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Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by Kythera, May 17, 2016.
It was 1337 when the Hundred Years War first began.
The House of Plantagenet of England and the House of Valois of France locked in a struggled to determine who would hold dominion over the land of the Kingdom of France after the House of Valois failed to hold on to their power after a continued succession of weak kings. The House of Plantagenet, despite gaining some small holdings, eventually began to lose the war after the deaths of Edward III and Edward the Black Prince, two of the greatest English warriors and tacticians of the era.
But the English truly began to fall after the Battle of Formingy in, wherein under the weak kingship of Henry VI the English forces were decimated, with over a thousand soldiers slaughtered as only a handful of knights and soldiers remained. Those who survived returned as heroic mourners, few of which returned to fight the French once more until the Battle of Castillon in 1453 and its aftermath fully resolved in 1455.
With only Calais remaining on the mainland, the court silently turned it back on Henry VI, his French-born wife even went so far as to leave England for Calais itself, giving up any claim to the succession of the throne or to the right of regency in the process. Only her daughter, Isabella, was left.
But she was not the heir.
Nay, the heir was the Crown Princess Anne Plantagenet, the daughter of King Henry VI from his first marriage with Queen Elizabeth Beaufort, the late daughter of the Duke of Somerset. And it was her turn to ascent when her father was found asleep in the gardens, killed by poisons. But none claimed the deed. Likewise, there were so many who could have poisoned him that to determine the guilty party would take time that the English courts simply did not have after the conclusion.
And thus, three months hence, those called to do so gathered to witness the coronation of Her Majesty the Queen in Westminster Abbey.
When all had gathered, the procession would begin.
First was the thurifer, swinging his censer as his assistant followed close behind. Leading his fellow acolytes, they were all dressed in black cassocks and white cottas as well as simple wooden crosses about their necks, with the master acolytes such as the thurifers and altar-servers wore white cinctures about their waists. The Acolyte Master- which is the seniormost acolyte who was trusted to be closest to the altar- who was allowed to wear a white maniple as a sign of rank amongst his peers. Next in the line was the master crucifer, who rose above his head a golden cross within which lay a shard of the Holy Cross itself. At his side were two torch-bearers, and following after were the members of the choir, dressed in red cassocks and cathedral cottas. Next was a second crucifer and his accompanying torch-bearers, behind which the deacons with red stoles followed after sub-deacons in red cassocks and tunicles. After them, the third crucifer, with his cross and torch-bearers, preceded the various monks and priests and bishops who had joined to celebrate the most holy mass accompanying the coronation. Lastly, the fourth and final crucifer was unaccompanied, as behind him followed the Acolyte Master, the Archdeacon, the Archpriest, the Chaplain to His Excellency and the Royal Family, the Abbot of Westminster, and the Archbishop of Westminster all ahead of the Crown Princess, whose train was carried by three ladies-in-waiting.
Linus the Sage, the elder Archbishop of Westminster, gave blessings to the congregation, especially to the poor and peasantry who had made their way in whom he demanded stay.
All the clergy and all the acolytes had assumed their place, with the queen-to-be kneeling before the altar. Until the time for the Nicene Creed came, the service would be a normal one. But for the time of the sermon, the Archbishop went into his pulpit, speaking up.
“In the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit.”
The congregation would respond in unison, sounding as if a choir themselves.
“Please be seated.
“On this autumn day, wherein we would typically we gather from across England and her allies to celebrate the coronation of Anne Plantagenet. Soon enough, after we profess our faith once again using the words of the Nicene Creed, she shall take three great vows that will bind her to the service of her people and to the will of God.
“Once this is done and she, along with all of you, have received the Body and Blood of Our Lord, we shall invest her into the office her blood has designed for her to receive. Truly, it is on this day that God smiles upon his flock here. And even then, I have here a personal message from His Holiness, Pope Calixtus III, to his fellow Christian, our dear Lady Anne.
“‘This letter is written by His Holiness, Pope Calixtus III, King of the Papal States, to the future Queen of England, Lady Anne Plantagenet, and to be read by his fellow Servant In Christ, Archbishop Linus of Westminster.
“‘To Lady Anne,
“‘I congratulate you on your coronation as Queen of England and give my sorrows as to the loss of your father. On the All Souls Day wherein this is read, we may remember those have passed, but is also most important to remember the joy that is awaited them and us with God the Father and his Son, Jesus Christ, in Heaven once the Holy Spirit guides us to our ends.
“‘But for now, in the event of your coronation, let me say this: when confronted by the Pharisees and tested to say which was the greatest of the laws, Our Lord stated unto them that ‘Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.’
“‘Take these commandments to heart, as they shall make you a worthy ruler over men. Treat each of your citizens as if they were your own kin, and in doing so you shall spread the love of the Lord God as well as the goodwill of the English Crown.
“‘Therefore, it is by the Grace of God and the authority vested in me as Bishop of Rome and with Holy See that I do acknowledge that the throne of England falls rightly upon you.
“‘The blessings of God upon you,
“‘Pope Callixtus III.’
“I could say no better than His Holiness. As such, the time has time for us to move, bringing forward our new monarch.
“In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.”
And so, the congregation rose, reciting their creed before the Queen, Archbishop, and Acolyte Master stood, the last of them holding a Bible with the Apocrypha. It was them that the elderly man would speak once again in his raspy baritone, speaking up once again.
“Let all remain standing for Oath, wherein the Lady Anne shall swear to her people.”
Then, turning from the congregation, the Archbishop began to speak as his crimson regalia reflected the light of the room as he held onto his crosier, needing it for some support in his age. It would be then that he spoke to Anne.
“Will you solemnly promise and swear to govern the Peoples Kingdom of England, Wales, and all of your Possessions and other Territories to any of them belonging or pertaining, according to their respective laws and customs?”
“I solemnly promise so to do.”
“Will you to your power cause Law and Justice, in Mercy, to be executed in all your judgments?”
“Will you to the utmost of your power maintain the Laws of God and the true profession of the Gospel? Will you to the utmost of your power maintain in the Kingdom of England the Ancient Catholic Religion established by the Communion of Saints? Will you maintain and preserve inviolable the settlement of the one Catholic and Apostolic Church, and the doctrine, worship, discipline, and government thereof, as by law established in England? And will you preserve unto the Bishops and Clergy of the Church in England, and to all the Churches there committed to their charge, all such rights and privileges, as by law do or shall appertain to them or any of them?”
The Queen: All this I promise to do. The things which I have here before promised, I will perform, and keep. So help me God.
It would be then that the Acolyte Master came forth, genuflecting before his ruler as offering the Bible with the Apocrypha unto her, speaking up in a calm and humbled tenor.
"Here is Wisdom; This is the royal Law; These are the lively Oracles of God. Take Them, and rule justly.”
And so the mass went forward, and after the Holy Communion the Archbishop rose again, proclaiming that the time to enthrone the queen had come.
Soon after Anne was escorted into the ancestral Coronation Chair, which was gilded with gold and silver, the Abbot of Westminster brought forth hold oil, in which the Archbishop dipped his right thumb. After this, the Archbishop traced the sign of the on the forehead, the mouth, and the heart of the princess, giving a Latin blessing over it.
Then, the Archdeacon and Archpriest came forth, placing the Orb and Scepter of Office in the respective hands of their monarch before kneeling in a genuflection as the Chaplain brought forth the Ring of Office- which was cast in gold and set with an amethyst- and slipped it onto the princess’ right ring finger.
Then, raising the crown from the High Altar, the archbishop spoke again.
“Should anyone object the coronate of our new queen, let them speak now or hold their peace.”
And as the Abbey remained silent, he spoke again.
“Oh God, the crown of the faithful; bless we beseech thee and sanctify this thy servant our queen, and as thou dost this day set a crown of pure gold upon his/her head, so enrich her royal heart with thine abundant grace, and crown her with all princely virtues through the King Eternal Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen."
The Archbishop then lowered the crown onto her head, moving forward as the whole of the congregation rose, with England itself cheering on as the time arose.
“God save the queen! God save the queen! God save the queen!”
And so, the Archbishop spoke again, blessing the queen as she now officially took her office.
"God crown you with a crown of glory and righteousness, that having a right faith and manifold fruit of good works, you may obtain the crown of an everlasting kingdom by the gift of him whose kingdom endureth for ever."
“I, Linus, Archbishop of Westminster, will be faithful and true, and faith and truth will bear unto you, our Sovereign Lady, Queen of this Realm and Defender of the Faith in England, and unto your heirs and successors according to law. So help me God."
And so all the clergy and acolytes present gave similar vows in a great unison unto their queen, after which the peerages first, lead first by the Duke of Edinburgh, the Duke of York ending the first peerage.
"I, Cornelius Thrace, Duke of Edinburgh, do become your liege man of life and limb, and of earthly worship; and faith and truth will I bear unto you, to live and die, against all manner of folks. So help me God."
And so the peerages continued in all present, ending with the Knighthood of England.
Twelve knights, wearing their gauntlets atop of their attire and holding their swords and their shields- the latter symbolically blank to acknowledge the beginning of a new reign approached the Coronation Chair, the Archbishop speaking again.
“Last, Your Highness, are your humble Knights of the Realm, affirming their allegiance to you. Before you stand twelve veterans of Formingy, all of whom have returned to serve you. They are Sir James Aachen, Sir Louis Drake, Sir Horace Dythos, Sir Norman Harris, Sir Joseph Isolde, Sir Thomas Jacobson, Sir Philip Lewis, Sir Thaddeus Lewis, Sir Balder Monk, Sir Uther Norman, Sir Isaac Ren, and Sir Michael Theos.”
Turning, the Archbishop spoke directly to the knights.
“Do you swear, on behalf of your brethren and yourself, to defend your queen from all adversity?”
“We do, with God’s help.”
“Do you swear to uphold the oaths you have taken previously to protect her line, both her ancestors and descendants alike?”
“We do, with God’s help.”
“Do you swear to uphold the laws that protect the Crown and the citizens of England?”
“We do, with God’s help.”
“Do you swear allegiance to your queen, now and forever, under pain of death should you, on your brethren for whom you speak, break these vows which are witnessed in the sight of God and of your sovereign?”
“So let it be.”
After this, the King of Scotland and other foreign dignitaries came forth, cementing their alliances and recognitions of the queen’s right to rule, with Scotland vowing to back the queen in any endeavor.
As such, the Archbishop stood, banging his crozier against the ground, speaking aloud.
“Let us go forth in the name of Christ, presenting forth our new ruler, Queen Anne Plantagenet!”
And so the clergy and choir processed out as they processed in, heading to the palace for the Coronation Feast as the new queen was to a brief speech, as well as her immediate appointments, with the Archbishop, Archpriest, Archdeacon, and Abbot remaining with her at the threshold to the choral.
"Your Majesty, a letter from Prince Phillip," said the maid, bobbing a deep curtsy as she handed over a scroll dripping with ribbons and seals. Anne snatched it from her, hand shaking with nerves. Whether from doubt of the Prince's response, or anxiety for the ceremony before her today, she did not say. She unrolled the parchment and held it to the light of the window.
