A Robbed Crown

Discussion in 'The World Stage' started by Serenierre, Dec 16, 2017.

    Loading...
  1. Serenierre

    Serenierre Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2008
    Messages:
    6,297
    Location:
    Karachi, Sindh
    Capital:
    Villesen
    Nick:
    GalliaBae
    December 14, 2017
    TRIER
    I
    The Mausoleum of His Majesty King Leopold the Tenth was the hub of activity that morning. Private security guards belonging to the Valvoisette Group of Companies, kept the reporters back and there was a heavy contingent of police deployed. Several limousines approached the small chapel which had become the final resting place of one of the saddest men to have ever lived on this Earth.

    Grand Duchess Emmeline de Valvoisette emerged from the black limousine first, followed by several others who exited from that car, as well as the three others that were immediately behind. She walked elegantly through the crowd, always sure where the cameras were and keenly aware of what angle made her look the best. Across Gallia, on the satellite television channel that had been set up in the 1980s, all loyal royalists would be tuned in to watch this moment.

    "Madame," called out the reporter from TV Noblesse. "What are you feeling on His Majesty's 161st birth anniversary?"

    "I feel its a moment of tremendous honour that as the senior most member of the Serenien royal family, I am present here to mark the anniversary of a truly brilliant human being. He suffered at the hands of the communist revolutionaries and died a broken man and on this day, every year, we remember him and ensure that each successive generation remembers the sacrifice of the Royal Family of Serenierre."

    She walked into the mausoleum. Looking at the man who stood in the corner, she smiled weakly. "Ah, Monsieur Choiseul, I see the Grand Duke has let you off the leash," she said under her breath.

    "Forever the charmer," the Duke of Choiseul shook her hand. "None of the Germanic prudishness in you, still a truly Gallic beauty."

    She glanced over to see the wreath that the Duke had brought with him from Chagny. "Oh, Charles has sent a bigger one this year. Did he get offended last year?" she asked rather nonchalantly, although knew full well that the year before she had spared to no expense to make the token Burgundian wreath look inadequate.

    "Do not refer to His-" he was stopped short by the commencement of the sermon by a Twentish priest.

    II
    It had, by now, become somewhat of a tradition for the various aristocrats from the territories of the former Kingdom of Serenierre to gather at the estate of the Grand Dukes and Duchesses of the Valvoisette family after the yearly remembrance sermon held for the last crowned King of Serenierre. Here, in the relatively calm atmosphere, it would seem that the old world remained still. The old world charm of Serenien nobility would be on full display, although the gulf between the aristocrats and nobles from the two rival factions to the title of Monarch did, of course, result in there being marked differences in style and dress - and sad to say, even language (the Chagny nobles had long ago swapped Low Frankish for the High Frankish more common in Bourgogne).

    That year, the soiree was much smaller than the year before, as turnout was always lower in the non-milestone anniversaries.

    "So, Monsieur," Grand Duchess Emmeline walked up to the Duke, "Remind me why I let you come here, when you refuse to abandon your poverty in Chagny to come here and live as a noble should?" It was known that the Trier branch had long been focused on trying to convert the Dukes of Choiseul over to their side - as one of the oldest dukedoms, their support carried clout. "What does Coco give you that we, here in Trier, cannot?" She sipped her champagne.

    "Madame, please."

    "No, no, when you are here. It is Your Majesty."

    "Madame," he repeated. "I am sworn to the His Majesty King Charles I, King of Serenierre, Grand Duke of Bourgogne. I know that Christian morals are looser here but in Chagny we value the oaths we make to our Sovereign."

    "Oh, pssh." She mocked him. "When do you lot give this elusive oath? You have said this every year, even before you came to your title and I to mine."

    Sensing the tensions, the Duchess of Rousillon - a doyen of the Trier faction - walked up to them and coolly distracted the Grand Duchess, who was rather drunk, long enough to allow the Duke to escape. He mouthed his gratitude as he did so.

    III
    The Duke of Choiseul retreated to his car. He wanted to leave Trier as soon as he could. The ordeal of this remembrance sermon was something his family had subjected itself to every year in the name of the Grand Duke of Bourgogne, who, quite obviously was rather averse to the notion of making the pilgrimage himself. Too many foreign policy issues would be at stake. Surely, he would tell the Duke, Villesen would launch an attack over that level of involvement by the head of state of the dreaded Burgundian enemy.

