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Princess Amélie

I don't care about the danger, I will not marry for anything but love

0 · 484 views · located in Maree

a character in “Love Trials”, as played by Sweetiebelle

Description

❝Crown Princess Amélie Grey❞


❝Love prevails❞



Image





❝ More Than Just A Name ❞



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| Nickname/Alias |
Ames, Amy

| Gender |
Female

| Age |
Seventeen

| Sexuality |
Heterosexual

| Social Rank |
Royal; Princess

| Face Claim |
Freya Mavor



❝I will do what is best for my kingdom❞



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❝ Hiding Behind the Mask ❞



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| Eye Color |
Grey-Green

| Hair Color |
Strawberry Blonde

| Height |
5’7”

| Weight |
120lbs

| Skin Tone |
Very Fair

| Body Markings |
A small scar on her left wrist from a croquet match gone wrong.



❝I won’t be in danger. Stop worrying.❞



Image



❝ Behind The Façade ❞



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| Habits |
+ Tucking strands of loose hair behind her ear
+ She tends to twist her earrings when she has nothing to do with her hands


| Likes |
croquet, sport, horses, love, her family

| Dislikes |
deceit, dishonesty, false pretenses, weakness, having to be protected

| Fears |
death, harm to her family, not finding love

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| Strengths |
Her strength of will, reason, and emotional dependency

| Weaknesses |
love, her mother, her brother

| Personality |
Amelie does not tend to lean towards the fanciful or the unreasonable, except in romance. She is known to do whatever it takes for the cause of love, and is very much a hopeless romantic. That is the only frivolous part of her, except for her liking of books and sports. She treats everything with reasonable justice and logic, making her the ideal ruler of Maree. She loves to laugh and smile, but does not do this often since her mother passed and she found out she would have to be married to a stranger. This idea does not sit well with her, betraying all of her ideas on true love and such. But, she knows it is best for her kingdom, and her kingdom always comes first.



❝Oh goodness...❞


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❝ Replaying the Past and Living The Present ❞



| Family |
Father: King of Maree

| Relationship |
Arranged marriage with the Prince of Foretiere



❝I hope I can love you, dear prince❞


Image


So begins...

Princess Amélie's Story

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Prince Valeraine of Foretiere Character Portrait: Princess Amélie Character Portrait: Lorraine Character Portrait: Character Portrait: Character Portrait:
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Princess Amelie stands outside the castle gates of Maree, her hands folded in front of her and her chin held high. The prince and his entourage would be arriving at any moment now, and she had to make sure she was as welcoming as possible. Her father stands to her right, King of Maree, with his arm around her shoulders and his lips to her hair. He rubs her shoulder, bending his head down so it's level with hers.

"Smile, daughter, you're about to meet your betrothed!" He says and Amelie sighs.

"Father, I told you. I don't believe in arranged marriages. And I especially don't believe in a law that states women have to be married to rule," she says and her father throws his head back in exasperation.

"Amy, you have to stop this nonsense. Part of the reason why all these attacks are happening, is because you won't marry! And until we know who's behind them, you need to act like you're thrilled for this marriage. Because it's happening, whether you want it to or not," the King says and she turns away towards the sounds of hooves and the large gates being opened.

As they opened, she saw a a nice amount of mounted guards, a carrivan certainly filled with the prince's belongings, and leading the brigade was the prince himself and another lady of the nobility. The princess cocked her head and observed the prince, noticing in his eyes that he might not be as thrilled with the marriage as her father seemed to think. The lady riding next to him looked to be just as stuck up as the other nobility, but Amelie thought differently. There was something about her demeanor...something more strong than goose feathers and mamosas.

As the prince rode forward, she stepped up and looked up at him. "Prince Valeraine, how good it is to finally make your acquaintance."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: [NPC] Bartender Character Portrait: Prince Valeraine of Foretiere Character Portrait: Princess Amélie Character Portrait: Lorraine Character Portrait: Character Portrait:
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"Well met, my lady." Val dipped his head grandly from his horse, he gentled his horse but did not descend from it. The king he had met once before and this lady who stood beside him and improperly spoke before the king made introductions must be the Princess Amelie. He kept his thoughts to himself and instead addressed the king. "And well met, King Gregory. House Quercus thanks you for this welcome and we hope that our talks this day will be fruitful for both our kingdoms.

"This is Lady Lorraine, my riding companion for today." Lorraine followed the prince's example to dip her head forward in an imitation of a curtsy, but also did not descending from her horse.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Prince Valeraine of Foretiere Character Portrait: Princess Amélie Character Portrait: Lorraine Character Portrait: Character Portrait: Character Portrait:
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The prince introduced himself and Amelie stepped back, noticing how he moved straight to her father. Great, a stiff... She hated people who always followed the rules. He did not dismount from his horse however, and Amelie raised one eyebrow at him as he introduced himself to the King.

"Ah, I sure do hope so as well, dear boy. Come, dismount and let me groomsmen stable you and your lady's horses. Amelie, why don't you show Lady Lorraine to her chambers. I'm sure the room across from yours will suit her just fine," King York says and Amelie curtsies against her better nature.

