A Tale of Two Kindgoms

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Quirkless Deku
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A Tale of Two Kindgoms

Post by Quirkless Deku » Wed Jun 17, 2020 10:15 pm

"More refugees have arrived in Dimynrai"
"And what of the scouting team?" Sildor said, leaning over the intricate battle map of the region
"Seemingly wiped out. The two survivors are still unable to answer most of our questions but from what we can gather it is safe to assume that Yllandere has fallen."
"Damn it!" Sildor said. He paced across the room, running his hand over his face. "Then that leaves us at the front. We must muster all available troops. The Dimynrai region must hold. Ensure that only refugee ships are allowed to pass the straight and question them all as to any information that they may have. And I want those two soldiers talking. We need intelligence on our foe."
Sivarion nodded from his seat at the head of the table. He was the king still and as such all decisions must be approved by him, though more and more he had begun to let Sildor take over the strategizing in all meaningful ways.

Their was a knock on the door. Sildor, Sivarion and the several top generals that were gathered there all looked up.
"You may come in," Sivarion said.
The door opened and a servant entered, gaze turned to the floor. He bowed deeply before the king and prince. "Your majesties, the ship from Evrehon has arrived"
"Ah, wonderful! Some good news for the day," The king said. "You may take your leave now." He waved his hand and the servant bowed and quickly ducked out of the room.
"Now we can discuss the aid of Evrehon's military," Sildor said.
"Patience, Sildor. We mustn't rush to requests. There is a wedding and we must welcome our guests. Once things have settled we can discuss troops and alliances."
Sildor grit his teeth. "Of course, father."
"Now I think that this meeting has run it's course. We must prepare for the Princess's arrival."

Sildor stood in his quarters, straightening out his clothes and hair and placing a golden circlet on his head. Today was the day then. He had suspected so but you never knew with the ocean, storms and bad winds often caused delays. He wandered over to the windows and looked out over the placid azure waters of the lake below.
The royal Palace of Mylennor was built on an outcropping of cliff that hung over the side of the lake. From where he stood Sildor could see it's mirror like surface dotted with boats stretching out to the feet of the mountains beyond, striking up into the sky like rocky teeth. Time to get this over with. He strode out of his rooms and navigated through the large and intricate palace down toward the entry room.

"I'm sorry to hear of the death of your freedom your highness," Tyenid called out, jogging to catch up with him in the hallway. Sildor had trained with the knight growing up. He was the closest thing that he had to a childhood friend. "This unfortunately is a battle I cannot aid you in."
Sildor gave a slight smile. "This is purely strategic Tyenid. Nothing will truly change."
"You never were much of a family man were you?"
"Certainly not the way I would describe myself no."
"Still don't believe in love then?"
"Perhaps for others," Sildor said. "But that is irrelevant for me, you should know that by now."
"Yes. yes, what you want is irrelevant," Tyenid said, almost mockingly.
"Don't you have training to attend to?"
"Getting rid of me already I see. Well, I won't overstay my welcome. Good luck your majesty," He said, giving a slight bow and turning down another hallway. Sildor shook his head. They had been through much together, which is why Tyenid had more leeway than most in how he spoke to the prince. Still sometimes he pushed it a bit.

He took a deep breath and walked out into the grand hall of marble, lined with statues and tapestries and decorated with gold inlays, to stand next to his father and mother, who had managed to get out of bed for the occasion. Now, for the first time Sildor would meet his soon to be wife.

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Re: A Tale of Two Kindgoms

Post by ariagrey » Thu Jun 18, 2020 1:08 am

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The lanterns were lit and the great tree of Adorlan took on a gentle yellow glow amongst the ocean of trees in the vast forest of Evrehon. Barefeet clapped against the roots and bark that made up the floors of the palace before entering into her parents chamber. "Mother! Papa! You should have seen it!" Solros spoke out of breath, spinning as she entered the room. "Cousin Rowan managed to mount a hestvitis!" The young woman ran up to her mother and kissed her cheek, then to her father and did the same. The Princess's cheeks were flushed from runnug and a grin took up half her face. Solros' mother smiled gently back before looking to her father. The smile slowly faded from the Princess's face as she looked between her parents. "What is it?" Her brow knit together. "We have something to tell you dear." Solros watched her mother's hand reach over and grab her fathers.

