07.22.3013: Duties of the Son
Summary: Antaeus receives marriage advice and then some from both his sister and aunt, whether he wants it or not.
Date: 22 July 2013
Related: None
Antaeus Ariana Nefanwy 

Antaeus' Chambers — Sky Palace, Nubilus
A neat and spacious bedroom with a wall-sized window.
22 July 3013

Antaeus sits at his desk in his own private chambers, his attention on a series of ideas that he wants to eventually run past his father. Never let it be said that he doesn't have his own plots and schemes, although this one is rather benign and is dedicated more to helping bolster prestige than anything else. After a few more moments considering several different options, he glances up and looks at the time, letting out a curse as he sees that it's only moments away from when he asked Ariana to come and meet with him. Standing up, he begins to meticulously put aside the materials.

Having spent most of her day at the medbay on the Ring, Ariana is still dressed in her fitted white medical jacket and matching pair of pants. A brooch with the glowing sigil of House Larent upon it helps to keep the lapel of her jacket connected, acting as a clasp at her throat. The young woman's long pale blonde hair is done up in a tight bun, while a few wisps of hair escape their confinement to frame her face neatly. Even in her work attire, she walks with the ever graceful steps of a lady and while she is curious about what her brother wishes to speak with her about, her own mind is already preoccupied on thoughts of her betrothal; so when approaches Antaeus' door and gently raps upon it, her face lacks any sort of expression at all.

Antaeus glances up at the rapping at his door, and then glances back down to his half-stored away papers. He sighs and shrugs, and then begins to step over to a nearby table that has two luxurious chairs. As he does so he says in a clear voice, "Enter." That done, he reaches the table and then pours two glasses of wine from an already opened bottle of a rather nice vintage. Turning to face his sister, he gestures to a chair. "Please sit, sister. Would you care for a glass of wine?" He remains standing for now.

The doors to her brother's room glide open, allowing Ariana entrance into his not-so-humble abode. His room practically mirrors her own, in construct and design, though of course, he has his own personal touches which Ariana notes upon entering. "Dear Brother, I hope that the day finds you well." She then takes her seat at the appointed chair, her posture ever so straight and her delicate hands rest folded upon her lap. "Actually, after the long shift I had to endure today, I really could use a drink. Wine would be lovely." She need not spy on her siblings' rooms, for the most part, to ensure that they are neat and orderly. They are Larent, so a bit of perfection is expected within each child. As her pale blue eyes look out the large expansive window at the cloudy horizon, she then comes out and asks, very much the way her father seems to like getting 'to the point'. "And what did you wish to speak to me about, if I may ask?"

Offering her a small smile as he hands her the glass of wine, "I was sure that you would need a little something to wind down after such a busy day." Antaeus waits for her to take her seat first, being a gentleman and all. Taking his own seat, he lifts his own glass of wine to his lips and takes a small sip and then savours the flavor for a brief moment before swallowing. He isn't surprised that she wants to get right down to the point, after all, she's family, why should they waste time with unnecessary pleasantries? "The reason is quite simple, dear sister. Lady Elodie."

Ariana holds the offered wine glass daintily within both hands now, flashing a smile of appreciation in her brother's direction. "Oh yes. There are many from the last naval battle who are still critically wounded. We are working as quickly as we can. There is no telling when the Hostile will spring their next attack upon us." Taking a quiet sip of her wine, those piercing eyes of her now watch her brother with more than a little look of curiosity when he mentions Elodie. "Charming isn't she? Lady Elodie of Iah. She is a gentle young woman, proficient in the field of medicine and while she may seem a touch sheltered…" Funny, that the name of Iah's Seat is Shelter, "she is finally finding the time to meet and mingle with our noble peers."

