(1866-11-24) A Trade Proposal
A Trade Proposal
Summary: Tristan and Elrick discuss a potential opportunity.
Date: 11.24.1866
Related: l'Saigner Harvest Feast
Elrick  Tristan  

Tristan's Suite
It's a really nice place.

The day after the celebration at the manse that the l'Saigners were using, Tristan dispatched a messenger to find and deliver a message to Lord Elrick t'Tremaine to come to the palace the next day to meet with him. Once Elrick arrives at the palace, a guard in the livery of House Tracano will escort him through the halls and into the Residential Wing of the Palace. At the door Sir Dixon Rosendal, the man in charge of Tristan's detail gives Elrick a stare before nodding him through the doors.

Inside, Tristan is seated at table, reclining comfortably in one of the several chairs that are positioned around it. Spotting Elrick brought in, he offers the t'Tremaine a smile and gestures to a seat. "Please, sit down my Lord. Would you care for some wine?" As he is asking, he is going ahead and filling a silver goblet full of wine. "Sir Dixon, would you please see to it that no one disturbs us? Thank you." The Royal Lancer doesn't appear to be happy with this request, though one might wonder if the man would ever appear happy for anything.

Arriving at the palace, Elrick is dressed properly to meet a royal noble of the southern kingdom, a bit martial and formal in design but something that he is comfortable in. At his hip is a lack of his longsword, showing that he is more than willing to come unarmed just to put the other side at ease if they had worries about what his House may be capable of.

Aftering being allowed in, the t'Tremaine Heir makes his entrance and offers Lord Tristan a respectful bow of his head. At the offering of wine, there is a nod from Elrick as he lowers himself onto the directed seat, "Thank you, Your Highness, wine would be great." A brief glance is given to Sir Dixon, who appears to be the most displeased and dutiful guard dog.

Tristan finishes pouring, and slides the goblet over to Elrick. "Tracano Red from 1824, I do hope you enjoy it. I find that wine that has had some time to age can be quite a wonderful experience." He lifts his own goblet, swirls the liquid inside twice, takes a breath of it and then sips. "Delightful." Dixon has left and now the two of them are alone. One glance around the room can take in the richly appointed furnishings and decorations. "Do not mind Dixon, he is a man who takes his duty very seriously and for that I am most grateful. You are also a northerner and as such have less to worry about from him."

He leans back in his seat and considers the t'Tremaine heir before him for several moments before he speaks. "I want to thank you for coming here today. I think that there are opportunities to be looked at here, opportunities that could be used to forge bonds that will help the larger goals of both my cousin and your King. To show you some of my appreciation, allow me to offer you a small gift." He places his goblet down and leans over, picking up something that had been put to his side. He lifts a bottle up and places it on the table between the two of them. "This is a bottle of Tracano Red from 1865. A symbolic offering, I think."

When the goblet is poured for him, Elrick accepts with thanks and he swirls it slightly for a couple of revolutions before tilting it slightly and bringing the lip to his nose. Inhaling the aroma, the young noble heir nods his head in approval, "Indeed, when aged properly, wine is simply delicious." Taking a slow sip, the flavor sooths his tongue as he tastes the high quality wine. "Most impressive, Your Highness." The mention of his guard, Elrick merely nods his head, as if the guard is no longer on his mind.

With goblet in hand, Elrick shifts his focus to Tristan now as the discussion of business begins, the words of diplomacy expected. "Thank you for the invitation, Your Highness. And you would be correct, as our Majesty has decreed, there will be peace with the South. But for some, it will take time and must begin with small steps." When the gift is offered, the t'Tremaine Heir arches a brow as he puts the goblet on the table so he can pick up the bottle and appear to examine it appreciatively. "Again, you are most kind, Your Highness, and this gift is very much appreciated. I will ensure to bring this home safely, a symbolic gift as you say." Now the bottle is lowered to side of his own chair, out of view so they can refocus on the discussion they are here for. Picking up the goblet again, Elrick inclines his head, "As you mentioned, I believe we are here to discuss opportunities, in potential trade?"

