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Anerin

"Until death take me..."

0 · 510 views · located in Domhanda

a character in “Chronicles of Domhanda”, as played by The Cynic

Description

ANERIN.
ImageN a m e s a k e:
Grand Duke Anerin, Son of Caederyn.
A l i a s:
Anerin.
N u m e r i c a l:
Age: 31 | Birth: First of February.
S o c i o l o g i c a l:
| Profession: Ruler.. | Martial Status: Betrothed.. | Homeland: Croasaire, Cathair.. | Allegiance: Glasluigh..| Status: Royalty..
B i o l o g i c a l :
| Height: 5'11ft. | Weight: 180lbs. |Ethnicity: Croasarian.

P s y c h o l o g i c a l:
Anerin's known for his loyalty, righteousness, and compassion. He will do anything for his people and always bases his actions for the good of all, rather than his own desires. Despite this, he is also known to have an explosive temper. His aloofness often comes off as cold-hearted, but this is not so.
Image
P r o f i l e :
Anerin is average in stature. He is stout, lean, and well-muscled. His eyes are slate in color, his skin a light olive, and hair dark chocolate. Despite his royal background, Anerin chooses to dress quite plainly, preferring lackluster tunics over lavish robes.
K i n d r e d:
Anerin's lineage is vast and prestigious. He technically belongs to a long line of Croasarian kings, however, due to his illegitimate blood, he is no longer fit to inherit the throne. He grew up closely with his brother, Baothein, who is now the commander of the Croasarian army. This fact weighs heavily on Anerin's heart, because he knows deep down he will eventually have to meet his brother in battle, and likely end his life. Anerin never had a stable relationship with his father; he had always grown up in the shadow of his brother, therefore never had a bright future to begin with. Rumors eventually began to spread through Cathair that Anerin's mother had been a castle servant. When these rumors were confirmed, Anerin was exiled to Glasluigh to join his uncle's court, whom had recently been stationed in Glasluigh after the country had been conquered by Croasaire. Anerin eventually ended up killing his uncle, older cousin, and his aunt, but spared the young life of his cousin Faolan. His relationship with Faolan is rocky at best; the two of them have great disdain for one another, which is to be expected, considering he had slain her family...
F e a t s:
Anerin is a skilled swordsmen, archer, and rider. He is also well educated and considers himself a bit of an intellectual. He enjoys spending his nights in the serenity of his libary, just as much as he enjoys riding across the hills of Glasuigh. He had been trained by a master-of-arms at the age of five and has seen many battles in his lifetime. He has a knack for politics - despite loathing them - and fairs well in military tactics.

"Here do I swear fealty and service to Craosaire, and the King of the Empire, to speak and be silent, and to do and let be, to come and to go, in need or plenty, in peace or war, in living or dying, from this hour henceforth, until my lord release me, or death take me, or the world's end. So say I, Anerin son of Caederyn."

Image A r s e n a l:
Anerin prefers to carry his embossed long-sword, long-bow, and silver dirk. He has several different sets of armor; a set of Croasarian plate-mail, and a suit of dark leather and chain. His favored mount is Bronos, a silver stallion.
A r c h i v e:
Anerin is a half-blood prince to the Croasarain Empire. His father, King Caederyn, sent him to the country of Glasluigh at the age of sixteen, forsaking him to the impoverish lands of the horselords due to his illegitimate blood. It was discovered that his mother had been a servant. During his time in Glasluigh's capital, he truly discovered the evil of his father's reign and spent the next four years of his life rebelling overthrowing Glasluigh's former lords in hopes of destroying his father's Empire. He often feels overwhelming guilt for his crimes; for beheading his Uncle, his aunt, and his cousin, and repents each night by assuring himself that it was justice needed to free the people. He is cousin to the Duchess of Baile, Faolan, whom he had spared during his campaign to overthrow Gasluigh's former nobles.

"Father, release me naught from your sight!" The plea was riddled with fear, spoken from a lad no older than sixteen winters. Cobble walls echoed,
drenched in the dying tenors of a perished feud; castle corridors that had long witnessed to the comings and goings of ages long passed.
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"Beg me no more, Anerin! You disgrace yourself." The King's bitter words were spat through thinning seams; a sinister voice that ha always been soaked with
false endearment. For this King, ruler of all the realm, had never held an ounce of ardor for his youngest son. Anerin was the progeny of a servant. He was an indignity - a wretch - and never fit to sit atop the throne. "You shall cross the Mhuir Rua, and take lordship with your uncle, in Glasluigh." The King concluded.
"Brother, please!" Anerin looked to his eldest kin; his eyes sparked with dimming hope. The older sibling said nothing, and preserved a veil of silence. Baothein knew the wiser to speak against his father's will, even when his heart ached with remorse. "I've given you your own land, title, and castle to rule - yet still you slight me? Where is your gratitude!" Caederyn swiftly rose from his throne, sweeping his navy mantle aback.

"You shall go, and by God as my witness -defy me and i'll take the life he gave."

So begins...

Anerin's Story

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Character Portrait: Anerin
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A N E R I N.
1409, Third of June | Morning.

Leather-clad digits dwindled from the sheets of parchment, illuminated by fettering pools of sol seeping into the bed-chamber. A summer breeze sifted through the Duke's window, stirring papers and maps awry, scattering them across the table. Fatigue and torment festered in his slate eyes; lids plagued with torment, flickering with every scan of the battle charts before him. So few, so few he had at his disposal. "This is folly..." he mused silently, careening backward into his chair, relishing the silence of his room. It had taken him almost nine years to reshape this country, and all for naught. His people were still in poverty, and his army was suffering gravely. They were starved of numbers and starved arms. Had he been wrong? Had his toils for freedom, deliverance, and independence all been in vain? A battalion of his finest soldiers had been sent to western coast, to purge the beaches of a recent invasion of Croasaire soldiers. His father was beginning to his respond to his 'bloody little uprising.' Fearaan had failed to heed his requests, and Kirharesh -
"My Lord!" the ring of his steward's voice impeded his thoughts. Anerin quickly stirred from his seat, fixing his eyes on an elderly man taking stance at the door. "She is here!" he stammered, his breath stolen from hurried flight. Anerin's brow raised, creasing the pallid skin of visage. So soon had she arrived? All at once, the Duke seized his weapon - a silver longsword of exquisite make - and through a green cloak around his shoulders.
"Very well, send word to the guard," he commanded coolly, gesturing the steward off. The Queen of Kirharesh - his first steps in achieving his ultimate goal. At the castle gates, a single horn sounded out through the Inner-ward, heralding the arrival of the Queen. Immediately, a draw-bridge was lowered over the breadth of a gleaming moat, and the queen and her kin were free to pass.

The Steward - head of the servants - was an elderly man of fifty years. He was stout and poised and spoke with expert eloquence. He awaited the Queen at the foremost step of the castle steps; the doors were ajar to the main keep, which were well guarded by a quadrant of soldiers. "Greetings, your grace, Queen of Kirharesh." The steward gave a generous bow, sweeping off his plumed hat. "I am Degal, steward of Castle Casiel. The duke awaits you in the great hall, your grace." Degal would guide the Queen and her company through an atrium of carved pine, where a door a cathedral lay to the east, and an entryway to the Hall to the north. The Great hall sprawled out shortly; it was clean with polished wood and stone, ornamented with arms. Red flags were caught high in summer light shinning through stain-glass windows, accenting the corridor with vivid hues. To the farthest wall, a nobleman was spacing swiftly for the throne. The Grand Duke was winsome and lean, armed with a single sword upon his belt and dressed in an embroidered jerkin and green cloak. His eyes shone of cold steel, and his hues were plagued with the torments of war. "Hail, your grace," Anerin greeted. His steps fell short before her and his waist bent lowly in a bow. "Haste has guided your journey. I am Duke Anerin, and I welcome you to Baile." The queen had answered his letters... this was the moment he had been waiting: to discuss his proposals of marriage, and to forge and alliance no man of Croasaire had ever dared to make.