Antaeus looks away for a moment as he thinks about the number of injured from the last battle. Shaking his head, he puts it out of his mind for the moment, aware that he has his own thoughts about those wounded and killed in this war… this war that will go on for quite some time he suspects. Turning his mind to the discussion of Elodie, he nods slightly, "I suspect that you wanted me to introduce myself to her last night, so I did." He puts his glass of wine down on the table and leans into his chair, his face looking resigned for a brief moment.
"So, can I assume that the two of you have discussed me in any capacity? Be honest with me, I've done some thinking and I think my role now is pretty clear. Veryna's marital status is…" He can't even think of a word that would describe how much he doubts that his older sister will find a suitable husband in the near future. "Anything could happen in this war, I could very well end up as the next heir of our house."

Drawing in another quiet sip of wine, Ariana's gaze never leaves her brother's face when she listens to his explanation. After his initial question and assumption, the younger Larent flatly states, "To be honest, not really." And only now does she allow her gaze to drop and return to looking out the window which occupies a full wall of Antaeus' room. "I did gauge her interest, however, if she had any young Lord in mind that she may wish to marry. She, very much like I have, has placed her fate within her Lady Sister's hands." Another sip is then taken and immediately following that, the glass is lowered as her wrist rests within her lap. and her gaze returns to face Antaeus, "That does not mean that if she does meet the right Lord for her, that she will pass him up. So if you do wish to explore that avenue, it wouldn't hurt to get to know her." Though when the topic of Veryna is made, her face seems to light up gently, "I've asked Lord Sir Cynan Dalton to stop by at some point, to perhaps… spar with both you our Lady Sister. And maybe discuss war tactics and all of those things which soldiers and combatants do. Our Lord Father is hoping for an alliance with one of the Lashes families, my main concern is that Lord Cynan is not a mainline Dalton, he is a cousin to the mainline. That said, our Lord Father seems to think highly of military and strategic mind." She lets a few seconds pass, before finally asking, "For Veryna's sake, I hope that things get sorted out. But it's nice that you are thinking ahead for your family."

"Lord Cynan, you say? I don't mind sparring with the two of them if you think that will accomplish anything." Antaeus says this with a strong hint of doubt though, especially with Cynan not being a mainline Dalton. Deciding to turn the conversation back to something that isn't about their older sister, he says, "I… might have a slight interest in getting to know her a bit better, but I'm not sure where I should start. You know her better than I do, how can I put my best foot forward with her?" It feels like he's chewing glass saying these things, but a man must accept his lot in life, he can't just keep having 'fun' while on shore leave forever.

"I am glad to hear that and Lord Cynan seems interested in matching his skills with that of our Lady Sister as well. Veryna being the melee on foot champion at the last tournament and everything." Ariana says, sounding almost delighted by some of this, but she doesn't mind the topic shifting back to her brother and in fact, she looks rather pleased that he is taking a serious interest into what lies before him and their House. "So has Lady Elodie caught your fancy?" While she's certainly pleased, a little teasing doesn't hurt anyone. "Actually, I had a conversation with her after we left the wedding reception yesterday… talking about why she, supposedly, lost interest in Young Lord Kadmus Volen. You must admit, as the vassal House heir for House Volen, Lord Kadmus would be a catch." Even as she chit-chats and gossips, she retains a level tone when her words are not sprinkled with light humor. "It seems that they simply drifted apart. Or maybe they weren't as compatible as she had once thought. She is a kind-hearted young Lady. Incredibly generous and very caring… even for the citizens on Niveus. She may very well want a man who was similar to her." Her cold blue eyes light up faintly, eye contact being made with her brother once more, "Could you be that sort of man?" A very subtle dismissive gesture is made as she continues on, "Simply just be eager to help out and lend a hand. Maybe show some interest in a few matters that Niveus may be now facing. That shouldn't be too difficult."

Antaeus lets out a soft sigh, his head shaking slightly. "I suppose that one could say that out of any prospective noble ladies out there, she might have proved to be the most… interesting." He admits that much, but it does cause him to take his glass of wine back up and take a long sip as she discusses Elodie's past with Kadmus. This is good information to know, and he has to nod regarding Kadmus' prospects. "Indeed, I would think that he would be more of a 'catch' to a young lady than me, a simple second child." He offers something of a smile to that. "I suppose I could try and put some effort into catching her eye. I'm not sure if I can really go out and be kind and caring to the average citizenry on a day to day basis, but partaking in charitable endeavors can always give good press."

