Thedor 19, 229: Moniwid Snakes

Moniwid Snakes
Summary: When Emerit summons Draventa to confront her with the news of betrothal, the two princesses engage in a round of bitching in true Moniwid style.
OOC Date: 19/01/2014 and 20/01/2014 (OOC)
Related: Of Matches and Dowries and Frail No More?, among others.
Emerit Draventa 
Moniwid Ambassador's Office, Darfield Castle
The entrance to the office of the Grand Duchy of Rustles island Ambassador is near to the main entrance of the sitting room. From the doorway, a huge old map full of lines and pins is visible. On either side of the map thers is a small window, usually providing enough light on a sunny day. If it's cloudy or night, candles will be lit by servants, enough to show the covers of books on the many shelves around the room.
Almost in the middle of the room stands a tidy writing table with a few equal piles of documents. There is one huge chair for the ambassador behind that table and a smaller chair in front of it for guests. Behind the desk there is a small table with four chairs, crystal plate settings and a floral centerpiece. Some natural furs warm the light marble floors of the room, in carefully selected locations.
19th of Thedor, 229, morning

Emerit has been scarce of late, at least Princess Draventa will have seen little of her. And while it is widely known that the princesses are not particularly fond of each other's company, it has been due to Emerit's obligations she needs to see to as the ambassador of her House. It is on this morning that the Mist of the Island has sent word out to her halfsister, summoning her to the Ambassador's Office - a thing that has never happened before. She sits there in that chair behind that table, her attire a dark green embroidered with silver snakes, her fiery red hair, wild and untamed as most often is the case, still the very young girl looks slightly misplaced in that huge chair.

Draventa comes in. She looks tired, she's not been sleeping well with all of the things happening. Or perhaps she's been dreaming again. Who knows? She's dressed simple, for a princess, a blue dress that also has snake embroidery. Alice is following close behind, and she's fussing at Drav as the door is opened, "Please your majesty… I can get you some tea…or a biscuit? you should eat." Drav doesn't seem to be responding to her maid instead her pale eyes land on Emerit and she'll just wait for whatever decreed Emerit has for her.

Emerit straightens a bit in that huge chair, when Draventa enters. Her smile is friendly, yes, still there is a slight tension in her posture that dims that expression a bit. "Your highness," she greets in a soft voice, all formally. "I am glad you could come to see me. There is a matter… no maybe more than one that I need to speak with you about. Pray, have a seat." Her slender hand indicates the chair opposite from her, before her gaze shifts towards her own handmaiden. "Tea for us both, Yulanda. And maybe… some small refreshments." The Moniwid handmaiden offers a swift curtsey and hurries off, while Emerit shifts a little in her seat, leaning a bit on her left arm, the hand supporting her chin, as she studies the Princess before her attentively.

Draventa says nothing and will sit where Emerit indicated. Drav watches the ambassador back. Alice looks slightly frustrated that she couldn't get the princess to take anything, but Emerit's maid was just sent off to do that very thing. She's trying her best!

As soon as Draventa is seated, those moss green eyes will flicker - with relief maybe? "You look good on this morning, Draventa. Tired, but much better than you used to." She starts the conversation of casually, still the smile on her face shows her words are genuine. Her hands fold before her on the table and her gaze drops, as she seems unsure on how to continue for a moment. "The Queen seems to be missing.", she finally says, her mien suddenly clouded with concern and worry. "I fear some ill fate may have befallen her." A faint smile. "That this should happen, now of all times, is unfortunate indeed, as House Kilgour is about to announce a matter that will be of great importance. Instead giving them the opportunity to enjoy the comfort another alliance can bring, the Eight prefer to… test them with dealing them one blow after the other. First the abduction of Princess Ciarrah, now… the Queen." Emerit's voice trails off, her gaze shifts to Draventa. She will of course already suspect what that news will be.

Draventa isn't sure how to take Emerit so she'll just nod. It will do her no good to yell at the younger girl. Mantilo chose her, there's nothing to be done. Drav's calm face breaks some at the mention of the Queen. It's part of why she's so upset. The person who's been kindest to her here, gone. A deep breath, "I am sure the Kilgour House will announce when they are ready. To rush anything would seem improper." Oh…Drav knows. They're practically measured her for the dress and picked out her flowers.

