Lady Nightingale's Academy

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by Lady Sabine, Nov 10, 2013.

    ^That is the OOC thread. Consult it for more info.

    Thirty years ago, The Reckoning encompassed the continent of Damre. From East coast to West, no nation went untouched, no royal family unshaken, no military unbloodied. It was a combination of things- a period of cold, dry weather. A blight afflicting grain. A new strain of the bloody flux. The untimely death of an emperor. The invention of the canon. The HellFire plague's reappearance. A discontented baron who thought he could do a better job of ruling than his current king. A disenfranchised exile making his return. A new cult sweeping the nation and burning the unworthy.
    It all added up quickly.
    No nation was spared, not completely. When the dust settled and the rebuilding began, eight years ago, all the leaders of all the nations in the world met with one another. Another war could not be allowed. They must learn to communicate and cooperate and prevent another Reckoning.
    As part of their plans, they contacted Lady Nightingale. She was a woman with no connections to any nation or ethnic group, a perfect diplomat with perfect manners and no allegiances. A true neutral. They gifted her with land and with money and with supplies, and bid her make a school, an academy where they could all send their primary and secondary heirs, where she could find them good matches and raise them to be aware not only locally, but globally.
    The Lady Nightingale accepted, and the Castle on the Edge of the World was gifted to her. It is its own nation, autonomous and free from the rule of any other monarch to prevent any tampering with her system. They have put the fate of the future in her delicate hands, and entrusted her with setting the world on a better course through their children.
    The Castle on the Edge of the World is the Lady's academy. Here she accepts students who are either the heir to the nation or the heir to the heir, who enter between the ages of eleven and fourteen and graduate seven years later, learned in mathematics and science and geography and history and philosophy and music and medicine and art and war and no fewer than four languages. They socialize with their fellow heirs and are typically arranged to marry one of them to help preserve the peace in future generations. Of course, enemies made here also last a lifetime...


    used without permission but with gratitude
    not for profit
  2. YEAR 7553 in the AGE OF MAN
    LAST DAY before WINTER BREAK ends

    A sprinkling of snow fell from the sky, crowning the Castle on the Edge of the World with soft white drifts. It was a beautiful sight- at least through a window. The Senior Retreat had plenty of windows, for it overlooked the main courtyard and the water gardens both. It was a cozy room, hardly big enough for the ten seniormost students, but it was Ceryx's favorite place to go. It made him feel half an eagle in an aerie to see all the comings and goings, and half a bear in his cave, protected from the outside world by walls of stone. A fire crackled and hissed in the hearth, but over by the window the cold was creeping its way in.
    Almost lazily, the bastard of Lluvia danced his fingers over the strings of his lute, plucking out an old tune. Winter's Kiss, it was called, and when he loaned his voice to the tune the lyrics spilled out, full of heartbreak and loss. His voice was high pitched, fine enough but nothing special, yet it fit the song well.
    "I once danced with a maid white as snow, a maid with frost in her hair. I once kissed a maid with ice on her lips, a maid still as night. I once loved a maid long as winter, a maid with cold in her heart..."

    "I did not know you had returned 'till I heard the song," a richer voice mentioned when the song was done. Ynu stepped into the room with the effortless grace of a cat, shutting the door softly behind her. "Did you go home for the break?" Most students did. There was an entire month ripe for the plucking in winter break, and that was plenty of time for most students to visit their families. Ynu's own kin, however, lived too far away. Ceryx's didn't, but he didn't go home at the holidays. Or ever, as far as she knew.
    Ceryx snorted, giving her a wry grin as he set the lute on the table next to his chair. "You know I did not," He replied simply, an eyebrow arched at her.

    "Aye. I suppose you went to Brynensbridge, then? Did you enjoy it?" She asked, still standing just past the door as though uncertain of herself.
    He recognized it for the ploy it was. "I drank and gambled and whored. I suppose that is as much enjoyment as any man had. Why are you here?"
    "It is the day before The Giving," She replied with a bit of a shrug, "And no one should sing such sad songs or be so alone."

