[IRP] Redcroft Manor

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Thea
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Re: [IRP] Redcroft Manor

Post by Thea »

"Favorite number?"

Thea smirked and shook her head.

"If you say so. The twenty-fourth is fine. Better to do it now than later."

The hourglass had been placed on the table they did not have a lot of time to spare. Thea could not help but think back to her previous rushed wedding. Would things be different this time? Aileigh seemed more... durable. Hopefully, both women would make it more than a week into the marriage before dying. Preferably no one will be dying for many years.

"Redcroft is nice."

Thea said as if she had not considered this. She had never really thought about it. It was an improvement to the palace and that was all she really cared about. The next question took her by surprise. The Winterbourne's gray eyes widened and she swallowed hard before attempting to answer.

"Yes. I mean, no. I mean... only if you want to. It would be better for Zevander."

Personally, Thea was not sure how she felt about the idea. It was an awkward situation. They would be married but they hardly knew each other. There was no expectation for anything more than a platonic relationship between the two future wives. The one thing that Thea did know was that Aileigh needed to be around her son if she was going to help with him.
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Dorathea "Thea" Sanchari Winterbourne | Lady of Redcroft Manor | Cousin & Ward of King Zuan | Mother of Zevander | Wife of Aileigh
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Aileigh
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Re: [IRP] Redcroft Manor

Post by Aileigh »

Thea seemed conflicted following the question of housing. She hoped it would not put her off, but equally she wanted to do what was most comfortable for all of them. The three of them… No, four of them. She was about to have a whole family of her own. In that moment, it really dawned on her the changes her life was about to take. Feelings about the situation seemed to be coming in waves, broken up with planning and questions.

“I do not mean to be forward, but… If you are going to claim my child as yours, then it seems fair: I would like to legally adopt Zevander as my own too. Regardless of what the future holds, I can always be there for him. I know from experience - it’s nice having two moms.” Perhaps a formal adoption was already implied with their vows, but she wanted Thea to know that if they were doing this, she was fully in. For both herself, Thea, and the infant.

Aileigh looked up to the sky for a moment.

“What’s our story? If I am having your child, there’s gonna have to be a story.” She glanced over to her counterpart. For a brief moment, she felt a sense of peace. The dark path she had seen before her seemed more distant. She fully believed she was doing the best thing for herself, but now she thought maybe she was doing the best thing for all three four of them.
Aileigh Mae Maarah Sanchari Winterbourne | Rajkumari of BDR | Lady of Wisp Marsh
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Wife to Thea | Mother of Zevander
Daughter of Aishe & Akos
| Niece to Morjiana & Mallory | Granddaughter to Nisha
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Thea
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Re: [IRP] Redcroft Manor

Post by Thea »

"I have no objections to you formally adopting him. What is mine is yours. Is that not what they say about marriage? I am not sure that applies to a child. But, yes we will make it official after the wedding."

There was some reassurance with these words. If this marriage ever ended, Zevander would not be punished for his mother's failings. If the marriage was not successful, Thea would surely be to blame. In addition to not being naturally maternal, she was probably not well suited for being a wife. Then again, Aileigh was well aware of her many flaws. Maybe she would not run when things became difficult.

It sounded very odd to hear Aileigh say she was having her child. An obvious physiological incompatibility that would be solved with magic. Or, more accurately, they would pretend to solve it with magic.

"A story? Married people usually have children, why do we need a story?"
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Dorathea "Thea" Sanchari Winterbourne | Lady of Redcroft Manor | Cousin & Ward of King Zuan | Mother of Zevander | Wife of Aileigh
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Aileigh
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Re: [IRP] Redcroft Manor

Post by Aileigh »

She was happy Thea agreed to the adoption. It only seemed fair, if Thea would be claiming the child of Zhou as her own. But, the feeling mostly came from the desire to give Zevander a chance to have an affectionate mother. She did not understand the relationship fully between Thea and her son, but Thea acknowledged he could use someone like Aileigh. She had yet to spend any time with the boy, but already felt dedicated to his wellbeing. Thankfully, she was very experienced with babes and toddlers, given how many young siblings she had.

She thought deeply on Thea's returned question before speaking her thoughts aloud. "I suppose it really is none of anyone's business, but.. The suddenness of our marriage and then the sudden decision to have a child so quickly. Well, it's not like we can 'accidentally' have a child with each other like the standard couple. There has to be intention. My family and I are close..."

It really begin to sink in the lies she would be telling, not just to the public, but to the people she loved. She had never lied to them before, not like this. Keeping secrets was different than lies. Aileigh gave a shrug.

