Announcements: Initiative: Promoting Forum Roleplay » Universe of the Month! » Finding Universes to Join (and making yours more visible!) » Guide To Universes On RPG » Starter Locations & Prompts for Newcomers » RPG Chat — the official app » USERNAME CHANGES » Suggestions & Requests: THE MASTER THREAD »

Latest Discussions: Empty Skies » Does Mind Affect the World? » I have an announcement. » Iskjerne Ballad by dealing_with_it » Viking Music / Norse Songs - Germanic Paganism » Capitalism » Panspermia: a Case for Cordyceps » The Ethics on owning a Housepet » I just really had to share this plot idea. » Materialism » Satire & Comedy » Platonic numbers » No complaints (a little bit of rappin) » Any multi-player roleplay videogamers here? » Needing a woman's perspective on a concept » Gluts and Gaps » Universal Basic Income » Impending Pursuit Q&A » Eudaimonia » Loot! »

Players Wanted: Long term partner to play an older male wanted » DEAD! » Looking for new RP Buddy(s)! » Sands of Oblivion » Looking for Role Players to join an active universe » Looking for Empire of Cendalia Players » Seeking Roleplayers for The Isekai Wonderland Project » Hadean The Brave - Fresh Blood » Just a trophy of status - long term, story focus! » Kingdom come looking for roleplayers » The Last Dragon! » Roleplay Return for 1 x 1 » Players wanted for a science fiction adventure. » Players needed for Fantasy Romance reboot » One(1) male & Two(2) Female Roles OPEN <3 » Talmora: Kingdom of magic » Looking For A New Partner » Hellboy characters » 18+ Writing Partner [Fantasy, Romance, Etc.] » 18+, Multi-Para to Novella Writers please! »

0
followers
follow

Loria Estermont

She that from wild and radiant blood arose.

0 · 1,339 views · located in Tiberia

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

Description

Image
Image
”my mouth is a frozen wasteland
clear sharp ice and sharper teeth
for women and wolves have a lot in common
and blunt jaws won't protect me from the world
so i'll take a whetstone to my bones
and sharpen them to javelins”


“I will never be satisfied.”




Image




Image
Image
Image

Image
Image
Image

Full Name: Loria Iriseini Estermont

Nicknames: Ris

Gender: Female

Age: 17

Rank/Title: Noblewoman, Future Queen of Falor

Sexual Orientation: Bisexual

Kingdom/Alliance: Falor




Image




Image
Image
Image
Image

Description
Ris has one of those faces that could be both centuries old and far too young. Her features are smooth, and her eyes are ancient, far beyond the seventeen years that she has had on this planet. In form, Ris is by no means intimidating. She stands at about 5 feet, 3 inches, and often has to look up to see people. She has a slight indent in her chin, and when she smiles, she has a pair of dimples in her cheeks. She often looks down to smile, but rarely will she cover her mouth to hide it. She walks a fine line between enclosed and open, and lets people assume of her what they will. When she smiles, she either will smile with a tightness at the corners of her lips or her whole face will light up with joy. Her skin is pale, and as such, it lights up with a blush easily. There are warm undertones to her skin in any case, and she rarely wears makeup.

Ris' features are smooth, as a whole. She sports few scars and few significant markings, save for a particular burn scar that bursts across her shoulder. As a child, she had no such grace such as she has now, and she was playing tag with her older brother. She tripped on a rock, went flying, and ended up falling into a still-hot firepit. The wood had burned to ash, but the ash embedded itself in her arm. There are rumors that the ashes favored her and leapt at her, which is why her hair is that color, but she was born with it. More on that later. Ris rarely attempts to hide this scar, as it is beautiful in her own way. Whatever rumors may come of it, let them come. Other than that, her skin is nearly perfect.

Ris has lovely hazel-blue eyes, framed by pale lashes that catch the sunlight and shine gold. Sometimes, she paints them with dark makeup, which only makes her eyes stand out further. Her irises start out with a smoky black ring, turning to blue and green and then to brown just around the pupil. They're bright and piercing, as if they can see far more than what actually exists before her. She doesn't actually have X-ray vision, but she is very good at reading people. They are set above high cheekbones.

Ris' most prominent feature, however, is not her scars or her lovely eyes. It is her hair, which falls to her hips in long curls. It looks terribly soft, and she can often be found twirling locks of it around her fingers. In color, it is a silvery white, one that is unique to the women of her line. She has never known her mother, so she only knows this from the tales that her older brother spins for her. Ris usually wears it half up and half down, with braids arching along the top and joining together at the back, and two long locks kept loose to frame her face. She has a few parts that are shorter than the rest, and sometimes, they will come loose. Those, she often tucks behind her ears.

