Umbra 39, 228: Pride and Humility

Roslin and Tyrel discuss pride and humility.

Pride and Humility
Summary: Roslin and Tyrel discuss pride and humility.
OOC Date: November 12, 2013
Related: None
Tyrel Roslin 
Crown Prince's Office
A man's room. This spacious room is graced with a gorgeous view of the ocean. Three tall windows, topped with gorgeous stained glass look out over the harbour to east, and the ocean below. Dominating it is a truly massive, oaken desk, topped with assorted bits of small statuary and objects of art. The desk is ornately carved with an elegant vine pattern. Behind it is a rather grandiose throne of a chair, carved in a somewhat gothic style. What isn't wood is covered in black leather secured by silver studs. In front of the desk is a cluster of smaller black-leather chairs. The hardwood floor is covered in a thick purple rug with silver trim. A few silver candelabras spaced about the room in addition to a few wrought-iron wall sconces provide plenty of light. The walls are paneled two thirds of the way up the wall with a dark cherry wood. From there on up they are painted purple, and about a foot from the ceiling is silver stenciling. On one side of the room, a bookshelf lines the wall, from floor to ceiling. The shelf is filled with books from all across Daeren. A door leads to a private room for the Prince.
39 of the month of Umbra, 228

Tyrel has been working through the early morning hours reviewing a series of troop counts and deployment figures. The small slate squares he carries to show troop movements have been cleaned and he and his aides are redrawing the figures upon them. Sir Roane is out training in the yard leaving the house guards to see to the Prince’s safety.

“The Princess Roslin, Young Higness,” one of the guards announces, and indeed breezes through the door is the redhead herself. She wears a favored dress of crushed navy velvet along the back, dagged sleeves and overskirt with satin of Kilgour purple, pressed with leaves and vines, along the underskirt. Pearls dangle from her ears, and a silver crown sits upon her crown of braids. She wears a silver eight-pointed star, a religious symbol, around her throat.

Her contenence is much more difficult to describe. For while she appears by all accounts solemn, the elder brother will likely see enough of a tilt of her lips and twinkle in her eye to know that some manner of new idea or mischief may be afoot.

She stops before her brother, curtsying low and respectful. “Forgive the disturbance,” the girl says as she rises, eyes darting almost immediately to to the slate square as if to know all its secrets. “My timing is not too unfortunate, is it? I have intended to seek you out the past several days to discuss some Temple matters.”

The slates make little sense without the papers to decode them. Countless triangles, circles and squares some with lines, some with dotted lines behind them on the carven map tiles. Tyrel does not bother to cover them but sets aside those he is reviewing to give his attention to Roslin.

“If you’ve come to seek me on temple matters then I shall make the timing fortunate, dear sister, as the gods have often done me the favor of good fortune it would be ill not to do the same.” He waves the aides out of the room and they depart with abbreviated bows. “Please, have a seat and educate me about the matter at hand.” He rises from his throne like chair and moves around his desk to offer her his hand to sit. “Would you care for refreshment?”

“Thank you, no,” Roslin says, a little bit less formal once the aids have left the room. She pauses to look over the slate again, as though she might figure out by context what is shown there. However, it would not do to linger, so she moves to settle in. She smooths her skirts out and sets her hands on her lap. Eyes regard her brother openly and plainly as she speaks.

“I have given my first confession with Priestess Luna and I am afraid she has found my sins quite wanting. I am not outside the realm of absolution, of course, but it is her understanding that I might better find favor with the Eight with your assistance.” She seems a bit embarrassed as she speaks, her cheeks flushing a bit.

Tyrel moves to the sideboard and retrieves a cup for himself and sits in one of the smaller chairs closer to Roslin. “You really must talk with your maid about applying more powder, Roslin, the red of your cheeks shines through far too easily.” He leans a little closer his eyes fixing on her cheek for a moment, “Or she has already coated you and you’re simply abashed beyond all reason.” He takes a drink of his wine. “I’d almost rather not know which it is, but do go on and tell me what it is I might do to aid you in finding favor with the divine.”

