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Nadia Ferrer

"Help! I've fallen! I can't... Ooo, nice carpet."

0 · 755 views · located in Domhanda

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

Description

Chamomile 'Cam' Cozcolluela
w h e nx h ex o f f e r sx h i sx l i p sx |x g ox f o rx h i sx t h r o a t

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nicknamexxxcam | cozcolluela | milly
birthdatexxx.13/11/2000
zodiac signx.scorpio
sexualityxxxxundecided
occupationxxstudent | band vocalist
codenamexx.claws
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dialogue codexxx#D98E62
thought codexxxx#BA6740
face claimxxxxxxxkarol quieroz
song inspirationxthis was survival and she was the kit
after high school/chasing dreams in new york city

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seasons

a little insight into how your character's style changes from season to season. are they a peacoat or leather jacket kind of person? do they bundle up or stay unbothered by the cold? are they the person still wearing jeans in 100 degree weather? let us know.

casual and formal

what does your character do to dress up? heels or flats, bowtie or straight tie? do they dress differently for school or at home? do they wear the same hoodie everyday? let us know. this does tie in to the seasonal, but this is more of a general day-to-day thing. fill this with text as much as you can to fit the original paragraph size i have created. they are teenagers are all, and mostly obsessed with fashion. and if not, everyone wears clothes.

anything else

tattoos, piercings, birthmarks, always have their toes painted red, literally anything else. you can include links and explanations to scars or anything else you feel needs an explanation




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Imagethis is the space for your characters likes. really try to
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simplest things like what they have for breakfast in the
morning. Fill this paragraph up with foods they love to
eat, movie genres they like, clubs they're involved in,
their siblings or even an activity. make it personal for
your character. Liking long drives, their sister's clothes,
playing in the snow, whatever makes your characer
different from everyone else. Individualize it! Make a
real person here.
Imagethis is the space for your characters dislikes. really try
to think about your character and relate these likes and
dislikes back to their passions, their hobbies, even the
simplest things like what they have for breakfast in the
morning. Fill this paragraph up with foods they've never
liked, movies they hate to watch, their allergies and the
state of relationships. Disliking family members, iced
coffee, rain, whatever makes your character different
from everyone else. This will give us insight into your
character as a person, things that personality doesn't
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the rest of the paragraph. Truffaut put a bird on it mumblecore crucifix asymmetrical sustainable venmo chillwave. Mlkshk you probably haven't heard of them before they sold out drinking vinegar kitsch. Tacos pabst umami vexillologist waistcoat man bun hella. Shoreditch lyft selvage, mustache whatever salvia mumblecore godard XOXO everyday carry shaman freegan cardigan. Chambray tacos flannel cardigan.

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the rest of the paragraph. Try-hard woke palo santo, XOXO YOLO subway tile cardigan kale chips brooklyn live-edge flannel tacos DIY. Af hell of leggings, mustache hot chicken biodiesel scenester adaptogen poke man braid actually pug tumblr pitchfork paleo. IPhone woke pug small batch tofu deep v, stumptown asymmetrical occupy wayfarers.

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Vice live-edge direct trade, raw denim bitters forage knausgaard everyday carry green juice plaid quinoa twee. Tattooed kickstarter pinterest kogi, offal gochujang post-ironic. Palo santo cliche vice, kale chips selfies quinoa church-key everyday carry gochujang. Narwhal chartreuse literally intelligentsia edison bulb retro locavore adaptogen, blue bottle hexagon blog brooklyn plaid 90's normcore. Retro dreamcatcher post-ironic offal, roof party kombucha poutine jean shorts gentrify sriracha before they sold out skateboard brunch taiyaki iPhone. Whatever single-origin coffee shaman, occupy VHS food truck vape prism wolf chia meditation kickstarter pok pok tbh activated charcoal. Coloring book paleo meditation wayfarers, man braid kinfolk cliche. Live-edge banjo schlitz portland, la croix typewriter post-ironic chartreuse pitchfork four dollar toast 8-bit.



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X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X XroleplayerX X X X X X Xsheet creator
X X X X X X X X X x X X X X X X X X X X X Xgoes here.X X X x x x x x x x x Xthe writer's voice.

So begins...

