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Celia Ulfricdottir

"Nobody has the right to choose who you are going to be. That choice belongs to you."

0 · 2,340 views · located in Tibera

a character in “The Price of Blood”, as played by Wisteria Cresting

Description

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"People let blood ties cloud their judgment; loyalties should be decided by logic and wars should be won by the one most likely to make the world a better place."




The Basics



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Full Name:
Celia Bellatreen Ulfricdottir

Nicknames:
Your Highness|Celly {used solely by her siblings}

Gender:
Female

Age:
19

Rank/Title:
The Eldest Princess of Ostwall

Sexual Orientation:
Heterosexual

Kingdom/Alliance:
Ostwall|Her Brother




What's on the Outside



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Hair Color:
Brown

Eye Color:
Blue

Height:
5'3"

Weight:
125lbs

Tattoos:
N/A

Piercings:
N/A

Scars:
Celia has one scar along most of her left leg from a riding incident

Description:
Short and petite, Celia is considered very beautiful for her age despite her slight, but apparent overbite. Although her eyebrows aren't incredibly thin, it does not distract from her apparent beauty. Her hair is naturally very curly, but she does not like when it gets out of hand and will occasionally have her servants work with it. Celia is well-known for her flamboyant style of dress, something she seems to have inherited from her late mother. Celia's favorite color of dress is red, but she also enjoys golds and silvers.




What's on the Inside



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Personality:
{Deceptive, Observant, Intelligent, Reserved}
Celia is not like most girls her age, who are flirting with men and attending the grandest of parties. She comes off as a very polite, if not a bit too quite young woman. In fact, there are many that think Celia is mute, considering the fact she rarely speaks in public. She has proven on many occasions that she is a capable person though. In fact, she is considered one of the most intelligent women of her generation. However, Celia is not an unkind person. Actually, she is a very generous and selfless individual who believes in helping others, even if it means risking her own reputation. She has her father thoroughly convinced that she is on his side and supports him without a sliver of a doubt, which is a scary thought. It is unknown that Celia is actually a supporter of her brother; not even he is aware of it.

Because of her quiet disposition and assumed muteness, Celia is a very observant person. She knows many secrets about the court, seeing as people have no problems speaking freely around her. She is also a master when it comes to body language, which is possibly why she is a wonderfully deceptive liar. Most people have some telltale giveaway that they're lying, but Celia has absolutely no twitch or quirk that shows her actual opinion or the true fact. She doesn't seem to be very loud and boisterous in the least, rarely displaying any emotion and seeming very calm at all times.

However, Celia does have a soft side when it comes to her siblings, her stepmother, children, and her pets. It is a side very few people ever see, but it does exist. Any stable hand or animal trainer will tell you that she is very loving towards her animals and seems to be able to soothe the most spooked creature in the world. Celia is also well-known in the nurseries, seeing as she is a frequent visitor there. The children all seem to love her. She'll read stories to them and teach them games. Sometimes, she even shows them a bit of potion-making or brings her dog, Fallon, or her fawn, Nix, with her. Celia is also very adoring of her younger sister and dotes on her to the extreme. She loves her very much and is always willing to listen to her problems, no matter how seemingly insignificant. Celia is a large supporter of her brother's ambitions, disliking her father and his way of ruling exponentially. She is also always willing to offer him advice and is loyal to him to the point that she would die for him if necessary. Celia is also very fond of her stepmother, who is more like a sister to her. She is aware of her speculations about who fathered her child, but she doesn't bring it up. She figures if she wants to talk about it, she will. In public, Celia is not entierly interactive with her Lady-In-Waiting. However, in private, Celia is extremely open with her.

Hobbies:
Archery: Perhaps one of Celia's favorite pastimes, archery is among one of Celia's greatest skills. In Ostwall, there is a legend that she is able to hit a stationary target from 500 yards away and a moving target from 400 yards.

Horseback Riding: Celia loves horses and has two, which she alternates between riding. Although she loves long rides, it is unusual for her to go more than three miles from the castle.

Learning: Celia is considered very scholarly for her age as well as her gender. She learned to read before she could walk and talk whens he was fairly young. She was given the best tutors and is well versed in many languages as well as the histories and geography of Falor, Ostwall, and Seabel. She also knows many war tactics and is very good with accounting and potion-making (chemistry). It is well known that Celia is open to learning anything from anyone.

Eavesdropping: She would never admit it, but Celia loves eavesdropping on people's conversation; it is fairly easy for her because she usually goes unnoticed.

Taming: Celia is very good with animals. In fact, she's better with animals than she is with humans... Anyways, Celia loves taming animals, especially "untamable" creatures and she has a large range of pets in her menagerie.

Habits:
Biting her Lip: When she is in deep concentration, Celia has a habit to chew on her bottom lip.

Smoothing her Hair: It isn't unusual for Celia to smooth down one part of her hair when she is talking to someone or listening to a conversation.

Oddities:
Wine: The only alcohol Celia will drink is wine and she always rejects anything else.

