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Thread: Once Upon a Time….. The Slow AAR

  1. #41
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    Director, should I worry? should I abandone while I still can?

    Storey, not yet, not yet it will take at least another year or two before anything happens (perhaps )

    Sytass, thanks I'm blushing.

    V

    Edit. to all, it has been a horrible daybat work and don't have much time over the weekend, so it probably be monday before the next installment.

  2. #42
    Taskenspiller Extraordinaire Jarlen av Juks's Avatar
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    More good stuff Valdemar. The new characters are working well and I want to read more..

  3. #43
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    Jarlen, thanks,

    Everybody, sorry that there hasn't been any updates, but the weekend was occupied and I actually had to work friday and monday morning, this afternoon my wife got scanned and the baby is doing just fine, ETA around middle of june

    I'll try and get the second last part of this chapter up tonight, Wife permitting

    Does anybody know of a way to track your story once it leaves the first page, aside from the library and scrolling through the pages?

    V

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    Chapter One, part VI

    The family and their guests gathered on the terrace for watered wine and fruits in the warm spring afternoon, when the thirteen-year-old twin girls and their friend came barging around the corner of the terrace and almost knocked Sif over. Their mother scolded them as they ran by, but they didn’t stop merely passed through on the way into the house.

    “You need to talk to them about this, it is getting out of hand, they are thirteen, nearly grown up.” Sofia shot an angry look at her husband. Svend nodded indecisively, he would talk to his daughters, but somehow he didn’t really believe it would help. They were clearly spoiled. He smiled, the older he got the softer he got on his youngest children, a point his fifteen year old boy, Ask, constantly reminded him off. His youngest, David at ten refused utterly to be spoiled modeling himself after his older brothers and that left Svend with only his twins Adriane and Aleta to spoil. His wife said they took advantage of him and he was sure she was right.

    Svend stood for a while contemplating how to broach the subject he had in mind with his son. Now was as good a time as there would ever be and with the Council meeting fresh in memory he guessed that the need was even greater than he had anticipated when he decided to ask Arn to join them today. He slowly circled the small group until he was standing next to Sif and Arn.

    His oldest son had obviously watched his father’s encroachment and carefully detached himself from his conversation and followed his father into the house. They walked silently through the double doors and into the house and into his father’s study. Once there, the silence dragged on as Svend groped with how to approach the subject.

    “Come now, father, I know what you wish to say, you want me to join your company or at least the army, rather than wasting my talent by shuffling money.”

    “It is hardly that simple Arn and I do not have that blatant a disrespect for the merchant community, well at least not all of them. It just... I’ve seen you fight, you would make a brilliant soldier and..”

    “Fighting? That comes from growing up in this house, I’ll easily admit that I like a good sword fight, but you have always told us that there is more to being an officer than fighting.”

    “True and I believe you have it in you, but..”

    “I’m not so sure and I like the merchant business, I like cutting a good deal, getting the upper hand and still coming out as a fair deal for all involved.”

    Svend was getting interrupted by his son at every turn and tried a different approach.

    “So you like the dealing? What about the rest of the merchant business? The accounting, the estimation of wares, securing of storage and transport and so on?”

    “Well I guess that’s part of it too, I find it a bit tedious thought.” Arn sounded a bit dubious and with a hidden smile his father pounced on it,

    “Think about it then, what would it be like doing day out and day in for twenty years?”

    Arn wasn’t about to give up that easily, “wouldn’t that be the same in the army? Securing supplies and housing for the men?”

    We have raised him well, I’m proud of him, he thinks on his feet and has a counter ready.

    “True, but that’s what quartermasters are for, besides in the city, with the Guard, that is hardly an issue.”

    “True, but a successful merchant has factors and trusted clerks for the same job.”

    Svend laughed out loud, “Enough, I give in, tell me then what is the attraction of this merchant business.”

    “I cannot say for sure, but it is safe, I’m home every night, I can take Sif with me if I need to travel, I like the negotiating and it is prosperous.”

    Svend nodded, “but dull?” Without giving his son a chance to answer he continued. ”I understand your objections and truth be told, I wasn’t too keen on joining when I was at your age. I obeyed my father, but for you I have a proposition.”

    His son suddenly looked apprehensive. An order or a choice I have had tried before, but a proposition? It sounds more like a deal made in heaven, or hell. He nodded for his father to continue.

    “We, in the council, have been ordered to appoint an envoy and a delegation to go to Venice on behalf of the Emperor before the week is out. I thought perhaps you would like to go?”

