One thing that expert manipulators know is that there are a variety of tools you can use to move people where you want them to go, and you’re generally better off not applying more force than necessary. Blowhard tyrants stretch their power to the limit as often as they can, ensuring they’re more likely to lose that power faster, damaging the state apparatus to soothe the constant, yawning hunger of their egos. But Gastonia isn’t being run by any blowhard tyrants…yet.

And so Pardo gets gently escorted out of the Hall, after a lawyerly argument that he himself had set precedent for his own expulsion. And Reynolds gets his expulsion in the form of an offer. And the offer is further sweetened by the opportunity to right an old wrong.

Ardaic is certainly not incapable of using more forceful methods, as the ghost of Brunhilde would attest. But his temperament is more suited to this kind of diplomatic solution, especially when he’s addressing a Head of House. When next he and Reynolds meet, he will have few gentle methods left at his disposal.