▪︎ ▪︎ ▪︎

The journey to Dimynrai was long and arduous. Solros hardly spoke to her parents since leaving Adorlan, spending most of her time on the top deck of the ship, staring out at the water. A form took it's place beside her, but she refused to look. Her arms crossed her body and she hugged herself, gaze fixed on the horizon. "Sol, please." Her father pleaded beside her. "Your mother's worried about you. When are you going to come below and eat." Sol still didn't say a word and her father sighed. "I know we promised you wouldn't have to deal with this sort of thing, but there are extenuating circumstances." He placed his hand on her shoulder and gently squeezed. "Your mother and I love you very much. This could be good for you." Sol finally turned to meet her father's eyes. "Good for me? You think it's good for me to marry someone I don't know, whom i've never met? Someone who has a reputation of being cold?"
"Enough child!" Her father's voice rose ever so slightly. "Your eldest sister did her duty and now it is your turn. It is the price you pay for such beauty and for a family name."
"I don't even know him Papa." Her voice came out as a whisper. His hands came up to cup her face, sighing once again.
"I know child. You will know him and you will learn to love him or you will learn to be content." He pulled her head to him and place a gentle kiss on her forehead. "Now come and eat to ease your mother's mind. We will be there soon."

▪︎ ▪︎ ▪︎

Finally they had arrived at Dimynari, a vastly different place compared to the lush and green forests of Evrehon. "Be brave." Sol's father once again placed his hand on her shoulder and squeezed. The Princess followed behind her parents, her sisters and the rest of their party in their wake. Each step echoed in her mind, closer and closer to the loss of her freedom. The party entered the great hall, Sol's jaw beginning to tick. It wasn't fair. She had been promised freedom and the chance to choose her life partner for love, not to be forced for political reasons.

Her parents were announced, followed by her name, then her sisters. The palace was different from any palace at Evrehon, it felt cold and lifeless. As they approached the thrown the whole party took a synchronized bow. "We thank you for welcoming us to your stunning home. I know there is much to discuss and plan, but first thing is first." He extended his arm toward Sol. "May I officially present my daughter, Princess Solros Elrora Reylar." She took a deep breath and stepped forward, bowing deeply once more, eyes still cast down to the floor.

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Re: A Tale of Two Kindgoms

Post by Quirkless Deku » Fri Jun 19, 2020 12:49 am

"Welcome to Mylennor. I pray your trip here was pleasant and look forward to a bright future between our kingdoms," Sivarion said.
Then the king of Evrehon presented Sildor's fiancé. A young woman with long dark hair and hazel eyes.
"And my son," Sivarion said. "The Crown Prince Sildor Lucion Aimur al Druin"
Sildor stepped forward, bowing, taking one of the lady's hands and kissing it lightly as was customary, before stepping back and returning to his military-like stance. He seemed utterly emotionless while he tried not to think about all of this. None of this truly mattered. It was all a play, a performance, that's all that court etiquette ever was. A way to soften and decorate what was really happening: a game of chess. The pieces were set up now, the next move about to be taken. That's all that politics was.
"Your rooms have already been prepared, please let my servants take your things." Sivarion said.
They would be staying in the guest wing rooms at least for now, which were nice enough. After the wedding the princess would move into the rooms across from Sildor's.
"This evening we will be hosting a masquerade ball to celebrate your arrival and of course the betrothal."
Sildor stayed stone-faced at this, despite the irritation he felt. He despised this sort of frivolity. There were simply far too many important things besides pompous celebration and ceremony. Still, it was part of his role in life. He accepted that. This was something he had to put up with in order to do the important work. For now at least.
"Sildor, would you be so kind as to accompany them to their rooms. Perhaps, if the princess wills it, you could give her a brief tour of the palace."
Of course his father would do something like this. Sildor had hoped to return to his rooms for a moment of reprieve, possibly even get some research in. Instead he was forced to play butler. It was a large, sprawling palace. He knew how long a tour could take. At least he would have a little time alone to get ready for the ball. But that was the best he was going to get.
He gave a slight bow and gestured to the group from Evrehon, "Please, follow me." He said, speaking for the first time during the meeting.

