The Engagement (Inkheart789 & Eyeris)

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by Eyeris, Jan 13, 2014.

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  1. The groom was expected soon.

    (They were expecting, Lord Hibuhcoos. Hih-buh-cooss.' That's what the parents had made out from the figure they spoke to between the crackling embers, the sorcerer had not given their name until the agreement was made.)

    The guests might be found tittering and gossiping about the mysterious fiancé whom no one had met nor heard of before. Of course, the parents of the bride-to-be had assured everyone that this bachelor was quite wealthy and well connected, a fine and worthy match for their daughter! They might have even assured their daughter that he was handsome, in hopes that they were not lying. They had only seen the groom in the dead of night, or in a smokey mirror, or flickering flame. Surely a sorcerer would use magic to maintain a homely appearence.

    The guests might also wonder, where was his company?! Surely the groom would want his own friends and family at his engagement party, yet, there was not yet a single in the home.

    While they wondered and waited, the awaited groom was biding his time. He traveled in a carriage, an elegantly clean and understated design. The windows had a mesh over them, allowing the passengers to easily see outside while concealing themselves from onlookers. The carriage was pulled by twin horses, albino white with red eyes. They were huge and elegant with long untrimmed manes that they tossed back and forth like a whip.

    Inside the groom scowled looking at the ring in their hand rather than the magnificent landscape they traveled through. They turned the ring over in their fingers, over and over and over again. There shinned a large clear crystal clutched by wrought black metal.

    "It is not to late to change your mind." The groom was accompanied by one man and one woman. The foot-man and the hand-maiden. It was the foot-man who spoke.

    "You are correct, it is never to late. But I do not want to change my mind."

    The foot-man said no more on the matter, he peered out the window and watched the world pass by.

    When they arrived and the horses settled. The foot-man stepped out first. Some might think he was the groom, for he was dressed as well as any noble. He was the tall and handsome, dressed elegantly in black with silver buttons and trim on his coat, white lace on his neck. He, however, stepped to the side and assisted a woman out of the carriage, the hand-maid. Small and lovely, she was dressed to match him, a black frock with a long wide skirt, silver buttons and lace. They were both pale and sallow faced, their expressions were bored and gloomy, their posture perfect, both wore fitted gloves.

    They both stepped aside and awaited their master.

    The groom emerged, wearing white and grey. He was shorter than the foot-man and taller than the hand-maid. Their face, oddly enough, was concealed by the high collared cloak they wore, which fell around their body like a bell-shape and a cowl that hung far over their brow and was almost a square-shape.

    The fabric was fine, the stitch work superior, but the style was a bit odd for a noble, but perhaps not for a sorcerer... that was the other juicy rumor going round the party. That the groom was a sorcerer, versed in odd magic.

    The three would stand and politely wait for a formal greeting and invitation into the home.
    'Where I shall meet my future wife.'
    #1 Eyeris, Jan 13, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 13, 2014
  2. Cara stood at her window, waiting to see the carriage as it came. She was in her best dress, the dark blue fabric hanging to her corset and billowing out to the floor at her waist. "What if we are not a suitable match?" She asked her mother, wishing they had not gotten into this mess in the first place.

    She had always been opposed to magic, knowing that it could do harm. Cara had warned her parents again and again not to turn to it, but they continued to seek it. Now they were in debt and she had to pay the price. In some ways she blamed her parents, but she forgave them instantly.

    Her mother stood and started to fix her daughter's hair. "You two are meant for each other. He is a very kind and generous man. He owns lots and will provide for you your whole life. You will not need to do anything besides be there for him, that is all. It is a better life than most get to experience." She assured her daughter before glancing out the window. "He has arrived, let us go greet him."

    Cara looked in the mirror one last time to prefect her hair and dress before making her way down the stairs with her mother. Her father had already opened the door and gone out to meet with them.
  3. The groom waited, not looking for the right, nor the left. Dark eyes gazed at the threshold of the grand castle that stood before them.

    The man emerged first.

    "There's the fool." The cloaked groom whispered.

    "His folly has granted you favor." The foot-man leaned in politely as he bowed to the noble, whispering back to his master quietly. He and the hand-maid bowed deeply to the nobles, while their master did not.

