Inouv 16, 228: Sutherland Kundari Negotiation

Sutherland Kundari Negotiations
Summary: Ronan goes to meet with Nima and Altair to negotiate a possible marriage alliance between House Crawford and House al-Milan. Before the Duke is going to decide to proceed with any formal negotiation, he wants an answer concerning war ships for dowry from the Kundari King.
OOC Date: 05/12/2013 (OOC)
Related: Disturbance in the Force
Altair Nima Ronan Kierne Syri 
Kundari Suite
This spacious sitting room is simply but stylishly decorated. Finely woven patterned rugs cover most of the marble floors and compliment two white leather sofas arranged to face each other near the center of the room. The wall to your left as you enter contains an oak door on the near portion and a spacious hearth on the far portion, where two additional sitting chairs and a small table rest. To your right as you enter is a mahogany door next to an extensive bookshelf which hosts a collection rich with both art and science titles. Tapestries of places throughout the continent adorn the walls on both sides. Directly in front of you, the far wall is covered with lush foliage, hanging and potted plants collected from exotic locales. The room is kept lit by small brass and crystal chandeliers.
Inouv 16th, 228

Upon her arrival with her brother, the first time, an offer had been made to the King as the Kundari were seeking an alliance with Mobrin, having finally chosen a side in the larger war surrounding them. The offer was Nima, though the talks had yet to be had over what exactly there was to offer other than the Princess and what sort of dowry would be on offer.

At the moment, Nima had heard no talks yet of there being anyone chosen to accept the offer, or even to contemplate it. She is seated on a window seat looking out at the falling snow with what looks to be sewing in her hands. A small basket rests on the seat beside her and the fabric in hand has been dyed a soft, pastel pink. Hands deftly place needle to fabric. Nima is dressed in a sari, the colors of her house, turquoise and gold. Her maid Syri is nearby and she is simply hovering.

Altair steps out from his own room now, looking around the room for a few brief moments before he offers a smile to his sister. "Nima. How are you today?" Moving over towards one of the seats, steps a bit slow for the moment.

At the appointed hour a man arrives outside of the Kundari Suite. The Duke of Sutherland has put on his official state business attire in the blues of his house complete with a heavy gold link chain shaped like rearing stallions and set with blood red rubies. He adjusts the large signate ring of his house on his left hand and gives his squire a look, "I always feel ridiculous when I dress like this." Kierne tries to keep a straight face. No, really, he's trying.

With a nod, Nima's guard goes on into the suite to announce the Duke's arrival and to make certain she will see him before Ronan will be admitted into the Princess's presence.

Looking up in surprise, Nima puts her sewing aside immediately, her brothers arrival gaining her attention. Hands placed on her sari, she regards him with an easy smile. "Altair." Pleased to see him, she watches his approach. "I am very well, thank you. How are you adapting to being back here?"

As her guard announces a visitor, the name Sutherland captures her attention and though she looks curious, there is no malice in her eyes as she rises, fingers loosely clasped together. "Please, show him in." Into the snakes den, no doubt. She is certainly aware of the previous history between the houses, but it was a past she could not change. However wary she is, she wears a warm and serene smile.

"Well enough. Glad to be staying in one place, at least," Altair replies. The announced visitor makes him raise an eyebrow momentarily, before he looks back to his sister. Similarily preparing to greet the Duke with a smile now.

Kierne, the Rioga's squire whispers, "You look impressive, Sir." Ronan tries not to roll his eyes, "I hope so. Otherwise I'll look a pompus jackass." There's the permission to enter so here they go.

Ronan's spurs faintly give sound of his arrival. The Duke is a fairly large man, tall and broad of shoulders with dark hair and eyes that, if the tone of his skin were darker, might pass for Kundari himself. God help you if you said it though, casting any doubt on his Trueborn bloodline. Those bold, dark eyes look over the suite and those within ere he inclines himself in a partial bow to the woman who stands to greet him.

"Princess Nima al-Milan, Prince Altair al-Milan, the greetings of Sutherland. I am Sir Ronan Crawford and this is my squire, Lord Kierne Kincaid… and my manservant, Rosley." The third and final is a slender, slightly elderly fellow." His rumbly baritone pauses as Ronan looks over the two Kundari. No, trying not to show anything readable upon his face, least of all any distaste he might have. "As per my request, I am sent on behalf of my liege, Kind Callem, to discuss possible trade negociations. If this should be a suitable time?"

