A Kingdom's Fate (Tinder and SergiuPloscar)

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by Tinder, Jul 20, 2015.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

    • The afternoon sun was beginning to sink towards the horizon as the cool air of the night blew into the room. It carried with it the scent of flowers mingled with the sea. Rowan loved this time of the day and not even her present company could change that fact. She bit back a groan as her aunt Cassandra pulled hard on the corset strings. Rowan was certain that one soft hit to her side would cause her chest to cave in, but Cassandra seemed to think differently. She finished tying the string and tucked away the excess once she was through. “All that’s left is the gown,” she informed Rowan as she turned away and retreated into the closet nearby.

      Rowan took the opportunity to rest, breathing as deeply as the corset would allow. She was grateful her aunt had agreed to help her prepare for the King’s Ball, though she wished the older woman would be a little gentler while assisting. Rowan wasn’t sure what she would have done if her aunt had chosen not to attend the ball. It probably would have been an awkward attempt to get herself ready which would have resulted in lackluster results. Tonight was too important for that.

      Her aunt returned with the satin gown her father had bought for this occasion. It was dyed pale blue with a fitted bodice and wide sleeves all trimmed with white. The neckline was more modest than what was most popular which Rowan wasn’t bothered by. It made it easy to hide the mother’s wedding ring. She feared she would need to remove it for the important event, but it seemed luck was at least partly on her side. Rowan glanced in the mirror to examine herself now that her aunt had finished her work. Her dark brown hair was pulled up into a loose bun with a few waves framing her face. A dab of rouge had been used to highlight her cheeks, but her face was otherwise untouched. She met her own grey gaze in the mirror, shocked that her aunt had been able to do so much with her in so little time.

      “Beautiful,” Cassandra said with a smile, as she took a moment to check her own appearance. They looked nothing like each other for the obvious reason of not being related by blood.. She had fair skin and light hair which she grew long. Not only that, but her eyes were green, unlike most of the Keanin family who shared the same grey color.

      “Never have I seen two more beautiful women. You, my dear aunt, are looking especially lovely. If only we were not related,” a smirking voice quipped.

      Cassandra turned with a disapproving frown, “Show some respect, young man.”

      Rowan hid a smile, knowing it would enrage her aunt if she saw. Frey was good at getting under her skin. He walked into the room, with his usual smirk on his lips, “I meant no disrespect, my dear Cassandra. I only meant to give you a compliment.”

      “I know exactly what you meant, boy. Please excuse me, Rowan. I must check on Michael to see how he is coming along. Don’t dally. Your father will be waiting,” Cassandra called as she swiftly exited the room.

      Rowan cracked after Cassandra was out of earshot, “You really shouldn’t abuse her so much, Frey.”

      “Abuse her? Why, Rowan, do you really believe I would be capable of such a thing?” He asked, feigning innocence before giving her another look, “You are a vision, dear cousin. My stars, will I need to act as bodyguard tonight?”
      “I’m sure you’ll be too busy with other things,” Rowan replied with a shake of her head. Frey loved to live his life by the day, always drifted around looking for new adventure. Even as acting heir to the Keanin family, the man took nothing seriously. It was getting to the point that Rowan’s father, the currently lord, was beginning to consider locking him away.

      Frey laughed at her quip before sobering for a moment, “I mean it though. You look beautiful tonight.”

      Rowan allowed herself to smile, “Thank you.”

      Frey watched her for a moment before placing a hand on her shoulder, “Cousin, promise me something.”

      “What is it, Frey?”

      He smiled her way, “Promise me that you’ll treat yourself a little tonight.”

      Rowan frowned, “What do you mean?”

      “I mean live a little,” Frey replied, “Dance with a stranger and don’t tell him your name or lead him out into the garden and enjoy yourself a little. Just promise me you’ll do something fun tonight.”

      Rowan shook her head, “You’re being ridiculous as usual, Frey. We can’t play around tonight, there’s work to be done. Tonight we’ll have access to every noble line there is. I need to be there to help father forge his alliance however I can.”

      “Same stubborn fool,” Frey smirked as he held his arm out to her, “Shall we then? I’d hate to keep the others waiting.”

      “You’d like nothing more,” Rowan playfully punched his shoulder before taking his arm.

