... now they must watch their abundance of luxuries fall away, making room for the tools of survival, and witness this time of relative peace wither into the same fears that harper's ballads had warned them about for generations.
 
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 Family Feud (Zahir, Courisse, Eolyn & Igen family)

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Caoimhe

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PostSubject: Family Feud (Zahir, Courisse, Eolyn & Igen family)   Sat Mar 16, 2013 5:11 pm

After the kidnapping had occurred, the young holder had spent more and more time with his lover, although still careful that no one saw them or suspected anything. He found he never tired of her company and never wished to. If only his father would see reason on the matter but Zahir was intelligent enough to know he needed to make a match that would benefit the Hold. Everything would be fine though, he convinced himself.

That was until Courisse came to him with the news that she was bearing his child. The situation seemed to change overnight. He was not unhappy that he would have a child it was simply overshadowed by the concern for Courisse’s reputation. She’d never be allowed to marry to someone of her station now unless he could convince his father that they had to marry now because she was pregnant and it would avoid scandal on all parties.

Zahir had requested to see the entire family immediately, er the entire family that lived within the walls of the Hold which included, Lord Qisbon, Lady Luaya, Lady Eolyn and Lady Havala (the youngest). He met Courisse on the way to the Main Hall, escorting her into the room. There was nothing odd about him escorting her as he did so frequently. His parents saw no harm in that, it was a courtly thing to do. Courtly love was always permitted. What was not permitted was taking things farther than that. Although for Eolyn the standards had always been higher, she was not permitted any sort of male attention before her betrothal and now only towards Lord Rihan.

Lord Qisbon sat at the end of a long table, he looked irritated already so things were probably not going to go so well with him. Seating Courisse next to the Lady Eolyn, he walked to his own seat, looking across the table at his mother, who gave him a warm smile. Mothers always thought the best of their children it seemed. At the last moment, the teenager in the family, Havala came rushing in. As usual she sat next to her brother and gave him a sweet smile too. He didn’t mind her much but she used to be an annoying little thing.

“Well son, we’re all here.” Came his father’s voice. It was clear he was annoyed by the meeting. He was usually the one to call meetings but since Zahir was his heir he was inclined to allow him to do this every so often should it not interfere with his day. It was interfering though. He had things he needed to settle before Eolyn’s wedding. Transportation was being tricky. Since they insisted on the wedding at Telgar River Hold as it would be easier for the Lady Eolyn to become accustomed to her new home if her family brought her there first for the wedding.

“Indeed. I’m sure you are all wondering what could be so important that I interrupt your normal days. I have something I want to talk about and I want you to hear what I have to say before getting angry.” He warned his father. Zahir had been a spoiled and arrogant child and his arrogance had only grown into his adulthood. He did not see any outcome of this but what he wanted. He was the only son, they were going to do things his way or lose their heir.

“I want to marry Courisse.” His father looked like he was going to have a heart attack right there. His mother gasped at about the same time. Havala giggled. “You’re funny, Zahir….” She thought he must be joking, not because Courisse wasn’t beautiful or well-mannered but because everyone knew Zahir was going to marry for power not love. When she caught the look of seriousness in his face and saw that Eolyn had reached over to touch Courisse’s hand in encouragement she sobered up abruptly. “You’re serious.”
His mother couldn’t look at him. His father had stood up from his seat, face red. “You know that is not possible.”
“It is possible. I decide who I am to marry and what I want my life to be like.”

“That is where you are quite wrong. Idecide who you marry. I decide what your life will be like. You are only the son of a Lord Holder. You don’t have to be my heir. So please continue your little speech. How about you start by telling us your sudden desire to be married?”

“She’s carrying my child.”

For a few moments, there was nothing but silence. Lord Qisbon couldn't say anything. Lady Luayna wouldn't say anything. Eolyn was being quiet because she was trying to support Courisse through this and his youngest sister was shocked.


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PostSubject: Re: Family Feud (Zahir, Courisse, Eolyn & Igen family)   Sat Mar 16, 2013 8:01 pm



Courisse was glad that her own side of the family was absent from the meeting since it was so last minute. She'd rather be able to approach them about it when things were somewhat settled with Eolyn's father and mother. They were of course all family, but having her parents as mad at her as Lord Qisbon looked right now, would be terrifying.

