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Loras Edwards

"Power resides where men belive it resides."

0 · 1,038 views · located in Tibera

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

Description

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"Chaos isn't a pit, chaos is a ladder."




The Basics




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Full Name: Loras Christoph Edwards
Nicknames: The Knight of Flowers
Gender: Male
Age: 19
Rank/Title: Captain of Seabel’s Royal Guard 'Queens Guard'
Sexual Orientation: Bisexual but only publically known as a heterosexual
Kingdom/Alliance: Technically Seabel but his true motivations lie elsewhere




What's on the Outside




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Hair Color:
Eye Color: Green
Height: 6'2"
Weight: 171lbs
Tattoos: None
Piercings: None
Scars: None
Description: Loras is a handsome young man, and that's putting it mildly. A youth of exceptional beauty and grace that he earned the moniker The Knight of Flowers for so often is he compared to a rose. Green eyes with soft, innocent features that hide the thorns underneath. So kind and inviting is his appearance he can very nearly entrance those around him, be that man or woman much to his enjoyment and benefit. His hair is a soft chestnut that falls down in short curls, often boyishly messed about his head. His smile is mischievous and infectious at times, seductive at others and down right wicked and dark when one of his plots has panned out. His body is one of privilege and training. He has spent much of his life learning how to ride a horse, shoot a bow and fight with a long sword and shield. While he's never truly devoted himself to the martial arts his skill and training has shaped his body into a lean specimen of youthful strength and virility. So often is he on duty that he is most commonly seen in his armored uniform which tunic with his finely crafted shinning steel armor, inlaid with silver depictions of vines and roses. The crimson and gold tunic bears the sigil of House Lannister, the ruling family of Seabel.




What's on the Inside




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Personality:
{Cunning, Seductive, Ambitious, Charming}
A rose by any other name Loras is beautiful to be certain and his personality only enhances that allure. Charming, well spoken, soft of voice that is almost cooing and velvety while at the same time having a strength to it that is comforting. Loras knows how to smile and say all the right things, befriend anyone he choose and seducing everyone else. He has few enemies for so easy it is to like this youth. Yet like any rose in any garden, this rose has thorns. One needs only to catch his gaze, shifting from everyone in a room, or the cunning, almost predatory way he singles someone out to exploit. Characteristics picked up from his father yet used in a completely different way Loras truly believes that no means is off limits to accomplish an end. A young man who truly feels invincible he is confident in the belief that if he can't sleep or fight his way out of a problem he can always talk his way out. Silver tongued is trait often attributed to Loras Edwards. A young man born of a wealthy and prominent house rivaled only by the Lannisters of Casterly Rock perhaps it was destined for its two golden sons to be rivals. There is a part of Loras that is obsessed with Alistair Lannister, his skill in battle, his looks, his wealth and his legend. Many nights he can think of nothing better than to eclipse the legend of The Lion of Casterly Rock.
Hobbies:
Seducing men and women alike, writing poetry, Playing chess
Habits:
Purses his lips both when thinking and when he disapproves of something, fiddling with his a particular curl in his hair at the nape of his neck
Oddities:
Obsessive tendencies, sex addiction, narcissist
Likes/Loves:
  • Alistair Lannister
  • Beauty
  • Roses
  • Sex
  • Poetry
Dislikes/Hates:
  • Alistair Lannister
  • Slow witted individual
  • Anyone more intelligent than he is
  • Children
  • Lions/cats




What's Done Is Done




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Biography
Place Of Origin: Falor
History:
Besides the royal family there are two families in the whole of the world whose names are worth knowing and those names are Lannister and Edwards. Both exceedingly wealthy, both exceptionally powerful and both vying for power over the other for as long as anyone can remember. Loras is the next generation of the feud. Born the son of the brilliant and influential Christoph Edwards, Loras has never known hunger or hardship. He grew up in the shadow of kings and walked in their circles, no different from any of them. His father made it a point to ensure his son would not be like other lords sons raised to be knights or some such nonsense and instead made certain Loras concentrated on his studies. Loras speaks over a dozen different languages, can read and write classical poetry and literature. He has studied in the schools of alchemy, astrology, linguistics, medicine, botony and history both political and world events. Though at an early age Loras had destined himself for a single goal, to utterly eclipse the legend of the rival Lannisters eldest son Alistair Lannister. Loras always felt as if he was being compared to Alistair and rightly so. As the two eldest sons of the most influential and wealthy families it was only natural. Alistair being ten years Loras's senior he seemed already leagues ahead of him in every way. Loras was only four years old when Alistair earned his knighthood. As soon as he was old enough he began had his father's master at arms begin to teach him how to fight. While his father didn't necessarily approve nor did he stop him, seeing it as another tool in his sons arsenal. The problem with Loras was that he wanted to be able to do everything and didn't have the discipline to stick it out in any once school of training. He learned with the sword a while before he got frustrated and went to the bow, then spear, then mounted fighting and so on. That being said Loras is quite gifted with a long sword but has never actually seen real combat. He's always managed to avoid the fighting and while technically active in the last war he's never spilled another man's blood personally. That is not to say he's never killed anyone, he's just never done it himself, usually acting through an agent of some sort. A part of Loras yearns to feel the rush of another mans blood pouring over his hand as he draws his last breath.

