Inouv 30, 228: Of Matches and Dowries

Of Matches and Dowries
Summary: An alliance between Mobrin and Moniwid seems to be finally settled with a marriage.
OOC Date: 19/12/2013 - 17/01/2014 (OOC)
Related: None directly
Callem Laetitia Emerit 
Great Hall, Darfield Castle
The Banquet Hall of Darfield Castle is an immense room, easily capable of holding the entire population of the Castle. A processional aisle, covered in a rich purple carpet, leads to the dais which is the focus of the hall. Purple and white marble extends in patterned rays from the raised dais, stretching to stone walls curtained in purple velvet to dampen sound. Tables line either side of the processional, all covered in white linens and set with candelabras. Fresh cut flowers from the gardens adorn small tables around the edges of the hall, lending their light fragrance to the ambiance of the room.
The wide arch to the south leads out to the western hall. The dais is raised three short steps above the main level of the hall. A servant door sits unobtrusively along the north wall, leading to the kitchen.
30th day of Inouv, 228

Long days and nights has Mobrin lived by the shadow of war. Long time have sadness and grief tormented the hearts of its people and subjugating their hopes and will. But good days, also, have brought victory by the hands of the Gods of Light themselves. Land and sea have tasted the blood of valiant soldiers, and only a few of their families have had the grace to welcome them home once more. And one of that days, when the Moniwid people fought side by side with those born in the fields of Mobrin, is remembered today with feast and joy.

The best vintage has been poured and the best meat has been served on a large table in one of the largest castle's halls, even being this a private celebration. Only the King and the Queen are sitting, the former embracing his newborn and glancing loving glances at his wife. All food is untasted, for the guest - or guests - is still to arrive.

Several Knights of Rioga stand at every entrance, impending anyone else to look inside. Let alone to cross the door. And when the time is right, it opens once. Just once. Just for the diplomatic head of Rustles Island.

"Welcome, Your Highness. You are just in time." Callem, rightful King of Mobrin and self proclaimed King of Laniveer, greets.

The Queen, as she is wont to do, blushes with those glances from her husband as they sit in waiting, the Queen keeping close enough distance so she can merely tilt her head towards him to murmur softly, striking green gaze full of love and laughter.

Lips will twitch here and there, and she will lean her shoulder into Callems, one hand upon his upper back as her chair is pushed back just enough to allow it to be done with her elbow upon the arm of the chair, her left hand coming around to press to the infant in his arm, cooing down at the child and making sweet faces.

When the doors open the Queen lifts her gaze, her golden locks plaited back into an intricate braid, her crown upon her brow, smile curving widely in greeting, “Your Highness.” Greeted back warmly, the Queen dressed in deep purple and grey, a lovely thick woven gown with fur trim around the high neck and about the wrists.

The subject of such high anticipation is a girl, not older than sixteen years. Placing one foot before the other gracefully as if following a pattern of a slow courtly dance, Princess Emerit Moniwid enters. Her attire has been carefully picked today, it is a dress of a dark blue fabric that creates interesting highlights where it is touched by the flickering light of the torches, the same goes for those snakes that have been embroidered around the bodice in a silver thread. Truely a dress becoming of a Princess of Rustles Island - and a Moniwid Ambassador. Her fiery red hair has been tamed into a long braid at the back of her head, but apart from that golden necklace with the ambassador pendant - a multitude of snakes entwined with each other - she wears no jewelry at all, which accentuates her young age and gives her a certain innocent dignity.

Behind her Valaria follows at an appropriate distance, the chaperone House Kilgour has provided her with which Emerit has kept even after her status as a ‘guest’ has changed somewhat. Also there are two Moniwid guards walking behind the chaperone, their presence probably intended to show her status rather than actually provide their charge with a protection that most certainly will not be needed.

Emerit approaches the table, an amiable smile playing about the corners of her lips. Although attentive eyes might notice a slight tremble of her hand as she takes her skirts into a light grasp, lowering herself into a graceful curtsey. “Your Royal Highnesses. I thank you for your kind invitation.” She straightens and her moss green eyes lighten up a bit when they come to linger upon the infant. “Princess Laela.” A tiny curtsey towards the little one, and some of the tension leaves the Moniwid immediately.