    The groom looked down on them, pitied them, they were beneath, in debted, over his head. Or was before they sought my favors. Dark eyes looked past the main, remaining fixed upon the door.

    Soon-after the man came two women, one older, and one younger...

    There she was. Dressed in blue, young, and beautiful, eyes that played between green and blue.

    The groom walked past the man toward the young woman woman, the center of attention. Holding out a gloved hand, the groom-to-be spoke, bowing their hooded head and extending a gloved hand.

    "Lady Cara. I present to you... myself." The voice might be a tad bit lighter than expected, somewhat smokey around the edges. "Call upon me as, Hibiscus." With the other hand, Hibiscus pulled back the white cowl, revealing a pointed chin and nose, a somewhat pixy-like face, black hair, black eyes framed by long black lashes. A surprisingly slender neck and feminine jawline... a round pouting lip... and that name. Hibiscus, it is a flower... a name that suited a girl...
  4. She had been about to curtsy and smile up at her future husband, but at the feminine voice she stopped and looked up. Her eyes went wide in shock as she realized that her husband was not male, but female. Cara looked to her father and then her mother, no knowing what to do. Who married another of the same gender? It did not happen here.

    Her father was quickest to recover and stepped foreward. "Hibiscus, I believe there has been a... Misunderstanding." He said softly, not wanting to upset her. "My wife and I had just always assumed you to be male, and our daughter... Was expecting that as well. Perhaps we can come up with some other sort of arrangement? Maybe she can become your new servant?"

    At first Cara had been joyous to hear her father speak, but at the last part she frowned. She did not know how to be a servant, and had no interest in becoming one. She looked to her mother for more help, but she was standing still, off to the side.
  5. Hibiscus's face softened as she looked upon the girl. Cara's eyes widened in surprise. They had been more blue until now complimenting the color of her gown. Hibiscus had thought that they were indeed always blue, yet now she noted the tiny pale green flecks were shooting out from the iris.

    When the man spoke, every spec of warmth and pleasure died upon the girl-groom's face. Like a fall leaf finally snapping off ithe bough. She slowly turned turned toward the man, the father-of-the-bride.

    "What exactly have you misunderstood? I gave you my name and my word, you gave me yours. The terms of the contract are clear, you both found the contract agreeable. The two of you sealed the pact in your own blood." She made sure the wife did not escape her ire nor her sharp obsidian glare. "I have paid forward my half of our bargain, and yet, you think that you do not need not fulfill yours?"

    The wind rustled her cloak and her inky black hair, but the woman did not move, as if she had become a statue. She waited for the man to say something. Her hands itching and cold with power, preparing for him to say or do something truly idiotic.

    "Good hosts, the master already has servants." the foot-man bowed with the hand-maid, interrupting the tension, mixing a dash of awkwardness to dilute the situation, perhaps making it easier to swallow. He earned a glare from his master (or mistress, rather?) "I do not wish to find myself unemployed for... cold feet."

    "I have Impudent servants." Hibiscus muttered. "You seam eager to be rid of her. Is there something wrong with her? Is she Deaf? Daft? Barren?" Hibiscus took a step toward the husband and wife, her voice becoming quite, smoldering. "If I find her unworthy of our contract, I will return to exact proper recompense... and perhaps a bit more for my hardship."

    Hibiscus kept her face a cold mask, inwardly she sighed. Was it impossible to think she could get married without having to make threats? They seemed a necessary ingredient in human interactions, effective, but such a chore to carry out. As if she didn't have enough work to do already!
  6. Cara shrunk back as she listened to the words of Hibiscus. They had wanted to get rid of her? That was not what her parents had told her. They had said that a find gentleman had come along and was willing to propose, she should have known it had something to do with magic.

    Before her father could talk she stepped in front of Hibiscus. "What exactly did my parents gain from you?" Cara asked softly, wanting to know what kind of magic she had been bargained for. She also wanted to know more about Hibiscus, what she could do and what Cara had to watch out for. "There is nothing wrong with me, besides the fact that I enjoy being human and not practicing magic." She muttered, shaking her head.

