|Tense Terrick Meeting|
|Summary:||Jacsen invites Justin up to the Reading Room for a chat. It quickly turns sour.|
|Date:||1 Jul 2012|
|Reading Room - Four Eagles Tower|
|The room has a large glass window and seat that looks out partially over the cove, in daylight hours the sun provides illumination to the room. Other stools and chairs linger in small groups as shelves along the walls are littered with scrolls, books, letters and documents. The contents are a modest collection of local records, histories, and literature offered to both the family and guests of Four Eagles Tower.|
|Sun Jul 01, 289|
It's past noon and getting on into the afternoon when Jacsen sends his page boy Willem to find Justin and let him know that he's in the reading room and desires a chat. They've been corresponding over simple messages for the last little bit, having missed each other quite a few times on important matters; some face-to-face time to sort them out should be best for the both of them. Seated almost lazily in a chair, basking in the sunlight and idly twirling his cane about in the mostly-empty room, he awaits his brother's arrival.
Justin would have been in the Roost, working on the various reconstruction efforts as well as the rationed food alotments. Closing the door lightly behind him, his younger brother gives Jacsen a nod and walks over to cliam a chair for himself, "You wished to see me?"
The cane is caught mid-twirl when Justin walks in, Jacsen giving his brother a smile. "I got tired of writing," he says, holding up his ink-stained hand. He sits up a bit straighter from his slouched position. "I hope I didn't interrupt anything too important, I know you've been working on quite a few things. As long as you're sure you're not overexerting yourself. Are you well recovered from the tournament?"
"No, you didn't interrupt anything I couldn't leave in capable hands." Justin leans back in the chair. His own mouth twists a little with amusement at Jacsen's ink stains. His own hands are calloused from work and his penmenship, while readable, would never be called calligraphy. "There's a great deal of work to be done. I can't abide being idle so it is better if I am busy. Do something useful." he shrugs, "I mend." Justin watches his brother, himself quiet and relaxed without nervous energy. "Which point do you wish to discuss first?"
"Let's address your latest missive first," Jacsen says, holding up the letter he just recently received from Justin. "For the prisoners, I've no real objection to having them publicly hung. I was thinking along the same lines before the tournament. See if any of the rest of the family have objections, and if not, I see no problem with proceeding." He nods and puts away the letter again. "As for the matter of sheriff. I think you should do well to be seen in that position, and with Master Mortimer as your second, you should have no issues. Is this as you wish?"
"That's fine." He agrees, to both parts. Justin looks to see if there is anything set out to drink, "I'm certainly not the best qualified but lacking anyone better, the position needs to be filled. So I'll learn." If there is anything set out he'll pour himself a cup, "Things are apt to get ugly though, if we can't get food soon. I'd like to try to feel out the Flints ere they depart, on the matter of loans. As well as Lord Brennart, unless you have reason to object. Give you a few more options to compare to whatever rates and repayment schedules the Groves give. Whatever you decide, we'll need to try and get our docks finished enough to ship in goods directly. Anything that comes through Stonebridge, in addition to taxes and tarrifs, will be cut off if fighting breaks out there."
There are no drinks, but Willem returns just at the right time with a tray. The servings on those trays just keep getting smaller and smaller as time goes on. "You will," Jacsen agrees. His words are halfway between affirmation and an order. "Speak to them if you think you can get information. Take our lady sister with you; she's shrewd for such things, and she'll be of help." The subject of the docks has him pause for a moment and reach to pour his own drink. "A port does us little good in a time like this, brother," he says quietly. "I admit it is a dream of mine that I should live to see a splendid port on our coast, but it gives us no advantage - and may alienate Seagard."
Justin gives his brother a 'you have got to be kidding' look at that last part. He lifts a dark brow, "Working docks does not make an active trading port, Jacsen. And we'd be fools not to finish and use them. We can use the longships we have been given to bring in some supplies and they don't need docks at all to land and unload, but other ships need them. Would you have us wholly dependant upon Stonebridge and so easily cut off from the rest of the world? Finishing the docks is a simple matter and we would in no way alienate Seagard. It takes preasure and concern off of them if we can get ourselves back on our feet. All the sooner we can be sending our proper tithe once more to their own coffers." Justin has no comment about taking Lucienne with him to speak to the others.
"Besides if we can get a loan, I hear Seagard itself has some food to sell. Easy for them to ship it around the cape to our dock and bypass Stonebridge. That's a win for both of us."
Jacsen bears his brother's look with a patient one of his own. "We'd be fools to allocate scarce resources to something that will not show a good return on that investment," he corrects. "The longships are not fit to bear cargo. And for the time and resources it would take for the necessary construction and training, it would be best to seek other avenues." He takes a sip of his wine. That, too, gets more and more diluted as time goes on. "The solution is not in avoiding Stonebridge, brother, but rather ameliorating our standing there. Besides, there is no reason that Seagard would choose to ship around the peninsula, committing a ship and manpower to the task, rather than simply coming by land."
"Staying alive isn't a good enough investment? And Seagard is a seaport once it's fully functioning again. That's what they /do/." Justin only shakes his head at his brother's stubbornness. "So you would leave it all to the Naylands and not even try to get around them." He only shakes his head at his brother in some resigned disbelief. "Fighting is almost certain to break out there. And whatever food you arrange to pass through there will be cut off. Then what, brother?"
"Staying alive isn't a good enough investment?" Jacsen echoes, the patience draining from his voice. "And what part of investing in foodstores isn't survival, praytell?" He fixes a look on his brother. "There is no getting around Stonebridge. It is the only bridge that connects us. That is the position we are in. Or would you simply have us build a new bridge with money, manpower, and resources we don't have?" The cup is cradled in his hand as he continues. "If Stonebridge is cut off, then we find other means. As will everyone else. Kingsgrove and Seagard both can come by land, and any sea trade we require can come through Seagard's port by land. This is simple economics and politics. We do not pay for what does not pay us."
"Yes, and the sea road is only a barrier to you and not a means. I see that now, even though other ports could be sending goods to us if we but had coin to buy." Justin doesn't bother to touch his cup now. "Kingsgrove has /nothing/ to sell or feed us with, brother. They have already sold it." Obviously this conversation isn't going anywhere to his liking. Frowning, he lets it go, "Is there anything else you wished to see me about?"
"No, Justin," Jacsen says wearily, shaking his head. "The barrier is coin and construction and skill. And lack of ships. And the crews to man them. And other ports will not send ships to the Roost to simply offload when there is no profitability in the return trip as we have no export. Not when they can go elsewhere and turn more coin both ways." He sighs and takes more of that wine, his eyes closing for a moment as he does. "Yes. The letter you sent to Lady Roslyn. You do not request who manages the betrothal negotiations. Whatever your thoughts are on the matter, it is not your place to voice them, and certainly not to involve a Lady. You will leave these matters to me, or whomsoever is appointed to conduct them, and that is the end of it."
"That is all, brother," Jacsen says over the lip of his cup, his calm gaze on Justin. "I take your silences to be implicit understandings - you will take our lady sister with you to any discussions you have with the Flints or Erenfords, and you will stop trying to negotiate your own betrothal." He gives a nod, both to emphasize his words and in farewell. Leaning forward to put his cup down, he adds as an afterthought, "Jarod sends his regards. He was in only briefly and regretted not seeing you." He straightens back up and says, "Now that is truly all."
Justin moves to stand, "Then send her to speak with them. There's no point in my going at all if you don't trust me to even open a possible conversation that they could then bring to you. Good day, brother." He turns and steps out of the room to go back to his duties in the Roost.