(1866-10-05) Support of the Fiscal Kind
Support of the Fiscal Kind
Summary: Elrick talks to Michael about the state of Hartswood and has a favor to ask as well
Date: 1866-10-05
Related: Any logs concerning the state of Hartswood
Elrick  Michael  

Stag Keep, Hartswood
Room description
Octobre 5th, 1866

After the tour of the changes that have been made in Hart's Home and Stag Keep has been completed, Elrick returns to the keep itself with Michael and their accompanied guards, "As you an see, Cousin, all those that were guilty have been punished accordingly. The guard has been changed, Lady Sir Valerie is a talented knight and has seen fit to place many of the veterans from the northern wars as replacements." As if to give a concluding statement of what they have seen, and end of the tour. The t'Tremaine Heir would lead his future liege to the main room where seats and refreshments are awaiting them.

Michael is led quite willingly about on the tour. He is curious to see how much things have changed since their last visit and by his expression at the end he seems satisfied. "Good to see the matters are settled and the guilty have been punished. My father will be pleased to hear it. The men look better led as well, but what of the people? Now that justice has been done, has there been any further disturbances?"

Moving to the table where the wine and cups sit, Elrick begins to pour two, one for himself and one for Michael, as he answers the question, "None that I have heard since I've returned from Pacitta. It appears that the people were… hopeful, after seeing those that use to be in charge here punished to the full extend. That instead of having their concerns swept aside, we actually dug deeper and crushed the root of the problem." There is a pause as the pouring is completed and the t'Tremaine Heir brings the drinks over, offering one to his cousin, "But there was… an issue, one I was trying to tackle with my father before I left for Pacitta. Actually one of the reasons why I invited you here."

Michael suspected there might be a reason like the one Elrick hinted at for this invitation. Still, after the crowds and smell of Pacitta, he was glad of the escape all the same. "Oh? What issue is that?" he asks as he takes a seat and takes the offered wine cup.

Taking his own seat at an adjacent seat of Michael, separated by a small table where they may rest their cups if needed, Elrick leans back in his seat, glad to rest his legs. "An issue that I would not be coming to you, if I had not thought… a serious matter." The wording is chosen carefully, not only to ease the bitter news but no doubt to assauge the t'Tremaine's own pride, no doubt something that runs in the blood, at least for the men. "I had taken a good amount of time after the matters with the traitors were dealt with to review my House's current state… and what I found was a bit concerning. Which I am sure would not be a surprise to you, cousin. With the war in the north and then returning to find a snake in the nest, we have been dealt a blow though you would most definitely not hear me admit it in public."

Michael nods putting on his 'lordly face' now, grave and serious. The t'Tremaine pride is something he has become well aware of and so he wishes to give no mistaken impression that he takes this as anything less than serious. "Cousin, let me assure you no one will hear of this from me if that is what you wish, but tell me: what further blows have these villains struck?"

"It is not more blows they have struck… but the effects of the blows that are being felt." Elrick answers in turn, first to ensure Michael that there aren't more bandits on the loose or another tangible invader plaguing the lands. "The damned traitors and their actions have cost my House considerable coin, funneling them to their own selfish gains instead of this House and its people. They were honorless thieves, and that is the blow I speak of." There is another pause so that the young heir can take a long sip from his wine to not only organize his words but also to calm the anger that threatens to build just thinking of Eustace and Osmund. "As I have mentioned, I spent considerable time reviewing my House's finances, and even more to see if I can find a solution. First, we will survive, we are a strong House and we will not bend knee just because of thieves and barbarians. But to grow stronger to benefit not just ourselves, but your Lord Father and also our kingdom… I'm afraid to say we may need assistance, cousin. I understand we are already indebted in coin to your House, which is why it pains me to even broach this subject." And knowing Elrick, he would have done so at the cost of his own pride and that of his House unless he knew it was dire.

Michael frown deepens as he digests Elrick's news. While he was glad there were no new threats, when would the damage from the old ones subside? "Bloody abyss," he sighs and looks to Elrick. "We killed those whoresons too quickly. They should have suffered longer." There is a dark glint in his eye and he takes a sip of wine to quench the heat of his anger so he could get down to the crowns and stars of the matter. "Know that we'll always do what we can to help you. The wounds your house took in the war was done for the good of all of Murnord, and it is not a debt that we will forget," he says framing the assistance in a way he hopes will sooth that t'Tremaine pride. "Anyhow I know you would not ask if it was not important, so tell me, what do you need?"

