"With the way things go between us, I think you'd best bring along a keg, if it wouldn't offend his 'grace''s sensibilities. He may enjoy his wine and .. other pleasures, but he knows at least that any help we need would need all the more extra. Especially since he can use that same specter across the south to deny anything, in the name of defending this place. Playing both sides of an argument, I think he figures, means you never lose."
"What sort of hiring fund do we have? And do you care much about the demeanor of the individuals I find? Beyond trustworthy, that is... and have you any special requirements? I always enjoy getting those out onto the tabletop before I push my seat away."
"Right now, what I have is goods, and enough to perhaps payroll three talons of cannon fodder for a week. Neither of which is going to be terribly much use, unless Hulani's 'support' comes into town soon." She shifted a bit as she thought on the other question, a seriousness to her manner. "If you put it that way, the only kind of coin I don't want to borrow from this mess is more trouble. Other than that, we're in pretty bad straits. I've got a feeling a hell of a lot more than that bastard knows."
I'm going to allow two Perception rolls if you want to take them about now. Choose which 'abilities' you want to go with, both of them being what he's listening for, or if you want to invoke any charms. Remember if you go into peripheral essence, at the minimum your caste mark may appear for a few moments, which may well be a kind of faux pas here.