Fantasy A War of Kings

Discussion in 'Role Playing Forum' started by spycoder9, Sep 10, 2012.

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  1. Lukes_Apprentice Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Oct 15, 2008
    star 3
    GM Note : I fast forwarded for expediency

    Nighttime Day 16

    Ser Horislight wind had convinced Allister of his duty and had worked him down to price of 250 gold. Horris was not only shrewd man, but had a good head when it came to negotiation. He had negotiated his free stay and that of the girl in the town with a willing family. He also arranged enough food stuffs to last the winter. All in all Allister had gotten mostly what he wanted, but not everything. Now Allister was in the raining yard with what were some very green cadets wondering what he had been thinking, but he was after all obligated to save these people and they needed saving.
    Justin Barons said, “So Allister said one of the men how do we plan on defending the settlement we have enough defenses for bandits, but not enough for an army, and many of us are green we do have a few aces up our sleeves The Andrews boy are some of the strongest men I know, Ser Horis is excellent with a blade and bow, and well as for me Justin Barons I learned the art of explosives from the far eastern continent.”
    TAG: @witchdoctor07

    The Mountains, Shodaire, the Tower of Stone, Ser Lawrence’s chamber
    9 days before his wedding

    The king studied Ser Lawrence for a moment, and said “It may last to long for both of you. I would not want you to feel obligated. I will tell the men they can wait. Perhaps you are making the wiser choice you never know if you might have been bested and feel embarrassed. I believe I have other things to do and guests to entertain.”

    The King left neither looking happy nor angry and one had to wonder what he had been up to.
    TAG: @Trieste

    The Mountains of Mirwyth
    Shodaire, the Tower of Stone
    Safia’s Chambers—9 days before her wedding

    Walkins looked puzzled by the statement. “Yes, I had heard that a shadowcat had attacked their party it was most usual it was during the day and they also brought what I would describe as an old croan with them. She was very odd looking and had an usual look about her from what I hear. I over step my bounds pricess I apologize and unless you need anything I think I will leave you alone for the night.”

    TAG: @JediMasterAnne

    15 Days before the wedding The Lands controlled by The Snowy Fords

    "I'm a carnival performer,” said the accused man with knives in his hands.

    All of the guards looked at each other. The one with manacles said, “I know you think you can get out of this, but our training says this does not sound right. So here comes the captain of the guard as we speak. “

    The captain dis mounted the his horse and gave Henrik a steeled gaze. This was not a man to be trifled with he could very well kill Henrik as to look at him. His short blood eyes and blues eyes really set him apart from most other men he was pretty boy some might say.

    “So,” the captain of the guard began, “you are the reason the horn was blown. You certainly fit a disruption of a bandit we have reports of working in this area. “
    One of the other guards whispered in his ear, the captain continued, “So you are a carnival performer you say. Well I tell you what. We need men for an upcoming battle with the captilmen and I think someone who can throw knives might come in handy. Why don’t you come to the Snowy Ford and show your skills.”
    TAG: @Jan607

    GM NOTE: I fast forwarded this story to catch up a little.
    15 Days before wedding
    on the outskirts of Fair Groves

    Lorain Askey and Fleet had travel on the camel and off in shifts with Ersha Dershala and his nephew. It had not been easy at all the sands and winds had not been with them the entire trip. Ersha Looked at fleet and he had discovered Lorain was awoman during their travel which had almost resulted in an incident which was tactifull agreed to be a “misunderstanding.”

    Ersha talked to Lorain and said, “ After, all we have been through it is nice to be approaching Fair Groves and I believe it is best if you tell the Kildare’s everything that happened in the town of Aquardia.”

    Erasha hesitated then said, “I will get you in to see them and they want to question you thoroughly so I suggest you prepare yourself for what is ahead “
    TAG: @Ktala and @greyjedi125
  2. Trieste Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 10, 2010
    star 5
    IC: Ser Lawrence Kildare
    The Mountains, Shodaire, the Tower of Stone, Ser Lawrence’s chamber
    9 days before his wedding

    Lawrence arched an eyebrow as his future father in-law leave. Cheeky bugger, Lawrence thought to himself. Desmond attempted to prick his pride with the dig about being bested. It was not the suggestion that Lawrence might be beaten--he had been beaten more times than he could count in sparring. That was how one got better. It was that Desmond believed that there was shame in it. Was this how all Mountainmen were? The slightest weakness was viewed as a failing? Lawrence thought for a moment that they would likely be so stupid as to gallop horses down a caravan trail of the Desert without the slightest thought, never thinking what was prudent.

    These were the people that Safia had been brought up with...he should not be so hard on them. After all, they had produced Safia. He wondered if she was an exception more than a rule. He would rather spend his time with her. Desmond had monopolized too much of his recent time and after what had passed between them did not do to let these things sit for too long. Lawrence judged the angle of the sun from the window of his chamber. It seemed close enough to dinner to proceed directly to his chamber.

    By now Lawrence was roughly familiar with the main thoroughfares of the Tower of Stone. He was able to navigate his way to Safia's chamber without too much difficulty, and was even able to remember some of those who greeted him by name and return their salutations personally. It was getting harder--the castle was starting to fill for the wedding and now more and more nobles were arriving. It was becoming harder and harder to keep them all straight. While he knew that Desmond would likely use this wedding as a way of displaying his power, he was amazed at precisely how many bannermen he had. The Kildares would be making a powerful ally in Desmond. Despite the earlier dig, Lawrence knew it would behoove him to remain in the good graces of Desmond. It would mean much to his family. And after all, he was here out of a duty to family...

    When Lawrence reached the door of Safia's chambers, he rapped his knuckles on the door slowly so as not to sound imperious.

    TAG: @JediMasterAnne
  3. JediMasterAnne Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 24, 2004
    star 4
    IC: Safia Rolmar
    The Mountains of Mirwyth
    Shodaire, the Tower of Stone
    Chambers--9 days before her wedding

    Though she was slightly troubled by the maester's behavior, she wrote it off to what appeared to be a preoccupied mind and gave him a polite nod of dismissal. "No need to apologize, Maester, and I think I'll be fine for now--Ser Lawrence should be joining me for dinner soon. Thank you, though." The news of the strange woman who had arrived with the Cyrell party bothered her a little, but with so many people coming to the Tower for the wedding, there were bound to be some odd ones here and there.
    About an hour after Maester Wilkins left, Safia was sitting by the hearth when a rapping at the door alerted her to someone's arrival. Most likely Lawrence. The servants would probably be bringing dinner up soon, as well.
    Opening the door, Safia smiled to see, as expected, Lawrence waiting in the corridor. "Good evening."

    TAG: @Trieste
  4. Jan607 Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Mar 11, 2013
    15 Days before the wedding The Lands controlled by The Snowy Fords

    Henrik kept his gaze at the captain, he did not blink or skipped a beat at the proposition.
    "As you wish."
    Henrik said in his stoic deep voice, he led them lead him away to Snowy Fords. What choice did he have? The scenarios that played out in his head either ended with him dying or having to work as a mercenary in the war he did not care for. Both of those options did not appeal to him, but at least in the second he could desert or live another day.

    Henrik sighed and looked up at the skies, the snow was still falling down. At least his mask kept his face from the harm of the harsh wind.

  5. Ktala Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 7, 2002
    star 6
    Lorain Ashkey - 15 Days before wedding
    On the outskirts of Fair Groves

    Fleet and Lorain traveled across the hot dessert sands, with their new companions. Freedom, was given a break, as both Fleet and she shared rides on the camel in shifts, with Ersha Dershala and his nephew, Hatibe. Lor did her best to make sure that Fleet was taken care of, and she made sure the entire trip was not dull. She thought him, as much as she could of the brotherhood of the sands, and how to survive in the shifting sands. And she continued to tell him stories as well, when they stopped to camp, teaching him more of the heavens, and those who rode the nighttime skies. So the days were filled with hot winds, and an occasional sandstorm, while the nights were cool and silent. Freedom seemed to not mind the camels at all, and plodded along, munching on what food they had for him. Fleet had quickly learned that it had was easy to cross the deserts, with all the sands and winds, but their trip had been made much easier after running into the other pair. That was a good thing. It also allowed them to get some sleep, without worrying about someone sneaking up on them during the day.

    A few times Lorain noticed that Ersha looked at Fleet and she wonders if he might be a slaver. But she decided against that, after all, his own sister had just been sold. And it was during one of their breaks, when 'Lor' had moved away, to take care of personal duties not to be done around a camp, male or female, that Ersha quickly discovered that Lor was in fact, Lorain. The fateful discovery had almost resulted in an incident, involving sharp point objects, and which both tactfull agreed later on, to be a “misunderstanding.” After that incident, Lor let Fleet know that Ersha had discovered that fact as well, and to keep a watchful eye, but to otherwise, act as if nothing had happened.

