Rebirth of Underhill: Changing CourtsReplies: 17 / 6 years 106 days 22 hours 34 minutes 51 seconds
The world of Technology and of Elemental Beings could no longer survive hand in hand. The magic of old was vanishing as the power adapted from the human mind grew like a noxious fog over the land. Desperate to uphold Underhill itself, the very primal magic of creation opened a portal to a new world, on a new planet. Unsure of what to do, for once the great houses of Fairyland convened together. The young voted to go. The old voted to stay. Those who would leave did so, carrying their houses with them into the new land, the fairy courts still split in a new world.
Over time, the Fae flourished once more. They grew abundant and created two great empires. But old wounds rose up again, as the young were still plenty old. Soon the courts were at each others throats and a war to mark all wars occurred.
Like all human fairy-tales of justice, love, and happily everafters, the Light triumphed over the Dark. However this new world had grown in the one hundred year reign of two courts, and had come to rely on the magical balance the courts provided. Now, with one court’s houses considered the ruling caste and the other court’s houses treated almost as lowly criminals, the balance is unraveling.
The youth of this new world, without the years of experience of their predecessors or the true understanding of the histories their parents and grandparents lived through back on earth, will come to clash and new courts will rise up out of the ashes of what was once one kingdom. Friends will become foes; lovers will become enemies in the redesign of two courts. Primal magic of the new world will breathe life into the Fairy mounds of old and choose its true royalty.
The time for change is upon them. True natures will rise from the facades worn.
The Kingdom of Ronlich:
Ronlich, a kingdom formed from the destruction of two courts. Here rules the family house Cuileann, who’s King was said to have beheaded the King of the Urseelie Court himself in glorious battle. Upon the design of the united kingdom, he took leadership instead of the heir to the Seelie court king, who succumbed from his injuries after the war had ended.
Fae Ability Alignments:
Elemental – The ability to control, wield or morph various elemental attributes at ones will, including emotional elements. Only one specific element per Fae family, two if high nobles, though ability on use may vary from Fae to Fae. Strength of power depends on bloodline and age.
Beast – The ability to shape-shift or to have two physical forms . At times Beast Alignment Fae are treated as a lower caste, however as long as they originated from the Seelie court they are forever higher in the eyes of Seelie nobles of even the most royal bloodline of the Urseelie court.
Glamour - Illusion magic all Fae possess.
1. This is a mature role-play. Language, thoughts, feelings, acts- no cybering, and violence fit for mature audiences will take place in this role-play.
2. Though there may be sexual references, nothing shall be placed here that crosses the boundaries between what is site approved and what violates site rules on cybering. If you do not understand this, and have a sexual scene in your post, I want you to time-skip the scene. There is to be no graphic sex scenes in this role-play.
3. This will be a semi-lit to literate role-play. There will be a character count placed and I expect at the least three to four healthy paragraphs. You will also need to have correct grammar, punctuation, spelling, and capitalization. These are not negotiable; I hate reading posting mistakes every other sentence. Proof reading helps.
4. To get in: You will need to pm me a link to your character's profile, and place "Fairy Mounds" as title to the pm.
5. I want artistic tasteful pictures. I'm not saying anime pictures here, I'm saying artistic. I want interesting pictures that do not scream "look for me in this anime". I do not want any real life pictures .
6. God-modding is not allowed in this role-play. Do not do it. NPC's can be killed off, this is fine. If you do battle with a played character make sure that both of you understand the outcome you want with that. Do not kill another's character unless both have consented to the killing and each have pmed me a copy of that consent.
7. Do not steal this idea. It was based off a dream I had and it is mine. I have three minions of doom in which I will unleash on you if you do steal said idea above. Copyright of MakiOnyx.
Name: First and Last
Age: 125+ Depending
Power Alignment: Choose one type above and describe the ability in which your character uses it.
Personality: One sentence.
Caste: Royalty/Nobility/Servant/Slave. Note that the Previous Seelie nobility feel they have higher stature than Urseelie, and previous Urseelie royalty are offered nobility titles, however are watched at all times.
History: One paragraph.
Sample Post Link:
Name: Rua Cuileann
Power Alignment: Elemental – Her family’s element is Wood, and it has manifested its self in her through the ability to grow, control, and wield plant-life as she wishes. Her father before her could control armies of smaller underfae who called the tree their dominate form or host.
Personality: She has a strange gentleness, and some have called her motherly, yet another side of her reveals an almost clumsy one for all her graceful appearance.
Caste: Second Princess of Ronlich
History: She was a child of three years when Ronlich was founded by her father. She cannot remember much of the time during the war. Her father proclaimed kingship as the previous king of their shining ranks had passed away and his heir was only a few years older than Rua, herself. Now the middle princess of Ronlich, she cannot help but feel in her very being she is not where she is meant to be and often times can be found sneaking out the grand palace gates, following an invisible thread to where she is called.
Name: Fealon Lethaon
Power Alignment: Beast – She is one of the two-natured. Her second form is that of a small white squirrel.
Personality: She is good natured, however though practically a slave she will show distaste for anyone born to an Urseelie noble and can have a tendency to go wild once released from the confines of her Lord’s manor .
History: The day she was born, it is said her mother walked out onto the battlefield in her birthing gown and straight onto a Seelie-court noble’s sword. Believed to be cursed by her original Urseelie house for being born in her second form , she has been cast out and abandoned in the wilderness to fend for herself. Discovered after her first transition into a Sidhe appearing child in the flower garden of a Seelie manor, a Seelie Noble took her in to his home and promptly shoved her into his grandson’s room after weeks of basic training. There she meant a boy older than her by several years whose first question was “What pompous noble fathered you?” They had been friends ever since.
Name: Aedh Deorsa
Power Alignment: Elemental – Desire. He pulses with the ability to turn the slightest hint of desire into an overbearing need that takes control of his enemy. The strongest desires are lust, love, and hate. His best ability is in manifesting lust, in any form, be it for a lover, power, coin, or even revenge.
Personality: Growing up the dirty secret that he is, he has grown to be cocky and full of attitude with a complete lack of respect for rank or privilege.
Caste: He holds the right of nobility by his mother, but is treated less than the noble prince he is, but more than the servant he could be due to his father’s bloodline.
History: He is the bastard child of a noble Sidhe and an underfae. His father was a horned demonlike beastie from the Urseelie court while his mother had been a very drunken Seelie court Lady. During the 100 year war before the 125 year peace the Kingdom of Ronlich now played at, his father found his mother upon the battlefield and fell in love with her passionate nature in battle. They copulated. On the day of his birth, his horned head caused the midwives of his mother’s house to scream and shriek in terror. His saving grace from being destroyed then and there by his grandfather was the red light that enveloped around him as he screamed until all in the house were on their backs withering in the strangest of pleasure.
Name: Remias Auren
Power Alignment: Beast Alignment- shifts into a dire wolf as a second form. Better hunting.
Personality: Remias is crude, selfish and overly arrogant for his station in life. Being a beastly fae is looked down upon and mistrusted, he uses this as leverage akin to bullying.
Caste: Noted rank is that of a servant, but is treated more like a slave by higher ranks. -Urseelie
History: The Auren house had fallen into despair after their king had been killed by the-now ruling-monarch and as such they were cast away and demoted of certain rights. Remias never cared for ranks or titles, he found that the strong could take what they want from the weaker and plies this mindset in dominant displays to move beyond his caste rank. Shifting into an 'extinct' dire wolf from human world's history has left him with interesting traits in his normal form. The dire wolf making him much larger than regular animals and some fae which he certainly utilizes to his advantage.
Name: Kang Talus II
Power Alignment: Elemental Alignment- Fire element with the ability to bring forth flames at the flicker of thought, or extinguish them with a whisper.
Personality: Kang is honorable and proud, raised with a strict code to morals regarding the treatment of others.
Caste: Nobility -Seelie
History: Kang Talus has always been taught that even the smallest animal could bring the highest low in toppling an empire; more importantly, those who had been defeated in war must not be trusted. When he met Remias, an older Urseelie fae, his morals were constantly tested with the temptation of turning against his inner compass. He was raised under the forbearing hand of his father, Kang I, as a noble and soldier of the Seelie court, but internally wishes for something wild and spontaneous. Rigid lessons and training grow dull with each moon...
Name: Lilenya Ornitho
Power Alignment: Beast - In spite of the birds of prey that characterize her family's magical history, when the time came for Lilenya to choose her form, she chose the quick, bright, darting form of a hummingbird.
