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Fantasy A War of Kings

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  1. Trieste Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 10, 2010
    star 5
    IC: Lady Ginnifer Kildare
    Her chambers, Alcazar, Kalkheim, Fair Groves, Desert

    “He brings only his word,” Sophee replied.

    Ginnifer sighed and sat all the way up, swinging her legs out from underneath the light sheets. Of course, the Lady thought to herself, It had to be in person.

    “We’d better get me looking decent,” Ginnifer said, having no idea exactly what it was that she looked like, “Decent, mind you Sophee. I don’t need to be perfect. It is just a messenger, after all.”

    Sophee nodded and began her ministrations.



    Fifteen minutes later, Ginnifer was waiting in a small sitting room near her bedroom. She had considered receiving the messenger in one of the gardens—after all it would be cool and pleasant at this time of night, but she didn’t know what word her father was sending. More importantly, she didn’t know who would be listening if she met this messenger in the gardens. Regina could easily be stalking about and Ginnifer knew that her aunt did not wish her well.

    Aunt Regina coveted Ginnifer’s position. Why else had she demanded of her husband that their daughters keep her maiden name? Regina wanted to produce her own line of Kildare heirs. Never mind the fact that there were three women between her and being Lady. Regina was the sort of woman who would make the long play.

    Not that Ginnifer could blame Regina for it. If anyone had suffered under the abuse of Emilie Kildare, it had been Regina. It could be said that Emilie had ruined everyone she’d ever touched. Martyn had been used as breeding stock. Lawrence had been viewed as a tool like his Uncle Aron before him. Ginnifer had been vigorously polished and sharpened in precisely the image that Emilie had desired. Zooey had been discarded, her education in affairs of state half-finished, as soon as Emilie had decided she had not been needed. Chelsee had been given up as a lost cause. Landon had been ignored.

    But Regina had been ruined much more cruelly. Regina had been openly despised. Regina had been blamed for everything, for the loss of their mother, for looking different, for wanting to be loved, for being an annoyance, for wanting to please, for anything, for everything. Ginnifer had watched it growing up. She had once bought into her mother’s view, but eventually Ginnifer came to a different understanding of the facts than her mother was selling.

    Ginnifer felt sorry by what her mother, the most manipulative and domineering person she’d ever known (and that included Fenton Reynard), had done to Regina. But she knew better than to ever trust Regina Halleth. You did not show your back to a wolf if you could help it.

    Accordingly, Ginnifer had selected the sitting room where she knew that she would be safe from other ears and had dispatched Sophee to bring the messenger there. The lady’s maid did so. When the messenger entered, followed by Sophee who gently shut the door behind her, he found Lady Ginnifer Kildare sitting in a chair, her body oriented towards the door. A silk glove covered her left hand beyond the wrist.

    “What news from my father?” Ginnifer asked. She was not interested in wasting time this evening. She had dispatched Martyn to the Oasis to personally carry a request to King Mors that he take care of this pirate threat that was ravaging their coast. Now the threat had carried off one of her kinsmen and the Fair Groves would be seen throughout the Desert as feeling strongly enough about the attacks to do something about it themselves. Ginnifer knew that if Mors split part of his strength to deal with pirates it would present an opportunity to Fenton, but if Mors wanted to maintain legitimacy in the Desert he could not fail to protect the cities loyal to him from other threats as well.

    All this was to say that it didn’t take words from her mother to tell Ginnifer that a messenger in the middle of the night who woke her from her sleep was not going to bring glad tidings.

    And Ginnifer Kildare was a woman who insisted on hearing bad news at once.

    TAG: @spycoder9
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  2. Stryker01 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Dec 4, 2012
    Martyn Forsythe
    Parapets, The Oasis of Dawnsgrace
    10 days before his son's wedding


    [IMG]




    The parapets of Dawnsgrace were an oasis.

    A blistering wind raked its fingers through his greying hair, flapping the scorpion banner over his head.

    A single raven flew by. It was a wild one, but still majestic.

    The famous Desert sunshine soaked into the creases of his aged skin.

    Martyn Forsythe felt as if he belonged here. Even has angry people bartered beneath him, as horses shat on the dirtied streets, and as hounds knocked naked children to the dirt, he felt where he should be. To have been pressed under the fingertips of first his wife, and then his daughter, for so many years... He had to force himself not to smile.
     
    The sight of looming ash clouds from the outer gates dampened his spirits a bit. They were burning the corpses now, and the scraggly trees, and anything they saw fit. Some said a priestess of V'hallar led them in their fires, while others rumored that she had been one of the first to face the flames. Martyn knew that stopping the fires would be the next step in assuming his authority of Dawnsgrace. But first--
     
    "Does everyone have a loaf?" He asked once, quietly. Palace guards lined the crosswalks beside him. In place of their speaks and swords were loaves of bread. It made an almost comical sight, to see these valiant men carrying their bread as they would their weapon. It made him think of Lawrence, and what a sight he would be with bread. But of course, Lawrence wasn't here, or at the Fair Groves. He was wedding and bedding the Mountain princess. Though Martyn had shared little time with him over the years, he had never once turned the boy away from any council he sought. Family is family.
     
    "I don't, my lord!" The Farraway girl called down the walk. Her ivory eyes were as large as her breasts, enhancing every emotion that entered them. She always had a surprised look about her, but Martyn had learned soon enough that it was just a mask to the wit beneath them.
     
    "Hand her a piece," Martyn commanded, and one of the men did so. They were faithful creatures, he had to admit. He'd already taken a liking to their loyalty.
     
    The council Martyn had called the day after viewing the King and his heir's corpses, had been revealing. When the guards discovered their ruler and heir dead in their beds, hearts ripped from chests, drowned in sand, the castle descended into a state of panic. The maester forced the guards to close the gates before the commonpeople learned of the passings. When the palace gates closed, many of them called their king a craven. They believed he was frightened of the pirates on their shores.
     
    A few guards defected and fled. They took the maester with them, and Mors' father-in-law. They were murdered appropriately, and now these very same guards led the garrison of commoners that commanded the outer walls of the city.
     
    Martyn wasn't surprised. With the Santagar line extinguished, what hope was their for Dawnsgrace? Me.

    The nobles were all hostages in the castle. Some had been Mors's esteemed guests, while others were wards to entertain his son Dameron. Two of Lord Sewell's boys, Osgar and Ammon, carried their snakes with them. Their house sigil pets were longer than Martyn's arm, but slithered around their tanned owners' necks easily. Osgar always kept his close at hand, and continuously threatened the other children with it, but Ammon seemed slightly fearful of his.
     
    There was also Lara Farraway of the spear-fish Farraways, and her elderly tutor Missus Evelot. The tutor told Martyn how to respectfully open the gates and allow the commoners to descend on the castle with grace, all while displaying her missing teeth. Before Martyn could give back a spiteful response, her bright-eyed student had spoke: "Missus Evelot, the commoners love us not. They would rape and murder all of us, if we open those gates."
     
    Others offered different suggestions, though none stood as strong as Callista's. I knew she was a bright girl. With all of her silent beauty, she had offered the simplest thing.
     
    "We should feed them."
     
    And that was why they stood where they were. Callista had been sick the night before, perhaps from missing her babe. It was a cruel affliction to many women, and one that Martyn pitied them for. However he did find himself missing his own children.
     
    "Are you ready, m'lord?" One of the guards asked him.
     
    "Yes, yes." He reached into the wagon and pulled out a loaf. It was hard bread, frozen cold from being below ground so far. Mors had been smart in that regard. Many reserves of food were stored down deep into the bowels of the castle, were it was cool and refreshing. Martyn hefted the bread once in his hand. Gods be with me... He stepped up to the edge and tottered for a minute. His legs ached greviously, but he didn't let it affect him. He couldn't, not at this moment.
     
    "Good people of Dawnsgrace," He cried down to them, "I bear gifts from the late king, Mors Santagar."
     
    No one paid him any mind, save for a few angry insults and a rotten tomato.
     
    "I come bearing food!" This he shouted louder. "Food for his good people, as a final gift!"
    Mention of food gave many of them pause. Though they continued to frown and walk about, they no longer seemed ready to storm the castle walls.
     
    Martyn held the bread high above his head.
     
    "And with this food, I ask forgiveness, and prosperity in the Dawnsgrace once again!"
     
    He tossed the loaf into the ground. People scrabbled for it. People with loose clothing and hungry bellies, he noted, not for the first time.
     
    The guards began to throw their loaves, and the nobles as well. Bread rained down from the skies, while the people cried in joy. Some did fight over the food, as was expected, but when the bread continued to fall, the fights slackened. One woman sobbed as she ate some, giving bites to her children as well. Martyn noticed their distended stomachs. He would have cried as well if those were his own.
     
    These are my people. Martyn realized in that moment. He glanced at Lara Farraway, who only gave him a brief nod, and then stepped forward as well.
     
    "A gift from your late king, and a prize from the new!" The young girl shouted, and then gestured to Martyn. "I give you, people of Dawnsgrace, your new king! Martyn Forysthe, Father of the Hungry, Friend of the Commoners, Savior of the Starving, Lord of Dawnsgrace, and King of the Desert!"
     
    It had been an unanimous vote of the council. The guards even agreed.

    Then they began to chant, amidst their bites of bread that continued to fall.
     
    "King, King, King!" More and more came, eating his bread and shouting his name.
     
    He allowed himself a smile then, and looked to the heavens.

    How do you like this, Emilie?

     
    He was a King.

     
    He was the King.

     
    The King of the Desert.
    Last edited by Stryker01, Apr 29, 2014
    Ktala, Heavy Isotope and Trieste like this.
  3. spycoder9 Force Ghost

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


    The Desert of Mirwyth
    Evenfall


    Outskirts


    Ser Caliban didn't say anything for several long moments.

    "They must've rode hard, to sail from Caraba to Aqarda in that short of time," He finally spoke, moving to a map of the Desert. He ran his finger along the crooked coastline. "If they continued south, they've already hit the Capital by now. If we risk riding down there. . ."

    He gritted his teeth.

    "Damn my cousins. Damn my brother too, for getting captured by pirates. And damn you, woman, for leading us into this." Everytime he said the word, he beat his fist against the map. "I can't leave him to die. . .but if we ride for the Capital. . .damn them all."

    The knight took a sip from his pouch, found it empty, and tossed it aside.

    "You'd better pray that those pirates went back up the coast, or you and your boy'll find yourselves in enemy territory with the rest of us."



    The squire led him through the steps, having the boy stand the poles in place so he may slip the fabric over them. When they had finished (after a bout of laughter when Olyvar tripped over a stray pole and sent the entire thing crumbling), Olyvar snatched Fleet some pigeon off the fire. The tent preparing process had went a lot smoother than Fleet may have expected.

    "Pretty good, I'll admit," He said as he tossed the boy some and sat down in the sands beside him. The sky quickly darkened, and the stars began to illuminate the skies. "Wonder what's taking them so long." The young man cast his eyes on Ser Caliban's tent, standing perched up on the dune above them.

    He gnawed on his pigeon some more, ruminating in silence. It was a peaceful night, as some of the men at the fire broke off into a song. "She fell from the heavens, My mistress of the night; She stole my heart, I put up no fight." They broke off after a few verses, but it was obvious that the few reserves of wine the party had, was being drank.

    "Know any stories?" Olyvar finally asked.



    TAG: @Ktala, @greyjedi125
    Last edited by spycoder9, Apr 29, 2014
  4. spycoder9 Force Ghost

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


    The Desert of Mirwyth
    The Fair Groves


    Sitting Room


    The rider was a dusty man with plain features. He could easily be lost in a crowd, though the message he bore set him apart.

    He bowed in the Lady's presence. By the look on his dark face, he was awed by her.

    "King Mors Santagar has died, m'lady," The rider seemed almost afraid to meet her eyes. "Along with his son and heir, Dameron Santagar. They were done in by an assassin's blade. Your father pledges to investigate their deaths."

    The man licked his lips nervously.

    "And, m'lady. . .your father. . .he has been declared King of the Desert by both a council of nobles and the commoners of Dawnsgrace. He accepted the mantle proudly."



    TAG: @Trieste
    Last edited by spycoder9, Apr 29, 2014
  5. Trieste Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 10, 2010
    star 5
    IC: Lady Ginnifer Kildare
    Chambers, Alcazar, Kalkheim, Fair Groves, Desert
    7 days before her brother’s wedding




    Ginnifer listened.

    She blinked.

    And she thought.

    My father. King.

    This did not make sense. She had dispatched him to deliver a simple message. How did things go from King Mors to King…Martyn. King Father. King.

    With a courtesy that had been bred into her, Ginnifer responded automatically. “You have traveled far and it is late. Sophee, please see to it that our guest is fed and finds a place to rest for as long as he needs. When that’s done, return to me. I’ll be in the gardens.”

    “Yes m’lady,” Sophee said and she gently showed the messenger out of the room.

    Ginnifer followed not long thereafter, but headed a different direction, descending stairs, moving on autopilot. Her mind was a jumble. She needed to sort things out. Ginnifer could not get her head around what she had heard.

