Sess 3, 229: The Showdown

The Showdown
Summary: Duke of Lakeshire and Count of Greenshire have a showdown mediated by Captain Mowbray
OOC Date: 19/02/2014 (OOC)
Related: Trade Tensions Ignite
Aidan Aldren Kieryn 
Council Chambers
The council chambers are much like the rest of the castle. Opulent tapestries line the walls as gray marble covers the floor. The ceiling is vaulted, with a mosaic painted of the Battle of Skingaard. The north wall of the room is almost entirely made of glass, looking across the sea beyond. In the center of the room is a large table, with chairs lining each side, and a large chair, similiar to a throne, at the head.
It is day 3 of the month of Sess, 229 2E

Inside the council chambers the mood is tense. This is not to be one of the lax and un-productive meetings that are the norm here in Darfield. Oh no, this particualar meeting has a specific topic. Specific particapants. The troubles in the Lake, seems there will be an attempt to discuss them. Ti's no mystery that both the Count of Greenshire and the Duke of Lakershire will be present, the best of friends they are not.

At one end of the table Aldren stands, choosing not to have sit yet he mingles with a few of his own men, his personal guard and another. His words are low and his wine untouched. Save the two men with him the place is empty.

Aidan enters the council chambers with a shadow trailing him, a steward of Lakeshire come to scribe the matters of what will be said and if anything comes forth from this forced sit down between Houses, he is prepared to note it by quill and parchment. Other members, his knighs and manservent, enter as well, proclaiming there was little trust held in consideration for the Count, for the manservant carries wine for the Duke, not unlike how the Duke Crawford had his own wine and food taster. The Duke himself wears a mask of stern calmness, to which his brows naturally create and the slight of turned down lips seals him into his poker face. He points the steward to a seat so that he may jot down what is necessary before he takes a seat at the opposite end from which Aldren has claimed, ensuring the distance is comfortable. He says naught to the Count as he settles, nodding instead to his servant who pours him wine and serves it, giving them moments to wait for their mediator to arrive - a party unbaised to the bitterness between the Houses.

The neutral party arrives not too long after the Count and the Duke have arrived into the council chambers. He didn't want to leave them alone in there for too long, because well, who can say what kind of chaos may have went down. Since he got back from Sutherland he had reports of what happened some days ago and while frustrated over it, he figured something like that would have happened. Well, he's here to listen to the two and see what can be worked out among them. Unlike the Count nd Duke, Kieryn has no one else with him, no guards, no knights, no servants. He wanders silently into the room and over to a chair in between the two. "Grentlemen."

The arrival of Aidan earns little but a few words at first from Aldren. Though, those words are to his few fellows and they back off. Relaxed and a good number of yards away they do go as the Count settles into his seat. From his pocket he pulls his pipe. He makes no attempt to light it hough, he simply sets it in his mouth and observes the entrance of Kieryn. "Captain." He says quietly. "Glad you could join us." Taking a deep breath he leans over the table tiredly and says, "From what I've heard in the last hour there is much more to discuss than a simple jailing in my Barony….But." His gaze deadpan at Aidan now, "Could you at least agree we start there?"

Aidan nods gently toward the Captain, though doesn't necessarily say anything of propriety to greet the man. He merely leans over toward his steward to correct something that is being written, with a bit of a whisper held between them. A further nod settles whatever matter to be drawn upon the page, before he looks across at Aldren's plead to start of the matter of the jailing. Correcting his posture, he puts both hands before him on the table, clasping them together as he considers the Count, "I believe we should just start straight away into issue of reparation and restitution owed." There is little emotion in his features to give away thought, "As it would seem Lakeshire is at a loss and I the plaintiff, it is only considered due course if I should begin."

Kieryn nods to both Aldren and Aidan as they speak, or don't speak to him, "Good evening gentlemen." he listens to what Aldren says and then to Aidan's words and shuffles some papers and scans them for details, "I would suggest that you both start from the beginning. I would like to hear where and when this all began and then you can speak of what injustices you both feel have been done and what can be done to repair them. I also have a few suggestions that I would like to make later and a point or two that I would like to make very clear."

