Nikolas Lysander

"Know this: family is everything, and you never leave family behind."

0 · 248 views · located in THe Kingdom of Caldomaa

a character in “Caldomaa”, as played by Lanaya


Ser Nikolas Lysander of Jeric

The High Road - Three Days Grace

Image Physiology

Name: Nikolas Anne Lysander

Nickname(s): Nick, Grim

Sex: Male

Age: 28

Height: 5'11

Weight: 177 lbs

Hair: Chestnut brown

Eyes: Sombre blue

Skin: White

Appearance: Nikolas is well built, mostly toned muscle making up his 5'11 stance and naturally boyish appearance. When he can, Nikolas keeps his hair short and beard to a stubble as to accent his defined chin and chiseled jawl. Life in the field doesn't always allow this however, and Nikolas is known to grow an unkempt beard when a razor isn't available. When time does allow Nikolas to keep himself trimmed and proper, he bears a strangely boyish appearance, juxtaposed with a subtle face of determination he carries with him wherever he goes. His eyes are a dull blue, but complimenting of the natural masculinity of his face. Commoner blood flows through his veins, and it shows. His hands are calloused from the constant gripping of a sword's hold, and deep in the summer season he tans just as dark as the farmers plowing the fields. When out in casual gatherings he wears a loose white shirt, hemmed low in a V at the chest, and black pants with black boots.

Rigorous life in the army has shed Nikolas of any excess and for the most part has kept his build almost exclusively to lean muscle. He bears scars signifying his attendance in previous campaigns, the most prominent ones being on his arms and hands. Wolf-like lacerations strike at his right forearm like a three pronged razor, but time has progressed long enough to leave only scar tissue. Stray scratches here and there perpetrate both his hands, but they remain relatively unnoticeable, only apparent to those who are truly observant. He is mostly seen in his armor, or a combination of both his casual attire and his armor depending on the occasion. His armor amounts to the typical equipment donned by those in the Caldomaa regiments, steel plates and greaves and a full helm. Caldomaa's proud symbol is emblazoned on his breastplate, and when in armor he typically wears a black cape embroidered in purple sitches, signifying his status in the ranks.

His Captain of the Guard armor is much more decorous than his standard gear. Black steel with gold engravings embed all over alludes to royalty, though he is none. His cape is the same, black with purple stitches. It is common of Nikolas when in the field not to tend to his hair, and when it grows long he looks substantially older -- a full beard and slicked back hair, and to the naked eye most commoners would consider him as such: nobility. Though this is not the case, he bears the markings of any typical laborer or legionnaire, and his skin is not pristine as it should be for a noble. Despite all this Nikolas carries with him a masculine beaten, worn and weary attractiveness that commoners would find endearing. He looks out of place in his position as Captain of the Guard, a commoner roaming the halls of the nobles and royalty he swore on his life to protect.

Image Health: Nikolas is very fit, life on the move with the army has kept him in excellent physical shape. His build is not gorging of muscle, except he trades size for a more lean, toned look.

Posture: Generally slouches, but can keep a perfectly straight back when under fire by his superiors during an inspection. He stands straight and gentleman-like when on guard shift, even more so when dealing with nobles or royalty.

Heredity: He bears his mothers soft eyes but the stern facial build of his father.


Class: Commoner

Occupation: Captain of the Guard

Education: There is no better open-field tactician, even dabbling in the guise of guerella warfare. He is well versed in precision, code and dogma. Other than regimental knowledge his education falls somewhat short to that of the nobles. He is smarter than the typical townsfolk, and trades book-smarts for learned experience. He is however very talented in poetry and literature, and some of his friends could swore in another life he was an art scholar.


Home life: Nikolas' home life is very stable though a bit sad. His father died while on a sailing expedition leaving both the fatherly and motherly role to his mother Anne. She handled as well as one could with that responsibility, working the fields and tending to household chores. Despite the hardships, Anne was a significant part of Nikolas' life, starting the moral foundation Nikolas would later build his life upon. He is thankful, and whenever he could he would lend some of his pay cheque from his time in the military to help out. After Nikolas was promoted to Captain of the Guard he urged her to move into the castle with him and out of their dirtied commoner home. She replied: "I want to die how I lived". Nikolas never asked again but still keeps a close eye on her, bringing Anne things from the castle every now and then. Nikolas' younger sister, Aeryn, age 10, doesn't bat an eye when he asks her to come visit him in the castle for the day (his mother won't let Aeryn move in the castle, since she herself refuses to go and Nikolas would get too busy with guard duties -- who would supervise Aeryn?). She likes to pretend she's a princess, and Nikolas figured why not give her a little of that happiness every now and then.

Religion: Both his mother and father were astute followers to the God of the Stars -- mostly because his father was a sailor. War and violence however has taken a toll on Nikolas' spirituality. He finds it hard to believe in any sort of deity but acknowledges their existence. His beliefs falls to that not of Gods but of human empowerment: the power of human determination, independence, diligence and spirit. The idea that honest work and honest effort will yield you honest results, to ask any more is to ask too much of a man.

Amusements/hobbies: His job usually keeps him busy leaving out any sort of possibility for down time, but when he does get it Nikolas is usually seen in the tavern's catching up with his old war buddies. He likes to horse-ride, fish, hunt, and can play a pretty damn good flute when given the opportunity. He's toyed with the thought of joining Caldomaa's royal orchestra but decided not to lest he be subject to the ridicule of his former brothers-in-arms. He also takes the chance to dine at fine cuisine whenever he can -- as in when not forced to being polite he will eat everything on the table. Perhaps its his impoverished childhood that fuels this, but regardless he just loves to eat the finer foods. This love has also stirred up an interest in cooking, but he's not very good.


Sex life: During the prime of his military career he slept around a lot, ravishing in the opportunities when far away from home in foreign brothels and women. He's matured now and sex no longer has the appeal it did during his youth, now more or less waiting for a woman he'd be willing to settle down with.

Moral standards: Nikolas' moral standard is a complex web spun during his time in the army. He strives to do some righteous things -- protect those who cannot protect themselves and give to the poor. However, he understands the need for cruelty and harsh punishment. He also has a strong sense of duty and will go at lengths to ensure he is in a position to fulfill such. If Sebastien were ever kidnapped he would order the perpetrator's village to be ransacked and burned, in fact he would probably be the one holding the torch.

Personal premise/ambition: Though not ambitious for power or position he does have things he would be passionate about in Caldomaa. First and foremost would be the reorganization of Caldomaa's regiments. Better pay, better equipment, better benefits. The living standards in the army suffices for now but he figures it can be better. Age is quickly catching up to him -- almost reaching 30 and because of that he would like to start the process of settling down and maybe starting a family. He follows no plan, preferring to take things in stride. He has however been smitten with a particular princess from young in his youth when he worked with his father spinning webs and hoisting sails. Suddenly Nikolas found himself in a position that could make things possible, but the fact that he's guarding her father doesn't help in the slightest.

Frustrations/chief disappointments: Nikolas does not get frustrated easily. It takes a lot to truly get on his bad side. He shuns laziness, apathy, and wavering in ones duty. He hates making mistakes, taking them personally and holding them bitterly in his heart to be remembered so that it should never happen again. He also regrets the lack of time he gets to spend with his family.

Temperament: He can come off as intimidating but for the most part is relatively friendly. He is a perfect gentleman around the royals and paradoxically can be a reckless merrymaker with his bar friends. He has sharp wit and and an even sharper tongue and is not afraid to speak his mind in jest or opinion. Nikolas has an assured sense of honor and loyalty and never does he compromise those things. He's got a good sense of humor with those in his circle of friends. There is a line between professional work and emotional relaxation, and Nikolas knows very well its boundaries.

Attitude toward life: Mostly pessimistic, fueled by the horrors of field combat and bloodshed. He isn't a downer though and prefers to keep these beliefs to himself.

Complexes: He will act recklessly, driven by code and duty. Nikolas will not take the time to think things through, acting on impulse and demanding action now -- not later.

Extrovert/introvert/ambivert: Ambivert


-Battlefield tactics
-Survival skills




So begins...

Nikolas Lysander's Story

Characters Present

Character Portrait: King Sebastian of Kaareviel Character Portrait: Matilda of Caldomaa Character Portrait: Desmond of Galirel Character Portrait: Lady Beatrice of Kaareviel Character Portrait: Nikolas Lysander Character Portrait: Sir Terrowin Character Portrait: Princess Aleiia Goneril of Caldomaa Character Portrait: Lady Samara Mason Character Portrait: Gwayne, Duke of Rosecrest Character Portrait: Queen Desdemona of Caldomaa Character Portrait: Princess Regan of Caldomaa Character Portrait: Benedict of Kaareviel

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King Sabastian

Image Image

It was a beautiful day in Caldomaa, the sun was shining in the middle of the sky. It was the first day of summer, and it couldn’t be a more perfect day. The servants were preparing for the grand feast the royals were hosting for their guests. Scullery maids were cleaning the great hall from top to bottom, wail the male servants hung garlands of laurel leaves which were being tied together by the maidens of the castle, under a large oak tree on the grounds.

Princess Regan was sitting by the lake with her dolls all dressed in fine clothes, sitting at a small wooden table used for child's play. "Would you like some more tea, Sir Reginald?" she asked one of her dolls, and poured the good doll a beverage.

"Oh but of course, Lady Snugglebut" she said as she poured "tea" into another glass.

