Umbra 40, 228: A Squire or a Pawn

Ronan and Tyrel discuss chess, squires and the politics of the day.


A Squire or a Pawn
Summary: Ronan and Tyrel discuss chess, squires and the politics of the day.
OOC Date: November 13th, 2013
Related: None
Players:
Tyrel Ronan Kierne 
Library
Your footsteps are muffled by the thick, dark blue carpeting of the library. This room has been furnished to encourage the pursuit of scholarship and learning: Several large, comfortably cushioned mahogany chairs invite you to sit and read for hours. A few tables and desks of the same deep red wood are provided for more serious studies. The room is well lit with chandeliers.

Heavy doors to the north lead out to the hallway, and cut off any sound from that direction. To the east, ornate windows let in the indirect sunlight, and a door leads into the royal gardens. An alcove contains a message area, and an archway leads into the Library Collections proper. Stairs lead up to the second level of the library.

It is day 40 of the month of Umbra, 228

Tyrel enters with a small wine bottle in one hand, and several small slate squares in the other. His guard trails behind him and takes position at the door.

Ronan is in here, seated at a small table upon which is laid out a chess set. In the chair opposite is a young man, perhaps 16 years of age, blondish. The pair of them are sharing a flaggon of wine, a deep Sutherland red. The youth is considering the board with great care and the game appears to be halfway through play. The Duke leans back in his chair and picks up his cup to sip lightly of it as he also considers the board and what the youth might choose.

Tyrel's entrance turns both heads. Ronan moves to stand at once and subtly makes a gesture to the youth to do the same, then places his hand to chest and inclines his head, "Young Majesty, good evening." The boy mimics the Rioga, glancing to Ronan for his cues but says not a word.

Tyrel dips a bow, "Carefully, Duke Ronan, courtesy is important but I'd be beside myself if haste in rising toppled a match mid-play." Hew walks closer to the two men turning his attention to the board, "Please, be seated and be at your ease."

Ronan actually smiles, "I was careful not to knock the board, I assure you. Please do be welcome to join us. This is one of my squires, the young Lord Kierne (insert minor House name here). If you would care for wine, we have enough to share." The Rioga retakes his seat, mindful that his spurs he forgot to remove earlier do not tangle with the chair's legs. He looks to the youth, "It is still your move."

A little rattled, the lad also takes his seat and is suddenly nervous with the Crown Prince's arrival. His throat bobs when he swallows and it makes the Duke look amused. Then Kierne moves his bishop upon the board.

Tyrel lifts his bottle to show it not entirely empty and takes a drink, "I am still well wet, Ronan, but your offer is generous and appreciated. Is young Kierne much of a player? I am almost ashamed to say that my squire Bowen of the Kincaid's is quite hopeless at chess. A good lad with a sound mind for the tactics of the moment but too enthusiastic by half to see battle met when positioning would do him more benefit." He pulls a chair over to where he can comfortably view the board.

"One of the many things I shall miss about your brother, he would indulge me in a game even when we had indulged to the point that we thought every pawn a queen." He smiles in a slightly meloncholy manner and takes another drink of the wine.
<FS3> Ronan rolls Chess Player: Success.
<FS3> Tyrel rolls Chess: Good Success.

Ronan considers the board, and his squire's move. Tyrel's comment suddenly makes him laugh, a deep rich sound. "I have seen my brother in his cups and aye, it could be quite amusing." The Rioga looks back to the board, "He's learning. I can't say that I've spent enough time at it to be any good myself but it passes the time. I've more a mind for actual tactics, where the challenges interest me more than this." Ronan skims a hand over the edge of his bearded jaw and is in no hurry to make his counter move, studying the board lightly before he directs his attention more fully to Tyrel, "Kierne could stand to learn patience yet but what boy of his age doesn't?" Like, oh, his Duke intentionally putting off making his move to chat with the Crown Prince? The squire tries not to figet and gulps a bit too much of his wine.

Ronan's cup is yet half full while the lad refills his own again. The Rioga notes it but says nothing upon it yet, "My brother and I didn't always see eye to eye, but I should have played him chess more often."

Tyrel smiles and leans back in his chair, "One of my tutors favored the game so I was presented with the option of enjoying the contest or spending many, many hours in tedium. I opted to enjoy it and have since found it to be quite a pleasant way to pass time with people of almost any culture. I do believe you are correct regarding squires and patience, and may have struck upon some truth regarding brothers. I cannot imagine a day when I did not disagree at least once with my siblings and I believe I would have been less of a man if I had not had to learn to deal with their unique natures."

Tyrel takes another swallow of the wine emptying the bottle then sets it down, "I should have also have liked to play him again, though it seems we are tasked with first living lives of interest so that we have much to talk over in the caves of the gods." He looks from Ronan to the squire and back again, "Do you think he's spent this time worrying over when you shall move rather than studying where he will move?" He says to Ronan with a small gesture of his hand indicating Kierne.

Kierne probably couldn't have a straighter, stiffer back than he has, sitting there all brittle. A very nervous look towards Tyrel, then eyes glued back to the board. Still no talking.

