Inouv 27, 228: Spies and Matchmakers

Spies and Matchmakers
Summary: Princess Roslin and Lady Nimue discuss the goings-on in the castle, and hatch a plan to marry off a few single courtiers.
OOC Date: December
Related: None
Nimue Roslin 
The Royal Salon
Inouv 27, 228

After a bit of absence from the daily activity that often occurs throughout the castle, Lady Nimue can actually be found outside of her room, the few attempts to be social before today having been met with various degrees of failure. She must be feeling better, however, as she's not only out of her room but is actually in the salon, looking as if she's hoping for someone to come along so she can visit with them. One of her books sits on her lap, a tome of romantic poems and stories she has scribed over from other books (an old childhood hobby of hers) sits on her lap, opened but going unread for now.

The Salon is a place of business if one happens to be royalty. It is a place to see and be seen, a place to allow courtiers to come up and speak with a Prince or Princess or King or Queen outside of a large event. As such, it is a very important part of maintaining an image. People want ot see you, want to speak to you, want to say that they know you. And it’s part of the royal package.

So Roslin is doing her due dilligence, dressed in a hunter green dress of velvet that has been pressed with a subtle decoration of leaves and vines. The long sleeves, the neckline, and the hem are all trimmed in a scalloped stitching of gold. Around her throat is her usual gold eight-pointed star, a religious symbol, and upon her crown of red braids the Princess wears a somewhat elaborate tiarra that stands tall and proud - good for her, seeing as she is otherwise a very short woman.

For the moment the Princess finds herself trapped in discussion with some noble lady or other - clearly not so noble as to be much in contact with the Princess, but noble enough to be here, now. Roslin is polite, attentive - everything she is supposed to be. That is, until she sees the Lady Nimue Forrester. She recognizes the girl from a previous conversation in the library with her brother - a previous life, no doubt, for that girl. Roslin makes her polite excuses and her feet carry her toward the lovely brunette, her maid Elisabeth staying close behind.

“Lady Nimue,” Roslin says, softly and gently to announce herself.

Nimue looks up and rises, her face going slightly flushed as she hurries to curtsey, her book falling from her lap in her haste, forgotten for the moment. “Princess Roslin. It is good to see to see you again. Would you please join me? I was considering calling for some tea. I could ask for a service for two instead of one, if you’d like.”

She straightens from the curtsey after her offer is made and she smiles, watching Roslin for a moment before speaking on. “I do hope you’ll forgive me for not coming to request audience, Princess. I sadly have not been myself…” and probably still isn’t back to how she used to be before the kidnapping, entirely, “… and I had tried to give myself some time to recover from the shock before trying to socialize.” Her voice wavers slightly, a sign that she’s still suffering from the effects of the ordeal but the tremble in her voice lasts for only a moment and she’s soon fine, again.

As she speaks she realizes the book is on the floor and she discretely attempts to hide it, it moved under her chair with a foot. Hopefully Roslin won’t notice and ask what it is otherwise she just might have to die of embarrassment.

Poor Nimue. Not only does Roslin notice the book, but she bends to pick it up for her and offer it back to the brunette with a warm smile. “No apology is necessary, My Lady,” Roslin says, reassuringly. “Seeing you so much better is all that anyone could ask for. I must say I am immeasurably pleased at your recovery.” Roslin then moves to sit as invited, nodding her head graciously in thanks. “Tea would be delightful. Thank you.”

The Princess nods once more, pausing to allow for a smooth shift in conversation topic. “I do not think anyone in the world could fault you for taking the necessary time that you require to recover. Even on the best of days…” the royal redhead leans forward, as if to whisper a secret. “…socializing can be ever-so-tedius and mind-numming.” She smiles again and leans back. “I sometimes envy the men for their opportunities to be silent, and excersize their bodies and minds without constantly being berated for questions, opinions, and pleasantries. It can be most taxing, at times. No - I much prefer the solitude of smaller companies, where people may converse intimently and without too great a concern for the grand opinion of court. So,” she chuckles then, a soft little sound. “Well who knows what I’m saying anymore? I’m babbling like a child. I wished only to say that I understand entirely not being available socially while one is recovering.”