    When she was little her parents tried to get her involved in magic and force her to practice spells in her free time. She had a knack for it, while her parents did not. Perhaps that is why they wanted to be rid of her, she was not as they wanted her so might as well trade for some spell.

    Her father looked at her with guilt in his eyes, feeling sorry for his only daughter. He had needed to make the deal, needed the magic and a girl was all Hibiscus had wanted in return.
  7. Hibiscus stiffened as the girl stepped forward, speaking out for herself.

    She glowered once more at the parents. Of course they didn't tell her. They thought they could simply give her away without her being any the wiser to their folly. And the thing is, they might have, if they had not taken offense to my gender.

    "My Lady Cara. I have been rude and cruel to speak of you in such a way." Hibiscus turned to the girl, studying her expression. Well if we are to be married, we best start getting-to-know one another now.

    "Your parents told me as much about you, they said 'surely you would prefer a girl with an interest in magic.' They were somewhat reluctant to give you away to a stranger." She hated to give the parents any such credit, their protest was miniscule in the grand picture. However, It seemed that her fiancee needed some shred of kindness at the moment, so Hibiscus gave it to her... Call it an engagement gift.

    A small gift of kindness to soften the blow of truth. It was only what the girl had asked for. "Your parents got involved with some... trouble. Got in over their heads, so to speak. They wanted a son to carry on the family name. They consulted the midwife who had no answer, they consulted the priest who had none either, then they consulted a demon, a dead-thing. This demon granted wishes, and liked to gamble... Your father had played cards with this demon in the past and won many times before. They thought he could with the match. But the demon is always more clever, and your parents lost the bet. And nearly lost all your lives and freedom."

    "I am being honest with you, as you have asked me to be. I am not a kind person. I do not offer my help or my work for nothing. Everything has a price that must be paid, a scale that must be balanced." This was a common oversight among humans.

    They had lost their freedom trying to gain a son, and would only win it back by loosing a daughter.

    Hibiscus could feel Lady Cara's warmth, could hear her heartbeat, full of young blooming life. She was like them, like her parents, like the other living people. This story, the truth, would frighten Lady Cara. She would fear and hate and resent Hibiscus. That was inevitable, but hibiscus had only hoped it would not be fostered so soon.
  8. As Cara listened to her, her anger grew. What kind of parents went so far to have more children and in return gave one up to save their lives. "You two are a disgrace." She said, turning to her parents. "I know you never wanted a daughter but you could have at least hid it a bit better. "

    She turned to the side, trying to hide her emotions from everyone. "You aren't worthy of me, you aren't at all and I would deny to marry this sorcerer, but for some damn reason I care about you two."

    Cara turned to Hibiscus and gave her a hard stare. "This party will not be much, they are all people that my parents wanted here. I would prefer to just leave and be away from them forever, but I know I do not have a choice if you wish to stay."

    She kept her gaze on the woman she would be with the rest of her life. Even if she was hard and took what she wanted, her parents were no better. At least Cara had a chance to belong to Hibiscus and have a life. Perhaps she would even let Cara out of where they lived and she would be able to go outside on a day to day basis. That was more than she had now.
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  9. Hibiscus stepped aside, a quiet bystander as Cara scolded her parents. They deserved worse, they deserved what they had won in the demons gamble. Yet, Cara did not. Still, she didn't cry nor try to flee. With dignity she shouldered the responsibility that had been thrust upon her without her consent.

    When Cara turned back to Hibiscus that fire still smoldered in her eyes. Fresh hatred. Hibiscus inclined her head. "I shall concede to My Lady's wishes." My Lady, that was something even Hibiscus would have to get used to.

    The foot-man and the-hand maid quietly sprung into action. The hand-maid entered the carriage to be sure it was ready, while the foot-man checked the horses and their halters. He then held open the door to the carriage and bowed, awaiting his master and his lady to enter.

    Hibiscus held out her arm to the girl. Hibiscus doubted the arm would be taken. If it was she would escort Cara into the carriage, if not, she would wait and the foot-man would lend a steady hand.
  10. Cara turned back to her parents for a moment and shook her head. "Have my belongings come in another carriage. I know you must have them packed already and I do not want to see either of you again. You can die with the guilt of wanting another child only to lose the one child who loved you because of your greed."