Nima remains on her feet as the Sutherland Knight enters the room, unknowing who exactly he is for certain, or the reason for his calling. Rare is it that a Kundari has anything other than dark eyes, yet Nima watches his arrival with eyes so light blue they almost appear as ice, were they not so warm. Her dark hair is in a braided bun at the nape of her neck, properly kept bound while in public or meeting guests, as is the way of her people. Notably absent is the face cloth she had worn until she had turned of age, at eighteen.

"Sir Ronan Crawford," a deep and proper curtsey is given, her head bowing demurely, though when she lifts it again, she looks anything except demure as there is far too much spirit and life in her eyes. "I am Rania Nima Yasmine al-Malin, yes and this is Syri, my handmaid. My brother Salah Altair al-Milan." The reason for his request is noted with little reaction, carefully concealing her brief flash of dismay. "Please, have a seat, Your Grace. It is a suitable time. Could I offer you wine?"

Altair smiles, "A pleasure to meet you, Sir Ronan Crawford." There's a bow to accompany the greeting, as he listens to what's being said. Waiting until their guest have seated himself, before doing so as well, looking between the two of them now.

Nima is, to his surprise, an exceptionally striking and lovely woman to look at. Gods damned Kundari. Ronan stares for a moment before he realizes that he was staring, caught a little by surprise. "Yes, wine would be acceptable, thank you."

A look is passed between Kierne and Rosley and then the Duke moves to take a comfortable seat. Rosley takes up a position to stand a bit further back on one side of his Lord while Kierne takes up position off to the other side. Both attempt to be discreet and ignored.

Ronan studies the pair of them carefully once he has helped himself to a seat, "I am given to understand through the King, that you have come to Mobrin to propose trade, and perhaps an alliance through marriage. Naturally the Houses are keen to know why the Kundari wish to turn their backs on the Laniveer after so long, and turn instead to us? What is it that your people seek, Princess Ambassador? Are there particular needs you wish met, or trade items, troops or ships to protect your people from the Laniveer… or?"

When wine is poured and offered, Rosley the Duke's manservant steps forward to accept it for his Duke. It is smelled, then tasted, and not yet offered to his Lord until he's waited long enough to think it safe to do so.

After a brief glance to her brother in which Nima offers him a reassuring smile, her attention once more goes to the rather large man gracing their room. If she is uneasy, she does not appear to be, she openly meets his eyes as he regards her, assuming he was sizing her up as a man would a horse, to see what he was purchasing. In fact, there is an amused twist of her lips as she unclasps her hands and moves to have a seat as well.

As Syri moves to take the position of the wine server, Nima remains thoughtfully silent, listening to the Knight, her posture straight and her bearing regal. The wine from the same bottle his was poured from is lifted by the Princess and she lifts it to her lips, taking a noticeable amount to prove she had indeed swallowed some of the wine.

"Our father sent us to forge an alliance with Mobrin as our people do not agree with the way the Laniveer have been… handling themselves. They have been making threats to us, coercing our people into doing their bidding. We wish to remain the free lands we are and not be taken over, yet we wish to assist in the fight against those who would wish to take over Mobrin and her vassals." It is all she offers for now, allowing her brother to input his own.

Rosley observes the drinking of the wine and having detected no ill effects to himself, he hands the goblet to Ronan, whom thanks him quietly. The knight listens, watching Nima and Altair, their mannerisms, catching their turns of speach, trying to pick up nuances to read. "So there is nothing in trade or alliance your king wishes otherwise, than to align himself with Mobrin against the Laniveer?" He takes a very light taste of the wine to see if it is sweet, dry, strange or almost familiar.

"I am told your King wishes a marriage alliance? Yourself, Princess Ambassador? What does your father offer in dowry, and what does he expect in turn in a husband?"

