A Chaotic Arrangement!!!

A Chaotic Arrangement!!!

An arranged marriage story with a twist (Private Story between Stealthpanther and Firewind)

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The Story So Far... Write a Post » as written by 2 authors

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Robin Grey Character Portrait: Sera Lillian Hawkhall Character Portrait: Kezia Hawkhall Character Portrait: Navarre Ardelean

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Sera's suggestion that his cousin had brought an extra pie just for throwing was nearly enough for him to curse out loud, not believing the man was so childish, but not totally dismissing the possibility either. And if by some small chance he had fully intended on throwing dessert, than it was even more infuriating to be of any blood relation to the other male. But, to be honest, Navarre hadn't actually paid much attention to how many of what dish was upon the serving cart. The prince took a sip from his goblet, rolling his eyes at the thought. "If that was indeed the case, then he would be an even greater fool than I thought." he remarked, picking his fork back up to finish his food. "His father was a scoundrel, but he wasn't a complete buffoon. I can only hope this new earl provides some modicum of improvement. Thusfar, he has yet to demonstrate he is a better man." Navarre remarked, wondering just how on earth this mercenary planned on behaving as a member of the ruling class?

The prince almost smiled as his intended visibly perked up upon taking a bite of the chocolate torte. Inwardly, he had been just as delighted at the food, and it was kind of endearing to see the countess's own pleasant surprise. He nodded in agreement at Sera's desire to give praise to the chef. It was good. "I confess, the earl may have a better chef than even our own back at the palace..." he admitted off-handedly, finishing his dessert and finally done for the evening. Navarre sat otherwise in silence, watching Sera and waiting for whenever she was done to escort her to her room. After all, he was still a gentleman, a prince. He wasn't about to forget his manners.


Arching her brow slightly, Kezia had half a mind to say that such terms could often be used to describe someone who was immature, though she kept the thought to herself for now. "I see..." was all she could manage without running the risk of letting her mouth run away with her. It would, sadly, not have been the first time.

Gavin's interruption was a welcome one, and the mention of a bath made her want one as well.

"Of course my lord. The vacant rooms in the servants' wing have already been prepared for their arrival." Gavin assured with a slight bow, turning to get started filling the tub. He paused at the sigh, gracing his new master with a sympathetic glance before it became sympathetic towards the new help. A troubled young woman? The poor thing! He'd have to make sure the others knew to be patient with her.

"I shall personally be sure to check in and make sure she is well. And should she need anything, I'm sure Myra would be more than happy to show her the ropes around here." Gavin added before excusing himself to ready the bath for Robin (and his guests, should they need it).

The countess vaguely wondered if the one called Kira was the nervous looking maid dusting portraits in the hall upon the arrival of herself and her sister. Certainly fit the description, seeming to be new to the castle and anxious to boot. "Was she dusting earlier?" she found herself wondering, before tilting her head slightly at Robin's sigh. She remained silent at his musings, not entirely sure she agreed with his view of how tragedy behaved. Thankfully, she was stranger to such things (aside from being in an arranged marriage NOT of her choosing- that could also be a tragedy!), so how was she to know?

It seemed her intended was done for the evening, and Kezia debated for a moment if she was to curtsy or not. Well, he wasn't royalty, and they had already made introductions. Besides, he was being fairly informal, so no sense. She did wonder if he actually wanted to get to know her, or if he was just saying so? But a nagging in the back of her mind reminded her that she did at least agree to try to talk to the man per her sister's request. In any case, they were stuck here for a while as arrangements were discussed anyways, and it was something to do. "Yes. I shall see you tomorrow Lord Robin." she said, lifting her skirt slightly so she could make her way back to the quarters she had been given. "Thank you for your hospitality. And I urge you not to wait too long to apologize to my sister." Kezia couldn't help but feel a hint of a smile at the thought of her sister actually mad at someone. "Good night sire."

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Robin Grey Character Portrait: Sera Lillian Hawkhall Character Portrait: Kezia Hawkhall Character Portrait: Navarre Ardelean

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Sera finished her dessert happily and wiped her mouth afterwards. “Well, I’d best head to bed, Shall you escort me to my chambers your highness?” She asked expecting him to escort her and waited for him to do so before heading off to rest from the night’s debacle.


“Very well, I’ll Leave you to it Gavin.” Robin said. He turned to Kezia who decided to head for bath and bed as well. He nods at both. His mouth twitching at how he shouldn’t wait too long to apologize. “Yes, I shall not wait long. Good night, myilady.” He affirmed and waited for her to leave. When she did, he turned around and only commented this about what happened.

