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Renly Arryn

"Ideals are peaceful. History is violent."

0 · 514 views · located in Tibera

a character in “The Price of Blood”, originally authored by Caged Bird, as played by RolePlayGateway

Description

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MY FEELINGS ARE TOO LOUD FOR WORDS AND TOO SHY FOR THE WORLD.
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ImageMISNOMER
      Renly Thomas Arryn

MONIKER
      "You can call me Ren if you like."

PLACE OF ORIGIN
      Ostwall's Landing

SEXUALITY
      Unsure and Experimenting.

AGE
      Sixteen

RANK/TITLE
      Baron

KINGDOM/ALLIANCE
      Ostwall


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YOU CAN'T HAMMER TIN INTO IRON, NO MATTER HOW HARD
YOU BEAT IT, BUT THAT DOESN'T MEAN IT'S USELESS.
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      Renly is quite unique, as many of his qualities defy the definition of their individual traits. Though being a rather "feeling" based person, Ren has excellent analytical abilities; though Introverted, he has well-developed manners and strong relationships; and though he is a judging type, Renly is often receptive to change and new ideas. As with so many things, he is more than the sum of his parts, and it is the way he uses these strengths that defines who he is.

      Renly, especially in turbulent times, is often meticulous to the point of perfectionism, and though he procrastinates, he can always be relied on to get the job done on time. He takes his responsibilities personally, consistently going above and beyond, doing everything he can to exceed expectations and delight others.

      The challenge for Renly is ensuring that what he does is noticed. He has a tendency to underplay his accomplishments, and while his kindness is often respected, more cynical and selfish people are likely to take advantage of Ren's dedication and humbleness by pushing tasks onto him and then taking the credit. He needs to know when to say no and stand up for himself if he is to maintain his confidence and enthusiasm.

      Naturally social, an odd quality for Introverts, Renly utilizes excellent memories not to retain data and trivia, but to remember people, and details about their lives. When it comes to gift-giving, he has no equal, using his imagination and natural sensitivity to express his generosity in ways that touch the hearts of the recipients. His ability to connect with others on an intimate level is unrivaled among Introverts, and the joy he experiences in using those connections to maintain a supportive, happy family is a gift for everyone involved. Renly may never be truly comfortable in the spotlight, and may feel guilty taking due credit for team efforts, but if he can ensure that his efforts are recognized, Renly is likely to feel a level of satisfaction in what he does that many other people can only dream of.

      To summarize, Renly essentially feels that he is worthy insofar as he is helpful to others. Love is his highest ideal. Selflessness is his duty. Giving to others is his reason for being. He is the type of person who remembers everyone's birthday and who goes the extra mile to help out a friend in need. He is a helper who needs to be needed, but while generally helping others meets his needs, he can forget to take care of his own. This can lead to physical burnout, emotional exhaustion and emotional volatility.


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SOMETIMES WORDS ACCOMPLISH WHAT SWORDS CAN NOT.
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    HAIR COLOR
    Taupe Brown

    EYE COLOR
    Cornflower Blue

    HEIGHT
    5' 9" (1.75 m)

    WEIGHT
    145 LBS/65 KG

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    Renly is the bastard son of King Ulfric Bjornson, the product of an affair on his first wife, but is unacknowledged and unaware of his lineage. Ren did not receive the bastard surname used in Ostwall because he was not openly acknowledged by Ulfric.

    Renly's mother worked in a tavern as a bar maid, and passed away from disease when he was very young leaving him orphaned; but when Renly became of age, a kind Baron of Ostwall Landing unexpectedly paid an apprentice fee--with money secretly awarded him by the King--and masked as his uncle so Ren could learn the blacksmith trade. Renly spent his years in the capital city of Ostwall working as an apprentice blacksmith under a master to forge armor and weapons for the nobility.

    Then, one day, posing with the feigned intent to purchase new armor, Ulfric paid the blacksmith a visit to see his orphan bastard serving under the smith's tutelage. He admired a helm that Renly had constructed and the blacksmith offered to gift it to their King, but Renly insisted that it was not for sale as he had made it for his father, where ever this man was.

