Thedor 41, 229: Barefoot in Sutherland

Barefoot in Sutherland
Summary: An agreeable walk by the beach leads to captivating sights and discussions about paintings - and Prince Logen.
OOC Date: 10/02/2014 (OOC)
Related: Logs around the wedding of Ronan and Roslin in Sutherland
Players:
Ronan Roslin Emerit Draventa 
The Beach, Sutherland
Room description to be added later
41st day of Thedor, 229

There was a storm yesterday afternoon that came in from the west. This time of the year it was cooler air coming down from the northwest and so it caught some people out viewing one of the smaller herds on the plains. Thunder, lightning, heavy cold rain and light hail reminded all that winter has not yet let go her grip from Mobrin. Today is is much nicer, returned to a sunny day that is warming back up. It is a fine afternoon for walking on the beach, through the vineyards, or the orchards. The latter are in bloom with white or pink drifts of petals to carpet the ground so thickly it looks like snow. And the bees are busy making their honey, tending to the orchards.

Out here the sun warms the skin. Ronan walks barefooted on the beach, the sand welcome between his toes. His doublet is unbuttoned as he has been instructing Kierne in polearms. The squire is mounted and a quintain has been set up as well as posts with rings for practice. A few other squires have come out with their knights as well to test their skills for the coming tournament. The Duke himself is not riding as he is yet healing, but Ronan is looking more fit by the day.

"Kierne! Relax your shoulder, lad! You will fatigue. Put the butt into your stirrup or inside your knee when you circle to rest your arm ere you need lower the tip again." The Crawford's baritone lifts up to bellow to the Kincaid as he rides back up the beach.

Roslin was rather happy to see herself away from Lady Nylie Kilgour, for the moment. But she was not quite ready to resign her day to final wedding plans and preparations. All of that can be done, and she’s excited to do it. But the weather! One cannot pass up such a chance.

So she sent word to the Princesses of Rustles Island to join her for a walk through the paths that Sutherland had to offer. Guarded, of course, out the ear. The three Princesses are accompanied by no less than six Kilgour guards and two Kilgour maids, in addition to whatever the ladies themselves might bring.

She is wearing a simple dress of cream, embroidered with small rosebuds and hemmed in blue. A belt of gold hangs low about her waist, giving her a feminine figure, and the bodice is a light white fabric. The dress cinches just below the bust with two gold clasps. Roslin wears her hair down again today, pulled back out of her face with those two strands of pearls again. She has a shawl of midnight blue around her shoulders, and walks with ease and grace, smiling and talking to the other ladies.

“That reminds me, Emerit,” Roslin is saying as they come upon the sight of men. “After the wedding I am very much hoping to introduce you to Hadrian Kincaid, the heir to the Duchy of Lakeshire. He’s a bit rough around the edges, but handsome, and moreover a very good friend of mine.” Could there be scheming about?

But then it doesn’t matter, for Roslin is looking over at her own betrothed, unbuttoned and barefoot. She pauses, to smile ever so mischeviously, and even giggle a bit. “Ought we disturb them?” She asks of her friends.

Emerit walks in the sand, her feet bare, and her fingers at her skirts as she raises them just enough that they will not get wet. Her dress is of a lighter fabric, in various shades of green, her fiery red curls being blown about by the light breeze.

In her wake follow the chaperone Valaria, and two Moniwid guards, leaving enough space for the redhaired princess to allow for some private conversation between her and the others of higher birth.

The Mist of the Island will raise a brow, and an amused giggle can be heard in response to Roslin's remark. "Hadrian Kincaid? Is that your plan? I hear he is the son of the Duke. I doubt I would be his first choice, your highness." Her moss green eyes will drift to Ronan and she will smile, remembering their conversation some time ago - about betrothals which did not come about.

Draventa is wearing whatever her handmaids forced her into. She’s been rather preoccupied with her painting, so she wasn’t even sure who she was going with until the walk started, and there was no way to get out. She’s walking a touch slower than the other two princesses, still tired from the beach excursion. Her pale eyes are trailing along the shoreline, like she’s memorizing it, or perhaps making an escape plan. She does hear Roslin’s plans for Emerit and logs that for dissection later. Better to not worry about it now. As she’s not been addressed directly, she’ll just follow behind Roslin and Emerit, whichever direction they go.

