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  1. Welcome to the new boards! Details here!

Fantasy A War of Kings

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

  1. spycoder9

    spycoder9 Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jul 23, 2008
    8 Days Before the Wedding


    The Isles of Mirwyth
    Delmaristead



    Tower By the Sea




    “M’lady…

    "M'lady wake up..."

    The room was shrouded in darkness. A silhouette stood above Gwenn’s bed. The only defining feature was the blonde hair that caught a little moonlight as it moved.

    “It's the King!” The shadow hissed again. “He’s begging for you!”




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  2. Heavy Isotope

    Heavy Isotope Jedi Knight star 4

    Registered:
    Oct 10, 2013
    Leiliana Caine
    18 Days Before the Wedding
    Mountains of Mirwyth
    Mountain Village, Chieftain's Home

    As the elders looked amongst each other, Leiliana shifted slightly, her discomfort began to wane when the old woman spoke again...

    “She seems truthful,” The woman finally said. Oskell nodded in agreement.

    “Ya have to understand,” Oskell told Leiliana, “We have to be weary to visitors. We’ve had our cases. . .” He smiled. It wasn’t very big, it wasn’t very warm, but it was a smile nonetheless. “Rest here for the night. We’ll speak of what you’ve said. . .my daughter seems to like ya. . ."

    Leiliana stood up and held her staff in both hands, giving a respectful bow, "I do understand, and I thank you for your kindness and hospitality, know that I only bring good will to your people, I shan't remain longer than a week," rising when she finished her sentence. She smiled at Oskell, "Your daughter has a curious mind, the heart of a seeker of knowledge, I very much enjoy her company as well."

    “I’ll have my son lead you back. It’s black out there. . .” He shouted a name loudly. A tall, buff man with hair and beard combined as one, stepped into the room. “Kraig, help Leiliana back to the inn. She’s had a long day.”

    She bowed again before following Kraig from the gathering, her staff tapping firmly but quietly as she walked along, her cloak flowing yet hiding her figure.

    @spycoder9
     
  3. Master Selkath

    Master Selkath Jedi Knight star 2

    Registered:
    Oct 5, 2013
    IC: Lady Helena Vane
    The Wolfswood, The Mountains of Mirwyth


    Helena’s eyes closed slowly, after a very tiring day of moving. The journey to Shodaire had been a lot harder than it should have been. First the avalanche that took out all of her guard, then leaving Captain Caradas to die, and now being lost in the woods. They had been drifting through a pine forest for the past two days. Things couldn’t get any worse for the two of them. She still couldn’t believe that she’d had to resort to eating berries that made both Isabella and herself sick.

    They found a small area to stay the night, right near the tree line, with a few scattered pine trees around them. Isabella had already fallen asleep when Helena began to close her eyes.

    After a few introspective minutes, she finally drifted off to sleep…




    She woke up suddenly.

    As her eyes opened, she realized immediately something was wrong. Isabella wasn’t next to her, and the ground was not soft like it had been when she had fallen asleep. The ground was hard, almost like stone. When she looked down, she saw the ground was no longer snow. It was cobblestone.

    Helena could make out the outline of a square around her, but it was very dark. She knew then that it was a courtyard of some kind. It was all so strange…

    The sky began to slowly sprinkle snow onto the ground, and once she got on her feet, she noticed a faint light in the distance. When she attempted to move towards it, she realized that she couldn’t.

    The light came closer. With the light, she saw the outline of a man. He was holding a small candle in one hand that illuminated his face ever-so-slightly. He finally got close enough to her that she could make out his features.

    Her mouth grew wide in both surprise and terror.

    The man was Saren, her dead husband.

    Helena stood frozen with shock.

    “This is not possible! You died! I made sure that you were -” Helena halted, as she realized that there were other lights hovering closer and closer.

    Figures began to appear in front of her as they lifted their own candles. She saw her father standing next to her mother with his arm around her shoulder, Captain Caradas and Isabella side by side, her son Victor walking up next to Saren… but the one person that frightened her the most was Desmond. He had made his way to the front of the group. He held a candle in one hand, like all the others, but was also holding something else in his arms that no one else had. It was a baby, a baby she’d never seen before. Its eyes were a shade of light blue, and it had the fairest skin that Helena had ever seen.

    She watched in horror as the baby melted away. It screamed in agony before becoming a puddle on the ground next to Desmond. Suddenly all of the figures put one of their hands up and started pointing at Helena. Their mouths opened, and they laughed.

    Something was so very wrong with their laughing… She looked down to see what they were pointing at. She’d been too busy observing the group in front of her to notice the ice that was now engulfing her body. It had reached her waist, and it seemed that when she finally saw it, it doubled its pace.

    She began to struggle with all of her might, but the ice wouldn’t budge. It was then that she realized that the laughing had stopped. The crowd had stopped moving altogether. They had dropped the candles in the snow, and the fire had been extinguished. Their mouths were still wide open but their eyes were black as the night sky. She heard a very high pitched sound build up in their voices, and they began to shriek. By now the ice was at her throat and the screaming pierced her ears like tiny swords.

    The ice finally covered her entire body moments later, and the only thing she could move was her eyes. She looked around and saw that all the figures were gone. All that was left was puddles where they had once stood.

    Helena was completely alone, and there was nothing she could do to stop it.

    There was another loud scream, but this one was different from the other screams...

    She closed her eyes –




    -- and opened them to snow once again.

    It had all been a dream.

    Isabella sat next to her screaming, and Helena was face-to-face with a wolf. She saw a man running up next to the wolf, and Isabella stopped yelling. Helena saw he was talking, but she couldn’t hear yet. The handmaiden’s shrieking had messed up her ears. She thought that he had said something about the wolf but it was all so fuzzy.

    She finally heard him say, “Unless, of course, ya got something to hide.”

    Helena looked at this man very intently. He did not seem to be a very couth man. Definitely what she would call a commoner, by her standards of course. At the same time, he could for one thing be able to tame a wolf, and if he could do that, he might be able to lead them to a nearby town.

    Helena said to him, in the most commanding voice she could conjure in these circumstances, “We have nothing to hide. We are in a desperate situation, as you can tell. If you would show us to the nearest town, I would pay you handsomely for the service.”


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  4. Jedi_padawan_leigh

    Jedi_padawan_leigh Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Feb 13, 2003
    IC: Gwenn Cliffe
    Delmaristead


    “M’lady…

    "M'lady wake up..."


    The voice roused Gwenn from her slumber. Her grey eyes snapped open, blinking away sleep. Turning over under the warm covers, the woman glanced around, slightly confused as her consciousness returned so abruptly from the realm of dreams. The room was shrouded in darkness. A silhouette stood above Gwenn’s bed. Her breath caught silently in her throat and she tensed, immediately on alert, but the sudden glint of blonde hair that caught the moonlight and the urgent voice that met her ears helped to quickly identify the shadowed figure.

    “It's the King! He’s begging for you!”

    “Paege?” Gwenn enquired as she pushed the covers off herself and swung her legs over the side of the bed. Standing up, she grabbed a robe from beside the bed and quickly threw it on “Whats goin’ on?” She asked the fretful maiden, concern evident in her voice “What’s happened?” She continued as the maiden grasped her wrist and quickly led her towards the door. The stone stairs were cold against her bare feet as the pair descended the winding tower. She repeated her question but the maiden did not answer. The girl was clearly shaken and the bastard woman was getting increasingly worried with each step they took towards the king’s chambers.

    The further she moved through the darkened hallways, the greater a sense of foreboding crept over her. Shadows danced across the walls as the pair continued to make their way to the king’s quarters. Gwenns heart beat pounded in her ears as they ran. “Down here!” Paege panted as the pair rounded another corner. The older woman’s eyes suddenly fell upon the form of an elderly man standing outside a guarded door. The bald man was clad in robes that hung shapelessly over a thin frame, and he wore no adornments besides a chain that identified him as a Maester. An icy shiver shot up Gwenn’s spine. Maesters were often called upon to treat illness and injuries.

    “Oh No…” Gwenn hissed as Paege finally released her iron grip on her arm as she leant against the wall and caught her breath. “Me father…” Gwenn exclaimed between gasps as she approached the elderly man “What’s happenin’?!” She continued her grey eyes pools of confusion as she looked at the wise-man.


    TAG: spycoder9
     
  5. Ktala

    Ktala Jedi Grand Master star 6

    Registered:
    Sep 7, 2002
    "Lor" - Lorain Ashkey
    The Ravenford Woods - 4 Days Before the Wedding

    Lorain had asked for someplace to wait for Fleet. But it seemed Artos had other ideas. “Actually,” Artos gestured to the guards, “We have a fine training yard here, safe within the palace gates. I know the Little Lady would like to get acquainted with your son some more, and I just assumed, from your physique, you might enjoy some training…”

    Lorain have Artos a smile, as she gave him a low bow. "Ya, Thank you, Ser. I would indeed appreciate it." she told him, even as she replaced her face cover. In truth, she would love to practice with Fleet, but she understood that there had been few chances for him to behave as a child. It would do him quite a bit of good to enjoy some time with someone closer to his age. And she was sure the little lady felt the same way as well. Lorain gracefully rose from her seat, ready to follow the guard. But then Sir Idjit spoke.

    “Olyvar,” Caliban gestured to Lorain. “You go too. There’re a few more things Lord Redwood and I need to discuss…” He raised his eyebrows. “Privately.” Lorain resisted the urge to stare at Caliban. The last time he decided to DISCUSS anything, had lead to the huge, clod stomping group that they now led through the woods. Lorain looked over as Olyvar stood up. “Thank you for the food, m’lord. It was delicious.” Olyvar told Artos.

    Lorain gave a nod to Olyvar. "Come then, yes. It might not be a blacksmith's forge, but right now, I'll takes it." Lorain gestured for the guard to lead them to where they could go practice. At least, that is where she hoped he would be leading them. She was still on the fence on just how far she could trust Artos, but as long as Fleet was being treated well, she would behave herself for now. Something still felt wrong, but perhaps it was just the aftermath of a long ride, and jumbled nerves. Lorain stayed quiet as she began to follow the guard to the training site.



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  6. spycoder9

    spycoder9 Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jul 23, 2008
    4 Days Before the Wedding


    The Capital of Mirwyth
    The Ravenford


    The Kitchens



    It was after Fleet had received a nice welt on his hand from the spoon and helped clean up some of the pie mess that Aimee both scolded and thanked him. For his help, she gave him a slice of the pie to take with him, promising it would be some of the best he’d ever had.

    Fleet,” Claryssa hissed to him from the dark halls, after he had started his way back. “I’m sorry for that…”

    Her green eyes flickered with torch flames.

    “I saved you some pie though.” She smiled and pulled forth the pan she’d stolen. It appeared nibbled on, but for the most part it was still whole. “You were very valiant in there.”



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  7. spycoder9

    spycoder9 Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jul 23, 2008
    OOC: While several people are still some posts away from their finales, I thought posting this one (which has been sitting for over a month now), would get people motivated again. :D This has been an amazing journey to complete Part I, and to see it coming true. . .it's a testament to the faithfulness of the players. So without further ado. . .


    Part I Finale for Ser Lawrence Kildare & Princess Safia Kildare nee Rolmar
    The things we love destroy us every time, lad. Remember that.

    The Day of the Wedding
    The Dining Hall


    He had feasted many people in this hall, but never once had it been the dead.

    Their corpses littered the marble floor, scattered amongst broken chairs and melted candles like a child’s dolls after a rousing play. Desmond recognized a few. Lord Darridan Meade’s face was permanently etched in a fear that had never once graced him in life. Some he had known well, others only in a passing glance - compatriots of the groom. Desert heathens, seeking to take her away from me.

    He would’ve never allowed it, even had the fox not broken some vows with the fiery priestess. Everyone broke their vows at some point in their life. It was inevitable. Desmond had broken his own with the fox’s murder, after promising Santagar and the Kildare whore Desmond’s own daughter. They couldn’t have her. They couldn’t.

    The Moorecroft boy was having his way with Synthia. Had it been any other time, Desmond would’ve had the young man’s head, but Slade had helped him when he most needed it. For that, he could have Desmond’s wimpery cousin. It might even shut the girl up. Gods know she talks too much as it is. They all did. Even his own sons. They had both claimed he would make a farce of the entire Mountains, but Ectarion had been at least somewhat compliant. He understands. He knows what she took from us when she came into this world. How could we let her escape to the Desert without paying for her sins?

    It had been bloody that day too. A bloody bed, bloody legs, and a bloody babe. Corinne would have loved their daughter even after the girl murdered her, Desmond knew that much about his wife. She loved everything. Such a tender soul, it tempered his own. Nothing could temper me that day. Had it not been for Karridan, Desmond might have strangled his daughter there. Karridan wanted to hold her. He wanted to hold the beast that killed his mother. Karridan wasn’t stupid, but he was tender like Corinne. Too tender sometimes. Desmond would’ve strangled the beastling even later, had it not been for her eyes. In them he saw Corinne, and her judgment for him. A piece of her went into Safia. In that birthing bed, a small part of Corinne’s soul passed into their child’s. Desmond had known every time Safia touched his arm, every time she hugged him, or gave him a kiss. She wanted him not as a daughter would, but as his own lady wife. How could I give her to these Desertmen? It would be like selling Corinne, and that was something he could never do. Especially not to the headless sack that lay at the foot of the dais.