"Yes, father," she says, leading Lorraine into the castle. "So, you and the prince are good friends?" She asks as she leads the way up the grand staircase.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Prince Valeraine of Foretiere Character Portrait: Princess Amélie Character Portrait: Lorraine Character Portrait: Character Portrait: Character Portrait:
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Val reluctantly dismounted from his horse and handed the horses to one of the stable boys ready and eager to lead the horses to the royal stables. Already he was not pleased that the King had commanded him to dismount like a boy instead of phrasing it as a request as one should when addressing a member of the royal family of another kingdom and not a vassal or nobleman of his own house. However, for keeping the peace especially since this was only the beginning, he nodded in agreement to allow Lorraine follow the princess.

"We thank you for your hospitality King Gregory." She can take care of herself after all and was going to jump at the chance to be alone with the princess of Maree with or without his consent. His agreement was only to show the king he could not presume to command him. As the women walked away, he then continued to direct his people with the king beside him to follow servants where they should settle in.

All the while, he was thought that the princess was a curious little thing of a very fair beauty. Judging by the eyebrow, she had noticed his small slight against her and openly disdained it instead of a confused blush, which may imply something of her character that the king had not chosen to disclose in their initial letters broaching the subject of marriage.

---

Meanwhile, Lorraine followed the princess and observed the castle quickly assessing the number of guards at each post, the finery displayed among other things. "My lady, I would not dare presume to be particularly close friends with the Prince." She amended, "I am sure you and Prince Valeraine will be wonderfully happy together. The prince is a very loyal, honourable man. And handsome too." Lorraine said with a titter.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Prince Valeraine of Foretiere Character Portrait: Princess Amélie Character Portrait: Lorraine Character Portrait: Character Portrait: Character Portrait:
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"So! Prince Valeraine," King Gregory said as he handed the prince a glass of champagne, "I know you haven't had an honest conversation with my Amy, but let's hear your first impression! No worries about pleasantries, I know she can be a bit...shocking...at times," the King asked the prince.

---

Amelie led Lorraine through the castle, noticing her looking around and assuming it was only with admiration. "My lady, I would not dare presume to be particularly close friends with the Prince...I am sure you and Prince Valeraine will be wonderfully happy together. The prince is a very loyal, honourable man. And handsome too." Lorraine said and Amelie sighed, knowing she'd have ti ta

"Lady Lorraine, I assure you, I wasn't insinuating anything other than friendship between you and the prince," Amelie said as she led the lady to her room. Opening the door, she presented it to her. "I hope you find this to your liking. If not, I'm sure other arrangements can be made," she said as she waited for Lorraine to get accustomed. She longed to run to the barn and chat with the groomsmen, as she did every afternoon about this time. They had learned to treat her like a normal girl, and she loved the refreshing feel of actual jokes, not the phony ones that only old noble ladies think are funny.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Prince Valeraine of Foretiere Character Portrait: Princess Amélie Character Portrait: Lorraine Character Portrait: Character Portrait: Character Portrait:
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Val took the drink and brought it to his lips. He then said carefully, "Princess Amelie is a beautiful woman. No doubt a jewel to your kingdom and a source of pride for you." He followed the King. "I worry that perhaps her impression of me that will be found wanting. I did after all greet her with sweat on my brow as if I were a boorish man fresh from a hunt."

---

Lorraine's quiet blustering that of course there were no romantic overtures or anything of the like to which was ignored. And then when they entered the room, she exclaimed, "Oh dear me. My lady, this is a beautiful room and the view is simply gorgeous." Lorraine darted to peer out the window. "I'm sure I will be very comfortable here."

She took a slow walk around the room as if admiring the crests and adornments, but was really looking for signs listening devices and secret panels. The first look through revealed nothing and she was rather disappointed. So instead she turned her attentions to Amelie. "Thank you ever so much for your hospitality. I'll have such a good night's sleep after spending some dreadful nights on the road." She fanned herself, "You will not believe the strenuous ride we had, I'm sure you understand, my lady. But my lord prince endeavored on with great stamina. He was quite eager to get here to meet you, my lady."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Prince Valeraine of Foretiere Character Portrait: Princess Amélie Character Portrait: Lorraine Character Portrait: Character Portrait: Character Portrait:
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"Oh ho, my boy," the King chortled, "nothing to be worried about. I doubt my daughter even noticed. You know, a nice, respectable, prince like you will do her quite well in the future. I'm always having to worry about her. Not to scare you off, Prince Valeraine, but just so we are all honest here, the princess can be a slight handful," he poured another glass for himself and offered the bottle to the prince, smiling happy and trying not to let the fear show in his eyes.

Truth be told, the attacks on Amelie were scaring him more than he would ever admit. He knew that this wedding needed to happen soon, or his daughter, and his kingdom, would pay the price.

