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Fantasy A War of Kings

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  1. spycoder9 Force Ghost

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


    The Isles of Mirwyth
    Near Breezecroft


    The Naked Broad


    One of the ships was claimed by the sea in their voyage.

    The storms that ravaged the Isles in early spring had always been known to be particularly rough, but the one that struck Abott and his crew seemed to come from Hell itself.

    Little Aye had insisted upon being on one of their new ships with its temporary crew, and whether he was given permission or not, ended up on board the very boat that was claimed by the ocean. Along with it, went half of the food. Tai had stood on the deck of The Naked Broad, the brisk wind blowing his red hair all around. He stared at the other ship, as it rocked side to side. The crew was running about, struggling and working and trying, their shouts lost amongst the rough seas.

    And then one wave struck the side hard enough to knock it over.

    When it had been but all consumed by the waters, Tai turned back to look at Abott. Rain lashed his cheeks and the wind billowed his clothing around his lithe body.

    His anguished scream was lost in the howling winds.



    TAG: @Mitth_Fisto
    Last edited by spycoder9, Apr 5, 2014
  2. spycoder9 Force Ghost

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


    The Isles of Mirwyth
    Breezecroft


    Eagle's Talon


    "Damn spring show'rs." The innkeeper stood in the doorway on his establishment, staring out at the rain as it poured down only a breathe ahead of his face. It pitter-pattered throughout the entire town of Breezecroft, even on the banner of House Moorecroft that flapped high above the Isles city. "Ruins business. . ." He grumbled again as he turned away and shut the front door.

    The inn was fairly sparse.

    A scrawny, freckled thing with hair as dead and dry as straw, swept the dusty floors. Occasionally, she offered to fill the patrons' drinks. One sailor tried to stick his hand up her jerkin, but she swatted him away. It was almost a nonchalant action, as if she had done it many times before. The large man roared with laughter, echoed by his few companions at his table.

    One aged woman with grey hair sat hunkered down at a table. To every man that came into the inn, she approached and pressed herself to, offering a night in luxury, for only one golden coin.

    "Pay ye a gold coin?" A dark man slapped her across the cheek once. "I wouldn't pay ye a gold coin if ye's the Queen h'rself."

    She hunkered back to her chair, acting much like the scrawny girl had.

    The only man she hadn't approached, was the one in the corner.

    He had arrived the night before, right before the showers had came. His captain had sped the seas from Nzelbren, trying to avoid some of the spring showers cropping up in the areas.

    He was the Phantom of the Isles.



    TAG: @Jedi General Gelderd
    Last edited by spycoder9, Apr 5, 2014
  3. Mitth_Fisto Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 29, 2005
    star 6
    IC: Abott Tuckman
    The Naked Broad, Near Breezecroft

    The sea yet takes her due, tis true. Oft a reason why a person may yet speak out against the trade of the sea is the life that is paid to allow so many to tread the ways, and the undue nature of random selection left to chance of what or whom shall be taken as the toll.

    The only true consolation was that the sea buried it's chosen offerings without further fee or condition. Still as the wail of the sibling was lost up the roaring of the sea, he removed his hat and moved toward the lad with the steady legs of one well accustomed. True they were not out of it yet, but he trusted the rest of crew would do their best to make sure jealous sky did not dash them upon the rocks to banish them from the sea, nor the seas hunger to draw them in as well. Putting a hand upon the boys head he pulled it toward himself, "Let it out. That is it. Let it out."

    As the rain pelted upon him, his beard drenched with the salt of the sea spray and the drinking pure water from the sky, he looked where the boat used to be. No more would he have reason to bristle at My Tie leaning in upon him. Now there was only Tai, and without the other, well. He felt for the child and had not a clue what it would transmute into now that it was truly alone.

    TAG: @spycoder9
  4. spycoder9 Force Ghost

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


    The Desert of Mirwyth
    Sand Dunes


    Camp


    Ser Caliban held up his hand. "We'll make camp here."

    The procession of men (and woman) halted at the top of a sand dune. The young knight strutted around the party for several moments. He took extreme precautions to be sure the area was secure. When it became apparent that several of them weren't going to wait any longer for him, Caliban nodded.

    "Rest," He continued, "We made good travel today."

    "All for your brother," His squire Olyvar murmured.

    "And tomorrow," Caliban frowned at the raven haired man, "For my brother, we will ride harder." He and his squire seemed almost of the same age, and yet Caliban wielded a considerably larger amount of authority.

    They had went a long distance that day, and the day before. The sands of the Desert were slowly beginning to reclaim the terrain. The horses had been trained for this travel and struggled none. Ser Caliban rode them hard, never pausing for a rest during the daylight hours. "My brother's life for a few moments of rest?" He spat one time, when a few of the men insisted the woman and child have a break. "They insisted on coming. They rest when we do." And rode they had.

    Tents were erected from the sands as the stars began to dot the night sky. The older knights set to work on creating a fire and fixing grub.

    "Good ser and mam," Olyvar approached Lorain and Fleet, "Your tent has been prepared." With his kind smile came an obvious flush. It always came about when he was in the presence of the large woman. Though they had barely spoken a few words, he had taken it upon himself to prepare their tent every evening.



    TAG: @Ktala, @greyjedi125

    Last edited by spycoder9, Apr 8, 2014
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  5. Ktala Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 7, 2002
    star 6
    Lorain Ashkey - The Forsaken Desert of Mirwyth
    Sand Dunes- With Ser Ijit Knight - Camp


    Ser Caliban held up his hand. "We'll make camp here."

    Lorain watched silently as the Knight walked around the party several times. She wasnt sure if he was simply being cautious, or he was testing his men. It seemed more of the later, as his men grew restless, wanting to get settled, and the camp done. When they looked just about ready to start without him, he spoke up once more, giving them all a nod as if he had done something special. "Rest," He commanded, "We made good travel today."

    Good travel? Well, yes it was true that they had covered much ground. Lorain had spent the last few days teaching poor Fleet how to move his body, so that he would not end up refusing to sit down for the next couple of days. She put a small pad on the saddle for him, and showed him how the horse moved, and how to move along with it. The horses seemed well trained, and that helped. For the most part, the pace was not too bad, and it allowed Lorain to catch naps during the day, while they rode, if she was not instructing Fleet in the ways and wiles of desert life. "Ya knows ..being on a ship is kinda like being on a big horse. It moves too. Something else you will have ta gets used to." Lorain gave him a wink.

    She noticed one of the soldiers, mentioned something about his brother. It sounded like his brother was well liked, more so than Caliban. The Knight frowned, as he responded, "And tomorrow, 'for my brother', we will ride harder." Was there some bit of anger in that reply? Or simple annoyance? Or was it simply the fact that this Caliban seemed to rub everyone the wrong way? More likely the latter. And ride harder? Lorain patted her horse gently, as she slid off, and waited for Fleet to join her. Lorain stretched, happy to be standing. Would do no go to wear the troops down to nothing. Truly, no love loss between these men and Ser Caliban. Lorain hoped that the two brothers got along at least. Too bad the father had not been able to go. THAT would have been a force of natures, Lorain was sure of that. Hopefully, Ser Caliban lived up to something as well. With a smirk hidden behind the cloth that covered her face, Lorain looked about. As she had before, she kept a watch, keeping out of the way, while the guards began the tasks of settng up the camp. She remembered earlier in the day, as they moved across the sands, that the Knight had refused to stop. At all. They continuously moved during the daylight hours. At least the poor horses had a chance to rest at night. When it was suggested that they rest, the Knight had responded.. "My brother's life for a few moments of rest?" She felt that was more for show than anything else. She didnt think he knew that she had heard him earlier before, commenting about Fleet and her, when one of the other warriors had asked for a break, using Fleet and herself as a reason. He had spat back, "They insisted on coming. They rest when we do." INSISTED?! The fool would not know which way to go, or what to look for, if it was not for them. It was indeed lucky that Lorain kept her face covered during the day. She would have embarrassed her mother with the words that were trying to work their way out of her mouth. But she did bid her tounge. They were here on Willis's behalf, not this one. And so far, the rest of the family seemed honorable enough, so Lorain would honor her intentions as well. And she would do her best to teach Fleet the same. So she stayed quiet and concentrated on teaching Fleet what she could.

    Much later, the tents began to go up, as the stars began to dot the night sky. Lorain was sitting on the ground, looking up at the night sky, trying to get a fix on their position. She watched as the older knights set to work on creating a fire and fixing meals for the night. Thank the Gods, they did not try to task Lorain with that part of the mission. As Lorain sat, she noticed one of the men approach Fleet and she. She smiled, when she recognized the face. "Good Ser and mam," Olyvar approached Lorain and Fleet, "Your tent has been prepared." he smiled at Fleet and Lorain. He always seemed a bit embarrassed when he came around Lorain, and Lorain did her best to put him at ease. She appreciated the fact that he took it on himself to set up their tent. Lorain in truth, had been prepared to do so herself, but before she even had to think of such a thing, she found that he had already taken it to task. It was also nicer than the strange looks, and frowns she was used to receiving, especially around the coarser men, who considered her un-womanly. They would probably faint, if they found out she was a weapon-smith. So fickle was the men ego. But so far, they had been respectful.

    As he approached, Lorain rose to her feet, if a bit stiffly. "I thank ye, Ser Olyvar." she stated smiling. "For looking out for my son and myself." she stated with a grin as she moved to follow him to the tent. She was truly looking forward to laying down, and getting a good night rest after something to eat. This was different than the earlier trek Fleet and her had done to get to the Groves. This was much more hurried, but at least this time, they were traveling with a large group, and much better supplied. Even tents!

    Lorain smiled once more after they had reached the tent. She nodded as she looked back at Olyvar, giving him a grateful nod. Lorain gently ruffled Fleet's hair, as she peered inside the tent. She then looked back out and gave a slight grin. Lorain would try to ask Olyvar the path that they were taking, and where it was they were going. In that way, if anything else was to happen, Lorain and Fleet could still follow the path set out. She also asked if he knew what actions that Ser Caliban was going to take, and if they were indeed going to obtain a ship. She kept her voice low, not wanting Caliban to overhear her questions. He would probably state it was not necessary for a 'woman' to know such things. The smell of food cooking gently caught her nose. After speaking with Olyvar, she would sit outside the tent, to watch the stars, before going inside the tent to rest for the night. Where she slept with both her hammers close at hand, and a dagger hidden ever closer.




    TAG: @greyjedi125, @Trieste, @spycoder9
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  6. greyjedi125 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 29, 2002
    star 4
    IC: Fleet
    Desert of Mirwyth, Sand Dunes

    Without a doubt this trip was going to be the biggest trial to date in Fleet’s life. Not to mention one where his learning capabilities were being challenged on a constant basis. In fact, the ‘sink or swim’ dynamic applied itself perfectly to his situation.

    The first few minutes of their journey began well enough, but it didn’t take very long for his troubles to begin.

    “Ma?” The former urchin began concern already in his voice.

    “I could try runnin’ next to the horse, ridin’ s beginin’ to hurt a bit.”

    That was putting it mildly actually. At the moment, he was not in rhythm with the riding motion and his lower parts were beginning to hurt. It wasn’t a good feeling and if the continued much longer, Fleet knew he was going to be in trouble and in a world of hurt. Thankfully, Lorain was his riding partner and just like many times before, she came to his rescue.

    The small padding on the saddle was definitely a great help, but more so was Lorain’s instructions as to how to properly move with the horse and not against it. Fleet kept adjusting his motion until he got it as close as he was able on such short notice and felt much relief. Oh! by the gods old and new! who could have imagined that riding an animal would require such knowledge? It certainly looked simple enough, but it stood to reason once you knew how to, then it was indeed.

