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Adelmund

The King's Father

0 · 290 views · located in Medieval Times

a character in “Crown of Betrayal”, as played by MadMax

Description

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Full Name: Adelmund Duhamel

Personality: Adelmund is a controlling an manipulative man. He is willing to take whatever it takes to put his family line on the top. He is not to be trusted.

History: Treachery and Deceit fill his past. He has not made it to where he is now without twisting things in his favor. Even his children hold no love from him. They are only useful pawns in his plans, ways to achieve his goals. Now that his eldest son is King, he has exactly what he wants.

So begins...

Adelmund's Story

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Adelmund Character Portrait: Kaytelynn

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Duhamel. A legacy that would go down in history.

"Isn't it wild?!" Lady Kaytelynn's excitement bubbled as she adorned herself in jewels in front of the long looking glass. Maids buzzing around her like busy bee's working to please their queen.

"Oh yes my Lady!" Mildred, her old withered nursemaid turned lady's maid agreed heartily as she worked on her mistresses long golden hair. "It's only a shame that you can't claim the title Princess my Lady. It would suit you so."

"Well yes." Kaytelynn acceded with a small frown between her brow. She need not be reminded of that little morsel of fact. "But look at where we are! Look at who's hair you're plaiting!" She beamed before rapping poor Mildred's knuckles with her fan.

"Ouch!" The maid pulled her hand away in shock nursing it.

"You snagged." Kaytelynn told her without remorse. It was not true of course but how dare she state an unnecessary truth. "Look," She beamed once more. "You're plaiting the hair of the King's sister! Did you ever in your small pathetic life think you'd be serving royalty?"

"N-no my Lady." Mildred replied, her fearful gaze locked on her mistresses in the looking glass.

"Pray continue!" Kaytelynn ordered sweetly. "Is it almost done? My father and brother's are waiting you know. And let's not forget the rest of the realm."

"My Lady, oh it's beautiful." Another young maid declared brightly as she strapped a beautiful bracelet onto Kaytelynn's wrist. "I seen it with my own eyes. The room looks like heaven itself and everybody is waiting for the King." When she noticed the glare Kaytelynn bestowed upon her, the young woman added, "A-and you of course my Lady." Slipping away as quickly as she came to save her knuckles.

"Of course." Kaytelynn smiled sweetly, moving away when she was ready. "Why I may not be a Princess but soon I will be a Queen to some exotic King from some far away land and if you can all do your jobs right I might take you with me!" Her voice raising with each step leaving her maids trembling in fear before finally taking her leave of them.

"Papa." She met her waiting father, bestowing a cool kiss upon his leathered cheek. "How do I look?" She asked gesturing to her rich crimson gown, fitting for her new post, if she did say so herself. "Where are Leolf and the others?" She was ready to make an entrance with her brother. People would know who she was. The only sister of the King was a powerful position . . .

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Adelmund Character Portrait: Kaytelynn Character Portrait: Roldan Character Portrait: Eldon

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#, as written by MadMax
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Everything had gone according to plan.

He had successfully murdered the old King and his heir with little difficulty, setting his eldest son up to take the role of king. Of course, Adelmund might as well be King as he will be controlling everything Leolf does. Yes, he used his son as a way to get power, but it benefited the whole family. The name Duhamel would now be highly regarded and Leolf would have that sense of superiority he had been wanting. It was a win-win for everyone.

If only his eldest son was better at taking directions. He had raised him to be obedient, but Leolf always had more resistance to his control than Adelmund liked. He had to keep close tabs on him for this reason.

Last night, he had visited his son, to prepare him for his first entrance as King, and he sensed that Leolf was irritated. Nevertheless, Adelmund would make him listen and behave like a proper son. A slight resistance was common, but Leolf always came to his senses eventually. His son would realize that he is always right.

Waiting for the arrival of his sons, Adelmund stood in the hall with his only daughter, Kaytelynn. She laid a kiss upon his cheek in greeting like the respectful daughter she was. In response to her attire he said, "Lovely, my dear. I suspect that you will catch the eye of many promising suitors." Then, narrowing his eyes in anger he answered her other question. "As for your brothers, I have not the slightest idea to their whereabouts."

Just as he said this, Roldan came towards them, dragging Eldon along by his arm. "Sorry for the delay father, I've been searching for Eldon. I found him messing around with one of the handmaidens." Roldan released his brother to shove him away.

Adelmund looked at Eldon with disapproving eyes. "I thought we agreed you were to behave today." His voice took on a menacing tone. "You and I need to have a discussion soon, but for now, it is imperative that we wait for your brother to grace us with his presence." Pursing his lips he said, "Leolf seems to think that punctuality isn't important, or he is trying to purposely defy my instructions. Either way, he will arrive in time and we must be patient and wait."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Leolf Character Portrait: Adelmund Character Portrait: Desmirra Character Portrait: Kaytelynn Character Portrait: Roldan Character Portrait: Eldon

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#, as written by MadMax
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Being able to see her more clearly now that she had provided more light, he was awestruck. Her face was beautifully formed in every way. Her features weren't exactly delicate or dainty, but they held a certain matureness to them while still maintaining that fresh youthfulness. Leolf could easily claim that he had never met a lady with looks of her caliber. She was in fact, unique in every aspect of the word.

