Beginning to Work

Beginning to Work

Postby Treadwell » Thu Sep 04, 2014 4:06 am

Lord Steward.

Information sent prior to Baron Surdemer's announcement informed then-Councilor Treadwell of what would be the design of the new Council. Now it is up to him to see it happen.

One Councilor for every hundred families of the entire Wood, with equal numbers of landowning gentry and common folks voted in by their peers.

That's--

A moment to wiggle fingers in counting comes up wasted. Another moment to get up from his cushioned office chair, take up his cane, and stroll across his office. A bookshelf in the opposite, left-hand corner houses a very important document: a fat, leatherbound volume, the cover carefully dyed a dark green.

The title leaf? Census Numbers of Myrken Wood, Comprising of Myrkentown, Foggy Bottom, et cetera, late 213 AR. Aloisius H. Treadwell, Compiler, Councilor of Myrken Wood, Revenue and Finance.

It pays to be the tax collector, or at least formerly so.

"Three thousand and five hundred in Myrkentown alone, Aloisius. You remember that much, mmph."

Back to his cushioned seat, plucking a spare piece of parchment from a basket atop his desk. Ink is uncapped; with a couple of careful flicks, a quill is dressed. And then? Figuring sums. Pages are turned and tallies are noted. The result?

"Thirty-one thousand and a hundred or so, overall, give or take a few heads. It's been a year. I'm quite sure, mmph, there've been some folks born or buried since."

A pause. Quill is set aside, point down in its little holder on the ink bottle. He then stands again and returns the book to where it belongs.

"One for every hundred households, Aloisius. Say--what?--ten to a house? Husband, wife, children, maybe a servant or two, Grampa and Grammy. Average?"

He sinks back into his chair and nods.

"Use your own as a sample! You, Alice, the six children, Langley, Elizia. That's ten, mmph, and you've Gregory, Sascha, and the rest of the household servants, as well. Your home more than balances another's, like Tom Breckenridge, who's lunatic with no family of his own, or Catch, who's the same, mmph mmph. So, yes, ten people per household sounds good."

A snort.

"So, thirty-one, more or less, of the common folks, and an equal number of those who own sizeable tracts of land or have comparable titles, hm hm. Stuff like Lothbury, my own estate, and the like. Berdini should have enough land, mmph, if he wants the seat. No other Tubbians. None of them have enough land in their own name to land themselves--hee hee!--on the Council, but the common seats?"

Shoulders shrug.

"If they're voted into it, so be it, but with only so many positions drawn from the entire Wood, assuming equal representation, mmph mmph, that only leaves three or four--say four?--common folks sitting on the Council from Myrkentown, with likely as many of the same of the wealthier ones. Maybe a couple more of the latter. Myrken's not a poor town by any means, where there aren't quite as many very rich people around otherwise, hmph."

A sigh. A glance up from his desk, off to the side.

"There's a perfectly good kitchen in this meetinghouse, Aloisius, and this is hungry work, mmph mmph. Books and charts and maps and census numbers can wait for an hour, hm?"
"Looks like a table to me. Do you think it could hold up someone as bulbous as Treadwell?" -- Dr. Brennan, Myrken Wood Rememdium Edificium
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Re: Beginning to Work

Postby Glenn » Mon Sep 08, 2014 12:46 am

Oh, it takes it's fine, good time, but eventually a letter will arrive. It had to be one the old man was expecting.