    Svend smiled at his son “I’d love to but...” His father cut him short, elaborating on his impulse.

    “I thought your swordsmanship and my position could easily earn you a place in the accompanying guards, but then I thought of something equally important. Your father-in-law has many contacts in the Italian merchant circles, in a city like Venice that would be of utmost importance, especially if we are to buy their allegiance with trade allowances. It would give you irreplaceable knowledge on diplomacy, the negotiating you seem to like so much.”

    “It sounds wonderful father, but in honesty I cannot begin to handle the old man’s contacts, I haven’t been in his business that long.”

    “That’s why Sif should go, you’ll be fronting her knowledge, whomever talks to you will be dealing with your official status here and her informal status in the merchant community.”

    His son was radiating, “Sif can come?”

    “Off course, it wouldn’t do to separate the newlyweds so soon. How do you think I gained my position on the Council? My father was only an advisor, despite his status as Captain of the Guard. Your mother, her contacts and perfect advice made the difference. You could do a lot worse than trusting in Sif and use her contacts and knowledge.”

    Arn merely nodded unable to believe his luck, the dreaded conversation had turned out unexpectedly and now he had gained a respite on his final decision.

    “You cannot tell anybody but your wife, I haven’t told your mother and I haven’t talked to Sif’s father yet, he is a northerner like us, but not from a guards family, his contacts upriver in Rus are invaluable, but we need his permission before you can utilize them. Also I haven’t talked to the Council yet, it all depends on who they appoint as envoy.”

    “Yes father” The look in his son’s eyes told Svend all he needed to know about his decision to give his son the offer. It had been the right thing to do. As they emptied their wine and slowly returned to the terrace Svend softly broached the last part of the proposition,

    "When you return however, I expect you to have a final decision, be it in service of the Guard, the Empire as a councilor or as a merchant."

    Both Sif and Sofia noticed the bubbling mood that seemed to radiate from Arn and both carefully extracted themselves from the group to meet their respective husbands. Arn almost grabbed his wife’s arm and pulled her of into the garden to tell her the news. Svend and Sofia stood for a moment looking after them.

    “Well? It looks like it turned out rather well? Sofia sounded surprised; she had expected that Arn would rebel against whatever his father would say. “What did you tell him?”

    “Hmmm... I decided to try something we haven’t talked about.” Sofia looked at him; sometimes her husband did strange things at the spur of the moment.

    “I’m sending both of them to Venice with the delegation, let him try out his negotiating skills and use some of her fathers contacts.”

    Sofia stood for a while in silence, contemplating her husband’s decision; finally she drew a deep breath, “That is good, but I will miss them both.”

  5. #45
    Taskenspiller Extraordinaire Jarlen av Juks's Avatar
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    .. this afternoon my wife got scanned and the baby is doing just fine, ETA around middle of june
    WHOOAA! that is great Valdemar! Congrats!! Is it the first?

    Does anybody know of a way to track your story once it leaves the first page, aside from the library and scrolling through the pages?
    If you mean that you wish to find it quickly in the forum overview, you can just click on the sig in your latest post.

    ..oh! And I wish I had a dad who packed me off to Venice when I didn't agree with him...

    Keep it coming Valdemar, this makes for good reading!

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    Jarlen, thanks,

    its my second, I posted about that a few months ago when I found out. It was merely meant as an explanation for lack of writing, somethings matter more than AARs

    As to the sig, off course you're right *slaps forehead*

    Yeah, wouldn't that be nice, a trip to Venice, I *think*svend is hoping for his son to learn something by sending him of. Merchant cities may change his view of things.

    V

  7. #47
    LurkAAR Norgesvenn's Avatar
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    “I thought your swordsmanship and my position could easily earn you a place in the accompanying guards, but then I thought of something equally important. Your father-in-law has many contacts in the Italian merchant circles, in a city like Venice that would be of utmost importance, especially if we are to buy their allegiance with trade allowances. It would give you irreplaceable knowledge on diplomacy, the negotiating you seem to like so much.”
    Now be careful with those merchants! I know their type. All smiles and then as soon as they have your ducats, they'll just get competed away by one silly bugger from Kleves or something!



    Mmm... good reading!

