Alasair 21, 228: Seeds of an Alliance

Seeds of an Alliance
Summary: Aldren and Caedmon pave the road toward a marriage.
OOC Date: 08/09/2013 (OOC)
Related: None
Aldren Caedmon Wenna 
Greenshire Attache Office, Darfield Castle
This is a small office, but it does have burnished hardwood floors, a light blue paint on the walls, and a single window looking out. There is a small table with three chairs close to the door, with a rug beneath to create a small sitting area. At the back, there is a desk, with a chair behind it. Several shelves have some books and art work, including a small statue of deer in a forest. There are several table lamps, and some wall sconces to provide additional light, and atop the desk, there are several compartments for holding ink, quill pens, and paper. This appears to be an office made for work.
21 of the month of Alasair 21, 228 2E

The office of the count has the smell of paint and smoke and is in a bit of dissaray. The walls have fresh green paint on them, save the window wall which has one coat of white, a bit of the blue still showin through. There is an unusually large couch against the eastern wall, and two recliners across from that. A round pillow like contraption lays in the corner. When the two men enter and cricket is close behind, the dog makes its way and lays down in it with the boot, making it's purpose clear. No tapestries or anything hang as of yet but all manner of tools and uch are tucked into a corner neatly making the room quite usable while being transitioned. there are also a few side tables and a chair on the opposite end of the desk from his own.

Aldren makes his way to the desk and before he sits he motions to Caedmon to sit wherever he likes. When he sits he turns behind him and opens the window. Then he opens a drawyer and retrieves a marble pipe with some matches. "So, let us get down to this buisiness of a dowry. My sister grows weary each day it has not been settled. I believe she is afraid she would lose you, because of my…" He searches for words, "hasty dicision making combined with pride and all that other shit. I assure you, that is not the case." He smiles warmly now to the man as he strikes a match and begins to light the pipe.

Caedmon strides into the room after both man and beast, and chuckles when Cricket makes his beeline for the overstuffed pillow that serves as his canine throne. The chancellor surveys the room and nods his approval. "Well done, count. Well done," he congratulates on the work in progress. Although that long couch or the chairs before it might be the most comfortable spots in the room, apart from the dog's bed, the guest instead chooses the traditional route and settles into one of the chairs by the desk. When the count explains why Wenna might be anxious, Caedmon's eyesores quirk for a moment. "You are a proud, sir, but you have good reason for that, from all that I have learned. I have reviewed the books regarding your contributions to the kingdom. There is much to commend you. As for any … hasty decision, unless I have missed something, you have been quite cautious. I could name certain others in higher position who would do well to learn from that caution." While he speaks, he watches the curl of smoke rising from the pipe.

"Ever polite you are Caedmon. I thank you for the words." He puffs a bit and retrieves a flagon from a desk drawyer along with two cups. He pours and slides one over. "That brush berry we told you of. Try it." He sets his pipe down. "Tell me, did you have anything specific in mind? I have a few ideas myself. I am unclear as to what my best fit the circumstances though."

Caedmon leans forward and accepts the cup. He lifts the drink and inhales its fruity yet tart fragrance before he tastes it. Then he offers a solemn bow of his head, showing approval of the beverage. Without preamble, he heads for the point. "Albion is on the shore," he begins. "My people build and sail small ships, mostly for fishing but some for trade. The country lacks farmland. The people grow the most basic of crops, but they must barter for more than that. Produce, or better, seed that will yield good produce, would serve them greatly. I do understand that the distance between our lands might make trade difficult. I am sure that you have considered that as well, and are prepared with other options."

When Caedmon approves the Count smiles. "One such idea I had was to offer you ownership of land in Greenshire. Land with vineyards. This would provide ample income, but, it would be hard to oversee based on logistics as you have stated." He ponders now thoughtfully as he picks up the pipe and draws again. "I assume you require no ships. I may have an idea." Reaching below he opens a drawyer and removes a ledger. He stares down flipping pages and puffing away until he finds the one he was looking for. A smile overtakes his face and he looks up.

"Unless disaster overtakes us, we have ships, however, ships are not indestructible, and some equipment, sails and rope particularly, need regular replacement. Both are of cotton. If you grow cotton, we might go a long way toward settlement." He watches while the count retrieves the heavy ledger and leafs through its pages. Then %n smiles. "Forethought again," he muses. "I welcome that." he again sips from the cup before setting it on the desk and waiting to hear what Aldren proposes.

"How about … two ships a year. One in the spring and one in the fall, for five years. The first will be stocked with cotton, timber, and seed for planting. The second, with wine and what produce can survive the voyage. The ships need not be returned." He sips thoughtfully. The voyage may be long and trying so salted meat may be better than any produce, but it sounds as if the seed is more important anyways. We can include farming equipment in exchange for wine or timber as well. Our smiths make some of the finest plows in the realm and it is one thing Blackforge has to offer."