Aloisius Horatio Treadwell,

It's ever so impressive that a man of your girth, age, and general, if understandable, sense of lethargy, was able to move so quickly out of the way of the horse progress, let alone, that you were able to grab on to its mane and, if not ride, then allow yourself to be dragged along into the future. As always, the rain washes away the old here in Myrken, and there you fall, the very last remnant, a stopper to halt the flow, our every surviving Grandpa Tready. I'd wonder what it costs you, but then I'm not sure you have anything left to give away. Having a deeper sense of idealism than practicality, for despite all that we have encountered together, I suppose, by some definition, I am still young, I stood my ground. Therefore, I find myself in the lovely company of the lovely Lady Egris and spend my lovely days in lovely little passive aggressive spats. From my understanding, it is all to be expected from marriage (and no, I am not requesting a treatise of the arguments you have with Alice, so do not strain your arm or your memory to give me one). I assure you she is reading this very note, which will then explain my playful poking at our charming overseer and your personal keeper (hello, dear one) and no mention of the secret gold of the Myrken Resistance Movement that you keep under your shop.

As I said, Aloisius, There is a cost to your actions and you, without any capital left behind those beady eyes, no longer have the means to pay it. The people of Myrken will in your stead. My expectations are suitably low, old friend. You'd best exceed them.

Your friend,
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Re: Beginning to Work

Postby Treadwell » Mon Sep 08, 2014 9:28 am

The reading of the note would take place over nibblings being partaken while Treadwell prepares a suitable meal, potentially for two, since he's expecting the Lady Egris to come visit. A large, white apron is tied snug over the hunter green robe he wears; his matching green, floppy hat hangs on a hook near his seat at the meetinghouse table. His hands are a feverish whirl of chopping and cutting and arranging of meats, breads, and cheeses onto plates, with even some sliced fruits on their own plates.

Grandpa Tready brings a smirk to the old jowls.

The mention of gold that is most certainly not anywhere near his possession settles the jiggling cheeks.

Veiled threats and rumblings.

"Petulant, insolent brat."

Clunk of platter onto table, followed by another, and then a flap-flap of dusting hands off.

"I'll not be blackmailed by coinage I don't have, mmph, for a movement that doesn't exist, mmph mmph!"

With that, a resounding whack of cane down sharp against floorboard, both to steady brief wobbling and to allow an emphasis as he crumples the note in his right hand. Then, as he settles into his position at the end of the table, grumpy but politely waiting a bit to see if he will have company this day,

"May his manhood rot and wither 'tween his thighs, mmph, if the oaf thinks to spread rumors and lies to topple me from this seat. Myrken Wood will endure and thrive, mmph mmph, with or without Glenn Burnie!"
"Looks like a table to me. Do you think it could hold up someone as bulbous as Treadwell?" -- Dr. Brennan, Myrken Wood Rememdium Edificium
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Re: Beginning to Work

Postby Kestrel » Tue Sep 09, 2014 11:32 am

The Lady Egris had agreed to meet with Treadwell for a meal. There was much discussion to be had about the town they had been entrusted with. And while she had not found the man particularly easy to deal with before she had been appointed, it would be beneficial if they worked together to strengthen the town rather than squabble over small things.

A united front.

Her eyes had skimmed over the letter her intended sent to the Steward. She hadn't bothered to smother her smile over his penned defiance. Though, she had likely given him a fierce pinch for his troubles. She almost invited him along tonight, just to see the two of them spat at one another like angry cats.

She found herself standing outside of Treadwell's door and knocked smartly.

The man, her sole guard, she'd brought along would wait patiently for her by the door until she was ready to leave.
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Re: Beginning to Work

Postby Treadwell » Tue Sep 09, 2014 11:51 am

A knock at the door, just as Treadwell begins to settle into his chair. Crumpled note gets tossed onto the table, and he hefts himself back to his feet. Soon, the white-aproned, green-robed man is at the door, opening it and peering outside. A nod to the visitor is accompanied by something of a bow as Treadwell waves an arm toward the table.

"Good day! I was hoping you might just show! Please, madam, seat yourself, mmph, and--"

Click of the door behind them.

