(1310-04-25) A Choice is Given
Summary: Imogen de Mereliot arranges a meeting with her aunt to discuss a possible betrothal between herself and Viscount Timeo d'Aiglemort. The answer is not what she had hoped, and in the end, it is up to her to decide between the two choices the Duchess grants her on the matter.
RL Date: Wed Apr 25, 1310
Related: Rooftop Encounters and While He Sleeps
imogen armandine 

Ducal Palace - Music Room

Morning is already progressing to its later hours, and a fine day it is, warm late spring providing a friendly lighting in the music room. Heavy curtains of dark blue with gold lining frame the floor to ceiling windows, pulled aside as to admit the rays of the sun. Rays of the sun that bathe the room in light, caress the beautiful tall harp that is standing there in the center, where a courtier lady sits at, a musical lady obviously, as she is entertaining the Duchesse of Eisande at the moment. Armandine has settled herself upon one of the long-backed chairs, one elbow on the siderest, as she listens to the merry melody produced on strings of the harp.

The message she had received much earlier, of course, and this note Imogen sent her is the reason, she has sent a maid to summon this niece of hers for the talk that had been requested. The duchesse is clad in a gown of exquisite fashion, Mereliot blue combined with gold, and her hair is arranged in a courtly hairdo, pronouncing grey eyes and a slender neck of d'Angeline beauty.

The niece in question is just finishing up fussing over her outfit and hair in the mirror, doing it herself because only /she/ knows what will look good for this day that could very well determine the course of the rest of her life. Eventually she forces herself to be satisfied with what she's done, simply because it's time to go, and while normally a few extra moments for perfection were nothing to the former Dahlia, today she needed to be in her Aunts best graces, which meant no extra time. So out the door, down the hall, and into the music room she went in her courtly hairdo and dressed in a cloud gray gown trimmed in lace, with pearls and matching silk slippers.

She managed to arrive in the room on time, without messing her look up and made her way inside, before offering the duchess in question a graceful curtsey. "Your Grace, thank you for seeing me on such short notice," she greets politely.

"Imogen." Armandine de Mereliot moves to stand, gesturing for the lady at the harp to pause for a moment in her performance. Said lady's fingers are pulled away from the strings, and she lowers her gaze, while the Duchesse considers her niece with a warm smile. "You must forgive me for not seeing you sooner," she intones in her melodious voice. "I'm glad you're here in Marsilikos, and Companions, how you've grown. I remember seeing you on the arm of your mother…" Her smile softens. "And now look at you. A Dahlia through and through. Octavien must be so proud of you." Her aunt leans in to give her niece a hug, they are family after all. "Let us sit down for a while," Armandine continues then, and gestures towards a chair beside her own. "You've requested to see me, on some important matter?"

While there is some initial suprise at the affectionate greeting, Imogen is quick to respond to the hug quite happily to her Aunts affection, she's just learned never to hold expectations for people. Still she can't help but go a slight pink upon talk of her childhood with her mother as she moves to take a seat next to her aunt, it's that very same Dahlia training that manages to keep her in check really, especially as the subject of her request is brought up. "I'd like to think he is, but it's also nice to be able to go home and see my family when I wish nowadays as well, the city is wonderful but all children miss home eventually" she admits with a small smile before gently her lower lip is dragged through her teeth as she speaks. "I wish to discuss the matter of my marriage to you. I will of course discuss it with father as well but, as you are the head of house, you have the final say on who my husband will be. I always thought I would just leave the decision to you and father but…..may I suggest someone?" she asks after a moment.

There are more layers than just one to Armandine, and after showing the affectionate side of a relative, her features dim into a slightly more ducal cast. "Marriage, hmm?" A bit of a glitter still clings to her eyes as she considers Imogen from the side, and Armandine smiles. "Of course. It is a matter that has be brought up sooner rather than later, especially as you are to become Comtesse de Florac one day." She pauses, and then after a moment of hesitation addresses the harpist lady. "Would you leave us for a moment? I'll gladly hear more of your music later, but you understand that I need a moment with my niece." There is authority in her tone, even if laced with Eisandine kindness, and Armandine will wait until there are only Imogen and herself left in the chamber.

