0
followers
follow

Ingrid Jorvikdatter

I am no mere warrior, I am a weapon

504 views · located in Europa

a character in “The Prince and the Shieldmaiden”, as played by phoenixheart

Description




Image

β–‰__Ingrid__Jorvikdatter__β–‰
Image
Image
β—€β—₯
Image
{ Q U O T E }

"I am woman, here me roar"
-Helen Reddy


{ T H E M E S }

I Am Woman| Helen Reddy

Fight Song|Rachel Platten

I Will Not Bow | Breaking Benjamin


β—£β—’




β–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆ

❛__I___A M___W H O___I___A M__❜
β–„β–„β–„β–„β–„β–„β–„β–„β–„β–„β–„β–„β–„β–„β–„β–„β–„β–„β–„β–„β–„β–„β–„β–„β–„β–„β–„β–„β–„β–„β–„β–„β–„β–„β–„β–„β–„β–„β–„β–„β–„β–„β–„β–„β–„β–„β–„β–„β–„β–„β–„β–„β–„β–„β–„β–„β–„β–„β–„β–„β–„β–„β–„β–„β–„β–„β–„β–„β–„β–„β–„

β—€β—₯
Image β–“
β–’
β–“
β–’
β–“
β–’
β–“
β–’
β–“
β–’
β–“
β–’
β–“
β–’

Name:Ingrid Jorvikdatter
Title/or Moniker: Princess of Fjellborg, The Wolf
Gender Female
Age: 20
Species:Human
Class/Occupation:Shieldmaiden
Description: Ingrid stands at 5'6 and has a solid build, honed from her training as a shieldmaiden. While she lacks the height of a berserker, she certainly has their build. She has a mass of dark, unkept hair that she keeps off her face in braids and twists, and dark brown eyes. When it comes to dressing, Ingrid favours leathers and animal furs, typical of the warriors she runs with.



β–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆ

[font=constantia]❛__W H A T___I S___H I D D E N___W I T H I N__❜
β–„β–„β–„β–„β–„β–„β–„β–„β–„β–„β–„β–„β–„β–„β–„β–„β–„β–„β–„β–„β–„β–„β–„β–„β–„β–„β–„β–„β–„β–„β–„β–„β–„β–„β–„β–„β–„β–„β–„β–„β–„β–„β–„β–„β–„β–„β–„β–„β–„β–„β–„β–„β–„β–„β–„β–„β–„β–„β–„β–„β–„β–„β–„β–„β–„β–„β–„β–„β–„β–„β–„

Image
β–’
β–“
β–’
β–“
β–’
β–“
β–’
β–“

Likes: Fighting
Hitting things
Jorvik
Weapons
Stories
Flowers

Dislikes: Not being allowed to hit things
Petticoats

Strengths:
Swordplay
Hitting things
Determined
Battle tactics

Weaknesses:Politics
Proud

Personality: Shy and retiring are not two words that are used to describe Ingrid very often. Headstrong and determined, even as a baby she was determined to keep up with her brothers. More at home on the battlefield than the ballroom, Ingrid doesn't like to encounter problems that she can't fix by hitting it. Sure, she can do subtle, but she'd rather settle her arguments in combat. Although some would call it determined, Ingrid can stumble into sheer stubbornness. When she has made up her mind on something or someone, then it will take an awful lot for her to change her mind. Despite a hardened exterior, there is a softer side to Ingrid. She would never leave a soldier behind if she could get them to safety and she is fiercely loyal to people she holds close.

Quirks and Habits:

Grinds her teeth when she's angry
Hitting things she probably shouldn't hit




β–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆ

❛__H O W___I___C A M E___T O__B E__❜
β–„β–„β–„β–„β–„β–„β–„β–„β–„β–„β–„β–„β–„β–„β–„β–„β–„β–„β–„β–„β–„β–„β–„β–„β–„β–„β–„β–„β–„β–„β–„β–„β–„β–„β–„β–„β–„β–„β–„β–„β–„β–„β–„β–„β–„β–„β–„β–„β–„β–„β–„β–„β–„β–„β–„β–„β–„β–„β–„β–„β–„β–„β–„β–„β–„β–„β–„β–„β–„β–„β–„

Image
β–’
β–“
β–’
β–“
β–’
β–“
β–’
β–“

Land/Kingdom:Fjellborg
History: Born the only girl and the youngest child of King Jorvik, life wasn't particularly harsh for Ingrid as a child. Her two older brothers were fiercely protective of their sister and she was the apple of her parents' eyes. As the oldest, Tyr was the first to begin training as a warrior. None of this 'the heir is too precious to die'. A good king led his men on the battlefield, and Tyr would be as great a one as Jorvik is, or he would die trying. Tyr would teach Ingrid and Ull what he had learned as best he could so they could protect their home should he ever have to leave for battle. Ingrid took well to her brother's tutelage and began practicing on her own, when her mother would much prefer her to be pursuing more suitable hobbies for a princess, like needlework or something. Ingrid didn't mind some parts of being a princess. The storytelling was something she enjoyed. But the limitations were frustrating to say the least.

She was thirteen the first time she broached the subject of her being a berserker with her father. Her mother was suitably outraged. Apparently the battlefield was no place for a princess. Her father was more lenient in his views but was reluctant to let his daughter fight. When she was fourteen, she persuaded Tyr to help make her case for being allowed to fight alongside the berserkers. Tyr agreed to be responsible for Ingrid's training, so long as she remained dedicated. With Tyr's promise, Jorvik agreed to Ingrid's formal training.

Although many in the berserkers were reluctant to train with the princess, Ingrid fought hard to earn her place among her peers. She had to prove herself more than they did to stay. Eventually, Ingrid began to win the respect of her fellow berserkers, although there were still a vocal few who objected. Being smaller and younger than many in her group, Ingrid was affectionately referred to as The Little Wolf. The ones that didn't want her there were less honorable in their title for the shieldmaiden. As the years passed, the 'Little' was dropped and Ingrid became known as The Wolf, for her ferocity on the battlefield and her intense loyalty to the men she fought alongside.

She eighteen the first time she set foot on the shores of Byrdain. She found the war bloody and brutal and exhilarating. She had never felt more alive. It was during one of the battles in Byrdain that Ull was killed. Her father wasn't really the same after that. Certainly, he was the same warm and battle hardened man she had grown up with, but there was something in the undercurrent of Jorvik that was different. While it was never openly acknowledged as a reason for trying to broker peace, Jorvik's calls for a cease to bloodshed came not longer after Ull's death. While she had never enjoyed political machinations, Ingrid was required to attend as a royal of Fjellborg. When a marriage was suggested, Ingrid had never expected Jorvik to take the prince seriously. When Jorvik agreed to the engagement between herself and the sickly Prince Lelinus, Ingrid was seriously concerned that her father had taken leave of his sense. Her loyalty to her people requires her to go through with the marriage. If she doesn't, then the blame for their deaths would be placed at her feet.

β—£β—’

So begins...

Ingrid Jorvikdatter's Story

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Ingrid Jorvikdatter Character Portrait: Tyr Jorvikson

0.00 INK

Image


Ingrid had been largely silent on the journey from Fjellborg to Byrdain. This silence, though, was far from one of resignation. Ingrid quietly glowered. At that moment in time she would have loved to wring the neck of the Crown Prince. This was an insult to her and her people, it didn't take a scholarly master to figure that one out. Marry the only daughter to the second, sickly prince. Marriage to the eldest wold have been less of an insult. Not by much, but at least the man could fight. Much of her anger had been directed at Jorvik, who at least had the good grace to look uncomfortable on the journey. There were items that would need to be repaired, some that would have to be discarded entirely. To say Ingrid hadn't been happy when her father agreed to the engagement would be an understatement.




"How could you?" She pulled Jorvik back as he walked away from her. "How could you agree to that?" she asked, throwing her arm to the hall where the meeting had happened. "Lelinus is not worthy."

