Inouv 21, 228: Moniwid Discussion

Moniwid Discussion
Summary: Ronan asks the Princess Emerit if she will meet with him. He asks her questions pertaining to marriage alliance possibilities to see what his options are before he must give King Callem his answer pertaining to the Kundari.
OOC Date: 09/12/2013 (OOC)
Related: Several logs around this date with Ronan, Roslin, and the Kundari. Also a prior visit to the Sutherland appartments that Emerit mentions, A Warm Reception.
Emerit Ronan 
Sutherland Suite, Darfield Castle
The Apartments that have been assigned to the Duke and Duchess of Sutherland smells faintly of mint and roses, and the windows are kept open, allowing in natural light and fresh air into the apartments. The rooms are decent-sized and there are finely woven tapestries that have been hung from the stone walls. Exotic carpets sit on the stone floor instead of rushes there are carpets which offer warmth and a splash of color.

One room is a finely and ornately decorated sitting room. The room has been decorated with hard wood and heavy furniture that has brocade upholstery and comfortable cushions. There is also a loom that sits in the corner next to a large fireplace; there is a sitting area round a small table where meals can be taken.

Inouv 21th, 228

Late morning finds the Duke of Sutherland having cleared his busy schedule for a special audience he has requested. With two fully armed knights outside of the Sutherland Suite, the Princess of Moniwid will find she is welcome and allowed to enter once announced.

Ronan himself as he looks over some papers with a cup of wine near to hand. He lays his papers aside into a folio and closes it ere he stands to greet his new arrival. The Crawford is dressed in shades of blues, a velvet doublet, dark pants, arming belt with dagger and sword, golden spurs upon his boots. His Ducal signet ring gleams on his left hand as he comes forward, "Welcome, Princess Emerit. Thank you for coming and allowing me to engage a span of your time. Would you care for wine? I have both Sutherland red, which is dry and strong, and Sutherland white, which is mild and faintly sweet. There is also tea, if you prefer?" The Duke is a rather tall, broad shouldered man with dark, bold eyes and a baritone used to giving men orders.

To one side an older man dressed well for a commoner is their server. Also, a young man who is Ronan's squire is moving through the various rooms tending to his own duties.

Into the Sutherland Suite enters the Mist of the Island, fiery red hair is tamed into a braid at the back of her head today, and a dress of dark blue sammit with a pattern of snakes in green and gold embroidered around her waist line adorns her slender figure. Moss green eyes lighten up as they glimpse the Duke and she lowers herself into a graceful curtsy. The curtsy is echoed by her chaperone a few steps behind her, albeit not as gracefully as the princess. "Your grace," Emerit greets with a smile as she straightens. "I thank you for the invitation, I am delighted to return to these quarters, I have visited them once before, some time ago." Her two Moniwid guards hover for a moment at the door, uncertain whether to enter the place or to wait outside.

Ronan returns Emerit's curtsy with a bow, but as she is not his royalty, he forgoes the fist to his heart to salute her as his chain of command superior. When he straightens, he studies her in turn and makes no comment upon her guards who may come in and stay or go at her own choice.

As she does not answer his question about wine or tea, Rosley stays back but attentive should she change her mind and desire something to drink. Ronan himself indicates the comfortable seating for her and her handmaiden, "Please, do come in, have a seat and make yourselves comfortable. Did you then meet my late brother and his wife, or … my sister, perhaps?"

The Sutherland Duke moves to retake his own seat and picks up his glass of deep red wine to taste of it while he watches his guests.

Emerit's eyes sparkle as she nods. Although for a moment it is unclear whether they gleam with a hint of tears or with delight. "Aye, the late Duke Cedric and his wife were so kind as to invite me to this place, just on the day when your… sister? Caitlyn had arrived. Long before she was wed." And long before all of the scandal surrounding that wedding…. She lowers her gaze. "I am sorry for your loss, your grace. Your brother was a kind man, and his wife…" Her voice fails Emerit for a moment. "She had a great heart. I would have loved to get to know her better before she passed away."

While Emerit fails to notice the dilemma of her guards, her chaperone does not, and waves for the both of them to enter where she joins them at the wall.

Quietly, Rosley does as a good man servant should, and goes to see the handmaiden and guards are welcomed and settled comfortably. He asks if they would like watered wine or tea (since presumably they are not allowed full wine when on duty) and if they desire it, he will serve them accordingly.

Ronan continues to study Emerit as he listens. He lays his own glass of wine aside, "Some say I'm a heartless bastard, your Highness. You shall have to judge for yourself." No apology for his language. The Rioga keeps his spurs from fouling on the chair, as well as his sword out of long unconscious habit. "I imagine you are aware of why I have asked you to come. If you aren't, please allow me to be blunt and come right to the point. I am seeking marriage alliance. One that will benefit Mobrin and Sutherland both. The Princess Roslin suggested I should speak with you. She told me that the Grand Duke is not interested in marrying off any of his full sisters to anyone outside of House Kilgour. Do you know if he is certain upon that point? Would you know if he is already engaged in such negotiations?"