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Re: A Tale of Two Kindgoms

Post by ariagrey » Fri Jun 19, 2020 1:28 pm

Solros watched the Prince gently kiss her hand, no emotion reading across her face, mimicking his. She chewed the inside of her cheek as she stepped back. "We thank you and your generosity." Her father bowed once more. "We look forward to the celebration and your company." The Prince bid them to follow him. As they walked through the palace she could hear her sisters gasping and marvelling quietly behind her, adding to her irritation. Sol was sure either of her older sisters would have been ecstatic to have been chosen as the wife to the Prince Sildor. They were always so ready to please Mother and Papa, eager to live in a place as grand as this one.

"You should wipe the scowl off your face." Sol's second eldest sister Aurora came to walk beside her. "The Prince is handsome and not some old man. One could only dream of living in a place like this with a man like that." Sol rolled her eyes, her scowl deepening. "I didn't ask for this and just because he isn't an old man doesn't make him any less of a cold hearted stranger." Aurora scoffed. "You've always been an ungrateful brat, spoiled by Papa. You're finally getting the same treatment as the rest of us and yet you still come out more favored." Sol tried to quicken her pace, wanting to escape the conversation, Aurora following suit. "Watch your temper and attitide Sol. It will not benefit you in a place like this. Especailly when you're on your own." Aurora slowed down to walk next to Sol's third eldest sister, Dilya, leaving her to stew in her thoughts and annoyance.

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Re: A Tale of Two Kindgoms

Post by Quirkless Deku » Mon Jun 22, 2020 4:21 am

Sildor led the newcomers past innumerable rooms and grand halls. He noticed the sisters whispering excitedly amongst themselves but paid them no mind. He noticed also that Solros did not seem nearly as happy as her sisters. It was quite obvious that she was not ecstatic about the arrangement. He wasn't upset that she wasn't pleased, after all he wasn't in this situation because he wanted it either, but he was mildly concerned. So long as they could get along well enough and she could let him get on with his important work, then everything should work out. They could go about their lives, put on a show for the others, and that would be enough. However, if she was that adamant about not being his wife or if she became too needy or curious, that could pose a challenge. He would have to wait and see.
Eventually they came to a set of double doors. They opened to a medium-sized entry hall with several doors branching off. Behind each would be a sitting room, a bedroom, and a bath. A fairly simple arrangement, but suitable.
"I am sure that you travels have been quite exhausting, feel free to settle in and rest until the ball. Princess," Sildor said, bowing his head slightly in her direction, "Will you be taking my father's offer?"

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Re: A Tale of Two Kindgoms

Post by ariagrey » Mon Jun 22, 2020 11:20 am

The party entered the double doors into a central common room, Sol's sisters ran off to look at decor and to choose their rooms while she stood there, not bothering pretending any of this was exciting. Her sister's words annoyingly rang in her ears warning her. The scowl slowly left her expressions as she let out a small sigh. I guess it isn't all bad. she tried telling herself. "Such lovely accommodations, don't you think?" Papa gave Solros a pat on the back, his pride for her beaming from his face. "Yes, Papa. It's very nice."
The Prince invited them to relax and then addressed her. Her jaw tightened, wanting to say no, but her father answered for her, before she could refuse. "She'd love to have a tour, Prince Sildor! Perhaps it'll give you both time to get to know each other." Great. Papa nudged her towards the Prince, his plans obvious. He knew saying it in front of everyone would force her to go along. She smiled awkwardly at the Prince. "I suppose we should get started then." The Princess turned to her parents. "Mother, Papa." She bowed her head, giving her father a brief look before heading back towards the double doors. She hadn't expected to be alone with the Prince so soon. As much as she did not enjoy this arrangement, she did not want to disappoint her Papa. She would have to remember to hold her tongue, when possible that is. "Where shall we begin?" She asked Sildor, not meeting his eyes.

