(1866-09-28) A Discussion between (Almost) Peers
A Discussion Between (Almost) Peers
Summary: Thaddeus and Symon have a bit of a conversation.
Date: 1866-09-28
Related: anything regarding the Archducal election
Symon  Thaddeus  

Gerrell Manse - Pacitta City - Pacitta
See scene…

Duke Gerrell had responded to Thaddeus Greycen's request for a meeting actually quite quickly after receiving it: immediately, in fact. The letter from Aidric on behalf Greycen heir may have been polite and perhaps a touch formal, but Symon's reply was simple. He sent Thaddeus the following:

My manse. This afternoon, third bell. I hope you drink reds.
Symon, Duke of Normont

When Thaddeus arrives, he is greeted by a pair of Normont guardsmen and escorted into the formal sitting room. A bottle of wine and two glasses sit on the table, and the Duke lounges in a chair, almost dozing. The sound of the door opening jolts him awake, and he springs lithely to his feet. The young man looks tired, but determined.

"Lord Thaddeus," the young duke greets Eleanor's son, and he moves to the table and uncorks the bottle, pouring two glasses. "I understand you wished to speak with me? I thought sooner would be better than later, as I must needs leave for home quite soon, but I did not wish to ignore your request to speak."

Duke Symon Gerrell needs whatever allies he can manage, of late.

Thaddeus arrives post haste, no sense wasting time or offending the new duke. He has time to change into more formal clothing, and hastily makes his way to the Gerrell manse, escorted by his own guards that he leaves on the edge of the Gerrell manse's property. With a deep breath, Thad enters and nods to the duke after the greeting, "Your Grace," he says, "I thank you for this meeting. Though I understand the reasoning for the speed." He leaves it at that for now and takes up a cup. "I hope you have enjoyed the tourney thus far." Obligatory small talk, of course.

"It has been quite enjoyable," Symon replies. "A nice break from the running of my duchy, and rather entertaining. Not being a knight myself, of course, I spent my time observing the events— and, I'll admit, placing coin on one or two of them. Especially once the lists were made public: a gambler's dream, that was. Pity Rivana did not show better, but there's always the Sunsreach tourney in Decembre." He shrugs. "And, One willing, the Circuit will accept my bid for the tourney next year."

"Understandable, getting away from home for time to time is good for the mind and body," Thaddeus remarks. "I hope your wagers went well, and I do share in the wish for a Rivanan champion this year." He takes a sip from the cup, "I also understand the desire to have the tournament in your duchy, it will no doubt be heavily discussed at court." Fishing for support, this conversation is almost turning into a chess match.

Symon's eyes glint with amusement. Chess, eh? He casually makes his move. "Oh, undoubtably. Of course we will have to ressurrect our faegates, but that will be a small price to pay. I understand your mother is out of the running for… the Circuit, this year." But not other things.

"Yes, it would almost be necessary to have faegates to host a Circuit tournament, as you and I are both aware, travel acrossland can be a pain," Thaddeus remarks, "And yes, she has decided that it would not be fair to the other duchies if we were to host it." He rubs his chin, "I am sure that I can convey your thoughts on wanting to host a tournament if you wish."

"I am sure you could," Symon replies cheerily. "And perhaps, since we have never hosted, you might share with me some of the particulars of how it has gone for you most recently?"

"In the tournaments? I currently am second in the rankings, a long ways behind Lord Michael l'Corren, but with a tourney left there is always a chance." Thaddeus says and relaxes in his seat, "Otherwise it is fairly straightforward. Put on the best show you can and see that the visitors are treated well." He takes another sip from the cup.

"Of course, of course." Symon takes a hearty drink from his cup. "I can only hope we do well enough at both endeavors."

"Indeed," Thaddeus notes, not wanting to commit his house where he has no authority to. "No doubt, but it will be difficult road. I hope that reactivating your faegates will not be a huge problem."

"Only the one is buried," Symon replies. "The others are simply unused. I have already sent a request to the Church to reopen them as soon as possible, and a request for an excavation team from the Order of the Vigilant to help excavate the gate outside of Falconhome."

