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Fantasy A War of Kings

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  1. spycoder9 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 23, 2008
    star 4
    13 Days Before the Wedding



    The Desert of Mirwyth
    The Fair Groves

    Kalkheim


    The desert party was shown deeper into the alcazar now that they had refreshed themselves from the dirt of the road. The alcazar seemed oddly disconnected from the Desert that surrounded it. The halls and their stone floors were clean. The sand that surrounded Kalkheim seemed to not penetrate into House Kildare’s refuge. To one who had never not been around sand, it might have been odd to be in a building of stone, even if that stone’s color was beige like the wastes around it. Even so, the relief from the heat was enough to make even that seem different.

    One of the guards brought the party to a set of two large doors. “Visitors for my Lady,” the guard said to his two compatriots who kept watch. One of the door guards nodded and the guide opened both doors to admit the party into what appeared to be the very seat of the Fair Groves. It was not a throne that sat at the opposite end of this room, but it was still a seat of cushion that was more comfortable than anything found at an inn. This room was brighter than the rest of the alcazar. It was in keeping with the words of House Kildare: “What has been said in the darkness shall be heard in the light.” High windows of thick glass let light into this room, even higher than the other ones of the palace. If the family words were true, then this was a place where there would be no lies, where the truth would come to light.

    This large room was better furnished than the hallways or the guest rooms that the travelers had rested in before arriving here. There was carpet for one, though strategically placed (after all, the coolness of the stone floor was quite welcome), and the walls of this room were covered in tapestries depicting events that none of the group could quite make out, obscured as they were by shadows, the light of the high windows not quite bending enough to reach the walls. Perhaps if they were closer one of them could make out the scenes upon them. Periodic pillars lined two sides of the room, keeping the high roof up and framing a space for those who sought an audience before the Lady of the Fair Groves.

    A blonde woman sat not on the plush chair, but rather at its foot on a simple chair of wood at a small table. She looked up from the parchment on which she was scratching out some writing. She was almost totally alone in the room, save for the presence of a couple of guards place in the room.

    [IMG]

    “Can I help you?” she asked.

    “Lady Ginnifer,” Ersha said, bowing low, “We bring news of your kinsman Willis.”

    The blonde’s eyebrows shot up. “Actually, I am Zooey. Lady Ginnifer, my sister, is visiting tenants throughout the Groves right now.” Zooey stood with a look of concern. “But what’s this about Willis? Something’s happened to him?” She put up a finger indicating not to say anything for a moment. Zooey looked off to the left and down to the floor. She then turned to one of the guards. “Find the Warden and Lady Spectra and bring them here immediately.”

    “Yes, Lady Zooey,” the guard said and departed to do that.

    “Before they arrive, you had better tell me what you know,” Zooey said to Ersha, “That way I can prepare my aunt and uncle to hear it.”

    “Lady Zooey,” Ersha said, “All I know is courtesy of my companion from the road, Lorain Ashkey.” He bowed his head and indicated Lorain.

    Zooey turned her attention to Lorain. She said nothing but looked up at the tall and powerfully built woman. A faint smile flickered on Zooey’s face for a moment, perhaps fading as she remembered why it was Lorain stood before her.

    “Please, proceed, Lorain Ashkey,” Zooey said.


    Last edited by spycoder9, Nov 16, 2013
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  2. spycoder9 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 23, 2008
    star 4
    THE WEDDING


    The Mountains of Mirwyth
    Shodaire


    Safia’s Chambers


    As the door creaked open, a little servant boy stood there. He was nervously raking back his sandy blonde strings of hair. He was a rather cute little thing, in the way that children were, and familiar. “The King w-wants the Princess to. . .” The little boy pulled at the collar of his intricate uniform,”. . .j-join him in his chambers.”

    When he was about to retreat away, in his fearful childish way, Karridan put up his hand. “Wait, wait!” The strapping knight rose from the floor and approached the young lad. “Come here for a moment.” Karridan brushed the boy’s hair from his face, and looked deep into his eyes.

    A deep golden, like that of a morning sun as it lit the whole sky on fire. “Who bought you this clothing, child?”

    “Um. . .” The boy gnawed on his lip as he looked away from the knight. “The king.”

    “This fine of cloth? I don’t believe I’ve seen other servants running around in this.” Karridan examined the collar, as the boy fidgeted beneath him. “Come now, the king didn’t buy you all of this.”

    “He did, Ser, I swear he did!” The child seemed to plead, as his golden eyes turned to the princess.

    “Fine, fine.” Karridan offered the boy a faint smile. “I believe you. You must have been a good servant to get this garb.” The boy shuffled uncomfortably. “I’ll make sure she gets to Father.”

    The boy scurried away.

    Karridan shut the door slowly, and turned to face his sister.

    “Strange, isn’t it? On the boy’s doublet. . .his name was embroidered. Fine craftsmanship.” Karridan shook his head. “It doesn’t matter, I don’t guess. His message was all the same. I'll take you to Father.”



    Ser Lawrence’s Chambers


    “They’ll be preparing the dining hall all morning, I believe. I‘ve seen many people rushing in and about there.” Miche combed back over his memories. “I think there was going to be some sort of groom’s tea?” The squire smirked at the very thought. “You’re to break morning fast with the highborn ladies. Nothing you aren’t used to.”

    The squire moved to look out the window and onto the mountains. The snow had neither heavied nor slackened. It simply drifted. Flakes fell down to the lands below, some falling upon large tents that had fluttering banners all around them. There was a bear on one, and an otter, and maybe an owl. There were so many. What captured the eye more was the almost abnormally large tent where different sorts of ladies seemed to be flocking to, slowly.

    “Yes, there it is. They’ve set up tents in the courtyard. Mighty large ones.” Miche eyes seemed to catch something, or more like someone.

    “That Caetherene Gideon. . .she's a true mountain marvel. And the Maegorian girl, what was her name? Brynna? She’s of an interesting sort.” Miche continued to eye the women from the window. They were merely specks in the scheme of it all, but there was no mistaking who was who. “Those Bodderly twins take after their father. . .” He paused a second. “There are so many.”

    Miche looked up at Lawrence with a somewhat mischievous grin.

    “Think you can handle them?”



    Last edited by spycoder9, Nov 16, 2013
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  3. JediMasterAnne Force Ghost

    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

    It was not Ectarion after all, or her maids, but a small servant boy, with the message that her father wanted to see her. If Safia was not mistaken, it was the same boy who had summoned her and Karridan to dinner fifteen days earlier, but she didn’t know the child very well.

    She hadn’t noticed the boy’s attire at first, but when Karridan questioned him about it, she did note that it was a bit strange that a servant would be wearing such a fine doublet, even on such a special occasion as today was to be. Even the lowliest servants didn’t wear rags, but those who were higher-ranked on the totem pole still didn’t have anything like this. Had the boy not seemed so frightened and had his name not been sewn on the front, she might have suspected him of stealing it, but that did not seem likely. But why would her father give a servant clothes fit for a lordling?

    She felt a bit sorry for the boy when he turned his fearful gaze on her, but more than that, she was a little startled. She hadn’t gotten a good look at him until then, and now that she had, she was more curious than anything. With his blond hair and golden eyes, he looked like he could be her brother.

    Who exactly this boy was, and what Karridan’s interest in him was, she couldn’t say. Rolmars tended to be blue-eyed, like her father, but the Tarvick bloodline favored golden eyes and golden hair. Perhaps the boy was a bastard cousin on her mother’s side—but then why was he here and not at Snowy Ford? And if that were the case, Safia certainly didn’t know anything about it, and why would her family conceal such a thing from her?

    Why do you suddenly care so much? Why does it matter where a servant boy came from?

    She had much more important things to worry about today. After the boy had gone, Safia slid on a pair of slippers and brushed out her hair to appear somewhat presentable, even if she was still in her dressing gown.

    She followed her brother to their father’s chambers and knocked politely, speaking through the door. “You wanted to see me, Father?”

    TAG: @spycoder9
  4. Ktala Force Ghost

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


    Lorain felt much better now that they had been given a chance to have a much needed bath. Since her ordeal had begun, she had not had a chance to appreciate something so simple as a bath. Or that matter, a chance to be alone, without having to look over her shoulder. She carefully washed her face. So much had happen in such a short time. Anger and grief had parted away into resolve now. She was close to finally doing what she had promised the kind stranger she would do. Willis Kildare had saved her life, and she had escaped. And now she had Fleet. Lorain smiled at that thought. The old Gods had brought them together for a purpose. And with luck, they would have the time to learn from each other. But Lorain knew they were not out of trouble yet. Not while the insane knights of THAT King ran around, laying waste to the poor people of the coastal areas. No, people had to be warned. Lorain quietly got dressed and rested, while they waited to be summoned. Lorain had never really deal with anyone vaguely connected with royalty before. Upper class, yes, but she did not ever recall anything higher than that. But then, her father might have. He traveled all throughout the area. Lorain sighed softly, and prepared for the meeting to come. She let her hair down, opting to look a bit more female than she had earlier. She kept the pants on, but tucked up under her skirt now, with a simple shirt, loose but enough to cover things properly. Gods, she missed her hammers!

    Later on, Lorain smiled, as she met up with Fleet once more. She had to admit that she missed him, and she gave him a reassuring smile as the group was now show deeper into the cluster of buildings. Lorain was rather surprised that their roadside 'companions' had decided to stay. She wondered why had they had not left already? Perhaps they wished to hear more as well? As they walked deeper within the buildings, Lorain noticed that there was no sand within the inner chambers. That was an amazing feat to her, especially when considering their surroundings. These people had indeed learned how to conquer the desert.

    One of the guards brought the party to a set of two large doors. “Visitors for my Lady,” the guard said to his two compatriots who kept watch. It would be foolish indeed to try something with so many guards around. She guessed it was to be expected, especially in the winds of the different kingdoms squabbles. Lorain noted that One of the door guards nodded and the guide opened both doors let them in. Inside, was not a throne, like Lorain would expect, but a seat of cushion that looked very comfortable. And this room was very bright too. Brighter than the others. Lorain looked around. It was almost like being inside one of the large city churches. High windows of thick glass let light in. It was beautiful. And the furniture was much more fancy as well. Of course, this was for royalty, and Lorain would have loved to have looked around even more, but a blonde woman, sitting at the foot of the 'throne'.. at a small wooden table, quickly reminded Lorain why they were here. And she was starting to feel just a bit nervous.

    “Can I help you?” she asked.

    “Lady Ginnifer,” Ersha said, bowing low, “We bring news of your kinsman Willis.”

    Lorain noted that the blonde woman's eyebrows shot up. “Actually, I am Zooey. Lady Ginnifer, my sister, is visiting tenants throughout the Groves right now.”

    So, Ersha did NOT know what Lady Ginnifer looked like? She was rather surprised at this. So, this woman was the Lady's sister. Would they have to wait some more? Then Zooey stood up with a look of concern. “But what’s this about Willis? Something’s happened to him?” Lorain wondered briefly just how close was Willis to Lady Ginnifer and Zooey. But at least the reaction was hopeful. Zooey then put up a finger indicating not to say anything for a moment. 'No problem with that!' Lorain thought to herself, as she watched the interactions in the room. Zooey looked off to the left and down to the floor. She then turned to one of the guards. “Find the Warden and Lady Spectra and bring them here immediately.”

