Playing with Fire

Viverescribere

Always looking to write
Original poster
Invitation Status
Looking for partners
Posting Speed
1-3 posts per day, One post per day, 1-3 posts per week
Writing Levels
Intermediate, Adept, Advanced, Prestige
Preferred Character Gender
Male, Female, Primarily Prefer Female
Genres
Fantasy, Historical, Magical, Romance (usually within other genres), Dystopia, Fandom.
For centuries the Kingdom of Eira and the Kingdom of Ignis had been at war, battling and fighting for a reason long forgotten by those who were alive today to continue the legacy. Both complete opposites and unlike in nature, neither side could remember why this had started yet neither kingdom wished to be the one to lay down arms and discuss a negotiation of peace. The Kingdom of Eira, beautiful in it's crystalized land, kept it's land clean and fresh and pure. Grey and white stoned walls made up buildings that housed royalty, nobility, and peasantry alike. The seasons came and went, but it was in the winter that it was at it's strongest. Sometimes, the buildings created from the white stone became camouflaged into the snow that fell, the grey buildings a stark contrast to it all. The castle took liberties when it came to using glass as one of it's building materials, with it shimmering like icicles hung out in the sun.

But glass was easily broken.

Carina Eirian fled through the corridors of her beloved castle, her skirts twisting and catching on her feet in her desperation to put distance between herself and the flames that chased after her. They scorched the walls, marking the grey stone black and claiming it as another piece of territory belonging now to the Kingdom of Ignis. Her legs carried her through the halls, ending up coming face to face with Ignis soldiers. Immediately she threw shards of ice in their direction, hoping to distract them for a moment to flee. It was becoming harder to breath, the air too hot for the Princess of an ice kingdom. Smoke tainted the air, ruining it's pure coolness and freshness. Flames no longer chased her, but the sound of footsteps did, which caused Carina to push herself faster. But the footsteps were gaining on her, and her lungs were beginning to burn. A mixture of the exertion and the hot air becoming too much for her.

Her eyes latched onto the window at the end of the hall she turned down, and she could feel her freedom beyond it. Even if it meant smashing the glass as she threw herself through it. Event if it meant falling to her death below. She prepared for the pain, an arm raising to shield her face from any shards of glass. But that never came.

As she launched herself forward, a pair of thick arms surrounded her waist, catching her mid-air. It winded her and in her dazed, confused state, Carina hadn't realised what had happened. It was only until she noticed the deep red of the soldier's sleeves did she clock on. Immediately she began to struggle, screaming and kicking in an attempt to fight free. A heavy stomp down with her heel onto the man's boot and an elbow to the stomach freed her, but only for a few steps until her arms were grabbed and twisted behind her back.

Tears glistened in her eyes at the pain that shot up her arms and into her shoulder as she threw her weight around again, but Carina bit hard on her lower lip to force the tears to stay put. The action causing a bead of blood to swell on her lip. She couldn't show weakness, not now. The Ignis soldiers marched her through the corridors she knew so well, immediately knowing where they were going: the Throne Room. The battle must be over then, finished, completed, fini. And her beloved kingdom was ruined, a charred and melted mess after all these years. As they entered the Throne Room, Carina released a wordless yell of pain at the sight of a sword slicing through her father's neck. Her knees crumbled at the scarlet that now stained the hall's floors, and the soldiers escorting her were forced to hold her up. Her grey eyes were unable to leave the sight of her father's separated head, her stomach rolling threateningly as his eyes stared without seeing, up to the ceiling. Only at the sound of her name being shouted, echoing against the marred walls, did she pull herself out of her stupor.

"Emmett!"

The sight of her baby brother being knelt in front of the Ignis King had renewed Carina's struggling, leading to one of the guards tangling his hand into her hair and pulling her head back. She gasped harshly, squeezing her eyes tightly shut for a moment as she continued to walk forward. Her eyes opened, just as she was shoved down onto her knees too beside her brother, to see the sword being placed at the side of brother's neck.

"No, stop!" Carina cried, eyes widening as she realised what was to happen next. Her hands, still being held behind her back, opened so her palms faced upward to the guard who held her firm. Ice sprayed onto his wrists and shards shot upward to pierce him wherever was vulnerable - the eyes and nose, maybe, Carina didn't care. Once released, her hands turned onto the King to send sheets of ice in his direction. But the King was prepared, battle-hardened and wise to the attack, and had raised a hand himself to combat the ice with flames that caused her ice to drip as little rain drops from the air. Carina's heart pounded as she looked to the puddle that had formed before she was force to look at the King, who had approached her to force her to her feet, hand wrapped around her jaw.

Carina breathed heavily through her nose, shutting off all fear and her eyes turned cold and hard as they met the king's. "Our little ice princess. Or should I say Queen now, with your father dead." He smirked, eyebrow raising and motioning to her father's body with the sword still covered in his blood. "Still so full of fight, I can see it in your eyes. Even with your kingdom destroyed, half by my flames and the other half simply by the swords of my men. Tell me, how does it feel to know you're the lesser being?" He sneered, bringing his face in close. Carina didn't dare move, the grip on her jaw bruising, as she held eyes with the king. "But still... you have power, royal blood, and the people who have survived will look to you..." He seemed to be debating something, eyes surveying her, running over her body and face. "Killing their king is a statement... but to kill their princess would make a martyr. No... let's make this little ice queen crack." The King of Ignis released her, flicking his wrist with power that caused her to stumble to the floor and into her brother, to walk to the window in order to look out.

Scrambling to sit up, she took hold of her brother and tightly clasped his hand. The King turned eventually to face them both, a sadistic smirk on his lips as he looked between the siblings. "You'll marry my son, Princess." He drawled, a statement, not a question. He approached slowly, a small wall of fire coming between them to make Carina think twice about using her powers. The King then reached out, bloodied sword moving through the fire for the tip to rest under Emmett's chin. The metal was becoming warm, causing Emmett to wince but he didn't dare move. "Lest you wish to see yourself and your beloved brother have the same fate as your father."
 

potassiumboron

~I'm drinking coffee on a trampoline~
Posting Speed
Multiple posts per day, 1-3 posts per day, One post per day
Online Availability
3pm - 1am (GMT / BST)
Writing Levels
Beginner, Elementary, Intermediate, Adept, Adaptable
Preferred Character Gender
Male, Female, Transgender, No Preferences
Genres
Horror, gore, bloodiness, monsters, supernatural, fantasy, romance, criminality
The day his kingdom launched an attack on their neighbours was a day Sven had waited for for years. All the years dedicated to preparing him for the event; all the stress and exhaustion his mental and physical state had been put through during the training and exertions could finally be put to good use. The war had raged between the nations for centuries, long before Sven had even come into the world, and yet it was only now that Ignis had decided enough was enough; that a statement needed to be made. And that statement was the conquering of the neighbouring icy kingdom; a statement that Sven had always known he was fated to take part in. Such plans had been suggested when he was just a boy, after all; he had grown up knowing what would commence when he was an adult and what part he would play in such a momentous, historical event.

And so, years of careful preparations and exhaustive training had led to this ambush. Innocents were slaughtered as the soldiers from Ignis, led by Sven's father from the front, waged war on the kingdom and burned their way to the the castle. Eira, often shrouded in blankets of snow that seemed to epitomise the land's clean, pure nature, had now been overtaken by flames and smoke. The fires weren't just created to damage and kill; they were a physical representation of Ignis' encroachment into the peaceful land, emphasising that Eira had now been taken over by their more brutal neighbours as Sven (and many in Ignis) had always thought it should be.

The Prince of the neighbouring kingdom of fire had fought for this moment his entire life so now, even amongst the chaos and devastation of the war playing out around him, he couldn't help but enjoy himself. This was what had been destined, or so he had been told; Ignis was always going to reign supreme and overtake their neighbour. The fact he was part of such an occasion that would be recorded in the history books of Ignis and told for centuries after his passing was huge, though he didn't allow himself to grow too distracted by the realisation he was making history. Instead, with devastating accuracy, he fought his way to the castle with those he came into contact with on the way doing very little to stop his rampage. Enemy soldiers were cut from where they stood, falling victim to Sven's swordsmanship - the boy had been but a toddler when he was first introduced to the sword. However young that was, his parents hadn't particularly cared about their son having a semblance of a childhood. Instead of toys, he had his weapons; instead of words of love and encouragement, he would hear criticisms and insults aimed at toughening him up to the world.

While that had only created a hatred in Sven for his parents (and ultimately, for most people), he couldn't deny that their unconventional parenting methods hadn't helped him - the fact he was almost single-handedly disposing of the soldiers that got in his way was testament to his parents' success in creating a warrior, after all.

