(1866-08-08) An Unexpected Introduction
An Unexpected Introduction
Summary: Tristan meets Elaida for the first time.
Date: 08.08.1866
Related: None
Elaida  Tristan  


Tristan is dressed very formally right now in an outfit of dark green with golden threads forming decorative patterns on his sleeves and right down the middle, highlighting the golden buttons that have been etched with the dragon of House Tracano. Despite the fact that very few are present at the moment, he feels a certain amount of… tension? No, more like nervousness about what is to come. This wasn't like meeting some lady that one would woo and then go bed for the night before leaving in the morning. It certainly was not like turning on the smile and charming some common woman into bed. No, this was something entirely different.

So he paces. Back and forth, limping and leaning on his cane as he has become accustomed to doing when there are those who are outside a small circle of trusted confidants. Back and forth. Back and forth. The cane thumping on carpets and floors with each step, likely annoying the hll out of others that are with him.

In his mind there were a number of thoughts… was this Elaida woman going to be pretty? Or hideous? Was she going to be charming? Or a cold and calculating witch who would be equally as cold in the bedroom. Because that would be entirely unfun. There was still much about her that he should have found out, but instead he had gone and buried his head in the sand and never really asked his cousin much about the woman. A mistake? Probably, but he wasn't going to admit as much.

The party of Toulans and their associates had arrived several hours before,but had been given ample to time wait out their gatesickness. The Baron had disappeared into Alysande's private office with a trio of retainers, two of whom were female. Perhaps one of them was she?

But another trio awaits in the same area as the Prince, two women and a man, the latter with the attentiveness that marks him as a guard for sure. The younger of the two women is fairly lovely to look on, though not the most lovely. Though perhaps she is simply a servant… she is dressed in fine linens, but without any hint of embroidery or frippery. Too nice to be a normal servant— perhaps highly placed? Too plain to be a noblewoman, at least one who has spent any time in court.

Tristan continues his pacing, back and forth. Sure, he's given the Toulan attendants a bit of a glance here and there, noting the different people in attendance. What was taking everyone so god damned long? Finally he pauses and glances around the room. There were only a handful of people here but still, may as well be gracious to those who had travelled here from Sanctum or Pacitta or whatever.

"My apologies, I am… preoccupied." He says to the trio. "Would you care for any refreshments? Wine, or water? Or even bread and cheese to settle the stomach after gate travel?" The words are polite and his tone formal. He glances over to the one Royal Lancer in attendance, the man who has come to follow Tristan around more often than not (that poor, poor bastard). The two exchange a look and then the Queen's cousin is glancing back at the trio of Toulan attendants, awaiting an answer.

<FS3> Elaida rolls Charm: Great Success. (7 1 3 7 1 4 5 3 2 3 8 8)

The man and older woman exchange a look, then look to the younger girl, as if taking their cue from her.

The young woman smiles winningly at Tristan, not sure who he is but responding to his kind offer with kindness in turn. "Thank you," she replies softly, "but Her Majesty has already seen to that. We were quite well taken care of during our gatesickness. She is a very wonderful woman." She frowns a touch, glancing towards the door. "I do hope that everything is going as well as possible," she says simply. "It would do no good for anyone to have any disagreements."

slight frown appears on Tristan's features as he notices the older woman and the man look at the younger girl. That girl steps forward and speaks and he raises an eyebrow. "Oh?" He turns to face the door to Alysande's office for a moment before turning his attention back to the young woman. "Yes, well, I cannot speak for what might be going on in there, but my cousin is quite accustomed to getting what she wants." A faint smile there, it's meant as a bit of a joke even if there is a lot of truth to it.

He lets out a sigh and then taps his cane on the floor several times before glancing over to his Royal Lancer. There are comments he wants to make, but they would be in bad taste. For example, had he known it would take this long until he would meet this Elaida woman, he would have just stayed in his room until summoned. But no, here he was waiting like a couple of servants. How bothersome.

"I am sorry for the wait, again if you wish for anything, simply let me know."

"I am sure she is," the young girl replies with another gentle and genuine smile. She blinks, and then shakes her head slightly. "Where are my manners?" She offers her hand to him. "I am Lady Elaida Toulan, cousin to the Baron and daughter of the Vice-Chancellor of Pacitta. Well met, my lord."

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

Tristan blinks when the young woman gives her name. -This- was Elaida? But, but… she was dressed as a servant! He catches himself, attempting to mask his surprise more as astonishment that the woman had not been in the other room with Alysande and her father rather than surprise that this was indeed her standing here dressed so… so… plainly. He straightens up and then puts his 'bad' leg forward, and putting his cane in a good position in order to make a formal bow before her, even closing his eyes as if he is wincing.

