Pawns of Fate

Pawns of Fate
Summary: After speaking with Prince Tomas, Baron Paule gets drawn into a discussion of wine and betrothments with Lady Guinevere.
Date: 13 June 2013
Related: None
Paule Guinevere 

Roof Terrace — Brivey Keep
The roof of this tower of the keep is most often utilized for pondering and relaxation. A short four-foot ledge outlines the rooftop for the protection of those that choose to visit. The perch above offers bird's-eye view of the entire castle as well as the sprawling Riedel lands below in all directions. Stone benches have been set near the ledges for those requiring rest.

Following the curve of the tower takes one along a sloping walk back toward the door leading into the castle.

13 June 1329

After meeting with Tomas, Paule waited for the steward to leave before he turns his attention to the view of the area from the roof. A goblet of wine rests next to the Baron of Westmark as he looks out over the world, and well, his expression isn't very impressed at the moment.

Duty had taken her away before, and now that it had released her, Guinevere was finding her way back to the roof. It really was one of her favorite places to sit, to think to meditate. When she arrived back on the roof, she realized once more that she was not alone when she say the Baron over looking the world. Her ever dutiful maid beside her, she walks toward the edge of the ledge and leaned over it, leaning over just a little more to get the full view of it all. "It always makes me feel so small. Being up here and looking down. There is so much and I am so little. A spec in greatness."

The Baron offers a small chuckle. "I am not sure that's how I feel about the view, but I suppose it is because I am far more grounded in my views, m'lady." Paule glances over to offer a smile before he lifts his goblet to take a drink. "Would you like some wine from my home?" he asks as he glances out and about. "If I had my looking glass, I am sure I could see the Taniford army from here."

"Mmm. Please." Guinevere say in regards to the wine. Taking another moment to look over the lands of her family. "I suppose I am more whimsical in my views than." A pause, and then her lips part even before she says something, but evnetually she says, "No. I know I am. I am a dreamer and have no fault in saying so about myself. I would not wish to ever stop my dreams. They push the impossible to its limits and my mind follows." a soft laugh escapes her and she draws her attention to the Baron as he prepares the wine for her. "Are you wishing you could see the Taniford army?"

Pouring a fresh goblet for Guinevere, Paule hands it over before he returns to his lean. "There is nothing wrong with having dreams, Lady Riedel." the Baron offers as he looks back out again. "I encourage my children to dream large and often. But what they do with their dreams is their choice, as it is yours, I'm sure." he comments before he shakes his head. "It is foolish to seem them so close to this catle, Guinevere. I would perfer them back on their side of the lake - or better yet, completely removed."

A soft laugh escapes as she takes the wine from the Baron. "Perhaps you should have a talk with my Mother and share your ideas on how you encourage your children." she says dryly before taking up the goblet to her lips and takes a small sip from it. It was good, and for a moment she was surprised and then she took another sip from her goblet. "I hope your children are well? Its been some time since I have seen them." Squinting her eyes as if searching for the army, she look across the lands. Sighs. "I would gladly see them removed, myself."

The Baron chuckles. "Everyone's parents sound better to someone else's child, Guinevere." Paule looks amused as he takes another draw from his wine and considers. "They are both doing well. Coriaria is starting to come into her own as the future Baroness of Westmark. And Castor is considering his own path now that he has returned home. Laurel is the free spirit she always has been and will be." he shrugs his shoulders. He draws in a breath and shakes his head. "I am not sure who made this decision, but perhaps it should have been brought before Court first." The look of the surprise and delight at the taste of the wine and his smile turns sly. "I think my Katarina had a similar look when she first tried the vintage that came from the grave of the Corsair hordes."

She had been found out, and there was little she could do about it, but blush. Guinevere was picky about her wine, whether those around her knew it or not and it would seem that this Baron had been atune to her reaction to the wine. "Its very good, though." Tossing her head to the side, she pushes hair off to the side of her face and over her shoulder. "I'm glad to hear your children are doing well. Will they come to join you and your wife here? Or are they safely protected elsewhere?" who's decision was who's is not commented on, but there is a tightening of her jaw. It was not lady like to speak her mind. Or so her Mother has told her.

"They are safe at Elkmound Keep within Westmark as they should be. Perhaps, when this current situation is over…" Paule says, and offers a shrug of his shoulders as he considers. "I am sure that the Baronet and her brother would love to become reacquainted with nobles of their age and near station or perhaps will be leading them in the future." he is well aware of the arrangement between the Riedels and Rhaedans when it comes to the young woman and he offers a shake of his head. "There are times where I wonder if I had made such arrangements for my own children when they were younger."

