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Edgard II

Negotiations

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Edgard's heart was thumping. His nervousness was quickly overwhelming his senses as he sat down in a dimly-lit negotiating room. He had just arrived at The Great Hall in Stormark, and was promptly escorted to the room by the building's officials.

 

He was accompanied by the Prince of Corcovado and the Dauphin. The Prince of Corcovado sat to his left, and the Dauphin sat to the Emperor's right. The Emperor leaned back on his chair and looked at the roof, thinking about what he was about to do. His heart seemed to have voluntarily moved from his chest to his stomach, and back up to his throat. Slight goosebumps filled his skin as he waited for his good friend, Emperor Harald of Stormark.

 

Leaning back to his chair, he whispered to the princes: "If there's anyone to marry Angelique, it's definetely Harald. I love Harald like a brother, this truly brings joy deep within my heart." The Emperor had a tear lodged in his right eye.

 

"Dude, is that a tear I see in your right eye?", asked the Dauphin, teasing his brother.

 

Edgard quickly brought his right hand to his eye and cleared the tear. "Of course not, you jerk. It's just the allergies. It happens when I travel," replied Emperor Edgard. They all burst into massive laughter, overjoyed by what was about to happen.

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Harald was in the room next to the room where he was receiving the final instructions from Master Abdul Qadir of the Nimatullahi Order, a Sufi Master from Deryacezamin who had educated him and the other members of his delegation on the do's and dont's of a Sufi wedding ceremony and the road thereto.

 

He had prepared himself meticulously for these negociations for he wanted to eliminate any risk of blowing the opportunity of marrying Horiah, a woman who was larger than life, and thereby failing His late friend Rob.

 

Months ago he had done some reading on Horiah's religion. He learnt about how widows, and especially those with small children, are to be protected. A widow should remarry as soon as she can, so that her and her child or children can have proper guardianship.

 

This got him thinking. Rob, her late husband and Him were great friends, and He felt it was His duty to properly honor not only him, but Her and Chloe as well. He knew that Her faith meant a lot to Her, and He wanted to be sure that She would be able to follow that faith to it's fullest by marrying Her. Stormark would then also have a real Empress, not just an Empress Companion. She and Chloe would furthermore, in accordance with Her religion, have the proper guardianship called for by the Master of the Nimatullahi Order.

 

So one day Harald got himself together and proposed to Horiah and to his great joy She accepted His proposal.

 

"Thank you, Master Abdul Qadir. You have been such a great help", Harald said gratefully.

 

"You're most welcome, Your Most Imperial Majesty."

 

Harald then turned to Crown Prince Thorfinn and Chairman Andelarion of Hurmu who were accompanying him to the negociations.

 

"Gentleman, it is Hammertime."

 

They both nodded and followed Harald into the room where Edgard was waiting.

 

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As Emperor Harald, Crown Prince Thorfinn, and Chairman Andelarion entered the room, Edgard, the Dauphin and the Prince of Corcovado all got up from their chairs. Within a matter of seconds, Edgard's countenance changed from nervousness to stoic determination. He was going to "make it do what it do".

 

"Hello, Dearest Imperial Brother," said Edgard as he embraced Harald.

 

"Brother, it's been too long since you have visited Stormark," replied Harald.

 

"Indeed, Brother. But this trip isn't a vacation, sadly," said Edgard with a smile.

 

As everyone greeted and introduced themselves to each other, they all began to sit down around the table.

 

"Okay, Harald. I'm here because as Angel's brother, I have to negotiate the dower that you propose to offer to me for her. I'm gonna have to go back to Angel to let her know and see if she accepts it... so make it good!" exclaimed Edgard with a hearty laugh that drew more from everyone in the room.

 

"Man, I can't believe this is happening. Angel's getting married," said the Dauphin as the room began to quiet down from the laughs.

 

"Me neither, but there isn't anyone in the world that I would be delighted to see her married to than you, Harald. I know you'll treat my sister with the respect and love she deserves," said Edgard.

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Harald looked around. Everyone in the room was waiting for Him to put His dower offer on the table. He also knew that they all expected Him ton live up to his sobriquet of "The Generous Giver".

 

Fortunatly Stormark had grown, due to massive investments of time, hard work and talent of its Citizens and the Most Gracious Indulgence of the Supreme Goodness, into one of the wealthiest and powerful Nations on Hlôdyn and was therefore able to offer a dower that would send most other Heads of State straight to the poorhouse.

