A Change of Fate

Discussion in 'ROLEPLAY GRAVEYARD' started by Jumi, Jan 29, 2014.

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  1. [​IMG]

    Leaning back in his saddle, Darius lifted the visor of his helm, allowing the cool summer winds to wash over his sweat covered face. Earthly brown eyes peered forward, and swept the road before them. The man had traveled this path many times before, but had not once taken to the time to really look at it, as he recalled the path from forced marches. The sides of the road were adorned with various wild flowers of deep blue, and violent reds, with subtle yellows, and mute purples.

    "Sad to think I never recalled seeing such flowers along the Pilgrim's Way..." Darius murmured aloud to himself as he guided his horse along the beaten dirt path that lead from the distant capital to the outstretches of farm holds at the kingdom's borders. A distance it was, as the capital of Ironhold was nearly a month's ride to the small village of Theton. The village itself hadn't changed in the years, Darius had passed it's way, and that thought often held some comfort to the prince. The Kingdom seemed to have less consistency each passing year with it's campaigns, and politics.

    His thoughts were interrupted as a stitched leather ball flew past his face, and crashed through the wild grass that edged the flowers. The voices of children playing followed it almost immediately, and from the grass four children scampered through in their games. Reigning his horse gently, Darius looked down at them, and smiled softly. The children... they were why he did what he did. If he could protect them, then all the sins he had a hand in would be worth it.

    Duty in life would be his reward, and though he at times often wished for more, he would be content knowing that others weren't as fortunate with their lot in life as he had been... even with war having been his bedtime stories since youth.

    "Careful there you brats. You almost killed me with that!" Darius chimed in jest, as they spotted the large draft horse, along with the large man riding it.

    "Darius!" they cheered, as the eldest whispered something in their ears.

    "You going to play with us?" The children pleaded as they ran up to his horse, who promptly huffed in annoyance.

    "Alas, I wish I could young ones, but I'm on a quest today."

    "You're always on quests." The youngest, a girl answered, while putting her hands on her hips smearing dirt on her dress.

    "Aren't we all, m'lady?" Darius answered, while leaning to the side to look at her.

    Rolling her eyes, she walked away to pick up their ball, while the eldest snickered, and looked up Darius. "Still going to teach me how to fight? I told dad that I'm going to be a warrior like you, and that when I'm old enough, I'm gonna be a knight... but dad keeps saying I have to be a noble like you."

    "Nonsense! We both know it takes bravery, and kindess to be a great man, don't we Jaycen? The farmer does more than a knight ever wi ll. He helps his fellows in all he does, and works the land which grants us all life. But if you're so inclined to be a knight, then I dub thee a squire errant. And your first duty is to discover something for me. Think you're up for your first royal issue?"

    "Yeah! But you better have more for me cause I'm gonna be done so fast, you'll fall off your horse!" Jaycen boasted, and ran his thumb across his chin, with a grin on his face.

    "Then I issue you to find me a maiden. One said to have eyes casting ruby's to jealousy, and hair as white as the first snow fall."

    "Kinda cryptic, ain't that?"

    "Well I thought if anyone knew the pretty ladies in Theton, it would be you, but it seems I was wrong... I'll just have to find myself another squire who follows orders..."

    Chewing his lip, Jaycen sighed heavily, and then hung his head. "Fine! I know just the lady, but you owe me for this, and I want my own banner."

    Grinning, Darius nodded. "You have my promise."​
     
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    Running a hand down the old horse's neck, Faunalyn gave a gentle smile as the horse slowly walked off, her once bright chestnut coat dull and flecked with white. Watching as the old mare stopped at the small dam that held the paddock's water and lowered her head for drink, the girl turned and left, making her way into the small barn which currently held only 2 horses. One was a heavily pregnant palomino and the other was her own horse, a dark brown and white paint gelding called Malek, which meant King. Giving the two horses a biscuit of hay each and checking on their water, she left the barn and made her way towards the field where the crops were growing. She got about half way there when she heard, "Faunalyn!" and she turned and saw her father standing on the porch of the house. She gave a slight wave and swiftly walked to where he stood, looking up at the man with a questioning look. "Take Malek and go sell these eggs to Rida and Jefferson," he told her, holding out a small carton of eggs. She gave a slow nod and took the eggs before going back to the barn. She wondered why Rida and Jefferson wanted eggs. They had chickens so they should have laid eggs. Unless a fox had gotten into their coop. It wouldn't be a first that had happened. Sighing, the girl placed the eggs on a stack of hay and went and fetched Malek's tack and a brush. Quickly brushing the dirt which clung to his coat, she quickly tacked him up and then led him outside, grabbing the eggs along the way.

    Putting the carton into one of the saddle bags, she mounted the gelding and then glanced back at the house where her father still stood, waving with a smile. Waving back at him, she gave a sigh before she pushing Malek into a walk. Rida and Jefferson's farm was 3 farms over, right next to the forest. Nudging her horse into a steady, smooth canter, she made it to the farm within 15 minutes. Slowing the horse to a halt, she dismounted and tied him to the post out the front of their farm. Rida was slightly allergic to horses so Fauna always tied Malek outside the farm so Rida wouldn't have to get close to him. Taking the eggs out of the saddle bag, she patted the paint on the neck before she walked up to their house and knocked on their door. It was Jefferson who answered. "Eggs," Fauna said softly and he smiled before vanishing into the house for a moment and then reappearing, handing over a few coins and then taking the eggs. "What happened? Shouldn't your chickens have laid eggs by now?" she asked, cocking her head to the side.