Nadia Ferrer's Story

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Nadia Ferrer Character Portrait: Sauska "Azzurra" Condwiramur Character Portrait: Trenton Brentson 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: Nadia Ferrer Character Portrait: Kaleb Salazar Erskine
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K A L E B

Twin motes of dust drifted gently through the warm summer sun, their brilliant sparkle diminishing to invisibility as they slipped below the beam. Unflinching sky-blue eyes replaced them. Piercing through the otherwise gloomy, cramped corridor, they meticulously noted any points of interest. Branching passageways and exits measured against a steady rhythm of footsteps, forming a mental map. Kaleb indulged in a narrow smile. He took some pride in his skill. It would not take long to learn his way around. This narrow passage was no doubt a far cry from the grand hall in which the royal party would be presented, but such spaces had their uses.

Kaleb had arrived to the rear of the royal procession, travelling with the rest of the attendants. They had all assiduously groomed themselves, and strode with an almost regal grace and pride in their positions. A whiff of subtle perfumes and crushed spices graced their presence, complimenting the modest, yet rich silks and colors they were adorned in. Though they were servants, they had the pride and refinement of the Queen's personal court, ready for presentation. It was tradition that even the Queen's lowly servants be presented before their host, hanging back behind the honored Moon Guard. He, however, had not been told any such thing. His clothes, though clean, were well worn. His cloak was truly modest, a simple black that carried none of the subtle refinement of the sable or plum of those around him. The other servants certainly took note, occasionally sparing him raised eyebrows and upturned noses. Kaleb felt he was simply in the way there, and as he had not received any implicit instructions on where to be, decided to make himself useful.

An elderly man had presented himself as Degal, steward of Castle Casiel, and bid them enter the keep. As the procession filed in, Kaleb silently detached himself, slipping casually to the side. He approached a young cupbearer warmly, speaking without any trace of the Kirhareshi accent on his tongue. The startled young man stammeringly gave him the directions he needed, pointing out main corridors as much as possible.

"My thanks. And the servants passages?"

"Pardon?"

"The smaller paths, and behind-the-walls walkways with which the nobles need not concern themselves. Where is the nearest entrance to them?"

"Oh no sera, the Queen's contingent are honored guests. You need not concern yourself with remaining out of sight."

Ah, but such is precisely the concern of my profession. Kaleb had not allowed his amusement to reach his eyes, smiling cordially at the youth.

"I thank you, but it would simply be more appropriate to serve my Queen as you would your King. The back-routes are the domain of servants, and I am such. Now, the entrance?"

"If you insist," the boy hesitated, then pointed to small entryway semi-hidden by a hanging tapestry, "but they are tight, and easy to get lost in. Perhaps I should accomp-"

"No need. I have a remarkable sense of direction. I shall find my way." Kaleb tilted his head graciously, then took his leave. Although that was true, he'd had no real intention of going to the Queen's quarters. He meant to explore. If they were to be here awhile, it would be worth learning the lay of the land. The entrance was not exactly hidden, but it would escape one's notice if they did not know what to look for.

Such was how he had found himself stalking through dimly lit dust. The servants passages were meant simply for quick access for the house-staff, and did not require presentability. This suited Kaleb just fine. He was used to far worse. He grimaced wryly. Far, far worse. He was unsurprised that this castle had these hidden walkways, many of them do. The more interesting ones were those unknown by any but the Duke himself. In some cases not even he would be aware of all the castles nooks and crannies. Plenty of time to find those.... hmm? The corridor ends. I wonder where. Kaleb stepped out, finding himself in an impressive hallway. The carpet here was rich, the air clean of must and the walls tastefully decorated with murals and torch sconces. There were several heavy, intricate walnut and iron doors which held firmly closed. One pair hung slightly ajar, and it was here Kaleb decided to investigate his whereabouts.

Mute feet carried him in, appearing in the room with neither noise nor the distinctly suspicious air of one who is skulking around. Which, of course, he was not. He would never skulk. Perhaps he would snoop, or sneak, but never skulk. Not to say he was doing either of those presently, goodness no, he was simply lost. Entirely lost. Entirely not on purpose either. Quite the innocent mistake.

The room itself, though it held nothing to the splendor found in the Royal Palace of Beth-horn, had a certain rich refinement. A bedchamber of some high member of court no doubt. A slim, chestnut haired maid stood within. Linens lay seemingly forgotten, as she gazed out beyond the windows. Kaleb's eyes twinkled in amusement, and he stood there a moment, to see if she would notice him. But no, her reverie was unbroken.

