Alasair 3, 228: Battle Royale

Battle Royale
Summary: While preparing for Princess Caillin's wedding two days hence, the Prince Logen and the Princess Roslin find themselves together in a room for the first time since the former has taken an open lover to be a bride and since the latter has returned from a year in Lakeshire. Discussions quickly deteriorate into a sibling argument.
OOC Date: 21/August/2013
Related: None
Caillin Roslin Logen Caedmon 
Royal Suite Three
Should you enter the room at day, you will immediately notice the sunlight entering the room at every angle. The wall to the west is a wall of glass, towering windows reaching to the ceiling and overlooking The Great Sea. The wall curves at the top, resulting in an arched ceiling, thick oak slabs crossing the ceiling at the base of the arch. A grand piano is before the window, a scattering of sheet music along the top. The floor is a thick lush carpet, the color of red wine. The middle of the room holds a cushy divan and love seat, facing one another. Large overstuffed cream colored chairs rest by a fireplace, along with a matching couch, and a low table in the center. On the center of the table is a vase, with fresh lillies resting in a bouquet. A bookcase is on either side of the fireplace, each containing a large collection. The walls hold various paintings of country scenes and horses, with a large painting over the fireplace, a scene of royal hunters on the move, painted by none other than Valous the Great. By the door to the hall is a beautiful and highly detailed grandfather clock, which chimes every hour.
Alasair 3, 228

It should perhaps come as no surprise that the Princess Caillin’s chambers are buzzing with activity now, so soon before her wedding. Among the many maids moving in and out, the Princess Roslin can be found. She too has found ways to make herself useful - sorting through dresses and gowns, arranging gems and jewelry for Caillin to select from, and more. At this very moment, the younger Princess is standing behind her elder sister, using a small brush to pull her hair back with some pinned curls and braids. It appears the two are trying out different hairstyles for the wedding. Roslin, for her part, is dressed simply today, in a purple silk dress that has been tailored to her body - as are all their dresses, to be sure. It falls down her frame, sleek as water, to pool in large bell sleeves around her wrist and at her feet. The sleeves themselves are braided along the shoulder, with white fabric flashing underneath. Pearls adorn her throat. She wears her own hair casually down in red waves, with a few tight braids among the tresses for simple decoration.
“And how about this, then?” Roslin asks her sister, taking a bunch of hair and twisting it along the top of her head, giving it some volume. “Do you prefer to show your curls off, like so? Or shall we perhaps pull it tight and sleek?” For Roslin, who is often known as being severe and serious during severe and serious discussions, now she appears to be quiet amiable and content. Why, the girl even smiles - who knew!

This prince isn’t usually one to invade another’s privacy, however, he and Caillin share a special bond that grants him permission to visit her whenever, so long as she’s decent. Today, Logen decides to visit his soon to be married younger sibling, and enters her room along with a small bouquet of flowers he knows she loves. “Caillin!” he calls out, to announce his arrival to her, before stopping when he sees his other sister sitting with her and working her hair. “Ah, Roslin. Hello.” he offers before turning once more his attentions to Caillin, “I brought you something, I know you like these.” handing the flowers to a servant who rushes to retrieve a vase and water for the bouquet. He is brought a seat by a guard, and smoothes out his trousers before sitting down. “What are we all selecting for the big event? Purples and grays? Or Reds?”

Caillin stares intently at each servant, who are running around the room with apparels, fabrics, flowers and some drinks. Her cheeks are blushed slightly, but this time not because of some kind of modesty. This time from all the work of preparation.
Girl nervously crumples the fabric of her very simple linen white dress. She is not dressed in her usual fancy clothes just to get a chance quickly jump into the new gowns brought by the servants. Today, young princess, already got a chance to try like ten dresses, but all were sent away.
When her sister asks about the hair, Caillin just frowns nervously and shakes her head. “Wrong. Everything is just wrong! I look horrible and I will look horrible. I have no idea, how I should decorate myself, that the man, who I marry would be happy and maybe a slight grain of sympathy, I am not asking for love, would show up in his eyes…“
And then all the worry fades from girl‘s bright face for a few seconds, when Logen comes in. Girl trys to jump on her feet. As always, to run and hug her brother, but Roslin firmly clenched her hair and Caillin is forced to remain on her chair. “My dear, you came with these lilies!“ girl sighs dreamily, staring at the flowers “Thank you so much! I do hope you will come to the feast and ceremony too?“ However, girl does not wait for the answer. Her eyes widen and she gasps “Logen! You are the man. Really. You are! You should know! Please, be honest..“ girl turns to her sister “Please, can you show him previous variant and this one?“ grey eyes finds brother again “You must know what I should do that the man would like me. You all have similar… Well… You know!“