    Synthia was still pressed to the ground whimpering. Her dress had been stripped away, leaving her bare to all in the room, and while she tried to cover herself with her hands, it didn’t help. The Moorecroft boy kept trying to restrain her, for reasons Desmond knew all too well. While he had no care for Synthia’s sake, his bannermen would frown at her rape. Will they frown at the beastling’s?

    “Stop, boy. Not my kin,” Desmond didn’t shout. He never needed to shout. Slade Moorecroft looked up at the King, bit his lip, and flung her away from him. She scurried to one of the walls like a stray mutt, sobbing louder than she had. The room was much quieter than it had been, as they dispatched of the final Desertmen.

    “Father.”

    His raven haired son stood behind him. Karridan’s sword was bloody, as he’d promised it would be. He is nothing if not dutiful. The look in his eyes though. . .it was cold. . .

    “Have they all been disposed of?” Desmond knew the answer before he had asked it.

    “Yes, all of them.”

    “Where is Ser Emory?” The king knelt to the ground and put his fingers into golden locks, gripping them tight. As the bloodstained knight came near, Desmond pulled the head off the floor and held it high. “I want you to make sure this is preserved well for a trip. The fox is to be delivered to the Lady of the Fair Groves.”

    “Father, no!” Karridan was angrier than Desmond had ever remembered him being. Perhaps he’s not so unlike me. . . “That's his sister! You go too far!”

    “I go as far as I like.” Desmond turned the head to look at Karridan. “I am your King.”

    “But are you still my father? Are you still a man?” Karridan reached to knock the head from Desmond’s fingers. He swatted his son’s hand away with ease.

    “Not when I wear this crown, and not when men make a mockery of me and my family.” The king turned back to Ser Emory. “Do as I commanded. Give Lady Ginnifer her brother’s head. I want her to know this is her brother, and I want her to know the Mountains do not atone disrespect.”

    “You’ll push us even deeper into war!” Karridan roared. “Do you want to make enemies of everyone?”

    “Do you want to make your allies people who befoul your sister’s name and disrespect the sanctity of vows?”

    Ser Emory accepted the head with care, though he tried to keep his fingers out of the blood. An impossible task. It’s a head, Desmond wanted to tell him.

    “Where’s Safia?” Karridan finally asked.

    “One a’ them foxes carted ‘er off,” One of Desmond’s own men called. Two fingersmissing, he noted. Eight Finger Edd. Sorry sort of a man, but the best to call on when a slaughter was near.

    “Who’d you send to find her?”

    “Ser Malcolm.” Desmond found some pleasure in the way Karridan’s face crumbled. “He’ll keep her safe for me.”

    Without another word, Karridan ran from the hall.

    “He doesn’t understand the ways of war.” His blonde son emerged from the shadows of the room. “Him and sister, they’ve always believed life is as fair as you are to it.”

    “And you?” Desmond smirked. “You are devoid of these dreams?”

    “Mother took them with her when she died.”

    “I assumed it was only mine.” Desmond murmured.

    Ectarion shook his head.

    They stared at each other for several moments. I can see it. The golden hair, it was like Safia’s, like Corinne’s, so much so in this light.

    “Leave.” The king looked out over the entire hall. His own men were scouring the dead and picking them of their leavings, even the royals. Most of the fires started from the flinging candles had sputtered and died out. “All of you, leave.”

    They fled the room, slowly at first, then all at once. Ectarion remained by his side.

    “Do you understand why I did this?” He asked.

    “For the Mountains.” Ectarion answered at once.

    “Not who.” Desmond shook his head. “Why?”

    “Because Reynard is dead?”

    “Do you remember the last great tourney of Mirwyth?”

    “The Tourney of Hallowood?”

    “The very one.” Desmond pursed his lips. “You were young. Too young to remember the valor beneath the words said of the young Kildare fox. His path to knighthood was an easy one, though it begins with his House. All of the Desert Houses are queer in some sort. One divulges in snake rituals. Another breathes fire. House Kildare has its female primogeniture. The men have always been subservient to the women. That’s normalcy for them. But Ser Lawrence. . .” Desmond had seen the boy once, before he had become the man. It had only been a glimpse at the tourney, while Desmond exchanged words with his mother. Desmond had never forgotten him. “Ser Lawrence had potential to be one of the finest knights of his time. Being exempt from inheritance, knighthood would be easy for him to come by. Even his lady mother, not known for her kind words, had only good things to say of his swordsmanship.”

    “And there he lays.” Ectarion said.

    “The Desert has lost its finest warrior in one fell swoop.” The corners of his mouth turned up. “We have alienated the Kildares from the Capital by their agreement in this traitorous marriage, silenced their finest warrior, and allied ourselves in bloodshed with the Isles. Do you agree with my decision now?”

    “I never disagreed with it. I never even cared as to why the fox died. Only that he did. What of Safia?”

    “What of her?”

    “You murdered her betrothed at their wedding. I doubt she’ll take this well.”

    “She’ll find her place soon enough.” Beneath my sheets. “That I can assure you.”

    “Be gentle with her Father.” Ectarion looked weary. He always had a tendency to brood. He still grieved his mother’s murder, all these years later. As do I. “She has a gentle soul.”

    “No. She has your mother’s.”

    “And Mother wasn’t gentle?”

    “Always.”

    “Then she-“

    “Take your cousin to her father.” Synthia shivered in a pool of blood. “I’ll need you back soon.”

    “As you wish.” Ectarion eyed his father before helping Synthia up. It didn’t seem like she could walk, so he took her in his arms and carried her out.

    The hall was completely silent then. Only the King and the dead.

    I wonder if she’ll cry when he rapes her. He couldn’t help but think about it. Corinne had cried their first night. It was a joyous pain though, one that brought both tears and laughter. Desmond knew his daughter’s would be none of the such. It had been a hard decision, letting Granville have his way with Safia. The brute was ruthless in everything, even his rapes, but at times, Desmond believed she needed one. She always tried to bring up Corinne, as if to rub salt in his wounds. And that necklaceshe had worn to the altar. . .she had been hiding that from him for all these years. Corinne might have a piece of herself in Safia, but the rest was all beast. Evil words and torture of the mind. When he’d told her she couldn’t wed Matheus, she’d been one of the most spiteful wenches in the Mountains. Have her Malcolm. Have her good.

    It was devilish thoughts that ruled his mind. . .she had pushed them into him. All this murder and carnage, all this death and despair, the whole damn war, it was allher fault. She used her looks and her sorcery to entrap men, as she’d done with the desert fox, and the prince before him. They should be glad Desmond ended it, or she would have sucked their own life out as she had Corinne’s. It’s her eyes. Something about her eyes, she can control men. Perhaps her mother didn’t even lurk beneath the surface, and she’d only used those eyes to fool Desmond as she had all the others.

    He should kill her. He’d have to kill her, he realized. If he killed Safia, his wife would be reborn. She’d return to him as if nothing had changed.

    It was because of his thoughts that the scimitar being drove through his back came as such a shock. The blade went clean through him, jutting out from his chest for a moment before being yanked back out. Desmond felt his legs give out beneath him.

    Safia. Damn her. She’d killed Malcolm, or tricked him into killing Desmond, or. . .

    The squire stood over him, with a bloody scimitar. Ser Lawrence’s squire stood over him.

    “Rot in Hell.” The boy stabbed him again, and again, and again. . .

    No. Not Hell. Corinne’s not there. Send me to Corinne.

    The darkness consumed him as it had for Ser Lawrence, and the priestess, and the Desertmen. . .

    . . .and Corinne. . .especially Corinne. . .

    The Day After the Wedding
    Bedchambers
    She came to slowly, feeling only cold at first. Opening her eyes, she wasn’t sure at first as to where she was, beyond that she seemed to be lying on a bed. How had she gotten here?
    As she tried to remember, her brain began to register more than just the cold—a dull, throbbing pain in one side of her head, though she couldn’t think why it would hurt. When she lifted her hand to make sure her head was not bleeding, she noticed that the sleeve of her gown was ripped.
    Her wedding gown. Lawrence… Tears stung her eyes as the painful memory of her father standing over her slain husband came back to her. She could remember that much—though at the moment, she would rather forget.

    She started to sit up, to try to figure out where she was, but as she did, she was startled and confused to find that it was not just the sleeve of her dress that was torn. The whole thing had been ripped open, along with her undergarments beneath it, leaving her bare body exposed. There was blood on the shredded fabric, and on her skin, but she couldn’t remember if it belonged to her or to someone else. She seemed to recall getting some of Lawrence’s blood on her when she had knelt beside him after he had been stabbed…but how would it have gotten on her skin?

    Pulling a sheet from the bed up to cover herself—there was blood on the bed as well, she noted in the process—she looked around and almost immediately spotted someone lying naked on the floor nearby—Ser Rickard? He seemed to be unconscious, and he had blood on himself as well. Safia vaguely remembered that he had been hurt in the attack, so perhaps that was where the blood had come from. But it still didn’t explain how it had gotten on her, and how they had both ended up here, him naked on the floor and her in the bed with her dress torn off.

    What had happened to her?

    Ser Rickard moaned. His eyelids fluttered several times before opening hesitantly. The Desert knight tried to rise, though his strength failed him. His fingers slipped in some of his blood. He gave another groan. Then he saw Safia sprawled in her own bed of blood, and his eyes widened considerably. His lips opened and closed wordlessly.

    Safia averted her eyes, embarrassed by not only her own nakedness--despite the sheet she still clutched to her chest--but his as well. This was a very awkward situation, made worse by the fact that she couldn't remember how she had gotten here, or what had happened.

    The fog in her brain seemed to be slowly fading off, and Safia was becoming aware of not only the pain her head, but a different pain elsewhere in her body, and it was this new pain that triggered a brief flash of horrifying memory—

    --searing pain, a faceless man hovered over her, holding her down, ignoring her whimpers of pain as he took his pleasure

    Tears burned her eyes, and though she wanted desperately to be wrong, for it to not be true, the physical pain she felt only confirmed her suspicions.

    Raped. Violated. Defiled.

    Rickard did not seem like the sort who would do such a…a heinous thing, but the fact that she could not remember her attacker’s face…and their current circumstances did not help much to dispel such suspicions.

    Had he done this to her?

    "Mi. . " The strength left him again, and he collapsed back into his naked heap on the floor. The room was entirely silent, though it had been filled with an almost eternal glow. The sun was rising above the balcony, bringing with it an icy chill. The cold breeze made her pull the sheet even closer to her body, shivering slightly, though not just from the chilly air. She was surprised to notice that the sun was coming up--she had been here all night? Such a macabre wedding night. The groom murdered at the altar and the bride raped by another.

    Raped.

    Thinking about it made it so much more real. The knowledge that someone had done such a monstrous, vile thing to her...and everything else that had already happened--her aunt and uncle's deaths, Lawrence's death, her father's betrayal, the massacre at her wedding--now this...

    She put her head in her arms and just wept.

    That's how Karridan found her.

    Her eldest brother pulled her into his arms, bloody sheets and all.

    "Safia. . .Safia, what happened?" He rocked her in his arms as easily he had when she was a child. Other men had entered the room with him. "Seize him! Seize the knight!" Karridan pointed to Rickard, who still lay sprawled on the floor. The men yanked him up, despite his pain stricken cries.

    Safia only watched while the men dragged Rickard away. Part of her still wasn't sure that he had done this to her, but with no solid proof that he hadn't--and with the evidence against him-she let the men take him without objection. A different part of her did not even care that they were hurting him--if he in fact had been the one who had assaulted her, then perhaps whatever pain they caused him would serve to remind him of the pain he had caused her.

    Karridan still held her, rocking her gently while she continued to cry. And though she still felt incredibly vulnerable, this was probably also the safest she had felt since all of this had started.

    The feeling didn't last long though, as another frightening thought came to her. ''What will Father say?" What will he do with me?

    "Father. . ." Karridan grew still. "Don't worry about Father. You're with me now. Nothing else will hurt you." He went back to rocking.

    For the moment, Safia chose to believe him. Nothing else will hurt me. Karridan will keep me safe,
    he'll protect me.

    Exhausted from stress and pain, Safia closed her eyes and let Karridan's gentle rocking lull her into deep, dreamless slumber.




    The Day Before the Wedding
    The Gala



    The gala seemed to be winding down at last; most of the guests had retired for the night, and most of those who remained…most likely weren’t capable of walking out under their own power at the moment. Safia glared a little bit at her own wine glass, which the servers had been rather diligent about keeping full throughout the evening. She hadn’t had much more than usual, but the citrus wine seemed stronger than the wines she usually drank, so she was feeling just a little tipsy.

    It had been a lovely evening though. Gifts, music, feasting and dancing…all the activity and excitement normally would have left her exhausted, but perhaps the wine had had a stimulating effect on her, because she still felt very much alert and energized. But with most of the guests gone, there wasn’t much left to keep her interest here, and more and more she found herself staring out the open windows at the stars over the mountains--there were about two dozen fires burning in the hearths around the hall to combat the cold night air, but with the warm tingle of alcohol in her veins, Safia didn’t much feel it.

    Turning away from the view out the windows, Safia looked over to Lawrence. To think that this time tomorrow they would be husband and wife made her feel both a little excited and a little nervous. Now that she was getting to know Lawrence, she was coming to like him more and more, yet at the same time, she had still only known him for such a short time. But at least she was actually looking forward to her wedding; she could not have said the same thing a couple of weeks earlier.

    She suddenly reached over and gently laid a hand on Lawrence’s arm, tugging on it just a little.
    “Come with me,” she said. She wanted to show him something.