"Not to interrupt your thoughts milady..." he purred, allowing the exoticisms of Kirharesh to spice his tongue, "but I appear to have lost my way. I was seeking Queen Suhayla's quarters and.. well, these do not appear to be them. Might I ask where I am?"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Nadia Ferrer Character Portrait: Kaleb Salazar Erskine Character Portrait: Hakon Far-Killer Character Portrait: Cyra
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#, as written by Layla
CYRA.
1409, Third of June | Morning.

Slithers of crimson light slipped through the gaps between the planks of worn wood, talons trembling and charged to consume. This was not the light of a rising sun, but that of a raging, desecrating fire. The wolf girl flinched back from the ship's walls, tucking herself between two looming stacks of boxes. She clutched her shield to her chest as if its steel body could stop the fury of heat with sheer willpower. Years she had spent with the humans and still the stench of ash and smoke repulsed her, the inferno no axe could sever frightening her. She darted her head around to peek through the rifts when she heard the trickle of roars and laughter.

Cyra forced herself to loosen her white-knuckled grip on her shield and axe. The two-legged fools were at it again with their "contained fires," because "don't worry, little wolf, we've done this a million times before." Yes, and her wolves had escaped captivity and death a million times before, but sometimes they were captured and sometimes they did not come back. As if sniffing her thoughts from the stale air, Odin nudged his furry white head against his companion's thigh. She sighed and cursed at having sighed, there was another wretched habit the Wolf Tribe had abandoned her with. Cyra shoved her heavy axe into the sheath at her hip and wrapped her wiry muscled arms around her large friend. She felt Din Din's low rumble against her chest and nuzzled her nose into his neck. "Indeed, wolves are better than people," she said. "People will curse you, cheat you and beat you, but not you, Din Din. Not you."

The wood whined beneath her feet as Cyra stood to move to the heavy wooden doors of the storage room. She flinched inwardly at the disruptive noise but continued her tentative tread to the entrance. She was surrounded by boxes containing enough food and supplies - most of which were of the weapon variety - to clear a tribe. Perhaps that was what they were doing, but why travel by sea to do so? Cyra had snuck in unnoticed moments before the ship set sail. Getting herself here had not been hard, but disguising a hundred and seventy pound wolf as a bag of food had been much harder. Still, here she was, unnoticed and on the same boat as Thorvaald.

If he'd truly believed she'd allow him to leave her for an undetermined length of time to some remote land far away and that she would neglect the chance to, finally, see a world that was not simply white, he was more deluded than she'd originally suspected and most likely required his elders' medicine to be well. She was also immensely curious to see if all people truly were as haggard and ugly as those on this ship.

Cyra grunted with strain as she tried and failed to open the doors. They seemed to have been locked from the outside in, which would make sense, she supposed, since they would not expect their goods to grow legs and seek escape. She gripped her axe and spun it around, bringing the butt end of her weapon onto the lock with the stretch to decapitate a man. Let them hear. It was not as if Thorvaald would toss her overboard now or turn around. At least, not the latter. She was here now, and there was nothing anyone could do about it if they did not want to have to search for their sunken limbs at the bottom of the ocean.

Thump. Thump. Thump. THUMP.

SNAP!


Her lips parted in a wide grin as the door swung gently open. She slipped between the wide gap and rushed out of the sheltered room, breathing in the fragrance of freedom, even if it was tarnished by the wretched musk of burning wood. Din Din prowled close behind, stretching out his large body and flexing his thick paws in contentment. "Aye, I know," Cyra whispered. "That room was horrid."


NADIA.
1409, Third of June | Morning.

Light bled through sheets of colour as the butterfly perched on a stunning blue clematis, its wings outstretched in prayer for the sun. Its bones, frail like veins bleeding from its soft body to give it flight, fractured the soft golden light of early morning and gave it the conflicting appearance of being both fragile and enduring. Surely such bones were sturdy to be capable of holding the weight of its body. Nadia was thoroughly mesmerised by the creature and its wings of stained glass, so much so that she smacked her hip on the window ledge when she spun around to face the source of the sound.

"Not to interrupt your thoughts milady..." She stared, stunned like a deer caught in the direct light of a torch, her fingers grasping the hard ledge behind her for dear life. "But I appear to have lost my way. I was seeking Queen Suhayla's quarters and.. Well, these do not appear to be them. Might I ask where I am?"

