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Author Topic: The Palace(Voldar)  (Read 70707 times)
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Capher
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« Reply #180 on: March 23, 2007, 12:56:48 AM »

Damien's mind was a whirl.  There was just too much happening and way too fast.  He needed time to think and to confer with Voltigar.  Their plans were going astray and it seems that Clayton wanted desperately to stay in Voldar, which really confirmed their suspicions about him.  Voltigar it seemed was resolved to lose the only love he had had to a man who he nor Iris even knew and Cadence was still to marry Clayton and that man would still be knighted with the highest honor that Voldar and the King could give.

"M'lords and M'ladies and your Majesty I suggest that..."

A knock on the door interrupted Damien.  A pikeman opened the door and a stout looking servant walked in, bowed, "I am sorry for the intrusion your Majesty but I have a problem with which I am unprepared to handle." He said a bit nervously as he looked around the room.

Voltigar looked at the man, smiled to relax the man and asked, "What problem would that be?"

He fidgeted, standing on one foot and then on the other. "Well Sire, it has to do with seating arrangements."

"Seating arrangements?"

"Your Majesty! Does thou think that thy seating arrangements take precedence over our discussions?" Thorigor protested.

"Baron, I am not sure how you run your household, but please do not tell me how to run mine," he turned back to his servant, "you were saying something about seating arrangements."

Thorigor huffed and that made the poor servant more nervous, "Sire, perhaps it is not as necessary..."

"Nonsense, you thought it was a moment ago. Now tell me what it is so I can deal with it and then we can continue our discussions."

"Sire their are two Earls who are almost ready to throw down gauntlets because of where they are seated for the wedding."

Voltigar bolted upright. He had completely forgotten about the wedding guests. "I am afraid that there will be no wedding. On the other hand at least you will not have to worry about seating arrangements." Voltigar replied laughing lightly.

"No wedding, Sire. What do I do?" The squeaked out.

"Tell them that the wedding is off. Give them my apologies and send them on their way."

"As you desire your Majesty," the servant replied a bit wild eyed at the prospect of telling all those lords and ladies and their entourages that they came for nothing.  He turned to walk out, the pikeman opened the door.

"Wait!" Voltigar said.

The servant turned back around.

"Tell them there is no wedding but there will be a knighting of the Order of Voldar if they wish to stay and watch that." Voltigar kept his eyes on the servant, not wanting to see the reactions from his friends, but he did glance briefly at Clayton to see his reaction.

"Yes Sire. It shall be as you desire," the servant replied and then walked out the door the pikeman closing it behind him.  Voltigar finally turned to Damien. "What were you about to suggest?"

Damien thought he knew Voltigar but this Voltigar confused him.  He looked into Voltigar's blue-grey eyes and did not see the warmth and light that usually shone from them. They were dull; almost lifeless.

"I was going to suggest that we should all take a deep breath, and step back some."

Voltigar stood up. "I believe that to be an excellent suggestion.  Baron, you and your knights are my guests.  It will probably take at least an hour for Master Clayton to prepare for his knighting ceremony and then afterwards we can get together to talk some more.  The ladies can stay with you if you wish.  Ylath will probably take at least a day if not two to prepare Rief for burial and transport.  I offer you all of the Palace's conviences until you leave. I will now take my leave and prepare myself for the knighting ceremony.  Commander if you will please come with me."  Voltigar walked to the door, the pikeman opened it and Voltigar walked through, not waiting for Damien nor not even waiting a reply from the Baron and especially not looking at Iris or Cadence; he did not think he could control his emotions if he looked into Iris's eyes.

Damien quickly followed.  He needed to talk to Voltigar.