With a sense of pride burning within her, Ariana quickly rises from where she is seated and carefully places her half-filled glass upon the nearest counter, just so she can drift over towards her brother. "Nonsense, dearest Brother. You are just as much of a catch as Young Lord Kadmus is. Of course, he is an heir, which means that his House will be all the more picky about his choices. That said, Lady Elodie isn't a bad choice at all and I find her refreshing to be with, for the most part. I mean, you know some of my friends… Lady Soleil Sauveur… Lord Keanen Arboren. Lady Elodie is certainly different than either of them." Her delicate hands clasp together, long fingers lacing, "I can always find out what House Iah is up to and pass that information along to you.. though, I am burning up with curiosity now. In what way does Lady Elodie pique your interest?"

Shifting in his chair, Antaeus places the glass back down on the table and holds his hands out placatingly towards his sister. "I do not doubt myself, I simply have no delusions about how the great game of matchmaking works between all of the Heads of Houses trying to firm up various alliances." That being said, he clasps his hands together in his lap and smiles up at her, "I know you are quite picky, sister. This is why I've decided to set my attentions upon Lady Elodie for now, well let me clarify that, that is if she is available. I don't want to step on any toes, you know. That can cause so many unnecessary problems. As to why she piques my interest? Well, she seems quite refined, and you know how important class and refinement are to we Larents. I admit that she's also quite pleasing to look at as well."

Ariana considers something quietly when Antaeus speaks and while she rarely ever speaks of certain personal matters in her life, not even with her siblings, she decides to come out with her own way of planning on the matter of marriage. "For a long time, I have made a list." She says before her lips purse in a quick thoughtful moment. "I ranked individual noblemen by House, position within their House and… other types of criteria. Like what their homes looked like or whether they may be allowed to marry out and into the Larent." Standing besides where her brother is seated, she shifts on her feet in a graceful, almost dancing manner. "This list wasn't something that I had written down, of course. No. I've kept it all in my head. It might not hurt to have a similar list for yourself, but you are right about Lady Elodie. She would make a fine Larent, I think… and I did promise to take her dress shopping some time soon, with all of the weddings we need to attend."

Antaeus and Ariana are currently in Antaeus' private chambers, discussing the horrible, horrible topic of finding him a match. Something that he seems to finally be accepting.
A list? Well, Ariana was always one to take things in hand and get things done, so the whole concept of her list doesn't surprise him. "That might work for you, but I'm not really sure I want to spend the time doing such a thing. I think that my options are slightly limited because I can't find myself getting married out of this house to one of the female heirs." Not to mention that some of those very heirs are probably stronger than he is. The thought of being bench-pressed on the wedding night? Yeah, not pleasant. "Regarding Lady Elodie, I think the important thing is that you two already seem to be friendly, and that's somewhat important to me, I wouldn't want to disappoint you terribly, and go pursue someone who has no sense of propriety."

Ariana is practically hovering around Antaeus' chair, her cold heart seems to have been lifted by this very resignation that her brother feels regarding his marital fate. She is dressed in her medical attire — a long fitted white jacket and a matching pair of pants. It definitely looks as if she just came off duty from her work at the medical bay. "Do not worry so, you needn't make a list. Why, I will sort things out on my end, keeping in mind the fact that it would be best that you remain a Larent. I mean, it's not as if I've not been keeping my eyes open for potential marriages for my siblings. What sort of sister would I be, if I were not." She does offer a quick nod, however, "It would be nice if you both could spend time together. Maybe I will even see about getting us an invitation some time soon, to view their… rehabilitation center for wounded animals."

As though summoned from the ether by talk of matchmaking, the best aunt in the history of Larent genetics arrives. Nefanwy is likely also the most petite woman in this line, topping out at a mere 5'4" if she wears moderate heels. A servant knocks to announce the woman who insists on pomp and propriety as a matter of course for nobility. Her golden hair has been swept back and those vivid green eyes are a sharp contrast to her fair skin.