---

Amelie raised her eyebrows at Lorraine's excessive love of her room. She had never been around a noble who...tried...so hard. "I'm glad you like it, Lady Lorraine," she said. She noticed that Lorraine looked at everything, and wondered why she was so observant. Maybe it was just Amelie noticing those things and it was probably nothing.

"Thank you ever so much for your hospitality. I'll have such a good night's sleep after spending some dreadful nights on the road." Lorraine fanned herself, "You will not believe the strenuous ride we had, I'm sure you understand, my lady. But my lord prince endeavored on with great stamina. He was quite eager to get here to meet you, my lady." Amelie sighed and smiled, making sure to stay on her toes. It seemed that Lorraine was the type to report any un-princesslike qualities right to the prince.

"Oh, am I glad of that, Lady Lorraine. Although, I am dearly sorry you had to exert yourself so. The road just isn't meant for delicate ladies like you and I," Amelie lied through her teeth. She loved riding, and she loved the outdoors. But she knew her father wanted her to keep up appearances, so she did.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Prince Valeraine of Foretiere Character Portrait: Princess Amélie Character Portrait: Lorraine Character Portrait: Character Portrait: Character Portrait:
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"The Princess can be a slight handful."

Val looked at the king wonderingly and marveled at how the man could make marrying his daughter sound even more unappealing than before. Wasn't this trip suppose to reassure Val that the marriage will be successful and they would be happily married together ever after? He was expecting at least a fatherly threat that should he ever harm his daughter, he'd soon have his blade wedged so far deep into into his intestines, it'd scramble his brains. At least, that's what Val would say to any suitor of his future daughter. "And what sort of handling is your Majesty implying that the Princess requires?"

--

Oh, how interesting. Lorraine thought. She's lying. Though about what, Lorraine wasn't sure. She can spot a lie instinctively and by trusting the liar signs Lady Vivienne taught her, but she would be hard pressed to understand if the lie originated from being sorry that a lady had arrived with her future husband unwelcomed to Maree or if the princess didn't think of herself or Lorraine as delicate ladies.

"Oh tremendously so, my lady. I fear when I was first learning to ride, the horse was riding me and not the other way round as is proper!" She laughed at herself. "And yourself, Princess Amelie? Is riding your pleasure or do you pass your time with other follies?"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Prince Valeraine of Foretiere Character Portrait: Princess Amélie Character Portrait: Lorraine Character Portrait: Character Portrait: Character Portrait:
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The King chuckled, shaking his head. "Oh no, not handling at all! Amelie is just fine at handling herself, Prince Valeraine," the King assured him. Although, he wished that somebody would handle his daughter, she was very adept at reminding him that she was an independent woman, and not like the frilly princesses in the history books. "With your knowledge of other kingdoms and her quite extensive knowledge of Maree, you two will make a nice pair in showing what's best for both sides of the alliance," the King said.

"If you would like, I'm sure the princess would love to give you a tour of the castle and village later, give you a chance to spend some time together, eh?" King Gregory asked. He was depending on this marriage so that his daughter and his people would finally be safe, and he was determined to do anything to make it happen.

---

"Oh tremendously so, my lady. I fear when I was first learning to ride, the horse was riding me and not the other way round as is proper!" Amelie smiled in fake understanding at Lorraine's comment, and walked over to the window to stare out fondly at the pastures. "And yourself, Princess Amelie? Is riding your pleasure or do you pass your time with other follies?" Amelie looked to Lorraine and nodded.

"Oh, I go riding from time to time. Mainly I've been preparing for your arrival," Amelie says. It wasn't a complete lie, just a smudge of the truth. In fact, one of the castle guards had had to come and drag her back to the castle just in time for the arrival after she had been out in the village chatting with the commoners for the morning. She loved their stories, they were much more interesting and humble than the nobilities.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Prince Valeraine of Foretiere Character Portrait: Princess Amélie Character Portrait: Lorraine Character Portrait: Character Portrait: Character Portrait:
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"Give you a chance to spend some time together, eh?"

Val was not reassured how complementary the two would be in this marriage. A tour with the princess would be a better to gauge what kind of woman she would be: whether she be a woman who needs a husband to guard and watch over her like her father seems to imply or she be a woman of independence and of proper bearings to be his wife and queen of the kingdoms.

"That seems like a fine suggestion, Your Majesty. Perhaps in the morrow when my men and I are well rested from our ride." Val was not wearied from the ride, but wearied from being in this man's presence and the impeding courtship. Should he send for flowers tomorrow or would that offend his host? He needs to consult Lorraine.

---

"Mainly I've been preparing for your arrival."

Secretive, Lorraine noted. For so small as a thing to ask about the Princess' hobbies and to be deflected elegantly was a curious thing. The direct question, the Princess had answered truthfully and yet the other... well. Lorraine will have to see what sort of feast and celebration these people will hold to impress their future king.