But would she accept them? Kirharesh was a very different place; it was a matriarchy he had only ever read about. Anerin was certain that in the queen's eyes, he held less worth than the servants at her feet. Men where she hailed from were regarded as lowly and disposable - and he was an enemy. 'Worthy of decapitation, really.' He thought grimly. But still, the queen new as well as he did that they both needed each-other to fight against the might of his father. 'So let it begin.' Anerin had come so far; he was a leader of traitors, and his crimes against his own empire were limitless. If he failed, they would all die. The duke held a swallow in his throat and masked the uneasiness in his heart. "My steward, Degal, shall see to all your needs. We have a wing ready for all your affects, and rooms for all your subjects." The queen's entourage was small, to his relief. Castle Casiel was not necessarily a place of grandeur; compared to the Palace of Baara, her home, it was likely a dungeon. But they had done their best. "A feast will be held in your honor this night." The duke fabricated a smile. Never had his heart drummed so fiercely...

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Sauska "Azzurra" Condwiramur Character Portrait: Anerin
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#, as written by Layla
A Z Z U R R A.
1409, Third of June | Morning.

A pair of startling blue eyes peered from a veiled face like two eerie orbs of crystal light hovering in blankets of inky darkness. They followed the Grand Duke of Baile with no small measure of suspicion. Not one flutter of an eyelash or twitch of a finger escaped those translucent eyes. Yet they might as well have been made of concrete for all that they revealed, or rather, did not. They appeared indifferent, or at the very best, intense, which was indeed a plain fabrication. Nearly half of all the Captain of the Moon Guard's attention was devoted to Grand Duke Anerin, the other half, his entourage, and whatever discordant flicker or whisper of an arrow that might hover in her astounding peripheral vision. Including the brush of wind against the leaves outside the stain-glass windows.

The figure cloaked in Arunah's night stood not ten feet from the Queen of Kirharesh and still the spearmaiden inched closer with each word spoken by their Croasarian enemies. Subtly, of course, so as to not alarm the guards. She was honestly surprised by the number of protectors the Grand Duke had, or lack thereof, having expected at least twice the number. Their kingdoms were not on good terms. Thus the meagre bodies that stood between Queen Suhayla and Grand Duke Anerin made her all the more weary, for it was what could not be seen that was of greatest danger to her liege.

Spears of all lengths and widths hung on the Moon Guard's body, two of which were crossed over her back like mighty serpents attached to her spine. Daggers, swords, chains and darts rested on her hips or were attached to thigh and arm garters. There were a multitude of hidden weapons tucked in the corners and folds of her black garments. At the merest sign of possible violence, her gloved and still fingers would swing behind her and a weapon would be buried in the perpetrator's throat, before even a blink.

"A feast will be held in your honor this night," announced the Grand Duke, his voice low and raspy, as if he'd had to shout commands much too often and for too long. Which, given the circumstances during the past several years, was most likely an accurate assumption. The Spearmaiden gave no indication of having heard the lavish pronouncement, save a barely perceptible narrowing of her skeptical eyes. Her sky blue irises were the one aspect of her mixed heritage that could not be hidden behind any length of black cloth or desert sun. She was fortunate that others in Kirharesh, rare as they may be, too had the ghostly characteristics typical of the Croasarians.

Azzurra could see the gentle rise and fall of the Grand Duke's chest as his lungs expelled air only to succumb to the inconvenient human necessity that was breathing and fill once more. His smile revealed a handsome face filled with welcome but the strained corners of his lips betrayed his nervous heart or was that, too, a simply impressive facade? No, he was, indeed, feeling an inkling of uncertainty. He should, Kihareshian women were a force to be revered and feared, and their Queen, no less. She was the ruler of a land in which men existed for reproduction purposes and to please the whims of women and ease their existence. In his place, she, too, would quake.

Yet the Grand Duke's warmth did not falter and the Spearmaiden was, admittedly, impressed by his steady determination. She was, however, not fooled by his intentions. The newly crowned Queen Suhayla was a praised beauty and the ruler of a powerful kingdom of warrior women, marriage to the Queen would be in any noble and royal's best interests. She did not have to worry that Queen Suhayla would make the wrong political decision and allow one unworthy to share the resources of her kingdom, her Queen, despite her youth, was wholly versed in the diplomatics and politics that was demanded of a ruler. As her companion since they were children, however, Azzurra hoped the Grand Duke was worthy of Suhayla's hand. Although she was doubtful that any man in all of the world was.

Her myriad of thoughts passed in seconds as she measured the threat such a feast would pose. It was dangerous for Queen Suhayla, who's enemies were growing twice as fast as her allies, to be in a crowd where she could more easily disappear without so much as a peep or be lost amongst the colourful garments and bodies. She would have to double the eyes, ears and shields on the Queen, the fate of Kirharesh was dependant on her wellbeing and alliances.

Azzurra stared intently at the Grand Duke of Baile through her thick curtain of dark lashes. Was the feast a part of a greater plan to capture or assassinate the Queen? Her cold gaze was unwavering as she examined every minuscule shift of the muscles in his face and body. The Duke and anyone else, for that matter, could attempt as they might to harm the Queen, but they would not be able to deceive her sworn protector. Whatever he had planned, it would fail, for the Captain of the Moon Guard would sooner be buried alive in a grave of swords than allow for harm to come to her Queen.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Trenton Brentson Character Portrait: Sauska "Azzurra" Condwiramur Character Portrait: Anerin
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T R E N T O N
1409, Third of June | Morning.

Trenton stood in-between the two factions that hopefully would soon become one. He felt the stale tension in the air as he saw the awkwardness being exhaled and inhaled by everyone in the room. It was like a virus that spread in a bar fight. The words seemed to hang in the air as if fragments of dust that had been kicked up by a horses hooves. It was terrible, this tension. It had to be broken.

The Guards Captain's prayer was answered as one of his men approached one of the more outfitted members of the Queens guard. "Excuse me m'lady, but may I ask for your weapons?" The Guardsman asked, he was new. It was obvious the way his legs shook at the very tension in the air. It affected him more than Trent had seen it affect anyone. Trent cursed under his breath, his lips slightly parted as he cursed this new recruit which the other guards seemed to notice thinking it was an order, then they stood back to attention when they realized it was not.

"Let her keep her weapons. She's obviously the head of our honourable guests guard; I wouldn't relinquish my weapons so willingly." Trent told the recruit giving him a deadly shot with his eye. The boy looked as if he was hit with an arrow when he realized his ignorance, he quickly hurried back into line with a wounded and embarrassed look on his face. Trent mentally wiped his forehead of sweat and sighed out loud. That woman was heavily outfitted. One weapon was dangerous enough, if someone carried two weapons they were trying to look dangerous, but if you carried anymore than that you obviously know how to use them. That's too much weight to carry for no reason.

"Excuse my trainee's ignorance m'lady. I would like to introduce myself, I'm Trenton the Captain of Baile's guard. I would offer extra protection, but I can see that you have sufficient service already. I'll be making sure you're stay is completely safe your highness." Trenton said with a low bow. His armour slightly protested as he did so. He was one of the largest men at the meeting. His voice seemed to boom through the tall hall due to yelling many orders over the past five years. He looked intimidating compared to many of the other men, but compared to their spear-maidens he looked like a pup. It seemed as if one of them spoke it would sound like a roar compared to his weak yelp.