One thing was for certain, she was vexed by his words. The thought made him smile. The smile remained even as she mocked him. Had anyone else treated him in such a manner his temper would have made an appearance, but for a reason unknown to him, he remained calm in her presence.

At least, until she brought up the 'new tyrant King's' cruel streak. Leolf frowned deeply upon hearing that. While her other jabs, didn't hold any real merit, this insult felt more like a personal attack and brought his anger to the surface.

Too proud to let her know she got to him, he locked his jaw and responded in a dismissive manner. "I see your point. Now if you'll excuse me, I have more important matters to attend to."

With that he stormed out of the library, cursing once he distanced himself from it. Leolf knew he shouldn't let some insignificant woman bring out his temper like that, but he couldn't control it. His father hated it, and often chastised him for being too emotional. Seeing how his whole disposition had changed within a matter of seconds, he hated the trait himself.

Deciding that he had made his father wait long enough, he entered his private quarters where his servants got him properly dressed. At last, he placed the crown atop his head, proudly showing off his title as King. Heading towards his father and siblings with dignity, he prepared himself to make his entrance.

The sour look on his Father's face told Leolf that he wasn't pleased. However, he gave his father a menacing glare in response, daring him to voice his displeasure.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Leolf Character Portrait: Adelmund Character Portrait: Kaytelynn Character Portrait: Roldan Character Portrait: Eldon

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"The maids? Really Eldon?" Kaytelynn looked at the youngest of her older brothers in disgust. "Why can't you have a bit more class and fornicate with a Dowager or a bored chatelaine?"

The maids, the servants, they weren't even people to Kaytelynn. They were akin to animals. They were there to work for their betters. Of course Eldon would philander with the rodents. Eldon and Leolf were her least favourite brothers. They were brutish and entitled. Of course, Kaytelynn overlooked her own sense of entitlement that may possibly have been greater than all of her brothers put together but self-centeredness blinded one to that fact. Roldan on the other hand, she could tolerate. They shared little conversation and that was perfectly fine with her.

It was not long after her father scolded Eldon and made his declaration about Leolf that he strode in looking more regal than ever. At least, he wouldn't embarrass her by dressing like a fool, Kaytelynn thought smiling to her brother who did not notice or pay her any attention. She quickly replaced the smile for a more placid detached semblance. No, in fact one thing all Duhamel's were good at was dressing for occasion. It was in their blood. The finer things in life. It was as if the whole family had been waiting for this elevation their whole lives.

"See papa," Kaytelynn chimed as the tension could have been cut with a knife. There were far too many men in this family, Kaytelynn mused to herself. But then again, she thought to herself, she certainly didn't want to share the men in her life with some other women. Hopefully she'd be married off long before her brothers decided to settle down. "And you thought punctuality wasn't important to Leolf." She smirked, which reminded her. "Papa you said there would be suitors for me here? Are they foreigners?" She questioned eagerly, speaking of the only subject that truly interested her. Surely her father did not still intend for her to marry these old stuffy Lord's. No, Kaytelynn intended to be a Queen in her own right.

"Well shall we my Lord's? Your Grace?" She gestured to her brothers and father as she linked her arms through his. She was ready to make her entrance. A princess by another title. With a stiff spine, a raise of the chin and a regal demeanor, so the Lady Kaytelynn fashioned her entree as an imperial.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Leolf Character Portrait: Adelmund Character Portrait: Kaytelynn Character Portrait: Roldan Character Portrait: Eldon

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#, as written by MadMax
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Leolf's glaring was interrupted by Kaytelynn, his only sister. He looked to her now as she mentioned his punctuality. It didn't matter to him, but he could tell she was trying to break the tension so he didn't say anything to oppose it.

The mention of suitors made him roll his eyes. That was the only thing that she ever talked about. His father answered with, "Of course, my dear. Rich and Powerful foreigners. However, I do wish that you would consider some of the more influential suitors within one of the noble families. I know you will not settle for anything less than exemplary, but do choose wisely Kaytelynn." Then he turned to Leolf. "You would do well to think along these lines also. The future queen must have something that would be useful to us. Meghara Rotherstone would be a fine choice in my opinion as her family has amassed a large army."

He sighed in frustration at his father's pushiness and was glad to get on with the entrance as Kaytelynn had suggested. Leading the rest of the family at the front, Leolf proudly walked through the doors as the servants held them open. The room was extravagantly decorated and filled with people. The crowd hushed as they made their way to the head of the room, whispers flowing amongst the hoard.

Not even a hint of a smile was present on Leolf's face. A King's job was to demand and conquer, and he needed to show that he was not one to be pushed around. His charm would come out during his speech, but for now he needed to seem intimidating.