Tristan smiles as Elrick expresses similar sentiments about the wine. It was always good to meet people who could actually appreciate fine wine. Not everyone could. Some only cared about how much it cost, which…. was somewhat important, but only because he was a Tracano. Refocusing on the conversation at hand, Tristan offers a slight nod. "Yes… trade. I have people I can speak to throughout Rivana regarding the possibility of purchasing your lumber or your furs, my Lord. In my position, I am taking steps to try and facilitate possible negotations. It is my way of making people see that we can work together to form agreements and that we do not entirely need the meddlesome commoners of Pacitta to handle such matters. If you do not mind, I have several questions."

At this he holds up one finger. "One. Are there other resources in your woods that might not be, ah, widely spoken about? I am talking about various herbs or plants that alchemists may wish to make use of. If so, I may be able to speak to yet another group of people on your behalf. Two. How much lumber or furs are you looking to sell? I ask because if there are multiple opportunities, I want to make sure that any possible demand could be met."

When the discussion dives into potential trade and business arrangements, Elrick looks thoughtful but remains silent as the Tracano speaks, seeing that the other man is truly serious about this. Finally, when the two questions are asked, it is the t'Tremaine's turn to speak and answer, "To answer your first question, Your Highness, exotic herbs or plants? To my knowledge, no, but I have not had time to fully delve into the more… unique discoveries of my home that can be made available to the public. As you know, the past war with the South and the recent war against the barbarians even further north has cost our House heavily. One we are still making strides to recover from, which I have been actively assisting in. So my focus now is to establish firm trade to boost my House's income, so we can take care of personal business as well as invest back into the land, so our economic strength increases." There is a pause before Elrick continues onto answering question number two, "As for the amount of lumber or fur, the former depends on how much we can log and how much that can be transported." Which Lady Paege so neatly reminded them at the Couvieri party, "As for the fur, I have convinced my Lord Father to increase the number of hunting permits allowed, but that is something we need to control, to ensure the longevity of the supply of fur for the future. But depending on the amount you need, I can work on the numbers to see if we can reach an agreeable volume while I am here in Sunreach."

"Fair enough, I know very little of such things myself, but I ask because as I said, there may be interested parties in such goods. I know my betrothed likes to ensure that she has a full stock of various medicinal items, though if you were to ask me what she preferred? I am afraid I would be better suited to try and sail a ship through a hurricane." The Tracano Prince smiles, lifting his goblet to his lips and taking another long sip of his wine. It really was quite good. Maybe he shoudld save a bit for Elaida to have later. Maybe.

"Of course, I would not wish to deprive your house of future incomes, and as such your desire to limit hunting in order to promote longevity of the trade is rather commendable. There are some who would seek money over all other considerations. You do your House proud, my Lord. Hrm. Tell me of Hartshome. I have never been there. What sort of city is it? Does much trade pass through it?"

Elrick also sips at his goblet of wine when Tristan responds to the answers he gave, pacing himself nicely so he doesn't finish the goblet too quickly, portraying himself a lush and to not overindulge on the southern prince's hospitality. "Once I have trade stabilized at home, Your Highness, I shall speak with the experts on herbs at home to see what is available for trade and see if a list can be provided for you. Like you, my expertise lies elsewhere."

When asked about Hartsholme though, Elrick inclines his head as he describes the town, the beauty, its location next to the lake, its size. However, when it comes to trade, the t'Tremaine Heir looks slightly pained, "Unfortunately while myself and our forces were away in the northern war, my lands fell under prey of opportunistic bandits. Shameful scum taking advantage while our people saw to the duty of our kingdom. So trade was disrupted but as you can see, I am not only restoring trade but also expanding it. The bandits have been eradicated and properly brought to justice, so peace has once more settled in the Barony. Sadly, trade does not sprout up just as quick but it is coming along as the North rebuilds from the barbarian invasion."

