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Mining the Past

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Mining the Past

Post  Colin Marcus on Fri Oct 04, 2013 12:25 am

22nd Gozren 1412


Thaddeus stared out the open window. The morning was fairly nice with a warm breeze coming through. Part of him welcomed this sign of spring. The other part... other part wondered what the thaw would bring.

Word from the north had trickled in slowly during the frozen months. Maddeningly slow...

He looked at his maps. Pieces were starting to move now... but his information was still sorely lacking.

Making a decision he went to the hall and flagged down one of the guards. Kennrick to be precise. Thaddeus often saw him walk these halls, which meant the man was trustworthy. Sir Paido allowed nothing less this far into the castle.

"Kennrick, I require a messenger." The guard snapped into a curt bow and hurried down the hall without question.

Thaddeus had barely returned to his desk when the expected knock came. Once permission was given, the door swung openly smoothly revealing Gabriel Rowley.

"You have need of me sir?" he asked as he bowed and Thad nodded at the familiar messenger.


***************************************************


A short time later, the young man found himself sitting outside the library where the magister was teaching a class. The king's message wasn't urgent enough to interrupt so he found himself sitting on a bench and waiting.

Before long lines of students both young and old streamed through the doors eager to enjoy a beautiful spring day. He himself looked forward to the time when his services weren't required and he could go out for a while.

Finally he saw the object of his quest. The magister wasn't much older then the messenger, but still Gabriel found the man intimidating.

"Pardon me, Lord Garess. I have a message for you from King Thaddeus."
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Zaistrun Garess

Post  Eddick the Steady (XIV) on Fri Oct 04, 2013 7:05 am

Class had just let out for the day and Zaistrun was pensive. It had been quite rewarding to teach the masses how to read, and it was beginning to pay off. there were more people in his classes every day it seemed. Having brought up some capable tutors, he spent most of his time teaching people how to teach, but he did his best to make himself available to his underlings.

When he started, he had no idea how many students he would have. It originally started with reading, and has grown into math and history. With about nine thousand in the kingdom now, it wasn't hard to see that he would be needing more help. The good thing is that with the influx, there were new recruits for teaching as well, the question is whether or not they could be trusted. Perhaps that was a matter that he should bring up with Sarala at the earliest convenience.

He was having one problem that he did not anticipate though, and he had to admit it was his own teaching that brought it on: love letters. He did find the best way to deal with them. Correcting grammar and spelling and syntax errors and returning them during class usually stemmed the tide.

He was still lost in thought when the messenger startled him. Instantly he was on the defensive. "There's no pardon necessary when speaking for the king. Speak, you have my attention." He said this a bit more harshly than he ought to have, but it was out now, and he would have to take it from here.
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Re: Mining the Past

Post  Colin Marcus on Sun Oct 06, 2013 2:31 pm

"Quite right!" the messenger spouted out abruptly, "The king requests your presence in his library..." He looked past him into the building and quickly corrected himself. "His personal library. At your earliest convience sir."
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Zaistrun Garess

Post  Eddick the Steady (XIV) on Sun Oct 06, 2013 6:15 pm

Zaistrun nodded at the young man. It was good to be able to admit when one is wrong. He was a decent boy. "Good then. I shall be off immediately. Let Piotr know where I have gone, Gabriel."

The sorcerer turned to leave, but paused and half turned back, "Also, you might find an embarrassed and broken-hearted girl around her somewhere that might need some comforting." He tossed a gold piece at the messenger. "Perhaps a drink or two will give you a chance to talk. I'll contact you if you are needed for other business."

As the messenger did not object, it seemed that he did not have any other messages to deliver. The young sorcerer wove his hands through the air and disappeared. He walked off in earnest toward the castle. It was easier to get through town with dignity and haste when one couldn't be seen. He managed to keep out of people's way through the crowded streets and made it to the castle unmolested.