"Oh! Pardon me. What might you drink? I can fetch what you will from the kitchen, hm hm? We've much to discuss, but what good is talking business with empty stomachs, hm?"
"Looks like a table to me. Do you think it could hold up someone as bulbous as Treadwell?" -- Dr. Brennan, Myrken Wood Rememdium Edificium
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Re: Beginning to Work

Postby Kestrel » Thu Sep 11, 2014 11:05 am

The woman nodded at the Steward who answered and stepped inside as directed. She took a moment for her eyes to adjust, her gaze sweeping across the interior of the dwelling. Her man waited just inside the door, his face a stoney slate, only cracking when she pinched his arm for being so serious. He winked, but went back to his mute indifference.

She moved, directed towards the table , to cross the room. Her seat was pulled out and she would settle there lightly. Her posture remained rigid, her expression polite.

"Ah, wine if you have any, would be wonderful," she requested. Business was best to be done with a drink in hand. Especially if it loosened tongues that were not your own. Fingers drummed as she waited for him to return.
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Re: Beginning to Work

Postby Treadwell » Thu Sep 11, 2014 2:09 pm

A nod in return, a shuffle to the kitchen again, there to remove the apron and to pour the wine in question. A simple mug of lukewarm tea, having been left to sit for a little too long already, goes to his other hand, and back to the table he goes, setting the wine at her seat and the tea at his.

"Welcome! I reckon you've been in here before, mmph, but perhaps not under such circumstances. Now, help yourself, hm hm, to what you like or can have, and pray take all you want. It means less for me later."

Into his chair he sinks, propping his cane against the table beside him.

"I suppose we should start with the simple business of names. Suiting to your tastes, mmph, I'll answer well enough to my title or to 'Aloisius.' In all honesty, though, I'd rather the latter, if that's acceptable. Managing the restructuring of the Council and drawing from all over the Wood instead of just Myrkentown is work enough, and a little stepping back from such work is certainly, hmph, appreciated. But, if that isn't the case, so be it. I'll leave it to you. I'm hardly expecting the annoyance of 'Allie' or 'Al' or 'Wishie' that I've had my peers saddle me with before, mmph, but at least something cordial, hm hm? Besides. . . ."

Up goes a thinly cut slip of cheese between fingers, getting wagged something like a gavel or pointer.

"My understanding, mmph, is that we're meant to be something of equals in terms of working together in our own respective areas for the betterment of Myrken, both town and province. We have our own specialties, if you will, though our agenda ought to be the same, and any unnecessary lines we can remove from that list would certainly be good."

A clearing of the throat; a sipping of the tea; a biting at the cheese.

"So, with all of that preamble out of the way, welcome to the Meetinghouse, and welcome to lunch. If you wish to talk business first, mmph, I've pored over the most recent census that I gathered under my prior position, and I've determined the appropriate numbers of Council seats, mmph, and the percentages of representatives from the places throughout the Wood. All of that information is in my office."

Wag of spare hand toward the office he's still occupying when busy; the name plate on the door has been changed from "Councilor" to "Lord Steward," though the room behind said name plate is the same.

"But if you'd rather talk pleasantries first, mmph, that's certainly welcome, too. We know little of one another, madam. I'm not advocating a lawyer's attention to detail at his books, mmph, in reading and knowing each other, but. . . well, what would you care to know of me, and what might you volunteer of yourself, in your generosity, so as to benefit our work together, mmph mmph?"

With that, a shlurrrrp at his tea to wet the throat and shush his mouth.
"Looks like a table to me. Do you think it could hold up someone as bulbous as Treadwell?" -- Dr. Brennan, Myrken Wood Rememdium Edificium
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Re: Beginning to Work

Postby Kestrel » Sat Sep 13, 2014 12:37 am

The woman seated at the table waited, her gaze roaming over the room and catching upon his office door and the altered plaque with his new title. Treadwell was settling comfortably into his role, at least. She hoped that he understood that it was temporary, at best.

The Lady glanced up as he entered again, the wine glass settled in front of her. She toyed with it, twisting it around and around, but did not drink. Nor did she take any food for herself. "Aloisius, then. You may call me whatever you like," she returned. She doubted that he would deviate into unwanted territory, given that they were attempting to play nice.