The King's hand moves softly, aiming to find rest on the Queen's, as his eyes follow the same gesture to capture those of Laetitia for his own. The enjoyment and pleasure of the moment is merely evident, dancing on his gaze, with the light of a thousand torches shining over their own reflect over the sea of Stormvale. His smile is not less telling.

He murmurs back, then a similar one to the newborn Princess, and then he sticks his eyes back to the ambassador. An amiable expression in his face.

"I thank you for coming here. Please, forgive me for the delay. I am aware you have been waiting for this meeting, but the travel—" to Jadda, clearly, "Proved to be more, let's say, complicated, than it should." After all, the memories bring a little laugh to his lips. A laugh like the one a joke could have spawned. "But now, we are all yours. Please join us, Your Highness. There are good reasons to celebrate."

A gold covered cup of the best vintage of the best wine in Mobrin is offered to both Princess (the older one) and Queen. Only then Callem takes one for himself.

"To the day Kilgour and Moniwid fought side by side. To the day the hope returned to the battle in the sea. To better days to come and a brighter future in our path." is offered too.

When toasts and perhaps more laughter have occurred, the lord of Darfield continues in his usual confident, though always respectful tone. "So, I understand you want a further and long-living alliance with us, just as much as we do. Am I mistaken, Your Highness? Is there any thought about it you want to share with us?"

The Queen returns the looks from the King with her own adoring ones, the same, though maternal, given down to their infant Princess.
With the wine offered up she will take the cup, looking into it a moment, before giving it to Rosie, her little taster handmaiden, who will take a sip. And wait. Before handing it back to the Queen who will then raise it to her lips to drink of it deeply.  Only after raising it up to the toast, of course, since that was done while Rosie was risking her life drinking it.
And then the Queen will settle in to let her husband do the talking, watching with an equally as amiable smile, though she is Queen Scary Eyes, so there is always something dark that hovers off in the horizons of her gaze.

Emerit cannot help but incline her head at Callem's greeting, and a slightly amused sparkle appears in her moss green eyes. “One thing I have learned since I became the ambassador of my home country is that patience is the key. I do admit I have waited most eagerly for your return – however troublesome that journey was, it matters that you are here now, back and well, to discuss the matters at hand.“ Her tone is polite, her smile amiable, and the chuckle that ripples through the throne room now, melodious. “Any delay will be forgiven, your Royal Highness, especially if we can reach an agreement in these matters. An alliance would benefit the both of our countries, in fact my brother the Grand Duke has been eager to form one ever since he first set foot on these lands.“

The ambassador takes a seat now, close enough to the Royal Kilgour pair and their child, but not until she has raised a goblet of wine herself, joining King Callem in his toast. She observes the ritual of the maid tasting the wine before the Queen accepts it with curious bewilderment, but will raise the cup in Laetitia’s direction as well with a most amiable smile. When Emerit finds herself being confronted with Callem’s question, she leans a little back in her seat, one arm supporting her chin, her gaze turning thoughtful. “What I want to propose? The best way to ensure an alliance would still be marriage, wouldn't you agree? A marriage between our House and yours. A prince and a princess,… or maybe a princess to a Grand Duke. A fitting match for both sides, I'd say. In case of a Moniwid princess being married there will be a huge dowry. That in addition to our help in times of war – as we already have proven.“

Emerit lets that sink in for a bit, as she takes a sip from the fine vintage. Her moss green eyes are attentive and wide awake and will linger a bit on those scary eyes of the Queen without flinching. Although she moves with the grace of a dancer there is still that tension in her bearing. Playing the game of politics cannot come easy to a sixteen-year-old, even if she has been thoroughly prepared for this meeting by her tutor.

"A marriage would be most interesting, Your Highness," Callem starts with a serene tone, carrying all the seriousness needed to touch such topics, "So, let me tell you about my offering." He sips before proceeding, exchanging a look with the Queen, a very loving one, before anything else.

"Roslin is our only unmarried Princess as of now. But, and although it is not of public knowledge yet, the negotiations about her future marriage have already started, leaving only Logen as a candidate. I would agree in offering him to Lady Draventa, even when we have multiple offerings concerning him, for the sake of an alliance I am personally inclined to seal. But, of course, I have my own requests for it to happen."