With Logen’s appearance, Roslin simply looks to him in the mirror. Her smile becomes a more stern thing, and suddenly she is intently focused on the hair before her. “Brother,” she greets, only to let out a yelp as Caillin tries to leap up. “No, no no, my hand is tangled in there!” She says, laughing as her sister settles down again. “Be careful, my dear, or I could have ripped out some of your lovely curls before your important day.” She goes back around to arranging the hair, twisting here and there. Braids, she keeps coming back to, but then shaking them lose - not usually appropriate for a wedding. “It is your day, Caillin. Not just his - you should wear what you will feel beautiful in. If you feel beautiful, you will be beautiful.” She continues, this time brushing the hair back gently, into a tight knot at the back of the woman’s head to keep it all straight. Logen is invited for his opinion - Roslin purses her lips, tight and displeased, but she says nothing. She simply begins to arrange the first style they tried. It is much more ambitious, a style which brings the hair in a twisted crown along the sides of Caillin’s head.

“Of course I'll be there Caillin, do you think I'd miss the wedding of my sister?” Logen smiles at Caillin, utterly ignoring Roslin's distaste for his presense. “As for what will… inspire Ruthgar? I cannot say, we men do have similar interests, but varying methods of getting to them.” No one has ever accused Logen of being vulgar for a reason, he has a knack for circumlocution when the subject matter isn't quite something a brother and sister should speak about. Even for their closeness, Logen would only discuss this with Cailling privately… and they aren't able to do so just now. “Roslin is correct, you should wear something that inspires yourself. There is one thing I know that makes all men's hearts sing… the brilliant smile of woman who's happy. If you're confident in what you're wearing, happy with your choices, Ruthgar will smile genuinely as you walk down the aisle with father towards him.”
Now Logen motions silently to one of his guards and a hip flask appears for the young prince, he drinks quietly before closing the flask and handing it back to the guard. With a steady gaze, Logen begins to comb through Caillin's selections of jewelry then picks out one he gave her for her sixteenth birthday and smiles. “I'm glad you kept this sister. You should see the necklace I gave to Caitlyn as a betrothal gift.”

“Oooh, Roslin, Logen… You are saying this just because you are my sister and my brother! You want to calm me down and everything…“ Caillin mildly cants her head to fix the gaze on the mirror. However, it is obvious, that the princess, actually, does not see anything in there. She slowly raises her hand to take a scratch of the ear. “I will feel beautiful, just when I see sparkles in the grey eyes of my future husband, when he will be looking at me… Just then I will be able to smile,“ girl sighs once more and she would sit there thoughtfully, if not the serving girl, who gaping at the incredibly beautiful golden gown, forgot carrying two goblets of wine.
Serving girl sighs dreamily and relaxes her muscles. Poor girl stumbles and two goblets just sways on the salver. At first it looks like that everything will end without any accident, but the silver goblet decides differently. She falls, bumping into another. The wine is spilled on the ground and a few drops finds a shelter between skirts of that golden dress, which caused the distraction.
“Your highnesses, I am so sorry,“ almost cries the young serving girl. She falls on her knees to clean the mess from the dress with her own cloth. Of course, Gaela nervously runs closer and grabs the serving girl of her shoulder, raising poor servant “What‘s wrong with you?! This was the only one dress, which made princess smile!“
However, Caillin‘s laugh disturbs all the anger of her handmaiden “Perfect! That‘s just perfect. Thank you, my dear girl,“ she says for the woman, who brought trouble “You just saved me from the wrong decision. It was not my destiny to wear it. Maybe I would have fallen with it on the ground, stumbling on the skirt. Or lord Ruthgar wouldn‘t like it… Please, take the dress out,“ and the girl nervously grabs the gown, offers a deep curtsy for everyone and runs out of the room, while Gaela just sniffs and retreats near the jewely.
Caillin peeks at the pendant, which now rests in the hand of her brother “This one is very beautiful I will always have it with me, Logen. It reminds me about you, when you are away. I wondered to put it on my wedding day. What do you think, Roslin? Don‘t you like it?“ Girl‘s gaze slips from the brother to her sister and the the brother again. Sadness flashes in these grey eyes. She obviously understands and feels the tension between the people she loves so dearly. But for now she does not say how to get rid of it, so she just adds “Brother, I still did not get a chance to meet her. I do believe that your gift was just amazing. You have a good taste. But I would like to meet your love more…“

