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Fantasy A War of Kings

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

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  1. JediMasterAnne Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 24, 2004
    star 4
    OOC: Part 3 of combined post
    IC: Safia Rolmar
    The Mountains of Mirwyth
    Shodaire, the Tower of Stone
    Observatory Spire, parlor--her wedding day

    "A fine tale!" Ser Rickard even clapped as she finished.

    "Now she's telling my tales now," Samule grumbled, but the smirk on his face showed Safia he was joking.

    "Is this not the same Wood where this recent battle was?" Rickard spoke to everyone then.

    "It is," Desmond nodded. "And, in case anyone here hasn't gotten the entire message, the Mountainmen vanquished Reynard's knights. We won't have to worry about their appearance here-" The King of the Mountains had moved his hand to pat his daughter's, when the doors flew open.

    Standing in the doorway was a young man with blonde locks that dripped wet. A rope, grey upon a blue field, was painted onto his armor. Flanking him were two other men in similar attire, except they wore mail with an anchor. Every man (and woman) in the room would recognize the anchor as House Delmari.

    "Desmond Rolmar," The young man steadied his breathe as he pronounced the name. His words seemed very rehearsed. "King of the Mountains and Lord of Shodaire, brother to Queen Kalera Delmari. I, Slade Moorecroft, coming bearing news from the Isles." He then gestured to one of his companions, who took out a sheet of parchment from his sleeve and walked it to Desmond. Ectarion flanked the one who broke away warily, while Karridan eyed the other two. The companion handed the paper to Desmond. Once the King had unrolled the sheet of paper and began reading the words, the companion slipped back to the other three men.

    Safia would be able to read some of the words on the paper: "King of the Isles. . .grew sick during travels. . .buried with ancestors. . .Queen . .lost in the seas. . .Korianton Rynquist and Raven to be married. . ."

    Though she wasn't able to see the entire letter, what little she did catch was troubling indeed. Was Nathaniel dead? And her aunt, lost? Was that what the letter said? Safia cast a concerned glance to her brothers before turning again to the king. "Father, what is it?" she asked.

    Desmond read the parchment many times over. Repeatedly. His eyes flew from word to word to word. Finally, he looked back up at the windblown visitors.

    "When?" That was all he asked. And he spoke it so gently. The room was still except for his voice.

    "Only a few days past." Slade nodded his head. "We were already en route when it happened. When we docked on one of those coastal Mountain towns, a messenger was waiting with letters. They'd been stamped with House Delmari's royal seal." The room was silent still.

    "And Kalera? How do they know?"

    "Hers is not confirmed, but sailors say they watched her ship go down within sight of the Mountains. She hasn't been seen or heard from since she left Delmaristead." Slade realized then all the men who were gathered there, watching him. He even met the eyes of Safia. "With their passings, Raven Delmari has assumed the throne.

    "And she proclaims herself Queen of the Isles." Slade finished.

    "Damn. . ." Ectarion swore. Ser Rickard had sat up straight in his chair, and was looking back and forth from everyone. Desmond bunched the parchment up in his fist and stood from his seat. Without saying another word, he strode from the room. As he passed the Isles men, he gestured for them to follow him, along with Karridan.

    The doors shut behind them when Ectarion closed them, and the room was covered in a deep shroud of silence.

    Safia watched her father and her brother leave with the messengers, sitting back in her chair in shocked silence for several long moments. Nathaniel, though his conduct was not always befitting a lord, had been a good man, and was always kind to her. As small children, she and Raven had often listened to him tell stories of his sea-faring days. And Kalera...she'd been the closest thing Safia had known to a mother. To learn of both their deaths, today of all days, was pushing the limits of her ability to maintain her composure.

    "Forgive me, my lords," she finally said, her voice shaking just a bit, "but I think we shall have to cut our meal short." She had lost her appetite anyway. "Please excuse me."

    She wouldn't weep in front of these men. Leaving the parlor, she managed to keep herself together long enough to get to another room, and only once she was alone did she let the tears fall.

    TAG: No one. To be continued.
    Last edited by JediMasterAnne, Dec 9, 2013
  2. spycoder9 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 23, 2008
    star 4
    Approximately a week prior to the wedding. . .





    The Mountains of Mirwyth
    Ruins of Harrowmont

    [IMG]

    Abandoned Village


    The moon was high above the snowy mountaintops when the riders arrived, though thick wispy clouds covered it repeatedly as they slid across the starry night sky.

    Mailed from head to toe, the knights had ridden for one day straight. The choppy breeze had blocked their passage repeatedly, even chilling one horse to the point of death. The horses had been bred for the mountain chill, but the winds that blew from the lands of Harrowmont seemed especially wicked.

    It tugged at Ser Jaelan Ilment’s cloak as he surveyed the small village. It was within seeing distance of Harrowmont, which sat brooding atop the craggy mountain. The charred castle resembled a black dragon unfurling its wings as it prepared to launch upon a nest of deer, or more simply put, the village.

    Ser Jaelan remembered fondly strolling through these streets with his mother’s soft fingers curled around his own. Boars had ran in the street ‘and threatened to throw a child in the air. Farmers had wrangled the muddied beasts by grabbing their horns and throwing them over their shoulders. Farmwives had hung their laundries out to dry, and one fairly young woman had waved at Jaelan and his mother as they passed. Other kids his own age had frolicked in the snow with their mismatched rags shielding them from the icy freeze. While a poor place in comparison to castles he had ventured to, he could feel the warmth and simpleness of the people. Here no one cared of your stature, or your strength, or your beauty. Here you could be yourself.

    Those times were no more.

    The town was silenced, except for a stray hoot of an owl of the scurry of rabbit’s feet. Snow piled upon disheveled homes and spilled over broken fences. It wasn’t a kind snow either, but a hard and compact ice that made horseback riding treacherous, even with trained stallions. More inexperienced riders, such as the hefty squire Pox, learned the hard way as their horses stumbled and threw them into the snow.

    “We’ll stay the night here,” Ser Jaelan spoke hesitantly. There was an unspoken fear of shouting in abandoned villages such as this one.

    Here?” Ser Ilid Adster questioned the commanding knight as he stepped gingerly from his mare. “I feel as if I’m walking on a grave.”

    “A grave long forgotten and buried beneath snow.” Jaelan handed some of his materials to the squire Pox. “You’re letting that half-mad boy get to you.”

    “The dead rising again. . .” Ilid shivered, “It’s like something out of my nightmares. Even Lady Aliera seemed to believe the boy.”

    “But who believes the Lady anymore?” One of the gruffer ones, with his ragged tangled hair, spoke as he began to unload some of his own things. “Certainly not old Lord Hilmunt.”

    “It’s treacherous to say as much, “ Ilid snapped. “Lady Aliera saw the same thing I saw in the boy’s eyes. Stark, naked fear. No denying it.

    “Child tales,” Jaelan grumbled as he approached the nearest home. The door was nonexistent, while the roof had crumbled from the moist mold that had taken over. Peeking his head inside, he noticed how dark it immediately was. It seemed to swallow him completely, despite the moonlight and snow. He saw something fluttering, and in the blink of an eye, bats were squawking and flying around him. They rushed up and out as fast as they were there, but their location had been completely hidden to Jaelan at first.

    The knight could picture the children resting beneath their covers, while their mother told a bed story. The father would be sitting in his chair, debating on how he would make ends meet. Jaelan knew, because he had been there. Not in the father’s place, but in the hopeful child who had watched his home and hopes burn beneath mountains of taxes and animal/produce failure, his father gutted in an alleyway, his mother thrown from a tower high in a castle.

    And yet, through it all, Jaelan had survived.

    This village hadn’t.

    Dear Gods!” An almost inhuman shriek filled the night, followed by the nickering of nervous horses. Other men were shouting, and the sounds of unsheathing swords filled the night. Jaelan rushed outside of the broken estabilishment, into chaos.

    Off to his side, Pox lay quivering and jerking, his stomach clawed into shreds, his face ripped away. The maw of his mouth remained permanently opened in an endless scream. Over his body stood a pale specter covered in rivulets of blood.

    “Who are you?” Jaelan bellowed as he yanked his own sword from its hilt. He had paid for and crafted the weapon all his own. It had served him well many a time. “What have you. . .” His voice lost its strength as the bloodied person turned to look at him. The face was rotted and burned, hideous beyond compare. Its mouth sat agape, as the last drizzles of blood ran through shattered teeth. It was a woman, Jaelan realized, by the scarred body covering in boils. He swung his sword out at her, but watched as her hand swatted out and batted his blade away. It was a bloated hand, missing two fingers.

    Muffled shrieks and screams along with dull thuds and swords, came from near the horses. Jaelan looked around in horror as he saw they were coming in from every direction. Creatures of pale, yet crisp, skin, surrounding him and his men. Ser Ilid was desperately trying to climb a steed when one grasped his ankle and pulled him down. They climbed on him then, and the man’s screams slowly faded away.

    It was a slaughter.

    Jaelan brandished his sword at the woman, though she seemed not to notice. She came for him again, and held her stained arms outstretched. He hacked quickly, and watched as each limb fell to the ground and writhed. They were separated from their source, and slowly lost their movement. The woman still came for him while black fluid slowly poured from her stumps. With a simple swing, her head fell away. Her teeth grinded on something, and her eyes blinked furiously before pausing altogether.

    Jaelan turned to see how his men were faring, but found they had all been taken down, even the largest ones. The horses had scattered, the ones who managed to get away at least.

    He was surrounded then.

    Hands grazed his mail, and seemed to pull him backwards. He yanked himself forward and tried to swing his elbow at a face. Instead he found teeth enclosed around his armor in a tight grip. Jaelan hollered hoarsely as the wind seemed to whip through the air quicker now. It took his breath away, even more so than the undead men and women who had enclosed around him. He attempted pushing his way through but one snapped at his fingers. The armor protected him but only for a matter of time.

    The icy snow tightened its grip around his legs, and knocked him over. He tumbled, but still tried to drag himself forward. The creatures had locked themselves onto him, whether with teeth or hands, and made his efforts even harder. They scurried over him and ripped at his armor. One man leaned down to look in his helmet.

    Jaelan met his eyes.

    There was no emotion.

    The knight’s screams were swallowed in the swirling winds.





    Last edited by spycoder9, Dec 9, 2013
  3. greyjedi125 Force Ghost

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

    Fleet almost jumped where he stood, though couldn’t help but jerk back a little in surprise. He had not expected the doors to open so suddenly, even though he was pretending someone might.

    In walked in a very intense looking man. He walked with all the importance of a commanding figure. “What news of Willis?” he’d demanded with unquestionable authority. He came to stand next to her grace Lady Zooey, who introduced the man as her ‘Uncle’…who also happened to be the Warden of Fair Groves. Aron Kildare.

    Well, Fleet's eyes could not open any wider if he could manage it. The man certainly had an imposing manner, though he did not look like a wizard. No long beard or robe…not to mention a quarter staff. Still, the young orphan was well acquainted with the mannerism of men who were far from honorable and trafficked in deceit, violence and misery. There were far too may of those in the world, like those pirates, that knight and apparently this…Fenton the King. The Warden did not strike him like any of those, even though he had no idea what to expect from a man like this.

    Lady Zooey asked Lorain to tell her story once again. Lord Aron spoke gruffly then, as he did not look forward to what was about to be revealed. Fleet didn’t like the look he shot Lorain however, and immediately found the man’s accusing stare disappointing.

    Bravely, Lorain spoke. Fleet felt she had an easier time of it on the second retelling. Since he already knew the story, he spent those moments studying the man’s face his features, his eyes, his reactions, trying to see what he couldn’t say at the hearing of the story.

    Lorain was finished and offered a bow before stepping back at his side, for which he was grateful. But then she did something unexpected, she looked at him. Fleet’s eyebrows went up.

    Whot? I gut to go agein? He queried with his facial expression.

    Yeah, of course he had to go again. The whole point was to relate to this man exactly what was told to Lady Zooey. Every word. Fleet looked down and took a breath, gathering his courage. Lady Zooey’s gaze had been one of patient interest. Her Uncle’s gaze was a different story. His was far more penetrating than anything he had experienced.

    Actually that was not true.

    He’d suffered some torturous questioning by….no, this was not the time to think about that.

