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Post-solstice Ride.

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Thaddeus Medvyed

Post  Thaddeus Medvyed on Fri Mar 28, 2014 10:53 pm

Thaddeus weighed the words carefully. He wouldn't pry into her secrets, certainly not the ones that weren't hers to tell. He knew full well that he was operating on limited knowledge and from an unfamiliar vantage point.

"You may well be right Wynn," he couldn't help but acknowledge. However he also had a counterpoint.

"I am not entirely certain what my reputation or the reputation of Novastasia is at the moment. I know how I see us, and what I want us to be... but what the word around Brevoy is? Mivon? It probably depends on who is talking.

"Rasven Winter has a terrible reputation. A reputation built on lies and murder. One that I have heard myself over the years and you acknowledge... but you also say it isn't the truth of him.

"Wynn... I am a paladin of Saranrae. We're building a cathedral to the goddess of redemption. Our first councilor was a reformed bandit. Our Capital is named for the Stag Lord's right-hand man who changed his allegiances and fought for the side of good...

"Don't worry about my reputation. As long as I'm true to my own calling, the mud they throw won't stick. I have to believe that. One of my purposes is to help those who have lived in darkness come to the light. Sir Tambor and myself used to associate with all sorts of dark characters when I was younger.

"If he truly wishes to shake the stigma that surrounds him, I feel an association with me and my nation could only help him. It's why this nation exists."

He shrugged again as he added. "But, if secrecy is truly desirable, then I would imagine his teleporting somewhere is quieter then you traveling a week through a war zone and ringing the front bell..."
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Thaddeus Medvyed

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Wynnsaren

Post  Wynnsaren on Fri Mar 28, 2014 10:54 pm

Throughout the king's comments, Wynnsaren fought back a scowl which hardened the line of her jaw. He'd said nothing directly negative about Rasven, but even the allusion to him being a 'dark character' caused a fierce protectiveness to well up within, surprising in its intensity.

If he only knew, if she could only make him understand. . . But Wynn realized that nothing she could say would alter King Thaddeus' opinion. Not even if she told him of all the charities Master Winter supported through third parties, or the foundations he'd begun in order to help serve the needs of the less fortunate in that shining city while giving others all the credit. Not even if she explained that his dark reputation -- fostered by the man himself! -- was one of the things that kept the people of Silverhall strong and safe and thriving. Instinctively she knew that such a notion was not something a paladin would subscribe to.

She wondered at this point if a meeting between king and merchant prince even could result in a better understanding. Her muted scowl became a sad little frown.

"I do not believe that Master Winter would wish to shrug off his villainous mantle just yet. Perhaps one day," she considered, "but the rumors that he has fostered for over a century serve his city well, though admittedly they do nothing for his social life."

What was meant as a joke fell horribly flat. Wynn drowned a sigh in her last sip of chocolate.

"I will need a few days to tie up some business here, and I will consider asking him to meet me at a nearer location, but taking into account the circumstances he is in currently, I feel it would be selfish in the extreme to request that he take some time out to visit me away from his city. In fact, I am not even sure his oath would allow it for very long," she grimaced, realizing just how very little she understood about the magic that bound him.

"Traipsing alone through a war zone is not my intention, I assure you, Your Grace, nor is ringing the front bell. I had rather hoped to surprise him in fact. . .," she added with a grin. "But the powers I serve have granted me a more efficient means of travel, so I would be able to reach Silverhall within two or three days."

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Wynnsaren

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Thaddeus Medvyed

Post  Thaddeus Medvyed on Fri Mar 28, 2014 11:03 pm

Thaddeus nodded even as his eye twitched slightly. The ends justifying the means was a conversation any paladin was used to. He had many debates on the idea with his sister and even Zaistrun preferred to lord over people with intimidation and fear rather then honesty and strength to back it up. He was familiar with the term 'naive', but Thaddeus chose to wear that optimism as a badge.

He had little doubt that Rasven wasn't as bad as the rumors had made him out to be. Wynnsarren's regard for him spoke volumes to that. However, the idea that he preferred to be seen as a villain went so far against the Paladins grain that he wasn't sure where the common ground stood. While his reputation may have indeed protected his people, Thad couldn't believe that it was the 'only' way. He relished the idea of helping Winter find a 'better' way...

Regardless he didn't wish to spoil the lovely afternoon with an 'ends and means' debate. Regardless of who won, those always left a sour taste.

"A form of travel I assume would exclude Kazimir or even Glass?" He sighed and shook his head with a grin of surrender.

"Just be careful," he said with a chuckle. "Selfishness isn't always bad. Remember, anything that keeps you out of the war zone, also keeps him out too. If the past is any indication, travel doesn't bother him much, and your well-being is important to him too. I somehow don't think he'd mind."

He finished off his chocolate and wiped a hand across his mouth.

