(1866-08-25) Stranger Cousins
Stranger Cousins
Summary: Both seeking to escape the heat of the south in a bit of garden shade, cousins Eduard and Aidric meet for only the second time in their lives.
Date: 1866-08-25
Related: Business as Usual, Goblinproofing One's Chicken Coop, and Wise Choices
Aidric  Eduard  

Sunsreach Castle

The Interior of Sunsreach Castle is gorgeous, pristine and colored an earthly tone. These are regions that the sun has been allowed to touch, and the wood and stonework have faded with time but help give off a lovely glow. There is running water inside which help serve a series of gardens and numerous fountains about the area. A main guardhouse and barracks has been established for the soldiers, and the armory is setup next to a training area and stables for warhorses. A large arena has been setup for jousting and training, as well as a forge.

The castle is setup into three main blocks, with a large central area set off the main gatehouse which serves as the entrance to a grand garden with numerous fountains next to the main barracks. Staircases climb up the heavy, blockish walls to allow access to them as well as interior areas of the castle. High and joyous colors meet as one goes through the inner walls. This is a castle meant to enhance beauty as well as be ready for war. The central villa of the castle off the main gateway is the primary interior, where the administrative center of the kingdom is, as well as the throne room and storehouse.

The primary zones to the east is for living quarters for those who stay in the castle and help maintain them, as well as the inhabitants. Spanning up several stories, it is quite spacious with a network of intricately carved staircases and large central areas for those to gather.

The western zone is a work area, with a large central library and alcove, as well as a chapel for the One Faith within and a sanctuary. This area is also home to both the royal menagerie and the royal museum. The museum is a long vaulted building of two stories and vault below. The leaded glass fills the galleries with light and within various paintings and treasures of Rivana's past can be seen, including the bones of the last dragon. The menagerie, is a garden unto itself with pits holding a handful of rare creatures such as striped horses, lions, and other beasts.

Aout 25, 1866

It is midmorning, and the sun beats down mercilessly, at least upon those who are less then used to such heat. Eduard Farrant is certainly among that number, as he gratefully absconds to a shadowy part of the royal gardens, having just finished yet another utterly boring yet entirely necessary conversation with a group of lesser nobles and rich merchants. Even as he looks for a likely place to plop his noble arse and take a moment's respite, he starts to undo the top few buttons of his rather fine black and gold doublet that, while exquisitely and lovingly hand crafted, is far too thick for his liking just now. Normont blood always does prefer a cooler climate.

Sweat dots Aidric's brow as he enters the garden at a speedy clip. He was a northern by blood even if he had a southern soul, and so he too sweltered in this oppressive southern heat. He reaches up to undo the top button of his high-necked doublet only to find himself not alone. He turns towards the interloper only to smile slowly when he makes out who its, "Ah, cousin Eduard," he greets. "I'd heard you'd arrived," he says, though if he had he had very keen ears. "Welcome back to court."

Surprise shows on his face, it takes a moment for recognition to dawn on the Farrant lord, as it has been several months since their one and only acquaintance - and much of that has been lost to Eduard in the haze of everything that happened at the Battle of Blackstone. "Cousin Aidric," Eduard says, a bit awkward, the familial term far from familiar on his tongue. It would have been rude to call him anything else, after being called such in kind, but the discomfort is obvious. Nevertheless, the smile he directs the man is genuine, and he offers a spot next to him on a bench under a particularly shady tree as Eduard sits down himself with much relief. "I see that you had much the same idea as myself. How the denizens of Sunsreach manage to wear these infernal things," he says, gesturing tellingly to the sweat-stained color of his doublet, "year round is utterly beyond me."

Aidric smiles in return, though less sincerely, as he leans against the hedges to stay out of the sun. "Practice I suppose," he remarks to his cousin, noting the man's discomfort at the familiar greeting and from the heat. "But you should see them in winter, it's barely cold enough for wool and they shiver like the snows are piled up waist high," the smile takes on a bit of an amused edge. "So what brings you down here and in summer? Summoned by her majesty? Or personal business?"

"Yes, I caught a little bit of that in Avril when I was summoned by the Queen." Eduard says, though he does not elaborate, for although it is likely that Aidric knows well why the Queen summoned him - Eduard's legitimization - it is not a subject that Eduard seems willing to linger on. Instead, he turns to the purpose for this visit, upon which he will happily elaborate - if only because it comes with far less baggage. "Neither, actually. I am here seeking trade deals for my province. Which would be easier if we had more goods to trade or had access to water for easier transport, but I suppose that would be making it too easy for me." There is a light curl to his lips as he cocks his head towards this stranger of a cousin of his. "And you? Do you live here, or are you only visiting as well?" He knows that Aidric is not staying at the Gerrell manse as he is, but that is all he knows.