    And for going through as the Grand Duke's representative to the many places that required some presence to be registered, the Duke's family had been rewarded not just by the Grand Duke himself, but also by the Burgundian society at large, which had accorded great respect and esteem to the man and his family. And it had been through this patronage that he had risen to the rank of President of the Society for the Restoration of Monarchy and had stayed there since 1978. And if he had to put up with a few rebukes from the Trier nobles - so be it.

     
  2. Serenierre

    Serenierre Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2008
    Messages:
    6,297
    Location:
    Karachi, Sindh
    Capital:
    Villesen
    Nick:
    GalliaBae

    The Club des Royaumes - the Club of the Kingdoms - was an important location for the exiled masses of Serenien minor royalty and aristocracy which called Chagny its home. Procured in 1983 from the unabashedly homosexual Baron de Nou, when he was dying from what was then a mysterious illness, the building had once been an abbey of sorts for some rather oddball monastic order. But now, it hosted the Society for the Restoration of the Monarchy and, as such, was the little bit of the Kingdom of Serenierre which still existed in the depths of the Burgundian capital. And perhaps this was the oddest bunch of oddballs if there ever was one.

    Here, there was no Grand Duke Charles VI. No. Here, the toasts were raised in the name of His Majesty King Charles the First, King of the United Kingdoms of Gallia. But, in absence of a formal recognition of the title, the senior most noble for this gypsy-like court was the Duke of Choiseul. This man, whose Christian name was Armand, had returned quite recently from Trier with nothing but distaste in his mouth for the habits of the Trier nobles, who he absolutely detested.

    "Monsieur le Duc," one of the others said, "We noticed that our wreath looked suitably majestic next to the one placed by the Comtesse de Valvoisette."

    "Yes, quite so, but I fear it is a rather pointless victory," he sighed. "They remain richer than most of us here and have the luck of having His Majesty's mausoleum under their control." He, much like all the others of his class in Bourgogne, remained frustrated by the spectacle the Valvoisette's had made since 1933 around the mausoleum of the late King. It had been one of his ultimate desires to see King Charles I (the Grand Duke of Bourgogne) pay his respects to the mausoleum whenever he visited Trier on an official visit - however hard he tried to lobby the Grand Ducal family to push the man, he remained ever hesitant to claim what was truthfully and legitimately his to claim.

    "Enough of that horrible woman," he waved his hand. The committee meeting that had paused for lunch seemed to take heed and the conversation moved on and eventually settled on official matters.

    "Your Grace," the Duchess of Coissons - another member on the Society's Board - broached the topic, "As we all are aware, the Society has made great progress over the past two decades to look after our more destitute ranks, in part thanks to the financial donations to our coffers by friends of Your Grace but it is our thought that we should continue to pursue additional avenues to ensure that there is some degree of protection for our fellow brothers and sisters."

    "You would have us become another Valvoisette?" he almost scowled. This was a controversial point in the Chagny faction. But sensing the mood of the rest of the Board, the Duke felt compelled to allow the discussion.

    The Duchess continued, "It is the opinion of the majority of the Board that we elect to use the additional three million livres we have as profit to purchase additional properties so that we may provide some apartments to our poorer relations." The plan that she was mentioning was quite well known amongst the members of the Board. The entire debate concerned the princely sum that the Society had managed to raise by hosting a number of fundraisers at the estate of sympathetic members of the Grand Ducal family. The small portfolio that was being considered for purchase would go a long way in providing some security and would be popular - easily securing him another several terms at the top of this toothless paper tiger.

    But, Armand remained unconvinced. He knew that this three million, if committed to such a project, would be hard to raise again in the short-term.

    "Can we not put it to some better use?"

    "What better use can there be apart from buying property?"

    The Baron de Fenere interjected, rather impatiently, "And not just that but it will help countless. The apartments that we will get will remove the fear of eviction from many of our families. The Society will be a kinder landlord."

    "Kinder?" Armand arched his brow and looked at him. "I know full well that all of the nobles would simply skip on their payments and use our ancient codes of civility to bind me in a situation where neither can I evict them nor can I get a return on the investment." He banged the table. "I have had it with this mindset from all of you!"

