Iliar is all snuggled up to his sister. This is perfectly safe -- she's not a redmage, nor a whitemage -- and she doesn't mind it, though it doesn't really do for her what it used to.
"Do you know of any resources we have," he asks her, "which could convince the crown prince to change his mind about any of these propositions?"
Saria doesn't so much as glance in his direction, instead frowning down at the sheet where he's carefully written out the list of goals they absolutely must achieve to get the wheels of political change moving. It's hard to guess whether that's just concentration, or if she's forgetting again that he's not another of her carefully organized files.
"...no," she says, after several minutes of silence. She doesn't elaborate, of course.
Iliar frowns, and strokes her hair. "Do we have any contacts of degree -- mm, six -- or greater among the nobility who reside within a day's walk of the palace?"
"No," Saria says, more promptly, and takes away some of her papers that Iliar was going through, in order to refile them.
"Give those papers to me, love," Iliar says patiently; Saria complies immediately. "Do we have any contacts of degree six or greater among the palace staff?"
"...do we have any contacts of degree six or greater among the ambassadors at the palace?" he tries, not very hopefully.
"No," Saria says, gets up and wanders over to her loom. Iliar sighs and lets her go. She's a brilliant coordinator, and it's not as if he has trouble communicating with her, but she's developing a tendency to get bored if he doesn't reach a conclusion as fast as she does. It's okay, though. He'll work out a way to manage it; as issues go, it's nothing.
Of course, it's the fact that her issues are still so manageable that's providing him with this particular decision to make. Iliar unfolds the letter again, then refolds it without reading it, pressing the creases flat with his fingernails.
The palace needing a new bluemage and asking for his sister is the opportunity of a lifetime for a revolutionary. But -- she's his sister; Iliar prefers her comfortably far away from the impact zone of his plans. And he's the one who takes care of her, so at the end of the day, he has to be the one to make the call.
Iliar reaches for the letter again, then stops, and picks up the list of goals instead.
5. Jury trials for crimes meriting capital punishment, with the exceptions of high treason and dereliction of duty.
It's his own handwriting. He knows it by heart.
8. Protection from the crown for servants and apprentices reporting illegal acts by their masters.
He looks between the parchment and his sister -- sixteen, lovely, brilliant, kind, weaving a stretch of linen with an absurdly intricate interlocked mazelike pattern in yellows and greens, absolute attention focused on her work.
He would feel better if he could get her consent, but even if that's not meaningless yet, it will be soon enough. She'll do as he tells her -- has to do it now, so it'll be habit when she needs it to be habit. And -- well.
Iliar wouldn't sacrifice his sister. Not even for this. But it's not a sacrifice. It's only a slight increase in risk.
They ride snuggled up in the carriage to the palace.