Ronan wants to laugh at his squire's expense but no, he contains himself. Much as he had to do earlier in the day when speaking with Rolsin and not wishing to run over her. It is akin to keeping a young horse in check to take the steep jagged descent with care so not to foul his legs. "No, he's afraid you'll ask him questions. I don't think he'll wet himself, but if he does I won't ever let him live it down." Aye, there is laughter in his dark eyes all the same.

A look then back to Tyrel as Ronan continues to sit at his own ease, "Perhaps you will allow me to play you, Young Highness, upon such times as our paths may cross in days to come. I would do me no harm to learn the game the better." Kierne looks like he wishes he was somewhere else.

Ronan finally makes his move, shifting only a pawn but clearing the way for the bishop to take his knight. And if Kierne falls for it, the Rioga will take the lad's bishop and move his queen into position to check Kierne's king. Not a check mate, however. Does the boy see it?

"Worried that I might ask him questions? What a curious thing about which to be concerned." Tyrel studies the moves and potential counters for a moment then continues, "The oaths he aspires to for knighthood are all he needs to remember to answer correctly to any question I might ask. Reply with honesty, with courtesy, and with consideration of those who you stand to protect and one would be hard pressed to answer me in error. Besides, I'm not the one to be concerned about, I only see to the armies. The one to fear in this castle is Lady Wenna. If she is asking you questions you've either run afoul of an illness or injury and are subject to the ministrations of he and her physicians, or worse, she has decided you're in need of a wife."

Oh aye, Ronan wants to laugh at the last! He keeps it to a huff of breath and a chuckle, reaching out to lightly cuff Kierne on the shoulder, "Do you hear? We'll arrange you a wife. I'll send you to the Lady Wenna in the morning!" Dear Gods, Ronan's squire /truely/ does look like he's going to wet himself! But it knocks loose his tongue, "But Sir! My father!" Kierne clamps his mouth shut at once and looks rather worried.

Which of course only amuses Ronan the more. He sips his wine and looks back to Tyrel, "He's a good lad and would answer you truthfully. Lest he has enough sense to evade if the questions were unsuitably prying. I hope." Yes, it's give his squire a hard time day. The boy sports a bruise above one eye as it is from sparring earlier in the day. Did he forget that it's his move upon the board again?

Tyrel smiles, "I'm certain your father would be delighted with any match the Baroness found for you, she has an eye for such things, but I do not think you need to worry just yet, though you'll want to work on your guard lest you find yourself in her infirmary and your bachelorhood catch her attention." The squire properly razzed Tyrel turns his attention back to Ronan. "Do be sure to keep us appraised of the situations in Sutherland. I'm entirely aware of how tempting it is to shoulder one's burden's alone, do not fall into that trap, the kingdom can only be greater than the sum of it's parts if those parts are working together."

The conversation has turned to more serious things than harassing his squire. Ronan takes a sip of his wine and considers the Crown Prince's words, "There are only two things I think we could use help with, at this time. At least until such time as I become aware of any others." The Rioga lifts a finger to tap the board lightly to draw Kierne's attention back to it ere he proceeds.

"The first being ships to patrol our coast. One or two strong fighting vessels would be more than we currently can boast, my Prince. The other to seek any information whatsoever as relates to the murder of my family." Ronan meets Tyrel's eyes boldly enough, "I seek the same myself and set others to the task. And, I would find good shipwrights to hire and seaman to build our own ships. But that will take time, and gold." Gold at least Sutherland has, and will continue to accrue if the Gods be willing.

Kierne finally chooses to go for Ronan's knight, taking the piece with pride using his bishop.

Tyrel nods, "The fleet will be deployed to guard the entire coastline. So that it moves in a more cohesive unit most ships will remain in the command of the royal navy. We have the shipyards working at full capacity at all hours so we expect to field a sizeable fleet to replace those vessels that were damaged." He steeples his fingers before himself looking over the tips of his fingers towards the board. "Your brother's death, I wish to lay at the feet of Laniveer, though I do not hold proof that they had direct involvement. That they would disturb the peace so badly as to allow such attrocities to take place galls me, but any information I receive that points towards those that committed the deeds, and those that encouraged it, will be delivere to you. I should like to see my friend and my cousin avenged and I can think of few instruments better to enact it than you and your men."

Ronan clearly is interested in preventing the episode from daring to be repeated, in his request for coastal patrols. He looks for a moment like he would say something but he checks himself and does not. Something better left unsaid in such company. Instead he takes a sip of his wine and draws a slow, deep breath as he studies the chess board. It's not what is really upon his mind as he almost idly moves the queen to take the bishop, "Check." Nonetheless, Kierne looks fretful over it.

Tyrel says, "Your concern is understood, Duke Ronan, but for the moment I have finished my wine and should see to an evenings rest. I look forward to more conversations in the future and taking you up on your kind offer of a game."

With due care not to upset the board, both Crawford and squire move to stand at Tyrel's parting. "Thank you for joining us, Young Majesty. May your night be restful, the Eight willing." Ronan finishes off his own glass of wine though he does not refill it, setting it aside. "I will likely be a few days yet ere we depart, lest there be some reason to detain me. Goodnight."

Tyrel nods, "You are welcome for as long as you can stay, Duke Ronan." He then moves of and out of the library.

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