    A day later, Ersha spoke with Lorain and said, “After, all we have been through it is nice to be approaching Fair Groves and I believe it is best if you tell the Kildare’s everything that happened in the town of Aquardia.”

    Lorain nodded. "I had planned to do nothing less." she replied with a nod, wondering why he would make such a statement. Erasha seemed to hesitate, as if worried about something. He then added, “I will get you in to see them and they want to question you thoroughly so I suggest you prepare yourself for what is ahead “

    Lorain have him a long, lingering look as she scratched Freedom's ears. "Is there something 'bout dis family, I should be knowing about?" she asked him, with a raised eyebrow. "I 'ave nothing to hide. And I would hope de wish to know of their own who was what do I need to 'prepare myself for?" she asked him. "Have the struggle betweens de lands, truly gotten so bad?" she asked him, "That even those of the brotherhood must worry?" That would be bad indeed. "What news have I missed out on?" Lorain surely hoped that this was not a family with a few branches missing from its family tree.

    The man on the boat, had been quite noble indeed. And Lorain wanted her chance to return, and help him as he had helped her.. and for a bit of revenge as well. But with Fleet now traveling with her, she might have to let go of that last bit. After all, getting back to her own family was also important to her. But the man's strange 'warnings' worried her. She would have to decide how to present herself and Fleet for this meeting. A change of clothing might be in order as well.

    Of course, this also meant she would have to mention the Knights, and Lorain was not eager about that. She had to at least try to get help back to Willis Kildare. Lorain gave Fleet a gentle smile, as they grew close to Fair Groves. Back to civilized lands at last!

    TAG: @greyjedi125 and @Lukes_Apprentice
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  6. Trieste Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 10, 2010
    star 5
    IC: Ser Lawrence Kildare
    The Mountains, Shodaire, the Tower of Stone, Ser Lawrence’s chamber
    9 days before his wedding

    "Good evening, Princess," Ser Lawrence said with a smile, "I believe we had an appointment tonight? If you are feeling well enough, that is." It was true--he had not seen Safia lately so he didn't know how well her injury was healing. He imagined the stress of a wedding might not be helping the natural healing processes of the body--whatever those were. He did not understand the work of maesters. Supposedly the human form was quite dynamic, but they were able to do things (and had done them to Lawrence) that could aid it in its work. It was a true mystery.

    TAG: @JediMasterAnne
  7. JediMasterAnne Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 24, 2004
    star 4
    IC: Safia Rolmar
    The Mountains of Mirwyth
    Shodaire, the Tower of Stone
    Chambers—9 days before her wedding

    She nodded as she let him into her rooms. “I’m quite well, thank you. With all the healers and maesters checking in on me, I don’t think I could be otherwise,” she quipped lightly.

    There was a small table here in her private parlor where she had been taking her meals whenever she could not go down to the dining hall, and it was here that the servants would soon be serving dinner for her and Ser Lawrence. Gently taking his arm, Safia began to lead him towards the table.

    “How was your afternoon?” she asked casually.

    TAG: @Trieste
    Last edited by JediMasterAnne, Jul 29, 2013
  8. Trieste Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 10, 2010
    star 5
    IC: Ser Lawrence Kildare
    The Mountains, Shodaire, the Tower of Stone, Ser Lawrence’s chamber
    9 days before his wedding

    Lawrence smiled wryly as he softly shut the door behind him to give the pair privacy. It was true that people of their station perhaps received too much medical care when they had the slightest injury. No doubt the buzzing over a princess was thick. He allowed Safia to take him by the arm--a welcome and warm gesture--to take him by where they were to dine.

    "It was a relatively leisurely afternoon," Lawrence said, "Though your father stopped in to see me. He suggested perhaps I join some of the men of the Tower for sparring. It seems that they are keen to take me on. I don't suppose you would have heard if there's a particular reason for their eagerness for their interest in the prospect? A simple desire to bring the fox from the Desert down a peg or two?"

    Tag: @JediMasterAnne
  9. JediMasterAnne Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 24, 2004
    star 4
    IC: Safia Rolmar
    The Mountains of Mirwyth
    Shodaire, the Tower of Stone
    Chambers—9 days before her wedding

    She frowned a little and shook her head. “I haven’t heard anything, no.” Karridan had not mentioned any personal desire to spar with Lawrence—though he might not mind a friendly duel to see if he might learn something new from the Desert Knight. She had not seen much of Ectarion, but he might more than willing to take on Lawrence, as well, for very different reasons. Ectarion had already decided he did not like her husband-to-be, and she wouldn’t put it past her brother to try something, much as she didn’t like to admit it, even to herself. And with Karridan currently being her primary protector, she didn’t spend much time around any of her father’s other soldiers, so why they were so interested in going up against Lawrence was a mystery to her.

    She could think of possible reasons, though. “Perhaps it’s not about taking you down a notch,” she suggested as they reached the table. “You were brought up in a completely different environment than they were. You were trained to fight under different conditions. Even your sword is different from any of theirs. Perhaps they hope you might have something to teach them.”

    TAG: @Trieste
  10. greyjedi125 Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 29, 2002
    star 5
    IC: Fleet, Fifteen days before the wedding
    Outskirts of Fair Groves

    For all that it was, the trip was most of all, a tremendous learning experience.
    Fleet had never crossed the desert in this manner before, and since it was his first time, the trip did seem like it took forever. If there was one thing he did come to understand, it was the tricks one's mind played upon one's being, perhaps for its own amusement, or perhaps it was some kind of test.

    It all hinged on perception.

    Would the trip not seem as long had there not been a longed for destination? Would he not crave the comfort of a bed, had he not known what a bed felt like? Would his craving for drinking water be any different if he was born in the desert and was accustomed to not having such a precious and life giving commodity as a presumably ever-present resource?

    These and many other questions came to visit the young urchin boy's mind during this trip, mostly during the times of their journey when 'Lor' was done imparting some much needed knowledge on survival to him; that, or one of the great stories she now shared with him. Fleet was quite curious if the uncle and nephew actually felt comfortable in their travels, or had they become so accustomed to such, that they simply accepted it all-which would allow them to take it all in stride. If so, he wished to learn their secrets. 'Lor' seemed to know quite a few of them herself.

    Speaking of secrets, Fleet was quite surprised when 'Lor' revealed to him that her 'secret' had been accidentally 'discovered'. His blue eyes opened wide in surprise, which suddenly turned to suspicion, but Lorain was quick to explain that all was well in the end, but that he should still keep an eye open…just in case. Fleet nodded slowly, in complete understanding. 'Lor' was the only female traveling with two male strangers. That changed the dynamic of their trip quite a bit.

    It would stand to reason that in time, the young boy would understand just how fortunate they were to have run into the uncle and nephew pair. Still, he was visibly relieved and happy when their small band had reached the outskirts of Fair Groves, heralding almost an immediate end to their sand-filled journey. A town…at last!

    As was his custom, Fleet listened intently an silently as the adults in the group spoke among themselves. The uncle, Ersha, urged them to relate their tale in full to these Kildares. Fleet remained out of the way and quite 'invisible' as he liked to call it, by not reacting outwardly as he had learned to do, but there was something in the man's tone that did not sit well with him. Did Ersha believe they would do anything less than tell the truth? That they would somehow lie or change the story around? It's not like 'he' knew what they had gone through in any case, so he couldn't vouch or contest what the truth was.

    However, surviving in the orphanage and beyond it, Fleet had seen the results of lying, even if one was not caught immediately. The results were never good.

    The boy chanced a furtive glance at the speakers, in order to glean what additional information he could. When Lorain gave her answer, he found himself nodding once in agreement.

    Sharp blue eyes now took in their surroundings with every step as they neared the town proper, cool, calm and collected. He looked and listened to the new sounds, the voices, accents if any. Topics of conversation. Mannerism, shops, streets, guard posts, all of it. This was all very new and quite astounding, but he could not give himself up to the feeling of wonderment…and the 'freedom' he once had to act upon such feelings. There were those who would see that as an invitation to work their ill-intentions. Perhaps later, when he was safe and alone with Lorain, hopefully after the meetings with these 'Kildare', he could let down his guard and relate his own experience.

    It really felt good having someone there to share your thoughts with, your experiences and emotions. Fleet was suddenly very grateful that Lorain was with him just then. He offered a silent thanks to the gods old and new, for both Lorain and Kaili, and also realized, that perhaps that was one of the reason the nephew travelled with the uncle…for the company. Were they even aware of such things?

    Fleet's knew next to nothing about 'The Brotherhood of the Sand', which he just recently learned about, but that didn't keep him from imagining fantastical things about them. Who knew, maybe flying carpets were real?

