Alasair 38, 228: Tea and Roses

Tea and Roses
Summary: The Princess Roslin Kilgour seeks out female company in the form of newly-arrived Lady Moira Kerrigan. A secret is shared, and a scheme begins.
OOC Date: 25/9/2013
Related: None
Roslin Moira 
Princess Roslin's Chambers
The rooms employed by the Princess Roslin Kilgour are much the same as the other rooms in the castle - hard stone walls, a wooden ceiling, and hard stone floors. The latter is covered from one end to the other with an ornate red, yellow, and gold rug to keep the room insulated. The rug stretches as far as the eye can see, which is only about halfway across the room - it has been bisected by a floor-to-ceiling heavy velvet curtain, separating the foremost of the room into a kind of office, with shelves full of tomes and scrolls, maps and models. A fireplace is burning low, with cozy chairs situated around it. On the other side of the room, set by one of the narrow windows out which arrows may be safely fired is a table and a series of chairs.
38 Alasair 228

Roslin Kilgour, Princess of Mobrin and now of the Laniveer in accordance with her father’s new claims of legitimacy to the Stewert throne, is enjoying a morning in the foremost of her rooms. She sits by the window over a table, with a straight back and a high head, writing in the most delicate and well-taught cursives known to eyes. As any other day, the redhead is adorned as a Princess ought to be, wearing a high headband of red silk trimmed in gold beads pulled tight that nearly matches her hair, giving her something of a halo. Her dress is green, long-sleeved and high-bodiced, embroidered with leaves and vines from top to bottom. She is, by every look of her, a Princess.
And she does not intend to be alone for very much longer. This morning is the morning she expects a visit from a new Lady at court - one Moira, who has been invited to take tea with her highness. The woman will be shown in and announced by the guards outside once she arrives, but for now Roslin continues to write, a look of stern seriousness across her features as she thinks quite deeply.

Moira Kerrigan, of Ashenfell Manor, Greenshire County, recently arrived at court with one of her brothers, one Drogan Kerrigan, arrives at the appointed time. Her face is calm, placid and serene, with an ethereal sort of loveliness, like that of a flower long hidden from the view of the world. Her eyes are clear and grey, like a morning mist beneath arched brows like raven's wings; her lips full and pleasantly shaped. At times though, her eyes appear almost blue, reflecting perhaps her favored color of blue. Her hair is her crowning glory, a lush wealth of deepest night black worked into a series of intricate braids, that are either entwined into a coronet or bound into one another to form a single braid dangling far past the middle of her back. She wears a flowing gown of deepest blue with sleeves that drape nearly to the floor, lined in red. The fragrance of roses always seems to linger in her wake.
She, along with her maid, Kayla, arrive and wait to be announced, A quiet sort of woman, and seemingly shy and somewhat unsure of herself at times, she awaits notice. Carried inher hands, a small potted plant with no blooms or leaves on it at the moment, seemingly more dried branches in dirt.

When the woman is announced, the Princess Roslin rises and moves with a perfectly practiced grace to the center of the room, where she may have the woman fully presented to her as is the custom. The Princess bows her head in a respectful nod, clasping her hands gently before her. She did not manage to keep all the ink stains from her fingers while she was working, but she is clever enough to keep her hands from her dress because of it. “Lady Moira,” Roslin says, by way of greeting. “I thank you so much for taking the time to call on me.” She is quiet then, allowing Moira to speak before anything further commences. After all, court life is not a quick life.

As she is announced, Moira dips in a smooth and graceful curtsey, rising only at the approriate moment and time. “Your Highness, I thank you for your most kind invitation, to take tea with you. Being newly arrived at court, I had not yet made too many introductions, save for my liege, the Count and his sister. If I may,” asking Kayla to offer the plant in her hand to the Princess, “Only a small token of appreciation. At the moment, it may not seem much, but when the spring comes, it will be a rose bush of lovely color in deepest red with yellow tones to it’s petals. And, a most delightful fragrance.

