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    Vedran Callais

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    elanya
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    Vedran Callais

    Post by elanya on 23/09/11, 07:54 pm

    Vedran Callais was born 26 years ago to Jeseryn Callais and Vinalia Falrin, much to the dismay and ire of Jeseryn’s wife Minalda, whose father still holds a prominent position with the Adventurer’s Guild in Highmark. It galled her further when he officially recognized the child and pressed forward, despite her wishes, with his training and education in the family business. At the very least, her on children were already grown, and well placed within the Callais organization.

    The family focuses on politics and trade, with connections to the Adventurer’s Guild allowing them to expand their interests throughout the known lands. Despite Jeseryn’s public attachment to his human mistress and her son, the arrangement continues because it is mutually beneficial on many levels.

    Vedran’s half siblings have prominent positions in the Callais trade house or the Adventure’s Guild and have made strong political marriages with other important Highmark noble houses. Most everyone on the legitimate side of the family have Dragonmarks, though Vedran does not (most assume due to the weakening of the blood). When he came of age, Jeseryn sought to use him to make more ties within the city, eventually reaching out to the House of Estvaret, who had money but few lands. To seal the arrangement, he conferred on his bastard a fairly sizeable estate outside the city, to be inherited by any children conceived by the match. And so, Vedran wound up married to Lord Estvaret’s only daughter, Jacinthe, who resented (and continues to resent) that if she must sacrifice her own life for her family’s advancement, that she is forced to do so with a half-breed bastard, no matter how handsome and charming. The couple nevertheless have a son together, Macen Callais, who is all of 8 months old and totally adoooorable (possibly dragon marked, I dunno how these things work or if it would matter Wink.

    So… why is Vedran in the guild?

    His mother is a bard (though not guild certified)… Her class have something to do with how she wound up the mistress of a powerful Highmark Elf @_@ She did mostly raise him, so it was natural that he follow her interests. His half-siblings make it difficult to find a place of much value in the family business, and after he was married, it was clear that Jacinthe preferred not to be faced with his company, so he looked for something else to do with himself. Adventuring seemed ideal, though clearly he wasn’t going to find any favour in the Adventurer’s Guild. His father convinced him that the Explorer’s Union was a viable alternative, and that he could see whether or not there was any opportunity for advancing Callais interest in his own travels, and dealings with the guild.
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    elanya
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    family life backstory *story*. Smidge of smut but I'd rate it M at most, and probably could get away with a teen rating, really ;p

    Post by elanya on 24/09/11, 12:08 pm

    It Comes in Time

    Jacinthe was wrung out, physically, emotionally, and when the midwives put the baby in her arms, she couldn’t stop crying. He was perfect, and she loved him, and he had his father’s eyes. The women soothed her, helped her bring the boy to her breast, brushed away her sweat soaked hair, covered her with a blanket.

    “Should we fetch your husband, my lady?”

    She knew Vedran was out there, waiting, anxious. She hesitated.

    The wedding had been a grand affaire, with all of the great houses of Highmark willing to overlook (mostly overlook) any hint of scandal for the day itself. But it has seemed strange to her to come to the church and see his father seated with, arm in arm with, his wife, and Vedran’s mother exiled to the rear of the gathering, out of sight if not entirely out of mind. Her own parents had laughed with them, and it was hard, too hard, not to feel used, just a stepping stone to power. She had smiled bravely, courteously, and done her duty before the gods.

    Alone with him that evening, when it came time to do her duty as a wife, the feelings of bitterness she’d mostly suppressed for the day returned. She’d always know it would be her duty to marry for her family’s advancement, but the reality was a far cry from her girlish fantasies. She’d dreamed of being presented to the court in Vanilorra, of being swept off her feet by some charming and handsome young lord with title and lands, and they’d fall in love. She could have hoped for half of that, but it had not been her fate. Her husband was handsome and charming, but she found herself unwilling to love him.

    She’d had a maid undress her so that she could throw her vulnerability in his face. She felt awful. Let him be awful. She wanted that, though she couldn’t say why.

    “Come then,” she’d said, words cold and heavy in her throat as she’d laid herself on the bed, open but not inviting, “Let us do our duty.”

    He’d laughed, though his easy smile had faltered. “It doesn’t have to be like that, you know.”

    “Yes it does.” She’d stopped looking at him then. He was a stranger to her, and if her body was his to use, then let him use it - she could not give it freely.

    “If you’re not comfortable… we can wait.”

    “No, we can’t.” And it was true – there would be expectations, in the morning, that their obligations had been consummated, and they both knew it. The sheets would be examined, the servants questioned carefully. It was a delicate arrangement, and neither family wanted further complications introduced. “Just do what you must.”

    She refused to be seduced by his caresses, allowing herself to think only that his expertise meant that surely he had had other lovers, that he had been free to have other lovers. In the end he gave in to her stubbornness, sitting beside her, touching himself until he was ready to take her. She spread her legs for him, but did not smile. It hurt, and he was awful, a strange unwanted weight bearing down on her, his member sliding inside her (gently, she’d thought, wishing he would stop trying to be so kind), and thrusting over and over. It hadn’t seemed to take long. He was breathless when his body shuddered, and she imagined she could feel his seed released inside her before he slid out.

    “I’ll arrange for separate rooms,” he’d said, and though he could not look at her she could plainly read his shame and humiliation. It was awful, it was what she had wanted, and she still felt awful.