Ris' brows are dark, and she has a rosebud of a mouth and a prominent hollow of her throat. She is a slip of a woman, but she is clearly a woman, and she holds her chin high and speaks with a gently accented voice. She is a soprano, and when she sings, she has an operatic voice that fills a whole room. Whether she is singing or not, she can make herself heard without having to yell. Projection is one of her skills. Sometimes, it seems to be a marvel that such a small woman has such a strong voice. She has pianist's fingers and enjoys wearing blue and gold. She has an excellent posture, and often feels warm to the touch. Despite appearing small, though, there is a fire in her eyes and a steel in her bones that would be hard to miss. She wears little jewelry, outside of earrings and a teardrop sapphire necklace.




Image




Image
Image
Image
Image
Image

Personality
{Patient, Capable, Unsatisfied, Crafty}
As a general rule, noblewomen are meant to be pretty, fertile, and empty in the head. Ris fulfills the first, has no idea about the second, and is certainly not the third. Ris is very aware of her surroundings, and of what is going on around her. She is aware that she is a tool, a figurehead and a symbol of riches and power. She knows that she is being used--and so, she knows how to use others. She is a terribly sore loser, though she knows how to bide her time.

Ris is terribly patient, in many ways. She is patient with her brother, when he teased her. She is patient with her father, as he sets her up to be engaged to a king a few years younger than she. And she is patient with her own plans. Ris loves to plan ahead. She's always prepared, whatever may come, and she truly dislikes being caught off guard. Ris likes to be given lots of time and warning for whatever's coming her way. Springing things on her sometimes leads to a snappish Ris.

Ris is very capable, as well. She can handle a lot, and sometimes she tries to take too much into her shoulders. She would carry the whole world if she could. She is still young, and she doesn't know her limits as well as she should. She pushes herself too hard often, and when she is truly dedicated to a project or to mapping something out, she will forgo food and sleep until it is finished. Sometimes, she falls asleep in her breakfast. It's terribly endearing.

Ris is terribly sweet, in general, and she loves to tease people. She may enjoy plotting, but she does like to have fun. She likes sneaking into the kitchens, and has befriended every single chef. Ris loves food, and she always has something to talk about. It not that she loves the sound of her voice--in fact, she's not the biggest fan of it. She uses it as a distraction, often. If she's talking a lot, it's a sure sign that she's stressed or in pain. She hates being cut off or interrupted, and is not above being terribly passive-aggressive in response. She likes being in the thick of things, learning and listening and gathering information.

Ris occasionally acts vacuous and giggly, mostly for the benefit of the court, but she is brilliant otherwise. She can read at the speed of light, and she adores math and science. If she could study her surroundings all day, she would. This leads to a deep adoration for the outdoors on her parts. She stands out in the words, thanks to her hair, but she will spend hours in the forest, cataloging flowers and wildlife. She's excellent at sketching. She loves art, and has a horrible weakness for pretty things. She collects pressed flowers and pretty earrings and paintings. Her own room is littered with friezes of her own creation. Taking her to an art auction is a dangerous activity, because she will buy all of it.

Ris is only empty in the sense that she feels that she may never be full. She will never be satisfied. She will take all that is given her, and always be ready to receive more. She is not greedy, in that she does not actively take from people, but if something is offered or available for the taking, it will soon make its way into her hands. She dreams of seeing the whole world, but every single nook and cranny may not be enough to satisfy her. She's the most likely to learn how to travel to space, just because she yearns to see everything.

In the end, Ris has her head on her shoulders. She likes to dream, she has ideas, but who doesn't? She is a realist, and is not automatically optimistic in a harried situation. She loves to laugh, and wrinkles her nose when displeased with something. She's taught herself a tell when she's "lying", and will draw a small circle on the table. She does her best to seem transparent and predictable, and takes joy in being obscure and unpredictable. She's aged far beyond her years, and sometimes wishes that she would be able to return to her childhood. As it is, she is determined to keep moving forward, and when she sets her mind to something, it is terribly hard to dissuade her from it.


Hobbies:
Reading, Drawing, Thinking
Habits:
Plays with her earrings, draws a circle before lying, twirls her hair around her fingers, talks when stressed.
Oddities:
Hates strawberries, rarely wears dresses with long sleeves.

Likes/Loves:
  • Art
  • Math and Science
  • Her Brother
  • Reading
  • Sneaking into the Kitchens

Dislikes/Hates:
  • Strawberries
  • Being Interrupted
  • Emptiness
  • Being Left Behind
  • Quiet




Image




Image
Image
Image
Image
Image

Biography
Place Of Origin:Falor
History:
Ris was born to a noble family, to a mother that she remembers little of and a father who snapped her up as if he were a shark and she were a tasty morsel. She's proven herself to be far more than that, though she has not yet rebelled against her father. He can have his plans, and she'll have hers. She was raised, initially, by her mother, who she resembles most of all. She was a quiet child, one who was content to sit by her mother and listen to what was going on around her. As a baby, she hated being put down, and would cry until she was picked up again. She loves physical contact, still.

