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Loras Estermont

"What, do you think I wear this armor to look pretty?"

0 · 847 views · located in Tiberia

a character in “Of Glory”, as played by Demai

Description

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"I would do anything for my men."




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Full Name: Loras Achilles Estermont
Nicknames: Lorrie, by his sister.
Gender: Male
Age: 24
Rank/Title: Captain of Seabel's Royal Guard
Sexual Orientation: Pansexual
Kingdom/Alliance: Seabel




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Description: Depending upon the time of day and the company, Loras either resembles a giant golden retriever or the terribly intimidating Captain that he is. It's fascinating how quickly he can switch between the two, his features smoothing out or contorting in focus. One thing that stays constant, though, is a grin upon his lips. Either it is friendly, with the corners of his mouth pulled up in a smile, or it is fearsome, with his teeth bared in a growl. He has very nice teeth, speaking of which, white and straight. His lips are scarred, as a result of a long-ago mishap which involved a sword, but in general, they are light pink in color and chapped.

Moving on, Loras has a slightly long face and a strong nose, rounded at the tip. He has high cheekbones, and a smooth chin. Loras keeps a neatly trimmed beard and mustache, and does not bother with anything resembling dye. His hair is long, falling well below his shoulders. He often wears it up, either in a bun or in a ponytail. He has a few shorter locks near the front, and they often fall forward to frame his face. Often, when he's stressed or frustrated, he runs his hand over or through his hair. Loras' hair is dark in color as well, a deep, chestnut brown. There are red highlights throughout, as well as golden streaks on the top from having spent a long time outdoors. He rarely spends large amounts of time inside or wearing a helmet, instead preferring to go riding or train his men or train with his men.

Loras' eyes are the true marvel of him, though. He inherited them from his mother, and they are a strong, clear aquamarine that is often likened to the sea on a sunny day. There's foamy white tossed in carelessly, along with gentle stretches of green, as if whoever created him thought that giving him perfect eyes would be utterly unfair to everyone around him. As it is, the colors only give his eyes a heightened likeness to the ocean, which only makes him more adorable in turn. They change color with his mood, often. When he is happy, they'll be light and bright. When he is angry, or when he is protecting someone or something he holds great affection for, such as his sister, they turn dark and stormy. They are framed with dark lashes, with slight bags beneath them that come from lack of sleep.

Loras cuts an intimidating figure, standing at 6'3 and weighing in at about 215 lbs. He's all muscle, though he is a terribly soft pillow. His little sister often falls asleep on his shoulder. He has broad shoulders and a narrow waist. His arms are absolutely mouthwatering, to say the very least. He's been training with swords and axes and various other weapons since he was very young, and so he's very quick on his feet and with his hands as well. He pushes himself very hard, and likes it most of the time.

Loras often wears his working armor, which is hard and metal, meant for protection and not just for show. He has another gold and silver one for that, for when he has to go out and be presentable. He can fight in that, but he doesn't like to, as it provides minimal protection. He's a little paranoid, and he often wears chain mail beneath his tunics. He likes wearing earthy colors, greens and reds and browns, things that don't stand out too much. When lounging around, he goes for comfort over fashion. He has quite a few scars from many years fighting, and has an absurd story to go with each and every one. The most prominent is a thick clump of scar tissue on his left hip.




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Personality:
{Impatient, Strong, Kind, Efficient}
Loras, to those that don't know him, seems like a brute that is all force and no brain. He's large in stature, and terribly good at killing things. He's horribly efficient in almost every way, he's not one to draw things out. Which also translates into normal life. He's very likely to hit someone over the head to knock them out, and he's very likely to avoid beating around the bush and just come out and say something. He wants to get things done as quickly and as well as he possibly can, and does his best to not sacrifice quality for quantity, which also means that he is not the most vocal person in the world.
Loras, where his sister is patient, is often one to go out and do things himself. He hates to wait, despite being able to do so if required to. He's more the type to head a fight rather than an ambush, just because he's very bad at sitting still and waiting. That's where his sister and his father are strong. He can sit still for hours on end, through mud and rain and fear. But why would he do that when he can just get up and stab whoever's trying to maim them? He hasn't died yet. Some may label him as reckless, but he's kept the kingdom wonderfully safe up until this point in time. He's just as careful as he is reckless.
Loras, in many ways, is a mystery. He keeps his thoughts to himself, sharing them with only a few other trusted individuals, his sister included. As the captain of the guard, he knows that there is always potential for traitors. His trust is hard won, and he used to be more willing to give it until one of his best friends betrayed him, literally stabbing him in the back and almost stabbing the king as well. Loras is rather serious, most of the time. He's seen a lot and been through a lot, despite his relatively young age, and as such, as much as he likes jokes and pranks and lifting people into giant bear hugs, he rarely has the energy or time for such.
This guy has his head firmly on his shoulders, and he takes absolutely no shit from anyone. He hates being underestimated, and often feels as if he needs to prove himself to anyone and everyone. Even he needs a break sometimes. He often pushes himself and pushes himself until he breaks down, and then he'll sleep for a full day or something equally drastic. Like his sister, he likes sneaking into the kitchens and flirting with the cooks until they give him all the food he could possibly want. He's a bit of a flirt, speaking of which, and he's rather charming. He's genuinely kind, in any case, and rather protective of those he cares for. He's a tiny bit possessive, and hates giving up or losing what he has.
In the end, Loras is a strong person. He's determined, stubborn as an ox, and terribly good at giving hugs. He's usually warm to the touch. He doesn't like to wait, and he isn't particularly tidy, more of one to toss his clothes on the ground and move on. He can fall asleep absolutely anywhere, and often walks over to people and throws his arm around them. He's impatient, and likes to do things himself because he doesn't trust others to do them. He's a bit of a perfectionist, and is certainly smarter than he lets on. He's happy with where he is, honestly. Where his sister is always seeking more, he takes what he is given and goes on. Usually. He loves stargazing, and has memorized too many constellations.


Hobbies:
Training, Stargazing, Reading, Eating
Habits:
Paces, sharpens weapons when he needs to think, picks at his nails, runs his hand through his hair
Oddities:
Cries at the scent of vanilla at times. Allergic to shellfish. Pushes himself too hard.

Likes/Loves:
  • His sister
  • Forests
  • Food
  • His men
  • Taking Long Walks
Dislikes/Hates:
  • Waiting
  • Being betrayed
  • Rude people
  • Sitting still
  • Losing




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Biography
Place Of Origin:Seabel
History:
Loras was born to a noble father and a mother who he clung to with every bit of his being. She was not noble, but she was beautiful and kind and perfect--Loras still can't smell vanilla without tearing up a little. He misses her horribly. She was his father's mistress, a tall woman from whom he inherited his ocean eyes. He was born a little early, and was expected to be a runt, something small and sickly. Not so, though, and Loras believes firmly that it was his mother's intervention and affection that helped him to grow up to be strong. Loras' lungs worked, his heart beat, and he grew.
As Loras grew older, he was the type to play with the other boys during the day and then sneak off during the night. He would play with swords, defend smaller boys, that sort of thing while the sun was up, and then he'd come home late at night with his cuts all scabbed over already, with grass stains on his knees and smelling of rain and beaming like his face would split in two. His mother would always laugh and pick him up and clean him, kissing his face all over. Things were perfect, in his eyes.
That is, until his mother was taken ill. It happened all too quickly--one day, she was fine, and the next, she was white as a sheet and coughing up blood. It scared the daylights out of Loras, and when she took her last breath, he screamed and clung to her body. No one could force him away from her. When he finally cried himself to sleep, even then, he wouldn't let go. Since then, those who he loves, he keeps close and keeps a careful eye on them. He refuses to let death slip up on anyone else he cares for.
Loras was taken in by his father, Count Christoph, but he didn't particularly care for him. His father was cold and cunning, and Loras just wanted someone warm. That person, as it turned out, was a six year old girl who was almost dragged into his life. She had white-blonde hair, and went by Ris. Loras became attached to her immediately, teasing that they had basically the same name. Loria and Loras became best friends, and they are constantly in contact, making sure that the other is intact and alive and at least somewhat happy. He knows well of his sister's inability to be satisfied, and he hopes for her sake that this engagement will give her at least a little more towards what she needs. He just wants her to be happy.
Speaking of engagements, Loras was a teenager when he met Juliana Brigham. She was beautiful and kind, sweet as could be, and he fell absolutely head over heels for her in seconds. His father was best friends with her father, and their marriage was supposed to be an absolute--until Cedric sold Juliana off to another man instead, one by the name of Cyprian Auclair. This man had been his employer, when Loras was a squire, and this felt like the most complete form of betrayal possible. Understandably, Loras was angry as could be. It was then that his father came to him, offering to help him win her back. Despite knowing that he would likely regret it, Loras agreed. Time went on, and he kept in contact with Juliana, because they were friends. Eventually, he became the captain of the guard there. He misses Ris terribly, and is looking forward to the upcoming dance because he'll get to see her.
Loras spent quite a while in the military, starting off as a squire to Cyprian and slowly rising through the ranks. The year after he joined the ranks of Seabel's guard, he and his people were ambushed as they escorted an ambassador back to the border. The ambassador survived, but Loras was taken and held. They tortured him, then, stuck a sword in his mouth and jeered sewed his lips shut, held his feet over a flame, gave him cuts and let them get infected. He nearly died, but he was rescued--oh, thank goodness, he was rescued. He survived, barely, and his sister nearly died of worry. Since then, she's been paying a couple knights to keep an eye on her brother. Loras hopes to win Juliana back, honestly, and he sees how Cyprian's gaze lingers on the queen's lady in waiting. He likes Ellie, they get along well and she helps him with laundry sometimes. He just hopes that things will work out.

Happiest Memory:Meeting Ris, getting his job.
Saddest Memory:Losing his mother and Juliana.




Face Claim: Chris Hemsworth

So begins...

Loras Estermont's Story

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Lucas Brigham Character Portrait: Loria Estermont Character Portrait: Loras Estermont Character Portrait: Christoph Estermont Character Portrait: Character Portrait:
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#, as written by Demai
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Ris had never been the biggest fan of dances, but she couldn’t deny that this one was entertaining from the second she stepped into the ballroom by her fiance’s side. They’d been basically locked in a metaphorical closet together for the past little while in hopes of their getting along, and she hated to admit that it was working a little--the annoying kid from their younger years was growing up, and he was actually endearing. What had her life become?

In any case, she had other things to worry about right then, such as finding her brother. Her father was easy to find, he was constantly in motion. Her gaze flicked to him, and she offered up a little smile. She saw him often, as he was Lucas’ advisor, and so she soon moved on, looking with baited breath for her older brother.Image She found him dancing, and her whole expression lit up at the sight of him. She reached over, touching Lucas’ shoulder. “I’ll be right back.” She promised, and then she was gone, running towards where Loras was spinning a brunette woman around. The song switched, and the second the other woman let go of the captain of the guard, Ris was throwing her arms around him.

Loras almost stumbled when the blur of blue dress and white hair ran into him, and then he was crowing his sister’s name and plucking her straight up off the ground. They both dissolved into laughter, hugging tight to each other and marveling over how the other looked. Loras tugged on her sleeve playfully, and she whacked his shoulder in revenge. Up until that point, Loras had been dancing with various women who were not Juliana, and wishing that she or Ris were there right then. Well, the queen was present, but she was far away from him. He wondered if she remembered him... Hell. He wondered if his own father remembered him, Christoph was busy staring out at the gardens right then. Maybe he should approach him later...
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But his mind would not be worried that night. He had his sister once more, and he was there and that was enough for then. It was. “Care to dance?” He teased, and Ris gave him an terribly amused look before concern entered her gaze. She knew her brother, she knew when he was anxious or lost in thought.

“What’s the matter?” She asked quietly, and he offered up a smile, before exhaling slowly and glancing away.

“You know what’s the matter.” He murmured, and her gaze softened. They stood still together for a moment, in the middle of the dance floor, before he spun her around, catching her off guard and making her laugh. "I'll tell you everything soon." He promised. Letters were wonderful, but there was always the chance of them being read midway through transportation. Ris bit her bottom lip before nodding in agreement. They'd have time. It took moments for the two of them to start dancing again, joining the circle of skirts and laughter that spun all around the dance floor.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Lucas Brigham Character Portrait: Loria Estermont Character Portrait: Juliana Auclair Character Portrait: Chryseis Wulfston Character Portrait: Loras Estermont Character Portrait:
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A room full of strangers, all of them drinking, all of them wearing masks. Wulf clenched her jaw in frustration. The amount of danger in this room was… astounding. The mask on her face shifted as she scrunched up her nose in disgust. A servant walked over and offered her and her king, who stood beside her, a drink; the young man took one while she waved the woman away. So much risk in one place, she needed to have her senses as sharp as ever.