Personality: Lilenya is overlooked as something pretty and pleasant to look at, so few bother to see the sharp mind and the careful way she watches.
Caste: Servant (Seelie)
History: Her place in the court ought to have been that of a Lady, but disownment by the Ornitho House has left her thrown upon the mercies of those who like the sound of her voice. She is considered simple-minded by nobility and servants alike and Lilenya will not dispell this illusion any time soon. When people speak so freely in your presence, it makes them so much easier to know the workings of the kingdom and report back to those who will pay well for such information. Inheritance is not the only way to secure wealth and power, after all.
Name: Airinthel Demastus
Age: 132 Years
Power Alignment: Elemental - Born with the powers of Ice he manipulates the frozen element around his will. He is unable to manipulate Ice in its liquid form however, but with a touch he can freeze it to suit his needs.
Personality: Like his element he is cold and uncaring, preferring his own company as opposed to others.
Caste: Servant (Unseelie)
History: The Demastus family had always been known for their frigid behavior and rude attitudes. Aligning themselves with the now fallen from glory houses Airinthel works as a servant to the Lords. He always watches, and waits for one of them to hopefully fall under the sway of death and allow for him to reclaim any dignity he might have left.
Name: Mairin Ó Eidirsceóil
Power Alignment: Elemental, Family type being that of Water. Unlike her mother whose gift manifests in that of ice and snow, Mairin's focuses largely on the manipulation of pure water.
Personality: Mairin is oddly bubbly and cheerful for one so carefully monitored, but her moods can change as the tides with pressure on the correct buttons.
Caste: Urseeli Nobility, Healer
History: Mai was a young thing when her Urseeli king was unseated and replaced, and she will forever harbor a dislike for those who fought to upset that old balance. Things were fine as they were, but as the water does, times change, and so she must change with them. That never meant that she had to like it. She will still play her part as respectfully as needed, and she will still heal those whom she is not fond of.
Name: Leian Trophtice
Power Alignment: Beast—two natured. Her second form is a panther, which creates quite a problem with her personality.
Personality: Despite Leian’s caste in court—as low as they get, used as a punching bag and for work that no other Faery wants to do—she has quite the attitude. The girl keeps it under wraps as much as possible, but every so often she can’t help but make a sarcastic remark, or to fight someone because of the slightest wrong word breathed in her direction. She’s very proud, caustic, temperamental, and strong-willed, yet can at the same time be very restrained and “obedient”—though she’ll likely be grumbling curses under her breath all the while.
Caste: Seelie Slave.
History: Leian was born in the time of the Great War. She was still but a child when it ended, but she remembered the end of it well—it was when her family was taken from her, to the human’s God knows where. She had been a child of the Urseelie—the memory of what caste her house had been before she was taken is lost to the girl now—and, on invasion by the Seelie, she was abducted for her youth. She grew up knowing only abuse, hatred, chains, and condescending nobles who didn’t give half a bird if you were starved beyond being able to move, as long as they got their precious jewel-encrusted footstool in ten seconds. The girl learned quickly to hate them; it wasn’t hard. She’s spent her life up until this point in shackles and dark, cramped rooms shared with other slaves. But she knew better than to fight it; she’d seen people shout about the injustices of slavery, and they’d been whisked away, never to be heard from again. Likely killed. So, the girl would hold her tongue—for now.
Name: Lukas Lunette
Power Alignment: beast, has the ability to shape-shift into a wolf, but prefers to stay half formed. Cannot change into other animals, but can change to wolf in a blink of an eye.
Personality: Lukas is a stubborn, headstrong girl, but strategic and smart enough to win.
Caste: Servant, personal guard for the Royal Seelie family
History: Lukas was left on the Seelie's back door as a young child for unknown reasons. She was raised by a the staff in secret, until she was discovered by the family, who made her serve them as well. They had her trained by the best warriors to be the family guard. She is known for her wild and spunky behavior, but is known as one of the best fighters around, and is always ready to uphold her master's honor. Known as the Royal Guard Dog.
Roleplay Reply. Do not chat here. (50 character limit.)
[center [Andulas [#FF0000 “Oh yes, Fealon makes the most beautiful of pets, Princess Aileana,”] Aedh muttered, his face almost twisting into a grin, but reframing from doing so. The princess looked at him strangely for just a moment, or perhaps she was looking more at Fealon, almost as closely as she could when suddenly there was a rather fat beast crashing Aedh into the feasting table, barely missing the princess as well.]]
[center [Andulas Princess Aileana screamed, tumbling back onto her bottom, having tripped over some kind of meat pie, her foot kicking it into action until it landed on Lord Kang the first’s head right as his son stepped forward to yell at the servant now trying to take out Aedh’s throat. It was illegal to work any form of magic on another person in the King’s home unless under a legal duel or given privilege by the king.]]
[center [Andulas Though the slobbery mutt of a Sidhe trying to rip his throat out, Aedh was more worried about Fealon, as she had used magic to transform and flee from whatever his grandfather had planned for her. He would need to end this before the King noticed Fealon.]]
[center [Andulas [#FF0000 “I do so love a good dog,”] Aedh huffed towards the Sidhe, his eyes narrowing as he felt Fealon tremble around his neck. She didn’t dare turn back, for the beast would no doubt disembowel her. Though she would not die, her recovery from such would be a long painful process his grandfather would no doubt enjoy prolonging.]]
[center [Andulas [#FF0000 “But you are nothing more than a dribbling beast!”] With that said, Aedh reached out with his fist, touching his father’s strength as an underfae, and slammed it into the mongrel’s muzzle, right on the nose. The slobbery fae let out a howl, which Aedh took advantage of, kicking himself out from under while avoiding the oncoming snapping fangs, a snarl following suit as the king’s guards rushed to the wolf, pinning him down.]]
[center [Andulas Getting to his feet, Aedh’s hands went instantly to Fealon, pulling her to his chest and cradling her close, his lips whispering something into her ears, something he knew Remias could hear; [#FF0000 “Why did you transform? No matter, as soon as I have that mutt’s head on a plate we will go home. If you like we can even roll about in the garden. You can wear the fur or a nightgown.”]]]
[center [Andulas But before he could speak, his grandfather approached him with a worried expression just as the King and his daughters moved gracefully towards the two. [b “Beasts, that is what are found in your festivities now?”] Lord Deorsa demanded as he pointed at the servant.]]
[center [Andulas [b “My grandson has suffered greatly, and now you wish to have him slain?”]]]
[center [Andulas The king turned sad eyes onto Aedh, shaking his head, his hands going out in front of him. [#0000FF “Forgive me, for I did not know such animals paced around my court, such lowly mange that cannot even control themselves. What would you have me do? Shall I slay him here and now?”]]]
[center [Andulas Princess Aileana gasped at her father’s words, Remias was her friend, and she could not bear to see him slain by her father. All this Aedh knew. Leaning over, he whispered into his grandfather’s ear. Lord Deorsa placed a grieved look upon his face.]]
[center [Andulas [b “You knew naught, but your youngest child, she knew of this beast. My grandson witnessed her friendship with the creature on the ground. Was it an act against my house that you have done this? To destroy the only descendent to my name before he is even wed?” ]]]
[center [Andulas The king turned on his youngest child then, his eyes blazing. [#0000ff “What have you to say? Have you done this?”]]]
[center [Andulas Iona sniffed in mock shame, her eyes holding mirth, however as she watched her youngest sister pale, then faint in fear of their father. Quickly, Princess Rua caught her baby sister and held her close to her chest before turning to speak to her father, but he was already looking into the eyes of Lord Deorsa.]]
[center [Andulas [#0000FF “What will you ask to end this feud between our families?”]]]
[center [Andulas [b “What can I ask of my king? For my grandson who has found no lady love, held no squalling babe in his arms. Would the King look for a match to my son? I would hate to ask for the head of a royal friend.”]]]
[center [Andulas [#0000FF “Very well, I shall find a lady of the realm for your-“]]]
[center [Andulas [i “A lady of the realm? You would have one of our daughter’s pay for your child’s mistake?”] The question came from an unknown source, yet all around lords looked to their king.]]
[center [Andulas Nodding, the King knew now what Lord Deorsa was attempting, but he would not give him the throne so easily. [#0000ff “Very well. Though I had thought to give her to another lord, I shall hand you my daughter, Lord Aedh Deorsa. I pray you only love her as I loved her mother.”]]]