      They walked downstairs together toward the main hall. The Keanin mansion was hardly worthy of the title. It was only two stories and, while larger than most of wealthier merchants in the city, it was nothing compared to some of the other noble families. It was to be expected of course. The Keanins had been in exile and living as lower class for many decades. Their fortune had long since disappeared and only recently had they begun to build it again.
      At the bottom of the stairs, Lord Ethan Keanin stood with Henry, their longtime housekeeper and butler. The old man was helping Rowan’s father with his cloak as he readied to leave. He noticed the pair before Lord Keanin. His eyes came to rest on Rowan as a grandfatherly smile appeared on his face, “While I’ll be. You look lovely tonight, my lady.”

      Her father looked up from fastening his cloak and stopped cold. His eyes widened for a moment when he saw her. Silence hung heavy in the air as Rowan waited for his response. After a moment, he cleared his throat and went back to fastening his cloak, “Yes, very nice. Come now, we’ve taken long enough. Frey, your mother is waiting in her carriage. She wishes to have you ride with her and your sisters.”

      Frey released Rowan’s arm, “Duty calls.” He took his cloak from Henry, looking back at Rowan before leaving the house, “I’ll see you there.”

      Rowan nodded, watching him go as Henry came over to her to help her tie on her cloak. She felt a little disappointed her father hadn’t said more, though she didn’t know why she expected more. This was the way it always was. After she’d finished, Lord Keanin offered her his arm. She took it and they headed out toward the carriage.

    #1 Tinder, Jul 20, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 24, 2016
  1. " Do you require help sire ? " A feminine voice echoed from behind the closed door. Ezador sighed before walking out of his private chamber.

    " What about this one ? Does it look any better ? " He asked quickly.

    A moment of silence set in as lord Pierce started inspecting his son's outfit once again . Alongside him a short female servant was holding a stack of clothing items that reached way over her head . She shyly moved her head hoping to catch a glance of the young noble's outfit but the pile started to wobble and forced her back into a still stance .

    " It's better than before but i feel like it's missing something... " The lord added quietly.

    Ezador looked straight down at his attire . He was wearing an embroidered leather doublet over a plain white linen shirt alongside a pair of hoes and short leather boots for mobility .

    " I think he looks handsome in anything ! " A cheerful voice was heard at the end of the hallway.

    Slowly walking over to them were Audrea and Aliza both wearing expensive gowns . The fabric was shimmering in the pale light of the sunset . His aunt had her hair tied up in a bun , unlike his mother who left hers untouched not only because of it's natural auburn shade that was a rare sight to see among noble women but also to show that she is proud of her barbaric origins.

    " We have to leave soon otherwise we will be late ! " Aliza said as she looked over at the pile of clothes the servant was struggling to carry.

    " He must make a great first impression ! This ball is the perfect place for him to prove he's a gentleman of the highest class , which he truly is . " The lord responded .

    " Being late certainly won't help my dear. Martha please put all the clothes back , he has tried enough on already and as i said before he looks lovely in any outfit. " Audrea said calmy , smiling at him .

    The servant staggered away down the large hallway. Ezador continued to aimlessly glance around the room in silence . He knew how much this ball meant to his father and although he was annoyed at the fact that he had to play dress up for more than a few hours in a row , he was not going to openly complain about it.

    " Well then my darling , let us go ! " Audrea said moving towards her husband.

    " Take my sister and head towards the carriage. There's one more thing i need to do. We'll be there in a minute too ! " The lord replied

    There was another moment of silence , as both men watched over the ladies as they descended the large set of stairs. Lord Pierce then approached his son and grabbed him by his shoulders.

    " Watch your tongue around these people as they will take into account anything you say and always be aware of your surroundings. You'd be surprised how much of a keen sense of hearing some of these nobles have. Everyone that talks to you tonight is doing it for a reason be it obvious or not . Do NOT embarrass me and yourself tonight ! Do you understand me ?"

    " Yes father ! " Ezador mumbled.

    " What was that ? "

    " I won't embarrass our house ! " He replied , louder and clearer than before.

