2 Alasair, 228: A Strategic Meeting

A Strategic Meeting
Summary: The Princess Roslin Kilgour seeks out her eldest brother Tyrel, heir to the throne of Mobrin, to speak to him after she has been away for nearly a year. The discussion quickly turns to the present.
OOC Date: 20 August 2013 (OOC)
Related: Arrival of a King
Roslin Tyrel 
Prince Tyrel's Office
Spiffy, no doubt
Alasair 2, 228

It has been a few days since the Princess Roslin returned, unannounced, during the welcoming of King Isaac Aberdeen to the court at Darfield. Since then, as it may well be expected, little has been seen of the girl. Moving into her old rooms is taking time, and no doubt the girl has many social visits of her own to make to friends, acquaintances, and others around the castle. It is even said that the son of her host, Hadrian Kincaid, has been met with and invited to stay at the castle as a guest.
So what is the girl to do now, once her dresses are aired and unpacked, her hair brushed and pulled tightly into an intricate style of flaming red, and her obligations are fully met? For Roslin, the answer is simple - renew the attentions and affections of her family, those who are both most important and last on the list. They, after all, understand better than most the demands of a royal family member. Having already presented herself to the King, then, Roslin has adorned herself in a dress of fine woven white cotton, over which is a far more elaborate silk brocade dress of deep purple, pressed with leaves and vines into the fabric. It braids in a corset-style along her midriff, and has long, dagged sleeves to accentuate the flow of her movements. She waits, of course, to be announced, before she enters her brother’s office.

Tyrel is sitting at his desk, drinking what appears to be warm chocola, and wearing a doublet of royal purple. He has paperwork scattered across the front of his desk, and Sir Roane Leask is standing nearby, a knight of the Rioga, a man well respected at court. Tyrel shuffles the paperwork on his desk, before stuffing part of it away inside a drawer. He then leans back in his overstuffed leather chair and smiles as his sister is announced, “Send her in.” He grins across to Roane, then back to the door his attention goes, expectantly.

And, as expected, in moves that Princess, that youngest sister of his. She lifts her skirts just a tiny bit as she moves, giving the material more breadth and body, making her appear a bit more regal. As she enters, she does not run to his arms. She does not squeak or faint and jump up and down. No, the woman before him is just that - a woman, a child no more. And she behaves like a woman, moving to stand before her brother in a presentation, lowering herself in a respectful curtsy for him. It is a graceful little motion, and complete in its humility - not only does her body lower for him, but her chin tilts slightly to the ground, and even her eyes lower in reverence.
That being said, she is still a sister. And she does not hold the pose indefinitely, waiting for his appreciation or approval. No, she has shown her respect, and now she will stand tall. Shoulders back, eyes high, smile slight and confident. “Your Majesty,” she says, her voice gentle and smooth as a Princess’ ought to be (particularly after a lifetime of lessons on how to most properly speak). “I do hope my visit is not terribly inconvenient.” Though there is solemness in her words, something about her tone, and her eyes - she is sparkling, pleasantly so. Why, the girl is happy to be here, in the presence of her brother, even as she adheres to etiquette before him.

Tyrel stands from his seat as she enters, and moves around to lean on the desk, watching her “performance.” When she is finished, his grin spreads on his face and he does a fake clap with his hands, “Bravo!” He belts out a laugh, before pushing off the desk to approach her, planting a kiss on her cheek. He then turns and motions to Roane, who is waiting quietly beside the desk.
“You do know, Sir Roane?” He asks curiously, before looking back to his sister, “He is to be the new deputy Marshal. We were just going over some preparations for defense, there is reports that Laniveer may launch another invasion next month. We must be prepared.” His tone turns grim as he speaks of war.
A sigh escapes his lips, before he moves toward the sidebar to freshen his cup, “Would you care for some Chocola, sister?” He asks in a friendly manner. Age is starting to catch up to Tyrel in his youth as stress lines are forming around his mouth and his eyes. He no longer looks a youthful man in his early twenties, but could easily be mistaken for a much more experienced man, perhaps thirty. Warfare does nasty things to men, and its starting to wear on this Prince.