[center [Andulas Iona glared now at her father, as she refused to wed such a lowly half Sidhe. In fact she couldn’t bear the idea of her or her sisters being forced into such a foul match, Aedh could see the hate on his face.]]
[center [Andulas “I refuse. I will not marry this creature, I won’t!” Her eyes fell on baby Kang, and Aedh almost laughed as she ran to him, her arms thrown over his neck and her mouth smashed onto his.]]
[center [Andulas The King, himself, was rather shocked, his eyes narrowing on Kang II then flickering over to Rua, a sad smile touching his lips. [#0000ff “I see I did not know my daughters well enough. Perhaps fate is telling me my previous choice for her hand would have been ill-advised. Princess Rua,”] his hand was held out to her and a guard pulled her sister from her grasp.]]
[center [Andulas [#0000FF “I had thought to marry you to another, but his actions this night tell me he would not have been true to your kind and gentle heart. So I shall give you to this man, know it is not to settle a debt, but to bridge our families as one into the future. He shall be your betrothed until spring dawns again. On the spring equinox, as long as I still reign over all of Fairy, you shall tie the mystic knot with Lord Aedh Deorsa.”]]]
[center [Andulas Aedh’s eyebrows rose at this declaration of marriage. His grandfather was not so pleased with the match, but Aedh was curious if anyone else had realized the King had just let Kang II, the perfect of Fairy, know he was considered less for having the heir to the throne smother him.]]
[center [Andulas Deciding that was not important, he turned to look at his new wife to be, but instead of seeing her smiling in his direction, he found that she had fled the feasting hall. [#FF0000 “Well Fealon, it seems my bride needs time to herself.”] He didn’t mind. She could have all the time she needed. He simply wished to return home and throw himself into his bed.]]
I am currently on the road and will be unable to post. This role-play is going on hiatus until I can get time to really post. Sorry for the inconveniences.
Do you think I can't see your disapproval, servant? Her face was carefully blank as she watched him from the corner of her eye. Do you think I enjoy this? No matter. I'll be free much sooner than you will. And the richer for it too. The servant passed her without comment, to which she replied with expressionless silence. The fae indulged in their little intrigues, pitched battles of sharp smiles and sharper words across the decadent dancefloor. The princesses passed the younger Kang between them, with Lord Gare hovering around like an overfed bluebottle fly, buzzing indignantly. Her neck ached. She blinked spasmodically, resisting the urge to reach up and rub the kinks from the back of neck. Singali gave no thought to her pet's comfort when she piled all that crap into her hair. It was all about the aesthetic.
Better than standing around serving these fools their treats and drinks and scurrying like rats from their sight. Besides, she wasn't a servant, as such. There was Nenyo in the corner, chattering with some handsome Seelie fae whose name Lil couldn't remember. Her sister hadn't seen her yet. Lil hoped it would stay that way. Her composure might slip if the wretch tried to mock her. Singali came back twice, each time with treats and glasses of wine for her little caged bird. She ate the nibbles. The wine joined its brothers in the plant pot. She almost felt sorry for the plant, but decided she pitied herself more for sitting her in this ridiculous get-up. She could barely breathe from Singali's obsessive attentions. She smothers me more than a new lover. With none of the additional benefits.
She was so busy mourning her own pathetic situation that her attention slipped. It should never have happened. If she'd noticed sooner, she could have moved into the safety of Singali's presence.
"Who might you be, hmm?"
Lil went extremely still, any minute movements that might have been giving her away ceasing immediately. Her eyes flickered upward, staring past the fronds of foliage. Who, in the name of the moon, was that?
Lil pressed her lips together, determined to remain silent. A loose word could bring her fragile deceptions crashing down around her ears. Why was this woman taking such an interest anyway? She belonged to Singali, and no-one interfered with other noble's pets and servants. The interloper was as typically beautiful as any other fae woman, though perhaps more exotic than the prettily painted ladies that flocked around them like peacocks, parading for the restrained males. Perhaps it was the female's very restraint that painted her seperate from the crowd. Simple gems dangled from her ears, the clothing that wrapped her in simple, oceanic colours. She has taste, if not the sense not to talk to me. Damn nobles will do whatever they please, regardless of the consequences for those who recieve their unwanted attentions.
Her throat was dry from the rich, salted food. The glass of water dangled temptingly in front of her face, held between the stranger's slender fingers. Slowly, Lil reached up and took it, glancing around. No-one witnessed the transaction. She threw the liquid back with a tremor of relief. There was a wide, clear space around them, save for a few twittering, brainless Seelie ladies and servant or two. Lil spoke, keeping her face front, lips barely moving.
"I belong to Lady Singali." She clenched the glass stem between her fingers. "You should not be speaking to me, Lady. It will reflect badly on the both of us." That was true enough, whilst she kept the guise. "But, I am grateful, Lady, for this gift of water." It was risky, to open the lines of communication. Decorum commanded her to silence unless Singali gave her permission to speak to others, but Lil found herself tiring rapidly of the woman as her eyes tracked her swanning across the dancefloor.
"I am called Lilenya." She added, letting her name slip from her barely moving lips.
That was the last word she got out before the wolf tore through the party like a fist through paper.
Due to people having busy lives with jobs, school, and family, I would like to state this will be a slow moving role-play. I can understand if a posting order can be a bother because it is unfortunate to wait on others, however I will skip people when I feel they are simply unable to post. I will let you know you can go ahead and post if this comes up. As for posting order – It’s based on character posts, not rper.
Posting Order: Rua, Remias/Kang, Lilenya, Airinithel, Aedh, Leian, Mairin, Fealon, Lukas
Lukas mumbled to herself. This was a servant's job, she was not fit for this! It took all her strength to not reach over and slap the men who pulled out her fine, silver hair on her tail. She deserved a nice, long grooming after this was done.
As yet another noble man pulled on her soft ears, she yelped softly. The man, his breath stinking of spirits, leaned in and whispered raggedly, "I think I deserve a little treat, doggie." That was the straw that broke the camel's back. She elbowed him in the rib cadge, knocking the wind out of him. Before the head servant-or the other royalty- could catch her, she took her tray of sweets to the other side of the room.
Letting out a breath she didn't know she had been holding, she scanned the room, watching the nobles dancing and talking. As she walked around, offering the sweets to the men and women. She watched over the youngest Mistress, Aileana. She was still expected to protect the royal family, but she was still a part of the staff.
When she heard screams, she curiously strode to where the noise was coming from. As her ears perked up, she saw Remias, but he had transformed. She ground her teeth together, frustrated. The servants would all be punished for shaming the Ronlich family. Watching the other royals chuckling, she quickly handed her tray off to another servant, kneeling next to Remias. "What do you think you're doing? You're going to get us all punished! Or worse!"
Lukas really shouldn't have lashed out, because she knew he would get his revenge, but she tried so hard not to lash out at the guests, and he did it anyway. She was angry.
Remias spoke very little to people, being called over several times, but was visited once by Princess Aileana, who acquired some lovely tidbits for the beastly fae. Remias actually smiled to Aileana, gave his thanks rather hastily and she left he would need to leave before devouring his treats. If he had his tail to show it would wag at being rich in morsels. Oh, deliciousness in a tablecloth. He stashed it under a banquet table with a facade of bending down to fix his clothes.
However he was called over to serve drinks, grabbing a tray and several filled wine glasses he maneuvered through dancers and spectators alike. He served a few people but then someone collided with him and knocked him forward off his feet. Orange-yellow eyes widened and he let go of the tray to catch himself to save before greeting the floor with his face. Not the face! Remias cursed, seeing the person to not be nobility but a slave he was not familiar with, he felt his heart beat slow back down. The fae assumed she was a slave of some noble, because in his long years of servitude he had memorized every servant in the castle, and this female was not one of them."Get out of the way, you clumsy ingrate! You make me look bad!"
Remias snapped, getting up quickly and grabbing what he could quickly of his tray and a few broken pieces of glass. Returning to the serving table he threw the shards away and rudely dropped the tray down with a clang
. Grumbling to himself Remias masked his actions briefly, retrieved his goodies and made his way out munching on a few delicious tidbits to calm himself. Halfway through the door he saw Virlym looking astonished, Remias with his mouth full and a pastry in his hand felt his mouth drop. But Virlym was not looking at him, quickly he hid what he could before he caught sight of something white scurrying across the floors to the ballroom. Something snapped in his brain, feeling the beast rage at the sight of a running rodent, the vermin weaving in between feet and legs.
