Inouv 36, 228: A Failed Confession

A Failed Confession
Summary: Roslin attempts to give an informal confession and seek counseling. What begins as a religious lesson ends in a minor power struggle.
OOC Date: December 26, 2013
Related: None
Players:
Roslin Luna 
Roslin's Room
Only half of this great room (or rooms) is visible, as the first thing any guest will see upon entering is that the front of the room has been partitioned by a floor-to-ceiling velvet curtain of royal Kilgour purple. The room itself is comfortable, scholarly and simple, with a shelve of books, papers, and scrolls by the table and chairs set near the window, low comfortable seating by the fire, and walls decorated with tapastries of historical events.
Inouv 36, 228

It has been many days since her last confession. Months, truly, since Blessed Luna left to go and witness a marriage pact in Jadda. But of course, as it is well-known now, the whole trip came to naught. And so, life continues to turn onward. The Princess, in the absence of any religious hand, will no doubt have sins to confess and prayers to offer, in addition to recounting all that has happened while her confessor was away.

With all this in mind Roslin invited Blessed Luna to her chambers. The place is much as it ever was - a curtain drawn to hide the back from prying eyes, comfortable seats by the fire, a table and chairs by the shuttered window, tapestries and books. The only difference now is the sheer number of papers on the Princess’ table, the well-used ink and quill and her own hands, stained with black smudges of the stuff. Perhaps that is why she sits as she does, in front of her fire, her hands soaking in a bowl of strong-smelling lemon liquid. Her hair is up in a regal crown of braids today, and sitting upon it is a gold tiarra to match the gold eight-pointed star around her throat. She wears a familiar gown too - the brown and burnt ochre one, with a skirt and back and arms pressed with a pattern of brocade leaves and vines, and an ochre underskirt and bodice, lined with freshwater pearls. When Luna arrives, she will be shown in immediately.

-

Only a summons by her charge has allowed Luna to be pulled away from the many tasks involving the currently running Festival of Lights. Atop her usual light scent of vanilla and tiger lily swirls the far more tantalizing combination of spiced meats and fried sweet cakes from the many food vendors at the faire grounds. The moment she is inside, she waits for the click of the door before pressing her gloved palms together and dipping her head. A warm smile curves her lips, one of true pleasure at seeing the princess again after all this time.

“It has been far too long, Your Highness. Please accept my deepest apologies.” What is this? She actually spoke before being addressed? There is a note of excitement in her tone, perhaps an indication of her emotions overcoming her training for a brief moment. After whipping her cloak off and resting it upon a nearby chair, her long legs quickly move to cover the space between them. If allowed, she will gently grasp Roslin’s hands in a more familiar greeting

-

Roslin removes her hands from the bowl as the Blessed enters, allowing her maid to dry them off without so much as a motion from her. She then rises, and offers a bow in return. Respectful, as always. “No apologies are necessary, Blessed.” She looks down as her hands are taken, and smiles, and does not pull away. “I understand how very busy you are with the Festival. I was there yesterday, everything is exceptionally well-done this year. I was most impressed. But please, come and sit. Have some wine. I imagine there is much to discuss. I suppose I do not need to ask you how things transpired on your trip. I know already that I shall be no Jaddan Queen. And perhaps it is for the best.” Roslin nods to the maid who sets out a tray of two cups and a pitcher of warm, mulled wine. And then the woman removes herself entirely, moving behind the curtain to see to other duties. The women are alone.

-

Luna is quick to take the invitation to sit, settling the skirt of her robe as she listens. “Indeed, it is all rather fantastic. The acolytes have worked exceptionally hard this year, perhaps hoping this will be what is needed to put them in full cloth.” Her lips briefly quirk into a smirk before she sobers slightly.

“It is true you shall be no Jaddan Queen, at least not as matters stand. I could go into the nuances of every wrong turn taken, but at the heart of it, the issue was that I do not believe your father fully grasped the manner in which a king who believes himself to be a god would expect to be treated. There was not a moment of rudeness on your father’s side, but I do not feel he expected the wall of sheer arrogance he would encounter. Had I been able to speak at that meeting, I believe matters could have gone quite differently.” Her head shakes softly. “But no matter. Clearly, the Eight wished us to understand just what kind of ally we would have had with such a match. It is not one we would want to rely on.”

Sharp eyes take in the full measure of the princess’ attire. Motioning toward the dress, she grins and notes, “I see you are not wearing any new gowns, Your Highness. Most would have forgotten about their penance in the absence of their personal confessor.” Not that many have such a thing. “You are to be commended. Please, tell me of the other aspects you have worked on.”