The halls of Eira's castle were silent and empty when the Prince finally arrived, his footsteps echoing ominously as he took in the signs of his father's handiwork around him - the scorched remains of deceased castle guards and shards of broken glass were the work of the King, and Sven followed the trail of devastation until he reached the throne room. He didn't enter immediately, taking a moment to compose himself. He let himself catch his breath and carefully hid the slight wound on his arm from another's sword. As small as the wound was, he knew that his father could easily remark upon it and criticise him for getting hurt, as though gaining a slight injury from one single soldier after disposing of dozens more made him any less of a successful fighter.

Yet, he knew the bombardment of criticism that would await him if he strolled into the throne room breathless and sporting an injury of any sort, so only after he had concealed the sight of the wound and calmed his breath did he push open the grand doors and head in to join up with his father again.

Aesthetically, Sven wasn't too dissimilar from his parents, having their red-hair, tanned complexions (like most in Ignis as a result of the land's consistently hot climate) and blue eyes, but behaviourally, he differed a great deal. Could he be loud, boisterous and fly into a rage? Of course - and he certainly had exhibited the same lust for blood his father had displayed, as the sight of the King of Eira's beheading proved. But Sven was generally a quieter person, whose demeanour was often misconstrued as being reserved and even shy. Even his movements proved to be an antithesis to his father, heading across to the man quickly and with surprising grace that the royal family in Ignis didn't usually possess, replacing it with a toughness indicative of their raw passion.

The demeanour did belie and conceal the fact he was perhaps much worse than his parents. They were unsubtle in who they were, but Sven was a manipulator who hid his true, cruel nature behind the quietly charming facade. Even now, when he could smirk in satisfaction at the sight of Eira's royal family reduced into such a pitiful display, his countenance remained neutral as his eyes drifted from Emmett to Carina, nothing flickering onto his expression to betray him. He took great amusement out of their suffering, being a sadist at heart, but the smugness his father portrayed wasn't replicated on his own.

"...You expect me to marry the girl?" He finally spoke, his voice a tad deeper than it might have been expected to be as finally, he let his eyes leave his observations of the fallen siblings to peer across at his father. He despised the man and had developed his own plans over his teenage years to dispose himself of his parents and take their throne from them, but such plans had obviously been abandoned in favour of focusing fully on the attack on Eira. Even if that left him having to deal with his parents which was, ultimately, a never-ending nightmare for him.

He breathed out slowly to himself as he tilted his head to examine the ceiling above them, a smile appearing at the rising smoke circling above. He wanted to be home, not stuck in the tortuously cold kingdom with its irritating abundance of snow and ice a second longer, but the sight of smoke and smell of the burning fires was something to take some comfort from, at least.

"I'm sure you know best, Father," he praised easily as he returned his attention back to the reality of the situation, nodding once in agreement. The idea didn't necessarily appeal but he knew that his personal feelings didn't matter; not when the union would grant him power and threaten to break the ice queen. It was worth sacrificing his personal happiness for. "...What about the brother? He's not necessary, is he?"
 
  • Like
Reactions: Viverescribere

Viverescribere

Always looking to write
Original poster
Invitation Status
Looking for partners
Posting Speed
1-3 posts per day, One post per day, 1-3 posts per week
Writing Levels
Intermediate, Adept, Advanced, Prestige
Preferred Character Gender
Male, Female, Primarily Prefer Female
Genres
Fantasy, Historical, Magical, Romance (usually within other genres), Dystopia, Fandom.
The King's gaze swung to land on his son at the question, eyes narrowing and a muscle in his jaw jumping. "I expect you to do as your King commands, and do it without questioning my judgement." Lucian told Sven harshly, irritated at his son querying such a decision and in front of the two siblings. Words would certainly be had once they were back in Ignis. A plan was brewing in the old king's mind, and he would see it through. Even with them having forcibly taken Eira, the remaining people would never settle should the fiery conquerors simply take over power. No. They needed to see one of their own on the throne alongside the royalty they would now hate.

They may hate her for giving in so easily to their enemy, and Lucian had no qualms about allowing that hatred to manifest and burn like once of the many raging fires he himself was capable of creating. But they may also feel sympathy and pity her, seeing that she had been forced into this marriage by the Ignis King, strong-armed into it just as they will be into slavery. So revolution may be less likely - they wouldn't wish to kill their queen in the revolt by mistake.

Not to mention, with the Princess Carina on the throne alongside his son, they would have a claim over Eira's lands that would never be as strong as if they had just taken it. Sven could rule without question from any other nation, and a child - an heir - would secure it past any measure possible. With no armies left to defend their beloved Princess... there wasn't anyone arriving any time soon to save the siblings.

Carina's own mind was working a mile a minute, realising the same conclusion as the King. She wouldn't allow anything to happen to her brother, as for her people, she wasn't in a place to negotiate. Keeping her brother alive would have to suffice. Her grip around Emmett tightened as she held her brother firmly to her side, the icy-grey of her eyes falling onto the Prince at his question regarding her brother. She felt Emmett's hand grip her waist in a grasp firmer than she realised was possible, the material of her dress bunching slightly under his hold.

"If you think the girl will behave for you just because her own life is at risk, Sven, you have obviously paid no attention to anything I've taught you over these past few years." Lucian drawled, stepping toward the siblings. The fire split for the wielder, allowing him to kneel before them both again. Carina moved herself slightly to ensure that Emmett was behind her somewhat, chest rising and falling rapidly and unsteadily as she faced the king.

He chuckled, a smirk on his mouth again as the girl held his gaze. "We keep the brother alive. And I won't have you asking anything else and undermining my authority any more." He stood, taking a step back and motioning for the guards nearby to collect the siblings.

Carina allowed herself to be yanked to her feet again, but struggled as she was pulled away from her brother. Her eyes then locked onto two thin, white bracelets that a third guard held in hand, widening as it was clipped around her brother's wrist. Emmett's face immediately paled, eyes fluttering for a moment as he looked ready to faint. It only lasted for a breath or two, as the colour soon reappeared in her brother's face. As the guard approached her, Carina sharply looked to the King, who was now stood near the Prince - Sven. Her gaze moved across to Sven, boring into him as she surveyed her new husband-to-be. She felt a sudden, overwhelming sensation wash through her, a draining feeling that made her knees want to buckle. Carina felt the warmth in cheeks leave and she exhaled hard through her nose.

"They should put up less of a fight with a lack of power," Lucian observed, sheathing his sword to have it hang by his side, "Not that it mattered before, but still, don't need either of them skewering us with an icicle." He chuckled, but the sound lacked warmth or amusement. With a single flick of his wrist, he had the guards escort the siblings out of the Throne Room and barked out orders for their imminent departure - their work here was done, for now.
 

potassiumboron

~I'm drinking coffee on a trampoline~
Posting Speed
Multiple posts per day, 1-3 posts per day, One post per day
Online Availability
3pm - 1am (GMT / BST)
Writing Levels
Beginner, Elementary, Intermediate, Adept, Adaptable
Preferred Character Gender
Male, Female, Transgender, No Preferences
Genres
Horror, gore, bloodiness, monsters, supernatural, fantasy, romance, criminality
It was a moment like this that really consolidated the years of hatred that had built up in Sven. His expression remained deadpanned and he gave no outward signs that his father's vocal chastisement had irritated him, but inside, he was fuming; so much so that it was a miracle that the burning hatred inside of him didn't translate into a literal burning of flames and fire around him. It was a testament to the years of training he had undergone to control the element for without it, he would have ended up releasing the anger with very real, physical consequences.

Killing his father wasn't something he felt guilt for even considering. If anything, he was almost certain that one day he would act upon the desires and rid himself of both the parents who had merely conceived him for the purposes of having an heir, and raised him devoid of love, care and consideration. He despised them and the open belittling from his father in such a vital, integral moment of his life merely strengthened that hatred. He could have easily taken advantage of the distraction to slay the man there and then, his hand resting temptingly on the handle of his sword as that idea ran through his mind, though it disappeared almost as quickly as it had arrived.

He couldn't rid himself of the man just yet, not when he could extort advantages and benefits from him that he couldn't gain in his death. The throne and the monopoly of power that would come from his parents' murders was tempting... but when Lucian already had plans in mind that could empower Sven, the Prince would be a fool to rid himself of that opportunity. His father had many flaws in his eyes, but he was a man whose plans often always succeeded, and until his newest batch of plans had seen their succession, Sven knew he wouldn't be remotely wise in slaying the man before it. Especially when Lucian had many followers and loyalists who would first need to be manipulated into betraying the man before Sven could rid himself of him, to prevent the consequences of a cold-blooded murder.

