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Old 04-12-2011, 02:05 AM   #181
Byronic Brand
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Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: The 1590s
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Though physically rather alarmed (especially when he considered the uncontained and as yet uninvolved strength of the inebriated Branor yet to be added to the equation), in truth Sador could barely quantify his good luck. An emergent fight! And over just the right pretext...

He knew what his father would want him to do now; to take the sort of action which he had promised when he had persuaded Lord Cirdacil to leave him here; to crack down on the first hint of misbehaviour. He could slip out, gather a posse of Guards, have all the players in the common room arrested indiscriminately and held indefinitely for questioning. That would waste so much of their time that it would certainly imperil the production...

...but, of course, he wasn't going to do that. It wasn't his style. He was the clever one, the subtle one. It would be crass to dismantle all the connections, all the credibility he was only just beginning to amass, and it would work entirely counter to his own personal aims, quite separate from his doddery old sire's.

Besides, he was in much too good a mood to be a spoilsport now. What his line of questioning had failed to confirm (and in a way he worried Aldarion might have found intrusive, as well) had just been made quite crystalline in clarity. This spat might purport to be some absurd artistic difference, about "the role of Mary the Elf" (most definitely, in any case, a ludicrous historical solecism), but it was obviously really about the actress who played her. Aldarion - the sly dog - whatever the discretion of his answers, was regarded by at least one lovesick rival as seriously involved with the girl Asta. And as a matter of fact Sador was inclined to agree with that odd looking Easterling fellow here. "Added some drama and romance", my foot...

Anyway, whether or not these rumours were true - whether or not his suspicions about Aldarion's lovelife while a member of the Swan Players were misguided - this information would strengthen Sador's hand in his second-most deeply held desire - to wed the Lady Gloredhel of Dol Amroth, his brother-in-law Amlach's sister.

For now, he was happy to play the peacemaker. It was more likely to get him good words among the Players than kicking up a fuss; it might even persuade old Ingold to treat him with a little more respect and friendliness.

"Gentles, gentles," he cried out, getting to his shivering feet and stuttering from involuntary, if quite helpful, cowardice, "this is no time for harsh words. Nothing has been said against any man's honour here that cannot be speedily retracted. Think of the play; think of your art, your characters; think of the Fellowship of the Ring, and try to emulate them a little more closely..."

Even, perhaps, unto breaking...


Up at the Treasury

"That's an awful bad cough you've got there, my lord," a soft voice murmured in the gloom. "You shouldn't stay up working so late."

Cirdacil glanced up in surprise. It was Lady Elanor; she was certainly a sweet girl, more polite than the rest of her curious people as far as he had seen, and this was not the first time she had thought to come to see him on a mercy-visit. It was late now, yes; sometimes he allowed himself to be quite lost in his figures, especially since offloading all that distracting Revels business onto his boy. And his cough was becoming pretty atrocious.

"Look here," Elanor went on, "I've brought you a nice cup of cophir. You know, that funny drink the traders from Rhun sell."

"I know it well," Cirdacil replied ruefully. "I used to trade in it myself, my sweet demoiselle. In Pelargir, where I was born, they have a saying about it that goes just so...

Cophir, that makes the politician wise
And see all things thorough his half-closed eyes.

"Well, Lord Cirdacil, perhaps you ought to close your eyes fully a bit more often."

They laughed quietly together. When Cirdacil broke the ensuing comfortable silence, after gulping at his cophir, he looked thoughtful.

"Lady Elanor, this play is looking really very rocky, you know. It might not come together at all, from what I've learnt so far and from what my son tells me, too. Those rogues are causing no end of trouble down at the Inn of Ingold. Do you think your mother and father would mind terribly if we just hired the usual bard? He could sing of Samwise the Brave and all that, very easily, and so cheaply, too..."

"Oh," Elanor said sharply, then articulated, "I'm sure there's no need to worry, my lord. I'm certain mamma and papa will be quite happy with whatever the Players turn out."

"Maybe," the unwilling Master of the Revels commented doubtfully, before hacking out a gruesome cough.

"Talking of which, I ought to be getting back to them now. Good night, my lord. Have a good sleep soon." Cirdacil's eyes had already returned to the Gondor Pipe Rolls, so he did not see the extraordinarily sly expression on Elanor's face as she departed...

Last edited by Anguirel; 04-12-2011 at 02:11 AM.
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