"and you Lady Fluffybottom?" She looked to the third doll, and smiled

"Are you sure? very well" then sat and poured herself a cup of "Tea".

The Gentlemen of the court awaited on the training grounds, for the jousting later that day. some gambling before the start, others preparing to be apart of the fun. Wail that was going on, King Sebastian found himself posing for a portrait, he was dressed in traditional Kaarveilian gnarb. A Hide Kilt, a tartan with a large Lions head on his head.

"Make sure you capture my warrior sprite." The King said to the Painter, who shrugged and urged him not to move. Sebastian tried, all the while her leg shot with pain.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Matilda of Caldomaa Character Portrait: Nikolas Lysander

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#, as written by Lanaya
"I'm sorry sir, your swan needs to be kept under supervision," Nikolas had to stifle an arrogant smirk as he said that. He could feel his man beside him rolling his eyes from under his full helm. Caldomaa never lacked substance, and today was no different.

He was called in by Seymour, one of his senior guards about a disturbance in one of the nearby noble estates eloquently (and ironically) called "Swan's Peace". Seymour couldn't exactly explain the situation in a professional manner, and it took just as much as effort on both his and Nikolas' part from dismissing the case as a mere hoax. Needless to say a week later, one of the castle cleric's was sent to Swan's Peace after reports of a brutal maiming by a white feathered sky demon. Turns out it was a swan. Turns out it wasn't a hoax. Nikolas scratched his chin, pondering the awkwardness of it all.

"Ye're thas' swans' been up'n around'd here fer ever'n n its' been me mate fer ever'n, eh?" the estates gardener -- the perpetrator barraged Nikolas with angry talk. The Lysander man did his best to control the situation.

"I understand that sir but it doesn't change the fact that your swan is hardly domestic, you do realize it pecked out the eye of Ser Joffin? You either cooperate with me or deal with Ser Joffin, and I assure you he is not in the slightest as understanding as I am,"

Nikolas felt sad for the man. Swan's Peace was so devoid of kindness to the man that he found resolution in a swan -- albeit a feral one. He wondered if all noble houses were like that, a segregation of classes that forced two different parties so far apart that man had to find peace in something other than a fellow human, like a swan, or a beast. What a frighteningly liberating idea. Reality hit Nikolas like a brick. The gardener started sobbing.

"I know'n that's ser, I just dun want'n nobody to hurt'n my swan mate," he rubbed his sad eyes. This old man truly did find comfort in this animal. Nikolas could respect that.

"Here's what I'll do for you, okay?" Nikolas softened his voice, consoling the old man, "I know somebody in the castle, one with a princess' touch. She's very good with animals. I'll take your swan to her, maybe she can calm it down. If it calms down I'll send it back to you straight away,"

The old man's eyes lit up, "You'were'd do that'm for me?" his voice was shaky. He was obviously not used to such kindness by his authority figures.

"By my honor," Nikolas said with a genuine smile.

The old man smiled -- well, did whatever he could do with a mouth lacking any teeth. He thrust out, grabbing Nikolas and embracing him in a squeezing hug. The guard beside Nikolas was surprised by this act and instinctively went for his sword. After he realized what was happening the guard could only grin. Nikolas patted the old man on the back.

"Yeah, you're welcome," he said.

In truth, Nikolas had underlying selfish reasons. Half truth half deceit -- what was the problem? He did know somebody good with these things, and she did have a princess' touch. Nikolas had his eye on her for awhile now, of course his duties kept him from making anything substantial from the thought. They never had downtime together either, so any chance he could he grabbed at the chance to talk with her. Sebastien was an important man, and when you're charged with protecting an important man wooing his daughter isn't exactly high on the to-do list.

Nikolas made his way back to the castle, the swan in a cage mounted on the butt of his horse. The thing was flapping around, sending feathers twirling here and there. Nonetheless, Nikolas continued through the streets of the great city nonchalantly. It was a comical sight at best and Nikolas had his fair share of confused looks. Soon enough he arrived at the barracks, he grabbed aside Ser Gregoir, the most senior of his men.

"Gregoir, do find princess Matilda, we have a swan problem,"

Gregoir, the old seasoned soldier he was nodded, "This got anythin' to do with that fuckin' competition the king's got goin' on?"

Gregoir swore a lot but he never meant anything bad by such, he just. . . liked to swear. Nikolas shrugged.

"I don't exactly concern myself with those things Gregoir, you know me better than that,"

"Aye sir, jus' wonderin'. I trust you, you know that? Figure I keep an eye out on you is all. Least I could do, eh?" Gregoir grinned.

"Of course, ser," Nikolas nodded. He was touched by the old soldier's loyalty. Truth be told, he had the loyalty of everybody in arms in the castle, as well as the army. They would do as much for him as much as he would for them. Such were how things always was, and will remain.


Gregoir set out straight away. He was a man forged by war, forty years in the thick of battle. A beaten black patch covered his left eye, and his armor was worn to a blunt weathering normal for veteran warriors. The change in the castle was a welcome one, but he did miss the thrill of charging into battle with a man to your left and to your right. He had followed Nikolas after the boys appointment to Captain of the Guard, way back from the days when they were both in the infamous regiment the Crimson Riders. Needless to say those days were past them. It was only here, and it was only now.

Eventually Gregoir found Mattie. She was located with Sebastien and his other offspring. Of course, they seemed busy, so he stood only a distance away, waiting to be addressed like the good soldier he was.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Matilda of Caldomaa Character Portrait: Nikolas Lysander Character Portrait: Princess Regan of Caldomaa

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Matilda gasped in mock horror, crouching down to eye level with her baby sister “and just what did Mr Reginald say, my dear sister?” she asked casting a quick glance to the empty chair, which held her sisters imaginary friend. Many around the castle had told the royal family to not indulge Princess Regan’s imaginary friend, they said it would cause rumours and make her a social outcast. Mattie did not believe this, she felt rather sorry for her little sister, it couldn’t be easy being the only eight year old around and when your sisters were so much older and had their own duties to attend to it was no wonder she had turned to her imagination.

Although it did make her feel a little bit guilty for not spending much time with her little sister, still she might be married soon and her duties kept her occupied more than sometimes she would have wished. It was then she noticed Ser Gregoir, a most reliable and trustworthy knight of the realm, she can remember him from being a small girl. “Ser Gregoir” she greeted with a regal nod and a beaming smile.

Quickly glancing down at Regan she placed a kiss on her dark locks “I won’t be a moment, love.”

Walking over to the knight, she stopped just in front of him “To what do I owe this pleasure?” she asked, her small hands clasping in front of her, it was rather uncommon for Gregoir to address the royal family, it was usually the Captain of the Guard, Nikolas to relay messages and such “Is Ser Nikolas not on duty today?” she asked curiously, wondering where fathers handsome guard was that particular day.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Matilda of Caldomaa Character Portrait: Nikolas Lysander

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#, as written by Lanaya
Gregoir straightened himself, being presentable for the royal princess.

"Princess," he bowed his head in legitimate respect. For the most part of his career he had grown a distaste in nobility, frowning on their indulgence and elitism. Sebastien and likewise his daughters were quite different. He had raised them well and they knew how to carry themselves appropriately.

"Ser Nikolas asks for your assistance in. . ." he paused, "Matters of your expertise. The situation has called for him to be in the barracks with the men,"

He paused for a moment, looking past her shoulder and at the royal family going about with their day. Sebastien was there, poised triumphantly for an artist's brush.

"I do see you are busy, milady, I can report your absence should you wish to stay," he bowed his head.


"Nikolas! It's in the plaza!"

Nikolas cursed then turned to the man.

"Take your men down the hallway and cut off its escape! I'll chase it down!"

The day had suddenly gone awry. One minute the swan was docile, resting peacefully in the cage that contained the beast of rage, and the next it was up in Nikolas' face, snapping hard at his nose. One of his men thought it was in the best interest of the swan to feed it, and Nikolas agreed. What he didn't know was that the bastard opened the cage and was planning to hand-feed it the food. And now, it had escaped, squawking its terrible war cries echoing everlastingly through the great halls of the castle. He had round up a small group of men, enough to get the job done but not enough to draw too much attention. As if a swan running around the castle wasn't enough.

He had ordered all his men to wear their full helms, cages down lest they risk their faces being torn to shreds by the beast. Even now Nikolas could feel his nose, swelling up like a big plum in the middle of his face. It probably didn't look nice, and it for sure didn't feel any nicer. Nikolas had sustained his fair share of battle wounds, in fact, he's already proven his body capable to function beyond physical limitations, driven by mental endurance only, but that didn't change the fact that his nose ached and tears welled in his eyes.

"I've got it!" one of his men cried out. The fully armored soldier raised his great sword, swinging it hard and missing the beast by inches. He missed and chipped at one of the stone walls. The swan flapped a sharp corner, squawking menacingly and leaving the helpless men in the dust.

Nikolas had taken a shortcut, preparing to throw down head to head with the beast. He knew the castle well and that information served him well, especially now. He stepped out of one of the hidden doors, turned and was met with the sight of the swan charging straight at him. He could feel his adrenaline rushing, closing his full helm and raising his fists for combat.

Nikolas had great reflexes -- any seasoned swordsman must. They must be able to parry, dodge and block -- every action made seguing into an eloquent array of slashes, thrusts and bunts. Of course, with a humanoid opponent that was easy. Swan's were different. They don't have swords. They have long beaks like ivory pincers crushing anything and all between caught in its catch. Surprisingly, they also had quite a bit of weight on them. The combination of momentum, weight, and undying rage was probably what sent both beast and man tumbling to the floor in an all out brawl for supremacy.

