(515-04-07) A Messy Ledger
Summary: Earl Robert calls in a prospective ledgerkeeper to take a look at the books. Lady Lisbeth manages to uncover the issue!
Date: April 7, 515
Related: None
robert lisbeth 

With spring coming, and the various positions within the Court coming open, Robert's been speaking with his lady wife about those who have shown interest. A message is sent for Lisbeth to attend the Earl at the castle, and once she arrives, she's shown into a large room that serves as the Earl's office. There's a few desks here, along with thick books and scrolls that are placed in cubbies on the shelves that make up most of the walls here.

When she's introduced, the Earl rises from his seat, a nod offered, "Lady Lisbeth. I thank you for your quickness in answering my summons. Please, come in?" He doesn't waste a bit of time, "I understand from my wife that you are interested in the position as Ledgerkeeper?"

Lisbeth checked her courtesy of 10, she rolled 17.

There's a certain confidence to the stride of the young Lady, but her stride is quick as Lady Lisbeth arrives in the inner sanctum and perhaps may just be more than a little nervous as the young lady manages the curtesy to the Earl, but forgets about the wife and handmaidens. Just a small faux pas, but one that will be talked about later. "It is a pleasure to have this opprotunity, Your Excellency." she offers polietly, before rising fully to her petite height. She takes in the small library with delight and just a little wonder, excited to be surrounded by so much knowledge.

Lucky for Lisbeth, only Eyste is here, minus the handmaidens, beyond the Earl. Robert smiles, taking note of the young lady's nervousness, but doesn't remark upon it. "I would like to see if you could help me with an issue…" A pause, and he wonders, "You are familiar with your family's neighbors, Alvediston and Ebbesbourne Wake?" They are two small manors just south of Chalke along the river. Likely, they are friendly with one another, and Lisbeth would know the families.

Walking over to a smaller desk, he opens up the thick ledger that has been set out there, and gestures for her to come closer, "The tithes are not adding up correctly, between Alvediston and Ebbesbourne Wake. Not in comparison to their prior years, and what other records report." Further scrolls are laid out there as well. Missives between the manors and the Earl's court. "Lord Sawel has taken ill this past winter, and I cannot make heads nor tails out of his books."

"I know it was a difficult year for most manors, with the weather and illness, Your Excellency, but if it is enough to merit worry, I would be honored to take a look at them. May I ask where the paper trail begins, so I can start my search there for any oddities or discreptions?" Setting her jaw, the young lady chews on her bottom lip as she moves to the ledger, but she's already moving it back slightly so she can first get a look at the previous year before she even tries to look at the present year. "I assume that their harvests, taxes, and taxable items are in here for the last two years as well?"

Robert nods, his gaze to watch the young lady before him as she picks up on the issue. "Yes, it's all there." It's hard to say whether or not he is as unknowing about the issue as he might seem or not. Stepping to the side, he pulls out another sheaf of missives, "These are from the last few years, as well if you flip back in the ledger several pages." Entries from missives were placed in the ledger, just in case missives went missing. It's a very neat system, or should be!

Lisbeth checked her read of 11, she rolled 12.
Lisbeth checked her stewardship of 15, she rolled 6.
Lisbeth checked her stewardship of 15, she rolled 11.
Lisbeth checked her stewardship of 15, she rolled 6.

Well, it would make sense, if the old Lord's handwriting wasn't atrocious! Seems it got worse over the last year when tremors set in. And he was obviously not the sort to trust a scribe to help him either! It'll take Lisbeth some time to figure it all out, but eventually… it'll start making sense!

The first thing she will notice in time, is that the old man got the manors mixed up in several places - Alvediston placed in Ebbesbourne Wake, and vice versa. There's a few numbers that seem to be from an entirely different manor - Alvediston didn't have horses!

