Inouv 23, 228: Our Lot In Life

Our Lot in Life
Summary: "I wish I had something great to offer your father for your hand."
OOC Date: Day/Month/Year (OOC)
Related: What Is Love
Ronan Roslin 
Sutherland Rooms
Sutherland Rooms.
Inouv 23, 228

Roslin is stuck inside. The weather is disgusting and she has a great deal of anxiety for Wenna and Caedmon and Aldren. And there is nothing to do with that feeling. Her sister does not seem well enough to see her, her brother will not want to see her, her father is too busy to see her, her mother too with a babe. Such is the life of a child of important people, no doubt, but it leaves Roslin restless today. So she decides that another course is required, as she makes her way through the castle to the Sutherland suite. She wears today a dress of navy velvet, pressed with a pattern of silver waves and circular dips. It clapss tight around her front and at her breastbone, only opening enough to show her underskirt at the bottom of the front - a lovely, silvery blue material. While the eight-pointed star sits around her throat, something is different. Her hair - instead of the usual crown of braids with a tiara, she wears no jewlery there and the red tresses have been left to hang in waves down her back. It makes her look younger, only her slight 16 years. Dressed like this and with a maid in tow, she calmly makes her way to the suites and has herself announced to speak with the Duke, if it is convenient.

Rosley answers the door, the Duke's personal man servant. It takes only a moment or two for him to check whether or not Ronan will see this visitor, particularly here in his personal chambers. Roslin then is admitted - the room is a bedroom and formerly Cedric's and his wife Terrwyn's. The ornate furniture has been replaced with some more reserved to suit a man's taste who does not have a wife to decorate for him.

A large, dark timbered bed is curtained off, a wash table, wardrobe, a mannequin with Ronan's plate armour over chain is set on display for ready access, his gambeson laid out neatly over the chair next to it ready for use with a greatsword hung on the wall. There is also a writing desk and near to the door a few chairs and a small side table.

Dressed in black, Ronan finishes tying off his shirt sleeve cuff and comes to the door to meet her, giving Roslin a light bow with a gesture back towards the other room, "We may step out into the public room if you prefer, your Highness. Rosley can see other visitors are turned away." There is a brief pause to look over Roslin's attire and how she wears her hair down though he says nothing of it.

Roslin lowers her head respectfully to the Rioga, her hair falling forward over her shoulders and then back again as she stands. “If you would like, my Lord. I thank you greatly for seeing me this afternoon.” Her face is drawn into a look of sympathy, and it is likely not hard to guess what has brought her here. She steps back a little to move to follow him if he desires, her maid staying close at her heels. But even as she does so, she doesn’t drop her eyes as other women might - she continues to look up at him. “If it is an inconvenience at all, Lord Sir Ronan, please do not fear speaking the truth. I would take no offense to such honesty, particularly on a day such as this.”

"It's … fine. No official business today so I've nothing pressing." Ronan checks that the front of his doublet is fastened and that he's suitably presentable before he walks on out of his chambers and into the front room where visitors are usually hosted. Rosley closes the door behind them, then goes to speak to the two Sutherland guards and close that door as well. They are not to be disturbed.

"Would you care for wine or tea?" Both his tone of voice and his face betray no emotion as he allows Rosley to serve them. "Please, have a seat and make yourself comfortable, your Highness." Ronan moves to do so himself.

Roslin nods. “Wine, thank you,” she says, and moves to follow him with her hair fluttering like a veil around her face with her motions. Her maid sits quietly against the wall, ever observing and rarely speaking. Although the last time these two were together, things got heated, so the maid keeps an extra close eye on things. Roslin, in the meantime, accepts the cup graciously with both hands, looking up at the squire and thanking him personally and directly. A sip, a quiet sip. And she looks over the man once more.

“And yet, if you would rather be alone, it is entirely understandable. I thought, though, perhaps that you might not wish to be. And if I may in any way offer some comfort or assistance … it is yours, sir, you need not ask nor move to accept.” She sounds, she looks, so very sincere. And young, with her hair down.