Emerit studies her sister attentively, and so that change in Draventa's mien does not escape her. "I am sorry, I can see you are fond of her already," she remarks, gaze dropping to her hands again, as if contemplating to reach for Draventa to give her a pat, a hug, something she knows the princess most probably would not want. And so her hands remain where they are, folded before her on the table. Yulanda arrives with the tea and two cups she puts down on the table before she pours them both. A plate with small bits of smoked ham and cheese is set down as well. "Thank you," Emerit will say to her handmaiden, and Yulanda will retreat to her place somwhere in the backrgound. "The matter is of course the alliance between our House and theirs," the Mist of the Island admits, her attention shifting to Draventa again. "It will be sealed with a marriage. It has been agreed that Prince Logen Kilgour and you, the Princess Draventa Moniwid shall be wed, and the betrothal contract has already been signed."

Draventa blinks, not wishing to look up as Emerit speaks of the Queen. She still has a sliver of hope. Thankfully there's tea to distract. Drav, even upset, nods thanks to the maid. "Oh course it is." the alliance. A very small tightening of her jaw, but Drav will look up, hearing it said out loud hurts her chest, but again, there is nothing she can do. "May I know my dowery?" How much is she being sold for? Already signed? How much time does she have? Her face is relatively smooth, for as upset as she feels on the inside.

A bit of air leaves Emerit as she exhales, seemingly relieved at Draventa's reaction. "Of course," she replies, her lips curving into a smile. "There still are some details that await to agreed on, but yes. The dowry will be ships, a discount on silks from our lands and three small chests with pearls. Also an exchange of our healers and theirs, which will benefit both our lands.", she explains, as her moss green eyes continue to linger on Draventa, studying her for a reaction. Maybe even expecting it.

Ships, silks and pearls. Drav blinks, not even sure if that is impressive, or insulting. So she'll just nod, keeping her expression blank, "I hope it benefits Rustles Isle well." She'll inhale and start to rise, "If that is all…" She's clearly trying to leave.

Emerit will now lean a bit forward, attempting to reach for Draventa's hand if she does not withdraw it. "It will benefit Rustles Island, as it secures the alliance our brother Mantilo has desired for so long. Mobrin can use those ships of course in the upcoming war, still, I will try to keep the number reasonable to reflect the size of our lands. They can't expect us to give up all means of defenses in providing this dowry, as we have our own problems to deal with, as you know. Pirates, and yes, probably the new threat of Laniveer as King Stewert might choose to attack us for siding with Mobrin." Her moss green eyes linger on Draventa's face seeking to meet her gaze. "You are so incredibly brave!", she mutters, "I admire how you manage to take it this well." Those words escape her without thinking, and they come from Emerit, the sixteen-year-old, not the Ambassador. "And pray, forgive me for breaking my brother's word." Her hand will hold onto Draventa, preventing her from leaving her just yet. "I… wonder. Have you been able to come across Logen since last we spoke, to meet him in person?"

Draventa doesn't pull away, but does freeze at Emerit's touch. Like one would with a snake. Her voice is quiet, but steady. Emotionless, "As long as the Isle befits. That's all that matters, right?" Her jaw tightens, "I would be careful, Emerit. Giving any of the Stewert's titles that the Kilgours don't feel they should have- you'll be labeled a traitor." Her face stays unreadable, but there's a moisture that starts to gather in her eyes. "You'd be shocked to know how brave one has to be where given no choice." Emerit can feel a small tremble in Drav's hand, and she'll try to pull it away. "I have met him once. He refused to give me his name, like it was a joke. You should know this, unless Alice has been lax." Said hand maid flinches and looks down to the ground.

Emerit will let go of her sister's hand. Not at once, but after hearing what Draventa has to say to her. Her hand is retracted, not too hastily, her green eyes will hold Draventa's gaze for a moment until she will lower them slowly. Her lips though will twitch a touch when her sister reminds her of her lapse in using the right title. "Oh right, the Usurper I should have called him," she admits, her tone low. "It might surprise you, Draventa," - yes the title is dropped - "that I know exactly how that feels. As I haven't been given any choice either." Her demeanour composed, with only a slight tremble of her voice hinting at the emotion boiling within her. "Logen will adore you once he gets to know you, I am sure.", she remarks with little enthusiasm, choosing not to react to Draventa's remark about Alice's reports. No need to, as they are both aware of the situation, obviously. Her glance does shift to the handmaiden, offering her a reassuring smile.