Antaeus looks a little chagrined by the Ariana's actions here. She doesn't need to seem so… -happy- about this entire conversation. "Perhaps I could go to that rehabilitation center for animals. Do you think she would be receptive if I traveled to her clinic to look in on the wound from the last battle?" His attention is caught by a rap on his door. "Enter." Oh, things can't get better for him now. He just had to open his mouth didn't he. Just had to. "Lady Aunt, such a pleasure to see you. Come join us, would you care for some wine?" He stands up and prepares to go fetch another glass just for Nefanwy.

It's a rare occasion when Ariana actually looks genuinely happy. At this very moment, the young woman comes off as 'happy enough' or 'As happy as Ariana tends to get, usually…' "That would be a splendid idea. I mean, it's not overly intrusive, I don't think, for you to lend a helping hand. In fact, that is what Young Lord Kadmus was doing originally. Or so I believe, when he first caught up with Lady Elodie. It was around the time of the invasion on Niveus." If there is more to say, she holds back, hearing the light rapping sound, before the door slides open and she immediately lowers her head as a show of deference to her favorite aunt. "Lady Aunt, if I had known you were to show up today, I would've prepared for your visit."

With her hands folded primly upon her waist, Nefanwy wears an expression of mild amusement as she looks between the pair. "Indeed I would, Antaeus, thank you." She gives him a nod, then moves toward Ariana with the intention of sweeping her into a warm embrace. Looking down at the young woman's garb, she arches an expressive eyebrow and chuckles. "No preparation is necessary. You are beautiful, even in these rags." After gesturing dismissively toward the medical attire, she looks back toward the boy. "I hope I was not interrupting anything. Hopefully, you two have outgrown the worst of your youthful antics." Despite the words, a light smirk tugs one corner of her lips.

It's only a matter of moments for Antaeus to fill up a glass of wine and provide it to his aunt. "Please, have a seat." He motions to where he was just sitting, he shall stand while the ladies sit. It's probably going to be best that he remains standing for what is to come as it is. "You are just in time, Aunt. My dearest sister is, I believe, bursting at the seams with excitement. You see, I expressed interest in getting to know Lady Elodie of House Iah better, and one would think that we just won our war against the Hostiles based on my sister's reaction."

"Thank you, My Lady." Ariana says as she smiles gently at the compliment given her. "You are looking well and ever so lovely yourself. Yes, please. Have a seat. Dinner will be served in another hour or so, so there is still time to unwind." Half-turning to look in Antaeus' direction, the youngest Larent states, "I am just pleased that at least one of my siblings is showing an interest in marriage. Not that Veryna isn't… but she doesn't seem to be truly looking for a match for herself. And hers is very important." Now that her aunt is here, however, she does finally say, "I do have some news of my own regarding betrothals."

Without so much as a downward glance at her expensive and clearly carefully chosen gown, Nefanwy responds to Ariana's comment with a nonchalant, "Oh, this old thing? You are too kind, my dear." Talk of marriage has her ears pricking and eyes glinting as she speaks to the pair.
"House Iah? Hmmm… I suppose that is acceptable, if not ideal. Your father spoils Veryna far too much. She should have been wed as soon as she reached majority and borne an heir not long afterward. Playing knight is all well and good, but duty comes first." She turns her head to address Antaeus in particular for a moment. "While her match is the most important, yours is not far behind. Particularly since your older sister has such dangerous pasttimes." To call Nefanwy conservative might be a severe understatement. "Now, Ariana darling, please share your news. You are the only one of the four of you with any sense in this regard, it seems."

A small part of him just wants to crack a smile, even snort a laugh, regarding his aunt's comments about Veryna bearing heirs already. "She is happy with her role as a knight, and I have my duties in the Navy. Granted, it might not carry exactly the same risks as those knights undertake, but I'm still at risk too." Maybe he's said too much. Taking a long, deep sip of his wine, he shifts his gaze to Ariana, eager to have her discuss her news. That should occupy the two of them for a while, giving him enough time to prepare for the next salvo.

