Nar 33, 228: Let's make a deal

Let's make a deal
Summary: Cedric meets with the King, queen, and chancellor to negotiate terms for the marriage of Logen and Caitlyn.
OOC Date: 05/08/2013
Related: None
Caedmon Callem Cedric Laetitia 
Chancellor's Office, Darfield Castle
Dark cherry wood floors and muted rose walls encase a showroom of understated splendor. A large desk stained a shade lighter than the floors dominates the arrangement, placed about three-fourths of the way toward the back of the room and covered with several neat sheaves of paper. Three dark wood chairs, tastefully carved with rolling pattens, accompany the desk, with one behind it and two facing it. Opposite the desk, just beside the door, a bookcase stands, its sturdy wooden frame matching the tones of the rest of the furniture. A long, rectuangular rug with geometric patterns in rose, pink, burgundy, and taupe covers the center of the floor, and various maps, weavings, and foreign trinkets line the walls. Illumination is given to the surroundings from several glowing globes hanging in what looks like a fishing net from the ceiling.
Nar 33rd, 228

The last rays of sunlight, along with a fresh breeze, wafts through the large open window into the room. The chancellor's desk has several different stacks of paper with paperweights of various kinds. Some are ornate constructions of polished metal and colored glass. Some are sea-shells of various kinds. Some are even simple unrefined rocks with interesting shapes. An inkwell, a stand with several quills, and a candlestick with a long lit taper sit on the desk. However, the chancellor is not sitting. Instead, he is straightening from a deep bow. "Your majesty, you are always welcome here, especially when you need a place to speak privately." Then he gestures to the chair behind the desk. "Please, take my chair. It is no throne, but I'm sure that you will find it adequate."

"Thank you, Lord Chancellor." Callem nods as he enters the office. "It is an honor to be here." his voice, though secure and strong, reveals some inner pondering and a little hint of sadness. His eyes match it perfectly, shadowed and lacking of the intensity he had previously in the day. Certainly, something is troubling the King. "Thank you." he says again, this time for the offered chair, but gestures towards it in time for another person. "My Queen, please, take seat." the warmth of his words overcome the grief he had showed, and his gaze sparkle as he talks to her.

Laetitia comes in on the heels of the King, the woman refusing to allow the King to deal with this in her absence. She's dealt with the brunt of it and heaven forbid if her ire is raised anymore than it already has been. She's been practically a demon to deal with in most respects, quite snapping and moody. But she's still as lovely as ever, long blonde hair on full display, gently falling down her shoulders and back in gentle waves, locks decorated with tiny gemstones, though a pensive look is on her features. Nodding to the Chancellor she will move towards the chair her husband has offered her, or rather told her to take, skirts softly rustling as she does so, "May I ask for tea, I am rather parched."

Cedric enters the Chancellors office today dressed in his finest Ducal clothing, strapped to his hip a ceremonial blade as dull as a butter knife but for dress only. Cedric knocks on the door and Awaits permission to be admitted. These past few days have been hard on the Duke of sutherland as he's tried his best to keep his vast temper under control and sadly a few sparring partners have suffered his wrath.

Once admitted he steps in and upon seeing the King and Queen he bows, saying "Your Majesties, I'm grateful for this meeting." he then gives another bow our of respect for the man to the Lord chancellor. "Lord Caedmon a pleasure as always."

Caedmon watches while the royals enter, and bows to the queen when she asks for tea. "I will send for it at once, your majesty," he answers. Then he turns to see Cedric entering, and bows to the duke as well. "Your grace," he greets in a respectful tone. Glancing to the two men, he offers, "Do either of you wish for wine or tea? I will instruct the servant to bring that as well, if you do." He steps toward the door and signals to someone beyond it.

"Duke Crawford. Welcome." the King offers in solemn voice. Not too talkative today, by any means. His eyes go to the Queen for a moment, to her eyes, as if waiting for something, and after some heartbeats they return to Cedric. "I think you know well of the motif of this meeting." he says directly. "I am good without wine. I had some recently. A good vintage, they still have it in the Council Chambers." this last comment, somehow faint, goes naturally to Caedmon.

"The Queen and I," he continues to the Duke, "Have some gifts we want to offer you. But first, my lord, I would like to listen to you and everything you have to say."

Laetitia is unable to wipe the pensive look from her face, the Queen evidently quite stressed about this whole ordeal. But she will manage a welcoming smile for the Duke, remaining as she is on her chair, hands folding into her lap as she twists a ring on her middle finger slowly. A nod when the King mentions they have some gifts, ever present smile there on her lips, pale green eyes soft.

