The inevitable, delayed no more.

Re: The inevitable, delayed no more.

Postby BDAdmin » Sun Aug 17, 2014 5:02 am

A change in Glenn Burnie's tone; no longer struggling, no longer raving against the turn of events, lashing out as it becomes clear that he is no longer in control - that he has nood been in control since the Baron walked into his office.

Surdemer leans forward slightly, peering more closely at the young man's features with quiet interest, briefly raising his hand to hold the soldiers in their efforts.

"I also care, sir. I care that the people do not hunger or suffer or fear. A content populace is the mark of a wise ruler, and I would see all of His Majesty's subjects ruled well in his name." He sits back again, head tilted as he regards the pinioned young man thoughtfully, listening to that request - calm, courteous, concise. A marked difference to mere moments ago.

"Your mistake, sir, was imagining that I give a bent farthing for your feelings. You know nothing about me, and that's because I don't wish you to. You assume I'm nothing but a title, a rank, a duty - and you're correct, because that's all I need be to you. Here in Myrken Wood I am a consequence of Glenn Burnie's disrespect. When my work here is done I'll go east, where I will be a consequence of Burel Tassnehoff's rebellion. In these places I am an agent of His Majesty's will. When my work in this Province is done - God and King willing - I will return home with gladness and relief to my family, where I will be Almeric of Surdemer, husband and father and uncle and all the other titles that have no place here. You will never meet that man."

He considers the request with the air of a man about to go against his better judgment; the young man has already had opportunities to speak, to discuss practical concerns, but has squandered each one as it arose.

One last chance, then.

"I will listen for a short time, if you'll pretend I'm someone you don't want to antagonise. At the first sign of insolence or insults the Corporal there will knock your head firmly against the desk until you stop. That in mind--"

A knock at the door interrupts the Baron's warnings; he glances over his shoulder with a frown, then nods for the captain to answer while he rises to his feet with a sigh, absently straightening his tunic. It's probably just as well that he's turned away from the Governor, as the Kestrel's arrival earns a brief blink of surprise; the matter of a moment, though, before he bows in return to her greeting.

"Lady Verreaux." The glance he turns back to the young man is faintly suspicious, but he refrains from outright accusation as he returns his attention to the lady. "The Governor was about to offer his views on certain matters of government. You might find them of interest."

The Baron half turns, stepping aside so that he might face Burnie without turning his back on the lady. A nod of his head, a small sweep of his upturned hand in invitation.

"Enlighten us, sir."
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Re: The inevitable, delayed no more.

Postby Glenn » Sun Aug 17, 2014 6:04 am

Glenn Burnie is human. He is wonderfully, terribly, ridiculously human. He's been through so much in this last year. Imprisoned, tortured by a place of his own creation, by a woman of his own creation, by a woman he loved with his life even in the days when he could feel nothing else, truly. He'd seen his people slip away from him. He'd lost his physical strength. He lost that self-same woman and so much more. This was just the last year. Before that his soul was flayed from his body, he was victim to one magical creature after the next: dark elf, 'fiend, Catch, dreamwaker; he railed against them in the name of humanity only to get forced down again and again. His world was a constant spiral from the day that he was sold in the womb.

It all led to this, a situation where he had no options, a situation where there was no more agency, not even a hint of it, where all he could do was try to lend light, once again, and explain his feelings and his understanding so that someone else's agency might be just a bit more accurate. He saw no place for him in what was to come, and it was all he could do to try to make it as painless as possible for the people he truly cared about.

It was, in its own way, a graceful ending for the governor.

Of course Myrken Wood would not all that.

There was Egris, then, coming through the door, a last temptation for a falling Governor.

In the end, he was human and after his failures, after losing everything, there was only one thing he wanted any longer: more time to make things right for his people, but only if it was done in a way that would truly be for them.

His eyes met the Lady's and they spoke quite a bit with their sparkle, something along the lines of 'he called you mannish, darling, and I tried to argue, but then these seven men came and grabbed me,' the sort of thing he'd love to say if it wouldn't have shut what few doors were left for him prematurely. Maybe she'd pick up an inkling of it with a gaze alone, maybe she wouldn't. Surdemer was most certainly not looking at his eyes.

"First, I believe what you say, Baron. I will never meet that man. More importantly, Myrken will never meet that man. This is my home. This is my family. More than that, this could be Lady Verreaux' home as well, in a way that it could never be yours. There is caring and then there is caring. You do a job. She fulfills a passion. Your heart is not in this room, understandably so. Hers I hear beating even as we speak, even before she walked in." Calm, cool words, not without emotion, but entirely with control.

