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Nicholas Brigham

Power does not corrupt people, people corrupt power

0 · 570 views · located in Tibera

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

Description

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"Power doesn't corrupt people, people corrupt power"




The Basics




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Full Name:
Nicholas Cedric Brigham
Nicknames:
The Boy King
Gender:
Male
Age:
15
Rank/Title:
King of Falor
Sexual Orientation:
Bisexual
Kingdom/Alliance:
Falor




What's on the Outside




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Hair Color:
Brown
Eye Color:
Brown
Height:
5'8
Weight:
132lbs
Tattoos:
None
Piercings:
None
Scars:
One on his knees from childhood when he tried to run up stairs and tripped
Description:
Nicholas is at that awkward stage where he is certainly not a boy, nor is he definitely a man. He has the height of man, but is still growing into his height, with narrow shoulders and limbs. While his face might still hold some soft features, he has a strong jawline, one of his few similarities to his father. As he is so young, his complexion is relatively blemish free. His face appears focused as he continues to learn of the world and what it means to be king. His eyes give him away as someone who spends much of his time reading.




What's on the Inside




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Personality:
{Naive, Sarcastic, Intelligent, Even-tempered, Patient}
As a young man, Nicholas is somewhat naive. While years of the court have taught him not to take everything entirely at face value, he is still uncertain as to who to trust and who not to, and has a tendency to give most people the benefit of the doubt. His naivety means that he believes Christoph to be acting in his interests and that the engagement to Priscilla is merely Christoph helping to secure the lineage of the throne, no more, no less. He won't acknowledge that Christoph may have an ulterior motive. Nicholas has the tendency to be pretty sarcastic when people begin to irk him and has found himself in the habit of sassing people, particularly the other members of the council, when they disagree with his ideas for the kingdom. He looks to Christoph a great deal and seldom acts without first consulting Christoph of his opinion. He will only act without Christoph's advice if he is absolutely sure.
While far from being a wise ruler in his own eyes, Nicholas likes to think he is an intelligent young man. It's far more likely that you will find him devouring a tome in the library than you will find him engaged in combat practice. Sword-fighting is a chore, admittedly one he is becoming quite good at, while reading is a pleasure. While he may find some people irksome, Nicholas is rarely one to lose his temper and fly off the handle. His temper is generally quite a long one, but when he does lose his temper, people are very much aware of it.
Hobbies:
Reading, Horse Riding, Sketching
Habits:
-Bites his lips when he's thinking
- Cracks his knuckles
Oddities:
He can't run very far as either his knee and ankle have a tendency to go weak.
Likes/Loves:
  • Books
  • Summer
  • Christoph
  • His horse Raiden
  • Intelligent people
  • Summer storms
  • Music
Dislikes/Hates:
  • Dim witted people
  • Rosalie
  • Autumn/Fall
  • Inane bickering
  • Running
  • The deluded




What's Done Is Done




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Biography
Place Of Origin:
Falor
History:
As the first born son of the royal family, Nicholas was always aware that one day he would become king. His preparation for becoming king began at a young age, giving the young prince little time to interact with people outside of his family, or even within his family. Rosalie and Nicholas's relationship with one another was awkward at best given that he was so clearly favoured over her and he wanted for nothing material because of this. He was a naturally bright child and his academic studies came easily to him and his love of knowledge and of books began flourishing. It was not uncommon for servants to be sent searching for the prince only to find him curled up in some distant corner of the library, surrounded by books. Nicholas grew up surrounded by the scrutiny of the court. Even as a child, he could feel them judging him, wondering if this skinny child would one day be a strong king. It was the kind of scrutiny Rosalie was exempt from; it appeared all she had to do to please people was be pretty and smile.

When Nicholas was approaching his mid-teens, the king became ill. Nicholas hoped that it was nothing fatal and that his father would soon recover. Such hopes were all but banished when he was told that the king was on his deathbed. The scrutiny of the court became even more intense as it became ever clearer that Nicholas would be king before the year was out. The king passed in the mid-autumn. Shortly afterwards, following Christoph's return to the palace, Nicholas's coronation was held. It was a bittersweet affair for the now king. He hadn't been able to grieve properly for his father and would probably never get the chance, but this was what he had been destined for since he was born, this was his rightful role and now it was his.

Not so long after taking the throne, Christoph announced Nicholas's engagement to his daughter, Priscilla. Nicholas was initially ambivalent towards the entire thing. He knew he would have to take a wife sooner or later and produce an heir to secure the lineage, so why not Priscilla? However, as he came to know her, Nicholas found her lacking and the prospect of taking her as his queen began to become less appealing. He knew that straight up breaking the engagement would make an enemy of Christoph, so he began delaying the wedding, claiming that he wanted time to properly court his bride, when in reality, he was searching for a reason to call off the engagement without alienating Christoph.
Happiest Memory:
Locking himself away in the library for hours on end as a child
Saddest Memory:
The death of his father




Face Claim:
Skandar Keynes

So begins...

Nicholas Brigham's Story

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

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

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

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





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

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

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

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

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

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Celia Ulfricdottir Character Portrait: Ronan Ulfricson Character Portrait: Genevieve Hansdottir Character Portrait: 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: 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: 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: Renly Arryn Character Portrait: Ulfric Bjornson Character Portrait: Nicholas Brigham

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๏ผฒ๏ผฅ๏ผฎ๏ผฌ๏ผนx๏ผก๏ผฒ๏ผฒ๏ผน๏ผฎ
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"Love is essential, but
gregariousness is optional."

โ€• Susan Cain

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The air was alive with chatter and laughter, and casual conversations and introductions were forgotten on the spot between enthusiastic maidens who never really knew each other's names. Laughter was easier minute by minute, spilled with prodigality, tipped out at a cheerful word. The groups changed more swiftly, swelled with new arrivals, dissolving and forming in the same breath. The fruits they nibbled on were so ripe they exploded in your mouthโ€”melons, peaches, fireplums, most had never tasted such sweetness. Tables lining the stone walls were laden down, practically bursting with food and summerwines so expensive and so good that one could get drunk just breathing the air. Everyone was fat and drunk and rich, well everyone that was someone. People that lived worlds apart from Renly Arryn.