    If father is king…is Lawrence heir to the Desert? His vows were set aside for marriage. What about inheritance of title and property? And if he doesn’t…Landon would inherit. Landon. V’hallar—Landon! He’s received no preparation for rule. Mother ignored him after birth. Ginnifer pressed the palm of her hand to her forehead, her bad hand. Father loves Landon. He loves him more than anyone. He’ll want him as his heir. The last shall be first. Lawrence will be passed over due to his vows. It’ll be done.

    Ginnifer stepped into the open air. It was actually warmer outside than it was inside the alcazar. The Desert night was not so cold as one might think, not at this time of year. The Lady of the Fair Groves stepped down the sandy dirt paths of the gardens, not looking at the sleeping greenery, its flowers and buds shut up, awaiting the sun.

    How could this have happened? How could they have selected my father as King? she kept thinking. Ginnifer eventually took a seat on a stone bench, which was cool to the touch. Her mind descended further into unbidden thoughts and memories…



    Thirteen years prior

    “Today you became a woman, Ginnifer,” Emilie Kildare told her daughter softly.

    They were sitting inside the Lady’s Chambers, in her mother’s bedroom. Ginnifer was never allowed in here. Never. Not ever. It was just the latest in a string of weird events. When she had woken up and seen the bleeding, Ginnifer would have panicked had it not been for the chambermaid who had seen it when waking her. The chamber maid had told Ginnifer everything was all right, that this happened to all girls and that she would inform Lady Emilie.

    Ginnifer had been scared. She had expected her mother to be cruel. The sheets had been ruined, after all. Instead she had gotten something much more terrifying—her mother saying nothing, but asking Ginnifer to come see her.

    “In the eyes of this land, of men, you are now a woman,” Emilie continued.

    “Why?” Ginnifer asked.

    “Because…you can now have children of your own,” the Lady of the Fair Groves said, initially struggling to find the right words.

    Ginnifer blinked. “I can?”

    “Yes. That is another discussion, an equally important discussion, perhaps much more important for you,” Emilie said, “but that is for another time. What you need to understand now is that if you were any other woman, you would now be a commodity. You would be a bushel of lemons. You would be sold to a man who would pay your father whatever he could get for you.”

    This was scaring Ginnifer. Sold? Bought?

    Her face must have shown her feelings, for Emilie took her daughter’s face in her hands in a rare display of warmth and affection. “Ginnifer, that is what happens to other girls. It is cruel, but it will not happen to you. It will
    never happen to you. Covina Kildare ended that forever for our family. We are not ruled by men. We are not their property. We can marry whomever we want.”

    “Anyone?” Ginnifer asked, trying to blink away the tears that her mother was telling her she shouldn’t be crying, so therefore she shouldn’t be crying them.

    “Within the realms of nobility, yes, but you would do well to marry for a purpose. Love fades. Though we have greater freedom, the reality of the world remains. Men will court you—but, they will court
    you, not your father. You will decide. Not him.”

    “So you chose father?”

    “I did. I chose him because of his family, because he was respectable, because I knew he could give me you and your sisters,” Emilie explained patiently, “and because I knew that he was weak.”

    “Father is not weak,” Ginnifer said, “I’ve seen him push a plow with the tenants when they were short of hands, like you asked him to do. Remember? To show that we cared about them? That we would look after them because they were
    our tenants?”

    “Your father, like other men, has physical strength, but that does not make him strong,” Emilie said, “Your father would have yoked himself to that plow for the rest of his days like an ox if I had told him to do so. That’s why I married him.”

    “I don’t understand,” Ginnifer said.

    “You will, one day,” Emilie said, patting her daughter’s hand, “You will.”




    “M’lady?”

    Ginnifer realized that Sophee was standing before her, hesitantly. Her maid had rescued her from the depths of old memories. Seeing her mistress come back to the here and now, Sophee sat down next to her.

    “Your father, the King…” Sophee said.

    “I know,” Ginnifer said.

    “Surely he will protect us from Fenton,” Sophee said, “Won’t he?”

    Ginnifer shivered, even though it was warm. She could feel it getting warmer. The sun would rise soon.

    “Sophee, I don’t know,” Ginnifer said, afraid, “My mother did terrible things to him. Terrible things through years of neglect and unspoken abuse. And I am her daughter…”

    Ginnifer began sobbing and Sophee put her arms around her mistress and pulled her into an embrace. The Lady of the Fair Groves cried into her hands.

    “Your father loves you, m’lady,” Sophee said.

    “I—I don’t—know—” Ginnifer gasped between the uncontrollable tears.

    “I know him. He’s a good man. He’s always been kind to me and the servants. Surely he loves you as a father should.”

    Eventually Ginnifer ran out of tears and Sophee stroked her blonde hair.

    “Nothing’s changed,” Sophee said softly in Ginnifer’s ear.

    “No…Sophee…everything’s changed,” Ginnifer whispered.

    Everything.



    Late the next morning, the messenger was brought not back to the private chamber where he had first seen the Lady of the Fair Groves, but to the Great Hall. She sat in the seat at the head of the hall, no longer done up in the half measures for an unexpected night time visit but now in the finery expected of the mistress of Kalkheim and the Protectrix of the Fair Groves. She had gathered the Kildares to her.

    From Ginnifer’s left out to the wall were Chelsee, Aron, Spectra, Aimee wife of Willis with their twin boys Castor and Pollax. To her right were Zooey, Landon, Regina, Widmer, Tamzin, Evander, and Samara.

    Today, House Kildare stood as one.

    “Good ser,” Ginnifer said, calmly with all the formality and bearing of her position, “because my father entrusted you with this message, I shall place equal trust in the powers of your memory. Please relay the following message to His Majesty the King:

    “House Kildare and all the Fair Groves rejoice to at this news. We have faith that His Majesty will protect the Desert against all those who would interfere with its prosperity in these uncertain times. Long live King Martyn.”

    With a flick of a hand, the messenger was dispatched to return to Dawnsgrace.

    “Send a raven to my kinsmen, Camden and Tilly Maquet informing them of the news,” Ginnifer said, “and to my brother in the Mountains.”

    A second courtier went off to see to this. The Kildares were now alone. Before any of them could move, Ginnifer raised her gauntleted hand to stay them. She stood from her seat and walked down the steps that led to it to face them.

    “We have taken our father for granted for all of our years,” Ginnifer said, “Let us remember that. All of us.”

    Especially me, Ginnifer Kildare thought, Especially me.

    TAG: @spycoder9 @Stryker01
  6. Heavy Isotope Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 10, 2013
    star 3
    Leiliana Caine
    19 Days Before the Wedding
    The Road to Shodaire

    The road seemed long. The second day of travel started as the sun's light illuminated the morning fog, just before it peered over the mountain, spreading it's warmth through the valleys and mountain roads as the fog faded into a light mist. When Leiliana set off, the sun was low over the mountain tops, the mist seemed unnatural, giving her a feeling of unease. Equally as strange as the nights the mist followed, fortunately the night was uneventful, no trouble from wild animals; merely the rustling of small game animals running through the bushes. Despite the calm she had trouble sleeping, perhaps she was scared to finally be out in the world. Even so, she traveled onward, the thought of turning back had yet to cross her mind. She was still assured that she was on the right path.

    Knowing little of life beyond the monastery, aside from what she had read in the libraries, old map rooms, and star charts. The road ahead was impending but it felt right, despite the atmosphere, Leiliana was confident in her destiny. Though she didn't know what it was yet. Her only thoughts to follow the omen and reach the distant castle. From there... That was left to chance.

    ~~~~~~~~~~

    As the night fell once again, the road's end was in sight, though far in the distance. Lights shined through the trees as Leiliana's cart descended from a mountain path, farm fields could barely be seen in the distance, the days work was done and the fields were empty; as far as she could tell. The small settlement in the distance was light by torch and lanterns, the shapes of the buildings could be seen, but not much else. She moved on along the path towards the settlement, lighting lanterns of her own as the glowing sky finally turned to black and the starlight shined along it's canvas. Not much further to go now...

    As she got closer a figure appeared along the side of the road, walking along in the darkness carrying a lantern in his hand and a burlap sack slung over his shoulder. Slowing her cart, the man turned to her as she walked on, "Good evening young miss," he said. Leiliana slid over on the cart's bench to make room for him, "Evening ser, would you be going to the town ahead? I would be remiss to not offer you a ride... "

    "I would appreciate that m'lady," he said as he climbed on to the cart, "though there's no need to call me ser."

    Leiliana let out a small laugh at this as the middle-aged man smiled. "Well, I'm Leiliana, and you?"

    "Arleiv," he replied, "Are you a trader? Not many women take to the roads for such a life."

    "No," she said, "I suppose I am a scholar." Oddly, Leiliana had never considered what her trade should or would be, "I do have items to trade though."

    "Like what?"

    "Good beer, grown and brewed myself."

    "You sound more like a brewer in that case... " he said with a tired humor in his tone, "I myself am a farmer."

    They continued talking of the town ahead, Arleiv would nod or shake his head sleepily to her questions, Leiliana decided to let him rest. From what he said, the town was mostly farmers, some woodsman and fishing trade from the large river nearby.

    ~~~~~~~~~~

    [IMG]

    The pair entered the town, it's streets lit by torches and lanterns hung beside the doors and porches of the cobble stone houses and wooden cabins. The two largest of the town's buildings were the tavern and the governor's home, though they were only a little larger than the other homes.

    "The tavern has a stable, and usually rooms for rent, we don't get many passing through," Arleiv said after they entered the town. Leiliana began to feel tired, she could tell her workhorse Anaïs could use the rest as well. Even though she was strong, Leiliana never liked to see her get exhausted. A young lad working the stables assured her that her belongings and horse would be safe and well taken care of. She and Arleiv left to the common room of the tavern, they carried a decent sized cask between them, hopefully Leiliana could trade it for a few night's stay.

    Inside the tavern there was a small crowd of men and a few women. The barkeep held a listless expression, leaning on the counter and smoking a pipe, eying the patrons with mild interest. Some of the men greeted Arleiv as they passed by, some looked at them with curious expression, aside from the cask with the seal of the Order on it, her blue cloak must mark her as an outsider... The attention made her feel uncomfortable.

    The pair set the cask on the bar, the barkeep raised his eyebrows at them when he saw the seal branded onto the wood above the tap. "Ay me... " he said, "I haven't seen this mark in some years. How'd ya come by such a brew? You must have paid some coin, Arleiv." he asked. "Well it ain't mine, me boy. Our young miss here says she brewed this batch herself."

    "Is that so... " the barkeep said, turning to Leiliana; he paused for a moment, looking at her cloak. "Ahhh... I recognize those colors. And the seal. Ya must be one of them Monks from up in the mountains, ain't ya?"

    "Aye, I thought that broach you wear was familiar," Arleiv said before she could answer, "I didn't know they had any women amongst 'em, mind... "

    "It is as you say. I am of the Order of Avos. As well as the only women to have studied along side them," Leiliana explained. The barkeep scratched his beard pensively for a few moments before speaking again, "Well, you'll let me try some of that brew and," he said drumming his fingers on the top, "And I'll know if you're lyin'... "

    Leiliana was a bit taken aback by his insinuation. However it is true that the Order is known to be only males, his suspicion isn't unfounded, giving a calm response. "Have at, my friend. You'll find it's among the finest you've ever tasted," she spoke loudly and confidently, some of the nearby patrons turned to look at them. "I'll even make a wager with you, if I'm proven to be honest then you'll allow me to stay a few nights in return for another cask." The barkeep narrowed his brow at her, "Agreed, but if not you'll give me the rest of the brew you've got with you." His expression relaxed and a smirk crossed his face.

    "Deal," Leiliana said with a cool voice as the barkeep passed her three tankards, she poured the three of them one each. Some of the patrons turned away back to their conversations, though a few still looked on. Some of Arleiv's friends gathered around as the three took a drink. The amber colored lager was cool from the winter weather, it had a rich balanced flavor.

    This gave the barkeep a moments pause, "Even if I wanted to, I cannot lie," he said, "This, dear lass, is the finest I've had in ages. Well done." A few of the patrons who were still paying attention laughed at him in his surprised state. Holding up their own tankards for the barkeep to give them their own. He gave Leiliana a small key, "Your room is on the second floor, the left door."

    ~~~~~~~~~~

    The night carried on, calm but happy revelry over tankards of Leiliana's brew were had until both barrels ran dry. The tavern making a good profit from it, paying well above a few night's stay. Alas the night had gone long enough, Leiliana stood and bade goodnight to Arleiv, his friends, and the barkeep.

    @Spycoder9
  7. Cushing's Admirer Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jun 8, 2006
    star 7
    OOC: Post completely written by me but approved by Spy.

    IC: Shalavon Distantdreamer: Homelings Village, The Prairies—Late Night

    Distressing dreams flood Shalavon’s mind with heart wrenching pain obliterating his all too brief serenity. With a high cry of horrified denial on his lips, he jerks bolt upright, causing Pal to squawk in protest as he flaps to the hut’s modest single window.

    Lean frame quaking in undeniable grief, tears silently stream from his eyes, his large but elegant hands shielding his crumbled features, Shalavon feels the weight of what the coming day is sear him as a raging fire he is incapable of quelling. I must return to my Rose at speed. It is their day. I shan’t deny my darling anything.

    Silent as a stalking leopard, Shalavon gathers his few belongings before returning to his pallet and placing two tiny copper coins beneath the thin pillow. He knows that faithful Draganor will collect them once he’s gone and use them to better the orphans’ state as much as their meagre worth will permit.