As Ris grew older, she was often found in the forests, and not with the other children. Her fascination with nature began then, and has only blossomed from there. She gained a small gathering there, and would lead a tiny troop of children to see the prettiest flowers and the most fascinating birds. Sometimes, they would scare the animals off, and it was through that that Ris learned patience. Eventually, the birds would return. Eventually, things would turn her way.

When she was six, she was taken from her mother. She has few memories of that day, only that there were many tears and cries of "mama" on her own part as her mother stood by silently. She had smelled of strawberries, and to this day, Ris hates strawberries because they remind her of that day. Perhaps it's silly, but it's something she hasn't quite been able to rid herself of. Ris was taken to a beautiful home, and given whatever she wanted.

In the end, she became attached to the artwork and to the brother that is seven years her senior. Loras and her first bonded over their names. It was almost fate, it seemed. Loras and Loria. Who would make a better team, if not they? She called him Lorrie, and he called her Rissy. To this day, they are still best friends. They both knew of the plans that their father had for them. Grandeur, riches, titles. Once, they conspired to run away together. In the end, they decided against it, for fear of losing each other and the strange stability that they had cultivated. Loras is the only person that Ris can honestly say that she loves.

As she grew older, she blossomed into womanhood and wisdom. She gained awareness along with sharper features and kissable lips, and she both listened in and was permitted to hear what her father was planning. Loras was to be engaged, but the king of Seabel decided otherwise. She comforted him, and supported him as he went off to become the captain of the guard there. She wrote him every day, and missed him terribly. Still does. She sends him news often, and is excited to visit him again soon. She knows that she may never be satisfied, but she hopes desperately that her older brother might eventually be.

She had always known that she was to be molded into something useful, but she hadn't thought that it would be this soon. Perhaps she should count herself lucky, some girls her age were already pregnant with their second child. Her father told her the news, and she went white as a sheet. She was to be engaged, she was told, to the young king of Falor. She almost left that day, almost ran away. She didn't want to be engaged! She took a day to think about it, but both she and her father knew that eventually, she would agree. Ris has never been power hungry, but the potential for more... Well. That was appealing.

Ris agreed, and the king isn't too bad, really. Young. Uneducated. But sweet, and she can like sweet. She doesn't know if there will be actual love between them, as it is a marriage for power and authority. In the meantime, Ris is plotting in her own way. She plans to use this lack of affection and the Kings lack of knowledge to take power in the kingdom for herself. If she can cast doubt into his ear, if she can affect him in the ways that she wants, she can get that more that she wishes for. She's not entirely sure if it'll be enough, if anything will be enough, but for then, collecting all the art she can and slowly turning her future husband into putty in her hands are her goals. She seems terribly genuine, and no one has any reason to think otherwise.
Happiest Memory: Meeting her older brother
Saddest Memory: Leaving her mother.




Face Claim: Emilia Clarke as Daenerys Targaryen

So begins...

Loria Estermont's Story

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Lucas Brigham Character Portrait: Loria Estermont Character Portrait: Loras Estermont Character Portrait: Christoph Estermont
Tag Characters » Add to Arc »

0.00 INK

#, as written by Demai
Image
Image




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...
Image
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: Ronan Ulfricson Character Portrait: Cedany Ulfricdottir Character Portrait: Capheus Auclair Character Portrait: Asten Swann
Tag Characters » Add to Arc »

0.00 INK

Image


Image Lucas entered the ballroom with his fiancè beside him. Ris looked absolutely stunning tonight in her blue dress and her glittering mask. They had been together more while traveling here than they had probably their entire lives and he was beginning to notice things he hadn't before. Like how beautiful her smile was, how kindhearted she was, and how much she liked to poke fun at people. As a child, he found her annoying, but now... It was endearing.

“I’ll be right back, ”, she said and disappeared into the crowd. "As you wish!" He called after her, though whether or not she heard him he would never know. Lucas found himself wanting to stick to her side for the night, but knew it was better to move around and socialize. Besides, there was one person he really wanted to see. Even if she didn't want to see him. His blue eyes gazed about the room searching for her, his sister, Juliana. He noticed her husband by the windows talking to her lady in waiting which he found odd, but thought little of it otherwise and continued in his search.

And then he saw her. She was standing with others off to one side, laughing and socializing. He suddenly found himself feeling nervous. As a child she paid him no mind, but now, would she also dismiss him? They needed to talk. He needed to understand why she left. Why she abandoned him. It was a stupid worry, he was a man now after all, but he had always adored his sister and looked up to her. He could never understand why she hated him so. And he knew she did. He could see it in her eyes every time he attempted to show her any kind of brotherly love. He bit his lip, a habit since he was a child, and then walked towards his sister.

A servant entered his path and offered a goblet of wine. He took it and thanked the servant, though it was frowned upon to give them such attention. It was their job. They didn't need gratitude, but it was just who he was. His father long gave up that teaching to him. At the thought of his father, his scar throbbed, but he ignored it and focused on the task at hand. Confronting his sister. He took a long swig of wine and took a deep breath.

