An unknown state of parentage...
An unknown state of parentage…
Location: House Chantris Courtyard Garden South
Date: July 15th, 14 (OOC Year 2017)
Summary: Iolion meets with Prudence. Veronica walks in.
Characters: Iolion, Prudence, and Vernoica
NPCs: none

It has been 9 years, 8 months, 12 days since the battle of the Guns of Avalon.

The oppressive heat of the summer afternoon in Amber has faded into a much more pleasing evening. The walkway is lit with lanterns though in the background one may spy the occasional luminous pulse of fireflies in their late summer dance courtship to the soft chirping of crickets. Prudence is presently standing in the wrought iron gazebo which is lit by lamps and a cleverly designed chandelier that casts colored light through the occasional panes of colored glass out into the garden. Presently she seems to be making certain that a spread suitable for summer evening entertaining is appropriately arranged.

There comes a voice from off in the distance, a man's pleasing tenor, singing a show-tune from some far-off Shadow or another:

"And then the sun descended and the night arose
"I heard my father cursing every man he knows…"1

The song goes on as the singer approaches the gazebo, spinning a tale of bloodshed and death, loss and pain, the redemption of love and the struggle to keep moving forward when the past keeps drawing one back — it might be one of Corwin's, to be honest. Then the singer comes into view: a tall, dark-haired man dressed in nighttime hues approaches the gazebo. "Madame," he addresses Prudence with a polite half-bow. "I thank you for being willing to meet me this eve. I regret that I have no one to properly introduce me. My name is Iolion. Of Chantris."

Veronica wanders in from the northern courtyard garden, carrying a large pad of paper in which she is sketching. She arrives in time to hear Iolion introduce himself. She flips the pad closed and tucks the charcoal pencil behind her right ear before saying, "Hello Iolion, Aunt Prudence," greeting both of them in nearly one breath. However, other than that she waits to see how this meeting unfolds.

Prudence steps out onto the grass with a warm smile that reveals a hint of dimple, "Salutations, Lord Iolion! I am most pleased to make your acquaintence. How do you do? Would you care for some Sangria?" A hand clad in white lace makes an inviting sweep past her to the table set with a jug rather than decanter of Sangria with orange slices. There is also a tea service and Charcuterie spread out.

Prudence says, "Good evening Lady Veronica! I trust that this evening finds you well?"

Iolion gives a polite smile to Veronica as she approaches; it's no different than any of dozens of polite smiles he gives in a normal day, but made different this time by the way there's a hint of it in his eyes. He reaches out to touch her shoulder in greeting as she approaches, then drops his hand to his side and turns towards Prudence. "I apologize. When friends arrive they ought be welcomed. Back to the business of hospitality. Yes, I think I'd love a goblet of sangria. And please, I urge you to drop the 'Lord' from my nomenclature. We are … at the very least, family."

"He does seem to be family, Aunt Pru," Veronica says and then sabotages his attempt to have Prudence /not/ call him lord by 'helpfully' adding, "He's also Princess Deirdre's son." At this she winks at Iolion and gives him a knowing grin.

Prudence adds with a bit of a flush as her gaze swings to Iolion, "I am Lady Prudence Chantris. Forgive the oversight." There is a brief pause as she considers before adding politely "You may call me Prudence, of course." She steps in and pours a goblet of Sangria. "Lady Veronica?" Comes her carefully measured call "Would you care to join us?"

As Veronica observes Iolion's mother there is a brief furrowing of her brow "That does not afford him title over and beyond Lord, does it? Forgive me. I do not understand the relevance of this in the context as it is defined Lord Iolion's preference to be called Iolion by his peers within Chantris." Large brown eyes flit between the pair and seem quite keen to understand whatever it is they understand which she seems to have missed.

