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Alistair Lannister

"By what right does the wolf judge the lion?"

0 · 961 views · located in Tibera

a character in “The Price of Blood”, as played by Bromander Shepard

Description

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"There are no men like me, only me."




The Basics




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Full Name: Alistair Lannister
Nicknames: Occasionally he is referred to as 'The Lion of Casterly Rock' in his kingdom, he is called 'Oath Breaker' outside of it and sometimes even within his borders
Gender: Male
Age: 29
Rank/Title: King of Seabel
Sexual Orientation: Heterosexual
Kingdom/Alliance: Seabel




What's on the Outside




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Hair Color:
Eye Color: Blue
Height: 6'2"
Weight: 195 lbs
Tattoos: None
Piercings: None
Scars: Alistair has a few small scars but none that are particularly noticeable or significant in size
Description: Alistair stands just a bit taller than average with a well muscled, warriors build and striking good looks. To say he is handsome would be an understatement. Blonde hair, deep blue eyes, a strong jaw and a charming smile Alistair Lannister is the man most little girls growing up dream of when they imagine a knight riding on a white horse in shining armor come to save them from their dreary lives. His is of one of the richest families in the world and as a result his attire usually represents that. His armor is masterfully crafted of the finest materiel, often bearing depictions of lions on it, the sigil of House Lannister. When out of his armor he only wears the finest most supple leathers and smoothest linens. Those that adore him see his appearance and can only marvel at the Lion of Casterly Rock. Those that don't see only a spoiled knight, turned lord and finally king when his wife had the strength to separate from the rest of Falor.




What's on the Inside




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Personality:
{Arrogant, Ruthless, Fearless, Honorable}
Alistair Lannister is a man whose character faults are well known and few see him in a good light. Rich, entitled and cocky are all things people use to describe him yet few are bold enough to do so in his face. Alistair carries himself with a careless abandon as if he care so little what everyone around him thinks. Consumed with low boiling anger and a bitterness that threatens to engulf him as fire engulfs a funeral pyre. Every time he looks at his wife that calm, casual confidence fades somewhat and is replaced by resentment and anger yet few can read those emotions like his wife. Only his wifes lady in waiting knows a bit of the pains he endures for in her he confides. She is among the only beyond his wife and his brother that know that his coldness is a winter brought on by loss, his anger sparked by frustration and betrayal. To the outside world 'The Lion of Casterly Rock' is a dangerous, bitter man whose quick acidic wit is only rivaled by his skill with a blade. In secret he is hurt and suffering for the loss of the only light his life had ever truly had. Beyond his pains and darkness there is a surprisingly noble side to Alistair that people don't expect and one he doesn't go out of his way to showcase. One of the only people who ever do get to see this side of Alistair is his daughter to whom he is a loving and doting father.
Hobbies:
Sword play, Hunting, drinking
Habits:
Sarcasm, telling gruesome stories form the battlefield for shock value
Oddities:
Allergy to cats
Likes/Loves:(At least 5)(repeat format if more)
  • His wife
  • His daughter
  • His wife's lady in waiting
  • fighting
  • a good death
  • soldiers stories
  • pragmatism
Dislikes/Hates:(At least 5)(repeat format if more)
  • His wife
  • illness
  • being king
  • the noble house of Falor that first dubbed him Oath Breaker
  • piety/religion




What's Done Is Done




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Biography
Place Of Origin: Casterly Rock, Falor
History:
To the people of the Three Kingdoms Alistair Lannister is an arrogant, entitled man who is known for two things. Being the eldest son of one of if not the richest family in the world and being one of the greatest swordsmen alive. These two qualities have created a man who is arrogant, surely but not wrongly so. Any problem he faced his fathers money could get him out of, those that it couldn't he had his sword and in truth Alistair always preferred those that gave him a reason to draw his steel. With a sword in his hand he is a master painter, a painter who only uses red. He loves swordplay, its the one thing he has that wasn't given to him. He is an unfathomably deadly swordsman because he worked at it. Every day as a boy growing up in Casterly Rock from sun up to sun down he trained with the longsword. So good in fact that he earned his knighthood at 15 years of age during his first battle.

As a knight of the realm he earned more honor for his house and name, winning tourney after tourney, snatching glory abound in every battle he fought in for the crown. Songs were sung of the infamous Alistair Lannitser, who fought with the strength and ferocity of the very lion his family flew on their banners. Soon people took to calling him The Lion of Casterly Rock. Now, his family needed little to elevate their status being among the richest houses in all the kingdoms and controlling the famous Lannis Port from their seat of Casterly Rock as well as the gold rich westerlands but Alistairs exploits were welcomed as it was expected of him to do great things and he did great things on and off the battle field. When it came time to talk about wedding him his father Tywin began taking him to court. Alistair hated the trips to the capitol but his father insisted. The women Alistair took to bed would not do for the future Lord of Casterly Rock so his father was intent on finding him a proper marriage that would prove beneficial to the family and it's holdings.

He had his fair share of maidens and had taken many a maidenhood yet it appeared that his only love was combat, until he met her. A proposed marriage by his father, Alistair was betrothed to FC: Katie McGrath the eldest child of the king and only princess in the realm. Alistair had never seen a more beautiful woman. He became enamored with her, intrigued and quickly fell passionately in love. The two shared every waking moment together, theirs was the love people wrote stories about. It seemed like the their happiness would be eternal. That was until the king died. FC: Katie McGrath wanted the throne so he rode out to get it for her. Betraying his king, country and all he'd fought for until that point he was branded as a traitor and an Oath Breaker but didn't care if it meant getting his love the throne she desired. She gained a throne, he lost a wife. He'll never forget as they walked him inot the thone room to be crowned to find his wife already seated on the throne, corwn firmly placed on her head. They placed a crown on his head and a white cloak around his shoulders, never had he felt such disgust. He reviles that crown, that cloak and all it represents in him and her. He no longer recognized her as he once had. The new title changed her in his eyes and she was no longer his great love but the queen of seabel and a woman he hated. The changes effected him as well, he grew bitter and resentful. He took heavily to drinking, whoring and now spends days away from the keep with his friends, brother or merely out hunting. In truth he is a king now but the title is bitter for him to swallow when he knows the whole of the kingdom truly only sees his wife as the ruler and he as merely her husband. There was a time he would have been happy being only her husband, not a lord or a knight but the one who held her heart. Now he feels he is a joke, a lion ruled by a lioness.
Happiest Memory: The day he met his future wife
Saddest Memory: The day she became queen




Nikolaj Coster-Waldau:

So begins...

Alistair Lannister's Story

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Celia Ulfricdottir Character Portrait: Ronan Ulfricson Character Portrait: Genevieve Hansdottir Character Portrait: Alistair Lannister Character Portrait: Ulfric Bjornson Character Portrait: Corianna Ulfricdottir Character Portrait: Annabelle Waldorf Character Portrait: Rosalie Lannister

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Alistair watched as Prince Ronan Ulfricson was knocked to the dirt. A dark smirk touched his lips as he watched anger grip the prince and rage threaten. Ronan clambered to his feet and stamped off to change out of his armor and rejoin his father, mother in law and sisters. Ulfrics son was ruled by his mood, a fact Alistair would remember. Alistair had heard that the prince of Ostwall was someone of special skill and distinction, someone to watch. Watching him unhorsed in the first bout of the day was amusing to say the least. The King of Ostwall barely seemed to register his sons failure in front of the whole realm. Odd to Alistair who could only think of how his own father would have reacted. Anger, disappointment and disgust would have hung heavy on Tywin Lannisters face if the roles were reversed. Unfortunately Alistair would not be riding in the days lists, not that he hadn't wanted to. In fact he had been half way into his armor when his wife had found him. She said he should be with the other royals, as he was hosting the celebration it was his place. They had argued and she had won, like she did in so many things. The whole affair left a bitter taste in his mouth, a taste that needed washing out. Alistair reached with his free hand to grab his wine goblet and sipped the rich Arbor Red, savoring the fine vintage. His other hand was imprisoned in his wifes grasp. She had always insisted on these public displays of affection, no doubt to show the world a unified regency. Her very touch caused a storm to brew within the King.

A part of him hungered for it, yearned for her closeness. He needed her, he wanted her like a drowning man needed a breath of air. Another part, a darker part, hated it. He couldn't trust it anymore, he'd swam to the surface and found the air tainted and foul. His eyes flicked over to look upon the face of his wife. Her eyes blue turning to green like pools of cool island water that he could dive right into and stay there forever. Her long blonde hair kissed by the sun more radiant than all the gold in Casterly Rock. He watched as the breeze caressed her locks giving him a fleeting glimpse of some of the few light brown strands that seemed to hide in her sea of golden hair. She was still more beautiful than any other woman he'd ever set eyes on. Yet the person she was, the person who held all that beauty scorned him, sullied him as that damned crown sullied him. So often he'd heard them whisper, how he wasn't fit to rule, how he sullied the crown and the cloak given to him on his coronation. That's where they were all wrong. He didn't sully the crown and the cloak, the crown and the cloak sullied him. They called him king, or Your Grace or any of the other countless tedious titles attributed to him now but he knew what they all thought. He knew what they all really called him. Of all the things they titled him behind his back it was Oath Breaker he hated the most yet in a way it was also his favorite, it had a nice ring to it. They wanted a ruler, they could look to his wife, let her bother with it for he washed his hands of the whole damned lot of them.

"Well... That was anti climactic."

Came his brothers voice at his right. Alistair smirked as Tyrion leaned back in his seat, his short, stunted legs dangling off the edge of the seat as he drank deeply of his wine. Alistair took the opportunity to slip his hand away from his wife, pretending merely to lean closer to his brother but in truth he was grateful to merely free himself of her touch and the feelings it brought.

"To say the least, good thing I didn't place a bet on him."

Alistair joked. Tyrion chuckled in his cup before setting it down.

"Speak for yourself, brother."

Alistair gave his little brother a knowing look.

"You didn't."

"I did and I regret it."

Tyrion replied before the victor who unseated Prince Ronan rode out around the tourney field to chivalrously tip his lance toward his king and queen. It was only then that he removed his helm to reveal who had bested the son of King Ulfric Bjornson with a single blow.






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Loras removed his helm of shining steel, polished like a mirror. He set it at his side, his eyes on the beauty that was the queen of Seabel. Long, golden hair, porcelain skin and eyes both green and blue. Her most attractive feature was that she was his. Alistair Lannister, the King of Seabel and Lion of Casterly Rock. Loras sat there atop his white Destrier and watched as Alistair spoke with that freakish little imp of a brother. Beside the brothers was the father, Tywin Lannister, Lord of Casterly Rock. The whole pride of lions were in attendance to watch Loras unseat a prince. The whole thing made Loras smile but the smile was cleverly disguised as one of flirtation and admiration as he let his eyes hold the queen and her gaze for he knew what it did to her. His gaze flicked to his own father who sat beside the king of Falor, a respectful nod before a final glance at her majesty before he rode off down the field.

