(1310-12-13) Journey to City of Elua Pt 1
Summary: Drake, Rajiya, Jelene and the entourage all start off on their trip to the City of Elua for the Longest Night celebrations.
RL Date: December 13, 2018
Related: Any dealing with Drake and Rajiya
drake rajiya 

Outside the Rousse Residence

Courtyard outside the Rousse Residence in Marsilikos.

Morning has come bright and early, the day that this entourage will begin the trip to the City of Elua. The princess has arrived to Rousse Residence in company of guards, a carriage loaded with her trunks. Helped down from it, she approaches the door, knocking upon it and waiting to be let in. She's dressed for comfort and warmth, wearing a D'Angeline style riding dress and her usual fur-lined cloak. Still, the exoticness shows, hands showing a more recent applicaiton of henna that stains her skin in dark lines and swirls.

There's mayhem in the courtyard of Rousse Residence as the servants and entourage are readying things. The Dragoness is somewhere, bossing people around. Drake sits perched on top of some trunks, watching everything with an air of bemused detachmen. His features brighten at the arrival of the princess. There's perhaps a look of relief as well. He lifts a hand to wave and get her attention to his whereabouts.

Spying the wave, Rajiya's steps turn then from the path to the door, towards where he sits and waits. Amusment might be found upon her face as well as she watches the chaos of the servants loading up his household. "A good morning to you, milord." The greeting is given with a smile, "I hope you do not mind that my own guards will accompany us as well to the city?" She is not going with all, but there seems to be at least 6 with her, including the one that seems to always be with her, others or not.

"No, no, of course not.", Drake smiles at her, "I had expected nothing else." He pats the trunk on which he sits and offers a hand to help her up. "I believe it will be a little while until we depart. Come share some wine with me and tell me what you thought of the Lady Philomene.", he encourages.

Taking the hand offered, Rajiya moves to take a seat next to him upon the trunk, thanking him softly before considering his question, "She was nice. Seems to have a good head for business. I do not think she will steer you wrong in it, if she takes you up as an investor. Listen to her… learn from her." That's her opinion, given quietly, her gaze lingering on servants moving back and forth packing up the carriage.

"Yea… I think she's a good woman too know, albeit a bit too careful for my liking.", Drake smiles, "I think we're good for each other though, she slows me down, I encourage her to think big. I am glad you finally met her though. Or rather, that she met you and realized that my beautiful Chi'inese teacher is not a figment of my imagination." He pours a simple wooden cup of wine for her and hands it to her, then lifts his. "Here's to a safe journey!"

"It's good to have one like her on your side." Rajiya says before taking up the cup of wine, the toast echoed by she, "A safe journey, and a fun time in the city.."

Meanwhile the largest wagon with the dragons of Draguignan emblazoned on the side starts lumbering out of the courtyard, accompanied by half a dozen guards. "Better get ready, Sir!", a young groom shouts out to Drake, who sighs and looks at Rajiya. "Well, it seems we must leave our lovely town behind. "Shall we ride together? My sister will travel in the covered coach for the first stretch, she believes it's wise for us to have some dry shelter available should the need arise…"

As the call goes up with the larger carriage pulling away, Rajiya turns to him, smiling, "You can ride with me, if you'd like? Unless you wish to ride horseback?" She's gotten a horse for herself, though she's still learning to ride. She did well that day when they ventured to the vineyards, the longest ride thus far she's made. "The morning looks good for a ride for now?"

"Oh I thought, we'd ride on horseback for now, while we're still fresh and the weather is lovely.", Drake replies and grins. "Unless you don't want to be seen with me in the streets?" He easily hops off the trunks, then offers a hand to help her down. His groom is standing nearby, holding his horse by the reins, the same one he rode on their trip to the vineyards.

Placing her hand in his, Rajiya slips from the top of the trunk, rising to her booted feet. "Whyever would I not wish to be seen with you?" She dares to question, even as her own groom comes forwards with her horse that was following the carriage, "Riding would be nice, and give me a chance to see more of the countryside."

