(1866-09-15) Drinking in the Afternoon
Drinking in the Afternoon
Summary: Tristan, Aidric and Symon drink in the Tracano manse. Many subjects both light and heavy are discussed.
Date: 1866-09-15
Related: None
Tristan  Aidric  Symon  

Tracano Manse - Pacitta

The Tracano Manse dominates the bank of the Grand Canal near the Great Bridge with its edifice of pale green stone, tall arching windows and beautifully carved statues of dragons, some of which are covered in gold leaf. Entry to the manse is managed through either modest landward entryway or by a more grand set of doors on the canal, serviced by a small jetty. Regardless of the entry used, security is tight when the royals are in residence.

Inside visitors are treated to the customary opulence of the house Tracano. The main floor is airy and taken up chiefly by spaces meant for amusement. There is a grand ball room, lit by chandeliers and with tall windows looking out over the canal as well as several withdrawing and music rooms for more private gatherings. At the manse's center, a garden, beautifully landscaped with fragrant rose bushes, centered by a fountain of coiling stone dragons spitting water.

The upper two floors are given over to the family and their retainers. There is a study, a small library and several small offices, as well as large and lavish living quarters complete with antechamber, bath, and views of either the courtyard or the canal, or both in the case of the royal chamber. Entry to these levels are tightly controlled.

Septembre 15th 1866

It is the afternoon after the Free-For-All, and Tristan has sent messages to both Symon and Aidric to join him at the Tracano Manse for the evening. Sadly, the events of the day before would not merit a celebration, but there were plenty of other things to talk about and to drink to.

Tristan is seated at a table in the gardens at the center of the manse. Nearby is a fountain with coiling stone dragons spitting out water. A nice little reminder of the symbol of House Tracano. As Symon and Aidric arrive, servants direct them to the garden and to where Tristan is seated. He stands up, smiling at his two friends. "Welcome, welcome. I know this is a bit different than what we used to do in the old days, but I thought a bit of privacy might be nice this time around. Ah, and here comes the first bottle now." Sure enough, a servant approaches carrying a tray with three glasses and a bottle of Tracano Red. Several moments later, three glasses are laid out, one in front of each of the men. When the servant is gone, Tristan picks up his glass and lifts it into the air. "To old and true friends." He takes a long sip and then smiles. "Sit, sit. I am sure there is plenty we can talk about."

"To old and true friends," Symon echoes, taking a drink of the wine. He slides his lanky form into his seat and grins at both Tristan and Aidric. "One's mercy, it's been some time since we've done this. Let's agree not to let it go so long before we quaffs drinks with each other again, eh?" He scratches idly at the rough stubble on his chin.

"How's soon-to-be-married life treating you, Tristan? I saw your woman at the party… pretty girl. Sanctum, though?" He shudders, remembering his own mother's constant prosthelyzation. "Hopefully she hasn't got you saying your prayers morning, noon, and night."

"Old and true friends," Aidric echoes as he raises his glass. The knight had been feeling unwell earlier, missing the free-for -all, but now at least seems somewhat recovered in the company of both friends and wine. "I have said to much about Elaida already, so you're on your own Symon," he remarks with a bit of a smile.

"Yes, she is very pretty, and yes, I too worried over the whole Sanctum bit, but…" Tristan shrugs lightly and shakes his head. "Alysande wanted a connection with that family, and so she gets what she wants. It is not all that bad though. She seems to be that level of pious that makes people want to be helpful and kind and not the fire and brimstone believe my way or get on the stake."

Aidric's comment causes Tristan to give his cousin a look before snorting. "Your point was accurate, just your delivery might have been a little softer." He takes another sip of his wine, and then explains for Symon's benefit. "Elaida has very little experience at court, and Sunsreach is a large change of pace for her. I have been trying to ease her into things."

Symon snorts in response. "'Ease her into things'… like your bed, I'm sure." He smirks. "Not that I'd fault you. And it strikes me as strange she'd look for a connection with Sanctum, but likely I'm not seeing the whole picture as she is." He shrugs and swigs his wine.

"What trouble have you been getting yourself into, cousin?" Symon elbows Aidric. "Tristan's trouble is always with what lady he has wrapped around him, he's a simple mark. You are often more entertaining."