    Still, the ride went on far longer than he would have liked, not to mention all there was to see around them was endless desert. How did anyone know where they were going in the first place? There were no stars out to guide them.

    Once the rescue party came to a stop, Feet silently thanked the gods. He was feeling quite sore, to the point e was uncertain if he wanted to continue riding the next day, but already knowing he had no choice. Like many other situations i his short life, he’d just have to brave his discomfort. He was not about to look ‘weak’ in front of Ma’ and definitely not in front of these Kalkheim soldiers. Too bad Bren hadn’t come along.

    “Thanks Ma, yu saved me rump.” The boy said as he involuntarily grimaced as Lorain helped him off the horse. He meant his words as a small joke, but they spoke literal truth. For the moment, his mind was only focused on half his discomfort, as the other half tried its best to ignore the hunger he was feeling. His stomach had even rumbled in protest. But hunger was an old and familiar companion.

    Just like Lorain, Fleet kept his face wrapped in his traveling cloths. He’d asked Lorain to tell him a bit more about the horses, their breathing and how they should be treated. To him, they seemed so majestic and noble, and he wanted to treat them as such.

    “Perhaps folks should be mo’ like horses…” Fleet commented to Lorain in passing.

    Though he made himself busy, the ‘unofficial squire-in-training’ also listened to the men talking behind them. He knew better than to interact with them as he was already familiar with such dynamics and how they inevitably ended in unbidden humiliation. He could sense how some were made uncomfortable by him and Lorain. Almost as if they were bringing bad luck to them, but a few seemed more accepting.

    Especially the one he was guessing to be Ser Caliban’s squire. Olyvar.

    For some inexplicable reason, he seemed very attentive to them and seemed quite coy around Ma’. Fleet was both grateful and suspicious of this, which only meant he’d have to keep and eye out for any tricks. The former urchin had seen too many unpleasant things in his days and had learned hard lessons because of them. Chiefly, that people were never what they seemed on the surface. There was always more to them, whether for good or ill. True natures eventually rose to the surface.

    Olyvar was Ser Caliban’s squire. Ser Caliban was none too fond of them, even if he did not speak the words directly. But Fleet would follow Lorain’s lead in this. She was the one with the experience and he was completely out of his element. Out here, there was no where he could run.

    “Thank yu good Ser.” Fleet said to the attentive squire, a pleasant expression on his face.

    Though both tired and hungry, he forced himself to do as Lorain did. He did a lot of listening and spoke only when addressed. Once meal time came, he ate and forced himself to take his time, feeling that eyes would be on them. Afterwards, Fleet enjoyed looking at the stars with Lorain. That was a magical moment, where he could be more himself and learn more about Lorain’s stories. He layer on his stomach for the most part or on his side.

    When it was time to sleep, he checked the tent for any secret flaps other than the main entrance, and though he slept with his dagger at his side, Fleet was so tired, that his slumber that night was akin to that of a rock.

    Perhaps he would dream of riding horses, maybe of Lorain teachings or of Kaili….or perhaps he would dream about his growing list.


    Tag: @Ktala, @spycoder9
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  7. Trieste Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 10, 2010
    star 4
    (Posted with @spycoder9)

    Alcazar, Kalkheim, Fair Groves, Desert
    11 days before her brother’s wedding

    Ginnifer had returned to her quarters to more thoroughly freshen up and lose the dust and grime of the Desert. The brief sprucing up that she’d done outside the view of the city had been enough to get her through being seen briefly by the commoners but that had been it. Sophee had done her work and it had given Ginnifer time to relax now that the journey was complete.

    Unfortunately, her work was far from complete.

    When Sophee was finished, Ginnifer said, “Have someone find Lady Zooey and ask her to come here.”

    “Yes milady,” Sophee said, hurrying off to comply.

    It was about ten minutes later that Ginnifer’s eldest sister entered the chamber. Sophee, on a signal from Ginnifer, tactfully withdrew to leave the two alone.

    “Welcome back,” Zooey said, “How was the trip?”

    “Good. The usual. Tenants are worried that war will be bad for them,” Ginnifer said, “If it’s not that, it’s something else. Water, bandits, they always think of something.” She moved from her vanity to one of the lightly cushioned reclining chairs in the cool chamber. She stretched out on it. “More important than my trip is what happened here while I was gone.”

    “Right,” Zooey said, taking a deep breath, “We got word that Willis was taken by slavers.”

    “So I hear. I ran into Caliban on his way out of the city,” Ginnifer said.

    “Then you know,” Zooey said with some surprise.

    “I did. I blessed the expedition,” Ginnifer said, “because to turn him back then, as I wanted to do would have looked bad in front of the townspeople. They would have wondered what kind of lady I am to abandon my own cousin to slavers. So tell me that everything is okay and this word of Willis’s capture came with positive confirmation that it was true.”

    Zooey blinked. “What do you mean?”

    “I mean,” Ginnifer said sitting up, “That whoever told you of this, this big woman who was with Caliban, told you something about Willis that proved she wasn’t making it up.”

    “Why would she make up a thing such as that?” Zooey asked, perplexed.

    Ginnifer said nothing for a moment. “How much did you give her for the information?”

    “Well, nothing,” Zooey said. Ginnifer bore her eyes into her sister. “Yet,” Zooey admitted, “but when she returns…”

    Ginnifer sighed. “Then she’s likely not lying. If she doesn’t come back with Willis, she’ll get nothing. In that you can be sure. But Zooey, you must learn to temper yourself. What if you’d paid her and she’d left? We’d be made to look ridiculous, and more importantly Caliban, the only knight we have at the moment, would be sent on a wild goose chase with how many of our guards? As it is we’re already nearly goading Fenton into moving against us. If he has a mind to, he’d do it.”

    “But everything you’ve done has been to give Fenton no offense,” Zooey said.

    “And on that note—”

    “I know, Caliban. He could easily start something with Fenton if he met his men. I warned him about that. Repeatedly,” Zooey stressed, “But it was either send him or Uncle Aron was insisting on going. I felt it would be better to keep him here than Caliban.”

    “In that I agree,” Ginnifer said. She said nothing and looked at the ceiling of her chamber for a few silent seconds.

    “Has there been any word from father?” Ginnifer asked.

    “No, nothing.”

    “How odd. He should have arrived at the Oasis by now…” Ginnifer mused. A raven could have made it back to Kalkheim easily by now.... That was the end of her thought. “Thank you.” With a stiff gauntleted hand, she waved Zooey away and looked back up at the ceiling.

    As the heavy door shut behind Zooey, the words of their mother came back to Ginnifer.

    “Your sister is too earnest. Too idealist. It makes her dangerous—in the worst way possible. She is dangerous to this family and an aid to any who would seek to take advantage of us. Be careful of Zooey. She will hurt you through her big heart if you are not.”

    Ginnifer hated it when her mother was right.

    TAG: @spycoder9 @Ktala @greyjedi125
  8. Jedi_padawan_leigh Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 13, 2003
    star 4
    IC: Gwenn Cliffe
    Delmaristead, The Tower by the Sea


    As Jeanette took her leave, the young blonde maiden stepped forward towards Gwenn. She gave the bastard woman a sweet smile. She was a pretty one, with freckled cheeks and curly blonde hair. "Paege, if it pleases m'lady." The girl curtsied, lowering her head completely. The dark haired maiden followed suit, though her movements were more hurried. "She's Edeth. . .of course you know that," Paege giggled her sweet smile again, and then walked past Gwenn. "Lemme open the door for m'lady." Gwenn watched as Paege moved past her to get the door, then her gaze fell on Edeth. She had encountered Edeth a few times during the voyage from Breezecroft, but the dark haired maiden seemed to be the polar opposite of the cheerful Paege. The olive skinned woman was solemn and quiet, and up to now Edeth had not said one word to her.

    Paege beckoned her to step through the door, and at that moment, Gwenn started to feel somewhat uncomfortable. She was a former servant, and had spent most of her life bending the knee in service to others, and as she watched Paege and Edeth curtsying and performing gestures of respect towards her, a feeling of awkwardness spread through her. Paige had also called her m’lady. It felt strange, it almost felt wrong…

    What lay beyond the door was one of the nicest rooms Gwenn had ever seen. It was light and spacious, with a very comfortable looking bed against one wall. There was a fireplace surrounded by dark stone, along with a wooden table and chair not far from the bed. She glanced up towards the ceiling, spotting the Delmari anchor hanging from a banner on the rafters. There was also a small side room branching off from the main one. One key feature was enough to steal her attentions however, as her gaze settled on the spectacular view which lay beyond the rooms balcony, framed by a pair or ornate pillars.
    .
    She walked the short distance through the room and approached the pillars. Leaning against the balcony wall, she took a few moments to take in the breath-taking view. A warm breeze blew into the room, ruffling the curtains and filling the room with the scent of the sea. From this vantage point, nothing but water stretched out as far as her grey eyes could see. Waves rolled and crashed beneath her, and she let out a sigh as she felt the breeze against her face.

    “Is this what the seagulls see when they spread their wings and fly?” She thought to herself as her senses soaked everything in: The sound of the waves and faint sounds of the harbour, the slightly salty taste and scent in the air. The name of this tower was an apt one indeed, Tower by the sea, by name and by nature.

    Gwenn let out a soft breath, running a hand through her fly-away hair. “Me father is too kind, grantin’ me such quarters” she said as she turned and walked a few paces from the stone pillars to face the two young maidens “Ye don’t have te call me milady, just plain ol’ Gwenn will do, if it please ya”


    TAG: @spycoder9
  9. Ktala Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 7, 2002
    star 6
    OOC: A bit of filler while we wait for next moves...

    Lorain
    Gods forsaken Sand Dunes

    Poor Fleet. Lorain looked over at her son with a small smile. Fleet's day had been very eventful. He had never ridden a horse before, so in the beginning he bounced all over the saddle. But as before, Fleet showed just how adaptable and a quick study he truly was. It took a bit, but he soon caught the rhythm of the animal, and was not quite slapping so hard against the pillow. It had helped. Lorain told him stories to keep his mind off of his discomfort. Of Yadal, the great stallion, that gallops across the skies. A very proud and loyal companion of Nazzil, the Warrior. A horse, when trained, could become your most important friend, and can save your life. You treat him right, he will do the same to you. Treat him badly, and you can end up regretting your decision. Much like people. Fleet was quick to pick up on the fact, and added, “Perhaps folks should be mo’ like horses…” Lorain nodded in agreement.

    Lorain tried to give Fleet his space, letting him wander about, learning by watching what the knights did. She tried hard, not wanting to smother him, by keeping him so close. That would give reasons for the Knights to tease him. She simply wanted to keep him safe. But he needed a chance to learn some things on his own, so Lorain kept near the tent, when he did not need her, checking out on some other things. She planted two sticks in the sand, trying to gauge the general direction that they were traveling, making marks in the sand. She sniffed the air gently. From the way the Knight talked, they had another day or so, before they reached whatever place they were heading for. Of course, her favorite time of day, was when the sun sank low, and the stars smiled down at them. Once they ate, Lorain would tell him more of the stars, and answer any questions that he might have from the day of travels, or anything else. She would speak, while Fleet lay on his stomach or side, listening as she pointed out various objects in the night sky. And she always thanked whoever had cooked the meals they were lucky to receive as well. And she was more than happy to stay away from the royal idiot.

    And when Fleet's eyes grew low, she would send him into the tent, and then follow once he was settled in for the night. She chuckled softly as he checked the tent for any other ways inside, for she had the same thoughts. She also checked, and then stayed up for just a while longer, watching as Fleet feel into a deep sleep. Watching him sleep was something almost magical. Even more than watching her younger brother. Fleet was her responsibility now. She reached over, making sure he was covered, as the nights could get very cool. She stayed up a bit longer, as the camp quieted down, and people went to sleep, before she finally drifted off herself, next to Fleet.