    The man ran a hand through his greying black hair and sighed. "A fox got into the coop a couple days ago and ate 3 of our chickens. Half the flock escaped the coop and most of the eggs that were in there were destroyed," he told her with a grim expression. Fauna shook her head slowly. Foxes were so sneaky. "But enough about that!" he said as he placed the carton of eggs on a table by the door. "Thank you for bringing them, Faunalyn. You should get back before your parents worry about you," he told her, shooing her from the porch. She chuckled quietly before waving to him and walking back over to Malek and untying him. Mounting the horse, she nudged him into a walk and looked around.

    In the distance, she saw a few of the farmers' kids talking to someone on horseback, but she couldn't make out who it was. After a short moment, she decided to leave it be, knowing the kids generally wouldn't talk to people they didn't know, so she figured it was a farmer's son or something. Or a friend coming to visit. Pushing her horse into a canter, she came home soon enough and she pulled Malek to a halt and slid from his back, landing with a light 'thud'. Leading him up to the house, she watched as her father soon stepped outside and she handed him the money. "I've already checked on the crops and the other animals, you go do what you want now, Faunalyn," he told her and she gave him a wide smile and hugged him. He chuckled in her ear just before she let go and she quickly mounted Malek again, turning him around and going out of the farm, trying to decide where she was going to go. She finally decided to go see what the children were doing and turned in that direction, but kept Malek at a walk. She was in no hurry and her whole day was free until late afternoon. "We'll see what the children are doing and then go for a ride in the forest?" she suggested to Malek and the gelding snorted in distaste. "Just the forest?" she asked him and his ears flicked forward. "Child hater," she grumbled to the horse before she laughed softly. Soon, the children and the man came back into view and she halted Malek, trying to figure out who it was that was with them.​
     
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    Jaycen turned on his heel, and spotted Faunalyn riding her horse up, and then stopping. "HEY FAUNALYN! THIS GUY NEEDS A MAIDEN, AND SINCE YOU'RE THE PRETTIEST, HE MUST MEAN YOU!" the boy literally yelled across the distance, causing Darius to rub his ear. The motion shifted his cloak, revealing the massive slab of iron he called a sword that was slung to his back.

    "Nice tact, brat." Darius chuckled slightly, and turned his eyes to where the boy had been yelling to, and it was then that he found himself at a loss for words. The young woman beyond the road sat on her horse, as if gauging the stranger, and for the first time in quite a while, he felt his nerves no longer steeled. "That's her?" He said a moment later, to which the boy nodded.

    "Pretty ain't she?"

    "Quite... since when has an Elf made residence in Theton?" Turning his horse, Darius gave no time for answer. He guided the horse towards the woman, keeping his steed from moving faster than a walk. The group of children broke away in boredom, though Jaycen followed behind. His curiosity now getting the better of him.

    As Darius approached, he guided the black, and white draft horse to a halt, and removed his helm, allowing his face to be seen. A small scar ran across the bridge of his nose, and his open eye focused heavily on her, as if analyzing her. Very much like what a soldier would do, though he did his best to give no inclination of danger. "So... you must be the reason I've traveled from the capital, M'lady. Might I ask your name? I am"

    "Prince Darius Blackwind! The future king of Devaria!" Jaycen chimed in with a cheer, and flashed a large smile.

    Adjusting himself to rest easier in his saddle, the prince closed his eye a moment, and then opened it once more. "Aye... the boy speaks the truth, but I wish it not to be spoken so loudly that the dead would here it in their eternal slumber, Jaycen. And that is an order of true royal decree." Turning his attention back to the young lady, Darius rubbed his chin lightly, and scratched at his left elbow a moment, his brow creasing as he did so.

    "Might I ask to speak with you, and your family at your home? I have a matter for you, and yours that should be dealt with in private." The entire time, his voice carried itself with it's deepness, though it was haloed with an assuring gentleness. Very strange for the man was decked in armor, bandages, and where visable, his skin was adorned with scars... some of which seemed to still be healing. It was obvious that by how he carried himself, and dressed that his was a hard life though self imposed.​
     
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    Out of no where, she saw Jaycen turned around and then literally yell across the small field at her. She blinked in surprise at the boy before his words truly sunk in. That man was looking for her? But why? Her gaze shifted to the man as he rubbed his ear, his cloak shifting and revealing a large sword slung over his back. Her brow furrowed slightly in confusion as she realised she did not recognise the man at all. She watched him as he seemed to be speaking to the boy before he moved his horse into a walk, turning and coming straight at her. She watched as the children scattered. All except Jaycen, who followed the man's horse like a shadow. The man halted his horse only a few metres from hers and she looked down as Malek stared at the other horse, unsure whether to like him or not. Movement forced her eyes back onto the man as he removed his helm and she studied him in silence, looking at the small scar across his nose and that only one eye was open and she suddenly wondered what had happened to him. She also noticed that the other small parts of exposed skin had many scars and she guessed by that and his armor that he must have been in quite a few wars in his life.