    “My Lord Ser Warden….” He started, looking directly at the man, not with the eyes of defiance, but the eyes of a survivor who had nothing to hide, who only had the truth and the kindness of others as a badge of honor, for whatever it was worth here. He knew honor meant a great deal to Lorain, why else would she be here to deliver a message from the Warden’s son, when she could have walked away with her freedom. Willis had seen the honor in her, hopefully his father would too. Kaili risked her life to the very end. She could have saved herself when the pirates came. What's an urchin’s life worth? She apparently knew the answer. And then, there was Uncle Ersha and his nephew. The list went on….

    And so, Fleet managed to tell his side of his story without any hesitations. Actually, this time, he painted a more complete tale involving Kaili’s kindness, the awful night the pirates attacked, definitely Lorain’s bravery, and even included the fact that he was originally from an orphanage not from the area, though he did not know where exactly.

    After he was done, he too bowed, took a step back then went back to wringing the front of his tunic.


    Tag: Ktala, spycoder9
    Last edited by greyjedi125, Dec 10, 2013
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  4. spycoder9 Force Ghost

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


    The Isles of Mirwyth
    Breezecroft


    Harbors


    "I assume you're speaking of Korianton?" Nathaniel smirked and patted the peddler on the back. "Yes, he is leaving with the rest of us. And that Moorecroft boy is sailing out too, with some of the Isles' best swordsmen, to be representatives at my niece's wedding." The King stopped then, as the Lord and Lady Moorecroft approached to bid good-byes.

    "Thank you, Lord Tuckman. I owe you heavily." He whispered those last words, and after casting a final smile at the traveler, departed to speak to the others.

    "I appreciate the relaxing stay you have allowed for me to have here," The King nodded first at Lord Tymothi, then his wife.

    "It was our pleasure," The Lady said, "I hope you return to us soon. . ."

    Something unspoken lingered beneath her voice.

    "I will make sure your people have that of which they need," Nathaniel looked her straight in the eyes as he spoke. She was beautiful lady, that he realized now. "Soon."

    "Thank you," She murmured, and then abruptly bowed to her knee. She whispered a prayer to her reverent god, as her husband fell to his knee. Those watching the exchange lowered to their knees as well. Slowly, more and more people fell to their knees.

    Throughout the entire harbor, men and women alike bowed down to Nathaniel Delmari, King of the Isles.

    "I shall return!" He cried out, and the masses seemed to cheer at that notion. They were a hungry people, preparing for a war they could have done without. It was the least he could do.

    "Your Grace," A young sailor indebted to the King tapped him on the shoulder. "Your fleet is prepared for liftoff."

    "Thank you," Nathaniel strode down the dock that led to his magnificent craft, and boarded his ship quickly. The people were crying his name out then, and screaming to the Gods for his protection and safe return. They were a good people, despite their vulgar tales. Once he had come to stand onboard the deck, he noticed Gwenn. She looked visibly nervous. "Come here, my girl." He grasped her hand and gently walked her towards the edge of the ship.

    All of Breezecroft was visible, but the most obvious thing were the people who continued to bow and cheer for the King. Nathaniel cast a glance at the dockworker beside him, the child he had just discovered. As the ship was cast off from the docks, he took her hand that was enclosed in his and raised it high. The screams and cheers only seemed to escalate in passion.

    Cold-Eyes was bowing. Slade Moorecroft, and Korianton Rynquist, and commoners and fish-women and fishermen, they all bowed.

    As the island grew farther away, Gwenn could make out a singular man bowed down. His blonde hair shone beneath the sunlight.

    He looked up, at just the right moment, and blew the young woman a kiss.



    TAG: @Jedi_padawan_leigh, @Mitth_Fisto
    Last edited by spycoder9, Dec 10, 2013
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  5. Jabba-wocky Chosen One

    Member Since:
    May 4, 2003
    star 8
    IC: Ser Aran
    The Capital, City Streets

    For this, he rode bareback, head pressed against its muscular neck. He needed to hear the pant of his stallion’s breath over the moans of the dying. It needed his soothing whispers even more than the blinders over its eyes. He needed to feel the slightest movements as they galloped over the bloody slush and scattered debris. Most of all, with the world erupting in sheer chaos, Aran needed to remind both himself and his men what he was. They surged just behind him in two rows, riding the same staggered zig-zag pattern down the avenue, loosing an arrow every few seconds. Elegantly coordinated to draw together, they rained down as an unbroken wall. The rolling tide of death was the only thing a mob could register coherently. So lost children, raving drunks, young politicos and the incensed jobless all cleared out or got swallowed in the maw.

    It wasn’t rioters that made bucked shins, broken legs, and cracked hooves, though. That was their pinioned corpses. Their over-turned, smoldering pastry carts in the middle of the lane. Shattered tankards made minefields of wet glass shards. The whole thing was a sheer, inchoate, implacable mass. But Aran, like most of those he’d chosen for today, had rode the steppes through mid-summer wildfires, when the smoke was blindingly thick and the ground treacherously uneven. Even those that hadn’t were hand-picked because he knew that they could. They were cutting a clear line to Reynard.

    Aran’s sword went up. The bows went down. They were about to break into one of the few grand plaza squares. More importantly, it was the one the royal entourage should be stuck in. The raucous surge of the crowd said yes. He twirled the sword in his hand and thrust forward. Falling back into two parallel lines, his cavalry drew their own swords. As they broke into the plaza, they rode the perimeter in a clockwise and counter-clockwise circuit, respectively. Inside was Aran. Somewhere, even deeper in the id-driven hell was the royal chariot. The knight waded in, striking at anything that moved too close. At this point, there were only threats. Things came too fast for him to otherwise. The stallion bucked.

    The others awaited his signal to tighten their wide perimeter into a wheel of death. He didn’t know that he’d give it. Instead, he was finally recognizing the creeping, unfamiliar feeling that had been building since they’d reached the plaza. He was being overwhelmed. Not that he couldn’t break out, but he couldn’t do that and find the King. They had a minute or two at most. He barely managed to free his sword from the butcher’s ribs before the stallion kicked him aside. The move, when Aran was already outstretched, almost sent him tumbling down. It was thus, gripping with unique and adrenaline fueled intensity, that he saw when the body crashed into the burning carriage and sent its embers collapsing around him. Peering just behind it, in a smoky, bloody haze, was the royal chariot.

    He righted himself and wheeled around. Drove his steed hard. He broke through just as Fenton reached for the reins, his wife obscured on the far side of him, son shrunk back in terror.

    "Lords!" he called.

    TAG: @spycoder9, @HanSolo29
    Last edited by Jabba-wocky, Dec 11, 2013
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  6. JediMasterAnne Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 24, 2004
    star 4
    OOC: And the final part of the combined post
    IC: Safia Rolmar
    The Mountains of Mirwyth
    Shodaire, the Tower of Stone
    Parlor, then the grounds--her wedding day

    The youthful squire watched her from the doorway with great pity. It was an unfair sorrow to befall a woman, especially on a wedding day, to lose her uncle and her aunt. Miche understood the sorrows of life. He hadn't been unscathed from pain and loss in his short lifetime, but the young man had been gratefully saved by House Kildare, or more directly, Ser Lawrence. It was only right that he passed on the good will, to the crying princess.

    He eased forward and sat down beside her. Miche didn't say anything at first. He just simply stared out the windows, where snow continued to fall in brief drifts. A cold draft blew through, and he wondered how these Mountain people could survive temperatures as this, constantly.

    "Don't cry, mi'lady." The young man whispered. "Your face is far too beautiful to have tears marring it." He said the words slowly, as to get their message across. But when he glimpsed the Princess's face, he had to admit, even with tears, she was beautiful.

    She had not realized that Lawrence's squire had followed her, and she jumped slightly when he finally spoke. She lifted her tear-streaked face to look at him, a mild curiosity mingling with her grief. It surprised her that he had come after her, considering how little they knew each other. Miche was younger than her, and except for this morning and last night, she had only seen him in passing, barely exchanging more than a polite greeting.

    Not that she was complaining that he was here, though. She managed a half-hearted smile, wiping at her eyes, futile though it was. "I'm afraid today is not off to the best start. It can only get better from here, I hope." Surely it cannot get worse.

    "My mother always told me," The squire smiled at her, "If the day is not going your way, make it."

    At this, she even chuckled a little, though not very enthusiastically. "If only I knew how."

    "What do you want to do now? If you could do anything your heart desired, what might that be?"

    Bring my aunt and uncle back from the dead. Bring my mother back. Turn back time and stop this war ever starting. Her smile fell away. "Unfortunately, I don't have the power to do what my heart wants right now."

    "How about we go for a short ride?" The squire patted her hand. "I know you're fond of it, and the wedding doesn't begin until this evening." He looked up to the door. "And I'm guessing the tea is over. Especially with that news." Miche smirked reassuringly. "What do you say, milady? Perhaps Ser Rickard, or your brother Ectarion could accompany us."

    She thought about it for a moment before nodding, drying her eyes again. "That would be nice, I think."

    "Then come on." The mischievous young man grasped her hand and pulled her along with him.

    Later, while they were making their way back to the castle, Safia was quietly glad that Miche had talked her into this. She did feel a little better now, getting away from the castle and all the people. Open space allowed her to feel a little less stifled, a little more relaxed. Yet even as her spirits had lifted a little bit, Safia found the ride to be a little bittersweet—who knew when she would see this place again? Seeing the trees, covered in their snowy blankets, catching the occasional glimpse of a fox or a hare poking its head out of its lair before darting back in, laughing at Samule’s jokes and Celia’s stories of her little daughter’s childish antics…

    Safia’s cousin Celia had opted to join them on their ride, rather than going down to the groom’s tea in the courtyard. She was ten or so years older than Safia, the eldest child of Safia’s uncle Lord Fredrick Tarvick, and had married Wilhem Kemlin some years ago. Their daughter Laurel was not quite two years old, and from the sound of it, quite the handful.

    Ser Rickard had come along as well, as had Ectarion, though Karridan remained occupied with their father. Surprisingly, however, Ectarion had been uncommonly pleasant, and not just superficially. He actually seemed sincere in his kindness. Perhaps he could tell that she was still hurting from the news about the Delmaris, but even in the past, her grief had not necessarily thawed his coldness towards her. She wanted to ask him why he was being so nice, but she was afraid she would get some sarcastic remark and then he would go back to his normal self. And as far as Safia was concerned, she didn’t particularly care what the reason for his odd behavior was as long as he kept it up. Just for today.

    As they led the horses back to the stables, Safia dropped back to pull up beside the squire. “Thank you, for suggesting this.”

    "I knew it would help," The squire had been absorbed in his surroundings. It was all very much a culture shock still. "Getting space always does. Besides, I want you in high spirits for this wedding. Ser Lawrence has…seen a lot in his time. He deserves a happy bride awaiting him this evening."

    As Miche spoke, Safia was thinking to herself that the squire had no idea just how much of an act she was going to have to put on tonight. Not that she wasn't happy to be getting married--though she might have felt otherwise just a couple of weeks earlier, she was actually glad that this day was finally here. But now, in addition to the news about Mors Santagar (to which Miche remained oblivious), she had the deaths of her aunt and uncle hanging over her. She didn't want these tragedies spoiling the wedding. In that respect, she was a little glad that Lawrence did not know the fate of his king. She wanted him to be happy at their wedding, too. "That he does," she finally replied.

    "And you deserve it too, milady," Miche beamed at her. It was a pleasant smile, though it was evident he was tired. "But I've been with Ser Lawrence on all points of this trip. I've fought alongside him. I assume he's told you about our troubles in the prairies?"

    Safia frowned, then shook her head. "I do not think he has, actually."

    "He hasn't?" The squire was taken aback. He proceeded to tell her of the razed farmlands, of the boy survivor, of the angered Prairie people, of the boy's desperate sister, of the final battle where the sister had died along with other bloodthirsty bandits. "The child lost everything he has ever known. Can you imagine that? Losing everyone and everything? I couldn't handle it."

    Safia was shaking her head again by the time Miche finished recounting the journey to her, this time in sadness. She remembered hearing Lawrence say something to Ser Rickard about a boy on the day the Desertmen had arrived. She wondered what had happened to him.

