of the palace and appropriated it for myself. I do not think anyone has noticed, which is a shame. The Misty Rose, Admiral Travian's ship." He comments lightly before turning back to face his cousin. He frowns slightly and nods. "Yes, I can understand that feeling I think, though lately I have found new purposes, especially with this rather… unpleasant business regarding the Baron, still I am glad to hear you are keeping busy. No doubt it keeps you out of the same trouble I would find myself in had I idle hands."

Aidric glances back at the painting. "Travian's ship?" he asks suddenly more curious he studies the painting again. "Interesting," he looks like he wants to say more but then smiles quickly at his cousin the scholar replaced with the fellow rake."And yes I've been staying out of trouble, partly because I am busy and partly because after that warm welcome in Couviere I am spent on that sort of business. Proof I suppose that there can be too much of a good thing."

"Indeed." There is a slight smile, it seems that Tristan assumed Aidric might find that interesting. "Who can say if it is the real thing, however I found it interesting enough." He then takes another sip of his wine, listening. "Well, there was some fun to be had up there. Did you try to make any of their songbirds sing? I gave one or two a go, but found that they liked to chirp on about this or that and really, as if I would care which of the Couvieri are sleeping with one another." Chuckling lightly, he shakes his head. "One can get enough of that in our own court."

"Whatever its origins the painter knew his business," Aidric agrees with one more look at the painting before turning back to Tristan. "And yes I got the same songs, boring stuff and not a bit of it about anyone interesting like the new king. Tales of any of his bedsport might be useful, the rest of his court," a shrug. "A great deal less so." He takes a sip of his wine. "Speaking of tales and gossip any new news about the dead baron?"

Tristan nods as he takes a sip of his wine, agreeing with his cousin about the painter knowing his business. Putting his goblet down, he takes a moment to collect his thoughts and then nods. "There are a few things going around. I am not entirely sure what to believe or what to dismiss as idle gossip right now. For example, all this business about the Baron being part of this faction at court. A possible motivation to have him killed? Perhaps, but really, does it make any sense to you for House Moreno or House Giraldi to have the man killed because he is speaking out against them being elevated?"

Shaking his head, Tristan leans back in his chair, folding his hands out before him on the table. "Then there is this business about a possible mistress. Lady Saffran says the man was pious, but was that an act? Did he have a mistress and is this a motivation for his death? Who can say, but I do plan on asking the Baroness if she had ever heard of him taking a mistress."

"I would thank the One fasting if the Giraldi were behind this," Aidric says with a certitude. "But what sense would that make? Kill the man protesting their rise when that rise is already secure? No, even kin of Darren Haldis wouldn't be that stupid, sadly. As to the Moreno we both know what they are and I hear tell that it was a Abara who swung the blade and if that's true then it wasn't at the behest of any Moreno," he says before pausing to give the mistress angle any though. "In truth I have not heard one way or the other. Though given the man was killed in his own study it would make sense someone close to him had a hand in the killing. Shall I probe for a mistress here in the city while you speak to the widow?"

"Was he killed in his study?" Tristan asks, raising a brow. "Interesting, I had not known that. Well then, yes, I think that might be a good line of inquiry. If it is someone close to him, having knowledge of the manse and providing those details to the assassin would make sense."

He goes silent for several moments, considering the other information that his cousin has provided. "An Abara. Well, I did tell Her Majesty that the family should be rooted out and dealt with and a part of me suspected as much. Are you sure it was an Abara? Yes, you are right that the Moreno's would have no dealings with that family, but I want to make sure it was an Abara."

"That is what I heard. Had his throat slit in his own study, it was a rented manse however with some rented servants to help run it. We may do well to round them up and see if any of them have vanished in the last little bit too. If you can pass on the orders to the Guard I can see to it while looking for the mistress."

The bit about the Abara gets a nod. "And I support you in that, while they did not do the harm to me as they did you I have no love for that house of killers," he assures him. "I have no proof only rumours told by disreputable people, but, given their past crimes do you think that might be enough to urge the queen to move against them and remove them from the board if nothing else."

"Actually, perhaps we can let Stephen handle the rounding up of the servants." Tristan says, considering. Yes, the Greycen would be good at such a thing, after all he was a Warden. Sure, he could work with guards to see it done, but it would give the man something to do.

Tristan lets out a long sigh, "No. Without firm evidence the Queen will not allow me to move against them. Not yet anyway. I dare not risk her displeasure in such an act either. I believe that Rivana can operate well enough with two Syndicate families rather than one, but perhaps one day I can make that dream a reality." He finally reaches for his goblet and takes another long sip. Perhaps to get the tase of the name Abara out of his mouth.

"In any case…" He begins, setting the goblet back onto the table, "… I think we have a good start. I will see to about having the servants rounded up and questioned by Lord Stephen, and you can look into this business about the mistress. I will go question the Baroness and see what other clues might be obtained."

