Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by DrPepper, Sep 25, 2012.

  1. The city of Lumina is a proud accomplishment of the human race. It is a capitol city tucked away in a fertile valley midst the Dentun Mountains and is highly renowned for it's textiles and faithful clerics. The northernmost part of the city is devoted entirely to industry, processing coal, dyes, wool, and cotton for the most part. Massive mills are set up in these areas where the majority of the lower class works and lives. The closer you get to the city's center, the more beautiful it gets. This is where nobility convenes and is just right outside of the castle. Residents in this area are usually wealthy merchants, as nobility held land on the southern and western side of the city. The eastern portion of the city is devoted solely to markets and shops. These are the general areas around the city with residents peppered throughout, low class usually only able to afford living in the industrial area.

    The Queen's Guard, a group of elite knights devoted to protecting the life of the young Priestess Queen Glarriva, and the Queen's court are throwing a ceremony for Maxim Aodolan's new position as a Paladin serving Heshina. In just an hour's time, Maxim Aodolan will don his new armor, grasp his new sword, and create even bigger shoes for the younger Aodolan brothers to fill. Maxim never did any wrong, especially in the eyes of Lars Aodolan, the patriarch of the Aodolan household. Lars had nothing but a sense of pride for his eldest child, and that was about all the feeling he could ever muster towards his family. Maxim was second to none.

    The day seemed to drag on for the rest of the city not participating in the ceremony. Lynden might have even felt this dreadful drag as time ticked slowly towards yet another occasion where Maxim received glory and praise. But now he even had a chance to sit at the Queen's banquet table, probably only a few seats away from her. It was a great honor bestowed upon not many a man except those who's deeds outshine all others. Not unlike the younger Lynden, and most men in the city, Maxim fancied the fair, unwed Queen Glarriva.

    A knock sounded from Lynden's door. It was his mother.

    "Lynden, dear, we have little time before we ought to depart. Please hurry as it is uncouth to be tardy."

    Her soft voice was always so sad, no matter the occasion. Her son was being deemed a Paladin, a crusader for all that is good, and yet her voice was underlined with blue tones of loneliness. It wouldn't be hard to tell why this woman felt lonely after seeing how her family all serve as knights most of the year and are out performing duties for the state. In most cases, it seems that her husband actually prefers to serve the state rather than his family. The only one who ever seemed to get attention from the distant man was Maxim due to his quick advancement through knighthood.

    If Lynden looked out of his window across the hefty bit of land held by his father, he would see that the sun nearing the edge of the mountains and darkness would fall soon, signaling the beginning of this evening's ceremony. His mother's calling must have meant that his two brothers were already prepared to depart, and of course his father and eldest brother have long since left the homestead to prepare for the ceremony.

    "Come on, punk! I'm starving!" Neil, Lynden's second eldest brother, yelled at his door before gathering downstairs with his mother.

    Laid out before Lynden was a ceremonial outfit that all squires must wear to these formal occasions, if they were lucky enough to actually be invited. This was one of those rare occasions, and Lynden would most likely be the only squire in attendance tonight since he was family of the up and coming Paladin.Once Lynden became a knight, however, things would be different...but now is not the time for dreaming. There is a banquet to attend!
  2. The village of Mezoburraz is the birthplace of Grayvaughn Quartzheart, a rare mix between a forest loving Brier Elf enchanted by wanderlust and a jack of all trades, stone loving Cavern Dwarf. Mezobyrraz is quite small compared to CAvern Dwarven cities, and would be considered "behind" in terms of technology and the arts. The small village rarely sees visitors and villagers rarely venture farther than the caves, never going out into the overworld.

    Mezzoburraz also houses a rare sight indeed, a Cavern Dwarf and a Traveling Elf couple. These two lovers defeated all odds and remained together through all hardships of wanderlust. The strange thing about the relationship is that Amina Tabris, Vaughn's elven mother, has retained her wanderlust yet she lacks the will to wander, instead she wishes to stay put and care for her husband and child. Vaughn is the only child between the odd union and thus has learned well from both of his parents. His mother has taught him different way of navigating by the stars and position of the sun and moon. His father has led him in the ways of a culinary expert, ultimately opening his heart to lay out a path filled with great desire to sample, combine, and prepare all the marvelous ingredients of the world into fabulous dishes of delicious delight!

    "Oi Vaughn! Com'ere an 'ave a look-see! Ya pops done made a right new dish he did!"
    Nokhan was joyous in inviting his son over to marvel at his new creation.