Still bowed, he speaks. "Lady Elaida, it is my pleasure to meet you then. I am Tristan Tracano, Prince of Rivana, cousin to Her Majesty, Queen Alysande of Rivana, and her most loyal servant." He holds the pose for several long moments and then straightens, taking a step forward to take her hand in his and lifting it up to his lips, brushing them lightly on her fingers. Though he seems quite poised, his hand is trembling slightly. Letting her hand go, he takes a step backward and smiles. "I am quite surprised that you are out here and not in there, Lady Elaida."

A faint blush tinges Elaida's cheeks at Tristan's courtly bow and the kiss upon her hand, though she smiles anyway. "As surprised as I am to be meeting you out here, Your Highness," she replies with a soft laugh. "I suppose they thought the details of the contract may not be of interest to either of us— and likely not." Her eyes skim his form quickly, frowning a bit at the limp.

"You've twisted it?" she asks. "Or is this a more grave injury?" Her tone is suddenly businesslike and concerned, her attention on his 'injured' leg. "Perhaps I will see what I might do to tend to it later— whether this contract goes through or not." She gives him a quick smile. "Does it pain you much, your highness?"

A faint smile and Tristan shrugs his shoulders. "Perhaps you are right, even if such details impact the two of us in such a large manner." Shit. The idea that he was talking to his future wife hits him and he has to process that for a few moments before her question registers with him and he looks down at his leg.

"Oh that?" He points downwards. "Twisted? No." The particulars of the story… should he reveal them or no? Oh no matter, most of it was public record anyway. "My friend here…" He gestures to the Royal Lancer. "… and I had a disagreement with the former Duchess of Normont and a couple of her men. One of them decided that it might be a nice gesture to lodge a dagger in my leg, but we returned his gesture and took the Duchess captive."

Her face pales a little, "And you still limp? One's Mercy on you, I hope it did not not heal incorrectly," she murmurs. No, that he is her future husband hasnt quite sunk in, for the moment he is a potential patient.

She looks up to his face and gives him a reassuring smille. "Whatever it is, I will be sure to care for it properly, your highness."

"Only sometimes." Tristan says, truthfully. Granted it isn't quite the truth that he should be telling her, that will come later, but the statement is still true enough. "The healers did what they can, so I do not fault them for it." He shrugs, and returns her smile. "We can discuss it some other time though."

He goes quiet for a moment and then licks his lips, asking, "I have a gift for you, would it be alright for me to give it to you?"

"A gift?" Elaida replies curiously. "It would be impolite of me not to accept, your highness." Still, she does not break from the formality, though her tone is cheerful and warm, she refers to him by title only.

"I am afraid I was not expecting an exchange of gifts, though," she admits.

"Hrm?" Tristan asks, as he steps closer to her, his hand going to his pocket. "An exchange? Oh, nothing of the sort." He offers what he hopes is a reassuring smile and then removes his hand from his pocket, the hand pulling out a chain of pure gold. At the end of the chain dangles an egg-shaped locket made of silver and gold, the metals gleaming in the light of the room. Wrapped around the egg is a dragon with rubies for eyes acting as a protector of the egg.

"It is a locket, it is empty right now, but you may put whatever you wish into it. It belonged to my mother, and I believe that she would wish for you to have it." Also his Uncle might have said something in the moments before his death about finding a wife and gifting it to her, but that need not be said.

Elaida takes the necklace gently, her cheeks scarlet. "I thank you, your highness," she says softly. "So, you are sure it will be so then? The contract signed?" She will wait to put the necklace on until they recieve confirmation of such, though.

She dips into a polite curtsey as well as she thanks him. Elaida smiles warmly at him. He is as charming as expected, though she has made a point to keep herself at a distance, as best she can, from him lest he try and use those charms in ways she was unwilling to bend to.

"As I said earlier, what Her Majesty wants, she usually gets, so I am sure that since this is what she wants, this is what will come to be." A faint smile. "I could be wrong though. Regardless, I have accepted that this is what will be, and I admit I am somewhat relieved by it all."

"Relieved?" Elaida asks curiously. "I would have thought… well, with your reputation, that you would have been adverse to being 'tied down'," she notes with a small laugh. "I was worried, I admit, that you were to be quite upset at the possibility the One has given us."