    Unfortunately, not months later, the Baron died of the same aliment that Renly's mother had, leaving Renly with no money to keep paying the blacksmith so that he may continue his apprenticeship; so the blacksmith turned him out. Having received word of his bastards predicament, Ulfric sent for his son to be brought to him as a ward, the story of Renly being the Baron's nephew still upholding. Renly moved into the Kings home then, unaware he was now living amongst relatives. He has his heart set on becoming the royal Maester, a trade he truly feels he will excel at and has a passion for.

    HAPPIEST MEMORY: Becoming the Baron's "Nephew."

    SADDEST MEMORY: The death of his mother.



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FACE CLAIM
Logan Lerman


PORTAYED BY:
Mistress of Disguise

So begins...

Renly Arryn's Story

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Renly Arryn

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"In trying to be perfect, he perfected
the art of anonymity, became imperceptible
and arrived nowhere from nowhere."

― Dejan Stojanovic

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Ren decidedly didn't like the Western Palace.

He had been born in the heart of Ostwall, and Ostwall was the only home he'd ever known. Sure this place was bright and airy, where beautiful young redwoods spread dappled shadows across tinkling streams, birds sang from hidden nests, and the air was spicy with the scent of flowers...But he preferred the stubborn sentinel trees armored in grey-green needles, of mighty oaks, of ironwoods as old as the realm itself. Back home their thick black trunks crowded close together while twisted branches wove a dense canopy overhead, and misshapen roots wrestled beneath the soil. It was a place of deep silence and brooding shadows, and the spirits who lived there had no names. Ren rather liked that idea, that feeling of being infinitely small and impossibly insignificant amongst ancient giants...though the concept became somewhat less grand when a human element was added. There were giants among the people here too, and they dwarfed him into near nonexistence with their status alone...but they were kings and queens, princes and princesses; not trees.

The visitors poured through the castle gates in a river of exciting colors and polished steel; gangs of bannermen and knights, of sworn swords and freeriders, people of noble and poor birth alike. The tents were hazy with smoke and heavy with the smell of roasted meat and fresh-baked bread. Every available surface was draped with proud banners. A singer was playing the high harp and reciting a ballad, but his voice could scarcely be heard above the roar of the cheering crowd, the clangor of pewter plates and cups, and the low mutter of a hundred drunken conversations. The jousting had already begun, and Ronan Ulfricson road next. They hooted and cried out for their handsome champion but he was soon dehorsed with what looked like a sincerely painful shoulder strike. Renly's lips pursed.

There were times—not many, but a few—when Renly Arryn was glad he was a bastard. As he filled his wine cup once more from a passing flagon, it struck him that this might be one of them. He settled back in his place on the bench among the younger squires and drank. The sweet, fruity taste of summerwine filled his mouth and brought a reticent smile to his face. They were fine company, and Ren relished the stories they were telling, tales of battle and bedding and the hunt. He was certain that his companions were more entertaining than the royal party. Here his anonymity was a cherished gift. He didn't have to joust, he didn't have to entertain. He could just be himself, albeit a version of himself that was very far from his home.

Setting

Characters Present

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

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

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

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

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

Setting

Characters Present

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

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

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Celia Ulfricdottir Character Portrait: 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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"Love is essential, but
gregariousness is optional."

― 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 mouth—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.

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Character Portrait: Renly Arryn Character Portrait: Nicholas Brigham

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"I was quiet, but I was not blind."
― 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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Character Portrait: Renly Arryn Character Portrait: Nicholas Brigham

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"Words deserted him immediately.
He could only speak when he was
not asked to."
― 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.

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Characters Present

Character Portrait: Renly Arryn Character Portrait: Nicholas Brigham

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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."
―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..."

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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."