As he forced himself to calm down and rid himself of the temptation to harm his father in any way, he let himself fall entirely silent in a reluctant show of respect as his father reasserted his authority and took over the moment. A moment Sven would have dreamed of enacting himself but instead had to watch from the sidelines, annoyed and critical of the way his father was handling such a momentous occasion. Only when the siblings had been dragged away did he even dare to step forward again, his eyes drifting across to the shattered window overlooking the burning and ransacked land.

"...Why didn't you take her to be your bride?" He asked suddenly, feeling comfortable enough to pose the question now there were no observers to the conversation to cause his father to argue about being undermined in front of. His eyes settled intriguingly back on his father, his brows slightly furrowed in his confusion. "There was nothing to stop you from doing so. Mother would have understood, I'm sure; she admires power and our consolidation of it as much as you. I... admire your plans, Father; I'm in full support of them. I'm just... surprised you didn't seize the opportunity for yourself when you have a right to reward yourself for winning this war so easily."
 

Viverescribere

Always looking to write
Original poster
Invitation Status
Looking for partners
Posting Speed
1-3 posts per day, One post per day, 1-3 posts per week
Writing Levels
Intermediate, Adept, Advanced, Prestige
Preferred Character Gender
Male, Female, Primarily Prefer Female
Genres
Fantasy, Historical, Magical, Romance (usually within other genres), Dystopia, Fandom.
Lucian took in a long breath, his chest rising to hold for a moment before he expelled the air from his lungs. The king ignored his son's question, walking across to the same window that he went to earlier. He stood there for a breath or two, still and silent as he observed the destruction caused by his flames and his men.

It filled him with a sadistic pleasure to see the walls scorched black, carts and market stalls crumbling to ash. The once fresh air was now ruined, tormented and thick with smoke and ash and soot. The whimpers and screams of the people of Eira remained as they were rounded up, his men pillaging and ransacking everything and anything they could. Taking whatever women took their fancy. The men, those who did not kneel and those belonging to the Dukedom were slain where they stood, many in front of their wife and children. This kingdom had been his burden since the day he was born, and became even heavier on his shoulders the moment the crown hit his head. Lucian knew that he would be the one to take this kingdom, not because he felt like the Kingdom of Ignis was at it's strongest in this year... but because he had grown bored of the war.

Not to mention the power that he could now gain from absorbing this kingdom into his was... tantalising. It could make him drunk.

"There will be plenty of Ladies to choose from for me to have as my war prize." He waved a hand in the air, as if warding off an annoying bug. He wanted to enjoy this moment, but he knew his son. He would pester and ask everything of him. Every decision, every choice. It was incredibly annoying. But Lucian knew to be patient, despite his sharp words and raging temper and harsh criticism of his heir. He was still learning.

Lucian turned, hand on the hilt of his sword and eyes narrowing onto Sven. "Once you and the little ice queen are married, you will ascend the throne together to lead this new nation." He explained, approaching his son. His pace slow and purposeful, taking his time to revel in it all. When he arrived, a gloved hand raised and a finger was placed under Sven's chin, forcing his head a little higher.

The king surveyed his son's face, having observed his body and armour on approach. "You have done adequately today, and the girl is your reward. Perhaps not her in body, she doesn't seem like she'll give that easily... but the power and position she offers. I have completed what was expected me in my life time. Now it is your turn." He raised an eyebrow, pausing.

"I have conquered this land, now it is your time to break it. Break her. Take what is yours." His fingers turned under Sven's chin to grip it instead. Hard. He leaned forward so his face was close, "Do not let me down. Otherwise it will be the last thing you do as a king."
 

potassiumboron

~I'm drinking coffee on a trampoline~
Posting Speed
Multiple posts per day, 1-3 posts per day, One post per day
Online Availability
3pm - 1am (GMT / BST)
Writing Levels
Beginner, Elementary, Intermediate, Adept, Adaptable
Preferred Character Gender
Male, Female, Transgender, No Preferences
Genres
Horror, gore, bloodiness, monsters, supernatural, fantasy, romance, criminality
"...I won't disappoint you, I promise. I'm grateful for the opportunity, Father; your faith in me won't be unjustified," promised the son as he reluctantly allowed his father to grip his chin and ultimately threaten him. He naturally found it humiliating, especially when he had to allow such behaviour and attitude to proceed, but what choice did he have? He couldn't rebel against the man and nor could he kill him, not when he had little preparations in place. He needed allies; all of his father's powerful, influential friends to switch their loyalty to him. There would be nobody to avenge his father's death after that, leaving him free to rule without worry or threat of repercussions for his murderous actions.

For now, they were merely dreams that he clung to, finding comfort in the images of his father's potential future death at his own hands. It was what was getting him through such embarrassing moments of his father's assertion of dominance over him - he knew that he could ignore the fuelling and blossoming of rage within him when he had all these plans to exact at a future date. A quick, sudden death born from anger in this moment wasn't what his father deserved; a long drawn out torturous affair with no friends to call on to help him was the future the son wanted for his father, and that required time and patience.

He smiled quietly at the thought even as his face was gripped hard by his father and he had to endure his threatening words and intense body language. He remained respectful and lowered his head in obedience, though a smile remained on his face. Both for his plans of revenge and the realisation that he was actually going to get his hands on the throne; to have the power he had always desired. With it, he knew he could show his parents that not only was that his rightful place but that he was a force to be reckoned with and they ought to fear that, not take pride in him. He didn't want their pride; he wanted them to fear for their lives.

And it was the greatest mistake of his father's life to just hand him the throne and hand him such an increase of power. It was further evidence to Sven that he was constantly underestimated by his father - but that was fine. Let Lucien continue to underestimate his son. Ultimately, it would only work in Sven's favour.

The trip back to Ignis wasn't too long. The neighbouring kingdoms were so close in proximity yet so far apart in every other regard. It wasn't just ideologically and behaviourally that the kingdoms differed, but in physical real terms too. Eira's snowy landscape eventually disappeared as the troops ventured into Ignis, the ice and snow replaced by volcanic mountains spouting embers and thick, red smoke that billowed and shrouded the sky, giving it a distinct and omnipresent redness that only seemed to emphasise the intense heat of the fiery kingdom.

The castle was a threatening, looming presence over the kingdom itself, sitting atop the mountainous landscape. Its architecture was in keeping with the kingdom; a great structure of rock and brick, surrounded by a moat of bubbling, spitting lava. Yet, despite the hellishness, this was home for Sven, whose smile continued to grow as he grew closer to the castle, the sight of the reddened sky and smell of the smoke comforting him more than he thought it would after hours in its absence.

Awaiting the return of the men -and the accompanying siblings that remained the sole survivors of the Eira royal family- was Sven's mother, Valentina. Statuesque and thin in appearance she may be, but she possessed a forcefulness in her personality that more than made up for her smaller stature that many had wrongly assumed would make her fade in the background of her husband's rule. Instead, she was as forceful and dominating as her husband could be, with the same hunger for power and annihilation that Lucien possessed; that Sven had ultimately inherited too.

Her eyes graced the return of the carriages eagerly; not for her son who could have easily been killed in the war but for signs of her husband's success. The various items that had been taken past her as trophies were an encouraging sign, though nothing settled her concerns quite like the sight of Carina and Emmett, weakened and captured. Sven stood by as his mother's eyes passed by him without a care, harbouring no maternal instinct for the boy she had given birth to and raised.

"...Well, this battle truly didn't last too long, did it? I hadn't expected you back so soon, Lucien. I had full confidence in you, my love, and you still surpassed my expectations. It's remarkable," she hummed as her smile widened, the realisation that Ignis had conquered their greatest enemy only just sinking in.

"I'm assuming you have a plan for those two," she continued with a nod at the siblings, choosing not to even question their presence. She trusted her husband had his reasons for keeping them alive so why irk him by questioning his wisdom? "Are you hungry? Your success is deserving of a feast, my dear."
 

Viverescribere

Always looking to write
Original poster
Invitation Status
Looking for partners
Posting Speed
1-3 posts per day, One post per day, 1-3 posts per week
Writing Levels
Intermediate, Adept, Advanced, Prestige
Preferred Character Gender
Male, Female, Primarily Prefer Female
Genres
Fantasy, Historical, Magical, Romance (usually within other genres), Dystopia, Fandom.
What a hellish place it was, for a Prince and Princess of an ice kingdom. Carina had only ever seen images in books of the Ignis kingdom, never daring to venture close enough to even see it from a distance. The heat that soon filled the carriage that held her and her brother was stifling, and in her dress Carina was beginning to sweat. Perspiration beaded on her forehead, and the air was hot to breath, burning her lungs. So used, she was, to the cooler breeze that graced Eira - not this stagnant, stale air. The material of her dress was much better suited for the cold climate of Eira, as was her brother's tunic - his armour removed and most likely destroyed, melted down somewhere. Maybe they would throw it into the lava moat as they passed.

