All five of the men was silent then as they attempted to avoid their King’s eyes. Finally Lord Justen spoke. “Lord Teryn I am not ingnorant of your plight, even now my Captains are arranging to buffer your forces. If my father was ever right about one thing, it was that the Northguard has lost too much—“
                “My dear son, I said no such thing, I said the Horse Lord has lost much. Listen more, speak less.” Lord Jarin patted his son’s shoulder, whose face glowed red.
                “Excellent, now we are getting somewhere.” The King spoke.
                “A noble statement yes, Your Majesty,” Lord Teryn placed a hand on his aching head. The meetings played a number on his skull. “And yet just a statement, nothing more.” He laid his hand out flat on the table. “Whilst my men died, the Captains were slow to answer the call to war because of a sheer lack of communication and I lost a quarter of my army in the first month, holding back a siege.” Lord Justen narrowed his eyes. “Now that we are in a temporary peace-time, I find the Captains seem more interested in hitting each other with tourney swords than protecting the realm they say they serve.” Lord Teryn crushed his hand into a fist.
                “What are you implying, Lord Teryn?” Lord Justen asked, suspicion beginning to form on his features.
                “Your Majesty, our General of the Royal Armies has promised me men for nearly a year and nothing has come of it. By my positions as High Lord of the Province of Northguard and esteemed member of the King’s Private Council, I move to call into question the capabilities of Lord Justen Tallor and request that he be stripped of his ranks as Lord General in place of a new, more fitting Lord in his stead.”
                “Outrageous!” Lord Justen shouted, throwing back his chair when he stood up.
                “Are you sure you wish to pursue this, old friend—?” Lord Theran asked.
                “A heavy accusation, Lord Teryn, is it wise?” Lord Ethen queried.
                “First my wine, now my son’s well earned rank. You go too far Horse Lord.” Lord Jarin’s voice was dangerously low so that he was almost drowned out.
                He said I should do this and I agreed, I threw the dice, now to place my wager and see what comes of it.
                “And who would you have me appoint, Lord Teryn?” The King questioned.
                “I would name my own son, Your Majesty, Sir Aulric Ridling, until such a time as my death, and when he comes into his inheritance, if His Majesty would permit my advice, I would then seat Captain Garret, unless Lord Justen proves himself worthy once more.”
                The meeting chamber exploded with sound, but Lord Teryn only had eyes and ears for his King, and his King, he.  King Leon seemed to be deep in thought.
                “Enough.” The King said, and the Lords grew quiet. “Lord Teryn these are bold claims, and they are not without truth—“

The End

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