06.27.3013: A Good Swift Kick
Summary: Agnes visits Emund in the hospital his father is confined to, to express the concerns of the people and bolster him. It goes as well as can be expected.
Date: 27 June 2013
Related: Arboren Peake Family Meeting
Agnes Emund 

Waiting Room — Willowtree Hospital
See log.
27 June 3013

Willowtree Hospital is a graceful building of spotless white corridors and rooms painted calming pastel colors. One wing has been carefully quarantined, guarded by very serious men and women in armor of purple and gold. Even here in the hospital, their carry spears, wear swords at their hips, and have their hard light shields ignited. When Agnes announces herself and her request, she is directed to a small waiting room off the patients' room. It has a few couches, and looks as if at least one person has effectively been living there. After a long ten minutes, Prince Emund Sauveur slips into the room, nodding a greeting, "Sir Agnes, what can I do for you?" Since the tourney, he looks to have gained twenty years, bags under his eyes, his hair and beard unkept, lines on his face, and his shoulders slumped.

Sir Agnes Peake is uneasy. She is wearing simple garb, breeches of soft leather and a tunic over it, with a cloak. She has a letter of condolence addressed to all of the Sauveur children in one hand, along with a simple favor, a linen handkerchief that she has painstakingly (and not terribly prettily) hand embroidered a bear onto. When Emund enters, she rises, and her eyes reflect the horror at how the situation has painted itself on his features. She bows, deeply, before straightening and clearing her throat. "Forgive the intrusion, Your Highness. I come bearing words from my family to yours, and something for yourself from me." She hands over the letter and the square of linen, swallowing hard. "I know that it is a difficult time, but I was hoping to talk to you, briefly."

Emund frowns curiously at the words, turning the puzzled look down at the handkerchief before he gestures to one of the couches, his training taking over as he waits until she's seated, then drops down into the couch across from it with a sigh, "Of course, Sir Agnes. Forgive me…" his eyes blink shut for a long moment, and then he shakes his head, opening them once more, "I haven't been sleeping well. Enough. Either."

"Prince Emund, the people are worried about you," Agnes says softly. "I am worried about you. You are so deeply in grief it is as if the rest of the universe doesn't exist to you anymore." She takes a breath, trying to choose her words carefully. "You are needed, deeply, in this time of war. You have training, you have an understanding of strategy. I know it is not yet the end of the customary mourning period, Your Highness, but the Hostiles do not seem to understand etiquette and they are here, now. People are dying, and your strength of leadership is desperately needed. I fear that if you do not make it known that you are still among the living, we will all die under the leadership of your sister, who does not understand war as you do." She bites her lip, concern very evident.

Emund leans forward on his knees, his hair falling about his face, "I am needed here as well, Sir Agnes. My father needs me. There have already been so many lost already… I fear to inflict on others the grief that I now feel." He lets out another sigh, "How many will die at my orders if I do not give the right ones? How many will die even if I do give the right ones?"

"Trust in your advisors, my Prince, if you are unsteady in your own thoughts, ask their opinions, bolster their ideas. You do no one any good here, away from your people. They are frightened, angry, lost. They feel abandoned and the rumors abound that you are no longer fit as Heir." Agnes leans forward in a similar manner, so she can look him in the eye. "Emund, please. Tell me truthfully, do you wish for your sister to rule? Do you wish to abdicate as Heir? Because the Houses are even now sending your father word as or whether or not they prefer an absentee Prince to take the crown, or his more visible, ambitious, sister. The people, as a whole, do not understand how dangerous it is, during a 40 years war, to have a non-combatant on the throne. They do not realize that your sister is likely very ill suited to the command of a people under the banner of military action. All they see is that your sister is acknowledging them, and that you have become a ghost."

Emund looks down at his hands for a long, silent moment, "I… I do not know. Am I the right person fo the job?" By the sound of it, the question is a rhetorical one, just the care-worn man musing to himself, "Will there truly be any noncombatants by the end of this war?" He turns his hands palm-up before him, dry-washing them, "I will do my duty as my father sees it, Sir Agnes, as I must. It's true that my sister has a driving ambition, but she is my sister, she is family." A dry, wearly laugh erupts from his throat, fading away again immediately, "She has been as prepared for this as I. Neither of us was intended for the throne."

"Do you love your father, Emund? Because I loved mine, dearly. And I have lived my life as an example of that love, by being honorable, good, and strong. By defending those unable to defend themselves, by protecting the innocent, and by giving a dear, royal friend a swift kick in the ass when he is not seeing the forest for the trees," Agnes states firmly, standing. She bends to try to help Emund to his feet. "You are a living, breathing, man, Emund. Start acting like one. You did me a kindness once, now I do the same for you. Stand up, show the King that you are his son and rightful heir. Help us win this war once and for all, and live up to the goodness and strength I know you have. I KNOW it. You stood by your wife even when she could not give you a child. You mourned for her as a loving husband should. You have been by your father's side through his decline. But you have higher duties and you must get past the grief to carry them out. I have spoken all these things to both Peake and Arboren who support you based on my words. I have told them you will break away from this gloom you've wrapped yourself in. Please, Emund, do not tarnish my honor and make my words false."

Emund looks up as the tall woman stands, allowing himself to be drawn to his feet, although he knuckles his back as he does, grimacing at a twinge there. Already an inch shorter than the woman, his slouch puts him another inch or so lower still. "I thank you and your family — and your Paramount House — for your support, but this is not a crisis of succession, Sir Agnes. My father will make his choice, and if it is me, I will do my duty to Haven." What could have been brave, rallying words are delivered in that same tired voice, and he sighs at the end of them, reaching up to scratch just a touch at his beard. The faintest of dry smiles climbs its way out of the beard, and he adds, "Perhaps that will teach you to speak for a member of the royal family, Sir Agnes…" He shakes his head, and the smile vanishes once more, "As I said, I will do my duty as needed, as I ever have." But his heart isn't in it.

Tears well in Agnes' eyes. Her jaw is tight as she listens to him. It's like listening to a shadow of the man she knew. "Don't do this. Don't just give up, please. We need you. I need you." Feeling she has overstepped her bounds, she releases his arm and steps back, lowering her eyes. "I have said all I can say, Your Highness. Please convey the condolences of House Peake to your family. Please let King Symion know I have always thought highly of him. Good day, Prince Emund." With that, she heads for the door, gritting her teeth.

Emund turns that scratching at his beard into a full-handed stroke, looking a little surprised at the added length to it. Sighing again and straightening up a touch to knuckle at his back again, he shakes his head, "As I said, Sir Agnes… if my father wishes me to rule, I will do my duty." He pauses then before he bows his head in a nod, "I will pass the message along to my father. Thank you for stopping by."

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