Cradling her goblet in her hands, Nima does not drink further yet, instead she determines how best to present herself and what her father had sent her for. Long ago, she had been resigned to what she must do for her house, but for all the Kingdom, she attempts to keep the resignation from her eyes. "There are troops to be offered, and we have camels and gold and coal. Many resources as our people are are suitably wealthy in our own right. We breed horses," though her lips quirk into a quick and playful smile, "Though I have heard there is no rival or those of the Sutherlands. I would counter that with our own, if you would accept the challenge."

"My father has expressed interest in an alliance by marriage, yet if you find a match undesirable or unworthy, then of course my brother could be offered in my stead, to another House. As for dowry, that is between my father and my brother, for I was not in those discussions."

"Our father's primary goal would be an alliance with Mobrin, yes," Altair says, before he adds, "Of course, trade is always a good thing to come out of something like this, as well as ties for the betterment of both the Kundari and the people of Mobrin." Another brief pause at the mention of the dowry, and he offers the knight a nod and a smile. "He is prepared to offer a sizeable dowry for this alliance." A look to his sister and a smile is offered to her before he looks back to Ronan now. "As for what's expected in return, someone willing and able to make a new start for the relations between their House and ours, as well as treating my sister with the respect she deserves." A brief pause, before he nods, "But my sister speaks the truth. If you would find this match undesirable, unworthy or feel that you cannot let the wrongs that has been between yours and ours in the past go, the possibility of myself being offered to another House is also there."

Ronan thins his mouth, "I never said I was offering a marriage. Others will likely come with further questions." The Rioga Duke lifts his chin slightly towards Nima, "While …. a good many of us … are passing unfond of your people for transgressions, raids, and murders of the past that are /not/ easily forgotten, a man of any decent worth, noble or knightly, would not treat a Princess beneath the station due unto her. If he did so, he better have very good reason."

A brief pause, having no idea what so ever what a camel might be, Ronan asks, "What would be a sizable dowery, Prince Altair? You are not a sea faring people with war ships, are you? Or might you have a few captured ships of Laniveer?" There is doubt in his eyes at the question.

The Sutherland Duke's attention goes back to Nima, "Aye, we have horses aplenty in Mobrin. Good, sound stock, Princess." Ronan's gaze goes back to Altair, considering.

Nima does fall silent as her brother begins speaking since it was ever intended for him to work out the necessary details as it were. She sips her wine for something to do with her hands while she listens, and her posture remains the same, proper and regal. Towards the end there, she lifts the wine to her lips once again in an attempt to hide the wince as her brother echoes her sentiments on her own unworthiness for such a match, should it be deemed so.

There is a glittering look in her eyes though as Ronan's lips thin and he mentions never having offered a marriage. "Of course not, Sir Crawford, I assure you that neither myself nor my brother are attempting to coerce you into anything you do not wish. Please do not feel obligated, for I wish not to cause any further ill will. Instead, I would prefer to aid in making amends for those very transgressions you speak of."

"Those feelings, both from your people and ours are also one of the reasons our father sent us to seek an alliance here. While it will not change the past, it might aid us all in building a better future," Altair replies, nodding as he listens now. "And while we are not a great seafaring nation, we do have some borders to the sea, which includes a small part of the population being used to travelling the waves." A brief smile as he hears the question of Laniveeran ships of war. "As a matter of fact, we have some of them, although they are not that many. While they coerced that small part of the population to cause trouble along the coasts, they also supplied them with the ships to do so, since we never had any big enough to do so effectively. I believe father would be willing to part with those, although we will require some protection for our coastline as a result, of course."

Likewise, Ronan takes a sip of the wine as he listens to Nima and Altair. He carefully keeps his own face as unreadable as he may, dark eyes to study one and then the other of them. The Duke has leaned back in his seat to get comfortable, lifting one spurred boot to lay over his other knee as he reguards them.

"Have you now?" His baritone asks of Altair at mention of Laniveer ships. "That is of interest to me to learn more specifics of these ships, how many they be, and their crews." A hesitation, "Mobrin ourselves have ships and the King is in negotiation with certain other houses that may soon provide a great many more. I do not think securing your coasts against the Laniveer is likely to be difficult. Particularly if we come to a mutual alliance against that nation for we would aid our allies against our shared enemy."