    Sitting on the table, fresh out of the oven, was a dish that seemed fit for a king! The sweet roll on the side was made with love and perfection. The greens were steamed to a perfect crispness. Even the crystal goblet filled with a blue drink mixed with some light green herbs looked more tantalizing than usual. The crown jewel, however, was in the center of the bronze colored dish. Upon seeing it, one's mouth couldn't help but water. A dim bluish green hue radiated from the bitter crystal powder, an edible crystal used often in Cavern Dwarven cuisine, and the sweet smell of brazed and caramelized meat filled the nostrils.

    "It's from th' 'uman villages! Lamb Chops, they call it! 'member Gilhom? Tha' boy who left 'ome? Well he came back, he did! He brought new ingredients!"

    The smell of this new dish would stir any culinary gourmet's insides. If Vaughn never wanted to leave home before, this might have the power to change his mind...seeing brand new ingredients being mixed in such a wondrous fashion as to create such a succulent would warm the soul of any self respecting gourmand.
  3. Vaughn had only just previously gotten back inside from gathering some fresh herbs and vegitables from the garden. Of course there were all delights that didn't needs the rays of the sun, anything that only required the nutrients in the ground and some water would be grown personally. Not to say that made their garden any less small, his family prided themselves in that garden, particularly his mother since she loves nature so much.

    Upon walking through the door a unreal scent hit Vaughn harder that a rolling boulder. It danced around in his nostrils only for a moment, almost as if teasing him about what the flavor might be like. The smell alone was enough to give him an idea of what the taste may seem like, although he had never had this dish before. He began uncontrollably salivating, gulping down what he was capable of keeping in his mouth. All of this and he hadn't even laid eyes on what the aroma was coming from yet.

    His father began talking to him, but he was already in the zone. It was this thing he did. Almost as if nothing else mattered in the world, completely isolated from those things around him. The only things that existed in that moment were what Vaughn's focus was and himself. The words his father spoke fell to deaf ears as Vaughn analyzed all the intricacies of the dish that was created. He noticed everything in parts and ran through them in succession.

    An 8' sweet roll made from Xyndr flour, dad always made this if there was a special occasion or meal involved

    Yunall greens, he must have picked them from the garden before he had me go out there, Oh! he steamed them and shocked them! They're so green, crisp too I bet.

    Oljin Beer, that's normal but it looks like he dropped something in it this time. Is that? I think its that's mint, where did he get that?

    Crystal Crusted Over Roasted Meat, I don't know what meat that is but it looks amazing.

    While in the midst of his analysis he was slowly moving closer to see all fo the ingredients, drawn in much like a harpy would to a sailor. The difference between now and then is that he was not going to mindless fall to his death but mindlessly partake in the dish unless otherwise stopped. He had that glow in his eye that his family would likely be familiar with this whole time as well, so if his father was savign this for something special, like himself, he would do what he did best; The Shutdown.
  4. Lynden sat on the edge of the window, letting the soft breeze blow against his hair. In his hands were several pages, all various letters he had received from his friends in the knighthood training. When he got worked up from dealing with his family, he retreated to his room and re-read how his friends were doing. Most of them had average stories to tell, and many of them were in good standing with their parents and siblings, but still, Lynden found comfort in their lives. He had spent so long with these people, fighting, crying, laughing, yelling, and even just surviving. It was much more difficult to leave them for the few months of the year he was required to return home.

    But not everything was terrible at home. He enjoyed the time he got to spend with his mother, and the bonding he got to do with his little brother. They would do their own sparring, though toned down to match his little brother's skill level, while their mother would watch while reclining in the garden, sipping tea.

    In fact, he would have a great home life if it wasn't for his stoic father that would loom the halls when he was home from campaigns, or his brothers that would ride in from their land just a few leagues away.

    But in a few days time he would be back at the barracks, preparing for who knows what. It was always exciting coming back and seeing his comrades after hiatus.

    Soft knocks on his door broke his serenity. It was his mother, asking him to hurry. He was about to answer her when he heard his older brother Niel chastise him from within the halls. He grit his teeth and swallowed the urge to yell back. With his fist clenched together tightly, his eyes moved around the room wildly. It was only upon landing on the ceremony outfit laid out on his bedding. He walked over to the garbs and ran his fingers through the linen.

