Richard was alone, in his chambers, when Callwenn came for him. Richard had only recently arrived in Hailshore, having returned from one of his near semi-permanent tours around the family’s dominion. Even now he was engrossed in the business of the province, hunched over any number of papers and financial documents that he had gathered from his recent circuit, collating them into a coherent set of accounts and financial projections. Every now and again he could be found muttering various equations to himself over and over again to keep them fresh in his memory as he scrabbled around for a clean sheet of paper to write them down on. Pinned up on a wall was a crude map of the region, scribbled by Richard’s own hand. It was geographically inaccurate but it was close enough to allow a man to identify key roads, locations and give rough guides as to distance. Richard would never use this for actual navigation but he did occasionally use it for planning purposes. Currently various little tabs of paper had been loosely stuck to this map, showing the key figures for each settlement and with pinned on arrows showing the major trade through fares, with small pictures of the key goods moved long those routes. All of this was in aid of his economic planning, a few wax tablets lay on a nearby stool, with hastily scrawled plans and initiatives. The vast majority of these were unfeasible and hair brained ideas but that was how Richard often worked, creating any number of ideas from the tragically flawed to the inspired and then running the numbers through these ideas to weed out the week before he would ever present them to the wider world.
Callwenn’s appearance was both unexpected and unwelcome, it was not that Richard disliked the man but rather the fact that Richard never liked to be disturbed when deep in economic planning. Still a knock at the heavy oaken door demanded his attention and so, with a world weary sigh the man stood up to open the door and receive his visitor. The less than impressive serving boy was greeted with a raised eyebrow and a few moments of irritated silence before Richard remembered himself and said.
“What is it you require my boy?”
“Sir... your presence is urgently required in the hall. I…. I am to gather the rest of the family there…. I don’t know what it’s about sir.” The serving boy spoke in slightly broken tones, partly due to his age but partly due to his nervousness and inexperience, a factor that was compounded by the fact that several of the people he was about to talk to were known for cleaving skulls.
“Very well, off with you then. I’ll head to the hall at once.” Richard was still slightly irritated about the whole affair, ever grumpy when interrupted mid flow but whatever it was that was going on it seemed genuinely important. Waving Callwenn on Richard paused only to pick up his sword before stalking down the cold stone halls to the hold’s great hall. Even in these halls he liked to remain armed, if not armoured. For now he was wearing his more normal clothes, they consisted of plain and simple fabrics with a heafty scattering of furs and pelts, though since we was indoors he was not wearing the outermost layers. Still though, he looked like what he was, a man who spent far too long out in the cold.
Once he had eventually arrived in the great hall Richard cast his eye about him, those bright blue orbs drifting across the room with the same slow, fluid movement of an owl gently turning it’s head. But this calm only lasted a few brief moments. After a while nervous energy began to take control of him and Richard found himself pacing up and down the hall, turning sharply on his heel every so often with a well-practiced twist. He did not know what was going on but he knew it was both important and unexpected and this made him somewhat uncomfortable, even more so since it seemed to demand the presence of the entire family. Hopefully someone would arrive soon to explain the situation, until then though he would have to content himself with pacing, eyebrows locked in a frown of concentration and thought as he allowed himself to silently enter into wild conjecture and speculation.