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Characters Present

Character Portrait: Renly Arryn Character Portrait: Nicholas Brigham

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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: 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: Ronan Ulfricson Character Portrait: Renly Arryn Character Portrait: Ulfric Bjornson

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A silence had fallen between father and son as they rode through the trees at a brisk trot. Both knew why they were there, alone, but neither wanted to be the first to say something. It was Ronan who finally broke the silence with a cough followed by a few words. "Why are we out here? Alone?" Ulfric turned his upper body so that he faced Ronan for a moment. His lips parted, but they shut again as he faced forward.

"I thought we ought to spend time together," Ulfric lied. It rolled off his tongue with uncharacteristic ease. Ronan simply nodded, unsure whether he ought to believe the statement or not. Ten years ago, the first time he had been allowed to hunt with the adults, Ufric had taken the boy along with the others. Was he worried about their commotion scaring the game away, or was their something else he had in mind?

Ulfric's knees had been aching relentlessly for the past few hours, and now the mixture of low air pressure and riding made the ache nearly unbearable. He cleared his throat once. "I think we ought to dismount. The horses will spook anything around here."

"Agreed," Ronan replied, uncharacteristically soft spoken. His jaw tightened slightly as he adjusted his quiver and bow which were strung across his back. Both men dismounted in tandem, but Ulfric carried no weapons with him. In that moment, Ronan knew they were not simply out there to hunt. They walked a few paces before Ronan voiced his concerns. "Why are we really here, Father?"

He knew he could no longer hide from it, no longer pretend it was not happening. Ulfric turned to face his son, a expression of mixed disgust and disbelief plastered across his countenance. "How long have you loved her?"

His gut churned violently, but Ronan knew he couldn't reveal anything now. Not when he was this close. "Who, Father?" he replied, head tilting to the side to give him a boyish look despite his intimidating stature. He hardly had time to react before his father's hand connected with his cheek, causing Ronan's head to turn with the impact.

"You damn well know who I mean, boy," he snarled. "Do you think me blind? Daft?!" His face contorted with anger as he reached forward and gripped Ronan by the front of his doublet. "No son of mine would think this to be acceptable behavior. You are to rule a kingdom one day, and a king simply can not be as stupid as you are, boy." With a quick movement, Ulfric jerked him to the side and stormed past.

Ronan stood there for a moment, his hand to his reddening cheek, but as rage built within him, he reached into his quiver and pulled out not an arrow, but the tusk of a boar. He gripped it tightly by the base as he had when he pulled it from the trophy that hung over his room's fireplace last night. He would show him. He would show him who was weak, who was unfit to rule. He inhaled and then exhaled slowly before running up behind his father.

The King looked back to face the crunching of leaves and turned into the tip of the tusk. His breath caught as the boar's tusk cut through his flesh. Ronan gave it a sharp twist, tearing through tissue, and then he pulled it free. The pain that consumed his body was unlike any he had felt in battle. His gut seemed to burn as blood soaked through his doublet. The two stood for a moment in shock, Ulfric because he simply couldn't believe what had happened and Ronan because he couldn't believe he had done it. The dying King flung himself at Ronan, knocking the unprepared Prince to the forest floor as he grappled for the tusk.

For just a moment, Ulfric had the tusk in hand, and he brought it across Ronan's cheek, cutting the left side of his face. He was no match for his son, however, and the boy soon had the King on his back and the tusk through his chest. Red bubbled on Ulfric's lips, and he sputtered for air as his lungs filled with blood. "Do you wish to know the truth, old man?" he taunted, knowing the blood had filled his throat. "She carries my child, not yours." He smirked wickedly as he pulled the tusk again from his father's neck. "Are you proud of me, Father? I took the throne as you did, killed the King as you did."

Ulfric struggled feebly beneath his son, shaking his head slightly. He swallowed the blood that had gathered in his mouth, fighting to choke out final words. "...no son of mine.." he managed to rasp, but then the blood had filled his respiratory system again, literally drowning him in his own fluid as he continued to fight against Ronan. He knew it was futile, there was no winning this battle. In a last moment of strength, perhaps the last moment of strength he had felt in years, he spat upwards at Ronan, plastering blood to his face beside his already bleeding wound. And then he was still.