"I would rather people asked, 'Why does that man not insist on honors to which he's entitled?', than 'Why does that man feel entitled to such ridiculous honors?'" Iolion answers matter-of-factly as he enters the gazebo, to take the offered goblet and then a seat. "My grandniece likes to sabotage me by playfully reminding people of my august mother, and watching people fall all over themselves suddenly being nice to me in the hope of currying favor with her. It's a … private amusement of ours."

He raises the goblet to Prudence in a salute. "To your hospitality, dear woman, my dear Prudence. Thank you for receiving me. I fear I must complicate your life, but … perhaps profitably for your … our … House."

Veronica takes the goblet offered to her with a polite, "Thanks," after which she sips at the drink and allows her 'elders' to speak for the time being.

Attentively Prudence listens to Iolion's explination and smiles "Ahhh, I imagine it must be most amusing in certain company." She gestures to collection of breads, cheeses, and charcuterie spread of for them and she hersef enjoys a cup of tea, "I am most eager to hear your proposition, my lord."

"The state of my parentage is unknown," Iolion answers as he picks up a small cube of some hard, strong cheese, devouring it with as much gusto as politeness allows. "Deirdre — Mother — is playing it very close to the vest for reasons she will not disclose. When I was a child I could abide her playing these games, but now… in Amber one needs all the friends and relations one can get, especially as the son of a princess. It's time for me to learn who he was. I only know this: he was of Chantris, was alive some sixty years ago, is now dead, and his identity is such an explosive secret Deirdre has spent the last sixty years hiding it."

Veronica nods, having expected something of the like, and says, "I've been trying to research family history and have been reading up on the descendants of old Duke Fortinbras most recently."

Prudence listens attentively at length to Iolion's predicament and her eyebrows draw together together to form a small troubled line between them. She bides a moment to steal a sip of tea and to consider what has been said. Finally when she speaks it is with an ounce of caution, "May I ask how you know that your father is both Chantris and has passed? I hope you will forgive me for asking." She smiles to Veronica "You must be a very dedicated friend, my lady. The records are expansive and most tedious."

"I learned Thari in three days, in a fortnight had mastered each regional dialect of the Golden Circle, and within two had become bored by how simple it is," Iolion answers calmly. "I'm fluent in at least sixteen tongues — more than that, probably, but I don't count the ones like Sarvaj where I went drinking one night, got blackout drunk, and woke up in the morning with a massive hangover and an understanding of the aphortic future sidereal tense. In my studies, this — coupled with my absurd fondness for word puzzles and the like — seems to be a common feature of House Chantris. With respect to how I know he's dead, it comes from Deirdre herself."

There is another moment of consideration before Prudence speaks, "It would seem imprudent to get between Princess Deirdre and one of her child. At least without discussing the matter with Her Grace as it is she who would answer accusation of impropriety. Of course it seems as if Lady Veronica is assisting you so I am as of yet uncertain what it is you are asking from me." Her cheeks darken and she sips her tea "I hope you will forgive me if I am being obtuse."

"I didn't know I was helping him actually," Veronica says. Then her face lights up as an idea strikes her. "Please forgive me, I must go to the forge now, I have just had a thought I must try out." Having finished her sangria she puts down the goblet and heads back towards the northern gardens where the forge is located.

"Give me access to your library to do my own genealogical research," Iolion answers, the response clearly prepared and rehearsed. "It insulates you from charges you're subverting her interests: the most that can be said is you allowed me access to your library for the sake of answering my own questions. And if I do the research, it will be hard for her to justify blaming Chantris for whatever the fallout may be—"

Iolion rises automatically as Veronica departs, giving her a smile and a nod as she's on her way.
Prudence blinks rapidly in surprise as Veronica hops up and takes off. She offers a puzzled smile, "Enjoy your evening, Lady Veronica!" she clears her throat gently and studies Iolion, "If you know what you are looking for I would be happy to do research on your behalf. In order to grant you access to the library I fear I will need to secure permission from Her Grace. Would you permit me a few days to gain her ear?"

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