(1867-04-20) Duties and Responsibilities
Duties and Responsibilities
Summary: Thaddeus is given new duties by Eleanor.
Date: I1867-04-20
Related: None
Eleanor  Thaddeus  

Greycen Manse
See set

There is, technically, an office in Sunsreach Palace for the Archduke or Archduchess, and while it has been arranged and organized to the newly-named Archduchess Eleanor Greycen’s liking, it has already become clear that when in Sunsreach, she will be doing most of her business from the office that she keeps in the Greycen Manse. It too, has undergone some changes since the election, mostly the addition of an extra bit of shelving and the addition of a pair of new, comfortable chairs for visitors to plant their posteriors on. One small concession to the fact that keeping all her petitioners as uncomfortable as possible might be personally satisfying but wouldn’t make for good politics.

Eleanor has already been quite busy as she settles, well…no, more like dives into the role. Messages to various nobles of Rivana, catching up on some of the matters that have now been transferred from the Crown (which had been handling them directly in the interim), and basically working to already make her mark on the office she now occupies. You would think her a much younger woman for the vigor with which she has approached this new challenge, but then again, it’s not likely too surprising, given she’s seeing a lifetime of ambition fulfilled.

That has, perhaps, left Eleanor with little time for her family, not that she was generous with it before. Still, her son and heir Lord Thaddeus Greycen did indeed receive a message yesterday to speak with her this afternoon. She is already seated behind the desk when the appointed hour arrives, scrawling away on one message or another in between sips of a strong tea.

Thaddeus may be a proud man, but he knows full well that the summons requesting his appearance was more an order than a request. Fortunately, he does enough work from the manse itself when he wishes to be away from court and so the Greycen heir makes his way to the de facto Archducal office.

Upon being admitted, Thad gives a nod of greeting and says, “Mother, I received your message. How might I be of service?’’ This is not his first time having to meet with his mother like this, though hopefully this one goes better than most of those.

“Sit.” There’s no heat or bite to the imperative, and the word is accompanied by a vague gesture towards one of the chairs. “Refresh if you wish.” There does seem to be both tea and wine available. But the allowance does speak of this not being an angry meeting, at least to start. She hasn’t yet looked up from the missive, taking a few more moments to finish whatever it is she’s writing, and then carefully sliding the paper aside before offering a simple, “Leave us.” To the pair of servants and scribe already in the room. Once Thad’s refreshments are attended to (if indeed he accepts the offer), they bow and make their way out, the last closing the door behind her.

“I would imagine you have questions.” Eleanor notes as she finally looks to her eldest son. “While I am not in the habit of explaining myself, and believe that some of the answers should well be obvious, I grant that it is likely best I give you opportunity to ask. To avoid sending mixed messages to other Houses if nothing else.”

Thad again nods and takes up a cup of watered wine for himself and takes the offered chair as he listens to his mother speak. He takes a sip and sets the cup down after the servants leave. "Understandable, and I thank you for the opportunity." His tone is polite, but measured, "I certainly do have a few questions. My first question is how did you manage to get the Haldis vote? I know him well enough to guess that he is not doing this out of some deep desire for altruism. I am just curious what the cost was."

Thad pauses for a second and continues, "Secondly, what is our plan going forward? I understand that both of us have duties in the capital, though mine have been reduced slightly by this sudden outbreak of peace. Will your election have any impact on my own duties to our house?" The younger son takes a drink while awaiting his mother's response.

“He came to me with an offer. I judged it worth after a few minor adjustments, and we signed it.” Eleanor explains, “The full details are largely available in your sister’s marriage contract.” Eleanor reaches into a drawer extracting a convenient copy of said document, neatly bundled, and sliding it to the opposite side of the desk. Let’s be honest, that was an easy guess as to what he might be concerned about. “Amusingly enough, you also knew him well enough to suggest he might not be impossible to work with.”