"I hope my lady hasn't gone to too much trouble for. I do look forward to seeing more of Maree now that we've arrived. I've heard so many things." So instead of asking a question, Lorraine waited to see if the Princess would volunteer information.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Prince Valeraine of Foretiere Character Portrait: Princess Amélie Character Portrait: Lorraine Character Portrait: Character Portrait: Character Portrait:
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The King nodded at the prince, "oh of course of course. Perhaps before the feast tomorrow night? It will give you a good chance to get to know each other, so you are not like strangers during the celebration. I suppose you'd like to rest in your chambers now, then. I'll have Martin take you. If you need anything, tell the servant in your room and she will be most compliant. Oh, and Martin, do send for my daughter will you?" he said, motioning to the royal guard member named Martin. Martin stepped forward and nodded, inclining his head towards the doorway, smiling at the prince before walking out.

After he left, he made sure the prince was following before continuing, and walked upstairs. Getting to the prince's chambers, he opened the door and held it open for him. "Over there is Lucy, your personal servant. She will be happy to get you anything you wish," the guard said and closed the door, not wanting to disturb the prince's peace. [[OOC: Lucy's all yours, as are other NPCs if you think of something]]

---

"I hope my lady hasn't gone to too much trouble for us. I do look forward to seeing more of Maree now that we've arrived. I've heard so many things," Lady Lorraine says and Amelie smiles.

"Yes, I love my kingdom. We have many attributes. I'm sure you'll learn to love it as well. Anyway, your welcoming feast will be taking place tomorrow--" Amelie is cut off my a knock at the door and she turns to see one of the royal guard. "Oh, hello, Martin."

"Princess, the King requests you in the dining hall," he says and Amelie nods.

"Very well, I'll be down there in a moment," she says. The polite words feel stiff to her, though not with distaste. She was accustomed to speaking and acting like a princess until her mother died, and then she preferred the rustic and uncivilized manner of the groomsmen and commoners. She didn't want to be a princess anymore, but she knew her kingdom needed her, so she was willing to step up to the plate if not only to put an end to the attacks. "Lady Lorraine, as I was saying, the feast will be held tomorrow night. Feel free to roam and make yourself comfortable here, though if you plan to go outside the castle gates I'm sure you would feel much safer with an escort. Speak to any of the royal guard and they will acquaint you with such," Amelie said and waited for Lorraine to curtsy before exiting the room. She knew that if she left before the curtsy, Lorraine would most likely tell the prince that she was not an appropriate princess after all.

As she followed the stairs down to the dining hall, she thought she heard an echo behind her, but knew that she must be mistaken and walked on without looking back. Reaching the hall, she was introduced and brought to her father.

"You are to give a tour of the kingdom to the prince tomorrow, Amelie. No excuses," King Gregory says and Amelie sighs.

"But, father, I haven't spent any time with Quicksilver and--"

"And I'm sure the groomsmen are taking care of him just fine, Amelie. I'm tired of this. It's time I put my foot down. Even if you are not concerned with your safety I am. They came really close last time, sweetheart. I won't let them get closer," the King says and Amelie looks away, remembering all too well her last venture outside the gates and how it had nearly ended with her in a casket instead of a wedding gown.

"Fine," she says, "but something tells me this isn't going to work out the way you planned. The prince seems rather...cold. I'm not sure he expected the less...formal ways that we do things here," she says and King Gregory gives her a disdainful look.

"Amelie, please. Just try. Maree needs a new queen and we need that alliance," he says and Amelie sighs before nodding in acquiescently.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Prince Valeraine of Foretiere Character Portrait: Princess Amélie Character Portrait: Lorraine Character Portrait: Character Portrait: Character Portrait:
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"Lucy?" Val said the servant's name experimentally, to which she bobbed her head and curtsied. "Yes milord."

Val was disconcerted to find that they had assigned him a woman for a personal servant instead of a man, but to no matter. "I am Prince Valeraine of Foretiere. My personal manservant has come with me on this trip and I assume he will be present shortly and he will take care of the matters of my person. What is your duty normally?"

"I'm a handmaiden for Lady Christine, milord." Lucy looked like she was shrinking onto herself that she was going to be dismissed and then disappoint her King.

"I see. Well, Lucy. I would much appreciate it if you would fetch me something to eat for dinner and after that see if you can locate my manservant." Val ordered and Lucy was relieved to be useful and hurried to do it. As long as she was useful, she still had a job.

Once Lucy was gone, Val slowly began to take off his sword and chain mail and put it on the table. He was eager to get out of that armour after a long day's ride and hope that food would be coming soon.

---

Left alone, Lorraine puttered around the room for a more thorough look at the room while running over the conversation with the Princess Amelie. Could have been better, was her assessment. Lorraine didn't get a lot of information from the tight lipped Princess nor was she able to form any type of common-likes. There'll be time, Lorraine hoped.

She freshened up and joined one of the other noblewomen that came on their journey to Maree for dinner. By the time dinner was eaten, her chests were brought to her chambers. She didn't bring a maidservant, though that was an oversight to keeping the profile of a fussy noblewoman. She dug through and found one of her covert and simple outfits, which she donned and fixed her hair in a simple practical braid rather than the elaborate mess she started the day with. The disguise would only be useful for one or two days until the servants recognize who she was by face and no longer pass their gaze over her.

