Seeing his advisor Noah making light conversation with the Merchant Princess of Tredony immediately irritates him.
King Ivan walks over and interrupts Advisor Noah’s conversation. “I am so glad to see that you are safe here in the castle making merry with some princess while I have just come back from a ship attack,” Ivan says sarcastically.
“Pray pardon my Lord… I had no idea.”
“Obviously,” Ivan answers quickly.
“You must show me on the tactical map where this attack took place,” Noah says, not taking the King’s chiding words to heart.
“Anon…first you must clear the room. This information is not to be overheard,” King Ivan orders.
“Certainly… right away your majesty!” Noah answers.
King Ivan retreats to his sleeping chamber briefly while Noah works clearing all of the nobles and high borns out of the King’s strategy room. He pulls out a whistle to summon his parrot.
Cruel flies down from high up in the ramparts of the castle to King Ivan’s arm. “There you are! Who is your king and future ruler of the largest kingdom of our time?” Ivan asked the bird, which has become sort of a daily affirmation ritual.
“You are, you are… you are!” The birds squeaks his answer.
As a young peasant child growing up, Ivan scrapped together coin for bread and milk for his family by training wild birds and selling them as pets. As he aged, his talent level improved and he learned how to train birds such as Cruel to attack on command...a skill that often comes in quite handy.
Ivan gives Cruel a treat and dismisses him, before heading back to the nearly emptied strategy room.
“Where did this attack occur, Your Majesty?” Advisor Noah asks.
King Ivan places a marker on the map, “About two miles from the coast, right about here. We were attacked soon after we found the wreckage.”
Noah responds by placing his own marker on the board. “Hmm, that is close to Tredonian trade routes… those waters are not known to be dangerous. Maybe there was something in the wreckage that the attackers wanted.”
“Does it matter the reason… no one should dare attack a king unless they desire a war!”
Advisor Noah stares at the map, going through every possible scenario in his head. “Mayhap it was the pirates of Aarbyville involved. Tredony and Aarbyville have been at each other’s throat for years, but generally they do not involve other kingdoms in their conflicts.”
“Well, they have involved the wrong one… have they not?” King Ivan asks angered with no patience in going through possible reasons for his attack. Left up to him, the waters around Vialdami would be tinted red with the blood of his attackers by midday.
Advisor Noah does not agree, “ My Lord… we should not be so hasty. There could be another explanation and as of yet… we do not have the defenses in place to engage in war. I shall summon our scouts. Maybe they can tell us more.”
Ivan realizes that Noah is correct. Great kingdoms are not built with impulsivity… they are built with patience and smarts.
Ivan walks over and stares at the map once again, taking as much in before walking away…
… he walks downstairs to his throne room realizing that the best thing they could do at the moment is gather knowledge and be prepared in case things become dire.