The new King found his way to the top of the dais, but before he seated himself on the throne, he spread his arms out wide to signal everyone's attention. "Welcome everyone. As you all know. The previous King and his heir have both passed on. In the tragedy of their deaths, we mourn for the loss of the two noble men. But despite the grief that has taken hold, we must move forward. And I, Leolf Duhamel, your new King, will be the one to move us forward."

Clapping commenced from some, but not all. His eyes flickered to his father's briefly before he moved onto the next part of his speech. "For my first act as King, I am calling forth a new King's council. As for the members of the council I must ask that, Lord Wynterwyn, Lord Allgarrd, Lord Rotherstone, and Lord Giscard, become the first official members of the council." He paused briefly before continuing. "I must also demand that the Wynterwyn family stay in the capital."

A charming smile finally came over his face. "Not that the political matters are over, please take advantage of the food, drinks, and entertainment." With that, he finally took his seat on the throne. His father looked entirely shocked and that made Leolf feel very satisfied with himself. He knew that the Wynterwyn's were not happy with him as the king and knew that it was best if he kept them close to him as a way to keep them in line. Asking Lord Wynterwyn to join the council was just another addition to that plan, and he knew that the man had no choice but to accept as a request from the King was as good as an order.

At the moment, Leolf had a feeling of complete power. He felt invincible, as though no one could touch him. In only a short amount of time, being King has already served him well.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Leolf Character Portrait: Adelmund Character Portrait: Meghara Character Portrait: Maimie Character Portrait: Alaric Character Portrait: Edmund

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"Well my dear," Maimie Rotherson whispered to her daughter, the slightest hint of satisfaction upon her lips. "We don't need to worry about his appearance do we?"

No, they certainly did not Meghara flushed. The new King was the epitome of masculine perfection. Tall with broad shoulders and sinfully exquisite features. Far superior to her old suitor. Indeed, they'd look fine together, Meghara decided happily; and produce handsome heirs.

Meg's confidence was once again restored. His vanity had to be equal to hers and the way in which he commanded the room . . . Meghara stood there with a twinkle in her eyes as she imagined standing by Leolf Duhamel as his Queen. Without a doubt, she'd make him an excellent Queen. He didn't even realise how lucky he was. She was a prize after all.

"You had better get used to calling me Your Majesty mama." She whispered back to her mother, sharing a conspiratorial grin.

"Mother of the Queen has a nice ring to it too you know?" Maimie simpered. "Your uncle tells me Adelmund Duhamel sees no reason the match should not be a prosperous one." Lady Rotherstone went onto explain to her daughter. "They need an army and an heir as soon as possible to secure the line of succession. A male heir." She added pointedly. "I have given my word that the women in our family have never had trouble with fulfilling their womanly obligations. As soon as you are wed you must see to your duty. By the King and by your brother and I. Then my dear you will come to know the true meaning of untouchable."

Untouchable. Meghara liked the sound of that. Just as she liked the sound of never scrounging ever again. The promise of silks, velvets, rubbies, gems and all the untold riches that awaited her beyond this marriage danced across her vision. All the things of her wildest dreams. They were all within her reach. She just had to reach out and grab for them.

"Of course mama." Meghara finally replied. She'd give him and heir or two and he'd bestow upon her what her heart truly desired. Power. Position. Prestige. This was how these alliances worked. She wasn't foolish enough to expect love. Nor would she respect the King if he talked of such absurdities. Though she doubted it very much. He appeared far too practical.

Marriages were contracts. Nothing more. He'd receive her family's military as dowry and she'd get position for her family, power as Queen and wealth as the sovereign's spouse. What more could any woman want? As she looked around the packed hall, she felt sorry for all these young ladies sending longing glances to the King. How foolish of them to think they had a chance? She mused happily.

"Where is Alaric mama? He must introduce me to the King immediately!" Meghara declared as music started up and the hum of many voices in a vast space crammed to the hilt made it difficult to hear and be heard. Wine flowed and the scent of spiced and sweet meats drifted on the air.

"Patience my dear. Did you not just hear? Your brother has been declared a member of the King's council! Do you not realise what such an honour this is?" It appeared to Maimie that things were finally going the right way for her and her children. "Plus, this will give us ample opportunities to steer in the direction of the King. You must win his affections. I'm certain my dear you can tame this wild beast." Maimie smiled, fixing her daughter's coiffure once more. She must look her best.

Meghara burned with impatience to catch the King's attention. It certainly helped she found him exceedingly attractive. That would help her provide him heirs. Now if only he'd lay eyes on her . . . Meghara knew she would have him then. No man had resisted her ravishing 'charms'.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Leolf Character Portrait: Adelmund Character Portrait: Desmirra Character Portrait: Kaytelynn Character Portrait: Meghara Character Portrait: Roldan Character Portrait: Eldon

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#, as written by MadMax
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A pleasant feeling passed through Leolf as everyone raised their glasses to him. Long live the King, he could get used to hearing that.

Now that the festivities had begun, a steady flow of lively conversation filled the room. Eldon had already slipped from his spot and found his way onto the dance floor. He was trying to woo the ladies no doubt. Roldan was engaged in a conversation with his father and any moment now, Kaytelynn was sure to be bombarded by suitors.

