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Jutegn

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Joined
Oct 31, 2006
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7,467
Location
Midwest 'Merica
Capital
Tingsted
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Fleur
Vilby, Tingsted

The Vilby District of Tingsted was a bit more rough than the old homes featured in books and the thoughts of many. Far away from the palace and even further away from the wealthy district of Bisbakken, the little tavern was beginning to fill with workers on their way home who were stopping for a quick schnapps or lager. Hans Plessen ducked his head as he approached the tavern. He raised his head briefly, noting that the tavern did not even have a name. Dressed in a fine gray suit, Plessen certainly stood out. Most of the men were dirty in their work attire or the lowest functionaries wore ratty suits. Scanning the room, Plessen noted that indeed several eyes had turned to examine him before returning to their drinks and conversation. The smell for Plessen would be intolerable if not for the copious amount of pipe smoke. The smell of sweat and what he assumed was piss caught in his nostrils, barely perceptible through the sweet tobacco scent. He fixed his eyes on a booth near the back and slowly made his way. Ludvig and Hector were already seating, lager beers sitting on the table. As he sat, Hector quietly pushed a beer across the table and met Plessen's eyes. "Were you followed?" he asked, coldly. Plessen shook his head. Ludvig interjected. "A fucking Rigsdahler. For 3 beers. That scum barkeep knows we have money" he said, shrugging. Plessen sat back and grinned. Of course they were standing out. He was against meeting here from the start. "Last month I mentioned reorganizing the nobles to take action" he began. Hector nodded. "You said you have an idea. Let us here it" said Ludvig. Plessen carefully examined the two young men. Nobles like himself, neither was above the age of 35.

"King Erik's days are ending. My sources in the palace have confirmed he has left to one of the Royal Estates" said Plessen quietly. Ludvig and Hector looked at each other briefly as if to communicate mutual interest in the news. Plessen took a deep breath and looked down to collect his thoughts. He eyed the sawdust covered floor passively, his brow furling. "There are many nobles already behind what I propose. The nobility of Dyfolt and even the Lahti nobles are behind what I will tell you. The fact is that you two are the biggest landowners in Bollend. Without you, I cannot convince the Sunnlend nobles to join our cause" Plessen said, sipping his beer. "Our ancestors going back to the great warrior-trader Jutes built this Kingdom with their blood, sweat, and tears. We are being robbed. The legacy of our households is being robbed. The King has gone too far and that Statsgilde is nothing but a blood-sucking tax machine built to allow those social anarchists to walk in and take Jutegn" Plessen said, stabbing his finger into the table. Ludvig took a long swig of beer before turning more to directly address Plessen. "Blood sucking is right. Our rights are stripped. I cannot even afford to tax my tenants what I should be to cover the tax increase. We had to sell the hunting lodge!" Ludvig said, his voice full of indignation. "I was to buy one of those new automobiles this year. Now, it will be next year or the year after. All of my family's work is being pulled down by that senile fool" he said, his voice growing louder.

Plessen held up his hand. "Not so loud my dear friend, these places have eyes and ears. Even in Vilby. If you want to restore our God given rights, meet me here in one weeks time" he began, pausing to gulp at the beer. "If not, your gentlemanly discretion is most appreciated" said Plessen. Abruptly, he stood and gave a curt bow of his head before turning and walking out the door. Ludvig and Hector looked at each other and shrugged. Change was coming.
 

Jutegn

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Midwest 'Merica
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Gunderup Castle, Gunderup

"His condition is definitely not improving" said the senior doctor, Lars Skeel. The other doctors nodded in agreement as some turned to look down the corridor and through the open door where the King was laying in a single bed, with shallow breathing. A sigh from the doctors was collective as the King jerked involuntarily several times before subsiding. "Shall we tell him?" asked Skeel, puffing his cheeks. The doctors muttered and slowly they began to nod again. "Very well. Dr. Ingmann will stay with the King" said Skeel. His old and weathered face was dominated by a bulbous but snub nose and a pair of oversize glasses. The face turned slowly to the young doctor. Ingmann looked around in alarm. He was only a new general practitioner. "You will be fine" said Skeel. "Nothing will happen. If it does, do your best and we will come immediately. A footman will be just inside the door. Just sit with him until we return" said Skeel in a reassuring tone.

