|John Haveland (phony_king) wrote in nevermore_logs,|
@ 2012-07-25 00:52:00
|Entry tags:||prince john, richard the lionheart|
Who: Richard and John
What: John tried to overthrow Richard. The latter is not pleased
Where: Normandy, John's castle
Warnings: Probably language, mentions of violence at best, mentions of imprisonment, TBD
It was a disgrace. He'd spend months locked up in some drafty tower, forced to pace while he waited for his ransom and in the meantime his foolish younger brother had tried to revolt. It had cost him Normandy. Phillip's betrayal was a sore spot, and that was putting it lightly, but he could deal with that. Knowing John was perched on the edge of his throne grated on Richard's nerves.
He had to set his brother straight, then make plans to retake all the land John's pride had cost them. He wanted to toss John on his ear, but for once the advizors had a point. Richard was still without an heir. They were pressuring him to do something about that. But while he liked his wife, the thought of settling down was beyond him. There was plenty of time.
With a sigh he walked into the castle, hand settled around the hilt of his sword. He looked around for John before waving all but his trusted guards way. Some of this was not meant for everyone's ears.
John sat alone in the smaller council chamber near his quarters, at the head of the table. Richard was coming. He just knew it. Richard was going to come and kill him, or worse, lock him up and humiliate him what what he'd done. He felt resentful but wasn't the least bit sorry. That pack of arguing idiots Richard had left to govern in his stead couldn't to the job. John had ambitions. He was going to change things and be the ruler Richard wasn't, and people would remember him because he did his job instead of running off on those dusty, ridiculous crusades.
"Excuse me, sire," said a herald, stepping into the doorway with a bow. John looked up from his empty goblet of wine. "Sire, the King is here." John sighed heavily and waved a hand.
"Let him come," he said, and the herald disappeared to greet the King. John stayed seated, straightening his shoulders, a look of apprehension and resentment on his face.
He stood through the greeting, at least part way before demanding to be taken to his brother. He didn't waste time to follow the herald, leaving the guards at the door.
He just watched his brother once inside the council chamber, "I should have you flogged." Instead he just shook his head, "spoiled child." He sighed and moved closer, taking a seat. John had grown since Richard had last seen him. "Unfortunately for me, then Mother would flog me. By God John, what did you think to accomplish with this foolishness?"
John rolled his eyes heavenward, every inch the sulky brother being told off. "Hardly foolishness. You ran off to kill yourself. What was I supposed to do? You haven't named an heir and your government are idiots who can't work together." John always did his best to justify his actions in the grander scheme. Sure, he wanted the power, but it was more than that. He convinced himself it really was for the best. The whole bit of trying to keep fighting even after learning his brother was alive and coming back was kind of ignored in his mind.
He gave his brother a long look, "I half wonder if you had anything to do with them not getting along as they should have. I half wonder about a lot of things." His voice was even, hardly angry. "You tried to take what wasn't yours and now look. Normandy's lost, and you betrayed your King."
He shook his head, and sighed. "What am I to do with you John?" His brother was right. He had no heir. But he couldn't let this go unpunished.
"I had nothing to do with it! Longchamp is a pain, he won't do anything! He made me look like an idiot and he won't work with me unless I bribe him! I thought you were dead!" John complained. Richard was taking the moral high ground, and it was infuriating being talked down to like that. Still, his position was shaky. He didn't want to be locked away. He eyed up Richard, wondering what he'd do. Richard could be just as ruthless as John could, but Geoffrey, Henry and William were all dead. Richard couldn't just get rid of John.
He raised an eyebrow, "thought I was dead? What, my ghost got us a treaty? Don't try and sell me that John. Had I died, the men would have roared the news loud enough for God to hear them." He considered that a fact. He knew his men liked him.
"You'll forgive me if I don't believe you." Sighing he leaned back into the chair, "I'm going to announce I am to take your lands in punishment for this treason. You will publicly announce your loyalty to me, and swear never to try and betray me again. I'll say your advisors put poison in your ears."
"WHAT!?" John leaped to his feet, the chair only just too heavy to fall over. His wine goblet clattered across the table. "All of them?? That's not fair! I was only trying to keep the country secure!" He ground his teeth together, fighting the urge to bite his nails, and went very red in the face. His chest heaved as his fought against his temper. It would do absolutely nothing to help him now. Richard would only think him even more of a child.
His inhaled deeply and paced away from the table, going back and forth a few times, hands clenching and unclenching as he tried to think through his position. Finally he spun around, leaning his hands on the table with a slap.
"Fine. Fine! I will swear fealty to you. As long as you live I will be loyal to you. I will never try to undermine you again. But you have to give me something back! You can't just leave me with nothing!" He wanted Richard to say John would be his official heir most of all, but he doubted Richard would play that card so soon.
He watched his brother spring up and pace around. "You committed treason against your King. I could have you hanged. The people will frown enough as it is." He scoffed, "Secure? You cost us Normandy, and almost incited civil war. How on Earth is that secure."
"Publicly John." He paused then, clenching his jaw and calculating. "Ireland. You'll keep Ireland." It was barely anything, but still something. "I'll make the announcement tomorrow." He needed to see if the rumors about Constance and Phillip were true before he did anything.
