Great Congress of Lenfald, Part Two
The Great Congress of Lenfald, Part Two
“Let’s hope today is more productive than the last few were,” Haymar said to Mirranda, as the two of them along with Lord Anthony Glen approached the entrance to the Great Meeting Hall of Stonewald Castle, joining the growing throng of delegates waiting to get in, and start day four of the meeting.
At the head of the line, the slow-witted guards relieved everyone of their weapons, verified they were who they said they were, and then let them pass into the hall.
“Sorry sir, you’re going to have to hand over that sword, or you can’t go in.” One of them said, stopping Hans Zarken.
Hans looked down at the guard. “You going to try and take it from me?” He inquired.
The guard gulped, but steeled his courage. “If necessary, yes. Orders are orders.”
Hans grinned, and handed over his sword, saying “I’m just as deadly without it,” and entered the hall.
“Who do you think you are, sir?” The guards asked, stopping a rather furry-looking delegate.
“Why, I’m Sir Loin of Porcc, of course. I was invited by Grand Duke Cartney,” He said, holding out his invitation to them.
“Hmm, looks in order. Go on through.” The guard said, waving him through.
“Oh, I almost forgot to ask, where’s the kitchen?” Sir Loin asked.
The guards looked uncomfortable. “Well, there was an incident, so we don’t let non-cooking staff back there anymore.”
“But I’m hungry,” Wolfgang complained, and walked past.
As they entered, Haymar spotted Sir Caelan and Tavish already seated near Triphian’s dais. Sitting next to Caelan (and holding his hand), was an attractive, red-haired young woman. Haymar grinned and nodded to them as he and Mirranda walked past, heading for a higher row of seats.
Gradually the room began to fill up, until everyone was accounted for. The guards then closed and locked the doors, and Triphian stood to open the debate.
“Welcome, Ladies and Gentlemen, Lords and Knights, to the fourth day of this vital meeting. We have gathered here the past few days to decide the future of Great Lenfald. Three options present themselves to us:
Compliance with Chartres, letting him know we are worried about what Emmaline might do once she is queen, but also that we will support him as King nonetheless;
Seclusion: We refuse to accept Chartres and Emmaline as King and Queen, and peacefully seclude our faction from their rule.
Sovereignty: We officially and permanently pull away from the rest of Roawia, and become the Nation of Lenfald. This is the very future of Lenfald we are debating here, so choose carefully the direction you want us to go.”
He paused, and looked around the room, before sitting down in his chair.
Domnall now stood.
“Lord Sorley Meyrick will now speak in favor of Compliance, Lord Orin Wenslav will speak for Seclusion, and Dame Caterina Ashglow will speak for Sovereignty. These will be the final arguments presented. After they have spoken, the course of action Lenfald will take will be voted upon.
Let the final arguments begin!”
Hours later, many people, growing bored with the tedious speeches, were shifting in their seats, or talking to neighbors.
Lady Sheona Macrae of the Order of Delyth the Healer, found herself at the beginning of the meeting sitting next to the furry-looking delegate, who was munching on a rather unhealthy-looking sausage. She now turned to him. “Do you have any idea what that does to your health?”
“Nnnph,” Wolfgang mumbled through a mouthful, and after swallowing, “But I know what it does to my taste buds.”
Tavish was talking to Albrecht von Falkenborg about various methods of warfare, while Kenzie, bored with the proceedings, leaned against Caelan, resting her head on his shoulder.
Grand Duke Ashleigh Stanton shook his head in disgust at what Sorley Meyrick was saying, and muttered under his breath, “Blasted Loreesi lover.”
Across the room, Hans Zarken finally had enough of listening to Sorley Lost drone on about the advantages of complying with Chartres the Fool.
“You aren’t qualified to be a politician, or a Grand Duke, if you can’t fathom how foolish it is to even consider Compliance! You’d make a better gong farmer than you do a politician!” He roared, standing on his seat, his right hand pointing accusingly at Lord Meyrick.
“If you care to remember, Zarken, I was once a ranger. I fought in the Battle of Ainesford, and I know what can happen when you make Jarius mad.” Sorley retorted, his face reddening slightly.