So much excitement in the world all culminating on this celebration. Every noble of worth and regent from all three kingdoms were in attendance, so many opportunists for a clever man to exploit. Loras Edwards was a clever man, a clever man who in time would cast a very large shadow. First came his hunt, once the lion pelt was he would rise and take what was rightfully his. Loras rounded the corner and damned near rode straight into a mountain. A man easily eight foot and then some tall, covered head to toe in thick black castle forged steel armor. Ser Gregor Clegane, The Mountain That Rides was seated atop a war horse that dwarfed most others, black as night. Loras was careful to steer his white pony clear around the dangerous eldest Clegane brother. Gods help whoever he rides against.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Ronan Ulfricson Character Portrait: Christoph Edwards Character Portrait: Alistair Lannister Character Portrait: Loras Edwards Character Portrait: Rosalie Lannister

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Cedric Brigham would roll in his grave to see his son and Christoph's daughter so close to each other. So close to marriage, so close to uniting their families. Christoph merely smiled against the rim of his goblet. The wine within had been watered down and spiced to the point that it hardly tasted like wine. Heavens forbid he grow ill on just the first day of the festivities. He did not do it to spite Cedric, of course, for the deceased king had been much like a brother. Still, there had always been a hint of competition between them that pushed Christoph forward. The marriage, of course, was only half of his plan.

Christoph's thoughts were interrupted violently by a mixture of gasping and cheering from the assembled nobility. Unlike previous tournaments, where he had been confined to the higher balconies along with the other nobles, Christoph found himself in the box occupied only by the royals and those in their inner circles. Being the future father in law of the King of Seabel and his royal adviser was certainly enough to finally occupy a seat beside the King on his right with his daughter on the King's left side.

The prince of Ostwall, an arrogant boy from the looks of him, had been violently dismounted by his opponent. As the heir hobbled from the field, his opponent removed his helm to reveal Loras. The boy, a mere nineteen yet truly powerful, looked first at Rosalie Lannister herself. A smile twitched at the corners of Christoph's mouth before his lips finally pulled upward. That, of course, was the second half. He returned the nod from his son with another, coupled with a nod of approval.

It had been two years since he had last seen the boy. He was only seventeen then, and now he was both the head of the Queen's guard and her lover. In truth, he was quite secretive about it, and Christoph admired that. Still, the older man had had a life time to perfect analyzing human emotions, and he could tell that there was more than just respect in the smile he shot her. There was no doubt in Christoph's mind that he had sired Loras, for Loras was a spitting image, at least mentally, of him.

A final glance was shot at the Lannisters, far too proud for their own good, side by side. His eyes could have bored holes into the back of Tywin's head with the glare Christoph shot. He would kill two birds with one stone when Loras and Rosalie finally declared their love for each other and she ended her marriage to Alistair.

In the midst of his thoughts, he managed to retain a, more or less, inexpressive countenance. Christoph twisted one of his rings about his fingers. "I pity the man who must face that mountain of a man," he remarked, leaving it open for response from any party, smirking to himself. "And I pity that horse that must sit beneath him."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Ronan Ulfricson Character Portrait: Alistair Lannister Character Portrait: Loras Edwards Character Portrait: Cassandra Lannister Character Portrait: Rosalie Lannister

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"Oh my," Rosalie gasped in horror at the sight of Prince Ulfricson getting thrown from his stallion, and felt a surge of satisfaction run through her veins as she
remembered that she had been able to prevent her husband into competing in these brutal festivities. With the hand that was free of her husband, she gripped the edge of her seat; watching as a few of his servants rushed over to attend to him. A minute passed. Two. She sighed in relief as she seen him wave away his attendants and stomped off the fields in rage. "Clearly, these games aren't meant for hot heads." She whispered in her husbands ear, and gave out a soft giggle. "They do make quite the temper, but then again I am sure that is just a men's way of saying that they're of way too much high virtue to be seen in defeat." Pushing a brown strand behind his ear, she studied his hard expression closely to the tightness of his jaw and when he finally turned his attention onto Rosalie she seen the usual softness of his slate-gray eyes along with the stubble that caressed across his chin. To Rosalie, he is truly a handsome man. One that always seemed to have those moods where he felt the need to shut the world out. Even his wife for unknown reasons. It made Rosalie feel excluded, a stranger to her husband despite what all they've been through. Together.

As they studied each other, Rosalie noticed that from within those eyes, his eyes, held a pang of sadness that made her heart sink with guilt that seemed to have
haunted her since the time she had made love to her Royal Guard, Loras. It was nothing, but a one night stand. Rosalie was sure of it, but something deep within her chest told her that it was much much more than that, and it left an unpleasant sensation through the atmosphere similar the time she left her brother to the throne of Falor. Rosalie finally tore her gaze away from her husband, no longer wanting to see the hurt in his expression, and instead rested her eyes on his enthralling eyes, like sparkling kaleidoscopes of color. They were celery green, but also ocean blue. Dashes of chestnut brown specked around his irises. Loras Edwards, was his name. He was sat on the saddle of his beautiful, white Destrier at a distance watching her with his helm tucked under his arm, and a hand that gripped the horse's halter.

How long had he been staring? Rosalie could only ponder at the thought as she returned his gaze though his were more taunting; hers was full of modesty,
an eye brow raised as if challenging him. Then, he flashed her that dashing smile that proved him innocent. A dashing smile that Rosalie knew thousands, no, millions of young maidens would've found attractive. That very same smile that always seemed at triumph against Rosalie as she felt her face grow hot, and instantly whipped her attention elsewhere.. At discomfort, she began reaching a hand up to twirl at a loose golden strand, but remembered that her had been pinned up into a braided crown.

"Well... That was anti climactic." She heard a rather familiar voice say, and Rosalie turned her head to take in the sight of her husband's brother Tyrion, at
, his side. As if given a reason, Rosalie felt Alistair's hand slip from her very own. She stared at it. Her hand bare, cold, and more alone than Rosalie had ever felt. She heard her husband say something, but couldn't quite make it out as a wave of nausea passed through her. Almost instantly, she reached for her daughter's hand at her opposite side and stood as she smoothed at her satin gown. "C-Casie and I are going to the Gardens," She stammered at the two. "We shall leave you two to your discussion." Giving her daughter's delicate hand a small tug she said, her voice broke at her words, "Come along my dearest."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Ronan Ulfricson Character Portrait: Christoph Edwards Character Portrait: Alistair Lannister Character Portrait: Ulfric Bjornson Character Portrait: Cassandra Lannister Character Portrait: Rosalie Lannister

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She left, and she took his daughter with her. Try as he might Alistair couldn't feign indifference. He was constantly at war with himself when Rosalie was around. He hated her presence, he hated the way she looked at him and the sound of her voice yet there was not a more beautiful sound in all the world than when she spoke, no feeling more grand then when her eyes were upon him, no drug in all the known world could compete with the euphoria of nearly being close to her. She took her leave and Alistair flashed her a quick glance. A look of sorrow, love, regret and shame all wrapped up in a shroud uncaring. He reached and took hold of his daughters hand as she passed him, holding her for a moment.

"Goodbye sweetheart, I will see you later."

He said before gently kissing his little girls hand as any knight would kiss the hand of any lady. He wanted to kiss his wife goodbye too, he wanted to bid her a fond farewell and tell her how the field would be lack of sunlight for loss of her presence. He said nothing and they left.

Tyrion on the other hand was silent, slouching in his seat pretending not to exist as the queen and the princess left and Ser Gregor Clegane took up his position.

"You two seem happy."

He said sarcastically. Alistair flashed his little brother a glare and downed his cup before signalling his cup bearer for another.

"Much has changed since my last visit to the capitol brother, you and your lady wife seem to barely tolerate each other these days."

"We do barely tolerate each other."

Alistair replied ruefully as his cup bearer refilled his cup and was dismissed quickly. Tyrion was not a man of strong body, capable of any physical skill but what he was capable of was thinking. Tyrion Lannister was one of the smartest most cunning people in all the kingdoms and he'd found his next riddle incomprehensibly intriguing.

"Has anything happened? You two have a fight?"

He asked. Alistair chuckled in his cup.

"Of course, we fight every day. It's about the only thing we do together anymore."

"How curious. I remember Rosalie from her days as a princess at the capitol. She was a darling girl, always courteous, kind and loving."

Alistair grimaced at his brothers words, they pained him for they brought up the bitter memory of what he'd lost and who he'd lost. His sword hand clenched into a fist as he drank his whole cup dry in one go and signaled for his cup bearer once more, at least the wine was strong. Once his cup was fill he was about to down the whole thing again when he felt a strong hand clutching his shoulder.

"Do you intend to get drunk at the first day of the festivities in front of every noble, king and person of import in the kingdoms?"

His father's voice cut like a knife and both brothers fell silent. Tywin Lannister glared at both his sons before leaning back in his chair with a scowl.

"Lannisters don't act like fools, drunken or otherwise."

Silent and angry from the reprimand by his father Alistair watched the poor, unlucky sod whose job it was to challenge The Mountain. A young lad of barley twenty years, a knight only recently risen to the rank whose name he couldn't even remember.

"I pity the man who must face that mountain of a man, and I pity that horse that must sit beneath him."

Alistair's brother, Tyrion smiled at Count Cristoph Edwards words as he turned in his seat to look at the older man and royal adviser of the young king of Falor.

"Pity is good my dear lord but think of the possibilities such a contest can have. Should this boy, under matched as he is, win against The Mountain That Rides his tale would be sung from Ostwall to Falor and back. He'd have a literal banquet of women lining up for a taste of the cock of he slew The Mountain, a course in each village and dessert to boot."

A few of the nearby lords who heard Tyrion chuckled at his bawdy words while his father sighed under his breath. Alistair never took his eyes off the boy who was practically shaking in his armor.

"He is going to die today."

Alistair said darkly as the match began. Ser Gregor charged, his monstrous war horse, black as the pit of hell came thundering down the field. The boy, to his credit didn't turn his mount around and ride off in a fright but raced toward his opponent and whatever fate lay in store for him. The crowd fell silent before the moment of impact. Ser Gregor's lance struck first, reflecting off the boy's shield, going up under the chin of his helmet and snapping off after sinking deep into the boy's throat. A gasp shot out from the stands as the boy fell from his horse, blood spurting from his neck and his body convulsing violently. Several aids rushed out to tend to the boy but no sooner had they reached him had he fallen still as the grave. A stunned silence washed over all in attendance like a dense fog, none knowing quite what to say.