But despite the heat that tortured the siblings, Carina made it her mission to keep a hold of her brother's hand. No matter how clammy they became. They had to remain strong and together. They only had one another. She whispered promises of revenge and escape to Emmett, who simply stared out of the carriage window with a blank expression, his eyes unfocused and glazed. The sweat on his own forehead was causing his hair to stick to his face and Carina wished there was something she could do for her poor brother. With intense effort, she found herself able to create a small ice-cube, finding herself incredibly drained afterwards. She placed the cube into her brother's mouth, grateful that the bracelet allowed enough magic to do this for him.

At the halting of the carriages, the siblings were roughly pulled outside to stand. Carina's legs briefly gave way after the exertion of using her powers despite the toll it took on her, forcing Emmett to support her momentarily. She was quick to right herself though, upon seeing the Ignis royal family finally reunited. She took the smallest of steps to stand just before Emmett, once more putting herself between him and their enemy. Her head raised in a proud manner. Despite the cutting comment from the Queen regarding the battle.

Carina's eyes narrowed, but a sharp pinch on her arm from behind - from Emmett - reminded her to keep her composure. She bit her tongue, but her expression remained.


The King of Ignis laughed at his wife's comments, a wide smirk of his own appearing as he approached her. "They all melted like the snowflakes they are. All these years of fighting, yet they were so easily taken when it came down to it. It makes me wonder how it hasn't been done before." He answered.

A rough hand slipped around the back of the Queen's neck as he brought her in for a rare kiss. Not one of relief to have survived another day to see his love, or a soft peck at her praises. But one of passion and hunger, belonging to a man filled with excitement and pent-up energy and leftover adrenaline. One from a King looking forward to celebrating a victorious battle in more ways than one.

"A feast would be fantastic. Let us show off what we have achieved. Our guests must be honoured at this feast, I insist." He pulled back, facing the siblings with the same smirk from before - arrogant, hungry, fear-inducing. "Especially as we have a royal engagement to announce."
 

potassiumboron

~I'm drinking coffee on a trampoline~
Posting Speed
Multiple posts per day, 1-3 posts per day, One post per day
Online Availability
3pm - 1am (GMT / BST)
Writing Levels
Beginner, Elementary, Intermediate, Adept, Adaptable
Preferred Character Gender
Male, Female, Transgender, No Preferences
Genres
Horror, gore, bloodiness, monsters, supernatural, fantasy, romance, criminality
Though he knew the greatest love in his mother's life was power and possessing of much of it as she could (as it likely was for his father too), the relief that had flooded her expression at the sight of her husband stepping out from the carriage was unsubtle. It was the expression of a loving wife who had some concern, however minimal, that her husband wouldn't return home to her. She might adore power more than anything else, but that didn't detract from the love she harboured for her husband. If anything, she loved him more now than she ever could given the feat he had achieved. She had always been attracted to his dreams of conquest, but witnessing him battle-worn, having succeeded in those dreams, left her eager to reciprocate the passion of his impromptu embrace.

No such concern or consideration was shown for Sven, who stood to the side in observation of the reunion. He could have died in the war, perished amongst the dozens of slaughtered soldiers, and he doubted his parents would feel grief. If anything, he could entirely imagine his mother expressing disgust at her son's weakness, or even frustration that his death had deprived Lucien of developing his plans of marrying Sven off. He was simply a necessity for them to protect their throne, and even by handing him the title of King, they could gather pleasure from the power it then brought them. They could boast that he wouldn't have such power if not for his father effectively handing it to him; that he hadn't entirely earned the role when it was his father that had gifted it to him.

His father, the King who had taken Eira; who had led his soldiers into war and conquered the land. The King who had generously given his son the gift of the throne.

Unable to stop the scowl from gracing his features at the thought of dealing with the belittlement of the throne that would be his if his parents ever chose to laud it over his head, he only broke out of his thoughts when experiencing a sharp slap to the face from his mother who had observed the scowl in all its unsubtlety, assuming it to be a response to the news of the engagement.

"Be grateful to your father for his generosity, Sven. Do not scowl like a petulant child; if only we had thought to have another son, my love. Someone more appreciative of your kindness," the woman hissed, her behaviour cutting and disregarding to Sven then melting lovingly when she turned her attention back to her husband, a sickeningly sweet smile returning as she trailed back into the darkness of the dimly-lit castle.

Sven, whose cheek burned a bright red at the hardness of the slap, cast the siblings from Eira a quick glance. This was the second time he had been openly belittled by a parent in front of them and it was far from ideal. How could he be seen as a serious threat to them when he had been verbally and then physically belittled, as if he were easily walked over and a complete non-threat? The idea that his reputation to them would forevermore be threatened was humiliating, though he declined to say anything and simply followed behind his parents to avoid provoking them any more than he already seemingly had.
 

Viverescribere

Always looking to write
Original poster
Invitation Status
Looking for partners
Posting Speed
1-3 posts per day, One post per day, 1-3 posts per week
Writing Levels
Intermediate, Adept, Advanced, Prestige
Preferred Character Gender
Male, Female, Primarily Prefer Female
Genres
Fantasy, Historical, Magical, Romance (usually within other genres), Dystopia, Fandom.
Carina was unable to help the cold smirk that settled on her features at the harsh blow that was landed on the Prince of Ignis' face, and she refused to let it wane as he looked across to them. Her chin tilted upwards, the smirk growing, and an eyebrow raised.

"Carina, stop it." She heard her brother whisper behind her, his eyes on his sister and registering her stance. The second pinch he provided her did nothing to sway her, if anything it steeled her more. Her brother may still be nervous regarding the reaction they may get from the Prince, but Carina was not. For her thoughts matched Sven's without her even realising it. The belittlement they had witnessed had her confident that the Prince of Ignis would not be able to break her. None of the high ranking men in Eira had. None of the high ranking men in Ignis will either.

As the Ignis royal family disappeared into the castle, the Eirian siblings were pushed and pulled in all different manner of ways. Once or twice Carina pulled at her arms so she could walk by herself, refusing to let her head lower. She had no shame. Of course, her kingdom lay in ruins, her people were enslaved undoubtedly or killed, her father was beheaded and she and her brother were now prisoners in the Kingdom of Ignis, with her hand now betrothed to the Prince.

But she would not hang her head in shame. Not with the thoughts of rebellion and mutiny swirling around.

Carina did, however, put up a fight when they separated her and her brother to different corridors within the barbaric, hot castle. Frustration building within her as she was unable to use her powers to fight back. But soon she was handled and locked in a room that was - of course - fit for royalty.

The colours were not of Eira royalty, however. There were no whites and shades of blue to greet her. No fur rugs or throws to help keep her warm. No white marble fireplace attached to the wall opposite the door. Instead there was red. And black. And orange. Light silk sheets instead of thick duck-feather duvets. Dark wood furniture, including two upholstered scarlet armchairs with a black table between them in one corner. A vanity mirror and table set, again in black, in the other. A door leading into an adjoining bathroom.

Carina took that opportunity to splash her face with some cold water, breathing out in relief at the soothing touch of it on her heated skin. She wet one of the hand towels at the end to softly dab it across the back of her neck and then across what was exposed of her collarbones and chest. She continued this action as she re-wet the towel, entering the bedroom again to sit in one of the armchairs. Her gaze drifting out to the window, nose wrinkling at the smoke and bubbling lava. At the monstrosity of it all.
 

potassiumboron

~I'm drinking coffee on a trampoline~
Posting Speed
Multiple posts per day, 1-3 posts per day, One post per day
Online Availability
3pm - 1am (GMT / BST)
Writing Levels
Beginner, Elementary, Intermediate, Adept, Adaptable
Preferred Character Gender
Male, Female, Transgender, No Preferences
Genres
Horror, gore, bloodiness, monsters, supernatural, fantasy, romance, criminality
Sven knew it. He knew from the derisive smirk on that girl's face that she harboured no fear for him and regarded him as no threat to her. While it was true that most people deemed Sven to be less of a threat than his parents, that was the opinion he wanted them to reach. He enjoyed being underestimated and overlooked, because it meant that nobody truly understood that he was probably far more of a danger worthy of their fear than his parents combined were. If his parents mistook his quieter demeanour as gentleness incapable of matching their expectations, then that meant he had succeeded in manipulating them into forming such an opinion. That was what he wanted because it left them -and others as a result- vulnerable when he dropped the facade and allowed them to witness the monster he not only could be, but already was.

