The Governor-General’s Oath; Chapter 4

Grundoon spent the rest of the day in his office, pouring over the documents, maps, and assorted paperwork for his new job. Romilmark was a very large territory, containing three good-sized cities, several villages and towns, and three high mountain passes that allowed travel to and from Romillia. According to the reports in the bundle of files, a great many of the dwarves that had lived in this area had fled to other parts of Romillia when the Slothjemians had counter-attacked. It was here in this region that the bulk of the fighting had taken place, and a good many of the bridges, farms, fortifications, and other infrastructure had been seriously damaged or destroyed in the quick, but very bloody war. It wasn’t as though Grundoon had to build the entire Grafdom from scratch, but he was convinced early into his research that perhaps that would have been an easier chore to accomplish.

The way things currently stood, the Slothjemians were controlling things from the biggest city, a sprawling place called Brakoff in the southern part of the domain. Here the army had established a headquarters, and had been busy securing the city and the surrounding environs. Grundoon wasn’t sure that is where he wanted to set up shop, though. He wanted to be closer to the center of things, someplace where he wasn’t too far from any point in the jurisdiction. The reports the army had sent didn’t indicate that the Romillians were going to be on the offensive any time soon, but nobody had foreseen the Romillians attacking four months ago, either.

The three passes that led to Romillia had been thoroughly manned to prevent any rogue incursions by hostile forces, but they did not have very much in the way of solid, permanent fortifications. Once those roads were deemed secure, Grundoon would have a lot of manpower to set about accomplishing his other goals. He would have to determine what local nobility, if any, were going to switch allegiance to Slothjemia; anybody not switching sides would have to vacate their lands. Anyone that was going to cause trouble during the transition would have to be tossed out of the country, or dealt with in some other way. Grundoon was not necessarily dreading the prospect of making an example out of somebody. He would not tackle the job of Governor-General half-heartedly. The crown expected results, and he was looking forward to delivering them.
He would have to look more closely at the maps, and examine the data on the nobles that had already abandoned their holdings and fled the region before he decided where to set up his headquarters. With all of the real estate available, he was bound to find something suitable.

Dinner was a vibrant, cheerful affair. All of Grundoon’s family that were living in the vale turned up, partly to celebrate having the patriarch home, and partly because this was almost always what they did anyway. After they ate, Grundoon took Zindel aside, and asked him to look after the estate in Vorkelvale while Grundoon was in Romilmark. Zindel was surprised, but very happy to accept the honor. Immediately after speaking to his son, Grundoon sought out his daughter, Hilde. He found her in the parlor, laughing loudly at a joke somebody had told. The baron had missed the punchline, but he laughed anyway because of his daughter’s infectious howling. He squeezed her elbow, and motioned for her to follow him. She grabbed a bottle of liquor off of the end table, and went with her father to his office.

Jandle was already in the study tidying up, and all three settled in around the large desk. Hilde set down the bottle, and Jandle put out three small glasses. Grundoon poured them each a drink, and then leaned back into his chair.

“We want you to come with us to Romilmark, Hilde.” Grundoon said, and then took a drink.

“You and Jandle?” asked Hilde with a sly smile.

Grundoon chuckled. “No, Aggrylia and I. She will need assistance with the whelps, and neither of us can imagine this endeavor without you being there.”

“Well, alrighty then.” Said Hilde, as she finished off her drink. “When are we leaving? What do I need to take?”

“In a few weeks, if not sooner. Take whatever you think you might need, but we can easily have whatever we don’t take with us shipped there.” Grundoon said as he poured another round of drinks.

“We’re going to need a few cases of this stuff, then.” Hilde said. Jandle snickered, and downed his glass in support.

“Clever child.” Laughed Grundoon. “Find out where we can get it in bulk, we’ll pick it up on our way to the capital.”

They chatted some more, and then rejoined the family in the parlor. Grundoon spent more time than usual looking about at the people in the room. He had lived a very full life. This next venture was going to be more burden than glory, but Grundoon had an idea that this was going to be a very fulfilling job. In fact, he felt certain that he was going to be able to settle one debt in particular, once and for all.

The evening began to wind down, and Grundoon found himself once more in his study, going over the parcel of Romilmark documents. Aggrylia came in to check on him, and kissed his forehead. Jandle, too, had come to see if he needed anything, but the old orc was content with his reading. One thing was for certain, however. He was going to need glasses.

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