Roslin frowns at the disaster the servants cause, though she does not seem to be upset with Caillin’s reaction. “All the same, the fabric is expensive. It should not be wasted - do be more careful.” She goes back to her sister’s hair - and she may feel a bit of a tight pull as Logen and Caillin speak. “I do not think it is best to advise our sister on the sort of woman that attracts you, Logen. It would not do for her to attract any attention that would cause her to become shameful and dishonorable.” She goes back to her sister’s hair, pinning another braid up and using the brush to tease the hair, creating a soft, golden halo effect in the light. “I’m sure we will all be forced to meet her at some point, Caillin. Better we stay apart until at least after your wedding, lest her behavior rub off on you. Perhaps father might let me avoid her until I am married, lest I too be corrupted by her.” She twists her face into a smile, looking over her sister. “Though at this rate I am likely to remain unmarried until I am wrinkled with streaks of grey. If nothing else, you are in your most beautiful youth for your wedding now, Caillin, and everyone will remember that beauty for many years to come.”

At Roslin's words, Logen frowns deeply for a moment. Then, the ingrained composure of a prince takes control and his voice becomes the trained flat but polite. “Caitlyn would love to meet you Caillin, she's slightly envious of yours and my relationship. She hopes to be as close to me as you are, though, she's already there.” then he turns a steel gaze to Roslin, “The only reason you'll be so old when some king finally relents and offers a son to marry you, is for your absolute lack of refinement, dear sister.” he pauses, “You refer to Caitlyn as though she were a whore, but you've never met her, you have third hand rumors with unfounded accusations that you're using to place judgement on a woman whom your brother is marrying.” a slight weight to the 'your' before a pause once more, “As much as you proclaim to never fall in love, you will. And, what's more you'll fall for a man you cannot have. A man who challenges all your tiny world in such a way that your heart shatters when it's announced you're marrying another.” he shakes his head, “You are so young Roslin, grow up. Caitlyn and I are adults, we are in love, perhaps we skipped courting and betrothal but love doesn't wait for such trivialities. It is not a disease, as much as you and mother might believe it is. You, Roslin, make a life in Sutherland seem all the more welcome. For at least I'll be spared a slight headache each morning at breakfast.”

„THAT‘S IT!“ Caillin shouts, jumping on her feet now. Maybe Roslin will pull out a few hairs, but princess does not care. She stands in front of her brother and sister with just half-finished hairstyle, her dress is very simple, even slightly crumpled. She is in need of the massive spoon and some weight and she would look like as an angry old woman, who works in the kitchen of a very poor tavern and now she is shouting at a few drunkards.

„That‘s it! I can‘t stand this. You are brother and sister. And you both are human. We all do mistakes and as a family we should support each other, help for each other, not to tease or flood with our anger. Yes. I am not happy too with what happened to the poor handmaid of lady Caitlyn and the guard of Logen. I am not happy that they both were standing so cold. I am not happy that he broke all the rules and still got to marry his beloved woman, while I always was proper and now I have to marry the man I barely know. The man about whose dark past people are speaking. But I do not offend nor my brother, nor his wife, Roslin. And I love my brother with all my heart and I will learn to love his wife. And I love you and today…“ tear starts running through the cheek of the princess. Likely because of all the tension, between her brother and sister and because of the tension of her own marriage. „I had enough of that horrible days around me. I want you both smile, be happy and hug each other. You both must hug each other now or you both can leave my room and I do not want to see you two until my wedding…“ girl shrugs and sighs, slipping back to her seat.
„Or sooner. I can‘t be angry. I understand you both and the only thing I ask… I want to see that hug between sister and brother…“ Now girl turns to the mirror and whispers „Moreover, Roslin, I can bet, that you may be betrothed even before all this war will end up…“ mischievious smile flashes in the bright face. „Please… I love you both… I will be happy even if you two will pretend in front of me that you two do the same for each other… I just can‘t stand this… All this… Logen… Our sister has enough of refinement. Her husband will be very happy and proud. She is clever and beautiful and very proper.“
More tears start running through the cheeks of the princess „Why people can‘t be happy, can‘t be polite, can‘t forgive, can‘t understand. Please…“ she brushes the tears with the sleeve, but still sobs, glancing at her siblings „I am waiting or you two can go through that door and ruin my marriage forever…“ One corner of girl‘s lip nervously jumps up, forming slightly evil smile. Maybe betraying, that girl tries to use the love, which is felt by her brother and her sister for her, in order to stop them speak with each other so rudely. But, wanting to hide that smile through tears, Caillin turns her gaze away quickly.