After the daily routine with the guard at the front gate, Zaistrun padded up the stairs to the kings library. The sorcerer scratched his chin in contemplation as he neared the door. What did the king wish for him to do. Perhaps it was an urgent matter, or the king wanted him to research something. Hopefully it would not put off his lock research. Once they would be able to make that river passable and the war died down up north, it would be quite the economic boon to the city.

Three short knocks later and he let himself in to see the king for clarity. This meeting would soon come to quench his curiosity. It was highly irregular for him to be called up here. After all, unlike as if they were really friends.
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Thaddeus Medvyed

Post  Colin Marcus on Tue Oct 08, 2013 10:47 am

"Zaistrun, thank you for coming so promptly," Thaddeus said as he rose from his chair.

"I have been going over what I know about the players to the north... and I'm finding some serious holes in my knowledge. I was hoping you might be able to fill them."

He looked at the sorcerer as he pointed out the battlefield that was brewing with the last messages they'd recieved. The Garess' and Silverhall. He tried to read the young man's face, but Zaistren

"Have you heard anything further about the battle? Or anything in particular from your family?"
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Zaistrun Garess

Post  Eddick the Steady (XIV) on Fri Oct 11, 2013 7:50 am

Zaistrun raised his eyebrows. "Nothing at all Sire. But I do not focus my attentions on information gathering. I understand that Dracean and Sarala are your eyes and ears on the war up north. Also, I do not expect any correspondence from my family concerning anything. The lot of Surtovan lapdogs understand that I want nothing to do with them. I suppose for that, I can give them credit."

"But I digress. Perhaps if I knew the reason why you have called me in particular to discuss such matters I could be of better assistance to you."
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Thaddeus Medvyed

Post  Colin Marcus on Fri Oct 11, 2013 1:54 pm

Thaddeus raised his own eyebrows in surprise at that. He knew there was friction between Zaistrun and his family... but this seemed... more intense than mere friction would dictate.

"Why would I not," the king asked simply. "Sarala and Dracean can only tell me about what they have done... you are the only one around me who can tell what they 'may' do. Predictions based upon personality... that frankly I don't know.

I've had no dealing with the Garess' beyond yourself and Keston and neither of you seem to hold your family in high regard."

He tried to remember the little that he did know of the family. It wasn't much. "My father had few dealings with Baron Garess... and the only memories I have of your brothers were of unpleasant little boys..

"Hardly the kind of thing I wish to make political decisions on." . A wry grin appeared as he thought of who he was when he was child compared to what he had grown into.

"So I would like to know more about them..." He waved his hand toward the chairs in front of the desk. "Please, Tell me what I should know..."
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Zaistrun Garess

Post  Eddick the Steady (XIV) on Fri Oct 11, 2013 5:53 pm

"No, I would trust your gut feelings on this one. Nothing I say will change your mind." He paused for a moment, realizing the king wanted more, and continued. As he spoke he put his hands behind his back and began to pace.

"House Garess had every intention of doing what House Lebeda did and seize power following the disappearance of house Rogarvia. We've always been a populated area, and we provided our own arms, and had dwarven support. We were working on getting support from the various houses to oppose the Surtovans, but something happened. We just did not do it. I don't know if it was some political maneuverings or a change of heart with an unknown cause, but we went from believing we were to be masters of the realm one minute and supporters of the Surtovans the next. The rest of the houses came into line quickly after that." The speech was as if he was teaching history in his school. The events hardly had an emotional impact on his form of speech, but he wasn't hardly done yet.

"Why father did it still remains a mystery, and I have to believe it wasn't magical influence at all. Mother was a powerful wizard and would have been able to counter such. Some speculate that it so happened that my father woke up from the magical influence of my mother, but he seemed much more lifeless and out of control after the incident than before."

"Since that day, the Surtovans have been steadily eroding our power so we couldn't pose a threat to them, not like it mattered. There was no fight left in father. If House Garess did go to war, Father wouldn't be involved. Most likely the one calling the shots is Zephran. My oldest brother is Zyphus, and he is so far removed from reality, he is not likely to inherit anything. Zekiel is next in line, but is so much of a yes man, it doesn't really matter what's going on as long as he has occasion to spill blood. Zephran is the one you have to deal with, and he is a nasty sort."