At seventeen years of age Loras earned his knighthood on the tourney field after winning both the single combat melee and the joust in stunning fashion. He was knighted by the late king only months before his death. To this day a part of Loras is quite bitter Alistair Lannister did not compete in said tourney. Shortly after his knighthood talks of a marriage were in place, Loras was to marry the beautiful daughter of the king. Loras however had no desire to marry, princess or not. That was until he'd learned that the proposal was refused and instead the princess was married of to Alistair. Loras was enraged, consumed with a burning hate feeling as though the Lannister has robbed him of his prize. Rage cooled, and the fire became embers once Loras began to put his mind to the task of slaying the lion. He introduced himself to the princess the very next day telling her how saddened he was that they would not be wed. He told how beautiful she was and that he would always cherish what could have been, the seed that would grow. Later on once the king died, his roots began to grow.

Grow they did and they grew strong. He managed to work his way into the Lady Lannisters good graces, going so far as earning himself a place on her honor guard while Alistair was away with the army fighting her brothers forces. Once the war was over Alistair, now king, returned to a coronation where his wife was already seated on the throne, Loras placing the throne on her head as softly and tenderly as a lover would place a kiss. Loras cherishes that look on Alistair's face to this day. Every day Loras works to sully the reputation of Alistair Lannister while polluting the relationship between him and his wife. His plans worked out better than he could have ever imagined when the queen finally relented to his constant, subtle flirtations and seductions and welcomed him in secret into her bed. In that night, he was king, he had taken everything away from Alistair and he reveled in it. Now with the decennial celebration of peace and unity in the Western Palace arriving shortly Loras is eager to put his latest and most ambitious plan into action, all the while with a love sick queen thoroughly ensnared in his grasp like a dove caught by the vines. As for the king, Loras knows better than to confront a beast head on. Better to wait for the lion to sleep. While it slumbers he can sneak up and slip his blade into his heart.
Happiest Memory: Having sex with Alistair's wife for the first time
Saddest Memory: The day he found out that he betrothal had been given to Alistair Lannister




Face Claim: Max Irons

So begins...

Loras Edwards's Story

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: 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?"

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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.

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Characters Present

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

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She thought she'd left them all behind. The kings and queens, lords and ladies and the knights. She'd thought she'd taken her daughter and whisked her away from all the false smiles, mock affection and convenient distractions of the joust. She would have been right for not the shadow of shining steel, touched with the kiss of enameled roses. Even in his armor Ser Loras Edwards was surprisingly stealthy. Keeping several paces away, matching the queens movements with her daughter as she made her way towards the gardens. Several times he had to dip behind barrels or circle faire tents to avoid being seen by her or anyone watching her. The castle had many eyes, and many little birds all eager to sing their songs for the right price. Best not give them too much to sing about unless necessary. The pause she took with her daughter nearly made Loras lose her entirely. He had been gauging her speed and where she would end up. When he came out onto the walkway he'd expected to near walk right into her, a clever ruse to disguise the fact that he'd been following her and give him an excuse to walk with her.

Instead she was several paces down the path behind him. Her daughter was just catching up after lagging behind, full of boundless energy and countless questions. He was a short distance away and close enough to hear pieces of their conversation. The daughter had asked about the father, and the father pained the mother. Loras expected amusement, or even indifference to touch him now at the sight of her hurt. Yet all he felt was sadness for her and anger towards he who wounded her so. Alistair Lannister did not deserve her. So much he had been given, so much was his and her he took from him only to abuse and ignore her. She deserved more, she deserved better, she deserved him. Rosalie was the most delicate flower yet He had cast that rose aside and left her out in the cold to shiver and wilt. Watching her speak with her daughter touched something in Loras Edwards he was not familiar with. He wanted to comfort her, to bring her in out of the cold and keep her warm in his arms. Two roses, intertwined, growing strong together. He hadn't even realized his feet were moving until he was standing nearly directly behind her.