A nobody like Ren had to learn to notice things, to read the truth that people hid behind their eyes, and he didn't miss a beat now. His King was observing all the courtesies, but there was tightness in him that Renly had seldom seen before. Ulfirc said little, looking out over the hall with hooded eyes, seeing nothing. Perhaps balls, galas, and masquerades were not enjoyable affairs to him; they certainly weren't for Renly. Ren hovered around the desert table awkwardly now, a wine goblet in hand, trying his best to look occupied, swaying in time to the music. He wasn't sure why he bothered, it wasn't as if anyone was going to approach him...unless they mistook him for someone important. With that thought, he lowered his mask, which was plain and black--lacking any ornament, so everyone could ascertain for themselves, that there were other people more worth their time. Not that he was antisocial...he was just not in his element, more rather ill at ease among swirls and eddies of people he didn't know.

The royals in attendance were great disappointments to him. The castle servants back in Ostwall spoke of this group often: the peerless nobility, the fiercest warriors of the realm, giants among princes. Ren saw only fat men, red-faced under their beards, sweating through their silks. They waltzed like they were half in their cups; old men pushing young girls backward in eternal graceless circles; holding each other tortuously, fashionably, and keeping in the corners. Their partners weren't much better. The women had their hair so tightly pinned, and dresses so far cinched, that he wondered at how they could move at all, let alone dance. He didn't find it attractive, but judging by the hungry look on the gentlemen's faces, everyone else must have.

Renly chuckled openly as one couple just barely avoided collision with another, drunken apologies murmured as they spun away to a less cluttered part of the dance floor. In truth, He had two left feet, so he couldn't judge. Ren had never been a dancer, his limbs were too long and spindly and tripped him up at every available opportunity.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Renly Arryn Character Portrait: Nicholas Brigham

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Nicholas found himself caught in some idle chit-chat with a group of nobles about how simply wonderful the entire ball was. Nicholas nodded at the right times in the conversation, although only half his attention was on the conversation. The other half was focused on keeping track of the boy in the black mask. Something about the way he stood back from the rest of the crowd piqued his curiosity. If the boy was boring, he would not have been invited. Perhaps he was something of a wallflower.

Nicholas drained the last of his wine, placing the goblet absent-mindedly on the table behind him. He made his excuses to his new acquaintances and left the questionable pleasure of their company. He slipped through the groups of nobles who congregated at the edge of the dance floor, all thought of Priscilla and Christoph long gone. He wasn't even sure they were still here. At last he came to be near the boy. At closer proximity, he could see that the mask he wore was bare of any ornaments. Perhaps he didn't believe in being ostentatious, or maybe he didn't want to draw attention to himself. Without his name, Nicholas couldn't be sure. Still, he seemed to be ill at ease. Nicholas stood next to him. He was a little taller than Nicholas, so the boy king had to tilt his head slightly to look at his face. He was a handsome boy behind the mask, "They get dull after a while with when there's no one you know, don't they?" He asked the boy. When he had the boy's attention, Nicholas took a moment to take in his features. His eyes were vibrantly blue behind his dark mask, "Nicholas," He introduced himself.

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: Renly Arryn Character Portrait: Nicholas Brigham

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๏ผฒ๏ผฅ๏ผฎ๏ผฌ๏ผนx๏ผก๏ผฒ๏ผฒ๏ผน๏ผฎ
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"I was quiet, but I was not blind."
โ€• Jane Austen

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Just because Renly didn't say much didn't mean people wouldn't occasionally take notice of him. It was oft actually the quiet ones who drew the most attention, so out of place at these festive affairs. There was a constant whirlwind of motion and sound all around, and then there was the silent observer, the eye of the storm.

Ren tried in vain not to jump when the voice startled him out of his idle state, for men were not supposed to be caught unawares-or if the were, they were supposed to at least put on an intrepid face about it. He gave the handsome stranger a sheepish smile and a shrug of the shoulders in response, vehemently trying not to gawk. "I uh, I don't really know anyone here...Well, save for my king and his children, but we aren't really social with one another, yah know?" His newfound compartiot for the evening was not too much shorter than Ren himself, and undoubtedly the best of what royalty had to offer. Soft, sweeping, dark hair, chiselled cheekbones, and long, eyelashes framing molten brown eyes that had to have drawn in more than a few freewheeling madiens over the years...but then again, he was still young-or seemed to be at any rate-so perhaps not. "I'm Renly, uh Renly Arryn, but you can just call me Ren. I'm not really of any import so you don't have to be formal or anything." He rubbed the short hairs on the back of his neck self consciously and rocked back and forth on his heels, having a bit of difficulty remaining still now. "So what brings you this way? Do you not know anyone either? I guess the dessert table is the natural place for us stag gentlemen to congregate." He chuckled, swirling the wine in his glass around leisurely, not meeting Nicolas' gaze. He had never been introduced to the adolescent king, so poor Renly hadn't a clue to whom he was really speaking. He wasn't one to assume that the noblest of all sovereignty would just wander over and strike up a conversation, so he was left with the impression of a low status, not unlike his own. He welcomed the chance to converse with someone like himself who felt a little more than out of place here amongst giants of the realm, even if the boy was a bit intimidating being quite handsome and all.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Renly Arryn Character Portrait: Nicholas Brigham

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"I'm Renly, uh Renly Arryn, but you can just call me Ren. I'm not really of any import so you don't have to be formal or anything."

Renly Arryn... The name wasn't immediately familiar to Nicholas. Normally he would ask Christoph if he recognised the name. "Everyone is of some importance Renly, whether they realise it or not," Nicholas replied, taking another glass of wine. But he had spent the larger part of the evening avoiding his future father-in-law, and he was now nowhere to be found. If he had gone, then the likelihood was that Priscilla had also gone as well. Nicholas relaxed slightly at the thought, he wouldn't have to keep his guard up for the rest of the night.

"So what brings you this way? Do you not know anyone either? I guess the dessert table is the natural place for us stag gentlemen to congregate."

"No one but my sister," he answered. It wasn't an entire lie, more an omitted truth. For some reason, Nicholas didn't want Renly to know he was a king just yet. It was nice to speak to speak to someone as an equal, someone who had no ulterior motive. Somehow, Nicholas didn't think 'oh and my personal guard, adviser and fiancee are here too' would go down too well with, well anyone, not just Renly. He wasn't quite sure how well known the news of his engagement was beyond Falor, but he was quite content to keep the arrangement as quiet as possible. "But we don't really run in the same circles," he continued after a pause.

