1205 Fall - Trouble with Telsbergs

OOC: Wow. I wasn't expecting that Com roll to be a success. Nice! XD
(Since Clusius was going for a genuine emotional connection/response I think it would be Charm.)

Against all the odds, against your own Gift, it seems that your words have reached Rudolph. He seems to struggle for a few seconds before making a small affirmative gesture towards you. Turning to Guido he demands: "Ok. Lead us." Anger seems to have left his voice, but he doesn't really talk to you, or even look at you, when you are on your way.

As Rudolph talked to Guido, Clusius notices something (Awareness roll succeeded). Both man are very different. Guido is almost a head taller, lean, quiet, but every gesture of his seem to be precise and meticulous. Rudolph is shorter, muscular and louder. From your interactions until now it seems he doesn't care for anyone's opinion besides himself. You also notice his distaste for Guido.

The differences between them make the physical similarities even more apparent. Same ears, same forehead, same jaw. The eyes, however differ.

The men are surely related, and given the (small) age difference there are not many possibilities. Either cousins or brothers.

I'll wait a bit before going ahead in case Clusius wants to do something with this info, or in case someone wants to jump in with a grog.

OOC I didn't expect the high roll and the success either. That was a nice surprise. :smiley:

Clusius signals his mundanes to wait here while he follows Guido and Rudolph. Better to hold this meeting in private.

He also stays silent about the family air between the two, for it is possible that Guido may be a half brother. He remembers Flavia mentioning that it wasn't uncommon for noblemen to give their illigitimate sons places in their entourage.

What about the hunting horn? Is Clusius the one carrying it?

@Reminiscent it seems Peter and the other grogs are all alone at the keep! Nice opportunity to get into trouble! =D

Thankfully, Eustache reminds Clusius of the gift they brought, so the magus carries the wrapped package with him as he follows Guido and Rudolph.

Guido leads the path. You exit the keep by a side door and go down the mountain towards south, and then east. From time to time you get a glimpse of Laimunt valley between the trees. You hear the Birse running down below, and watch as a blackbird flies through the sky.

It takes about two minutes for you to reach the chapel. Sunlight shines upon a large cross in the courtyard, and as you enter the chapel you feel the your Gift waning ever so slightly.

The nave isn't large, perhaps 7 by 7 meters. The pews should be enough to accommodate at least 50 people, but the chapel is empty, except for one person. An old man, close to the altar, dressed in fine clothes. As your steps echoes through the stone floor he rises and looks behind. The resemblance to both Rudolph and Guido is clear. Guido stops at a respectful distance and announces the presence of Lord Rudolph Telsberg and mister Quentin de L'Ecluse, grandson of Leonardus de L'Ecluse.

According to what Clusius was previously informed, Otto should be at his seventies. He looks, however, at least 10 years younger. The old age doesn't seem to have diminished his physical prowess by much, for he rises without much difficulty and looks at you with clear eyes, which betray an attentive mind. He looks genuinely pleased with Rudolph's presence, as if he wasn't expecting it.

Rudolph approaches the old man and greets him. "At your request here I am, father. You better make it worth it".

Guido frowns, but says nothing. Otto just laughs.

"Nothing pleases me more than your presence, dear son! But let's first receive our guest, then talk." He turns towards Clusius.

"Welcome, grandson of Leonardus. I used to think of your grandfather as a friend, and it would please me if you could think the same of me." His voice is old, but doesn't falter as he speaks.

"Thank you, Burgraff Otto, for your welcome. My dear grandfather did speak well of you, as well, and I think he saw you as a friend also. I wish I could say he spoke much of you to me, but I cannot, for we only saw each other seldom. But he was good to me, and I want to honor his memory."

"You offer of friendship honors me," continue Clusius, "deeply. I bring you a small gift, something that was Leonardus. He received it from a friend, and I think he would have been happy it was offered to a friend as well." With that, Clusius presents the hunting horn.

Otto gets a bit surprised first, then opens a smile.

"This might be fate! My bones have not allowed me to hunt for some time now, but Rudolph is an excellent hunter! Do not think that I'm making little of your gift, but I do think it would be better suited to my son, and if it does not displeases you, I'd like to offer it to him instead."

Otto then starts recounting several hunts in which Rudolph has participated, praising his achievements. Through the next few minutes the subject stays the same, with Rudolph occasionally making comments, and it's clear that he is enjoying his father's compliments. If their tale is to be believed, Rudolph is indeed a fine hunter.

"Certainly, lord Otto," replies Clusius with a inclination of his head. Turning to Rudolph, he says, while presenting the horn, "Lord Rudolph, I hope you enjoy gift as sign of good will from us. I am not much good at hunting, but perhaps you can show me some day."

Rudolph graciously takes the horn.

"I shall accept this gift. We had a few disagreements earlier, but nothing serious, and a lord should do well to his subjects. Maybe we can go hunting next year. I shall offer you a proper gift in return by then."

Otto seems extremely satisfied with this exchange. Indeed, Clusius, in some way it seems to you that this was the whole point of this meeting (OOC: I took the liberty of making a secret folk ken roll for Clusius).

After a few more pleasantries, the burgraff turns to Rudolph.

"Well son, if you could excuse us, I still have a few things that I'd like to discuss to Quentin in private, regarding the business of his grandfather."