Likes/Loves:
Books|Horses|Animals|Careen|Fallon|Nix|Art|Foreigners|Archery|Learning New Things|Comfortable Silence|Fires|Tactics|Psychology|Her Brother|Her Step-Mother|Her Sister|Her Lady-In-Waiting|Children

Dislikes/Hates:
Wolves|Her Father|Nightmares|Chauvinists|Blood|Ridiculous Dresses|Parties|Formal Gatherings|Pregnancy{more a fear than a dislike}|Public Speaking



What's Done Is Done




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Biography
Place Of Origin:
Ostwall

History:
Celia was never really a normal child. From a young age, she kept to herself, even avoiding most of the other girls on occasion. At first, people assumed she was just shy, but it became very apparent that she didn't care much for their loud and snobby attitudes. To be honest, Celia would have preferred to stay in the library and read all day rather than attending the parties her father seemed to think would explode if she didn't appear. Over time, she ended up with the best tutors in the country. She became well-known as one of the most scholarly women her age and quite possibly beyond it. Celia was only ten when she began attending her father's court meetings, occasionally giving her own comments. It wasn't long before she realized that Ulfric was not everything she had originally thought he was.

When Celia was six, her younger sister, Corianna, was born. She couldn't have been happier. Celia immediately grew close to the younger girl and after her mother's death assumed a bit of a motherly role towards her. Freya's death was without a doubt Celia's worst memory and a very recent one. She had always been ridiculously close to her mother and her death hit her like a ton of bricks. The already distanced Celia withdrew into herself even more, spending more hours pouring over her studies and avoiding people to the extreme. Her Lady-In-Waiting had to force her to eat and take care of herself. At first, Celia resented Genevieve, her stepmother. However, she eventually grew on her and she came to think of her as a sister.

Recently, Celia has not worried much about the past, choosing not to dwell on it. It's the future she's worried about. Although she supports her brother's claim to the throne, she does not want her father to die. She worries about what will happen to Genevieve if her child ends up being her brother's. She wonders what will happen to her, especially considering the fact that she is still a woman and may end up being used as a bargining chip in political struggles. She especially hopes that Corianna isn't exponentially affected by everything going on around her. She knows that change is inevitable, but it is not something she wishes for.

Happiest Memory:
Corianna's birth is Celia's happiest memory because she finally got the chance to be an older sister and she loves her very much.

Saddest Memory:
Without a doubt, Celia's saddest memory is her mother's death, something she hasn't entirely gotten over. She loves her stepmother, who is like another sister to her, but she misses her mother greatly.




Portrayed By:
Wisteria Cresting|Call me Wisty

Face Claim:
Anna Popplewell
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So begins...

Celia Ulfricdottir's Story

Setting

Characters Present

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

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Celia found these tournaments quite... boring? Perhaps that was the correct term? That was most likely why she had a book on her lap and her eyes were fixed on it rather than the competitions. In fact, she ignored the scene completely until her brother's joust came up. She glanced up, watching as he was thrown off his horse and she sighed. She loved Ronan, she really did, but she had to question why he participated in competitions he knew he was going to lose. He sat down next to Genevieve, not that Celia was surprised. In her mind, she reprimanded him; he should be more careful. After all, rumors were a courtesans favorite tool and it was not the best idea to give them something to talk about. Even so, it was not her place to mention this to him, should it arise more suspicion. "Damn horse screwed up the entire thing. That beast can't do a damn thing correctly," Ronan complained and she looked at her elder brother.

"Blaming the horse may not be the best course of action, dear brother. Nobody enjoys the company of a sore loser, especially one that blames a beast trained by said loser."

At least, Celia assumed in her mind that's what others thought. She didn't blame her hawk when she failed to hit her target with an arrow. It was her own folly that had caused the misplaced arrow, not Careen's. However, she knew that her brother's pride prevented him from viewing the world in this way. Celia stood up, noting that it was nearly time for her own competition, making her the first woman to participate in the archery tournament. First, she had to get out of this blasted dress; she never understood how other women could wear layers of cloth so easily. "Shall we go, Annabelle?" she addressed her Lady-In-Waiting, who sat directly behind her. She then turned to her younger sister. "Wanna come with me to get ready, Cori?"

She spoke so quietly that only people that knew her could hear her soft tone. To everyone else, she looked like nothing more than a young woman moving her lips without a sound escaping them. Celia bent down so she was level with her father. "I'm going now, Papa."

Without waiting for his answer, Celia navigated through the crowds and disappeared out of the arena. She breathed in the less foul air and walked towards the castle to change before the her own event began.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Celia Ulfricdottir Character Portrait: Ulfric Bjornson Character Portrait: Corianna Ulfricdottir

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Corianna had been intently watching and imagining her sitting on the back of a horse jousting. She was dressed in armour with the colours Ostwall and you couldn't tell she was a girl. Her horse was a black and strong. Brandishing a shield she charged, but she lost. In her vivid day dream she was just falling off her horse about to hit the ground when she heard her sisters voice."Wanna come with me to get ready, Cori?" "Sure" She replies slowly, shaking off her daydream.Oh how she wanted to compete in the tournaments. But apparently none of her skills fitted and she was too young. She hated when people sad that. That she was too young.