Lorraine then demurely walked until she came upon some servants. They kept gossiping even in her presence which indication as any that they did not recognize her. She spoke quietly and asked if perhaps they could tell her where Prince Val's room was because her lady wanted to deliver a letter.

"A letter!" One of the servants snorted. "A likely story. You're off to try 'n see if you could get the Prince to bed you and make you his Princess, aren't you? You can forget about it. Lucy was sent back down and said that he'd rather his manservant tend to him 'n she much prettier than you, girlie."

Lorraine lowered her head further still until her chin was to her chest. "Please, ma'am, I'm just trying to deliver a letter."

"Did you hear that?" Another servant exclaimed. "She called her ma'am, like some proper missus. Alright that's enough teasing. Lass, just go up those staircases there..."

With the instructions, she climbed the staircases. Already she was thinking about how he was going to tease Val that the servants thought he was a pillow-biter on the first day.

She knocked on his doors and heard a familiar voice say, "Enter." Taking a quick look around that no one had followed around, Lorraine entered and saw that Val was already at his desk writing. She shut the door firmly behind her and locked it. Then said in a loud whisper, "My lord, I am overcome with passion for you! Take me to your bed!" She threw herself at the bed dramatically.

Val startled and then seeing who it was on his bed, rolled his eyes. "Lorraine, couldn't this wait till tomorrow?"

"I'm afraid not, my lord! You must quench my passion for you! Or is it, I fear, you prefer to bed your manservant?"

"Good God, is that what the servants are saying about me now?" Val pursed his lips. "They sent me a girl to take off my armour and clothes! That's hardly proper."

"Maybe they do things differently here, Val." Lorraine said rolling onto her stomach and for the first time today, looking serious. She got up and began to do a thorough look of the room like she had done hers. Again, she found nothing. Does this kingdom even have a spymaster? Or perhaps it is all in people. "Maybe they wanted to test your virtue before you marry their princess."

"If that were the case, finding you in my chambers will not gain me favour." Val watched Lorraine search his room and was glad that her keen eye was with him.

"Please, like anyone would catch me. I would leap out that window and climb the walls of the castle before they could catch me."

"Aunt Vivienne can't teach you that." Val was relieved at her words, because freely talking about her talents meant his room was sort of safe.

"Did you want to bet on it?" Lorraine shot back.

"Tell me more about the Princess. What is she like?" Val said, changing the subject to something more productive.

Lorraine thought to herself, "Secretive. Like she's got something to hide. This whole kingdom feels like someone's got something to hide. Did you notice the number of guards they posted at the castle? More than what our spies have reported last. Something's got them spooked. Or they're afraid we would run away in the night and doubled the guards in the castle to make sure it doesn't happen."

"The number of guards worry me too. The numbers also doubled at the gates and around the castle. The king is as eager as ever to make sure this alliance works out. But I got the feeling that he feels the problems lies with the Princess instead of with us. That she needs to be handled." Val wrinkled.

"Well. She's pretty and clean enough. You won't have to marry that Princess with the unfortunate odour issues no amount of perfume can cover up that the Queen keeps threatening you with." Lorraine laughed. "And she's active. She likes riding. And she's got her wits about her. She doesn't seem too impressed by you though. You'll have to work on your courtship skills."

"Alright, enough you harlot. If that's all you got, get out and get some sleep for tomorrow. I need a chaperon with the Princess on our tour of Maree."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Prince Valeraine of Foretiere Character Portrait: Princess Amélie Character Portrait: Lorraine Character Portrait: Character Portrait: Character Portrait:
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NEXT MORNING




Amelie awakes to the sounds of horses whinnying and swords clashing, the usual sounds of the kingdom. Knights were always training so she had grown up with the sounds of their sparring. It was comforting and she laid in bad a moment longer listening to it until she remembered what she had to do today. Sighing, she sits up and gets out of bed. Ringing the bell on her nightstand, her maidservant Claire comes rushing in.

"Yes, milady," Claire says, curtsying.

"Claire, I thought we talked about that. You don't need to act like that when it's just you and me," Amelie says kindly and Claire smiles, looking down. "Anyway, I need your opinion on this," Amelie says, holding up a silver dress and a green dress. The silver was more lightweight and it was warm outside so she was inclined towards it but the green brought out her hair and eyes.

"Hmm," Claire says, eyeing the dresses. "I'd say for the tour today you should wear the silver. You will be much more comfortable, milady," she says and Amelie nods, pursing her lips.

"Alright, can you help me with the corset?" She asks and Claire nods, smiling.

"Why are you so focused on your looks, milady? The last time you wore a corset was before the queen's passing. Might it be the prince's arrival?" Claire asks and Amelie shrugs, putting her hands against the wall as Claire tightens the corset.

