June 29, 2013

In Which Raia Chooses the New Word

January 4, 1182

"You've seen Jeda, I take it?"

Raia had assumed that the first thing Ellona would ask upon her taking a seat would have something to do with the king's death, but she hadn't thought Jeda would be the direct subject. The break from Ietrin really had done wonders. "I saw her yesterday. She seems..." How to put it? "I don't know. She's not grieved, but I think Roderick was something of a buffer. Aunt Laralita too, but apparently Ietrin is throwing her out."

"Of course he is. She's of no use to him." Use. That had to have been why Ellona had been so insistent that they meet. There was always time for visiting later. "Before the king died, your father did--"

"Yes." Raia had witnessed the signing herself, for the late king had protested. She trusted her father more than anyone, but Raia didn't do friendship halfway. Ellona had needed that signature, and Raia had seen it through. "The draft made it into law. Roderick's line of succession is secured. Ietrin can't change it unless all three lords agree."

"And is that at all likely?"

"No." Not with the current group of lords, anyway. But Raia didn't want to think any more seats of power were liable to change any time soon. "The baron wouldn't pass over his own grandchildren like that, and my father said that he'd only agree if Kaldar actually wants the throne when he's older, and if those ahead of him didn't."

"Good." Ellona sighed. Many parents would have thought her mad, fighting tooth and nail to prevent her son from becoming king, but Raia couldn't say she was one of them. Not everyone was meant to be a king--and, as recent events may have proven if her father was right, kingship was not the safest of professions. "Out of curiosity, who will inherit? Er, assuming Ietrin never has a legitimate son, of course."

"Ietrin has three choices. Most likely, he'll pass the throne along to his brothers with Laralita." Not that that was particularly desirable, given that their combined intelligence didn't match the dumbest of Raia's brothers on his worst day, but if nothing else, they could be malleable like their father. Their older brother, not so much. "But he could also pass the crown along through Dea's line, or through Leara's sons."

"I've heard that Dea is clever."

"My daughter is clever. You'd need a whole new word for Dea." Privately, she thought it would be grand if that word was, one day, 'queen'. "She even asked her parents if she could go to Italy when she was older, to attend university. I'm sure you can guess what Ietrin thought of that."

"I'm sure I can, and it's a pity." Ellona's hand smoothed her skirts over her enlarged stomach, the gold around one finger catching a ray of sunlight from the window. "Church nonsense aside, I suppose I would have benefited from university."

"Likewise." If nothing else, they both might have had more hobbies and personal projects to keep them occupied--none of this fretting over who was or would be king or queen without being able to do something about it. "Pity that no one here of our age ever got that chance."

"Yes, well." Ellona's lips formed a brief pout as she blew a strand of hair out of her face. "Who knows? Perhaps our future queen will have better luck."



Van said...

I left my house at quarter to seven this morning and I only got home like an hour ago. If I'd been smart, I would have left this post for tomorrow. :S

Ann said...

Niiiiiiiice! XD So Kaldar is safe, thank goodness! Now all we need is for someone to finish of Ietrin and we'll have Queen Regent Jeda to be followed by Queen Regnant Dea! If that happens I would say the future of Naroni is looking bright and cheerful!
And Ietrin can just die in a fit of apoplexy, that'd serve him right. The bastard!
I don't expect him to name any of his half-siblings (or even full siblings) heir anyway. So until he gets his little swimmers with the Y chromosome rallied the kingdom will go without an heir. Usually a recipe for desaster, but in this case something I hope and pray for, the salvation of the kingdom!

Suck on that, Ietrin! XD

Van said...

Yep! Kaldar doesn't have to worry about being forced into a difficult, dangerous role that many people won't see as being rightfully his--and from what I know of Kaldar so far, he'd probably rather be a knight than a king anyway.

Queen Dea is not without her supporters, it seems. ;) King Ietrin, not so much.

As for what Ietrin will do about this heir thing, his first priority is still to have a son with Jeda. But with his track record, who knows if that will actually happen.

Winter said...

I'm officially off the Queen Dea bandwagon... because I'm now on the Queen Dea, Ph.D. bandwagon. Medea the Learned, Queen of Naroni... yes!

Raia and Ellona are both at their best with this issue. Raia used her backbone to make sure Ellona got what she needed. and Ellona has her priorities straight where so many wouldn't. (Ellona's own mother, for example.) If Kaldar does ever grow up to be king, at least he'll be better for it.

Excellent trickery with the succession law, by the way! The lords clause is a brick wall, but a sensible brick wall. Roderick, you finally didn't disappoint us.

Van said...

"Queen Dea, Ph.D." does have a nice ring to it... ;)

If ever there were a pair of ladies well-equipped to deal with this issue, it would be Raia and Ellona, for exactly those reasons. They have thwarted some serious plans by sheer virtue of being who they are.

Thanks! That was one of those I-hope-that-sounds-plausible things that I wasn't sure would work, so I'm glad to hear it fit for you.

Anonymous said...

*late comment is late*

We have Raia in the Queen Dea corner! I'm going to say that this means Dea will eventually be queen. Raia tends to get what she wants!

Although I have to admit, this line made me nervous: "But Raia didn't want to think any more seats of power were liable to change any time soon." Let's not forget what happened when Roderick told Ietrin he had no intention of dying anytime soon ...

But even if some seats of power do change *gulp* ... well, I think Kaldar is still safe and hope for Queen Dea remains alive.

Sparron: Ain't no way he's disinheriting his sister's babies to put Ietrin's mistress's child on the throne instead. I don't care how bad his mental illness gets. He won't do that.

Jadin: May be a dumb brother, but I like to think he's smart enough to do what Raia tells him to do on this. ;) (Plus I think you once said that the blog would probably end with Severin's death? So this isn't an issue.)

Roderick Mokonri: ... I'll admit, I have no clue on this one. But he's what, eight? Nine? Hopefully whoever is in charge will do the right thing.

(And hopefully Roderick Mokonri doesn't end up in the position his father ended up in all those years ago -- duke at age 10!)

So, yeah. I think Kaldar and Dea both are safe for the time being.

*gulps* I just hope Ietrin doesn't try to think of a ... creative way to force compliance from the lords ...

Anonymous said...

Ack! I forgot! It's Canada Day! Happy Canada Day, Van and any other Canadians who are reading this!

Van said...

There's no such thing as a late comment. :)

Raia does tend to have things go her way (largely because she goes about making sure things go her way), so if we're keeping track of signs for Queen Dea, this might be a good one to note. ;)

With that line, I was thinking more that Raia didn't want her father to drop dead any time soon, or her buddy Lorn (and I don't see why she'd want Octavius dead either, even if she doesn't have much attachment to him beyond being his daughter's friend and his friend's daughter). But yes, I agree with you on Jadin and Sparron's positions, and I'll add that I don't think Ricky would betray his cousin (er, the cousin he knows about; Leara's a good person, but she inherited just enough of Roderick's snobbishness that she can't be bothered with her brother's bastards).

As for Ietrin's creativity... well, I think he's still hoping it will be a non-issue and Jeda will eventually get pregnant again and he'll have the son he wants. That's a difficult plan to bank on, though...

Yes, Happy Canada Day, everyone! :D