... 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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 Setting the Stage. Coup on the Horizon.

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Eloaene

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PostSubject: Setting the Stage. Coup on the Horizon.   Wed May 06, 2015 11:50 pm




Sitting in the warmth of firelight, Yeoun had taken up Rihan's favourite chair by the hearth in his bedroom. Legs crossed, the young rebel agent had timed his arrival perfectly, it seemed, as the Lord Holder and his Lady were just returning from riding and eating their dinner. It wasn't too late yet in the evening, but certainly at a dark enough hour that they would be heading in of doors and settling in for the night.

Opening the door to the bedroom chamber he often shared with his wife, Rihan's smile disappeared in the moment he realized that he and Eolyn were not alone. Though, because Yeoun was seated, obviously making no move to hide himself, Rihan did not move for his weapon. A scowl however, began to take the place of his generally serene expression.

"I told you that I would come to visit you again. I'm sorry if you had other plans, tonight." Yeoun indicated that Rihan was with his wife, and that there were likely many other things they might prefer doing together other than negotiating with an enemy of the state.

Thus, Rihan's tone was less than pleased when he answered, "I thought you'd forgotten. Perhaps you are just testing my patience."

Unamused by the accusation, Yeoun remained stoic in his poise in Rihan's wing-backed chair, unmoving. "I have better things to do than try to irritate you. I am here so that we can work together for mutual benefit."

With a pause before he responded, Rihan made sure that Eolyn was in the door before he closed it behind them, giving them privacy, because whatever happened, no one needed to know that they might be about to negotiate with the Chorong.

Eyes of silvery kohl lit up curiously as Rihan remained standing in place for the time being. "You want to make a deal with me? What do I get in return?"

"The Chorong are not an enemy that you can beat without great cost. For that, you will need my help."

A single brow quirked as Rihan considered the words momentarily. It was clear to Rihan that Yeoun was not simply some underling, but that the man likely held some influential position in the group. But what kind of position that was remained unclear to him. So, though it was with some reluctance, Rihan was willing to talk and see what Yeoun had to say. It could all be a part of some greater plan to overthrow his family's hold on Telgar, but something told Rihan that there was more to it than that. Yeoun had long been a part of the Blood Moon Squad after all, and regardless of what he wanted to think about Yeoun's traitorous actions, he also felt that Yeoun still felt some sense of loyalty to Telgar that had been instilled in him throughout his upbringing. There was part of Yeoun that really wanted to bring things to an end. Either way, he'd have to be cautious.

"Then... tell me who you really are. What can you do to help? And what is it that you ask in return?"

Yeoun's dark eyes passed between the Lord and Lady of the Hold, never moving from the chair he'd taken up, though he motioned for Rihan and Eolyn to be seated on the loveseat that was across from him. Being seated was an indication of his assumed authority in the situation and not offering the Lord and Lady a seat when it was their own private room anyway, would have been rude -even for the likes of a rebel agent. 

"Please, sit. Then I will tell you what you want to know. If you call for the Guards, I will escape and you will have lost your chance to gain information that will be important to you and the future of Telgar." Casting an uncertain stare upon Eolyn then, he made it clear that if she wanted to do something rash, she wasn't going to have the chance anyway. So, she may as well join them in conversation. "By now, the guards will already have been called away, to an emergency briefing. They won't hear your call for them, even if you do."

Those last words caught Rihan by surprise, but instead of letting his thoughts lead him to panic, he maintained that usual level-headed composure that had served him well so often in the past when things had gone awry. It wouldn't do him any good to act when he had no idea what was going on. And apparently Yeoun had made sure to try to take the upper hand in the situation before coming to him, so if Rihan did act, he would be doing so blindly. 


Rihan let his left hand fall, taking Eolyn's hand in a quick squeeze before he led them to the couch. Eolyn could follow him or not, but he thought she might feel more at ease sitting beside one another. He got the feeling though that Yeoun had no intention of attacking them, so there was no need to feel uncomfortable. He tried to keep himself completely convinced that the rebel agent was simply here to talk business.

"Alright. I need answers. First question first. I will listen and consider whatever you have to say; even if the guards come, I will order them away."

Yeoun didn't overtly acknowledge Rihan's gesture, but he seemed not to disagree as, as soon as Rihan had seated himself, the rebel started, "You asked me once before if I could serve you, but a man can only serve one master. My path is already decided.

"Like water flows from a high place to a low one, my inheritance of the Chorong Rebels is no different. I am the son of Chorong; like him, I will become Telgar's number one public enemy. And like my father, I seek my own revolution, but I will not let it end as he did. However, I do not seek the same ends that my father fought so hard for. What I want is to create a different future for the Chorong. And for that, I need your help. Just as you need mine in order to put an end to all of this -an end to the war of our fathers."