"Yes, reli…" Tristan blinks, pausing. "Wait, you have heard of me then?" He may go a little pale at that, not realizing that maybe his behavior has gone -that- far and wide. Well, maybe he realized some of that, but it's never been something he has given -that- much thought over. Sure, he has worried about it, but well, it was what it was. Anyway, where was he? Oh, yes.

"Yes, relieved." He repeats, this time finishing his thought. "Alysande told me nothing about you when she mentioned this, and so my first thought was to worry over that you, well, that you might be some drooling idiot. I am quite relieved that you are not, and that you are also quite beautiful. As to being tied down? Perhaps it might surprise you, but I was the one that asked for Alysande to go ahead and find someone and start making arrangements." He shrugs, again, it was what it was. And hey, she wasn't a hideous troll so things seemed to be on the up and up. So far.

A frown crosses Elaida's face. "The One has offered us this chance to expand and brighten our community. Whomever we end up wedding, however they may dissapoint us— a marriage is a blessing of the One, not subject to the simple desires of mere mortals. If I had been less than I am, it would have been a blessing by the One, that He felt you were capable of handling someone less blessed in looks or intellect…." She sighs softly. "The One gave us this opportunity, and we should be grateful for it. I am grateful, whatever differences you have from what I expected in the man I would marry. I cherish the differences and thank Him for giving me a chance to learn and experience something different."

Whatever he might have expected, the words that are coming out of Elaida's mouth are not what he would have ever expected to hear in his life. He begins her little tirade with a slight smile, charming in nature. Then his lips begin to straighten out. Then frown. Then at some point he is simply staring at her with his mouth slightly agape.

Finally, he shakes his head, trying to clear it and asks, "Who did you expect to marry?"

"A paladin… or at least a templar. A godly man." Elaida shakes her head slightly. "But my thoughts were based in what I expected as a mortal. The One has a different plan for me," she says simply. "and I embrace it."

"So you are not disappointed then? I am neither a Paladin nor a Templar. I am not even a knight." He shrugs. "I am well aware of the political reasons that my cousin has for arranging this marriage, and I will do all that I can in order to do my duty to House Tracano and Rivana, that much I can assure you."

Elaida offers him a bright smile. "How could I be disappointed? If the contract is signed today, then it means the One intends me to be your wife. Together we will cleave to each other and expand the community of the One."

Tristan's expression becomes a little wary. This was more talk about the One than he had been exposed to since hearing Symon's crazy mother rant on and on about the One. And that had been the most talk about the One since well… a long time. Oh what would Alina think if she were here today? What would Alina think about this once it was announced?

"I… I am glad you are not disappointed. I know that I must seem like a rather poor option for any lady, given my, uh, past indiscretions. I am trying my best to put my past behind me, but yes, we will make the best of things and do what we can for the future of Rivana."

Elaida beams. "And I will do what I can to help you in this," she says cheerfully.

Tristan sighs, she might have said she would do whatever she could to help him move past his… past, but she did it in a very cheerful tone of voice, and she just finished going on and on about the One. He resists rubbing his face with his hand and shakes his head. Clarification, yes, that might be nice. "What do you mean by that, my lady?"

"Well," Elaida says warmly, "I will be a good wife to you. You will not need to worry about wishing to stray." She hesistates a moment, but reaches out to place a hand on his arm. "If there is ever any concern or fault you find, please, speak to me of it. Together we are strong, your highness. Your past will not matter. Only our future."

The Tracano's eyes roam over Elaida's face attempting to find any sign of deception, but nothing seems to be there. Was she being honest? Well, that was something. He doesn't acknowledge her hand on his arm, no, he feels that if he does nothing will be there, a figment of his imagination.

"El… Lady Elaida, I do not wish to stray. It is my intention to take this all very seriously and be faithful to you, but you are right. Honesty is important, and if there are things that I do that displeases you, I would ask that you let me know." Though hopefully she does it in a fashion that does not end with her preaching to him.

"Then it should be a good match," Elaida grins. "The One provides for us both. I do hope we will both find happiness together, for good matches should always bring happiness, even if strangers at first."

"Perhaps." Tristan says, a little less sure of it all. After all, this was his first time speaking to the girl. He was going to indeed make every effort to be a good husband, but he likely would make mistakes. "It would please me to find a bit of happiness." And worry the hell out of him too. He had bad luck when it came to such things.

"How long will you be staying in Sunsreach if the negotiations go well, my lady? I am sure there will be much for us to talk about. I know so little about you, for one thing, and I would like to know more."