Alistair just sighed sipped his wine, his mood was mired as it so often was these days and his fathers presence wasn't helping. At least he had his brother, his daughter and the single combat competition to look forward to. His wife wouldn't talk him out of that.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Ronan Ulfricson Character Portrait: Alistair Lannister Character Portrait: Loras Edwards Character Portrait: Cassandra Lannister Character Portrait: Rosalie Lannister

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Since the first carriages had arrived the previous day, Cassandra had been in a perpetual state of bliss. There were so many people! She recognized very few of the assembled nobility, but there were also faces from Falor that were so familiar that she identified them as soon as they arrived. Still, she was far too overwhelmed to spend much time reminiscing.

She kicked her legs excitedly as Loras and Ronan raced toward each other. Each moment, her allegiance changed until Ronan was dismounted. Then, of course, she decided she liked Loras better. Imitating her mother, Cassie watched the prince rise slowly from the dust. For a while, she tried to listen in to her father's conversation. However, it soon grew tiresome, and she was far too distracted with the Captain of the Guards trotting his horse about. Enthusiastically, she clapped for him. Her youthful face screwed up into an excited grin.

"Mother! Mother, did you see that?!" she cried, bouncing in her seat for a moment. Of course her mother had, but she wanted nothing more than to join in the excited chatter that the others in the stands seemed to be lost in. Her mother failed to reply, however. Instead, Cassie found her hand suddenly being held and pulled softly as Rosalie stood. For just a moment, she looked longingly back at the others, but it wasn't worth arguing either, for then she knew she would not be allowed to attend the later festivities. "Yes, Mother."

As she passed by her father, he kissed her hand, evoking a giggle from her. "Goodbye, Father!" A few of the royals watched her leave, trotting behind her mother while waving in a very "princess-like" manner to the others. It seemed to annoy her, however, that she was unable to read her mother's emotions. Not that she had ever been good at it, but she had always assumed she was. "Why aren't we staying?" She moved a bit quicker once they were outside of the stands so that she walked beside Rosalie.

A great cry rose up in the stands they had just left, followed by absolute silence. Cassie stopped for a moment and tried to jump in place so that she would see what had happened. Her pause, however, was unexpected by her mother, so Rosalie continued to walk and unintentionally pull the girl along. "Do you suppose we've missed something exciting, Mother?!" She ran once more to catch up to her mother, nearly tripping over her dress. "Perhaps Loras has won again! Do you suppose it's hard to joust? I think I would be rather exciting, don't you?" She continued to shoot out questions, peppered with opinions, as they moved along. "Do you suppose Father will be sad without us?"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Alistair Lannister Character Portrait: Loras Edwards Character Portrait: Cassandra Lannister Character Portrait: Rosalie Lannister

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"Why aren't we staying?" Rosalie heard the usual pleasing sound of her daughter's voice beside her. "Because your father is in one of his fits today." She found herself longing to say, but instead she had kept quiet as she focused on the path in front. Suddenly, there was a roar of cheering from behind though Rosalie made no attempt to look back. Whatever happens back at the joust was all in the past now, a past that she certainly no longer wanted to be apart no longer.

She felt her daughter stop in her tracks as her face perked up to find out what was happening only Rosalie continuing to pull her down the pathway. Her heels made a soft clacking noise as they hit the pavement of the sidewalk. A thought came to Rosalie as she should've took the carriage as it would've been much faster, and safer in this case. "Do you suppose we've missed something exciting, Mother?!" she heard the voice of Cassie once more as she made an attempt to match her mother's steps.

Again, Rosalie ignored her as she bit her lip, but that hadn't stopped her daughter. "Perhaps Loras has won again! Do you suppose it's hard to joust? I think I would be rather exciting, don't you? Do you suppose Father will be sad without us?" Almost instantly, Rosalie stopped in her tracks and whirled her attention to her daughter. "Cassandra Laurentia Lannister, that is enough." She said her full name between clenched teeth. Her face was flushed, and she was sure her cheeks were now glistening with tears. She kneeled in front her daughter and squeezed at her small biceps for reassurance "Your father and I aren't...friends at the moment. And I-I'm not well, but you know me and you are going to the Gardens, okay? And we are going to get Otter pops afterwards with or without your father, okay? But I need you to promise me you would never ever do that again, okay?" She squeezed her daughter's arms once more, then planted a kiss at her temple. "I love you so dearly." she murmured.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Celia Ulfricdottir Character Portrait: Alistair Lannister Character Portrait: Ulfric Bjornson Character Portrait: Loras Edwards Character Portrait: Cassandra Lannister Character Portrait: Rosalie Lannister

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Loras couldn't help but allow a soft smile to touch his lips as his eyes never left the blue green orbs of his lady, the Queen. The way she flustered when he was around, the way she shooed off her daughter as if the child would learn everything with a glance, it was charming in it's own way. Loras cared little for what the girl thought, she was a child and even if she got an idea of what was going on she was after all, just a child and children do have such active imaginations. Yet as the princess pranced through the flowers Loras had his eye on a rose of his own. His hands were carefully folded behind his back, it gave him a professional posture should someone be looking yet allowed him to be as close to her as he wanted. He could smell the sweetness of her perfume, see the dimples created by her smile and hear her shuddering breath as she fidgeted under his gaze.

"Apologize? I wouldn't dream of it. You never need to say you're sorry My Queen. Not to me."

He leaned in. His eyes on her lips and his hand reaching out from behind his back. He could see her body stiffen, knowing she shouldn't welcome this closeness but doing nothing to stop him. He held himself a hairs breath from her, he could almost taste her lips. He would take her there and then if he could. The two of them in the flower garden, naked as they made love in the meadow with the sun shining above them, what a sight it would have been. When she looked as if she was keen to fall into him he leaned back with a rose in his free hand, plucked from the bush behind her. He smirked, holding the flower in front of him, twirling it in his finger tips.

"A rose for a Rose."

He said smoothly, his voice soft as silk as he offered her the gift.

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The tourney field was torn well and good by the end of the final match. They'd all nearly forgotten about the dead boy, slain by Ser Gregor Clegane. Alistair sat in his seat, his leg had fallen asleep the better part of an hour ago and his only real enjoyment, his brother, had wandered off. So there he sat with his father on his right speaking seldom and only when need be. Alistair had half a mind to leap onto the nearest horse and ride off into the night, leaving behind the whole damned lot of them. He sat in his seat, his fingers restlessly picking at the arm of his chair. As the final match came to a close and the lists were closed the field was quickly cleared and prepared for the Archery Competition. The wooden fence divider was torn down and dissembled to make room for the archery butts. Large multicolored targets were painted on the hay butts. They were placed several paces apart so the shooters wouldn't cross their lines of fire. Twelve targets in all for twelve different competitors.

Arching an eyebrow Alistair figured it best to at least attempt some form of small talk with some of the other royals. He turned to the King of Ostwall who had barely spoken all morning.

"I hear your daughter is quite the marksman, Your Grace."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Celia Ulfricdottir Character Portrait: Ronan Ulfricson Character Portrait: Genevieve Hansdottir Character Portrait: Alistair Lannister Character Portrait: Ulfric Bjornson Character Portrait: Corianna Ulfricdottir

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To a man who had spent his entire life fighting, merely watching others pretend to fight would seem, at the least, mundane. But really, Ulfric believed they were nothing more than a mockery of real battle. Obviously, that was what they were intended for, but while the others watched in excitement, Ulfric spent his time sampling the various beverages that were being passed about. His overall lack of interest, therefore, resulted in his lack of interest when Ronan returned. He had certainly seen the young man fall from his warhorse, but had he cared? Certainly not.

He bit back a remark he nearly made in response to Ronan's comment about his horse. It wasn't worth it, though. Tensions were already running to high. Ulfric simply downed the ale in his goblet. Perhaps it appeared that he was absorbed in the match. Instead, he was absorbed in his thoughts. He heard Celia speak then, however, and smirked to himself as he heard her response. If only she had been a male. She would have been a worthy heir, one to finally modernize Ostwall.

"Of course, of course," he replied, nodding as she leaned in front of him. There was more he could have said. He could have wished her luck. Told her he loved her. He didn't though, for he was a man of very few words. His other daughter flung herself into his arms, and he pressed a kiss into her temple. Sweet Corianna, also a woman trapped in a man's world. "You look out for your sister," he called, unsure whether either heard and also unsure which was looking out for the other.

He kept himself out of the exchange between the Lannisters and Christoph Edwards. He didn't even know what he would say if asked to join. Instead, he finally looked toward his wife and his son. She had certainly grown to love him, and he was glad to see that. The boy had been torn apart with Freya's death. Even his daughters seemed to accept the young woman as a mother.

Ulfric was pulled from his thoughts by a sudden gasp to his side as blood began to spray in the field. It had happened so quickly that the king hadn't even had the chance to react or cover his wife's eyes as he ought to do. Instead, Ronan suddenly stood and pulled Genevieve up beside him. "That certainly isn't a sight for one so fair as yourself," the prince said to her as they walked past. Ulfric paid them no mind. Instead, Alistair began to speak to him, and he turned his attention to the younger king. "Oh, yes. She's always had quite a love for it. Don't know where she gets it from, of course. I've never been good with the bow." A passing servant filled his goblet, and he sipped from it thoughtfully before adding his own remark"I'm surprised to see you here rather than out on the field. Has the crown mellowed you?"




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Almost as soon as they had disappeared out of sight, Ronan drew his arms about her and planted a heated kiss on her lips. His hands, rather than holding her hand, now cupped her face as he pushed her lightly into the wall behind her. His shoulder throbbed horribly, but he continued to kiss her until they both felt obligated to pull away for breath. "I want nothing more than to take you back to my chambers," he breathed, drinking in her scent as he pressed his forehead to hers.

"It's absolutely maddening to have to sit beside you without being able to profess my love to you." Again, he kissed her passionately. "We'll have time together at the masquerade though. Father dislikes dancing." His arms wrapped around her waist for a moment, holding her close to his body.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Alistair Lannister Character Portrait: Ulfric Bjornson Character Portrait: Loras Edwards Character Portrait: Rosalie Lannister Character Portrait: Tyrion Lannister

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"Oh, yes. She's always had quite a love for it. Don't know where she gets it from, of course. I've never been good with the bow."

Alistair chuckled as he drained the last of his cups contents, a single smooth gulp.

"I've never had a hand for the craft either. Not a talent for a proper swordsman I'd wager. Fiddling with those tiny arrow shafts and fitting them on that damned string..."

Alistair paused, shaking his head as if in dismissal of the entire art of bowmanship as a passing servant arrived with fresh drinks. Once his cup was once again filled with wine he continued.

"Its too much. Give me a good, clean death any day. A longsword cuts through bone nicely. Or lance through the heart. Be over before you know it."

He said snapping his fingers as if to empathize his point. There was something about the older man that Alistair liked. Quiet and brooding sure but he had a soldiers quality to him. Not one of those preening peacocks from court or the flowery knights bogged down in vows they didn't even uphold. No, Ulfric was a soldier, a warrior. Even his lack of interest in the games endeared the man to Alistair who cared little for watching men fail at something he excelled at.