"You have a proposition as who might be a good marriage candidate? I'm curious whom you may have in mind.", says Armandine de Mereliot, leaning over to place her hand encouragingly upon Imogen's lower arm, and her eyes linger attentively on her niece.

It seems that, once she's gotten the main point spit out, and her Aunt doesn't immediately have her thrown out, Imogen finds some of her bravery once more, smiling softly at ther Aunt as she, thankfully, has not forgotten the man's name in all this chaos. "Timeo Isidore d'Aiglemort, cousin to the Duke d'Aiglemort and Viscount of de Marlieux," she says, it's breif but there's a flash of what could be considered affection in the young girls eyes as she speaks. "The duke wishes for him to wed a Mereliot, to ease tensions between your two provinces, while at the same time he needs someone who can be a good Viscountess alongside him. I'm sure any number of ladies could fill the latter requirement, but the pool of our family is much smaller and….well, I like him," she admits candidly, perhaps brave, or perhaps stupid, but there is no hesitation in her eyes when she utters the words.

The duchesse listens, granting Imogen the moment she needs to present her idea. "D'Aiglemort," she echoes thoughtfully, digesting the thought with the smile dimmed into a more pensive quality. "A prestigious House, and hmm… cousin to the Grand Duc de Camlach…" This causes an intrigued glitter in her eyes. "You've met this Timeo d'Aiglemort, no doubt, and find him to be agreeable?" Imogen might be able to see how the duchesse turns to idea within her mind, this way and that. "You know I am intrigued, but the way you present the match, I'm not sure I can approve. Your idea is that you'd be leaving your family and Eisande behind, to go with him, to Camlach? Discarding the title you've been prepared to hold, to be a mere Vicomtesse at his side? Would that…" And here she draws a breath, "content you, my dear?" Noting perhaps that this may not be what Imogen wishes to hear, Armandine adds: "This means, there will be negotiation needed, with His Grace, the Duc of Camlach. I would suggest different conditions for the match. But all in all, I'm not opposed to a match between Mereliot and d'Aiglemort."

It's clear the suggestion the duchess makes most certainly did /not/ cross the girls mind, and no dahlia composure can stop the panicked jolt and rapid shake of her head as she dismisses the Duchesses very thought. "We had discussed that, Timeo and I, I thought it was possible for us both to retain our titles. There would of course need to be an heir produced for each, and I understand that makes it more difficult, but I had /never/ thought to permanantly leave behind my family and my home," she admits, there is confusion in those blue-gray orbs, albeit still hope, but if she has to make a decision, she will make one. "If it is a decision between Mereliot and d'Aiglemort though Your Grace, my choice is Mereliot, my choice is my /home/, and I would never throw that away for anyone. If what you suggest, that I leave de Florac and become Viscomtesse of de Marlieux is the only way forward, then I will simply tell Timeo he must seek out another bride," she explains and the earlier suprise is gone, the decision made as easily as putting on a dress.

"Ah, I see," says the Duchesse de Mereliot, and she smiles, the faint and considering smile of a negotiator. "My dear." Her hand rests upon Imogen's arm still, and she tilts her head a bit towards her niece, lowering her voice a little to an almost conspiratorial murmur. "If you marry, there will only be either here or there, there is no way both of you can retain your titles, because… at the vague possibility of a conflict between Eisande and Camlach…" Her smile deepens, but not in a particularly warm way, "you would have to choose your side anyway." A wink there, as Armandine's gaze softens. "I understand you two are wishing this match, and if titles are that much of an issue, you could go for a consortship instead. Both parties retain their autonomy, in a way, and both of you can have the heirs you need to continue your lineages. A consortship is an easier route to go, perhaps, but then again, it is not on par with the symbolic weight of marriage between Houses and Provinces." Her eyes alight at Imogen's assurance never to leave her own family behind, and she nods. "Good. I believe we have laid out our two options then. I shall write to the Duc de Camlach, Hortensio Batiste d'Aiglemort, and propose conditions and benefits for Camlach and Eisande." Warmth flashes in Armandine's eyes, and she smiles. "Would that please you?"

