Crown of Darkness || Sansa Stark & Exeter

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by moffnat, Jan 8, 2016.

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  1. [​IMG]

    My fingers linger, so slow to move.
    Though in days younger it was rare to lose.
    This game of sleights, and speed of eye.
    As I age, my illusion, slowly dies.

    My hands marked, branded, with burns and scars.
    Too many potions and burning cards.
    Scarlet stains engrained in my flesh.
    A room in my house full of half used decks.

    My eyes see no wonder in the magic of old.
    It's nothing like when I was young, and was first told.
    The love in the flask, no joy to bring,
    My brain is engineered to this magic thing.

    What once was strange, is now so plain,
    The new things brought forth are all the same,
    My eyes don't see like most people's do,
    They see one angle, and I see two.

    If I could have one wish, one granted,
    If it was mine, and to me was handed,
    I would wish to unlearn the knowledge I've gained,
    So I could once again not know, and be amazed.


  2. Alayne Stone; The Unpredictable Bride of Deira
    Alayne Stone
    "I will rule these people with love instead of fear."
    There was no place in her heart for regret. Alayne knew her decision had been made long before her acquired invitation to the kingdom of Deira, before King Charles had taken interest, before any of her plans were set into motion. There was a force within her that halted all debate on turning back and living a life of safekeeping. Alayne--no, Sansa, was set on her path of determination that would lead her to any number of dangerous outcomes. It was well worth the risk. No matter what happened upon her marriage to the infamous King of Deira, her resilience would have to remain in tact. For her mother and father, who loved her so. For Robb, for Arya. For the siblings and friends that she had lost, and a home she could never return to.

    No, turning back was no longer an option. As Alayne glanced out the carriage window and glimpsed the castle of Raita in the distance, she knew there would be no other choice.

    "You look uncertain," said the sly voice of her mentor. Petyr Baelish placed a finger under her chin and turned her head to look at him. "What's the matter? You're not afraid, are you?"

    "No." Alayne pushed his hand away. "I can't afford to be afraid."

    "You may never return from this place." Petyr eyed her studiously, closely as he always had. Like an animal eyeing his prey. "Does that not frighten you?"

    "I've thought that about many places and I have returned from them all. This will be no different." Alayne placed her hands in her lap politely, as any lady should. "I can do good here. This opportunity is all I have left."

    Petyr chuckled and rested back against his seat. "I agree. You will do well here. Are you sure you don't want me to stay?"

    "I'm positive." Sansa swallowed the lump in her throat, looking out the window at the castle ahead. "You have your affairs, and I have mine."

    "Quite independent. You've grown far beyond what I ever intended, Sansa." Petyr leaned forward and kissed her cheek. Sansa did not react, and simply stared out the window until the castle grew closer on the horizon.

    The carriage remained mostly silent for the remainder of the ride. Petyr was deep in a book and Alayne had no desire to talk. Sansa watched as boarded up buildings passed along the cobbled path to the castle. Poor families sold their valuables for a loaf of bread. Orphans cried on the street. A strong military presence patrolled each alleyway, and the center square, dedicated to the royal family, was clean and filled with exuberant nobility. Alayne took as many mental notes as she could. She knew she would learn more from the people of the city versus whatever anyone at court told her, and she heavily intended on learning as much as possible. Change could not come without intelligence. It was the first step in her success, after all.

    But the thought of success quickly fled her mind. When the gates of the castle rolled up to her field of vision, she felt a chill shoot down her spine. Be brave, Sansa thought to herself. Brave like Robb.

    "Come. We are here." The carriage stopped, and Lord Baelish took his graceful exit. He offered his hand to Alayne. She took it willingly, resigning to her fate, and exited the gilded carriage per the request of her "mentor." The castle was white and beautiful, but it was haunting somehow, perhaps because Sansa knew what lurked inside. Baelish had warned her. A monstrous king with no compassion in his heart, and an adviser that could kill with his touch...

    "Ah, my Lady Alayne," said a Deiran soldier who bowed respectfully. Alayne prepared her falsehoods and identity, and flashed him a confident smile. "I trust your travels were well?"

    "Very," said Alayne. "Though I would enjoy some time to rest, I am eager to meet the king. Would allow me a moment to say farewell to my father?"

    "Of course. We will carry your things in the castle." The guardsmen retrieved her suitcases and carried them past great wooden doors that made up the castle's entrance, and Alayne took a moment to gather her thoughts. Sansa would have to sleep in dormancy while she was here. Alayne's time had come, and she would make it worthwhile, just as her suffering deserved justice.

    "Farewell," said Baelish. He placed a kiss on her lips when the guards were gone, and again, Alayne was emotionless at the display of affection. "I will write to you soon."

    Alayne only nodded. She watched Petyr climb back into the carriage and ride away with a wave and a twisted smile. When he was out of eyesight, she wiped her mouth and made a disgusted noise, thankful that his kisses would no longer plague her, even though she knew another mouth would turn her into it's playground. But not for long.