He didn't want to kill the thing, he just wanted it to get the swan under control. Maybe a swift hay maker to the head would keep it down. He did thus, attempting to strike but failing miserably, smashing his gauntlet hand hard against the castle floor with a loud clash. His entire armed rippled in pain, and he grunted. The swan was too fast, too quick, and his full helm reduced his visibility to a pathetic slit in the visor. At this point Nikolas' men had closed in on the area, and eight of his soldiers surrounded both the swan and Nikolas, shields raised.

Once again proving its mettle, the swan squawked, flapping its wings and towards an unfortunate man, pecking at his full helms vision slit with lethal precision. The man roared in pain, stumbling back trying to collect himself. This had gone on for long enough. Nikolas, trading defense for sight threw off his full helm and jumped for the swan, grabbing hold of its feathery wings and tackling it to the floor.

The swan squirmed in his grip and managed to regain dominance, throwing Nikolas' back to the floor and snapping ferociously at his face. The only thing that stopped Nikolas' face from terrible ravaging was his strength holding back the swans slender neck and brutal face. He clenched his teeth. Nikolas' men stared in awe, the comicality of the situation was too strange for them to comprehend.

"Well, what are you doing?" he yelled at them, "Help me!"

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Matilda of Caldomaa Character Portrait: Nikolas Lysander

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Mattie quirked an eyebrow, wondering what the gallant Ser Nikolas could possibly need her assistance with, especially at the barracks. Looking back at Regan she frowned slightly, before turning back to Ser Gregoir “No, no, it is quite alright, I shall come along now. It must be quite serious if he requests my help” Mattie laughed lightly.

“Regan, my sweet, I shall be back shortly” Mattie called across the room, hoping that her sister wouldn’t mind too much, she made a mental note of taking her out riding later, yet, Regan would like that “When I return I shall take you out on your pony” she promised with a warm smile, before turning back to Gregoir “shall we?”


Mattie approached the barracks in the company of Gregoir, her father would not like her to be unescorted in a predominantly male environment, it wasn’t proper for a Princess, apparently, not that Mattie minded, she liked getting to know the people who served her family and the realm. An array of rather unusual sounds, greeted the raven haired beauty, the clanging of armour, men shouting obscenities, the clashing of metal, at first the princess thought she had interrupted a training session, which was until she heard a loud squawk.

The doors before her burst open as a swan, followed by knights in full armour, spilt from the room, they stopped her dead in her tracks, her unusual blue, green eyes widened in surprise and a little amusement “Am I seeing this?” she uttered to herself, with a quick shake of her head.

So this was the emergency Ser Nikolas needed her assistance with, a rogue swan terrorising the Knight of Caldomaa…Mattie couldn’t help but laugh at that. Of course like most things, this situation needed a woman’s touch, gentleness and calmness, they probably did not realise that such hasty movements were just provoking the animal even more so, adding to its anger and distress. “I suppose we should go and rescue our valiant knights from this mighty foe” she smirked at Ser Gregoir, hoping that he would share her amusement in the situation.

Lifting her skirts lightly, she walked down the steps and over to where eight soldiers stood, surrounding a corner or more likely the Swan. As she approached she heard a familiar voice cry out “Well, what are you doing? Help me!” Her lips tugging into a brief smile, Mattie gently pushed her way through the crowd, offering ‘excuse me’ and ‘thank you’ to the men as she passed. They soon parted for her and she was not prepared for the sight before her.

Matilda could hardly contain her amusement at the sight of the captain of the guard on the floor with a swan in what only she could describe as a headlock. “Ser Nikolas, are you wrestling with a swan?” she quipped with a small smirk.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Matilda of Caldomaa Character Portrait: Nikolas Lysander

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#, as written by Lanaya
The fight had lasted long enough to have wear on Nikolas, he was breathing heavily, locked in a stalemate of blood and sweat and tears and pain and weary with a his flat-footed nemesis. It wasn't so much as rallying the swan back into order now as it was retaining personal dignity. He lead the cavalry charge at Gerisan Plains, breaking the enemy lines and forcing them to retreat into the forest. He and with a small group of men retook the Jottingbor Hills, holding it until help could arrive. He owed it to himself to stand strong against the damn swan.

And yet. . a voice pierced eternity nearby the grapple. He saw her right away, Princess Matilda and her tender face. Gregoir was with her, and he stood over both swan and captain, his face a mixture of pity and humor. Damn that man, his timing couldn't be any worse. Nikolas immediately tried to salvage the situation, tried to make himself look somewhat of a dignified spirit.

"Ser Nikolas, are you wrestling with a swan?"

"Milady!" Nikolas said, loosening one of his arms grip around the swans neck and addressing her with an extended palm, "You look as beautiful as ev -- "

The swan bit hard on Nikolas' already swelling nose. The pain surged throughout his face, jolting him into sudden awareness.

"Bloody gripe!" Nikolas howled, loosening his grip entirely and standing up, kicking hard at the swan sending it hurling against one of the wall. It squawked in pain, and the men parted for the volatile feathery projectile. As soon as it hit the ground it regained composure, eyes wilder than ever. It sighted Matilda immediately and targeted, stampeding towards her.

Nikolas' eyes were wide. If Matilda was hurt, by a swan no less he would never forgive himself, nor would Sebastien. He grabbed the sword of the man nearest to him, drawing it out, a metallic screech echoing as it drew.

"Princess!" he said, poised to protect.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Matilda of Caldomaa Character Portrait: Nikolas Lysander

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Matilda gasped slightly as the swan bit down hard on Nikolas’s nose, he in turn jumping to his feet in a hurried manner, anger exuding his senses as he kicked the bird against the wall, her eyes widened as a hand flew to her mouth at the clashing metal and the sight of white feathers, she feared the poor creature had met its end. Thankfully no damage seemed to been inflicted upon the animal, he was merely dazed and quickly picked himself up from the floor, although his eyes seemed wilder than before, oh he was angry now, Mattie could sense it.

The animal made a bee-line for the princess, who to her credit did not seemed at all fazed at the deranged creature, behind the animal she saw Nikolas draw a sword in fear that she me be harmed, it was after all his job to protect the royal family, even from a swan; she needed to act before the bird was killed. “Enough!” her usually delicate voice echoed across the court yard, stopping many in their tracks, including the bird. Its eyes softened as hers narrowed “don’t you even think about it” she directed towards the animal, an unprecedented authority in her voice, like a mother scolding a child. Matilda moved forward with confidence, until she stood before the bird who now lay down at her feet, kneeling down Mattie gently lay her hand upon the swans body, her own body speaking to the animal, she was becoming one, her eyes closed lightly, before opening them once again, a bright smile across her face “the poor dear has a broken wing” she cooed, gently petting the swans body, feathers silky under her touch.

Resting its head gently in her lap, she laughed lightly “you may put your sword away now, Ser Nikolas, he shall not be any more trouble.” Lifting the swan into her arms, Mattie rose to her feet “come I shall tend to both your wounds” she smiled softly at Nikolas as she turned to leave.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Matilda of Caldomaa Character Portrait: Nikolas Lysander

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#, as written by Lanaya
Nikolas stared at Matilda, confused. The swan was as feral of a beast as any, and frankly, the fact the she had calmed it so quickly was frightening. She had a sense of authority he would never understand, something Sebastien ingrained into all of the princesses from a young age. They were royalty and they sure did exude the prestige expected from them. He remembered faintly staring up from the salty docks as a young child, the calm breeze casting over his face staring high up at the castle, wondering what was up there -- who was up there. He stepped forward, about to speak and somehow justify his case. The princess spoke.

"Come, I shall tend to both your wounds," Nikolas could have melted there, sensing the sincerity in her eyes. He would have given up his sword, his shield, placed them down to be picked up by another. All he wanted was some semblance of stability, a life where your best friend was not constantly at risk of dying in combat, or where you werenot always fearful whether or not you would make it back to your sister in time for her birthday. He gulped, still embarrassed, bowing his head.

"Of course, milady, I. . . apologize for this," he followed her, stopping at Gregoir first before leaving.

"I have a lot to explain to you Gregoir, perhaps we should integrate swans in Caldomaa's beastiary sections?" he grinned, ignoring the pain in his nose.

Gregoir raised an eyebrow, "You don't need to explain nothin' sir, just have a good time," a smile perked up on the side of his lip, subtly gesturing to the princess, walking away.

"I'll handle things here," Gregoir finished.

Nikolas smiled, "Aye ser," he said, nodding his way before following after the princess.

Nikolas caught up to her, walking by her side. His mind had reached a dead-end, and he didn't know what words to say or jive to play that could possibly salvage the awkwardness of his fight with the swan. He spoke the most prominent thing that came to his mind.

"You look wonderful as always princess," he complimented, wriggling his nose, trying to ignore the pain.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Matilda of Caldomaa Character Portrait: Nikolas Lysander

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Matilda cast her gaze back towards Nikolas as he apologised for the ruckus, smiling softly at his words, Mattie shook her head "It is alright Ser Nikolas, there is no need to apologise" she cooed lightly, her eyebrow suddenly quipped as a small smirk tugged on the Princess's red lips "I'm sure disturbing the peace only hold the minimal sentence" she teased with a small chuckle before walking back across the court yard, the swan still nestled in her arms.

