(1866-09-27) A Discussion on the Election
A Discussion on the Election
Summary: Aidric and Thad talk about the election.
Date: 1866-09-27
Related: None
Aidric  Thaddeus  

See set.

The clang of steel on steel rings through the courtyard of the Greycen manse and Aidric curses as he is driven back by Thaddeus' assault. With it being the day after the tourney banquet, one might forgive Sir Aidric for being a little slow, but at least he was not at home under the covers nursing a hangover and trying in vain to remember the name of his bedmate. "Damn, now I see why you were able to best my uncle," he grits out as he locks up their blades between them. It was a bad choice. Tall Aidric may be but Thaddeus had more mass and that made this move a losing proposition.

Thaddeus grins as Aidric lets the swords lock. "It was harder than it sounds, he had Sidhe steel." Thaddeus uses his moment to drop his center of gravity and drive forward; his intention being to knock Aidric to the ground. "But I had my poleaxe for that fight, and it saved my life." The Greycen frowns and continues trying to knock over the Carling knight.

"Good thing too," Aidric says of the poleaxe saving Thad's life. Yes, that was almost pleasant, deal with it. He feels Thad's weight shift and tries to keep up, but is too slow. The courtyard tilts in his vision and then he hits the cobbles with a thud. "Bloody black abyss!" he curses his body stinging from the landing. "Knew I was in trouble when you got in close," he says as he holds up his hand in a gesture of surrender. He sits up then, sword left on the stones for the moment. "Good fight," he offers grudgingly with a glance up at Thad eying the other man for the slightest signs of gloating.

Thad nods and is barely able to keep his balance and settles himself. "You all right?" he asks as he extends a hand to help Aidric up, "But yes, once you get inside the guard, the low man can win with leverage." He wipes the sweat from his brow, "Indeed a good fight. You put up a good resistance, just do not let anyone get inside your guard next time."

Aidric grips the hand with his own and lets himself be helped to his feet. He gives a curt nod to Thad then. "Noted, and I'll be fine," he says as he pats the back of his head to make sure he's not bleeding. He wasn't, but then he'd taken worse falls in the tourney. He bends to pick up his sword and when he has it he tucks it under his arm. "Anyhow, must have been quite the fight between you and Ranulf. Sorry I missed it."

"Good," Thaddeus notes, "I'd rather you be healthy. We'll need your sword arm if we want to secure the circuit championship." He winces a little at the note of the fight with Ranulf, "Indeed it was." The Greycen frowns, "I am sorry that what I did caused harm to your family, but it had to be done." He gestures for the watered wine to be brought, "Chieftain's Right is a fearsome blade, and your uncle was a most capable user of it. Fortunately, I was able to win out, though my poleaxe was ruined."

Aidric turns a perplexed glance at Thad when he mentions the championship. "And my blade will help that how? I am a middling competitor at best. It's you and perhaps Sir Graham who stand any chance of bringing that honour back to Rivana." There is a touch of dismay in his tone, as though it bothers him he is not the knight he could be. He quickly silences it though and dismisses Thad's apology with a shrug. "You did my family good by my measure. Ranulf was a rabid dog, needing to be put down," he claps the other man on the shoulder then. "Think no more of it. At least where I am concerned." He nods then, "And what happened to the Right anyhow?" he asks, the question not occurring to him until now.

"Very simple, Lord Michael holds a substantial lead. One of the few things we can do is to ensure that he does not do well in the free for all. We also will need to work hard to beat him in the bracketed jousts and the duels. If he is defeated early then there is hope." Thaddeus remarks and then nods to Aidric, "I believe the Queen kept the sword and is likely holding it in trust. I would credit Symon's loyalty for the reason that he still has a duchy and the sword hasn't been gifted elsewhere." Thad takes a cup from the approaching servant, "Well, I do not believe your father will see it that way, since by the way you talk the two of you are like oil and water. I am also concerned about Symon's opinion. Between the two of them, they could hold the balance of power in the archducal election."

"Ah, well then count me in for that," Aidric says as he too helps himself to a much needed drink. He sets aside his sword first though. "Anything to discomfit the corpses," he says using the old epithet for stiff solemn Couviere.

"My father, yes, he'll hold a grudge to be sure, but how close is it? Don't tell me it will be my father with the deciding vote. I couldn't live in a world that unjust," Aidric remarks looking to Thad for that answer.

Thaddeus ponders for a moment and holds his cup as he does the math in his head. "Assuming that your cousin does not seek the archducal title, then We can assume that Seaguard and Eastfield's votes will go to their respective duchess or duke. So that puts them at three a-piece." He then continues with, "I believe that the Cassomir vote will go with my mother, leaving only a difference of one and with three votes left uncounted in Normont."

Aidric chews on his thumbnail as he considers those numbers. "Entirely too close," he says. He lowers his hand again. "Then it seems we need to do two things to secure your mother's election. First, win over Symon and as a bit of insurance, we need to see that the Queen's spare county goes to an ally."

"Indeed," Thaddeus remarks and sets the practice blade aside. "The best plan for dealing with teh county would be to raise the Sandovals. They are the senior-most nobles in that county as barons and would make the most sensible choice to move up with minimal mess, and have the Rinez take their place as barons, leaving two open lordships, which are easier to hand out without causing problems, as handing over a county would." The bit about Symon gets a raised brow, "Do you have any ideas as to how to secure that? I am certainly intrigued, though the fact that I am not running for archduke in this election helps a little bit, perhaps?"