“I am sixteen, Tyrel,” Roslin says, bringing a hand to touch her cheek. “Were I to wear more powder people would think I were hiding wrinkles and blemishes.” The redhead shakes her head and she dismisses the discussion in favor of another.

“Priestess Luna has seen fit to begin working to purge my soul of the sin of pride. For my sins this past month, and to focus the temperance of that pride, she and the Gods through her have seen fit that I should select a day to spend by your side, where I am to seek your knowledge of different military matters but not to question or contradict your responses to me that I may spend the day in remembrance of your knowledge so far above mine.” She lowers her head a moment, respectfully. “I had thought today to be as good a day as any other.”

Tyrel considers this for a few moments, “I will help to begin your penance but not complete it. Today is not as good a day as any other, rarely are any two days the same and such schedules as are set should not be substituted with one another without cause.” He takes a drink of his wine, “Besides, you’ve missed as near to half the day as makes no difference. I will send for you shortly before midnight on a day where I expect your company will not be a hindrance and you will dress and accompany me. Was there any other particular directive given or should I speak with the gods myself for inspiration on what activities should be planned?”

Roslin frowns at this - a very deep frown. “It is the morning still yet, Brother,” she protests. “No better time than a morning such as this to begin. I am sure the Gods do not wish I hinder your entire day. But beyond that, nothing should be planned. I was instructed simply to remain by your side as a secretary or squire might, to ask and to learn and to be as respectful as I may. It must be done as soon as it can be, dear brother, for the sake of my pennance. The Priestess Luna was quite strict on that point - for the sake of my soul, this shall assist me in being cleansed of the darkness of sins. Go about your day and I shall be quiet as I am able, asking questions only when you are not otherwise occupied with your work.” She sits up a little taller, eyes gleaming hopefully.

“You just contradicted me, sister dear, so today cannot be your day.” He smiles, “I’m rather glad you’ve taken to a priestess of Umbra as a confessor, your penances should at least be entertaining. You also questioned me, by the by.” He rises and dumps the cup of wine into a basin and selects a new cup and a new bottle. “I suggest you practice very diligently in preparation for your day as I’ll not do a disservice to the gods by allowing you to slip, as I cannot have you strapped as I would a servant I will simply dismiss you to begin again when it next becomes convenient to me.” With the new cup he turns back towards the chairs, “Are you quite certain you would not like a cup? The last bottle was a bit bitter but I have faith that this next will be rather sweet.”

“If you would consent to my desire, Tyrel, I would no longer contradict you,” Roslin counters. She is a bit unhappy, he can tell, that the conversation has thusly not gone as she desired. She moves to rise to her feet, pacing one way a few slow steps and then the other, bringing her closer to where her brother pours his wine. “Tyrel, the Priestess Luna has given me an opportunity for me to begin to conquer my lesser characteristics. I seek very much to begin down this path, and would begin today - now, even! But I need your help. It is the Gods’ will that this is done. For the sake of my soul, can you not find it in your heart to do this for me?” She looks upon him, eager perhaps but not overly pleading.

“I do not believe it would be aiding you in learning to put aside your pride by conceding to your desires. Accept that you must have patience and that your interpretation is not necessarily the best or only option.” He drinks his wine as he settles again. “You are not curing laziness or sluggishness, at least not as I understood your instruction, you seek to cure pride.” He chuckles, “A penance I am very thankful I have not been given, though my oaths as a knight do aid me in maintaining a certain sense of humility.”

“Your soul is in no immediate danger, as you’ve said, and if it is the gods’ will that you learn to temper your pride at my side then I will see it done properly. Today, you failed, tomorrow…or on the day that I choose, do better.” He takes a drink again then rises heading towards the basin, “Too sweet.” He comments, “I should send this bottle to Caillin.”

