Inouv 42, 228: Icy Reception

Icy Reception
Summary: Baron Ruthgar Ruxton returns from dropping his wife at Dellhaven. He speaks with Princess Roslin, and their relations thaw … somewhat.
OOC Date: December 31, 2013
Related: Diverging Opinions
Ruthgar Roslin 
A haven of serenity amidst the rush of the castle, the salon is designed as a place for relaxation or socialization. A hearty fire burns in the massive, marble fireplace, throwing a russet glow across the room. The walls are divided top from bottom with pale wooden paneling above and lapis marble with silver veins shot through it below. Several armchairs, a couch, and a loveseat are set around a beautiful table for an intimate tete-a-tete, the furniture finely made of deep mahogany wood with blue and silver cushions. An azure rug covers the center of the room, but at the edges the dark wood of the floor can be seen. A side table holds tea, coffee, wine and several small hors d'oeuvres, and desserts.
Inouv 42, 228

The Princess Roslin Kilgour really does try and make herself available in the Salon for those that wish to seek her. With her Father in seclusion, her brother busy with newborn twins, her mother with a babe of her own, her sister gone to Dellhaven, and her final brother drunk and skulking in some corners, Ros at least tries to make a show of it. Let people have a way to communicate with their royal family, or at least to see and be seen by them. We are no better than anyone else. Except that we are. But we’re not, we swear.

With such business in mind, Roslin has taken to the Salon where she sits with her lady Elisabeth. She wears today a lovely blueish silver gown of velvet, the bodice made up entirely of matching silvery blue beads and the underskirt ruched and embroidered with silver thread. She wears a silver eight-pointed star around her throat and a silver tiarra in her crown of red braids. She’s embroidering, if one glances.

But she isn’t. Not really. A second or third glance will show her hands moving on the instrument before her, but her eyes are staring just past it. She’s as far away from here as her sister, or really anyone in the realm. So very far away. And she remains so, as no one has yet taken to bothering her this fine, frigid morning.

Bother her on this fine morning? Not exactly the thing Ruthgar has in mind when he enters the salon, his pale grey gaze pensive as usual as he lets it wander over the room until it comes to rest on his sister-in-law. His wife, the former Princess Caillin Kilgour, is at Dellhaven, this much is true, and it was he who had escorted her there himself. But after a few days he had already returned, in the company of a few Ruxton guards, but apart from that alone.

His brows rise a touch when he sees Roslin busy with her embroidery, and he takes a few steps into the room until he stands before her, not afraid to disturb her despite her being obviously occupied with her needlework. His throat is cleared and a bow is offered, as he greets Roslin with a smile that is polite but nothing more. “Your highness. A good morrow to you.” Straightening, he will study her for a moment, hands folded behind his back before he will move over to one of the seats. “I hope you don’t mind if I join you for a bit. Regards from your sister, she and little Bran are well enough.” That latter part is added after a moment of hesitation.

Roslin has to travel back from another world when Ruthgar approaches her, but she does so rather quickly. Her own smile is warm enough. “Of course. Baron Ruxton. No, I would happily welcome you with me today. And welcome your return to Darfield. I hope the winter did not make your travel too trecherous. As you have no doubt heard, it has been quite dangerous for some. I am pleased to see it has not been so for you.”

She is quick to put aside her embroidery; nothing in it really seemed to interest her anyway, if he was paying attention.

“I am pleased to know that she is well. How is Dellhaven? Does she find the atmosphere there more condusive to her health than that of Darfield? It is no further south than Darfield, as I understand it. Not enough to make it much warmer. As I do recall she was never much fond of the cold.” Nothing is said about the boy. A touchy subject all across the royal family, that.

Ruthgar leans to the side, one of his elbows on the armrest, while one of his fingers scratches the side of his face. A moderate grim smile appears when Roslin speaks of the perils of the journey. “No villain dared to attack us on our way, your highness.”, he states, that flicker in eyes suggesting that he maybe regrets that fact. He is a Rioga after all, and it is known he rode in his full armor. “So, yes. Caillin is safely settled at Dellhaven. It isn’t colder there than it would be here. And I am sure, she is enjoying the tranquility. Her health…” He pauses, shooting Roslin a glance. ”… is already improving. Yet some time away from the demands of the court may have a positive effect on her recovery.”

