The Problem That Has No Name

Radenth 16, 1013

There came a point in every woman’s life when, while wiping the dog dish clean for the fifth time that week, she wondered: Is this really all there is?

Or maybe it was not every woman. Maybe it was just Rosette. Most women weren’t in her situation. Most women had a husband to keep them busy. Most women had another baby every year or two to keep them on their toes. Most women had a farm, or a shop, or a whole estate to run when their children no longer required their care at every moment of the day.

Most women had friends, a social life beyond the family …

Although Rosette told herself she was being selfish and short-sighed. She was on much better terms with her father and Pierre now, and Meg was a wonderful woman if a quiet one. She’d never quarreled with Toinette, so she was always available for companionship. Kata Thatcher, too, was very kind and … open-minded, and Rosette still liked to catch up with young Ella from time to time.

So, really, she had plenty of friends. It was just that, well … Meg worked for the Ferreiras, and had a farm to run and children to raise. Toinette had her children and the fish shop. Kata Thatcher had her son, her farm, and her midwifery. And Ella … Ella and Rosette ought to be even closer, since now Ella was indentured to Mordred and thus couldn’t fear any repercussions from him for befriending her, but whenever Mordred’s name came up in conversation, there was a light in Ella’s eyes that was half calculation …

And half fear.

When Rosette considered that, it was easier to wipe down the counters three times a day than it was to risk a friendship.

For there was no reason — none at all — that Ella of all people should be afraid of Mordred. Mordred wouldn’t … well, he had been angry with Betsy Pelles, there was no denying that. But who wouldn’t be? She’d betrayed his mother, her employer, and had stolen her magic away. Even a saint would be angry. And if Mordred had truly been as vengeful as everyone seemed to think he was, why, he would have done a lot more than simply firing Widow Pelles.

There was the house … but Rosette couldn’t imagine what was wrong with it. Maybe it wasn’t as nice and fixed-up as the old place had been: fine. But Martin Pelles had worked on that old place for twenty years before he died. Who knew what it had looked like when the Pelles family first came to it? Ella and Lukas certainly couldn’t; they hadn’t even been born yet. And Ella even admitted that the new house was much bigger than the old one. With Lukas fixing it up, getting it to the standard of their old house … what was there not to like?

Rosette moved over to the high chair and began to wipe that down. She took a deep breath. Maybe … maybe she ought to …

A knock came from the door. “Door’s open!” Rosette called over her shoulder. It was probably Toinette — her children were in school now, too, and on days when the shop wasn’t too busy, she would walk over for a chat.

The door opened … and someone who wasn’t Toinette walked in.

“Rosette …” Rosette jumped at the sound of that voice. “Far be it from me to criticize anyone on the subject of housekeeping, but Aimée hasn’t used that chair in months. How could it possibly be dirty?”

“Mordred!” Rosette gasped, spinning around. “Speak of the–”

She stopped, the word catching in her throat. Mordred’s face, at first wearing a teasing smile, closed. He was the only person Rosette knew who could make his face a perfect blank. “Speak of the …?”

Rosette tried to laugh. “It’s just — I was just thinking of you.”

“So … speak of the devil?” he asked, one eyebrow just barely arching.

“Well …” Rosette grinned timidly and crept closer to Mordred. “Isn’t that what you say when someone who you were just thinking about, or speaking about, suddenly comes into the room?”

And all of a sudden, the blankness vanished and the man who stood before her was simply her smiling Mordred. “True. I am sorry, Rosette. It’s just …” He sighed and effected a laugh. “When enough people begin to clearly see you as a devil, you start to wonder whether all think of you that way — especially your nearest and dearest.”

“Mordred! Who could think you’re a devil?”

One arched eyebrow answered that question, but Mordred tried to turn his words into a joke. “Well … you must admit that I do look the part. Tall, dark, devastatingly handsome …”

“You don’t have chicken feet,” Rosette laughed. “Or goat’s feet. And I should know that better than anyone.”

Mordred chuckled. “Indeed, you would. Although I must ask …” He cocked his head to one side. “Were you expecting someone?”


“You didn’t even answer the door …”

“Oh! I thought you were my sister!”