    Congrats with the wife and baby, my friend. And tracking the AAR isn't too hard. Just bookmark the URL or use your sig. That's what I do.
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  8. #48
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    Re: Chapter One, part VI

    Originally posted by Valdemar

    “I cannot say for sure, but it is safe, I’m home every night, I can take Sif with me if I need to travel, I like the negotiating and it is prosperous.”
    Mmm...Are you not getting a bit anachronistic there ? Travelling was pretty dangerous business then, not to mention often quite uncomfortable (no nice hotel or B&B at each stop , more like camping rough).

    Well, doesn't change the fact I like your story. Good luck with these greedy bastards in Venice . After all, in RL they were largely responsible for the sack of your capitol by the Crusaders). Maybe you will avoid that with your trade concessions !
    TROF

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    Re: Re: Chapter One, part VI

    Originally posted by T. Fournier
    Mmm...Are you not getting a bit anachronistic there ? Travelling was pretty dangerous business then, not to mention often quite uncomfortable (no nice hotel or B&B at each stop , more like camping rough).

    TF, I'm not so sure, they are young, her father is rich, if they travel in his business it will most likely be on his Galley. Off course it is dangerous all travel at the time is dangerous, but I don't find it anachronistic that he would bring her along.


    Norg, what merchants would that be I have the feeling that you suspect me of keeping Frederik up my sleeve??

    V

  10. #50
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    As I'm a bit stuck at the moment (know what to say but not how to tell it ) and pressed a bit for time both at work and in the FC

    I decided to make life a little easier on my readers as well as on my self. This is the main characters and this will be updated and reposted whenever I think it is nescesarry.


    The characters

    Svend, Captain of the Varangian Guard Married to Sofia

    Children:

    Arn (20) married to Sif (18) daughter of a wealthy northern merchant
    Freja 17
    Ask 15
    Aleta and Adriane 13
    David 10

    Alexios, Stratego in the Byzantine Army, Cavalry, son of an influential former general

    Ulf, The Captain’s adjutant

    The council

    Theodosios Army commander in Thrace
    Filipo army commander, the city defenses
    Dimitrios a local bishop, representing the Patriarch on the council
    Nikolos The Emperor’s chief advisor
    Stefanos the foreign advisor


    V

  11. #51
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    Great reading!
    I will follow this one for sure.
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  12. #52
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    Ah, a list of characters. Very helpful!
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    Very helpful I might steal that idea to keep track on my polish names...
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    Chapter One, part VII

    The members of the Council reconvened the following day in order to appoint a suitable envoy and accompanying delegation.

    Svend had refused to spend the previous evening discussing the situation with Alexios and his wife. They had quickly agreed on the overall composition of the delegation with a mix of diplomats, merchants and soldiers and the need to tone down the clerical influence.
    Svend was however uncertain as to who would be selected to lead the delegation and refused to spend what could easily be one of the last days in a long time where Arn was home discussing it.

    As he made is way through the crowded streets toward what was in fact an unofficial meeting since the Emperor wouldn’t preside at it, he couldn’t help wondering at the likely candidates to the post as official envoy of the Empire.
    The Emperor had in his wisdom decided not to leave any guidelines as to what the delegation was to discuss with the Venetians, hence the council would be stumbling in darkness as to what qualifications the envoy should have. They would fall back on the old tried and true measure of relative power and influence. Not that it would have made much of difference, Svend mused, they would have done that anyhow.

    Svend stopped at a stall and looked at the offered fruits, counting of the likely Council candidates for the job in his mind. He thought he could count on several candidates being suggested among the members of the council and their aides, most likely Dimitrios, the bishop, or one of the minor voting members, like the administrator of city. Perhaps the main assistants of Stefanos, the foreign advisor, or Nikolos, the Emperors chief advisor could swing the honor their way despite their lack of votes. More unlikely candidates would be the advisors in charge of the economy, like the master of taxes, while he was be an excellent man in control of the Empires money, he was not very eloquent or very diplomatic.

    If Svend were to decide he would look beyond the council and their assistants and clerks. He knew it was very unlikely that he could indeed influence the choice of the envoy. He hoped that he instead could trade his vote on the figurehead for influence on the selection of the members of the accompanying delegation and more importantly, the power of the members in the delegation over the envoy.

    Svend tossed a few copper coins to the stall owner and started walking again while eating a handful of dried figs. He had a few candidates of his own in mind for the delegation and he probably had a few days to think it over, the first couple of meetings would be wasted trying to decide whether the Emperor wanted this or that and jockeying the different candidates for the envoy in position.