The air was not as stale as before, but there seemed to be a beam of light coming from the head spear-maiden to the duke. Trent would need to keep an eye on her. She looked dangerous, and most people who looked like such were.

Setting

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Character Portrait: Trenton Brentson Character Portrait: Sauska "Azzurra" Condwiramur Character Portrait: Anerin
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#, as written by Layla
A Z Z U R R A.
1409, Third of June | Morning.

The Captain of the Queen's Guard had been staring intently at the Grand Duke of Baile and his entourage when a young guardsmen approached her. Though he was significantly taller than the veiled spearmaiden, his uneasiness and fear was nearly palpable. Had he been one of her own guards, he would've been reprimanded, if not severed from his place amongst Queen Suhayla's personal guards. Unless his act of uncertainty was simply that, an act, to fool her into allowing her weariness to pool at her feet. If so, it was a pathetic plan indeed, but she would honour their creativity with the stripping of her own guardedness. After all, the Moon Guard had only a thousand more layers hidden underneath.

"Excuse me m'lady, but may I ask for your weapons?" the boy asked, his voice fluttering like parchment lost in the wind. Arunah's Chosen shifted her gaze to him, her expression unchanging. The tension that had been hovering above their heads now plummeted onto the cold floors of the palace, drenching every fragment of the room with its tingling discomfort. She did not move to remove her weapons as she was asked, and no reply hummed from her hidden mouth.

"Let her keep her weapons. She's obviously the head of our honourable guests guard; I wouldn't relinquish my weapons so willingly."

She regarded the Captain of Baile's guard with the same steely expression as the one she fixed on his man. She noted his stance, authoritative, confident and ready for battle. His friendly persona might've fooled the majority of Croasarians if he'd been wandering the markets dressed in common clothes but it did not fool her. His muscles bulged beneath his skin, the only truth in his appearance, perhaps. The guardsman hurried away, red with humiliation.

"Excuse my trainee's ignorance m'lady," he said with a low bow, his voice rumbling from his chest to reflect off of the walls of the Great Hall. His was the booming cadence of a commander and his diplomacy, so similar to his Duke's, a characteristic that would serve him well in negotiating peace before he was forced to draw his sword. Unfortunately for him, Azzurra had no interest in such illusions. Intimidation served her well.

"I would like to introduce myself, I'm Trenton the Captain of Baile's guard. I would offer extra protection, but I can see that you have sufficient service already. I'll be making sure you're stay is completely safe your highness."

Long, painful seconds ticked by as the cloaked figure remained in the same unmoving position she had been in minutes before, her veiled face the similar unnerving stillness as those in the days, moons and cycles prior. Then, almost too subtle for the eye to glimpse, she nodded her assent.

Azzurra twisted slightly around, commanding the gaze of her unofficial second in command. The Moon Guard had no such titles, for the Captain was not expected to die so easily. Azzurra stretched out her open palm and swung her lower arm upwards in a circular sunwise motion, tightening her left hand into a fist at the last moment. Immediately, the small number of similarly clad figures took synchronised steps backward, honouring their Captain's command to fall back and allow space for the Queen and Duke Anerin to maneuver. They slammed their spears into the ground, lightly enough as to not shatter the polished floors but loud enough to startle most unaccustomed to the culture of Arunah and Her Chosen. Where Azzurra wore two long spears at her back, her women held only one. Not a second after their weapons hit the ground, their heads bowed in acknowledgement, the closest gesture of respect anyone besides a female noble would receive. They were uneasy at having to lower their heads for mere men, but they hid it well.

The eyes, pale and clear like shattered glass, returned to the Grand Duke and his Captain and in a flash of blurred movement, the Lady of the Moonguard had her hands wrapped around the spears at her back. They froze mid pull, the zing of metal still echoing in the impressive space. The surprise was evident on the faces around her as hands reached for swords and daggers, only to realise no harm was intended. Just as suddenly as she'd reached for her spears, her hands fell to her sides once again in a strange gesture of good faith or perhaps, in part, a show of just how fast the maidens could reach their spears. A smile threatened to tug at the corners of her feminine lips as her ordinarily apathetic eyes sparked with momentary mischief.

Her idea of a joke, it seemed.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Sauska "Azzurra" Condwiramur Character Portrait: Suhayla Character Portrait: Anerin
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S U H A Y L A
1409, Third of June | Morning.

The welcome the royal party of Kirharesh had received from the Grand Duke had been a welcomed relief to Suhayla; it had eased some nerves which had unsettled the Queen throughout her journey across the sea to this foreign land. It was a journey she had not wanted to take, her country was at war and now she was forced to flee to a land inhabited by her supposed enemies. Yet she was aware that Glasluigh or more specifically, the Grand Duke Anerin was her only chance in winning the war against Croasaire and that was a harrowing thought in all honesty. ‘The enemy of my enemy is my friend.’ Suhayla had reiterated the proverb the entire journey from Kirharesh, it had eased some of her worries and it was true, partly. Anerin was at war with Croasaire too and by default that put them both on the same side, didn’t it?

Deep down she prayed for it to be so; Suhayla may have been a prideful woman, stubborn even and although the women of Kirharesh looked down upon the men in their country, however she wasn’t so stubborn that she couldn’t recognise her countries need for help, not matter how much it pained her. Still, the thoughts that all this could be a trap still plagued the Queen and thus she had instructed her Moon Guard to remain close, after all the Grand Duke had begun a war against his own kin and she doubted harming her would be a decision that would haunt the man. She had her back against a wall, in a foreign country where women were second class citizens, granted she may need the Duke’s help but that didn’t mean she necessarily trusted him. No, certainly not.

As she approached the steps of the Castle Casiel, she and her entourage were greeted by an elderly man, “Greetings, your grace, Queen of Kirharesh." he greeted with an eloquence which surprised Suhayla for such lands. She had heard many stories about the land north of her country, more so about its destitution and harsh environment. "I am Degal, steward of Castle Casiel. The duke awaits you in the great hall, your grace." Suhayla inclines her head ever-so-slightly as she gathered the silks of her gown and proceeded up the stone steps and into the fortress.

Suhayla looked every bit a Queen that day, she had made sure of it, her gown was of the finest white silk, with exquisite golden embroidery, and her veil which matched perfectly her gown covered her beauty from these people; however her striking, smouldering, brown hues shone through the gap in the veil, allowing the Duke just a slightest of glimpses. The walk towards the great hall did not take particularly long, lead the way by the steward her own steps were quiet against the stoned floor, but the heavy footsteps of her guard made a threatening sound against stone, almost mimicking the sound of war drums. The doors had opened before her, the steward stepping aside with a gallant bow as she past him, walking with confidence and grace she strode towards the Duke. “Hail, you grace” He greets warmly, striding towards her with large, purposeful strides, stopping suddenly to bow before her, again the grace surprising Suhayla. "Haste has guided your journey. I am Duke Anerin, and I welcome you to Baile."

The Queen inclines her head once again, “The winds were in our favour.” Suhayla replied, her soft voice filling the large room. Throughout their entire exchange, Suhayla held his gaze, he was handsome and seemingly warm, although she doubted the sincerity of his smile, it was not something that disturbed her, on the contrary it was somewhat comforting and she felt a little less threatened by his presence. "My steward, Degal, shall see to all your needs. We have a wing ready for all your affects, and rooms for all your subjects." Suhayla lips twitched into a smile beneath her veil, although it remained shielded from the Duke’s sight. “I thank you for your hospitality and kindness, my lord. I am sure we shall be very comfortable here.”