    She looked back at his face and noticed him staring at her intently and she shifted in her saddle, feeling slightly uncomfortable under the scrutiny of his gaze, even if he was trying not to scare her. He soon told her she was reason he had travelled from the capital and a look of complete and utter confusion flashed across her features before she calmed herself down. He would explain it all.. Hopefully. He asked her name before going to introduce himself, however, Jaycen's loud voice cut in, telling her that he was Prince Darius Blackwind.. and the future king of this land. She looked at the kid for a short moment before they rose to look at Darius, her eyes wide. Was he really the Crowned Prince? When ever he had come past this town, she had always been working so she had never seen him before. Not that she had wanted to. She knew that every other time he had come through here, he was heading out to war. She had never wanted to see a man so ready for blood shed.

    However, she couldn't exactly just walk away from him now that she knew who he was. She was torn from her thoughts as he confirmed Jaycen's announcement and she studied him once more as he rubbed his chin and then scratched his elbow. He may definitely be a man ready for war, but he didn't act or look like anything she had imagined him to be. She had imagined a man who was cruel and terrifying. And though Darius was intimidating, he wasn't scary and didn't seem cruel. Watching the man for a moment before she shifted her gaze to Jaycen as Darius spoke. The boy had wandered closer to Malek and the gelding's ears flicked back, ready to bite him should he try anything funny. The young woman gave the boy a warning look and waited for him to retreat away from her horse before she looked back at the prince.

    She gave a soft sigh and then turned Malek around, the gelding snorting in annoyance. "My home is this way," she told him, her voice soft and gentle, watching him with ruby eyes before she nudged her horse into a walk. "And my name? It is Faunalyn Cormyth," she added as she leaned forward slightly and patted Malek's neck. They came to her farm soon enough and she halted Malek outside of the barn and dismounted, waiting for the prince as she pulled the reins over her horse's head and tying him to a post. She glanced over at her house and wondered if her parents were inside or out the back tending to the crops. However, they soon both stepped out of the house and came towards her.. Even as a young child, Fauna had known they weren't her real parents. After all, both of them were human. Her father, Peter, had grey hair and brown eyes whilst her mother, Annie, had greying brown hair and grey eyes.
     
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    "Faunalyn Cormyth..." he responded in a murmur. The fact she knew her family's surname, and that it was also the name of her now absorbed kingdom shocked him, though he did his best to hide this fact behind his calm, and collected mask. Surely if she knew, then others knew as well. He would be wary...

    "You honor me with your name, m'lady."

    Following the woman, Darius remained silent as they traveled to her home. He had numerous questions that he wanted to ask, but erring on the side of caution, he kept his words to himself. The thought crossed his mind, that she may not truly know of her real identity. If so, he feared that he would be destroying the life that she had known since her adoption, but though he had no wish to reveal this... he couldn't disobey his father's orders. The repercussions he could deal with... but the king had been changing the last few years, and in truth, Darius was more concerned for this woman, and her parents safety at the moment.

    When they had arrived at the woman's home, Darius dismounted, and slipped a pouch from his belt, handing it to Jaycen. "Share this with the town. A token of good faith from myself to the villagers."

    The boy, almost seemed to struggle with the leather pouch, and after almost dropping it a few times, the jingling of coins rather apparent, he raced off towards his home, leaving the two alone with her parents who had just stepped out their front door.

    Unhinging the sword from his back, Darius rested it against a large fence post. The weight of the blade made the thick oak of the fence groan audibly. "Greetings." He offered the elderly couple, and bowed his head in respect. Though his stature among the populace here warranted no need for his formalities, the prince had always tried his best to make good face for his people, and though the girl may not have recognized him, the looks on her parents face was obvious indication they knew him. He had never made himself scarce with the people either.

    "May I ask privilege to enter your home?" he asked in a gentle tone, and removed his cloak from his broad shoulders. The sun glinted off his polished black pauldrons, and darkly dyed leather jerkin, and breaches while his heavy boots seemed to dig into the soil. The horse stood solitary, with it's reigns left at it's side. A clear indication of the man's trust in his mount remaining, and a sign of it's training perhaps as well.

    "I have a matter to speak with you all about, and it it's urgency should be heeded." His tone had now taken a more serious tone. If one were perceptive enough, they would notice the slight darting of his eye as it seemed to be looking past them, and their home. As if scanning for a threat that wasn't there.​
     
  6. Faunalyn looked at the pouch of coins the prince gave to Jaycen, who stumbled for a moment before racing off. She watched the boy quickly vanish down the dirt path before she looked back at Darius. She couldn't figure him out. He was so ready to go to war with other lands and yet he seemed gentle to the people of his land. She didn't understand it. Everyone deserved a chance. Not just people of this land. Watching as he leaned his sword against the fence post, she cringed slightly as she heard it groan in protest and she had the sudden urge to move it somewhere else. But she knew she'd never be able to lift a sword as big as that one. Having to let it stay, she looked back at Darius as he greeted her parents. Looking over at them, she saw their shocked and confused expressions. She instantly knew that they knew exactly who he was and she sighed. It seemed she was the only one who hadn't had a clue who the man was. When he asked if he could come inside the house, her parents' faces lit up and her father nodded and said, "of course!" whilst her mother strode off into the house, probably so she could move stuff out of the way and make it slightly cleaner before he entered.