Caedmon listens thoughtfully to the possibilities, and he nods. "If the wine is the same quality as this," he answers, "it would do nicely. You might find some of our ships visiting your harbors to increase the supply if you have opportunity to introduce it to the royal family." He lifts his cup and takes another small sip. "Salted and smoked meats would travel well, and good tools are essential to good farming." He sets the cup down again when Aldren mentions Blackforge. He sits back in his chair, and he takes a slow breath. "The terms seem agreeable to me, but Wenna has told me that her land suffered under the baron's neglect, even though she strove well to recover it. I would not wish to burden that part of your land unduly. If you wish to consider that aspect, I will understand. Poeple need time to recover."

The count seems all too happy now having nearly struck a deal. "Not at all," He says on Blackforge. "The people there need to get back to smithing in the capacity they are used too. I, in truth, do this for our benefit as well. The folks there need to get back to buisiness and this is a good oppurtunity for them. the people there love my sister and the pure thought of them helping would lift there spirits I believe."

"As long as they also know that their oppression has ended, I agree," Caedmon replies with a nod. "I cannot imagine that they are ignorant of what happened. News flies swiftly. Rumor flies even more swiftly." He reaches for the cup again, and he speculates, "The might prove to be more of a benefit than a liability to your people. Albion is only a day's ride from Stormvale. When people learn that your seed and plows have improved our crops, you might find more business than you can answer." Then he shakes his head. "I am not averse to helping your land, either. "Greenshire already has blessed me greatly." He cradles the cup between his hands while he sits before Aldren's desk. Aldren is seated in his great chair, with an open ledger in his lap and a marble pipe in one hand. "Having settled on the dowry, I believe that we should consider when to ratify this contract. Wenna is in mooring. I know that, and that constrains our considerations."

"No, in fact i have receive word of celebrations in the northern part of my county." He laughs at first but it quickly turns to a scowl, old memorys and feelings surfacing. He regains his composure though and says, "Well, you do my sister and our house a great honor." He raises his cup, "Let us /consider/ it ratified now." Assumming he joins him they drink now. "Wenna is truly blessed." He smiles sincerly now to the man and begins to put the ledger away.

Wenna enters and Aldren smiles to her. "Sister," he says as he stands. "We have wonderful news." He rounds the desk and clasps Caedmon on the shoulder. "I will let him tell you. and some of this requires some thoughts from yourself, as we were just getting to. I'm glad you came."

Caedmon pushes back the chair and stands with Aldren. He smiles and nods when the count claps a strong hand on his shoulder. When he turns to see Wenna, even though she is dressed quite plainly, his face lights with a warm smile. "Wenna, please, come and sit," he urges. He steps toward her. "We have been discussing … terms," he explains. "We - Aldren, you, and I - must decide on a date to make this official."

"Excellent, my brother, we can all talk, are you going to share that?" Wenna asks him about the drink. Cricket who had fallen asleep and is now waking as he finally hears her voice yawns and shows off his pink tongue to the world. He then crawls towards Wenna thinking it is his turn to be Cricket the lap dog. Just as Wenna is taking the seat that Caedmon offered. "Caedmon, thank you, what agreements have been struck so far? As for a date the temple said I only need to mourn for two months, one month has gone by that means one more remains and that month we are currently into by ten days so we in essence make it official in eighteen days, if we wanted to be very proper it would have to be eighteen days and one week. We could have a quiet ceremony over at Barony of Albion. Bless the fields."

"The sooner the better, and yet, the sooner the worse." Aldren frowns and grabs another cup. After he fills it he crosses the room and hands it over. "If we do it soon, it must be small and private. Seems to be the fashion these days." He laughs a little knowingly to the both of them now.

Caedmon takes a slow breath and goes to the desk to fetch his own cup, from which he has drunk a small amount. He returns to stand beside Wenna. "As I have told Wenan, I would prefer a small and private ceremony, not for the reasons that inspired at least one couple recently. I do not wish to burden others with lavish preparations. Also, in truth, we are not lavish people. We spoke of a brief ceremony at the manor-house in Albion, with you and perhaps a few others as witnesses." He nods to Aldren while he speaks. "Howeever, unlike those who choose small ceremonies because they are in haste, we would wait until a week after Wenna's mourning has ended, to show that we are proper about things, and not under any stain of disgrace."

"My dear Aldren, thank you." Wenna says as she accepts the drink. She takes a sip of the drink and there is a smile and a look on her face enjoyment. "Very good thank you," she takes another sip. "There is nothing wrong with family celebrations brother especially those that are for us who are more autumn in our years."