    Lady Spectra? A title perhaps? Lorain watched as the guard quickly left to do what she had requested. The woman began to speak to them once more after the guard had left. “Before they arrive, you had better tell me what you know,” Zooey said to Ersha, “That way I can prepare my aunt and uncle to hear it.”

    Is there ANY way to prepare for that type of news? Lorain thought to herself. But being rulers, they must have to deal with much. But wait.. If Lady Ginnifer is her sister.. then who or rather what rank, were the Aunt and Uncle? Willis seemed to be well connected indeed. Ersha told the woman, “All I know is courtesy of my companion from the road, Lorain Ashkey.” He bowed his head and indicated Lorain.

    Zooey turned her attention to Lorain. Lorain stood there for a moment, and then she quickly gave a polite tiny bow of the head as well. She did notice that the woman did seem to give her a bit of an encouraging smile, however brief it was. That was hopeful.

    “Please, proceed, Lorain Ashkey.” A few simple words, but Lorain felt like the entire world suddenly hinged on them. Lorain have another simple nod of the head, before taking a step forward to speaks.

    "Forgives me Lady Zooey, if mah words arent quite proper. But your .. kinsman, Willis Kildare was taken by pirates a while back." Lorain gave pause to let that sink in, and then she continued. "I was in desert city of Caraba, along with my Da.. umm, my father, when the city was attacked by pirates." Lorain paused, as the mental images flashed behind her eyes. She frowned for a brief moment, determined to push the feelings away for now. This was too important. She looked down a moment, before looking back up at Lady Zooey. "Forgives me. But many was killed. I was taken aboard their ship. Im sorry, but not too sure how many days past. But I found out laters that da ship had been going up and down the coastline, taken da men and sellin' da rest off as slaves. But thems one who helped me on the ship. Willis Kildare. It was him who freed my chains, so that I could jump ship. And it was him who told me to comes here, and ta let ya know what had happened to him." Lorain's face grew dark. "I also finds out that some of the Knights of da King Reynard had somethin to do with it as well. They wore his colors. The town that my young Ser and I escaped from, had been totally cleaned out by the Knights. None were left. All sold as slaves."

    Lorain realized she had been balling up her fists. She relaxed them, before looking back up at Lady Zooey once more. "I knows the direction dey were going. They had been staying close to da shores. And I knows the ships name as well." Lorain finished speaking, and simply waited to see what other questions the woman might ask. So much had happened, she didnt want to just ramble on. And she was sure the woman had many questions. But best to wait on the others. There she could tell much more details.



    TAG: @greyjedi125, @spycoder9
    Last edited by Ktala, Nov 18, 2013
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  5. greyjedi125 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 29, 2002
    star 4
    IC: Fleet, Thirteen days before the wedding
    The Desert of Mirwyth, The Fair Groves

    There was a knock on the door and Fleet suddenly stopped splashing around in the water as he became still, listening now, his heart racing now that he’d been startled. His eyes were wide for a moment. He listened for a few heartbeats, but there was no other sound, but the ebbing of the sloshing water.

    “Who goes dere?” He called out, his voice uncertain. Perhaps it was Lorain. But no one answered. Quickly, he looked around and saw a towel nearby.

    “By the gods, de meetin’!” He exclaimed suddenly to himself as he got up and out of the bath and quickly dried himself off. How long had he been playing around in the wonderful water? How easy it was to lose track of time after finally getting that long desired bath. The young urchin hopped to the nearby cot, jumped into the clean and dry trousers, moved towards the table and grabbed the first ripe fruit his hand could grab, took a big bite, then returned to the cot with said fruit in hand and did his best to eat and put on his tunic almost simultaneously. A piece of fruit fell off as he bit down once again, but he was able to swat it away successfully to prevent it from staining the clean tunic.

    “Oh, dat wus close..”

    Realizing that rushing might just make things worse, Fleet slowed down a bit now, finishing the delicious fruit, then fixing himself as best he could to make himself presentable. A pleasant memory came to him as he tied a rope around his waist, and he smiled.

    “Now yu be lookin’ like a proper young Ser!”

    Fuzzy Fredda smiled at him, her round head and ruddy features were framed by her enormous canopy of tangled hair. She was his favorite matron at the orphanage and she used to say this every time he really got cleaned up. Fleet chuckled at the memory, however, he began to experience mixed feelings as he missed the woman’s kindness, but the orphanage was also quite harsh place, more often than not. Shaking his head, he dispelled the memory, opting to focus on the ‘ here and now’.

    Lorain is waitin’

    After making sure everything was tidy in his room, Fleet exited his room and found a guide already waiting outside, alongside Lorain. He smiled sheepishly at them and did his best ‘angel face’, hoping they weren’t waiting long. The guide was unimpressed, but at least Lorain smiled back; that was all that mattered. Uncle Ersha and his nephew joined them in short order.

    Fleet’s eyes grew wide again as he searched Lorain’s face. Something was different about her. She looked better for some reason, and after a moment, he got it. Walking close, he spoke in a low voice.

    “ I likes your hair doun, looks royal like.” He said with a smile. At that moment, he also remembered that Kaili had beautiful flowing brown hair. His smile turned a bit sad, but again, he pushed those memories away. He had to stay alert to meet this Lady Ginnifer.

    Finally, they reached the place. The guard opened the double doors and within, a splendorous room was revealed. It was bright, with ornate glass windows and high ceilings. Various tapestries hung from the walls, almost beckoning the young inquisitive boy to search their surface.

    “Woah…..”

    The large cushioned throne was even more impressive than anything else. Fleet’s jaw was practically on the floor. So fascinated was the young urchin, that he totally missed seeing the woman sitting on an adjacent table, noticing her only after she’d spoken.

    “Can I help you?” she asked.

    Uncle Ersha addressed the woman, who turned out not to be Lady Ginnifer.

    “…then who?” He asked mentally, making a quizzical face.

    Fleet’s unspoken question was answered almost immediately.

    “Actually, I am Zooey. Lady Ginnifer, my sister, is visiting tenants throughout the Groves right now.”

    Fleet stood as straight as possible, just like Lorain had taught him and made sure to be quiet as well. He was already good at listening, so that is what he’d do, unless a question was asked of him, unlikely as that was.

    And so he listened…perhaps too intently.

    Lorain recounted the story of her captivity by pirates, which was something he had not known until now. He regarded Lorain with a great measure of surprise, but managed not to say a word. He’d have so many questions for her later on. But in truth, Fleet did not need to say a word. He was almost unaware that his emotions were playing out on his face. Surprise, shock, sadness, anger. Usually that wouldn’t be the case, as he’d learned to make his face into an unreadable mask, but the events Lorain recounted were just too fresh, too recent. Kaili’s death still weighed on him; and those Knights and pirates - they…would…pay.

    Silence fell on the large room, almost palpably. Fleet felt his face was hot and probably look red to the rest. He didn’t dare clear his throat, as he did not wish to draw attention to himself, so he settled for breathing out slowly. He had to catch his breath somehow.

    So, Willis Kildare helped to free Lorain from pirates who probably planned to sell her off to slavery. This man was a good man. Fleet vowed to help him if he could. Lady Zooey seemed nice too. He still needed to see who this Warden was, and Lady Spectra. They both sounded like wizards. Then there was Lady Ginnifer, who they still had to meet.

    In the final analysis, what mattered to Fleet was that Willis Kildare had saved Lorain from a horrible fate. It was this single fact upon which his mind defined what honor demanded. Lorain was special to him and she had saved him. By the tenets of the Brotherhood of the Sand, Fleet felt that he owed this man, this stranger; and so, he resolved that he would do his best to repay him, help him, somehow….someway.


    Tag:Ktala,spycoder9
    Last edited by greyjedi125, Nov 18, 2013
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  6. spycoder9 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 23, 2008
    star 4
    13 Days Before the Wedding



    The Desert of Mirwyth
    The Fair Groves

    Kalkheim


    In the light of the Fair Groves, Zooey Kildare heard what had happened in the darkness of that slave ship. As Lorrain spoke, her face went from one of everyday benevolence into one of pain. By the end of it she had put her knuckles against the whiteness of her teeth.

    “Willis, taken as a slave…” Zooey murmured, her eyes casting about the room quickly, “V’hallar. How…and Fenton in league with slavers? Have things sunk so low? Ginnifer…” She looked at another of the guards. “Send this news to Lady Ginnifer immediately. She must know of this now.” It seemed that Zooey Kildare had a tendency to burn through guards as messengers at quite the rate.

    Zooey looked at Lorain. “If my cousin thought that it would be better that you gain your freedom than he should, then you must be quite a woman, Lorain Ashkey. My family owes you a debt for coming inland to tell us. If King Fenton’s men were pursuing you then you did so at great peril.” It needed no saying that the Desert was on the front lines of the insurrections against the King in Valona. “Selling entire towns as slaves? How could any be loyal to a monster like that?” This last question was posed to no one in particular.

    “Mistress Ashkey, when my uncle arrives, I would ask that you tell all of this to him. In my brother’s and sister’s absence he has responsibility for the defense of the Fair Groves and must hear of this, painful though it will be,” Zooey said, before adding, “Though I don’t think he’s going to take it very well…”

    Her eyes flitted to Fleet and rested there. “And who is our young master here?” she asked nicely, “One who is unknown to these troubles I hope?”



  7. spycoder9 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 23, 2008
    star 4
    Destiny has two ways of crushing us - by refusing our wishes and by fulfilling them.
    - Henri Frederic Amiel





    17 Days Before the Wedding


    The Isles of Mirwyth
    Breezecroft


    Streets


    As the bright morning sunlight beamed through the hazy fog, light was cast over the bustling town of Breezecroft. The castle, lean and sparkling as ever, waved its banners high above the lands. Near it, was the famed sigil of House Delmari.

    While seagulls drifted overhead, Lord Tymothi and Lady Azel escorted their King, Nathaniel Delmari, through the throngs on the streets. It was much as it had been when the King had been newly arrived days prior, but now the townsfolk seemed less happy. Tired frowns replaced their hopeful smirks. Strange news was spreading everyday. Rumors had filled the streets that the King planned upon taking with him a maid of his own, one to use when his lady wife was away. Distraught news, and not one the people had hoped true.

    “They’re angry,” Korianton noted from the side of his King.

    “Let them be.” The King wiped his tired eyes. “What stories are spreading today? That the girl plans steal my soul? to kill me in my sleep? to murder Kalera? Tales like this went on long before our time, and will continue to long after we're gone. You must learn to take the tale as your own, and spin it as you will.” He smiled lightly.

    “And still. . .” The young man paused his tongue. Always the lord.

    “We hate to see you leaving so soon,” Lady Azel slowed her horse so that her and the king may ride together. “We have enjoyed your stay so.”

    Nathaniel’s smile dimmed some as he spoke to the lady. “As have I. But it seems my lady wife and daughter beckon me home, and there is a wedding to attend.” He glanced at his daughter’s betrothed. “And hopefully another, in the near future.”

    The King and Lady Azel laughed, with even a smirk coming from the Lord Korianton’s lips.

    “Besides,” Nathaniel continued, “the dear Tuckman man is staying behind a few days, to prepare his own fleet. So you won’t be losing all of us at once.”