“Ah! Then I am sorry to disappoint.” Mordred bowed his head; Rosette smothered a laugh without much success. “However, if you are expecting her …”

“Oh, no, I’m not. It’s just that sometimes she’ll walk over when the children are at school and Grady can handle the shop. Although …” Rosette felt the corners of her mouth pulling down in a frown without consciously willing them to. “Well, that doesn’t happen as often as it used to. But that’s a good thing! It means business is picking up!”

“Business …” murmured Mordred, stroking his beard. But more than that, he wouldn’t say.

Rosette didn’t press. She had long ago learned that that would get her nowhere. So, instead, she changed the subject. “Would you like a bite to eat? I was just about to serve myself some …”

“Luncheon?” Mordred asked offhandedly.

“Er … it’s just bread and cheese …”

Mordred’s eyebrows arched again. “Rosette, I do believe that I am supporting you in better style than that.”

“Of course you are! It’s just … I have to keep my girlish figure!” Rosette laughed, even though they both knew that after three children, the first two being twins, her figure was not near as girlish as it used to be.

Mordred continued to survey her with that calculating look Rosette knew well. She tried not to flush. The truth was that still, after all these years, it felt vaguely wrong to have more than a meal of simple oats or bread and cheese in the middle of the day — something that would keep you going but wasn’t extravagant. She would feed the children all the wholesome, rich food she could: they were growing fast and needed every last bite. Her children would never know what it was like to go hungry. But she herself? Well, if she ate more than a bite of bread and cheese at lunchtime, her stomach would often feel queasy and overfull for the rest of the day.

Come to think of it — she probably could have just told Mordred the truth. The vagaries of the Sim stomach were something that no man or wizard could hope to truly understand and indeed could only accept.

Perhaps Mordred saw that on her face, for he only smiled and murmured, “And you do it so well. Very well, if you are about to eat, then I shall join you.”

Rosette grinned and ducked into the larder to get the bread and cheese. As she was laying a couple of plates on the table, Mordred added, “And by the by — I have a proposition for you, my dear.”

“Oh?” Rosette asked, head cocked to one side. “Is this anything like the last time you ‘propositioned’ me?”

“Only in that I hope this proposition is as much to our mutual satisfaction as the last one was,” Mordred chuckled. “But sit first. This is something that can easily be talked out over our meal.”

Rosette sat, wondering what this could be about. What Mordred asked was not at all what she was expecting.

“Rosette … have you ever considered becoming a shopkeeper?”

Rosette blinked. “Have I–my goodness, no! I mean …” She ducked her head and stared at her plate. “Something like … that is quite beyond my stars.”

“Is that my Rosette speaking, or the Rosette Chevaux of fifteen years ago?”

“Can’t they be one in the same?” Rosette asked.

“In theory, perhaps — but in practice, no, I do not think so. The Rosette Chevaux of fifteen years ago could speak in such terms, aye, think in such terms — but my Rosette knows better. She has seen, better than anyone else I know, that a man — or woman — can change her stars.”

Rosette ducked her head. “You flatter me.”

“I ought to. I do devote an inordinate amount of time to each day thinking of ways to accomplish that very task.” He carefully tore off a hunk of bread and a bit of cheese and popped them into his mouth. “But tell me, Rosette — why couldn’t you be a shopkeeper?”

“Well–where would I get a shop? And what would I sell? I’m not an artisan …”

“The way you decorated this apartment would speak otherwise — at least, as to your artistic talents.”

Rosette didn’t snort. That was not how you replied to one of Mordred’s compliments, especially if he meant it. “That–Mordred, that isn’t the same thing as being an artisan. What I mean is that I don’t have a trade, a craft. I … might have good taste …”

“You have excellent taste.”

“Thank you. But — but that’s not the point, not really. I might have some basic skills, and good taste, but … that’s not enough to run a shop.”

“If I am correct,” Mordred pressed, “your brother-in-law Grady has no trade, no craft — but he is able to run a shop. And to guess from what you have said about your sister, he runs it quite profitably.”

That … was true. But that was also, to Rosette’s mind, different. “He sells fish.”

“True, and I understand that you would not want to do the same thing. Certainly not from your home. But–”

“My home?”

Mordred’s mouth froze in mid-syllable. Then, slowly, it shut. Mordred watched Rosette narrowly.