As Lord Qisbon raised his voice to Zahir, shouting his disapproval, Eolyn's hands came up to cover her face. Typically, being strong and feisty and bold was something she could be good at, but under this much pressure, she wasn't certain she could maintain that kind of face before them.

Courisse was crying, and she didn't know what to say. Had she and Zahir made such a terrible mistake? They truly loved one another and they should be married! But her uncle didn't seem to see things that way. The Lord Holder's temper seemed more frightening to her then than it had ever been; partially because she was afraid to know that she'd wronged him in some way by being in such close relation to Zahir. But why should it be wrong? Why couldn't they get married.

When the men ceased in their debate for a breath long enough that she could interject, she was at least bold enough to be able to speak up to ask, "But uncle, Zahir and I should be married. I am also of noble blood and am ready to give him his heir. Please allow this and be happy for us, uncle."

Sniffling through her words, she continued while fidgeting in her lap with her fingers. "There is nothing wrong with Zahir and I marrying since Rhea and Ladli are already married well, and Eolyn is promised to be married soon too. To the future Lord of Telgar, of all holdings! Havala too, can be married outside of Igen to establish other relations. At least if Zahir and I marry, the territory can be safe from outside meddling by those who would try to manipulate Igen through their daughter's influence over a husband." Courisse glanced back toward Zahir.


Knowing that she had no real place making any such suggestions, she was just hopeful enough to think that Qisbon might listen to them and perhaps make some sense of the things she and Zahir were saying. After all, there was no reason they couldn't be married. It would be silly not to let them be. Especially now.

On the other hand, if her uncle was displeased enough, he could just as well have her head taken by the executioner for laying with Zahir while they were not married. Being her Lady's Maid, too. Such a thing was a crime and could technically justify an execution. All of Courisse's good feelings towards Zahir had blinded her of such worry before. After all, Zahir loved her and he would protect her. But...Lord Qisbon did not seem in such a forgiving mood today. Maybe none of that would matter.

Even more worried all of a sudden, Courisse started crying again, hiding her face in her hands, trying to contain her emotions as best she could. But it was difficult...she was just as scared now as she was when the kidnappers had taken she and Eolyn only a few weeks ago, so all of that emotion came with it. Only now, she could not only be scared for her life but for the love of her life. What would she do if she were separated from Zahir? What would she do with a baby without Zahir? It was all too much to consider at once!


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PostSubject: Re: Family Feud (Zahir, Courisse, Eolyn & Igen family)   Sat Mar 16, 2013 8:21 pm

Zahir heard Courisse’s crying and instantly felt angry at his father. He had no reason to belittle Courisse for falling for him. It was natural for them to be together. Before Zahir could begin arguing with his father Courisse spoke up.

“I’m afraid my dear, that you have committed acts unbefitting of a lady of your station which negates the fact that you are indeed a lady. You are going to be stripped of your title and Zahir with you should he disregard what I am saying.”

Looking directly at Zahir with a cold look in his eyes, “Your sisters are married, they have husbands who can take your place.” Naturally he did not mean Eolyn’s soon to be husband but the older two young ladies were married to Minor Holders who could naturally take over and already had heirs of their own.

Zahir went pale. He would have nothing to provide the child with if he didn’t become Lord Holder, he had no skills to survive in the world. He wasn’t going to allow his father to bully Courisse though. They needed to do what was right for the situation and not just worry about Igen Hold. Before anyone could say anymore Eolyn spoke up.

Her soft voice, instantly redirecting her father’s gaze to herself, “Father, don’t you think we could speak more civilly to one another. You shouldn’t raise your voice to women.” Immediately looking at his wife who was practically cowering from his booming voice, then to his youngest daughter who was paler than Zahir, he realized he seemed like a brute.
“I apologize ladies.” He said slightly irritated still but keeping his voice in a lower, less scary tone.

“Father, why does Zahir need to marry out of the Hold? Have you entered into negotiations already?”

“There have been offers…” He said, looking grimly at Zahir.