The wine Rosley pours and offers to Roslin is the Sutherland white, instead of the dryer and stronger red. He likewise pours Ronan a cup and sets it on the small side table next to the Duke's chair, then he withdraws to take a seat with Roslin's handmaiden that he might speak very low with her, to be polite. He's an older man himself so no flirting or whatnot, more fatherly.

Ronan tastes his own cup, "I .. have no preference, your Highness. It is yet another ill day for Sutherland but things must go on. I should pay your brother a visit myself to offer my condolences. Perhaps this evening, if he will see me. I expect he shall take this more poorly than I, but you know him better."

A pause, "I have had reply from the Kundari King, Princess Nima's father. He has agreed to the dowry of all nine Laniveer war ships on the condition that our King Callem agrees to keep Kundari shores guarded in turn. Therefore I must bespeak your father and see if this can be done. I do not believe our King has yet made arrangement with House Moniwid, or another, to secure the Kingdom a stronger navy. I anticipate that must be concluded ere any alliance between House al-Milan and Crawford may be finalized."

Roslin sips her own wine, perhaps a bit of a bigger sip than normal. After all, times of mourning are often so very socially awkward, and so very difficult to handle. “I would not say I know him better, My Lord. He will be much more pleased to see you than he would to see me. I have no intention of going to see him now - my very face would make everything much worse.” She speaks more quietly, a bit more candidly than normal, even as she sits with a high, straight back.

“I am pleased to hear that this arrangement may yet work in your favor, Sir.” Roslin says, lifting her eyes and giving him a smile. It is small and it is fragile, but it attempts to be reassuring. “And in the meantime, there is no reason that you cannot pursue other options until something is finalized. If that is your wish. But I do agree that for the sake of your house, a marriage must be arranged as quickly as possible.” Her smile faulters just a bit.

He's learning better how to read Roslin now they have spent some time together, conversing upon several topics. Ronan watches her and sets his own cup aside on the small table, "I see. I've never been very close with either of my siblings. I was sent away fairly young to squire so once I was of age I did not see them over much except upon major holidays or the like." No other comment is offered on Roslin's distance to her brother, which likely enough has to do with criticism of Logen's conduct with Caitlyn in the first place.

The Duke also makes no reference to their last parting that was not on the best of friendly turns. Ronan is a touch subdued himself and shrugs lightly, "We shall see. While I need a wife and heir, and both Sutherland and Mobrin require these alliances and have not time to loose in forging them … I'd rather I had more time. Not rush things. We don't have those liberties at this time." He runs his fingers along his neck and around over the sides of his face. He did not touch up shaving around his beard this morning and it rubs against the short, upright collar of his doublet.

"So… I saw a beast yesterday I had not seen before, called a camel. A strange animal the Kundari have brought from their desert lands. Have you seen it?"

Roslin nods a little, glancing down at her cup. It almost seems a bit awkward now, perhaps due to their most recent parting. And due to the nature of the circumstances that should make them both so sad and yet appears to do little of the sort.

“I am afraid, My Lord, that we do not. And children do take time to grow into heirs and sons and daughters of their own. The sooner they begin, the sooenr they can assist rebuilding your home.” She doesn’t smile mentioning that, but she does nod in his direction as though trying to encourage him. A smile, at least, is drawn out by his words.

“No, my Lord. I have never had the pleasure. Is it at all like a tiger? The Jaddan Ambassador brought with him a glorious beast, larger than a dog but with features like a cat of the brightest colors that even the sky has never made the like. Although it has claws, and teeth, and is somewhat terrifying. Are camels such?”

She pauses another moment, thinking briefly before she speaks again. “I assume, then, that you have spent more time with the Princess Nima since we spoke last, if you have made the aquaitence of camels.”