"We all aim for a long and prosper bond, I am sure you will agree. But you must understand my natural fear, in times of war, for the future of Rustles Island if anything happens to the Grand Duke before the Gods grace him with children. That worries me deeply. More deeply than you could imagine." Callem leaves the cup on the table and lets it sink. "To guarantee that your bloodline remains on the throne, and taking into account that our son is of royal blood, a proved knight, and spare heir of Mobrin and Laniveer, it is my request that, as part of the dowry, he will be included in the succession line of Rustles Island. That way we can guarantee that, if Grand Duke Mantilo leaves the world without a proper heir, or anything happens on that regard, the blood of Logen and Draventa will stay on the government and our alliance will be as long and prosper as we all want." Letting a moment for Emerit to consider it, he continues, "We would also take ships and gold as the remaining of the dowry - while the gold could be replaced with prolonged discount on the silks you produce. Last, but not least, I have heard wonderful things of your healers. I would like some of the best to stay in my Court. And, if you agree, we can start at once the preparatives for the marriage. There is not time to lose, with the winter so close to end."

Laetitia will take the child from Callem, drawing the infant Princess to her chest as she cradles her in an arm, cooing softly, "Indeed." A little boop to the childs nose, the Queen glancing to Callem, soft green eyes dancing lightly as she inclines her head towards him, gaze soon coming to rest on Emerit once her husband goes into stating what they're looking for.
Each thing he requests is accentuated with a nod from the Queen as she runs her free hand over her daughters head gently, smoothing down the gossamer golden silk of hair the child is growing, and nothing has to be added by the Queen because Callem hit every delicious point right on the head!
And so she will simply smile beatifically, reaching out to grab her goblet of wine to drink from it, "Spring is indeed on it's way, and what better way to celebrate."

Emerit takes small sips from the wine, her free hand playing with the snake pendant that hangs down from her neck, while her moss green eyes linger on the King, her mien attentive and polite. Her brows twitch only a tiny touch upwards when he mentions the possibility of Logen being included into the succession line, and her hand leaves that pendant to move to cover her mouth when a delighted amused chuckle ripples through the hall.

"Your Royal Highness," she smiles, inclining her head a touch towards Callem. "You really have put some thought into the matter. Which I owe you my thanks for. Of course." She leans forward in her seat, puts the goblet down onto the table, and her lower arms are placed onto the same, one arm even supporting her chin in a slightly contemplative gesture. "However, I have to tell you, that any foreigner being included into the succession line to the Throne of Rustles Island is impossible. I thank you for the concern about the Grand Duke's wellbeing, but we have yet another heir, and he is eligible for marriage too. So if you so fear the perils of your daughter the princess being married to the /Ruler/, you might even contemplate marrying her to the next living heir, which is my dear brother High Admiral Estevan. That way you include your House into the succession line much more easily." She shrugs. "But I must admit your offer of Prince Logen is quite intriguing. And Princess Draventa is available, of course." She lowers her gaze momentarily, biting her lip, before she reaches once again for the goblet. But when those moss green eyes rise soon after they sparkle with delight, and she smiles amiably.

"Ships, aye and the discount on silks you mentioned, I can agree to. As for the healers… I'd prefer more an exchange of sorts, inviting some of your healers to our lands and sending some of ours here, to ensure we can share the knowledge more effectively. We may be advanced with our natural herbs and medicines, but I am sure we can benefit from a more thorough knowledge of your healing practices as well." She smiles sweetly, and leans against the back of her chair.

Callem handles the little Princess to her mother, giving a little kiss to the newborn before it can happen. To Emerit, another attentive look goes, this time without the company of more wine.

"I told you, Your Highness. Roslin is not available, for the talk of her future marriage has already started. If Gods are good, the betrothal will be publicly announced soon enough. But I can't disrespect our counterpart and break my own word by offering Roslin to another Realm." The King looks at the Queen after the ambassador has finished talking. "Impossible, you say." He mutters under his breath, with only thoughtfulness and not a bit of disgust. "If Logen is not to be in the succession line, that would complicate the negotiation, of course. And you must understand that he is our only marriageable option right now, with many other offers that could offer us such privilege. However, you know I have my own reasons to want him to marry Princess Draventa." His gaze touches Laetitia for a heartbeat. "We can send you healers of our own, and even ancient texts of science and medicine. Now, what do you-" he looks to both Queen and Ambassador as if questioning the two of them, "-propose to compensate the succession line part and close the arrangement?"