"Bye papa!" she said cheerfully, giving him a hug as she went to walk away. Even though her father had been distant throughout her childhood, he had never done anything to make her question her love for him. After the death of her mother she began to grow even closer to him.

Grabbing on to her sisters arm while the weaved through the crowd"Can you teach he how to ride a horse Celia?" She asks her sister. Cori scolds her self for never thinking about it before. She could be a great rider now if she had started earlier. She could be practising jousting right now.

Her sigh was barely distinguishable from her heavy breathing, Cori was sweltering in all the clothes her servants had placed on her. "Miss you must look presentable" She certainly didn't feel presentable. She felt like her face was red and she was sweating everywhere. She would much rather be in lighter clothes, or armour.

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

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There was a weight in her stomach. It was nothing to be worried about, she had been assured, but that didn't help much when Ronan got hit right in front of her. Genevieve had thankfully been able to repress her reaction to just a small gasp as she jumped in her seat. It couldn't have been much damage though, she thought. She glanced over to her... husband. She hated the thought, but for now she could do nothing about it. Ulfric hardly seemed fazed by what had happened though, so she did her best to calm herself.

Her eyes followed him the whole time he walked up, her eyes lighting up as he chose to sit beside her despite what he had been told. The girl grinned and her cheeks lifted, her nose scrunching up as she forced herself to not hold tightly to him. She nodded in agreement to his complaints as he sat beside her, frowning with concern as she reached to touch his shoulder, leaving her hand hovering hesitantly above it while Ronan’s gaze challenged his father. “Are you alright?” She murmured gently, letting out a small laugh at Celia’s remark and turning to wish her well as she left with all of the group but Ulfric and Ronan.

This was torturous. Why couldn’t the old man just find something more important to do? Or she could find something that could conveniently distract herself and Ronan from the festivities. Perhaps examining his wounds would be a proper excuse? Genevieve rose an eyebrow, touching his shoulder gently as he gripped her hand. “You should go make sure you aren’t hurt, Ronan.” She said, making it sound like more of an order than a suggestion.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Celia Ulfricdottir Character Portrait: Corianna Ulfricdottir Character Portrait: Annabelle Waldorf

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"Can you teach me how to ride a horse Celia?"

Celia looked at her younger sister, surprised by the abrupt question but at the same time, not very surprised. The oldest daughter of Ulfric was actually quite surprised no one had taught her yet. "Of course, Cori. We'll take Nightingale out tomorrow."
Nightingale was one of Celia's two horses and the one she had brought with her to Seabel. She wished she also had dearest Euphemia as well, but her father only let her bring one.

They walked up to the room Celia was sharing with her Lady-In-Waiting and her sister. Immediately, they were greeted by Fallon, Celia's spotted dog. Unlike most people, she let her dog inside her room, seeing as it was well trained. After all, there was a pair of doors that led directly outside should she need to relieve herself. Celia gathered the clothing laid out on her bed into her arms and stepped behind the divider. She stripped off the suffocating dress and put on the relieving clothing.

Finally. Gone was the stuffy dress. Celia was now dressed in a thin chiffon skirt and a blouse. She stepped out from behind her divider and sat at her vanity for Annabelle to braid her hair. How she hated this room, so far from her one at home with her research stacked up to the ceiling. Another exaggeration. She did have a lot of research at her home though. Her fingers itched for a quill. She could take some notes on the humorous interactions of the royals with everyone waiting for the opportune moment to stab each other in the back. Yes, very humorous indeed. Celia briefly wondered if she was a sadist, but she pushed through thought out of her mind once she saw her younger sister. Why couldn't her father let her choose Corianna's clothing? "That dress must be killing you. Honestly, do the servants not know a winter dress from a summer one?" she pointed to Corianna's trunk. "Change into something more seasonally appropriate, Cori."

She dearly hoped that the servants didn't pack only winter dresses. If they did, Celia would have to do some improvising. Something she would hate to do to her sister's dresses. Winters got cold in Ostwall and she'd freeze without proper clothing. Fallon laid down at Celia's feet as she let Annabella do her hair. She was actually anxious for the archery competition.

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: Renly Arryn Character Portrait: Corianna Ulfricdottir Character Portrait: Annabelle Waldorf

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Annabelle had been watching a few of the jousts while she sat behind Celia. She had been studying the tactics that each one was using and she made judging notes in her mind as she watched it go on. Although the most prodding thing in her mind was how the horses must feel. They didn't deserve to have these guys with their heavy armor sit on them and then joust, talk about animal cruelty. Anna couldn't complain much though, this was what they lived in and horses did a lot for them. Sighing she returned to reading the book Celia was reading over her shoulder briefly, it was a book that Anna had read before and she smiled a bit.

Soon enough her gaze wandered from the joust to the book, and then just looking around the crowds. Anna was wondering where Ren was. She hadn't seem him too much recently, and she'd go look for him, but her duties were to attend to Princess Celia, which sometimes meant helping Princess Cori once in awhile, considering the older princess and little princess were around each other quite a bit.