    His oldest brother's inauguration. Despite all his arguing and fighting, he actually was proud of him. It was one thing to become a knight of Lumina, but he was becoming a paladin. His brother was blessed with the gift of magic, something he was always jealous of, but instead of becoming a fearsome knight and securing a spot next to their father like everyone expected, he instead decided to go through the harsh conditioning to become something greater with his gifts. He knew his father was proud, otherwise he wouldn't have returned from his campaign early for the ceremony, but Lynden surprisingly wasn't jealous for once, not over Maxim's accomplishment at least.

    He started to undo his lounge wear. While he did so his mind turned to what had been causing the most friction between himself and Maxim. Unlike Niel, Maxim could be thoughtful, sometimes compassionate, but he always looked at things through black and white. When it came to Priestess Glarriva, Maxim was much calmer when talking about her and the prospect of her marrying into another country. Maxim said it would better the human race with the rise of power, and Lynden protested with shallow arguments. Lynden overheard his father speaking with a diplomat of his about the prospect of Glarriva marrying Maxim. Lynden's heart sank, and since then he's refused to speak to his brother. That was two months ago.

    But regardless, as Lynden put on the expensive clothing, a short smile crossed his face. He would actually be eating near Glarriva! He had only met her a few sparing times from a distance, and had never spoken anything to her. She was the image of beauty to Lynden, and in a few hours he would be within her halls, laughing and talking about merry delights.

    He exited his room, fully dressed in his ceremony squire suit, his mind elsewhere, and his footsteps light. He daydreamed about merrily talking with her about the distant shores, about the dwarven mountains and the magical forests. And ending the enchanting night with a soft kiss and a promise to meet again, when Lynden was a proud knight, eager to serve her.

  5. Anzo and Captain Wroth were a great pair since the first time they met. Wroth is an easy going pirate hunter employed by a mysterious source to patrol these elven waters. After Anzo was banished, Wroth found him laying on a rock with his faithful celestial, Eiso, watching over him with protecting eyes. Wroth felt for this boy with the celestial, and honestly he was quite curious about the beast and how the boy obtained it.

    Showing no hostility, Wroth invited the celestial and the boy on board, of course the unconscious boy couldn't think for himself. Luckily the celestial saw through Wroth and noticed his good intentions, accepting Wroth's invitation and welcoming his protection.

    It was not too long after that Anzo awoke. He didn't know where he was and he didn't know how he had gotten there, but he did know that Eiso was safe and somehow he felt safer as well. Wroth came to visit periodically while the boy was recovering from his traumatic experience, and eventually Wroth began training him around the ship. For ten years Wroth and Anzo learned from each other, fought side by side, and vanquished evil. Wroth sort of began feeling like Anzo was a son that he had never had.

    Presently, Anzo and Eiso are returning from a routine scouting mission and have come back with no news of pirates. The ship was in sight, but something seemed off...

    The air seemed still around Captain Wroth's vessel. When Anzo landed, he notice that the deck was completely vacant. There were no sounds of voices heard all around him, as was the norm on board this ship. The only sounds were the creeks and groans coming from the wood, swaying and bobbing around in the blue waters. Something didn't seem right at all. The door to the captain's quarters was left open and the hatch leading below deck also hang open. The ship almost seemed deserted.

    Anzo wouldn't have any idea what was going on. Nothing before hand led him to believe that the ship should be empty upon his return. Things were not as they should be and Azno seemed like the only one left who could get to the bottom of what was going on.
  6. Vaughn's father knew that look from anywhere. He smiled at his child and nodded, giving him permission to devour the plate of food before him. This dis was made especially for him, for this may be the last dish he has at home.

    "I 'ope ya like it, son." The father's words were slightly shaky.

    After Vaughn finished the dish, Nokhan would speak.
    "Listen, I know how ya feel 'bout leavin' the village an findin' ya own way. Your mum an I 'ave talked 'bout it lots. I can't say I wan't ya ta leave, but I 'ave to agree with ya mother. She thinks it a grand idea for ya to see th' world, experience new things, an' meet new people. An honestly, after 'avin these exotic ingredients, I can't blame ya!" Nokhan started to tear up a bit before he sniffed and rubbed his eyes.

    "Ya should go. I think ya want to, and I think ya will like the experience....but ya 'ave to promise me...ya gotta bring some rare ingredients back 'ome sometime!" The Cavern Dwarf smiled and chuckled at his son, patting him on the back. "And ya best go say goodbye to ya mum. I'm not sayin' ya 'ave to leave today, but i think ya should so ya can travel with that Gilhom boy. He's leavin' to go back out into th' over world in just a few 'ours time."