"No, my father. He's very insistent on this marriage's success and Prince Valeraine is inclined towards respectable ladies," Amelie says. Claire finishes the corset and helps Amelie lace up her dress. "Thank you, have a good day, Claire," she says and Claire curtsies before exiting. Amelie sighs and shakes her head. Exiting the room, she walks downstairs to the kitchen and greets the staff all by name. They've grown accustomed to her arrival every morning and all wave instead of bowing. It's refreshing for her to have people relaxed around her instead of uptight like these Foretieres. Someone places an omelette in front of her and smiles in thanks, unable to see who it is because they rush off. Sighing, she eats in the bustle of the kitchen, at peace with the noise.

After she's finished, she says goodbye and walks up to the throne room, where her father sits and is speaking to his adviser. She walks up and stands beside him, putting her hand on his shoulder.

"Ah, good morning, daughter. Should we send for the prince? The sun is approaching its high point as it is," King Gregory says and Amelie sighs.

"I suppose," she says and the King nods towards a guard member.

"Fetch the prince from breakfast and let him know the tour will begin whenever he is ready and to come to the throne room when he is," the King says and the guard nods before exiting. "Be kind, Ames. Let the prince see how beautiful our land is and how much he will enjoy it here. And be careful," King Gregory insists and Amelie nods. She walks over to the scribe room just off the throne room and sits down, writing out a schedule for the day. She would not use it on the tour, but she wanted to write out all that she needed so she could be prepared. She knew it was going to be a long day.

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When the guard member arrived at the room the Prince was assigned to, he found that the Prince was missing. When he inquired a chambermaid she dutifully replied that she had not seen the Prince this morning and was gone by the time she got there. The puzzled guard then asked his fellow friend who was stationed at the entrance nearby and was informed that the Prince had left the castle and seemed to be heading into the direction of the fields where the knights practice.

Surely enough, when the guard member arrived the Prince was in the middle of a sword fight with red-haired Knight Asher who was known for his quick temper and generous coin purse. They were not using practice swords, and their blades flashed silver left and right, up and down, slashing offensively and blocking with muscle memory. The rest of the knights had stopped their training to gather knights around, cheering and jeering for both the Prince and Knight Asher in equal turns when one of them made a particularly good move. The guard member spotted an attractive noble lady who was clapping delightfully on a stool off to the side. She wore a simple braid to one side decorated with tiny shiny jewels and a blue dress of good fabric. Her riding gloves sat neatly daintily in her lap.

And then suddenly, Asher whacked the Prince hard on the shoulder, knocking the Prince out of breath. Using this as momentum, Asher cried out loud and drove the Prince back a few steps. The Prince blocked once, twice and the third time evaded. Asher lost his footing, tripping ahead like a untrained squire and the Prince used the flat of his blade to swat Asher's bottom to the hilarity of the audience. "Come on then, you fight like my steward and he's 73 years old!" The Prince baited gamely, stepping back and letting Asher gain his footing.

They went at it for another few moments, but Asher was visibly fighting the prince and his second opponent: his own temper. The skilled movements were more short and brutal, less skill-oriented. And then in a blink of an eye, the Prince stood over the knight, sword at Asher's throat. The Prince was quiet and finally Asher said, winded from his fall, "I yield, your highness."

The Prince angled his sword away and offered a hand to help Asher stand. "A very worthy fight, Asher. The knights of Maree are admirable indeed. I would watch that temper of yours, Sir Knight. Though it makes you a fierce some competitor, it does not make you a smart one."

"That is if he's got any brains left after you've knocked him over!" One of the other knights hooted and punched Asher friendly like on the arm.

Asher blushed as red as his hair and accepted the jibes with good nature. "Thank you for the duel, your highness. If all warriors of Foretiere are like you, Prince Valeraine, then we are pleased to welcome an alliance between our kingdoms." Asher regretfully turned to the noble lady and bowed from the waist. "Lady Lorraine, I apologize that you had to witness my shameful defeat."

"Hush, sir knight! There is nothing to be ashamed for. Prince Valeraine is our strongest warrior! The rest of our knights only wish they can fight half as well as you." The lady stood up and patted the knight reassuringly on the arm which turned into a caress. She was becoming flustered at the attention of so many men and the object of her affections and said faintly, "What do they feed the knights here! Goodness you look strong. Perhaps, if your highness permits, Lord Asher can join us today on the tour to Maree. He can tell me all about how the knights of Maree train." Lady Lorraine begged. This one would be quick to marry, the guardsman thought to himself. Lord give her father strength.

"Of course, if Lord Asher will not be missed in his duties, I would welcome him to the tour as well." Over Lady Lorraine's head the Prince shook his head and mouthed "women" to the boyish understanding of the rest of the knights.

The guardsman took this as his cue to voice his presence. "My lords and my lady, I have been sent here by the king to request your presence to the throne room."

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Princess Amelie looks up from her position in the scribe room to see Prince Valeraine, Lady Lorraine, and...Lord Asher? The palace knight? She furrows her eyebrows but then smoothes them out, shaking out her hair and her dress before walking out to join them in the throne room. Her father had been speaking with all of them presently, but when he sees her he raises his arm in her direction.

