(1866-07-05) A Visit to the Grimwood
A Visit to the Grimwood
Summary: Tristan visits with Baroness Victoria Hogan to see what else he can dig up to help with the investigation of Baron Hogan's murder.
Date: 07.05.1866
Related: Anything related to the Baron Hogan assassination.
NPC  Tristan  

Greatroom, Blacklake Tower
See first pose.

The Grimwood lives up to its name: a dark woods with an aura of foreboding. After waiting for her guest to ease off his gatesickness, the Baroness offers plenty of food and drink as refreshment (especially since earlier he was unlikely to be interested in such). The greatroom in Blacklake Tower is furnished sparsely, only a long, heavy wooden table and chairs in the center, and a sideboard to the side of the room for additional foods and drinks; and a raised table much the same above the salt for the Baroness and her kin (and special guests, of course).

Baroness Victoria has no question about why the Queen's cousin would be calling upon her in the Grimwood, and so they sit, the two of them (with attendant guards and Tristan's ever-present Lancers hovering to the periphery of the room), dining lightly and chatting.

"I am to understand you are here regarding Robert?" she asks calmly. Her clothing is black, as it is apparent she is going through the social niceities of mourning, though her face is free of the evidence of weeping.

Tristan is dressed fashionably enough for an outing such as this. Though his clothing is for travel, it is still fine enough to be worn in many occasions such as these. He offers the Baroness a slight nod of his head. "First, let me thank you for meeting with me, Your Ladyship." Another nod of his head to indicate his thanks. "I have come here to ask a few questions regarding your late husband. Her Majesty has people looking into this affair in Sunsreach, and they are good people." This said as a reassurance that such an action is not being taken lightly by the Queen.

"As to why I am here.." He spreads his hands and offers a slight smile. "There are some things that I have… heard… while I was in Sunsreach. I am hoping that you may be able to provide additional information, or at least confirm or deny some of these things so that we can narrow the scope of our inquiries."

Tristan leans back in his chair and then crosses one leg over another, taking a more relaxed pose, hoping that the Baroness will be at ease by this. "First, I would like to know who might have intimate knowledge of your manse in Sunsreach, except for staff and guards, of course."

The Baroness frowns. "Family, of course. Perhaps allies of my husband— he did much in the way of politicking, though I am unsure as to how often he hosted gatherings." She opens her hands. "Ask me any question you need, your Highness. I simply wish this matter to be handled and the perpetrators brought to justice."

Tristan nods, having expected as much. Still it was good to get confirmation. He considers the woman in front of him for the briefest of moments and then asks, "There were whispers about a possible mistress. I do not mean any offense or seek to harm his reputation, of course, simply to know if these whisperings are true, or if it is some of the trite nonsense one sometimes hears around the court."

She considers his question, then frowns a bit and shakes her head. "I do not believe he had one," she says finally. "It is possible, admittedly— I spend much of my time here, and he spends— spent… it there." She sighs. "Not to my knowledge is the best answer I can give you, your highness."

<FS3> Tristan rolls Perception: Amazing Success. (5 7 4 5 6 1 6 8 5 3 7 8 5 6 7 8)
<FS3> Tristan rolls Intrigue: Amazing Success. (7 1 7 7 2 3 8 1 2 7 5 5 8 1 8)

Tristan nods slowly, his eyes wandering the room for several moments. A small frown creases his lips and he lets his linger on one portrait in particular. "Forgive me, but I cannot help but notice the portraits around the room. They are expertly done." He lifts a hand and gestures towards the portrait of Victoria, Robert and their children. "I suspect this one was done a few years ago? I only ask because the Baron looked older the last time I saw him." His language is rather deliberate, complimenting her without directly doing so. He smiles faintly and then meets her eyes. "I also cannot help but notice that you both have dark hair in that portrait."

"Yes," Victoria responds. "All our lives." She chuckles. "I understand it has become fashionable for some young girls to use dyes and tinctures to lighten their tresses, but I'm afraid the only lightening mine has done," and she gently touches her temples where grey is creeping into her hair, "has been to grey."

He laughs lightly, nodding. "Indeed, I have heard of some doing that." Oh, he has more than heard of it. Alina. "I am not sure if blonde hair seems to be a preferred color for some, or if they simply wish to stand out in some way." A light shrug and once again he gestures towards the portrait. "I also could not help but notice that your youngest son has blonde hair, has he succumbed to these new fashions as well?"