"With Lord Grandfather coming from House Iah," Ariana starts off, her eyes now on her aunt as she speaks of Nefanwy and Percival's own father,, "Another match with that House may not be ideal, yes, but it could cement a bond. I do know that father was hoping to make another alliance with a Lashes House through Veryna." She does then bring up, "It looks as if most of the Houses, Paramounts included, have been far too lax in regards to marriages for their heirs. Orelle and Cindravale's heirs do not have a match. House Khournas' heir was married once and had a child, but due to… odd circumstances, she was promptly divorced at some time." There is no mention of Arboren in her statement. A brief pause, "That said, with the rash of marriage banns being announced, it looks as if the Houses are only now hurrying to have their children married." Her eyes look towards her brother when he speaks, but returns to their aunt when she dispassionately announces, "I have learned that I've been betrothed to the Heir of Arboren, Young Lord Declan. The contract should be finalized at any time now and the marriage banns announced."

How kind of Antaeus to step directly into his aunt's trap. "Precisely, my boy. That is why you had best sire at least two children with haste. The term is 'an heir and a spare' for a reason — as the spare for an heir who is shirking her duty, you must get on the ball."
Nefanwy's lips curve a bit deeper when her niece hits the nail on the head regarding House Iah. The merriment fades quickly and her lips thin as the great many unmarried nobles are mentioned. Yet Ariana times her joyous announcement well, preventing the visitor from going on a rant about the lax attitude of Houses these days.
Her brow lifts and an almost sly smile appears as she asks in a dry tone. "Congratulations! I take it by your enthusiasm you approve of the match?"

Antaeus chokes on his wine, nearly spitting it onto the floor. "Yes, well, I'm not married yet, and who's to say that I've even found a prospect yet. My interests could very well be misplaced." An heir and a spare indeed. He takes a moment to sip his wine again, wanting to have a proper sip since the last one was ruined so. Once he's enjoyed his wine, he points in Ariana's direction. "She'll be giving father grandchildren long before I will at this rate." His eyes twinkle with amusement as he gazes at Ariana.

With how Nefanwy states so plainly regarding Antaeus' position within the family line, there is a little hint of amusement that can be seen in Ariana's eyes, though she does take a careful step forward just as Antaeus lightly chokes on his drink. She woudln't want him ruining his good shirt, now would she. But as he settles down, she withdraws as she turns her attention back on her aunt. "The Young Lord is an heir to a Paramount House. Such a match would be any girl's dream, my Lady Aunt. My primary concern is that the social views of House Arboren are very different from our own. And… the Spine is definitely no Summit." The normal pout of her lips presses even more firmly at Antaeus' little joke. Her chin lifts, but she makes no comment having children so quickly.

After taking a sip of wine, Nefanwy comments idly, "Oh, is that the issue, Antaeus? Your interests are… misaligned?" Unable to suppress a small smirk, she glances toward him and speaks in a deadpan voice. "You can always find a woman of boyish build with short hair, so that you can manage your duty."
She waits only a beat to let the implication sink in before returning her attention to Ariana. "Your points are quite valid, both for and against the idea. Is the young man at all open to our views? You are a persuasive, well-spoken lady. You can most assuredly help him see the merits of Reversion for his House once he takes the High Seat."

Antaeus blinks at his aunt's words for a moment before vehemently shaking his head. "Oh no no no, I can assure you that I'm more than capable of appreciating a young woman with a nice figure. Just during my last shore leave there…" He pauses, squints, and then shuts his mouth. Yeah, probably doesn't need to start going in that direction. Instead, he helps steer the topic of conversation solely in Ariana's direction, "There's nothing to worry about, she will have Lord Declan eating out of the palm of her hand within a matter of months, I'm sure."