    "Your Grace," the Duchess tried to pacify him. "Control yourself, please."

    The meeting ended. The debate would continue some other time. Armand and a few of his loyalists from the Board withdrew to one of the private sitting rooms.

    Despite having a stronger horse, so to say, in the form of the Grand Duke of Bourgogne - and all the power projection that implied - the nobility in Chagny was and had always been rather plagued with these monetary concerns. Much of their wealth remained in Serenierre, still litigated over in cases that were deliberately, it was deeply believed, delayed and prolonged in the courts. A nefarious scheme by the Communists to exhaust the entire estates over litigation costs. And it was true, this had been the fate of many unfortunate ones, particularly the nobles from Breves, where the courts were especially anti-aristocratic even in these relatively liberal times.

    "The bloody Valvoisette's don't squabble like that." Armand complained to his friends. "The bloody bitch is a commander. Whips them all into shape." He envied that rotten woman, almost. "But I know we need to secure some more housing schemes for our ranks. If only I had a few million more I could take care of all them."
     
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2019
    Justosia, Pelasgia and Elben like this.
  3. Serenierre

    Serenierre Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2008
    Messages:
    6,297
    Location:
    Karachi, Sindh
    Capital:
    Villesen
    Nick:
    GalliaBae

    "I don't care," Emmeline shouted on the phone, "I want you to find out where he is." She hung up. For three years, the forty eight year old scion of the Valvoisette family had been facing ever greater troubles in her marriage with Otto Henrik, a rather wild playboy she had met while holidaying in the Retalian archipelago. But the past year, alone, had been enough to drive her crazy. Just last month that wretch had been found naked in a pool of vomit in a darkroom of one of Trier's more scandalous establishments. Thank goodness the Valvoisette security staff had moved quickly and prevented the news from leaking. In all the years the family had lived in Trier, along with its large retinue of aristocratic-cum-banking families, perfecting this act of hiding secrets had become their forté.

    And it was that man, her husband, who had once again gone rogue. Rubbing her temples, she could not believe that the man would vanish on Christmas Eve, no less. What would she say to all the nobles who were expected to pay respects to her that evening? But knowing him, she could almost bet on it that he would turn up on the arm of some two-rate air-headed duchess, who had more silicone than bone in her body. Disgusting.

    Emmeline poured a glass of whiskey for herself - her third so far that morning - and flipped through a few of the files that the CEO of the family's holding company had sent for her to sign in her capacity as the Chair of the Board. She would sign it later. Fury reigned supreme for now in the mind of this would-be Serenien Queen. She sat still for a moment. Trying to still her thoughts. But, true to type, that did nothing. In a burst of anger she flung the glass on the wall, shattering it into a million pieces. "I hate him!" she screamed out loud. She sobbed.

    In her apartments in the stately home that the family had bought from some destitute family back in the 1940s, far away from the drama ensuing in the other suite, her sister - Josephine de Valvoisette, the practical one of the two sisters - sat rather comfortably in her armchair reading a book from a famous Burgundian author when she had heard a low groan and a loud crash. But she hadn't given it much attention. She knew her older sister was prone to breakdowns of all sorts - more so after her marriage - but given what a hornet's nest that woman was, Josephine knew it to be best to stay away. Unlike her older sister, Josephine actually had to work at her job at the holdings company, drawing a might fine salary for her efforts but also bearing considerable weight of the work. So, no matter what happened with her sister, she was going to stay in her own corner of the chateau, away from the antics and simply enjoy her holidays.
     
    Elben and Nicosia like this.
  4. Serenierre

    Serenierre Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2008
    Messages:
    6,297
    Location:
    Karachi, Sindh
    Capital:
    Villesen
    Nick:
    GalliaBae
    CLUB DES ROYAUMES
    Chagny, Bourgogne

    A certain gloom prevailed over the Club. Armand sat quietly in the salon. Though some considerable time had passed, he had still been in shock at the suddenness of the great tragedy. In fact, all the Chagny-based emigrés were. They had for decades attached their hopes and affection to the Grand Dukes of Bourgogne and now, by sheer accident of fate, all their efforts had been destroyed. The rival Valvoisette line had, it seemed, triumphed.