Unaware that the women are heading their way, or even in the area, Ronan strips off his doublet to be rid of it. He is sweating after being in Darfield so much this past winter and not used to the warmth out here on the sandy beach. He's wearing a sleeveless white tunic beneath. "That's better! Go one more round, then unsaddle and cool your horse down." The doublet is tossed out behind him to lay in the sand, "Squire Benthur, is that any way to handle a lance? If I see you dragging the tip in the sand, I'll thrash you with it, boy. Pick it up!"

The deep blue doublet has been tossed onto the sand somewhere behind Ronan. He's starting to walk out towards a rather young looking squire of maybe 14 who's having trouble with his lance. It isn't particularly heavy but it is long and he's not a big strong lad yet. Rosley stands watching and it is he who takes note of what appears to be ladies walking the beach in their direction. "Eh, Your Grace…" Pause as he is ignored.

Rosley goes to fetch the doublet and shake the sand out of it, "Your Grace, I think we have company coming to join us." And yes he needs to put his doublet back on!

“I wouldn’t be so sure,” Roslin responds to Emerit. “Hadrian is an … interesting young man. Intelligent and capable, but he’s in a perpetual state of war with his father. And he’s not really very good at handling delicate or courtly business - it has his father in a state of constant terror for who will safekeep the duchy once he is passed,” Roslin says, honestly. “What’s more, Kincaids are infamous for seeking capable women for their families. If you two don’t suite each other, that’s quite fine. I have a few other ideas. But I wanted you at least to meet him, to see how he fits. Like I said, despite his father’s concerns, Hadrian has always been a passionate and intelligent young Lord. He taught me much of what I learned in Lakeshire.” Roslin pauses with the ladies just in time to see her betrothed begin to strip. Granted, he doesn’t strip very far - unfortunately - but it’s enough to light her cheeks up like candles. She turns her eyes quickly away, and instead faces Draventa, all the sudden! “Am I terribly flushed?” She asks the girl, making a point of not looking toward Ronan. Such sights yield inappropriate thoughts!

Emerit listens to Roslin’s explanation, her gaze pensive as she digests the information given to her. “An intelligent young man sounds tempting, I daresay. But at war with his own father? It leaves the possibility for that Duke passing him on to me to be rid of him? While dealing him an insult on the way? I must say, I am intrigued, and can’t wait to meet them both. Father and son.” Her lips curve into an amused smile, moss green eyes sparkling as she pauses and shoots Roslin a glance. Her gaze will drift towards Ronan, lingering there perhaps a touch longer, her cheeks turning slightly rosy before her eyes will drift towards Draventa, studying her in silence, but with a friendly expression.

Draventa looks up as Roslin suddenly turns, Tyrel’s words echoing in her ears. “Oh…no. But stop for a moment and breath.” Drav will instantly lift a hand to the princess’s forearm. “Think of a calming night breeze.” She’ll smile, guessing why she’s flushed. “if it comes up, mention that you are upset about something I said of Prince Logen.” That seems something that anyone could believe.

Ronan is still chewing out the Benthur squire, "Just because Sir Jarvice isn't out here to pop you upside your head with a waster doesn't mean I won't give you a thrashing myself, if you don't put some effort into it. Now try again." The Crawford Rioga waves an arm to get them going once more. He turns to walk back, almost bumping into Rosley who motions down the beach, "Ladies are coming, Your Grace." Several of the squires and other knights have started to notice, pausing to gape. But only for a breath - they quickly realize their Duke /and/ the ladies are watching so it's time to show off their best to try and impress!

"Oh, all right." Ronan takes the doublet back, not wanting it. He shrugs it back on, "Make sure the others are presentable. Kimberly over there has no shirt on." Luckily, Kimberly is only a lad of 12 holding another man's horse. Still, the youth needs to be mindful of proper conduct around noblewomen.