"It matters. You think it does not, but it does. You are changing these people's lives, their past, their present, their future. You are giving them choice they had never had before. You are putting power into their hands, and good. I wanted that as well, no matter what you may believe, but I knew them and i knew it would take time, generations, even if things were ideal. They're not now. They've just been through so much. You're letting them pick representatives when just a few months ago, they picked men to lead a fiery war against their own neighbors, when they're still recovering from famine and from a threat to their own identity. This is when you come in to change it. You have support I do not in the crown, in troops, in money, but if you are to do this, you can't just abandon Myrken Wood and go on to the next thing. Frankly, if you change us, you can't leave us to our own devices or else we'll have a return to that terror, a return to demagogy. You'll create more problems than you've fixed." They were words, yes, many words, but they had a point. One sentence stated a fact, the next led to a point and it all tied together.

"If you won't take the time to fully wipe the slate clean, and you can't because as you said, Thessilane is next, and that is a larger problem than Myken Wood, then you will have a mishmash of problems in the Council, landowners who are selfish and short-sighted, others that are still borderline psychopaths from the events of last year, representatives of the people who are disgruntled and who will prey upon the hatred and bigotry of the people." He turned his eyes, finally, to Surdemer. "It's a fine, orderly plan, Baron, but these are not a fine, orderly people. You need to stack the deck before you set the game into motion, or else everyone will lose. You need power but you also need pomp. The Lady Verraux understands this. She understands the people of Myrken Wood. That's why she suggested the wedding, to provide the people continuity, yes, but also a distraction, to thoroughly close the chapter of the last year, the one she began to close with her arrival with food and support, and to start a new one, as well as to pool what support I have left with what supporters she has gathered around her. The combination of the two will lead to stability in these dangerous times, that and nothing else save for troops being maintained, troops that you'd rather place elsewhere. In five years, in ten, it might not matter, but for us to get through this time of transition, to get to that point," and he'd go for a small shrug, if he could, "this is the safest way forward, and as thorough and thought out as your plan was, she deserves credit for understanding the souls of the people and acting accordingly."
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Re: The inevitable, delayed no more.

Postby Kestrel » Sun Aug 17, 2014 12:49 pm

The Baron's surprise was noted and a trace of honest warmth slipped into her gaze. A gaze that slipped past him to the Governor. The man was restrained by the men on either side of him. His eyes grinned at her in sly fashion and she could not help but tilt her head in response. Curious. He wanted to say something. Snark fairly dripped from his gaze. He held his tongue, though, which was no small miracle.

As the Baron turned to regard him again, she shot Glenn a questioning look. He'd called, she'd come - so what did he want, already? She seemed a little miffed that she'd come at all, really, if the expression on her face was any indication. She glanced back at her men, nodded, and left them outside. The door closed at her back.

The man asked for Glenn's governmental views and she heaved a little sigh. "I'm not certain that it is entirely wise to invite him to speak, Colonel," she warned.

Glenn opened his mouth and words poured.

A brow lofted. "Oh my, you're likely to make me blush, Burnie," she teased from her position near the door. Her gaze was still on his face, narrowed and eyes holding little trust. Despite their previous agreement, such as it was. She listened as he spoke of the people and the Baron's responsibility in regard to them.

When he mentioned her suggestion of the nuptials, she cleared her throat - abashed and sliding her gaze to the Baron briefly. Then, it was her turn to speak. "I think you largely overestimate the Colonel's ability to change the task already laid before him," she remarked, a little gently.

With that said,and she had said very little indeed in regard to the speech, she turned towards the man in question. "What will you do with him?," she asked, nodding her head towards Glenn.
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Re: The inevitable, delayed no more.

Postby BDAdmin » Tue Aug 19, 2014 11:53 am

Egris' caution is accepted, but allayed with a brief lift of the Baron's shoulder. He has more patience for the young man now that he's shown a willingness to cooperate, to speak reasonably - despite still being restrained.

"I'm aware. He's said a great deal already, as you can see." He waves to take in the soldiers, the wreckage of the Governor's coat and shoes. That the young man's not a mess of bruises is perhaps the most surprising aspect of the whole scene.

Burnie speaks and the Baron listens, even as the promise of a short time stretches thin. Head slightly bowed, hands folded behind his back, as attentive now as he'd been disinterested by the young man's previous ravings.