    "Mireille is certainly not wasting any time," Armand said looking at the news headlines on the muted flat screen television in the corner. The Elbener Crown Princess had now become one of the only claimants of any significance to the throne of Serenierre and had become a frequent feature of Burgundian news. "I wonder what her mother thinks."

    The Baron de Mondeville, an old man with tremendous style, despite his modest income, banged the table, "That wretch, she is not even observing proper mourning for His Highness." Armand sensed the Baron was trying to hold back tears, although he seemed to have failed as he quickly reached for his handkerchief and wiped his eyes.

    "Calm yourself, dear friend," Armand said, "We cannot lose your good spirits to the curse of despondency."

    The Baron smiled weakly. "My despondency will only go when we challenge her. How can she claim the title? The throne of Serenierre cannot pass to a woman under the old law."

    "Oui," Armand sighed, knowing full well where the discussion would go. "Our throne is Salic and the title of King of Serenierre can only pass to a male, yes. We all know that, friend. Alas, fate picked a different winner in our battle."

    "You seem to have given up," the Baron sputtered, a hint of indignation at the Duke of Choiseul's complacency was clear to see. Armand sensed the eyes of the other nobles land on him. Clearly, this incident would be talked about among them later. God knows what rumor-mongering would ensue.

    He chose to remain nonchalant. "Ah, but Lionel," he used the baron's personal name, "We still have to see whether she is indeed going to have a boy or not. The Valvoisette clan is not particularly known for the strength of its male gene. Four decades and not a single male has been born there."

    "But-"

    "Before you say anything, let me say, we'll handle the problem when we get to that point. Until now, our Society remains officially neutral about Mireille."

    A bell rang and a priest walked through the corridor outside the salon. Behind him, several other club members trailed behind. In the salon, as well, a number rose up and followed suit. The afternoon mass was a serious affair for the aristocratic emigres, especially after the great tragedy.

    "Come Lionel, let us go and pray." Armand helped the Baron take to his feet and held him steady till a valet brought his cane.

     
  5. Elben

    Elben Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2006
    Messages:
    1,424
    Location:
    Iowa, USA
    Nick:
    Malat
    Grand Ducal Palace, Chagny

    "if they don't wish to recognize my claim, that's up to them, as long as they keep their neutrality." Mireille sat with her stockinged feet up on her husband's lap, who was gently rubbing them; she had been in heels all day. "The point of these meetings is to shore up support in Bourgogne. Just don't tell Mother that."

    The crown prince of Elben had become quite well informed about his mother-in-law's thinking. "Maybe you should just declare the republic and we'll go back to Eschenbach?" Leopold smiled as he switched feet.

    Mireille looked at her husband with sardonic amusement. "Let's not antagonize the Burgundians as well as the Sereniens all in one day, hmmm. Those senators are starting to actually like me."

    The television was on in the background; the news channel was cycling around back to Sophie Menard. Leopold glanced that way, already familiar with the reporter's comments. "Fancy an interview?"
     
    Justosia, Gunnland, Sylvania and 3 others like this.
  6. Elben

    Elben Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2006
    Messages:
    1,424
    Location:
    Iowa, USA
    Nick:
    Malat
    Chagny, Bourgogne
    Baptistery

    The royal party waited in an antechamber for all to gather. King Karl, also known as Grand Duke Charles, was busy studying the artwork of the walls with great interest. A young priest of the cathedral was standing at his side, pointing out certain notable aspects as they went along.

    Mireille and her sister-in-law Maria Alexia, the king's youngest, stood together with the baby who was dressed in an antique white gown. The boy was fussing and the two women were doing their best to keep him pacified. Leopold stood nearby with his hands clasped behind his back, talking softly to his best friend from school, Max von und zu Weichs an der Glon, of the old nobility of Elben.

    At the doors leading out was a security man, obviously armed even in the holy place.

    They were waiting for Mireille's family to arrive. The groups had come separately for security reasons and there was some time to spare in the schedule.