    Lawrence was not much of a party person. He enjoyed them for a while and then pretty much wanted to leave.

    Unfortunately, he was at the one party that he couldn't leave early. It was also the one party where people were constantly pushing drinks into his hand. He learned that as soon as he finished his first one and somehow by magic another one was in his hand. The beer they made here in the mountain was pretty good. A few different sorts had been provided to him. Some were thick and heavy, others were lighter and hoppier. Either way, after the second one, Lawrence was taking care to draw his beers out. Even that couldn't stop the inevitable light-headedness and warmth that came with alcohol. No wonder the Mountainmen were so enthusiastic about their beer. It was certainly one way to stay warm.

    Well, maybe the fires helped too. Lawrence hadn't minded getting pinned near one. The ability to walk around without having to be bundled up in a pile of furs was a nice change. Of course, with everyone wanting to talk him up, wish him well, or generally pick his brain about the Desert. Even among the upper classes there were the most amazing misconceptions about life further to the south.

    "What's your camel's name?" one lord asked.

    "I don't have a camel," Lawrence said.

    "But you're from the Desert. They have camels there," the lord asked, not understanding, "Surely you have a camel."

    "Merchants have camels for carrying goods. I have a horse, which is a more practical battle mount," Lawrence patiently explained.

    "But a horse can't walk on sand, can it?" the lord pointed out.

    "It walks much better on sand than it does in snow in my recent experiences," Lawrence replied.

    Eventually the guests filtered out and the Lawrence found himself relatively alone with Safia. She pulled on him gently, wanting to go elsewhere. Lawrence was tired, but he was also too tired to object.

    "Lead on," he said simply.

    She led him through a maze of corridors, taking them away from the hall. A few times they passed other guests, but none made any attempts to strike up a conversation, which was just fine with her. A couple of times, she thought the wine was getting the best of her—she felt like she might be taking them in circles—but she eventually found the staircase she was looking for. She turned again to Lawrence; he looked kind of tired, and she wondered if it was from alcohol or the long evening or both. “I apologize in advance, but it’s a bit of a climb to the top,” she said, before starting up the stairs, gently pulling him along.

    They finally reached the top room of the western tower, and Safia pushed open the balcony door. The sun had set over the mountains some time ago, but the view at night was just as stunning.

    [​IMG]

    Lawrence stood in the darkness, looking at the stars and the colors that played throughout the sky. It was spectacular. He had never seen anything like it.

    "I thought I had seen a beautiful night sky in the vastness of the Desert, an emptiness that became familiar with time, out on patrol. You could find yourself under the stars. Out there, you saw the divine rendered real," Lawrence said, "But never did I see anything like this in all my days in the Desert."

    Standing next to Safia, he didn't know what made him breathless--the climb, the stars...or her presence.

    "How will you be able to leave this?" Lawrence asked her in all sincerity, "I cannot give you a night sky like this."

    Her smile slipped just a fraction as she moved to lean on the railing, staring up at the thousands of stars. “I’ll manage,” she told him. “I’ll just have to find another vista to lose myself in.” She did not expect that Kalkheim would sport any views that would equal this (and yes, she was biased), but surely she could find a suitable substitute until her next visit here.

    But when would that be? Months from now? Years? Never? Would she ever see this sight again? She hadn’t been up here since her father had told her of her betrothal to Lawrence, three weeks ago. At that thought, she found herself smiling again. Perhaps it was appropriate that she had brought Lawrence up here with her tonight. The last time she had come here had been in distress and despair, but now, by bringing her soon-to-be-husband up here, maybe this was a way of facing her future.

    But facing her future wasn’t necessarily going to make it any easier for her to leave her past, and her smile faded again. “Do you think we’ll ever come back here?”

    Lawrence brought his eyes down from the starry sky to his wife-to-be. The question she had posed was a difficult one. Three months ago he wouldn't have ever thought he would have been here in the first place. Now the woman, who he had barely heard of then, wanted to know if they would ever return.

    The truth was that Lawrence doubted it. If they did come back, it would not be for a long while. There was a war brewing and though reports of recent depredations by Fenton's men in the Mountains had shaken Shodaire, the Desert knight knew that his services would be required defending his homelands. Who knew what would come?

    "Perhaps. Our lands are now linked by treaty and...us," Lawrence said, "Relations will need to be maintained and we may be the best envoys of goodwill that our people have." He rested a hand on Safia's shoulder. "I would have hope." Lawrence looked up at the sky again. "I cannot believe that whoever made this would not want you to see it again."

    As Lawrence spoke he found the tips of his fingers falling from Safia's shoulder, traveling down her back, falling along her spine, snaking around her waist. The movement brought the rest of his body closer to hers, until their natural topographies began to coincide.

    Safia didn’t immediately react when she felt his fingers trace a line down her back, but she didn’t object. And when his hand slipped around her waist, she found herself leaning in towards him, reaching across to take his other hand in hers. “Then I’ll be optimistic.” Just a little. His words allowed her some optimism, but she knew she shouldn’t get her hopes up too high.

    “What about you?” she asked, turning to look up at him. “Do you have a favorite place in the Fair Groves?”

    "My favorite place..." Lawrence said, his voice trailing off as he found his mind wandering back home, thinking of where he had been, "...is not so much a place as it is a feeling. It is riding down orderly lines of trees, whether they be lemon, lime, or orange, in full bloom. The smell invades your nostrils with its sweetness. The trees are high enough to provide shade on horseback and, in the best of times, a breeze ruffles the leaves and eases the heat ever so slightly..."

    The knight's eyes turned to his bride-to-be. "It is a lonely place to be, out on patrol, among the farmers. I would rather find a new favorite place.

    "Wherever you are."

    Safia’s eyes slid closed as she listened to him describe the Groves, trying to picture what he might be seeing in his own mind. She could almost feel the heat of the desert sun, smell the blossoms herself…

    But his last words brought her back to the cold darkness beneath the stars. The statement had caught her a little off guard, but not at all in an unpleasant way. Letting go of his hand, she turned so they were face-to-face, his arm still around her waist. She liked the way it felt, him holding her like this.

    Without a word, she leaned up and gently pressed her lips to his, in a soft, brief kiss.

    “Then perhaps that is where I will find my new favorite place, as well,” she said when she pulled away.

    “With you.”
    END OF PART I
     
  8. Mitth_Fisto

    Mitth_Fisto Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Sep 29, 2005
    Abbott Tuckman
    The Isles of Myrwith Docks, Breezecroft

    The meeting was concluded, the schedule set. Now he was here, standing at the top of his ships plank, well his assigned ships plank as his own boat was a tad small for the number of mean he had easily chartered something for his own use that did not involve the Temptress for a one way voyage. Honestly he was saving an old acquantence the cost of scuttling the craft or overhauling it in a dry dock. Still he had had to pay the price of a nearly derelict vessel that barely would make the journey, but he didn't mind. If the sea took this ship she would be pushing her due, and as a good trader he doubted she call his ticket with these lot if the time had come.

    Looking at the men boarding the boat he had to sigh inside himself. What fine bottle of lute-fish had he gotten himself into with the Strings and Purse of Moorecroft?

    Honestly he did not know. But perhaps, just perhaps, he would make a difference in what he did here.

    The contrast of it all troubled him though. Last he had left it was in secret to avoid the crowds that the King had had to deal with in leaving. Now it was done openly in the morning just before the tide was to go out and no one seemed to care. The sun had not risen but the soft light of it was a harsh reminder. Was he truly leaving so brazenly in the day? Or was he merely scurrying in the twilight when only a few fishermen were out at sea and the docks were silent? As the men marched aboard and were taken to their 'reserved seating' he thought he might recognize a couple of them. Old customers perhaps.

    Still he took the list from the last man loading this odd cargo that gave a list of whom he had. Numbers all, notations of danger or severity of crime to indicate which were best suited to chained labor or might be fit of house slave duty most likely. He would study the legend of it later.

    With a shaking of hands as the last guard left he stared with a face of stone as they retreated, the Purse and the Strings, neither one had come to see this. Something which only strengthened his own convictions. If they could not come to see their dark deeds off, could not stomach their own handy work being wrote to different better ends. . .how dark where they in comparison to these they sent away? Shaking his head he sighed and looked at Tai. His own dark sentry for this trip.

    "Looks like we have our hands full. Try to get stiff leg to sort out the fellows well you?" he stared sadly as the boy merely stared in turn, "Nevermind, I'll tell him myself. Gotta figure out whether we dump or employ these men." That earned him a tilt of the boys head. His lost boy.

    Lost boy. The name struck a cord as he looked once more at the long list. Stepping up to the Poop deck he watched as the ship was made ready and left Breezecroft behind. "Lets see where these lost boys should go." he claimed with a decision as the couple hired hands set the ship off on her course properly. Stiff Leg would just have to keep getting the gruel ready. Abbott no longer could let another do this. It was his moral responsibility, not to mention if he didn't do it he might forget these were men. Not goods he was taking across the sea.

    TAG: spycoder9 if you want ;) Otherwise. . .None.
     
  9. Trieste

    Trieste Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Apr 10, 2010
    (In collaboration with spycoder9)

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




    “They’re here! They’re here!” Sophee called out, bursting into the Lady’s quarters.

    Ginnifer turned to look at her lady’s maid. Her back had been to the door, but she had been expecting the announcement all evening.

    “Are they inside the alcazar?” Ginnifer asked.

    “They’re inside the city according to the runner,” Sophee said excitedly.

    “Gather the family,” Ginnifer said, “and assemble them in the hall. I will be along shortly.”

    Sophee was off like a shot to comply with her lady’s wishes. Ginnifer would follow shortly. She had a decision to make and it lay on the dresser in front of her. On the left was a long silken glove in white. To the right was the plate gauntlet that she had polished earlier in the day, glinting in the light of candles.

    Before her face she held up her left hand. It was crisscrossed haphazardly by burn scars, mottled with discoloration. Ugly was a kind word for the appendage. She could do very little with it. It could remain open, like it currently was, or through force of will and through pain she could ball it into a fist. The maester had told her that it would never again function like a hand should. It would never hold a utensil properly. The fingers would never operate independently of each other. Only by concentrated effort could she move them. Ginnifer reached up with the hand and watched as the finger tips touched her cheek--but she only half felt her face. Her fingers felt nothing. They were dead. They served no purpose. It was only the skin of her face that felt her hand, dead, lifeless, against it.

    It was the one thing that her mother had never talked about--not once since it had happened. She had an opinion on everything--except for that. Once, in a fit of petulance, Ginnifer had waved her hand in front of her mother’s face trying to get a reaction from her. Emilie Kildare had turned away and bit her tongue. Ginnifer knew why.

    She knew what she was called behind her back. The Iron Fist. The gauntlet that the name referenced was actually made of steel. Ginnifer couldn’t fault them for the inaccuracy. Even she had to acknowledge that the Steel Fist didn’t have the same ring to it.

    For the arrival of a new sister in-law, the glove was most appropriate. It would show her that she was welcome in this strange land, that this would be a place of kindness. No doubt Safia Rolmar, now Kildare, would be intimidated to enter a new house, let alone one home to strong female presences, wondering how she would fit with such strong-willed women. Even though Lawrence felt she would fit in, things would still require adjustment on Safia’s part.

    But it was not going to just be Safia. There would be guards, porters, courtiers, and those prominent citizens of Kalkheim who had gotten wind of the Knight Commander’s return. They would want to be on hand to see the Princess Safia in her splendor, the newest member of House Kildare being received by the Lady.

    They would all expect the Iron Fist.

    With her right hand, Ginnifer picked up the gauntlet. She lowered it over her left hand, fingers slipping inside without recognition of the cold steel. Ginnifer looked at herself in the polished surface of her mirror, still holding her hand of steel before her. She ran the good fingers of her right hand over the ridges of the metal. It radiated strength, power. Yet it was only a mask for the weakness that lay beneath.

    “Never let them see you bleed.”

    Ginnifer drew the back of her gauntleted hand across her soft cheek.

    Never.



    Ginnifer sat ramrod straight at an angle in the seat of the Lady of the Fair Groves. All around the great hall were her subjects, her family. No light streamed through the windows at the top of the hall. Night had fallen on the Desert, the heat of the day dissipating into the clear sky. Torches and candles lit the hall in their warm, flickering glow. The hall was full as they awaited the arrival of her brother and his bride. They should be here any--

    The doors at the end of the hall swung open.

    Every eye in the hall turned to them, but Ginnifer’s had already been there. They were the first to take in two men.

    Neither of them were her brother.

    The hall murmured in surprise. This was not the triumphant return they had expected. Where was the Mountain Princess? Where was their knight in shining armor?

    The two men walked forward, bearing a box between them, heedless of the whispers in the hall, until they came before Ginnifer. Guards had moved to intercept them, but for some reason Ginnifer stayed them with a motion of her hand. She couldn’t say why.

    “What is your business?” Ginnifer asked, not without something of a chill in her voice, “There are other pressing matters for which we have gathered this night.”

    The two men were a study in opposites. One was handsome, the other ragged, dirty. The latter seemed to carry the flint of the Mountains with him, but the other had an ease about him. There was no hardness of stone and rock in his gait or bearing.

    “Ser Emory, my lady,” the handsome one said, with a bow. In the midst of his bow, he and his companion placed the chest at the foot of the steps leading to Ginnifer’s seat.

    Before Ginnifer could ask any further questions of the unexpected guests, Ser Emory spoke again.

    “Ser Lawrence Kildare.”