Rosette, not knowing what he was trying to see, could only smile hesitantly.

“Perhaps …” Mordred pursed his lips together. “Perhaps I am going about this … backwards … yes. I believe I am. Rosette, are you aware that the du Lacs have built up a number of houses on Dockside Lane? All with shop space in the front?”

Rosette slowly nodded.

“One, I believe, is already being used as a boarding house for sailors and men of that … type. Another has been bought by a merchant family called the Andavris. The others are currently being rented to various shopkeepers, who may or may not be able to buy the properties. And one was just finished.”

Rosette nodded again, listening closely — and wondering what this had to do with her.

“It is a good house — I have seen it. A kitchen, a dining room, a large living room — and four bedrooms upstairs. Four large bedrooms, I might add. The twins would no longer have to share a room.”

Rosette wanted to protest, But what’s wrong with them sharing? They like it! And I shared with all my brothers and sisters growing up. But she didn’t.

“And the bedroom … well, I suppose you would call it the master bedroom … it is much bigger than the one you currently have, Rosette. And there are only two floors. You would not be constantly going up and down stairs. Plus there is … it is not a big garden, but a fenced-in garden, perfect for the children, and …” He looked over his shoulder, to where Chevy was sleeping in his basket. “The dogs as well.

“And again — there is the space for the shop. That could be quite profitable, you know.”

“But … but Mordred,” Rosette shook her head. “We have all we need here.”

Although the garden was tempting … and the idea of not spending half her life going up and down winding staircases …

“All you need? Of course you have all you need. But Rosette–what a limiting, constraining way to look at life! Why, you could have all you need in a hovel!”

Well, yes–but wasn’t that the point? To live simply, within one’s means, understanding that what was needed were not material things but rather love and companionship?

“Besides, on top of all of those amenities — this house, Rosette, would also be a marvelous investment opportunity.”

It was when Mordred said “investment opportunity” that Rosette knew she had lost.

But she felt compelled to offer her token protests anyway. “Investment?”

Mordred let both of his hands rest on the table. “I want you and the children to be … secure, in the event of … anything.”

“Mordred, what do you mean–”

“Peace.” He held up a hand. “I am a lord, Rosette. A nobleman. We, especially those who will be inheriting from our fathers, are trained to think … in a certain ways. To prepare for all contingencies. Even if–nay, especially if those contingencies are unlikely. So, you understand, if I can find a way to make assurance doubly sure — if I can invest a relatively small amount of capital now, in the surety that it will pay off later–”

“But–but how can it be sure?” Rosette swallowed. “Isn’t that–rather the point of investments? That they might pay off, but might not?”

Mordred nodded. “That is true — but this is a relatively low-risk investment. Lady Leona wants to open up shipping lanes between Albion and Simberia. When that happens, the docks will be built up — even more than they already are — and the price of land in the area will increase. The du Lacs know that, you see. That’s why they’re building now and renting — they know the value of the land will only go up. And along with that, there are any incidental profits you might make from the shop.”

“Mordred, I don’t–”

He held up his hand again. “And if you find that the shop does not work out as well as you wanted it to … why, you can rent out the shop space to some merchant who wants the prime location but cannot afford the house. And either way, you will turn a profit.”

“But … wouldn’t you want return on the investment?” Rosette asked, her last desperate ploy.

Mordred shrugged. “First of all, the investment is not for me — it is for the children. For their security. Secondly, since the shop is likely to be profitable, one way or another, that would mean that you are able to cover more of your living expenses yourself — which means I do not have to.”

He had an excellent point. Rosette felt her cheeks start to burn. She hated to be a burden … a burden Mordred had willingly taken up, true, but a burden nonetheless. And the children … Mordred was already talking about sending them to the Emrys’s school when they were old enough, and Rosette knew that would be an expense. There were also … well … his legitimate children to think about. And his estate … no wonder Mordred wanted to make Rosette as self-sufficient as possible. It would be one less drain on his purse.

“I still don’t know what I would sell, though,” Rosette muttered. “Or–well, I could ask Toinette for tips on how to go about selling things.”

“Indeed you could. And … if you would take a suggestion from me … I was thinking cloth, myself.”

Rosette tilted her head to one side. “Aren’t the Ferreiras already doing that?”