"You've just been in Normont too long. The politics make sense, the Toulan are a Sanctum family yes, but Elaida's father is also the Vice-Chancellor here. So, two binding Elaida to Tristan gets Alysande influence in both places," Aidric, the non-genius of the three explains with no small degree of smugness. He does give Tristan a little frown at the mention of the words, "She had to learn it sooner or later," he says, "Though like that and at the gate was probably not the best time and place," he admits.

"What do you mean?" he asks Symon. "I've barely been here long enough to cause any real trouble." He takes a deep gulp of wine.

"Yes." Tristan admits with a smile. "I may have already eased her into that a couple of times." He glances between the other two for a moment before remarking, "I may have been a simple mark, but I am afraid that my days of running around will be coming to an end. I have promised Alysande that I will take this marriage business quite seriously. And maybe that is a good thing." He takes another sip of his wine, shaking his head. "A woman came by Sunsreach not long ago, a woman from Normont, claimed to have my daughter with her, though she left before Alysande could speak with her. It might be true, it might not, but I think that Alysande would prefer me to father more trueborn children than bastards."

Symon lets out a low whistle. "Your miscreant ways are finally catching up with you, coz," he points out to Tristan. "Though perhaps 'congratulations' is the right thing to say? How is your future bride taking news you might already be a father?"

He takes a drink of wine. "…and how in the Abyss has it taken you this long to sire a bastard? Aidric's already done that— how is Casella, by the by?" he looks to Aidric. "And how much belief do you have our cousin will put aside his wandering ways for this woma of his, however pretty she may be?"

Aidric looks to Symon, "Yes, I think congratulations would be more traditional," he says giving the man's arm a swat he says to Tristan, "That is one of those things that's easy to promise but hard to keep," he says before giving them both a sharp look "Yes I've actually tried staying to one bed," he adds before the talk of bastards begins.

"Casella? Fine, learning to draw now. But this woman Tristan, which one was it? There were a few if I recall back when we were in Normont."

"She did not seem all that put out with things. Actually, she commented on how she would like to start having children as soon as we were wed." Tristan says with a bit of a grin, though the grin falters at Aidric's question and he shakes his head. "I do not know. I knew nothing of all of this until Alysande informed me of it. It may well be some woman trying to get some coin, or it might not, it is hard to say without more evidence one way or the other."

"Though now that I think on the matter of marriage and children… I have been meaning to write you Symon, but I want you to stand by me at the wedding." Tristan finishes his glass and then pours himself some more wine. "Would anyone else like more?"

Symon holds his glass forward for a top-off. "Stand with you? Of course." And there's political gain in doing so, he knows. But even if there would not be, he'd do so. They were old friends, after all.

His glass, once refilled, is brought to his lips in consideration. All this talk of weddings has him briefly thinking of his own plans and plots in that arena, though he is not quick to volunteer information about it. "I should send Casella something. A doll, perhaps. I know your family isn't entirely thrilled you'd wound up with a bastard," he shrugs at Aidric, "but I'm glad you recognized her. It's only the right thing to do." A lifted brow at Tristan… perhaps a question as to Tristan's plans with his potential bastard?

Aidric snorts. "I'd ask why not me, but I'm not a duke and made your bride cry," he says before raising his cup to Symon. "Congratulations. Though, if you're to be wed, and you ought to be soon given your position, do try and remember me, won't you?" he says with mock pleading, before he has a long pull from his glass and puts it out for more. "I owed it to her mother," he says of legitimizing Casella. "She does like dolls, just make sure my father sees you send it, anything to make him think of me as someone entirely unsuitable for wedding off to his allies."

"Oh Aidric, the decision was hard, and it is nothing against you or what you said. I would not hold such a thing against you. No, there is more to this than friendship." After all, things might be entirely different had Symon's parents not decided to go absolute nutters and cause so many problems for everyone, including her own children. Still, Symon's silent question also deserves an answer. "Would I recognize the girl? If she is my daughter, yes, of course."

Tristan leans back in his chair, considering something for a few minutes. "What do you all make of this peace agreement? I suspect that Pacitta is growing worried over the thought of Rivana and Couviere trading with one another directly more and more instead of using them as an intermediary."

