When the other guests had left the two men were left alone. The younger, more impetuous of the two spoke first. “Did you hear the talk? They’re ready for it! We should rally the families!”
The wiser man winced at the crass directness. “Patience my friend. The Regent is well entrenched on the throne. We must nuture our assets”.
“Assets! These are desperate times! Our swords and blood are our assets. If we strike soon…” the young man realized his voice had risen too loud and cut himself off. His mentor carried on in softer tones.
“…we will be cut down by the Regents allies. No, we need more resources. Money, land to harvest people and provisions…the unclaimed lands to the south should provide ample wealth”.
He recieved a look that seemed to regard him as mad. “The Stolen Lands? It will take more resources to claim than they will provide. It’s a nest of thieves and monsters!”
“Then we won’t do the work. If we offer suitable encouragement others will be happy to do so.” He smiled slightly but there was no warmth. His junior could see where he was going.
“Adventurers! Worse than mercenaries, only slightly better than bandits themselves!”
“A resource we can harness, my friend. And if they are no longer useful they will not be missed. We must play a long game, and besides…desperate times…..”