-

Ah, this is a rare occasion. “As one who has stood beside Kings and Princes and diplomats as they make their dealings, Blessed, I can often say I have felt the same. But in doing so I have learned that simply because I feel I could handle the situation better does not mean that I could. My father is the best man for such things - if it could not be done through him, then it could not be done.” Yes, chastizing the Priestess! Roslin takes a little enjoyment out of the moment, but otherwise seems to be sincere in how she speaks. She moves, then, to pour her a cup of wine, and then herself one too.

“My mother is in posession of all my other gowns. I do not have a confessor that I may feign to kneel before the Gods. I do wish to be better, and even if you do not see me, they do.” The pitcher is set down and the cup is lifted. “To the Gods. May they protect us in the coming year.” She takes a sip.

“I confess, my pennance with my brother has not gone so well. He endeavored to order my maids in secret the day before he planned to have our day together. When I could not convince my own girl to speak the truth of their plot to me, I had her removed. So she did not know to dress me to my brother’s liking and lead me out to the walls of the keep in the middle of the night. When I arrived, my brother was very unhappy that he considered me to be poorly dressed for the occasion. I did not disagree, as per our arrangement. But he decided that our day could not move forward then, due to my attire, and as such I was no longer required to obey him unquestioningly. It was my thought to him that he could not use our pennance to herald more than the day’s full obedience from me - he disagreed, stating that the plans made earlier in the day related to the religious events. It was determined we should wait until you could offer clarification on the issue.” This is what happens when they’re left unattended, Luna.

-

Strangely, the priestess does not seem the least bit chastised. “His Majesty is the /only/ man for such a thing, due to his position. While another, had he that same position, may well have been able to negotiate a marriage for his princess, the price to be paid would likely have been higher than either your father or you would be able to reconcile.”

The cup is lifted in silent gratitude for the drink and in response to the toast, although Luna takes only a small sip. Temperance is a virtue. The tale of the day with the Crown Prince, or rather the day that wasn’t, has her brow gently lifting. “He may have had a wondrous day planned, one that you might have greatly enjoyed.” There is a hint of doubt in her tone, but she pushes ahead all the same. “Still, I can see why you were put out by the matter. I cannot clarify until I know precisely what he had planned.”

-

“I daresay you shall speak to him on the matter,” Roslin says with a smirk. Tyrel manages to irk Luna, clearly, as much as he does Roslin. But then, such irks are only ever done out of love, affection, or admiration.

Roslin sips her wine again, lowering the cup to set easily between her hands. “As I have said, Blessed Luna. I have tried to live by your advise while you have been away. I have to admit I am exceptionally glad to have you back again. Some things … have happened in your absence. The most startling was teh death of my brother’s lover and her bastard. We don’t know it was a bastard, but it is highly suspected. You have heard?”

-

A blink is the only response Luna gives at first. Then the fingers begin quietly drumming on the side of her cup. “He seemed rather infatuated with his lady wife. It surprises me to hear he would have taken a mistress as well.” After a brief pause, she adds, “At least, so soon thereafter. Soon enough to give her a child as well.” Pursing her lips, she asks, “He lost his wife and their unborn child along with his mistress and hers? Goodness, it is no wonder he will not leave his room.”

-

Ros looks with furrowed brows to Luna. “No … he had no mistress. None steady, that I knew of, at any rate. The … woman he married.” That’s as close as Roslin will get to calling the woman his wife. She shakes her head a little bit. “Caillin lost her babe, and now Logen loses his and his woman with it. The Gods, I think, are exacting their punishment on them.”

Roslin doesn’t seem joyful at the realization that her siblings are getting their comeuppence, but more resigned to the fact. “What I say has little enough to do with me, I know. But I thought it should be said - that you should know. I would ask you to speak to my sister, for I have not seen her since the attack as I do not think I would bring her any pleasure, but she has gone to Dellhaven after the guards and her maid were punished for their negligence. A minor punishment, it should be noted.” Roslin sips again.

-

Confusion lifts, smoothing Luna’s brow. “Ah, his wife in the eyes of the Eight. That makes more sense.” There is a heaviness to the words, a clear reminder to Roslin that her judgment does not overrule the gods in marriage matters.

“I had thought to see your sister, Your Highness, but I heard she would take no visitors. And then, as you noted, she was gone.” Her lips twist briefly, only smoothing to sip her wine. “Minor, indeed. It is a wonder they still breathe. Were this terrible fate to befall the wife of the Crown Prince, it would have ended differently for those negligently responsible, I wager.”

