(1867-04-01) Plans Joyous and Otherwise
Plans Joyous and Otherwise
Summary: Aidric speaks with Alysande and Tristan on matters both dark and hopeful.
Date: 1867-04-01
Related: The Abara plotline
Alysande  Aidric  Tristan  

Sunsreach Palace - Sunsreach - Rivana
See scene

Alysande has seeing petitioners today, some common but most of them noble members of her court hunting for validation for their schemes and favors. The Queen spent most of the morning on various petitioners before retiring from that duty to her Parlor… to hear a couple of private petitions that could not be spoken of in the Throne Room before all gathered.

So it is now that Queen Alysande is seeing to Aidric. Besides the two Royal Lancers everpresent at her side, this is as private of a meeting as anyone could hope to get with her. But given some of the likely tings to be discussed, this suits both parties well.

Aware of the privilege of such a meeting Aidric Carling comports himself with proper respect (for once) as he is led up to the Queen's parlour by one of her ladies. He limits himself to the polite expected flirting with the girl and then when shown into the Queen's presence the levity of the stairwell vanishes like morning dew under the noonday sun, and he puts on expression of serious concern. One, those with an eye for the human heart might be able to tell is closer to his true disposition.

Holding a carefully folded parchment in his hand, he bows with practice and poise, managing that middle distance between grudgingly respectful and fawning and if given leave, rises from it to say, "Your Majesty, thank you for seeing me. I have some news that might be of interest."

Gesturing for him to rise, Alysande says, "Please, take a seat. What news do you have for the crown?" she asks simply. She is still dressed in an elaborately trimmed green and gold dress that she had worn to court earlier, and so the young woman looks every bit the Queeen that she is. She looks over at Aidric from where she sits at her desk, as if weighing and measuring him.

Rising and taking the offered seat, Aidric presents the parchment, first to one of the Lancers, in case they might want to touch it first to make sure there is no poison on it. A wise consideration given what's happened to Elaida. If not it's passed to the Queen. "That is a list of the businesses run by the Abara in Sunsreach, most of them are brothels. I thought given their escalation, it might be useful to know where they make their coin and if your Majesty wished to draw blood, a place to make the first cut."

"Interesting," Alysande says, skimming the parchment. "I assume you are suggesting to close down their brothels, then?"

Aidric weighs his reply a moment before he nods and speaks, "Yes but only if we are willing to out the Abara for their crimes. The people need to see the connection between the villainy of poisoning Elaida with the closing of the brothels or it will not be taken well. If we are not ready to take that step, then I suggest, if we've the manpower, we watch those brothels and learn what we can from the comings and goings there."

Alysande considers. "It's definitely an option to consider," she says finally. "we will have to be wary as to how we draw those lines… how clearly and quickly it can be done… before undertaking the trouble to close down these brothels." She tilts her head, thinking.

For once there is no rebuke spoken or otherwise at the hesitation and infact some understanding in Aidric's expression. "They're a confounding enemy aren't they? Their actions demand a response but we know so little about them that this is all I can think of to do. Though it's not without its risks. Once we draw those lines then we're saying these commoners have attacked your crown and the people will expect a comparable response. Which is what I've counselled before, I know, but given this escalation, I am beginning to wonder if that's not what the Abara want for some reason." He frowns then and spreads his hand. "As I said, confounding."

"There must be retaliation for this. They attempted to kill… wwell, she isn't married into the family yet, but almost. They targeted Tristan's betrothed. The Crown must do something." She sighs. "Closing down the brothels will have many of the common folk quite angry."

"Especially if we do not explain why we're closing them, but we discussed what happens when we do. So, then your Majesty the question is which of these bad choices do we wish to take? To we want to lay everything out in the open, or act without explaining our motivations, or continue to watch and wait armed with this new information? With the first we're in a declared war with the Abara, the second, we get public disorder, the third we look weak," Aidric counsels leaning towards the Queen.

"I will have to think on the options, but be assured… there will be action from the Crown on this matter." Alysande looks to Aidric. "Was there anything else you wished to discuss with me?"

Now there's a little bit of frustration in Aidric's expression. True, he wasn't sure of what path they should take, but damned did he wish that they'd just take one. Still, he keeps his composure and his jaw loosens and his expression quickly turns to a simulacrum of propriety. "Yes, and something a good deal happier. Azure Lake, I have heard it said you've an eye to restoring it to its former glory. I thought a good way to begin that process would be to gift a manse there to Tristan and Elaida for their wedding. Next to you Tristan is who the court looks to most for the cues, and if he has a manse there, you can be certain everyone else will want one too."