Roslin yanks her hands back as quickly as she can to avoid yanking out her sister’s hair. She manages to avoid much hurting her. Listening to Caillin’s plea, all that Roslin can do is sigh. “I wish I could, sister. But this is not about love. I am not angry with Logen even about love. If, perhaps, he could have kept his debauchery quiet, I’m sure I wouldn’t even have cared where and with whom he shamed himself.” Roslin rises, smoothing out her skirt to look at Logen. “Do you deny what you have done? Do you claim your servants were whipped bloody for your actions, while you watched on impassive, for no reason? She may not be … well I will not even use the word that you have, it is too vile. But you have made her into some creature like it with your dishonor of her. But even that can be forgiven.”
Roslin steps toward the brother she has not seen in over a year. Her eyes are both angry and sad. “Do you understand why we are all so dissapointed in you, brother? Do you understand that your behavior may well have lost us a powerful naval alliance? Do you understand that Laniveer, with their new strength at sea, will bring more war against us? People will die because of your love. Our people. Perhaps we may even be defeated on the field of war because we may be outnumbered at sea. Do you even care for such things? Or is your love all that matters in this world?” She does not seem as though she requires an answer, instead looking back to Caillin. “I am sorry I cannot give you what you wish now, sister. If it were only the impropriety, I could. But it is the war that will be at our shores that Logen has caused that I cannot forgive. You care so much for our people - think of how our people will suffer, when they must march off against an even stronger foe, many sons and fathers and brothers never to return. I do not blame Logen for the war, nor for the Laniveer. Simply for the additional ability they will have to slaughter our people because he does not have any honor at all. I love him for his sweetness, but until he can admit his faults in this, I cannot go further.” She lifts her skirts then, taking a few steps. “I will leave you now - you two are close and if you have found peace between each other I would not disrupt it further.”

Logen shakes his head, listening to Roslin. “You know me so little, Roslin. In the past two weeks I've slaved over books, scrolls, artistry, anything and everything that gives examples close to what we might use to defend our people before their soldiers reach land.” a rueful chuckle, “What I deny, is the lack of honor and the shame brought upon us. What I deny is my involvement with Moniwid's decision to join with Laniveer. Their actions clearly indicate they were already leaning in Laniveer's direction with their support. The Grand Duke came, our parents stated they would consider his offer, then he left. There were no formal arrangements, as such, that I am no longer available for offer is moot.” he looks at Caillin in the mirror, “Disappointed in me? For what? For finding someone who makes me happy? I am one of the smartest strategists in Mobrin, I will be working with Tyrel closely on our battle strategies and the death toll will be small for us. You slather all this blame, all this supposed dishonor, all this guilt on me without even taking a moment to question what truly happened between myself and Caitlyn. Do I deny that we've slept together? No, we have. Was it planned? Was it some secret plot to ruin our families and run off together? No, we met in the library and fell in love. It was just as that, we connected and if her brother hadn't shown… I may have stolen a kiss before I left.” he shakes his head, “I watched good men get lashed, and a good handmaiden get lashed, then saw them dragged off to the dungeons. How dare I dishonor them by shedding tears, I watched each and every crack of the whip without flinching. I coached Caitlyn on how to do the same. You, Roslin, have never been in battle. To cry in front of your men when news that one has died, is to shame yourself and them. Caitlyn and I did not shame those who were so suddenly arrested and judged without any questions as to what happened. Nothing more than my physical inspection for injuries, and a discussion about our future wedding occurred. But, alas, no one will hear the truth because everyone wishes for scandal. So go, Roslin, leave and verbally cavort with the jackals of the court because to shake your fingers at us, tsk, and accuse is all you're good for. I, however, will be meeting with Tyrel, father, mother, and Caedmon to discuss various plans of action. I have sent a missive to the mayor of the city about potential drills that could be run for the citizenry to train them before any attack happens. I'll be on the field, running drills along side our brother so that our army is ready and I'll be meeting with the royal engineers to discuss ways to improve our siege weapons for land to sea combat.”