    The Harbor Master was one of those candidates; he was relatively young and had managed to stay largely out of the city politics, doing his job, managing the multi cultured problems the great harbor created on a daily basis. The man was a skilled administrator and negotiator on a more workman like level, spoke several languages and knew the ins and outs and dos and don’ts of a merchant community.

    Another man he had in mind was a quartermaster in one of the regiments in the city defense. Although he knew the commanding officer would be furious for selecting the man, he nevertheless felt that the delegation would benefit. The quartermaster was a grizzled old veteran that had found a comfortable niche procuring supplies and making sure they were distributed and somehow doing so at very low cost. Where he couldn’t offer anything up front for the delegation to use directly, Svend was certain that the delegation as a group composed of very diverse people could benefit greatly from his abilities once they left the city.

    That still left room for several delegates, but Svend couldn’t point out anybody else at the moment, he could however easily point out what kind of people to look for. In his opinion they would need a skilled diplomat with the right connections, somebody to supply the intelligence and somebody on the military side. He wasn’t sure whether his son and daughter in law was enough on the merchant side, so perhaps a seasoned merchant would be needed too.

    Despite their recent failure Svend was fairly confident that both the diplomatic and intelligence services were basically good, but severely hampered the lack of skill in the departmental heads. The Emperor’s foreign affairs advisor, Stefanos, the titular head of both services, was in Svend’s opinion not a bad man for the post. He had however been forced to accept two different politically appointed heads of the services as part of his bargaining for his own position at the Council table and Svend knew for a fact that they obstructed his work at every turn with their own hidden agendas.

    Svend’s thoughts were interrupted by his arrival at the palace. As he entered through the main gate he was accosted by both the military commanders. Svend quickly snapped out of his speculations, it looked like the political maneuvering was about to get a head start.

    “Captain, glad I caught you, a word before the meeting, please?"

    Svend reluctantly returned the greeting, “Theodosius, how are you this morning, what ever is so urgent it cannot wait until the meeting convenes?” He didn’t know the commander that well, but years of bumping into him at the city’s headquarters had taught him to be wary.

    Theodosius ignored the implied rebuke and smiled. “I thought perhaps we should agree on a strategy before the meeting. We need to get a military man in charge.” The smile never reached the eyes.

    Behind the Thracian commander Filipos shot his old acquaintance a warning look.

    What are they up to? Filipo obviously isn’t completely at ease with it. Better play it safe.

    “General, the meeting begins in a few moments, perhaps we should hear the others opening positions and then formulate our plan based on that?” Svend’s tone was formal and a touch cold. “I find that I need something tangible to act upon,” he let some warm enter his voice, smiled disarmingly and laid the hand on the general’s shoulder, “why don’t we get together when we break for the noon meal? Then we will have something to base our strategy on.”

    Theodosius nodded sagely, oblivious to the change in Svend’s attitude.

    “What an excellent idea Captain, then we’ll know what that rascal Dimitrios is up to, we’ll make an officer of you yet.”

    Svend ignored the condescending remark and followed the two senior officers up the stairs.

    Perhaps I was too quick there, it would have been nice to know if Dimitrios is up to something.

    He shrugged, he would find out soon enough.

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    Norg, Steinar, Glad you liked the list.

    All, I'm sorry this installment is a bit short, I'm a bit stuck at the moment and decided to cut it in two, I'm not quite satisfied with this one so I might rewrite it before the next one comes up, hopefully tomorrow.

    V

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    Holstein's Envoy in Vienna Syt's Avatar
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    Don't sweat it, when it's ready it's ready and we're looking forward to it.
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  17. #57
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    Like Sytass said.
    Anyway you should never hurry, it's always better when the author is satisfied of his work .
    And what don't you like about this installment ? I for sure would be happy to write something like that, but then I like to read but not to write.
    TROF

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    Chapter One, part VIII

    Svend entered the small anteroom to the Council chamber, since the Emperor wouldn’t be there, it had been decided to dispend with the aides and only council members would be present, making the formal chamber to large and cumbersome to use.

    The small room was usually used as a waiting area for visitors that needed to appear before the council. It was small, with a round table and just enough chairs to seat everybody. The Emperor had in his wisdom sent his personal scribe to cover the proceedings and the poor man was sitting at a rickety table in the corner.

    As the table was round there was no real need to fight over the seating and soon everybody had found a chair. The important members, or perhaps members who found themselves important, and members that for some reason carried more weight with the Emperor had spaced themselves as much as possible from each other, leaving empty spots for the lesser council members to fill out.

