(1310-08-14) Selling an Apple
Summary: The Baron of Thiviers has arrived in Marsilikos to discuss a possible match with the Vicomte de Montmarlon.
RL Date: 14/08/2018
Related: This
evelyne sebastien 

Somerville Residence — Noble District

There is definitely an l'Agnacite air to the interior of the Somerville Residence. Paintings of landscapes featuring lush greenery and animals such as deer, cows, sheep adorn the white walls of the medium sized parlor. Above the hearth of white marble hangs a tapestry with the Somerville coat of arms, a green tree with red apples on a field of white. It is at the hearth where a number of high-backed armchairs of mahogany wood can be found, with backrests carved in the likenesses of branches, and soft cushions in white and green adding to the comfort of seating. Closer towards the wall with the three windows, a long table can be found, offering space for up to ten people, suited for dinners and taking other meals.

The baron of Thiviers had arrived on the previous evening. Huguet had not tarried and sent out a messenger upon his arrival, to the Basilisque Residence, wishing to notify Sébastien of him now having safely reached Marsilikos, and also to invite the Vicomte to pay him a visit on the following late morning. Time would have sufficed, for Huguet to reach out to his daughter Evelyne as well. With her being currently lady-in-waiting on trial at the palace, he had instantly summoned her to speak with him. She is still around on this late morn, sort of contained in her behaviour — perhaps prompted by her father’s presence. Attired in a fine dress of green and white, her blonde hair done in a courtly fashion that involves a number of hairpins, she sits in one of the high backed chairs by the hearth, hands folded neatly in her lap. Her father, standing beside that chair, ready to greet Sebastien as soon as he is shown into the salon of the house. Huguet is a man in his mid-forties, earnest, by the looks of him, and determined, as anyone will be able to tell from his firm handshake. “Vicomte,” he greets, tone low and yet friendly. Of the contained friendliness that often is shown before engaging in negotiations of any kind.

Sebastien’s handshake is also quite firm and full of confidence. Though, the young man lacks expected order in his attire. It seems that his hair has been brushed only twice and only by his fingers when he woke up. A short lock of dark brown hair sways on his forehead and the tip of that lock reaches the corner of his eye. It tickles the black eyeliner which marks the curiously playful expression of his dark gaze. His ocean blue shirt have first three buttons unbuttoned that an old silver snake pendant would be visible. His trousers are of leather and quite messily tucked into large boots. “A pleasure, Lord Huguet de Somerville,” Sebastien’s cheerful voice states and his eyes focus on the young lady. The man offers her a polite bow. “A very pleasant residence, I must say. Especially, I enjoy the art.” His hand gestures toward the walls.

Huguet takes Sébastien’s appearance in with attentive eyes, the snake pendant in particular. But he doesn't comment on the rather lax manner in which the Vicomte wears his clothes. Far from it. His gaze flicks from Sebastien towards his daughter, when that glance is shared. “You know of course already my daughter, Evelyne Marie de Somerville?” It is more of a rhetorical question, that precedes his own reply to the Basilisque’s comment on the interior. “I am glad to hear. Those paintings have been put up by my brother and my sister-in-law who currently reside here in the city and have been so kind as to welcome Evelyne to Marsilikos upon her arrival. They have some business at the palace, currently.”

His daughter meets Sebastien’s gaze, and her lips curve in a smile. “Of course, the Vicomte de Montmarlon and I have met a few times, at courtly occasions.” Clarifying that. All proper. She moves to stand though, to offer a curtsey towards Sebastien, taking her time to make it look all graceful. Not averse to meeting Sebastien’s gaze, she cannot resist to toss a ghost of a wink his way. “I am glad to see you again, my lord.”

“I am glad to see you again as well, my lady,” Sebastien answers to Evelyne but his attention focuses on her father, obviously. “Done all by themselves? They must be quite talented artists then! The only thing I can draw is five lines and a circle which form a very primitive human figure!” Vicomte laughs at his own humor. “I am quite glad to see such a quick response from your end, my lord, regarding my letter. I must say I did not expect that. My own father used to take months to make decision. He was a man of numbers and always prefered to count and weight a couple of times before adding his signature.” Sebastien clasps his hands behind back what makes him straighten up a bit. He would not be considered tall as a man but he is quite firm and has broad shoulders. “I believe we will see on this lovely day whom of us is more leaning toward long considerations?..” he smiles at the man after giving a quick glance to Evelyne.