    A pang of regret explodes within his slight chest at not giving his younglings a proper farewell or game or story as he usually does but he swiftly quashes it. I will return to you, my doves, soon. My garden needs tending now. I do hope you don’t begrudge me this.

    Picking up his bundle again, Shalavon pads effortlessly upon his large feet to the door and opening it, the night’s refreshing coolness plucks at his trousers and sleeves. Pal settles upon his narrow shoulder, rubbing his head against the stark features in a soothing gesture following Shalavon’s securing of the hut’s door.

    Shafts of silvery moonlight dapple the silent pair as they sprint to the bank of the nearby River of Clarity—so named for its purity amid such a harsh climate. In the daylight any that gaze in her depths can see several feet deep of what lays in her bed.

    Pal flaps down amid the sand-strewn grassy bank as Shalavon strips his humble attire from his tall and very lean frame. Grasping the articles carefully, he then withdraws some handmade soap and shampoo from his satchel. Nude, Shalavon stands a few moments in humble acknowledgement of what he is beneath Merciful One of Stars' great tapestry of celestial bodies above him.

    Striking his pectoral with a fist lightly, he murmurs: 'I am the most humble and undeserving of Your servants, Merciful One. Yet, I ask that You look upon me, my cherished La’kondrite, our orphans and this great lands many Peoples with kindness. We all commit folly before Thee. Yet, we are striving, ever searching, reaching for that noblest of goals. Guide us, Great One. Cleanse us.'

    Falling silent, Shalavon, slowly treads into the depths of the river, his body thrilling at the primal caress of the unconstrained liquid as it purls and laps over his worn and semi-leathery skin. Amid his bathing, the Healer indulges in a few minutes of swimming.

    Emerging to the bank again, Shalavon dresses within his simple attire and travelling boots again before whistling quietly to alert Pal that he is homeward bound now.

    Two Days Before The Wedding, Distantdreamer Cottage, Sun-Drenched Plains

    Shalavon has been gone from her side for a fortnight but La’kondrite knows she can trust her noble-spirited man. Given what day it is, La’kondrite has slept very little and keeps herself busy with detailing her tapestry and finishing a new tunic for her man until her fit of emotion causes all focus to flee her head. She aches to behold her husband.

    Today of all days, Shalavon answers to no one but Merciful One of Stars and I. The Dear Heart. So consumed by guilt. Sometimes he fears holding me in his embrace. Ah, our little precious Hope…Something within us broke when we lost you. Our love is as deep and true as ever but now an endless restlessness gnaws at our innards. Particularly, Papa’s. I think he works himself nearly into the dirt in endless repentance for a thing he could not prevent. How I wish you could speak to us a final time that he might have peace. Yet, you sleep buried in the rich soils far underneath the drab, dry rocky layers. Only the best for you, our Seedling.

    Eleven years. That is how long Papa has sacrificed everything for me on this, Your Day. He tries so hard to tend my every need and to fulfil my wants. If you could behold us, I think your heart would break in sadness but be tempered by awe and love. That is what we feel for you, Seedling. Merciful One of Stars keep you safe until we are reunited, my Precious One.

    Rousing at the slight screech of the door, La’kondrite instantly rises as her husband strides forward before her humbly sinking to his knees at her feet. One look at Shalavon’s drawn features and raw eyes and she knows what she must do. She must give this day to her mild one. That Shalavon may again regain his peace and know they are equals. She is well aware that Shalavon is no longer a young stag but he is her stag and La’kondrite shall never know any other willingly.

    Her simple dress of pale blue folding around her as she kneels opposite him, grasping his trembling hands, La’kondrite gently caresses the lean fingers and the strong yet delicate hands as she presses one to her breast as her green eyes meet his shocked vibrant blue ones as a million shifting emotions rush over his stark face. Awe, dread, confusion, fear, and need most obvious.

    Kissing his palm and the back of his hand before again pressing her breast into his hand in willing offer, La’kondrite whispers: 'Touch me, Shalavon. We share all things for life. We made this vow under the stars when we were only twenty-two and twenty-five. Both innocent fawns. Time and trial have matured us into a fine grey stag,' She cups his cheek and kisses his temple and his forehead, 'and what I hope is a pleasing doe.'

    Shalavon’s innocently eager voice exclaims: 'Oh, yes! None compare to you, Sweetness! It is I that have failed. I am unworthy of you…If I’d only done—'

    Pressing two fingers to Shalavon’s thin lips, La’kondrite shushes him to silence. Her fingers running through his ashen hair, delighting in both it’s dignified shade and its softness. 'You are worthy, Shalavon. None but you shall ever be so in my eyes. You didn’t kill our Seedling, Dear. Hope died because she was ill and Merciful One of Stars permitted her to rest. This anniversary is ours together and if it pleases you the Doe welcomes her Stag’s embrace. Be free again, Shalavon.'

    Floored, Shalavon remains kneeling mutely a long moment before pressing his face against La’kondrite’s soft bosom, nuzzling her firm gentleness as quiet needful sounds emerge from deep within. She knows he is close now and as ever frightened of release. She purrs softly as she nuzzles his neck, licks his ear, and playfully causes them to tumble upon the floor.
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    La’kondrite lies quietly upon their bed, relishing the steadiness of Shalavon’s breathing. Her man is a unique creature particularly within the realms of the Prairies. So many people consumed by lust for power. Few in our land are willing to acknowledge the soft elements of it: service, tenderness, loyalty, devotion, care. Blest be Merciful One of Stars that my stag is such a man.

    La’kondrite’s rich mocha hair is partially splayed over Shalavon’s narrow but strong shoulders and back, his head resting upon her chest as they cradle one another lightly, flesh to flesh, soaking up the sacred purity of their bond.

    Many consider them backward and strange, La’kondrite knows but she and her stag put no stock in such petty things. She has heard many whispers of horrors committed mate against mate, sibling against sibling, parent against child. Seen the cruelty of the whip, the ghastliness of rotting disease-rife corpses, heard the most uncouth language, and seen both genders treat their counterpart abominably. Her husband has endured so much more than she yet still he retains the innocence of a fawn though life has taught him many unkind lessons.

    Feeling Shalavon grow fitful against her, she gently strokes and rubs the musculature of his neck, shoulders and back in a soothing massage. Aware that touch is what her Stag needs above all things with the exception of love. The sheets over them rustle as he resettles into a position that maximises their contact.

    She murmurs: ‘I’m here, Luv,’ As niggling thoughts intrude upon her. La’kondrite celebrates that Shalavon is a dreamer, that he trusts so willingly. She does not see these traits as weakness as many do. Yet, the wild ravens of the valley have grown ominous and uneasy of late. Even Pal, her husband’s faithful avian companion, is conspicuously absent.

    Her friends, Naviah and Treladore, have brought her rumblings that ill is upon the wind. The winged ones’ uncharacteristic behaviour confirms a storm is brewing on the horizon. That will be dealt with tomorrow. Tonight, the Doe and Stag shall luxuriate in their brief taste of hard-gained healing.

    TAG: @spycoder9
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  8. Ktala Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 7, 2002
    star 6
    Lorain Ashkey - The Forsaken Desert of Mirwyth
    Outskirts of the Evenfall...whatever THAT is - Camp


    Lorain didnt like the long silence, that Ser Caliban gave after she told him of the ship. And when he spoke once more, his voice was hard. "They must've rode hard, to sail from Caraba to Aqarda in that short of time," He finally spoke, moving to a map of the Desert. Lorain quietly stepped up to look at the map. He ran his finger along the crooked coastline. "If they continued south, they've already hit the Capital by now. If we risk riding down there. . ."

    He gritted his teeth.

    Oh Gods!! The one place she was trying to stay far away from, and it looked like they might be heading there. But Lorain frowned. That didnt quite make sense. If the ship was stockpiling the kinds of supplies that Lorain was thinking of.. why head back to the Capital now. Her thoughts were interrupted by Ser Caliban.

    "Damn my cousins. Damn my brother too, for getting captured by pirates. And damn you, woman, for leading us into this." Everytime he said the word, he beat his fist against the map. Lorain stayed quiet. Not like it was HER fault. She studied the map, as he continued to speak."I can't leave him to die. . .but if we ride for the Capital. . .damn them all."
    The knight took a sip from his pouch, then suddenly tossed it aside. "You'd better pray that those pirates went back up the coast, or you and your boy'll find yourselves in enemy territory with the rest of us."

    Lorain's face became hard behind her face covering. She reached up wordlessly, and took it down. "Then I shall pray, for I want no part of those lands. As it already be, Im sure there are a few Knights of Fenton's who would love to see me again." she stated, smiling darkly. "And we VOLUNTEERED to come, thank ye, cause of ya brother. We did not HAVE to." With that, she then carefully walked up to the map, she gestured towards the map, as her mind returned to the problem at hand.

    "Ser Caliban, these pirates were not just simply taking people. In the town, they took EVERYTHING. Da animals. Da people. Most of da supplies, food stocks, almost anything of use or value. Ya would have thought none had lived there. That would make 'em pretty heavy. Even if they had other ships, that is quite a bit to carry. It would make sense to have someplace they could unload their 'stock', in order to get more. And I heard them say that they was looking for more swordsells, since they did not make their quota in Caraba. Besides. The ship is huge." Lorain looked at the map for a moment, and then looked back towards Ser Caliban. "Is there anyplace where they could hide a ship of such size? The Knights I met on the shore, seemed to be waiting for someone. Could it be, that they dock, offload their supplies, and then move to grab more? Lorain gave another thought. "Course, my jumping off their ship, might have made them move further ways from the coast. That would slow em's down too." she added.

    With that, she crossed her arms in front of her and stepped back, waiting to see what Sir Caliban had to say. As she did, she searched the map, trying to figure out where they were, and what was this Evenfall they were camped near. The man might be an idiot, but he was the idiot in charge at the moment.




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

    Member Since:
    Apr 29, 2002
    star 5
    IC: Fleet
    Camp at Evenfall. Eight days before the wedding

    It took a bit of doing, but eventually, Fleet’s defensive walls came down…at least for the moment. He was actually enjoying how to learn to build a proper tent. Once you knew what to do ( much like everything else ), it didn’t seem that hard at all.

    The young boy initially didn’t know how to react when Olyvar had tripped over a stray pole and sent the entire unfinished tent crumbling down. Of course, his first reaction was to laugh out loud, but he choked it in, not intending to bring offense…or worse, perhaps Olyvar hurt himself. No doubt he would be blamed for that. It so happened that such was not the case as Ser Caliban’s squire was laughing easily at himself, so Fleet allowed himself to bask in the moment and also laughed, quite heartily in fact. That was a good bonding moment for him.

    After all was said and done, the two enjoyed some roasted pigeon.

    “Pretty good, I’ll admit.” Olyver said, commenting on how smooth the process had gone, at least as far as Fleet was concerned. He certainly wouldn’t mind helping to make the tent now that he knew what to do. It also helped him to be useful, which was something he wanted to be.

    The sky darkened and the younger boy easily found himself stargazing. When Olyvar spoke again, Fleet had not been expecting it for his mind had gone to a far way place within his adventurous imagination.

    “Wonder what’s taking them so long….”

    They both cast glances at Ser Caliban’s tent, though Fleet’s countenance was darker. He simply did not trust that Kildare in particular. His guts told him not to.

    Soon, singing from some of the men reached their ears. Fleet did not know the song, though it sounded somewhat familiar. A tavern song perhaps? He wondered who was this ‘she’ drunkards kept singing about.

    “Know any stories?” Olyvar asked all of a sudden.

    The open question had taken him a bit by surprise. Fleet wasn’t sure how and if he should answer, though he did make up his mind after a moment. He decided to answer honestly.

    “Nay. Not anee good ones at least.”

    For a second he looked to the stars, then at Ser Caliban’s tent, before his attention returned to Olyvar.

    “But I know I wants a proper name…a fam’ly name.” For a moment, he looked down and paused, then forced himself to look back up.

    “So, yu’r not a Kildare…no? At least I don’t think so. What’s yu’r fam’ly name and how did yu end up being a squire?”

    A glint shone in the young boy’s blue eyes, accompanied by a smile which all curious beings possessed when they suspected they’ve happened upon something goodly.

    “I’d like to know…..”


    Tag: @spycoder9 ( @Ktala )
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  10. spycoder9 Force Ghost

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


    The Mountains of Mirwyth
    High in the Mountains


    Passes


    The mountain passes were still treacherous, even as spring crept its way to the lands. Snowflowers were beginning to bloom amongst the rocks, only to be covered over again by snow, or frozen by ice. There had a brief spat of snow that day, one that sent daggers of cold wind into the riders' backs. Isabella pulled her hood over her chesnut curls, though she complained not a bit. The ride to Fort Vane had been even colder, and the past winter had been one of the coldest.

    Captain Caradas led them onward. Their horses sped down the paths surefootedly, though one of them almost slid off the edge. It was Buron's, the man with untamed, dirty black hair that fell to his shoulders. Had it not been for his quick hands, the horse and him would've surely plumetted over the edge.

    They passed several other travelers on their roads.