Leolf would have remained sitting atop his throne, if it hadn’t been for his father calling for him to join them. Reluctantly, he walked over to stand beside Roldan and his father.

“Why don’t you ask one of these fine ladies to dance, Leolf. It is time that you start searching for a suitable queen.” His father said.

“None of these women are worthy of my attention, father.” he responded in a bored tone.

“Not even that blonde beauty over there.” His father pointed to one of the ladies that was a small distance away from where they stood. Leolf’s eyes surveyed her features. She was, as his father had said, a beauty. Those long golden locks combined with her enticing figure was enough to make any man happy. Well, any man but Leolf. He knew that if his father pointed her out, then she was most likely the Meghara Rotherstone that he mentioned earlier.

Turning to his father once more he scrunched up his face in feign distaste. “She’s rather plain.”

His father didn’t seem convinced of his lie and went on to lecture him, but Leolf drowned out his words as he looked into the crowd. He wasn’t searching for anything in particular, but when he spotted a hint of auburn hair, he left his father without so much as a glance.

As he walked, the crowd parted for him. The whispers among the girls made him roll his eyes. Did all maidens have no substance? He wondered. The female he was seeking out now, was the only one that had ever gave him reason to think differently. Even his own sister only seemed concerned about her appearance and marrying someone of high status.

Nearing closer, Leolf could make out the pale yellow color of her dress. A grin stretched across his face. It was her. The girl from the library.

Making his way in front of her, he gave a slight bow as he had done before, but this time he extended a hand out in her direction. “May I have this dance,” Then in a lower voice he added, “Your Majesty.” He gave her an amused look as he said the last part.

“Or am I too much of a... What was it you said?” Leolf paused as if trying to remember. “Oh, that’s right, I believe you used the word tyrant.” His voice had a teasing tone to it. He knew that he had her trapped. A maiden such as herself, could not refuse the King.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Leolf Character Portrait: Adelmund Character Portrait: Desmirra Character Portrait: Meghara Character Portrait: Maimie Character Portrait: Edmund

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That look. That look did not bode well for the Rotherstone family. Her daughter was clearly far too taken with the King to notice however Maimie Rotherstone was not. She was far too old and seasoned to overlook such a slight. The mere glance the King had bestowed upon her child was enough to tell Maimie everything she needed to know. The King was not interested in Meghara the way in which a man should. Any man, let alone the man who was to marry such a woman. No . . . This would not do at all.

Maimie glanced at her daughter who was sending longing glances to Leolf Duhamel with a slight trace of smugness to her sweet lips, the smugness of ownership. However, Maimie thought with mildest internal panic, if something did not change with Leolf Duhamel in regards to her daughter then that ownership would never come to pass. And that, she could not have.

"Will he do my dear?" Maimie questioned her daughter; a seal of false happiness brightening her lips.

"More than do mama." Meghara replied upon a sigh. "He's perfect. Just like the stories you told me of dark, brave knights who'd carry me away-" Maimie turned to look at her daughter as Meghara suddenly stopped mid-sentence.

"What is it dear?" Maimie questioned but before Meghara could answer, Maimie turned again, this time with the whispers and chatter that seemed to be carrying through the room.

Mother and daughter watched and gasped with the rest of the room as the King made a beeline towards . . . Maimie recognised that girl.

"Who is she?!" Meghara seethed in a whisper, yanking Maimie by the arm to face her once more. For a short moment Maimie had a bewildered look in her eyes. "Mama!" Her daughters cry bring her back to the present.

Maimie glared across the room making sure to catch Adelmund Dahamel's gaze. Though, her brother was the one dealing with the in's and out's of this negotiation of marriage. Maimie wanted to convey clearly to Lord Adelmund Dahamel that she was NOT impressed with his son's behaviour in the light of this impending marriage. The sentiment was carried indubious along the invisible line of their gazes.

"No one that matters." Maimie affirmed boldly to her daughter and to herself. "Wait here." Maimie instructed Meghara. "I'll be right back." Before slithering through the crowd and disappearing.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Adelmund Character Portrait: Maimie Character Portrait: Edmund

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#, as written by MadMax
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The turn of events had not gone according to plan.

First, Leolf had shocked him by putting Lord Wynterwyn on the King’s council, and then he shocked him once more by choosing such an unsuitable woman as a dance partner. Leave it to his eldest son to make him proud one second only to ruin it moments later.

It was quite disappointing if anything as Leolf had the promise to be the all powerful King he had raised him to be, but could not overcome his childish tendencies enough to listen to reason.

Adelmund had to be sure not to let his son stray too far from his grasp considering the fact that Casimir was still breathing. He knew that if the rightful heir to the throne wasn’t taken out soon, then he would eventually come back to claim the crown. Adelmund had hired an assassin to kill Casimir, but had not yet heard back from him.

Currently, his attention was much too fixed on Leolf, to dwell on anything else. The longer he watched, the more tense his appearance became.