Draventa's eyebrow raises, not really feeling sympathy for Emerit. Having to do diplomatic negotiations don't really compare to marriage. "I am glad you're sure. Then I'm sure there's nothing to worry about." Her voice is still flat, she's clearly just saying the words to placate Emerit. A very light tightening of her jaw to the look to Alice. "I certainly hope you'll have a good position for Alice once I'm gone. She's served you well."

"Fine then," Emerit replies with a thin smile, and for a moment it seems she will be content with the conversation moving along as it is, exchanging superficial meaningless remarks, while keeping the deeper truths hidden, for the sake of… formality? Draventa's remark about Alice's fate, however, has her drop the fine veil of courtesy. Emerit straightens in that huge chair, her mien suddenly slightly irritated, looking for once not the young girl she indeed is.

"Blaming others for your fate seems to be recurring pattern. I am /not/ the one who made Alice write those reports about you. Your brother did! It wasn't my idea, and when he left, Alice continued to write those reports, to deliver them to me. I never asked for them, and no: I didn't enjoy reading them, as I felt myself spying on you. But soon,…" she offers, her lips curving upwards a touch at the corners, "Soon you will be freed from them. As you will be from me. If you don't want to keep Alice, I can see what I can do. But as far as I have seen she is a good girl, and least to blame for the task she has been assigned with." The Bastard Princess does not mention that another handmaiden will do just the same as Alice did if she wants to keep her position, as well as there might be reports in the future, this time delivered to Logen once they are married, if Draventa will give him reason to distrust her.

Draventa's eyes narrow. "How is hoping you'll keep Alice in your employment blaming anyone for my fate? I don't blame you for Alice writing the reports, I blame you for having her continue to write them. I have never lied to you, or Mantilo. No matter what either of you have ever thought. I told you why I was scared. You broke my trust, by not telling me when you started the negotiations for me." Drav tilts her chin up, trying to remain calm, " I will be assigned another handmaid, from Kilgour. You know that. Even if I kept Alice, she would not be my main handmaid. She's loyal to House Moniwid, not Kilgour. She could still report back to the Isle. It's not how things would be done."

Emerit will shake her head at Draventa's reply, her fiery red curls boucing about her shoulders while a touch of amusement is lightening up her mien. "There is no reason why you shouldn't keep her, sister. It will be for Logen to decide of course, but there won't be any reporting back to Rustles Island, as there would be no need for it any longer. With Mobrin and Moniwid being allies. No there will be trust between our realms, and no further reason to watch your steps, as you will be in the care and responsibility of House Kilgour." Stupid! her gaze seems to say, but not a single word of disrespect leaves her lips.

"As for the trust…" Emerit bites her lip. "Haven't I already explained? I regret I had to do what I had to do. Still, in the end everything will turn out fine." She rises slowly, her fingers moving to smoothen her skirts, taking her time. "Still… It wasn't clear it would be about you, when I started the negotiations. My hopes of Estevan or even Mantilo being the topic quickly faded, as soon as Princess Roslin was 'off the table'." The explanation is given in a low, casual tone, the glance she shoots Draventa not without a certain warmth; a warmth that is only momentary, when young Emerit turns once again into the Moniwid Ambassador. "That will be all, your highness. That is, if you have no further questions or complaints at the moment."

Draventa's eyes narrow, "You did not have to do anything. Do not hide behind your words. You kept things from me, with falsehoods. As much as you hate me, I have never done that to you." Drav's eyes flash with much more color than normal, "You have a great feather in your amass odor cap now, Emirit. Find a match for Mantilo, but leave Estevan alone." She'll stand as well, head high, "Enjoy this now. Once I am wed, you will have no power over me. And I will cherish that, more than anything else that day." She'll turn and start towards the door.

"If I kept anything from you, it was as not to attract your ire more than I already have. After all, your betrothal was but one option among others, one I have really wished to keep from happening. But when the alternative is your being wed or no match at all - what other choice am I to make, Draventa? That hate for you is naught but a myth. I never did hate you, even if you may feel inclined to think so." Emerit's voice is low,and her gaze flits downwards. "A good day to you.", she mutters, not even trying to hold Draventa back.

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