"I want to be a mother and they know that. So, it'll do."
Aileigh Mae Maarah Sanchari Winterbourne | Rajkumari of BDR | Lady of Wisp Marsh
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Wife to Thea | Mother of Zevander
Daughter of Aishe & Akos
| Niece to Morjiana & Mallory | Granddaughter to Nisha
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Thea
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Re: [IRP] Redcroft Manor

Post by Thea »

As a part of the agreement for their agreement to wed, Aileigh Sanchari agreed to adopt Thea Winterbourne's young son, Zevander. The child, born of doomed union, was fatherless by the time he was born and his mother was far from maternal. In spite of her lack of motherly instinct, Thea still wanted her son to have a happy life. She wanted him not to be destined to the same fate that she had lived. Aileigh was the solution. A month after their speedy wedding, Thea and Aileigh went with Zev to the Imperian Palace to sign an official adoption agreement.

Parental Rights of Zevander Alaric Winterbourne

This document shall establish the legal parental rights of the child Zevander Alaric Winterbourne, natural born son of Dorathea Sanchari Winterboure (hereinafter referred to as the "birth mother").

The child Zevander shall be seen in the eyes of the law and the Kingdom of Fenia as the legitimate child of Aileigh Mae Maarah Sanchari Winterbourne (hereinafter referred to as the "adoptive mother"). The adoptive mother shall have the same legal rights to the child as the birth mother. In the event of the death of the birth mother, the adoptive mother will retain custody of the child. In the event of the divorce of the adoptive mother and birth mother, who are married as of the writing of this document, the custody of the child will be shared by both mothers.

This document is considered legally binding once signed by all listed signatory parties.


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Dorathea Sanchari Winterbourne
Lady of Redcroft Manor
Birth Mother of Zevander Winterbourne


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Aileigh Mae Maarah Sanchari Winterbourne
Lady of Whisp Marsh
Adoptive Mother of Zevander Winterbourne


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Zuan Winterbourne
The High King of Fenia
Patriarch of the Royal House of Winterbourne
Guardian of Dorathea Winterbourne

Afterwards, the newlyweds and their son returned to Redcroft Manor. They traveled the short distance in a carriage. Thea sat on one side across from Aileigh who held Zev on her lap.

"Are you happy that it is all official now?"

Thea said as she tucked the document away.
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Dorathea "Thea" Sanchari Winterbourne | Lady of Redcroft Manor | Cousin & Ward of King Zuan | Mother of Zevander | Wife of Aileigh
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Aileigh
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Re: [IRP] Redcroft Manor

Post by Aileigh »

The past month had been interesting as she adjusted to the new chapter of her life. Much had changed beyond the walls of the secluded Redcroft, which had occupied some of her time. She felt a sting of betrayal as the marriage she admired crumbled and fell. She did her best to support her mothers, while remaining a Winterbourne herself. It was a strange predicament to say the least, but it became apparent behind closed doors that the path Aileigh chose had accounted for this sudden, jarring shift.

Bright eyes flicked out to the passing scenery, holding Zevander close. Moments ago was the first time she had seen her stepfather in person since the news came out. She pushed the swirling thoughts aside and focused on her wife when the silence was broken. A genuine smile rose to her lips, giving Zev a little cuddle.

“I am. Today is the day I became a mother. I’ll never forget that.”

Zevander was easy to love for the woman who dreamt of a day like this. He was fussy, but the tricks her aunts told her on how to calm his tummy was making a difference. And to think in a few months, their household would nearly double. Aileigh was not yet showing, but the faintest sound of fluttering hearts was a constant reminder for the damphyr.

“I have been thinking about something.” She started as the carriage slowed to a stop. She withheld any further comment until they each got out. With Zevander cradled in her arms, she looked over at Thea. In their month of marriage, she had gotten more comfortable around the woman who was a stranger not long before they were wed. She was less hesitant to speak her mind, emboldened by Thea’s stoic demeanor. “Now that I have legal guardianship, I would like to share my culture with him. It seems fair that he and the twins are raised the same, and I should very much like to have them raised in their dual heritage.

The first step would be what would have been done fourteen days after Zevander was born. It’d be a baptism, where he would receive his Romany name and his soul will forever be protected from the evils of this world.”
Aileigh Mae Maarah Sanchari Winterbourne | Rajkumari of BDR | Lady of Wisp Marsh
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Wife to Thea | Mother of Zevander
Daughter of Aishe & Akos
| Niece to Morjiana & Mallory | Granddaughter to Nisha
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Thea
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Re: [IRP] Redcroft Manor

Post by Thea »

There was a natural bond between Aileigh and Zev that Thea could not match. Aileigh was naturally maternal and Thea was... not. Seeing Zevander cradled in her wife's arms, Thea was certain she had made the right choice and she was glad that Aileigh did not regret the decision.