For a moment there is nothing, a silence and blankness to her eyes that even Dahlia could not train her to hide, but the light does slowly return as does understanding slowly dawn onto the young noble. She smiles a bit, and there's a flush to her pale cheeks, signiling she understands the concepts she and Timeo likely forgot in all their youthful enthusiasm. "I believe all the Duc wishes is for tensions to die down between the provinces, even if it is minor, and all Timeo wishes for is to continue his legacy, as any titled noble would," she admits, but it's clear that though she is speaking to the duchess, alot of this is being repeated for her /own/ benefit rather than for her Aunts. "If a consortship will get us all what we wish, the titles matter not….I never thought to meet someone like Timeo, who both on a personal and practical level can so complete me, so yes, if these are things you can arrange, I would be even more in your debt than I already am," she admits though she glances away and chuckles softly. "I would have to bring this idea to Timeo as well, but it /sounds/ like all we need, we were admittedly unsure how we were going to go about ruling two different titles while also trying to be a married couple," she admits with a soft smile. "As far as marriage being a deeper and more religious bond it is true, but our plan was always to be loyal to each other, until we determined if our bond was truly love, a vow I don't intend to break even as only his consort, and if we were to be consorts for life, simply unable to marry due to politics, I think in the end I would still be just as happy as if we had wed," she admits, and here she slips into the sentimental girl wrapped beneath the careful sheen of both Dahlia and future Comtesse.

"Elua has taught us to love as we will," Armandine de Mereliot counters softly, and for a moment, there is that caring in her expression, just as if Imogen were her own daughter, a warm and comfortable notion for the niece to revel in, to put her at ease. "And if a mutual attraction is what brings the two of you together, a consortship would express this far more. Marriages are made for politics, and if such a match with our House is what the Duc d'Aiglemort seeks, he will have to resort to some other relative." She chuckles softly at that, perhaps envisioning the martially so capable Camaeline Duc in the moment he receives her letter, whatever it content will be.

"One thing is for sure though, Imogen. You have to speak with Lord Timeo about this, as you can only make this decision together.", the Eisandine duchesse agrees. "I shall wait with writing this letter to the Duc until you have told me what you have decided on."

There is a soft nod, and even the begennings of a smile, it's likely she will be sorting this all out in her head during the walk back to her room until she can summon the lord in question to her side and discuss it with him. But she does not look lost, if anything she looks to somewhat glow with satisfaction at the idea. "I know, I told him I would send for him as soon as I spoke with you, even if that meant running into the streets of Marsilikos myself to track him down," she admits with a small smile before nodding. "But I understand, and thank you for being patient with me as I learn all this, in truth, I never really imagined having to step up as heir, let alone Comtesse," she confesses with a small smile.

"You can send one of my guards," Armandine tells her with a smile. "I suppose, he would be at the Aiglemort residence in town. Or… take some guards along to escort you there. I believe you two may have a lot to talk about.", the latter she adds with a slightly amused roll of her eyes. "Be well and be safe, Imogen. I shall look forward to hear news from you. It is an important decision, and perhaps you need a few days to consider your options." With these words, she rises to her feet, a graceful dignified presence. Now once again Her Grace. "Could you please send Lady Edith back in on your way out? You arrival interrupted her performance, and she may be eager to continue."

Imogen smiles warmly and nods as she rises from her chair as well, offering a polite curtsey. She's definately got alot to think about, but all the same, the answer is likely the same, she intends to be with Timeo, however she can have him. "Thank you Your Grace, I will send word when we have come to a decision," she agrees with a small smile, and taking that as her dismissal, goes to track down a certain Viscomte.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License