“My lord, I fear my uncle and my aunt are only responsible for picking the paintings, but neither of them would know how to paint.”, Evelyne interjects with a smile, obviously amused at Sebastien’s counter. But that is all she will contribute for now, as she is only here today to play pretty decoration — and, of course, bait.

“Your letter,” Huguet replies, “did in fact come as a very pleasant surprise. I had not expected for Evelyne to make an impression so soon after her arrival. But I am being discourteous, my lord of Basilisque, let us sit down and have a bit of wine and refreshments.” He gestures towards a vacant armchair and sits down once Sebastien will do so as well. Even Evelyne resumes her seat, leaving enough space towards the two landed nobles for them to engage in conversation that most certainly will pertain to her.

“Your intention to wed my daughter Evelyne still stands?”, the baron asks of the vicomte.

“Thank you,” Sebastien nods and moves to take a seat. He shifts a bit settling in more comfortably. His arm leans on the armrest while his fingers play with that only one earring in his right ear. The earring has a snake form as well. He studies the father of the lady who caught his interest.

“Well… I am a man who rarely changes his opinion unless very reasonable opposing arguments are provided. In this case… I believe there are no arguments which could prove to me that marrying your daughter would be unwise. Her social skills impress me. I am not lacking them myself but I do need to focus on many different aspects of my home such as conflicts with Skaldi, economical and trading issues. So, while I can’t always represent my family at various courtly events, I am sure that your daughter would be quite capable of doing such a duty herself. But this is merely a one example. She has many marvellous traits I found attractive.” he briefly gestures toward Evelyn but his eyes do not leave lord’s.

Huguet de Somerville listens when Sebastien praises Evelyne’s social skills. A faint smile twists his lips. “Oh yes, she is hardly shy at courtly occasions, of a youthful… vigour,” he glances towards Evelyne, “that would definitely benefit from a considerate and experienced hand to reign her in sometimes.” He chuckles, as if the latter words had been more a jest than a true statement. “You only mention her social qualities. What of heirs? I have made my inquiries. You have been wed before and have a son already.”, he asks casually, focusing his attention on Sebastien. “Of course, you must intend to father more children, with a young wife that does not lack enthusiasm in these things?”

“Absolutely,” Sebastien nods at the man’s question. “I must say that being a father has became my most intriguing and the most exciting adventure. I love Rousseau as well as I plan loving and caring for all of my children. It’s definitely unfortunate that my wife has passed away. May she rest in peace,” He offers a moment of silence as if in respect of his previous wife. Just a very keen eye would notice that there is some sort of indifference in this act.

He takes his time to think of a further thought. His lips remain parted, suggesting that the man is not yet over. His fingers release that earring and Vicomte’s hands lay to rest on his lap. “Though, we all have to open a new page. I am ready to do so. I was expecting a question of inheritance. It’s reasonable to wonder what future the children of lady Evelyne will have…” He allows the fact to sink before presenting quite a unique thought. “I am quite well known for my different views on many topics. While my father was quite harsh and stagnant, I am open for something new. While my boy is currently an heir, if lady Evelyne will be blessed having more boys, I plan to be fair to all of them. My heir will become the one who will show the most talent, devotion and potence to it. Sometimes the eldest son becomes a wild spirit who desires to travel and explore the world while the last boy is focused on what is necessary to control lands. So, I will allow my children to demonstrate their skills and that will define the inheritance.”

The Baron of Thiviers wrinkles his brows a little as he listens to Sebastien’s statement about choosing an heir based on talent rather than by the natural way dictated by order in birth. Even so, this prospect must have been far more than he could have hoped for. “I was… thinking of the option of having Evelyne’s eldest child being considered for a barony,” he admits. “But what you are proposing, my lord, as irritating as such an unorthodox course of action may be to the House of your late wife, would please me very much.”