Nicholas took a moment to study Renly's face. From what he could see behind the mask, Renly was a handsome man. His eyes would already have been a striking blue, but the darkness of his mask made them stand out even more. Nicholas fancied that he would be able to recognise Renly without the mask. Few people had eyes like Renly's. If a girl had been in possession of such eyes, she would have been 'captivating'. Not that Renly wasn't captivating, as far as Nicholas was concerned, he very much was, "Though I find it hard to believe that you're a stag."

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Characters Present

Character Portrait: Renly Arryn Character Portrait: Nicholas Brigham

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๏ผฒ๏ผฅ๏ผฎ๏ผฌ๏ผนx๏ผก๏ผฒ๏ผฒ๏ผน๏ผฎ
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"Words deserted him immediately.
He could only speak when he was
not asked to."
โ€• E.M. Forster, Maurice

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Renly rather liked that notion, that everyone held some manner of importance whether they were titled or nameless. Such a comment spoke leagues about his drinking companion and his ideals. That wasn't a welcome statement amongst all the guests there that evening, therefore a bold one to make to a stranger regardless of his status. It brought a slight, closed lip, smile to his face; one that he hid behind his now emptied cup.

He could sense a bit of awkwardness clinging to the conversation though, like something else were left unsaid. Perhaps this Nicholas was simply not a social butterfly either, and found idle pleasantries rather difficult. Renly waved off the covert king's hesitation without much thought, and offered up a reply. "At times I wished I had a sibling, but I suppose most only children do...Where as most actual siblings can't wait to be rid of each other." Renly laughed before he blanched, suddenly realizing his implication. "Not that you and your sister-I mean I'm sure she's great and you two are thick as thieves!" He rambled, nerves getting the better of him. Luckily, this Nicholas didn't seem to pay any mind. If he was insulted, he didn't voice so just yet.

Ren set his glass down on the table top, feeling slightly dizzy-the wine having gone to his head. He really never drank so much, but he'd been nursing more than a few goblets to give himself something to do. Now that he had someone to occupy his time though, it was becoming a bit of a problem. His cheeks were flushed red and his composure wasn't the greatest. He prayed Nicholas wouldn't take note of what a light weight he was. Most of his stay had been spent in a drink, so he wondered at how he still could have built up no tolerance.

The boy kings next comment quickly pulled him from his imaginings, and had he not already been of a rubicund visage, it would have been all too easy to tell that Renly was blushing. "I-uh.." He found himself unsure how to respond to that compliment. He brought his hands to his temples and held up each index finger, to imitate a little set of antlers, before comically wiggling those fingers around. "I'm definitely a stag, no herd for this deer....you?" He queried, suddenly hopeful his answer would be much of the same.

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Characters Present

Character Portrait: Renly Arryn Character Portrait: Nicholas Brigham

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Nicholas watched as Renly raised his hands to his temples, imitating antlers, ready to catch him if he stumbled. While he was fairly certain Renly wasn't drunk, the taller boy was definitely tipsy. A small laugh escaped Nicholas at Renly's stag impression."I'm definitely a stag, no herd for this deer....you?" Renly asked him.

Nicholas took a sip from his wine, giving himself a moment to think, "No," he answered, "No does flock to me. Not of their own accord at least."He imitated Renly's impression of a stag, albeit one handed. Again, it was not a total lie. He was sure that neither himself nor Priscilla would have approached the other of their own accord. They rarely spoke as it was. Were it not for Christoph forcing them together, Nicholas doubted he would ever say a word to the girl beyond a polite 'hello' at social gatherings. He'd probably think her pleasant enough if that was the case. It wasn't that he held any intense dislikes for the girl, he just found her boring after a while. "I'm sure it won't be long before you find a 'herd' Renly," He smiled at Renly, letting his lingering thoughts remain un-vocalised. There must have been many girls who thought that Renly was handsome, surely there were men here too who could acknowledge it. He didn't take himself too seriously, that much was obvious and rare. It might just be Nicholas who thought so, but Renly was a good match for most women.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Renly Arryn Character Portrait: Nicholas Brigham

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๏ผฒ๏ผฅ๏ผฎ๏ผฌ๏ผนx๏ผก๏ผฒ๏ผฒ๏ผน๏ผฎ
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"A garden to walk in & immensity to dream in
--what more could he ask? A few flowers at his feet
& above him the stars."
โ€•Victor Hugo, Les Miserables

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Renly shrugged, doubtful of both the notion that he'd find his significant other and of the idea that Nicholas couldn't attract a certain amount of attention. He chose to remain silent on the matter though, it was obvious that such a statement would be perceived as flattery or not without intent and he wasn't sure which was worse. He huffed out a sigh as he watched another ungainly couple twirl past them on the dance floor, the inclination to take a walk and get some fresh air suddenly striking his fancy. "Say...you wouldn't want to get out of here would you? I could use a break from all this frivolity. I hear this place has a pretty elaborate garden or something, good place for a stroll..." He apprehensively propositioned. In truth, Renly didn't want to admit that he selfishly preferred to keep this stranger all to himself, the thought of sharing his company with the rest of the party goers souring his buzz.

With an expectant expression, Renly turned heel then and led the way out of doors, hoping his companion would soon follow. All he could do was make the offer, and pray he'd be taken up on it and avoid embarrassment. Outside of the ballroom, the muffled sound of laughter and music could still be heard but also effortlessly ignored. It was much easier to clear one's mind when free of the cast of royal drunkards and excitable socialites he found. Locating this mysterious foretold place of sanctuary was a bit more difficult than Ren had originally imagined, but after a few times turned around, he managed to discover the object of his search just outside the main castle entrance and to the left.

A copse of cypress pines flanked him on one side, with a thicket of peaceful beeches standing guard on the other, casting a lake of clawed shadows onto the grass. He could only imagine how it'd appear in autumn, the fiery brilliance of their leaves would be a sight: scorching-oranges, burning-browns and molten-reds soon to drift to the ground as silently and carelessly as an ash cloud, settling in to their eternal rest...