Cue the raucous laughter of one little baby girl who gets her tummy nuzzled by the Queen who will then gently blow raspberries against the childs belly as she holds her up in front of her with soft laughter falling from her own lips in delight.

Little Laela will gaze down at her mummy, giggling huffs of air given, the Queen lifting up the child higher to nibble at those delightful little toes, which sends Laela into further fits of laughter that gurgle up from the little green eyed blonde child.

"Princess Roslin is most firmly off the table for marriage." The Queen will intone in a lilting coo as she makes another nip for the childs toes, lowering the child down as she makes a few funny faces, leaning in to kiss her childs nose gently, "Yes, Ambassador, do illuminate us with other potential alternatives for the line of succession." Still in that saccharine voice that's not at all terrifying, there is a child present that the Queen is wholly invested in who needs to be entertained lest the whole negotiations turn into one banshee child screaming bloody murder over her toesies not being given the appropriate attention.

Emerit lets that goblet of wine stand on the table for a moment, her smile deepening when both King and Queen repeat that Roslin is not available - to which she nods. "Of course, your Royal Highnesses. You've already said as much. I just wanted to point out that if you had been more eager to include your Royal blood into our succession line, there would have been easier options, that are not available anymore now. Obviously." She inhales, tilting her head a touch to the side. "And of course, we are most grateful in your taking our Draventa into consideration. Grateful, and honoured indeed." A bit of well placed humility cannot do any harm, can it?

She seems a little relieved when Callem seems to accept her decline, still her posture, and her hands show the tension is still present. Emerit turns her head to the charming distraction of Princess Laela, her gaze lingering for a bit on the infant princess and the Queen, before she turns her attention back to the Ruler of both Mobrin and Laniveeer. "What we can offer,…" she muses, her hand moving once again to the pendant, and then a swift gesture for one of her guards who will leave the Throne Room for a moment, before he returns with Yulanda. The Moniwid handmaiden enters with a nervous smile, in her hands a small box of sorts, and spotting Emerit and the Mobrin Royalty she will approach until she stands beside her Princess Emerit.

The Moniwid Ambassador will take the small box from Yulanda's hands and present it to the King and Queen. The box in itself being rather unremarkable, made of dark cherry wood and without any adornment. It is when Emerit opens it, that she reveals a dozen of milky white pearls with a rosy shimmer to them resting  on a cloth of blue sammit. "We have pearls, your Royal Highnesses. There aren't that many of them, they have been exclusively been dived for to enhance the Grand Ducal treasure, but, if you will consult a jeweller, you will find they are of exquisit quality. I can offer you three boxes, about twice as big as this one, filled to the rim with these pearls. I hope that will be recompensation enough." She turns toward Laetitia. "Pray, take one and have a look at it, Your Royal Highness. They feel incredible when you hold them in your hand." She hesitates. "But only if you are at leisure, of course." Unable to resist herself, her fingers move to take one out of the box, her moss green eyes sparkling with delight, as she inspects it in her hand.

Callem looks most pleased with the offered pearls. He doesn't take one, as both a sign of trust and his lack of knowledge on the matter. In fact, he casts a smile to his wife, by his side, hoping deep beneath his heart that she is as pleased as he is. "How many jewels can suffice a Queen?" He asks softly, "And how many can suffice a little Princess?" Laela is gently and lovely tickled. "I want you." This time to the ambassador. "I want Mobrin and Rustles Island sailing side by side. I want our governments and our people to be bound by laces of blood, for nothing could ever be so strong. I want future Kilgours with the sunset of the sea in their eyes and the breeze in their hair, and the heart of ancient Realms united as one. I want you."

His finger slowly drops to the table. To a parchment, to be more precise. It falls and guides it, sliding it on the wood, until it stops in front of the Queen.

"It is my wish that this betrothal is closed and announced. I wish, as well, that the Lord Chancellor accompanies us in a next meeting to close all the numeric details, of ships and silk, but in the meantime it can be official that Prince Logen Kilgour and Princess Draventa Moniwid are to be betrothed, if the Gods of Light so allow, and after we have reached a good agreement for both parts."

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