My dear cousin, Her Most Graceful Majesty Queen Anne, My deepest condolences on the death of your most revered father, and my sincerest congratulations on your ascension to the throne of England. I hope that in future our two great nations will have no further cause to revert to the violence that has ripped at our souls this past century. With trust, respect, and friendship, I am certain that we two can reach a partnership that will stand the test of time. As to your inquiry on our prior betrothal, I believe we must both, naturally, consider it at an end. As the Crown Prince and Heir Apparent of the Kingdom of France, logic dictates that I must marry a woman who may rule beside me, in Paris. I see no way for us to work around both our duties to our respective nations. I remain, dearest cousin, yours, etc., Phillip of ValoisPrince of France Anne's grey eyes scanned over the letter rapidly once, then again narrowed in fury. Biting her lip, she whipped around and ripped the parchment to shreds, tossing the pieces into the fire. "That... coward," she whispered, running her fingers over the rosary dangling from her waist. She paced back and forth across her bedchamber for a few minutes, seething, before she finally threw herself to her knees on the cushioned kneeler before the little altar dug into an alcove of one wall. "Hail Mary, full of Grace. Our Lord is with thee," she whispered, pulling her rosary off her belt and counting off the prayers. She said five before she was finally calm enough to stand still.
A glance around the room told her that Ellen was still cowering in a corner. "Fetch me a scribe," Anne snapped at the girl. As she scurried off Anne took several deep breaths, trying to control her temper. "No matter, if he doesn't want to hold up our agreement, I will simply find a better husband." Or perhaps none at all, a traitorous part of her said. It was the part that always doubted her abilities, the part that told her everyone was plotting against her, the part that said she was doomed to fail and die alone. Three failed betrothals was enough to make any woman doubt her desirability. Especially a woman who had everything to give a husband - a throne, a kingdom, immeasurable wealth... So what was wrong with her?
Anne sighed and smoothed her skirts, forcing herself not to think of it. She was twenty-four! How could she help but think about it? When every month the eggs that could be the next King of England were thrown away, useless. "Damnation," she muttered under her breath, throwing open her wardrobe to reveal the gown she was to wear to the coronation. It was a magnificent garment, white silk covered in a lacing made of real gold threads, and dotted everywhere with pearls. She ran a hand over the delicate fabric, knowing no one could doubt her beauty and power in such a spectacular dress. Anne was not normally one for overly fine clothes, preferring the traditional modest piety for women's clothing, but on this occasion she felt sure she had a good excuse. It was not every day a woman was crowned Queen of England.
The door opened, and her favorite scribe bowed himself in. "How may I help you, Your Majesty?"
"Ah, Thomas, good," said Anne, her voice steadier now. "I need you to draft a reply to Prince Phillip's letter." The scribe bowed again and took a seat at the writing desk, dipping his quill carefully in an ink pot. The queen continued, "The usual formalities, of course, and then please write this: My humblest thanks for both your condolences and congratulations. You will forgive my doubting their sincerity, however, given the apparently fickle nature of your promises. While I share your hope that the future relations of our two nations may grow more friendly, I must beg leave to express doubts that such will be the case when led by as unprincipled and untrustworthy a leader as I have no doubt you will turn out to be. Your affectionate cousin, Anne."
Hearing no scratching of the quill, Anne turned to fix the scribe with a glare and found him staring at her, jaw dropped in amazement. "Write, damn you!" she commanded. Thomas bobbed his head and swiftly put the quill to the paper, scratching out a letter that he had little doubt would reignite the seemingly endless war with France.
Several hours later, Anne walked sedately behind the procession into the Abbey, schooling her face to a serene but majestic expression. She could swear her nerves hummed loudly enough that the ladies in waiting carrying the massive fur-lined, red velvet coronation robe could hear them. A gentle murmur was rolling through the crowd like a wave, but no matter how hard she strained Anne could not make out what they were saying. The Abbey was packed as full as it would hold, the Court and public all eager to see their new Queen. Anne hoped it was from appreciation and not from disapproval. But she could not doubt that there were many who feared the rule of a woman. Many had already voiced such fears to her, and met with her sharp temper as a response. She would show them. She would show them all.
Anne knelt before the altar and nodded to the Archbishop. He was always a mystery to her - she could never tell whether he approved of her or not. At least he was not trying to sabotage her coronation, that was something. But she rather wished the old man were a closer ally.
She drank in the words of the mass, gaining strength from each prayer and each chorus of "Amen." These were her people now. This was her country.
The Pope's letter was known to her, but it gained new meaning in this environment, the Archbishop's words echoing in the cavernous knave of the Abbey. Again, the traitorous part of her rose up in rebellion, quietly objecting to the Pope's commandments. Not all could be loved, or trusted. Not all would be forgiven. Anne glanced up through her eyelashes, keeping her head bowed in prayer, and looked around at the assembled nobility. No, they were not all neighbors, and certainly not sheep. She was sure there were wolves among them, she just did not yet know who or where.
The time for the oath arrived. Anne licked suddenly dry lips, and rose slowly to her feet.
“Will you solemnly promise and swear to govern the Peoples Kingdom of England, Wales, and all of your Possessions and other Territories to any of them belonging or pertaining, according to their respective laws and customs?” asked the Archbishop.
Her voice was surprisingly steady as she replied, “I solemnly promise so to do.”
“Will you to your power cause Law and Justice, in Mercy, to be executed in all your judgments?”
“I will," Anne said, her voice growing louder and more confident.
“Will you to the utmost of your power maintain the Laws of God and the true profession of the Gospel? Will you to the utmost of your power maintain in the Kingdom of England the Ancient Catholic Religion established by the Communion of Saints? Will you maintain and preserve inviolable the settlement of the one Catholic and Apostolic Church, and the doctrine, worship, discipline, and government thereof, as by law established in England? And will you preserve unto the Bishops and Clergy of the Church in England, and to all the Churches there committed to their charge, all such rights and privileges, as by law do or shall appertain to them or any of them?”
"All this I promise to do. The things which I have here before promised, I will perform, and keep. So help me God." Her voice rang out across the silent hall, strong and clear.
The rest of the Mass passed in a blur, until it was time to ascend to her throne. She stepped up onto the platform, her ladies again assisting with the heavy robe. With the magnificent folds of the fabric spread around her feet, she lowered herself into the ancient Chair of King Edward. She thought of all the monarchs who had sat there before her, all the way down to her father. Now she would be added to that list, her portrait hung in the Palace for all eternity. Come what may, she was a monarch of England. She just hoped she could do something good with that title.
She accepted the Orb and Scepter from the Archdeacon and Archpriest, her arms wobbling a bit under the weight. She gritted her teeth and hung on, knowing the ceremony was almost over. The chaplain slid the gold and amethyst ring onto her ring finger, but it was so big she had to crook her finger to keep it from falling off. Anne sighed, wondering how many other symbols of the crown were clearly made for men. She hoped the crown would not slip down over her eyes... that would make her look ridiculous.
At last the Archbishop raised the crown. It felt like an eternity passed when he asked if anyone objected. Anne held her breath, watching the gathered audience in unholy anxiety. Please God don't let anyone interrupt! No one did. The Archbishop lowered the crown onto her head, where, thankfully, it stayed put. The abbey rang with cries of "God save the Queen!" and Anne could not suppress a grin.
The nobility, royal family, and knights all swore their allegiance. When the Archbishop finally declared her the new rule, Queen Anne Plantagenet, she let go a deep sigh. She stood, desperately trying to balance the many ridiculous items she had been given to hold, and made to follow the procession that was already making its way back up the aisle. A sound drew her eyes to the crowds of commoners standing packed before her, and with a gasp she saw several men throwing off capes and drawing swords. Before she could react someone had grabbed her wrist and pulled her down off the throne's platform, and held her crouching down under the cover of the throne...
"Master Guard, the royal chef sends this bottle to you, with his gratitude for keeping our home safe from these ruffians." Duncan said cheerfully, placing on a nearby table a large bottle of spiced mead. He pulled two cups from his bag and set them down next to the jug. "The chef demanded that I drink a cup with you, to prove that it's not drugged. Of course, I don't know any true Englishman who will turn down a cup of warm mead on a chill morning like this one." he said, eliciting a chuckle from the guard. As he poured the two cups, he tapped his ring discretely on the rim of the guard's cup, the henbane extract inside dripping into the drink before the guard noticed. He pulled up a chair and drank deeply from his cup, nodding to the people in the cell behind the guard. "That group of Ne'er-do-wells there, what're they in for?"
"Deserters from the war. They're set to be executed in a week's time." the guard's gruff voice rebounded off the walls while he spoke.
That should be perfect for the plan...Duncan thought, a smile on his face. As the guard poured a second glass, he could see red spreading across the capillaries in his nose. "Good sir, you've done me a great service." He said, his voice shifting back to his normal tone. "You may have realized what has happened here, but I doubt it. If you were smart, you'd be working in the library, not down in this dismal pit." Disgust tinged his voice, and he couldn't help but smile more as he saw the poison taking its toll on the burly man. "When you awake, I suggest you make up some story about being assaulted. I doubt being thought of as a drunken lout will save your neck, let alone your career. And next time, don't be fooled by a stolen uniform." The guard slumped over, asleep, as he finished his sentence. With that taken care of, he moved toward the cage, grabbing the keys from the guard along the way. A few coins had gotten rid of most of the guards, and the lout on the ground made sure he wouldn't be disturbed. Now, the fun part began.
"Brothers, the so called queen, Anne of Plantagenet, has ordered your death. I come with an offer to let you trade her life for your own. The harlot in the gilded throne believes that you deserve to die for refusing to nourish her reign with your life's blood. After seeing family after family stricken asunder by the nobles and their senseless war, I think it is their blood that should run, not ours!" Murmurs of agreement rumbled through the cell. "The monarchy has taken everything from us, and it is time we take something back from them! Her younger sister has sent word along the kingdom's underworld that whosoever ends the painted slattern's life will have all crimes forgiven. I say we take her up on the offer." He had to make sure they knew who to blame, just in case someone was taken alive...
When he had gotten their pledge of fealty to the younger sister, he smiled, unlocking the cell and undoing their bindings. "Escape and meet at the coronation in three hours. Do nothing else between now and then. If you are spotted by the constabulary between now and then, this whole plan goes to hell, and you will be drawn and quartered for your crimes. You and any family you may have." He neglected to mention what might happen if Queen Anne, or anyone in the guard, caught wind it appeared he was staging a coup before he had a chance to reveal his plan. He refused to think of it, focusing instead on making sure they did not become a liability. "Three kilometers from here, you'll find a house with this insignia branded into the door." He handed them a scrap of paper with a picture - Saint Peter's cross encircled three times - sketched onto it. "Inside you'll find cloaks and shortswords from the royal army's own stores. Meet in the coronation, and behead the painted harlot, and you can reclaim your life. Go, now, before more guards come." He watched them leave and split up, letting out a sigh of relief when no alarms were raised after several minutes.
Several hours later, Duncan stood at attention beside the captain of the guard, wearing a decorated linothorax along with the mask he wore in his school. An Italian rapier hung at his waist, ready to be drawn at a moment's notice. A misericorde was secreted away in his boot, sharpened to a razor's edge, should the guards fail to kill all the would be assassins. He'd informed the captain of rumors he'd heard of an attack on the queen's life, and offered his services as extra manpower. Now, it was only a matter of time until the attack came...