I’ll be right back. Wulf shifted her steely gaze to the king’s soon-to-be wife. The small woman intrigued her to no end. She was a gorgeous specimen, with her porcelain skin, pure white hair, and bright blue eyes, but she also had a brain in her head. Wulf’s fierce glare followed her into the crowd, a slight scowl on her face. The farther she was away, the less likely Wulf would be able to help her in case of some sort of emergency.

The movement of Lucas jolted Wulf from her concerned trance. Her king wandered off as well, which worried her. But the fact that he was seeking out his older sister fretted her more. With a sigh she followed the blond slowly, making sure to keep some distance between them. There were some situations where having a body guard would make a king seem stronger, but right now, Lucas needed to strut all that he had learned.

Navigating through a crowd of semi-drunk nobles isn’t as easy as one would think. She had to push past dancers and servers alike whilst keeping her king in the corner of her field of view. That was until she, quite literally, ran into someone. “My apologies, sir-” She paused to visually take in the person before her. Tall, muscular, blond hair, not to mention dancing with the king’s soon to be wife. “Ah, sorry once again, Captain.” She took her hand off the hilt of her sheathed sword to place it on her chest and bow her head respectfully. “And good evening to you again, lady Loria.” Wulf bowed once more to her future queen.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Loria Estermont Character Portrait: Chryseis Wulfston Character Portrait: Loras Estermont Character Portrait: Character Portrait: Character Portrait:
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He could have done without the massive amounts of people wandering around, Loras reflected as he waltzed his sister around the room. At least the food smelled good, and there wasn’t enough dancing yet to make the ballroom hot as blazes. His men were off getting drunk, probably, and for a moment, he longed to join them just to remove himself from the tortures of nobility. But his father wanted him there, Juliana was there, and his dear sister was there... And goodness he had missed her. It was like a physical ache sometimes, not having his confidant and friend there to talk to him. They’d been nigh inseparable since they had met, and then to be shoved so far apart, well...

But no matter. They were there now, and that was what mattered, and Loras wouldn’t spend that night angsting. He was better than that, he thought. He couldn’t miss how Ris’ gaze followed her fiance, and that made a grin tug at the corners of his mouth. “Loriaaaaa,” He hummed, drawing out the last syllable of her name and making her pale cheeks flush. She gave him an amused look, and accidentally stepped on his foot as they turned around again, making him laugh.
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“Don’t call me that!” She scolded, and he offered up an innocent look in return.

“I’m over here, you know,” He teased, and she tipped her head up, raising an eyebrow at him. “You and Lucas doing better?” He inquired, meeting her gaze. He chuckled when that blush darkened, and she glanced away. As she did so, she saw said King disappearing into a separate room with his sister, and silently wished him well.

“We’ve been locked in a carriage together for ages.” She deadpanned, and then she hesitated, rubbing her thumb over her brother’s knuckles out of habit.

“You can tell me.” He encouraged, squeezing her hand.

“He’s... endearing.” Ris answered around a sigh, looking back to her brother. “I was so intent on not liking him, and he’s so damn genuine, I could cry.”

Loras chuckled at that, and seemed about to comment on that when out of nowhere, their dancing was interrupted. They were both jostled suddenly, and Ris drew her brother quickly out of the ring of dancers, not wanting anyone to step on her brother save for her.
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“My apologies, sir-” The short-haired Captain spoke, and Loras found him familiar... probably because he’d fought his men at some point.

“You’re fine.” He promised with a crooked little smile. He released one of Ris’ hands, bowing to him in return before slipping his arm around his sister’s waist.

“I think we were a little lost in the music.” Ris added with a bit of a smile, speaking for both of them, for which Loras was somewhat grateful. She gave the Captain an amused look, reaching up to twirl a lock of her own soft locks around her finger. Loras recognized that habit too--nervous. He gave her a comforting little squeeze. “In any case, Captain, how many times have I told you to call me Ris?” She teased, and curtseyed to him, her eyes bright behind her mask.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Lucas Brigham Character Portrait: Loria Estermont Character Portrait: Chryseis Wulfston Character Portrait: Loras Estermont Character Portrait: Character Portrait:
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You’re fine. Loras bowed back and flashed a soft smirk.

I think we were a little lost in the music. The dainty smile on Loria’s face caused Wulf’s own lips to curl upwards slightly. In any case, Captain, how many times have I told you to call me Ris?

A short, deep chuckle rolled off Wulf’s tongue before she could stop it. “My apologies, Lady Ris.” There was a touch of humor in her tone. “It’s a respectful habit that I’ve had a rather hard time breaking.” She nodded at the younger woman once more, the smile still on her lips.

After a brief moment of eye contact, Wulf shifted her gaze to her older brother. She was glad that the secret heel in her boots raised her height slightly so the two were at least around eye level. “I suppose I should introduce myself formally, Captain Loras, since we don’t have the time to do so on the battlefield.” She held out her hand, offering the other man a firm handshake. “The name’s Chrys Wulf, Captain of the Kingsguard under King Lucas of Falor.”

It was then, after she reminded herself who she was, that Wulf realized she hadn’t been looking out for her king. She did a quick scan of the room, only to spot the blond exiting a room, followed by his sister. She couldn't help but bite at the inside of her lip, hoping that the young king was alright. Gah, stop that. He’s a man, not a boy. Stop mothering him. Wulf returned her unintentional glare to Loria before shifting it back to Loras. “Would you mind if I stole your sister away for a bit? Perhaps, for a dance?” She extended her hand once more, but this time, it was in the direction of Ris.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Lucas Brigham Character Portrait: Loria Estermont Character Portrait: Chryseis Wulfston Character Portrait: Loras Estermont Character Portrait: Character Portrait:
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Ris smiled upon seeing the Captain smile, taking some not-quite-pride in being able to get various Captains of the Guard to smile. They were supposed to be a rather stern bunch, but both Wulf and Loras held a special place in her heart. The amused spark in her eyes remained, and mirth joined it soon enough. She laughed softly, raising a pale eyebrow at the Captain’s use of the word respectful. “I’m not married to Lucas yet.” She admonished with a playful air. “Besides, wouldn’t it be more respectful to honor my wishes?” She made it clear that she was teasing, a smile pulling at her lips and a chuckle following the edge of her words. “Listen to me, I’m obnoxious.” She shook her head, and released her brother when Wulf addressed him, tipping her head up to turn that amused glint onto him.

Loras chuckled, returning Ris’ look before inclining his head to the other Captain. “Can’t deny that. It’s a pleasure to meet you.” He spoke, and extended his hand, returning the handshake. “Loras Estermont, Captain of the Guard under the queen of Seabel.” He had to say, he was rather proud of the queen for taking such power for herself. It was something that few dared to do. He noted how she looked around, and how Ris found his hand again. Both of them were looking out for that king, it seemed, both seemed concerned. ImageLoras was about to ask about that reaction, wanting to make sure that both the Captain and his sister would be alright if Lucas didn’t rush over and fling his arms around both of them, and then Wulf was speaking once more. A dance? He glanced to Ris, who squeezed his hand gently in permission, a little reluctantly, though she hid it well. He was only able to tell because of how close they were.

“Make sure to return her in one piece.” He hummed in a teasing manner, squeezing her hand in comfort. Ris laughed, leaning up to kiss his cheek.

“Wulf is terribly capable, I’m sure I’ll be fine in his hands.” She admonished, reaching out to take the Captain’s hand. “However, I’ve never actually seen you dance.” She spoke directly to Wulf this time, releasing her brother’s hand and taking a step forward. “Should I be afraid for my feet?” She teased a little. Loras chuckled softly, and crossed his arms, watching them for a moment. He’d find her later, he silently promised when Ris glanced back to him.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Lucas Brigham Character Portrait: Loria Estermont Character Portrait: Chryseis Wulfston Character Portrait: Loras Estermont Character Portrait: Character Portrait:
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Can’t deny that. It’s a pleasure to meet you. Loras Estermont, Captain of the Guard under the queen of Seabel. Wulf took his hand gladly, shaking it firmly. Nothing like a solid handshake to start a good friendship. Ah, how she wished they could be friends. The second they became captains of two different, opposing armies, their fate was declared. They were enemies who only met peacefully when their masters deemed it so. Keep your friends close, but keep your enemies closer.

When Wulf asked Ris to dance, Loras didn’t seem to mind, which brightened her mood somewhat. Make sure to return her in one piece.

Wulf is terribly capable, I’m sure I’ll be fine in his hands. Wulf only let out an agreeing mixture of a grunt and a chuckle in response. She took the younger woman’s hand and started moving her towards the dance floor. However, I’ve never actually seen you dance. Should I be afraid for my feet? The light teasing in her tone brought the smile back to Wulf’s face; this meant that the younger woman was actually somewhat comfortable with her.

Wulf stopped once she was nearby the other groups of people dancing. She turned the blonde so they were facing. With their two hands held together, Wulf placed the other on Ris’ hip. “I always told my men, if you can’t dance on the floor, you can’t in the battlefield.” With that, she started the pair moving, swaying back and forth slightly. “However, it wasn’t until Lucas’ coronation party that I realized I really couldn’t dance.” Wulf glanced down at her feet; they moved with a mind of their own, every step calculated and placed perfectly. “I also realized that I would never hear the end of it until I learned how to dance properly.” Wulf smiled down at Ris warmly, briefly taking note of their immense height difference. She was practically a head taller than the younger woman. “So I hired a teacher. Imagine that, the Captain of the kingsguard, learning how to dance from a woman who I’m pretty sure is older than the gods themselves. I was afraid she’d crumble to dust on the spot.” Wulf let out a low, throaty chuckle, not once stopping their slow, flowing dance.

“Now, the real reason why I dragged you out here isn’t because I just wanted a dance with a fair lady.” Wulf paused in her speaking to outstretch the two of them, twirling the blonde in a circle before pulling her back. When she was back in Wulf’s grip, her gaze turned serious. “Lucas is… worrying me. He just spoke to his sister, which, I know, might not necessarily be a bad thing.” She paused to sigh. “He’s a man, no, he’s a king, and I shouldn’t be fretting like this. But so many people who are enemies of Falor in one room… He's young and intelligent, but not wise. I'm afraid of him making some sort of youthful decision without council...” Wulf shifted her hand, sliding it across Ris’ lower back to pull the woman in much closer. Their bodies were practically touching, and Wulf leaned in to speak quietly into Ris’ ear. “If you see anything strange or suspicious, find me, immediately. It is my duty to protect both you and the king, and I will allow no harm to come of you.” It was then that Wulf loosened her grip, allowing them to move apart a bit more.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Ulfric Bjornson Character Portrait: Loras Estermont Character Portrait: Genevieve Hansdottir Character Portrait: Character Portrait: Character Portrait:
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Her apology only seemed to cause his gut to churn, caused him to frown deeply and cast his eyes away. He couldn't bear to see the way she looked at him, for he knew he'd see the tears that pooled in her eyes, threatening to tumble down her cheeks if he looked at her too long.

Ulfric had to take her word for it as she assured him isn't wasn't his fault. And yet, he couldn't help but feel responsible. Maybe it wasn't directly his fault - he could give her that - but never had he seen her this upset, this close to tears. Perhaps on their wedding day she'd looked upon him that tearfully.

The king put his own arm around her waist for a moment, hoping his grip acted to comfort her. But Ulfric removed it quickly, afraid he'd only do more to soil the moment. He smiled at her kiss though and made a movement as if to reciprocate it. She had moved away though, lingering only long enough to squeeze his hand before she disappeared into the crowd. And then he was alone, but not for too long.

He sensed Hans before he saw him, knowing the man was nearby. Over the years, he'd lost the muscle that would have made him heavier than the man, but Ulfric still remained slightly taller. It was only emphasized by the boots he had worn to the dance. He liked that, if he were being honest, and he turned now to face the younger man.

"Ah, Your Highness," Hans greeted, pulling himself upright as he looked up at Ulfric. "It has been some time since we have spoken."

"Since the wedding, Lord Adolfson." Ulfric spoke quickly and to the point. He'd never liked the man, but there was a level of respect his father-in-law deserved.

"Yes, I believe you're right." Ulfric turned to him now. He wore an expression of boredom that just barely hid the conflicting emotions that still gnawed at him. He hated this, and the noble wasn't making it much easier.

"I know," he returned. "Is there something I can help you with, Hans?" The younger nobleman shrugged for a moment, looking out at the crowds as though he were searching for something. Or someone.

"No, no, enjoy yourself." He was gone almost as quickly as he had appeared, and Ulfric was left alone, watching as the nobleman walked himself over to Genevieve. Hans approached the girl from behind, fully aware of what he was doing, and seized her wrist tightly. "It has certainly been some time since I've seen you, hm?"

But Ulfric couldn't hear them across the ballroom, and he'd begun to lose them now. Damn his eyesight. It seemed to go more and more with age. He turned suddenly now and took a few steps behind him until he ran quite literally into Loras Estermont. Ulfric jumped back slightly, offering an arm to steady the younger man out of instinct. He probably hadn't done much damage, he noticed, for the man stood larger than even Ronan. His jaw hung for a moment as he looked up at the blond man, perhaps ever so slightly in awe. They'd once called him a bear among men, but the young man before him was more formidable than any man he'd seen before.