Caillin quickly grabs the arm of her sister and tugs her closer, clasping one hand around her waist and cuddling her flaxen curls to the belly of her standing sister, while Caillin remains sitting. „You won‘t go anywhere. I can‘t go with such hairstyle anywhere. You should finish, what you have started, my dear… And I am not closer to Logen than you. My love is equal and I need you both today, tomorrow and the day after tomorrow and another month, another years. I will always be in the of you both near my side, equally, because the same blood trickles through our veins, because I grew up with you both and you both are the same for me - my family.“
Caillin starts playing with the fingers of her sister, but her gaze is fixed on Logen „I do understand, that the war is the war. People will die, but it‘s not Logen‘s fault, that we may be outnumbered. Nor it‘s his fault that the war was started. It‘s people‘s greed and ineptitude. People do not know how to interact. How to speak with each other, they do not know how to understand each other. That is why the wars are always started…“
Princess chews on her lips for a few moments „I just do not want to have the war inside our family, when we have the war outside. If you can‘t hug each other, at least, please, be like adults and forget to offend each other. Do not be rude. Be formal, be polite, but no need of sarcasm. Don‘t be wild dogs, who bites each other for the smallest bone, please…“
And girl puts the hand of Roslin on her head „Please, continue, my beloved sister,“ and Caillin stares at her brother through the mirror „Logen, you will go to the war, many people will go to the war. You all will try your best, even if the war is just the most stupid thing in our life. I know, that my future husband will go to the war too. You shouldn‘t try to defend your passion by your abilities in the war. Nobody blames you for falling in love, finding the woman you love. Honestly, I do not blame you even for sleeping with her. She, as a lady, should say “no” for you and ask to wait. But also, I see how handsome you are. It would be impossible to say “no” for you. You both did a bad thing, violating the rules, but you both, still, get a chance to marry. You both should be happy for that and understand that there will be people, who won‘t like it, and will say it for you. You have to learn not just how to sway with your sword or tongue, but how to keep the sword in scabbards, when needed. How to keep the tongue under your teeth too…“ Caillin sighs „As I said, war is war, but family is family and I won‘t let you two to start the war inside family. We are not wild dogs. For this reason I just forbid for you two to speak rudely with each other. Each time you two will do that, I will… find a way to punish you both. We need to be adults, not children. I love you, Logen. I love you, Roslin.“

Roslin shakes her head at Logen, moving to step behind her sister as she speaks to reach her hair. “You brag because you do your duty as a Prince - some of your duties. Your actions, as a leader, should speak for themselves.” Roslin moves her fingers in her sister’s hair, moving to undo the braids and locks. “As I promised previously, Caillin, I wish only that I could have seen our brother in public, where courteousness would reign.” The redhead looks over her sister’s hair to her brother. “My forgiveness and acceptance is ready and waiting, as I’m sure mother and father’s may well be, if only you can admit your faults in these matters, instead of making excuses for shame and dishonor. I know you know what you have done is wrong - I know you would never promote your disgraceful lifestyle to good women of court, to your sisters or your mother or your daughters, when those shall be. If you can admit your sins, both with the alliance and with your morality, and show that you are ashamed as I would be were I in your place, I am sure this argument could pass.” Roslin does not seem to expect an answer, judging by her tone. She continues to focus and work on her sister’s hair until all the locks are down and undone. “Your maid will have to finish your hair, Caillin. My hands are trembling far too much for it. If you wish, send for me in the morning and I will come and do it properly for you. I am sure by then I can be calm.” She lifts her skirts, then, and moves for the door.

“Again, you are wrong about me. Roslin.” Logen just shakes his head, “No more will I brandy words with someone who cannot seem to listen. I have consistently said to those that have asked that I do not deny we’ve been together outside of wedlock. What it is with people an needing grovelling for actions that cannot be undone, nor would she and I undo them. Give it a rest, tend to our sister’s hair after you’ve calmed down. I will be going, I have far too much to do today to be here fighting with someone who’s been gone for a year.” With that Logen turns fully and is headed out the door.

A guard knocks on the door from outside and then opens it to peek into the room where everyone is bustling to prepare the princess for her shining moment. "You have a visitor, your royal highness," the guard announces. Anticipating the next question, he adds, "It is Lord Caedmon." The door opens further, and the red-headed lord steps into the room. Behind him is a servant. The lord looks around the room from face to face, and apologizes, "If I am intruding, I can return later." Then he looks specifically to Caillin and adds, "I spoke to several people and no one seemed certain about whom would provide your gown for tomorrow. I took the problem upon myself. I hope that the results please you." He steps aside so that the servant can step forward, bearing two large bundles of purple fabric. These are obviously the outer wrappings of packages.