    Cliffs


    [IMG]

    Gwenn Cliffe awoke that bright morning long before daylight.

    Lukas had helped her pack her things the night before, which had not been much. It had been a bittersweet event, and another maiden a bunk over had cried for them. And that had come after all the good-bye’s Gwenn had to make. To the cooks and maids and all those she had known her whole life. Cold-Eyes had even congratulated her, once he had learned of the true news. Lukas had even kissed her lips harder than before, stronger, with much more passion. And had he been happier, perhaps he might have pushed further. But he had left with that, and returned back to his own quarters, vowing to see her again the next day.

    But that had all been before.

    This morning, she was back on jagged cliffs, admiring the bright beams of sunshine that cut through the haze, the waves that crashed against the rocks with such force that Gwenn could feel their spray, the dolphins that swam below her, with the bright golden fish that tasted so good. She was admiring the world she had known her entire life, the lands she had been born and raised on.

    And now she was leaving them.

    Enormous thoughts for a troubled mind.

    She could think for as long as she chose to, but the ships would depart when the sun rose halfway cross the sky.



    Last edited by spycoder9, Nov 23, 2013
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  8. greyjedi125 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 29, 2002
    star 4
    I: Fleet, Thirteen days before the Wedding
    The Fair Groves

    Lorain had stopped relating her tale and it was no surprise that majestic room grew momentarily quiet. During this silence, Fleet found himself observing Lady Zooey’s reaction. He noticed how she seem to have empathized with the tale, and from the looks of it, she seemed to believe them. The blonde woman bit her knuckle, a gesture Fleet understood too well.No words were needed to convey its meaning. The woman with the golden braid took a moment to murmur to herself, concern plain as day upon her voice and words. Fleet listened carefully.

    So, the King was named Fenton. Those murdering knights belonged to him from what he could gather. Silently he agreed with her as she referred to this so-called ‘King’ as a monster. Lady Zooey also made it clear to him that this man, Willis kildare made Lorain’s escape possible, over his own freedom. Fleet hadn’t thought of it that way, he couldn’t, as he was unaware of Willis Kildare’s involvement. Instinctively, he understood the surface meaning of the man’s sacrifice. He would have never met Lorain had this man chosen differently. Yes, he owed him much, more much than he realized. Was this man even alive, still? He didn’t know. But it seemed he saw something in Lorain to prompt him to act as he did.

    Fleet allowed himself a furtive glance at the giant woman. Would he have acted the same as Willis, had he been in the man’s position. Could he be that brave?

    That question made him uncomfortable, so he cast his eyes down momentarily. He was feeling shame at his own doubts, but was also inspired by Willis Kildare’s act of bravery as well as Lorain's vow and journey to bring his family this news. These things were simply amazing to him. Then the Lady Zooey said something else that caught his wavering attention.

    The King’s men were in pursuit of them? In her brother’s and sister’s absence, her ‘Uncle’ was responsible for defending Fair Groves?

    Fleet looked up suddenly. Did that really mean what the thought that meant?

    Images started to play in the young urchin’s mind, of knights and pirates swarming in the desert, leaving a sizable and visible dust cloud in their wake. A chill did go up his spine, against his own will. He did his best to shift focus, thinking on Lady Zooey’s family relations. Who was her uncle, or her absent brother and sister? Where could they have gone at a time like this? How many Kildare’s were there? and who was V’hallar? He sounded important too.

    “And who is our young master here?”

    Fleet froze. Had Lady Zooey perceived his thoughts? had he spoken them out loud without knowing? Oh, wait….she, she was addressing him.

    Remembering suddenly to stand up as straight as possible, Fleet corrected his posture and forced himself to look at Lady Zooey. He blushed visibly as their eyes met, but for more than one reason.

    “One who is unknown to these troubles, I hope?”

    Was she really speaking to him directly?

    Fleet’s big eyes looked about, but her gazed remained on him, as he was indeed the youngest person within the chamber. He was at present, much to his horror, the center of attention.

    With an effort greater than he had anticipated, Fleet managed to find his voice.

    “I’m Fleet….uhm….your grace.” He said, finally, bowing deeply at the waist, then slowly righting himself.

    “I’m….m’not sure wher I com frum. I’m an orphan yu see…but; I wus in that toun, and I did see those pirates. Well, sum of them. I…I….”

    Suddenly remembering that night, he now felt as Lorain did before. Unable to completely contain such strong emotions. Fleet looked down and gripped the front of his tunic with both hands, balling it for a moment. However, he did remember the lessons of etiquette Lorain had drilled into him, especially for this occasion.

    “I…was hidin’….your grace.” He said with shame in his voice, despite forcing himself to look at Lady Zooey. Fleet tried to force his blue eyes from going red and filling with moisture…from becoming misty. No, he had to be brave. So he closed his eyes to shut-out the tears… and took a centering breath.

    “I wus sleepin’ and woke up to hollerin’ and screamin’. I think there was a fire somewhere too. Kaili told me to hide, but she died of a wound….your grace.”

    Fleet stiffened his upper lip. He wasn’t telling the story as well as Lorain had, but that’s all he could manage at the moment. He thought of the knight that had impaled himself on his own sword, and that made him feel a bit better and less nervous. Quickly, he took in some air. A sharp intake to steady himself further. He owed Lorain that much.

    He certainly hoped he hadn’t messed things up for them. None of these people were there, so it was up to them to tell the tale correctly. It didn’t matter if he wasn’t keen on speaking to perfect strangers. This moment was somehow important. He couldn’t say why, but he could feel it inside.


    Tag:Ktala,spycoder9
    Last edited by greyjedi125, Nov 23, 2013
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  9. JediMasterAnne Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 24, 2004
    star 4
    OOC: Combined with spycoder9
    IC: Safia Rolmar
    The Mountains of Mirwyth
    Shodaire, the Tower of Stone
    The King’s chambers—the day of her wedding

    “Yes, come in, come in.” Desmond’s voice carried through the door.

    As Safia and Karridan shuffled into his chambers, they would note the four other companions of the King of the Mountains. Maester Wilkins, with his quivering fingers and wrinkled face, seemed very pale. Also, Ser Emory Cupiditas and Ser Frederic Wanes, both finely adorned in their suits, stood behind King Desmond Rolmar. Ectarion sat beside their father, with a pleasant little smirk on his face.

    “Both of you, sit down.” Desmond picked up an unrolled piece of parchment. “I have much to tell you. All three of you.” He met the eyes of each of his children.

    Safia was not certain what to make of the scene; Maester Wilkins looked pale, as if distressed, yet Ectarion, for all that Karridan had said their brother was in a foul mood this morning, was wearing a rather satisfied smirk. Neither seemed a good sign, to Safia's mind.

    She took an empty chair between her brothers. "What is it, Father?" she asked.

    "A raven arrived, two days past." He exchanged a glance with each of his children, even Ectarion, who had already learned some of the news. "Mors Santagar is dead, along with that challenged child of his."

    "Dead?" Karridan looked at the Maester, who was quivering where he sat. "How?"

    "The message didn't say," Maester Wilkins shook his head. "Though it did say that, in his place, Martyn Forysthe has proclaimed himself King of the Desert."

    Safia sat in stunned silence for what felt like several very long seconds. She knew very little of Mors Santagar, but she was aware of the unfortunate situation of his son--the boy was only a few years old, and harmless. Poor child.

    And Lawrence's father had claimed the throne? Safia had a chilling feeling that Lawrence did not yet know any of this. What would this mean for him?

    What would this mean for the war? A new king on the Desert throne could affect things quite dramatically. And that the exact nature of the Santagar deaths was not explained was suspicious, as well. What if Martyn had--

    No, she couldn't let herself finish that thought. "How will this affect our alliance with the Desert?"

    "It's still very much intact." Desmond leaned back in his seat. "Martyn himself clarified that he wants this marriage to carry through, so that the three kingdoms can continue to stand together."

    She felt a little relieved at that. She did not need any last-minute upheavals today. But--"Who is going to tell Lawrence?" She had to wonder at how he would take the news of his king's death, and that his father had stepped up to fill the vacancy.

    "No one," Both Maester Wilkins and Ectarion voiced at the same time.

    "At least not until the wedding is over." Desmond finished. He took a long sip of citrus wine, some of the last bit that had come with the messenger. He had grown fond of the flavors, and the way they seemed to dance throughout his body. "We wouldn't want him to get nervous, especially today. It's why I've neglected to tell you until today."

    She could keep her mouth shut, but that didn't mean she liked it. A fine way to start off our marriage, keeping something like this from him. At least it was just until after the wedding. Just a few hours. Or so she hoped, at least. "Very well," she conceded. She didn't expect to see Lawrence before the ceremony anyway.

    "Is there anything else?"

    "Yes, but. . ." The King of the Mountains looked around to the others. "Might my daughter and I have a few moments alone?" Maester Wilkins rose slowly, leaning on his cane as he stumbled to his feet. As he passed by the princess, he patted her hand reassuringly. Karridan stood up and helped the Maester out the door. Ectarion grudgingly followed them. "All of you?" The two knights moved to outside the doorway, shutting the door behind them.

    Desmond sighed, and wiped his brow. "This is all overwhelming." He stood abruptly from his chair and wandered towards his balcony. "I had relied on Santagar living past this wedding. And with no word from Kalera, or Nathaniel. . .Times are only getting stranger by the day."

    With more and more guests arriving every day for the wedding, it was almost impossible to keep track of everyone that came in, and upon realizing that the Delmaris still hadn't arrived, Safia felt more than a little guilty in that she hadn't noticed their absence until now. "You still haven't heard from them?"

    "Not a word." Desmond shook his head, dusting tiny snowflakes off his shoulders. "I had really counted on seeing them again. Especially Kalera. It has been years since I last saw her. Though some tell me that's better off, that she's gone slightly mad." He glanced back at Safia, in her golden glory. Desmond strode back to Safia and grasped her porcelain hands tightly.

    "I love you." He brushed back a lock of her hair, so that he may gaze into her golden eyes. Corinne had sat in that very chair years before, listening to him babble on, commenting here and there. And then afterwards she would comfort him, and hold him close in their bedcovers. They'd conceived all three of their children there. Had I known they would be the death of her. . .

    "You know that, don't you, Corinne?"

    Safia stiffened in alarm, cautiously pulling her hand away, suddenly very uncomfortable. He had never called her by her mother's name before. "Father, are you all right?"

    He blinked once, twice. The glamour of it had broken.

    "Um. . ." Desmond leaned away from her. He dug deep to find the strength in his voice. "Yes! Are you alright?"

    Whatever spell had so briefly been cast over him had broken, and he seemed more himself, even perhaps a little embarrassed by the lapse. But Safia still felt a little unnerved. "Y--yes," she finally said, even as she averted her eyes.

    He rose from his seat and turned away from her.

    "Leave," He whispered at first. Then, when she didn't move, he shouted, "Leave! Get out!"

    Safia flinched at his tone, and quickly left the room. But once the door was shut behind her, she paused to linger just outside. I'm sorry, Father. Will you ever forgive me? For not being her? For killing her?

    She turned to go back to her own chambers, not bothering to see if Karridan was following her or not.