    TAG: @greyjedi125
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  10. HanSolo29 Manager Emeritus + Official Star Wars Artist

    Member Since:
    Apr 13, 2001
    star 6
    SPYCODER APPROVED!

    I'm BACK! :D


    Name: Dayvid Sol
    Age: 55

    Gender: Male

    Appearance: Average height with semi-athletic build; he has grizzled features and his overall appearance is quite haggard from years of living in the wilderness; he usually wears buckskins and other insulated gear to combat the colder climate of the mountains. His supplies include a worn leather satchel and canteen; his only visible weapons include a knife hanging upon his belt and a crossbow and arrows slung over his back on a well-worn strap.

    [IMG]

    [IMG]
    The carving etched into the pendant that he wears on a string around his neck

    [IMG]
    Sage

    Homeland: The Mountains
    King: None for the time being; he only claims allegiance to himself, for that is the only thing he truly believes in and can trust
    Occupation: Mercenary, thief and sometimes bounty hunter; wanderer and tracker
    Family Banner: N/A
    House Words: Truth Conquers
    Biography:
    The past is something that Dayvid never speaks of, even in small amounts. As far as he’s concerned, there is no point in dwelling on something that has happened a long time ago and in which he is unable to go back and alter the outcome. That kind of obsession is unhealthy, both physically and mentally, and over the years, he has learned to let go and focus on the here and now. There are more important things in life than focusing on days gone by…

    Dayvid was born within the Mountains and has rarely explored beyond its borders. However, if the price is right, he is always willing to expand his horizons. It is hard to say exactly which settlement he calls home, but he tends to do the majority of his business with the river town of Susquehann, named after the native people who settled the fertile region centuries ago.

    And his business? Dayvid likes to refer to himself as a traveling entrepreneur, but others have a more common and damning name for him – mercenary. As long as the price is right, he is willing to pull off a myriad of jobs ranging from theft to bounty hunting and everything in-between, including tracker and guide. He always works alone as he travels the wilderness alone in search of the next opportunity. His only companion in his travels is his dog, Sage.

    While he may play the role of a loner, he does indeed have a family. On the outskirts of Susquehann, a small cottage sits along one vein of the river, covered partially in moss and tilted to one side due to erosion. A colt is tied to the crooked fence outside and a warm glow is always present from within, a sign that Dayvid’s wife, Eden, is always home waiting for her husband to return.
  11. BoomBachen Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Apr 5, 2014
    APPROVED by spycoder9

    Mairar Meade
    Son of Darridan Meade, Heir to the Meade titles, and General of the Grand Army of Misty Top
    Age: 22
    Gender: Male
    Appearance: Meade is an attractive and confident looking man. He has the famous Meade Eyes that nearly all Meade’s by blood have (bright green eyes with a yellow tint in the middle). Like most of his family, he has darker brown hair that he keeps short and swept to the side. He has a muscular build and stands at 6 feet tall, the tallest of his family. He usually sports a traditional armor that is gold tinted with his family cloak wrapped around it.
    Homeland: The Mountains, Misty Top Keep
    King: King in the Mountains
    Occupation: Lord of the Misty Top Keep and all her lands; General of the Grand Army of the Misty Top Lands
    Family Banner: A Blue banner with a sword stabbing through a mountain
    House Words: Honor to those who fall and victory to those who don’t.
    Biography: Mairar Meade is the first born son of Darridan Meade, the Lord and Commanding General of the Misty Top. Mairar is to inherit all his possessions and duties upon his father’s death. He has been trained since a young age to be ready for these responsibilities, and acts the part. He is the eldest of nine siblings: Darros (twenty), Sara (nineteen), Arjen (eighteen), Justile (eighteen), Garron (fifteen), Cecilia (eleven), and the twins Sierra and Dammon (seven).

    When growing up, Mairar always excelled in his military classes, becoming a competent swordsman and a great leader. He is sometimes annoyed with his younger siblings: Darros and Sara, who he says act immature. At the same time, he was able to talk their father into letting Darros marry his love Hanna Bodderly, instead of a more highborn girl. Mairar himself is looking for the day he gets to lead his army and prove himself worthy of the Meade name. He is very close friends with his Blood Knight, Ser Talos.
    House Meade - a family of Lords in the Mountains who reside in the Misty Top Keep. They have a long prestigious military history, being in nearly every conflict they could manage to be in. They have a large army under their command, making them important to anyone who wishes to control The Mountains.
    Misty Top Keep - an old fort controlled by a former family that, when the Meade’s took it and later achieved lordship, was converted to a keep. It has never been held by enemy troops in all of the years of the Meade’s holding it.
    Grand Army of the Misty Top - an army owned and commanded by the Meade’s. They are loyal to their liege lords first and Kings second. They number in about 15,000 men and are one of the few standing armies during peacetime.
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  12. JediMasterAnne Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 24, 2004
    star 4
    OOC: Flashback combined written with spycoder9
    This scene takes place the night before the wedding, and is not connected to the dreams Safia is currently experiencing.

    IC: Safia Rolmar
    The Mountains of Mirwyth
    Shodaire, the Tower of Stone
    Dining Hall--the night before her wedding

    There were some other pairs dancing out on the floor, but most of the guests were watching the king and his daughter. They were all here to celebrate the princess’s impending marriage, but Safia had to wonder if she would ever see any of them again, after tomorrow. So many familiar faces whirled past her as her father spun her around; at first she made a sort of game of trying to name as many of them as she could—Tanderly…Bodderly…Gideon…Seebrid…Hadlex…Harrick—but as the list grew longer in her head, it made her a little sad that so many of these people would likely pass out of her life possibly forever. Compared to the dozen or more families she knew in the Mountains, she could probably list the Desert families she knew of (but did not personally know) on one hand.

    In just a few days, she would leave everything and everyone she knew, to go and live with strangers. And although she and Lawrence were getting along well, she couldn’t ignore the fact that they had only known each other for less than two weeks.

    She might not even see her father or her brothers again, even though Karridan had said he would visit her. There was a war coming, and war had an ugly habit of tearing families apart. The thought weighed heavy on her, and the smile she was trying to keep on her face slipped a little.

    "This reminds me of my own wedding gala..." Her father whispered in her ear as they twirled. "Corinne laughed like a child in the snow when I spun her."

    Safia's smile returned, though she felt a slight pang of guilt and sadness that her mother was not here now. A curious expression crossed her face as well, and she decided to be a bit gutsy and ask the question that had occasionally played through her thoughts of late. "How long did you know Mother before you realized you loved her?" she asked. It was a very personal thing to ask, she knew, and she also suspected it was a rather dangerous thing to ask. She didn't want to anger him, especially tonight. "I know you didn't meet her until your wedding day, but..." She trailed off, not sure how to finish that statement. "And you don't have to tell me," she added, hoping to cool his temper before it flared up. "I just wondered."

    "I caught her reading one morning," Desmond looked at nothing in particular, "She was bathed in a light that melted the very ice on the parapets. I remember her golden hair, and the way her eyes sparkled when she looked at me." His smile slipped. "I haven't stepped on that balcony..." He looked abruptly at Safia. "Love is a curse. The moment you feel it most, you lose it." With that, he gave her a final twirl, and then spun her into the arms of a thin young man of her size.

    "Milady," Ser Lawrence's squire said, "It is a pleasure to meet you."

    Safia frowned at her father's cryptic response, but she didn't have time to make a reply, as the music changed and her father handed her off to another. The young man she found herself partnered with was about her height, albeit a little younger. Safia didn't know his name, but she did know who he was. "You are Ser Lawrence's squire, aren't you?"

    He dipped his head in agreement. "Miche, if it pleases you." His hair stuck to his forehead, wet like melting cocoa. "Ser Lawrence seems to be very fond of you, m'lady."

    Safia cast a brief glance to her betrothed when she spotted him apparently sitting out this dance, talking with someone near one of the fireplaces. "It would seem so," she agreed. "And I like him as well, but we have still only known each other such a short time."

    "Most royal marriages are made between people who haven't known each other long," Miche dipped her. "Even something as insignificant as fondness should be treasured, when you consider so few of those who have it."

    Again, Safia had to agree. "True."

    "I've heard so many rumors about the Mountains," The boy spun her in a circle then, laughing as her dress twirled. "Men feasted on the flesh of their brothers, woman wedded and bedded bears, and children were born with the powers to control beasts. Never once," He leaned in to her, though not immodestly, "did they mention maidens as fair as m'lady, or her cousins."

    Her brow furrowed as Miche told her of the strange--and rather unpleasant--stories he'd heard of the Mountains; where such stories came from, she could only wonder. She flushed a little at the compliment though. "You are too kind," she told him. "But, just out of curiosity, which cousins might you be referring to?" She hoped the boy hadn't been spending too much time around Synthia. There was no telling what he might hear from her.

    "Synthia, she is your cousin, is she not?"

    She nodded, even as she inwardly cringed. "She is," she confirmed. Hopefully she has not been gossiping to him, she thought. Gods help her if Synthia repeated the rumors about Lawrence and his sister to his squire! "Since you've apparently made her acquaintance, how do you find her? Pleasant?"

    "Very charming," The song had changed, though now many of those attending had come out to dance. "She seems like a lovely girl."

    Don't let that pretty face deceive you. She considered warning him, but since Synthia was apparently being perfectly "charming," perhaps for now she'd let it be. "I'm glad you think so," she said. "I confess she and I don't always get along, but she can be friendly enough." She didn't add, when it suits her.

    "Siblings and cousins rarely get along," Miche laughed. "Why, Ser Lawrence's own cousins--" Before he could continue that thought, an arm swept out and took Safia's free one, sweeping her to a new partner.

    "Does the Princess remember me?" A rather tall man, with grey hair receding from his scarred face, offered her a pleasant smile. "Perhaps not, though you sparred with my sons once or twice." He spun her stiffly, for his tight military garb allowed for little movement.

    Safia would have liked to hear what Miche had to say about Lawrence's cousins, but before he could finish, she found herself with yet another new partner. This one was an older gentleman, vaguely familiar, but she couldn't match a name to his face. "Forgive me, my lord, but though you seem familiar, I'm afraid your name escapes me," she replied politely once she was facing him again.

    "Darridan Meade, of Misty Top Keep," He said with that same calm smile. "Perhaps the name helps your memory?"

    She smiled at the memories that immediately started going through her head once he gave his name--though most involved his rather handsome son and heir, Mairar. "Yes, I remember now." House Meade was a military family, little-noticed in peace-times, but whenever war broke out, they tended to garner a bit more attention, and Lord Darridan was one of her father's strongest allies. "How is your family?" she asked.

    She knew that Lord Darridan was a widower; his wife, like Safia's own mother, had died in childbirth some years ago, bearing Darridan's youngest children, the twins. There were nine children in total, and Mairar, the eldest, was about the same age as Safia's brother Ectarion. As a young girl, she'd had a bit of a crush on Mairar, but that was before Matheus. Before Lawrence.

    "They are well, milady. Mairar looks for a bride. Unfortunate for him, the flower of the Mountains has been plucked, and all that remains are smaller seedlings that pale in comparison." He kissed the top of her hand as a lord would do.

    She flushed again, but smiled nonetheless. "You flatter me, Lord Darridan. I'm sure Mairar will find someone worthy of him."

    "We can only pray," He laughed politely. "I also pray that you find comfort in the Desert. It's majestic, in a way the Mountains aren't."