Nadia! She heard the scolding voice of her mother when she'd been well and quickly dropped into a low bow, stammering apologies, excuses and thoughts as if she'd swallowed a Witch's brew that made her speak uncontrollably. So often had others condemned her for her unfiltered speech, but no bars or beatings were capable of imprisoning her words.

"I am deeply sorry for neglecting my duties, sir. My sincerest apologies for being an inconvenience and a nuisance, sir. I understand that I shall be punished, sir. I will atone for my sins, sir. Please consider giving your pitiful servant another chance, sir. I will do better, sir. Forgive me for your confusion, sir. You will never lose your way again, sir. What am I saying, sir. Sorry, sir. Lord. Master. I will cease speaking now." Nadia inhaled deeply for the first time since she'd been made aware of the man's presence. The words had poured from her tongue and were now trapped behind her tightly sealed lips. The servant girl bowed lower, surprising any who might've believed she could not, in fact, lower herself any more than she had initially.

Avoiding the unfamiliar man's gaze, she straightened her stiff body and marched, stone-faced and tight-lipped, to the linens at the corner of the bed. She stripped Duke Anerin's sheets with the precision and speed of one well accustomed to the duties of a maidservant. Being a servants' servant, she often found herself with the most undesirable duties, which included linen changes because no one wished to wrestle a bed seemingly able to fit half a dozen men. Nadia froze almost comically in the middle of peeling the navy bottom covers from the bed, her lips parted in surprise, eyes stationary and impossibly large with realisation.

"Oh!" she gasped, allowing her duties to fall from her hands so she could spin around and bow frantically once again, this time bobbing up and down. "I am deeply, truly, utterly, wholly, entirely, absolutely..." She continued rambling words synonymous to 'really,' before continuing, "Sorry."

Nadia inched her upper body upwards, lifting her soft brown eyes reluctantly to something other than the stranger's feet. Only instead of looking mildly shy or apologetic, she was gawking relentlessly. Nadia watched a storm fracture the earth and the crack be filled by a roaring tide that devoured the golden sand. She saw as the river stilled, the blue skies turn dark and be scattered by beads of light. Sapphires peered at her through strands of dark hair that curled softly over a hard jaw. Oh. jaws. She had those. Nadia shut her mouth and shuffled from one foot to another, her fingers tugging and twirling the material of her skirts. She suddenly felt horribly underdressed and ridiculous. Her dress was a plain thing, long sleeves pushed up at the elbow, the neckline an uninteresting square and the material, a hideous olive, patched in places with cloths of all assortments. She was an underfed, frail thing with dreary auburn hair and a fringe that had been braided away from her face to reveal an extraordinarily fair face, and here she stood, shuffling, in front of possibly the most handsome man she'd seen in her life.

Wonderful.

"I, umm..." she muttered. "Do not believe I have the authority to tell you but... You should turn when you see this pot and then you follow this wall till you reach a certain door. They should be in one of the rooms with the windows." Nadia shrugged and gave a tentative smile that revealed dimples in her cheeks. "I am not too good at giving directions. Perhaps I could show you instead. After I change these linens, if you are not in any haste." She turned to fuss over the sheets, wrestling the burgundy silk from one corner of the bed to another to no avail. "Queen Suhayla... Queen, Queen... Feast... Carrots..." Nadia pondered to herself. Her eyes wandered to the corner of the ceiling as she pulled her full lower lip into her mouth by her teeth, sucking and thinking whilst balancing on the edge of the bed. "Oh! The Queen! The guests. You must be the prince." Nadia nodded, accepting her intelligent guess to be the truth. "The prince. The prince!" Nadia slipped from the bed with a yelp and fell hard onto the floor. "My sincerest apologies for my incompetence, my lord!"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Nadia Ferrer Character Portrait: Kaleb Salazar Erskine
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K A L E B
1409, Third of June | Morning

Kaleb could not help but grin, bemused by this poor girl. The moment she was done gawking at him in shock, she had dropped into a low bow, apologizing profusely. What for, he was quite unsure. It seemed the poor thing was sorry simply for being. She bowed again, lowering herself so close to the ground that he feared she would disappear into it were she embarrassed any further.