As the archbishop droned on, his eyes picked out the shape of the cloaked prisoners making their way into the crowd. Good, they made it...He was almost caught off guard when it came time to swear his allegiance to the Queen, but he recovered before anyone could notice. As the ceremony came to a close, and the queen walked down the aisle, the ruffians disrobed and unsheathed their stolen swords. "This woman and her family sent us to die! She is no more fit to be a queen than a common dog! We are here to take her life for the true queen of England, and none shall stop us!" the leader screamed, leading his men to charge her. Acting quickly, Duncan pulled her back to the throne, unleashing his rapier and becoming a shield between her and the mob engaging the royal guard. "Lady Anne, do not fear. Even if one gets past Sir Baldur, none shall lay a hand on my queen!" he said, prepared to attack.
It was then that he raised his blade, acting upon his oath to protect his liege. He ran, almost sliding, to where he stood before the queen and flattened his shield to catch the oncoming blades once he had kicked the assailant who pinned her down in the chest, knocking him over to be dealt with by the other knights, two from assailants who attempting to flank her. Spinning so that his shield smacked into the face of one of them before slicing at the other, the knight took a defensive stance as he crossed his legs, left behind right, sword angled down over the top of his heater-styled shield.
It was then that the assailant who wasn’t knocked down by the shield made his way up, wielding an axe and a dagger as he charged at Balder with haste. Loosening his sword, the knight swung in a counterclockwise downwards arc to guide the foe more towards the shield-arm of the knight, who promptly lunged, landing a blow into the assailant’s left shoulder.
Not to be out of the fight, the assailant charged again, to which Balder pumped out his shield and knocked him back before hacking and slashing at the assailant, landing a few cuts as the second assailant stood up again, armed with a shortsword and a buckler. This one swiped at Balder’s back as he was focused on the first assailant, landing a deep hit. Not one that would cripple or disable, but one that would certainly scar and leave pain in the days to come. It was in response to this that the knight momentarily dropped his blade, leaving him without arm.
Moments after, the knight fought with a vengeance as he bashed at his foes with fist and with shield, managing to keep his foes at bay long enough to reclaim his mighty blade and take point once more, more than fit to fight in defense of his monarch. Lunging forward, he managed to stab one of the assailants in the heart before using his shield to hold his other foe at bay. After repulsing the second assailant one last time, the knight then beheaded them in a powerful slash, as they were the last of the assailants left alive. The knights then had the guards usher the monarch and guests out, the group soon receiving quick medical attention from the monks at the abbey before joining the whole of the company to partake in the feast.
By the time he arrived, most of the nobles had already taken their seats, most tables set according to their peerages.
At the head table sat the queen herself, now wearing the Ring of Office cast for her hand as opposed to the one used for the ceremony. Among the rest of the head table sat the visiting King of Scotland, Kenneth Graham, and his pregnant wife, Queen Iona. Adjacent to the was Marquis Jean-Claude Anton, the Lord Ambassador from France who now served in the reestablished embassy in London. The Duke of York and his wife, Lucian and Hilda Plantagenet, sat to one side of the Queen of England. The half-French princess, Isabella Catiana, sat in a space adjacent to her sister, the side opposite her cousin. The King of Scotland sat next to her, and next to the Duchess of York was an empty seat, reserved for the one to be proclaimed as the queen’s champion.
Balder knew of Duke Lucian better than most nobility there, mainly due to the fact that he had served under the previous Duke York, Lucian III’s father, Lucius II. Balder was at the battle where Lucius II perished. It was from that battle he had taken command as the last living officer and earned his place among the court after receiving his knighthood.
But, for the moment, the knight sat at the lowest of the noble tables, only allowed to sit in a chair as opposed to the bench for the common invited as he was recognized by one of the lesser nobles whose son fought with him. Balder remembered these people well, as he knew much of the House of Avon. They were entitled onto the distinguishment of baron, nary any more. Unlike him, many of the other knight sat with higher peerages, as they were often cousins to the household if not directly within it.
But still, he looked upon the family and thanked them for their invitation, waiting patiently for the queen to speak before even considering to touch the food on the table.
Now the Baron Avon was a portly man, and aged enough in his years that a fair amount that children might occasionally mistake him with the icons of Saint Nicholas when he grew out his whiskers for the English winters. Balder sat across from the man, sitting next to his subordinate, the young Lord Avon. Across from the young lord was the baroness, and to the left of them was the Viscountcy of Hatherford, the family to which the young lord would be wed. To this effect, the Lady Ophelia at next to her betrothed.
Regardless, the court historian soon chuckled speaking up in a jolly tenor
"Well, Sir Balder, 'tis always good to have you at our table."
"Aye, Lord Historian. I take it you've been chronicling the night's events thus far?"
"I have. Soon enough I shall record Queen Anne's first appointments and edicts when she speaks. After all, there are seldom occasions such as today, where assailants have the gall to assault a monarch within the church, during the ceremony no less."
"They were quite the fool to attack the monarch with knights present as is. But, the damage as done. Let us hear from our queen, my lord."
Lady-in-Waiting to Princess Isabella - #68a36d
Marianne squished in closer to her neighbor on the bench to make room for another lady-in-waiting. They were seated several rows behind the royal family's bench, after all the important nobles of the kingdom. Marianne could scarcely see the throne through all the silk and lace and feathers. She wriggled around, trying to get a glimpse of the infamous chair. It seemed so... plain. For whatever reason, she had always assumed the Coronation Chair would be gilded and majestic and covered in jewels. But this was just a big, wooden chair. It must have some important history, she supposed, but having never paid attention to her tutors she had no idea what it might be.
She was much more interested in the expensive and elegant clothes worn by the nobility. Everyone was in their very best outfits, as befitted such an auspicious occasion. Marianne herself had on a sky blue gown with pearls along the hem and the most delicate, intricate lace around the collar. It was new, her mother having insisted on having a new gown specially made for the coronation. No Howard girl could show herself at Westminster with less than £20 of finery on her back. Marianne smoothed her hands over the folds of the gown, enjoying the feel of the silk against her palms. Perhaps it was silly to worry about such things, but that was the world she lived in, the fulcrum around which her universe turned.
It was still hard to believe she was really here. Sure, she had been to London before, and made her bow to the King years ago, but then she had just felt like a visitor, passing through a shining spectacle. Now she was a part of the spectacle, a player in her own right. She served the royal princess, the sister of the new Queen. Marianne sat up a little straighter as she thought of it. It was what her parents had always said she would achieve. Mama said she could not be so beautiful for nothing. She would go far, they promised. She would make a great marriage, be someone important in the realm. Well, so far that had not quite happened, but Marianne was hopeful. There was still time, after all.
Pulling a prayer book from the pew in front of her, Marianne fanned herself gently. It was so packed in the Abbey that she was starting to sweat, and that was not a good look for her. She looked like a melted wheat bushel in the heat. One of the elder ladies of the Princess's court caught her eye and glared at the book in her hand. Marianne blushed guiltily, and put the tome back in the pew, trying to will herself cooler instead.
She was starting to wonder if the ceremony would ever start, when at last the organ struck up. The audience stood as one, and turned to face the rear of the Abbey, where the procession had begun. Marianne tried to lean around the elegantly-clad backs in front of her, but all she could catch a glimpse of was a flicker of red velvet.
Marianne fidgeted through the mass. She had never been good and sitting still for long, and now the Abbey was hot, crowded, and smelled of incense. The bishop droned on in Latin, which Marianne had never understood. She supposed she could have studied it harder as a girl, but she never saw the point of learning a language only used in Church and really old books. The incense was tickling her nose, she felt sure she was about to sneeze. She managed to stop the sneeze just in time, only a little "shh" sound escaping. Even that brought the glares of her neighbors down on her. She mouthed "sorry", and hunched back down in her seat.
She had hoped at least the crowning part would be interesting, but she could not even see anything around all the tall headdresses in front of her. Her lower lip began to protrude more and more as the ceremony went on. By the time the Queen rose to exit, she was in full pout mode.
"At last," she murmured under her breath, as the congregation rose. But no one heard her, because at that same moment the sound of unsheathing swords, gasps, and screams burst forth. Marianne blinked, blue eyes wide in horror as chaos unfolded around her. The nobles all dove screeching toward the rear exits, as commoners surged out the front in a wave. Marianne stood frozen in place, watching helplessly as the assassins threw themselves toward the Queen, who was being shoved behind the throne and encircled by guards. Metal clanged as swords met other swords and shields.
"Marianne, move!" The voice shattered her trance, as hands grabbed her arm and pulled her along toward the exits. The crowds shoved and squeeze their way through the rear doors, then milled outside in the courtyard separating the Abbey from the Palace as if uncertain where to go next.
"Is there still a feast?" Marianne asked, looking around in confusion.
"I-I suppose so," another lady answered dubiously.
"Come on!" said another voice in exasperation, waving the milling courtiers towards the Palace. Like sheep they all followed, fear and bewilderment still written across their faces. Nobody seemed to want to ask the question. It was as if an invisible hand had shushed them all. The Palace was uncertain enough these days that prying too deeply could get anyone killed. Poison, assassins, what was next?
As if determined to pretend nothing irregular had happened, they all filed into Westminster Hall and took their seats for the feast. Marianne was midway down the table, with the other ladies-in-waiting and gentlemen assigned to the Princess's court. Looking around, she was again startled by the simplicity of the room. It was huge, sure, but the arched wooden beams overhead were perfectly Gothic. The tables were luxuriously set, though, and there seemed to be every dish known to man. The plates and goblets were all gilded, and the flatware was solid gold. The cream-colored tableclothes were edged in lace and embroidered with the royal crest in gold thread.
"Is this not magical?" she breathed to her neighbor, before taking a big sip from her wine glass. She watched the Queen and her guards proceed up the center aisle to the head table, at last able to see the new monarch clearly. She was young, but tall, and held herself regally. Rather a pretty woman, Marianne thought, but nothing to her sister. The Princess was truly beautiful, and there was something so engaging about her smile and the look in her eyes, one could not help but be attracted to her. Marianne sighed. She knew it was her duty to her family to report back on the Princess, but she just liked the woman so much, it felt like a betrayal to do so. But after all, she was a Howard first and English second. That was how it had always been.
Lucian Plantagenet ~Hilda Plantagenet ~Tyrius Vahlan
Hilda Plantagenet started her morning like every other morning. Waking up in her shared bed with her husband, a nude man that any woman would be happy to see in her bed. A bath, with sweet smelling soap and boiling hot water. Her long jet black hair being brushed and put in a simple yet elegant up-do, and heading to the dinning room to eat breakfast. This morning was different, and everyone in the kingdom knew it. The king was dead, and it seemed everyone was fighting for the throne, including her husband. Her husband was in line for the throne if the next heir, the princess, died. She knew her husband, and knew that he wanted the throne. Of course, everyone did. Even the Princess sister had her eyes on the throne. So it was not a surprise in the least bit that her husband was also seeking the crown.
Lucian woke up with an annoyed feeling growing inside of him. He knew that today the woman who didn't deserve to rule would be crowned Queen, it was he who should be on that throne. He still can't believe that Anne was going to be the one to take control of the lands he knew were only fit to be ruled by him. This whole thing was madness and he would stand for it no longer. He had to get ready to see some vile woman sit on the Throne, that everyone knew was rightfully his. Looking over to his beautiful wife, he gave her a peck on the lips and watched her leave their bed, before he himself got up and got ready.
