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Althaea

The Courtyard of Iracot

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a part of Althaea, by Maree.

The God-Queen's Dais is a vast courtyard that can hold almost the entirety of Iracot's citizens.

Maree holds sovereignty over The Courtyard of Iracot, giving them the ability to make limited changes.

218 readers have been here.

Setting

The God-Queen's courtyard can be described with a single word: Enormous. It is built like a stadium. There are stairs which lead down toward a flat ground where several different types of events are played, the most well known being the Sacrifices to the God-Queen. The floor of the courtyard is wrought from tile, depicting several scenes of the Sacrifices that have been given to the God-Queen.

Seating is provided by stone benches, carved out of the very earth from where the stadium was built. The courtyard is oval in shape. A wall with delicate and curling designs surround the entire area save the entrances and the God-Queen's balcony.

The only entrances are on the northern, eastern, and western sides. Vendors are allowed to sell their wares and goods on the outside of the courtyard, but are disallowed inside the walls.

At the southern curve is the God-Queen's balcony which overlooks the entire courtyard. An archway was constructed behind the balcony in order to amplify sound.
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The Courtyard of Iracot

The God-Queen's Dais is a vast courtyard that can hold almost the entirety of Iracot's citizens.

Minimap

The Courtyard of Iracot is a part of Palace of Iracot.


Characters Present

Character Portrait: Sarene Iracot Character Portrait: Orfea Pathen Character Portrait: Shiabiann Xao-Lai Character Portrait: Magnus Ightlor Character Portrait: The God-Queen's Knights Character Portrait: Sven Khagal Character Portrait: Cordelia Ightlor Character Portrait: Calor Elohan Character Portrait: Parem' Zel Character Portrait: Selwyn Austaire Character Portrait: Alber Roth
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Selwyn remained seated, smirking at Shiabiann's attempted words of insult.

"Come now, Magistrate. Jealousy is not a good look on you, especially on such a joyous occasion. I daresay our 'God-Queen' would only want positive emotion from one of her Throne Holders," he spoke with only a mere hint of apathy in his voice.

"Besides, it would be such a terrible shame if one of your top earners were to suddenly disappear, or if perhaps a brothel of yours burnt down from a drunken citizen celebrating the day's events. Of course, should such a terrible event occur, you have the full support of the Merchant's Ward."

Selwyn moved his attention from the cat and mouse conversation over to the blue haired Knight known as Orfea Pathen, summoned for the execution. As she turned to the crowd to deliver her blasphemous tirade, Selwyn reached into his belt and grasped the hilt of an ornate dagger, sheathed in crimson, bearing the head of a silver fox at the base of the handle.

Upon Magistrate Shiabiann's words of scold to Orfea, Selwyn rushed up behind the blue haired Knight and held his now drawn dagger to her throat as the rest of the Knights readied their weapons at the woman. The God-Queen took her leave to return indoors just before Selwyn leaned in close to Orfea's ear, lowering his voice to a mere whisper.

"A word of advice; if there's one thing I learned along my rise, it would be to never let anyone know your true intentions, my dear Orfea."

Selwyn let the God-Queen's Knights take her out of his grasp before turning back to Shiabiann.

"This does not bode well for our Wards, Magistrate. Order must be restored, or riots in our streets are inevitable," the man spoke as he turned to the now restless crowd, chanting and screaming obscenities up at the stage. He began to address them, drenching his words in as much charisma as he could muster. Selwyn raised both his hands in an attempt to garner the masses' attention.

"People of Iracot, do not fear. Praise be the God-Queen and her rule. We are now blessed with not only one, but two sacrifices on this, a most momentous of days. Enjoy the rest of the ceremony, and afterwards, enjoy your first round of drinks on me at any one of the taverns in the Merchant's Ward," he let the words ring out before delivering the finale to his speech.


"In addition, Magistrate Shiabiann Xao-Lai is most graciously offering her Ward's services at half price all evening in celebration of our Holiness herself!"

Selwyn smiled, knowing Shiabiann would not be pleased at all. He lowered his hands and turned to the stunning Magistrate of the Pleasure Ward, speaking so only she could hear.