Emerit's brows twitch a little upwards when she hears Ronan call himself a 'heartless' bastard. And she shoots him a surprised glance. "Indeed I have wondered what is the reason behind your invitation, your grace." She smiles, as she eases herself onto one of the seats with the grace of a dancer, folding her hands before her in her lap. "So Princess Roslin has… spoken to you about the intentions of my dear brother the Grand Duke? Was it she who advised you to speak to me? Or was that your own decision?" Meeting his inquiry with even more questions instead of answering them. Her gaze flits to the manservant, her green eyes spot the wine that is offered to the chaperone, but is declined by her and the guards as well. "Oh pray, do not be offended. I'll gladly try some of that gentle white wine you mentioned," her head turns back to the Duke. "Your grace." A smile adorns her young freckled features and she admits: "Tis true, my brother has high goals. But he has entrusted me with deciding on suitable candidates of marriage."

Rosley bows and goes to make it so, bringing Emerit a glass of the Sutherland white wine. It is an excellent vintage, but then Sutherland is nearly as lush as Greenshire, and warm.

The Crawford tastes his own glass as she speaks, catching on to her not answering his questions. His own face is carefully unreadable. "The Princess, as I said, suggested I bespeak you. As to the Grand Duke's intentions, I ask you for it is not entirely clear." Now it is his turn to lift a dark brow at her, "/You/ are being allowed to negotiate for your own marriage or do you mean for the others? In Mobrin, no one may negotiate their own marriage unless they be Head of House, and even then in many cases the Head of House will request their marriage be negotiated by a member of /his/ liege's family, lest he have none." Such as the King himself.

Ronan pauses before he continues, "I am … also given to understand, forgive me, that there is … question of your own parentage, and standing as a Princess. You will understand if that makes arranging a marriage among us for yourself … fraught with grave difficulties."

Emerit accepts the wine and takes a sip from it, and she nods looking quite pleased. "A fine wine indeed, your grace…" Her voice trails off as she hears Ronan continue. She stares at him incredulously, her jaw dropping even a touch, as all colour leaves her face for a moment, then returns, flushing her cheeks a deep shade of pink. "You…. you mean… you consider…", the princess stammers, one hand brushing a strand of fiery red hair that has escaped her braid from her view. "I… um…. I was thinking you would consider Princess Benigne… or Draventa even… But… well… um." SHe puts the glass down onto the table, her hands folding again before her, and he might perceive a light tremble in both her voice and her fingers. Breath leaves her, and she inhales again, lowering her gaze to regain her composure.

"I thank you, your Grace. You honour me indeed with your interest in my person. I am indeed not sure if I am allowed to negotiate… my own marriage. But I can say this much: I am free to marry. And your open words deserve an open answer. Yes, I am of lesser birth than my half brothers and sisters. My father, the late Grand Duke brought me home from his travels and insisted upon me being brought up as a proper princess. As his child." She swallows, a sad smile tugging at her lips. "I would be happy to… enter an engagement with you, your grace. But you will have to negotiate with the Grand Duke himself. And… I fear, the stain on my descendants might make things… very difficult indeed." The glass is grabbed once again and Emerit takes a long sip from it, blushing again.

Ronan watches her carefully to make certain that Emerit is all right and not about to have some kind of fit, or something. Choke on her own tongue or goodness knows what. Then she seems to recover and he shakes his head slightly, "No, you misunderstand me. I … wish to make it clear that your status personally excludes you from being considered for marriage among our higher noble houses, Princess. Whether you are legitimately recognized by the Grand Duke or not. I am not suggesting a marriage alliance between my house and yourself. Which is precisely why I am inquiring as to the Grand Duke's position as pertains to his full siblings."

It is a difficult topic. The Crawford Duke thins his mouth briefly ere he continues, "I mean you no insult. Nor do I wish to be unclear or cause you discomfort. I would not have asked to speak with you at all if it were not that the Princess Kilgour asserted that I should before I make choices of Alliance. You see, I am interested in gaining war ships in dowry. Both for Mobrin's navy and for Sutherland. Therefore it behooves me to bespeak with a representative of your House to make such inquiry. Your phrasing had suggested to me that you might seek to arrange your own betrothal and that had surprised me."

