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The Greatest Among You

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The Greatest Among You

Post  Eddick the Steady (XIV) on Mon Jan 27, 2014 3:14 pm

6th of Lamashan (two days before leaving for Varnhold)

Footsteps echoed off of the stone walls in the fading light of the corridor as the young man in his arcane vestments walked with purpose. A few stones floated in lazy orbits around his head and a pair of glasses hung low on his nose. He had been most recently in the library studying ancient manuscripts, and had reached a point of decision. It was time to talk to the first Knight of the Realm.

Paido was predictable in his habits at certain times, this being one of them. It was tax time, and the Kingdom Treasurer was always in doing accounts. It was a thankless job, but Paido did it with little complaint much better than anyone else in the kingdom could do it. Zaistrun was confident of that. Whether or not he was ideal for this position, it did mean that the young sorcerer knew where he was, and it was certain that he would not bring up the subject.

What he was going to bring up could change more important things, but that was yet to be seen.

He opened the door without knocking or announcing himself and walked through into the lighted room. "I understand you are busy, but have you a moment for some items of deliberation? I would like to get preparations underway as soon as possible."
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Re: The Greatest Among You

Post  Magyc on Mon Jan 27, 2014 3:27 pm

Paido kept the abacus spinning in constant motion with his left hand while his right hand recorded figures in a ledger, the speed of which was limited only by the fraction of a second it took for him to let the excess ink drip off the quill in between refreshings. Smearing the Kingdom's official records simply was not tolerable. He pondered various devices he might put in place to deal with that problem as the tallied receipts piled up beside him. He hurriedly attempted to finish the current page as a slight scraping down the hallway indicated that it was likely he would soon have a single visitor, probably an unarmored male weighing between 115 and 135 pounds. A second or two later the breath pattern exhibited by the visitor raised Paido's eyebrow a discernable amount; it was uncommon to receive a visit from this person in lieu of being summoned. A moment before the door opened Paido smoothly lighted to his feet and waited for Zaistrun to enter. As the Magister swept in without making eye contact, Paido hoped he could assist with whatever matter he was being consulted upon. Zaistrun's burden seemed to weight a little heavier upon him the past few months. "Absolutely, Sir."
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Zaistrun Garess

Post  Eddick the Steady (XIV) on Mon Jan 27, 2014 4:14 pm

Paido always seemed to be ahead of the crowd when it came to anticipating events. Perhaps he had already foreseen this meeting, and perhaps not. Regardless there were things to discuss. "Sir Paido." He began with Paido's former title as it was important to raise him to his proper rank when discussing this particular issue. "Due to the impending marriage of our King, we are going to have to take certain steps to make sure that the new Queen is properly received. As such, it is far past time to begin planning for the regalia, namely the crowns of the royal couple. It is my intention to make each of them between the two of us."

He wiggled his fingers in an odd fashion, and behind him a large representation of a pair of crowns were imposed over black velvet. "I plan to handle the construction of the actual pieces, but with your help I plan to make them magical crowns with specific usefulness to the married couple as well as to kings and queens in the future. It will require a significant amount of your time and I am here to formally request it for the sake of the King's prestige." The illusory crowns rotated in their display to be visible from most angles that would be seen by the public as he spoke.

"Do you have any questions or concerns before I assume your cooperation in the matter?"
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Re: The Greatest Among You

Post  Magyc on Mon Jan 27, 2014 4:35 pm

The politics and diplomacy that are integral components of royal life still remained somewhat foreign to Paido, even after his time spent in the royal court. In truth it was not a subject that lent itself to quiet contemplative study in the pages of a book, which was Paido's preferred method of study. He was grateful that Zaistrun and the other members of the court looked out for Thaddeus in that regard, leaving Paido to concern himself with the more pragmatic concern of Thaddeus's physical integrity. This matter, however, had in Paido's view crossed that line.

"Sir, that sounds like a fine gift for Thaddeus and his bride. I am of course, absolutely willing to invest whatever time it takes to collaborate with you in coming up with something suitable. I'm not sure what you were thinking of, but I have some protective auras in mind that we may want to consider."....Paido trailed off for a moment. "Sir, regarding this entire matter...there was never the time or place to bring this up before, but I have had deep concerns about this arrangement from the very beginning. I had best speak now, during this period of time when my words would not be considered treasonous."