    TAG: @spycoder9
  10. Jedi_padawan_leigh Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 13, 2003
    star 4
    IC: Gwenn Cliffe
    Breezecroft - Cliffs


    Gwenn had stirred awake from a night of fitful and broken sleep; heavy-lidded grey eyes were greeted with darkness as she sat up on her pallet. The women’s quarters were silent, save for the sounds of the other women in their slumber. The nights chill caused goose pimples to rise on her arms and she pulled her sheet around her tighter as she glanced over to the room’s small window. She had woken up a good while before the sun was set to rise. Reluctantly shrugging off the sheet, she rose to her feet, treading carefully about the room as to not disturb the sleeping women around her; she dressed quietly and pulled on her boots. Beside her pallet, a single small cloth sack sat on the floor.

    Lucas had helped her pack up the few belongings she owned earlier that evening; the small-talk they had made had done nothing to disguise the atmosphere in the room. It had not helped that prior to this Gwenn had bid farewell to those she had known her whole life. The men and women, who served the Moorecroft house had looked out for her as she had grown, helped her through her mother’s passing, and now she was leaving them all behind…

    The responses to her leaving had been varied, some were genuinely saddened, some offered encouragement, Cold-Eyes even saw fit to congratulate her… but a few seemed slightly more judgmental, and why wouldn’t they be after all the rumours had started to circulate? The townspeople had made the “kings maiden” the choice topic of conversation these last few days; for some it wasn’t hard to put two and two together… Gwenn had felt mentally and emotionally drained when she had finally returned to her quarters that evening. The many goodbyes had left the woman drained mentally and emotionally, and seeking comfort, the normally guarded dock-worker had shared a sudden heated moment with Lucas before the blonde haired man bid her goodnight, vowing that he would come back to see her the next day.

    But if he turned up to the women’s quarters, he would not find her there.

    Picking up the sack, she slung it over a shoulder and made her way outside, closing the door carefully as to not to wake those within. She walked across the grounds under the cover of darkness, the early morning air felt chilly and damp, and the grass dewy underfoot. Reaching the edge of the Moorecroft estate, she stopped and turned, her gaze lingered on the buildings for a moment, a flood of memories, both good and bad washed over her. Letting out a sigh, she turned and continued to walk. She did feel guilty, but as hard as it was, she hoped that Lucas would understand…

    Lost in thought she wandered slowly through the silent town, following the road out towards the dirt paths that ran along the jagged cliffs that so defined the isles. As she walked, she glanced downward, and watched as the waves crashed against the ancient rock, the foam of the sea churning below as the waves rolled against it. Gwenn could feel the sea spray on the air, cool against her face. She had vague memories of her mother sternly telling her to stay away from the edge when she was a little girl, her hand grasped protectively as the pair made their way to market. A small smile graced Gwenn’s lips at that thought, wondering what her Mothers reaction would have been if she had ever caught Gwenn and Lucas leaping off the cliffs and into the sea as teenagers.

    “She woulda had a fit mostlike…an’ tanned me backside from here te the mainland. But it were only cause she cared…”

    She thought to herself as she sat down on the damp grass a safe distance away from the sheer drop. Picking up a stone, she weighed it up in her hand for a moment, her fingers opening and closing around it.

    “Well mother, now I have te make a leap of a different kind…Please, watch over Lucas fer me…”

    She said quietly before throwing the stone out towards the cliff edge. It disappeared over and downward, quickly lost amongst the churning waters below. Soon the daylight was starting to make its presence known; the sky starting to lighten. She didn’t know how long she remained in that spot, so deep in thought and reflection was she as she watched the sunlight begin to cut through the haze and shine upon the place she had called home for so long. The place she was about to leave, for how long, she had no clue. Would she ever set for upon Breezecrofts shores again?

    Somewhat reluctantly she pushed herself back up to standing, retrieving her belongings, she put them over her shoulder once more. This was the only way to get the answers she sought, and the first step was to reach the kings ship before it departed. Taking one last look over the lands, she turned on her heel and headed towards the main docks, fighting the urge to look back, but equally unsure of what lay in store for her going forward…

    TAG: @spycoder9
    Last edited by Jedi_padawan_leigh, Nov 25, 2013
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  11. Jabba-wocky Chosen One

    Member Since:
    May 4, 2003
    star 8
    Ser Aran
    Steps of the Great Vaelon Library

    "Damn da royal family!" A drunken man whose spare clothing looked like rags screamed out. "Damn da devil king an' his witch queen!" Of course others were shouting befouled words amongst the other noises, but he seemed completely out of control. "Hang 'em from da castle walls!"

    One lady near him, overtly pregnant, rubbed her stomach nervously as she eyed him. "Sir, perhaps ye could speak a little calmer."

    The man cackled at her words, and bent over from laughter. "Stupid cow!" He was one of the wilder ones, that was obvious then.

    Even ignored with such studied intent, the tension was the most honest thing about the day. Truer than the impromptu, yet subtly withholding feast meant to show how little consequence the civil war was having. More real than the thin veneer of repainted signage and festooned avenues that the small folk had been roused in the middle of the night to prepare. Certainly more balanced than the edgy, near-paranoid group of guards Aran had drilled to exhaustion before seeding their minds with whispered revolts. The whole façade was stretched threadbare, with only two things tugging further. One was the free-flowing alcohol that threw away caution and sadness both. The other was the foul-mouthed man who, apparently, had already had too much of the former.

    The rest of the crowd sensed it as well, shuffling nervously. The first guards of the long royal train were just coming around the distant bend. Tension hung as a tuned lute’s strings. It was time to play Fenton’s favorite song. Aran pulled himself to standing from the steps, leaning unduly on his walking stick. Taking advantage of the crowd’s jostling, he thrust it high into the air bringing it down in hard, rapid succession, as if trying to do the work of a lame leg. His free hand swung outward, seeming to point haphazardly at the pregnant woman as it flapped to keep him upright. After the fourth time, he stabilized again, lowering himself to the ground just a few feet away from his original posting. He was a bit more obscure from the street now, and it from him.

    He was thus spared at least the bony, vulture face if not the officious, high-pitched voice that whined, “You think the King doesn’t know about your associations!”

    Aran felt the wave of terrible apprehension sweep through the crowd. Good to know the oaf wasn’t blind. Now to see whether he could follow directions. That was answered seconds later, with a slap of mail against flesh that rippled through the crowd as if each one of them had been struck. It was most always impossible to make out anything in the din of a crowd. But, against the counterpoint of a distinctly horrified, feminine sob, there was a discernibly angry buzz. The crowd pulsed, pumping more adrenaline than blood. It was easy enough to forget an old cripple from moments before, especially one discarding his ratty robes and sliding deftly towards the alley. He paused to notice which of his men hadn’t begun to panic.

    He couldn’t see the main scene anymore. But he could feel it in the resentful anxiety that burned all the air away into a breathless, angry vacuum. Besides, the years had given him a commander’s easy sense of expectation. Had he never showed up at all, Aran was confident about what was happening next. It all came at once. A cowpie slapped wet against armor—three sovereigns well-spent on the young urchin. An incompetent, brutal, social-climbing knight spun away from the arrest of the woman he thought a Mountains spy, oblivious to a crowd that saw only explosive, misdirected punishment for an unguarded remark. One that she, injustice of injustices, had tried to quiet. His sword rasped out of its sheath in an intended warning to stay back. That’s what it was for precisely half a second, before the cavalry horses picked up on Aran’s low, steady, whistle telling them to trample the enemy soldiers. Then, suddenly, it was an invitation to give the crowd hell.

    Aran was the only one sprinting away from the bloody, confused vortex in those first seconds. The woman was already trampled, her would-be jailer ripped apart. The avenue was already choking with fire, corpses, blood, and broken glass. Sprinting, he was just keeping ahead of the wave of inchoate rage that was rippling outward in every direction. He’d need to suit up before it engulfed the king.

    TAG: @spycoder9
    Last edited by Jabba-wocky, Nov 25, 2013
  12. Trieste Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 10, 2010
    star 4
    IC: Ser Lawrence Kildare
    Shodaire, Mountains

    “Groom’s tea…” Lawrence murmured to himself so low that his squire could not hear, “Hardly what I expected out of the Mountains.” He thought that sort of thing would have been quashed by the hardness of life here. Well, one would think that teas would have dried up in the aridity of the Desert, but they hadn’t there. Either way, it seemed they followed the knight wherever he went.

    “Well, if I must I must,” Lawrence sighed, this time loud enough for Miche to hear, “Now what were those names? Caetherene, Brynne—no Brynna?” Lawrence rolled his eyes. What names they had up here. “Come on, get me something warm. I’m not going to freeze to death in that tent out there. What a way for a Desertman to die. Freezing to death. As if we would ever mind escaping the heat…”



    Lawrence entered the tent in a coat of fur that was notable more for its warmth than it was for its fashion, a fact he was acutely aware of. “My ladies, forgive my late appearance,” he said easily and with a charming smile, “not to mention my appearance in general. However, I had a distant uncle of some sort who visited your fine lands with some regularity. He told me—” Lawrence shifted his voice to a more gravely strain, “—‘Lawrence my boy, when the coldness of the Mountains comes upon the land, you have two choices: look good or be warm. The two are mutually exclusive.’ As you can see, the ability to feel my extremity has won out over my vanity.”

    He paused for comedic effect. He proceeded around the room, paying his respects with kisses to hands and witty words. “Lady Caetherene, enchanting as always. If you dress this way now, I suspect her grace the princess will not be pleased with what you wear later today at our wedding,” Lawrence said.

    “Lady Brynna, delighted to have you join us this day. Your presence is an honor and your countenance a glimmering ornament.”

    “Lady Synthia, a pleasure to see you again.”

    Round the entire table Lawrence went bestowing a smile and kind words on each woman. He had been raised with women, been subject to their whims. He knew that a tea like this was, in its own way, just as important as the wedding that would take place. It would be an onerous duty for him to sit through it smiling, but he’d done this kind of thing for years. He knew how to swim with these sharks (much better than he knew how to actually swim, that was for sure) and be charming and witty. He knew that though he had been among them for days now, they still wanted to fawn over this foreign man, to look him over with hungry eyes that were covertly jealous of what Safia was getting. He knew that he had to sit there and pretend it wasn’t happening.

    Ser Lawrence Kildare knew that for all the supposed power of men, even here in the Mountains, that when you cut through the veil, every noble house was no different than the Kildares. Women held a power they would never cede, even if they pretended differently. Woe to the men who did not respect it.


    TAG: @spycoder9
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  13. HanSolo29 Manager Emeritus + Official Star Wars Artist

    Member Since:
    Apr 13, 2001
    star 6
    OOC: The following is a combined post with spycoder! Thank you so much! :D

    IC: The Queen
    The Capital, City Streets

    The spectacle that passed before them was every bit as hollow and factitious as the man sitting beside her, despite the fact that he was her husband and king. It was as if he was totally oblivious to the world around him and the overarching needs of the people. His comment concerning the war being a product of her design only solidified that notion. Of course, he wasn't entirely far from the truth, but there was no need to indulge him on that information…not yet, at least.

    Emilia soaked in that empty smile and shifted her gaze just enough so that she could see Matheus out of her peripheral vision. The young man was aching inside and she had every intention to stop that ache. He knew, just as well as she did, that the war would be the catalyst to right everything that had gone awry.