    Looking back at Darius, she saw he had removed his cloak and she blinked in surprise but said nothing. She was more intrigued that his horse just stood there without being tied. Her luck, if she did that, Malek would take off towards the greenest patch of grass he could find. Looking at her paint gelding momentarily, she scratched behind his ear and he huffed in delight, leaning into her touch. She dropped her hand to her side when she heard there was an urgent matter to speak about and she noted the serious tone and she saw his eyes darting around their farm. She looked around, thinking he had seen something, but nothing was there. When she turned her gaze to her father, she noticed his expression had turned hard and serious. Did he know something about what the Prince wanted to speak about?

    Glancing between them, she shook her head and then looked at Darius. "Come on," she said and walked off towards the house, glancing at her father as he turned and followed her inside. The house wasn't huge, but it wasn't as small as some commoners' houses. It was quite roomy and everything was neat. To be honest, Faunalyn had no idea why her mother had rushed in here, she was strict about not messing the place up and her father often got a good lecture for bringing mud through the house. She stepped to the side, gesturing to a seat for Darius to sit on as her parents took a seat on different chairs, whilst Faunalyn stayed standing, watching them with mild interest, curious as to what the Prince meant by an urgent matter. She idly ran a hand through her snow white hair as she waited for Darius to say something. As she glanced at her parents, they both had knowing expressions. Obviously, they were pretty certain about what he was going to tell them. And she was left in the dark, having to wait for him to speak.
     
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    Taking a seat, Darius set his folded cloak in his lap, and looked around the house taking in the details of it. The worn wooden walls, and floor had a distinct character to it that he was envious of. If anything in the palace ever went into disrepair, it was simply replaced with something new. This house had seen it's share of time, and worn with such distinction. It made him think momentarily about his task at hand again, and cause him to pause in thought. Waging the outcomes of various actions, he exhaled softly, and looked towards them all, and collected his thoughts again.

    "You two must know why I've come, but I doubt that she has any. But the King has decided that it's now time for the Princess of Cormyth to return to the light of the world. I am to escort her to the capital where she will attend an audience with my father. For what reason, I am not certain, but if he sent me then there is cause for concern." Looking to the young woman "You must have known these two to not be your birth parents... your true mother, and father died fifteen years ago in the war with Algonia to the far south of us."

    Licking his bottom lip, Darius continued hoping to finish his words before the shock of the truth set in, and deafened Faunalyn to her surroundings. "I will be taking her in the morning, and in return, you two will be offered a place within the city limits where you may retire for your service to the Crown once the girl's relocation is finished. This offer is of my own accord, as no duty done should go unrewarded." Rubbing his elbow once more, he fell silent a moment. "I fear that there are people that wish to prevent her return, as on my journey I happened across characters carrying a writ for her death. No doubt to cause this brief period of peace we've all shared to come to an end, as Algonia has always looked hungrily at our borders, and looks for any reason to invade. I believe they wish to incite rebellion with her death should the Elves of Cormyth discover that my lands failed to protect the long lost heir."

    Retrieving a small rolled piece of parchment from his belt, Darius extended it out towards her adopted father. "This is written orders from me to allow you entrance, and abode within the capital. Please take this, as I promise that you will see your daughter again, but for now I must ask that you trust me in this. You two know that I will die for her before I allow any harm to come to the young lady." Having made this speech about dying for the cause multiple times, Darius knew the words by heart, but for this, he put his soul into those words, for the fate of an innocent woman, and that of a kingdom could very well be at stake...

    It had taken years to earn the trust of the elven exiles. And such a new formed bond, would be easy to break.

    Looking back to Faunalyn, he couldn't help but see the look of confusion, shock, and defiance that laced her beautiful features, and it plucked at his heart... knowing that he'd just destroyed the illusion she'd grown up with. The illusion that could have stayed reality had he never set foot in the small farming village of Theton.​
     
  8. She watched Darius as he studied their house for a moment and she wondered if he thought it was pitifully small compared to his palace. And old. Faunalyn may not hate anybody but she held no false ideals about royals. She had heard how snobbish many royals were, so she had never held them on a pedestal and always thought the lowest of them. But she always hoped to be pleasantly surprised by being proven wrong. To be shown that not all nobles and royals thought of commoners as only an extra number to make their empire stronger. Yet, as she studied the prince, she saw envy in his eyes and it caught her off guard. Why would he be envious? She was quickly shaken from her thoughts when she noticed he was about to speak and she stood a little straighter, wanting to know what he was here for. And she was about to find out.

    However, the words that came from the princes mouth were not at all what she was expecting. An audience with the King? Princess of Cormyth? Escorted to the capital by Darius? His words were making no sense to her. He couldn't possibly be talking about her. Her surname was Cormyth.. But a princess? There was absolutely no way that was possible. As he looked at her, saying she must have known Peter and Annie were not her birth parents, she gave a slow nod. Then he told her that they were murdered fifteen years ago. He said died in the war. Which to her, meant murdered. They had died fifteen years ago.. That meant she had only been two years old. Only two. And she'd never meet her birth parents. Yet, despite being told this, Darius continued, telling her parents she'd be leaving in the morning. So soon? He spoke about her parents being able to stay in the city, but that did nothing for her. She vaguely noticed him rub his elbow again, like he had earlier just before he said that people were out to kill her. The young woman stared at him, wide eyed, not sure whether she was able to believe what he was telling her.