By the time she had reached the entrance back into the palace, Nikolas was once again following her after quickly speaking with Gregoir, he quickly fell into stride with her, as they navigated the labyrinth of corridors around their beautiful home. There was a silence between the pair, although a comfortable one, it surprised Mattie how comfortable she was with the captain, she had always been a sociable girl but was usually less comfortable with people who weren't her family or close friends, but with Nikolas it just felt right.

Blue hues glanced up at him as he complimented her, averting her gaze briefly Mattie smiled and blushed slightly "Thank you, that is very kind of you too say." She spoke softly "you look very handsome, especially with your wound" she dazzlingly spoke, the words leaving her mouth before she could even think about it. When her words did register she blushed profusely, luckily the royal physicians room soon came into view. Opening the door she walked inside placing the bird down on a small cot in the corner "now don't you move" she spoke to the swan before turning back to Nikolas "please, have a seat, I shall see what I can do about your nose."

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Matilda of Caldomaa Character Portrait: Nikolas Lysander

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#, as written by Lanaya
Nikolas walked, pacing along with Matilda. The day was nice, a soothing breeze whispering through the trees of Caldomaa. Birds danced way overhead, small blue dots darting back and forth, catching and escaping each others bound. In the distance was the ruckus of the day, people hustling and bustling to and fro setting up vendor stands and advertising their latest product. Life never ceased in Caldomaa, there was always heartache and happiness, hunger and content. The balance in the land was met, not only with the pristine weather but with the people as well. Life never stopped in Caldomaa -- time never stopped in Caldomaa. Everything had its place and worked clockwerk in a machine much bigger than anyone could comprehend.

But Nikolas could feel a solemn space with the princess, where the worries of the day ceased and the day seemed a little brighter and the birds sung a little louder. He learned quick enough after his father had passed that those little things were what made a typical day into one worth smiling about. After Nikolas enlisted in Caldomaa's regiment it was shoved time and time again into his head that those little things were worth fighting for. Now, after all the years of weary and hardship balancing military dogma with family values and with his promotion to Captain of the Guard he learned the most important lesson of all: that those little things were sacred, and worth protecting and dying for. He treasured this short, but quiet time with the princess.

"Thank you, that is very kind of you to say," the princess said.

Nikolas smiled, noticing her blush. Anything to brighten her day he supposed.

"You look handsome, especially with your wound," Nikolas heard her say, he grinned boyishly, stifling a laugh.

"Then perhaps you should have been there when Gregoir and I stormed Vechkin's Tower," he referred to a past campaign he had partaken in. Nikolas was a modest man, but when it came to talking about his past and the stories he made Nikolas was never cut short, plus he wanted to impress the princess.

"Some bastard shot me while I was on the move, almost went straight through my knobs -- " he froze suddenly, cursing himself for his stupidity and sudden lack of formality. You're talking to the princess dammit, address her as such. Nikolas cursed himself then attempted to salvage the small talk.

" -- . .. knee. Gregoir watched me limp back to camp, since it ricocheted and a piece of shrapnel hit my shin ," Nikolas swallowed trying to hide his nervousness, "I mean, I was hurt that day. Not in a bad way, just because I look. . . well I assumed you thought wounded men were more handsome, so. . ." he shut himself up. He could feel his ancestors face palming from eons ago.

Nikolas sat down when she ordered. Perhaps his silence would ward off the awkwardness, perhaps not, but as of now it came to the captain as the most viable option. If his stupid mouth was shut it wouldn't say any more stupid things. He watched Matilda as she tended to his wound, admiring how delicate her face looked up close. Nikolas could have sworn he stopped breathing for a good minute, so focused, so observant, but he didn't care. He felt like he could be himself around her, and he spoke, softly.

"My sister Aeryn always asks about you," he spoke, a genuine sincerity in the Captain's voice as he recollected the conversation with his sister, "Well, after asking about the horses and the gardens and the food," Nikolas laughed.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Matilda of Caldomaa Character Portrait: Nikolas Lysander

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Matilda listened as Nikolas spoke about his past campaigns, she was curious and full of intrigue about his tales, for one Matilda had always enjoyed stories about great battles and sieges, about valiant knights risking all to protect and defend their countries. She hung on his very word, missing the drop in decorum, not that she minded, all the social protocols bored her at times, especially when people would dull their words just to make their conversations fitting for a Princess.

She couldn't help but chuckle at his slight nervousness "Not all wounded men, just some" or one, Mattie added mentally, offering a coy smile over her shoulder as she prepared the cream that would help ease the pain and swelling of Nikolas's nose. "i enjoy hearing of your battles, Ser Nikolas, perhaps you could tell me more some day?" she asked, genuinely interested in hearing stories of heroic battles.

Once the cream was prepared, she walked back over to him, kneeling down before the handsome knight and began to place the ointment upon his swollen nose, smiling lightly as her delicate fingers brushed against his skin "Don't worry you won't have to wear this all the time, just for a few minutes each day, it shall take away the pain and swelling." She continued to work as he spoke about his sister, whom she had met on a number of occasions and always found her to be the most splendid little girl. "She did?" Mattie asked with a beaming smile "And how is she?"

"Say, I promised to take Regan out riding this afternoon, perhaps you could both join us? Gods know it would put father's mind at ease to know that you are accompanying us."

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Matilda of Caldomaa Character Portrait: Nikolas Lysander

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#, as written by Lanaya
"I enjoy hearing of your battles, Ser Nikolas, perhaps you could tell me more some day?"

"By your desire, princess,"

Nikolas could feel himself grinning like a child. It was strange, the two never truly got to see each other often and despite that the Captain felt just at home with the princess as he would in the Lysanders small shanty shack by the docks. The shack where Aeryn would constantly interrogate information about the castle from him, forcing answers or risk his dinner to be tossed out the window, forever lost in the enigmatic waves of the ocean. Back in his youth home was an abstract idea to the young soldier. It was a mystery, something so secret and intangible that that just a whisper of a thought would make it disappear. Maybe, just maybe he had found home here, serving as Captain for a family he truly loved and would lay down his life for, just as he would his own. Maybe home was this beautiful woman tending to his swollen nose. He was in a daze for a moment, staring blankly at the princess until she broke his trance with a voice sweet as honey.

"Don't worry you won't have to wear this all the time, just for a few minutes each day, it shall take away the pain and swelling."

"Of course, milady," he suddenly had an urge to twitch his nose. Nikolas did so, it still ached, but not nearly as much as it did before. She was a very skilled herbalist, there was no doubt about that.

"She did?" Nikolas watched her, smiling as she inquired, "And how is she?"

"Well, good, I suppose," the Captain smiled, talking about his sister always made him smile, "As far as a rambunctious ten year old can be. She can be a nuisance to my mother -- to the point where she would threaten throwing Aeryn off the dock if she wouldn't stop," he paused for a second trying to picturing that. Little Aeryn being tossed off the docks by his angry mother. He frowned for a second because quite frankly, that wasn't hard to picture at all.

Nikolas listened to the princess' offer to go riding with her and Regan. He would have jumped all over the opportunity, but then he heard father and was a little apprehensive. His duty would go with the king. . . but if it happened to coincide with a fair horse-ride with the fair princess in a fair scenic avenue than who was he to complain? The fact was that Nikolas knew too well about the competition Sebastien was throwing for his daughters, and upon hearing Nikolas respectfully dismissed it as simply not being worth his time. He had already grew fond of Matilda before the game, and well, to be seen competing in it would not bode well at all to the public. He was the iconic wedge that drove harm away from Caldomaa's royalty, that was his first and foremost duty. He did not want to use his position to better his own ambition, and he certainly did not want to be seen as taking advantage of Matilda. Nevertheless, there was opportunity to be had here and Nikolas all too well ravaged it.

"I would love to," Nikolas replied, "Should your father not require my personal presence then it would be in my best interest to accompany you for the entire day actually,"

"As my duty calls for, of course," the captain added, feigning a sly innocence.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Matilda of Caldomaa Character Portrait: Nikolas Lysander

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Matilda listened as Nikolas talked about his sister, a small smile on her face which echoed his own, there was just something about a man who talked about his siblings in such a way; it showed that despite his tough exterior and battle hardened features, Nikolas was still a man who loved and cherished family, it was a sweet notion. “She is probably bored” Mattie offered as a possible solution “Gods know Regan is the same when her dolls and Sir Reginald do not suffice.” Her mind drifted towards her little sister for a moment, the familiar smile and warming in her heart ever so present, Aleiia and Genevieve were also close to her heart, yet they were different not only in looks but also personality. Aleiia took after their mother, Queen Desdemona, beautiful tanned skin and a gentleness that could challenge a placid lake. Genevieve was a mixture of both, she took after their father in looks, fair skin and fiery red hair, a gift from their grandmother and yet her temperament favoured their mothers. Now, Matilda was the image of her father, pale skin, the dark locks and with eyes which bore into ones soul, her own temperament was that like her father yet there was a soft and gentle part of her that favoured her mother’s gentle nurturing. Regan was more like herself than any of her other sister and perhaps that where their connection came from.

Remembering Nikolas, she shook the thoughts from her mind and focused on the man before her “sorry, seems I momentarily got lost in my own thoughts” she smiled sheepishly, bringing a cloth up to his nose and wiped the cream from his skin.
“You should bring Aeryn to court, I’m sure my own sister would like someone her own age to play with. According to Sir Reginald, I am too boring” she laughed lightly with a shake of her head.