"He's the kind that smiles in your face but who is plotting to have your legs removed. I wouldn't be surprised if he attempted to arrange the death of both of them before the war is out, as it would be a golden opportunity for him. He'd have trouble with Zekiel as he is a canny fighter who loves to duel and is used to battlefield trickery. Zyphus, well, I suppose he is lucky to still be alive."

"None of them go out of their way to be kind, and none of them are pleased with what has happened in the last twelve years. There is plenty of anger in all of them, and I would not go out of my way to treat with them for any reason. You could do without their madness." He ceased his pacing and looked at the king, starting to finally gain a menacing tone in his voice, but remained looking as impassive as stone.

"For instance, Zephran and my father belittled me for doing so good a job with the mines that the Surtovan's kept taking them. They wouldn't go against the Surtovans, but they sure had a problem with me. And now they are fighting a war with them instead of against them. They are mad and evil and a certain lost cause. Be glad they aren't meddlesome and they have a strong enemy between us.

As far as the Surtovans go, I had been against them all my life. I've no doubt in my mind that they intended to annex us as soon as we became profitable. If they win the war, it can be assured they will come to us next."
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Thaddeus Medvyed

Post  Colin Marcus on Fri Oct 11, 2013 6:15 pm

"I'm less convinced..." Thaddeus said as he mulled over the implications of the war. "It's possible, of course. I suspect if Cor has any influence he'd argue for it, but I suspect that Surtova will be hard pressed to keep what he has through this war... let alone set his sights on more. At least... Not right away."

He eyed Zaistrun warily. The Magister had strong opinions and no difficulty speaking them. He would have to be very careful exactly where and to whom he ever sent Zaistrun to speak with...

"Personally, I do not care which side wins... so long as it's done quickly and peace returns to the land... The last decade had been terse... but Surtova had kept the peace at least. The Lebedas? I'm.... concerned about that change more then I am the status quo..."
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Zaistrun Garess

Post  Eddick the Steady (XIV) on Fri Oct 11, 2013 11:37 pm

There it was, the disapproving look. It was probably because of the notion that his family was nonredeemable. He had always prided himself on being able to disclose his feelings, and he never held back with the king. It was important that he know everything that needed knowing. If he withheld anything that caused Thad to make a poor decision, he could only blame himself, but if he told it how it was seen by the sorcerer, then he could have no regrets.

"The real key is the Orlovskys. How the Lebedas gathered their support is unknown, but they have turned out to be quite potent. The common enemy of the Surtovas works for them to rally the Swordlords, and if this war is swift, the peace will last for more than the measly ten years we got from the underhanded Surtovans."

"I didn't get to know the Lebeda family very much, due to me avoiding the undesired feelings of a certain Baron's older sister, but at least they are forthright in their intonations. The Surtovans never gave us that. As long as they have the strength to demonstrate their superiority, it will be better. The longer the war goes, the less likely things will be patched up well."

After his final statement of his opinion, he stood respectfully with his hands behind his back. This was usually when he was dismissed, and he had answered the king's question as best he could. Perhaps there was more, but it was hard to say.
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Thaddeus Medvyed

Post  Colin Marcus on Sat Oct 12, 2013 5:53 am

"Again, I have less confidence in that."

The king thought back to the conversation he'd had with Wynnsarren mere weeks ago. His uncertainty about his new information hadn't ebbed as he dwelled on it. If anything the pieces of the puzzle seemed more mysterious then ever.

"There is no reason for Orlovski to back Lander Labeda. He's inexperienced, impulsive, and hardly seems fit to rule all of Brevoy. The Orlovskys have never made a stand before... but this is the king they've chosen to follow? There's more to the story there then we know.

"Rasven Winter... As opposed to simply funding the armies, actually seems to be running them. Collecting intelligence, ordering attacks... The... 'forthrightness' you claim to see... Seems to me to be an elaborate smokescreen.