"Did someone say Otter pops?"

He said charmingly with a soft smile and a look that drank in Rosalie's beauty.

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Characters Present

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

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"Did someone say Otter pops?" A voice had said from behind. Rosalie whirled around at the same time she clutched Cassie at her side. She sucked in a startled breath as she looked up. The sunlight stabbed her eyes, and she covered her face with her free hand. At first she could see only a shifting shadow, but it soon turned into a shape of a body- someone was standing there, looking down at her in which only brought her daughter closer. And then, as if the lens of a camera had sharpened its focus, the face cleared.

To her surprise it was Loras. She blinked-twice awfully confused. She hadn't expected to be followed especially by Loras who continued to stare down at the two as Rosalie noticed that his lips started to curve up into a smile. That same smile that often sent a shudder creep up her spine. She turned away from Loras to face her daughter, her eyes giving away that worried expression. With a hand, she smooth down her brown hair. "Honey, why don't you go pick some flowers for me. I want the biggest red rose you can find. And don't you think about going any where near the dandelions either." she recited to her daughter that she was allergic. Then, she shooed her off.

Rosalie smoothed at her gown when she rose to meet Loras' full height, though he was a few inches taller than her and stood there in silence. Her eyes found Loras' and almost regretted it before she turned to find her daughter off in the flower beds. She sure just hoped she wouldn't get her gown filthy. With a smile, she turned to her left as a man with a cart full of breads shouted at the pedestrians, "Pain gratuit! Vous obtenir du pain!" Free bread! Get your bread! Rosalie quickly translated and was happy her mother took the time to pay for her to get a private French tutor. The language did come in handy.

Rosalie faced Loras once more to find that he hadn't let his eyes from her. "I apologize for my daughter." she told him.

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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: Loras Edwards Character Portrait: Rosalie Lannister

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He continued to gaze at her with those mesmerizing eyes of his. She found herself staring at his features, soft and innocent nonetheless. Rosalie knew boys weren't supposed to be beautiful, but this one was in his on unique that made her continue staring in awe. His hair was a bundle of chestnut curls and Rosalie felt the urge to brush away a strand that fell over his forehead. His jaw was set tight and seemed to ease as he smiled once more. After what felt like a minute or two had passed, Rosalie turned her gaze over to Cassie who had seemed to have found a sudden interest in a bright yellow sunflower. She gave a sweet smile at her daughter and turned her slate-green eyes back onto Loras who seemed to be moving closer towards her with every reassuring step. The more he took a step forward, Rosalie found herself staggering backwards until she felt the back of her gown prickling into a bush of thorns and roses.

"Apologize? I wouldn't dream of it. You never need to say you're sorry My Queen. Not to me." His voice was barely a whisper, but it was clear enough for Rosalie to hear despite the fact that Loras allowed so little space between them. She sucked in a breath and froze as she felt him lean in; his chest touching upon her breasts. She flustered in embarrassment. "Mister Loras.." she pushed softly at his chest, but a red rose had made it's way in the palm of her very hand covered with his own. Rosalie seemed to ignore the fact that his hand had fit perfectly in hers, but the feeling of his large hand around her delicate one brought a small smile to her lips.

"A rose for a Rose." he whispered softly.

"Thank you, but you really didn't have to." She giggled."And How'd you know I wasn't allergic?" She lifted her chin up in defiance.

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.

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Characters Present

Character Portrait: Loras Edwards Character Portrait: Rosalie Lannister Character Portrait: Tyrion Lannister

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"Because I know you." he said. Rosalie looked up from the rose that settled between them, the only thing that indicated that there was just enough space between them, and met his eyes. They were even softer than before and so full of promises. Unlike Alistair's eyes, Loras' eyes really looked at her. They watched her in a way that noted that she had his attention as if they told Rosalie that they were there that they were ready to comfort her. And that's exactly what they were doing at the moment, and Rosalie dared not look away. She allowed her own eyes to pour out whatever feelings they hid, knowing that his eyes will comfort her. Rosalie hadn't looked away to see if anyone was looking at them so close together. She was too lost in Loras' emerald eyes to even care.

She looked into one of his eyes to the next, "Prove it." she heard herself whisper.