"Family should be there no more than that. I do not need to be under the scrutiny of our peer's brother. There is also the fact that you and I both know that the sooner this happens and the sooner Blackforge is in your hands there will be none to say that I killed Fallon to give Blackforge to my lover." Wenna explains as she adds her own voice to Caedmon's reasoning. "My other reason for wanting family only is because I cannot bear the memories of being married to Fallon. I want you there, I want my sisters there and I want to be able to return after a week there to come lay my head on the pillow in Greenshire suites, without worry."

"Yes well…We must wait at least that long, that is for sure. I fear no matter how long there will always be some form of scrutiny or another. To hell with the lot of them I say. I will leave the exact date up to you two. If we write a contract I will affix my seal." He smiles now to both of them and reaches down to scratch their dog behind the ear. When Wenna begins he listens to her concerns, when she has finished he says. "I agree, fully."

"As do I," Caedmon adds, speaking with as much solemnity as if he were sealing the contract in that moment. He looks to Wenna with an adoring smile. Then he looks to Aldren and bows his head. "At a time like this, some people fear that they will lose their daughter or sister forever. I assure you that such will not be the case with us. For my part, I see my family as growing larger because I will have you as by brother and your sisters as my sisters."

"Good then you will not mind if Caedmon stays the night." Wenna smiles as she says this to Aldren. "Brother, I say we get it signed sooner than later." She explains. Her gaze goes to Caedmon as he speaks and she nods. "What terms did you two agree to? Or would you rather I learn of them later?" She smile tender and kinds and a loving look is cast in brother's direction. "See my sweet brother it is very different this time."

"I've not know you long but I am quite sure that you will be a far different husband to her than…" He cannot even mouth the mans name as he turns red with anger now. He turns and heads to his desk. After he rounds it he sits down and reaches into his desk. He pulls from it a silver ring. It has the likeness of small grains of wheat upon it. He crosses back to the pair and offers it to Caedmon. "This was my uncle Rourkes. When I saved him in the field of battle he insisted I take it. He has no sons." He sighs now but a proud look is weaved within it. "I have many heirlooms and such to pass on to my children, gods be good." He says casting his eyes up, "And to my brother. This…I never knew quite what to do with. Let it signify the joining of our houses and be a good omen of the farming troubles you have being remedied." He smiles now and presses it into his hand if he accepts. "I have a bow he gave me that he won from my father in a bet when they were children anyways."

When Wenna speaks he loses a bit of flair and says, "No, I have spoken on that matter." He smiles still though knowing she is just pressing his buttons. "We will help the barony in the form of there food troubles. Plows, grain, salted meats in the winter. And the ships that will carry them." He says happily, "Oh, and cotton too. Yes the cotton is most important." He laughs a bit and retrieves his pipe. As he lights it up he says to the Voice, "Hemp sir. That is what we use for ropes in the county. I will send some of that as well. Tell me what you think." He puffs away and sits behind his desk. PLeased with himself no doubt.

Caedmon shakes his head slightly, knowing already the answer before Aldren voices it. Still, he smiles to Wenna. "Your brother wishes to ensure that few will have cause to fault us," he says. He nods When Aldren explains the terms of the contract. "I have no doubts, Aldren. You have trusted me with your best, your sweet sister. Why would you not defraud me in lesser matters? Hemp makes excellent rope, especially for ships. It knows how respond to water." When the man returns and offers the ring, Caedmon closes his hand around it and nods solemnly. "It is a fine token. I will accept it as reminder of that which we have bound on this day. Although we have not pressed the seals into wax, I have committed myself." With his other hand, he raises the cup of brush berry wine. "I drink to your health and that of your family." Then he drains the remaining wine from the cup with one fluid motion.

"The hemp is also used to make paper and cloth, we have found that when woven with the linen it is very strong." Wenna adds her voice to Aldren's. "The oil is also used. Only cotton brother and no wool?" She has a mild manner about her as she says this then her smile grows brighter. "Caedmon how is your crop irrigation and what crops do you rotate or your people rotate? Forgive me if my brother has already asked this?" She looks to her brother as the token is given and her smile is just brilliant. "Well then if not then one thing then you must continue to dine with us if your schedule permits. Brother thank you, so much, my heart rejoices and I cannot wait until this union is official to both the temple and to fulfill our laws."

Aldren raises his cup as well and drinks with the man. "Yes, i believe we are all committed now." He turns to his sister, "Yes, yes, "He says as he agrees with her words on oil and the like. "I am happy for you both." He crosses the room and retrieves the wine re-filling his cup he offers to do the same for them. When he has finished he moves near the dogs bed and kneels down. Feeling a pewter dish he says, "Come, cricket. Toast the Baron and the Baroness with us." He smiles as the dog crosses the room wagging his tail. Surely he has had some before because he dives right in!