Remias couldn't help himself and shifted into his beastly form, a dire wolf and fairly larger than the natural beasts of the wild. The old 'average' dire wolf was four-foot-nine in length, and weighed between fifty to one hundred and seventy-five pounds. Remias was not really a normal dire wolf. He was five-foot-two from nose to tail and weighed one hundred and ninety to two hundred pounds, and he was chasing a white squirrel into the King's ballroom. Running with a snarling growl straight towards the noble lord Aedh Deorsa, Remias launched himself upwards intending on knocking the man down. Even if he had to crush the noble with his weight or tear out his throat the beast would catch and eat that squirrel. The desire to hunt was too strong.
Unknowing was Kang who was up until recently dancing with the middle princess, until her sister Iona actually butted in between them, making things very uncomfortable. Although Kang would have liked to speak with Iona some, he would have preferred to do so as his own gesture, and she was rather very close that which made him uncomfortable. Out of civility Kang did not pull away, she kept calling him 'Baby Kang' he was not an infant any longer, although she held the age on him by quite a bit."Princess Iona, a pleasure to speak with you-it seems as though you are very well sought after at these events."
Try to be nice. Try to be nice. Don't look at her body. Focus... Rua was pulled into another dance before Kang could react to the previous dance-claim, Iona seemed very intent on keeping Kang close by, for her reasons unknown, she spoke of Kang I as if they were something special along the sidelines. Kang plastered a small smile and allowed the princess her fun in messing with his long hair. "Aye. My father has a stronger build... As you say, Princess, yes."
Kang Talus I moved around the ballroom, Kang II could see him among the others, he was watching his son fairly carefully and seemed pleased with the way Iona hung on him. 'Don't get any ideas...'
Kang was mentally warning his father, but it was lost and he almost didn't pay attention to Iona. She was talking again, about his mother this time-was she the royal gossip?"My mother-has a tendency to have much fine fun in parties, and in large quantities, but she is my mother and I cherish her all the same, your Highness."
Thankfully the awkwardness was again diffused-or attempted-by Rua. The way she spoke to Rua was disrespectful, Kang didn't know anything about siblings-as he was the only one to his parents, so he did not know if this was how they usually acted towards one another. Kang gritted his teeth silently, but was completely caught off guard to Iona's nails-like claws of a tigress-pressing into his neck and then she kissed him. Kissed him! Kang's hands reached up halfway as if to push the princess away but he never made the contact, she infuriated him further by gloating that she actually kissed his father
. That snake!
This all happened before Remias' outburst and Kang brushed down his attire uncomfortably as Rua tried to apologize for Iona's behavior. Then Remias interrupted practically the entire ball by crashing through the crowds, a large-yet stocky-wolf and snarling at Lord Aedh."What is going on?!"
Kang dreaded what would happen to Remias for crashing the King's party, but even worse should he rip off a noble's head. "Lord Aedh! Remias, get off of him!"
The music was lovely as always, she was sure her father would enjoy the Ballard of… well him. Not that she cared for it. In all honesty, the randomly timed balls were beginning to send her into quite a state of raggedness. Even now, as she danced with her father’s current favored advisor she held to her mask of grace. She wished she could say Lord Gare had done the same, however he was too busy glaring over her shoulder as Lord Kang I and his son entered the feasting hall. Their families had never been on good terms.
She was about to make a verbal note of his rather rude behavior when he suddenly missed a step, his large overly shined shoe landing on her left foot. We do not use our power to strangle guests with creeping vines… Keeping her face from showing her discomfort, she simply spun around in Gare’s arms once more until she found a change in partner.
“Your Highness looks radiant this morn, would you honor me with a dance.”
Thankful for Gare leaving her side, his expression that of an irritated baboon, Rua nodded to Lord Kang II. Rua felt grateful for Kang’s kind offer. She allowed a soft smile to touch her lips as she placed her hands in his and continued to dance to the music. His comment on her physical appearance was no doubt a formality though, her own eyes noting his coppery skin and rune marked face. He could have been her father’s son truth be told in the way he appeared, regal and full of beauty. For a moment, Rua even thought perhaps she was but a noble lady and he the royal child.
Blinking suddenly, Rua realized her mask had slipped and she had been looking at Kang with a dreamy gaze, though perhaps not what he thought she was looking at him for. The idea to be free and able to run wild from her station in life was like the sweetest fairy wine, something, too, she denied herself a taste of. If she had had the power and if any other had ever asked, she would have given them her station of birth.
“It is very kind of you to-“
“Your sister, the Lady Iona, seems to be to be taking this party rather well. Do you like large parties, m’lady?”
“Baby Kang, darling, let me get a look at you dear,” the twittering high pitched voice of Iona Cuileann sprang upon them as Rua found herself being twirled out onto the dance floor by yet another noble, her sister’s bronzed hands gripping a tight hold onto Kang as though he were a shining new toy she just couldn’t bear to be parted from.
Wincing as her new dance partner stepped on one of her feet, Rua couldn’t help but feel as though she needed to recue Kang from her older sister. After all, the woman had been alive and well during the war, fierce on the battlefield. Truth be told…. Iona was much older than Kang, and Rua had a very bad feeling about her sister’s sudden interest. At least, she thought it was sudden.
“Baby Kang… Haven’t you grown up,” Iona purred towards Kang, her pointed and brightly painted nails running along his chest while she pouted his way, her bottom lip beginning to tremble. “How is it you haven’t come to visit me? All the fine gentlemen make time to play, but you seem to… prefer throw-backs for company.”
Rua smiled politely at the random lord twirling her about the dance floor. No doubt he was persuaded to cut in on her sister’s behalf. Another foot placed upon her toes, and she suspected she would soon be turning over a table with a tree sprouting in the middle of the feasting hall. It was sheer torture to deal with one of her sister’s antics.
“Would you excuse me, Lord… Ixen. I believe my previous dancing partner had wanted to finish telling me all about party enthusiasts.”
“I’m sure he is most busy at the moment, her Highness, Lady Iona, seems to have taken to him.”
Smiling, Rua nodded her head, allowing the man to spin her about as her father entered the feasting hall in all his brilliant glory. No doubt he had been held up by a new favored underfae whom no one here would ever get to lay their eyes on yet know all about. His strange affairs behind her mother were… typically not accepted, however her mother allowed such behavior and so nothing was said. Besides who would dare question their king?
“Well now that the riffraff is out of the way, shall we get to know one another? Truly I feel as though I already know so much, what from your father’s very sensual lips. He is a charming man, a flatterer beyond many save perhaps Lord Gare.” Wrapping her arms around Kang’s neck, Iona dragged her nails through his long hair. “Stockier than you though, and his skin isn’t so… Look at us? Don’t you find we fit so right, a dazzling couple? I believe others would agree,” she grinned sheepishly, batting her eyes.
“I really think I should excuse myself. Oh, look, my father has arrived!”
Taking the opportunity of her dance partner turning to run off and greet her father, Rua bee-lined towards Kang and Iona just in time to want to strangle her sister and self both in sheer embarrassment-
“She’s such a shut-in, from what your father says. Dare not take her out due to her… Mmm drinking problem.”
“Iona please contain yourself,” Rua hissed at her elder sister, offering Kang her hand to relieve himself of her sister’s viper tongue. No doubt her sister had already infuriated or depressed him with her wagging tongue-
“Go away, Rua, you simply are not needed. Throw-backs who look as though they belong to the Urseelie mutts shouldn’t be around the golden few. Go be a good nanny to Aileana.”
Refusing to show how much of what her sister had just said hurt her, Rua continued to look pleasant, but in the way of them dancing any further. “I really must insist you contain yourself, sweet sister. After all, father has come finally and he may need you-“
Iona narrowed her eyes at Rua, her nails digging deep into Kang’s neck before she leaned forward and crushed her lips to his like a ravenous creature. “Mmm, practice and you may kiss better than your daddy, Baby Kang,” she gloated, pulling away from him and skipping away from them both towards the King, wrapping her arms around his neck and cooing at his outfit.
Feeling the heat burning in her cheeks at her sister’s behavior, Rua wanted to say something to Kang, but she couldn’t bear to bring her eyes to meet his face for the shame she felt. “I… Please…” She was truly at a loss for wards, her eyes flickering from his hands to her father patting her elder sister on the head and introducing her to Lord Gare’s eldest son while Lords Kang I and Deorsa fluttered about.
