Alasair 10, 228: Two Princesses By Spin Doctor

Two Princesses By Spin Doctor
Summary: Princess Roslin Kilgour and Princess Emerit Moniwid finally meet.
OOC Date: 28/08/2013
Related: A Change of Rules and Negotiations, among others.
Emerit Roslin 
A haven of serenity amidst the rush of the castle, the salon is designed as a place for relaxation or socialization. A hearty fire burns in the massive, marble fireplace, throwing a russet glow across the room. The walls are divided top from bottom with pale wooden paneling above and lapis marble with silver veins shot through it below. Several armchairs, a couch, and a loveseat are set around a beautiful table for an intimate tete-a-tete, the furniture finely made of deep mahogany wood with blue and silver cushions. An azure rug covers the center of the room, but at the edges the dark wood of the floor can be seen. A side table holds tea, coffee, wine and several small hors d'oeuvres, and desserts.
Alasair 10, 228

On this late morning there is little activity in the Salon of Darfield Castle, the room being governed by a small group gathered around a fiery haired young maiden. Princess Emerit Moniwid sits on one of the comfortable seats, a dress of fine dark green satin accentuating her slender form, the garment of plain cut but exquisite fabric and most competent making, with no adornments present except perhaps for the belt of silver chains shaped like tiny snakes about her waist. The girl looks bored indeed, her left elbow resting on the arm of the chair, her chin placed onto the back of her hand as she lets her moss green gaze wander a bit restlessly about the room, while a plump woman in her forties standing beside her is engaged in some sort of lecture, delivered in the shrill tone of an enraged chaperone. ”I must insist, your highness, that you never sneak off like that again. It does not suffice if Yulanda accompanies you, no, it is of utter importance that your guards and I are present at all times.”
She turns in her seat, her arms crossing before her as the princess gives a demonstration of her natural grace, her young body twisting without the slightest effort to have her moss green eyes flit to the tall horse-faced girl standing behind her chair. “She is my handmaiden, the only familiar face left to me,” Emerit then responds, pushing her lower lip stubbornly forward in a pout, her gaze now back on the chaperone, her tone firm yet with a tinge of sadness to it. “Whereas I do not know you, Mistress Valaria. A fact I see no inclination to change, given what I’ve seen so far of your character.” One brow is raised before Emerit’s fiery red locks bounce about her as she shakes her head. The two guards in Kilgour livery standing at the wall, her official personal guards and inofficial watchdogs, are ignored for now.

It’s not hard to locate a princess in the castle - particularly when that Princess is a very special … guest. Particularly when the one seeking is a Princess in her own right. The Princess Roslin is becoming a more familiar sight, slowly but surely, around the castle. But to Emerit, she will likely be a stranger. A discering eye, however, will make sure the foreign woman knows who Roslin is. She wears a heavy brushed cotton silvery-blue dress, accented with cap sleeves in the heat. It is embroidered with leaves and vines in a darker purple, muted but charming with its class. Her hair is pulled up in a crown of red braids. She does not move alone, but has her own handmaiden and her own guards in tow.
The redhead walks with a poise and a grace likely to match Emerit’s own at least, raised all her life to know that every movement should be a work of art. As she approaches, her hands clasp lightly in front of her navel. She observes Emerit for a moment, then turns her attention to the Kilgour woman. “Thank you,” Roslin says, as though ending a conversation that had previously been ongoing. “That will be all for now, madame.” With that dismissal, Roslin is able to focus on Emerit. With a soft smile, she lowers her head, and then her body in a graceful little curtsy. “Your highness.” She greets, waiting a moment before rising.

Whatever fierce retort Mistress Valaria had already felt on her tongue, it dies down when the chaperone who has been in service of House Kilgour for as long as she can think notices the entrance of one of the princesses, and especially this paragon of sense and good breeding. The woman’s mouth twists into a smile as she lowers herself into a curtsey, her head inclined in reverence to Roslin. “Your Highness.” She retreats to a place near the wall, allowing for more privacy while still staying close enough to watch over Emerit.
The Moniwid princess however moves swiftly to rise from her seat, her long slender fingers brushing over her skirts to have them fall properly. Her moos green eyes sparkle with curiosity as they linger on the girl that seems to be of similar age and of a similar colour of hair. And sensing the Royal presence as if with a sixth sense of hers – yet the retinue the clothes and the reaction from Emerit’s chaperone speak for themselves, the Mist of the Island lowers herself into a deep curtsey and greets with all politeness she can muster: “Your Highness. I am pleased to make your acquaintance. I am Princess Emerit Moniwid of Rustles Island.” A politeness that is sweetened by a most delighted and intrigued smile.