Just now though, in the dead of night, there was stained glass clarity to the moonbeams. Lipstick-pink peonies adorned the fringes of the garden and honeysuckles festooned the hedges with their ladylike perfume. The aroma of geosmin percolated through the air. The blackbird was the main player in the midnight chorus, his song as clear and fresh as the garden he would more than likely later raid. Warbling wrens and caroling chaffinches joined him, creating an orchestra of sound. It cascaded into the open spaces, ghosting through the nooks of the castle corners. He looked over at Nicholas and beamed. "Much better...Sorry, I'm not that big on crowds, really..."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Renly Arryn Character Portrait: Nicholas Brigham

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Nicholas took a half-step back as a couple danced a little to closely to the edge of the crowd. "Say...you wouldn't want to get out of here would you? I could use a break from all this frivolity. I hear this place has a pretty elaborate garden or something, good place for a stroll..." Renly offered.

Nicholas vaguely remembered the gardens from his childhood. As a child, he had often run among the flowers and climbed the trees. More than a few scraped knees and bruises had been his reward, along with a few hours of just being a child and not a prince. They had been good times. Their rarity had made them all the more precious. "That's a sound idea Renly," was the tame reply Nicholas gave. He would very much like to be alone with Renly, to be able to talk more openly to him without worrying about what gossiping courtiers might hear, to see what Renly was like when he was more comfortable. He followed Renly to the gardens, staying back while Renly took in the grounds. Even ten years later, the grounds still held some wonder for Nicholas. He was quite content to follow Renly as he wandered the gardens, apparently searching for something in particular.

When Renly had found what he was looking for, Nicholas followed him to a copse of pines and beech trees. The flowers grew a little more wildly here, freely intermingling with the trees and each other, with no real pattern to the formation. In the pale moonlight, the flowers were fragrant, a delicate note on the crisp and clean air. Perhaps botany might be Priscilla's strong point. Surely there had to be something that took her fancy. Renly turned to him, beaming. Even with half his face covered, Nicholas fancied he could see Renly's entire face light up, "Much better...Sorry, I'm not that big on crowds, really..."

"Nothing to apologise for Renly,"Nicholas returned Renly's grin, "Such social gatherings are not my idea of fun either. I much prefer smaller, more intimate gatherings." Nicholas looked around the copse, "You know, I don't think I've ever been to this part of the grounds before. You have a good eye Renly."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Renly Arryn Character Portrait: Nicholas Brigham

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๏ผกx๏ผฐ๏ผจ๏ผฏ๏ผฅ๏ผฎ๏ผฉ๏ผธ๏ผจ๏ผฅ๏ผก๏ผฒ๏ผดx&x๏ผฃ๏ผก๏ผง๏ผฅ๏ผคx๏ผข๏ผฉ๏ผฒ๏ผคx๏ผฃ๏ผฏ๏ผฌ๏ผฌ๏ผก๏ผข๏ผฏ๏ผฒ๏ผก๏ผด๏ผฉ๏ผฏ๏ผฎ

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๏ผฎ๏ผฉ๏ผฃ๏ผจ๏ผฏ๏ผฌ๏ผก๏ผณx๏ผข๏ผฒ๏ผฉ๏ผง๏ผจ๏ผก๏ผญ
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Renly blushed minutely, it was a secret talent of his to find the best boltholes. There was no kid in the city who had a more natural affinity for scouting out places to be alone with one's thoughts or to hide away from the world. He soon located a dry patch of grass under a relatively young beech and settled down, sighing contentedly at the sights around him. "You'd think with all their capital, they'd spend it helping out the less fortunate and not on big, fancy dinner parties and lavish gardens..." Ren commented idly. "That's what I'd do if I were rich, you know. Drop every coin I had on cleaning up the slums...and then maybe I'd construct an elaborate garden of my own, but I'd place right in the town square for everyone to stroll through and enjoy on their days off." He explained wistfully. The idea of a public garden brought a faint smile to his lips, why was it the rich were always so greedy? Renly could do so much with so little...He glanced around the copse of trees, eyes chasing after the spattering of moonlight dancing through the branches. He wanted to commit this place to memory before he was made to go back 'home.' "What do you think? What would you do if you were suddenly given more money than you knew what to do with? What would you spend it on?" Ren met Nicholas' gaze, the kings eyes showing the years of his life; rings of aged brown like what hid in the trunks of the trees around them.

Nicholas swallowed, suddenly nervous that Renly knew his identity. He took a deep breath, letting out a small chuckle when he realized that Renly's question was purely innocent, "I honestly have no idea," He answered, his mind beginning to whir. He was king, he had the power to do everything Renly had suggested, and yet he hadn't. In truth, the thought had never crossed his mind. He didn't think himself to be selfish, but perhaps he was being so. Still, if he was to put Renly's ideas into action, there would be the small matter of convincing Christoph that it was a good idea. Somehow, Nicholas doubted that the elder man would be enamored with the idea. "I suppose that the people who rule should be as much a servant of the people, as the people are of the rulers. Not that everyone seems to see it that way." Nicholas rather gracelessly sat down by Renly, "Perhaps the world would be a better place if more of those in power thought like you Renly."

Nicholas had phrased it so elegantly that Renly was left stumbling over his words when he was suddenly paid yet another compliment. He cleared his throat in an awkward manner and nodded in response. "Thank you, and well spoken." He was trying to learn how to take a compliment now instead of just vehemently denying it, that was just good manners. He still could not fathom how he could be so deserving of praise though, he was just the little rat from the poorest district of the city. The bastard child, not this what Nicholas made him out to be.

Despite the nervous tension hanging about the pair, there was an effortless cadence growing there, their conversation falling more easily by the passing hour. Renly fervently wished the other boy wouldn't be so guarded with his opinions and would share more of himself, but for the time being, he was content to just enjoy their banter and their wishful thinking...that was, until the hour became late and the cold began to seep into their bones. By the time Renly bothered to glance up at the sky again and break their colloquy, the moon was already halfway across the black, making it's inexorable march away from the gathering dawn that would soon thread it's way outward overhead. He leapt up from the languid position his body had reached, sprawled on the grass, shock over taking him. "Is it that late already?!"" he softly cried, running a hand though his hair, mussing it up so that it stuck up at all sorts of odd angles. He hadn't anyone to answer to, no chamber maids or footmen that would be up waiting on his return, that would report back to a disapproving parent or maester, but still...He needed to be getting back.

Nicholas untied the strings of his mask, figuring there was no harm in Renly seeing his face. He dropped the mask into his lap as they spoke. Nicholas chose his words carefully, not wanting to let slip that he was a king. He was starting to realize that Renly was smart; smart and compassionate. It wouldn't take much for Renly to figure him out. He didn't want that just yet. He would tell Renly in good time, but for now, Nicholas was quite content to just talk to the boy as his equal, not as a social superior.