Leian watched for five, ten, fifteen minutes behind those reeking plants. She saw pairs of people come and go, hoping to find alcoves for secret liaisons, whispering to each other and giggling. She saw thinly veiled insults thrown between high nobility, saw the hostility some held for others for deals gone bad or something just as stupid and inconsequential. The slave couldn't believe it. She couldn't believe it! She was in the same room as these people from all walks of life--some provincial, some from the kingdom, some slaves and servants, even royalty. She hadn't seen the face of another soul beside the slaves in her master's house for well over 150 years. And here she was, in the King's palace, rubbing elbows with nobility!
The doors she had opened what seemed like a millennium ago opened again and a girl with chocolate cream coloured skin and purple hair, sporting two very fluffy feline or possibly canine ears and a poofy tail that could reach the floor.
She was gorgeous.
Her skimpier clothing, as well as the fact she was a beastie, branded her a slave far before she grabbed a tray of food from the table and circled the floor. Leian watched, enraptured at the girl's self presence. Many of the nobility grabbed on her tail and tugged, or ripped fur from it, or tried to pin her against a wall and--well, Leian didn't want to know what, seeing as how they were probably drunk and more than a little arrogant. But, through it all, the purple girl just slid from these situations--once or twice flashing an appearance of a sheath at her side to reinforce her point--and got away mostly unscathed. Clever girl! Leian marveled that the purple girl could so easily do this duty, knowing well how much so many hated her, and yet carrying on as if she didn't care. And maybe she didn't.
Leian, inspired and wanting to meet the interesting little beastie, stepped from behind her plant, her eyes locked on the slave to keep track of where she was when she was blindsided by god knows who and got knocked to the ground. A tray covered in drinks, held by the man covered in rune-like tattoos, clattered loudly to the floor as both slave and servant tumbled in the same direction the tray had gone. Leian gave a tiny squeak and she heard a loud curse from the man that fell on her.
"Hey, watch it!" she grumbled, shaking herself from beneath the man and scrambling to her feet. Thankfully, the music had covered..most of the noise. Only a few Fae were looking at her and whispering to one another behind fans and hands. A blush of embarrassment and a touch of anger graced her cheeks, so she looked down as to not have to lok in their faces. The boy seemed to already be on his feet, saying something, but she was only half listening to him, too mortified to really hear what he said. "Sorry," she grunted and knelt, picking up shards of glass from the glasses that had fallen from the tray and shattered.
"Lukas! Lukas!' a woman called out harshly. Grumbling softly, she sat up on her hard mattress. Except there was no mattress. As a matter of fact, she wasn't even in her room anymore. Looking up and down, she discovered she was on the Seelie royal grounds, and judging by the lack of people and the darkness, it was night. Guided by the slivered moon,she ran down the worn dirt path and searched frantically for something. She could feel it, there was something meant for her alone, but she must find it.
When she had to stop to cool down, she found herself in the servant's quarters, in front of the upper servant's barrack. Pulling the flap up, she looked around as her eyes adjusted to the darkness. The familiar coolness and faint snores were heard, but that was the only thing the same as the barracks she knew. Many strange men and women took the beds of her friends and enemies, along with her own. As she approached her own bed, she started to growl, but stopped when she saw a willowy girl, extremely malnourished was breathing deeply in her bed.
She decided to look around more, and as she left the small barrack, she noticed a hooded figure silhouetted against the castle. She quickly decided to follow this person, and as quietly as she could, she stayed behind the hooded figure.
When the person slowed down at the kitchen back door, they lifted up the hood, revealing a tired-looking slave woman, with dark circles under her pale blue eyes. The woman pulled a small box out from under her cloak, and kneeling down, she placed it on the steps. Quickly, Lukas hid in the shadows as the woman looked around, and promptly left.
Curiosity got the better of Lukas as she walked up to the small box. She noticed it a quiet sound coming from it, like a small sigh. She knelt down and took of the flimsy lid. In the box was a small child, a child that looked as if it wasn't a day over birth. It had rich colored skin, like brown sugar, with pale purple eyes, the color of lavender. Standing up, she realized who the child in the box was. It was her.
"Lukas! Lukas!" someone called faintly, and the dream started to shift. "Lukas you're late!!"
Lukas opened her eyes to the figure of a small servant, Lotty was her name? She was frantically shaking her left arm, which she raised to signal her awakening. "I'm awake." she mumbled, yawning as she rubbed the sleep from her eyes. The small girl stood up and said fearfully, "Today is the ball, and you are still asleep! You better hope they don't catch you." she squeaked. Before Lukas had a chance to reply, the woman scurried out of the barracks.
Looking out the window, Lukas swore softly. It's nearly mid day! she realized, as the dread sunk in. She started scrambling around for her clothing, and frantically put it on. As she opened the Barrack door flap, she had one boot on and was hopping to get the other on.
Running to the backdoor to the kitchen, Lukas slipped in silently, and stole a pastry or two before the cooks could notice. She ate her breakfast quickly, not wanting the head servants to catch her.
Next she went to the armory, and grabbed her sword and sheath. She would wear more tonight, but for now this would do. After she locked the armory with one of her many keys, she ran up to the main ballroom, where servants were scurrying around to get the room to the royal family's liking.
“Get to work, heathen! This is the King’s ballroom, and he will not be shown a fool by someone’s lowly slave!”
Fealon’s tri-colored eyes, white, gold, and dark chocolate brown narrowed as one of the king’s upper servants shoved some poor sob barely dressed for the occasion out the doors of the kitchen. Honestly she hated coming to such functions without being attached to the arm of her master, but she knew just what the old geezer was thinking by sending her ahead of him and being trapped as a waiting servant. One, she had been dressed to impress and attract the attention of those who could gain the old man something. Two, so that her sweet master Aedh would concentrate on whatever he was all dressed up to do.
Fingers pulling at her auburn gown, she only wished to strip the cotton from her body and run naked through the dining hall. Why she had the urge was anyone’s guess, but like all she would reframe from giving into such whimsy and stay clothed, food tray in hand. Her master would no doubt have found the act hilarious, and even more so when she would transform into her fluffier side and crawl up onto his horns like a delicate decoration.
Lips turned up, eyes turned down, ears always open and listening. This is the correct manner to conduct one’s self in servitude. Make not a mess, lose not a word, and never be noticed. It is a game we all play, a game we all know one another plays, and yet a game that goes unfinished for eternity.
It was utterly ridiculous, she knew, but the truth nonetheless. Placing a smile on her lips, she lifted the tray of sweets up to shoulder height and bowed to the upper servant sneering in her direction until he caught sight of her eyes. A smirk suddenly forming on his face as he motioned someone to come over before placing a hand at the small of her back, his other hand pushing the door open with gusto.
“Allow me to aid you, mi’lady,” Virlym Clax purred into her ear, his hand on the small of her back dipping down lower to give her a slight squeeze.
As it moved back into place and nudged her, Fealon never allowed the smile to leave her lips. Instead, she only turned her head slightly in his direction and gave him a minor nod before continuing into the room. Together, they seemed to make the perfect pair of delivery service; her with her sweets and he with a tray of fairy wine he had picked up somewhere around them.
By the time her tray was in need for another visit to the kitchen, Fealon was straining as hard as she could to keep the smile on her lips and not slam the solid silver plate into the king’s head servant’s face. One, it would not be polite, and two it would make a terrible scene in which she would be punished for- Oh how the thought of being dragged to that room… It sent shivers down her spine, causing Virlym to take it as a sign she wanted to slip away into the hall with him.
Tugging her away from the room, they passed the youngest princess returning to the feasting table, the girl’s eyes lighting up with laughter as she watched them go, figuring they were off to a mad sort of bliss. Fealon could just see the girl wishing them the best, though she didn’t even know the half of what was about to unfold.
However the doors they were going to exit opened wide and the king of Ronlich himself entered smiling, his eyes on those moving about the ballroom with pleasure that so many had come to dance the morning away. Detouring past a fellow servant leaning against the wall – Was he eating? – Virlym pulled open a side door and practically threw Fealon into the hall.
As the door shut, Fealon caught sight of Aedh, but his eyes were elsewhere, causing her face to pale.
“Are you looking for your halfbreed master?”
Turning on her heel, Fealon dropped the smile that had traced her lips, her eyes narrowing. “You don’t really fancy me, do you, Virlym?”
