(1868-02-22) A Family Discussion
A Family Discussion
Summary: Viscount Willard Carling makes an appearance in Sunsreach with surprising news for Aidric.
Date: 1868-02-22
Related: A new Castellan and a New Knight
Aidric  Willard  

Carling Manse, Sunsreach

The Carling manse is located in the Goldseat district near Markettown. A small manse with earthen tone walls surrounding a garden and a cobbled carriage way. The house itself is built in the shape of a square and is the same earthen tone as the walls that surround it, with red clay tiles along the roof and the odd window looking out.

Inside, the reason for the manses boxy outer appearance becomes apparent as it is built around a square courtyard. The courtyard is landscaped with shady citrus trees and flowering shrubs and at its center is a fountain in the shape of frolicking nymphs.

The first floor of the manse is given over to the kitchens, the bathing chambers, a study, a small shrine and the main hall. All the rooms are bright and airy with windows looking out into the courtyard, though the main hall is the grandest of these rooms, large enough to host a modest gathering in comfort with high arched doorways that open onto a portico that looks out onto the courtyard. Given Sunsreach's warmth, the walls of the main hall are plastered and painted with murals for the summer months when tapestries are not needed to keep out the chill, but come winter, the tapestries are pulled from storage showing scenes pulled from history and the lives of the saints.

The upper floor is given over to the family living quarters, each room having windows that look out upon the courtyard and a small balcony. The master chamber has windows that look both out and in and is comfortably appointed in the southern style.

Fevrier 22nd 1868

Aidric stands over the table in the main hall of the manse, strewn about before him are ledgers, parchments and a map showing a small town built around the edge of an almost perfectly round lake. Azure Lake, the jewel of Rivana.

His jewel now.

He reaches absently for a cup of wine and then brings it to his lips to take a long considering sip. When he's finished he looks to the men across the table, his loyal men-at-arms, Goat and Scarecrow. "I still want to speak to some of Sir Tomas' people before we go but we're getting closer to what I'd call ready," he says by way of compliment before his mind goes to other matters. "And my father…”

"Already waiting for you in the study," Goat supplied neutrally.

Aidric nodded, glancing down at the gloved hand that held the cup. His nails hadn't grown back, nor had his hair, he frowned a little at that. "Anyhow, you two may go, but find some of Sir Tomas' people, by tomorrow, no later." And with that he downed the cup of wine, set it down and turned to leave the room, tugging his gloves on more tightly.

THe study of the Carling Manse had been reclaimed by its rightful owner: Viscount Willard Carling. He had arrived only a few hours before via Faegate… and the pale greenish tinge to his skin and that there was a bucket sitting beside the desk in the study gave sign of that. A couple of years prior, the man would have travelled to the nation's capitol by horse… slower, but without such side effects.

The Viscount had a reputation, in Normont at least. And his youngest son knew exactly how true that reputation was…

Willard sits at the desk, idly poring through the leders while awaiting his younger son to attend him.

The Viscount's arrival at the Carling manse had come as a nasty surprise. Aidric had come to think of the manse as his own and so his father's intrusion had rankled. All the more because Aidric had to hurry a girl out the back door and hurriedly dress to be ready to greet him. Since then they had kept their distance, the Viscount attending to the manse's ledgers while Aidric planned for his move to Azure Lake. Now though, there would be no avoiding him.

Aidric tugged on his gloves again and paused to adjust the hang of his shoulder length wig, before he knocked twice on the door of his study and entered. "Father, you summoned me?" he greets as he makes his way to stand before the desk, hands behind his back.

"Yes." The Viscount does not bother looking up from the ledger he is perusing until he is done, allowing a few moments of silence for Aidric to squirm some. Finally, he places the document aside and looks up to regard his son.

"That wig looks ridiculous," he says. "But I understand it's some sort of fashion for court now, so I will allow it. I came to speak with you before you left for Azure Lake. Now that you have lands to manage— somehow— I have realized it is long past time you've found a wife to manage the household."

That long moment of silence brings Aidric crashing back to his childhood in Holymount and dozens of similar moments waiting before his father's desk in the family's keep, usually after some misdeed or another and usually preceding further punishment brought about by Aidric's over-sharp tongue.

"The wig is for appearances, better to look like a slave to fashion than admit a mere plague almost killed me. By-the-by I am fine, thank you for your concern." The mention of a wife though comes as quick and sharp as a punch in the gut.