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Ronan, perched above his father and panting from the effort of holding down the man, simply knelt there for a moment. Ulfric Bjornson was no more. He was King. Genevieve was his Queen. He felt his cheek then, and his hand came away red from the blood. Good. It would look odd if he came away from this unscathed. He gathered his breath in his chest and, slowly, let lose a mournful cry.

They would come now, and so he mounted his horse, hoping to find them and lead them back to the body. The smirk fell from his face and was replaced by a look of panic and concern. As he rode, he noticed a shape moving towards him, and he pulled up on the reins once he recognized Renly. "Renly!" he cried, his entire body heaving now. "T-the King...h-he's...he's dead."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Ronan Ulfricson Character Portrait: Renly Arryn Character Portrait: Simon Priestas

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ImageSimon had followed along in the hunt, not really paying attention as he thought of his brother. Where was he? Sighing, Simon raised his bow as he saw a target and fired quickly and efficiently, taking down his target. A nearby boy ran to retrieve the prize though Simon hardly felt like celebrating. He was about to turn back and just go back to the tents when he heard a horrible sort of cry.

Simon moved towards the sound, seeing his cousin, Ronan, and his half cousin, Renly. Upon hearing Ronan's decree, Simon froze, ice taking over his veins. His uncle, dead? It wasn't possible, he was such a strong man of power, not even he could be felled, right? Simon shook his head as he stared at his cousin, finally noticing the blood on his face.

"No... You... Uncle..." Simon whispers looking towards where Ronan came from but not wanting to go see the horrible sight should Ronan be telling the truth. Why wouldn't he though? His father was dead. Simon felt something break in his chest, his second father, was gone. He had to tell Guy, no he couldn't tell Guy, it would break him.

Ronan looked as heartbroken as Simon felt. Simon let his bow drop in front of him in the saddle, not allowing himself to dismount for fear his legs wouldn't hold him. "That... How?" Simon manages through his stupor, wondering how this disaster could have come to be.

Simon breathed deeply, trying to recuperate. The breath was ragged and he felt more like he was breathing in glass rather than air. He looked to his cousin, finally realizing what this meant now. It was both good and bad he guessed. Good because it wouldn't be entirely chaotic with an heir, bad because Ulfric was dead, and Ronan didn't really like Guy.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Ronan Ulfricson Character Portrait: Renly Arryn Character Portrait: Ulfric Bjornson Character Portrait: Simon Priestas

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"He shed a lake of blood and murdered a king
for a cold, lonely throne."
― Jayne Castel

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No sooner had Renly heard the wail, he bolted in the king and prince's direction, slapping the reign's hard and driving his heels deep into his destrier's side. The second he made it into the trees, he dismounted with a skill and ease he didn't even know he possessed, and was on the ground and running before his horse even had a moment to catch it's breath. It was then, as he rounded the bend of an oak, the sight spilled out before him like some horrible farce of a stage play with Ulfric's name freshly written on the playbill in a spattering of blood instead of ink. Renly didn't know how to react, he felt as if he were falling over himself to read the act descriptions—but there was nothing there, nothing there but a facsimile of a son's face in pain and mourning hovering over the king. Ren's knees trembled and his body shook, wracked with shock. This was the man who offered him a home and a future, a man he didn't know too well, but one that had be unfailingly kind in his own stoic and quiet sort of way.

"Renly! T-the King...h-he's...he's dead." Ronan voiced, the sound of it hollowed and empty. The young ward stumbled over to the body instinctively, his legs catching on one another and tripping him up so that he just fell short of the corpse, face biting into a hard forest floor not softened by it's blanket of dampened leaves. He scrambled forward after that and pressed a trembling set of hands to the wound, hope still alight in his big blue eyes that had a sleepless night scrawled in bruises under them and were beginning to well up with tears.