"We do what we must to keep order," Selwyn said, his smart smirk turning into a full on smile.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Sarene Iracot Character Portrait: Orfea Pathen Character Portrait: The God-Queen's Knights Character Portrait: Parem' Zel
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Image
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"You dare to blaspheme your God-Queen?" The words echoed across the courtyard... "Seize her!" the god-queen had ordered. "Well, that's my Que." Parem whispered to himself. He glanced at the kid burning alive. He could have stopped the fire, but it was too late. He would be long dead before Parem could get him to safety.

With fury in his golden eyes, Parem leaped up onto the sacrificial platform next to the girl. He quickly unsheathed his Elvish made Black Falchion sword and made direct eye contact with the God-Queen. "Not today you foul witch." He shouted with anger and confidence in his voice. The knights began to charge but before they could approach them, Parem formed a meter thick ring of fire around him and the girl. Sweat began to bead down his forehead. He had to force himself not to fall to his knees because of the immense amount of energy needed to sustain the ring wall of fire. Then he grabbed a hold of the girl and with a loud shout "DUROCK!"...

A dark shadow overcame them as the elephant sized, black feathered Griffon rocketed toward the ground next to them. The Griffon made an ear piercing screech that made many of the windows surrounding the courtyard shatter. Suddenly the ring of fire disappeared and using the last bit of energy he had left he grabbed a hold of the girl and lifted her onto the Griffon. "Pardon me miss, but our ride is here." With all the strength he had left he glanced back at the knights that were now almost upon them, then jumped onto Durocks back.

Without a moments notice, Durock spread his wings and soared into the air away from the courtyard...
But not before a rouge arrow pierced Parem at the back of his right shoulder...
With incredible pain, Parem broke the arrow and collapsed on Durocks back bleeding heavily, unconscious.
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Characters Present

Character Portrait: Shiabiann Xao-Lai Character Portrait: Selwyn Austaire
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#, as written by Maree
"I should have your handsome head on a stake, Selwyn Austaire," Shiabiann hissed between her teeth. It was going to be a costly evening. The angry hordes who needed to sate their appetites were going to tire out her ladies and boys. The repercussions to Shiabiann's ward were going to be irreparable.

"While you were busy attempting to tame the masses perhaps you did not hear Calor Elohan's words," the Magistrate said. A smirk curled up on her lip. "The God-Queen Sarene Iracot has gone against our wishes of her marrying the Knight-Commander. She pronounced Calor Elohan to be her husband." Shiabiann looked at Selwyn expectantly.

"It must be fixed," the woman said, approaching Selwyn as she did so. Shiabiann eyed his body from head to toe, examining every portion of him.

"Such a waste on a lowly virgin girl. When you develop a real taste for women do come pay me a visit," Shiabiann offered before she leaned in toward the man as if to place a kiss on his lips. She stopped at the last inch, smiled her vicious acidic smile, and then turned on her spiked heels.

"Tomorrow morning we will convene to discuss recent events," Shia said with a wave, leaving the courtyard.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Sarene Iracot Character Portrait: Orfea Pathen Character Portrait: Shiabiann Xao-Lai Character Portrait: The God-Queen's Knights Character Portrait: Calor Elohan Character Portrait: Parem' Zel Character Portrait: Selwyn Austaire Character Portrait: Melody Graven
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Melody watched complacently as things went south. Poor pitiful Orfea. Melody instantly knew there would be bigger repercussions for the girl's actions and wasn't surprised by her thoughts. Not only did the God-Queen become angry, but decided to punish the girl's family as well. As the musician stood there, she kept her calm as others next to her started to panic. Taking a deep breath, she steadied herself, ready to move if possible. The tension in the air though rose to a feverish pitch by what happened next. She caught a flash of movement as she saw a man saved Orfea. The silver hair woman gave the man credit for his courage. The fact that he was a magic user didn't surprise her for a good number of people were like that, herself included.

When Magistrate Selwyn spoke though, Melody wanted to roll her eyes, but didn't. A more silver-tongue fellow she'd yet to meet. She had performed at his tavern at times and had been a target of some unsavory characters, the magistrate included. She had yet to figure out his true motives though. One thing he was good with was his words.