"On the subject of traveling... I was wondering if you'd mind going to Pitax....mmm maybe in Calistril? Seems overdue somehow."
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Wynnsaren

Post  Wynnsaren on Fri Mar 28, 2014 11:04 pm

"Oh, I would love that!" Wynn perked up immediately, in part due to the idea of finally visiting Pitax, but also as a result of the welcome change from this personally uncomfortable subject. "I have done a bit of research on the nation and have no doubt that a visit would prove. . .hmm. . .entertaining. Hopefully fruitful as well. Then of course, more allies in these lands would certainly be welcome," she added.

The Ambassador began mentally listing things that would need to be done in preparation for such a journey, as well as who she would choose to join her. There was yet the issue about training another to assist her in hopes that one day, or in the event of unforeseen circumstances, that said person might take over the role entirely. Exactly who that would be had not been decided upon.

"Fostering good relations with King Irovetti should open up new avenues of trade as well as strengthening our position in the eyes of Mivon," Wynn continued. "As you know, the two nations despise one another. It would definitely serve Novastasia well to be on friendly terms with both.

"If you so will it, my king, I will get to work on a missive detailing our desire to formally introduce ourselves and pay Pitax a diplomatic visit."

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Re: Post-solstice Ride.

Post  Thaddeus Medvyed on Fri Mar 28, 2014 11:07 pm

"I do like the sound of that," he said with a grin. "There is entirely too much strife going on around us..." War to the north, hatred to the south, Novastastia was beginning to look like an oasis in the middle of spite. Even with their own issues with the Red Doom and Varnhold's disappearance... he was still proud of the current peace.

"Who knows, maybe you'll even hear something about the Dreleves? They were sent to the Slough area... and we've scouted much to the east of the swamp... but haven't seen or heard anything yet...

"That's Pitax's backyard... if anyone knows something, it should be them..."

He raised an eyebrow as he considered the unknown kingdoms around them. Mivon's relationship was steady at the moment. A testament to his ambassador, without a doubt.

"Do you have an opinion on the Mivon/Pitax animosity? Are there any good guys in that conflict or just petty political squabbling. I'd like to have good relations with Pitax, though now I wonder if that will only alienate Mivon...

He winced and chuckled aloud. "Though... between helping the elves, and marrying into the Fey... I imagine Mivon will have a few choice words about us to the north."
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Wynnsaren

Post  Wynnsaren on Fri Mar 28, 2014 11:08 pm

"Mivon can be as prickly as a hedgehog and as grouchy as a badger," Wynnsaren laughed. She stuffed her empty mug back into the sack and began to work her fingers through her hair in an effort to untangle it. "They may look for offense where there is none, but we have treated them honorably at every turn and they will respect that. Also, we lifted a huge burden from their shoulders by dealing with the elves whether they are willing to admit it or not, and the fey? Well, let us just say that we now have a close ally whose strategy and strength would be difficult for even the Spider to accurately calculate.

"Never a bad thing," she added with a wink.

"Now this may come as a shock to you, but Mivon and Pitax have been quibbling over a border dispute for as long as anyone can remember. There is a little village named Sarain that lies between the nations, which has changed hands many times, but not because the village itself is all that remarkable, but the vast and abundant vineyards with which it is surrounded are exactly that. The region's finest wine comes from those vineyards and both nations wish to possess it.

"It is my opinion that their disagreements should be of little concern to us and that it is safer to have both nations as allies than choose one over the other. Best to treat the High Council with kid gloves though. . . Perhaps after I return from Pitax I can pay visit to Mivon again. I have been corresponding with them via raven, but it has been some time since I have spoken with them in person. A little face time goes a long way toward keeping allies in a friendly disposition," she smiled brightly.

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Thaddeus Medvyed

Post  Thaddeus Medvyed on Fri Mar 28, 2014 11:10 pm

"An excellent idea," the king nodded in agreement. "We came too close to blows that first time, I want to keep whatever goodwill we've found.

"You're right, I don't see any way that their personal disputes should affect us at all.

"Now, I'm sure Calistril isn't the greatest of months for travel, and I'm not sure the route you would take. There isn't any 'easy' way to get there. Most traveled would probably be through Mivon itself, though I suspect Kazimir could find a way through the Narlmarches without too much difficulty."

A smile crept across his face as he winked. "Though... if you could possibly bring back a couple bottles of this Sarain vintage... I admit I'm a little curious what the fuss is about."
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Wynnsaren

Post  Wynnsaren on Fri Mar 28, 2014 11:15 pm

"I am sure that we can provide for your needs in this matter, Your Majesty." Her eyes sparkled as she offered a little bow from her perch on the fallen tree.

The mention of wine brought to mind the partially imbibed bottle of Osiowet on her mantle back at the castle, which she fully intended to take along on her next trip to Silverhall. Reds had been her favorite since she'd first tried the stuff as a much younger woman but since her last visit with the merchant prince, Wynn hadn't consciously ingested any, preferring to savor that pleasure in his company alone. A silly, unspoken and self-imposed rule but one which would feel almost a betrayal if broken.