But Carina... that wasn't the impression he wanted her to have. He didn't want her to think he was easily dominated and incapable of threatening anyone. He hadn't wanted her to be an immediate witness to his true nature, but he at least wanted her to be somewhat wary of the threat he could possess. Of course, perhaps it was easier for her to underestimate him as much as his own parents did, because that left her vulnerable to the element of shock that would arise when his true nature revealed itself, but he couldn't fathom the enjoyment that would bring him when, right now, he was enraged by the fact some prissy Princess who ought to be numb with shock had smirked so easily at him as if he was no challenge to her.

In the end, her confidence would be her downfall. Like his parents, her underestimation of him would work in his advantage. His motivation to break her had been reinvigorated after the derision he received, and while enduring her confidence and lack of fear would be humiliating and would, no doubt, incur his parents' rage at him for not being capable enough, it was worth it.

As he headed to his bedroom to clean up and rest a little before the celebratory feast, his smile finally returned to his expression at the plans he was setting in place. Let Carina underestimate him if she desired. It was humiliating and a temporary dent in his reputation, but that reputation was already in ruins. He was the Prince whose parents were disappointed in; a capable warrior but lacking in ferocity, instinct and forcefulness. He was quiet, not loud; reserved, not energetic. Emotionally weak, not intimidating or threatening. At least, that's what his parents and close allies believed him to be, unaware of what laid beneath the carefully constructed exterior.

So she could overlook his threat all she desired; it would be her own downfall in the end.

Upon reaching his bedroom, he mirrored Carina's movements in heading to the bathroom, wetting the end of a hand-towel and cleaning his face and chest. Once his face was clean of the dried blood and soot that had marred it, his next move was to change. He had discarded his armour downstairs and, in his bedroom, tossed aside the garments beneath it in favour of clothes that were clean and fresh; not torn and bloodied. Fortunately, his wound on his upper arm had stopped bleeding and didn't seem too serious, relieving him of any concern that it would bleed through his shirt and expose him to belittling ridicule at the dinner table.

And though it might be helpful to continue to appear less of a threat to Carina, he didn't think that, emotionally, he could handle another barrage of insults from his parents without retaliating.
 

Viverescribere

Always looking to write
Original poster
Invitation Status
Looking for partners
Posting Speed
1-3 posts per day, One post per day, 1-3 posts per week
Writing Levels
Intermediate, Adept, Advanced, Prestige
Preferred Character Gender
Male, Female, Primarily Prefer Female
Genres
Fantasy, Historical, Magical, Romance (usually within other genres), Dystopia, Fandom.
Carina had been given a dress.

Something for the feast, she had been told, specifically requested by the Queen. Although she wasn't sure what else she was supposed to wear, since her wardrobe wasn't stocked with anything - not even a nightgown. Obviously no one had been prepared for the King to bring back to Eirian sibling strays. Obviously the plan for her to wed his son wasn't one that was planned, but perhaps created in the spontaneity of the moment. Maybe the King felt merciful, that his power had been shown enough.

Carina snorted at that one from where she sat in the same armchair as before, staring at the dress that was laid out on the bed.

Standing, she approached the bed cautiously, as if the dress would spring up and attack her. Her nose wrinkled and a frown settled over her features as she felt some of the material with her thumb and finger. She paused as the white bracelet caught her attention, leaving her to look at it and become lost in the meaning of it. Until she covered it with her other hand to focus back onto the matter at hand.

The dress was... nice. Unfortunately that was something that Carina had to admit. It certainly looked a lot cooler than her current dress from home, and that alone made her long to try it on. It was cut from a mixture of silk and organza, stained a deep red. It would flow beautifully as she walked, Carina could see that without even putting it on. The sleeves were long, but a slit within them would allow her to remain cool. All finished off with a deep sweetheart neckline.

Carina grit her teeth, a muscle in her jaw jumping and her hand reached out to grip tightly onto the bed post. Her nails bit into the dark wood, but wouldn't leave a mark. She didn't wish to be paraded around like the war-prize they believed her to be. Especially not in the colours of her enemies, regardless of how beautiful a dress sit was. Not to mention, the idea of more flesh being on display than she would be comfortable with did not sit right with Carina. In this new, horrifying kingdom - the heat was enough to make anyone want to dress in less than they needed to. She was used to layers and thick materials. But here, flesh and skin would be bared and that thought alone made Carina feel vulnerable.

But this was a game, she told herself, a game between herself and the Ignis royals. They would be used to such clothing, such sights. Besides, to wear this would undoubtedly please the King and Queen. She only needed to please them until she and the Prince came to power and they were out of the way.

Their son, one whom Carina could tell was not at all beloved, but rather picked at and criticised for every little thing. There was a hardness to his eye but he seemed easy enough to dominate. His lack of retort to either of his parents was proof of that. Carina was determined to break him before he broke her. Which ever way that was best to do, she would find it.

So, Carina took the dress to hang it on the wardrobe door, stepping back through into the bathroom to clean herself up as best as possible before she got changed. She would start on the little Prince. Everyone had a weakness, a want... some deep desire.

She just needed to find his, and use it.
 

potassiumboron

~I'm drinking coffee on a trampoline~
Posting Speed
Multiple posts per day, 1-3 posts per day, One post per day
Online Availability
3pm - 1am (GMT / BST)
Writing Levels
Beginner, Elementary, Intermediate, Adept, Adaptable
Preferred Character Gender
Male, Female, Transgender, No Preferences
Genres
Horror, gore, bloodiness, monsters, supernatural, fantasy, romance, criminality
After a well-needed break in his bedroom that consisted solely of the young man building himself up for the inevitable insults and belittlement that awaited him at the dinner table, Sven strolled through the dim corridors lit only by candles that aided the ominous impression and down the (typically) stone staircases until reaching the dining room. It was a grand room, portraits lining the walls of current family members and lost ancestors, though the sentimental touch was the only warmth that the room offered. It was as cold and foreboding as the rest of the castle was, the dark colours or crimson and black and great stone table set amongst the stone walls not exactly unsurprising given the overall aesthetic of the kingdom itself.

Yet, typically, Sven took great pride in the aesthetic of the castle, adoring its dark decor and solid stone features. A castle that Carina had grown up in would hardly fit in a kingdom like Ignis - a kingdom of fire and smoke deserved a castle of similar construction, and it only made sense to fix up and decorate that castle in the royal family's symbolic colours. It might do little to earn Carina's approval, but Sven observed the dining room proudly. There was a lot he wanted to change when he became King, but the effort that had gone into the castle wasn't one of them.

The feast that awaited them, the long table full to the brim of food that had already been prepared even before news of the kingdom's success had reached the castle. Confidently predicting a win for her husband, Valentina had ordered the staff to work on the feast early that morning - and that confidence had, fortunately, not been misplaced. Had it been, and her husband slain in the battle, the last thing she would have wanted was the sight of a feast that had been designed for celebration, not defeat.

Fortunately, the woman arrived at the table proudly, draped in a dress of deep crimson; a dress she had made purposely for an event of this calibre. Again, it was emblematic of the confidence she held in her husband; to have had a dress made for this very night weeks before the event itself. Naturally, some concern had wormed its way into her head but on the whole, she had been resting comfortably that morning awaiting news of the kingdom's -and Lucien's- success. A grand feast really was the least her husband deserved for achieving something so historic, that same sweet smile rising back onto her lips as she watched her husband take the seat at the head of the table.

Sven sat at his father's left, his head slightly low as he chose to ignore the sickening compliments his mother was showering her husband in. Just one compliment to her son that wasn't back-handed would have at least risen his spirits a little. He wasn't insignificant in the war, having slain countless soldiers who might have posed his father a problem, but apparently such a personal conquest wasn't worthy of even the mildest of compliments from his mother.

"Now, are those little orphans going to join us for our celebration? I had an exquisite dress set out for our little ice queen; our future daughter-in-law, hm?" Teased Valentina in amusement at Carina's fate, taking delight in her suffering as her husband had - and ultimately still would. "...You could have chosen something more suitable for an occasion such as this, Sven. What on earth are you wearing? It looks like bedroom attire--"

"...I opted for something comfortable, Mother. After battling and fighting my way through to Eira's castle, in a heavy armour, I thought I would treat myself to some comfort now I'm home. I don't mean to offend; I simply desire to be comfortable in my own home," responded Sven without a smile, knowing his mother would only despise the expression and accuse him of making a joke at her expense, however little sense such an accusation would make. It wouldn't stop his mother from saying so, however, so he remained neutral as he reached for his wine. "You do look wonderful though; you and Father. I'm sorry I'm letting the side down, but I'm not sure it's... that important."
 