"I'm surprised to see you here rather than out on the field. Has the crown mellowed you?"

At that Jaimie chuckled sardonically. How the crown has changed him. Mellow may not have been the word Alistair had used but Ulfric was right enough except it wasn't the crown that changed him.

"Ah... If only it was. No Ulfric, it wasn't the crown that mellowed me... It was marriage."

He said with a knowing smile as he leaned on the arm rest of his chair so he may speak with Ulfric more candidly.

"The vows they make you take. I feel like I was being knighted all over again. See you and yours from Ostwall have the right of it. No need of hollow vows and promises of honor you're not going to keep some gods you don't even believe in for a swordsman to kill a man. No, we were trained to do a job and we just do it. Damn the rest. The politicians bicker and squabble and you and I will just keep on killing and eventually, they'll give us a crown."

Alistair offered the king of Ostwall his cup in toast to their united distaste of the hypocrisy of the players of this game of thrones.

"To our crowns, may their weight bend our necks. After all... It's only for life."

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"Because I know you."

He replied matter of factly. Her beauty riled him up to a point where he was willing to risk getting caught. At times he didn't even care. If someone saw them he'd kill them. He'd kill a prying bread merchant, a courtier, The Hound, The damned King himself. She was his Queen and he wanted her.

"I know your right pinky always sticks up when you're drinking something. I know you're adorably ticklish, especially when I kiss your neck. I know you have a captivating habit of biting your lower lip, a habit I think I'm beginning to pick up myself."

He said, silent promises hanging heavy in his words.

"Tonight, while your husband drinks I would visit you and...

"Is that the fabled Knight of Flowers?"

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Loras paused, nearly growling in frustration as the voice reached his ears. He took a slow, steadying breath and turned around to face, well look down upon The Imp Tyrion Lannister, brother of the king. The dwarf was always smarter than Loras was comfortable with. Not the sword wielding fool Alistair was. No, Tyrion was cunning therefore Tyrion was dangerous. He seemed to see everything and know things he shouldn't, having him here was troublesome to say the least. Loras had already devised several ways to ensure the imp has an accident before he had arrived in the city with his father.

"Lord Tyrion, it's an honor."

Tyrion cocked his head curiously as he looked up at Loras with a mischievous smile.

"Lord? Has my father died and no one told me?"

Ser Loras smirked at the Tyrion's sharpness. The term was meant as a slight disguised as a compliment. Everyone knew Tyrion would never inherit Casterly Rock since his father hated him so.

"A harmless courtesy merely out of respect, my lord."

"The respect is do to you good Ser, unseating the Prince of Ostwall with such ease. At least Prince Ronan fared better than that second fellow. The Mountain ran his lance through the boys neck, bloody business. One must be careful during exciting times like these. Never know when the next lance will come, eh?"

Loras listened to the dwarfs words and realized his hatred for Tyrion may very well rival the hatred he had for his brother. Loras clenched his jaw and allowed a mock smile to touch his lips as he nodded in agreement.

"Quite."

Tyrion smiled innocently walking around Loras to greet the queen with arms wide open to embrace her lovingly. Due to his small stature it looked as though she was hugging a small, gangley child.

"Darling step sister! You are as radiant as ever. The gods themselves are no doubt jealous of your beauty."

Stepping back to take in his step sister Tyrion looked up at her happily. It had always bother Loras how close Rosalie had been with him. They were good friends and Tyrion accepted her into the family instantly. He would certainly be an obstacle to overcome in the coming days.

"How I've missed you Rosie. You've spoiled me for the violin by the way, have I told you? The finest musicians in Casterly Rock are children with sticks in comparison to your skill. You must play for me while I'm here, I beg of you...

Tyrion pasued and turned around as if quite befuddled. He looked up at Loras looking rather surprised to see him.

"Are you still here? Oh, apologies. You can go."

Tyrion said casually. Loras wanted to take his head then and there. With a mock bow Loras took his leave fantasying about all the ways he could kill the little imp.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Christoph Edwards Character Portrait: Alistair Lannister Character Portrait: Ulfric Bjornson Character Portrait: Annabelle Waldorf Character Portrait: Lucas Navigne

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Lucas never wanted to watch the tournament from the side, but he knew if he didn't and competed, well... Nicholas was likely to be a larger target. At least up in the box for nobility, by his friend's throne, he could watch his friend with little to no fear someone would hurt him without going through Lucas first. He stood on the king's right side, between him and the count Edwards.

Lucas had been to focused on searching the best ways to kill a fifteen year old king when he heard the conversation finally. "I pity the man who must face that mountain of a man, and I pity that horse that must sit beneath him." The advisor right next to him seemed to be as he always was, bringing others down when he can without seeming to.

Another man by the Seabel king spoke up, "Pity is good my dear lord but think of the possibilities such a contest can have. Should this boy, under matched as he is, win against The Mountain That Rides his tale would be sung from Ostwall to Falor and back. He'd have a literal banquet of women lining up for a taste of the cock of he slew The Mountain, a course in each village and dessert to boot."

It took great power not to roll Lucas's eyes. The fool hadn't been ready for such a competition. Lucas would have to compete next year. He couldn't have done jousting or the swordplay without fear of something happening, and he was perhaps the worst archer in the land even though he trained all year. Then the king of Seabel himself spoke up, "He is going to die today."

Lucas refrained from shaking his head. As true as it seemed, he hoped it wouldn't happen. Just as the thought went through his head, the boy went down and it was obvious should he not yet be dead, he would be momentarily. Lucas took a deep breath, the sight of blood making his stomach twist. Lucas' hand rested on the hilt of his sword as he stood there, growing more and more less concerned.

His eyes moved throughout the tournament, finding some surprising things without really finding interest in them. He didn't want to say anything, but he certainly didn't want to stay entirely silent. It was obvious this tournament should have a competition to enter so young boys such as this weren't killed. Sure there were the rare occasions, but that didn't mean it was still okay. Lucas would have leaned back in his saddle, or pushed the lance away with his own when his life was at risk, for it was nothing but a tournament.

As the archers came out, he wasn't surprised to see a female among the men. As his gaze drifted away, it caught on girl reading. She was near the princess of Ostwall and he looked away quickly. He could not get distracted, yet there she was drawing his attention away again. He found himself leaning forward between the seats to look until he caught himself. What was he doing? He was old enough not to get distracted by someone, especially a girl. He also knew he didn't want the heartbreak again. Perhaps he could talk with... No. He would not. If he did, he'd be doomed to thinking of her all the time. And yet...

He hoped nobody had noticed him leaning forward though he was nearly positive it would not go unnoticed. He just hoped the count didn't see it. The prince would just tease him, but the count... That might be bad...

Lucas hadn't talked much through the tournament, but that was because he hadn't been talked to. He also kind of didn't want to, unless it was to that girl... Lucas took a deep breath and shook his head. He wondered if the nobility around knew him or of him, possibly since he was younger than Loras who was the captain of the guards for Seabel...

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Christoph Edwards Character Portrait: Alistair Lannister Character Portrait: Loras Edwards Character Portrait: Cassandra Lannister Character Portrait: Rosalie Lannister Character Portrait: Priscilla Edwards Character Portrait: Lucas Navigne Character Portrait: Nicholas Brigham Character Portrait: Tyrion Lannister

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Christoph looked straight back into the eyes of the Imp with a hint of, perhaps, condescension. It wasn't because of his height that Christoph looked at him in such a way. He would have addressed any of House Lannister similarly. In fact, out of the entire family, Tyrion was perhaps the one he liked the most. The Half-Man's mind was nearly as sharp as Christoph's own, and perhaps it would achieve the acuity of the Count's by the time Tyrion reached his age. The younger man's response was unexpected enough to evoke a laugh or two. Even Christoph let out a soft laugh, but it also sounded vaguely like a scoff.

"I am quite certain that if he were able to best The Mountain, even the men might line up, also hoping to -- how did you put it? -- 'taste his cock'." The boy, of course, was not as lucky as Tyrion had mentioned. Christoph hardly shuddered as the lance lodged itself into his neck. "What a shame." He looked to Nicholas as the boy looked at him, searching for some reaction. "This is why, of course, men like you and I shall triumph. We think before acting so rashly." Christoph looked into his empty goblet and sighed before slowly standing.

"I shall take my leave now, Your Majesty. I have matters to attend to before tonight's masquerade, and it appears many of our companions have also left." He moved by slowly and stopped before Priscilla to lean down and kiss the top of her head. "Enjoy the rest of the competition, dearest," he said with a smile as he stood upright again. With that, Christoph left the stands and made his way back toward the palace.





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To say the least, Cassie had been shocked when her mother so suddenly grabbed her by the arms. She was simultaneously upset at the harsh way her mother addressed her and the way her mother's cheeks glistened with tears. Wasn't she happy? Everyone else in the audience seemed to be smiling and enjoying the day. Subconsciously, her bottom lip began to tremble. Still, despite being yelled at, her mother's kiss managed to bring a smile back to Cassie's face. "I love you too, Mother," she replied, wiping hurriedly at any tears that had managed to appear in her eyes.

When Loras appeared, however, she suddenly grew quite again as if afraid of embarrassing herself before the young knight. She even moved quickly behind her mother as if afraid to face him. Before she could peak out at him again, she felt her mother's hand on her hair and heard her suggestion. With a quick nod and a even quicker curtsey to the knight, she ran off towards the bushes, just far enough away so she could not hear them.

She shot a glance back and saw the knight handing her mother a rose. It was something out of a fairy tale, except her mother was a queen, not a princess. She was married, with a daughter, and princesses were supposed to marry knights that tried to woo them. For a moment, Cassie prepared to run to them, to warn them of this predicament. It didn't seem fair letting poor Loras waste his time courting her mother when her mother was already married.

When she looked back again, they had been replace by her uncle. In her hands, she had begun to form a miniature bouquet of white daisies with a few wild flowers.

The third time she looked up, Tyrion and her mother had moved toward a bench by themselves. She followed them, smiling gleefully as she worked her way through the grass. She placed the bundle on her mother's lap and clambered up beside her on the bench, kicking her legs once more as they dangled in the air. In the eyes of a child, parents could do little wrong. To Cassandra, her parents were the epitome of perfect human behavior. They weren't, of course, and that would mean that one day she would come to a startling revelation. Until then, however, she simply began to speak about the different flowers she had encountered with eagerness.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Celia Ulfricdottir Character Portrait: Ronan Ulfricson Character Portrait: Genevieve Hansdottir Character Portrait: Alistair Lannister Character Portrait: Ulfric Bjornson

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As she rested her head against his shoulder, he gently kissed at her exposed neck. Oh, he could have stayed there for ages with her. Someone, however, was bound to come across them eventually. There was simply no privacy here. It was as if the walls themselves had eyes. "One day, my love," he cooed. "When my father is no longer, when I have taken the throne, you and I shall rule, and we shall be able to love each other as we ought to be able to."

