March – 1025 YD
The restoration of Pends would become legend, and the man who inspired trees to mature in a season, revived withered herds and flocks, and taught broken soil to hold water won himself the heart of the region.
__As the noblewomen turned their eye toward Vilsonius, Galluel guided him toward the young Duchess of Seaton. His quiet courtship of her was admired by the ladies of Court; news of their betrothal spread quickly, and within eighteen months of being dispatched to Pends his place in the peerage was secured.
Lord Vilsonius and the Duchess Clarissa before the altar. The priest had read the marriage rite, and Vilsonius had intoned his vowels, echoed by the woman who was now his wife.
__Clarissa faced her new husband with large eyes and a broad smile. She was sweet, and he returned it honestly.
__‘So it is that you are bound in marriage, to the glory of Miggest.’
__‘Glory be to the King!’ echoed the audience.
__‘May your union be prosperous and fruitful.’
__Vilsonius’ mind shot to his daily tea [compress, tincture, brew, whatever] of Barren Maiden. Curse Sevína if it failed.
__Clarissa gave him an expectant look; he remembered his cue. He collected her hand and raised it before the crowd; they cheered. He made to step with her toward the exit but she resisted.
__‘I have a gift I would like to give my husband,’ Clarissa announced.
__He turned to her.
__The Duchess indicated to a priestess, who stepped forward with a cushion of black velvet bearing a torc identical to that which Galluel had placed on the Duke of Trialle some years previous.
__‘It is my pleasure to have gained not only a husband, but a partner in the peerage.’ She held the cushion before him. ‘Will you guard His lands and safeguard His people?’
__‘Will you protect the faithful from torment, and shield them from disaster?’
__‘Will you obey the dictates of the Throne, and uphold the teachings of the faith?’
__‘Then on behalf of Her Majesty, I appoint you the Duke of Seaton.’ She placed the iron torc around his neck.
__His cordial smile broke through his lips.