For the first time Suhayla tore her gaze away from the Duke, momentarily to glance behind her at the sudden movement of her guard, her eyes searched for Azzurra and spotted those blue eyes almost immediately. Perhaps it should have unsettled her to see the mischief within her friend’s hues, but it truly came as no surprise to the Queen, whom made a mental note to seek her friend out once they were settled. Upon hearing the Duke speak once again, Suhayla turned her attention back towards the Duke, "A feast will be held in your honor this night."

“That is most kind of you, my lord, a kindness I shall eagerly await. I trust I will have time to speak with you alone, before the festivities? There is much for us to discuss.”

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Trenton Brentson Character Portrait: Sauska "Azzurra" Condwiramur Character Portrait: Suhayla Character Portrait: Anerin
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T R E N T O N
1409, Third of June | Morning.

Trenton calmly looked on as the Queen's guard stared coldly around. They were staring coldly at the Duke, it made Trent feel uneasy and weary. Trent wasn't the trusting type, you had to know him for many years or be direct kin to him to gain his full trust, and once it was gained it wasn't easily lost. He was loyal to those he was close to and would easily give his life for the ones he loved.

Trent flinched slightly as the female warrior began giving hand signals, he knew she was up to something. Trenton let his hand reflexively fall to his sword on his hip, though he knew he probably wouldn't need it he was still being cautious around these strangers. The women turned and grabbed at their weapons in a quick flourish of grace and precision. Some of the less experienced Guardsmen grabbed at their weapons as well, the same trainee even went as far to draw his sword. Trenton once again moved his lips under his facial hair, he did better to hide it this time.

Trenton began to smirk slightly. They were showing off. They wanted to show him and the Duke just how quick they could move if they were threatened or crossed. Trent would have done the same if he had the chance, proof of his warriors speed and reflexes. Trent let his hand ease and he let out a "At ease men." They were foolish and the tension had reached them and burrowed deep into their skin.

He felt humiliated somewhat and wanted to hide his face behind his helmet, but sadly it was under his shield arm and any additional movement may have been seen as an order to act on their guests show. Trent would flog this trainee if he was anymore experienced.

"Put your weapon away boy!" Trenton boomed at the trainee, not in an angry voice, but a stern voice that showed he was unhappy. This young knobby guard would have to do patrol on the outer wall for weeks for this humiliation to all of Baile. Patrolling the outer walls was boring and tedious work. The wind was vicious atop the walls and chilled deep into a mans bones, an entire months nights of patrols in the chilling winds would teach this boy to follow his more experienced comrades.

The young man once again went flushed with embarrassment and quickly fumbled around with his sheath and placed his sword in it. Trent sent him a deadly look and the young face looked like it knew what Trenton was thinking. "Back to the Barracks now recruit. I'll speak with you later." Trenton said in the same stern voice. The trainee looked as if he had been hit with a whip.

"Yes Captain." He said, then he walked backwards shuffling his feet in shame. He turned and walked out a door slowly with his head bowed in shame.

"Please once again excuse my Recruit. He hasn't the experience to hold his weapon in his sheath. He'll find a better placement in just a few hours." Trenton said sternly once more, still angered by his recruit's actions. He directed the statement to everyone, but it was really intended for the Duke as an apology for his Guard's actions. Trenton swore to the spirits that boy would learn his lesson, but that's probably what the Kirhareshians wanted. To scare them and prove they were bold. Which they had succeeded in doing.


“That is most kind of you, my lord, a kindness I shall eagerly await. I trust I will have time to speak with you alone, before the festivities? There is much for us to discuss.” The Queen said to Duke Anerin. Trenton stepped forward slightly and looked at the Duke and got his attention with a nod.

"I will leave you when you request it M'lord." Trenton told The Duke in a much softer voice than he had previously used. His voice still rang through the hall, but it was more like he was speaking to his brother than someone higher than him in rank. He had known the Duke for a while, his uncle worked in the Duke's kitchen and was his chief cook. He lived in the castle as a higher servant to the Duke, as did Trenton when he was younger and still lived with his uncle as his guardian.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: [NPC] Bartender Character Portrait: Trenton Brentson Character Portrait: Sauska "Azzurra" Condwiramur Character Portrait: Suhayla Character Portrait: Anerin
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A N E R I N.
1409, Third of June | Morning.

The duke's love for tomes and books had filled his mind with caution; the Moon Guard was a force only fools dared to reckon with, and he feared for the errs of his own house. Anerin felt the tension festering in his Hall; it gnawed away at the back of is neck and summoned gooseflesh across his arms. His eyes shifted amongst the women who stood before him; they were battle-clad, poised, and proud in the presence of their liege - ready to slit the throat of any man who dared to tread too close. A flash of cerulean caught his gaze and Anernin glanced towards a guardswoman whom he reckoned could only be the an individual of high rank. 'Such strange eyes for a creature of the desert,' he thought.

The duke's men were unnerved, cautious - perhaps even a tad entranced - and mildly fearful. It was evident to any spectator that the Glasluian's lacked the discipline of the Kirhareshi in many aspects. Anerin's eyes flashed towards Trenton when animation began to stir amongst the gathering. The women of the Moon Guard soon bloomed with life, parted their ranks, and made way for their queen. It was a brief dance of luster and steel - beguiling and deadly. Anerin did not allow his awe to reflect his countenance, but his men did not. The guards of Baile all flinched for their swords and took a battle-ready stance. Luckily, to Anerin's relief, Trenton dispelled their actions. The Captian's voice echoed through the hall, and Anerin acknowledged him with a fleeting smirk. Anerin owed the man many debts; had it not been for Trenton's allegiance and loyalty, his victory over Baile would not have been possible.

"Your grace,"
Anerin began, taking a step forward, "...I apologize for their actions. Some of our men lack the years of others." His eyes fell upon the queen and he drank in what features he could see: lavish dark eyes and copper skin, embroidered with glitter and jewels. Their union would be absent of love, and that held no favor in his heart. 'A political bond, nothing more.' Anerin's customs demanded he reach for Suhayla's palm, so he glanced at Azzura, gently claimed Suhayla's hand, and skimmed his lips across her knuckles. The Queen was far kinder than he had initially anticipated; he felt no judgement nor animosity from her, and she seemed to lack superiority of matriarch. 'She has only just taken the thrine,' he thought. Still, Anerin secretly prayed he would not be skewered like a boar. When the queen's hand was released and Anerin stepped back, Degal came to his presence and leaned into his ear.
"Very well," Anerin said, sending Degal away with a gesture. "Your grace, my Steward has prepared your quarters." Anerin needed the queen as an ally, not a tool, and therefore had taken every measure possible to assure her comfort and confidence.

Anerin regarded Trenton and offered him a short nod. "Captain, please see the Queen to the Guest Wing and double the castle guard." He knew it was a hefty request, but they were short of men already, and he trusted him to figure it out.

There were many preparations to made before the night's celebrations. Already the head servants were bustling through the castle's veins. Ale and wine needed to be pulled from the cellar, game delivered to the cooks, bards procured for dance and song, and candles and hearths lit in every room. They were ill-prepared for her arrival, but would do their best. Anerin silently feared and hoped that his father had not yet caught wind of the Queen's arrival...

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Trenton Brentson Character Portrait: Sauska "Azzurra" Condwiramur Character Portrait: Suhayla Character Portrait: Anerin
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T R E N T O N
1409, First of June| Morning

"Captain, please see the Queen to the Guest Wing and double the castle guard." The Duke commanded Trenton. He seemed to share somewhat the same embarrassment as him, but didn't show it half as much as he did. Trent would double the castle guard if he had enough men. The Duke's order would have to be delayed.