    "I think I shall," she said. Safia happened to think the Mountains quite majestic, but perhaps Lord Darridan was suggesting that the Desert was majestic simply in a different way. "Misty Top is very near the Desert, isn't it?"

    "Only a breath away, though who draws the exact borders of our lands? Mountains melt into sand and rock, which in turn sprout into grasslands. On maps, my lands almost touch the Desert, though in truth, it's many a days ride from the true heart of the sands."

    "And are you acquainted with any of the Desert Houses?"

    "Not enough to think anything of. I have met your betrothed's mother once, before her death." Darridan's face turned solemn. "She was a woman to be reckoned with, a Fenton with breasts. I don't pride myself in these words, but you should consider yourself lucky that only Ser Lawrence's sister waits in the Fair Groves, and not his lady mother."

    Safia's smile fell a little. "I have heard similar opinions," she admitted, "but Lawrence himself has not made much mention of his mother. He seems optimistic in that his siblings will accept me, though."

    "I've never met his brood, though I have heard charming tales of each." The latest song ended with a rousing applause. Several men, obviously drunk, roared for another. "I think, milady, that I need a break from the festivities. You can find much better of a partner than I. Dancing has never been a part of my regime," He smiled a final time. "It has been a pleasure to see and speak with you again.”

    She gave him a polite dip of her head. "And you, my Lord."

    TAG: None, TBC.
    Last edited by JediMasterAnne, Apr 19, 2014
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  13. Trieste Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 10, 2010
    star 4
    IC: Lady Ginnifer Kildare
    Alcazar, Kalkheim, Fair Groves, Desert
    Eight days before her brother’s wedding


    Ginnifer had found it odd that as a people who were devoted to the god of the sun there were not greater rights devoted to its rising and setting. It was, after all, a rather spectacular sight and if anything was worthy of reverence, it would be that. Perhaps it had something to do with the fact that such a daily observance would be much to ask from the common folk who, at least to Ginnifer’s eyes, never had enough time. Or maybe the priests and priestess felt there was something that would debase V’hallar in such an observance.

    Though it might not be prescribed by the holy men and women, Ginnifer often found herself on the ramparts of the alcazar to look at the setting sun. The rising sun would have been more optimistic, but that would have required Ginnifer to awake earlier than she desired. That made it very easy to skip.

    This afternoon, Ginnifer’s mind watched the great disc as it descended, deepening in color, lost in her own thought. She was troubled this evening. Caliban remained out, looking for Willis. She’d expected no word by this point as it was, but that didn’t keep her from worrying. She still didn’t understand how he expected to find Willis. This woman who had seen him in the slave galley, as she’d learned since her return that was the connection between them, had escaped at sea. How was that going to help Caliban find his brother? The holes that pirates pulled themselves into were many. She had no desire to abandon Willis to a fate of slavery, but Ginnifer had to think about more than her own family.

    She remained worried about what King Fenton would do. Oh it was all well and good for the great lord in the Islands to declare himself a king. He had waves between him and Fenton’s great forces. Things happened at sea. Storms wrecked entire navies in the blink of an eye. Though there was great loyalist sentiment in the Mountains, King Desmond had an entire realm between him and the capital. Fenton could skirmish against him, but to bring his full weight against Desmond only at great cost and expense. Even King Mors would have warning if Fenton moved in force against him. It took time to cross the Desert to reach the Oasis when coming north.

    It did not take so long to reach the Fair Groves.

    When Mors had made his declaration, Ginnifer had been greatly troubled. She was honor bound to Mors. Her family had been for many years. Fenton’s transgressions had been great. He did not deserve loyalty, even had Ginnifer not been bound to Mors by her own oath. But who would feel the hammer first? She would. Her people would.

    And this had greatly troubled Ginnifer.



    “You are walking a dangerous line,” Lawrence said slowly to his sister.

    She had just outlined her plan to him. It was not a plan that had been formally concluded, but it had been agreed upon in principle by way of intermediaries. King Desmond, king being the operative word there, could no longer have his daughter marry King Fenton’s heir, not when Desmond was openly challenging his authority by proclaiming himself a king. It was impossible on so many levels.

    That meant he needed a new husband for his daughter. Word of this had reached all the way down to the Desert, and in it Ginnifer had seen the makings of a compromise—the compromise she had been badly searching for.

    She had a marriageable brother. Admittedly, not the most traditional sort given the fact he was a knight and assumed to be very much off the market, but still one that could marry all the same. What was more—Mors would undoubtedly soon call for his bannermen to rally to him. The Desert was on the front line with the capital. Battle would come sooner or later—and more likely sooner Ginnifer felt.

    But the three new kings were a loose coalition, arrayed against Fenton and not bound by anything more than that. A strong alliance with the Mountains would help Mors, and vice versa. There were few ties so strong as marriage—but Mors’ own son was not exactly the marriageable sort. Besides, Mors might need him to marry someone else (and Ginnifer knew that she was very much on the minds of many in this regard—that was an issue with which she would deal later if need be). An arrangement could be mutually beneficial.

    So the parties had negotiated and an agreement had been reached. Ginnifer now needed one more man to consent to the terms: her brother.

    “Lawrence, Fenton will crush us if he moves against us with all his force,” Ginnifer said, carefully and honestly, “You know our military strength better than me. If he arrives, even if Mors knows about it, he may not be able to get troops here fast enough to support us. We must show Fenton that we are not actively engaged in this rebellion so he will pass us over when the time comes.”

    “Fenton is not going to see me marrying the woman destined for his eldest son as not being ‘actively engaged in this rebellion,’” Lawrence pointed out.

    “Fenton may be cruel, but he is not stupid. He understands that force of arms, not wedding vows, will determines who wins out,” Ginnifer said.

    “It is a very big assumption,” Lawrence said.

    “It will be made known through the proper channels that the Kildares intend for this to be our only contribution to the current conflict,” Ginnifer said, “and Fenton will be reminded that if he does move against us, we are bannermen of King Mors and will be appropriately supported.”

    “So reminded would equate to threatening,” Lawrence observed.

    “The very definition of power is making someone do something they don’t want to do,” Ginnifer said. They were words drilled into her by her mother.

    “Ginnifer, I never intended to marry anyone,” Lawrence said, “It is part of why I chose this life.”

    “War changes many plans,” Ginnifer said. She reached up with her good hand to run her fingers down the length of his chin. “Lawrence, please. Do this for me. For the Fair Groves. It is our best chance.”

    Best chance. Those words caused Lawrence to think. Ginnifer withdrew her hand, but her eyes still looked into Lawrence’s. He remained silent for a few minutes.

    “All right,” Lawrence said softly, “I’ll do it.”

    The unspoken words that finished that sentence were known to both.


    For you.



    The sun slipped below the horizon and Ginnifer remained look at where it had left. The sky would quickly descend into darkness and the last vestiges of twilight would fade into black.

    “M’lady,” Sophee said from behind Ginnifer, “Would you like a cloak?”

    Ginnifer turned. “No. Let’s head back in.”

    The pair walked along the ramparts to return to the halls of the alcazar.

    “What is it?” Sophee asked, knowing something was on her mistress’s mind.

    “We feel spread too thin,” Ginnifer said, “It worries me.”

    “Ser Lawrence will be home soon enough, and Ser Caliban and Willis too,” Sophee said.

    “You may wish that they were away longer when they come back,” Ginnifer said, “Lawrence will be a married man when he returns. You won’t be able to look at him with those eyes, Sophee.”

    The lady’s maid flushed like the rapidly darkening sky. “M’lady! I would never…not with…Ser Lawrence!”

    “Oh Sophee,” Ginnifer said, knowing the mind of her maid all too well, “Sometimes all we women have are our dreams. Never apologize for them.”

    “Other women have their dreams. It is all that relieves the tedium of their lives,” Emilie Kildare had once told her daughter, “We have more than dreams. We have the Fair Groves. But never let that obscure the fact this world is a hard place for women, even a Kildare. Never, Ginnifer. Never forget that.”

    The infuriating thing about her mother, Ginnifer thought for not the first and not the last time, was that she was so often right.

    TAG: @spycoder9
  14. BoomBachen Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Apr 5, 2014
    Mairar Meade
    His Father's Chambers, Misty Top Keep, The Mountains
    9 Days Before the Wedding

    Mairar entered the his father's quarters. He had tried his best to clean the sweat off himself. He still held his dulled training sword, mainly from habit. "Father, Ser Cleddon said you wished to see me?"

    "I do," Darridan Meade was hunched over a massive table in front of him, staring at the map of the entire Mountains range. "You remember the raven from Shodaire, three days past?"

    "I seem to remember an invitation to something, yes." Mairar adjusted lightly, putting all the weight of his body and armor on his back heels. Had he known his father would not ask him to sit, he would of made it a point to take off the heavy training armor. But he did not make that effort, and now stood dealing with that decision. He did his best to keep his discomfort from his face.
     
    "Safia Rolmar is to be married," Darridan's eyes wandered down the map, to where it caressed the Desert, "to Ser Lawrence, of House Kildare. What do you make of it?"
     
    "I've not met Ser Lawrence, but I've heard nothing to denounce his character. . .though it is odd to marry the Princess of the Mountains to someone, well. . .not from the Mountains." Mairar was trying to tiptoe around the topic. He knew his father did not actually care for his opinion, he simply wanted to state his own.
     
    "It is an alliance, son. An alliance forged in marriage, uniting the two kingdoms against a common cause. It is an alliance made for war."
     
    "A war we have managed to stay out of, quite uncharacteristically, I might add." Mairar honestly hadn't meant it as a sleight, but was hoping for his father to share his plans with him.
     
    "You are too brash for your own good." Darridan stared at Mairar a long while. "We hold back our men, because we wait for the true war. This butchery in Harrowmont, it was only a talon of the eagle. Fenton pecks at the Mountains and tests the strength of our castles. Lord Jowan wasn't prepared, and that is unfortunate for him, but he has a multitude of allies who would seek vengeance on his behalf. We had no need to run headlong into that battle and risk some of our mounts, when the other lords can handle it. Desmond knows this, just as he knows the size of the punch House Meade can pack. When he has need of our men, we will charge into battle. Never before."
     
    "Forgive me father, I was just simply curious." Mairar's tone was true. "But did you summon me to simply talk of the wedding, or is there more I'm not getting?"
     
    "I'm leaving," Darridan left the table. "This very day. It would be a sleight if I didn't attend the wedding. I would force you to come, but that would leave Misty Top in your brother's hands." The older man went to a window, a tall one that allowed for him to overlook the grounds. "I'm leaving the command with you."
     
    "Father, I'm sure Darros is capable of babysitting Misty Top for a week or so." He was somewhat confused with his own reply. He wanted with all his heart to be given this responsibility, but at the same time, wanted to defend his idiot brother.
     
    "He is not capable of it," His father snapped his head to look at Mairar. "I leave Misty Top in your hands. Yours, and only yours."
     
    "I am honored by your trust," Mairar said. "Give my regards to the royal family. . .and especially Safia." He stood for a moment in silence. "Father, while we're on weddings. . .I know you don't wish to speak of this, but Darros was wondering when it would be appropriate for him to hold his own with the Bodderly girl. . .He very much wants you in attendance." Mairar hated family matters, but loved his family.
     
    "That business again. . ." Darridan grumbled. "After the royal wedding. When I've come back home, he can wed the girl."
     
    "Thank you father. He will be most pleased." Mairar gave a smirk. "Is there any other business to attend to?"
     
    "I expect you to see me off this afternoon, at the Main Gate. The commoners strive to see us and our farewells."
     