“Not in the way I am thinking. You see, they sell the silks, the velvets, the fine linen and wool — the costly stuff. And let us not forget that they also make many of the outfits for the highest of the high themselves. Whereas you would sell the middle-grade stuff, the type that people will buy because they cannot afford it and do not wish to go through the trouble to make it themselves. And you would not make the clothing — I think that would get you into trouble with …”

Rosette stopped listening. She had started thinking.

Mordred said she wouldn’t make the clothing herself — but — well, that would take would too much time away from the children. Especially since she would be doing it all herself.

But Rosette had a good eye. She knew that. She had good taste, too. And the last time Toinette had been over …

“Rosette?” Mordred asked. “Is something amiss?”

Rosette jumped. She must have been staring into space for some time.

“I–Mordred, would you excuse me? I’ll be right back.” And as soon as he had nodded his dismissal, Rosette was off and racing up the spiraling stairs.

It was a mad idea. But when she had shown it to Toinette, Toinette had gasped. She’d wanted to look at the patterns Rosette had used, so she could make one for herself. She’d liked it.

And so Rosette thought … well, she couldn’t make all the clothes herself. But she could help other women decide what clothes to make for themselves. Women who were used to hand-sewing every last item in their wardrobes. Women who might want a little bit of luxury, but who could never afford to have a dress custom-made by the Ferreiras.

Women like Toinette. Women like Rosette.

So Rosette got what she needed, made sure everything looked good, and raced down the stairs again. “We-ell?” she asked, stopping at the foot of the stairs to grin at Mordred. “What do you think?”

Mordred blinked. Slowly, he stood.

“You’re–you’re right,” she stammered. “I couldn’t make all the clothes myself. But maybe — maybe I could help other women make clothes for themselves. And perhaps measure them and make the tricky things, like the bodices, for them. And then — surely they’d come to me, wouldn’t they? Not just for themselves, but for their families. I could even help them design things that would be darling for their children …”

She stopped. Mordred was grinning.

“I knew you would come around,” he chuckled.

Rosette flushed and shrugged. “I suppose — I always have.”

“Indeed. However, I must admit, I had no idea that you would look so ravishing while doing so.” Mordred crossed the distance between them in a few short strides and caught her by the waist.

“So I fear, my dear, that leaves me nothing do to but ask — what are the odds, you think, of me getting this off you, and then back on again, before the children come home from school?”

Rosette laughed. “I think we’ve got an even chance. But — let me get it back on again, Mordred. I think I’ll have an easier time with the ties.”

Mordred grinned and dipped her. “As my lady wishes.”


17 thoughts on “The Problem That Has No Name

  1. He is the devil, he kills innocent young kings because they’re inconvenient. Run, Rosette, run fast and far. *sigh* But hey, she was just looking for a hobby or something to do, other than clean things.

    Although, there’s a part of me that thinks Rosette deserves Mordred. She is a) willfully being blind because it suits her (about Morgause.) and b) it seems to be like it takes some balls to sit there in that apartment with the nice furnishings and all of the things that Mordred takes care of for her, a lot of it bought on Martin and now Lukas’ labor, and think that Ella should be grateful for a house that was on raw dirt.

    Would she be so “well, it can be made better with hard work” if it were Aimée, Melehan, and Melou running around on the dirt floor. If she was the one getting mud on her hem every time she splashed over a little water?

    She doesn’t want to take advantage of Mordred, who is doing fine, but she doesn’t see how she’s taking advantage of the family of a friend.

    I just can’t bring myself to wish her well. *twitch* I think all that exposure to Mordred has kinda warped her and she’s like that girl in the horror movie, you know she’s going to end up in some sort of bad situation and yet because of her attitude, you just can’t do anything other than sigh and shake your head. >_<'

    • I doubt Rosette deserved Mordred at the beginning of their courtship … heck, I’m not even sure she deserves him now. I mean, she hasn’t killed anyone! (Unlike Franny-poo. 😉 ) But I see what you mean. She’s spent so much time with Mordred that she might well be getting warped, twisted in his own image. And she spends so, so much time rationalizing everything she and he do together. It might well be that she’s beginning to believe her own press.