As she sat down, the few people in the castle of Dragonbolt that actually mattered came to the dinning room as well. Not to eat, but to watch. Which at first, she found rather odd, but once she make her husbands duchess, she quickly got used to his guard lingering around him. Maybe that was why her eyes set on him when she came to full realization that her loving husband was laying with another female. Even now, as she buttered a hot biscuit, she couldn't keep her eyes off him. She wondered if her husband knew, knew the passionate thralls between his wife and his guard, then again, she didn't care if he did. Tyrius's kisses sure seem to make up for her husband's wondering eye. Giving Tyrius a somewhat knowing look, she couldn't help but lick her lips in a way that seemed seductive and her heart gave a thump as she thought about them together just a few nights back.
Tyrius took his time to ready himself before entering the dining room, the guardsman had always taken considerable time in keeping his looks up, as well as hygienic's. Ensuring his hair was taken care of, shaving necessary areas and soon taking time to bathe. The dark skinned knight took some time to clean his muscular body, wincing just a bit when the skin deep scratches on his skin were irritated once soap washed over them. A man of his stature was flattered to be sought after, especially by the Duke's "dearly beloved" even if he served as the man's bodyguard and enforcer, it didn't matter to him. Tyrius wanted what he wanted and he'd be damned if he couldn't have it.
Soon Tyrius was out of the bath and drying himself, moving to his own room to don his clothing. The ebony male pulled on a nice form fitting cardigan and pair of trousers that granted him the much needed room where it counted the most. As the knight made his way to the dining room he picked up the faint scent that had often accompanied Hilda, his lips soon curled into a smirk as he recollected the night they had together. Such carnal thoughts and actions would likely be the death of the man but he didn't care, he'd gladly cut down anything that would get in his path, even if it meant putting down the Duke himself.
Tyrius' eyes locked with her and for the split moment he felt his heartbeat accelerate, like he was receiving the best adrenal rush of his life, more fulfilling than combat and twice as exciting. "Good morning lady Hilda." He spoke, his tone suave and collected as he directed his speech to her, a direct comparison to riding on a clouded wave hot chocolate.
His eyes shifted for a momentarily to Lucian, causing him to grin just a a bit. He was fully aware of what the man was doing behind Hilda's back, so he was more than willing to satiate her needs and satisfy her in whatever manner she so desired. He took his seat across from Hilda, lightly drumming his fingers on the table.
Lucian was focused solely on his own issues, with the Throne and everything else going on that he didn't even notice his wife giving the flirtatious eye towards his Guard and Best Friend, Tyrius. It's a good thing he didn't suspect anything, for both of them would have lost their heads by now. Taking a seat across from his loving wife at their huge dining table, he started to eat his food, not even bothering to greet his wife or anyone else. When Lucian was in one of his moods, there was usually no one that could bring him out of it.
Goosebumps went up and down her arm and spine as Tyrius spoke to her. She always did enjoy his voice, especially when his voice went an octave lower and seemed to just roll off his tongue. She watched him as he took his seat across from her, her foot moved until she knew for sure it hit Tyrius's. Once her foot bumped his, a small but wicked smile curled her lips as her foot slowly started to travel up his calf and started to go past his knee when she turned to her slightly pouted husband. "Love, don't let the court get you down. It only gives them more power" her voice was sweet like honey; almost to compensate for the fact the her foot was inches from her lovers groin.
Looking up from his plate of food, he looked over to his wife, giving her a genuine smile. "I know, my sweet wife... it is just nonsense that someone like her would be sitting on the Throne." Shaking his head he looked at his guard and gave him a smile as well. "Tyrius, you are one lucky man... never having to worry about how others see you and never have to worry about having a whole house depending on you." He grinned, shaking off his annoyance of the morning, letting the thoughts of the throne go to the back of his head for now. "What would I do without you two."
He stood up, going to get more Ale as he seemed to not be able to find it on the table. Once he got the Ale he moved over to the table once again, this time he moved towards his wife, he wanted to give her a kiss since he didn't greet her the way he should have.
Admitting Tyrius was just a little bit surprised by how bold she was, to so casually inspect the knight's weaponry with her dear husband just feet away. Just her voice alone, even with it not being directed at him, it still was pleasant to hear. With her foot just resting in the space of his inner thigh, just an inch or two above his knee, he couldn't help but feel an overbearing sense of empowerment, like he had enough power to take what Lucian had.
His eyes focused on Lucian as he spoke to his wife, there were indeed times where Tyrius had felt some regret for serving as Hilda's lover but the ones that made him happy he was so deeply engaged with her in night time endeavors and even day time made it worth every moment of regret. "Thank you, my liege..." He spoke respectfully for he knew the type of order he had with Lucian, a cocky smirk appeared as the man asked what he'd do without both himself and Hilda. "Hm, well without me, surely the attempts on your life would have been successful." He chuckled some as he began to eat, finding humor in the fact that he served as a knight in shining armor for both the Duke and the Queen to be.
Hilda watched as her husband and lover make somewhat small talk. However, as her husband moved to get Ale, and moved back to her, she knew what he was seeking. Their morning kiss. Now, some may think that with her side lover she wouldn't still love her husband. This was not the case. She loved her husband, he was a good man. He provided her with everything she could need, from money, to food, to the latest fashion. Yes, he was a good husband. Especially since the two started out as nothing more than passion filled teenagers who married for status and lust. Her foot paused on Tyrius's thigh as Lucian moved closer to her. Giving one last stroke of her foot, she moved it away from him as she stood up, cupped Lucian's face and kissed him.
With a brush of lips, she kissed him sweet as her fingers stroked his slightly bearded face as she moved away. "We should leave soon my love, wouldn't want to be late and give them more to talk about," she lightly patted his face as she left her barely eaten plate on the table and turned to Tyrius, "Make sure we get there in one piece," she joked softly as she left the two men to add the last finishing touches to her outfit and prepared to face the court.
He held onto her waist, embracing her will all of him. He gave a small pleasant sigh and once their kiss and embrace broke, Lucian stood there for a few more seconds before opening his eyes. Even though the Duke has had a few... incidents of being unfaithful, he will always love his wife and even though he does have regrets for what he had done and is still doing, he will always love her. "I know, we can't let them think I'm angry... I will stand tall and mighty and no one will ever see me down." He smirked at her, watching her leave before turning towards his guard.
"Tyrius, let us get ready to see these ladies and gentleman that are probably going to look down upon us." He grunted and fixed his jacket, heading towards their transportation outside of the Castle Doors. With his fur robe gliding behind him, Lucian was ready to see these people and cowards who didn't have the bravery to stand with him, the man who will be on The Throne... one way or another.
Tyrius grinned weakly as they indulged in one another then broke the kiss, he did carry feelings over Hilda but he had always done his best to not let that sort of thing bother him. Even with that he didn't care as much knowing Hilda surely had something in store for her favorite guardsman. Her comment elicited a firm nod accompanied with a smile, he was confident in his skill and he knew he'd let no man or beast endanger the lives of the people he willingly put his life on the line for. Being a tower of a man, Lucian's comment of people looking down on them made him laugh a bit. "Look down upon us? You mistaken my lord, it is I who will be looking down and judging the cowards for what they are." Tyrius spoke before soon moving to his room once more, setting the pieces of his armor accordingly, lastly taking his blade and sheathing it on his back, his shield strapped on from his left shoulder, the art of the defensive weapon depicting a lion's head.
Hilda put on the large earings that shined more than the crown itself, and matching necklace. She was stunning, and she knew it. Looking out of her room, she noticed Tyrius go to his room. A wicked smile graced her lips again as part of her, a giddy aroused teenager, couldn't help but sneakily followed him into his room. She closed the door behind her, and moved to him in a flash. One hand was put on his chest as she tip toed and kissed him with just as much passion, if not ever so slightly more, than she kissed Lucian. "Good morning," she chuckled softly as she spoke softly while looking up at him.
"Have you missed me yet?" She couldn't help but whisper slightly and tease him as her fingers danced on his chest, "Get us safe, and I may have a prize for my knight in shining armor," she teased and moved away slightly from him; not wanting to make her husband wait too long for his wife and guard.
Lucian got into the back of the Carriage, resting his head against the seat. He started to rub his eyes, giving a tired sigh. He didn't get the best amount of sleep last night but he had been thinking too much. Right now he didn't want to spoil the ride so he would try his hardest to not think about what was to come. "This is going to be a grand time, that's how I must see this." He smirked to himself, looking out the window, wondering what was taking his wife and guard so long.
He motioned for one of the other guards to fetch his wife and his main guard. "Go and get them will you." He nearly shoved the male out of the carriage, closing the door behind him. He wanted to get there as soon as possible and he also didn't want to just sit here and pondered, his mind wouldn't do well if he had nothing to distract him. "Where are they..."
Tyrius was just about to grab his helmet when he heard his door shut, then the Hilda's scent quickly rushed to his nostrils. As he turned around he didn't even have a second's response as she was suddenly on him, her soft, embracing lips pressed firmly against his. So then this was why she didn't say good morning, it seemed she was waiting for a perfect opportunity to present itself. "Of course I have my queen~" He spoke into her ear in return after the kiss was broken, his hands taking control of her smaller frame, happily taking her up in his grasp within the moment, touching her as he pleased, knowing she had no objections to it.
His grip on her loosened as she spoke, giving him a task of his own, such a request would be easy for him and he was sure she knew that. "I'll be sure to do just that." He spoke with a soft smirk, his hand swatting her rear playfully before he followed her out of the room.
She couldn't help but giggle softly as he swatted her rear. Since her and Tyrius started their romance or whatever it was that they were doing, she felt like a teenager again. She started to giggle again, and tease, and paw in the shadows. If it wasn't for the fact that her husband was waiting for them, there was a good chance her hands would be all over him, and his on hers. However, she wasn't stupid enough to keep her husband waiting. So, she left his room and only moments later she was greeted by another guard who seemed to be looking for herself and Tyrius. "I'm coming, now quickly, let us get to the carriage and leave," she quickly pushed the guard away from Tyrius's room by hooking her arm in his and almost dragging him towards the carriage.
Once there, she made the guard help her into the carriage and she sat next to Lucian. "Sorry love, my necklace seemed to have weaved through some hair and needed help to get it out as I didn't want to yank it out and have hair taken out," she quickly explained while she touched his hand, "Are you ready to show who they should have crowned?" A small smirk on her lips.
Hearing the door to the carriage open, he turned his head to see his beloved glide in next to him. "It's okay, my Queen, things like that do happen... I'm just glad I will never have to worry about that." He laughed a little and gave her another kiss, before telling the guard to get ready to start traveling. "You mean, My Dear, am I ready to show them who they will crown eventually." He smiled at her, holding onto her waist the whole ride there.
Tyrius managed to get a handle on his helmet before Hilda dragged him out of the room where another guard had been on his way to. A great many of the Duke's guard had some fear of Tyrius and who wouldn't really, a man that looked to be carved out of granite, preached to with war and baptized in blood. At her command, he allowed her to get into the carriage first before getting in himself. He held his helmet at his side as he listened to Hilda make up her story, the fact that Lucian believed it was pretty priceless, the man must have truly been conceited.
This user has been banned for: Escalating a simple situation into a giant mountain. Plagiarism.