Trenton turned his thoughts to current events. The tension that was in the air had seemed to have died. The smog had lifted and left his lungs feeling full and fresh, now taking in full, deep breaths instead of wheezing gasps that they had seemed to be. "Yes sir. The Guard's increase in service will have to wait until this evening when most of the festivities are starting Duke." Trenton blatantly stated. He knew the Duke wouldn't like it, but he would have to stand it, which he could.

"Please follow me Your Highness." Trenton said, he walked towards the Queen and stopped a few feet in front of her and fell into an honorable bow. "This way." He pointed out, he indicated that he wanted her to fall in beside him, as Kirharesian women would get in Glasliugh, equality. She wouldn't lead him until she was his own Queen, and she shall not follow him as she was a guest.

Trenton began a brisk pace towards the eastern side of the hall where there was a wide double door which was open. Red banners hung from the high ceiling, the walls were ordained with tapestries and paintings which Trenton had never really cared for. He was quite sure that The Queen wouldn't be very interested in them either. She would have been more worried about the welfare of her people. As they passed the guardsmen at the doors he waved his hand behind him for them to fall in behind him and their royal guest, which they did with certain precision. It seemed they had sensed Trenton's embarrassment and wanted to make up for it with some discipline.

As they walked in silence for many seconds Trent felt the same smog begin to descend upon them. "Your Highnes," Trenton regarded the Queen, "could you tell me about your honor guard? The seem... quite impressive." Trent asked breaking the tension in the air. He was actually very curious about these spear maidens that accompanied the Kihareshian Queen.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Nadia Ferrer Character Portrait: Trenton Brentson Character Portrait: Sauska "Azzurra" Condwiramur Character Portrait: Suhayla Character Portrait: Anerin
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#, as written by Layla
A Z Z U R R A.
1409, Third of June | Morning.

"Captain, please see the Queen to the Guest Wing and double the castle guard," ordered the Grand Duke of Baile. Although Azzurra's face remained impassive, her mind whirled with possibilities, proposed threats, strategic counterstrikes and guard stations. Was Duke Anerin's plan to double the guards so that they could swarm Queen Suhayla and her company with sheer numbers? Would they succeed? The two eyes carved of ice flicked over to the row of castle guards as quickly as they abandoned them. They did not look particularly impressive or pitiful, merely as ordinary and extraordinary as average guards were. However, it was more dangerous to underestimate a possible enemy than to overestimate, and so Azzurra noted their incredibly well executed facades.

"Yes, sir, came the bold reply of the warrior Captain. "The Guard's increase in service will have to wait until this evening when most of the festivities are starting, Duke." Captain Brentson spoke assuredly and rather unlike a servant to his master. He was not delivering happy news - to his lordship, at least, to her, it was a comfort, small as it may be - and yet he did not cower or fear rage or worse. She felt a kind of quiet respect for her Bailish counterpart despite herself. Then it dawned on her that Duke Anerin could well be a puppet ruler and the Captain the puppet master. But as she observed the collected and diplomatic way Duke Anerin conducted himself, she doubted such was the case.

"Please follow me, Your Highness," the commander said with a modest bow. Yes, and we will be close behind, lest you forget we are but spears' breadths away, she thought grimly. "This way." Azzurra was mildly surprised that he would be so ridiculous as to expect the Queen of Kirharesh to tread beside him as if he were the her majesty's equal, but her shock was short lived. Of course, Suhayla had yet to be briefed on the structure of the palace and all possible escape routes, last Azzurra had been made aware. Queen Suhayla would not know where to go. Azzurra made a few sharp gestures with her left arm and the Spearmaiden Fara directly behind her, a woman with a wide and strong build, replied with a short nod.

"Your Highness," Baile's Captain spoke suddenly, his voice slicing cleanly through the enduring silence. "Could you tell me about your honor guard?" Azzurra's dark eyebrows raised in mild curiosity. She supposed she should not be so alarmed, she, too, would wish to grasp clearly - or rather, clearer - the greatest obstruction between him and her liege. She should be honoured, she supposed, that he found her and her warrior maidens to be a significant threat, but she wasn't, because it was not a matter of appearing formidable, because they were. "They seem... Quite impressive," he treaded carefully.

After some moments, Fara's dark voice parted through her veiled face to slither through the winding halls. "We request a map of the Castle Casiel." Pondering on her words or perhaps pausing for dramatic effect, the Moon Guard glanced at some minuscule shift of her Captain's pale eyes and added crisply, "We wish to help, as allies, your shortage in..." Her eyes narrowed scarcely as she formed the single syllable, "Men." If they had so few men, why not simply employ more women? They seemed to lack those too. Fara had seen not more than a dozen since they'd arrived at Duke Anerin's domain.


NADIA.
1409, Third of June | Morning.

"Ya spleeny crude, ya! That plate alone could feed all eight ov yaaahr 'aggard siblings fer a week!"

The servant girl flinched as a pudgy hand smacked her firmly over the head. The head chef was an efficient but sullen woman who did not have a name as far as Nadia knew but was simply referred to as "Chef," or, if one was itching for variation, "The Chef." Nadia the between maid or maids' maid, and presently scullery maid, bowed her head and grasped her fingers and skirts in submission, mumbling apologies.

"Don't sorry me, yew fool!" Chef cried in her strange and boorish accent, slapping the young girl's arm as Nadia bent to reach for the two shattered ceramic plates on the kitchen floor. "Stupid, stupid girl," the Chef repeated with the vigorous wielding of her arm. "What are yer lookin' at? Get back t'work! We have a feast to prepare!" The other kitchen staff who'd been gawking so intently spun around to fuss over rigid carrots and gurgling pots.

"Now, now, don't slap the poor girl blind," came an old but clear voice. Nadia inched her eyes upward and nearly sagged with relief. Lelian, the head housekeeper stood beside the kitchen doorway, a soft smile on her thin lips. She met Nadia's wide eyed gaze with her own diluted blues, an old woman's moist, wobbling jellies.

Cook snorted in reply, crossing her thick arms against her chest, but not before delivering one last solid thump to the scrawny girl's head. "Too late. This one was born blind, so i' would seem. Dropped me plates! Ya can tell old Degal where da plates ter put da food on 'ave gone. I don't know why we keep 'er 'ere!" She threw her hands up in exasperation. Cook shook her soft head and wiped her hands on her grease stained apron. "Throw 'er out, I says."

"We keep her because she tolerates you and all the rest of us grouchy old people," Lelian said. She gave Nadia a wink. "Now come on, girl, don't just stand there gawking like a fish out of water. You have linens to change." Nadia regained control of her jaws and quickly shut them tight. She hastily piled the broken ceramic pieces in her apron and released them into the trash bin. Her calloused fingers tugged at the ribbon wrapped around her waist as she stripped herself of the dirty cloth, rushing toward the housekeeper as if her life were dependant on those few steps, which, gauging by the Chef's withering glare, might well be true.

"Wait, wait," Cook barked, darting an arm out to thwart Nadia's escape. Nadia was nearly knocked to the ground by the hand on her chest. "Where do yew fnk yer going, skinny? We 'ave a feast ter prepare for!" she scolded. "If yew didn't 'ear a 'undred times before, da Queen ov some big kingdom is 'ere ter marry aaahr Duke."

"Yes, and they, and our Duke, need clean beds to sleep in. Right, Nadia?" the head housekeeper emphasised, looking at the frail girl for confirmation. Nadia nodded frantically, picking up her skirts again. This time, she reached Lelian and the relative freedom outside of those kitchen doors without another hitch. "Grumpy woman, isn't she?" Lelian asked.




