(1866-08-07) The Knight and The Fool
The Knight and The Fool
Summary: Tristan and Jaren talk about Alysande and local events.
Date: 08.07.1866
Related: None
Jaren  Tristan  

Private Garden, Sunsreach

Late afternoon in Sunsreach Palace finds the Viscount Jaren Cassomir seated on a bench in one of several small private gardens that dot the "royal" area of the Palace complex. Why this particular garden? Because at this time of day it's mostly shady, providing some tiny degree of respite from the summer sun of Southern Rivana.

The Viscount wears no particular finery at the moment, simply breeches, boots, a loose-fitting creme-colored shirt, and of course his swordbelt…just in case. He's somewhat idly poring over a few pieces of inked paper, a mildly thoughtful expression on his face. Even his squire, Liam Haldis, appears to have been sent off on some errand, and for the moment not so much as a servant interrupts him…though certainly there are several within the range of a slightly raised voice ready to attend to whatever he might ask for…something he's still getting used to.

Tristan has been spending much of his time pouring over papers he has scribbled on, attempting how best to put into words part of his plan for his cousin Aidric that could explain things better than "Go be a whoremonger" without expressing things in a detailed enough manner that even a simpleton could understand what he was getting out. In the end, he decided that it would be better for him to talk to Aidric in person than to put anything down on parchment and have it delivered. To many risks associated with that.

He makes his way out of his rooms after a while, having noted the time and deciding it might be best if he went for a little walk before going and having food and then a bath brought to him. His meanderings see him limp into one of the gardens, though he notes the servants and guards that have been posted around. A part of him braces for another confrontation with his cousin, but instead he sees a rather plainly dressed Jaren sitting there.

Pausing, he takes a moment to straighten out one of the sleeves of his coat. It might seem strange that a man who has been spending so much of his time away in his rooms is always so well dressed, but that was Tristan for you. "It is good to see another appreciate the solitude and comfort that this particular garden holds." He smiles faintly and then gestures to the papers. "Though it is best enjoyed if you leave your work behind."

Jaren glances up slightly before Tristan steps into the garden, setting the parchment aside and rising to his feet to offer a bow towards the man, "Your Highness." He offers the man a small smile, glancing to the papers and chuckling softly, "Not as much work as simply being informed. Messages from Ironhold. Primarily my brother chiding me for spending so little time there prior to my wedding." Jaren settles back down on the bench now that courtesies have been performed, murmuring quietly, "He's probably right." But whatever discontent that brings, he shakes it off, looking over towards Tristan and raising a brow, that touch of a smile still on his features:

"Seems you and Lyssa had a bit of a row?"

Tristan waves off that honorific with a small hand-gesture and a smile. It was unnecessary, especially given that Jaren was going to be king sooner than later. Still, he nods at the news from Ironhold. Not unexpected, and probably something that the Viscount will need to see to sooner than later, though he was confident things were in good hands with Lady Raelyn at the very least. The last catches him a little off-guard.

"Lyssa!?" He almost bursts out laughing at that. Instead, he grunts out a laugh and shakes his head. "Yes, yes, I suspect she is quite upset at me…" He sighs, taking a seat on another bench, placing the cane between his legs and resting his hands atop it. "I am not sure what she has told you, but it was regarding her news about finding me a wife. She was most displeased that I would even bring up the notion of having several options and picking one that was both pretty and smart."

"If you haven't heard that name before, probably best you don't repeat it unless she tells it to you." Jaren notes, rather nonchalantly, though. "Some of us that knew her when she was still a child…it was the name she preferred among her friends." Jaren shrugs a shoulder, then watches Tristan intently as he explains, nodding a bit as he concludes, "That roughly sums up to what I gathered from her ah…talking through the problem." By which he likely means ranting at no one in particular while he listened.

"She has asked you to potentially shoulder a burden, and she knows it." Jaren's quiet a few moments, then notes, a bit reluctantly, "I suspect that should your bride-to-be prove to be…truly abhorrent in some manner…Alysande would not begrudge you dalliances beyond the marriage bed, so long as they are kept discrete." He quirks a half-smile, "But perhaps fate will, for once, be more kind, and your bride be a bright, beautiful, and kind woman. Don't give up all hope."

Jaren's explanation of the nickname is responded to with as much stoicism as Tristan can manage, though there's the hint of a small frown at it all. He begins to drum the fingers of one hand on the handle of his cane as he mulls some of this over. "It is not the shouldering of a burden that I care about, not at all. In the grand scheme of things, marriage is not much of a burden, as you have pointed out, dalliances are always an option should the lady drool incessantly each time she opens her mouth in order to speak."