    Well, in the end, they made it to civilized lands alive and in one piece, albeit with a bit more sand on his person than what he had expected. All they needed to do now was get through this…what was the word for it? 'Audience'? and perhaps they could finally have themselves some real food, fresh water, and best of all….a much needed bath!!


    Tag: Ktala, Lukes_Apprentice
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  11. spycoder9 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 23, 2008
    star 4

    I decided the first place to begin my updates was at the Wedding! I have changed some of L_A’s story decisions, some of which I addressed in this updates, others I will in the next few. I also promise to showcase The Battle of the Bloodsoaked Wood sometime down the road.

    So without further ado, let the games commence!

    OOC 2: Also, any apologies for spelling, grammatical, etc. errors. [face_tired] Should have been asleep an hour ago.

    The world is indeed full of peril, and in it there are many dark places. But still there is much that is fair. And though in all lands, love is now mingled with grief, it still grows, perhaps, the greater.

    - J. R. R. Tolkien


    The Mountains of Mirwyth


    Snowflakes drifted down upon the awakening people of Shodaire. They were beautiful flakes, as if they had been handcrafted by the Maker himself. Royals of the castle, lords and ladies alike, peered out from their balconies. Brynna Maegorian held her milky pale hand outstretched and caught one. A childish smile lit up her face. Dirty children in the streets ran in circles, challenging each other as to see who could catch the most.

    At the highest point of Shodaire, Desmond Rolmar emerged from his chambers, a robe tossed across his shoulders. Worrisome maids. They had insisted upon him wearing one. And he saw their reasoning, that a common chill could be enough to shake the resolve of his people. But he had been raised in these mountains.

    He cast a glance out over it all. The castle and the grounds and the town and the forest. The view seemed to stretch on forever. If only everything could be as tranquil as this moment.

    In times of war, they rarely were.

    The Burning of Harrowmont. It had been an unpredictable tragedy, one not even Desmond had prepared for so soon. The fact that Lord Jowan, who had always been a pillar for hope, had been roasted alive in his own castle…an unforgivable sin. The entire lineage and history cremated in a second. Slaughtered under the blade of a tyrant. This what I am preventing! This is why I do what I must! All that survived were bastards, messengers that had damned Reynard’s soldiers to their fate under the Bloodsoaked Wood.

    The Battle of the Bloodsoaked Wood. Justified in its cause. Choppy when carried out. Strongminded lords had converged in a mighty war council, one that would be spoken of for years to come. The Alpha Wolf, and the pitiful Lord Cyrell. Others had taken part. Somehow they had formulated a battle strategy, and leaped upon Reynard’s men as they passed through the Wood. What went wrong was still lost on Desmond. Lack of true linear command? Unfaithfulness of soldiers? All of Reynard’s men were put to the blade, but not before an unconfirmed amount of mountain men were slain. Valiant ones. Ones I counted on to win this war. They had all given their lives so that the wedding might commence.

    A snowflake gently grazed Desmond’s cheek, like that of an affectionate woman. Corrine… She had never truly left his mind, even after all this time. And now their only daughter was getting married, to a fox at that. The first time he had seen his daughter had been the last he had seen of his wife. Ten years ago he would’ve cried at this thought. Five years ago even. Now he was on a path. His own plans for the war were already hatching before his eyes.

    He turned away from the view and retreated back to his chambers. There was a wedding to attend in only a few hours, while there was still so much to do.

    Yes. . .much indeed.

    Princess Safia’s Chambers


    Movement around the bedside.

    “Milday Safia, wake up.” A maid stood above her, a genuine smile on her face. “Good morning milady, hope you slept well.”

    “Hope so indeed!” The tall dark haired knight sood at the end of the Princess’s bed, a cocky grin on his face. “Last night as a fair maiden! I can hear those peasant boys drowning themselves in their tears!” He chuckled some more as two more maids shuffled in with trays.

    “It’s ‘beautiful day fer a wedding, Princess.” A rather ordinary looking maid remarked as she laid out a morning meal. Bread, and a sweet treat, and a glass of fresh milk. Not a lot. The maid then noticed Karridan. “We told ye to get outta here, Ser!”

    “My duty is to protect my sister up until the very moment she is handed off to Ser Lawrence. Besides, may I not spend the last few free minutes we both have, with her?” Karridan and the maid exchanged an irritated glance, but she gave in, and shuffled the maids out.

    “Call us Princess if ye need anything.” The maid then bowed out and closed the door behind her. It left the two siblings alone.

    “I can’t believe the day has finally come. The last week has truly flown by.” He met her eyes for a moment, and then turned to watch the snow fall.

    Ser Lawrence’s Chambers

    Knuckles wrapped on Lawrence’s door. Perhaps he was already awake, perhaps not.

    “Ser Lawrence!” The voice from behind the door shouted. “Ever imagine we’d be in a damn blizzard?”

    Loud chuckling ensued, and it could soon be inferred that more than one man was out there. The one speaking was obviously Ser Rickard Dondare, who had been fairly enjoying his stay in the mountains.

    Of course, he had less of a reason to be nervous. He wasn’t the one casting off his knightly vows and marrying a mountain princess.

    TAG: @JediMasterAnne, @Trieste
    Last edited by spycoder9, Oct 22, 2013
  12. JediMasterAnne Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 24, 2004
    star 4
    IC: Safia Rolmar
    The Mountains of Mirwyth
    Shodaire, the Tower of Stone
    Chambers—the day of her wedding

    Was it really morning? Was this day truly here?

    Safia lingered in bed for a few minutes while Karridan and her maids bickered back and forth, finally getting up as the maids left and pulling a warm robe on over her nightgown. It was snowing outside--was that supposed to be good luck or bad, snow on one’s wedding day? Not that Safia was superstitious anyway. Perhaps in a practical light it wasn’t ideal wedding day weather, but the snow falling over the mountains did look beautiful.

    Despite the maids’ hopes to the contrary, she hadn’t slept much last night. In fact, it seemed that the morning had come the very moment she had finally drifted off. She eyed her breakfast for a moment before pushing away the bread and tearing the sweet roll in half. She wasn’t sure if it would be very wise to eat too much before the wedding—she already had a case of the butterflies, and she was fairly sure her stomach would be doing backflips by the time the ceremony was to begin.

    “I can’t believe the day has finally come,” Karridan was saying. “The last week has truly flown by.”

    Indeed, where had the time gone? A few months ago, Safia had been happily betrothed to Matheus Reynard, only to see that five-year engagement fall apart with the rest of the kingdom. Three weeks ago, her father had told her she was instead to marry a man she had never met. Just twelve days ago she had at last been introduced to her new husband-to-be, and now, in a matter of hours, her life as Safia Rolmar would end and she would begin her new life as Safia Kildare, wife of Lawrence Kildare.

    Safia nodded as she went to stand next to the window, handing one half of the sweet roll to her brother and nibbling on the other half. She wasn’t limping anymore; her ankle was completely healed from the injury she had sustained in the avalanche twelve days ago. “Yes, it has.”

    TAG: @spycoder9
    Last edited by JediMasterAnne, Oct 23, 2013
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  13. spycoder9 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 23, 2008
    star 4

    The one charm about marriage is that it makes a life of deception absolutely necessary for both parties.

    - Olivia Wilde

    7 Days Before the Wedding

    The Capital of Mirwyth

    City Streets

    It was a parade of magnificent proportions.

    The purpose of this parade was for the royal family to traverse all the streets of Valona. The King and Queen wished to "see every establishment in their fair city”. People, gathered in large masses, lined the sides. They each hoped to get a closer glance at the King and Queen, and Princes and Princess. It couldn’t be confirmed to whether the people, whose shrieks were almost as loud as the music, were screaming in excitement or anger.

    Guards were everywhere, even amongst the citizens. They blended in and listened. Some even complained along with the rest. Most of the young knights had pledged themselves to the service only so that they could have food in their bellies and warm beds at night.

    The first carriage that bustled along held the musicians. They played a beautiful tune, strung together by all the multiple instruments. Passionately they put all of their emotion into their work. They successfully geared the crowd up.

    Behind them came the deep burgundy and gold carriage carrying the Head Priest. He used a silk handkerchief to wipe the sweat from his face. Some still managed to fall to his white robes, which were tight around his large stomach. People were ignoring his zealous smile, and the two men to each of his side in their multicolored robes. They just seemed to stare at his stomach, and then amongst themselves. One man even dared to throw a cup. It went wild and hit near the wheel of the wagon. The shattering frightened the horses, and several people in the crowd. Knights yanked the man up and made a public example of him, flogging him until he bled.

