(1866-09-21) Baubles, Betrothals, and Barbarians
Baubles, Betrothals, and Barbarians
Summary: Justin and Tiadora discuss various cultural and religious aspects of their lives.
Date: 09-21-1866
Related: Of Family and Favors
Justin  Tiadora  

Marcat - Pacitta City - Pacitta
The Marcat is the main sales district of the city. While many of the other areas of the city have small marketplaces where merchants sell their wares, here is the main market promenade by the docks where things are sold from the ships. It is moderately sized but very properous, benefitting from Pacitta's prime central location on most trading routes. Guards are bribed to look the other way, monopolies are enforced by strongarm tactics, and wares are frequently stolen. Districts often may change 'hands' overnight in who holds the strongest influence in a sector. It makes for particularly interesting games to keep track of whom is owed a tariff and customs. However, the market does well enough, and rarely breaks into open violence. The groups that divide up the turf understand that to make money they have to sell things, so long as they get their cut.
Sep 21, 1866

The cool fall breeze blows through the Marcat, catching at cloaks and the longer hair of ladies who leave it unbound. The lanterns are well lit to provide plenty of light to the district, as many a merchant still peddles their wares to the visiting crowds. Many of the ships have closed, but food and trinket still are hawked to travelers and passersby.

The pleasant scene has drawn the round figure of Tiadora out to sketch, capturing a boat and her crew as they go about unloading their wares for evening sales- bales of raw goods and lumber to go elsewhere in the city before daybreak. Her two guardsmen stand at stern attention neaby while she does her sketches.

Moving from one of the stalls is a dark-haired man with piercingly light blue eyes. Spotting the young woman sketching Justin offers a respectful bow befitting her position and says, "Greetings once again My Lady." in a polite tone as he passes. He doesn't linger as he hasn't been invited, but neither is he in any great rush.

Tiadora smiles shyly at the familiar voice. "Oh! Good evening… Sir Justin, wasn't it? The engineer." She recalls that as she looks up at him. "I did't see you in the match. It was busy and crowded enough, though. Very exciting to see."

Justin nods and says, "You remember correctly My Lady." as he halts his path and turns to face the Lady nearly half his age as she has addressed him directly and adds, "One is not always able to put forward a noteworthy performance. While I was speaking in humor before, seems I may well have been out of practice for too longer in my duties at Valetta. It is good you enjoyed the show, perhaps next tourney with permission from your father you may offer your favor to one of the knights. Perhaps your father or brother even if they take part." smiling softly.

Tiadora turns a somewhat whiter shade of pale as he says 'father.' She looks down at her sketch work and hesitates a moment. "My brother is the Duke of Normont, and would not participate himself due to his position. Our father was killed during the civil war," she says meekly, unable to look up at him.

Justin offers a respectful bow and says, "Forgive my assumptions My Lady. I sought to bring you no pain or discomfort." in an apologetic tone.

Tiadora tries to smile as her dark-blue eyes turn upward. "It's not your fault, my lord… I wouldn't expect you to know of the troubles of the South."

Justin nods and says, "I know of the civil war you have suffered, though I admit to not knowing your Houses as well as my own kingdom's lands. That said I am sure your brother would permit you to offer your favor to any knight deserving, whether of your family or otherwise." offering a reassuring smile, or at least as much of one as he can manage.

Tiadora goes from white to blush pink as she giggles. "I doubt it. He's very protective. The party the Tracanos held - he came down fairly rough simply because I was talking to a friend, the Lily Knight. I may give one of my cousins a favor though. I never knew what a complex business it is! And how the gift can speak volumes of relationships. So very complex…"

Justin nods and says, "Best to stick to ribbons for now I would say. At least till you are betrothed with such a protective brother." offering a kind smile.

The girl nods at that. "Ribbons or handkerchiefs, I think, are acceptable. But ribbons would be more appropriate. I'm still only sixteen."

Justin nods and says, "Handkerchiefs can hold many meanings, better to stick to ribbons till the time comes for you be ready for other favors My Lady. It is good you have a good head on your shoulders and learning of these things now, instead of making gestures that could imply more then you intend." smiling in approval.