    "I'm worried," she replied simply, her eyes darting away from her son so that she was looking ahead at nothing in particular. The screaming crowds swarming the parade route were now only a colorful blur. "A war, such as the likes that you speak of, could hinder us." She knew it was unthinkable to discuss this sort of thing in a public setting, but it needed to be said. "We are already divided and with such division, there will be no quick solution. We may be stabbing ourselves in the foot."

    "Stabbing ourselves in the foot?" Fenton chuckled at the very notion. "I can promise you, these other lords are very well stabbing themselves. This entire farce idea of a marriage." Fenton shook his head. "I can promise you, this attempt to unite the mountains and desert and isles will fail. Rolmar craves power too desperately."

    The Queen noticeably tensed as Fenton mentioned the wedding and she couldn't help by give a sideways glance to her son. There was no hiding the fact that the whole failed wedding between Matheus and Safia had left a bitter taste in her mouth. She had betrayed her son in favor of House Kildare! She was unsure if Fenton knew of her true intentions of souring that relationship. There was a chance that he was suspicious and this conversation had been sparked out of a necessity to pry information from her.

    "So, you do have a plan in place, then?" she asked curiously, her earlier expression of concern no longer evident in her voice. Her face, however, told a different story. After all, she was the queen and she had to keep up certain appearances.

    "Somewhat." The King nodded his head slowly, making sure to wave every once in awhile. "I plan on having Santagar, Delmari, and Rolmar's heads hanging above the castle. How do those plans sound, my dear?" Matheus grumbled from beside of Emilia, but didn't say anything aloud.

    She would have preferred if Fenton's head was on display instead, but she kept her lips sealed. There would be a time and place for everything. It had taken some convincing to get Matheus on board with her plan and judging by his reaction, he was coming to terms with that...at least, she hoped so. If not, she would have to deal with that later.

    Tilting her head, she returned her gaze to her husband and offered a look of pure innocence - a tactic to hide the treachery that was brewing inside of her. "And how do you plan to manage that?" she asked coyly. "Our men couldn't possibly hold up against the force of three kingdoms..."

    "You underestimate the strength of our men, Mother." Matheus perked up, "And we still have a few Houses spread, while thinly, throughout Mirwyth who praise Father as their true King." The young man cast another glance out to the adoring crowd of blurs. His eyes were a true bother at times. He squinted, and in the far distance, rounding the bend was the Great Vaelon Library. Massive in height and depth, it had been built even before the great city had become the capital, in times before one king ruled all of the lands. Wizened elders and those of scholarly stature lived out the end of their days amongst the thousands of scrolls and parchments. It was a very enriching place, one that Matheus had wandered to on boring days of old.

    The procession rounded the corner and the Great Library soon came into view. It would have been a magnificent sight if the Queen bothered to have notice it. It wasn't that she didn't care about the history and the mystery that surrounded it, as the Queen, she was well versed in all of its lore. She was more concerned with her son and somewhat shocked that he had attempted to speak his mind on a very sore subject. Without words, she simply studied him solemnly, trying to pry past his tough exterior to see what was going on within his mind. As usual, it was no easy task.

    She finally turned away from him to face forward once more, crossing her hands upon her lap. "For all of our sakes, I hope you're right," she said softly.

    Then it happened.

    In the distance, on the steps of the Library.

    No one was for sure what started it, but it began nonetheless. A fight the spread farther and farther through the crowds of people, swelling to an unimaginable size. Screams and flying objects and blood. It was as if the entire mood had changed in an instant. The musicians' melodies fell away sharply, replaced by the almost inhumane noises of those dying. The royalty in the procession could only watch as the rippling spread down the sides of the streets. How easily the people fell into the chaos.

    "What is going on?" Matheus's panicked cry came only seconds before the crowds began to rush the carriages. Ahead of them, a beggar was stabbed violently three or four times. "Father?" But the look on Fenton's face was impassible. No one could know what was going through his head.

    "Ride fast!" Fenton stood abruptly from his seat, and tried to raise his voice above the shrill screams. Someone had tossed a bottle at Maela and Seymour. It caught the prince on the leg. "I said ride!" But the streets were growing even more clogged with people. Frightened people, with vicious hatred on their minds. Fenton grabbed the reigns for himself, and snapped their carriage forward. Ahead of them guards were trying to fend off people from Maela and Seymour's carriage. One took a rock to the jaw. More rocks began to fly.

    It was complete pandemonium.

    The Queen sat in total silence, her mouth slightly unhinged, as she took in the scene unfolding before her very eyes. It was complete chaos…and somehow, she wasn't all that surprised. It was only a matter of time before the cork popped and she had a feeling it was no coincidence that it just so happened to occur during the procession. What better way to cause a panic than when the King, Queen and their family were exposed out in the open?

    As the situation continued to escalate beyond their control, she secretly wished that she had been the one to spark such an event. In fact, she had to wonder who were the parties responsible and when this was all over, should she go out of her way to congratulate them? Well, that all depended on the outcome.

    Inclining her head, she caught sight of Fenton launching himself into action as he attempted to steer their chariot clear of the crowds. She was also well aware of Matheus hovering nearby, ever mindful and soaking in everything that was happening. This could be the opportune moment for them - for her - to be victorious. Pulling a veil down over her face to protect herself from flying debris, her gaze hardened as she continued to watch the King work the reins. All it would take was a stumble and one push.

    One, simple push…

    The Queen rose and began to inch forward, acting as if she was merely trying to take cover in order to mask her movements.

    TAG: @spycoder9
  14. Ktala Force Ghost

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

    Considering all that had happened, Lorain thought that Zooey took the news of her cousin rather well. And from her reactions, she must have heard stories of the pirate ships as well. Zooey looked at Lorain. “If my cousin thought that it would be better that you gain your freedom than he should, then you must be quite a woman, Lorain Ashkey. My family owes you a debt for coming inland to tell us. If King Fenton’s men were pursuing you then you did so at great peril.”

    Lorain bowed her head low, for the kind remark. She didnt consider herself not too much different from many others. And she held high the fact that Willis had indeed released her instead of himself. She knew not many would do that. She did wonder why he did not attempt to escape as well. But she could not dare phantom the reasoning of some. But she knew she was quite luckily indeed. Her own self thoughts were interrupted as Zooey spoke once more.

    “Mistress Ashkey, when my uncle arrives, I would ask that you tell all of this to him. In my brother’s and sister’s absence he has responsibility for the defense of the Fair Groves and must hear of this, painful though it will be,” Zooey said, before adding, “Though I don’t think he’s going to take it very well…”

    Truly the understatement of a lifetime. Lorain doubted that anyone would take the news of their relative being turned into a slave, and entire villages gone, would take the news well. It could very well mean war. Lorain looked down at Fleet as the woman spoke to him next. Fleet did his best to tell his own tale, but the loss for him was still far too raw. His voice trembled and broke a bit, as he struggled to regain control. When she heard him draw breath sharply, she moved to put her hand on his shoulder, and she spoke softly towards Zooey.

    “Aye. I found em in the town, My'lady. And we’ve been traveling together ever since. I’ve put him other my wing now, he’s to grow up wif a good and steady upbringing as my own child. Twas the least I could do em. My young Ser is sharp and quick, and has helped me out many a time.” Lorain told the young woman in front of her with a slight smile on her face. She gave Fleet a small wink, before stepping to move to stand beside him once more.


    TAG: @greyjedi125, @spycoder9
    Last edited by Ktala, Nov 30, 2013
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  15. spycoder9 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 23, 2008
    star 4
    THE WEDDING


    The Mountains of Mirwyth
    Shodaire

    Groom’s Tea


    After Ser Lawrence had taken his seat at the head of the table, servants rushed out with large trays of steaming tea. Delicately stone carved cups were laid in front of each Lady on the table, with a final, rather large lime green and orange mug placed in front of Lawrence. Maids hurried around the long table and filled everyone’s cup with a certain amount of the dull brown liquid. Sugar cubes were laid out for all those who wanted them. Without one, the tea was bland at best, but several of the aged women enjoyed it that way. The silvered haired Theda Raemont was especially tolerant, and proceeded to drink three cups of the hot drink plain, though she was of Maegorian descent and had been raised strong. Brynna Maegorian took a handful of the sweet squares and tossed them into her own cup.

    Many of the women whispered amongst themselves or giggled politely of things unspoken. Some eyed the foreign man with odd eyes. One, Sybella Tarvick, seemed especially wary of the desert fox, and couldn’t take her eyes off of him. Only a few of the group seemed to remain silent.

    “To Ser Lawrence,” In all of her reserved elegance, Caetherene Gideon lifted her own teacup in his honor. “Whom I hope shall protect our Lady Safia well.” Caetherene glanced to Lawrence, with that little polite smile on her lips. Her silvery blue eyes seemed to both chill and warm hearts.

    “Do keep her well, good Ser.” Synthia calmly sipped on her own tea, which seemed to glint orange under light. “She and I have always been fairly close.”

    “She’s so pretty.” Brynna looked up from her gown, with all of its sparkling patterns. It had been finely embroidered with some of the glittersilks found beyond Mirwyth.

    “And sweet as honeyed fox.” Kairlyn Seebrid smirked from her own chair near the knight. She was the young bride of Lord Alin Seebrid, who had three wives before her. He had been bested by Ser Lawrence two days before on the training grounds. His wife was sharp of brain, and of face, as her pointed chin seemed to signify. “You should consider yourself lucky to be claiming the Mountain’s flower as your own, Ser Lawrence.”



    TAG: @Trieste
    Last edited by spycoder9, Dec 2, 2013
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  16. spycoder9 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 23, 2008
    star 4
    17 Days Before the Wedding


    The Isles of Mirwyth
    Breezecroft

    Harbor


    As Gwenn neared the harbors, she would notice the increased activity. The King had brought with him a fleet of ships, some of which to deliver goods to Breezecroft, others to be sent on once they had left the isle. The largest ship of them all had a crowned anchor flying from its highest mast which rippled gently in the soft wind.

    Closer down the line of ships, she would notice several Breezecroft knights loading themselves onto one. Among them, with his obnoxious sneer, Slade Moorecroft bid his good-byes to his parents. His mother kissed his brow, and his father patted his shoulder. They moved on from their son, and the young man only seemed to snicker louder. When the bastard girl passed by Slade and his men, more guffaws were issued. Words were spoken, awful ones, about her being the King’s wench, but none of them directly confronted to the woman as she strode down the harbors. Korianton Rynquist had approached the other knights, and eyed the bastard girl as he passed. His eyes held none of the humor and happiness they had formerly. Cold-Eyes was preparing a wide shipping vessel, along with several more workers of Gwenn’s grouping. Had she been a dockworker, perhaps she would’ve been fixing that very ship with them. Cold-Eyes took note of her walking by, and gave a simple salute.


    When Gwenn had reached the overwhelming craft that could be assumed to be the King’s own personal craft, Nathaniel Delmari stood with a cape thrown across his shoulders. He looked very much the part of a King, and yet something of his stance seemed like that of a commoner. . .of a sailor. He almost seemed at peace, as he commanded men left and right.