Of course the next one to speak was none other than the God-Queen's shadow himself, Calor Elohan. When he ordered all to bow, she wasted no time in doing so. Inside though she hated doing this. She only served her masters, but until she was given a direct order to act, she would bide her time. His speech did make a point though. Humans were natural hypocrites. She herself was one of them and be the first to admit it. However, her purpose was for the greater good.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Alber Roth
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So it had began. Every omen, every sign had pointed to this, but Alber had desperately prayed this would not come to pass, and the culprit that would plant the seeds of chaos was the man he has spoken with not ten minutes before. He knew he felt something coming from the boy, but it now seemed this boy wouldn't play the role of this realms savior. This single act would send the dogs of the Queen to the streets. Innocent people would be executed and the city would be torn apart in her name, leaving the blame for this chaos on the head of the man riding the Griffin. Those that oppose the Queen will be labeled as monsters, not just by the Queen but the people as well. Alber only hoped he could find this "Father" before the knights did.

"It seems the he is not the one from the visions after all. Perhaps I should have known it would not have been this easy. War was coming anyway I suppose, I only hope the one from the visions makes and appearance soon. If not, the resistance is doomed."

Alber blew a puff of smoke into the air, and disappeared into the crowd, he would go to meet father. He hoped others would as well.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Orfea Pathen Character Portrait: Shiabiann Xao-Lai Character Portrait: The God-Queen's Knights Character Portrait: Calor Elohan Character Portrait: Melody Graven
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Selwyn's grin remained on his face throughout Shiabiann's words. Of course, he knew she would recover from his actions, but watching her lose her normal cool, calm, and collective demeanor gave him more pleasure than any of the girls in her Ward ever could. However, she was correct on one count, nonetheless; the God-Queen had gone against the Magistrate's wishes in choosing Calor Elohan as her betrothed, and this was unacceptable. Though his alluring and dark features wouldn't show it on his face, Selwyn was not pleased.

"No matter, my dear. There are other options. We always manage to find a way, do we not?" he asked the stunning woman before him.

Although the two had a tumultuous and complicated relationship, at the end of the day, Selwyn would not want to lose Shiabiann as an ally. She was a powerful and resourceful woman. And he knew she must feel the same way as him on this matter. When she leaned in close to him, he made sure to not break eye contact, staring into her eyes with his brown ones.

"Well, Magistrate, if I ever decide to develop a penchant for scars, blood, and bruises upon waking up next to you in your bedchambers, I will be sure to consider your offer," Selwyn gave a moment to let the words resonate.

"Until tomorrow," he smirked, taking her hand ever so gently and raising it up to his lips, planting a soft kiss on one of the most bloodstained hands in Iracot.

It was now time to ready the Crimson Fox for the Knights' party.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Orfea Pathen Character Portrait: Shiabiann Xao-Lai Character Portrait: Magnus Ightlor Character Portrait: The God-Queen's Knights Character Portrait: Cordelia Ightlor Character Portrait: Calor Elohan Character Portrait: Parem' Zel Character Portrait: Alber Roth Character Portrait: Melody Graven
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Enrico was outraged; not only had Orfea done a dis-service to their Lady, but she had dishonored him by taking his weapon, only to cast it upon the ground. The other Knights on the platform were stunned; but not for long.

As soon as the God-Queen ordered her seized, they went into action. Magistrate Selwyn, with a fury that matched his importance, got to her first. Placing his dagger to her neck, he speaks a few words, before Marcus and Charley both move forward to take her by the arms and lower her head to the ground. Enrico had retrieved his Scythe, and was preparing to administer the God-Queen's will.


Gabriel had watched the proceedings with disgust. To think, one of his own would dare defy their God-Queen. She deserved more than a quick death, but it was not his duty to decide.

With Sarene going back into the Palace, her personal guard in tow, it was now Gabriel's duty to quell any sort of dissent that might rise. Seldom did it occur that people were displeased after a ceremony, but a public outcry of this sort... he was pleased to have Magistrate Selwyn providing words of wisdom and complacence to the crowd. Political creature though Gabriel was, his pursuit was more direct than diplomatic.



Ostdarva waited in the bell tower. He was stationed there to utilize the fullest of his skills; the long-range rifle he bore. Many of the words from the crowd below failed to filter up to him, but the voice of the God-Queen always managed to find him.

Orfea would die.

It was not his duty to administer that death, however; his was to ensure none sought to stop it. And, through his magnification glass, he could see... one man, amidst an unmoving crowd, rushing forward. He aims down, taking his time...