For the kiss, Roslin daintily offers her cheek, tilting it towards the man and up so he won’t have to bend terribly far to reach it. She seems quite pleased, but it is a silent pleasure that radiates more from her demeanor and body language than anything said. “Sir Roane, of course. It is an honor and a pleasure to see you again after so long,” she says, her tone smooth and gracious as a greeting royal should be.
Still, she does not long linger, almost absent-mindedly waving off her brother’s offer. “No, thank you,” she murmurs, eyes moving over the papers that still exist - not reading, but searching for something. “Does the southern tip of Jadda hold strong enough to discourage the Laniveer from marching west again around the mountains, toward Weston? Or shall we have to expect them to come east directly for Darfield?” The girl stands tall again, her eyes searching the faces of both men as though they were books that somehow contained the answer she sought, if only she could find it. Her confidence has not faltered, but the sweetness of her voice has faded to one of concern. And interest.

Tyrel turns once more to face his sister, sipping gingerly on the warm fluid in his cup. At her expected questions, he offers a nod as he purses his lips with the chocola in his mouth. He swallows, setting the cup on the sidebar, before moving to make certain the door is secure. He then moves back to his desk, picking up a missive from someone in Laniveer, “We have a royal ranger in Laniveer right now. It seems their plan is to sail around the sea of Darfield with the Moniwid. Apparently, the Grand Duke has aligned himself with Laniveer and has provided dozens of warships. According to our spy, the plan on launching the invasion in the coming weeks. Their strategy is to land south of the castle, and besiege the city.”
He reaches to his side for the cup once more, taking a drink. He lets that information sink in, before motioning to Roane, “Sir Leask and I were just going over the reports, and discussing defensive strategies. Roane believes we should focus our attention of preparing the city for siege, while I believe we should sail out into the water and cut them off.” A brow is raised toward his sister, “What do you think?” His tone is one of respect for her opinion. He knows how she thinks, and her input is obviously valued. If this were his /other/ sister, one could always talk of flowers or fairies, or some other silly topic. But, not Roslin. Serious discussions are certain to ensue, and Tyrel welcomes the opportunity.

Roslin is quiet. Not an unusual thing for the girl - she was a comparatively pensive child. Her expression is one Tyrel has seen many times, whenever he would pose to her a question, a situation, a danger, or a concern that she had to find her way out of. “We’re sure of Moniwid? I’d heard something about attempts to build an alliance from our end with them.” Though she asks, she doesn’t seem to question his information. Instead, she sucks in her lower lip even more. “Do you have a map?” She asks the men, and steps back to wait patiently while one is unfurled before her. Then, she leans over it, continuing to chew on that lower lip of hers. “It would be quite ideal if we had the force to sink them in their ships and let the riggings pull them to the bottom of the sea,” Roslin says. Her language and imagery may be a bit strong, but her tone is as analytical as ever. “Let them never touch our shores. Without Moniwid, where do our naval capabilities currently stand?” She looks to both men as she asks the question, then turns back to the map, sliding it to a different angle. “How does the coastline look here, where they plan to land? Is there any hope of intercepting them as they try to bring their ships up - throwing them back into the sea, and falling back to the city as the need arises?”

Tyrel lets out a soft sigh as she mentions our own relations with Moniwid, glancing to Sir Leask, then back to his sister, “Yes, we were in negotiation with Moniwid.” He furrows his brow, looking down at the map, then back to Roslin, “The negotiations concerned…. Logen. And, well, his honour has proven…” a light pause, “…near non-existent. Using him as a bargaining chip has proven impossible, due to his recent…. actions.” He clears his throat, moving around to look closer at the map during her comments and suggestions, nodding occasionally, but mostly just listening in silence.
“I would indeed prove advantageous if we could catch them in the water and send them to Inouv.” He glances to Roslin a moment, then back to the map, “We had an advantage over Laniveer in the water, as you well know, until they inked their alliance with Moniwid. Our… intelligence on Moniwid is lacking. We aren’t sure what they are capable of, or how many ships they have, but from our Aberdeen allies, we know that they are capable of mounting quite an invasion with their fleet.” Sir Leask remains silent, crossing his hands behind his back as he listens to the siblings discuss strategy.