    She looked at Hibiscus' arm as she turned around and decided that she would like to defy her parents and make it seem like she wanted to be married to a woman. Cara lightly set her arm inside of the lady's and looked up. "I hope you can tell me more of what you do exactly on the carriage ride. I would like to know what my parents have gotten me into." She said softly so that her parents would not overhear.

    Cara knew everything would be different and that she might still not have freedoms, but she could not condem people to death. It was not in her to be cruel when it would not do any good.

    The biggest issue Cara would need to get over would be the gender. She had never been with a man or a woman, but had always thought she would marry a man and have a grand wedding. That would never happen and everything that Cara had been taught to make a man like her and want her would not work on a woman, or at least would be different.
  11. Hibiscus nodded as Cara took her arm.

    Inside Cara would find soft velvet cushioned seats. Long black drapes over the windows. Small lamps above each door, and several compartments above her head and below.

    The maid reached below, she opened a drawer, glasses clinked together like little bells. She produced a green bottle and a stemmed glass. She poured, and offered Cara refreshment. The maid was quiet, she didn't speak, she was small of stature, and had a kind if dour looking face.

    Hibiscus came in next, she spoke to both her servants. "Stay behind, be sure that the Lady Cara's things are thoroughly collected and properly transported."

    They bowed their heads. The maid quietly jumping out the back door, the man shutting the door behind his master.

    With two passengers rather than four, the car was spacious enough. Hibiscus took her place across from Cara.

    She closed her eyes and folded her hands. The carriage lurched forward, the horses hemming and hawing as the left Cara's home behind.

    The necromancer opened her eyes regarding her wife-to-be. I know this is not how she imagined leaving home, it never is I suppose... Yet Cara showed no signs of cracking, not yet anyhow. She said she wanted to know more.

    "You may ask me whatever you wish." This might be a more amusing way to pass the time, than listen to idle banter of the foot-man.
  12. "Thank you." Cara said softly to the maid before taking the drink. She did not sip from it, since she had no idea what it contained, but she did know enough to accept it.

    As she sat and looked around the carriage she realized how extravagant it was and how nice the velvet seats were.

    "Do you not need your servants? My things are fine, I do not have much anyway." Cara told her as she looked up. "What is in this drink? It looks as if magic has touched it, but I do not know of any that could. I also would like to know what kind of magic you are used to doing, what I should expect from you and how I should behave."

    It was odd to Cara to have her suggested she take control of the conversation. In this type of situation Cara would have thought Hibiscus would want to tailer the conversation to what she wanted to speak about and about rules.
  13. "No. I do not need my servants. Not now anyhow." She answered the first question while she reached down and found the green bottle and a glass for herself. "If you are in need of something, they will take as much care to meet your needs as they would mine."

    That, and I don't need that damn foot-man laughing and interrupting me along the whole route.

    Pouring the clear clean liquid, she set the bottle on the seat beside her. "No magic. Simply water." Her grin was a small crooked thing. "You are, however, quite perceptive. It is the bottle that is magic, we shall not run low on our drink for the whole of our journey."

    "I have studied several schools of magic, but I am chiefly a Necromancer. Which means I consult and consort with the dead, defy the rules of nature and bring life where there should be death, and occasionally travel into death myself, among other things." She took another sip of water, finishing her glass, then set that aside as well. "I know that you do not like magic. Do not fear, I do not expect you to be involved in my work. Nor did I trick your parents into marrying me so that I might sacrifice you to some demon instead." She rolled her eyes, her mother had asked that, mortals were so unimaginative.

    She leaned back on her seat. "You should behave as you like. I'll not ask you to pretend to be..." She stopped, uncertain of how to proceed. Or Should I? We are to be married after-all. This question confused Hibiscus. She reached into her pocket where the ring waited, she ran her thumb over the white crystal and black meta. She had agreed to the marriage but had not spent much time imagining what it would be like. She had not lived with another person in years, and a living person in decades. She now would have a living person around, all the time.

    Hibiscus did not usually get along with the living.

    It would not be like having a servant. Sure, Cara would not meddle in her magical affairs, but she would have business or pastimes of her own, preferences, needs. From what Hibiscus had seen, Cara was not a week willed girl that would be content to hide away in her tower all the rest of her days like a mouse.