She watched as Loras swallowed. The way his jaw tightened hesitantly made Rosalie want to press her lips onto his. But she didn't. She couldn't. She loved Alistair, though she knew she felt a sudden tightness in her chest whenever Loras was around. "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."

Rosalie didn't resond. She didn't have to because she knew he was right. She felt the need to drink with her pinky held upright, "It is ladylike to do so," her mother would often recite on the days they had tea together. Rosalie seemed to always giggle when Loras planted soft kisses on her neck, and she even bit her lip whenever she was lost in her thoughts.

Loras knew even the littlest of things she did which told her that he had been watching her. She wondered if Alistair knew just as much as he did.

The two let silence greet them as their thoughts roamed free. Finally, he spoke, "Tonight, while your husband drinks I would visit you and...

"Is that the fabled Knight of Flowers?" Rosalie jumped at a voice coming from behind Loras. When he turned to face the introder, it was known other than Tyrion Lannister himself.

"Lord Tyrion, it's an honor." As the two exchanged words, Rosalie couldn't help herself praying that the two wouldn't start a fit. She knew just how much they hated each other, and it made her sad considering she cared for them both equally. It was until Tyrion suddenly made his way over in front of Rosalie,"Darling step sister! You are as radiant as ever. The gods themselves are no doubt jealous of your beauty," He surprised her by wrapping his arms around her as she did the same, slightly kneeling as she did so, "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..."

Rosalie laughed and kissed at Tyrion's cheek, a friendly gesture. "That'll do my dear Tyrion."

He whirled around to look at Loras who stood before them awkwardly. "Are you still here? Oh, apologies. You can go."Tyrion told him. Rosalie watched as Loras turned on one heel and walked away without another word.

She bit her lip. "Mind staying here to watch Cassie? This wouldn't take long."She said to Tyrion before She lifted up the hem of her gown and treaded alongside Loras. I haven't had the chance to thank you for your company."



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Characters Present

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

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The Imp, the damnable dwarf of Lannister. Why did it have to be him? One Lannister son was bad enough but two? Well one and a half to be true but all the same. The way the little bastard looked at him, with casual calm like he knew every little thing about him, like every secret Loras had was laid out to bear to the little freak as one would open a book. It infuriated him, most of all because of what this would mean for Rosalie and him. He'd have to be more careful, at least while the imp was around. Loras walked with purpose, each stride clearly ringing off the cobblestone, he was careful not to allow his fists to clench even though the reflex wanted otherwise. The tension in his was palpable until he heard her voice.

He turned as she ran up to his side and smiled at him tenderly. She thanked him for his company and Loras had a mind to wrap his hands around her hips and bring her to his lips. Yet no sooner had he looked at her had he caught the sight of that damned imp, watching him from the distance. Tyrion hadn't moved. He remained on the path just where the queen had left him, his clever gaze watching them both with interest. Loras wanted to carve those bloody eyes out of the imps misshapen head. Clenching his jaw he returned his gaze to the beautiful queen standing beside him. He had to remain measured and professional so as not to give any clue to his true intentions.

"Of course, Your Grace. As the senior member of your Queensguard I am ever at your disposal."

He bowed respectfully but couldn't help allowing his eyes to rise and touch here, a promising glint in the look.

"Should you need anything."

He said rising with a telling nod. Loras turned and left, leaving Rosalie in the garden with her daughter and the freak that was her brother in law. Loras considered the best way to kill him as he made his way back to his tourney tent to change out of his armor.

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"Of course, of course."

Tyrion replied amiably before Rosalie rushed off to bid farewell to her Queensguard. Tyrion shot a glance at his niece who was happily playing in the roses. With her occupied Tyrion turned back to his sister in law and the knight of flowers. He watched as she approached him, she watched Loras's demeanor, and he watched the look Loras shot him when he caught him watching. A pit began to form in Tyrion's stomach that soon began to ache. Tyrion knew a little of the marital issues going on between his brother and sister in law. People talk and when people talk he hears things. The king and queen were at odds in best of times, barely speaking at worst. What he didn't know was why, or how bad it had gotten, or what brought this all on.

At their wedding Tyrion had never seen two people happier or more in love. The ceremony was splendid and extravagant but for all they cared Alistair and Rosalie could have been married as paupers. They barely noticed the fortune Tyrions father had spent on the affair. No, they only had eyes for each other. Their fingers seems constantly entangled with the one another. Their eyes always playing that dance of flirtation and promise. Their lips meeting more times than Tyrion could count. While Tyrion toasted, or his father, or their sister, or the royal family they spoke softly to one another and giggled at secret jests. It had warmed Tyrions heart but what he was seeing now chilled him like the winds of winter.