    Some man in a turnip cart bustled by and tossed each of them a turnip for a copper. A widow and her two sons walked to their nearest village, hoping to find some recompense for her husband's passing. A pack of wolves descended from one cliff and eyed them for several moments with their yellow eyes. Caradas unsheathed his sword, but they ran off in search of other prey.

    It was as they galloped down a mountainside, their horses spitting up snow beneath their hooves, that a strange silence descended over the land. A stray crow cawed as it flew overhead.

    "Halt. . ." Caradas raised his gauntled hand. Their horses slowed to a trot.

    "Do you hear something?" The other guard, shaved bald, asked.

    "Perhaps. . ."

    And it was then that the very ground beneath them began to rumble. Snow shook from the trees above their heads. Buron's horse spooked and dumped the dirty man from its back.

    "Dammit! Ride!" Caradas shouted. He slapped Helena's horse on the rump. Isabella's had galloped off on its own. Buron was rising from the ground on unsteady legs, trying to run, but it was then that the snow hit.

    And all chaos reigned loose.



    TAG: @Master Selkath

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  11. BoomBachen Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Apr 5, 2014
    Mairar Meade, Son of Lord Darridan Meade
    Misty Top Keep, Misty Top Lands, Mountains

     

    As Mairar exited his father's chambers, he noticed Ser Talos. The knight leaned against the hallway wall and gnawed at his fingernails.

    "Come on," He gave Ser Talos a tired look, "We need to round up my siblings."

    "You know, I thought after twenty years of training and squiring, I’d be used for something more than babysitting," Ser Talos said as he pushed himself back against the wall and stood up. "Is it just us two?" He asked while looking at his fingernails. They were bitten down to the stub.

    "I’m going to change out of my training gear and get into something more respectable. While I do that, feel free to recruit anyone else for this task. I heard that Ser Minter and his squire Jan are relaxing in the dining hall. Why don’t you go ruin their good day?" Mairar gave a small smile to his friend, who had to give a little chuckle at that remark.

    "Misery loves company," the knight said.

    "Misery loves company," Mairar agreed.

    They split there and each went their ways to do their job.

    Mairar soon reached his room and, after entering, heard faint knocking. He took a moment to listen, but eventually chose to ignore it. He pulled off his armor and sweaty clothes and let them drop to the floor. The servants will get it. He put on a pair of dark teal trousers, a thin wool shirt, and then a long dark brown leather tunic over it. He annoyingly laced up the middle, making the process much longer than he had patience for. The knocking noise continued. It sounded like it was coming from the room over. Funny. . .what could Darros be doing in his room? He combed his hair back and wrapped his dark blue sash around his shoulder and waist, eventually tying it off. He thought it looked nice.

    The knocking ceased as he left his room and approached the door. He knocked rather strongly on it.

    "****!" He heard someone inside exclaim, followed by a quick scampering around inside the room. The voice sounded like Darros.

    "Darros, I need to speak to you!"

    "Just ... um … give me a moment!" Darros stammered.

    "Darros! Open the damn door!" Mairar said.

    The door swung open. Mairar was greeted by a sweat covered Darros with only his trousers on.

    "Hello brother," the younger said. Mairar began to step inside, but Darros put his hand on his chest.

    "Wait!" Darros shouted. Mairar pushed his way in and was shocked by what he saw. Hanna Bodderly sat on his bed with Darros's covers over her. Her pudgy face turned a bright pink, while her bright eyes bulged.

    For a brief moment Mairar didn’t understand.

    "What’re you two-" Then it clicked in his head. His eyes grew wide, and he spun around to glare at his brother. "Darr-"

    "Shh! Do you want the entire Mountains to hear you?" Darros nervously checked the hallway.

    "Oh don’t worry, I’m sure the vigorous knocking got their attention!" Mairar nearly shouted, much to his brother's dismay.

    "Brother, calm down," Darros started in.

    "Don’t tell me to calm down!" Mairar retorted.

    "We’re being married in a few weeks anyhow, what’s the matter?" Darros asked as if he were sincere. For all Mairar knew, Darros was being legitimate.

    "There is a reason you wait until after you've been married, Darros," Mairar grabbed his brother by the arm and tugged him closer. Darros only looked down. Mairar couldn’t tell if this was a sign of rebellion or submission. "If father found out-"

    "Are you going to tell him? I know I’m not, and I'm damn sure Hanna isn’t. That leaves you." The brothers locked eyes. Mairar was now able to conclude that his gaze was that of rebellion.

    There was a small cough behind Mairar. He turned his head to see the source of the noise. Still sitting on the bed with nothing but the sheets covering her body was the daughter of the ever so fat Lord Bodderly. Mairar’s expression changed from anger to pity, and his temper ceased. He turned back to his brother.

    "You’re an idiot," he released his grasp on his younger brother’s arm. "You’re marrying her now. Whether you want to or not." Mairar gave a testing look to his brother. That previous statement though held little weight on him. "Father wants us all down by the gates by noon. Well dressed."

    Mairar left his room, shaking his head and pounding his right hand into his left.

    You're lucky you're my brother
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  12. Trieste Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 10, 2010
    star 5
    (OOC: @spycoder9 and I hashed this one out—yeah, buckle your seat belts. Also, it may be exceedingly helpful to refer to the Kildare library thread post while reading to keep everybody straight.)

    IC: Lady Ginnifer Kildare
    Alcazar, Kalkheim, Fair Groves, Desert
    7 days before her brother’s wedding


    The Kildare family sat down for their evening meal in private. Feasting in the alcazar was reserved for certain occasions. For starters, it was an expensive habit. Tonight, however, there was reason to meet privately. The family had not had the ability to talk about the early morning news since Ginnifer had dispatched the messenger once again. Ginnifer knew that if her family loved doing one thing, it was talking amongst themselves.

    Sitting at the middle of the long table, she girded herself for what she knew was coming.

    “Can I just be the first to say that it’s about time someone in this family did something?” Regina, Ginnifer’s aunt, said, “We’ve been spinning our wheels ever since this rebellion against Fenton started.”

    “You say that as if nothing at all has been done,” Zooey, Ginnifer’s eldest sister, said. She and Regina did not get along in the slightest. “Think of how many houses have declared their allegiance to one of the three kings since this started. They repudiated their sovereign king, a man anointed by divine providence to lead.”

    “Ha!” Regina barked, “More like anointed by the point of a sword.”

    “If that were all there was to power, this land would be ruled by pirates and bandits,” Uncle Aron said gruffly.

    “Power is not so simple, wouldn’t you agree, Lady Ginnifer?” his wife Spectra said. As ever, Spectra tried to cool some of the more heated disagreements at the dinner table.

    “On the battlefield, perhaps. Governing is certainly far from simple,” Ginnifer said.

    “It takes true wisdom to govern well,” Landon, Ginnifer’s youngest brother said, “Any fool can start a war.”

    “Ah, but we need wars,” Widmer Halleth, Regina’s husband said. He’d lost an eye by way of a sword—he knew a little something about battle, even if it had been a duel. “Wars have a cleansing effect. Clear the bad blood.”

    “And create more,” Ginnifer said, guarding against allowing any disproval of her uncle’s sentiment from creeping into her voice.

    “Is that why you refuse to fight?” Regina asked, “Is that why you sold your brother to the Mountainmen as a stud?”

    Ginnifer couldn’t stop what happened next. With a flip of her hand, the serated knife in Chelsee’s hand was suddenly no longer held for cutting meat, but for stabbing. “You take that back!” Chelsee shouted, jumping up. Luckily there was two thirds of a table between the two women or who knew what would have happened.

    “Chelsee! Sit. Down,” Ginnifer said harshly. Her youngest sister kept glaring at Regina for a full two seconds before she sat down, clearly simmering but no longer threatening. Chelsee had her moments. She might not have been equally loved by her mother, but that didn't mean she didn’t have any loyalty to her siblings.

    “Sticks and stones, Chelsee,” Evander said in a mocking, sing-song voice from further down the table, closer to his mother.

    “As everyone at this table knows, marriage is one of the most potent alliances there is,” Ginnifer said, “When Lawrence brings Safia back from the Mountains, we will have a powerful ally should Fenton ever move against us. With his daughter so close to Fenton’s power, King Desmond will do what he can to keep her safe. The more friends we have, the better.”

    “Yes, that’s the basis of your foreign policy, isn’t it? Let’s all just be friends,” Regina sneered, “Do you really think by lying low that you’re going to escape Fenton’s wrath?”

    “You said it yourself,” Tamzin, Regina’s daughter piped up, “Marriage is a potent alliance.” A surprisingly insightful comment from Tamzin, whose intelligence usually extended no further than the best color of a dress for an occasion. Then again, there were supposedly birds in the Islands who could mimic the words of a human. That did not make them intelligent any more than it did Tamzin.

    “Whatever I did before, Father has made everything I’ve done irrelevant,” Ginnifer said.

    “What do you mean?” Zooey asked with surprise.

    “She means that everything has changed now that we’re the family of the King,” Regina said smugly, “We’re going to be protected now. I don’t know how Martyn pulled it off, but he’s King of the Desert now. He’s got armies at his command. Fenton’s armies will never get anywhere close to us.”

    “No,” Ginnifer said, “We don’t know that.”

    “But of course he’ll protect us,” Landon said, “Father would never turn his back on us.”

    Ginnifer didn’t want to say that maybe he’d never turn his back on Landon or on Chelsee, but the rest of the family…she wasn’t so certain. She settled for something else that wasn’t true.

    “Father protects the Desert, the entire Desert,” Ginnifer said, “He has more responsibility than just us. Any man who would be King would not be worthy of his crown if he only looked after his own interests. It’s why the rebellion against Fenton began in the first place. We are but one consideration in Father’s life, love us though he may.

    “But being King of the Desert means he will make the decision that is best for the Desert and that may mean that he will let the Fair Groves burn if he has to,” Ginnifer said, “We cannot expect that he will ride to our rescue…” She paused and took a deep breath. “…and we must expect that Fenton will now come after us to punish our father the King.”

    The remainder of the dinner was marked by the sound of utensils scraping against plates as the Kildare family dealt with the perils of power—power that no one in that room had.

    TAG: @Stryker01
  13. spycoder9 Force Ghost

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


    The Desert of Mirwyth
    Evenfall


    Outskirts


    "There is a place. . ."

    Ser Caliban stared at the map with his hard eyes.

    "Shatterstone Bay," He lay his finger on the dip of land in the Capital, right near the edge of the Desert borderlines. "There are caves up and down the sides of it, and villages to store supplies and people. If I were these pirates, that would be where I would go."

    The knight looked up at Lorain.

    "My cousins can kick and scream and pull their hair out, but my brother is in the Capital, and that is where I will ride. On the morrow, Lord Dondare will send us some of his men, and then in a fortnight, we'll descend on those pirates and rescue my brother." His sweat no longer dripped, as the a cooler Desert night came on them. It was Spring, so no nights were cold anymore, but it did give a nice breeze. "Are you going to help us, or do you want to stay at Evenfall? I can have you sent back to my cousins, though I think they would mislike the absense of my brother and I."
     



    "Allsopp," Olyvar laughed. "It's Olyvar Allsopp. My father is one of Lady Ginnifer's tenants."

    The young man glanced at Fleet.

    "I'm a rather dull person, besides that. My father and mother loved me, but with a harsh love I needed. I have one older brother and two younger sisters. I argue with them, but love them all the same. But my interest in knighthood. . .that's another story. . ."

    He smiled a broad grin, showing the wide teeth in his mouth. They resembled that of a mule, flat and large, and were as simple as any horse's would be.

    "My father, brother, and I had made the journey to Kalkheim to pay homage to the new Lady Ginnifer. It wasn't hard travel, and I'd done it before, but I remember the heat was especially strong that day. The walls came up over the hilltops, and my father was reminding me to stay quiet and listen to the Lady. 'Always listen, and use respect.' Then I met Lawrence Kildare. He's the desert fox, and a knight to boot. I'm sure you've heard of him. He was leaving for some trip, I'm not for sure. When he saw us, he waved. And I could see the scimitar on his side, just resting there. My father shared a few words with him, but he must've noticed me staring. He pulled off his own weapon and let me hold it."

    He stayed silent for several seconds.

    "I thought of that blade for days, and the fox that wielded it. When we returned home, I told father my plans. He had me training for a few years, but it came even as a shock to me when Ser Caliban offered to squire me."

    Olyvar stood and did an awkward bow for Fleet, laughing as he did so.

    "Now, I've told you my story. Tell me yours, Ser Fleet."



    TAG: @Ktala, @greyjedi125
    Last edited by spycoder9, May 8, 2014
  14. Ktala Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 7, 2002
    star 6
    Lorain Ashkey - The Desert of Mirwyth
    Outskirts of the Evenfall - Camp

    Lorain watched silently, as Ser Caliban seemed to be studying the map before them intently. There was a long pause, before he spoke again.

    "There is a place. . ." Ser Caliban stared at the map, as he gestured. "Shatterstone Bay," He lay his finger on the dip of land in the Capital, right near the edge of the Desert borderlines. Lorain followed his hand, carefully noting where he pointed. "There are caves up and down the sides of it, and villages to store supplies and people. If I were these pirates, that would be where I would go." Lorain listened carefully to the man. She hated to admit it, but so far he sounded quite right. At least he was not a total fool, it seemed. Now how they planned to approach such a place... that would be interesting indeed. As if the man had heard her thoughts, he then knight looked up at Lorain.

