(1866-11-17) How a Knightly Engineer Plots
How a Knightly Engineer Plots
Summary: Justin meets up with his niece to discuss delicate matters.
Date: 2015-11-17
Related: Coming soon?
Eva  Justin  

Sunsreach Castle - Sunsreach - Rivana

The Interior of Sunsreach Castle is gorgeous, pristine and colored an earthly tone. These are regions that the sun has been allowed to touch, and the wood and stonework have faded with time but help give off a lovely glow. There is running water inside which help serve a series of gardens and numerous fountains about the area. A main guardhouse and barracks has been established for the soldiers, and the armory is setup next to a training area and stables for warhorses. A large arena has been setup for jousting and training, as well as a forge.

The castle is setup into three main blocks, with a large central area set off the main gatehouse which serves as the entrance to a grand garden with numerous fountains next to the main barracks. Staircases climb up the heavy, blockish walls to allow access to them as well as interior areas of the castle. High and joyous colors meet as one goes through the inner walls. This is a castle meant to enhance beauty as well as be ready for war. The central villa of the castle off the main gateway is the primary interior, where the administrative center of the kingdom is, as well as the throne room and storehouse.

The primary zones to the east is for living quarters for those who stay in the castle and help maintain them, as well as the inhabitants. Spanning up several stories, it is quite spacious with a network of intricately carved staircases and large central areas for those to gather.

The western zone is a work area, with a large central library and alcove, as well as a chapel for the One Faith within and a sanctuary. This area is also home to both the royal menagerie and the royal museum. The museum is a long vaulted building of two stories and vault below. The leaded glass fills the galleries with light and within various paintings and treasures of Rivana's past can be seen, including the bones of the last dragon. The menagerie, is a garden unto itself with pits holding a handful of rare creatures such as striped horses, lions, and other beasts.


Having had an early start, Eva shared breakfast with her family before going off on her own wanderings, one which had led her to the royal library. Finally, she has the chance to view the vastness of books kept within these walls. It is clear that the library is not as large, nor as impressive as their own back in Garfana, but while in Sunsreach, this will have to do and a foreign library will hold foreign texts as well, some of which may not have reached the shelves in Sealight's grand library. Eva hadn't even realized how long she had been here reading, for now, with it being later in the day, some might say that the young t'Acuto had wasted her entire day in the library, rather than exploring the countryside, perhaps, to see what beauty Sunsreach has to offer outside of the great city. Eva, however, considers it a mostly productive day, as it were. She had the chance to finish the book which she had started just the night before and begin on another.

"My Lady, I am here to arrest you for spending too long in the library, if you will please come with me." The stern voice of her uncle shifts to good-natured. But then he often made a similar joke to that when he caught her spending too many hours reading. Course he is one to read a good bit himself. With a broad smile Justin walks over to his niece and asks, "Anything we don't have access to as of yet?"

So enthralled in her reading, this is one of those rare moments where Eva isn't attentively watching the comings and goings of various courtiers and staffers alike. Rather than spending her time knowing where everyone was going, who they were meeting and what they would be up to, the young woman, instead, has her nose buried in a book, unaware that she would soon be interrupted. Thus, when an unfamiliar authoritative tone practically booms out at her, she releases a slight gasp, having been caught off guard. "Lord Uncle!" She uses a tone which he may be used to hearing, though usually one meant for her siblings, servants and sometimes friends; a scolding tone. "I dislike when you do that. I've grown so used to it back home in our own library, knowing full well that only father has the authority to actually remove me from that place, but here!" It takes a few moments for her to compose herself, feeling more than a bit ruffled as her posture straightens. "There are several many books here, many journals and the like, that we do not have a copy of. A few interesting Rivanan folktales of sorts as well. If time permits and permission is granted, I may see about having them copied for our own library at home." Turning her head and tilting it upwards so that she may look upon Justin directly, she then inquires, "I trust that your day was just as productive?"

Justin nods and says, "Productive enough, though I grew concerned when you didn't show up for our meeting. When I learned you were here I understood fully." a soft smile on his face. He might have enjoyed startling her, but he isn't going to make a big scene about it. It was good-natured after all and he likely couldn't resist.

Setting her book down finally, the title of which more than hints that it's some Rivanan romance literature, Eva only then remembers of their forgotten meeting. As sharp as her mind is, especially her memory, there are moments like this where she loses herself entirely to her reading. "I had set aside some time to meet with you, but it seems that I had lost all track of time. My apologies for keeping you waiting, dear uncle, and forcing you to come and look for me." With her fingertips still touching the cover of the tome, she shifts her position so that she is, at the very least, facing towards where her uncle lingers, "Aside from the task which you had requested of me just last night, is there anything else that I may assist you with?"