Viverescribere

Always looking to write
Original poster
Invitation Status
Looking for partners
Posting Speed
1-3 posts per day, One post per day, 1-3 posts per week
Writing Levels
Intermediate, Adept, Advanced, Prestige
Preferred Character Gender
Male, Female, Primarily Prefer Female
Genres
Fantasy, Historical, Magical, Romance (usually within other genres), Dystopia, Fandom.
Having swapped his bloodied armour for clothing much more suited for a feast, the King was already in good spirits. He had already taken his wife once, and was three glasses deep in wine. He was revelling in his moment, this piece of history that he had made. None of his ancestors could do it before him, but he had done it. Why shouldn't he celebrate how he wanted? He matched his wife in colours, a deep red tunic trimmed with black and gold. Rings adorned his hands, a statement of wealth and power.

"The girl will be, but not the boy. The only use he is to us is keeping the girl in check." Lucien drawled, lowering his goblet having just taken another sip from it. "She will join us and be in the dress of your choice if she knows what is good for her." He looked to his wife, gaze burning and intense as he raised her hand to his lips.

He may hold the reputation he did, one of a fiery temper and snarling disposition, no one should mistake the open affection sometimes displayed toward his wife as a weakness. Together they were a formidable force, and they had proven that time and time again with their ambition.

His eyes narrowed onto his son as the Queen called him out on his outfit choice. "Not... important." He repeated slowly, handing tightening around the Queen's. "You think... this moment in our history. in our conquest is not important? You think it's not important to dress correctly for our victory." A heat crept up the side of his neck, turning it red. He was becoming sick of his son's insolence that day. Ruining moments for Lucien, questioning his decisions, now diminishing their achievements. "They will write this day in the history books and you say it's not important." He continued to hiss, a vein throbbing in his forehead.

However his rant was cut short as Carina chose to finally arrive. The guards that escorted her remained by the hall's entrance and she walked forward until she was in line with the bottom of the tables that were arranged in a 'U'. The discomfort she felt wearing the dress was masked by an expression of cold indifference. While she was infinitely cooler in the dress, she was more than aware of how one could get a glimpse of her legs as she walked, the organza slightly sheer in places or just from how the skirts were layered. The low neckline made her want to ask for a shawl of some kind and even the delicate slits on her sleeves made her uncomfortable.

Maid's had been sent into her room to help fix her hair, pinning it up to keep her neck bare. Just feeling the hot air on it made her feel vulnerable, mind taking her back to how easily a sword swept through her father's. She refused any blush or other forms of cosmetics they wanted on her face, irritably shrugging off their suggests and whims. Carina did not wish to have her faced caked with anything. It was far too hot.

Her eyes drifted over the long tables, surveying the faces that surrounded her. None of which she recognised of course, but her own brother wasn't there and she had hoped that he would be just for a familiar, supportive presence.

Reluctantly she looked to the head table, where the Ignis royal family sat. Her gaze lingered on the prince - Sven - and she allowed it then to run over what she could see of him behind the table. She had a few methods to use to see how would be best to break him. However she had already limited some too - including belittling and criticising him... his parents did that enough already, if he hadn't broken after all the years with them then he wouldn't with her.

"Princess Carina Eirian of Eira- oh, my apologies... I ought to say formerly of Eira." Lucien announced, standing from his seat with another dreadful smirk. Snickers and laughter surrounded Carina, and she clasped her hands behind her back. Tightly. Imagining the King's throat was between them. There was a long pause, an expectant one, but all Carina did was curtsy. She went low, holding herself in place for a breath or two longer than necessary.

"King Lucien Ignisi," she answered in return upon straightening. Her voice was light, softer than one may have expected but as cold as the ice she took comfort in. "I must... thank your wife for the gorgeous gown she has provided me with for this eve." She was behaving, for now. Knowing that the King and Queen were not her targets and not the ones to confront. They were the ones to keep happy.

The King lowered himself back into his seat, taking another long drink from his goblet. He allowed the girl to stand there for a moment, allowing his wife an allotted time to respond. Also because he wanted to make the former princess squirm. He could see the hungry gazes that lingered on her figure and on the skin that was shown. The King enjoyed it to a certain degree, knowing that the owners of those gazes would undoubtedly love to get their own mitts on the princess, for status or just for the pure glee of saying who they had in their grasp.

But he had claimed her first. For his son. Let them be jealous, let them long. He thrived off it.

"A seat awaits you, little one." He gestured to an empty chair at his own table, besides Sven.

Exhaling silently through her nose, Carina inclined her head toward the King and Queen. She ignored the gazes that roamed over her body, but her nails dug into the back of her other hand as she kept her head held high. She refused to react or feel any ounce of shame. She was an Eirian and she would always be proud.

Carina made her way around the side to the top table, listening to her gown rustle along the ground and her own breathing as a low murmur of chat started up again. She reached the chair and gracefully took her place in it, fixing her gaze above the entrance of the hall while her one hand toyed with the white banded bracelet on her wrist.
 

potassiumboron

~I'm drinking coffee on a trampoline~
Posting Speed
Multiple posts per day, 1-3 posts per day, One post per day
Online Availability
3pm - 1am (GMT / BST)
Writing Levels
Beginner, Elementary, Intermediate, Adept, Adaptable
Preferred Character Gender
Male, Female, Transgender, No Preferences
Genres
Horror, gore, bloodiness, monsters, supernatural, fantasy, romance, criminality
Her husband might achieved far more than she ever could, far more than any former ruler of Ignis had ever achieved in fact, but that wouldn't stop Valentina feeling her own rush of satisfaction at seeing the orphaned Eirian arrive into the great dining hall in the dress that had been set out for her. It would have been a suicide mission to have declined to wear it, of course, but that didn't prevent the Queen from the smug pride that rushed through her. Her achievement was pale in comparison to what her husband had achieved, but it still felt like something she ought to take pride in.

Carina had been reduced to wearing the colours of her enemy, forced into niceties and politeness while donning the thin, unsubtle and revealing clothing that was commonplace in a kingdom as hot as Ignis was. It was no exaggeration to say that the kingdom itself was on fire, with volcanic eruptions spewing forth rivers of lava, but these weren't deemed devastating natural disasters that they in Ignis feared. They were features that the kingdom proudly boasted and took immense pride in, particularly as it simply emphasised the natural power only those in Ignis could really identify with.

Carina just being in the kingdom was a source of great amusement for the Queen; seeing her reluctantly swathed in the colours of the royal family that were primarily the cause of her losing everything she had held dear (besides her brother, for now) only caused Valentina's derisive smirk to widen, struggling to keep her desire to pick apart Carina there and then. She could twist the pain and discomfort further to fund her own amusement and not grow bored of such a needlessly cruel attack, but she reluctantly sat back in resistance against the idea.

It wasn't her job to break Carina, as desperate as she was to have a major role in the challenge. It was down to Sven, or so her husband had informed her. It was, in many ways, the greatest task they had bestowed upon their son and no matter how capable he might be of it, Valentina was already confident that he would fail. Her son, in her eyes, was a bitter disappointment to her, far from the rugged, intimidating child she had hoped to create with Lucien - so how could she possibly have faith in him? She never had and she doubted she ever would, critically eyeing her child in growing dissatisfaction at his neutral expression and apparent lack of interest in the girl at his side.

He didn't once glance at Carina, refusing to copy the unsubtle observations of her that the many men in the room were apparently eager to do. Of course he was tempted to peer at her and take in the same satisfaction of seeing her in the dress that his mother had gathered, but he stubbornly refused the urge. He had settled on giving Carina a certain impression of him; to lull her into a false sense of superiority and dominance so he could strike in future and stand a better chance at breaking her with the shock the abrupt change in personality would afford him. For now, that meant behaving in a manner that made him appear quiet and shy; the pushover his parents had always assumed he was.

Even if that continuity proceeded to irritate his mother who had hoped to see just a little advancement in her son's behaviour; to see him glance over his bride-to-be with the same amusement everyone else in the room felt. The fact no such amusement was apparent on his features made her grit her teeth in frustration.

"I am glad you chose to be a good girl and wear the dress I painstakingly picked out for you, dear. The colour suits you, more than I thought it would," the woman hummed as she lifted her wine glass to her lips, a smile wide nonetheless at her casual -but no less cutting- comment.

"Oh yes, the red matches you perfectly. I'm glad you like it. Why don't you take a look at your bride and compliment her, Sven? Be a gentleman, perhaps?"