Personal maid to Princess Isabella (riiight e^e)
(Coronation - Feast)
Mentioned: Queen Anne of Lancaster (@Kythera)
Princess Isabella Catiana of Arundel (@Shayla)
Marianne Howard (@Kythera)
The coronation ceremony lasted longer that she had hoped for and the order of sitting was not appealing to her whatsoever, even though it was perfectly normal. Even as a personal, trustworthy maid of the Princess, she was sent three bench rows back, behind all of the other royal guests. It was annoying and upsetting, not only because of the ridiculously high head pieces and hats of the present loyal ladies, but because of the fact that Princess Isabella was way too far for her to have a good grip on the situation revolving around the queen's younger sister. In situations like this one, Maven wished she would be proudly sitting next to her Royal Highness as her protector, rather in the back as her maid. However, both of them were aware that ought not to happen and Princess trusted her to brainstorm the way to handle the job, regardless of being forced to come of as a maid, and Maven was determined to do so. Failing was never a suitable replacement. She quickly scanned the present members of the Queen's guards and other persons, as well as people that surrounded the Princess. Snake's ought to bite her lying tongue if she would ever say she trusted anyone that was around Princess for too long. Not even the guards.
By the ending of the coronation, she was deeply troubled by trying to see a single bloody thing, that she stood up, slightly hunched, peeking over the hats. However, the actual act of coronation was of no concern to her and therefore, she paid close to no attention to it, skipping every "Amen" that Archbishop ordered. There was more important thing to worry about than how many sins she would pile up by ignoring the word of God's messenger. She would gladly go to hell before he would disappoint her Royal Highness. She was never much of a woman of God in the first place. "Hey!", she heard a sharp whisper behind her, coming from one of the fat maids that occupied the row behind her. Maven ignored it, as she scanned the hall unnoticed. "Hey! What in God's name do you think you are doing, young lady? Sit down and show some respect for God's sake!", the fat woman whispered again, but received no answer from Maven that now caught a glimpse of several exchanged glares in the audience that were just a bit out of place. One of the men looked around, somewhat nervously and she bent down more, behind one of the hats to avoid the confrontation. Looking around, the man fixed his cape, looked over to another man and nodded lightly, before turning his head back forward. Was it even possible that none saw or cared about it?
As she attempted to emerge back up, the fat woman grabbed her white gown, accidentally pinching her behind in the process, which caused Maven to jerk slightly and finally turn around. "Lady, do you mind?!". Woman leaned back against the bench and frowned at her. "Sit down, young lady. You are a disgrace to your master and to God". One of the royal ladies that sat in front of Maven turned around to teach pesky servants a lesson, just as Maven opened her mouth to spit an insult to the fat woman behind her. Both of the attempts, that would definitely cause a shameful dispute, were cut short by a loud scream of one of the ladies as she was pushed by one of the man that Maven previously studied, just as the Queen walked off the aisle. Maven's face turned pale and she quickly turned towards the man that now jumped up and pulled the sword form under his cloak. "This woman and her family sent us to die!", he screamed through the hall as his comrades joined him. "She is no more fit to be a queen than a common dog!", well he did have a point there but regardless, it was a grave moment. "We are here to take her life for the true queen of England, and none shall stop us!". Maven's eyes darted towards the Princess as Queen's guards charged forward. "Fopdoodles!", she spit out an insult and quickly slid out of the row, before the chaos broke loose.
The man's words echoed in her mind as she skillfully squeezed herself through the crowd. He witty mind quickly came to an ad hoc, but the only doable plan to use the havoc for the princess' benefit. It was non like Isabella to pull out a foolish deed like that. Hiding in the crowd, she avoided queen's guards and approached the Princess and her two guards from behind. "This will hurt me more than it will hurt you...", she mumbled as she slid the dagger out of her long light sleeve and stabbed one of the princess' guards in the shoulder, and swiftly hitting the other one in the template, knocking him out. Making sure everyone was too busy with saving their own heads to witness to what just happened, she put the dagger back and leaned towards princess, before pulling her into the crowd. "I apologize for my rude behavior, your Highness, but you will have to lay your trust on this one". Letting several royal guests pass first, and tripping several others to create a brief blockage, Maven pushed the princess towards the entrance door. There, more guards awaited and covered the princess on her way to the carriage.
Regardless of the guards protesting, Maven managed to slide into the carriage. Closing the doors behind her, she sighed and bowed her head down. "I sincerely apologize, Your Royal Highness. It was none of my intention to harm you or disgrace you". She was very much aware that, even though princess would be clever enough to understand her intentions, Maven felt a decent amount of shame overflowing in her heart. Maybe there was a less shameful way to resolve the situation, but it was the only thing she could have done in the moment. "I swore to serve you faithfully, no matter what", she said quietly before taking her dagger out. "I need to know if you ordered this or not, your Highness". She looked at the princess with honestly concerned glare. "I do not believe so, but if I am wrong then...", her face winced lightly as she pulled the dagger and swiftly cut her left upper arm, just under the biceps muscle. "Then I will need your full cooperation". She concealed the dagger into it's hidden place and looked at her bleeding arm. "I was attacked by those men, and so where your guards, your Highness". She turned to princess with a sly smirk on her face. "If you had anything to do with it, then why in the God's name would they attack their ally?"
Maven sat herself at the table with other faithful personal servants, rubbing her mended arm. Wasn't this an unexpectedly exciting day? She nervously glared into her plate and even though many would mistaken it for shock, her mind stormed with all the possible outcomes of today's fiasco. The newly chosen queen walked into the room and they rose up briefly, before she took her place for the feast. "Is this not magical?", she heard a familiar voice and she looked at the girl, sitting a bit further away. Marianne seemed more than impressed by the entire ordeal and Maven was never sure whether she meant it or not. The young girl had some quite useful perks, but even so, Maven was always careful about the information she gets from and gives back to her. "Yes. Absolutely magical...", Maven mumbled to herself and stared at her dish. The feast didn't seem so appealing anymore.
Noah dismounted his saddled horse, his sword sheathed at his side, and strolled towards the gates. He was met by a group of soldiers, all with towering pikes and halberds. However, they noticed him immediately as the cousin of the Princesses Anne and Isabella. He had heard of the death of the King - a poisoning, so he heard rumours, while others said a stabbing. Neither mattered, anyhow. All sources agreed that it had been a murder, and none seemed to inherit more from Henry VI's unfortunately timed passing than Princess Anne. Hopefully his visit would be able to clarify a few things. Noah pressed on, as two of the guards accompanied him.
As he reached another gate, he found himself stopped by another set of guards.
"Halt," they commanded, as Noah complied.
"What is it?" he asked, raising a single brow. He clenched his fists tightly, until his knuckles were paling. "I have business with Princess Anne."
"Queen Anne of Lancaster now," the guard replied, as he clutched his halberd tighter. "Address her appropriately."
"She has been coronated so soon after the King's death?" he mused. The guard nodded his head.
What now? How could he possibly get to the bottom of this issue now that Anne was the queen. It would take him forever to reach her, let alone to address the issue a hand. He had no doubt that Anne was innocent of the crime of murder. Regicide. Patricide. It wasn't in her nature to betray her own father. Was it? He was slowly beginning to question his own knowledge of his dear cousin. She was his eldest daughter, after all. The throne was hers by right. But if Henry VI was prepared to swear that the succession should pass unto his younger daughter Isabella, then it made sense. Anne could have killed him to ensure her throne. And then what? She'd be queen by conquest. Crowned and coronated. He'd have to swear his fealty to her now, as the monarch, regardless of his doubts.
"I cannot allow you passage, sir," the guard groaned, as his eyes scanned Noah's face. "Not until the service has come to an end."
"I must see the queen tonight," he told the guard, as he stepped backwards a little. "Could you tell her that her cousin, the Duke of Cambridge, has come to see her. With him, he carries urgent news. If she at all summons me, send a man to fetch me from the nearby inn. If she dismisses me, send your man to tell the Queen I shall not leave."
Mentioned~ Princess @Shayla
Duke of York- @X PRINCE JUSTIN X
Between the preparations for Princess's Isabella sister coronation, and well the princess being what she was, the princes poor Josselyn had been run ragged. She had been at her side for several years now. Making her way up as one of her more esteemed ladies, and was in turn a close friend to her. But there were just days that wished she could just hide way. But that wasn't her. She didn't hide from much, and took out her frustrations when she went horse back riding. Josselyn would be more then excited for this week to be over. She had barely had the time to get herself ready, as she had rushed from one side of West Minster Palace to the other, making sure that the Princess had everything in order.
Finally she and the Princess had set off, along with a few other Nobles from the area. The coronation was dragging on and was so much longer then she had expected. She was lucky to be sitting in the row with the Princess and not behind the tall headpieces that the women tended to wear. Joss, was one to wear simple but eye catching, the dress she wore was just for that reason. She knew that the Duke of York was most likely going to be in attendance. The Duke and herself had be come acquainted at one of the parties that the Princess had hosted. They had had a few rendezvous, the mere thought of the nights they spent together, made her shift in her seat. It was then that a man that came rushing in shouting caught her attention back to the coronation. Needless to say, everything went to hell from there. Men drawing swords, women screaming and clutching children, trampling one another to make it to the door. Instantly Josselyn was at her feet, her eyes shooting around to find the Princess, and making sure that all was okay.She had pulled a small dagger out of the pocket of the dress she wore, events like this always brought those that thought they could hurt or destroy the crown. Though she was ragged with breath, as she said the maid talking the Princess, the sight of blood on her fingers tip, she quirked a quick brow, though said nothing as she and the others hustled the Princess out the room, through a door to the side.
Everything seemed to be controlled and in their right minds though, through the guards would be on high alert now. None knew if it was the Princess, or the Queen that the assassinations were after, but she was more then certain that each party was blaming the other, and Joss know she would be hearing more at the fiasco tonight when they retired. Mentally preparing herself for that as she took a glass of wine that the servant passed her. Josslyn leaned back in her chair, smiling to the Princess, but yet her eyes were scanning the room for the Duke, perhaps, just perhaps tonight they could steal a few moments together.
Blair Abbot ~ Tyrius VahlanBlair woke up in her room, it was small, and slightly cramped. Not because she didn't have enough space, half of her room was dedicated to her poison's and crafting her "jewelry". A large chest that held all of her belongings took up another good size chunk, and lastly her very small bed that could only really hold her. Unlike most of the beds in the castle, hers was made of packed straw and wool. While she didn't mind the bed the Duke had given her, she just couldn't sleep until she had a bed like the one she grew up with.
Opening her eyes slowly, she blinked as her dark room slowly came into focus. Getting up, she swung her legs over the mattress and arched until she heard a small pop. Sighing a small sigh of relief, she got up and slowly went to the window. It was covered by a thick blanket the Duke wanted to throw out. Moving it slowly, light poured onto the pale blonde girl. Her hair was a bit unruly and looked rather crazy and fuzzy. Which seemed to match the girl, the dirty blonde hair never seemed to want to cooperate and went down to her hips in thick bands. Her face made her look even younger than she was, being 17 and looking like she was 15 made it easy to get what she wanted and never be suspected. Which was the only way she was able to get so many kills in the first place. No one expects a young girl to be a killer.
Putting her fingers in her hair, she tried to tame the blonde heap. She knew that today was crowning day and her master was not pleased, not pleased one bit. Sighing as she somehow managed to make the hair cooperate, she moved to her chest. She slept in a very large hide shirt that her father used to wear all the time. Finding a decent looking dress, she changed and tied a matching ribbon in her hair so she at least looked presentable. Her dresses were always slightly too big, as they belonged to her older sister or one of the maids in the castle. Until she was fully grown, she didn't see the point of buying nice dresses that she might not fit into in a year.