Watching Ronan do his jousting match, she watched him, fail, and fall off the horse, or whatever. That had to dent the ego, and didn't make him look too good in terms of reputation and she exhaled softly. That was about the point where Celia decided to go get ready for her archery competition and Annabelle followed her to the room she was led to.

Once Celia was finished getting ready she came out and sat in front of the vanity. Soon Annabelle began to brush Celia's hair knowing that she wanted to have it braided and she wanted to smooth it out some first. "If you need help with putting the dress on, I can help you." She said to the little princess with a small smile on her face. She didn't offer her assistance in horse riding, knowing it was a bonding moment for the two sisters to do later. Anna then began to section out the pieces of hair and made sure they were even before braiding her hair down the middle. "Would there be anything else you'd like me to do after this, your highness?"

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: Celia Ulfricdottir Character Portrait: Corianna Ulfricdottir Character Portrait: Annabelle Waldorf

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"Of course, Cori. We'll take Nightingale out tomorrow."
She smiled excitedly. That would be great fun. She was excited now for this tournament to finish now. As she followed her sister up to the room she had more fantasies about riding and even more about jousting.

As Fallon greeted her, Celia and Annabelle gleefully Corianna lent down and scuffled it's ears. She was ever jealous of her sisters animals. Apparently she was not responsible enough yet. Ever since she left that plant die that her mother...she falls back and spreads herself out on her bed and sighs. She becomes increasingly sad on the inside but does not let this show. Looking sad and weak would just make them worry again about her state of mind and that she could be going back to where she was a couple of weeks ago. That would not help anybody.

"That dress must be killing you. Honestly, do the servants not know a winter dress from a summer one? Change into something more seasonally appropriate, Cori." Her sisters voice breaks through her thoughts. "I did tell the servants that. But they said," Her voice goes into a high pitched mocking voice "No miss you must look presentable". She snorts, then looks towards her trunk and gathers clothes. She changes into a simple brown dress and lets her hair loose and shake it a bit. "How did Ronan do? I missed it, and where did Genevieve go? She wasn't next to Papa when we said goodbye."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Celia Ulfricdottir Character Portrait: Christoph Edwards Character Portrait: Priscilla Edwards Character Portrait: Lucas Navigne Character Portrait: Nicholas Brigham

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Nicholas sat, utterly bored out of his mind watching the tournament. Christoph sat to his right, Priscilla on his left and Lucas stood behind himself and Christoph. His interest in the jousting tournament was casual to say the least. Had Nicholas had his own way, he would not be wasting his time watching, but this was one of those occasions where he was required to act a certain way. The Lannisters might be the hosts, but the tradition had always lain with Falor and he was not about to let that be forgotten by being absent. His attention wandered, along with his gaze, through the crowds watching the jousting, through the nobility, the peasantry, down to the squires. He gave a half-smile, thinking that he surely had more in common with those squire boys than he did with the kings he sat among.

"I pity the man who must face that mountain of a man," he heard Christoph say, bringing his attention back to the jousting, "And I pity that horse that must sit beneath him."

Nicholas looked up to see the man known as The Mountain mount his horse. The poor boy facing him didn't stand a chance. This was one of the times that Nicholas was glad he was exempt from competing. As a king he wasn't allowed to compete. He couldn't help but agree with his brother-in-law. "He is going to die today."

Nicholas took a sip from his goblet and shifted in his seat, moving away from Priscilla and more towards Lucas, his attention on the jousting as morbid curiosity made him watch the unequal match. He stiffened slightly as a collective gasp echoed around the arena. The Mountain's lance slid up and under the young knight's armour, piercing his throat. Nicholas stared at the bloody scene, somehow unable to draw his eyes away. He looked to Christoph for some sign that this was quite a normal affair, turning to Lucas would have been to obvious an indication of his discomfort.

The tournament continued and before long the wooden divider was being torn up. The archers came out. He was surprised to see a woman among the competitors. She must be Princess Celia Ulfricdottir. He had heard talk of her, but this was his first opportunity to see her. From all accounts, she was intelligent and kind; a good woman who would make a good queen. His eyes drifted to Priscilla. True, she was pretty enough, but there was little more than air between her ears in his experience. Not for the first time, Nicholas found himself wishing Christoph had another daughter he could marry, one that knew her own mind, or was actually in possession of one. From the corner of his eye, he saw Lucas shift slightly. Nicholas looked up, and saw Lucas's attention was not on the archery tournament, but elsewhere in the crowd. He followed Lucas's line of sight to a girl sat reading. He suppressed a mischievous smile and sat back in his seat, waiting patiently for the archery to begin.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Celia Ulfricdottir Character Portrait: Corianna Ulfricdottir Character Portrait: Annabelle Waldorf

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At long last, she had a quiver on her back and a bow gripped in her hand. Celia tilted her head at the targets, each of them varying in distance. She turned to Annabelle and Corianna, "Would you hold my book for me, Annabelle? I don't know where Genevieve is, Cori. You should go back now, wish me luck."

