Mercenaries of the Northern island are asked to aid in a regional conflict in the empire.
Savas walked through the main hall to the Royal chamber, its tapestried walls showing ancient depictions of warfare. He always smiled while walking besides them as they depicted a defeat of his master. He probably did not care for the meaning of these tapestries or was too pennywise to pay for new ones.
As he arrived in the Royal chamber many were present already, the most important person was absent though. This because he did not want to wait for his brother’s subjects, they should wait for him. As Savas settled he noticed that the mood was somewhat tense at the table. All his fellow nobleman were in more anticipation than before.
Savas asked his neighbour, a bearded man in his fourties whose name Savas always forgot if there was anything important to be discussed that day.
“have you not heard? A messenger arrived earlier this morning.” The answer was “from the golden hills he came in speed.”
“any idea as to what his message was? Has the governor made a child or was there a miners uprising?”
“I cannot say, but the message was dire enough for him to go directly to the chief advisor.” The nobleman replied.
“Then the governor must be in need of our help again, you still remember the shameless request from last year?”
“oh yes, the upworked rat had failed in taxing his men appropriately and blamed his predecessor for sabotaging the incomes. As if Bagatur would have done that, the man is as upright as any can be.”
The nobleman continued in a long tale of how Bagatur had once saved him from a bear while hunting and served a great feast when the king arrived in his area.
Savas suddenly remembered the name of the nobleman next to him, he listened to the name of Baatur, much alike his nephew who had been the governor of the golden hills before he was transferred to the capital. Savos tried to discuss other affairs with him but there simply no talking to him when he started about his nephew. Fortunately, the royal guards entered the room through the red door.
“Stand all for his highness Sostran, brother of the king, warden of the Northern territories and the lands of the brown river, ruler of the Aestrins, defender of us all from the Northern Island, slayer of man and beast alike!” Shouted the guard, a burly man from the northern island.
As Sostran entered all the men present seated down. A man in his thirties, he showed few signs of aging, appearing as he was ten years ago, his dark brown hair fastened behind his ears with a fatty mixture. His wife walked after him and seated before a royal guard had the time to check the throne. An Aestrin herself, she rejected some of the more southron etiquettes as they were considered foreign and lesser by her peoples. When the throne was proven secure the lord sat down and spoke.
“As some of you might have already heard, there was a messenger too-day” he spoke slowly. “he brought a message from the golden hills. As you all know the governor of these lands, Mahine the wealthy, was sent there not two years ago to replace Bagatur of the Somdan who was recalled to the capital to serve as advisor to my brother, the king himself.”
“Love of my life, could you get to the message already? It is no use to torment these men with tales they already know.” His wife interrupted.
“If Sostran was not so madly in love with her, she could have ended with this remark.” Thought Savas. Sostran continued talking in the explaining matter as was required for the royal meetings.
“... as he spoke thrustworthy, I was lenient to his tributes. The message I received too-day was a completely different matter. The messenger was sent by one of the magistrates who was tasked with sending the tribute to me.” Sostran paused for a bit and drank some of his water. “the messenger told of evil plans. Mahine means to send no tribute and declare himself king over the golden hills as was before my father defeated the last Golden King.”
This news came as a shock to many of the nobleman and some rose only to kneel and declare their allegiance to their overlord while others cried outrage. Savas on the other hand stayed calm and stood waiting to be given permission to speak by Sostran.
“Savas, you may speak” the king’s brother spoke after the storm of protest had passed.
“As I have been the servant of your house for some time now, let it be known that me and my family shall follow whatever course your house enters, we will follow.”
The throned lord nodded in agreement, so Savas continued his talk.
“Yet there is still the question of how to react on these treasonous affairs. There I beg you oh leader of our lands, what actions will you perform to stop the golden hills from falling like a roof tile that is not fixed properly. Will you be lenient, leave this matter to your brother or crush the rebellion as was the tradition of old? I ask you, tell us your plans and we shall act accordingly.”
“Well spoken, my lord Savas. And I shall answer your question for the sake of all those who are present. The actions that I will take is not to be lenient to the rebellious lord, nor leave the matter to my elder brother. I will not allow the Golden hills to leave my realm as the merits from these land belong to my house by right. No, I will retake the golden hills with iron and flame if need be. For this I have planned a number of thing for you all present to do in my name. I ask of you, my honourable lord Savas to serve the realm by levying troops from my brother.”