... now they must watch their abundance of luxuries fall away, making room for the tools of survival, and witness this time of relative peace wither into the same fears that harper's ballads had warned them about for generations.
 
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 My hold has become your courtyard...how is this?

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Eloaene

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PostSubject: My hold has become your courtyard...how is this?   Sun Apr 21, 2013 2:19 pm





A couple of days prior to Jungi’s leaving, the trader had caught onto the trail of Kazage, the Exile that Rihan had allowed to escape from their encounter near Igen Weyr during the rescue of Lady Eolyn. Jungi had known that Rihan hadn’t sent for him, so he’d come back to the northern regions of Telgar on his own accord. He must be up to something. That being the case, Jungi informed Rihan of his whereabouts and Rihan immediately sent his Guard to trail the Exile to keep an eye on him.

After Jungi’s departure from Telgar, the Heir Apparent sent a messenger to summon Kazage, and he seemed not at all surprised to know that he was being watched, let alone summoned. Kazage arrived at the hold proper in the mid afternoon, being escorted by two Guardsmen and the Steward to the Amber Room. Captain Toshiro was present and standing guard in his uniform not too far from where Lady Eolyn sat. Rihan was standing across the room with hands clasped at the small of his back while he waited for their guest’s arrival, gazing out the window.

As soon as the party of guardsmen, Exile and Steward came through the double doors, Rihan turned to see them. “You may be seated.” For a moment longer, Rihan went back to looking through the glass panes to the beautiful Summer time out of doors, remaining there until everyone but himself had been seated. Of course, the Guardsmen present went to stand their post on the outside of the room on either side of the doors leading in or out. There, the Guardsmen closed the doors, allowing them privacy and would make sure that no one else was allowed entry for the time being.


Kazage was escorted to the table where he could sit next to Drien, the Hold’s steward, and somewhat across the table at a catty corner from Eolyn. The Exile’s expression as he took in the splendor of the Amber Room left nothing to guess; he was rightfully impressed with Rihan’s choice of decor.

Rihan however, did not give him much time to appreciate it all before interrupting whatever thoughts he might be having, “Kazage. I hear that my hold has become your courtyard. How is this? I don’t remember opening my doors to the holdless.” Well, he hadn't opened his doors to them, but he was also reminded that he was still indebted to the Exile, so he wasn't about to kick him out, either.

The young Lord Holder turned sharply on a heel then, elongating his stride to move to the long table situated toward the center of the fanciful meeting room.  Even before he sat down to join them, Rihan looked a short way down the table to where the Exile now sat, “What brings you to Telgar River Hold?”


“Forgive me if it was rude not to see you first.” Kazage’s slanty-eyed stare met Rihan’s without fear of reprisal; his thin lips turning up just enough to be recognized as a hint of a smile. Going on, the man’s deep voice seemed a bit wistful, “Your fair hold certainly seems to be booming prosperously, so I took some time to appreciate it. Men can build such beautiful and elegant cities,”  A sly glance was cast across the table then at the Lady Eolyn, “and they can produce such beautiful and elegant daughters,” Kazage’s eyes returned in a bit of a sideways glance back up to Rihan, “yet isn’t it funny how men similarly insist on fighting and destroying. Such a thing is nothing but foolish.”

The Exile paused, turning his head so as to more fully regard the Heir of Telgar again. “I have done what I assured you I would do in order to help you maintain peace here. I am now the Second in Command of the faction that you so despise. They have never completely trusted me, but now that I stand close enough to the Head to sever it, I have become much more threatening to them. I have a feeling they will try to find a way to remove me from the position or perhaps sever our ties altogether; though, they may still find enough benefit in our relationship to keep me on hand.

“As far as being able to make other promises...well, for the time being they have me on a tight leash, and I don’t suspect being in a position to do anything much else for a while.” Raising his brows with mild curiosity, Kazage digressed a bit, “That is why I am here. While the Chorong Rebels are finding somewhere to hide, I have come to discuss my own business with you.”


Rihan, who still hadn’t sat down with them at the table, now stood with arms crossed over his chest, intently listening to all Kazage had to say. Mouthing the rebel’s name over again, he met the Exile’s stare with shared curiosity; and not just a little accusation, “If you are their Second, why is your presence not needed to help them into hiding to regroup?”