    Serenierre">@Serenierre
     
    Last edited: May 28, 2019
  7. Serenierre

    Serenierre Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2008
    Messages:
    6,297
    Location:
    Karachi, Sindh
    Capital:
    Villesen
    Nick:
    GalliaBae
    Chagny - The Grand Ducal Baptistery

    Emmeline de Valvoisette was not altogether too pleased to be a grandmother. But dutifully she had boarded the private jet for the trip to the old Burgundian capital where her daughter was parading around as the Regent. She had sent an advance team to the Baptistery, complete with the crisp looking herald, who would announce her entrance properly: QUEEN OF SERENIERRE. It was controversial for sure, but she refused to be outranked by her bloody daughter. Everyone needed to remember what the Valvoisette billions were not the only thing important about her.

    Her sister, Josephine, who had arguably raised Mireille more as her daughter than she ever had was dressed in a chic designer dress from an Engellexic fashion house. Emmeline looked at her for a moment before looking away. She remembered how many years ago, when Mireille had been a child herself, she had always preferred the company of her aunt. It had been not without insult that Mireille had ignored her own mother and chosen her aunt as the godmother for the baby. Disgusting betrayal.

    The limosine stopped and the Burgundian grand ducal guards opened the door for her. She stepped out and was greeted by a sea of cameras. She smiled in that well rehearsed manner and waved. The crowd would never know how much she hated coming to Chagny that day.
     
  8. Elben

    Elben Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2006
    Messages:
    1,424
    Location:
    Iowa, USA
    Nick:
    Malat
    The Baptistery

    Emmeline and Josephine entered, the mother a step ahead of her daughter befitting the status the herald that had preceded them declared: QUEEN.

    Aside from the unobtrusive security personnel, the chamber was full of aristocrats all well trained on the social niceties of the situation. Some bowed, some curtsied, some merely nodded in acknowledgment.

    Once these greetings were concluded, Karl stepped forward and offered Emmeline a kiss on one cheek and then the other. With cordial words, "Our royal cousin, we welcome you to Chagny." He took a step back and looked to Mireille beside him, carrying her child.

    "Mother, Aunt Josephine." The young woman had come a long way over the last year. She had grown and she held in her arms the tangible sign of her new life. Whatever animosities or resentments she may have had for Emmeline had been locked away. "Leopold, your grandson." The daughter offered the boy to her mother to hold for a moment before things got underway.
     
  9. Serenierre

    Serenierre Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2008
    Messages:
    6,297
    Location:
    Karachi, Sindh
    Capital:
    Villesen
    Nick:
    GalliaBae
    Chagny - The Grand Ducal Baptistery

    Emmeline looked at the baby. It was a pink puffy thing. To think one day, this babe would be her successor to the titular claim to all Serenierre and the Valvoisette wealth. "Your Majesty," she looked at the Elbener king, "Our grandson has gone on you. How proud he will make the Elben and Serenien one day."

    Josephine, the younger Valvoisette sister, looked at her niece's baby, and managed to hold the baby with ease in her arms. "But our dear Prince has gone on our Mireille in disposition, she, too, was such a well behaved child at her baptism." Emmeline could tell her sister was genuinely happy. Well, so was she, but not as a warm matron. The birth of this child had strengthened the Valvoisette claim. The might of the Burgundian claim had been destroyed and in her life time she had come to stand as the only claimant to the throne.

    "Your Majesties," the titular queen of Serenierre looked at the Elbener couple, "Perhaps we should have an official photograph with our darling Leopold." She gestured to the photographer. "Josephine, hand the baby to me." Although, much to her annoyance, Mireille had managed to push Josephine into posing alongside the grandparents. Emmeline hid her annoyance at her sister's presence in the portrait. Next to the perfectly perfect Elbener royal couple, Emmeline and Josephine must have looked like some strange Sapphic couple. Oh the horror.

    After the photograph, Josephine managed to pull away from the crowd and walked to Mireille, sensing that Emmeline was enjoying the attention she was receiving from holding Baby Leopold.

    "Your mother is behaving well today, I hope," she said to her niece. "Ever since Otto was found in that sex dungeon by our guards, she has been less aggressive." It was an embarrassing episode that had been hushed up. Only a few people close to the Valvoisette family knew of Emmeline's husband's proclivities. "But how are you keeping my darling. It is so dangerous in Bourgogne these days, with these Burgundian communists. Can you come down to Trier? Or even Elben? Away from this mess?" Her face was etched with the signs of worry.
     