"There are several manses that have fallen to the crown as their houses fell," Alysande agrees. "I will gift him use of the Tracano manse in Azure Lake as his exclusive right, unless myself or the king supercedes it with our own need for it, which will be rare if at all." She chintaps. "Our manse is at least habitable, though I am sure Tristan will improve on the creature comforts of it, knowing him."

Aidric nods, smiling, "I am certain of it, likely too late in the year to have it ready for this summer's court, but next, certainly, plenty of time for other nobles to remember they have manses there and do the same. It would be nice to see Azure Lake restored to what it was."

"It would be," the queen replies with a nod. "It would show the people of Rivana that things are back to normal at court, I think. But it's a large undertaking, to get the city back into shape for court."

Aidric nods, settling back slightly as he suggests. "Yes it is, and one I would be happy to undertake on your behalf your Majesty. I've taken a trip there recently, and I have some ideas on how things might be managed."

Now Alysnde settles back in her chair, eyeing Aidric with amusement. "I see. The current castellan of Azure Lake does not meet your liking?" To be fair, he doesn't meet Alysande's either, but she has not had time nor has it been a high enough priority to change things. "What sort of changes would you see in the management?"

Aidric had only thought to get a feel of the Queens intentions for Azure Lake in this meeting but in for a he'd wagered a copper by speaking his mind thus far, why not wager a crown? "The man's a fine manager, if you wish for the place to stay an overgrown backwater, but I think Azure Lake demands someone with more vision. I'd begin with returning Azure Lake to the minds of the people with this gift to Tristan, speak to my friends in the major houses to remind them of their own manses, and begin their renewal, and with that bring workmen and the need to ship materials there, which will bring trade. From there when the manses become occupied, there will be a need for craftsmen, servants and people of all ranks to service their needs, and I think if accomodations are made to let people set up shop there, then the needed people will come."

Tristan had heard that Aidric of all people was here and meeting with the Queen. Knowing his cousin, he half expected the man to run his mouth to the point where he received another 'banishment' for a period of time. Or who knows maybe Aidric would behave himself… either way as tired as Tristan was, it was probably for the best if he looked out for him. After using his title and position to slip past the people at the door, Tristan slips into the parlor and nods at both of the people inside. "Majesty. Cousin. Ah… pardon me… am I interrupting something?"

"The current state of Azure Lake, with as much damage as it undertookin the war, leaves to my mind that it won't be—" She is interupted by Tristan's arrival. "Yes, Tristan, you are interrupting something. Is there something going on we need to know of?" She asks in slightly snippy tone. "Lord Aidric and I were just discussing the current status of Azure Lake. He believes it needs a more hands-on castellan. He may not be wrong in this." She gestures towards one fo the empty chairs. "Your thoughts on the subject, since you are here."

Aidric shoots his cousin an amused look as if to say, see, not getting myself banished again. Still there is a proper nod a warm greeting of "Coz," to go with it, before he falls silent and lets Tristan answer the Queen's question.

Tristan doesn't simply sit in the chair as he normally would, he sort of plops down. His eyes indicate that he has not been sleeping well at all, but the rest of his appearance is what it normally is. "Ah, Azure Lake. Yes, it does need better management, as do a number of areas in Rivana." If people cared more about managing their lands and less about other trivial issues. "Honestly, Azure Lake should be doing far better than what it is, but a part of me wonders how much of that is due to bad management and how much is due to the realm still recovering from our… troubles."

"Lord Tomas Greycen is a good man, but not the best castellan for growing Azure Lake back from the ruins its become in the last war," Alysande considers. "I might be willing to give the castellanship over to someone else who has a better vision for the place… provided I am significantly impressed with both their vision and their plans at making it so. The crown would spare some coin towards the rebuilding, naturally, but it would be something that would need to be managed well… the font of coin would not be unlimited."

"I am not saying that Lord Tomas's management has been bad, but, perhaps uninspired. Which was fine during the wars, but now that we're trying to rebuild a kingdom we need someone who really wants to see Azure Lake to reclaim its former glory to get the most out of the resources available," Aidric says to Tristan, before looking to the Queen. "I could provide you with such plans if you'd like your Majesty, to see if they meet your approval?"

"Aidric is not wrong, to govern during wartime and peacetime are two separate skill sets. Some people are able to do both, but others are not." Tristan comments, perhaps stating the obvious. "I do think my cousin here is capable of doing a good job, provided he puts his mind to it." He flashes a tired grin over at Aidric. "Besides, the pool of people that can be trusted to serve the crown is limited for now."