One thing that Elrick is most glad for is how understanding Michael is, to their situation and what he is asking for. But he still must play the political part of the noble, one that is humble when asking for help but also one that is not a beggar, "First, what I would need is to ask for your forgiveness, and that of your Father's. For not having repaid the initial loan as of yet and now asking for more, cousin. It is a bitter cup of tea to have to swallow." Then he continues with what his House actually needs, "As for what we will need to strengthen our House for the future? Namely, coin." To soften the request, he adds some humor into the request, "Unless, cousin, you are able to find a way for me to marry your wife's twin. Or have a Princess from a wealthy kingdom tucked away somewhere…" The good natured grin appears before it is hidden away by his cup of wine, another long sip.

Michael allows himself a smile at the jokes. "Well there is cousin Clara," he jokes in return. After all she's a first cousin to them both, though incredibly wealthy. He settles back into the chair. "Anyhow there is no need for you to apologize. I know it is not your fault," though the implications are plain as to who he does blame. "Anyhow, any further loans would need to go through my father, but you can count on him not asking for what we've loaned so far back right away, but how much more are we talking? I've a pretty good idea of what we have to draw on and so at the very least I should know if we have the coin for it."

Nodding his head understandingly, Elrick no doubt expected this to have to go to the Duke for it to be official, "I fully understand, Cousin. But I was able to convince my Lord Father to speak to you first. He has a mind to ask for another loan… elsewhere." And from the sound of it, the young heir does not like that idea one bit. As for the amount? A number is spoken, enough to cover the t'Mollari debt, the t'Rannis debt, and a little bit more to be able to invest into the land itself like hiring laborers. A pause is offered after the figure was given, knowing it could be a rather large number, but the heir's thought is that it is better to ask for a large portion first and cut back, not the other way around. Elrick does continue, explaining his reasoning, "This would cover our other debts which I am currently focusing on getting rid of, and a bit more to invest into the lands. Mainly to increase the lumber yield as that particular trade was disrupted during the uprising. I also have the figures all laid out on paper if needed."

"Another source?" Michael asks, blinking. "I hope to the One you mean the l'Valdan." He can think of no one else who could front that sort of coin and not cause yet more trouble fro the beleaguered t'Tremaine. He somehow doubts that is the case though. The estimate, is met with a bit more reserve. "That will be tough with the war, we've made a good many commitments to our northern lords to help them rebuild, the Templars as well." He says sitting back and doing the math in his head. He sits forward again. "I have some notions about how the money could be raised though, so I shall bring the matter to my father. As to the marriage notion, did you speak to Nadine at all? I know the addition of coin might make your father balk entirely, but any sources of income could help."

At his cousin's hopeful statement, Elrick can only shake his head in disappointment, his father would never go to the King for aid as it would shame them greatly. The same shake of head is given at the mention of Nadine, "I have mentioned Nadine to him but my Father wishes me to wed a Princess or a Duke's daughter. He only wants the best for me but at this rate, I would be better off being a Paladin or a Gatefinder even." A soft sigh is released at the thought as the t'Tremaine finishes off his cup of wine, "But any assistance you can lend to convince your Lord Father would be much appreciated, Cousin. I never thought I would have to do this but… I must face the realities and challenges head on. Fleeing is not an option in this battle."

Michael's brows raise when Elrick shakes his head. "Who then?" he asks. "The l'Faust?" that was his next best hope. He sits back, "No insult to you coz, but I don't think your father will be successful in finding a princess or the daughter of a duke. If you wish I can brow beat him into accepting Nadine, but, that's a card perhaps best left in our hand for now," he sighs "One above," and shakes his head.

"True, you're back's to the wall here there is no retreating. Though this investment in timber. You've done the numbers it will help the house get back on its feet?" he asks.

"The t'Mollari." Elrick says with a bit of distaste in his mouth, shaking his head slightly, "It appears that Baron t'Mollari plied my Father with honeyed words and gold in the years I was away trying to make a name for myself and my House. But what is done cannot be undone, I was at least able to convince my Father not to return to them and look for solutions elsewhere, which is why we are having this talk." As for his prospects of marrying a Princess or the daughter of a Duke, the t'Tremaine Heir can only smirk in amusement, "None taken, Cousin, because I know the chances of that as well. As for the prospect for marriage, it will be the last resort. As that is a step that cannot be undone or paid off."