    "Nor could I," she agreed as she climbed down from the saddle. There were some people in her life she could manage without, but others, like Karridan and Samule...she didn't know what she'd do if she lost them.

    "I think he truly is fond of you," Miche scratched his mare's neck as he prepared to leave. "Ser Lawrence, I mean."

    She smiled as she handed her horse’s reins over to one of the stable boys. "I like to think so, too. And I won't attempt to deny that I quite like him, as well."

    "That pleases me, milady," Miche grinned at her. "The desert needs more women like you."

    She felt her cheeks grow warm as a blush crept across her face. “I imagine there are plenty out there, but thank you for the compliment.”

    "None like you, Princess." He reassured her, "They are all hot-tempered. You are cool, but in a calm and relaxed way. It's a nice change.”

    Safia chuckled, though a little worriedly. "Surely the Kildare ladies are not that bad," she said.

    "They're some feisty women, but Lady Ginnifer knows how to run the Fair Groves. She's a mentally strong woman, one of the strongest I have ever encountered in my incredibly short life."

    She nodded. "That seems to be the consensus, from what I've heard of Lady Ginnifer."

    "I think...they will love you." The squire nodded. "No need to worry about them. Or anything else for that matter-"

    Two hefty women in navy blue and gold fluttered towards Safia. They were obviousy flustered, and their cheeks were flushed with worry.

    "Milady Safia!" Matron Daizee was wide of stomach and red of face, but she always had been kind to Safia. Daizee had raised her since the time she was a babe and had helped her development over the many years. Though in the last few years, Matron Daizee had been off helping throughout the village, healing and comforting those in need. She visited the castle rarely. "We've been searchin' all over Shodaire for ya'! Shoulda known you'd be riding that mare of yers." Though her tone was sharp, her smile was kind.

    "They need you in the castle, Princess," The other maid, whose frequency in Safia's life was much less than that of Matron Daizee, spoke sweeter to the lady. "Your gown awaits you."

    Miche reached over and squeezed Safia's hand once more, offering another one of his reassuringly smiles for her. "Don't worry, milady. Don't worry." And though the boy knew she would, he still left her with those comforting words as he went off.

    "Thank you, Miche," Safia said to the squire, before turning to the two women, speaking mostly to Daizee. "I'm sorry, I just needed to get some fresh air for a bit. Let's go."

    TAG: @spycoder9
    Last edited by JediMasterAnne, Dec 13, 2013
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  7. Mitth_Fisto Force Ghost

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

    Watching the Scabbard say his peace he nodded at the name, not that he would remember it now that he knew the man would not be waiting for him back here, but still he nodded even as the Scabbard pounded him on the back. It was enough to make him shift his stance rather quickly under the blow, showing the Scabbard may be coated in a velvet embroidery of his station, but still had some steel within. Although the gift of speechifying was still within that velvet nest as the Scabbard went on of preparations and weddings. Why he would care of a wedding during a food run was beyond him, after all it merely denoted further competition for food goods that was liable to see his portion of the prize dwindle whilst his uncle's grew.

    The first law of trade, well that didn't apply but the third, the rule of supply and demand without weapons still stood strong. Although maybe he could use it to his advantage if he focused on non-wedding fare, after all those would not be in demand. Though some like bread powder would be high and unable to pass or shy away from in any dealings of food. Then the Moors came and their conversion was ended one-sided as the Scabbard thanked him with a whisper and a smile. With a wink as his only reply, Tuckman stepped back and turned a half turn away, his eyes scanning the sea, and an ear toward the Scabbards new conversation.

    Still nothing to note, and nothing to dote about. So yet he watched the water until he noted kneeling occurring around him and so he bowed his head and bended no knee. Looking older than you were had it's advantages, and now was a time to bear it out with a rubbing of a knee as though the rheumatism pained him by keeping him erect. So he stayed and flapped his jowls in silent echo of the cry, staying as such to stay in good keeping of his clients here as the ship that bore the Scabbard, and shared a royal cry left. It was not 'til well after it was passed out of sight that he raised his head after the rising of those gathered there. A sign of penitence of staying such until the buyers saw he did what he could and held fast well in that, after all one must always play to the buyer if one ever planned to return.

    TAG: @spycoder9
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  8. Jedi_padawan_leigh Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 13, 2003
    star 4
    OOC: Music Approved by our awesome GM



    IC: Gwenn Cliffe
    Breezecroft - Harbour / Kings Ship


    Standing on the deck of the king’s ship, Gwenn felt incredibly out of place. As she stared out onto the ocean and horizon, she heard the king address the gathered people, his voice carried on the brisk air. The people of Breezecroft had seemingly forgotten their sudden shock, the gasps and exclamations heard only minutes ago were quickly replaced by the sound of cheering. The activity of the ship’s crew was rapidly increasing as they hurried across the deck and up the rigging. Gwenn knew that the ship was very close to departure, having witnessed this activity many a time when she was just Gwenn Cliffe the dockworker, Not Gwenn Cliffe the-long-lost-bastard-daughter-of-a-self-proclaimed king…

    The cheering had seemed to increase in volume in a few short moments, but Gwenn was sure she could hear people calling out to the Gods, praying aloud, many voices coming together as one. She heard the king approaching her from behind, his footfalls strong against the wooden deck of the ship. Once again he reached out and grasped her hand, contact that still felt foreign and strange. "Come here, my girl." He said as he gently lead her back to the side of the ship, her heart ached, why was he making this harder than it already was? Her grey eyes fell once again on those gathered. Despite the threat of war, the people of the Isles still had hope, hope and faith that their king would help them survive the coming storm. They were trying to stay strong.

    And Gwenn had to try and stay strong too.

    She swallowed down the nervous lump in her throat and felt the deck of the ship rock somewhat as the vessel was cast off from the pier. As the ship slowly moved off, Gwenn’s eyes widened in sudden surprise as Nathaniel raised her hand up inside of his own. The shouts and prayers seemed to get louder and more passionate. Everyone was on bended knee, from high born lords to market traders, the most decorated knights to humble fishermen. It appeared that the fear and threat of war was the catalyst that brought the islands people together as one. The bastard woman made a silent vow then. She may have been leaving her home, leaving her people, but she would not forget them, and she would make damn sure that the king and his associates would not forget them either!

    As the ship moved further away, her gaze was suddenly pulled towards an individual on the crowded pier. Though he was on bended knee, there was no mistaking that light blonde hair. Lucas, The person she had spent so much of her life with, the one who managed to find a way into her guarded heart. He looked up then, their eyes meeting for what was probably the briefest of moments but felt much longer as she watched him blow her a kiss, his own silent goodbye. A stray tear gathered in the corner of her eye unbidden and she quickly reached up and wiped it on her sleeve with her free arm as she watched the Isle of Breezecroft get smaller and smaller as the distance between ship and land grew wider, taking to the open seas.

    “Goodbye Lucas. Thank ye…fer everythin’"

    TAG: @spycoder9
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  9. Trieste Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 10, 2010
    star 4
    Updated via PM by @spycoder9

    IC: Ser Lawrence Kildare
    Freezing cold tea tent, Shodaire, The Mountains
    Wedding day


    "Beautifully worded," Caetherene took a small sip of her tea once again.

    "Ser Lawrence, you have mightily changed my views on those of those of the Desert,"Ambir Tanderly, a wisened Capital woman with great knowledge of all the Houses, eyed the great knight. She was married to Lendan Tanderly, a great bear of a Lord, and though at first it might seem the two didn't match, their love was a fierce one. "I met your mother once."

    "Emilie Kildare, was that not her name?" Synthia smirked, proud of herself to have known the name.

    "It was." The Tanderly woman raised her teacup to her lips, and gingerly sipped the warm liquid until it almost seemed to burn her throat. She never lost eye contact with the knight. "She was at my uncle's wedding, when he married a women from one of the lesser Houses of the Desert." The older lady's amber eyes held some sort of hidden mystique, as if she knew things unspoken.

    "If all of House Kildare acts as Ser Lawrence does, then I am sure it was pleasure to meet her," Caetherene patted the older woman's hand, but she barely seemed to notice.

    "Like I said before," She broke her gaze from the knight then, and flattened the wrinkles from her dress, "You have changed my views of those of the Desert."

    Lawrence had resumed his seat since making his toast and with a bit of warmth inside of him courtesy of the tea he was able to relax a bit. That bit was all the smaller the moment that Ambir Tanderly brought up the late Lady Emilie. As Synthia proved that she was either a) literate enough to read a register of the noble houses of Mirwyth or b) in the right place to overhear such details from time to time, Lawrence’s posture shifted ever so slightly. Perhaps it was enough for Ambir to notice. Her eyes certainly never left his.

    “You are too kind,” Lawrence said. The remark could be construed many different ways, which was exactly as he had intended. “My mother was a great woman who accomplished much. I am sure I shall never forget her.”



    Kalkheim, Fair Groves, the Desert
    Twelve years ago



    “Lawrence, what are you doing?”

    [IMG]

    The tone of voice in which those five words were delivered were well familiar to the 16 year old Lawrence Kildare. He knew that what his mother was actually asking him was, “Why are you here gawking instead of doing something that is more useful? Now please, regale me with your halfhearted excuses that will serve to chronicle your incompetence. Also, go back in time and turn yourself into something useful like a woman, if you please.”

    That was Emilie Kildare’s nice tone of voice for her eldest child and son.

    V’hallar save Landon if their mother ever used exactly the same words with him. Then she’d really be saying, “Get out of my sight, you useless whelp. At least your brother is learning to become something that will eventually have value to me—namely the inability to do what by rights I should be able to do, which is lop off someone’s head with my own hands. But seeing as this backwards realm thinks wearing a corset is incompatible with such an act, he’ll do. And before you go thinking that I forgot about you, I know that you’ve yet to prove even an iota of worth to this house. You weren’t worth the labor pains I had to go through to birth you, but now I’m stuck with you so do me the favor of at least keeping out of my line of sight if you’re going to insist on being so useless.”

    Lawrence understood why Landon sought out his father’s company. He understood why his father took Landon under his wing. For that matter, he understood that Emilie barely tolerated her youngest daughter. He had watched as a child as Emilie had neglected Chelsee in favor of her two eldest daughters. He had heard her justify her actions thusly without the slightest hesitation, “Should my seat come to Chelsee, then the Fair Groves are rightly screwed all the same. She’s not worth my time.” He’d heard her say it with Chelsee in the room. No wonder Chelsee stabbed things with knives. It was the least he could do to make sure she got a straw dummy of her own in a storeroom so she could do it in peace where no one would see the tears stream down her face after their mother had dismissed her or ignored her again.

    As Lawrence stood in the entrance to the courtyard of the alcazar, Emilie was there with her favorite children. Emilie Kildare was exactly the sort of parent who would have favorite children and not be ashamed of it.

    Zooey was in Emilie’s good graces, though Lawrence had detected that her status had slipped over the last year or so. She was coming into her own, a thin young thing on the cusp of womanhood. (Lawerence knew he shouldn’t think such things about his sisters, but he was acutely aware of femininity these days. It was hard to ignore them as he became a man, a subject on which there had been some relatively awkward conversations with his father.) Her hair was a lighter blonde than everyone else’s in the family. Lawrence didn’t know why that happened. Everybody else had this dark blonde hair, but Zooey didn’t. Maybe that was why she saw things so much clearer. Everything to Zooey was good or bad. There wasn’t anything in between. Lawrence once thought that, but he was starting to believe that wasn’t exactly true. He knew that Emilie had been giving less of her personal attention to Zooey this last year. He wondered if that was the sort of thing that their mother should have taught Zooey.

    It was the sort of thing that Ginnifer knew, Lawrence was sure of that. Everyone always looked up to their eldest siblings. That’s what the other boys that he trained with talked about. Many of them were second or third sons. They were becoming knights because they had no expectations of property, like Lawrence. This was how they could gain rank and station. They all looked up to their eldest brothers. In a way they all looked up to Lawrence. He was a first son, but he was one of them.

    Lawrence had no elder brother to look up to. He looked up to his younger sister. Lawrence was devoted to Ginnifer. She was everything to him. He never stopped to think that perhaps that was the case because she was everything to their mother, that deep down he wanted to please his mother by loving that which she treasured among all else.