  10. Elben

    Elben Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2006
    Messages:
    1,424
    Location:
    Iowa, USA
    Nick:
    Malat
    The Baptistery

    Mireille shuddered and shook her head at the thought of her stepfather, not that she had ever considered the man in that regard except as a formality. Then her aunt asked how she was doing and Mireille glanced at one of the guards before answering in a lower voice for Josephine only, "These men are not mere security. I'm told they are elites in Elben's army. They've got plans for if the worst should come to pass."

    Meanwhile, Karl approached Emmeline as she held little Leopold. All smiles of course, but the king's tone was serious, "Your Majesty. Are you planning to proclaim your rightful inheritance in public?"
     
    Beautancus and Justosia like this.
  11. Serenierre

    Serenierre Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2008
    Messages:
    6,297
    Location:
    Karachi, Sindh
    Capital:
    Villesen
    Nick:
    GalliaBae
    The Baptistery
    Josephine looked at her niece with concern. The poor child lived with the specter of death constantly looming above her. "You know, it is royal tradition that a new mother should come live at her own family's home after giving birth." She held Mireille's hand. "Maybe, we could follow that tradition and have you and Leopold and baby Leo can come to Trier. All our aristocrat friends can host a grand soireé in honour of the petit leon."

    The older of the two Valvoisette sisters, Emmeline smiled at the Elben King's question. "Dear cousin," the usual term of endearment among royals, "You'd have the mad Martinique kill me before my grandson's first birthday? I won't repeat the mistakes of my father."

    Yes, the Grand Duke Francois de Valvoisette. He had been assassinated by agents of Directorate 77 in 1986 for attempting to assert his claims. Although, in all honesty, the developments in the region had changed considerably since those times. And she did think the financial means of the Valvoisette Foundation and Holdings Company, certainly, could be useful to more than just the indolent aristocrats in her pseudo-court.

    "Not all of us have good looking men to protect us," she eyed the King's bodyguard, who seemed taken aback by the comment and looked away.

    "Ah, Your Majesty," she heard the familiar and yet entirely detestable voice of that man: the Duke of Choiseul.

    She turned around and noticed he bowed to Karl. RUDE!!!! She was vexed beyond measure. "And dear cousin, see, even my own subjects disregard my right."

    "Grand Duchess, pleasure to see you again," Armand said. He did not bow as was expected. "You know, we emigres in Chagny believe firmly in the title passing through the male line. Perhaps you should let bygones be and rejoice that your grandson is the petit-dauphin."

    Her face hardened. She would have preferred not to have this conversation in front of the Elben King. "Ah yes, dear cousin," she ignored Armand, and turned to face Karl, "You see, the nobles who fled to Burgundy were rather more... as they say... salt of the earth types. We in Trier are the cosmopolitan ones."

    "Your Grace," Armand smiled, although behind his charming manner, it was clear he was incensed. "You break my heart."

    "Good."

    Baby Leopold let out some gas. Emmeline looked down, annoyed, "Perhaps, enough of this. Where is the wonderful mother?" She walked off.

     
  12. Elben

    Elben Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2006
    Messages:
    1,424
    Location:
    Iowa, USA
    Nick:
    Malat
    The Baptistery

    Karl looked relieved. When Emmeline had had herself introduced as the queen, he had not looked forward to the idea of her going public with it and him having to deal with Serenierre. All too many of the republic's protests regarding his daughter-in-law and her child had been sent already. He turned to the duke. "Let her have her day."

    Meanwhile, Mireille listened as her aunt suggested coming to Trier. She shook her head. "As much joy as it would bring me to come home for a time, my place is here. There are so many good people here and I won't abandon them. And going to Trier would only support this new republic's propaganda claiming we're all just foreign tyrants." She raised her hand and waved away such slanders. Just then, "Mother is coming with the baby."
     
    Serenierre likes this.
  13. Serenierre

    Serenierre Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2008
    Messages:
    6,297
    Location:
    Karachi, Sindh
    Capital:
    Villesen
    Nick:
    GalliaBae
    The Baptistery/Grand Ducal Palace
    Chagny

    The baptism itself was full of the symbolism and tradition of three great royal lineages. The baby was the heir of the royal houses, not just of Elben, but also those of Bourgogne and Serenierre. A truly Catholic prince. When his day would come, his titles would lay claim to a territory far greater than that of even the greatest of Gallo-Germanian emperors.

