Forcing myself to think this issue through has also had the added benefit of helping explain why my characters have not abandoned ship when their home is under attack. In the past, I always went with the idea (in my own mind) that most people prefer the known to the unknown and are willing to stay in a bad situation out of fear and surety of their status in the world, even if that world is going to hell. That didn't sit well with all readers, however. Now I have a plan to bring up differing points of view and solutions to the problem. I'm sure the story will be stronger for it because it doesn't make this so cut-and-dried, black and white, and the characters won't be passive-without-cause.
These thoughts fostered the following, off-the-cuff, straight-from-the-brain-before-I-forget sentences:
“It was to be a secret, but I see Srila has ways of prying into affairs that don’t--”
“Enough.” Srila slapped the railing and may have, just maybe, sang a bit of power into the word. “I have the right of the stone. I called the council. For my own reasons. If Ario wishes to address us, she can wait. But since it seems her news is about abandoning our home, it is even more vital you hear me out before making a rash decision.”
In other creative news, I did a little sketch this morning, playing with my style idea for the kids' book, that I'm not dissatisfied with. If I can kick this headache that is sinking its claws into my brain, I just might work on it some more this afternoon.