Medieval Fantasy: Stream of Trees

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by loyalist_historian, Mar 1, 2013.

  1. Secure in a tent deep within the trenches of the rebel campsite sat a seventeen year old girl, her moss green eyes resolutely examining her reflection in the simple wooden mirror. Her dominant left hand repeatedly ran through her long curtain of dark red hair, smoothly piecing through the gentle curls reaching the halfway point of her back.

    Placing the mirror on her lap, the girl reclined on her makeshift bed, staring up at the ‘ceiling’ of the tent with a plastered frown as her thoughts returned to the trauma she had undergone over the course of these past few months. It seemed that her brother thought he understood her completely--when she was happy, or distressed, or angry--but Jaina had long been taught by her parents to keep those emotions hidden, and, whether her brother knew it or not, Jaina did that with him as well. How could she burden him with the silly ramblings and fears and worries of a child? She couldn’t. With everything else going on, tacking something else on wouldn’t be fair.

    Generally Jaina’s mindset, the thoughts were rarely followed to fruition when it really mattered. Jaina acted unfazed by so many little things, and kept so much inside, that when she bursted, she bursted, and acted even more immaturely than she would have admitted she could. And now seemed like it would be one of those times. Allowing her hand to fall, the girl rose, smoothing the dirt streaked emerald green dress--she wished it hadn’t gotten so dirty--before beginning to pace slightly, a conflicted look on her face as she bit her lip before glancing at the exit from her tent. She wanted to exit, to find her brother, to be there with him as he spoke with the leader of those who had helped them both so much already. Alyss could be there. Why couldn’t she? She should be there! But she knew how her brother felt about that, and how protective and off-put he would get with her if she even tried.

    Still. She wanted to go.

    Releasing the pressure on her lip, the girl nodded to herself, walking to the exit-way and deciding that she would stick her head out to see if any of her guards were around. If not, Jaina would continue as she wished. Breathing in deeply for a moment, she opened the cloth that served as a door, looking around in the green for any keeping an eye on her.

    ((Alyss is the prince's advisor =). And I made an assumption on the sibling relationship--that the prince would be overprotective of his little sister. If that's not what you want, let me know, and I'll change this =). And you'll get Alyss' intro when I know what the situation is like where THEY are =P.))
  2. There was much to be done, but it was going to take time. Peter - the kind hearted true heir to the throne - had been talking strategies over with his rescuer for some time now. There was little that could be done at the moment though, first the loyalists, along with the rescuees needed to build up strength, both physical and mental. Even so, the ebony haired male stood over the various papers that had been spread over a makeshift table. "You have so few men, but they are strong. I can only thank you for your bravery." The green eyed yong man was just a bit taken aback by what had happened, the audacity of the rebel group, the fact that they had actually succeeded.

    "I hear you are a worthy man, so...y'know." Xenophon, an odd young man replied. He had respect for the royalty before him, but he had never been overly good at the whole formal thing. The only thing smart about him were the two braids that framed his face, the rest of his silver hair falling loose around him. "But for now, you need rest. All of us do." That was true enough, particularly as the adrenaline that the party had been running on for so long had at last left them, leaving them deflated and generally down.

    Xenophon continued poring over various correspondence from his men, most of which had learnt to read and write specifically for this operation. Hence, the notes were pretty damn crude.

    Peter left him to his planning, and instead of going to rest and check on his dear sister, he took it upon himself to do the rounds of the men. There were fewer than a dozen present in the cavern, but they made a helluvan army. Their determination and zeal was unmatched, and so this young would-be king did hhis best to enhance their morale.

    (Sorry about this post...I'm not really concentrating >.>)
  3. Inside the tent, Alyss stood a step behind her friend, her hands folded in front of her. She glanced over at Peter every now and again as they planned. Peter tried hard to focus on the matter at hand, but Alyss could tell that he was aggravated and uncomfortable, and she refrained from shooting him a look. Xenophon had already done a lot for them, and he deserved their attention. The king's exhaustion made sense. It had been trying on all of them to be thrown in the dungeon of their own palace. But now they were out, and mental and physical exhaustion made sense, but it had to be overcome.

    Besides, counseling Peter was her job. And she tried to fulfill it now, not only in silently chastising him but also sitting, a pace behind, ready to intervene if needed or if called upon.