“You need to think hard about what decision you should make here. I will do what I promised earlier. It is your decision ultimately. If you do not marry Courisse we will find a way to marry her to someone else who can claim the child or you can claim the child and we’ll have to pay someone off to keep their mouths shut and still find someone to marry Courisse. Of course then neither of you will ever see the child. Ever.” He’d be just as happy to drop Courisse at the Weyr where she belonged. That’s where loose women lived.

Eolyn wanted to help the situation but all she could do was support Courisse, through her tears. “Courisse will always have a place at Telgar River Hold no matter what you dictate here father. She is MY maid and the only woman I know who would protect me with her life. I will not abandon her to the world as you would do so carelessly nor her child.” Her brother had never been her favorite person and now he was ruining her best friend’s life.

Whispering to Courisse while her father fumed she said, “You should have told me you were doing things with my brother. I know how to prevent pregnancies…” She shook her head, healing knowledge wasted.


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PostSubject: Re: Family Feud (Zahir, Courisse, Eolyn & Igen family)   Sun Mar 17, 2013 8:11 am



It was cruel that her uncle should be so unforgiving, and when he spoke of stripping either one of them of their rank, she thought she would have preferred death. In Courisse's eyes being stripped of her rank was as bad as being made holdless. It was close enough to being the same thing anyway. Her heart sunk listening to him speak the words and then threaten Zahir with the same. Courisse had only felt so desperate one other time in her life. No! No. It was impossible. She wouldn't let Zahir be disowned by his own father. If she had to, she would run away first.

Courisse's shoulders shook in sobs, finally glancing up at her aunt Luaya, hoping that the Lady would have heart and as a woman, see things from her own perspective. Relief still flooded her to hear Eolyn come to her defense. Still, maybe he was right and she didn't deserve to have any such station any longer.

She couldn't help but continue to cry, now hugging her arms to herself, as her uncle went on about the accusations. She'd be completely shamed now! Lord Qisbon was calling her a whore and a tramp and he thought she was sleeping around! No, it just wasn't the case! How could she make him see? There was only one love for her, and that was Zahir. He was the only man in her life. What would be the point of trying to replace him with someone else?

Uncle was so angry, it was hopeless! Sobbing once more, Courisse turned to Eolyn, hugging her arms about her, leaning into her shoulder to cry.

It was so kind of her Lady Eolyn to defend her as she had; to promise that she would always have a place in Telgar. That was reassuring, but having a place for herself wouldn't mean as much without Zahir in her life, even if she was living with Eolyn, whom she also loved greatly. "I love him. I swear to you, I've only slept with him! I love him." Many holders and their heirs were known to have mistresses. Why was it suddenly a terrible thing for the two of them to be together?


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PostSubject: Re: Family Feud (Zahir, Courisse, Eolyn & Igen family)   Sun Mar 17, 2013 11:40 am

Eolyn comforted Courisse, hugging her to her chest. “I know, I know. Don’t worry we’ll work it all out somehow.” She spoke softly so that her father could not hear.

Lord Qisbon knew he sounded cruel. He knew that both his son and cousin were not thinking about the consequences when they had chosen to lie together. However they lived in the real world and there were real consequences and despite how easy their situation might seem with other Holds it was not so. They were being blamed for the need for the Weyr at Igen and there were plenty of people in high positions around Pern that felt Igen’s support for the project was enough to bring the Hold down. He was doing damage control all the time and now his son went and created more trouble.

They needed to keep this low key. No one would know about it except immediate family. “I would not be so certain that your fiancé feels the same way as you do about this Eolyn. You had better write to him about it before offering your maid a position.” It wasn’t entirely her decision and he truly felt that Rihan would view the situation the same way he did even if the situation may have been handled differently.

“I’ll hear your answer to this in the morning Zahir. Courisse, you may stay until after the Wedding, then it will be up to Eolyn as she is taking you with her, to figure out your fate. In return you will all remain completely quiet on the matter. The less everyone knows the better for all involved.” With that he turned on his heel and walked out of the Great Hall. There were many things on his mind at the moment, not the least of which what he was going to do with Zahir and his un-courtly behavior. This had better not happen again, as he was fairly certain Zahir’s response would be that he would give Courisse up to have the Lordship. He would expect no less.