"We will likely take the road through Mivon," she continued. "Kaz surely could lead us through the swamplands but it would be a good deal slower and a good deal more dangerous. Plus, that road will take us right past Sarain, so we will be sure to procure you a few samples of their wares."

Wynnsaren paused and looked the king over appraisingly.

"Are you warming up at all?" She pressed her lips together with concern. His cloak was still soaked and hanging heavily from his shoulders. For a warrior as large and imposing as King Thaddeus, his lips appeared to be faintly blue. "Maybe we should be getting back. . . If you catch a cold, Sir Paido will see to it that Auchs has my head."

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Thaddeus Medvyed

Post  Thaddeus Medvyed on Fri Mar 28, 2014 11:18 pm

"Well... I'm not sure the term warm would apply," he said as he handed back his empty cup. "Though I think you should be safe from Auchs for a little while... I haven't caught a cold in years."

He was silent for a second as he wracked his thoughts. "A long time actually... Y'know, I've heard Paladins don't get sick... I'd thought it more the 'big' diseases... but I suppose I'm of no use to her curled up in bed with pnemonia either...

"Or as Sir Tambor would put it. 'No sick days for us..." He chuckled as he stood and stretched. The king shook his hands to stir the blood up and started towards the horses. "I'm pretty sure Frostbite may still be an issue,"

"Still... You're probably right," he couldn't resist a wink. "About getting back... not Auchs. If Paido gets too protective, I'll certainly arrange a Royal Pardon."
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Wynnsaren

Post  Wynnsaren on Fri Mar 28, 2014 11:19 pm

"I am all manner of relieved to hear you say that, for I find that I prefer my head to be precisely where it is now."

The two friends packed up and left the little clearing-made-war-zone, with their horses at an easy walk. Wynnsaren regaled the king with some the less savory tales of her time in Galt and witnessing the work of Grim Gerty, the notorious guillotine at the center of the city of Woodsedge.

That particularly bloody subject was switched to those more mundane as they went along, discussing everything and nothing as it came to their mind. A relaxing day.

"I wish to thank you for indulging me this afternoon, Your Grace," the aasimar smiled as they neared the city. "I suspected that you might be in need of distraction and I found myself in a similar state.

"These last two weeks. . . With the rumors? Well, let us just say that I have had more time on my hands than usual during my stays in Akiros. While the gossip has blessedly done nothing to tarnish your own reputation, it seems I have fallen out of favor with a number of families that I usually visit."

Wynn gave a little resigned smirk.

"I am glad for your company. It is not always beneficial to be alone with one's thoughts all the time, which is rather why I like to keep busy."

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Thaddeus Medvyed

Post  Thaddeus Medvyed on Fri Mar 28, 2014 11:20 pm

"I wish I could give more advice..." the king said with a shrug. "While I try to resist a lot of what people say 'is unavoidable'... I fear rumors and gossip are just a part of public life."

He couldn't help but grimace as he looked toward the future. "If it makes you feel better... I just introduced the kingdom to a mysterious new queen of the Fey... If that doesn't occupy the tongue-wagging folk, I'm at a loss of what will... "
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Wynnsaren

Post  Wynnsaren on Fri Mar 28, 2014 11:22 pm

"I have no doubt that Queen Feluanil will provide the people of Akiros with much gossip material for the next few decades at least," Wynn laughed lightly. "In truth, I lose no sleep over rumors. The potential consequences of my relationship with Master Winter were made known to me at the forefront and I signed up without qualm. I stand by that decision.

"Besides, we crazy fortune-teller types cannot fret over people's opinions of us all too much," she winked up at him. "I simply wish to express to you that your company is a balm to sharp tongues and an overly active mind. I appreciate your friendship, King Thaddeus. I appreciate every day, for they slip by so quickly and it is a rare thing that I meet men of such quality during my journeys. This most recent one has been blessed indeed."

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Thaddeus Medvyed

Post  Thaddeus Medvyed on Fri Mar 28, 2014 11:26 pm

The king laughed as he fought down a blush. It was unusual to know people who would see past his throne and actually have a strong opinion of his personal quality. Let alone an opinion so glowing.

She was right about one thing though. TIme moved extremely fast in the fledgling kingdom. Days, weeks, even seasons seemed to disappear in the blink of an eye...

Add in the looming shadow and all the talk of his role in the future battle... He did find himself focusing more on the future then the present... Something he was going to make a point to correct.

"And I'm glad that if the powers-that-be had to send someone, that it was you who met us in the woods that day.

"And if you ever feel the need to have your mind dulled... by all means I'm at your disposal," he said with a mischevious grin. "But I'm sure you already knew... that."

Maybe one more fortune teller joke...


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Re: Post-solstice Ride.

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