In the crowd, several Knights were hunting for Orfea's dishonored family. They would submit to execution, or they would die more messily; they were not concerned. Dravinglov and Naya, however, had been keeping their eyes out for more noticeable actions, moving towards the raised proceedings in order to do so.

----

Calvin, out in the courtyard, remained largely silent as he watched the proceedings between Magnus and his sister. He was tactful enough to realize the gravity of the situation. And he knew something had gone wrong in the Courtyard, which further steeled his usually more relaxed attitude.

He was surprised, none the less, when Magnus addressed him. "Of course," he replies in surprise, then hardens his voice. "No harm shall come to her while I yet live," he says seriously. All the past few minutes were in the past, as far as he was concerned.


----


Before the full proceedings could be brought against Orfea, the man from the crowd leaps up onto the platform; drawing their weapons to defend themselves, the Knights move against him. Through some means of magic or skill, he had evaded them and, despite it all, brought himself next to Orfea.

The Knights could not penetrate the flame, but when the great beast had flown down and carried the man and woman away, they could strike.


Or rather, Ostdarva and Dravinglov could strike. Dravinglov's rifle was unslung and aimed skyward, and he fires. With such a swift target, hitting it from the ground would be difficult, but he was a skilled marksman. The true shot would come from Ostdarva. Biding his time, he had waited, through the attack, into the retreat, waiting for the perfect shot... and it came, just as the beast became level with him in the high tower.

He fires, seeking to send his shot through not the man, nor the beast he rode, but Orfea. The God-Queen's will would be done.

He begins reloading his weapon reverently. If he hit his target- or any of those who had been within his sights- the Knights below would deal with the remains.

----

The blast from Ostdarva's rifle was the last sound in the Courtyard before the speech of Calor. The Knights, even Gabriel, had stood at attention in response, save those who had begun hunting the Gryphon and its cargo. They were watchful, seeing the people respond, and bow. A few did not. Those few would be hunted. But for the moment, they had bigger plans to commence.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Orfea Pathen Character Portrait: Magnus Ightlor Character Portrait: The God-Queen's Knights Character Portrait: Cordelia Ightlor Character Portrait: Parem' Zel
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#, as written by Maree
ImageMagnus nodded at Calvin as a great shadow passed overhead. He looked up and saw what was a gryphon that was not bearing the colors of the God-Queen. His keen eyes spotted the blue hair and instantly knew what had happened.

"Stay your posts!" Magnus ordered Cordelia and Calvin both. He thrust his index fingers into his mouth and gave a loud whistle. The newly instated Dragoon took off at a run.

A roar resounded through the air and a greater shadow than what the gryphon had cast flew over the streets and buildings of Iracot. There was no mistaking the sound for it was the battle roar of a dragon, one of the few the Dragoons were bonded to.

Using the ability of Sight through the bond with his dragon, Magnus sought out the gryphon. Upon its back was an unknown man and Orfea. The God-Queen's orders concerning the blue-haired woman were clear. There was no mistaking the words spoken throughout the courtyard.

The dragon with its greater speed began to race toward the gryphon releasing another bone-trembling roar. Its chest expanded and when it came close enough it spurted forth a massive arc of flame at Parem'Zel and Orfea.

The massive dragon would not relent its attack until the target was dead either by flame, teeth, or claws.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Sarene Iracot Character Portrait: Orfea Pathen Character Portrait: The God-Queen's Knights Character Portrait: Parem' Zel
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Orfea stared at the man in shock, not really understanding what had just happened. She was so ready to die, and yet there she was; alive. Her eyes opened wide, she finally grasped the situation at hand. As she was swept onto the grython's back, she spoke - well, it was more of a weak mumble.
"Thank you..." But then she looked back over to her parents, as they struggled against the hold they had held upon their wrists. But what shocked her the most was the rage in their eyes. She knew they'd have been mad... But not enraged. They then both noticed her, and began to curse her loudly as she retreated on the gryphon's back with the mysterious man.
Shaking her head slowly, she let the tears stream freely down her paled cheeks. Unknowingly, she'd let her head rest on his shoulder as she gently let her eyelids rest.
Orfea could hear the chaos from below, but was content in her own thoughts. She didn't care for the 'God-Queen' any longer. It was then she realised, that a duty that is nothing more than what then whom it is too.