Tristan listens attentively to Elrick's description of Hartshome. When the man is done, he gives a single nod. "I had suspected some of that, but it is good to hear you describe it. Very well, we never had this conversation. We have been sitting here discussing matters of lumber and furs, and what I am going to say to you, I would very much prefer it if you kept it to yourself and to those you implicitly trust. Even then, limit it."

The man who is known for being something of a fop and a womanizer seems to shift then, seemingly focused in a way that he hadn't been before, not even at any public event. Sitting completely straight, leaning towards the table, his fingers intertwined before him. "It is one of my hopes that Rivana and Couviere form a tighter bond, first to put our troublesome past behind us, but to also forge a bond against enemies that would like to see both of our realms fall. The barbarians you mention are just one of those threats. As such, I feel it is imperative that certain relationships be forged. Marriages alone are not enough. Economic ties are deeper, when economic interests are put into danger, people tend to think about things far more. Here is what I want. I want House Durante to serve Couviere as it's singular bank. I realize that may be hard to swallow, but consider this. When Rivana was engulfed in civil war, it was House Durante alone that shut down Sunsreach from either faction. There is integrity there, integrity that my Queen trusts and integrity that I believe your King can trust. You might wonder what you have to do with this? I would like to have you as an ally in this matter, Lord Elrick. In exchange, once the treaty has been signed, we can open up the primary branch of the bank in Hartshome. You wish to bring trade to your city? This will be a tremendous step in that direction. It will provide merchants a secure place to store their wealth, it will give them a reason to set up shop in Hartshome and to make it a major center of trade in that part of Couviere. Besides, it is a city well placed between the duchies of Murnord and Ostvor, which is a very nice location for such things."

The transformation that Tristan goes through in front of Elrick has the latter surprised, a surprise that he attempts to cover by bringing the goblet to his lips as if to take a long, slow sip. The t'Tremaine Heir had been curious as to why the southern prince was the one to ask to discuss potential trade with him, but any opportunity is to be explored. What the northern lord did not expect was the opportunity to open this door, so unexpected that he was rendered speechless for a moment after Tristan finished speaking.

Finally, after taking a second to organize his thoughts and what he had heard, even though it wasn't fully digested in his mind, Elrick speaks, "First, Your Highness, I will give you my word that I will keep this information to those I implicitly trust, which would be myself. If needed, I will explain what is only necessary to my Lord Father and to my Liege as well, as duty will require me to do so /if/ this plan of yours is allowed to come to fruition. But, you have given me quite a bit to think on, Your Highness, as I was only expecting to discuss trade and as you first mentioned, how to exclude as you called them, the meddling baseborn middlemen."

Another pause as the t'Tremaine Heir does not appear to finish speaking, a finger tapping on the side of his almost empty goblet. "I do have a question, Prince Tristan. Why my House? If I were a person of considerable influence in the south, House t'Tremaine would be pretty low on my list of northern Houses to attempt something this grand with. You must know that most in my House, both noble and baseborn alike, still hold… resentment to the South, especially certain Houses in the south."

"Excellent, I have heard you were a man of honor and integrity and never doubted that for a moment, Lord Elrick." Tristan offers a smile and then sips from his own goblet. "It pleases me that you have to think on it. That is all I could ask. One should not make hasty decisions on important matters. As to your question? Why House t'Tremaine? Consider, my Lord, where your lands are situated on a map of Couviere. You are in the north, but you are not in the far north. Therefore if the Tirians do invade again, they have a lot to go through before they ever reach Hartshome. Your lands are also situated near the Duchy of Ostvor. A lot of Imperial trade goes through that Duchy. That trade equals money. If some of that trade can be diverted up through Hartshome because of the presence of a bank? That would be beneficial to us both, would it not?"