“That went well.” He muttered as he prepared for his own bath.


The next morning had Robin apologize profusely to Sera, who only raised her hand to make him stop and say “Just never do it again, but if you must, hit yourself with it.” She said, both accepting it and insulting him at the same time.

“Oof, Alright then..” is what the servants heard on the matter.

The rest of that morning was... somewhat uneventful for Robin as it consisted of mainly seeing how his friends were adjusting to living in the manor. He currently was looking for a moment to rest and have have lunch as the noonday sun hovered in the air. He lounged in a chair situated in the garden, looking out at the flowers and small trees, and observed the trail that lead to a spot near the forest, which seemed to be a bright meadow with a hill for picnic purposes.

“I’ll have to jot that down on my list of things to try out with Lady Kezia.” He muttered to no one in particular.

“I’m sure a picnic would be nice Captain sir.” Gaston said, startling the young earl out of his wits!

“Gaston! What the hell?!”

“I brought lunch. Larry made his best one, beef roast and assortment of vegetables.” Gaston explained. “Was I interrupting your planning sir?

“No, no I’m fine. Just had a rough day yesterday.” He muttered.

”Rough being the understatement...”


Sera in the meantime was lounging on the balcony that rested outside her bedroom, with a small table and a plate of meat and vegetables neatly cut for lunch. “What a pleasant day. I wonder how communications with my Lord Husband to be will go today.” She mused aloud, wondering ifmher sister was nearby, as she took a bit of meat and nibbled it lightly.

“Where did the Earl get such a talented cook?” She mused again, this time in her head.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Robin Grey Character Portrait: Sera Lillian Hawkhall Character Portrait: Kezia Hawkhall Character Portrait: Navarre Ardelean

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A crumpled piece of parchment hit the floor of Navarre's bedchamber for the fifth time that morning. Letting out a frustrated huff, the prince scowled at his so far failed attempts to satisfactorily transcribe his thoughts on this whole affair. Having his brother's message delivered by his bastard cousin the night prior had been the current breaking point thusfar, and Navarre intended to make his opinion very clear to the king. This was insulting! While his intended seemed as good a match as any, the mere idea of being instructed to engage in a political marriage without any discussion was practically offensive in his eyes. Yes, Navarre knew he would most likely marry a woman that would provide some political benefit (or good breeding at the very least), but he had anticipated at least having some part in the decision regarding what alliance was strengthened or created by his nuptials. Instead, the first alliance his newly crowned brother would forge was going to use HIM as the offering! Damn stupid git.

Navarre wrote several more pieces of correspondence, his frustration mounting even more as he inwardly cursed his sudden inability to write a simple letter- something he usually had no difficulty with. Aside from his script being less elegant than the others in his family (a minor detail, obviously), the royal was no less adept at such common practice as the king. Even so, three more mangled pieces of parchment were flung to the floor before Navarre was finally sufficiently satisfied with his letter. It was worded with proper poise and eloquence, but the anger was evident. He made it clear that he would fulfill his obligation, but he was not pleased about how it had been decided. In the future, he expected the king to commit to a similar sacrifice, or repay his obedience in some significant manner. After all, why should only one of them submit to the specific obligations of nobility?

'I trust you understand that I will submit to my royal duty as it is expected of me; however, do not assume I go forward without grievance. To use me as a pawn without first doing me the courtesy of a discussion regarding such arrangements is an insult I do not take lightly, even from you. Many alliances and unions will undoubtedly be built or fortified over the course of your reign; hopefully you will not come to regret trading away your ace so early in the game.
I'm sure that when the time comes for you to be bound by duty to serve crown and country with a union, it will be as well decided as the choosing of my own betrothed."

Several lines later, he bid his brother good health, and signed the bottom just a few scribbles away from needing to re dip his quill. As soon as the ink had dried, he carefully folded the parchment and sealed it with wax, the insignia on his ring indicating him as the sender. Now all he needed to do was figure out who the earl had for a courier.

Tucking the letter away in the poke of his doublet, the prince set out to fetch himself some lunch. It wouldn't do to have both breakfast and lunch delivered to his quarters- he was not an invalid!

After a rather satisfying meal, Navarre ended up pacing the grounds of the estate in some attempt to distract himself from his annoyance. He headed outside to get some fresh air when he was struck with the desire to go hawking. Yes, that was always a pleasant pastime, and should he catch something worth eating, then he wasn't above giving it to the cook or having the servants prepare it for the royal hounds. Plus, extra servings for Tuula.