Hands go to buttoning up the front as the Duke starts to walk out to greet the women. Ronan is still bare footed and perhaps they won't notice. "Good afternoon! Are you looking for sea shells? There are good ones to be found after a storm."

Roslin smirks at Draventa. “A cool breeze is doing little to help matters, I think, but is only pushing my imagination further,” Roslin says, but she takes a few breaths and turns to face the Duke, smiling as he goes about dressing himself again. Even though it’s a bit of a disappointment.

“Well, I would not have you thinking the situation is anything but what it is, Emerit. But meet the father too - you may look to marry him if he pleases you, though I thought you might seek someone closer your own age,” she teases, and then they’re approaching the Duke so she nods, respectfully.

“Seashells, your Grace? I confess I had not thought to - but perhaps the Princesses were of a mind for it. They’re far better with seafaring things than I.”

Her moss green eyes drift towards the beach, maybe pointedly so, while Roslin and Draventa exchange a few words. Roslin’s reply has Emerit turn her head, a brief smile brushing her young and freckled features. “I thank you for your candidness, then. But… marry him?” Brows jumping upwards at the suggestion to marry the father. “He is available as well?” Fiery red curls bounce a little when she shakes her head with a smirk. “I wouldn’t mind the age, if his wits are in order.”

Now the Moniwid turns to greet the Duke of Sutherland with a curtsey. “Your Grace. What I have seen so far of Sutherland fills my heart with delight. Princess Roslin is most fortunate indeed to be marrying into your House, to enjoy these lands. As you are fortunate in your choice of bride. Accept my congratulations on your betrothal, Duke Ronan and Princess Roslin. May you enjoy your last days in freedom.” The last remark is offered with a playful wink.

What in the world is Roslin thinking of then? Draventa blinks and will take a half step back to allow Roslin and Ronan to greet each other. Her jaw only tightening the tiniest bit at the mention of Emerit seeing if either Kincaid would fit with her. How lucky for Emerit. That small voice in the back of her head that sounds like the Queen is getting louder at the idea, especially when Duke Aidan is mentioned.

Draventa lets her eyes slide to the ground, the sand. Perhaps she can find some pretty shells. A soft smile and she’ll look up to Ronan and nod about finding them after a storm.

There now, he's decent enough. Ronan offers them all a slight bow, careful of his abdomen. At least he's able to bow once more, proof he is mending. Whoever are they speaking of marrying? "Yes, or hunt for crabs or clams. If you had something to dig with." Their servants could help, "Surely they do that on Rustles Island as well, your Highnesses?" He smiles, pleased to see all three of them and more so for what Emerit says, "Thank you. Aye, all too soon we will have to return to Darfield." That is more an ending of his freedoms than the marriage Ronan is looking forward to.

"Princess Draventa, have you had a chance to do painting since you arrived? I should like very much to see your work. I have not, as yet." Ronan reminds her. "I am interested in having a series portraits painted of the Princess Roslin for the keeps that they may better know their Duchess in the year to come. Are you good with portraits? I will be seeking several painters to arrange the sittings at later times, probably in Darfield."

If Emerit notices Draventa's sour mood, she does not show it. She glances briefly to her half-sister, her smile perhaps diminishing a touch. Her slender fingers are moving to the snake pendant of her necklace, and the redhaired Moniwid will tilt her head little to the side, smiling at Ronan for his agreeable way of continuing the conversation, as he tries to include Draventa as well. "I wish I could paint like she can - alas, I'm not an artist at all, the daily fight with needlework seems a great enough challenge for me." She chuckles, apologetically, her other hand playing with one of her fiery curls. She is being modest. To make her half-sister feel better, maybe?

Well, this is awkard with the present she’s working on. Drav will smile softly to the Duke, “I would be glad to, if you wish.I love doing portraits. But if there is someone you’d prefer, I will not be insulted. Art is very subjective.” The ambassador’s words are not soothing, Drav knows that tone. Emerit’s trying too hard, and that always rubs Drav the wrong way. Drav will smile though, not wishing to fight.

