[center “I am going to pull them from their pedestal and I will watch them burn.”]
Wistina, a small but prosperous country located on the southern peninsula of Esteroak. Being one of the few neutrally aligned ports in the area they keep good standing with their neighbors. All in all they seem to be in a golden age. The only real complaints are those of a naïve and frivolous king, but with many well-trusted advisors at his side no one pays him much mind. That is, not until he died. Leaving behind his wife and a young son, there is much debate on what will be done and things are not looking good got the widow and her child.
Basically this will start soon after the death of the king. The advisors who have essentially been running the country feel it is time for them to receive their dues and a child King does not fit into that equation. It will escalate into a murder attempt on what remains of the royal family, but the Queen and Prince will escape with a small party of loyal members of the court and staff. The enraged Queen is now determined to seek revenge and see her son reclaims his birthright.
I am looking to play the Queen character and I am searching for someone to play another member of the party. You pretty much have free reign over what you want your character to be. A knight, a handmaiden, whatever works, but you do need to be willing to play multiple characters as the rest of the crew will be “free to play” NPCs that we can both utilize.
I MIGHT be willing to open this up as a group roleplay if I have people who are interested in doing that instead. I am only hesitant because I’ve yet to be a part of a group RP that hasn’t fallen apart within the first couple rounds of posting.
This will be a literate story; I want several healthy paragraphs per post. An exception being in times of heavy dialog where replies can, and likely will, be much shorter. I may ask for a sample post to see if our styles will work together.
Illustrated pictures only.
18+, as I am trying to steer away from writing with minors. Just a cautionary thing, not necessarily for content.
I love romance and would love a splash of that, but it will not be the main focus here.
Lastly, I am still on the fence about whether I want this to be more of a fantasy-based story. I love magic and high fantasy races, but they are not necessary for this plot. So, I will let you help decide on that. Also, if you have any ideas to add to or alter what I have stated above, please let me know. Very little of this is set in stone and I want it to be interesting for both of us.
The Prince split off from the elf as he went to have his wound tended to. He hoped that the man would be all right. That sort of thing worried him. The boy wasn’t fond of acts of violence, though he was fascinated by the art of swordplay and eager to learn more. As Nicolai had said, that would come with time. However, that wasn’t the only thing the noble had said that Augustine was mulling over.
He’d advised him to be kind and listen to his mother. A strange request as it did not deviate from his regular actions. To be quite honest, his mother frightened him. She was strict and constantly critical. He was convinced she did not much care for anyone, well except for Gregory, an elderly Dwarven bard who worked in the castle as a musician. He was the only person that the Queen insisted be kept on staff. He’d play little tunes on his lute and wander about the palace at his own leisure. The strange little man had far more freedom than anyone else in this place. The prince was jealous; he didn’t have to worry about anything, especially reprisals from his mother. But he couldn’t be too mad, the bard was quite fun to be around. Gregory always had a fun story to tell, and a poorly played song to pluck. Not to mention he would sneak Augustine treats from time to time. Strangely enough, the boy looked up to him almost as a grandfather, since he had none of his own.
Taking Nicolai’s message to heart, the crown Prince decided to find and visit his mother. Unsure where to find her, as her schedule had become sporadic as of late, Augustine asked around until he uncovered her location. She was visiting his father, but he wasn’t allowed in his quarters so he hovered outside for her to come out. After a while, Meredith meandered down the hall.
[+lightcoral “Your highness,”] her head bowed lightly acknowledging his presence. [+lightcoral “What do you need?”] Without the Queen around the lady took a more curt tone than usual with the boy.
Looking up at the chubby young human woman, Augustine missed his mother’s last attendant. Meredith didn’t seem to like children, even though she was barely an adult herself. [+orange “I was looking for my mother."]
The brown-eyed girl nodded, and then entered the room without telling him whether she would send her out or not. He frowned in response. How could she be so rude? Trying to push the discourteous behavior to the side, he stared at the door, half hoping it would be a while longer so he could give up and go do something else. Unfortunately that would not be the case. The thick mahogany door slowly opened shortly after. His mother’s bright green eyes looked down intensely into his own.
[+mediumseagreen “Augustine, I believe I said you were not to bother your father for the time being.”] The woman was surprised when Meredith told her that the prince was waiting outside. Normally he wasn’t persistent once given instruction.
Flinching at her chiding tone, he was quick to respond. [+orange “Yes, mother.”] Debating whether it was better to leave now or risk speaking out of turn. She started to dismiss him, but he piped up before she could finish. [+orange “Actually, I came to see you.”]