Navarre stopped mid-step, frowning in distaste. He couldn't very well go hawking without his northern goshawk, Tuula. Dammit all! How was he supposed to occupy himself?

About to make his way back inside to search for a book or some other distraction, he caught sight of none other than his bastard cousin. The imbecile. Despite his feelings regarding the man, Navarre approached the mercenary without the slightest hesitation.

"Cousin, I have need of a courier, who delivers messages for you?" he asked simply, still silently seething at the absence of his hawk (and by proxy, one of his favorite hobbies). As his mind drifted to other pastimes and the more enjoyable methods of socializing when the time called for it, he finally came up with a worthwhile activity. "Have you any parlor games?" the prince asked, wondering if Robin was familiar with such things as chess, backgammon, and the like...


Kezia was not a morning person. Never had been.

The first morning at castle Fallvale was no exception, and for the first two hours after waking, the younger countess bore a frown upon her face. Sleep had been fine, of course, but being hungry and in a semi-conscious haze did nothing to soothe her irritable morning demeanor. And how come others said they woke up feeling 'refreshed'. Were they crazy, or was it possible? All she ever felt was groggy! Kezia pouted as she shuffled to get up and take care of the usual morning routine.

By the time she had gotten properly dressed, the countess's breakfast had arrived and cooled considerably (though it still retained some warmth, it was now cool enough that the butter would not melt on the bread). Kezia ate it anyway before making her way out towards her sister's designated quarters.

She spent her morning convening with Sera and brushing her hair (in the hopes that the favor would be returned- as it was such a soothing feeling to have her hair played with), and her mood slowly improved. When the servant brought a lunch tray for Sera, the poor thing seemed a bit anxious upon noting Kezia's presence- recalling how irritable the noble was that morning upon receiving breakfast. With a slight bow, Myra assured the two that she'd bring a second lunch so the sisters could dine together.

Nibbling on a piece of beef roast, Kezia looked out over her sister's balcony to see what view she had. "I still can'e believe father thought that common thug would suit me! Even if he is the best there is, he's still not even a proper knight! I thought he'd want better for me." she lamented, finishing the thought in her head. 'Not a real knight like sir Malchior...and not even an earl! He has to accept the title, but he doesn't even seem eager to do that!' She sighed, her thoughts running away with her again.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Robin Grey Character Portrait: Sera Lillian Hawkhall Character Portrait: Kezia Hawkhall Character Portrait: Navarre Ardelean

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He heard Navarre coming. He seemed to be his usual one eyed grouchy mood, or maybe it was the fact he probably wasn’t a morning person. “Of course I have couriers cousin.” Robin replied to the first question first. “Any letters can go to them. Fallvale needs several as it keeps an eye on the borders up north. Any news up there, we will get.”

At the second question he pondered a bit before smirking. “Bored already? I suppose a game wouldn’t hurt, Gaston. Fetch my chessboard. And the card deck too if you find those.” The servant gave a nod and left for his chambers. “My grandfather Lonán loves to play so I learned from him. I’m not too much an expert though so, the game might be shorter then I hope.”

In less then five minutes, the chessboard was brought and set up as the Earl was now sitting at the Black side of the chessboard. He extended his hand to Navarre. “You may have the white faction Prince Cousin.” The moment Navarre sat he added. “So, how’d first impression night go? I’ll admit th stunt I pulled wasn’t my best moment of the night. I’m sure it gave you and Lady Sera loads to talk about however.”

This was how he got comfortable in chess. And reflected how he was a mercenary. He wasn’t just some brainless fool with a sword (unlike a certain swordsman of a cousin in his other’s side.), he was a tactical mind that loved to improvise and adapt. And psychologically, he’d try to mess with his opponent.

He hoped his cousin was resilient on the chessboard.


Sera hummed at Her sister’s statement. “Father played a tough gamble. If it were anyone else dear sister, I think one of the Duchesses would have suited nicely for him. Certainly she’d be as docile and ignorant as the previous Lady of Deepwolf.” She said, recalling how sour the late Earl’s lawful wedded wife had to suffer through her husband’s womanizing. “Indeed Kezia, you’d certainly deserve better sometimes, but I feel given time, the new Earl can shape into something better then he is now. And even if he were a proper Knight, I can guess he’d still have issues.”

She sighed. “We’ll see how the next few weeks go dear sister. As for Father however, i’m certain he had his reasons for not allowing one of the other eligible women claim the earl.”