    He threw back the lid of the box.

    For a moment, nothing happened.

    Then Zooey screamed.

    Ginnifer was transfixed, looking down from the height of where she sat.

    There, in the box, mouth agape, was the rotting, severed head of her brother. Though the features had decayed, Ginnifer knew it was him. The hair...the jaw...the feeling in her gut as if she had been punched.

    Ginnifer rose, slowly, as if compelled by forces from outside of her.

    “They will hate you because you are a woman.”

    One hand, her good hand, slowly went to her mouth. It trembled in shock.

    “They will try to break you in the sight of all Mirwyth, to end our family’s rule in the Fair Groves.”

    She slowly descended the steps towards the chest, drawn forward to the gruesome horror.

    “They will do everything they can to tear you down before not just your enemies, but before our allies, our people.”

    She remained silent amidst the growing commotion, the shrieking of women, the guards who had come forward to seize Ser Emory and his bedraggled companion.

    “And when they do, you must show them with whom they are dealing.”

    Lady Ginnifer Kildare raised her gauntleted left hand and closed it into a fist. It did not shake. It was firm. It was steady.

    The hall fell silent at this motion. The guards, who had taken hold of the canards who had dared to bring this insult before the Lady of the Fair Groves, did not beat them then and there as they had intended to do. They would await word from their Protectrix first.

    “You must show them that you are better.”

    “Close it,” Ginnifer said her voice oddly tranquil and firm. Her eyes remained transfixed on the lifeless ones of her brother, which gazed elsewhere, perhaps into another realm beyond this one. Some steward came forward and snapped the lid of the box shut. It seemed the hall breathed a sigh of relief at no longer being confronted with that awful sight, yet the tension was no less than it had been before.

    “Please see Ser Emory and his companion to their quarters, as befit their station. They must be weary after their long journey,” Ginnifer continued, “Arrange to have them joined by the messenger that I believe they sent earlier today.” And then, so no one mistook her meaning, she added, “Make sure they are quite secure in their accommodations. I have many questions for them in the days to come.”

    The pair were bundled off with little regard for civility.

    Ginnifer called for her chief steward. “Make the funeral preparations for my brother, the Knight Commander,” she said. She had the feeling that this was all she was ever going to see of Lawrence. She was still looking at the box that held his head. Though it was closed, the image was still before her. She doubted she would ever forget it.

    Questions raged inside Ginnifer’s head. What had happened. Why was her brother dead. Where was Safia. Who had done this. Was it Fenton from beyond the grave. Was it Mattheus in the present. Was it someone else. What about the Wedding. How did Desmond play into this. Was he dead too. What did it mean. Who else knew. What did this mean for the defenses. Who had betrayed her. What did she do now. She pushed them aside through sheer force of intellect.

    “My brother’s light is joined with the great fire of V’hallar,” she said, raising her eyes to the hall, “Our eyes can no longer see him, but only because he shines too brightly now. Let us remember this before we wrap ourselves too tightly in mourning.”

    Ginnifer turned to leave the hall the way she had came in, passing by her family as she did so. Zooey remained inconsolable, supported by a mute Landon, who for once did not have the right words. His eyes searched Ginnifer for answers. She gave him none and kept moving past a wide-eyed Chelsee, who was clutching at her breast in pain. She had lost the brother who had taught her, had made her feel wanted, if perhaps not normal.

    “Ginnifer…” her Aunt Spectra croaked, no doubt thinking of her own sons, of whom no word had been heard.

    Uncle Aron held his wife, but his features were craggy and hard. “No more,” he said sternly, “no more…”

    “Ginnifer, we need to act,” her Aunt Regina hissed as her niece passed by.

    The Lady of the Fair Groves held up her iron hand to stop her aunt as she moved by.

    Widmer, the old rake, stood there, his one eye glinting as sharp as his rapier. “This will be answered,” he promised his niece, “This will be…”

    Her cousin Tamzin’s eyes were wide and wild. “Lawrence...Lawrence…” she repeated in disbelief.

    Evander Halleth, for once, seemed roused to action rather than wallowing in his usual malaise. “I will oversee the prisoners personally,” he promised Ginnifer. It did not sound like the prisoners would appreciate his attention to the matter.

    The Lady of the Fair Groves did not stop for any of them. She walked down the cool hallway leading back to her chambers. In front of her she clasped her right hand around her left hand. The steel gauntlet was beginning to tremble. She couldn’t let them see that. Her resolve had to hold for a while longer.

    “Never let them see you bleed.”

    When she rounded the corner and was out of sight from them all, her steps came quicker. When she was sure she was out of earshot, she lifted her skirts and started running. Her vision was becoming cloudy, blurred.

    “M’lady! M’lady!” Sophee called after her, an echo of footfalls chasing her down the hall.

    Ginnifer raced past her mother’s imperious portrait, its eyes unchanged in the wake of the loss of her eldest son. Ginnifer was not sure if she would have even if she had been alive.

    It was not much further to the Lady’s chambers. She threw open the door and didn’t bother to close it behind her. Ginnifer shook the gauntlet off her hand, sending it clattering across the floor in the process. She was beginning to sob when she reached the next door, which was likewise torn open. The blonde hurried down the stone steps, her cries getting louder, bouncing off the close stone walls back at her, their pain magnified in the reverberation. When she reached the bottom step at the edge of the pool of cool water of the Lady’s bath, Ginnifer fell to her knees and screamed.

    “THEY KILLED MY BROTHER!”

    She cried and cried and cried, slowly sliding down the steps into the bath.

    “They killed him. They killed him.”

    A weeping Sophee eventually reached her and embraced her from behind, but Ginnifer didn’t feel her at all. She was unaware of the water seeping into her clothes, which were becoming heavy, pulling her down. She felt nothing but the pain.

    “They killed him,” she wailed, “They killed him…”

    The hurt only grew deeper, for Ginnifer knew the truth. She knew that whoever had done this to Lawrence, whoever had robbed her of her protector, was merely a pawn. They had been set in motion by a force greater than themselves. They were merely the factor of another. Ginnifer did not know who that person was, but she knew where the blame lay. She knew whose hand had swung the blade that had done this.

    Through the mist of tears, Ginnifer held her burned left hand in front of her face. She forced herself to look at it, to know that this was the hand that had betrayed her brother. She had forced her brother into this Mountain marriage. She had tried to walk the line between war and peace. She had thought herself smarter.

    “I killed him,” Ginnifer cried out, “I killed my brother!”

    TAG: Dun dun dun!
     
  10. greyjedi125

    greyjedi125 Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Registered:
    Apr 29, 2002
    IC: Fleet Ashkey
    The Ravenford, Four days before the Wedding

    He smiled happily and his blue eyes seemed to glint in the light.

    The pain in his hand would eventually go away, as would the red mark let there by the buxom and wicked spoon wielder. Though he hadn’t had any of the pie he had been given, which was promised to be the best he’d ever had and no doubt it was fit for noble born, it was seeing the smile on Aimee’s face that which he counted as priceless.

    Her previous distress had been almost heartbreaking, but now, it all seemed to be better. Lovely Claryssa was able to get her prize pie and get away with it. But more importantly, he had been able to finagle a not-so-terrible outcome for them all.

    Not too shabby for a former urchin.

    Unsure of where to find an exit, Fleet rubbed at his welt absently as he squinted down a hallway which looked exactly like the other two he had just crossed. It would seem he’d gotten himself lost.

    “Fleet…” they young boy heard his name hissed at him from a darkened hall adjacent to his position. “I’m sorry for that…”

    It was Lady Claryssa.

    Fleet perked up immediately and smiled at seeing her, already transfixed by her green eyes which flickered under the flaming torch she held.

    “ It wus nothin’ your grace…..” He breathed out, happily moving next to her.

    “I saved you some pie though.” She said smiling and simultaneously revealing the pie pan she now held. Fleet chuckles as he noticed it had been nibbled on, somewhat.

    “…and I have an extra one for yu…..” he announced, as it was his turn to show what Aimee had given him for helping out with the cleaning.

    “You were valiant in there.” Claryssa stated.

    I was……? Fleet thought in surprise as he blushed furiously. He had to briefly look away just to compose himself once more. He certainly didn’t think of himself or his actions as particularly brave., but if Claryssa was pleased, then he would not contradict her.

    But it wasn’t just that. There was something about the way she said things, it made him feel all fuzzy inside! This is what an enchantress in a story must sound like. Claryssa was good at casting charms…or something.

    “If it pleases yu, your grace….” He finally remembered to say.

    “We should go somewhere en eat these…” He suggested suddenly, as he quickly looked down for a second. He’d been staring at her a bit too hard. Not that he wanted to stop staring, because he could do so all day and not get tire of it. Fact was, he had some manners after all. The matrons at the orphanage made sure of that.

    “…somewhere with a view.”

    He didn’t know what made him do it, but he gave Claryssa a playful wink and a big smile.

    Such a wonderful moment should never come to an end. Right now, it felt as if everything was right in the world. For just this instance, if anyone should per chance ask him, he would be hard pressed to remember the very reason why he found himself at the Ravenford in the first place.

    No fault of his own, not in the face of such a beauty.

    Tag: @spycoder9


    OOC: Still feeling a bit ’stunned’ by that Amazing and Masterful Finale. Needless to say, I’m expecting Complete and Total Justice. ( Desmond is dead! Yes! let the bodies hit the floor! :p )
     
  11. HanSolo29

    HanSolo29 Manager Emeritus + Official Star Wars Artist star 7 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Apr 13, 2001
    IC: Dayvid Sol
    The Wolfswood, The Mountains of Mirwyth

    His fears pertaining to the undead and the rumors surrounding Harrowmont were put to rest when the other woman stirred restlessly at the sheer sound of her companion’s cry of terror. Sage had a knack for garnering that kind of reaction, especially for those who were not acquainted to being around a wolf. Still, if she did not quiet down soon, the undead would be the least of his worries, as the conditions were ripe for yet another avalanche to cascade down from the mountain.

    Fortunately for all of them, the screaming soon ceased, as the woman finally seemed to take notice that Sage was not traveling alone. As long as Dayvid was at his side, he would cause them no harm. Both ladies had slowly come to that realization and they relaxed a bit, but it was clear from their body language that they were still on edge and trust would only come with time.

    The second woman, now staring intently at Dayvid as she struggled against the cold, opened her mouth to speak. Her breath rose in thin, white wisps into the cold air as she did so. “We have nothing to hide,” she revealed, her voice surprisingly strong despite the cool tint to her lips. “We are in a desperate situation, as you can tell. If you would show us to the nearest town, I would pay you handsomely for your service.”

    Dayvid studied the two women for a long moment and inclined his head slightly before calling Sage swiftly back to his side. A major payday was exactly what he had been looking for. And to think, these two were so desperate that they weren’t even going to make him resort to his usual methods of intimidation in order to get them to turn over the money. Under ideal conditions, a smile would have slipped easily across his face, but as it were, he did not want to appear too eager. Instead, he diverted his eyes to the gray sky above and inhaled slowly as he scratched the top of Sage’s head lightly.

    “This ain’t gonna be a caravan,” he noted, gesturing towards the possessions that were sprawled out around them in a heap. “Grab only what you can carry. We move quick and I ain’t slowing down ‘cause the load is too much for you to handle.” He started to trudge closer to their position, his footsteps crunching on the snow as he moved. At the last moment, he held out his hand to help them up. “As for price…300 gold coin, at the very least.”

    TAG: Master Selkath
     
    Trieste and Master Selkath like this.
  12. spycoder9

    spycoder9 Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jul 23, 2008
    If there's any interest in picking up or joining in, check out the OOC thread in the Role Playing Resource or private message me. :)
     
  13. Jedi Gunny

    Jedi Gunny Yahtzee Host star 9 VIP - Game Host

    Registered:
    May 20, 2008
    In Before the End . . . of Phase 1. And definitely spycoder approved. :D

    Name: Gareth the Wanderer
    Age: Unknown, likely in late-30s or early 40s
    Gender: Male
    Appearance: Appearance similar to this, except he wears a sandy overcoat and cloth face shield to keep his face protected from the elements.

    [​IMG]

    Homeland (The Mountains, the Desert, the Isles, or the Capital City): The Desert, although that’s what the stories say
    King (King of the Mountains, King of the Desert, King of the Isles, the Rightful King, None): None
    Occupation: Wanderer/Hermit
    Family Banner (if applicable, just describe): N/A
    House Words (A saying the family uses): Personal motto: “Where you are from is irrelevant. The Desert is harsh and unforgiving, and it does not discriminate in choosing its next victim.”

    Biography: Not much is known about Gareth the Wanderer. Some say he was born in the middle of the Desert, the product of black-magic sorcery. Others believe that he is the long-lost offspring of a powerful family of the Desert regions. Still some believe that he is nothing but a myth.

    Gareth has never been easy to follow. When travelers through the Desert encounter him, they never quite recreate the same story. But the common threads are his strange attention to detail and his method of dress, a blue tunic that looks out of place in such an unforgiving environment, the pants of a journeyman, and traveler’s boots that always look a little more worse for wear each time he is encountered. No one knows much about him; he appears for a little while each time before slipping away like the sands of the Desert. He is as much of an enigma as a man, and this has led to many theories about why he wanders the Desert.

    Some believe that he is looking for allies to unite the fractured peoples of the Desert against whom they see as an unjust ruler. Others see him as a hermit, a wayward monk who travels through life seeking higher purpose. Yet others believe him to be a treasure seeker, looking to exploit any tales of riches to be had in the sands. He could be a hoarder, wandering to keep the secrets of his finds and his reclusive life alive from the eyes of outsiders.