"Personally, I think when the dust clears the boy will be more pawn then king."
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Zaistrun Garess

Post  Eddick the Steady (XIV) on Sat Oct 12, 2013 8:30 am

A momentary pause took place as the king finished his statements, processing the information. "Ah. You have more information than I do on this matter it seems. I can only tell you what I know. What I do know is that noblemen do not like being puppets, no matter their age. Puppet kingdoms do not last very long as a rule."

"Should Brevoy become unstable, it will only bolster Novastacia's population and we will not have to fear anything but cursory attacks from individual houses, which by the end of the war we should be able to weather. We are gaining power rapidly, and we may be able to continue to collect land peacefully, even from people sick of warring factions."

Zaistrun paused for another moment, considering the penalties of his next statement. "Also, the same words you used to describe Lander Lebeda were recently used of you by Mivon. It doesn't seem like you to act like them. I would have thought you to see a man before you judge him. I think the same would go with this Rasven Winter fellow. Judging someone before you have experience with them seems like something your sister would do. Are you looking for a fight?"
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Thaddeus Medvyed

Post  Colin Marcus on Sat Oct 12, 2013 9:02 pm

Thaddeus looked at the sorcerer and blinked in surprise. Zaistrun's observation was pretty accurate. Though Thaddeus believed there were differences too.

"On a smaller scale, I would love to meet people before I judge them," he spread his hands a bit in helplessness. "However... in this political arena? I have diplomats and envoys and intelligence reports simply because I'm not meeting these people face to face.

"As such, I have little to judge them on besides their actions." Thaddeus sighed as he considered the young king.

"Perhaps I should have searched out the other kingdoms around... That's a decision on my head. Lander however? He started a war within hours of being capable of starting a war... And if our reports are accurate, they got his sister killed in the process." He shook his head in annoyance.

"I wanted her safe too.... but it was a bad call on his part, plain and simple and more then just his sister will pay the price."

He shook his head and shrugged again. "All that I could look past though, if only he'd get in front of these decisions and run his own war. I keep seeing his name bandied about as a figurehead."

He looked again toward the map of troop movements and couldn't help but wonder how out of date it was. News was so slow getting here... and even then was mostly second hand... mostly.

"Your trip north showed that Lebeda's have no more legitimate claim... yet for some reason the Orlovskys are still supporting his drive. Sarala found word that Master Winter was helping to finance the war... but Wynnsarren tells me admits to much more.

"In his own words, he received intelligence on questionable Surtova plans... so he gave the order to sack New Stetvan with the army of fire. He also claims to have had no part in Keston's assassination attempt, and states rather confidently that nobody in Silverhall did either." His brow furrowed as he mulled over the implications again.

"No word of Lander in this mess since we first heard him issuing threats months ago... Just Orlovsky influence and Winter money joining together to follow an angry young boy...

"You've heard the rumors that follow Rasven Winter, I assume? Even if every one of them was a lie... Wynnsarren followed a sordid trail of death and assassins leading from the Siccatite mine and the darkness within, all the way to his front door...

"This is what I have to base my judgments on... Though I value your insight. What's your opinion?"
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Zaistrun Garess

Post  Eddick the Steady (XIV) on Sat Oct 12, 2013 10:34 pm

Zaistrun felt a surge of emotion due to the king's well placed compliment, but he stuffed it down to be dealt with later. Gushing because of flattery would not help the king with his problem, which was becoming more clear but was yet still somewhat hard to make out.

"My opinion is that the mark of a good leader is the quality of his subordinates. Any fool can bully all in his power and grind them into the dust to rise above, but the true greats are the ones with greats underneath them. If Lander has Winter and the Orlovsky's following him and can maintain their allegiance, then that is all you need know of him to know of his capability. If they are really following Winter then it proves his capabilities.

