Halam Umbrusk hunched in the glow of the magical lamp at his ponderous desk in his office. He diligently reviewed through the contracts gained from tonight's one-hundred eleventh Hater's Ball, scanning them for accuracy. Outside the manor orations for the dead were being sung as Moonfeast tradition decreed, it was late and just past midnight. But now was not the time to become complacent in matters regarding the papers nor in matters of his own house.
Sitting nearby Chimak, dressed in his burgundy leathers and black sash, nervously looked at the others around the table. Yesterday's fiasco during the Parade of Maidens had Chimak on his heels with the family. A fact he hoped no one would add insult to injury or use his 'over planning' of the operation to ingratiate themselves in Halam's accounting.
Radu sat with a black jacket over a shirtless torso as he casually counted his platinum gambling winnings with defiant disinterest waiting for the axe to fall. Chimak's absurd excuse of over-planning was a joke, too many men hired to do what one man could have accomplished with ease.
Cauldyth however, hearkened back to simpler times before his marriage into highborn living. If you wanted to manipulate these Waterhavians, he lamented, you had to control the ones manipulating the puppet masters who operated the strings of the day to day life. It was all very exhausting, therefore Cauldyth was mostly silent in these small council family gatherings.
"So, it failed to work as you had hoped," Halam said fixing his sharp eyes on Chimak. "A feeble plan based on incomplete information. Over-planning indeed, now instead of driving two families apart your actions may have brought them closer." His temper evident on his stern face. "Certainly have won them sympathizers."
"Avren Cragsmere fought to protect the old-bag, healed her in the streets too." Radu said now satisfied with his total earnings and now engaged the conversation. “It would appear that the Cassalanter’s now owe a debt to the Cragsmeres.”
"It should have been quick and clean," Halam said finishing his perusal of the accounts. "You all fucking test my patience."
"Make a statement father," Radu said at long last grinning. "Stay on the offensive, a knife in the right back will foil any chance for a Cassalanter rise to former glory. Give me the authority father, no more hiring sell-swords." Radu said referring to his brother Chimak as he kept his excitement in check.
Halam looked at his son calmly, "You would mark Aleksandar Cassalanter, the family's patriarch? I then assume you would plan and lead that endeavor?" Halam said calming then continued, "We must be cautious, no more mistakes. Cauldyth, what do you have to say? Perhaps I am too close to see things clearly." Halam admitted.
"We cannot be idle as the Cassalanter's gain supporters. They have not risen to this level alone." Cauldyth said. "Use Radu's 'statement' to deal with these supporters. If not strike directly Halam, then indirectly."
"No, we cannot," said Halam finally with an exasperated sigh. "It is too soon to attack the Cassalanters in any way right now, I feel it could only bring more sympathy to their cause and we will lose contracts. No more will we speak of this tonight."
With that hhe old man then stood and held out a trembling arm to Chimak who took it gingerly. "Good night everyone, you may see yourselves out." Halam said curtly.
Both men gestured with their hands up and palm out; "Dominance and Strength" Radu and Cauldyth returned the gesture and together they watched Chimak aid Halam out of the office.
Later, "Well?" asked Cauldyth after they were alone. "Lydda Artemel is where I would start if really you want to know what I think."
Radu looked at Cauldyth as an equal for the first time. "A Priestess of Tymora? I agree." Radu said smiling scooping up his platinum winnings. "I will call in the Iron Ring."