    But none of these are completely correct. Gareth is searching for something – his own identity. Only he knows where he comes from and why he chose this life. But his life has become consumed with finding the pieces that will finally answer his biggest question, the question that made him the man he is today. He has vowed not to stop his wandering until he fully comprehends his past and what he must do to find some sense of normalcy. What those answers are, no one knows.
     
  14. galactic-vagabond422

    galactic-vagabond422 Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jul 11, 2009
    GM Approved

    Name: Rebecca Dragon

    Age: 21

    Gender: Female

    Appearance: Taller and stockier than most women, though in her steel cuirass and helmet it is difficult to tell that she is indeed a woman. When her helmet and mail coif are removed she is rather plain looking but with bright red hair, kept short to fit under her helmet. Her eyes are a steely blue that seem to look right though a person.

    Homeland: Mountains technically but, she spent most of her life in the Prairies

    King: None, though she stands against the Rightful King

    Occupation: Sell-sword

    Family Banner: None

    House Words: A dragon is more than scales and talons

    Biography: Rebecca was the only child of Hephzibah and Roger a seamstress and carpenter in a small village along the coast. While Becca was still just a babe, bandits attacked the village slaughtering the inhabitants and putting buildings to the torch. Her mother was slain in the attack but, her father survived by killing an attacker with his hammer then taking up a sword to defend his home. All he could save was his daughter. He set off for the nearest town with Rebecca tied to his back in a rudimentary sling, and carrying a long wooden trunk. In town Roger kept them fed doing odd jobs ranging from masonry to carpentry. One day close to Rebecca's thirteen name day she felt overwhelmed with homicidal urges. She wanted to feel another living creature's life blood on her hands. She captured a rat and was about to disembowel it with a simple knife when her father stayed her hand. He explained that this was the curse of the Dragon's Blood, that she would feel the need to kill and if she didn't she'd go mad. With a somber demeanor Roger took Rebecca out into the field and captured a white rabbit. She wanted to slew it as soon as they had captured it but, again her father stopped her, it wasn't yet the time.

    In a simple shack he'd built, Roger lashed Rebecca to a stake and sat on the ground out of reach, with the rabbit in his lap. Becca's blood burned in her veins, her eyes were wide lusting to kill the furry creature. Her heart called out for its death and horrible screams and curses tore from her throat. At the point she thought she would truly go mad with want, he father released the quarry. The rope that had bound her snapped like twine and she fell upon the rabbit with a fury she had never known possible. She tore the poor beast apart with her bare hands smearing the gore across her face and chest. As the blood cooled and congealed on her skin she felt the rage leave her body. Looking to her father his eyes were downcast, a stoic expression on his face. This was the same ritual he was put though by the people that raised him, and he had prayed that she would not inherent his curse.

    They never returned to that town, living out in the wilds. He taught her how to wield a blade, how to put on armor, and how to care for armor. He also showed her how to control her urges, mostly by hunting game but, she never felt fully sated after a hunt, they were rarely as visceral as her first kill. So her life continued with a burning coal of blood lust scorching her heart though, her father's training kept it from becoming a conflagration. He explained that he was once a mercenary, trained by a mysterious group that saw his curse as something to be fostered and controlled. After sowing so much death and destruction, he found his good heart couldn't handle what his blood demanded. He settled down in the village content to live out his days as a commoner.

    With that village gone he devoted himself to training Becca in the ways of war in the hopes of finding a way to channel her tendencies into something good. It was eight years after her first kill when men found their hut in the woods and attacked them for trespassing. They were so swift that Roger didn't have time to get fully armored facing the attackers in nothing but his arming doublet. His bastard sword slew most of them but the last ran him through with a spear. Overcome with emotions Rebecca rushed out of the hut and took up her father's sword.

    It was not a duel as one hears in legends but, a fierce encounter with fists and limbs flailing about looking for an opening. Eventually she found herself atop her opponent and begun striking the prone combatant about the face with the pommel of her sword. She did not stop until his body was stilled and his face unrecognizable. Once again her face and hands were stained with warm blood, and for the first time in years she felt at peace.

    Tears fell from her eyes as she cradled her father's body, with the last of his strength he ran two fingers down the paths her tears had made, declaring her a Dragon. She packed up what meager possessions she had, including her father's armor and weapon, and set off for the nearest town. She had the training and the desire to become a sell-sword and she did just that.

    Although she'll work for anyone who pays her, she will kill anyone who bears the mark of the men that killed her father, a black eagle on a white field.
     
  15. spycoder9

    spycoder9 Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jul 23, 2008
    Part I Finale for Ser Aran & Queen Emilia Reynard
    When we are children we seldom think of the future.
    This innocence leaves us free to enjoy ourselves as few adults can.
    The day we fret about the future is the day we leave our childhood behind.

    The Day of the Wedding
    Outside the Throne Room

    He could hear the steady roar of many voices at once barely muffled by the grand, golden engraved doors ahead of him. Matheus knew that they were waiting for him, that they were speaking of him, but he couldn’t bring himself to open those doors. Not yet. Not until he was certain he was ready.

    Will I ever be ready? He was afraid of the answer. His father had accepted the crown greedily, grubbing the crown from his grandfather’s corpse like a peddler for a coin. Matheus had heard the rumors… it was the very reason the other lords had rebelled and declared themselves kings… but he never knew. His father had been power hungry, and half mad, but murdering his own father… Then again, he never would’ve expected his mother to do what she had done. But she did, and now he was here, and there was only one thing to do.

    Had Matheus of had what he wanted, there would be a blonde spectre waiting for him on the other side. She would accept him in her arms with a kiss, and her dowry, and her love, and for the moment, he wouldn’t feel so alone. Instead she was marrying a knight and he was marrying a throne.

    “Can you believe it?” His brother murmured from his side. Seymour was tall and wiry, but Matheus knew the sinew and muscle beneath that royal uniform. They’d spared too many times over the years, and every time Matheus had numerous purple welts waiting to be tended to.

    “Believe what?”

    “You’re about to be king,” Seymour smiled, “My brother will be the king. You realize how much I can brag now?”

    Matheus grinned as well, “Probably won’t be much to brag about.”

    “You’re a king.”

    “A king, yes, but a king of what?” The nervous smiles were gone, replaced by a somber frown. “My lords have rebelled, my father is dead, and my princess is married. What there is to be excited for?” Matheus looked to his brother.

    “A change,” Seymour said, “and you can bring it. Force them all to bend their knees or die. Mourn Father by setting Mirwyth on fire if you must, Brother, and pull your mountain lady from the ashes.”

    “You act like she’d be eager for it.”

    “You act like she wanted to marry the fox.”

    “Maybe she did.”

    “Matheus,” Seymour took him by his shoulders. “When has the girl ever had any agency? Desmond Rolmar is the one that started this damn war in the first place, he roused the others to their rebellions. He shook the very foundations of Mirwyth for the first time in centuries. Do you honestly think he’d let his daughter marry whoever she’d like?”

    “Yes…” Matheus nodded. “You’re right. But how do you know I can do it? How do you know I can bring it all back together again?”

    “I don’t. I honestly don’t. But I do know you have me, and mother, and your knights, and loyal lords, and enough spunk in you that you’d ride through Mirwyth with just a sword and a horse if you had to, just to get what you wanted.” Seymour smirked. “You’re like Father in that way.”

    Matheus nodded and turned to the doors. He had never felt so incomplete, so alone, so utterly confused. His future had never been so fraught with uncertainty and danger. His heart had never hurt so fiercely at it did now. And yet, he was Matheus Reynard, descended from the longest line of Kings Mirwyth had ever seen. The same blood that flowed through his veins had rushed beneath the skin of the first king. Perhaps no one could bring Mirwyth back to its feet… but if anyone could, it would be him.

    “Are you ready?” His brother asked, hand on the door.

    “As I’ll ever be.”

    He opened the doors and stepped into the now silent hall.

    Gods pray I am.




    The Night of the Wedding
    Lucia Brendle's Chambers


    The night sky was still bright with fireworks. Echoing fanfares hung heavier in the air than smoke. The grand ball at the palace continued apace, even as groups splintered into private salons and drawing rooms. People were drunk on the headiness of re-genesis, and more that were simply drunk. A moment like this one, so perfectly crystallized, bathed even the secret things in so much symbolic pageantry that it rightly deserved to be public.

    Ser Aran, standing among them, looked his part. His breast plate had an intricately engraved relief in gold filigree. A silken, indigo sash was fitted about his waist and his hair was coiffed in the latest upper class style. Even his broadsword, with its perfectly sharp steel edge, he wasn't entirely sure he would've recognized himself in a looking glass. He wasn't sure he would want to. The new king needed bodyguards. The Queen Dowager needed him. The wide world needed the person who would fill either role to look the part.

    Then, just as easily as it had all come up, he was across the threshold. But rather than shutting it all out, the door clicking shut seemed to seal everything in. Even a royal apartment seemed cramp, next to all the portent they were trying to stuff into the room.

    “Thank you for letting me in Lucia,” Aran said, “it makes me feel better that we're able to do things this way.”

    She didn't turn to face him. Instead, she pulled several golden bracelets from her arms, one by one.

    "I always assumed Emilia despised funerals." Lucia pulled her hair loose from the hair piece. From behind, she appeared almost whole. Almost beautiful. "She neglected to attend our mother's, or our little brother's.” She paused, “I thought she'd at least wait until I was out of the city... to save her some of the mess."

    Aran's curiosity was piqued. In spite of his intentions, he heard himself asking, "You had a brother? Were he and Emilia very close?"

    "Exceptionally so. I was left to watch them most of the time..." Her smile shone through her voice. "...Emilia watched him die... we all watched him die."

    "What happened?" he asked, horrified in her apparent pleasure and anxious for his image of Emilia.

    "It was the same night our mother died and my betrothal to Fenton Reynard ended.” She turned to face Ser Aran. Only one eye rested on him. "What prize is a marred woman? All in the same night, I lost my mother, my brother, my beauty, my future, and even my sister. Emilia might try to deny that night... but I have never forgotten. It stares at me every time I look in the mirror. I have never forgotten. And now," She smiled cruelly, "Neither will you."

    The lump in his throat kept him from noticing the burning in his cheeks. How dare she. "Tell me!" he sputtered, trying to ignore her words. "Do you think spinning yarns will keep you alive?! You're a bitter crone. I know Emilia!"

    "You don't. No one knows her." Lucia smiled once more. "I don't even know her, but I know her ways. What has she given you? Glory? Riches? A bat of her eyelashes?" She snickered. "That one's enough to send any man off to do her bidding. It's a tragedy to see the title of 'ser' be so despoiled by knights like you. Only bandits would murder unarmed women wantonly in their quarters."

    "Spare me. I've never claimed to be other than a servant of the royal family, whatever they choose to call me," he said. "What's more, you know how I feel about her. So are you trying to tell me something, or just spook me? If the latter, save your breath. If the former. . .I want to know her. You’re her sister. You have to know things no one else does. If they're really worth telling, pass them on now."

    "Emilia gets what she wants. No matter the cost.” Lucia limped towards him. “What a coincidence it was, that Fenton happened to fall out of their carriage during the riot…” She gave that discomforting lop-sided grin. “And that no one had even one good eye on the carriage. It’s no matter if Emilia actually pushed him, or if Matheus did, or even the man holding the reigns… he fell because of her. She. Killed. The King."

    Aran chuckled softly.

    "It's not the first I've heard of the story. But as you say, it's not the mechanism that counts, it's who is behind the deed. Tell me, do you know why there was a riot that day to distract everyone?

    "Fenton wanted it. It was a joke. He thought it would be funny to scare Emilia, or possibly to hurt her. So he had me stir up the smallfolk, and then kill them by the hundreds for taking the bait. We went along with it, because it wasn't an unusual request from him at all. That was the kind of man he was. To ensure the deaths of many, for the sake of torturing one, all to give him a fleeting moment's amusement. That is the man who ruled Mirwyth.

    "Emilia pushed him out of the carriage. But who was behind it? Your gods. Because she was trapped in a marriage with a depraved, abusive, paranoid maniac, just as the kingdom was trapped under the thumb of a tyrant. Her and Matheus have done more in a few days of reign than he did in a lifetime.

    "If I am certain of anything, it's that she has never had what she wanted. Much less what she deserved. Not a husband that would love and protect her. Not a sister that trusts or understands her, either. I'm sorry that whatever happened between you has made you so blind."

    "Emilia has everything, but she always wants more." Lucia's voice rose higher. "She won't stop until she has all of Mirwyth, every mountain, every isle, every speck of sand, everything in her gloved paws. If you ever get in her way..." She pointed to herself. "You'll find yourself where I am now."

    He didn't have a ready response to that. The woman outwitted him. Even her blind eye saw through him. A family trait. One that gave a special potency to the fear he'd heard aloud for the first time. He wasn't going to think about that.

    "And here we are. You are her sister. I don't want things to be bad between us. Is there anything you wanted first?" he asked quietly, unsheathing his sword as he finished.

    "I've said my peace." She went still, save for her eyelids' closing. "Be done with it."

    There was a dignity in her answer that resonated with him. Approaching her one final time, he got a renewed sense of the phantasmic beauty and grace that must have been real before her accident. Their breaths found time with one another. When his hand finally touched her shoulder, it was almost gentle.

    "I'm sorry," he said.




