Love and War (and Dragons)

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by Dumbledora, Jun 3, 2013.

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  1. Tarrin Allene stood straight, facing the soldiers of the Royal Guard as they trained. It wasn't often that they called her in to train new recruits, but His Majesty was currently in public court right now and her services were not required. The Royal Guard practically jumped at the chance to have her school them, for they knew Tarrin could be a ruthless teacher. She showed no pity nor remorse when the trainees complained so they came out all the better when training was over (however, they also came out more bitter towards herself, but Tarrin hardly cared about what some new rookie soldier thought of her).

    "Rookie!" She yelled facing a chubby-face young man with blonde hair whose face was red with exertion. "Your form is weak, and you're laying your chest bare for the enemy to strike at," she chastised. "If you think the enemy isn't going to exploit that, you're severely wrong. Now keep repeating that drill until you get it right!" The man nodded frantically as he wiped the sweat from his brow and Tarrin took the opportunity to talk to the man's partner. "You're doing fine, soldier," she said to the other man, brown-haired with a bit of stubble coming in. Everyone who knew Tarrin knew that she didn't hand compliments out lightly. "But the next time the man across from you leaves himself open, don't let him get away with it, we clear?" The man nodded before going back to the drill and Tarrin began walking among the rookies once more.

    Being among these young soldiers reminded Tarrin of when she first tried to join the Guard. She was fourteen at the time and had been thrown out on the streets with nowhere to go. Orphaned at a young age, Tarrin didn't have much of a family to speak about (well, she remembered them, but she's never acknowledged their existence to anyone else but herself in private moments since they day of their passing), and so she grew up in the local church with the nuns and priests, but was soon thrown out onto the streets when she became more trouble than she was worth. With nowhere to go and only basic sword training, she tried to join the military or militia. However, her skills among a sword were learned as a means of self-defense with a cheaply crafted sword she stole off the body of a merchant who seemed to have been attacked by highway men on his way to town. If someone were to ask her why she joined the Royal Guard instead of becoming a commander or general, Tarrin would simply shrug and say "They were the only ones who would take in a fourteen-year-old girl." And it was true. However, very early on into her training, the head of the guard must have seen something in her as well as the benefit of being able to train someone from such a young age because Tarrin began receiving special training as well as a place to stay among the barracks of the guard. It was at the age of sixteen when they revealed that her new duty would be to guard the prince, whom was close to her age and years have passed and it's been that way ever since. That wasn't to say that she wasn't part of the Royal Guard, however. She still was, and if war ever broke out, she would be on the front lines alongside the commander of the Royal Army. That was her duty. But the prince's orders were her first priority no matter what. Her duty to him was greater than her duty to the Guard.

    Tarrin was shaken out of her reminiscing by the shout of a man who was struck down by a sword. She rubbed her dark, choppy hair and laid steely grey eyes on the man on the ground before swearing under her breath and moving towards him to inspect the wound. "It's naught but a scratch," she said with a roll of her eyes. "Suck it up for now and see the medics when training is over," she ordered.
  2. "I have a feeling you were told to treat me kindly when we sparred."

    Prince Tzen Calmour cut a dashing figure in the dust of the practice yard in his silk and broad smile. His sword was safely sheathed at his side, the ruby on the hilt un-scuffed and glinting merrily. He gave the man with the "scratch" a reassuring pat on the back as he hobbled past. Eighteen and un-tried at war except in tournament, the young and golden prince gave little indication that he wasn't up to the task.

    As it was, he was in full ceremonial armor. It was gold-plate, inlaid with dragons in deep relief and ridged with round-cut emeralds. The stones complemented the pale green of his eyes and the dusky ring of his flyaway white-blond hair. With his white cape and flashing white-toothed smile, he looked like nothing but the most beautiful kind of trouble.

    Right now, he was supposed to be overseeing the blessing of a new shrine on the ramparts, but for now, he had something more than placating dragons on his mind. A growing itch in the pit of his stomach kept him never far away from Tarrin, but he was as untried in love as he was in war, and lavished his attentions in a not-so-princelike way. He motioned to a stableboy -

    "Saddle my charger and Lady Tarrin's. We are bringing home a stag tonight."