Elaida looks less sure about that. "I… I do not know. My cousin told me to pack for a long stay, just in case," and she looks a little unsure about that! "But I would not wish to impose on the Queen's hospitality any longer than she wishes me to be here."

Nothing Elaida's response, Tristan smiles and nods. "Worry not, you will not impose on her hospitality at all. I am sure she will want to get to know you as well, and of course, there is my cousin Clara. I am sure the two of you would get along nicely. I can show you around Sunsreach too, if you would like. Perhaps even spend a day in the city?" The last is more of a question than a statement. "What sorts of things do you enjoy doing, my lady?"

"Oh." Elaida looks a touch embarrassed. "I'm a healer. I like music, and stories— listening to bards recite old tales… Warren the Monster-Slayer," and she blushes a bit, "Lyonal and Sinesse, the Dread Pirate, the Goblyn King and his Goblyns…"

She coughs a bit and looks away. "But yes, I would love to see your city. If all goes well, it will be my home one day, after all."

The healer part he knew about. Music, okay that was fine. Stories? At first he starts to smile, but then Lyonal and Sinesse. He loses a bit of his color at that, his mind turning back time to when he and Alina had dressed up as those characters for a Masque.

He quickly clears his throat and nods. "There are a number of bards that come to Sunsreach, so I will have to inquire about procuring the services of one for a bit of entertainment some evening. You are right though, if things go well this will be your home. More than that, of course. You will have to get used to others calling you 'your highness'." He grins at that, as it had been something he had to get used to as well.

She blushes doubly at that! "Oh. Oh, no, I hadn't thought of that…" she stammers. Her hands move to her skirts and her hands twist the fabric slightly. "And you would do that?" she asks in a happy tone. "You would bring a bard to perform for us one night?"

Tristan tilts his head slightly, smiling. "Oh?" He laughs at that and at her stammer. It was rather… cute. "Well, you know that if you marry a Prince you become a Princess, yes?" His tone is amused as his grin. "To answer your question, yes, I would have the best bard in all of Sunsreach come and perform for us, if that is something you would like."

"I knew it," she replies, "I just hadn't really… thought about it." She smiles at him again, blushing more. "And I would really like that, I think, getting to watch a bard's performance. I haven't seen a decent one in a few years. School has taken most of my time."

"You are very pretty when you blush like that." The words are out of his mouth before he even realizes he was going to say them. He stares at her for a moment, blinks, and then grins a little sheepishly. "My mouth can sometimes get me into trouble, my apologies, Lady Elaida."

He had to shift gears here, think about something else. Ask something else, say something else. "I will see about a bard then, if there are other things you would like to see and do, you only need ask. I may be busy with affairs of the realm from time to time, but I will still do whatever I can to make your time here as pleasant as possible."

"Do you have any thoughts on that, your highness?" Elaida asks curiously. "I would like you to enjoy our time together as well."

"There are some very pretty gardens here that are quite lovely to walk through." Tristan says, just to start, though at the back of his mind he wonders how she felt about being called pretty. "I could take into the city and we could go have a meal at one of the finer dining establishments or see some of the entertainment there. I could take you shopping as well."

"Oh." Elaida blushes again. She doesn't want to respond to his comments on how pretty she is— she doesn't want to encourgae less than chaste lines of thought. Not yet. Not now.

Gardens! "Oh! How lovely, gardens. Do you know much herblore? I've been a student of it, since so many are useful for healing." She smiles. "As for dining or shopping— whatever you wish to do, your highness."

She doesn't need to encourage or discourage those types of thoughts, that's just how Tristan's mind works. Though he will not try to go there. For a while at least. "I know very little of healing or herblore, I am afraid. My studies were less, ah, botanically inclined I am afraid. I learned more about statecraft and court and other such matters." He gives an apologetic smile but shrugs, "You can teach me some about herbs if you would like. The only thing I can really tell anyone about flowers or plants is which one is pretty to look at and which one smells nice."

"Perhaps I will," she grins. "Though I am not much of a teacher."

The door to the office opens and the Baron Toulan departs, gesturing to Elaida to follow him. "Ah! I must go, your highness… perhaps dinner, later?" she asks hopefully.

Tristan glances over at the door opening, and he gives the Baron a polite bow before glancing at Elaida and nodding. "Yes, I would very much like that. I hope you enjoy your stay in Sunsreach, Lady Elaida." He smiles after her and then glances at the door, wondering what news Alysande might have, or if he might be better off going back and getting some work done.

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