 

For Harald putting the right dower offer together had been a delicate balancing act between expressing His appreciation, love and respect for this most intelligent, sophisticated and beautiful Lady called Horiah without causing Her to feel that She was being bribed or bought.

 

Harald had voiced this concern to Master Abdul Qadir who advised Him to focus on useful goods in lieu of money. He also had saved Harald from a certain embarrassing situation by removing from the dower list a number of Haram ("forbidden") items which Harald had wanted to offer to Horiah as wedding gifts in his well-intended ignorance which possibly could have led to the cancellation of the wedding and ruining this once in a life time opportunity to marry such a unique woman.

 

He cleared His throat and then said: Edgard, Dearest Brother, I would like to offer Your Beloved and Revered Sister, Horiah, after careful consideration, the following as dower:

 

Froya Farm in South Gulathing, which is a big farm, more like a small village, with 200,000 acres of excellent quality land;

 

Haldarsvik Isle, including all the land, and the right to all the islands' natural resources on the island itself, the continental shelf and the surrounding waters in Stormark's Exclusive Economic Zone;

 

Exclusive fishing rights in the waters in Stormark's Exclusive Economic Zone surrounding Kejsarinna Asa Land;

 

Port Chloe (the newly to be acquired territories on Grandica) including all the land, and the right to all natural resources, the continental shelf and the waters beyond its coast in Stormark's Exclusive Economic Zone;

 

Her own Imperial Yacht;

 

Her weight in silver;

 

The right to retain Her Titles after divorce or death;

 

And last but not least Deryacezamin will be made an autonomous country with Her as Sultanah.

 

Well, that's My offer for Horiah's dower. What do you think about it, Dearest Brother Edgard?"

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Chairman Richard Andelarion had been quiet until now. He had thought about his own wedding, a political one in Shireroth some years ago, and remembered that - thankfully - he didn’t have to give his wife any kind of dower. That marriage, although prestigious, was short but politically important. Anyway, his thoughts were digressing. He turned to the Alexandrian emperor:

 

“My dear Sir - the Viking Emperor, I, and his delegation feel that this dower would be a generous offer for the Empress, your sister. We have carefully considered what would be best for her according to her interests. If - God forbid - there would be a divorce or our dear Emperor would die, we want her to be fully supported econimically, politically and materially.

 

“Should Emperor abdicate the throne, this dower would still be valid. We are fully committed to enforcing it with all legal means, in order to safeguard the Empress’s interests.”

 

Richard looked at the dower list presented, and chuckled. He added:

 

“We do not, of course, want to encourage the Empress to become of a weight unhealthy when it comes to weighing herself for the silver. On the contrary, we will be absolutely discrete when weighing her. She may weigh herself fully clad, and all that - but those details will be taken care of at a later date”

 

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Edgard looked at the dower list as Chairman Andelarion spoke to him.

 

"Dear Imperial Brother and Chairman Andelarion, indeed this is an incredibly impressive dower. Please, I ask that you allow me to contact Horiah, my sister, and speak to her about this matter," said Edgard. Everyone in the room nodded.

 

"I see no reason why this wouldn't be accepted. It even makes me want to put on a dress and find a suitor!" said Edgard as he drew laughs from the room. "Excuse me, Sires."

 

Edgard closed the door behind him and sat on a chair that was out in the hall. He pulled out his cellphone from his pocket and dialed Angel's number. The phone rang three times before Angel picked it up.

 

"Hey," said Angel after she picked up the phone.

"Hey sis, what's up?" asked Edgard.

"How are the dower negotiations going?"

"Harald presented a pretty hefty dower. I think you'll be happy."

"Well, don't keep me waiting, what did he offer?"

"Okay - you have a fax machine around? I'll have it sent to you."

"Okay."

Edgard handed a copy of the dower list to his aide-de-camp, Colonel Irizarry, who had been waiting duifully outside. Colonel Irizarry sent the dower list to Angel via fax.

"Did you get it?" asked Edgard after a few minutes. "It should be on its way now.

"Way ahead of you, brah. I'm looking at the dower list, and... yeah, let Harald know that the dower is acceptable.[i/]"

Edgard smiled. "Okay, sis. Talk to you later."

"All right, bye."

 

Edgard walked back into the room, and sat down. After a rather suspenseful five second silence, he smiled to Harald. "Angel says that the dower is acceptable."

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"Edgard, Dearest Brother, Harald said, "I'm overjoyed to hear that Horiah has accepted My dower offer."

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