"You are assuming the young Lebeda's intentions through rumor. There were legitimate reasons to go to war against the Surtovas besides revenge. The fact that they didn't save the sister would actually point to the idea that their reasons for war did not include that. Assuming that he is just an angry little kid may be true, but considering what the Surtovas have done to my family, I can't say the anger is illegitimate, nor are the reasons for war unjust. You said the Surtovans had given us a decade of peace, but there has been no peace for the people, nor has there been anything but uneasiness in Brevoy since. A strong ruler would bring much to the area, regardless of his form."

"Having hung out with evil people my whole life, and despite having some in the church of Abadar, the most important thing to remember is whether or not you can trust them to act even in their own self interest. Most ambitious and evil people are easy enough to get along with as long as they feel they are getting the better end of the deal and have no advantages in attempting to destroy you. Having a common enemy can also allow them to be worked with. It's not ideal, but sometimes you have to work with what you have. Even Sarenrae worked with Asmodeus against Rovagug.

He spoke his next sentence slowly to put forth a greater emphasis on the words. "And all kings are figureheads." He paused slightly before continuing, his eyes slightly narrowed. "A kingdom cannot be run by one, at best one can manage approximately 300 people, after that they must have a structure of leaders to manage things or they will get fractious. Simply because he doesn't run his own war could mean that he knows he has inexperience and goes to those within his charge for better success." His eyes relaxed somewhat.

"Some might look down on you because you had your sister design your castle, or your magister handling your building process or your knight handling your finances or your druid taking stock of your lands. But you know better than that. Do not apply such logic to others that you do not apply to yourself. It makes you look weak."

"And despite all this speculation, what are you going to do about all this? How is your knowledge of the situation in Brevoy going to change how you are reacting to it? What would it take to drag you into action in the war? Have the Lebedas made you an offer of alliance? You keep talking as if this is imminent, but it won't make any difference if the Lebedas or my family are trustworthy or not until after the war is over.
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Thaddeus Medvyed

Post  Colin Marcus on Sun Oct 13, 2013 5:51 pm

Thaddeus mulled over the magister's words in silence for many long moments. Some of what he said made sense... some less so, but he listened to it all.

"I believe your cousin would disagree about our being 'out of the war," he said finally. "I don't know what actions could spur us into 'joining' the war... but I still want to know the players. When the dust settles... regardless of our claims to independence, Brevoy still affects us. We've spent a lot of time and money tying our Tradeway to Brevoy... If whoever sits on the throne is... ill disposed towards us, it's going to cause problems for us.

"I have to be prepared to deal with... however this ends. Frankly I'm not liking my options too much here. Lebeda seems very weak to me. Winter seems manipulative. You describe Garess' as Evil and Villains.... My brother is pompous... Surtova is paranoid and arrogant and caused... strife with your family..."

He looked at Zaistrun in contemplation and a small smirk appeared in the corner of his mouth. "Your family who you claim is evil and not to be trusted... Does that make Surtova the 'good guy' in that conflict? You claim he took over your mines... That may have been in every one's best interests..."

He shrugged his shoulders and became serious again. "Besides, I don't remember hearing any objections when we annexed the Sootscale mines into our borders and influence... Do you feel we did wrong there?"
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Zaistrun Garess

Post  Eddick the Steady (XIV) on Mon Oct 14, 2013 10:29 am

"My cousin is out of the war until you say he is. We have no proof of who ordered the attack, and it is as likely to be one faction as the other. But we were able to save him, and it sent a message to whomever started it in the first place. We are not so easily overcome. As it was, we escaped danger and my cousin is well. They are naming the baby after one of the detective squad that found out the assassin. I hope it's a boy. Vabka is a horrible name for a girl." He shook his head. The girl herself was quite capable and even remotely pretty. What a shame she had a name like that.

Setting his mind back on topic, he continued. "As far as leaders of Brevoy go, if you do not like the choices of the people in charge, welcome to politics. Everyone has flaws and everyone is quick to judge. History and success are more important than popular opinion and rumor. It is far more important to pursue right than fame. Are there clear losers in the bunch? Obviously. But there are a few who could yet be great, if they are strong enough to demonstrate themselves. Until then, we will just have to wait."