Putting on her only pair of black boots, she put on her ring. A ring filled with powdered poison, ready to be put into anything edible and drinkable. Exiting her room, she could tell that the Duke, his wife, and probably his guard, have already left. That was fine with her, she preferred to be a bit of a loner. That was what she was used to after-all. Once her sister left and it was just her dad and herself, she spent a lot of time by herself making the poison. Going to the kitchen, she nicked a biscuit and headed to the stables. Her horse, Apples, was a ginger spotted horse her dad gave her years ago. Getting on the horse, she took off towards the castle, she knew her thighs would be sore when she got there, but she was okay with that.
She made it to the castle in a timely fashion.....sort of. Most of the guests were already seated and Blair knew she was late. Great, just great, she thought, I just know he will lecture about my tardiness. She tried to sneak a peak to see where her master and his wife was, and try to make it over to them before he noticed how late she was.
Tyrius had pretty much stayed glued to both the Duke and Hilda's sides, watching over the guests that had arrived warily, since he hadn't had his helmet on inside he was receiving a number of collective stares from people. It bothered him very much, so many eyes, judging him, harboring their true thoughts of the ebony skinned knight. As his eyes desperately moved out of their line of sight he continued to look around until he had found none other than Blair. Peeking from around the corner would never save her from him, he had that sense about the girl, it was like know a sibling was eavesdropping. 'Looks as if someone does not seem to comprehend being on time.' He though to himself as he began to walk over to her, rounding the corner to face her, his own frame easily towering over the girl. "Blair, this record of tardiness is not going to reflect very well when the Duke hears of this." He spoke to her, as if he'd really tell on her, honestly he didn't have it in him to sell her out like that, he was too soft on her.
"Should this happen again, I will see to it that I am the one punishing you, do you understand Blair?" He asked her, his tone stern and serious, a tone he'd never take unless the situation truly did call for it, and in his eyes she was well worth getting bent out of shape for. He was doing his best to still understand she was still young but not staying on schedule could throw things into a discord with himself and the Duke, especially when it comes to defending Blair.
Blair couldn't help but pout slightly, ever since she came to work under the Duke, Tyrius had somehow become like a big brother to her. The two were close, and she knew he wouldn't rat her out. Still, she couldn't help but act like a normal teen who was caught and was in trouble. "I'm not THAT late, besides, I'm sure the Duke has much more on his mind than if I'm tardy or not. It's not like it has started yet anyway," she gave him large eyes, "lets just go sit down before anyone notice's," giving a small innocent grin she hoped he would just go along with her plan.
He crossed his arms a bit when she said she wasn't that late, as if that was a worthy excuse. "You know, had this been an attack on the Duke and to be Queen, you'd have gotten here too late Blair." He spoke to her, presenting a life lesson of sorts, something that'd hopefully get her to stop with this nasty habit of hers. He was going to say something after but the minute his eyes fixed on hers, he may as well have just gesture her to go on ahead upon seeing her. "Dammit, fine....but I mean it Blair, this is the last time I cover for you." He spoke, guiding her to the Lucian and Hilda, he was truly lying to himself though, just like all the other 'last times' he said that to her.
She couldn't help but smile big at him, she wasn't surprised he caved to her. They did this a lot, she would end up late, usually from sleeping in, and he would scold her but end up caving and not letting her get into trouble. Or at least not letting her get into tooo much trouble. She let him guild her to Lucian and Hilda and the pair pretended that she was their the whole time. She looked around slightly and noticed a few people from back when her father was still alive, she made a mental note to go greet them later.
Aishe had skipped the coronation. And rightly so. She could only imagine what the aristocratic lords and ladies would say at the mere sight of her, a wolf in sheep's clothing, a harlot, demonic blasphemer, daring to enter the House of the Lord. Reformed or not, there was no changing the color of her skin.
Aishe laughed aloud as she tied another silk sash across her waist, bright red flashing against a fiery orange. Reformed. Only reformed under their eyes. Only long enough until I make my escape. But the gypsy would never say such words aloud. She knew all to well that even walls had ears.
She was able to get out of attending the new Queen's coronation under the guise that she was preparing a great performace to celebrate the coronation at the Queen's feast. She had spent the whole morning preparing and was now just finishing her costume. She adorned her hands with the allowed rings, the jewels shinning brilliantly but far inferior than the ones she used to in her free days. At last Aishe fastened her choker, one that bore the Princess's mark to show who she belonged to and who anyone had to report to if they meant her any harm. Aishe turned, hearing her chains jangle as her skirts swept out. She smiled before covering her 'shameful' attire with a thick black coat. She still had to cross through town after all.
Aishe made her way to the feast hall quickly, avoiding main roads and traveling away from any patroller's eyes who would surely stop her just to hassel the rugged mutt that the Princess called a pet. She kept her gaze low, to avoide any accusations of witchery, and didn't raise her eyes even when the guards stopped her at the feast hall's door. One guard actual spat at her feet. "What's a mongrel like you doing trying to attend such an event?" Without looking up, Aishe unhooked the neck of her cloak to reveal her choker resting above her bare collar bones. "I come in the name of Princess Isabel. She has most graciously allowed me to dance as a gift for her sister, the new Queen's, entertainment in celebration of her coronation," she spoke careful, erasing as much of her accent as possible. Though Aishe couldn't see, she knew that the guard's were more interested in her bare skin than the seal. They stepped aside without another word and let the gypsy pass. "We look forward to your performance, gypsy," a guard remarked as she walked by. It was all Aishe could do to keep from shuddering.
Aedan stood at the fore of the floating vessel he was on; a two-mast carrack. With his right boot positioned above his left was on the forecastle, it was placed on the ship's prow on the extending bowsprit. It appeared as though Aedan were leading the ship by the anchor point of the forestays on some grand quest. Indeed, just crossing the channel from France to England had its own grandness about it. The waters were temperamental at best and with the ever present winds, could turn hostile very quickly. Aedan knew very well , what would happen if the crew or the ship’s captain didn’t interpret the waves just right, a disaster like the last time would no doubt ensue.
The Irishman's face had been long since shrouded in mystery. He was entirely too keen on keeping people oblivious as to his true nature. When he had washed ashore the last time, he wrapped his face and head in his tartan and his plaid, leaving just enough open for his eyes and to breathe. Now, however, he had an impressive steel helm covering his identity. The helm itself was, like his armor, a remarkable make. The crown was rounded, and featured a prominent rising wedge; this helped to provide additional strength and reinforcement to the helmet without adding too much weight. The helmet extended down on all sides, protecting almost all of the wearers head and face entirely, leaving only a T-shaped section at the front of the helm open, which kept the wearer ventilated and left the wearer’s eyes relatively open. This allowed for a wider range of vision, as well as an easier time breathing and communicating.
Aedan’s chest was covered by a decorative steel cuirass that overlaid his tunic; a dark-turquoise with resplendent white markings trailing up the two split ‘tails’ in back. Under this hardy ‘shell’, he wore an equally green gambeson which, along with his broad shoulders and spaulders, held the pelt of a white wolf aloft like a mantle. Descending both arms, were articulated couters along each elbow and at the wrists and hand were his metallic gauntlets and where there was no plate mail there was chainmail to cover. Aedan was also dressed in black leather leggings and thick leather boots. At his right side, his right arm hung off of his family sword. Anyone that truly knew the Coulters lineage would be able to spot the dark steel rose pommel encrusted with rubies, a hand guard that resembled a brier, and the thorny appearance wrapping its way in a spiral up the ricasso. It was the one thing he could not hide and the sword was large, larger than most knights’ longswords, though, not quite as big as a Scottish Claymore.
The sword was called Cinthoric, and it had been in his family for ages since the First Crusade, perhaps even older.
"Land ho!" The lookout in the crows nest, England was just a few more moments away.
"Prepare the ship for docking, I wan no excuses like last time--make sure the damn cargo stays put until we are at a stand still!" The captain barked.
"Captain, I'd like to offer my gratitude if I may." Aedan had stepped away from his perch near the prow and sauntered over to the man who watched and made sure everyone was doing their duties.
The captain held up both hands as he turned to meet Aedan after looking down his spyglass. "You've already done me a great service when you let me keep my vessel even though you won it in that duel and again when you lent us a hand during that storm a few days back--I think it best if we call ourselves even if you really feel that strongly about it." The man said with a snaggletooth grin.
"Very well Captain," he lent the man his right hand. "It was a pleasure serving aboard your ship." Captain Ismot took Aedan's hand and shook it generously.
"Aye, it was a pleasure having ya aboard my fine ship. My crew are not going to know what to do without you or your stories." Both men chuckled as the first mate approached.
"Aedan, your boat is ready." The man then threw down a rope ladder along side the ships hull to a smaller vessel with four men aboard .
The Count nodded, stepping down from the quarter-deck and began his descent to the row boat. Once on board the men set about rowing the boat, using the tides to additionally aid in pushing them forwards. It took a good twenty minutes before the pulled up near enough to a pier that Aedan could disembark. He waved the men a goodbye before turning and facing the city; it had been nine long years since he'd last seen London. The smells, the sights, the sounds--brought his nostalgia to life. For a moment he paused, hearing about the coronation from the confines of the Vatican.
"Well, I suppose it's my duty to see her..." Aedan pondered.
Ricasso is an unsharpened length of blade just above the guard or handle on a knife, dagger, sword, or bayonet.
A couter is the defense for the elbow in a piece of plate armor. Initially just a curved piece of metal, as plate armor progressed the couter became an articulated joint.
Spaulders are pieces of armor in a harness of plate armor. Typically, they are a single plate of steel or iron covering the shoulder with bands (lames) joined by straps of leather or rivets.
A gambeson (or aketon or padded jack or arming doublet) is a padded defensive jacket, worn as armor separately, or combined with mail or plate armor.
Tartan is a pattern consisting of criss-crossed horizontal and vertical bands in multiple colors. Tartans originated in woven wool, but now they are made in many other materials. Tartan is particularly associated with Scotland. Scottish kilts almost always have tartan patterns. Tartan is often called plaid in North America, but in Scotland, a plaid is a tartan cloth slung over the shoulder as a kilt accessory, or a plain ordinary blanket such as one would have on a bed.
A full plaid is a long piece of tartan fabric, traditionally worn as part of a full highland dress uniform. It usually matches the tartan of the kilt. A full plaid is pleated the whole way, with half of its length sewn shut (so that the pleats cannot open). Its length is almost twice the height of the wearer (about twice the distance from the ground to the wearer's shoulder).
The bowsprit of a sailing vessel is a spar extending forward from the vessel's prow. It provides an anchor point for the forestay(s), allowing the fore-mast to be stepped farther forward on the hull.
A spar is a pole of wood, metal or lightweight materials such as carbon fiber used in the rigging of a sailing vessel to carry or support its sail. These include booms and masts, which serve both to deploy sail and resist compression and bending forces, as well as the bowsprit and spinnaker pole.
The quarterdeck is a raised deck behind the main mast of a sailing ship. Traditionally it was where the captain commanded his vessel and where the ship's colors were kept.
Forecastle deck- The foremost part of the upper deck under which the sailors have their berths, extending from the foremast to the bow.