Other shouts came in rolling waves, voices crying out like bands of seagulls squawking senselessly. He recognized Simon's somewhere a midst the white noise, Ulfric's nephew. He was asking the wrong questions, How? He should of been offering to help. Ren's clothes were now black and slick with blood as he still tried to keep pressure on the injury, and he began to wonder why it was him on his knees and not the king's son, Ronan. Did no one care about saving him? Renly was in denial, trying to save that which was already gone. A lost gust of wind offended the taciturn trees like the trembling premonition of the horrible future that prowled at their heels. Everything had changed. Renly should have followed after them, this was all his fault.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Ronan Ulfricson Character Portrait: Renly Arryn Character Portrait: Simon Priestas

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Dismounted now, Ronan watched the mournful Renly. It was difficult to stop from breaking out into a gleeful smile, difficult to maintain a face full of grief and mourning. Instead, Ronan settle for an expression of nothingness as if he had been broken by Ulfric's death. He hear another voice as he and Renly approached the corpse. Simon, he noted, hearing one of his younger cousin stammer and struggle for words to explain the situation. Ronan had not intended for either of the other men to follow him, but it certainly seem to be negatively affecting him. In fact, perhaps it would simply better his situation.

He wiped crocodile tears from his eyes as he stepped towards the fallen ward of his father. Renly would be his ward now, wouldn't he? A smart boy, most certainly, but he was too clever at times, and though Ronan himself had never been a stupid man, he couldn't help but be concerned that perhaps the young ward might prove to be more of a challenge than an asset. He was king now, however. Should the boy turn out to be too much of a burden, he would be cast out.

Simon's stammered question brought him to his senses once more. Ronan wiped the blood on his face as he wiped once more at tears he was still struggling to summon. The blood wiped across his face too, giving him the appearance of one of the ancient chieftains in modern Ostwall. He took a moment to gather a shuddering breath. "He wished to carry on our hunt by foot," he began softly. "I didn't...he didn't even..." Ronan gave himself a moment, lip beginning to quiver as he began to force himself to think of truly sad moments. Celia dying. Corianna dying. Genevieve dying. Freya dying. He wept wholeheartedly.

"T-the boar...he came up from...behind," Ronan started, the sobs truly causing his lower lip to quiver like a babe. In that moment, perhaps he would look weak, but in the long run, he would prove that he was not. He would make certain of that. "He hardly had time to react...and I tried to pull the v-vile thing from him, b-but...the damage had been d-done."

He slowly turned his attention back to Renly then, feebly and hopelessly attempting to staunch the bleeding with his hands. The front of the boy was drenched in the blood that had once coursed through Ulfric's body. Renly was making him look emotionless, fake...weak. Before he knew what he was doing, Ronan rushed forward and gripped the teenager by his shoulder. The sudden move would, most likely, catch Renly off guard and send him falling on to his back. "He is dead, damn it! Your sniveling won't bring him back!" Ronan cried as an ominous wind blew through the trees. Even through the treetops, it was easy to see that the storm was returning. Unlike his new ward, however, Ronan saw little symbolism in it. "We need to...his body must move." He spoke coldly, and the facade dissolved as a few raindrops pattered against his head.

Ronan wrapped his arms around Ulfric's chest and hefted his body upwards, hoping one of the others would seize his legs. When he tried to place the corpse over his own horse, the black stallion grew restless. He turned then to look at Ulfric's dun mare, who, when he draped the body across her back, accepted the burden knowingly, as if she could tell that she was weighed down for the last time by the man who had once ridden her into battle so many years ago.

One of Ronan's gloved hands seized the reins of the mare, and the other gathered up his stallion's reins as the sad procession made their way back towards the tents of the other nobles. As they walked past, some nobles who must have heard the cry from Ronan began to emerge from the woods, and they gasped or whispered amongst themselves, unable to process what they were seeing. Those from Ostwall began to weep or gaze after their king blankly. Those from the other kingdoms simply refused to believe in the death of Ulfric Bjornson, a man that the song writers claimed to be immortal. Occasionally, they stopped for Ronan to readjust the body as needed, but otherwise, the party went uninterrupted. Not by sound, nor movement, for a somber mood had fallen over what had once been a joyous occasion.