    Alyss knew it would be hard on Peter to stay hidden, out, in the campsite, but at least he could move about the base. If Alyss knew anything of Peter's relationship with his sister--and she did--Jaina would not even have that freedom. Not that that would be new for the redheaded princess. But safety was important, and until the control of the situation at least slightly switched over to their hands, the king and his sister would have to be secured.

    As the meeting ended, Alyss dropped her hands to her sides, stepping forward to follow behind Peter. She turned to Xenophon before they left. "Thank you, sir," she said, simply, all of the meaning in her eyes.

    She followed behind Peter as he started to walk around, presumably to think the men. Alyss spotted a flash of red and blinked. Jaina was like a sister, and she loved seeing the girl, but Jaina was supposed to be in her own tent. She placed a hand on Peter's shoulder. "Your sister," she said, simply, nodding with her head towards the direction from where the younger girl came.
  4. The young leader did not blame the king for his distraction. He would have perhaps even been a little worried if he had been entirely focused. After all that had happened, he had every right to be on his knees, as did virtually everyone in the camp at the present time. Even so, the man himself did not intend to rest just yet, he had more correspondence to go through, and so he simply settled down to this glorified paperwork, nodding curtly to the advisor as she thanked him. She seemed more 'with it' than the young king, and would no doubt be a key component in this.

    As the woman directed his attention to the streak of red hair that was so clearly visible, Peter frowned. He might have missed it, had Alyss not pointed her out, that was the case with many things. He had never been one for detail, he was too much of an idealist. Needless to say, he hastened towards his sister, reaching her in just a few hurried strides.

    "Jaina, what are you doing out here?" He asked, grasping her arm gently. He worried about her, and it was clear to see that in his clear green eyes. He was almost likely to keep her under lock and key, though of course for different reasons than their previous incarceration. He was afraid to let the world into her, or fear that life might be cruel to her. He simply couldn't bear for her to be harmed, be that physically or mentally.

    This might have been a noble ideal, but sometimes risks had to be taken, be that in his own life, his sisters, or else the fate of the kingdom. It was often Alyss that ensured the still green king did allow some calculated risks to be taken, often having to personally persuade him that the world would not crumble around him if he failed. He desired to please everyone all the time, and protect them, fight for them. It was so often too much for one man to bear on his lone shoulders, which was why the man was often more than a little neurotic.

    He guided Jaina back to her tent, hoping that she would respect his wishes for her to stay well hidden. It was unlikely that she would, and really there was no good reason for her to, but Peter still wished it. "It is for your safety, sister. Just stay in your tent a while longer." How long that would be, he couldn't say, and most likely wouldn't for a long time.
  5. Jaina caught her brother's gaze as he came charging for her. In spite of their distance, he was in front of her in no time at all. Peter took her by the arm and started pulling her along with him, back in the direction of her tent, and Jaina sputtered before finding words.

    "I--I was looking for you!"

    Alyss followed closely behind. "Jaina, it's very late," she tried, trying to keep her own tone more logical, and hoping that Jaina would just let it be. "We don't know who the men here are. It is not safe."

    Jaina scolded, and pulled her arm out of Peter's, standing in place right outside of her tent. "NO WHERE is safe for me!" She exclaimed, angrily, although she could not stop the tear that escaped.

    Jaina had been kept away from. Well. Everything, for her entire life. When their parents were alive, Jaina had been kept alone in her own room--their father had wanted to protect her from court life, and he had done it by keeping her all but locked in the residential tower of their palace. When Syme had betrayed and imprisoned them months prior, the only real change was that she was kept apart from her brother. And now her own brother wanted to keep her hidden away here.

    "Peter, please. I can't. I can't do this." Another tear fell.

    Alyss had never seen Jaina fold like this. The girl had always seemed like the pinnacle of how royalty was taught to behave. She never showed anything. Now, Alyss started to wonder just how much she and Peter had missed over the girl's life.

    "Jaina," Alyss muttered, moving around from behind Peter and pulling the younger girl into a hug. Alyss fished through the folds of her dress, taking out a cloth and using it to wipe at Jaina's eyes. "Shh, come on..."

    She moved the girl forward into her tent, motioning with her head to indicate that Peter should follow. Jaina did not resist. Alyss sat down on Jaina's cot with her, still hugging the girl tightly. She could see Jaina trying to stop crying, or at least hide the fact that she could not, but it was a little bit too late now.