    [IMG]

    “Give that crate to Lord Tuckman. . .No, no, they should have lifted by now! Tell them to get the move on. . .That’s my own personal library, keep it safe. . .” It was then that King met the eyes of the young woman. A brief smile grazed his face as he approached her. “Gwenn! I’m very pleased you chose to accompany us. Here. . .” He took her belongings from her and waved at one of his men. “Put these in the spare cabin.” Nathaniel watched the young girl with eyes that seemed impassible. “I understand all you are leaving behind for this, and I thank you.” He briefly took her hand, and squeezed it reassuringly. Then he noticed someone else, farther from him, and turned to his ship.

    “Please men, take my daughter onboard!” The King shouted, and continued to hold her hand as he lead her down the dock. Bystanders on the harbors who had been listened were now whispering in apparent shock. Nathaniel paid them no attention, and passed Gwenn over to several other men who helped her onboard the ship. They didn’t say much to the girl, as they were taught not to ask questions. They did as they were ordered, and led her up. From on this ship, endless seas could be seen. They seemed to stretch on for eternity. Breezecroft stretched out as well. The castle itself gleamed in its magnificence, and people dotted the walkways and parapets. This could very well be her last glance at the city, before they lifted off and left.

    Below her, Nathaniel had taken notice of a strange man standing about. He strolled to Abott Tuckman's side. The shipping craft, the Naked Broad, along with a few smaller ships, were to be used as coverage for Abott, for when he entered the mainlands and attempted to get the Isles some direly needed food.

    “I’m hoping you will still be able to continue with our plans?” Nathaniel had told him only the night before The Naked Broad was still to be used as his. The young woman who commandeered it, and had still yet to reveal many of her details to Abott, was a bandit who had come into Nathaniel’s service to do the same as Abott was to. Though the King had told everyone that Abott was to be staying a few days extra, they had actually prepared for him to depart the very night after the King had left, so that they might get a head start against flying rumors. “The people are growing as restless as the seagulls.”



    TAG: @Jedi_padawan_leigh, @Mitth_Fisto
    Last edited by spycoder9, Dec 3, 2013
  17. JediMasterAnne Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 24, 2004
    star 4
    OOC: Part 1 of another larger combined post with the GM. :)
    IC: Safia Rolmar
    The Mountains of Mirwyth
    Shodaire, the Tower of Stone
    Observatory Spire, parlor—the day of her wedding

    One wedding day tradition that Safia did not much care for was the bride’s tea—having to dine with some of the male guests—some of whom were probably still drunk or hung-over from the festivities last night—was not the way she would have preferred to start the day (especially after the earlier incident with her father), but she knew that Lawrence had to do the same with a number of the women, so for the sake of fairness and tradition, she swallowed her protests. Besides, it couldn’t be worse than a meal with Synthia and her cousins, and poor Lawrence was stuck with them. She hoped Synthia would behave herself, or at least that Caetherene and the other ladies would keep her from causing too much trouble.

    And unlike the groom’s tea, held in a tent out in the cold, snow-covered courtyard, Safia and her guests would be inside, tucked into one of the Tower’s spires with a nice view of the city below and the surrounding mountains. Still, it was cool enough indoors that Safia had worn a soft velvet cloak around her shoulders over her dress, which she adjusted one final time before entering the parlor where her guests were assembled.

    “Good morning, my lords,” she greeted them politely.

    Standing in the entrance to the parlor, Ectarion and Karridan were the honorary greeters for the bride's fast. Karridan took Safia's hand and kissed it lightly once. Ectarion looked her over one time, managed to smile pleasantly, and was even able to genuinely say, "You look. . .absolutely radiant." It was one of the first positive things Ectarion had said to her in a long time.

    Inside the parlor, a large round table made completely from Shodaire trees was set up. At the very far end of the table, a finely adorned chair with Safia's own name engraved on its back, waited for her. It was draped in deep navy blue and golden cloth, the House Rolmar colors. All around the table, men of different Houses, ages, and sizes laughed and talked.

    "Princess!" The deep, resounding voice of Lord Lendan Tanderly seemed to echo throughout the large room, it silenced entire conversations, and even seemed to make the torches waver a bit. Many of the men immediately rose to their feet and fell to to their knees. Amongst the bowed lords were long faced Alin Seebrid, plump Lonce Bodderly, twelve year old Camaron Hadlex, handsome Hlaine Gideon. So many, from so many different places in the Mountains. And not just lords had attended, but their heirs, and their heirs' heirs. Like old Zann Harrick, who was well past ninety. Two of his three sons, and five of his eleven grandsons had accompanied him. They all had shiny bald heads, even the younger ones.

    When the men finally rose, Safia could immediately notice a few men that didn't fit in. Ser Rickard Dondare, even with slightly red eyes, looked every bit the part of a knight. While young and fresh, he seemed slightly aged that morning. On his cloak, a rattlesnake struck out, its eyes glowing a bright violet. Of course, Safia had danced with him the night before, and he had been sweet to her. Lawrence's squire, Miche, smirked at Safia when he caught her eyes. Mainly all of the Desertmen had found Safia both a delight to the eyes and the mind.

    "Sit, please daughter," A large hand touched Safia gently on the small of her back. Desmond had come in soon behind her, and led her over to her seat. "We wouldn't want to keep these good men waiting for their food."

    "Good?" Lendan Tanderly bashed his fork on the table several times as he roared laughter. "Have you forgotten me that much?"

    Desmond grinned as he sat down beside Safia. "I didn't forget. I had just hoped I could at least fool my daughter a second!"

    "Princess," Ser Rickard spoke up from his seat, which was relatively close to Safia, "You look ravishing this morning. Like a true Princess."

    Safia was privately grateful that the young knight had provided her with a convenient distraction from her father. She hoped that the king had not noticed that she had jumped just a bit when he had first touched her back, and not just because he’d startled her. She wondered if he still felt as awkward about his earlier behavior as she did. “Thank you, Ser Rickard,” she replied graciously as she took her seat.

    "Ravishing indeed." Samule Rolmar, who had been sitting in a place on the table that was hard for Safia to see, grinned behind his cup of cold whiskey. "And one of the best archers this side of Mirwyth." Her cousin winked at her as he took another long sip of his drink.

    She gave him a playful smirk, raising an eyebrow at him. "Well, I did learn from one of the best, didn't I, cousin?" she teased lightly. Though Samule was equally responsible, with Karridan, for teaching her proper sword-handling, he had also been crucial to her education with the bow as well.

    "That you did," Samule chuckled. "Stubborn as a mule, you were. Wild thing."

    "You seem like a true force to be reckoned with," Ser Rickard nodded, adding his own smile to the midst. "You'll fit in nicely at the Fair Groves."

    "I am glad you think so," she told Rickard. "I expect it will seem a little different at first, but hopefully it won't take too long for me to adapt."

    TAG: No one. To be continued.
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  18. greyjedi125 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 29, 2002
    star 4
    IC: Fleet, Thirteen days before the wedding
    The Fair Groves

    So many emotions were coursing through him as Lorain spoke well of him in public, in front of her grace, Lady Zooey.

    Fleet did his best not to be overwhelmed and at least to control himself. He felt pride and joy fill his chest as Lorain acknowledge his wit, but when she spoke of him as her own child, that nearly overwhelmed him. No one had ever done that, claimed him as their own. The young urchin looked at his feet as he turned very red, shaking in place, but Lorain’s hand upon his shoulder, that immediately helped him to steady himself. He wanted to give her a great big hug right there and then, but he managed to hold himself back, just barely. Instead, he balled the front of his tunic some more and shifted his weight. He didn’t want to make a spectacle in front of royalty. He would make Lorain proud, so very proud.

    When the large woman once again stood next to him, Fleet looked at her for moment, his big blue eyes shone with a deep expression of gratitude, then he smiled at her. Feeling suddenly self-aware due to the gazes that were on them, and not to mention a just a bit exposed, he purposefully looked back at the door, as if expecting someone to walk in at any given moment. It was the only way he could think of to redirect such close scrutiny, at least for a short space of time.

    After this meeting was over, he had a lot he wanted to say to Lorain, before he forgot the right words to say them, even though the feelings would still be there. Hopefully, the Fair Groves would turn out to be a place he could finally, after all these years, call home…Especially now that he felt he was actually wanted by someone who really cared for him for who he was, with all the flaws he was constantly being reminded of. Lorain saw past all his shortcomings and managed to see what he had forgotten. That he was worth something...and life, it was worth living.


    Tag:spycoder9, Ktala ( and that fox! *what does the fox say?)
  19. Trieste Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 10, 2010
    star 4
    IC: Ser Lawrence Kildare
    Freezing cold tea tent, Shodaire, The Mountains
    Wedding Day


    Lawrence was not a big fan of tea, but sometimes he had to do things that he didn't like. That seemed to be the guiding principle of this entire trip. Take on marauding bandits, kill some people, get married to someone he'd never met before...maybe this would keep him in good stead with V'hallar for some time. One could hope, anyways.

    When Caetherne raised her teacup in Lawrence's honor, he responded by raising his in an appreciative salute, bowing his head to indicate that he appreciated her kind words. “It will be the chief aim of my days from henceforth,” Lawrence replied.

    He turned his head as Brynna made her simple observation. He was about to reply when the young Seebrid woman cut in before him. One of his eyebrows jumped up for a moment. She certainly seemed to have a bit of edge to her. Had he been more ignorant in the ways of women he would have thought it was due to the icy environs of the Mountains. However, he was quite aware that such sharpness was not just limited to women of cold climes.

    “Her beauty is the least of her virtues,” Lawrence told the table, “I must say, I was apprehensive about things. After all, Safia and I had never met. I know that is common for people of our station, but that made it no less disconcerting. I worried that I would find us badly matched. It could not be further from the truth and yet I have only begun to get to know the Princess as you all know her now.”

    Lawrence stood. “Allow me to propose my own toast,” he said, raising his mug, “To all of you. You have welcomed me into your land and been nothing but kind to me.” That might be stretching it a bit, but it didn't hurt to voice such sentiments even if they weren't precisely true. “It is more than anyone could have asked you to do for a stranger to your lands, especially one who is here to take your mountain bloom. Know that she will always do you honor, even should she become a desert rose.

    “Thank you, from the bottom of my heart,” Lawrence said, before drinking.

    TAG: @spycoder9
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  20. spycoder9 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 23, 2008
    star 4
    13 Days Before the Wedding


    The Desert of Mirwyth
    The Fair Groves

    Kalkheim


    After Lorain had finished her praise of Fleet, Zooey nodded. She had just parted her lips to say something when the large doors behind them banged open.

    "What news of Willis?" came a hard male voice from behind them.

    [IMG]

    He was a hard looking man. There was a fierce intensity in his light blue eyes. His skin was tanned and hard from the sun and sand of the Desert. He had an upright bearing and purposeful stride as he came around the group to stand next to Zooey. There was clearly an impatience in the way he looked at the sleek Kildare girl.

    "Uncle," Zooey said, "Please meet Lorain Ashkey, Fleet, and their traveling companions. Mistress Ashkey recently crossed paths with Willis." She turned to the group. "Allow me to introduce my uncle, Aron Kildare, Warden of the Fair Groves." Zooey looked at Lorain. "May I impose upon you to relate your tale again?"

    Aron turned his gaze upon Lorain. It was not a very kind one. "Messengers rarely bring good news unheralded," he said, "Tell me true--is my son dead?"