As she spoke, around the time it would take for Myra to bring the second Tray of food, there was soft humming as Kira entered the room with fresh bedsheets, probably to change Sera’s. The young maid set about to doing just that. The process seemed to go as smoothly as it could, until she got to pulling the mattress sheet off. When she peeled off a corner, all of a sudden the whole sheet sprang off and covered the poor brunette maid who gave a surprised yelp.

This was followed by a soft and slightly disheartened, “Darn it... how could this get worse?” Kira thus pulled off what was covering her face before pale blue eyes widened at The two countesses, even becoming as pale as a sheet of paper. “Ah! F-forgive my clumsiness!” She shouted, obviously scared for her life now.

“Oh dear..” is all Sera could say about the situation.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Robin Grey Character Portrait: Sera Lillian Hawkhall Character Portrait: Kezia Hawkhall Character Portrait: Navarre Ardelean

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The prince was glad to hear that Robin was at least prepared and understanding of how information got around in his newly acquired territory. "Good, I shall have need of one. I would like you to fetch them for me when they next come around." he informed his cousin, glad this bit of business was over with. Now to find out where he kept parlor games (thankful he even knew of such things) so he could go and gather them-

Before he had a chance to say anything further on the matter, Navarre realized with a sinking dread that not only was a game fetched, but it was now being set up without his input! The nerve of this bastard earl! Going over the phrasing in his mind, he inwardly cursed at the inquiry sounding too vague and general- open to interpretation. Somehow this buffoon got it into his head that he wanted to play a game with him. Dammit all! He had no desire to sit and socialize with his idiotic cousin. He only wanted to have something to do should he attempt to acquaint with his betrothed. After all, they did need to interact at some point, and he found conversation far more appealing if there was an activity to occupy the time as well. Such methods were particularly welcome when breaking the ice or if he found himself stuck with tedious or boring conversation (and individuals). It was a medium through which he preferred to converse and socialize through. Parlor games, hawking, hunting, and exercise were all better than just straight up conversation. Besides, even if someone he enjoyed speaking with was present, it gave them a fall back topic.

Instead, he was going to be facing his bastard cousin of all things! Here he had meant to try and find a game that a noble lady would be familliar with (hopefully Sera knew more than just checkers), yet he was stuck pissing about with Robin. Bloody fantastic.

All but glaring at the board, Navarre nevertheless gave a curt nod to indicate he was fine with having the white pieces. He didn't particularly give two shits what side of the board he was on, so long as he won. Only half listening to the new earl, the prince moved his first pawn, hoping this would be a fast game. True, he enjoyed a challenge, but he wasn't looking to play with Robin. Navarre was more of an offensive player, aggressive in his tactics, and he vaguely wondered what sort of player this mercenary was. Glancing up and acknowledging his cousin's presence at last, Navarre debated answering the man. Visible eye watching Robin like a hawk, he finally deemed the man worth a response.
"Obviously it wasn't. For your sake, I hope it was the worst." he remarked, truthfully wondering if it was possible for the mercenary to make an even bigger fool out of himself than he had last night. Sadly, he surmised it was a distinct possibility.

"It went about as expected, save for your spectacle. A waste of perfectly good food might I add." the older male frowned slightly, lacing his fingers under his chin. "Shame to treat food from a chef who might even be superior to that of the king in such a manner. Quite insulting." Another move from him, and he nodded, this time almost smirking.

"Your turn again, dear cousin."


Sera's words did little, if anything, to assuage her current dismay. Kezia folded her arms over her chest, sighing as she felt her mood sink even more. It took considerable restraint to keep from pouting, and it was all she could do to maintain proper composure. It was all well and good that the new earl could become something better, but that didn't make him magically worth being her suitor. Having issues would still be more permissible in a proper knight! But no, even her dearest Sera didn't seem to see how unfair it was. Her beloved sister even dared to say she deserved better sometimes. The words hurt more than she cared to admit. Kezia gazed sullenly over the balcony, taking in the view from her sister's room.

Her brooding was finally interrupted as a panicked shout registered in her ears, prompting the younger countess to turn and see what on earth had possibly gone wrong now. To her surprise, she saw none other than the nervous looking maid from the evening prior covered in...Sera's bedsheets?

"What on earth...?" she asked, her current thoughts blatantly vocalized.

At that moment, Myra returned with a second tray of food for Kezia, and she likewise froze upon entering the room, eyes following the countesses' gazes until they landed on one poor serving maid. One of the new ones, Kira!

