Twilight settled into Sunray's study. He felt... odd being here. But he trusted that Nagi would feel much more at ease, the seating was comfortable, they had privacy, and if the need should arise - lots and lots of reference material.
Of course he sat in the chair that looked just like the one his father had always enjoyed. Dad.
He firmly pushed that thought aside. They had much to talk about today and that's why he had sent an invitation for the prince to join him for instruction after Audience.
Nagi walked toward the study with a mild feeling of trepidation. He hoped he didn't do anything to embarrass himself. He also hoped Twilight wasn't angry about his and Schuldig's "spar." Or if he was, Nagi hoped the regent wouldn't take it out on him.
He paused briefly outside the door to gather his wits a bit before stepping into the study, casting a brief, longing look at the shelved books. Well, he'd have time to read later.
"Good afternoon, Lord Twilight," he murmured as he took his seat.
Twilight offered Nagi a small smile. He wondered if the young Prince approached everything looking like a tightly coiled spring. He'll have to get over that eventually.
"Good afternoon, Prince Nagi," he greeted and waited until Nagi had seated. "Well, let's begin instruction, shall we? As you're starting a monarchy, I feel I have much to say on the matter. Let's begin with some of the most important aspects. I think a good place for that would be succession. It's never too early to make contingency plans, as I'm sure you know. By the time you're coronated, you should know exactly what will happen if you topple over dead as soon as that crown touches you."
A bit morbid way of putting it but, well, it WAS important. "As things stand, assuming you run a traditional monarchy, you have no heir so rule will go directly to your wife and any regents that you name. This is because we're assuming you've at least been crowned, at which point, any regents appointed by Lucifer need to either be re-appointed or reassigned. It's a bit tedious but it's important. Legal loose ends have a nasty habit of biting one in the ass. He-said, she-said legal appointments, especially over the crown, can become long, nasty, drawn out affairs when the death of a king is sad enough as it is."
"So, that being said, one of my first suggestions is that you consider a list of at least three people, in order, of who you want to rule in your stead if the worst should happen. And I highly, highly suggest you prepare to pick a regent to rule with your wife, or in place of, immediately after your coronation. Hell, perhaps the day of, depending on how you arrange it. You could have all the paperwork ready and just sign it that morning or that night or the day after; whatever."
Nagi nodded, suddenly glad Locket wasn't there to hear that particular speech. The thought that queens actually did things seemed to have her worried enough. "As it stands at the moment, Crawford is my first choice for regency," he told Twilight. Though, how the seer would deal with having to work with Locket in that capacity was anyone's guess.
Twilight just gave a slight nod. "Well that's one person but I say at least three because life is unpredictable as hell and it's good to have a chain of command. Just in case. Who knows." He gave the prince a slight smirk. "The continent might sink."
He idly wondered why he kept going to dark and morbid humor. Being in here must be rattling me or something. "Next order of business. You are running a monarchy but you are an adopted prince. There's nothing wrong with that, especially this early in the establishment of things. However, I can assure you, that people feel most comfortable with normalcy. If rumors are to be believed, Khelek is especially true of this. I don't know how important it is to you, but I think it'd be a good idea to firmly establish the image and idea of your House as a family, not just as the ruler. This might sound a bit vain but you will want to take opportunities to flaunt yourself in the public. In fact, you might want to tell your wife this as I think this is something she'd be more comfortable with than you."
"Find ways to show off your house's symbol, plan events, begin establishing yourselves socially and culturally. I'm sure I could go up to any Khelekian and ask them who rules as their king and they'll tell me 'Lucifer Kazimir'. But if I ask them what kind of man he and his family are, what kind of reputation his House has, what would they say? And if you plan on establishing a court and other nobles, then this becomes essential. Mark my words, Nagi, if House Kazimir doesn't become a familiar icon to Khelek and you begin granting noble ranks to other families, they might be much more swift to win the public love, such as it is, of your people and that can become a dagger in your back someday - if not in your lifetime, then that of your children or descendants."
Oh, Forces. How was he going to manage that? Well, getting Dispator taken care of certainly had to count for something, and he'd gone out himself rather than stay cloistered in the palace.
Nagi sighed inwardly. "And whatever other regents are chosen need to be long-time residents, if not natives, and not recent immigrants. Khelek isn't fond of outsiders, though the capitol's residents are slightly more tolerant than they were. We need people that can respect Khelek's culture without feeling the need to cling to certain things--like the old burial method--just for tradition's sake, but who also won't just cast things aside simply because they don't see the point, or push for too many changes too quickly."
"Now you're thinking," Twilight agreed. "There's a lot of ups and downs to being the first couple kings of your land. This is a good example of that. If you like, you should make Crawford one regent and find a native co-regent you can trust. And after that establish whatever you want."