Cedric is a bit startled but he does his best to hide the fact of the gift statement as he has already spoken to the queen at some length but a first for all to deal with the three of you at once. He keeps his temper as best he can as he knows yelling as his beloved king and queen for their sons actions, and that of his own sisters will not help matters. "Only a few things I'd like to know your majesties. When will the wedding be held, What is the size of the Dowery… you ask of me.. and how will you be compensating me for the slights of your son upon my family. " its clear the second question about the Dowery realy set his teeth on edge. He looks to the Chancellor and shake his head "No wine or tea for me sir. I think I'll be fine until after our meeting."

Caedmon inclines his head when the king and duke indicate their wishes. Then he turns to the servant waiting outside, and nods. "Bring an extra cup along with my own," he instructs. Then he looks to one side of the door, where a guard stands, and adds, "When he arrives, knock. I will stand here and receive the cups." He then closes the door so that the four of them can have greater privacy. The mention of gifts and then Cedric's words have settled any question in his mind about the purpose of this meeting. He exhales slowly and shakes his head sadly, more to himself than to anyone in the room.

"That was fast." the King whispers as the Duke expresses his questions. "About the wine, Lord Caedmon, perhaps I would like a little." he says to the Chancellor, "Well, maybe more than a little." he finishes. "We will indeed offer Prince Logen to marry Lady Caitlyn, my lord." Callem says to Cedric again. "It is also our wish that he works for you, though remaining here in the castle, to help you in your duties and repay, as much as possible, the damage he has done." there is no intention of hiding it, by any means. "The time he must stay under your service is yours to decide. I trust you will make a wise decision. And, about the dowery, the Queen will surely answer your question." the sweetest smile goes to her, with big eyes that seem to fully ask for not being slapped as a result of his evasion of the question towards her.

The Queen gives her husband a sharp look, a hardening of those pale green eyes of hers before she's drawing in a deep breath and forcing out a smile, "My dear Duke, I would not be so inclined to ask for what I normally would …for one such as my son Prince Logen …given the misdeeds he has done against your house. It has lend our good name a shadow that I wish to lift by the joining of our two .." Little buggers, "Lovely youth. So. I have thought on it, as my husband has bidden to me to and I believe I have a solution for the dowry." Oh now she has to actually say it, the Queen pressing on despite her wish not to, "You have the finest horses I have ever laid my eyes on, and the boasts of them seem to be quite proven. I would like for you Duke Crawford, to provide horses to the Kings Cavalry for the next …" A look to her husband and then her cousin, "How many years, I was thinking five."

Cedric looks at the queen and blinks and gives the cost difference on standard riding horses compared to sutherland breed calvary mounts. " Your majesty I do hope you realize that Twelve Thousand light calvary mounts each year isn't something we can fulfill our heard just isn't that massive. Not to mention the years it takes to train each one from a foal. Darfield's calvary is all heavy lacers their armor and weight alone would make my horses useless as they are meant for hit and run tactics. Oh they'll carry the men in but you'll be burning them up at a fast pace. " (he thinks in D&D terms for those who've played a riding horse is 75 gold, a light war (sutherland ) cost 150 gold per horse. that is the equivalent of 1,800,000 gold in a year for 5 years as a dowery ) "Is there no other payment you can agree upon.. It would take me " as he calculates and wish's he had Terrwyn here to help him.. " just two in a half to three years to fill one order, that is not counting the other sales we do , and the need for mounts for our own troops."

That knock comes to the door, and Caedmon opens it enough to receive the two cups and to murmur more instructions. He closes the door and crosses the room to offer one cup to the queen. While he is returning to the door, another knock alerts him, and he holds the other cup in one hand while opening the door with the other. A servant enters, bringing a tray with a large flask of wine and three cups. The servant leaves them on a low table, and withdraws from the room. Caedmon steps forward while Cedric is talking about the costs to him of this. The chancellor takes one of the goblets, and fills it with wine. He bows to the king and offers the goblet.

Laetitia takes the cup of tea as she laughs suddenly, eyebrows rising up, "You are getting a prince and depending on how the future transpires, a future /King/ Duke. Your lady Caitlyn, who might I add brought this upon her self as much as my son did — But I understand your hesitation. Come now. How about you provide the horses for the Kings Cavalry as it stands now and a parcel of your land to seal things up neatly."