There had been few times Ingrid had ever seen Jorvik truly enraged. Never had she been on the receiving end of it. "The Gods allowed him to live to see this day. He is of royal blood and he is worthy."

"This is an insult to our people. To me."

"You are marrying the boy and that is the end of it. No matter how insulted you might feel."

Jorvik turned and walked away. Ingrid stood and watched him go. She looked to Tyr for some guidance, comfort, anything. Her brother simply shook his head and placed a hand on her shoulder, squeezing it briefly before going after Jorvik. It was easier for them, she realised, to not think. It was easier for everyone. If they didn't think too hard about it, all they would see was an alliance for peace. Do not think about the slight.

In her room, Ingrid let herself go to the rage. She locked herself in and near destroyed everything. When she was done, her bedding was torn, daggers were embedded in the walls. Furniture had been turned on its head, trinkets lay scattered along the room. Anything breakable was now reduced to shards and dust. Ingrid breathed deeply, trying to get a handle on her emotions. She wasn't calm, not by a long way, but she wasn't about to murder the first person who walked through her door. Nothing here mattered anymore. This room was just that. A room. She held no more claim over it. It was holding until she was handed to Byrdain.



Ingrid was dressed in leather that had yet to see battle, as per the custom of her people. She might be about to be put on show for these people, an oddity to scrutinise, but she was not them. She would not bow to them. Gods be damned if she relinquished her pride. As they rode, Ingrid eased her horse to a stop. She dismounted and headed into the long grass. "The Gods," she said quietly. She let her palms run over the top of the grasses, her eyes closed. She breathed deeply, taking in the earth as it ran free.

"Please hear my prayer. I walk to a battle unfamiliar to me. I am always your faithful servant. Guide my hand as you see fit and grant me your blessing in this new land." She bowed deeply as she finished talking. She wasn't expecting a miracle, but a little protection wouldn't hurt if they saw fit to favour her.

Ingrid mounted her horse and rejoined the group. A handful of beserkers who could be trusted not to start an incident had joined Ingrid, Jorvik and Tyr. Ingrid kept her horse close to Tyr's. "It will not be as bad as you think," Tyr said, "you will be royal to them. They will not touch you."

"It's not them touching me that worries me. Lelinus might break if I look at him the wrong way."

Tyr laughed, "I'm sure the lad has a strength we have not yet seen." Ingrid raised an eyebrow. "He will be good to you Ingrid. He's too delicate to do anything else."

They rode into Byrdain, dismounting at the stables. The beserkers with them soon disappeared to join the festivities. Let them go, Ingrid thought, they deserve their fun. She could feel eyes on her, scrutinising her again. She was certainly far from what they thought a princess should be, Ingrid knew that much. She followed Tyr to the doors of the hall. Jorvik had gone to speak with Artos. His part was done in all this in making sure she made it to Byrdain. As her patron, it was Tyr's duty to hand her to Lelinus.

"Shall we?"

Ingrid nodded, steeling herself. "We shall."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Lelinus Augustus Character Portrait: Ingrid Jorvikdatter Character Portrait: Brynjar Augustus Character Portrait: Julius Gadfael Character Portrait: Beorn Clovermaen

0.00 INK

Image


Patriarch Julius Gadfael did not like welcoming barbarians into the Grand Cathedral. He would not have minded it as much if they were penitent and ready to abandon their heathen ways, but that was not to be. King Artos the Great had arranged for his son to marry the beserker chieftain's daughter and it would not be proper to hold sacrament anywhere else nor to have a lesser man preside over the ceremonies. Thus, he found himself overseeing the final preparations in the sanctuary. There was little left to prepare. They only needed one final item before the event was ready. He allowed himself to admire the cathedral.

Stained glass imported from the Holy Empire of Valmagne depicted the life of Artemesia from her preaching and divine miracles to her War against the Imperium to Her Final Purification. Torches surrounded the altar above which stood a statue of the Lady Artemesia Herself, a sword in one hand and a staff in the other hand as a wreathed crown adorned Her head: Teacher, Healer, Lord, Warrior, Mother, God was all things in Her.

At last, Brother Beorn arrived carrying a heavy jug of dirt he set up on the altar by a pitcher of clear water. Gadfael nodded at the herbalist in thanks, ignoring the noise of the Fjellborans laughing and talking loudly in this holy place. His annoyance grew as the nobility took turns gazing upon the foreigners and then their fellows, comparing their elegant silk and cloth to the northmen's fur and leather rather than contemplating God.

"Do you have the seed, Brother Beorn?" he asked impatiently.

"Yes, Your Excellency. Shall I summon Prince Lelinus?" he asked. The Patriarch waved his hand.

"It would seem he is ahead of you," Julius answered, his gaze falling upon the frail form of the younger prince God bestowed upon the royal family to teach them humility. He made his way stand before the Patriarch before kneeling for a moment before the alter as was proper. King Artos followed him, his gaze stern as he walked down the aisle towards the place reserved for him and the Northman Chief at the front of the pews, barely acknowledging the crowd that stood in respect until he took his seat. The king shot him a look which Julius acknowledged with a nod before whispering to Beorn.

"The king wishes for you to fetch Prince Brynjar before we begin. Hurry."

The young monk bowed his head in acquiesce, glancing the prince's way before he left. The prince himself stood calmly before him, his gaze upon the entrance hall as his father spoke quietly with the bride's father, though the Patriarch thought the diplomatic niceties were wasted on the oaf. Soon enough, the entrance opened up to reveal the bride and her brother who was charged with escorting her to Lelinus. He frowned in disapproval at the woman's attire. Leather was permissible for a man who lacked anything better, but for a woman to wear it as though it did not hug her curves in such a risque manner or as though she was a man? It was unheard of.

The prince's expression was unreadable as he stared at her. Julius had to give him credit. He did not flinch from her nor did his gaze hold inordinate lust. Instead, he stretched out his hand to receive hers. Julius glanced over at the king who looked annoyed that his other son was not here yet, but he nodded at the Patriarch and he began.

"Do you, sir, give this woman to Prince Lelinus Augustus in the sight of God and man?" he intoned.

Image


Beorn walked as fast as he could down the halls of the Cathedral without technically breaking into a run. The wedding was to begin any moment now and if he was not there with the seed at the crucial moment, he would be in so much trouble, but then, if he did not find Prince Brynjar, he'd be in trouble anyway. He sighed as he searched the halls, all but a few of the guests already taking their seats in the scantuary. With mixed trepidation and relief, he saw Prince Brynjar behind a pillar speaking with Lady Katinka. This would not be good. Rumors would start to circle around court if they arrived late together given Katinka's flirtatious manner and Brynjar's reputation.

"Your Highness, your father commands that you take your place in the sanctuary. Your brother's wedding will begin any minute," he warned, hurriedly bowing after he said his piece as he saw that he forgot to in the first place. His thoughts turned to his friend. If only Brynjar hadn't sought to humiliate him like this. How could he marry someone so unlike himself? He feared that the shieldmaiden would break him in half within the week.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Lelinus Augustus Character Portrait: Ingrid Jorvikdatter Character Portrait: Julius Gadfael Character Portrait: Tyr Jorvikson

0.00 INK

Image


Ingrid could feel the disapproval radiating from the people as she and Tyr walked together to Lelinus and the Holy Man leading the ceremony. Evidently, they were expecting her to play by their rules. Not yet. She was not their creature to bend and break. If she would ever take to their customs, it would be on her own terms and not theirs. The guests were free to wear as many petticoats and silks as they liked. She would wear her leathers and they could deal with it. Ingrid kept her head held high. Let them look. The Holy Man's look was especially disapproving. Ingrid caught his gaze and raised an eyebrow at him, not allowing him to make her uncomfortable. Holy men were not supposed to ogle brides. Ingrid might not know much of Byrdain's customs, but even she knew that much.