It wasn’t until Maimie Rotherstone caught his eye that his focused moved from Leolf to her. Her vicious glare clearly conveyed her displeasure. He understood her reaction as he had basically promised her half-brother that Meghara would in fact be the queen. He assumed that Leolf would agree to the arrangement once he learnt of the large army they would gain from the union, but obviously he had not.

Just as soon as Maimie had turned from him, her half-brother, Edmund Allgarrd, had come to him. “I thought we had an agreement, Adelmund.” Edmund huffed.

“We did, and I can assure you that the agreement will not be broken. My son just needs a slight push and he will comply to marry Meghara.” He replied.

Edmund seemed skeptical of Adelmund’s words. “You’re sure of this?” He asked.

With a menacing look directed towards his son he answered, “Absolutely.”

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Leolf Character Portrait: Adelmund Character Portrait: Desmirra Character Portrait: Meghara Character Portrait: Maimie

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#, as written by MadMax
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Based on the look on her face at his words, Leolf could safely assume that she was embarrassed of her earlier actions now that she knew he really was the King. His own brows drew together in confusion at her comment. His face? What about his face?

Before he could even ask what she meant by that, she had taken his outstretched hand. As he led her to the dance floor he couldn't ignore the strange feeling he got from the contact. Still holding one of her hands with his, the other hand reached out to grab her waist as they moved in sync with the others covering the dance floor. Including his brother Eldon and Alaric Rotherstone.

However, he only had eyes for the enchanting creature which he was dancing with. Her gaze, much like his, did not waver. Leolf was still highly amused, as he was earlier. He knew that she was frustrated with his teasing, especially in front of the crowd that had gathered to watch the spectacle, but her reactions were so precious that he couldn't help himself. He knew that dancing with a woman such as her would spark the curiosity of everyone in the room, but one look at her and all other thoughts left him.

It was several moments before the lady finally broke her bout of silence. Rather than feeling offended by her harsh words, his devilish grin simply grew larger. A laugh even escaped him when she searched for another degrading term to call him. They were briefly pulled apart for the dance and when she came back to him, she seemed to have came across another word, but by this time it had already lost it's intended effect. The satisfied look on her face almost made him want to pretend that she had hurt him, but no matter how hard he tried, he couldn't wipe the smile from his face. Leolf couldn't remember the last time he had smiled this much.

As the dance brought them dangerously close to one another, the King opened his mouth to respond to her inquiries. "You know," he paused as if thinking. "I don't believe that has ever occurred to me. Maybe that's why I am such a cruel, devious, callous, merciless, and spiteful tyrant. You'll have to teach me how to think differently, I'm afraid." He pouted slightly. "Otherwise, you'll be stuck with me and my sadistic ways."

He tilted his head in towards hers. "I must compliment you on your extensive vocabulary, by the way. It is most impressive. Most impressive indeed." His eyes which had held mischief since they started dancing, took on a more sincere look. "Now that you know I am Leolf Duhamel, I must ask you of your name. I'll admit, I am quite curious to find out."

Before she could answer him, something crashed into the two of them, causing the woman to fly out of his arms and another to fill her place just as soon as she had left it. It was the blonde from earlier, Meghara Rotherstone. He could hardly keep from rolling his eyes at the intruder. She had interrupted his dance and wonderful conversation! He didn't even catch the woman's name! His jaw, now tense with frustration, tightened as he tried to pull away from her. However, her grip was so tight that he remained in place.

According to the yelling, a servant had apparently bumped into her and caused her to crash right into him. Meghara's mother had made such a scene out of the accident that he couldn't get away from the woman if he wanted to. Damn that servant! Leolf would think of proper punishment for him once this was over.

Meghara whined about her ankle, making a dreadful hissing noise that made him want to cringe. Her bright blue eyes found his icy ones as she grabbed his bicep. Leolf wanted to drop her were he stood, but he couldn't do that in front of all of these people. He was trapped. Finding his father and seeing the pleased expression on his face, he realized that this is exactly what he wanted to happen. His father may not have done this directly, but he was working in the shadows as he always did.

Wanting to defy his father, but knowing he couldn't in this moment, he smiled charmingly at Meghara. "What can you do for me? You can start out by staying still while I bring you to a more comfortable setting. We wouldn't want you harming your ankle further, now would we?"

With both ease and irritation, he lifted her in bridal style fashion and carried her past the throng of people, out the doors, and into one of the unoccupied chambers where he laid her gently onto the bed. After calling for one of the healers, he glanced at Meghara with feigned concern. "I hope that this will suffice for now. You may stay in the castle with us until you heal, if that is what you wish. I assure you that you will be properly taking care of." What he really hoped for was that the annoying blonde maiden would let him leave so he could find out the name of the mysterious woman.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Leolf Character Portrait: Adelmund Character Portrait: Desmirra Character Portrait: Meghara Character Portrait: Maimie Character Portrait: Barclay

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The Light-foot Lord. That's what they called him. He had the ability to move, even in this old age now, as silent as a ghost. He watched the shenanigans. If he was disgusted, it was not visible on his face. His countenance was clear as he stood in the doorway and watched a moment.