She shifted her chair so that she was turned towards him and not the table. Then, she leaned forward with elbows resting on her knees and fingers steepled before her mouth. "I did have one question," she interrupted the matter of pleasantries or business. "Can I rightly assume that you, who were so close with the other Councilors, have abandoned them to their fates as private citizens?," she questioned, eyes bright and shrewd.

She straightened, her stance more careless. "That Kaczmarek woman is a menace, though I understand that she has found religion now," she remarked. "We can not afford to be suspicious of one another for Myrkentown to succeed."

She cleared her throat. "And, with that said, Glenn Burnie is likely going to be a continued presence. I am attempting to keep him as leashed as I am able. Especially considering that he seems to be holding me to this ridiculous notion of marriage. He shouldn't be a problem, other than his ability to antagonize everyone whenever he opens his mouth or takes quill to paper." The way she spoke about Burnie was interesting. Annoyance mingled with something like begrudging admiration. Glenn and Egris tended to toy with one another in good-natured verbal sparring whenever they spoke. It kept things interesting, at least. She would be lying if she said that she didn't enjoy it on some level.

"I've been keeping him confined, but have decided to release him as an ordinary citizen, as the Baron requested. I will leave one of my men to play spy, but Burnie is crafty. Do tell me if he becomes a problem and I will tighten his collar." She was aware that Glenn couldn't really be controlled, but she would do her best.
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Re: Beginning to Work

Postby Treadwell » Sat Sep 13, 2014 4:23 am

And, so, where the Lady Warden physically removes herself from having lunch, the Lord Steward begins to enjoy himself with it, giving her the chance to talk.

"Abandoned?" A swallow of his current mouthful. "You misunderstand me, perhaps from a lack of information before now. Madam, we were never terribly close partners in business as we were, mmph mmph. I wouldn't, mmph, be so hasty as to call Agnie Kaczmarek a menace, though. She was the one person I was able to trust, mmph--outside my Alice, that is--in setting this town to rights when most of the folks were having their minds controlled by witchery. Without her assistance in that, mmph, why, I might be the only right-minded fellow left here! She could be very useful in many capacities if she's not made an enemy. I would suggest not treating her as one."

A nod. Another bite.

"But the rest? They can see to their own perfectly well, hm hm. And about Glenn Burnie. . . ."

Wag of finger toward the crumpled page on the table.

"I would very much appreciate his not spreading scurrilous falsehoods about my housing money meant to fund, mmph, a group of rebels who don't exist. Agnie's finding religion and keeping to herself isn't a threat. Glenn's blathering in an attempt to undermine me is."

Shovel away of a slab of ham.

"You really ought to have some of this, Egris. It's quite delicious. Besides, I've a pie cooling in the kitchen that my son made at the bakers' this morning."

Another nod of the head as he swallows some more tea and retrieves said pie, slicing it deftly and setting it on the table within easy reach of them both. Lunch continues. Topics shift.

"Now, you know quite well what I'm to do here: carry on, generally speaking, the role of Governor in what amounts to a slightly more restricted, interim fashion, under a new title. That's nothing new to me; this makes the third time in eleven years, or perhaps fourth, that I've had to do such. I understand quite well that you and the Baron likely feel me a temporary, short-term fit for the role, mmph mmph. Physically, I haven't the appearance of some great hero, mmph, or warrior, or king, or other such. I am old, likely to reach my seventieth birthday next summer before all of this is settled. I have quite a few other hats to wear, as well: father, husband, toymaker, and high priest of a church spanning the plains to the west and the coast to the north, hmph. And, in all of those concerns, you may be correct in having your own worries and fears. You may have already begun thinking of a replacement; I'm aware of that much as a possibility."

Thunk of the back of his fork to the table as thumb counterbalances it upward in his hand.

