(1866-12-21) A Multitude of Offers
A Multitude of Offers
Summary: Elrick visits Michael to discuss some recent offers and Michael has one of his own as well.
Date: 1866-12-21
Related: Related Logs (If there aren't any, use None. Don't this entry leave blank. If there is a log, use full URLs, like logname)
Elrick  Michael  

Murnord Manse, Sunsreach
Room description
Decembre 21st 1866

Since Michael is his future liege lord, Elrick wouldn't have sent his squire to summon his cousin, but he did send the youth to inquire when his future liege is available. So when the appointed time arrives, the t'Tremaine Heir makes his appearance and knocks on the door to announce himself, "Lord Sir Michael? I would like to discuss a few subjects with you before we depart Sunreach and head back home if you have the time." Proper etiquette and courtesy is present as usual from Elrick, just in case things changed since his squire dropped by.

When Elrick is shown into the study of the rented manse, Michael looks up from some parchments and greets the man with a smile. "Elrick, of course, come sit," he says gesturing to the chair opposite his own before he passes the parchments to Michael's own squire. "See these are ready to send when we arrive," he tells the lad and gives him a good natured shove towards the door. The boy goes, and Michael shakes his head turning his attention to Elrick. "Hated attending to the king's paperwork when I was his squire, now I am doing it to another lad. How the wheel turns." He gives a good natured shrug and rises from his seat to go get them something to drink. "So what is it you wanted to discuss?"
"It is a good lesson for your squire, it shows him that being a knight is not all about glory and being a story book hero." Elrick says with an understanding grin as he has done the same with his own squire, though it is more because the t'Tremaine Heir isn't as good of a knightly instructor than Michael. As he is invited in to take a seat, Elrick bows his head respectfully first before sitting. "I must say it has been a very interesting visit to Sunreach, a shame that the championship went to a Southerner. At least, now we have even more motivation to wrest the crown back." There is a pause before he continues, "Besides the Tourney, I've had a couple of very… interesting developments that, you being my future Liege Lord, should hear of before I return home to speak to my Lord Father."

Smiling as he retrieves the wine, a southern vintage as befit their surroundings he remarks, "Maris told me the same thing, I didn't believe him, more the fool I," he says with a self-deprecating smile. He pours the wine as he listens to the tourney talk, when it's done he presents a cup to Elrick and he says, "Yes, a shame that, more so I wasn't able to take the circuit, damned boar did for my chances," he says with a shake of his head. "But then I was the damned fool who decided to go hunting," he shrugs then and takes a drink. "Joff did win the tourney however, so we can at least have that to salve our pride." He takes a seat, expression curious as he regards Elrick. "Oh? What developments?"

Accepting the cup with an inclination of his head in thanks, Elrick takes a quick sip to wet his tongue before he answers, "C'mon Cuz, we all wanted to go hunting. If you didn't go on the hunt without duty pulling you away, you would not have been in the Circle." The words of sympathy was spoken, at how unlucky Michael was during that hunt. Moving onto the main purpose of his visit, Elrick brings out the first subject, "During my stay here in Sunreach, I made it known that my House was looking for trade opportunities, with this new… peace that His Majesty has decreed. Much to my surprise, Prince Tristan was one who sought me out and invited me to the Palace."

Michael snorts a laugh at Elrick's reply. Both because it was funny but mostly because it was true. He lifts his cup in reply. "Fair point," he says. "Anyhow, just means I get to win the Circuit next year I suppose." He had intended to sit back if he'd won, let others win the thing after the l'Corren brothers had claimed back to back victories but clearly the One had other plans. "The so-called Prince of Fools," Michael says of Tristan, nodding slowly, his demeanour becoming a bit more sober now. "What did he have to say?"

When Michael calls the southern Prince the so-called Prince of Fools, Elrick nods his head slightly before taking another sip of the wine. "Before I share what was discussed, I must first say that I am speaking of this with you because you will be my future Liege Lord, so any major decisions in my Barony will have to go through your approval first. I have told Prince Tristan that I will keep his words in strict confidence, aside from my Lord Father and my Liege."