    She watched as he pulled something from his belt and hand it to her father, she didn't even hear the Prince as he spoke again, only saw his lips moving, which was the only indication she had that he was talking. She watched as her father took the item from Darius and say something. From what she saw, he had said something along the lines, "we trust you will keep her safe." Shaking her head softly, she looked back at Darius as he looked over at her. The young woman stared at him for a moment before she turned and walked out of the house. It couldn't be true. She was no princess. Her parents would have told her. Darius had to be lying when he had said her birth parents were gone. And people wanted her dead? But she had never done anything to upset anyone in her life. Why would they want her dead?

    She strode over to Malek, almost tempted to get on him and ride off, but Darius' words about people wanting her head kept her from untying him. She sat down in front of him, leaning against the fence she had tied her horse to. She brought her knees to her chest, hugging them close to her as she cast a quick glance at the large sword leaning against the fence only a metre away from her and the image of someone else's sword cutting through her and killing her swept through her head and she shuddered. "It's not true," she said quietly to Malek who lowered his head to rest his muzzle on her knees and stared at her. "It can't be.. He's got to be lying," she said softly.
     
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    Watching the young woman storm off, Darius's eye lowered to the floor. It was as he feared... and he wasn't surprised. He'd become the villain in her eyes. The man who came, and swept away everything she'd known. It wasn't the first time he had been responsible for such destruction, but homes, land, and old wounds were much easier to treat, and fix then someone's life. It weighed on him, and he felt his shoulders sink. "I wish I did not have to be here, but I've my responsibilities, but make no mistake. I am glad I came, for she is hunted by those that wish to punish an innocent woman. This I would never allow. May I make use of your barn for the night for rest? I don't wish to draw any more attention to you."

    Peter nodded, and asked his wife to fetch a few blankets for the night.

    The prince had already made plans to store his armor in the barn with his horse, and camp the night outside next to the large Elm tree that stood in the front of the house. He could feel the rain coming, and thanked the fact that he'd requested a new spun cloak that resisted the elements better. Else this would be an even worse night. "Allow me a moment to talk to your daughter, and then please spend the night with each other for it will be sometime before preparations are finished for your arrival to the city." Darius stood, and bowed his head once more, and took his leave to the front of their house.

    As he exited, he halted as he heard Faunalyn's words which she spoke to her horse.

    "It can't be.. He's got to be lying,"

    "I wish for once, I could be called a liar. But I can promise you two things in the days to come. I will protect you, and that once we arrive in the capital, I will do whatever I can to help you learn more about your people if you would wish it." Stepping down from the stairs, he slowly walked towards her, but stopped several feet from her.

    "I can understand if you hate me for arriving this day, and if it helps you... then hate me as much as you need. I can bare the weight, as I have for the other sins of my country. Perhaps if I'm fortunate enough, I can earn your forgiveness in time." Walking to his sword, he lifted it, and hinged it back into it's notch along his back. "But if I may be so bold... you should spend what time you have before the morning with your family... it is a precious thing that you have with them." His words did their best to hide the fact that his envy was still present, though he was in control once more of himself.

    Walking towards the barn, Darius looked over his shoulder once more at the woman as she huddled on the ground with her horse next to her. The large black draft horse walked up to Darius, following him to the barn where he unsaddled it, and removed his armor, tucking it into a corner, covering it with straw. His sword was then rested against the wall. When night fell, and the rains came, he'd set up at the tree's trunk, and keep eye throughout the night. Not sure if there would be a night of peace for the girl, but always expecting the worst.​
     
    #9 Jumi, Jan 29, 2014
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2014
  10. Not having heard Darius come of the house, Faunalyn jumped when she heard him speak. Her eyes darted up to looked at the man as he spoke, saying that he wished he could be called a liar for once. He then proceeded to promise her he'd protect her and that once they arrived at the capital he would teach her about her people. She watched him as he approached her and stopped a few feet away from her. After a moment, she blinked in mild surprise when he told her she could hate him if it helped her get through this. She stayed utterly silent as he walked over and hinged the sword upon his back once more and suggested she go back to her parents, telling her what she had with them was precious. If she wasn't mistaken, she may have detected a hint of envy in his voice. She studied the man silently, hugging her knees tighter to her chest as she watched him walk to the barn, his horse following him inside. She saw Malek's ears flick back as the draft horse got too close to him for his liking and the girl sighed and stroked the gelding's nose. He acted like such a stallion some times.

    Slowly, she pushed herself to stand and brushed herself off and looked over at Darius as he made his way towards the Elm tree and she wondered what he was going to do. Deciding against asking him, she untied Malek and led him into the barn, where she put him in his stall and untacked him, giving him a quick brush off. Locking the stall behind her as she stepped out, she left his tack hanging over the door, figuring she will need it tomorrow anyway. Walking back to the house, she cast a sidelong glance at the prince before she disappeared inside, shutting the door behind her. For most of the night, she was up talking to her parents and just sitting with them. However, late into the night, long after the rain had began, it lightened into a steady drizzle and she stood up from her chair and glanced outside. Grabbing a cloak, she wrapped it around her shoulders and went outside, grabbing another, thicker blanket along the way. She soon saw Dorian move under the tree and she walked over to him.