    If that had ever been the case, it didn’t matter anymore. All that mattered was that Lawrence would do anything for Ginnifer. Ginnifer knew it too. Unlike their mother, however, Ginnifer never asked anything of Lawrence. She never twisted his love for her (a love, it should be said, that respected the bounds set by V’hallar and was devotional, not romantic). She never made him do things. She asked things of Lawrence, but only things that were important, at least within the frame of their childish desires: secrets to be kept, mischief to be made, adventures to be had.

    That had stopped after The Day. Though Lawrence had gone through the rites of passage before, that day had marked the end of Ginnifer’s childhood. Things had changed. The one thing that hadn’t was that Lawrence would still do anything for Ginnifer. Though she asked nothing of him, he still did anything for her.

    “I heard you were leaving,” Lawrence said.

    “We’re going to visit tenants,” Emilie said peremptorily, not leaving room for further questions. Horses were being readied for Emilie, her two daughters, and a sufficient complement of guards. She directed her attention to her eldest daughter and heir. “Ginnifer, one of the purposes of today’s visit is to learn how to travel without looking weary. You must always arrive looking fresh and dazzling. One of our greatest advantages that we have is our ability to dazzle commoners. You will get a great deal more out of them if they forget their travails momentarily. Rents are paid on time because the resplendent Lady of the Fair Groves deigned to stop in. This rudimentary pleasantry overwhelms their simple minds and provides them with inordinate pleasure. Happy peasants keep gold flowing.”

    “Yes, mother,” Ginnifer said. So much of what Lady Emilie had to say was now directed at Ginnifer. Lawrence had been confused at why Ginnifer should receive so much attention that was formerly directed at both her and Zooey. He thought he had learned the answer overhearing his Aunt Regina and Uncle Widmer one night when he had been passing their chambers.

    “My sister has finally realized that Ginnifer isn’t going to die of childhood illness. Zooey has become perfectly expendable to her and my sister has never spent any time on anything that isn’t expendable to her,” Regina had said caustically.

    The trouble was that Lawrence had no trouble believing that of his mother.

    “There’s a caravan due in two days,” Lawrence said, “I thought you were staying for that.”

    “Your father can handle it,” Emilie replied. She barely turned her head towards Lawrence, merely shifting her eyes.

    Lawrence had no reason for wanting his mother to stay. It didn’t matter to him if she met the caravan. But he wanted Ginnifer to stay. They were going to go together to see what was coming from Caraba. Lawrence didn’t want to buy anything, he just wanted to go and look. With Ginnifer.

    “Lawrence, don’t you have swordplay to practice?” Emilie asked. It was not so much a suggestion as a command to go do just that.

    “Mother, may I say goodbye to Lawrence before we go?” Ginnifer asked.

    Emilie considered. “Briefly,” she said, turning away to see to it that the animals were ready for their imminent departure, no doubt as soon as Ginnifer finished her foolishness.

    Ginnifer walked over to Lawrence with her burgeoning grace. Once she would have run to him, but Ginnifer had been a child then. She was no child now.

    “I’m sorry I’m going to miss the caravan,” Ginnifer said in a low voice.

    “It’s okay,” Lawrence said, “Mother has been saying the tenants must become familiar with you for some time. Now is as good a time as any.”

    “It could have been another time.”

    “But it isn’t.”

    “We’ll go to the next one,” Ginnifer promised.

    “Of course we will,” Lawrence said. There would always be a next one. He wondered if his mother would find a way to ruin that too.

    “Ginnifer!” Emilie said sharply, “We’re leaving.

    Ginnifer raised her left hand in its silken glove. With the back of her stiff fingers she brushed Lawrence’s cheek. “Tell father, Chelsee, and Landon that we’ve left. Please,” Ginnifer added.

    It was just like Emilie to leave without even telling the remainder of her family. Had Lawrence not overheard one of the men after training he wouldn’t have even known himself.

    “Of course,” Lawrence said.

    They both knew it was time for Ginnifer to go, so she did. Lawrence stood and watched as the party left the alcazar to travel through the streets of Kalkheim to the great gates and embark on their Desert journey. He watched until the gates of the alcazar closed behind them, leaving him there, behind.




    Freezing cold tea tent, Shodaire, The Mountains

    “You are indeed too kind,” Lawrence repeated, looking back at Ambir.

    He was sure she knew exactly what he meant.

    TAG: @spycoder9
  10. spycoder9 Force Ghost

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



    The Desert of Mirwyth
    The Fair Groves


    Kalkheim


    When Fleet had finished his story, Aron Kildare looked away in disgust. It was not the kind of look that would be received well, and certainly at odds with Zooey's manners.

    "That we have lived to see such depredations in our time," Aron fumed, "Disgraceful! Ginnifer should have never sent Lawrence to get married in her fool's bargain! If he were here we could clean out these pirates like we did last time and respond to Fenton!"

    "Uncle, now is not the time," Zooey said, slowly inclining her head to the side, indicating Lorain, Fleet, and the other guests.

    "I don't particularly care who hears about it!" Aron said, "My son--"

    "What about our son?" came a new voice, a softer voice.

    [IMG]

    "May I present my Aunt Spectra, Aron's wife," Zooey said by way of explanation to the travelers.

    "I said, what about our son?" Spectra asked again, coming to the group, "I was told there was news of him?"

    Thankfully, Aron saved Fleet and Lorain from having to explain yet again. "Willis has been taken by pirates as a slave. This one here--" Aron indicated Lorain, "--was with him on the slave ship. He set her free to come tell us."

    "Of course he would," Spectra sighed.

    "He was selfless like that," Zooey agreed.

    "No dear, he's a terrible swimmer," Spectra said, "He probably would have drowned before he got halfway to shore if he was ten feet from the coast."

    "And on top of that, Fenton's men tried to kill these two--" now Aron indicated Fleet and Lorain, "--on their way here. Likely in league with pirates and it's no wonder. He'll take any excuse he can to terrorize the lands that dare to stand up against him." Never mind that no one had suggested such a thing. "Something must be done."

    "Uncle--" Zooey protested.

    "No," Aron said sternly, rounding on his niece, "I am not going to stand idly by while pirates take my son as a slave!"

    "Uncle!" Zooey demanded, "You were charged with defense of the Fair Groves in Lawrence's absence! If you leave we will be without both of our senior commanders and you were just saying that we stand at the Capital's front doorstep!"

    "Fenton will find the Desert an inhospitable place if he marches against us. If we let our people get bled off by these pirates, we're no better than him," Aron said, "King Mors is doing nothing about it. We are going to do something. If Ginnifer were here--"

    "That's Lady Ginnifer," Zooey snapped, "and I stand in her stead. You are not leaving."

    "Zooey, I know for a fact that the pirate attacks have greatly troubled Lady Ginnifer," Spectra said, "We must protect our people."

    "Yes, we must protect all of them," Zooey said, "Not run off after a handful and endanger the rest."

    Aron turned to Lorain, ignoring his niece. "Could a team of skilled warriors take these pirates? Do you know where they were headed?"


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    Last edited by spycoder9, Dec 17, 2013
  11. spycoder9 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 23, 2008
    star 4
    THE WEDDING



    The Mountains of Mirwyth
    Shodaire


    Groom’s Tea



    After the brief exchange between Ser Lawrence and Lady Tanderly, the tea had slowly begun to fall into small talk and chitchat. Synthia drank her first cup plain, and then filled another. She had a small flask of her own hidden in her dress sleeve, and gingerly poured some of her own liquid into the drink. When most of the tea had been drunk, the tent flap opened. It brought in a small breeze that made every man and woman in the room hold their cloaks tighter to their bodies. The person who came wore a shroud over their head, and stepped into the shadows of the tent. The women eyed each other warily, and the guards in the room tightened their hands on their hilts.

    “Who are you?” Synthia finally called. Her voice was louder than usual, and shaky. Her eyes seemed a little unfocused as well.

    As a guard prepared to rip his sword from its hilt, the figure stepped from the shadows. The shroud was a shimmering red fabric that seemed to reflect the flickering flames. Dark, wrinkled hands came from beneath the folds and cast back the hood. A shock of white hair, brittle and hardened, fell to the shoulders. When the person rose their face to the light, the eyes were staring at Ser Lawrence. It was a woman, one with whom Lawrence was acquainted with well. Had it not been for her eyes, which seemed haunted and empty, he may not of recognized her. Her face was weathered, her skin loose, and her mouth tight.

    “I am Illiza,” Her voice was a deep rasp, like a demon clawing its way out of hell, “Priestess to V’hallar, servant to the flames, guardian of the light.”

    “Have you come to tea with us?” Caetherene Gideon gestured from some of the guards to clear the priestess a seat. Many of them ignored the lady, and continued to stare at the newest guest.

    “Fortunately, no.” Illiza smiled then, but it was a wicked thing. “I have come to speak with Ser Lawrence.” Her deadened eyes fell on the desert fox again, and there they rested. Though a grin remained on her lips, her eyes showed no mirth.

    “He’s supping with us,” Synthia almost shouted from her chair, “Can you not respect the rules of curtsy, priestess?”

    The aged priestess didn’t even shift her eyes to the drunken woman.

    “What do you say, Ser Lawrence?” She spoke his name slowly, in almost a growl. This was not the same woman he had lain with so many days before.



    Sometime later. . .


    Safia’s Chambers


    “Safia,” Leenah Rolmar gasped, “You look. . .breathtaking.”

    “Beautiful.” Sybella Tarvick patted a curl down.

    Perfect.” Caetherene Gideon finished with the Princess's hair, and stepped back a few steps to view the Princess in her entirety.

    [IMG]

    They had worked well on the Princess. They were all freshly clothed themselves, in fine dresses and sparkling jewelry and tight shoes. This was to be a wedding, perhaps the wedding of the century, and all had to be prepared. With the Princess though, the ladies and the maids spent the majority of their time. Placing her in her dress, spinning tales with her, and then fixing her hair accordingly. Her blonde locks had fallen accordingly, and the young woman’s eyes seemed to sparkle along with her dress. It was a pure silvery white, and perfectly appropriate for the wedding.

    “I might cry,” Lennah smiled then, though her eyes did seem to glimmer once or twice.

    “Your mother would be proud of the woman you have become,” Helena Daltree noted from her own spot.

    I am proud of her,” Caetherene, with words always older than her appearance, had tears in her own eyes. “You’re representing all of the Mountain kingdom. You’re committing the ultimate sacrifice, for our own freedom. Thank you, milady Safia.”

    Then Leenah burst into tears, and Helena comforted her. Synthia would have been there, but her mother had forced the girl to retire to her chambers early. She was in a literal drunken stupor, and rumor throughout the clucking ladies was that she had been dripping citrus wine into her drink.

    Many of the Mountain people were just now learning the true effects of the drink, and how heavy of a wine it was.


    TAG: @JediMasterAnne, @Trieste
    Last edited by spycoder9, Dec 17, 2013
  12. JediMasterAnne Force Ghost

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

    She bit her lip as she stared at her reflection in the mirror, feeling a little overwhelmed by what she saw. She was actually starting to look like a bride now, and the fact of her now imminent marriage was now really hitting her. The butterflies she’d felt this morning were back, in earnest.

    Safia wasn’t even quite fully ready yet, actually. The seamstresses, having worked almost non-stop on her dress these past couple of weeks, were hurriedly putting the finishing touches on a simple veil for the princess, and she wasn’t wearing her blue-and-gold maiden’s cloak yet either. The dress alone was beautiful, though, and Safia was quietly stunned by the delicate embroidery and beading that the seamstresses had accomplished in what was really a very short time to make a wedding dress from start to finish. Synthia wasn’t in the room now, but Safia would have liked to see the other girl’s reaction to the sight of her rival in her wedding gown.