    "Be yourself, that is. Your parents may be daft but I'm sure they taught you manners and letters."

    "I've not been married before, mind you, so what say you we figure that part out together." Her brow furrowed she reached beside her and poured herself more water, if Cara had finished hers Hibiscus would refill it. "You might not ever like me, nor this arrangement, but that doesn't mean you need to be completely miserable. I'll give you freedom of my home, and permission to leave so long as you promise to return. I should also tell you that, due to the nature of my work, my home and several particular rooms in it that will not be safe for you. If I give you a direct command It will be for good reason, trust that. Otherwise I will do my best to be... polite."

    Ugh. What am I saying... polite?
  14. When she learned of the liquid being simple water Cara took a sip, unable to control herself. She had been so nervous this morning that she had not had anything to eat or drink. The water was surprisingly cool as well to Cara and she quickly took more sips.

    Cara nodded at the end of her speech, finding the request reasonable. "My parents were strict. They found out early in my childhood that I have a knack for magic, I'm able to preform spells even though I am human without help or much training. As soon as I was old enough to refuse them I did and was kept on careful watch. I am used to not being able to leave the castle, so thank you for letting me have some freedom. I do not wish to be included in any of your magic, I believe in the end it corrupts people. I have a curious side, but if you tell me a room is only for magic I will not go in." She took a breath and a few more sips of water before turning her gaze to the ground.

    "I've been taught how to please a man in marriage and what to do after the wedding night, but I'm afraid I don't know anything about doing the same for a woman. I am not attracted to the same way I would be a man. We can figure things out, I just ask that you don't force me into anything that I don't want to do."
  15. Hibiscus watched Cara as she spoke, the girl was thirsty, she would refill her glass.

    "You are correct." Hibiscus would comment. "Magic does corrupt." Hibiscus had no false notions about what she was or what she did. She was corrupt, cruel, evil. She was not one of these righteous sorcerers who thought that by gaining power they were doing some good for the world or anyone else, or protecting loved ones, or imagined that by them ruling the world they would be implementing a more fair system of government under their tyranny and might be loved, or famous, or thanked some day. Magic was self-serving by nature, particularly her brand of magic. Twisting the laws of nature, torturing the dead from their resting places. If only Cara knew how deep the rot went, she'd run screaming. Yet, if Hibiscus was careful, polite, and cordial, and kept her as far away from demons as possible, Cara might not run away.

    Then the next topic came forward. Hibiscus was impressed by the girls boldness, while finding some excuse to look away herself, ah yes, the bottle of water had fallen on it's side and she needed to turn it upright.

    "Of course." Hibiscus said, and inclined her head respectfully. Hibiscus had already gathered that she would be repulsive to the girl. If only she knew how deep the rot went...
  16. Cara sighed in relief and smiled slightly. She at least would be able to go outside in this arrangement and might even be able to take care of horses if she had any.

    "Are you human?" She asked softly, glancing at Hisbuscus thought her lashes. Cara did not know if by using magic it turned people into something else.

    After some hesitation Cara also asked the question she wanted to know. "And do you keep any animals?" Since she was a child Cara had a link with animals. It was odd, but occasionally on the street stray dogs would come up to her. Of course her parents would not allow any animals in the castle, which had affected Cara negatively and causes her to turn to reading in her free time.
  17. If only she knew...

    '"Are you human?"

    Though, perhaps she suspects... Clever.

    "I was once... I think..." Hibiscus looked out the window, squinting, as if looking at something far away. In her mind she glanced through the fog of memory, so long ago, so little left...

    "Animals?" She turned back to the girl. "Ah... not the kind you have in mind, I think." She doubted the girl would enjoy the same types of pets Hibiscus did. She fiddled with the ring in her pocket, she hadn't thought that bringing the girl to live with her would mean pets moving in also. ew. But of course, the girl would want the company of other living... things... otherwise she'd be... lonely I suppose. "Tell me what creatures you desire for your company, and we shall acquire some... not so many, mind you, my home will not be a menagerie... our home."

    Our home, something else that would take some getting used to.