    " Good ! " The lord responded , letting go of his shoulders. He waved him over and the two descended the stairs in silence each one refusing to look at the other.
  2. The carriage ride was quiet, but pleasant. The streets of Varie always seemed to come alive at night. The day's work was over and those who the money to do so flocked to the taverns for drinking and merrymaking. One establishment in particular seemed more unruly than the rest with off-key singing and shouts already audible even with the night only just arriving. Rowan allowed herself a curious smile, though she was quick to hide it when she caught her father’s disapproving glare.

    It did not take long for them to arrive at the castle gates. The grounds were located on the city's south side on an island. It stood tall, easily the largest structure in Orre. Since it had stood since the ancient empire of Larel ruled, its design was unlike any other building. A man-made bridge connected it to main part of the land with lamps carved out of the rock itself. Now it was decorated with fresh flowers and ribbons in the royal colors of purple and white. The bridge ended at a huge stone archway with a metal gate, open for the night. Guards stood on top of the wall as well as at the base, all doing their best to look alert and serious. Still, a few seemed disappointed that they would be unable to join the party tonight.

    The carriage came to a stop in the castle's lavish courtyard. More flowers were here along with a stone fountain shooting water high into the air with carving of unnamed mythical creatures in the center. Several fruit trees planted around the grand stairway were in blossom as well, enticing those who entered with their scent. The door to the carriage opened and Ethan exited first, holding his arm out to help Rowan after. She took it, exiting smoothly as she could. Once she was on the ground, she glanced around the courtyard. It seemed several of the other families had arrived already and were being ushered up the staircase. She spotted Frey and her aunt Ann ahead of them followed his twin sisters Sine and Elizabeth, making their way into the castle. He had an exasperated look on his face, which his mother was oblivious to. Rowan almost laughed; it was obvious where Frey had gotten his ability to get under people’s skin from.

    Her father led her up the stairs toward the huge doors to the castle. The main body of the castle was enormous with lofty ceilings that seemed impossibly high and carved from pure stone. No one in Orre had ever been able to explain the marvels that the Larelian Empire had left behind. Many claimed they had wielded supernatural abilities, but the scholars of the kingdom simply stated that their sciences had been more advanced. Though Rowan had seen the castle several times before, it still amazed her that anyone could live here. She was certain she would be lost in minutes. The castle had once been a small mountain, according to popular legend, and the halls stretched all throughout that mountain with hundreds of rooms and many different levels. It was an amazing sight. Rowan took a few moments to look away from the grand structure and glanced to her father. He wore a grey doublet trimmed with pale gold over a dull red linen shirt that night that night with dark trousers and leather boots. His hair was brushed back from his face, the lighter brown color already beginning to show touches of grey. It was odd to see him dressed so formally. He looked...dignified, like he had been born among the nobility rather than away from it.

    Before Rowan could think about it longer, they reached the top of the stairs and were ushered into the main hall. It was hard to keep herself from gawking at the sheer magnitude of inner part of the castle. Works of art adored the walls in the forms of tapestries and paintings along with a few statues on the ground. Tonight there were added decorations for the festivities. They headed through a door just to their right and found the ballroom. It was quite spacious, though already filled with many people. The far wall was completely made of windows and glass doors, all open that night to allow the breeze into the room. Just outside stood the massive garden where many of the decorations for the evening had come from. Flowers from all over the land and a few exotic plants could be found there. A magnificent chandelier hung in the center of the room, nearly bright as the sun.

    After she'd taken in the sights, Rowan focused and took attendance mentally. It seemed the McKennitts where already present, as were the Greaves. She also saw the Fallon and Noyes, together as always. The majority of the room appeared to nobility with only a few of the wealthier merchant families in attendance. The dancing had already begun as had the mingling.

    Ethan looked to the side, releasing her arm, "There's Lord Izard. I need to go speak with him." He glanced back at his daughter, his face unreadable as usual, "I'll find you later."

    "Of course, father," Rowan replied as he walked off, leaving her alone. She sighed after he walked past, but quickly banished her emotion from her face. Not tonight. She needed to be focused. After collecting herself, she walked toward west side of the ballroom where several tables stood. They were filled with delicacies from all over Orre and more than a few imported treats. A whole range of wines were set out in shining goblets, reading and waiting for any who wished it. Rowan looked around for her aunts, hoping to at least stand with them until something better came along. Before she could find anything, her vision when dark.