The Baron does not seem to be aware that the adopted infant boy is a touchy subject among the royal family, at least he does not react when the princess fails to make mention of Brandon. Even if polite manners would require it.

“It is very fortunate for you, then. The Voice of the King and his Lady Wife were not so fortunate. Their guards were cut down in defense. But they are returned, safely enough, I daresay. For the moment, however brief the moment lasts, all seems well enough, here.” Roslin turns her head to a passing servant, nodding. No actual orders are required, just a simple nod, and wine will be brought for the pair.

“I’m glad to hear that the respite is doing her good. I do not think Caillin ever really enjoyed much of courtly life. Perhaps a bit of time spent quietly, getting to know her new home and new lands, will revitalize her. When you write to her, do offer my love and affection, and ask that if she has time that I would enjoy very much a letter from her. I will not force the issue, though - I daresay she still would not be terribly happy to see or hear from me, before she is ready.” The wine is brought and Roslin takes her own cup, allowing Ruthgar then to take his. She sips slowly and gently, lowering the cup then to hold it between her hands over her lap.

“And how do you fare, My Lord? With everything that has happened, with the strains of Baronocy and of Caillin’s health and all else that has transpired - how do you fare?”

“Aye, I‘ve heard about it,” Ruthgar replies when Roslin speaks about Caedmon and his wife, and he lowers his gaze for a moment. “I am not aware with how great a retinue the Voice and his wife the baroness were travelling. But I suspect a group of bandits will think twice before attacking a Knight of the Rioga.” He accepts the wine, inclining his head in a grateful nod. His pale grey eyes linger on Roslin as she comments on her relationship to her sister, the expression in his gaze hardly readable. “I will do so, your highness. You may even send a letter of your own with my next, if you’re inclined to write one.”, he offers, his tone flat. Her letter might be received with as much joy as his own.

Roslin’s next question has him lower his gaze again as a slightly amused smirk sneaks into his mien. “You are referring to… the effect my decisions have had on mine and Caillin’s relationship. I assure you, I manage and fare quite well. And I am sure, she will - after some days of contemplation - realize the rightfulness of those decisions.”

Roslin tilts her head a little, offering a small smile. “No, My Lord. I mean - yes, perhaps that is what I do mean, a little. But I am simply refering to everything. Caillin’s health, the child,” the noble one, not the false one, “the … reprecussions of it all. I do not ask after your relationship, but rather after you, sir, and your own personal wellbeing. That is all I meant.” She sits back again and takes another idle sip of her wine.

“If I may speak openly, as we once did, My Lord…” Roslin says, approaching the topic gently. “With my sister you shall be fighting an uphill battle. She is convinced of the righteousness of the base born and the maliciousness of the ruling classes. While I do not disagree with her that there are very good peasants and very evil nobles in the world, you and I understand that the world is not as simple a place as she would have it. And yet she has lived, somewhat happily I hope I may say, among we ner-do-wellers most of her life. There is clearly capacity for forgiveness for our sins in her heart. But I might … in truth … recommend that you speak to my brother on the matter. You may find it as infuriating as I often do, but perhaps he may be able to assist my sister in some way. They have always been close. I cannot say I have ever understood either of them but they understand each other.” She sips the wine again and moves to set it aside.

“And indeed, perhaps it would do them both some good. Logen’s life is not a cheerful one, just now.”

A sip is taken from the wine, as Ruthgar leans back in the chair, his mien pensive. “Tis a journey, I assure you. I am… learning to fill my position with all its duties and benefits. I never had imagined that I would one day be a head of a barony, so I need to get used to all those responsibilities. As for my wife; I am aware we are of different opinion on a great many things. Still, she will have to accept that it my word in the end that counts. Even if I’m only a baron.” He shifts a little in his seat, and an assessing glance is shot in Roslin’s direction.