"Should have watched where I was going, I suppose," he remarked, frowning back at Loras. "My apologies, sir..." He drifted off for a moment, frowning as he struggled to recognize him. "...Estermont's boy, aye?" He stepped back again, letting his arm fall to his side. "No hard feelings? I don't suppose I'd like to be on the bad side of you or your Pa." Ulfric gave a bit of a smile then, trying to seem more friendly than he appeared.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Juliana Auclair Character Portrait: Eleora de Croismare Character Portrait: Ulfric Bjornson Character Portrait: Loras Estermont Character Portrait: Genevieve Hansdottir Character Portrait:
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Loras had never really been one for dancing, and watching his sister and the other Captain waltz together was quite enough for him. He watched them for a moment with a little smile on his lips, and then turned, stepping away to allow them privacy. He soon migrated off to the side, taking up residence near one of the many open windows and just scanning the general area. He didn’t cut the most approachable figure, standing there with his shoulders back and his arms crossed, and so he didn’t quite have to worry about people coming over and approaching him.

As he let his sea-blue eyes flick over the ballroom, taking in the clouds that adorned the ceiling and the dresses that gave vibrant color to the gold floor, his gaze lighted upon a woman with red-gold hair and a yellow dress, gazing out the window. She looked at peace, and a soft little smile came to his lips at the sight of her. She didn’t look particularly rich, probably a lady in waiting or something to be at that dance, normally reserved for people of higher standing. In any case, she had a kindness about her that he hadn’t seen in... a long time. His first thought was his mother, to be honest. She had that sort of soft sweetness about her face. He took a step towards the woman, perhaps to address her or to ask her where she was from, pausing only to avoid interrupting her as she took a deep breath of night air.

He was about to take his chance when suddenly, a familiar blonde stepped into view. His gaze softened at the sight of Juliana, the woman he had wooed so long ago. His heart still ached for her sometimes, and he caught himself gazing after her as if he were some stupid schoolboy. The queen’s voice reached his own ears, but he had no time to focus on it. He saw something flicker in the redhead’s eyes as her eyes opened, before she turned to look at Juliana; something unreadable to all those save for those who were specifically searching for it. It was an instinctive fear, a silent wish that the queen would leave her alone, almost a cry for help that no one would see save for the flowers that waved in the breeze outside and the moon high above.

Loras’ brow furrowed. There was no mistaking what had caused that clear, instinctive want to hide away. Juliana had changed since he had first been stricken by her, but... had she changed enough to warrant such a reaction in the people who served her? He himself had stepped down from his noble place to lead armies, to help his country and defend it. He had gone from someone with a great name to another soldier. Had this woman done the same? What had happened to her to cause such a reaction when the queen appeared?

It felt as if his world had been tipped on its end, suddenly. How blind had he become, in the face of his infatuation? For he knew that it was merely that. He’d left home, friends, sister for a person who terrified her servants?

It was during that revelation that another world-shaking individual would ram straight into his life.

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Normally, he would have been able to righten himself when suddenly hit with a blunt object, but he was reeling in that moment. When an arm was offered, he grasped his hand, searching out balance and stability, something to ground himself. And when he looked up, locks of his own dark hair falling in his eyes, he found it in a pair of light emerald eyes filled with awe. He was caught up in that color for a moment, and then he realized that the eyes were attached to a person. The king of Ostwall, apparently. Salt and pepper hair and a beard and arms that reminded Loras that he might need a damn hug or something--

And then he realized that Ulfric’s mouth was moving and that he was still holding his hand. The king moved let his hand fall back to his side, and Loras let go of him quickly and instinctively, taking a deep breath, offering up a crooked smile. His eyes were too bright and a little lost, betraying his relatively young age all too easily. He felt it in that moment, truly. He was... a stupid, infatuated boy who didn’t even know what he was doing.

“No hard feelings? I don't suppose I'd like to be on the bad side of you or your Pa.” Finally, Loras registered Ulfric’s words, and the grin turned wry at the mention of his father.

“None at all.” He promised, and his voice was steadier than he thought it would be. He glanced down towards the ground, taking a deep breath and then looking up towards him with a little smile, though his eyes were still as lost as a sailor in a storm. It still felt as if waves were battering at him, lowering every defense that he had. He offered him his hand once more, half wishing just for that steadying influence once more. “Loras.” He introduced himself, out of habit, leaving out all titles and names. “You’re Ulfric, right?” He questioned, and his chest warmed inexplicably at the smile that the king attempted. “Your Majesty.” He teased a little, though there was no bite behind it, and bowed to him.

He was about to go on when suddenly, a harsh voice and soft cries reached his ears. Focused for a moment, his gaze flicked up. The corners of his mouth tipped down in a frown when he saw an older man gripping the arm of... Ulfric’s young wife. He nodded towards the two, and looked back to Ulfric, his own hand going to the hilt of his sword. “I’ll knock him out if you get her out of here.” He murmured. He needed something to ground him, something similar to his job might be a good idea.

Another metaphorical wave hit him, and it was on a strange instinct that he added; “I’ll be in the garden later tonight, by the elara flowers.” It was a stab in the dark, a desperate need for company and reassurance that caused almost a plea to enter his gaze. His sister would be with her entourage, with her fiance, and he... would be alone.

Goodness, he didn’t want to be alone.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Ronan Ulfricson Character Portrait: Ulfric Bjornson Character Portrait: Loras Estermont Character Portrait: Genevieve Hansdottir Character Portrait: Character Portrait:
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He couldn't help but give a soft laugh at the boy's half-assed attempt at a smile. It was endearing, and he could have sworn he'd given Freya that look when they were young and courting. How peculiar to see it now from Loras Estermont, he mused. But now he saw a change in the smile, and he smiled back.

"Glad to hear," he added. And perhaps he was glad that the young man wouldn't hold a grudge. Enough people didn't trust those from Ostwall as it was without him tripping over everything. He nodded at his name. "That'd be me." His smile faltered for just a moment at the bow. "Oh, stand up now. I'd rather speak to you as equals...too much of this 'Your Majesty' shit nowadays." He let his filter fall for a moment, speaking as he might have when he was younger, bolder. He'd become far too quiet in his age, for he had a role to fill. Oh, how he hated that.

Ulfric hadn't caught the cries until Loras made note of them. "Wha-" he started, cutting himself off as Loras spoke, offering to assault the man. No, no, he didn't want this. Not here. Not now. He wanted an evening to blend into the background, to speak to this man, hear the tales he had to tell. And now this was happening, and he'd have to deal with it of course. He was the king, wasn't he? He turned to Loras for a moment, as if to tell him to wait there but the young Captain was already providing instructions - to meet? That night? It seemed peculiar, he had to say that, but he wasn't the type to turn down an evening with someone else besides distant children and an even more distant wife.

"I'll-" he started again, but now he cut himself off once more as Ronan approached the situation. "Fuck" Ulfric took off now, similar to his son. He attempted to mumble apologies as he pushed through the throngs of people. They seemed to move with him, and, indeed, they did. Everyone wanted to have their own version of the story to tell the next day.

"Ronan!" He howled the boy's name as he threw himself quite literally into the fray. For a moment, both men were atop Hans, knocking the breath out of the man as Ulfric struggled to find his own footing again. His knees screamed in pain, protesting his actions. But he found traction eventually and seized around Ronan's waist

"Get up, boy!" Ulfric shouted in his ear, hoisting the young man off of Hans. Genevieve's father had given up his struggle a while ago, unable to see through the blood that streamed down his face. Instead, father and son grappled about now. Grounding himself now and using Ronan's own sloppy technique against the boy, Ulfric shoved him aside. Ronan reeled, and he nearly planted into the tile on his face, but he righted himself against a pillar and turned, wiping at his bleeding lip. His chest rose and fell harshly, and perhaps if one listened closely, they would hear the beat of his heart.

"I...fuckin-" He was cut off once more as Ulfric swung his own fist at the boy. Ronan pitched to the side with the impact, but he was caught around the collar by Ulfric who pulled the boy close to his face.

"Speak to me like that once more, and I'll be sure to show you what I'm capable of," he spat, his voice only audible to those in the first ring or two of spectators. "You think that's proper? I raised you better tha-" Ronan shoved off of his father, pushing the older man back as he stormed off. Ulfric's jaw hung slightly as he watched Ronan push a path through the crowd and out of the ballroom, practically seething. The doors closed behind him with a loud slam, but he moved only a few yards down a hall before the pain in his hand became too unbearable, his father's words became too heavy, and he let out a shout that echoed back to the hall.

Ulfric seemed to slowly become aware of the people around him, watching him closely for his next move. His jaw set as his chest rose and fell quickly. "Well, go on!" he cried, his voice a bit louder than he'd hoped. "Someone take the poor bastard out of here."

But his words fell on deaf ears. Most of the guests had parted by then, no longer interested in remaining. Few came for the dance itself these days. The real entertainment was in seeing who would be the first to soil the peace that was supposed to accompany such an event. And oh, how it had been soiled.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Juliana Auclair Character Portrait: Ronan Ulfricson Character Portrait: Eleora de Croismare Character Portrait: Ulfric Bjornson Character Portrait: Loras Estermont Character Portrait: Genevieve Hansdottir
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Ellie remained behind the rest of the royals as Cy and Lucas stepped out, keeping her head down. Juliana’s voice scraped against her nerves, putting her on edge. Little did she know of the world changing thoughts that she had caused to come into the Captain of the Guard’s mind. Out of the corner of her eye, she could see the tall blonde who was holding tight to the king of Ostwall’s arm at the moment, and she worried for a moment about him before Cyprian caught her eye for a bare moment. The tiniest of smiles came to her lips, silently wishing him well. It was a great relief to her that he didn’t look absolutely haggard after that conversation. He didn’t look worn out, he looked... almost vibrant. She wished to take his hands, to ask him all about what had happened, but knew she shouldn’t, knew she couldn’t. One of those days. One of those days, she would be free to take his hands whenever she wanted... She hoped.

Her heart still squeezed at the words my love directed towards Juliana, though. She had no doubt in her Cy, but... It still hurt, sometimes, often, the knowledge that she was the other woman. She’d never envisioned this for herself, not in all her life, but... Cy was worth it, she knew. That much was a fact of her life. She’d walk over hot coals for him, and she could say that about few others, if any.

One of those may have been the tiny girl, Giselle. Cy’s daughter. There was something horribly, completely endearing about her, and Ellie had fond memories of telling her stories and singing her to sleep. Her gaze flicked momentarily to her as the child went to greet her uncle for... possibly the first time in her whole life. She couldn’t help but smile, finding the sight utterly endearing. She’d braid the flower into her hair later, she resolved, maybe after she’d twirled her around the dance floor a couple of times while waiting for Cy. She soon looked down, respectfully, avoiding looking King Lucas straight in the eyes.

Then, the queen’s words reached her ears, and where Ellie’s heart had squeezed before, it stopped now. Take Giselle to bed...? With the flick of her wrist and a sickeningly sweet look in those green eyes, her mistress had dismissed all of them save for Cy. How dare she? She swallowed hard, rather than protesting. It wasn’t her place, she couldn’t raise suspicion... She let her gaze flick to Cy for a moment. She’d meet up with him later. They always found time. It just... was another roadblock. That was all it was. A silent assurance was in her eyes, a promise that it was alright.

“Yes, mistress.” She whispered, at last, and curtseyed in response before reaching out, finding Giselle’s hand and offering her a smile and then a wink. Maybe they didn’t have to go to bed just yet. “Come along, highness.” She spoke to her. With a slight glance back, she led Giselle off--and more towards the banquet tables. “I think it’s a little early for bedtime, don’t you?” She teased gently, squeezing her little hand with gentle fingers.

Then, everything went to hell.

There was screaming and shouting and people were punching and swearing--Ellie’s eyes widened and she wrapped her arms around Giselle suddenly, gathering her close and protecting her with her arms. She crouched down a little, pressing one hand to her ear and defending her from having to hear the words that were being spat. It was the rulers of Ostwall, she realized, now spattered with blood and staining the dance floor. Gold turned to red, and Ellie held her breath, focused on keeping the little princess out of the range of flying fists.