Lord Cassius Sadon Crowley of South Hampton
Interacted with Queen Anne~ @Kythera
These bloody things last for for to long. One would think that standing would be something that one would get used to, but they never did. Cassius eyes fell upon the Queen . Their relationship had started secertly, when he was a mere member in her court, and slowly he had worked his way to where he was. She was was the Queen, but when it came to the Queen that too came with a price. Though he didn't care. She was a woman, and well a woman is a woman. They all feel the same under you. Though some better then others, and she was spectacular in that aspect. Oh, she wasn't his only nightly en devours. Cass had a many. But she topped the list. He was the lover of the Queen and well pretty much untouchable. Least that is what he thought. He pulled his mind back from his fantasies of what the night would entail. Cassius shadowed face smirked a bit, as he put his hand on the hilt of his sword. Then it seemed that all hell broke lose. Shouts and panic filled the room. Instantly he drew his sword, and made his way to the Queen, "Get her out of here!" he shouted over the sounds of screams, tramples and clashing swords. His sword swinging above his head as a man came at him. This lasted for several moments, his eyes still dancing around the fact that the Queen had better be out of the room. Once it was all done, several bodies laid at his feet. He kicked them with his boot, one letting out a grunt, as he plunged his sword into the mans chest. "Get this cleaned up!" He barked to some of the other men, and servants there were still in the process of comprehending everything that was going on. Cleaning his sword on the shirt of one of the dead assassins he made his way down to the coronation feast. He had to make sure that Ann was unharmed.
Finally he made his way to the feast, after stopping off to clean off his hands and change his clothes. Nothing like a fight to attempt to get your riled up for the nights events. His simpered expression tugged at his face as he saw her sitting there at the table. She looked a bit nerved racked, but who would be, attacked on their first day as officially being the Queen. But she was in good hands, in more then one way or another. Making his way across the room, he snatched a goblet off one of the silver trays that floated in the hands of the servats and took a drink, as he made his way over to his spot. Leaning down as he came to Anne, he whispered, "I find it pleasing that your not harmed." his breath lingering on her ears. His hand grasping her slender shoulder tightly, as he stood, and tossed her another smile, before he took his seat a few away from hers, he had made sure, it was close to her.
Princess Isabella Catiana of Arundel
Isabella awoke early in the morning as the glorious rays of a new day came to light ablaze within her quarters. A smile came to befit her small ruby lips as she stretched out like a sly cat in the comfort of her bed as the sheets rustled against the length of her . Today was a day in her mind that belonged to the unworthy to that of her dear older... Stuck up older sister , Anne. Anne had always been hard upon her in every way due to the main fact that she was the father's favorite even in his death. Anne would watch with great envy to the little girl that played about in the gardens with the great king as she and her mother would smile and let their laughter fill the space. Once in a while , she would glance over at Anne hard at work at her lessons with a stern and unforgiving look of sadness filled within her dark orbs. That had been the one time in her life where she felt the greatest of pity and sadness for the likes of Anne. She had lost her mother whilst she had her own . But , the main envy ushered forth from the admiration and true love that the King delivered more so upon Isabella than Anne in every way that he deemed possible. For a time , Isabella felt pity for Anne that she was slowly losing favor in her father's eyes. She mainly found it to be due to the fact , of a simple portrait that hung in the great hallowed halls of the castle. Bella quickly fell away from the memories at play within her mind as she watched several hand maidens enter her room to ready her for the grand day ahead.. For it was meant to be that of her own and with little to no doubt in her mind that one day it would be a great event for her.
With little to no ease , she dismissed the maidens with a flurry of her hand as she watched them all curtsy and walk out in a little huddle as the guards stepped back to usher them out from the confines of her bedroom. Isabella sighed in relief to be freed of them and their insentient talk and giggles whenever they wanted her to do foolish little new tricks being done all about Portugal and Spain among many a place. In an instant , she rose up from her seat and departed out the door's as the Guards fell into line behind that of her as they made grand preparations to leave her palace.
As they made their way out the doors , her darkened tresses flurried behind her in a radiant glow. Marianne , Maven and Josselyn fell into a steady walk behind that of Isabella as they walked with graceful ease to the carriage. Each of these girls held a key role in her court.. For example , Maven was her loyal and otherwise skilled maiden with many a feature that held a deadly key role in her presence and for that of her own well being.. Josselyn was an entirely different case.. Isabella feigned her faith and loyalty in the girl that she pretended to call her friend. At one point , she truly had been before falling into that of the Duke's scheming hands that had been plotting her untimely demise from the day they parted as being lover's in search of claiming an even greater prize that appealed all to well to them both. The Crown of England and the throne and lands that were deemed appropriate to the rightful ruler of the land. Joss was what one would call , a New Toy to what she had learned secretly of and to be honest it immediately shattered all once settled feelings and trust she once had in the girl now hidden behind a lie. As for Marianne well... She was a clueless yet sweet little klutz indeed. Oh yes , it was true but shockingly enough. Well , she adored and loved the klutzy little maiden that served her all to well.
Before she knew it , the carriage had come to a halt and broke her away from her thoughts as Marianne and the others departed from within to all but follow suit. The driver offered up his arm to that of her as she smiled her warmest smile to that of the man before resting her hands to the front of her gown and maneuvering inside. Everyone dipped into a bow or curtsy before that of her passing as her lips remained framed in a gentle smile as a fleeting look of mischief glinted about in her eyes. They took their stance as they watched Anne proceed forth as Bella shot her an overly dripping sweet smile to all but receive a frown unlike any other from her. This all but made Bella roll her eyes as she brought forth her fan to waves back and forth in quickened motions to hide away that of her current smirk from Anne. As the crown was about to be laid atop her head , several armed and angered men burst forth into the room in loud talk and chatter to all gathered. They yelled forth their death threats against Anne and than they uttered forth the key words that threw her into a state of shock. The True Queen of England? Did someone send for these men in her honor or more so to draw down ruination upon that of her name , title and house? How dare they , she muttered in her mind silently as her guards rushed forth to place a heavy guard down upon that of her and her maidens. Screams and fear flooded the room as true panic set in among the crowds gathered.. Her mouth quickly framed in cover to her lips as she watched one or two noble men be pierced with little to no hesitation before her eyes.. Men she had known growing up and to all but watch them be slaughtered and taken down. Without hesitation , Maven stepped forward and dove a blade quick into one of their guards shoulder's as he fell to the floor in pain grasping it firmly as she swung a heavy look at Maven instantly.
As Isabella prepared to talk to her and ask what the bloody hell was truly wrong with her.. She found herself being dragged forth and out from the Abbey as several ran out in fear behind them. Maven quickly hailed the carriage and ushered her inside with fluent ease. Quickly , she sat down with nimble ease atop the plush seating before her gaze traveled upwards to meet that of Maven's unwavering steady one. Before she knew it , Maven bowed her head immediately as she began to ask forgiveness from that of her . Isabella allowed for her brow to quirk curiously at the mere notion before slipping her fingers nimbly out to hook under Maven's chin and draw up her eyes to meet that of her own. Her own lips framed in a small steady line as her eyes glimmered with an internal smile to her loyal companion before her silken voice rang forward." Dear Maven , there is no need for you to bow your head before me in disgrace and shame. Nor will I accept that of an apology for risking your own life on a daily basis to ensure that of my well being. You are my clever dove and I truly would be lost without your aid and true amusement." A softened chuckle flowed forth from her now parted lips as she smiled to her dear friend whilst her fingers released that of her chin. It was than that Maven pondered to ask her at last if this had been her doing which all but settled in a furrowed frown." You know all to well that I am not foolish enough in my actions or in my mind to dare go about doing it that way. I did not order such an attempt upon that of Anne.. It is true I despise my sister with a firm hatred and due see her as unworthy. But , when it is her time to pass onto the sweet Lord above. I will see to it done in the silence or by that of my own hand to bare witness." Isabella looked to her with an honest yet strong expression to Maven before Maven set forth and delved her dagger over her shoulder to bare forth a wince to her features instantly. Her own features traveled forth and fell into a devilish grin unlike any other before taking up her own handkerchief to press against her wound with a hidden sly look to only Maven." Indeed , if I dared to do such a feat , why would they turn upon the one that hired them? I do believe it would be foolish to assume and believe in..."
Time passed from the carriage ride and before she knew it , she had departed and entered the grand feast halls. She was ushered forth to make her way to that of her seat near Anne as she smiled warmly to all in her passing as they bowed in respecting honor to her. With a slowed sway to her body , she maneuvered her way over to the table as several men stared down upon her as she all but offered up a coy smile to them as they grinned like the boarish fools they were. In an instant , she came in near to her seat by that of Anne as she dipped down lowly into a curtsy to her sister as her pearls dipped down into the well shown cleavage that remained in ample viewing. A few of the men at the table looked upon her in a lustful tone as she ignored them and smiled warmly to that of Anne instead. " Dearest sister , I am gladdened to see you in fine health and safe from harm. Father would be so terribly proud of you for this and know I look forward to your reign and the ample opportunities it will offer forward in those times. Now , if only we could find a man not fearful of you to marry." A mere smirk marked her lips before nodding to Anne and taking a seat down at her marked placing. In the moment , her gaze flitted back over to that of her ladies maids. She smiled warmly to all of them with a brief wave in acknowledgement to them as they were already seated for the feast. Her gaze lit to all at the table as she pressed her wine glass to that of her ruby lips and awaited for the rest of the events to unravel whilst her mind began to slowly churn and plot with little to no reveal to the demise of Anne from the throne. Her thoughts carried on as she smiled warmly to Anne and tilted her glass briefly to her before sipping away at her drink once more as she rested back in her chair with seductive and regal ease in that present moment.
Interactions: Cassius @Pasi , Isabella @Shayla , Charles @Unbound , Balder @AceSorcerer
Mentions: Lucien @Prince Justin Perfection , Noah @derelict_lilyflower
Anne stood outside the enormous wooden doors to the feast hall, trying to command her heart to stop racing. An attempt on her life already at her own coronation? She could not believe it. People would say she was cursed, or incapable of holding the throne. Anne sighed, fingering the heavy cross that dangled from her throat. Of course they all whispered that already. A female monarch. No one believed she could do it. Now she began to doubt it, too. But no, taunted that wicked part of her mind that suspected everyone; this was not a curse or an omen. This was her damned conniving sister. She had heard the screams of the armed men. She had seen Isabella's little smirk as the attackers unveiled themselves. Anne had no doubt the brat was behind this. No doubt at all.
She smoothed her skirts impatiently, and demanded of the herald, "Are they ready yet?"
The herald bowed. "In a moment, Your Majesty. They are nearly all seated."
Anne pursed her lips and fixed her eyes on the bronze knobs that decorated the doors to the Hall. Such a simple design, she thought. Westminster Hall was only used for great State occasions such as this, but it was the plainest room in the palace, besides the servants' rooms. It was ancient, though, a piece of history. Anytime she entered the Hall she could feel her ancestors speaking to her, urging her to succeed, to honor her name. At last the herald nodded to the guards, who swung open both giant doors. The herald banged his scepter on the ground, all the voices in the Hall hushing and all eyes turning to Anne, magnificently framed in the doorway. She drew herself up, feeling the weight of the new crown on her head. She had exchanged all the official coronation jewels for those custom made for her smaller size, and now felt a bit more able to hold up her head high and represent the Crown.
"Presenting Her Majesty, Queen Anne of England and of France and Lady of Ireland!"
Anne walked sedately up the center aisle, nodding to nobles on either side of the Hall as she passed. She could feel the fear in many of their gazes. Even though everyone seemed to have silently agreed to move on with the ceremony as if nothing had happened, the attack still clearly weighed on each guest's mind. Anne tried to make her expression project calm control, but she doubted it would help.
