The Dining Hall, despite being full, was a little darker and quieter than normal. Brandon had excused himself earlier and promised he'd return, once he had mulled over the Mightford Brothers' offer. He had politely rebuffed Alistair's guidance, claiming he needed time to think by himself.
Jaina and Tiffy were resplendent in silken robes, yellow and blue, both garnered with white lilacs fom the Garden. They, despite their close acquaintance could not find any words to share. Tiffy tapped her wine goblet on the table with a steady rythm and Jaina started to pace.
Roary sat at attention, his tail sporadically flapping on the floor, beside Alistair, who calmly stood in the centre of the room looking down at his hands.
Senny stood at the door. His helmet was tucked in his arm and his moustache wiggled while Lance and Chris excitedly related further tales of their travel. Yet, Senny was not listenning intently. He wondered instead how his men were faring, capturing the Tall, Dark, Hooded Man.
He was lost, as the rest of them, for direction.
The waitservants peeked in, meekly wondering if whether they should be yet serving dinner, and Alistair beckonned them to wait for the King to appear.
It seemed a long wait.
Yet, with the usual lack of fanfare, Brandon came around the corner, looked around, smiled politely, and standing at the corner of the table, filled himself a glass of wine.
Everyone looked at him.
"So.", Brandon ran his finger around the rim of his wine glass.
"So?", asked Jaina
"We only have so much time."
Alistair patiently agreed that time was of the essence and the others nodded furtively, all leaning in a little closer.
"There's no sense mass producing this potion if it's not going to work."
Roary groaned, "Yep, the King's on the ball tonight" and then curled up as if trying to nap.
"We're going to test it on Clover"
"But Your Majesty!", Tiffy leaned over the table and grabbed Brandon by the shoulders, "Clover isn't affected by the Ruby River!", before realizing her indiscretion and quickly withdrawing.
"No, Tiffy, Clover's only drank from the Ruby River once."
"My liege", interjected Alistair, "and suppose the River does turn him? Clover may seem benign but, maddenned by fire? We're just losing an ally and gaining an enemy."
"That's assuming the potion doesn't work, Alistair."
Jaina looked up, from having her head in her hands and looked at Brandon with bright, white, wide eyes.
"My liege, and who's going to administer the potion?"
In one moment everyone in the room had a chance to look at each other, with each look more dubious than the last.
"I've resolved that everything's going to work out. It has to. Tiffy, gather the details of what entails the potion from the Mightford clan, and haste to produce one. At Dawn, fetch Clover. I'm off to rest."
With that the King stood up and strode purposefully out of the Dining Hall. Despite the flurry of objections behind him, he walked with a steady gait through the corridors..
"We have our orders", declared Alistair, "He is the King"
Brandon finally reached his bedchambers, and looking out the window of his parapet, Brandon, King Tassian III, leaned his head over the side, and promptly threw up.