"You're too kind your majesty." Barclay watched the young slut Meghara Rotherstone take the King's hand in both of hers and placing a lingering and seductive kiss upon it.

It was at that very moment Lord Wynterwyn felt pride in his own daughter and contempt for the Rotherstone girl. After all, what was to be expected. Lady Rotherstone was no less a slut. Whoring out her own daughter. Desmirra on the other hand; Lord Wynterwyn knew his wife was not happy with their daughters continued spinsterhood but spinsterhood was better than having a tramp for a daughter.

Yet, the devious little Meghara Rotherstone and her mother had done one damn good thing though in Barclay's eyes. With their little antic they had managed to extricate his daughter from the Pretenders clutches and like the good girl that his daughter was she had instantly found her way back to her family.

"What in the Gods name were you doing dancing with that man?!" His wife had exclaimed at the poor girl.

"What was I supposed to do mama?!" Desmirra had spat back. "Make a fool of myself by refusing?! As it that were even a choice for I would have."

"Enough." Barclay had interceded. "Do not shout at my dear girl."

"Oh of course my Lord, your dear girl can do no wrong." Lady Wynterwyn had replied to her husband.

"That's right." Barclay had informed his wife, sharing the quickest of smile and hug with his daughter. "Desmirra did absolutely the correct and proper thing. She could not under any circumstances refuse the King. You did well my dear."

"I think it's time we leave." Lady Wynterwyn declared in exasperation.

"I think you're right my love. Wait here. I shall make my excuses to the King."

Thus, his women waited for him at the far edge of the room as Barclay watched the King silently with his harlot. He was a patient man. A emotionless man. Barclay had a saying. Murder was a crime. But Murder at the right time was politics. He had no doubt Adelmund Duhamel understood that. That's why Lord Duhamel had had his own brother-in-law and nephew you killed. Everyone had their time. As they took it, so it would go much in the same way. Leolf Duhamel was ruling on borrowed time. It had cut Barclay when he had heard of the demise of the true King and his heir. They had been more than just mere family. They had been comrades through the darkest of days. This . . . Wasn't supposed to happen. Blood had to be paid by blood.

"Can't you stay a little longer your majesty?" Meghara Rotherstone asked the King coyly holding onto his hand as if a precious jewel. "I really must thank you." Barclay wanted to laugh at her stupidity. Did she really think a man who had just obtained so vast a power would spend his night attending an invalid hussy instead of flaunting his might?! Stupid girl.

He couldn't hear anymore of this ridiculousness. Lord Wynterwyn cleared his throat to make his presence known, bowing when the King turned to face him. "Begging your pardon your majesty. I did not mean to interrupt." He continued, paying no mind to the Rotherstone girl as if she wasn't even there. "I must beg your leave. My wife is feeling a little under the weather so we must depart earlier than intended. However, at least, I'll be up bright and early for the council meeting. I hope to see you there your majesty." Barclay bowed once more. "Oh and my daughter thanks you for the honour of the dance." Lord Wynterwyn lied with a gracious smile.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Leolf Character Portrait: Adelmund Character Portrait: Desmirra Character Portrait: Eldon Character Portrait: Barclay

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A Wynterwyn. The woman he couldn't get out of his head was a Wynterwyn. That fact haunted him all night, along with her words which while they didn't bother him, were much too true all the same. He dare say that he was fond of her. She was clever and had a backbone unlike any maiden he had ever met.

That Meghara however, was dreadful company. Her pleading and begging made it difficult for him to flee the scene. He eventually escaped by making the excuse of having to bid farewell to his other guests.

Even though the night was over and a new day was ahead of him, that damn women was stuck in his head. That Wynterwyn woman, he reminded himself. Now, he rode on the back of his black horse. His brothers and father riding alongside him, with his men out in front to announce his presence.

He slowed his horse to a stop as they reached the horde of people standing in front of Frampton Court Manor. His eyes unconsciously searched the crowd, knowing that the woman would be here if she was Lord Wynterwyn's daughter. It didn't take him long to find her while sitting atop his horse. Her auburn red hair was unmistakable. He sent her a crooked grin, hoping she would see, and throwing his leg to the other side, jumped off of his horse.

The people were quick to greet him, all wishing him the best on his hunt. Leolf took this all in stride, showing the humble side of himself for now. Eldon came up beside him, nudging him with his elbow. "It seems you're quite popular these days, brother." he teased.

"With my looks, I'd have to be." Leolf threw back.

Eldon laughed and held a hand to his chest. "And people say I'm the conceded one."

Their banter was cut short by their father. "Don't you two have more important matters to attend to, such as the hunt?"

"Yes, father." Eldon replied with a sigh, looking at Leolf as he rolled his eyes.

Leolf halted the smile tugging at his lips. "Let us gather the men, and we will get on with it, yes?"

Once all the men were gathered together, he would call the hunt, but first he had a different kind of hunt to attend to. Approaching her silently, as he wanted to catch her off guard, he came at her from behind. "Wish me luck?" he whispered when his head was leaning down beside hers.