Roslin draws her lips up to a frown for a moment. But she smooths it out, like her skirts, and manages a pleasant little smile. “Of course, dear brother. I know you are so busy. I suppose it was my eagerness to learn from you that has made me so eager. You know how I can get.” At long last she goes to pour herself a cup of the too-sweet wine, lifting the cup to her lips to take a sip. “You are right, I daresay - but perhaps you need not abandon it. A dessert wine, following a hearty winter feast. Perhaps you might see it in your heart to take me on a week from now? That should be ample time for us both to prepare for this exercise.”

Tyrel chuckles, “I’ve given instruction on when you will be summoned and how. You wish to learn a lesson in pride’s place from a soldier and so you shall. You will join me on the walls for watch while the darkness and the cold are still upon us, you will endure training and tedium, you will see what is done, and you will hear the reports of the men. You will not question or suggest but only learn and the moment you do otherwise you will be dismissed to start it anew at my next convenience.” He looks down to his cup, “I prefer mead for sweet drinks, or cider, the wine of this sort is less pleasant than those, though I’ll not deny the barrels to those who prefer such things.”

Tyrel dumps his cup and reaches for another bottle reading the label before pouring, “We shall see how the wisdom you gain in this benefits you when next you speak to your priestess, and I hope she will find that I’ve done my part in the service of the eight. Oh, and do not think you’ll be dressing in leathers and galloping about like a page, I suggest a warm dress without much adornment.” He shakes his head chuckling, “Mother still looks at me crossly for what we did to her favorite looking glass.”

“As she should - it was entirely your fault.” Roslin counters, taking a deep sip of the sweet wine. “Really, Tyrel, sometimes to make me wonder at you. You know me well enough to know that there is nothing that could convince me to dress like a heathan … well, to dress like a woman of such impropriety as that. You needn’t worry about me, dear brother, I am nothing if not a Princess of propriety.” She sets her empty cup down, once it is done so. “But you must remember in all of this that I have been told to ask any questions on governance and military matters that I like and that you are to take the time to educate me appropriately and honestly with thorough verification of any other questions I may have. I simply may not argue with you when you are wrong.” Not if. When. “The Priestess has gone with father to Jadda - when she returns I shall be sure to report how helpful you have been. If you do indeed turn out to be helpful - today, I must confess, you are anything but.” A momentary pout. “We shall simply try again next week.”

“Ah.” He takes a drink of wine, “The trouble, my dearest sister, is that you are still under the impression that you only require answers to questions to resolve the matter of your pride.” He walks to his throne-like chair and sits. “I must believe that at some point someone has throne in your face the expression ‘that book-learning doesn’t amount to much once real work needs to be done’.” He considers for a moment or two looking into his cup, “I should think you’re curious enough and clever enough that you’ve even heard the shorter and more colorful versions of that ideal.”

Tyrel takes a sip, “Therefore, I will not seek to instruct you on such matters or place you in such positions that you will have studied and learned about. We will not be sitting with generals discussing the economic impact our armies might have in marching through one town as compared to another, or traveling by boat as compares to horse and cart.” He gestures to the stacks of paper that are just those pieces of information. “That is not the measure of a leader or the heart of military thought, that is the world of scribes and bookkeepers, an afterthought that keeps historians busy once the only matter of importance has been settled…who won.”

“On the day where your pride will find its place we will deal with the matters that determine victory or defeat, and you may ask what questions you wish of the matters at hand, and I will answer so long as you do not attempt to lead with a question.” He smiles, “And do believe that I’m aware when the women in my life attempt to lead me about indirectly, it is entertaining but it is obvious.”

“You’re quite ridiculous on that point, Tyrel.” Roslin says, letting her hands fall neatly in front of her. “No woman or man that I know could ever attempt to lead you anywhere. Not even father, I think, though I would not say it to him. You are a man grown, like him, with a stubbornness that only his can match.” She leans forward to give her brother a fond kiss on the cheek. “A Kilgour in all things.” She steps back again, speaking a little more somberly. “You know I do not intend to lead you anywhere but where I am bid to lead you now. It is simply your misfortune that where I am bid and where you are bid will lead us both to a place that will make me exceedingly happy, if only for a day. Though I daresay you will try to make it miserable in some small way for me, just to have your fun, I do not think you shall be able to.”