The Count smirks at the duke. "Are you truly serious." He shakes his head and tired laugh escapes. "From my accounts there are two ships burnt /ZERO/ to be had from either cargo. 34 graves being dug. 32 men in my dungeons. Did you know? Of the burned and drown bodies 12 are yet to be identified? I have men I would release if Blackforge and I have a captain that says he was forced into the water at sword poing by a Lakeshire man. You woule like me to pay you for this fiasco?" He seems quite amused now and plucks a nearby candle from the table to finally light his pipe. As it begins to burn he takes a deep inhale and upon releasing it says, "I will tell you, it was your words and the Duke Crawfords that made me consider the weakness of the straight. Jon Ruxton is a recluse. My intentions were not to upset your own economy." Another shrug is had and he sits a bit straighter, "Forgive me for using a bit of the resources the king gave me to help protect what I have been charged with."

Aidan doesn't look at the Captain, instead, his eyes remain fixed across the table toward Aldren, "The beginning was the unauthorized detainment of a shipping vessel with cargo already paid for by Lakeshire, which now lies in ruins at the bottom of the lake I hear it, along with the ship itself." Only then does he turn toward Kieryn, "The matter is simple Captain, the loss of the ship and cargo are undeniable, at the hands of Greenshire men. I ask for compensation of the ship, the value of the cargo lost, and funds for those familys who now grieve for fathers lost." A gesture to the steward, "My steward can provide the specifics for the itemization and associated costs with everything aboard the ship. We keep proper records of everything arriving and departing." A look toward the Count and his laughter, meeting him with a calm expression, "This was your embargo and as such, you are responsible for every ship you detain and those to which your men seek to ruin." He lifts his cups up, "It was a matter of defense, for the crew of any ship is not to be denied their own self preservation from piracy and as I hear it, your military ship as well as another vessel full of crew, stormed the ship bound for my harbour."

Kieryn listens to both men as they tell their sides of the story and he nods, indicating that he is listening to both of them. He eyes his papers again and then both men with calculating eyes. "I see, so mean and ships were damaged and killed on both sides, from Greenshire and Lakeshire." he looks to the steward, "And what is the total of damages that you have come up with?" he raises an eyebrow curiously, staying calm and then looking to the Count, "And what are you looking for as repayment or whichever? Though, when I said from the beginning, I was meaning, what happened to cause all of this to begin with? Not just this confrontation, but where, when and how did it all begin in the first place? That is the beginning I was wanting to hear."

Kieryn listens to both men as they tell their sides of the story and he nods, indicating that he is listening to both of them. He eyes his papers again and then both men with calculating eyes. "I see, so mean and ships were damaged and killed on both sides, from Greenshire and Lakeshire." he looks to the steward, "And what is the total of damages that you have come up with?" he raises an eyebrow curiously, staying calm and then looking to the Count, "And what are you looking for as repayment or whichever? Though, when I said from the beginning, I was meaning, what happened to cause all of this to begin with? Not just this confrontation, but where, when and how did it all begin in the first place? That is the beginning I was wanting to hear."

"Detainment?!?" Aldren shouts incredulously as he smacks his hands on the table. "There has not been one ship detained. There have been 'delays'." He shakes his head and recalms himself. Looking directly at the Duke he says, "I remember a council meeting. When words of 'treason' were tossed about. I promise, I did not think treason. I though, security. With the Duke Ruxton unwilling to speak on such measures I thought it prudent to take action. My intentions were not to hinder your own trade." He shakes his head and adds, "And if you wish to demand compensation for goods and grief do not think I do not keep records as well." He 'pffts', "Records I have. Do you wish to measure the worth of a Lakeshire familys to a Granaraians? The idea alon is proposterous."