Taken aback at being interrupted and then at the boy’s unusual request, Florence was silent. It took but a moment for her to recover. [+mediumseagreen “Have you finished your lessons?”]
[+orange “Yes, mother.”]
Satisfied with his answer, she smiled. [+mediumseagreen “Very well, I will be out in a moment.”] The Queen then turned back into room and closed the door behind her. Walking a few steps into the fanciful decorated bedchamber, she announced her departure, but asked Meredith to stay until someone else came to look after her husband. With that done, she returned to her son.
[+mediumseagreen “Now, what did you have in mind?”] Surely there was something that prompted this behavior. And she rarely saw him take the reigns with anything, so Florence wasn’t about to dampen his spirits now.
Augustine hadn’t thought that far ahead, so he blurted out the first thing that came to mind that he thought she might like. [+orange “I’d like to walk through the gardens… if that is alright.”] His voice trailed off at the end, ever nervous around the serious woman.
She nodded, still pleased as punch that he was making an attempt to come out of his shell. Little did she know, it was one he only wore around her.
Walking together they made it outside and to the courtyard. Off at the far end of the well-maintained cobble plaza there was a grand arch, heavy with blooming buds. The colors were coordinated to match the countries flag, gold and maroon. This was the entrance to the estate’s gardens. They were a spectacle to behold and a place that Florence used to retreat to often when she was pregnant. Though she hadn’t had the time as of late.
The woman tread slowly, noting that her son’s stride was only half of her own. Plus there was plenty to see, if she went too quickly she’d miss something. It was better this way. The Queen looked forward to taking in all in quietly and contently, but it wasn’t to be.
[+orange “Mother, what sort of plants were there in your home country?”] Augustine asked in genuine curiosity. She seldom spoke of Astoria, he knew little of his heritage on her side. It was almost as though he was Wistin through and though.
Taking a moment to think back, it had been nearly ten years since she left her home and she hadn’t returned since. [+mediumseagreen “It’s warmer there, so the plants are a little more tropical. Not so many trees as there are here in Wistina. Although, it has been so long that that may not be the case any longer.”] She was confident much had changed there since she came to this place.
It wasn’t the detail he was hoping to get, but she almost looked happy talking about the place she was from. He’d always found it odd, that with all the languages she forced him to learn, Astorian was not among them. Perhaps she didn’t think it was practical since it was so far away, it being the north most nation on the continent, well just off the the continent really. It was an island nation.While here in Wistina they were the farthest south.
The rest of their stroll went about the same as the beginning. Few words were spoken between them, but it was not as horrid as Augustine had been expecting. In fact his mother was almost friendly for the duration of their time together. The only time he was truly panicked was when they came across Gregory asleep on one of the intricate stone benches among the roses. Augustine expected her to be livid, but instead she merely sighed, shaking her head at the old dwarf before shuffling him along as to not expose him to the man’s baboonery any longer than necessary.
In the end it was Vincent, a Marquis, that pulled her back to her reality. He was the same ebony-eyed man that had latched onto her the other day. Every chance he had, he’d been buzzing around her like a fly. She didn’t trust him, but she would tolerate him for now.
Bidding farewell to her son, the dark haired woman bent down, sweeping his sandy blond bangs to the side and placed a soft kiss on his forehead amongst the hanging wisteria. One of the few signs of affection he ever bestowed on the child. [+mediumseagreen “Thank you for the invitation, my love, but I have to return now.] Standing straight again, she stood tall for a woman, posture perfect as she made her way to the exit of the gardens to see to some mundane task that was calling to her.
[google-font http://fonts.googleapis.com/css?family=Montserrat][Montserrat As metals collide their sharp rasps ring out into the open auditorium-like space, each slash and thrust echoing alongside every gasp and yell. Two men separate from one another, taking several paces back and regaining their composure. One is dressed in a thick, heavy set of plate armour, helmet and all. He wields in gauntleted hand a broadsword, a splintered shield on the floor and over to one side. The other man, an Elf given his tapered ears, is much lighter dressed. Padded in leather mostly save for the chain shirt wrought of Dwarven silver to the power and strength of triple steel, it was close-woven of many rings, as supple almost as linen and cold as ice, not to mention rather beautiful. His sword is thinner and partially curved.
Their combat continues with many a precession of thrusts, parries, wild swings and weak slashes. They duck or turn aside the others attacks whilst retorting with their own. The Elf is lighter and thus quicker, darting around his larger and more cumbersome foe and landing several blows that scuff and dent the plate. One double handed punch of his sword punctures the armour and pierces the defences of the larger man who grunts with the impact, a slow trickle of blood running from the hole left behind.