He pulled his hand from behind his back and pointed at the corner of the King's mouth. "About that smirk of yours, the Sootscales could not protect themselves from the mites. We fixed their problem. We also didn't conquer them, we entered into an agreement with them. They have done the mining themselves and also enriched themselves. We built them a fortress. They are far stronger now than they have been in their history. In what way is that like what the Surtovans did to my life's work other than that both situations had mines involved?"
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Thaddeus Medvyed

Post  Colin Marcus on Tue Oct 15, 2013 3:35 pm

"I only know about your mines... what you've chosen to share Zaistrun," Thad said with a hint of sympathy. "I'm sure there are some kobalds who were less then thrilled to join with us, despite all the improvements that decision made in their lives. Hargulka tried to 'win' them over... siding with us was never a given.

"I'm sure there are some there who see our involvement as an insult to their 'draconic' heritage. Such was implied in the meeting with the chief and Hargulka... and as such funneling their wealth and prosperity into the good of the whole kingdom?? I'm sure there are some that feel the way you did up north.

"The methods may have been different... at least I sincerely hope my methods were better... but the end result is much the same.

"I have little doubt that Noleski is short on charm. However, it doesn't sound like he needed armed soldiers to 'take' this mine... For some reason we don't know, your father backed down and gave up his power and holdings... and frankly that doesn't sound like a Garess, but it's what you say, and I have no cause to doubt it.

"Nor when you said that the Garess' had eyes for the throne till their power eroded... or that you have a brother likely planning the fratricide of his brothers. Frankly, with a crew like that... Eroding their power base and keeping them from attacking was the peaceful maneuver...

"I have little doubt I'd disagree with the methods... but the end result is something I think I would have approved of."

He grimaced a bit as he shook his head in annoyance. "However, I didn't call you here to praise the Surtova's. I have no love for the family myself... I wished to learn more about your family and grasp of the politics...

"As angry as Cor was when he left here... I still would find it hard to believe he would condone violence against me or Sarala personally... What of your family? You think Zephran may try to kill his brothers... what of his outcast cousin? Would he have objected to that kind of 'object lesson' thrown at Novastasia?"
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Zaistrun Garess

Post  Eddick the Steady (XIV) on Thu Oct 17, 2013 11:10 pm

Zaistrun remained cool as ever.  "I never figured you for an 'ends justifies the means' person.  Perhaps I've been advising you incorrectly all this time.  I'll authorize Paido to use the poisons he has been asking me about for months."

Before Thad could react, Zaistrun continued.  "The further I've thought of the assassination, the less I think it was personal.  It was a calculated move by the Surtovans to have us throw suspicion on the Lebedas and not to join their cause, or it was a calculated move by the Lebedas to disrupt our growth on their southern borders.  Since the Rostlanders were instrumental in supplying our growth here, I seriously doubt it was the latter.  In any case, the death of my cousin would be a serious blow to our stability here and was probably an opportunity for our enemies to keep us down with the capability of being able to blame someone else with impunity."  By this time, he had already put his hands behind his back again.

"Cor has no love for me, and my family would probably object to the targeting of any who were of noble blood, excepting Kesten, who was thrown out of the family.  Without any more evidence, it's useless continuing to speculate.  Many things may have changed in the past two years, and many things might have been beyond our knowing even then.  If you want more information, send your sister in for more.  I've do doubt she can do the job you have assigned for her to do.  Do you?"
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Re: Mining the Past

Post  Colin Marcus on Thu Oct 17, 2013 11:22 pm

"Oh, I'm sure she's capable," Thaddeus chuckled at what he perceived as a Zaistrun's jests. Though, the king thought as he searched the magister's stoney face, with Zaistrun it was really hard to tell...

"She's been learning people's secrets as long as i can remember... though I do like to hear other opinions as well. Different people have different views, and many times those views can color an otherwise objective report.

"I'm finding this war has brought many differing opinions to the forefront...

"It's interesting the way you attribute the attack to our enemies... As a whole we have few declared enemies right now. Undeclared though, it may stretch father and in completely different directions then Brevoy...

