The Alistar Accords

LadyHarpy

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Ches and the rest of his family stayed mostly quiet, letting the Queen speak and returning the pleasantries when they were directed at them. Ann and moved from her mother's grip to her brother's clinging tightly to her doll as they made their way through the long bland hall, their eyes glancing at the rare statue that popped up in between doors or some rare windows. When they arrived at their rooms of rest they all seemed to relax a little bit, only a few steps more and they could all finally lay down and rest after their rusted and tiring trip. Sonin and Ukimi listened to the Queen intently, both showing great attention to the woman's description as Ches and Fertin were keeping Ann from rushing toward the doors and opening them all in wild excitement.

They all thanked the queen before she left, all of them rather curious as to which room they should take. The first few minutes were spent looking around, being awed by the sheer wonder of the rooms and what they contained inside. Life in Elmensam was nothing compared to the life in Alistar. Though they were smart to think that not everyone lived like this in Alistar they could still not believe the splendor of it all. In Elmensam, The royal family lived close to their people, the only difference being the fact that they lived in a much larger tree. Even then, their home was also the kingdoms library and main station for all military activity. They did not dwell to much on the finer things in life, though for guests they certainly provided the best that they could. Compared to Alistar, Elmensam seemed to be more like a tiny village in comparison to frills and fancies such as these.

In the end, the rooms were chosen. King Sonin and Queen Ukimi took to the Earth room for the sake of comfort and familiarity, Ann had taken a great liking to the Water room for the floor of sand, and Fertin had chosen the room of Air so that he would be in reach of the Princess. Ches on the other hand stepped out of his environment and chose the room of Fire, the bright colors and rather tempting hot springs pulling him into it. He had spent his life around earth and cool tones to the brightness was not only different and thought catching but also awakening and refreshing even.

Everyone settled down easily and in there own way. The king and queen slipped into their room quietly to begin prepping and discussing what they could and could not give. Ann had fallen asleep as soon as she hit the sheets of the bed, Fertin tucking her in before going to his own room to rest and relax for when the princess was to awake. Ches helped himself to the hot springs curiously, enjoying the hot water and cleaning himself up for the discussions that would happen later that evening. Time passed slowly after that, everyone now relaxing but also worried as to what would come with the talks with Alistar.
 
D

DanceInTheDark

Guest
While curious as to which rooms their guests would ultimately choose, Queen Aligale knew that she had much more important matters to tend to. That was why she now found herself gliding swiftly down the hallway away from the guest quarters, back into the throne room, and through another side door to the Advising Room. The Council Room, which was directly below the throne room, was reserved solely for the Council of Elements, and so since the Queen was meeting with advisors and not the magistrates, that room could not be used.

As she entered the Advising Room, she found that her advisors had already assembled. There were several military advisors, who were experts in field strategy and in calculating the cost of war; economic advisors who would be able to discuss with her the economic impact of joining the war effort; trade advisors who would be able to help her decide what to ask for in return for their assistance; and domestic advisors, who were well-tuned to the sentiment of the population and could offer advice on how to address her people on their decision to go to war. She sat down at the head of the table, her advisors sitting down around her, having stood upon seeing her entrance.

"Talk to me," she said, turning first to her military advisors. "How confident are we in our strength vis-a-vis the orcs? We'll need to know that before we decide just what we'll demand in exchange."

One of the advisors, a bearded man with dark and brooding features and a constant sour look on his face, spoke up first. "Milady, we are expecting that this war will not be the easiest we've faced," he said grimly. "The orcs are powerful. We believe that we are more powerful, but it is a more even match than when we took on the Centaurs last. We will have to expend a lot of capital to bring this war to a swift end."

The Queen nodded. "Will this be total war? No reserves?"

The advisor shook his head. "No reserves; if we want to get in and get out as quickly as possible, we'll have to go to total war, hold nothing back. I'd recommend leaving a few armies behind, I suppose, in case they decide to bring the war to us," - and at this the Queen could not help but grimace - "but I think that is unlikely. A necessary precaution, though, I'd say."

The Queen nodded her head. "I agree. A few squadrons to guard the perimeter, the rest to Danbim." She turned now to her economic advisors. "Break it down for me; what are we looking at in terms of economic loss? What are the costs, what are the benefits?"