    Emmeline looked on at the scene from her seat. Josephine, her sister, had been chosen as the godmother and it was she who was performing the rituals from her end. How Emmeline hated it. First the dishonor levied on her by her husband, the that wretch Duke of Choiseul, and finally this. She kept her delicate smile plastered firmly on her visage.

    Afterwards, the royal family of Elben, the Valvoisette family, and the senior nobility had converged at the Grand Ducal palace to celebrate the occasion. It had been her idea. In fact, of the three branches, only the Valvoisette were free to spend money as they pleased. There were some advantages to being a CEO of a family company - ignoring the fact the said company was a multi-billion euromark holdings and investment company. So obviously, Emmeline had convinced the Elben King to jointly host a grand gala.

    Here, again, she would be heralded as the Queen of Serenierre. Much to the chagrin, she was sure, of the Serenien emigre nobility would hate it. Until recently, they would spurn her and her family's claim. Hanging dearly to the Burgundian grand dukes. Well, history had proved the Valvoisettes were the truly anointed ones. She had decided that she would walk into the grand ballroom alone, so that all eyes would be on her. Yes, she enjoyed this.

    It was further on in the night when the drinks were starting to get to her that she approached His Majesty The King of Elben, "Dear cousin, as the Grand Duke of Bourgogne, you are my host and I believe as your chief guest, I, as Queen can expect the best in terms of Elben security," she eyed the same royal guardsman she had spotted at the Baptistery. He was a tall and well built man, purely Germanic in his demeanor. She knew he saw sensed her intentions, for he quietly looked away, whether out of embarrassment or shyness, she was not too sure. "We can't have that mad Martinique send someone to kill me, now can we?"

    There was a pause.

    "I hope," she continued with a slight yet noticeable slur, "I can count on the same level of attention to my security as you, dear cousin."
     
  14. Elben

    Elben Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2006
    Messages:
    1,424
    Location:
    Iowa, USA
    Nick:
    Malat
    The Party

    Karl looked at Emmeline with something akin to dread, though he hid it well for the most part. He was a good solid devout Catholic, but he wasn't dumb. The woman was asking him to hook her up with one of his bodyguards.

    "Of course we will provide you will security." He smiled and beckoned to the guard in question who came over, his face set. "Dieter."

    "Your Majesty."

    "Tell me about your wife."

    "She is well, Your Majesty. Back home with the little ones."

    The king nodded and smiled. "The queen here requests your company. We'll see that she has enough to drink and then see that she makes it back to her room safely." Karl raised his glass. "Emmeline, come drink a toast with us to your grandson. This Burgundian wine is fabulous and we must not let it go to waste now that the bottle is open."

    A servant came around at the king's beckoning with fresh glasses for the two royals. They each took one and Karl savored his. "Mmmm, excellent. Drink up, Royal Cousin!"
     
  15. Serenierre

    Serenierre Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2008
    Messages:
    6,297
    Location:
    Karachi, Sindh
    Capital:
    Villesen
    Nick:
    GalliaBae
    The Party at the Grand Ducal Palace
    "So, Dieter," Emmeline looked at the attractive man. "You must give extra attention to me. You know how dangerous the Serenien intelligence agency can be." She placed her hand on his arm and leaned close. Even though she was a mature woman, well into her fifties, she was still considered attractive and knew fairly well how to ensnare men. As a young girl, she had a very wild reputation in chasing the finest men - young and old, alike - in Trier. It was a shame, she often thought, that Eiffellander royal men were never quite as vigorous as she craved. "I'm sure," she smiled seductively, "Your wife wouldn't want you to be negligent at your job."

    A servant came with the trolley and the royal party settled down in the grand drawing room. The Grand Duke of Bourgogne, King Karl of Elben offered her some drink, which she politely took, though her intentions were clearly to dislodge this Dieter from the main group and to unwind as she craved after a day of successive humiliations.

    "So, cousin," she looked at Karl, "I believe rumours suggest you are most unhappy with the Burgundian prime minister. Is that true?"

    The conversation continued for a few moments, before Emmeline pretended to be light headed. "Oh, dear cousin," she said, "I think this fine Burgundian red has proved too much for me to handle." She raised her hand up for Dieter, "I must beg everyone's leave and retire for the evening."