Letting his words hang in the air a moment, he recognized in the Holder's face that he had the man's attention. Rihan hadn't probably known previously that he was the son of his father's enemy; and like the fate of their fathers, it may only be fate that they, too, fought. All the same, there was deepening curiosity and speculation there. 

Before Rihan or Eolyn either one could speak up, he continued, not wanting to take the time to answer to more of their curiosity than necessary. They didn't need to know more than that, in his eyes.

"You should also know, just before coming here, I received information that there has been an attack on Southern Telgar Hold. My sources have it that it seems as though a host of men have been trained and armed in the region of surrounding minor holds and cotholds, and are commanded by some in authority there. These forces seem to have been posed to stage some sort of coup at Southern Telgar. Perhaps there are those in the south that still have sentiment for the politics of my father." Of course, it wasn't Yeoun's prerogative to tell Rihan how to handle the situation from there. And not surprisingly, it was those cotholds and minor holds that the Chorong could strategically pit against one another or otherwise destroy, who they would find on their list of suspected treasonous persons. No one needed to know the Chorong were behind it all.

Yeoun went on, disregarding the look of surprise that came over Rihan as the man realized that if what the rebel said was true, his uncle and cousins were under threat. So, continuing hastily, Yeoun infused his next words with even more importance.

"As of now, I have a list of only a couple of names, but it would be enough to begin your search for those responsible for organizing the assault at Southern Telgar Hold. I would give those names to you and assist you in finding the rest of those responsible in exchange for my own request. And I can promise you the informants I have access to are already ahead of your own in being able to provide the information."

The responsible parties for the 'coup', though Yeoun had a full list of those that the Chorong had framed for the attacks going on at Southern Telgar Hold, could also be Galedon, the current leader of the Chorong. Though Yeoun knew that Sorcha wanted to cut the man's throat herself, he could be honest with Rihan in the sense that in the end, he might still give up the location of the man in order to be rid of him if Sorcha did not succeed. It was another method he might be rid of Galedon, considering that he felt no compatriotism between himself and the man regardless of their unique relationship. But a unique relationship was all that it was.

Yeoun gave Rihan and his Lady a moment to consider the words, believing that both of them would find it easy to agree to the terms, but first they should hear the full of it. Now,.. what he wanted...

"In exchange for the information promised, I ask that you accommodate this request: When it comes time, prepare to absolve those without official positions previously involved with the Chorong of all crimes that might be charged against them. Accept them as rightful citizens of Telgar like any other and let them go back to normal lives. Most of those who make up the Chorong are just normal people caught up in trying to survive. They are simply acting on their conscience to try to do what's right. For that, they are neither friend nor foe; just honest people." 

Since it hadn't taken long to get to the point given that he'd hardly allowed for interruption, Yeoun waited for the both of them to digest his words. There was a lot of implication within them and a lot of questions that might have arisen from them, but he hoped that they both focused on the deal that he hoped to make, so that when the end came, no matter what else happened, the majority of those that had gotten caught up in the Chorong cause would have someplace which they could safely call home. Then, they wouldn't have to live in fear any longer.


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PostSubject: Re: Setting the Stage. Coup on the Horizon.   Tue May 19, 2015 4:48 pm

They were having a wonderful evening. Eolyn's mind was on pleasurable things and so not prepared for her evening to be ruined by an intruder. Her husband was the center of her little world as much as she was of his. Nothing could have prepared her for what was to come.

The smile on her face, left as soon as she realized the other man was there, about the same time Rihan did. Once he closed the door behind them, she knew the seriousness of the conversation about to take place. Eolyn was smart enough not to do anything that would be considered impulsive. She stood quietly. A silent witness to what transpired. Anything the man had to say to her husband could be said in front of her.

The lady was not one to gossip so was not in the habit of telling anyone her secrets. She listened carefully to what was being said. Who was to say the young man wasn't involved in the attack himself? And what about Rihan's brother? Did the young man know who the real murderer was? Then Rihan would have another of his most trusted men with him again. Comforted by the hand squeeze, she followed him to the couch.

Her face was clear of emotions as she tried to untangle what this Rebel wanted. Full pardons for everyone? What about the people who had been killed by their hands? What about those who remained loyal to Telgar? Would it be dishonoring them to give these people pardons? She bit down on the inside of her cheek to keep from saying anything. This was a decision for someone wiser than her. Rihan would know what course of action was best for Telgar. She was in full support of him and whatever he decided.


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PostSubject: Re: Setting the Stage. Coup on the Horizon.   Tue May 19, 2015 8:28 pm

Rihan had not missed that there was yet something which had been left out of the rebel's mention -a way to defeat the Chorong without the high cost that was sure to be paid if he faced the rebel faction head-on. 