Elrick's remarks earn a raised eyebrow from Michael. The sophistry is noted. "Alright," he says. "So then I take it what you tell me is not to be repeated to anyone save my father? Or do you want to do that yourself?" he asks trying to define what was being asked of him.

"I will leave that decision up to you, Cuz, whether you feel it is important enough for your Lord Father to be informed or not. If my Lord Father agrees though, this will be brought up to your Lord Father." Elrick says with a nod of his head on the decision. "As you can tell, it will involve the future development of my Barony and the South."

Michael nods both in understanding and agreement with Elrick's words. "Alright, let's hear what you have to say then," he says before his lips quirk slightly at the latter part of Elrick's words, "Development between your barony and the south, you have to admit it does sound strange to hear."

The typical smirk from Elrick appears as he taps the lip of the cup, "That would be an understatement, Cuz. And you know I wouldn't be bringing this up if it didn't greatly affect my House and our realm as well." There is a release of breath as the t'Tremaine prepares mentally of what he will be saying, "What Prince Tristan propsed was an… incredible offer. I may not even be doing it justice by saying that it is incredible, but it would be a tremendous boon to House t'Tremaine. His grand plan is to have House Durante to serve our kingdom as our bank. And not only that, he wishes to place the primary banch in Hartshome."

The smirk is met in with one in turn "Indeed, which is why I am dying to hear this offer," he says, after all it must be something to bring the t'Tremaine and the Rivanans together on something. Indeed it is something when Elrick lays it all out, Michael is no longer smirking though, instead his lips pull into a frown. "They want to make the Durante our bank? Out of Hartshome? Are you certain the Prince was being serious with you?"

"I believe the Prince was being serious in terms of wanting to put the first Southern back in Hartshome… the explanation for his reason does make sense, logically. He stated that marriage alone would not be enough to forge strong bonds between the North and South, it would be economic ties that truly bind our two kingdoms together. This I believe as well, you know how my House feels about the South and if it wasn't for our current financial sitaution, I would not have even considered the Prince's invitation or offer." Elrick goes through his own thoughts and views on what Tristan shared with him, looking down into his cup for a moment before continuing, "Also, the Prince of Fools may have been a mask. When the presentation began, his demeanor shifted, the fool's mask was shed, there was a… focus in his eyes that was clear on how deep he thought out this plan."

Michael settles back in his seat as he takes stock of Elrick's words, holding his cup in front of him eyes studying the delicate carving on the silver cup as he listens. "So, he is the not so foolish Prince of Fools," he says, chewing on his lip. "Interesting." But then, Ali had been involved with him and so there had to be something to the man other than just a pretty face. "What's your thoughts on his offer?" he asks as he turns his attention to Elrick. "Do you think it's legitimate? Or is there a hook hidden in it? Other than turning our banking over to Rivanans." Not that Couviere had banks per se, save informal arrangements handled by a handful of wealthy houses.

"That is what I am afraid of, Cuz." Elrick says with his brows furrowed, his posture is hunched forward for now as he looks back down into his cup of wine, apparently more interested in staring at the surface of the liquid than drinking it right now. "The offer itself? It would be a great boon to my House, it would increase traffic by an amount even I won't be able to calculate without locking myself in my study for days straight. Traders would be visiting my Barony to store their wealth, and it would be logical for them to purchase material from my lands as well since we are right there. I am sure House Durante and the South would be paying rent for the lands that the bank will be situated on. Increase in taxes we take in due to the increased visitors… the Barony would grow."

Then there is that pause that is followed by a sigh of worry from Elrick, "But when they say that it is too good to be true, it may just be that. If the Prince is no fool, then there must be some ulterior motive. He most likely knows how dire the situation is my House is in financially to push this proposal to me. I would be a fool to not accept, but it would give him and the South a guaranteed foothold into the North, for whatever they may plan next. And sway one of the biggest opponents of a true alliance between the North and the South to their side. I do /not/ want to be known as the an who sold the North to the South."