    "My cousins can kick and scream and pull their hair out, but my brother is in the Capital, and that is where I will ride. On the morrow, Lord Dondare will send us some of his men, and then in a fortnight, we'll descend on those pirates and rescue my brother."

    The Capital! The one place she did not wish to be. If she had been alone, it might have not meant so much, but now with Fleet... As she thought of her options, the Knight spoke to her once more. A fortnight? Why the wait? Is it that far away? She was thinking so much about the time it was taking, that she almost missed his next question. "Are you going to help us, or do you want to stay at Evenfall? I can have you sent back to my cousins, though I think they would mislike the absence of my brother and I."

    Lorain gave a short, dry laugh. "Of that Ser Caliban, I very much believe ya." Lorain looked up at the knight with a somber look on her face. "Me and mine are with ya for the entire trip, whether I likes it or not. Us staying at Evenfall would do ya no good. You dont know the ship, or the Captain that sailed her. I saw his face, and the faces of a good many of his men. You will need that. An I dont think staying at Evenfall would do us any good, if things not go well." Lorain gave a dark look then. "Besides, I'd like a chance to repay a few more of them pirates." Lorain's face flickered the dark look for a moment, and then just as quickly disappeared. "So..if yer brother be there, he will be there with many. Hopefully, they will not have figured out who he be. So, we be going over land then?" she asked the Knight. Lorain bit her lip. Not knowing the lay of the land was not helping here. And the thought of Knights trudging over small paths didnt sound good. "Maybe with a bit of luck, the ships will be gone. And we only hafta deal with whoever is left in da bay." Lorain gave a deep sigh. Explaining this to Fleet was going to be difficult, to say the least. But Lorain didnt see anything else to do. They could not head back to the safety of the desert. Staying as strangers, in a strange castle was even worse. If the lord of that castle had other issues as well. Lorain hoped they could trust him. Living so close to a crazy King, might have made him align himself to other interests. And how did he know that this 'Lord Dondare' would agree to this? Course, she was not going to say that openly. Instead, she looks back over towards the Knight. "I thoughts the idea was for a small team to go in? Easy to sneak in unnoticed." Lorain added. "At least, until we are sure that he is indeed there. Probably lot of people locked up with him..those they didnt drown, that is."

    Lorain reached up, rubbing the side of her head. This was sure getting to be more complicated, and more than what she had promised to do. How she wished that the father had come along. The Idjit knight might be a failure dealing with the common person, but she hoped that tactical skills were more his strength, or they would all be in trouble.



    TAG: @greyjedi125, @spycoder9
  15. BoomBachen Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Apr 5, 2014
    spycoder9
    Force Ghost
    Member Since:
    Jul 23, 2008

    New
    Mairar Meade, Son of Lord Darridan Meade
    Misty Top Keep, Misty Top Lands, Mountains


    As Mairar took the spiral staircase from the Meade chambers down to the dining hall below, he had to take a deep breathe. At the bottom sat a smiling Ser Talos and, as Mairar had guessed, a rather disgusted Ser Minter and his young squire Jan.
    "Don't you have servants for this?" asked Ser Minter, rather rudely.

    "I figured this type of task was above them," Mairar said, though what that statement really meant was: 'Shut up Minter, you’re barely a knight.' Ser Minter was an older gentleman, if you could call him that. His eyes were dim, and his nose was partially chopped off, rumored to be from a rather aggressive bloke named Wechester in a betting game. His armor did not sit right on him, and his sword belt had new holes poked into it so it may wrap and fasten around his large belly. The only reason he had been knighted was because he had saved Darros from drowning in their youth. Or was it Arjen? Mairar guessed it was Darros, because he liked to believe that Arjen had not been stupid enough to get himself in that situation.

    Ser Minter gave a disgruntled shrug and stood up from his seat. His squire was much more interesting. Jan had sandy blonde hair and eyes the color of dark green. He was not particularly tall or attractive, but was still youthful and had time for both.

    "Jon- er Jan," I always make that mistake, he thought, "Head to the training grounds. I believe Garron is there, training his swordsmanship. Tell him to be dressed appropriately, and be by the front gates by noon." Mairar gave the boy a reassuring smile.

    "Yes mi’lord," the squire nodded and took off down the hall.

    "Ser Minter, I have a much more important and difficult task for you." The older knight's head perked up. "I heard that Dammon and Sierra were playing in the gardens. I fear your task is to find them by noon. If you have enough time, get them dressed, but I will understand if you don’t." Mairar honestly pitied Minter. When he was younger his mother had him try to locate them. The twins had managed to evade longer than he had patience for.

    Ser Minter gave a disappointed grumble and unlike his squire, sluggishly took down the side corridor to the gardens.

     
    Ser Talos turned towards Mairar and smiled. "That’ll ruin his day nice and good."
    "I’ve already found Darros," Mairar paused. He had to shake his head to bring himself back around.

     
    The two headed towards the courtyard in hopes they could meet someone there who knew the whereabouts of the other Meades. As they stepped out into the sun, Mairar squinted from its brilliance.

     
    One of the knights in the yard was Ser Riley Buckham. One of Darros's idiotic friends. His achievement of knighthood had taken everyone by surprise, though Mairar concluded half the reason was from what happened to his eldest brother while in Meade service.

     
    At this moment, Riley was dueling Ser Barrins, the head and eldest blood knight for the Meades. Mairar stayed to watch the duel, though that didn’t seem a fair word for it. It was basically watching Ser Barrins knock around the younger man. Mairar counted the words 'I yield' coming out of Buckham’s lips more than he liked to. After seven he lost ambition and decided it no longer mattered.
     

    Mairar and Talos traveled down the dirt path to the ladies tea. It was the common meeting place for the higher class women of Misty Top. Mairar wrapped on the door and, after waiting a moment, was greeted with a familiar face. Lady Turnis, with her wide smile, was his old caretaker.

    "Mairar, my dear." She held her arms open for a hug that Mairar returned. "What brings you here?"

    "I was curious as to if any of my sisters were here?" Mairar asked politely.
    "Why yes they are, I’ll get them for you." The older woman left the door open while she was gone. A moment later, Sara and the much shorter Cecillia Meade came shuffling out.

    "Brother!" Cecillia said happily.

    "You wished to-" Sara started but was cut off.

    "H-hello Lady Sara," stammered Ser Talos. Mairar looked at the man and noticed he had removed his helm. His eyes stayed on the ground.

    Sara gave him a friendly smile. "Hello Ser Talos."

    "Father is departing today at noon. He was invited to the royal wedding and wants his children to see him off." Mairar sounded rather rehearsed.

    "Father's leaving?" Cecillia asked.

    "Noon? Cecillia, we need to return to our rooms and pick out your new dress," Sara gestured to the castle.

    "Front gate, noon," Mairar repeated.

    "Yes, yes, I heard." Sara sounded irritated. While the younger siblings had always known Mairar as the strong, older brother and future Lord of Misty Top, Sara and Darros both remember Mairar in his youngest years. They remember him pissing himself at the Blood Knighting of Ser Lancaster at six years of age. They remember his tantrums when he couldn’t properly master his trainings, or his crying at the death of Maddyln, the family hound. Knowing that side of someone made it difficult to take them as the stern and punctual leader.

    The two sisters walked down the dirt road holding hands, Cecillia eagerly swinging her hand and half skipping. They turned into the Keep and disappeared behind the doors. Mairar stood and watched for a moment.
  16. BartSimpson-SithLord Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jan 24, 2002
    star 5
    spycoder9 approved!

    Name: Elric Cliffe
    Age: 27
    Gender: Male
    Appearance: With a square jawline, a solemn mouth, a lean nose and reticent chocolate eyes that accentuate his raven black hair, he would be considered somewhat handsome but not noteworthy, which is just the way he likes it. He stands 5'8" and his build is lean but strong. He wears generally nice clothing due to his position at his father's Gaol and within the family proper. However, as a spy, he dresses for the occasion whatever that may be, using his decidedly average looks and confidence to blend in with nearly any situation.
    Homeland (The Mountains, the Desert, the Isles, or the Capital City): The Isles
    King (King of the Mountains, King of the Desert, King of the Isles, the Rightful King, None): King of the Isles, but realistically his loyalty only moves as far as who lets him have fun.
    Occupation: Spy, murderer.
    Family Banner (if applicable, just describe): The banner for House Horn is a red brazen bull over a red sea with a yellow background.
    House Words (A saying the family uses): All Houses Run Red.
    Biography: Born of rape between his mother, a farm girl, and his father, Lord Rollant Horn, Elric has always grown up in the shadow of instability. When he was born, his mother left him at the great gaol "Iron Crag", of which House Horn, bannermen to House Delmari, run on the southernmost island of the Isles. His father tells him that he paid her great wealth to go live in the capitol and never bother them again, but Elric suspects that Rollant had her and her family killed and the farmland plundered for what could be salvaged. This, coupled with the fact that he was now a baby living in a Gaol with a reputation for death more than rehabilitation created a unique childhood.

    There were no other children inside the "Iron Crag", at least none that Elric ever met. His father was not wed until well into Elric's teens and even then it had been for money more than any actual attraction between the two. With that said, Elric grew up with guards and criminals as his companionship. Rollant would hire tutors to teach him the books, while Elric would study the guards to gain fighting prowess, and the criminals to gain intrigue. It wasn't long before his father saw his interest in intrigue and the blade and sought to teach him both. For a bastard is a wonderful tool not to be wasted, especially when no one knows you have one.

    The next few years saw Elric taught the ways of becoming a competent spy and accomplished, if rage filled, swordsman. With his average looks, but budding confidence, Rollant had hopes that his son could infiltrate most any House in all of Mirwyth. The skills he did achieve, able to hide the accent of the Isles quite well, able to disquise himself quite readily, made this goal reachable.

    Rollant knew the major weaknesses of Elric and thought nothing of them as he was simply a bastard who could be used and tossed aside should the weaknesses prove fatal. Most of these flaws were centered around the boy's mind. Years of being alone in the gaol had lead to him developing a rather sadistic streak, often times jumping at the chance to torture a confession out of a prisoner. Puberty hit him hard, twisted by his sadism and charisma into a hedonistic frenzy. His third flaw, perhaps his greatest strength and biggest weakness, is his fearless nature. He has been around murderers, thieves, rapists, all manner of folk and he has looked the most evil of them in the eye and spoken to them. At age 27 Elric Cliffe has no fear, grasps for all that pleases him, much of which involves the suffering of others, and driven by rage. And, finally, his skills with knives and daggers are great, having been taught to him by the prisoners and his usage of them in torture, but his swordsmanship is only adequate and sloppy. He fights with a blade like a man possessed by rage, which does well in the dancing of short swords and daggers, but any longer blade and he is more concerned with overpowering than technique. He knows how to hunt with a bow, but is not experienced in its usage on armored targets.

    The only creature in the world that Elric ever cared about was the "sister" he gained through the wedding consummation of Rollant and his bride. Her name was Gwendolyn and she was the one person who could calm Elric's tendencies. Her gentle nature, however, made her a target to her father's enemies. Two years before the War of Many Kings, Rollant took his wife and Gwendolyn to the Capital to gain a seat on the mainland nobility. A call by the Delmari forced Rollant to leave them on the mainland for a few weeks while he dealt with a situation at the gaol. During this time, however, the noble family betrayed his wife and child, raping and killing them both. He returned to find their decomposing corpses tied up with a note that read "Stay in the Isles where you belong, sea dog!" The loss of his daughter didn't bother Rollant but the loss of his sister was devastating to Elric who fled into pleasure to escape the pain. Still, part of why he so willingly does his part as a spy for his father and his King is so that he can hunt the people who did that to his sister.
  17. Trieste Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 10, 2010
    star 5
    OOC: Posted with @spycoder9

    IC: Lady Ginnifer Kildare
    Alcazar, Kalkheim, Fair Groves, Desert
    Five days before her brother’s wedding


    “Message for you, m’lady,” Sophee said, entering the parlor where her mistress was eating lunch. A dry heat lay upon Kalkheim with a warm wind blowing through the city today. Ginnifer sometimes took lunch outside in the gardens, but today that was out of the question.

    “By raven,” Sophee added.

    My father? Ginnifer wondered. They’d heard nothing further from Dawnsgrace since the messenger who had come to them. Whatever it was, it was likely to be important. That was always the way of messages sent by ravens.

    Wordlessly, Ginnifer accepted the sealed scroll. Sophee remained in standing, waiting. She had carried many return messages up to the roost where the ravens were kept in her service to Ginnifer. If the lady’s maid were not so unfailingly loyal, Ginnifer would have been concerned that Sophee knew too much about the affairs of state. But Ginnifer knew something her mother had never understood: you had to trust someone in this life. She chose to trust someone of “low” birth, someone who had once been one rung above nothing—someone that she herself had raised to foremost among her peers. Ginnifer might trust someone, but she didn’t ignore her mother’s other lessons. There were ways to buy loyalty, as long as you understood that your initial purchase was merely a down payment.

    Ginnifer used the end of one of her mailed fingers to crack open the seal of the scroll. It was one of the few things her bad left hand was good for.