Her chief economic advisor, a relatively young woman with short brown hair and a green beret, shook her head. "The costs are great, and the benefits few and far between," she said. "I'd say we're looking at an economic standstill for at least the first few moons. Normally when you go to war, your economy expands because people are manufacturing arms and contributing to the war effort, but that will be counter-balanced by how many of our armed forces are leaving us: there may be plenty to buy, but who will buy it?"

The Queen nodded her head. "I suppose we'll need to ask for a lump sum, in gold, as soon as we join, based on our economic projections. Then installments after a certain timespan, a monthly payment of sorts for our continued participation." The economic advisors nodded their heads in agreement; this seemed fair to them. Aligale then turned towards her trade advisors. "As to what we'll ask for beyond that..."

Her chief trade advisor, a middle-aged woman with graying hair, spoke in response. "The Earth Elementalists do good trade regularly with the Elves," she said. "Elmensam is a producer of a wide variety of plants and herbs that have healing properties. We'll need to make use of those for our wounded soldiers, but it would be good to bring some into Alistar as well. The Elves also produce spices and certain vegetables that cannot be found anywhere beyond Elmensam. That might be something worth looking into." She thought for a moment. "I can't think of anything else, other than there may be some natural resources in those mountains, should we ever get access to them, but I can't imagine that will ever fully be the case." The Queen nodded in agreement. "But I should add that our soldiers will need a place to stay; it goes without saying that the Elves will surely be hospitable enough..."

The military advisor spoke up now. "It should go without saying, but I'd feel more comfortable were it to be brought up at the negotiating table."

The Queen nodded her head. "Very well, I'll make sure it is. Now, how do we sell this to the people? I'm not particularly worried about myself, but if this war lasts to long or if we conduct it without the will of the people, they may unelect the magistrates which voted for it and vote in ones that are hostile to myself or this war."

It was the domestic advisor's turn to speak. "Given what we've seen in past wars and the current sentiment on foreign endeavors throughout Alistar, I would say that support for the war is about as divided amongs our people as it was among the magistrates," she said. "That's good news and bad news. Good because it means there will be people who will support it, but bad because there are plenty of people who don't, and those numbers will fluctuate in the coming months. I would say we need to get a very, very good deal with the Elves; sell it to the people as an economic boon: finish the war quickly, reap the benefits ever after."

The Queen nodded. "That seems to be the way to do it. But if you could do some research and see if there is anything else we can appeal to that might rally more support, I would feel better. Anything else?" Nobody spoke up. "Excellent, meeting adjourned. As I may have mentioned earlier, I will be conducting these negotiations myself, with my husband and son by my side. I think it would be unfair for me to bring in a group of advisors, given the royal family is here on their own. But in between meetings I will, of course, keep you posted. Until then." She nodded, standing up, as did the advisors, before walking out.

A few hours later, after Queen Aligale took some time to freshen up and go over her plan of attack in her head, she found herself in a large conference room towards the back of the palace. She had sent a meal to the Elves a while ago, and there was now an aide on his way to the guest chambers to bring them to this room, dropping Ann off in a nursery on the way. She could play there with some other children and be kept unaware of the situation. The Queen was nervous for this first day of negotiations - she did not want to scare them off by asking for too much, but also did not want to give too much away without a fight - but knew that, like always, she would prevail.

King Titus and Prince Xavier walked in now. Titus was not terribly worried; he knew his wife would excel in her diplomacy like always. Xavier, though, was very interested in what was to happen. This was his first time getting to sit in on negotiations such as these, and he wanted to prove himself capable so that his mother would give him increased responsibilities. As it was, he was sick of being treated like a child, being left out of important matters and only getting to tag along to frivilous events like the Wyvern Festival. He would be careful not to interrupt, but if he could get his two cents in and look smart while doing so, he would.
 

LadyHarpy

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The time in the rooms was spent wisely and thoughtfully, everyone preparing themselves in their own way for the big talks. Sonin and his wife spent most of the time talking, discussing over what they could offer and what they could not. How much money could they give away in the beginning before they would have to pull back and re-examine things. It was one of the toughest discussion that they had ever had, far harder than the time they had to decide on whether or not to build outside of the kingdom walls and in the wild forests. They planned and counter planned, hoping to be ready for just about anything the Queen of Alistar was going to throw at them. Sonin knew that it would not be cheap to acquire there help and Ukimi knew that they could not afford to head into battle on their own in the end.