"Good", Drake says simply and gives her hand a little squeeze, before releasing her to the attention of the groom and her horse. He mounts his own horse and soon enough they are on their way, following the big carriages bearing their goods and the smaller coach that Jelene has chosen as her mode of travel. Two guards riding behind Rajiya and Drake bring up the rear as the whole train trundles out into the street and makes its slow way along the main street to the Northern Gate. "You have never been up that way?", Drake asks curiously.

Rajiya is helped to the back of her mare, settling in and thanking the groom who helped her. A slight tug is given, the mare turning till the carriages are out of the way and they might begin to follow them through the streets. Shaking her head, she glances to the lord at her side, "I have never been to Terre d'Ange before. The trip to your vineyard is the only trip I've made outside the city here since I arrived." She admits with a wry smile, "I sent a letter to family, but had not yet gone to meet any of them in the Sommerville lands.."

"Well, you'll see plenty of wineyards on our way north.", Drake predicts, "It will take two days' ride to reach the city of Avignon (or whatever its name here is) where we shall transfer to a boat and ride the river north. Very beautiful land, very relaxing too. You will love it. It'll be a pleasure cruise of sorts and safer than the roads full of brigands. Where are the Somerville lads, will we pass them?", he asks curiously.

Rajiya allows her mare to follow carriages, and his own stallion. While in the city, it is slow going as they head for the gate. "Sommerville is part of L'Agnace, but I believe their lands are north of the City? The family deals more with orchards of apples… and cattle?" Apples makes sense, seeing as the scent permeates their skin!

"Then perhaps we shall pass them on the way to Elua? Or are they beyond the city to the North? I believe that's where most of the apples come from. And that delicious bubbly wine they turn them into.", Drake smiles, "Have you met them before? Will they come to Elua?", he asks curiously, "It must be so strange to have a family spread all over the world!"

"To the north of the city, yes." So they won't be passing through them. Rajiya chuckles quietly, then shakes her head, "I wrote to them, but have not heard back. Perhaps I will get a chance to meet them in Elua, considering it is far closer for them to journey there than here in Marsilikos." Again, there is a soft laugh from the princess as she says lightly, "Not so many.. here and home. And those back home are mostly in the same area."

"Still beats having everyone cluck together in Eisande.", Drake sighs, "Getting away as far as Tiberium was quite a feat for a Rousse. Perhaps that's why I thirst for foreign lands such as Chi'in… or…." He sideeyes her briefly, "Bodhistan."

"Oh, that is home…" Rajiya answers, laughing softly, "My uncle, the sultan, has five wives… and many concubines." A pause, and she adds, "A concubine is much like a consort of sorts… " How to explain it? "Between his wives and his concubines, he's got over 73 children." Yep, lots of cousins! "There are a few of us, born to my mother. My father has two other wives, each with a few children." Her family is not quite as large as her uncles.

Drake's eyes widen…. in panic. "Why would someone want FIVE wives? I find one will be plenty of baggage. Oh God, all the chatter, it would drive me insane." Then he catches himself and bites his lip, offering her a sheepish smile. "I… uh… well, I suppose it's nice to grow up with so many brothers and sisters?"

Rajiya listens, barely keeping herself from laughing aloud at his panic, "It is the way of my people. Seems strange, but then even your society with wives and consorts.. seem strange to others?" That said, she hmms, "There is never a dull moment, nor a quiet one, around the harems."

"I can imagine.", Drake smirks, taking a longer pause to perhaps actually -imagine- things. Or a harem full of scantily clad dames. "I am not judging.", he assures her, "I am merely curious how it all works. And I believe I will be perfectly satisfied with our ways of having just one wife. Except, it means, I shall have to choose wisely." He pauses again when their train comes to a halt in front of the North Gate, where city guards check the comings and goings of each cart and carriage. Then he turns to Rajiya. "What would you prefer? Being a sole wife or sharing your husband?"