The plate man doesn't seem perturbed by the attack however and launches a flurry of heavy strikes that forces the Elf back, the dirt skittering under foot. Panting hard now the Elf regains a better stance to go forward on. The fight had gone on for ten minutes, the pace barely dropping though the man of plate seemed invigorated from the wound and a few feinted swings ends with a particularly heavy downward strike, blocked well but the sword blow sends reverberations down his arm, Elven hands spasms and his blade falls loose. Seizing on this a plated fist swings forward and strikes into his cheek, spinning him back and down onto one knee, the heavy sword coming down to rest on his shoulder.
[+coral “Stop! Don't kill him!”] A youthful voice cries out, echoing into the relative silence left behind from the end of their fight. From a darkened archway leading to the castle itself comes running a small boy. The plated man immediately takes a large step back removing his sword from the Elf's shoulder and planting it into the ground. As quickly but fluidly as he can, he takes a knee and bows his head. The boy approaches the Elf, placing a hand on his shoulder whilst giving a rather dirty glare to the other fighter. The touch surprises the dazed Elf who looks up, but he too immediately bows his head again;
[+teal “Your Highness Augustine, it is an honour to have your presence. To what do we owe the pleasure?”] He speaks softly, respectfully, a genial smile on his lips, he pants heavily, regulating his breaths quickly.
[+coral “He was going to kill you!”] The boy protests and accusatory eyes return to the other man who remains like a statue. The Elf nods and chuckles at the accusation.
[+teal “Ah, but Your Highness,”] he says raising his head and looking upon the young Crown Prince of the realm,[+teal “it is naught more than practice. That is your fathers Chief Guard Gerald. We are simply keeping ourselves ready and trained to help defend this Kingdom. There is no foul play afoot here I assure you.”] He looks back to the plated man, nodding at him and gesturing with a flick of his wrist to take leave through the opposite archway. He doesn't need further guidance and does so quickly, leaving the Elf and boy be, the former now standing up sluggishly as the latter turns his attention away and moves across to retrieve the Elf's sword, lifting it up carefully with both hands – just about.
The older male walks across and holds out his hand to the child who nods and offers back his own sword. Taking it back he slides it into the scabbard at his hip, satisfied to have it's weight at his side again. Meeting the inquisitive youth's eye he nods for him to follow, leading him toward a fountain garden not far from the small training area. Here is a beautiful marble fountain etched with intricate and detailed designs and a shining bronze statue of several nude women reaching up to a central cup where the water rises up from. The water itself is remarkably clean and fresh and shimmers in the morning sun that bathes the area in warmth and feeds the many flowers decorating the outer edge.
The duo sit down on the edge of this master craftsman’s piece and after a few seconds to settle the Elf unclasps several pieces of leather and cloth armour, putting them to one side to help cool him.
[+coral “Nicolai?”] His curious voice rose once more.
[+teal “Yes young Augustine.”] The now named Elf replies.
[+coral “Why do you fight with real swords?”] As any young boy he is quite curious and Nicolai knows only too well to answer bluntly; he does not like people to skirt his questions.
[+teal “An acute observation my young Prince,”] he shifts his weight to sit better, removing his gloves now,[+teal “we fight this way because it helps us to reach a new level. If we were to use wooden swords our attacks would not replicate a real battle. This way, we become accustomed to the weight of a real weapon, the impact of a true attack on armour, to accustom ourselves to minor injuries and how to react to it.”]
[+coral “Father only lets me play with wooden ones.”] He seems down trodden by this fact, disgruntled infact.
[+teal “But that is because your father is a wise man, Your Highness. The wooden weapons are much larger and heavier than a real sword for a reason. It builds strength, builds muscle, makes you much stronger and therefore able to use a real blade with ease when the time comes.”] He takes a strip of cloth from around his neck that saves the chain from chaffing his skin, dipping it down into the fountain's cool water, squeezing the excess over his head so that it runs down under his clothing before settling the damp cloth around his neck once more.
He was a rather typical Elf in physical appearance. Tall, slim, black haired and with violet eyes, his skin is lightly tanned and save for a cut on his cheek from the strike not long before it is flawless. But aside from his physical side, in his more social nature, he is perhaps less like his kin. He was a nobleman and a good friend of the King having known him for near three decades now. Lifted up by this friendship to become a General in a small but potent army, he was a key link between the humans and the other races of this realm, seen by some as a token appointment but to many as the King's love and trust for all his subjects. This is what allows him to speak so freely with the young Prince.