“Aye, though more of a concern that I have an heir started when I ride to war this spring, if indeed violence erupts as expected. If I am slain without male issue, my House is no more. Yet I will not refrain from doing my duties in war when I am needed. Not even for the survival of my House. If the Gods will that House Crawford will survive myself then so be it, and if not, the King will appoint another to manage the Dutchy. Sutherland herself will endure.”

Ronan’s mood is a little more grim than his usual though he keeps it forced down, quiet. He picks his own wine up again to taste of it and grows quiet once more for a long moment before he continues. “No… it is more like a horse, or a very tall deer without antlers, and a hump upon the middle of it’s back. Very long legs and neck. Split lip and strange feet that are not quite hooved. They ride them and use them for carrying freight.”

There is a nod, “A little. She asked to see my horse. So I brought forth Alanza and moved him through his paces in the courtyard. That is when she told me of the camel.”

Roslin leans forward a little, frowning a bit. “I beg you, My Lord, not to fear so greatly the future of your house and home. Before the winter is ended and the fighting season has begun again, I daresay it is a safe thing to assume that you shall have a wife to see the future of your home secured.” She leans back a little in thought. “I would advise, though, if you are … concerned to fall in battle that you select in your wife a woman capable of safeguarding Sutherland until your child is grown. If you so fear this - but I am sure the Gods will protect you. I shall ask them to.”

“May I ask what you thought of her?” Roslin asks, her words slipping out a little more quickly than normal. She sips the wine again, quickly too, after the question and guarding her next. “Your opinion, when a little time was spent with her?”

Ronan finds it more difficult than expected to contain emotion at these thoughts of his House in jeopardy. He pushes himself up from his chair and turns his back on Roslin to pace a few steps and keep his face from her. His wine he picked up and finishes off, using that as excuse to meander to the bottle and refill it for himself. Rosley almost gets up and watches his Duke closely but says not a word, keeping his place.

Roslin is answered without Ronan looking back to her yet, "I have faith House Kilgour would shelter any wife of mine and see that if she bore a son, House Crawford would rule in Sutherland. I have almost as much Kilgour blood in my veins as yourself, Princess. Many times in the past our houses have intermarried since the rise of the Kingdom. If House Kilgour would have reason to do otherwise, I do not wish to know."

Cup refilled, his emotions mastered, Ronan turns where he stands, "She … doesn't have your firey spirit. But she seems reasonably intelligent, if quiet. She's a beautiful woman, more refined than I would have believed of a Kundari." That word still twists in Ronan's mouth, vile and ill tasting. He drinks some of his wine to rid his mouth of it, "My stallion pawed the pavement and struck her with his hoof, hurting her. The Princess Nima did not cry out but only stepped back quickly, hiding her injury so well I though she had escaped it. No whining, no hysterics, only quiet dignity as though it had not happened. Though she limped when we parted and assured me she was all right."

The Duke frowns at that memory, "I'd doesn't particularly matter what I make of her. Marriage is for alliance and begetting of children. Only matters that we get what we must have from it so the Laniveer do not roll over us all."

Roslin is quiet as she watches the man mull about, hiding whatever it is he might be hiding from her. She does not pry - it is rude, after all, and far from her place. She just watches, interested, lifting a hair to sweep her hair back from her face a little to allow her to see more clearly. She does not appear used to having it down, and shifts to touch it every so often.

“Whatever quarrel you and my father may currently have, sir, you have my word that I personally shall do whatever I can to safeguard your house and your legacy if what you say should come to pass.” She speaks with weight and conviction, but perhaps still it is hard to take her seriously, so young she appears with her hair low.

And then the girl casts her eyes down as though to hide a smile. Is it a smile? Perhaps. “My fiery spirit? You should be so lucky as to find a woman without such a dreadful thing, My Lord. A Kilgour temper in a woman is a very unbecomming thing, I am told. And you would have enough temper for both of us, I think.” The words are said a little fondly, as opposed to sounding as though she is mocking him.

“Intelligence is important. As is perseverence and strength. It sounds to me, from waht little I know of the business, that she may well be keen to impress you. That too says something of her - that she desires to please you. No matter what reason a man takes a wife, that is one quality I am sure most men desire. Am I wrong in such a supposition?”