They were either to pay in the price of gold and goods, or in the price of blood of fighting men and women. In the end they stopped their rather depressing talks with ideas of offers in their minds and counter offers in case one made could not be meet or approved off. They cleaned up as well, putting on more proper attire to wear into a meeting. The king and queen looked quite the pair and proved that Elmensam knew when thing had to be prim and proper. Sonin was dressed in deep greens and golds, a pair of black pants and fine leather riding boots adding to the look. His hair was pulled back by his wife, a carved wooden clip of sorts holding it in place. With a high collar and a bright orange belt to complete the look he almost seemed to appear even young than his elven heritage made him seem. Ukimi was no different. In a simple shoulder-less dress of dark green she was decorated with simple jewelry, most just polished stones instead of the expensive gems most craved. They came in wondrous colors, all of her jewelry seeming to cover the whole spectrum. Her hair was put into a bun and decorated with what seemed to be glass flowers, completing her look as the elven queen. After that they ate in silence, enjoying the food until they were lead to the meeting...

Ches on the other hand spent his time rather differently.

After a rather long soak in the hot springs, his skin turning almost red before he stepped out, he changed into his own royal clothing. He represented his kingdom just as well as his father did. Though he and his parents did not dress overly fancy for the occasion, their youthful looks made it seem as if they spent mounds and mounds of gold on their clothing. Ches was dressed in the armor of his kingdom, a leather made armor of heavy belt and think pants, the sound of chain mail rattling underneath being the only sigh that he wore metal. The rest of his outfit was green and gold like his father's though he still looked to be more of a soldier than a royal family member. His hair was pull back into a bun, though a strand seemed to keep falling into his face, only dragging attention to his bright blue eyes.

Ches wore the armor more out of comfort than as a show of strength. He spent most of his time in armor anyway, doing runs to the Orc camps or patrolling the city. He even wore it when helping pick the fields during harvest time. Once he was dressed, he also ate his meal in his room, his mind buzzing with thoughts of what might happen during that talks. The only person who seemed happy and calm was Ann, who had been awoke from her nap by Fertin when dinner arrived, the two eating together before they both wandered off to the nursery. Though Fertin did not have to go to the nursery, he had only been brought along to watch the princess and keep her out of trouble, he went because he knew that his voice would do know good. He was a civilian in this place, his words would mean nothing to a foreign Queen. Though he may be respected by his own king, he knew his own voice would go unheard by the other royal family.

Once all the meals were complete and Ann was taken off to go play peacefully under the watchful eye of Fertin, The rest of the royal family was lead off to the meeting room. The walk was one of the most painful that Ches had ever walked, he was nervous and excited but also worried and angry. He did not want to be their honestly, he believe to much in his kingdom to just simply give into to asking for help, however he was smart enough to know that with the hits that were already taken, they would not last much longer. He could only hope that the deals made would be fair and not hurt his home to much in the long run.

When the entered the conference room, it almost seemed to turn into a sizing up of each family. Though Sonin and Queen Ukimi were smiling politely and prepared to speak on the most peaceful terms, Ches was looking over the other additions to the Queen, what he assumed to be her husband and son. He kept a small smile on his face so he wouldn't seem rude but as he smiled he studied the men. The father looked strong and determined, as well as smart and the soon looked to be the same. Their skin tones were rather different compared to the pale elves and Ches couldn't help but feel a bit of jealousy as the son seemed to stand nearly a feet taller than him. He could not afford to be mad now, in this room there was to be peace and an answer to their problems. For the sake of his kingdom he would more than likely spend the next few days biting his tongue but for his people he would do anything...
 
D

DanceInTheDark

Guest
((My goodness, this gets buried under all the other one-on-one's fast!))

All three members of the Alistarian Royal Family sized up the Elves as they walked through the doors into the conference room. Queen Aligale had already met the group, but that had been in a more casual, welcoming setting. Now, she was here as a diplomat and negotiator, and she was very curious with regards to the King's negotiating prowess. Was he as skilled as she? If so, this would be a long and strenuous process, indeed. If not, perhaps she would leave here with a deal she could present to her people with confidence. The dark-haired woman always got a bit anxious before she went into negotiations, even though she knew she often had the upper-hand - much like an actor before he walks onto the stage to give the performance of a lifetime.