    Palace Gates
    Almost lost in the din of the coronation balls was the clack of galloping horses. They torn down the main thoroughfare, brilliant white coursers in tight formation. At the lead was a smallish man, carrying the unit's banner: the honor guard of King Matheus Reynard the First. He was both younger in age and older in heart than one would have expected. Pushing through the outer gates of the city, he emerged into a world transforming.
    For perhaps the first time, Ser Aran mind grasped at the enormity of what that meant.

    Emilia Reynard's Chambers
    The night air was warm and sweet, with a hint of garlic and exotic spices, as it wafted in through the open window of the queen’s bedchamber. It was certainly an alluring aroma, no doubt a result of the raucous feast that was in full swing in the adjacent courtyard to commemorate the king’s coronation. Under normal circumstances, it would have been customary for Emilia – as the king’s mother and the people’s queen – to attend such an occasion and partake in the jubilant festivities, but as it was, the hour had grown late and she had discretely excused herself from the celebration. Considering that the majority of the guests were already inebriated on wine and beer and hardly capable of standing up straight, no one seemed to take notice of her sudden departure. And even if they did find it a bit odd, no one in their right mind would risk questioning the actions of the queen, especially in such a relaxed setting. For all they knew, she was simply feeling unwell.
    And in part, they would be correct.
    While she looked fine physically, emotionally, she was quite drained. Even the maester had noticed the change in her demeanor and had tried to place blame on the coronation and the stress that accompanied all of the preparations. He explained that she was trying to achieve too much for one person to handle and it was slowly taking its toll. The old man had even gone so far as to prescribe a herb supplement to help her relax, but Emilia knew that she could not be cured by such concoctions. The nightmares had been resilient to such home remedies in the past and they were only getting worse.
    Last night, she had witnessed the rotting corpse of her late husband, Fenton, return to the land of the living to enact vengeance upon Matheus. Flesh hung loosely on his frame and his eye sockets were hollow with a ghastly yellow glow as he latched his skeletal hands around her son’s neck and literally squeezed the life out of him. It almost appeared to Emilia as if the corpse was attempting to absorb the boy’s soul into his own in order to restore what he had so recently lost. It was a horrific sight to behold and she heard herself cry out in utter terror as Matheus collapsed back onto the bed, a shriveled husk of a man. The scream drew Fenton’s attention, and he turned to her, his flesh now mostly restored except for those eyes…those sickly yellow eyes. They were the same eyes that belonged to her sister, Lucia.
    That’s when the transformation came full circle and Emilia awoke with a start, her nightgown soaked through with a cold sweat. The harrowing experience had left her visibly shaken, and yet, she had refused to call for assistance from the guards, the maester or anyone else who could offer her some reprieve. In that sense, she was a stubborn mule and she would not dare expose her weakness. Needless to say, she had not been able to sleep a wink for the rest of that night.
    The dull ache above her eyes caused by lack of sleep was starting to become quite daunting, but she would endure. After tonight, she need not worry about her sister interfering with her business anymore. Once the task was done, she would be able to cast her burdens away and sleep peacefully. All she needed was the sign to put herself at ease…
    She stood now, silent as one of the stone gargoyles that adorned the upper towers of the castle, as she watched the king’s road intently. The road itself was the main artery leading in and out of the capital itself. Only this morning, the path had been congested with mounts, caravans and other assorted foot traffic as people from all around Mirwyth came to attend Matheus’ ceremony. But now, it was deserted…aside from a lone rider and the contingent of knights that served under him.
    “Ser Aran.”
    Her lips parted breathlessly as she recited his name to herself in the dark. Her heart went out to him and she felt herself shiver. How she wished she could traverse the castle walls to run to him, but that would be most inappropriate, not only for someone of her stature, but for the mission itself. It was a delicate matter which required the utmost care and determination, but she had complete faith that Aran could achieve his goal. After all, he had already passed the first test.
    His appearance on the king’s road at the present time, alone, with the moon riding on his shoulder, was proof of that. It was the sign she had been seeking. His departure from the castle was the silent acknowledgement the two had agreed upon to indicate that the task had been done. Lucia had finally been set free, and along with her, Emilia herself felt a sudden rush of relief. Her knees grew weak with elation and she shakily extended a hand to the window frame to support herself.
    With her head bowed low, Emilia began to laugh, even as tears began to spill from her eyes.
    END OF PART I
     
  16. spycoder9

    spycoder9 Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jul 23, 2008
    4 Days Before the Wedding


    The Capital of Mirwyth
    The Ravenford


    Evening



    The day flew into evening. As the sun set over the barren Ravenford lands, the Little Lady invited Fleet and her servant friend onto one of the tallest points of the castle, where they might spend their time enjoying pie and telling tales. Games divulged into one Fleet had never played before, one that involved innocent, childlike kisses and a competition of who was the better. When the evening bells began to ring, signaling the castle to be shut up for sleep, the Little Lady reluctantly brought Fleet back to Lorain, who had spent her entire afternoon in a friendly sparring session with Olyvar.

    Both had experienced long, not particularly awful days, but when the Little Lady led them to their room, both were most likely eager to take them.

    All that was left before sleep was their complimentary bedtime drinks, their access to baths, and any conversation that was to take place. Olyvar dropped by once to make sure they were safe, but when that was made sure he departed back to his own chambers.

    All that left was Lorain and Fleet, together once again.



    TAG: greyjedi125, Ktala
     
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  17. Ktala

    Ktala Jedi Grand Master star 6

    Registered:
    Sep 7, 2002
    "Lor" Lorain Ashkey - The Ravenford
    4 Days Before the wedding - Evening


    The day slowly turned into nightfall. Lorain had spent the rest of the evening, after leaving Ser Ijdit to speak with Lord Redwood. She and Olyvar spent a most enjoyable time sparing. Well, at least it was enjoyable for her, as she imagined it was Ser Caliban she was smacking about. But she did keep the sparing friendly, as poor Olyvar had nothing to do with the situation at hand. Even HE knew he worked for a jacknape. But at the end of the day, and the sun began it's travels dipping below the horizon, Lorain was beginning to miss Fleet. She understood, that he had had little chance to play. As any child his age should be. And it was probably even more true for the Little Lady. So she was not going to begrudge him the chance to do something he was most likely enjoying. Lorain ate, and saved a few extra goodies for Fleet, as she waited. She was still getting used to the idea of being Fleets mother. She didnt want to be overly cautious. But so much was an unknown to her. And finding out that the Kildare's had plenty of enemies, and that the King was dead... she wasnt sure if that was a good thing or not. Someone would most certainly step in to fill the void. But, as a blacksmith knew as truth, bloody wars tended to fill in the gaps, while changes were being made. Lorain didnt know who was next in line of the family, but she was pretty sure it was not going to be a peaceful change. Lorain sighed deeply, as she prepared for both the evening, and when Fleet would return.

    When he finally showed, she greeted him with a large smile. His demeanor showed he had enjoyed his time away, and for that Lorain was glad. He needed time to be a child. She gently rubbed the top of his head, when he came into the room. "Aye, Fleet. Hopes ya had a good time, both you an the 'Little Lady.'" Lorain gave him a wink. "Hope ya didnt gets into too much mischief." She then smiled. "Come on now. Go takes a bath, and then eats and drink before time for bed."

    While Fleet was getting ready for bed, Olyvar dropped by once to make sure they were well. Lorain greeted him, and smiled. "My thanks, Olyvar. I am glad tis you who came to check in on us." She bade him a good night, and once he was gone, it was Lorain and her son once again. She checked their armor, having carefully cleaned it, and made sure it was in good repair. She smiled at Fleet. "Go now. Get in bed. Sleep. I'll be right here. You rest up good. Tomorrow might be a busy day." Lorain gave Fleet a gentle smile. She waited until Fleet snuggled into bed, before she left his side. She made sure the door was locked. And if there was no lock, she placed furniture in front of the door. She also looked about for an escape route, just in case. While she trusted the 'Little Lady' she was not as sure about the rest of her people...or those Knights, Ser Saliban had tromping around the woods with them. She made sure their items were packed, and ready to go, once Fleet had gone to sleep. And she went to sleep, placing herself between the main door, and where Fleet was sleeping, with a crossbow across her lap, just to be on the safe side. She wondered what plans Ser Caliban would have for them, come morning.


    TAG: greyjedi125, spycoder9
     
  18. greyjedi125

    greyjedi125 Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Registered:
    Apr 29, 2002
    IC: Fleet AShkey
    The Ravenford, Four Days before the wedding

    He simply could not stop smiling. Though he redied himself for sleep, he would say, if asked, that the entire day had been like a dream. Even the pillow on which he lay his head seemed like the softest surface he had ever laid upon, as it gently cradled his head and neck.

    Fleet smiled-on and closed his eyes, breathing in heavily. He smelled Lady Claryssa’s perfume, smelled the deliciously baked pies, the aroma of the trees and the gardens. It was all so incredibly vivid. Even with his eyes closed, he could see her so clearly, bright and lovely as the sun against a clear morning sky. Hearing her giggle and laugh made him smile all the more, causing him to inhale sharply as he longed to relive those moments over and over again.

    Earlier in the day, the Little Lady had challenged him into playful heroic acts and reward him with sweet velvety kisses, spurring him to feel as if he could do anything, risk anything, just for one more reward. His head would spin and he would blush furiously! How terribly intoxicating and so wonderful all at once. She made him feel as if he could defeat a host of rock giants bare handed, armored only by her adoring smile, fueled by the longing of his just reward.

    They had even gone to the tallest point in the castle and looked upon the sky and the fields. How like childrens toys did they look. Fleet felt as if he could reach up and grab a handful of stars from the tapestry of sunset. The Little Lady had herself a good laugh when he tried. He’d even jumped in vain, all well meaning attempts at capturing a shooting star.

    But alas, evening had come and the longest day did wind to its end. Why oh why did they have to part?

    Now in the company of others, he’d almost forgotten not to act so much like himself, not to let his real-self show. Lady Claryssa was the second person who’d he’d opened up to so completely. The first, of course, was his Mum.

    “Thank yu m’lady…uhh, your grace…” he began saying. Fleet held the Little Lady’s hand and kissed it lightly, just as he’d seen many a highborn do. Catching the look in her eyes made him smile so brightly.

    “It wus the best day yet!” He confessed.

    Poor Fleet was so happy, tired and sleepy, he could hardly contain a yawn, but he did-just barely. Then he heard his mum call his name. All signs of exhaustion seemed to flee and vanish from his form as he turned with joyful surprise.

    “Mum!” He greeted Lorain with renewed energy, waving at her enthusiastically.

    “Mum! I had the best day, ever!”

    Pleasantries and bows were exchanged, followed by the inevitable disappointment of days end. The Little Lady had delayed long enough and now she had to part. Fleet felt dejected, but Lorain knew just how to get her boy going back again, by asking him about his day. Without a moments hesitation, Fleet went on and on and on about everything they had done. The chases and the games, jumping, sneaking running, all of it. He kept mentioning Lady Claryssa’s green eyes and how pretty she was. He turned red all over again, but he wasn't going to let that stop him.

    “….and I slew the Oger for a kiss!” he declared at the end, raising his hands triumphantly.

    No sooner had his nose caught the scent of their meal, than all stories, at least for the moment, were quickly forgotten. Fleet was hungrier than he realized and finished every morsel he was offered in record time.

    “So, mum, what did yu do all day?” He asked, his eyes already drowsy. Fleet tried his best to listen, but it wasn’t long before his head bobbed twice, then saw him fast asleep. If he was to be asked how he’d gotten in bed, he would not know how to answer. Had he been able to sleepy march himself to bed, or was he carried? Fleet had no idea. All he knew at the moment was that his day had been dreamlike.

    He was finally dozing off, his smile still etched upon his face. Drawing his blanket closer, Fleet brought to mind all the wonderful moments the day had offered. He’d almost talked Olyvar’s ears off, but was reminded of his manners over dinner.

    Why had they come to this place, The Ravenford? Truth be told, Fleet couldn’t remember if he tried. Nothing would keep him from dreaming about the Little Lady’s sparkling green eyes, cascading hair and sweet smelling perfume. Her laughter was like music, perfect to fall asleep to.

    Sweet Dreams.


    Tag: @spycoder9, @Ktala
     
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  19. Jedi Gunny

    Jedi Gunny Yahtzee Host star 9 VIP - Game Host

    Registered:
    May 20, 2008


    The sands of the Desert were a merciless force, always present, always blowing, always getting stuck in places in your clothing that you never knew existed. What a desolate landscape this was, the foreboding of death clinging at every turn, the possibility of perishing in the sands a very real and ever-present threat. Many had tried to cross this unforgiving wasteland, and some had never come out. All records of their existence still lay buried under the shifting sands, slowly being lost from history and collective memory.

    This was where the two travelers found themselves on that fateful day. They had travelled on a long journey, and that quest had now led them straight into the maw of the Desert. The supply of water was running low, they had lost many of their possessions either due to their sheer weight or to the bandits supposedly ravaging this land in search for easy plunder, and they were tired. Dehydration was going to set in soon, and they were unsure of if they would make it out alive. What a foolhardy idea this had been, to take a shortcut in the middle of the wastelands. Now they were completely lost, only surviving on prayer and faith that someday they would find their way out and back to civilization. But that seemed like a pipe dream at best; the sands were everywhere, and they would never reveal their true secrets unless you already knew where to go. Unfortunately, for the wearied travelers, they did not know where they were headed. They were completely lost, likely long deviated from their ideal course, and running out of time. The Desert was working on the slow process of claiming two more victims in its ever-ravenous appetite, ready to finish the job when dehydration and lack of food finally took their toll.