Ronan smiles a little at Emerit but most of his attention is for Draventa as he moves to fall into step with them as they walk the beach. Kierne can see they finish up with the excercises as he's a trusth worthy lad, that Kincaid. Ah, if only Kierne were Aidan's heir, then his uncle could rest more at ease, but alas not. "I have several artists in mind but as I will require several portraits for several keeps, I wish to see your work as well, Your Highness. There is no haste if you have other commissions at this time you are already working on. I would hang the best piece in Trueborn, the next best pieces at North March and South March, and the remainder of the paintings would be distributed to the various other keeps according to their rank." The Duke makes no mention if any such portraits have been painted of himself, but if there have been, none are yet seen hanging at the castle or the keeps they have visited.

There may be a glance between the two Moniwids, trying to gauge what is going on between Draventa and Emerit. Ronan has had siblings and likely enough he can guess, especially with Emerit's family status. So, he clears his throat, "And are things being settled between yourself and my soon to be brother-in-law, Prince Logen, Your Highness?" Ronan glances to Roslin before he bluntly asks, "Last I heard I may need to punch him in the face a few extra times to make certain he gets onto, and stays, on his best behavior with his bride. I'm long overdue and owe him several pieces of my mind already so don't be shy."

The Duke isn't mentioning his late sister, no. But surely Caitlyn is upon Ronan's mind just then.

Her fingers let go of the snake pendant, as her hand falls down by her side. Emerit sees Draventa’s smile, and most likely will feel whatever little warmth is behind it. Her own lips curving into a faint smile, she will lower her gaze, walking along with the others as she listens to the conversation, without interrupting it with any remarks of her own. Ronan will receive a glance from her though, at his remark about Logen. After all she has met his late sister in person, long before all of that scandal and taint of her name.

Nodding about the paintings, Draventa lets the Duke speak. ”I will let you judge where best to put any paintings you should wish me to do for you.” Draventa’s one of those artists that aren’t offended. Once the art is made, it’s done and over. She has no idea where half of her paintings are, actually. Besides the one that Elisen said the Laniveers had.

Her smile freezes on her face, unsure how to answer Ronan. What does he know? Just troubles, or the table flipping too? Instead of answering, she’ll turn to look at Roslin. She doesn’t want to upset anything by saying too much.

“Gods be good, Your Grace,” Roslin says, piping up at last now that she’s gotten her flush under control. “So many paintings as all that? Do you really think it’s necessary? I’m a red-headed Kilgour, those are rare enough. I daresay people shall know me when they see me.” She seems a little flustered by the idea, but not enough to bring that burning back to her cheeks.

And then her betrothed threatens her brother. She coughs into her hand - but it’s done to hide a delighted smile of amusement. “I daresay you might owe him at that, Your Grace. No one would blame you for it.” She looks sympathetically over at Draventa and moves to slip her arm in with the other woman’s. “And no doubt my brother has done enough to deserve such a thrashing. But I believe my brother may be looking to find a way to handle Logen’s recent behavior. So much of it, I think, stems from the fact that so much is expected of him now, and he is not quite equipped to know how to handle it.” Roslin appears to be speaking very freely on Logen in this company. “He was never a bad sort, you know. A much more tender and gentle soul than I ever was. Heart of a poet, that sort of thing. But I think that was because he preferred to daydream rather than be challenged. A challenge one can fail, but in a dream the outcome is always how you wish it. He could do a great deal to fail with his current opportunities, and I believe that frightens him. But it is his own fault, and no one else’s in the world.” She looks up at Ronan, and manages a smile for the man. “That said, despite everything I think a Duke would only be allowed a few hits before being dragged away. Tyrel, however … well, he could do as he deemed necessary.”

Ah, but the Duke is a bit of a bastard himself, of the other kind, not by lack of legitimate birth. Ronan smiles because he had caught how Roslin had been blushing before, even if he didn't know the cause of it. "But of course. I have such a lovely bride that I wish for /all/ of Sutherland to see their new Duchess and admire her, as I do. They will make for fine gifts.”