    But it wasn’t just the lack of Synthia’s presence that Safia was noticing. Her aunt Helena’s mention of her mother only highlighted the fact that Corrine was not here on her daughter’s wedding day. It seemed to Safia that she was feeling her mother’s absence more keenly today than usual, probably because Kalera was not here either. The combined sense of loss wasn’t doing anything for her nerves, and the high level of emotion in the room was not helping, either. Leenah had broken down and Caetherene was looking a little teary-eyed as well. Safia herself was feeling a lump forming in her throat and her eyes were stinging a bit, though she felt that her tears were not strictly those of happiness. Still, she forced a smile for her companions. “You are all going to make me cry,” she said, as she went to give Leenah a comforting hug—though she wasn’t sure if she was trying to console Leenah or herself. When she pulled back, she looked around at her friends and relations. “Thank you, all of you, for being here. I don’t think you know how much it means to me.”

    TAG: @spycoder9
  13. Trieste Force Ghost

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


    Lawrence had not seen Illiza since the day he had been presented to King Desmond and Princess Safia.

    The change in her appearance was shocking to say the least.

    A month ago she had been a vibrant woman full of energy and youth. Now she looked like a crone. What had happened to her? It was a question to which Lawrence feared to learn the answer.

    "Forgive me, ladies," Lawrence said, rising, "As you no doubt know it is not always the part of men to enjoy the pleasantries of life. Business of the realm sometimes demands our attention. Please allow me to excuse myself from your presence for what I hope will be a short while. It is the least that I can do to honor the commitments that I have made to my land and people."

    He left the tent, gently guiding Illiza out with him. When they were outside the tent--and he hoped out of earshot--he said in a low voice to Illiza, "What do you require of me?" It would be good to get this out of the way now. The closer they got to the wedding the less time he would have to deal with such things. He kept walking with Illiza, heading for the Tower of Stone itself. He was not going to stand in the cold if he could help it.

    TAG: @spycoder9
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  14. Ktala Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 7, 2002
    star 6
    Lorain Ashkey - The Desert of Mirwyth
    The Fair Groves, Kalkheim - 13 Days Before the Wedding


    The one that had been introduced to them as Aron Kildare listened to their story. And then he looked away, the look of disgust quite visible. Lorain in one smooth move gently gave her arm to Fleet once more, standing next to him, as the visibly angry man began to move.

    "That we have lived to see such depredations in our time," Aron fumed, "Disgraceful! Ginnifer should have never sent Lawrence to get married in her fool's bargain! If he were here we could clean out these pirates like we did last time and respond to Fenton!"

    While Lorain was quite happy to hear of the man's willingness to bring retribution for current events against the pirates, she was also sure she was hearing more than she should really be privy to. And it seemed that Zooey thought so as well, as she immediately spoke up. "Uncle, now is not the time," Zooey said, slowly inclining her head towards Fleet, Lorain and the others. She had almost forgotten about the men who had traveled with them to the Fair Groves. They certainly came across more they they had bargained for. But right now, that didnt matter, for Aron Kildare was having none of it.

    "I don't particularly care who hears about it!" Aron said, "My son--"

    "What about our son?" came a new voice, female. Lorain quickly turned to head to see another woman had entered the room. She seemed to have a calming presence as she walked in, eying the group as she came into the room. Or, at least Lorain hoped she was. She was soft spoken, but she seemed to have an inner bit of power. Her Da's words of the dessert folk sprang to mind. She was also quite nice looking. "May I present my Aunt Spectra, Aron's wife," Zooey gave as way of introduction. Lorain bowed her head towards the woman, as she moved into the room. "I said, what about our son?" Spectra asked again, moving towards the group, "I was told there was news of him?" Lorain was QUITE happy she did not have to explain once more, as Aron answered his wife immediately. "Willis has been taken by pirates as a slave. This one here--" Aron gestured towards her, and even that small gesture seemed big "--was with him on the slave ship. He set her free to come tell us."

    "Of course he would," Spectra sighed. Before Lorain could wonder about that comment, Zooey was already commenting. "He was selfless like that," Zooey agreed. But that seemed that was not what the Lady Spectra meant. "No dear, he's a terrible swimmer," Spectra said, "He probably would have drowned before he got halfway to shore if he was ten feet from the coast."

    Lorain's eyebrows skyrocketed upwards. It had never even occurred to her that the poor man could not swim!! That explained much indeed. She looked around the room once more. A place locked within so much sand. Yes, that does not leave much chance to learn how to swim she supposed. Lorain would have smiled at that comment, if not Aron Kildare's next comments.

    "And on top of that, Fenton's men tried to kill these two--" now Aron indicated Fleet and Lorain, "--on their way here. Likely in league with pirates and it's no wonder. He'll take any excuse he can to terrorize the lands that dare to stand up against him." Never mind that no one had suggested such a thing. "Something must be done."

    Lorain was really beginning to feel the strain of so many tensions and high emotions running within the room. Not be in the middle of a battle royal.

    "Uncle--" Zooey began to protested, but Aron was having none of it. "No," Aron said sternly, rounding on his niece, "I am not going to stand idly by while pirates take my son as a slave!"

    And here is where Lorain became impressed with the small woman. Zooey did not shrink away from her Uncle. She stood firm. "Uncle!" Zooey demanded, "You were charged with defense of the Fair Groves in Lawrence's absence! If you leave we will be without both of our senior commanders and you were just saying that we stand at the Capital's front doorstep!" Lorain almost found herself cheering for the woman. Even though these people were from her Da's homelands, she had been taught the way by her father. And she could understood the high emotions. And if all the other kindgoms found themselves having to bind together against a mad king, even all the more better. Lorain looked back down at Fleet. They went from simply trying to stay alive, and to keep a promise, to listening to much more than they had bargined for. She wanted to keep him safe. Before, she burned for simple vengince. But now she had to considered other people, and not just her own desires. She looked back up at the others in front of her. Not so different than what those in power had to deal with even now. Lorain's face grew thoughtful, as Aron continued his verbal onslaught.

    "Fenton will find the Desert an inhospitable place if he marches against us. If we let our people get bled off by these pirates, we're no better than him," Aron said, "King Mors is doing nothing about it. We are going to do something. If Ginnifer were here--"

    "That's Lady Ginnifer," Zooey snapped, "and I stand in her stead. You are not leaving." Wow. Da wasnt kidding. These desert ladies ARE strong.

    "Zooey, I know for a fact that the pirate attacks have greatly troubled Lady Ginnifer," Spectra said, "We must protect our people." Zooey response was swift. "Yes, we must protect all of them," Zooey said, "Not run off after a handful and endanger the rest."

    Oh Gods!!! This was turning ugly. Could they not dismiss them already? If this got any... Lorain's personal thoughts were suddenly interrupted, when Aron turned towards Lorain, speaking to her directly now.

    "Could a team of skilled warriors take these pirates? Do you know where they were headed?" Aron asked her directly. Lorain remembers Willis last words to her.. "And then tell my dad, Aron Kildare... His fury will be unimaginable." The man spoke truth. If circumstances werent so dire, she could almost smile at the thought. Insteead, she drew herself up to full height, and spoke once more to the man, as she tried to remember all the details she could.

    "I knows the ship was called 'Christina's Wrath'. I know I was taken from Caraba. And I know that when I came ashore, I was told I was a days walk from Aqarda. If they be hittin all the small towns and such in between, it sounds af if de dogs be heading back towards the south. Back home. But de be clearing themselves a path as well. De be stayin' to the coast. And they stole everything of use from da towns as well, food, animals, everything. An' it looked like them knights were waiting for someone. Maybe more knights, maybe waiting fer da pirates to return. And they had a high rank wif em. Someone named Master Daven. "But I hears no name of place mentioned, they kept us locked down below mostly. But they sailed in sight of land." Lorain frowned, before looking back up at Aron Kildare. "Most of de men, they be pressed into service, but they not all commoners either. Some of em got real skills and training. But if ya catch em unawares, a skilled team could do it. Make em bleed, that is fer sure." She then turned to look at the Lady Spectra. "Um..My lady. Could ya give words to his wife and sons? He wished words to dem as well, when he bade me to come here."

    With that, Lorain relaxed a bit. She had done what she had promised. Now, she simply wanted a moment to breathe, and determine what she should do next. No. What THEY should do next. Fleet was a part of this now. And as much as she wanted to personally pound the face of the Captain of the Christina's Wrath..or the person who knocked her out, she needed to remind herself she needed to keep Fleet safe. And should they try to head back to her home in the mountains? While a possible war was on the horizon. At least here, they were mostly safe. Leaving this place, could leave them open to attack from those cursed Knights of a crazy King. Just like when they had tracked Fleet and Kali. She had much to think about. But for right now, she just grew quiet, and hovered close to Fleet. She had a feeling whatever was about to be decided was going to be something big, and something they would remember for a very long time.



    TAG: @greyjedi125, @spycoder9
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  15. greyjedi125 Force Ghost

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

    He was engrossed in it all, so much so that he wasn't aware of all the expressions and emotions that played upon his face.

    Ser Aron Kildare was in the middle of a full blown rant, and Fleet was finding himself agitated by the man's unbridled emotions. The young urchin wore a frown upon his young face, despite his blue eyes being wide in surprise. His lips were thinned and tight from frowning. He could feel the full brunt of Ser Aron's displeasure and for reasons he could not readily explain, he found his blood boiling as well.

    When the man seemed to be ready to blow his top in front of present company, a woman entered the room. A beautiful yet stern looking one. She was introduced as Lady Spectra. Were all desert flowers so captivating?

    The young urchin had almost forgotten to bow and caught himself, managing to follow Lorain's lead when it came to offering the respectful pleasantry.

    Immediately Fleet found himself studying the woman for a moment. Her attempts at calming her husband, though impressive, seemed to have had minimal effect. So, it came to pass that the Desert Lord recounted the tale of Ser Willis to his wife. Such a re-telling only served to add kindling to his already burning passions.

    Fleet almost gasped and glanced up to Lorain as it was revealed that Ser Willis was a poor swimmer. THAT was the real reason behind Lorain's release, not compassion or altruism, but convenience.

    Then, it was the Will of the gods... Fleet reasoned within himself.

    He also became painfully aware of his own poor swimming skills and made a mental note to ask Lorain, who apparently knew how to do so, to further his skills. There was no doubt he preferred drowning to being held captive by pirates, but learning how to swim was the better option.

    And yet, Ser Aron was not done. He went on to mention the wretched King Fenton and how his men tried to have them butchered in the middle of a deserted town. Fleet felt a fire in his chest as a memory invaded his mind. He'd been traveling alone along a road when he'd come across those he now could identify as the King's men. He had been hiding, angry at his young impotence and fearful of being discovered. But what he saw....he would never for get.

    This would forever stay in his mind. (*click to view memory)

    He did not know the man. He'd never seen him before or since, but he knew he wanted to be like him, or something close. In his mind it was more about justice than violence itself. A sword arm for good, rather than evil. The man had done what his heart wished he could do, but in fact could not, since his body was too young and far to inexperienced to champion anyone in need. In his young mind these things were simple...like a father wanting to save his son from slavers. However, Fleet still had to learn about the inexorable complications of the real world.

    Ser Aron wanted to go after his son, but at what cost? Lady Zooey staunchly reminded him of his duties to his people, but Ser Aron's would not be cowed.

    "Could a team of skilled warriors take these pirates? Do you know where they were headed?" He asked Lorain directly as he ignored everyone else.

    Fleet silently cursed his youth. Aron's bloodlust was infectiuos. He too wanted to go hunt pirates, but he knew he would be an easy target, a liability. He had no training in anything useful. Beg or Die. That's what urchins did...and he wanted to be an urchin no longer.

    Thankfully, Lorain's voice brought him out of his frustrating introspections. He listened to her speak and felt most of his anxiety dissipate. She could work wonders like that. That thought brought a brief and faint smile to his face then.

    Still listening keenly, Fleet took note of the things Lorain revealed now to Ser Aron and Lady Spectra, names an such, even though the parts concerning maps and locations drew a complete blank in his mind.

    At the end of Lorain's discourse, Fleet squeezed her hand for a moment. He knew she wanted to see her own family too, but that wouldn't happen if they got stuck in Kildare affairs.

    Blue eyes went back to studying the three royal figures that stood before them. Yeah, it sounded like Ser Aron would need a team of skill warriors for this, which meant he could not go even if he wanted to. He was too young and too inexperienced, and he had no doubts Lorain was likely to forbid his involvement. He had to find a way to change that.

    Either way, it looked like Ser Aron was about to do something rash, much to the displeasure of his wife and niece. Fleet could understand some of what the man was feeling though.