Tristan draws in a deep breath and then lets it out slowly. "No. What truly bothers me is that Martyn gets to marry a woman who is a Tracano by-blow for love more than anything, and then she gets to marry you, more for love than anything, though there are other benefits." He gives the Viscount a slight smile and raises a hand. "Not that I begrudge her that, I suggested it after all. No, the thing that bothers me the most is that when I approached her about this very subject last year after I had found love, she said that she would at least look into it, among other things, and then did nothing."

"She has all of these notions about who and what Alina is. Yes, her family has its reputation, and yes, Belladonna Farrant laid waste to one of our noble houses…" He shrugs, shaking his head. "I do not blame that woman for what she did in a war that was full of despicable acts on both sides."

"Martyn needed a wife that would be loyal, and that would not be inclined to veer Rivana towards the nature of Couviere in regards to the Church, should the worst have happened and…Alysande perish without heir. And he needed someone with whom he would ah…work diligently to continue the line. Johanna met all those criteria." Jaren replies, "I'll not go any further to claim it was a strong political match, and she knew it at the time. But it may also be worth noting that of her cousins she knew Martyn least. He fought for her in the war, and spent some smattering of time with her as a child, but…making him happy also kept the fellow that was one sword-stroke away from the throne happy with her." Jaren's tone isn't lecturing or admonishing, simple re-iterating what he knows.

"I won't say you don't have a right to some resentment, but you're an intelligent man, Tristan. One of the brightest I've seen since Arturo, unless I miss my guess. Between the matter of Belladonna…which marked the first of the despicable acts, I would note…and the events occurring at the time, particularly in regards to Clara…you have to know what it looked like…" Jaren sighs, "I spoke well of those qualities of Lady Alina I could attest to, but even those would not have precluded an elaborate scheme by the l'Saigner to seize power in Couviere. Through you. Or Clara…whoever would be left standing once Alysande and Martyn were out of the way. I do not say I believe it was so…but that it would not have been difficult to come to that conclusion in that time and place, and I think you know that too." He adds, "To say nothing of the uproar it would have caused among the other vassals."

"That is all well and good." Tristan says, sighing, "Martyn is his own brand of problems, and yes, I can see the why of things, but Alysande has to have realized that I would have at least brought up that particular subject given all of the times Martyn has tried to lecture me about duties and morality." He goes silent then, his fingers drumming on his cane's handle, his attention on nothing in particular. There were a number of things going through his head right now, and he wondered what might be the problem.

"I understand all of what you have said, I have for a while. What you have said was never the issue though. Try to look at things from my own perspective. It all comes down to trust. She did not trust me with Alina. She did not trust that I would do the right thing should Alina, or her family, try to use me to gain power in either Couviere or Rivana." He shakes his head, sighing.

"It is not resentment, or anger, or anything like that. It is disappointment. I am disappointed that she could not have simply told me no right then and there. Would I have liked it? Probably not, but I have been told a number of things in my life that I have disliked, it happens. I would have been able to have some time to break things off with Alina in a different manner, to have steeled myself against all that came with that… but no that was not what happened."

Again he goes silent, even bowing his head a little as he considers how best to word things. "I think what makes it all worse is that had I been told no the moment that I had inquired about it, it all might have been different, it all might have been easier." Tristan closes his eyes. "Yes, disappointment and loss. My two favorite friends." He breathes in a long breath and then slowly exhales it.

"Everytime I have something, I lose it. I am not entirely sure what I might have done to anger the One in such a fashion, but that is how things are. Alina was the last in a long line of such things for me to lose and in some ways, the hardest." A slight shrug and he leans back into the bench, opening his eyes and staring upwards. "I am sorry you are sitting here listening to me go on and on, but there are some things that I have held onto for far too long."

"I don't mind. I had someone there to listen when I faced my own losses. I know the value an attentive ear can hold." Jaren replies, looking towards Tristan, somber, "We've all faced great losses. Lost people we love. Whatever yours and Alina's fate, she is alive, as are you. That is more of a mercy than some have received. It may be small comfort, but small comfort is better than none at all, is it not?" Jaren rises to his feet, moving over and briefly clasping Tristan's shoulder, "You may not have influence in Couviere, but you will have it in Pacitta and Sanctum. This is no small thing Alysande is trusting you with…and I would daresay that matters with Alina were less about a lack of trust in you, and more so a lack of trust in the l'Saigner. And given the timing of her betrothal…it would seem the Duke had it in mind for some time…it may have been a futile effort from the start."