Looking now to the Captain he says, "As I said. I demand no reperations. I want no coin. And if someone must need see damages they only need look to our realm. As to what /began/ this." He chuckles tiredly again. "Not one of us has enought time. Let me ask you. You have saw fit to be here. Would you agree that strangers should not so easily sail into our home? My intentions were only to discourage undesirables. Not the tade of my neighboors. As the captain in the west what will you do to prevent a Sutherland happening in out homes." His last words are directed at Aidan as his gaze shoots there.

There's little reaction from Aidan on the display that the Count makes, holding solid to his chair with a decidedly placid fixture to his emotions. "The ship, by reports, had been detained. You may call it a delay if you wish, but it was still, detained and boarded, in a manner that it gave the crew upon it a need to defend themselves." He sips some wine as he watches the Count speak of treason, brows lifting, "I would hope you'd be wiser than to accuse anyone present of such treason." He tilts his head some at the prudent actions, "And while you acted entirely without support of the other Great House who holds the channels with you, you would suggest that the Lake Kincaid, from my House which it is named and has been defended since the creation of the empire, would fail to defend itself now? In time of war? With your prudent actions, you suggest that my waters are unsafe and yes, you impeach any sailor who dares to cross into such waters with your embargo." There is a measure of control to the Duke, his words calm and simple, as if having to explain to a child. "As for your security, it has bought the deaths of how many men? 32 or was it 34?" He sighs and signals toward his steward to deliver the demanded price for reperations, a copy to the Captain and one to Count Aldren himself.

"Now, my terms are simple. Payment for what is lost and a bit for the families who will not see their fathers and sons home again, for they sailed in Greenshire controlled waters, which falls to your responsbility to repay." He looks quietly toward the Captain and back, "Again, you accuse that Lakeshire and Weston both, for not keeping their waters safe." He shakes his head as he sips some wine, falling quiet as his demands are on the table. The last is remarked only by an upward brow, which falls as he sips his wine further.

Kieryn listens again to the Count and Duke's words and arguments with and against each other, their demands and not demands and takes the papers given to him. He sits there quiet for a little while, thinking things over, especially the count's question and how to answer it. Well, he is in command of the western fleets now and he sees it as his duty. He looks from Aldren to Aidan and back a few times. "I see this talk isn't really going to get us anywhere." he shuffles a couple papers until he finds the two he needs and he slides one to Aidan and one to Aldren, before he answers them. He's already had the papers drawn up and they just need to be signed if they are in agreement, his name is already signed at the bottom of the page he hands over. "As the Captain of the western fleet, which means the waters of the coast are mine to see protected. I am going to shut down any check staqtions set up by Greenshire or Lakeshire. I will place either men from Weston, or my own men of my chosing at these check stations. There will be a few rules though. If a ship is asked to show its cargo, it will, without question or complaint. If all is well and nothing seems amiss the ships will be free to sail on in a timely manner. What will be looked for is places one can hide other men secretly, to make sure they are not actually pirates. Also, cargo holds will be searched for dangerous items. These searches will be mandatory. Nothing will be seized unless it is found the cargo is harboring pirates, or dangerous items that may be used against each other." he frowns some and then sighs, "Also, I want both of your assurances tht during the war, those ships and men Greenshire and Lakeshire provide for the war, will not fight among each other and if one ship is in need of help be it from Greenshire or Lakeshire, the others will help them if they are in trouble and not ignore them. If danger is ignored during the war, I will report it to the Admiral and we will surely make sure that any member of the crew responsible for ignoring a sinking or badly damaged ship will be taken and tried for treason and their ship forfeited." he doesn't like getting tough, but knows he has to. "In other words gentlemen, I want a truce between the both of you, that these disptues will end at least until the war is over. Let me be very clear on this and I am serious. I will not tolerate dissention between members of the western fleet. I do not tolerate it even in my own crew, I am going to need every seamans co-operation and we are all going to have to work together. If I have to, I will take harsher measures of action than I currently am and I do not want to have to do that if I can prevent it here and now. Will you sign such an agreement, or will there be any problems with it?" he raises an eyebrow at both men.