King Titus glanced at the elves curiously; for all of his worldly experience, he knew very little about the Elves, for they were a group which the Elementalists rarely interacted with, save for the Earth Territory, of which Titus was not a member. He wondered what Elmensam was like. He knew it was built into the woods, and thus he had a certain image in his mind, but he would feel better about this whole war idea if he knew exactly what the terrain was like; he was a competent fighter and a skilled military leader, and like any talented war-wager, he longed to know all of the facts before the battle began. But so long as the negotiations continued, his wife would do the talking, for she was sovereign ruler of the entire kingdom. His usefulness would become known once the war actually started. For now, he was content to sit at his wife's side and watch her work her magic.

Prince Xavier attempted to look friendly and accommodating, but this was no easy feat given his usual dark and brooding demeanor. His mother often told him, sarcastically, that the sun didn't stand a chance against his bright and shining smile - an obvious joke, given that he so rarely did smile. But he had never felt particularly inclined to be cheerful, and so he never was. He was the strong fighter, the warrior, perhaps quick to anger or boast, and in these ways he certainly took more after his father than his mother. But he did crave the idea of becoming king - and given that he had no sisters, this was apt to happen - so he tried his best to please his mother in all respects. Sitting in on these negotiations was a good start, for if she saw the dexterity with which he handled himself, surely she would be confident in his abilities, perhaps even promote him to the front lines with his father.

The Elves looked strange to him. They were certainly shorter, it seemed, and they seemed much lighter on their feet than the Elementalists with which Xavier typically interacted. The men had much longer hair, too, which he found to be quiet odd, for his was quite short, with his bangs occasionally falling into his eyes but not much beyond that. Regardless, he was not here for an anthropology lesson, but rather to help his mother convince these Elves to give up as much as possible in exchange for their military assistance. Still, his orange eyes cast up and down the lot of them deliberately - particularly the younger man, whom he assumed was also a prince, and therefore his counterpart.

"King Sonin, Queen Ukimi, welcome," Queen Aligale spoke, standing at the large circular table, her husband and son on either side of her. "Please, be seated, and kindly allow me to speak first." The group sat down, after which the woman continued. "I have consulted with my wisest advisors, and their analysis is similar: this war is not going to be easily won. It will be won, for we are confident in the might of our military, but the economic loss - not to mention the loss of life - will be great. Specifically with regards to capital, we are looking at the possibility of a stagnant economy, and this is of great concern to me, for Alistar has up until now been flourishing. We will thus be requesting a lump sum of twenty million standard dollars in gold, and an additional two million in gold every month after the first five months, should the war last so long. We believe this to be fair, but I am reasonable and willing to hear counter-offers. In addition to the gold, it is our understanding that Elmensam possesses herbs with healing properties, which the Elves are able to cultivate. We request a supply of these herbs - one bushel per soldier we send out seems reasonable. We would also assume that our soldiers will be housed in your kingdom for the extent of the war, given that the war is taking place so close to your kingdom."

She paused now, looking at King Sonin very carefully. This was merely her starting offer, which was intentionally quite high, given that she wanted to get as much out of this as possible. She had no doubt that Sonin would not immediately accept these terms but would instead offer something different: she was more than willing to hear that. "What say you, good king of Elmensam?"
 

LadyHarpy

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The Elven royal family all sat at the conference table, each of the looking intently at the queen as the listened to her make her starting offer. Though they might not have not shown it on their faces, they all though they payment was more than they could handle. Elmensam was not a kingdom built on worldly trade and economic growth like many others, it was built upon simple goods trading and a deep belief in helping each other. Where most people would charge money for services ranging in shoe cleaning to house keeping, Elmensam only required trade between kingdoms or with people from outside the kingdom to be done in money. The elves just traded items for items otherwise, like a man trading a basket of herbs for some rope or animals, depending on the considered value. Some elves did trade for money, but usually only the shop keeps did that since they were more likely to come into contact with outside visitors.

Sonin knew quite well that his people would not be happy to hear about such a large payment, which would put a large weight on all of their shoulders. They would have to be able to make the payment in herbs and money to Alistar and would more than likely go into deep debt. Debt was not something Sonin was keen on facing when he would also be working on restoring his home after the damage of war as well. However, the request for herbs was one not so hard to face. Danbim was considered special by many for a reason. The soil there was so full of nutrients for plants that while most kingdoms had only one or two harvests, Elmensam might have six or seven, that being the minimum. Even in winter they could provide herbs because of their green houses in the far north near the plains. He would have to ask on how many soldiers they planned to send in the beginning, for if the number was too high, he might have to negotiate that part of the offer as well.