    Without the Emperor present, there was no direct leader of the meeting, but after a bit of shuffling and dispute it was decided that, Nikolos, the chief advisor, was the most senior man and Dimitrios reluctantly granted him the honor to preside the meeting.

    Nikolos patiently waited for the members to quite down before he slowly and dignified rose.

    “Gentlemen, honored members, we have before a task that we cannot take lightly, in the next few days we are to select the men that will help decide the future of the Empire. The Emperor has decided that diplomacy alongside a stronger military is the way of survival. I believe he is right in choosing a delegation to Italy, friends and allies are our path out of the darkness.”

    The old advisor looked sternly at the other members. “The Emperor has in his wisdom chosen to put faith in us, let us not let down his trust.”

    Trust the old fox, never to gainsay the Emperor when there is a scribe present. He also managed to sidestep the fact that the Emperor ordered a new army without a leader. I wonder if he or the commanders are planning to tie these two together?

    Svend kept his face impassive, he had nothing to add, but slowly let his eyes wander across the faces of the real players in the room. None of the faces betrayed anything, but he was certain that several of them had already laid plans and committed alliances, alliances not likely to survive the contact with today’s meeting.

    A short silence followed Nikolos’ speech; nobody wanted to venture their opinions. Finally the head of the city administration, Vincenzo, stood,

    “I suggest we start by selecting the envoy, that way we will be guided by that choice in choosing the members of the delegation,”

    A very sound advice, Svend thought, but before the Councilor could continue, Dimitrios interrupted, without even bothering to rise,

    “And who do you suggest? Somebody wise, all knowing and experienced in city management perhaps?” The bishop’s voice dripped with irony and contempt and several of the other members looked slightly startled. Vincenzo flashed crimson, but bravely stood his ground.

    “I believe, honored member that I had the word, I saw no indication that you wanted to speak first? You, perhaps, have an alternative way of starting, or perhaps you have already decided on a candidate? In that case I suggest that you stand up and announce it and we can all be home before noon.”

    Svend kept his peace, wondering if the young man had inadvertently signed his own political death warrant with that speech. Why does Dimitrios feel the need to trample him like that, as far as I know they have not had any serious clashes before, perhaps Vincenzo refused to support Dimitrios? Whatever the reason, it looked like it would be an interesting meeting.

    “As to your question, Reverend Bishop, no I have no suggestions, I merely stated that it would be wise to organize this selection, I wouldn’t be so presumptuous as to tell the council who it should choose.”

    The thoughts twirled in Svend’s mind Something is definitely going on, not that it surprises me, but what?

    Dimitrios looked haughtily at Vincenzo but refused to rise to the bait, instead Nikolos once again rose and called the meeting to order,

    “Vincenzo’s suggestion has merit, I propose we suspend with the individual members of the delegation and focus on the envoy, the man who shall have the honor of representing the Empire in the city of merchants, the center conspiracy and decadence, Venice.”

    Nobody spoke up, speaking too soon could ruin your chances and for some the mission entailed both political opportunities and threats. Should the mission succeed they would be covered in glory, but it also meant being out of touch with the seat of power for months, perhaps a year. Svend sighed, this was getting nowhere, he rose,

    “I suggest we look first to the diplomatic needs of our beloved nation, I strongly feel we need to sweet talk these Italians and we to negotiate, they are all merchants, they will have to be haggled with. We also need somebody with experience, as Nikolos said; this is not a city of honor, but one of deceit and double meanings. I suggest, for an opening argument that we look upon our esteemed foreign service.”

    Svend deliberately didn’t look at the foreign advisor, but his words nonetheless stirred up a hornet’s nest. No one questioned his motives. He had over the years made it quite clear that he wouldn’t abandon his command for political status. He was therefore in many ways a nonentity in these political proceedings; he would wield his influence carefully, but never jockey for a position himself, only concerned with what he perceived to be the well-being of the Empire. And that made him very dangerous to the political creatures around the table.

    Theodosius snorted, “the foreign service? Ha, that’s what got us into this mess in the first place. Had they done their job in the first place we wouldn’t be in this mess.”

    “Had you crushed the rebellions, Athens wouldn’t have succeeded in declaring their independence.” Dimitrios hated the military commander more than the foreign advisor and for a short moment forgot his own agenda. “Would you suggest yourself perhaps? Do you think you can convince the Venetians at sword point?”