    The third carriage was pure white, with a soft crème trim. It had a top to it, made of silky white fabric, that kept the two passengers shielded from the sun. Even the horse that drew the carriage was pure white. The young lady inside the carriage stood, allowing the sunlight to strike her face. The brilliant smile that caught her lips, genuine in its entirety, struck the crowd almost as much as her carriage. The crowd went wild, with screams of “Maela” and “Long Live the Princess”, with a few “Marry me”s thrown in. Maela Reynard seemed to soak it all in, finally sitting back down beside her brother, and current protector, Seymour. He waved to the crowds as well, but they were less enthused by him, perhaps because of the eagle crest on his chest.

    “I love these parades.” Maela swooned to her brother as she continued to wave. “All these people, and the music. . .I can’t imagine life being any different.” She turned her innocent eyes to meet his, and he could see them twinkling. Even innocence realized when it was all about to come crashing down.

    “You won’t have to live another life. Father and Mother will have it sorted out before the next parade.” He grasped her free hand and squeezed it reassuringly.

    She believed it.

    “What a spectacle.” King Fenton Reynard whispered to his wife, as he gave a smile to his subjects. “Can you believe them, acting so foolish? Especially that one.” His finger pointed to the bloodied man who still lay near his thrown cup. A small chuckle rose from Fenton’s throat at the sight.

    They were in the fourth carriage, which was even more finely adorned than the Princess's. Behind them trailed several more carriages, carrying Lords and Ladies from other Houses, large and small. Many of which were those that attended the Queen's tea.

    “It’s as if they don’t even realize there is a war on the horizon.” Matheus remarked from his seat on the other side of Emilia Reynard.

    “Oh they do. Look closely. Look at their faces. They realize, and would gladly rip our throats out if they had the chance.”

    “They are hungry, and poor, and tired. With only a long war to look forward to.” Matheus looked out over the crowds of people, and could see their clothing draped over the skinny bodies, hanging lose like a night robe.

    “Who’s been feeding you the nonsense that this war was to be long?” Reynard peered over at his son. “If I had my guess, I’d think my darling wife had something to do with it.” He then smiled at her, such a wide smile that showed all of his teeth.

    TAG: @HanSolo29
    Last edited by spycoder9, Oct 24, 2013
  14. Jabba-wocky Chosen One

    Member Since:
    May 4, 2003
    star 9
    GM Approved

    Name: Aran
    Gender: Male
    Appearance: [IMG]

    Homeland: Capital
    King: Fenton Reynard, Rightful King of Mirwyth
    Occupation: Knight
    Family Banner: N/A
    House Words: N/A

    Biography: Distant from princes and progress both, the northwestern steppes had always been a no man's land. Existence was hard-scrabble. Even the natives never manged to be anything more than semi-nomadic herders. Outsiders didn't pass through unless they were running from something. Even then, it was just hellish enough for most to prefer getting caught. Such was the land of Aran's childhood, and the whole of his world in the first half of his life.

    A decade before the War of Kings, all that changed. An enormous pirate fleet had stole past the isles to march, en masse, on Mirwyth proper. An under-equipped royal task force was forced to rely on local auxiliaries as they scrambled to respond. Few would have imagined that so many brilliant careers in King Hanrey's court would be launched from such a desperate defense. But it was a brilliant defense. The pirates were routed. And no star shone brighter than that of a young nomad who fought like a centaur.

    With the fig leaf of adoption by a noble house, the boy was whisked away into formal training as a knight. Already considerable archery and equestrian skills were honed and complimented by the study of swordsmanship and polearms. High-grade armor and armament were their own boosts. Aran would return home a few years later at the head of a royal troop, clearing out the raiders and bandits that found their last refuge there. The success added to a rapidly growing legend. Brutal efficiency had smothered any voice that might say otherwise, and the capital was too distant for anyone to have noticed.

    The final moment came when civil war erupted. Fenton Reynard had to secure his homeland before facing the rapidly blossoming threats around him. That meant extinguishing the esteemed House Craon. Aran and his elite shock troopers finished them with as little thought and as much mercy as he'd offered the first band of pirates. The path was set. The kingdom was falling apart. The world was in chaos. Every era has a hero brutal enough for its time, and Fenton had just found his.
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  15. spycoder9 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 23, 2008
    star 4
    Hope in reality is the worst of all evils, because it prolongs the torments of men.

    - Friedrich Nietzsche

    13 Days Before the Wedding*

    The Desert of Mirwyth
    The Fair Groves


    The Desert was not all flat or barren. With time, the sand gave way to scrub brush that somehow survived in the midst of the arid conditions. Small hills started to develop made of dirt, not sand. The hills were far dwarfed by anything that could be found in the Mountains. The road wound its way around the hills effortlessly, barely altering its course, sometimes even going over.

    Ersha Dershala raked his blonde locks from his face as the travelers pushed on over the hills. He had begun to notice his hair graying at the roots. Slowly almost, a hair here, a hair there. He knew one day soon, he would find in his reflection his hair had gone completely gray.

    “Do you think she is still alive?” Hatibe asked him in a low tone. He slowed down his camel so that they may ride side by side.

    “I know she is.” Ersha met his nephew’s golden eyes. He held the gaze for several seconds. “You give up hope too easily."

    “But if those two speak true, and I very much believe they do, then Aunt Ellie could very well be-”

    “You would do good to keep your mouth shut.” Ersha looked briefly at the other two adventurers, Lorain and Fleet. An odd coupling, they all were. Jammed together by divine intervention.

    Before any in the party realized it, the alcazar of Kalkheim was in view. Its beige walls blended into the surrounding scenery that almost hid the seat of the Fair Groves. The flat, unadorned walls looked clean, a lot like the desert itself. Unlike other great noble houses in the land, the alcazar itself could not be seen behind the walls. It seemed the Desert dwellers had different ideas about architecture than the rest of Mirwyth.

    The party drew down the road and soon came upon the large, sturdy wooden gates of Kalkheim, which were shut against the Desert. A small panel in the door opened.

    “Welcome to Kalkheim, of the Fair Groves, seat of House Kildare. State your business.”

    “We come bearing news for Lady Ginnifer. It pertains to her cousin, Willis.” Ersha announced.

    The panel abruptly closed.

    The great gates opened up and revealed a collection of seemingly regular buildings that constituted the ordinary citizenry’s dwellings in Kalkheim. These buildings were not built with the same stone of the walls, but softer, adobe bricks. The people of Kalkheim went about their daily lives, cooking, cleaning, working, selling, trading, and everything else that made up the life of ordinary people of Mirwyth. As the group headed down the main street of the city, the passed a forge or two, the sight of which might have produced memories in Lorain.

    Eventually the came to another wall, this one now quite so high as the exterior wall, but still formidable enough. Another set of solid gates barred the way. Guards clothed against the sun stood before them.

    “We come with news for Lady Ginnifer.” Ersha voiced again. He then pointed to Lorain. “The woman over there knows firsthand knowledge of Ginnifer’s cousin, Willis, and his capture.”

    “I will escort you into the alcazar.” A tall guard with thin brown hair spoke as the gates were opened. He turned to another guard. “Make sure the lady is notified.” Then he turned back to the companions, offering a faint smile. “Be forewarned, no misconduct beyond these walls will be accepted.” Then, with that, he led them in.

    Once past the set of gates, the alcazar was before them. It was a low castle, two stories at most. It spread out horizontally instead of vertically. It was made of the same tan stone as the walls. The Kildare’s seat had a simple and smooth design. There were no minarets or towers. The most that the party could see would be the gentle arches and curves. As they stepped into the alcazar and moved through gardens of hearty growth, the experienced the difference in temperature immediately. This stone and the high ceilings of the alcazar’s colonnades, hallways, and rooms were designed to let heat rise and dissipate. There was much shadow and only enough light (and therefore) heat as was required to properly see. The alcazar’s primary design aesthetic was not beauty, but making sure that its inhabitants stayed cool.

    That was true luxury in the Desert.

    OOC: I changed the current date to 13 days before, instead of 15. For time purposes mainly. :D
    Last edited by spycoder9, Oct 27, 2013
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  16. Ktala Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 7, 2002
    star 6
    Lorain Ashkey - 13 Days before wedding
    The Fair Groves

    Lorain had crossed the desert many times, but never in this area. But she was always struck with its strange and alien beauty. Each desert had its own unique features, as did this one. the sand gave way to scrub brush that had survived such dry conditions. Freedom, would stop to graze from time to time, when he could find anything. Lorain pointed out the subtle changes to Fleet as they rode, showing him the many varied signs of life all around them. Soon, the small hills started to develop made of dirt, not sand. The road wound its way around the hills effortlessly, barely altering its course, sometimes even going over. Lorain noted the young man and his uncle get into a bit of an argument. She only hoped it was not about them directly. She tried to keep Fleet's mind active, teaching him about the lands of the desert, and how the people were different. She began to explain small bits of the code of the brotherhood of the desert to him as well.