The colour leaves Emerit's face again, and for a moment she seems to freeze, when she hears Ronan's clarification of the matter. Then her hand moves to cover her mouth and she bursts out in laughter, almost spilling what is left in that glass over her dress. "Oh dear, oh dear. A fine fool I must look to you, your grace.", she smiles, blinking an amused tear away as she exhales, the relief clearly visible in her mien. "Of course! You can't possibly consider me as a fitting match. But speaking for my sisters, the princesses. And his Royal Grand Duke. You seem like an eligible choice, given that there aren't many unmarried Kilgours left." She chuckles again before she sobers again to add: "He has asked me to look for suitable matches, and I will tell him about your interest, if there is one."

Thankfully it is with a slight relief that he sees Emerit take it so well, and even laugh. Ronan is not quite the heartless bastard he may pretend, so he relaxes somewhat. "No, not a fool at all, your Highness. And won't even go so far as to refuse you the honorific as your conduct is befitting and you take it well in stride. It speaks well of you." And it doesn't hurt at all that she has a sweet face and isn't being prickly arrogant.

The Sutherlander tastes his wine, almost finished with it. He gives a nod, "Indeed, while I am already engaged in negotiations elsewhere, I await answers to certain questions that may take time to be answered. And if not answered in a manner as is needed, I shall not then be tied to continue such discussion and am free to do so elsewhere. I am, however, on something of a time constraint for my King and Queen require things ideally to be settled soon. Preferably well before spring."

A warm smile is offered to the Duke, as Emerit takes another sip from the white wine, her moss green eyes sparkling. That sparkle alas seems to fade a touch at his confession. "Oh, is that so? You are already engaged in negotiating another betrothal? A match proposed by the King and Queen?" Her spirits dim a little down as she watches Ronan most attentively. "So… You seek an alternative in case that other match doesn't come about?" Her fingers playing idly with the pendant of many snakes entangled with each other that hangs from that necklace she wears. "Well. In any case, I thank you for considering this alternative. Princess Draventa is presently at court, she is a… charming woman of 18 summers, blessed with creativity, a true artist. She paints wonderful pictures. And Princess Benigne would also be available. She is the livelier sort. I am sure, the Grand Duke will consider any proposed betrothal to any of them. If you will allow me, I can ask him about his thoughts on the matter."

"Yes and .. no. The King and Queen have proposed a match for me, aye. I am gathering information but I have in no way agreed to it so nothing is yet formal. Therefore I am eager to see what my options are before I am pressed to make that decision. Hense why time is critical, your Highness." If that makes his position any more clear. "Thereby, approaching your House is not a second runner up, so to speak. I may find that I prefer terms you might offer, if your house is not already engaged in similar negotiations already."

The Duke of Sutherland gives a faint nod, "Yes, I would like to meet with them, but more I am interested in hearing proposals of what might be expected in dowries, as well as any expectations upon myself and Mobrin."

Emerit inclines her head, an amused smile tugging at her lips. "I see. I will consult with the Grand Duke in this matter, but I would expect a fleet of ships as more appropriate for a Kilgour prince, not a Sutherland Duke, no offence. But ships is one of the many things our island has to offer. And if it is Princess Benigne you would want to marry… she is holding an important position at home, she would not leave it I fear, so anyone who would marry her would have to live henceforth on the Island. So I'd advise you to meet Princess Draventa. Any negotiations regarding a betrothal with her would have to include a representative of the King as well I would think. After all this will be about forging an alliance. Your grace. I am quite intrigued." The bastard princess leans forward and puts the empty cup onto the table, tilting her head a little and looking indeed quite pleased with the prospect. "I thank you for coming forth with this suggestion."

"Thank /you/ and your House, for hearing me out. Of course, not a fleet of ships, but some war ships to keep the coasts of Sutherland safe are needful to my House. I am in no way offended, Princess Emerit." Ronan pauses ere he adds low, "Unless your Grand Duke is seeking the Princess Roslin's hand in marriage, or for the King's youngest son who is not yet of age, then I am the highest ranked House yours may hope to forge an alliance with in all of Mobrin. Thus, an alliance with Sutherland with the King's agreement would not be merely an alliance with my House."

The Duke gets up, having finished his wine. Ronan hands it to Rosley to take his cup. "Thank you for your time in coming, Princess Emerit. Do let me know if the Grand Duke has interest in discussion and if he's already engaged in another he prefers, do inform me. I have no desire to waste your time. I know the King is as eager as I to secure a stronger navy for Mobrin and I am committed to giving loyal support to what our kingdom requires."

Emerit rises from her seat, moving as gracefully as before, and lowers herself into a curtsy. "I thank you, your grace, for offering me your thoughts in this. I hope you don't mind that little misunderstanding," she chuckles amiably, "I have enjoyed my visit and will let you know of my brother, the Grand Duke's opinion. But I wager he will approve of the possibility." And then she will depart, as swiftly as the Mist of the island, her retinue of chaperone and two guards following in her wake.

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