Justin nods and says, "There is. The Royal Engineer, Lord Sir Leighton t'Arx. I believe he gained the position by taking credit of some of my deeds. If you are able I would ask you to investigate the matter, and if you can find proof or evidence of my beliefs which could be used to bring this to light inform me of such." He then extends a sheet of parchment and says, "I have prepared this list. A faithful recount of my efforts in combat and in engineering during the recent wars. It should provide a guide in your investigations." Could her uncle actually be making a political play? Course he is a skilled engineer in his own right so he could potentially claim the position if he truly were the superior in skill and the current Royal Engineer did indeed get the position by political maneuvering and taking credit for the actions of others.

Eva looks as if she were expecting her uncle to present her with some other frivolous request, so when he presents her with documentation of all of his deeds, she looks at them with a level gaze, though she refrains from touching the parchment. "And why do you think that I would make the best investigator, dearest uncle?" She speaks with a light jest in her tone and only then does she reach a hand out to graze lithe fingers over the print on the paper, perhaps reading a single line or two in silence. "Once we are back in Rovilon, I could do some inquiring to learn more about all of this and this Sir Leighton t'Arx, but this is fairly different than the sort of scandals I tend to look into. Not that this wouldn't be a scandal in itself, if Sir Leighton were to be found out, of course."

Justin says, "If I am wrong then so be it, but if I am correct I will not have another gain position or influence on the actions of another, especially my own. As to why I come to you. I will be a bit direct. For all your pouty looks and the like you are a young woman with a keen mind and the right contacts in court. If anyone could discover the truth, and if I am right, you are the best chance of finding creditable proof of the misdeeds to be presented." in a calm, serious tone.
Pausing a moment he adds, "Our lands have suffered enough in the recent wars, the one best suited should be overseeing the reconstruction efforts. Yet what I remember of Sir t'Arx, his skills as an engineer are inferior to my own and he seemed more of a glory hog and one to put on a show of the task then actually doing it. I do not claim to be the best engineer in the kingdom, but I do believe I could do the job better then he could. As I said if it is true he gained the position based on the actions of another then the position to go to the one who actually accomplished the actions he was rewarded for do you agree?"

"You were not under his command at the time, Lord Uncle?" Eva inquires further now, her gaze sweeping over the rest of what Justin had written, so that she can store it all to memory. The young woman's eyes then lift from off the paper to view her uncle from across the way once he mentions her poutiness. "While I do not pretend to understand what are you getting at in regards to myself, you may be right and that I do have the resources to look further into this matter."

A soft smile touches her lips as Eva's attention returns to Justin's notes, "I believe that you could and will do a wonderful job in the position. It is unfortunate, however, if there is truth to any or all of this, that the t'Arx Lord would dare to steal the credit which you deserve. That is a slight against both yourself and our House." There is no anger in her own words, which come out in an even calm even if the topic at hand could very well be an infuriating one.

Justin nods and says, "Indeed it is. Even if I am wrong about my own deeds, if he has claimed those of another, it would equally be a mark to them, and something I am sure you could use to benefit our House if such is the case." in a calm tone. While not perfect Justin does have a reputation for being a knight who strives for the ideal of honor, yet also logical enough to know he will never meet the ideal but can still strive to. Some might find such things silly where others might view it as something to be admired.

"I would assume you had worked closely enough with Sir Leighton for you both were doing engineering work together." Eva begins, her eyes remain lifted as she gauges her uncle's every expression when he answers her questions. "What sort of man do you recall him to be? Was he well-liked among the rest of the engineering crew?" Taking the letter in hand now, she continues with, "These are similar questions that I shall be inquiring of others with, but I do want to get a better sense of who this Sir Leighton truly is. I honestly do hope to uncover something unseemly in all of this. Whether you become the next Royal Engineer or not, you will be known as the one to have uncovered a corrupt little snake."

Justin nods and says, "I confess I could be wrong, but what I know of the man he doesn't seem skilled enough or competent enough to have truly earned the position by his own merits. Like myself he's fought in a few battles to no true acclaim, but that has minimal bearing on being an engineer. I would say he is a mediocre engineer at best, which is why his position surprises me. He strikes me very much as a schemer and we did work together on a few projects from the King himself after the war. Due to his sub-par skills, his scheming nature, and I believe he gained the position through political means not for true skill or efforts as is typical of such positions, this is why I question if he did not claim the actions of others as his own. Whether mine specifically or not. As you can see I also included a list of those I worked with along side him, along with who was in charge of each project. This should provide you with others to question and possible witnesses of who performed the actual acts that got Sir t'Arx his position if my doubts prove correct. Beyond our family's honor, we could be at war again at any time, with the barbarians if nothing else. We cannot afford to have the structural integrity of our fortifications in doubt during such times and I truly doubt Sir t'Arx is competent enough to the task to know a properly built or repaired fortification compared to one cobbled together quickly and cheaply."