    "Least of all yourself," The younger man replied. "So why are you come?"
    "I bring a friend," She admitted, a sly smile breaking out over her lips as she produced a bottle of cherry firewine. "Drink with me and quit your moping. Let's toast to a new year and the beginning of the rest of our lives."
    Now Ceryx grinned. "And here I was thinking I didn't like you. Sit, and pour me a glass."
  3. Amarylise Kairnborne wandered outside in the snow, the white flakes specking her blonde hair. She loved the cold. It reminded her of the weekends with her parents before the wars broke out. 'Oh father... I miss you.' She murmured, sighing a little. She'd seen him over the break, but it had been fleeting. Their father had much to do, and so she had returned to the academy sooner than most. The lights in the windows of the castle flickered and glowed, making her feel strangely isolated, but she didn't mind the solitude. It was a peaceful night after all. The chill frosted her breath over and she could see it in white clouds every time she breathed out. Her footprints made deep tracks in the snow, the moonlight making the crystals glisten. Everyone else would be inside, in the warmth, away from the chill and probably huddled around a fire somewhere. She wondered if Ceryx, her betrothed, was back yet. She hadn't seen him since her return to the academy. He always gave her such weird vibes. He probably hates me. That's no surprise I suppose. She thought to herself, sighing. She looked back at the castle, wondering if perhaps she should go back in, but her mind was too full, and she wanted to serenity that the frosted night provided. So instead, she walked to a spot she often found herself occupying, a tranquil area under a great oak. Sitting beneath its outstretched and bare branches, she found her mind starting to ease a little. While Amarylise liked the tranquillity, the peace, of not being bothered by classes, or duties, she was lonely. She wished that she could see into Ceryx's mind, see what he was thinking. She wished her brother would talk to her more about his concerns for their future. She wished she didn't feel like a weight on both men's shoulders.


    The training grounds were silent but for the sound of one man's grunts of effort and the heavy thud of equipment. Vayan Dorreon, the crown prince of Lumia, swung his sword with merciless intent, attacking the training dummy from all different angles. It wasn't the same as sparring with someone, but considering the hour of night and the fact that most of the trainers were still absent he did the best he could. He hadn't missed a training session since he was eight, always prompt, always vigilant. His well toned muscles tensed with the movements of his weapon as the blade jarred against the padded figure, the dull edge of the practise sword barely making a mark on the material. Sweat beaded on his brow, despite the chilled air that caused frost to form on the flat of the blade. It was for good reason that he was wearing gloves this night. He swung the blade again and as the edge hit the dummy there was a spasm in his left arm and he was forced to drop the weapon, clutching his shoulder, cursing under his breath. He hadn't counted on it being cold enough to cause him trouble with his arm. Massaging the scarred flesh, the crown prince frowned. Would he forever be plagued with this agonizing pain whenever the weather hit extremes?
  4. Narvin walked through the show shivering. He was already missing the open sea. Sure there was water surrounding the academy, but the water was freezing at the moment. And it was miles below where he stood at the moment as well. Staring at the large castle, he sighed deeply and headed inside. He thought idly of the others as he walked, heading to his room.

    Who was here? He tried to think of any of the others who might be in the castle and a part of him wished none of them. Narvin didn't hate the other heirs or heirs to heirs. He simply felt like he didn't belong with them. His mind wandered to thoughts of his betrothed Ynu. If she was here then he would want to avoid her as much as he could. It was pretty obvious to him that she didn't think highly of their engagement or of him. It made his stomach churn with anger and guilt. He didn't like it much either, but the prince knew he wouldn't speak out against it. He would do what was expected of him.

    Narvin, once changed, headed towards the Senior Retreat. He heard voices from inside, but not before he had opened it. He frowned for a moment before standing awkwardly in the doorway.