All sidhe could boast beautiful faces; that was no lie. There were some who could boast a lovelier face than others but none could hold truth to an insult of ugliness, not even Virlym. As he smiled, his light chocolate skinned face, though, almost seemed to become less than it had been before. “I do fancy you, little one, after all you are a lovely flower. However I could just as easily fancy a number of women in the feasting hall and even some of the men. You only have my attention because I was asked to detain you a while.”
“Aedh’s grandfather,” Fealon cursed, her fingers clinching into fists. If only she had strangled the old fool earlier instead of making the motions behind Aedh’s back.
“Now whose a sharp girl,” Virlym smirked, one of his hands pinning her up against the wall. “Now, my little dear, let us play a bit? No one would think anything of it, indeed if nothing happened many would claim the king’s balls were such a bore and I have a reputation to uphold.”
Cold stone against her back, Fealon twisted her face away as Virlym attempted to capture her lips with his, instead they fell upon her jawline and the hand holding her left shoulder gave a sharp painful squeeze. Lord Aedh… Her mind spun almost into a panic as she struggled to get out of his grip.
The feel of magic flushed around the two and suddenly Virlym found himself holding nothing but empty female dressing gowns. Looking down, he found a white-furred squirrel running its paws over its face as if wiping something away then freezing as it caught him looking. “You… turned into a squirrel….” As he began to grow angry, turning to spit over his shoulder in disgust that he had laid his lips on the body of a two-natured, Fealon inched backwards until finally she turned and scampered quickly into the opened door to the ballroom, thanking her lucky stars it had come open in the first place.
Spotting Aedh over by the youngest princess, Fealon ran to him, crawling up his leg, waist, and opposite arm before curling around his throat and rubbing her head against his lower chin. She heard the princess laugh and comment on how cute a pet he had just as she felt his fingers caress her ears.
“Oh yes, Fealon makes the most beautiful of pets, Princess Aileana,” Aedh muttered, his expression causing the princess to look at Fealon curiously.
Mairin awoke with a stretch just minutes before the sun was to begin its steady trek accross the sky, birds sleepily beginning to chirp their welcomes and good morning wishes. A glance to her nightstand reminded her that there was to be a ball this morning, the invitational card gleaming in the last drops of moonlight before she lit the lamp near it with a match. Shortly after the light filled the room, a soft knock was heard followed by a timid feminine voice. "Please, Samaeli, come in. It is all right." The door cracked open and a tall, thin-framed blonde appeared. Upon initial glance, few could tell whether the creature was male or female, though did it matter with the fae? For some, perhaps many, yes, but not for her.
This Samaeli had long served in her household, though perhaps not her family's house. The pair had grown up together, but their differing ranks had a certain effect on their bond. They were, however, the best of friends when the eyes were turned aside. "Should I draw your bath, mi'la-" "You know my name, Sam. It is all right to use it here, you know this." "Mairin." The brunette smiled softly and rose from her bed, slipping her dressing gown over her shoulders with grace. The other fae's face had flushed, a smile tipping the corner of slightly full lips just a bit. "But yes, if you would please.. also prepare to break your fast with me, hmm? It's been some time since we've done so." "Of course, Mairin.. It will be nice to share a meal with you again."
Most who had servants or slaves were not so kind nor so lenient, but the Healer had never been overly fond of the concept of owning another person for the sake of being lazy. This was not a publicly known view, of course, as she had enough people staring down their noses at her Urseeli blood. They did not also need to be aware of the treatment of her staff. Morals were such tricky subjects with some.
It had been hardly a few minutes since Sam had exited that the fae returned, amber, green, and brown-coloured eyes focused carefully on the plate of fruit meant to be shared between the two. It was set on a table and both sat to eat, idly chatting about the little occurrences of their days. When all food had been consumed, Samaeli left again to check the temperature of the water, coming back for Mairin when it was acceptable. Her hair was washed by the delicate hands, the brunette minding her skin well enough on her own. She was carefully speckled with sea-flower oils and dressed in blue silks with sea green trim, cream embroidery of lilies decorating her skirts, and waves were stitched into her bodice carefully, an apparent labour of love. It was a fairly slim-fitting getup, curves displayed with grace. Her dress bore no sleeves, as she found they often got in her way in the case of an emergency, though a silver armlet was clasped around her right bicep, and cotton bracers were slid over her forearms.
Once she was finally seated, silvery slippers were placed upon her feet, and a brush was passed through her hair once more, deft fingers plaiting two bunches of hair on either side of her face, tying them with moss in the back. The rest of her long tresses were left well enough alone. Kohl was used to line her piercing, deep blue and silver flecked eyes, and her lips were painted a soft pale pink, and upon close inspection from the blonde, crystal tear-drop earrings were hung from the woman's ears, a trio of rings placed upon her fingers, and then, the androgynous fae was satisfied, offering a hand to help her rise and gaze into the mirror. "Beautiful as always, Mairin." With a smile, she replied, "That is quite kind of you." "'Tis only truth. Now, the sun has risen. It is time for you to be on your way, no? Do try to have fun, and tell us what news when you return." Chuckling, she grabbed a small handful of her skirts to raise the fabric so as to not step upon it whilst she walked. "I shan't be gone long, all right?"
Upon her arrival, the dances and socialization were well underway, and with a quick glance about, she noticed the two servants she had lent to the service for the ball. They were her most behaved, the most obedient. They were also the least likely to reveal her stance with them on accident. There were other eyes she recognized, and then the oddest sight. Someone was wearing, Mairin was quite certain, a flowerbed upon her head. That.. cannot be healthy for one's neck in the slightest. Before investigating the reason for this, however, she made her rounds and greeted those who needed greeting, and even managed her way into and out of a dance before finding herself nearest the young woman with far too much in her hair.
She stood far too still to be a simple attendee, and her face was largely unfamiliar to the Healer. Her eyes drifted carefully over the detail of both outfit and wearer, noting especially the bold red lip the younger one wore. To most, the woman's expression was vacant, but Mairin was smarter than that. She had to be, as a healer. Many were quite fond of hiding things from her, things she needed to know, and it had become a skill to tease them out by reading faces and body language.
With a shift of her weight and a hand gently rest upon her hip, Mai smirked ever so slightly. "Who might you be, hmm? Surely not a servant, I would hope.. you're far too pretty for that nonsense. Though I think you know that, don't you?" Repositioning herself to stand behind the girl, her hand found an empty glass and filled it with water pulled from elsewhere, noting the smell of wine soaking the soil of the potted plant not too far off. "Mm, yes you do. You know that, and many other things, no? May I interest you in a glass of water? Preferably before my attention to you is noticed." She was aware of the danger she had placed herself in, an Urseeli talking to a servant that most definitely wasn't hers. She had no idea who the pretty girl belonged to, or if she was in fact even a servant at all. She could be an attendee, for all she knew. "You wouldn't want those pretty lips to dry and crack, would you?"
Slaves. Royalty, nobility, servants... Slaves. Leian hated the one word that described her whole life; slave. She, and those that were considered the scum of the Fae realm with her, weren't even allowed to reside in the same manners as their lords and ladies. They weren't allowed to touch, look at, or even be in the same room as their masters. They were kept in chains loose enough for them to move around, but constricting enough to always remind them of what they were--as if Leian, or any other slave, could ever forget. They were given the scraps of cloth that the tailors didn't use for the higher-ups to fashion whatever they could for themselves. They didn't bathe, unless their masters were gracious or something big was happening--Leian, before today, hadn't bathed for a month. Everyone saw slaves as stinking, lowly, grimy criminals--so why not just let them look and smell like one? That was most Fae's logic.
But today was different.
Today, Leian was chained to her master's gilded carriage as they meandered through the fields to Ronolich. She had bathed, so her black hair wasn't as filthy as normal, and her skin wasn't caked with blood and dirt. Her hands and feet had been scrubbed vigorously, but gunk still remained under all her long, sharp nails and callouses still graced everything. She had been given "shoes"--really, just flimsy scraps of fabric attached to her feet to hide them from view--which were already half worn out from the walk to the city. Her master, you see, had debts. And to settle these debts, he decided to sell his youngest, most virile slave girl to the palace of Ronolich for a heavy price. For him, it was as easy as selling a bale of hay is for a human farmer. She wasn't even property in his eyes;just something there to serve a purpose.
