@Rhiven Knight Rhayven said, "Perhaps it is not my place to say so, but acting against the dragon with the present state of things seems unwise. The dragon took her, rather than burning her in the wreckage of that city as he well could have, so he must have some motivation that keeps her alive. For the moment, then, we should turn our eyes on how to best the dragon, protect our people, and assure victory, rather than racing and risking when such isn't necessary. With careful preparation, and thorough understanding, Abraxas will fall, and gods willing the princess be saved."
The king leaned on the table and nodded. "Aye, well-said, Sir Rhayven. If Abraxas truly meant to destroy us, he could have already done so. I agree, we should take the time he has given us to consider our strategy."@Lumiere "The ancient weapons vould be the best place to start," Aarkenhan suggested. "If Abraxas vill not cease its violence through persuasion, alone, we must be ready to respond in kind. If there is any love for the goblinoids or other aberrations who've taken The Crown of Ispar, I should know, now."
A guffaw came out of the king's throat. "Love for goblinoids? No fear of that, I assure you. Gathering the ancient weapons is an excellent idea."@AtomicNut
Up to this point, everyone had pointedly ignored the Ispari conversation, but Darvus brought it to the forefront. "Very disrespectful indeed, I would say. You have heard and chose to answer the summons of this kingdom. It would do good to the both of you if you were so kind to put... this little business with my lord Father the King first, and then your Ispari spats second."
To Gerald, he said, "Do that, brother, and that will earn you a bunch of magical ash and an aggravated dragon. That beast is ancient, even more so than this kingdom, and yet it has survived. I am sure people have tried that obvious
strategy before. And it probably failed. You should heed my words and put those mages where they belong."
General Hedstrong swallowed wrong and had a coughing fit, followed by snorts of restrained laughter.
Vali narrowed her eyes at Darvus.
Gerald made to speak, but the Prince continued. "Sir Rhayven does have a point, we should not thread this lightly, and while i do not place much faith in wondrous artifacts, I'd gauge that the beast's prowess and firepower matches several kingdoms
given by the fragmented historical records as a conservative estimate. We would need scores of powerful siege weapons raining death for days on his lair at the minimum to obtain any kind of result."
Silence fell over the council room.
"I don't think we can beat the dragon. My lord father is asking for the impossible. Then again, here is here and now is now. The past has shown that some impossible feats can be achieved. So mayhaps. Mayhaps we oughta use the artifact search... as an excuse to scour the kingdoms for the artifacts and any piece of information which can get us leverage. I doubt he will be very open to diplomacy given our limited information, but... it's better to have strength to back up diplomacy."
The king nodded. The queen continued her death-stare at Darvus.
"And one more thing. I know it's said impossible. And some people call me sullen... craven... moody. But even I am tied by duty, and bound by blood. My sister the princess was taken. And I swear with all of you as witnesses I shall see her safe return, or I shall never return at all. This much I will guarantee."
Queen Vali turned away and ran a hand through her hair, letting out a low hiss of anger at the prince's last words. Alexander took one look at her and knew he had to say something. "Then, Darvus...make sure you return." He rubbed Vali's shoulder and coaxed her to face the council again.@Pie Flavor"I agree with the young prince," said Gallagher. "To even think about trying to defeat the dragon with the strength that we currently possess, or could try to muster, would be an unfeasible task. The plan for gathering more information is ideal for our current situation, as for where we current stand is quite disappointing for the lack of knowledge we currently have on the situation. Even if the opportunities for us to do diplomacy are few in number, to have more options for us to take is preferable."
"Information versus knowledge..." the king mused.
Count Runeglass rapped his cane on the floor and snorted. "Sounds like a lot of nothing to me."
General Hedstrong gestured to Gallagher. "Come on, the old man's got a point. Lotsa truth and lotsa fiction coming in, but not a whole lot we know
Some muttering came from one corner of the room, and everyone turned to listen. “The mage idea has very little chance of working. We don’t know the dragon's motives and how he might react to an attack. It could end up in an attack against the kingdom, so taking all the backup possible would be a poor idea as it would leave the kingdom undefended. The mages they speak of might be most useful as a defense in the case of an attack. We don’t know much about the relics, but they could end up being our best shot. While a full frontal attack might not work, what would happen if it was kept more small and less obvious? Try and save the princes without them knowing, or escaping before they can get us. Although that might also be a poor idea for obvious reasons: the dragon might re-attack and we would be less powerful. Mayhap there is information regarding dragons in more ancient texts, although I doubt they have any they haven’t already read or consulted...”
When she realized people were staring, she murumured and apology and looked down at her shoes.
The King smiled. "No, no need to apologize. You have some good thoughts there. It seems we have reached a consensus, so I will issue an official order: Locate the Ancient Relics and return them to Southaven for research.
Any comments, questions, or objections?"