    She looked down at the prince for a moment for a long moment before she looked away. "I don't hate you," she said firmly, looking back down at him. "It's not your fault that this has happened. It's no one's fault. I was just upset. I don't know anything outside of this town. And the fact that there are people out there wanting to kill me terrified me. Do not blame yourself for doing this," she said and gave a gentle smile before she handed him the blanket, figuring most of his would be soaked. She glanced up into the leaves of the elm before she looked at him once more before she went back to the house.



    Morning came too soon and she yawned, stretching her arms above her head. She had stayed up most of the night and only fell asleep a few hours ago. She looked at her parents' sleeping in chairs, probably having tried staying up all night to say good bye to her in the morning. She walked to her room and got changed she walked over to her parents and gave them each a soft kiss to their foreheads before she stepped outside. She didn't want to wake them. She was bad at goodbyes anyway. Glancing back at the house with a sigh, she walked over to the barn and saddled Malek, putting a couple blankets and clothes in one saddlebag and bits of non perishable food in the other. She stroked the gelding's neck gently. She didn't really know if Darius wanted her to take her horse, but she was planning to. If she wasn't allowed to, he better be allowed to go to the capital with her parents. She didn't plan to let him stay here. Sighing, she led the gelding out of the barn and looked around, wanting to leave before her parents got up. She knew if she had to say a proper goodbye to them, she would cry.
     
  11. [​IMG]

    Drenched to the bone, Darius had propped his sword against his shoulder to help shield his face from the night's heavy rain. There was peace however. Watching the rain drops strike against the grass, and churn the dirt into thick mud. From that mud, he knew that there would be a bountiful harvest, as heavy rain was always a good sign of fortune.

    In the late hours of the night, he saw the door open, and Faunalyn emerged holding another rolled blanket. The rain had settled greatly, but the drizzle was still falling. Watching her walk towards him, he straightened his back, and turned his eye towards her. The words she spoke felt honest enough, but he knew that she may very well change her mind on that once they left. Things never sank in until one took their first step away from home.

    Taking the blanket, he watched her turn to head back inside. "I do not blame myself for anything. But you will more than likely see many who do in the next few weeks." Pulling the soaked hood of his cloak over his head, turned to look down the path from the farm. "This world isn't as grand as it could be, and at times it feels as if it's sick..." He murmured softly to himself, and sighed.

    In the early morning hours, Faunalyn would find Darius walking out from the woods back towards the barn, his drenched cloak stained with mud, and what appeared to be red clay. Seeing the woman waiting for him, he gritted his teeth slightly, and moved his hand from his side, keeping it hidden under his drawn cloak.

    "We should depart soon, but not by horse. We will take the pathways by foot, as it will be less conspicuous." The prince said as he pulled at the strap of side plate, allowing the buckle to tighten against the fresh cut that now adorned the other numerous scars.

    The night had passed peacefully... for some.
     
  12. Faunalyn found Darius walking towards her, coming from the woods and she glanced at his cloak, covered in mud and what she could only make out as red clay. She squinted slightly, trying to figure out where the clay had come from before he spoke and she looked back up at him. As he said they should depart soon, but not by horse, she looked at Malek, who was looking at her. She sighed softly and led him back into his stall, where she swiftly untacked him and put it away, shoving everything from the saddlebags into a normal bag which she slung over a shoulder. "He can come to the capital with my parents, though, right?" she asked him as she came back outside, looking up at Darius. She suddenly remembered the words he had spoken to her last night and she glanced away from him before she looked over at her house. She looked at it for a moment, willing her parents to stay asleep.

    A moment later, she turned to look back at Darius, "We should go, then," she said quietly, casting a sidelong glance at the house once more before they set off. A thought suddenly occurred to her and she looked up at him. "Why is it that you, the Crowned Prince, had to come get me and not someone else?" she asked him before she looked ahead, wondering if he'd answer her or not. She ran a hand briefly through her hair before she tied it back, keeping most of it off of her face, though a few strays had managed to escape its hold.
     
  13. [​IMG]

    "Yes. Your horse will be brought to the capital... and as for why I was chosen... that is conversation for another time. It is best we leave, but allow me to carry your bag." Darius slung her belongings over his shoulder, and set a brisk, but steady pace for the two to travel by. He himself had left his horse behind as well, but Eihnlan would be find on his own, and truthfully, Darius felt more comfortable with the horse remaining behind. It was a superbly intelligent animal, and people often wondered if it were simply a horse at times. The prince had lost track of how many times the horse had saved his life before. It was more brother than beast of burden in his eyes.

    With each step, his armor rattled gently, as the plates slid against one another, and Darius had slung his helm from his belt, allowing it to bounce against his thigh with each alternating step. Glancing to the side, at Faunlyn, he found himself curious to ask her a multitude of questions, but not knowing where to begin. Then in a moment of pure chance, he simply asked the question on his mind.

    "So you've never left Theton before, m'lady? I would have thought you would have seen the capital at least once." Doing his best to not favor his injured side, Darius walked straight and with purpose, his eye every scanning their horizon at seemingly random intervals. "You've grown up in this land your entire life, and you are still a stranger to it... odd indeed."​
     
  14. Faunalyn was content with knowing she'd see Malek again and let that subject drop. When he said that why he was chosen was a conversation for another time, she raised a brow, curiosity now in her eyes. Now she really wanted to know why he was the one who was escorting her. But she let it go and blinked in surprise when he took her bag before she huffed quietly, tempted to take it back off of him. She was able to carry her own things. yet, she let him have his way for now and she walked beside the man as he started to walk. She looked back at the barn and house before she looked forward, knowing that she would probably never see the small farm again. She glanced at his helmet which bounced off his thigh before her gaze travelled up his armour, wondering how he could wear it. She would think it was hot and uncomfortable. She doubted she could ever wear something like that.