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Re: A Tale of Two Kindgoms

Post by Quirkless Deku » Tue Jun 23, 2020 4:30 pm

Sildor showed her the Royal family's wing of the palace, bringing her to the general sitting and dining areas. Of course each set of rooms also had individual areas such as these as well. "This is where we often eat," Sildor said, showing her the dining room, which like all rooms in the palace was elaborately decorated. "Though, I must warn you that I often take my meals alone." He ate alone in he study whenever he could get away with it so that he could continue to work.
He showed her the sitting room where the noble women would often meet for tea and other social activities that Sildor knew little about, and many of the other halls, such as the gallery featuring esteemed artistic works.
Eventually he brought her into the central gardens. They were meticulously kept and one of the most beautiful areas of the palace. Together, they walked through the paths lined with topiaries, small trees which were grown and trimmed in artistic ways, and the various flowers: dahlias, roses, and many others. Fountains, streams and waterfalls were dotted throughout the gardens. All together, the gardens were the most lush and well kept area in all of Ryendorei. It was quite the feat considering the climate.

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Re: A Tale of Two Kindgoms

Post by ariagrey » Thu Jun 25, 2020 2:39 am

Solros followed Sildor silently, walking by room after room and hallway after hallway. The grandness of the palace made it seem like a maze. She wondered how she would ever be able to learn her way around. It was almost as frightening as the thought of eating alone with the Prince's parents. It was bad enough she was marrying a man she didn't know and coming to live away from everything she knew and loved. To think she would have to dine with his parents alone, it seemed like a special kind of torture. The princess made sure to keep the annoyance off her face, nodding in response.

As the pair entered the central gardens, Sol couldn't help but be amazed. Her eyes lit up at so much green, green she hasn't seen since being home. There were so many varieties of flowers and trees it was almost overwhelming. "It's lovely." She whispered, more so thinking out loud. A feeling arose, bringing a tightness in her chest as she continued to walk along. The gardens reminded her of home and it was a bitter sweet feeling. Her expression turned crestfallen, ready for the tour to be over. "I'm feeling unwell. I think I should return to my quarters and rest before the festivities tonight."

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Re: A Tale of Two Kindgoms

Post by Quirkless Deku » Fri Jun 26, 2020 5:18 am

Sildor gave a curt nod and rattled off the directions to Solros's rooms.
He stood there for a few minutes after she left, sighed, and then headed back toward his quarters. On his way bumped into his mother's hand maid carrying soup and tea.
"Let me," He said. She bowed and handed him the platter. He made his way to his mother's rooms. She would be exhausted by this morning. The illness had taken a toll on her. She was frail now, barely able to stand most of the time and taken over by fits of coughing and struggled breathing. He gave a knock and entered her room. As expected she was lying in bed, propped up slightly with pillows. She gave a weary smile.
"Sildor," She said. "What a pleasant surprise."
He set the tray down on her bedside table and dragged a chair over to sit next to her.
"I told her I wasn't hungry."
"You need to eat, mother."
She turned to look at him in the eye. "How are you holding up my dear?"
"What do you mean?"
"You know, my son. The marriage."
"It is an advantageous arrangement."
She waved her hand dismissively. "I asked about you, about how you felt."
"I'm fine. Anyway, don't think changing the subject is getting you out of eating."
"Now you're the one changing the subject. Don't take me for a fool," she said. "That mask may work on others but I know you too well. You are not over her and you have not processed this arrangement"
"I haven't a clue what you are insinuating," Sildor said.
She reached over, placing her cold hand on his. "You cannot hide your feelings forever. Denying your own humanity will not help you achieve your goals. It will come back to hurt you in the end."
Sildor sat in silence for a moment. "Eat." He said taking a spoonful of the thin soup.
"Here is my offer," She said. "If I eat, you will acknowledge your feelings on the situation and work through them."
He stared at her. "Fine."
He would say anything to get her to eat at this point.