As their conversation continued, the air cooled until Nicholas could see his breath floating in the air. His nose was cold, no doubt beginning to turn red as well. Still, a little cold and dark was bearable. Nicholas was rather slower getting to his feet than Renly, reluctant to leave just yet, but it seemed that Renly was adamant. No doubt he would face some awkward questions about where he was from Christoph. He could deal with that in the morning."I suppose it is," he answered, looking up at the moon, rather surprised to see it so far across the sky. Nicholas looked back to Renly. The light of the moon shone just so that Renly's face was illuminated, a soft shadow falling across his eyes. He was...well Nicholas wasn't quite sure what the word was. "I suppose I'll see you around, then?" He asked shyly, worried that Renly might say 'no'.

Renly halted in his panic about the time only to panic further. His heart was a flutter with excitement and perhaps not for completely savory reasons. With a bit more than friendship weighing on his mind he nodded, doing his best to conceal the resulting gulp of air he took. "I'd like that." He felt a little light headed, like he was drowning but it wasn't altogether unpleasant. He wasn't sure if they should leave off with hand shake or just bid each other farewell, but before he really was aware of himself, he had leaned in and pecked the boy king on the cheek, softly and sweetly. As he pulled back, his eyes broadened as his mouth fell open. Had he really just done that? What if Nicholas was disgusted, repelled by his action? Would he take it up with the courts? Renly's king? Have him put out of the castle or worse stoned or flogged? He stood there locked in place, not sure what to do next, cursing his body for uncharacteristically having not been connected with his mind.

Nicholas could feel his cheeks warm as Renly placed a small kiss on his cheek. He felt a warmth grow in his chest, spreading through his veins. He knew enough to know that he wasn't supposed to feel like this if another boy kissed him, but this felt more right than kissing Priscilla. He looked up to Renly. Seeing the terror in his eyes, Nicholas felt he knew what had to happen, or at the very least what he wanted to happen. He raised a hand to Renly's cheek, gently lowering Renly's face towards his own, brushing their lips together in the softest of kisses. Hopefully Renly would be calmer now. Nicholas knew he certainly felt more comfortable, as if all the tension between them had vanished in the simple act, "Then I shall see you tomorrow, yes?" Nicholas asked, feeling a little bolder.

Renly just beamed, feeling Nicholas' breath hot against his face. He was dumbfounded, awestruck. He rested his forehead against the kings and replied with a faint, hushed "Yes." There was no word to describe the taste of moments when people began waltzing right into your heart, into your bloodstream. But whatever that word was, he could taste it now, in that kiss. This was romance budding; brand new and it was all very exhilarating. But poor Renly Arryn had no clue the surprise he had in store and that this little tryst was more than likely doomed from the start. He went to bed that night with the thought of meeting up with Nicholas the next day tracing the outlines of his dreams.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Ronan Ulfricson Character Portrait: Ulfric Bjornson Character Portrait: Nicholas Brigham

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๏ผฒ๏ผฅ๏ผฎ๏ผฌ๏ผนx๏ผก๏ผฒ๏ผฒ๏ผน๏ผฎ
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"Little by little, the old world crumbled,
and not once did the king imagine that
some of the pieces might fall on him."

โ€• Jennifer Donnelly

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A chamber maid shook Ren roughly from pleasant dreams and wordlessly led him out of the castle. He stumbled into the mid morning chill, groggy from sleep, to find his horse saddled and the king already mounted. There was nothing to do but rub the sleep from his eyes, dress, and mount up. They had a hunt to set out on and the king waited for no man.

The royals set the pace, and driving his black destrier hard, Ren galloped along beside them, trying his best to keep up. He called out a question as they rode, but the wind blew his words away, and Ulfric did not hear him. After that Renly rode in silence. The sun, high in the sky, sent fingers of light through the pale white mist left behind by an earlier morning rain. He looked to his prince, who rode closely with his father and frowned, an uneasy feeling settling in in the pit of his stomach. Sometimes it seemed Ronan was as cold as a Northern winter and sharp as a slap from an old, angry drunkard, as hard as Ostwall armor and wicked as the jokes young boys used to whisper to each other during mass. The murky day seemed foreboding and Renly couldn't quite pinpoint why. He quelled his anxiety by keeping his head on a swivel, eyes searching for a familiar dark swatch of hair and a set of warm brown eyes. Would his Nicholas be out on the hunt, carrying some knight or king's pack supplies and spare weaponry like Ren? Or was he back at the castle all snug and warm, still tucked in his bed or perhaps having a late breakfast or an early lunch?

No matter how tired Renly was now, dragging on with this exercise deprived of a long sleep, he could not be made to regret his late night escapade to the garden. He was a romantic, and he was consumed with hope though little more had carried on save a night of conversation and a kiss between strangers. He was soon snapped out of his reverie and his search when the King and Prince pulled away from the group to set off on their own. He hesitated in his saddle, unsure if he should follow. If they wanted to be in each other confidences then he'd be in trouble for taking off after them; were they stalking after prey, they'd be furious he wasn't there to retrieve the kill. He mulled over his options carefully and opted to trail in their general direction within earshot but out of sight. If they called for him, he'd hear them; but if their voice never reached above a conversational volume, their exchange would remain secret.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Christoph Edwards Character Portrait: Renly Arryn Character Portrait: Priscilla Edwards Character Portrait: Nicholas Brigham Character Portrait: Tyrion Lannister Character Portrait: Evelyne Spyre

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Nicholas rolled out of bed, his good mood dampened only by the fact they were going on a hunt today. If he saw Renly during the hunt, he would have a lot of explaining to do. Not that he didn't want to see Renly. He did, very much so. But he would just like to be prepared before he saw Renly again. And this, he reminded himself, is why being King was such a nuisance. You find a...

Nicholas sat up straight. What was Renly? They were certainly more than mere acquaintances, and yet 'friend' did not seem the right word for what they were. Nicholas fancied he could still feel the warmth of Renly's lips against his own. No, 'friend' was certainly the wrong word to use and yet Nicholas could not think of a suitable word to describe his relationship with Renly. 'Paramours' seemed too grand and romantic. He doubted a small kiss was enough to grant such a title. Anyway, when you were king and found a new companion, there was always the little voice wondering if they just wanted to get close for the power that came with being favoured by the king. If they didn't know he was a king, as was the case with Renly he assumed, then that doubt faded but there was the inevitability of being discovered.