    TAG: @Ktala, @greyjedi125
    Last edited by spycoder9, Dec 6, 2013
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  21. Stryker01 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Dec 4, 2012
    ~ Cowritten with Spycoder ~


    Martyn Forsythe and Callista Halleth nee Sand
    Beneath the Oasis of Dawnsgrace
    13 Days Before the Wedding


    [IMG] [IMG]


    The companions trudged through the muck and gunk beneath the Oasis of Dawnsgrace.

    It was a dark, wide cavern, with lightly flowing green water that covered their feet. Ombur had insisted that he carry Callista through, but she had insisted stronger, and so now they all walked. Several times, the young woman’s feet had been completely swallowed in gunk, and Martyn or Ombur had to pull her out. Here in the darkness, with the complete absense of light, Callista felt alone. She should have read the letter by now, but instead she was in a sewer trying to walk through filth. This journey continued to throw surprises at her, every step of the way.

    “What do you think it is like inside the castle?” Callista murmured once, after stepping past a dead rat for the umpteenth time. Considering the state of the city outside of the castle grounds, she dreaded seeing inside.

    “If I had to guess,” Martyn didn’t even turn to look at her as he spoke, “hopeless. I never thought House Santagar was of strong make.”

    Mors Santagar has always seemed like an able man.” She held the ends of her dress up, even though they had already been soiled.

    “And he was. But after that wife of his died giving birth to that. . .child. . .He was never the same man.” Martyn paused for a moment, then glanced at her from underneath the brim of his hat. “It is a great loss, to lose a spouse.”

    Callista looked up at the white haired man. His mind seemed somewhere else. Far away from these deep sewers. . .




    "Father."

    The word was spoken softly, but it still broke into the sleeping man's consciousness.

    "Father."

    It was a familiar voice too. In the haze of the moment of just waking up, Martyn could just place it, barely. It was a voice that he knew and loved. That was what roused him to full wakefulness. Martyn rolled over to discover Landon. He was sitting, his hands folded, elbows on his knees, hunched over. He did not look well. He looked tired. He was in a chair that was near the bed, but not next to it. It was in its usual spot in the room, suggesting that Landon had not wanted to wake Martyn. It suggested he had likely been there for some time, that he had not wanted to wake his father.

    And yet he had.

    A restless sleep, the night had been. Noises, walking about, and hushed voices had been a constant background sound to those noises that happened regularly. Martyn had laid awake for awhile and tried to force his eyes closed. And in some strange miracle, he had. Yet now his son was waking him up. Had he not loved the boy, he might have popped him across the jaw a good time or two, as Martyn’s father had done him. Waking up Martyn early was never a pleasant thing to do.

    There was something in Landon’s voice though, a tremor underneath that threatened to snap.

    “I’m awake, I’m awake.” Martyn grumbled, sitting up in his bedcovers. His eyes were well adjusted yet, and he was heavily dizzy for only the fraction of a second. He stood unclothed and moved about to dress himself. “Get along with it. Must be something important, to wake me.”

    Something wasn’t right. He could feel it in his bones, from the dullest of aches.

    “It. . .they thought. . .” Landon tried again, “We thought I should tell you. . .that. . .” Landon choked and looked down. He didn’t continue until he looked up again a second later with red eyes. “My mother. . .is dead.” And with that he gave a short sob before he could stop himself.

    It was a dull stab to the heart. A blow that seemed to knock the feet from Martyn, and sent him back to sitting on the bed.

    He could picture Emilie as she had been only the prior day, with her shimmering blonde hair clasped back. It had shone in the sun he remembered, as it always had. Her eyes, while beautiful in their own right, held that reserved coolness. They observed everything around her. She had seemed almost perfectly normal. They had exchanged a few words over the happenings of the kingdom. She had even given him a slight kiss on the cheek, as only proper.

    “How. . .” A loss for words. Should he cry? Could he cry? He gritted his teeth and looked back to his youngest son. An emotional wreck, as only was expected of him. “What happened?”

    “They woke me in the night,” Landon said with difficulty. “It was terrible. Her face. . .her eyes. . .Oh V’hallar her eyes. . .” Landon started crying. “The others,” he was able to get in between short breathes, “They’re up.”

    “And no one thought to wake me until now?” Martyn couldn’t see plainly. His eyes had fogged over. Whether this was from anger or sadness, he could not say. She couldn’t truly be dead. Was this a trick by his kids? Or. . .just by Landon’s tears, he knew this wasn’t a farce.

    Emilie was dead.




    “I think we’re almost there,” the knight Ombur remarked as he noticed the sewers narrowing. The walls had slowly begun to grow tighter, which Martyn had failed to notice. He cursed himself silently for his absent mind and aching bones.

    “I believe we are.” Martyn slowed down his walk and eyed the walls. In the distance, running water could heard, along with clumpy splotches. Near the tops of the walls, torches flickered.

    “Why would they leave this way unguarded?” Callista stopped beside Martyn.

    “They didn’t.” Martyn realized at the last second, as the splotches were suddenly upon them, and the torch flames dimmed with a sudden breeze. Standing in front of them were three knights brightly adorned in House Santagar armor, with an angry scorpion blazing across their breastplates. The knights each held large swords the seemed to reflect the flickering orange glow. Ombur quickly released his own weapon, a tightly woven whip. “Men, don’t kill us. We come as messengers.”

    “Messengers who travel beneath the castle and carry weapons are not messengers we chose to deal with.” The oldest one, with half of his hair shaved off, pointed the tip of his blade at Martyn’s chest.

    “Perhaps if the gracious King would leave the gates open, we could have entered that way.” Martyn even had the gall to smirk. “I doubt the King would approve of his own knights murdering Lord Martyn Forysthe, the father of Lady Ginnifer Kildare, in cold blood.”

    The knights paused, with the oldest one lowering his sword slightly. He met eyes with Martyn, and perhaps he had a first real glance at the older man. “You will come with us.” He growled, and shoved the Martyn forward. Callista gripped Martyn’s arm tightly and followed him forward, which seemed to pain the old Lord's bones even more.

    “That, milady, is how you see a King.” Martyn whispered in her ear, and when she turned to look at him, he winked.

    That wink scared her more now than it ever had.


    TAG: Myself, Spycoder
    Last edited by Stryker01, Dec 6, 2013
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  22. Mitth_Fisto Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 29, 2005
    star 6
    IC: Abbott Tuckman
    Breezecroft, Harbor

    Sitting. That was what he loved to do at a time like this. Sit. And so he did on a crate for awhile as he watched the hustle and bustle of the sailors and occasional board - woman go about their business. Now that he thought of it they must have a breeding stock of board women to keep so many employed at the docks, that or else one amazing conditioning system. Considering the Scabbards preference perhaps it was a ingrained trait, sailor boy meet your plank and make more to work the docks. Eh, close enough. Still just sitting here watching everyone work and not lifting a finger, well it had it's advantages as nobles women walked about. He had no doubt a knife to the gut would bounce off most of them, but still the way it changed their shape, a young man had no means to complain and by his books he still was. So he kept his mouth shut on the matter as they went by.

    Still it was a lovely morning as he viewed the harbor, watching the waves glisten with the suns light like the snowy mountains peaks emerging from a thick fog. . .now he wanted a blanket. Standing up he looked at the sky and sighed as he ran his fingers through his scraggly beard, his unerring proof of manhood, virility, and a hard life. He was going to miss this place, not that he could stay if he even had wanted, but a small part, too small to be parted by a blade would even miss the Sword. Not that he would even admit it, even to get the sailor to return the crate taken to a waiting boat he had been using as a seat.

    Then to his wondering ears and eyes he heard the jeweled Scabbard tell sailors to take his daughter aboard, and by his giblets if he saw it wasn't the Board. Well, there goes the scuttlebutt he had helped along around town when sauced, just as well he was leaving and wouldn't be back until that ire storm had blown over. The Scabbard came over and asked a very straight forward question with an irksome title still settling in his mind attached if not in word then merely to allow a King to talk without reproach openly upon the dock to him. "Fine sir, but if you don't mind I find seagulls rather tasty feathered friends more than willing to stay put when you lay the food at the mouth of their nests. I would rather say they are as restless as the herring. I trust you will take the Sw. . .nice gentleman with the blade along?" Honestly he just didn't want that man still here when he had to come to settle his accounts from the first trip. With his luck with him so far the gold would be hollow and filled with brine. No doubt.

    TAG: @spycoder9
  23. JediMasterAnne Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 24, 2004
    star 4
    OOC: Second part of the above combined.

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

    "We will miss seeing you here," Lord Cairles Raemont noted from his own seat. His mustache was slicked into curly points on either side. "Fair of face, and strong of arm." He eyed her in a particularly uncomfortable way, as if he wasn't focusing on her face.

    "You bred some good ones, Father," Ectarion grinned from his spot by the door.

    "I'm sure all of us will miss seeing Safia," Desmond nodded, though his smile had lost some of it's mirth. "But it has come her time to grow up, and embrace the life in front of her. Ser Lawrence seems like a man of good worth, and all I've heard of his sisters is fair. Hopefully Safia will find herself right at home in the Fair Groves!" Desmond turned to look at his daughter, and all she could see was pain. "I hope you find the time to return."

    “As do I," she replied, avoiding her father's gaze. Once again she had that uncomfortable feeling that he wasn't really seeing her, and after this morning, that notion was not one that eased her discomfort. She was not about to say as much, but she suspected that his pain was not necessarily brought on by how much he would miss her, but how much he still missed her mother, even after all these years. Just for today, her wedding day, she wished he wouldn't look at her like that.

    "And she will," Ser Rickard took another sip of his cold water. "I know Ser Lawrence, and he will look after her appreciatively. Should you want to visit your homelands often, I presume Ser Lawrence would bring you himself." He smiled at her yet again, but it was a pained one. He stroked his forehead as if it was aching him.

    With his red eyes and apparently a headache, Safia wouldn't be surprised if Ser Rickard was still a little hung-over from the previous night. He probably wasn't the only one either, and the princess was quietly pleased that she was feeling as well as she did today, considering how much she'd had to drink last night. She hadn't had much more than usual, but the citrus wine was surprisingly stronger than she was used to. She'd have to be a little more careful with it in the future.

    "I think he would, as well," she agreed, giving the knight a soft smile. "Though I'm not sure this cold weather agrees with him," she added lightly.

    "It's an. . .adjustment," Ser Rickard laughed, though lightly enough so he wouldn't pain his head. "But I'm sure, over time, he'll grow at least accustomed to it. Just as I assume you will to the Desert."

    Safia nodded in agreement. "Hopefully the climate there might be a little more cooperative than it has been here." An avalanche the day the Desertmen had arrived, and now this blizzard...as much as she wanted to be able to come back home now and then, she couldn't say she'd blame Lawrence if he didn't want to come back.

    "Spring's on the horizon," The wizened Lord Zann Harrick noted from his place.

    "And war." Lord Raemont massaged his mustache. "It seems war is even closer." Even as the conversation had turned from her, Raemont couldn't keep his eye off of her.

    "Reynard dared send his own men into our lands. Ours." Lendan shouted, and banged his mug down on the table. He was a truly massive man. "And we showed him. The men of the Mountains don't back down."

