collapse

Welcome to the Worlds of Katherine Kurtz

Welcome to Rhemuth Castle!

KK Chat is at 7pm Eastern on Sundays, except on the first Sunday of the month, when it is at 5pm Eastern to accommodate fans in the UK and Europe.

Come join us in chat! And Happy reading!

Pin yourself on the member map.

Author Topic: The Demoiselle and Derry Chapter 2  (Read 2509 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Evie

  • Administrator
  • Prince/Princess
  • *****
  • Posts: 1958
  • Karma: 28
  • Gender: Female
  • Sister Evie--Servant of Saint Camber
    • The Mini-Deryni Chronicles
  • Favorite Book: High Deryni or The King's Justice (can't decide)
  • Favorite Character: President of the Duncan McLain Fanbabe Society
The Demoiselle and Derry Chapter 2
« on: August 01, 2010, 09:21:49 pm »
Chapter Two


   “Oh my, how your children have all grown!”  Celsie laughed up at Richenda from her vantage point on the grassy ground, little Kelric in her lap.  She looked back down at him as his little hand played with one of her curls, tugging experimentally at one long lock and then watching it spring back into place as he released it, then glanced over at his big sister.  “Briony, you were even younger than this little man is now, the last time I saw you all.  Kelric wasn't even walking yet when I left Rhemuth, was he, Your Grace?”

   “Well, he's certainly all over the place now!” Richenda said with a smile.  “This is the longest I've seen him sit still in quite a while.”  She lifted her youngest child—a baby girl who looked to be no more than a month old—to her shoulder to pat her back gently.

   Celsie admired the red-gold fuzz on the infant's head.  “What's her name?” she asked Richenda.

   “This is Grania,” the Duchess informed her.  “Grania Marie Araxelle.”

    “So you have two boys and two girls now—a nice balance.  And that reminds me; I've a couple of items for you and His Grace in my saddlebag, but I'll give them to you later.  Maybe once the children are abed.”  Celsie's eyes drifted to Brendan, who stood to one side smiling at her a little shyly.  “I heard you had quite the adventure on your trip to Torenth last summer, young Marley,” Celsie said admiringly, “and that you gave the Duke good cause to be glad he brought you along.”

   Brendan blushed at the attention.  “I was just in the right place at the right time, my Lady,” he protested.

    “And you did the right thing,” Celsie added, “which is far better than being in the right place at the right time and doing the wrong thing, or nothing at all.”

   He ducked his head, suppressing a grin.  “I just did what needed doing, that's all.”

   “You're what, eleven now?”

   “Yes, my Lady.  Almost twelve.”

    “Ah.”  Celsie smiled teasingly up at Richenda.  “He might be safe for another couple of years then, before you have to worry about fending off the hordes of hopeful ladies-in-waiting eager to catch a handsome and brave young Earl's eye every time you visit Rhemuth.”

   “Heaven forfend!” Richenda said with a laugh and an affectionate smile at her firstborn.  “I'm not ready for that yet.”

#

   “I think you've made a conquest,” Derry joked in a low whisper as he and Celsie followed Duchess Richenda into the Great Hall later, “if the look of tongue-tied adoration on Brendan's face is anything to go by.”

    “He's a sweet boy,” she said with a smile.  “and far less awkward than I was at that age.”  A faint shadow crossed her features briefly, quickly dispelled as she spied the Duke of Corwyn.  He spotted her at the same time, crossing the Hall quickly with his long stride.
  
   “Welcome back to Coroth,” the Duke said with a broad grin at his ward as he bowed over her hand before greeting his wife with an affectionate embrace, taking the sleeping baby from her to give her the chance to rest from carrying the infant.  “I've heard rumors about a certain stallion you've acquired, Lady Celsie.  My grooms are jealous.”

   Celsie laughed.  “If you'd prefer a foal next year in place of my usual land tithe....”

   Morgan smiled.  “I think I'd like to see this fabled beast before I make any commitments of that sort.”

    “I've seen the fabled beast,” Derry told him.  “If the foals are like the sire, I'd take her up on that offer.  I have no idea how you talked the seller down to the price you did, Celsie.  I know he cost a princely sum anyway, but the breeder could easily have gotten another two-hundred for a stallion of that quality.”

    “And I'd likely have paid the extra two-hundred, and gladly, had I known the cost of the bargain would be having to deal with an additional six hours of impassioned wooing,”  Celsie admitted, her dimpled smile flashing.  “I told you I was half afraid I'd have to offer up my firstborn child!”