The palace hadn't taken much interest in the girl: they didn't need another mouth to feed, and the servants there hated slaves just about as much as everyone else in the realm. But when they heard she was a two-natured beast--they thought it may be useful to have her. Having as many beasties as possible seemed advantageous for the Ronolich palace, for God knows what reason. Leian couldn't remember much of the house she hailed from, just the name, but she was certain she wasn't derived from any noble bloodlines like some beasties, so clearly that wasn't it. It wouldn't be because she was a panther--yes, advantageous for a hunt, but otherwise an extreme threat to the monarchy. Idly, the youngish girl wondered if she would ever find out why.
They had set off as the sun rose. Judging by its position in the sky when they arrived, it was about ten, maybe eleven in the morning, and there were fancy looking noble carriages and footmen and creatures of all sort everywhere. For the mostly-provincial slave, it was certainly a sight to behold. What a grand palace! What regal nobles! Were they royalty? Holy flotsam. The girl stared in awe, her muddy brown eyes blinking rapidly as her head swiveled back and forth to try to take everything in.
A sharp tug forward almost tripped Leian, but she clumsily caught her footing and jogged to keep up with--well, whoever this was. Some servant, or perhaps another slave, it was actually a little hard to tell with all the finely dressed people about, had taken her chains and was leading her from the carriage she had walked for so long with. The girl drew to her full height, straightening her spine and flat lining her expression as to seem unafraid, if not a bit menacing, to those in livery she passed. She didn't want to be seen as that one girl, gawping at everyhting around her, or cowering in fear at all the strangeness around her. Nope. Nuh-uh, not Leian. Her leading man drew a key from his shirt pocket and approached a door on the side of the palace, underneath the terrace of the ballroom, far from view of any of the nobility that may be attending the gala above. She licked her long canines and took a gulp of air before following her leader into the doorway, quickly engulfed in a dark passage.
Within five minutes, she was shoved into a room with no light and told gruffly to put something else on and get above stairs to tend to the ballroom necessities. The door slammed shut with a decisive thud! and she stood in the room for a moment in complete confusion.What else was she supposed to put on? All that she could see were the gauzy blankets that littered the floor.
They'd have to do. She picked up one, sniffed it, gagged, and dropped it. She picked up a few more and sniffed them until she found the least offensive smelling one and wrapped it around her hips, sari style. Her stomach and arms were bare, her chest covered by an old strip of red fabric. It'd do.
The slave girl took a breath and put her hand on the doorknob. Maybe these people wouldn't hurt her like her last master had. Maybe she would eat more here. Maybe, just maybe, she'd be allowed a friend.
Or maybe they'd kill her for being what she was.
No thinking of that now! the girl thought sternly to herself, frowning. Popping open the door, she looked around for her guide, but found no trace of the curt, liveried man. How was she supposed to find her way up? Trial and error? She wandered the halls for a while, calling a firm "Hello?" every few minutes, opening a few doors to familiarize herself and, hopefully, find clues to where the ballroom was. Or, better yet, other slaves. It must have been half an hour before she started hearing the strains of violin and lire. The girl grinned and followed the noise until she found two double doors. She had to use all her strength to open them--damn, what were they, made of brick?--but she soon stood in an ornate dancing space. Men dressed up in robes, all dandified, waltzed with women holding themselves as regally as they possibly could with ruffles and lace and ribbons everywhere. In all honesty, they all looked a bit ridiculous to her, like the dolls she and her sister had played with as little Faelings, each of them exaggerated insanely. Leian hadn't the slightest what to do, never having been allowed into a room with anyone higher than another slave before; she slid behind a tall plant to hide and watched through the slitted leaves, almost breathless.
Either the old man had grown batty – which at his age was completely understandable, or Aedh was hearing him incorrectly. “You want me to get up at this ungodly hour, dress in ball robes, induce glamour upon my face, and go to a ball… before breakfast?”
An older man though he did not look it, one could almost take him for a slightly older brother of Aedh – not that anyone would dare say so – stared with hard eyes at his grandson. One hand gracefully holding a gold goblet jerked down, slamming the goblet onto the wooden dining table splashing honey mead about the place and no doubt staining the silk table cloth. “Do you think feeding an abomination such as you will gain me anything more over sending you to the king’s morning ball? If it would suit me better I would lock you away in the dungeons of our house and never look upon you again-” Holding up a hand, his grandfather quickly silenced the soon to come cry from Aedh’s personal slave, his face like impenetrable stone.
“You will get dressed and go to this ball. You will be of use to me, boy, or so be it I will do what I was to do the very day you tore from my daughter’s flesh.”
Aedh gazed at his grandfather then, the look loathing upon his face. He felt no need to hide his disdain for his “noble” grandfather. The only reason he held his tongue was for the sake of Fealon. The girl was no doubt making chocking gestures towards the old man behind his back as it was; he didn’t need to start a war that would pull her in as the weakness she presented. He had learned the lesson of having a valued friend when they were younger.
“What am I to do at this morning ball of the king’s?”
Lord Deorsa smiled now at his grandson while a house servant fussed with his morning attire, now covered in sticky golden drink. “I would think that obvious; I want you to further our house position any way you see. If the opportunity arises, say perhaps an advisor over steps his boundaries with Princess Iona or a servant becomes reckless endangering the reputation of His Majesty’s court life…”
Aedh sighed. He understood what his grandfather was asking, and it was madness, but madness seemed to be his only option of sparing his servant from his grandfather’s unusual since of punishment. “Very well, I shall see what can be done to satisfy you in some form; for the sake of those who call this house their home.”
Dressed in a red silk coat that matched the glowing etchings of his horns, and a golden undershirt and shimmering trousers made from the skin of… an unmentionable source; Aedh was ready to go to the King’s morning event that would no doubt drag on into the night. But the sidhe were like that, filled with the joys of hosting grand events even if the same things were discussed at every single one.
“I thought you disliked those trousers, a gift from your mother’s newest conquest,” Lord Deorsa commented on examining his grandson.
“What is to dislike, grandfather? They match well with my chosen wear for the day.” Reaching down, Aedh touched one of his knees and slowly drew up one of his claw-like fingernails to his hip. In truth wearing the trousers did make him uncomfortable; they were made from the skin of a snake-like underfae and had been given to him as an insult from his mother’s newest lover; but he would be damned to show it as a weakness to have them.
“I see. Just one more thing before we can leave… Fix that left side of your face with glamour. You look like some Urseelie mongrel. You may not be able to hide those horns but we don’t have to look at the rest of it. Damned creature…” The last bit his grandfather spit out, his harsh eyes taking on a violent glint to them for the moment.
“Lord Deorsa, your mount,” a servant called out, summoning Aedh’s grandfather’s attention sharply and bring on an all new confrontation in which ended with his grandfather riding in a carriage and one bloody and beaten servant left lying on the ground in front of their mansion.
The feasting hall was a sight to behold, with beautiful hues that always made the royal family glow with exotic beauty. Aedh almost thought it a shame the middle princess was not bronze skinned like her siblings, but then he would admit to himself her fair slightly golden flesh did seem more appealing – much like Fealon’s for that matter.
Thinking of her name, he turned his gaze from those around, seeking out his servant in the crowded room. His grandfather had her sent ahead while he had been dressing to help prepare for the banquet, no doubt like any other lord who was seeking to hold favor with the king. He wouldn’t put it past his darling grandfather to have dressed his poor servant up to gain the attentions of any noble or the king himself.
Yet he didn’t see her in the immediate area and wondered if perhaps she had been put to work in the kitchens by some noble woman. The idea brought a smirk to his lips. No doubt these nobles feared the attentions his servant could garnish from them, he was sure. Slaves and servants were the forbidden fruit of nobility and one they could not help but pluck when given the opportunity.
Deciding she would find him when she was ready, he turned his attentions back to the royal household and the nobility that flocked to them like flies upon a corpse. The lovely princess Iona…. Scandalous as ever wearing something that hid only what the mind thought it hid. And there is Princess Rua again – this time dancing with pretty boy Lord Kang II. No doubt someone’s daddy is happy at such a sight. Oh and over there – why I do believe I have found something of interest… Is that Princess Aileana stuffing her mouth with sweet fruit tarts? Not very ladylike is she?
Eyes narrowed, a fierce grin on his lips, Aedh Deorsa made his way over to the little princess, ignoring the looks of the other nobles around him. No doubt they thought him trying to carry favor, no doubt they thought him vile, a half man, a creature belonging in the underclass or even less than due to his parental nature. He didn’t give a damn what these over bloated fools thought.