"Show me a fine, orderly people, sir, and I'll show you someone who's not looked very hard. Myrken Wood is not unique. It's not even unusual. There are other places in which life is an ordeal, in which the people suffer and fear. In different ways, yes, and to different extents, but Myrken's people are by no means a breed apart from those of other lands. What we do here has been done elsewhere, and it will succeed here as it has in those other places - if you are willing to allow it."

A clear warning there, mindful of the Governor's previous threats; a line drawn, inviting the young man to place himself on one side or the other.

"The key is balance. Imagine the Landlords and Hundredsmen as teams of asses, if you will," A flicker of wry amusement there, a private joke. "hitched to a cart that is fouled in mud. Matched in strength such that neither can dominate - if they pull against one another they only infuriate themselves while going nowhere. Better that they find a path in more or less the same direction upon which they both can agree. Perhaps not the path either would have chosen for themselves, but one that at least has them moving out of the mire." A pragmatic view, examining the situation in terms of forces which, if not opposing, are frequently in conflict. But not by nature.

"Occasionally some guidance is needed - the lure of a juicy carrot or the judicious touch of a switch, as appropriate - but they can be guided. And once they find firm ground underfoot, such measures are hardly necessary at all. A wise driver neither overuses the lash nor pulls too tightly upon the reins."

A moment to gather his thoughts, to filter them properly before he continues.

"The comparison is unfair, but hopefully presents the situation in a way you can understand. Because your problem - beg pardon, your foremost problem is that you reckon yourself the cleverest man in the room. You reckon yourself the only man in Myrken whose eyes are clear. You thus reckon Myrken's people to be stubborn dullards and panicky fools, and while you might care for them, you neither trust nor respect them. You've seen your predecessors overthrown by their anger, and you rightly fear having the same turned upon you. So you you hold them back - generations, sir? - or hope to distract them with pomp rather than letting them find their own pace, rather than risk losing your control over them. From all accounts you've been through ordeals of your own, so such timidity is understandable, but it is not what Myrken needs."

He glances to Lady Verreaux as she asks her question, and the gaze he turns back upon the Governor is thoughtful, considering the options available.

"In the immediate future, I've not decided. I'd planned to have him thrown in the toymaker's pigsty while the declaration was made, but apparently you have a civilising influence. I'd still rather not have him on the loose just yet - God knows I wouldn't trust him in front of a crowd - so if you've any suggestions, my Lady, I'd be glad to hear them."
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Re: The inevitable, delayed no more.

Postby Glenn » Wed Aug 20, 2014 12:15 am

Egris apparently was not overwilling to hitch her horse to his carriage. It was shame too. She was always going to be the the King's niece, or grand-niece, or great grand-niece twice removed. It meant she could take a risk now and again. Perhaps it was just neither now nor again. He'd presented the risk as nicely as possible. As for the colonel's task, babysitting her seemed to be half of it. "I don't think I would ever doubt that if the Baron here can find a way to do something more efficiently, he'd do it."

All there was for her, before he looked back to Surdemer. He'd listened at least, and frankly, that was far too generous since Glenn wasn't talking reasonably so much as making a play for Egris' support. It, perhaps, earned a bit of goodwill back. "The difference between you and I," no honorifics, no sirs. Rather no name than one that would end the conversation or one that would satisfy the bastard, "is that we respect them differently. You respect them as an entity, another variation of what you've seen before, of more of the same. I respect them by name. I respect them by who they are and the lives that I know firsthand that they've lived. You present a truth and I can't believe it. I've been places. I've seen things. One after the next, and Myrken's where I decided to stop and turn and fight. Maybe I've lost that fight in your mind, but they're still here, through fiends and dark elves and cursed storytellers and mindwitches, through hunger and loss and war at their borders. The things we've seen. They're not dullards. They're victims and survivors and if you think me reactionary, then they are much the same." And it would take generations, because he had to teach them how to hope again, had to show them that the circle was broken, to raise new children in a world of stability, not immediate but lasting. The Colonel would never be able to see that though, not unless Myrken made him. "I can't see myself as their driver. This is my home. This is the only family I've ever had. You may not understand how I regard them, but I can't look down upon them in the way you describe." Maybe that's why he failed.