"Your Majesty," He said with a bow. "My compliments on the beauty of your new home. I dare say it's more spectacular than home." He set the, now empty, goblet of wine on a nearby table and offered her his hand. He wasn't entirely sure that she recognized him now, especially with his mask. "My dear, Juliana, would you do me the honor of having this dance with me?" With his eyes, he pleaded with her. Please dear sister they begged, I must speak to you.






Image


Image Cedany had been wandering the ground of the castle for the bast twenty minutes. Her green and black gown that matched the green of her mask helped her blend into the night. She was making her way past the stables when she heard voices. Two men laughing and talking to one another in such delight that she found herself curious and decided to hide and listen in.

She peaked out and nearly gasped at the sight of Lord Auclair, the king's brother, and the stable boy in entirely intimate conversation. At first, he thought how rich this information could make her. Then she decided against it. While being homosexual was frowned upon widely in their time, Cedany didn't really mind it. She was unsure herself whom she would give her heart to. She found girls beautiful and boys handsome, but neither tickled her nethers.. so to speak. At least, not yet. She decided that she wouldn't mentioned what she saw to a single person beyond the two subjects themselves. If only to give them someone to talk to. While they were technically the enemy, this gathering is meant to be one of peace and peace she would offer. Maybe, or maybe she'd just keep it to herself.

She smiled and backed away from where she had been hiding. She decided to take a different path to the ballroom and allow them some time alone.

Once she arrived at the party and was announced to the room, she went looking for her favorite person. Her older brother, Ronan. She had thought about sharing what she had seen, but decided against it. Just because he had a forbidden love didn't mean he needed to know about the love of others. She had arrived just in time to see her father whisk away her brother's love leaving him angry and alone. She frowned, her heart aching for her brother. She watched Genevieve and her father dance a moment before she ran towards her brother.

"Ronan!" She squealed, throwing her arms around his neck. "Isn't this place grand?" She pulled him closer and whispered into his ear so only he could hear her words. "I'm sorry your heart aches brother. If there anything I can do to make your dreams come true, you only have to say so." She pulled back and smiled at him. A finger to her lips. She winked at him and said, "I'm capable of more than you think, and I hear more than you know."

With that, she disappeared into the crowd in search of some sweet treats and maybe someone to dance with. Unfortunately, there weren't many boys her age. Or girls. The only person closest in age to her was the princess of the kingdom, Giselle, and she was much younger. Ah well she thought. I'll just dance with myself then. No whirlwind romances for this princess.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Lucas Brigham Character Portrait: Loria Estermont Character Portrait: Juliana Auclair Character Portrait: Chryseis Wulfston Character Portrait: Loras Estermont
Tag Characters » Add to Arc »

0.00 INK

Image
Image



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
Tag Characters » Add to Arc »

0.00 INK

#, as written by Demai
Image
Image





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.
Image
“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.
Image
“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
Tag Characters » Add to Arc »

0.00 INK

Image
Image




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
Tag Characters » Add to Arc »

0.00 INK

#, as written by Demai
Image
Image





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
Tag Characters » Add to Arc »

0.00 INK

ImageImage
Image



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: Lucas Brigham Character Portrait: Loria Estermont Character Portrait: Chryseis Wulfston
Tag Characters » Add to Arc »

0.00 INK

#, as written by Demai
Image





Ris turned her attention back to the captain of the guard, knowing that she would see her brother in a moment. Why the Captain had wanted to dance with her, she wasn’t quite sure, despite their being at a ball. Perhaps it was silly of her, but she hadn’t expected him to be the dancing type. She supposed he was graceful, but seeing him in a waltz was never something that she expected to see. She positioned her hands, resting her fingers delicately on his shoulder, fitting their hands together. Wulf’s were cool, and her own were warm, as they often were. Wulf began to speak about dancing, and the smile from before pulled at Ris’ own lips, amusement sparking in her gaze once more. “That is a sight that I would pay to see.” She teased. “Do you think you could reenact it, for me?”

Ris’ brow furrowed slightly at the Captain’s next words. She twirled around, her curls bouncing against her back as she was brought back to Wulf’s chest. She agreed with every single word from his mouth about Lucas. It was... strangely frustrating, that protectiveness that had risen up in her. Usually, she was only this die-hard over her own brother, and he had been one of the first people to be genuinely kind to her. Ris was a little caught up in her own thoughts, though, and ImageWulf suddenly drawing her near made her inhale sharply in surprise. Those blue eyes widened for a split second, barely enough to notice, and then she leaned forward the tiniest bit to catch every word from his mouth. "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.” He said, and she nodded, just enough that he would be able to feel it and few would be able to see it.

“I will.” She murmured in promise, and it felt as if something was sealed between them. She moved away when Wulf's grip tightened and twirled once more, raising his hand above her own head in order to do so. Her hand then lit upon his shoulder once more.

