Thedor 21, 229: The Price of a Princess

The Price of a Princess
Summary: Final negotiations about Draventa's dowry regarding her betrothal to Logen.
OOC Date: 21/01/2014 (OOC)
Related: Of Matches and Dowries
Callem Emerit Caedmon 
Throne Room, Darfield Castle
The feature of the Throne Room of Darfield Castle that draws most eyes immediately is the magnificent throne, raised on a dais at the far end of the room. The Kilgour Family coat of arms, passed down from father to son through the centuries, occupies a place of honor above the royal throne.
A rug of purple softens the path across the white marble floor, swirling patterns picked out in glinting silver thread. To each side of the rug, stand tall silver vases of Stargazer Lilies and Irises, their heady scent drifting through the air. The cool marble walls have been draped with mingling swathes of purple and silver silk, with touches of white for smooth contrast. Set about the room, tall silver candelabras hold long purple tapers, their soft glow gleaming on the rug and silks. On the balcony above, more swathes of purple and silver silk have been draped, shimmering with a scattering of silver glitter. More glitter is dusted across the marble floor, and over the soft petals of the flowers.
21st day of Thedor, 229

There are many ways in which the Throne Room can be described. Opulent, radiant, majestic. But today, after losses have been mourned and tears have been shed, it is a sober chamber. The usual gold is now black. And so it is the attire of the King, Callem Kilgour, today. Pure black. Raven black. Not any other color than black. And his crown, the Golden Crown of Mobrin, rests beside his right arm, breaking the shadows of the place with its trembling inner light.

"Your Highness, Princess Emerit Moniwid, welcome once more to the room where the monarchs have reign this Kingdom for so long. Voice of the King, Baron Caedmon Kilgour, welcome as well, and thank you for your presence." After salutes have been given, he goes directly to the matters at hand. Always gentle, but sober and lighthearted.

"As it is my wish, and we have already agreed to, Princess Draventa Moniwid and Prince Logen Kilgour are to be united in marriage, and through them, our Realms will be closer by it. Still, and although we have decided that the dowry will consist in ships from Rustles Island, an increased trade of silks, and an amount of pearls brought by Her Highness, -" A sad, very sad and heartbreaking look escapes him - given that the pearls were intended for the Queen. But, as always, he carries on. "- The exact amount of ships has not been determined as of yet. And so, for that reason, I have commissioned Baron Caedmon to speak today in my name, and reach an arrangement to benefit both of our Kingdoms. I will be here to give solemnity and validity, and as a witness of the agreement that, I hope, will occur. Without anything else to say, I will let you two discuss the matter at hand."

Emerit has entered the Throne Room with a slightly sombre mien, still, the obvious mourning of those present will not keep her from approaching with the grace of a dancer that is natural for her, yet with a dignity that will show respect for the loss of the King, and yes, of the whole realm. The Mist of the Island is wearing a longsleeved dress of a dark blue satin, without any embroidery, apart from a few blinking spots on the skirts that might have been intended to resemble stars on a night sky; it is unobtrusive enough to be adequate given the sad news of the Queen's passing. The sombreness of the colour of the dress is mirrored likewise in a less cheerful smile than usual on the Moniwid's features. Still, she will offer it along with a graceful curtsey for the King and the Lord Chancellor. "Your Royal Highness, accept my condolences on your loss," Emerit will address Callem once she straightens, "What bad fortune to have us continue these negotiations under such sad circumstances." The regret in her voice seems genuine enough, as does the sad flicker in her moss green eyes.

Her gaze will shift to Caedmon, and she will incline her head to him. "My lord chancellor, it has been a while. Pray be patient with a inexperienced maiden such as me, yet I will do my best to finish these negotiations in a way that will content both of our lands."

Caedmon stands at rigid attention while the king officially convenes this meeting with his brief summary of the matter that they have agreed to discuss. Whenm the monarch has finished, Caedmon clasps his hands behind him and bows. He straightens from the bow and begins, "I am honored, your majesty, to serve the kingdom of Mobrin and the interests of my dear cousin and his family in negotiating this dowry. Although a deep loss has stricken us, we move forward in the spirit of peace that so often moved her majesty the queen during her life." He turns toward Emerit, and bows to her as well. "As representative of the royal family of Kilgour, rulers of Mobrin and Laniveer, I ask you, your highness, to convey our thanks to Grand Duke Mantila his petition to negotiate with us. I also invite you to present your initial offer of dowry for the hand of her highness Draventa Moniwid, Princess of Rustles Island and sister of the Grand Duke."

"Thank you for your words, Your Highness." Callem smiles to Emerit for the good gesture she has had. "But if you allow me to say, you have been doing a wonderful job with the negotiation so far. You may be young, but your words have always shown wisdom and security. Something a good ambassador and a royal must always have." He looks at Caedmon with eyes that show his deep gratitude. "Thank you, once more. I am sure she would have been as grateful as I am by your manage of this last part of our contract. And may the Gods guide you through this talk."

With that, the King ceases his words to let them speak freely.

"I thank you, Your Royal Highness," Emerit replies to the King, inclining her head. "I… am not always convinced my brother's choice of ambassador has been a wise one, yet I am doing my best to live up to the high expectations of all." A warm smile will brush over the Moniwid's features when she is so amiably addressed by Caedmon, and she will shift her weight a little, clasping her hands before her. "Very well then." She smiles, her moss green gaze shifting to the King and then back again to the lord Chancellor. Her chaperone Valaria will linger somewhere at the back of the Throne Room, mostly ignored by her charge, yet she is present. Customs regarding young princesses at court must be followed even in this most royal of places.