When she pulled away, he gave a soft sound of protest. "It's just bruised, nothing more," he replied. Still, he found it difficult to completely ignore her. Ronan unbuttoned his doublet carefully before pushing the loose-fitting undershirt aside. "See?" he said softly, smiling back at her. "Hardly can be called a wound." He rebuttoned the doublet. "Perhaps it would be appreciated if you came to check on my shoulder after the masquerade. No one will be able to bother us." Still smirking, he placed one more kiss against her lips.







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A smile tugged at his mouth as Alistair replied. Oh, how he had longed for someone to understand the truth behind war. Ronan tried, sometimes, to understand what Ulfric had been through. There simply wasn't a way for one to understand if they had never been through it themselves. To watch one's friends perish before their eyes, to feel the blood pump through your body. It was a sensation that simply could not be explained. "You are most certainly a man after my own heart, Alistair Lannister," he remarked.

"I certainly respect those who can wield a bow, but nothing is better than a sword in one's hand." He laughed to himself and shook his head almost in tandem with Alistair. He shook it, however, as if shaking off the memories that seemed to haunt his every thought.

"Amen to that. The bowman needs not run into the fray. Instead, he stands about on a peek while his comrades fall. And who returns as a hero? Certainly not the dead swordsmen."

He listened, suddenly growing solemn, as the king explained his predicament. "Neither method seems too fair. The politicians are slimy creatures, those who can not be trusted. Us warriors...well, what do we know about ruling a nation?" At least, he mused, Alistair had noble connections. Still, he wouldn't allow that to influence his opinion of the man. They may have come from different walks of life, but Alistair was not a bad man. Through war, all different sorts of men were united.

He raised his own, refilled goblet then. "To our crowns,"
he agreed before drinking to said toast. It was then that he looked down on to the field to see Celia competing. A smile crossed his face as it smacked the bullseye at 500 yards. Ulfric had to set his goblet down so that he could clap for her.

When he finally picked his goblet up again, he looked far more somber, and his brow wrinkled in, perhaps, concern before he looked toward Alistair again. "These lords around us, they do not understand what war is, what it does to a man. It is as if we are different animals entirely, and I often feel that ours is the dying species, Alistair."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Celia Ulfricdottir Character Portrait: Ronan Ulfricson Character Portrait: Genevieve Hansdottir Character Portrait: Christoph Edwards Character Portrait: Renly Arryn Character Portrait: Alistair Lannister Character Portrait: Ulfric Bjornson Character Portrait: Corianna Ulfricdottir Character Portrait: Annabelle Waldorf Character Portrait: Loras Edwards Character Portrait: Cassandra Lannister Character Portrait: Rosalie Lannister Character Portrait: Priscilla Edwards Character Portrait: Lorelle de Croismare Character Portrait: Lucas Navigne Character Portrait: Nicholas Brigham Character Portrait: Tyrion Lannister Character Portrait: Elanor Lannister

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OOC: "Here ye here ye! Come one come all. The good ole' Royal family Lannister of Tibera has put forth their 4th annual Masquerade ball at dusk. So, ladies and gents grab your masks and prepare to see identities be revealed.."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Alistair Lannister Character Portrait: Ulfric Bjornson Character Portrait: Cassandra Lannister Character Portrait: Rosalie Lannister Character Portrait: Tyrion Lannister

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"You wound me, dearest sister in law. Must I need a reason to visit my beloved family?"

Tyrion asked with mock offense and a playful smile as he wrapped his arm around the shoulders of his niece and gave her a warm hug. He chuckled before looking into the face of the little girl who looked so different from the child he'd last seen.

"My how you've grown Cassie, you'll be taller than me in no time though admittedly it wouldn't be that much of an accomplishment given my vertical deficiency."

He joked before sitting back with a sigh as he rubbed his sore legs. He had only been half lying about needing the rest as his stunted legs did ache something fierce after the long journey from Casterly Rock. His eyes slowly rose to his sister in law whose face was a perfect mask of innocence. How he wished it was not a mask at all but Tyrion had learned a long time ago everyone had masks, fitting they would be having a masquerade ball tonight. Yet there was still a lingering fear and a doubt in his mind. That look Loras gave her, the urgency she felt at bidding him farewell once he left. While it was no bad thing to be kind and courteous to those who are sworn to protect you something about the long goodbye trouble Tyrion greatly.

Looking back at his niece he smiled softly and leaned in as if to tell her a secret.

"Have I ever told you about the day your parents were married?"

Cassandra seemed to perk up excitedly at the mention of her parents wedding, the sweet girl always loved her uncles tales especially ones about love and happiness. She had such a gentle heart yet at the mention of her wedding day he could feel Rosalie's eyes on him.

"It was in Casterly Rock, and all the lords and ladies, knights and heroes of the realm were in attendance. It was a grand affair Cassie, if you could've seen it but alas you were not yet born, but a dream of two loving future parents. Extravagant, was used to describe it I think, but then what good is the word extravagant if not to describe a wedding? My father, your grandfather paid for the entire affair. There were lions carved of solid gold, rare birds imported from all over to lend their songs to the occasion, and banners of crimson and gold. And the food, oh the food! There was lamprey pie and honey cakes, duck sausage and candied almonds, every kind of custard imaginable, venison, hare stew, pigeon pie and lemon cakes and more than my memory can give justice too, I'm afraid. Then there were juggles, and singers, a fire eater from Pentos, silk dancers from Volantis and there was even a dancing bear!"

He said emphasizing the dancing bear, knowing how his niece would love that part. Yet as he continued his eyes slowly began to drift from his niece to his sister in law, his eyes looking into hers keenly.

"Yet for all the wealth and beauty none of it compared to the love of your parents. Your mother and father loved each other so very much and on that day they out shined the sun. Rarely did their hands separate, their fingers seemed permanently entangled. Constantly they whispered to each other sweetly, telling private jokes only they knew the punch lines to. Truth be told even when the toasts were made I doubt they ever heard them for they only had eyes and ears for each other."

Tyrion put his hands softly on his nieces shoulders and ushered her to turn and look at her mother.

"You learn well from your mother now, darling niece. When you grow up and find a love of your own you settle for nothing but the true love your mother has found in your father. A love that is strong, passionate and resilient. A love that burns brightly and even during the coldest winters, when the night seems to last for generations one need only stoke that flame to feel its warmth once again."

Tyrion let his words linger for both his niece and sister in law to hear, all the while his intelligent gaze locked on Rosalie. After a moment he sighed and slid off the bench to hop down to the floor.

"Ah, but alas. I fear I've taken up far too much of both of your time and you lovely ladies have a ball to prepare for. I bid you both farewell, and I shall see you tonight."

Tyrion kissed the hands of both Cassandra and Rosalie before turning to leave, pausing when he'd only taken a step or so away.

"Oh and Cassie, before you go to the ball, come to my room. I have a gift for you."

With that Tyrion left his niece and his sister in law in the garden, hope hung heavy in his heart that she'd heard his words and that he was wrong to fear in the first place.

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A cheer went up in the crowd as Ulfric's daughter hit the bullseye at five hundred yards, an admirable feet and not one Alistair could remember ever being accomplished before. He clapped along side her father who beamed with pride. Once the applause had subsided Alistair turned to Ulfric who seemed to somber somewhat, looking into his goblet and the wine red as blood.

"These lords around us, they do not understand what war is, what it does to a man. It is as if we are different animals entirely, and I often feel that ours is the dying species, Alistair."

Alistair couldn't help but allow a half chuckle to escape his lips. It was almost tragic how right Ulfric was. Kings ruled at the edge of a sword, and when swords mattered it was soldiers who were called upon yet to the nobles and bickering lords, soldiers were oafish brutes with clubs. Ironic that it was soldiers that ended up earning the glory the song writes love to doddle about. Alistair looked at Ulfric with renewed appreciation and respect for the man who he was quickly garnering a great liking for.

"Well said."

With the archery competition coming to a close the days festivities were over, making way for the nights entertainment and the masquerade ball. Alistair dreaded the damned ball, he was never one for fancy parties and would rather prefer drinking with a few close friends rather than a entire hall full of people he didn't even like. As the benches began to clear Alistair and Ulfric rose and Alistair shook the king of Ostwall's hand one last time before departing.

"Ulfric, you and your family will be my guests at my table tonight. Perhaps with you to swap war stories with I wont want to pitch myself off one of the towers by the end of the night. Don't leave me alone with these people, eh?"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Christoph Edwards Character Portrait: Alistair Lannister Character Portrait: Loras Edwards Character Portrait: Rosalie Lannister

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"Ah, thank you and no, I have not but I will speak with Pricilla soon. I have missed my sister, and you father. Things at court here are so...different than how it was in Falor. So much excitement."

He paused turning to look his father in the eye, a knowing smile on his face devious as the devil himself.

"So many opportunities."

Loras Edwards was so much his fathers son. He was handsome, intelligent, and wickedly cunning. Loras had not told anyone about his plans, not even his father for he could not risk a letter falling into the wrong hands. Yet with his father here now, Loras truly felt unbeatable. He could already think circles around that fool King Alistair and even with that troublesome imp sniffing about what was there to fear when his count father here to help him. Loras could finally have everything he'd ever wanted, it was in his grasp he needed only reach out and take it. As for those thinking to stand in his way, the Edwards family united would strangle any opposition like growing vines up an old, gnarled tree.

Loras flicked a gaze at the crowd dancing and drinking and enjoying the ball. Confident no one was watching he turned to leave and nodded for his father to follow.

"Might we walk a moment, father? I could use your help with something."

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"I hate these fucking parties."

Sandor's voice was as rough as mountain rock. Alistair chuckled at his fearsome kingsguard as he entered the hall, late as he'd intended. He didn't want to be here, he didn't want to get all dressed up and put this damnable golden lion mask on. His father had brought it all the way from Casterly Rock, freshly forged from some of the finest goldsmiths in Lannis Port. He felt like a damned fool but as was the way so often these days, it was expected of him.

"You hate everything."

Brienne replied as she walked on the other side of the king, her armor was polished brilliantly which was is such stark contrast to the thick, ugly, black steel plate The Hound wore. It was odd to look upon Sandor Clegane, with that ferocious looking hound helm he wore it almost looked like he was here for the party if it wasn't for the massive great sword affixed to his back. Alistair was about to shoot his favorite surly guardsmen a quick remark when he caught the sight of something that stopped him cold.