    Soon, the alcazar of Kalkheim was in view. Its beige walls blended into the surrounding scenery that almost hid the area. Lorain pointed out the feature to Fleet. Unlike other great noble houses in the land, the alcazar itself could not be seen behind the walls. drew down the road and soon came upon the large, sturdy wooden gates. Impressive. Lorain could see a small panel in the door opened.

    Welcome to Kalkheim, of the Fair Groves, seat of House Kildare. State your business.” Lorain wondered if the walls and gates were for the winds and sand, or something more disturbing that might come across to harm the people of the sands. Probably, and little bit of both, she imagined. She listened to the man's response to the guards question.

    “We come bearing news for Lady Ginnifer. It pertains to her cousin, Willis.” Ersha announced. The panel abruptly closed. Lorain hoped that was a good sign. The great gates opened up and revealed a collection of regular buildings. Nice and sturdy brick. The people seemed of good spirits, taking care of their normal chores. There was the smells of cooking, cleaning, working, selling, and trading. All the things that made life normal. It felt good to be in such a place. As the group headed down the main street of the city, Lorain looked about at the many shops within. They passed a forge or two, and Lorain offered a sad smile, as she noted the guild symbols for the shops. She would have to visit them later. Her hands ached for the familiar feel of her old tools. She kept close to Fleet, as they led Freedom along. The smells of the bazar made her stomach grumble softly. They would have time to eat soon enough.

    Eventually the came to another wall, this one now quite so high as the exterior wall, but still formidable enough. Another set of solid gates barred the way. Guards clothed against the sun stood before them.

    We come with news for Lady Ginnifer.” Ersha voiced again. He then pointed towards Lorain, who suddenly found herself under scrutiny. “The woman over there knows firsthand knowledge of Ginnifer’s cousin, Willis, and his capture.” Lorain pulled down her facial wrappings to prove that indeed, she was 'female' as she was still dressed to appear mostly male. She gave a nod of her head, while putting her hand gently on Fleet's shoulder.

    I will escort you into the alcazar.” A tall guard with thin brown hair spoke as the gates were opened. He turned to another guard. “Make sure the lady is notified.” Then he turned back to the companions, offering a faint smile. “Be forewarned, no misconduct beyond these walls will be accepted.” Then, with that, he led them in.

    Lorain leaned her body towards Fleet, as she spoke to him in low, soft tones. "Fleet, 'members what I told you of the desert code? Make sure yer hand stays away from your weapon. Ya do not wish to give offense to 'em. Reactions tend ta be swift. As in loose yer hand, or yer tongue swift. But we da have nothing to fear. So says nothing yet, unless spoken to, but keep both your eyes and your mind open and alert, little Ser. For de will be judging us, as soon as we are before 'em. And we are outsiders, so we must be mindful of that. Only because of my da' did I learn these things." Lorain gave Fleet a encouraging smile.

    Once past the set of gates, the alcazar was before them. Many gentle arches and curves greeted them. and not too long after that, they could feel the difference in temperature. Lorain moved carefully now as they were lead carefully through the important buildings now. There was much shadow and only enough light required to properly see. Which helped to keep the buildings and people inside cool. Lorain remembered the stories her father told her, as he had much more access to the different inner working of the desert cities than she did. But she had traveled enough with him, to have learned some of the rules. She liked the desert people. All seemed to be self sufficient. One would have to be, in a way. She hoped they would at least, let them clean up first, but if they considered the news important enough, they would most likely send them straight in to see the person and charge, this 'Lady Ginnifer.' She just hoped it was not too late for Willis.

    TAG: @greyjedi125, @spycoder9
    Last edited by Ktala, Oct 30, 2013
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  17. greyjedi125 Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 29, 2002
    star 5
    IC: Fleet, 13 days before the wedding
    The Fair Groves

    Marching through the desert like this was without a doubt, a new and all engrossing experience that required Fleet’s full attention and concentration. So much so, that the young urchin, at least for the time being, had all but forgotten the hardships of the past few days. Lorain continually shared new knowledge with him and tested him on it to ensure his retention, that Fleet had not a spare moment to reflect on what had brought them to the desert, save for the present knowledge of seeking a haven from the omnipresent sand.

    So finally, Uncle Ersha and his nephew Hatibe, as the two men that led the small group were known to the boy, lead them to a large settlement, one that filled the young boy with a wide smile of hope and relief. No more wading through a sea of sand.

    The tall walls of the structure were discouraging as was the large wooden gates which were presently shut. Fleet sighed in slight annoyance, but otherwise kept his peace. There was literally nothing he could do at this point, it was up to the adults to negotiate entry into the settlement. He tried not to think about the sounds his stomach was making, or the grime that vexed his skin.

    “Welcome to the Kalkheim of the Fair Groves, seat of House Kildare. State your business.” A voice proclaimed from a small panel in the door which he could hardly see from his vantage point.

    Fleet frowned a little. He’d heard mention of the Kildare name enough times during this journey, but what the heck was a calk….clak-whatever. He’d have to as Lorain about that later when he got a chance.

    “We come bearing news for Lady Ginnifer. It pertains to her cousin, Willis.”

    Fleet grew confused at Uncle Ersha’s words, his frown deepening. Lady who? and cousin what? He’d never heard these names until now. He’d not been told any of this. Furtively, he glanced at Lorain, but her attention was focused on the business at hand. The small panel closed abruptly, and Fleet blinked in surprise. Wait, was there going to be trouble? already? He thought, tensing up at the prospect.

    To his relief, the gates opened and a regular looking town was revealed beyond its doors. Regular folks going about their regular business. No guards came rushing out at them, so he allowed himself to exhale in much needed relief, his hopes returning to him in the process.

    As they proceeded, Fleet had recovered his wits and began to scrutinize their surroundings, including the citizenry and all the particulars he could hear and see. The smell of food made him even hungrier, but the young boy had the presence of mind to stay focused. Eventually they came to another wall and several guards. Fleet remained silent and drew as little attention to himself as it was possible. A guard offered to escort them to see this ‘Lady Ginnifer’. She was obviously someone important. Also, the guard had said ‘alcazar’. Is that what a calk-whatever was? So, an alcazar was a type of place?

    The guard warned them about ‘misconduct’, Fleet tried not to make a face. If it was up to him, he’d skip the whole meeting as he’d much prefer to get some food and get himself cleaned up, but he understood the need for the audience…yeah, that was the word.

    The alcazar, as the guard called it was an impressive structure, at least in Fleet’s eyes. It wasn’t the size per se, but the manner in which it was built. This was quite different from what he was used to, in addition, the change in temperature was inexplicable and seemed almost magical. He immediately felt more at ease within the cooler temperature and whatever irritation he was feeling lessened a great deal as a result. The high ceilings were a novelty that attracted the young boy’s attention as he wondered how did one get up so high and what walkways lead there; and the shadowy nature of the place only beckoned to his more mischievous sensibilities, however, he’d long ago learned to bring such impulses under control.

    So, he followed in silence, mentally reviewing all that Lorain had taught him concerning the ‘Brotherhood of the Sand’. There was little doubt in his mind that such teachings would be tested, much sooner than even he had anticipated.

    Tag:Ktala,spycoder9 :)
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  18. Trieste Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 10, 2010
    star 5
    IC: Ser Lawrence Kildare
    His chambers, Shodaire, Mountains
    The day of his wedding

    Lawrence had been awake well before his comrades had come to rouse him. A strange noise had awoken him just before the sun had peeked over the ridges of the mountains that surrounded the Tower of Stone. He knew he should sleep, that he was perfectly safe...but the noise had been something that had filled him with dread. It was ominous...smothering. He had gone to his window and rubbed a light watery dust from its pane. The glass was cold to his touch. So foreign, so odd. Lawrence had held vigil at his window, looking for this silent thing that filled him with unease.

    He heard it again and saw the branch of a tree move up and down, up and down. A cloud of snow rose from beneath the branch.

    That was when Lawrence realized he had become undone over the sound of too much snow sliding off a tree branch.

    Lawrence had sighed. So foolish of him. Yet this land was still strange, even after the time he had spent here. He had not even come close to learning their ways, even with the gentle guidance of Safia to help educate him. He had done his best to learn and be respectful of their ways. He would be taking Safia away from here--perhaps forever. He had felt it was important to show respect to the Mountainmen by showing that he was not just coming to pluck their flower from them.

    He'd tried to get some sleep after that...but it had been in vain. He'd just lain in his bed with shut eyes. The only view that gave him was memories of Illiza.

    Illiza. The last person he wanted to see today. The walking reminder of what he'd done. He'd confessed that sin to Safia. It had been hard and it had hurt things. He could only assume based on the fact that none of her brothers had tried to skewer him since then that she had not told them. Heaven knew that if Ginnifer, Zooey, or Chelsee's betrothed had done the same he would have just that.