"When the deal was put forth to Thaddeus, he was given the choice to consent to the arrangement or face the withholding of fey aid. For Thaddeus, of course, this was no choice at all. I know he would make any sacrifice for this nation. Yet it was obvious he was reluctant. For what it was worth, I voiced my displeasure at that time along with him, but Sarala and yourself urged him to accept the terms. I know you were both very concerned with his marital status, and I understand your concern about an heir...but what kind of ally holds out for such steep terms in the midst of your greatest need? How can we possibly trust a queen who has ascended to her position through what essentially amounts to coercion??"
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Zaistrun Garess

Post  Eddick the Steady (XIV) on Mon Jan 27, 2014 4:44 pm

Zaistrun hadn't been fully expecting this question at this time but they had not actually discussed it, so it was probably important that they get it off the table. "I urged the king to get married for precisely the purpose of an heir. Also because it was unlikely that he would get married except by coercion. He is simply too busy and worried about the kingdom to be caught up by love. Also, if he were truly reluctant to move forward into these nuptuals, he would have taken my advice to think about it for a few days or a week before giving his answer."

"I did not even consider her machinations to be a bad thing, as she had demonstrated her worth in aiding us to destroy the Fellnight Queen, admittedly for her benefit as much as for our own. It is a common thing in court to leverage others to accepting your positions, as there are many who are also strong willed in their positions as well. If she were evil, Thad would behead her. If she were duplicitous, Sarala would have objected. As neither of them did, I supported the match. Ideally, it would have been better in different circumstances, but she is a great lady and will bring a prestige to the kingdom that a local woman or even a noble heiress would have been lacking." The crowns in the illusion remained spinning throughout his speech, but then they ceased moving and the illusion winked out as he turned his attention on the small knight before him.

"I chalked up your objections to the match as she was still and is still an unknown quantity, and you tend to object to such things. It behooves you to be overly cautious. Is there any other reason to your objection?"
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Re: The Greatest Among You

Post  Magyc on Mon Jan 27, 2014 4:53 pm

"Outside of those reasons, no. To the extent that fey behave in a logical and self-interested fashion, I cannot fathom why she desired this union. Their power far exceeds our own. Why would they be so interested in Novastasia as to ask for a share in rulership, yet threaten to withhold any aid in our darkest hour and risk it's destruction? These are the questions that I ponder, and without answers I cannot begin to prepare for any...problems...that may appear as a result."

"I do hope some of these answers may become apparent after we hear back from Wynn's latest journey. Based on our prior deadlings, I am not optimistic."

"Regarding the crown, for Thaddeus, I would suggest it provide protection against mind-altering influences...fey influences, in particular."
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Zaistrun Garess

Post  Eddick the Steady (XIV) on Thu Feb 13, 2014 3:50 pm

Zaistrun frowned, seriously considering the halfling's concerns. "To hear the king tell it, they do not necessarily adhere to logic but they are self-interested. It is my belief that the queen apparent is not particularly interested in Novastasia, but rather the King himself. This does not bother me either. When the king dies eventually, hopefully of old age, she will still be living and we will have convinced her to allow her children to rule in her stead. The people will be more likely to accept someone who is half human as opposed to fey rule, especially if there is time to get used to the idea."

"I think you underestimate our kingdom and overestimate the power of the fey. I think this is much more of an advantageous match for both parties. Upon review the war record, the fey did indeed kill a great many enemies and suffered less casualties, but they were not targeted as much as our people. Perhaps their recent sorties with the fey in the woods on their way here made them fear the fey too much. We have also defeated one fey queen already, and while she was indeed powerful, we were victorious in the end.

"In short, I do not see her having malicious intent for our kingdom, since it would be more trouble for her in the long run than for us, since she is immortal. I also do not see her defeating us in a short term intrigue, due to the strengths of the king and his company. I see the advantages outweighing the risk, as does the king. But it is good for you to be wary, we all know you have the king's safety as your highest priority." Believing the subject to be completed, he waggled his fingers and resumed the illusion of the crown.

"I agree that the crown should offer protection. I had already made plans to increase his ability to discern lies, which is universally important for royalty. Adding a protection to mind magic is a good idea as well. Puppet kings are not as useful as good kings, although they are preferable to foolish kings. Since we are starting with the most moral of men, we should be able to continue that for at least three generations then protection against mind magic would be useful. I will add that to the list. Having something in the crown specifically against fey could backfire in this union as well as make the crown unusable for the children. Handed down crowns are more impressive, so it's important to get it right from the start."
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Re: The Greatest Among You

Post  Magyc on Thu Feb 13, 2014 4:02 pm

"Ah yes...I had not considered the future impact on offspring. Probably best not to include the fey-bane elements I had in mind. I do have a possibility in mind that would work to in ensuring he was not susceptible to outside magical influences- but it is quite costly. There are some ways I could extract the resources from the budge from this process, but the loss of those resources would surely be felt elsewhere. How important do you think it is that we should have this ready before the marriage?"
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Zaistrun Garess

Post  Eddick the Steady (XIV) on Thu Feb 13, 2014 4:07 pm

"Upon the marriage of the royals, we will need to have a crown ready for her. If we have a crown ready for him at the same time, we can make a dual ceremony for the coronation and royal wedding, enough reason to have a holiday for years to come. We don't have anything for Thad at this point, so we are going to need something for her as well. Do you have any suggestions?"