“That boy, however, the one we adopted to bring up like he was our own child, will help her retain her sanity. Until she will give birth to our own children. Brandon may be of common birth, yet I am sure with the right tutors he will be able to become as good a man as can be possible. He’s no legitimate heir of course. He does not carry the family name of Ruxton. He will become my squire once he’s old enough.” Ruthgar avoids to speak about his own child, the one his wife lost due to the tragic circumstances. The mention of Logen has him raise a brow though, and he almost gives a low snort. “That brother of yours, your highness,… I must confess I am not too eager to speak with him, let alone seek out for help regarding Caillin. His lack of… principles is something I have a hard time to accept, forgive me my frankness.” His distaste for Logen is obvious in the slightly annoyed flicker of his grey eyes.

“Tch, there is nothing to forgive in such frankness. You would not have used it with me if I were not often an employer of it myself. Besides, anyone with a pair of ears or eyes knows that my love for my brother is tepid at best, these days.” She smirks a little at that. “Logen has many faults. More than I can count just in this sitting. But for whatever reason, she takes comfort in his company. Still, I understand your hesitation. I have had to intercede between them a few times over the years - quite recently even - to make sure he did not speak of his bad habits to her. But if not her, then perhaps once the Voice of the King is receiving visitors again you might go to him. Caillin always adored him, and he hasn’t yet fallen out of her good graces.”

She glances at the man and heaves a little sigh. “You cannot bring up a child as one’s own but not have him as one’s own. There will always be a seperation between this boy and any legitimate children. He will always be the boy your true chld was lost for. I know you find my opinions harsh, heartless, and … what was the phrase you used? Bloodthirsty? If you have not said it someone else has, I daresay. Perhaps it is true. I will not seek to advise you on this, as we are sitting here so well together and I have no wish to reopen wounds that are currently so weakly bandaged between us. I will say that you will not find much happiness among the court and among the family for elevating a street urchin to the position of … whatever he may be now. Some manner of ward, perhaps. Do not become cross with me if you can help it - these words are given only to prepare you for what you may encounter on this current path. I do not even think they will dissuade you in any way. Possibly encourage you, for all I know.” She smirks a little at that. “But at least what you do, you do knowingly.”

“I think I can manage just fine without your brother the prince Logen,” Ruthgar replies, lowering his gaze just in time before his steely stare could become impertinent. “And I am sure, that I can deal with my wife without any help from outside.” A faint smile appears when he says that. The cup is emptied and set down onto the table.

“As for Bran…” Those pale grey eyes come to linger on Roslin again and an amused smirk appears on his features. “I have never called you bloodthirsty, your highness.” That smirk disappears when he continues: ”But I will not tolerate my decision being called into question. He is a foundling, stigmatized by his name as what he is, nothing more. He gets a chance to prove himself, and will be discarded if he fails. I am certain he will be watched most closely by all of the court, which will make his upbringing harder, in a way, but if he masters /that/ challenge, he might even surpass some nobles.” Bold words, unthinkable to have come from him some months ago. Uttered with the proud bearing of a baron, as his hands fold before him, fingers tapping against each other as he waits for Roslin’s reaction. If there is any.

Roslin sighs softly. “I see you cannot help it. Very well then, My Lord. I shall endeavor to correct you in that I call no decision into question. I have neither the standing, nor the ability to do so. I only ever meant to offer my own perspective as one who has a lifetime of courtly life and a lifetime of being sister to your wife. We spoke that way, once. But I see that the time when you were interested in the words I might share with you regarding your suddenly elevated status have passed. Forgive me for not seeing it sooner. I meant no disrespect. Such words or intentions shall not pass my lips again.” She finishes her wine, handing it off to the maid.

“Know this, before you go my Lord, if you believe me or not: I have only ever prayed for success for you. I pray for it still. And shall continue to do so, unless you ask me otherwise. Is that fair to you, sir?” She looks curiously to him.

“You mistake me, your highness. I never said I didn’t value your counsel, just allow me to have my own opinion in this. I am aware now of some reservations, your family will have towards Bran, and I thank you for telling me about this. But I need *again* to prove myself to be worthy of this position. Make my decisions, and stay true to them, and be prepared to take the full responsibility for them. I only wanted to explain my position to you, your highness. Forgive me, if we should have different opinions on the matter.” Ruthgar rises with an apologetic smile curving his lips. “You may continue to pray for my success, your highness. And I hope to live up to your high expectations some day. So that’s fair enough.” A polite bow is offered to the princess. His smile for once, friendly enough. He turns and heads towards the door.

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