To Kazage the answer was obvious, and his tone reflected as much when he stated flatly and with disinterest, “Why should I have to think about what others want? I told you that from the start I have been using them, and now I have almost achieved my goal. When that is achieved, I will have no more use for them.”

Trading level gazes, the two men, Kazage and Rihan, seemed constantly to be measuring eachother’s responses. Finally, Rihan pulled his own chair back from the table and sat. “What is your goal then? Since that is one thing you have yet to reveal.”

Without blinking, the Exile answered him, “My goal? Now that I have an audience with you, is to discuss my reinstatement as a rightful member of the family.”




Last edited by Eloaene on Sun Jul 27, 2014 9:51 am; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: My hold has become your courtyard...how is this?   Sat Apr 27, 2013 3:26 pm

Patiently, Eolyn sat waiting for the exile to arrive. She was glad that her husband decided to include her in this meeting. Very few people knew Kazage's story, she among those few. If her opinion was going to count for anything, then she needed to pay close attention to what was said.

She felt less concerned for Rihan with Captain Toshiro there. She knew that Kazage had no intention of harming her. Eolyn had nothing that he wanted. Whereas, Rihan held a position the man desired. She knew that the two men were going to try to intimidate eachother. It didn't seem to be working too well.

Though she was intimidated when Kazage looked at her like he could see her without her clothes on. It was an uncomfortable feeling. She wanted to take refuge in the gaze of her husband but she knew he was focused on the task at hand.

Kazage was giving them information on the men who had kidnapped her in exchange for something they could not give. While everyone fell a little silent, Eolyn piped in, "Why have you not gone to Lord Holder Matoi? He is the only one who can give you what you seek to gain."


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PostSubject: Re: My hold has become your courtyard...how is this?   Sat Apr 27, 2013 5:58 pm

The Heir Apparent was hardly able to control his response at the mention of Kazage's request. Silently berating himself, Rihan knew he should have seen this coming. He owed the man a great debt though, so he was under no misconception that the price would be insignificant. Still...Kazage must have realized what he was asking of Rihan when he said it.

About the rest though, Kazage was right. Rihan was left musing quietly over the man's words, from where he sat at the head of the table. The rebel group would be biding their time now; Theoretically it would be a prime time to strike back at them, but they had done the smart thing and made themselves scarce and gone into hiding -into hiding even from their Second, who now sat before them. Of course.. they had good reason to. Though, The realization that the Chorong Rebels were able to do without their Second in Command during the extent of activities they must be undergoing at that moment could mean a number of things. Toshiro must have been thinking along those same lines, too.

Neither one of them spoke of their thoughts on the matter, but there were several possible truths they might be able to construe from what little information Kazage had given them thus far. Maybe he'd been telling the truth, and the Chorong Rebels were simply not trusting of him enough to include him in the process of their relocating, simply afraid that he might lead the information to someone like himself while they were still refortifying their veritable positions as it were. Of course, Rihan thought that it would be rather cunning of them to use the opportunity to send the Second in Command out on other business for them in order to not reveal the depth of their insecurities about him holding the position. That being the case, Kazage would have to have been sent here on other business -it was known that he'd been in the area for a couple of days at least, before he'd been invited to meet with them here; or...perhaps this very meeting with Rihan was his task and the Chorong were trying to achieve something by it?

Likewise, Kazage had perhaps unwittingly revealed even more useful information to them. If they were able to operate just as effectively without a Second in Command present, they were either very well organized as a group, or the leader himself took on the bulk of the responsibility for the group and delegated rather little to his officers -meaning Kazage's title as Second was more for show than anything else. Rihan tended to believe that this was perhaps more true to life than any other possibility, because even Kazage had mentioned that he was 'close enough to the head to sever it', to make them nervous about him being there. From what Kazage had told him in the past about the likeness of his connection to the Chorong, and his purpose for being with them...Rihan did not find himself under the impression that the Exile was lying. At least he wasn't being completely untruthful.