"That ship sits at the bottom of the sea, along with a Granarian one." Aldren waves his hand, "do not split hairs with me. Losses are equal. And I /would/ speak treason if I thought it proper. Remember sir, it was your queen who called those words. Are you so clind to see that I was siding with you on that. Gods your pride surely gets the better of you." Aldren stands, "I made no insinuation that you could not protect your lands. I took cue from you and the Crawford when you brought up his family's near demise. I have reports a plenty that hold your men accountable. Blades were drawn from what I hear. The only ones who were supposed to be checked were unfamiliars. I cannot help it if your own sailors take a cue from you and your pretensious behaviour." When Aidan's Steward comes with paper Aldren takes it from him, the parchment dismissed to the floor. "I doubt it outweighs my own."

And now Kieryn comes with hiw own parchments and demands and what not. Aldren seems not to know where to begin. "Ao, you will keep the same measures that I instituted but it will be men from Weston?" HE shakes his head, "Captain. As far as Granarians slaughtering Lakeshire men…Well, these men were merchants. Not even I forsaw that as a problem. I cannot speak for the Duke but I would surely hope that is not in the future." He says not on signing but begins to look over the document. His glance given to Aidan after to see his opinion.

The paper shuffled at him earns the Captain a measured look of interference, not lightly taken and with some ire behind the casual flick of eye. For ceremony sake, he takes the parchment and gives it a brief glance but is thereby handed over toward the steward to study with some quick intensity. "The waters of the Lake are mine, Captain, as they are part of my Ducal lands and thereby, are mine to protect." He corrects, "The coastlines, surely, you may do as you please." His brow lifts at the mention of check stations, "Check stations will remain in the Lake where they have always been, near the Beacon Isles and further to, my own harbours to which ships land." The rules are listened to and shortly acknowledged with a gesture of a finger wave, as if a child was telling him what he long already knew how to accomplish. "Dangerous items? You would seize items needed to arm an army Captain? I would have you define precisely what items are deemed dangerous, for oil can be deadly with lit as a bow strung and a sword made… as well as a cheese groat. So, I will not sign this without specifics Captain, for any wrongful seizure of items my Duchal lands have paid for will come with consequences."

Count Aldren's dismissal and out right refusal of such a recompensation has Aidan sit back, watching calmly as the cost of the loss is so easily dismissed, "I see you fail to hold yourself accountable for those who hold your shoreline Count." He stands now, "If the matter was reversed and it had been two Lakeshire ships that had come to set flame to a Greenshire ship, you would be crying for recompense as I do now. Surely you would use your favours to make it so." He looks to Kieryn, "I will not sign this with no measure of restitution made. Count Haravean has made the embargo and has thereby seen to this discord. I had advised sailors seeking trade with Lakeshire to avoid the channel at all cost, but this one, was waylaid by a storm and had to take the channel gate of Greenshire. You see, the people of Lakeshire will not see justice done, without some measure of public recourse granted to those families parished." He looks quietly over at Count Aldren, "And here I was about to propose a further alliance had you shown some honour at this table tonight. At least I attempted a start with wedding my daughter to a Greenshire Lord. You'd do so well to think on that."

Kieryn shakes his head at the Duke, "No, nothing like that, that is not what I am saying at all. Of course I would let arms to supply the men for war to go through. I just do not wish there to be anything that could be used to sabatoge an alliest ship. Youa re right though, the lake and such are yours and you can do as you wish, but…" he podners and looks at both men again, "If even your merchants are fighting one another, how can I trust the men that you both lend to the navy to not fight each other? Not to fight among themselves, or to do whatever ot tales to prevent those from each land to do their part? As I said. I will not tolerate any dissention, can you both promise that there will be none?" he raises an eyebrow, "Can you swear that men from Lakeshire will not attack a shipfull of men from Greenshire?" he looks at Aldren, "Can you swear that men from Greenshire will not attack a ship of men from Lakeshire, just because of some disagreement? Can either of you swear that this conflict between merchants will not spread to your navies? That is my concern. Can your lands put aside the bickering over who has the right to do this and who has the right to do that?"