Zahir wanted to storm after his father but what was done was done. His mother got up, sent him a sad smile and walked away to do some work on plans for travel for the wedding. However the lady made no means to comfort Courisse or to applaud Eolyn for standing by the maid. Quite the opposite, she felt that her daughter should have a maid who knew better than to sleep with a man out of wedlock.
When the youngest sister followed their mother out, Zahir turned to Courisse and Eolyn. “I expected him to be unhappy but I didn’t expect this. What can we do?”

Eolyn for her part didn’t know what to tell them. “I can only off Courisse a place at my side in Telgar and it is with a risk that I do so. I have no doubt that father is right, Lord Rihan will not be pleased that I have done this without his permission. However, I will stand by the people who love me and care for me no matter what kind of trouble they may be in. Courisse you know that I believe you. I wanted you two to be happy together but there is no way Zahir could go against father in this. I think you should both think hard on this and decide what is best perhaps despite your feelings for one another. Think about what would be best for the child. ”


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PostSubject: Re: Family Feud (Zahir, Courisse, Eolyn & Igen family)   Sun Mar 17, 2013 7:10 pm

When the Holder and his Lady had left, Courisse looked up after Zahir, wondering the same thing. "My Lady will have to write to her fiance. Lord Qisbon has made it clear what will happen if I remain here."

At the thought, and at the thought of what her parents could only think now that she had no choice but to leave Igen if she wanted to maintain any possibility of rank, the tears turned back on. She tried to offer hopefully, "Lord Rihan seemed like a kind man didn't he? Maybe he'll..." She was shaking her head then. Perhaps they were simply asking too much. Was it too much to marry for love? Now she may never marry at all, let alone for love. There were too many things to consider. And it was hard to think of anything clearly right now.

Standing, Courisse went to Zahir, taking his hands in her own. Placing one of his hands upon her cheek, she nuzzled it lovingly and then in a split second, had embraced him with both arms, unable to contain herself. How many more moments would they have together? How many moments together throughout the rest of their lives were now lost to them? She didn't want to think about any of it. It was too painful, but she could enjoy being with him right now at the very least. Her heart felt as though it was being torn apart through all of this. These emotions she felt were so heavy and they hurt. They hurt her chest and she felt like she would have to gasp for breath.

All she wanted was to be with Zahir forever. She couldn't imagine her life without either of her cousins, yet...she would never ask Zahir to give up his inheritance just to be with her. In fact, she wouldn't allow it. She would rather run away to Telgar with Eolyn so that he wouldn't have the chance.

"Please hold me. I want to love you and be loved by you forever." Courisse's slender body trembled as she held onto him. Her whole body shook, desperately trying not to let sobs overcome her. But it was already difficult to remain stand and she was beginning to feel light headed.

So light headed in fact, that she fainted.



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PostSubject: Re: Family Feud (Zahir, Courisse, Eolyn & Igen family)   Mon Mar 18, 2013 6:14 pm



&



Zahir comforted Courisse, holding and whispering to her. He knew there was no way out of it. "I know." He said in response. He felt the same way but there was no persuading his father and the baby would have no chance at a good life if he gave up his rank. Courisse would understand that but it did not make him feel any better about the situation. He would have to live without love while his sisters were married to men they adored. It wasn't fair but such was life.

Before he could say anything else, she had fainted. "Eolyn, do you think I should..."

"Of course, take her with you. I need to write Rihan and you two need to talk calmly when she is awake. I will do everything I can brother, you know that don't you?"

"You took a risk today and I will never be able to repay you for the kindness. If Rihan completely rejects the idea of her coming with you let me know I will try to find a place for her elsewhere, after the baby is born, somewhere where they will not have heard of this."

Eolyn smiled, "Oh brother, you needn't worry. I do have my charms after all..."

And she was going to have to work them. Her brave face lasted until she got to her chambers and actually had to write to her fiance. How should she eve begin to start the letter. So much to say and how to make it sound like she wasn't going against him already. Oh dear, it was a pickle.




(since it loaded smaller than it was the test reads:

My dearest Lord,

There is so much to say and not enough room on this parchment to express everything. I have missed you greatly. Each day that passes I think only that we are closer to being wed. I am so glad that the day draws nearer. I am usually so patient it is strange to feel that I cannot contain my own excitement enough to wait calmly. Everything is being arranged for our travel to Telgar River Hold. Father spends a great deal of time planning with the guards, he fears another kidnapping despite all of use convincing him only a fool would attack the entire family at once.