In the time each of the men, including Captain Toshiro had been left to thought, each coming to their own silent conclusions, Eolyn piped in. Rihan was the first to glance up to regard her somewhat curiously.


"Why have you not gone to Lord Holder Matoi? He is the only one who can give you what you seek to gain."

Everyone was suddenly drawing their gazes across the table again toward Kazage, to whom Eolyn had directed her question. The Exile however, offered little explanation, resorting to a courteous nod back at Rihan and the gesture of one hand the young Heir's way. "Hmmmm? Perhaps my expectations of you were too great, assuming you'd have already figured that out?" Of course, the Exile wasn't here to pay her complements; he'd already saved her life, not to mention the fact that, again, Kazage did not care much for what other people thought unless it benefited him.

Rihan didn't flinch, but had been resting his gaze once more on the man in the white. He knew however. Rihan knew what Kazage meant by coming to himself first, before his Father. "His reasoning is twofold. For one, it is because it is I, not my Father, who owes him the debt, even if my father can help him." Pausing then, Rihan canted his head just a bit, never breaking his stare from that of the Exile as he continued at length, "My guess is that the second reason is that he's been considering whose side he's really on if he's going to start asking favours. Judging by his indignation he must know that Lord Matoi has the final say in the reinstatement of his position however...practically speaking, it is not my Father, but myself who has the final say."

Letting that comment sit in the open for a moment, Rihan continued to gauge Kazage's reactions to his words, even as he went on to complete the thought. It would seem that he was right, and that that is precisely why Kazage had come to him first, "Of the two of us, myself or Kazage, which do you think my Father would listen to?" The question was rhetorical of course. "Since I took over the task of handling those involved with your kidnapping, my Father is trusting in my judgement of the situation to set things right. Likewise, he will look to me to speak for or against Kazage -or anyone else found to be involved. If I say one word against him, he may as well be dead, but in the long run...even if my Father decides to condemn him now, when I take my father's place one day, it is I who will possess the power to reverse the decision Lord Matoi makes. Kazage, my dear,... has simply realized who he must please."

That said, both Kazage and Rihan suddenly seemed to be of better understanding of one another.








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PostSubject: Re: My hold has become your courtyard...how is this?   Sun Apr 28, 2013 12:18 pm

Eolyn heard his response and the tone he took while he responded and found she disliked him more now than she had before. Maybe he thought she had everything in Telgar Hold figured out but she knew in Igen there would be no way her father would leave a decision like this to her brother. Her father was sole leader of his Hold and he didn’t allow for anyone else to make these sorts of decisions without his judgment. The absoluteness of his rule was slightly different than the way things were done here. So perhaps Kazage was right, perhaps she should have figured it out already but she was not used to the way things were done in Telgar Hold. Despite the insult to her intelligence, she remained calm, stoic faced.

She would remember what was said today. Eolyn would learn Telgar’s ways of doing things eventually so she wouldn’t seem like a simpleton in these meetings for long. The idea of Kazage thinking she was dumb irritated her. Even if he had not intentionally meant a slight to her, although she was fairly certain he had meant it that way.

“You want to be reinstated as a member of the family. That would be easy but you want something more don’t you? A name in and of itself does not give you anything.” Maybe she would be called out as dumb a second time. “You want a Holding don’t you?” And probably a well off lady for a wife. Ugh, Eolyn couldn’t imagine who might want to be married to him. He probably already had a girl picked out. She couldn’t think of a single Lord who would accept this. They would have to though if Rihan gave in to Kazage’s request.

What if they gave Kazage what he wanted and then he wanted to have Rihan’s place as heir or wanted to come before their future children in the hierarchy? She would not agree to anything like that. She would want her own children to be next after Rihan to take Telgar because she knew Rihan would train them to be the best. Kazage had no training in running a Hold. She wasn’t going to say anything else but it was quite apparent that Eolyn was uncomfortable with all of it.


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PostSubject: Re: My hold has become your courtyard...how is this?   Fri May 03, 2013 1:50 pm

“You want to be reinstated as a member of the family. That would be easy but you want something more don’t you? A name in and of itself does not give you anything.” Maybe she would be called out as dumb a second time. “You want a Holding don’t you?”