He sighs and looks at Aidan, "I will speak to the Admiral and see what kind of help we can give to repay what happened with your ship and the men that your land lost. If nothing else, I don't know what that might be, but it nay be the best that you get right now. Blockades and the like will not help anything get through that needs to get through, defense is a good thing, yes, but." he shrugs.

The Count scoffs at the Duke now. "You seek no alliance. You seek coin. And do not pretend you attempted to reach out to me by matching with the Kerrigans. You did that for your own gain. Were it to have anything to do with me you would not prance about the castle with your ill words and thoughts. I have no qualm with compensating those widows you speak of. But, I ask you do the same to the Granarians whose family suffered the same fate. And your men who still sit in my dungeons should face just punishment for the crimes they are accused by the kings men. For, they were not my own. They were mostly pikes lent to me by his majesty." To Kieryn now he does look, still standing. "I cannot promise what the small folk will do. If that is what you ask. I am quite sure you should not go mixing them aboard your navy though." He shrugs as well. "I should hope that this can be ended now." Biting the inside of his lip he closes his eye. Turning to the ground he picks up the paper her threw to the ground earlier. It takes the briefest of seconds before he bids one of the two men over, not the guard. Handing it to him he says a few words and looks to the Duke. "Consider it done. As for the Captains specifics I do not know. But I will concede that they are a good many captains who know each other and should not be hindered. Again, it was only the 'strangers' I meant to keep an eye on." Again, he will close his eyes and swallow his own youth and ignorance along with his pride. "Will that satisfy you?" His words are clearly to Aidan but it seems they are for Kieryn as well. Especially if it will help them sign this agreement he has not looked over thouroughly yet.

"Captain," Aidan says at once to Kieryn, "Sabatoge can come from any methods, they do not necessarily have to be physical to achieve such turns." Aidan's experience shows through at his stern gaze rests on the young commander of the Western Fleets, "If you would like such education of that, I would recommend you speak with Commander Arlen." There is a bit of a brow raise at the hint of naval discord, "The ships and crews levied by the Crown are loyal and honourable. Knights upon wooden horses with sails, if you would have it and each man follows my Brother into the heart of any battle, no matter who they fight alongside." Though he speaks not of the ships which are Lakeshire's own to command, those free of the levies of the Crown, which make up a significant portion sailing the Lake now. The ask for a swear has no answer from Aidan's lips, as he has already spoken to such things. The people, the mob, would only be satisfied with a public display. As for what the High Admiral could do, there's only a slight twitch of Aidan's lips that could be considered a sneer.

Aidan allows the Count to make whatever claims he feels necessary, listening with an ease of boredom about him. "The men you have, you may send them to the Kingdom for the justice of the Court and Crown. Any other form of justice would be…ill advised, if we speak of keeping the peoples of our lands controlled." About ready to leave this farce, he only stands to regard the decision of the Count to retreive the piece of paper that had been thrown aside. Aidan allows his hands to fall to his side as Aldren changes his mind. "It would," he looks over at Kieryn, "it would seem you do not have to speak with the High Admiral about this." A bit of praise behind that tone for the captain not having to go beg to his superior of some advice to quell these two stubborn leaders.

Then back to Aldren, "Now, the match of Sir Kerrigan came to us prior to the blockades designed for security. I would have you know I have given my own daughter's hand to your vassal Lordship. I would suggest another… personal tie, to keep the discord between us minimal and the public eye off us both." He's had enough time being whispered about, after all, "I would suggest one of your sisters, to be a handmaiden to the Lady Nylie, once she is welcomed officially to my House as the Duchess." A tilt of his head, "If that'd be agreeable to you, of course."

Kieryn stans slowly as it seems something has been reached, he's not entirely sure, but he bows to the Count and Duke, "I think I have done all that I can right now. I will let you hammer other details out. Just do try not to kill each other, alright? If you will excuse me, I have a meeting with teh High Admiral and Commander Kincaid that I need to attend to."