Whatever he might be imagining, Rajiya doesn't poke into his thoughts. "It is different, but there are traditions, heirarchies.." She starts to say, but then pauses as they reach the gate. Waiting as they are checked over and soon rumble past the gate out onto the road, she turns back when he asks, "It would depend on the relationship. My mother is the First Wife of my father's. It is a position that holds much honor. He has two other wives, no concubines. His two other wives are much like consorts, though… he loves mama as one might their consort here?" She says, questioningly. "Being a man of his position, taking a single wife, would not have looked good. Being from Terre d'Ange, mama understood.." But what for her? "I am expected to take a husband with a title, to make a good connection between this land and Bhodistan… " Does she want love, or is she ready to make a political marriage? It's hard to say.

Drake listens carefully to her explanations while the city gives way to orchards, farmyards and barren hills beyond. He does pay attention. "I did not ask what you are expected to do, but what you would prefer?", he points out, "A husband all to your own or a husband to share with others so you had more time for yourself? If you could choose…"

Rajiya worries her bottom lip, then answers, "I think it is safe to say that everyone wishes to find love.. do they not?" That last is asked as she looks to him, a brow lifted upwards in silent question, "But I know my marriage will be political. At least here, there is the option of finding love in a consort. It is an option that not many outside of Terre d'Ange have. At least, not a wife, a female.."

Drake's brows pull together in a thoughtful frown while he tries to figure out how that answer matches the question he asked. "So you would prefer a husband to yourself?", he hazards a guess, "A consort… someone you could love? Yes, I believe it's a tall order but not impossible." He pauses, this time for a loooong time. He lets the horse take a break to drink from a small brook and nibble on some greenery, while he himself takes a sip of wine. But the conversation is far from over. He finally catches up with Rajiya again and gives her look. "So who's choosing that perfect political husband for you? Your family… or you?"

Rajiya hmms, "I can wish that I could love my husband and not deal with another, but I know the reality of my situation." And seems accepting of it. As they find a stream, her horse drinks as well, the princess to check in with her guards, the pair speaking in their native tongue for a few moments. When it's time to mount back up again, she is easily found, his question to draw her attention, "I believe the royals may offer suggestions, but in the end, it has been left as my decision in some ways, yes." Lucky, lucky her.

Does he look relieved? Probably. Even though he's trying to hide it. "So if the choice is left to you… what would you seek in a husband? And what would be an absolute no-no for you?" Drake's lips switch as if he's trying not to smile, but he still looks very curious."

Rajiya considers those questions seriously, "Someone I can relate to.. Someone who doesn't mind that I am half foreigner, that I might wish my children to learn of my homeland." That said, there comes a slight wrinkle of her nose, "I do not wish to marry anyone who is… too old." Even if they're D'Angline and might look good, no old people for her!

Drake looks aghast. "Why would anyone mind you being half foreigner? I mean it's not like you are a seven-foot half-Skaldian with a moustache to put a man to shame.", he points out, still keeping it light, although he does seem rather pleased by the description. "I believe such men could be found in Marsilikos. So who knows, you might yet be lucky."

"I have run into a few who do not like that I am even half Bhodistan." Rajiya says with firmness. "They would rather keep their bloodlines pure." She raises a shoulder beneath ehr cloak, "I have found some back home who think the same thing." There always will be those with that view. As the group starts off again, she adds, "I was told I should not accept any husband with a title lower than Comte. Maybe Viscomte." There is a quiet sigh after that, a hint of a frown to touch her lips as some idle thought passes through her head.

"I see." Drake presses his lips together at that last piece of information. "Good thing there are Comtes and Vicomtes aplenty in town." Then his brightest smile is back. "Will you please excuse me for a bit, Mylady? I should like to see how my sister is faring?" And once she's hopefully nodded, he nudges his horse forward until he's caught up with his sister's carriage.

To be Continued…

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