Well, wasn't she spot on? Only, Kazage understood that if he tried to rush things, unless the circumstances played out rightly, there was no use in asking for such a thing here and now. Today, his goal was only to introduce the whole idea to them, helping nurture the thought that he is indeed deserving of at least being returned to his rightful family. So, Kazage canted his head ever so slightly to regard her with mild curiosity. "Hmmmm? You think an awful lot of me, Lady Eolyn. I am flattered. But my purpose here today is only to ask for the return of a family lost. Consider that I have been an orphan all of these years and have finally found the family that belongs to me.

"I have done nothing to wrong you, and if it were not for me, Lady Eolyn, you would not be here with us today. I can assure you of that, no matter how much faith you have in your rescuers. I can also assure you that the only reason I ever sided with the Chorong Rebels, was in order to safeguard this very family; because it is also my family, no matter how you want to look at it." Kazage was being completely serious, and would not let anyone disparage his efforts or his reasoning for doing what was done.

"Their tactics were generally too violent for my tastes anyway." Kazage steepled his fingertips while elbows went to rest on the arms of his chair, gazing back at her from across the table, over fingertips. "You may think me to be a beast, but even a man such as myself can value good manners and tradition. Outside of the political stumbling blocks others might try to put in our way, I see no reason to assume I would be an unfit member of this House; nor that, even were I to be given a minor holding of my own, that I would be unfit for such a task. I am not without my own experience taking leadership roles. How else could I have gotten here?"

The Exile was right. Men did not follow those perceived as weaker than themselves, or those who were unable to assert themselves in the confident manner of a dominant archetype; nor would anyone have even considered involving themselves with him if he hadn't the wit about him or the intelligence about him that it would take to eventually effectively run a holding. So, even if others wanted to turn a blind eye to him, even if no one else wanted to accept him, he had done incredibly well to get himself this far.



Rihan on the other hand, was looking from his wife to Kazage with mild outrage instead of sharing the Exile's curiosity. Of course, it was all directed at Kazage for his boldness. He was a truly fearless man. “Why should I, or my Father, wish to create a new hierarchy in Telgar’s House? You understand that what you are asking is completely unprecedented? All of it. Regardless of how greatly in debt I am to you.”

After that, Rihan couldn't help but shake his head, supporting his forehead with one hand then, dark brows furrowed while he tried to work things through in his head. A heavy breath escaped him. Standing from his chair, the fingertips of both of Rihan's hands rested on the table in front of him.

The Heir Apparent addressed them all, "I am dismissing this meeting for today. I will call for you again soon, Kazage. Until then, you will remain in Telgar River Hold without causing any trouble. If you need compensation for a place to stay, visit with my Steward, Drien, and he will assist you."

Kazage's brows raised in amusement, "Hmmmmm?" Well, it didn't completely surprise him. He would be grateful for the assistance and couldn't logically expect Rihan to give him any kind of answer today anyway -and he preferred it that way. At least if Rihan was taking his time to consider things he wasn't saying 'no'. At least not yet. And that still gave Kazage a card to play. Kazage however, did not enjoy having to rely on that single advantage alone. He would have to come up with a secondary plan of approach. Just in case.

Getting up from the table as well, Kazage bowed and glanced down at the Steward before moving to make his exit. Drien followed close behind to escort him out and offer any further assistance the man needed for his extended stay.



After the two men had gone from them, Rihan's head turned to regard the Captain of his Guard who'd been standing nearby. "Shiro. Assign a few men to him."

Captain Toshiro quickly stepped up to accept the order, inquiring more specifically, "To guard him, or to trail him?"

Rihan seemed to mull over that for a brief moment as his chin tucked in to his chest, eyes peering up through a curtain of raven hair that had fallen forward as he leaned over the table onto his palms then. That silvery gaze followed the path Drien and Kazage had taken out into the hall where they'd disappeared from sight or earshot. "To trail him."

Nodding sharply, Toshiro left his head inclined long enough for it to be acceptably polite, even if he did tend to push those boundaries with, well... with anyone. Quickly thereafter, Toshiro went from the room to fulfill Rihan's command.


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