"I don't think what you intend will work, even if you had more support then my own, not unless you occupied Myrken Wood over a very long time, and then frankly, it wouldn't be what you suggest that would work, but something else instead, and at far too high a cost. About this, I do believe I'm more clever than you. I've read all your books and learned all your theories. I've sat in this chair. With the right support, it all might have a chance until the next horror comes." Then, with a little bit of exasperation, though not quite with a roll of his eyes, "and very often, people, asses, whoever, will choose to spite their opponents forever and a day even if it means nothing ever gets done." At least the baron had ideals underpinning his efficiency. Burnie could respect that, even if not the title or anything else. He just maybe couldn't take it quite as seriously as Surdemer would like.

Finally, it came down to his fate. "Remand me into her custody," he said with a shrug. "Lady Verreaux has plenty of soldiers. More than that, she many times more charming than you are. She could probably entice me away from a crowd."
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Re: The inevitable, delayed no more.

Postby Kestrel » Fri Aug 22, 2014 10:32 am

Glenn Burnie was an enigma, she thought, as she gazed at the disappointment written upon his face as he watched her. The man toyed with her, hid insults within compliments. He made her fight for every scrap of civility between them; he scorned her attempts to find peace between them every step of the way and only begrudgingly agreed to wed her for the betterment of the town. They were, essentially, strangers. Still, he seemed surprised to find that she held loyalties other than the meager ones between the two of them.

She answered the emotion with a polite smile.

Her startling blue eyes flicked over the two men with passing interest as they argued. The soldier and the politician. Both made fair points, she thought, and different life experiences to guide them in their unyielding positions on either side of the fence. They both spoke each word as if there were nothing but solid truth in their words. As if they believed that surely the other would suddenly hear reason.

The Baron held the power, though, and Glenn's arguments were rather futile. Even if, as he suggested, that she held the love of the greater faction of Myrkeners, Surdemer had the benefit of an army and he would not stand alone. The entirety of the King's might would be at his elbow.

She cleared her throat as the Baron wondered what to do with the Governor. She attempted to open her mouth to speak her thoughts, when the insufferable man demanded, in so many words, to be given to the Lady Verreaux. Her lips pressed together with mild annoyance and she shot the man a vexed look. "More than that, Governor, I have a blade and the willingness to use it. How charming might that be?," she drawled.

A brow was lofted towards the Colonel, awaiting his word so that her men might enter to take Glenn to another location.
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Re: The inevitable, delayed no more.

Postby BDAdmin » Sun Aug 24, 2014 4:56 am

"What you think is hardly relevant at this point." A mild rebuke for the Governor, as one might chastise a child insistent upon interruption while adults speak. The Baron thinks for a time, absently smoothing grey bristles over his jaw. Eventually he nods,

"Very well. Lady Verreaux, if you're prepared to take responsibility for this man then I commend him to your care. I'd prefer not to have him buzzing around my ears while I work, so he'll need to be kept under watch until at least noon tomorrow, possibly later - no visitors, no letters, no crowds, no speeches. By then he'll be a private citizen, and can go about his lawful business."

On which point there is likely a need for clarification, which has Surdemer turning to address the Governor directly.

"Mister Burnie. You disagree with my approach. You doubt my methods. That's your prerogative. For as long as I remain here, however, you'll speak of this change in tones of unequivocal support, or you'll shut your mouth." A pause, long enough for the man to voice his assent, but no longer than that. "Any rabble-rousing, any speaking against the Crown, any criticism, any rumourmongering - anything to frustrate or complicate matters and I'll have you drowned in a barrel of piss, to which I will personally contribute. If the institution is to fail, let it fail on its own account. Not because you've been digging away at the foundations. If you have constructive suggestions to offer, meanwhile, please make them privately, in writing."

Back to Egris, then, a few points of business, his voice quiet but urgent. The die about to be cast, events about to be set into motion.

"I intend to name you as Crown Warden to the territory of Myrken Wood. Primarily an advisory role, but with certain powers of veto if it seems that the interim government is straying from the correct path. Your duty would be to protect your Uncle's interests here, and ensure that the transition goes as smoothly as possible. You would be the Crown's face here, and behave accordingly - dignified, dutiful, a civilising force applied with a benevolent hand."

He waits for a moment, giving the young lady a little time to digest this idea.

"Can you agree to this?"
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Re: The inevitable, delayed no more.