    “Easy gentlemen, let us hear what Svend has to say before we start throwing blame around, Athens exist, not much good will come of debating why it is so. Svend, do you have any specific member of the foreign service in mind?” The old chancellor once again brought the debate back on track, this could easily be long meeting.

    “I have nothing further, my lord, but this is a diplomatic mission after all, I therefore suggest we hear what Stefanos has to say.”

    “Stefanos?”

    The foreign advisor didn’t respond at once, but threw a quizzical glance at Svend. The Captain didn’t respond, but his position as a neutral somehow assured the advisor and he slowly stood and rested his hands on the back of his chair.

    “Honored members, I agree with the overall premise presented by our valiant Captain of the Guard that this mission requires the hand of an experienced diplomat and negotiator. The Council of ten will not look favorably upon neither soldiers nor clerics. As implied by my esteemed colleagues, honor or Christian charity will not move the Venetians. I have in my service several experienced diplomats and negotiators and I will gladly offer their service for the Council to use as it sees fit.”

    “Are they the same diplomats you used to convince the Italian states that they should not ally themselves with Athens?”

    Svend smiled to inwardly, Theodosius was not having a good day, first his outbursts had been neglected by Nikolos and only succeeded in angering Dimitrios and now the council had more or less been told that despite their honor the Commanders were unfit to the role as envoys. Not that settled their position, nothing was decided yet.

    Stefanos has actually managed in no uncertain terms to question that honor, off course the Venetians respect a professional soldier, they live only by the grace of their Condottieri, they may not trust them, but they know their worth.

    “I think, General, that you would find that that was inevitable, the alliances of Athens and the Italian minors was as much an affront to Venice as it is to us. I believe we will fare better at the city of canals now than before the other Italians meddled in what the Venetians consider their pond.”

    The general didn’t answer. You have always been better at brute force and the internal squabble at headquarters than you have at analyzing a situation before you act. Svend shifted slightly in the chair, before he caught the old chancellors eye, with a nod from Nikolos, he stood,

    “That is definitely a worthy observation and one the delegation would be ill advised not to heed once they get to Venice, but for now, we need to find a leader. Does any one at this table have further comments? If not then I‘d like to suggest that we agree on letting Stefanos be nominal leader of the delegation.”

    A murmur rose from the table, but Svend raised his hand, “Let me finish, please, I do not mean as a final choice, I want to submit that diplomatic skill should be given a high priority and therefore give Stefanos time to look closely at his services and come up with possible candidates.”

    By default and through his position as neutral, Svend had inadvertently taken over the control of the meeting. While this had not been his intention from the beginning it nevertheless suited him well. He looked at the assembled faces and thought that perhaps he had both foiled and aided several plans at the same time. A couple of the minor advisors, including Vincenzo looked slightly disappointed, but the overall feeling was one of approval.

    I wonder what it was Theodosius had planned? He doesn’t look displeased. And Dimitrios looks quite satisfied.

    “I do not support the choice of a leader without proper debate and discussion, I’m certain that I among the members of the Patriarchs staff can find suitable and diplomatic candidates.” Dimitrios voiced his objections, but Svend felt that it was for show only. “I will however bow to the will of the Council if that is indeed what will serve our Emperor best.”

    “If there are no other objections, I will inform his Imperial Highness of our decision and suggest that we reconvene one hour after the noon bell to hear what Stefanos has to say. Dimitrios you may also select one candidate for the post to submit for the approval of the council.”

    The bishop shot one angry glare at Nikolos but bowed his head in acceptance. The meeting lasted another half an hour as the different members voiced their opinions on the matter and often suggested members for the delegation, but Nikolos stood his ground and stuck to his original plan of not committing to any members of the delegation before the envoy was chosen. As Svend pushed back his chair he couldn’t help wonder if the old fox was doing it deliberately or on the Emperor’s orders.

    When he reached the door he tried to make a beeline for the foreign advisor, but was cut off by the two Generals once again. Amazing abilities, perhaps they do have some sort of military qualities after all?

    With a wry smile and a hidden sigh, he allowed him self to be dragged away by the two commanders.

  19. #59
    Taskenspiller Extraordinaire Jarlen av Juks's Avatar
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    Well done Valdemar! The way you build up the tension in the council chamber is top-notch!

    Look forward to more.

  20. #60
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    Re: Chapter One, part VIII

    Originally posted by Valdemar
    he had both foiled and aided several plans at the same time.
    Well, they wouldn't be byzantines without too many plots for even the narrator to know them all, would they ?
    TROF

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