Nima has her pride, though it is not allowed into negotiations, she is unfortunately aware of that. Her lot in life is a bargaining chip and it is not for herself but for what she could give to a House. Setting aside her wine goblet, she looks between the two, mostly at Ronan, sizing him up so to speak, unable to imagine herself married to someone so… larger than life. He seemed rather intimidating and serious, the complete opposite as she.

Noticing his interest in the ships that were on their coast, she smiles more easily, seeing him interested in at least something was at least a sign to her he had emotions other than that neutral look he had been wearing. Still, she remains silent, since this was the duty of her brother and not herself for any arrangement.

"At least before we departed there was nine ships," Altair replies, before he adds, "Of course, some time has passed since then. I will send a messenger to Father to ask if they are all still there, at once. And while we have the crew to man them, I am certain that your sailors tend to be more skilled than ours, but I'm certain that those we have are willing and able to do whatever they are required to do, Sir Ronan." He's also studying the man carefully, while leaning back a bit more in his own seat now.

This entire conversation has gotten his interest more now than it had before. The Sutherland Duke is thoughftul as he listens, "Nine.. that's a good number." He thins his mouth, considering, "Sutherland has suffered, as you likely know, from depredations along our coasts for lack of war ships to stop raiders. The King sends patrols, but I am interested in ships of our /own/ that do not drift off to other borders, leaving ours unprotected. I have merchant ships that need escort so not to fall prey to pirates in our own waters. Such, I trust, you can understand and appreciate for yourselves."

A pause, "Please do inquire. Seasoned crews to man them and to train other crews as further ships can be build would be useful, even if it took time for them to learn the ways of a new coastline." Ronan considers, "Ask also that a list be prepared of what Kundari needs, besides troops. What are her trade interests that she might care to import, as well as what she has to offer for export. You will find many a House in Mobrin interested in a wide range of goods from fruits and nuts we do not have here, to fine cloth, finished goods, spices and the like. Surely you have such interests."

"I believe we were also offering troops, should they be needed, whether an alliance was forged by marriage or not, as a measure of goodwill. They are set to march and assist in the war should they be needed. An exchange, if you will, offering varying sets of skills to the other, to train and fight side by side. A united front." Nima inputs, since that was not part of the betrothal deal unless it was requested to be.

"We are certainly interested in the different textiles as perhaps you are too. As you could probably guess, our mode of dress is much different than yours, our materials different, more suitable for the warmer months." Taking a deep breath, she reaches for her wine again, falling silent once more.

Altair nods, "We heard about the misfortune that came to your House, Sir Ronan. Our deepest condolences for all the destruction and loss." Spoken a bit softly, before he nods again at Nima's words about the troops, before he smiles. "I will make sure to send the messenger as soon as we are done here," he promises.

"All right then. I believe I have the information I sought, and .. set things in motion here to find out more that may be of use to both of us. If you have no questions for myself, I think we are concluded here for now?" Without finishing his wine, Ronan sets it aside and moves to stand. All business. Both his squire and his manservant never took seats in the first place.

"I thank you both for taking the time to see me and answer my questions. I shall duly confer this information to the King, who will …. incidently, be interested to know what sort of troops and their numbers you are able to field in our joint efforts." The Duke of Sutherland looks ready to depart unless they have questions for himself.

"I will assure that a list is prepared, Sir Ronan, and thank you.." she hesitates and gives him an almost sympathetic look, since it would be happening to both of them, not only for them. "Thank you for taking the time to come and see us personally." Rising when he does, she offers another discreet curtsy, however brief. "Enjoy the remainder of your evening, Sir." She offers a warm smile once again to the Knight, following with a nod to the squire and the manservant. "It was indeed a pleasure formally meeting you."

Altair smiles, nodding a bit now as he gets to his feet as well. "Thank you for the visit, Sir Ronan. I have no questions at the moment, but I hope it is okay that I contact you if something comes up?" A brief nod is offered to the squire and the manservant as well.

Ronan looks Altair in the eye, "Aye, find me at the Sutherland Attache Office in day hours but do make an appointment. I'm a busy man, Your Highness." To them both, and especially to Nima herself, the Duke gives a partial bow, "I bid you both a good evening." OK, so the pleasantry didn't make him choke to say it. With that, he and his two men remove themselves.

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