Her father would likely not be pleased if he saw this little interaction. Especially after how angry he had been when he left the council meeting Leolf had arranged for earlier that morning. It wasn't much of a meeting, more of a show of power. Letting those that were against him know that he controlled everything.

He pushed the meeting from his mind as he waited for her response.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Leolf Character Portrait: Adelmund Character Portrait: Desmirra Character Portrait: Eldon

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She turned and those intelligent blue eyes of hers met his stormy ones. They're faces were close together and he couldn't help but notice how beautiful she was. Not as classically beautiful as Meghara, but she possessed a captivating beauty that Leolf found much more attractive. It was something about her gaze or the way she held herself, and those full lips of hers that could give a scolding at a moments notice.

A slow smile crept onto his face at her words. She was right, he did normally take what he wanted and right now, he wanted her. "I suppose that's true," he admitted. "But sometimes I need a little support."

Waiting for her to say something he saw that she seemed somewhat flustered by the situation, quite the opposite of the relaxed state he was in. She had just opened her mouth, so close to telling him her name when Lady Wynterwyn beat her to it.

Desmirra. What a lovely name.

Her mother however, was not lovely. He could barely hide his anger at being interrupted, but since it was her mother he responded politely, "Of course, Lady Wynterwyn. I will not keep your daughter from you any longer."

When Desmirra turned to him one last time to wish him luck, she had this look in her eyes. He immediately knew she felt it, this spark, this undeniable attraction they had for one another. He couldn't explain it, but he also couldn't ignore it.

"I'll see you after the hunt... Desmirra." His already deep voice went lower upon saying her name. He held her gaze, trying to convey what words couldn't, until they were forced to break away.

Shaking his head from whatever spell she had him under, he headed towards the front of the crowd where the men were gathered together with their spears. His father stopped him momentarily to scold him. "What were you doing with that Wynterwyn girl?" His father spat. "She is poison Leolf. Poison to everything we have achieved!"

Enraged he said, "That Wynterwyn girl has a name you know. And funny how poison is exactly how you've achieved everything in life." That shut Adelmund up. He shouldered past his father with force as he moved to stand in the middle of the men.

Clearing his throat he shouted, "Let the hunting commence!" He raised his fist in the air as the men followed the movement. Their loud chorus of cheers still continuing as they moved into the woods. The dogs ran in front of them, scenting out their prey. The loud expression of their excitement only lasted for a moment though, and they were all quiet now, making sure not to scare away the game.

Oddly enough, Leolf's head wasn't in the sport today. A certain set of blue eyes burned in his mind, making it impossible to concentrate on anything else.

That was when he heard a scream.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Leolf Character Portrait: Adelmund Character Portrait: Desmirra Character Portrait: Kaytelynn Character Portrait: Meghara Character Portrait: Maimie Character Portrait: Edmund

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No one seemed to be happy. No one but that cherub cheeked Wynterwyn girl. Why was it that everyone's misery gave Kaytelynn such great pleasure? She supposed one could only truly be happy when everyone else around them was disconsolate. It amused her to watch the scene play out. Like some great performance put on by those travelling shows. It was hilarious, except, no one was laughing. No one but her, inside of course.

So amusing, Kaytelynn mused as she watched on. Meghara Rotherstone fuming, her Lady mother trying to console her and stop the girl making a scene. Her own brother, Leolf, though he had began with a stupidly happy smile on his face was now exchanging words with their father. Well, when didn't that leave him in a bad mood? You'd think he'd be grateful to their father. But oh no, not their Leolf. Their Leolf that was truly not theirs as he rode away. The tighter their father pulled on Leolf's reigns, the more viciously he fought back. Was she the only one who noticed? It mattered little to Kaytelynn truly. Her position was stable so long as her brother was on the throne and she did not see that changing anytime soon.

"She's not exactly pretty is she?" Kaytelynn shifted, slowly moving along the steed running her fingers along it's flanks as those of the party who were not heading for the hunt, mostly women, made their way back into the large estate. Their excited tittering drifting on the air as Kaytelynn addressed the owner of the horse she was petting. "She's quite fat and short isn't she? I wonder what he sees in her?"

Was that mild annoyance in her lover's eyes? Either way, it entertained her. Sir Edmund Allgarrd wasn't exactly a handsome man, she was certain he may have been in his hay day but these days he was an astute military man. Rigid and uncompromising in regards to his ambitions. Kaytelynn liked an older man. They were far more . . . willing to please a woman, rather than those young men who were always after a quick tumble. Kaytelynn was far too decadent for tumbles. Yet, by no means was she in love with the man. Nor did she have any intentions of marrying the man, as if that was even possible. The notion was laughable. Her status was far higher than his. She would be a Queen one day and he would remain a lowly noble. Of course, that didn't mean in the mean time she couldn't enjoy herself did it? Sure enough, Sir Edmund must know if her father ever found out what was transpiring between them, Allgarrd would lose much more than those ambitions of his. But of course, she couldn't blame him. He was only a man after all. However could he resist the sweetness between her legs?