Evelyne leans forward in her seat, her eyes widening a little at Sebastien’s idea, but then again, this works nicely in making her father very favorable of the match. That subtle nuance in Sebastien’s demeanor when he spoke of his wife seems to have escaped her though.

“Hmmm.” Huguet’s smile broadens as he begins to pour some wine for Sebastien and himself. “You are very convincing, my lord. What kind of dowry would you expect for Evelyne? My branch of the Somerville family dabbles in Apple Brandy. We also have cattle on our lands, and our fromage de Thiviers is known even outside of l’Agnace.”

“I did not say that lady Evelyne’s and my children can not be also considered Barons or Baronesses. Depends on how many children we will have.” A beat. “To be bluntly honest, I would hope for at least five,” he quickly flashes a grin and a curious gaze toward Evelyne. But then he focuses back on the ‘Lord Merchant’. “That’s why I was looking for a young and very promising wife.”

The Vicomte de Montmarlon considers the last question for a bit longer before his hand gestures toward the paintings on the wall. “Lush greenery, apples, animals…” He points at the proper images when he mentions specific words. Then he looks back at the lord Huguet. “Your soil is fertile and mine is rocky and dry. I would love to sign a long term trade agreement because I believe that my armies and my people would be quite pleased receiving something more fresh, something more luscious from your lands. I can offer ore and lumber, a bit of wool. We are quite rich in everything what you need to create well made blades and armor.”

Five? Evelyne’s brows jump upwards, catching that glance of Sebastien, and as she sits in her father’s dead angle, she shakes her head just marginally and mouths a silent “No way!”, back to him.

“Certainly,” Huguet assures Sebastien. “Evelyne is of a hardy stock. Her mother is of House Arguil. And her aunt has given birth to seven children.” Praising his daughter like a fertile broodmare, the Somerville smirks towards the Basilisque, as if he didn’t care about the fact that Evelyne is overhearing his words. “Trade is always a good thing to make our holdings prosper. I am certain we can strike a good deal there. Grain, dairy products and fruit, and a few casks of our finest apple brandy.” He sits back and rubs his hands. “Negotiations can happen in more detail later, but apparently we are coming to an agreement here. Vicomte, would you think it too early if we proceed to determining a date for the wedding?”

“Not at all, m’lord. We can definitely arrange a date for the wedding. I believe that lady Evelyne will desire to plan a Grand Ball proper to her temperament. That might demand many preparations. Also, I would love if she would be the most significant beauty on that day. We will have to order jewelry and gowns from the best artists… Don’t you like, dear?” Vicomte looks at the young lady who has been quiet so far. But then he glances back at her father. “When do you think it would be best to have the event?”

“A… Grand ball. Oh. Yes. Definitely.”, Evelyne assures with a bright smile. “Here in Marsilikos?”, she glances towards her father as if asking for permission. “Jewelry. A fine wedding dress… Who could say no to that?” She seems to be agreeable to Sebastian’s thoughts on the matter.

The baron of Thiviers inclines his head in a nod. “Marsilikos. Why not? If Lord Sebastien doesn't prefer to celebrate his wedding at Montmarlon?” His gaze settles inquiringly upon the Vicomte. “As for the date. It can’t happen before her birthday. I would suggest the marriage to take place five days after that day. So… October 27th. What do you think, my lord?”

“Of course, I wouldn’t even have had a thought to arrange the event before lady’s birthday. October 27th sounds perfect.” Sebastien reaches for the glass and raises it up offering as a toast to the man in front of him. “It’s a pleasure to become one family, m’lord. And as you said before, more details of our arrangement can be discussed later. For now, you should rest and get adjusted to Marsilikos. It’s quite loud town as a port.” He smiles and drinks his wine after the other man brings his goblet forward, if he does so.

“Even if,” Huguet replies to Sebastien, unable to hide the pleased expression on his face, “I still need to write to the Duc of l’Agnace to receive permission for a marriage across the boundaries of our provinces…” He lifts his glass as well, touching it against that of the Basilisque Vicomte. “I believe, we can regard the matter as settled and announce the betrothal in a week from now, assuming that neither House Chalasse nor d’Aiglemort is opposed to the match. The date of the wedding shall be October 27th, and it shall happen right here, in Marsilikos!”

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