Just the very idea of a boyish woman joining House Larent does make Ariana wrinkle her nose oh so gently, though in that same amused way, she watches for her brother's reaction to their aunts needle sharp words. "This is why I am glad to hear that my darling brother is willing to take this first step towards finding a good match for himself. And I will help guide him along the way. I know many a young noblewoman who should be wed, but only very few who are good enough for Antaeus. The most difficult part is finding a proper young woman who is part of a House that we could use an alignment with." Trailing back to her seat, she settles down close to her aunt's chair as she feels the eyes are on her again. She has always been good at wearing some sort of mask, so her expression and even her words come out gentle and light when she speaks, "They do not mind the Reversion so much and I almost feel that many of them tend to shy away from technology. Or at the very least, prefer the woods, to the Ring. It is their odd egaltarian views that are of some concern, but I shall do what I can to sway the Young Lord's opinion on such matters."

A single eyebrow slowly arches as Antaeus begins along a rather personal line of thought. "You are most certainly your father's son," Nefanwy muses. "Yet even he was wed early and did what was required. I hope you will listen to your sister. Remember, marriage for us is no different than all other aspects of noble life: it is about duty. Find joy in it, if you can manage, but realize that is a perk, not the goal." She reaches out to gently part Ariana's forearm. "I agree with your brother and have every confidence you will enlighten your husband."

Oh, he does take after dear old dad in a number of ways, but isn't quite like his father either. "I… will do what is required, you both needn't worry. I just worry about what the Hostiles are going to end up doing. I have duties within the Royal Navy too, you know." He sighs and steps over to his desk and takes a seat at his chair, waving a hand at Ariana. "I wouldn't worry about your future husband. I got along with him well enough, and he seems like a decent fellow. I'm sure that once this war is over, we can use your connection to his house as a way to let House Larent rise even further in prestige and power. Holes will need to be filled, many will inevitably die."

When her father is mentioned, Ariana's curiosity gets the better of her and she asks Nefanwy, "Was my Lord Father a difficult one to match? Even now, he is always preoccupied with his naval duties as well as working on titanium trading for the House. I do wonder if he was always this way, even when he was our age." This said, she shares a glance with Antaeus, especially as the topic does tend to be directed at his own duty to the family as well. With a slow nod, she returns to speak with her aunt once more, "I was hoping that we could meet later. I wish to seek out your wisdom regarding marriage in general. And yes, the Young Lord of Arboren is a kind, mild-mannered man. There will be time for the both of us to get to know one another very shortly during our betrothal period. Admittedly, I would be a wonderful asset to their House, that much is true… and I hope that the Arborens expect to get some sort of makeover while I am there." Here she smiles, thinking of getting the tree people out of their drab clothing and into something more refined.

"Your father was always the same at heart, but the wildness of youth is a veneer not easily removed." With a sharp look to Antaeus, Nefanwy notes, "It is not 'all in good fun' when playing with the hopes and hearts of those who warm your bed. Remember that." Just as quickly, her practiced smile returns to face Ariana. "Of course we shall speak further, my dear. I intend to remain here for several days, in my usual room. Knock anytime." Addressing both relatives, she dips her head. "It has been a pleasure, but I must retire now. I Shall speak with each of you privately before I leave." With a grin, she adds to her niece, "It is not so far a distance from the treetops to the sky, dear girl. Good night."

Taking on a look that just screams innocence, Antaeus shakes his head at his aunt. "I am a gentleman, Aunt. I would never do such things." Of course, Ariana gets all the favorable attention. The one son gets nothing but jibes all night, but one of three daughters is the beloved one? Times like this make him want to spend much more time in the company of his father. "Have a good night, Aunt. I do so very much look forward to our future discussion." As long as it doesn't pertain to heirs and spares again. "I think I might retire as well. You should too, sister. You've had quite a long day."

When Nefanwy speaks out to Antaeus again, Ariana just graces her poor brother with as sweet a smile as she can muster. It's uncertain on whether she actually notices the favortism or not, but definitely makes no mention of anything even if she did. "That is wonderful news, Lady Aunt. There is much to speak of and perhaps… we can find some time to do a little shopping. I'm not so much as of thinking of my own wedding dress as I am pondering on outfits to wear to the other events. Especially the wedding of Princess Janelle to Lord Magnus Khournas." As she chatters, she gracefully follows her aunt out of her brother's room. "Remember, dearest brother. Dinner will be served in a half-hours time." She then leaves Antaeus alone in his chambers with those parting words.

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