“”The pleasure is all mine, your highness, I assure you,” Roslin promises, letting her hands once more rejoin each other when she is standing straight up again. She casts a side glance to the chaperone, and her smile widens just a little, becoming almost playful. “I do hope you will excuse our dear Valaria,” Roslin says, looking back to the Princess and speaking slowly, almost conspiritorially. “She has a good heart, but it is a heart that loves her duty more than all other things. And it makes her so very /serious/.” After a moment of polite pause, Roslin gestures to where Emerit has been sitting. “May I join you awhile, Princess? I do not wish to interrupt your calm, if you would not wish to be disturbed, but it is so very seldom that we get visiting royals here so close to me in age, gender, and color of hair.” A quiet little joke, that, by the tone.

Emerit’s head turns a little to the side as she casts Valaria a cold glance, then her demeanour is all amiable again when her gaze is back on the Kilgour. “Do I have a choice?”, she inquires, her tone light and conversational and her brows raised a touch. “And that heart you speak of though…” – her gaze flits downward momentarily – “…She seems to have hidden that from me most capably.”
Obviously most eager to accept Roslin’s offer to join her, the Moniwid nods with a surprised chuckle. “Pray do so, your highness. All this ‘calm’ as you call it is almost too much for me to bear. So any interruption would be most welcome. You must be… a sister to Princess Caillin then?” The jest about the colour of hair is met with another delighted chuckle, before Emerit resumes her seat from before.

“Caillin is my sister, yes. I am quite pleased to know you are aquainted with her. Though I suppose it is Baroness Caillin, now, that she chooses to go by. Since her marriage.” Roslin moves to sit most ably, her maid bringing up a seat to make sure that the two women are close enough so as to not be very overheard, but far enough away to be appropriate and polite. “She is a very sweet girl - too much heart, I have sometimes thought. She feels every emotion most passionately. While Mistress Valaria…” Roslin trails off, looking over at the woman with a fond smile and tilting her head just so. “She is the sort of woman who keeps it warm and safe inside of her, so as to protect it, I daresay. Being a woman in the world is often difficult, I have noted, and we all have different ways to survive it. But in the end, we are all women in this world together. And when our men are off with their jousts or their drinking, the companionship of each other is all we may have at such times.”

“Acquainted, yes.”, Emerit replies with a modest smile to Roslin’s remark about Caillin. “I’ve met her here and there, yet I wouldn’t proclaim I know her. She does indeed seem the emotional sort.” She looks amused for a moment, almost, adding: “It is what my dear half-brother the Grand Duke often says about me.” The memory of Mantilo brings a thoughtful look to her face and she lowers her gaze, her hands folding before her in her lap. “I have heard about your sister’s marriage, your highness. May it bring her happiness.”, the Moniwid Princess adds after another moment, her expression still pensive. Her moss green eyes come to settle on Roslin as she tilts her head to the side in an inquiring manner. “Your brother, the younger prince is betrothed as well already?” The smile on her youthful features now merely a hint, she sits there attentively awaiting the Kilgour Princess’s reply, her fingers thoughtfully entwined with each other.

“I am so sorry to have missed making the aquaitence of the Grand Duke when last he was here,” Roslin says, quite openly. “Please do let him know that upon his next visit I shall look forward to remedying that misfortune.” Her hands remain folded on her lap as she sits, perfectly straight-backed. She turns her head for a moment toward one of the handmaids. “Tea, if you please.” And just like that, she’s back to the conversation.
“Logen? Yes, the Prince Logen is currently betrothed. It was announced quite recently, as I understand.” Roslin sighs a little, giving the other princess a little frown. “You must forgive me, your highness. I have been this last year in Lakeshire, studying trade and economics and shipping. Much of the news that you have heard here of late is news to me as well.”