His eyes glint slightly, Tristan seems amused by something all of a sudden. "You seem rather interested in this bit of intrigue, my friend. I will admit that it does break up the normal monotony that my life was heading towards, but I never thought you had much interest in these sorts of matters."

Aidric gives a shrug when the matter of the servants is handed over to Stephen. "He should manage that well enough," he says before taking a sip of wine when he lowers the cup he frowns at the news of the Queen's reluctance to move against the Abara. "Proof," he snorts. "As if she needs it, they're murders and her word on that would be good enough for the people. She should make use of that trust before they get to know her better."

The last question earns a faint smirk as Aidric sits back "To keep myself useful to the Queen. Now that the Thorns have been plucked I don't have a purpose here. So, I do what I can and hope that one day her Majesty will have cause to remembers the battles I fought and won for her in the late uprising and give me a position or One willing some lands and not leave me to scramble for scraps from her table with the rest of her courtly lapdogs." The words ring true even if it is not the entire story.

"Oh, I think we all realize who and what they are." Tristan shifts in his seat slightly. "The problem is, what have they done recently that would warrant such an action? I can see her point because I completely realize that my own feelings on the subject are rather tainted by the fact that I have been told they were responsible for my father's death." He says it very matter-of-factly, as he does indeed realize that is probably one reason why Alysande was not quite on board with his plans.

Tristan simply stares at Aidric for several long moments before he shakes his head. "Bloody hell. I almost forgot you had an older brother, you know that?" That fact alone being the difference in Aidric not being the heir for House Carling. "The One damn it all, look how all of this has turned out. Symon is the One-damned Duke and I am a One-damned Prince." He nearly bursts out laughing at that, but manages to contain himself.

"You know, you are a Viscount's son. I am sure you could simply wed some heiress and get a position the old fashioned way." He smiles, but then quickly lifts a hand. "I only jest. There are certainly opportunities for the taking, lands for the taking even. I will put in a good word for you when and where I can, if you wish, but I can also understand wanting to do something on your own." Even if it's not immediately obvious by some of his own actions over the past few years.

"I have been thinking on the future recently. My own and that of the realm. I think there are changes that Rivana will require in order to be more firm and more stable, but I do not think they will be easy or quick. If you are willing, there are a number of things that I would be glad to have a helping hand with."

"I could speak to the Queen on the matter of the Abara, they are, regrettably my former allies, maybe my words would hold more weight when it comes to their condemnation?" he suggests. "As to recent causes for their demise, if this murder of the baron comes out to be some mistress or some servant the baron slapped around one time too many I suggest we might as well lay it at the Abara's feet anyhow. Or would that be too dishonest for the Rose Queen?"

The bit about his position is met with a sour look. "I can understand overlooking Kennon, I do it all the time, but yes sadly he is my older brother and the heir to Holymount. And I am very much aware you are a prince and Symon is a duke, and me, well I am exactly what I was back in Falconhome, with nothing to show for the last twelve years," he says as calmly as he can but his hand is wrapped tight around his cup. He drinks and the hand loosens with every gulp until he sets it down again, empty. "Anyhow, I will make my own way but if you could remind the Queen of the many services I have done her in this last year when I could have sat safe on my arse in Pacitta, I would appreciate it, coz."

Brooding and playing with his empty cup Aidric asks "What changes?"

Seeing the man play with the empty goblet, Tristan leans forward and partially refills it. Leaning back, he smiles slightly. "I am not disagreement with you, and I have even had the thought if you must know. Their days are numbered in any case, we cannot continue forward with their type of activities, or at least the one that results in the murder of the nobility for coin. After all, with the rise of power and prestige in the merchant class, how long will it be before they are the ones purchasing the services of these assassins to deal with nobles that are in the way of their profits?"

"I will do what I can, though I cannot promise anything." He does frown though, considering what Aidric has said. "There are a few ideas I have had regarding one of the possible holdings, particularly Sunfall, but we can discuss that another time. As to what I was referencing earlier, well, one of these changes is a far more organized network of people to operate within Rivana and the other nations surrounding us, particularly Sanctum." Especially given the actions of a particular Cardinal.

"In effect, I suppose you could call it a broad network of eyes and ears for the throne of Rivana. This is also one reason as to why I wish to remove the Abara from our realm. If I could gain control over their network of brothels, it would be quite a coup for what we could gain in terms of intelligence.

"Ugh, merchants murdering nobles for profit that's an unsettling thought," Aidric says before holding up his cup in thanks for the wine and taking a sip. "Well as long as they are removed I can afford to be patient and as to the other matter, we shall definitely have to discuss these ideas of yours, especially pertaining to Sunfall," he says as the cup is set down for the moment as he listens and at the end he nods. "I had not considered the Abara brothel network, that could be useful and I agree we need more eyes and ears especially if this peace is to be the new way of things between Rivana and Couviere we'll need information to make it turn in our favour. What can I do to help?"