    Whoever this Ser Lawrence was, if he was getting married far away, he was likely not going to be very pleased when he finally got home.

    Tag:Ktala, spycoder9
    Last edited by greyjedi125, Dec 20, 2013
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  16. spycoder9 Force Ghost

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


    The Isles of Mirwyth
    Ocean


    THE GOLDEN ANCHOR


    The next few days onboard the ship passed almost meaninglessly.

    King Nathaniel was held up in countless meetings with his staunchest advisers. He had made sure Gwenn knew she had free reign to the ship, including his own personal library, and the kitchens were always open to her. Her own personal quarters were wide, and just for her. Her own private space. The chef Gissa, with a wide berth and a funny accent, eyed Gwenn warily every time she came into her presence. She even sent maids to bring the young woman’s plate to her room every morning and night, instead of herself. Several of those working the ship confused Gwenn for a boy at first glance, and a few in the beginning days had almost accused her of being a stowaway. From the night after they had departed from Breezecroft, until four days later, Gwenn didn’t see heads nor tails of the King.

    That morning, on the fourth day of leaving Breezecroft, there was increased activity on all the ships of the fleet. Ravens had arrived, or that was what the maids whispered to Gwenn as they fixed her sheets. Ravens were news of a revolt in Delmaristead. One maid said Queen Kalera was dead, the other said the Princess Raven was dead. All of the gossip seemed grave in its entirety.

    Of course, then Nathaniel was locked away even tighter, and Korianton, who had been sailing a different ship to their side, came over to speak with the King. Soon after, he returned to his craft and sailed off at a rapid pace with other smaller boats trailing behind.

    All of these things seemed to revolve around Gwenn rapidly, while she was left to her own, except for maid gossip.

    Then that evening, after the stars had begun to illuminate the dark skies, Gwenn would receive a gruff message from the cook, that the King wished to speak with her on the deck.

    And there, facing with his back away from her and his arms propped on the railing, stood her father, King Nathaniel Delmari. He appeared lost in his thoughts as he scanned the horizon, with his brow wrinkled deeply. Even with the sound of her boots on the planks, he didn’t turn, so deep in his mind.



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    Last edited by spycoder9, Dec 21, 2013
  17. spycoder9 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 23, 2008
    star 4
    THE WEDDING


    The Mountains of Mirwyth
    Shodaire


    The Stone Tower


    Illiza didn’t turn her eyes to meet his, but neither did she cast them downward. They simply stared off ahead of her, though it was obvious only a cavernous emptiness lied beneath. They neared the entrance of the tower, where guards nodded to the knight and priestess before opening the stone doors to allow them inside. The icy chill drove them inward, and with a final gust was shut away. The heightened hallway was beautiful, with carvings along the walls depicting bards’ tales, and flickering torches to illuminate every step.

    “I have come with a warning,” The Priestess’s voice seemed to compress from her tight lips, as she finally turned her gaze to meet his. Emotion was present, but it was cold, and hard. “Though I know you forsake all warnings I try to give you.” Her grin was heartless.

    “As you know, vows made to V’hallar are not to be taken lightly,” Her grin wavered once, twice, and then shattered. Her eyes seemed to reveal a glimmer of emotion, a sparkle beneath torchlight. When she looked up to him again, a single tear streaked down her wrinkled cheek. “He’s taken from me everything. Everything.” And then she clasped the edge of Lawrence’s coat in a tight death grip.

    “We broke our vows Lawrence. Our holy vows, our vows to Him,” Her eyes were wild now, and her thin voice grew to new heights.

    “He will break us. He has broken me.“ She paused, her howls quieting as she looked up at him. And then she finally whispered:

    “He will break you.”



    Safia’s Chambers


    “It’s an honor,” Celia clapped her hands. “It’s like a night-tale coming to life! The Princess weds the Knight on a snowy eve!”

    Sybella laughed. “Perhaps that wine has gotten to your head as well, Celia.”

    Leenah’s eyes flickered once at the two women, but she never cracked her resolve. It was evident she didn’t approve of the talk.

    “I-” Caetherene was cut short as there came a soft knock on the door. It almost seemed uncertain. Guards were posted outside the door, as only standard for an event of this stature, but people needed the ladies approval to enter the room.

    “Come in!” Helena called. The door opened slowly, and Karridan entered slowly. “Karridan! Doesn’t she look simply elegant?”

    “Yes, yes, she does,” The tall man grumbled. “Fetching as ever.” The ladies seemed disgruntled by his attitude, all but Caetherene at least, whose emotions were masked well behind a calm smile. “Would you ladies give us a few moments alone?”

    “But she-” Sybella stopped talking as she met the knight’s glowering eyes, “Perhaps we might step out.” Warily, the women walked from the room, even the few maids. As the last shut the door, Karridan rushed to her.

    “Safia,” His voice was urgent. “You must leave. Now. This farce of a wedding, it’ll only embroil you in politics that House Rolmar has already stepped too deep into. You must leave with me.“ He flashed one of his brilliant smiles, but it was false, and obviously so. “We can flee to the Great Continent. There is an honest living there. I can sell my sword, earn us home.”

    He gripped her arms tightly, but his voice was pleading.

    “Just leave with me, now. Before it is too late.”


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    Last edited by spycoder9, Dec 23, 2013
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  18. JediMasterAnne Force Ghost

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

    For a few moments, Safia could only stare at her brother in disbelief. This morning he’d had no qualms about the wedding, and now he was suddenly trying to talk her out of it? Trying to convince her to run away? What had changed?

    Safia trusted Karridan more than any other person in this world, more even than she had trusted Matheus. He had no reason to lie to her, and he would never put her in harm’s way, but why was he acting like this? What was he so scared of all of a sudden, to the point that he was willing to flee Mirwyth altogether? She had never seen him like this, and it was frightening.

    But despite her brother’s fear, she couldn’t walk away from this wedding. She couldn’t do that to Lawrence. Even if she’d wanted to, it was too late to turn back.

    Still, that didn’t stop her from worrying—more than just a little bit. “Karridan, what are you talking about?”

    TAG: @spycoder9
  19. spycoder9 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 23, 2008
    star 4
    OOC: As a Christmas treat, I decided to post a combined between me and Rilwen we wrote awhile ago, that never got showcased. Hope you enjoy. ;)



    10 Days Before the Wedding



    The Mountains of Mirwyth
    The Tower of Snow

    Village


    Desmond Rolmar’s grandfather, having been a generous man, gifted his younger son to a portion of the Shodaire lands that rested far below the rest. These formerly unused grounds became a branch castle of House Rolmar. Stefan Rolmar coined the single tower with the name, The Tower of Snow, as it was always covered in at least some degree of snow. The level of activity on the grounds was smaller, as many houseguests had left to attend the wedding. Villagers still roamed about, milking cows and washing clothes and cooking stew.

    The entourage of House Maegorion did not have to wait long to meet Samule Rolmar. He was walking amongst the village, surveying things and speaking with the small folk. He would have fit right in, had he not been wearing the garb of someone of House Rolmar. A snowbird in the blue sky, or at least the sigil that had been House Rolmar before Desmond had declared himself King and changed it.

    Samule heard the approaching horses, and raised his head. Putting one gloved hand up to shield his eyes from the sun, albeit a small one, he focused in on the new arrivals.

    Without even saying hello, he did a simple bow for them, out of respect. Though his handsome eyes did remain trained on the beautiful girl astride a horse that he could only assume was his betrothed. A pleasant smile lit his face as he rose from the ground.

    "Lord Maegorion, a pleasure to have you and your company before me." Common courtesies had to be performed before he could greet his soon-to-be-wife.

    The tall, black-bearded man at the front of the party inclined his head, but noted, "Lord Maegorion does not customarily travel. As his heir, I speak in his stead."

    This, then, was Ser Bevyn Maegorion, Lord Bainard's eldest son. As he dismounted, his every movement spoke of long practice in the arts of war. Just now, however, combat seemed far from his mind as he glanced back toward his daughter. Another, younger man with black hair came forward to help the young woman to dismount - a brother, by the look of him.

    Brynna, for her part, seemed openly curious, grey eyes lingering on Samule for a moment, pale cheeks flushed rosy in the chilly air. Then, suddenly, her attention turned back to her brother, and she laughed, brushing away the snowflakes he'd pointed out in her long dark hair.

    "I and mine would be honoured to be known as your guests," Ser Bevyn added; a necessary formality, and one best dealt with as soon as possible.

    "Of course, good Ser. You and your House will always be welcome as our guests." Samule nodded his head, almost confirming the words in his head. "I assume this beautiful maiden is your daughter."

    He watched her be lowered from her mount, a smile on her lips that made the handsomest of knights quiver. The noise that was her laugh sounded like the bells of fools, bright and merry and carefree.

    "My lady, how I have waited for this meeting, worrying and fretting over the simplest things. And yet you find me as I usually am." He gestured to the villagers around him. "Walking amongst my people." Samule laughed then as he noticed a child run loose from its maid mother. He gathered the dirty child into his arms and lifted him into the air. Only five years at most, he even seemed mesmerized by their visitors, especially Brynna Maegorion.

    Samule took notice.

    "Beautiful, is she not?" The kid nodded. Samule let him loose back to his mother, turning back to Brynna.

    Ser Bevyn nodded sharply. "My daughter, Brynna Maegorion."

    As though her father's introduction was permission, Brynna came forward, wending her way through the men of the riding party. "You must not think I have you at a disadvantage, my lord." A smile touched her face again. "I myself am not exactly in the decorated state I had anticipated for such a meeting." Her gesture encompassed her riding clothes, trimmed in blue-dyed lambskin - practical, warm, and distinctly unlike the rich gowns of a noble court. Her hair, too, was merely pulled back away from her face, not styled into some eye-catching form but rather streaming near-unfettered down her back. She wore no jewellery or cosmetics.

    All of the group were dressed for travel, only their bearing and House sigils distinguishing them from other travellers, but it seemed to take nothing away from their dignity. One, the man who'd helped Brynna to dismount, also came forward.

    "My son, Ser Harbyn Maegorion," Ser Bevyn noted. That he introduced no others suggested that he and his children were the only noble-born members of the party. The rest had the look of men-at-arms, excluding a woman who was likely a lady's maid for Brynna; young, round-cheeked and with curly brown hair peeking out from beneath her hood, she held the reins of the horse her mistress had dismounted from.

    Samule shook Ser Harbyn's hand, observing the others in their party. "A pleasure to meet all of you." He smiled and nodded at each, before looking back to Brynna.

    "Milady, I believe you are as stunning now as you will ever be in my eyes." He grinned then, realizing how that could be taken in two possible ways. "And that's a good thing." Samule laughed as he took her hand and laid one soft kiss upon it. Most of these things were customary, mainly of respect for her father. [/

    He then turned to her father, brother, and the others. "Your horses should find space in the stables. I have had rooms prepared in advance, as all of you need a comforting bed for the night. Of course, you are also welcome to tour the village, but it's not much of a sight." Samule looked around him, but it was a look of admiration and almost happiness. "Our cook plans on providing a grand evening meal to warm our bellies for the night, so make sure not to snack too much before then.

    "Also, Ser Bevyn, if it would be fine with you and your daughter, I'd like to take her for a horse ride around the castlegrounds. We're already dressed for the occasion."

    Ser Bevyn considered this, cool grey eyes measuring Samule. "Brynna?" he asked at last, not taking his gaze away from Samule.

    "I'm not tired, Father," she put in, sounding a little hopeful.

    The knight nodded. "Very well then. But Melveen will accompany you."

    Melveen, the curly-haired maid, rode forward, bringing Brynna's horse along with her, and one of the men-at-arms helped Brynna to mount up.

    The maid, it was clear, would serve as a chaperone of sorts; a young lady of good reputation generally preferred to have one, the better to keep that good reputation.

    "Of course, Ser. As only expected." Samule bowed once more. "Thank you also, Ser, for allowing me to get to know your daughter. I won't squander these moments." Samule pointed nearer the castle, where horses were being shuffled about. "Over there is the stables. If you'd like, you can leave your horses there for now." He glanced at Brynna and her maid. "I need to bring my own from the stables before we may ride."

