The Nature of Corsairs

The Nature of Corsairs
Summary: Prince Samwell discusses the missive that has been sent from Sir Gauvain Tarris to each of those summoned to speak with the prince - Sir Jaren and Lady Claire, notably.
Date: 16/11/1329
Related: None
Claire Jaren Samwell 

Wolveshire Castle - Royalty Suite
Larger than the other guest rooms, this suite is reserved for visiting members of the royal family. An expansive sitting room with high-backed, cushioned chairs and Taniford-heraldry tapestries sports both a fireplace and a series of stand-mirrors to brighten up the room. Beyond the sitting room is a formal dining room, with a long table surrounded by high-backed chairs and portraits of famous Kings and Queens of Taniford on the walls. Finally, there is a bedroom with a wide four-poster bed in Taniford blue and silver. A floor-length tapestry hides the wall on one side of the bedroom, showing Queen Essemra Taniford escaping Rhaedan assassins.

A single door leads back out into the hall connecting the noble rooms.

Nov 16, 1329

Samwell is wearing comfortable grey woolly pants and a baggy white shirt and doesn't look all that clear-eyed and alert. He looks red-eyed and sniffly and clutches a hankie. But he does manage a smile when Jaren arrives in his rooms. "Sir Jaren, thank you for coming so swiftly. Please join me by the fire, will you?" As they from entrance area to fire the room changes from way too warm to boiling hot. But there's wine on the table and some left-over cookies. "Want some c—-whaaachoo?"

Jaren's dark brows raise as he notes Samwell's condition, even as he moves closer to the fire. He shakes his head slightly, "I am sated, your highness, but thank you." He tilts his head, not frowning exactly but still clearly assessing, "A passing sniffle, I hope? A lingering winter's cold can make for an unpleasant few weeks." He lifts his hands towards the fire a bit, before lowering them, but he shows no signs of discomfort in the heat. Not that he tends to show signs of discomfort from -anything- really.

"I fell into a river and spent longer than was good for me in wet cold clothes.", Samwell explains with a sigh and a slight frown as if he couldn't quite believe that the virus had the audacity to infect the prince of the realm. He is glad that he can sit down again and stretch his legs, waiting for Jaren to join him before he asks: "I trust you received a missive from Sir Gauvain too?"

"I did, though I confess it offered more confusion than enlightenment." Jaren notes, reaching to the small case he often carries with him to extract the message in question, "The only way I could see the Corsairs invading through Estermarch is if they came via the Rothim River, and both North and South have watchers at the mouths to warn of such an invasion. It would require a great deal of treachery indeed to allow for such a surprise attack…." Jaren considers with a frown, "But Gauvain is not given to fancies…if he believes there is a threat…I am inclined to believe him." As to the matter of spending too much time in rivers and wet clothes, Jaren offers no further input. Not really his business, after all.

The presence of knocking at the door and the subsequent announcement of Claire Sollinger's arrival may be met with a number of things from solemnity or mere looks. While she doesn't seem to be affected either way, the fact that her hair is worn unbound and with a darker gown of forest green for added warmth may be just for show. The additional woolen cloak? That might signify that she too is dealing with the chill in her own way as the presence of voices catch her short of anything that might be said in greeting.

"Well at the moment it seems uncertain if and where the corsairs will land.", Samwell points out, "it depends on what the North is doing. Though I agree, when we were in the March just now, it seemed the fortifications seemed fine - well, except Brenton - so I don't see why Laketown, so far from the coast needs to worry about Corsairs. I will speak to my mother about it all.", he promises between bouts of sniffling and sneezing. He looks up when another visitor is announced and Clare steps into the furnace that is the princely solar. "Lady Claire, how convenient! Did you bring me that herb you mentioned on our way back home?"

"My understanding is that Corsairs have struck at Laketown before. They have the means to sail around the southern shores…but yes, to get to Estermarch would almost certainly require an overland invasion through other territories. Unless somehow -all- our river sentries were neutralized." Jaren notes, then rises to his feet when Claire enters, offering a shallow bow from the waist and a faint smile, "Milady." He greets, waiting for her to enter fully, and stepping aside to allow her the use of the chair before the fire.

"I did but also there was a chance for me to add others to the pouch that I've brought," Claire replies to Samwell, as if already knowing quite well what ails the prince as she turns to Jaren with a polite bobbed curtsey in return as a smile flickers into place. "Sir Jaren. Thank you," she says, approaching the two men as the smile fades while determining the conversation - as she's heard thus far. "You may wish to speak with my cousin Sir Corwin Sollinger, in that case. Between he and his sister, I would hazard a guess that they may know more of the river activities to be of assistance."