Nicholas shook his head, clearing his thoughts, though thoughts of the taller boy lingered. He looked out the window and saw raindrops trickling down the glass. And they were still going to hunt in this? Perhaps it would clear up. That wouldn't be so bad. It would be a little muddy underfoot, but Raiden could cope with a little mud. Nicholas dressed himself and headed down to the stables to collect Raiden, collecting an apple from the bowl in his room before he left. If any of the people he saw on the way to the stables found it odd for the boy king to be so fine a mood, they didn't say. Nicholas found Raiden already saddled. He stroked Raiden's face before mounting the stallion. Riding out to the hunting tent, he found that the rain had indeed cleared. The scent of the damp grass was hanging in the air as Nicholas rode down to the hunting tent.

Reaching the tent, he dismounted, handing Raiden's reigns to a nearby servant. Seeing Christoph, he headed towards his advisor, curious as to the identity of the woman sat beside him. Nicholas couldn't recall seeing her before.

"I do hope someone puts me out of my misery if I'm ever that daft," He heard Christoph say.

"Well, that shouldn't be too long then Christoph," he laughed, taking a seat beside him as Tyrion passed by. While Christoph spoke to Tyrion, Nicholas let his eyes wander, searching for Renly. He was disappointed when he saw no sign of Renly, and Priscilla was notable by her absence, "Is Priscilla not joining us?" he asked Christoph.

Setting

Characters Present

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

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ImageLucas woke with sunlight playing over his face in his room. He knew immediately he would be in trouble with someone. Nicholas probably wouldn't care all that much, but Lucas cared, greatly. He raced out of bed, pulling on his pants as he made his way to the door and throwing on his shirt as he was leaving the room. He was running down the hall of the barracks, slowly pulling article after article of clothing on while he tried to move quickly.

Where was his ward? Racing to Nicholas's room, Lucas knocked and upon hearing no answer, yanked the door open only to see the room empty. No, he was gone already. Racing down the stairs of the castle, Lucas nearly knocked a servant over.

He had gotten so caught up in last night with that girl. He hadn't been able to sleep, slept in, then missed being with Nicholas. Where was that boy king? Racing outside, he hoped the hunt hadn't already begun. He jumped onto his horse the stable boy had out having expected him for the hunt and took off only to see a set of tents. Perhaps Nicholas hadn't wanted to go. Lucas prayed the boy hadn't wanted to go as he raced for the larger tents.

He dismounted, passing the reins to a nearby squire without any explanation and ducking his head to look for Nicholas, smiling with relief as he saw the boy and the count. Straightening his appearance, Lucas walked in, hoping he appeared calmer than he felt, which was like chaos had narrowly been avoided. He hadn't even watched his ward last night. He could have been killed for his lack of completing his duty.

"There you are my king. Count," Lucas managed without gasping for air. He didn't like the formalities and was sure Nicholas wouldn't mind Lucas calling him just Nicholas in private, but out here, in front of everyone, well, the count could order his death should he want to.

Lucas wanted to collapse in relief but instead took up a spot by where Nicholas's seat was set. His friend would probably ask him about the girl last night, wondering how things went and where Lucas was this morning. He didn't want to face his friends questions, feeling guilty, but knew there wasn't going to be much of a choice. Besides, he kind of wanted to share his experience with the girl. He needed advice about handling relationships. Had he really just thought that?

So the hunt hadn't been attended by everyone and the count opted out as well as Nicholas, not an entire surprise, but surely a gratifying one.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Christoph Edwards Character Portrait: Nicholas Brigham Character Portrait: Tyrion Lannister Character Portrait: Evelyne Spyre

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Evelyne watched the skies as her horse walked forward at a relaxed pace, the scent of freshly soaked earth surrounding her, as she hummed an old song under her breath* it brought a sense of ease to her, as she shifted her eyes towards the various Lords that Christoph brought attention to, until her eyes landed on the elderly man he referred to now. She chuckled at his comment, before turning to him, "I'll make sure to see it happens." she teased gently, under her breath with a smirk, before Tyrion approached them. She watched Christoph and the Imp exchange words for a moment, before Nicholas Brigham approached.

Evelyne bowed her head as he upon herself and Christoph, before watching her Lord, and the King converse freely.

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(*For those curious, the tune was to that of Rains of Castamere, but with whatever the equivalent wording would be here in turn)

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Christoph Edwards Character Portrait: Lucas Navigne Character Portrait: Nicholas Brigham Character Portrait: Evelyne Spyre Character Portrait: Priscilla Augusta Edwards

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ImageThe conversation between Christoph and Tyrion was short lived, consisting of only a greeting exchanged between the two. When it had transpired, the Count simply turned back to Evelyne as she returned his comment. His lips twitched upward in a smirk. "I appreciate it," he replied, crossing one leg over the other casually. She was quick, quicker than most of his women had been in the mental sense at least. Very few of his women ever joined him outside of his chambers, and the majority of the kingdoms' courtiers knew this, for they eyed Evelyne curiously as they walked by.

His attention turned to Nicholas then as the young King sat beside him, replying also to his remark. "You certainly received that wit and silver tongue of yours from your dear father, Gods rest his soul," the advisor shot back, though not necessarily maliciously, or at least not noticeably maliciously. Christoph toyed with a ring on his left index finger. "I believe she will be joining us soon. It is not like her to miss the festivities."

Lucas made the party one of four as he hurried up to the group. Christoph subtly inclined his head, and one might have thought he didn't hear the guard great him had he not then focused his gaze on the slightly disheveled captain of the guard. He wanted to tear the boy apart on the spot, call him out for leaving his king alone to possibly die, but he decided it wasn't worth the effort. After all, Nicholas had the final say, and the boy still cared for his guard. He was pulled out of his thoughts yet again by another voice.