Roslin smiles, and if the look of her face is any indication, she is immensely pleased. She reaches out to take the gift, lifting it up to her eyes to examine it more closely. “You are most kind, My Lady,” Roslin says, nodding approvingly. She looks over the plant for a few more moments, and then lowers it enough so it does not impede her vision of the lady across from her. “Tell me, should I keep it close to a window for sunlight, or would it be better to keep it closer inside, where it shall be warmer? I want everything done just as it needs to be in order to bring about the lovely vision you have described.”

“Inside, for now, your Highness, to keep it from the frosts and snows of winter. Then, when the snow begins to fade, finding a place to transplant it, where it will find sunlight and gentle amounts of water, and pruning from time to time, should as spring comes to the land, should bring forth leaves, and hopefully some blooms even in its first season. “
Moira’s face, has a faint rosey blush of her own, not used to being around Royalty, indeed it’s not even sure if the Kerrigans, save the Father at some point, have been at court before Moira’s visit. “IF I am still here, then, if you need advice, you have but to ask, of course. Or I can write a missive to you, further detailing its care. But roses, if given love and attention, often reveal themselves quite easily.”

Roslin nods her head gently in assent, turning to a servant girl nearby. She hands the plant off most carefully. “Do as the Lady bids,” she orders the maid, who curtseys low while holding the plant delicately out in front of her before bustling away to see that the orders are appropriately fulfilled and that the plant is well-cared for. Roslin, then, may turn her attention back to Moira with a pensive look. “That is one reason I wished to speak with you, My Lady,” Roslin confesses. “Your knowledge of flora and the growing of natural life in the world around us.” She shakes her head then, letting the pensiveness fade into a warm smile once again. “But we shall discuss that soon enough, I daresay. Please,” the Princess gestures to the seats by the low fire - it’s all embers really - and moves to sit in one herself. Another maid steps up, laying out tea on the low table between the seats, pouring and offering it to each woman once they are sited and settled. “I admit I am somewhat selfish for inviting you here, Lady Moira. There appear to be fewer and fewer ladies at court, and I am recently returned from a yearlong stay at Lakeshire, so my circles have grown rather more intimate than I would have liked. Seeing a new face such as yours is most invigorating. May I ask what has brought you to Stormvale, particularly in these times of worry and war?”

Moira takes the offered seat gracefully, after murmuring to Kayla to further give guidance to the Princess’ maid. “My father thought it might be the time to make a visit at court before things and events made it impossible, Your Highness. And, as my father and the late Count had known each other fairly well in the past, he thought I might be well received. There are so few women at Ashenfell Manor and he felt I might enjoy it, as I said before things precluded any further travel.” Her eyes look towards the Princess, “It must have been difficult to have been away from home and family for so long.”

“Mmm,” Roslin says, thoughtfully. “It has been more difficult to be close to my family sometimes,” The Princess confesses as she sips her tea. No doubt, even a newly-arrived woman as Lady Moira will have some inkling as to what she likely refers to. The inappropriate behavior between the Duchess Caitlyn Crawford and Prince Logen Kilgour, which resulted in a hasty and quiet marriage and a public flogging of servants. The equally hasty marriage of the Princess Caillin Kilgour to Baron Ruthgar Ruxton, though at least in that case there appears to be little talk of impropriety, certainly not on the scale of the Duchess and Prince. And who knows what other things might be amiss. “But I confess I did miss my parents and siblings very much.” Another sip of tea is taken and the woman sets her teacup on the table. She remains seated and poised with the utmost grace, the grace of a woman who has been taught it from the moment of conception. “I stayed very busy in Lakeshire. I had a keen interest to further my understanding of trade and economics, and father entrusted my care there to the Duke Kincaid. In truth I think I could have lost myself in the studies for years to come, to have woken to find myself an old maid and forgotten by the world. But with everything that has happened, I knew it was time to return.”
Roslin looks down and finally notices the ink on her hands. She calls for her maid by name, and lifts her hands toward her - the woman comes quickly with a damp cloth to wipe the ink clean with a bit of strongly-scented soap. This does not stop the conversation. “May I ask how you are finding the court to be? And the Haraveans? They are a well-known family here at Darfield.”