    Darius' voice made her jumped slightly and she looked up at him. She noticed him scanning the horizon before he started speaking again, saying it was odd she had never been to the capital before. She thought for a moment and then gave a gentle shrug. "My parents didn't want me to go there. Said it was too dangerous of a journey to go there by myself," she told him honestly. They had, however, asked her if she wanted to go there with them once. But she declined their offer. The capital was completely different from the quiet farm life. She didn't have to go there to know that. So she had stayed at the farm by herself whilst they had gone for what ever business they had had there.

    Faunalyn turned her gaze to the ground, "And I heard rumors that there is a fair bit of violence at the capital," she said quietly. She had done her best all her life to avoid places where she heard there was war or violence. And she hadn't ever wanted to go to places like that. But now, she didn't really have much of a choice.
     
  15. [​IMG]

    "I can't say I blame them... Never a day goes by that some assassin doesn't draw a knife to slay me during my walks through town. The people however are always looking out for me it seems. Violence is a part of this country, and someday I hope I can change that. I've swung this sword too many times already." Lifting a hand to his brow to shade his eyes from the sun, Darius looked down at the woman. "I would also hope you don't mind soldier's rations as I traveled very light to get here. The land has game for us, but have you ever hunted? If not, then I'll hunt for the both of us."

    The day's morning had been pleasant, with a warm air, but cool breezes passing them by. The birds, were numerous on their return to these lands from their winter migration, and it was then that they saw a caravan cresting the hill before them led by three horses. Tilting his head slightly, Darius watched it as they walked, not sure what to make of it... trade was common on this path, but he couldn't shake the feeling that something about that wagon felt off... as if it were just a tad to big.

    Stepping up, to lead Faunalyn, and keep himself before her and the wagon, he looked back, and smiled. "I can see your troubles, and if there's one thing I know. You will see your farm again. Though you'll likely be escorted, but as royalty, you can go anywhere you want, and see anything you want. The Crystal Falls, of Ruanlon are a sight that you will remember forever if you see it. Waters so clean, and pure, it seems as if Diamonds flow over the cliffs edge."​
     
  16. Faunalyn didn't know what to say to the fact that Darius rarely went a day without being held a knife point in the city. It made her shudder to think that might happen to her when she was there. He continued to say he wanted to change the country and she looked up at him as he shaded his eyes to look down at her. She watched him for a short moment before she looked ahead again, unsure of what she thought of that. He wanted the country to have less violence, which earned him some respect from her, and yet, by the amount of scars she could see on the visible parts of skin, he had shed much bloodshed himself. Her thought were interrupted when he spoke of food and she shook her head when he asked if she had hunted before. "Sorry to be a pain," she said with a sigh. She hadn't ever had an interest in hunting. After all, it meant killing an innocent animal. and that thought made her queasy.

    She looked up at the trees, looking at the small creatures which scurried from holes in trees and the birds which landed on branches and singing soft, sweet tunes. A few minutes later, she heard the wheels of a wagon and her gaze switched to look over at the caravan. To her, it just looked like a normal caravan, nothing unusual. But, when she looked up at Darius, she suspected he thought something was wrong with it. She studied the wagon and three horses again, but she couldn't pick out what might be off with it.

    She blinked in mild surprise as Darius moved to walk in front of her and she cocked her head to the side. Was he that worried something might happen? When she looked back at her and smiled, she straightened as he spoke and when he finished speaking, she smiled, "I've heard about the Crystal Falls. I would love to see them one day," she said and then she thought of something. "You said i'd have to be escorted.. Why? Aren't you allowed to go out by yourself? I mean, you came all the way to Theton by yourself.." she trailed off, wondering why she'd have to have an escort but Darius didn't. But she was trying not to be rude about it.
     
  17. [​IMG]

    Drawing his cloak's hood over his head, to help hide his features, he also drew it around him to conceal his armor. "Something told me that you've never held a knife without conscious thought behind it's intended use for the hour." Realizing that those words might have sounded insulting, he bit the side of his lip, and then followed with "Not that hunting would be high on a farmer's priorities considering their land would provide." Keeping his eye on the cart from under his hood, Darius examined it as it passed, and moments after, he relaxed, allowing the tension in his arms to cease.

    It had been nothing.

    "Aye... it might sound arrogant, but I don't think I've anything to fear traveling, nor does my father. There's yet been an assassin to do me in, and I've seen my far share of killing. You on the other hand... I don't think you'd do well defending yourself. Negotiating at the end of a blade rarely lasts long enough for parlay. Being a woman only makes someone's choice easier should they wish you harm." Turning to look at her from under his hood, Darius looked her up and down once more. "You have a fragile appearance. Though you may disagree, I can see that you can't fend for yourself in the world... not yet, but with some time, you may. Until then, under the King's word, I'm to escort you."