"...It's a dress. I don't think I can add much more than that. It's a garment befitting a royal. It's... nice?" Came the eventual reply from the purposefully near-silent Sven, who finally let his eyes graze over Carina, though so quickly that it indicated an awkwardness or a nervousness he didn't actually possess. He just knew how to feign that behaviour impeccably well. "...I don't... I mean.. I don't know what else to say about it. Again, it isn't important; it's just a dress."
 

Viverescribere

Always looking to write
Original poster
Invitation Status
Looking for partners
Posting Speed
1-3 posts per day, One post per day, 1-3 posts per week
Writing Levels
Intermediate, Adept, Advanced, Prestige
Preferred Character Gender
Male, Female, Primarily Prefer Female
Genres
Fantasy, Historical, Magical, Romance (usually within other genres), Dystopia, Fandom.
Carina's eyelids fluttered as Valentina spoke to her, pulling her out of the thoughts she had allowed herself to lose herself in. She had told herself in her room that she would not allow them to get the reactions they were undoubtedly hoping for. They would be expecting disagreements, fights, icy retorts that were accompanied with a cool gaze. However Carina knew how to play the game and would not play it their way. It may be their board, the people in the room their pieces. But she was a Queen now in her own right, and she would move and play the game as she saw fit.

Her eyes briefly watched the wine that was poured into her own glass, narrowing cautiously in suspicion of what it could potentially be spiked with. But they wouldn't want to kill her, at least not until she had wed their son and produced an heir. So she raised the glass casually to her lips while keeping her back straight.

She didn't answer the Queen of Ignis straight away, a feat noticed by the King whose gaze bore into Carina as if that would get her to answer quicker. After swallowing her wine, she looked in the direction of the two royals with a pleasant smile on her red wine stained lips. "Oh it is simply beautiful, Queen Valentina." She answered, her eyes widening innocently, "I feel so much cooler in this, it was a kind thought. Although... I think I'll always favour blue. The red is very harsh against my pale skin." A slight retort, a disagreement. Even using the Queen's name could get a reaction.

Eira had done their research on their enemies, not to mention countless history books in the castle's library kept track of the war. It would stand to question that the names of the royalty would be stamped into them.

Her attention moved immediately onto Sven as his mother called him out on his lack of input. Carina chuckled lightly, taking another sip of her wine to place the glass back on the table. She leaned forward, becoming closer to Sven, "I was often the same, when the women of my court came sporting rings and necklaces - they would look for my approval but I was never too sure on what to say," she whispered loudly, as if sharing a secret but not quite.

His nervous behaviour had led her to behave in such a manner, deciding to go with her first tactic on dealing with her future husband. The lack of attention from his parents surely had him yearning for some sort of affection. So, regardless of how much it made her skin crawl, she would attempt to give to him. Soften him up, manipulate him to trust her - get him to release the bracelet on her wrist.

Carina remained close for a moment, lingering as she allowed her eyes to graze his features slowly. She then bit her lower lip and leaned back, a smile forming: "You look nice too."
 

potassiumboron

~I'm drinking coffee on a trampoline~
Posting Speed
Multiple posts per day, 1-3 posts per day, One post per day
Online Availability
3pm - 1am (GMT / BST)
Writing Levels
Beginner, Elementary, Intermediate, Adept, Adaptable
Preferred Character Gender
Male, Female, Transgender, No Preferences
Genres
Horror, gore, bloodiness, monsters, supernatural, fantasy, romance, criminality
Smart.

This one was smart, wasn't she?


For all the negative associations Sven held for his ice counterparts in Eira, he wasn't afraid to admit to himself that there was more than met the eye when it came to Carina. She had every reason to be petrified, and yet she had the strength to hold herself with the power and grace indicative of a royal; the mental willpower not to snap or spit in disgust at those she shared a table with but instead return their questions with complimentary answers and an innocent smile. The disrespect she showed the Queen in airing her name so easily and disagreeing with her on the matters of the dress was a brave move few would dare to embark upon, and yet the strong, confident smile and the compliments that had also been paid left Valentina incapable of understanding how to react - should she be furious with the girl or take satisfaction in the compliments?

Sven wasn't oblivious to what Carina had done. He didn't visibly react to it but he felt a smirk threatening to break at the smart way she dealt with the King and Queen; not giving them what they wanted in her refusal to rise to their taunts but also behaving so impeccably that they struggled to justify reprimanding her for it. They had no reason to justify it, really, but they were sat at a celebratory feast and disrupting it because Carina was being complimentary and polite just wouldn't make sense, however irksome her behaviour was when they had expected and eagerly anticipated the anger and fury of a grief-stricken orphan sat in the company of her enemies against her will.

It was incredibly smart and Sven was willing to acknowledge that, particularly when the sight of his mother's confusion was a treat he could replay in his head for his amusement later on. Yet, he saw her no more of a threat despite the smartness - because her proceeding whispers to him had only confirmed that she had fallen for the facade he had placed on. She was smart and for that reason, he was already aware that she deemed him a pushover who was easily overwhelmed. The niceties were, no doubt, an attempt to give him the attention she probably believed he craved, and he calmly reached for his wine to give himself a moment to think, to clear his head and play on the awkwardness that presented him as an easy target to manipulate and overthrow.

It was far from the truth but he was happy to play the game - Carina was clearly busy playing her own one and he was happy to give her what she wanted; the appearance of a young man who had been neglected and unloved, left awkward and shy, and desperate for any affection and attention that was offered to him. For now, it would work in his favour to make her more confident and smug - and it'd make it oh-so more satisfying when he snapped out of it and brought her down into the broken queen he felt she was destined to be.

"...My mother thought I was wearing pyjamas. You needn't be so nice to me; I'm aware I've not made a grand impression of myself," he replied under his breath, a bright smile suddenly on his face. It only lasted a moment, a response to the attention she offered, before it disappeared as if he feared the reaction from his parents to it. He lowered his head afterwards with his shoulders hunched in apparent awkwardness, able to play the role well.

"I... do think blue is more of your colour too, actually," he continued with a meek nod, clinging to the glass of wine as though it offered him protection and provided him with confidence. "But you... look nice now, regardless of the colour of the dress."
 

Viverescribere

Always looking to write
Original poster
Invitation Status
Looking for partners
Posting Speed
1-3 posts per day, One post per day, 1-3 posts per week
Writing Levels
Intermediate, Adept, Advanced, Prestige
Preferred Character Gender
Male, Female, Primarily Prefer Female
Genres
Fantasy, Historical, Magical, Romance (usually within other genres), Dystopia, Fandom.
"I wish I could have worn actual pyjamas. This day has been dreadfully long, hard on the mind and the body. Wouldn't you agree?" Carina smiled warmly, a complete opposite to the cold disgust that swirled around inside her at what she was doing and what surrounded her. Trying to manipulate this little prince with affection and attention probably wouldn't be hard, but that didn't mean she was going to enjoy it. Enjoy the outcome, yes of course, but not the actual work that needed to be put into it at first. "Next time, send me a note. We can be comfortable together."

His next compliment surprised her, and she briefly raised an eyebrow. She hadn't been expecting her enemy to admit that she looked better in her old kingdom's colours. "I'm glad you think so, and your mother for that matter. I'll be spending plenty of time here, it would be awful if the styles of your kingdom didn't suit me." She laughed, the sound as light and airy as snowflakes dancing on the wind.

The noise did not suit the occasion. It did not belong at a feast celebrating the destruction of her beloved lands and the murder of her father - regardless of how spiteful and brutal he became because of the war. It earned her a few different looks from around the tables, but Carina ignored them, instead raising her wine back to her lips.

King Lucien was not at all enjoying the way in which the princess had come into this feast. It was not how he played things out in his mind at all. The little war-prize for his son was supposed to be sat there, trembling with fear, or anger, he didn't care which. Providing him and his wife with amusement for the evening with snapping, cold retorts.

Not acting as if she belonged there. Like she was the true member of the Ignis royal family.

He took down some of his wine, holding the goblet out to be refilled as he watched Sven and Carina interact; whispering and smiling. A rage filled him at his son's behaviour, this shy disposition starting to grow tiring on the ageing King.

"Princess Eirian."

Carina broke from her conversation with Sven, eyes flickering up at the King and a faint smile gracing her lips, "Your Highness?"

"I must apologise that your brother was not allowed to attend our magnificent feast. I thought it best for him to rest, he didn't seem to take today's events well. Nor the bracelet." The King sipped his wine, eyes locking with Carina's over the rim.