He returned to his quarters ready to get some work done in the remaining time, since the tour had ended early. He settled down in his study, but found himself unable to focus. He would never acknowledge it, but his mother's words had gotten to him. They had wormed into his subconscious and the things that he had suppressed were started to bubble up to the surface making it impossible to focus on his research.
"Damn it," He said, slamming his hands on the table and standing so abruptly that the chair nearly tipped backward. This was pointless.
So he left, grabbing his sword on the way out. He went to one of the courtyards he used to train and practice and began running through forms with his blade. Over and over, he drilled, until his heart was pounding and he felt the familiar ache in his muscles. They were complicated and graceful forms, which, when done properly, looked effortless despite their difficulty. He was a master of them. The familiar stances were grounding for him, like the embrace of an old friend.

Eventually he returned to his room to prepare for the ball. He had his servant draw a bath, after which he dressed. His outfit was a black base, like most of the clothes that he wore, but with an elaborate amount of gold decoration and detailing. His mask resembled a raven, with dramatic golden feathers. It was time.

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Re: A Tale of Two Kindgoms

Post by ariagrey » Fri Jun 26, 2020 7:20 pm

Solros must have taken a wrong turn somewhere along the way back to her room for she was lost never having seen the part of the palace she was in. Eventually she came upon a gaurd who accompanied her back, thanking him sheepishly. She collapsed on her bed, letting out a large sigh, glad to be alone. However her solitude did not last long, her sister Aurora entering the room.
"I see you're back already sister." She wraped an arm around one of the posters of the four poster bed. Solros rose to her elbows, rolling her eyes.
"What of it? Jealous you weren't invited?" The princess flopped back, folding her hands over her stomach.
"I assumed it would take longer to tour this whole palace. Did you scare him off? Offend him already?" Aurora sat at the end of the bed, a mischievous smile on her lips.
"No! We hardly talked except for him to explain things." The smiled quickly faded from her sisters face, replaced with a pout.
"I see. Wishful thinking I suppose. Mother and I have chosen your dress and your mask. We also have ideas for your hair."
"Great. Have you two also decided my favorite food and my childrens names too?" Sol stood and walked around the bed to the window, all of this becoming too much.
Aurora scoffed. "We're trying to make things easier for you." She stood and came around to stand beside Sol. "I'm sorry you're finally feeling the harshness of reality. Papa has sheltered you and babied you for so long, but this is how it is. Deal with it." Aurora grabbed Solros by the jaw, forcing her sister to look at her. "Do not disappoint Papa and the family after everything he's done for you." She released Sol and began to leave. "Mother is waiting for us to begin with your bath. We shouldn't keep her waiting."

▪︎ ▪︎ ▪︎

After a floral infused bath and oils rubbed on her body, Sol's sisters began work on her hair. There were an array of braids throughout her hair, half of it gathered into an inticate bun at the crown of her head. Strings of pearls hung in layers as decoration. Her dress was silk in a deep saphire blue that hugged her body and curves in all the right places, flaring out once it reached her knees. She looked like she was standing in a pool of deep water. The neck and back were plunging and delicate, thin straps held everything up.
"You look so lovely my Solros." Her mother grabbed her face and looked at her with such pride.
"Thanks Mother."
"Here's your mask." Sol's sister Dilya handed it off to Aurora who placed it on her head.
The mask was a deep blue like the dress, the upper edge lined in pearls, a single cream colored shell placed in the center at the top. Although her people lived in the forest and her love for the trees and plants knew no bounds, part of her always loved the sea. Her mother swam often in the ocean while pregnant with Solros and even gave birth to her on the beach. Her parents always said she seemed to belong to the sea, as if Sol was merely a gift the ocean had given them.
"The prince is a lucky man." Dilya beamed at Solros in their reflection, Sol only managing a half smile.
"Too bad he's getting the short end of the stick."
"Aurora! That's enough. Come girls. Let us make haste. We must not leave anyone waiting."

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