A slight grimace and a nod and Tristan says, "Yes, it is a rather unpleasant thought. Granted, it would likely be a stupid course of action, but then again there are reasons that exist in this world that cause men to do stupid things." He reaches forward and drains the rest of his goblet. "Indeed, the brothels would be useful for such a thing, especially those in major cities where people from the north would come to conduct business, but I am getting ahead of myself. For now I am working on starting a project to get something started. The beginnings of this project will be outlined in a letter that I gave Her Majesty last night. I admit that what I am attempting to do is a more long-term goal though."

"You see there are resources in this nation that can be utilized for future endeavors. Orphans from our recent trouble, children who have little to turn to and require food and shelter. In exchange for this, and an education, I can have them go out into the world as clerks, or clergy, or an assortment of other professions. I think one flaw in this particular plan is a portion of the population that is more artistic in nature. It is hard to just train anyone to be a bard or a courtesan without getting them into specific training. I may very well do that, but for now these are the people who tend to get around the most and hear the most, and I simply do not have enough time to interact with them myself."

"True, without people doing stupid and unreasonable things the Queen would have less use for men like ourselves," Aidric says with bit of a smile before he settles back to consider the rest. The notion about musicians and artists causes Aidric's brows to raise and gears to turn. "You must be reading my mind I had a similar notion about singers and artists but it did not include the orphans," he says. "Leave it to me and when the orphans are ready we will have singers to train them in all the aspects of the work we wish them to do," he says. "Though if you could convince cousin Clara to consent to meet with a few of these singers it would help with recruitment, she's become quite popular with that sort since she has been given a wedding to plan."

"Hrm, yes, Clara would be a good contact person for some of these people given her recent activities. That is a thought that I myself had not had." He gives Aidric an appreciative nod and smiles. "It would be useful to have some trained as singers, artists or even courtesans, but I do think clerks and clergy offer up their own possibilities, especially if a number of them can be secreted into Pacitta or Sanctum. It is something that I must give more thought to for the future, of course, but I would value any input that you have."

Tristan again offers his cousin a smile. "For now though, I think we have a good starting point. I will send a message to Stephen regarding the servants, and I should probably start making preparations to travel to the Grimwood to meet with the Baroness. If you would like we can meet again in several days time to exchange information, perhaps even bring Stephen into the conversation."

He looks as if he is about to stand up, but stops himself. "In the future I think we can talk about a number of other possibilities, but I feel like I should at least share one thing with you." There is a pause, one that seems to feel a good deal longer than it actually is. "I have gone ahead and told Her Majesty that I am ready to get married." He lets that sink in.

Aidric returns the smile and nods "Well we all have our areas of specialty," he says. "And you're right about the clerks and clergy they would be good to have. Especially the clerks, who remembers clerks? Yet, we give them so much information. Anyhow I am sure is an in into those groups can be found, give me some time to think on how best to approach it. Something to discuss at our next meeting, and I have no objections about Stephen joining us."

When Tristan moves to stand Aidric downs his wine only to sputter at the news. He swallows down the wine hard and fast before he chokes on it, when he can speak he asks "You told her you're ready to be married. Why ever for?"

Tristan nods in agreement with Aidric's assessment regarding clerks having a rather low profile compared to most. "Excellent, I will plan for that then." He then watches Aidric respond to his comment and almost laughs. "I see that you are reacting in a fashion that I expect most of Rivana will react once a betrothal has been arranged. As to why?" He gives a slight shrug. "I am nearly twenty-six now, and I have had years of… fun, but perhaps there comes a time to be more responsible."

Aidric takes a moment to consider Tristan's answer "Well I cannot say I do not understand where you're coming from I get those pangs from time to time, then I remember my mother of my child and all that came of that and I am cured," he says with a sardonic twist of his lips. "Anyhow, at least it ought to take some time to find a bride for a prince, so you're not doomed yet."

Tristan laughs and nods, "Yes, still some time to indulge myself." He finally stands up and then puts a hand on Aidric's shoulder. "I look forward to hearing what you find out, and I will let you know more about some of what I have been thinking on regarding the future of Rivana, my friend. If you need anything while I am away, or if I am unavailable, leave me a message and I will do whatever I can to help."

Aidric stands when Tristan's hand is removed from his shoulder. "You do," he says. "Though for what it's worth I hope your cousin finds you a good match." He nods then and says. "I will, coz. Anyhow I'll leave you to your preparations but good journeys and we'll speak on your return."

He gives a slight laugh and a nod, "Oh I am sure it will be a good match politically, as I have every confidence in the political ability of my cousin, I simply hope that the girl is nice to look at and has a sharp mind, nonetheless, my thanks and I shall speak with you soon, cousin." He sees Aidric out and then prepares to go meet with a pleasant old lady.

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