    The Dwarf nodded to his son, "And remember, I love ya"

    Nokhan started cleaning up the dishes from his son's meal. The sounds of Vaughn's mother's humming could be heard coming from the garden. She must have left when Vaughn came back in.
  7. Besides his brother jeering him for "Lookin' silly" in his squire's suit, the trip over to the castle was uneventful. The family all rode in a horse drawn carriage decorated with flowers and painted fancy with silver and golden colors. Upon arriving at the banquet hall, the family couldn't help but marvel at it's beauty.

    The banquet hall was decorated with splendid bouquets, centerpieces made of fine metalworking on all of the tables, and drapes with the Royal Family's crest embroidered across the center in golden silk lined the hall. There was one head table where the Queen and the family of the Paladin were to be seated and about a dozen more for the numerous knights and the Queen's Court to sit. There were servants running around finishing preparations and a good number of guests had already found their seats.

    A servant came to escort the family to their seats.
    The youngest brother, Wilhelm, had a seat next to Lynden. Across from Lynden sat his mother and next to her, Neil had a spot designated to her right and Lars had a spot designated to her left putting him next to the head of the table. To Lynden's right, Maxim had a spot designated for him, across from Lars and also next to the head of the table. This meant that Lynden was only one seat away from Glarriva! Only Maxim separated him from her! Maxim and Lars had the extreme privilege of sitting next to her. The family, minus Lars and Maxim, took their seats.

    "Tyke, what do you think about your older brother becoming a great Paladin?" Wilhelm was often referred to as "Tyke" by Lynden's mother.

    Tyke smiled.
    "When I get older, like big brother, I'm going to be just like him!" His mother smiled at him. Tyke said things like this often, about all of his brothers. He really adored them and looked up to them.

    The Queen would be out soon for the ceremony, taking her place upon the alter before Maxim came out. She would be granting him his new armor, weapon, and title. In just a few minute's time from the family sitting, Lars came out from the back room. He wore no smile, despite his happiness for his eldest son. Sitting with a "Humph" Lars nodded to his family and focused his attention towards the alter. The ceremony was literally just about to start.

    A speaker came out holding a shiny horn. He blew a short melody to grab everyone's attention. The room slowly fell silent as anticipation rose.

    "Ahem! Now announcing the Priestess Queen Glarriva, Daughter of the late king Shodd!" Everyone in the room stood up from their seats while the Queen walke across the stage. She was just as beautiful as ever. Her long dark hair was pulled pack, braided, and rolled up into a prefect bun. She wore a long formal peach colored dress, made specifically for her by a famous halfling tailor, that complimented her features very well. She smiled at the crowd gathered and spoke only a few words, as this was not about her, but about Maxim.

    "Thank you all for coming"
    She said with a soft smile before the announcer took over. This was a signal for everyone to take their seat for the ceremony.

    "Now presenting to you, Maxim Aodolan! A new holy warrior is born this day under the blessing of our great Queen Glarriva!" The crowd clapped and cheered as Maxim walked across the stage, wearing his full set of shining new armor, minus his helmet. He had a stern look on his face, bowing before the queen and kissing her hand softly.

    Glarriva smiled and turned to a table sitting on the alter. She grabbed a golden colored helmet, decorated with silver wings along the side of the head.
    "Maxim Aodolan! May this armor protect you from all the evils of this world and help you to serve our deities holy purpose!" Maxim knelt down as she placed the helmet on his head.

    She then turned and grabbed a sword off of the table. Turning back to Maxim, she placed the flat of the silvery blade on his right shoulder, then his left, then his right again.
    "Maxim Aodolan! May this sword aid you in vanquishing evil, restoring order to the orderless, and bring peace and justice wherever you may go!" Maxim stood up, accepting the sword from his Queen with a nod. He turned to dace the crowd and thrust the sword into the air, holding it high for all to see.

    "Maxim Aodolan! A new Paladin of Lumina! The Gods truly smile upon us this day!" The crowd roared and cheered for Maxim. Even the princess clapped softly, standing beside him with a smile.

    Once the crowd settled down a bit, Maxim and the Queen were led to their seats. Maxim sat next to Lynden and patted him on the shoulder.
    "We will be attenting your knighting ceremony soon, eh little brother?"

    After greeting his mother and father as well as them telling him how proud they were, Maxim looked towards the queen and smiled,
    "And I speak for everyone here that it is a great honor to be seated with you, your Majesty."

    Glarriva smiled.
    "The pleasure is all mine, Maxim. And please, you may all call me Glarriva."