"Ah, finally! Amie, are you ready? The tour is all set to begin!" King Gregory announces gleefully. She smiles and nods slightly, looking over the group.

"Lord Asher, it's good to see you again," Amelie says kindly. He smiles, inclining his head.

"And you, my lady," he says. Amelie looks over the rest of the group quickly before beginning.

"We can start out in the village first. That way when the tour is over, we will already be back at the palace," she says, turning around and heading out. Slowing down a little so they can catch up, she walks with the group towards the castle gates. "So, Prince Valeraine, did Lord Asher show you the best of our knights' skills?" She asks with a teasing glance at Lord Asher.

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Val murmured a quiet, "Your majesty" and bowed which was echoed by Lorraine and Asher. He followed Amelie who was walking quite a bit faster than he expected from a woman wearing heels and a dress. She slowed and asked, "So, Prince Valeraine, did Lord Asher show you the best of our knights' skills?"

Val nodded cordially back at Princess Amelie. "Yes, my lady, your knights were most amenable this morning for a quick duel. I find it difficult to start my day off without a bit of exercise and practice. Lord Asher is a formidable opponent indeed." Val looked back at Asher while he complimented him.

Lorraine chimed in, "My lady, you should have seen them! I feel quite protected indeed with these young gentlemen to protect our realms. Surely no kingdom's knights rival ours." She looked around when they past the gates, taking in the number of men yet again on the morning watch instead of what was there when they were greeted. "My lady, are we walking this morning? I thought we'd be on horses." She indeed had her riding gloves with her.

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Amelie looks to Lorraine and smiles. "I find that walking into the village is much more rewarding than arriving on horseback. Many of the villagers feel more comfortable if we were on foot versus on horseback. It is only a quarter mile to the village, but if it is too much for a noble lady such as yourself, it's not too late for you to turn back," she says. She doesn't let any hostility into her voice, simply phrasing it as a preferable choice. She knew from the start that Lady Lorraine wasn't like other nobles, and she wanted to see just how far she would go to maintain her image.

"To answer you, Prince Valeraine, Lord Asher is one of our best," Amelie says to the prince as they walk through the forest on the rock road towards the village. There was one road in and out of the kingdom, so it was not difficult to find your way. She had learned to walk it in her royalty shoes when she was small. She knew it may be a bit taxing for her companions, besides Lord Asher, but this was her way of seeing if they were fit for Maree. "Are you looking to duel every morning, your highness?" Amelie asks Valeraine. Normally she wouldn't refer to him as such, but she was getting tired of pronouncing his long name and title. She usually had nicknames for all the guests since they took to her so easily, but she assumed that the prince would be far less likely to appreciate her calling him "Val" or something like that.

As they approach the village entrance, the several guards that had accompanied the group fan out so that every building entrance and ground level window is covered. Everyone was on high alert so as to not alarm the prince and lady. Amelie didn't so much as glance in their direction, for she had observed how much Lady Lorraine paid attention to detail and body language.

"This is the town square," she says. "Everyone gathers here for social celebrations and gatherings. Many of the villagers homes are off the beaten path and into the forest, since the road only leads out of the kingdom. There are some that lay roadside about half a mile down, but many are to your left and right." Amelie continues to walk, and she turns left, walking onto a porch with a decaying wooden sign and wind chimes hanging from the top. The sign almost reads, Madame DuBois but it is almost entirely illegible.

"Bonjour, Madame," Amelie greets a very old woman with beads in her hair and around her neck, and a bright smile.

"Ah, bonjour, princesse! Comment allez-vous?" The old woman asks and Amelie smiles brightly. It is clear that she values this woman very much.

"Madame, this is Lady Lorraine and Prince Valeraine of Foretiere, and you already know Lord Asher," Amelie introduces everyone and Madame DuBois smiles, nodding.

"Oui oui, I know them," she says with a heavy French accent. "Care to 'ave your fortune read, your 'ighness?

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Lorraine nodded in agreement, but it wasn't as if anything she could say would deter the princess once her mind was set. She debated on turning back and saying she had weak ankles to keep the image of a delicate noble, but it would not do to leave Val with no chaperon and other witnesses. This contradicts what the princess had said last night about being a delicate lady. Lorraine was starting to suspect that the Princess was putting on a show. The lack of horses however did mean that they would be limited to how far they would be able to travel by foot. Even overestimating the princess' ability to walk, it would mean they could visit maybe this one village and the fields surrounding it before nightfall. Perhaps the King does not allow the princess to be too far from the castle. Lorraine knew that some princesses weren't granted the same freedoms as princes were.

Val had been looking forward to looking forward to getting this over and done with, but he was curious to see what places the princess would take him. "Are you looking to duel every morning, your highness?" The princess asked.

"It is one of my duties to train the nights of Foretiere and to ensure we are all in good fighting shape." And that was all the prince said until they reached the village gates. Being a royal himself and a military man, he noticed that the guards that accompanied them had spread out to cover all ground level. There was little they could do if the villagers started to plan a revolt and throw pots from above, he mused. He admitted that the guards were doing a fine job at keeping it subtle and some even jovially started to talk to villagers. The villagers looked curiously at the prince and lady, but comfortable with royalty. It would seem that it was not the rare for the princess to visit.

