February 4, 2016

In Which Telvar Finds It Doesn't Add Up

February 1, 1198

"You're Prince Telvar, right?"

Telvar grimaced. He'd lived in this foreign country for all of half an hour and already someone had recognized him as the Crown Prince of Carvallon. Not that he'd planned on spending four years masquerading as a peasant--not many Carvalli commoners could afford to educate their children in such a far-off land--but he'd hoped to cultivate an identity beyond merely 'prince'. "I am."

"Great! I'm Dalston. I don't know how much your mother talks about the family back here, but I'm your cousin!"

His cousin! Telvar blinked. He'd... never actually met any cousin of his. His father only had one niece, and she and her husband and mother preferred to keep their distance. His mother had many nieces and nephews, but they all lived in Naroni or Dovia. Telvar had never been to Dovia--and he'd never been to Naroni before now. "Really?"

"Really! Our mothers are sisters--well, half-sisters, anyway. My mother is Princess Learianna."

"Ah, right. The Duchess of... Armion?" His overview of Naronian geography must have been sufficient, at least to the point where his cousin gave him a nod. "You're her second son, right?"

"Luckily! I don't know if I'd much care for being duke; knights have much more fun." His cousin smirked, then looked him over quickly. The grey eyes were, apparently, King Roderick's greatest legacy; they'd missed Telvar's mother entirely, but Dalston's mother must have inherited them. "You know, I think I only recognized you by the Carvalli royal colors. You must take after your father's side."

"My father?" That... was not a thing he'd ever thought he'd hear. Not from anyone who had any connection to his mother. Not that Dalston would have met Telvar's mother, but if Dalston's mother had reminded him to keep an eye out for Telvar... "My father is olive-skinned and twilight-eyed. Everyone I know always comments on how much I look like my mother."

"Your mother." Dalston's brow rose. "Isn't your mother blond and teal-eyed?"

Telvar squinted. It had been many years since his mother had seen any of her siblings, save his Uncle Searle in Dovia. Certain facial features may have been difficult to remember after such time. Coloring, surely, was a different case. "No. My mother has my hair color, and my eye color."

"But all of King Roderick's children are blond. My mother said that Queen Ramona was no exception--and she said that Queen Ramona got her mother's eyes, which were teal."

Teal? Not that a child's eyes always matched either parent's--a few of his siblings shared eyes with his grandmother, whose differed from her son's--but from what Telvar had noticed, dark eyes seemed to trump light in more cases than not. Could teal and grey really produce a dark brown? "And King Roderick's were grey, right? Like yours and your mother's?"

"Like mine, at least, and like most of my siblings--but my mother's are violet, like her mother's."

Huh. But if Roderick's grandchildren were prone to the grey eyes in spite of their parents, then how come none of his siblings had grey eyes?

"Your entire family is blond."

His cousin nodded. "My entire immediate family, anyway. Any cousins of mine who don't got it from the parent not related to my grandfather."

"And your mother said my mother was blond."

Another nod. "Blonder than she. My mother's is golden, like her mother's was; she said Aunt Ramona's was a paler blond, like my grandfather's."

Pale blond. Up until today, that had described not one person to whom Telvar was related.

Telvar hadn't come to the university to study mathematics, but anyone inclined to study at all could tell that that didn't add up. "Any chance that I could meet your mother one weekend?"



Van said...

Sore feet. Very, very sore feet. :S

Mimus said...

(Too lazy to lock in right now.)

Well, looks like they ought to have clued Telvar in on his mother's identity BEFORE sending them into his mother's "birthland".

Van said...

My guess is that Anna and Adrius figured the Naronians and Dovians would assume that Telvar looked like Adrius, and that the Carvalli students would never have to say otherwise. I don't think students this age are likely to ask each other which parent they take after, after all; Dalston just kind of says whatever pops into his head because he likes the sound of his own voice a little. ;)

Ann said...

Argh! Now that's just shortsighted, sim-Ann! Keeping secrets like this from your kids... You should damn well know better!
And Adrius too.

My poor boy... Good luck with all the pitfalls in meeting your "cousins".

I really hope he'll go home at some point to demand an explanation! And his parents had better be quite remorseful about this! Sheeeesh!

Van said...

To be fair... by this point, it might be a difficult thing to bring up. If Telvar asks about it, that at least opens the conversation; Anna may not have told the kids, but I don't think she'd outright lie to them.

Meanwhile, Telvar has a good head on his shoulders, so I'm sure he'll manage without incriminating anyone on assumptions he hasn't yet verified. The university has breaks in June/July and December/January, so he'll be home at some point...