The dark wood of the halls and the cobblestone floor of the main corridor echoed heavily as the group of doctors made their way to the library. As they walked, staff and maids scurried out of the way. Skeel glanced at the portraits that lined the wall as he walked. For a hundred years the Royal Family had visited this remote village in order to enjoy some peace. Skeel wondered how many doctors had walked same hall with terrible news.

The Crown Prince was leaning against a bookcase and glanced up from the book as the team entered. His dark hair and mustache contrasted heavily with his pale appearance. Tall and in his 30's, the Crown Prince looked rather plain in his dark gray suit. Skeel suspected that it was a very expensive suit but he decided the appearance was that of a suit a professor or engineer might have. The doctors bowed their heads slightly. "Well?" asked the Crown Prince, his eyes narrowing in the most classic of aristocratic manners. Skeel took a step forward. "Your Highness, his Majesty will not survive the month" he said, attempting to sound as calm and professional as possible. The Crown Prince slowly closed the book and took exceedingly good care to replace it properly. Without turning from the bookcase, he asked "how long?". Skeel could hear the strain and anguish in the voice that might otherwise sound rather pleasant or simply inquisitive.The doctor shrugged. "1 week. 2 weeks. Maybe 3....maybe" said Skeel.
 

Jutegn

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Midwest 'Merica
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Gunderup Castle

The mood in Gunderup was solemn. The King's breathing was labored and there was a thicket of disbelief among the staff and visitors. In theirs eyes shown the heaviness of the moment. Their gazes were downcast and their speech muzzled. Hans Plessen's eyes darted as he fought to control his breathing. 'What was going on' he wondered. The newspapers had all announced that the King was recovering and yet the castle seemed like it was shouldering a thousand Jute ships. He sucked on his teeth quietly. "Something isn't right" he said, turning to Ludvig. Ludvig's stare was fixed and he looked like he had just lost 50 Rigsdahler in his mistress's bedroom. Plessen elbowed him lightly. "Stop. Acting. Like. A fool" he said to Ludvig, through gritted teeth. Ludvig shook his head and gave a curt nod. They had been waiting for 2 hours under the pretense to pay their respect to the King and wish him well. So far, nobody had acknowledged them since they were shown to the billiard room.

The room was indeed grandiose but it was clear it had not been used in ages. A thick dust blanket covered the surfaces and the decanters of spirits were draped in cobwebs. Plessen curled his lip looking at the filth. So far, staff had darted in and out as a main corridor ran along one side of the room. Ludvig's head suddenly snapped and followed a figure as the Crown Prince hurried by. Ludvig and Plessen looked at each other, their brows furled. Something was indeed happening. And as if at once, they both understood. The King was either dead or dying. "If he is dead, we must speak to the Prince the second he is alone. We must tell him we wish to speak to him privately" said Plessen. Ludvig nodded slowly. "We may wait long to get our chance" said Ludvig, standing to grab a dusty ashtray which he cradled in his hand as he smoked a cheap cigar. Within minutes, a housekeeper appeared and stared at Ludvig. Without a word she strode up, grabbed the cigar and ashtray and retreated out of the room. Ludvig chuffed. "These court types are diluted" he said; Plessen nodding in agreement. Another hour passed before an Underhusmester appeared. "His Majesty has passed" said the elderly house master. Plessen noted the age and wear of the old man's green-gray uniform. It hung from his body. Clearly he had worked for the Court for decades. The man's expression was empty but Plessen detected a sadness behind the eyes. "May we pay our respects?" Plessen asked. "I must ask the Prince, sir. Please, wait here" the man said in a shaky but calm voice.

Within minutes, the man returned. "The Crown Prince thanks you and says that you may enter the King's chamber for no longer than a moment. Follow me" said the Underhusmester. Slowly, the two conspirators followed the shuffling house master.
 
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