Nadia had changed the linens and made the beds in the guest wing and now clutched piles of burgundy silk for the Grand Duke Anerin's private chambers. She'd never been inside before despite having been a castle servant for over a year now. She felt the pride of responsibility like a halo around her head. Never before had she been saved from the Cook, or anyone, for that matter, and it had been the Head Housekeeper herself of all people. When Lelian had given her instructions, she'd addressed Nadia by name. No one but her younger brother, a guard in training, seemed to know her name in the castle. She hummed brightly through her full lips that were lifted in a smile as she bounced across the halls with renewed vigour.

Nadia seemed to run into an invisible wall when she reached the Duke's private domain. Her jaw slackened at the imposing double doors, a heavy wood that she imagined would slap her in the face unawares any time now. She reached tentatively for the brass door knob only to shrink back and try again, and shrink back. Come on, Nadia! Don't be the coward they think you are, she thought furiously, but who was she kidding? She wasn't frightened of what lay behind this grand entrance and this door knob that Grand Duke Anerin himself had probably touched several hundred times before. Nadia was frightened of herself, of her insatiable curiosity, and the loss of a significant portion of her family's income should she lose her job. Her mother's medicine only seemed to have become more expensive with every passing day. It's just a room it's just a room it's just a room.

She opened the door.

It was not just a room.

Warm brown eyes widened in awe as Nadia stepped in, breathing in the unique, clean scent of grandeur and... Man. The richest of hues contrasted against the sharp glint of silver and metal. Nadia nearly leapt from her skin when the wide doors slammed shut behind her, their fearsome growl echoing in the biggest bed chamber she'd seen in her life. Not that she'd seen many, but still. Her eyes darted around frantically in hopes of memorising every detail. She wandered through the space, all uncertainly vanquished, and let her slim fingers trail the patterns of the wood and curtains. She painted in her mind Grand Duke Anerin and what he might be like. She'd only glimpsed his profile from a distance, heard his voice in whispers down the hall and knew his personality from servant gossip. His room must hold more truth than those petty rumours. So Nadia gazed out his window, her back to the door, linens forgotten and neglected on the corner of his bed.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Trenton Brentson Character Portrait: Sauska "Azzurra" Condwiramur Character Portrait: Suhayla Character Portrait: Anerin
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T R E N T O N
1409, Third of June| Morning

"We request a map of the Castle Casiel." One of the female warriors slithered behind him and whispered in his ear. "We wish to help, as allies, your shortage in... Men." She seemed to hiss the last word into his ear. Without flinching Trenton decided he didn't feel quite as comfortable as before. Though she said she wished to act as an allie her tone was deceiving him as she spoke her last word.

"The map you may have," Trenton stated calmly, "but I refuse to allow you to serve any here but your Queen. You are guests and shall do your own bidding. Not our occupations." Trennton told whoever had snuck up behind him. He needn't look to see. The voice was clearly not Glasliughian. It had an exotic twang to it, it was silky and sounded like two sheets of fine silk brushing one another, instead of like the rumbling of thunder and tumbling of boulders down a mountain.

Even though Trenton didn't like what the voice had said, he had liked the voice. After a couple more paces, and up a winding stair way Trenton had finally reached the destination he was ordered to seek out. The guest chambers. Trenton stopped and inclined his head to the four guards at the double walnut door. The two of them in front of the grand door stepped aside and stood abroad their colleagues. Trenton pushed the heavy doors open with a slight effort and they smoothly arched open into a large sitting room that was decorated with banners of Baile and tapestries depicting ancient conquests and battles. The ones of the wars with the Kirhareshians and Croasairians were removed and left some empty spaces on the walls. There was a beautiful stain glass window that looked over the keep into the vast hills and eventually mountains that was Glasliugh. The sea was slightly visible from the window of jumbled stained glass and from it, Trenton saw smoke rising from outside the small villages along the edges of the sea.

No Villager could have created a fire like that on their own, this spire of smoke rose multiple stories high and seemed to be even uncontested by the winds that drifted from the north over the sea from Fearaan to Glasliugh. Trenton bowed deeply to the queen and her royal party. "I hope you will enjoy your stay in Baile." Trenton said before he turned and left. That fire was to the North-West. It could only be one thing. The Fearaani.

Trenton almost jogged down the corridors, he took the servant passages to get to the grand hall, where the Duke probably still was, to alert him. Trent almost knocked a serving maid to the ground before he jumped to the side and avoided her. This caused him to drop his helm out of his left hand. He would come back to get it later. Right now the Fearaani were more important.

Trenton finally made it to the grand hall where Duke Anerin was still residing. "Sir." Trenton said with a deep intake of air. The excitement had made him forget to breathe. "The Fearaani have arrived on the North-Western shores." He stated. He was barely winded, but he was worried, what if these weren't the leaders of the Fearaani tribes and they were really pillagers setting a village ablaze? Trenton knew one thing. They were going to find out.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Kaleb Salazar Erskine Character Portrait: Trenton Brentson Character Portrait: Sauska "Azzurra" Condwiramur Character Portrait: Suhayla Character Portrait: Anerin
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S U H A Y L A


Suhayla was playing her part well, she had been polite and courteous thus far, mindful of being somewhat respectful to her host, men weren’t necessarily revered in her own country, but in these Northern Lands their word was law. Even if Anerin had been respectful himself, she saw in his eyes the glint of amusement, like he was playing a game, taunting her with faux authority, dangling just enough in front of her so she wouldn’t deny him so suddenly. Never before had Suhayla felt so out of her depth, even if she did hide it well. When the Duke had reached for her hand, her eyes had narrowed becoming hardened; it was his subtle way of showing his power over her, for no man in her own country would have dared made such a blunt move. Then again, this wasn’t her country, here she had only her title and she doubted even that was enough to keep her truly safe.

Withdrawing her hand quickly, Suhayla made her own silent declaration, she was still the Queen of a vast empire and if Anerin wanted any treaty with her then she would still be treated with honour and respect. “Captain, please see the Queen to the Guest Wing and double the Castle guard.” The Duke ordered to a man who stepped forward upon being spoken to by his leader; at least these people did know some portions of respect and authority. Under her veil Suhayla’s lips twitched into a quick smirk, it was a arrogant confidence and slight stubbornness which had summoned the smirk to her countenance. He was showing off, or at least trying too, had he found it fathomable that she would be impressed by this show of man power? Or perhaps it was more for intimidation; yes that was the more likely culprit. After all her own Moon Guard was revered around the globe, their numbers may be small in comparison but their will and ability matched none other. They were the wonders, not these Croasarian exiles and horse lords. “The Castle is yours to roam – I only ask that you do not leave it.” Suhayla wanted to object to that, it took all of her resolve not too, although it was spoken for her own safety, the Queen saw it as a further slight to her title and just how little it meant to him. Regardless, for the moment she swallowed her pride and agreed to his words. “Very well, I shall not leave the castle, though I was hoping for a tour of your lands, perhaps this could be arranged?”

There was no time for an answer, for as quickly as she uttered the words, the Captain of his guard had stepped forward, “Please follow me, your highness.” Suhayla inclined her head towards the Duke as she past him, following the guard along the corridors, at least this man showed her the respect she deserved and that made her warm to him immediately. Their steps fell in silence as they manoeuvred the labyrinth of corridors, that was until the guard spoke, addressing her directly. “You highness…could you tell me about your honour guard, they seem quite impressive,” Instinctively Suhayla looked over her shoulder at her guard, he was right, they were impressive. She opened her mouth to answer his questions, only for Fara to step forward interrupting her. “We require a map of the Castle Casiel…we wish to help, as allies, your shortage in…men.

