Merr Kavesh scowled as he sat at his desk, pouring over the latest reports from the Tallanore and Arthripos regions. From the dates signed at the bottom of each letter, it seemed they were being sent almost daily. The Silent had been growing steadily of late, the ones closest to home becoming more savage by the hour.
The Scythe was assassinating trusted associates and high ranking officials in the east while the Whisper was sparing no one. Merr rubbed his face tiredly as he thought about what countermeasures to take. Belan Hossul entered the study with the map of the regions that were essentially being held hostage.
Captain Tavan Ward accompanied him, giving a silent nod to Merr as he made his way to the desk. Belan laid out the map and smoothed out his mustache.
“From the reports, we need to move into the Tallanore as soon as possible. The death toll there is growing out of control.”
Tavan nodded his agreement, pointing to several locations in the area. “I would suggest these areas for camps. Ideally we will want to build fortresses there and here if we can secure the areas. We do not have any solid leads on where the Silent in this area are located but we have heard some rumors indicating that the Whisper plans to take over Talithis. If we can manage to build our fortresses, we can stop any invasion from happening head on.”
Merr sat back in his chair, interlacing his fingers together and resting them on his chest. “That will take some time and no small amount of coin. Where are you suggesting we get it?”
There was a moment of silence as Tavan looked to Belan. The older man nodded his encouragement but did not speak up, calmly waiting for Tavan to take the reigns.
Taking a deep breath, the captain explained his plans. “I propose we offer a trade.” Seeing Merr’s eyebrow shoot up, he hurried on. “Normally we charge those who seek our protection and those who wish to join us must buy our equipment or provide their own. However, in these new areas, I think we should offer our protection and equipment for services and materials. Let them help us build our fortresses and we will battle the Silent.”
Belan offered a smile as Merr mulled it over. “It is a risk. There is no guarantee that they will agree to the arrangement but it seems to be a fair trade to me.” With a nod, Merr took out a piece of parchment and started drafting the proposal. “Ward, I charge your squadron with delivering these to the areas surrounding Talithis, but I wish for you to be the one to deliver it to the Lord. If he rejects the offer, regardless of the interests of the surrounding areas, we will pull our troops out.”
“Good, go and prepare your men.”
With a sharp salute, Captain Tavan Ward excused himself from the office.
“You did well with that one, Belan. He seems to be have a good head on his shoulders.”
Belan nodded, smoothing his mustache to hide the hint of a proud smile. “Aye, he seems like he might prove up to snuff.”