Yes, she would tell him... Unless, of course, she was the suspicious thing. If it affected Lucas’ wellbeing, though... Well. He was quickly shifting higher on her list of priorities. She’d keep a weather eye out.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Loria Estermont Character Portrait: Chryseis Wulfston
Tag Characters » Add to Arc »

0.00 INK

ImageImage
Image



I will. Her voice was so soft, so delicate, and her warm breath tickled at Wulf’s ear. That fragility, so easily broken. A subconscious sense of indemnity swelled in her chest; all she wanted to do was protect this young woman, and Wulf wasn’t sure why. Was it just because she was so frail? No, all women were fragile, and sure, Wulf felt a need to protect all life, but Ris was… different. Why? She didn’t know, and she wasn’t sure if she would ever know.

Wulf couldn’t stop the sigh of released tension that tumbled past her lips when the two pulled apart. And after that, when Ris had twirled once more, she couldn’t help but laugh softly. Now that all the seriousness was out of the way, Wulf wondered if she’ll be able to enjoy herself. Of course, she could never let her guard down, but perhaps she could do what people at parties are suppose to do, feast, dance, and drink. Responsibly, of course.

The music started to pick up from the slow waltz it was previously. Wulf smiled down at Ris, though it was more of a playful grin. “You know, that old woman didn’t just teach me slow dancing… I know my way around a jig.” With that, Wulf pulled Ris close once more, placing her hand on the blonde’s lower back for support. She danced the two around the floor, guiding them with the conjoined hands, spinning them around occasionally. Her feet bounced and moved with an immense amount of grace, despite the dance’s youthful nature.

At the end of the dance, Wulf pulled their hands apart only to grab Ris by her hips and hoist her into the air effortlessly. She spun the blonde around a few times before gently putting her back on her feet, making sure not to let go just in case she was dizzy. It was then that Wulf grew that faintest blush and cleared her throat after chuckling. “I, uh.. Sorry about that, Lady Ris. I got a little carried away. You probably want to be getting back to your brother...”

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Lucas Brigham Character Portrait: Loria Estermont Character Portrait: Chryseis Wulfston
Tag Characters » Add to Arc »

0.00 INK

#, as written by Demai
Image




Wulf’s (perhaps relieved) sigh warmed Ris’ chest, inexplicably, and then his laughter made a smile come to her lips. She squeezed his hand playfully as she returned, feeling as if some sort of a weight had been removed from her shoulders. She wasn’t alone in her endeavors, it seemed. And there was something about the Captain that caught her off guard, made her think that... well, perhaps that nothing could possibly go wrong in that moment. Of course, she knew that that illusion would be soon to shatter, but it was nice to enjoy it in those few seconds.

She felt a little guilty in that moment, her mind going to the seed that had been planted in her heart for Lucas. Maybe she should be seeking him out, looking for him and trying to find him... Briefly, she glanced away, and her gaze lit upon him. He was just disappearing into a room with the king of Seabel, his brother-in-law, and she felt... Well, perhaps the tiniest bit ignored. Political ventures dealing with kingdoms over political ventures dealing with spouses. She couldn’t say she was exactly surprised, to tell the truth.

ImageHer gaze returned to Wulf the second that the Captain began to speak, and she couldn’t help but smile at her words, her gaze lighting up almost immediately. Truth be told, Ris loved to dance, and she didn’t think she was quite ready to leave either Wulf or the dance yet. There was something about the Captain that intrigued her, that perhaps he could see past her facades and her giggles. “How could she have taught you a jig if she was busy trying not to fall apart at the slightest breeze?” She raised an eyebrow at him playfully, and seemed about to go on before she was suddenly pulled back to Wulf’s chest.

The laugh that bubbled up upon being swept into a dance was genuine, and her eyes brightened at the silent answer to her question. Apparently, this old woman had done her job well. Ris followed expertly, successfully avoiding stepping on his feet as they leapt and twirled. “You have to introduce me to this woman,” She teased, her blue eyes bright.

The music reached a swell near the end, and Ris moved as if to spin out. Wulf’s hands were releasing hers, then, and confusion flicked across her expression before she realized what was about to happen. Laughter sparked in her gaze, a protest starting to form on her lips before the Captain suddenly caught her about her waist and she was hefted into the air as if she weighed nothing. She couldn’t remember having laughed this hard in ages, and perhaps the momentary freedom from expectations and decisions was getting to her. She braced her hands as best she could, holding tight to Wulf despite knowing that he wouldn’t drop her.

