August 12, 2013

In Which Laralita Rediscovers the Buried Beacon

July 16, 1182

"...and this will be the kitchen." Ren dropped Laralita's arm as she dragged her into the last room, a spacious square in the back corner of the first floor. "Not that you'll be spending much time in here, since you'll have a cook and a housekeeper both, but everyone ought to know the layout of their own home."

Laralita agreed--and having memorized three castles, this little house would hardly be an effort.

Oh, but perhaps she was being too harsh! True to his word, Searle had designated a stretch of land and hired an architect less than a week after Laralita's arrival. Throughout the rest of the winter and much of the spring, she'd been summoned frequently from her temporary home at Ietrin's manor, all for the sake of being an active part of the blueprint's revisions.

Searle, of course, had set a budget, but there had still been room for customization, and the architect had been thorough in seeing that through. Did she plan on remarrying, having more children, he'd asked when the question of bedrooms arose; that was a resounding 'no'. Any pets? Over her dead body. How many servants? Well, Searle was stingy enough to think that three would suffice, the two Ren had brought up plus a maid and nanny rolled into one, and Laralita had opted to pick her battles. Searle was already paying for the construction and the furnishings (and had given her free reign on the latter! Within the budget, of course); if she needed any more servants, Roderick had designated her and the children a not-insignificant amount that would more than suffice.

"So?" Her daughter-in-law grinned--a little falsely, but that could have been expected. Ren was firmly in Searle's camp. "What do you think?"

"Well... it's a little cozier than I'm used to." Was 'cozy' the diplomatic word? She didn't want to lie, but she didn't want to be an ingrate either. "But I'm sure we'll be quite comfortable here. Thank you."

"You're sure you that your youngest two don't need separate bedrooms? We could easily divide the tower."

"That won't be necessary. By the time they're old enough to need their space, their siblings will be gone and they'll have the pick of all the bedrooms." Well... except for hers, of course. God willing. "Has Searle given any thought as to who will inherit this house?"

"Conant, most likely. Searle would prefer for Farilon to be knighted sooner rather than later; he says he has his reasons." Ren likely knew them. Laralita wouldn't press. Searle was Farilon's lord now, even if Farilon was a prince, and Farilon would do as Searle said. He was a good boy--and a knight could still become king if a certain other half-brother failed to produce a male heir. "By the time Conant marries, Farilon will have left, and possibly Lily as well; it's a large enough residence for a knight, and there should be plenty of room for his wife and any children they have, even while you and the younger ones are still here."

That would do. Conant had always been the child with the simplest taste. "Very well. Is there anything else?"

"The yard, if you care to see it. Though I should mention that it hasn't been landscaped yet."

Very well. She supposed she'd want a say in that anyway. "All right."

She let Ren lead her through a plain door in the corner of the room--easy outside access for the servants, no doubt, though Laralita couldn't recall ever using such a door herself. Ren hadn't been lying when she said it wasn't landscaped. There were a few trees that hadn't required clearing when construction had begun, and then grass of course, but there wasn't a shrub or flower to be seen.

There was, however...


Ren nodded. "Well, soil. I thought it might be easier for your cook if she had access to a vegetable garden. You'd have to hire a gardener, though, or else see if the cook isn't averse to doing it herself."

"Doing what, exactly?" She struggled to recall a childhood indiscretion, pestering her father's gardener--Lord only knew why--back when she'd been too young to realize that servants weren't for fraternizing. Hadn't he told her what he did? "Just... putting seeds in the ground and waiting for them to grow?"

"Well, yes. But you'd have to water them too, of course, and tend to them once they sprout. And, uh..." Ren blushed. "I've heard that... dung helps them grow."

"Dung?" Laralita wrinkled her nose, practically smelling it already. On second thought, though, it was oddly poetic--the foulest sort of waste giving itself for the sake of something beautiful, or something essential.

"Yes, I can't imagine it's pleasant." The pink still in her cheeks, Ren swayed about, little shoots of grass springing as her skirts swished. "But no matter. It's not as if you'll be doing any of this yourself, right?"

"God forbid."

And yet, even with the talk of dung, there was something about that bare brown earth, just as it had been the day she'd imposed on that gardener--its loose particulate nature, or its untouched scent of outside--that made her finger twitch against the fabric of her gown, as a buried beacon beckoned it to touch.



Van said...

I'm on the fence about Laralita's dress. I like it, but I'm not sure if it's quite Laralita, even if she will be living much less extravagantly post-Roderick.

I think I'm sticking with that braid for her hair, though. I think that's always been my favorite mesh on her.

Mimus said...

Hmm, it looks fine to me. But I know the problem with appropriate clothing for your medieval sims. xD'
I don't know how many times I changed some of my sims' clothing or hairstyles. Of course, availablity (is that written correctly? @.@) is also a key there.

On to the Story though, is it just me or does Laralita have an interest in gardening? xD
Would be funny/sweet, if she decided to try her hand in it/gardens herself.

Pen said...

This. I. Have. To. See. Laralita digging around in the dirt!

I kept staring at that dress in this post. It's very pretty, but it seemed somehow too cheerful. Not that Laralita should look totally frumpy now that she's a widow (again) but I don't know... Maybe something in magenta?

Van said...

Mimus: Most of what's out there is lovely, but sometimes, it's just difficult to find the right fit for a particular Sim, isn't it? XD

She does seem, at the very least, not disinterested. ;) Laralita does need a hobby, and it would be interesting if it turned out to be something so hands-on and messy.

Pen: Laralita, doing filthy peasant labour? How scandalous. XD

Yeah, the color is a little bright, I think. I went with teal for her family colors, but I think she needs a duller teal if I stick with teal. A more saturated magenta could also work.

Winter said...

Oh, is Laralita about to have her Mary Lennox moment? It could be a really good fit. Gardening is a little dirtier than party-planning, but the essentials are there. Who wouldn't want vegetables grown by royal hands, after all?

I like the gown, but the color isn't quite it. Something darker will hide the dirt better...

Van said...

I figure there are much less-suitable hobbies that Laralita could pick up. Who wouldn't want vegetables grown by royal hands indeed? ;)

If Laralita ends up working the gardens, she'll be doing so in her work/athletic clothes. But yeah, I'm not sold on that exact shade for everyday either.