Logen stops at the door when Caedmon enters, he nods to the man before pushing his way past and leaving with his three guards.

When everyone decides to leave Caillin alone… Well, almost alone in the room, her bright face becomes even more darker, than it was, while her brother and sister tried to crack each others throats. Girl opens her mouth to say something, what could stop them, but girl looks quite lost, almost crying again.
However, the doors are opened and lord Caedmon comes in. Logen went out, likely, still being angry and Caillin just sighs. After everything, what happened cousin once more becomes the ray of sun. Girl jumps up and bounces near him, falling straight into his armful „Cousin, you are always just at perfect time! You are the light of this house!“ A peck is placed on his cheek.
This is the moment, when he mentions the dress and wide smile is formed by the rosebud lips again. „You did what? I am so eager to see the results! I couldn‘t find a perfect dress. If you did it… You… You are the man, you knew what to chose, that lord Ruthgar would fall in love with me in the temple! Please, show me,“ curious glance finds that purple colour of the packages.
However, before running closer near the couch, where servants would take the dress out of the hiding, girl grabs the hand of her sister very firmly and just drags Roslin with herself „You must see it too!“

“Release my arm, Caillin,” Roslin says, her voice much more tight than it has been heard the past few days. A trait of her anger, as all would know from her younger days, before her trip. “I need some wine, and to speak with Tyrel.” However, the younger princess doesn’t fight physically, she moves along as bade. At Caedmon’s visit, she nods to him, though she can’t fully curtsy while she is held. “Lord Caedmon. I wouldn’t disturb this moment with you and my sister - however there are discussions we need to conclude if you might be willing to speak with me a little later. As soon as Caillin relinquishes to me my limb…” While frustrated, there is something of a joke in her tone as she tries once more to pull her arm back to herself. “I shall be found in my brother’s office, I hope, or my own rooms.” Caedmon, upon a look, will notice that the younger princess is quite flustered. Her face is pale, save for the burning red cheeks. Her hands are trembling. She looks most unhappy - nearly miserable, one might say.

Caedmon motions to the servant to place the packages on the couch, which he does with a deep bow. The lord then dismisses the aid with a nod and a word of thanks before turning fully to Caillin. "Open them for yourself, sweet cousin," he invites. "I want you to have the joy of this discovery. I will not take full credit, however. Baroness Blackforge was most helpful in choosing fabrics and the design. It is our gift to you.”

Caillin just sighs and tosses the hand of her sister away. She really tried. Young princess really tried to reconcile her siblings. War, weddings, war and some more war. She asks to have at least one day cheerful, but what she gets back? Just angry tone. Whatever… whatever… I do hope I will leave to the barony of Dellhaven and I will be saved from everything. I will be saved from all the war outside, war in my own family, because I will have new one.. speaks Caillin in her head, chewing on the lip, frowning and becoming quite angry too. She starts rubbing the bracelet on her wrist. The bracelet, which was a gift from her future husband. It, somehow, makes young princess smile and she just turns to the packages, where the dress is hiding. Caillin does not say a word.
Girl‘s fingers start nervously fiddling the package. And here we go. Girl withdraws with a very loud gasp. Her look finds Caedmon „A gift? From you two… It‘s… It‘s so beautiful! I will look like a queen!“ and joyful tears are falling on the ground. Girl comes closer near the dress and very gently, very carefully takes it out, cuddles near her body and paces near the mirror to look.

It‘s a spotless gown so white that it, and girl near it, seems to radiate a dazzling, holy light. The gown is of exquisite silk that will cling to her slender shoulders, arms, and upper body. As all silk will do, it has an additional shine that illuminates and diminishes shadows that other lights around her cast. A delicate garland of small white flowers with vivid green leaves rings her hips. Those close enough to the princess will notice that the garland is not a solid strand of flowers, as it appears from a distance, but many flowers and leaves interconnected with a chain of finely wrought polished gold. The gown continues to flow like a waterfall, gathering into a large pool of white well below girl‘s feet. A veil of exquisite lace, in the same dazzling white, will perfectly hides her face.
Girl turn to put the dress on the couch once more and she runs near Caedmon, placing a kiss on his cheek again, hugging him tightly „Thank you so much! Now I will be so beautiful! You saved me!“

