Everyone was silent for a moment after the two kobolds left the council chamber.
“Well,” said Scarlet, “I suppose we should adjourn the council for now. Uh, if Duke Nicholas agrees.”
“Yes,” said Nicholas, “Council is adjourned.” As the others filed out of the room he turned to Scarlet. “Can I have a word with you, in private?” They waited until the room was empty.
“Scarlet,” began Nicholas,
I have to ask you again to re-consider Faisal’s position as co-ruler. Surely you can see that he’s not the right choice in the present circumstances.
You can already see that people aren’t taking him seriously as a… as he is now. And his attitude isn’t helping. You know how sullen he gets when people don’t take him seriously. He’s going through a difficult time right now, and I don’t think he’s up to the job of Duke.
But that’s not the main problem. Surely you know how the gnomes will react to a kobold duke. Given the way they hate each other, this will surely lead to trouble. Elevating Faisal to the position of co-ruler above my wife will be seen by the gnomes as a deliberate provocation. And between gnomes and kobolds, very little provocation is needed.
Scarlet, I beg of you, for the good of the dukedom, please convince Faisal to step down.
“Your grace, I understand your concerns but I am afraid I do not share your views regarding Faisal’s aptitude as ruler in his current state.
Not only does he brings a wealth of experience to the duchy but he is the same man that the Tuskan’s have known and grown to respect only in a smaller size. Our people will see this in given time. Yes, there are many that share the same views as Ildrim and perhaps he is right, Tuskany is not ready for a kobold ruler.
Though in all fairness, we have not given the citizens of Tuskany the chance to make that decision for themselves.
Yes, there will be plenty of challenges he will face but do you not think he will face similar challenges in any other role. If your biggest concern is the gnome opposition then you are in for a rude awakening. Think how devastating it will be to the citizens of Sootscale if Faisal steps down.”
She sighs and tilts her head to the ground. “But I suppose you are right; he is quite sullen especially as he adjusts to his new body… but I believe being ruler will be a welcoming distraction… though I do empathize with him.”
She looks Nicholas into his eyes and asks, “How would you feel if you woke up one morning to find yourself a kobold?”
Nicholas gives her a look of disgust.
She continues. “In time, comes acceptance. Yet he still wakes up in the morning and faces his adversaries each day without faltering. I truly admire how he handled Ildrim’s ridicule with grace and poise. For if it were I, I would rip that scrawny arrogant elf to shreds. It is not enough that Faisal would face public humiliation outside the castle walls but to be humiliated by his own friend in that manner is is… distasteful.
My point is if you truly want what is good for the dukedom, I would reevaluate Faisal as ruler.”
Scarlet exits the council room, leaving the duke to reflect.