***********************************************************************************

Thorigor patted each of the girls hands after Voltigar and Damien left. "I would like for you to stay, however if you need to go and freshen up I understand and we can talk more about your mother and your future's afterwards.  Oh, there is one more detail, and this concerns you Iris," he turned his head and looked around at his knights, "Lance, come forward and meet your new bride."
« Last Edit: March 23, 2007, 02:12:05 AM by Capher » Logged
Simonne Miller
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« Reply #181 on: March 23, 2007, 02:45:31 AM »

Lance stepped forward, and taking Iris' hand, pressed a kiss on it. Her hand was rougher than those of most women he'd met, but he usually only met the ones that did not work. "Lady Iris, thy beauty is unsurpassed." It was really Cadence he was thinking of, and his one eye even flitted towards her for a second, but then turned back to his would-be bride, as he had imagined she'd become. His voice was low, but softer than anyone would have guessed behind such a big man, although it could gain volume in a moment if he so wanted. But he never made it loud around women.

His one brown eye looked at her with warmth. She was pretty, even handsome. But her heart would never be his, nor his ever hers. He had already lost it, in that short space of time, to her younger sister, and from what he could judge she had lost hers, in a longer space of time, to the King. And the king loved her back. Even a soldier such as he, Lance, could see this, so he wondered that his lord and uncle did not. Or maybe he did... But why would he marry off his oldest daughter to a nephew when he could have her marry a king? She could be a queen... What Baron did not dream of seeing his daughter queen? But he would not question his lord, however much he wished to, not out loud. He had sworn fealty to him, and would not disobey him. At least, not in front of him. He decided then and there that when he was alone with his future wife, he would confess to her his feelings. He would have her know that he, at least, did wish for her to marry the one she loved, even if his uncle did not.
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Cherri Rowandyn
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« Reply #182 on: March 23, 2007, 01:50:16 PM »

Clayton's eyes narrowed as the King advised that there would be no wedding performed.  There went his chance for making Cadence squirm, he thought darkly.  Oh and how he wanted to see her squirm...perhaps there was still time...then he caught that he was still to be knighted.  Perfect...that was truly why he was here in the first place, not for some doe eyed girl.  As Voltigar excused himself Clayton's mind wandered to the buxom serving woman he encountered earlier...yes that would do nicely.  Clearing his throat Clayton stood and came forward to Cadence who was still kneeling at her father's side.  With his most smooth smile in place, Clayton picked up Cadence's free hand and placed a chastise kiss upon the knuckles.  He had seen how the deformed knight's only eye had slid to her ever so briefly as he was introduced to Iris.  Why anyone would choose innocent Cadence, who was still somewhat a child to be indulged in her fantasies of love, over Iris who knew the pretenses and needed no goading or trickery confounded his brain for the briefest moment.  Well she wasn't his problem anymore.  Looking pointedly at the Knight as he lightly flecked his tongue over Cadence's knuckles, which he covered well so as not to raise the ire of the Baron.  Then allowing her hand to drop back to her side he spoke, "I pray I will see you at the knighting.  And perhaps this postponement will allow us to become more familiar with one another, something we have not had time in the past to do."  Bowing briefly before the Baron, Clayton took his leave.

Clayton waved off the servant who was attempting to assist him and sought out another that he had seen around.  The man had a look about him that Clayton knew all too well.  He lusted for something and could be bribed easily.  Catching the man as he rounded a corner Clayton quickly looked around making sure no one was about and grabbed the man and roughly threw him up against the wall, Clayton's hand over his mouth.  "I have a proposition for you my friend, I want you to find a certain maid for me and in return I will give you a hefty purse."  Pulling a bag of coins from his pocket, Clayton watched the man's eyes grow round with greed as he head bobbed emphatically yes.  Releasing the man, Clayton dropped the purse into the man's open palm.  "Good, first I want you to show me your quarters.  Second I want you to find a very attractive woman with full breast who served me breakfast this morning and bring her to your quarters where I will be waiting.  And if you do it quickly enough, I may just allow you to play with her when I am finished."  The man's grin showed a mouthful of rotten teeth as he thought about having his way with the woman Clayton mentioned.  There was only one who worked that morning that fit his description and he knew where she was at.  "C'mon, dis way."  The man hurried down the back halls almost at a run.  Clayton was slightly winded when he came to a small room that smelled of unwashed flesh with the slight hint of mold and feces.  Clayton opened the door and entered the dark room.  There was only room for a bed, small wash stand and small chest of drawers.  At least the linens were rather clean.