Postby Glenn » Sun Aug 24, 2014 5:56 am

"One moment," this to Surdemer because even in the face of this, there was a dangling string and it had to be pulled. That the man didn't seem to ever understand this was part of why he was so empty and vacant. It was why he was so ill-fitting for Myrken Wood, and it was why that Myrken, before long, would find a way to reach out and fill those gaps and turn him into something he could have never imagined, no matter where in the world he might be.

He turned to Egris, and the room seem to light up as he spoke, lit by their banter and by a spark that barely existed between them. "You wouldn't have me gutted. You don't know if you could beat me and until you do, you couldn't just have me killed, because then you'd never know. No, if it would be swords, then I'd have a fighting chance, and then we'd see if I didn't at least take you with me. I'm afraid you'll have to show off some other charms." Then, though he'd stare at her, right in the eyes if she would allow him, his own dangerous and deep, having survived too much and seen even more. "I have faith in you though, or else we wouldn't be here now."

That dealt with. He could finally glance back at the Baron. His tone was even, his sentences short. "I understand your threat. I understand your intentions." Nice, quick thoughts. "I cannot tell you what I'll do. It will be what I feel is right and best in the moment. I don't yet know what those moments will be. I don't yet know what opportunities will be available to me. I'll choose in those moments. I understand the consequences." At least he was honest about it, and he ended, not reassuringly at all. "I do expect my opportunities to be limited and I won't do anything that will blatantly hurt the people, or that will hurt the chances of further royal economic support." Past that, though, his idea of what might hurt them, that might harm their spirits forevermore and not just their body, well, that likely differed from Surdemer.

Burnie couldn't be threatened with death though. That was blatantly obvious.

Finally, he'd glance back at Egris. "If you're ready then?"
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Re: The inevitable, delayed no more.

Postby Kestrel » Thu Aug 28, 2014 1:57 pm

Glenn assured her that she would not harm him, solely for her own self-assurances, and she smiled. "You project yourself onto others often, Burnie. That might be your typical course of action, but I follow another path. One that places my country far beyond my own selfishness," she corrected, neatly. She did not him to mistake her for someone easily managed, after all. She was as much an impassable force as the Baron.

There was a moment, when he spoke of his faith in her that her eyes might have softened, but it was gone the next.

She gave a polite nod in acceptance of her proposed responsibility for the Governor. "He will be kept quiet, whether it is by his own power or bindings and a gag," she assured the Colonel, with a wink leveled at the man in question.

As Baron Surdemer made his intentions in regard to her career and future in Myken known, her spine stiffened into the respectful stance her military career had drilled into her. She stood at attention, eyes focused on the wall in front of her. "I would be honored," she answered, her voice unwavering.

Once answered, her eyes would seek out the Baron's, however briefly. There was promise there, a silent vow to stand strong to be best of her ability. She would take her position with the utmost gravity. She shifted to turn her attention to the fallen Governor, and offered her hand. A moment of sympathy, perhaps. Empathy, for his defeat. That did not mean she would be any less his captor.
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Re: The inevitable, delayed no more.

Postby BDAdmin » Tue Sep 02, 2014 10:12 am

As close to an agreement as can be hoped for from Burnie, which is hardly an agreement at all.

"I've made it clear what you'll not do. What you get up to on your own time is your concern, up to the point at which you make it the Crown's concern." A glance to the Kestrel at that, and a small nod as she makes her own position clear.

"Very well, then. Lady Egris Verreaux, I relinquish this idiot to your care. Please do your best to keep him from being a public nuisance for the next day or two."

A perfunctory gesture has the Baron's soldiers releasing Burnie at last, stepping back and allowing him to stand, to gather whatever dignity his socks and shirtsleeves permit.

"That'll be all, Warden." A moment's bustle, a dull tramp of booted feet as the Governor is escorted from his office, leaving Surdemer in a now marginally less crowded room. He savours the quiet for a moment, his gaze wandering the walls and furnishings; the shelves, the books and papers. The desk.

"Captain, see that the marketplace is orderly. Corporal, wait outside. There'll be messages to run."

Unhurried steps carry him around the desk, gaze lowered to inspect the varnished wood, the grain and imperfections. His fingers rest briefly upon the cool surface as if testing its solidity. A moment of that, no more, and he carelessly kicks aside the ruins of Glenn Burnie's coat and shoes; a moment later he's shoving the Governor's chair into the corner, hauling the ostentatiously plain chair into its place. He marshals papers, ink and nibs, sand and wax, and settles into the seat with a sigh that is already weary.

"Might as well start filling the barrel."
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