Count A. R Wheatley

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Count (... Ambassador, not that he'd ever get used to that title) Avis Wheatley sits at the writing desk in his Calenhelm estate, penning a reply to family - notifing them of, despite the work completed the winter before, a new group of refugees that require placement; those within the Remmington lands. They were displaced with the original crisis, but were misdirected to an area unequipped to handle them and are still after a year looking for proper work and shelter. He entreats the brother to whom he writes, surely we could use some help and help those in need at the same time.

With his recent extended absence from Kalstrand, a lot of his work has had to be delegated to other members of the Wheatley family, as well as other trustworthy entourage. Smiling at the thought of the skillful staff keeping him apprised to the status of the most important things going on within the county, he knows they will be able to find places for these people come spring, but wishes to ensure that these changes are done properly and smoothly.

All the traveling he has done in the last few years with his duties has kept him away from his home land, but things changed even more early last summer when he was summoned by Queen Ava.

Putting his quill down, he sits back in his chair and remembers that day...

He had just arrived in Calenhelm, back from the tribes of the Edgeland Desert and meeting the Shahbanou Mansouras when he found out his presence had been requested by Queen Ava upon his return to the capital.

Getting ready quickly, he made his way to the castle accompanied by the Home Guard whom were sent to escort him. On his way there, his mind shifted from his daily preoccupations to wondering about the reason he was asked to come to the palace.

Wheatley is shown into a small courtyard, and offered a seat. He sits briefly, admiring the flowers coming into bloom, but is distracted as he hears the metallic sound of armour coming his way. Glancing up, he sees the Queen walking his way.

He quickly stands and bows to the Queen. "Your Majesty, thank you for having me at the palace."

The Queen dismisses the guards with a swift gesture. "Count Wheatley, it is always a pleasure. Please, sit."

"I have summoned you here to discuss the succession of the High Ruler of Calandonia." She smiles briefly at her guest as she seats herself on a bench across from him, motioning for the Count to sit as well. "As you surely are aware, I succeeded my husband the late King Ulric as the leader of Calanda. But, his position over the continent of Calandonia remains vacant, save for Az'Caine's tenancy as regent. This of course is temporary, and a new High Ruler must eventually be selected by vote of the Grand Council. To which I believe you can play an important role in this integral process."

"Your highness, I am not quite sure how I would be able to do so." Wheatley replies, slight confusion knitting his brows. "I would rather not run for the throne. I cannot see myself being in that position and potentially making those decisions that would impact whether someone lives or dies. Besides, there is a lot I can do now that I would not be able to do while being High King."

"That is a shame, ruling also requires diplomacy and care." The blonde woman nods solemnly. "However, you are correct in that there are other things that can be done. Tell me then, who do you believe should be the High King or Queen?"

"Unfortunately, I do not know." The Count shakes his head. "This requires a lot of thinking and analyzing, I suppose. The one who would take on that role would have to prove themselves to all of the people of Calandonia."

Queen Ava watches him, a finely sculpted eyebrow lifting. "Don't you have any preferences? I mean, you seem to get along with a few members of the court and have relationship with them already."

The younger man nods, his next words genuine. "You are correct, my Queen. I have been acquainted with some members of the court, and have gotten closer to some. Though I believe every candidate must be given a chance and my relationship with any of them is not basis for a preference in a ruler. It is their values, their leadership and what they can do Calandonia as a whole that should decide who the rule will be. That certainly won't be an easy task."

"I believe I made the right choice then." Queen Ava's face had remained mainly expressionless during the interview, but now she beams openly at Wheatley. "I would like you to be an Ambassador to the Grand Council and hold the other Calandian seat, opposite myself.”

Wheatley nods obediently. "I will do as you please, your Highness.”

The Queen pauses and her expression softens, leaning across the space between them and placing a hand gently on his knee. “Avis... excuse me for dropping the formalities, but I want this to be very clear. This is not an order. You are free to accept or refuse this offer. I want you to keep your neutrality. Your position in the Grand Council, were you to accept it should remain neutral to me and anyone else.

When the time comes and the competition for the High Throne has begun, it will be you who selects among the nobles of Calanda whom will represent our interests in the race. Then, and only then, will they take your seat on the Grand Council for the final vote. Until that moment, you are the voice for Calanda's nobility to the continent as a whole."

She removes her hand with a pat and sits back up, the professional demeanour of her position returning to her features. "Please consider this and provide me answer by the end of the week. A letter will suffice. Now, you are dismissed unless you have anything else to discuss.”

“No your Highness," the Count replies, "I have nothing else to discuss. Thank you for this offer, as well as your time.”

With a final nod and soft smile, Queen Ava leaves the courtyard. Wheatley does the same shortly after her departure, looking around the small garden once more before returning to his city estate.

He thought about the offer a lot in the next few days, reading past decisions and work from the Grand Council, he familiarized himself with their duties and role. The position she offered would make it possible for him to help a lot of people and to fix some of the struggles many have had in the last few years, at least until it came time for him to step back for the final vote of High Ruler.

Fully decided, he sent a letter to Queen Ava, informing her of his acceptance of the role of Ambassador.


((Edited 06/03/2017 for continuity and narrative purposes! ))
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