Mattie noted Nikolas apprehension upon coming riding with herself and Regan, but understood, he held a duty to her father, not to herself but still she was a little disappointed, she found herself wanting to spend more time with the handsome man before her. Then he spoke once more and a bright smile tugged at her reddened lips “Wonderful” she gushed gleefully “I am sure he’ll agree, he does not like us to go riding out alone and perhaps by doing this he’ll think that I am actually staring to listen!”

Standing up, she walked back over to the herbal table, placing the bowl back down as she began to prepare things to tend to the swans broken wing “Ser Nikolas, are you planning on entering the competition?” she asked glancing at him from over her should “You should.”

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Matilda of Caldomaa Character Portrait: Nikolas Lysander

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#, as written by Lanaya
Nikolas felt a warmth inside after seeing such a positive response from the princess. He liked making her happy. Truth be told, he couldn't help but feel himself get excited for the upcoming horse ride. Sure Regan would be there, but he had always enjoyed her childish humor. It would be a fine evening, one so far away from the shores of stress and discomfort. He deserved that semblance of peace. As she turned away from him and back to the herbal table he didn't realize his eyes drifting, admiring the princess' feminine outline and behind. When she finally spoke his eyes widened, and he jolted suddenly, as if somebody was there to witness his guilt. The feeling quickly subsided when he comprehended what she had said. Had she read his mind?

The whole competition with the princess' and subsequently the crowning of heir to the two great kingdoms never sat well with Nikolas. He respected Sebastien, as authority, mentor and friend alike, but upon hearing news about the great romantic game he was apprehensive. It was always in the captain's belief that the successor to good Sebastien would have to be someone of the highest integrity, an astute leader and experienced political figure -- not some schmuck from elsewhere that happened to woo a princess and be rewarded class power beyond comprehension. And it wasn't that he didn't trust the princess' judge of character, no, it was just that he was still stuck in regimental code where title was only bestowed upon merit, not the personal preference of a particular person. His eyes softened as his mind trailed away from that thought to the slender woman in front of him. It was as if everything Nikolas had ever done led to this moment. The blood, the sweat, and the toil. Staring up at the feint stars overhead as a young soldier, the pitter-patter of rain drenching everything around. The screams, the war cries -- monumental surges of emotion that threatened to move mountains. Conversations in the dark with friends gutted by arrows asking: "What purpose will I serve?", and "Who am I to be?".

Who was Nikolas to be? Successor? It never really crossed his mind, for Nikolas did not want to over extend his fortune thus far. But he saw more in Matilda than just an avenue to riches and power as others might have, and he could have cared less about any of that. He knew that he wanted her, and even worse it made him sick to his stomach to picture her with anybody else.

Take the lead.

He remembered one of his best friends saying that before charging forward into the fray, his body now strewn in dust across a field long-forgotten in the sands of time.

And so he did.

The captain stood up, walking over to Matilda as she busied herself with the herbal remedies methodically organized on the table. His gauntlet hand reached for hers, turning her around. He looked at Matilda with somber blues, raising her hand and kissing the top of it gently.

"The time is here, and the reward is great, milady," he smiled softly, "You have convinced me to join in the fray with the rest of the suitors," Nikolas' voice was sincere, and he was happy.

Whatever blissful peace the two shared at that moment was interrupted by a loud squawk. Nikolas had completely forgotten the swan was there in the first place. He looked at it, returning a glare.

"So long as there are no swans in the mix," the captain frowned.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: King Sebastian of Kaareviel Character Portrait: Matilda of Caldomaa Character Portrait: Nikolas Lysander Character Portrait: Sir Terrowin Character Portrait: Princess Aleiia Goneril of Caldomaa Character Portrait: Queen Desdemona of Caldomaa Character Portrait: Princess Regan of Caldomaa Character Portrait: Princess Genevieve of Caldomaa

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Sebastian exited the changing room with a proud demur, one that is to be expected of someone of his birth right and status. The noble crown of Mjolla Wolvesbane sat nestled on his brawl, Although it may seem strange to some that a man would wear a crown worn by a woman to Kaarviens it was a sign of the connection, a shared history of oppression and distain placed upon them by the Elves.

Mjolla was no more than Aleiia’s age, when she was married to her second husband Croalinus Olccinnius. Already a mother too four son, the elves tried to force Mjolla into giving them her first husband’s land. The woman refused and claimed it was her right to keep the land her sons would inherit one day. Mjolla fired a fierce rebellion and instead of being forced of her land, ended up forcing the Elves out of Kaarviel.

Sebastian walked to the courtyard of the palace, with the usual ores of chatter and greetings addressed to him. He merely bowed his head gently and went on his way towards the tournament field. He couldn't see his daughters of the bat, however he did see little Regan sitting in the royal booth when he reached it.
“Papa!” Regan grinned and rose from her seat.

Sebastian patted the girl on the head and smiled, “Where are your sisters?” he asked and sat down, “and your mother for that matter?” he laughed. True he was a little early, but that was like him, and the fact that he hadn't seen any of his daughters when he left the palace kind of scared him.

Genevieve was no doubt with Desmond, and that in itself was fine, but Matilda and Aleiia. He hadn't seen his older daughters since breakfast. Cordelia he was well aware was away from the fuss of the contest, and he understood her feelings towards the whole mess.

Taking a deep breath he waited for the rest of the family. As little Regan smiled and said with a full amount of energy, "I think Matilda is with Sir Nikolas, he asked for her assistance a while ago."
That in itself was a relief to the King, that Matilda was with a man whom he trusted like a brother. "and Aleiia?" he asked thinking of his eldest daughter.

Regan struggled, "I don't know where she is, but I saw her with an elf not long ago." Regan smiled she had been hiding in a tree the past hour, and saw a few things when no one thought was looking. Like one of the gardeners picking his noise.

Sebastian nodded, "well lets wait a few moments." he said gently.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: King Sebastian of Kaareviel Character Portrait: Matilda of Caldomaa Character Portrait: Nikolas Lysander Character Portrait: Princess Aleiia Goneril of Caldomaa Character Portrait: Queen Desdemona of Caldomaa Character Portrait: Princess Regan of Caldomaa Character Portrait: Princess Genevieve of Caldomaa

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Sebastian rose as his wife entered the box, she seemed happy and smiley, as she kissed his cheek. Yet he couldn’t help but feel as if she was mad at him, for some reason. She did look beautiful though, just as she always did. “You look ravishing my love.” He spoke as she sat in the chair besides his, and with that he sat back down and kissed her hand. This vow of Celibacy she had was killing him; he wanted so badly to remain how things always were, however Sebastian did understand why his wife, thought it was necessary.

Regan giggled as her mother lifted her up on the large throne into her lap. “I’m rather good mother.” She smiled giving her a small hug, “However, after conversing with Sir Reginald, I discovered he is mildly racists, I just can’t be near such a person don’t you agree?” she looked at her mother with pleaded eyes, hoping she’d play along in her little game.

Regan watched as the first knights started to the course, and sighed. “I don’t know where they are, Matilda was with Sir Nikolas, but I don’t know where the other are.” She grinned and looked back to her mother.

“I left Genevieve with Prince Desmond.” Sebastian said to his Queen. Despite common belief Sebastian wasn’t in actuality King of Caldomaa he ruled Kaarviel, and a few islands of its coast, but Desdemona was the true Ruler of Caldomaa. Sebastian’s full title which he never uses is; Sebastain of Kaarveil King of The North, Consorte of Caldomaa.

“I pray Aleiia won’t be long, she typically isn’t this late. I would send someone, but she Regan said Sir Nikolas is with Matilda.” He hoped either of his daughters were not being swept by kind words, he needed them to be strong and not terry to emotions when picking a suitor. Dishonest men could use that to their advantage.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Matilda of Caldomaa Character Portrait: Nikolas Lysander

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Nikolas’s hand brought Matilda to face him, with a touch that seemed too gentle for such calloused hands, but then again she supposed his manners echoed those of his soul, for Nikolas was a gentle and just man. Do not be mistaken he was also a feared man, one of the fiercest men in the entire Kingdom, even now men told stories about his bravery in battle, his fierceness and loyalty to his King and realm and yet he did not like killing, he didn’t cause pain because he wanted, he did it because he had to for the sake of the lands he call home. His name would pass into legend, this Matilda was sure.

The more her blue hues studied her champion, the more she saw a King and the thought ignited hope within her. It was no secret that she desired the throne, Mattie wanted to be Queen, she believed she could be a good ruler, loving and just to her people, yet fierce and hardened to her enemies and with this man by her side as King of Caldomaa and Kaareviel they would make the greatest rulers the known world had ever known.

Matilda inwardly winced at her own words, she was a gentle soul, that was true, but it was thoughts such as those which proved she was her father’s daughter. She did not hide her desire to rule, like Aleiia did, she did not mask it behind her façade of ‘whatever will be, will be.’ Or hide it behind her intelligence such as Genevieve-no- she voiced what she believed, if she didn’t who would know? She would not be a woman who sat by, it was a man’s world that was certain, however you could not spell woman without it. Honestly this side of her scared her at times, it proved she was not a gentle wall flower, there was something within her that stirred and threatened to boil over.