      Or maybe not. Maybe that’s why she still has to rationalize. *shrugs* It ought to be interesting to see what happens with this relationship as more time passes, and particularly as Rosette gets a home and some independent income.

      And yeah, her thoughts about Ella … not Rosette’s best moment. Rosette of all people should realize that when the house BORS gives his peasants has more amenities (at least at first) than the one anybody else gives his peasants, something is very, very wrong.

      But Rosette’s probably been lucky enough not to have too many direct dealings with Bors. I don’t think I could put heavy doses of both Mordred and Bors into the same character’s life. That would just be mean.

      Thanks, Andavri!

  2. I think running the shop could possibly be the best thing for Rosette at this point (well, aside from, you know, getting away from Mordred). Even the most domestic of people can become bored without something that’s just theirs; she needs something in her life other than her children and her lover and the housework.

    I think it’s not so much that Rosette has chosen to stick her head in the sand as it is that she’s got a pair of blinders strapped to the sides of her eyes. Mordred has become the lens through which she sees the outside world, and sometimes it takes a while to realize you need new glasses. And about a million other awful metaphors. But I ultimately think that Rosette taking Mordred’s side in things she knows next to nothing about–the Pelles’ new house, etc.–is precisely because the little she does know is what Mordred tells her, in ways that are sympathetic to Mordred.

    I can’t claim that Rosette is among my top however many Albion characters, nor can I really relate to her much, but I definitely feel bad for her. She’s a good-but-naive person who is living in a cage that she’s been led to believe is a palace.

    • Rosette could definitely use a heartier dose of the outside world. She’s been isolated and cooped up for far too long. It ought to be really interesting to see what happens after she becomes a shopkeeper and is forced to have a lot of interaction with people who don’t know and might not be sympathetic to Mordred.


      So we can all be sure that, no matter what else happens in the story, Rosette will remain in that house and shop until all the Downtownies are out of the fugly Maxis wear and are into something better!

      Thanks, Van!

  3. Mordred should do infomercials. He could be either the dopey host who doesn’t understand the concept of dust or the know-nothing expert who can’t wait to tell you all about the exciting world of living down by the docks with a bunch of sailors. “Hey, housewives, are you sick of the boring existence I’m mostly responsible for?”

    All the same, I think the shop is a great opportunity for Rosette. It might actually give her an identity that isn’t all wrapped up in Mordred. If the shop is meant to make money, he can’t charm the door to keep the real world out. Even if she never takes off her Mordred-goggles, at least she might have something to re-build on if he gets what’s coming to him. I’m definitely excited to see how this goes for her.

    Sigh. This chapter made me wistful for Mark and Wei Li. They could show these two a thing or two.

    • LOL! Mordred as an infomercial host! 😆 Although the neighborhood isn’t that bad. There’s the one boarding house, but the Andavris also live on the block — so whoever else is there, it can’t possibly be that bad! (And Rosette has, in terms of building materials, windows, etc., one of the more expensive houses on the block. I know this because I already moved her into it.)

      I agree that the shop will be a good thing for Rosette. She’ll meet new people, make more friends, and get some artistic satisfaction. Things could easily go much, much better for her than they’ve been going.

      And it’s interesting you mention Mark and Wei Li, especially since I moved Rosette out of this lot so I could move Wei Li in. (I needed to make changes; some things were driving me CRAZY.) It would have been interesting to see them as neighbors. Wei Li could probably have given Rosette some much-needed perspective on, you know, life , the universe, and everything.


      Thanks, Winter!