    And yet he had to face Illiza today. She was here for the wedding. She was her to officiate at his wedding. It was a troubling thought.

    Thank V'hallar he hadn't disclosed that to Safia. That probably would have scuttled the whole thing. It was enough to let Safia think it had been some stout milkmaid or plain peasant. He'd even be fine with her thinking that some busty and lusty beer wench had seduced him in a moment of drunken stupor. Anything to the truth. Of course, Lawrence was haunted by his family words.

    What has been said in the darkness shall be heard in the light.

    Nothing stayed hidden forever--unless everyone who knew it was dead. One day he would have to tell Safia of this all. Today was not that day.

    With a grunt Lawrence got out from under the piles of covers that had insulated him through the night and opened the door to his compatriots. "My imagination certainly didn't ever encompass a blizzard, let alone my marriage in the middle of one," Lawrence said honestly.

    He wondered if it was bad luck amongst Safia's people to be married in a blizzard. For all he knew, it was actually a sign of good fortune. In truth, all Lawrence cared about was whether this was going to keep him here long. He was getting anxious to return to the Desert. The reports of Fenton's men doing battle here in the Mountains concerned Lawrence. The Desert was far closer to the Capital and he worried for the safety of the Fair Groves, even behind its sturdy walls built against both the Desert and invaders.

    "With luck this will be the last blizzard we shall ever see," Lawrence said, putting a hand on Rickard's shoulder, "We will be home soon enough, where we belong."

    And where, with luck, my wife will belong, Lawrence thought. It was not a small wish given how Kildare women could get.

    TAG: @spycoder9 but I bet @JediMasterAnne wants to see too ;)
  19. JediMasterAnne Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 24, 2004
    star 4
    OOC: This post is Part 1 of a larger combined with spycoder9

    IC: Safia Rolmar

    The Mountains of Mirwyth

    Shodaire, the Tower of Stone

    Chambers—the day of her wedding

    “Ectarion has been in a particularly foul mood this morn.” Karridan frowned. “More foul than usual.

    “I think it has to do with all of these people. Lady Sybella arrived by horseback yesterday evening, after the gala had been over for hours. Celia and her husband, and Auntie Helena are in tow. Lord Tarvick and Logan are. . .still recovering.” The frown grew only deeper on Karridan’s face as his mind headed to darker places. “I wish I had been able to fight. I could have saved our cousin’s life. I could have saved countless ones. . .”

    She was not surprised to hear of Ectarion's unpleasantness this morning. He had been openly against her marrying Lawrence from the start, so the fact that the day was finally here and the wedding still on was likely to irritate him.

    She was surprised however, to hear of the arrival of her aunts and her cousin the previous night. She of course had anticipated that some of her mother's family would come for the wedding, but she had thought that with her uncle and cousin still recovering from the battle in the Bloodsoaked Wood, her aunt Sybella would have remained at Snowy Ford with them.

    Listening to her brother vent his regrets, Safia frowned, reaching over to squeeze his shoulder. "I miss him already, too, but dwelling on what-if's won't change what happened. And what if you had died, instead?" As much as she knew she would miss him when she and Lawrence left to return to the Fair Groves, the thought of her brother dying was even worse. "I could not bear that."

    "Neither could I," A smirk hit his face again as he looked at Safia. "But for a different reason entirely. Father already speaks of plans to have me massing armies here and there, leading battles, commanding my own men. It seems like a war might very well be approaching us."

    Rather than returning her brother's smirk, Safia found herself still frowning. She made a face at her barely-eaten sweet roll and set it back on the tray. This talk of war was spoiling what little appetite she had. And it wasn't exactly the most reassuring topic of conversation for one's wedding day. The idea of her brother out there fighting a war, leading men into battle, possibly to their deaths...

    And what about Lawrence? How much time would she have with him before the war took him away as well?

    "Could we talk about something else, please?" she finally asked. After a moment of mentally searching for another subject, she spoke up again. "What do you think of Brynna?" Their cousin Samule had arrived a few days earlier, with his own betrothed, Brynna Maegorian.

    "She is a beautiful girl, very outspoken and livid. Sometimes overly so." Karridan nodded as he reflected back over his thoughts of the girl. "She's a fine dancer though. Last night I found her almost as fine a dancer as the Caetherene Gideon girl." And there, Karridan's eyes reflected his thoughts of her. "Now that girl. . .she is the newest prize of the Mountains, now that you are off the market."

    Safia nodded in agreement; Caetherene was a gentle-mannered, lady-like young woman, who would indeed make a good wife for a very lucky man one day. And as Karridan had said, Brynna was a sweet, lively girl, but she still had a certain childish innocence--she reminded Safia of Matheus's sister Maela. "Do you think Brynna will be able to handle Synthia?" the princess asked her brother, half-jesting and half-serious.

    "Synthia. . .has bigger plans. With you gone, I would not be surprised if she came as a ward, and lived here permanently." He shuddered. "A frightening thought. In that way, I might be happy to be gone to battle."

    Safia almost cringed; she had to admit, he had a point there; she would almost rather ride into battle than have to live full-time with Synthia. Still, annoying as their cousin was, ultimately Safia would still rather have her brother home and safe than out in a battle. But he had a duty, the same as she did.

    An amusing thought occurred to her. "I don't know who I feel more sorry for if she comes to live here: Synthia or Ectarion. At least she likes you."

    Karridan didn't say much of anything at that moment.

    "I don't want this moment to end." He took a couple steps towards Safia and sat down near her bed. "Do you remember when we were just little children, and we would sit under the trees? The apples were fresh and ripe, and I would snatch you some from the low branches. I told you stories of Lords and Ladies old and new, bandits and beggars, princes and princesses. It was always a different tale, but to every one you listened."

    She nodded, sitting down next to him. "I remember." Those had been simpler times, before the brutish rule of Fenton Reynard. Before divided kingdoms. Before knighthoods and arranged betrothals. "I miss those days."

    "Want me to tell you one last story?" He smiled wistfully.

    Her smile was just as wistful as his. After only a moment's consideration, she nodded. "All right, for old times' sake."

    To be continued...
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  20. Ktala Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 7, 2002
    star 6
    Lorain Ashkey - 13 Days before wedding
    The Fair Groves

    Lorain kept a close watch as the guardsmen lead them through the various buildings. She almost smiled, watching Fleet and Freedom, who both seemed busy, looking around at the strange surroundings, just happy at seeing anything that resembled civilization. Lorain had always held a bit of respect for the few desert folk she had run into in her business. Up front and direct. Personal honor being a big thing. To scratch out a living in such trying surroundings, Lorain guessed that it was almost a necessity.

    The guardsmen leads them pretty far into the alcazar when the knight he sent to get Lady Ginnifer stops them and whispers something to the guard. The guard nods and turns back to the group. "The Lady is busy for the moment, but she shouldn't be long. I can to take you some quarters to freshen up while you wait." Lorain looked over at Fleet, and then at herself. Not like they had much of anything that they could change into, but they had grabbed a few spare scraps of clothing. Nothing proper, but considering their circumstances, it would have to do. Lorain asked for someplace that their animal could also be taken care of, as she spoke quietly, "My thanks." nodded her head in agreement. Lorain then removed a pack from Freedom's back, and turned to follow. Lorain placed a hand on Fleet's shoulder, giving him a slight smile. The guardsman then lead them towards what Lorain would find to be smaller, individual quarters. She did not enter hers, until she found out where Fleet was located, checking his room out first, before she headed for the one she had been assigned. She gave a glancing look, to see if there were locks on the outside of the doors. She had no reason to distrust these people, but considering what had happened so far, she trusted few, when it came to Fleet's safety. "Ok?" she asked him softly. She handed him a small bundle from the pack. A simple pair of pants and tunic she had found. Too big, but better than nothing. When he replied, she pointed out her room, and gave him a firm nod. When she entered her room, she was glad to see that like the other room, each had a cot, and a bath, and fresh fruit. Lorain didnt know what to be happy for first. The fresh fruit, or the bath!

    Lorain quickly moved over towards the cot, and opened her pack. She took out a few plain things she had taken from the house in town, very simple and plain clothing. Lorain was staying in pants for now. She quickly filled up the bath. She would enjoy the fruit while she bathed. Right now, she wanted to simply soak and scrub what felt like 50 pounds of desert sands off of her. To finally be able to let her hair down, and scrub, was wonderful. But she knew not to waste too much time, as she did not wish to keep this Lady Ginnifer waiting either. But she had to enjoy just a tiny bit of this, if nothing else. Because what would come afterwards, not even Lorain knew. Nor did she feel quite comfortable on leaving Fleet too long alone either. She smiled at that thought. Fleet was a quick study, so eager to learn so much.