    Tzen's order was law. And why shouldn't it be? Good-natured though he was, Tzen was faulted in the same way many born rulers were - He expected, almost petulantly so, that everyone would also desire what he desired. The Dragon King on the other side of the mountain couldn't possibly care that his tribute was a day or so late - after all, Prince Tzen's coffers were nearly all in the great lizard's miserly claws anyhow. And Goddess, how he relished the sight of Tarrin's rump bouncing up and down in her saddle as she rode in front of him.
  3. Tarrin was leaning against the wall chatting to some soldiers when a servant approached her and told her His Majesty had called for her to go hunting. "Very well," she said simply, heading to the armory where her armor was kept. Tarrin kept her armors simple despite others' protests the guard of the crown prince should look as such, and she only had a few which she took care of constantly. The light armor she kept for occasions such as these where a horse would greatly appreciate the lesser weight. It was more leathers than anything, but it served its purpose just fine. She grabbed her sword and shield and kept them on her back as well as a bow and arrow for hunting. If she were honest, Tarrin was not the best with a bow. She could hold her own and could compete against others just fine, sure, but she was much better at sword combat and didn't have the grace one needed to handle a bow, especially on horseback.

    Finally ready, she brushed a few stray strands of hair from her face. Her hair was beginning to get long again -- just past her shoulders--, but the choppiness of it was still there due to the fact that she refused to let anybody cut her hair other than herself, a habit of hers she's had since she was a child. It wasn't the best, and it was a little uneven, but it worked for her just fine. She always figured, if her fellow soldiers took care of their own hair, than so should she. And in her opinion, she had it easy compared to them. She could see her own locks as she cut them and didn't have a beard to trim as well.

    Shaking herself out of her thoughts, Tarrin made her way to the stable where she found the prince waiting for her. "Prince Tzen," she greeted, a small smile pulling up her lips. "Don't you have duties pending right now that don't require shooting down animals?" She said this with a smirk that implied she wasn't serious and wouldn't really fight him on the issue, though sometimes she scolded him. Especially when his shirking of duties got him into trouble, Tarrin showed him no sympathy.
  4. With no thought spent on how the words would cost him, Tzen replied, "Not a one." Across the divide of the peaks, something angry stirred in the Dragon Kingdom. Smiling roguishly, the young prince threw his leg over his ill-tempered roan strider. He gave the side-stepping horse a crisp pat on the neck and heeled him forward, hardly throwing a glance to the guard he knew would follow. The gates opened at his trespass. He smiled benignly at the fingertips of the townsfolk on the edges of his white tunic. It was a land overflowing with plenty, and the well-fed peasantry responded well.

    And Tzen looked and acted the picture of one born to be prince. He was always confident, but slightly demure. He both smiled and scowled radiantly. When he wasn't riding his stallion, there was always a gargantuan dog or two at his side. From the shine on his armor to the glint in his eyes, yes, he looked the picture of a prince, but something wild reared within his heart. It showed in his "kingly" duties. He reveled in walking among the people, in swinging a sword, and bending his back to dig a levy on the lee wall of the castle, but when it came to pressing a stamp or holding a ceremony, there was little to be seen of him. He had yet to hold a formal court.

    But these worries were far from Prince Tzen's mind as he brought the horse to a trot out the gate and over the moat. His nod was enough of a salute for the archers on the wall as he disappeared into the fringe of forest, his trusted guard close at hand.
  5. Tarrin sighed exasperatedly at His Majesty's shirking of his duty, but knew a lost cause when she saw one. She just hoped it never came to bite him in the arse later. With an expert's ease, she climbed onto the saddle of her horse and began trotting along slightly behind the prince. She watched as Prince Tzen worked his magic on the townsfolk and their faces lit up in glee at the sight of him, and she snuck in a glance herself.

    Man, was he attractive, Tarrin mused. Exactly what one would expect from a prince, especially the killer smile. You could fell an entire army with those looks, she thought with a smirk as they rode through the town.