She was, he decided, a rather pretty girl, if not particularly outstanding. Chestnut hair framed warm brown eyes, which were lit up by panic, fascination, and self-abasement interchangeably. Creamy smooth skin and a slight figure gave her a youthful appearance, and Kaleb reckoned she could not be far past her 17th year. Her soft full lips seemed unsure of what to do with themselves. One moment they were parted slightly in wonder, the next they danced and tumbled as words came spilling out, and then she chewed the lower one in thought.

The directions given were not of particular use, but then Kaleb didn't really know them. The cup-bearer earlier had given him excellent directions, and he was sure he could retrace his steps enough to find his way there. What he was really interested in was where he found himself now. He noted that the girl seemed eager to please. That could be of use.

"Oh! The Queen! The guests. You must be the prince." The girl nodded to herself, sure of his royalty. "The prince. The prince!" she exclaimed, before slipping and falling hard on the floor. Immediately Kaleb was down besides her. He helped her up, hands gently but firmly on her arm and waist. "My sincerest apologies for for my incompetence, my lord!"

"Nonsense, you have nothing to be so penitent for, and I am no prince. I am merely a servant of the Queen, fair maiden, as you are your King. Forgive my lapse in manners, I should have introduced myself. I am Kaleb, and I would be more than happy to wait for you to finish here... where is here by the way? The room of some noble, or dignitary of court?"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Nadia Ferrer Character Portrait: Kaleb Salazar Erskine Character Portrait: Sauska "Azzurra" Condwiramur Character Portrait: Suhayla
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NADIA.
1409, Third of June | Morning.

"Nonsense, you have nothing to be so penitent for, and I am no prince. I am merely a servant of the Queen, fair maiden, as you are your King." Fair maiden. Fair maiden. He thinks I am a fair maiden. Fair maiden, Nadia thought, her lips parted slightly in surprise. He, a mere servant? Surely not. He seemed much too well spoken and confident to be a servant. Perhaps he was the Queen's steward, as Degal was. Were all of the Queen's underlings as handsome as he? Were the Kirhareshi simply an attractive people? She'd heard rumours of them being golden skinned and dark haired with eerie, shadowed eyes of obsidian. With eyes of bright azure, he was a living paradox to the rumours. The servants had whispered that in the desert lands, women ruled the kingdom and enslaved the men. Perhaps that was why such a stunning and seemingly intelligent man was a mere servant. Perhaps it was only the women who had the eyes of darkness.

"Forgive my lapse in manners, I should have introduced myself. I am Kaleb, and I would be more than happy to wait for you to finish here... where is here by the way? The room of some noble, or dignitary of court?" Kaleb... What a lovely name.

"We should not be here," she said quickly, turning to hastily replace the linens with fresh burgundy silk, her slim but calloused fingers moving deftly. "We are in the Grand Duke's chambers. You should not be here. We must go." The servant girl patted down the sheets and fluffed the pillows. She skittered across the room to the door, quiet as the mice that ran rampant in the servants' rooms, and opened the door slightly ajar. She peeked her head out and checked the hallways. "You must not let them see you. The wars, you see... The Grand Duke... They are all anxious and weary." With one last glance, she slipped out the door and waved for Kaleb to come through.

Without another glance backwards, Nadia walked hastily down the dimly lit halls. They turned the last corner and faced heavy walnut doors guarded by two men and a veiled woman with eyes like shattered ice, cold and sharp. She was clothed entirely in black, her hair hidden beneath an obsidian cloak, hands beneath dark leather gloves, pants tucked in black boots tipped with metal and the lower half of her face obscured by black chiffon. What was more frightening, however, was not how Nadia had nearly missed the figure, so congregated the shadows were around her, but the weapons she bore. Two long, fearsome spears, the surface of which was embedded in runes and patterns a maid had no hope of understanding, were pressed tightly against her spine. Daggers and swords of all lengths hung at her hips and knives were strapped to her thighs. Yet not even her being armed to take on the whole of Baile's army could detract from her steely gaze, unmoving, mesmerising and fear igniting all at once.


AZZURRA.
1409, Third of June | Morning.

Shortly after the Captain of Baile's Guard's departure, Azzurra took stance outside the door after she'd divided her Spearmaidens between scouring the castle and standing in the Queen's room. She'd seen the empty, pale spaces where maps had been removed, and she'd not been fooled. There was only one thing they could be, and why they'd been removed. She found it rather amusing, that they would attempt to mask their past with Kirharesh.