Then, she heard a heartbreaking scream, and the queen of Ostwall flew from the room. Ellie was lucky her heart was strong, for it had gone through so much in even the past ten minutes, which was to say nothing of every other part of her life. It took but another moment for Ellie to look back down at Giselle, checking over her to make sure she was alright. “Let’s grab a pastry for you and go help her.” She said gently, finding her hand again. Gently, she reached out, finding the flower that Lucas had given the little princess and tucking it behind Giselle’s ear instead. “We’ll dance as soon as we can, I promise.” She added with a little smile. Then, she found a fluffy treat for her, hesitated, and found another, just in case Genevieve needed something sweet. She led her from the dance floor, out the door that Genevieve had fled from. “Your majesty?” She called out, keeping Giselle near, just in case. “I’m Ellie, and this is Giselle... Are you alright? Were you hurt?” Worry was clear in her voice. No one should have to witness that, much less experience that, and she hoped that they could be some sort of comfort to the young queen.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Lucas Brigham Character Portrait: Loria Estermont Character Portrait: Ronan Ulfricson Character Portrait: Chryseis Wulfston Character Portrait: Ulfric Bjornson Character Portrait: Loras Estermont
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Inexplicably, Loras’ chest warmed at the sound of the gruff laugh that the older man let out. Well, perhaps it wasn’t too inexplicable. He was... On edge, seeking comfort, and he would take anything given to him right then. The king smiled back, and Loras’ crooked grin grew genuine. His gaze flicked down for a moment, and then returned to him. Ulfric denied his bow, and he rose, straightening up again and letting his arms rest at his side. He had to look down a little to see the king of Ostwall, and he wondered for a bare second if he could pick him up. It was an interesting thing to consider, and it almost made him chuckle. Even if he could, Ulfric would probably clobber him if he even tried.

"Oh, stand up now. I'd rather speak to you as equals...too much of this 'Your Majesty' shit nowadays." The king spoke, and Loras did laugh softly at that, both surprised and unsurprised to hear the filter slip. The man had a fascinating accent as well, and he wished to have a little more time to deconstruct it.

“That’s what happens when you’re a monarch, sir.” Loras teased a little, before hesitating the barest bit. He was a little unused to not calling people of his standing “majesty” and such words. Certainly the queen rarely answered to any other title... The thought of her left a sour taste in his mouth, though, and he moved his thoughts away soon enough. “It’s a pleasure to meet you, Ulfric.” He spoke his name, turning it into rolling vowels and strong consonants. Already, the name was something of a marvel, and he turned it into something more so.

ImageThen, the screams began, and Loras knew that they needed to move quickly. He wasn’t expecting Ulfric to run off, though, after a few stumbled words. He went after him, initially, partly out of that desperate desire to not be alone and partly to support him, but... It seemed that he had it under control, better than he would have expected. The man had quite a bit of strength in him. Loras let his gaze linger upon him for a moment longer, his hand resting upon the pommel of his sword at his side, making sure that the prince wouldn’t punch Ulfric or destroy anything besides potentially reputations and a man’s face. The queen fled--commotion and noise rose and fell, and the crowd began to move. His gaze flicked across the general exodus, and he caught a glimpse of starbright hair.

Ris. He had to reach his sister.

Silently, he wished the king luck, and hoped that he would see him later that night. Then, he turned, silently hoping that Ulfric had understood his message, quickly moving through the crowd. “Ris!” He called as he pushed past a dark haired couple. Loria!!




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Ris was quickly learning that she absolutely loved making this man blush, and resolved to do so more often. And then he stumbled over his words, and she couldn’t help but smile, settling back onto her feet. She had to tip her head up to see him, even when he was crouched down like this, which was to say nothing of when he straightened up. The amused glint remained in her eyes, particularly at the use of the word Lady once more. Goodness, would he ever cease with that? The title was fitting, perhaps, and eventually she’d have to deal with worse, queen, majesty, highness, but she was determined to get as many people into good habits as she could before they all slipped into terrible ones.

Her heart warmed at the smile that touched the Captain’s lips, and she scoffed playfully at his words. “I didn’t do all that much.” She teased. “I don’t know if I could possibly pick you up and spin you.” She moved as if to move her hands to her hips, though that plan was soon foiled by his taking her hand. Now, it was her turn to almost blush, her pale cheeks dusted with pink. She was aware of the fact that the kiss lasted a little longer than proper, that Wulf’s lips were a little chapped, perhaps a little too aware. Then, the Captain kissed her wrist, and it was only with great self control that she kept her cheeks from turning strawberry red. She squeezed his hand gently, offering up a soft smile.

Her plans were all being foiled that day. She was about to speak, to tease the Captain, and then there was shouting and the sound of someone being pummeled and then she was being pulled. For a second, she tugged away, her lips slightly parted as she took in a breath, about to call her brother’s name, desperately hoping that he wasn’t in the mess. Where was he? A split second, and she realized that it was Wulf who was holding onto her. She let him, at last, holding tight to him as she scanned the room for both Lucas and Loras. Where were they? Were they okay? She never let that breath out, her fingers curling in Wulf’s shirt. Midway through, she went up on her tiptoes, trying to find either of them. Image

Luckily, wonderfully, the commotion turned to conversation all too soon. She realized how tight Wulf had been holding her only then, and she hugged him tight for a moment longer before releasing him. She kept ahold of his hand, not wanting to lose him in the sudden exodus, keeping it even as he bowed. She really wished that he had chosen another time to start considering her wishes concerning her name, she didn’t have time for a proper reaction then, but she still smiled at it. “You’re fine.” She told him, almost cutting off the word instinct. She nodded sharply in agreement with his next statement, tugging him back to her, reluctant to release him anytime soon. Finally, her gaze lit upon a blonde head--and she heard a familiar voice calling her name. Hope rose up in her chest, and she squeezed the Captain’s hand once more before leading him towards her brother.

“Loras!” She called out, and his head turned to see her. Relief was clear in both sets of blue eyes, and he moved towards her quickly, wrapping her up in a hug. She hugged him tight with her free arm, finding his hand next. “I saw Lucas, come on.” She told him, taking charge instantly and moving towards where she had seen the spot of red and blonde. “Lucas!” She called out. She sighed when they broke through the crowd, the worry melting away at last. Neither her brother nor her fiance were visibly wounded, and Wulf had been safe with her. She released both of the men at her side, moving forward to clasp Lucas’ hands. “Are you alright?” She questioned, looking him over just to make sure, concern coloring her voice.

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Character Portrait: Lucas Brigham Character Portrait: Loria Estermont Character Portrait: Chryseis Wulfston Character Portrait: Loras Estermont Character Portrait: Character Portrait:
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Image Lucas wished he could've had more time with his young niece, but the night was growing late and the young girl needed to rest. He gave her a soft his on Giselle's forehead and bid her goodnight. "I suppose this is where our night ends, princess. I hope to see you again very soon." His eyes strayed to his sister standing nearby. "We have many years to make up and I look forward to every second." Elora quickly whisked the little princess away to prepare her for bed and he stood. Having finished official business with his sister and her husband, he hoped to spend a little time with his fiancè. Maybe a dance, a walk through the gardens, something peaceful and undiplomatic.

ImageAs his eyes searched for her in the crowds, his attention was caught by a commotion not far from where they were standing. The crowd quickly moved to make room for what sounded like a brawl, pushing the three royals back towards the door. Lucas immediately moved forward to make sure his captain and his fiancè were not caught in the mix, his heart hammered with worry. To his immense relief, they were not. It was the Prince of Ostwall, the King of Ostwall, and another man. Once that was made clear, he took off in search for Loria.

"Loria!" He called out, searching for her pale hair. "Ris!" Then he saw her, breaking through the crowds. He rushed towards her and allowed her to take ahold of his hands. He bowed his head, pressing his forehead to hers and smiled softly. "I'm alright," he replied reassuringly. "Are you? I heard the commotion and grew worried. I'm so thankful you're alright." It took him another moment to register that her brother, Loras, and the captain of his guards, Wulf were with her. He smiled gratefully at them. "Thank you for keeping her safe. I am also thankful that neither of you had been harmed."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Juliana Auclair Character Portrait: Ronan Ulfricson Character Portrait: Ulfric Bjornson Character Portrait: Loras Estermont Character Portrait: Genevieve Hansdottir Character Portrait: Cyprian Auclair
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Juliana nodded her head towards Lady Ellie as she went off with Giselle, her daughter, her princess and put her to bed, just like she had asked. She watched the two of them momentarily before her gaze turned back towards her husband. Once she saw his hand had reached out towards, she grabbed it and attempted a smile. The spark wasn't indeed there anymore and she could definitely tell that between them now. Juliana once questioned this to herself but place the thought within the back of her mind since she was still Queen and he was still King, her King.

As he guided them to the dance floor, she genuinely smile then he spun her around, which she gasp to because it was so unexpected. They danced seemingly all around the ballroom as she stared into his gaze, giggling slightly and trying to make this a happy moment but it wasn't. She let out a quiet sigh as she just continued to dance with him with the perfect amount of elegance that one has never seen on the dance floor. Once the song had ended, she saw that he was going to kiss her and it was to be the icing on the cake. Maybe he did still love after all.

Juliana smiled as she closed her eyes and waited for the kiss but nothing happened as screams rang out in the ballroom. "Oh, my." She muttered softly while her eyes peered up towards Cyprian then back towards everyone else's direction. Due to her size, she couldn't see what was happening but definitely heard punches being thrown and women crying. Her ears twitched when she heard Ronan's voice along with Ulfric's as she hiked up her skirt and maneuvered herself through the sea of people before her but when she got there, the display was over. Her eyes looked for Genevieve but it seems as if she had run off, or something.

Her eyes then diverted towards the blood as she upset that they actually had gotten blood on her floor. Her beautiful floor. She walked away with the shake of her head back over towards Cyprian. "I suppose so. Next time, let's not invite Ostwall." She demanded with the firm nod her head as she heard her husband's next question and widened her eyes. He wanted to escort her to bed? Like together? Juliana laughed to herself at the thought then looked at Cyprian.

"I'd love it if you escorted me to bed, my love." She said with a smile while leaning up to give him a peck on the kiss. And yeah, the spark between them had indeed fizzled out. It was a shame because she actually loved him, too. "Yeah. This Kingdom isn't going to rule itself." She made a slight tease comment towards him as she grabbed his hand and started a small trek but she caught sight of Loras and quickly turned around and bumped into Cyprian. She let out a nervous chuckle before looking up at him. "Why don't we go the other way?" She didn't even give a chance to respond as she tugged him along, clenching his hand tighter and tighter, by the second due to her nerves right now.

She didn't want to see Loras just yet though somewhere inside of her heart, it still yearned for him. She did do a quick look back towards his direction though it seemed as if he had disappeared off to somewhere else. Juliana exhaled a sigh as her and Cyprian had made it to her bed chambers, by now. Before entering, she turned towards Cyprian and rested her delicate hands upon his shoulders. "Why don't you come to bed with me tonight, my love?" She raised one of her hands up and caressed his cheek before trailing it down his arm and grabbing his hand as she opened the door, stepping one foot in.

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Character Portrait: Lucas Brigham Character Portrait: Loria Estermont Character Portrait: Chryseis Wulfston Character Portrait: Loras Estermont Character Portrait: Character Portrait:
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The relief that Ris felt upon seeing Lucas was almost beyond words. Maybe she really was a worrier--hopefully, that wasn’t something that extended to all people, but she knew herself, and she often felt all too big for this tiny form. However, she had no plans to eat her way to a bigger heart, she reflected. Her shoulders relaxed a little once he assured her that he was alright, and she nodded at his question. “Don’t worry about us.” She promised with a little smile. “Wulf was wonderful.” She glanced back to the Captain, her smile still in place, and then looked to Lucas once more. Her smile grew the tiniest bit when he addressed Wulf and Loras, the latter of whom inclined his head in response.

For a brief moment, she wrapped her arms about her fiancee’s waist, hugging him tight, silently communicating the depth of her relief. “I really am glad you’re alright.” She said quietly, allowing herself this moment. Then, she stepped forward, squeezing her brother’s hand. She glanced across the general exodus for a moment, and then glanced back to both fiancee and Captain. “We should head back.” She spoke, and was grateful for her brothers embrace as he wrapped his arm around her.

“Let me walk you up.” Loras requested softly, and she nodded a little in response, recalling their earlier words and meeting his gaze. He searched hers for a moment, and she held him closer, as if she could protect her older, taller brother. It didn’t take long for them to make their way to Falor’s general residence, and Ris ushered both Wulf and Lucas in, promising she’d be right there and that she was with her brother and he would take care of her.

“What is it?” She asked softly, as soon as the door was closed. Loras exhaled slowly, taking her hands and squeezing them gently.

“You know how I speak about my mother.” He whispered, dipping his head down so that he could look at her, indecision and frustration tucked away in his voice. Ris drew her thumb over his knuckles with a gentle touch, nodding gently.

Image“You loved her.” She prompted.

“I saw a woman today... A little while ago. She reminded me of her, Ris, so... poignantly it hurt.” Loras couldn’t stand the separation any longer, and Ris seemed to be able to tell; goodness, how he loved his little sister. He gathered her near even as she stepped into his arms. “She looked kind.” He whispered, and then paused, clearly getting himself together as Ris hugged him tight, comforting him wordlessly. “And out of nowhere, she... She hears Juliana’s voice, and I’ve only seen that sort of fear on someone’s face when they know that they’re about to be hurt.” He spoke, at last. “Am I overreacting, Rissy?” He searched her gaze. His own were lost as a sailor at sea, gray as stormclouds and just as distant. Ris reached up with gentle hands, cupping his cheeks.