Tiadora shakes her head slowly. "Oh no, I wouldn't want someone to think anything that's untrue. All of my cousins who are in the tourney are already wearing favors- as is my friend… but perhaps for the off circut tourney at home. Or in a few years if my brother hosts as he hopes to."

Justin nods and says, "I bid him luck in his efforts then. I am sure one of your cousins would wear your favor, so long as they are unwed and a Lady does not catch their eye." winking good-naturedly.

Tiadora bites her lip as she grins. His easy-going manner seems to have put some of her anxieties at ease. "My cousin Lord Aidric catches every lady's eye. But he is wearing a favor for a friend's betrothed, since he isn't riding himself. I was surprised, really, to see him wearing it. Oh!" She brightens, putting dimples in her round cheeks as she smiles. "Sir Ned. I could ask him? He's the one who talked me into coming here to the tourney."

Justin nods and says, "I cannot speak on such things, you know these men best, and your brother would no doubt permit it for family."

Tiadora mm-hms. "Sir Eduard is a Paladin, so he's a man of great honor." She gives another shy smile. "He did a remarkable job at the duels yesterday. But uh… Sir Gabriel? The Red Knight, I think? He fought very well." She flounders for conversation, looking hesitantly at her half-done sketch.

Justin nods and says, "I see, men of honor are certainly worthy of favors. Please, if I am disturbing your drawing I can take my leave so you can focus. I did not mean to interrupt you."

"Oh no," she says, a bit too loudly. "I'm sorry if -I'm- keeping you from important, uh… things." She laughs weakly as she gives him a hesitant smile. "You're the first person not from Rivana I've ever met. You and the prince, briefly. I guess this is why they wanted me to come - Ned and my brother… meet people, learn about Couvierias… just.. have fun?" She's not sure of the last. "With the war having been so rough, I think we all needed some time to enjoy ourselves."

Justin nods and says, "Also to learn and to heal. The best way to avoid conflict is with understanding, such is a luxury not all can indulge in but when it is presented it is something worth looking into. Unfortunately few can let go of old hatreds, why there has been so much strife here since the tourney started."

Tiadora says, "That's why I cannot go out without my guards." She motions to the stone-faced men in red and black leather. "But I've heard stories about people getting thrown into the canals - I know many of my countrmen were worried and angry after the joust. It seemed rather unfair the way it was presented. But the duels - now THOSE were grand and well balanced."

Justin nods and says, "Danger or not, a proper Lady should never be without trusted guards to protect both her body and her honor, especially around strangers."

Tiadora flushes again, "I mean, I -always- have my guards. Even in Sunsreach. But they tend to give me more space than they are here. It wouldn't be proper for a lady, especially a young one, to be alone."

Justin nods and says, "I am aware My Lady, why I never implied you were not a proper Lady." smiling reassuringly.

The Rivanan gives him a faint nervous chuckle. "I'm never saying you did imply. I mean…" She rolls her eyes at herself, head shaking. "I'm so afraid I'll cause some kind of international incident by saying the wrong thing, Sir Justin. Please, forgive me?"

Justin lifts a passive hand and waves dismissively saying, "You haven't, I was simply stating I have not implied such, so there is no reason to doubt it or speak as though I did. You haven't spoken as though I have implied such so I do not believe I have. No need to be nervous, you have caused no offense and from what I can judge I have caused you none. That said there is no reason to dwell on such. If offense is given I am sure it is not given intentionally and so a simply apology would suffice. As I said no offense has been given yet so no reason to worry over it." smiling reassuringly.

The smile breaks through the worry and Tiadora laughs. "The nervousness is all my own, sir. My… mother was very protective." One of her guards has a brief reaction to that, scowling momentarily as she phrases it in that way. "Social skills were secondary to quoting the holy word of the One, so I'm never sure if I'm doing the right thing. Especially around a foreign lord."

Justin nods and says, "The One is certainly a righteous path that is more likely to bring you to fortune and favor then harm. Let it be your guide My Lady, it will serve you better than any knowledge of favors or misunderstandings. Education and experience will see to the rest, but the One is the guide to wisdom. One can learn a multitude of things, yet if that knowledge does not grow to wisdom it is wasted."