She gave her Lady-In-Waiting her book and turned back to the targets. Distance. Accuracy. Humility. That was what made a good archer. Judging by the cocky smiles of her opponents and the way they looked at her like she couldn't hold her own, she knew that none of these men had the last piece of the puzzle. It was true that Celia's archery skills didn't come from genetics or pure talent; no, she had to work to become a good archer. Years of staying out until dark until she hit the bullseye at least four times. Blisters covering every inch of her fingertips. Pain was a good teacher and instead of quitting like most girls would've done, she endured it.

Standing there and gauging her opponents, Celia had to wonder why she started archery. Most likely to impress her father. When you're born a woman, you have to work harder to prove yourself. The bell went off and the archers lined up. Celia watched her opponents appraisingly. If you didn't hit a bullseye, you were automatically disqualified. She was last.

100 yards. Celia nocked an arrow and drew back the string of her bow. She blocked out all other noises as she released the arrow into the air. A twang followed by a satisfying thunk. Bullseye

200 yards. Bullseye

300 yards. Bullseye

400 yards. Bullseye

500 yards. The arrow nearly missed the bullseye, scraping the surface of the red dot. She waited for a servant to declare it good and she only smiled when he did.

Sound came back to her all at once. A loud roar. She blinked. She'd almost forgotten she was a tournament. She faced the crowd and bowed slightly, walking past dumbfounded men. Yes, women had to prove themselves in a world like this and Celia knew she just did.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Celia Ulfricdottir Character Portrait: Annabelle Waldorf Character Portrait: Lucas Navigne

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After Anna had finished helping Celia getting ready and she was going out to do the archery competition she was told to hold her book. Annabelle was alright with that considering she'd likely just read it while she was waiting for Celia to be done outshining the guys in the competition. Anna was almost always around when Celia practiced and she knew just how much she had worked for this and knew how good Celia's shot was.

Annabelle went and took her seat in the front row, so she'd be easily at access for Celia if she needed something and she was close by. Anna knew there was likely nothing to worry about, so she started to open the book and began to read it. Although having read it when she was much younger it was still a rather good read for her. She heard the competition go on for a few moments, as she'd turn the page.

Soon she looked up as the competition was coming to an end, she wanted to see the victory, of Celia's, although as they were adjusting the amount of yards, she was scanning the crowds a bit, and that was when she saw, a male looking at her. How long had he been watching her? She was a little curious per say, and soon enough she looked to lock eyes with his, and she was looking back. He had to be of some form of nobility, not royalty it'd seem, but he sat close enough to be of some form of rank. Her blue eyes just stayed locked on his eyes.

"500 Yards!" someone called out and that broke her looking over at the guy staring at her, and she looked over to Celia, who began to make her shot. It just barely missed the bullseye and it was right on the line and soon, the official cleared that it counted and the whole crowds even Anna stood up and began to clap, some others cheered but to keep her lady-like mannerisms she refrained from it.

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: Celia Ulfricdottir Character Portrait: Lucas Navigne Character Portrait: Nicholas Brigham

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Blasted things, parties. Celia would much rather be in her room, curled up with a book. Or better yet, at home in Ostwall. Honestly, what was the point of her being here? She could barely dance. Her father knew that. He could be a cruel man sometimes. And to make matters worse, it was a masquerade. And to go even further, she had lost her sister and Annabelle. The world just seemed to love making her life so much more difficult than it needed to be.

Huffing, Celia took another sip of her wine. It was sweet, dessert wine. Perfect for parties. That was about all she knew about parties though. The mask she wore weighed heavily on her face. True, it was made of the thinnest steel available, painted gold, carved and turned and wound for the immense detail of it, but it was still too much. She had to wonder if some of these people practiced wearing masks.

She wanted to leave. Oh how dearly she wanted to leave and locate Seabel's library. She could... If she really wanted to, but she didn't want to worry Annabelle or Corianna. She smoothed down a strand of hair in front of her face as she continued to weave her way through the crowds.

There were so many people and Celia knew it wasn't long before the crowd began to feel oppressive, especially after this next dance finished. She quickened her pace. Perhaps the balcony would have a bit more room? No such luck. Maybe the side rooms? No... She moved backwards, hoping to come in contact with the wall. She could stay there and hope that either her Lady-In-Waiting or her sister would find her. Instead, she bumped into another body. Celia spun around and dipped into a curtsey. "I must implore for your forgiveness," she said in a mellow voice. When she bobbed back up, she was met with the face of a certain young king and his apprehensive bodyguard. She blinked, but other than that, there was no sign of the surprise that raced through her.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Celia Ulfricdottir Character Portrait: Annabelle Waldorf Character Portrait: Lucas Navigne Character Portrait: Nicholas Brigham

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Annabelle had been helping Celia get ready for a duration of the night, but at one point she was allowed to go off and get ready herself. Anna couldn't wear anything too elegant as that was more so reserved for royals. Anna had got her favourite purple dress she saved more so for special events such as things like this. She kept her hair down and found a simple mask and she slipped on some of her shoes. Anna knew she wouldn't fit in with the royals but she never really wanted to in the first place.