Cedric shakes his head. "Majesty you wound me still, you have heavy Calvary, What I could do as we were planing on this anyway would be to send you four mares that are about ready to foal, over the next three years and grazing right to sutherland. IF I were to give you part of sutherland, all you'd be doing is starving you of the tax's that part of the land provides you. Terrwyn and I were planning on starting up a new line of mounts when we returned but it seems Im being cut short on this. due to the fact while my sister may or may not have taken advantage of your son or other way around, the two wrongs do not make a right. In fact should I supply you with the mares for the next three years you could potentially start your own breeding program Which would cut into Sutherland's chances for profit but its worth it. As Terrwyn would claim Caitlyn's damaged goods. "

"She may be damaged goods but we're about to afford her an opportunity she would not get if we had just left it, and she /would/ be damaged goods at that point and not worth marrying to a pig farmer." The Queen states cooly, her tea not yet sipped from and all laughter gone, "Not only has she gained a Prince but she has ruined /my/ choice for him in marriage rites. Truth be told, Duke, I do not feel what I am asking is enough. Alliances have been ruined because of their little 'indiscretion'. However - " A pause, the Queen's posture rigid, "If you were to give us 10 of your best mares and 10 of your best Stallions and a parcel of your land I may be willing to budge."

The cup is gladly received with a nod of gratitude and a long sip occurs afterwards. "Well, what would you offer, Duke Crawford?" the King asks, getting closer to Laetitia and landing a hand on her shoulder very softly. "I find the Queen's idea very fair. She will be a Princess, and as it was just said, Logen is right now Tyrel's heir. If something happens to him, your sister would be Queen. Not many are offered such an opportunity. And I am sure you can afford it."

Cedric counter with Five mares in foal for the next three year, with two years of grazing rights, as your looking to have a total of fifteen mares already with foals. and the best grazing lands of sutherland for two of those years. Should any mare produce a stallion then your in bonus land."

Laetitia's jaw tightens considerably, the Queen clutching her mug with white knuckled fingers even as the hand of the King goes to her shoulder, "It seems as if you wish your sister to carry the title of harlot for the rest of her life, Duke Crawford, as I am unwilling to accept your counter. My son will be King one day, and your sister will be relegated to nothing but whispered stories in the halls about her fall from grace. Take my offer or tell your sister she is to spoil the bed of another, hopefully this time of the choosing of your family." The Queen's temper rises and she holds tight reigns on it as she fixes Cedric with a look, not budging.

Caedmon has remained quiet throughout the proceedings. He is a Kilgour, although distantly, and this concerns the royal line itself, its future, and a man who wants to maintain some shred of dignity in the wake of disgrace that has come to his family. The chancellor sips his tea, and his eyes move from one face to the other.

As the Queen has a temper so does Cedric, and he's damn near ready to bust at he seams as his eye go cold. He looks to king. "Is there nothing you can do Sire to bring this to a more friendly deal as fifteen mares will provide you with more horses if the finest breed over the next ten years than it would be to sell you half of sutherland. As while he knows he's over a barrel he also knows that the Kilgour name has been greatly sullied and such a break down in a decent dowery would further harm Logen's chances to wed. as other kingdoms will see that he's nothing more than a playboy. "I am sorry that I cant agree to your part as I do believe mine is more fair your majesty should you look at it. you'd be getting fifteen mares with foal, and two years worth of grazing lands. Lands I cant use nor tax as you'll have them which will cost me even more money as I'll be losing fifteen mares with priceless foals over that three years. " he looks up on the king and prays he'll do something to help or a duke will end up losing his Duchy in the dowry.

"Look," the King says to Cedric. "I am not sure you will lose as much as you are telling us. But if you can afford it, and you continue refusing it, that would be so offensive." his tone is calmed, and somehow cold. The cup raises and tilts a bit as he continues, "Now, there is still the chance you can't afford it. Lord Chancellor," his speaks to Caedmon but his eyes never leave Cedric, always inquisitive and curious, "You know this Kingdom better than anyone. Do you think Sutherland can afford the price the Queen has asked? Please, enlighten us here."

Caedmon takes a slow, deep breath when the king turns to him and asks for his input. He bows to the group, and he speaks, "Majesties, your grace, I believe that replacing every horse in our cavalry, all at once, would be an undue burden. However, he could replace horses when the need arises, for three years if the agreement includes stable masters who can assess our current mounts and anticipate, with some degree of certainty, which we will need to replace. That, with a gift of fine grazing land from the region, might suffice."

Laetitia draws in a deep breath as she considers, her tea now cold and thus unwanted, "10 stallions, 10 mares, a bit of your fine grazing land for them and then we will be settled."

