The court of Stevata is gripped by a fevered clamour. The war has been bloody for Stevata, thousands of sons, husbands, brothers and fathers cut down in their prime, never to hold their loved ones again, and for the first time in months, there is a glimmer of peace. The peace terms offered by Komentiolos are stark, calling for no blame to be leveled, and the foothold of Komentiolos in Kavatsona maintained, but that price comes in exchange for peace, an end to the bloodshed, and yet, Oswald's court has never been more divided. There are those who call for peace, and yet there are still those who call for war. Oswald is a young king, but is determined to not be manipulated, like the newly crowned King Niklas IV has been, to the south in Altenten, and so he makes a point of giving both sides the chance to argue their case. It is the ageing nobleman, Lord Witalis Tarka that steps forward as the spokesman for peace, and that in itself is little surprise. After all, it was still early on in this bloody war that Witalis lost his first-born son, cut down storming the walls at the second Siege of Kronik, and it was only in the last couple of weeks that news reached Oswald of the lord's second son also falling at the chaotic Battle of Chersonesus. Witalis is a man who has lost much in these wars, and he argues now that Stevata should take the opportunity for peace, so that those who have already suffered can finally grieve. And besides, Komentiolos has gathered a vast army, and to try and dislodge them from their stronghold, all while guarding against the hounding of Altenten and Kalseran's armies, would surely cost tens of thousands of Stevatan lives, and drag this bloody war on for months, if not years.
The man who steps forward to call for war comes as no great surprise either. In the aftermath of the dark riders, before even the war with Dorist, what already seems like a lifetime ago, it was Lord Andrzej Mrotek who had been one of the first to call for war then. Oswald may still be inexperienced in statecraft, but Andrzej is a man who has already caught his attention more than once. A veteran of the first Siege of Kronik, more than twenty years past, Andrzej is a man driven almost to ruin by the loss of Shardvul to Dorist, his families estates torn away, and in this hardship, the lord's resentment soured, and became a bitter hatred for Dorist, and all it's people. Even now that the war is Dorist is won, and Andrzej's ancestral heritage returned, the bullish man seems to have developed a taste for bloodshed. He claims that the alliance of Komentiolos is crumbling by the day, that the atrocities in Aegyptus will drive away Kalseran, Reria and Altenten, and without it's allies fleets defending it's shores, Komentiolos will be fighting a war on a dozen fronts, and even with their vast conscript army, they will be torn apart, like a stag by a pack of wolves. Both of these lords are well-respected, and they command significant influence, so Oswald is careful to thank them both for their insight, before retreating to his personal chambers. The decision rests squarely on the King's young shoulders, and whatever path chosen, it will surely shape the fate of not just Stevata, but perhaps of Europe itself...Hours later...
After what feels like an eternity, King Oswald exits the room. Immediately he calls the nobility to him and responds with as much grace and resolve the young king can muster, "My dear brothers and sisters of Stevata. This decision weighs heavily on my mind, but I believe that God has given me wisdom. My commands are thus; the terms listed by "Caesar of the South" are egregious and an outright travesty. After instigating the war against our allies of Khazaria, assaulting the lands of our allies at Paranas and forcibly taking them, now he graces us with his "terms?" And what are those terms? To cede our allies land to him without protest, and to not blame them for their sins in stoking the flames of war from the outset. This is not even to mention their known atrocities against their former colony Aegyptus. No. These terms will not stand...." A long pause stills the room. So quiet the sound of a pin drop could be heard. "However.." the young King continues, "I do not wish for any more of our people's blood to be shed on foreign shores, against foreign armies with foreign languages. New terms will be crafted with the agreement of our allies and the nations of the Western Alliance."
Oswald waits for some time to get an understanding of his noble's responses. His words are weighty, yet filled with the fire of passion. Whether or not they agree with his choices, his nobility knows he is looking out for their nation above all. After addressing any questions or comments from them, they are dismissed. Then he calls for a scribe.
Present day banquet Stevata...
King Oswald thinks to himself, "His response was not completely unpredictable. Yet, it is a travesty that more blood must be shed on behalf of a cruel dictator."
He takes a sip from a golden chalice of fine red wine and sighs. After a few seconds he exclaims out loud in his banquet hall which includes leaders and delegates from most of the nations of Europe, "Even without the signature of Komentiolios, I ask that you will sign with us in the treaty outlined. And if necessary, supply us with the necessary materiel to end this war quickly and decisively. Call forth messengers to your respective leadership if they are not currently present. If they cannot aid us in this way, sign the trade agreements to increase commerce from West to East. War need not come between our two alliance blocs. Rather, trade, friendship and goodwill."