  4. Well! I think this may in the long run be the best thing that could have happened. And very best case szenario this might even turn out to be the means to get Rosette and the kids away from Mordred! Because as Van and Winter before me said, Mordred has been a way too big part in Rosette’s life since they met. Or rather he has been her life really. She hasn’t had any real exposure to the outside world since Mordred took her with him to Camford and he had all this time to brainwash her into becoming his perfect little echo. No wonder she has no concept of what really happenend between and around Betsy and Morgause. She has only what “information” Mordred spoon-fed her. And her visitors know better than to say anything that might be repeated to Mordred and could call his wrath down on the head of the defenseless speaker.
    While I’m not a fan of Rosette, I can still pity her. She is much to naive and trusting with a guy who wears black and is a wizard besides (I mean, seriously. That’s never a good combination in fiction, right? 😉 ) but she paid a high price for her naivety. She hasn’t actually done anything else than let Mordred wrap her in a “protective” cocoon, after he convinced her that this is as it should be. She is no Wei Li certainly and she hasn’t been brought up to be a Wei Li either. She was brought up to be the village darling, marry a sweet man, have his babies and manage her household. Not to tangle with nobles and wizards and live a life in “sin”. And considering that I think she’s doing as well as can be expected and maybe even a bit better than that. Her disagreeing ever so slightly with Mordred about this becoming a shopkeeper is a good sign in my mind. As are her thoughts about a simple life. Mordred has at least not managed to burry her mind and make her wholly his creature yet. Which may or may not be by design, but may also come to bite him in the rear (Oh, I hope!!).
    So this shop may be exactly what Rosette needs to get some perspective on things and undo all the blindfolding that Mordred has been doing all these years. I have high hopes that this may lead to Rosette finally seeing what has been going on and getting the hell away from Mordred. Of course once he realizes that she is no longer “his” he won’t be pleased and I shudder to think what he may do. 😦 So Rosette’s emancipation had better coincide with Mordred finally getting what’s coming to him. Which would be poetic justice really, all his chickens coming home to roost at once!

    • Yeah — Mordred is kind of throwing the cage door wide open here. It might rebound back on him in ways he was not expecting. Like you (and Winter, and Van) said, Mordred has had a lot of influence, perhaps (probably) too much on Rosette since they were both very young. And now? Now the outside world is going to come rushing in.

      And that’s a good point about how Rosette was never trained to be like this, never brought up for this. (Although even Wei Li would, I think, have her hands full with a guy like Mordred. Heck, anybody would.) She’s completely out of her depth in so many ways, even if she is, as you pointed out, managing to hold on to some essential parts of herself.

      So maybe she’ll get some perspective. 🙂 Or maybe she’ll keep the blinders on. She is still the mistress of a very powerful man, and people might be careful of what they say around her. Still, she can always learn.

      Thanks, Ann! 🙂

  5. See, I still sympathize with her quite a bit because I think she’s trapped, and yes it could be seen as being of her own volition but she was very young and very naive when they first met and when they went to Camford. Now she’s slightly less young but still very naive, although I think she’s also lying to herself and shying away from thoughts that reflect badly on Mordred. I’m sure she will eventually come to understand what he is – even if it’s only through his eventual comeuppance – but I think that’ll be devastating for her and this shop is a good distraction (and money-maker) now and will be in the future.

    By the way, do we know how Rosette feels about the twins’ friendship with Nimue? I’m guessing she and Mordred haven’t discussed it but the twins must have said something?

    Emma 🙂

    • So interesting to see where people stand on the Rosette-Mordred question. 🙂 Interesting how they’re not nearly as sympathetic a couple as they used to be, even though Rosette herself might be earning more sympathy. But as I said to Andavri, she hasn’t murdered anyone …

      Anyway. Rosette is made nervous, but not nearly as upset/threatened by the twins’ and Nimue’s friendship as Dindrane is. With Mordred’s encouragement, she even sort-of kind-of maybe sees the friendship as a positive thing. She would want her kids to get along with their sister and brothers. And if the kids all get along and like each other … well, who can say that what she and Mordred are doing is wrong?

      But I’m sure there’s always a fear in the back of Rosette’s mind that this friendship could blow up in all of their faces in a major, major way.

      Thanks, Emma!

  6. I think Rosette is starting to know darn well that she is hooked to a dangerous man. She was watching every word she said here. It’s been sad for me to see this relationship decline – I quite liked these two at first, though I suppose I always knew the name ‘Mordred’ was a bad omen.
    At this point I have huge sympathy for Rosette. I think she still loves Mordred but it has become mixed with a very large dose of fear. She is being willfully blind, and I think that she is starting to think that her blindness is directly related to her safety.

    • Nice to see you around the blog, BonnieLaurel! 🙂

      Interesting that you noticed how much she was watching him. She reads him very, very well I think. Not as well as Dindrane does — but you might have a point as to why she doesn’t/can’t read Mordred as well as all that. (Dindrane, I think, was never quite as afraid of Mordred as Rosette might be.)