Her only unfeigned smile was for her favorite knight, Sir Balder. He had been part of her personal guard of knights as a Princess, before he returned to the war in France. She was glad to have him back at her side. He was one of the few people she felt she could really trust here.
At last she reached the head table, which, in a moment of fancy, appeared to her to be a den of snakes. The French Ambassador, who had relayed his Prince's letter of betrayal, toasted her ironically as she approached. The Duke of York smiled smoothly, a smile she was certain hid hatred and plotting. Her sister, with her deceptively sweet expression, was the most treacherous snake of all. Anne stood behind her seat, grasping the back of the chair with white knuckles as she listened to Isabella's ironic toast. She managed a thin smile through the first part, but her lips twisted with hate and her grey eyes flashed when Isabella reached her hope for her sister's marriage. Anne forced an expression that vaguely resembled a smile back on her face as she raised her glass to her sister. "Not to worry, Isabella - I won't forget you in my search for husbands. I'm sure I can find you a perfect match." Her lips curled ironically and she drank from her goblet.
The meal was elaborate and expansive. Every known delicacy was offered to the tables, and the wine flowed endlessly. Anne at sparingly, her stomach still fluttering from the events of the day. She was reaching for a roll when a low voice whispered seductively in her ear, "I find it pleasing that you're not harmed." Anne flushed, and half-turned her head to see Lord Cassius behind her. She shot him a look that she hoped spoke volumes as he squeezed her shoulder and moved to his own seat. That mistake was over. He just did not seem to believe it. She sighed, knowing she would have to speak to him. In naming him to a high position in her court he might feel she meant to continue their... liaison. But she had no intention to do so. She knew very well she was not the only lady who had shared his bed, and she had no intention to be one of many as Queen. It was too demeaning.
Once the servants had cleared all the food, Anne turned to her herald and nodded. He banged his scepter again, and talk throughout the Hall slowly hushed. Anne stood, raising her goblet.
"To the people of England, France, and Ireland, let this day be a day of celebration of the strength, unity, and glory of our great nation and of the English people!" She toasted her glass to the hall, and took a small drink. Setting the cup down, she continued. "I hereby name the Officers of the Royal Household. As Lord Steward, I name Noah Seraphim, Duke of Cambridge." She looked around the Hall with sharp eyes, but she had not seen her father's cousin at the ceremony. Narrowing her eyes, she tapped on the table with impatient fingers. Why was her family always late to everything? "As Lord Chamberlain, I name Charles of Lancaster," she continued, voice tightening. She nodded to her uncle, also at the high table, and he nodded in return. "As Master of the Horse, I name Lord Cassius Crowley." She nodded to him stiffly, daring him to view her as anything but his Queen.
"Finally," she said, picking up a gigantic golden gauntlet from the table, and raising it high for the whole Hall to see. "As the Queen's Champion, I name Sir Balder Monk, Knight of the Realm of England and proven defender of the throne." She could hear shocked murmurs roll throughout the hall, but her eyes flashed and her chin tilted up. It was unusual, but not forbidden, to name a commoner Champion. The nobles would naturally balk and whine, but Balder was the only one she could truly trust for the position.
The herald banged his scepter on the ground as Sir Balder approached the table. The herald's voice rang out clearly throughout the Hall. "If any person, of what degree soever, high or low, shall deny or gainsay our Sovereign Lady Anne, Queen of England and of France and Lady of Ireland, daughter and next heir unto our Sovereign Lord the last King deceased, to be the right heir to the Royal Crown of this Realm of England, or that she ought not to enjoy the same; here is her Champion, who saith that he lieth, and is a false traitor, being ready in person to combat with him; and in this quarrel will adventure his life against him, on what day soever he shall be appointed."
Balder rose from his sweat as his name was called, the murmurs of the court abound as they whispered in tones of disbelief and accusation. After all, why shouldn't a knightly gentleman submit to the son of some overbearing lord who has held a blade less times than he has fingers on one hand. But the Champion and Lord Commander, however, kept his head high. After all, the reason for discord was not the fact a commoner was appointed Champion, but that be as also doubly appointed to the position of Counselor and to the highest office of military command- the position of Lord Commander (or Constable as some called it)- which was usually reserved fror some relation of the monarch or whichever noble had performed meritorious service.
Therefore, it could be somewhat understandable as to the nature of the nobles' displeasure.
But, regardless, the knight made his way to the back of the hall, wherein he uncorked a ceremonial wine that began to age the day Henry VI, Anne's father, was coronated and poured it into a simple golden goblet. By this point, Balder wore his armored gauntlet on his left hand, and once the goblet was filled he took it, holding it at both sides, the rim just below his neckline as her turned and walked towards the head table, where in there was a small oaken pedestal, no more than a cubit in length on each side. He stopped before it, needing not to speak, but to act.
First he placed the goblet in the center of the table, the wine in the center rippling as he set it down. Next, he took his gauntlet, ceremoniously removing it from his left hand until it was wholly grasped in his hand. Then, the Champion raised it above his head, throwing it to the ground in a striking sound simulating savagely smiting one who impeded the honor of another. With this action, he became Champion, for no longer did he defend his honor alone, but the honor of his queen. His next action was to draw a dagger from his belt, a common soldier's knife. He then, in his left hand, raised it high and stabbed it into the table. With this he became Lord Commander, by doing as he would to command his troops to embark on a great assault. He then, with both hands, grabbed the goblet. He then raised it high, after which he brought it to his lips and took one drink of the wine. After this he walked to the head table and genuflected, presenting it to none other than his queen. It would then be time for her drink the remainder of the draught, from thereon out Balder would also be Counselor, his fate in all three regards forever bound to that of his queen.
As such he genuflected again until she welcomed him, after which he rose up and joined the head table in the empty seat that was next to his queen.
Lady-in-Waiting to Princess Isabella - #68a36d
Interactions: Josselyn @Pasi ; Maven @Ritual Lobotomy
Mentions: Isabella @Shayla Balder @AceSorcerer
Marianne watched in awe as the Queen gave her speech and named her champion. It was quite an elaborate little ceremony, like a dance between the Queen and her knight. She thought she saw the Queen's eyes soften as she looked at Sir Balder, but perhaps she was just imagining things. The Princess's face, on the other hand, had a sweet smile permanently plastered on it, a look that Marianne knew was concealing her inner turmoil. She did not really understand why Isabella disliked her sister so much, for she had never so much as spoken to the Queen herself, but that their relations were tense, at best, she was well aware. It was not in Marianne's nature to dislike anyone on sight, but she felt that her love for the Princess did make her secretly biased against this other woman.
When the Queen named her Champion, Marianne heard a hushed murmur ripple through the hall, and looked around, confused. She was not familiar with the man, or the protocols involved in his new office, but clearly something about this appointment had upset the masses. Marianne leaned closer to Lady Josselyn, blue eyes wide in confusion. "What is it?" she asked, in a hushed whisper. "Why don't they like Sir Balder?" Josselyn was so much more experienced at court and with the nobility than Marianne, and she often found herself asking the older woman for advice and explanations of people's strange behavior at court.
After the appointments, talk resumed throughout the Hall. There would likely be musicians and maybe other interesting performances shortly. Marianne took advantage of the atmospheric noise to whisper loudly down the table to Maven. "Do you know anything about that attack?" she asked, a naively curious expression written across her young face. Maven was just a maid, but Marianne had quickly discovered that she knew more about the Princess's secrets than any other mere maid. She had walked in on a secret council between Maven and Isabella once, discussing matters that had nothing to do with cleaning or clothes. She had no idea what Maven's role really was, of course, nor did she really care. She was perfectly happy to continue acting like Maven was a typical maid, except when she wanted to know something. Marianne could be a bit nosy at times - she just loved to know all the secret goings on of people at court. Unfortunately, she was usually too clueless to figure them out on her own, so she tended to be the last person to know any rumors or hidden relations.
Interacted w/ Marianne @Kythera
Mentioned: Lucian Plantagenet @Prince Justin Perfection
Josselyn's eyes scanned the room for Lucian, and she spotted him. Though he was sitting with his wife, she couldn't help but connect her gaze to him. Biting the side of her lip as she chewed on the side of her nail. It had only been a day or so, but it was to long. This thing needed to be over. Her eyes glistening a bit, as she took a sip of her goblet, her fingers running over the rim of the glass, as she let out a sigh. The food had been good, but it was dessert she wanted. Her lips twisted a bit, and nodded as the servants cleared the table, the sound of the ceptar banged on the floor and her attention came off of her lover, and then the Queen. Josselyn had grown used to such things. She loved the woman, but sometimes the formalities of it all was dull. Giving her a small smile and nod she leaned back to the fullness of her chair and relaxed. As the Queen Anne went down her lists of her choices, she took a sip, but then when she came to the Queen Champion, the entire room, including herself, nearly spit out her drink. Wait he wasn't noble... he was a mere commoner! She could tell that she wasn't the only one that was taking my surprise for the whole thing. Why in the world would the Queen do such a thing. Surely it would be Cassius. Every knew of their entanglement, he was know for a lose sort, but since being with the Queen he had not been. Joss turned her face to Cassius and the glare the Queen was receiving was one to kill. Josselyn winced. "That's not going to be good." she whispered under her breath. IT got even worse and the mummers grew as he made his way to the head table and took a seat, '"What is it?" "Why don't they like Sir Balder? Josselyn turned to the younger woman, "Well lets just say that that's now at all who everyone expected. He is a commoner, not of nobility, everyone knows that the Queens Champion is of nobility." she whispered to the other maid. Still in shock about, it she took another quick drink off her wine, and stole another off a tray as it came by.
Interactions: Queen Anne @Kythera; Lucien, Duke of York and Hilda @Emi
Noah folded his arms, irritated. It was the coronation of his dear cousin Anne, and he was unable to reach her. It seemed he had arrived too late to the ceremony and, for some reason, the guards were preventing his access. Noah feared that there might have been a reason to their reluctance, perhaps an attempted assassination in the midst of the ceremony. He couldn't be sure, but he was assured by the knowledge that it couldn't have succeeded, or else there would be ensuing chaos visible to him.
As he began to grow impatient, a single guard approached the guards who had refused to allow him to pass, and whispered something in his ear. He couldn't quite make out the words, but whatever they had been, it had caused the guards to shift around for a moment, before uneasily turning to face the young duke.
"Her Highness has named you Lord Steward, it appears," the guard remarked, stepping aside to allow Noah to pass.
"Lord Steward?" Noah frowned. It was an unexpected honour, yet a welcome one. Walking past the man who had just spoken, he followed the other guard into the building. His mind paced about as he wondered why he would be regarded as worthy enough to hold such an honour, but his thoughts changed once he had arrived at the hall. He spotted Anne first. She looked as regal and as majestic as he could have possibly imagined. He approached her, and knelt, as he felt he was obliged to do as he had once done for her father, the late King Henry VI.
"Apologies for my tardiness, Your Majesty," he said with a smile, taking her hand and kissing it. His thoughts turned quickly to his suspicions of his late cousin's death, but he decided to edge these thoughts out for now. He would find audience with her later, perhaps. "I look forward to serving you."
Standing, he took his leave, observing around him in order to spot an empty seat. He found one and headed to it promptly, taking his seat beside the Lady Hilda Plantagenet, wife of the Duke of York, Lucien Plantagenet.