"Interesting. I hope the Church would be complient, for even for non-tournament purposes, a faegate's utility is never overrated." Thad thinks on it and says, "I lack the authority to commit my house, but I ensure you that your words will reach my mother." He takes a sip, "The gate was buried?"

"Yes," Symon says. "Buried generations ago by one of my entirely-too-pious ancestors. Apparently," he snorts, "dark, evil things come out of the gates at night to eat the souls of children, or somesuch nonsense. Such is the backwards thinking of my duchy, I'm afraid. But I intend to bring the duchy into the modern era, or die trying." He is earnest. "But let us speak of what hangs between us, I'm afraid. I have you to thank for my current position, I am to understand."

Thaddeus snorts at the thoughts of the earlier Gerrells. "I see." When the topic changes Thad's tone turns more grave. "I am sorry that what happened brought pain to you and your house, as you have done nothing wrong and did not support the rebellion. You proved faithful to the Queen, and for that I thank you greatly, but I do want you to know that I did not intend on causing a rift between us or our houses. I simply did what had to be done."

<FS3> Symon rolls Perception: Great Success. (7 6 1 6 4 7 3 1 1 7 4 8 5 4 1)
<FS3> Symon rolls Intrigue: Great Success. (5 4 4 4 2 7 1 1 6 2 1 7 6 8 3 7)

Symon regards Thaddeus over his cup, taking a long, slow sip of his wine. "I believe you," he replies after some silence. "But… unfortunately, many of my vassals had— well, have, a fondness for my late father. You did what you had to. And I have benefitted from it— I have no doubts as long as my father lived, so too would my mother. Ever was he her shield, you see."

He finishes his wine, and places the cup beside the bottle, folding his hands behind his back. "But as you see, this places me in a bit of a bind. I would like to have your support for the Circuit— and I am fairly sure I would get it over Duke Haldis, if for nothing more than your family's old feud. But even that is not enough of a concession for why you are likely really here," and he lifts a brow to Thaddeus. His eyes glint with usually-hidden brilliance. "You would like my vote, and as many of my vassals as I might manage, for your mother to become the new Archduchess."

Thaddeus listens quietly, just holding the half-filled cup. He does not flinch or show much reaction. "I would appreciate your family's support for such an endeavor. And I do understand your vassals' attachment to your parents." Thad takes a sip as he ponders, "What else is on your wish list for Normont? As I cannot make any agreements for my house, I can merely speculate and pass word onto my mother."

"Of course you would appreciate it," Symon replies. "You know I won't run for long, beyond a token showing to keep my vassals happy, and that means my vote has to go to your mother or Darren. Darren is younger, more vibrant, and more likely to try and win me over," he says bluntly, "and my votes." He sighs. "And he is more likely to garner the votes of my vassals. After all— his son didn't kill our former Duke, and his duchy is the one closest to our own."

"My wish list?" Symon chuckles. "It is a league long and at least that wide, and largely things that could not be helped by 'godless southerners'." He grimaces. "Do you have any thoughts on the matter?"

Thaddeus raises a brow at the note of 'godless southerners', "That always has amused me as well." He thinks and taps on the chair as he thinks, "Well, you are unwed and that is something we could resolve. With the upcoming treaty, we are in a unique position as we can work to ensure that Pacitta can be bypassed as a trade bottleneck, with my house by sea and yours by land. With expanded trade agreements we can both prosper." The Greycen thinks a little more, "There is also the matter that if you want to host the tournament, and the fact that it requires more than our support to gain it. Infrastructure will need to be built to accomodate it better, and depending on when you want to host it, substantial resources will need to be in place, especially food. These are just my initial thoughts on the matter."

<FS3> Thaddeus rolls Political Lore: Good Success. (3 4 8 7 6 3 4 7 6)
<FS3> Thaddeus rolls Diplomacy: Good Success. (3 7 5 6 1 2 3 7 7 6)

Symon nods. "Expanded trade agreements could be fruitful," he agrees. "And assistance with building infrastructure— your engineers are some of the best in the kingdom, I believe— might be a good place to start."

Thaddeus also nods and says, "I am sure that such an agreement would be beneficial to both of our houses. I am also thinking that you wish for your vassals to be better acquainted with the outside world? If we are to prosper in trade, it would certainly be of use to have friends both within and without the duchy."