Roslin finally is able to retrieve her arm, and she walks over to the side of the room where the servants have refreshments set out. To the wine she goes; a large gobletful is poured for her and she drinks deeply. Still, for her sister’s sake, she turns to watch the girl glee over the dress. and smiles. Caedmon recieves a nod, a low little bow from the woman. “Thank you, my Lord. It is pleasant to see some happiness here for Caillin’s wedding. You have proved quite the hero of the day, I assure you.” Instead of her normal tone, whihc comes with a slight tease, she instead sounds quite sincere. “Caillin my dear, let me know how you wish your hair for such a dress, and I shall make it so.” Yet still, after she is done speaking, the girl seems pensive, a sad frown across her features.

When Caillin unwraps the first package, the gown, Caedmon smiles proudly. "Certainly it is for you, dear cousin," he laughs. "The morrow will be a high day for you. Everyone should look to you and Lord Ruthgar as the center of all attention for that time. If our gifts help with that, then we have thanks enough." He touches Caillin's arms gently when she leans forward to kiss his cheek. Then he looks between Caillin and Roslin, and questions, "Why do both of you look as if some shadow has fallen? This should be a time of joy, not of weeping."

Caillin withdraws from Caedmon, smiling widely „I am happy. You just made me so happy!“ but she turns to her sister. Of course, she sees that sad frown in her sister‘s eyes. Now, princess, not reacting to the question about hair, comes closer near Roslin and gently touches her shoulder „What is wrong my dear. There is something on your mind, and I am afraid, it‘s not Logen…“ Caillin glances at Caedmon and explains „They just got into a fight…“ and then princess turns to the sad one „What is happening under these fiery locks. Please tell me. Do you need to speak with someone? Sit and speak. You know you can trust me and our cousin,“ girl withdraws from her sister, but sticks grey look straight to the Roslin‘s eyes.

“Logen is unwilling to discuss his own failings - there is no reason we need discuss them again here.” Roslin says, the terseness returning. She takes another sip of wine. “To hear him tell it, I am so far beneath him anyway - I am an unrefined child, wasn’t that it, Caillin? An unrefined child who hates him for his love. No - my opinion does not matter on the subject, so let us focus on the far more important things. Have you thought, Caillin, of wearing some amber for your wedding? It may play well with your gift to your future husband - he may be moved by it.” She sets the wine aside and runs her fingers through her hair, still very upset and frustrated as she moves to stare out the window. “Perhaps a few beads of it woven into your hair.”

"Amber would play well with her hair, cousin," Caedmon suggests to Roslin with an approving look to Caillin. "As for the matter of the prince's opinion, have you been back long enough for him to judge how your visit to Lakeshire might have changed you?" Then he looks at the second, unopened package, and urges his flaxen-haired cousin, "Come! You have another to open, and I suspect that you will want it as well."

„Oh, no no no no no…“ Caillin starts repeating, shaking her head fiercely „My wedding, amber, Ruthgar…. Nobody is more important than the feelings of my sister,“ princess takes a seat „Logen was rude. He was angry. He is still full of love in his heart. That woman, like some kind of witch, spellbind our brother. He will /never/ acknowledge his fault, because everything, what will be relative to that woman, will be good, pure and perfect for him. This is love. It was love, but not he, who was speaking with you…“ girl sighs before continuing „You are not a child and you know it. You are too clever to be a child. You already could stand besides Tyrel and rule our kingdom. You would be a wise… Just perfect ruler. You know that. I told you it hundreds of times. Maybe he is not in the need of your advices, but I will always be. For Logen… Now he is in need of time. The time will change his wife and him. When they will have many children and home to keep in shape, they will forget that evil love. They won’t have time for that. He will say “sorry” for you, some day. Remember, you said I should give time for Ruthgar. This is the same. You should give time for Logen to get rid of the spells and finally to see everything clear…“ girl crosses her arms on abdomen „You are not a child and your words are very important for our family. You know that, me dear…“
Caillin stands up and follows Caedmon near another package, but her eyes are kept on Roslin.

“If that is love, to turn a man against his family and his duty, then I say again I never want any more of it in my heart but for this family and this kingdom and my Gods.” Roslin says, speaking softly as she continues to look out the window. She turns once more to the pair, crossing the room with an elegant step. “But as I said - nevermind it all. Time will tell where things stand; if I only marry as an old maid because father cannot find anyone willing to have me, so be it. For now, the only wedding that matters is yours, Caillin. Open the present - let us see what more there is to behold. I will see to it personally that we find some amber for you, to play off the cream of your skin and to remind your betrothed that you are the lightness in his life now.” She nods once more and moves to sit at the vanity, before her sister as she begins to unwrap the next gift. Her smile is sweet, but her eyes still betray inner turmoil.