His words were touching, she found herself smiling along with them as she absorbed every word, digesting their sincerity, here stood a man before her, pledging to become her champion, one of the greatest men in the entire Kingdom and for that she felt truly blessed by the gods. Although, Mattie had to be sure that he knew what he was getting himself into, this was not only a competition for one of the princesses but also a competition for two Kingdoms. “Nikolas, please be sure of your words before you speak anymore. If you win you shall become King someday and this is not something to be taken lightly. I do not want to force you into something that you do not want to do; I could not bear to see you miserable.” Mattie spoke softly, her hand coming to rest on the hollow of his cheek “I would rather marry a barbarian from the Northern Hills than become a burden to you.”

Characters Present

Character Portrait: King Sebastian of Kaareviel Character Portrait: Matilda of Caldomaa Character Portrait: Nikolas Lysander Character Portrait: Princess Aleiia Goneril of Caldomaa Character Portrait: Queen Desdemona of Caldomaa Character Portrait: Princess Regan of Caldomaa

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Sebastian grinned as his eldest daughter entered the Royal Box. That was one more added to the company yet still missing two, and of course there was the case of Sir Nikolas whom he didn’t like not having a few yards away. “It is good that you decided to make an appearance Aleiia.” He spoke in his low regal voice.

As he spoke Regan looked at her eldest sister and smiled, “I was just telling mother, I am no longer speaking to Sir Reginald, I’ve discovered he is mildly racists agents elves.” She shook her head disappointed.

“It’s too bad too, Sir Reginald and Lady Fluffybotton would have had such a marvelous Wedding.” She pouted, “Now he’s going to end up with that lupa, Mushy Sexopants.” Regan was aware she said a horrible word in front of her parents but it didn’t hit her till her father slapped her across the face.

“Watch your tongue, young lady!” Sebastian said in an angry voice.

“Sorry papa…” Regan said rubbing her cheek with her hand,

Sebastain looked to his eldest again, “Have you seen your sisters Aleiia?” he asked gently, looking to gather any information he could on Matilda and Nikolas’ whereabouts.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Matilda of Caldomaa Character Portrait: Nikolas Lysander

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#, as written by Lanaya
The words shook Nikolas' soul: he did not want power, he did not want status, he had already received so much that to ask for more would indulge greed. The only thing he wanted right then was princess Matilda, or at the very least a chance to be her one and only. But with Matilda came power, a force so evanescent yet so dangerously potent -- shattering kingdoms and bringing men to their knees if taken in too much. He was happy where he was, and who he had become, and he was torn telling himself these things as he stared down at the princess, getting lost in her eyes.

Deep down, Nikolas had doubts for his potential as king. He had no noble background, no prestige lineage that he could trace to the days where knights in gold armor rode across sunset fields saving towns and rescuing priests. He left the glamorous presentation to the noble folk, for in the army there was nothing but true grit to test a man. He was a knight, but he rode across black fields of bodies -- maimed and mutilated, no sun to illuminate the sins hidden beneath tall grass, only fire. Nikolas knew little to nothing about politics, he was too blunt, his word spoken too dull and brevity moved his personality every step of the way. There was no room for charisma in there, only the truth. His leadership skills were akin to the grit of the people who served under him, and that did not leave any room for sympathy or slacking, lest they be punished severely. He could be a cruel leader, and that scared Nikolas. The captain was an earthly man, live simply and die simply. Love simply, or find love simply. Becoming king was not something that just came by 'simply'.

“Nikolas, please be sure of your words before you speak anymore. If you win you shall become King someday and this is not something to be taken lightly. I do not want to force you into something that you do not want to do; I could not bear to see you miserable.”

But for her, he could change. In the very least he would try. He felt a touch, a princess' touch on his cheek, soft and delicate yet affirmed like the woman who stood before him. He felt dirty, allowing his personal desires to overcome his duty to the kingdom and his belief in the rightful search for a true leader. But had he not earned the right to finally seize some peace? He knew he could be a just ruler like Sebastien. He would need guidance from a softer heart but it could be done. Something in Nikolas ignited, setting aflame a new found sense of determination. If the path to kingship is what must be done, then it must be done. He placed his hand over Matilda's gently, feeling the warmth of her skin.

"I've never been so sure of anything in my life princess," his words were soft, matching the touch of her hand.

Trumpets resonated in the distance, a signal of the tourney.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: King Sebastian of Kaareviel Character Portrait: Matilda of Caldomaa Character Portrait: Nikolas Lysander Character Portrait: Princess Aleiia Goneril of Caldomaa Character Portrait: Queen Desdemona of Caldomaa Character Portrait: Princess Regan of Caldomaa

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Mona smiled at her husband’s greeting, even after all the years of marriage Sebastian still had this way of making her feel like the only woman in the world, his green eyes shone with adoration and love, his kiss light and feathery against her cheek. Desdemona had been incredibly lucky to marry Seb, he was her best friend, lover and soul mate and despite the odds their marriage was one of pure love and devotion, something she wanted more than anything for her daughters. Regan shifted in her mother’s lap, gaining her attention as she spoke, playing along with her daughter Mona gasped as revelations about Sir Reginald’s racism came to light “How very naughty off him! I hope you told him that racism would not be tolerated in this kingdom, little dove?” Mona warned lightly, falling into her daughters imaginary game, she had been warned about doing so, people had said that it would make her unsociable and a outcast, but one look into her darlings eyes melted all apprehension.

“Sir Nikolas you say?” Mona asked curiously with a quip of her eyebrow, she liked the commander of the guard, he was a good and loyal person, truly dedicated to her family and the realm, although it did intrigue her what her daughter and Nikolas were doing together, usually he dealt with her husband.

Sebastian revealed their other daughters whereabouts, beginning with Genevieve and Mona frowned at that, she had heard rumours of Prince Desmond’s scandalous reputation and she did not know how she felt about her daughter being alone in his presence. “I wish you wouldn’t have done that my love, maybe we could send someone to retrieve her? She should be here now anyway” Mona spoke as softly as she could.

Aleiia hurried up the step to the royal box, making Mona smile with motherly pride, her eldest looked stunningly beautiful “you look lovely dear” she cooed. Mona found herself looking behind them for any sign of their other daughters, a small frown appearing on her lips, they could not hold off the tournament much longer.

"I've never been so sure of anything in my life princess," Nikolas had spoken so tenderly that Matilda could have mistaken him for poet. His words brought a bright smile to her reddened smile, happiness emanated from the princess, had she found a man who would love her until her dying day? Possibly rule alongside her, not as her lord but as her equal. The man who would father her children and bring her more joy and love than she had ever expected; all this she read from the sincerity in his eyes, she her future his brown orbs and if she was correct it would be blissful.

“That makes me the happiest woman in the whole of Caldomaa” Mattie murmured upon a heavy breath, his lips were so close to hers, luring her forward, they were a mere inches apart when the trumpets sounded in the background. Pulling back slightly, Matilda chuckled lightly, taking his hand in her own she placed a gentle kiss upon his flesh “I should go, my family will be waiting and you must go compete” she sighed not wanting to leave, but her absence would be noted and didn’t particularly feel up her parents scolding.

Leaning forward once again, her lips lightly brushed his earlobe as her breath nipped at his neck “good luck, my love” she whispered lightly, her lips coming swiftly to his own in their first kiss, sweet and tender yet far too quick. Pulling back Mattie, smiled “Win for me” she muttered wanting nothing more than to be enveloped in his strong arms and skip the tourney but they would just have to make do for with that kiss for now.

The swan squawked, gaining her attention, turning to the bird Mattie frowned slightly “I’m sorry little dear,” she cooed, gathering what she would need to wrap the bird wing, it didn’t take long and soon the birds wing was bandaged accordingly “there all done, now you stay here until someone comes back to take you home.”

Trumpets sounded again as she turned back to Nikolas “I really must go” she sighed as she walked towards the door, her breathing slightly hitched as she gazed upon her champion “until this afternoon” Mattie smiled, as she swiftly walked out the door, any slower and she would have ran the risk of being pulled back to him and only the god know what would have happened. Never had a man had such an effect on the pretty princess, he made her stomach flutter with nerves, made her cheeks blush and make her heart pound. New developments but all very welcomed.

It did not take her long to reach the tournament grounds, she had practically ran through the palace only stopping when she saw the royal box before her, regaining her composure Mattie climbed the steps “I am so very sorry” she apologised to her parent, placing a gentle kiss to both of their cheeks “I had a swan emergency” she spoke truthfully as she sat down in the chair next to Aleiia, grinning at her older sister “and just where have you been all morning?”

Characters Present

Character Portrait: King Sebastian of Kaareviel Character Portrait: Matilda of Caldomaa Character Portrait: Nikolas Lysander Character Portrait: Princess Aleiia Goneril of Caldomaa Character Portrait: Queen Desdemona of Caldomaa Character Portrait: Princess Regan of Caldomaa

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#, as written by Lanaya
Nikolas watched her go. He stood there alone, encapsulated by the whole moment. It wouldn't be lying to say he was dizzy, but such was the aftermath when a beautiful lady touches lips with yours. It was quick, but the effect was still there. Such a whisper of sensual emotion, but tangible enough to drive even the most stalwart of men mad for more. The effect Matilda gave Nikolas was overwhelming, and he had trouble focusing during those few seconds by himself. All those poems and sonnets the captain casually read before had all remained an enigmatic script until now. He thought it was strange for any man to feel this way, for he firmly believed that a man was was only measured in what he could amount to in himself. Matilda's kiss struck him so deeply, left not a wound but a piercing desire to secure a place in her heart. Something tugged at him, pushing him off the edge and towards the leaving princess to stop her and plan an escape from all the royal faculties and charge. To run away from it all and to live simply, away from the stress of the world. That dream saddened him, and reality hit like a brick wall with the squawking of a swan. He frowned, turning to the animal.