Quickly regaining her wits, Myra placed the tray of food down beside the existing one before approaching the sheet-covered young woman. Without missing a beat, she lifted the tangled mess from the younger female with a smile, trying her best to shield Kira from the nobles.
"You all right there? Come now, it's ok, happens to everyone when they are first learning..." she assured Kira, taking the bedding and folding it into a manageable pile. "Here, would you be able to replace her bedding while I organize her pillows and the quilt?"

Giving a curtsy to the countesses', Myra tried not to look too much at Kezia's face as she addressed them in an effort to placate the two. "Forgive the disturbance my Ladies Hawkhall, we shall be finished in but a few moments, so please pardon the intrusion just a bit longer."

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Robin Grey Character Portrait: Sera Lillian Hawkhall Character Portrait: Kezia Hawkhall Character Portrait: Navarre Ardelean

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Robin’s eyebrow twitches at his cousin’s response. He merely wanted to try and have a better rapport with his cousin. But it seems all this game is going to be is an intensely... interesting one to say the least. He began to make his move, beginning to try and use a strategy he was taught.

“Larry has dealt with worse but he’s the most skilled chef I do know.” He stated as he moved his pawn.


“Oh don’t worry dear it’s nothing trifling.” Sera said with a slightly amused smile. Kira simply focused on the task at hand as she did as she was asked. She only gave Myra small nods and small, somewhat sad looking smiles to try and wave off any concerns for her. By the time she was done Kira gave a small curtsy and exited the room in a hurry. She wanted to just find a place to hide and a small task to get her mind off it. If not those things, then go to her room and quietly cry herself into a nap.

This was a new home, she didn’t want to screw up anything for herself or any of the people she treated like family or friends.

Meanwhile Sera decided she was bored and decided to finish her meal then look for her betrothed and maybe get to know him further.


The game almost took the space of fifteen grueling minutes. As pieces were sacrificed, Robin felt all that needed to be done now was for one of them to be put into checkmate. But now it was a matter of who would get the checkmate, and who’d be the losing side.

“So this is where you are, warming your skills up before facing me?” The voice startled Robin but he knew who it was truly directed at. Lady Sera, warming up for a word fight along with a chess match.

“And with that, I feel that I am the third wheel here.” Robin started with a small grin. “I concede to you cousin. You’d have got me in the next move anyway.” He got up, and reset the black side of the board before taking the card deck.

“He’s all yours Lady Sera.” He said as he walked to another part of the Manor. “I wonder if Gaston or Larry is up for Poker later tonight.” He mused to himself.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Robin Grey Character Portrait: Sera Lillian Hawkhall Character Portrait: Kezia Hawkhall Character Portrait: Navarre Ardelean

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Navarre said little as the game continued, simply evaluating his opponent's movements as well as his own options with each turn. The prince was especially keen on winning this match, loathing the idea of coming second to this bastard cousin in anything. No, he refused to come second to Robin! So far the game was pretty evenly matched, the new earl just barely behind. Irritating indeed. Navarre only vaguely registered Robin's response, but the earl's answer regarding the chef nearly made him lose his focus (along with his restraint- he'd no doubt start spouting his actual thoughts if he lost composure). Instead, he rubbed his temples with a free hand, inwardly praying for the poor soul of the chef who was plagued by such an idiot. The man had dealt with worse? What in the seven hells did the chef do to deserve serving such a master? 'If you care so little that you'd toss his food about like some imp, trade cooks with me!' the prince thought irritably, biting the retort back by sheer force of will. Now he was even more peeved, and he was all the more determined to vanquish his cousin on the chessboard.


Myra smiled at Sera, dipping into a slight curtsy as the noblewoman reassured her and Kira. She certainly liked this guest more than her sister; though to be fair, the younger lady hadn't exactly done anything particularly rude or threatening, she simply grumbled early in the morning. The maid swiftly took care of her half of the chores, sparing a glance every so often towards her newest coworker. The poor dear was maintaining composure, but her eyes were betraying far more dismay than she had anticipated.

As soon as the two were done, Kira hurried off even before Myra could suggest they take the dirty linens down to the wash. Looking concerned and slightly dumbfounded, the senior servant hurried to get the linens downstairs.

With a quick greeting and thanks to the servants down with the laundry, Myra rushed to find Kira, not about to leave a fellow servant in need and in distress. It took a good ten minutes, but she finally located the anxious young woman. "Miss Kira, ye shouldn't hide yourself. There is nothing to be ashamed of. Why don't we go down and have a snack after our work this morning? Besides, perhaps you can tell us about the new earl so we might tailor our chores and such to better accommodate his tastes and schedule." she suggested with a reassuring smile.


