(1866-10-25) Preparations Are Made
Preparations are Made
Summary: Gabriel prepares to head to the coast to deal with the Brodlund raiders.
Date: 1866-10-25
Related: none yet
Alina  Gabriel  

The Heir's Suite - Highwater Castle - Lonnaire - Lonnaire - Couviere
The two-room suite shared by the heir and her husband is large and incredibly neat and orderly. The main room has a desk, well equipped with parchment, many types and colors of inks, and pens; as well as charcoal nibs and other accoutrements for sketching. Several sketches of various clothing designs are scattered over the desk, the one speck of seeming chaos in the otherwise perfectly organized room. Before the shared hearth, a pair of fainting couches and a comfortable chair sit on a thick warm carpet, along with a pair of small side tables of Charwin make, each with locked drawers. A whetstone and oiled cloth rest on the table by the chair.
A suit of lightsilver armor stands on an armor rack on display in the main room, and along the walls several lightsilver weapons hand on ornately carved weapon mounts.
In the private bedding room, a highly polished looking-glass hangs above a vanity between two overlarge armoires, one full of dresses, gowns, and (towards the far back) less showy clothing; the other full of more pragmatic yet still finely made men's clothing. A large canopied bed with thick velvet curtains is the centerpiece of the room, a pair of lightsilver handcannons often hanging from a specially made mount on the side of the bedside table. Wall hangings and trophies commemorating the future Duke's previous tournament wins decorate the walls. A bright copper tub large enough for bathing sits near the hearth (which is the same fireplace, open to both rooms), which during the winter is stoked high during the day to allow heat to soak into the stone walls and floors of the rooms, and to die down overnight.
The view out the window is similar to the Duke and Duchesss master suite one floor above, overlooking the ruins of the previous keep, both reminder and warning at once of what the price of failure may be, and what one may be called to do in the cause of loyalty to the kingdom.
A secret passageway can be found by nimble fingers on one of the gaps in the wall, leading into the bowels of the castle and eventually out by secret ways into the countryside beyond.
Octobre 25, 1866

The twin moons had risen in the sky. The windows of their suite are open, allowing the crisp autumn air into the rooms. Alina moves from the bedroom into the sitting room of the suite, dressed in a lightweight, nearly sheer sleeping gown in a soft blue with a slightly thicker white robe edged with lace atop it. Her bare feet pad across the stone floor to the thick fur rug before the hearth, and she flops onto the couch there and lazes, drawing the book sitting on the small side table beside the couch to her and flipping it open to read.

The past few days had gone with little real incidents. The children were thriving, cared for by their nurses. Alina was adjusting to her pregnancy well, though the mornings she was still not very willing to eat much. Most of her days had been spent in the study with her father, working on affairs of stewardship for the duchy.

Gabriel steps into the suite, dressed in rather plain clothing. The reason for it should be obvious, he's been down at the stables making sure that the horses are ready for the ride out in the morning. Other preparations were being finalized now, but those were being seen to by people who knew what they were about. "What are you reading?" He asks Alina, curiously. "I also need to get up early tomorrow. We should leave as early as possible, I think."

Alina puts the book aside. "A book on trade from the Imperials. Written by some l'Faust a few decades ago." She stands up, stretching a bit and giving him a quick glance-over. She would not be accompanying him to the northern coast, which bothered her more than she cared to admit. But she had her business in the duchy— learning to run it— and he had his— protecting it.

And she knew she would lose the argument if she tried it, wanting to go with him. No, she would accept that they would be separated for some days while he saw to the recent rumors of Brodlunders.

"I will miss you," she says softly. "I've gotten used to having you with me. The bed will be colder without you in it." It's only a few days, maybe a couple of weeks. But that didn't make the separation any more pleasant for her.

"Ah, that should come in handy when you go to Pacitta, I think." Gabriel nods as he steps over to some of the items he has ready for tomorrow. He begins to check up on everything there, making sure knives are sharp, handcannons polished, that sort of thing. "Yeah, it is probably a good thing though. I doubt we will always be in each other's presence, so something like this can help us cope with what those feelings will be." He gives a slight shrug as he holsters one of the handcannons.

"I will miss you too, but what we are doing is something that must be done. Besides, there will be others with me to make sure that I can come home to you." He turns slighly to flash her a smile.