Ronan has returned to being unruffled and smoothed of countenance. He drinks of his refilled wine lightly and leisurely walks back across the short distance but does not at once retake his seat. He makes himself smile a touch, "I have every intention of making certain it doesn't come to that, Gods willing."

He quiets to hear Roslin out and nods faintly, "I like my horses to be spirited. Why wouldn't I want a woman to be so as well? Not out of hand and foolish, mind you, but sharp enough to think and act for herself decisively when there is need. Not some meek thing that would let events overwhelm her when I am gone to war." Ronan takes up a position to lean against the wall not far from Roslin as he considers her last, "Yes, it's an important quality in a horse as well, once you have gained it's trust."

The Rioga means no insult of a woman by these words but it is men and horses that he knows best.

Roslin is at least able to smile as though she might almost chuckle at his words. “And what is your preferred horse among all the others, My Lord?” She asks, perhaps talking about horses and perhaps talking about women. “One light of hair, spry and young? Or perhaps you prefer a black beauty many hands tall, with strong shoulders and keen eyes?” She is teasing him, a little, that much is clear. Perhaps an attempt to get him to relax a little, to enjoy life a little even in such a dark time, but then she does sound sincere in it.

The Princess sips the wine again that was given to her before setting it aside, turning her body a ltitle to regard the man as he stands closer to her. “I think, My Lord, that you have a great capacity for affection in you, and that your wife - be she the Princess Nima, a Moniwid Princess or some other, may well eventually bring it out in you.”

"I .. don't know about the latter. I've never fallen in love with anyone. I do love things; Sutherland, horses, the sea wind in my face when I am well mounted with land and water both spread before me. Good music and drink, friends…" Ronan shrugs, "While I like things pleasing to my eyes as much as the next man, it's more important that a good horse, man, or woman, needs to be fit for the intended purpose. A pretty horse that is not sound of body and heart that is not trainable, is of no use to me. A pretty man or woman who's inept and indecisive is worse. An ugly thing that is hearty, uses it's brain and willing, is of more value."

He drinks more of his wine and is relaxing somewhat, "I suppose an ideal woman to me would be sharp witted to keep me on my toes, but not a troublesome nag. She'd have dignity, elegance and not be too hard on the eyes. But she must be hearty and fit to bear children and shake off illness. She needs have spirit to face challenges, not be meek, but responsible to take care of what is hers." The Duke watches Roslin, "Isn't that what everyone wants? A man should fail in his duty if he doesn't try to uphold himself similarly. To keep mind and body fit, to be vigilant and protect what he is responsible for. Keep to his duty."

It is a strange turn of conversation but less heavy than other topics. "What about yourself? What do you think, your Highness? What would you, or women in general, want in a husband?"

Roslin smiles, swirling the wine in her cup as the pair talk. “I do not believe in love so much, if I may say that with you,” the Princess confesses. “At least, not as a good thing. Perhaps you will forgive me but … my family has had hardships with love. My brother’s behavior stems, he says, from love. It was a destructive force in both our homes - I have sworn such nonsense off in my life.” She looks a bit apologetic for speaking so openly to him, but there it is.

“I do not know if that is what all men want. Men would have to speak to that - I cannot. Women, I think, want to be married at all.” She pauses, considering. “I have heard women speak for handsome men, for loyal men, and for caring men - men who care and are open to displaying it. I do not think that is what interests me in a man. I have found that the men that I like share a quality that the men I dislike do not seem to posess - or perhaps it is many qualities. Strength. Strength to use their minds over their hearts - we women do not do that so well, I am told. Strength to make a better decision when they are frightened or scared or in love or feeling hateful. Of all the men I have known in the world, the men who have such strength are the men I admire the most.” She sips her wine again, sitting back a little in her seat.