    After what felt like a short time later, Lorain had bathed, and eaten the delicious fruit that was in the room. Fresh fruit was a treat, and here in the desert, so much so. She was not one to waste such a thing. After she was finished, she went to check in on Fleet.

    TAG: @greyjedi125, @spycoder9
    Last edited by Ktala, Nov 6, 2013
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  21. Trieste Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 10, 2010
    star 5
    (Written with a @spycoder9 update via PM)

    IC: Ser Lawrence Kildare
    His chambers, Shodaire, Mountains
    The day of his wedding

    “As we can only hope!” Rickard laughed some more. Almost uncontrollably so. The gala that had taken place the night before, beneath the cold, frosty sky and its twinkling silver stars, had given everyone there the chance to get overwhelmingly drunk. There had been dancing, and festivities, and gift opening. Obviously Ser Rickard’s drunkenness had yet to wear off. “We just came to see the bridegroom on this fine morn! Fetching as ever!” Rickard’s lips were stained red from the wine, looking as deep and strong as blood.

    Suddenly, Lawrence’s squire appeared in the front of the group. He was one of the only ones who seemed fairly sober that morning. “May I have a few moments with Ser Lawrence?” the squire asked the others, who laughed and moved on away from the doorway. “Drunken fools.” The squire smirked as he closed the door behind them. He faced Ser Lawrence for a moment, then got down to his knee.

    “I know you will be casting away your knightly oaths today, as is expected of a married man. And you will have a wife of your own, and soon children to raise, and lands to call yours.” The squire met Lawrence’s eyes, and offered a fairly content smile. “I want to thank you for the wisdom and experience you have bestowed upon me in the time I have spent under your service. I could not of ever expected to have had the chance to serve beneath Ser Lawrence in his last battle as a Knight.”

    Lawrence smiled. “Come now, rise, Miche,” Kildare said, referring to his squire by name, “You praise me too well. I have only done what was done for me when I was your age. All knights were once squires. It is part of our vows that we do so.” Lawrence took Miche, who had come to his feet, by the shoulders. “We are both part of a legacy that stretches through history, of men of good hearts who serve something greater than themselves. Though I will not be a knight of the highest order when this day is done, I will keep my vows from now until the day I die. Remember, the knightly vow of chastity is not a vow of celibacy. For many it is. But when Safia and I become husband and wife my vow remains. Before I was chaste in my service to the Fair Groves. My life and my energy was for the benefit of that land. But as husband, I shall be chaste to my wife. Remember that those who look on our vows from the outside will confused chastity for celibacy. In truth, we are all called to chastity. That does not make us monks.” Lawrence smiled at that last bit.

    “Even so, you are right, this does mark the end of our relationship as we have known it,” Lawrence said with a sigh, “Though I will remain Knight Commander, some of my duties will pass to others. I will be required to spend more time at Kalkheim than in the past.” Lawrence turned to the window and remembered the alcazar that had been his home for his entire life. Its cool halls and shade beckoned to him even in the cold of the mountains, perhaps because those memories were intertwined with the heat that one sought to escape in the cool places.

    “We will find you someone who can complete your education, Miche,” Lawrence said, looking out the window, “There is not much left.” He turned back to his squire. “Soon you shall be beholden to these same vows in your own right. The Fair Groves will be a better place for it.

    “Now, I think there is business to attend to, isn’t there?” Lawrence asked, knowing full well that there was much to do today, “I trust our hosts have communicated the day’s schedule to you?”

    TAG: @spycoder9
    Last edited by Trieste, Nov 7, 2013
  22. JediMasterAnne Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 24, 2004
    star 4
    OOC: Part 2 of the combined post with spycoder9

    IC: Safia Rolmar
    The Mountains of Mirwyth
    Shodaire, the Tower of Stone
    Chambers—the day of her wedding

    "Good, good." He leaned his head back on her covers, as his mind thought back over all the stories he had told her. "Oh yes, one of my favorites.

    "Many, many years before now, when strange beasts still roamed these lands, a young maiden princess was wedded to a grumpy old lord of a grey keep. It was a dreary place, where shadows seem to stretch on in every corner. Her heart longed to leave the place, to return home to her castle deep in the snowy mountains, where she could get lost in the woods." He paused, catching his breathe and allowing the mental image to rest in his sister's mind.

    "One morn, several months after their wedding, a battalion of knights were riding through. Poor and dirty they were, on low horses that seemed to seemed too skinny to hold them up. The maiden made out of her chambers to greet them. One caught her heart immediately. His eyes were a deep blue, stronger than that of a winter sky. His hair was dirty and long and fell to his shoulders, but she could see the true charm behind it all. That evening her lord husband invited the men to feast in the keep. It was a fair meal, but the maiden couldn't eat much. She was too entrapped by the young man. After the meal, her husband went to the library so that he might read his dusty parchments. She met the knight outside, as the moon seemed to reflect in his eyes. It didn't take few minutes before he had bedded her in the same bed she and her husband slept in." Karridan chuckled. That part always got him laughing.

    "The next morn, the maiden had to bid farewell to him. It was a sad goodbye, and she did weep once she had returned to her quarters. Several weeks passed when word returned that the knight and the other men had been ambushed by bandits and all were slaughtered, except for one. As her heart cried out, the maiden begged her husband to send help for the knight. The Lord refused, several times or so. She cried, she screamed, she threw things. He wouldn't give up. So she took a stone sword from the blacksmith, and the next few weeks trained herself in the ways of sword. Every waking moment, only pausing to eat. Her husband tried to forbid her, even going as far as to steal her stone sword. She got another, trained even harder, and then killed him in his sleep. By the time the sun rose in the lands, the maiden was long gone, her old lord bloodied and dead in his sheets. The maiden traveled after the bandits, following word of mouth. When she had finally caught up with them, resting in the woods one night, she took her stone sword and approached their camp. Her knight was still there, those his face was tired and his spirit all but nonexistent. She held back her tears, and launched herself onto the camp, slaughtering the entire camp in a mere few minutes. With blood covering her face, dripping off her sword, soaking her hair, she turned to face her knight. And found he was gone, the things binding him resting on the ground.

    "She turned around, and found him behind her, cold steel in his hands. Driven half mad, the knight took the blade and drove it into his neck. Several times. The maiden weeped as she held him in her arms. He had been dead long before she finally rose from her position. She looked amongst all the carnage, all the death, and laughed. Continuously. She laughed as she picked up a sword. She laughed as she stabbed herself. And she laughed as she died." Karridan gave a long, ominous pause, and then he laughed heartily.

    "Okay, perhaps I have been listening to Ectarion's stories too often. I remember there being a lighter side to the story, but memory fails me." He kissed his sister's brow.

    Throughout the tale, Safia's smile was slowly slipping away, and by the time he finished, she was frowning again. This wasn't helping her anxiety. "War talk and macabre tales--you certainly are the morbid one today," she noted. Was he so unhappy about her now-imminent marriage?

    "Okay, okay, perhaps I have been a little down. But. . ." He frowned a hard frown, one that wrinkled his whole forehead. "I am losing my little sister." Karridan shook his head. "How about I give that story one tiny alternate ending?"

    "All right..." Safia prompted.

    "As the knight held the knife to his throat, his hands trembling up and down, he met the eyes of the bloody maiden. He remembered her, he remembered it all, in that glance. And the knife fell from his fingers the ground below. He dropped to his knees, and small tears ran down his face. The maiden dropped her sword and fell to the ground in front of him, holding him and rocking him as they cried together. Hours later, after the sun had risen again in the morning, the knight stopped crying and pulled away to look at the maiden once again. She had saved his life. He kissed her once, twice even, and then they rose from the ground.

    "Together they walked towards the sunrise, and they were never heard of again." Karridan smiled and looked at his sister again. "That was the true ending. And when you look at the stars, at the maiden, and the knight, you can see their outstretched hands touch. They are forever together, even in the afterlife."

    "Better," Safia commented, laying her hand again on his shoulder. "Karridan, I'm getting married, not dying. It's not as if we won't ever see each other again. We can still write to each other, and don't forget you promised you'd visit Kalkheim at least once a year."

    She was silent for a moment, before finally asking a question she had been wanting to ask him for days, but simply hadn't had the opportunity. "What do you think of Lawrence?"

    "He's a knight. And a good one at that." Karridan combed back over his memories. "A fine man, honestly." He smiled yet again. "However much I want to hate him, I can't find it in myself. He seems genuinely like he could make a good husband.”

    Safia returned her brother's smile. "I think he will, too. And I am glad he has your approval." That Karridan approved of her husband-to-be was very important to her. "Gods know he will probably never have Ectarion's."

    "But would anyone have Ectarion's approval?" Karridan laughed then. "I don't even think he liked Matheus."

    She nodded in agreement with the point. "I don't think so, either." Actually, she knew that he hadn't. Ectarion had said as much a couple of weeks earlier.