For awhile she had been rushing around to help out multiple different people and she had been waiting for the evening to start. She had been thinking about whether that one guy was going to be there, she could still imagine what his eyes looked like, and so she'd just need to be on the look out for those same pair of eyes. it was her goal to find him and at least get his name by the end of the night, if he was there. She was mostly just curious as to why he was staring at her in the first place.

Upon everyone making their entrance and such forth, the first dance had started, and she managed to find someone to dance with, which had been a stable hand boy. Annabelle made light conversation with him, talking about horses, and books in general, which none he seemed to think about too fondly. It disappointed her a bit but she wouldn't let it show. After the first dance, she was wandering around looking for someone she knew. One thing for sure was she knew what Celia was wearing and could likely point her out rather easily.

After looking for a bit, she spotted Celia, and she began to walk over there. Eventually she reached Celia's side and she smiled. "There you are, miss, I hope I haven't worried you too much with my absence." Anna said formally in case of anyone around heard, she was fairly close with Celia although in public cases she liked to make sure she was presentable.

(OOC: Will post for Elanor later on I need to sleep now.)

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: Celia Ulfricdottir Character Portrait: Corianna Ulfricdottir Character Portrait: Annabelle Waldorf Character Portrait: Lucas Navigne Character Portrait: Nicholas Brigham

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"There you are, miss, I hope I haven't worried you too much with my absence."

Celia turned to find Annabelle standing next to her and smiled softly with a shake of her head as if to say she was fine. She turned her attention back to Nicholas as he excused himself and walked away. Then, she faced the King's bodyguard as he asked Annabelle to dance. Celia knew enough about body language to tell that he was nervous and that Annabelle was the focal point of that anxiety. The Princess turned to her lady-in-waiting. "You should enjoy yourself," she whispered before walking away and leaving her to her own decision.

She gracefully took another glass of wine off of a servant's platter and made her way over to her family's table, where Cori was seated. With a small sigh, she sat down next to her sister. Her eyes roamed the ballroom, longing for a quiet night in her room more and more. She half-wished she could just run away from Seabel altogether and return to her home. "What is it about masques that makes people so happy, Corianna?" she questioned her younger sister; she knew she didn't like being treated like a child, so she didn't bother trying to dumb it down. She turned to Cori with an imploring look as if she'd just asked for the secret to eternal youth. "Is it something about the atmosphere of mystery and intrigue? After all, even with a mask, everyone knows whom you truly are because we wear masks in our lives everyday."

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: Celia Ulfricdottir Character Portrait: Ulfric Bjornson Character Portrait: Corianna Ulfricdottir

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Corianna was getting lost in yet another of daydream, this one more extravagant than usual. Everybody appeared to be dancing in their underwear. She smiled to herself when her sister walked over, she looked oh so graceful."What is it about masques that makes people so happy, Corianna?Is it something about the atmosphere of mystery and intrigue? After all, even with a mask, everyone knows whom you truly are because we wear masks in our lives everyday." She opened her mouth to reply, "I.." but then her father joined in. "Aye," he said softly "But at these gatherings, people often replace those masks they wear everyday with ones that are more truthful."

She became confused, what did they mean by masks? With a bit of thought she figured that they were implying that everybody was faking who they truly were. But why? She never quite understood the politics between the kingdoms, and she preferred to stay out of it. Sure she knew that there was tension but did this go deeper than she thought. She fidgeted with her fingers "I don't quite understand. Are you saying everybody is hiding who they really are? Why would they do that?"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Celia Ulfricdottir Character Portrait: Ulfric Bjornson Character Portrait: Corianna Ulfricdottir Character Portrait: Guy Bjornson

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Corianna was about to respond when Ulfric spoke. "Aye, but at these gatherings, people often replace those masks they wear everyday with ones that are more truthful."

"I don't quite understand. Are you saying everybody is hiding who they really are? Why would they do that?"

Aha! So they were actually interested in the truth of the world. Corianna might as well learn now what it meant to be royalty. "That's a good question, Cori. Let me ask you: how would you react to someone holding a dagger up to your face rather than someone offering you a cup of tea? Undoubtedly, you would feel more comfortable with the person offering you tea. They have that warm smile and they look trustworthy, so you take the cup. However, when you drink from the cup, it is the last thing you ever do because it was poisoned. Now, was the person offering you the cup trustworthy or were they wearing a mask? What was their intention?"
Celia was surprised she had so much, but she couldn't only tutor Corianna in skills like riding and archery. She needed to learn the politics of the world as well, no matter how young she was.

Before Corianna could respond, Celia's cousin walked up. She didn't know which one it was and frankly, she didn't care much. "Hello uncle, if I could just steal a moment, I wanted to ask you about the hunt tomorrow. Do we need to go?"

She blinked at him and looked to her father as he answered, "It would be rude to not attend, Guy. It is a sacrifice I am certain you and Simon can make for the day."