    He will make a fine king one day, Tarrin couldn't help but think. It was there, all in Prince Tzen. The natural charm, the leadership. People just looked towards him and the regular folk loved him. She remembered being a child among these people herself and looking forward to the times when the king and prince rode through on horseback. People naturally respected him, but there was more to it than that. There was something about Prince Tzen that spoke of a great leader, an ability to rule almost as if it was by Divine Right. He was still young, though, that much Tarrin could see. He was flaky and arrogant -- a sad result of being spoon-fed everything since birth, or at least that was in Tarrin's opinion. She would never say so out loud, but the prince was not without his flaws. She knew, though, that he would outgrow them with experience.

    Tarrin began to focus again as she noticed her horse was beginning to get lazy. She spurred it on to keep up with His Majesty and silently rode behind him until they began to reach the forest. With one hand on the reins, Tarrin unhinged her bow from it's spot on her back and got it ready.
  6. Tzen ran his thumb up and down the waxed length of his bow string, aware that Tarrin had been watching him. He was used to it - he almost felt naked without her gaze, without the blind assurance that he would never find a dagger in his back. But still, under the dappled greens of forest light, he felt nakeder still, particularly with this woman at his back. The other side of the coin when it came to Tarrin's constant meditation, Tzen found himself never able to slake any "indecent" desire that plagued him. The prince was fairly used to the sound of her breath ten feet off when he went to piss in the weeds. Needless to say, the burning of her eyes between his shoulderblades was becoming too much to bear. It was indecent for a prince to ride with his cock chafing against the saddlehorn.

    Tzen clipped his horse in the sides with his spurs and set off at an abrupt canter, last years damp leaves and fallen twigs scattering on the forest path in front of him. They would go off trail deeper in the trees - for now, it was time for a race, for a distraction. He very well knew that he could never sully his and Tarrin's relationship. While only two years had passed, she had spent the most time with him at his most difficult moments. The death of his mother. The first time he witnessed an execution. A crippling fever that almost took his life. And likewise, Tzen knew of Tarrin's upbringing, knew that he could never entomb her in the petticoats of a princess, knew that the people would never accept the impossibility of one of their own gentrified because the prince of the land had taken her to bed.

    Tzen urged his charger still faster, giving little care to the storm clouds gathering in the west.
  7. Tarrin kept her back straight as she her horse trotted along behind Tzen. She never truly relaxed and never truly let her guard down, not when she was on or off the job. It was her duty to make sure no danger fell upon Tzen and she honored that duty both as a soldier and as a friend to the prince. If something were to happen to him because she wasn't ready to protect him at a moment's notice, she would never forgive herself.

    If she were honest, Tarrin didn't have a good first impression of Prince Tzen. She went into the role of his personal guard with the intent to simply carry out her duty to her kingdom and the Guard for which she was a part of. Perhaps it was her own upbringing at having to fight for everything in her life that made her so biased to Tzen at the start. When she first saw him, she saw a man that was spoiled, expected everything to be handed to him, and used his looks to charm his way through life. She hated it -- hated him. But he managed to prove her wrong, and very quickly actually. From the start he had shown her nothing but respect and never shunned her company, even if she wasn't much for conversation. Eventually, she came to realize how wrong her first impression of him was. He was completely and utterly human. And in fact, was a man who faced enormous amounts of pressure that Tarrin could barely fathom in every aspect of his life. Everything he did was observed, scrutinized, and judged to determine whether or not he would be worthy of so much power. She admired him for taking everything in stride and over the years, the pair has been through much together. Tzen never once looked down on her despite having every right to do so as a member of the royal family, and she valued that much more than anything.

    Tarrin was startled out of her musings by the sound of Prince Tzen spurring his horse to go faster. Much faster. Tarrin swore under her breath before spurring her horse to go faster and in an attempt to keep up, the coming storm going unnoticed. "My lord!" she yelled after him as she leaned forward on the steed to keep her balance. Tarrin mentally scolded herself for not paying better attention. She was so caught up in her own head, she let Prince Tzen's spontaneity surprise her, something that she should always be expecting and ready to roll with. "Prince Tzen, what brought this on?" She called over to him once she knew he would be able to hear her. It wasn't that he spotted an animal crossing the path, she knew that much.
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