Grigore had his hands full with the Florentine court and soothing ruffled feathers there. He had left much of this court's running to his daughter's capable hands. He had final say on all things of course, and there was much to handle for the longer term outlook of the court, but they day to day minutia he trusted her with. Which meant he occasionally had some free time and when he did he could be found in the parlor of the family wing, relaxing with a book, carving small pieces of art, or planning longer term steps in the journal he had. It meant he was easy enough to find. Much of his day was spent in his office or in the parlor, when he wasn't out hunting.
He didn't bring his meals home though, and he was just coming back from a frankly delicious hunt. The man strode into the parlor as if he owned the world. And he may as well own the world given all that he controlled now and his relative age. Now though, he was planning on relaxing some before he went back to work. He headed for his chair, and pulled up his latest project. It was small, but the fine detail meant it was an engaging project. It was meant to be a scene of two dancers, and was slowly shaping up. He planned on gifting it to his daughter. Girls like dancing after all, so it would be a suitable gift.
Normally Catherine would have avoided Grigore like this, but Tyrus had put her in a very inconvenient and uncomfortable position. It never would have boiled down to this if he hadn't been so obsessive and worried enough to consult with an oracle. But he had, and now here they were.
"Excuse me Father..." Catherine began hesitantly. "Would you perhaps have a minute to discuss something? There are some ideas afloat about possible positions in the court given the problems with the wolves." She just hoped that he was in a good mood, and would be receptive to the idea. Catherine herself wasn't entirely sold on it, but at the same time it made sense. It should help avoid another scandal like what had happened with Brandon.
Grigore put his carving to the side and looked to her. "I have some free time. What positions are you wanting to discuss, daughter?" She knew he preferred to relax in the parlor, but there would be a reason for the interruption. There always was. She could be trusted far enough to know that she only bothered him if it was important to him or to the court. The two weren't quite the same after all. "Though if the wolves continue to cause trouble, we may have to go to the trouble of eradicating them." Man, woman, and child. He was giving them leeway for now, but he was beginning to feel as if he was being entirely too generous. The other courts would be looking to expand if he didn't have the wolves settle down soon. He hated to put his daughter in that position, but if needed, he would. She would get over the loss of life eventually. He had no doubt she was soft enough that the eradication of every wolf would affect her in some way. That was the trouble of not raising your own child. They could end up inconveniently soft.
He would see what she had to say first though. Taking permanent care of his little wolf problem would likely put her in a difficult position, given her job, after all. And their relationship was still tenuous enough that he hesitated to order her away from the job. He could force the issue of course but he wasn't going to be that cruel until he had to be. Besides, while he could subdue her, if he wanted, he liked to give the impression of free will at least. It mattered to people that they had such a thing after all, or at least the illusion of such a thing.
Last Edit: Feb 10, 2020 10:10:44 GMT -6 by demikara
Catherine choose her next words carefully, "There has been considered that appointing ministers or generals to the court might prove valuable. It would allow for more than myself and Eliodoro to keep a watchful eye on the wolves, as well as prevent further scandal of the likes that we were recently put through." While she would have liked to see an end to Cedar Ridge, she would also like to divorce herself as far as possible from the potentially oncoming war between the two. It seemed that only recently they had taken exception to the court, when previously the two groups mostly ignored one another. Sure, there was the occasional fledgling that didn't obey, but that was usually dealt with swiftly.
"I won't disagree that the wolves have been a problem as of late, this sort of behavior is unprecedented even for the local pack. While eliminating them could be seen as desirous, I have been given reason to believe from the court's own oracle that their alpha will not last the year and their pack will implode shortly after. Leaving us in the court looking quite noble and beneficent for our supposed good will towards them."
Catherine just had to phrase it in a way that would grab Grigore's attention. All ancient vampires seemed the same, consumed with greed and collecting more power. But she couldn't go too far in her sale to him, as then it would seem they had plotted against him. While that was partially true, it was also true that Grigore didn't know the lay of local land like Catherine and Tyrus did; nor did he know the local population as intimately as either did as well.
His eyes narrowed. "And who has been considering this? I notice you don't claim it for yourself." She was quite busy. "And how are we to choose these ministers? I am fully aware that I am not as familiar with this court as I could be. How are we to keep out spies and traitors when I hardly know the people of this court?" He didn't like this idea. Perhaps it might offer more stability. and perhaps it could be valuable. But there were questions unanswered and he needed those answers before he gave his approval.
"For that matter, who consulted this court's oracle on this matter? Or did she spontaneously offer such?" He was suspicious of her if that was the case. He was suspicious of her in general actually, given how she had pledged herself into his service so easily. It was either loyalty to his daughter that had brought her over or her own power seeking ways and while he would like to think his daughter inspired that sort of loyalty, he had his own misgivings into it all.