"And I suppose you'd have a better idea?" he said bitterly, scooping up the injured swan in his arms and walking out of the herbal office.

He walked down the halls of the great castle, and as he did time knew no presence, the world appeared as a great big blur vying for the next time he and the princess would have time together. Everything seemed so routine at that point, the courtesy greetings by fellow guards and his nodding response. The lively atmosphere of the festivities seemed empty to him, and he couldn't explain why. And once again he didn't pay heed to the confused onlooking of passersby when they saw an injured swan tucked under his arm. The festivities had already commenced Nikolas noted, given away by the pleasant smells and typical noble indulgence of the people around him. He had to find Ser Gregoir to give him supervision duty for the time being while he was competing.

Nikolas was never lost, but with the sudden surge of many people it was hard to get around. He made way to one of the central guard towers, assuming Gregoir would be there. On his way he was already met with a drunken brawl, but guards were already hot in stopping the commotion. Just like any grand scale event he expected all of his men to be at their best, and so far they did not leave room for doubt. The large oak door into the guard tower creaked as Nikolas opened it, and he entered, seeing Gregoir leaning over a table of maps and castle schematics. Around him were several officers and higher ranks Nikolas knew personally. Gregoir looked up from his maps and towards Nikolas, snapping at attention and grunting: commander in the presence. All the bodies in the room stood at attention.

"As you were," Nikolas said waving them off. The room went back to their typical duties. Nikolas head straight for Gregoir, and he already see the old knight frowning because of the beast tucked under Nikolas' arm.

"Glad you could join us ser," Gregoir said, and with that he went straight to business, "So far there hasn't been anything significant. The tourney's about to start and we haven't seen any sign of foul play. . . yet. If Sebastien would have damned let our engineers build an enclosed royal box I would be a lot more comfortable right now. . . but.. ."

Nikolas interrupted, "Then there wouldn't be much of seeing the festivities down below, would there Gregoir?" the captain grinned.

"I suggested a two inch arrow slit on all sides -- builders laughed me off," Gregoir replied with a straight face, "Fools,".

Nikolas chuckled, "Divert the crowds into these areas, have Jerald and Rickey bring their men to the left and right quarter-zone respectively. Get some men on horses patrolling the outskirts, presence keeps the peace, remember?"

The captain plopped the swan on the ground, he leaned over, resting his hands on the table, looking up at Gregoir.

"Gregoir, there is a favor I need to ask of you,"

Gregoir groaned, "Ser, the last time you spoke to me like this I nearly had my arm torn off by wolves because of your little escapade with that blonde barkeep, what is it this time?"

Nikolas blinked, feeling guilty, and spoke, "I'm competing in the tourney. I need you to take over supervising in my absence,"

The old knight stared at Nikolas blankly, "Is this about the princess?".

Nikolas nodded, "It's all about her,".

Nikolas could see the old knight sigh. Had this come as a surprise? The captain was unsure. It wasn't like Gregoir was unbeknownst to his feelings towards Matilda. Just up until now they had not come into full fruition.

"I hope you know what you're getting into," Gregoir replied, tugging at his grey beard, "I'll take your place up in the royal box, just. . ." he paused, "Think this through. I've never seen you as a man to be so easily swayed simply because of a woman,"

"It's not that simple, Gregoir," was all Nikolas could say.

"Women never are," the veteran said, "Keep the horizon in front of you," was all he said, referencing a common motto during both their time in Caldomaa's cavalry.

Nikolas did not say anything, he nodded, turned and walked out of the tower. There was preparation to be done.


Gregoir's old figure entered the royal box. He had done a bit of polishing to his appearance a bit prior, but there was nothing that would stop his appearance to betray the weathered exterior of an old soldier. The royal family sat comfortably there, and Regan was making a fuss over a man from Semastand. Titles confused Gregoir at times, what was the importance of a name to a dead man? He walked to the king and queen discretely, not allowing his presence to interrupt their view of the festivities.

"My King, my Queen," Gregoir said to each respectively, "Princess Alleia, Matilda, Regan," he nodded. He turned to Sebastian, "Nikolas is with the men briefing them on the tourney grounds, he asked me to be you sword," the old knight bowed his head in respect. He was unsure if either queen or king knew that Nikolas was competing, so he didn't speak of such.

And with that, his introduction was over. He stood at watch like a sentinel, taking up Nikolas' mantle in protecting the family for the time being.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: King Sebastian of Kaareviel Character Portrait: Matilda of Caldomaa Character Portrait: Nikolas Lysander Character Portrait: Queen Desdemona of Caldomaa

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Sebastian looked from his wife to the two soldiers who entered the box. The one was Gregoir, the old winkled veteran looked tired from standing as he approached the box. The man’s words surprised Sebastian. “Shouldn’t Sir Nikolas done this before the festivities began?” he asked seriously starting to doubt his captain of the guard’s intention. He wasn’t blind, he knew there was some spark between Nikolas and Matilda but he had always hoped it wouldn’t affect his ability to do his job. A thought he was seriously starting to doubt.

“Very well Gregoir, if you do a good job today perhaps you may see a promotion in your future.”

Looking to his wife he asked her, “what do you think my love, is Sir Gregoir’s words true?” he used a title he was thinking of for the man. He didn’t recall knighting him, of course the man was so old perhaps Desdemona’s father had done that honor. Sebastian chuckled at the thought of the old solder, young and youthful. Maybe he was being vain, or over pretentious but the man had that sort of funny face, one in which you just want to laugh at.

“That reminds me, where is jester…” he looked around for the funny man, who always gave him bad news.

"Honk! Honk!" a voice peeked out form behind the tapestry. "You rang, you Magistracy."

Sebastian laughed, as the silly man began to juggle. "What a silly man." he remarked.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: King Sebastian of Kaareviel Character Portrait: Matilda of Caldomaa Character Portrait: Nikolas Lysander Character Portrait: Queen Desdemona of Caldomaa Character Portrait: Princess Regan of Caldomaa Character Portrait: Princess Genevieve of Caldomaa

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Sebastian watched at the tournament began, as the knight showed his daughters their skills in a good joust. They tried to flatter them with little rings and such and a part of the King smiled, as he thought of the silly Caldomaaen games he had some to understand. In Kaarviel a man wouldn't be caught dead trying to beg for a ladies attention. However Sebastian felt these knights actions were more based on greed then anything else.

Regan looked at the ring a knight had given her and grinned proudly, It was great fun and gently sat back down as her mother asked her to. "I don't like sitting down." she grumbled and crossed her arms gently. "it's so tedious." she complained.

The King looked to his wife and muttered something as Sir Gregor entered the box. "Do you think Matilda can look past her feelings for Sir Nikolas and even think of another mate?" he spoke sounding as if her was talking about breeding wolfhounds or something. As Sir Gregor informed of Sir Nikolas' tardiness he sighed knowing the old man was partly lying to him. "Wouldn't Sir Nikolas have been briefing the men before the festival even began?" he asked cooked eyed knowing something was up.

He hadn't even really noticed Genevieve enter the box, however Regan did and stood up in the most respectful way and asked her elder sister what she was reading. "Is it the story of the median and the Selkie?" she asked her eyes wide open.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: King Sebastian of Kaareviel Character Portrait: Matilda of Caldomaa Character Portrait: Nikolas Lysander Character Portrait: Queen Desdemona of Caldomaa

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#, as written by Lanaya
The docks were breezy, the grunts and cursed murmurs of the veteran sailors spiking the air with a childish hostility Nikolas had become all to familiar with. It would be lying to say he didn't miss the place, the beaten shanty zone that him and his father spent the majority of their time living in. Now with his new status the only thing that kept Nikolas shackled to that place was his mother and sister. Memories with his father on the docks and tending to the sails singed at his core. Some days he would sit outside of the Lysander shack, and some days he could have sworn seeing his father fixing a net or hoisting the sails on a ship. It never turned out to be true. Nikolas could not allow himself to believe his father was still alive. Only fools cling on to false hope.

His sister Aeryn was in the dirt alley that led to the entrance of their little shack. She ran about, whacking at the stray cats that littered the place and sending them scurrying about, meowing in confusion. Aeryn was a girl that could keep herself entertained with anything, and while that proved very useful out her on the boring docks, it could sometimes make Aeryn way too much to handle for his mother. Aeryn perked up, sighting Nikolas walking towards her. She always loved the frequent visits from her brother. He was the only gateway connecting her shanty life to the royal castle.

"Nikolas!" she exclaimed excitingly, throwing her stick to the ground and running towards her older brother. A smile washed over Nikolas' face, snagging her mid-air as she jumped towards him and spinning her around.

"Dear sister," he grinned, holding her at eye level after a moment, "You look wonderful,"

She gave him a small pat on the cheek, emulating a childish slap, "Liar,"

He was lying. Aeryn's face was dirt ridden, her dress covered in soot and soaked permanently with the scent of seawater. It wasn't that their mother was incapable of adequately addressing Aeryn's hygienic needs, more or less being because of Aeryn's refusal to take care of herself. She revelled in the dock-life. It was a calling gifted with freedom in exchange for material wealth. Nikolas might have revelled in it too if not for her position in the castle. His stomach sank for a moment, he wondered what Matilda would think of their quaint run-down shack by the seaside. The thought was silenced as Nikolas plopped Aeryn on the ground.