"You stated that his death would impact our growth.... That's an excellent point. who would fear us growing? Both halves of Brevoy probably wish us prosperity. Rostland set us here for their own purposes... and as you say... Issia will probably try to take us over if we get profitable enough... Mivon has shown concern over our growth... Even Varnhold could be jealous of our holdings. Our land is growing by leaps and bounds, while his has floundered and barely managed to stay sustainable... I believe he enjoys us as powerful enough allies... but does he fear we'd take him over if we become 'too' powerful? What of the fey? Or the Red Claw?"

He sighed and leaned back in his chair with his chin resting on his hand in heavy thought.

"Honestly, despite our lack of conflict this winter... we really do have many who 'may' consider themselves 'enemies'. Certainly something to keep our thoughts on."
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Zaistrun Garess

Post  Eddick the Steady (XIV) on Thu Oct 17, 2013 11:26 pm

"You are forgetting the monastery of Gyrrona, the Mi-Go, the sentient weapons, the opportunistic fools of Galt, Giants in the mountains to the east, the Swamp kingdom to the west and the blackest of shadows in the dreams of the same oracle that decreed your meteoric rise." And then Zaistrun squinted his eyes slightly and did a slight imitation of Sarala's tone and rhythm. "And who knows what her intentions really are."

He resumed his original humorless tone and facial blankness. "All of which have kept me from my arduous tasks of educating the masses, developing magical talent, creating magical defenses, research and development of mass transit, building an orchard, and heightening my own magical prowess. At least on Starday afternoons, they do. That's my designated time for worrying like an old woman."

"If only our enemies would declare themselves so we could smite them and be done with it. The fact that the have been leaving us alone could only mean they are plotting against us, twisting their mustaches and hatching vile plots."
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Thaddeus Medvyed

Post  Colin Marcus on Mon Oct 21, 2013 7:52 pm

"EXACTLY!" Thaddeus exclaimed, his fist thumping solidly on the table.He tried to keep a straight face, but the absurdity was starting to get to him, and he couldn't help but laugh.

"Worrying like an old woman?" He said with a raised eyebrow. "is that what you think I'm doing?" He grinned again as he imagined what Sarala's reaction would have been if she'd been standing there. If Dracean was any clue... it probably would have been a sapping.

Of course... he really believed she liked the druid MUCH less then Zaistrun.

"We're at peace now, but I doubt that will always be the case. Now is the time to prepare. Get to know the players as it were... The wall was a good start. I'm not... certain what else we should prepare for."
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Zaistrun Garess

Post  Eddick the Steady (XIV) on Mon Oct 21, 2013 11:44 pm

"That is why you have advisers, is it not?" The stone--faced sorcerer's mouth twitched a little, like it was trying to smile, but then thought better of it. There might have been a slight relief in his posture as the king laughed at himself, but it would have been hard to tell unless someone was looking very closely.

"When the danger is unknown, how do you prepare for it as a paladin? Develop your body and spirit. For a country, there are three parts: Economy, Stability and Loyalty. As long as these are developed, the rest should come easier. Our Economy is doing well, and our Loyalty is coming along, but there is a problem with our Stability. Settling families like to see families at the head of government. It makes them more secure. Also, to be totally honest, you sound like you need someone to talk to." Zaistrun knew how sore of a spot this was, and also knew that he might not be ready to hear it, so he moved on.

"When it comes to Economy, Novastacia is doing above expectations, and that is without our ambitious plans. If we can open the Sellen to Restov for trade, we can make the route to the crusade quicker than the land route through Numeria, and bring much traffic to the Area. A waterfront we have been longing to build for some time now would make this city quite prepared for the influx of money and labor in the area. Our little town could easily swell to be even larger than Restov in a few years, especially if it is known the peace has been kept here."