    Conversation between Emmeline and Dieter during the walk
    As the Elben bodyguard walked her to her room, far away from the state apartments in the Grand Ducal palace, she looked at Dieter, "You don't need to be so weary, around me." She smiled at him. When she sensed that the ice had broken somewhat, she asked, "How much does my cousin pay you?"
     
  16. Elben

    Elben Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2006
    Messages:
    1,424
    Location:
    Iowa, USA
    Nick:
    Malat
    Did every man have his price? Dieter frowned at himself as he thought about the family farm back home. He was a young son and the farm was to go to his older brother when their father died. It was why Dieter had stayed in the army and excelled, to build a future for his little family. This woman was offering him money for a night's pleasure. How much would be enough to make it worth his while to put aside his vows to his wife?

    Dieter frowned inwardly as calculations were made in his head, the security of his family on one side of the ledger and the wages of sin on the other. A decision was made.

    "One million marks." The amount was delivered without hesitation, as if indeed the king did pay him a seven figure sum for his services. If she took offense, it would be a trivial matter, a spoiled inebriated royal trying to take advantage of a servant. If she accepted, it would set his family up for life.
     
  17. Serenierre

    Serenierre Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2008
    Messages:
    6,297
    Location:
    Karachi, Sindh
    Capital:
    Villesen
    Nick:
    GalliaBae
    Private apartments, 2nd floor
    Grand Ducal Palace - Chagny
    Emmeline smiled. Clearly, unlike her cousin, young Dieter knew exactly how to play ball. How long it had been since she had been held properly. Loved like all women crave. Her sniveling excuse of a husband, Otto Henrik, most probably was embarrassing her even now. She deserved some happiness.

    One million he had said to her.

    She had grabbed a hold of his arm and looked up. He was a giant compared to her. She looked up at him and said gently, almost in a coo, "Is that all?" She kissed his shoulder and held on tight. "Make me feel wanted and young again, and I'll give you the world." As the door to her apartment arrived, she entered and turned around to face Dieter, "You will find that I am much better at many things than your provincial wife." She smiled coyly and grabbed the man by his shirt and pulled him into her room and closed the door shut. She pulled him down close to her and kissed him passionately.

    Thus began an adventure that would satisfy her yearning for the first time in a long time.

    Grand Ballroom
    Josephine and Mireille were in the grand ball room downstairs, surrounded by a large group of Burgundian noble ladies. The party was immensely luxurious, with a live orchestra playing the classical music of Elben, Serenierre, and Bourgogne in stages, and the Valvoisette money was on full display.

    "Your mother really spared no expense, I don't think such a grand ball has been arranged since the old days." It was true. The last royal ball in Serenierre, at least, had been held in 1921. After that, the royals had been on the backfoot due to the troubles which eventually led to the Serazinist revolution of 1927.

    "Although, where is your mother? She seems to have vanished."
     
  18. Elben

    Elben Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2006
    Messages:
    1,424
    Location:
    Iowa, USA
    Nick:
    Malat
    The bedroom

    Dieter did earned his money, but in his mind's eye, he saw only his bride; true, she was a farm girl, but she was young and comely, all a man could desire as a wife and a mother of his children.

    The ballroom

    "I don't know. I saw her talking to His Majesty over there." Mireille gestured across the way to where the grand duke was standing with his son and the godfather in their evening finery. The princess put a hand on Josephine's arm to bid her follow as she lifted her skirts with her other hand and stepped over to join the trio of men.

    "Your Majesty, gentlemen, we were just wondering where my mother had gone."

    His Majesty made a face and answered, "I believe she wasn't feeling well, so she returned to her rooms."
     
  19. Elben

    Elben Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2006
    Messages:
    1,424
    Location:
    Iowa, USA
    Nick:
    Malat
    The bedroom

    Dieter woke up in the middle of the night. He had been dozing only, not really able to fall asleep. Emmeline on the other hand... He turned his head and looked over at the woman. She was covered up to her neck, face up, snoring softly with each exhale. In the semi darkness, she looked different from the night before, older, worn down. The soldier felt sorry for her in between bouts of guilt.

    He got up slowly so as not to disturb Emmeline and went to the bathroom. Looking at himself in the mirror, he frowned and shook his head. A million, a million, a million, he kept reminding himself.
     

Share This Page