They reached Lelinus. Ingrid looked over at him for a moment. He still looked frail, like a strong breeze might knock him over. Ingrid suppressed the urge to roll her eyes. At least he was pretty, she thought. If she wasn't going to be promised to a warrior, at least the gods had given her a pretty man to be her husband. There seemed to be a lengthy pause, as if they were all waiting on something. Was she supposed to do something? Was Tyr? A rare moment of uncertainty gripped her, leaving just as suddenly as it had arrived.

"Do you, sir, give this woman to Prince Lelinus Augustus in the sight of God and man?" The Holy Man asked Tyr.

Give, Ingrid thought bitterly, like she was cattle. In the eyes of the nobles gathered, that's probably what she was.

"I do," Tyr's voice was deep and solemn as he placed Ingrid's hand in Lelinus's. His hand was warm and soft where Ingrid's hand had hardened from training. She felt Tyr's hand on her shoulder as he placed a kiss on her forehead. "We love you," he said quietly, his voice muffled by his proximity. He squeezed her shoulder before taking his place beside Jorvik.

Ingrid took a deep breath as she faced Lelinus. This was the man who would be her husband in a matter of minutes, the man she was bound to for life. She released her breath and waited for the wedding to start.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Lelinus Augustus Character Portrait: Ingrid Jorvikdatter Character Portrait: Katinka Dragomir Character Portrait: Brynjar Augustus Character Portrait: Julius Gadfael Character Portrait: Beorn Clovermaen

0.00 INK

Image

Brynjar's jaw stiffened and he turned his hard eyes from Katinka as Beorn approached. The steely look in his eyes increased as the shrewd little monk didn't show his proper respects before speaking. Brynjar was tempted to call the man out on his misstep to protocol and etiquette, but the mention of his father requesting his presence prevented him from making a snide remark.

It was time for the little bird to marry the wolf.

This thought caused a dark grin to spring to Brynjar's face. He felt part of his mood shift. Lelinus was perfect for this task. His younger brother would never forsake a duty he could fulfill. It was one thing he nearly admired about Lelinus. If there was something he could do that wasn't hindered by physical limitations, then he would fulfill the role or task.

"Come Katinka, let us watch the show." Brynjar extended his arm politely to Katinka before guiding them away from the shadowy protection of the pillars and towards the sanctuary that would unite Ingrid and Lelinus in the most holiest of matrimony.

Brynjar rolled his eyes at the thought. The day he took a wife would be laughable indeed. His current, and only, qualification be that she would be exceedingly fair to look upon. He was only going to use her for one purpose after all. Brynjar would not let the royal line die with him and refused to leave it up to Lelinus to secure an heir. Brynjar half wondered if Lelinus would even be able to produce any sort of offspring with his she-wolf. Any child out of this union would be an odd work of nature.

They had reached the front pew at this point and Brynjar released Katinka before moving to sit on the opposite side of his father just before the door opened to reveal Ingrid dressed in all the fine trappings of her leather glory. Brynjar wasn't shy in any way as he allowed his eyes to rake over her form and unusual bridal attire. He wasn't surprised that she had chosen to be married in such barbaric garb. He would've laughed if she had entered the place wearing a dress that laced all the way up the back.

This view was rather more pleasing to Brynjar and he couldn't help but appreciate her. She was a fierce warrior but before anything she was a woman. For a split moment Brynjar had the burning desire to be standing where Lelinus was simply so he would have the pleasure of deflowering such a fearsome creature. The sensation was fleeting, however, and he quickly dashed it away. At the end of the day this was not the sort of queen he wanted at his side.

A smirk came to his face as Lelinus extended his hand for Ingrid to take. It was plain for all to see. She could easily devour the little bird.

As Patriarch Julius began the ceremony, Brynjar allowed his mind to contemplate over his next move. The corner of his mouth twitched as his focus was not the present. When the festivities died the Fjellboran's would return to their harsh winter land. Ingrid would be left alone among strangers in a strange land. Brynjar would make sure she cracked, and if Lelinus managed to survive the she-wolf, he would make him crack too.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Lelinus Augustus Character Portrait: Ingrid Jorvikdatter Character Portrait: Katinka Dragomir Character Portrait: Brynjar Augustus Character Portrait: Julius Gadfael Character Portrait: Beorn Clovermaen

0.00 INK

Image


She wasn't like anything Lelinus had ever seen before. It had been easier to focus on the task at hand when they first met. Trade was to be hammered out if the Fjellborgans were to have any alternative to reaving and destruction. Wereguild had to be paid to satisfy the honor of the Byrdainians slain. He had been able to put her out of his mind until today, but now, as she stood before him, he could not help but marvel at her appearance. She was unlike any maiden he had ever met. She stood there defiantly, unbowed, but wary, like a wolf poised to strike if threatened and Artemesia help him, but she was still beautiful. Curves and muscles met and consummated one another as a noble face looked down upon him. He stood up straighter to meet her gaze.

He knew what everyone was thinking without having to analyze their facial expressions. They looked upon him like a condemned man. Well, that was not exactly new to him. He had struggled and fought against his own body to survive until this day. He doubted matrimony would be so taxing. In fact, he found himself curious about his new wife, Ingrid despite herself. Of all the fine knights, nobles, ladies clergy, and Northmen in this holy place, she was the most unique. He saw Brynjar smirking at him as though he was about to fall into a snake pit. He merely smirked back and whispered to her.

"Let us dance though our enemies fling their arrows."

Patriarch Julius coughed in impatience, but Lelinus merely smiled, motioning with his eyes over to his brother.

"Now then, Prince Lelinus. Do you accept the hand of Princess Brigid of Fjellborg?" Julius asked mildly, annoyance dripping from his voice.

"I do. Now, if only that concluded the ceremony," he quipped. Julius, for his part, ignored his flippancy. He had to give the Patriarch credit. He did not need any tome or scroll to instruct him as he spoke. He supposed the old man was entitled to a little bit of the pomp that laced his voice.

"There is a time for all things under the sight of God: a time to sow, a time to reap. A time mourn, a time to rejoice. A time to heal, a time to wound. A time for war, a time for peace. So it is that it is time for this man and woman come before God to be bound together through His Spirit by the benediction of Artemesia, Our Lady."

He motioned for Beorn to approach them and the young monk approached with a seed placed upon outstretched hands. Having seen this done so often before, Lelinus guided their hands to take the seed.

"This seed signifies new life which shall be nurtured through your marriage, both for your peoples and your children," Julius intoned earning quite a few smirks and stifled laughs that died as King Artos' mighty stare fell upon the perpetrators. The Patriarch himself look annoyed by this irrelevancy. A sycophant he may be, but he was clearly a priest.

"After their vows, together, husband and wife will plant a seed in God's good earth. The wife will give lifegiving water and the husband will shed his blood as a reminder to protect his wife and offspring. Only the husband will do this," he warned sternly. Lelinus inwardly sighed. Yes, this was not going to come off as a challenge to Fjellborgan at all. He glanced at the statue of Artemesia and prayed that something wouldn't happen.

"Lelinus Augustus of Byrdain. Do you take this woman as your wife before God?"

"I do," he vowed.

"Do you swear to take no mistress, to sire no bastard?"

"I swear."

"Do you swear to protect and care for her and your offspring in times fair and times grim? In sickness and in health?"

"I swear."

"Do you swear to meet her needs whatever they might be."

"I swear."

"Will she be as near to you as your own blood?"

"I swear it."

The Patriarch nodded in satisfaction and repeated the same vows to Ingrid, modifying the part about protection be about nurturing instead. From his place at the Patriarch's side, Beorn smiled encouragingly at him. At least he had one friend here.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Lelinus Augustus Character Portrait: Ingrid Jorvikdatter Character Portrait: Katinka Dragomir Character Portrait: Brynjar Augustus Character Portrait: Julius Gadfael Character Portrait: Beorn Clovermaen

0.00 INK

Image


"Let us dance though our enemies fling their arrows."