    They eventually arrived at 'our-home'.

    Hibiscus would get out of the carriage first, and offer a hand to the Lady Cara.

    The breeze was cool and salty. The castle was up a few ragged steps, it sat on the top of a hill that lead to a cliff. They would hear the sound of the sea crashing against the rocks. To their backs and down the hill and winding road they could see the local village. A small cluster of buildings, with field and farmlands stretching out around it.

    It was much larger than Cara's castle. Yet, it did not seem well maintained. The stones uneven in some places, the archways crumbling. The bushes and brambles were overgrown. One turret did not even have a roof. It was merely the bones of a castle, the place seemed empty. A proper castle would have guards, servants, guests, hunters, gardeners, and grooms milling about. The windows should be full of faces, eager to greet their lord and lady's return, yet the windows were dark and empty.

    Yet, in it's own rugged manner it was beautiful. The sea to one side and the countryside the other, the stonework was old but its initial grandeur would never be completely lost.

    "This place is named Eryas Hold."

    ((Some Castle inspiration:))
  18. Cara watched as she seemed to look off to the distance. It took her a moment, but she realized that she was trying to bring about her past, perhaps that meant she was very old in human years.

    "I only need one, a dog if you would be so kind. You don't even have to buy it, if you want just take it off the street. And I will share my food, so it does not cost you more." She said quickly before biting her lip. Her parents had never allowed her pets, so Cara didn't want to ruin her chances at having one for the first time.

    When the castle came into view her eyes widened at the sight. It was much larger than hers and seemed like a castle right out of a book. Even though it seemed abandoned, it held onto it's appeal.

    Cara took in the name and tried to commit it to memory as she stepped out of the carriage. "How did you come about this castle?" She asked, since Hibiscus did not seem put off by her questions like everyone else was.
  19. "A dog. So be it." She crinkled her nose at the thought of the mangy thing, then raised a brow at the second statement. "Cost?" She shook her head and began to lead Cara up the steps and through the main archway. "What do dogs eat? Meat? The dog shall easily be provided for... Do not fret over cost. Simply say what you desire and it shall be granted or not." Hibiscus dealt in a currency worth more than gold to some people. The necromancer was not eager to take in a stray mutt, yet, if it was something her wife desired, then the least Hibiscus could do was feed it.

    "I won the castle from a demon long ago. It is a good a place as any to... settle down." Through the front arch there was a long courtyard where the ground leveled out. In a few meters they would be up a few more steps and into the castle.

    Speaking to Cara was... refreshing, in a way. Hibiscus was certainly not a social creature, though she did speak a lot in her work. Speaking to the dead or demons was always a effort of wit, while speaking to humans was an effort of patience. She was accustomed to discussing work or favors, accustomed to speaking with those who were either almost to frightened to speak, or who were deciding which way to kill her.

    Cara was none of those things. Yet...

    "Before we enter there is one small matter... This is the only bit of magic you must endure. And it is important." She would stand before Cara and reached into her pocket.

    She knelt down on one knee, and presented the ring.

    A jagged crystal clutched by black metal. The metal held the stone like a claw, or like overgrown thorns choking a castle. "This is my ring.... If... I..." Hibiscus trailed off, the contract was signed by the parents and all had been decided. Yet, it seemed a rude thing to command a lady into her engagement ring. She likely dreamed of a proposal in a garden by a handsome young man, instead Cara had a strange woman in front of her crumbling castle, cold waves crashing on the cliff-side, the red light of sunset made her pale skin seem to blush.

    "I should like you to wear it." Hibiscus left it at that. "May I...?"
  20. Cara allowed herself to smile at the thought of actually having a dog and being able to feed it as well. She watched her and could see that it was not what she wanted, but something Hibiscus would tolerate.

    As Hibiscus seemed to kneel down, Cara started to panic. "I... Ah.. Will it affect me in anyway?" She asked, needing to know if it would alter her mood or thoughts. Cara overall was a tolerant person and was trusting until the person was proven untrustworthy.

    She would most likely wear the ring, they were engaged, but Cara did not want to be affected negatively. Cara bit her lip unconsciously and wrung her hands together. It was clear that she was nervous and waiting for an answer before making a final decision.
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