October 16, 2013

In Which Ietrin Learns of an Investment

June 3, 1183

What a day.

Ietrin still wasn't sold on the idea of Raia as the university's chancellor, but the sponsors had made it perfectly clear that she and the university itself were a package deal, and the school would be enough of an asset to the kingdom that he'd--reluctantly--made his peace with it. His not being any more involved than he had to be made it easier to cope, but every once in a while, something required his seal of approval, and that did generally mean dealing with someone he preferred to avoid.

Today, for instance. He'd already approved the use of that part of the borderlands for the campus, but as the buildings would technically be public property, he had to approve their design, and who had Lord Severin put in charge of the architects? Lady Leonora. Good luck to any blue-blooded ruler forced to convene with some glorified sex servant over what ought to have been serious business without a cask of wine on hand.

And, as it figured--one glance toward his desk told him he wasn't done with low-born women in high places just yet. "Um... you're in my chair."

"A true king wouldn't need a throne to assert his authority."

She was probably right. That didn't make it any less his chair. "What are you doing here, Lady Elarys?"

"I had business in the area." She always had 'business'. Ietrin was probably better off not knowing what that business was. "I figured I'd stop in for a visit. Tell me, is your son well?"

"Holden? He's well." At least, someone would have told him otherwise, surely? He took a seat on the bench across from the desk; it wasn't the chair, but the distance and angle helped. "You're still upset about Kaldar."

"Oh, don't be absurd. If I want the throne for Kaldar, I shall have it." She looped a finger beneath the vertex of the compass on Ietrin's desk--a remnant of that Mistress Stephane, as he'd insisted she work under his steward's watchful eye--and lifted it, leaving it to stand freely. She drew back her hand and flicked it back down. "I thought I'd inquire about this university of yours; my Landus will be attending, after all. Tell me, where is the campus?"

"By the delta in the southeast."

"So you didn't disturb the forests."

"No." Though I'm not sure why you'd care.

"Good. I trust you'll inform me if you plan on making any changes there?" Something in the slant of her eyes made him nod, for all he couldn't guess at her reasoning. "In that case, you should know that I have many notable acquaintances, several of whom have sons and daughters of an age to enroll in your university. Tell the chancellor that I will be spreading the word."

"All right." Was this dependent on not disturbing the forests? So much for hoping he was finished with Lady Leonora. "Might I ask why you're so concerned with the state of our forests?"

"Mmm. Let's just say I have associates with significant investments." Investments? Did people invest in the forests? Lord Severin must have been pulling some scheme behind his back. Maybe it had begun behind his father's back, even. Bastard. "Now, be a dear and direct me to Sir Casimiro's castle? It's been far too long since I've seen my grandchildren."

NEXT CHAPTER:

9 comments:

Van said...

asdfjkl;

Winter said...

The sight of Elarys in that chair is blood curdling. Does Casimiro's castle have a moat she can drown in? Or at least a drawbridge Ellona can have pulled up?

Ietrin is a damn fool if he doesn't at least suspect something more of Elarys' forest interests than Severin scamming the crown. If Naroni was a dive bar, its forests would be the back alley - nothing good comes from there. Ever.

Is there another winner from the Anna/Adrius gene pool coming up??

Van said...

Elarys knows to go directly to the seat of power. And alas, Casimiro's castle has none of those things, but his steward is a trusty fellow who wouldn't let Elarys in if Ellona wasn't willing to receive her.

I'm sure that Severin will be as surprised to hear that Severin is scamming the crown as Ietrin was. :P But yeah, nothing concerning the forests ever seems to turn out well...

Hmm... the last time Anna wore that purple dress, there was a little Telvar in the works... ;)

Mimus said...

Argh, I knew it!
No mistaking that hair style!
Brr, that woman gives me the creeps. Honestly, Ietrin might be the jerk everyone wants to see dead, but Elarys is the really dangerous villain here, especially because one doesn't know how to deal with her.
How old is she anyway? Any Chance she'll drop dead? Asking in vain, I know. ^^'

Ann said...

Uh-oh, what's that devil woman up to now? I now have horrible visions of her working together with Deian.... for all that Deian would probably not care about any of her shemes, but then again he might be just bored enough to play along. And one never knows about fashions in the devine realm. Oh please no! *frets*

On the other hand this is so typically Ietrin. There he has Elarys sitting on his throne and he worries about Severin scamming on him. *shakes head in wonder*
If he weren't such a jerk I would almost feel sorry for him.

But Elarys is a problem. I'm with Mimus on this one! 49 (if I didn't miscount) is way old enough for her. Time to go join the ancestors, Elarys.
Oh, where is that handy dragon with the special order of anvils when you need him?

Ekho said...

I've been out of the loop too long! On first reading this, I kinda like Elarys, I think she's got spunk, but I'm guessing her previous actions would disprove that... Can you tell I've been writing from reading what I just commented? ^^ Gah makes me laugh when that happens >.<

Van said...

Mimus: The thing about Elarys is that nobody is really sure what her game is. She does want her grandson on the throne, but Naroni is a bit of a low shot for someone aiming for a throne, at least as far as anyone can tell. Suffice to say that she knows something that almost everyone else doesn't, and that makes her dangerous.

Ann's right, she's forty-nine. But at this point, Elarys is not much use to me dead.

Ann: Elarys and Deian, working together? Hmm, that would throw Naroni for a loop...

Ietrin is smarter than Roderick was, but he does have the usual blind spots that accompany the Jamoran brand of vanity. He's been listening to his father complain about Severin all his life, so when things go wrong, it's just easy to lay the blame there.

That poor anvil dragon has so many demands. XD

Ekho: I do have a lot of fun writing Elarys, but yeah, she's generally bad news; her most recent claim to fame was an attempt to assume custody of Ellona's kids (Elarys is Ellona's mother) so she could get Kaldar on the throne.

morgaine2005 said...

Lock your doors, Ellona! Don't be afraid to throw Elarys off the highest tower if she puts one little toe wrong!

And in other news ... oh dear. Ietrin, you should have realized when Elarys sat herself in "your" chair that this woman is bad news. I mean, I figured out that she's gunning for the throne.

Oh well. At least Dea ought to be able to keep Elarys from causing too much havoc, once Dea gets the throne that ought to be hers by right. ;)

And I await in eagerness to figure out what it is that is in the forest that Elarys wants. Because even if nothing good comes from there, hey, it ought to be pretty damn interesting from our side of the screen. ;)

Van said...

Luckily, I don't think Elarys wanted to stir too much shit in this visit; just wanted to check up on her "investments".

Yeah, I think if anyone will be able to handle Elarys, it will be an adult Dea. But who knows, maybe Elarys's plans will have run their course before Ietrin kicks the bucket...

Alas, that storyline will be some time in the making. But interestingly enough, Morgan will play a fairly substantial part there. ;)