Damn it. Stall, stall…

"Oh? I suppose I should wed sooner or later, though with all the preparations I have to do as Castellan I am not sure when we'd have time for a proper ceremony, let alone her presentation at the family shrine, the Azure Lake gate isn't even manned."

"Preparations can be made and ceremonies can be managed," Willard replies dismissively. "I was thinking Marline Brega, Baron Brega's second daughter, would suit well. Assuming her father can get past your exile as well as the Queen seems to have."

He picks up another ledger and frowns. "You've spend how many crowns on wine in the past four months?"

"And our other vassals can get past that's two Brega girls married to mainline Carlings," Aidric retorts trying to conjure up an image of the Marline. What he recalls is of little comfort, a mousy thing, always praying and not very pretty.

"Well to be fair I'm not drinking all of it, the women drink the rest of course," he says walking into that blow in hopes of diverting this wedding talk into less horrifying topic, like a lecture on his intemperance.

He drums his fingers. "She was not the only consideration. There's also Brienna Howlett. She may be a cousin to the Baron but she might serve you well enough as a wife." He sighs. "If only I could manage Lady Rhea… bah. She would be too good for you anyway, even if her brother the Duke intends to waste her on a northerner."

"Well to be fair to the women their morals aren't loose until I meet them," Aidric offers helpfully still hoping to drag the conversation off course.

"Rhea? Hmm. Well I do have a builder in my employ now, if that were to happen I could wall her up in her chambers for the good of the realm," he remarks idly. "A baron's cousin? Who am I? Ned Farrant? We can do better than that father. Perhaps a Cassomir cousin, or speaking of northerners I did get along well with Eva d'Acuto…"


The Viscount sits back in his seat after backhanding his son. "I will never again hear you speak of Lady Rhea in that manner. And as for who you are? A recovering disgrace to this family, who was recently exiled. I will find who is willing to offer up a daughter to you, but your value on the marriage market isn't as high as you think of yourself."

Willard frowns. "I did hear that you've been sleeping with some minor Cassomir wench." After all, the servants in the manse are his. Not exactly shocking they were reporting on Aidric's activities. "Even if that house has been on the rise, I would prefer it not. Their women are more rangers and wood nymphs than proper ladies who actually know how to run a damned household. And as for a Couveri?" He snorts. "Why would I want my son married to one? And enough to have to petition the crown for permission?"

He eyes his son. "But if you have other suggestions… I'm listening. Not likely to agree with them."

Aidric fights the urge to jump at the loud crack that resounds through the study. He doesn't quite succeed but counters with a glib "To be fair I would have had him leave a slot for her meals," though he takes a step back as he says it.

The further jab at Rhea is enough pushing back for now and so he leaves the remarks about his value alone and indeed about his marriage suggestions trying to find someone subtly unsuitable enough to waste his father's time while he regrouped. He smiles when one occurs. "The Greysons," he says. "They are angry that I've usurped the Castellanship from one of theirs, perhaps the suggestion of a wedding to one of the duchess' cousins might soothe that hurt. Either that or one of their vassals."

Willard seems to consider that for a moment. "Perhaps. If they have any among them that aren't godless heathens."

Sir Thaddeus is a friend of mine," Aidric says still hoping it was true. "I can speak to him about it, feel out who might be suitable and One fearing among his kin." There is a pause and a smile. "Feel out in a figurative sense of course."

"You will do no such thing," Willard barks. "If I find the idea to have merit, I will contact the Archduchess myself." He looks over Aidric in a manner that is clear he is weighing the man and finding him wanting. "I assume you've actually made some preparations for Azure Lake? Or have you simply been lazing in bed drinking wine?"

Aidric lowers his head. "As you say, I won't mention it to them," he lies smoothly before he raises his head again at the assertion he'd be unprepared for the Castellanship after weeks to prepare. "Actually, I will be ready to leave in a few days time. I've my builders to scout the key sites, my servants hired from the city, with the the troops you brought with you from home my initial party is ready. I am just waiting on some final supplies and to speak to some of Sir Tomas' people and I will be set."

“Hmph." Willard eyes his son. "Don't ruin this. I don't know how you managed to convince the Rose Queen you are capable of the post, but it's the first positive thing you've done in your life."

"I don't plan to," Aidric replies with determination. "Because on that latter score we may be in agreement. Is there anything else you needed father, or may I go attend to other matters now?"

Willard waves him off. "Dismissed, but stay in the manse. I may find other things in the ledgers we will discuss."

"As you wish father," Aidric answers with a bow. "I will stay close." Then, without further ceremony he turns and leaves.

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