    Lady Ginnifer,

    I wish to report that the party led by your cousin, Ser Caliban, passed safely through our house’s lands near Evenfall. After being apprised of their purpose, I have added a number of my men to his force. We must move swiftly against these pirates of the Capital lands to show that the Desert cares for its people. Fenton’s depredations cannot be tolerated.

    Yours, in solidarity,

    Lord Olincer Dondare


    Ginnifer could do two things with her bad hand. She could have it open, fingers extended or she could curl it into a fist. Anything in between hurt to sustain. Upon reaching the signature of the small scroll, the hand formed into a ball and Ginnifer pounded it on the table once in frustration, causing Sophee to jump.

    “What is it m’lady?” Sophee asked.

    Ginnifer rubbed her eyes with her right hand. “I am very afraid that the Dondares have now spurred Caliban to move against Fenton’s men if he has the opportunity. He should never been sent on this errand—” Ginnifer stopped. She’d just called the recovery of her cousin from the chains of bondage an errand. “On this task,” she corrected herself, “He could undo everything I’ve tried to achieve if he’s caught engaging Fenton.”

    “Then I hope he doesn’t get caught,” Sophee said.

    The words on Ginnifer’s lips died before she could speak them. That thought had not occurred to her. “You have a point, Sophee,” Ginnifer said, “We’re only in trouble if Caliban is spotted.” She tapped her chin with her good index finger as she thought.

    “Even if he was, he’s in the right, isn’t he?” Sophee said, “He’s rescuing people from slavery. Fenton might be a bad king, but would he really take the side of slavers?”

    “Oh Sophee,” Ginnifer said kindly, “If only the truth could always be relied upon to come out.”

    “What is said in the darkness shall be heard in the light, right?” Sophee recited, though not with full confidence.

    “That is what we must hope,” Ginnifer said kindly.

    The truth was on the Kildares’ side in this matter. Fenton Reynard was not going to care much for the truth if his men were attacked by Caliban and he heard about it. If he did, then Fenton’s feelings towards the Fair Groves might become even sharper than they already were. But if no report of Caliban’s activity, which seemed to be drawing him inexorably into the lands of the Capital, lands where Caliban could have no possible mandate to operate, reached Valona…

    If ever there was a time for Caliban to be a good knight, this would be it.

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

    Member Since:
    Apr 13, 2001
    star 6
    OOC: The following is a combined post with @spycoder9 - thank you so much!!

    IC: The Queen, Emilia Reynard
    Throne Room, Valona, the Capital
    2 Days before the Wedding

    After several days of a soaking rain, the gods finally had mercy and the clouds parted to allow the sun to shine forth once more. The wet season could be relentless and it was a rare sight to see blue skies stretching towards the horizon and to feel the brilliance of the sun as it cascaded through the crystalline windows of the throne room. Emilia took it as a sign from the heavenly hosts above - a blessing, of sorts, for the events that were about to transpire. Two days from now, her eldest son, Matheus, will be crowned the new King of Mirwyth as a result of the unfortunate disappearance of Fenton. Of course, she would have liked to say demise, but the body had yet to be found...the fool. Even in his absence, he was proving to be most difficult. No matter. In only a few days, Fenton Reynard would be forgotten...

    A wry grin crossed her lips as the Queen made her way up the polished steps that led to the throne, both hands holding her flowing skirts to allow herself ease of mobility. It felt odd to climb these steps solo and a rush of emotions quickly threatened to overtake her. She gasped and placed one hand upon her chest to steady her nerves. What was she doing? She had not come down here to merely reflect on the events of the past - she was here to celebrate her son and the hope of a prosperous future his reign would bring to the land. Matheus, unlike his father, would see them through these dark times. He was the key.

    No.

    They were the key. Emilia would be his guiding light...his inspiration and muse. She was the important piece of the puzzle that could not be so simply cast aside.

    With her confidence now restored, the Queen continued to the top of the dais, where the magnificent throne cast in pure silver sat glistening in the sunlight. It truly was a sight to behold - a beacon of hope in such a grim and dreary environment. Emilia reached out a hand and ran her palm and fingers along the curvature of the arm, stopping once her fingertips reached the detailed sculpt of the eagle head that sprouted from the end. In fact, the throne itself was one giant eagle with wings protruding from the back of the chair and mighty talons serving as the legs that attached the whole frame to the dais. It served as a symbol to represent the strength and resolve of House Reynard.

    Up until this point, only Fenton had been privileged enough to sit upon its might. Emilia chuckled lightly at the thought. My, how the times have changed...

    Gathering her skirts about her, the Queen crossed the final distance to the throne and eased herself down upon the frame with dignity and purpose. Her back was straight as a rail and her hands rested gracefully upon the arm rests. With a deep breath, she inclined her head and closed her eyes, allowing the sun's rays to warm her face.

    "Mother?"

    Her eldest son stood at the foot of the dais, flanked by Seymour and the maester of Valona. Maester Gilles was short and considerably ugly when standing beside Emilia's sons, though he made up for it in wisdom. He fiddled with a sheet of parchment, digging into the heavy black sleeves of his robes every moment or so. Seymour shot Emilia a curious glance as he receded back to his sentry by the doors, though it was matched by Matheus. Those doe brown eyes he gave his mother seemed beyond puzzled.

    Her eyes snapped open as if someone had stabbed her through the back with a knife as her son's soft baritone reached her ears. She had not been expecting to be disturbed and certainly not by Matheus. And to bring visitors? Well, perhaps she could forgive him for allowing Seymour to tag along, but he had the gall to bring the maester as well! That was simply...unacceptable for the here and now.

    Her chestnut eyes reflected those thoughts as they rested solely on Matheus, completely bypassing Seymour as he retreated from the room. "Matheus," she spoke coolly with a small smile, slowly easing herself from the throne with a casual grace, almost as if she had been doing this her whole life. "I didn't hear you come in." She blinked and her gaze shifted briefly to the maester. "Pardon my presumptuous behavior, but I only wanted some time to myself to reflect on the events of the past few days. Naturally, I found myself here."

    She extended her hand and stroked one of the eagle heads, almost as if she was claiming her property.

    "I. . ." The prince seemed at a loss for words.

    Before a silence could fill the void, Maester Gilles spoke: "My gracious Queen, if I may." He unfurled the parchment. "There is a list prepared of those who faced the fury of the commoners in the parade." The maester cleared his throat on the back of one of his hands before carrying on. "Ser Lark Haddlebrook was ripped to shreds while rescuing Princess Maela. Lady Wryma Rohnill and her daughter Dahla were pulled from their carriages. Dahla was recovered after being raped, though her lady mother has yet to be found. Lady Giselle of House Herrondar received a head wound from a tossed apple. She is expected to recover. "

    The list drolled on, though the rest consisted of household knights and sworn swords, all of whom were expected to lay down their lives for House Reynard.

    "The last, is our King Fenton Reynard, who hasn't been found."

    Matheus seemed to find his words then. "This is my father we're speaking of. The King of Mirwyth and all the Isles surrounding it. How can we lose him?"

    The Queen stood in silence and allowed Matheus to vent. What more could she do? The truth was, she was unsure of Matheus' knowledge of her plan or whether he even suspected her of foul play. She had planted the seeds, sure, but he was still his father's son and he could be a little dense at times. There was also the matter of the Rolmar girl and the falling out that had led to their breakup. How much was that still affecting him and did it now interfere with his judgement? There were so many unanswered questions on all fronts and she had to admit, it elicited a twinge of fear from within her.

    Emilia inhaled slowly through her nose and slowly stepped to her son's side, exhaling only when she placed a hand on his shoulder. "Perhaps we can take that as a positive sign," she offered softly, avoiding his gaze to prevent her disgust from showing within her eyes. "He could be safe, having escaped the tumult, and is now trying to make his way back to us."

    Her expression hardened as she lifted her chin slightly to seek out the maester. Still keeping her hand on Matheus' shoulder for comfort, she spoke once more. "You must double the search," she ordered, the edge having returned to her voice. It was clear she was worried solely about the fate of Fenton, having totally ignored the others that had been recited on the long list. In fact, it could be said that they were all expendable.

    "Now. Go!"

    The maester scrambled away. When he was gone out the doors, her son crumbled. "Mother. . ." Matheus rubbed his face with his free hand. "They're still having the wedding. Even after Father's dead, and Santagar. . .they still want to marry. . ."

    The fear that had been rising within her chest started to fizzle out and fade into something far more dangerous. Anger now burned from within and along with it, a strong desire to seek revenge on these...traitors. Emilia straightened and stood quite still for several moments as she allowed that anger to fester and grow. "Fools," she uttered in a dangerous tone. "That's what they are..."

    She finally turned towards her son and sought out his face, cupping it within her hands. "This is the ultimate betrayal to your father and to this kingdom and as you know, acts of treason will not go unpunished." She smiled and tilted her head slightly. "We must set a precedent, my son. We cannot allow these...savages...to rule over us and threaten us with their baseless pacts and alliances. And most importantly, we cannot allow them to cloud your judgement or intimate you. In only a few short days, you will be their King...their true King."

    Leaning forward, she touched her lips to his forehead and kissed him lightly. "Now, clear your mind and think...what will you do to answer this act of betrayal? How will you prove to them that you are the ultimate authority of this land?"

    Matheus met his mother's eyes. There were twinges of his father behind them, but also of Emilia herself. His back straightened, and he stood taller than her. "We give them a choice. Rejoin the kingdom," His eyes flickered to the winged throne - his own seat now - before returning to his mother, "or die beneath our blades."

    Emilia's eyes hardened for a moment as she studied her son. Rejoin them? Huh...that was funny. She had never considered the possibility herself. To her, there was no mercy for those who betrayed them in this way and she had been prepared to wipe them out swiftly. But Matheus' response...this was proof. It was proof that she was weak for allowing her personal feelings towards the failed wedding to get in the way. Matheus had been able to look beyond that and was even willing to offer forgiveness.

    "Very well," she said after a moment, allowing herself to relax a bit as she stepped backward. "We will see where the path takes us." She started to turn away from him, but paused as another pressing through resurfaced. "And we will find your father, even if I have to send out our best men to complete the task. No rock will be left unturned. I promise."

    "I pray you keep your promises, Mother." Matheus approached his throne. His foot grazed the bottom step as he glanced back at her. "You would be one of the first."

    Matheus ascended the steps towards the throne and as Emilia watched, she was confronted with conflicting emotions. On one hand, she was proud of her son and the task he was about to undertake, but on the other, she was jealous. Part of her still hoped that she would have the pleasure of one day sitting on that throne.

    "I will not fail you," she replied softly, a hint of a smile tugging at the corners of her mouth. "If I had the power, I would move the Earth for you."

    At the top step, he stood with his back to her, facing the throne. The glorious overhead light provided him with a crown of gold in his hair. He sat down in the throne slowly, his fingers locked onto the heads of eagles. As he raised his head to look at his mother, a sad little smirk touched his face.

    "It seems like you already have, with only the palms of your hands." The Crown Prince held his head high. "Thank you for all you have done and continue to do, Mother. I love you."

    The hard facade melted from her features in an uncharacteristic display of emotion, causing her eyes to sparkle with both relief and joy. Her palms. Emilia glanced down briefly at her open palms and clenched them slowly together as realization dawned. Her words had not fallen on deaf ears after all - Matheus was a smart one and with those simple words, he had confirmed that he had indeed picked up on her musings. He understood her secret and the ramifications of such actions, but most of all, he accepted them. He would forever be at her side and now, more than ever, Emilia felt a surge of hope and confidence. They would succeed...together.

    Dipping her head, she curtseyed to him out of respect and understanding. "Always and forever," she affirmed.

    TAG: @spycoder9
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  19. JediMasterAnne Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 24, 2004
    star 4
    OOC: Another part of the flashback combined with spycoder9

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

    Two more songs played, 'Sweet Jeyne' and 'Dragons of Snow and Fields of Flame'. The first was a heartwarming one, of burning love and passionate kisses, while the second sung of the dragons that descended from the wintery north, putting men and farms to flame. It was a rousing one where men spun their women in the air. As it came to the crashing halt, many of the men roared and applauded. Caetherene laughed out and clapped her own hands.

    "My people," The king's voice came from the raised dais in the Dining Hall, "I have a few words for my daughter and her bridegroom." The noises slackened. Not completely, but enough the Desmond could be heard clearly throughout the entire Hall. "I have dreamed of this night for years on end. It has met my expectations, and possibly even exceeded them. If only my dearest Corinne were still here. . ." The room had turned almost to a still silence. ". . . And perhaps she is, in the air around us, breathing the very soul into this room that she once did in my own heart."

    It was an uncomfortable silence than ensued this time.

    "To Safia, my sweetest flower." Desmond raised her glass to her. "May your marriage be everything you dreamed it would be."

    "Safia!" Many cheered, and took long, merry gulps of wine and ale.

    Safia smiled graciously through her father's speech, though she could feel the blush creeping along her cheeks. As the guests toasted her, she tried to meet her father's eyes across the distance between them and gave him an appreciative nod.

    The celebrations ensued as before, though many left the floor to feast. Heaps of treats were being placed on the tables, honeycakes oozing with a sweet blackberry paste, strawberries threatening to overflow their basket, glazed biscuits, baked apple tarts, sweetbread, iced blueberries and cream. More and more treats were brought from the kitchens, even some of Safia's favorites. Desmond tried a bite of sweetbread, topped off with a strawberry spread, and he loved it so that he called their baker into the room and had her receive his personal appreciation. Caetherene nibbled on strawberries while watching the dancers.