"But, madam, I have been the one, ever-present force to keep everything from getting worse here these past eleven years. By that, I mean that had I not come along, this town--this province!--would have needed royal intervention a great deal sooner. I know this land, mmph, and a great deal about the ones around it; I'm more traveled, hmph, and better connected to the heads of towns up and down Amasynia and Myrken Wood than one might think. The whole system of politics has been in my blood for generations, something our king, bless him, understands in his role. I've dealt with more quarrels, quibbles, rows, arguments, discussions, and debates, mmph, than most men alive; I've faced attempts on my life, hrm hrm, and dealt with snipes, slanders, and backstabs--physical and figurative--all while maintaining the utmost of loyalty and respect for the system and he who governs it by his right on the throne."

Another tap of fork's butt, this time against the edge of his plate.

"So, with all that said, rest assured that you haven't a better, more suitable man to handle this governorship--whether temporary or permanent, a year and a day or 'til I'm being hauled up a street back home by pallbearers to the family grave plots."
"Looks like a table to me. Do you think it could hold up someone as bulbous as Treadwell?" -- Dr. Brennan, Myrken Wood Rememdium Edificium
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Re: Beginning to Work

Postby Kestrel » Sat Sep 20, 2014 4:59 am

The smile was sharper than he might have expected, though her eyes were crystal clear in their warning. "Ah, my mistaken assumptions of your loyalties aside," she would yield to his protests of innocence, though she was no stranger to his former attempts to undermine any authority she might have had, "I must respectfully disagree about Sera Kaczmarek. She made no secret of her violent disregard for the crown's goals and my company in general." The fitful spinning of her wine glass revealed her unspoken ire. "I would advise against continuing your friendship to a woman so outspoken against our King in the future." Shoulders lifted. "Just some friendly advice. I plan not to treat her as an enemy, but a person of interest. Mostly, I hope to ignore her as much as possible." Agnie was an unpleasant sort, in her humble opinion.

Her eyes lifted to the crumpled note her gestured towards and she turned laugh into cough, hand lifting to cover her mouth politely, in effort to hide her smile. "Ahem. Apologies," she added, clearing her throat as if something had managed to choke her. "Burnie just wants to rattle your chain. That letter was sent to you and you alone. He knew that I was likely read it, hence his little passive-aggressive meanderings. You should know that your granted attention will only make him more insufferable," she teased, another one of her wolfish grins on her youthful features.

He bid her eat something and her smile was polite this time. Still, she did not make efforts to select any food for her own, nor did she bring the wine to her lips.

One of her hands lifted to ward off his efforts to convince her of his worth. "We've just begun working together, Ser Treadwell. Your actions will tell His Majesty of your useful talents and ability to lead. You've no need to boast your accomplishments to me. We are both aware of your pedigree."

"Now, was there anything else that you wished to speak on while I am here?"
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Re: Beginning to Work

Postby Treadwell » Sat Sep 20, 2014 1:46 pm

Treadwell nods his head as he listens and munches at his pie. Regarding her analysis of Agnie's state, he mumbles an interrupting, "Mmph, very well; it doesn't seem she cares much for me at the moment anyway."

Something else to speak on?

"I'll start the process of getting folks nominated for the new council soon enough, mmph mmph. I think I could possibly name some of the likely candidates from various towns, hmm, so everything should go reasonably well. We'll need to expand this meetinghouse if we're to have proper seating for sixty people in comfort; this hall here is hardly suited to more than a few at a time, mmph, but a change of furniture, or perhaps an additional room specific to such, could fix that. We've enough in the coffers to handle either."

Munch munch.