Image“You’re fine.” She promised, and his shoulders sagged at her assurance, at her calm, steady tone. He clung to her as if she were a rock in the midst of his stormy seas, as if she could keep him from being washed away. She held him tight in return, shifting to bring her brother closer to her, protecting him in her arms. “You’re sleeping with me tonight.” Her voice was firm, but gentle. He nodded a little in response, not having the energy nor the want to argue with her, and she pressed a kiss to his forehead. “You know I’ll stand by you.” She told him, pressing his head to her shoulder, where he hid away. “Whatever happens.”

“Thank you,” Loras’ voice was soft and a little hoarse. She smiled softly, before kissing his temple.

”You’re welcome.” Ris whispered. “Come on.” She shifted a little, keeping him near as she nudged the door open. She looked over Wulf and Lucas briefly, smiling a little at the sight of them before she stepped quietly towards her own bed with her brother still in her arms. She helped him to remove armor and trappings, the things she knew he often used to hide behind. She kissed his hair, loosening it from its braids, and then gently settled him onto the bed. She joined him after pulling on a nightgown, wrapping her arms around him from behind, and waited until his breathing evened out to follow him into slumber.

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The post-commotion was short-lived and flew by like a blur. Wulf allowed herself to be toted around by Ris, despite feeling slightly embarrassed. She felt like one of those weird small dogs that’s only purpose is to constantly be around their master uselessly. Those creatures purplexed Wulf; why would anyone want a hound that wasn’t for hunting? But that was besides the point.

Once Captain Loras joined their small party, they found King Lucas, who appeared unharmed, thank the gods. When Ris complimented Wulf, her aura glowed with pride despite the fact that she really didn’t do much. But when Lucas thanked her, she felt… less. It was just her duty, right? What she was trained to do. Ris then surged forward and embraced her fiancee, and the delight in her chest sunk into a pit in her stomach. Suddenly, all of the joy of the night flickered and died, and the harsh reality of the world she lived in struck her like lightning. This woman was married, or soon to be so, to her King. The man who rules her kingdom, generates her every command, and gives her her shekels at the end of the day. Her facial expression changed, turned to how it was before the events of the night. The deep blue of her eyes were overpowered by the stormy grey and the smile on her lips faded.

We should head back.

Wulf only grunted in response, already missing the feeling of Ris’ soft, warm hand in her own cold, callused one. She followed behind the group silently, her gaze remaining forward, never shifting. She constantly listened in on the conversations going on around her, taking silent notes. Only when Ris’ blonde curls dipped into her own room and disappeared did Wulf look up, her gaze hopeful. She didn’t even say goodnight. The phrase echoed in her brain until her glare turned glacial once more.

It wasn’t until Lucas put his hand on her shoulder that Wulf was jolted from her short trance. “And goodnight, Wulf. Sleep well.

Wulf’s sharp glare swept across the room before settling on the young king. “Goodnight to you as well, my King.” Without another word, Wulf turned and walked to her room, which was right beside her king’s and one over from Ris’. When she shut her door, it was perhaps a bit too hard, considering the fact that the sound echoed throughout the hall.

Once the door was shut, Wulf locked it, and before anything else, she tore her shirt off. She let out a cavernous groan, so deep it came from the pit of her stomach. It stretched her diaphragm as she unsheathed her sword. Accompanied by a mixture of ease and skill, Wulf lifted a single strap of the binding and slid the blade behind it. With a simple twist of her wrist, the binding tore and slowly unraveled. It took a few seconds, but Wulf just sat there and allowed it to fall onto the cold, hard ground. Once it was all gone, her breasts were free, and she let out a relieved breath. It was risky, sleeping in another person’s castle without shielding her true identity. But her shoulders and ribs hurt, and she needed some real rest.

Wulf stripped off her pants as well, leaving her in just men’s underwear. Within the remaining garments was a piece of polished wood, strapped between her legs. It served it’s purpose, but many a woman has gotten the wrong idea since she’s, well, always firm. As she quietly made her way towards her bed, she was stopped in her tracks. On one of the walls was a full body mirror. Although it was dark, her silhouette was visible, and she paused, staring at her reflection. The visible curve of her breasts and her bulge made her smile. But it was a reticent smile, followed by a taciturn laugh. The situation she was in was… so silly. Foolish. Mad, even. Absurd. Here she was, a woman, dressing, fighting, talking, acting like a man, to live a life of nobility and strength. It was hilarious to her, how if anyone found out who she really was, all of her past accomplishments and noble deeds would be disregarded, and she would be shunned. It doesn’t matter what she did, just because she didn’t have a penis, she was worthless. Practically.

But then there was the self-denigration. She was a freak. Why couldn’t she be like the other women? Like Ris? Why couldn’t she love a man and be a pretty face beside him, pumping out children at his want and whim? But then again… that wasn’t was Ris was.

Wulf ran her fingers through her hair, which had started to fringe up. Maybe she didn’t want to be Ris. Maybe she… maybe she wanted… wanted her?

“Stop.” Wulf stared at herself in the mirror as if she was scolding one of her unruly trainees. She even pointed at her reflection. “You know what you’re doing, what you’re thinking, Chryseis. We’ve worked too hard for this, don’t let your cock get in the way.” Her voice was filled with true venom and hatred for herself, for the way she was. Her eyes were wide, wild, and her frizzed hair added to her feral look.

Without another word, Wulf turned and walked to her bed. If she stayed there, she feared that she would have shattered that mirror. The bed received her tired, limp body happily, so plump and soft and seemingly warm already. She was exhausted, mentally and physically, and she had no idea why. She barely did anything. Perhaps that’s why sleep didn’t come easily. For hours she tossed and turned under the blankets, her mind refusing the rest. Only when she thought the sun was surely up did Wulf surrender to the deity of sleep.

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Character Portrait: Lucas Brigham Character Portrait: Loria Estermont Character Portrait: Chryseis Wulfston Character Portrait: Loras Estermont Character Portrait: Character Portrait:
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A collab between Starlight and Demai




The sun was absolutely brutal; the Eastern Palace never got heat like this. It seemed as if every ray of sunlight was beating down on Wulf, who was wearing a suit of armor, albiet light. Her metal chestplate, shoulder guards, gauntlets, protected her upper half, while leather plates guarded her thighs, groin, and shins. Her wolf helm sat on her head, opened for now, so the whooping crowds around her could see her face. Rook, her sturdy courser, knew what was going on. The stallion was playing up the crowd, throwing his head back, stomping his hooves, trotting about in a circle. Wulf simply allowed this to happen, with her red and black lance in hand. Personally, Wulf prefers the melee over the joust. Swordfighting was, is, a big part of her life, running at people with ten foot long poles was not.

Wulf was busy gazing elsewhere, searching the royal crowd for both her king and his soon to be wife. Once she caught sight of those light blonde curls, she seemed to relax a bit more, and she wasn't sure why. Wulf was to joust against Ris' older brother, the captain of Seabel's guard. And she wasn't sure which situation was worse; her losing the joust and embarrassing herself, or winning the joust and having Ris be angry with her for injuring her brother. Stop that. One person being mad at you will not amount to your whole kingdom being mad at you. She told herself, over and over, but Ris wasn't just one person.

A quiet horn was sounded, warning the jousters that they must get into positions. It was then that Wulf's expression changed. They wanted a show? They were going to get a show. She pulled back on Rook's reigns, and the horse reared, whinnying loudly, while Wulf thrusted her lance into the air. The crowd went crazy, hollering and chanting the two captain's names'. When Rook's front hooves hit the ground, Wulf jerked her head downwards, closing her helm so that only her sharp grey eyes were visible. She steered her steed to their position, shifting her grip on her shield.

Ris truly wished that she could get closer to what was happening, despising her place so far away from the railing. As future queen of Falor, she was seated up and away from the field. It was probably meant to give her a better view and a better chance at keeping her dress clean from dust--but truly, she couldn't care less. The material was dark, and it was her brother down there, his hair tied back and his helmet tucked under his arm, and Ris' hand was white-knuckled where she held to the armrest of her seat. The rest of her body language was calm, if tense. Image

She met her brother's gaze for a moment, offering up an encouraging smile, and he grinned in return. He was doing better after last night, and silly as it was, she'd made him take a kerchief of her own. It was hanging off the end of his lance, tied carefully, and silently, she wished him luck. He'd be okay, she told herself. She was simply a worrier.

Of course, that only got worse the second that she glanced to her brother's opponent. She knew those eyes--they had been full of laughter the night before, lifting her off her feet and spinning her around. Her brother was going up against Wulf? She'd thought he was going later, she may have hoped that he was going later--and yet, there he was, his horse's hooves kicking up plumes of dust. She wasn't surprised, she had to say. Two Captains from either side of a civil war... If it was a show that the masses wanted, she thought, not realizing that she was echoing Wulf's own thoughts, it would certainly be found here. On instinct, she reached out a little, finding Lucas' hand even as she mouthed good luck to Wulf.

Loras had recognized his opponent as well, shooting him a vaguely amused look as he ran a gloved hand over his horse's mane, soothing it as he murmured to it. Perhaps he'd be able to use this Captain's flair for the dramatic against him--but in all reality, he knew not to underestimate anyone at that point. Certainly, he'd learned that at age thirteen, when he first met his little sister. The horn sounded--he looked to his sister once more for support, and chuckled at the sudden screams that came from the stands. He mirrored Wulf's stance, his lance reaching for the clouds as if intent on conquering them next, bellowing a warlike cry that was immediately returned by his men, who were doubtless going to tease him silly whether he won or lost. Then, he moved into his position across from the other Captain as Ris barely dared to breathe, her blue eyes fixed upon the scene before them and her hand holding tightly to her fiance's, seeking comfort from him in some way. "Best of luck to you," Loras called to Wulf, as his horse pawed at the ground.

Rook flared his nostrils and snorted, shaking his head and long mane, with his dark eyes gleaming in the sunlight. The mount was as enthralled as she was. "And too you as well, Captain." She shouted, her own voice echoing within her helmet. The moments before the horn sounded seemed to last for ever with time slowing down. Wulf was hyper aware of her senses; the smell of dirt and sweat, the sight of every chink in Loras' armor, the feeling of Rook's beastly muscles flexing and shifted anxiously, and the noise of the crowds shouting and hollering. But the loudest sound to Wulf was her own breathing, one in, one out. Her heartbeat thundered in her chest, but at a slow rate. This was a battle, and Wulf knew how to battle.

Wulf's whole body grew tense at the bellowing of the starting horn, but she quickly relaxed, along with a wide grin spreading across her face. She raised her lance and tilted her head back, shouting at the top of her lungs, "For Falor, yah!" Rook screamed along with her as soon as he started to break into a full-tilt gallop, and the crowd exploded, pounding on the ground and rafters, shouting the Captains' names with rhythm once more.

Now the that joust had started, time seemed to slow down. Wulf placed her lance accordingly, aiming it at Loras' shield. But just before the two of them collided, she shifted it upwards, aiming it at the chink in the armor between Loras' chest and shoulder pieces. Meanwhile, the second that her opponent's lance would have collided with her shield, Wulf shifted both the shield and in her saddle, so that the lance would just scrape by. It seemed as if Wulf was being knocked off her saddle, but she knew exactly what she was doing; her powerful thighs still had a firm hold on her horse.

Loras moved his faceplate down, sea-blue eyes cloudy and unreadable behind the metal. He took a deep breath, letting himself calm, taking in his opponent. He was aware of only a few sets of eyes on him, but those were the most important. Whether he won or lost, he'd make them proud, he hoped. He had little to nothing to lose in either case--he wasn't a betting man, and this wouldn't be deciding the fate of two kingdoms or anything. If so, Seabel and Ostwall would already be in huge trouble.

For a moment, just this moment, everything was an extension of him. The lance a finger, the horse his legs. He wasn't just in the fight, he was the fight. The sun shone off his armor, the dust clung to the soles of his shoes--and what a sight the two of them were, preparing to run at each other for a crowd's entertainment. He echoed Wulf's yell, supporting his kingdom of Seabel, his own deep voice rising to the crowd and sparking screams in return. Regardless of all else, this was still his kingdom right then.

His horse started off--his gaze was fixed on Wulf, the lance aimed for the shield. His fatal flaw was that he wasn't planning on dismounting him on the first round. One hit for entertainment, and then they would go true. Moments before they hit, though, Wulf's lance moved--and while Loras' hit the shield, likely throwing her grip off somewhat, the other Captain's lance hit where it aimed. A sharp stab of pain hit him, and the resounding clang was barely heard by him. Ris was halfway to her feet by the time he reached the other side, his horse turning around without his instruction.

Rook followed Wulf's silent orders, turning at the other end of the field. Wulf shifted her grip on her lance, flexing her fingers to make sure hold was just as strong. Whilst letting out a deep breath, she rolled her shoulders and stretched her neck. She felt confident, knowing that she had hit exactly where she wanted to. The blow to the shoulder would weaken Loras' grip on his lance, meaning it wouldn't be as hard for Wulf to deflect his strikes.