    "Perhaps he'll come-" There was a sharp knock on the door.
    Safia looked from Karridan to the door. If that was Ectarion...she wasn't entirely sure if she cared to see him right now, brother or not. She didn't want to hear his condescending attempts to talk her out of the wedding or his disparaging remarks about Lawrence. Perhaps it was just her maids coming to shoo Karridan out. Not likely. "Come in."

    To be continued...
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  23. HanSolo29 Manager Emeritus + Official Star Wars Artist

    Member Since:
    Apr 13, 2001
    star 7

    Name: Hyram
    Age: 70s
    Gender: Male
    Appearance: Hyram would stand at average height, if his back were not slightly bent with age. He walks with the assistance of a gnarled cane and is often seen wearing nondescript robes that look similar to sackcloth. His silver hair is kept short, in accordance with his faith, and his weathered face his clean shaven. He might have once been handsome if not for the off-kilter nose and the salt air taking its toll over the years. His eyes are the most startling of all of his features - they are a pale blue that seem to turn silver in the right conditions.
    Homeland: The Isles
    King: None
    Occupation: Sage/Priest
    Biography: Hyram (he has never openly revealed his surname) is a man of faith first and foremost. The Isles are rich with all kinds of legends, lore and religious practices, which Hyram has embraced since he was a young boy. He believes that this faith has granted him supernatural abilities unlike anything the known world has witnessed - the gods have chosen him out of a select few to spread their message of truth. He also believes that this is the source of his boundless wisdom, which has prompted people from all around the land to seek him for answers. Many consider him to be a prophet or perhaps a healer…

    And then there are quite a few that only view him as the crazy, old hermit who has lost his mind a long, long time ago.
    Trieste likes this.
  24. spycoder9 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 23, 2008
    star 4

    PART I

    Beams of coral pink sunlight streamed across the hazy morning sky like bright ribbons in a maiden’s hair. They illuminated the icy Bloodsoaked Wood, with its chalky limbs and burgundy leaves. The pallid forest stretched on for miles, covering hills and valleys, caves and crests, settlements and hovels. Patches of snow from a blizzard three days past spotted the pale grass. Lord Fredrik took great pleasure in the landscape. He had stood there, at the tip of this cave, many a time in his life. Once as a child, when had been scarless and title less, and life had been simple. Now he was there leading an army of mountain men to their prospective deaths. Many of them had led honorable lives. His bastard was among these, having taken the Stone surname with pride. He was a prideful bastard, almost too much in that way.

    “Lord Tarvick,” a deep voice remarked from over the Alpha Wolf’s shoulder. “Sentries are reporting movement eastward. A large brigand of knights with warm food still in their bellies.” He turned to face the man speaking, a short stocky fellow. Ser Ingar Lusk had beady little eyes, like most of House Lusk, which were set deep into his skull.

    “And Lord Cyrell’s men are in position?” Fredrik could feel the chill settling into his bones. He yanked up his wolf pelt over his shoulders.

    “Yes, milord.”

    “Then prepare the others.” Fredrik turned his eyes back to the forest. “Once Reynard’s men are closing in upon The Black Swallows, we descend from the cave.”

    “As you command.” Ser Lusk turned back into the deep cave and began to give out orders. He didn’t shout, as the echoes could be heard throughout the wood. Many of the men that he spoke to sat atop glorious warhorses, embroidered with their own sigil. Then they would proceed to tell the soldiers beneath them.

    Fredrik breathed in the fresh morning air one last time. It was sweet, and pungent, and perhaps one of his last.

    As he shifted himself on his horse, Ser Steefan Magister led the entourage of knights through the blindingly bright wood. The rays of sunlight melted into Steefan’s wavy black locks. His eyes seemed to be made of the same ice as that that hung from cavetops.

    The Bloodsoaked Wood was just a minor nuisance in the annoyance that was the Mountains. The Black Swallows that lay past the wood were a series of deep caves that seemed endless. House Lusk had built their own castle inside one of those caves, and Ser Steefan knew they were one of those loudest to pledge themselves to Rolmar. Rumors ran rampant among his men that whenever a man was killed inside the Swallows their screams would echo on into eternity.

    Steefan was better than those stories. He was proud to be carrying out his King’s duty. Like his father, and his grandfather before him, Steefan had pledged his sword to the True King, Fenton Reynard. And he had been healthily rewarded for this choice. At this moment, Steefan’s wife was at home in their keep heavy with child. Even in her pregnancy she was fair of face.

    “I don’t like these woods…” A younger knight, whose name slipped Steefan’s mind, rode up beside him. “Or these mountains…”

    “Does anyone?” Steefan frowned. “I don’t think the King would approve of your insolent remarks.”

    “Perhaps he wouldn’t. But I don’t see him freezing his fingers off. Slaughtering whole castles of people.” The boy’s eyes seemed haunted. Far away. . . “Driving a sword through a woman’s breast.”

    “Don’t doubt that he would. He would never back down from a challenge. Like these false kings, and these frozen people with their frozen hearts and frozen castles. These aren’t people, son.” Ser Steefan met the boy’s eyes. “They’re traitors. And scum. They deserve nothing less than death.”

    “Even the babes-”

    “Traitorspawn.” Steefan spat.

    Then he heard a noise. A deep, rumbling sound that seemed to erupt from the very ground itself. He slowed his horse and the men.

    “HARROWMONT!” “LONG LIVE THE KING OF THE MOUNTAINS!” and “DEATH TO THE EAGLE!” screams echoed around the knights. To his horror, Steefan watched as men descended from a smaller cave upon a hill, shrouded and hidden at first glance. At the head of the long train was a tall man, perched on his white mare, with a wolf pelt draped over his shoulders.

    From behind Reynard’s knights came more shouts. At least a hundred men, if not two, were rushing from the trees.

    “Stand and fight!” Lord Steefan roared from his courser. “LONG LIVE THE TRUE KING!”

    And there the battle began.

    Last edited by spycoder9, Nov 11, 2013
  25. greyjedi125 Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 29, 2002
    star 5
    IC: Fleet, 13 days before the wedding
    The Fair Groves

    He hadn’t realized he’d been holding his breath, but only after he released a sigh of relief. The Lady Ginnifer was too busy to see them at the moment, which suited him just fine.

    Fleet looked over at Lorain once they received the news. He couldn’t quite tell if the giant woman felt relief as he did, or something else. He didn’t overthink it much, as they were now being led to temporary quarters.


    Sure, he didn’t know what to expect, but he certainly hoped it was better than your average sand-filled tent.

    And so, Fleet waved at Freedom as he was taken to his own temporary room as it were, noticing also that Lorain had taken a pack form him. They were now nearing their destination as the guard was slowing his pace. The cool air and the novelty of his surroundings did wonders for Fleet’s good mood. He smiled back at Lorain, but could tell there was something else on her mind. He couldn’t begin to fathom what it was, but figured it was in all likelihood something to do with seeing her family. Fleet looked forward to meeting Lorain’s family. He secretly imagined how much bigger they might be; REAL GIANTS!! The thought made him chuckle.

    “Thanks.” Fleet said, taking a cue from Lorain and thanking the guard just as she had. He understood that he needed to be on his best behavior here, so he needed to keep that in mind at all times. Once they guard had departed, Lorain inspected his small room after handing him a bundle from the pack. In his possession he now had a clean pair of trousers and a tunic, both too large, but clean! Fleet smiled, both inwardly and outward at how thorough she was. There was so much he still had to learn and he could not imagine a better teacher.

    “OK?” She asked.

    He beamed a smile back at Lorain. “Nev’er bett’er.”

    Silently he watched her regard the door and the locks, which almost made him chuckle. Yeah, he definitely would enjoyed learning from her. Lorain’s room was not very far and he returned her nod with one of his own, underscored by his urchin’s smile. He couldn’t help it. He was in a good mood.

    Finally, he was in his small room. A great weight seemed to lift off his shoulders the moment he crossed the door. Fleet’s blue eyes found the small cot which to him, was a great bed compared to the places he’d had to sleep in his recent past. Casually he laid down his bundle as his eyes searched the rest of the room. There was a table with a bowl of fruits and a plain sitting stool. The walls were bare but he expected that…and then he saw it. Fleet’s blue eyes grew wider still as a grin spread upon his boyish face.

    “By the gods….”

    It may as well be a real Oasis to him. The gleaming water beckoned to him. Without a second thought, the sand filled raiments were flung off and in a blink, he found himself happily splashing in clean refreshing water, unlike any he could recall. This was a princely bath for sure!! That, and one he would indulge in as long as it was possible.

    The moment was everything, as thoughts of their journey, the reasons for it, and even the Lady Ginnifer, were nearly all but forgotten.

    Last edited by greyjedi125, Nov 12, 2013
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