"Is mother inside?" he asked standing up and brushing himself off. Simply being in the dock area made his clothes dirty.

"Yes, she's making food!" she replied, running into the shack the Lysander's called home. Nikolas was sure there was no way to contain his sisters excitement. It threatened to burst at any moment. He wondered how his mother Anne was able to contain such a fiery girl.

The inside of the shack was one room. Big enough to house the necessities but not enough to teeter on the border of spacious. Each corner had an essential, a kitchen in one, a double bed in another, then a fireplace and a trap door leading to the basement. They didn't need a bathroom inside since there was one just down the alleyway that they were using just fine. Dead center in the middle of the shack was the worn dinner table, an artifact attesting to Aeryn and Nikolas' fathers craftsmanship. His mother Anne was by the kitchen set in the corner of the room, stirring a giant pot that was probably tonights food. As soon as Nikolas stepped into the shack she turned to face him. Both her eyes were milky white, a common symptom for blindness, but not even that could stop her from sensing when her son came back.

"Nikolas," she said softly, "You're back,"

"Did you not think I would return?" he smiled, walking up to her and placing a kiss on her forehead.

She shrugged, going back to stirring the pot. Her blind eyes stared forward through the window ahead of her, "Sometimes I think the castle holds more than what I can give you. If there is nothing here to make you come back, than why would you, hmm?"

"Exactly, why would I?" Nikolas grinned, grabbing to bowls and spoons and placing them on the table. Aeryn had already gotten her bowl and was awaiting eagerly at the promise of delicious food, Nikolas shrugged, "But there's plenty here to make me come back, since neither of you won't move into the castle with me,"

Anne smiled, bringing the pot over and setting it in the middle of the table. She smiled and cupped Nikolas' cheek with one hand.

"My dear boy, let's eat,"

The Lysander family, once again reunited ate their meal. Nikolas had to cram the food particularly fast because of the tourney and all, but that didn't stop him from acknowledging how delicious it was. Well into the meal Nikolas was wondering how he would him competing for Matilda to his mother. He was never good at caking up the truth, so eventually he spoke, throwing caution to the wind.

"Mother," he said, "What are your thoughts on me marrying a princess?"

Aeryn stopped, looking wide-eyed at Nikolas. It was more excitement than anything, but what he had just said caught her off guard. Anne, their mother on the other hand simply paused, putting her spoon gently onto the table. After a moment of silence Anne finally spoke.

"Which one?" she spoke, only audible enough so Nikolas could barely hear.

Aeryn piped up, "It's Matilda isn't it?!" she grinned slyly, "I knew it! Couldn't keep your hands clean from that competition, huh dear brother?" Aeryn smiled devilishly.

Nikolas sighed, scratching his head, "Well, yes and no -- "

Anne stood up and walked out of the shack, leaving both Nikolas and Aeryn confused. Nikolas was taken aback the most, did this not bode well with her? The last thing he ever wanted to do was disappoint the woman who basically raised him ground up, pounding into him the character and personality that made him who he was today. Anne had earned that respect and it wasn't on Nikolas' grounds to let her down.

"Excuse me Aeryn," he said, standing up and following after his mother.

It didn't take long to find her. Anne was standing just outside the shack entrance -- just standing there, staring at a blank spot on the other side of the alley. Nikolas touched her shoulder.

"Mother?" he asked.

"Nikolas.. . are you sure you know what you're getting into?" she asked softly.

Nikolas didn't have to think, "I am, I haven't been so sure of anything. Why do people always ask me that?"

Anne, turned, staring at Nikolas with blank eyes,

"Because Nikolas that's a whole different world in the castle, you think you might know how it works but you don't. You stand on the outside watching and protecting them, but do you really know? The nobility live a different life based around presentation. But you won't be a noble if you win this Nikolas, you'll be king -- royalty. Do you think just because of your tours in the army you're as qualified at this as Sebastien is? You need to realize that there's a disconnect with those things, between the regiments and ruling a kingdom. A king must look after people that may not like him, but still he does so fairly and justly. You cannot think that everyone is forced to obey like in the regiments -- "

Nikolas interrupted, his voice raising, "I would think I would know something of leadership -- and it's not about being king! It's about --"

"About Matilda? What about the duty you swore to the king? Do you think you are justifying that by allowing Gregoir to take your place? When you took that oath it meant you would put aside all these things for one thing only -- your duty! Nikolas, have you ever considered that you will not win? That you will lose? What then? Do you think Sebastien will let you back as Captain and all will be well? You've already proven yourself incapable of placing personal desires behind the needs of the family -- "

"Am I not entitled to some happiness? After all I've been through am I not allowed just a semblance of that?"

Anne paused, then spoke sincerity in her voice, "You deserve all the happiness in the world Nikolas.. . you've truly grown into a man your father would be proud of. But.. . you're a commoner, you can't change that. You bear no noble lineage, nothing to trace back to. These other knights, many of them come from a golden heritage. With your knighthood came the safety of your life, a security granted by the good king Sebastien after what you did. . ."

That angered Nikolas, "What I did? And what would you know about what I did? You never spoke to me once when I came back, lent not an ear, and you hung your head in shame! The one time I wish to do something right for once you shoot it down! I'm not the same man I used to be, dont you get it?"

Nikolas didn't say more. He stormed into the house. Aeryn sat there, tears in her eyes. The yelling from outside must have scared her. Nikolas couldn't bear to look at her. He couldn't bear to think he was inflicting pain on his little sister. What once was a pleasant family visit turned into a disaster. Nikolas went down the trapdoor, grabbing an old black pack -- inside the contents of the fabled and infamous armor of the Crimson Riders. He hoisted it on his back, climbed up through the trapdoor. He stopped at the entrance of the shack before he left, not looking back.

"Take care of your mother Aeryn," was all he said.

And with that he was off, he forced himself not to look back. He was going into this alone. The thought of Matilda was all that drove him onward. He caught a wagon back to the castle to speed up the distance.

His time in the Crimson Riders had forever scarred his reputation. They were an elite cavalry group, renowned for their horsemanship and sheer tactical prowess. Nikolas was only a secondary then, right below the rank of Captain. What the stories tell is that one night sanity broke amongst the ranks and a section -- Nikolas' section containing both Gregoir and himself broke off and started slaughtering villages and towns, anything they came across. Where the folktale and the truth divert is the reasoning behind the madness, a truth only those there that night would know. There is no justifying what took place, but Nikolas and his section were ordered by their Captain to do such things. Nikolas was hesitant first, but their Captain assured them that each village slaughtered was full of snitches and moles threatening to give away their position. Nikolas ordered the massacres to be done methodically, and word quickly spread about what happened. The rest of the section was exceuted for war-crimes, only Nikolas and Gregoir to be spared -- and in fact rewarded by knighthood. This was met with much controversy, and even now Nikolas knows not the motive behind their knighting. The Captain who ordered the massacres disappeared after that, never to be found. Nikolas hunted him from awhile, but to no fruition. His occupancy as Captain-of-the-Guard kept his mind off thoughts of revenge.

Nikolas donned his armor and grabbed his fathers horse from the castle stables. The armor alone was enough to turn heads, issuing hushed gasps of horror to circulate around the crowd. Nikolas paid them no mind. Within this armor he felt powerful. It was within Nikolas' means to prove to everybody here he was a force to be feared. As his horse clopped towards the tourney grounds people turned, pointing, fearful, shaking their heads. As he came closer he almost forgot why he was competing, until in the distance he saw Matilda sitting there in the royal box accompanied with good Sebastien, the queen, the other princesses' and Gregoir. A wave of shame overcame Nikolas. He felt selfish and dirty. This tourney was not for his own personal pride but the chance of love with Matilda. Nikolas put on his full-helm, an artifact crafted with a delicate beauty contrasted by the violent red plume running down the center. This was the mark of the Crimson Riders.

His first bout would be with a Kardellian knight. Nikolas readied himself, coming closer to the tourney grounds. Nikolas was a knight saved by knighthood and had more than enough reason to prove his worth.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: King Sebastian of Kaareviel Character Portrait: Nikolas Lysander Character Portrait: Sir Terrowin Character Portrait: Princess Genevieve of Caldomaa

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Sebastian nodded in acknowledgement of his daughters; his attention was split on the elven knight and a man he could only explain as impossible. “You did say, Sir Gregor that Nikolas was informing the men of the rules? Then who is this man darning those colors.” He said pointing to the knight wearing the colors of the Crimson riders. There were only two men still alive who bore that armor in their lives, one was highly praised and the other was standing in the box with them, and because he was certain Gregor couldn’t be in two placed at once it left only the other. “What is he doing in that!” he remarked his eyes in a boiling rage.

The Jester stepped back from the king, knowing the man’s temperament wasn’t the most easily to get along with. He didn’t know who to be more upset with over this matter, Nikolas for this betrayal or Gregor for Lying about it.

“I want answers, Gregor what is going on!” he grumbled as the frail knight tried to make sense of the saturation. He obviously didn’t know Sir Nikolas was going to pull something like this, but still Sebastian didn’t want to hear excuses. Sebastian rose form his chair in anger his eyes looking at what he preserved to be Nikolas.

The Elf from before made a monologue of some kind on the field, but Sebastian’s mind couldn’t make sense of the man’s words. Without a second thought, the elf faded from his primary train of thought as he lost to the Kalldrewllian whose name he believes is Lazio.