"My initial offer? In the markets of my home there is the custom of starting at a very low price, anticipating the reasonable amount somewhere half way towards the high price the seller will demand… Yet I do not plan to insult you with haggling, my lord. Nor do I master it well enough." She chuckles softly. "So… the offer I will give to you will more or less reflect what is to be expected - a reasonable amount considering the size of our Isle, our navy and our needs to remain able to defend ourselves." Emerit's gaze flits down for a moment, her mien is thoughtful and she bites her lip. "Well. The House of Moniwid will offer you five ships, of the best and fastest kind that are built in our docks." Moss green eyes will move to Caedmon to study his mien, then to Callem, as she waits for their reaction.

When Emerit dismisses her qualifications for serving as ambassador, Caedmon shakes his head slightly. However, he waits until she has concluded her response. "Your highness, I must disagree respectfully with your claim that you are not a suitable choice for the task. You have conducted yourself honorably at court on all occasions. You choose your words wisely, and you eloquently portray the dignity that a princess should project." He pauses for a moment, takes a slow breath, and then he explains, "Count Aldren of Greenshire offered 10 well-built ships, laden with cargo from his lands, as dowry for my believed wife Wenna, who is a dear treasure to me and and a seal of alliance between his lands and the king. An alliance between your island and the great kingdom of Mobrin, which would offer protection and trade of far greater value, surely is worth more than five ships. Would you not agree to 15 ships and enough healers, apothecaries, and medical supplies to ensure that each keep in our land can fight such injuries, diseases, and pestilences as might befall for the next five years?"

Emerit will lower her gaze, a faint smile playing across the corners of her lips when she hears Caedmon's reply. When he is finished she will raise her moss green eyes to meet his gaze with a soft chuckle. "Did he?", she replies, looking amused and surprised at the same time. "Well, I heard Aberdeen offered 10 ships for Princess Ciarrah's dowry for her wedding with Crown Prince Tyrel. Aberdeen is far bigger than our Isle, and Tyrel is a Crown prince of good repute, whereas Prince Logen… is second in line." There is a flicker in her green eyes although she offers Caedmon a disarming smile. "No… There are other goods that will enhance the dowry, three small chests with pearls of our Grand Ducal treasure. The healers will not be offered as part of the dowry, but rather we would like to encourage an exchange of knowledge by inviting some of your healers to Rustles Island, while some of ours will come here." And after a pause she adds, her gaze shifting to the King: "And then there is that discount on our silks. I think all in all this will be sufficient enough to content the demands of His Royal Highness?"

"I think my demands will be contented when Baron Caedmon so thinks so, Princess Emerit." Callem replies briefly, without trying to interrupt them but just with the intention of not leaving the question in the air. "And you were talking of inexperience, Your Highness. I agree with my cousin, indeed. You are a good ambassador and a better royal."

Caedmon bows to Emerit when she parries against the thrust of his request. A faint smile of appreciation plays over his lips. "Well spoken, your highness," he agrees. "Indeed, your island is smaller than the realm of Aberdeen, and such gifts as you suggest would be welcome. However, would you retreat from your five ships to three?" He meets her gaze, steely gray testing moss green, and he questions, "Have you found something lacking since the beginning of this discourse that persuades you to offer less that with which you began? If not, would you agree to five ships, the three small chests of pearls, the discount on silks, and that exchange of learning between our lands?"

Emerit will shoot Caedmon a bewildered glance at his question. "Less than five? Why, no! That would be an insult to my sister, the Princess Draventa, as it would be to you. We are well aware that you can use those ships, so pray accept them. I do not wish to offer a smaller dowry than would be appropriate!" Her words come without thinking, and there is a slight tremble to her voice, betraying finally some uncertainty that would be expected of a sixteen-year-old as her under these circumstances. "The answer is yes. My offer was what Moniwid will be most willing to give. As well as our assistance and support in times of peace - and war."

Caedmon again bows to Emerit. He looks to Callem for a moment, nods, and steps closer to the princess to offer a warm, kind smile when she finally shows signs of uncertainty. "I believe that it is a worthy offer. With your permissions, I will prepare the contract accordingly before this evening is done," he announces. "Soon, your highness, we will discuss the arrangements for our alliance of knowledge."

Callem, very pleased and somehow surprised, gladly surprised, by Emerit, nods to both from the Throne.

"So be it. Princess Draventa Moniwid and Prince Logen Kilgour are officially betrothed, and the date of their marriage will soon be known. Meanwhile, I would thank you if you could let her know, Your Highness, and thank you for making this possible. I have thanked the Gods for the day you and your brother, the Grand Duke, arrived at Stormvale. Now, I wish you have a good and pleasant rest of the day. Princess Emerit. Baron Caedmon. I will excuse myself."

Some of the tension seems to leave Emerit, and yes, she has been tense! She offers Caedmon a relieved smile. "Pray do so, my lord Chancellor. I am glad we could reach an agreement." Her moss green eyes shift to Callem and she lowers herself into a deep curtsey. "Your Royal Highness. I am glad you think so, and yes, so happy to see that task my brother has entrusted me with, fulfilled." Her moss green eyes will follow the King as he leaves, while she will remain in the Throne Room and wait for Caedmon to prepare the contract.

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