Tristan sips from his goblet yet again before putting it down and steepling his fingers before him. "Also, that resentment is something that works in our favor. It gives us a goal, to heal those rifts, to put that behind us and focus on the future. And there is one other thing. I admit that I wish to have friendly eyes and ears in that portion of Couviere as I wish to be aware of what the Tirians are doing. I do not think they will remain idle forever, and I certainly do not want a repeat of someone stirring them up to cause problems for the Edge again."

While the southern prince may be offering smiles and a pleasant demeanor, Elrick's own is a neutral mask that he usually wears when in front of other nobles that was not his family. The only question now is whether Tristan's trust in the t'Tremaine Heir's character is correctly placed, and right now, even the Heir in question does not know. It would give him the opportunity to sabotage something like this, to do damage to the South and the relations of both Couviere and Rivana. "The location is primely situated in this realm, I certainly agree Your Highness, as well as the potential benefits for us both when it comes to trade and economic gains. It is the vast amount of hope you place in being able to mend the relations between my people and the South in time to see this bank serve its purpose."

Once more a pause as Elrick drains the remains of the wine in his goblet before he continues, "But as you said, to strengthen our bonds, we will need to have something in common, something tangible both sides would be willing to protect. It will take small steps, where trade on the aforementioned lumbers and furs can be the first steps, to show the people that we can work with the South. That the past is the past. I am sure we will be in touch to continue this discussion, and I will make no mention of this to anyone until we are in agreement to proceed." This will give the Heir time to weigh the pros and cons, and perhaps even harder, to convince his Lord Father.

Oh, Tristan is aware that things could turn against him. But there are other things at play here. "Yes, small steps, that may be wise. You know what I have come to find though? That there is something that mends wounds faster than anything else." From out of his sleave comes a gold coin. He holds it up, letting Elrick see the Sunburst on it. A coin from Sanctum. "In my experience, this solves more problems and more disputes than anything else. Before you leave this city, I will arrange for two hundred of these to be delivered to you. Consider it a token gesture of my appreciation for you sitting here and listening to what I have to say."

Sanctum coins, not Rivanan, Elrick certainly sees the significance in that as it is an actual gift that can be used, or a bribe, either way he has no reluctance in accepting such with the current strait of his House. "That is most kind of you, Your Highness, most kind. A token that will most certainly be appreciated by House t'Tremaine and not doubt be a considerable weight on the scales of how myself and my people will view the rebuilding of relationships." Certainly a powerful piece that the Heir can use to try to convince his Father, but his relationship with his own Father is something he shares with no outsider. "I will also ensure that a portion of the sum be used to hire more loggers, so that your needs or the needs of those you represent are accomodated."

Sanctum coins. A perfect neutral third party and perhaps can be explained away by doing business with the church. "Oh think nothing of it my Lord. It is yours to do what you will with it. Now then, please do think on it and if you wish to meet again simply send me a message, I will make sure that we can meet privately here within the palace and share fine wine, of course." He offers Elrick a smile and a bow of his head. "For now I wish you a good evening and hope that you enjoy all that Sunsreach has to offer. I would wish you luck in the tournament, but alas, I must place bets on Lord Thaddeus. For appearances, you understand. Still, it would be nice not to see House l'Corren take home back to back Circuit Championships. Perhaps the t'Cadri woman, what is her name? Ah, Nadine. Perhaps she can win it all."

As the meeting draws to an end, Elrick slowly rises to his feet and bows his head respectfully in return to the southern prince, one that is a bit more geniune than before. "I am sure we will meet at least once more before I depart Sunreach after the tournament, to discuss this further. And of course, to enjoy rare wines as the one you have made available today. That in of itself is a unique gift." As for who Tristan is rooting for, Elrick can't help but chuckle lightly in response, "But of course, I understand, though I must apologize ahead of time that I will not be able to assist you on /that/ endeavor. And you are right, Sir Nadine is one of those that most will no doubt underestimate, including those that… set the odds." With that said, the t'Tremaine Heir bows once more as he prepares to depart. "Thank you for the invitiation, Your Highness. An honor."

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