One could not blame her guard for cutting straight to the task in hand, her warriors did what they must to keep her safe and protect their people and she would not stand in the way of their duties. Instead she made a mental note to answer the captain’s questions at the banquet this evening.

Moments later they reached the stay rooms and with one swift movement, the captain pushed the heavy oak doors open, revealing quite a spectacular room. Granted it held not nearly as much elegance as her rooms back in Kirharesh, but it was beautiful, everything from the tapestries to the stained glass window. In which something had caught the Captains attention, as he quickly dismissed himself Suhayla spoke her gratitude before quickly moving to the spot which had enticed him so. She fathomed it had been the steady plume of smoke rising from the horizon, her gaze transfixed on it for a moment or two, hoping it wasn’t anything too serious. She had heard raids on villages were common in these parts, tribesmen from neighbouring countries taking advantage of those small fishing villages and their seclusion for raids.

Turing away from the window, Suhayla released a heavy sigh as she perched upon the edge of the large four-poster bed in the centre of the room, the most domineering feature present. Her hand slid over the furs and exquisitely embroidered blankets which lined the bed, whilst her other hand came up to remove the veil which shielded others from her visage. It had always been a burden to the Queen to cover her features, she liked to be seen, liked her subjects to see the face which ruled over them, protected them, yet it was such an ancient tradition Suhayla doubted it could have been rid of so easily. Perhaps here, in this country she could make the change, perhaps it would even make them warm to her a little more, after all she would need all the support she could muster to survive the Duke’s intentions.

Outside of her room Suhayla was quickly alerted to a ruckus, it was hard to miss. With a slight frown she placed the veil down on the bed and rose from her seat, walking towards the doors and listened carefully to what was occurring. Azzura’s sharp tongue hissed out words with some malice, which only deepened the Queen’s frown, she hoped that her guard’s words were not directed towards one of the Dukes guards, but then again she knew for a fact that Azzura would not be that unprofessional. She listened closer still, her hearing straining against the thickness of the door; the second voice became clear to her then. It was Kaleb, her friend…no, servant. Suhayla had held a deep sadness towards the man, they had been childhood friends and for a long time she had thought him dead, which she had mourned and moved on. Things were different now, she had spared his life when he had faced the executioner and she wished whole heartily that she could believe his innocence, however he had spent far too long in their service. Alas he was but now a servant to Suhayla, although she knew deep down he was a lot more. “Azzura, let him enter” she called to her guard through the closed doors and moved to sit back down on the edge of her bed, her long raven black hair framing a countenance trying its best to look impartial, but the truth was it was anything but.

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Character Portrait: Brenton Brentson Character Portrait: Trenton Brentson Character Portrait: Anerin
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T R E N T O N
Third of June| Midday

Trenton watched as Degal escorted a obviously foreign man out of the Great Hall. He looked odd. He was no Fearaani, or Kirhareshian, no way in the world was he Corsarian. So was he Dalish? Trenton was obscured by this. This man must have been here for some great reason to travel such a long way, but it would have to wait.

"You are positive? Who brought this news?" Duke Anerin inquired to Trenton. Trenton answered the question with a swift tongue in his mind. He knew that these had to be Fearaani's. Either pillaging, or setting a signal pyre. They had done it a couple times to help lost hunters find their way home in Gullon.

"I'm quite positive. I know the signal pyres. I originate from Fearaan, remember m'lord? Either it is our guests, our our enemies. I suggest I report there immediately. If they are our enemies they need to be faced immediately. If they are our guests, we need to keep the peace between the two rival tribes, The Wolve and The Elk tribes." Trenton told Anerin. He wished to ride fast as the wind to meet the Fearaani. He hoped his brother was with them. By now he had to be a warrior of one of the tribes. Trenton and Brenton had never been able to claim a tribe in Fearaan because of their mixed blood, at least not until they were old enough to choose their own path. Once in a Tribe there was no turning back. So people who weren't born into the tribe, like foreigners such as Brenton and Trenton, were given time to decide where they wanted to spend the rest of their lives. In the brave and honourable warriors of the Elk Tribe, or the vicious and brutal raiders of the Wolve Tribe.

Trenton decided to elaborate on his sighting of the smoke. "As I escourted the Queen to her quarters I saw a huge pillar of smoke coming from the North-Western shore. It could quite possibly be raiders. I Should go as soon as possible Anerin." Trenton told the Duke. He had used the Duke's first name, which he was not usually addressed by. To some it would seem rude, but Trenton would despise always being called 'Captain', or 'Guard'.

Trenton felt very excited. Maybe not in a great way. He hadn't seen his brother for years. He had beaten a man for raping a young serving maid. Trenton saw in his mind his fists flying as he sat on top of the struggling man still half naked. The Old Fearaan man cursed and yelled through swollen lips and a bloodied mouth. Trenton's fists had rained down on that trash like a thunder storm that pelted the ground with repeated waves of hale. The fifteen-year-old Trenton only stopped when Brenton pulled him off the poor soul. "What have you done brother?" Brenton's words had rung out in Trentons sad mind. "I'll tell you what he's done boy! He's just thrown his life away. I'll gut you like a fish you stupid boy!" The old man had yelled at Trenton. It still stung in his mind to find out the Man was high ranking in Fearaan society.

"He can easily have you killed you foolish boy! Your little vigilante act has gone too far Trenton, it's not safe here for you anymore. You're going to live with your Uncle Brun." Brent had told Trenton. The twang of his fathers past words echoed in Trenton's now empty mind. He only had one more year to choose his tribe. He hadn't had the opportunity to live his life in Fearaan. It just went to show how corrupt politics could be, and how evil roamed all around. The only people who seemed to be sad to see Trenton go were his family and Lilia. The girl he had avenged.

Trenton snapped back into reality where he stood in front of his Lord. He stood at the ready, listning for his Duke's orders.

Setting

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Character Portrait: Trenton Brentson Character Portrait: Faolan Character Portrait: Killian Ferrer Character Portrait: Anerin
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T R E N T O N
1409, Third of June| Midday
Image

As the Duchess entered Trenton inclined his head to her. He had at one point counted her amongst his good friends, perhaps he even was attracted to her, but she had grown into something cruel and unlikeable. She was cold and unkind. She had always had a shadow looming around her. It was like her shadow was controlling her and making her do things she would usually do. It made her turn into something dark and without life.

"No doubt, Captain Trenton...You must be eager to see your kin once more," the Duchess stated. Trenton inclined his head once more. He didn't have an answer to this question. It was a very odd task he had given himself, he was excited and fearful. He could very well find out his brother is dead. so Trenton simply replied with an "Aye m'lady.".

"Trenton, we cannot afford rash action, but very well, go with a small party." Anerin told Trenton. Trent could see that Anerin was somewhat strained due to his cousin. She had that effect on many people.

"I'll take my leave then. Duke, Duchess." Trenton said he walked up and clasped the Duke on the shoulder. He then bowed lowly to the Duchess and took her left hand kissing her ring finger. Trent always did this when he didn't know if he was going to be coming back or not. A way to say goodbye without words he guessed. Trenton then turned on his heels, as he did so another guard came out of the servant passages and brought Trenton his helmet that he had earlier dropped. It was one of the senior guards. Tegan was his name. He was a couple years the elder of Trent, his hair was beginning to grey with age and stress. Tegan had Trentons full trust, though he was somewhat a smaller and leaner man he was vicious in a battle. With his size came great speed and agility.