"No doubt it would be a fantastic boon," Michael says as he too tries to calculate the gains for the barony and is likewise stymied by the unknowable figures involved. Still, huge would not be an understatement. He sips his wine then, as much to give himself more time with his thoughts than any desire for the drink, when he lowers his cup, he speaks, "If he does know about your financial troubles, I wonder who has told him? I know I did not go yelling it from the rooftops. Anyhow, we could be all night trying to guess his motives, but I do think he picked your house because he heard of your troubles, which is concerning. As to the rest, if he made this offer to me, I'd counter with the suggestion you partner with the Durante for the banking, keep it in Couvieri hands and it adds a second revenue stream for more than just rent. Also, it would force him to show more of his intent, if his goal is peace, then why refuse, if it is something else? Then his refusal will be an indication to be wary."

Shaking his head slightly, Elrick doesn't appear to think that the information about his House being poor was that big of a deal, "Everyone in the North knows that House t'Tremaine is not as strong as it use to be, especially with my father being the Baron. And the South knows very well how much damage was inflicted to my people and my lands during that damned war." He then grows quiet as he listens to Michael's suggestion of a possible counter, nodding his head slightly, "Problem is I don't know anything about banking… but it is certainly a play to consider in helping the Prince to reveal his hand, or at least a card or two. I know I will be giving this much more thought before I present it to my Father, first I would have to convince him to allow Southerners on our lands and to take root."

"There is that," Michael says of not knowing much of banking. There were people to teach that, but Elrick was right it was too early on to be worrying about those sorts of details. "And yes, you do have the baron to contend with, which no doubt will be a considerable obstacle all on its own. Any thoughts on how to bring him around on the subject?"

The smirk reappears as Elrick now leans back in his seat, taking a long drink from his wine cup, pretty much emptying it. "I'll try the simplest solution, greed. I will try to convince him that the amount of gold we may make on this transaction will help launch our House back to prominence." There is a pause once more before the smirk turns into a grin that is directed at Michael, "Plus… there was the second issue I wanted to discuss with you, which may also put the Baron in a more agreeable state. You remember that time when I invited Lady Paege over to speak with her?"

Michael's demeanor seems to brighten as well even if a hint of thoughtfulness remains. "Seems like a good stratagem," he remarks lightly as he recovers his cup and raises it to Elrick. "I wish you the best of luck with that," he says, before his expression becomes one of piqued curiosity. "Yes, I do recall. What happened to put your father in a more agreeable mood?"

"The t'Rannis are willing to buy out the debt that we owe to your House, Cuz, and the debt we owe to the t'Mollari, as well as forgive the debt that we currently owe them." Elrick says as his grin remains, as if a very attractive gift fell onto his laps, "In exchange, we allow them to build a hunting lodge on our lands for their private use, for Viscount Alfonso's bastards. As well as allow them hunting rights on our lands, with the number of heads a year they are allowed to be negotiated."

Michael finds himself looking surprised once more. "So he forgives your debt, buys out the t'Mollari and our own debt, all for a hunting lodge and some hunting rights?" he asks, before probing for details. "For how long do they want to keep the rights? And how much is the interest on the new loans?"

There is a shake of head as Elrick puts the empty wine cup on the small table at his side, "There is no new loan, they are willing to forgive the amount. As for teh duration, it was a question I raised as well. They preferred to have that lodge on my lands without a time constraint but since I raised it, she knew I wouldn't have agreed. So for now the starting point is ten years, then after that, the rent can be renegotiated. It is a substantial length of time… but the debt they are willing to buy and forgive isn't a paltry sum either."

Michael coughs. "They're willing to forgive it?" he asks. Well now he could see why Elrick was so pleased. He paused a moment to think, the t'Rannis had the coin enough for it and they said the Viscount was uncommonly fond of his bastards. He lets out a breath. "Well that would make a princely gift for a by blow. No other stipulations?" he asks. "Just the lodge and hunting rights for ten years?"