-

Roslin’s own mouth is drawn into a frown. A most unhappy frown. “I told Caillin’s husband as much. He resented it - he thought me bloodthirsty when I called for their heads. Weeks went by with no punishment offered. I was … horrified to see how little regard for his wife and child this Baron has. He was raised into his position due to his marriage to her, which was made because of her impropriety. And when punishment did come, it was less than the servants of Logen and Caitlyn recieved, and their only crime was allowing carnal knowledge,” whatever that means. “to pass between them. Not the death of a babe, the mauling of a Princess. I fear the man is not capable in his position, that my family has put too much faith in him.” Roslin waves a dismissive hand, pouring herself another cup of wine.

“Mother is furious with me. She has indicated that I cause her as much pain as Logen has because I cannot forgive him. So I have endeavored to tell him he is forgiven. Even if I cannot, in my heart, bring such forgiveness about, I will not be like him. I will not be stubborn, and hurt my mother.” Though the stubornness and her own hurt is there, plain, on her face.

-

“It is hardly a wonder the Crown Prince reacted so poorly to a light jest I made the other day. He noted there has been too much impropriety of late, to the point that even the hint of a joke of such set him quite on edge.” Luna shakes her head slowly. “I apologized, believing it was only the matter of Prince Logen which fueled his words. I see now it runs deeper than that.”

Her mouth tugs into a slow frown. “I will seek audience with your mother and father, together and separately, to get the full measure of all that has occurred.” This is at least a three-sips-of-wine kind of conversation, and so she wets her mouth with the beverage once more. “I agree the Baron may require a… closer eye upon him.”

There is silence as she watches Roslin, consideringly. After a bit, she asks, “Would your pride increase as a result of doing this? I am concerned you will think yourself even better than him than you already do. To perform an act of humility, while feeling excessive pride over it, rather defeats the purpose for you. Not for your mother, but certainly for you.”

-

Roslin shakes her head. “I have not considered it in the way you describe, only that I do not wish to be like him. When mother first said these things to me …” Roslin is hurt, wounded, and angry. It shows on her face like letters on a page. “I wanted to reject her wishes and deny her their outcome. I did not give myself over to temptation, I did not toss aside my family for some woman, I did not do these great wrongs - how could she be equally angry with me as she is with him?” Roslin heaves a little sigh, calming herself. “But I knew that to cause her further pain would make me the same as him and all the pain he has caused. And I have no desire to be like that. I … did not really think about that decision comparatively. Just that I wish to be better.”

-

Luna slowly nods. “So long as you say to yourself, in your own mind, that you are doing this for your mother’s sake and to be better than the person you were yesterday, not better than any other. Not even him.” A small smile makes its way up the priestess’ cheeks. “I understand how your mother could have ire toward you both over the matter. It is not equal, though it may feel that way. Understand she expects much more from you, as you do from yourself. As such, the bar for your behavior is higher.”

-

“I feel she is forgiving him when he has not earned forgiveness, or even truly asked for it. He stumbles around, drunk more often than not, moaning about what a terrible man he is. I wish he would … stand up and be a man. Control his life. That is what I desire from him - to see him come out of this a better, stronger man. For that I would gladly forgive. As I cannot, now, I shall simply have to tell mother and Logen that he is forgiven, and try and keep my own anger away.”

The Princess sighs, shaking her head. “But no more of this - I shalln’t take more time on him just now. There is something closer to me that I wish to discuss as well. If you do not mind some manner of … confession to you, now. Though we are not in the temple.” Roslin shifts, a little uncomfortably.

-

Luna simply dips her head when the issue of Logen is extrapolated, then brought to a close for the nonce. She leans forward ever so slightly as the conversation turns more personal. “Of course. Would you like this to be a formal confession or would you rather work through it by speaking before making it official, as it were?”

-

“We may as well speak now, lest you … misunderstand as my mother did, during a confession. I would not wish the Gods to have the wrong idea about what I may have done wrong.” The mention of her mother makes Roslin a bit unhappy again.

“There is … a man, Blessed. A man that I have done nothing with and shall never do anything with. A man who is nothing but the pinnacle of propriety. But when I am with him … sometimes I am nervous, excited, frightened. Sometimes I feel more daring than I should. I control these feelings as much as I can. But mother indicated that it might be the first inklings of love or lust. These, as I understand, are some of the positively worst sins. I would have them scrubbed from my soul and mind as much as I am able.”