The smile on her face drops, but not for long. Guinevere has been trained well when it has to being personable with people. Even when its subjects she does not like. "Sometimes its better to not have made such arrangements, My Lord." and that is all she will say for that. "When it is safe, please let them know they are welcome here any time. I will gladly welcome a visit. Its been too long since I've had a visit that had nothing to do with war, or such." put a foot in mouth? Well, that was normal. "… not that I do not enjoy your time here, my Lord. I do."

Paule looks amused for a moment and considers. "If you wish, you could always ask to visit Westmark. I know we are still mostly rebuilt from the war with the Corsairs, but we do still put on a good show for a guest." he comments as he turns to consider the young Lady for a moment. "In fact, I have put Coriaria in charge of the 100th Day festival this year, I am sure she would enjoy the company of someone that could help her plan for a social gathering?"

Blinking, Guinevere turns to regard the Baron, "Would she really? Are you sure of it?" she asks, "because I would be very willing to help in her plans if that is the case. But I would never wish to spoil her fun of planning all thos on her own." pausing. "I mean, that is really an honor and gift you have left her, My Lord. I wouldnt do anythint to take such away from her."

"There is nothing wrong with sending her a letter to offer your assistance." Paule points out simply as the Baron offers a smile. "One of the lessons I learned when I was your age is not to discount the value of assistance. After all, it sent my wife to me - though our betrothment was only until we married the same night we met."

There was some surprise that registered on Guinevere's face. She had not heard the tale. A gasp, "The same night you met you married?" she asks. Though the idea was in her mind to send a letter or a note. Perhaps she would.

"Oh aye." Paule looks bemused. "My parents were murdered during the Siege of Westmark by the Corsairs." the Baron says as he explains the meeting of himself and Katarina. "I was only sixteen when I was made Baron of my lands. For three years I led my land as best as I could in desperate times and wondered often if our King had abandoned me to die." he admits as he takes a draw from his goblet. "One fall day, while we recovering from a battle, we were alerted to arriving troops. It was fresh troops from Rhaedan. At their head was a Knight - Sir Lady Katarinaa Rhaedan, a third cousin of the King. She was a few years younger than I." he says as he smiles. "Among her unit coming to train and support us - she was to marry me that same day to provide a tie to Rhaedan and force.. well, I'm ahead of myself."

"…in the year before the assistance arrived, the Corsair Queen had demanded that if I surrendered and married her daughter, our lands would be spared. I refused. I knew we couldn't surrender. So the King sent me Katarina to marry so that the claim would be rendered void, and draw the ire of the Queen. We were married within the first three hours that they were with us." he comments. "Within five months, she was only seventeen when she was pregnant with our first two children."

Guineveres mouth drops just a little. But she regains it. Hearing the tale of what he says to her. Instead of leaving her mouth lack jawed, she takes another sip of her wine. "You love her?" she asks. A person question, in which she appears to have no problem asking him about. The question easily comes from her lips. Its something she has always wondered. The love that is pocessed when these odd marriages happen. Maybe it was because of her own circumstance. Or maybe it was because she just wanted to know for the future. For… who knew what the future held.

"If you had asked me that in the first month we were married? I would have told you to go straight to Khranas." Paule says in amusement and chuckles. "It wasn't until she was with child that I started to have feelings for her. And it was an affection that grew from there. It stopped being just because of our children. She supported me when I needed it. She was there for me. She's always been there for me." the Baron smiles affectionately as he looks down at the ring on his hand and glances back to Guinevere. "It was nearly that long - a month - before we consumated our marriage. We realized that we could claim to be married for as long as the day is long, but without proof of heir, we could not prove our marriage." he says finally.

"Do I love her? Aye. I love her deeply. It's not the type of love that started off with a fond glance over a glass of wine or a dance with her in my arms at some social event - it was a love that was born of a mutual need and desperation. To save our home. To save our people. And to make sure we survived. And there is not a drop of blood, mine or anyone else's I would not shed as proof of my heart."

Somewhere in the middle of the tale, Guinevere starts to lose her smile. The smile fades slowly and then it turns to a straigh line. Turning her head she looked over the lands and thought thoughtfully about all that he had to say. Sipping her wine she was quiet and just let him finish. There was little she could add to what he's just said. So when he was finished, she said "I love happy endings." in her dreamy voice. Turning slowly toward the Baron she finally smiles. "I'm glad to hear you say so. Its endearing."