      As for the name “Mordred” … yeah, I got nothin’. Half the reason why Morgause and Lamorak had their … thing was because it happened in the Arthurian legend. At least I can say quite certainly and with no doubt whatsoever that Mordred is Lot’s son and there was no funny business in that department.

      Thanks, BonnieLaurel!

  7. Anybody else see Mordred trying to make sure his affairs are in order here?

    I mean, he has recently started a civil war, killed two lords and attempted the life of the third, and murdered a brain-damaged king. Now he’s making sure the woman he loves has income and property of her own, and the ability to support their three children by herself. He’s not saying ‘I’m not going to get caught, pfft,’ he’s saying, ‘What’s the worst thing that will happen if I get caught?’ and taking steps to lessen the consequences.

    And for Mordred, the worst thing that happens if he gets caught isn’t Aggravaine (have I spelled that wrong? I’ve tried it with and without the E and it still looks weird) being left without a guardian, it isn’t his legitimate children being left without a father. It may not even be his assets falling into Dindrane or Pellinore’s control until Gawain reaches his majority (although we haven’t seen any arrangements he’s made there). It’s ‘Rosette is left destitute.’ And to prevent that, Mordred is doing something we’ve watched him fight against since he Lot’s stroke– he’s taking his mistress out of the little jewel-box where he keeps her mint in package and making her part of the outside world with all its troubles. On another lord’s lands, no less.

    I’m not excusing him all that war and murder stuff, I’m just pointing out what I see him doing.

    • You may very well have a good point about why Mordred is doing what he’s doing. *innocent face*

      He has made arrangements for Gawaine, for the estate, and probably for Agravaine as well. We haven’t seen them yet, because, well … it was mostly a lot of boring meetings with lawyers. Camford lawyers, because they have no connection to Pellinore and they’re closest, but yeah — boring meetings with lawyers. However, a lot of that estate-planning is really a matter of course for somebody like Mordred. He does take his responsibilities as a lord seriously, and at least in Albionese culture, for lords to make sure that their estates are in order in case they die suddenly is something they just do.

      But if Rosette is becoming part of that, not just in a “let me make sure I leave her a nice chunk of change in the will” way, but in a “let me make sure she has property and income in her own name” way … that could signal a chance in Mordred’s thinking.

      (And let’s not forget that he’s a Fortune Sim. The house is a good investment, and it will be great for the kids if they’ve got some real property to their mother’s name. Easy for Mordred to rationalize!)

      So … yeah. Lots of stuff going on here.

      Thanks, Hat! 🙂

  8. Good. I think. At least if she has an income, she could try to get away from Mordred if she ever realizes who he really is.

    That was not who you replied –> how?
    he runs is quite profitably –> it
    Mordred, what to you mean –> do
    that take would too much time –> would take
    getting this on you –> off?

    • Yeesh, that was a lot of mistakes even for me! Thanks, Eva!

      And a really good point. Mordred might just be unlocking the cage door here. The question is whether he realizes it or not — or if he’s even capable of realizing it.

      Thanks, Eva! 🙂

  9. Hat I was thinking the same thing.

    I think Mordred doesn’t think he will get caught, but is preparing for all contingencies. It’s like he is playing chess. He’s making sure that no matter what move is made, he will win. Like even if he dies, or has a sentence separating him from his family, he will be prepared. His kids will be taken care of, and therefore, he wins.

    I think he wants no one to know what he is up to for 2 big reasons. Of course there is the obvious – don’t get caught. But also so everyone he loves is protected. If they never knew they can’t testify against him, and will hopefully be pitied instead of persecuted.

    I have a feeling Rosette will retain her innocence. Those who would snub her likely won’t set foot in her shop. The rest will probably be too polite to bring up anything that might hurt or upset her. Even if someone did lay it all out for her, surely she would be thinking, “it can’t be true!” To her Mordred is a grand lord she holds in awe. If she had the chance she’d carefully question Mordred, or observe him extra careful. He’d assure her in a manipulative way that he is the most wonderful man ever and she’d eat it all up. It isn’t that she’s stupid. Love is blind – and Rosette loves Mordred that way. In her eyes he has never failed her or her children. A harsh truth she sees no proof of won’t hold a candle to years of that.

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