“As military governor, I have full authority to conscript any able-bodied citizen I see fit to serve and if Elspeth refuses, I have the right to compel her to serve or throw her in jail if she refuses.”
“No you don’t!” Balgruuf was most displeased at this.
Falk let out a sigh. He too had no desire to see Elspeth thrown into this war but Balgruuf was just going to embarrass himself. “Ah my Jarl, you know that he is right.” He spoke carefully, not wanting to inflame the already angry Nord.
“Of course, I could always make it known that she was coerced into service. That would hardy endear more Nords to your purpose here.”
Tullius frowned in disbelief. Balgruuf was really in it. “You’d do that? Put the safety of your hold on the line?”
Tullius grunted and looked intently at him. “I don’t think I need to tell you that it is unwise to let certain affections cloud your judgment.”
“Now you listen to me–” Balgruuf was furious now.
“Gentlemen please!” Elisif interjected, desperate not only to diffuse the awkward tension between the two men but also to avoid thinking any more about Balgruuf’s unrequited love for the Dragonborn. “After all, this is supposed to be a party, yes?”