Symon nods, scratching the stubble on his chin. "As for marriage— well, not wanting to seem to snub you on that, as I most certainly am not, but…" a slight smirk tugs at his lips. "I had more reason than simply watching a tournament for my trip to Pacitta." He shrugs, looking pleased with himself. "I've some negotiation to do with Her Majesty, of course, but assuming she finds no cause to complain, there should be an announcement soon and a happier occasion soon thereafter." He offers up that tidbit freely enough, though it may serve him to do so.

<FS3> Thaddeus rolls Investigation: Failure. (4 4 3 5)

Thaddeus nods at the notion of marriage, "I take no offense, as seeking a match is your prerogative. If I may ask, to whom?" He relaxes in his seat, "And congratulations in advance." He gives a smile and raises his cup in a salute. "One thing that could prove useful is that the wedding could be a good time to try and impress the court. It would also be a useful time to work towards unity as a kingdom, and to try and heal any divisions."

Symon chuckles, refilling his glass. "You'll forgive me if I do not say— I'd like to not risk embarrassment if it in fact does not come to pass. But I will say she is beautiful and most certainly not the sort of woman my vassals would expect." He grins. "And I hope that she will make a fine partner in my plans, if nothing else." He lifts his glass in a small salute to Thaddeus, and sips. "Ah, well. I do hope so, though I shall have to wait a time until after Her Majesty's impressive ceremony. Following that too soon and one gets buried." He shrugs. "As it should be. I'm happy for her, of course."

Thad shakes his head, "I do not think it is unwise to keep it to yourself." He nods at the notion of not following the royal wedding too closely, "You would be correct in that endeavor. Any other event will be eclipsed by a royal wedding and a circuit tournament." Thad then smiles and says, "We both wish for a strengthened relationship between our duchies, correct?"

"That sounds like an excellent idea to me," Symon says. "Though there will be some… strain in it, I think. My vassals will not forgive nor forget what you've done any time soon, and I cannot be seen to do so either." He takes a sip of his wine. "So… politics, I'm afraid. What we both want will still take some time to achieve, and longer than either of us might like."

"Oh, I have no intention of rushing it, it would be like trying to send a ship of green wood out to sea," Thaddeus nods, "No, but I did do something that your vassals would appreciate, my wife is a devout follower of the One, and from a family that mandated that religion across its realm, and a mother from Sanctum itself and the Knight Captain of the Vigilant in Couviere, something that should carry some weight with your more moderate vassals."

"Your wife," Symon replies, "is not you, but point well taken." He rubs his chin. "Perhaps— assuming your mother, of course, is amenable— we might discuss the idea of Greycen engineers in assistance to help with infrastructure in advance of the tournament. And if your wife, at least, was visible with you on a visit to Normont…" he considers. "That might go a fair way to show that Seaguard can be a great ally to Normont." He grins. "Assuming the Circuit accepts my bid, of course."

<FS3> Thaddeus rolls Perception: Good Success. (1 2 3 6 1 4 8 3 8 1 4)

Thaddeus nods, "That is clear, but it does show that our house is aligned with one of the most devout houses in the Edge already, and deemed worthy by them." He smiles, "So in a way it is better that we are not the same person." Thad rubs his nose and says, "Assuming that this all can be agreed to and you land the circuit bid, I am sure that we can both be very good allies and can come to rely on each other?"

Symon considers. "I see no reason why we cannot work towards that goal," he says calmly. Not an outright agreement, of course. He's not that foolish.

Thad takes a sip, "Indeed, it would be to our mutual benefit." Well, that did not work, but it was worth trying. "I will be sure to speak with my mother on this and perhaps a great deal of good will come from it."

"Agreed," Symon replies. "Do send me a raven after you've spoken to your mother, and we can move forward from there."

Thaddeus nods, "That can be done, your grace. Is there anything else you wish from me?" He takes a drink from his cup.

"Not that I can think of, though admittedly, my thoughts are diverted somewhat by my need to return back home," Symon notes. "If I think of anything, though, I will send you a bird."

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