"Good, now hurry friend and I will keep my end of the bargain."  Clayton shut the door behind him and the man hurried away. 

Clayton had removed most of his clothes when a knock came to the door and the man's head popped in the room.  "She es here."  The man's teeth showed black and crooked as he smiled and his eyes were like a rat's who had found a mound of cheese with no cat nearby.  "Well, show her in.  And wait outside to keep watch."  Clayton said to the man as he rose from the bed and made his way to the door which he opened wider to allow in the maid. 

Entering in hauntingly, the maid came face to chest with Clayton.  Looking at him at length she appreciated ever firm inch of him.  Closing the door behind her she brought her body up against Clayton taking his self into her hand.  "Yous wanted to see me?"  She asked almost innocently.  Clayton ripped open her blouse with one single jerk downward of the fabric spilling forth what the thin fabric had struggled to contain for his eyes to feast upon.  "I'm not to be married now, but I am still to be knighted so lets get on with this."  The maid only tightened her grip and tugged Clayton towards the bed.  Anger began to stir in Clayton  "Who does she think she is to deny me!  Her and her sister!!"  Clayton gritted his teeth and the maid looked up at him, "Who are ye talkin' about?"  Clayton no longer saw the maid before but Cadence and lashed out at her, "Shut up you whore!"  Clayton began to beat the woman before him coving her mouth to stifle the screaming.  The more she screamed the more excited he became.  "You like that don't you!  Look at how you want me!!"  Clayton bit and beat the woman until her face was broken and bleeding.  The maid lay there whimpering for him to stop, but her begging only excited him all the more.  Finally she woman stopped bucking and layed quietly beneath him.  Clayton had satisfied himself, for the moment, and checked the woman's pulse which was barely fluttering beneath his fingers.  Her breathing was shallow as Clayton rose from the bed and went to the door.  "She is all yours, friend." 

The man outside turned and caught site of the woman and his eyes gleamed.  Now it was his turn to play with the pretty woman.  As he entered the room Clayton began to wash the blood from himself and redress.  "She likes it rough."  was all he said.  The man had already stripped himself of his pants and had made his way to the bed.  A wildness came over the man's features as they distorted into rage and he began beating her face again, not doing near as much damage as Clayton's fists had done.  She had slighted him before, but now he would have her.  The maid's body shivered once as the last breath of life exhaled from her and Clayton shut the door smiling and made his way to his room where he prepared for his knighting.

********************************************************

Iris kept her eyes from Voltigar's as he left.  She could not look into those eyes and keep her composure.  A flutter of relief made her heart skip a beat when he announced there would be no wedding and then confusion overcame her senses when he mentioned he would still knight Clayton.  Iris looked to Cadence, but her attention was else where.  Then their father was speaking and she was about to excuse herself and Cadence under the pretense of freshen up when he suddenly called on of his knights forward and introduced him as her betrothed.  Iris's head began to swim and she instinctfully reached out for the knight to balance herself.  Catching his arm she realized what she had done and quickly looked up to his face to apologize.  His steadying hand was strong yet tender.  He spoke to her and while his eye was soft, there was something unspoken there.  Almost sad, perhaps even empty.  There was no attraction between them like there had been with Voltigar when Iris had first met him.  She had lost her heart to him before she had even known him and over the years that love had only cemented itself more firmly in her heart.  But she would still try to be a good wife.  But she would know Voltigar's loving touch before that happened.  Tonight she would go to him.  Tonight she would know Voltigar as she had longed for so long to know him.

Iris took in the man before her.  He was firm and sturdy of frame.  His face was disfigured and she had the feeling that he did not find her as attractive as most men seemed to.  Lance was his name.  And he had a patch over his eye and an ugly ragged scar that ran from his forehead across his face.  His disfigurement did not alarm her,  Damien had a scar as well and she, as well as Cadence, both adored the Commander.  Iris had learned a long time ago that the most handsome men were often times the most ugly.  Iris watched as Lance's eye traveled to Cadence and then quickly back.  So quickly that Iris was not sure she had actually seen it.  Dropping a small curtsy before Lance, Iris spoke softly her voice barely wavering, "I am pleased to have such a man as you for my betrothed.  If you would but excuse my sister and myself, we are in need of freshening ourselves." 