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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cxcDisarm you with a smile & leave you like they left me here
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      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. "you’ve been looking so pale of late. I’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 it’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 captor’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.
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To wither in denial, the bitterness of one who's left alone.cxc

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Ronan Ulfricson Character Portrait: Renly Arryn Character Portrait: Nicholas Brigham Character Portrait: Guy Priestas Character Portrait: Simon Priestas

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Guy and Simon had stood beside each other during the ceremony for Ronan. Both were even thinner than before. They stood close to Ronan but not very close because their title wasn't as high as some other people's titles. Guy and Simon had been rather surprised upon hearing that their cousin was going to wed their aunt after their uncle had just died. It was a rather strange outcome, but it had happened before.

Their child, or perhaps it was Ulfric's son, it was a ratehr confusing mess, was extremely close to Ronan. The twins liked him, but weren't sure about anything and often kept to themselves for the most part over the months of mourning.

The two stood side by side, looking up at their cousin, both with different feelings. They matched with their coronet they had been told to wear. They had both not wanted to really attend, not telling the other, but did knowing they had to.

Simon looked to Ronan, for the most part respectfully, but also somewhat unapprovingly, covering up the latter emotion extremely well. Guy, on the other hand, might as well have held a sword at Ronan's throat for all he was hiding his emotions. He knew his cousin knew he was not entirely trusting of him. He would have to talk with Ronan about his curiosity. There was just too many coincidences. Simon had been the one to teach him there was never such a thing as a coincidence.



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Upon arriving at the party, Simon looked around for his brother. Wondering where he might have gotten to. The two of them had tried avoiding the party but had yet again been told to attend by some advisers. Simon saw his brother sitting at the banquet table, sipping from a glass of wine as he watched people dance.

As he made his way over to his brother, he heard his cousin talking to his son. "It's ours now," He stated in a way that caught Simon's ear but not enough to really think about it more than that initial second. He continued his approach to Guy, leaning against his chair and picking at a lock of his brother's hair that rested inside the dreadful coronets both didn't like wearing.

Guy and Simon, though originally not talking to each other because of their anger and grief, were closer than ever now. The two had made up after Guy had gotten into a brawl in one of towns upon hearing some idiots complaining of how weak some of the royal family had been in response to the death. Simon had been looking for Guy so they could go to a meeting when he found his brother losing the fight. Simon had gone in to help his brother and the two had walked out relatively okay, but both knowing they couldn't fight like that had again.

"How're you doing?" Simon asked softly as he watched the dancing on the floor continue. Guy shrugged. He still didn't really want to do anything these days except stay in his room. Simon had found his brother wrecking his artwork the day before. They had really bad days on occasion and Guy had had one the day before. Nearly all of the artwork in his room had been destroyed. He had just about torn apart a beautiful painting of a spider web when Simon had caught him and wrestled it away.

Guy took another sip of his wine then set the glass on the counter. He ran his finger over the rim as if considering his words, then looked up at Simon. "Everything is so different. I don't like it. I feel like I can't walk down the hall without having to look over my shoulder for something to come get me. It's just really hard," Guy said simply. Between the two, Guy had more bad days and was taking everything worse than his brother.

"I know, and you know things always get better, slowly," Simon said softly, ruffling his brother's hair. They didn't like the sentimental feel, but it did make them feel better. "Why don't you find a beautiful girl to grab for a dance?" Simon asked his brother with a hint of mischief in his voice now. Guy smiled slightly, looking over the crowd. "I'm afraid no female can match my own beauty," Guy announces rather overdramatically. Simon rolls his eyes before taking up Guy's wine glass and sitting beside him, taking a sip for himself.

"Are you ready for the trip to the town tomorrow?" Simon asks, knowing Guy had been planning a trip to town for weeks to pick up supplies. Simon had feared his brother wouldn't go after his episode yesterday, but was relieved to see Guy give a strong nod, looking as if his thoughts were elsewhere even though he was listening at the same time.