    "Of course. . .do you want me to gather the rest of my siblings?" Mairar asked. "I know Darros and Hanna are strolling through the Gardens, and Garron is in his lessons, but it may take a little time to locate all of us." Mairar sighed at the idea of tracking down his eight siblings. Especially Dammon and Sierra who had a knack for evading him.
     
    "Get some of the guards to help you." His father smiled then, a lopsided smirk that melted some of the wrinkles from his face, if only for a second. "I'll understand if you can't round them all up."
     
    "I'll do my best," Mairar said and turned to head for the door.

    There went his morning.
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  15. spycoder9 Force Ghost

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


    The Desert of Mirwyth
    Evenfall


    Outskirts


    They passed scant others the next day.

    A caravan of performers halted the party soon after they had first departed from camp. They offered their services for a coin. Even Olyvar agreed they didn't have time for such folly. One of the acrobats gave Fleet an abridged version of her show. She spun and twirled as the entourage rushed onward, only stopping once the little boy was a dot on the horizon.

    A father and his three daughters rode camels by. One of the daughters leered at the men as they passed, but the younger two held their heads down. Their cowls shrouded their faces. The father spoke of assassins in the sand and chaos in the capital of the Desert. Ser Caliban clubbed him across the jaw when he began begging they take one of his daughters, to wed and bed.

    "We are knights, fool." was Ser Caliban's final response, before digging his heels in his horse and urging them onward.

    As the sky bruised in preparation for evening, a castle of black stone jutted up from the edge of the dunes. It stood like a spear, the highest point piercing the sun on its descent.

    Ser Caliban raised his hand once more. "We ride for Evenfall on the morrow." He did his usual ritual of making sure the grounds were thoroughly prepared. After he gave his nod, he prodded his horse to Lorain and Fleet.

    "Boy, make yourself of a use. Help Olyvar prepare your tent." The squire looked up at his name, and then gestured for Fleet to come to him.

    "Ever built a tent?" Olyvar asked him with a grin.



    "Woman," Ser Caliban stood of a height with her on horseback, "Come with me. We have things to discuss."

    He didn't wait for her to reply. The knight leaped off his horse and led it up a dune, to where his tent was being readied. It was a large tent, one that allowed for several men to stand inside comfortably. While his men finished up on it, he tethered his horse to a stake buried in the sand.

    Once the men had finished his, Ser Caliban stepped inside.

    "No need to mince words." The knight wiped his sweaty brow as Lorain stepped in after him. "I must know every detail about this ship. Leave nothing out."



    TAG: @greyjedi125, @Ktala

    Last edited by spycoder9, Apr 21, 2014
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  16. Cushing's Admirer Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 8, 2006
    star 6
    OOC: Combined with Spy

    Continued from prior post

    IC: Shalavon Distantdreamer: Homelings Village, The Prairies

    "Is she. . ." The mother whispered from the doorway of the hut. "Have you saved her?" Her voice seemed about to break.

    Finishing with mopping the exhausted lass' brow with a cloth, Distantdreamer lightly grazes her forehead with gentle fingers in a momentary soothing action before straightening his lean frame, pivoting on a heel to face the mother, studying her features carefully with keen bright blue eyes before lowering his gaze and bowing humbly as he murmurs: “Fret not, Dear Lady. It was a near thing but God has smiled this day. Your child shall live.”

    The woman shuddered with relief, and then sagged against the doorway of the hut as her strength left her. The knight rushed to her and caught her before she could fall.

    "Milady! You need some rest," The knight's voice was like that of bards, smooth and strong. The lady waved him away.

    "I'm fine, Ser Howde," She stumbled past the knight, and fell to her knees beside her daughter. "Thank you ser, for saving her life. How long. . .how long before she is healed?"

    Starting at the Lady's distress, Distantdreamer schools himself as he sees the knight tend to her.

    Kneeling before the mother, Distantdreamer clasps her hands in a bracing manner as agony clouds his stark but kind features. “If she rests and is given the leaf paste twice daily, she shall regain her strength in three comings of the Sun.” Conflict clouds his eyes and his brow furrows as he struggles to deliver the rest of his message: “She shall, however, never behold your likeness or that of anything else again. The fever has stolen what little sight she still possessed due to the horrendous beating. I'm sorry, Lady.”

    The Healer lowers his head anew in humility and a moment of genuine grief.

    "What?" The mother's voice was still. "She shall not be able to see? Ever?" She beheld the gravity of the situation in that moment, and her tears came forth without any control. The sobs wracked her body, they were so strong.

    "What?" The mother's voice was still. "She shall not be able to see? Ever?" She beheld the gravity of the situation in that moment, and her tears came forth without any control. The sobs wracked her body, they were so strong.

    Compassion surging in his breast, Distantdreamer awkwardly but tenderly gathers the shattered woman against his slightly concave chest, arms cradling her in what he hopes is a comforting fashion as he presses the material of his humble tunic against the weeping eyes, readily soaking up the droplets of genuine suffering that spill forth as the Lady shakes with emotion.

    "It is so. It will be a challenging life but with God's blessing, a worthy one. Courage, Milady. Steady your heart for the lass' sake. You are her strength now. I see the heart of a Bear within you. Courage."

    Bowing again, the Healer releases the mother's hands then gently braces her at her forearms as he guides them to their feet again. Glancing to the knight, Shalavon nods respectfully in gratitude for the other man's restraint. Regarding the mother again, he enquires softly: "How else may I be of service, Lady?"

    "We journey to. . .to Shodaire. . ." The mother mumbled, never taking her eyes from her daughter on the bed.

    "Do you know how to get there, she means to ask." The young knight finished her sentence.

    Hearing the flutter of wings and the tapping of talons, Shalavon spared a moment to glance at his newly returned raven companion upon the hut’s single window ledge. Ebony feathers are tinted fire-orange then twilight blue as the scorching sun at last descends from the sky. Relinquishing its right to test those that roam the Prairies for a few sparse hours.

    Regarding the beautiful Lady and her attentive knight again, the Healer answers with soft gravity: “Travel east to a rather dingy inn called the Snapdragon located upon the edge of the main road. Once upon it travel North.”

    Growing silent again, the Healer moves beside the lass upon the bed again, the Healer picked up the bowl and mixed the contents again before settling upon the edge of the pallet.

    “Rouse but a moment more, sweet dove. A few more sips of paste and I shan’t disturb your rest any longer, hmmm?”

    The delicate lips twitch slightly in wan humour as the lass moves under her tender’s encouraging hand to brace herself then obediently takes the bowl and consumes three swallows of paste before giving the empty bowl back to the stranger and wilting back beneath her humble coverings.

    Rising with a wearied sigh, Shalavon rakes his long fingers through his ashen locks. “Permit her to sleep as long as she can. Make fresh paste with the leaves I’ve given you upon her waking. Again when evening comes for three days, mind.”

    The knight nods solemnly. He then summons brusquely: “Shanta!” Instantly, a dark-eyed girl Homeling appears at the hut’s entryway. “Bring the Good Healer some darklina stew. He looks about to faint. Quickly!"

    Shanta darts away.

    Shalavon strokes Pal’s breast with a finger as he murmurs: “I’m all right. Just a bit tired.”

    Ser Howde shakes his head. “A scrap of nourishment and a nap, should you desire it, is the least we can offer to the traveller that has aided the Lady and her daughter.”

    Shalavon nods.

    When the Homeling lass returns with a half-bowl of curious stew, Shalavon knees opposite her, smiles gently at her, then caresses her cheek with a delicate hand before accepting the food and standing again. Following a brief prayer, he gratefully cleans the bowl dry and tops the meal off with a quarter-glass of water.

    The Lady gestures as she whispers: “Now that ser has eaten, he may seek rest in a nearby hut.”

    Bowing before the diligent parents, the Healer praises: “Most kind. Good evening.”

    Fleet footfalls depart the singular hut seeking its most humble cousin. Entering and closing the door, Shalavon washes his face, neck, chest, and hands before kneeling at the pallet’s side in rest-time prayer. Moments later, Pal settled near his head and thoughts of his beloved within his mind, Shalavon Distantdreamer sleeps.

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    Last edited by Cushing's Admirer, Apr 21, 2014
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  17. Ktala Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 7, 2002
    star 6
    Lorain Ashkey - The sands of Mirwyth - Evenfall
    Outskirts - 8 Days Before the Wedding


    Far too early, the morning seemed to come, and they had to mount up and prepare to move once more. Lorain made sure that she and Fleet ate well, before climbing aboard the horses once more. This time, Lorain got on first, and helped Fleet, making sure his seat was padded, a bit more than before. She also showed him how to brace his knees a bit, hoping that it would help. Then Lorain sat back, to endure another long day of travel, wrapping her face once more, to protect it from the scorching sands and heat.

    The road was for the most part quiet, with none to many traveling about. Not that it was surprising. This time of year, most prefer to cross over the dunes in large caravans. With the threat of war looming, she would imagine that traders and the like would most likely clump together in larger groups.

    They did however pass a caravan of performers. Too bad that they were in a hurry. Even Olyvar agreed they didnt have the time. If Lorain had any coin on her, she would have loved to have passed it to one of the girls, an acrobat who seemed to take a liking to Fleet. She gave him a short version of her skills, as she spun and twirled as the rest of the group moved on. And from what Lorain could tell, they did not move until long after, when they could barely see the others, so small they were. Lorain grinned, her eyes twinkling. Performers had a hard life, but even in war, they were always appreciated, and usually left alone. She hoped that was still the case. Hard to tell, with a mad King. Lorain relaxed, and fell into their usual mode of travel once more.

    A little later in the day, a man with three females came towards them down the road. The way one of the girls stared at the men, as they road passed, was downright disrespectful. The other two at least did not stare, but kept their heads down. Faces covered, the man spoke up to their group, of assassins in the sand and chaos in the capital of the Desert. Lorain sat up slightly, as she heard the man speak. Assassins in the sand? Chaos in the capital, that was nothing new. Especially nowadays. But assassins in the sand, usually meant something else. Lorain thought of old stories her Da used to tell her long ago. She had heard him use the term before, but that was of a thing not usually spoken of, except around campfires, and story-time. Could it be the same thing? Lorain would have loved to ask him more about it, but then the man
    became foolish, asking the men in the group to take one of his daughters, to ... well, never-mind. So, the man was their father. Lorain was suddenly very grateful, that her father was NOTHING like this man. Besides, it would have been rather difficult, to say the least in her case. The sound of the hit against the man's jaw caught Lorain's ear.

    "We are knights, fool." was Ser Caliban's response, before digging his heels in his horse and urging the group onward. Well, wonderful. So much for finding out anything else useful. The Knight was lacking serious skills. But it was not for her to deal with now. Lorain moved their horse onwards, but now she had other thoughts on her mind. If the 'Assassins in the Sands' were on the move, and if all the stories she had heard were true, she hoped that they were not heading anywhere towards each other. The stories of the Sand demons usually didnt end too well. And this trip already had far too many twists and turns in it, to add another. Lorain stayed silent for now, but she was sure that Fleet's quick ears had heard the man's comments as well. There would be questions later. So she would need to have an answer ready by then. She closed her eyes, and listened to the rhythm of the horse, as they continued onwards.


    As the sun moved across the sky, and twilight slowly began to show itself to the group, Lorain noticed a castle of black stone jutted up from the edge of the dunes. It stood like a spear, the highest point piercing the sun on its descent. Lorain looked out, amazed. She had never heard of a black stone castle in the sands before. Where were they? Her curiosity was quite high now. Ser Caliban raised his hand "We ride for Evenfall on the morrow." Evenfall? Was that the name of the castle? The structure so captured her thoughts, that she ignored Ser twit's usual ritual of their camp stop. She only turned her head, when she heard his horse heading towards them.