"Of course not, because that way leads to madness." Catherine said plainly. She had her hands more than full enough with MCU and whatever else happened to get tossed her way. Trouble wasn't something she often went looking for, and given her chosen career path often found her. "I never put stock in what an oracle says, given how seldom they are correct." Throughout history oracles had been known to promise that which never came to pass. More than often they had the ears of royalty and provided influence good or bad. While Catherine didn't necessarily distrust Xiaolian, she found Tyrus's consultation without even talking to her first troubling. This said that he was perfectly content to go about things without consulting her first.
"If you must know however, this absurdity came from Eliodoro. I knew that it would be wise to speak with you before anything further." Tyrus didn't seem to understand that this was not the court he had grown up in, and while he was still a member of the royal family, he was fixing to over reach. He also seemed to have conveniently forgotten that she was the one ultimately responsible for him and his actions, like she had been for Brandon.
"You have the same questions that I had for him Father. He suggested a few names, one of which being Kasimir Klein. But it appears that all of them were loyal to the previous court and have tenuous allegiances at best.. save for maybe Klein." Klein was an opportunist who would prefer not to starve or end up on the sharp end of someone as far as Catherine was concerned. "Note that I did not give the child much more than it needed to be discussed, which is not permission by any means."
"I see. It isn't a bad idea, of course. You and he and I are all busy people after all. And this is a rather large court." He considered the matter. "I approve of the idea, if we can overcome the limitations of finding loyal people. But the boy is overstepping his bounds. Greatly." He was clearly too used to the freedom to do what he wished. The previous court had let him get away with far too much. He'd have to be restrained. "Especially given I'm not sure I trust his loyalty."
He was very much a child of the old court after all, though he was sworn to serve this one. "If we can overcome the difficulties, then I approve of it. This court is large and unwieldy. I can see why it took a family to manage it." It was damned near necessary, and every son in that family had obviously served a purpose before they had even been turned. "Summon Eliodoro for me. And while he's on his way, we can iron out this plan." Klein would be loyal to his own greed for money and power at least. He'd likely have to choose others for similar reasons. It would be interesting to try and find someone who fit what he needed them to.
"You I absolve from this sin. But Eliodoro, well. He has a lesson to learn."
Catherine cringed inwardly at the terminology used by Grigore, but unfortunately she found herself agreeing with him on the matter of Tyrus. It seemed that he had repeatedly overstepped and over assumed his role, and it was fixing to come back to him ten fold. "Thank you father, I'll summon him." She replied smoothly. Showing anxiety, distress or even fear in the face of this man, whom she still didn't quite consider her father would have been suicide. For now, it was best to gently steer from behind under the guise of seeking guidance on something she wasn't entirely certain of. That had gotten the best results so far, and had allowed for the court to be shaped into something that didn't resemble anything previously. Never had any member of the royal family worked or had a career outside of the court, but that had all changed once Catherine convinced Grigore that having strong ties outside of the court instead of just bullying and demanding their way was best. To her it appeared that this man claiming to be her sire had little political experience other than swinging around power and status, never had he had to soothe sore feelings and smooth over misunderstandings.
Summoning Tyrus or in this case Eliodoro as Grigore was intent on calling him didn't take long. Granted it took advantage of a sire's connection to their fledgling that could stretch across great distances, but Tyrus in truth wasn't that far off. She had recommended that he stay close as she discussed the manner of this proposition with Grigore.
Tyrus had stayed in the court itself and when he felt their bond pinging, he followed it to the parlor. He looked between the two and smiled gently. "Grandfather. Principessa. It's good to see you both. You called for me, principessa?" She wasn't Catherine here. She was la principessa. He much preferred being more casual in private, but they hadn't actually discussed what his change in status would actually mean for their relationship.
Grigore frowned. "I had her call you for me, Eliodoro." He said simply. "Though had I realized you were so close, I would have sought you out myself." He didn't make a habit of checking the minds of his court. "My daughter tells me that you're the one who came up with a plan to have ministers. Tell me, Eliodoro, what made you think you have a say in how my court is run?" And he wasn't going to be kind about this either. Frankly, he fully invited his daughter to rail in on the fledgling as well.
Catherine wasn't smiling and she wasn't at all eager to see Tyrus. But she wasn't going to apologize for calling him in there either, something had to be done before she could no longer soothe or smooth things over. While he may have been raised in the previous court, he had been given a largely useless and figurative position. It appeared that his older brothers had done much of the day to day and political manuvering that had helped to keep his parents firmly entrenched in their throne. Granted, they had slipped up when they had done what they had done and the court had never been stable after that.