All was well, the two guards stood with rigid spines pressed against the doors as if they couldn't get far enough away from her, which was just good enough for her. She did not like them or care for their existence, anyway. She was relatively confident that they would die, run or faint should true danger come. The Captain of the Moon Guard would not leave the life of her liege in their incapable hands. Males were good for little more than reproduction and entertainment. They were weak and foolish.

Azzurra had been pondering the source of the fire that she'd seen raging in the distance when she heard hasty footsteps approach. She'd tensed lightly but the two Croasarian guards seemed oblivious to the faint tapping of feet and her minuscule shift in her stance. When the slight figure of a servant girl approached, followed by another she still, sometimes, failed to recognise for the first few moments, she was not so much surprised as irritated. There he was, making a nuisance of himself again. She would not allow him in Queen Suhayla's rooms. He did not have the authority as far as she was concerned, only the Queen's command would allow him pass.

The thin girl stared unabashedly at Azzurra and although they were of a similar height, the servant seemed to look up at the Captain rather than levelly. The Moon Guard was half tempted to raise her eyebrows and tip the young girl's mouth closed. Alas, she did not, instead choosing to remain absolutely still.

"I, um, ah, I am sorry to disturb you... Honoured... Lady," the maidservant mumbled so softly she would not have been heard by anyone without an assassin's or musician's training, bowing so low Azzurra expected her to disappear into the ground. She seemed to struggle for the words to express herself. "This is Kaleb," she said with a nervous and vague gesture towards him. Yes, Azzurra thought wryly. I realise. "He is the Queen's servant. The Queen is in there?" she squeaked, clearly frightened by the armed Kirhareshi guard. Azzurra remained impassive and silent. Where and when in Arunah's world would the Captain of the Moon Guard willingly offer the location of the Queen to a Croasarian maid? Nowhere and never.

"Welcome to Baile!" the slight girl said abruptly with tortured cheer. She was trying her damnedest, Azzurra would give her that.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Nadia Ferrer Character Portrait: Kaleb Salazar Erskine Character Portrait: Sauska "Azzurra" Condwiramur
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K A L E B
1409, Third of June | Morning

The Grand Duke's bedchamber. Interesting. It was not as decadent as he expected. He knew Glasluigh could not come close to the prosperity and grandeur of Beth-horn, but he had grown used to the lavishness of nobility within the Imperial Palace. He was glad to see that this Duke was not so fascinated by pomp and frill. Though the girl was right. He certainly should not be there. He could easily have talked his way out, but if they decided to search beneath his cloak for weapons... well, it would be a rather awkward situation.

It did not take them long to find the guest wing. Heavy, intricate walnut doors barred entry, blocked by rigidly anxious guards. These were minor impedances compared to the source of their discomfort. A shadowy, steely-eyed statue impaled them upon her gaze, glacial eyes registering a mere flicker of annoyance at his presence. Nice to know she still cares.

Kaleb rested a gentle hand upon the anxious girls shoulder, halting her babbling. "Do not take it personally. She is here to guard, not to chat. There are very few words which would faze one of The Moon Guards. They are among the best in the world..." A soft dip of admiration slipped into his voice, hardly noticeable. "You should see their captain. There are none quite like her. Anyway, you have my thanks. You have been most helpful.... you know, I do not believe you've mentioned your name. Might I know it...?



"Nadia? A very pretty name. Again, thank you for your help, but I must get back to my Queen now. I am sure you have your own duties to attend to as well."

A sincere smile turned up the corners of Kaleb's lips, and he paused till Nadia saw herself off. He turned back to the immovable figure before him. He still could not get used to the Ebony apparel of the Moon Guard, but the harsh azure eyes within were familiar. "My lady, about the ferrying of Her Majesty's possessions to her room..." He stepped close, voice dropping to a whisper. A seriousness had solidified in his eyes and posture, making clear the officiality of his message for the Queen's guard. The doormen glanced curiously at him for a moment, then stared ahead again. The scurrying of the Queen's porters was of little more interest than the wall on which they fixed their gaze.

"Sauska, may I see Suhayla? I cannot serve particularly well if I cannot attend her. The other servants seem to enjoy my presence even less than you clearly do, and I'm afraid I shall surely make a menace of myself if I cannot find a better purpose."

Setting

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Character Portrait: Nadia Ferrer Character Portrait: Faolan Character Portrait: Anerin
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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.