"They are the best choice," Aidric agrees of the Sandovals. "Though if they get the county I may come to regret bedding the baron's nieces," he says, having the grace to be at little abashed by that admission. It quickly passes and he carries on, "That aside, you're right they'd be the least messy choice, though, One above I wish I could pry Tristan from the Queen's grasp and put him there. He'd make a much better count."

"Indeed," Thaddeus ponders and laughs at the bit about the baron's nieces. "But I doubt that a prince will be granted it, it would not set a good precedent, especially since it comes with the baggage of the election itself. Tristan would make a fine count, and if the Queen wishes to do so, she has that authority, I just do not see it happening for the aforementioned reason."

"No, it won't happen. She needs to keep Tristan in the line of succession. A shame though," he says before sighing and sipping wine. "It has to be the Sandovals then, and winning over Symon. I've spoken well of you to him, but I think the two of you will need to meet." He shifts his gaze to Thaddeus then, weighing the man's reaction to that.

"Agreed, too few Romantes as it is," Thaddeus nods in agreement, "Technically others could make a case for promotion, but I believe it is in the best interests of the realm that as little disruption as possible occurs." He blinks at the mention of a meeting, "Do you think he would be willing to meet with me? I am guessing that it will not be a simple me showing up to the Gerrell manse, as that would be too obvious and hamfisted."

"Though most of those who could make a case for promotion come from houses already well rewarded, such as your own and the Cassomirs. More's the pity some good names on that list as well," Aidric says, before giving the whole matter a negligent rise of his shoulder. "Anyhow, it's clear then, the Sandovals are the least of the evils to choose from," he resolves pragmatically before having a bit more wine and nodding. "A social gathering would be good. Do you hawk? I know Symon has been itching to get out of the city for a time. It could be a good opportunity."

"Indeed, I can certainly understand that sentiment. I'd rather not have people hate me for my house being given too much preference. I grant the Queen is in a difficult place for such things, wanting to reward loyal followers, but try to maintain a balance in the realm." Thad nods, "Yes, I do hawk, though I did not bring my bird from Sunsreach, though that is but a feygate away." He ponders, "It would work, and at the very least it provides little in the way of witnesses to allow for a frank conversation."

"You're the most powerful house in the kingdom after the Tracanos, trust me Thad, you are already hated by someone," he gives his friend a brotherly nudge with his elbow at that bit of news before he moves on to other business. "Then I'll arrange some hawking, it will give us the privacy you mentioned, plus if there's offense taken by either party they can just ride away." He nods, liking this plan all the more now that it's virtues have been enumerated. "Send for your bird, I'll arrange the rest."

"Ha!" Thad laughs and nods, "To a degree we are, though we certainly paid for it. And we certainly have our opponents, both old and new. But the best we can hope for. I will send for my bird, or at the very least a bird. No doubt Symon can procure a fine bird to use."

"Well if what they say is true about power breeding enemies, then your house will have its share. Though I am sure you will deal with them in due time." There is a smile sent Thaddeus' direction when it's suggested Symon could 'acquire a bird'. "Symon's bird is already here. He takes the beast everywhere. One of the Gerrell greathawks, fine bird, but I swear he loves that thing better than he loves people. Anyhow, regardless, Symon will be ready to hunt."

"There are few more factual statements," Thaddeus remarks, "I am not terribly surprised. Normont has arguably the best hawks in the realm." He does raise one finger after this, "Is there any advice you would give me on speaking to him. I intend on opening with a qualified apology, it is not exactly easy to bridge that gap, though it does seem that his sister does not outright hate me."

There is a lift of Aidric's head in agreement about power and the quality of the Gerrell hawks. When it comes to speaking with Symon, Aidric listens to what Thad has to say and seems to agree with it, saying, "An honest apology would work. He will likely accept it and be more than happy to move on to business after that."

"Fully understandable. The realm must go on. I do not expect him to call me friend, but I do think that we can work together." Thaddeus frowns, "And I think we could both agree that my mother is the best candidate for the job."

"You'll have no argument from me on that score," Aidric says of the Lioness being the best choice for the Archducal title. "The trick will be getting Symon's vassals to agree. For them Darren Haldis is the more familiar choice than a 'godless southerner'," he says.

Thad grumbles, "We have followed the One for ages." He sighs, "but that is a fact that certainly will not change their minds. It will come down to careful negotiation. Plenty of ways to try and smooth things over, though I wish it was just a simple observation of clear talent."

"It won't," Aidric assures Thad with a sardonic tone. "Talk to Ned, his family has worshiped the One exclusively since they came to Normont, they still hear accusations of being godless." He smiles then, "My people never claimed to make sense. Anyhow, Symon is the key, get him on your side and together you can win over my father and Viscount Bayard." He drinks down his wine then and picks up his sword once the cup has been set aside. "For now though, another round?"

"Well, at least the people of Normont are consistent, though you think with him being a Paladin they would give him some slack," Thad nods and finishes his cup, "Indeed, I will do what I can. But if you wished to be thrown down again, then so be it." With that, he picks up his training sword and sets the cup aside.

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