Paule considers Guinevere for a moment before he finishes off his wine and turns and sits on the edge of the railing. "Tell me, Lady Riedel. In all of your training and such, have you been allowed to train in any of the combat arts?" he asks curiously as he studies the young woman for a moment.

A secret smile appears on her lips when he asks this question, lowering her gaze some when it happens. "I confess, I do. My Lord. Though some might consider it unlady like. I must enjoy it. I am well with a sword, and those that challange me, I have no problem telling them just so." finally, she laughs. "Why do you ask such a question? it seems out of sorts for the conversation we've just had."

"It actually isn't." Paule says with a grin. "After all, when I first spurned Katarina, it was her finese with the sword that forced my hand as she challenged me to a duel when we first met. She said that if she won, then she would command my armies and I would step aside as Baron. If I won, she would marry me and become my Baroness. There are times still where I wonder if she threw the match just so she would not have to lead."

A soft laugh leaves the Lady, "A smart woman would never tell. And from what I know, your wife is a very smart woman, My Lord… so you will never know. But I like that you think that she threw it purposely without knowing the true answer. It shows…" Guinevere pauses and thinks before she speaks. Yes, this might be a first, but she does. "It shows a romantic side of the entire ordeal."

"Perhaps. But to be honest? It was orders. The King ordered us to marry. We didn't have a choice in the matter. It's the way of nobility. We are given much, but there is much we sacrifice for it. My children have never had that taken away, and I am sure that the time will come where the King will put the pressure on Katarina and I to start the process of betrothing not just Coriaria as the heir, but all of my children." Paule says with a shrug of his shoulders as he looks back over the lands. "So it was ordered, so it was done."

When it came to matters of ordering to marry and from the king no less. Guinevere loses the small smile she tried to remain. It all vanished, if he were to look. "Stuck, really." she says out loud, frowning as she says it. After a short period of time, she lifts her shoulder and then shrugs it. What as she to do, and what was anyone to do if that were the case? "I'm glad to hear you are happy now, My Lord. Its comforting to hear. That love can be earned and not just expected."

Paule considers for a moment, and refills both goblets. "Hmm. How long have you known Prince Jerric?" he asks finally, prompting the young woman to speak as he turns his attention to her fully.

Turning, Guinevere offers her goblet to be refilled as he offers to pour it. "All my life." she tells him. "My Father was friends with the King and so started the relationship between the families. Prince Jerric and I grew up together, played together, were… always together. At least as children." Lifting the goblet to her lips she takes a small sip of the refilled wine. Had she finished her first goblet full and not realized it? "Why do you ask?"

"It perhaps is not my place to pry." Paule says with a shrug of his shoulders. "But something about your demeanor suggests that you are not pleased with the current arrangement. And if you cannot trust the Baron of Shadows to keep your confidence who would you trust it to?" he asks as he takes a casual draw from his wine.

The question leaves her to laugh. "Who, indeed." Guinevere states. And that was both truthful and sacastic in the same wording. "Its not my place to say where something is is pleasant or not either, my lord. I am but a child in this whole dance of connections and I must do as I am told. Is that not what you just related? You had no choice. And so life as not changed that I would have any have any say in what would happen in my life. This arrangement has been whispered about for years. As if I have a choice…" There was some bitterness in her tone about that.

"Aye. We all have those we answer to." Paule says simply as he considers her for a moment. "And if you had a choice?" he finds himself asking. "There's a different in our situations - you see, I did not get the chance to spend years and years with Katarina before I married her. Perhaps if I had, would I have felt different? Perhaps." The Baron shrugs his shoulders. "But I do know this - those that we are close to in childhood - as we grow older and find ourselves, you find that what was once childish play becomes love and sometimes, you only become friends. You may not have the choice." he says as politely as he can. "But sometimes, you find a way to make fate work for you. How you decide that happens - is up to you, Lady Riedel."

Opening her mouth to say something, nothing comes out. Considering his words, Guinevere is speechless. Taking her goblet to her mouth she takes another drink. "Indeed…" she whispers but has nothing more to say. "I beg of you to forgive me, my Lord.. I have.." there was no excuse to give. But she needed a moment alone to process her thoughts. "if… you'll excuse me." she says and curtsey's to him. "A good day to you, My Lord." setting down the goblet, she turns toward the door leading into the castle, her maid following after her.

Paule offers a bow of his head as the young Lady retreats and the Baron turns his attentions back to the world outside. "We all are pawns of fate. But it is how you make Fate dance for you that decides where you may land."

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