    "Enjoy yourself," Ser Bevyn told his daughter, with a hint of a smile, and turned toward the castle.

    His men-at-arms led the horses to the stable, trailed at a slight distance by Brynna and Melveen. The maid was speaking quietly to her mistress, and there were a few giggles between them; a glance or two betrayed that their topic of conversation was Samule himself.

    "Brynna, might I ask how your journey was?" Samule spoke up as he approached the stable, noticing his large brown mare was waiting for him. Strong, and tall, she looked almost majestic. A gift from King Desmond on one of his recent namedays. "I hope you and your family ran into no trouble."

    "None we couldn't handle," Brynna said easily. "There's no mountain journey that's without any hardships, of course. Snow buried one of our men-at-arms, but we managed to dig him out in time."

    Something in the way she set her shoulders while telling Samule of the event, as though in remembered effort, suggested she'd taken an active part in that rescue... which was indeed the case, as no member of the riding party had held back during the emergency.

    "Good, good. Not about your men at arms getting buried of course," He chuckled. He swung himself up onto the horse, and was suddenly much taller than Brynna. "There has been more. . .unrest, I guess you may say, around here, since my cousin's pronouncement of Kingship. Unfortunate, really, because we were becoming rather crime free in recent years."

    Brynna nodded, lips pursing for a moment in thought. "I think... changes in who holds power unsettle people. They start feeling as though they're not guaranteed what they've already had, or they feel as though none of the other rules apply anymore either." The young woman shrugged. "Even when the change is for the better, it takes time to convince people of that."

    There seemed to be no uncertainty in her voice at all about it being for the better - here was a woman who clearly approved of having a mountain-born ruler. Her keen grey gaze lingered on Samule as she delivered her observations.

    "People like stability; they like knowing what to expect. They get stirred up when it's not stable, and stirred-up people do foolish things. So I think it will take time for the unrest to cool down."

    "Very. . .well spoken,” Samule smirked, a lopsided grin as he led her and her maid down the pathways of the village. Smart. Smarter than I’ve heard. He thought, and then gave a small chuckle that drew attention from the two women. “You seem to be much more than I bargained for, Brynna Maegorion."

    He caught her smile.

    "Much more, indeed."


    Last edited by spycoder9, Dec 25, 2013
  20. Jedi_padawan_leigh Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 13, 2003
    star 4
    IC: Gwenn Cliffe
    The Golden Anchor


    Gwenn had not seen sight or heard sound of Nathaniel Delmari for four days…

    Soon after departing Breezecroft, the king had locked himself away for meetings with some of his most important advisers and staff. An iron curtain of secrecy surrounded the king and those with him, and not knowing when these meetings would be concluded, Gwenn was left to her own devices. The king had told her she was free to go anywhere on the ship before he retired to his personal cabins, and a crew-man had shown her to where she would be sleeping.

    Gwenn had been assigned a cabin of her own, generous in size and comfortably furnished, and that was where she had spent the most of her time since boarding. Within it there was a bed, a chest at the foot of it to store her few belongings. Across from that, there was a small desk and high backed chair made of dark wood. In the corner on top of a small end table sat a ceramic basin for washing. She had not expected to be given such a room to herself. Though the bed was comfortable and warm, her first night had not been the most relaxed. Despite the tiring events, she had found it hard to sleep. She was not used to the quiet, having a space to herself. She actually found herself missing Old Beth’s snoring and the occasional sleep-talking of one of the chamber-maids. On the second night, after a fitful sleep she had woken suddenly, still half asleep and disorientated she had forgotten where she was for a few confused moments, the sound of the wind outside and the feeling of the cabin rocking quickly reminding her of where she was. By the third night she slept better, though she was over-tired after a few bad nights.

    On the second day, she had decided to stretch her legs. Venturing out on deck, a cool breeze caught her face and the air was fresh. She stayed up there a while, watching as crew-men busied themselves with their tasks. Some gave her curious looks as they passed her, and one muttered “outta my way, boy” as he lumbered past her with some crates. Later in the day, the weather conditions became more unsettled and she had decided to wander further below decks. Her exploration had been cut short however when she was confronted by a small group of crewmen who were seconds away from pouncing on her, thinking she was a stow-away. Clearly these men had missed the memorandum…It took a somewhat heated exchange before the men discovered that one: she was here on invitation of Nathaniel and two: that she was a woman. A look of clear surprise crossed their faces at both revelations before they finally let her pass and gruffly went on their way.

    Gissa the cook didn’t seem too pleased to see her in the galley either, the bastard woman having been greeted with a wary stare devoid of any warmth or humour the first time she had wandered into the portly woman’s presence. After that, a light meal was brought to her by the king’s maids in the morning to break her fast. They also brought her a small meal in the evening, usually a bit of cooked fish and some mashed neeps, simple but filling. Gwenn felt quite uncomfortable at being waited on, but it was either that, or risk facing the business end of Gissa’s rolling pin. The maids actually seemed more open to her than Gissa was though, and the interaction was welcome, even if most of what came from their mouths was gossip. Gwenn was starting to feel a bit homesick by the third day and silence and solitude was a clear recipe for brooding.

    To avoid any more accusations or stony glares, she decided to retreat back to the safety of her cabin. On the way, she remembered mention of the king’s library. Maybe she could find something within to hold her attention for a while. Her reading and writing skills were at a low level, and the complexity of many of the books defeated her straight off the bat, but she did find a large tome within the collection that contained a lot of incredibly detailed illustrations, Castles and ships, portraits of various famous knights, lords of old and interpretations from battles long ago to name but a few. If she looked closely enough, she could make out the individual brush strokes on the parchment. She took it back to her cabin, hoping the king would not mind, not that he was around to ask anyway, she mused as she walked. He had been locked away with his advisers for so long… In the evenings she flicked part-way though the book, finding herself drawn into the pictures and for the first time since boarding the ship feeling somewhat more at ease. Slowly the crew started to become more accustomed to her presence, but it appeared Gissa still needed some convincing that Gwenn wasn’t going to plunder her stores and dump it all overboard…

    On the morning of the fourth day at sea, Gwenn noticed an increased level of activity. She had just finished washing and dressing when the maids entered once more. They started to fix the covers on her bed, a job Gwenn insisted on doing herself but the women would hear none of it. They talked to as they worked, but today their gossip seemed a lot grimmer and grave in the subject matter. They spoke of Ravens arriving, of a revolt in Delmaristead, of troubling rumours that terrible tragedy had befallen the king’s wife and daughter… Gwenn frowned in concern at these words. Excusing herself, she made her way out onto the deck. A handful of ships in the fleet had broken off at were moving away at speed. She heard a crew member mention that the king’s protector had been on-board not long ago. With such concerning news, it was no surprise that Nathaniel remained behind closed doors. After trying to find out some more information without success, the bastard girl conceded defeat, once again left to her own devices for the rest of the day.

    It wasn’t until that evening, as the skies began to darken and the stars began to peek out from night’s veil that Gwenn received a gruff message from Gissa. The king wanted to see her on deck. Making her way up, she spotted him leaning against the ships rail, His back to her as he stared out onto the horizon. She thought back to the rumours about the queen and princess. He must have been worried, receiving such troubling information but not yet being able to confirm or disprove it… Her boots clunked slightly on the planks underneath her feet, but Nathaniel did not seem to register her presence so deep he was in thought. Letting out a quiet breath, she walked up towards the rail and stood beside him, her grey eyed gaze taking in the horizon as well.

    “Um, s’cuse me, yer gra…I mean…” She paused. Should she be calling him grace? Or father? Or lord father? It sounded so strange in her head “…the cook said ye wanted te see me?”


    TAG: @spycoder9
    Last edited by Jedi_padawan_leigh, Dec 26, 2013
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  21. Trieste Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 10, 2010
    star 4
    IC: Ser Lawrence Kildare
    Inside the Tower, Shodaire, The Mountains
    His Wedding day

    That hand, now resembling a claw more than anything that belonged to a human, was still clasping Lawrence's warm winter coat of furs. The priestess was clearly unhinged, something had gone wrong with her. And yet Lawrence could not deny that she had undergone an unnatural change since their arrival here. A vibrant woman turned into a crone. These sorts of things should not happen.

    Though her words had declined in intensity, Lawrence found heat rising inside of him. It was not brought on by the movement from outside to the shelter provided by these stone walls. It was indignation.

    "Do not talk to me of broken vows," Lawrence hissed in a low voice, "Do you think I have forgotten what I did? What we did? Do you think that I will ever forget the grave sin I committed? I will look at my wife every day for the rest of my life and I shall think about our folly, about the fact that I gave you something that by all rights belonged to her. And I will hate myself every day. I will hate that she knows it too.

    "Yes, priestess, she knows what I did. Out of deference to you, I left your name out of my confession. Whatever you may think of me, know that I would not do that to you. That belongs to you. And every day Safia and I will have to live with my great sin. Do you know what V'hallar's punishment for me is? That I will marry a blameless woman and have this great mark between us for all of our days. Woman, V'hallar has nothing to do with this. If he did, then what loyalty do any of us owe to a god who would seek foremost to punish us? A truly wise god would know that we punish each other and ourselves more. I have already been broken," Lawrence said.

    He shrugged off Illiza's hand and walked away from her.

    TAG: @spycoder9
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  22. Stryker01 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Dec 4, 2012
    Martyn Forsythe and Callista Halleth nee Sand
    The Oasis of Dawnsgrace
    13 Days Before the Wedding

    [IMG] [IMG]


    Something was wrong in the air, Martyn realized. The farther they traveled down the stone passageways, lit only by spare torches, he could feel the air tingling. The knights who led them were apparently nervous, and whispered every turn of a corner. Whenever they cast glances at the visitors, their gaze lingered on Martyn a second longer than the others.
    The silence between them all led to unbidden thoughts. Martyn tried to force them away, but they continued to press into him, until finally he submitted himself.

    And the memories came forth, the demons of days past. . .



    "Why was I not awoken? I was her damn lord husband!" His emotions were out of control as he searched for something, anything, to calm him down. Any thoughts, but the fact that he hadn't even been woken until now at his wife's death. "Who commanded that I shouldn't be. . ."

    And yet Martyn knew then. Ginnifer was in power now, the new Lady of the Fair Groves. "My wife? Her body, where is it?"

    Landon was too absorbed in his tears to make a reply. It was not likely that there was going to be more useful information out of him at the moment. However, Martin had four other children. One of them likely would be good for something at a time like this.

    Landon, the biggest talker of them all, was silent. A dark time indeed, or perhaps one of great light. Too soon, Martyn's mind was flying in too many directions at the moment.

    Am I free, or lost?

    Without Emilie, will I be thrown into the sea of others?

    Or will I be locked away, to live in silence until death?

    He knew so much, one of the only people still alive to know what had happened to Ginnifer that day.

    Will this information kill me, or will Ginnifer cherish me?

    After brusquely pulling on something decent, he left Landon crying.

    Will Emilie's body be laid out for all to see, to honor her even in death as my own mother had been done?

    Her hair had always been so beautiful, flowing down her shoulders, bright and golden.

    Will they comb it and clean it so that her people might run their fingers through it, as I did early in our marriage?

    Martyn hurried down the halls, but soon realized he was getting lost. Placing several hands on his head, he breathed in and out several times. He knew where Ginnifer must have been. She was Lady of the Fair Groves, it was her place. And with that exact place on his mind, he let all his worries and his thoughts run loose. Shaking them away, he needed a clear head to find her.

    He had almost reached the great hall, the space where public business of the Fair Groves was conducted by its Lady, but before he could find his eldest daughter, he came upon the two siblings to either side of her in birth order. Ser Lawrence, the eldest, was positioned with Zooey against one of the walls of the passageway, speaking in hushed tones. Lawrence had his back to Martyn, so it was Zooey whose eyes picked out their father and who alerted her brother to his presence. They both stepped away from the wall to come to him.

    "Father," Lawrence said, wrapped in light beige robes the color of sand, his head bare, "There are no words for what we feel today."

    It was Zooey who hugged him, though. "It was terrible," she whispered, "I'm sure Landon tol..." She pulled back and her large eyes turned squinted in confusion. "Where's Landon?"

    The hug took him away for only a glimmer of a moment.