She straightens in her chair, “My plan is to fulfill the duties and responsibilities of the office to which I am now raised. Much as I may like to think that I could seamlessly transition to this role without neglecting any of my duties as Duchess of Seaguard, I am not so great a fool as that.” She adds, “So yes, your duties to our house will be expanding. I will expect you to handle the routine business of our Duchy for the foreseeable future. You may exercise your judgment as to what you feel is routine, and you may delegate as you see fit. You’re going to be Duke one day so I may as well make sure you will perform adequately in the role now.”

She adds, “To which I might add that I am going to suggest to Her Majesty that your appointment as Lord Marshal be lifted and instead have you named Lord Admiral. With our feud with the Haldis in the process of being mitigated if not ended, that position will have more natural overlap with our own military interests, and besides, you need to regain your sea legs.”

"I figured there was more than merely Kat's hand in marriage, and he is more reasonable than his father and Alphard by far, but not as slimy as Randall" Thad says and takes the bundle. As he does not currently have time to look at it and converse with his mother, he keeps it in his lap. When Eleanor mentions him taking on more duties in the duchy, Thad nods, "Understandable, I will likely need to speak with a few individuals to see what might need my direct handling. Do you have any advice on what current issues the duchy is facing that I should address first?" Thad does not mention asking his father, partly because he is not sure what Rodrigo has been up to recently, nor would he want to risk angering Eleanor. "I also thank you for the responsibility." Also not mentioning that it will help him, should he wish to pursue the archducal title in the future.

The mention of Thad moving to Lord Admiral takes him a little off-guard. Though he does not show any adverse reaction to it, the Greycen heir ponders and says, "I was not expecting that, but it makes sense. Prince Martyn will likely be displeased, but that will be a matter for the Queen, unless you think Jo can help soothe what tensions may result." He nods, "But I will not object, assuming the Queen agrees to this shift."

Thad then continues, "Speaking of the sea and ships, I would like your permission to host some festivities for when Ariane gives birth. The child will, One willing, succeed us both in ruling the duchy and would be an opportunity to display our wealth and influence, especially with the Alhazredi delegation present."

“The short of it is that we will have access to Whitewalls once more, to include quartering of some troops and berths for ships. The agreement is functionally the same as that which was shared between House Farrant and House Haldis. Duke Haldis gains a wife he needs, and a new stream of goods for his duchy. He also helps cement the position of his mother’s newly-raised house, which strengthens his position against Randall. Not that he would say as much of course.” Eleanor folds her hands before her on the table, canting her head curiously.

“Why would Prince Martyn be displeased? He is my recommendation to assume the role of Lord Marshal. I don’t imagine her Majesty will need overmuch convincing on that. Duke Haldis has shown no interest in reclaiming the role, as I suspect his focus is upon his own Duchy for now.” She waves a hand, dismissive of any particular tensions that may result.

On the last portion, she looks to Thaddeus somewhat flatly, “I would consider such social functions a routine matter. Short of a Circuit Tourney, in any case. I am confident you are sensible enough to not bankrupt our Duchy with extravagant displays.” She pauses, and adds, almost begrudgingly, “And I will not deny that you are likely better suited to…such forms of diplomacy…than myself.”

Thaddeus listens and nods at the conclusion of the explanation of Whitewalls. "Makes sense, and it is only enriching vassals who are entirely dependent on him." He takes another sip of his wine and blinks at the mention of naming Martyn, "Ah. I had assumed you wished to have Darren moved to that office. Martyn will certainly do fine, though hopefully we will not require that office to be exercised. Whereas there are always pirates needing to be dealt with."

"I was going to assume that it could fall under my authority, but the saying 'better to beg for forgiveness than ask for permission' seldom actually works at a certain level." Thad remarks about the celebration, "And it should not cost as much as one thinks, I do not wish to throw a tourney for the birth, at most I will be bringing a ship from home to serve as the venue." He is smart enough to not go further in agreeing with his mother on who the more diplomatic one was, except by saying, "Understood, I will do what I can to strengthen our position. Are there any issues you would like to see dealt with or anything to start pushing for?"