“Oh, he is a great man,” the Mist of the Island admits, her hand moving up to that snake pendant from her necklace that had been obscured by some of her untamed red locks so far. A fond smile spreads all over her face, while those moss green eyes take on a sad expression. “I miss him, and… I miss my home.” Another confession, that leaves her lips before a low sigh of hers. But it takes only a little cough from behind her seat from her handmaiden to make the Moniwid regain her composure at once. “Ah yes, he would have been pleased to meet you I am sure. Mantilo is proud, a ruler of a realm, just like your father. In fact he was trying to arrange a betrothal while he was here, though sadly, there became naught of it.“
“You seem not very pleased about the fact, if I may say so, your highness…?” Emerit comments with hardly concealed curiosity on Roslin’s frown when she speaks of Logen’s betrothal, “Are you not pleased with the match…? Indeed… the choices your House has made recently are… hard for a simple mind as mine to understand.” Bold words they are, that leave Emerit’s lips, yet offered in all honesty.

“I have heard that there were previous discussions - at least according to court gossip.” Roslin admits with a bit of a blush. “My brother and father have been so busy with everything that’s going on, I confess I don’t know much about what has transpired in my absence.” The maid returns with tea, and Roslin takes hers and holds it over her lap, just so.
“But I can say, because I know my family so well as I do, that was has transpired here regarding Logen was not done with malicious intent. My father and mother are honorable people, and if not for other events would likely have continued these discussions regarding my brother in as good faith as I am sure were your half-brother’s offers of alliances. Alas,” she sips her tea again. “Things happen beyond our control, sometimes.”

While Emerit listens to Roslin’s reply a sweet smile appears on her features at the blush. “You speak almost as if you could have prevented it…If you had been there.” she comments with light amusement. “And yes I am sure the King’s intentions were honourable, yet his actions too slow for as impatient a soul as my brother. And so he travelled all the way back to Rustles Island. Leaving me here…” Emerit pauses, her eyes looking thoughtful again. She hesitates, as if pondering adding some remark when she hears Roslin’s final comment which makes her break in melodious laughter.
“Things happen beyond of our control. I have made that observation as well, just lately. Those things can lead to an honourable guest turning into a captive, a pawn in a game of higher ambitions.” Her tone has taken on a slight bitterness, and another chuckle follows, albeit less cheerful. “Oh how I am tired of these games, your highness. I am sure you are aware of your father insisting on my staying here.“ She lets out another sigh. “And the reason for it…” The circumstances of her being kept at Darfield suddenly weigh heavily on her, almost threatening to break that cheerful façade of hers. Shaking her head a touch as if to get rid of her frustration, the Moniwid raises her gaze once again to meet that of the Kilgour, managing a polite smile. “So… you’ve studied at Lakeshire?” she offers, trying to steer the conversation into less troubled waters.

At that, Roslin lets out a soft little laugh. “No, your highness - quite the opposite. I am saying that from what little I know, I do not think it could have been prevented. But diplomacy, as many things, is a slow game, as I am told. Though,” She smiles again. “I admit not having much knowledge of it, myself. I am the youngest daughter in a large family - that is why I studied in Lakeshire, yes. Trade and economics - I wished to be able to bring some service to my family.”
The woman sips her tea again in thought. “As I have said, Princess, I do not know the nature of what has brought you to this place in time anymore than I know what has brought war upon our people. I would not pry into such matters - but I would ask one thing of you, if you would permit me.” She takes a moment, again sipping her tea and letting the flavor linger on her lips before she speaks. “If our roles were reversed, and you were sitting in your home now where I was the visitor, and circumstances were otherwise all the same - what would you do? Or, more importantly, what would you advise me to do, in those circumstances?”