"This is really the biggest bone of contention you'll need to deal with. All the other aspects of ruling - law making and enforcing, taxation, and so on. Those are always the same old headaches for every king now and since the dawn of monarchy and will continue until kings are no more. I wouldn't sweat it much. You'll say something, people will bitch and moan, but so long as you've done a good job and are a fair king, they'll obey. What makes a fair king and what doesn't really comes down to a matter of relationship between king and his people. You have to consider yourself one of them and you have to let them know that otherwise it's easy to put distance between you and your actions when your people won't see that."
He smiled wanly. "I don't think you'll have that problem. You seem like a good man to me. Like you care. That's important. Anarlina succeeds because Dusk and I love and care for our people."
He had almost said Sunray. Twilight cast his eyes down and took a breath. He didn't want to go into this, but... well... "You're married, and given your choice of wife, I am confident that it was for love and not for anything else. But a word of advice for you to pass on to your son. Remember that just like it's easy to view your people as distant objects to be manipulated, it's also easy to view other important things as mere commodities - like marriage. But an unhappy marriage makes for unhappy monarchs and unhappy monarchs cannot rule efficiently. They might for a time - they might be able to grin and bear whatever sorrow there is in their life, but if it's something persistent, something that won't ever go away just by being ignored, it will wear you down. Take this to heart; don't let anything in your life simply fester."
After a pause, he added very softly. "That needed to be said, however uncomfortable for either of us it might be to say it. Promise me that, if nothing else, you'll remember that bit of advice."
Dusk and Sunray, Nagi thought, easily adding two and two together. He doubted it would be uncomfortable for Twilight to say otherwise. The former king and reigning queen had been excellent actors. He hadn't had the slightest inkling that all was not well between them when they'd come to Khelek. Hell, Schuldig hadn't noticed, and he'd met the couple months before Nagi had. He wondered if perhaps that same sort of festering Twilight was warning him of was what had driven Nalani away from her priesthood. Either way, it was certainly something he'd rather avoid.
He looked at Twilight and gave a solemn nod. "I promise," he said seriously, the gravity of his expression seeming to age the young man several years. "I suspect that there's a fine line, too, between what you describe and what personal sacrifices a leader has to make for the good of his people."
Last Edit: Jul 2, 2009 15:47:26 GMT -5 by Darastrix
Post by Kender Bard on Jul 2, 2009 15:58:11 GMT -5
Twilight smiled quite sadly. "There is. And it can become incredibly hard to tell where that line is. The only thing I can say on that is this: if what you're doing helps your country but makes your entire life unbearable, then don't do it. Too many people get it in their heads that it's the duty of the king or queen to give their entire selves to the land, but that just simply isn't true. Whatever one act you do that might bring them happiness, if it doesn't kill you, you still need to rule and what's left behind after that sacrifice might not be fit."
"Hopefully you'll find you don't need to make many of those sacrifices, friend."
Twilight was pensively quiet a moment before he cleared his throat. "Any questions on, well, anything? We can end today's lessons here or I can move on to the next aspect of reigning, which really is just more to do with image. Image, image, image." Twilight made a face.
Post by Kender Bard on Jul 2, 2009 16:46:40 GMT -5
"You can still be quiet and be in charge," Twilight agreed. "That way when you do say things, people notice. It's like a miser who suddenly buys something. It must be important to squander his words on. I'm not in favor of that style of rule but mostly because I couldn't manage it. I'm a Flamehart; my family is notorious for being passionate in everything we do. But what remains the same is that we're confident. You need to be able to stare the worst case scenario in the face and make it look like you have everything in hand. It not only gives your enemies pause, but it encourages those around you, comforts them. A comforted people will listen and in times of need that's crucial."
Twilight studied Nagi and suddenly gave a small smile. "I have an idea. Tomorrow, I will arrange for a mock Audience with you and Locket sitting as the King and Queen. It'll be rehearsed, so I will know what you're going to be ask and it will be nothing I haven't had to deal with myself." For what that's worth. "The entire time I'm going to be looking for two things - that you maintain your composure and aura of competence, and how you answer. Afterwards, I'll tell you what you need to do differently. How's that sound?"
Post by Kender Bard on Jul 2, 2009 17:53:31 GMT -5
"Exactly," Twilight agreed, smiling at the younger man. "Don't worry, we'll be relatively gentle. You are, of course, welcome to attend the true audience with us as our guests, though you might fall asleep with boredom. I think that's good enough for today then. Tomorrow we'll work some more." Twilight rose. "And you can always come back to ask me a question if one suddenly occurs to you."
Post by Kender Bard on Jul 2, 2009 18:22:11 GMT -5
"We have a training field just for that," Twilight replied, smiling a bit wider. "Head towards the barracks, or ask for directions if you're not sure where it is, and then tell whoever is there you'd like to do some sign work and they'll point you towards the area. The entire field is meant to cater to almost all the elements but if you want to work with something more specific, something can be set up for you."