    "Oh cousin!" Synthia laughed as she took a seat beside Safia. "You look beautiful tonight! And your groom, why, he looks perfect." As she spoke, Synthia grabbed a handful of blueberries. She popped one into her mouth and gave Safia a smile so sweet it was obviously false.

    The princess tried very hard not to appear annoyed by her cousin's sudden appearance. She hid an eye-roll behind her glass as she took a sip of citrus wine, before speaking. "Thank you, Synthia. I'll be sure to pass along your compliment to Lawrence." So far Safia had not noticed Synthia hanging around Lawrence much, and she preferred to keep it that way.

    "I hope your ankle has healed well. I heard about your fall while out riding with him." Synthia gave her a look from the corner of her eyes, her lips curving up in a sly grin. "Just what you were doing though, before you took your fall. . .that's to wonder."

    Of course Synthia would make even an innocent ride through the woods out to be something inappropriate. "I've recovered quite well, thank you. But what's to wonder?" she asked. "We took our horses out for a ride in the forest, that is all." Not that it's any of your business.

    "Truly cousin, just a ride?" Synthia laughed. "Ah, I wouldn't of expected you to do anything you shouldn't. You've always been good."

    "I prefer to maintain a respectable reputation," Safia remarked. "As any high-born lady should." But you wouldn't know about that, would you?

    "Thankfully you were the one born high," Synthia rolled a berry around in her cheek. "Some women wouldn't be able to handle the advances of a sly fox."

    "What do you mean by that?" Somehow, 'sly' wasn't really a word Safia would have thought would apply to Lawrence.

    "I meant that you must be a strong lady, to resist that comely of a man with words almost as sweet." Synthia gave another nauseatingly kind smile.

    "He is handsome, Safia," Caetherene said from over Safia's shoulder.

    Inwardly she still had to wonder what was really going through Synthia's mind. The way the other girl talked, one might think that she was suggesting that Lawrence had tried to seduce Safia out in the woods or something. As for 'sweet words'...well, Lawrence had been nothing but kind to her, thus far--and yes, sweet at times. And if he had been...sweet...to the other ladies, what of it? He had grown up in a family dominated by women, so he would know better than most how to talk to them in such pleasing ways.

    But there was that other woman...the one he broke his vows with.

    For a second, Safia was suddenly more concerned about Lawrence's being able to resist another woman's advances, than whether or not she was capable of resisting his. We'll be married tomorrow, she reassured herself. And we'll put that business behind us.

    "So he is," she said, at Caetherene's comment.

    "You might--" Synthia froze midsentence as Safia's dark haired brother approached their table. Her eyes drank in the sight of him, and her affection for him was evident.

    "Miladies," He bowed his head at each, until his attention came to rest on Caetherene. He stretched his hand out to her, "Care for a dance?"

    "Why. . ." The young woman was obviously flustered at the suggestion, "Of course, milord." Her glove took his hand, and he helped her from the table and onto the dance floor.

    "That *****." Synthia seethed between gritted white teeth. Her eyes sparkled then, as she rubbed her jaw back and forth. She took a glass of wine and gulped it down madly. A droplet fell from the goblet and down her pale cheek. She paid it no mind, and it was soon lost amongst the other lines of water than fell from her eyes.

    Though Safia never had approved of Synthia's affection for Karridan, it was hard not to feel a little sorry for Synthia in that moment. At the same time, however, she did wish that Synthia would stop living in this dream of hers. Besides the fact that they were blood relatives, Karridan did not like Synthia any more than Safia did, though he, like his sister, was usually polite to her in public settings. The likelihood that he would choose Synthia for his bride--if he ever married--was extremely slim.

    But she was in no position to criticize Synthia for wanting it. Hadn't she herself hoped against hope to still be with Matheus, even after learning of her betrothal to Lawrence?

    Unable to think of something to say, Safia settled for simply to briefly squeeze Synthia's shoulder comfortingly, before attempting to steer Synthia's attention to something else. "What was it you were about to say, Synthia?"

    "I. . ." She stared ahead distantly, licking the wine and tears the lingered around her lips. "I don't remember." Synthia looked at Safia then, and laid a hand on her arm. A smile filled her tear covered face for a moment, as more of them developed in her eyes. "I hope. . .I hope you find happiness. More than anything, Safia, I hope you find that." It was then that she rose from her chair and stepped away, leaving Safia alone at the table.

    She watched her cousin go, feeling somewhat pleasantly surprised. That was probably the nicest that Synthia had ever genuinely been to her.

    Tired of sitting and watching the dancers, Safia rose from her seat and moved back out towards the floor.

    The little lord, Camaron Hadlex, became her first partner of the dance. He wore a dark blue doublet inlaid with miniature stars, the sigil of his House. He was a quiet youth, with dark eyes like that of a frightened calf, but he proved to be a nice dancer and even better conversation piece, for all of his twelve years.

    "When I am a man old and grown, I will tell my children's children of this dance." He looked up at her with a polite smile as they spun in a slow circle.

    Safia returned the young lord's smile, though in the back of her mind, she found herself wondering just how early in life young boys were taught the art of charming young women with their words--for a boy of twelve, Camaron already had a way with words.

    "I am sure this will be a night to remember for all of us," she replied.

    "I wonder what the Desert looks like," the boy pondered. "I've heard so many stories."

    "It has its own unique beauty," Safia said, recalling her previous journeys through the sands to the Capital. "For those who can appreciate it."

    "I want to go, but Mother says I must stay and lord." Everyone knew that Idina Hadlex truly controlled their House, at least until her son came of an age.

    "You will see it, one day." Safia smiled again. "Perhaps once Ser Lawrence and I are settled at the Fair Groves, I could invite you to visit, if Lady Ginnifer agrees. An up-and-coming young Lord should be acquainted with the Houses of allied lands."

    Though House Hadlex itself was not directly connected to the Desert, Safia's marriage would effectively bind not only House Rolmar to House Kildare, but also those families that pledged themselves to her father.

    "Truly?" His mouth opened in shock as he momentarily stopped dancing. "You would invite me?"

    Safia couldn't help laughing. Because he was Lord of his House, it was easy to forget that Camaron was still a just a boy, not yet a man grown. "Certainly. As I said, it is important for you to form relations with other Houses--now more than ever." Her smile slipped just a little; Camaron was still a boy, and though his mother might try to shield him from the horrors as best she could, the coming war would make a man of him too soon, whether he was ready or not.

    He grinned ear to ear. "Milady. . ." The little boy got down on one knee and bowed his head to her. It was a strange sight to see the little lord, but he remained regal. After he rose, Camaron patted her hand. "What my mother said was true about you . . . you are the flower of the Mountains."

    Safia's smile returned. "Your mother is generous with her praise, Lord Camaron."

    "Or she could just be truthful." He laughed then, but the partners were changed, and she was soon in the arms of someone else.

    TAG: None (TBC)
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  20. spycoder9 Force Ghost

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


    The Isles of Mirwyth
    Iron Crag


    Dining Hall


    The Iron Crag was as desolate and cold a place as its name led many to believe. For generations House Horn had held the criminals of the Isles in their iron fist. A former Delmari lord had once stayed in those dark dungeons for a moon’s turn. When he was released of his charges, his family found him to be utterly changed, and – if the stories ring true – his son sliced his throat in his sleep, to save the Isles the misery. Whatever that encounter may have encompassed, all citizens of the Isles knew what happened to criminals who stayed there too many nights. Only the bravest – or perhaps most foolish – sailors braved the trip.

    It was in these war times that House Horn truly thrived.

    King Nathaniel Delmari had landed a moon’s turn prior with a fearsome fleet and gifts for Lord Rollant Horn. It was known that Lord Rollant had quietly lambasted Delmari after they supped. In response, Delmari led before the Lord a length of twenty criminals in tatters and chains.

    “You take me for a craven, Lord Horn?” The King was a laughable man, and very friendly in his cups, but his voice had been as cold as ice then. He turned to the criminals standing before them. He stopped at one with a highborn look to him. “This one is Lady Lark’s second son. Great with his sword. . .both of them. He raped one of his mother’s cupbearers and then sliced her throat so she wouldn’t talk.” Nathaniel took out his own sword then. His younger compatriot Korianton Rynquist grabbed the criminal by his hair and yanked his head backwards. In a snap, the king’s blade had been at his neck. A drop of blood trailed down the highborn’s olive skin as the boy fought fruitlessly. “I pardon some. I send some here. And I kill some. But I never forget a man’s crimes.”

    Lord Rollant and the King had shared the longest glance, before the lord had nodded his head and ordered the criminals sent to the dungeons.

    Elric Cliffe had been witness to it all.

    He had also been witness to the highborn boy’s savage torture after the King left. The lad's screams would’ve pierced through the walls of any stone castle, but not the Iron Crag. It was of Iron.

    That had been a moon’s turn before, and the bastard’s lord father grew more and more anxious. It was at supper, with the full moon high in the night sky, that Lord Rollant spoke of the King. The supper was lite, as all Crag suppers were. Dried bread and overly ripened grapes, served with some stale wine from the Capital. The soup that came along with it was only a tad bit better.

    “He sits on his arse while the Rynquist boy feeds him grapes.” Lord Rollant smirked. It was a frightening thing when it happened. “He should watch what comes out of his precious protégé’s fingers. The young man craves power as you crave blood, bastard.” The lord always referred to his son as such. “I had hoped to wed you to the willful little princess, but the King would never have a bastard as a son, and I’ve never been loved by the man. Now the girl is missing, and his Queen to boot.” He laughed aloud. It filled the quiet stone hall, leaving behind an uneasy silence. “The war will come to the Isles soon enough. Very soon, and then he’ll be looking to us more than ever.”

    The lord took a long sip of wine as he stared at Elric across the table.

    "I'll be needing you more than ever as well."



    TAG: @BartSimpson-SithLord

  21. Jedi_padawan_leigh Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 13, 2003
    star 4
    OOC: Part 1 of 2 written with our awesome GM

    IC: Gwenn Cliffe
    Delmaristead , Tower by the Sea

    A small chuckle escaped the bastard woman’s lips and she shook her head gently "No, not short for nothin' She glanced over at Edeth, who was working diligently around the room, focusing on her tasks. "Do ye like bein' in the service of the king?" She asked Paege but was hopeful that Edeth would register the question too. "Are ye treated well here?"

    "The King and this castle are all I've ever known." Paege pulled out an ivory dress, frowned, then shoved it back in the chest. "My mother is one of the cooks, and my father was a member of the guard. He died when those pirates landed ten years ago. The King had him buried nobly." She rambled on. "I was one of Raven's maids, before the King became King, but now she's went missing, and the Queen as well. Raven always treated me kindly."

    Gwenn nodded in understanding as she watched the blonde maiden rummage through a chest of clothes. She was relieved that the maids and others who served the Delmari's were treated well. A brief shiver ran up her back as she thought back on the cruelty inflicted on her and her fellow servants during her servitude to the Moorecroft's. It wasn't hard, she carried the scars after all... Paege mentioned the missing Queen and Princess, and Gwenn remembered the pain on Nathaniel's face when he found out the terrible news. Whether a pauper or a king, there would always be pain in losing someone you loved...

    "Everyone is worried about the queen an' princess..." She said as she glanced up at the Delmari banner hanging above them. “…If the gods are good, they will return the kings family too 'im."

    "Ser Amery Howde leaped aboard after them. He wouldn't let anything happen to them, I know it." The girl showed it with her eyes, which showed as much admiration for the knight as her words did. She pulled out a silky blue gown and stared at it, then at Gwenn. "I think I've found a gown! What do you think?"

    Gwenn grey eyes fell onto the dress in Paege's hands. The fine fabric was a lovely shade of blue, and the garment was nicer than anything she had worn previously "It's a nice...colour..." Gwenn admitted, though she was still not used to wearing dresses and was starting to feel a little apprehensive. For so long she had dressed herself in clothes which were practical and comfortable and garments which hid her figure, which helped her blend in. The transition to dresses and gowns was something that might take some getting used to. Perhaps she would only have to don them for certain occasions, though she guessed she would find out sooner rather than later if that was the case.

    "I think you will look beautiful." The girl looked Gwenn over from head to toe. "You need to wash your hair, and perfume you skin. Clean your nails and polish your teeth. But underneath all of that. . ." Edeth made a low, guttural noise. It came from the back of her throat, and was a very sudden thing. She was watching Gwenn and Paege, while making hand motions.

    "She thinks you're beautiful." Paege said.

    Gwenn listened as Paege started to rattle off a list of tasks deemed necessary to prepare her for the king's gathering. She inwardly winced as her thoughts went back to her time spent at the herbalists back on Breezecroft. The women who had seen to her hair then had wielded their combs almost like instruments of torture... Her focus was brought back to the present when Edeth suddenly made a low gutteral noise, looking at both herself and Paege, it was then that Gwenn noticed the hand signs the stoic maid was forming.