Callem drinks from his cup as he listens to those around him. When the Queen speaks, he spares a single nod and says plainly. "That is our final offer, Duke Crawford. What are 20 horses and some lands, when you can have a Princess and a Prince in your family? I am sure many would offer us more than that. Think about it."

Cedric sighs and after hearing what Caedmon just said he shakes his head. "One stallion, twenty mares and a lease on some grazing lands that border Darfield for three years." To give away a single stallion denies Sutherland taxable money of which he pays heavily already to Darfield but a loss of twenty mares alone is a huge burden and it'll take him a while as it means the next twenty mares that are foaled will not be trained as war mounts as they'll have to be replaced as breeding stock.

Laetitia draws in a deep breath, holding it a moment as she considers, "Fine, but your sister will hold the title Duchess of Kilgour as opposed to Princess. And when he becomes King - if - she will be the Princess Consort as I will not allow the title of Queen Consort to her. What do they call that - Chancellor, dear cousin of mine, a morganatic marriage is it not? You are not willing to pay what is necessary to afford her as much, so I will give you the next best thing."

Caedmon inclines his head to the queen and confirms, "It is that, your majesty." He then looks to Cedric to see how the man will react to that latest wrinkle of vengeance.

Cedric sighs "if that is how you wish to do this your majesty you'll get your ten stallions and ten mares and sutherland is out of the breeding program as you've wiped out our stocks for the next seven years. Also we of sutherland will request you cut our taxes by thirty gold a year for the next eight year as we rebuild our stocks. to compensate for the loses."

Laetitia laughs with a raise of her brow, "Dear Duke, I have accepted your offer with a slight change of my own in terms of title for your sister. We both get what we want, and your breeding stock needs not be wiped out. I will take your stallion and twenty mares and your sister will hold the title Duchess of Kilgour and in the event Prince Logen becomes King she will be Princess Consort. It works for all."

Callem rises a brow. "The Queen already agreed to the offer you made, yourself, Duke Crawford. Now I am very confused." he sighs a bit and waits for Cedric and what he has to say on that matter.'

Cedric feels he got duped as the degrading title of his sister doesn't set will with him at all. With clenched teeth he says. "Oh one final thing if I may.. as they have already known each other before getting to know one another properly I would ask the wedding take place in two months. That way they can proceed with what would be the courting and then engagement terms, before they are wed."

Laetitia could have outright refused the marriage as she had been intending to do in the first place, if not for the gentle words of her husband to sway her, "I am fine with that, my hope is the both of them gather their wits and nothing comes of this in the first place, but I very much doubt it and your sister has her good will to regain as well as her good name." The Queen wouldn't have any problem marrying off Logen, after all, regardless of his dallying about with the local ladies. A virile man is a better man than one who does not show prowess on any battle field, "Two months allows for the other celebrated weddings to take place in any regard."

Cedric shakes his head. "Possibly but do you think he'd remain faithful to whom ever you paired him up with, majesty. Chances are he'd find a way to be with Caitlyn anyway and then you'd have a very upset king of some other land on your doorstep "

Laetitia lifts a shoulder lightly, a faint smile on her lips, "Those problems are dealt with as they come along. And not something you would have to worry yourself over. Now, Duke, we should throw a dinner in your houses honour. This is indeed a grand event."

Cedric shakes his head in an amused way. "wouldn't that be a waste of food. I mean the thought of throwing a dinner is just silly. " as he tries to bring some levity to the problem though he had hoped to get back to his suite and get drunk but to refuse would render an insult in the opposite direction and he's not about to do that.

"That is it." the King says, in a cold mood that shows nothing of his true emotions about it. "Lord Chancellor, please take care of the elaboration of the wedding contract. It will happen in two months, since they…" he clears his throat, "Already know each other." he turns to the Queen and smiles fondly to her, taking her hand if she so allows it, and caressing it in the process. "Thank you, my love." he says softly and returns to the others. "A dinner would be delightful. There is certainly so much to celebrate."

Laetitia cracks a bare smile, it only warming when her husband takes her hand, green irises warming as she turns it upon him, gazing at him with adoration, "Always, my love." Eyes crinkle just a little as she offers him a sweet smile, then looks back to Cedric, "A dinner then. And please do, Chancellor."

Caedmon takes one step forward from his place by the door where he has listened quietly and attentively, as he so often does. He bows to the king and queen, and then to the duke. "The document will be ready for the seals by last light of the coming day," he assures.

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