    "Oh. Hello."


    Lucielle hummed softly to herself out in the snow. She never saw much of it before she had came here. It had snowed in Godspeake, but Lucielle was kept inside during most of the colder weather. So she spent some time in the snow when she came here. It was peaceful outside if chilly.

    As she walked outside she spotted blonde hair. She paused for a moment, recognizing Amarylise. She wondered if it would be rude to go and speak with her. She didn't want to bother the other girl, but she was curious. She knew it was better to squash her curiosity but it wasn't easy. She looked around and followed Amarylise.

    "Amarylise," she said, a few feet away, allowing the other woman to acknowledge her or not.
  5. "Come in," The island princess bid her prince once she noticed him there in the doorway. "Share a drink with us, for the sake of the holidays." It was an innocent enough offer, but her eyes were guarded. He had always struck her as a kind enough fellow, though too quiet and not forceful enough by half for a prince. A man who was to rule a kingdom ought to practice that ruling a bit more often; men like the heir to Lluvia or the Anjarl appealed to her more. Still, it was not an entirely foolish union. Not if he was wise enough to realize the importance of sea power and grant Keim what she needed.
    While she schemed, Ceryx drained his cup. "I ought to be going," He excused himself, rising to his feet. "You two need alone time, and I ought to greet my brother." Slipping into a midnight blue cloak lined with sable fur, he left the room as quickly and gracefully as he could manage, flashing Narvin a cheeky little smile once his back was turned to Ynu. He didn't want to be alone with his betrothed any more than the other prince obviously did, but he was right enough that they ought to talk.
    "You ought to greet your betrothed," the Keimiche princess reminded him with a sharp look, and got only laughter for her interference. He was gone from the room a moment later, cloak swirling behind him. Ynu watched that cloak perhaps a little longer than she should have before she turned her chocolate-dark eyes on the more pertinent prince. He was easy on the eyes, at least, but what else? He was too content with the background, while she had eyes only for the foreground. They had been at the academy for the better part of a decade together, but he was still a stranger to her in most ways. "Do you celebrate The Giving?" She asked after a moment, putting a warm smile on. "I'm afraid it's not a native practice on Keim, but I do enjoy celebrating it here."


    Ceryx paused briefly at the base of the stairs below the senior lounge, unsure which advise to take. He settled on his own after just a moment- he would have a lifetime with the boring princess, but pestering his brother could become troublesome after graduation. Unfortunately, the bastard of Lluvia knew he would miss his true-born sibling, as much as he'd ever miss anyone most likely. In spite of everything that had happened, there were some bonds of brotherhood no mothers could break, bonds forged as much through fighting as anything else.
    It came was no surprise that Vayan was in the training yard. He often was, and had been since youth. It wasn't a place Ceryx had joined him, not since they were thirteen, not since that fateful duel... when the crown prince's sword clattered to the snowy cobblestones, the elder prince knew it was because the the old injury. It acted up in the cold; seized up when strained. What made him absolutely furious about the entire thing was the Lady Giselle's reaction to it all- if only she had understood! It was an accident. With his magic, he could have dulled the pain, healed the worst of the burns, at least at the muscular level- could have. But by the time he had even been allowed to see his brother again, it was far too late and the damage had been done.
    To this day, Ceryx battled guilt and anger over the incident. It had been the final nail in the coffin, so to speak. After that they had been in school, found other friends, and never sparred again. He didn't even remember the last time he'd lifted a sword. Magic was his realm now, and he left the melee to those more athletically inclined.
    "Brother," he called after a moment in way of greeting, strolling up to his younger sibling. His walked with a spring in his step, as he always did, light on his feet and fluid in motion. "Is it not too cold and too close to the Holidays to spar alone in the yard?"
  6. Surprised to hear another's voice breaking through the serene silence, Amarylise jumped, turning to see who had spoken. 'Lucielle, this is a surprise.' She said, trying to cover her embarrassment with a calm tone. 'When did you return?' She asked, standing to greet the young woman. Amarylise found Lucielle to be a kind young lady, with good intentions. A fine match for her brother, Amarylise thought a little sadly. What would happen when they were wedded? Would her brother cut her out of their lives? She was fairly certain he wouldn't. She knew her brother, and loved him dearly, but sometimes she wondered, and worried. She wasn't sure what would become of her if he did. She still didn't know what would happen if the marriage between her and the bastard of Lluvia came to be. Neither of them were heir to a throne, and so, none of them really had a home to claim. She wasn't sure how it would work. As the Anjarl's younger sister, would she remain in the Kairnborne home? Or would she live in some unknown place with Ceryx? She shook away these worries, remembering Lucielle's presence. The two girls were very similar, both fair skinned and haired, both eighteen, and both with a love for healing, at least, in the use of herbs and plants to do such. It only made sense that they ought to get along, especially as they would be sisters soon enough.