Thankfully the Princess doesn’t look at the book or ask her what it is, that sparring Nimue from having to explain the silliness that is scrawled on the pages. “Thank you, Princess.” It is set aside and left alone afterward, her attention instead on her handmaiden. “Please see to the tea,” she requests gently, “and see if you can find some sweets to go along with it, if you can.” The maiden curtseys quickly and hurries off for the kitchen, leaving the noblewomen to chat without interruption.

Returning to her chair, now, Nimue makes herself a bit more presentable when she sits, her skirts arranged with some care put into how they’re smoothed and straightened. “Your understanding is appreciated, Princess Roslin. I am very relieved to know that I have not offended. I’d hate to upset you… or anyone else, truly. But you all have been so wonderful.” Her hands settle lightly upon her lap, fingers loosely laced together. “I do hope everything’s been well? It sounds like there has been some excitement happening, lately, but outside of the barest of details I am unknowing as to all of what has happened.”

“Excitement - yes, I suppose that is one way of phrasing it,” Roslin says after a moment’s consideration. The handmaiden recieves a little nod and a spoken gratitude before the Princess once more looks to the Lady before her.

“We had quite a bit just before the snow fell. Moniwids from Rustles Island, Stewarts from Laniveer, Royals from Kundari and the Finger Isles and the Hills some say - we are overrun with foreigners and ambassadors. And now that winter has fallen, they shall be with us through the snows. Which, I daresay, will make courtly life a bit more interesting when none of us can get outside for days on end.” She smirks a little bit at that notion.

“I imagine that means that you shall not be returning to Sky Forrest in the near future, My Lady. I hope the capital has enough to offer you to keep you excited and welcome, but not overtaxed. And I am personally very happy to hear that you are being well-treated. I would wish for nothing less, and certainly if you ever do not feel comfortable at home, you must make it known to me immediately.”

There’s a pause before Nimue leans in, her expression slightly aghast. “Laniveeri? Here? Gods, that must prove to be… tense,” the last tacked on for the lack of a better way to put it. “How is that being handled?” Curiosity pushes away the last of the nerves and self-inflicted embarrassment and she finds herself entirely entranced by the idea that the enemy of the Royal Family has come here.

Finding herself about to fall into the urge to gossip, Nimue leans back, face flushed. Thankfully Roslin mentions home and she finds herself able to shift mental gears. “I have enjoyed the time spent here so far, Princess. And I thank you all for the way you have welcomed us into your home and made us feel wanted.” Her eyes lower and she can’t help herself and a low chuckle sounds from her. “Well, if I may impose, Your Highness, there is a way you could help us.”

The handmaiden has still not returned, still gathering the required refreshments, that being something that’ll keep her a bit longer.

“They are children to the false Stewart King,” Roslin explains. “A Lord and a Lady. And yes, I daresay it is rather tense. More for them than for us. For their sake I do hope they come with useful purpose - otherwise I think it will become even more … tense.”

“I am so glad to hear you are happy, Lady Nimue. But please, do not feel the need to temper your speech with me. Go ahead and ask what you wish to ask - I must confess I am eager to hear what it is.”

Nimue shakes her head, looking faintly sad. “I do hope it’ll all work out, otherwise it can only end in bloodshed, I’m imagining.” Not a pleasant thing to consider but surely that’s the only result that will be come to. More fighting, more dying, more wives and mothers mourning the loss of their husbands and sons. And not just for one side but for both. It is almost enough to send her into a bought of melancholy, that, but Nimue staves it off by following the flow of the conversation.

Pausing to think, Nimue smiles warmly and shrugs as if trying to play it off as being silly. “My brother Trevian will be helping me by aiding our brother in the seeking out a husband for me. I would like to repay him for that kindness by helping him gain favor with a certain Lady he’s fond of but I know nothing of her.”

The tea arrives, finally, and the maiden pours for them both, leaving Nimue free to finish her request. “If you could give me a little clue as to what Lady Rorey is like so I can better help Trevian, I’d be in your debt.”