With a clearing of his throat and an adjusting of his shoulders, the king began to speak.

"Your beginning offer I must say is very large and I will have to say rather hard for my kingdom to for-fill. We are not money based like many kingdoms, we do use gold and such when he are doing dealings between our kingdom and others as well as with outside travelers who might be passing through for supplies. However, we trade goods for goods mostly in Elmensam because of the wealth of the forest around us and for the simple fact that we just don't need it as much considering our situation...However, if you are willing to bring down the price of the lump sum as well as the monthly payments after that I and willing to send more than just herbs to Alistar. As you may know, Danbim has been blessed with fertile soil and we have many harvests throughout the year, even in winter as well. We usually have quite a surplus in vegetables and fruits, some that you might have never even seen before, which we would gladly give you in exchange for the lessening of the good. However, before I end I must ask how many soldiers you intend to send. I can't guarantee you the one bundle per soldier unless I know. My kingdom may be fertile but I must also feed my own people and soldiers as well as the men you intend to send to Elmensam as well."

He finished with a simple smile, Ukimi and Ches staying silent at the moment since they had yet to get deep into the discussion yet.
 
D

DanceInTheDark

Guest
Queen Aligale listened carefully as King Sonin responded to her starting offer. She knew it was a steep price, but she would not want to tell her people they were going to war without being able to offer something fairly substantial in return. Her eyebrows rose subtly as the king raised the fact that Elmensam residents normally trade goods for other goods, as opposed to paying for them with currency. ‘Ah,’ she thought to herself, ‘a bartering system. I hadn’t known that.’ This put a bit of a damper on a rather large portion of her strategy, since she had assumed that the Elves would be able to pay them in gold. If they didn’t have moneys to give, what could they possibly offer that would be reasonable given the fact that Alistar was about to go to war for them? But she was fair, and continued to listen to the King until he had finished speaking, using a quill pen to write brief notes on a piece of parchment paper for later reference.</SPAN>

Fruits and vegetables. That could be promising. After all, much of the money they would be receiving from the Elves would have gone towards buying food, anyway, as so many farmers and shop owners would be away helping with the war effort. A steady supply of nutritious food – especially food that many in the kingdom had not yet experienced – would help reduce the economic blow of going to war. She would ponder it, probably accept it, but she would discuss it first with her trade advisor. She wrote down the King’s question on how many soldiers would be sent their way.</SPAN>

Feeling that the talks were going rather well now, as the Elven royal family hadn’t been insulted by her starting offer, she decided to get a bit aggressive. Her voice remained even, but she was starting to push now, hoping she could bend the negotiations in her favor. “I would surely be willing to consider a smaller lump sum,” she began, looking over her notes briefly. “I understand that Elmensam works on a bartering system, and your economy is not based on the gold standard. I could see myself lowering that first number by half, to ten million, and the monthly payments by one-quarter, to 1.5 million. Fruits and vegetables would be well-received in our kingdom, which is why I am willing to go so low, but I know you understand the great costs of war, as well as the coordination and travel necessary to get our soldiers over to Danbim. The money we are requesting will be vital towards keeping Alistar in the war as long as it lasts.”</SPAN>

She turned to another subject. “With regards to the soldiers, what I ask is that we receive enough herbs to care for these soldiers upon their return from battle. If we are to aggressively pursue the Orcs, the number of soldiers we would likely end up sending would be in the amount of…” She paused for a moment, trying to calculate how many soldiers would probably be sent.</SPAN>

King Titus, who was more involved in military matters than his wife, spoke up. “Twenty fleets, for a total of two thousand soldiers,” he said. “We would need to keep some here for our own purposes.”</SPAN>

Queen Aligale nodded. “Yes, thank you. Two thousand soldiers from the mighty and unparalleled Alistarian Army should be more than enough to root out these terrorists – keeping in mind we possess powers beyond comprehension. We would, of course, need care for these soldiers, as well as some form of housing or another, so that they might remain healthy and well-rested for battle.”</SPAN>

((Is 2,000 a ridiculous number? I actually know nothing about these things haha))</SPAN>
 

LadyHarpy

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mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:11.0pt; font-family:"Calibri","sans-serif"; mso-ascii-font-family:Calibri; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-bidi-font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-bidi-theme-font:minor-bidi;} </style> <![endif]--> ((In a historical sense you're not being ridiculous, more men have died in wars than that so 2,000 isn't bad, it's a good start I think so far, we might be able to play on the "we didn't judge this right" kind of thing and have a lot of men parish or something...))