    'Now what?' she thought to herself, as she gently helped Fleet down from the horse.

    "Boy, make yourself of a use. Help Olyvar prepare your tent." The kind squire looked up at his name, and then gestured for Fleet to come to him. "Ever built a tent?" Olyvar asked him with a grin. Lorain was beginning a mental chant, as she strove to remain calm. She looked down at Fleet, and gave him a wink. "Go ahead." She had barely gotten the words out, when the twit spoke once more.

    "Woman," Ser Caliban stood of a height with her on horseback, "Come with me. We have things to discuss." Without waiting, Ser Caliban leaped off his horse and led it up a dune, to where his tent was being readied. Lorain slowly climbed off her mount, her hands flexing, while thoughts of suddenly pile driving the fool into the sand flickered through her mind briefly. WOMAN! She had to remind herself yet again, that this was a relative of Willis, the person she had promised to aid. She exhaled sharply, but said nothing as she followed him, rolling her eyes as she did.

    As she caught up to the man, he had just preparing to walk inside his tent. She said nothing, but followed him. He got straight to the point. "No need to mince words." Ser Caliban told her, as she followed him, standing just inside the tent. "I must know every detail about this ship. Leave nothing out." Well, the man might not be a complete idiot. But she did not trust him either. So she stood, her face still wrapped as she watched him move around.

    "The ship is called Christina's Wrath." Lorain started. She then described the huge warship in detail, as she had seen it, when it come into the harbor, and its description as best she could. But still, she could not shake the feeling that something was not right. She kept a wary eye on him, as she continued recalling the events. She even spoke of the man who called himself Captain, though she was not quite sure of his name. But a ship so large, could not hide herself too easily. She also spoke how she had been taken in Caraba. And when she had 'left' the ship, she found herself roughly a days walk from Aqarda, so it seemed that the ship was heading southwards. Most likely still was, as she heard them speak about wanting more sell-swords, as they did not get what all what they needed in Caraba. She grew silent, once she told him what he asked for, and waited to see what words would come next.



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

    Member Since:
    Apr 29, 2002
    star 4
    IC: Fleet
    Desert of Mirwyth, Eight days before the wedding

    To his credit, Fleet had no trouble waking up early. He was already accustomed to doing so due to his days at the orphanage. Sleeping in late meant early morning lashes from the ‘good father’.

    With a quick hug ( while no one looked ) Fleet thanked Lorain for the morning meal. He felt he was going to ned it as he was NOT looking forward to another day of riding. Once again, Ma’ Lorain worked her magic, as she provided extra padding for him on the horse.

    “Thanks Ma’…O owes ya.” He said, smiling down at her. Attentive as usual, Fleet listened t additional instructions about horse riding and implemented them immediately. Anything to stave off discomfort he’d never before experienced.

    As they rode in silence, Fleet mentally reviewed all that he had learned from Lorain, from Bren, Kaili and everyone else that had been helpful in his short life. He was going to need all his wits about him-all the time. This whole business was like no other adventure he had been on before, in addition, he was well aware that the risks were far greater than he could imagine. He didn’t need to know all the details, he could feel it.

    To his surprise, Ser Caliban’s party came across a caravan of some kind. Fleet was actually fascinated by this and found himself looking ofr Uncle Eshra and his nephew for some odd reason. Sadly, even Olyvar thought there was no time to be had with the caravan folk. Fleet was disappointed by this, but his blue eyes became fixated on an young acrobat girl who’d caught his attention. He smiled at her and stared in amazement and more as she jumped, flipped and twirled around, showcasing her skills.

    Fleet felt like he should get off his mount and join her. He had learned a few things, like rolling after a fall or from a jump. It was one of his best tricks, but he could only imagine doing the things she did. With his eyes, he drank in every motion and committed them to memory, as well as the girls face. She seemed kindly, so he added her to his ‘good list’. As for the moves, he’d have to practice whatever he recalled, as most of them involved a measurable degree of skill, something he did not yet possess.

    He watched until they became a speck in the distance, and he finally turned his head back to focus on riding. In his mind, he’d made a note to ask Lorain some questions later.

    The group travelled for sometime before encountering a man with three young women. Despite their young age, one of them looked at the men in the manner of some of the older tavern wenches, while the other two looked down, their faces covered by their hoods. The whole scene seemed strange. Wouldn’t they be hot under their hoods?

    Fleet listened to the conversation and furtively tried to catch a glimpse of one of the hooded girls. Were they sad, were they captives or slaves? What kind of father would try to pass on his ‘real’ daughters to strangers?Yeah, this man and many others like him were going on the ‘bad list’. Fleet shot the man a fiercely disparaging look, even before he could catch himself.

    And was that about assassins in the sand?

    When Ser Caliban struck the man in the jaw, he felt no joy or remorse. The Kildare Knight just happened to hit the man for the wrong reason....and so, without further incident, they departed from the man and his charges.

    There was more riding to be done, to the boy’s dismay.

    After what seemed like an eternity, the sight of a black castle growing in the distance caught Feet’s attention. The feeling of an ill-omen went through him and he shivered in the desert heat.

    “I’m not liken’ the looks a’ that.” He murmured.

    “We ride for Evenfall on the morrow.” Ser Caliban announced.

    There it was. The name said it all.

    The campsite was reached and the Kildare Knight began to do what he did best.

    Fleet glanced at the knight, taking in certain details and archiving certain behavioral patterns. This one he did not trust….the suddenly, and to his surprise, Ser Caliban began to ride their way. Had the knight somehow gleaned his thought!??

    Fleet adopted a neutral expression and simply nodded once the Knight came up to Lorain and himself.

    “Boy, make yourself useful. Help Olyvar prepare your tent.”

    Fleet’s expression did not change, and he almost didn’t remember to nod, which he did after a beat.

    Olyvar met his gaze with a smile, which Fleet returned.

    “Ever built a tent?” the esquire inquired, his apparent good nature already helping to put the young boy at ease.

    “Not really?” He admitted, “ But I learn real quick.” He added, his mind already moving towards gaining new knowledge. Fleet nodded at Lorain before leaving, acknowledging that he did hear hear as she granted him leave. He appreciated that she had the last word and not the knight.

    Fleet was still within earshot when the knight had barked ‘woman’ and couldn’t help but bristle at his crude address, however, he forced himself to put it out of his mind for the moment.

    “So, what do I do?” Fleet asked Olyvar, as he prepares himself to learn something new.

    In the back of his mind, he was painfully aware that he and Lorain were now separated. He had no choice but to play along, of course, but he would be very ALERT, incase he needed to ‘improvise’.


    Tag: @spycoder9
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  19. Mitth_Fisto Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 29, 2005
    star 6
    IC: Abott Tuckman
    The Naked Broad, Sailing by the last breeze home

    Have you ever seen a ship so sad as the one he was on now? He doubted it. Not unless you were a wizard or one of those deep book lovers with an over emotional imagination, that was his stake on it. To live it and not merely see was the hardest. There was the loss of life, though in truth the crew and he in part only mourned the passing of one. It was a solemn nail to stick through the last day of their journey, and even now that the seas were calmed by the taking of their portion, the solemnity in the galley was thick as smoke.

    Probably explained the hard faces around the table that was their game of life. None were in a happy mood, the Temptress looked ready to. . .to, well alright he couldn't read her at the moment and that scared him more than the storm and so he left he at the helm. Although he had to admit the profit cuts from loosing a ship and all the food it carried was a hard blow to them both. Still he might be able to leverage it to further advance his trading admiralty at the mention of acceptable lost ships to the sea quotient of the transaction requiring more ships be added to the supply fleet. Not that he was about to breath a word of that to anyone at the table of the Naked Broad. Not that Lil Dim would of understood a word either for that matter looking as often did in his simplicity.

    Still it was time to take up his self deigned title of 'King of the Traders' he had used before they had picked up the supplies, and began holding his little court of Dim and Tai. The seas were calm and the sky was clear, and Maw was staying back a bit. Still it was time to weave a tall tale.

    "Did you know my Uncle had an egg trading business for a few years, I was merely his apprentice at the time as a young boy traveling through the mountains to trade and barter eggs from hither and yar. Much different from the sea, the weather was the rare danger, more so was the bandits and lawless or even the Great Whites that few believe yet most fear. Picture it, traveling by caravan over the mountain paths not much better than a boat trying to dock in a fisherman's wharf..."

    He told them of the trip, of the batch of goose eggs that he had to huddle with to keep warm when it rained, how they hatched, and he had to feed them as a sub-mother for three days after the axle broke until a replacement wagon could carry them out of the mountains to the delivery town. It was a funny tale of him being the butt of his own jokes.

    ". . .and that was how my Uncle got paid with a scaled petrified egg instead of any money after all of that! Just an ole stone egg, keeps it as a symbol of checking the client can pay before taking the job, and here I was the one that looked like the bottom of a chicken coop for my hard work." Little Dim had laughed and the Temptress up at the helm might of even raised a brow with a glimmer of something non-deadly for once. Tai though, well the boy just simply stared at his feet. He felt bad for the boy and had hoped it would do something for the lad. Maybe the next meal would show whether it had worked, if the lad ate anything worthy of being called a meal.

    The maw. Well he didn't look at that one to gauge a reaction, personally it was too soon after lunch to look at that.

    TAG: spycoder9
  20. spycoder9 Force Ghost

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


    The Desert of Mirwyth
    Fair Groves


    The Lady's Chambers


    "...M'lady..."

    It was a whisper, as the wisp of a vague dream faded away from Ginnifer. Something about fire. . .

    In its place was Sophee, who stared at her through sleepy eyes.

    "A rider is here, m'lady," The maid kept her voice low. "He brings urgent news from your father."

    The room was still in a hazy gloom. The morning sun had yet to rise.



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  21. Master Selkath Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 5, 2013
    star 2
    IC: Lady Helena Vane
    Fort Vane, The Mountains
    18 days before the wedding

    The sound of birds chirping could be heard throughout the mountains that early in the morning. The sun rose from the east, between the mountains and trees, and cast a shadow over a large stone structure carved into a mountain. The stone structure in question was Fort Vane.

    [IMG]

    The snow around the fort had melted away do to its proximity to the Praries, and the nearing arrival of springtime. A few sentries were scattered around the fort's lookouts, keeping watch and patrolling. Most of the inhabitants of the fort were still asleep, save for a few. Within the walls, a group of five horses were being prepared, three soldiers in full uniform waiting beside them. They all were to embark on a long journey.


    In the fort's largest private chamber, Lady Helena Vane sat in a large cushioned seat and pondered. She had been up for sometime, as the servants were packing the few personal items that she had brought with her when she arrived some three days ago. She had asked Desmond if she could go to the fort to "inspect" it for him. He had allowed her to, though she had a feeling he knew what she would really be doing.

    Helena had almost forgotten what taking a break was. It had been weeks since she had been able to sit down and think on something else besides the kingdom. Not to mention the last time she had been at Fort Vane, Saren was buried in his tomb of ancestors.

    She was already bathed and dry, as she despised having anyone see her completely bare. Helena had fixed her hair as well. She was the only one who knew how to keep it in its style for so long. She had long since trained herself to wake up early, so that she may maximize her work time. It also gave her handmaiden, Isabella, time to rest. The lady didn't care for many people, but her handmaiden was one of the few exceptions.

    Helena could tell by where the sun lay in the sky, that Isabella should be arriving soon with clothes and food. The food wouldn't be anything fancy considering it was a military fort, but it was only for today.

    She heard a soft knock on the door. Helena's head turned towards it, and she said "You may enter."

