Nar 26, 228: More Shocking News

More Shocking News
Summary: In the relative privacy of the Weston Suite, Ruthgar is confronted with his father's news of the betrothal.
OOC Date: 30/07/2013 (OOC)
Related: Follows The Contract, about the same time as Shocking News
Jon Robben Ruthgar 
Weston Suite, Darfield Castle
The sitting room of the Weston Suite is a cozy room, with a general seating area centrally located. Several comfy chairs and a small sofa with a settee, in a simple tan colour have been placed around a black wood table. There is a fine carpet underfoot, its dark brown with black waving throughout a contrast to the light wooden floor. A couple side tables against the walls can be used for storing small items. Various vases with bright flowers can be found as often as they are in season. One corner of the room houses a full sized harp and various other musical instruments; the opposite corner has several shelves which house some books, but also writing, art and embroidery supplies. On the wall in place of prominence, the Ruxton coat of arms can easily be seen. Elsewhere, some tapestries of day-to-day life in Weston have been artfully placed. There are doors leading off to the private areas for the Duke and other family members.
Nar 26th, 228

A family meeting had been called, with only Robben in on what the meeting was about. Sitting in the Weston Suite of Darfield Castle is none other than Duke Jon Ruxton, his noble bearing apparent in the way he moves, the way he waits, ever so patient for his sons to arrive. It's in the set of his shoulders, the look in his eyes. He is every inch a leader and a man who brooks no arguments. His word is what goes and he is used to it being obeyed. Without falter, without complaint, without question.

Stepping in from the outside now, Robben looks around for a few moments before he moves over to tke a seat near their father. "He hasn't arrived yet?" he asks, a bit quietly, before he adds, "I was considering putting on my armor for this talk, but it would be a bit too much." That part offered rather lightly, and with a brief grin now.

Entering from the Upper Hall is the Duke's second son, preceded by a servant who offers Jon a nod and a bow - the errand successful, obviously - before the man disappears to the side. Ruthgar wears a casual attire of a tunic in the red and black of House Ruxton, the silver anchor emblazoned on his chest, while breeches of black sammit cover his legs, and comfortable brown leather boots his feet. Having his sword left in his own chambers, obviously, his thoughtful demeanour lightens up a touch as he notices his father, and he offers him a surprised greeting. "I did not know you were to come here today, father. I hope all is well?" Perhaps a little on his guard as he recognizes the way his father carries himself, from previous 'family meetings', Ruthgar offers Robben a nod before he shoots him an inquiring glance.

When Robben steps into the room, Jon's head swivels in that direction, eyes alert, still looking distinguished despite his waning years. "Not as of yet, son." His lips quirk briefly in humor at the mention of the armor, amused despite himself. "A shield should do." Walking to the sideboard, he pours three equal goblets of wine, nodding to one for Robben to take.

His attention moves once again to the door when it opens and the servant appears with Ruthgar in his wake. An ever so brief nod is given the servant for his role in assuring his son arrived in a timely manner, though his eyes settle on the younger of the two brothers. "Come in, come in, my son. I am well, boy. Tell me, how is life here?" Glancing around the room, then back to Robben, then Ruthgar.

Unable to hold back a chuckle at the reply from his father, Robben nods a little bit now, as he gets to his feet and moves to get the goblet indicated. Nodding as he sees Ruthgar entering, he smiles. "Ruthgar. How are you doing today?" he asks, before he looks back to their father at the question. "I would say it's interesting, and not bad. The city isn't quite like home, though." Going quiet to let his brother answer as well now.

Ruthgar's gaze flits from Robben to his father. "Good to hear." he replies, walking over to claim that third cup of wine. "And good to see you in good health after that siege you broke, just recently." The hint of a smirk plays across the youngest Ruxton knight's features. "Well. We have been busy as well, at the Battle of Blackbarrow. And now, it is quiet again. Talks of negotiations, I hear. But I'm sure Solara and Robben here can tell you more about that. Where is she, by the way? She will be delighted to see you, father. Have you sent for her as well?"

"I am fine," Ruthgar replies towards his brother, taking a thoughtful sip from his cup. "Needed a bit of air though. You know, up there on the battlements."

Jon holds his goblet in hand, a satisfied smile crossing his features, a nod offered to Robben. "Interesting, interesting. And how is that Heir your wife is carrying. A good match if I say so myself." Clapping his son on the shoulder, with one of those rare looks of pride. "You may have doubted it at the beginning, but it's worked out well for all of us."