Navarre glared at the board as he and his cousin exchanged moves and eliminated piece after piece. The game wouldn't last much longer, and it was clear both nobles were equally skilled when it came to chess. Irritating! The prince enjoyed a challenge, but at this point in time, he'd rather just crush his opponent.

His glowering at the board was finally interrupted, prompting him to lift his head, ready to retaliate at the stupid earl. But it was his betrothed who had come between the game, and her presence was by far more welcome than the bastard's. Even so, he had a slight nagging irritation- he had yet to beat the fool! Ready to say as much, he was spared drwing out the match, glancing down once more as Robin conceded his defeat. It was true, that his next move would undoubtedly put Robin in check, and he would almost certainly be in checkmate within two to three more movements at most. Navarre was pleased to see he'd have won, though a small part of him was put out that he didn't get to finish the game and see the defeat play out. Shame.

At last, the prince glanced up to regard his intended, visible eye taking in her appearance with an ever so slightly arched brow. The lady seemed in decent spirits to be sure, and was that a challenge in her eyes? The prince inclined his head slightly in respect, finally able to brush the irritation called Robin from his mind.

"Good day my Lady Sera." he greeted, meeting her eyes with his own.


Kezia said nothing as she watched the flustered maid for a moment more, seeing it was being taken care of by the senior servant. She gave a nod to the apology from the one called Myra, then turned back to her sister and her lunch platter.

After about ten more minutes, the servants and now her sister had left the room to occupy themselves elsewhere, leaving the younger noble alone and rather put out. She nibbled the last of her food as she gazed out over the balcony at the grounds, feeling rather sorry for herself. She was stuck here because of some treaty and being instructed to marry a man not of her choosing. Her sister didn't seem to be as offended for her, nor did she suggest a mercenary was unsuitable to be the intended for a count's daughter! And now she didn't have anyone to keep her company. The lady finished her lunch before leaving her sister's suite (making sure to close off the balcony before doing so), deciding she might as well find some way to entertain herself. She did see a garden from her spot on the balcony, and it couldn't be that hard to find, surely? Mind made up, Kezia headed down to the first floor of the castle, making her way towards where she thought the gardens were. She wondered if the man had any peonies among his foliage? Hopefully at least some pink ones if nothing else- those were her favorite.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Robin Grey Character Portrait: Sera Lillian Hawkhall Character Portrait: Kezia Hawkhall Character Portrait: Navarre Ardelean

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Sera smiled, “Good day your Royal Highness, or may I greet you as Prince Navarre today?” She asked as she sat at where Robin was sitting moments before. “May I take the oppositions seat and ask to play a game with you? I assure you, I’m a bit of a better challenge then your Earl Cousin.” She gave a small smile, confidence gleaming in her eyes as she eyed her intended as she said this.


Kira heaved a sigh when Myra found her. She appreciated her concern, and nodded rather meekly as she asked about a snack from the kitchen. Oh yes, she remembered Larry took up the position so surely he’d have something to calm her nerves. He always did. As she walked with Myra she hesitated in her answer. “Well, Uhhh..I’m not the best person to ask such a question...you’d have to ask Teresa not me. But I know he likes to relax in the afternoon, so I think he goes to his study when He doesn’t think he’ll be entertaining guests.” She said quietly, rubbing her arm nervously as she heard a creak on the floor and thought someone was behind her. She took a breath, and quietly exhaled. It was just her mind playing tricks.


Long abandoning the idea of playing cards, Robin decided to visit the Gardens. One to see how well they’ve been tended and to find some blue roses to decorate his wing with, if any were in the garden that is. Taking a router from his wing To get to there, he’d be just now exiting the manor to reach the gardens. He’d walk by several beds, including Pink Peonies trying to find his roses, however he wasn’t sure where he’d find them, or if they were even in bloom. He heaved a sigh and simply became lost in his thoughts in the gardens as he looked at its beauty.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Robin Grey Character Portrait: Sera Lillian Hawkhall Character Portrait: Kezia Hawkhall Character Portrait: Navarre Ardelean

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Navarre arched a brow slightly at his betrothed, for a moment unsure if she was being snide or not in her question of how he was to be addressed. He didn't get the impression she was being rude, so he simply gave a barely perceptible shrug. "Both are acceptable, I leave it to your best judgement my lady." he advised, vaguely wondering which the lady would opt for. Most would go with the proper and expected 'your highness', but the Lady Sera had so far proven herself to not be quite like the the other noble women he'd met thus far. Of course, she could be just as cookie-cutter as the next lady once he got to know her, but he sincerely hoped not. He didn't want a wife with a head full of fluff and doilies.

