Benvolio leaned back on his pillow and stretched his back. What he wouldn’t give for a proper chair. It had already been 5 days since his younger brother had left him in the dubious (if enthusiastic) care of his Kobold “friends.” To be fair, the Sootscale Kobolds had treated him well, and appeared to be negotiating in good faith….if that’s what you could call it. Benvolio still wasn’t sure if Benjamin was being truthful about wanting them for allies, or if it was all some kind of elaborate con…Benvolio shook his head…back home and with their father it would have been a scam or trick for sure, however knowing his overly riotous brother, he was likely being sincere. Of course this meant that that Benvolio had to negotiate this deal as carefully as with river pirates…and these “pirates,” though small, were surprisingly fearsome negotiators, especially since most pirates would at least think twice about eating him (if at all) if he made a miss-step in his negotiating.
“The Sootscale Clan has honored all of our deals with ”/characters/benjamin-berg" class=“wiki-content-link”>Chief Ben, and his Witch." Said Chief Sootscale from his throne (one of the few chairs in the old mine that the clan called home). “Have we not ceased all raids on the Tallfellows just like he asked? Have we not sent warriors to aid him in victorious war against his enemy Tallfellows? Have we not helped his people by helping him gather fish, berries, and moon radishes? Have we ever broken the covenant of our agreement?”
Well no" began Benvolio, be fore being interrupted by the Chief.
“We Sootscales have shown honor, as has Chief Ben. Our tribe wishes to continue this peace, and we are happy that he has invited us to be part of his tribe.” He continued speaking over Benvolio’s attempted interjection. “It was easy to be friends when Ben’s tribe was small. Now he has become a leader of his people like I am a leader of mine.” Chief Sootscale pointed a claw at his own chest. “Though we are friends, we are both leaders and must be responsible for our people.”
Benvolio took the opportunity of this brief pause to get a few words in. “Chief, my brother is a fair and honest man. As you have said, so far both sides have shown each other both friendship and honor. You and my brother both understand that an alliance will strengthen our respective peoples, where as conflict can only weaken or destroy us.”
“You are right of course,” said the Chief, reclaiming control of the conversation. “My people are too few in number, and both sides would take grievous losses should we ever war. Chief Ben is right to bring our people closer together. I have spoken to the Clan, and we have agreed that the idea to resettle into the city will bring both of our people closer together, and will also give us a home closer to the waters and their bounty.”
Benvolio smiled inwardly. This was one of Benjamin’s ideas, and it was seemed a good one….providing of course that this peace with the Kobolds held. “I’m glad to hear it, and so will my brother. I of course must seek his final approval on the details of our alliance, however do believe that he will support your idea that the Clan will remain in their homes for the winter, and with the coming of spring, the Clan will move to the city of Bregberg, where Benjamin will have already provided housing for your people, and a waterfront port, where your people and my own can fish and work together.” He continued on. “And from our conversation before we left, Benjamin was very concerned about the misunderstanding which saw unknowing humans break the peace to kill Kobolds. I’m sure that on his return to the City, Benjamin will issue a proclamation to bring the Sootscale tribe into the Kingdom, and its members being subject to the same laws, rights, and responsibilities as every other citizen of the Kingdom.”
“Ah,” Said the Chief, “now we come to it. We agree that Kobolds and Humans must be protected from killing each other over misunderstandings. We also both agree that it is right that we protect each other in self defense. It us understood that the best way to do this, is to state by law that kobolds and humans are equal within the kingdom, and both equally protected by its laws. However this creates a bit of a problem. If the Clan swears allegiance to King Ben, then the treaty between our peoples would no longer exist.”
Benvolio shook his head about to make a point when the Chief continued, “so we have another suggestion. Your King already granted us the land around and below the Old Sycamore Tree for our tribe. Let this land remain sovereign land for our tribe that we may build for our own people, yet maintain an alliance of two proud races….I would suggest that in return for a small initial seed fund to begin the building process, that our people would agree not to expand upon this territory, in the interests of not encroaching upon the lands of ”/wikis/wildantor" class=“wiki-page-link”> Wildantor. You can tell your King, that if he agrees to this, we would also pledge to raise a small force of warriors, to be kept on standby of course, for the protection of our mutual realms." He looked at Benvolio expectantly….
While Benvolio privately wondered about the wisdom of allowing the tribe to raise any kind of an army, he said “I know that my brother will consider this fairly, and I’ll make sure to present its merits when I report on our negotiations…however its the last part that I’m most unsure about…I don’t know what he will say.”
“I understand” said the Chief in the kindly tone of an elder Kobold to a youngling seeking his advice. “As you said, all you need to do is to present our negotiations to your Chief. He will listen fairly, and I’m sure see the wisdom in our people’s being joined in common cause. Just as I have agreed to send representatives to assist the King’s father, so too will one of my children serve him. It will strengthen our families and our Kingdoms.”
Benvolio nodded his head. “As you say, I’ll bring it to the King.”
Chief Sootscale smiled a toothy grin. “Do not worry my friend, you wont be alone. When you return to your Chief, my people will be right beside you. They will make sure that you make it home safe.” At this, the Chief stood from his throne, and raised his arms to the gathered tribe and cried out, “And now we feast!” The cavern echoed with the sound of cheering Kobolds.