-

Doing her best to hide a smirk behind taking another sip of wine, Luna simply listens to the poor girl. She tastes the liquid on her lips, pressing them together and leaving them that way for a moment before setting the cup down. “With all due respect, your mother may be jumping to stronger conclusions than I would. It is understandable, considering the history with your brother and sister. You come from a passionate family.” Understatement of the year.

“However, love is a long way from what you have described. Aside from that, love is no sin at all.” Something softens in her gaze, then grows pained. “Sometimes a situation or station prevents it from growing into anything more, but to feel love for another is not punishable in any way.” Her voice and expression smooth once more. “Certainly, if you know it is doomed from the beginning, there are precautions you may take to halt or slow the growth of emotion. In truth, it sounds to me more like an infatuation, at least for now. Is there any way to avoid spending much time with him? Additionally, you may be wearing rose-colored glasses, but do you know any who are more familiar with his faults?”

-

“No, Blessed,” Roslin responds, surprisingly meek and uncomfortable on the topic. Why, even her cheeks are red at the discussion. “I do not know anyone who speaks of his faults. Only sings his praises. He is well known at court, well-liked by all, respected and feared by more even so. He is everything that, in my opinion, a good lord or knight should be. I admire him immensely.”

Wine. More wine. Thankfully there’s still some in teh cup, so Roslin takes another sip and licks her damp lips. “I daresay I shall spend less time near him, if you advise it. He is a friend, I confess, and I often look to his counsel and he to mine. But if it is best that I make excuses, I sahll do so. But tell me, Blessed.”

Roslin pauses a moment, selecting her words.

“If love is not a sin, why does much of the evil in this country seem to be borne of it? Why is it punished so heavily? Why does it cause men to forget their families and their duties, and women to forget their virtues and chastity?”

-

“Ah, then he is a knighted nobleman, but not one with a station lofty enough for your father to consider him as a match for you?” Luna nods once, more than familiar with such a tale. The question has her brow lifting, then furrowing deeply.

The priestess leans forward and moves to take Roslin’s free hand in both of hers. Her green eyes bore into those of the young princess and there is an urgency in her voice. “Love, real and true, is not punished. It does not cause men to forget their families, nor their duties. it does not cause women to forget their virtue. What causes all that is lust and infatuation misunderstood as love by those who feel it. It is particularly easy to mistake them when one is young, but any could fall victim.”

She licks her lips, thinking, not letting go of Roslin’s hand just yet. That pain returns to her eyes, making them darken and appear distant. “One must truly know a person to love them. This includes their faults as well as their strengths. A man who truly loves a woman would never begin to think to allow her to be put in a compromising position. He would do all he could to ensure his family became as fond of her as possible while making clear his own depth of emotion for her, and he would similarly do his best to endear himself to her family. He would wish his devotion to her /reputation/ to be clear to all, as that is the first and most delicate part of her he can protect. He would wish to remove any cause for another to doubt her or their union. His duties to family and position would sometimes war with his desire to be near her, but he would see to those duties because in doing so he also shows her he understands where his priorities lie, that he can provide a stable and strong upbringing for their children. In turn, if she loves him, she may miss him during those times, but would not think to ask him to neglect said responsibilities.”

After that long speech, she adds, “Now think carefully, my dear. Think of what you know of the unions of your siblings, particularly the ones you criticize. Compare what you have just heard to what their actions and words show. Do you believe what they feel and felt was love or a disguised mixture of lust and infatuation?”

-

Roslin listens, allowing her hand to be taken. She is not so shy a girl that she cannot meet the Blessed’s eyes during this speech. She desires to learn, and it shows in her intensity now.

“No, Blessed. It does not sound like the love you have described. But they swear it was, and that it still is. They shall hear nothing against the strength of their love. And so there is little hope to save them from it.”

“If love is so difficult a thing to read, to understand, then I still wish and want no part of it. Nor lust, nor infatuation - I would purge all these things from my life and lead a goodly and Godly existence. In that I can find my happiness. Not in this other … madness of emotion and tears and shame.” She shakes ehr head in disgust, but then a thought occurs to her and she looks back to the Blessed.

“Have you ever been in love? Or felt these … mistaken feelings as love?”

-

“It is not so difficult for those who know well the parties involved. It is harder for those in the mire themselves, as it were. As to lust…” Luna clears her throat uncomfortably. “It is only a sin when felt and explored outside one’s marriage. Within, it is rather a blessing and expression of devotion to one’s spouse.” That seems to be as far as she intends to explain it for now.