    The sound of conversation could be heard all around. Old friends and family taking among themselves, some people teling heroic tales of their duties as knights, and others speaking of how their children will become paladins someday.The room was filled with the low roar of conversation.
  8. The Aodolan Family Presents: Dinner Party Theater!

    His goofy smile sank when his brother snickered at his outfit. He looked down at himself and ran his hands down his torso. Though he had seen the clothes, he hadn't actually SEEN the outfit. He did look silly, and the dread of the night began to sink in. Niel likely wore something more knightly, and his younger brother likely wore something similar to what he wore, so all in all, he looked younger by wearing what his younger brother wore. He frowned and got into the carriage.

    On the way, his thoughts drifted from Glarriva laughing at his clothes, to stylish clothing, to armor. On the thoughts of armor, he began to comb through his armory knowledge and compare the designs of human armor to other races. Human armor resembled more dwarven mail due to the need for high protection. Elven armor, from what he had seen, was stylish, but not as protective.

    Man, if only I could wear some custom tailored armor to the ball.

    The banquet hall was indeed exquisite. And as the servant showed them to their seats, Lynden couldn't help but watch as the workers buzzed around, getting things absolutely perfect. He sighed and took his seat quietly. His melancholy didn't last long, as he quickly realized he was sitting just a seat over from Queen Glarriva! Oh, and his brother. This was his night too.

    "Tyke, what do you think about your older brother becoming a great Paladin?"
    "When I get older, like big brother, I'm going to be just like him!"

    With magic, he really could be just like him. That is, if he had the same conviction and devotion to Heshina that Maxim had. Still, his gift of magic was a blessing from their mother.

    "Yeah, or you could be the harbinger of death!" Lynden said playfully, holding up one of the pristine forks and pointed towards his brother. He was smiling, and half expected his brother to smile and point his fork back.

    A few moments later their father joined them, sitting in front of where Maxim would sit. Lynden's face contorted into anger as he looked at his plate.

    He could at least muster up a smile for Maxim's big day.

    Then a delightful horn interrupted the conversation around them.

    "Ahem! Now announcing the Priestess Queen Glarriva, Daughter of the late king Shodd!"

    The Queen was coming! Lynden was one of the first to jump out of their seat. Hell, Lynden wanted to dance to her entrance. She looked radiant. This reminded him of the first time he saw her, when his father won some campaign when he was small, he saw the young priestess and thought her hair and skin were so beautiful. Since then, she has only become more beautiful. She was just older than he was, but not by much. He could feel his heart drumming inside his chest.

    "Thank you all for coming"

    He took a seat hesitantly, his eyes never leaving Glarriva's. This was the first time he had seen her so closely in person, and he wanted to imprint her features in his mind, so if nothing else came of tonight, he could remember her clearly at the least.

    "Now presenting to you, Maxim Aodolan! A new holy warrior is born this day under the blessing of our great Queen Glarriva!"

    Lynden joined the other in clapping, smiling genuinely for his brother. If his brother's gaze met his, he would nod towards him wearing his smile. Despite their differences, he was still his younger brother, and to say he didn't look up to him in this moment was a lie.

    Then the asshole kissed Glarriva's hand. Lynden glared. He could have just bowed.

    He got over it quickly as he donned his shiny helmet and sword. The Priestess Queen inaugurated him, and Maxim stood there proudly, looking every bit the model paladin from the books. Then he triumphantly thrust the sword in the air, and the crowd cheered. Lynden half smiled.

    If it were me, I would have spun the handle in my palm, then skewered the roasted pig. Then I would wrap my arm around Glarriva, grab a convenient rope from the banisters, and swing down the table and onto a horse... Yeahhh. He thought in amusement, though he quickly dismissed the thought.

    Maxim and the Queen sat down, and the feast began. Maxim patted his shoulder heavily, his gauntlets would likely leave a mark, and asked if we would be attending his knighting ceremony soon.

    "Here shortly." He said with a smile. It was the first words he had said to him in two months. Lynden was excited to be a knight soon, but he knew the ceremony didn't involve feasting right next to the Queen, so his excitement was capped.

    "And I speak for everyone here that it is a great honor to be seated with you, your Majesty."

    You didn't have to speak for me. I can do that myself.

    "The pleasure is all mine, Maxim. And please, you may all call me Glarriva.

    That's... kind of informal... are they already on that level? Surely I couldn't get away with calling her Glarriva.