[+teal “Though a question of my own, perhaps just as adequate; why are you down here spying Your Highness?”]
[+coral “Mother won't let me speak with Father. She says he needs to rest.”] His eyes cast downward and his head dips a touch, small boot kicking at a loose stone.
[+teal “Well, he is an ill man after all. The healers are the best around. I remember them telling me that some illnesses require fresh air and exercise to cast them out. But others, most indeed, like this one, need the body to rebuild itself naturally and through plenty of peaceful rest.”] His hands come together, fingers interlinking as the boy seems to ignore him outright.
[+coral “He's going to die, isn't he Nicolai?”] He looks up with searching eyes and the Elf brushes a hand through his wet, dark hair. It was a difficult question to answer quickly and he tried to find a softer path to take with it.
Given the boys link to his father, he understands the weight upon his heart, and it is hard to find the right words. He cannot tell the boy that he does not know, or that he has no wish to become embroiled with this type of talk. He is close to the family as a whole. And that is what worried him about being bluntly honest – his mother. She was unpredictable of later. Her life was in turmoil as rumours spread. She was tasked with finding whom was loyal and who wasn't, the death almost seemed a formality at this point. She was best avoided and obeyed to the letter, but personal experience forced him to respond.
[+teal “You never had a chance to meet with my own father. He passed away some twenty years ago now, which is rather young for an Elf, but he was a very good man and he did right by me and my mother.”] It is a sullen start but he nods as he joins the boy looking at the ground.[+teal “I was.. beyond angry, when he died. I blamed myself for a very long time. I felt I had let him down. That I had not done enough to help him or that I could have saved him. That he would be disappointed in me for not keeping him alive through my will and strength alone.”] His voice was rather sombre and muted. His eyes lost their smiling aura too as the painful memories returned and his chest tightened.
There is a pause as he reached across to the young boy and placed a hand on his shoulder. If he had not known the family as well as he did, that act alone would have seen him put to the stocks if not lashed a hundred times. He comes to meet the eye of the Prince and nods at him with growing reassurance and control over his own emotions.
[+teal “But with age came wisdom. Not only that, but your father was a good friend to mine and when he passed, though I was lost for a time, I was never left alone, never cast aside. I was well cared for by him. Over time and with his help I came to understand that my father loved me, that he cared for me quite deeply. Your father taught me, that death is inevitable in life. It is the natural order of this world and life continues on and though we should grieve, yes, of course we rightly should, we should not let it consume us.”] His words are not all truthful but the point must be made. He squeezed his shoulder with a touch of affection and that charming smile returned a little.
[+teal “Look, if he does pass, then I want you to remember two things Augustine; I will be here to help guide you and help your mother where I can as your father did for me in my time of need,”] his smile grew a touch at the thought of the Queen admonishing him as she had before, and not once,[+teal “and you are loved deeply by your parents no matter what.”] His hand pats the boys shoulder to reaffirm his words and they exchange a nod of understanding. He couldn't expect to make him laugh and smile in a dark time as this but to at least give him some help in a troubling time may do wonders.
[+coral “I.. I think, I understand a little Nicolai. Thank you.”] He speaks quietly in deep personal thought and the tall man stands up with a grunt as bone and muscle ache, hand brushing at his face in a little pain.
[+teal “Now, I need to go see if Gerald has broken my cheekbone – that man can punch!”] Nicolai hisses as he touched at the swelling.[+teal “But, in the meantime, I want you to be kind to your mother. She needs your strength now. Be polite and listen to what she tells you. Or I'll have you join me next time in the training grounds.”] He winks playfully and gives a formal salute and bow to the Crown Prince. It would pay dividends later to keep on the good side of the future King and showing this level of respect may endear him more to the young boy; if not, it wouldn't hurt to try. Standing upright he collects what little armour he had removed before leaving.
Sides were being drawn as the King ailed toward inevitable death. Everyone had to choose, there would be no straddling of the lines in this. And the moment you made that new, congruent, and committed decision of whom you allied yourself to – your life had changed forever.
Being mid-spring, the weather was fair in Wistina. Although that was the case most year round, the warm ocean surrounding them on nearly all sides kept the temperature temperate. And while the Capital of Belldale was some several miles off the coastline, the sea breeze still rolled through the bustling city. It carried the thick aroma of street food though the southern streets. An enticing smell to coax people to the marketplace.