Tiadora touches her hand to the sapphire in a golden sunbursts she wears at her neck. "My faith has been my solace and my salvation through a very long and dark night, sir. It is almost as if my life is finally dawning around me, after so many midnights. This… is certainly a bright point in it." She motions to the city around them. "Getting to see what's outside the walls of Falconholme. And seeing the other holy places of the world outside Saint Sandoval's."

Justin smiles softly and nods saying, "Seems my attempt to encourage and impart wisdom is lost, as the wisdom is already found."

Tiadora has to shake her head. "Only a fool refuses to accept wisdom even if they already have found it," she quips back with a little smile. "Only the wise know enough to admit they are being foolish. And I know I'm a foolish girl, so any good advice is freely accepted. But it's nice to know I'm walking the right path."

Justin simply offers a respectful bow in reply to the compliment, perhaps having no further reply, or feeling anything more would dilute the gesture.

Tiadora looks down shyly and admits, "My brother hates it when I recite scripture or the dialogues of the saints. It reminds him too much of our parents. Sometimes I think it's the only time I really know what I'm saying…"

Justin nods and says, "Then perhaps when the time comes to find you a betrothed your brother should seek men of honor and faith. Then you will have two things in common and your marriage is more likely to be enjoyable, whether it contains love or not."

Tiadora has to give a tiny nervous laugh at that. "I know he is looking for a husband for my elder sister, but not for me, not yet. I have not entertained any notions of who he might want to marry me to. What's the point? That is his right and his duty, and mine is to be a supportive and loyal sister. I can -hope- he marries me to a proper lord who honors the One as strongly as I do, but knowing my brother… he'd prefer someone more secular. " She quietly adds, "Sometimes the brightness of the Light can burn if one is exposed to it too long…"

Justin nods and says, "I am sure he will take your happiness into consideration. Few would intentionally make a match to one who is loathsome so whether a man of faith or not, I am sure when the time comes you will be handed to one who will treat you well, if not one you can love."

Tiadora asks, "And you, my lord? If that's not prying? Are you married?" She smiles a little. "Now I am curious. I can see you building little trebuchets for your sons to throw eggs at people with."

Justin chuckles softly and says, "No, I am neither married nor do I have children. My duties as a squire and then a knight, and largely the wars fought in my time as both has hindered my efforts to wed."

"The barbarians," she asks, "or the other war, the longer one. One allow us all peace in both our realms. I know my own ancestors often warred with our northern neighbors, Normont being where it is."

Justin nods and says, "I fought in the later years of the Thirty Years War, though mostly in the north and later during the Tirian Crusades. I have known them as an enemy far more than the Rivanans if you were curious of such things."

Tiadora says, "A good thing. Although my own ancestors were once barbarians as well. Are the pacified or will you have to go build more walls and sturd keeps to keep them from your door?"

Justin shrugs, showing he doesn't have all the answers, "I only know of the Tivian Tribes to any real degree. Even there my knowledge is greatly lacking. Those that are a threat to the realm are to be fended off and your own protected, that is true regardless of the kingdom is it not? Can they be civilized? Perhaps I am not wise enough to know, yet long as they are a threat to the kingdom I serve I will defend it in whatever form, whether it be walls, towers, lance, or shield."

Tiadora says, "They say my line was founded by a group of barbarians who held to their ancestors as gods, misguided though they were. It was Saint Sandoval who brought them into the fold, raising the dead who spoke of the rightness of the One and their place in the heavens." She gestures aimlessly to the sky. "Upon hearing this, how could they not convert to the faith and come to the law and order the One has given us?" She smiles at Justin and shrugs. "Perhaps in time they will see the light as well."

Justin nods and says, "The saints are capable of such deeds, unfortunately I am a simple man and not as versed in the One as others, even among knights. If it can be done some day, whether in our lifetime or not, I am sure it ill be." smiling warmly.

Tiadora says, "Some the One calls to speak. Others He calls to fight. We must all serve Him to the best of our calling. My brother is charged with bringing peace and stability; -sanity- back to our duchy. Mine? I suppose I am to remind him that there is nothing wrong with faith, so long as it is tempered with reason. Moderation is a virtue, even in our faithfulness."

Justin nods and says, "Indeed My Lady. That said, I fear I should be going, and leave you wish some time to finish your piece before it grows too late." offering another formal bow befitting her station before turning to depart.

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