His thoughts were thankfully cut short at her request, his brow arching even more at her bold statement. A better challenge than the new earl? The man was an idiot for sure, but he at least seemed to know his way around a chess board. While both sexes of nobility played the game, it was more popular among the men as far as he could tell. The women seemed to prefer games like alquerques or backgammon. Games of luck as well as skill. But, more importantly, her boast came without her knowing of his cousin's skill. Navarre said as much.
"A bold statement my lady, considering you have only just met the earl and I have reason to doubt you've seen him play." Idly, he rearranged the pieces to their starting positions, glancing over at Sera as he tried to guess at her response. Leaning back, the prince nodded to the board between them before his visible eye landed on Sera again. "However, as you wish, I am not against a match." Arms folded over his chest, Navarre looked on in expectation. "'Ladies first', I believe."

Myra nearly sighed, feeling bad for the obviously stressed out female beside her. Had she done something wrong? The servant tried again to reassure the newer member of the palace. "Don't worry, that's all really helpful for us." she said, offering a smile to Kira. "So, how do you like the place so far?"

A soft whistle grew steadily louder as Gavin made his way through the halls, stopping as he saw the two young women heading in the opposing direction. "Ah, morning! How go things on your end?" he greeted the two before turning to Myra. "Ye helping our new housemate?" he asked, proper speak dropped upon chatting with fellow servants. With a smile, he turned to face the newcomer in question. "Ye settling in alright miss? Anything troubling ye at all, let us know! Same with your other friends." Gavin jerked a thumb towards himself and Myra, grinning good-naturedly. The man didn't have a disingenuous bone in his body, and it showed. He wasn't merely being polite and nice out of any duty, but because he was a boisterous, good-natured fellow in general. Myra wondered if it was safe to be that damn jolly all the time. Well, at least he was happy.

Kezia wandered the gardens for another ten minutes, growing steadily more lost as she went. While the garden was well manicured, some of the trees were considerably tall specimens, canopies shading certain pathways. Several archway trellises were canvases with flowering vines, and some plants sat solitary in large porcelain pots. Still other flower beds were arranged in varying heights, showing off layers of color. Perfectly trimmed hedges stood tall and proud, pristine green walls protecting the beautiful flowers arranged within. She had already passed two fountains, and a pond as well. It was an impressive garden to be sure. Somewhat more natural than ones she had seen, but well trimmed and organized into an almost fanciful landscape.

An area of roses caught her attention, the young woman approaching upon seeing some rarer color varieties. There were the reds and pinks, but also peach and lavender, and...were those blue roses too? Kezia smiled, leaning close to inspect them and catch a whiff of their pleasant aroma. Her eyes closed on impulse as her nose barely grazed against the soft petals of the creamy rose she had leaned down to sniff. The soft perfume earned a sigh of contentment, and she didn't notice anything amiss until she opened her eyes.

There, on the flower directly behind the one her nose had just brushed against, was a single vibrant butterfly. The delicate wings opened slowly, gracefully, then folded back to their closed position. Mere inches from her face, a colorful wingspan, tiny body, and six spindly legs.

An insect.

Kezia jerked back as if burned by a hot coal, eyes wide in horror as a shrill scream escaped her lips.


Navarre looked up sharply, brows furrowed as a distant shriek reached his ears. It wasn't close per say, but it was definitely on the palace grounds. He lowered a hand to his left hip, ready to draw his blade should it be required. "Something's happened." he said simply, looking in the direction the sound had come from.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Robin Grey Character Portrait: Sera Lillian Hawkhall Character Portrait: Kezia Hawkhall Character Portrait: Navarre Ardelean

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Sera looked up from her move in the game when the scream occurred. She recognized the scream. She looked in the direction and then almost smiled calmly after the realization. “My sister, in the gardens. Heh. She must have encountered her phobia there. A harmless insect no doubt.” She said, a smile threatening to creep up on her face. “Let’s have the earl deal with her, our game shall see a winner.”

She was determined to show him what kind of a chess player she was as she made her next move!


Kira nodded with a small smile on her face. At least she accomplished something. When Gavin arrived she was almost startled. Even more so when he spoke, but it was in a tone and accent she was a bit familiar with. “W-Well, t-thank you. I’m just a bit nervous is all..” She admitted, feeling slightly embarrassed to admit it to a complete stranger.

She hoped the day would be over soon.