ImageThe song ended all too soon, and Ris was the tiniest bit dizzy by the time she was set upon her feet. She kept ahold of Wulf’s wrists, just in case, chuckling softly in the aftershocks. She immediately waved off any apologies, taking a deep breath to get herself under control. “You’re just destroying all my expectations of you, Captain.” She teased, pulling her hands back a little to push her white curls back behind her ears from where they had fallen into her eyes or were threatening to. “How did that teacher of yours teach you that?”ΩShe shook her head as he continued to speak, and after a moment of hesitation, she went up on her tiptoes, kissing his cheek gently. “Thank you.” She said earnestly, searching his gaze. “I haven’t danced like that in ages.” She admitted, and a little smile that pulled at her lips was the only remainder of the bouts of laughter that had shook her shoulders. That eyebrow went up again after a moment, amusement flickering in the deep blue. “And it’s Ris.” She reminded him gently, a little playfully. “Just Ris.” An unassuming nickname for a person who was far more than she seemed.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Lucas Brigham Character Portrait: Loria Estermont Character Portrait: Chryseis Wulfston
Tag Characters » Add to Arc »

0.00 INK

ImageImage
Image



Wulf had to dampen her laughter just to hear what Ris was saying. You’re just destroying all my expectations of you, Captain. Wulf’s sharp, gray gaze followed her dainty hands as they pushed her blonde locks behind her ears. It was practically mesmerizing; she could watch that simple action all day. How did that teacher of yours teach you that?

Wulf smiled down at her, small chuckles still rolling off her tongue. “Well, I was taking lessons for a while-” Her humorous explanation was cut off when she felt, not saw, Ris lean up and kiss her cheek. Her soft, warm lips sent arcs of electricity down Wulf’s spine.

Thank you. I haven’t danced like that in ages.

It was then that Wulf’s modest blush grew, turning the tips of her ears and just above her chiseled jaw bright red. Why were they acting like this? Like little school girls, giggling and kissing with youthful infatuation. “I-I, uh… well..” Wulf cleared her throat, looking down at the ground, before realizing she was acting foolish. She wasn’t a child; she had pride. There was no need to act so silly. Wulf straightened her back, standing up fully. “You’re very welcome, lady Ris.”

And it’s Ris. Just Ris.

Wulf smiled, a genuine, jolly smile. “You’re welcome, Ris. Also, thank you for the dance.” She took a step back, still holding on Ris’ wrist. Shifting her grasp onto her hand, Wulf leaned forward, planting a tender kiss on the back of Ris’ hand. She let it linger, perhaps a second or two longer than she should have. And before sitting up, Wulf kissed slightly higher up on Ris’ wrist, but only for a quick moment. Blink and you would miss it.

Suddenly, a huge commotion broke out. Before even trying to process the situation, Wulf pulled Ris against her side, keeping her arm wrapped around her protectively. Her free hand sat on the hilt of her sword, ready to be drawn. Wulf’s glare turned fierce, unforgiving, as she scanned the room for a source of danger. However, the uproar died down quickly.

Wulf let out a deep breath, relaxing her shoulders. It wasn’t until a few seconds later that she realized she was still gripping onto Ris. She released her sturdy grip and took a step back, bowing apologetically. “Ah, sorry about that, Ris. It was… instinct. Perhaps we should go find King Lucas...”

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
Tag Characters » Add to Arc »

0.00 INK

#, as written by Demai
Image




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!!




Image




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.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Lucas Brigham Character Portrait: Loria Estermont Character Portrait: Chryseis Wulfston Character Portrait: Loras Estermont
Tag Characters » Add to Arc »

0.00 INK

Image


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: Lucas Brigham Character Portrait: Loria Estermont Character Portrait: Chryseis Wulfston Character Portrait: Loras Estermont
Tag Characters » Add to Arc »

0.00 INK

#, as written by Demai
Image
Image




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.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Lucas Brigham Character Portrait: Loria Estermont Character Portrait: Chryseis Wulfston
Tag Characters » Add to Arc »

0.00 INK

Image


Image Ris released his hands and wrapped her arms around Lucas. At that moment, he felt something rise up in his chest so strong he couldn't breathe for a heartbeat. Then he wrapped his arms around her cradling her in his arms. He kissed the side of her head, gently and buried his face in her hair. And then she let go and he was forced to do the same. She moved from him and over to her brother, Loras, and took ahold of his hand. "We should head back," she said. He swallowed hard, and nodded. He motioned for Wulf to follow them and began to follow his fiancè and her brother.

He longed to hold her. He could picture it so clearly in his head. He'd reach for her and wrap her in his arms for another moment, and then he'd take her hand, and lead them to his room and they'd spend the night together. He shook is head once, realizing that Imagehis thoughts were unusual. This is the same girl that picked on him as a kid. But as he gazed at her, conversing with her brother, he could find no trace of that girl.

Once they made it to her room, which was beside his own, she held her brother and took him inside her room. "Goodnight, Loria." He said softly. As the door began to close, he took a step towards her door, reaching out for her and when the door shut, he froze. What did he mean to do? Ask her to abandon her brother when it was clear by his body language something was troubling him. He cleared his throat and straightened his outfit before turning to Wulf. He placed a hand on his shoulder and squeezed. In thanks for him protecting Ris and for him always standing by Lucas's side. "And goodnight, Wulf. Sleep well."