The crowd's whooping and hollering sent a surge of strength through Wulf. Despite the fact that she was deep into Seabel, the citizens around her were still shouting her name, desiring her victory just as much as her.

When the horn sounded once more, Wulf let out another rallying cry, thrusting her lance into the air before Rook surged forward. She aimed her lance at Loras' shield once again, but, similar to the last time, Wulf shifted her lance. The tip of it was aimed at Loras' thigh this time, right at the chink between the bottom of his chestplate and the top of his thigh guard.

Loras was well aware that he likely wouldn't make it much into the second round by the time they got turned around. He grinned at the sounds of the crowd, in any case, letting the competition melt away in favor of having a little fun. He winked up at his sister, offering her silent reassurance that allowed her to settle back into her chair at last. He rolled his shoulder back, twirling his lance in the air, leading his horse in a playful little trot that gained laughter from the multitudes. Then, he faced front once more, leveling his lance forward. "If you'd avoid lopping my limbs off, I'd be mighty grateful," He quipped, amusement clear in his gaze.

Then, the horn sounded once more and off they went, hooves thundering and dust rising and crowds screaming--

Loras' gaze flicked up to the king of Ostwall, this time, catching the tiniest bit of movement out of the corner of his eye. No one would be able to tell the source of this, the smallest of distractions, and his gaze was back on his opponent in seconds. He laughed, the sound rising above it all, a sound both familiar and unfamiliar. Then, Wulf's lance hit its mark--and as he lost his grip in a dramatic manner, he swatted at him with the lance, using it as an extension of his arm. It made little difference, of course, but it made the other Captain's armor clang like a gong, as if signifying the end of the match

Loras hit the ground, the breath knocked out of him a little, the lance ending up near his hand as the dust dimmed the shimmer of his armor.

Wulf couldn't help but smirk when Captain Loras hit the ground, even if it had been in quite the exacerbated manner. This was a victory for not only Wulf, but for Falor, regardless of how ridiculous or silly he made the event out to be. Rook could sense the shift in expression from his master as she sat back. The black stallion began trotting in an ambling gait, his tail swishing behind him playfully. Wulf could only chuckle. The courser did look gorgeous; she would have to tip Seabel's stable boy later.

She did, however, steer the horse to the end of the field before turning and making his way back towards the other Captain. When the two were near, Wulf hopped out of the saddle and landed in the dirt with a steady stance. Walking towards Loras, Wulf pulled her helm off, shaking her sweaty locks around for a moment before standing over the brunet Captain. She held out her free gloved hand, the smile on her face filled with exuberance and sincerity opposed to maliciousness. "My apologies, friend. The removal of your limbs will be saved for the melee. It's much harder to tear off an arm with a stick than a sword, no?" Wulf let out a deep, hearty laugh, hoping the brunet will tolerate her joke and take her hand to both help him up and shake it.

Loras was already sitting up, brushing himself up a little. His focus was only halfway on the way his men were laughing, ready to tease him the second he returned, and the other Captain walking towards him. He was silently assuring his little sister in that moment, promising that he was okay. She was returning the reassurance, ensuring that he knew that all was alright.

He soon looked to Wulf, though, chuckling and taking the offered hand, standing up and taking off his helmet. "You've got good aim." He told him with a crooked grin, pushing his fingers through his hair, getting loose strands out of his eyes. He laughed wholeheartedly at his words, raising an eyebrow at him. "It only takes dedication." He admonished

Wulf let out another deep laugh with a youthful twinkle in her eye as she shook the other man's hand. "Thank you friend, although I can't say I've had much practice charging at people with a ten foot long pole in my hand." Once she released Loras' hand, Wulf grabbed at Rook's reigns, pulling the stallion closer. "I hope I didn't hurt your shoulder too much, perhaps your sister should take a look at it once we join her and the other royals?" Wulf offered, starting to walk towards the stables and silently hoping Loras would get the message and walk with her. Before exiting the field, she waved to the crowd and held her helmet in the air, enjoying the excited cry of the citizens.

"As much as I love Ris, she's not the most perfect of nurses." Loras chuckled, reaching out to find his own horse's reins, reaching up to pat its cheek gently. "She'll be more likely to worry all over me than I am, though." She often worried about his wellbeing far more than he did. Pain was a strange thing to him, to be entirely honest, and perhaps it was something of a good thing, for when a person such as them went down in a real fight, it would cause loss of morale and faith and a thousand other things.

He glanced to Wulf for a moment, tucking his own helmet under his free arm. He seemed to consider saying something, but then a familiar woman with white-blonde hair was waving to them. He grinned up at his sister, raising his helmet into the air for her as he walked alongside Wulf, catching the hint. He rolled his shoulder back absentmindedly, running his fingers along his horse’s mane. He had a way with these animals, it seemed, it calmed at his touch almost automatically.

Wulf couldn’t help but glance up at the royals as well, letting her gaze linger on Ris, perhaps a bit more than she should have. She couldn’t help but clench her jaw slightly; the blonde was too busy fawning over her brother. Stop it, Chryseis. That’s her brother that she barely gets to see. Of course she loves him. When the two of them had left the field, she relaxed a bit more now that they weren’t under the watchful eye of the public.

“Well, sorry about hurting you regardless. These events have a rather… barbaric nature to them, don’t they? Injuring each other for just entertainment. Ah whatever, I suppose that now isn’t the best time to discuss morals.” She shifted her grip on the reigns and Rook snorted, nudging his big head against Wulf’s. She chuckled and patted his nose, and he seemed satisfied.

By the time they reached the stables, the two had engaged in quiet, meaningless conversation. Wulf went about taking the saddle off of Rook, who stretched himself out and shook his head. “I’ve always found these creatures interesting. Most men ride their horses into battle, and if the beast dies, they continue fighting on. The poor horse wouldn’t even know about the situation he’s entering.” Wulf patted Rook’s muscular neck before reaching into a bucket and pulling out a couple of carrots. “Rook has fought many battles with me and sired many a young, strong stallion and mare; I’d be heartbroken if he died.” She couldn’t help but smile.

Loras did catch the slight twitch in the other Captain’s expression as he looked back to him, raising one eyebrow ever so slightly. His gaze flicked back up to the royals, finding nothing there to irritate her, save for his purple-clad sister settling back into her seat. The blonde’s gaze went to Wulf as soon as the other man looked away. Just as Wulf’s gaze had lingered, so did Ris’. She bit her bottom lip, wishing not for the first time that she wasn’t confined to the top tier, that she could move about as she wished. She exhaled slowly, leaning back in her seat, her arms resting upon the chair. What was she doing? In all honesty.

Loras met her gaze once more, and she sent silent assurance that allowed him to walk onward. He glanced back to Wulf as they stepped from the arena. “Much of what we do has a barbaric nature.” He hummed. It wasn’t something new--often, life seemed to be gritty and short. For a man to live into his fifties was something incredible, and his thoughts went to Ulfric, a slight stab of fear momentarily entering his chest that he soon put away to the side. That was a thought for another time. He chuckled at his next words. “There’s something to be said about the crowd fervor, though.” He mused. There was a rush that every combatant got, a thundering of veins and a desire to run straight into things. He glanced to the horse, patting his own as they walked. He passed the reins off to a stableboy soon enough, thanking him and then focusing on the other Captain.

“I find that you can gauge a person by how they treat their servants and their animals.” He mused, crossing his arms before him. Not parents, though, really, he hadn’t spoken to his father of his own accord in years. He smiled at his words, remaining where he was, reaching up to push a strand of dark hair away from his eyes. “You seem to take very good care of him.” He spoke. “It’s rare to see a horse this shiny.” He teased a little. There was a brief pause, and then; “You know, I never pegged you for a dancer.” He hummed, amusement clear in his gaze.

Wulf took pride in the compliment to Rook, in fact, the stallion even seemed to stand up a bit straighter. “Only the best for my boys. You should see my hounds. They stayed back at the Eastern Palace, but they’re pampered like kings.” She laughed quietly before shutting the horse’s stall door with her hip. When Loras brought up the dance, Wulf tensed slightly, expecting some sort of snide and or protective comment about his sister. The statement was a little cheeky, but Wulf still smiled. “Well, neither did my dance teacher. Trust me, I had two left feet in the beginning, despite my deftness on the battlefield.” She waved to the stable boy before exiting the building with Loras.

She then made a wide gesture towards the royals’ rafters. “Shall we join Lady Ris and the others?”

“You should bring them next time. Perhaps it would get Capheus off of my back for a little while. He’s determined that his poor dog is terribly lonely.” Loras’ amusement soon translated into his voice. He had an affection for the man, but really, he was the most exciting of the Auclair siblings. He still suspected him of having been the one to borrow his favorite sword out of the armory right when he wanted it--but of course, it having been returned in shining perfection, he had little proof. He noted how Wulf tensed a little, and he was prepared to drop the subject entirely, until the other Captain was suddenly speaking.

ImageHe chuckled softly, nodding in response. “Then you’ve improved much. Ris looked very happy.” He spoke, nodding to the stable boy before they turned, returning to the sunlight. “Probably a good idea.” He agreed, tilting his chin up the tiniest bit so that he could see the seats where the general royalty currently resided. He knew that he had another round later, but for that moment, he had little to do. Perhaps he could seek Ulfric out, he thought, befriend him a little more thoroughly... In any case, he glanced back to Wulf, extending a gloved hand. “Good game.” He murmured with a little smile, in way of congratulating him.

Wulf met his gloved hand with her own, shaking it firmly, a proud grin on her lips. “Good game to you too, Captain. Hopefully we’ll have a rematch at some point.” After their handshake and friendly words, the two made their way up to where the royals were sat. But once Ris was in eyesight, it seemed as if Wulf completely forgot about the other captain. Her grin turned pleasant, amiable, as she took the empty seat besides Ris. After a few seconds of silence, Wulf realized that she had no idea what to say. Here she was, a noble, formidable leader of war, and she was stunned, practically brought to her knees by this young, attractive, blonde, married woman. Her body language grew rigid, a light redness dusting about her cheeks. “I, uh… Hey. How are you doing? What did you think?” She spoke quickly, hoping to wave away the short moment of embarrassment she just had when she stumbled over her words.

Loras had no seat there, and was poignantly reminded of the split between their kingdoms. He ruffled his sister’s hair, making her chuckle and bat his hand away. She squeezed his wrist gently, and he took up residence behind her for then, watching the show. Ris kept ahold of his wrist, her arm bent as she pressed his hand to her shoulder. When would be the next time they saw each other, after this? Sooner rather than later, she hoped. She offered Wulf a little smile as the Captain sat down, amusement flickering in her gaze at the silence. “Wulf.” She greeted him by name, filling it at least a little. “Better, now that I know you both can still walk.” She hummed in response. “Thank you for not wounding my brother too much. Between us, he’s terribly ticklish.” She lowered her voice teasingly, making him scoff behind her. She chuckled, brushing her thumb over his pulse. “If you find yourself in need of an edge.” She added, entirely innocently.

Her gaze went to her fiance for a moment, and she squeezed his hand gently, both of her hands occupied for then. Then, she looked back to Wulf. The three people she was finding she cared for most were all there right now, and... For a moment, amid the dust and the sun and the screams of the crowd, the woman who had never been satisfied knew what contentment was. Perhaps it was silly, perhaps she was being selfish, but she could almost think of them all as hers for a moment. Then, she reminded herself that they were all present right then, and she should probably go on. “I think the crowds screamed loudest for you two.” She hummed. “You both were wonderful.”

Wulf’s gaze, although softened at the moment, was still keen, ambling over those around her. It mostly lingered on Loras, Lucas and Ris; oh how she was jealous of the men around her. Both were able to touch and hold Ris without the judgement of others. Wulf paused in her observation, realizing that she was, once again, staring silently. She cleared her throat before continuing to talk. “Well, I had hoped that we would both get out of there unharmed, and it seems as if the gods have graced us today for the most part.” Wulf shot a passing glance at Loras with a smile on her face, as if they were sharing an inside joke.

Despite her inability to feel Ris’ warm, soft skin against her own, Wulf was filled with a pleasant sense of ease. All was well, the three kingdoms were sitting together, participating in friendly sport, and even though hearts were racing and crowds were cheering, everything was, in it’s own sense, calm. Wulf let out a deep, relaxing breath, and allowed herself to sink into her chair, enjoying the tranquility. And when Ris complimented her, the pride in her chest swelled, and she sat up again straighter. “Thank you. Your brother and I were just discussing the barbarity of these events, despite their entertainment factor. If only we could amuse a crowd in a more civil manner… Alas, changing tradition is a difficult task, so it seems as if we’re stuck thrusting poles and swords at each other in jest until the end of the day.”