    Alyss looked over at Peter to see what he would do.
  6. ((I know I've already apologized, but I'm sorry for the delay on this. I'll be much more regular now.))
  7. At least she understood the fact of it. Nowhere was safe, whether or not the princess could stand the measures that were necessary for her survival. Peter didn't show too much emotion as his sister seemed to let her floodgates open. He knew that the result of him even offering a little sympathy would be his own breakdown. If the situation had not been so dire, then maybe he would have allowed himself some raw emotion, but that was not the case, and so he remained stony faced

    He allowed Alyss to take over, following the two women with a solemnity that was more suitable to accompany a funeral dirge, rather than the frail crying of a girl. Even so, he did eventually speak, when Alyss seemed to be looking for help. "Jaina, I know this is no life - for any of us - but you have to understand that it is necessary." He paused, running a nervous hand through his scruffy head of hair, "In a day or two, when we are more certain of this bands intentions, you will be free to roam the camp. Just bear with it until then."

    Without further words, or even a remote gesture of comfort, Peter left the tent. It was highly out of character for him to be so cold, but it was necessary for the survival and sanity of the rather overloaded man. He simply went to his own relatively well furnished tent, throwing himself down onto the collection of blankets and furs. He yelled into the cushions for a few minutes, before falling dead asleep. It ha been a tiring day.

    (sorry about the crap post, I may struggle for a bit >.> I've hit a wall.)
  8. ((No worries! It makes sense, especially because he's not interacting with the others, that it'd be shorter =).))

    Jaina curved her head into Alyss' chest as the older woman sat with her along the cot. She tried to turn her head away from Alyss and Peter. A part of her cursed silently for showing so much of herself, even to the only two people whom she loved and had left. The other part of her craved Peter's attention. Wanted him to drop everything for five minutes, see how much she was struggling, and hold her. Cry with her.

    The first part won out--Peter either did not see or did not care enough to take care of her.

    By the time Peter spoke to her, Jaina had mostly silenced her cries, and willed the tears to stop falling. Her eyes were still wide, and they still gave up her vulnerability. But that was subtle, and one would have to look carefully. Jaina cursed herself again--she had slipped, and she had taken too long to clean it up, and even if her brother and caregiver didn't give a shit, that information was not out in the open for Alyss. Jaina did not look at the woman, but she could feel the conflict in Alyss cutting through the space between them. She did not know if she should be happy or upset that this wasn't over--Alyss was sure to bring it up later with Peter. But Peter didn't care.

    In a day or two, you will be free to roam the camp. Jaina knew that it was bullshit. She let out one more, single cry and then an angry scoff as her brother finally left, without so much as a 'hug' or a 'good night'. She missed her parents.

    Jaina felt herself starting to get worked up again, but squashed it before it had the chance to start. Alyss looked down at her, concerned, but Jaina simply stared straight ahead, her eyes glassy. Alyss sighed, and hugged Jaina tightly once more. "I'm going to give you some space, all right? I'll be in my tent if you--" Alyss caught herself. Jaina was not supposed to leave her own tent, how could she seek emotional help? She sighed heavily and shook her head. "Good night," she told the younger girl, and turned to leave.

    Once alone, Jaina felt the pit of sorrow in her throat grow to anger, directed at her brother. What made him think he could keep her prisoner? Who the fuck was he?

    Why didn't he care? Why didn't he love her enough to see through the mask?

    Jaina turned on her side, curling up tightly and examining the fabric of her blanket. She hated this. The thoughts kept her up for most of the night. And then she fell asleep.

    Alyss went over to Peter's tent. "Your Grace," she called, expectantly. There was no answer, and she opened the flap, looking at the sleeping king, and almost turned to leave, but went inside instead. She looked around for a piece of parchment and a writing utensil.

    Your sister needs her older brother right now. --A

    She left it somewhere where he would find it. And then she felt for her own tent and went to sleep.

  9. The following mornng, Peter did at least feel well rested. He was still stressed, and struggling to deal with the responsibilities that had been thrust upon him far before his time. Evven so, he was up and dressing himself in no time, knowing that the world would not wait for his convenience. It was as he was getting ready that he found the note left to him by Alyss, which he promptly crushed in his hand. He threw the crumpled ball into a corner of the tent, storming from the makeshift quarters in an even worse mood than the previous night.