   They laughed.  Richenda turned to her husband.  “I was about to show Celsie up to her room so she can get settled in.  Shall I take Grania up to the nursery on the way?”

   “Oh, I'll bring her up.  I've hardly seen the little rosebud all day.”  He gazed fondly down at the sleeping infant's tiny features, cast from her mother's mold.

#

   Celsie found her baggage awaiting her when she entered the bedchamber that had been readied for her arrival.  

   “I'll leave you for now, in case you'd like a little time to rest or freshen up before the evening meal,” Richenda told her.

   “Oh, wait!” Celsie said.  She opened up one of the bags, pulling out a couple of linen-wrapped packages.  “I made these for you and His Grace in Andelon.  I had to make a few projects to show my mastery of the spellwork I've learned.”  She handed the packages to the Duchess.  “I hope you like them, and that they'll prove to be useful.”

   “Why, thank you, Celsie!”  Richenda took the packages with a smile.  “Should I wait until later to open mine, or should I open it now?”

   “Oh, now, so I can explain what it is, though you might be able to tell that for yourself based on the feel of the working.”  Celsie blushed slightly as Richenda began to unwrap the first package.  “I made this on the assumption that you and His Grace are hoping for more children in future, but if not, I can make a night-rail with a different working in it.”

   Richenda finished untying the ribbons around the linen-wrapped parcel and unfolded the wrapping.  The night-rail in question was of a good quality white linen, soft yet fairly durable, embroidered at yoke and hem with simple white flowers.  It was the spellwork, Richenda realized as she ran her fingers over it, which made the garment noteworthy.

   “As night-rails go, it's not especially alluring, but it's meant for your lying-in,” Celsie explained, confirming Richenda's guess.  “It's meant to provide easy childbirths and general protections against harm.  I made it all white so it can easily be laundered and bleached between uses.”

    “It's quite lovely, and very much appreciated,” Richenda told her, setting the garment down to gather Celsie in a quick hug.  “And yes, we are hoping for more.  A few more, anyway.”  She leaned back to look into Celsie's eyes.  “You know, dear, you're welcome to call us Alaric and Richenda in private.”

   Celsie smiled.  “Thank you.  I didn't wish to presume.”  She picked up the second package and untied the ribbon around it to show off its contents.  “Alaric's present is an undertunic with protective spells embroidered throughout.  I was originally considering making a gambeson for under his armor, but then I realized not all attacks and other dangers occur in battle where one might reasonably expect them.  I only had time to make one, but I can make him a spare later, in case he'd like to have an extra available to wear while the first is being laundered.”

   “Oh, he'll love that!  It looks like your time in Andelon was well spent.  And truly, it wasn't nearly as terrifying as you were expecting, now was it?”

   Celsie gave a reminiscent chuckle.  “I was quite lonely for Rhemuth at first, but I eventually settled in.  Andelon definitely has its charms, but all the same, I'm glad I'm finally home for good now.”  She smiled.  “I enjoy Court life to some degree, but at Chervignon I feel useful.  I'm not just a decorative asset with a talent for magical stitchery, sitting in wait for a man to show up and give my life meaning.”  She sighed.

    “Well, I hardly think you're viewed as just that, even in the Court of Andelon,” Richenda observed.  “Though it sounds like you've grown tired of fending off suitors.”

    A soft laugh.  “Does it show?”  Celsie sighed.  “It's not that I don't want a husband and children—I very much do.  It's just...I don't want just any husband either.  And I'd like to think I have some value of my own as well, wholly apart from one, and apart from my presumed ability to breed.”

   Richenda nodded.  “Oh, I understand, truly I do.  Hopefully you'll find a husband who will value you for yourself, and not simply as an accessory.  I've been most blessed in Alaric in that regard.”  She tilted her head at the younger woman thoughtfully.  “Are you still interested in Sean?”

   Celsie grinned.  “I was quite besotted with him in my younger years, wasn't I?  Was it obvious?”

   Richenda laughed.  “Blindingly.”

   The grin subsided to a faint smile.  “Yes, I'm still quite taken with him.  But please don't tell him so.  I've no wish to see him shy away from me.  I assume he's still commitment shy?”

    “Well....yes.  Though I suspect at this point, it's more that he just hasn't found the right woman he'd feel comfortable settling down with,  rather than the complete lack of willingness to settle he might have felt in his younger years.”  The Duchess sighed.  “I know he quite wants children of his own, though, and he does need an heir for Derry.”

   “He just doesn't want to risk being tied down to the same woman and hopelessly bored for the rest of his natural?”  Celsie observed, only half in jest.