Poor Draventa, Ronan knows few details but he knows enough. He watches her for a moment ere his lowers his voice, "You are soon to be my Sister-in-Law. My brother went to some pains to keep me far from Darfield, knowing I might well challenge Prince Logen to a death duel over my sister. Or strangle my sister, which was the more likely. I was very wroth, but no, Cedric kept me in the north or in Sutherland, but with orders to keep my nose out of Darfield. Knowing my temper, he was probably wise in doing so. In any event, I will not stand by to see you have anything less than a respectable marriage, Your Highness. In so far as I have any power to stand as a brother unto you when you are far from your own."

A nod is given to what Roslin says, "Yes, and I will soon be brother to Logen as well. If he needs assistance, I will as gladly lend him aid in such things as I am able." An amused huff of breath from Ronan, "Aye … amends I should make with your other brother, the Crown Prince. Tyrel and I had some choice words ere I departed Darfield. He made me very angry, suggesting I not be allowed to fight at the front this year. I know he means well but it was great insult."

Her gaze is fixed on the sea at the moment, the blue sky and the waves. Emerit’s hands are folded before her, her dress in several shades of green bulging in the light breeze. If she listens to the exchange about art, wedding gifts and Prince Logen it does little to lighten her spirits, no, especially that latter subject manages to dampen her cheerfulness. A glance towards Draventa, and she will turn, offering her a smile. Her gaze lingering for a brief moment on the arm Roslin has offered Draventa, and her demeanour will lighten up. Then Ronan speaks about his late sister, and moss green eyes will look at him, a light twitch at the corner of her mouth indicating, she knows at least about that bit.

Yet, suddenly the Mist of the Island feels misplaced, in a way. Or is she just fatigued by the exercise of the walk? “Princess Roslin, Your Grace. Forgive me, but I fear I must retire. Also, I might have to write a letter. My brother has not heard from me in ages, but I am sure he would be delighted to learn about the wonderful time we are having here in Sutherland.” A curtsey is given, to Ronan and Roslin. Then her gaze shifts to Draventa. “Sister.” And Emerit will move away in the direction from which they came, her two Moniwid guards and chaperone soon falling in behind her.

A frown creases Draventa’s face, and she’ll look down as they speak of Logen. Her heart starts pounding a bit harder, it always does when she’s feeling stressed or trapped. For them to all be so…casual about it. She does her best to smooth her face though, it will do her no benefit to become distraught. She’ll move her arm so the princess can link hers with Drav’s and will offer a small forced smile.

Nodding to the Duke, Drav’s voice is soft and she doesn’t make eye contact, “I do not know if this will help, but I do know that he loves your sister still. It changes nothing of what happened, but I know he still holds her in his heart.” She means it to be a comfort for him, she hopes. She won’t touch upon the words that there is no room for her there now. “But I thank you. It helps to know that there are those that care.” She’ll not address the issues with Tyrel. She has enough on her plate.

Emerit’s departure has her looking up though, she’s never sure if the ambassador’s words are meant as a jab or not. She’ll nod her head back at her though. They are in mixed company.

Roslin and her damn flush! It touches her, just barely again, at the Duke’s words. “As you say, Your Grace. Though I must ask that they be true and honest likenesses. I would hate to be known as more beautiful than I am, and to cause a disappointment in person.” She smirks at him, pausing to turn and kiss Emerit’s cheek before she goes.

“Your temper and my brother Tyrel’s tempers are far too similar to be settled too close together, Your Grace. But I know, for a fact, that my brother intends no disrespect. You have forgiven other Kilgours for speaking too freely and honestly with you, in the past. I hope you may forgive him as well.” Her smile is knowing, but the attention is soon returned to Draventa and her words of love. Roslin frowns.

“None of us shall stand by and have you treated as anything but what you deserve. Not only as a Princess, but as a good and caring woman,” Roslin says unequivocally. “We have all already made that position quite clear to Logen. And I think, once he comes to see you as the person you are and not a challenge to be overcome, you will find some measure of peace and comfort together.” She glances down a little.