Robin admired the scenery briefly when he heard the scream. An intruder?! In the Manor?! He madly dashed towards the source of the scream, all the more determined to drive them out and rescue whoever the source of the scream was! He was the earl damn it! He had to set an example with sorting this intruder out! He ran through the paths towards the sound and arrived to see a peculiar scene.

His betrothed, white as a sheet, terrified beyond all comprehension, staring at what was quite possibly the cause of the scream. A single, small butterfly. He almost snorted out his laugh but held it in his throat. “I hear a scream in my manor, and find out it is not an intruder, but a little pollinator minding his own business.” He says, holding back a smile. “Well, other then scaring my betrothed half to death it seems.” He approached the butterfly first, lowered his hand and allowed it to crawl on his hand.

“You’d best head to another part of the garden my friend.” He said with a small smile, “Clearly your presence is needed in other places.” And with that, he let the butterfly go and looked at the blue roses. “Ah, my favorite roses! And here I thought I wouldn’t find any! I should thank you for your help milady, I would have never found them if it weren’t for you.”

He smiled at his betrothed with a grin, hopefully calming her down a bit.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Robin Grey Character Portrait: Sera Lillian Hawkhall Character Portrait: Kezia Hawkhall Character Portrait: Navarre Ardelean

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Gavin noted with some dismay that while the new member of the household was smiling, she certainly still seemed uncomfortable. Something was off. The brunette smiled in what he hoped was a reassuring manner. "Ah well, I'm sorry to hear it. I know you can't help yer feelings, but just let us know if we can do any'thin to make you feel better, yeah?" he said before rubbing the back of his head sheepishly, grinning all the while. "I mean, not like ye need to be nervous around the likes of us..."

"Especially the likes of you." quipped Myra as she struggled to hold back an amused smirk. Gavin was about as harmless as he was helpful and happy- almost unbearably.

"Oy! why you gotta slander me in front of all the new folk?" Gavin exclaimed, turning to his fellow servant with an exaggerated look of alarm.

Navarre was more than just a little surprised that his intended was so calm at the sound of a scream. Even more so when she seemingly was able to identify it so easily as none other than her sister. Glancing between Sera and the direction the scream had come from, the prince's brow went from furrowed to a slight arch. His betrothed didn't seem to be particularly bothered by not only the scream, but by what she assumed it was caused by.

"I see...well, if you are certain, my lady." he said, advancing a chess piece forward before regarding his betrothed. Mulling over her reaction, he found himself wondering over her amusement at her sister being fearful of insects.

"Does this mean my lady Sera does not have such an aversion?" he wondered aloud, curious what her response implied. After all, he himself knew many noble ladies who shirked at the sight of creepy crawlies (though he could not recall a single one of them screeching quite like that). But the lady Sera clearly said 'harmless insect.' It almost sounded as though such things were no big deal. He found himself secretly hoping this was the case. He didn't want a scaredy cat.

After a good 14 minutes, it became clear to the prince that not only were he and his fiance pretty evenly matched, but he was actually falling behind. At the current moment, he was losing to Sera. Prince Navarre considered himself a pretty good player, and he couldn't remember the last time he had ever actually lost.
Lips pursed, the dark haired male's visible eye scrutinized the board as he finished his next move.

Staring in horror at the loathsome creature that interrupted her enjoyment of the roses, Kezia almost didn't notice her intended's arrival until hearing his voice. The shaking female turned, glad to see the man for the first time since their arrival. Surely he would get rid of the thing and swat it away!

Her hopes were instantly squashed at his amused expression (though, to his credit, he was doing a better job at trying to restrain his laughter than most, her sister included), and his words would normally be enough to warrant a petulant glare. It didn't matter if it was minding it's own business- it should do that somewhere else! Why were bugs not more scared of humans- scared enough to keep away? And besides, the thing scaring her half to death should be more cause for concern and considered a bigger problem than he was making it out to be!

As she thought her situation couldn't get worse, the mercenary spoke kindly to the offending butterfly and lifted it up onto his hand with a gentleness that was rather unexpected. Her eyes widened even more and threatened to try and push forward in their sockets as she watched in horror, gaping at his display. It was only after the butterfly had made it out of sight that she returned her gaze to her chosen suitor.

And he was merely thanking her for finding the roses.

Not asking if she was alright. Not helping her up (she was ashamed to find she had fallen unceremoniously on her rump when she had recoiled from the object of her fear). Nor had he even made sure to properly rid the area of the butterfly in a way that would ensure it didn't come back. And to top it all off...

"Y-you touched it!" she sputtered in mortification.

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