The priestess smiles sadly, then looks down to their joined hands. “I shall tell you something known to precious few, and it may not leave this room. Even so, I shall only speak of the tale somewhat vaguely.” Bringing her gaze back up to meet the curious one of the princess, she inhales deeply.

“Umbra Herself was once in love. Truly, completely in love. With a mortal, of all things. She did not let on how She felt for quite some time and even when She did, it was only by making a special gift appear at an altar in one of Her Temples while he was praying there. Being a worthy man, he understood the meaning and was appropriately awed. What he felt for her, I cannot know, but it is notable he never wed. All his life, he helped a great many people, often in shadows without any of the recipients of his generosity knowing. In the end…” Luna’s breath hitches and she looks away, but not before moisture can be seen in her eyes.

“In the end, Umbra waited for the time his soul would naturally part from his body so that She could take it to feast in Her cave with others who are devoted to her. At last, they could be together. But there were nefarious plans afoot and he was taken where She could never follow.” Luna swallows around a lump in her throat, then releases Roslin’s hand to grasp her winecup. It is a long time before she says anything more, the emotion as strong and raw as though the tale were her own.

-

“I have never heard this tale,” Roslin says, once it is finished and some time of silence has passed betwene them. “Why is it never spoken of?” She looks over her confessor, curiously. The woman does look as Umbra is always described as looking. She has the mannerisms, the beauty, all that a Goddess would posess. She handled a Godly object, or at least one, in the arrow bestowed to Aldren Haravean. “Why do you cry for her love?” The question comes out sounding innocent and childish, even from a 16 year old girl.

-

Although the priestess manages a smile, it is a deeply sorrowful one, at first. “It is a special tale, known by few, because that is how She wishes it to be. The gift was the Golden Arrow, for her love was a great hunter many generations past. And so, this tale is often told to the winner of the blessed gift, to impress upon him — or her, if Mistress Victoria of the Rangers was told — the heavy responsibility and level of favor being granted.”

Her lips tighten, anger briefly flashing in those eyes. “When one has been deemed to have the potential that makes them worthy of the gift, then ignores the honor and does nothing to attempt to meet his potential, Umbra tends to… not take it particularly well. When he then steps fully in the way of a soul attempting to reach out to the Eight, she grows fully wroth. Look no further than the current holder of the Golden Arrow to see what I mean. Now that you know the history of it, in general, I am certain you understand why it is so personal an affront to Her.”

The last question is left unanswered.

-

“Aldren Haravean has stepped between a soul and the Eight? I don’t understand - he seems well, he is fearful of the Gods.” Roslin shakes her head. “He is a good man, a good solider, and a good leader. True, when he first aquired the arrow the power in it frightened him. But that is his awe of Her, is it not?” Roslin shakes her head again. “No, I will not believe that Count Haravean has done as ill as you say. He is a very good man.” Drunk, perhaps perpetually, but otherwise a good man.

“But you, Blessed, have you ever known love? Beyond Her?”

-

“Perhaps you have not spoken to him of late, or have not seen him around the Servants of the Eight,” Luna offers politely. “He failed in certain respects, but I was encouraging him to try harder with them. That was perfectly well. However, when he chose to imprison a harmless man who was in the wrong place and had done no worse than that… a man who wished to come with me to the Temple and confess certain sins — none harmful — to a priest, I warned the Count. I felt her wrath fast approaching. He was doing this in front of witnesses, using his authority to overturn my duty. I told him his family and household would be punished for this hubris, even begged him to reconsider, but he would have none of it. Hardly any time passed before… the tragedy came to his family. I imagine there were other, smaller ones, but this was too large to ignore.

“Now he dares go about the Festival of Lights completely ignoring or otherwise speaking rudely to the Servants of the Eight. I genuinely fear for not only him, but his siblings and the sweet lady who is betrothed to him. His pride prevents him from making amends, from seeking forgiveness.” Luna sighs heavily. “So you see, even the best of mortals may struggle with Divine mandate.”

The question rolls around her head and she taps steepled fingers against her lips. “This is one question I am afraid I shall not be able to answer, Your Highness. I am terribly sorry. But note, with Her tale, never once did either overstep the bounds of propriety. /That/ is love.”