Ingrid looked at Lelinus. Perhaps there was more to him than a pretty face. "Flung arrows rarely land true," Ingrid replied, "I have nothing to fear."

Ingrid listened to the holy man as he spoke, letting Lelinus guide her hand forward. She looked down at the seed that was placed in their hands. Strange little custom, she thought. There was none of this sweet symbolism back home. A red sash was tied around the betrothed's hands to symbolise their bond to one another in the eyes of the Gods. None of this pomp around a tiny seed.

"This seed signifies new life which shall be nurtured through your marriage, both for your peoples and your children," the holy man said, much to the apparent comic joy of the nobility. Ingrid clenched her fist. If the Gods saw fit to grant her a child with this man, they would not be a child to be mocked. "After their vows, together, husband and wife will plant a seed in God's good earth. The wife will give lifegiving water and the husband will shed his blood as a reminder to protect his wife and offspring. Only the husband will do this." Ingrid suppressed the urge to raise an eyebrow at this declaration. Did they truly think their woman so incapable as to be unable to defend their family. Clearly they had never tried to come between a mother and her child. Not for the first time, she wished she wasn't being carted off to such a backwards land.

Ingrid stood silently as Lelinus made his vows to take her as his wife. Then the holy man turned to her, "Ingrid Jorvikdatter of Fjellborg. Do you take this man as your husband before God?"

Do I have a choice? "I do."

"Do you swear to take no lovers and mother no bastards?"

Ingrid bristled.I am not so dishonorable, whatever your people might think of mine, "I swear."

"Do you swear to nurture and care for him and your offspring in times fair and grim? In sickness and health?"

Her gaze flickered momentarily to Lelinus. It was more likely to be in sickness than in health that she was bound to him. It was quite clear to everyone gathered who would be doing the true protecting. "I swear."

"Do you swear to meet his needs whatever they might be."

By the Gods, this was ridiculous, had she not already sworn to care for him? "I swear."

"Will he be as near to you as your own blood?"

No one will be nearer to me than Ull and Tyr. "I swear it."

Ingrid let her gaze wander to her father's face. For the first time, it was unreadable. Did he feel shame? Pride? Did he still grieve for Ull? It was unspoken, but she knew if Ull still lived, she would not be marrying Lelinus. None of this would be happening had Ull lived. She would still be home, among her beserkers, perhaps marrying one of them some day. Instead some Godless man had taken Ull's life and now she was being thrown to the beasts to pacify them.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Lelinus Augustus Character Portrait: Ingrid Jorvikdatter Character Portrait: Katinka Dragomir Character Portrait: Brynjar Augustus Character Portrait: Julius Gadfael Character Portrait: Beorn Clovermaen

0.00 INK

Image


"Now, let you plant the seed of your marriage together, nurtured by God's good earth and the water and blood of your devotion," Patriarch Julius announced, not even he being able to find fault with Ingrid's words or manner. With a glance at his bride, Lelinus led her towards the jug of dirt and placed the seed within it. At last, he released her hand and held out his hand to the Patriarch who handed him a knife with a silver hilt. Without any hesitation, he sliced his palm open and allowed his blood to fall on to the seed and he waited for Ingrid to pour the water into the vase as well.

When they had repeated their respective tasks, Brother Beorn stepped forward to wrap his wound. He ignored the crowd. He did not care to see the superior looks on the faces of the fighting knights and warriors in the cathedral. At least Beorn didn't fuss over him. That was one of the reasons why he liked the herbalist. He didn't treat Lelinus like he was made of glass. When he took her hand again, Julius spoke again.

"Through the Spirit of God, I pronounce you husband and wife until death parts you. By the Father, Daughter, and Spirit, I bless you. Go in peace," Julius intoned as he strode out, followed by the more important clergy as the others busied themselves with clearing the alter.

"And now comes the march to the keep," Lelinus murmured.

***

The procession felt long and tiring to Lelinus, though, in truth, the Grand Cathedral was not far from the King's Keep. The pace was slow, however, and the crowds were eager to see the finely dressed nobility and the fierce foreigners that had been the stuff of nightmares for years on end. Banners flew high over in the wind and people pressed against the guards lining the streets. Some wanted to wish himself and his new bride. Others wanted spit at the northmen. Still others, mostly merchants, clambered to sell them anything from fertility elixirs to fine silks.

His father had been in his element, stopping every now and then to make conversation with a peasant or small group of peasants. His father was a different kind of king from his predecessors. People loved him as though he were the Father come to reign on earth. He had no doubt that the few able to touch him believed they would be blessed for the next year and a day.

For his part, Lelinus was almost glad when they had settled into the royal gardens where the wedding feast was to be held. Already, long tables were set up with enough food to satisfy the crowds below the King's Keep for a week. The banners of the great Houses of Byrdain fluttered in the breeze, including the banner of House Augustus: a crimson one adorned with a golden lion in the center and the white wings of victory in the center.

Unfortunately, tonight he and Ingrid would be in the seats of honor. With the shieldmaiden at his side and goblets beginning to flow with wine, he glanced at her curiously before his father stood to give a speech.

"Tonight, with this union, the conflict between Byrdain and Fjellborg may at last be relegated to the past. For too long, we have lost too many proud sons and daughters to fire and blood. May Artemesia bless our lands with abundant harvest and security for all time. And may She bless me with grandchildren."

The crowd laughed and he could hear the sound of a hundred conversations over wine and food. Lelinus eyed his own food and decided he was not hungry yet. Nonetheless, he took a bite of roast boar and sipped some wine to help it go down.

"I hope the day has not been too trying for you," he whispered to Ingrid. Silently, he searched for his brother. He doubted the day would end without him trying to make some kind of trouble.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Lelinus Augustus Character Portrait: Ingrid Jorvikdatter Character Portrait: Katinka Dragomir Character Portrait: Brynjar Augustus Character Portrait: Julius Gadfael Character Portrait: Beorn Clovermaen

0.00 INK

Image

Katinka gave Brynjar a sharp look, but it lasted less than a second. "I would be a widow within a year," she assured him blandly. Probably within a day if she did it herself, but Tink preferred not to do her own dirty work. "'Tis not going to last," she commented quietly, looking off toward the front of the hall, where the main attraction would soon be going down.

Before much else could be said, they were interrupted by Beorn and the Lady's lips slid into a smooth smirk. She rather enjoyed messing with him on a regular basis, however now wasn't the time. Instead she merely winked at him before taking Brynjar's arm. With a polite smile and bow of her head, she let him lead her through the sanctuary. She walked in her usual manner, with her hips swaying and her smile chaste, yet she never could get rid of that suggestive spark in her eye. She was far too amused thinking of all the impure thoughts her presence would bring to the noblemen and a select few noblewomen, in such an inappropriate place. It was a welcome distraction from her worries about this union.

She was deposited at the front pew, and curtsied her goodbyes to the prince before taking her seat. Soon after, the doors opened to reveal Lelinus's bride. Katinka almost gasped. She wasn't sure if she should be impressed or offended, but she was certainly feeling both at the sight of Ingrid in all those leathers. On her wedding day- the scandal! If not for everything that came with it, the lady might have gained a bit of respect for the princess right then. As things were, though, it only made her worry for Leo more. His bride certainly had some nerve, and she wasn't sure that would be a safe thing for him.

The way Lelinus handled his wedding did not surprise her, however it did concern her. He was taking it all in stride and in a way she was proud of him, but she also feared he was letting his guard down too quickly. She remained silent, respectful, throughout the entire ceremony, but as always she was watchful. Her eye was extra careful throughout the proceedings.

When they moved to the King's Keep, she stayed near the ones she considered family, but it didn't stop her from flaunting herself and taking pleasure in the way she drew lustful gazes. Even the attention of peasants amused her. Still, she was rather subdued compared to her regular every day self; after all, this was a special occasion, not to mention the important company she was in.