He assumed his brother was cheating on her. Alistair was smart but didn't always think. He didn't know with how many women or if it was just one mistress but it was one of the things he had intended to set right upon his visit here. Yet this, he prayed he was just being paranoid as he watched the two speak. Loras was careful and kept his distance, speaking professionally and maintaining a respectful posture. That was until the bow and the look he shot her. No sooner had Loras's eyes rose to meet hers did Tyrions heart sink.

"No Rosie... please no..."

He whispered to himself. Loras walked off, leaving Rosalie alone. Tyrion took a steadying breath, taking solace in the fact that despite his fears he still knew nothing for certain. He needed proof, and proof he would get in time, to one end or the other. He walked the few steps to his sister in law's side and cleared his throat before speaking.

"Edwards, The Counts son right? He seems nice."

Tyrion said casually, looking up at Rosalie. He loved his sister in law and he loved his brother. There was still a mystery to unravel here in the Western Palace and it's conclusion could mean the destruction or affirmation of Rosalie and Alistairs love. He vowed to ensure it was the latter.

"Would you sit with me? An Imps legs are not as strong as a Queens I fear. I could use the rest."

Tyrion asked, ushering a direction along the path toward a stone bench looking out at the field of flowers Cassie was playing in.

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

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Rosalie knew that Tyrion was watching her, watching them with those hawk-like eyes of his. She felt him scrutinizing at them as if one false move would soon give them away. Loras must've noticed as well because when he turned around his eyes were instead lingering behind her at him. She watched as his expression turned dark; jaw tightened and eyes filled with rage. She had to resist letting her fingers entwine with his, nonetheless he too remained under control as he stood in the appropriate position for a Guard before his Queen. "Of course, Your Grace. As the senior member of your Queensguard I am ever at your disposal." he said, bowing.

Rosalie couldn't help, but give him a half-smile when his eyes suddenly gazed up at her. There, hidden within them,was a glint full of affection and honesty., that same glint that brought a flush to her cheeks. "Should you need anything." And at that, her smile faded as she watched as he gave her a courteous nod before turning on one heel, and walking down the path back towards the joust. She stood there until he vanished aroud the corner, not wanting to take her eyes away from his absent presence nce.

A minute passed. Two. Suddenly there was someone who had cleared their throat, bringing Rosalie back to reality as they did so. She turned to find that Tyrion was at her side now. He seemed lost in his own thoughts as he stared after the path that Loras left moments ago. "Edwards, The Counts son right? He seems nice." he told her as he met her eyes.

Rosalie seemed to contemplate at her brother-in-law's words, not wanting to say anything that might give her away. She nodded respectfully, "Captain Loras is a very respectable man. He is Seabel's most honorable Guardsman."

She watched as he pursued his lip, but said nothing as he studied her. After a second passed, he finally spoke,"Would you sit with me? An Imps legs are not as strong as a Queens I fear. I could use the rest." And at that, Rosalie allowed him to guide her back towards the Western Palace Gardens, and to Cassie. She watched as her daughter rummaged through the flower beds and admired her for being like herself when she was a kid; always curious and full of energy. Just then, her daughter's slate-green eyes met with Rosalie's and she smiled, the crinkle by her eyes appearing. Rosalie returned the smile, and urged her to sit beside her on the bench. As Rosalie suspected, she skipped over with a bundle of flowers. She gave Rosalie the flowers, and Rosalie returned her with a peck on the tip of her nose before seperating Loras' rose with her daughter's white daises, and finally turned her attention acroos towards Tyrion, "So, my dear brother-in-law. What brings you here. Cassie and I were just about to get pops, then return home to get ready for the ball."

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.."

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Characters Present

Character Portrait: Christoph Edwards Character Portrait: Loras Edwards Character Portrait: Priscilla Edwards Character Portrait: Lucas Navigne Character Portrait: Nicholas Brigham

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Overall, Christoph had never been physically gifted. Truly, the only physical pursuits he had been gifted in were horse riding and dancing given his lithe shape. Even at his age he continued to move easily about the dance floor. Each movement was calculated, as per usual, but to the time of the music this time rather than to his own, personal motives. Or, perhaps, this was merely part of a larger scheme as everything seemed to be to the Count. His partner, presently, was a noble woman from Ostwall. She moved about in a very ungraceful manner, stepping on his feet multiple times before the song ended.

