Politics at home
We had to stop in the middle of a scene, but that was Moyri’s scene anyway.
This morning Athal was up earlier than I. He was down at the stables to talk to the people of the plains. So I had time to visit the school officially. The whole area seemed to be improving, houses looked better, streets cleaner and the school itself had a completely new roof with a dome at the center. I hope students can afford to live there once we are fully up and running. Windows were set in the dome to gaze at the stars. The corners had similar smaller domes.
When I arrived the teacher of law, Hallei Lyan, helped me down from my seat. He was very clearly aligned to the Nameless and it was slightly uncomfortable for both of us, but no more than that. When I talked to him later we seemed to get along well enough. He remarked that the law was above the guilds and in that he is right.
Roushan was a doctor, Tabastan an old and slightly shy mathematician, Hazrat a jolly old astrologer who found a partner in Serlei Alaise, an equally jolly astrologer from Ildis who came here to try something new after forty years. Rava brought me up to speed: things were going well but it was time for a grand opening soon. She is leaving just like Ysella, Moryn’s wife, so we have to find replacements for both. I suggested Moyri’s neighbour. We’ll see what happens.
When I returned Moyri had a problem that needed the king to solve it, so I went to get him while –she said– she would get the problem. She was being a bit vague, but no matter. So I went to Athal. He was cornered in his office by the prince of Aumen Síth in exile. He had forced his way, literally, past Halla and was trying to get a concession out of Athal about what would happen when Aumen Síth was freed. Halla should be writing an angry letter now, to be signed by us, to let him know that this is unacceptable. Athal was resisting, but was having a difficult time of it. So I smiled at him and put an arm around him and remarked that nothing was conquered yet and that anyone who had a claim should be there when it was conquered. Meaning that his highness would have to personally brave the hazards of war. I thought that would cool his ardour a little, and it seemed to work too. He left without the concession he was hoping for, though Athal did call him ‘prince’. When the time comes the council of priests should probably have a big hand in ruling things, though they should be balanced by someone who can be decisive when they are not. Someone like Beguyan, though not actually him.
When we returned to Moyri, she had six boys and girls who used to be Eraday and wanted to serve a term as page. To do so they had to be duyin, and since the house no longer exists they could not. It felt familiar: dealing with pages like I had before it all started, before Athal sent us off to Idanyas. Anyway, it seemed clear to me. Either they join one of the new houses, Reshan’s yet to be named branch, or they call themselves Nusan. That’s what we decided later that day, and Moyri gave them a day and a night to think about it.
I can Imagine Nusan being a difficult name to accept, since it stems from Tal-Nus, Moryn’s domain. But Reshan seems an acceptable choice, though he is clearly aligned with Anshen. He is very likely to return a war hero. It is unfortunate for them that their ranks are split into two even smaller factions; perhaps we can allow them to consolidate later.
I don’t know what those too much aligned with the Nameless will do, but they will probably not join either and find someone themselves. They will resent the loss of nobility and be resentful and scheme. But mostly they will be the kind of people inclined to do that anyway. Some will be swept along in the resentment, which is unfortunate for us all.
Then the teachers who were given me by the Enshah arrived, like I asked them to, and I explained that slavery was not an option here and that the laws we laid down for the Valdyan territories also applied here. Tabastan remarked that he was almost near the age of retirement and I nodded. This was going to be an expensive gift, but with the school starting also a very useful one. So I said he would get his two riders a year on top of his salary at the school, and I was glad to hear that he would keep the job for a while yet. Pahiz asked if that also applied to the children they had adopted who were a gift to Athal, and of course it did.
Somewhere along the lines Moyri mentioned that Uznur was thinking of giving the school a Iss-Peranian law teacher and I reacted a bit bluntly. I just did’t want another slave to have to deal with. I thought I had settled that. But if Uznur will give the person in question his freedom, it is a great gift and he deserves a plaque on the school with his name on it.
Then I talked to Ruyin while I took a look at the palace library. He did not have too much to say, just that some people felt that Ayneth had more right to rule because Athal had been away for so long and should have been here. That is very uninformed, because Ayneth would much rather be doing something else, and what we did in Albetire is very important to the safety of Valdyas, but I can understand the sentiment.
Then I went to bed with Athal… and Vurian and Hinla and the usual crowd,,, and we slept, well, when Radan would let me. He is turning at last.