    Then would come the madness. And out of the madness would come the complete and utter panic. Some tried to eat the sands that surrounded them, only to discover that it did not satisfy their hunger, only shifting away like only sands could. The lack of water and heat would eventually leave its victims on the very brink of death, unable to move, unable to stand, unable to find help. What a terrifying process it was, but the Desert did not care. It existed as it always had, and those with poor fortunes attempting to cross its vast landscape were the ones who paid the price the most for their lack of judgment.

    “That must be it, our way out. Beyond that dune,” the first traveler said to his companion.

    “You said that three dunes ago,” his compatriot complained. “I’m thirsty, I’m hungry, and I don’t think we will last more than three days until the Desert claims us.”

    “Nonsense, we will get through this,” the first traveler said, snorting at the notion that this was only another step towards their untimely endgame. “When have I ever steered you wrong before?”

    “We never should have attempted the Desert crossing,” his companion said. “There had to be another way. If we only but had a map . . .”

    “A guide is what we would have needed, but we are almost to the end, I can sense it!” the first traveler said.

    His companion knew that the man was completely mad. He obviously was suffering from the same lack of food and water, and the heat likely was pushing him to the brink. The companion wiped more sand from his eyebrows, the ever-annoying phenomenon when the sands shifted in the wind. As he brought his hand up to wipe the sand out, he thought he saw something in the distance, a small figure that stood out from the backdrop. “Do I see someone?” he asked, now squinting to look at the spot closer.

    “What’s that, you say?” the traveler asked. “There cannot possibly be a man there. You are going mad, sir. Seeing visions is the first sign of a restless and feeble mind ready to crack . . .”

    “I do see a man!” the companion exclaimed excitedly. “Maybe he can help us! Look, look!” He pointed to the figure in the distance, and the first traveler followed the man’s gesture to the spot in the distance. Sure enough, he could see a figure, or at least he thought it was. It was difficult to tell in the shifting sands, because the figure was dressed in very sandy-colored clothing, if it was indeed a man. It was likely an illusion, their minds playing tricks on them. What a cruel twist of fate that would be.

    The companion waved his arms in the air. “I say, over here!” he yelled to the distant figure. “Help, please!”

    The figure stopped, and that made the companion shiver a slight bit. Was this an illusion, or was it a man who could help them? “Please, we beg of you, assist us!” the companion yelled.

    The figure moved forward again until it came up close to them. Both travelers saw the sand-colored cloak and mask that covered the figure’s body and face, two goggles coming out from the cloth where the eyes were supposed to be.

    “Please, help us. We’re but lost travelers, too naïve to avoid the perils of the Desert,” the companion said, falling to his knees with weakness. “We are wracked with lack of food and water, and we need assistance, anything you can give us.”

    “Follow me,” the figure said in a low voice. It was a deep, yet rich, tone that the travelers had not quite expected. For all they had known, this was not a figure at all, but instead an apparition in their feeble minds. But it had to be real, and it had to be good news. They needed a ray of sunshine now in their most desperate hour.

    The two travelers followed the figure for what seemed like an hour or more. They slowly made their way, trudging through the sands in their weakened state. But the figure strode confidently, like they were not weak in the slightest. The travelers hoped they would not lose sight of their savior, because then it would likely be the end. Something had brought this figure to them, and to lose sight of the one chance they had to live meant certain doom.

    Finally, the figure turned around, still not having taken his mask off. “Inside here, gentlemen,” he said, gesturing to a small outcropping in the rocks that had appeared. The travelers were astonished; there were stones in the middle of the Desert? This had never been heard of, but they clamored inside eagerly. Once inside, safe from the shifting sands and the wind, they collapsed on the ground, exhausted. The figure strode into the makeshift shelter, no worse for wear.

    “We cannot thank you enough,” the first traveler said. “Without you, we would have been lost and never come out.”

    “I cannot guarantee that my appearance will save your lives,” the figure said bluntly. “You were foolish to enter the Desert without proper preparations. I do not see a map on your person, either of you, or an animal, or food to last you through your trek, or something with which to make shelter.”

    “We lost many of our supplies to bandits,” the first traveler said. “They must have come in the night. We lost a great deal of what we had, and now we are few in vittles.”

    “We beg of you to help us, anything,” the companion, completely winded and on the ground, said weakly.

    “The Desert is an unforgiving environment. You should have thought twice about crossing it, knowing full well that this land is not without its dangers. The peoples here are fractured, and they will not think twice to rob you blind. After all, that is the way of things here,” the figure said. He then took his goggles off and then the mask, revealing a rugged dark-toned face that had seen many things in its lifetime. “I have spent many a year of my life in this hell, and I have seen many things that would make your blood run cold from fear. The Desert is not to be traveled lightly, and its people are fierce and willing to take from you which you cannot protect. Out here, property is only governed by who can keep their possessions to themselves. If you lose your belongings, then it was because you were weak.”

    “How do you survive, then?” the first traveler asked.

    “I have learned a great deal about how to survive,” the figure said. “Many things coming from experience. But wisdom is what I pride myself on, as I wander throughout this unforgiving landscape . . .”

    “You live here?” the companion asked.

    “Yes. The Desert is my home, my sanctuary. I find solace in its sands, its unforgiving nature . . .” the figure said, turning his back to the travelers and staring out at the vast expanse of sand in front of him. “But it also holds many questions that I have yet to unlock . . . so many stories that have yet to be told . . . and the truth may someday be revealed . . .”

    “Is it true?” the first traveler asked, the question almost coming out of the blue. It shocked the figure.

    “What is true?” the figure asked.

    “Are you Gareth the Wanderer?” the first traveler asked.

    “What makes you ask that?” the figure inquired, turning around. He was obviously curious of the mention of such a name.

    “I’ve heard of you,” the first traveler said. “You are rumored to be wandering the Desert in search of your true identity.”

    “I can assuredly tell you gentlemen that I am indeed looking for something, but does that qualify me to be the man of which you speak? Surely he is just a legend, a myth created by townsfolk looking to spread gossip.”

    “I know it’s you,” the first traveler said. “It has to be. Everything about you matches with the rumors. You seek treasure, the fabled riches of the Desert. To claim them to be your own.”

    “If only it was that simple . . .” the figure said.

    “So you are indeed Gareth the Wanderer!” the companion said, sitting up. It was like he had forgotten he was tired, and seeing a man who was supposedly a myth had given him an energy boost. “I have heard many stories about you. Are they all true?”

    “They are if you want to believe them to be,” the figure said. “That is the funny thing about stories. If you convince yourself that they are based on reality, then anything can be true. But I can assure you that those stories are just a myth. If this Gareth does exist . . .”

    “He does. You are him,” the first traveler said. “I know it as much as I know my own name.”

    “Then what if I told you I was him?” the figure asked.

    “Please, tell us what you are searching for!” the companion asked, now getting to his knees in anticipation. “We won’t tell anyone, we swear!”

    “Gentlemen, what I am searching for holds no monetary value whatsoever,” Gareth said.

    “But what of the treasure?”

    “Not all treasure is silver and gold,” Gareth said, turning back around the face the Desert.

    “Have you found what you were looking for, what you are said to be searching for your entire life? All the stories come back saying that you are still looking.”

    “I am indeed still looking, gentlemen. But if I have found some of what I seek, I cannot share that with you. I alone know the reason why I am out here and why I continue to this day wander this god-forsaken wasteland,” Gareth replied after a pause.

    “Is there treasure in the sands? Are those stories true?”

    “The Desert is unforgiving, gentlemen. Need I remind you that you are lost and in no position to ask me for secrets that I possess?”

    “Forgive us,” the first traveler said. “Just help us find a way out, and we will be on our way.”

    Gareth stayed silent for almost a minute, making the two travelers very nervous. Had they probed him too far for answers to their myriad of questions? Was he going to turn on them and ensure their demise in this outcropping of rock, beating the Desert to its much-anticipated victory over the feeble forces of man?

    Finally he spoke again. “I can point you in the right direction, but I cannot take you there. You need to find it on your own.”

    “And where does that leave you?” the companion asked.

    “I will remain here, where I know I will eventually find what I seek,” Gareth said bluntly. “Or perish in my quest, whichever comes first.”

    “We are humbled by your gracious terms,” the first traveler said. “Please, just tell us how to escape this hellish place. We want to live!”

    “You must go in that direction, gentlemen,” Gareth said, pointing. Both men followed the trajectory of the Wanderer’s finger into the distance.

    “I don’t see anything,” the companion said.

    “It will be a journey that will take you several days, but it is indeed your best chance to escape alive,” Gareth replied curtly. “From here, I cannot help you. You are on your own.”

    When the travelers were ready to go, the first traveler had a question. “So, what should I tell the good folks back home about you? We cannot thank you enough for your generosity.”

    “Tell them what they want to hear, that is all anyone ever does,” Gareth said. “Good day.” Placing his goggles back over his nose and swinging his cape over his body, he sauntered out of the outcropping and quickly disappeared in the shifting sands, leaving the two travelers alone.

    Indeed they told the folks back home that they had seen the fabled Gareth the Wanderer. Many doubted that they were telling the truth, but for those who wanted to believe their story, they were indeed treated to another fantastical account of the Wanderer’s purpose in roaming the Desert sands.

    But none of it was true. It was simple hearsay, another false lead in the intentions of the man, the myth known as Gareth. Only he knew his purpose. Only he knew what he was looking for. Only he knew if he would find what he sought.


    And that treasure he sought was the truth.

    TAG: No One
     
  20. Stryker01

    Stryker01 Jedi Knight

    Registered:
    Dec 4, 2012
    Martyn Forsythe
    Parapets, the Oasis of Dawnsgrace
    a week and a half after his son's "wedding"


    [​IMG]


    The King of the Desert basked in the dull red glow. The pigeon in his hand fluttered with the breeze, but he kept a comforting hand on its back.

    The Oasis of Dawngrace was beginning to live up to its name.

    In the three weeks Martyn had overseen reconstruction and restoration, the streets were clear of filth and bile. It was a change from the even before the war had begun. The Santagars had lived in their filth… filthy *******… spoiling themselves. Their extravagant palace was evidence of that enough. First thing Martyn had done, after the commoners receiving their raining of bread, was break down several of the walls of the palace. With that brick he had begun to strength the walls of several structures within the Oasis, as well as set up pliable defenses for those who chose to live outside the outer gates. What hadn’t been easy was convincing the guards that he was the new King.

    “Who’s to say we should follow you?” One dared. “You’ve spent all of your years beaten down by women.”

    Martyn had simply smirked back. “Murder me, son. Murder me, and see what they,” he gestured out the window then, to the people outside the palace, “have to say about it. You don’t bite the hand that feeds you, old and feeble as it is.”

    But he wasn’t as feeble as he had been. The aches remained persistent, but they weren’t so lasting. His head was clear, and his eyes saw farther than they had for years. So he rebuilt the Oasis to its former glory.

    Three weeks weren’t enough time to repair what damage Mors Santagar had brought with his and his son’s deaths, but they were a start. Martyn could walk the streets now and speak with his people. He gifted their children with toys of their fallen heir, and he kissed the cheeks of every woman he saw, old and young. The men respected him, for he had employed them and brought a steady flow of coinage from the neighboring lords. They were the ones not too keen on his coronation. He wasn’t royal, just another forgotten lord. They called him ‘The Common King’ behind his back, as if that were insult. The commoners had given him his throne, and he cared not what they had to say about it.

    It wasn’t the rebuilding that brought him back to the parapets, as the sun began to set on the sandy horizon. It was worse things.

    His son was dead.

    Ginnifer had sold her brother to foreigners, and she received his head as a payment. It was brutal, devastating, cruel, but most of all, it was unforgivable. Even though he and the boy had never been close, a father was never to outlive his son. It was a curse, a blood stain on his future. He’d lost his son, his mountainous alliance, and a knight commander. No matter who had dealt the death, Martyn seemed certain he knew... they took us to be weak...

    The Desert wouldn’t melt though. It never had, all these years. Its people were strong and loyal, and if well fed, they proved themselves valuable assets to a cause.

    But what Martyn needed now, more than ever, was his children.

    They needed to be here, if only for a day’s time. There were people to be mourned, plans to be made, revenge to be assured.

    No one scorned Martyn Forsythe, not after Emilie.

    He smiled, lifting the pigeon into the air. The message was tied tight to its foot.

    “Go,” he whispered as it took flight. “Bring them…”

    It made a stark image, a black shadow fluttering against a red sun.

    “Bring me my children.”



    TAG: no one, (Trieste)
     
  21. Trieste

    Trieste Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Apr 10, 2010
    IC: Ginnifer Kildare
    Kalkheim, Fair Groves, Desert
    8 days after her brother’s murder




    “You have to get up now, m’lady,” Sophee urged, gently shaking her mistress.

    Officially, Ginnifer had spent the rest of the day in mourning for her brother. In actuality, she had spent it in bed. Just because she would not let them see her bleed didn’t mean she wouldn’t bleed. And bleed she had. Her eyes had bled tears until there were no more. As much as Ginnifer wanted to remain in her bed, wallowing in guilt and pain, she knew inside her that she had reached her limit. She wanted to be rid of these emotions now. They had been useful for a time, but that time had ended. That in and of itself was a cold realization. It meant that she was already starting to let Lawrence go.