"That's not to mention finding something to do with the offices other than mine, of course. Additional storage for records, I suppose, would work, or something like it. Now, a question I've been hearing muttered 'round town: the soldiers here with you and the Baron. . . . Are they to stay here the entire time? If so, how many are there? I'm not entirely sure we've the proper housing or food yet for such a crowd, but if they're meant to be here, of course we can manage."
"Looks like a table to me. Do you think it could hold up someone as bulbous as Treadwell?" -- Dr. Brennan, Myrken Wood Rememdium Edificium
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Re: Beginning to Work

Postby Kestrel » Thu Sep 25, 2014 1:41 pm

She smiled at his mention of his old friend. "Of course. She probably takes your new position as evidence that you were working against her the entire time," she remarked. "That woman is self-serving," she waved a hand to dismiss the current topic of conversation as distasteful.

The outline for the building they were seated in was mentioned and she agreed with a simple nod. "I debated claiming one of them as an office, but I think that would give them the wrong impression. I am here to help, not to govern. At least as far as they are concerned. If they are going to trust their new government, they will have to rely on you and the others that come into their positions."

He spoke of the soldiers and her brow lofted in response. "The men under my own banner will stay on as they see fit. They will help to shape Myrken and give it the strong foundation it needs to survive. As for the Baron's men, I surmise that they will leave whenever the King feels comfortable. I assume there will be an outpost here, if the barracks are any indication at all, but war beckons them. I also trust that they will be a boon, not an inconvenience."
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Re: Beginning to Work

Postby Treadwell » Sun Sep 28, 2014 10:31 am

"No, they're no inconvenience. I merely wanted to know that they were being properly taken care of in their own quarters with food and drink as appropriate. Is it so odd and ironic that a man, mmph, such as I would rather not see anyone starve?"

Stab of fork into pie. A careful leverage of gooey, tasty morsel from plate.

"Speaking of which, you've not touched anything at all. Is there something you would rather have, instead? Is there anything else you might care to see prepared, hm, for when we meet again soon enough? I would very much care to continue these meetings between us."

Shrug of shoulders as he nears the last of the pie that, a few moments ago, sat between them.

"So, as it is, I should think that I've about finished thinking of business for the moment. I can't properly bring any other issues to mind that merit discussion, mmph mmph, and I thank you for coming here as asked. You see, my dear lady, the more that you and I are at ease working with one another, mmph, the more that the town and, yes, the province will likely be about the entire business."

Thus, with a final bite, the pie is finished.

"Goodness. . . I shouldn't allow Gideon to let me have such treats when he has a spare left at the bakery. They're likely doing me no good at all, but--my goodness!--they are delicious. But, hrm hrm," a slight blush to his naturally ruddy cheeks, "that's nothing to do with work, of course! My next goal, madam, is to send out various fellows I can trust with letters describing the situation to the heads of the various towns in the Wood. Getting a proper council together from all parts shouldn't be very difficult, mmph, if it's properly handled, one step at a time."

And then, a final question.

"Have you any other concerns, hm hm, that you feel we need to talk about now? Or shall we draw up a list that we can table 'til our next get-together?"
"Looks like a table to me. Do you think it could hold up someone as bulbous as Treadwell?" -- Dr. Brennan, Myrken Wood Rememdium Edificium
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Re: Beginning to Work

Postby Kestrel » Tue Oct 07, 2014 2:08 pm

The Warden gave a brief smile, though it did not meet her eyes. She wanted to ask where he was while his people starved. Why he hadn't been concerned about them, but he was about strangers. Soldiers. Though, now there were eyes upon him. Now, he had power and an aim to keep it. "They will welcome supplies that you have to spare, but they are used to taking care of themselves. Do not starve your people to tend to men strong enough to hunt for themselves." At the end, there was a brief, grateful smile, all the same.

"I think these meetings will be a necessity." Though she did not speak of food. Did not mention a meal of any variety. "We need to work together."

"I think that is a worthwhile plan. The Council should be formed as soon as possible so that the whisperings about you cease. Or at least decrease." She was aware of the sense of betrayal that permeated the air around the rotund man.

"I have to get back. I look forward to working with you. Do not hesitate to contact me if I am needed."

She rose, nodding politely, and moved towards the door. "Steward."
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