   “Pretty much,” Richenda agreed.  “Which simply means, of course, that the woman who hopes to catch him should do her utmost not to be boring.”  The Duchess winked.  Celsie burst into laughter.

   “Maybe he should have married my heart-sister Ailidh.  I think Sir Jass is probably praying for boredom at this point.”

   Richenda chuckled.  “I don't think Sean is looking to be worried into an early grave either.”

#

   Celsie and Derry enjoyed a private dinner that evening with the Morgan household.  

   “So, tell us about your time in Andelon,” Alaric said.  “I know the Contessa was especially hopeful of fostering your aptitude in cording lore, but did you learn anything else of interest there?”

    “Oh, gracious yes!” the demoiselle averred.  “Or at least I learned about much more, which isn't quite the same thing, of course.  I do wish I had enough aptitude with music to try my hand at bardic magics, for instance.  I can sing, but I'm not very proficient with any instrument, and bardic magic requires chords and harmonies as complex as some of the more specialized stitches and knotwork used in cording lore.  Having heard a Deryni bard perform, though, I can assure you there's a world of difference between a ballad played and sung with Deryni magical enhancement than one performed without it.”

   “That sounds interesting.  How would you describe the difference?” Alaric asked.

    “Well, it would be far easier for me just to show you,” Celsie said, “although....”  She glanced at Derry.  “Sean, are you still magic-averse?  I could just try describing it in words, if you are.”

   He raised an eyebrow at her.  “I didn't realize you knew, but as it happens, no.  At least, not nearly so much as I once was.” He shrugged.  “I'm not sure why, but ever since we returned from our little jaunt into Torenth last year, I've had less of a problem with it.  Perhaps just having more exposure to seeing it used in completely benign ways helped, the assassination attempt on King Liam-Lajos notwithstanding.”

   Alaric and Richenda exchanged a quick look, unseen by Derry.  Celsie suspected they knew more about the matter than they were letting on in front of Alaric's lieutenant, but she was hardly going to pry, especially not in the presence of the man in question.

   “So you won't mind me showing you, then?  Good.”  The demoiselle smiled, conjuring up a memory of a Deryni troubadour in Sofiana's Court.  The man strummed on an archlute, his fingers forming a series of complex chords as he sang a melody that was familiar to everyone in the room, yet somehow the song his mind and deep voice wove into the instrumental music conjured up far more than the ballad had ever evoked in previous listenings.  As the man sang the story of a long-ago battle, Alaric could swear he heard the familiar sounds of destriers' hooves pounding the earth, the clash of swords against shields and steel, the whinnies of dying horses and cries of injured men, and in the distance, a trumpeter's call.  Accompanying the sounds of war were flashes of vision—boldly colored caparisons, battle pennants waving in the wind, the tents of an encampment visible in the distance beyond the field of battle itself, slick with gore, though the field of vision soon narrowed, centering itself upon the bold if doomed exploits of the ancient King who was the hero of the tale.

   Richenda and Derry also experienced similar visions, although once the song had ended and Celsie withdrew from the shared link, each listener realized afterwards that what he or she had experienced in the music was subtly different.

    “That is...simply amazing,” Derry said afterwards, “and perhaps a bit too real in some regards.  I think if I were in a  Court with a Deryni bard, I'd ask to hear some love songs instead.”

    Celsie laughed.  “Well, he performed some of those as well, but I'm certainly not going to share those memories!”  She blushed slightly.  “Let's just say it's a good thing you're not a Deryni bard.  No lady would be immune!  The King would need to keep you locked away in a high tower for Gwynedd's protection.”

   Derry grinned, raising a brow at Morgan.  “You don't happen to have any lands in Andelon you need me to manage, do you, Alaric?”

   The Duke laughed.  “Sadly for you, no.”

Chapter 3: http://www.rhemuthcastle.com/index.php?topic=530.0
« Last Edit: January 10, 2011, 04:48:14 pm by Evie »
"In necessariis unitas, in non-necessariis libertas, in utrisque caritas."

--WARNING!!!--
I have a vocabulary in excess of 75,000 words, and I'm not afraid to use it!

Offline Elkhound

  • Prince/Princess
  • **
  • Posts: 1077
  • Karma: 8
  • Gender: Male
  • Favorite Book: The King's Justice
  • Favorite Character: Denis Arilan
The Demoiselle and Derry Chapter 2
« Reply #1 on: August 02, 2010, 12:35:54 am »
Grania?  Like the Pirate Queen?