    "Truth be told, I know not why I was chosen specifically. You'd think it an arrange marriage with the attention he's given this order, but there's many a lady vying for my affections." Looking back to the road before them, Darius adjusted the weight of Faunalyn's bag on his shoulder, and went silent. Curious as to what the young lady would say in response.​
     
    #17 Jumi, Feb 3, 2014
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2014
  18. Faunalyn watched as he drew the cloak hood over his head nad then drew the rest over his armor. He spoke and her brows furrowed at his words. They were completely true, though, so she could find no real fault in them. After a moment, he continued and she looked at the caravan as they passed it, not really knowing how to respond to him. His next words were true as well. It was slightly arrogant, but if it was true, she would probably be confident as well and tell people as well. The mention of him having seen his fair share of killing made her look away. She wasn't sure what would happen if she had seen the amount of deaths that Darius had seen. She knew for a fact it would change her. And not just physically, either.

    He went on to say that she looked like she couldn't defence herself and she sighed, looking at the ground momentarily. As much as she wanted to disagree with the man, she knew he was correct. She'd be easy prey for anyone if she was out on her own. She couldn't look after hersel like Darius could. She couldn't handle a sword. She would be killed before she could even pick up a sword. She certainly did have a fragile appearance, she couldn't deny that. She ran a hand over her face with a silent groan. Some times she wished she was different. Not so weak so she could go out on her own and look after herself without an escort. She ahd never had to have someone following her around, so she didn't know what to think about it.

    When he mentioned something about an arranged marriage, she quickly looked up at him in shock. There was no way that could be right.. She hoped. Faunalyn watched him for a moment as he fell silent before she sighed. "And what if that was the case?" she asked him quietly, "Would you not reject the idea of it? Surely there is someone out there who has captured your heart." The thought of an arranged marriage was foreign to her and it made her head spin and her stomach turn at the thought. She didn't know the man.
     
  19. [​IMG]

    Laughing at her question softly, Darius turned to look at her. "If it were, I'd pity you for such a poor solution to an outrageous problem. I may be royalty, but I'm no prize. Perhaps to the whore who wishes a turn in the sheets, but make no mistake. I am a monster in the guise of a gentle soul. Surely you've heard the stories of me." He didn't believe a single of his own words, but the minds of the people were hard to sway. Though he was regarded as a good prince, it was mixed with fear at his exploits in the wars. That he couldn't disagree with.

    "You'd be to pure for me anyways." Turning his eyes to the road once more. "But to answer the question... no. No woman has my heart. If I had to choose a love, it would be the conflict of life. Always struggling to survive, and attain dreams far beyond the reaches of men. Nestled in the morning hours of the gods. Though... we still reach." Taking a deep breath through his nose, he looked up at the cloudless sky, and sighed. "Smells like rain once again..."

    In the hours that passed through the day, Darius answered Faunalyn's questions about the capital, and the path they would be traveling. Though he didn't seem the social type, he did his best to provide pleasant conversation, and information that he could.

    It was just before the sun began it's evening descent, that the prince advised camping. "We should make camp for the night. Before the rains settle in. I'll thatch us a shelter, and then go abouts making a fire. It may not be much, but I still have some rations left from the travel here, and to warn you. It is rather dry. There's only so much a man with a skillet, and iron pot can do with no ability to cook."​
     
    #19 Jumi, Feb 3, 2014
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2014
  20. Staring up at him in surprise when he laughed at her question, Faunalyn could honestly say she hadn't expected that reaction. His words surprised her even more. She had surely heard the rumors of Darius and she certainly feared the thought of ever being on the other side of his sword or anger, however, she also couldn't mistake the kindness he had shown to the children. He hadn't tried to shun them, he had openly spoken to them. Not just anyone could do that. Watching as he turned to looked at the road once more, saying she'd be too pure for him, she shook her head softly and lowered her gaze to stare into the trees, listening to his words as he continue to speak, saying that no one had captured his heart. And by his next words, it sounded as if the Crowned Prince wasn't even interested in having someone to love. To her, it had been something she had always wanted. To love someone and be loved by that person as well. She had never experienced, love however, as the men her age in Theton were all annoying and enjoyed teasing and laughing at the girls in town. And she had preferred to stay at the farm most days, anyway.

    Thoughts drifting off as he said rain was coming, her gaze rose to the sky and she looked at him in question when she saw the cloudless sky. But she wasn't going to say it was impossible for rain to come, as she knew very well how unpredictable the weather was by living at the farm. One moment it could be calm and sunny, the next, the fierce storm with unforgiving winds tearing the crops out of the ground.

    Through the day, Faunalyn asked Darius various questions about the capital and a couple of other subjects, even though she figured him for the type to prefer the quiet. But she had needed the distraction to keep her mind wandering back to her family and the farm. She didn't overly feel like suddenly crying in front of a man she barely knew. That would be thoroughly embarrassing.

    She nodded at Darius as he advised camping and went on to say he'd set up shelter and a fire. She gave a light nod right before he went on to say he had some rations left and then warned her it was dry, saying he was bad at cooking. Her eyes widened ever so slightly and she gave a gentle chuckle. "That is alright, I appreciate it either way," she told him with a smile. She was used to bad cooking. When ever she had gotten sick, her father had attempted to cook her food and she always ate it, never having the heart to tell him it was nearly inedible. She quickly pushed the thought away, however and looked at the setting sun, watching as it slowly fell below the horizon.
     
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