"It is the very nature of Corsairs to remain close to the shore and their vessels, to raid, plunder and steal and make off as fast as they can. So I don't see how or why they would be coming overland from Estermarch. Though it gives Sir Gustav a chance to show off the wonderful Sollinger navy, with which he's trying to buy my sister's hand.", he remarks, his snarky tone slightly mellowed because his voice is creaky. He does look at Claire for confirmation though and nods. "I shall invite your cousin to our council, and Sir Gustav, too.", he decides, then looks around for a servant to take the pouch from Claire and go and brew some horrid-tasting herbal tea.

"Indeed, news from the naval patrols would be invaluable in precluding a surprise attack as well. Though the Corsairs have proven adept at avoiding them before. Only so many ships and a great deal of shoreline and ocean, certainly." Jaren notes, folding his hands behind his back and considering. At Samwell's comment regarding Gustav, Jaren tilts a brow and frowns a bit, but as is his manner, keeps whatever thoughts are flitting behind those dark eyes to himself unless bidden otherwise.

Some teas may be horrid. Without adjustments. Or additions. Like, in this case - peppermint. Odds are, it won't be a medicinal tasting brew. At first. Seating herself in the chair that Jaren had graciously vacated, Claire turns her attention onto Samwell with a press of her lips into a thin line and just the most narrowing of glances with the mention of the Sollingers as a whole. "The navy needs not to be shown off like a herd of prized stallions, Your Highness. They are, quite adept in what they do as I have seen firsthand on many occasions," she says with careful neutrality, holding back additional comment with the movement of tugging at the edges of her shawl into more secure positions.

"And they have served faithfully since long before any betrothals, even if it was believed their use was limited prior to the Corsair invasions." Jaren notes, flicking a glance towards Claire, then to Samwell, before falling silent again, though he does, finally seem to decide on having a bit of wine, moving to pour a cup, then glancing towards Samwell and Claire in turn with a questioning glance, to see if either of them would care for some.

"He did show them off like a herd of prized stallions.", Samwell points out, but since Claire is the last person he wants mad at him, he lets it drop and offers her a warm smile, nodding towards Jaren and the wine he's holding. "Please have some, Lady Claire." Then the prince looks at Jaren again: "So what do you suggest we do? Try to control the shores better than now? Fortify Laketown? Rely on the Sollinger navy?" He declines the wine for now. There'll be tea for him. Perhaps even yummy tea.

She may accept the wine but it doesn't change the simmering that may be Claire Sollinger with the current line of conversation. With stray fingers pinching the shawl resting about her shoulders with a growing frown settling into her features, she may already be nodding to Jaren in acceptance of the wine. But her words are still lingering on the conversation at hand. "The navy is more than just for show," she says, letting that settle her thoughts on the matter between the ships and her family and where she stands on that score. "I think that ensuring that House Sollinger is aware of the potentials is one avenue that has to be confirmed. But, I disagree that our borders are as secure as we might think. Brenton should have been an example of that. It could be that neither north or south may be fully aware of what happens along the borders."

"Short of mounting levies at the cusp of winter…never a wise move unless the situation is truly desperate…it would seem there is little we can do beyond trying to better secure the March. Laketown is not ours to fortify, we already rely on the Sollinger Navy, and there are only so many men to watch the shores." Jaren considers as he hands Claire her goblet of wine before moving to reclaim his own. "Even then, it seems possible this could all be a feint, and someone wants us to believe the Corsairs intend to pass through the March or attack Laketown when instead the strike will come elsewhere." Jaren shakes his head, "So many uncertainties, but such is always the nature of war."

Jaren glances to Claire and considers in silence a moment, "There is only one border to speak of…the Rothim River, and we have many forts of varying sizes along its' length. Short of building more forts or some massive wall along its' entire length, I do not see much room for greater vigilance on that front. The shores offer far more in the way of avenues of approach for the Corsairs, and for that, we must indeed rely on the Sollinger patrols, as well as the scattered shoreline fortresses. I suppose we could try to enlist the services of extra scouts and rangers to serve as sentries…"

"No, we shouldn't raise levies at this time. I shall speak with my mother and hear what she thinks. In the meantime, we might want to have more patrols on the river." The prince might continue, but a big sneeze stops him. And then his servant returns with a big steaming mug of tea. "I am afraid my head is fit to burst.", he tells his guests apologetically, "I shall withdraw to my bed and take the tea. I will rejoin you in a while. Thank you again for coming and for offering insightful advice." He gets to his feet to bow, then heads off to his chamber with the tea-bearing servant in tow.

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