Alysande hmms. "I'll withhold judgment on whether of not Aidric can serve in that position until I see his plans," she says pointedly. "But should they be well thought out…" she eyes Aidric, "I might consider. You do know that a castellanship is a task showing great faith from the crown? As of right now, we do not have any castellans over the fallow lands that are not Tracano or Greycen, so this will be interesting to say the least." The Greycen might be a little grumpy about it.

Aidric gives a nod of thanks for his cousin's faith in him and when the Queen makes her point he replies "I will have the plans before you in short order your Majesty. As to the matter of trust, I am aware of the honour it confers upon me and it's likely ramifications for the both of us. I will do my best to ensure any disruptions caused by such an appointment would be slight. As to trust, I would be entirely dependent on you, your Majesty for my position, so whatever you might think of my sworn oaths, which I have offered frequently, there is also my own self-interest to keep me in line."

Tristan smiles faintly. "Cousin, you are seeking responsibility, that is so good to see. Perhaps you will consider getting married in the near future." His tone is teasing and amused. He expected it would be some time before Aidric ended up getting a wife. "These plans would be interesting, and I would be more than happy to talk with you about them, cousin, offer what advice I can. There are one or two things that I would like to do in Azure Lake myself, but that is not really important right now.

Alysande nods. "Is there anything else, Aidric?" She asks gently. "You've given me much to consider on the Abara— and as I said earlier, we will be retaliating, but it is a matter of deciding in which manner we will do so. But it will be soon." She wanted to speak with Jaren, at least, before she made the final decision on the precise handling of the brothels.

It's hard to be totally at ease with your friend when the Queen is in the room, still Aidric laughs at Tristan's remark. "One responsibility at a time. I'm learning," he remarks before restoring his more serious demeanour and nods, "I'd welcome the help," he adds to his cousin before turning to the Queen. "No, nothing more your Majesty. Unless you wish to review what we discussed for Tristan's opinion on the matter?" he asks, meaning the brothels and the Abara matter.

Tristan's expression doesn't change at the mention of the Abara, but his hands tighten against the arms of the chair. "Yes there is much to consider with the Abara, like how they should all have their eyes spooned out and force fed to them before stabbing them in the heart." His voice is low and tight, full of a rage that he wishes he could direct at someone but cannot right now.

"Well, Aidric proposed we shut down all the Abara-run brothels in the city. I am in agreement to do as much, just trying to decide if we announce we will be doing so first or just doing so without a warning." Alysande gives Tristan a comforting look. "I understand that you are frustrated with them, especially with what has happened to your betrothed."

Aidric's own levity drains away as they delve deeper into the subject of the Abara. He nods. "And I hope we can get you that chance," he says before turning to the Queen. "I thought the issue was less about warning and more about telling the people the truth about our motives, that we are closing to the brothels because the Abara are waging a war against the crown." Which would justify the closed brothels but would likely be the last thing the war-weary Rivanans would want to hear.

"What should happen to their brothels is that they are put under new management entirely. The common people need their whores, as do the merchants and the nobility… no one will be entirely happy if the brothels get shut down. We should avoid the antagonism of people who have nothing to do with all of this. My recommendation would be to go into these places, take management in custody and put new people in place." Tristan sits up in his chair a little, mostly as a way to move and keep focused. "Rumors can be spread through a number of channels to indicate what the Abara are truly about, as Aidric suggests."

Alysande looks a bit more comfortable at that suggestion… mostly because it would cause less common unrest. "That is an option as well," she says quickly. "And certainly one I will consider. I need to speak with Jaren and hear his opinions before I make my final decision on it."

Aidric seems happier with that option as well. "Good idea, coz," he says with a nod and holds off further remarks for now with the Queen yet to make her final decision. "Anyhow, shall I depart and leave you to converse?" he asks the royals.

"I have nothing further for now, and no Aidric. I will leave with you, we should go and share a glass of wine and a meal if you do not mind." Tristan gives the two of them a nod. "What I will say now is Elaida is recovering nicely, and she should make a full recovery soon enough, which I am quite grateful for. It is a good thing our healers are so well trained."

"Well then." Alysande stands. "You are both dismissed, and I can retire to my suite for a bit." A nap sounds wonderful right now. "Thank you both, for your thoughts and concerns."

"No, of course I don't mind," Aidric says to Tristan before nodding at the good news about Elaida. "I am glad to hear it." Then, dismissed, he rises and bows to the Queen before awaiting Tristan by the door.

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