    "Guess who," came Frey's voice in her ear as he held his hands over her eyes.

    Rowan grabbed her cousin's hands, "Frey, what are you doing?"

    "You looked lonely, so I decided to cheer you up."

    "Let me go," she demanded. Surprisingly, her request was granted as Frey released her. She turned around to face him, a sharp glare directed at him, "What's gotten into you?"

    He shrugged, "I was bored, so I slipped away from mother. Then I saw you all alone and decided it would be much more fun to keep you company."

    Rowan sighed, focusing her temper back down, "I would have thought you'd be collecting your entourage already. Don't tell me that the girls shot you down this early."

    "Cousin, you wound me," Frey sighed dramatically, placing a hand over his heart as his other arm found its way around her shoulders, "Can't I just enjoy my family for one night?"

    Rowan smirked, “Fear not. Wine leads to poor judgement. I’m sure in a little while they’ll be plenty of women willing to dance with you.”

    “I needn’t stand here and take this abuse,” Frey declare, detaching himself from Rowan as he headed off towards a group of girls huddled together, “Save me a dance, Rowan. And try not to break too many hearts this evening.”
    “Behave yourself, Frey,” Rowan called after him, shaking her head as he slipped in among the girls and began to work his magic. There would be no stopping him tonight.

    Seeing nothing else to do, Rowan continued over to the refreshment tables. There many of the younger women stood clustered together, chatting nervously as they eyed young noblemen standing nearby. There she spotted Cassandra talking with several older woman, likely from the merchant families just as Cassandra was. Among them was Mirren, Cassandra’s oldest daughter who had married into the Izard family. Standing nearby were Frey’s sisters Sine and Elizabeth. This was their social debut and it showed. They clung to each other like they’d been flung into a raging river. Seeing nothing else of interest, she walked over toward the familiar faces.
  3. The carriage ride was surprisingly short lived . Ezador was uncertain if that was because he got lost in the silence or the coachman actually hurried up, afraid of not being paid if the noble family is late for the grand ball . His parents were the first to leave the carriage . He gently grasped his aunt's hand and helped her exit the coach . The courtyard looked just as beautiful as they all remembered it . The evening breeze was carrying the aromatic smell of various flowers as well as small white petals from the blossoming trees . The magnificent view was , however , in complete contrast with the intimidating guards standing still on either side of the castle's entrance as well as on the walls and towers , ready to lay their hands on any trouble maker .

    Deep inside the castle , past large staircases and beautifully decorated hallways , stood the ballroom which was filled with nobles and merchants from all over the land , all bearing at least a smile on their face . Ezador watched as a familiar looking boy started to quickly walk away from a girl wearing a pale blue gown .

    ' You'll have a lot of time to fail tonight my friend ! ' Ezador thought and let out a smirk but quickly returned to his serious face .

    He met Frey a few times before and formed a minor rivalry with him due to them both being the sweet talking type . Although they're always caught up in a fight over who is the better lady charmer , Ezador doesn't consider him an enemy in any way and truly hopes the feeling is reciprocated .

    " It's good to see you again ! " A deep voice came from a few meters away . He gently turned his head and noticed that lord Greave was shaking his father's hand .

    " Always a pleasure dear friend ! " Lord Pierce responded before turning around and waving him over.

    " Ezador , the man you see here is lord Greave , a good friend and a strong ally of our house ! "

    " It's wonderful to finally make the acquaintance of the one responsible for many of the bruises my children used to bear . "

    Ezador looked at him weirdly , unsure of what to say or do .

    " No hard feelings ! I'm sure time helped you change your ways young man . "

    " My dear wife and sister seem to have wandered off unfortunately.. " Pierce mumbled as he looked around the ballroom for them .

    " I was actually hoping we get a chance to catch up , so to speak . So let the young lad have his fun as well ! "

    Ezador waited for his father's approbation before starting to wander aimlessly through the ball room looking for other familiar faces . All the ladies appeared to be clustered in groups of various sizes discussing who-knows-what , laughing , gasping and stealthily pointing at various people in the room . He walked past such a group and noticed their heads turning towards him in the corner of his eye .

    " This will surely be one interesting night... " He mumbled to himself as he approached the refreshments table , grabbed a cup of wine and took a small sip .
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.