    "Not even the Princesses of the Mountains." Samule looked at Safia long and hard. "I believe we've driven that into Fenton's heart. Or, more precisely, his son's."

    The fact that Samule was the one to say it stung her a little, though she tried not to show it. Though she would be Lawrence's wife by the end of the day, she still felt that such disparaging remarks about her former betrothed were uncalled for. Matheus wasn't the one they were trying to make a point to, and it hadn't been his fault that their engagement had fallen apart. Nor was he responsible for the entire kingdom falling apart. She wondered how he felt today, and even found herself feeling a little guilty at being pleased with her new betrothal.

    Duty and propriety, however, dictated that she not express thoughts that might be interpreted as favor towards an enemy, much as she did not like to classify Matheus as such. "Indeed," was all she said on that subject.

    "Of course, Princess," Samule straightened his back, "Don't take my words as spiteful. He's a fine prince, and much like his grandfather. But he is Fenton's son, and Fenton has placed his own family in this line of fire."

    "True words, son." Alin Seebrid bobbed his head. "If we hope to win this war, we must drive a stake into that family however we may."

    "Please, men," Desmond rose from his chair slowly, and didn't even raise his voice. "This is my daughter's wedding day, and we are here for her. Can we focus on conversations on more hopeful things?"

    The room quieted for a moment.

    "Princess Safia," Ser Rickard cut through the tension. "Perhaps a story for us men? A tale you would like to spin us of these Mountains? I would be happy to hear it."

    Safia briefly cast a grateful glance to her father before looking to Rickard, a bemused smile crossing her face. “My brother is better at story-telling than I am,” she said, shifting her gaze to Karridan for a moment. “But if you wish it.” She took a small sip from her wine goblet as she tried to think which story would be best—one of the good things about being surrounded by a bunch of men, they wouldn’t care if the story was less than a fairy tale.

    “Many centuries ago, before Mirwyth stood as a unified kingdom, even before my ancestor Daevon Rolmar brought the Mountain villages together under his leadership, there were two boys, twin brothers, born into a small mountain town. Their mother, after their birth, had gone to a soothsayer, to ask what the future held for her sons.

    “‘The one, first-born, shall be a great knight, much loved of the people, his feats of bravery known to all the land,’ the seer spoke.

    “‘But the other, second-born, shall one day kill his brother.’

    “Naturally, the mother became very distressed by this ill prophecy. ‘Surely that cannot be! It must not! There must be some way to prevent it!’

    “Their fate is inescapable; what the gods have decreed, so shall come to pass,’ the soothsayer told her gravely.

    “The mother went away, cursing the soothsayer in anger and despair. Desperate to save her son, she sought the help of another, a local witch. The witch gave her a lion’s claw strung on a leather cord. ‘Have your son wear this always, it will protect him from his brother.’ The mother thanked her, and the witch added a final caution. ‘He must never remove that charm, else his brother will kill him.’

    “The mother returned to her home and put the charm around her eldest son’s neck, making sure to never take it off.

    “The boys grew into strong and handsome young men, and though the elder still always wore the lion’s claw at his mother’s behest, she never told him why he must keep it on, only that it would keep him safe. Only on her deathbed did the mother tell her younger son of the prophecy, and why his brother must always wear the charm. With her dying breath, the mother made her son promise never to harm his brother, which he did. ‘Why would I ever wish to kill my own twin?’ he scoffed at the soothsayer’s words. The elder, however, remained ignorant of the prophecy.

    “As the seer had foretold, the elder brother was skilled with all forms of weaponry, from the sword to the lance to the bow, and after serving as a squire to the village leader for several years, he was knighted at manhood, tasked with protecting his village. He rose quickly through the ranks, defending the town from bandits and rival villages alike. With each victory his popularity grew, and traders and merchants and musicians would take stories of his bravery with them on their travels to other villages across the land.

    “His twin brother, however, was less impressed. A baker’s assistant, he was envious of his twin, for he possessed neither his brother’s skill nor his popularity. Furthermore, his brother’s fame had left him feeling neglected and forgotten by a once-loving twin. Eventually he tired of living in his brother’s shadow, and he contrived a plot. ‘I cannot kill him, after all, so long as he is wearing his lion’s claw. But if I hurt him badly enough, he will not be able to be a knight anymore. We will be equal again, and I will have my brother back.’

    “A few days later, on a foggy winter’s morn, as the elder brother went on his patrol through the forest around the village, the younger lay in wait amongst the trees of the White Wood. When the knight passed under the trees, the younger brother loosed an arrow, intending to wound his brother in the shoulder. But he missed his mark, and the arrow instead entered the knight’s neck, and he fell from his horse.

    “Horrified by his mistake, the younger brother immediately rushed to his brother. ‘He will still live. He has his charm, I cannot kill him.’

    “But when he reached his twin, he quickly realized that something was wrong. The knight was not breathing, and losing a great deal of blood. Upon removing the armor, the younger brother found, to his anguish, that the lion’s claw was gone. Unbeknownst to the knight, it had simply fallen off earlier in his ride, and without its protection, the wound to his neck proved fatal. In his guilt and despair, the younger twin unsheathed his brother’s sword and took his own life.

    “The White Wood where the brothers died was so called because of its strange trees—white-barked and white-leaved. But ever after that winter day, the leaves grow in every spring in blood-red, stained with the brothers’ blood.

    “So goes the legend of why we now call it the Bloodsoaked Wood,” Safia concluded.

    TAG: No one. To be continued.
  24. Jedi_padawan_leigh Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 13, 2003
    star 4
    IC: Gwenn Cliffe
    Breezecroft - Harbor/Docks

    The knot in Gwenn’s stomach felt like it was tightening with every step as she approached the harbour, her grey eyes taking in the sight of the Kings massive fleet as she arrived. Had there really been that many ships when he had first arrived? She must not have been paying full attention. But then again, a ship was a ship was a ship to her, especially when you loaded and unloaded them day-in-day-out. The largest of all the vessels must have been Delmari’s flagship, the crowned anchor that made up his Sigil rose high above all others on the top of the mast, caressed softly by a slight wind.

    The activity and hustle and bustle increased as she walked further into the harbour area, but so did the stares and the whispers and the pointing. Many citizens had come to watch the departure of the king’s fleet, the same people who had heard a certain rumour over their mugs of ale or while talking in the market square. Further down on the piers a contingent of Breezecroft knights were boarding one of the neighbouring ships, and amongst them, the ever-so-pleasant Slade Moorecroft. What was he leaving Breezecroft for? Inwardly she let out a curse as the obnoxious man noticed her approaching and led his group in a chorus of loud snickers and cruel words. Gwenn kept her gaze forward, trying her best not to show any reaction (though inside she was fighting the ever increasing urge to knock their teeth out)

    The king’s protector, whose name escaped the bastard woman, also looked at her with steely eyes. She knew that look. Scrutiny and mistrust. He was not pleased to see her here that much she could safely say. Cold-eyes and a handful of other dock-workers were also there, but they were there to do their jobs as normal. A cargo vessel needed loading before the king’s departure. Cold-Eyes saw her passing and she noted his simple salute before quietly returning to the task at hand. Gwenn’s heart was heavy as she continued on. Finally reaching the overwhelming craft, she spotted the king giving instructions to his men from the pier.

    Gwenn sucked in a much needed breath as she walked towards him. He had donned a fine looking cape which was thrown across his shoulders, his clothing and livery very much a symbol of a king, but as he stood there amongst the crates and crew, for a few moments Gwenn thought that he came across as just an ordinary sailor. His stance, his demeanour as he issued orders… He seemed comfortable, almost as if at peace. A sailor first and foremost…

    “Give that crate to Lord Tuckman. . .No, no, they should have lifted by now! Tell them to get the move on. . .That’s my own personal library, keep it safe. . .”

    Her thoughts were abruptly brought back to the present as the king’s eyes met her own. A brief smile crossed his face as he closed the distance between them “Gwenn! I’m very pleased you chose to accompany us. Here. . .” He took her small bag of belongings and handed it to one of his men, telling him to stow them away in a cabin. She watched the man briefly as he disappeared up the gangplank, but the king’s words brought her attentions back to him.

    I understand all you are leaving behind for this, and I thank you.” He briefly took her hand, and squeezed it reassuringly. Despite the intended kindness of the gesture, Gwenn tensed up slightly at the contact. Her gaze dropped down towards the wooden pier. In normal circumstances she would have said something, but her voice saw fit to abandon her at that moment, replaced by a somewhat uneasy nod. She felt exhausted already. “Please men, take my daughter on-board!” The King shouted, and continued to hold her hand as he led her down the dock. Gwenn’s stomach flipped so suddenly it hurt. Daughter…it sounded so strange to hear him say that, but also shocking that he announced it as he had.

    She felt in a daze as he passed her over to some of his men, not fully registering the shocked reactions of the many by-standers as her worn boots met the gangplank. A few more steps and she was on deck. On one side of the ship, seemingly endless seas stretched out before her eyes, on the other, Breezecroft. She took one more fleeting look at her home, the castle, the docks, and the people before looking away. She thought of everyone she cared for, inwardly praying they would be safe if the war reached their shores. She thought about her mother, and Lucas.

    “Stay safe Breezecroft, an' look after yer own…”

    The pressure in her chest and the stinging in her eyes was getting too much.

    If she looked back again, she would be lost.

    TAG: @spycoder9
    greyjedi125 and Trieste like this.
  25. Ktala Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 7, 2002
    star 6
    Lorain Ashkey - The Desert of Mirwyth
    The Fair Groves, Kalkheim


    Lorain stood next to Fleet, sharing with him a brief smile. She just hoped he felt the same way she had about the young boy, when she caught a quick smile from him. Looking up, Lorain saw Zooey nod, and move as if she was about to speak once more when suddenly the large doors behind them banged opened.A large, booming male voice called out, "What news of Willis?" from behind them. Lorain turned her head to find the speaker of the voice. She scaned the newcomer, who was a hard looking man. He had such a fierce intensity in his eye. It reminded her of Willis. Skin tanned, a true desert soul, he walked with purposeful strdes to the front of the group, to stand next to Zooey. The man was imposing, and Lorain hoped that he would be the one sending troups to deal with the pirates.

    "Uncle," Zooey said, "Please meet Lorain Ashkey, Fleet, and their traveling companions. Mistress Ashkey recently crossed paths with Willis." She turned to the group. "Allow me to introduce my uncle, Aron Kildare, Warden of the Fair Groves." Zooey looked at Lorain. "May I impose upon you to relate your tale again?"

    Lorain bowed her head as the man turned to lock eyes with her. The intensity of his gaze was quite powerful, and Lorain took a deep breath, as she retained his gaze. Now was not the time to faulter. and Lorain was determined to get her message accross. "Messengers rarely bring good news unheralded," he said, "Tell me true--is my son dead?"

    Lorain stood straight and tall as she looked the man. "Ser Kildare, when last I saw ye son, he was very much alive, but he is being held captive in da bowels of ah pirate ship. 'Twas him dat helped free me, and told me to comes here, to let ya know what had happened to him." Lorain quickly related her tale once more, speaking quickly and keeping it short as she realized she would most likely have to retale the story at least one more time. Once she was finished, she gave a quick bow of her head, and looked over at Fleet.



    TAG: @greyjedi125, @spyocder9
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