Hall of The Khans
11 November, 3000
“You are recognized, Khan Garrick N’Buta of the Star Adders. Why do you rise before this Conclave?”
The Oathmaster’s ritual words rang out across the Hall of the Khans to the considerable startlement of Wolf Khan Kerlin Ward. Kerlin had been about to call a vote on his most recent proposal, and the Star Adder Khan was, technically, out of order.
Let him challenge me to a Trial of Grievance if he does not like it. Like most Clan Warriors, Garrick was usually unfailingly polite: It never hurt to be polite when surrounded by people who would feel obligated to kill you at the slightest offense. This made the impact of upstaging the Wolf Khan all the more potent. Such a challenge could not properly be made on the floor of the Grand Council. Kerlin would have to wait while Garrick had his say or be embarrassed further. Still, he could well pay the price later. But this is important.
“I find your notion of sending a reconnaissance force to the Inner Sphere intriguing, Kerlin Ward, but I note certain deficiencies in the plan. Firstly, you would have this force placed soly under your own authority. While I cannot say that I do not trust you with such a charge, given your record and known political positions” — this brought a guffaw from the Smoke Jaguar Khan. He could afford to be rude. He was a Smoke Jaguar. “It seems unwise to me to leave a force acting in the name of all the Clans in the hands of a Wolf. Most exalted of Clans or not, Clan Wolf is only one among the many assembled here, and the charge of gathering intelligence for the inevitable Return to the Inner Sphere is too important to be left to the offices of any one Clan.”
Garrick held a hand up to forestall rebuttal while taking a drink of water. He was pleased that it worked. This meant he had the Khans’ attention.
“Indeed, this august body made that same determination when establishing Intelser twenty years ago. Even as Intelser reports only to the Loremaster and the Grand Council, a force of Clan Warriors sent to reconnoiter in force must report only to this Grand Council and its Warlord. My Khans, I second Kerlin Ward’s call for a reconnaissance force to be sent into the Inner Sphere itself, though I will stipulate that it must report only to this conclave. In the wake of this vote, which I trust will succeed,” he paused briefly for dramatic effect.
“I intend to call for the election of an ilKhan.”