He opened the door to his room and stepped inside. The room was cold and he longed to climb under the sheets of his bed. He changed his clothes to silk night things and climbed into bed. He sighed, settling in for the night and felt an ache in his chest. He was under the blankets and a servant had started a fire in the fireplace. And, yet, he never felt such a cold ache in his bones.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Lucas Brigham Character Portrait: Loria Estermont Character Portrait: Chryseis Wulfston Character Portrait: Loras Estermont
Tag Characters » Add to Arc »

0.00 INK

ImageImage
Image



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.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Lucas Brigham Character Portrait: Loria Estermont Character Portrait: Chryseis Wulfston Character Portrait: Loras Estermont
Tag Characters » Add to Arc »

0.00 INK

#, as written by Demai
ImageImageImage
Image

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.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Lucas Brigham Character Portrait: Loria Estermont Character Portrait: Chryseis Wulfston Character Portrait: Loras Estermont
Tag Characters » Add to Arc »

0.00 INK

#, as written by Demai
Image
Image
A collab between Cryptic and Demai




Image





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.
Image
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.
Image
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.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Loria Estermont Character Portrait: Capheus Auclair Character Portrait: Christoph Estermont Character Portrait: Corinna Auclair
Tag Characters » Add to Arc »

0.00 INK

Image



Image



Though Christoph had finally ceased speaking to her, Corinna couldn't shake the churning in her gut. She knew he sat directly behind her, and it sent a sort of shiver through her spine. It wasn't the same kind she'd felt as a girl when she would sneak off from a party, steal a kiss in a candlelit hall. No, this was one of revulsion, a breed of terror she hadn't felt before now.

"Stop it!" protested Calisto, pulling out of her grip again. He pulled a knot in his curly hair through her fingers, causing him to whimper before she placed a kiss on the top of his head.

"I'm so sorry, little one," she breathed, kissing him once more for good measure before she allowed him to wriggle off of her lap and on to the seat between her and her mother. The bench behind her creaked, and Cora couldn't help but look over her shoulder as Christoph left, excusing himself with a quick remark and a nod of the head. And now she could relax. She looked about the crowds, taking in the sights and the sounds eagerly. Cora's gaze swept over the royals, each of the kingdoms.

She offered a smile to her brother, hoping he'd notice despite his conversation with their Queen, their sister-in-law. Perhaps she would speak later with Juliana, but now her gaze trailed over the Falorian royalty, and she couldn't help but gasp as she saw Loria Estermont. Cora's hand leapt upward to cover her mouth, cutting off the sound of excitement as a smile spread across her face. She buzzed with excitement but forced herself to remain under control as Ris escorted Lucas down to the jousting field.

How long had it been since she'd seen the girl? Four years ago she had left Christoph, and in those four years, she had locked herself away from his entire family. Cora had been twenty-three; Ris, only thirteen. As Loria returned to her seat now, Cora stood and scampered up the few steps to the royal seats, holding up the front of her dress to avoid tripping over it.

"My dearest Loria!" she cried out, throwing her arms around Ris and holding her tightly. Eventually, she managed to pull away, and when she did, she could only beam back at Loria. She practically gushed as she spoke. "I've missed you so, so much."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Lucas Brigham Character Portrait: Loria Estermont Character Portrait: Juliana Auclair Character Portrait: Cyprian Auclair
Tag Characters » Add to Arc »

0.00 INK

Image
&
Image



Cyprian emerged from his tent still bearing the grin that Ellie had placed on his lips - his Ellie. He could feel the small tatter of her scarf beneath his gauntlet, and it brought him a new sense of energy, an eagerness and hope for himself and for her that he hadn't felt in years. For the first time since he'd come to Seabel, he felt truly alive. They would figure it out, he knew they could. Together. But now, his focus was on the joust.

It was a shame they'd placed him against his brother-in-law. Lucas had no experience beyond a prince's compulsory education, and Cyprian had served for years in Falor's army. It wouldn't be fair to either party - how would it make him look if he defeated an opponent twelve years younger, twelve years more inexperienced than he? And what would it mean for them and their treaty if he did?

His horse's reins were handed to him once more, and Cyprian climbed atop her, settling in the saddle. His visor remained up out of respect for Lucas. Perhaps he'd thought on the concept longer, given it more thought and come to the realization that Juliana couldn't be Queen. But he wasn't prepared to bring that up first. Instead, he watched and waited for Lucas to mount up as well.

Lucas gave Ris a soft kiss on the cheek before he strode off towards his horse. The grin she created was firmly planted on his face and the fear he had felt before the match was gone. He gave his horse, an chestnut brown Falorian named Achilles, a soft pat on his muzzle before climbing onto the saddle. With all the armor he wore weighing him down, mounting Achilles was much more difficult than Lucas had originally anticipated. An assistant had to stand on the other side to pull Lucas up as he hopped to give himself enough height.
Image
Once in the saddle, he sighed. His grin was replaced with a frown of frustration. If mounting his horse was difficult enough he couldn't imagine how difficult it would be stay on. But, he took the reigns in his hands and clicked Achilles into a trot to get into place. Then he was given his shield and lance and the only thing left to do was wait for the signal to begin.