    Perhaps it surprised the lady’s maid how readily Ginnifer pulled herself up from the downy bed. True, it was not eagerly, but she had demonstrated decision. She ran her good hand through her hair.

    “What do you want to wear?” Sophee asked. It was funny--it all seemed so hollow right now. What she wore. What did that matter? Her brother was dead. Ginnifer had only a few more answers now than she’d had the moment she looked into that box. They knew Ser Emory did indeed come from the Mountains and owed his allegiance to Desmond Rolmar. (King? Ginnifer would reserve that title for the moment.) That he had given up willingly enough. Aron had restrained his nephew Evander from engaging in anything with the…“guest” that they might regret later. It did not mean it would not happen later. So the Mountains had turned on them. She just didn’t know why.

    It was a line of inquiry for another time, for Sophee was right. What she wore was the most important thing to think about now. Funny how that worked.

    “Blue,” Ginnifer said.

    Sophee produced two options and held them out for review.

    “That one,” Ginnifer said, pointing to the one to her left. “And that.” She indicated to the steel gauntlet that lay on the floor where she had tossed it earlier in the day. Yes, this was an event for the iron fist. For the Iron Fist.

    Each lace tightened on the dress unlocked a gear in Ginnifer’s mind. They turned, organizing facts.

    Lawrence dead.

    Desmond the betrayer.

    Fenton dead.

    Matheus the king.

    Her father the king.

    “There, all done,” Sophee said. She gently fit the gauntlet onto Ginnifer’s bad hand. “They should be gathering soon.”

    “Good. Come with me,” Ginnifer said, heading to the door.

    “It’s to be family only.”

    “You are family to me,” the Lady of the Fair Groves said, settling the question. “Come.”

    The halls of Kalkheim were quiet. It was the silence of death, a palpable pall draping the sandstone walls. People shuffled along, scared to break the silence. It made the clack of her heels all the louder.

    She could see it in their eyes--the way they looked up and then away quickly. It was pity. Ginnifer had no time for that anyways. Let them look away. The less people looked at the Fair Groves now, the better. One did not live in the Desert without accepting isolation and loneliness. It was part of how they survived in such inhospitable conditions.

    Ginnifer knew Kalkheim so well that she could have avoided it. In fact, the most direct route to her destination did not take her by this place. Instead she sought it out. Ginnifer wanted to look into her mother’s eyes again. She wondered once more how the artist had captured that stare. Someone who had never known Emilie Kildare would have wondered if it was an invention of art, but Ginnifer had known it too well to doubt that it was a facsimile of life.

    For once a stern dictum did not reverberate in her head. Tonight Emilie had nothing to tell her daughter. Ginnifer almost laughed. For the first time someone had silenced her mother.

    It was not much longer before Ginnifer stepped out into the fresh air. The heat of the day lingered in the gloaming, but already she could feel the temperature starting to drop. She was the last to arrive--as it should be. The Lady of the Fair Groves was not supposed to wait for others. Her presence initiated proceedings.

    The box with its gruesome contents was positioned on top a small pyre. Ordinarily funeral pyres were larger, but they usually had more to consume. Gathered around was the entire Kildare family: Zooey, Chelsee, Landon, Aron, Spectra, Regina, Aimee holding her twins Castor and Pollax, Widmer, Tamzin, Evander, Samara, and Percival. True, some were absent. Tilly and Camden living on their own elsewhere in stubborn independence. Willis prisoner of pirates somewhere. Her cousin Caliban in the field. Ginnifer barely thought of them. The most notable missing presence was her father, Martyn.

    Ginnifer extended her good hand to receive a lit torch. All flame was, in its own way, holy. She did not need a priest or priestess here to bless it. An unorthodox view to some, but the Lady of the Fair Groves could be forgiven small eccentricities when they did not verge on heresies.

    “Tonight we commend one of our blood to V’hallar,” Ginnifer said. “This ceremony is for the living, not the dead. We perform it not because our prayers will make any difference in whether Lawrence joins his light, but because it gives solace to those of us who are left behind.

    “Doubtless there are those who sought to cause us grief by not returning all of Lawrence to us. Perhaps they hope to drive us to mad acts. But in this our faith is right--no matter how we dispose of a body, they shall all turn to ash in the end.”

    Ginnifer dipped the flame set the tinder alight. She passed the torch to Zooey so that her sister and relatives might do the same, the fire making a circuit to each person as Ginnifer continued.

    “The truth is that there is more in what we have of our brother’s body to be honored in these funeral rites than there is in the whole body of other men or women,” Ginnifer said. “This is the passing of a Knight Commander. Attention must be paid.”

    There was a profound silence as wood crackled and the box began to be licked by tongues of fire.

    “So then,” Regina said, “this has been lovely, healing for the soul and all, but let’s face it. Lawrence is dead.”

    Zooey choked on a sob at the bald statement. “He’s not even…”

    “No, Regina is right,” Ginnifer said, her eyes still on the fire. “Lawrence is gone and he leaves a great void. Clearly, someone means our house harm. Already forces may be marshalling against us.” Ginnifer looked up at her uncle. “Uncle Aron, the Fair Groves requires your service. A Knight Commander is needed.”

    “I would be honored,” Aron said, “but Caliban is ready. He has been trained well.”

    “He has, but he is not here. We will revisit this issue in time. For now, I need an experienced hand overseeing our defenses and perimeter. Until we know what we face, I ask this of you. And Evander--” Ginnifer turned her face ever so slightly to face her cousin. “the tasks I will ask of you will be of vital importance to the future of our house.”

    “Me?” the eldest Halleth boy echoed.

    “Indeed,” Ginnifer said. “We must gird ourselves for many things, not knowing which of them shall come to us.”

    “Finally,” Regina said under her breath, “somebody’s doing something sensible around here.”

    The chest containing what remained of Lawrence was now fully engulfed. With the pressing military needs taken care of, the Kildares began to trickle away. Soon it was just the brothers and sisters of Lawrence who stood watch as the wood began to collapse in on itself.

    “We should have waited for Father,” Landon said softly. “First Mother and now Lawrence…”

    “We haven’t seen him for days. We haven’t even heard from him since learning of his ascension to the throne,” Zooey said. “He’s shown how much he cares for us now that he’s King of the Desert.”

    “You do him an injustice,” Chelsee said. “You think his heart will not bleed for the death of his firstborn son?”

    “Chelsee is right. He is still one of us, even if he can only be here in spirit,” Ginnifer said. “A speedy funeral rite was the least that Lawrence deserved.” It was also true that no one wanted an already decomposing skull perfuming the halls of Kalkheim any longer than it had to. The Desert was not kind to the dead. “I would have willed Father here if I could have.”

    “The last time all of us were here, together--” Landon began.

    “No,” Ginnifer said sternly. “We swore to never speak of that again.”

    “Of course. But Lawrence was here too. And now we are here with him…” Landon said pensively.

    “If Mother were here…” Zooey said, her voice trailing off.

    “She’s not,” Ginnifer said. “Though given the days we shall doubtless face ahead, I would have her at our side now.”

    It was the first time that Ginnifer Kildare wished she her mother was still alive.

    TAG: Stryker01
     
  22. spycoder9

    spycoder9 Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jul 23, 2008
    4 Days Before the Wedding


    The Capital of Mirwyth
    The Ravenford


    Night


    Lorain was awakened by Olyvar. His shakes to her arm were gentle but firm. There were distant screams and the ringing of steel, with the brief scent of smoke intermingling with it all. The squire was wild eyed, his hands shaking nervously even as he let go of Lorain.

    “Please m’lady get up. Get up!”

    Fleet would hear him shout then, over the other noises taking place outside the window.

    “The castle’s under siege! We have to get moving!"

    He glanced back to the doorway before shaking Lorain once more.



    TAG: Ktala, greyjedi125
     
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  23. greyjedi125

    greyjedi125 Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Registered:
    Apr 29, 2002
    IC: Fleet Ashkey
    The Ravenford, Four days before the wedding

    He had been dreaming sweet dreams of frolicsome innocence. She was there, radiant and beautiful, leading him by the hand and flitting through the main garden. There was much laughter and merriment. Such an idyllic dream would no doubt last forever.

    Except for that sound.

    It did not belong. It browned the leaves and chilled the wind about them. He looked at the Lady, a puzzled look upon his features, then his eyes went wide in horror as he saw her fading, turning from solid to smoke.

    Smoke.

    That’s what he’d been smelling.

    Fleet woke up with a start to shouts and the clanging of weapons forged with steel. He rose quickly, feeling disoriented and alarmed. He looked to and fro, his eyes adjusting to the dim room, his mind trying to make sense of the sounds he heard. Then he remembered where he was.

    “MUM!” He cried as he rose and immediately dashed towards the door.

    MUM!! he repeated, banging the door now. His heart raced inside his chest and his breathing quickened. Without hesitation, he swung the door open, alarm rising. These sounds! The last time he’d heard them he had been with Kaili.

    Kaili

    Guilt washed over him suddenly. He had not thought of her for some time, nor had he avenged her death. He had found solace, comfort and purpose thanks to someone new. Someone who’s name he had taken as his own.

    “MUM!!”

    Fleet's blue eyes were wide, his alarm plain on his face, but upon seeing Lorain, his mind calmed, greatly reducing the unspeakable fear that threatened to rise up and claim him.

    The young boy threw himself at the large woman, she who had become his reason for living.

    ‘I ‘eard weird sounds and smelled smoke and…..” He hugged her suddenly an tightly. Fleet took a breath, then finally registered Olyvar’s presence. The former urchin and would-be-squire felt just slightly embarrassed that his new friend had caught him at such an unguarded moment, but the feeling was brief.

    Someone screamed in the distance, it was the shrill cry of the dying.

    “What’s gon’ un?” He said now, confused, steeling himself and trying to make sense of what he was hearing.

    “Is it pirates?” He asked, looking to Lorain, the to Olyvar and back. The expression of alarm was coming back to his face, as were thoughts of Kaili’s wound and her subsequent death.


    Tag: @Ktala, @spycoder9
     
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  24. Ktala

    Ktala Jedi Grand Master star 6

    Registered:
    Sep 7, 2002
    "Lor" Lorain Ashkey - The Ravenford
    Night


    *TWACK!!*

    Lorain barely had time to realize that it was Olyvar shaking her awake, as her fingers had found the crossbow she had fallen asleep with. She yanked the bow to the side, even as the bolt went flying, into the wall next to the door.

    There were distant screams and the ringing of steel. Lorain knew those sounds all too well. The squire was wild eyed, his hands shaking nervously even as he let go of Lorain.

    “Please m’lady get up. Get up!” Olyvar was saying. Lorain rolled, and stood, wipping the last bits of sleep from her eyes, even as she began to move towards the room Fleet was in. She was dressed, and in the leather bits of armor she had. Even as she moved, he heard Olyvar call out to her.

    “The castle’s under siege! We have to get moving!" Lorain nodded in understanding. "Aye! Understood. Which way do we go?" she asked him, even as she made her way towards Fleet.

    “MUM!”
    Lorain heard Fleet cry out, and her steps moved even quicker.

    "MUM!!" Fleet swung the door open wide from his room. His cry in his voice was heart wrenching.

    “MUM!!”

    Fleet's blue eyes were wide, his alarm plain on his face. Immediately Fleet flung himself on her, and she braced to hold him, holidng him tightly, for a moment, in order to calm him. She bent down, as he spoke. "‘I ‘eard weird sounds and smelled smoke and…..” He hugged her suddenly an tightly. Fleet took a breath, then finally registered Olyvar’s presence. A scream came through the open window.

    “What’s gon’ un?” He said now, a confused look across his face. “Is it pirates?” He asked, the fear on his face returning. Lorain grabbed him, and looked firm at him. "Dosent matter now. Hurry, get dressed now, quickly. We are leaving. Your other stuff is already packed." Lorain told him, having taken care of that during the night. She then swiftly stood, and looked over at Olyvar. "Do we have a way out?" she asked him quietly, as she waited for Fleet to dress himself, removing the bolt she had stuck into the wall earlier. She might have need for it very soon. Lorain strapped her hammer and sword to the belt on her hips, and slipped her helmet on her head as she waited for a response. No one was going to get to her son.

    No one.


    TAG: greyjedi125, spycoder9
     
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  25. greyjedi125

    greyjedi125 Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Registered:
    Apr 29, 2002
    IC: Fleet Ashkey
    The Ravenford, Four days before the wedding

    His Mum’s eyes looked straight into his, commanding his full attention. There he found focus , security, purpose. As she spoke, Lorain’s voice calmed the youth as he listened to her instructions.

    “Dosent matter now. Hurry, get dressed now, quickly. We are leaving. Your other stuff is already packed.”

    Fleet nodded in understanding. He returned to the room and quickly got himself dress and gathered what effects he’d carried on him. He could still hear the terrible sounds coming from outside. He could hear his mum still talking to Olyvar. They wouldn’t let the pirates sell him off to slavery. They just wouldn't.

    “Do we have a way out?” He heard her ask.

    Fleet got himself dressed in record time. He looked to see that he left nothing behind. With the deftness of practiced lager de main, he grabbed the one cake he’d been saving, which he’d placed upon the table. His eyes suddenly widened in realization. The swiftness in which he now moved surprised even him.

    “Mum! Lady Clarissa!” he called out urgently. “We cain’t leave her!”

    Fleet burst through the door in a huff, his voice rising over the noise.


    Tag: @Ktala, @spycoder9
     
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