    After that they’d lived together as strangers. They shared meals, though the conversation was formal. He told her he might take up adventuring, and she’d agreed. It would take him away, more than the trade missions his father occasionally sent him on. She would like that.

    Minalda, who was in some sense (legally, perhaps) her mother-in-law, had sounded more encouraged. “Well, he’ll have to go to the Explorer’s Union,” she’d crowed, “And they’re likely to get him killed. And then you’ll have the inheritance, and all will be well.” She’d smiled comfortingly, as though she assumed Jacinthe hated her husband too, though she did not. “Or maybe he’ll find some other woman, and you can have the marriage annulled. Better if you give him a child first, though, then you can argue to keep the estate.”

    It was months later that he’d come to her bed again. He’d come in late from drinking with friends. She wasn’t sure what he told them, if he told them anything, but he never came home smelling of cheap perfume and other women, so she assumed that he was careful, if he was unfaithful, though she doubted he was. He was dutiful. He tried.

    Jacinthe had been up late reading, and was still awake when he came in. Vedran was a little drunk, his brown curls tousled, his speech slurred ever so slightly. He smelled of spirits, and she’d not spoken when he’d come and kneeled by her bedside.

    “Does it have to be so terrible? All the time? Am I so terrible?”

    He wasn’t, but she didn’t say so. It wasn’t him at all. She said nothing, closing her book.

    “Just let me stay with you tonight. That’s all.”

    She’d nodded, expecting him to have his way with her, but he hadn’t, not then. He’d stripped to his shirt and drawers, climbed in beside her, and eventually fallen asleep.

    Rest had not come as easily for her, with her stranger-husband laid out beside her, invading her space if not her person. But it had come, eventually. She roused later in the early morning to find herself pressed against him, his arm draped across her, as he slept. He snored slightly, like any man might have, and she could see him, then, in that moment, and wondered if she could have cared for him, or if she still could. Turning slightly in his arms, she tilted her head to kiss him, to see. Her touch, soft though it was, roused him slowly, and she continued to kiss him, so that he would not speak. It was hard to hold on to the idea of him, as a person, as someone else whose life had been sacrificed on the altar of duty. He’d been as incidental as she to her family’s plans, just a key to unlock the road to power and prestige. She knew this, she did, but his complicity was harder to overlook than her own.

    She was more free with her self, then, performing her own cautious explorations of his form as first his hands traced hers, then his mouth. When he entered her this time, she allowed herself to want it, to move with him, to take her own pleasure instead of simply enduring his. Jacinthe found that no, it did not have to be so terrible, but the thought was slippery, and she could not hold on to it. It did not need be so, but it was still what she wanted. When they were through, she bade him go, and cried because she could not make sense of her feelings.

    That was the night she’d conceived, she was sure. After that, he would come to sleep with her more often; asking nothing, but taking what little scraps of affection she could find to give. It was not every time, and he was often away. When he was gone, she would pretend their home was hers alone, and that she was free. Once she knew she was with child Jacinthe found she wanted this more, and that she had less for her husband.

    And now she held her son. Their son, perhaps, but her labour. Macen, she would call him. Macen with his father’s eyes and, she hoped, his easy smiles. Maybe he would change everything between them. Maybe not. The midwives looked at her expectantly, and she thought of something that her mother had said on her wedding day, that affection would come in time. And something that Minalda has said to her later, that so would her freedom.

    “No,” she answered finally, hugging the babe to her breast. “I would prefer a moment alone.”


    [edited slightly because, ha ha, Elves don't actually sleep -_-]
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    Re: Vedran Callais

    Post by elanya on 26/02/12, 11:50 pm

    Siblings:

    Jeremyn Callais - An early child, born not long after Jesseryn and Minalda came to Highmark on Jesseryn's initial diplomatic assignment. Jeremyn was basically raised to assist his father. He is a druid, but he is actually a better politician, lacking a dragonmark of much particular use in that regard. he is content enough in this role, or at least accepts it as his duty. He is party to most of Jesseryn's plans, and is probably the person most aware of his father's longterm goals.

    As regards Vedran... He was already about 50 when Jesseryn had his affair, and private he considers his father to have misjudged the pulse of the city in this case, and that it was a bad idea. He didn't take it as personally, however, and uses the distraction of the scandal to quietly marry the one of the Vanilorran ambassadors with who he was in love (aww). He's not really interested in Vedran but is not actively antagonistic. Since all of his children are younger than Vedran, he actually feels more threatened by Macen, because generationally, he falls into a position to threaten the power of his own descendants more.

    Melinara Callais - Vedran's half sister is about 15 years older than him, which meant that she was in the middle of her teenage angst when her father had his affair. Already tending towards rebellion, she was very upset and couldn't fathom what his motivations might be. She hates Vinalia and Vedran with a passion. She joined the Adventurer's Guild under the guidance of her uncle (Minalda's brother), and after a short but successful career she switched in to the bureaucratic side of things and now basically is in charge of their equipment and magic items. Her Dragonmark allows her to sense life, and while she hasn't put a ton of effort in to it, she's strong enough with it that she is usually aware of all the people around her. She's not really involved in the political side of the family outside of her ties to the Guild, but she is the one who is most closely involved in trade (again through Guild contacts). As regards Vedran: She straight up hates and resents his very existence.

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