A hunt? Well, that sounded fun. Once again, she longed for home. There, she could hunt to her heart's content. Here, it was improper. Ah well. She was teaching Corianna to ride tomorrow anyways.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Celia Ulfricdottir Character Portrait: Ronan Ulfricson Character Portrait: Genevieve Hansdottir Character Portrait: Christoph Edwards Character Portrait: Ulfric Bjornson Character Portrait: Tyrion Lannister Character Portrait: Evelyne Spyre

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The hunt had been delayed following a rain storm that had lasted far longer than anyone had truly expected. The sky, however, had reverted to a light blue and the sun had begun to show itself a little after noon. The only sign that remained of said rainfall was the softness of the ground beneath the hooves of horses and the feet of nobles. Now, however, the sky was once more graying. Though there was still a substantial number of royals and nobles atop horses, preparing for the hunt, others had chosen to stay beneath tents that had been pitched over ornate carpets.

One such noble was Christoph. He had had every intention to join the hunt that day, but frankly, he cared little for riding about in such dismal conditions. Instead, he had merely ridden his horse out to the site of the tents to avoid wetting his shoes as most nobles chose to. Behind him, his dogs had trailed, and presently, they sat by his feet and watched the unknown people milling about under the tents. Christoph had taken a seat, as had quite a few of the nobles who were not busy mounting horses.

To his left sat Evelyne, for he truly hadn't wanted to leave anyone in his room without the dogs there to guard his belongings. Besides, she was entertaining company to keep in the midst of what was often dull conversation. Occasionally, he would whisper hushed remarks about the various nobles in her ear. Currently, he noticed a man who far too old to walk, let alone ride a horse, attempting to mount a well-bred stallion. Christoph's lips twitched as he leaned toward Evelyne. "I do hope someone puts me out of my misery if I'm ever that daft," he remarked.

He looked about for another victim, and his eyes fell upon Tyrion, the Imp. He stopped himself, however, before saying anything to Evelyne, for as much as he wished to say something about him, he knew Tyrion was a good ally to keep. "How are you on this fine day, Lord Tyrion?" he asked, cocking his head subtly. "Will you be joining the hunt?"








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Alongside the other nobles, Ronan finished adjusting the saddle on his ebony warhorse. The stallion fidgeted beneath unfamiliar saddlebags that, in turn, hit against his flanks with more fervor. He gripped the saddle and lifted himself on to the horse just as a rain drop fell on to the crown of his head. The rain, however, had never bothered him much either way. There was still a dull throb in his shoulder, and it brought about a wince as he yanked himself upwards. Once he had settled on the saddle, he gathered up the reins and looked about.

Ulfric, a little ways off, hefted himself into the saddle of his dun mare. She was much older than most of the horses gathered about, but she was a loyal mount. He'd ridden her for years now, since he had taken the throne, and not once had she failed him. As he settled himself on the saddle, he looked about and met Ronan's gaze. They would have to speak, for now Ulfric found it difficult to tell what was true anymore.

Clicking his tongue once, he walked his horse towards Ronan and then stopped so that their horses were only a few inches apart. "I was wondering if perhaps you would be willing to split from the group with me and hunt on our own," he said, reciting the line he had practiced that morning. "It'll be difficult to hunt with so many in the party."

Ronan blinked for a moment, then two, as he tried to determine how to proceed. That wasn't how it was supposed to happen. Nevertheless, he would work with it. He had to. "Of course, father," he replied, nodding to Ulfric. His father turned the mare around and began to move her past the camp and towards the woods. With a final glance over his shoulder, he caught Celia's gaze. "Look out for you sister, Celia," he called before kicking his horse into a canter.

Ronan looked toward his sister simply because Ulfric had mentioned her, but then he looked to Genevieve. For a moment, he simply watched her, waiting for something and then he nodded once to her before following Ulfric at a similar pace.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Celia Ulfricdottir Character Portrait: Ronan Ulfricson Character Portrait: Ulfric Bjornson Character Portrait: Guy Priestas Character Portrait: Simon Priestas

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Simon had gone to bed rather late for whatever reason. Guy had stayed downstairs dancing the night away with various women and eventually taking a break before resuming his dancing. How Guy was a wonderful dancer, yet horrible sympathizer was beyond Simon. Simon had sat back and enjoyed his book up until a women had asked him to dance for whatever reason and he was forced to stand and do a dance with her, then the next lady who asked, then the next one. Simon was almost positive the ladies had just mixed him and Guy up.

ImageNow Simon stood anxiously next to his horse, carefully adjusting the saddle while waiting for his brother to show up. Simon had been told by Guy what Ulfric said, yet he wasn't even here himself yet. Soon the hunt would begin and his brother hadn't even showed up to participate in activities with those who were staying behind. Groaning, Simon mounted his horse. The squire that stood nearby with Guy's horse looking around, not anxious, just curious as to where the noble had gotten.

