View Full Version : Making the Best :: 6/24 :: Christopher, Arthur
07-24-2011, 05:50 AM
With the heir's kidnapping and recovery finished, an uneasy calm had settled over the sprawling castle. They would be marching to war in a matter of days, and there would be no predicting what new challenges would await them in Tiga. At times like these, it was prudent to take stock of one's advantages. Whether Lord Mallory knew it or not, he was sitting right on top of a rather large one already.
The guard looked as if it had doubled around the castle, and the men at the door gave Arthur a critical look. He eyed them in turn, wanting to cut into them for the disrespect their gazes so plainly showed. Even if they were all on edge, it would serve them well to remember that the enemy was on the other side of the border.
"Lord Arthur Forthwind to see you, my lord," the herald announced.
Arthur bowed as he entered, though he wasted no time lingering at the doorway as the servant closed it behind him. He made his way towards a chair in front of the desk, but waited until he was given leave to sit.
"Lord Mallory, thank you for taking the time to meet with me. Given... recent events, I find it reasonable that we should take stock of all of the options available to us in the coming months. You and I both know how much this city has to offer in terms of resources, I think. Have you considered the role the Bastion might play for our cause, my lord?"
07-25-2011, 04:22 AM
Christopher stood as Arthur was announced, having been going over some last minute preparations. On the nearby sofa, his son napped, his breathing low but even, the look on his face serene. It was a comfort to see him so at ease… Given what had just happened. But it was a point of concern as well, but one that he really had no way of knowing how to handle. He put a finger to his lips to wordlessly tell Arthur to lower his voice, and then motioned for him to go towards the adjoining room where his office was.
Walking around his desk to take a seat, he glanced up at the younger man before leaning back in his chair, hands folded in his lap. “I have,” he admitted, though in truth he’d not really put the Bastion at the forefront in his mind. “But tell me, Lord Arthur… what have you considered?”
07-25-2011, 10:49 AM
As they moved to the other room, Arthur cast a glance back at the sleeping boy. If the story was to be believed, he put the knife in the kidnapper himself. When Fabian heard, he would no doubt be disappointed that he couldn't have had a son with more initiative. Arthur had been twice the boy's aged before he'd made his first kill. His disliked the sticky little monster already.
Taking a seat across from the desk, Arthur continued with his proposal. "Of course, lawfully, the maesters do not take sides in conflicts such as these. Even when the Lorterras were besieged by Sterlyn and Castell both, there was hardly a word from the Bastion. But it isn't their support we need, necessary..." He paused for a moment, considering the best way to phrase the next suggestion. "What we need, more than their knowledge, are their names. The useful ones. I believe a few younger sons of noble houses from Ovador are here attending classes in Orqua."
07-25-2011, 06:42 PM
“Yes, I’m well aware of their stance on neutrality.” Of course, the keyword there, he noticed, was lawfully. He supposed that meant that Arthur would be suggesting either something unlawful or some way around that tricky little word. His interest had already been piqued, but as Arthur kept going… “I see,” he said simply, looking away from him as he processed what he could do with this suggestion. “And how exactly are we to use these names to our advantage?” It was unlikely that any son of Ovador would willingly support the Mallory cause, and the worst plan would be to force their way into the Bastion to ensure that they did so. He did not need to make enemies out of the maesters.
07-28-2011, 10:33 AM
"With war at the borders and their families at risk, think of how dreadfully they must wish to go home. But dangerous times often bring out the worst in people, so travel by either land or sea invites quite a risk. And it isn't as though the have their household guards here to see them safely back, is it?" Arthur explained carefully. This proposal, too, carried a risk, but it was one that he had calculated for many days now. They couldn't let an opportunity like this slip through their fingers. The Lorterras had been fools not to see it.
"They would be much safer marching with us," he continued. "Once their houses have seen evidence of our goodwill, I'm sure they'll be much more willing to negotiate with us before the main hosts might come to blows. They might even be willing to grant us the return of our own loved ones. Surely they would understand how much you long to see your lady sister again." Holding sons of Ovador's lords on the other side of the battle lines would certainly make them more hesitant to strike. It may cause tension in the ranks between lesser lords, perhaps even sow the seeds of distrusts between the Castells and their famously loyal banners. Any measure of confusion on the opposing side could turn into an advantage during battle. Of course, the highborn could also be useful in the event that an exchange of hostages was necessary. The plan had any number of uses, really. The only trick was implementing it.
07-30-2011, 02:21 AM
Amelie was… a problem, to be sure. He doubted all of Ovador’s sons could have bought her freedom. He was regretting more than ever not keeping her with him when Larson had come to speak with him on Victor’s behalf, but then it would have become all too clear what he was planning. Victor would have had the opportunity to ready his men, to strike first… and it was imperative that it didn’t happen like that. It hurt him to think of her behind enemy lines, impossible to get to… But what choice did he have? It was either war or bend his knee to a tyrant.
He could see another advantage to this. One that was much bloodier and darker, and he was sure Arthur knew the alternative to uncooperative banner houses on the other side. “It is worth trying,” he at last agreed. “Can I trust you to see to it?”
07-31-2011, 10:31 PM
Arthur's studied, serious expression broke for half a moment for the smile that pulled at his lips. Phase one of the plan was complete, and now it was up to him to see the rest of it through to the end. Back at the Bastion, he would be in his element again, intellect and ego and all of the careful politics that went with them... He nodded, pushing up from the chair to excuse himself. There was no sense in wasting time with idle chatter when there were plans to lay and battles to win.
"Of course, my lord. I will ensure that this matter will be treated with the utmost delicacy and discretion. If I have your leave, I will begin my preparations immediately."
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