    Vayan bent to retrieve the sword, holding his shoulder, rolling it carefully to ease the aching muscles, as his elder brother approached, calling out to him. 'Ceryx, good to see you.' He responded, giving a tight smile. This was simply due to the pain that plagued his arm, not because he wasn't pleased to see his brother. It was the opposite in fact. He'd thought for certain that Ceryx would have run off and not returned to the academy. It was no secret that he was less than pleased with the place, or the people. At the dark haired teen's question, Vayan laughed, a smooth, deep laugh that only showed a hint of the pain he felt at that present moment. 'There's never a time when I can't practise. If I allow myself to become rusty then you might surpass me in skill, and then i'll be at yet another loss to you.' He joked, smiling at his brother before walking over to the weapons rack and removing a second sword, tossing it at Ceryx's feet. 'If sparring alone is something I shouldn't do, perhaps you should join me.' It was a long time since they'd sparred. Five years in fact, and Vayan was fairly sure his brother hadn't picked up a sword since then, but that didn't stop him from trying. Before his half-brother could respond, Vayan added quietly, 'Mother isn't here now. There's nothing to get in our way.' No one had told him, but Vayan knew, he just knew, that Ceryx had been giving a very stern tongue lashing, at the very least, from the queen. He suspected that she'd have taken it to physical punishment but for his father.
  7. "A little while ago. My parents wanted me to stay longer to continue Worship but I told them that I had things I needed to do." Lucielle did not say anymore on that topic. She felt a pain in her heart for her failing faith, but she couldn't never bring herself to talk about it. She didn't want anyone to think less of her for not abiding by what was expected of her.

    Still looking at Amarylise she felt she could be open. They were to be sisters soon enough and so Lucielle always made an effort to talk to her and get to know her. It wasn't that hard over the years for them to get along, but Lucielle was a gentle enough soul to get along with most. There might be some who she didn't, but it was either due to their own reserved nature like Narvin or because they were a bit aggressive. Still Lucielle tired her best to present herself as friendly and open.

    "It's good to be back though. I have missed all my friends here." Lucielle gave Amarylise a warm smile when she said this. "How about you?"


    It should of made Narvin feel better when Ceryx left the room but he felt even more nervous. He wasn't often alone with his betrothed which wasn't always on purpose. He smiled at her though. Even if he was nervous, he knew he should try his best to be friendly. They were to be married and Narvin had to show he would be a good husband for her.

    "And what are we drinking," he asked, taking a seat. He looked at her and shook his head. "We...we have our own celebrations at home. Some do celebrate the Giving but I was taught to honor and respect the sea. It is what is important." Narvin felt this was boring conversation, but he felt comfortable with it, so he kept going. "We don't really have one religion, but all sailors treat the oceans and the seas as though they are deities themselves. We always pray for strong winds and mild waves to ease our passage. In the old-" Narvin stopped giving an apologetic smile.

    "I'm sorry. That is not what you asked. I do not celebrate the Giving."