“But for me? I can say that I wish for a man with such strength, a man who will respect me and allow me to use what small abilities I have for the betterment of his family and my own, and a man who can provide my father with something much-needed in exchange for my hand. I think to be married to the glory of my family would be the most rewarding thing I could ever ask for.” She finishes her cup of wine. She glances up at him and quickly away again. It seems almost shy, that little look the young girl gives him. “But I think I would prefer if it were a man who brought greatness to my family and shared the other qualities I described. If such a choice were mine.” She finishes her wine, and looks down in the cup thoughtfully.“They say now I am likely to marry a Laniveer prince - that is the rumor about, anyway. Though I am sure by saying this to you I do not say anything you were not already aware of, but it is expected that the Kundari and the Moniwids shall also make requests for my hand.”

"Laniveer /lord/ unless you recognize their claim?" One corner of Ronan's mouth curls as he corrects Roslin. But he has also heard her out and it almost makes him frown. "I think love is like my temper. It can be a good thing and useful, if carefully ruled. But if it rules you, it can destroy you. It is easier not to fight to master such things but one must if one is to have a shred of intelligence and wisdom." The Duke pauses, "Your mother and father clearly love one another, and they love their children. Yet being a King demands that he look first and foremost to his people, and the needs of his Kingdom, else risk loosing all - his family included."

Another taste of his wine and then Ronan swirls it in his cup as he thinks. Should he say what is on his mind or would it not be wiser not to? "I wish I had something great to offer your father for your hand. I do not, for I am only a Duke. Everything I have or know how to bring to the Kingdom your father already commands. I am not willing to risk Sutherland to try and gain something for my selfish pleasure. So I am glad that you and I are friends, allies. I think Princess Nima is in need of a friend, should you choose to extend your hand to her."

Ronan has decided to just lay it out, rather than either of them dance around it further. Put a stop to it before something goes further between himself and Roslin. He eyes her to see if she catches his point.

She laughs. It’s a small, little sound - a quiet one - but a laugh none the less. “Well if it is only a Laniveer Lord I shalln’t even bother to think on it anymore,” she says. Because, you know. Lords are beneath her - or Laniveer ones at least. “I do not doubt that they love each other. But it was a natural thing for them - and a thing that occured over time. And my father is a very good man. I do not know that I will be blessed with a man as good as he, and to love a lesser man might be very dangerous for the reasons you outline. No, I’d rather stay away from the whole business entirely.”

It is the maid that looks up faster than Roslin does at the Duke’s words - after all, the maid is still there. She watches keenly, entirely ignoring Ronan’s man now.

The Princess herself seems a bit embaressed - a new look for her. She’s flushed, and she smiles nervously but glances away. Words do not come so easily at this moment, and she struggles to make her tongue bring sense forth from her lips.

“I would say that perhaps if circumstances in this life had been different, that such a thing might have once been possible. But I do not think it is so. I aspire rather highly, I am afraid - perhaps more highly than I should. Whatever lies ahead for me, it will be a foreign marriage and I intend to do my best to be deserving of the finest marriage for my father’s goals that I can provide.” She nods, as if to reassure herself of her words. Her tone softens after that. “It is my hope that this marriage brings forth a man as deserving of my esteem as you are, My Lord. So I too am glad that we are friends and may speak of this. And know that if the Princess Nima is to be your wife, I shall hold her as dear a friend as I might you, Sir. Dearer, I daresay, since women and men do not often make terribly close friends. Something in their natures always keeps them apart.”

The Duke of Sutherland watches Roslin's reaction closely as he sips his wine where he stands. "I know, and agree that you would make a fine Queen. So, I hope you will. I shall not bring it up again, your Highness." Ronan skips a beat quietly before he adds, "You would be a valuable friend to whomever I take to wife, thank you." He finishes off his glass of red wine, then pushes off from the wall to walk back set his cup down without refilling it. His attire is sombre, this black, as suits the occasion.

