Bolgeir: "We lost another five guardsmen, my Jarl. If General Tullius continues to conscript our men and send them off to battle, we'll have none left to protect the city."
Elisif: "Yes, I know. The general acted with my blessing. It is vital that we bring Ulfric to justice, but that cannot happen until his army of Stormcloaks is defeated utterly."
Bolgeir: "Told you that, did he? I'm sworn to protect you, my Jarl, but I'm the last line of defense. The first line is the walls around this city and the men who patrol them. Men who, I might add, we're precious short on."
Elisif: "I'm aware of that, Bolgeir, and I appreciate your dedication. However, if we lose the war, the guardsmen of Solitude will make little difference in the end."
Bolgeir: "No disrespect toward the general, but sometimes I wonder if he's got your best interests at heart. In any case he won't be turnin' me into no Imperial soldier. I know my place, and it's at your side."
Elisif: "It comforts me to know that, Bolgeir."
Elisif: "Steward, I have an idea that might help to bolster the morale of our people in this difficult time. I think we shall have a grand parade, and let General Tullius march his troops from the Blue Palace to Castle Dour in all their finery."
Falk: "What a... fine idea, my Jarl. However, I would suggest we wait until the war has ended. After all, the General needs his soldiers out in the field, fighting battles against the Stormcloaks."
Bolgeir: "I must protest, my Jarl. A parade would make you an easy target for a Stormcloak assassin. You're safer here in the palace."
Elisif: "Oh, very well. I can see there's no changing your stubborn Nord minds. But when this war is won, I will have my parade!"
Falk: "Yes, my Jarl."
Elisif: "Steward Falk, I have a task for you. I want to begin stockpiling food and water in the event we come under siege, and I would like you to oversee this work personally."
Falk: "A wise course of action, my Jarl. However, we have little food or water to spare."
Erikur: "General Tullius will never allow that. He's ordered all surplus food to be given over for the war effort."
Falk: "General Tullius does not run this city, Thane Erikur. Or have you forgotten your oaths of fealty?"
Erikur: "My apologies, Jarl Elisif. I was thinking only of the importance of the war effort."
Elisif: "There's no need for an apology, and you're right about the war. Perhaps this is a matter best discussed with with the general in person."
Falk: "I will make the arrangements, my Jarl."
Falk: "It's nearly time to collect taxes on your properties here in the city, Bryling. We'll need to visit each home for an assessment."
Bryling: "Is it that time again already? Very well, let's meet this evening and make the arrangements."
Sybille: "Oh, well done. Very subtle."
Bryling: "I beg your pardon?"
Sybille: "Oh, I'm sorry, did I imply that you'd be meeting for purposes other than court business? You must forgive me."
Falk: "Hold your tongue, Wizard, or you're likely to lose it."
Sybille: "I should very much like to see you try it, my dear steward."
Bryling: "Stop it, both of you. You're acting like children."
Bryling: "There's something that's been troubling me, Falk. I am hesitant to share it, but I feel that I must."
Falk: "Speak your mind, Bryling. You're among friends here."
Bryling: "You know that I support the Empire, as we all do. However, I fear General Tullius is underestimating the Stormcloaks. Too often the general has lost good soldiers because he did not take Ulfric and his men seriously. If this continues, and the worst comes to pass, Solitude will pay the price. The Empire is headquartered here, after all."
Falk: "We don't have the luxury of hanging back to see who wins before choosing our friends, Bryling. You know this. And besides, no Nord with a shred of honor would consider it. We're no cowards. Have faith, Bryling. When this war is over and Ulfric is dead, you'll see that you were jumping at shadows, and nothing more."
Erikur: "I've heard the Empire plans to levy a tax on our trading ships. Falk, you've got to do something about this."
Falk: "General Tullius needs more money for the war effort. We need the funds to arm and provision more troops."
Erikur: "Then let's increase the taxes on the farms and merchants. We can't afford to lose the loyalty of the ship captains."
Falk: "We know full well about your investment in shipping ventures, Erikur. I've also heard troubling rumors about dealings between you and the crew of that pirate ship, the Red Wave. Thankfully, Jarl Elisif cares far less about your lost profits than she does about winning the war!"
Erikur: "The Jarl would be wise to remember that it is her thanes - and my profits - that are paying for this war."
Sybille: "Steward, I will need the following reagents for my studies. Please see to them."
Falk: "Miss Stentor, these are quite expensive. I trust you know how limited the hold's funds are at this time?"
Sybille: "Yes, and I'm also aware of how necessary my divinations and wards have been in the city's defense. My experiments are all I ask for in return."
Falk: "Very well. But I suspect her grace will not be pleased."
Sybille: "And? I've seen jarls come and go. This one only became Jarl because her husband died. She'll be replaced in a matter of months."
Falk: "Miss Stentor, watch your tongue in the Jarl's court!"
Sybille: "On threat of what, exactly? This city wouldn't run without me! Now if you'll excuse me, my work awaits."
Elisif: "Steward, when is my appointment to meet with General Tullius? There are some issues we must speak about."
Falk: "I'm afraid he's had to reschedule, my grace. By all accounts, waging war takes his every moment."
Elisif: "Again? He can't simply cancel an appointment with the Jarl! He serves in my capital city!"
Falk: "I'm afraid he can. His authority comes from the emperor. Who you also serve, technically."
Elisif: "He uses all of Haafingar's resources, and doesn't answer to me in the slightest? This hardly seems fair."
Falk: ""Fair" is a word rarely applied to politics, my grace. I'm afraid you must learn to accept this."
Elisif: "Thane Bryling, what do you have to report about the state of Haafingar's defenses?"
Bryling: "The news is the same as it's been for the rest of the war, your grace. Our borders are secure, but at the cost of the guards for our towns and roads."
Erikur: "I don't see any reason why we'd need them. As long as those dogs stay outside of our borders, we're fine."
Bryling: "The Stormcloaks are far from the only threat to the hold. The roads are beset by bandits and beasts... and now there's even talk of bloody dragons."
Erikur: "My dear Bryling. Barring any... fancy and folly... the good people of Haafingar are surely capable of dealing with the odd highwayman or stray dog."
Bryling: "Trouble on the roads and cities means less commerce. Less commerce means less money and more starving people. And that means more crime."
Erikur: "Humph. That's only a problem for people who can't afford to hire their own security."
Elisif: "That may well be our only answer. I will empower my Steward to seek out capable individuals to secure Haafingar. Thank you, my Thanes."
Elisif: "As you know, Solitude's coffers are much depleted by the war efforts. Thane Erikur, you have a strong head for business. What do you suggest?"
Erikur: "This is an unfortunate but unavoidable ebb in revenue. But as long as we continue to support the Empire, our sacrifices will be well rewarded."
Bryling: "Listen to you, speaking of sacrifice. You've never gone hungry a day in your life, Erikur!"
Elisif: "And what would my impetuous Thane Bryling suggest, instead?"
Bryling: "Simple. Let the Empire fight its own war, with its own funds, and without hijacking our supplies and soldiers. Let Haafingar rebuild."
Erikur: "My lady... Surely you're not that naive. Such foolishness would only leave us defenseless. The rebels would storm the palace in an afternoon."
Bryling: "The Stormcloaks only rebel because the Empire uses Skyrim as its personal larder. The more they take, the more support the rebels gain!"
Elisif: "That is quite enough. Perhaps I will raise these issues when I have an audience with General Tullius."