<FS3> Opposed Roll — Victoria=Deception Vs Tristan=Perception
< Victoria: Great Success (3 4 4 4 7 7 5 2 7 2 7)
< Tristan: Good Success (6 6 2 8 5 7 3 1 7 4 5 5 3 1 5 5)
< Net Result: Victoria wins - Marginal Victory

The Baroness smiles, though a hint of tightness pulls at the corners of her eyes for the highly perceptive. Alas, today, Tristan's perceptions are on other things, it seems. "Ah, no. My youngest never darkened. All three of my children were born blonde— oh, they were so sweet when they were small!— but they darkened around the time they started walking. Devram was special, it seems. He never did."

Tristan cannot claim to be an expert in such matters. Maybe she is right? Or maybe her mother was blonde or something. He gives the outward appearance of believing what she has said, though a part of him recalls the rumors he had heard. Were they simple court gossip or could there be more? Regardless, it was all he was going to get out of her, and pressing the issue would be incredibly rude, far more than he was being simply bringing up this particular line of questioning.

"The Baron seemed to be embroiled in the faction that questions her Majesty's decision to ennoble House Moreno and House Giraldi. I have never heard your name associated with that faction, so I assume that you never cared much for that, but did your husband ever mention anything about this to you?"

Victoria closes her eyes, thinking. "He's mentioned it a time or two. I thought he was being foolish wasting his time on it— the Queen will raise who she will raise, regardless of our feelings in the matter. But he chose to persist, and truly, if he saw it as the smart option, who am I to argue?" She shrugs. "I prefer to stay here, home with the books, and until they grew, the children. Court was more Robert's passion than my own."

"Ah." Tristan smiles at her, his eyes twinkling, "Now you have piqued my interest, and I -must- ask… do you really prefer staying here, or would you prefer to visit Summerseat?" He folds his hands on his lap before him, still smiling, allowing for that one question to break things up a bit before he continues. "Other than the court, what other passions did the Baron have?"

<FS3> Tristan rolls Perception: Good Success. (2 1 5 8 6 5 4 4 6 3 5 7 2 6 6 8)

Victoria's eyes twinkle back. "If I were not here, Summerseat does sound like a fine place to visit. I've been once— only for a couple of days, but it was lovely— so many books and scrolls. One would need a lifetime to even begin to read them all." She smiles at him. "Robert? Horseback riding, jousting, hawking, fighting." She wrinkles her nose slightly, then taps the table idly with her fingertips. "Hunting, of course. Anything where he could swing his sword, really."

"Yes, I have been there once and have been meaning to go back myself. I do wonder if they even know what half of those books and scrolls contain." Tristan chuckles, wondering how much those shelves might contain regarding certain… subjects, but those were thoughts for another time. He listens to what she has to say about her husbands activities, and he considers. "Ah, I see. I am sorry to hear that. In my own personal experiences, I have found that reading a good story about some people going hunting is a far safer thing than actually hunting." He lets out a sigh, shaking his head. "Some will prefer their more… inelegant hobbies, I suppose."

"True enough," Victoria shrugs. "But it is what it is. He was a good father and a good husband. It is the Cassomir blood, I'm sure," she says dryly. "Incapable of being anything less."

"And good at swinging a sword about?" Tristan offers up as a bit of a joke, mostly with how renowned Jaren is at using a sword. He then lowers his gaze and scans his memory for anything else he might want to ask. Finally, he straightens up in his chair and asks, "There are really just two more things that I would ask you, Your Ladyship. First, did your husband make any enemies that you know of? Not at court, but here within your holdings, or with other family members? Second, are you aware of why someone might want to have him killed?"

"No," Victoria frowns at the idea of it. "And no. He may not have been the brightest man, but he was a good man, if a little set in his ways. The children adore… adored him. And there is no reason I can think of that would cause any of our other family to find fault with him, especially not enough to kill him!" She shakes her head.

Tristan nods, and then rises from his chair. He steps over to her and then kneels before her seat, taking one of her hands into his. He bends down and kisses it lightly. "Know that you have my thanks and the thanks of Her Majesty for your help. I promise you that whoever is behind this will be found, and they will suffer the Queen's justice. We cannot have members of our nobility falling to assassins like this, not in Sunsreach, not in all of Rivana."

The Baroness nods, a touch of relief coming to her face. "Good, and I thank you, your highness, for taking a personal interest in this. My husband was a good man, for what faults he had— he did not deserve this fate. He should be growing old and holding his grandchildren." Sadness does cross her expression then. "Thank you."

Tristan rises to his feet and nods. "Of course, any man would wish to grow old enough to do such a thing." He goes quiet then, offering a faint smile. He thinks back on that letter that he wrote Alysande, curious as to how she would react to it. No matter, he would find out soon enough, he was sure of that. Turning back to the Baroness, he bows. "I will not take up any more of your time or your hospitality. I am sure there are things that you have to see to, and again, I do thank you for your time. You have been a most gracious host and a good conversationalist. I do hope you take the time to visit Summerseat again in the near future."

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