"Our Armies are growing, and they do have a good reputation, our defenses and watch towers are built." He gestured around him. "This castle is itself a boon to the area and our mines are producing well. I do not know of the troubles we might be having in the future, but if we continue to do well, we should be able to overcome them if our city is running well, and it is. You should be happy that things are as quiet as they are and make your plans for the future aside from catastrophe. The question isn't always what will you do when there is trouble, but what will you do when there isn't."
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Thaddeus Medvyed

Post  Colin Marcus on Wed Oct 23, 2013 6:16 pm

"That's what I have advisors for isn't it." Thaddeus turned the phrase back with a grin, though the mirth that gleamed in his eyes didn't take root this time.

Zaistrun had come to a very interesting point. One that had bothered him for multiple months now. A feeling of... idleness that he wasn't sure how to fight.

"I'll confess, I'm more comfortable planning battle strategy then I am ruling in 'peace'."

He let that thought hang in the air for a moment and finally added. "How is it you can want something so much... and not have any idea what to do with it when it's here?"
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Zaistrun Garess

Post  Eddick the Steady (XIV) on Thu Oct 24, 2013 10:32 pm

"That," the sorcerer began hesitantly, "that, I believe is a religious question. It is where I go when I am unsure where to go next." He paused again before continuing. "But, I will admit that it is not achievement of my goals that puts me into a position of confusion. It is when I have failed. I do not know from experience the kind of success you speak of."

Zaistrun's gaze wandered a little around the room. "Perhaps these walls are not stimulating your imagination. Exercise is good for the body as well as the mind. Have you been neglecting your swordplay? Did you go hunting this winter? How are the memoirs coming? Do you engage in the arts? Do you enjoy music? Have you been reading for recreation? What kind of improvements would you like in the castle, town or country that would ease your troubles or give you comfort? Have you been spending time with the followers of Sarenrae? Have you been isolating yourself from them for a reason? Do you want to disguise yourself and walk among the poor? Have you considered training and breeding horses? Or do you find all things bland because you cannot have what you really want?"
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Thaddeus Medvyed

Post  Colin Marcus on Thu Oct 24, 2013 10:40 pm

Thaddeus blinked under the sudden barrage of questions.

"Well..." he said with uncertainty, "I've hunted some. I was never a fan before, but it's an excuse to get out of the castle and into some fresh air. Besides... I can always use the practice with my bow." He chuckled at how long he'd practiced with it before he finally hit a target. The bow was never his chosen weapon... but the magical one claimed from the Stag Lord was a nice trophy to say the least. "I'm actually starting to enjoy it, though the winter takes some of the fun out of it.

"Same with the Horse training. Yaromir isn't quite the horse that Longstrider was... but he's come along well. On good days I've a few distractions. I look forward to spring.

"My swordwork comes along... I've tried to work with the First Light. Strengthen all our skills... though frankly that was a disaster. It seemed anyone I sparred with held back for fear of being 'the one' who harmed the king... and frankly didn't do any of us any good. Sir Tambor and I agree that he'll continue the training... and should the need come that I need to garner their respect again... I can knock a few of them down a couple rungs then..." He chuckled a bit at that image.

"Failure never frightened me..." He said as he looked at the sorcerer quizzically. "My holy quest was to rid the world of evil... an impossible one to be certain. One that we are trained to accept that we will fail at. However for paladins... it's the fight that counts. To never surrender, and do the best you can for as long as you can. To each day make the world a better a place because we were there." He raised his hand up to hold off any objections.

"Now, make no mistake... I acknowledge on that front, we are a resounding success. The people are happy, safe. Peace reigns and Novastasia has made the world a better place by any standard... and it gets better every day. I don't want anyone to think I'm not proud of what we've accomplished here...

"Still... There is a difference between telling people what to do, and physically doing it. I trained for so long to hone these goddess-given talents... gifts designed to lead from the front and wade into combat sword swinging... Gifts, going to waste reading tax documents...

"I have a few hobbies that are distractions... but sometimes 'distractions' don't sound like a good thing. Personal glory, drink, women, these were the traps that were meant to distract me from what I should be doing...

"Perhaps your right... I may have to speak with Traica on the matter one of these days," he said shaking his head with a slight grin.
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