"We have considered the idea, Eliodoro. However I would like to remind you that you have over stepped your bounds, repeatedly, in the last year. This court is not the one that your parents so graciously gave you free reign over." Catherine explained. Her expression was serious and it wasn't just an act for the sake of Grigore. She truly was tired of Tyrus stirring up things and trying to position himself as knowing best. "You are third in line for the throne, and unfortunately my fledgling." That was after Scottlyn had been accounted for, and not accounting for Brandon's recent disgrace. Today was one of the days where she found him tiring and draining. The fae court had just about been this level of aggravation when he had dragged her back there.
"Please tell your grandfather what exactly you believe will be accomplished by this restructuring of the court." She commented. Catherine had assumed that this would result in a slap on the wrist and the reminder that he was to not over step his bounds again.
"I apologise for overstepping. I was only hoping to increase the stability of the court and ensure the heirs had the time needed to meet their public obligations." He was in serious trouble. "Please forgive me Grandfather. I meant only to help the court." It appeared his idea was shot down. Tyrus was about to continue when he found himself completely frozen in place, unable to move.
"You are a child. You are young, so your heavy-handedness can be forgiven on some level, but you overstepped Eliodoro. This is not the court you grew up as a spoiled human princeling in." Grigore lectured him. He gestured and Tyrus came forward, moving at Grigore's command, body still frozen in place. "You are a child, Eliodoro, and like a child, you must be disciplined. Put your hand on the side table, boy." He could move again, but only enough to put his hand where his grandfather commanded it. He still couldn't speak. Tyrus' eyes were wide and wild, fear heavy in his aura. Grigore was significantly more powerful than his and he knew it.
"You are lucky. Because of Bertrando's indiscretion, I will not punish you in front of the court. But you over reached, child, and so you'll pay in reach. Spread your fingers." Tyrus obediently spread his fingers and felt his hand lock into place. "I still need you able to serve as a public face, to ensure the unseen views us well. So I can't take the entire hand. Just the tip of a finger." Hed held up one of his carving knives, then paused and smiled, turning to his daughter. "Actually. Daughter, come her. He is your child, after all. Its only suitable that a parent metes of the discipline."
'The fuck?' She thought to herself. Grigore was starting to go too far, first Brandon and now Tyrus. While Brandon had brought it on himself, believing that he could hide his indescretions among the court, Tyrus had only spoken out of turn. While she would have prefered him bound to the court for the next fortnight and unable to hunt or bound magically, a physical mark and punishment was preferable for Grigore. It was getting quite wearing on everyone's end to be forced into what they deemed necessary for her happiness and success. 'Fuck it... we'll fix this later.' Catherine thought to herself as she dismissed the thought.
Taking the knife from Grigore, she grasped Tyrus's hand firmly. While she didn't want to do what was being asked of her, she could at least make it somewhat painless. Holding his hand down against the work bench, she wrapped a discrete bit of magic around the blade to make it aim true, but deeper beneath that she wrapped another even smaller and even more discrete piece of magic. Girgore wouldn't even notice it as his eyes would be on the actions taken by his daughter to discipline her fledgling. While Tyrus wouldn't necessarily feel any pain immediately, he certainly would after.
Driving the knife down in one smooth movement, Catherine cleanly separated the tip of the finger from the rest of the hand. Tossing the knife back onto the bench, she then walked away leaving Tyrus with Grigore. It wasn't that she was soft in the ways that Grigore was so convinced, it was that she had better things to do with her time than reign in a willful fledgling and mete out violent punishments.
The initial cut didn't hurt. But the pain washed over him afterwards and Tyrus cried out and pulled his hand to his chest, grabbing the injured finger and squeezing to try and stem the bleeding. It wasn't doing much to stop it but at least there was some pressure. This hurt, some of the worst pain he had felt. His parents had been cruel but they had never cut off a body part before. He couldn't help th tears that fell as he held his injured hand close and tried to ignore the pain. Grigore watched Catherine leave and sighed.
"Soft. Doctor yourself and then head to your suite. You're allowed out to work and go to those classes you teach, but otherwise are to remain there. I'll have someone bring you a meal to help you stop bleeding at least, but other than that, you aren't to hunt or feed." He'd arrange for someone to bring him some human food, so his magic wouldn't consume her, but that would be about it. "Now get out of my sight." He ordered and Tyrus left quickly. There was a first aid kit in the rarely used kitchen for him to doctor himself with.
The tip of his finger remained on the workbench almost mockingly. Grigore watched Tyrus flee and sighed heavily. "Hopefully the lesson will stick. He'll grow, but for now, he's a spoiled prince." And very nearly useless.