"Likely. They gain coin from continued animosity: trade, mercenary companies, the like. Peace isn't profitable." He shrugs. "I look forward to it. I have… well, my own plans, and I cannot work towards them if we are at war."

"I wasn't actually upset, I understand your reasoning, it will be good to let the people of Sunsreach see the other side of the Gerrells," Aidric says before adding to Symon. "Though your sister is doing a good job of that by the way."

The thought of the treaty, earns a nod. "Yes, this peace business isn't going to be something the Council likes, I expect they will do what they can to delay things. As for myself, I welcome the peace and the sort of quiet warfare that comes with it."

Tristan gives Symon a glance and asks, "Have the l'Fausts come to you yet? I have heard a rumor or two that they are interested in a match with either your house or the Greycens. Honestly, I feel your house would be preferable given how many benefits House Greycen has enjoyed as of late. Best not create problems for the future." He nods over to Aidric. "I have been trying to design plans on having Aidric become the Lord of Sunfall, though I admit that I am being selfish in that regard. Though I think you would be an excellent choice for that particular piece of Rivana." He says to his cousin with a smile.

"Letters of intent," Symon replies with a way of his hand. "If I can send Rhea north to the Couveri and remove her from Normont all together, I will." His dark eyes glitter with intensity. "She presents many small problems for me every day that make my plans harder to implement than they already are."

"Lord of Sunfall?" Symon chuckles. "A terrible place, surely. What melencholic stories can our cousin come up with if he's in such a beautious place, coz? Are you intentionally being cruel?" He is teasing of course, dryly sarcastic.

"Agreed, a match with Ostvor would be a good move," Aidric agrees with both of his cousins. Then adds, "Also it would leave the Greycen girl for you, Symon. They'd make better allies than the Haldis," he says.

He sits back then to sip his wine which proves to be a mistake. "What?!" he exclaims nearly spitting wine over the table. "Cousin. I. What?" It is safe to say Aidric is entirely stunned.

"Ah, I thought as much, and I agree. Rhea going to Couviere would be a boon to you and to your own plans, though I am not sure if the Greycen girl would be the best match for you. Couviere has another Princess, but there are other options to." He raises a hand and waves it away. "Though if we start walking down that path we might as well wonder who would be a good option for poor Aidric over here." He winks at his cousin and then sips his wine, amused by Aidric's response.

"Oh yes, Lord of Sunfall, I was going to tell you as much, but then again our conversation was interrupted by Alysande that one day. The overall idea is that you would be Lord of Sunfall, but also take over a number of responsibilities that the Abara have, so in essence you would lead the third syndicate house. The Moreno have been ennobled already, and the Silva will be next. The Abara? They cannot become nobility, we both know that."

"Syndicate…?" And Symon's expression becomes the wolf-like one. "Dear cousins, it seems you've left me in the dark. The Moreno are Syndicate? And yet our queen ennobled them the same? And you both seem to be enmired in criminal enterprise?" He laughs, draining his wineglass. "How interesting. Come, come. Tell me of your wicked plans then."

"Really? Since then?" Aidric asks when Tristan brings up the discussion they were having before they got the news of Tristan's impending betrothal. This was going to take a good deal of re-thinking about where he and Tristan stood. There is a slight nod at the mention of the Moreno being Syndicate. "Yes, they're very good people to know, we'll introduce you," a pause and a slow smile. "They will be my neighbours after all." He takes another sip of wine just to get the giddiness out of his system. "Anyhow, besides the obvious personal reasons now, agreed the Abara can't be nobles. Has there been any ideas on how we can deal with them? I believe the last time we talked we still needed proof of their crimes."

"Ah, you didn't know?" Tristan asks Symon, curiously. "Well, no matter, it is true and yes, she ennobled them as they have served House Tracano for a number of years, and were instrumental in helping keep Alysande out of Anton's hands." He pauses, flling up the wine glasses once again. Once that is done, he continues. "The plan was simple. Ennoble the Moreno and encourage them to develop further mercantile endeavors, do the same with the Silva and make use of their alchemical skills. The Abara? The plan is to wipe them out and then give Aidric control of their network of brothels to be used as an intelligence gathering apparatus… among other things. It would help Aidric maintain a comfortable life style, and likely put his wealth at around that of most Barons, or even some Viscounts. As to the Abara? It is still a tricky thing and something I have given much time and consideration to, but I cannot act without the Queen's consent. Not yet anyway."