Priscilla had woken quite early that morning when compared to an average day. She had dressed enthusiastically in light ink silk, adorning herself with pearls before pulling her hair up into an intricate style. In actuality, her hand maidens had done everything, for the girl was helpless when it came to putting an outfit together or braiding her hair. Still, when she left her room, she made sure she looked alluring.
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Priscilla confidently mounted her horse, a milky-colored mare, and she only nearly fell off twice as she moved at a walk towards the small camp where she knew her father would be. Her own guards helped her from the horse to avoid any mishaps. "I can do it myself!" she protested, but she took the hand of one of the guards nonetheless. She gathered up her skirts in her hands once she had dismounted and hurried towards where her father sat. "Father!" she called out as she threw her arms about Christoph's neck, breaking a sort of silence that hung about. She had just narrowly missed the rain that now fell quite steadily outside of the protection of the tents.

Christoph returned the hug with a single arm around her waist as he cleared his throat. She remembered then, at his cue, that she was to greet her King first. She turned quickly to face him, nearly tripping in the process. "Good morning, my King," she said softly, curtsying cautiously so that she didn't lose her footing. The look of temporary panic in Christoph's eyes showed that he was worried such a thing would happen. Priscilla sat herself on her father's knee like a child and glanced about, meeting the gaze of Evelyne for a moment before looking the strange woman over with a questioning look in her eyes.

Priscilla certainly wasn't blind to Christoph's sexual habits, but she also knew that he rarely brought any woman with him besides those that mothered his children. Though Priscilla and Loras were the only two to have survived childhood, there had been more children and therefore more women alongside her father. She wondered if that was why he had brought the exotic-looking woman with him. The young woman turned to face her father then, opening her mouth to speak, but she was cut off by a horrid screech from a few of the women of the court.

Christoph looked up then, noticing a few of the royal family of Ostwall ride back on their horses with an animal carcass draped over one of the horses...but where was Ulfric? He stood slowly, and Priscilla slid off of his knee for a moment, for she watched the figures walk through the rain too intently to notice that her father was moving until she nearly fell on to the ground. "Oh..." Christoph said softly, beginning to discern Ulfric's graying hair from the bear fur of his cloak. He had never been close to the man, but like many there, he too had heard the ballads that sung his praise. He too had heard the tales from the border where Ulfric slew countless men from Falor. Priscilla's brow furrowed lightly as she looked up at her father. "Father...?" she asked, tugging gently at his arm. He watched Ronan, lips pursing, wondering how he could make this benefit him.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Ronan Ulfricson Character Portrait: Christoph Edwards Character Portrait: Renly Arryn Character Portrait: Lucas Navigne Character Portrait: Nicholas Brigham Character Portrait: Evelyne Spyre Character Portrait: Simon Bjornson Character Portrait: Guy Priestas Character Portrait: Simon Priestas Character Portrait: Priscilla Augusta Edwards

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Simon stared at the sight in horror, feeling something like regret and guilt even though he had not killed his uncle. He listened to Ronan's story, not believing this was how his uncle died. He believed Ronan, but was in disbelieving that his might uncle would fall in such a way. "Ronan," Simon begins upon seeing his cousin growing colder by the second. He didn't like that he was speaking to Renly that way, he didn't like it when he spoke like that to anyone.


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Simon moved forward to help his cousin lift his deceased uncle, holding back the feeling he wanted to go crawl into bed and sleep forever. Simon grabbed the reins of his horse as they passed her, helping Ronan guide Ulfric's body on Ulfric's horse. Simon walked solemnly, his face devoid of any emotion. Where was his brother? Simon breathed deeply, not making eye contact with anyone as they moved forward. He hated it, he hated everything at that moment if he was going to be honest with himself.

"Ronan, have you seen Guy this morning?" Simon mutters under his breath, wanting to know if anyone had seen Guy at all. He knew Ronan and Guy had something against each other, but he had hoped the two might at least know each other's whereabouts on such a large day as a hunt.

Simon saw his uncle's arm fall off from where it had been on his chest causing Simon to turn away for a moment. The man who had taken him and his brother in, the one who had practically raised them, their father's brother, gone.

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Guy smiled as he stepped back, looking at the web with drops of dew hanging off it as if it was hanging in his window. Guy looked out to see storm clouds brewing and frowned, pulling his painting inside but keeping the windows open. He liked the humidity storms brought. He studied his painting again, frowning now as he saw that he hadn't caught the light, he had neglected the light! He'd have to start over. He sighed and tossed the half dry painting on his bed.

Guy heard a rush at the door then saw a servant barge in. "Prince Guy," He begins, out of breath and looking horrible. Guy instantly knew something was wrong, something had happened. Was the storm worse than he had figured it would be? "Is Simon alright?" He demanded, fearful his twin might have broken himself should he have gone on the hunt. Simon had figured his brother would have just stayed in bed, not go on the hunt without him. Now he wished he had gone. "No, sir, you're uncle..." The guard hesitated, as if he wasn't quite sure what to do.


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"Well?" Guy presses, moving to grab his vest. "You're uncle... you should come see him," The guard finishes. Guy nods, pulling on his boots and grabbing his cloak as well as Simon's. He had left it in Guy's room after their ride outside yesterday. Guy followed the guard, walking quickly. What could have happened to his uncle that had caused such behavior? He probably was just sick or had pulled something, wanting to have Guy around just so that he felt a little better.

Guy followed the guard until they were outside where the guard pointed to the tents. Guy saw his brother, his shoulders hunched, looking rather unhappy. Frowning, Guy accepted his horse from a nearby squire he looked relieved to be going back into the stables. Guy felt bad for making the kid stand outside for so long, but dismissed it as he mounted and rode towards his brother. He saw something on Ulfric's horse, perhaps his cloak. As Guy rode closer, he slowed, seeing people were crying or staring at Ulfric's cloak. "Simon... What's wrong?" Guy asks as he dismounts, approaching the small procession where he spotted Renly and Ronan as well. Simon's head sprung up, staring at Guy with something Guy had rarely seen from his brother.

"Where were you?" Simon asks, staring at his brother. Guy looks at his brother with surprise. "What do you mean? Simon what's wrong with uncle?" Guy asks as he walks forward, offering Simon his cloak.

Simon takes it only to throw it on the ground, furious at his brother. He needed an out, he couldn't let it out on Ronan or Renly and there was nobody else around that could take his anger but his brother, even if it was a little hard now. Simon looks around incredulously, then walks forward to grab his brother by the vest. "Don't you get it? How can you not see it? That's him, that's him right there, Guy. He's gone," Simon declares, pushing his brother towards Ulfric's body before turning and leaving, having a hard time taking the horror.