Just north of it all, in the center of the city, was the castle, home to the royal family. Inside, the atmosphere was completely different. Unbeknownst to the people of the nation, their leader was ill. And his condition was worsening. Cold sweats, horrendous coughing fits, and he complained of a pounding headache. And oh did he complain. There was no rest for anyone, as he demanded constant attention. The queen did her best to keep him company, but the perpetual whining was more than she could bear for any extended period of time. And so she was in and out to see her ailing husband, even though it was becoming more and more evident that these were liable to be his final days. As insufferable as she found the man, she had hoped that he would hold on to life a little longer. He was only in his early fifties for god’s sake. Their son was only eight, if he was to be crowned he would need to be put under the care of an advisor and that never went well. She didn’t trust those men. They had done well by her husband, but there was no saying they would do the same for Augustine. And there was only so much she could do on her own from her position.
After a longer visit than normal, Florence exited the king’s quarters, her lady in waiting and a guard in tow. She sighed before starting off. The trio passed a throng of councilors and nobles that were scrambling to see the king. Just in case. It wasn’t all bad, at the very least they weren’t bothering her. She was fairly tired of visitors at this point. With her husband bed ridden she was left to do the greeting.
Muted thumping reverberated off stonewalls as she walked along the rug that ran the length of the hallway. With any luck she would have a moment to do as she pleased. There was never any way to be sure, so she opted to do what she wanted for now. Someone would call for her if she was needed.
In her fleeting spare time, the dark haired woman decided to visit her child. Augustine was a reserved boy. And while being shy wasn’t the best trait for a future monarch, she was counting her blessings that he wasn’t an outspoken oaf. Although, the boy must have taken a liking to the type, as he was fond of his father. She thought it unfortunate, as the man’s illness was taking a greater toll on Augustine with them being closer.
Over the course of the week the king’s condition steadily deteriorated. Eventually, Florence banned their son from visiting. He was a mess with worry and she was sure he’d be permanently scarred if he happened to be there when his father passed. And it was only a matter of time until he did. The whole castle, staff, court, and visitors, were all on pins and needles waiting for the news. The whispering of rumors could be heard behind most closed doors. No one was quite sure what would come of it, but many feared for the state of the nation.
There was one such conversation taking place behind a door that had been carelessly been left ajar. The queen who had been passing by caught wind of voices she recognized leaking from the unsealed room, a pair of advisors. The woman stopped, just out of sight of the open door to have a listen. Turning toward Meredith, her lady in waiting, she put a hand signaling her to stop where she was and be silent.
[+lightslategray “-we may be in good standing now, but I don’t expect many of our allied nations will have the same respect for us with such a young ruler…”] He was cut off by a gruffer, more mature voice.
[+firebrick “Of course they won’t! We’ve been on thin ice for the last thirty years with King Germaine at the helm. It’ll be the same all over again with his spawn.”]
[+lightslategray “There has to be a way around, I mean, with him so young there is still time to mold him, With a proper advisor to teach him things might not be so bleak.”]
[+firebrick “Hah! You optimistic fool, it’s already in his blood. There’s no work around for that. We have to start over completely!”] Invigorated at the thought, his voice boomed.
Eyes narrowing, Florence had stumbled upon proof of her suspicions. She would need to be even more vigilant now that it was clearly more than paranoia. Standing absolutely still, she scarcely breathed so that she might hear what they said next, but before they went on, someone called loudly behind her.
[+blue “Your Majesty, what brings you here?”] The onyx eyed man spoke out emphatically, more so than necessary. She was quite certain it was to warn the others inside.
Biting the inside of her cheek with a look of annoyance, it was gone by the time she turned face. Florence replaced it with a serene smile. [+mediumseagreen “I am on my way to the entrance hall. They are hanging a tapestry and I wanted to be sure it is done properly.”]
His eyebrows bounced up, a look of surprised flashing across his face. [+blue “What a coincidence. I was just called there myself. Might I be so bold as to supply you company on your walk?”]
[+mediumseagreen “I suppose that would be fine.”] Her tone was gracious, but moderately disinterested. It was clear he was after something with the gesture.
Taking a step forward she looked through the open doorway, locking eyes with the closer of the two men. [+mediumseagreen “Gentlemen.”] The word was accompanied by a nod. Then she continued on her way, now with a man she didn’t quite remember the name of, and who was overtly eager to chat with her. Although, all her responses left something to be desired, as her mind was elsewhere. She needed to formulate a plan. Here very soon this place would not be safe for neither her nor Augustine.
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