Alina nods. "We do have the trip to Rivana to make next month," she says with a slight smile. "We will represent our duchy at the wedding of their queen. The boys will stay here, of course," she says. "And we'll be staying for the tournament, then coming back to Pacitta." She frowns. "At least I will be," she amends. "You might be coming back here if you prefer it."

"You're right. There is that trip to Rivana. Honestly, I hadn't thought about it all that much, I don't care about that tournament or their queen's wedding." Gabriel shrugs, putting a dagger into its sheath. "I may try to win it, but win or lose it will be my last tournament for quite some time. Not unless someone is going to offer up a sidhe steel blade or some other prize that is worth the time and effort."

Alina slips over towards their bed and sits down on the edge of it, watching him finish his preparations for the morning. "I know. Thank you for being willing to finish out this year of tournaments— I have enjoyed watching you participate." And he has done fairly well, even if he hadn't met the same levels he had in 1865.

"I wonder if there will be another sidhe steel blade offered up anytime in the next few years," she remarks idly. "I was surprised when there was last year, to tell the truth. Makes you wonder how many the Prince of Venderos has in his armory, that he could so easily part with one as a tourney prize…?" She drums her fingertips on the bedding.

"I don't really care about her wedding either," Alina shrugs. "But politics are politics. Mother is busy with the negotiations in Pacitta, and it would be entirely unwise to risk Father stepping foot onto Rivanan soil. Someone might get stupid and try something dangerous— and then we'd have an Incident." She sighs. "So the task falls to us, dearest. I know politics are not your preferred thing to do, but leave them to me." She gives him a smile.

Gabriel turns to watch his wife sit down on the bed. "I doubt it. We might see such a price one or two more times in our life-times, I imagine. I think that Callidus just wanted to make a splash given that last year was the first circuit to be run in quite a while." He shrugs and turns back to finish up his preparations. "YOu should be careful in Rivana. Keep your guards close to you."

"I'll have you with me often enough," she replies with a grin. "And you know the Wraiths will not let me out of their sight."

"Yeah, I know they will look out for you. But I'm not worried about them, I'm more worried about you. You are headstrong and independent." He gives her a look. "We will have to make sure that there are more eyes on you than the ones you know about." A pleasant little smile is offered to his wife.

"Are you that concerned that the Rivanans might try something foolish?" Alina tsks at him, leaning back on her hands. "And we cannot have too many guards, Gabriel. It risks being rude, and we are supposed to be interacting positively with the southerners." She pouts cutely at him.

"I am concerned that someone might do something foolish while you are in Rivana, yes. They don't have to be Rivanan." He doesn't feel the need to tell her that her family probably has a number of enemies out there. "I am not asking you to walk around with an army. 1 or 2 guards near you, and 1 or 2 who shadow you when you are out and about."

"Fine, fine," Alina sighs. "We'll worry about details of our security," yes, she said 'our'… Gabriel will have a guard or two as well!, "when you return from this trip." She doesn't really feel up to arguing right before he will be leaving her for several days.

"Coming to bed?" she asks with a glance at his weapons.

Gabriel nods, finishing what he needs to do. Finally he slips over to the bed, removes his boots, and slides onto it. "That's fine, we can have that conversation later. For now come rest. I am tired and like I said earlier, I want to get an early start in the morning." Plus he wants to make sure that they can … limit … any damage done by the Brodlunders.

Alina leans over and kisses him gently. "How early of a start?" she asks impishly. "I can think of a few things that might help you rest more soundly," she teases.

Gabriel grunts, shrugging his shoulders slightly. "Before dawn. I do not want the Brodlunders rampaging through your duchy, well… your future duchy… longer than they need to be, Alina. Here, come kiss me and then rest in my arms. That will satisfy me for now."

There's a hint of disappointment that crosses her expression, but she shrugs out of her robe, letting it fall to the floor beside their bed, and then slips under the blankets beside him, kissing his cheek and then his lips as she snuggles up to him. "Good night, my husband," she murmurs.

Gabriel reaches over and brushes a hand through her hair before kissing her forehead. "When I return we will make sure that you get worn out, think on that. It will make you miss me even more." He smiles a little smile at that and then cuddles up to her.

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