Ahhh. Recognition and delight slips across Roslin’s features. “Lady Rorey,” she says thoughtfully, lifting her eyes upward in a moment of musing. “I must confess, Lady Nimue, I may not be much help to you in this. I do not know the lady personally, although I am extremely friendly with her family. Her sister, as I am sure you know, is married to my cousin Caedmon, the Voice of the King. Her brother Aldren is a member of the council and is a close and dear friend to me. I do know that she was offered a position as Lady-In-Waiting to my Mother, although I do not know if she shall accept it.” Roslin nods once after a moment of consideration, letting her hands rest gently on her lap.

“I am told, however, on good authority that she is a woman of good and proper behaviors. I understand her to be very musically inclined, and something of a delicate lady. From what I know, she would be an excellent match for a gentleman of your family. Still, I know that is little help. I have been meaning to make her aquaitence. If you should like, I would be happy to do so sooner rather than later, and to speak to your brother, and then to give you my opinion on how they may suite one another. Of course the nature of these inquiries would be entirely private.”

A cup of tea is taken in hand and sipped from while the Princess speaks, the other cup then offered to Roslin although it is done so in a manner that’ll hopefully not interrupt her. “Any information does help,” Nimue says before adding, “but it does sound like you know quite a bit about her already.” The cup is set down and Nimue rises so she can pace a little. “Perhaps we could meet her together instead. That way I can get a feel for the Lady at the same time, then you can be introduced to Trevian?”

It is sneaky, she knows, and perhaps a tiny bit underhanded, the methods Nimue and Roslin are suggesting. But Trevian did not lay down any laws or rules so she is free to be as sneaky and creative as she wishes.

“That would be quite fine,” Roslin agrees. “As it happens, I have the perfect opportunity.” Apparently Roslin is entirely comfortable with sneaking about where such things are concerned. The smile on her face certainly indicates that she is having a good time.

“As you may have heard, I intend to build a shrine to the Light here within the Castle. A personal goal to bring the Gods into courtly lives a bit more, and make it easier for our nobles to pray for guidance when it is needed. I am enlisting the help of several women of the court - all in good standing and of sound reptuation - to assist in the planning of this: how it should look, what most is needed, how it should be upkept. I would very much like to ahve you and Lady Rorey participate, if you so wish. After all, you are both good young women of good standing and moral strength.” Lady Nimue’s recent trouble, it seems, does not disallow her to participate. “I shall invite you both to tea to discuss it, and we shall then make our measure of the Lady.” Roslin nods graciously, accepting her own tea.

The smile Nimue gives is just about impish, the kind of smile that bespeaks of mischief being played out in her mind. Sure, it is something innocently being planned and with the best of intentions in mind, but even with that being true she can not help but to feel as if she is playing at being a spy or someone else equally sneaky.

“That sounds like the ideal plan, Princess, and I’d love to help you. Please let me know when and where and I shall make sure I can be present.” Not that it’ll be difficult for Nimue to keep herself free. It isn’t as if she has a full social schedule… or any other kind of schedule, truly. “Thank you, Your Highness. I am sure that helping me play matchmaker probably is not what you’d imagine as being part of your Princessly duties but your help will be endlessly appreciated. And if there is any way I can help you in return…”

“Not at all, My Lady,” Roslin says, sipping her tea and otherwise appearing quite comfortable and content. “You’d be surprised at how often such things are part of my duties. This is my parents’ court, but I am responsible for assiting in the smooth facilitation of it. Creating alliances between the houses is vital, and doing so in such a way to make as many people happy as possible can be quite a challenge. I do rather enjoy challenges, myself.” She sips her tea again.

“Besides, this sort of business keeps me out of my brother’s office papers and correspondence. He doesn’t particularly enjoy finding me there, reading all of his business.” Is that a joke? She does have a little smirk of mischeif her own self on her face.

It makes sense. Helping set up matches is as much a part of politics and a noble’s responsibility as every other aspect of it, is it not? With a bow of her head, Nimue sits back down and she can not help but to laugh, that being when Roslin mentions her brother. “I think that is common for all brothers. They do not want their little sisters getting their noses into whatever it is they’re doing. But it makes me wonder if it’s just a desire not to be bothered or if it’s a case of their trying to hide things from us.”