Regardless, when the song was over, he bowed graciously to her and praised her ability. Then, of course, he moved off of the floor to take advantage of the privacy the masquerade provided. A passing servant handed him a goblet of wine which, unlike his earlier drinks, was not watered down. He would have to remember, therefore, to limit his consumption, for it would certainly would be unwise to become intoxicated so early in the night.

After sipping from the wine, Christoph readjusted his mask. The fact that it was a masquerade, while being helpful for concealing oneself, certainly would result in stress on the guards. He noted that Lucas had been on edge since he, Christoph, Priscilla, and Nicholas had entered the masquerade. In the long run, he hoped that stress would keep the Boy King alive for the night. These were, of course, quite dangerous times, and Christoph couldn't help but feel uneasy. In truth, he would not grow calm until Priscilla married the young king.

His attention, however, turned to the other Captain of the Guard, his own son. It had been, until this morning, two years since he had last seen Loras. The boy had been seventeen, not even a man, and now he was Seabel's Captain of the Guard. As the next song began, Christoph moved up behind the young man, who had entered with Seabel's royal family.

"How quickly a man grows in just two years," he remarked aloud before drinking again. "I did not have time before to congratulate you on your performance today." Christoph looked to his right, toward his son. The difference in their heights was noticeable now. "Have you seen your sister yet? I am certain she's eager to catch up with you too."

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.

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Characters Present

Character Portrait: Christoph Edwards Character Portrait: Loras Edwards

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"We both have missed you greatly too," he replied, smiling up at Loras behind his mask. Christoph watched Loras closely as the young man spoke, as if analyzing him, trying to discern something about him from the way he spoke and moved. There were small quirks in the man's actions that he could tell had come from him. Others, Christoph observed, were either of his own making or had been adopted from someone else. "I imagine it is exciting. The forging of a new kingdom is never a boring task. Still, Seabel seems to have come along well. She has a good Captain of the Guard to help her along."

The smile that Loras flashed him brought a smile to the older man's face. Again, it was almost shockingly similar to one he might have given. "A wise man such as yourself will find a way to take advantage of many opportunities." Under certain circumstances, it might have seemed suspicious for the Royal Adviser of any nation to speak so closely with a member of another nation, especially when that was the Adviser's son. Only a fool did not know how dangerous family ties were.

At his son's beckoning, Christoph nodded and followed at a slightly quicker pace until father and son moved in tandem. [b]"What is on your mind, my son?"[/]b] He did not look up as he spoke. It would appear too intimate, and Christoph could tell from Loras's tone that this was a sensitive subject.

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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."

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Character Portrait: Christoph Edwards Character Portrait: Loras Edwards

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Even Christoph’s ability to mask emotions could not mask his surprise in that moment. The surprise did not stem from disbelief. Rather, it stemmed from a shock at the suddenness of Loras’s words. No, Loras had never skirted around the truth, but to admit such an affection for the Queen in public was, at the very least, treasonous. Oh, the Lannisters would be on him in an instant if they knew the truth.

Of course, Christoph worried little, for he knew his son had inherited his intelligence. Loras would not act rashly. He made a soft sound that could be taken either as a vocal corroboration of his surprise or as approval. He knew that in this environment he couldn’t actually say anything that swayed either way. The walls practically had ears.

"The lion is not to be underestimated," he replied, nodding slowly. "Many, however, underestimate the power of the fox. A small beast, yes, but powerful in terms of the mind." He tapped the side of his head as if to assert his point. "But let the fools underestimate the fox, for when he puts his mind to it, he will find that brains easily overcome brawn."
Christoph could have embraced the boy then and there, his pride swelled. Instead, he merely placed a hand on the young man's shoulder, gripping it in a manner that seemed to convey support. This gave him the opportunity to get himself a bit closer to Loras's height.

"We shall find a way to communicate. Secretly. Gods forbid word of this reaches the ears of others." He kept his voice hushed, pitched just above the music, as he spoke into his son's ear. In a moment, he was flat on his feet again. Christoph sipped from the wine once more as he looked about the ball. "Enjoy yourself tonight. You are far too young to worry yourself too much. At the same time, he was glad Loras watched so closely over Rosalie. Through her, they had a way to hopefully claim Seabel's throne which would easily be second best to claiming Falor's throne. He cast a glance over his shoulder at his son before disappearing into the crowd once more, likely returning to the floor to dance.

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: 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.