The slender fingers of her right hand rest on the snake pendant, as if it could lend her strength and assurance while Emerit listens again to what Roslin has to say to her. The question though makes her pause for a moment, and with her gaze turned inward she uses the time for contemplating her reply most carefully. “If you were the ‘visitor’? I would try to persuade you to help me. To help the Grand Duchy. By analyzing what lead to the situation, and what can be done to resolve it. I have offered your father this advice already, and he did not ask me for my assistance. Apart from writing to my brother to inquire on those recent developments. Recent… rumors seem to proclaim that Moniwid has joined sides with Laniveer. The main goal must be to persuade my brother to take up negotiations again. To offer him the one thing he asked for and was denied.”
Air leaves Emerit’s nose as she exhales audibly, and after a short moment of hesitation she adds: “This pawn your father fancies to have in his hands now, your highness, may not weigh as heavily as he expects. I might be a princess. But I am the lowliest of the Grand Duke’s siblings, and even more, only a half sibling. A bastard, the late Grand Duke brought home with him from his travels. Mantilo may be fond of me, but if the fate of Rustles Island demands it, he will obey the needs of his lands, regardless of what his heart tells him.”

Roslin listens, curiously. Toward the end of the woman’s discussions, her brows furrow. “I’m afraid I don’t necessarily understand how Rustles Island is threatened by my father,” she says, a little apologetically. “I do not recall any war with your family - merely the Laniveer, who have brought war to our shores. If your brother has taken up with the Laniveer, I should think that we should be the ones to fear you, your highness. If you will forgive me for saying - perhaps there’s something there I don’t understand.”
Roslin finishes her tea, and hands off the cup with a nod to the servant. “I did say that I would not pry, though, but I must ask, I am curious. What is it that your brother did not receive in the negotiations? Was it the hand of my brother?”

A chuckle escapes Emerit once she notices she has expressed herself awkwardly. “Forgive me, your highness, I had assumed you wanted to discuss the hypothetical situation of our roles being reversed. Rustles Island is by no means threatened, and I pray to the Three Beasts this will remain the case. “ She hesitates, before she leans a little in to Roslin, allowing for even more confidentiality of the words she has to offer. “I received a reply from my brother,… yet it contained little information. It was so vague that I doubted for a moment that he had written it himself in fact.”
Another moment of hesitation follows before the Mist of the Island continues: “Apparently the rumors are true, I’m afraid. My brother… has abandoned me here. And perhaps angered by those negotiations dragging on for too long, he has found new allies. I assure you,” this offered with a look of worry and concern, “this is my assumption, pure speculation. My brother has not confided in me. As for the thing he wanted… A bond between our Houses, a marriage. I have two unwed sisters, and two brothers, and yes, Mantilo is one of them. Although he didn’t exactly offer himself to your father as a future son in law, I think this a path worth considering. Especially,” she offers Roslin a playful yet mischievous wink, “since there are still unwed and eligible Princesses around.”

Roslin leans forward to continue discussing with the Princess, and she can’t help but giggle a little at her final statement. “You do me an honor undeserving me, your highness. From what little you have said of your brother, he sounds like an upstanding, honest, and just ruler - much like my father. I am sure I would be unworthy for such a man, simple young girl that I am.” She sits back, then, tilting her head a little as she looks over the Princess in thought. “Besides, if he has found new allies, he may well have already taken a Laniveer bride. In which case, to marry into the families would likely be near on impossible. But … for the sake of peace, your highness, surely there must be other agreements upon which your country and mine can become friends? After all, I think we might be quite a bit similar, through our hair and otherwise. I would hate to think that something like this would be able to come between two whole countries.”

“I have to respect your modesty, your highness. Yet you have that royal blood that is needed for our House’s refinement. And I agree of course. How many summers are you? If you are below the age of seventeen, I am sure that we could agree on a betrothal lasting for as long as needed until you reach that age. But forgive me, I am not in the position to arrange betrothals, I am merely presenting possibilities.” Although all this talk and the illusion of playing the game of politics does amuse Emerit quite a bit. She offers Roslin a delighted smile.
“And there are certainly other ways. Or there have been, at least. Until the fluffed up egos of the rulers of realms have complicated matters.” She gives a playful snort. “Bah, men. How much easier things were probably, if the affairs of states were handled by sensible young Princesses as you and I.”

“You really do me too much kindness, your highness,” Roslin says, her cheeks flushing pink at the praise. “And sometimes I think you are right - no one ruler can handle each and every problem on his or her own. But…” Roslin reaches forward to set her hand over the Island Princess’ own hand, in a reassuring gesture. “Perhaps the two of us may still yet find a way together to avoid all this.”

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