Ris waited patiently for him to speak, using the time to pay attention to the hands that she held. Both were bigger than hers, rougher than hers, but if Loras was anything to go by, hers were the more soothing. Said Captain offered Wulf a crooked smile at her words, and Ris smiled at her reaction. She chuckled softly, wryly, at her words. “Our society is a strange place.” She murmured. One with strange traditions and ideas. “But not nonsensical. People are entertained by things that make them feel alive.” She glanced across the field for a moment, across the gathering of nobles and kings and normal people. “And there is something about being near danger that makes one feel alive.” Her voice was quiet, and Loras squeezed her hand gently.

For one always seeking and never finding, perhaps this was the most alive she had felt in a long time.

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Character Portrait: Lucas Brigham Character Portrait: Loria Estermont Character Portrait: Chryseis Wulfston Character Portrait: Loras Estermont Character Portrait: Character Portrait:
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A collab between Cryptic and Demai




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Lucas was distracted throughout his Captain of the Guard's joust against his fiancè's brother, Loras. His mind was in his own joust. He would be up against Cyprian, his brother-in-law. He had watched the joust between him and the prince of Ostwall. If there was one thing Lucas wasn't, it was a jouster. He could ride a horse just fine, but if you add a really long stick and balance, he was likely to fall flat on his face. And Cyprian was older, stronger, and more experienced. Did he stand a chance?

He felt a squeeze at his hand and looked down, startled out of his thoughts. Ris was holding tight as she watched the joust. He squeezed her hand back, but didn't turn his attention to the joust before them, or even to his thoughts on his joust. Instead, he was looking at her. How did he never realize the things to admire about Loria. Her smiles were stunning, her laughter was infectious, and her hair always smelt amazing and looked so shining and soft. He often wanted to reach out and curl a lock around his finger.

Then the match ended, but Lucas wasn't sure who the winner had been. His body was beginning to shake with nerves. He knew he had to steady himself or he would definitely loose. He wasn't sure what he was so worried about. If he lost, he lost. It didn't say anything about his abilities as king... Did it? Wulf and Loras, now finished with their joust, walked towards Ris and Lucas and she greeted them warmly. Lucas, on the other hand, barely nodded their way before walking down to the stables to prepare his horse and gear. And ready himself. He didn't mean to be rude. His mind just wasn't in the present.

Even in her slight distraction, focused too much on the match where Lucas wasn't paying attention, she could feel his shaking. She rubbed her thumb over his knuckles, soothing him gently, wordlessly. She spoke to Wulf and her brother, but kept Lucas' hand near, lending him her silent support. Then, out of the blue, he stood up. "Lucas?" She questioned, her attention going to him. She excused herself from brother and Captain, squeezing her brother's hand and Wulf's shoulder before going after her fiance. She went at a light jog, her hands full of her skirts. She let half of it go when she reached him, finding his hand once more. She had to admit, she did love holding his hand.

"Lucas." She spoke gently, soon wrapping her arm around him instead, drawing him into half a hug. "You're trembling."

Lucas opened his mouth to reassure her that he was fine, but nothing came out. Instead, he gulped and returned her hug. "To be honest with you, Ris. I'm terrified.' He laughed at himself and shook his head. "I don't know what it is I'm afraid of. Falling from a horse isn't new and i've suffered worse wounds from sword duels." He sighed. "Maybe I'm worried about how losing would make me look to my kingdom." He looked down at her, wanting badly to place a soft kiss on her forehead. It was a new feeling, to want to be affectionate to Ris. "How I would look to you." Image

He wanted to run his hands through his hair, a nervous habit of his, but one hand was on Ris's shoulder in their half-hug and the other was held tightly by his fiancè. His own words seemed to sink in, then. That's what his problem was. He didn't want to be made a fool of. Not in front of his possible enemies and definitely not in front of his fiancè. His Ris. his heart stuttered a bit at that thought, but he moved past it before he could really stop to focus on it. He stopped their movement for a moment and looked into her eyes, dropping his arm, but holding tight to her hand. "Ris, I'm worried about looking like a fool. If I fail, would it appear that I can't lead my kingdom? That I can't protect you? I know it's only a joust, but these people can be vicious, as I'm sure you know. It's more than just a sport to them." He leaned his forehead down to rest it against hers as he had in his relief the night before at finding her safe. "It makes me sick to think that someone might harm you because they believed I couldn't protect you. That they would use you to get to me."

Ris held him a little closer at that, hesitating for the barest moment before leaning up to press a gentle kiss to his cheek. "If Cyprian hurts you, he'll never catch the end of it." That much, she knew. She hated the idea of him being hurt in any way, and she held him a little closer for it. It wouldn't be the first time that she saw someone she loved wounded, her brother was Captain of the Guard for goodness' sake. But it was still something that she would never grow used to. She recalled seeing some of his scars, finding herself momentarily wishing to trace them and knowing that it was likely a bad idea, at least right then. "Losing a joust won't lose you any love from the people." She promised, and her gaze softened at his words. "Or from me." She told him, and sounded entirely confident of that.

She exhaled slowly, squeezing his hand gently and keeping him near. "My brother just lost a joust." She pointed out gently. "And he won't be losing any respect for it. It's a game, Lucas." She promised. She tipped her head up a little to gaze at him, searching his beautiful eyes. Her chest both warmed and tightened at his words. She released his hand for a moment, reaching up to cup his cheek, rubbing her thumb over the bone. "No one will hurt me." She told him. "I swear." She pressed a brief kiss to his forehead. "And I won't let anyone hurt you." For one so small, for a moment, it seemed as if she could command the very stars to protect her fiance. Regardless of winning or losing, she would keep him safe. [color=#1C5BC7][b]"You will be okay." She spoke softly. "Both of us will be. Your job is to have a good time, and that's all you have to worry about. At words, they'll gossip, but there isn't any shortage of that already. You won't lose anything either way." She offered up a soft smile at that.

There was a bit of shock in his eyes at her words. Did she just...Does she love me?" He wondered. They stood so close together, and her kisses were so reassuring. He wanted to believe her. Her hand gently cupped his cheek and he leaned his face into it, nuzzling her palm ever so slightly. She vowed to protect him, which made him smile softly. Does she truly love me?" Her words were soft and they were so close. Their faces were inches apart. Their exhaled breaths mingling between them. He took their intwined fingers in his free hand and brought the back of her hand to his lips. He smiled softly as he gaze into her eyes, longingly.

"Ris," He began, tracing small circles on the back of her hand. "How did we spend so many years practically ignoring each other? It hasn't been long that your father has brought us together in such a way and yet..." He looked down at their hand and then returned his gaze to her eyes. "And yet, I feel as if my world would suddenly be incomplete without you in it."

He reached up to tuck a strand of her loss hair behind her ear. He curled the lock around his finger for a moment before dropping it and bringing his hand to cup her cheek. "Loria," he whispered breathlessly. "I believe I may have fallen in love with you." His fingers slid down her jawline to her chin and he lifted it. At the same time, he leaned down towards her and pressed his lips ever so gently to hers. His other hand reached around her to the small of her back and held her closer to him. He prayed it was the right move. That she wouldn't be overwhelmed and disappear. He wasn't sure he could take it. Not after her words. Not after her kisses. Not after her vow to protect him. This was his vow to her. Nothing would ever harm her and he would never make her unhappy.

Ris was infinitely aware of how near they were, suddenly, sharing breath. She was close enough to see the flaws in his irises, and she let her hand slip into his hair for a moment, in hopes of keeping him near. She didn't think she could stand it if he moved away all of a sudden, but judging by the look in his eyes, neither of them were going anywhere anytime soon. A faint dusting of pink colored her cheeks when he kissed her hand, and she searched his gaze for a moment. He spoke her name, and Ris loved how the familiar nickname turned into something so gentle on his lips. A soft laugh dropped from her lips, and she shook her head a little, though she couldn't bring herself to look away from him for even a moment. "We were children." She murmured. And perhaps they still were, but... "How are children to know the things of the future?"

For a second, she could almost allow herself to be grateful to her father. In general, she held little affection for the man. But if it weren't for him and his plans and whatever else, she wouldn't be standing there right then. She couldn't help the smile that came to her lips at his words, and now it was her turn to take their hands and draw them near, kissing his knuckles softly. For the first time, she had hope that she would be able to find some form of satisfaction in her life. Perhaps she wouldn't always be searching... And to think. All of this had just been under her nose, waiting for her.

She leaned into his touch automatically, forgetting about keeping the hem of her skirt up, not quite caring at that point. She caressed his cheek softly, smiling at how gently he treated her. She was by no means delicate, but the thought that she could be something other than cold was appealing. He used her full name this time, and she opened her mouth to tell him that she was only Ris, that she wasn't a far-off Loria. She was familiar, she hoped. But perhaps the use of her true name was fitting for the next words that he spoke. Her hand went to grasp his wrist, and his words and his touch almost took her breath away. As it was, for a moment, she forgot how her lungs worked. She barely had time to respond with anything besides his name before he was kissing her, and she smiled into his lips, drawing him down to kiss him softly in reply. It felt as if something slotted into place inside of her as she recognized how well they fit together. Silently, she promised that she was going nowhere. "You believe?" She murmured playfully when he finally pulled away, and she kissed his nose. "Well, I believe I return the feelings, Luca." She shortened his name affectionately.
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His new nickname as well as her confession of feeling the same way about him as he did her undid him. A bright, happy smile spread across his face and lightening his eyes. Luca. He liked the sound of that on her lips. It was a nickname that only she was allowed to use. He scooped her up into his arms, so she was gazing down at him, and spun her around. He never knew happiness like this before. He was suddenly so sure about everything his future held for him. As long as she was by his side, he could do anything. He could joust his brother-in-law and win or lose, he would feel like a winner.

He set her down once more and placed a kiss on her forehead, nose, and--finally--her lips before he took a hold of her hand, his confidence restored, and lead her towards the stables. "Ris, I can do this now. I can see it." He looked at her, still grinning like a madman. "I can do anything as long as you're by my side. You feel the same don't you?" They entered the stables, oblivious to anyone else and he gathered his armor, ready for "battle". "Care to help me out?"

Once he was ready, he said, "I will protect you. I promise. No matter what comes our way. I know you have my back." He gave her one final kiss. "I love you, Ris."

Ris couldn't help but smile at how his face lit up, and she made a sound of surprise when she was suddenly lifted once more, as if she weighed absolutely nothing. She couldn't help but laugh, holding tight to him just as she had held tight to Wulf the night before. Her heart warmed at the thought of Wulf as well. These two men... Goodness, how had she become this lucky? And on the other hand, how had her life become this complicated? She hadn't expected affection to come out of this engagement... Much less affection towards two different people. She hadn't even considered the possibility that her affections might be returned in either case. And... perhaps this gave her a little more hope with Wulf as well.
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She settled back onto her feet, gazing up at him with mirth in her eyes and his nickname on her lips. "I adore you." She teased gently, clearly informing him that he was silly at the same time. Was she just fun to lift up off the ground, she wondered. She wrapped her arms around him, hugging him close and kissing him softly in return. Her whole chest warmed at how he looked; it seemed that if she asked, he would leap to the moon and bring it back. She squeezed his hand, kissing his knuckles for good measure. "I do." She confirmed with a little smile. "And whatever happens, I'll be supporting you." She promised. That would never change. She chuckled softly, releasing his hand only to find the chainmail that he would wear underneath his armor, helping to clothe him in his armor. "How you can stand to wear this much metal all at once, I will never know." She teased.

She finished helping him, securing breastplate and guards and buckles. "I know you will." She told him as she came to his front once more, finding both of his now gloved hands, squeezing them gently. "Stay intact." She instructed him, searching his gaze and then kissing him back softly. "I'll be cheering for you." She promised with a soft smile. She kissed his forehead once more, for good luck, and then drew back. "I love you too." She told him. Then, she watched as he walked away from her. She reassured herself with the thought that he would return to her, and then picked up her skirts, starting back towards the seats so that she would have a better view of him.

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Character Portrait: Mary Hardin Character Portrait: Loras Estermont Character Portrait: Christoph Estermont Character Portrait: Corinna Auclair Character Portrait: Character Portrait:
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After his offhand remark, Christoph had fallen into a period of silence to watch Ronan and Cyprian joust. He gave a short cheer as Ronan fell to the ground, securing the bet he'd placed. It hadn't been a risky bet, for after the night before, very few would have dared to place a coin on Ronan. Still, he hadn't lost money, and that was what mattered to him in that moment.

He opened his mouth once more, daring to speak to Corinna again, but he cut himself off as Mary made her way to the stands and waved at him. "Do excuse me, my ladies," he said, standing as Loras and Wulf took to the field. Christoph edged his way out of the row of seats he'd placed himself in and made his way to his lover.

"How are you this morning?" he asked as he took a seat beside her. Christoph placed a hand on her thigh and pressed a kiss to her cheek before looking back at her. "I trust you slept well. It didn't seem right to wake you." He turned forward again, watching as his son hurtled down the field at Wulf. He didn't catch what went wrong, but suddenly his son had fallen to the ground, and Christoph stood instinctively, waiting for his son to sit up and then stand up.