Aidric pats the sweat from his brow with the back of his hand. "Hm," he says of the Avril visit, he'd heard about it, it was hard not to given how much of an uproar giving the bastard a lordship had caused in Normont. "What sort of trade?" he asks, turning Eduard's way now that his brow was dry. "I might be able to help as I do live here and know a number of merchants."

"That would indeed be helpful," Eduard says, his gratitude genuine as smile broadens at Aidric. "I will admit to hoping to meet someone in the palace who could do me such a favor, but it took only an hour here for me to dispair of finding anyone capable of more then mouthing meaningless platitudes." Eduard obviously is not much used to court. "The main lifeblood of the Black Hills are the horses. We breed some of the finest riding stock in the edge, hearty and capable of great distances, though war trained they are not. Aside from that, there is a fair assortment of livestock, and that is about it." Running a hand through sweat-dampened hair, making it more disheveled rather then less, Eduard notes, "I have some hopes of expanding upon our livestock, perhaps focusing on sheep and the wool industry - but to do that I will require the capitol of a decent trade deal for what we do have."

Aidric chuckles softly. "Ah you're one of those them hmm? We have an oddly high number of people at court who profess to hate court, it seems you add another to that number," a smile then, this one much more genuine. "Fortunately I love court and I would be happy help you navigate it's waters and find you the sort of people that could make the sort of deals you need, and all for the price of one of those horses you mentioned." Aidric turns to regard his cousin, "Sound fair?"

"Guilty, at least in part," Eduard admits with a light chuckle to compliment Aidric's own. "If only because I am largely unfamiliar with it. I was prepared in the courtly etiquette as a child, but that training has gone largely unused in my adult years since, as a Paladin, I have grown more used to the company of the common folk. Now I find myself relearning it all anew, and being unreasonably resentful because of it." Despite his words, his storm-colored eyes twinkle with good humor. "As for the deal, I believe that suits. Certainly a fine and polished gentleman showing off Black Hills stock will serve as further advertisement, should such be needed." He offers out his hand easily, showing his trust and a deal struck. "Though we should meet for dinner some time this week to go over the specifics," he adds. "My advisor will want to meet you and weigh your assistance herself - I trust her in these matters more then myself, as I am still struggling to learn much."

Aidric gives a gracious nod. "Like any skill it takes practice and time," he says before adding with a wicked smile "Plus we courtiers like to change the rules from time to time just to make it difficult," he says joking but only just, the rules did change often but at least not due to any grand conspiracy he was aware of. He shakes Eduard's hand. "Very good," he says and there is a very faint raise of the brow at the mention of a woman advisor, and there is a spark of interest in Aidric's green eyes, still all he says in reply is "I would be pleased to meet the both of you for dinner, say where and when and I will do my best to be available."

The comment of a conspiracy draws the expected response, though the smile is a touch wry because Eduard has noticed that some of his earlier lessons have become completely invalidated in the court of Queen Alysande. "The where is likely to be the Gerrell manse, where we are staying," he says, focusing on the business end of the conversation now after the humor fades. "As to the when, I am only half in charge of my schedule, so I will hazard to say that tomorrow or the next day is likely, but we will send over an invitation this evening to give you plenty of warning." Rising from the bench he was sitting upon with a sigh, and rather regretfully buttoning up his doublet once more, he says, "In the meantime, I should say my farewells, for as I said, my schedule is not wholly my own and I must return lest my laziness be found out." Despite his words, there is little regret in following this supposed schedule, and a strong hint of affection for whoever has foisted it upon him.

Aidric grins when Eduard laughs at his joke. "Tomorrow or the next day?" he asks tilting his head slightly as if going through his own plans. "That should work, if you're at the Gerell manse then they'll know where to send word," he says before he straightens and brushes off his own doublet after leaning against the hedge. "I won't keep you then, but give my regards to cousin Tiadora when you see her, and do remind whomever it is that keeps your schedule that it is you not they who is the lord. It will make life much easier."

"Yes, but then I would have to pretend harder that I know what I am doing, and it is exhausting enough as it is," Eduard says, that spark of good humor blazing in force behind those stormy eyes. Inclining his head at Aidric, he considers this stranger of a cousin for one final moment. "I will admit, Sir Aidric, that my Uncle Trevor - Divine Father keep him - would be rolling over in his grave if he thought we might stand in good stead with eachother, you and I. I know of no better reason then that to hope that we might one day count eachother friends." And despite the obvious humor in his words, it has dimmed in his eyes, lending them a more serious note. "In the meantime, I consider this a most fortuitous meeting, and a deal well made. May the One keep you, Sir, and have a pleasant day."

Aidric smiles at Eduard's remark. "Then it is best left to me," he counsels with a nod. "And yes I don't think either Lord Trevor or my father would be happy to see us here, but then, that is reason enough to see it happen, wouldn't you say?" Aidric remarks and settles a hand on the other man's shoulder. "One can hope we will be friends, coz, but for now go in peace, and enjoy your time in the city, I promise it does get cooler by evening, even if it is not by much."

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