Moira sips daintily from her own cup of tea, hands then placed delicately and just so in her lap. “Ah yes, Princess - While I have not traveled much, there were times I felt that, saying at home after caring for my father’s house all these years, gave me a quite similar feeling, not that doing my doing as a good daughter, was not something I was loath to do. But, as for the Haravean family, our family and theirs have known each other for some time. My father and the Late Count were comrades in arms, and I have met the elder siblings some years ago. Lady Wenna and I have discussed plants and other things, such as riding in the past and the Count and I have been known to speak to one another along with his sister in the past as well. There is some history between our families, then, I suppose one could say.” Actually quite a speech for Moira, not one known to be loud or boisterous, but rather sedate, quiet and retiring.

Roslin nods her head in appreciation. From her gestures, it is easy to see past the shortness of this woman’s years into the maturity of her education and upbringing. “I am so glad that you have friends here at court then, to assist you in navigating this unknown terrain. It makes things so much easier, I imagine, to know that there are those you trust by your side in a new place.” The Princess waits for her hands to be dried, and then she reaches forward for her own tea again. Another sip is taken, and then she holds the cup gently in her lap with both hands. “You did not come to court, I understand - with your brother, is that correct? Do you have many siblings?” After a pause, the Princess seems to consider something. “Married or unmarried siblings? I am always keeping a watch out for potential matches at court for some of the young ladies.”

“Well, I am the eldest of the Kerrigan children, Highness. My brother, Shepard the heir remained home, taking care of affairs as he and my father said. My next brother, Drogan, some 5 years younger than myself escorted me here. And, no neither of them have been fortunate in making matches. And, never having been married myself, it was not something my father felt I should try to arrange for them,.” A faint hint of something flickers in her eyes at that but it is quickly dismissed as she takes another sip of tea. But, a smile does touch her lips, before she continues “There are always hopes and reams of course, that all things may change”

Roslin sees the woman smile, and she herself mirrors it. “And what are your hopes and dreams, My Lady? I myself am unmarried as well, with my own hopes and dreams on the matter.” She speaks a bit more softly, as though the two ladies were conspiring. “And I am sure your brothers have some of their own. Still, if suitable matches may be found for them or yourself here at court, such would not be without precedent - indeed, many fathers often send their children here for just such a purpose. It is an excellent place for the young to mingle.” There, for a moment, the Princess seems more like the young girl she is, with a girlish giggle. “I should not speak so freely on it, not with my family’s reputation on the matter of late. Suffice to say that I pray every night to find a match as my parents did - a match of honor and duty that grows into love and passion.”

Moira’s face, still ahs that faint blush, taking another sip to settle herself. Moira is always known, at least in her home ground, as being honest and forthright, not prone at all to prevarication. “That too is my hope and dream. Years ago, there were other thoughts that seemed possible, but came to naught. Then, my father arranged a match but sadly, my betrothed fell in the last battle. Perhaps, he felt, if I came to court, that dream might again be achieved as dreams are never forgotten.” Taking a moment to think, “And, as lovely as you are, Highness, I find it hard to believe that you would not find such a match as your parents as well. Sometimes, if we are fortunate, honor and duty and love and passion can take place at the same time but one must always take care they are done properly.”

Roslin actually does turn a bit pink at the praise. “You are too kind, My Lady.” She says, taking another sip of her tea. She becomes more somber as the lady tells her story. “I am so very sorry for your loss, Lady Moira. It must have been a very difficult one for you to bear.” In a further show of the sincerity of her words, Roslin reaches over to touch Moira’s hand in a reassuring gesture. “I shall pray for your brave gentlemen tonight, when I make my trip to the Temple.” She removes the hand easily enough, not wanting to overstep boundaries. “Your words do you great credit, Madame: I am of exactly the same belief. No matter the heart, propriety must always be upheld.” She nods once, more firmly, and then moves to set her teacup down again. “Tell me, Lady, how did your interest in the flora of the realm come about?” She seems to have a keen interest in this answer.