    "Landon. . ." Martyn felt lightheaded again. "I left him in my quarters. He's. . .a mess." He glanced in his son's direction, looking for a flicker of. . .of anything, a sign of what was going on.

    "Where is she? Where is your mother? I would. . .like to see her, soon if time permitted." He had practiced courtesies for many years. A shame, he needed to act this way in front of his own children, but Martyn could feel the facade breaking.

    Lawrence and Zooey looked at each other for half a second.

    "I'll...go see about Landon," Zooey said with hesitation. Lawrence gave a slight motion with his chin to indicate that she should leave the men alone for a moment. Zooey acted on the hint immediately and left them with a whisper of the hem of her dress against the stone of Kalkheim's floors.

    "It seems Landon didn't tell you," Lawrence said, by way of beginning. A terrible beginning. Words seemed to be failing everyone--the courtier son, the warrior son. Words could not touch what had happened in the night. “Our mother…your wife…” Lawrence tried to draw on the reserve of strength and courage that had caused him to become considered a fearless warrior, that had made him Knight Commander of the Fair Groves. Yet how could battling pirates and brigands compare to breaking news like this to one’s father? He looked Martyn in the eye. “…she has already been cremated.” He internally braced himself for his father’s response.

    "She's been. . ." The words fell on Martyn like the tolls of a bell. He wanted to see her one last time. That was all he wanted. He could handle getting past her death. They had never truly been compassionate for the other. But seeing her in her final state would help close the matter. Officially.

    ". . .Cremated?" He finally continued his sentence. He almost collapsed all at once. It would've been much either than standing here right now. He couldn't though. And he already knew the person responsible for cremating his wife so early. The only one who could actually carry out the duty, now that Emilie had passed.

    "Your sister did this? Ginnifer cremated her. . .before I could. . .before I was even woken?" His hand was shaking.

    Lawrence grabbed Martyn by the shoulders. "Father. Look at me. Look at me," he repeated insistently, "I saw her. It was terrible. Her face. It was...twisted. Terrible. I don't know what took her, what caused that, but it shook me." He did not add, "the hero of Arqada, the Knight Commander of the Fair Groves." It needed no saying. "No son should have to see his mother like that. No husband should have his last memories of his wife like that. Father, Ginnifer did it for your sake, for everyone's sake. If the people knew, who knew what she would be known as for all eternity."

    The young man released his father with an exhaled breath. "Forgive me," he said, making vague reference to having taken ahold of his father, "But I will have to live with...that for the rest of my life." He closed his eyes and turned a little away. "And I will never forget, as much as I would like to..." He opened his eyes and turned back to his father. "She has not been returned to the soil yet. Her ashes are in the great hall now...with Ginnifer."

    "I. . .I'm sorry you had to see that. . .her, in that condition. I know you loved her." Martyn edged forward, and surprised even himself when he wrapped his eldest son in an embrace. He hadn't hugged Lawrence since before the boy had lifted a sword. "Ginnifer is in the hall. . .with the ashes you said?" Martyn let him go, and for the first time Martyn felt some pain through the numb haze. His heart ached for his wife. It ached for the simplicity of life before. It ached for days when his children were actually children, and Martyn had all the time in the world.

    Without saying another word, the older man stepped past his son and entered the hall.



    And there they were.

    Standing before them were two large sandstone doors that stretched to the top of the cavernous ceiling.

    “It’s beautiful,” Callista moved to feel of the carvings, and one knight’s mailed hand grabbed her arm. Her cry of surprise and pain brought out Ombur’s whip, but before the large man moved to attack, Martyn pressed a hand to his arm.

    “Good Sers, she meant no harm,” Martyn’s calm voice cut through the tension, “She was only admiring the doors.” The knights grumbled, but finally the one who gripped her arm, let it go. Callista snatched it back, massaging it gently as she watched them all. Martyn’s quick tongue had saved them, yet again.

    “Now, don’t you think we should be seeing the King?” Martyn eyed the knight’s expression as he spoke. The half-bald one seemed emotionless, and the others weren’t much better, but something flickered across their faces. If only for a second, but Martyn noticed it.

    “Yes, yes. But I only hope you are who you say you are,” The half-bald one still gripped the edge of his hilt as he moved to open the doors. Ombur reached forward and let his hand rest on Callista’s shoulder. She looked back thankfully, and then turned to the throne room.

    So, as Martyn had done before, in his own home, and now did again, he stepped forward and into the throne room.


    TAG: myself
    Last edited by Stryker01, Dec 30, 2013
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  23. spycoder9 Force Ghost

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


    The Capital of Mirwyth
    WinterBridge



    The Naked Broad


    Storms were a rough business out at sea.

    None were any harsher than the crew who had accompanied Abott Tuckman though.

    The exotic foreigner who had attempted to slit his throat in an alleyway nights before, Zia, was a crude woman who liked to toy with her knife. She would sharpen it and whittle away at wooden things, all the while stare at Tuckman with that wild look in her eyes. Little Dim, an enormous man missing one eye, seemed not to have a lick of sense inside his brain. And there were the twin orphans, Aye and Tai. Red headed, with a dotting of freckles across their cheeks, they had a mean streak to them. Though they were helpful in their work, they were very mischievous. And there was Him. The others were unsure of his name, and considering his mouth was but a gaping maw, they named him, Him. Though no one dared taunt the man, as he held in his hands an awe-inspiring sword that never shone a dint.

    “The King said he was gonna help us, should thur’ be any trouble,” Aye had told Abott one night, as they feasted on soup, “Is it that bad? We gonna need Him to protect us?

    Abott’s orders had been to travel silently into WinterBridge, the keep owned by House Ember that lay on the fringes of Capital control. It held a secret allegiance to the Isles, seeing as King Nathaniel’s great uncle had married an Ember girl. Should they arrive safely, crates filled with food that would feed all of Breezecroft, awaited them.

    As they neared land, a beautiful white bridge came into view. It was a stark white and reached across a small lake that the ocean emptied into. The bridge stretched completely over the water, and high above any crafts that entered. It seemed like a mildly busy town, where people ambled about and ships were entering a rather fast rate. As the Naked Broad edged into the town, a castle as white as the bridge poked through a thick forest. It seemed upon on a hill, but at the perfect vantage point, it looked as if the bridge were resting upon the castle’s top spire.

    “Woah,” Tai laughed out loud at the sight. Aye high-fived him, and they began to running in circle and laughing. Little Dim would’ve joined in, had he not been helping edge the craft into it’s direction.

    It had been a journey for Tuckman, but not one overwhelmingly depressing.



    TAG: @Mitth_Fisto
  24. spycoder9 Force Ghost

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



    The Desert of Mirwyth
    The Fair Groves



    Kalkheim


    Aron Kildare had listened to Lorain and seemed lost in thought. It was lucky that Lorain's last words had been directed to his wife. "Of course, of course," Spectra said, "I'll take you to them now. It would be best that they hear them from you. After all, you were there with Willis."

    "No," Aron said, suddenly, perhaps harshly. He looked up at Lorain. "They went from Caraba to Arqada. After raiding Caraba they would have been laden with spoils and slaves. They would only have been going to wherever they store supplies for their raids. They sailed close to the coast, which means they are clearly based out of Mirwyth. That's enough. We can go get them." He turned to Zooey. "A small team of warriors can do it. We will right this wrong."

    "No one is saying that Willis or anyone should rot in slavery, but you are needed here!" Zooey demanded.

    "This is my son!" Aron roared.

    "You must wait for Ginnifer!" Zooey demanded, "Even if I wanted to let you go, I can't!"

    "Please, please," Spectra said, stepping between them, "There is another solution. One that wastes no time."

    "I'm all ears," Zooey said, without really meaning it.

    "Caliban can lead the party," Spectra said.

    "Spectra, I will not send another son into harm's way," Aron warned.

    "You have never let Caliban do anything, not since he got his knighthood," Spectra said, "He is ready for this. Do you know how much it would mean for him to rescue his elder brother?"

    "This is about saving Willis's life, not building up someone's self confidence!" Aron hissed.

    "No, she's right," Zooey said, with sudden realization and earnestness, "I can let Caliban go. Uncle, if you let him go, they could find Willis."

    Aron turned away and walked across the hall for three steps before turning back to them. "He's not ready," Aron said.

    "Lawrence was not ready when he defended Arqada," Spectra said, "The times make a man ready for them. Men are not made ready for their times."

    Aron looked at his wife. "If you are wrong--"

    "I will lose two sons," Spectra said, "and it shall not be for want of trying. You must let Caliban do this."

    The Warden of the Fair Groves held his wife's firm gaze. He turned back to the messenger who had brought him this news. "Even if you are wrong about the name of the ship, you can still identify it, I know it," Aron said to Lorain, "I must ask of you that you go with my youngest son, Willis's brother, Ser Caliban, to rescue Willis. If you do, I personally promise that you will receive recompense for your actions."

    "That is a promise I can affirm in my sister's absence," Zooey said.

    "My wife is right--if you have words for my daughter in-law Aimee, take them to her. Has..." Aron turned with sudden realization to Zooey.

    "No one has told her. Not until we knew the extent of it," Zooey said, her face falling. What an error. What a grave error.

    "Please...please," Aron said, his hard exterior beginning to crack, "Be gentle with her. This will come as a shock to her."

    "Tell her that Caliban is going to rescue him," Spectra added, "and that Willis will be home soon, as I know he will."

    "Regardless of whether you choose to accompany Caliban and the warriors," Zooey said to Lorain, "we will show our thanks to you for all have done. To all of you," she said to the whole group of travelers, "Your needs will be seen to." A guard gently cleared his throat. "Hmmm? Well, it seems we make good on our word before we speak it. But financial thanks shall be made. You are all welcome at Kalkheim for as long as it is convenient."

    Zooey's eyes turned to Fleet. "And you..." she came forward and knelt to get closer to Fleet's face, "...you who have seen so much at such an age. Fire...death...it is not right. We will keep you here, safe. It is the least we can do to one so alone in this world."



    TAG: @Ktala, @greyjedi125
    Last edited by spycoder9, Dec 31, 2013
  25. JediMasterAnne Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 24, 2004
    star 4
    OOC: Again, combined with spycoder9:)

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

    “I can’t explain. . .” He began to pace the room, “There’s no time. . .no time for anything anymore. . .You have to Safia. . .we must leave. . .” It sounded as if he was no longer speaking to her, just rambling.

    Safia gently took her brother by the arm and forced him to look at her. "You still aren't making any sense," she told him. "You were fine with the wedding this morning"--albeit a little down about her leaving--"what changed all of a sudden?" Her eyes suddenly narrowed as she thought about when she had last seen him. "What did Father say?"

    "He didn't say. . .I can't. . ." He glared at her, and grabbed her arm in a tight grip, "Are you going to leave or not? I need to know." His eyes burned into hers. "Now."

    The way he was glaring at her made her uncomfortable, but her mind was made up. Despite her usually complete and unreserved trust in her brother, there were some things she just wouldn't do. Like turn runaway bride on her betrothed without a known and very good reason. She didn't want to leave. She wanted to marry Lawrence. And she had to, as well. It was her duty. But it was also more than that. Karridan didn't know it, but she was already in too far to go back now. She couldn't leave now, even if she had wanted to.

    "I can't," she finally said. Surprisingly, there was no waver of hesitation in her voice. "Not if you're not going to give me a good reason why I should."

    "You don't understand Safia! You don't understand what you're getting into. . ." He was shouting then, as he began the nervous pacing again. "Dammit Safia I just want to protect you. . .But if you won't leave with me, then I can't. I. . ." And with that Karridan broke off and rushed to the door, opening it wide and slamming it shut behind him. The wood creaked on its hinges as the silence settled.

    She tried to grab him again to try to get him to talk sense, but he left before she had a chance, slamming the door behind him. She flinched at the sound, confused and suddenly even more frightened. Would he still leave? Surely he would not...but as scared as he seemed, she couldn't shake the feeling that he just might.

    Safia sat down on her bed, feeling very uncertain. Had her beloved brother just abandoned her? What if he was right?

    Her eyes, now brimming with tears, caught the mirror again, and she stared at the reflection of herself in her wedding gown. What if she shouldn't do this?

    TAG: @spycoder9
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