"I have found that good and right love does not demand that the lover should forget ties of family or the gods," Caedmon observes quietly while waiting for Caillin to unwrap the second gift. "I also have found that stalking to a mule is often a waste of breath. If Prince Logen wishes to be a mule and blind himself to reason, he might stumble in time into a ditch of his own making. Leave him to it for now."

„There are many types of love. You will love as our mother loves our father. That will be different. I already see how happy you will be and beautiful at your special day…“ Caillin genuinely sighs and warm smile decorates her face. Grey eyes stare at the sister for awhile, before Caillin starts unwrapping the gift curiously.

“It is irrellevant now, all of it. What sins have been committed, by him or by me, cannot be undone.” She nods once more to Caedmon. “I do give my word to hold my tongue for Logen from now on - I think all I needed was to say my peice once and let my stance be known. Still, I am sorry this has come upon you, cousin, too. Especially at such a grand time. You have been so generous to my dear sister, and she shall be the envy of every bride for years to come. Go on then, Caillin. Let us see the rest.” And once her bit is spoken, the redhead motions to the serving girl - bring more wine, the gesture says. And it is done.

Caedmon stands nearby and waits for the everyone to see the contents of the second package. The wrappings fall away to reveal a veil of golden threads. Woven into the veil are jewels of various colors, blue, red, green, and violet, that sparkle like wildflowers in a summer field. A crown of regal simplicity sits atop the veil in the package. The crown has seventeen small points rising from its circular perimeter. At the tip of each point is a pure, lustrous white pearl.

„Awww…“ gasps Caillin together with all servants „That is… That is so beautiful… I have no words…“ and really, she freezes, staring at all these presents. Her eyes are sparkling and princess becomes a sculpture. Very happy and impressed sculpture.

“Your taste is impeccable, cousin,” Roslin says, rising to stand over her sister, admiring the garment. She takes another sip of the wine, but at least her hands seemed to have stopped trembling, so she puts it down. “It shall certainly change how we do your hair, sister,” Roslin notes, reaching down to run her hand along the veil fabric, letting it wisp between her fingers. “You are far too good to us,” Roslin says modestly, nodding to Caedmon with a slight, respectful nod of her head. “Thank you.”

"As I said, I will not accept all of the credit," Caedmon repeats with a bow to Roslin. My lady Baroness Blackforge proved most eager and capable to assist me in styling the princess in a manner that befits her station." He nods to Caillin. "I am proud to claim both of you as my cousins. You honor the name of Kilgour, and prove to any who doubt that royalty is not simply a matter of seed, but of spirit." He looks at the packages and urges, "Your highness, I suggest that you hide these things away so that your beloved will not arrive and see them, and so spoil the surprise."

Caillin chuckles and waves for Gaela to put everything back to the boxes. Gaela hurries to do her job, while Caillin takes the hand of her sister and tugs the girl to stand up and then girl forces cousin and Roslin for the group hug. „I am the luckiest person in the world, to have you besides me…“ When girl turns to her sister „Will you come in the morining before ceremony to help me?“ Caillin blinks a few times before fixing her gaze on Caedmon „Speaking about the baroness. I would like to visit her now. I will go to sleep sooner today, for this reason I should visit her now, while I still have some energy. I need to say thank you for her.“

Roslin nods to her sister. “Of course. Come, cousin, see me out so that Caillin can pay her visits.” She leans forward to give Caillin one last kiss on the cheek. “I will be with you in the morning, or if you wish summon me this evening to sit the night with you, if you find you are unable to sleep, that would be quite welcome too.” Another nod is offered, and the woman lifts her skirts a bit, prepared to turn and walk out with Caedmon.

Caedmon bows to Caillin when the princess mentions paying some visits and then napping to regain her strength. "At this hour, you likely will find her in the infirmary or the herb garden," he advises. "As royal physician, she is quite busy with seeing that things are as they should be. If I see you before she does, I will tell her that you would like to speak with her." Then he turns to Roslin. "I would be glad to escort you to your next engagement, your highness," he agrees. After another bow, he offers his arm to her so that they can leave together and allow the princess her privacy.

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