Golden hair cascading down her back in unbound tresses. Her body, draped in the finest fabrics making her appear to float on the dance floor. Such grace she possessed Alistair struggled to fathom a human being with such effortless elegance. The mask she wore made him smile for he remembered giving it to her during their first year of marriage. His wife stirred his blood yet shame touched his heart and made him shiver. A saddened hope for what once was, he could not look away and instead just stood there in awe of her beauty and poise. Gods, he missed her. He missed what they had. It was if he had been living in a dream, and woke up to find his real life was closer to a nightmare. He hated it, and the life he had now and all he wanted was to fall asleep, and dream again.

"Wait here."

Alistair said suddenly, his voice hard with determination as he strode away from his guards towards the dance floor. Rosalie was kindly dancing with an old lord whose name Alistair didn't know. The kind old man seemed overjoyed the queen would be generous enough to grant him a dance. As the couple spun Rosalie twirled effortlessly and collided right into the chest of the man she'd sworn her heart to under sacred vow. Alistair caught her as if he'd done it a hundred times, one hand around her waist and the other finding her hand as if they were made to fit together.

Their eyes met, behind masks but it didn't matter. They knew each other, they would always know each other. Even in the coldest winters their fires would call to each other.

"You look beautiful tonight."

There was a hesitation between husband and wife, holding each other on the dance floor. Surprise mixed with joy, fear and apprehension. Alistair could feel the butterflies in his stomach as if he were little more than a green boy nervous around girls, ironic the woman making him feel this way was his own wife.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Celia Ulfricdottir Character Portrait: Christoph Edwards Character Portrait: Renly Arryn Character Portrait: Alistair Lannister Character Portrait: Annabelle Waldorf Character Portrait: Rosalie Lannister Character Portrait: Priscilla Edwards Character Portrait: Lucas Navigne Character Portrait: Nicholas Brigham

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Nicholas adjusted his mask, grateful for the thin veil of anonymity it granted him. When it came to balls, Nicholas was willing to endure them. In most case he actually ended up having fun, in spite of what most people expected. Although he would probably have more fun if he wasn't engaged. He had already danced with Priscilla that evening. She wasn't by any means a terrible dancer, far from it, and she followed his lead well, it was just that there were far more interesting people for him to be spending his time with than his future wife. Lucas seemed determined to be his constant shadow at the ball, despite Nicholas's protests that he would be fine for one evening. It appeared that Lucas disagreed with him, as he often did when it came to personal security.

"You are allowed to have fun at these things you know," he said to Lucas, "Consider it a night off, you've earned it. Besides," Nicholas grinned impishly, " How are you to find the girl you were admiring earlier if all you do is act as my living shadow?" Nicholas looked around the ballroom, moving further into the crowd when he spied Christoph talking to his son. Where was Priscilla? He couldn't see her anywhere.

Nicholas looked up, slightly surprised when someone bumped into him, "I must implore for your forgiveness," the girl curtsied. When she straightened up, Nicholas vaguely recognised her as Celia. The girl Lucas had been admiring earlier, he assumed she was Celia's lady-in-waiting, was not far behind. "There you are, miss, I hope I haven't worried you too much with my absence," she said quietly.

Nicholas gathered his composure, "No, not at all. There is no need to implore me for anything, no harm was done and no offence was caused," Lucas was still acting as his shadow. Nicholas turned to Lucas, looking at him pointedly, "If you'll excuse me, m'ladies." He took his leave of the group before Lucas could protest, blending into the masked crowd so Lucas couldn't follow. Nicholas took a goblet from a passing servant, sipping from it as he observed the crowd. He spied his sister among the dancers with her husband. Rekindling their relationship as brother and sister was seeming ever more unlikely. It had never been a wonderful relationship, but following her marriage into the Lannister family, things had become decidedly sour. His eyes scanned the ballroom again, searching for Christoph and Priscilla. That was his original intention, instead his eyes fell on a boy whom he hadn't seen before. Nicholas might have known him, but with his face half covered it was difficult to tell. Although that meant that the boy wouldn't know who Nicholas was either. And in that single thought Nicholas knew why he liked masquerades. People did not treat him any differently because he was a king. In this place, he was just like everybody else.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Alistair Lannister Character Portrait: Rosalie Lannister Character Portrait: Lorelle de Croismare Character Portrait: Tyrion Lannister

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The guilt began gradually eating at Rosalie's insides as Tyrion spoke, "Yet for all the wealth and beauty none of it compared to the love of your parents. Your mother and father loved each other so very much and on that day they out shined the sun. Rarely did their hands separate, their fingers seemed permanently entangled. Constantly they whispered to each other sweetly, telling private jokes only they knew the punch lines to. Truth be told even when the toasts were made I doubt they ever heard them for they only had eyes and ears for each other." Yes, he was talking with Cassie, but there was this pull at Rosalie's chest that told her that he hadn't only been talking to her. When his eyes suddenly met with hers, then had she knew he was studying her expression to see how she'd react. Rosalie began biting at her lower lip, a nervous habit, as she let her thoughts roam about. Yes, those feelings for Alistair had suddenly changed, but it never denied the fact how she felt about him. She did love him. Always. However, with Loras around her love for Alistair always came into questioning. Alistair was her first love and will always be, but something about Loras is...indescribable. When he made love to him it just felt right. Needless to say, it was wrong that she cheated on Alistair, but her feeling for Loras is complicated. He didn't know her like Alistair did, but he knew whenever she was hurting, whenever she needed to be comfort and she adored him for that. He was her 'guard' after all, and she did feel guarded whenever he was near.

"You learn well from your mother now, darling niece. When you grow up and find a love of your own you settle for nothing but the true love your mother has found in your father. A love that is strong, passionate and resilient. A love that burns brightly and even during the coldest winters, when the night seems to last for generations one need only stoke that flame to feel its warmth once again." Tyrion said, breaking Rosalie away from her thoughts.

That was then, and people change. She wanted to tell Tyrion, but kept quiet as he continued. "Ah, but alas. I fear I've taken up far too much of both of your time and you lovely ladies have a ball to prepare for. I bid you both farewell, and I shall see you tonight." And at that, he took his leave only before turning on one heel to look back towards the two, "Oh and Cassie, before you go to the ball, come to my room. I have a gift for you." Then, he left without another word.

Rosalie waited until she seen Tyrion disappeared around a corner before she grabbed her daughter's hand. "Now, shall we go get those pops?"





Rosalie was nearly finished pinning her blonde hair into a well-arranged braided crown. Now she was getting her corset laced by her Lady-In-Waiting, Lorelle. "As I was walking back from buying a loaf, I noticed you talking to that boy- what was his name again? Oh, yes, the dear Count's son, Loras Edwards." she said matterafactly. Rosalie found herself smiling at his name as her thoughts pondered back at their conversation, at the rose he'd given her. She had stored it safely in her Jane Eyre novel as her very own personal book mark that she'd be able to look at in pleasure. In addition, she never denied to Lorelle the fact that Loras was now in her life. She trusted Lorelle with every bit of information, she was her one and only close friend she had, and she very well kept Rosalie and Loras' secret. At twenty-eight, Lorelle came in handy on advices as well. "Ah, yes!" she beamed. "Such a honorable man he is. He even was kind enough as to present me with a little gift."

Lorelle was quiet as she knotted the laces. Until she had finish. "I'd be careful with that man, Ms. Rosalie. Something about that one seems off to me."

"Oh, stop it Lorelle," she rolled her eyes. "He is a fine man. You and I both know that."

"Yes, I understand that madame, but-" Rosalie interjected. "Creame satin, or blue cutton?" she said, helding up two ball gowns.





"Mr. Quincy, you are such a charmer." Rosalie laughed at the man's witticism as they danced at the sound of the music playing. The man was near forty, but even behind his mask he looked rather handsome. "I am quite sure Evangeline would be admired."

"I'm sure she would be"- he twirled Rosalie in unison-"but then again, I am barely visible to the woman." Evangeline, a woman who's caught Quincy's eye since the moment the masquerade began, and he's found no intention on talking to her. Rosalie knew that he fancied her and she felt the sudden urge to set the two up.

"Tell her a story you have once told me, I'm sure she'll find it humorous. Infact, I believe I see her over there at the buffet." At that, Quincy released Rosalie to take a glance at a woman whose long black hair cascaded behind her back as she nibbled at a deviled egg, careful not to make a mess on her purple ball gown. Rosalie smiled at Quincy lost in the woman's beauty, and began pirouetting away from him until suddenly she knocked into another man's arms. "You look beautiful tonight." he said.

It was Alistair, and she was sure of it. The way his eyes met with hers, there was no need to release their masks to be sure of it. She knew him as a mouse knew not to be caught in a cat's attention and she was grateful of that, that she poised her hand one his broad should as the other slid in his hand. "And who might this man be who I am dancing with?" she smiled.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Christoph Edwards Character Portrait: Alistair Lannister Character Portrait: Loras Edwards Character Portrait: Rosalie Lannister

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She was funny. He'd forgotten. It had been so long since he'd laughed due to anything other than spite or bitter hilarity that he'd forgotten she made him laugh. It was one of the many things that had first attracted him to her. So many noble women were so concerned with playing their damned game of thrones that when he had met her and they'd had fun together, actual fun, it was as if he'd discovered magic in the world. That magic, he'd later learned to be love. Love that he'd become addicted to, and like any addict once you take the object of their addiction away, they die.

He laughed, chuckling behind his mask as he shook his head. His eyes held hers and the hand that was around her waist pulled her just a little closer.

"I'm nobody, just a swordsman who thinks you're the most beautiful woman he's ever seen. A swordsman who selfishly requests a dance."

Holding her in his arms he wanted to forget, he wanted to dream again. As the music started and the dancers began to move to the slow, almost sad music Alistair's heart bled. He moved in rhythm with his wife, the woman who still after all that's happened held his heart. As the husband and wife danced they did not speak, he allowed her head to rest on his chest as he held her through the song. He wanted to dream, dream of a time before. When he was happy and she still loved him. Of a time when he wasn't a king and she wasn't a queen and they still had each other. He let the music take him away from his throne, and the war, from Lorelle, and Rosalie's brother and all of it. There was him and there was her and it was perfect.

Cruelly The Rains of Castamere was a short song and they came to a stop. She looked up at him and he realized he hadn't let her go. He still held her there as if they were the only two people in the room. His eyes locked on hers, they drifted to her lips and he could desire nothing more than the gift of her kiss.

"I..."

He began, his voice weak and shaking. He put his hand on the side of her face, brushing a stray strand of her golden hair away from her ear with all the tenderness of a spring breeze. I love you. I miss you. I'm sorry. I've been a fool. All these things filled his mind yet as he opened his mouth, he had not the words nor the strength to speak them.

"Thank you."

Was all he could muster before he kissed her hand and bowed to her respectfully as any good swordsman would bow to a lady. As he turned away and left Rosalie he was grateful for the mask, it masked the pain on his face perfectly as well as the tears on his cheeks.