They stopped at a run down place where an old woman spoke friendly and without protocol to the Princess as if she were an grand aunt to the princess despite the worn down quality of her clothing.

"Ça va bien, madame. Merci beaucoup pour nous invite." Val inclined his head in thanks. He's been trained in a multitude of languages since birth and always responded to whatever language the other person was speaking.

"Care to 'ave your fortune read, your 'ighness?"

He looked at his companions who nodded, eager to see what was going to happen before agreeing. "Oui, madame. I would love to."

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Amelie inclined her head towards the prince after he accepted Madame's invite. She had respect for people who humored the old woman, even if they did not believe in it themselves. She had learned quite a few times not to doubt Madame's wisdom, and she wondered what the crystals had in store for the royals of Foretiere.

"Ah, you speak French," Madame said impressively, "mais, je savais que." Madame began to get out several crystals, signaling to the prince to take a seat at her table. Amelie noticed Lord Asher looking at the trinkets she had placed about the shop, and Lady Lorraine stayed by the prince with a watchful eye. "Alright, your 'ighness, look into 'de crystal and tell me what you see," Madame began. Amelie looked as well, curious as to what they both were viewing. She knew that no one else besides Madame and the prince could see whatever was inside the crystal, but she was still curious.

"You see 'dat 'dere? It is a mark of royalty. Of special...ingenuity. It shows 'dat great things will become of you. Vous croyez en grandeur, n'est-ce pas?" Madame said, nodding her head in the prince's direction. "The crystals also show 'dat you are 'iding something, 'ighness. Something..." she looks deeper into the crystal, "or someone's identity."

Amelie's eyebrows furrowed at this. Who's identity could he be hiding?

"But, 'dis is very strange..." Madame says, squinting and looking around at the different crystals, "'dere is something else...something 'dat not only involves your future, 'ighness, but ano'ders aussi..." Madame leans back in the chair as the crystal goes blank. "'Dat is all 'de crystals will show me today, desole."

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Val had looked into the crystal and saw nothing but a crystal ball. Perhaps the crystal was fueled by the belief of a mad woman. It did not appear to be anything of great value, some polished rock--well cared for, certainly. But if Princess Amelie saw fit to indulge this old woman, then Val would endeavor to try his patience with the mumbo jumbo. It was nice to hear some French from someone other than the refined accents of his tutors. Interesting that the Princess chose not to start the tour with grand statues of her ancestors or monuments, but with a peasant dear to her heart that made the Prince look at Princess Amelie in a different light.

At her words, however, Val froze, looking at the woman in a peculiar way. All that she was saying sounded true and vague. She mentioned no names but all that she said pointed towards the King's bastard child. It took great effort not to give anything away by looking at Lorraine in guilt. Instead he looked towards at the Princess Amelie in condescending amusement and disbelief to discredit the woman's words. "Merci madame for your wise and insightful words. On doit croire en la grandeur pour y parvenir." He stood up and inclined his head. "It is unfortunate you could not see anymore, madame. Perhaps another time? If you are ready, Princess Amelie? I would be most pleased to continue our tour of Maree. Unless of course, Lord Asher would like to know if anytime in his future he'll be able to best me in a match?" Val laughed.

Lorraine twinkled a laugh as well, looking bashfully at Lord Asher. "Oh your highness, perhaps the madame can tell me who my future husband would be?"

"Now Lady Lorraine, we simply should not trouble the madame for these trifle things. You'll find your husband when it is time and no sooner." Val admonished, finally looking at Lorraine. She was keeping Lord Asher's attention with her shy gaze, but Val knew that her keen eyes had already scouted the entire little house. It was time to get them out of this house.

Lorraine had been eyeing the woman with curiosity before the fortune telling. Surely there must be something special about her that caught the Princess' eye. Or perhaps the Princess is fond of old women regardless of their social status because she lacked a maternal figure in her life? Afterwards, Lorraine was buzzing with curiosity if this old woman's words held any truth and if the woman recognize what she was saying. Didn't fortune tellers say something vague so any such secret or future can be attributed to those random phrases. Was this magic? Perhaps she is a spy. Was she looking for blackmail?

The Foretiere's do not deal in blackmail. They only deal in death.

And Lorraine so hoped that she wouldn't have to come back in and slit this old woman's throat. She wouldn't even have to come in the window, the simple lock at the door was pitiful. The one cup and one plate that lay unwashed off to the side was indication of any she had no husband or children to speak of that would guard her in her sleep.

In the end, Lorraine hoped that the Princess would buy the Prince's attempt to dismiss the woman's words. She was going to have to remind the Prince that when trying to keep a secret, the best policy is to not try to leave immediately after as if they hit jackpot. But she'll give him points for trying to misdirect everyone by pushing attention towards Asher and herself.

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