Offline Alkari

  • Donor
  • Duke/Duchess
  • ****
  • Posts: 696
  • Karma: 6
  • Gender: Female
The Demoiselle and Derry Chapter 2
« Reply #2 on: August 02, 2010, 12:39:47 am »
We presume that's where KK originally got the name from - but that's the name in the Codex.  :)    The revised Codex, that is - a change from the original name of "Sophonisba".

Grania makes sense, as it is a family name for the Corwyn side, being the name of Alaric's great-grandmother (mother of Stevana).   There are several variations of spelling for the Pirate Queen, the usual variant being 'Graine' or 'Grainne'.
« Last Edit: August 02, 2010, 08:01:45 am by Alkari »

Offline Elkhound

  • Prince/Princess
  • **
  • Posts: 1077
  • Karma: 8
  • Gender: Male
  • Favorite Book: The King's Justice
  • Favorite Character: Denis Arilan
The Demoiselle and Derry Chapter 2
« Reply #3 on: August 02, 2010, 09:37:46 am »
The sailors on the Ducal Yacht make a pet of her; she grows up and marries into the Hort of Orsal's family and commands a ship with an all-female crew.

Offline Evie

  • Administrator
  • Prince/Princess
  • *****
  • Posts: 1958
  • Karma: 28
  • Gender: Female
  • Sister Evie--Servant of Saint Camber
    • The Mini-Deryni Chronicles
  • Favorite Book: High Deryni or The King's Justice (can't decide)
  • Favorite Character: President of the Duncan McLain Fanbabe Society
The Demoiselle and Derry Chapter 2
« Reply #4 on: August 02, 2010, 09:40:04 am »
*sporfle*
"In necessariis unitas, in non-necessariis libertas, in utrisque caritas."

--WARNING!!!--
I have a vocabulary in excess of 75,000 words, and I'm not afraid to use it!

Offline Alkari

  • Donor
  • Duke/Duchess
  • ****
  • Posts: 696
  • Karma: 6
  • Gender: Female
The Demoiselle and Derry Chapter 2
« Reply #5 on: August 02, 2010, 07:23:52 pm »
The sailors on the Ducal Yacht make a pet of her; she grows up and marries into the Hort of Orsal's family and commands a ship with an all-female crew.
The crew are all those well-bred young ladies who run away because they don't want to be married off 'for convenience', especially as some old widower's second or third wife ...

So there's a fanfic just waiting to be written by you, Elkhound!  :D

 

* User Info

 
 
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

* Recent Posts

Re: The rest of the world by Evie
[Today at 07:27:21 pm]


Re: Happy Birthday, tenworld! by Evie
[Today at 07:23:47 pm]


KK Chat -- 19 November 2017 by Bynw
[Today at 07:12:51 pm]


Re: The rest of the world by tenworld
[Today at 02:24:54 pm]


Re: Happy Birthday, tenworld! by Jerusha
[Today at 12:53:36 pm]

* Who's Online

  • Dot Guests: 59
  • Dot Hidden: 0
  • Dot Users: 0

There aren't any users online.

* Top Poster

Evie Evie
1958 Posts
Elkhound
1077 Posts
Alkari
696 Posts
DesertRose DesertRose
663 Posts
Laurna Laurna
583 Posts

* Most Karma

Evie Evie
Karma: 28
DesertRose DesertRose
Karma: 19
Jerusha Jerusha
Karma: 17
revanne revanne
Karma: 12
Laurna Laurna
Karma: 11

* Online Time

TheDeryni TheDeryni
115d 20h 24m
Evie Evie
105d 11h 46m
DesertRose DesertRose
93d 19h 8m
AnnieUK AnnieUK
53d 22h 35m
Alkari
32d 18h 16m

* Forum Staff

Bynw admin Bynw
Administrator
TheDeryni admin TheDeryni
Administrator
DesertRose admin DesertRose
Administrator
Evie admin Evie
Administrator
Shiral gmod Shiral
Zipper Sister
Unicorn636 gmod Unicorn636
Zipper Sister
Laurna gmod Laurna
Donor
EvilEd gmod EvilEd
Global Moderator
revanne gmod revanne
Donor
KK gmod KK
Our Queen
gmod Alkari
Donor
AnnieUK gmod AnnieUK
Donor
Jerusha gmod Jerusha
Donor

* Board Stats

  • stats Total Members: 620
  • stats Total Posts: 16651
  • stats Total Topics: 1917
  • stats Total Categories: 12
  • stats Total Boards: 126
  • stats Most Online: 181

* Calendar

November 2017
Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
1 2 3 4
5 6 7 8 9 10 11
12 13 14 15 16 17 18
[19] 20 21 22 23 24 25
26 27 28 29 30