A plate of cookies and small pastries is pushed closer to Ros, an offer for her to help herself if she’d like one of the treats that were brought up with their tea. “I think we should get ourselves into something… nothing bad, of course, and disallow our brothers from knowing what it is we’re doing, if only so they’ll know what it feels like.”

“Would that I could. If you have met Tyrel, I am sure you realize there is nothing that remains hidden from him. He will make a wonderful king for that reason, but oh! As a brother he can be positively insufferable.” The young Princess, for indeed she is very young despite her courtly demeanor, giggles a little. “But I would like to. If I may think of something that I might avoid speaking to him about.”

“He has, after all, been playing such games with me for years. Creating things just to hide them, I am sure of it. He is a constant torment.” All these words, however, are said rather fondly. It’s very clear that the redhead before the Lady Nimue adores her brother. Roslin nibbles on a pastry. “What did you have in mind?”

The light-hearted commentary Roslin makes with is much like how Nimue often speaks about Trevian and Harmon, all jabs meant playfully and with nothing but love. “It is something we can save thinking upon for later, Your Highness. It sounds like you already have a lot to consider, seeing as how you’re wanting to build the temple here. Do you have any idea where this temple might be?”

A small tart with apples and raisins is slipped from the tray and nibbled upon with great care spent to make sure no crumbs fall from the crust onto her gown. “I wish I could think of something important to do,” she adds in afterthought. “Something to give purpose to my life instead of being just someone’s wife and bearer of their children.”

The maiden busies herself while listening a little, not eavesdropping so much as just enjoying the conversation. The longer the talk continues she can not help but to smile.

“There is much import in such roles,” Roslin says with dignity and seriousness. “To continue on the line of a great house, to support one’s husband in his many endeavors, to raise children who shall be the next leaders of your lands - what could truly be more important than this?” She takes another nibble of her food. “No - I think there is great work to be done by women. We are the shapers of the world, though we are never recognized for it. Still, I do understand the need to want to be useful now, before such a time comes. I fight with it often, myself.” She finishes the pastry and moves her hands for her tea again, to wash it down easily.

“We shall have to move a few buildings in the Courtyard, but there is a space curling behind the keep inside the wall that I have permission to use. My parents have alread approved the funding for it. I was thinking that the shrine would be … surrounded by a small garden. We have so few places of peace and respite here in the castle. And we nobles deserve and desire it as muhc as anyone. It won’t be large - the Public Gardens will still be much more suited to walking and stretching one’s legs - but it shall at least be a place for quiet reflection.”

Nimue shakes her head, her smile fading slightly. “I used to be happy with the idea of being ‘merely’ a wife and mother, helper to the man I will marry someday and everything else. But lately, with the war, I have to wonder if that’s truly enough, Your Highness. Or is that truly all the gods have in mind for those born a woman.” The idea gets her head to shake and she smiles. “Perhaps it is just foolishness on my part, Princess Roslin. Maybe it is but a phase and I’ll pass it in time.”

The temple is imagined when Roslin describes her idea, the layout easily pictured as she does. “It sounds perfect. I perhaps am not as religious as most but even with that said, I know I’d love to have a place where I can meditate.” There is the temple in the city but there are times when going out is not an option, either due to weather or conflict, making having access to a religious place somewhere safe ideal.

“Well, I won’t pretend I don’t suffer from such thoughts as well sometimes - that I want to be useful. But when our husbands go off to war, and we keep the home for them - that is vital. Our nation could not survive without this. Being a wife and mother keep this country going as much as blades do. I believe that with all of my heart.”

The redhead finishes her tea and hands the cup off to a servant. “I will leave you to your book for the moment, Lady Nimue, but I shall be in touch shortly to arrange a tea with you, myself and Lady Rorey that we may … move forward with our plans.” She winks to the girl.

The Lady rises and curtseys when Roslin excuses herself but she also speaks again. “Then I shall strive to be the best wife and mother that I can be when the time comes, Your Highness.” A pause and then she adds softly, “Thank you so very much for your company, Princess. I look forward to visiting with you.”

A hand gesture has the maiden gathering cups and plate and everything is whisked away while Nimue sits back down. A little more reading and then she’ll be off herself, seeking others to gain information about Rorey from.

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