June 8, 2015

In Which Farilon Knows What the Commoners Don't

May 8, 1192

"Hello, Mama," the twins chorused as Danthia approached. It was only recently that they had become old enough to attract much interest from their mother, to the point where Farilon was still unused to seeing her in the nursery, and he didn't think he'd have time to adjust. The twins would be in their own bedrooms come the new year.

"Children." She bent down to ruffle Roderick's hair, but quickly returned to full stance. "Don't mind me; I just need a quick word with your father."

"We can talk here, Danthia." This was obviously about the Naronian throne. Having the children around might have made for a conversation somewhat different than the last dozen. "What do you want?"

"You know what I want." He did--to the point where he'd grown paranoid enough to observe the cook as she prepared their food. If he were to succumb to a piece of bad meat, then Danthia could make the claim on Roderick's behalf. Not that there was any chance of the lords accepting a four-year-old as their monarch when the other candidate was a grown, educated woman, but Farilon didn't doubt Danthia's willingness to try it. "Mind if I sit?"

Farilon shrugged. "I won't stop you."

"Good." She did as she'd suggested. There was still a good foot or so between them, but it was the closest they'd come to touching since they'd conceived the twins. At least she left him alone now. "Have you drafted your claim yet?"

Your claim. As if he had a claim, really. Dea was his father's granddaughter by his eldest son. That trumped second son. Certainly daughter trumped brother. "You know I have no intention of doing so."

"But you are a man grown. Your niece is a little girl."

"Nineteen is not little, and she would be a far better ruler than I."

"Not with me by your side." Especially with you by my side, he thought to himself but didn't dare say aloud. "You have an heir, and she doesn't even have a betrothed. You are the son of a king, and your mother was of my noble house. Her mother is the spawn of a madwoman and an eighth son of a mere lord."

"Her father was my brother."

"Half-brother. And his mother was an adulterous whore--as is her mother, I've heard." Danthia's eyes couldn't have been further sparked if she'd walked into a house of diamonds. "Perhaps we ought to take advantage of that. Who's to say how long her mother's unfaithfulness goes back? Little Dea might not be Ietrin's daughter after all."

"Danthia, I know Jeda. She wouldn't have slept with someone else out of sheer spite for Ietrin--and Dea definitely has Ietrin's eyes."

"You may know that," Danthia admitted, "but the commoners don't."



Van said...

Bah. Headache.

Winter said...

Go. Away. Lizard. Queen.

Good on Farilon for watching the cook with his food. I don't put it past Danthia for one second to stock the larder with poisonous food to get Farilon out of the way. She's already proven capable of removing his ability to object to sex to get what she wants.

If Danthia wants to put the common people into play, Dea will crush her. No work-a-day commoner wants a stuck-up, selfish queen running the show.

Van said...

Yeah, if it came down to a show of personalities, not many people would go for Danthia. Watching the food supply is a good move on Farilon's part, even if he thinks he's being paranoid.

More on this in the post after next...

Orilon said...

I know he Farilon most likely wouldn't, but since I'm in a grouchy mood part of me wishes someone would turn the tables on Danthia and poison her food supply. Farilon, his daughter and possibly the population of Naroni (depending on if she does manage to wear him down) would be better off.

Van said...

There would be definite advantages. But, alas, he wouldn't.

Ren said...

Poor Farilon. I want to be mad at him for being so passive, but nobody deserves Danthia!

(Here's to hoping karma makes her trip down the stairs and break her neck.)

Andavri said...

Really? I mean REALLY? Danthia's not seriously trying to bring sanity into this as a card? Sure, Dea's namesake was sane by no one's definition of the word, but it seems to me that if we're pointing things like that out, we have a few instances of sanity not winning the war in Danthia and Farilon's own families. Didn't Farilon's half brother blame his wife's death on his youngest daughter to the point where she was half-starved and developmentally stunted--didn't he kill himself? Didn't his own brother, the person who loved him probably best of anyone, think that him killing himself might have been the best thing he could have done? ...Didn't Danthia's own father do something similar?

Geneva loved her some sex, yes. (Though she would have been a lousy whore, she pretty much lived by the idea of why sell something you can give away for free...) But when the chips were down, she sacrificed herself awesomely for one of her children. Laralita also needed to grow up, but hmmm, didn't she, oh, I dunno, slip away from Dovia one night while pregnant and go live with her sister and brother in law in Naroni, leaving her kids behind and not coming back or sending for them? Isn't that how Farilon's father and mother met in the first place?

And if we're airing dirty laundry, Danthia, you drugged your husband then committed partner rape on him to get pregnant. (Granted pseudo-medieval Europe doesn't even have a concept of partner/spousal rape, but I do and she did and I'm never forgiving her for it.) He finds you so distasteful, he'll do almost anything to avoid you...