"I think I'm going to retire, I'm rather drained," Guy admitted quietly, standing and looking down at his brother. Simon nodded, taking another sip of wine. "Alright then, see you in the morning after your trip to town," Simon said with a smile and a tiny wave. Guy returned the gesture, then moved to leave, hoping Ronan wouldn't ask to speak with him as he walked past the new king.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Ronan Ulfricson Character Portrait: Christoph Edwards Character Portrait: Renly Arryn Character Portrait: Nicholas Brigham Character Portrait: Priscilla Augusta Edwards

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Judging by the mood in the room, coronations were rare events in Ostwall, if they actually happened at all. Nicholas wasn't entirely sure what to expect; the last coronation he had been at was his own. Being a guest at a coronation was entirely different. He was not the focus of everyone's attention. That was something he was grateful for. What he was not grateful for was being sandwiched between Priscilla and Christoph, once again. He constantly wanted to look around the room to look for Renly. He hadn't seen Renly since the day Ulfric had died, and even then it had only been for a few seconds. He still wasn't sure if Renly had seen him. Nicholas had made his excuses and left as soon as he saw the boy coming. As much as he had wanted to stay, he didn't want Renly to know who he was. And there was the risk of giving themselves away. Christoph was the sort that always noticed more than he let on. Since then, opportunities to see Renly had been few and far between. His own stupidity astounded him sometimes.

"Do you suppose our wedding shall be an affair as grand as this?"

Nicholas looked to Priscilla, slightly at a loss for words. He knew they would be married. Short of one of them dying or some horrendous scandal being discovered, it was inevitable. Still, Priscilla's sudden question left him on the back foot. Acutely aware of Christoph sat beside him, Nicholas smiled, "It can be as grand as you like. Well, within reason." There was no point bankrupting the entire kingdom for a wedding he wasn't even sure he wanted.

"I remember when Ulfric took the throne of Ostwall. Only two years his senior, and now he's dead. So soon these monarchs die..." Nicholas turned his attention to Christoph "He's eight years your senior, this king, yet I must admit he has far more to learn than you ever did when your father died." Christoph looked across the room to Ronan, as did Nicholas. "What is your opinion of the new King of Ostwall?"

Nicholas thought for a moment, studying Ronan. He'd had few dealings with him, the two only seeing each other in passing. He seemed to be a capable warrior, whether that made him a capable king remained to be seen. And he didn't seem particularly broken up over his father's death. "He seems to be a decent sort, a capable warrior. Whether he's a good king remains to be seen. But I do think there's more to him than meets the eye." When he could, Nicholas would keep an eye on Ronan until he could be certain the new king could be trusted.

Priscilla seemed to be getting more agitated than usual. Nicholas gritted his teeth as he leaned over to Priscilla, determined to give the impression to all concerned that they were two young people who were very much in love with one another, "Would you like to dance, my lady?" he asked quiet enough that only Priscilla would be able to hear him.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Ronan Ulfricson Character Portrait: Genevieve Hansdottir Character Portrait: Christoph Edwards Character Portrait: Renly Arryn Character Portrait: Nicholas Brigham Character Portrait: Guy Priestas

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His gaze wandered about the hall, for Ronan had never been one to focus on one thing for too long. Renly, a distracted look in his eyes, caught his gaze first. Oh, Renly. Poor Renly. He would not, could not say why he let the teenager stay in Ostwall's castle. Both young men had never been particularly fond of each other. Ronan had always resented his father's ward, for Ulfric had seemed to dote on the boy more than he had on Ronan.

Perhaps the King knew, deep down, that he could not dispose of Renly without having the concern of resentment from the people on his hands. Already, their loyalty was something he questioned daily. One slip up would, potentially, cost him the throne and even his life. He resolved to speak to Renly, for he wanted a mind such as his on his side rather than against his.

Genevieve's response pulled him out of his reverie. He gave a slight nod of the head, coupling it with a smile. No more worries. In his drunken state, he attempted to convince himself that there truly was nothing wrong. The paranoia within him, however, gnawed at the back of his mind, plaguing him even as he watched his wife and son attentively. His mood noticeably soured, marked by the look of disgust that befouled his expression.