Since he'd unerringly guided his own conversation to marriage, he looks back to Ruthgar. "The Siege, yes. Thanks to the troops sent. I am indebted to the Kilgours for sending so many so quickly. As for the debt, I intend to pay it. And soon." The mention of his daughter has his features softening, "I'll see her before I go. I came here to see you, my boy. It's time for your own marriage to be arranged."

Nodding a bit as he hears that, Robben smiles a bit wider at the mention of his wife, and the clap to his shoulder. "Yes, it's all worked out very well, father. They are both doing fine, I believe," he replies, before he looks to Ruthgar, offering a quiet nod. As their father announces the time for Ruthgar's marriage to be arranged, he nods a little, taking a sip from his goblet as he studies his younger brother carefully.

Ruthgar raises the cup to his lips, his hand stopping half way as he hears Jon's question for Robben, but only for a short moment. His gaze shifts downwards after the tinyest of glances to his brother, as he holds his cup before him with both hands. However, when he is addressed by his father once again, Ruthgar's eyes are on Jon, his face paling a little as he hears that last remark, especially. The cup is set down onto the table with a clang.

"My… marriage, father? I thought it would be Solara's turn first.", the Ruxton's usually so composed manner seems to drop a little. "I mean… I am 21 years old, my knighting was… a year ago, father. I need time to earn fame for our House and myself, before… I can emburden myself with the responsibility of a wife." His voice is soft as usual, but a little shaky beneath the surface, as he seems to be taken completely unawares by this development.

"Good, Robben, very good. You've done your duty and done your House proud." Jon assures his eldest. Though it's not explicitly what he had come for, the marriage. Placing his own goblet aside, he rubs his hands together in anticipation, waiting for the chance to break the news, the delight in his eyes unmistakable. Unaware as he is about his son's feelings for his brothers wife, he does not linger over that topic at all.

"Yes, my boy. Great things are happening for you. Much better than I could have ever asked, or planned for. The time for an alliance is now. There are certain perks involved. You will be marrying the Princess Caillin Kilgour. You will wed royalty. And that's only the beginning.." Not wanting to overwhelm him, he pauses there, watching his son for his reaction.

Robben grins as he hears what's being said now, also studying Ruthgar to see his younger brother's reaction. "Seems you have earned the fame already, brother," he offers, a bit quietly.

Strangely enough, Ruthgar does not seem to share his father's enthusiasm at all about the news. His pale grey eyes widen until they seem to pop out of his face, his jaw drops, making him look a little dim-witted for a moment. His gaze flickering as he tries to digest the ambitious plans of his father. Finally air leaves his mouth in a sigh and he gives a determined shake of his head. "No! Impossible! Not her. She's still a child, she's spoiled and she does what she wants. Even if it should be her who insists on this-" he does not rule that possibility out -"I am sure neither the King not the Queen would approve. Do I have to remind you, father, that you already married your heir off, one year ago?" His gaze shifts to Robben for a moment, while his tone takes on a hint of reproach there. "I am nothing, but a knight. Your second son, but what could I possibly offer her?"

At Robben's remark and grin, a glance is shot towards his brother, the reproach evident in those pale grey eyes. "You knew this all along, didn't you? And what fame? Last I heard I was accused of compromising the Princess's honour." Ruthgar spits the words out, clearly a little upset, his mask of indifference finally dropped - but then again, he is among family, isn't he?

Jon's eyes flicker over his firstborn son, a concise nod given to him before he concentrates on the one he is here for this day. Allowing him his outburst, he waits patiently for the storm to calm, the reaction from Robben had been much the same when he had learned of his own marriage. Once the protests are given, Jon sets out to disprove them all. "The Princess is of age, she is seventeen and this was far from her idea. I hear her own protests were much grander and louder than yours. For you though, the Prince has come to me, approached me. We are rich enough without the dowry, but we requested something for you within the dowry. You will get your own Barony. The Barony of Dellhaven. There is already a working Steward there. As for fame… it seems you have already got noticed. It was told to me that you earned a Knighthood in the recent battle. You will be a Knight of the Rioga, which will keep you here also, and you will merit the hand of the Princess. This is not up for negotiation, you will be bringing greatness and esteem upon your House."

Robben nods a little to Ruthgar, "I knew," he replies, before he goes silent again as he hears their father explain the rest of it now. At the mention of the battle, his hand goes up to rub at his neck, a bit unconsciously. Taking another sip from his wine now.