With the piece of paper in hand now, Eva continues to pour over the words written, even as she asks her next question, "Would you consider him a good leader? Even without the skills to build, does the have the knowledge or the imagination to create substantial work?" Those bright eyes of hers once more shifts to her uncle, watching him from above the edge of the paper, "Not that I expect him to be one. Though scheming does have it's merits. You are right, of course. While he may be the grandest of schemers and knows how maneuver himself through the politics of Courvieri, while that is admirable, in a dishonorable sense, I still would prefer a competent individual to be at such an important and crucial post. You know, Lord Uncle, I didn't think that I would find much interest in any of this, but the more I learn about your efforts and Sir Leighton's possible misdeeds, the more I want to expose him for the fraud he is. This could be quite fun."

Justin nods and says, "I admit my distaste for politics in general I do know it's place in the kingdom and accept it. Though yes in such a critical position it serves no benefit to anyone. As to Sir Leighton. I would consider him no better leader than myself, more importantly however I know I have superior skill as an engineer compared to him, and there are no doubt many better suited to the task. It is for the safety and security of our kingdom that I seek this man investigated as I am confident he did not truly earn the position. Whoever's deeds who took credit for should be the one to hold the position, that or the one most qualified of them if he claimed the deeds of multiple individuals. Why I provided the list of names so they can be questioned based on the deeds he claimed to get the position. Him and any involved in his ascent should be punished for threatening the security of the kingdom in such a way. If this was something such as the Royal Artist then it would be a very different matter and politics would hold more of a rightful place."

"Very well then, Lord Uncle. I will look further into this once we return to Couvieri and perhaps even before I return to the Rovilon court. There may be other records out there regarding this man's works, something which may be stored away neatly in our own library even." Eva says with a hint of enthusiasm in her voice. "While I'm certain that some of those who could be questioned may very well be celebrating the festivities with us, I would hate to ruin the festival mood, though I will certainly keep an eye on these individuals and the members of House t'Arx alike." With that said, the paper is taken and neatly folded and tucked away.

Justin nods from his place standing a few feet away, as he has no intention of word spreading out and possibly getting back to Sir Leighton. He knows that much at least. He then adds, "Seems I have given you something to investigate while here and when we return home then." He then grows silent as though considering something before adding, "I didn't wish to mention it to my brother yet, but in regards to lady Amara. She does intrigue me as I said, something about her does have my interest but I am unsure what sort of interest it may be. That is why I asked for your aid in the matter. Try to be tactful in your investigations there as well. If your findings does prove she has potential as a match for betrothal inform me of such things, if not then inform me of whatever else you find. As I said I honestly do no know what it is about her that interests me or in what way. I hope that by learning more the uncertainty can be dealt with."

With the discussion of Sir Leighton now out of the way, the topic which Eva had expected to have been brought up initially now has some light shed upon it and here the young woman looks all the more intrigued. There is something about the laws of attraction that she finds all the more interesting than some investigation on engineering and she is curious as to what, exactly, interests her uncle in such a bumpkin as Amara, for that is as little as she knows of the girl. "Lady Amara again? You truly are serious to learn more about her. I find this interest somewhat odd, though I can't say that I've interacted with the girl often enough… but something tells me that you have, for this interest couldn't be sparked by a mere glance across some random hallway, now could it?" With a keen look in her eyes, she holds her uncle's gaze for what may feel like an eternity, but she does go on to say, "Unless she is already betrothed or there is something in the works, I don't see any other obstacles of any sort. And as far as I know, she has a decent reputation, I suppose. I will look into things further, but I doubt I'll be able to dig up much dirt."

Justin nods and says, "I do not know if my interest is in romance, friendship, or something else entirely. Dirt, praise, anything to be found positive or negative I would like to know. Last we spoke she was not betrothed and knew of no plans towards those ends. Though you are correct my interest has been sparked by multiple discussions we have had. I find her enjoyable company and delightful conversation. It could be a romantic interest, simply friends, or something else entirely I cannot say." It is possible his interest is just to be friends, course it could also be he is too dense to recognize a romantic interest. He has never courted another, nor been betrothed in his life much less married. He might not know how to recognize such things. Which could also be why he is unsure if it is romance on his mind or true friendship due to a lack of experience in both matters, at least when it comes to the opposite sex.

There is something about all of this that piques Eva's interest all the more, though she is reluctant to question her uncle further. Not now. It is her turn to stand, though her small stature hardly matches Justin's height as she now stands adjacent to him with the Rivanan book in hand. "I will see whether they will allow me to borrow this book or else I will need to finish it up the next time I am here." With a polite curtsy and few departing words, she looks as if she will make her departure, "It was a pleasure speaking with you today, dear Uncle. You have opened my eyes to the corruption and intrigue which I may otherwise have overlooked or ignored entirely. I, very much like yourself, now wish to learn the truth about Sir Leighton." Then just before she is about to take her first initial step forward, she simply states, "As for Lady Amara, if it was merely friendship you sought, you wouldn't be asking me to look into her background so thoroughly." Those pouty lips then widen into a faint smile, "I shall see you at supper tonight, I'm sure. Until then, Dearest Uncle."

Justin returns the curtsey with a formal bow befitting his niece's station. In ways he is a bit overly formal at times. Her parting words though does seem to give him pause, but he doesn't respond, perhaps lost to thought over what she said.

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