The holder filled his lungs with a deep breath to let Yeoun's words sink in. He hadn't expected that he were related to the late Chorong, nor had he suspected that Yeoun were going to be the rebel's next leader. But that in and of itself, the simple fact that Yeoun was telling him all of this, meant that he was asking for trust, and similarly showing Rihan that he was giving his trust in return. 

"Even if you can tell me what is happening in Southern Telgar, that does not tell me what help you will be when it comes to ridding us of the Chorong. Or why you would help me at all."

The rebel's answer came quickly, "I am not my father, though it seems I am bound to a similar fate. That is reason enough. Providing information on Southern Telgar is my offering of trust and truce between the two of us, because for now, that is the only thing I can really tell you." The only thing that would gain Rihan's trust without compromising his own position or that of the Rebels, should Rihan decline his invitation to work secretly together.

"The Chorong's treachery runs deeper than you know. All you need to know for now, is that I am biding my time until I am able to become the next head of the Chorong. Once I have done so, I will be able to tell you exactly what I plan to do, and why I have made this particular request of you. For now, however, know that I will reveal many things to you which will lead you to attaining the revenge that you seek; and to achieving the end of this conflict."

Pausing for a breath, Yeoun added, "And if you ask for it, I will give you the heads of those responsible for all of it so that you can publicly demonstrate your justice, and the people will be happy to have seen an end to it all.

"But if in the mean time you happen to reveal my intention to anyone, or reveal to anyone that I have ever spoken to you of any of this, I will also betray you."

Canting his head just in slight, Yeoun's eyes darkened, "I will kill you. And I will kill your wife. I will kill all of those dear to you, because I will have to use their lives as a shield."

He was silent in the seconds following, matching Rihan's dire gaze which did not hesitate to level its gravity on him. Rihan may have been tolerant of a great many things, but such direct threats to the lives of his family and friends were a clear exception. He had no patience for that kind of thing. He did not interrupt Yeoun however, feeling it unnecessary given the circumstances.

Yeoun went on, "It is unnecessary to make your decision now. But given as how things have escalated once more in the south, you may way to hurry in giving me your answer."

The rebel watched closely the expression on Rihan's face. Inside the holder's head, he could tell that the gears were turning. For that reason, Yeoun reassured him, "Don't worry, I won't act outside of reason, and I won't wait until the end to tell you the things that you will certainly want to know. I will do my part to keep you informed so that you can take action to protect yourself and your people."



Rihan's heart ached as he tried to piece together what Yeoun was saying. Yeoun was trying to protect the lives of those he thought were innocent on both sides of the conflict; which is why he asked for pardon for those who only took orders from higher ups. There was still another part of the equation to be satisfied however. Rihan -Telgar- could not forgive everyone -not even if he wanted to. Someone still needed to take the fall for all of the treasonous rebel activity, so Yeoun was offering to betray his fellow rebel officers, even unto their deaths, if that was what it took. But had Rihan understood him right? Was Yeoun suggesting that he would sacrifice even himself in order to achieve the peace that they desired? 

Shaking his head as he tried to organize his thoughts, the holder's voice fell low.

"If I don't grant your request to pardon the people caught up in this mess, it will never truly be over. Ideals and beliefs may be forgotten and change over time, but... how many people must there be involved with the rebel faction? I cannot take their lives in the name of justice only to have their families despise me even more, and give others more reason to fear their own future should they have to live under the rule of that kind of Holder. I will not make a tyrant of myself and give them a reason to make martyrs of more unfortunate souls.

"Even if you lead me to the ones in power, at the heart of the Chorong, they too will become martyrs in the eyes of those who believed in the Rebel cause, in the end."

Clasping his hands together between his knees, Rihan leaned forward with elbows propped atop them. A long moment of silence lingered between them then as Rihan let his head hang down, appearing defeated. Or perhaps sad? He made his thoughts clear to them though, a few moments later.

"Cut the source of chaos at it's head so that it cannot spread."

The words were measured and seemed to echo the sorrowful sentiment that Rihan had begun to feel. 

"Amoungst those responsible... you plan to turn yourself in, don't you? Because at that time, you will be their head."

Rihan didn't have to look up to feel Yeoun's gaze on him, or to know that it was true. So Yeoun's confirmation of that suspicion was needless. 

"If you ask it, my head will be on the same plate as the rest." Perhaps because it was difficult for him to say, the rebel paused for a breath. "That will be my penance for not being able to break free of my destiny. Perhaps even penance for all that my father before me has done. As soon as everything is the way it should be... my life will be forfeit."

Another silence passed between he and Rihan before Yeoun completed his thoughts.  

"Until then, we will depend on one another." Thus indicating that they needed to be able to trust one another while events unfolded.


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