The storm does calm, at least a little. Ruthgar raises a hand to run it through his dark brown locks, as he tries to make some sense of what is being said. Even if he listens to Jon's explanation about Caillin's reaction with some interest and an affirmative nod to her sharing his view of the situation, it is when his father mentions the dowry, and furthermore what will not be part of it but will be granted beforehand, that finally some understanding enters his bewildered gaze. The sigh that leaves his lungs now, is followed by a sharp: "Hah. So that is the way this game is going to be played, is it?" He reaches out for his cup on the table and takes a sip of wine. "There has already been one knighting after the battle, and if Prince Tyrel and the King had seen fit I would have been knighted there as well. This seems a belated attempt at raising my position. So, in order to make the conditions acceptable for the princess I am to gain my knighthood? My place within the order? And a barony as well? A patched up business, if you ask me, to make a princess agree to a marriage she probably isn't inclined to at all." There is anger and pain in his eyes as he looks towards the Duke of Weston again. "I have dreamt of earning that place in another way, father. For my deeds. And… may the Light forbid, but the scheme must be evident to all, and I will never be respected."

Jon crosses his arms over his impressive chest, gazing at his youngest son who is obviously hurting. He walks over and claps a hand on his shoulder. "No, we asked for the Knighting, for your place in the order and were informed you'd already earned it and it would be unfair of them to accept that as the dowry. So instead, we mentioned a home for you and your betrothed. It was immediately granted. You earned your place with honor and deeds and if I ever hear you say differently, I'll take you out on the field and teach you better. You are MY son, dare you disgrace yourself by belittling your own actions in the war? I will not hear these protests again, for they make no sense. You will do as you are told and make your mother and I proud, make your entire family proud and marry a member of the royal family. Do you know what an honor they are bestowing on you?" Scheme… Jon almost growls. "You will accept with grace and you will face your future as Robben has. Or you will find yourself disinherited and stripped of everything for shaming the crown by denying the request of them."

There's a grimace as he hears his brother's words, but Robben remains where he is for the moment, draining the rest of his wine. Keeping silent as he looks between his father and his brother, he watches the two of them carefully. Only ready to go between them if there should be any kind of violence happening, it would seem. So for now he just observes, quietly. A quick glance to the various doors at the moment, then back to the two others.

Ruthgar needs a moment to regain his composure and closes his eyes. Inhaling slowly. And exhaling again. While he seems to be lost in the haze of his anger and pain - until finally the voice of his father manages to get through to him, calm words assuring him of a truth he so gladly would accept. When those pale grey eyes finally open up again they look much calmer. His voice is low and soft, although still a little shaky beneath the surface. "No need to threaten me, father. I understand… what advantages this marriage will bring to our House. I will obey your wish, and… do my best to - what have you called it again? - do my duty." He glances to Robben, offering an apologetic smile. "Forgive me, brother. I…" His voice trails off, as the youngest Ruxton seems out of words, exhausted both mentally and emotionally. Then he bows to the Duke, his gaze lowered. "If that will be all, I'd take my leave. I need a moment for myself, father."

Knowing his sons fairly well, Jon watches the play of emotions across Ruthgar's features, watches the anger and pain and soon enough, the acceptance. When it comes, he knows the cost, the price, for every man in this room had paid it once upon a time. The pride in his eyes shines almost as bright as the sympathy. "We are all but pawns, my son, but I truly hope that, like Robben, you may find the happiness that can happen after giving it time." Gently, he claps a hand on his sons shoulder, the closest to an embrace he would force upon his son. "Yes, take your time in accepting. You have a month until you wed. Your mother and I will both be here for it."

"Remember this, Ruthgar." Robben says those words as he makes his way over to place a hand on the other shoulder of his brother, trying to look into his eyes now. "If anyone doesn't respect you, then they aren't thinking straight. Because would the King himself have suggested you as a husband to his beloved daughter if he did not respect you?" There's a brief pause, before he lets go of the shoulder and steps back again. "Even if it may take some time before you think it's right of me to say, congratulations." A grin is offered, before he adds, "And use the moment to yourself well. It usually help in such matters."

Ruthgar listens to Jon Ruxton's assuring words in silence. It is when he feels his father's hand on his shoulder, that he raises his gaze to him. "Thank you father, for wishing me happiness. The Light may see to that. But,… at the moment I can't even imagine how my life will be." One hand raises to scratch his chin, while the expression in his eyes is still a little bewildered. Robben's hand coming to rest on his other shoulder gains him even a little smile. "Your words make sense, brother. I just need time… to think." Then the Ruxton knight offers his family a last weary smile before he turns to leave for his chamber.

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