Caedmon lifts his cup when Aldren offers refills, and he grins when even Cricket is able to join in the toast. "You can see the rotation for yourself, Wenna, when we visit the barony," he urges. "The priest is eager to meet you and to discuss details of our plan." Then he nods to Aldren before continuing to speak to Wenna. "Seed is another part of the agreement. I want to improve our crops so that the people will have a broader diet. I've noticed since I began to join you for meals here, that my own health has improved due to the wider range of foods that you have. This might be something to discuss with the cooks in the castle's kitchens as well."

There is a laugh from Wenna. "No wonder the pup adore your room Aldren and your tobacco." She shakes her head. With another smile of Aldren she explains, "We are farmers we eat what we grow, the issue is that in the city it is harder to get a broad range of vegetables. In the winter we jar, pickle and dry a lot of vegetables. But in the summer months fresh is better. Also, it is a matter of how you eat. Many of our peers would see our table as poor because we many vegetables. The vegetables do taste good, mind you. Ours are not plain and we do use spices that our vassals cannot afford. Do not think many here would like the changes. It is another reason why most of us dine here instead of the court unless we have to, the food is too rich. Mind you, we do like decadent on occasion." She smiles as she speaks to Caedmon. "I for one will be glad because we, not only they, will profit from the change."

"Yes, produce is a staple. Just steer clear o' the damned peas!" The wine is kicking in now as his toungue slips a little and he becomes louder. "Yes, you think the smell would drive him away…I think he likes it as much as i though." When she sets in on meal traditions he adds, "Tis' true, tis' true." He nods and sips again, "Though we surely like our bacon and such, I tell it true! The only way those damn peas are edible is with the grease drippings."

Caedmon grins and jokes, "You needn't worry, Aldren. Others will eat the pass that you dislike, just as you eat things that some others might dislike." Then he looks to Wenna and confides, "I prefer dining here, not only for the food, but for the company. You, your brother, and your sisters, and Cricket are more of a family than my cousins are. I would be pleased to dine with you whenever possible." He turns to peer through the window, and then he nods. "For now, I should leave for the night. I will return on the morrow, if there are no objections. We have enjoyed a very prosperous day."

"Though you can dry the frost peas and frost pea soup, it will stick to your ribs. Usually bones are used to make the broth, and it is flavored with garlic or onion and carrots are added into it, or parsnips to make it sweeter. Frost Peas are a delight. And yes, that is the only way Aldren will eat them unless he is forced to sample them. I adore eating them." Wenna grins and laughs as she finishes her drink and holds her cup out for Aldren to refill it. "Parsnips are also a delight and beans, beats, turnips, sweet potatoes, just to name a few. Also barley stew with beans carrots and other vegetables is a delight on a cold day. Did I mention we do not normally have the 8 course meals." Her eyes are bright there is amusement in them. "I should try to put the frost peas in your pie, Aldren, and see if you notice." Before Caedmon can leave she motions for him to come to her. "And in parting, but also we like your company." She adds.

"Yes! Different fancies for different folks." He crosses the room and retrieves the wine for said refill. "Yes, you are most welcome sir, anytime, of course." A regal bow is made to the man as he makes way to depart and cricket sensing it runs to the door, eager to get loose if possible. no doubt some passing bitch has wafted through the window to the drunken little prince of mutts.

Caedmon has finished the second cup and returns the cup to the desk. "Thank you again, Aldren," he answers. "I will be proud to claim you as my kin, even if the court imagines that you are poor for widening your palette." he says. He smiles when Wenna signals to him, and he steps toward her. When they are close, he murmurs to her briefly.

She lightly kisses Cademon on the lips, gently and almost chaste. "Sleep well, my dear, and I pray to see you soon." Her voice is soft and gentle. Then she murmurs a response to Caedmon as well. When she is done she looks to her brother and smiles. Her own shoulders seem to relax.

"I will be proud as well, Sir." Aldren says in his practised prideful manner. When he approaches his sister the Count turns to the window, looking out and picking up his pipe. Giving them a brief moment of privacy…to a point.

Caedmon must crane his head slightly due to her height, but he answers Wenna's kiss with his own, tender and sincere. "Until the morrow, love," he murmurs to her. Then, with a soft sigh, he heads toward the door. When Cricket bolts toward it as well, he smiles. "You should stay here, boy," he advises, laying a gentle hand on the dog's big head. "You might need to sleep for a bit after that toast, too." He looks to Aldren and chuckles. "Thank you again," he says, and smiles before he heads for the front door.

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