    He burst into the tent of the commander, not particularly caring that he was so rudely interrupting a meeting between the senior members of the resistance. They were undoubtedly doing some important planning, but it didn't matter. There was nothing more important than family, and letting the resistance go to waste was a fair price for ensuring his sister didn't hate him forever.

    "Xenophon. I want four of your best men watching Jaina round the clock." He was perhaps rudely direct, and the grey eyes of the rebel narrowed in unbridled annoyance at the interruption. His response was just as cold, though at leasta little helpful.

    "I can spare no more than two per watch, only one at times." He would do what he could to help, but he wasn't going to jeopardise the entire camp for one woman.

    Peter pursed his lips, but eventually nodded. "Then it is settled. Thankyou."

    Moments later, two men were sent to watch over the princess, and the prince went with them. He entered the tent shortly after receiving permission, though he barely gave enough time for that. "You are free to explore the camp. I will try to see you later, but now I need to get back to planning." And he was gone again. Today, and many days afterward would be busy. Even so, in the evenings he hoped that he would be able to spare some time for relaxation, either by himself or with those important to him.
  10. Jaina had always been an early riser. At the palace, she would awaken before everyone except for her father, and would sometimes try to go for walks when the normal chaos of the palace was still asleep. Her father would almost always catch her within minutes of her leaving the residence, and bring her back. She had always wondered how the king had so much time to spot his little girl outside of her room. Now, as she sat up on her cot in the campsite, she reflected that he, like her, might have used those early hours of the morning for the same reasons as her. Maybe it was just another thing that they had in common. And now he was gone.

    Jaina slipped down from the cot, combing out her hair and styling in for she didn't know what reason. It wasn't like she was doing anything, or going anywhere. To take her mind off of everything, perhaps. It worked for a few minutes, as she brushed her long red hair even after the tangles were out, and then twisted small pieces on the sides of her head back, pinning them down. She peered out of her tent. It was still dark outside, but the sun was starting to rise. She sat down on her cot again, grabbing random pieces of parchment she'd placed on the side, and started to draw. It was the same day in and day out. She had grown quite good, having developed her skill over more than a fucking decade.

    For a while, it was just like she moved along the page, but, after a little while, the silhouette of their family--all four of them--formed. Gods. Of course that would happen, after how much she was thinking of their parents. She finished the drawing anyway, and then fell back on her cot, just staring up into the air. And then she heard her brother's voice outside of her tent, and stayed lying down, but turned her head to face the entrance. "Come in," she responded, and, immediately, he did, with two men she did not recognize following behind him. What he said surprised her, but Jaina's face started to light up. "Thank you," she responded. She reached for the picture. "Peter, wait, I drew something for you." She went up to him, trying to pull him into a tight hug before he left, and passed the picture over. "I love you," she told him.
  11. Peter didn't really know how to react. The thanks his sister gave him was more than enough, and coupled with her attempted hug and the little sketch of hers, it was a bludgeoning amount of emotion he had to force back down. As the slight girl hugged him affectionately, Peter simply stood awkwardly and stiffly, thinking about saying various words of either comfort or rebuff, though he thought better of all of them. He left without a word, of course. He hated being so callous, but he knew himself too well to allow such things to happen.

    As a boy, Peter had often been scolded for crying over seemingly small animals, such as the death of a favourite hound. He had always been an open and loving person, even as he had grown into the man his father desired as an heir. Peter had a connection to his own emotions that few of his gender were ever allowed to develop, but as a result of this, he knew that he was weak. His parents had told him often enough. And so he tried his hardest to maintain this cold shell of himself, until it was finally safe to be his true self once again. But for now, he would have to let his sister hate him, and hope that she would forgive him.

    By midday, the prince was absorbed in work, mapping out the best movements for the men to take in order to succeed in the final take over. Xenophon had left him to it, in favour of checking in with his men. He was not a natural born leader. He was not a large man, he was simply bloody determined, fearless (often to the point of fault), and happened to have a fair old bit of charisma, that usually resulted in respect. And so he liked to converse with the troops, maintaining a real presence with them, and so avoiding the likelihood of mutiny.