Cadence was nothing but relieved to hear there would be no wedding that she barely heard there would still be a knighting.  This confused her, but then Clayton was there excusing himself and looking to the knight behind her father.  Cadence sat looking at the knight after Clayton left wondering why Clayton had made a show for him.  She had learned very quickly to pay close attention to Clayton's actions for the smallest of looks and details told much.  Did he perhaps know the man?  Then the Baron was introducing the knight as Iris's betrothed.  Cadence stared openly.  She knew Iris's husband would be chosen, but not this suddenly.  When the knight, Lance, stepped forward he did so with a grace that was uncommon to most men.  Cadence watched as he gently took her sister's hand in his rather large one.  His voice was soft and yet she could tell by the way he held himself that he was a man of strength.  As Cadence looked at his form her eyes traveled up a well muscled and shaped body to his face.  He was handsome.  The thought caught Cadence off guard and her heart began to flutter like a trapped bird.  His face had a scar that ran the length of his face and he donned an patch over one eye and yet he was beautiful to her.  Cadence felt her flesh becoming warm as she thought of how she would like to run her fingers over the scar and ask how it happened.  Whether it still pained him and how she could make him more comfortable.  So lost in thought was she, Cadence did not hear Iris making an excuse for them to leave and suddenly realized that all eyes were upon her.  Her skin blushed at her embarrassment and she hurriedly dropped a curtsy and followed Iris out of the room.
« Last Edit: March 25, 2007, 05:56:25 AM by Lady Cherri » Logged

Cherri Rowandyn
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« Reply #183 on: March 24, 2007, 01:14:56 AM »

Tanari's didn't mind being led away from the room - the sense of impending thunder in there had been rather stifling. She idly mentioned to the guard that had escorted her out that Commander Scar had brought her to see the library, and before long she had been left there to herself.

To say she was delighted was not quite accurate. Books and scrolls everywhere! She began browsing through shelves, looking for works on Katya. When she found one, she took it and curled up in a chair, feet tucked under her, and allowed herself to be absorbed for the time being.
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Capher
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« Reply #184 on: March 26, 2007, 10:17:07 PM »

Damien tried to keep his anger under control as he walked by the side of Voltigar as they wound their way through the corridors of the palace to Voltigar's private quarters.  Finally Damien could not stand the silence any longer.

"Voltigar, what is wrong with you? I have known you for many years and I have never known you to quit!"

Voltigar suddenly turned and shoved Damien hard against the other wall.  Damien was a bit surprised by the strength in the man's hands and arms. "I am your King, Commander and I expect to be addressed as so," he said through gritted teeth, "and there is nothing wrong with me." He let Damien go and stepped back.

Damien's eyes looked hurt for a moment, but it was just a blink of time and then they turned hard and black as he returned Voltigar's stare. "Yes your Majesty. I had thought you had called me to aid you, however since you seem to have no need of me I ask your leave so I may prepare for this farce!"

There was a long strained silence as the two friends faced each other then Voltigar's face softned. "I do need you Damien. I...I am at a loss. My mind and my heart are waging a war that is tearing me apart and I do not know how to stop it," Voltigar finally said, tears forming in the corners of his eyes, which he briskly brushed away. "so to keep me from becoming a blubbering idiot, I focused on Clayton and how to keep him here."

"By knighting him?"

"Yes."

"But knighting him, especially giving him the Order of Voldar, was, I thought, just a ruse. I never thought you would do it for real? Besides, is there not a law about that special knighting? I seem to recall that one who was to given the Order of Voldar had to have done something heroic and in battle and needs witnesses to that effect and then it needs to be ratified by at least two thirds of the Nobles, if I recall the complete law."