At the mention of Logen’s role in everything, Roslin’s lips purse in a disapproving frown that would seem almost maternal in its disappointment, were it not shown on the face of a girl barely 16. From her expression, her brother can likely tell that she would say something in private, but now, in company, she instead just purses her lips.
“Even if we were not to meet them on the water, their number is the most important information we could have. There are …” the girl sighs. “So very many manipulations that could be at play here. But let us say, safely, that their ships outnumber ours, even laden with men and material. Their weight may yet be their weakness. We know the general build of these ships, do we not? With so much weight they will sit heavy in the water. How many places along this coast can there be that would allow ships to come in close enough to relieve themselves of their burdens?” A slender finger trails along the coast, up toward the city on the map. “They will want to land as close to the city as possible - they cannot maintain long supply lines from their landing up to the city. So perhaps, if we can determine the most likely areas of landing, we set up a defensive line along this ridge,” she says, setting her hand along the last ridge and river on the peninsula leading up toward Darfield Castle. “If they land to the east, this force - heavy cavalry, can push them along the fields toward the castle. They will be caught between the city archers and our own men. If they land west of that force, we make them fight for every inch, make them crawl across the river, over the heights, while our forces fall back each time to reinforced positions.” She finally lifts her head, chewing on her lip. “Either way, the city must be fortified if we know this is where they are coming. But we should not wait for them.” Still, the girl is frowning, and a bit flushed. Perhaps, just perhaps, she is nervous about speaking so candidly before two hardened men of war. “This is all, of course, contingent on the reliability of that intelligence.”

Tyrel furrows his brow, eyeballing his younger sister with a curious look as he scratches his chin in thought. “You have been reading strategy books, eh? I know we have discussed strategy many times in the past, but…” he pauses, looking to Roane, “I am impressed.” He grins at the Rioga, before looking back to Roslin, snapping his fingers before pointing at her, “We will meet them in the water.” The grin on his face is gone, as he turns back to the discussion at hand, “Our ships will find theirs in the Sea of Darfield, and we will show them the iron!” He is suddenly animated, his voice carrying through the office. He sets his cup of Chocola on the desk, and walks to the window, one hand behind his back as he looks out to the Great Sea, “No, we will meet them in the water, and if they still have an army, on land as well.” He looks to Roane again with a sideglance, “Prepare your company for war, Sir Leask. We will meet the enemy before they find their faces in front of Stormvale, that much I /do/ know.” Tyrel turns on his heel, moving back to his desk quickly, picking up a missive and handing it to the man, “Take these to my father as soon as he is back at the castle. I am sure he will want to consult his council on these matters as well.”

“Tyrel,” Roslin says, urgently as she leans over the map. “Tyrel, if they plan to land and then seige the city, this ridge will be key to everything.” She draws a finger along the spine of the penninsula that intersects with the Sutherland ridgeline. “If we hold these high grounds, once they make landfall, our cavelry can storm over them like shrubs and grass and push them right back into the sea. But if we lose these highgrounds, we will be cut off from the south, and our men will be left out to be slaughtered. This is where your landfighting will take place, if it does anywhere.” She looks up at her brother, no longer nearly so nervous. In fact, she seems quite confident, even for her. “There are plenty of places along that ridge to fall back toward the city, but it keeps us from being cut off entirely. Especially if we lose at sea, our naval routes from Darfield Castle will be cut off as well. This ridge is our lifeline.”

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