Nevertheless, he managed to pull on a semi-satisfied smile as he adjusted the position of the baby in his arms. Genevieve’s grip on his arm, which he matched with his hand placed over hers, seemed to calm him a bit more. But then he let himself gaze about the room again, meeting the gazes of the King of Falor and his advisor. Both men spoke to each other with their eyes still fixated on the newly-crowned monarch. Ronan’s mind began to turn on him, creating twisted ideas of what they might be whispering to each other over their respective goblets of wine or ale. He forced himself to look back down at the child shortly before Nicholas turned his attention to his fiancée.

It was truly unfortunate that Guy chose then to walk past Ronan, who caught a glimpse of his cousin on the edge of his peripheral vision. Having been coming to a boil for the past few minutes, Ronan found that his cousin would be the best victim to receive the extent of his drunken rage.

”Leaving so soon, dearest cousin?” he called after Guy, his voice dripping with feigned civility. ”I don’t recall giving you permission to leave so early in the night.” He passed Volundr to Genevieve before gripping the arms of his chair to push him to his feet quickly. The sensation of blood rushing away from his head causing a disorienting sense of lightheadedness that caused him to lean against the table for support. After a moment, he pushed himself off of the wooden table and continued moving towards Guy. ”Did my...did my father teach you nothing of civility?” His face had reverted once more to a twist of a grimace, antipathy radiating from him.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Ronan Ulfricson Character Portrait: Genevieve Hansdottir Character Portrait: Christoph Edwards Character Portrait: Renly Arryn Character Portrait: Nicholas Brigham Character Portrait: Guy Priestas

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Simon paused midsip upon hearing Ronan addressing Guy. It was rather clear to both twins that Ronan had had a few too many drinks and that this was anything but unintentional. This was an easy way to mess with Guy, calling him out and all. Guy froze midstride, nearly past his cousin. He took a deep breath, trying to keep his temper from reaching him. He moved his hands behind his back and clasped them, squeezing painfully hard to clear his mind from his own quickly rising temper.



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Guy faced his cousin, studying Ronan quickly. He was definitely not entirely sober, then again, neither was Guy. Two drunk cousins who didn't really like each other was not going to work very well in their favor, or Guy's favor since Ronan was the king now. "It has been a rather eventful day hasn't it, beloved cousin?"
Guy returned Ronan's fake voice with ease. Ronan may have more power, but Guy was easily... well, what was he? Sassy, he decided in his drunken state, Guy had more sass in his little finger than Ronan did in his whole body. The good kind that was, or at least, that's what Guy though considering his thoughts were slightly muddled. He wasn't drunk to the point he was stupid though, as he knew he was treading dangerous territory.

Simon watched his brother with his cousin and wanted to groan. The two of them were both hardheaded, and stupid when drunk. They did not need to be fighting, on Ronan's coronation day, in front of foreign dignitaries, at all. Simon moved forward, moving to stand by Ronan as he watched his brother, hoping he could communicate through eye contact that he needed to shut up. Right then. Immediately. "Cousin, perhaps here and now is not the ideal place or time to chastise Guy for his manners. We do have guests," Simon managed to speak under his breath, looking into Ronan's shoulder rather than at his brother.



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Guy was insulted by the way Ronan seemed to think his father was only his father. Guy managed to stay somewhat civilized in his response. "Dear cousin, 'tis all but a matter of habit. I am not quite accustomed to such procedures considering, well... this is all so new to all of us, the change in ruling that is," Guy managed, not really saying anything insulting, but making it sound bad considering his tone.

"Cousin, do not act rashly, you are both slightly drunk. Perhaps dealing with this in the morning would be a better idea," Simon practically begged to Ronan though he managed to make it sound more advising than pleading.

"Do I have your permission to leave now, cousin?" Guy asked, his voice coming out slightly mocking though he managed to cover up most of it. He didn't really want to get killed, or hurt, or tortured, but the more drunk you were, the braver you were, even if it was stupid bravery, not nearly close to the good type of sassy that had run through Guy's mind earlier.