-

Roslin watches, confused. What is all this about, some man? She doesn’t understand … until suddenly she does. “The man … are you referring to the man who snuck into the castle?” And she laughs - how can she not? She laughs a quick, sudden laugh of surprised. “Blessed Luna, he was a man who had no business in the keep. A strange common man - after the attack during the traveling shows and the fires that were set, after the kidnapping of Lady Nimue, after other crimes commited against nobles. Lord Haravean detained the man on suspicion of being one such attacker. He could well have been, and I imagine he would have liked very much to pray to escape his punishment. No, Blessed.” Roslin chuckles again. “In such cases all men must pay their punishment for their crimes, even small ones. As I understand the man was later released after it was determined that he placed no danger. But you did not know that, then. He could have had a dagger beneath his cloak for you. Or me. Or Mother. Or any one of us. I do not believe that Umbra would punish a man for keeping others safe. Besides,” she sets her wine cup aside. “If it were true as you say, and those who sin against the Gods have their punishments extended to their families, I am sure I would be covered in boils or some such madness by now. And if you are terribly keen on the man that the Count imprisoned, I am sure you may see him now, and see to your duties.”

-

“I did know.” Luna’s voice is very quiet. “I did know and I told him as much. He did not state at the time that he suspected the man of being an attacker. He simply suspected the man, period. A man who had the misfortune of following his lust for a loose-moraled maid into the palace. But yes, I did know. There are things I… see. Things I know that none others can.” She hesitates before adding, “Your father knows of this, was witness to it firsthand during the journey. Some others chose to ignore it, but there are those who understood. He stepped between a man for whom a priestess had vouched, a priestess of the very goddess who granted him Her favor. Not only did he sin by stopping another who wished to repent, even if only delaying it by a few days, but he publicly showed a lack of faith in a Servant of the Eight and ignored the warnings. Now that his family is being punished for his sins, as he was told would occur, he publicly shuns the clergy. No, he is not covered in boils, my dear. His sister went missing. Or is that not bad enough for you?”

-

Roslin frowns. Very deeply. “Is it the Gods that are cross with Count Haravean, or you? Perhaps, in time, you may explain what the Lady Nimue did to deserve her fate. Or those killed in the fires. Or those even killed in the war. I am a pious woman, Blessed, but I do not believe that the Gods move us about like puppets, causing every bad thing in life to happen because we deserve it.” The Princess moves to stand. “Perhaps you see things. I do not know. I know that it is law that when a man enters the palace without invitation or authority, there is a penalty for that. If Umbra dislikes that law, every turnkey in the city would have no family left. For myself, I am thankful for Count Haravean and his discipline. He is one of the few who strives to keep the laws in check in this city. Priestess you may be, but you do not have the power to set aside the laws of the land.” The Princess moves to the window, clearly distraught.

“Perhaps I have taken up enough of your time for today, Blessed.”

-

Luna only smiles as Roslin poses the age-old question, then rises when the princess does. “I do not know every reason for every punishment given by each of the Eight, Your Highness. I am not even saying what he did would have been wrong, in other circumstances. I only felt the Divine ire and tried to warn him. I never yelled. In fact, I cried for him when I left. And when he did more to earn ire, I prayed for it to fall upon me instead. It did, although I would much rather not have had so deep a gash. Still, better that than what would have occurred to him and the lady on his arm. A different lady than the betrothed, but I forget her name.”

Her hand waves dismissively. “You seem rather taken with him, to the point of refusing to see any fault. I wonder if he is the one who causes such flutters within you. If not, your words make it seem that way, so I implore you to take a care when speaking to him of others. Praise him, surely, but perhaps temper it a bit?”

Her words flow as she moves toward the door. Turning, she picks up her cloak and presses her palms together toward the Princess. “Good day, Your Highness.”

-

Roslin turns, listening to the Blessed. The more the woman speaks, the more her own shock and surprise is written on her face. “Gods above,” she finally breathes. “I had credited you with so much more …. just more, I suppose. Your words are beneath you, madame, or if not you than surely beneath me. When a man does something worth defending, I shall defend him. When he has done something to condemn, I will condemn him. As it happens I have the highest respect for what he did that day. I shall not apologize for defending him because it hurts your pride.” Roslin shakes her head a little more, but that does not stop her from bringing her hands together and bowing low and respectful, even amidst words of disagreement. “Good Day, Blessed Luna. I wish you well on your mission to find this lost soul who so desperately needs you.”

-

A laugh escapes Luna before she can suppress it. “A true servant of the Eight has no personal pride, only pride for the Eight, Your Highness. May the Light illuminate your path always.” With that, she leaves, her laughter slowly being stifled as she moves down the hall. To any without, it may seem Roslin had just made a most excellent joke and the priestess left her on the best of terms.

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