"In any event, once I have seen the King I expect I'll be riding south to return to Sutherland. If there is a wedding, there will be preparations to be made." Ronan pauses to frown, "The keep is … not in condition to receive a bride but the towers are intact. It will have to do." He looks to Roslin, "I also need find out if my sister's remains … if she's to be buried here, or whether she had wishes to return home."

“Queen? I am sure I have never thought of the idea,” Roslin says, although not terribly convincingly. “What shall you say to my father, when you see him? Shall you accept this Kundari offer, or will you perhaps move for some other marriage that may please him, and you?” She seems keenly interested - indeed, each time they speak she seems very interested in his married life. Strange, perhaps.

“My brother I am sure will have an opinion as to where your sister shall rest. But if he does not seem to be ready or willing to make such a decision, I daresay you shall be called upon to do so. I have to wonder what you were like, Lord Sir Ronan, before you became Duke of Sutherland. When you were a Knight of the Rioga, and had not these concerns laid at your feet.”

That last part about makes him laugh, "Well, I was a happier-go-lucky man. Cares of my world were not so many." Ronan is amused so he smiles and lifts a hand to rub his nose briefly, "I fought and trained men, squires… led patrols, trained war horses, drunk far too much, and wenched. Gods only know how many bastard's I've fathered and don't know about." Hmm, that's almost certainly being far too candid for a Princess's ears. The Crawford clears his throat, "My apology, your Highness." Ronan coughs once into his fist, bu then again he used to be a knight and not a Duke - and she did ask.

He draws a slow breath to think about her former question, "Your father and I need to discuss the Kundari dowry and the Kundari King's requirements to bequeath it with his daughter's marriage. It is up to King Callem what precisely his agreements will be with the Kundari as concerns the alliance. So… if that gets worked out to your father's satisfaction, I will likely wed her."

Ronan shifts his jaw, "From what I have learned so far, only one of the Moniwid daughters might be eligible to marry and she's sickly. Princess Draventa. The Princess Ambassador of House Sherer? Isolationists; I have serious doubts they will join sides in a fight."

Wenched? It is likely that the Princess Roslin does not even know what that means! And yet the redness flushing to her cheeks indicates that she has some idea, perhaps. She shifts in her seat, and Ronan may suddenly find that he is being examined. Arms. Chest. Trunk. Legs. Chest. Arms. Chest. Arms. “I….” And yet Ronan has managed to do the impossible - make her silent.

The change in topic, or the elaboration of the previous topic, gives something for Roslin to leap on - and she does. “It almost as if you are a member of the family, D-Duke Sutherland.” She’s not quite gotten right after the thoughts jumping in her head. “You are seeking marriages much as a Prince might.” Though right now doesn’t seem right to call him brother. Considering. Thoughts.

“Have you made any other consideratiosn beyond those three? I daresay it is difficult - you likely cannot seek other external partners, now, since you have little wish to wait for correspondance to move across winters’ lands and seas.”

"No… as you say, there is not time. By spring we will be at war with the Laniveer, unless somehow they delay the inevitable or there miraculously be a means to settle the issue without bloodshed." The Duke doesn't seem to think that likely by his tone. Ronan lifts a hand to skim over his jaw, lifting a brow at how Roslin looks him over. "I know…" he rumbles, "I am not the most couth Lord or Rioga, forgive me." He's used to the company of men, not women, so Ronan is trying to curb his tongue.

Roslin's comment about how he's going about a marriage alliance thins his mouth, "I had thought to seek a wife, and seek a few war ships or shipwrights to build them - but not necessarily as a dowry. It was your father who thought I should look higher, to a foreign Princess, and an alliance all of Mobrin can benefit from. Though I was angry with him for it, perhaps I am not, now. Not if we can use this to gain something the Kingdom as a whole needs, /and/ see to what my House requires for Sutherland."

Ronan watches Roslin, "You need to speak with your father. The Moniwids could bring him a navy in ships, or if … something could be worked out with the Laniveer…" The Duke frowns and faintly shakes his head, "I can not imagine your father settling for anything less than the Laniveer giving up their crown. So, it will be war, not marriage, with them."