Rudolph's mood had been the most pleasant you had seen, with the tales and the gift, but it takes a turn south with this request. He doesn't take the request well.

"Father, shouldn't I stay? Any business that you have with him is business that I'm also going to deal with sooner or later."

"Yes, sooner or later, but not now. Now you need to oversee the guards and the keep. This is a more administrative matter. Guido will be enough."

This makes everything worse, somehow. Clusius notices that there are two aspects to his unwillingness to leave (OOC: I rolled really well for Clusius, a 20): first, concern about leaving his father alone with Clusius. He still seems a bit wary of the magus, might be just the Gift. The other thing is being asked to leave while Guido stays. If looks could kill, Guido would have been killed several times since you met both men.

Clusius stays silent, ill at ease with the scene between the father and son.

After some arguing Rudolph rises from a pew and leaves, displeased. He storming out offers a strange contrast with the otherwise silent and pious atmosphere of the chapel. You hear he saying, under his breath, as he passes by you: "Not worth it, after all". He leaves the hunting horn behind, and Guido quickly takes it for safekeeping.

The burgraff sighs.

"I'm sorry for that, Quentin. My son inherited the strong temper of my late wife. I had, however, to ask him to leave, for I'm not sure if you are comfortable to discuss the kind of services that your grandfather once provided me in front of him. I believe Rudolph knows a few rumours, but I chose to keep most of it a secret."

He takes a glance at Guido.

"Guido, on the other hand, knows a lot more. Essentially, all that I know he knows. He has been thrustworthy for the last 15 years, and I have faith he will keep being for the next 15 as well."

"Rudolph is right, however, in that someday he will need to learn... maybe I have protected him too much, for too long." The burgraff reminisces for a few seconds about the past.

"I appreciate you wanting me comfortable before discuss with your son," Clusius acknowledges to Otto in his broken High German, "but I afraid it just cause more resentment from Rudolph. No offense, but me first impression is the he quick to anger."

"In particular, he seem not like Guido here. You know why? Can you tell me?" He pauses, before adding, "They look alike much..."

Otto frowns and seems to resent the question a bit, but he answers.

"Well, it's not exactly a secret anyway."

"God knows I have loved no one but my wife, Vivien. You might have heard she passed away three years ago. She gave me four lovely daughters, and four mighty boys. From the boys, however, only Rudolph still lives. My youngest." He stops for a moment before continuing.

"While I have never loved another, I won't deny having met other women. Guido's mother was called Aurora. She died at childbirth."

Guido's face is as emotionless as a stonewall.

"But I don't want you to think that Guido's position is only for his relation to me. He is quickminded, competent, and has shown loyalty to me and the family time and time again. It's just that... he is older than Rudolph, and the boy is far too proud to ask his older brother for help." You see the smallest frown go through Guido's face when he hears this. It doesn't look like Otto noticed.

"If it seems that I tell you too much, know that this is related, in a way, to what I'd like to ask you. At the heart, Rudolph is a kind boy. He is just a bit misguided."

"Thanks to your grandfather I have lived much. Far too much, I think sometimes. It's past the time to step down and let Rudolph take over. But the boy will need some help with management. Help that Guido could give, if only Rudolph would let go of his pride."

"So, when I learned that you had come take over the manor where your grandfather lived, I thought: maybe two will succeed where one failed? Your grandfather gave me several good advices, time and time again. Maybe you can also provide some guidance to my son, and assist him and Guido when they need... well, sometimes the family requires a little push in the right direction, you know?"

"Grandfather Leonardus was very wise," responds Clusius. The young magus feels much sympathy for Guido, whose situation is probably much less secure than Otto appears to think. "I cannot claim such wisdom, but I be willing to provide advice, if Rudolph is willing to listen."

He takes a deep breath, before adding, "But what if he is not? What if he not like advice given to him?"

The burgraff seems confuse.

"Why wouldn't he? Rudolph can be difficult to deal with, but I'm sure he will open up with time."

Clusius shrugs a bit helplessly, "Time, as you say. I not know him, only just met him. But I see he is prone to anger. Anger cause he to take bad decision, drive people away."

"Other people, who covet Burgraff position, may use this time to undermine him. Such people always exist, no?"

OOC: after rolling a couple of dice.

Otto takes a few minutes to explain that no one else has a real claim to the burgraff position besides his son. And anyway, Rudolph will grow into the role. He proceeds to tell a few tales of Rudolph's achievements and military prowess to exemplify how capable Rudolph is.

All that Clusius can hear is a father that has spoiled his son and has trouble seeing how much risk actually exists. It's not that he doesn't acknowledge the risk. He just doesn't take it seriously. How bad can it be? And if all goes south, you can do your thing and fix it (the burgraff waves his hands in an incomprehensible way).

"I understand, Lord Otto," says Clusius after all of these explanations. "I will do my best to provide Rudolph with the advice he needs."

Otto seems pleased. After a bit more of small talk he asks Guido to accompany Clusius back to his servants, and the two of you begin your walk towards the main keep.

Clusius takes this opportunity to speak with Guido. Slowing his pace, he asks the steward, "Guido, sorry for being blunt, but I am worried about this. Can you see how things can go badly? As I said, Rudolph does not seem to like you much. What will happen when he is Burgraff, do you think?"