The door’s to the council chambers had been locked for two days, only opening for the briefest of moments to allow the servants to bring food and water to the noblemen arguing within. None would leave until a decision had been made but neither side seemed willing to back down, both willing and eager to send their troops into war to follow their ‘king’.
The entire castle was on edge, snip-it’s of raised voices was all that filtered out of the chambers who was winning was anyone’s guess.
Servants found tasks to busy themselves and the noblewomen sat in the morning room keeping each other company though none really felt able to hold a conversation, sitting in uncomfortable silence waiting to find out the fate of the kingdom.
Meanwhile inside the chambers Kaitlyn sighed, Her bit was done it was now a matter of the noblemen fighting it out amongst themselves. She couldn’t be prouder, Duncan had stood and had fought his case with every bit as much determination as Daniel, he’d argued his case and managed to get his voice heard over men twice his age holding his own in the most heated of debate’s.
Orrick had, true to his word battled long and hard in support of Duncan, despite direct threats from Gabriel, who as expected rallied around Daniel. Abel likewise had pledged his allegiance to Daniel, again as school friends Kailyn was hardly surprised. Leaving Sir Bendett, Sir Shieldsmith and Lord Baeumont as the deciding factors.
For a while it was looked like they may lose Sir Bendett’s support, the issues of the past few days clearly having an impact on the old nights decision however he’d come around and now fought from Duncan’s corner, Like wise Danson had sat on the fence for a good deal of time but had eventually come around to Duncan’s way of thinking.
Sadly they had lost Valdermar’s vote there had been a very sudden turn around on the lords opinion, she suspected that Gabriel had somehow bribed him but couldn’t prove a thing, and even if she could it make no difference.
The allegiances decided, the two sides battled it out. Daniel’s support was greater, his army larger but Orrick wasn’t giving in, he didn’t seem willing to lie down and accept defeat promising to take it to the battlefield if necessary.
“Orrick, just accept you have lost” Gabriel growled.
“I haven’t lost” Orrick replied “Your army might be bigger but David didn’t accept defeat against Goliath, and neither shall I”
“Your a stubborn old man” Gabriel growled.
“Why because I refuse to accept that your army is bigger? that your victory assured when your whole premise for having the bigger army depends on Peter holding true to his word? Forgive me but if you haven’t noticed we are practically at war with Darkfire ourselves do you really believe your brother will have the resources available to fight a war in support of Daniel when he’s fighting against us for Tarik at the same time?”
“But if Daniel takes the crown there will be no war!” Gabriel replied.
“Really?” Orrick laughed, “Does Tarik know?”
“I am confident I can negotiate Peace” Daniel added.
“Tarik has requested we give him the woodsman, if we hand him over there is no need to go to war”
“Are you serious?” Duncan interrupted “You can not expect us to hand over a man just because Tarik orders it, do you have any idea what Tarik will do to him?”
“One man to prevent war” Daniel mused “It seems like a fair deal to me. If we went to war many would die”
“It’s the principle” Duncan retorted “Is this what we are becoming? Sacrificing our men?”
“He’s just one man” Daniel replied, and Kaitlyn couldn’t help but be amused by the threat imagining the scene when Daniel tried to come good on his bargain.
The fight continued, the minutes turned into hours and then suddenly there was a bang. Everything went quiet “I concede” Duncan growled, “Daniel has more support, more troops and more money, I can not push us into war for the sake of the crown, but there is a condition to my surrender”
“What is that?” Daniel asked smugly.
“Lar’s is left alone, if you want to find another way to make peace with Tarik feel free, but leave the woodsman be”
“Done!” Daniel grinned.
“No” Kaitlyn Protested. “Duncan don’t worry about Lar’s, he can handle himself”
“This isn’t about Lar’s” Duncan replied “It’s about whats good for the Kingdom, war serves no-one”
Kaitlyn was about to protest again when she looked at her son, who stood with as much determination as he could muster “Don’t” he urged “Let it go… it’s my decision” .
Kaitlyn couldn’t believe it and with the decision made the Lords began to filter out of the council chamber but just as Daniel was about to leave Duncan placed his hand up to bar him “This isn’t over” he whispered “i’m only letting you ‘borrow’ MY crown”