    Isabella stepped into the room with a small plate of bread and fruit, as well as a nice auburn colored dress for the day. The handmaiden gave Helena the plate and began to prepare her dress. The girl did her work in silence, which was unusual. Isabella always asked how the lady felt. Helena took a bite of the bread and cleaned her mouth with a napkin.

    "How did you sleep?" She finally asked. "You are usually talking up a storm."

    "I slept fine madam. . ." Isabella paused, her dark chestnut eyes putting her fears on display. "I am just. . .anxious for the days ahead. The path to Shodaire can be dangerous."

    Helena ate one of the fruits on the plate. "If you keep your mind focused on things like that, you will be anxious when there is no need to be." Helena paused for a second to wipe her mouth. "We do have to get back soon. The princess and that Desert knight will be wed. I must be back before then, so I can help with the preparations."

    The girl seemed to ponder on what Helena had said to her, and then nodded her head. "Yes, I guess so milady."

    She finished her food and proceeded to get dressed. After some help from Isabella, she was prepared to go. After stepping out of the room, Isabella went to take the plate back to the fort's kitchen. Helena walked to the fort's gate, and two guards opened them for her. She felt an overwhelming sense of warmth from the sun, which she hadn't felt for a long time. In a few hours she would be deep in the mountains, where she would not feel it. It felt good, but she couldn't dwell on it forever.

    She turned her attention towards the courtyard, where the horses and soldiers were waiting for her arrival. She stepped slowly towards them while her eyes adjusted to the sunlight. The middle soldier of the three walked up to her. She recognized the man, with his tight black curls and jut of a nose.

    "Captain Caradas, are the horses prepared for the journey?" He was thirty and two, and had been Helena's personal guard for nearly a third of that. He traveled with her whenever she left Shodaire.

    "They are ready to go, m'lady," He replied simply. He had been trained to keep his words short, unless commanded otherwise. Helena mounted her own horse, while the soldiers grabbed their gear. Isabella came out into the courtyard then, and got onto her horse as the soldiers did theirs.

    The captain turned his head to Helena. "Madam, the soldiers, Buron and-"

    Helena interrupted the captain. "I could care less about what their names are. The only thing I care about, is that they deliver me to Shodaire safely." Caradas was used to her truthfulness, and only nodded.

    "Yes madam, but they worry that the path could be dangerous."

    She thought for a moment, and then laughed. "Are these soldiers of the Mountains afraid of some snow or a bandit or two? I thought they were trained not to fear these lands, but apparently I was wrong. They are disposable anyways, and if something did happen on the journey back, then they brought it upon themselves for fearing the unknown."

    The captain only grumbled a "Yes, m'lady", though the two other soldiers faces looked much more fearful than they had been. Helena called out to the gatekeepers: "Open the gates!" The wooden doors slowly crept open. Their horses slowly trotted out, stopping at the foot of the path.

    "Forward!" The lady yelled.

    Helena took one last look at the fort, for she knew she wouldn't see it for a long time. The group slowly began their travel to Shodaire.
    Last edited by Master Selkath, Apr 23, 2014
  22. Trieste Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 10, 2010
    star 4
    IC: Lady Ginnifer Kildare
    Her chamber, Alcazar, Kalkheim, Fair Groves, Desert
    7 days before her brother's wedding

    Ginnifer felt like she rolled into back into consciousness like the tide--coming in but then not quite finding herself awake until her eyes opened definitively. Word...from her father...urgent word. The Lady of the Fair Groves rolled over in bed to face her lady's maid. She pushed herself up with one hand, her bad hand. It wasn't good for much, but it could do that.

    "Is it a scroll? Is it by mouth?" Ginnifer asked, blinking away the sleep. If it was the latter, she'd have to get herself put together to receive the courier. She hoped he'd brought written words from Martyn. She didn't want to have to get dressed just to receive one man before trying to get a little more sleep for tonight.

    "No matter what, never let them see you at anything less than your best. In this world of men, all they have to do is have one man see you at less than your best and they'll discount you forever." Those were words from her mother and though Ginnifer quibbled with some of the "wisdom," quotation marks very much intended, that her mother had imparted to her she knew the hard, cruel truth of that axiom.

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  23. JediMasterAnne Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 24, 2004
    star 4
    OOC: Continuation of the flashback combined w/ the GM

    IC: Safia Rolmar
    The Mountains of Mirwyth
    Shodaire, the Tower of Stone
    Dining Hall—the night before her wedding

    "Milady!"

    A voice called from a table near a fire. Her hand wrapped in a silken glove, Caetherene Gideon waved at the princess. She beckoned Safia over to join her and a few other women of importance. They each had a few cups of wine.

    "Princess, we would be most pleased if you would talk with us for a bit." Ever polite, the young woman called for a cup for Safia. The servant was short, with a wide buxom and stomach. She glanced at the Princess once, and even gave her a tiny glimpse of her smile and the yellowed teeth in it. Once the drink had been poured, the woman went on to another table, where one of the Tanderly's men tried to reach down her dress. Her resistance was little, though she did have the curtsey to blush and swat at his hand.

    "It's a delicious treat," Caetherene gestured to the wine.

    Safia smiled as she joined Caetherene and the others, accepting the glass of wine and taking a cautious sip, merely rolling her eyes at the Tanderly man and the serving girl. She nodded in agreement with Caetherene's words. "It is," she said. "A bit stronger than what I'm used to, though."

    "On a night such as this, strong wine could only help," Caetherene eyed the dancers, though not unkindly. "Your brother seems quite the dancer."

    Safia followed Caetherene's gaze to watch her brother. She wasn't really surprised. In a way, it seemed to follow that those who knew their footwork in combat, such as her brother, would also make fairly good dancers, but she knew that this wasn't always the case. She had danced with a few other able fighters this evening, and some of them definitely had two left feet, as her toes had unfortunately discovered. But many had also been drinking, and alcohol was not known to benefit one's coordination. "Yes, he does."

    "That golden hair of his. . ." She giggled and covered her mouth, giving an appropriate twinge of red to her cheeks. "I sound like a foolish girl speaking of this, but I do believe I fancy him."

    Safia almost choked on her wine--the idea of a woman taking a fancy to Ectarion almost seemed absurd. Didn't Caetherene know what he was like? How many glasses had she had this evening? Though she had not bad-mouthed Synthia to Miche, he was a stranger to her, and she did not want to give him the impression that she made a habit of bashing relatives to whoever would listen--something Synthia herself probably would do--Caetherene was a friend, and Safia would not wish to see her friend become a victim of Ectarion's less-than-friendly nature. "He may be handsome, but Ectarion can be...unpleasant, to be around, at times. What is the old saying--even the most beautiful rose still has thorns?"

    Caetherene didn't look at Safia, but only took another sip of her wine. She did nothing to try and hide her grin. "Do you think I haven't heard bitter things about him, Safia? I have, and frankly, I don't find it a problem. I like my roses. . .thorny."

    Personally, Safia had a feeling that most of the things Caetherene had heard probably didn't come close to the harsh truth of what Ectarion could really be like. What might Caetherene say if Safia told her, straight up, that Ectarion hated his sister, and was not afraid to show it?

    And the idea of kind, gentle, beautiful Caetherene with cold, bitter Ectarion...Safia had a feeling that if that ever happened, there would be a great many angry and disappointed men in the Mountains. "I think Ectarion may be...thornier, than you think," was all she said. Frankly, she was growing uncomfortable with this conversation.

    "Don't worry on it," She squeezed Safia's hand once. "I will be lucky if my cousin ever allows for me to wed. He is wary enough of your gracious father, and does not want to risk losing me to one of these lords, should the war swing in Reynard's favor. I have assured him, our King has the numbers to combat all of Reynard's, and yet. . .he brings up House Harrowmont."

    "We had our vengeance, dear. Harrowmont was avenged in the Bloodsoaked Wood." Ambir Tanderly didn't even spare a glance at the two women when she spoke. Her face remained focused on the festivities.

    "It was, milady." Caetherene seemed taken unaware that any of the other ladies had been listening.

    "Was my husband's life worth your vengeance?" And there Lady Cyrell was, sitting a few seats down the table, away from the celebration. The grief in her eyes was accentuated by the bags beneath them. "What did we receive from avenging? Reynard's eagles were shot down, but not before they managed to peck our eyes out."

    "Had we not of shot them down, we would be feasting on worms and dirt come this evening." Ambir's voice was icy.

    "As my husband is."

    "He died for a noble cause."

    "He drowned on his own blood!"

    "Hunting eagles, Lady Cyrell." Ambir turned her dark eyes on the younger lady. "When a man rides to battle, death stares him in the face. He was a brave man, to fight and defend as he did. He died, for a noble cause." Lady Cyrell fled. The older woman faced Safia. She was handsome for her age. "I apologize, your Grace. That was nothing to be discussed at a gala in your honor. I ask forgiveness."

    She had been surprised to see Lady Cyrell down here; no one had seen her since word had arrived of Lord Cyrell's death, and her grief was still clearly written on her face. Safia had not yet been able to offer her condolences in person, and was about to do just that, but Lady Tanderly spoke up before she could, and after a few minutes of bickering back and forth, Lady Cyrell left, obviously in distress. Lady Tanderly casually asked Safia's pardon, but the princess found herself slightly irked by the woman's manner. "It is given, but I think you would do better to ask Lady Cyrell's forgiveness. Lord Cyrell died heroically, yes, but that knowledge is little comfort in the wake of losing a loved one. Knowing that he was noble enough to lay down his life for these lands and our people does not make her bed any warmer at night.

    "Her wounds are still fresh; in time, her grief will lessen, but until then, others would do well to be a little more sensitive to her pain." She would not mention the fact that her own cousin Rowan had also died in that same battle, no less a hero than Lord Cyrell, but like Lady Cyrell, she found the fact to be little consolation.

    "This is war, my Princess. You aren't old enough to remember true war, and perhaps that is good, but in true war, men die, and women as well. Babes are ripped from their mothers' breasts. Women are raped to death, while their husbands bleed out on a battlefield." Lady Ambir never smiled. "My sisters are all wed to Capital men, living in bright little castles where sunshine is commonplace, where their children and grandchildren pick flowers and stage tournies. My brother rules from my home, the Stone Drum, only two days ride from Valona. They have all sworn allegiance to Fenton, as is only expected of them. And where am I?"

    She smiled then. A cold smile. "I am at the wedding of a Desert fox and a Mountain bird, solemnly declaring that, should my husband face my brother on the battlefield, I give my leave for him to slit his throat."

    Safia studied the woman very carefully. Perhaps her years in the Mountains had turned Lady Tanderly into this hard woman. "And if, hypothetically speaking, your brother slew your husband instead, or perhaps one of your sons, would you simply set aside your grief, knowing that your husband, or your son, died 'for a noble cause?' Would that knowledge remove your pain, as you seem to think it should for Lady Cyrell?

    "I know that war brings death. My own cousin's blood soaks those woods, just as Lord Cyrell's does. I respect his sacrifice, but that does not mean that I do not mourn him."

    "Mourning is acceptable," She pursed her lips, "behind closed doors. Lady Cyrell shows these men her weakness every moment she leaves her room with tears staining her cheeks, and her son is maimed at their castle. Ripe for the picking, should any of them take the leave to murder the boy and marry the mother. You see the good in all these men, Princess, but they would sell you for a realm. Never let your guard down."

    Lendan Tanderly swaggered from the floor. He bellowed laughter at some quip another lord told him, and then held his hand outstretched to his wife. "A dance, fair maiden?"

    "Only for a kiss, good ser," Lady Ambir grinned, a happy one. He planted one on her lips and then swung her out to the dance floor.