Guy looks at what he thought was Ulfric's cloak but catches sight of his uncle's pale hand. "Oh my God," He whispers, looking around and realizing what had happened. He wanted to fall on his knees, but withheld, staring at the body, then Ronan on the other side of the horse, then back at Ulfric.

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Lucas noticed the disapproval from the count and his friends. Lucas nearly ignored Christoph altogether had it not been for Priscilla coming over. He couldn't believe the girl was sitting with her father, in his lap. He couldn't remember the last time he had sat in his father's lap, he couldn't remember the last time he had talked to his father about something like that.

His attention was caught when he spot the king of Ostwall was shown to be dead. He moved closer to his ward, standing right behind him. They had been apart too long, he was afraid now more than ever that he wouldn't be able to keep Nicholas safe, especially when one of the strongest king through the world was found dead, killed.

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.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Ronan Ulfricson Character Portrait: Renly Arryn Character Portrait: Nicholas Brigham

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cxc๏ผค๏ฝ‰๏ฝ“๏ฝ๏ฝ’๏ฝ ๏ฝ™๏ฝ๏ฝ• ๏ฝ—๏ฝ‰๏ฝ”๏ฝˆ ๏ฝ ๏ฝ“๏ฝ๏ฝ‰๏ฝŒ๏ฝ… & ๏ฝŒ๏ฝ…๏ฝ๏ฝ–๏ฝ… ๏ฝ™๏ฝ๏ฝ• ๏ฝŒ๏ฝ‰๏ฝ‹๏ฝ… ๏ฝ”๏ฝˆ๏ฝ…๏ฝ™ ๏ฝŒ๏ฝ…๏ฝ†๏ฝ” ๏ฝ๏ฝ… ๏ฝˆ๏ฝ…๏ฝ’๏ฝ…
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โ‹ฏโ‹ฏโ‹ฏโ‹ฏแ–‡แ™“๏ฌกแ’ชแŽฉ แ—ฉแ–‡แ–‡เซช๏ฌกโ‹ฏโ‹ฏ
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โ”—โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”›

โ‹ฏโ‹ฏ๏ผค๏ผฉ๏ผณ๏ผก๏ผฒ๏ผญโ‹ฏโ‹ฏโ‹ฏโ‹ฏ

โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”“
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โ”—โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”›
      It had been months since Ulfric's death and yet one question still fluttered around Renly's mind like a phantom mayfly, causing bouts of extreme uneasiness...where was the boar? A boar had killed Ulfric, but surely it would not have escaped Ronan...it can't have scurried off into the forest with a dead king now amidst his credentials...Surely Ronan would have.... Renly shook off those hasty thoughts with determination. It was not his place to question the story, to do so would be treason and as it stood, he was still a guest in the king's castle...the new king's. He tried to let his mind wander to pleasanter thoughts, like those of his dalliance with the handsome stranger at the masquerade. Coronations were a tedious affair, all stiff backs and solemn brows, and he found he'd of preferred to be back in his chambers pouring of the royal family history or studying all the texts the maester had left with him but alas, that was not an option, so he stood on ceremony and daydreamed about romance.

      It was a genuine miracle that Renly was still permitted to remain as a ward there. For whatever reason, he could tangibly feel Ronan's intense dislike for him almost immediately upon being brought to the castle by Ulfric. It wasn't as if he could've blamed the prince now king though, who wants a set of strange prying eyes set lose upon one's home? But as much as Renly didn't want to admit, being forced to leave this place now that Ulfric was dead would be tantamount to heartbreak. It too had become his home, the blocks of stone growing sentient to him with time, replacing all that he had lost in it's security...a family. "My darling," This citadel would say if it could speak. "youโ€™ve been looking so pale of late. Iโ€™ve seen you sweetening your mead with laudanum and waltzing with the ghost of your mother through all my empty rooms. How many nights has the moon drunk itโ€™s fill of your beauty and left the sun to mourn?

      Oh Renly, my son, your eyes have been attending more to books than bed rest as of late. I can hear your haunted footsteps wearing furrows in my floors, and your nervous arpeggios are keeping the servants awake. How many sleepless nights have we seen since your king was slain in the forest, I wonder?

      My child, come cast your candlelight on the portraits of your ruler's forebears, come admire my string of black pearls. I have no arms to hold you with, but all homes are made to be mothers, and all mothers know a bedtime story or two. Look, the history of my occupants is a rich one. Here is a once great king, thrown from his mare during the autumn hunt, and his lecherous cousin, stabbed through the eye by a scullery maid, and his poor little nephew, swallowed and drowned by the tarn on an Easter Sunday. Here is another grand monarch, a queen, mouth sharp as a guillotine and braids white as a captorโ€™s rope. Let me tell you of that terrible day when she found her daughter and son undone and gasping on the stable floors. I hid them in a oratory, away from her catechisms and screaming. I poured my dark into her heart for love of my children. I whispered damnation and despair to her from the eaves, and when her trembling hands closed around the hilt of her husbands dagger, my runners supped on her blood.

      You see, your treasonous thoughts are not alone in between my blocks of stone, I have mothered quite a harrowing brood. Paper my walls with all your secret sins and see how well I keep them, until my columns crumble and moss has grown over the name on your grave. After all, what is family for?"


      The idea of the castle comforting him was calming, like he wasn't alone or judged for his thoughts toward his new potentate. They, he and this stronghold, would both know the history of the family and how many secrets it harbored.
โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”
๏ผด๏ฝ ๏ฝ—๏ฝ‰๏ฝ”๏ฝˆ๏ฝ…๏ฝ’ ๏ฝ‰๏ฝŽ ๏ฝ„๏ฝ…๏ฝŽ๏ฝ‰๏ฝ๏ฝŒ, ๏ฝ”๏ฝˆ๏ฝ… ๏ฝ‚๏ฝ‰๏ฝ”๏ฝ”๏ฝ…๏ฝ’๏ฝŽ๏ฝ…๏ฝ“๏ฝ“ ๏ฝ๏ฝ† ๏ฝ๏ฝŽ๏ฝ… ๏ฝ—๏ฝˆ๏ฝ'๏ฝ“ ๏ฝŒ๏ฝ…๏ฝ†๏ฝ” ๏ฝ๏ฝŒ๏ฝ๏ฝŽ๏ฝ….cxc