She sat beside King Artos, but her eyes kept turning to the seats of honor. The longer things went on the more restless she became. Although the situation might not have been quite so urgent as she deemed it, Katinka really felt like she needed to do something to assure Leo's safety. She laughed at the king's words just like the rest of the crowd, but they churned her stomach.

If she was thinking further ahead, she might have been disturbed by the thought of her family being contaminated with berserker blood. Of course, blood wasn't everything, obviously since her 'family' wasn't actually related to her at all; at the end of the day she was just a young noblewoman, and who knew how long she had left in the castle with them anyway before she was pushed into a marriage. She could pray that her wedding wasn't to a berserker as Brynjar jokingly predicted, but she really wasn't thinking that far. While Lady Katinka picked at her food, smiled and joked with the highborn around her, her mind was almost entirely occupied with the fear that tonight Ingrid would slay Lelinus in their bed.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Lelinus Augustus Character Portrait: Ingrid Jorvikdatter Character Portrait: Katinka Dragomir Character Portrait: Brynjar Augustus Character Portrait: Julius Gadfael Character Portrait: Beorn Clovermaen

0.00 INK

Image


Ingrid poured the water over the seed and stood back while Lelinus let his blood drop onto the dirt. Now they were bound to one another. This was the man the Gods had given to her to protect. Looking around the room, she saw the faces on the people gathered. His people looked at him like he had been thrown to wolves. In a sense, she supposed, he had. But wolves were not just mindless killers. They protected what was theirs, and, whether she had wanted him or not, Lelinus was now hers to defend. The knights looked too proud. Ingrid would happily challenge them if they dared do anything.

Ingrid felt Lelinus's hand in hers again. She looked down at their joined hands and up to the face of her husband. She clenched his hand for a moment before relaxing the grip. Whatever came, they were allies in a land where they apparently had few.

"Through the Spirit of God, I pronounce you husband and wife until death parts you. By the Father, Daughter, and Spirit, I bless you. Go in peace," the Holy Man said as he walked out, followed by other men Ingrid didn't know, nor cared to get to know.

"And now comes the march to the keep," Lelinus murmured.

The march to the keep meant there would be people. People always lined the streets when an important wedding happened. The marriage of one of the princes of the realm would be important. This would be the first time they saw her as well, their new princess. "Then let us march."

As they made their way through the town, Ingrid let her eyes flicker over the crowd. Many were simply curious. Others were less than impressed by their new royalty. Ingrid kept her head high as she followed Lelinus's lead to the keep. Did one of these people kill Ull? Ingrid pushed the thought from her mind. Somewhere behind her, among the procession, were Tyr and Jorvik. What she did notice was the love the people had for King Artos.




Ingrid sat beside Lelinus and the top table, in view of everyone in the room. Hard, cursory glances flickered over to her. What had Jorvik sold her in to? Ingrid took a drink from her goblet as King Artos stood.

"Tonight, with this union, the conflict between Byrdain and Fjellborg may at last be relegated to the past. For too long, we have lost too many proud sons and daughters to fire and blood. May Artemesia bless our lands with abundant harvest and security for all time. And may She bless me with grandchildren."

Grandchildren. Ingrid looked into the depths of her goblet. Children had been mentioned in the ceremony, but the night had seemed so far away then. Now it was that much closer. She would be expected to bed Lelinus and bear a child to unite their people. Would he even want to bed her? Or was this just a show? She took another drink and signaled for her goblet to be refilled. Ingrid picked at the food before her.

"I hope the day has not been too trying for you," Lelinus whispered to her.

Ingrid turned to look at him. "No, but it is rarely the day that is trying for the bride."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Lelinus Augustus Character Portrait: Ingrid Jorvikdatter Character Portrait: Katinka Dragomir Character Portrait: Brynjar Augustus Character Portrait: Julius Gadfael Character Portrait: Beorn Clovermaen

0.00 INK

Image


At her words Lelinus lifted his goblet up yet again, this time draining the goblet in record time. That was the elephant in the room, wasn't it? They were expected to consummate their marriage that night and if Lelinus knew his brother, the crown prince would insist on a bedding ceremony just to humiliate them both. It was another battle he needed to prepare himself for, he noted. After taking a bite of his meal he turned to face his wife.

"If you need to wait, then I will not mind. I confess that I'd be disappointed, but I am not the sort of man who would use force or honor to compel a maiden... Though, I doubt I'd be able to if I wanted to," he joked lightly. Yes, she was certainly different from any woman he had met before. She was beautiful in a fierce, untamed way, as though she had been been crafted by Artemesia Herself. Nor was he was not oblivious from the more lust-filled stares that had been directed her way throughout the day.

He turned his attention to the fine, noble guests his father was entertaining. They were still eating. Good. That meant that the dancing would not start for some time yet.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Lelinus Augustus Character Portrait: Ingrid Jorvikdatter Character Portrait: Katinka Dragomir Character Portrait: Brynjar Augustus

0.00 INK

Image

Brynjar found the ceremony itself to be extremely boring. It was the participants that he found his amusement in. It was certainly an odd pairing. If there had not been political motivation behind it than it was likely it would have never happened. Brynjar was sure that Lelinus would not have attracted himself a bride on his own. A woman did not want a man that couldn’t defend her.

Of course in this case, Ingrid would be the one defending and he was confident in thinking she had no issues with this. It was terribly ironic for these two to be wed and he watched the ceremony end feeling very satisfied with his hand in their situation. He was positive that this ill match would bring nothing but indifference and disgust.

The focus was solely upon the newly wed couple. The Byrdains now had a new princess. Most were fascinated by her as they exited into the streets and headed towards the wedding feast. None had seen a shieldmaiden before. He could see the awe and fear upon the peasant faces. He scoffed in disgust as their father kept stopping to greet the people. Brynjar had never understood this. These people owed their fealty to the crown. What use was it in stooping so low to speak with them?

He was quite relieved when they made it to the feast. Naturally the new couple was at the forefront of the festivities and sat in high back chairs. Brynjar was sitting a few seats down from them as both kings took their places next to the couple. He ate hungrily and drank heartily to get his fill. He had gone through several cups of wine at this point and was feeling a little fuzzy and warm.

He quickly grasped the young serving girl who had stepped forward to fill his cup again. She had a pretty enough face and even though her dress was plain he could see she had ample bosom. He pulled her close and her eyes went wide with fright.

β€œPerhaps you would like to help entertain me later,” he purred in her ear causing the girl to jump. β€œSurely you wouldn’t say no to spending a night with your future king.” Brynjar had a long line of conquests from his past. He was sure he had fathered several bastard children over the years but he did not care for them or their mothers. He delighted in the supple flesh of a woman, and when he had been satisfied and grown bored of her he would cast her aside. He did not care for them.

Brynjar got particularly bold when he had a fair amount to drink. He didn’t care that this was his brother’s wedding feast. He didn’t care that the young girl looked like a frightened doe about to be devoured by a bear. All he knew was that he did not want an empty bed that night.

He doubted Lelinus could survive such intimacies with his wolf bride. He wouldn’t even be surprised if they did not consummate their marriage that night. Brynjar decided that someone should at least partake in the joys of the flesh.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Lelinus Augustus Character Portrait: Ingrid Jorvikdatter Character Portrait: Katinka Dragomir Character Portrait: Brynjar Augustus Character Portrait: Julius Gadfael Character Portrait: Beorn Clovermaen

0.00 INK

Image


Unlike Patriarch Julius, who was seated at the king's table within earshot of the king himself, Beorn did not merit such an honor. As the herbalist and a lower ranked member of a monastic order Beorn stood to the side as the feast began, eyeing Lelinus every now and then to ensure that he was in good health. As his healer, it was his duty to be on hand and normally, he would be eating at the prince's side, but feasts such as these had their own special etiquette. A servant, no matter how valued, could not sit by a member of royalty's side, displacing more worthy guests. Later this night, he would have a place of honor beside the king's steward as the servants held their own feast consisting of the food and drink their betters were unable to finish off themselves.