    "While much can be said about her truthfulness," Caetherene said, "She does love her husband. I dream of a love as strong as theirs."

    Safia was not sorry to see Lady Ambir go, though she would have had a few more words for her if she had lingered. Lady Cyrell had lost her husband, and Lady Ambir showed only disdain for her grief. Safia thought it rather brave of Lady Cyrell to come out here amongst the frivolity and celebrations at all, even though her heart clearly had not been in it, even if she had only lingered briefly. She might have stayed longer, had Lady Ambir not upset her.

    She broke out of her seething at Caetherene's words. "Would that we could all find love such as theirs." She could not deny that Lord Lendan and Lady Ambir did truly love one another. Safia had thought she had found such love with Matheus, only to have it snatched away. Whether she could find the same with Lawrence remained to be seen. She liked him, yes, and could even see herself falling in love with him--she might even admit, if only to herself, that perhaps she already was--but could he return it? Could he love her?

    As for Caetherene, Safia would not say it aloud, but she find herself thinking, I highly doubt you will find such love with Ectarion.

    TAG: None (TBC)
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  24. Jabba-wocky Chosen One

    Member Since:
    May 4, 2003
    star 8
    IC: Ser Aran
    Castle Reyneer, Gardens
    3 Days Before the Wedding


    What is Fenton saying? Why, he's saying that he would love to see mine own head rotting above the castle walls with those false kings. Emilia only smirked. "He's giving us his blessing. Sending Matheus beautiful weather to accompany the news. You have heard, haven't you?"

    He hadn't been much outside the dungeons. There was good news somewhere? "M'lady?" he asked.

    "Mors Santagar is dead," She didn't laugh, though it took her biting her tongue, to control it. "And in his place, Martyn Forsythe has declared himself King of the Desert." Then she did laugh. "What a folly that man is. He rode the coattails of his wife for years. The Desert would never rally behind him."

    Moments like these reminded Aran of what he was. Asked how to kill the man, or best him on the field of honor, he might've gone on till sunset. Ask the meaning of that death, and he'd be at a loss. It helped the Reynards. That's all he ever needed to know. And judging by Emilia's face, that was still enough for now. Smiling broadly at her with what he hoped was knowing pleasure, he agreed, "The Desert's opposition to your reign is essentially a non-factor, then?"

    "I wouldn't go that far." She ran her fingers along a blue petal. "His daughter rules the Fair Groves, which most likely ensures her support. And a few of the Desert houses hated Fenton. Though with Matheus on the throne now, perhaps their minds will change."

    "I am sure that under your tutelage, he can win the hearts of many that were turned against us," he replied.

    "I haven't secured the man yet," Emilia said with another one of her sweet smiles, "Though you are true to believe I can claim him to our cause. As long as their alliance with House Rolmar can be broken."
    Drawing slightly closer to her, Aran replied, "And how difficult is that? Do we have any prospect of it at all? Is there something to be done?"

    "If Matheus didn't love the girl, we could have her disposed of. . ." The Queen's voice had lowered so that it now matched the breeze, "But he loves her. We may promise Maela to the other Kildare lad, a wisp of a man with a honeyed tongue. He seemed fairly charming- though so did his father, and now he rules the Desert. . .Here I am, discussing politics with you, Ser Aran." She laughed sweetly. "I hope my trust in you isn't misplaced."

    That got his attention. Back going rod-straight, he looked at her, equal parts anxious and emphatic, and said, "My only cause in life is you, my Queen. Doubt that the sun will rise before you doubt my loyalty. Name anything I can do to bring about your plans, and I will."

    "Anything, truly?"

    "Only name it."

    She looked into his eyes long and hard, before breaking it with a smile.

    "Give my son a guard." It was obvious that wasn't what she wished to say, but it was an order nonetheless. "A guard of ten knights, all of whom swear their personal allegiance to Matheus. Their lives in forfeit for my son's, should it come down to the choice."
    He met her gaze and almost lost himself in it. "I will hand-select them. Their devotion will be fanatical, and they will move the heavens themselves to prevent even the slightest harm." It was clear that wasn't truly who he wished to talk about either.

    "Thank you," She murmured, and then looked to the sun again. It made her hair shine, and her age was timeless in that second. When it seemed like the conversation had come to an end, she spoke. "He wasn't always so cruel." It was only a whisper. "He wasn't always angry, and bitter, and bloodthirsty. He loved me. . .so long ago."

    "Emilia. . ." he started, voice failing him.

    "It doesn't matter anymore." Emilia leaned over and kissed him on the cheek. Her eyes glistened as she leaned back from it, though she simply took his arm in hers. "Take me back to the castle, Ser Aran. There is. . .so much to do."

    The moment was like a thunderclap: terrible, wonderful. Her voice and her touch was reassuring. But all the world he'd known was dissolving. Holding her hand, he was something more and less than a knight. The kingdom was broken, and somehow their hold on power was tightening. The door seemed an eternity away from him. He didn't seem competent to make it. Ultimately, though, he didn't know what else to do.

    “My Queen,” he replied, and led her forward. You had to keep moving.

    TAG: @spycoder9
    OOC: Combined post with spy
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  25. HanSolo29 Manager Emeritus + Official Star Wars Artist

    Member Since:
    Apr 13, 2001
    star 6
    OOC:And now, without further adieu, I present a final send-off for Emilia:

    Thank you to spycoder for his contributions in this combined post!


    IC: The Queen, Emilia Reynard
    Church, The Capital
    5 Days Before the Wedding

    "I'm glad you came, sister."

    The church was empty, save for a lone woman standing at the multicolored pane window. It was taller than any other, a depiction of the Shepherd as He herded His great flock. While the rain splattered against Him, it looked as if He was shedding tears. There was only the Shepherd in this church, and He cared for them as any shepherd would for his sheep. Emilia had rarely visited the church in her many years in Valona, though Maela attended every day, along with many of the Capital nobles. He had garnered quite a following in the last few seasons.

    Lucia Brendle was a black spectre, until she turned her face around. One eye swiveled awkwardly, while her scarred nose twitched. Her dress was a thin black fabric made for mourning, though it did nothing to hide the deformity of her leg.

    "The skies weep for your husband's passing," Lucia said casually, before turning back to watch the rain fall.

    Her sister's voice resonated around the vast sanctuary in stark contrast to the simple and rhythmic chords of the rain striking against the outside walls of the church. It made Emilia inwardly cringe, but as always, her outward emotions were kept at bay and her expression remained impassive as she approached. She already felt rather uncomfortable within the confines of this place of worship and considering she now had to face her sister, it could be said that she was quite eager to get this over with so she could retreat.

    The skies were weeping for Fenton's passing? Hardly. She would have laughed if she had been in a more amiable mood, but as it was, she simply inclined her head slightly at the notion. The skies did not weep for monsters such as her ex-husband. No, they were most likely tears of joy for the act that Emilia had done. The land was finally free and she would be commended. The only obstacle still in her way was Lucia and she would deal with her presently.

    "Mmm," she murmured in agreement, hating herself for not being able to reveal her true feelings on the matter. "But the sun will soon yet shine and we will move on." She shifted her gaze so that her eyes finally rested on the grotesque and disfigured form of her sister. It took all of her inner strength not to let out a groan of disgust. "Perhaps even prospering more than we were before. Only time will tell."

    "Time, and your rule?" Though her face was facing the other way, it was evident by her voice that Lucia was smiling. "It's been so many years, and I still know you."

    The Queen felt her heart flutter and for a moment, she feared that it would fail her completely. She swayed slightly, but quickly recovered. The only lasting indication that Lucia's words had disturbed her were the tiny beads of sweat that were beginning to form on her forehead. "Not nearly enough," she uttered quickly, a slight edge now evident in her voice. "Me? As the sole ruler?" This time, she did allow herself a chuckle. "Don't be so ridiculous. It would never work out that way."

    "You hope it will go that way. You hope that Matheus will look to you for guidance, for counseling, for leadership. You've raised him in this world and sheltered him from his father. That's not too much to ask, is it, considering all you've done for him?"

    There was a pause as Emilia just stared, inhaling and exhaling in such a way that she was starting to feel light-headed. "What do you want?" she hissed, her voice barely audible above the steady pounding of the rain. "You obviously have some kind of agenda to come in here and accuse me of such an act. I could have your head for such talk, but...you are still my sister. For your own sake, I would hope you will remember that..."

    "I only want to talk to you, sister." Lucia stared at her with one eye, the other meandering away. "Is that an offense?"

    Emilia forced herself to hold her gaze before slowly shaking her head. "No, no offense. I am sorry if I come across as crude, but you must understand that this has not been easy for me." She sniffed, willing her eyes to rim with tears to make her cause more believable. "If you want to talk, then I must ask you...t-to get to your point."

    "Of course. . ." Lucia was silent for several long seconds. "Do you remember mother?"

    Emilia turned towards the rain-streaked window, acting as if she had not heard the question as she dabbed at her eyes and nose with a handkerchief. The truth was, she was roiling inside. What business did Lucia have remembering their mother after the accident? As far as Emilia was concerned, she was the reject and unworthy of such thoughts. How dare she!

    "I think of her from time to time," she said in a soft, calming voice. It was the complete opposite of the anger she felt from within, but she had to get to the bottom of this.

    "I remember her brushing my hair." The disfigured woman never looked at her sister as she spoke. "She'd run her fingers through it, and then take me by the chin. 'So beautiful,' she'd whisper, like it was our secret. And when I looked in the mirror, my face wasn't scarred, and my eyes were large and alluring. I felt as a maiden should. Young, and beautiful, and full of dreams. All of that died with mother."

    A wave of jealousy coursed through her veins as her sister spoke, spewing such blasphemy. This was emphasized by the way Emilia clenched the handkerchief within her hands, gripping it tighter and tighter until she was afraid she would tear it in two. It did little to alleviate her feelings, but it was enough for her to find her voice and speak. "You...mustn't keep living in the past." It was a simple statement and while true, it was intended more for her own sake than her sister's. She needed to remind herself that all of Lucia's words were part of the distant past and she need not be bothered by them in the present. "You need to move on."

    "Our past is what makes us who we are. Without it, we are nothing." Lucia ended it with a grin, though it was grotesque thing.

    That twisted grin made her skin crawl and it was all she could stand. Emilia squeezed and this time, the handkerchief did indeed rip in two. "You would still be nothing," she spat, purposely curling her nose up at Lucia's gnarled form. "Not even mother could have changed that."

    "It hurts, doesn't it?"

    She lifted her arm and pointed a single finger towards the doorway. "Get out," came the simple command. "You have caused enough trouble between us and if you only came to expose me, you will never have enough proof to prove your case. No one would listen to the likes of…you anyway."

    "You aren't so beautiful when you're angry," Lucia cocked her head, completely ignoring her sister's words. "Not as ugly as me, no, but nowhere near the beauty men have praised you as."

    "Quite frankly, I do not care what you think of me," she seethed, the tone of her voice completely betraying her words. "I will only say this once more - get out. I do not wish to inflict harm on you or to call the guards as you are still my sister, but if you insist on insults and disobeying my direct orders, I am afraid I will not have any other choice."

    "There's always a choice. Choices are what made me the cripple, and you the queen." She did an awkward bow. "Goodbye, dearest sister." With that, Lucia turned on her heel and limped away.

    Emilia watched, unaware that she had been holding her breath until Lucia was clearly out of view and she exhaled deeply. This was not how she had envisioned this meeting to go. Lucia knew way too much and she was indeed correct about choices having to be made. For the Queen, it was a most unfortunate choice. Lucia, her sister, needed to be silenced...forever.

    TAG: @spycoder9
    Last edited by HanSolo29, Apr 27, 2014
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