    Lynden cast his eyes down to his plate and picked at his food with his fork. He was sure his brother knew his affections towards Glarriva. His mood was plummeted, but he still couldn't help his eyes from drifting over to Glarriva's. If she met his gaze, he would quickly avert his eyes, and act as if he wasn't staring at her. His face would turn red as he jumped into any conversation that was started around him. He felt sick to his stomach, as if he had a bad feeling.
  9. The Queen did look at Lynden every once in a while. She giggled to herself as he quickly and constantly tried to make it as though he wasn't looking at her. She had small talk with everyone at the table, always insisting that she be called Glarriva and not "Queen" or "Your Majesty." As the night went on, the music picked up a bit and a great number of people started dancing. The Queen simply watched and smiled until Maxim chimed in.

    "M'lady, might I have this dance?" He asked with a silver tongue. This was his night, after all.

    Glarriva nodded to the Paladin and extended her hand to him. She looked at Lynden for a brief moment before looking at Maxim. Glarriva was only nineteen and Maxim was almost twenty-five. A five year difference in age seemed like a lot to the young Queen, even though the two brothers that her council was almost forcing her to choose between were about the same age as Maxim. Glarriva didn't even think she was ready for marriage, yet that's all anyone could ever talk about.

    So, Glarriva and Maxim set off to dance. Lars took Neil and showed him around a bit and Tyke went with his mother to mingle and be sociable, as to show proper manners. Lynden was alone at the table now. None of his friends were at the Banquet, only older nobles and priests. The two and a half minute dance seemed to last a lifetime while Lynden sat alone. But after those two and a half minutes, something exciting happened...

    "Why do you sit alone...Lynden was it? This is a grand banquet. There are plenty of people to talk with." The Priestess Queen Glarriva was actually talking to Lynden. And better yet, Maxim was nowhere to be found.

    His face scrunched when Maxim invited the Queen to dance. The music was jolly, and the party was merry. Save for Lynden who sat darkly by his plate. He took comfort in that anyone that addressed her, she would insist on calling her by her name. The tension in his shoulders were eased, but came right back with Maxim's dashing dance invitation. He didn't dare look at her face, in fear that he'd see a genuine smile.

    Then his family left him. Well, who needs them? It's not like he was going through some teenage angst or anything. No no, enjoy the party.
    In fact, Lynden considered getting up and being sociable, perhaps dancing with whoever available, but his mood was too foul and his appetite too great.

    Well screw everyone. I'm going to go and eat EVERYTHING on this table! That will show them!

    And so, Lynden piled his plate with everything within his reach and began digging in, like a feral beast. He at least, felt like one. If any of the nobles were to mistakenly look his way, he would give them a death glare, as if they were threatening to take his food.

    "Why do you sit alone...Lynden was it? This is a grand banquet. There are plenty of people to talk with."

    As if he was possessed, he spun his head around and looked at the Queen. He blinked. Twice. And the only words that escaped him were blocked by a mouthful of food. He choked a bit, pounded his chest, coughed, and drank his water furiously.

    Oh Gods... I just choked in front of the Queen. I'm done for. I'm dead. I'm dead inside.

    He tried smiling through the tears that wet his eyes from choking and laughed softly like it was a joke.

    Wait... She knew my name. My actual name.

    "I'm uh... enjoying the feast prepared for my brother, Glarriva." He said, not catching the fact he called her Glarriva. It was natural in his head to call her by her first name, though it was looked down upon for a squire, or knight even, to address their Queen so formally.
  11. Glarriva covered her mouth and giggled when Lynden struggled with his food.

    "Well our chefs are the best in the land...but you seem to have realized that already." She said, smiling at Lynden.

    "Oh, pardon my manners. We haven't formally introduced ourselves. I mean we know each others names through other people, but we haven't actually introduced ourselves. I'm Glarriva Sygmire. Charmed to meet you, Mr...?"

    The Priestess Queen extended her hand to the young squire.
  12. I'm pretty sure I knew your name because you're the Queen. And the love of my life.

    Lynden stood, beaming a goofy smile, and took her hand into his. He then bent down and kissed her fingers gently, as he had seen his brother do shortly before. Then, in his most coy voice and smile, he said, "Lynden Aodolan."

    Smooth. Don't screw this up. Say what you've been practicing...!

    "I am a squire, m'lady. Soon to be knight. It's been my dream to serve and protect honor with my m'lady..." He said, looking up from her hand. Then his eyes darted to the side. Something about that was off.
    "Protect m'lady with my honor... I said that right, right? Oh, wait, that wasn't in the script. Oh! It was 'It's been my dream to personally serve and protect m'lady with my honor' Because it sounds more intimate! Oh. OH! WAIT! FORGET THAT!"