Sonin listened to Queen Aligale intently, the lowering of the price in half helping him out quite a bit...though sadly not enough. The monthly payment would be hard to keep up with, especially since he would be sending a great amount of gold to them as the lump sum in the beginning. He did know that he had the ten million without a doubt, the royal treasury was quite full and could take that major hit. After that, it would be hard to come by gold over the period of war, not that he wouldn't be able to keep the trade open but most of what he could trade would be going to Alistar anyway, leaving him with only a little for his people to sell. He would have to raise the prices on herbs for other countries, which would risk straining his ties with them. If he could lower the quarterly payment even more somehow then he would be able to make the payments with confidence and not worry about the state of his people. He would have to mention that later for the topic of the soldiers was addressed.

Two thousand men would be very helpful, especially since they would all be elementalists. Currently he could make the offer of one bushel per soldier without much of a problem, however if he wanted to be able to make the quarterly payment as it was at the moment, he would have to build more green houses in the northern forest, which would be an investment that they would have trouble paying off to his own people while paying Alistar at the same time. Another thing he had to keep in mind was actual housing. He could easily house all the men in the old soldiers quarters, they had been built originally to house the soldiers back in old times when kings believe that fighters shouldn't live with their families on account of it being a risk to their harsh training. Since then the rule has been changed and the building had been left to holding equipment and the occasional mass meeting in which a large group of soldiers needed to be taught or shown something. Any extra generals could stay in the "castle" with his family in the guest rooms. What he worried about most was feeding all those men, which once again pulled back to him building more green houses in the north. With a clearing of his throat he began to speak.

"The housing of the men is not a problem at all, the soldiers can stay in the old soldiers quarters near the castle and any extra generals that need to stay as well are welcome to rest in the guest rooms on my own home. However, food might become an issue. Considering that we will be sending quite a lot of our harvest to you to make up the payments, it leaves less in my own kingdom to actually support not just my own men, but my civilians and your men as well. Now it will be pointless to send men if I am unable to feed them and they only way to do that would be to build more green houses to the north, a price that will be hard to pay considering I am already paying both a lump sum and the monthly payments after that. Now theoretically I could increase the prices on my herb trade with other kingdoms, leaving Alistars price be since you are supporting us in the war, but that brings a risk of losing profit and going else were for the herbs. Now one idea is for you to bring down the monthly payment to one million, then I could invest into the green houses with out much trouble. Another would be that I also increase the trade prices I have with the Earth territory which in the end seems a bit pointless." He said, ending with a bit of a frown as he tried to think up of more ideas.

Sonin didn't want this deal to become one sided for either party, luckily Ukimi had a lovely idea...

"If I may interject." She began politely "As my husband has offer trading fruits and vegetables, maybe it would be best if we don't trade and instead build and establish green houses in Alistar. As they say...Give a man a fish, feed him for a day. Teach him to fish and feed him for a lifetime. By building the green houses in Alistar, not only would you have the promised food and herbs, but you would have them long after the war and into the future. That in turn could turn into possible profit for Alistar. Though, to be technical you would not nearly have as many harvesting seasons as we do because of the soil here, but the healing herbs would be of similar quality and the food would do well here also. Along with that you'd have a steady source of fresh fruits and vegetables throughout the winter." She finished with a smile.

"And in that case, we would not have to send as much to Alistar either, which would solve the trade issue as well as the feeding. Of course we'd still send bushels to Alistar since it will take some time for the green houses to start producing product. However once those Green houses are working you'll have the healing herbs you need. If you are fine with that suggestion then all I ask is that you bring down the number of bustles per soldier. This will allow me to have enough to both trade with and to feed everyone that I must." Sonin added to his wife suggestion after looking to her with a bit of a smile, seem to be grateful for her quick thinking.