Doubtless, His Grace would permit me and the other monks to hand out what remains to the poor, Beorn thought to himself before his gaze settled on Prince Brynjar by chance... Along with the poor servant girl that looked as though she was about to be devoured by a predator and she would not be far off with that fear. Beorn had delivered many of Brynjar's bastards after he cast those poor women aside. They faced condemnation from their peers and their children regarded with little more than pity at best. The lucky ones who found a husband willing to care for them and their children with no condemnation or judgment were as rare as Fjellborgan convert. A few disappeared from the city in the hopes of outrunning their shame. Others gave their children away to the Church to forget about them while still others never had the chance to raise their child before Artemesia called them home.

He looked to the Patriarch for guidance, but he was either too distracted by a conversation he was having with another courtier or he feared crossing his future king. Lelinus had not seen this yet, but he would soon. It would be best for them to avoid confrontation, he knew, but someone had to help the girl. With a murmured prayer beforehand, he approached Prince Brynjar and the girl.

"Please, my prince, you have had too much the drink," he said, remembering to bow this time, "Do not dishonor your father's servant or your future spouse."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Lelinus Augustus Character Portrait: Ingrid Jorvikdatter Character Portrait: Katinka Dragomir Character Portrait: Brynjar Augustus Character Portrait: Julius Gadfael Character Portrait: Beorn Clovermaen

0.00 INK

Image


Brynjar grabbed a handful of her hair and pulled it close. It smelled warm and of fresh bread which made him think she had been helping cook in the kitchen through the day in preparation of the feast. It was a good smell and he always enjoyed it a bit more when his whores smelled pleasant.

The poor girl was about ready to die from fright as well as embarrassment. Brynjar slid his hand down her back and gave her a good squeeze which elicited a frightened squeak from her much like a mouse. His eyes betrayed the hunger he felt and the girl wriggled under his touch.

Of course. He thought bitterly as Beorn approached. What did this worm want now?

Brynjar didn't have a very high opinion of the monks. He respected Patriarch Julius and knew there was value to the holy man's opinion. Beorn, on the other hand, was one fellow for which Brynjar greatly detested. He turned his attention from the girl, still keeping a firm hold on her, and stared the meek monk down with steely eyes.

"How much I choose to drink and who I decide to bed is none of your concern monk." He sneered, and as if to prove a point he squeezed the young lass's waist a little too tightly which caused her to gasp as pain flared under his touch. He took a gulp of the replenished wine in his goblet.

"You are in no place to judge or make suggestions Beorn. I am the crown prince, and you know not of the pleasures of the flesh." He narrowed his eyes. At least the worm had remembered to bow.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Lelinus Augustus Character Portrait: Ingrid Jorvikdatter Character Portrait: Brynjar Augustus Character Portrait: Beorn Clovermaen

0.00 INK

[center]Image[center]

Brynjar scoffed as Beorn brought up Artemesia as if she were the answer to everything. It annoyed him greatly. In his mind Beorn was nothing more than an extension of Lelinus. The monk may not have poor health, but he was certainly weak compared to greater men. He was almost impressed that Beorn had grown a spine to approach him during such a public celebration. He began to mull over the best way to humiliate the spiritual man when the chatter of the room died down and Lelinus had approached.

This was no surprise. Lelinus often came to Beorn's defense whenever Brynjar was being particularly cruel to the man. He sighed. Even he knew he couldn't cause a great scene. He released the poor girl who scurried away as fast as her feet allowed. She didn't want to be anywhere near his clutches again.

Brynjar rose to his feet and picked up his goblet. "Ah, baby brother!" he held his goblet high. "Today is indeed a joyous day. Not only have you been united in marriage but you've united two nations that have been at war." There was a hidden edge to his words that not even the alcohol could stifle. Those who knew the brothers knew how much they despised one another. This wasn't a toast of congratulations, this was a jest and slight towards the weaker son.

"May your looms be fertile and spring forth many children. "Surely you are eager to take your new and young wife to bed. The festivities can carry on without you, milord," he tilted his cup towards Lelinus before he winked rather saucily at Ingrid.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Lelinus Augustus Character Portrait: Ingrid Jorvikdatter Character Portrait: Brynjar Augustus Character Portrait: Beorn Clovermaen Character Portrait: Tyr Jorvikson

0.00 INK

Image


It seemed that the talk of children made Lelinus uncomfortable as well, if the speed he drained his goblet at was anything to go by. "If you need to wait, then I will not mind. I confess that I'd be disappointed, but I am not the sort of man who would use force or honor to compel a maiden... Though, I doubt I'd be able to if I wanted to."

Ingrid nodded, considering Lelinus's words. It was an odd position to be in. Everyone in the room was expecting them to consummate their marriage. There were probably more than a few who expected her to murder Lelinus in his sleep. At least Lelinus was honorable.

She gazed around the room. Her people were drinking heavily, as they often did at celebrations. Occasional bouts of raucous laughter came from their corner of the room. Ingrid smiled to herself, at least her people were enjoying themselves. Ingrid felt a pang of homesickness. They would be gone come morning and she would be on her own in this odd place. Well, not entirely alone, she had Lelinus on her side. But she would need more allies.

"I can't even get married without my brother terrorizing some poor girl. Give me a moment."

Ingrid looked up and followed Lelinus's movements with her gaze. She sat up a little straighter, poised to act at a moment's notice as the room grew quiet. She briefly looked over to Tyr, motioning her hand for the beserkers to stay down.

"You are drunk, brother mine. I understand. You were overjoyed by the occasion, but this maiden is obviously not taken with you so please, let her go. We can open up a cask of Valois' finest afterwards."

Ingrid relaxed. Lelinus might not be gifted with physical strength, but he was smart enough to handle Brynjar. The girl Brynjar had been harassing scurried away. Ingrid watched, making sure that no one tried to stop the girl getting to safety. Satisfied that the girl had got away, Ingrid returned her attention to the brothers.

"Ah, baby brother!" Brynjar's voice filled the room, his voice slurring. And this was the man who would one day be king? She raised an eyebrow. "Today is indeed a joyous day. Not only have you been united in marriage but you've united two nations that have been at war. May your looms be fertile and spring forth many children. Surely you are eager to take your new and young wife to bed. The festivities can carry on without you, milord." He said, apparently toasting Lelinus and winking at Ingrid.

Even though she had never been on the receiving end of such a wink, Ingrid was familiar with it. She had seen it when a man had wanted a woman. Evidently, the fact that she was his brother's wife didn't matter much to Brynjar. She was just another woman to him. She gripped the arms of her seat. Any other night, she would have dealt with Brynjar sooner, maybe punch him in his ridiculous face, but she was bound not to spill any blood tonight and the last thing she needed was to turn every noble in Byrdain against her. She rubbed her temples and shook her head. This was ridiculous.

Ingrid got up from her seat. "Excuse me," she said quietly. They didn't need her explanation. She left the hall and wandered through the corridors of the keep. The air was cooler out here. Ingrid could feel it curling around her neck, cooling her blood. She heard footsteps following her. "Go away Leli-"

"Not Lelinus," Tyr said as he came into her sight. "Are you alright?" he asked, holding her arms.

Ingrid nodded, "I'm fine. It was just too warm in there. I needed a moment to cool off."

"Is this about Brynjar? I will crush him. He should not-"

"No, it's not. He's drunk, he doesn't know what he's saying. There was no slight meant, not this time. Please, go back in, keep an eye on the others. I don't want there to be any trouble tonight."