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"The Queen, with increasing regularity."

Loras was never a man who shied away from the shock value of information, it was one of the reasons he enjoyed playing the game as much as he did. It was one of the things that made him so good at it. He never got tired of deciphering the secrets of his enemies, storing that information, then letting those whispers step into the light at the opportune moment. In this case it was the mere surprise of his candor that drew the response from his father that put a smile on Loras's face. He smirked proudly as he walked by his fathers side. He had no idea what his son had been up to and now he did and all that would come of it.

"She's grown rather attached to me of late. I think... if I'm careful, and smart, I can use that. Get the girl, the throne, whatever I want. Certainly there are a few lions in the garden but I figure between the two of us, those big cats won't be much of a problem."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Alistair Lannister Character Portrait: Loras Edwards Character Portrait: Rosalie Lannister

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The crinkles by Rosalie's eyes became visible as she smiled at her husbands laughter. It was a small chuckle in which eventually had turned into a chorus of laughter from the two. "I'm nobody, just a swordsman who thinks you're the most beautiful woman he's ever seen. A swordsman who selfishly requests a dance." Alistair managed to say once he seemed to have collected himself. Suddenly, he pulled her closer until his chest touched upon the front of her bosom, until Rosalie could easily make out the dashes of chestnut brown specks around his irises. She flustered just looking at them. "Well, this beautiful woman thinks not of selfishness if she would've wanted nothing more than to grant the swordsman dance."

At that, the two said nothing more as they pivoted across the dance floor in unison as music filled through the room; melodious and romantic all at once. Other dancer's walked onto the dance floor in pairs to join, but Rosalie paid no attention to them. It was Alistair who she gazed at. A man who she loved since the very first day she laid eyes on him, he, unlike Loras, held something that would forever be cherished. He loved her in a way no other has ever been loved; every kiss, every touch was...remarkable. He knew her by heart as she knew him. The two were, infact, inseparable whenever it came to each other. It's one of the littlest things that keeps there love for each other growing, and as Rosalie leaned her head against his chest and closed her eyes she felt tat very love growing stronger and stronger. Her heart was thumping faster than the steadying beat of the music for a second before the song had came to a stop at the same time she rose her head to meet eyes with him, and they watched his lips as they began moving to collide with hers. "I.." he was stammering, yet Rosalie waited for that wall to be broken. The wall that was bordering up their love. She wanted him to say, he wanted to say it, but instead he told her something else that was not what was expected.

"Thank you." At that he kissed her hand, bowed, and left without another word. She stood there alone as she stared before him like a fool until he got lost into the crowd. She didn't stop him and she certainly wasn't going to run after him as it was the second time he'd blown her off without given a reason to.

She released her mask and gawked at the elaborate piece glimmering and glistening in the light, and a wave of disgust waved over her. A disgust that a mask like that could ever so conceal a person's true identity, true expression in comparison to her husband. And looking around the room, everyone was strangers. Not a soul in the room was true because they were being hidden in disguise.

Lifting the hems of her dress, she eased her way through the horde, bumping, pushing, weaving her way away from false faces that surrounded around her. They were suffocating her and Rosalie was screaming for air. She headed for the grand staircase, taking one look at the collection of people dancing until her eyes met onto one person who hadn't been dancing, no, instead he was looking at her. She didn't know who was behind the mask, though somewhere in her chest told her that she knew that person, had seen them somewhere at least. However, she took one good look and left for her chamber.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Christoph Edwards Character Portrait: Alistair Lannister Character Portrait: Loras Edwards Character Portrait: Rosalie Lannister

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Alistair could not escape the ballroom fat enough. Sandor and Brienne struggled to keep up with him. His jaw was tensed and his fists were clenched. He'd come so close, so close to her after so long but his damn guilt plagued him, the truth of what he'd done like a crimson sin he wished he could just hide his eyes from. He'd lost Rosalie and instead of fighting for her he'd ensure she'd never want him again. He'd whored and drank but it was this last transgression that haunted him the most. A transgression of not just the flesh but of the mind and possibly the heart. Lorelle was her lady in waiting, the one person in her service who should have her trust and even that Alistair had sullied. He hated himself, a part of him hated her.

"Your Grace, is everything alright?"

Brinne had asked, jogging up to his side as the exited the ball room and made for the stairwell leading to the kitchens.

"I need a drink."

Alistair growled as he threw open the door to the kitchens, startling a few of the staff as he headed for the bottles of wine.

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His father left him, Loras standing alone on the outskirts of the party. The words his father had spoken to him, echoing in his mind. "The lion is not to be underestimated,". Which lion however, that was what Loras was considering. There was the proud and noble fierce lion. Then there was the older, cunning and merciless lion. Lastly there was of course the younger, stunted and grotesque but dangerously intelligent. Loras weighed his threats and chose a target. He knew his own strength and what he could bring to bear against his enemies and there was only once who he felt could match his guile. As if it was a sign he saw Rosalie darting from the ball. Alistair had hurt her, again. Loras was well versed in knowing what she looked like after her cruel husbands treatment of her. She was his to save, so he had lions to slay, one at a time, starting from the bottom up. With a wicked grin Loras Edwards turned and left the hall. This night shall be the night that the good people of Seabel shall sleep soundly no more.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Celia Ulfricdottir Character Portrait: Ronan Ulfricson Character Portrait: Genevieve Hansdottir Character Portrait: Alistair Lannister Character Portrait: Ulfric Bjornson Character Portrait: Corianna Ulfricdottir

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Ulfric looked up slowly from the goblet of ale he was nursing. He couldn't remember how many this made, but it didn't matter now. Either way, he knew how to hold his alcohol. These parties tended to upset him, sending him into what could be called a temporary depression. These days, however, this depression tended to drag out. He thought back to his conversation with Alistair. All of these fake kings. Fake nobles. They failed to understand what true leadership took. With experience in combat, how is one supposed to know how to truly lead others? They simply don't.

No, he had never been a benevolent leader, but that's not what Ostwall had needed. Ostwall needed a figure to hold together various clans of nearly-wild men. In that respect, hopefully, he would be viewed as a success.

Thinking of Alistair caused him to wonder where the King of Seabel had gotten to. Years at these gatherings had told him that Alistair would simply be lurking about on the sides, without a want to dance. Ulfric had assumed the younger monarch would have joined him by now, having made him a guest at his own table, but he was nowhere to be seen until he looked toward the throng of dancers again. A sense of betrayal struck him then. Alistair had claimed to be one of Ulfric's "kind", the warriors who had been made into kings. But he danced with an elegance that Ulfric had never known.

At the same time, however, he could remember dancing with Freya back when she had lived. He could remember the smiles and exchanged laughs as he trampled over her feet. Perhaps Alistair was still a warrior. Perhaps he still had some fight left in him. Ulfric certainly hoped so. This realm could not survive on just one warrior monarch.

Another coupled caught his eye this time: Ronan and Genevieve. Whereas she had not so much as smiled when she danced with Ulfric, Genevieve now beamed up at Ronan in a way quite similar to how Freya had beamed up at Ulfric. His jaw tightened. No. He clasped his hands together before him and pressed his lips against the knuckles. It couldn't be. But it only made sense. It explained the long periods of time they had spent in the gardens, the nights she had left him to wander about. But he was not angry at her. He couldn't be when he failed to provide for her what she deserved: a husband her age. No, it was Ronan's fault.

But Celia joined them then, and he was torn from his thoughts as he listened to his daughters talk amongst themselves. Celia's wisdom was something that, even almost twenty years after her birth, continued to shock him. It was something he had never possessed, had never been able to possess, and it gave him hope. Again, he wished he could name her his successor, for Ronan certainly did not possess her skill.

"Aye," he said softly, entering their conversation without being asked to. "But at these gatherings, people often replace those masks they wear everyday with ones that are more truthful."
He was surprised at this remark, but perhaps it did contain some truth, for people often believed the presence of a physical mask provided them protection from their actions, however despicable they were.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Alistair Lannister Character Portrait: Lorelle de Croismare

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The night was indenieably busy for Lorelle and her trainees. She was in the kitchen nearly shouting out for people to attend to there stations, "Madame Gillan, come, serve these here cocktails to the guests. Siward, I need more wine. Angus, is thou mad? Fly thee! Shoo, they're waiting for our attendance." With one small brush at her white apron and adjusting the cap that sat upon her head, she grabbed for the wine platter, then stepped out into the grand hall where music came blaring in sharp chords that brought her heart thumping wildly. The other servants came to join her, all platters and smiles as they came to accompany their guests. Lorelle smiled to herself. Everything was working smoothly. The guests were enjoying themselves, the servants made sure that there platters were empty, and Lorelle was staring before them making note to the guests satisfaction. Her eyes scanned through bodies swaying in unison until her eyes landed onto a man who grabbed the shirt of one of the servants and lifted him at least three feet in the air- ready to pounce on him. She rushed over, and from what she could see the servant had spilled red wine on the man's suit."Oh, my," she gasped. "Come, let me get that cleaned up." she urged for the man to let go of her trainee, but he just shrugged her off.

"I'm not going any where until this here peasant learns his lesson." He spat out as he brough his fist midst the air, preparing to hurt the young boy. What she was about to witness made her stomach lurch, almost brought her to her knees. The boy couldn't at least have been thirteen years of age, and seeing him about to become beaten by a man twice that age was provoking. "Stop, I say!" Lorelle yelled. Everyone within a three-standing radius turned to look at her, even the man. She continued, "I am sure that this young boy didn't mean to do it. He is just a child, and we all know children are quite the clumsy ones."

The man seemed to ponder at that; gazing back and forth to Lorelle and the young boy nearly petrified in his grip. "I suppose," he released his grip, and the young boy hurried over behind Lorelle gown. "But keep that...thing away from me. Understood?"

"His name is Seyton."

The man only huffed, then stalked away. Lorelle turned toward Seyton and ran her fingers through his hair. "You are done for today. Why not rest for the morrow?"

He nodded. "Thank you, Madame Croismare." At that, he handed her his plater and hurried away. Lorelle watched as he disappered into the crowd before she headed for the kitchen to return Seyton's platter until she seen King Alistair fummbling around for something as half the staff stared after him, frightened. "What in God's name-" A nearby cook cut her off.