Aldren listens to the Duke. His eyes rolling at some parts and his head nodding at others. When the Ruler of Lakeshire is finished he says, "I have no mind to apply punishment to them in my own lands. Folly that woul be. I would prefer every one of the lot was sent here to face justice together. It might serve to remind their kin that when they serve under the Lord Mowbray where they hail from does not seperate them." He nods to both men, firm and resolute on that point. To Aidan he does now turn. "That sounds like a wonderful idea." He smirks now, "You should allow one of your own to see my lands. Perhaps Lady Sorcha would enjoy the company of the Countess. OR Lady Faerinia would enjoy Lord Braedon. Surely the lake sails both ways?" His brow quirks and he stares, awaiting an answer on the counter offer.

"Lady Faerinia is most likely to be wed within Lakeshire, Count Aldren, so she must be available for her prospects," he says tartly, "Though I do imagine the Lady Sorcha would indeed enjoy the opportunity to break from Darfield and have opportunities to acquaint with other ladies of the Court," he considers the agreement of Kieryn, where he is to sign, though does not yet, gesturing the steward to pack it up to be studied and thoroughly reviewed prior. No, indeed, Duke Kincaid is going to fastidiously ensure that there are no tricks hidden between the page, as he always does, with every contract written. "Keep it in mind Count, for now I retire to other matters at hand," his steward is already packing up from where he had documented in quick scrawls the words of each party and the demands made and promised to be kept. Records were important in Lakeshire afterall.

Aldrens face seems impassive when he says Fae may not or cannot come but he lets little on save a change of stance. He smiles broadly at Sorch's possibility though. "I am glad to hear that. Reciprocation is important." Aldren will make no issue with crossing the room now and getting far to close. " As your nephew prefers and the clannish folks that I grew up with." He sticks his arm out now so that they may shake and when and if that happens he will have a few words for the Duke that are not so easily heard by others.

Aldren mutters to Aidan, "… Captains proposal… is… needed to… back… prosperous days… though…. no… soldiers…"

"Indeed, though as I have said, my daughter is to be wed and if the Lady Sorcha is otherwise occupied, I do hope my daughter will provide enough acquaintance for your good wife and family," feeling perhaps as if he has already given the jewel of his eye to the place he would least wish to cast her. Aidan becomes suspicious at once with the swift movement and the close range to which Aldren comes within, his knights the one that make moves for sword hilts and inhale breaths. Aidan, just watches, daring with his eyes for the Count do so something to abolish everything that has been so far said and verbally agreed to. Aidan looks at the out stretched hand skeptically, coming to fruition with languid ease, hearing those softly spoken words. "Nor am I," is a quiet rumble of agreement, "Let it settle with dust and see where our own sails can be blown."

As the Count approaches he does not fail to notice the mans knights becoming a bit edgy. But, in his posistion he does not slow down. He moves forward, daring them to think he would do otherwise than be cordial. The words are mumbled and some received. "I would prefer we share the winds in the future. We have no reason to love each other, it is true. But I find my head hurting when I look for reasons to hat." With that he shrugs and releases the handshake. "Word and ravens will be sent. Any Lakeshire captains and ones that fly your colors in good faith will sail easy these days." He now offers the farewell appropriate for the Duke before he waits to turn and leave. His own guard and steward back a bit and eyeing his own men-at-arms.

"They may sail easy," Aidan says as the handshake is released, "But they will no less undergo the inspections that they are accustomed too in the Barony of Mosella on the Beacon Isles," and for anyone who checked a map, these Isles were those which stood between Lakeshire and the Gates to the coastline. "I have had twenty seven years to get used to the headaches, but they are never entirely diminished even after so long." Dealing with a Kincaid, one had to be sharp and ever on their game, as no doubt they played the game as well as they played chess. He nods his head once and then turns to take his leave, the steward hustling along behind him before the knights cluster in behind to follow.

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