"If you're sure." Ingrid nodded. Tyr kissed her forehead. "Take care Ingrid." Tyr hesitated a moment before he left her to her own company.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Lelinus Augustus Character Portrait: Ingrid Jorvikdatter Character Portrait: Brynjar Augustus Character Portrait: Beorn Clovermaen

0.00 INK

Image


"The night is young yet. I wouldn't deprive my wife of the pleasure of the festivities just yet," Lelinus quipped, watching Ingrid leave out of the corner of his eye followed by Tyr. He smiled wryly, "There is a certain bond between siblings, isn't there? I am sure that if I had to freeze to death up north, you would be eager to spend what time you could with me before leaving me there."

From the way he said it, there was almost genuine warmth in his words. It was unfortunate that those who were watching them knew it was a farce, but court etiquette dictated that he and Brynjar had to be semi-polite to one another. He glanced over at Beorn and nodded, the monk making a graceful retreat. Beorn was braver than he realized. Braver than Brynjar would ever be, he believed. Still, his wariness of getting entangled with nobility was warranted. Lowborn did not do well if they annoyed their superiors.

"I only hope, dear brother, that I may be as half as fruitful as yourself. The rumors say that there is a monastery somewhere populated by nothing but your seed."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Lelinus Augustus Character Portrait: Ingrid Jorvikdatter Character Portrait: Brynjar Augustus Character Portrait: Beorn Clovermaen

0.00 INK

Image


"I have a feeling that you disgusted her with your spectacle, brother mine. It seems that your manners put even the northmen to shame," Lelinus snarked. He had seen the disgusted expression she wore when his brother glanced her way and he was gratified. Ingrid would need to be strong given their position. He doubted this would be the last time Brynjar tried to provoke either of them.

"I do not desire to break her like a dumb horse, Brynjar. You may sire an heir in the future, but what good will it do you? A browbeaten mother and an unrestrained father do not raise a good king. Even the best of kings can sire rotten sons or so history tells us."'

He was more blunt than usual, but Lelinus felt he had the right to be angry with his brother at the moment. Brynjar was acting like the fool and if he insisted on acting like the fool, he would treat him like the fool.

Image


Beorn had decided it was better to leave the feast for the time being. Lelinus could handle Brynjar, but the monk was aware of his low status. If Patriarch Julius had been born a different man, then he might not have to fear the crown prince's wrath, but the Patriarch was a wordly man. He would not risk his future king's ire to defend a lowly, common-born monk. Not after he had tied his fate so close to the Byrdain throne.

So it was that Beorn found himself in the same hallway as the new princess. He eyed her thoughtfully. She was different. There was no mistaking that and Lelinus was correct when he told him privately after the treaty had been signed that she was beautiful. Strong, different, and beautiful. The court was no place for her. He stepped forward with a deferential bow.

"Good evening, Your Highness. I... I am sorry you had to see that. King Artos won't tolerate this. Prince Brynjar is not king yet."'

He paused, awkwardly, unsure of what to say.

"Oh, I'm Brother Beorn of the Order of St. Clemens. I am the Royal Herbalist and Lelinus' personal healer. I hope we might get along in the future. I am at his lady wife's service as well."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Ingrid Jorvikdatter Character Portrait: Beorn Clovermaen

0.00 INK

Image


Ingrid heard footsteps coming towards her. She looked up to see one of the holy men who had been at her wedding. His gaze seemed to go straight through her. Ingrid dropped his gaze and looked through the windows. She did not like feeling so exposed. The holy man stepped forward and bowed to her.

"Good evening, Your Highness. I... I am sorry you had to see that. King Artos won't tolerate this. Prince Brynjar is not king yet."'

Yet. That was the biggest problem. Artos was an old man. It would be sooner rather than later that he would be called to whichever gods he held and Brynjar would become king. That overgrown man-child would be placed in charge of the kingdom. Then they would have to watch as the kingdom barreled its way to disaster with him at the helm. Tied as she was to Lelinus, there was only so much she could do without risking another war or being tried to treason.

"Oh, I'm Brother Beorn of the Order of St. Clemens. I am the Royal Herbalist and Lelinus' personal healer. I hope we might get along in the future. I am at his lady wife's service as well."

Ingrid looked at Beorn. "I imagine you'll help deliver my children. If the Gods bless me with them," she turned her head to look at them. "You have nothing to apologise for, Brother Beorn. The one at fault is Brynjar. He is lucky tonight."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Ingrid Jorvikdatter Character Portrait: Brynjar Augustus Character Portrait: Beorn Clovermaen

0.00 INK

Image


As the feast continued on, King Artos did not fail to notice the actions of his elder son. Brynjar was many things: a brilliant warrior, cunning, and charismatic to name just a few, but he was also petty and short-sigted in the king's opinion. He did know where he went wrong with his son. His mood seemed to change overnight. He remembered after one particular patrol during the war, he had never been the same. He watched as Lelinus took his leave from the feast in order to pursue his new wife. Beside him, King Jorvik grunted.

"It would seem your boy has had too much to drink."

If only that were so, Artos thought tiredly. He gestured for a servant to approach him.

"Inform Brynjar that I would have words with him tonight. Also, inform Lelinus I would speak to him the next day. I would inform them of the future of the realm."

Image


As Lelinus approached Ingrid, he caught her words to Beorn. She was already thinking of children? He supposed she would. Their wedding had mentioned children quite often. He did not know how he felt about the expectation that he would become a father in the near year. As he approached, he heard Beorn speak.

"Yes, I would, if God grants you children. You should be able to bear it remarkably well, I think."

Lelinus chuckled.

"Yes, I think my dear brother was green with envy tonight as well as drunk."

Beorn bowed, "Prince Lelinus, thank you for distracting your brother. He was... Worse than usual tonight."

"I fear he will only get worse. Can you inform my father that we won't be returning tonight... Unless you want to brave the crowd once again?" he asked Ingrid. He doubted she wanted to anymore than he did, but it would not be prudent for him to make decisions for the both of them like that if he read her personality correctly.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Lelinus Augustus Character Portrait: Ingrid Jorvikdatter Character Portrait: Beorn Clovermaen

0.00 INK

Image


"Yes, I would, if God grants you children. You should be able to bear it remarkably well, I think."

Ingrid considered Beorn's words for a moment. She briefly pictured herself as an expectant mother, her stomach swelling as the baby grew. Would pregnancy suit her, or would she be ill for the duration? Would she be a good mother? Given that she had no idea who to trust beyond Lelinus, and that wasn't certain, yet, and apparently Beorn, she would certainly have to be an attentive mother. There wasn't a chance that she would let Brynjar get anywhere near her children. It was bad enough they had to live in the same city.

"Yes, I think my dear brother was green with envy tonight as well as drunk."

Ingrid started at the sound of Lelinus's voice, standing up a little straighter. His words confirmed what she had thought earlier in the night. That had been the look of a man who wanted a woman. She suppressed a shudder at the thought. Brynjar was apparently dishonorable enough to covet his brother's wife.

Beorn bowed, "Prince Lelinus, thank you for distracting your brother. He was... Worse than usual tonight."

"I fear he will only get worse. Can you inform my father that we won't be returning tonight... Unless you want to brave the crowd once again?" Lelinus asked her.

Ingrid shook her head, "No. It has been a long day. I would happily retire for the night." Ingrid pushed the thought of what everyone was expecting from her mind. Still, the thought of bedding Lelinus didn't repulse her. That was something, at least. Brynjar would have been another matter entirely at this point. She stood close to Lelinus as she waited for Beorn to leave, linking her fingers through his.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Lelinus Augustus Character Portrait: Ingrid Jorvikdatter

0.00 INK

Image


As Beorn bowed and left them, it suddenly struck Lelinus that he was alone with his new wife for the first time in their wives. He pondered her words for a moment. He knew what was expected of them, but he didn't object to it. He could not ask for a more attractive spouse. Surprisingly, she took her hand in his. He squeezed it as he led her down the hall.

"I have to say that I could have done much worse. I honestly don't think I could have done better. I am glad that Brynjar thought he could humiliate us both with this," Leo told her with a slight smile, "We will have to find a way to make this bite him in his arse, don't you think?"