Cyprian couldn't help but frown to himself as he watched Lucas struggled to mount the horse. No, he most certainly wouldn't be able to treat him as he had Ronan. With a soft click in the back of his mouth, he eased his horse forward, walking her to stand beside Lucas.
Image
"You're tense, brother," he observed, looking over at the younger man. "You shouldn't be. Nothing more than a quick ride down the field." He gave a gentle smile before leaning over to give a gentle tap on the arm. "May the best man win." With that, Cyprian lowered his visor and kicked the mare into a canter, riding her across the field to his own starting position.

Their signal was given in the blast of a horn, and Cyprian reacted to it quickly, hurtling down the field towards his brother-in-law, lance in position to strike. He took this first rush as a chance to get a hit on the young man, attempting to let his lance glance off of his plated bicep before subtly pulling back on it. To anyone watching, it would have looked like a botched attempt, and he hoped Lucas saw that as well. There would be no point in throwing the match if anyone else picked up on it.
Image
Lucas jumped a little in his saddle when Cyprian rode up beside him and spoke. Lucas laughed shakily, suddenly nervous once more. "Is that all it is?" he replied and then echoed, "May the best man win." Cyprian was across the way at his starting position and within seconds, the horn sounded. Lucas and Cyprian hurtled towards each other, their horses' hooves pounding in the dirt. Lucas held tight to his lance and shield as he moved to defend and strike.

Cyprian's lance glanced off the armor of his bicep which surprised Lucas, but he didn't show it as his own lance barely hit Cyprian in the shoulder. It was a hit, but not enough to knock the man down or even really injure him. Lucas made a soft tsk sound and readied himself for the next strike. This time, he would aim for the shield and hope that he could get enough force behind his lance to knock the man off. It was worth more points and it usually meant an automatic end to the duel. He glanced into the crowd and saw the shimmering white hair of his fiancée. The worry on her broke his heart, but also gave him the strength to push forward.

The horn sounded again and Lucas took off down the track. With each hoofbeat he was closer and closer to his target. His grip on the lance tightened and he nailed Cyprian in the shield, hopefully succeeding in knocking him down. Lucas didn't want to hurt Cyprian and prayed to whatever god was listening that he would only end up with bruises and nothing more severe. His sister would have a fit if he hurt her husband.

In Cyprian's defense, he certainly hadn't expected Lucas to put so much force behind his strike. Under normal circumstances, he might have been able to stand up to it, perhaps even counter and throw Lucas to the ground.

But whether or not he was capable of doing so, he let the force of it radiate through his body. He titled back just enough that, as his horse galloped along, he lost his balance and fell backwards, slamming into the ground. His head jarred against the helmet, sending a shot of pain through his temple as he reached blindly to undo his helmet. His back stung and screamed in pain, but he cast his helmet aside and forced himself to sit up and then stand despite his desire to curl into a ball.

His mare had continued her race towards the end of the field, but she was seized by squires on the far end who tried to calm the riderless horse. Cyprian faced the stands now, nodding to Juliana in particular before his gaze searched for Lucas.

Lucas was at the end of his track. He turned his horse around and stared in awe as Cyprian stood from the ground. He had done it. He knocked Cyprian from his horse and, in doing so, won the joust. His shocked expression turned to a large grin as he threw his fist in the air triumphantly and yelled to the sky. He rode Achilles over to Cyprian and dismounted. He offered his hand to his brother-in-law and said, "Brother, are you alright? I didn't hurt you too much, did I?"
Image
He tried not to grin so widely at his success, but he couldn't help it. In the beginning, he was sure he'd lose. After talking with Ris he felt he could win if he had the luck. Apparently luck was on his side today. "I hope I didn't embarrass you any either. Good match." He turned to the crowd and bowed to his sister in respect. He hoped she wouldn't be too angry with him for knocking him from his horse. After Juliana, he searched for Ris. When he caught her eye, he grinned like a fool and rushed to have his armor removed so he could hold his fiancè in his arms again.
Image
Cyprian took the extended hand, gripping it tightly as he gave it a shake. "You certainly gave me a surprise," he remarked, laughing quickly. "Not a scratch on me, dear brother. Just a bit roughed up is all." He'd have to take something for the ache in his lower back, but for now, he forced himself to ignore it.

His brother-in-law's grin managed to bring a smile to his own face, and he clasped a hand on the younger man's arm endearingly. "Takes quite a bit to wound the pride of an Auclair." That wasn't true, of course. He could already feel the sting of his crippled ego. "Enjoy your win." He turned then and walked back to his own tent, but he moved quickly through removing his armor and dressing in his attire for the rest of the day.

With that, he left his tent and made his way back in the stands, towards his wife and brother, both of whom he greeted with a quick nod before sitting down in his seat, looking out on the rest of the jousts.