    "She thinks you're beautiful." Paege said from beside her. At that moment Gwenn was hit with the realisation that perhaps the reason Edeth had not talked to her previously was not because she didn't want too, but because she couldn't... How long had the young woman been like this? Was it an affliction she suffered of the result of something more? She gave the dark haired maiden a nod of thanks before looking the olive skinned woman in face "Thank yeh Edeth..." she said, a grateful tone to her voice, even though a part of her wasn’t used to receiving such compliments.

    The girl gave a short nod and then lowered her head back to her work.


    TAG: No-one (TBC)
  22. Heavy Isotope Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 10, 2013
    star 3
    Leiliana Caine
    Mountain Villiage
    Morning, 18 Days Before the Wedding...
    Leiliana woke to the sun peering through the window's shutters. The journey so far had made her quite tired, more so than she realized, she had also stayed up later than she intended. But the night before was good, she had made a few friendly acquaintances with the locals. Hopefully they would be able to send her off well. Perhaps with a more up-to-date map? Leiliana had never considered if the Monks traveled further than this villiage. So the accuracy of the maps she had could be called into question.... Everything they would ever trade seemed like it could come from right here. Along with that, they recognized the Seal of Avos.

    Sitting on the edge of the simple bed and stretching, Leiliana yawned, walking up to the shutters on the window and opening them. The warm sun and cool mountain breeze was always her favorite weather. She loved the mornings. Leiliana poured herself some water from the pitcher on the stool next to her bed, being used as a bedside table. Wondering where to go from here... She continued to think as she changed from her simple sleeping linen pants and blouse. Deciding to forgo her gold ring and wristbands, thinking to trade them to a local for some fresh vegetables. Lastly she tied her dark yellow bow in her hair and laced her well-fitted, but not constricting, fur and leather corset. The leather and fur was made from the bundle she was abandoned in, crafting it a year ago, another reminder of where she had come from and the path she was set upon.

    ~~~~~~~~~~


    Taking the stairway down to the main room of the tavern, which was empty but for a plain but pretty young woman who looked a little older than Leiliana, cooking up some breakfast on a skillet over a fire. "Goodmorning," Leiliana said in a sleepy but friendly tone.

    "Allo," the young woman in a strange accent said glancing to Leiliana, "You want some sausages?"

    "Please," Leiliana said, she was quite hungry. The woman put the sausages on plates with some potatoes and beans, setting one in front of Leiliana before digging in to her own portion. They ate in relative silence, "What's your name?" Leiliana asked.

    "Adeleine," she replied, "I'm Melkior's daughter. You gave my Da quite the hangover with your brew, you know."

    Adeleine gave a cheeky smile, "At least I didn't have to clean up any sick."

    Leiliana realized she never asked the barkeep his name, assuming now that he was Adeleine's father. Or 'Da,' as she strangely put it. Regional dialects were a bit charming and endearing, something Leiliana was looking forward to experiencing in her travels. "Did you try any?" Leiliana asked.

    "There was none left for me this mornin' so, no," she said, "do you have any more?"

    "Not of that brew, but I have others," Leiliana said before taking her last bite of breakfast. "If you want I can give it to you, I actually feel a bit bad for your father, I bet him that he'd love my brew for a few night's stay."

    Adeleine giggled at this... Almost uncontrollably. "Oh my Da, he would do that wouldn't he!" Leiliana laughed with her, it was a bit contagious, but mostly because of her continued giggling; not what she said. "So what can you tell me about the town, if there's anything I can do to help during my stay I would be happy to. I have no coin to speak of, but I'm willing to trade what I have or put in work."

    "What can you do for work?"

    "Alchemy mostly," Leiliana said, "Most of my professions are academic, however I know how to raise crops, brew, cook, and tend to animals as well."

    TAG: @spycoder9
    Last edited by Heavy Isotope, May 17, 2014
  23. greyjedi125 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 29, 2002
    star 5
    IC: Fleet
    8 Days before the wedding, Evenfall, Outskirts

    The flames of the campfire made the former urchin’s blue eyes sparkle as he listened to the squire with wide eyes.

    “Allsopp,” Olyvar said, revealing his family name with a laugh. “It’s Olyvar Allsopp.”

    “Allsup!” Fleet echoed with a grin of his own.

    “My father is one of Lady Ginnifer’s tenants.” Olyvar added.

    Fleet managed to look impressed and nodded, as if suddenly understanding the connection, but just without the details, which was something Olyvar was about to correct.

    Fleet listened in silence and with great interest as the squire spoke of his family and the bonds of familial relationships. Fleet had chuckled and shook his head in disagreement when Olyvar had referred to himself as a dull person. That, of course, was impossible…not when one was a squire! The few he’d seen in his young life did not look dull or bored whatsoever!

    An undecipherable expression came over the would-be-squire that was Fleet, as Olyvar easily spoke of his love of his parents and siblings. Fleet tried his best to keep a neutral expression and his feelings in check, since he knew nothing of such familial bonds, but thanks to Lorain, that reality was changing.

    When Olyvar mentioned Ser Lawrence Kildare, Fleet’s expression lit up. He’d never met the desert nobleman, or ‘desert fox’ as he was so fondly referred to, but to him, the man was a living legend. That Olyvar had once held the desert fox’s scimitar sword was an experience to be envied.

    To his credit, Fleet did not wince when Olyvar mentioned Ser Caliban’s name and managed to smile back at Olyvar. Fleet’s guts seemed to react as if by instinct every time ‘Caliban’s’ name was mentioned, and the reaction was never good. For a moment he did wonder if Olyvar, though a squire, had any misgivings about his current master. Fleet was almost tempted to ask, but thought better of it.

    “Now, I’ve told you my story. Tell me yours, Ser Fleet.”

    “Uh…”

    Fleet had to catch himself as he blinked for a second or two. His heart always skipped a beat every time anyone said ‘Ser Fleet’. Was his secret ambition that obvious, or was there an inside joke no one was telling him about?

    For a moment, he look down and waited for the flush in his face to pass, then looked up with a bit of a chuckle.

    “Guess am dull an boren’ just like yu….” he joked.

    “There’s not much to be tellin’. I wus an orphan, until Lorain ‘came to be my mum a few days ago. I gru up ’n the orphanage, not sure where. Don’t even have a proper name, save fer Fleet, cuz I runs fast…But all I ‘member is a fuzzy looking castle….” Fleet looked off into the distance, like one lost in the recollection of a fading memory, his voice becoming a whisper.

    “…that’s just some orphan’s dreamin’….but…the matrons said I had ‘noble eyes’…..”

    Fleet suddenly stopped, realizing he’d said far more than he’d cared to share.

    “But I’ve always wanted t’ be a squire tho!” He said now with sudden enthusiasm as he turned to face Olyvar, (inwardly hoping to have him forget what he’d just heard.)

    “I mean, yu get to go on adventures and yu get to train for battle and such! I’d want to be Lorain’s squire! That’d be somethin’ ta see, no?”

    Fleet chuckled anew, realizing what his words might seem strange.

    “I know there’s no women knights, none that I’ve seen aroun’, but Lorain could be one, and I could be her squire…but she’d have to be some kinda noblewoman first, but if not, I’d be cheatin’ if I called myself a squire…..right?”

    Fleet laughed easily. He wasn’t sure that Olyvar understood exactly what he meant, but that was okay. The mood was light once again and the company was good. Despite the eerie looking silhouette of the darkened castle towers somewhere in the distance, the night was cool and the stars were out. Even if he knew nothing of tavern wenches, it was a good time to be alive.


    Tag: spycoder9
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  24. BartSimpson-SithLord Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jan 24, 2002
    star 5
    IC: Elric Cliffe, The Isles of Mirwyth
    Iron Crag, Dining Hall

    Silence. Silence was the most Elric could usually hope for when in the presence of his father, Lord Rollant Horn. It was comforting, it was where he had always lived, and it kept the man quiet about trivialities and court politics. As a bastard, Elric routinely forced himself to care not for land or titles as those were things he would likely never have. No, he preferred pleasures of the here and now and silence was chief amongst them. It was where he preferred to operate, it was what shrouded him in most situations, and it was a cherished object he loved to pierce with the agonized screams of those who caught his ire. The silence this night, however, was tense and weak as it had been for quite a few nights since King Nathaniel Delmari had visited.

    That night, a moon's turn ago, had started with the King bearing down with an unusually full fleet for the deliverance of but twenty criminals. Elric had watched from the shadows, eager to see just why the King had deigned to grace them with his presence. He wondered if it had anything to do with the unkind words his father had quietly made against the King. A question that was answered rather quickly as the King spoke, “You take me for a craven, Lord Horn?”

    Elric couldn't suppress a toothy grin forming on his face at that statement. The tone in the man's voice could've turned blood to ice, even if it was coming from a man like King Delmari. It was obvious his father had cut a bit deep. Continuing to watch, the King stopped his pacing in front of one of the criminals, turning to Elric's father and proclaiming, “This one is Lady Lark’s second son. Great with his sword. . .both of them. He raped one of his mother’s cupbearers and then sliced her throat so she wouldn’t talk.”

    Elric leaned forward at the statement, just barely still concealed in the shadows and his smirk gone. For two years now he had taken special interest in all of this man's kind who had been imprisoned in the Crag. It had become so routine that his father had began to take special plans in order to hide these criminal's from Elric's wrath. Elric was rather surprised to see the King actually remove his own sword as Korianton Rynquist held the Lark's hair. A glee ran over him as the sword was brought to the criminal's throat, enough pressure to draw a slight trickle of blood. He watched as the criminal fought against the blade and the tug of his hair. Do it, he'd thought, Kill him.

    “I pardon some. I send some here. And I kill some. But I never forget a man’s crimes,” the King had declared as he stared at Elric's father for the longest time, pushing the bloodlust to a crescendo that refused to pay off as his father nodded, the blade came down, and all prisoners were sent to the dungeons. It had all been some power showing by the King to keep Rollant's tongue in his mouth. The prisoners were carted off, the King, his party, and Lord Horn left, and Elric was left grimacing in the silent darkness.

    If that had been the end of the Lark man's story Elric would be particularly dissatisfied. It is, however, the Iron Crag and Elric knows its ends and outs better than anyone. The isolated dungeon where they had hidden the man was easily found, the screams like a sirens call. Once again Elric kept to the dark, watching in silent approval of the methods at which this man was being tortured. The screams more melodic than even the best court band, the pain and blood like paint on a canvas. The ordeal was over for the day far too quick and Elric had a special treatment he provided for all like minded criminals, save one. If Elric Cliffe discovered a rapist, Elric Cliffe personally castrated them. The only one to escape this punishment was Rollant Horn. And so it was that Elric snuck into that cell that very night and collected the man's 'debt'.

    “He sits on his arse while the Rynquist boy feeds him grapes.” His father's blunt tone and unsettling smirk had brought Elric's mind back to the meal before him. The bread was dry and somewhat stale, which made it nice for dipping in the bland soup. Somehow, Elric had found over the years, sometimes two bland items complimented each other on the tongue. The grapes and the wine added little to the meal save for sweetness and the addition of alcohol.

    “He should watch what comes out of his precious protégé’s fingers. The young man craves power as you crave blood, bastard.” There was that title again. Bastard. Never a name, just solely a reminder of what he would not have. No land, no title, only what he sought for himself. “I had hoped to wed you to the willful little princess, but the King would never have a bastard as a son, and I’ve never been loved by the man. Now the girl is missing, and his Queen to boot.” Rollant surprised even Elric with the laugh that followed that statement, leaving behind a silence even more fragile than the last. “The war will come to the Isles soon enough. Very soon, and then he’ll be looking to us more than ever.”

    Elric watched his father take an overly long sip of wine before continuing, "I'll be needing you more than ever as well."

    Now was the time for Elric to give an unsettling grin and chortle through the spoonful of soup he'd just delivered to his mouth. His father would need him to spy and assassinate would be more like it, he would never need Elric for anything of legitimate or courtly importance. No, Elric's world was solely of the clandestine and the shadows. While this was a position favorable to the bastard, he would not give into his father's demands and expectations so easily. He was at least part Horn, after all. He may not have dreams and aspirations of owning land and moving into palaces, but he rather liked the Crag and wouldn't mind one day becoming the Lord of the gaol at least. Taking his own overly large sip of wine, he responded, "If you truly needed me more than ever, father, you would make me legitmate," His face contorted into a fearsome, toothy grin as he stared into his father's eyes. He knew how much talk of this subject irritated Rollant, all the more reason to pester him about it after that horrible job of acting like he cared.

    TAG: @spycoder9
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  25. spycoder9 Force Ghost

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


    The Isles of Mirwyth
    Breezecroft


    Docks


    The end of the gloomy voyage came on a morning of fog.

    It was a fog brought from the aftereffects of the spring storms that ravaged the seas and torn entire ships apart. Its wispy tendrils beckoned The Naked Broad to Breezecroft harbors, where many dockworkers awaited their arrival. The docks seemed rather empty, especially since the last time Abott had been there. All of the King’s ships were gone, and even some of House Moorecroft’s own personal crafts. The emptiness provided The Naked Broad a smooth landing.

    The dock-workers must have notified a higher official, because a dour man with thinning hair and a massive wart approached Abott as he departed the craft. His wart quivered back and forth with every blink of his eye.

    “You’re the peddler?” He eyed the ship. “You’ve brought the food?”



    TAG: @Mitth_Fisto
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