"Oh, are wedding presents traditional among your people? I had yours placed in our quarters by a trusted servant. Giving it to you in public would have caused... Complications," he mused as he gently guided her up the steps towards the rooms that had been prepared for them. Luckily, they weren't far, though, Lelinus had begun to stumble slightly when they reached the top of the steps. When they stepped into the room, a sword lay on the doublebed. He let go of her hand to present it to her.

"The steel is good and pure from what I understand, but the pommel is new. The blacksmith must have felt like being creative."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Lelinus Augustus Character Portrait: Ingrid Jorvikdatter

0.00 INK

Image


"I have to say that I could have done much worse. I honestly don't think I could have done better. I am glad that Brynjar thought he could humiliate us both with this," Lelinus smiled, "We will have to find a way to make this bite him in his arse, don't you think?"

Ingrid smiled. Lelinus's happiness was gentle, like him, but still infectious. Given time, Ingrid was sure that this initial attraction to Lelinus would grow into something deeper, something closer to love. "We will." she said, her voice steady.

"Oh, are wedding presents traditional among your people? I had yours placed in our quarters by a trusted servant. Giving it to you in public would have caused... Complications," Lelinus said, leading her to their room. Ingrid was surprised. She wasn't expecting a gift from him. As far as she had been aware, this had been a marriage for political convenience. She hadn't expected all the excesses of marriage. Her free hand hovered forward as Lelinus stumbled, ready to catch him if he fell too far forward.

Lelinus let go of her hand and handed her a sword. Ingrid turned the blade over in her hands. It was a fine blade.

"The steel is good and pure from what I understand, but the pommel is new. The blacksmith must have felt like being creative."

Ingrid nodded, testing the weight and balance of the blade. She could wield it one handed if she needed to, but she had a feeling the sword would be better controlled with two hands. The pommel was solid. A smile tugged at her lips. "Thank you." She said, placing the sword on the dresser. She felt for the leather cord around her neck. She pulled the pendant from around her neck.

"My people don't exchange gifts so much, but we do have this tradition," she said, placing the pendant around his neck. She traced the lighter interlocked rings. "The eternal bond of husband and wife, and the light it can provide when the world is dark," she explained, tracing the darker disk that made up the body of the pendant. Ingrid looked up, finally realising how close her face was to Lelinus. "Taking our strength from each other," she said quietly, trying to fill the silence. Her lips brushed against his, pressing a soft kiss to his lips. She pulled away, her face still close to his. Her lips tingled where she had pressed them to his. It was their first day together, but there was something there. Her heart pounded and her stomach fluttered. For the first time in a long time, she felt like a woman first and a warrior second, in the best way. "Come to bed with me?"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Lelinus Augustus Character Portrait: Ingrid Jorvikdatter

0.00 INK

Image


Lelinus smiled slightly as he helped her place the pendant around his neck, his fingers brushing hers as she explained its significance. The irony of him giving her a weapon as she gave him necklace did not escape him or fail to amuse him. Somehow, their faces had gotten close to one another without his notice and he could feel her breath against his chin as she kissed him.

He returned the kiss gently, his hands finding their way around her body. He admired the feeling of the leather hugging her sharp curves and he gazed at as they broke apart. Her words caused him to tense in a pleasant way. The desire he had packed away so neatly earlier came flooding back and for once he had no clever remarks.

He pulled her into a kiss and led her towards their bed in a suddenness that even surprised himself, his hands reaching for the strips of her jerkin.

"Thank Artemesia you're not wearing a dress," he murmured. Love would definitely come, but tonight, they could begin to know one another.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Lelinus Augustus Character Portrait: Ingrid Jorvikdatter Character Portrait: Julius Gadfael Character Portrait: Beorn Clovermaen

0.00 INK

Image

When the servant found King Artos dead in his bed that morning, chaos broke out within the palace as news traveled like wildfire. Did the king pass away naturally? Was the king murdered as some said? Did the Fjellborgans, sensing weakness, murder him in his own bed on the very night the treaty was concluded? Naturally, people turned to a figure of authority and Patriarch Julius, as the preeminent adviser on the King's Council in the absence of a Chancellor filled that role quite well. He doubled the guard and had the king's body examined immediately for foul play.

Brother Beorn, along with several other herbalists peered over the body. He frowned thoughtfully. The king was in good health the night before. He found it hard to believe that he could just die. Yet, there were no physical wounds nor was the blood he had drawn reacting to any of his herbs or powders. He grimaced.

"Your Excellency, there is no proof of poison," a healer told the Patriarch, "At the very least, no poison from the North or Byrdain was used or Brother Beorn's herbs would have revealed them."

"Yet, it could have been poison from the south. If we had been there to observe him, we could have seen the signs. It would've been expsensive, one available only to someone with gold to spare. A prince, maybe."

"Careful, Brother Beorn..." the Patriarch warned.

"King Artos wanted to speak with first Prince Brynjar last night and then Prince Lelinus this morning. What if he intended to change who his successor was and he was murdered by it?"

"Silence! If His Grace, may Artemesia give him rest, intended to make such a drastic change, his Council would have known about it beforehand! You must not antagonize the new king with accusations of patricide, Brother Beorn. I cannot protect you from his wrath if you do."

"But it we could open up his body to see if there was damage..."

"And mutilate your king's corpse? Nonsense. King Artos the Great laid down his burden upon the knowledge that this long war was over. That is the cause of death and we now must begin preparations for his funeral and King Brynjar's coronation before Byrdain's enemies can latch onto any perceived weakness. Now go... We must prepare the king's court for a smooth transition of power."

Image


Lelinus woke up enveloped in a feeling of warmth. For a second, he assumed he was running a fever and a cursory touch of his forehead revealed that while he did have one, that wasn't the source of the warmth around him. He opened his eyes and smiled when he saw that his body was entangled with that of his new wife and his bed's covers. The night before was pleasant, far more pleasant than he had dared hope it would be. Memories of bare skin and touches of hands, fingers, and mouths coursed through his mind and he thought he understood a little of why some at court would risk life and reputation for unwise dalliances.

He reached over to Ingrid, perhaps intending to consummate their marriage a few times just incase when he heard the bells begin to ring. It started from highest tower, he knew, but the sound spread, the somber tone taken up by other bell towards other bell towers, the whole capital filled with the noise.

"Father," he whispered fearfully, he stepped down to the floor but slipped down as his head ached, his body acting up at the worst possible time. He thought he made a pathetic figure, sprawled out on the floor in the nude. Grimacing, he pushed himself up.

"He was not supposed to die this soon."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Lelinus Augustus Character Portrait: Ingrid Jorvikdatter

0.00 INK

Image


Ingrid shuffled in her sleep, moving closer to the warmth beside her. Her arm rested across Lelinus's waist in a lazy embrace. The early morning sun rolled in through the windows. Ingrid turned her head away, willing the sun to disappear. Surely it couldn't be morning already.

She felt a hand trail down her arm, it's touch feather-light. She smiled, pressing closer to Lelinus. Then the warmth was gone. In her sleepy haze, Ingrid frowned, patting the bed for some sign of her husband. The sound of bells began to slip through, pulling her to full consciousness. Her eyes opened. For a moment she panicked. Lelinus was not in bed. Her eyes darted around the room, taking in the clothes scattered across the floor and the incongruously neat furniture. She relaxed when she saw Lelinus standing. The moment of relief was quickly gone though. Ingrid slipped from the bed to Lelinus's side. She took hold of his arm, feeling the unnatural warmth beneath her hand, and helped him up.

"He was not supposed to die this soon."

That must be why the bells were ringing, Ingrid realised. "Your father is dead? But he was well enough yesterday." This didn't make sense. From the man she saw yesterday, Ingrid had thought he had at least another ten years on the throne. To die so suddenly seemed peculiar. "You and I will get dressed and then we will find out what has been said, yes?"