    His face was blood red as he looked around embarrassed, hoping no one was seeing him make a fool of himself in front of their Queen.
  13. Glarriva blushed slightly when Lynden kissed her fingers. It wasn't rare to kiss the Queen's hand, but for some reason this kiss felt different. It felt more like a kiss of love rather than a kiss of respect. Maxim's kiss was definitely out of respect. It was less tender than this kiss and it didn't make the Priestess Queen blush in the least. Glarriva didn't want to over think this, but it did seem different.

    Not only did Lynden struggle with his food in her presence, now he stumbled over his words. Finding the squire's spiel and mistakes to be quite charming and cute, Glarriva smiled and placed a comforting hand on Lynden's hand, which still held her hand.

    "Hehe! It's okay, Lynden! Really, do not worry. Your older brother, Maxim, has told me all about you. He's told me how you are really a great guy, how you will be one of the bravest knights in this kingdom, and how much I should meet you because he was sure that I'd like your company...and so far, I have to say that Maxim was right." Glarriva paused and smiled, letting her comment sink in a little.

    "Will you please send me an invitation to your knighting ceremony? I'd like to sit with you and your family again, after I have knighted you, of course. I'll be there as a guest of the Aodolan family!"
    The Queen smiled brightly, still holding Lynden's hand.

    In all honesty, Glarriva didn't have many friends, and she never met many people close to her age. This was a rare occasion and she liked Lynden enough to want to try to get to know him. Besides, he would be a knight soon. A Queen should like to know those who protect her and her kingdom, but sadly she still has not met every knight personally. This is something she wished to remedy, and why not start now with this soon to be knight?

  14. His cheeks were tinted red, and his brow was moist with sweat at her touch.

    But it was her words that stunned him the most. His eyes widened, and he looked across the banquet hall for his eldest brother. Her words baffled and confused him. Maxim had put in a good word for him? But why? Didn't he like Glarriva as well? Why would he do that?

    He closed his eyes, focusing on the warmth of her hands on his, and his brother's image came to his head. He opened his eyes and looked into Glarriva's. The talk of his brother had humbled him.

    "Yes m'lady. You being there would make the eleven years spent training worth it." And he meant it, truly. Lynden had been thinking a lot recently about his path in life, and what he wanted. But right now, he knew exactly what he wanted.

    He said suddenly, as a through crept into his mind." You might want to get into disguise after the knighting, so you can sit with my family in peace, and the nobles wont spread rumors."
  15. Glarriva snatched her hands away and crossed her arms, playfully sticking her nose in the air.

    "Oh my, look how low Queen Glarriva has stooped! Sitting with knights! What's gotten into her? Has she gone mad? They only hold a small share of land, hardly nobility!" She said all of this in a smart, snooty, and comical tone. She then uncrossed her arms and looked back at Lynden. "That's about all they can say, yes? And what will those words do to harm you or I? Nothing. There is no need for a disguise, I assure you."

    She looked around the room.
    "None of these people are my friends, and only my advisers care what they say...I just want some friends, at least one friend...A real friend." The Queen looked at the ground and shuffled her feet as her voice trailed off.

    Glarriva knew that the only reason anyone ever claimed to be her friend was because of her political power. They wanted to take advantage of her age, innocence, lack of experience, or her emotions. She was older now, and the advisers didn't have as much say as they used to. Glarriva had reached maturity and could now make decisions on her own...and her current decision was to befriend Lynden.
  16. He recoiled slightly at her words, as if they were blows upon him. He didn't mean to offend.

    "But-" He started, and the had a convincing argument, but instead, he backed down. "No, you're right. Your Queen after all, who is going to argue against you? Besides, if anything happens, I'd be a knight then, so you'd be protected."
    Lynden puffed his chest out as he said this.

    This was nice. For a good portion of his life, he had thought of Glarriva as an inaccessible figure. A dream. But now he was talking with her, he was content with just talking. Just getting to know her. There wasn't much romance in their words, but perhaps they were similar in looking for support from outside their environment. They both needed companionship.

    "Would you care to dance?" Lynden said, gesturing towards the dancing couples. "Though, I'm not very skilled at it. Dancing and politics weren't my strong suit... but it is a party, right?"
  17. Glarriva played along with Lynden as he puffed his chest out. "Oh yes, a strong knight like you defending me, I feel safer already!" She spoke in a sarcastic tone, not intending to harm Lynden's pride, so it was obvious that she was jesting.

