“If we remain passive then we will vanish in the span of a generation!” slamming his fist into the table to emphasise the statement, Eisen glowers at the other councillors around the table. His breathing is deep and loud and a twisted snarl mars his handsome face. The outburst does not cow any of the councillors, Lady Dubois even tuts disapprovingly at the lack of decorum. They had been having this argument for hours and patience had long worn thin. The fledgeling realm of Savières stood at a precipice, when the councillors had backed Eisen’s suggestion to extend their influence to encompass the surrounding settlements, they had entered an implicit conflict with The Union, Volkesland, that claims dominion over the lands Savières exists within. That none had felt the presence of The Union in generations was the only reason their course of action was up for debate.
Eisen, with the support of High Priest Logan, and Sir Peyton, argued that they should immediately prioritise the discover and capture one of the forests fabled fortress’ before The Union takes notice of them. Lady Dubois, Master Esme, and Baptiste, however, remained unconvinced. Lady Dubois raises her voice in a precise and educated manner, with just enough politeness and condescension, “Eisen, we have all heard you repeating yourself on this subject ad infinitum. What I am not hearing is reason why we should take such a monumental risk with the strain of resources and popular opinion. We should establish our basis at home before we press outwards, a tower without a ready foundation must fall”
As the sun sets on the meeting and the councillors disperse again, Sir Peyton remains standing when all the councillors have left Eisen seated at his place by the table, looking weary and beaten, “Your predictions for the meeting were correct as usual, brother.”
Eisen rests his head in his hand and lets out a heavy sigh in answer to the Knights observation. A moment passes while he collects his thoughts and his hoarse voice answers, “Yes, for whatever good it does me to know my errand is doomed for failure before I embark upon it. Of course they were not convinced, I have no evidence that the fortress exists, nor that the danger that The Union will notice our secession is real”
“What will you do then? I think it is clear after today that debate will get you nowhere without new information.”
Eisen nods, his eyes distant, already wrestling with that exact question. Sir Peyton was correct, Master Esme and Lady Dubois had each expended a lot of resources to support his plan, and while it had been successful thus far, the cost of chasing a legend was unknowable. The Union was notoriously slow to take any kind of action, the lumbering bureaucracy and its geographical and philosophical distance from Savières made it unlikely to be an immediate danger, but Eisen wasn’t happy to gamble this chance on the ignorance or indifference of his foes. The problem was frustrating to him, the simplest and easiest solution would be to go along with the wishes of the others and consolidate and replenish their coffers before pressing onwards, but without a fortress they stood no chance against the might of The Union, and besides the realm needed a symbol to rally behind.
“You know my thoughts, Peyton. I will never lay down and wait for death, if fighting would kill me faster, I would still fight for the chance. I will think over the matter tonight and will call on you tomorrow to share any thoughts I may have on the matter.”
“As you will, sir.” Peyton salutes and leaves. Finally alone, Eisen stands and tidies the room, while deep in his thoughts.
The towering figure of Baptiste seemed even more dramatically large in comparison to the High Priest as the two walked together in the direction of their respective homes. The hairless giant observed the smaller man, seeking insight into his companions thoughts on the meeting.
“I appreciate that you respect me enough to seek my secrets so subtly, my friend,” Logan’s powerful voice takes Baptiste by surprise. The tall man politely returns his gaze to the front, uncertain as to the meaning behind the priests words, he knew enough about the cult of the whisperer to understand that they prized secrets, but not enough to know if his statement was sincere or a polite rebuke. A wry smile crosses Logan’s face at Baptiste’s silence, and he continues, “I shall offer you an exchange of secrets, my thoughts on the meeting for yours.”
Another moments deliberation before, “Deal”
“Eisen is a man driven by actions and deeds, he is chasing the only option he can see to secure Savières, the whisperer guides me to follow him. Many would have thought a quest for knowledge would have enticed a scrivener like youself?”
“My order has compiled a number of histories that relate the rise and fall of many states. It has been but a handful of generations since The Union supplanted the powers that held dominion here before. When Eisen scheduled this meeting, I searched for the lessons of history, and I have learned that an old empire will rot from corruption, but a young one is far more likely to be crushed under the weight of its ambition.”
Logan nods in contemplative silence, the pair continues on in silence until they part ways with a pleasant word. As night settles on the city of Savières, her future for now is uncertain, but such restless peace cannot last and tomorrows light may bring fresh developments anew.