"Oh, Madame Croismare tis' a surprise. I do know what has happened. The king just came barging in looking for wine I suppose. He looks rather upset."He whispered as his eyes lingered onto the King's body. And Lorelle knew that the cook was right. The King did seem a bit shaken, if not angry

"Alright, everyone back to you stations." she ordered, and no body failed to follow. Then, she moved quickly toward the King. She cleared her throat. "Is everything alright, my lord? Why aren't you with my Miss? Perhaps you'd like a French Bordeux?" she said, offering the drink.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Alistair Lannister Character Portrait: Lorelle de Croismare

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The lion was hungry. He stalked the kitchens, his jaws ready for the meal to come, his icy blue eyes spotting his quarry. The gazelle and the zebra and the warthogs all scurried out of his path, wisely choosing not to risk catching his gaze. The lion sniffed the air and found his watering hole. Bottles upon bottles of Arbor reds, Dornish golds, imported Northern Mead and everything in between. The lion thirsted something fierce for the meeting with his lioness had left an uncomfortable feeling in the heart of the great king of beasts. The great lion sniffed the air and smelled the sweet scent of a nomadic female, looking to gain entry into his pride.

"Is everything alright, my lord?"

Lorelle spoke, her voice soft as silk and twice as comforting. Alistair turned, his eyes hungry as ever as he wrapped his hand around her waist and pulled her close.

"I'm not your damned lord."

He said, his voice a husky whisper heavy with desire. He almost kissed her right then and there. He wanted her, he burned for the warmth of her touch and the peace of her unaccusing eyes. She only ever looked at him with affection. Never fear or distrust or hate but love always and for that Lorelle Persephone de Croismare was the only respite he had in his world so dark and full of terrors. He nearly pressed his lips to hers, in full view of the rest of the staff when she spoke again, her hand on his chest halting him.

"Why aren't you with my Miss? Perhaps you'd like a French Bordeux?"

Word of the wine was lost in her mention of his wife. Alistair pushed himself away from her with a snarl, anger sparking in his heart and his mind. He stepped away from her and clenched his jaw, his eyes seeing Rosalie in the gold of the Dornish wine before him.

"Your lady..."

He growled as he picked up the wine and looked into the golden liquid before he hurled the bottled, shattering it against the wall. One of the nearby kitchen servants gasped in shock and Alistair wheeled on the lot of them.

"Get out or I'll take all your heads and replace you within the hour."

He snarled viciously. The kitchen was empty within seconds leaving Lorelle and Alistair alone. He turned back and found her watching him. She didn't fear him like the others, she knew him better than that. Despite his reputation, despite the beast he was supposed to be she knew he'd never hurt her or any other woman for that matter. Alistair had never so much as struck a woman before let alone take their heads as he would threaten. Yet she stared at him all the same, knowing how his emotions ruled him and made him act out.

"What? Don't look at me like that."

He asked, somewhat apologetically as he went back to grab some red wine from the cupboard and filled himself a goblet.

"I'm tired Lorelle. I'm so very tired."

He began before he took a long, much needed drink.

"Tired of the throne. Tired of that crown, all those damned courtiers, the false friends, the liars, thieves, whores, all of it. It's funny almost. The way we all look down at the denizens of poorer districts and see them as so far beneath us. We nobility are supposed to be better but here we are. Cheating and scheming and lying and fighting and fucking just like all the rest of them. The only difference between us and the common people is our names and the power we think they hold."

Alistair downed his drink and poured himself another before turning to look at Lorelle in the firelight of the kitchens hearth. She was beautiful and alluring. Her hair had the kiss of red in her copper curls, worn long around her face the way he liked it. Rosalie so often wore her hair up and he hated that. Lorelle liked it down and Alistair loved running his fingers through her long copper locks as he stole a kiss. Her skin, smooth and pristine as porcelain and her eyes blue and green. She would make a fine Lannister Alistair often thought during their private time together. Alistair approached her slowly, his eyes softened but just as passionate as ever.

"Let's leave this place Lorelle. You and me, tonight. Damn them all. Let them have their game of thrones, we can leave the board and let them all rot together."

He asked, despite the ridiculousness of his words he meant it. His head giving way to his heart for once he just wanted to get away and find love with this woman who understood him so. He pulled her in and eyed her lips, hungry for a kiss and for her answer.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Alistair Lannister Character Portrait: Lorelle de Croismare

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"Your lady..."
Lorelle overheard a grisly snarling sound that seemed to be coming deep in Alistair's chest. He snatched up the wine glass with one hand, balanced it in that hand for a moment, and threw it with blinding speed, shattering it against the wall, which collided and shattered into tiny bits of crystal.

And he was in front of her again, standing two feet away, still as a stone. He waited, but she still couldn't speak. She stood without moving, amused at his beastly temptation to scare off others. However, she'd never seen him so competely freed of that carefully cultivated facade. He'd never been less human...or more beautiful. Face stern, eyes wide, she stood like a bird locked in the eyes of a snake.

His lovely eyes seemed to glow with rash excitement. Then, as the seconds passed, they dimmed. His expression slowly folded into a mask of sadness. "What? Don't look at me like that." She watched his jaw set as he said that, and his eyes darted to her face and away so quickly that she wasn't sure if she only imagined it. Then, as if nothing had happened, he began moving around the kitchen with deliberately unhurried movements; opening and closing cupboards as he went until he found a goblet and poured himself red wine. "I'm tired Lorelle," he said formally, his back turned toward her. "I'm so very tired."

He waited, but she still couldn't speak. So, he continued. "Tired of the throne. Tired of that crown, all those damned courtiers, the false friends, the liars, thieves, whores, all of it. It's funny almost. The way we all look down at the denizens of poorer districts and see them as so far beneath us. We nobility are supposed to be better but here we are. Cheating and scheming and lying and fighting and fucking just like all the rest of them. The only difference between us and the common people is our names and the power we think they hold." He looked back at her and smiled, but his face was ashamed. At that, they stood silently, looking into each other's eyes-trying to read each other's thoughts.

He broke the silence first.

"Let's leave this place Lorelle. You and me, tonight. Damn them all. Let them have their game of thrones, we can leave the board and let them all rot together." he urged on with ever word, he took a step closer, his eyes never left her lips, until he stood in front of her, their noses partically touching. He reached a hand out, and brushed at her cheek; the other pulling her close against his chest with every staggering breath. He lifted her eyes; his expression was wistfu, pleading.

She thought for a moment, unsure what to think. She opened her mouth to say something and shut it almost instantly. Did he mean for the two of us to run away-together? And leave the country and, and... "And what about..?" She asked to break the silence.

They both knew who she was referring to, and it was wrong to even question it. She looked away, he waited, but she wasn't going to finish.


Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Celia Ulfricdottir Character Portrait: Ronan Ulfricson Character Portrait: Genevieve Hansdottir Character Portrait: Christoph Edwards Character Portrait: Renly Arryn Character Portrait: Alistair Lannister Character Portrait: Corianna Ulfricdottir Character Portrait: Annabelle Waldorf Character Portrait: Loras Edwards Character Portrait: Cassandra Lannister Character Portrait: Rosalie Lannister Character Portrait: Lorelle de Croismare Character Portrait: Lucas Navigne Character Portrait: Nicholas Brigham Character Portrait: Tyrion Lannister Character Portrait: Elanor Lannister Character Portrait: Evelyne Spyre Character Portrait: Guy Priestas Character Portrait: Simon Priestas Character Portrait: Priscilla Augusta Edwards

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The King's hand brushed lightly against the scar that still graced his left cheek -- a bitter-sweet reminder of how he had come to stand here beside Genevieve. His coronation, given the lack of spiritual leaders in the widely-diverse Ostwall, was headed by one of the eldest chieftains within the kingdom's borders, a man of a staggering seventy-seven years. Ronan's hair and beard had grown out to appear more like his people, from whom he required approval. The thick fur of a bear, draped about his shoulders, only helped further that image and reflect the symbol of his father. The pelts seemed to weigh him down greatly. They most certainly were the reason beads of sweat had begun to form on his brow. Or perhaps they came from the worry that, somehow, they'd trace the murder back to him.

The death of Ostwall's monarch had brought the festivities to a screeching halt. Ulfric's burial had been a ceremonious one, and the kingdom had grieved for months, meaning the current coronation had been unable to occur until now, two months later. In the mean time, Ronan suddenly found himself in the shoes of a man he had only, until then, dreamed of becoming. He played the part well, and Genevieve had as well. It was only when they were behind closed doors that she lost her air of nearly-constant mourning. Even then, he had not permitted her to be joyful in public until far after he had announced his plans to wed her.

Ronan moved his hand to brush at his brow then, and as he looked up at the chieftain before him, he noticed Celia just a bit off, holding Volundr. His son. He could never acknowledge the boy as his own, for the kingdom believed he had been the child of Ulfric and Genevieve, but Ronan told himself that the young prince should rightfully bear the surname of Ronanson. It pained him that it should be otherwise.

The chieftain stumbled over his words, causing Ronan to look back at him. Ostwall, unlike the other two kingdoms, had never truly adopted the more traditional concept of coronation until Ronan had insisted upon modernizing the nation. The chieftain had little idea as to what he was doing, and the words on the page made little sense given the fact that he was just barely literate. His stammering ended soon, thankfully, and he moved on to the crowning of the royals. The crown that was placed upon his head was nothing more than a thick band of iron with ornate patterns carved into it. The real beauty and power laid in the heavy chain that was placed about his neck, further weighing him down.

It was a relic dating back to times before even Falor had been unified when the clans of the North would give the chain to the strongest chieftain in the land. Over time, the simple chain had been added to in terms of links and precious stones until it hung heavy enough that it was only used for ceremonies. This, of course, was one of them.

As Genevieve went through a similar ceremony, receiving a less burdensome crown and chain that he had had created, for up until this point, the consort of the king of Ostwall had no political say. Though he had most certainly received the approval of the others in his kingdom, he knew they hardly approved of this action. Nevertheless, he turned around to great his people, hand reaching for Genevieve's as he did so. The chieftain cleared his voice once more before speaking in his thickly accented voice.

"I present to you King Ronan Bjorn Ulfricson, first of his name, and his queen, Genevieve Hansdottir of Falor, first of her name."




The proceeding festivities were a welcome change for all in Ostwall, having been in a period of nearly perpetual mourning for two months. A mixture of traditional and foreign instruments played, inspiring many to leave the banquet table in order to dance. Ronan, a bit too drunk by then to gracefully find his footing, resolved to stay at the table where he held the one month old Volundr in his arms. The King brushed a finger along the boy's cheek, laughing as the young prince gripped it and inspected the calloused finger with fascination.

"It's wonderful, is it not?" he remarked, looking out on the crowd of nobles, local and foreign, who occupied the hall. "It's ours now." Ronan continued to look about, meeting the gaze of a few nobles who watched the pair closely, with judgement visible in their eyes even from at the royals' place at the table. He knew they spoke about him and Genevieve quite often. It was most certainly scandalous for anyone to marry their widowed stepmother, let alone just months after her husband's death, but there were no laws regarding marriage in Ostwall.

Propping the small child up in his lap, Ronan gripped his tankard of ale and sipped from it for a moment, positioning it afterwards so that it attempted to block out the gossiping nobles. It hardly helped, however, and he simply turned back to Genevieve with his arm once more around Volundr.