Simon looked up to see his uncle and his cousin converse nearby before leaving. Ulfric called something to Celia that made Simon furrow his brow, confused as to why Ulfric would say something along those lines. Simon considered joining them, but figured it wouldn't be too good of an idea. He was still sure that Guy would come forth and show himself with a rumpled look to him and a large smile on his face. Everyone else had arrived it appeared. Guy was literally the last man to show up, if you thought a seventeen year old as a man. If a fifteen year old was a king, why not consider a seventeen year old a man?

"Guy, where are you?" Simon mutters under his breath as he turns his horse in a circle, trying to spot his brother from the castle in the distance. Perhaps he had just slept in too much and was still sleeping. That's what he'd been telling himself for the past hour as he had gone through the motions of preparing for the hunt without his brother. Simon did hope that their uncle didn't get mad at Guy. It had been rather clear.

Simon saw a familiar face in the crowd and smiled slightly upon seeing the squire assisting him during their stay at the castle approach. He didn't look too happy about his news. "Sir, your brother, he told me to tell you he will meet you in the woods," The squire states, bending over to catch his breath. Simon groaned softly again. What was Guy up to? He saw a few people getting ready to begin and followed them, hoping Guy would be true to his word, Simon took off on the hunt with a few others, bow in hand.

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Guy stood from his seat he had taken to stare at the partially blank canvas. The rain had fallen causing a spider web outside on his balcony to have drops of rain running along the strands. He had resigned himself to capture the beautiful image before it dried or the spider came to tear it down. He didn't know what he'd do if the spider showed up, perhaps kill it since he didn't like spiders.

ImageGuy was currently trying to figure out how to start. Should he paint the web starting with the droplets or the web itself? And how would he capture the web itself when it took him adjusting his view of the web in order to see the delicate strands. He sighed and decided it was time for a break. He had set everything up, so his break wasn't done after entirely nothing, just mostly nothing. He looked out the window, beyond the web to see the hunt commencing.

He didn't have any plans on joining his brother. Sure he had said he'd join, and his uncle had told him to join, but that didn't mean he wanted to, or would. Perhaps someone other than his brother and cousins would try to defend him. It wasn't like he was entirely alone in the world, just mostly, like his preparation of the painting. His brother would be mad, and possibly ignore Guy for a day or two, then he would forgive Guy and the two would love each other again and resume studying and practicing together in their spare time.

Guy resumed staring at the canvas before picking up the paintbrush nearby and gently beginning the work, deciding it best to begin with the web itself, then add the water droplets on as if they were gently placed there by himself, with his own fingers, not his paintbrush. Guy watched with a smile as his web began to take shape. He was pretty sure his shirt wouldn't ever be clean again thanks to him using it for a rag rather than an actual rag.

Guy looked at what he had so far and smiled. On the canvas sat a well put together web that didn't look exactly the way he wanted it to, but close enough. Nothing he ever painted looked exactly as he wanted it to, it just wasn't possible considering he couldn't capture every single aspect. He always saw the painting as incomplete yet everyone else who had seen his work, his brother and servants, thought they looked identical to the real life model. In Guy's eyes however, they looked like trash and he wished he could just dump each and everyone of them. He would have had it not been for his not wanting to waste the precious paint and canvas.

Guy slowly set his brush down and moved to lay on his bed before remembering his shirt and instead moving to lean against the door frame yet again. If he could, he'd trap his brother in here and let him read and study to his heat's content while Guy painted. He didn't really love anyone in a romantic way, and sometimes wished he did, but shook his head, pushing the hopeful thoughts away. He couldn't, not yet, not until his brother would finally find someone worth loving and love her and then, well, not consider any other ladies at all.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Celia Ulfricdottir Character Portrait: Ulfric Bjornson Character Portrait: Corianna Ulfricdottir

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"That's a good question, Cori. Let me ask you: how would you react to someone holding a dagger up to your face rather than someone offering you a cup of tea? Undoubtedly, you would feel more comfortable with the person offering you tea. They have that warm smile and they look trustworthy, so you take the cup. However, when you drink from the cup, it is the last thing you ever do because it was poisoned. Now, was the person offering you the cup trustworthy or were they wearing a mask? What was their intention?"

It took a while for Corianna to process this. She then gathered that she meant that all of these people were hiding their true selves in order to look good in front of all the other kingdoms. "They were... Always going to kill you, even if it did not appear so." She said quietly and slowly, scrunching her eyebrows. Corianna then looked around at all the others in the room. Would it one day come down to killing each other? This was all very confusing for her.

After the ball she went to her room. It took her ages to fall asleep. She was still thinking about what Celia said. Was the Ostwall in danger? Was her father and siblings in danger? Was she? She had to count herself to sleep so her brain would slow down. "1...2...3...4...5" She continued quietly until she fell asleep. Corianna would ask her father soon.

*

When she awoke she got up and stared at her trunk. What would be suitable for horse riding? She wondered. After eventually picking something out, and quickly getting dressed before the servants came, she sat on her bed and fiddled with her fingers until Celia awoke and for the time being forgot about what she had learnt yesterday.

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.