"And to give them the courtesy of respecting their privacy on the lodge, though my family can request visits to hunt with them if we were in the mood." Elrick says with a slight nod, "Oh, and the taxes on the animals they hunt and take, the t'Rannis would be exempt from. It may add up over the ten years but in a way, they have already paid for it up front by forgiving the loans, many times over."

Michael considered the offer a moment longer before he smiles. "Well as long as they don't go adding more conditions to the deal, I'd say it'll definitely put your father in a better mood," he says lightly. "Though no doubt he'll still find reasons to complain knowing him." He shakes his head. "So when do they want the lodge if the deal is agreed upon?"

A slight shrug of shoulders on the question of timeframe is offered by Elrick, "I told Paege that I will need to speak to my father about this, though I have a feeling it won't be too hard convincing him. To have the heavy weight of debt lifted from our shoulders… even he's not that big of a fool to reject the offer. But I wouldn't be surprised that once the agreement was signed, they would send men and probably some of their bastards to pick the location of where they wish to build the lodge. From my experience, those that have the wealth to throw around gold freely wants their entertainment sooner rather than later."

Michael nods and oddly the idea of the bastards picking the spot seemed to mollify any concerns he might have had. It did seem like just a matter of Viscount Alfonso shedding some of his bastards with their own little playroom in the woods. "Well, Hartswood is a beautiful place to hunt, maybe this will start a trend," he says with a smile. "Oh, speaking of travellers and Hartswood, I have a notion of my own to bring to your father," he says suddenly reminded of a thought he'd had earlier on in the tourney and had not brought up to Elrick as yet. "Wanted to host a tourney in Murnord, since we lost the Circuit one to Ostvor. I was thinking something for spring Alignment Day, weather's still miserable in Murnord proper, but if your father is willing to host in Hartswood, I could see the l'Correns provide the prizes."

Hearing that Michael also had something he wanted to bring up, Elrick arches a brow but appears to be all ears. When the suggestion of hosting a Tourney in Hartswood, the t'Tremaine Heir laughs and nods his head, "I am sure my Father would be glad to do so, especially if it is to honor our Liege for the spring Alignment Day. Consider it done, Cousin." In Elrick's mind, there is no way that his father would be foolish enough to reject the notion of the l'Corren wishing to host the next tourney in Hartswood, both for the economic benefit and also it being that their Liege is asking.

"Good to hear," Michael says with a grin. "If he agrees I'll be by to discuss the details, though it's a shame I won't be there when you tell him all this news I doubt he'll believe his luck," he says and shakes his head. "But it isn't like your house wasn't due. Anyhow, when you've told him, are you heading to court? I heard rumours that Jean-Paul has some celebration planned for not too long past the new year," he pats his stomach. "Not that we haven't seen enough of those these last week."

Elrick appears to be in good spirits as well, believing that good fortune is finally visiting them, "I hope he will finally recognize that it wasn't all luck and that I can be useful to the House. Only way for him to trust me with more duties and decisions, and actually listen to my advise." As for court, a nod of head is the answer, "I will be there unless duty keeps me away. With these new developments, I probably won't have to pound at our ledgers as hard as I use to. And festivities here in the South is nothing compared to the North, our home."

"True," Michael admits of the situation with the Baron. "Well if he doesn't give you more to do after this he's mad, it's not like he was going to make these sort of deals to get your house out from under," he finishes off his wine. "And good to hear, as someone who has spent a good deal of his life pounding ledgers I'd much prefer celebrations, north or south to that." He smiles and sets down his cup. "Anyhow, speaking of business, I unfortunately need to return to mine before time gets away from me, but if you can make it to court, we'll have to share another cup with the Circle and try to remember what life was like before we were responsible."

Bowing his head respectfully, Elrick says, "Thank you for your time, Cousin. Just wanted to keep you up to speed with developments in regards to my House, and thank you for the suggestions. I will leave you to your duty, one I certainly don't envy though necessary. And we will most definitely do so with the Circle when I return to court." With that, the t'Tremaine turns to head back to the room he was given, to make his own preparations, not only for his return home but what to say to his father.

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