"How old is Lord Sewell?" Lisbeth pulls on one of her braids as she reads, and starts to chew on it, setting the missives aside after a moment, before she starts to work the ledgers properly, and blinks immediately. "Were these done in the last moment? They seem rather rushed." With the admission, she actually moves from the ledger, to take a scrap piece of scroll, and starts to write things down. "He's transposed several figures here." she says as she writes, that braid set between her teeth as she continues to work. "His handwriting isn't the only thing that's slipping." she mutters, nearly to herself.

She grabs one of the ledgers, flipping back several pages, and then back to the current page, comparing the two several times. "He's severely overcharged Alvediston on their taxes." she starts simply. "They're being charged for things that are not in their possession. Unless they suddenly gained a horse farm within the last year, which I doubt. Alvediston has a very valid complaint for the amount of taxes they have paid, and Ebbesbourne Wake has been undercharged. As it is the end of the winter, this could be damaging to their treasuries.." she says as she works, placing the figures where they should be, on occassion returning to the scrolls to look at them, and finally grabs a small abacus to work on it, as if trying to understand something. "Alvediston will be facing a severe shortage this year in their treasury. I would make the suggestion that Ebbesbourne Wake loan the difference to Alvediston in the form of physical or monetary relief, or some combonation of the two, and consider it an act of charity and recompesense." she pauses, and blushes as she continues to work. "That is, if you were to ask me.."

Robert steps back, giving the young lady the room she might need to work over the missives and ledger. A glance to his wife is given, then back to half listen as Lisbeth mutters to herself about the state of the books. When finally Lisbeth seems to narrow down the issues that were keeping the books from balancing, he steps forwards to look over her corrections, the Earl quite thoughtful. "I know as well that some manors in that area, were hit hard during the skirmishes with Dorset. I do believe Alvediston was one of them." Thus the reason they were far short with their taxes. "It is a good idea you have there, Lady Lisbeth. I think Lord Samwel would have been pleased to work with you… before." Before the man got senile and ill over winter.

"I have one other who has shown interest in the position, and I wish to give them a chance as well, as you understand?" But it would appear that Lisbeth set a fairly high bar for the other prospective to hit. "You will be in Court in a few days, yes?" He asks of her.

"Am I done?" Lisbeth asks, thinking she had just gotten started on the books, and Robert could tell, she was starting to set up to actually make the corrections. But at the Earl's words, she forces herself to stop, and actually starts to put things back as she was presented with, so that the Earl does not find anything out of order. Other than what already was. Rising from the seat, she takes a small scrap of cloth from her pouch to clean off the ink from her hands, though the staining of her fingers suggests that she's done this since a very young age as she offers a curetsy. "As the current represenative for the House Chalke until Tamara returns, I will be present for Court, aye, Your Excellency." she offers polietly. "Thank you again for the opprotunity to audition for this position."

"Yes, and thank you, Lady Lisbeth…" The Earl actually smiles then, "You caught far more than I did on what was going on. I could narrow it down to there, but beyond that.." He was at a loss himself. "You must be quite the asset to your House, Lady Lisbeth." As she speaks of attending the upcoming court session, he dips his head, "Then, I am certain I shall see you there then, and inform you who I have chosen to take Lord Samwel's position."

Lisbeth checked her courtesy of 10, she rolled 12.

So focused on Richard, that Lisbeth again misses that his wife is there, the young lady offers a last dip of a curtesy. "I look forward to it." she offers, before she asks, "By your leave?" and only departs once Robert agrees, as she moves to head out of the sanctum and back to her quarters.

Eyste doesn't comment, but merely smiles where she stands to the side, leaving her husband to give a nod to the young lady of Chalke. "Yes, you may. Till later, Lady Lisbeth. And thank you again for pointing out the issues so well.." Now he's got a better idea to see if the other person picks up on the same issues!

The other prospect, Lord Wyn:
Critical Fail!
Robert makes a check for Lord read at 10, he rolled 20.

Lord Wyn was shown the books, given the same information, and yet he could never make heads nor tails of the records. He was left completely and utterly stumped and confused.

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