"You brought this on yourself John. Had you stopped when you knew of my return, I could be more lenient. Now the nobility and peasants demand something."
"IRELAND!" John looked ready to pop. "They hate me in Ireland! It was all Hugh de Lacy, he worked them against me! And the civil war part wasn't my fault, it was that bastard Longchamp, he won't stay bribed!" Deep breaths, John, he told himself. Think this through.
"You still need me, Richard. You don't have an heir. I have four children already and you don't have one. You forsook your duty to chase savages through the desert. Which left us even poorer because you went and got captured, I might add! Where is your bride? Did you even bring her back with you?" John didn't really know the meaning of the words "quit while you're ahead". "I will play second fiddle to you. I will fight your wars. I will publicly announce our reconciliation and my loyalty. Just please, something better than Ireland!"
"Enough!" His voice raised and he rose, towering over most people at his height and knowing how to use it. "I am your King. You will show me respect!" His jaw twitched and he glared at John. "Blaming what is and what has been on others will not always save you little brother."
He watched John before removing his crown and running a hand through his hair. "Ireland. And if what is true of Constance, we will speak of heirs again. I will make inquires about her and Phillip while I prepare to take back what is mine. But until then, if I hear even the slightest of rumors about anything but utter loyalty from you let it be known that our blood ties is the only thing keeping you out of the gallows."
John closed his mouth, furious. He knew what would happen if he crossed the line. After all, their mother had been locked in the Tower for years, and there was nothing preventing Richard from doing the same to John. But, he hadn't said no to John being his heir. The only way John would be king now was if Richard made him so. He needed to conform to the circumstances.
After a long, tense moment, John's shoulders forcibly relaxed, and he bowed his head to his brother, slowly getting down onto one knee before him. "My King," he said, doing an admirable job of sounding sincere. "Thank you for your leniency towards my actions. What I did was wrong and it will never happen again. From now on, your word is my command." Oh how it hurt to say those words!
"It better be," he sighed. He'd have to go through this again tomorrow and make some sort of show of it all. "Get up." He was tired, his bones ached and he still wasn't done. Not that he really wanted to be. War was in his blood.
John stood up straight. "You will never have cause to doubt me again." And John, as selfish an angry a man he was, was a man of ambition and of self-preservation. He needed Richard and Richard needed him. He didn't quite smile and hug, but he forced his temper away, realigned his view. He had failed, but hope was not lost.
"So, Constance didn't work out?"
He doubted that, but as long as John played by the rules Richard would have no foot to stand on. And they couldn't afford the civil war that would break out if he did anything else to John. Sighing he sat down again. "There's rumors she and Phillip are making eyes. It puts Arthur in a bad and awkward position and makes your position all the better."
John leaned his hands on the back of a chair. He purposefully didn't go back to the biggest chair at the head of the table that he had been sitting in, out of deference to his brother.
"I can help you get Phillip back on side," he said, then added, "if you'd like my help," in case Richard was going to be like that about it. He didn't address the question of Arthur. The boy was too young for now anyway. He might die before adulthood. Who would know?
He sighed and waved his hand, taking the seat at the head of the table, "it will be water under the bridge John. Even if there is an agreement between us, it would fall to pieces when I go to reclaim our lost lands." It was sad to know someone whom he'd once cared for so much was now raising an army against him. The fact that it was partly Richard's own dumb fault escaped him.
"What I need you to do is go to England and quiet the nobles." He glanced to John, "it'll keep you out of trouble, and safe. And we can't afford to have your toddlers on the throne." It was as good as saying John was his heir. They both knew Richard was in a corner.
It was as good as he was going to get. John knew Richard was so very almost promising him this to keep him happy, but if it worked, then what did that matter? He nodded acceptance.
"None of them are legitimate anyway," John said with a shrug. "I'm beginning to think my wife barren." Not that John was often with her to try and procreate.
And John was chastising Richard on the whole 'no heirs' thing. He just shook his head and sighed. "well, you'll have time to find out if she is. If it's the case, I'll write to Rome." He'd have to send for his own wife, he knew that but after so long away the affection he'd had for her had left. All he felt was respect and kindness towards her.
"I'll send you home at the end of next week. I'm sure Mother will be all too pleased to see you." If anything he could trust their mother to try and keep an eye on John.
"Mother would be happier to see you, I'm sure," John said, a trace of bitterness on his face. Mother had always liked Richard best. He stood up and gave Richard a half bow. "Come. Luncheon should be set by now. We will break bread together as allies."
Richard would rather find a place to lay down for a while, but he knew this was necessary. He gave a small smile, "so she keeps writing to me." He rose then and motioned for his brother to lead the way. "Who are the nobles I should play nice to?" In other words, who were the allies John had bought, but even Richard knew how to play at politics.
John glanced at Richard, cogs turning in his head as he considered which of his advisors he'd like to get rid of. "Let us discuss it while we eat, shall we?" he said, feeling better already.
"Let's," he was at a disadvantage, having been away for so long and he knew John knew it too. Battles were simpler. Give him a castle and he could find a way into it. Politics were all too confusing.