Dea may be younger, but there's not a whole helluva lot she won't do for her family. Look at what she did with her half-brother, someone she didn't have to like or even acknowledge and she bludgeoned her father into giving away part of her own dowry to install her despised father's illegitimate son as lord of a holding, because it was right to see [Kaldar] taken care of...

Sorry, sister, sane isn't any more familiar with your family than it is with any other Dovian family, and probably less so.

Poor Jeda, she had to spend all those years suffering the indignity of being Ietrin's wife and now that she's finally free from that bit, bitches like Danthia will use the one night, one night!! she spent in the arms of someone decent enough to try and discredit Dea's parentage. >_<'

I loved Farilon's thought, there, though, how he'd make a lousy king especially with Danthia as his queen. I'm glad he doesn't seem the slightest bit convinced by her arguments and I hope with a huge amount of passion, that he stays strong.

Seriously, if you're looking at who would make a better queen for Naroni, the woman who is fair, kind, selfless, hella smart who does for others because it's right not because it benefits herself vs. the woman who has like one person in all of Dovia/Naroni who likes her and has a history of being all look out for numero uno and to using people however she has to to her own ends... Hmmm, that's really a hard choice...

Although, honestly, I think if it came down to a battle of the minds between Dea and Danthia, Danthia is in way over her head. I sure as hell wouldn't challenge Dea, and I'm a lot smarter than Danthia is!

If there is one thing that you can say about Dea, it is that she has Octavius's heart and ability to not just survive, but get through things without compromising who she is out of fear, hurt, or anger at the situation. He might only be the "eighth son of a mere lord" but just one of his toenail clipping have more awesome than Danthia has ever had, now has, and will ever have all put together.

Long live Queen Dea.

(Random late night rant is pretty random, but I just had to do it.)

Ann said...

EVERYTHING that Andavri said!

Danthia, go die in a ditch!

Van said...

Ren: Karma will kick in eventually, I'm sure. But who knows when that will be. :S

(Sorry about the late response--I ended up getting sick last night and going to bed early as a result.)

Andavri: Excellent points all around, which is why the sanity angle is a pretty bad way to go about it. Dea is Medea and Geneva's granddaughter, but Medea had a serious illness that Dea did not inherit, and we here in 2015 know that Geneva's main problem was that she was stuck in a time and place that didn't work for her--and she did end with an awesome, selfless act. Danthia and Farilon's families don't have better track records. In fact, if Danthia tries to make a huff about the sanity, it's only a matter of time before someone points out that the Dovian nobility is so inbred that anyone related to Dea is related to Danthia and Farilon too.

Plus, Danthia herself has shown that she's completely incapable of empathy; not only did she rape Farilon to get pregnant, but one of the first conversations they had featured Danthia musing that maybe (then baby) Hollie would die young. Dea, while she may not consider herself a people person, has a ton of it, as shown with Kaldar and even Hollie. Jeda deserves a hell of a lot better than someone like Danthia trying to discredit her.

But, the plus side here is that Farilon is having none of this. He's not gutsy enough to say it outright, but he's having none of it. Since Danthia herself can't make the claim so long as Farilon is alive, and Farilon is taking measures to ensure he stays alive, it's not impossible that he can hold out until Dea is safely on the throne.

If it were an election between Dea and Farilon-plus-Danthia, Dea would win outright by a landslide. Danthia's idea of appealing to the public is probably "I'm a Sadiel, I'm better than you, make me your queen"--not going to fly with most people. And if it came down to a battle of minds... yeah, Danthia really just knows how to pick one (often weak) point and stick with it. She doesn't have a shot there. ;)

Ann: If only! But, luckily, all of Andavri's points are valid as to why Danthia's planning is not the best.

Anonymous said...

Actually, due to the fact that neither Roderick nor Ietrin were particularly well-liked by the populace (as far as I know), the commoners might not even care whether or not Dea is Ietrin's daughter. รด.o

Van said...

Haha! Yeah, not being the spawn of Ietrin might be a point in Dea's favor in some eyes. ;)

S.B. said...

A point in favor in some eyes but unfortunately not all. Does Danthia have any motivation to go marching forward after that throne other than personal avarice? Ambition falling into that same pot. I guess that's plenty of motivation, though. Assiduously trying to avoid her for three months would be hard but apparently easier than an outright confrontation.

Van said...

It's pretty much all personal. Danthia has some deep-seeded psychological reasons to want some sort of significant role in life, but she's going about it in a way that's neither productive nor beneficial to anyone but her.

Farilon's not a confrontational guy. But, he does have the upper hand here, since he's the only one who can give Danthia what she wants as long as he's still living.