“We must not provoke Loreos, and for that, Compliance is our best option, unless we would like thousands more of our people slaughtered needlessly.” He continued. “It is true that Emmaline is the daughter of Galainir, but, that does not necessarily mean she will act the same. She could turn out to be a wonderful, caring person, or, she could become just like her mother. The only way to know for sure, is to give her the benefit of the doubt for a little while.”
“That sounds fine and dandy, but we all know fruit doesn’t fall far from the tree. We let her and Chartres be married, and Chartres be crowned, and one day we will wake up and find our king has mysteriously disappeared, and in his place we have another Galainir on our hands,” Caterina fired back, supporting Hans in his convictions.
“Sovereignty is our only real option. For too long we noble Lenfels have suffered through wars and machinations orchestrated by the tyrant Jarius, who seeks only to further his own goals, not those of Roawia as a whole, nor even those of his own faction. I have no doubt it was he who planted the seeds of this marriage scheme in the puppet Chartres's head in the first place. They care nothing, nothing, for us, nor even their own people. And the Jarl stands by them. Either the poor man is under a devious spell, or he lost his common sense to that arrow. So why should we continue to follow along like puppets ourselves? The Loreesi care little for us. They attack us, they ridicule us, but they do not help us when we need their help most! I ask again, why do we continue to go along with their schemes?
“We Shouldn’t!! Let us cast off the shackles others put upon us, and become our own nation! We do not need the other factions, we need only each other! We have the biggest navy, the best, most dense forests, and the noblest, most skilled warriors. They cannot hurt us!
The freedom of the untamed forests and the wild plains runs deep in our blood! Our ancestors were as free as the animals they lived in harmony with. It is time we embraced that heritage too!
I call upon my fellow Lenfels, and I say to them, let us vote for Freedom! For Sovereignty! It is time for the Nation of Lenfald to come into being!" Most of the delegates clapped as she finished.
“Rubbish!” A voice yelled. It belonged to lumber mogul Grey D. Ferrand, who now was also standing on his seat.
“Sovereignty would not save us, it would ruin us! Think about how heavily we rely on exported items like lumber, furs, and even ships! Were we to become sovereign, Loreos and Garheim would stop buying from us! Our people would become destitute, reduced to rummaging through garbage heaps for food!”
“You’re the garbage heap!” Hans yelled. “You don’t care about the people, you only care about your own money purse!”
“I too agree, though not as rudely.” Lord Val Karem said, rising to his feet. “It would seem, Mr. Ferrand, that you only care about your profits, not Lenfald as a whole.”
“I never said—.”
“That is enough, Ferrand.” Triphian interrupted sternly. “You have had plenty of time to state your opinion over the last few days. Please, all of you, return to your seats, so that we may hear the last argument, coming from the esteemed Lord Orin Wenslav.”
The former senior advisor to the previous High Lord now presented himself to his fellow Lenfels. He was one of the most-respected people in all of Lenfald.
“Seclusion: The happy middle,” Wenslav stated. “The Seclusion option does not punch the rest of Roawia in the face, as Sovereignty would, but neither does it raise the surrender flag, as Compliance would.
“Trade will continue normally, so our exports,” here he indicated a fuming Grey D. Ferrand, “would not suffer, and neither would our people. And further, I have it in good confidence that the people of our closest ally, Garheim, share many of our concerns towards the boy who would be our king. Troops representing the King and Queen, as well as any Loreesi troops would be barred from our province. And we will defend the right to self-determination with our last breath.” Having made his point he bowed, and along with the other two debaters, left the Speaker’s Floor.
There was a moment’s pause, and then someone finally said, “What, that’s it?”
Several people laughed, and Triphian gravely stood.
“Domnall will now pass around a scroll. Write your final vote and your name on it.”
Each delegate took the offered scroll and quill, wrote their vote, along with their name, down in the small space on the scroll, then passed it to the next person. Once everyone had put a vote down, the scroll was handed back to Domnall, who took it over to the scribe’s desk. He than unrolled it, and began tallying the votes up. It took him about twenty minutes. Domnall then rose, and moved to the center of the room.
He spoke, raising his voice so it carried to every corner of the vast hall.
“I have the results of the vote,” Domnall officially announced. “The consensus is…………”
Here endth the update. >:)
Bonus: To those who are tagged, can you find your character(s)?