Collaboration with: @TheDuncanMorgan
Alasdair has only been away from the honour table for a few minutes and already he had been ‘ambushed’ by a number of different guests. He had only just escaped Anera Greensworth and her painfully dramatic ‘thankyou’ for allowing her family to maintain control over Ralda. Unfortunately there was only one noble who Alasdair was interested in having a lengthy discussion with and that was Eli Blackwell. Though it was already clear that this man was his new rival, he still knew very little about him.
Alasdair’s trail of thought was interrupted as he noticed a figure who stood out amongst the sea of nobles: A slender, gaunt and pale man dressed in black trousers, a light green tunic with a golden trim, high black boots and a long black coat. He was holding a goblet filled with a beverage unknown to Alasdair and presented himself with a certain degree of confidence. Alasdair immediately identified him as Ignocious Phlemonte, the master Alchemist; someone Alasdair had invited personally to the party. His work had not gone unnoticed by the crown and Alasdair had hoped to meet him during this event. With him was a older man with dark graying hair, kept in a braid and a goatee of the same color, though whoever he was it was of little concern to Alasdair.
“Ignocious I presume” Alasdair spoke as he strode up to him
At the sound of his name, Ignocious took a long drink from his goblet of wine before turning toward the voice. There stood the king himself. How interesting.
“Your grace,” Uncle’s shock was palpable as he hurriedly went into a deep bow, clicking his tongue at Ignocious to do the same.
“Your grace,” Ignocious said slowly before giving a small bow.
He could practically hear Uncle groan beside him at Ignocious’s shallow bow compared to his own. By this point surely the entirety of the court would know Ignocious would not pander to the gentry and their whims. Of course, that led to low funding and scarce backing for his projects.
Alasdair raised an eyebrow at desultory bow but decided against saying anything
“I am glad you decided to attend, from what I gather you are a hard man to reach. I must say I am surprised that such a skilled and accomplished Alchemist such as yourself is not better known amongst the nobility”. Alasdair turned to face Ignocious’s older companion “and you are”?
Ignocious chuckled at the mention of being hard to reach. It wasn’t so much he was hard to reach as he locked himself in his lab and refused most visitors.
“Ah, Your Grace, it’s not that I’m unknown rather that I have an… infamous reputation among the nobility of the court.”
“Lynus Galdrin, Your Grace. This young man’s mentor since he first joined our ranks,” Uncle went into another deep bow as he spoke.
“I pleasure to meet you” Alasdair said before turning his attention back to Ignocious “from what I gather you have been able to develop a form of explosive powder, independant of that which has been developed by the Riogail Sovereignty. Tell me despite the clear potential that such a technology holds, how is it that so few have chosen to invest in your research”?
“I have, Your Grace. That would also be due to my infamous personality amongst the court. They feel I am difficult to work with, and none of them wish to be a patron to my research either from their own experience or due to the words of others. I have managed to get some backing here and there but no regular and committed funding. I manage though.”
Ignocious gave a nod and took another drink from his wine. Uncle was looking uncomfortable as he spoke. He usually did when Ignocious spoke to the nobility, but this time it was the king himself.
“I see. Personally, on matters such as these, I always think it best to judge a man on his abilities, rather whether one likes one's personality, no? Such weapons could be used to help secure our new empire from those who would do it harm. Perhaps we could reach some sort of arrangement to which you will be satisfied”? Alasdair replied
Uncle nearly choked on his drink, but Ignocious barely blinked at the surprising offer.
“Oh, I agree, Your Grace. Which is why my infamous personality has not changed,” Ignocious smirked as he spoke, “Now that sounds like an interesting topic, Your Majesty.”
Ignocious raised his glass to the king and drank. He was glad he allowed Uncle to drag him to this party now and would have to thank him later. The king himself not only approached him but offered to fund his research to top it off.
While Alasdair’s face remained unchanged he was somewhat irked by the disrespectful nature that Ignocious was showing his king, it was likely this personality that has driven away so many potential investors. However what Alasdair had said earlier still held true, he didn’t have to like this man to get what he wanted from him.
“Tell me, with the correct funding how do you think you will best be able to utilize this technology”?
“An excellent question, Your Grace. With time and funding I believe I can take the idea of the Su Yuta with their explosive vases and make them more compact to be easier for infantry to carry on their person and lob at enemies. I also believe I could take the fireworks they use and make them longer lasting so a lost individual can fire them into the air and mark their location or a soldier to fire from afar and light something a blaze.”
Alasdair thought for a moment; while the flare did sound like a useful tool it was the explosive vases that truly interested him. He would like to see the famed Blackwell dragonguard try to fend off against explosives.
“This sounds very promising, very promising indeed. Perhaps we could come to some sort of an arrangement. I will fund your research; a Silver-Half Trite per week along with covering the cost of three alchemists of your choice. I will give you two months to produce something to encourage me to continue to support your funding. If I am not satisfied however then all funding to your project will be cut and your reputation will suffer so much that you will find it different to fund any research again. How does that sound to you”?
If by some chance he failed to impress the king then he would be back where he started in the first place. His reputation among the court was essentially already mud, but he still had ways of getting funding, so he wasn't worried about the minute chance of failure and the consequences that would come with it. The three alchemists were a bit much, but having underlings would be an interesting change of pace from his solitary work.
“That sounds excellent, Your Grace. My first choice is Uncle,” as he spoke he gestured to Lynus with his glass.
“Feel free to choose who you like, so long as if you produce results. Anyway I shall not keep you from the celebrations any longer” Alasdair said, while his conversation with Ignocious had proven to be a pleasant surprise he still had to find Eli before the parties end. “I shall send a messenger to you with the appropriate funding and in return you will give him a report of your work so I remain informed”.
“As you wish… Your Grace.”
Ignocious watched the king walk away from behind his glass. Beside him Lynus stood, face flushed and mouth agape.
“I’m as surprised as you are, Uncle. I must thank you for dragging me here now. I trust you to find two more capable bodies for this venture.”
“Of… of course, my boy. I will begin interviewing possible candidates tomorrow. Even with the King's own funding it may prove difficult to find anyone willing to work with you. You have got to do something about your attitude, my boy,” though it sounded like a scorn, Lynus smiled warmly as he said it.
“Yes, yes, I am all too aware of my reputation within the guild. It's not my fault they can't give or follow directions properly.”