“As for love, I have made my opinion known on the subject many times. I have always found it to be an evil and malicious thing, a thing which causes people to abandon their duties and their families for other desires. My brother and my sister both suffered thusly. My mother, even to a certain extent,” Though Roslin will not talk about her opinions on that. “I have found, in my little experience, that when two people can find admiration, respect, affection and patience for one another, that is the foundation for true happiness.” She turns her gaze up once to quickly take stock of Ronan’s features while she speaks. “And I think there is much of that still in the future for you in your life, your Highness. I believe that.” She gives the girl a reassuring squeeze. “And there is nothing I loathe so much in this world as being wrong.”

A polite bow of his head is given to Emerit as she departs, "Have a good evening, Your Highness." It always feels awkward to him, giving her that title.

Ronan is a reasonably perceptive man. He briefly touches Draventa's shoulder, then removes his hand to clasp them lightly behind his back as the three of them continue to walk together. "Do not fret so, soon to be sister-in-law. We shall look out for you and if you show your soon-to-be-husband kindness and patience, yet be firm, I think he'll come around and be a good match. Any man can get off to a bad start and make a fool of himself. I've certainly done it and … at least some have forgiven me for being an ass." He nods, "I know he loved my sister, and she him. There is that much, and I had been looking forward to a niece or nephew." Yes, that saddens him.

It's all rather candid. They are not at the King's Court, they are walking bare foot along a beach in Sutherland with the late afternoon sun warming them. Ronan looks out to the water and then his gaze comes around to watch Roslin with her hair down loose, walking with her arm linked with Draventa. A glance back shows the squires and knights have finished and are cleaning up, preparing to depart and no longer Ronan's concern for the rest of the evening.

Ah, if only he and Roslin were already wed, there are places he would take her, things they could enjoy, but there is so little time. Her words make him laugh, lightly. "I suspect you will only grow the more lovely in the coming years, Your Highness. Sutherland will not be disappointed any more than I myself." For the most part the Duke quiets to listen to his betrothed, to what she says to himself as well as to Draventa.

Draventa swallows, eyes staying on where her feet will land as she walks. She doesn’t know how much the princess knows. “I understand. And I am trying.” Her cheeks have turned a very soft pink, “I…I wrote to him, but have not heard anything back.” Maybe he lied to her and went off to Kundari land already? She’ll blink and look up as Ronan touches her shoulder. She’ll offer him a small smile, Not wanting to tell him how bad a start Logen got off to. Tyrel had to step in. Instead she’ll nod and glance back along the way. There’s a small tremor on her arm, she too isn’t used to all of this exercise.

Roslin looks at Ronan, and the look holds a moment or two as she smiles. “You really are too kind, Your Grace. I do hope to continue to deserve your high opinion of me.” But the trembling arm draws her attention back to Draventa, and she frowns a little. “Oh, my dear. Are you alright?” She asks, patting Draventa’s arm with her own. “I’m so sorry if we’ve upset you. As much as we joke, His Grace and I both share a similar trait that leaves us vulnerable to running our mouths with little check on the words that escape. All we meant to say is this, your highness: You will not just be Logen’s wife, you shall be a Kilgour. And as a Kilgour you shall also be sister to the Crawfords. And you must know this - that whenever you feel the need or desire, this place may be your home for as long as you wish it, that you may paint and swim and ride in peace and among those who shall love you as a sister loves.” She gives Draventa a reassuring smile. Of course, she did not ask Ronan’s permission to extend this invitation. Technically she does not have the power to do so. But it seems she is already finding herself pleased to be a Duchess and to have a place of her own to invite people to - no matter what Ronan might think of the matter.

“Come, let us turn back. It’s been quite a busy day already.”

For his part, Ronan has no problem with Roslin inviting anyone she likes, as long as it's not the Kundari too often, or any from Jadda or Laniveer without giving him good reason and warning, first. He is content to walk quietly with them along the beach, trusting that Kierne will follow up shortly with his boots, spurs and arming belt. Elsewise the Rioga will be walking back to the manor house without them. Ronan doesn't really care. He allows the other two converse, falling back a step to give them a little more privacy, "Aye, we can all head back. Get cleaned up for supper. Should be heading back to Trueborn in the morning for the King's Court shall be arriving soon. See that preparations are under way to welcome them." /Them/ being Callem of course, and whomever else travels south with him.

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