    "Would you care to dance?" Lynden said, gesturing towards the dancing couples. "Though, I'm not very skilled at it. Dancing and politics weren't my strong suit... but it is a party, right?"

    Glarriva smiled and nodded, holding her hand outstretched so Lynden may take it. Once he did, as he most definitely would, she spoke in a soft whisper. "And don't worry about not being able to dance! It's okay, just follow my lead." She giggled before making her way towards the dance floor, Lynden in tow. Only a few steps away, however, she stopped abruptly. "Wait!" She whispered. "Shouldn't I put a disguise on first?" A wry grin spread across her face as she playfully mocked Lynden. She was trying to get him to loosen up a little and have some fun.

    After letting Lynden see her smile, she pulled him merrily along towards the dancing couples. Once on the floor, she positioned one of her hands on his shoulder and held his other hand out away from their bodies.
    "Now put your other hand on my waist and follow my lead." She whispered looking down at her waist.

    The song was an upbeat waltz, so the dance was very formal and not very intricate. It would be easy for most people to follow, however to the trained eye, it would definitely be known that Glarriva was leading...
  18. He grinned at her jest. Had she any less of a beautiful smile, he might feel offended.

    When she stopped, he stopped as well, and his mouth opened as searched for something to say. Oh. She was just kidding. She was a sly one. Lynden gave her a playful smile as they continued to the floor.

    The hand on the waist was a bit awkward. He ended up placing just his fingertips on her waist instead of his whole hand, not out of fear of getting to close to the queen, but more out of fear of getting to close to his dream girl.

    He wasn't a terrible dancer. He had rhythm and he was surprisingly graceful. The problem he had was which movements come next for which dances, which dances should shift to which way, and which feet should go forth. It was only with her leading was he able to make it seem like he knew what he was doing.

    Man, if only they could see me now. I'd rub it in all their faces.

    It was a magical moment that didn't last long at all. But Lynden was hesitant to pull away after the song had ended, and instead with his body, he insisted that they kept dancing for the next song.

    All the while, his mind wondered to the evening, as he played the events in his head again. Everything was numb, but in a pleasant way. As if he was drunk.

    "You ever wish you could just leave everything and explore Syrasza? The dwavern caves, elvish lands, and the oceans that tie us all together?"
  19. Glarriva was actually impressed with Lynden's grace. She was glad to see that he wasn't as bad as he made himself seem, or at least how she interpreted it. The dance even looked formal and well trained, with both of their strengths playing off of each other. A couple couples even stopped to watch the beautiful Queen dance with a Squire, their eyes both judging and admiring. It created mixed feelings among the watchers, but ultimately no one spoke of it aloud.

    When the music stopped, Glarriva was about to say her farewell, but Lynden was hesitant to leave. She smiled at him and decided to stay for one more dance. This next dance was a slow song designed to allow rest and tenderness between the dancers. Glarriva placed both of her hands on Lynden's shoulders and smiled at him. Before she could say anything, however, Lynden spoke first.

    "You ever wish you could just leave everything and explore Syrasza? The dwavern caves, elvish lands, and the oceans that tie us all together?"

    Glarriva tilted her head and raised her brow at the young squire.
    "Yes. All the time, actually. I feel like..." She paused and thought to herself for a moment. "I feel like I'm trapped." Her voice became wistful and low. This topic saddened her deeply. "I am trapped...Lynden, I have only met you just this night and yet I share my secret burden with you...Please, forgive me if I am burdening you. I do not meant to." She looked to the floor, almost disappointed in herself for bringing her burdens on someone else.
  20. His hand moved from her hip to her lower back, the small gesture made it seem as if he was embracing Glarriva rather than dancing with her.

    "I know." He said softly and soloemly in a low voice, his chin over her shoulder, and his eyes on the floor. "I know you are. Because I've been watching you, Glarriva. I was watching as your Mother died, and how you sobbed loudly, clutching onto your caretaker as young as we were. I was watching as your father passed away, and you would hide your face from view to wipe your tears. I was watching as you were crowned Queen, and even though you smiled, you had the most worried eyes I had ever seen. You share my Mother's sad expressions. I know all this, because as the people watched he late King, and now the Priestess Queen, I instead watch you, Glarriva."

    He pulled away slightly to see her expression, but he couldn't hold her gaze for long, and instead looked away. Then after a moment, he dropped his arms.

    "And I will continue to watch over you, Riva, as your knight, if you would so have it."
    He smiled.