When Michael asks about lumber, Elrick nods his head in confidence, "Yes, one of the projects that will help this House not only now but in the long term. Trees is something we have an overabundance of, we just need the coin to hire men to cut them down. I've also convince my Father to allow more hunting permits, which should bring in coin as well as people to these lands. Which more taxes on revenue." Then the heir's eyes narrow slightly, "When I have my House's debt under control and moving in the right direction, I can refocus on trying to track down where all that gold went. Who's pocket it funneled into outside of the House and track them down. If I can find that, then we can repay any debts owed your House faster."

"Ah, them," Michael says when the t'Mollari are named. "Not as bad as some just don't accept any marriage contracts. Do you know the old tale between them and the t'Gercarre?" he moves on through to the marriages "Glad you at least have reasonable expectations where marriages are concerned, but I take it your father refuses to see reason?" he asks.

Michael sips his wine as he considers the financial prospects. "If you've numbers for the timber income, I'd like to have a look. I know that demand has increased since the troubles here, if they look good, I'll sign over enough funds to get things started on my own authority. Plus more timber will make the rebuilding in the north go easier."

There is a slight look of relief on Elrick when Michael mentions that the t'Mollari aren't as bad as some, which means they aren't sitting in a shark's mouth with its jaws getting ready to close. But at the mention of not signing any marriage contracts, the familiar smirk returns, "I have not, but I am sure the tale is one to be heard. No doubt told over ale in a tavern one night?" As for his father seeing reason to marriage, another shake of head, "And I'm not pushing him too hard, to do that would just cause him to dig his heels in deeper. Plus, I want to make sure any arrangements is most beneficial to my House… I just pray that my future wife is at least as pretty as Nadine is." At the mention of the documents that he has drafted and used for calculations, Elrick quickly nods his head, "Of course, I have them in my study. As well as the options I've explored as well."

"I will tell you about it sometime," Michael confirms. "Or ask any t'Gercarre, they'll tell you all about it," he shakes his head suggesting that way might lead to a looong telling. He nods, "I figured he would, dig his heels in, I mean, and yes so best to leave that alone, but yes, I hope whomever you wed is pretty. Though it will be hard to match Nadine." He moves on from that to the papers. "Send them to my room if you could. I'll review them tonight and if things look sound," a pause. "Not that I don't trust your judgment, but it will be me answering to my father for that coin," he says as an aside, "I can write the letter of credit for the coin to get things started immediately."

Elrick has no doubt that the odds of his future prospects being like Nadine would be rather low, but it is something he rather not dwell on right now, nor anytime soon. "Of course, Cousin, I will have the papers and numbers all in order when they are delivered to you. If you have any questions about my numbers at any time, please send a runner. And I do mean anytime." At the mention of a letter of credit though, the heir can only bow his head appreciatively, "Thank you, not just from me but my House and the people of Hartswood."

Michael smiles. "Thank you," he says of the papers being sent to him. "And I'll be sure to send any questions to you." The thanks are waved off, "Come on, there's no need for that, I am glad to do it and it's good for the duchy besides, like I said, there is need for lumber," he says before smiling and downing his wine. "Anyhow, now that this dreary business is done, feel up to a ride? I've brought my new Alhazred, and I've been itching to give him a run."

Laughing, Elrick puts his empty cup on the small table between them and rises to his feet, "Of course, Coz, I'm eager to see it in action. I've heard great things about that breed and have yet to ride against once to see how they fare against your l'Corren breed. May be a bit too delicate for my taste though." It almost seems like a huge weight has been lifted off of the t'Tremaine heir's shoulder with the discussion of business at an end, with a positive outcome.

Michael grins, nearly ear to ear. "I've had a chance to see Gabriel's Alhazred in action, they are delicate, but damn are they fast, as we'll see," he says before he too puts down his cup and continues. "Though trained for battle or no, I plan to put this horse out to stud and see what Alhazred blood can add to l'Corren stock," he says. "Anyhow I can tell you more about that as we ride, also, about the talk I had with your sister Antonia in Pacitta, she's set her eyes upon a knighthood…"

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