"You dropped this damned thing again, lucky there's no dent in it." Tegan chuckled at Trent. Trent smirked, but then the facial expression washed away. Trenton snatched his helm in Tegans hand and placed it on his head. "No time for jokes. You're with me, we have a possible threat on the north-western shore outside of Kreth Village." Trenton told the old guardsman. He didn't have to say anymore, Teagan knew what to do. They both disappeared out the great doors of the hall and down the stairs that lead towards one of the City's most prized buildings. The Stable. The building itself was somewhat unspectacular, it was constructed of a mixture of stone and wood. The stone made up the walls and wood made the roof. The stable here though was hundreds of years old compared to many of the other buildings. Glasliugh wasn't "Land of The Horse Lords" for no reason. Inside the stable however was a large open area. There were no pens. Just horses galloping around in the grass that made up the buildings floor. The horses obviously loved it here. They could graze all they wanted and run at their own leisure. Trenton let out a complex whistle with a mixture of notes in it. Tegan did the same, letting out a different, and quite unique whistle. Every horse in Baile and all of Glasliugh was much smarter than any horse from any other nation. Century's of strenuous breeding had resulted in that, and these brilliant "Lords" as they were called among horses were ideal for a guardsman like Trent. A couple seconds after Trenton and Tegan had whistled their horses came running to them. Trenton's horse was Gull. He had named her after his original home in Fearaan. She was a bigger horse to compensate for Trenton's size. lucky for her Trenton needed a larger horse, otherwise she would be a work horse at some farm. She was white with speckles of grey all over her. sometimes it was hard to clean her because you don't know where she's dirty and where she's clean. Trenton grabbed a saddle from the wall closest to the door, they were reserved for guards and those higher in society. He lashed the saddle over Gull's back and tightened it in all the correct places. He put the reins in her mouth, which she liked unlike many horses, and then he mounted her. As he did this Tegan had done the same as him in just a matter of minutes. The guards should all be masters at quickly preparing for battle.

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The door were opened by the guards the attended the Stable. There were always at least two. As the doors opened, Trenton and Teagan rode out on their mares and picked their way through streets that were nearly lifeless. The market was where everybody would be at this time of day. As Trenton looked around to find another unoccupied street he saw the same Traineee that had earlier humiliated him. "Boy!" Trenton called to him. "Get your horse and join us at the main gate in ten minutes." Trenton needed to give this trainee a sense of battle, then maybe he would learn to be more cautious. The Fearaan were less likely to take a jumpy trainee as a threat than the Kirhareshians. Trenton examined the streets that had been his home for so many years now. The buildings all constructed mostly of stone brick and wood. Some buildings like taverns were made fully of stone to prevent drunkards from burning the place down. Trent liked the buildings though. They had a sort of... Warmth, that he had come to love, compared to the cold of Fearaan, one could actually become warm in Baile. Tegan got Trent's attention as he rode ahead of him. Trenton took his cue and kept up with the senior officer. The reached the gates taking back roads in about five minutes. For a portion of it they let the horses run at a full gallop. They always loved to run. Enthusiasm with speed was a great quality in a horse, especially ones as smart as those in Baile.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Nadia Ferrer Character Portrait: Faolan Character Portrait: Anerin
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#, as written by Layla
NADIA
1409, Third of June | Noon.

Nadia halted at the entrance.

Her feet were frozen mid stride, her mouth agape and her doe eyes wide with surprise. When The Chef had commanded her to "brin' da Grand Duke a snack!" and "ask 'im if 'e wants us ter provide da whawers wiv a bite," she hadn't expected Duke Anerin to have an audience. By "whawers" - whores - Chef had meant the entertainers for tonight's feast. The curmudgeon seemed inclined to regard any who made music or art as skin merchants. When Nadia had first arrived on the sticky back steps of the castle kitchens, the Chef's queer accent had baffled her. Now she was largely accustomed to the plump cook's... Less than palliative speech.

What are yew doing, silly girl? The Chef's voice nearly slapped Nadia's soul from her skinny body. She hastily settled the tea and sweets on her tray. Nadia shook her head. She spent so much of her days fearing the plump woman's slap and bark that she was imagining things. But what was she doing? Nadia found herself pressed against the side of the dim servant's halls, the voices in the Great Hall echoing like the growl of beasts. She could hear Degal's distinct scrape, the Great Duke's low rumble, his Captain's tense growl, Lady Faolan's feminine lilt and a stranger's voice. Nadia struggled to shield her ears and mind from their words but still she heard the trickle of conversation. Quickly, she shuffled down the hallway only to rest her worn, hole-riddled shoes on her skirts and hurl forwards. She swallowed a yelp and jerked the tray upwards before it clattered on the stone. She was balanced precariously on one foot, her eyes squeezed tight, certain that they had heard her and she would lose her only source of income, if not beheaded or banished. Her mother would wither away without the medicine to sustain what was left of her health. No guards came brandishing swords and threatening execution. Nadia shifted herself onto both feed and allowed herself a small, quiet sigh.

Just as she opened her eyes, a guard strode past, giving her a strange look. She felt her cheeks flush a crimson more humiliating that its actual cause. Moments after, the Captain was gone. Nadia inched her way into the Great Hall, her head bowed so low, it was a marvel that she could see where she was going at all. In fact, she did not. When she was halfway across the fearsome room - she'd always imagined it resembling a dragon's belly - she realised she was walking away from the Duke and Duchess, rather than towards them. She pivoted around and took haste steps toward the castle's lord. Her skin might've been red from embarrassment had she not been overcome with fear. Nadia felt the colour drain from her with every step. Her heart beat with an uncanny resemblance to one marching for the chopping boards.

"My lord- Duke Ane- Grand Duke of Baile. Duchess of Baile," she choked. What was she meant to say? Greetings? Good afternoon? I apologise for eavesdropping in the halls, I swear I did not mean to? Nothing? "Hello," she said feebly, and immediately had to restrain herself from shattering her skull with the tray in her hands. Nadia curtsied low, her upper body bowed so far forward, it was a surprise that she did not topple over entirely. She held the gold tray above her head for the Duke and Duchess, blessing whoever laid two of everything on it. Never in her relatively short while in the Duke's employ had she come within fifty feet of him. In fact, she could not remember seeing him. Not even in passing. The Grand Duke and Duchess of Baile were in the same basket as Saints, exotic animals, free healers, Queens and Kings. Somewhere out there she was certain they existed, but she'd never truly grasped their livelihoods with her own eyes. She found herself cursing The Chef for sending her on this mission, or rather, the impossible business of the entire palace staff. The usual servants who brought the Duke trays and news were hastily arranging the last of tonight's events.

"T-the Chef was wondering if we should prepare food for the" - whawers - "jesters," she said, steadying her trembling voice as much as she could. She felt impossibly inadequate in the grandeur of the Great Hall and the nobles before her. Nadia was aware of her olive dress that never once failed in draining whatever was left of the sun's golden glow from her skin. She prayed to every deity known to man that the Duke and Duchess would forgive her her failures and, preferably, completely forget her existence the moment she left. "The preparations for tonight are complete. For the most part, Grand Duke," she added. She angled her body slightly towards Lady Faolan. "Welcome back to Castle Casiel, Duchess," she said, scrambling for whatever little knowledge she had of the nobles of the castle. The servants told her Duke Anerin was not the first and that he had played with the Lady Faolan in their youth, until her parents, the late Duke and Duchess, were executed. She did not know the reason, but some older servants said the present Duke was responsible. Nadia could not help but empathise with the Duchess' loss. She could never lose her pa or ma, the latter was the reason she was here. "Is there anything that you require?" she asked both, or perhaps the stretch of distance in between.