“I have always been interested in growing things, my mother and I would often work in our garden especially with roses. Then, when she left us after the birth of my younger brother, I continued. I have never been one to desire more really than to be in my garden or take care of my father’s home in that respect, since I did not have one of my own. Therefore, as duty required, since he did not remarry, that became my task. With my father’s help, of course, the orchards at Ashenfell produce a modest bounty and that is what one can only hope for. Perhaps, in time he or my brother might marry, and then I will find some other task to take up my time, unless I too become fortunate in my own right.” The last said with a blush. After a moment, “To be remembered in your evening devotions, that is an honor for which I thank you.”

Roslin bows her head at the woman’s appreciation, moving the conversation along. “So you have a great deal of experience, then, with growing things both for their usefulness and their beauty,” The Princess stipulates. She turns her body a bit more to facing Moira, looking into her eyes with a feminine directness. “I was very interested to hear this reported about you, Lady Moira. You see, I have a scheme in mind that I think perhaps you may be able to assist me on, if you are able and willing. Though I have told no one of it yet, and do not intend to, a great sadness has come into my mind and my heart to think that there is no garden nor temple or shrine within the castle walls that nobles, royals, guards and servants may visit for peace of mind or spiritual comfort.” The woman sits back, the pleased smile on her face growing just a little. “I intend to build one - a lovely garden with flowers and tall trees to shade and marble statues saluting the great heroes of the ages, with a small marble temple or shrine, perhaps, though I think a temple, a little one, where we may go and pay our respects to the Gods and Goddesses, and pray for guidance from them in these dark times.” She looks to the woman, waiting, actually seeming curious as to Moira’s response.

“Highness, “ her face filled with surprise and perhaps a hint of nervousness, “That would be a most lovely idea, in my opinion. And, if I am able to offer my assistance, I would be more than honored to do so. The Gods and Goddesses have always given their blessings, to honor them and offer a place for others to do the same, is truly a work of veneration and respect. I hope that my talents would be up to the task” She takes another sip of her tea, setting the cup down before continuing, “Even arranging it so that during winter when most growing things sleep, it shows it’s beauty and such, would be a wonder.”

Roslin smiles from ear to ear, clearly pleased that the woman has agreed to lend her talents to the cause. “You have my great thanks for agreeing to assist me, Lady Moira. My great thanks indeed. I confess I know little of plants, and many gardeners will be commissioned for the task to build this. But I would desire a lady’s perspective on such things, to help make it unique for our purposes. I had thought perhaps of building a larger temple, with glass domes along the ceiling to allow for the gardens to be indoors, and thus always heated and beautiful. But I am so unsure about so many things, and in those decisions I will look to you for assistance and guidance. Oh, thank you indeed.” She closes her eyes for a moment and heaves a sigh of relief. “It will be so good to bring the Gods and Goddesses among us here in the castle, particularly now, when we are in such great need of them.”

Moira’s eyes close too, a smile of warmth on her face. “It is a project that will take much time and care, I am sure my Father will not object to my staying to help with that.” And, in her eyes, a certain light of hope and happiness, because it simply keeps her at the Castle amongst new found friends and….others. “Highness, to have Their blessings and grace is all one can truly hope for in the end. And, before life takes others off to other concerns over which we may not, ourselves, be able to assist in.” Her tea done, she looks down, “But, perhaps, I have taken up enough of your time, although I am, ever at your assistance, should you need it.

Roslin nods, and moves to rise. As etiquette dictates, this signals an end to the interview. “It is true, I have promised to dine with my mother later this morning.” She confesses, and yet the Princess still looks entirely glad. “All the same, I would like to speak with you again soon. I daresay I shalln’t announce the project at least until we are sure the Laniveer have been thrown from our shores, but that does not mean that we may not begin to dream about what may soon be.” She bows her head once, respectfully, to the woman. “As I have said, Lady Moira, I am so very happy that you have joined us at court. I look forward to seeing you again soon.”

As she receives the signal that the meeting is over, Moira rises, dipping in a graceful curtsey, rising at the appropriate moment, “And, I am glad that fortune and my father allowed be to be here. I look forward to speaking with you again as well, Highness. And that the Laniveer will make their departure without too much difficulty” Kayla, returning from where ever good maids are during these times, awaits Moira near the door, and after a final curtsey, Moira will make her exit from the room.

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