I”I am…” Roslin says, taking a moment to clear her throat and regain her composure. “I am so glad that your opinion on the matter has evolved, somewhat. It pleases me to think that you and father shalln’t be quite so unhappy with one another, in these circumstances.” She looks down, and suddenly remembers - wine! Such a lovely thing, wine. It all must be drank, in one delicate swoop - there, isn’t that better? Roslin almost smacks her lips, but … well, she doesn’t.

“The Moniwidsd have been seeking a royal alliance for some time. Before Logen’s marriage, there were discussions involving him. Perhaps I was a bit selfish to push you twoard them. I thought they might provide ships for you, as you sought, and a way out of the Kundari marriage if you truly wished it. But … I confess that I fear a marriage to their Grand Duke. For many reasons, but he has….” Arms. Arms again. Those arms are such a thing to look at. And then she blushes - yet again. “Not the strength that I admire in men such as you. Do you think me selfish, or terrible for thinking and acting as I have in this regard? I would not wish you to think so…”

Pushing off from the wall, Ronan tucks his hands loosely into the back of his arming belt and starts to roam the chamber, to idly pace. He's not a man used to sitting for long periods but needs to move around and do things. That and he has not gone to arms practice nor riding today, because of his sister's death in childbed. He frowns as he thinks of Caitlyn as he walks slowly but listens to Roslin's words.

The Rioga stops at her question, "No… and you are right, I haven't even met the Grand Duke but something about his past actions and his isle of snakes … call it a gut instinct, but I do not trust it. I would rather see his actions well established and /proven/ over a longer term ere I would commit myself to an alliance with his House that may be no more binding than a breath of wind, here and gone again."

Ronan notices that for /some/ reason Roslin seems to be blushing. What by Sess's member did he say this time? He cocks his head at her in silent question, a dark brow slightly raised.

“I have come to think of the snake as an appropriate sigil. You never know which way he will strike. I do not trust him either, and I do not think that were I to become his … Grand Duchess I suppose that such a marriage would cause him to favor my family if the opportunities for him lay elsewhere. I do not want to be … wasted, I suppose. And that is selfish of me - to possibly put you in such a position. I apologize, Your Grace, if my suggestion truly did cause you any offense.” She sees him looking at her, and - unsure of what to do - she finally rises. He has been pacing, and she blushing, and perhaps it is time to remove herself from the interview and let calmness once more settle in the room.

“But I have … visited too long, Your Grace, and kept you from your day of reflection. I did not mean to stay as long as this - time has passed too quickly, I think.”

Ronan is calm, not angry or agitated but he is restless. He has begun to walk through the chamber once more, mulling over thoughts, "Aye, but we do need ships. They would be manned by his crews and not the King's so your father can not be throwing in /too/ much trust or dependence upon the Moniwids in any crucial moment. I know not how many ships House Aberdeen may lend, or already has ere much of our navy was destroyed. We are far too close to Laniveer by water to be without them. If I can obtain 9 Laniveer ships of war from the Kundari and only require a few of them to patrol Sutherland's coasts, I will give the rest unto your father for the Mobrin navy."

The Crawford halts when Roslin rises. Ronan draws his hands from his sword belt and gives her a light bow, "It is understandable. Conversation drifted into more agreeable waters than discussing the loss of my sibling. I for one thank you for that, your Highness." The Duke motions for Rosley to go and get the door for the Princess and her handmaiden.

“And I … thank you, Your Grace.” Roslin nods to her maid, who says her farewells to Crawford’s man while Roslin speaks gently to Ronan, and a bit more softly too for some sembelance of privacy in their words. It is an illusion - perhaps only part of it will be overheard as opposed to all, but it is what a Princess has. There is no true privacy. “And … I thank you, Your Grace. That we were able to both speak so candidly on thoughts that have rested in both our minds. I hope, now, they shall be less persistant.” She gives him a soft, young, reassuring smile, looking up at him for just a moment before she lowers herself in an appropriate curtsy.

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