Andrevo and I spoke after the group broke up, and decided we would host a dinner to announce our engagement, hopefully providing an atmosphere where the family could discuss the recent events in relative peace. Andrevo insisted on my picking a male guardian so that he could ask permission to court me, so I told him to talk to Paki, as the Queen had made him my regent. Andrevo would also invite his parents personally, while I would invite Rose, in hopes that they both would show up. The table would be U-shaped, with the two of us sitting in the middle, and our families on either side. We did the linens in black, green, and white, which combined both our colors. We made our arrangements, and the dinner was the following night. Between the two of us, we decided that Andrevo would arrive first and greet the guests, while I would arrive fashionably late, after all our guests.
Unfortunately, Rose decided to change that for us, not showing up at first, and then bursting in when Andrevo started his announcement. Always has to be the center of attention. I suppose we should have expected as much. The dinner itself was fairly uneventful, and then there was drinks afterwards. Joan had left, but the rest of the family stayed. It was then that the subject came up. Andrevo, Masamba, and I tried to convince the rest of the importance of dealing with Brand, but the subject kept going back to the crown. The room barely kept from erupting into a brawl several times, and even at the end of the night, nothing much had been resolved.
Andrevo, Masamba and I went back to my sitting room, and discussed the matter. Nothing was going to get done until the matter of the crown was resolved, so we thought about the choices. We had pretty much narrowed it down to Siobhan and Agnes, and slowly narrowed it to Agnes. As we came to that conclusion, we were each interrupted by messages, and the meeting broke up.
I had received a missive from Paki, and went to go meet him. As I was walking, he snuck up behind me, taking me by surprise and handing me a stone he said would help against spying. He informed me that all of our conversations were pretty much known by all in the castle. He then offered to make me Lord Protector if I gave him the jewel, as with it and his men he could take control of Amber. I told him that I would consider it, and then trumped Andrevo as I walked back to my room. I mentioned Paki's offer obliquely, and Andrevo and I chatted about what we would do. He also told me Agnes had refused to take the throne, and suggested Ambrose as a substitute. I needed time to think, and told him that if my room was still available, I would be spending some time in Dubrovnik, getting to know the people better, and taking a vacation. I just had a few things I needed to take care of first. He wanted me to meet with Ambrose as well, so I agreed to do so before I left.
I left a message for Masamba that I would be in Dubrovnik, and the next morning went to talk with Siobhan. I managed to catch a few minutes with her while Eathon and Fionn were taking care of the last of the demons in Amber. I asked for her blessing in making my decision, and she said she could only do so based on the decision I actually made. I also asked her blessing for my engagement, and she said she didn't' think it was a wise decision. So much for comfort from my family. I suppose I shouldn't have expected much.
I met Ambrose on the ship, and tried to get to know him. He was an excellent admiral, skilled as myself, and passionate, but rash, and quick to judgment. Not qualities I thought would be useful in a king. Back to the drawing board. I then packed up some of my things...some weapons, the armor, some books, and my stillsuit and desert survival kit, and headed off to Dubrovnik. I would spend some time there, catching up with myself, and then go to my shadow, that I might consolidate my position.