Once he had, Christoph let himself exhale and settle back into his seat. He certainly was a cold man - his own children could attest to that - but he still cared for them, loved them as dearly as a father ought to. And so it might have been a bit of a surprise to see Christoph, a man of such little self-expression, react so to the joust. But his moment of concern was easily overlooked, just as they had been for years. Each lesson, each scraped knee, each bedtime story - he had littered his children's lives with small signs of affection, but they weren't much, and he knew that.

He placed a hand over one of Mary's, bringing himself back into the present.

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Character Portrait: Ronan Ulfricson Character Portrait: Cedany Ulfricdottir Character Portrait: Ulfric Bjornson Character Portrait: Loras Estermont Character Portrait: Genevieve Hansdottir Character Portrait: Adelaide Ulfricdottir
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As per usual, Ulfric kept to himself throughout the event. When Genevieve gasped, he jumped in his seat as well, gripping the arms of his chair out of instinct. He didn't even have a moment to reply to her before she stood and pressed a kiss to his temple. By the time he'd opened his mouth, she'd run off, and Cedany followed in suit.

He wasn't surprised by it, of course. Not that they often abandoned him, but he was used to this sort of solitude. It shouldn't have fazed him, but he couldn't help but frown to himself - a combination of the pain he was in and his own thoughts. Ulfric looked over at Adelaide for a moment, watching her as she looked out on the jousting field. For a moment, he thought to speak up, perhaps thinking to give her some words of consolation. But whatever he thought to say was lost to him almost as soon as he tried to put it to words, and so he turned away from her again.

"He'll be fine," he blurted all of a sudden, not even entirely sure he'd meant to speak up. But this silence between him and his remaining two children was unbearable. Still, he supposed he only made it more awkward by speaking so extemporaneously. And so he fell silent once more as he watched Loras and Wulf stride horseback on to the field. His interest piqued, and he shifted in his seat, watching the match with the most passion he'd felt for something in a while.

And why was that? This young man meant nothing to him, and yet he couldn't help but focus on him. He reminded him of something, not necessarily a person, but of an art to fighting and chivalry that wasn't even an art at all. He was the men he'd fought alongside, the ones he had shared drinking songs and tall tales with when the day was over. Something came over him then, a wave of affection that he hadn't felt for another human in far too long. And when the object of his affections was dismounted, Ulfric couldn't help but flinch as well as if, perhaps, he'd put himself into Loras's boots.

He'd surprised himself with his reaction, and he mulled over the whole affair as Loras returned to the stands, walking past him. "I've got to...stretch my legs," he said to his children, though he didn't make eye contact with them. He was already standing and walking towards Loras.

Ulfric took a seat beside the Captain and smiled. "Do hope I'm not interrupting," he began, extending his legs before himself. "I wanted to apologize for last night. I hadn't meant to leave you. Would have come back if not for..." He trailed off now but suddenly turned to Loras, hoping to meet his eyes. "And I wished to congrate you on a well-run joust. Certainly better than my boy's. Man like you must have come from the army - not one of those noblemen taught to run up and down the field. A real, seasoned soldier." He fit clenched for a moment for emphasis, but he released it suddenly, laughing to himself. "Listen to me ramble. Don't suppose I've spoken this much in years."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Juliana Auclair Character Portrait: Chryseis Wulfston Character Portrait: Capheus Auclair Character Portrait: Loras Estermont Character Portrait: Cyprian Auclair Character Portrait:
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A collab between Sunshine and Demai





Juliana laughed along with Capheus after she heard his comment about a teenaged Cyprian. She shook her head and waved her hand in the air, trying to catch her breath as she did after a small sigh. She imagined a young Cyprian, arrogant and cocky, as if the world rested upon his shoulders. She looked over towards him once again and saw a certain look in his eye. She didn't want to say anything about just yet but when the time came, she knew that she was. When he spoke about the cheater, she nodded her head towards him. "Yes. That's him. I still want his head on a spike." Juliana said through clenched teeth as she was still determined to catch the little, foul worm.

Her eyes diverted over towards when he said that he was always sleepy. She thought it was a cover-up so that he wouldn't have to answer her question, so she let it go either way because she adored Capheus. "You slept through an earthquake? Really, Capheus?" She tapped her chin with her index finger as she then pointed towards him. "I was wondering why I didn't see you in the safe building I had gathered everyone at." She muttered while her eyes peered before her. She had shushed Capheus for a moment as Loras was about to joust next against her brother's captain, Wulf.

Her heart pounded as the hooves of the horse's collided against the dirt below them. When their lances struck, she stood up with a gasp as the crowd wasn't paying attention. They were too busy encouraging the bout between the two captains as she slowly sat down. She was silent for a moment as her eyes peered and the horn sounded for another match between Loras and Wulf. Juliana gasped again but this time in her seat and leaned back a little. She saw that Loras was laying down on the ground then saw him get up. She exhaled while her hand still rested upon her chest.

Juliana looked at Capheus again as she shuddered a little bit. "I honestly don't know why I host these things." Juliana muttered to herself but loud enough for Capheus to hear her. Her gaze was still locked upon him as she parted her lips to speak. "News spreads fast around here." She said while she nodded her head over towards him. "But yes. I've invited most of their members to visit our palace." Her eyes looked left and right as she leaned in a little bit closer to Capheus. "I am trying to snag their ambassador. Charming, intelligent fellow. He shall be my ambassador before they leave. You know I always get what I want." She nodded towards him with reassurance as she was a little hellbent on getting their ambassador to be hers. She needed an ambassador of Seabel, to be honest.

The head on a spike comment sort of took him off guard, and it was a little hard to imagine a Seabel castle with a head stuck out on the front gate. The initial thought was a little amusing; it would be... Interesting, for sure. But perhaps bad for foreign relations. He shrugged innocently at her question, laughing and tipping his head back against the wooden seat, his curls smushed up against it for a moment. "What can I say? I'm a man of many talents." He teased in response.

He paused when Loras and Wulf thundered at each other, sitting forward a little to see what was about to happen. Two Captains going up against each other--it was certainly a sight to see. Juliana's response was interesting, for her to practically stand up. Her expression was mirrored by Lady Loria's, off to their side, and he reached over, squeezing her wrist softly in comfort. "They know what they're doing." He murmured. It was just a joust, as frustrating as it was to watch people ram into each other. Hopefully, the only injury that would come out of it would be bruises.

He released her when she relaxed, letting her sit down. His brow furrowed a little, and he leaned towards her a little at her words, listening carefully. That was... How did one steal an ambassador? Maybe he'd be the one to steal her away, he thought, and amusement flickered in his mind at that. Wouldn't that be quite the romance novel. In any case, it would be fascinating to meet these people. "Best of luck." He admonished. "When will they be arriving?"

Juliana's gaze went towards Capheus when had asked her when will the islanders be arriving to her Kingdom. She pondered a moment on the question as she didn't even know herself, to be honest. But with a shrug of her shoulders, she decided to give him an answer anyway. Knowing that he wouldn't take silence as an answer. "Soon, I hope. I don't have a definite time frame to tell you, Capheus." She muttered towards him while her eyes went back to watching a few more jousting bouts.
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"I just told them to get here wherever they can and make sure that Su, that's the ambassador's name, was with them. If not, them they might as well not come." She continued to respond towards him as her gaze went back towards him now. "You're such a curious fellow, aren't you?" She stated towards him as she looked back out at the jousts and see the field being cleared after the last bout.

Juliana sat comfortably in her chair right about now, well, that was until she saw her husband, Cyprian and her brother, Lucas about joust each other. She stood up with a gasp and eyed both competitors as she wondered who condoned this between them. Her eyes bounced from Cyprian and Lucas she didn't really know who to root for. She wanted to root for her husband, yes but at the same time, she wanted to root for her dear brother. "What the hell is going on here?"

She was upset that this joust was about to take place as she wanted to hike up her skirt and leave, not wanting to witness this. Juliana looked down at Capheus then sat down in her seat, sitting back as she watched. She was rooting for her brother, Lucas, for sure as she leaned up a little when their horses hooves thundered against the dirt. When Lucas' lance crashed against Cyprian's armor, she silently cheered and applauded. Her eyes peered towards Capheus. "Don't tell your brother that I wasn't rooting for him." She commented towards Capheus then continued to stare at him. "Also, why so eager for the islanders to arrive?" She raised a brow up at him then smiled. "Thinking about getting you one of those island women, Capheus?" She asked him while playfully shoving him to the side with a laugh escaping over her parted lips.

Capheus shrugged a little, offering up a crooked grin. "What can I say, I'm not known for my patience." He teased, chuckling softly. In all reality, his patience had been stretched to the limits over the past little while. His Asten was worth every stolen moment, though, and the nights belonged to them and only them. How he loved him. Upon even thinking of him, his dark eyes softened the barest bit. He nodded a little at her words, drawing himself back to the present. "Su?" He repeated, his grin still fully in place. "I haven't heard a name that simple in so long. It's refreshing." Even his own name was so dramatic. Capheus. Goodness, if that wasn't pretentious, he didn't know what it was.

Juliana looked towards Capheus when he question the islander ambassador's name. She looked over at him with a light laugh. "Yes, Su. I think it's quite exotic. Despite him being from the islands." She had muttered towards him. She absolutely couldn't wait until the islanders came upon her shores so that she could see Su. That was really the only person she cared about seeing, to be honest.

He shrugged once more at her words, offering up an innocent look. "What can I say, I like to know things." He chuckled softly. "It's one of my best traits." He admonished. He looked back to the field as soon as his brother and brother-in-law took the field. He raised his hands to his lips immediately, whistling loud and clear for his brother, leaning forward to make sure that he could hear. He grinned, shouting Cyprian's name afterwards, having already made his decision on who to root for. Really, unless Cyprian was going up against his Asten, he was going to be supporting his brother. "The crowd wants a show, madam." He murmured, watching as the two ran at each other.

He winced when his brother was sent flying to the ground, but he still cheered his name, hoping that he would be able to hear. He laughed at her words, sitting back in his chair once more. "My lips are sealed." He hummed. Her preference was understandable. He beamed at the sight of his brother coming over to them, and he was caught off guard by her nudge. He laughed at her words, loud and full and happy. Oh, if only she knew. "You know me, majesty." He teased. "I'm excellent at sweeping people off their feet."
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"You like to be informed, I can tell." Juliana chuckled along with him as he said that it was one of his best traits. She shook her head and even rolled her eyes as of course, he had rooted for Cyprian during the joust. It was a rather typical thing for him to do. When Cyprian had fallen off of his horse due to Lucas' lance connecting to him. Juliana didn't budge a muscle though she did smirk, just a little though. She then straightened herself up as she nodded her head towards Capheus.

A few minutes went by and her husband was coming over towards them. Hearing Capheus' last words made her laugh as she looked at him, ruffling his hair as if he was a pet. It wasn't meant to be taken that way though. Her eyes gleamed up towards Cyprian as he nodded his head towards them before sitting down. Juliana leaned over and kissed his cheek. "You were absolutely stunning, my love." She mentioned as she turned back towards Capheus. "Wasn't he stunning, dear Capheus?" She waited for Capheus to respond before her gaze turned back towards Cyprian.

Capheus chuckled, shaking his head a little to get his hair back into its semblance of sanity. He offered his brother a bright grin, reaching over to squeeze his shoulder. "Absolutely perfect." He added, nodding sagely. He'd done well, letting Lucas win, and he hoped that he knew that. "I think he has one more round." He addressed his sister in law soon enough. He'd heard rumor of that, but so had everyone else, probably. "You know, Juliana, you should go up and try your hand." He made it clear that he was teasing. "I think you'd do wonderfully."

Her gaze went from Cyprian towards Capheus as he made a teasing comment towards her. She eyed him then chuckled while she shook her head. "Oh, please. I'd die out there." She muttered then continued to look at Capheus. "As I stated earlier, I am surprised you're not out there, Capheus. I am sure you'll be as stunning as your brother here." Juliana teased back towards him while she looked at the jousts that were taking place before them and even reached to grab a hold of Cyprian's hand, smiling warmly towards him.

"I'm grateful for your faith in me," Capheus hummed, amusement clear in his voice. It wasn't that he'd certainly fall over--it was more that he didn't want to condone all of this. "Perhaps I'll go for the last round." He mused, sitting back to watch the next bout. "I expect you to be cheering for me." He teased.

Juliana nodded her head towards Capheus as she really did think he'd do great in a joust. He simply had the structure and body of one who jousts, to be honest. Not that she looked at him in that manner but it was quite obvious when he entered the room. "Oh, Capheus, you might just want to sit this one out now. All the good competitors already went, honestly." She eyed him with another nod of her head. "Of course I'll cheer for you whenever you joust or duel. Might even give you a good luck charm." She winked towards him, completely forgetting that Cyprian was beside them even though her hand was inside of his.