“I’ll not need to make the day any less or more than it is, Roslin. A day in another’s footsteps is rarely a pleasant matter. As for the attempt, a remarkable number do try, whether the succeed is something that I leave for others to determine.” He drinks his wine slowly this one seeming to meet his approval, “Though you are incorrect, I will always follow father. Even if he were not my father he is my king, even if he were not my king he is my general, even if he were not my general he is my hero, and even if he were none of those…he is the finest leader I’ve ever seen or read account of in book or heard in story. He really is quite unique in that he has transitioned with little trouble from war to peace and from peace to war without the unpleasantness that many before him have suffered.”

Roslin smirks a little, moving ot sit again, a bit more comfortable even if she’s not altogether pleased that her plan has been thwarted for now. “He is second in all of those things only by you. You have such love and adoration from your family and the court and the people. Father’s name will go down in the ages as one of the greatest rulers the continent has ever seen. But there are high hopes for you as well - and no one believes them misplaced. Though I daresay they will be a lot to live up to.” There is a rustling of skirts as Roslin crosses her legs at the ankle, neatly and in a most ladylike position. “I do not envy you that entirely. But I am most glad to walk in your steps if only for a day. Perhaps, if nothing else is achieved by this, I shall know your mind and your concerns and your burdens a little better that I may do what little is possible to support them. As I said, as you serve Father, I serve Father and you.”

Tyrel laughs, “Humility, Roslin, is allowing those around you to measure your greatness rather than attempting to do it yourself. We’ll allow father’s grandchildren to choose favorites. Until then I will simply work to do what needs to be done. As for the hopes, everyone hopes to be alive during the time of a great ruler, it would be foolish to do otherwise.” He brushes his nails on his doublet and inspects the shine in the universal, ‘I’m awesome’ routine. “Though I am constantly challenged to maintain my stance of humility by my sheer magnificence.”

“I have learned to set a brisk pace though, sister, so do not be troubled if you find yourself stretching to match it when I do summon you for the day.”

“As you are challenged, so shall I be - for a day. I am a Kilgour, same as you. I think I shall surprise you with my prowess.” The woman rises then, nodding to the slate. “I would leave you to it for now, dear brother. Until the day I am summoned - which should indeed be very soon if it is to be done in the timely manner Priestess Luna indicated was imperative.” She nods once more to him with a smile, calmer than when she arrived as she prepares to go.

Tyrel moves around the desk to offer his hand to Roslin as she moves to leave, “We are Kilgour’s dear sister, but humility does include learning one’s limitations. I believe I would fare terribly if challenged to birth a child, though I expect you will handle it admirably when the time comes. Do not expect to be able to match me entirely at the tasks to which I have been made to suit.” He grins then and winks at her, “Though I suspect you will not have much trouble stretching for a day, I have made you ready enough for Red Caps and I suspect I would be much less of a ruler if I were unable to read as well as I do no matter how terrible the content…should I be expecting an announcement of our poetry recital soon, by the by?”

Roslin takes the offered hand as she risese up, gently, barely putting any pressure on him as she does so. “I do not aspire to swing a sword, dear brother.” Roslin says cheekily. “Simply to know when and where a swinging sword might be needed, and where tact and diplomacy are better suited. That, I should think, I am quite capable of. You shalln’t believe me of course but I shall prove you wrong. And one day, when you are a King here and I am a Queen somewhere else, why together we shall see the continent tremble to such wills as ours.” She bobs herself low in a curtsy as she moves to go, but turns back toward him. “Once you have summoned me, and our Day of Pride has passed, I shall write for you the most horrible poem imaginable and bring all the ladies of court out to hear your voice transform it into a work of art.” At last, on that, she relents.

Tyrel is still chuckling as he sees her to the door and out, “A great King or Queen, my dear sister, will cause the trembling continent to grow still. Otherwise we would put cracks and fissures in Roslin’s Road.”

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