Carina paused, expression freezing, having not expected such a straight forward attack of words. She drank from her own goblet to buy herself some time, a finger twitching in her lap as she suppressed the urge to graze her fingers over the aforementioned bracelet. "That's most kind of you, King Ignisi." She answered, "Not many conquerors like yourself would have allowed their prisoner to remain in such luxury and peace."

Her words were careful, not wanting to implicate her brother in anyway. She knew he would be lucky to have a room of his own, and she didn't wish to change that. However Carina wasn't going to miss the opportunity to have it questioned why both siblings weren't at the feast. Surely a great and brutal conqueror such as that of the Ignisi family would wish to flaunt their success. Of course that is what they are already doing with Carina, but why not both orphaned siblings?

"The food smells absolutely divine too, Your Royal Highnesses," Carina went on to continue, grasping control of the conversation and situation, "I can't wait to tuck in. Although I am surprised that you manage to find such an abundance of food to hold these feasts with such aggressive and volcanic lands... do you trade well?"
 

potassiumboron

~I'm drinking coffee on a trampoline~
Posting Speed
Multiple posts per day, 1-3 posts per day, One post per day
Online Availability
3pm - 1am (GMT / BST)
Writing Levels
Beginner, Elementary, Intermediate, Adept, Adaptable
Preferred Character Gender
Male, Female, Transgender, No Preferences
Genres
Horror, gore, bloodiness, monsters, supernatural, fantasy, romance, criminality
The hushed whispers and unsubtle smiles shared between the antithetical Prince and Princess were no doubt irking his parents, but that was precisely why Sven was so engaged in them. He was well aware that Carina was being as false as he was; that she had her own game to play and succeed in, no matter the depths she had to fall to be treating the Ignisi family with even a modicum of her respect. But he knew that it wasn't real; that she was managing to assert control of the situation while appearing polite and complimentary to limit the criticisms they could have - how could they reprimand her when she was (they thought) being obedient and accepting of her ordeal?

It probably explained his father's proceeding statement - something that was bound to get the reaction he desired from the Princess but masked politely and with feigned respect, given the disparity that would have been caused if he erupted into an unnecessary rage. Sven, now incapable of continuing his plan in presenting the innocent, easily dominated facade to Carina, sat back against the chair and merely picked at the food. He couldn't focus on enjoying the meal when he instead wanted to keep track of the flow of the conversation. He didn't appear like he was intently listening in on every word, appearing transfixed instead by cutting up his potatoes, but it was entirely inconsequential to him in comparison to the interaction between his parents and Carina.

He could gain amusement from both irritating each other - his parents' annoyance and Carina's dissatisfaction equally made Sven want to smirk in delight, able to just slip into the background a little and observe the proud people both attempt to maintain control of the conversation with fake smiles plastered on their faces as they did so. At least, he could see that on his mother's face, the woman unable to properly mask the frustration she felt towards the Princess who wasn't acting in the way she desired of her.

"...You'd be surprised what we've learnt to grow in our lands. These potatoes are grown naturally here, even if our grounds are often scorched by ash and fire. We grow a lot of our own food, in fact. Of course, I imagine they taste differently and they might not be to your taste, given they're grown in such unique surroundings, but I think the fact you'll at least accept how miraculous it is anything grows here at all. It amazes me and yet, here we are. Ignis has a lot more to offer than what you see on its surface, Princess," explained Sven suddenly, taking advantage of the pause after her question to jump in before his parents could interject and continue the conversation. He doubted they would be happy he had taken control of the conversation, nor would they be too pleased that he was speaking to her with a great deal of respect and reservation, but it was necessary.

He could continue to build a certain impression of himself to Carina whilst also irritating his parents - he was killing two birds with one stone and it was hard not to take advantage of a situation that granted him that.

"I can't claim to know a lot regarding our trades, I'm afraid. I know very little about the running of the kingdom in that regard," he continued, his voice a tad hushed in a return to the whispers between him and the Princess at his side. "But the fact we've had to grow things here ourselves despite the difficulty it caused to encourage things to grow in our charred soil ought to give a certain impression - that nobody really wants to trade with us."
 

Viverescribere

Always looking to write
Original poster
Invitation Status
Looking for partners
Posting Speed
1-3 posts per day, One post per day, 1-3 posts per week
Writing Levels
Intermediate, Adept, Advanced, Prestige
Preferred Character Gender
Male, Female, Primarily Prefer Female
Genres
Fantasy, Historical, Magical, Romance (usually within other genres), Dystopia, Fandom.
Cool grey eyes remained on the dark hazel that belonged to the King of Ignisi. Both royals refusing to look away first during their bout of small talk. If that was what you could call these masked words, which dripped with politeness and fake concern. Only for one to need to peel back the layers of honey they were in to understand their true intentions. In reality, Carina was grateful her brother wasn't forced to attend the feast. He would undoubtedly be wondering what the hell she was playing at, and why she was remaining so friendly and relaxed with their enemies, with people that wouldn't mind seeing their heads roll like their father's did before them. And she wouldn't be able to explain. She doubted that the Ignisi family would allow them close enough, or at least enough time, for her to explain what her plan was.

Carina was pleased to have not been the one to remove their gaze first, the King's eyes snapping to his son's as he spoke. In fact, Carina was also surprised at the heir's decision to engage in the conversation and answer her question. It also delighted her to see the irritation in the King's expression at his son's participation. Even if it was masked quickly afterwards.

She gave the Prince her full attention, even turning her body partly toward him but bringing her wine glass with her. Carina smiled, softly, gently, as if encouraging a child to continue with their confidence to speak aloud. "But of course, that was why I thought I would ask. At the sight of such an abundance of food, I couldn't believe that you grew it all here in the kingdom. It truly is a miracle indeed." She paused, as if hesitating and considering whether to ask her next question: "Perhaps... one day, you could show me where it is you grow your stock. It could be a nice trip together, a way to get to know one another without all these... eyes." Her voice lowered to a hushed murmur, faking an anxiousness to if it would even be allowed.

"Then perhaps we can learn together," she matched his tone, allowing her eyes to flicker over him and soften as they spoke, "My father never really allowed me in on meetings that were regarding affairs of state." That was the truth, but Carina never allowed that to be a weakness. But sometimes a little bit of the truth had to be worked into an overall lie... it would help one remember it. That's what her father did teach her. "Surely if you show just how well managed and capable you are, people would. Especially now, with Ignis being a great conqueror." The words felt like tar on her tongue, difficult to say and distasteful.
 

potassiumboron

~I'm drinking coffee on a trampoline~
Posting Speed
Multiple posts per day, 1-3 posts per day, One post per day
Online Availability
3pm - 1am (GMT / BST)
Writing Levels
Beginner, Elementary, Intermediate, Adept, Adaptable
Preferred Character Gender
Male, Female, Transgender, No Preferences
Genres
Horror, gore, bloodiness, monsters, supernatural, fantasy, romance, criminality
"...Yes, I think I'd like that; to learn together. I admit that I'm not the most forthright or dominant presence, perhaps quieter than one is expected to be in Ignis, but I like to think that I could be deemed... capable one day. I won't pretend that I'm capable as of right now, as evidenced by the lack of knowledge I have over the kingdom's affairs - I've not been a witness to such discussions. But I'd like the opportunity to learn. I... suppose I'll have to now I'm... going to be King," he whispered in return, his own flash of anxiety crossing his face as he returned to staring down at his plate as if automatically avoiding eye contact in his moment of heightened panic. Perhaps this anxiety was one that he would be forgiven for feeling. The role that he was being handed, the ruler of two kingdoms that had once been at war but united under his reign, was a huge undertaking that required him to perform and execute each duty to a degree of perfection, or face the inevitable backlash from his parents for screwing up his opportunity - one handed to him by them.

But he didn't feel at all anxious, however easily he faked it and however understandable it might be if he hadn't. How could he for one moment feel any trepidation for the power he had longed for his entire life? How could he be wary of disappointing his parents when he cared very little about what they thought and felt about him anyway?

Being the King was all he had dreamt about, for years. He might have to appear anxious and in need of direction and assistance in order to draw in Carina and manipulate her into thinking she could take advantage of his feigned submissiveness, but it would be worth it in the end. It would all be worth it when he let the facade drop and punished not just her, but all who had made the grave mistake of underestimating him - his parents inevitably being the first ideal victims in his reign.

For now, he settled on continuing the sheepishness, only daring to peek a glance back across at her when the slight shake of his hands had settled.

"Of course I can show you where we primarily grow our stock. It's a little venture but as you say, it might make a nice trip. I... imagine my parents won't refuse us the chance to take it; to get to know one another surely must be in their plans for... us."