Jaren shakes his head, "But that's neither here nor there, I suppose. Alysande does trust you, Tristan, you wouldn't hold the position you do if she didn't, and she wouldn't be using you to gain an important political alliance." He tilts his head, "And I would note…until you gave her indication otherwise, she did not unduly pressure you to marry, as I recall…If she had no regard for your happiness, do you think that would have been the case?"

Tristan nods, offering an appreciative smile to the man. "Yes, I am comforted that she is alive and that the man who will be her husband will at least see to her safety." He shrugs, that thought wasn't exactly comforting, but it was true that at least Alina was alive. There had been a bit of time when he had thought otherwise and that had actually felt really bad.

"Influence in Pacitta and Sanctum, hmm?" He shakes his head. "I have never really sought out influence, or power, or titles, or anything really. Some might call it a lack of drive, or even a lack of ambition, I do not care either way." He never really asked for much either, hell him asking to marry Alina had been the most he had asked from Alysande since she had become Queen. "I will wed this Elaida woman, and I will do my best with her and I will do it because she asks it of me, and because she is the only family I have left that I truly care about." Especially since his Uncle died. No, he didn't want to start thinking about that.

"And perhaps you'll do it because Elaida turns out to be perfectly acceptable." Jaren notes, adding with a touch of a grin, "Don't discount the possibility, after all." Jaren grows more somber, adding after a moment, "I never wanted to be anything other than a Royal Lancer. Perhaps one day even a Lancer Sergeant. It seems the world often has different plans for us." A bit of a rueful cast touches his smile at that, "It is a curious thing…to both be grateful for and to simultaneously regret the events that bring us to the know, but I suppose it is the same for all." Particularly in Rivana, it would seem, where few were left untouched by the Succession in some way. Whether during that conflict or in the mercifully brief but no-less terrible insurgency that occurred just in the past year.

"I didn't know your parents well, Tristan. But I knew Arturo Tracano better than many, and I think he would be glad to see you here at Alysande's side." Jaren smiles, more openly and brightly at that, if with a tiny touch of sadness for a mentor remembered. "I believe there is greatness still to come from you. Even if it may be the manner of it that few ever recognize…I know she will. Even if she may not always admit it in so many words."

"Perhaps she will turn out to be perfectly acceptable, perhaps she will not. I am not about to judge her just yet." Tristan admits with a small smile. "Though would you not agree that it might have been nice to have at least seen a portrait of her?" He's not yet ready to give up on the idea that he may be extremely disappointed with Elaida's appearance among other things. Such were the ways of nobility at least.

"I am surprised that you did not know my father better, though I would be more surprised if you actually knew my mother. She died when I was very young." Though from what his Uncle had told him of her, he regretted that very much. "My father would likely be proud of me that I am supporting his neice, though less proud of some of the other things that I have done in my life." He chuckles softly as he stands up.

"Greatness or not, I do not seek fame or fortune or anything of that nature, I simply just want to find something good and hold onto that. Maybe that will happen, maybe it will not. Still, I hope." He stretches backwards, popping a few vertebrae and then nods, "I am sorry for running my mouth for so long, but I do thank you for listening."

"I met him several times, but I was often protecting Alysande while he was conferring with Arturo. Matters often took us in different directions." Jaren explains as to not knowing Tristan's father well. "Arturo trusted him, that much I know, and I can think of few higher commendations as to ones' character." At the last bit, Jaren shrugs a shoulder, "It's quite all right. I'm a Royal Lancer after all. We're quite accustomed to standing about listening to nobles blather on about how difficult their lives are without complaint." Jaren's tone is mock-dismissive, but there's just enough of a grin to betray the jest for what it is. A touch of deadpan humor, as it were, "But you are welcome, Tristan." He gestures towards the exit from the small garden, "I'd best track down Liam and make sure he's gainfully employed. Perhaps I will see you at dinner?"

"It could be worse." Tristan offers, smiling. "You could be a Royal Lancer who had to deal with my constant womanizing. You know, I suspect some of that might be why I have never had that one fellow… what was his name… that Bazan fellow… oh, no matter. He seemed a personable enough fellow, but somehow he has never been my escort for a day. A shame, I think we could get along quite well." He nods and smiles. "Yes, I will be at dinner. Until then, have a pleasant day." He offers the Viscount a nod and then steps out of the private garden.

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