"It's still some time until the nuptials need take place, midsummer might be a decent time since it was a year from when they met. We have some time to develop funds and to dedicate to this. So let us make our desired enchantments known, and if we cannot do them completely, perhaps we could do them in functional parts, even after the coronation is complete."

"One thing I would like to do is to get the information of the wayfinders from the pathfinders. If I could incorporate that into the crown, then the crown would be the piece getting all the attention, and not the ioun stones flying about above his head. But alas, I do not have the capability to do that before the wedding. My friend Asterton told me that it takes three years of study under their tutelage before they hand such things over. I was hoping to possibly join, but then Thad needed my help here. It's a bother."
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Re: The Greatest Among You

Post  Magyc on Thu Feb 13, 2014 4:26 pm

"Her crown....we know so little about her, no idea what her strengths and weaknesses are. I'm also not comfortable in making anything overtly offensive or overly powerful for her, at least for now, given how she is coming to occupy that position.

There is one item that springs to mind-the enchantment on a "Hat of Disguise" would be particularly useful for her. Oftentimes, it appears as though she forgot to don attire for the day, and that would certainly help her fit in with the sensibilities of the typical Novastation citizen. Even among the more open-minded city dwellers here in Akiros, her tastes may create problems."

"I fully appreciate and approve of the idea of integrating some stones into the crown. However, I would recommend that stones that increase the King's martial process be bonded into him as you sought to have me do- it's much better to prevent their loss and I am sure he could succeed in their effort where I have failed."
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Zaistrun Garess

Post  Eddick the Steady (XIV) on Thu Feb 13, 2014 7:45 pm

"That is a good suggestion, you are right. We do know little. As for future queens, perhaps it would be best to ask an Oracle we both know who might have more insight into such a thing. Perhaps I will just go with the mundane design I have and we can think of something later. The enchantment will take much less time than the design."

The sorcerer reached up to scratch his chin. "As far as fashion goes, I know it is an object of concern for the delegation headed to meet her soon. I am afraid we should have to wait until we gain confirmation that she wishes to remain natural at court before we take magical measures to fix the perception of the queen. I imagine she will capitulate on this matter, but it could be that she will not. I was hoping that it would not come to that, but if it does the rumors will be hard to quell because some have the ability to look past magical glamours. It would be more scandalous than if she did parade about in the nude among certain circles."

Zaistrun paused a moment to scratch his chin. "That reminds me, I have noticed that you have stagnated somewhat in your magical studies. Were you planning to someday continue those? I am planning an academy for magically talented people and I am at a loss for experienced lecturers at this time. If you could spare an afternoon or two a week to answer the questions of young inquisitive minds it could be beneficial to them.

"I have come to realize over the past few years that it is important to teach those who want to learn. When I was a younger man, I exercised the prejudiced that was leveraged against me. Now I can right that wrong and your assistance would be most welcome."
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Re: The Greatest Among You

Post  Magyc on Thu Feb 13, 2014 7:47 pm

"Yes, I have greatly slowed my magical studies to focus on more holistic approach toward physical and mental self-improvement. I allocate a small period of time every day for external study. Magical learning is one of many competing topics that demand my attention, such as learning how to logistically and economically run a kingdom, or learning about our new fey brethren, or studying the stars for more threats from the darkness."

"Our kingdom desperately needs to develop that kind of talent and I rest a little easier knowing that you are leading the effort. I will certainly share what I know about casting from a spellbook, and integrating magic into combat and defense. I am honored by your request, and I accept your invitation."
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Zaistrun Garess

Post  Eddick the Steady (XIV) on Thu Feb 13, 2014 7:50 pm

"Integration with other principles is key for some arcanists. Without an understanding of other topics, it would leave our students in a rotten mess. I'm glad for your help in these matters."

"In any case, I am sure you are busy. But if you ever need anything from me, do not hesitate to ask..." The sorcerer paused uncomfortably for several seconds at this point, even shifting his weight to one side and then righting himself. "Your dedication to the king and our cause is commendable and an example to everyone." He paused again and then turned toward the door. "I'll be in touch concerning what we talked about today."

And without any other words, he shut the door behind him.
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