“You will be responsible for determining what ships and troops will go to Whitewalls, within the confines of the contract.” Eleanor notes. “Put someone sensible in charge of it all. The Queen is pleased by the possibility of this feud ending, and I will not have it botched by an overzealous subordinate with a hot temper who thinks it is their duty to try to seize the city or some such nonsense.” She considers a moment, “You will have to coordinate Katerine’s wedding and the delivery of dowry, though the Haldis will be dealing with most of the expenses for the ceremony itself. If there are any problems, do let me know.” She pauses a moment, and it almost looks like she’s going to smile, which can never mean good things.

“Also, you will need to discuss the contract with her when you return to Seaguard. Which I Imagine you would be doing to retrieve that ship, in any case.”

Thad listens and nods, “Already have a few in mind. Will probably put a Bazan in charge of it, high enough not to need to prove themselves, and not the firebrand types.” He frowns, Kat…” he corrects himself, “Katerine has not been informed yet?” He takes a deep breath, “I will be sure to inform her where there is nothing valuable to break. Has the duke suggested when he wants this wedding to occur? I am also guessing that since they are funding it they will want it in Eastfields or are we wanting it here at court? I am assuming that we will not be hosting the wedding at Stoneshield for obvious reasons. Either way, it can be done. I would prefer Sunsreach, as it would avoid having to shift court, and I am sure Alpin would be glad to perform the ceremony, he is an Eastfielder, himself.”

“She will likely be aware of the basics before you arrive.” Eleanor notes, “The announcement was made in Stoneshield as well as Sunsreach and Charger’s Rest.” She adds, “The wedding location was not yet specified. The Duke may be amenable to a marriage in Sunsreach, if for no other reason than it has better infrastructure for such a gathering than Charger’s Rest.” Eleanor pauses a moment and considers, “Or conversely he may wish it at Charger’s Rest to show it’s recovery since the Thorn Incursion…or perhaps even at Whitewalls. You’ll likely have to coordinate, but he’s paying for it, so the final say will be his.” She adds, “And I imagine the Archbishop would be willing to travel for such a ceremony if it came to it.”

"Hopefully her temper will have waned by then," Thaddeus remarks, "I am guessing Father has likely spoken to her about it. But I will do what I can to inform her of the terms and conditions of her marriage, since I doubt Father has a copy of the contract." Thad raises the bundle in his lap. "So in reality I will likely need to speak with Darren's mother, as I am guessing she is the one controlling the ducal finances. Darren does not strike me as a steward. Is there anything else you would have me work on?"

“Believe it or not, I’m expecting you to exercise some of your own judgment in these matters from this point forward, Thaddeus. I assure you I will inform you if I disagree with your decisions, or if I have some particular matter I feel should take priority. But if I’m going to let you play the part you will inherit, I am not going to do so in half-measures. Work on what you feel needs to be focused on. Your father, shiftless though he may be, is well-informed on the present state of the Duchy and should prove a reasonably valuable asset in that regard.” Eleanor glances up with that almost-smile once more.

“And if you believe that this is my way of tossing you off the back of the boat to see if you can swim the deep currents, you would most certainly be correct.”

Thad almost blinks, but gives a smile, "Just clarifying what my limitations are. If I can run an army of opposing duchies and march it across the Edge, I have faith I can run a duchy. I fully intend on consulting Father to aid me in this, though I may need him to take fewer visits to Summerseat." He relaxes in the seat of the chair, "I expected nothing less. Fortunately I am probably the best swimmer in the family." A grin follows, as does a drink.

Eleanor glances at Thaddeus once more when he grins, a brow tilting at the words and the confident expression that accompanies them, “We shall see. Thankfully the waters are calmer now than they have been.” She moves to pick up another piece of parchment and quill, adding without further ado, “You may go, unless you’ve something else you think requires my approval.”

With that, Thaddeus nods, "Indeed, and if we can keep it that way, I will endeavor to do so." He shakes his head at her final question, "I do not, should anything come up that requires your approval you will get word immediately." With that, Thad rises and nods, "Good evening, Mother." He then departs.

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