    With a final prayer, she turned and strode into the castle of Raita, wondering constantly whether or not she'd made the right choice.
    #2 moffnat, Jan 9, 2016
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2016
  3. Veneficus; Adviser to the King

    For many, it was an exciting time of change in Castle Raita. Preparations for the choosing of King Charles' bride had begun not more than a few months ago; letters of invitation had been sent out to all corners of the kingdom of Deira and beyond. Nobles of any sort would clamber for such an invitation -- a chance to create powerful alliances, and spread influence to new heights within their exclusive society.
    One particular adviser, however, absolutely abhorred it.
    When one was mainly charged with the protection of the king, the influx of new peoples to the castle only served to create more threats to the delicate balance at play. If even one hopeful child sought to overthrow it, chaos would erupt within a matter of days. Chaos was not something to be allowed, it was disruptive.
    So was the burden placed upon Charles's chief adviser, one that had been given the name Veneficus, an old word of simple self-description: The Mage. People did not care to learn his true name, nor did he want them to.

    A faint scowl had begun to tug on that mage's lips, his gaze centered on the line of carriages entering the castle courtyard. Watching lady after lady leave their carriages, all polite manner and prim smiles. Whatever visage they chose mattered little to him; there intentions were all too plain to see. Power, greed, a father's forceful hand behind nearly all.

    "Careful you look too closely, Mage. You might send them away before the minstrels have a chance to play." A wry grin pulled at the king's lips, falling beside the raven haired man at the window, their gaze settling on the next carriage, a woman clad in a gold dress stepping out to take her father's hand. Upon settling on her, the mage knitted his brow, "You're right."

    "I will not have you turn them away at the door, Sherlock. You're to advise, not to touch."

    Venficus's gaze turns sharply then, "I'm not the one fond of touching what isn't mine."

    This seems to amuse the king, a chuckle catching in his throat, "The world is all but mine, Mage. I own it. You... Those women...I keep what I want, and you keep your magic. That is our agreement."

    King Charles fingers tangle idly with an amulet about his neck, pointedly drawing the other's attention to it. It's only a cold gaze that he receives, before the mage pushes away from the window.

    "I expect you downstairs this evening. Do keep to your appointment..We have a bride to be choosing."

    The mage's answer is the slam of the door.

    The day is spent on final preparations for the evening ceremony: A time set aside for every lady to be offered to the king for selection, in front of him and all of his court. The women are expected to present their best; as only a few would be invited to the feast later in the evening. Gossip ran rampant on to the reasons for such an odd ritual; normally a ball of some sort was held for these sorts of selections. When the time finally came, a nervous unease has settled over the prospective ladies, even as they took their places obediently. The Mage had settled in the place to the King's left, a hood drawn over his head, obscuring his features from the crowd. With the crier's call, the offering had begun.
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  4. Alayne Stone; The Unpredictable Bride of Deira
    Alayne Stone
    "I will rule these people with love instead of fear."
    Alayne knew this game well. There was nothing she was more skilled in, nothing more prepared for than the political race for power. For years she'd been training and learning the ways of manipulation and wit, hoping that one day, she would earn the crown of the kingdom that decimated her life. Somehow it had all come down to this, a meeting with the king and promise of marriage. She looked at her pale face in the gilded mirror and wondered how much it would take to succeed. King Charles was not easily maneuvered. Knowing she would soon look willingly into the eyes of future suffering filled her with great dread.

    Still, there was nothing but the choice.

    It was time for review. What did Alayne know about the King of Deira? She knew he employed a powerful mage as his lead advisor, a man said to kill with a single touch. He lusted after things he could not have. He had a short but skilled temperament, leaving any in the kingdom at the will of his fierce anger when crossed. She knew he craved power and kept his successes on the battlefield fresh in his mind like trophies on a shelf. What to wear, then, that would attract such a man's attention? Alayne fished through her wardrobe for something that would make her stand out among the other women. Surely their approach would be flaunting and bold, wanting to capture his eye as if they were beautiful presents waiting to be unwrapped. Alayne much preferred to present challenge over sex. She dressed herself in a daring black and gold gown and braided her hair atop her head. A conservative approach would pique the king's curiosity and win her favor with the court, not to mention leave Charles begging to know what lay beneath the mysterious exterior. Alayne could only hope her hunch was successful.

    After adding the final touch of black gloves and fine jewelry, Alayne gracefully exited her temporary chambers and headed toward the throne room at the calling of the bells. She kept her head high when passing the other marriage candidates. None of them had fire in their hearts as she did. Sansa remembered the blood in her home, the bodies of her family hanging like dolls, the unbearable grief that plagued her for years. The humiliation wrought by Baelish's hands. She took her place in line and let memories of the dead keep her confidence in tact. More suffering lay on the horizon, she knew. King Charles would not be a loving husband. But the quest to regain her honor and the kingdom of Deira from the clutches of depravity was a personal one, and she would not falter in the face of mistreatment. Even if it killed her, this place would be saved.

    Her turn to greet the king finally arrived. Alayne lifted her skirts and stepped into the throne room when the doors were opened, listening to them close behind her like a trap. She stepped forward, keeping her eyes locked on the throne--but not the king--as she approached both of them. At last, Alayne gave a modest bow and flickered her blue eyes up to the monster with a crown.

    "Your Grace," she said softly. Her head remained bowed. The king shifted in his seat as if pleased with what he saw, and turned to his adviser with a raise of his brow. Sansa glanced up to see if any words were spoken between the two, but there were none. The king gestured for her to rise. She did so gracefully.

    "You are most beautiful," said the king in a snake-like fashion. "Where are you from, my dear?"

    "Westeron, Your Majesty." Sansa had practiced the lies many times, but as any good liar knew, the best deceits were laced with truth. "I arrived only this morning. It pleases me that I did not have to wait long to meet you."

    He chuckled. "Are you an impatient girl?"

    "Hardly. Only determined," replied Sansa with a grin, "and always very prepared."
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