Honestly I thought I would be bored waiting but things in Igen are not calm in the least nor boring. I solemnly wish you were here with me now. I have done something you will most certainly be cross with me for but I must beg your pardon. I did not do this to cause you any harm or to defy you in any way. What I have done was to help my most cherished and loyal friend and kinswoman.

I am not sure how much of the relationship between my brother and my maid you are aware of, even I was unaware that it had transgressed this far. My maid is pregnant and my father has threatened to send her away without a title and my brother should he marry her will be as well. I know neither of them would dare defy him in this, for my father is a man of his word. In my concern for my maid I said she may come with me to Telgar without facing her disgrace here in Igen.

Oh please do not be too cross with me. She is my only friend outside of you and I could not leave her to ruin no matter how she might deserve it. And now I find I have run out of room to say much else. I love you and miss you with every passing candlemark.

Yours now and forever after,

Eolyn )


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PostSubject: Re: Family Feud (Zahir, Courisse, Eolyn & Igen family)   Tue Mar 19, 2013 3:56 pm

Arriving in the early evening, a firelizard delivered Eolyn's letter to Telgar River Hold where it was hastilly taken to Rihan. Breaking the wax seal on the parchment, he sat in a wing-backed chair of plush blue velvet, in front of the firepalce that kept his study warm. Unfurling the letter, the Heir Apparent read it, and with a bit of a sigh, crossed one leg over the other to sit back and give her words due consideration.

Eolyn was correct that Rihan would be feeling rather cross right at that moment, so he sat, staring into the flames of the fire with one hand brought up to for fingers to tough thoughtfully upon his lips. Indeed, Eolyn's charms worked magic on him and he would do anything for her, but..

Rihan was also hurt by her actions in a way. He felt as though she had not considered him in all of this. She had made her own decision in the spur of the moment, trying to protect her closest friend, but had he never entered her mind? What kind of position was she putting him in now, desirous of making his fiance happy but all the same, needing to maintain good terms with his father in law -who was obviously highly upset at the two lovers. After all, that is why he and Eolyn were to be married -to encourage better relations between the two holdings. If he allowed Eolyns decision to create any more feelings of mistrust or displeasure between he and Lord Qisbon, then their entire marriage would be in vain. Rihan would have to make a wise move to appease both parties.

So it was, Rihan stood from his chair to move behind his desk where he could write to each of them.


------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Lord Qisbon,

The Lady Eolyn has brought to my attention the matter of your son Zahir and her Lady's Maid Courisse. I write to come to some agreement on how Lady Courisse should be received in Telgar once she arrives here with Eolyn. It is my understanding that you are also very upset over the matter of Courisse's pregnancy and would rather her be stripped of her rank yet she is your daughter's closest friend. It is natural for Eolyn to want to quarrel with you over the matter of course, since she is still young and lacks our understanding.

I also want to make your daughter happy, but cannot agree to allow Courisse to remain in her current position havig committed shameful acts. If eolyn wants for Courisse to accompany her here, then I would like to ask that you allow me to handle the situation, but only after the wedding between Eolyn and I takes place. I do not want that anything should get in the way of it being a most joyous occasion. I will ensure that the matter is appropriately addressed within the bounds of Telgar law. It is for the sake of your daughter Eolyn's happiness that I make this request. Please consider it with her peace in mind.


Rihan
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

Dearest love Eolyn,

It pains me to know that you are so troubled over the matter of Courisse and your brother now. I have written your father to request that she be allowed to accompany you here to Telgar, at which point I will handle her situation appropriately so that she will not have to be stripped of her rank. I only want to see you happy. Please entrust this matter to me.

Until after the wedding, things will remain as they are. I don't want anything to distract us from a glorious wedding day together.. I can't wait to receive you here in Telgar as my bride.


Loving you truly and deeply and always,

Rihan

---------------------------------------------------------------


Of course, to allow that Eolyn would be able to push the trouble as far from her mind as possible so that she could enjoy their weddign without that distraction, Rihan gave her only consolation. He did not voice his concerns to her and other thoughts on the matter of Courisse's pregnancy that filled his mind. Those things would have to wait for another time.


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