"But then," She continued intentionally a smile creeping onto her pink lips. "Your niece isn't exactly making herself appealing is she?" She moved closer to him, making sure they had no witnesses as she put her hands on him, running them down the fur lining his chest. "I say, don't dream so high up that you can't look down through the clouds. Some men aren't mean't to reach such heights." Kaytelynn advised him before she shrugged as if she hadn't given him solid council. "Visit me tonight. It's been far too long . . ." Taking his hand she slowly pushed up the skirt of her dress by his coarse fingertips gliding along her soft milky skin. Pushing his hand away before he could touch her where she wanted him to. "Tonight."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Leolf Character Portrait: Adelmund Character Portrait: Desmirra Character Portrait: Kaytelynn Character Portrait: Meghara Character Portrait: Maimie Character Portrait: Eldon Character Portrait: Edmund Character Portrait: Barclay

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Clayborne had it coming. He had been running his mouth about Leolf and it was time Eldon took the matter into his own hands.

That was why as they were moving through the woods, Eldon had his spear by his side, ready to strike. He made sure to distance himself from his brothers and father so as not to draw suspicion on them. He waited until he had the perfect view of Clayborne, and then he launched the spear from his hand. It sailed through the air before it lodged itself into the man's chest, right where his heart should be. The force of the spear knocked him from his mare and sent him crashing to the ground.

It didn't take long for the scene to turn to chaos. Everyone was yelling and searching the area. Shockingly, Barclay was the first to protect Leolf, but Eldon didn't pay much attention to that fact. Instead, he grabbed his extra spear and rushed his horse to his oldest brother.

"Leolf! Are you injured?" he said in fake concern.

Leolf looked entirely confused at the whole situation. "Yes, I'm fine. But it seems that Clayborne is dead."

Eldon bowed his head. "I saw. They've already loaded him on a horse. Are we heading back then?"

With narrowed eyes, Leolf stared at him, almost as if he were searching him. Eldon did his best to avoid his gaze. "Yes." Then in a louder voice. "Let's head back men, the hunt is now officially canceled."

Then Leolf turned his steed around and headed back towards the manor. Eldon followed closely behind him. Once they exited the woods, Leolf slowed his horse down until it was walking alongside his. "What have you done Eldon?" Leolf asked, his voice low and angry.

Taken aback by his brother's tone, Eldon said, "I did what was best for you Leolf, Clayborne had been running his mouth about you. I thought you would appreciate it."

"And why would I appreciate that?! You did exactly what father would have done." Leolf seethed before shaking his head. "I expected more from you Eldon."

He watched as Leolf snapped the reins and sped away towards the manor.





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Kaytelynn Duhamel was what Edmund would consider to be a spoiled brat. She was conceded, manipulative, bossy, and entirely attractive.

Even now, he could still feel her hands on him, grabbing one of his own and running it under her dress. Her words meant little to him, he knew she believed him to be beneath herself and he didn't much care what she thought of his niece so long as Meghara married the King. And while he knew that Katelynn had no intentions of marrying him, Edmund planned to make it happen.

He was going to join the hunt late, but Kaytelynn had his mind focusing on one thing and one thing alone, so he thought it best to stay. After sitting atop his horse lost in thought for quite some time, he finally brought his horse to the stables where he tied it up. Upon entering the manor, he noticed that the women had the feast prepared, aside from the meat, and were waiting for the men to arrive, meaning that they would be back shortly. Rather then joining them, he went into a study to find paper and some ink. He quickly wrote the message that read, Meet me in the library with instructions on how to get into the secret compartment behind one of the bookshelves.

Satisfied, he headed towards Kaytelynn. While he spoke to his niece and his sister, he carefully slid the note into Katelynn's hands. He excused himself before heading to the library where he waited for Kaytelynn to enter.





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Leolf couldn't believe it. He couldn't believe that Eldon had killed Clayborne. But he had. He knew it when Eldon first opened his mouth to check on him. His little brother may be able to fool the others, but he couldn't fool him.

Eldon had always been loyal to him, and he knew that he had good intentions, but this move was a serious blow to Leolf. Mostly because he knew that his father would be pleased. He knew exactly what he would say, "One less enemy to deal with and the perfect way to keep the others in line."

His hands shook in anger as he got his horse settled in the stables. This is not how he wanted to start off his reign as King. Everyone was making moves, doing things behind his back, and he couldn't take it anymore. He stormed into the manor, passing by the room where everyone was waiting for the feast. It wouldn't be much of a feast without any meat from the hunt. Just another thing to add too his anger. He stopped to punch a wall near him and then knocked off a vase sitting on a table. His hand was now slightly bloodied and most definitely bruised. His breathing had become heavier as he made his way through the halls again. Walking until something made him stop in front of the library. Turning his head he looked inside.

Desmirra.

He should have known. She always seemed to show up wherever he went. Trying to compose himself and failing miserably, he walked towards her. "In the library again? What books do you plan to steal this time?" he asked dully. It was meant to sound playful, but in his current state, he could barely even get the words out. His eyes were darker than usual and his body was tense with rage. He was a rabid animal that could go off at a moments notice.