Aedh only got a few steps closer to the young princess though before she did the most… unusual action. Turning from the table of sweets with what looked like a silken table cloth napkin curled up like a pouch, she barreled over towards a snarky looking servant in a shaded corner. Now being part underfae had its privileges, and that was he had a better sense of glamour than most sidhe. He could not help but laugh to no one as he felt the magic stir in the air around the little princess and watch as she walked away from the servant without the pouch she had held before.
Oh child, what are you up to with such a… rabid dog? That bit of magic will go unnoticed here among those who are constantly using glamour to hide this or that, so you are safe… But I do wonder what goes on under the dark sky of your silken sheets and thick warm furs.
"Alright you lazy slobs, get your carcasses moving, we've got a ballroom to decorate! I want to see you moving twice as fast!" Airinthel's eyes snaped open before the second word was sounded. The cool icy gaze of his eyes narrowing in on the cracks in the 'perfect' ceiling of his servant's room. He sat up the blanket pooling at his waist, exposing his white shirt, worn and ragged from many, many years of use. Before the man could even make it to his room he was already partially dressed in his usual attire. "Oh no, no, no, no! That simply will not do you twit! We are having a ball this glorious evening for all the nobles, dress nicely!"
Oh how so he dearly wish he could grab the man and slowly strangle him with his pretty little black tie. He did not offer the other any words just started to pull off his less than elegant clothing. The man stayed a moment longer watching him just to make sure he was doing as he was told.
"Don't forget to do something with your unruly hair, it's atrocious." Air's sharp and piercing gaze eventually drew the man out, finally by himself he drifted over to where he kept his nicer servant's garb, he pulled out the uniform, black boots, his with a hair bit of heel to them to make him averaged size. Pants and shirt white as the clouds that lined the sky in a summer day. Trimmed with gold and finished off with a dash of the blue that Airinthel loved so much.
It wasn't long till he found himself in front of a mirror, the cracked and dirty surface poorly reflecting his image, making him look a little more disgusting than before. Grabbing a blue hair-tie he pulled at his platinum blonde locks. They used to be the staple of his image, shiny and perfect, always brushed. Now however they were matted, dirty and it did not shine in the light like it used to. He eventually decided to pull the hair up into a messy top-knot that frayed at the peak, haloing his head. Oddly enough it suited his look nicely.
It wasn't long after that he found himself, a tray in hand with some delectable looking brownies, walking around a room full of nobles kissing each other's asses. Such brown nosers.
"You, come here and give me one of those." Commanded a noble woman her face so heavily painted that he would never recognize her without it, that was if he was even allowed to look at her. His piercing gaze was kept down as he moved through the people towards her offering her a treat before moving on, people randomly grabbing at his tray like hungry dogs at a piece of meat. His eyes spotted a black haired servant, his lips were barely moving in a chewing motion as he rolled his icy eyes.
His attention was however soon wrenched from the male as his foot was stepped on, a sharp crack sounding to him. Pain flooded his senses, he made no sound as the other continued to stay on his foot. Eventually however the pain was too much.
"Sir... if you would please." His voice was cool and collected, like the element he controlled. His pale skin flushed with anger and pain. The man in question was hulking, dressed in heavy decorative plate armor. He moved off with a scoff and Air limped away, trying his best to keep his composure he found himself towards a young woman with an expression like his, blank.
She was done up in image of perfection her black hair done-up, face, everything. Yet he knew she was a servant like him, just a special prettier version of what he was. He didn't acknowledge her, finding her position to be an affront to him, special because she was lucky. He rested against the wall, his hurt foot brought up to hover over the ground, throbbing with each beat of his icy heart.
"Lil, lift your chin up some more. There's my girl." The cooing female took her servant's chin in hand, lifting her face up to the light. She drew the red-clogged brush across the girl's lips one last time and stepped back to admire her work. "You look perfect. Your own father won't recognise you." The painted girl pressed her crimson mouth into a smile and said nothing, her hazel eyes drifting off and to one side. Daydreaming, one might think at a glance. She ignored the heavy weight of the headresses, the cool palace air across her bare shoulders and the inane cooing of her mistress. A doll. A pretty ornament. A songbird. Of course her father wouldn't recognise her. She was disowned. To recognise her would be acknowledgement.
Lilenya had been rousted from her bed early this morning, summoned by her excited mistress and forced to go without breakfast in order to be painted and primped for the morning ball. Her hair was arranged in a profusion of flowers and beads and combs. Lady Singali had also draped her in red and blue and gold. Lil sat patiently through the whole process, listening to Singali's idle court gossip.
So, Gare is cheating on his wife once again? Wonder how long before he poisons this one. The last barely lasted three decades. She hummed as her mistress fussed over the last few stray strands of heavy black hair.
"Are you ready to sing for the court? I've been promising Princess Iona a performance for weeks, ever since I heard you singing by the pond!" Singali buzzed away like a plump little bee and returned with a choker, wrapping it around Lil's slim neck. "Don't let me down, alright?"
The smile left Lil's face as the highborn woman left the room. She looked flatly at herself in the mirror. I look like I've rolled in the flower-bed. She closed her eyes briefly and lifted her chin, letting an insipid smile cross her face. If they wanted a guileless moron, then that's what they'd get. She let her eyes unfocus as Singali returned to the room, the last touches added to her own ensemble. "C'mon, my girl, let's go and show them what a little treasure you are."
Lil carefully repressed the urge to roll her eyes. She stood automatically when Singali took her hand, following the woman obediently as a lapdog on a leash. One small miss-step and I'm this woman's plaything... She felt no animosity towards the woman, but who would enjoy being treated as a simpleton day after day. Especially when the mind behind the porcelain face was sharper than most.
Her silk layers whispered over the cool marble. She kept her gaze on the floor, watching the train of Singali's gown to keep herself from wandering into the walls. Bet Nenyo would find that funny. Her sister was in attendance, dancing with a distant cousin across the way. The elder sibling knew perfectly well the level of her sister's intelligence and found it hilarious that she was forced to mum as a mute little fool. Iron-hearted buzzard. Nenyo hadn't lifted a finger to secure her sister's position or comfort in the court when the family washed their hands of her. Lil was passed from pillar to post, noble to noble until they bored of her pretty face. It would happen with Singali too, soon. Lil thought she might be glad.
Perhaps I'll have enough money to get out of here by then. She thought uncharitably, peering up through her fringe at the assembled nobles. Other servants, of Unseelie or lower castes stood ranged against the walls, their expressions carefully neutral. She was the same rank as them and yet not. Of noble birth but low position, Lil was cossetted like a pet and allowed certain freedoms. Such as attending the morning ball in this get-up. Still, the odd glance filtered her way. She didn't return them. That would seem as though she was aware of her surroundings.
"Lord Gare! How pleasant to see you this morning." Lady Singali called to the King's newest favourite, inching closer as he was to Princess Iona. He smiled sharply at the invading noblewoman and her pet. Yet another interruption. Singali was moving on before he could form words, her high-pitched voice carrying easily over the hubbub of the dancers. Lil followed, wanting to sit down. Her eyes slid sideways towards the banquet table. She was hungry too. Did he just sneak something? She thought in amusement, watching the sour-faced servant from the corner of her eye. Lucky sod.
"Lady Iona! Good morning! I brought my little songbird as promised." The noblewoman in her green and gold gown curtsied neatly to the eldest Princess. Lil followed suit, avoiding the gaze of the royal fae. "Isn't she just darling? I got her from Lady Minarel. I can't think why the woman could bear to let her go. So quiet and pleasant...!" So it went on. The litany of Lilenya's supposed attributes. Ones she did not really have. All those things that made her the perfect pet, the perfect attendant. They were a mask. Singali didn't even know what family she hailed from. Only the name "Lil" and that she never said a word.
So foolish to trust a facade as simple as this. The fae were supposed to be good at seeing through masks. They couldn't tell lies, according to legend, but here Lil was, living one. She was towed over to a corner and sat down on a plush stool, a glass of wine pushed into her hand. She held it idly between her fingers, waiting for permission to drink.
"Drink up, pet. I don't want your voice to be hoarse." Lil obediently lifted the glass to her lips, pressing them tightly together as she mimed drinking. Smiling indulgently, Singali moved off to socialise. Her little pet would not move from the corner. She was such a good girl.
Lilenya tossed the wine into the plant-pot beside her, the smile dropping from her face like a cracked vase.
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