Another low whistle escapes Symon's lips. "Playing with fire there, cousins. But what else are we to do? The Abara… what is it they've done to earn such ire from you, Tris? You seem fine and well with these other Syndicate sorts."

Aidric blinks again. He hadn't expected the 'whoremonger' plan would be that profitable. He sits back silently and drinks his wine, nodding when Tristan says it's not time to move against the Abara. "I understand. When we strike, we can't miss." Symon's question is left to Tristan to answer.

"The Abara were used by Anton to assassinate a number of Tracano's loyal to Arturo and to Alysande." Tristan says simply, feeling that is clear enough for Symon to understand his point of view.

Symon swears under his breath. "Assassins? And here I thought tonight would be a night of wine and light conversation." He drums his fingers lightly. "I would offer what help I can, but my resources are limited. Half my duchy thinks I've gone mad, and the other half are dragging their feet."

Aidric frowns when the truth of the assassins is spoken. "He never told us about it before hand," he says in his own defense. Though when Symon speaks of the Duchy, Aidric asks, "And which half does my father belong to?"

Tristan reaches out and puts a hand on Symon's arm. "It is okay. I know you would, but I also know that you have your own matters to see to. If anything it is I who should be asking you if there is anything that I can help you with." His eyes flick to Aidric for a moment, his eyes showing concern. He can guess the answer to that question.

"Your father?" Symon snorts. "I believe he thinks I'm simply young and afflicted with the madness of youth, and intends to wait for time and good, gruff, fatherly advice to put me back on the One's path." He scowls. "I'll bring them out of the dark ages and into the light with the rest of the nation if it takes me my entire life."

Aidric makes a face. "Typical," he says of his father. "There is a chance to forge a new Normont before him and he wants to cling to the past. I'd offer to speak to him for you Symon, but that would not have the desired effect," he takes a drink then. "And good, our homeland needs that. I will help where I can."

Tristan puts his glass of wine to the side and then rests his head into his hands. "I… I really do not undertand some people. How much can they continue to cling onto the church after what has happened. A goddamned cardinal tried to ruin both Rivana and Couviere. And I do not even know what his motive truly was."

"If you mean the people in Normont, they've always held that their way was the purer way, so if anything a 'foreign' cardinal's fall only goes to strengthen their point, though, how they excuse their own faith after Sunsreach though…" he shakes his head. "I have no idea."

"You make a good point cousin." Tristan says, rubbing his forehead. "Damn. I wish there were an easy solution to all of this, but no. A lot of this will take time and patience, especially time to wait and see what the Church might do. Already I have heard murmurs that there is bickering in the College of Cardinals and that the nobility of Sanctum is enjoying a degree of, ah, freedom."

Symon lifts a brow. "Well, I am sure there will be ways to take advantage." He considers. "I intend to have the gate at Falconhome unearthed," he says seriously. "And soon."

"I've heard the same thing," Aidric says. "And that the church's attempts to repair ties damaged by the Cardinal's schemes have been largely rebuffed, so, while Normont remains stubborn, perhaps others see things differently. That said, I do not oppose the Faith per se, they have their uses." The news about the gate brings Aidric's eyebrows up in surprise. "That shall ruffle some feathers, coz, how soon is soon?"

Tristan offers Symon a smile. "I suspected that the gate at Falconhome would be important to you. I am already drafting letters to the Archbishop to move forward in that regard."

"Within six months. I also plan to push for the 1867 Circuit Tournament to be held in Falconhome, so before the Rivanan tournament." He gives a wry grin. "Tournaments bring coin, but also people. Outsiders 'invading' under such a well-loved guise may prove helpful to me."

He nods to Tristan. "Thank you, coz. That will be quite helpful."

Aidric grins. "Clever," he lifts his cup. "Here's to invaders then."

"A fine plan, Symon." Tristan lifts his own glass. "Let's just hope that a goddamn Rivanan can win it."

"To a Rivanan Champion," Symon says with a lifted glass, "Invaders, and all our wicked plots coming to fruition." And he drinks to that.

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