Friday, January 31, 2014

Severe Enough

1032, Spring

Rionna listened carefully at the doorway, where her father-in-law was discussing the health of her newborn baby. She had barely the chance to hold to tiny babe before it had been taken from her. Now over an hour had past, and the room had been scrubbed from the ceiling to the floor, and still there was no sign of her baby. She could not make out the words Martainn spoke, but all voices came to a deathly silence at the sound of boots approaching. 

“A girl,” the sound of her husband’s snigger made her stomach turn. “What use is a girl?”
Martainn growled, “For a first born to someone so young, it could have been worse.”
“What’s the damage?” Shonn demanded.
“Perfectly healthy, aside from undeveloped toes on her left foot” the older man answered.
Rionna exhaled, her baby was healthy! She could overlook a physical deformity as small as unusual toes. And it wouldn’t be difficult to hide her feet from any prospect husbands in her future – if she lived that long. Flinching backward, Rionna stumbled away from the doorway at the sound of her husband approaching. She fumbled with her homespun nightgown as he entered, his tall figure casting a shadow across the candlelit room. 

“Next time I expect a son,” he said stonily.
She met his gaze for the briefest of moments, and he turned away as though he was insulted by her presence. Rionna didn’t care if she never had a son, she didn’t care if her husband died heirless and bald. All she cared for was her infant daughter.
She followed after her husband through the doorway, revealing her father-in-law. Shonn continued walking down the hall and disappeared from sight. Martainn was looking at her sadly, in his hands he held a sleeping baby. Rionna took slow steps, the infant was unfamiliar to her – as the face she had glanced was blood soaked and screaming. Wisps of red hair were escaping the tiny bonnet the babe wore, and Rionna’s heart began to swell. Her eyes filled with tears and she looked to her father-in-law pleadingly, he nodded to her and with a sigh, gently placed the baby in her arms. 

She cooed down at the babe, who had awoken at the disturbance. Big brown eyes stared up at her, and Rionna recognised herself in the baby. Her baby, she reminded herself.
“Thank you,” she whispered to no one in particular.
Martainn cleared his throat, “I’ve been in medicine for over fifty years, and I’ve seen my share of newborns.”
“What are you trying to say?” She cradled her baby to her shoulder.

“It was very dangerous and reckless of you to have this child,” he told her. “The risk of inbreeding is severe enough amongst cousins. You were lucky,” he frowned at her infant.
“Nobles marry their cousins every day,” Rionna informed him stubbornly.
He nodded, “And very few of their children live long enough to have children of their own.”
Rionna shook her head and turned away from him, the tears falling freely now. “Don’t say such things.”

“Even if she survives – she will be susceptible to disease, and more issues may present themselves in the future.”
She continued shaking her head, “Stop. Don’t say those things. She’s my baby, my fragile little Theda.”
“Theda? That is what you have decided to call her?”
Rionna answered with a nod, no longer interested in speaking with him. She left him standing there in the hall, with the tiny infant enclosed safely in her arms.


  1. Sorry about the work situation! Sounds like both parties need to come clean to their significant others and figure out what they want.

    Rionna does have this sense of self-worth that many of the other women of Marlowe don't have; Nyssa, for example, could really use that sort of influence. Rionna may have her other problems, but you're right--she does appreciate herself as a person, and she's not afraid of her husband and doesn't care if she has his approval, and that can only help her in the long run, whether Shonn can learn to suck it up or not.

    I'm surprised that Shonn was so upset over Rionna having a girl. Since Theda is not his child and he knows that (unless he has a laughably bad understanding of human reproduction--and given that his father is a doctor, I doubt that's the case), I figured he would have been hoping she'd be a girl, so that he wouldn't have to either name another man's child his heir or come up for an excuse as to why his alleged firstborn isn't his heir.

    I do like Martainn. He knows exactly how the baby came to be, but everything he said was from a medical standpoint, and while there may have been hints of judgement in there, most would have reacted a lot worse. I hope he still has a few good years left ahead of him, long enough to drill into Shonn's brain the fact that no woman can choose the sex of her unborn child.

    1. Nope Shonn is completely oblivious to the fact that Theda isn't his! And I think Martainn only had an inkling at how early the baby arrived after the two were married, and the undeveloped toes. But, that could easily be explained because Theda was born small, and 'early'.
      Shonn is an idiot, I really don't like him haha. Martainn was a good man, he's starting to go a bit sour now but he's got a good heart, and I think in a way he understood Rionna's wish to keep the baby despite the risks.

    2. Really? I thought Rionna was already showing when they got married, or close to. In that case... yeesh, is it okay to laugh here? Especially if he hasn't even sort of considered the possibility, even with the quickie wedding and the fact that she might have been too high-born for him otherwise (er, I assume the Leolins are pretty high up, or at least were before Rian got caught? Or does Shon figure that's the reason they were eager to marry Rionna off?)? Shonn is definitely an idiot! XD

    3. She would have been 'showing' to those who got a look at her when she was getting changed, and if they had experience with it. But you might not have noticed she is quite curvier than my other sims - for this exact reason! And I imagine Shonn never bothered to even fully undress himself when taking his liberties with her, and beyond that he never spent much time/ had any interest in her.
      Very acceptable to laugh! He's pig-headed and moronic, too focused on other things to focus on anything he doesn't find interesting. Shonn is a fan of the new laws and wanted a mistress or two I think :P but his father recognised that Leolins are quite high born and took the opportunity.
      I look at it as:
      Leolins = Lower nobility
      Tiernan = Gentry
      So they do interbreed, which is identifiable by their hair and skin, but the gentry often serve as soldiers = the men anyway, and the women usually become wall flowers for the king's court until they are either married or adopted as mistresses.
      I've been wanting to do a page explaining the hierarchy but I still haven't figured out how to do it >.<