When they arrived back at Redcroft Manor, Aileigh explained that she wanted to include Zevander in her Romany culture. Thea admittedly knew very little about her new partner's culture. This would seem odd their arrangement had been one of love instead of mutual necessity.

"I have no issue with you sharing your culture with him. He is as much your son as he is mine."

Thea answered as she began to walk up to the manor house. She opened the door and waited for Ailiegh and Zev to enter before following suit.

"Do you need anything from me for your plans or do you just want my blessing?"

She had no intention of imposing on the Romany customs, however, if Aileigh wanted or needed her, then she supposed she could accommodate such a request.
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Dorathea "Thea" Sanchari Winterbourne | Lady of Redcroft Manor | Cousin & Ward of King Zuan | Mother of Zevander | Wife of Aileigh
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Aileigh
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Re: [IRP] Redcroft Manor

Post by Aileigh »

There was an ease that came with the marriage. A trust, even. While in many ways, they were still getting to know each other, her new wife was accepting of Aileigh’s mothering. It provided hope for long term success in their union, even if they would be nothing but coparents and allies. (Though, she hoped they’d someday become friends.)

Once inside, Zev became a bit fussy. Aileigh bounced him while beckoning for the nursemaid, then passed him off to be fed. It was the one job she could not do and she was grateful for the help. As Zevander was carried upstairs, Aileigh looked back to her spouse.

“Your blessing is important to me, but would you be present as well?” She moved into the adjacent sitting room, not wanting to linger awkwardly in the foyer. Redcroft was, after all, her home now. She settled down into a chair, leaning back into the cushion while cross her ankles. “I will likely ask my aunt Morjiana to perform the ceremony.”

The reason behind the choice did not need to be said. Instead, she went on to explain the baptism. Perhaps Thea did not care for more details, but seeing as their three children would be raised up with Romany customs alongside the Fenian culture, it seemed appropriate to share information as they went.

“It’s a simple ceremony. The eldest or leading woman takes the child into moving water. It’s often a river, but at times it can be the ocean or a lake with a current. The water protects the babe from spirits, who cannot cross to interfere in the baptism. After performing a blessing, the child dunked beneath the water - which is completely safe, they instinctively hold their breath. When the babe is raised back up, their mother announces their name to the community and world.

Normally this is done when fourteen days old. Upon birth, the mother would have whispered a name into the babe’s ear that would never be spoken or used again. That is their true name, that protects their soul. They go the next fortnight without a name given, until their baptism when they are given two names - their gaje name and their Romany name.

For those who did not get baptized upon birth, but later in life, the secret name is given after the dunk, but before the Romany name is announced. The true name is still never used.

The purpose of all this is to protect them from spirits. If a spirit does not know your true name, they cannot influence or possess you.

There’s a story we are told when we are young,”
She paused as a tray of fresh tea was sat before her. She continued as she poured herself some, topping the tea with a drizzle of honey. “About a woman who gave birth - births are dangerous as it is, but we take precautions to ensure the safety of the vulnerable babe and mother from spirits. There is a lot that goes into this, including only women are allowed to be present and only women can care for the mother and child in those fourteen days of isolation before the baptism. This was once broken and a spirit drove the new mother crazy. She killed her entire Vitsa, then herself, in a fit of rage influenced by the wild spirit.”

She paused to blow on the tea and take a sip, before registering that the tale was rather grim. She never really thought about how dark it was, as it was a tale of caution and seemed normal growing up. Instead, bright eyes flicked over to Thea, a sudden uncertainty rising.

“Would you ever consider being baptized as well?”
Aileigh Mae Maarah Sanchari Winterbourne | Rajkumari of BDR | Lady of Wisp Marsh
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Wife to Thea | Mother of Zevander
Daughter of Aishe & Akos
| Niece to Morjiana & Mallory | Granddaughter to Nisha
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Thea
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Re: [IRP] Redcroft Manor

Post by Thea »

"If you wish me to attend the ceremony, then that is what I will do."

Thea answered her wife as she followed her into the sitting room. She had no strong feelings about the matter, either positive or negative, but if Aileigh found it important and wanted her to attend then she would not deny her that. Thea sat down on a chair opposite Ailieigh, allowing her spouse to have her focus as she explained the Romany baptism and lore surrounding these customs. None of it seemed improbable or impossible, even if Thea did not personally share these beliefs. They lived in a world filled with mystic and magic after all.

Then it was asked if Thea would ever considered being baptized. Her instinctive response would have been to say no, but times had changed. She was not alone in this world anymore. Still, she was uncertain if it was something she wanted to do.

"What would it mean for me to be baptized? Would it require me to partake in your cultural practices?"
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Dorathea "Thea" Sanchari Winterbourne | Lady of Redcroft Manor | Cousin & Ward of King Zuan | Mother of Zevander | Wife of Aileigh
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