"Yes. I forgot." Voltigar's features suddenly brightened.  He shook Damien's shoulders. "I knew you would find a way. Now my friend can you find a way to help me with my other problem?  We can talk about it in my quarters."

Damien smiled, "As you wish your Majesty."

Voltigar gave Damien a side-long glance, and then laughed.

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Capher
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« Reply #185 on: March 30, 2007, 02:22:48 AM »

The throne room was filled to capacity and the two earls had somehow made up their differences when the servant walked up the dias and turned.  He trembled and tried to keep his knees from knocking.  The room which had been quite noisy with many conversations soon became quiet as everyone stopped and looked expectantly at the man upon the dias.

"Um...M'lords,M'ladies there has been a change of plans I am afraid.  The King wishes to convey his apologies, but there will be no wedding. It has been called off."

The whole room erupted into an uproar as many questions bombarded the poor man. "Why has the wedding been called off?  Can we take back the wedding presents?" That question received laughter from the men and gasps from the women.

The man held up his hands. " I do not know anything except what I was told.  Please do not ask me anymore questions.  If it pleases you all, instead of a wedding there will be a knighting, a knighting of the Order of Voldar!"

Count Ru'nior and his friends were in the audience and when he heard that he stood up. "Who is to be knighted?  I have not heard of any such person who is worthy of such an honor."  He turned and looked at some of the Nobles in attendance. "Have any of you heard of this man?" He asked.

They shook their heads no. Count Ru'nior left his place and walked up to the dias.  The servant trembled even more, he tried not to leak into his pants.  The Count walked up the few steps, glared at the servant and waved him off, who was more than glad to leave.  The Count then turned and addressed those assembled.  Though he was just a Count and there were many earls in the assembly, they all gave him creedence as they knew just how powerful he was, for he also had many friends, earls, and even a duke or two who did his bidding.

Ru'nior waited until it was all quiet again as he just looked out at those assembled.  Finally he spoke. "I speak to M'lords. We have all seen and some of us have even been subjected to our King's so called progressive way of thinking."

There were some sly smiles throughout the room, hidden quickly, as most knew that the Count was speaking of himself and his closest friends who had been thrown out of the city just a few days ago.

"Now he is going to subject us to have someone knighted in the Order of Voldar without consulting us and going against the law! This I tell you is a slap in the face, a gauntlet, if you will, to all who have earned that knighthood.  I speak of only two men who have earned that right. One who is sitting amongst us, Baron Aldale and the other is Commander Scar.  We all know that the Commander is the puppet of the King, and would probably do anything for him, including allowing this knighting to take place. But dear friends it would demean our dear friend the Baron, who gave one of his legs and one eye and many of his sons and friends to the cause of defending our city during the war with Nyermersys so many years ago." He paused to let the memories of that war play across the Noble's minds.

He continued, "I plead with you. I beg you. Combine your forces with mine and let us force this preposter out of the Throne and put in one that will fight for our way of life, not destroy it as this King is doing. Whoever heard of a woman participating in the tournaments?  M'ladies, I ask you, are you prepared to do a man's work or would you rather do what Ava created you to do and be; to be ladies, bear our young, and teach our daughters to do as you as we teach our sons to be men?"

A man stood up. "Ru'nior, this is not the time nor the place for your soapbox tirades. We have heard enough in council chambers. I would say that this speech is even a bit more far fetched than usual, I would even call it treasonous!"

A hushed silence filled the room. Ru'nior glared at the man who dared to stand up to him. "I know you, Earl of Weston. You are a puppet of the King just as the Commander!"

"And I know you Count," the earl said, as he stepped out from his place and stepped out into the main walkway, "I also outrank you. I also know that the King and his Commander are standing behind you." he said with a grin upon his face.

Ru'nior turned around quickly and there standing behind him was Voltigar with a slightly amused grin on his face and Commander Scar who had a very different expression upon his; it was as dark and forboding as the black leather pants held up by a wide leather belt with a large gold buckle that held the scabbord of a very large ornamental sword.  Damien's royal outfit also included his black, gold trimmed cape that hung from his shoulders; pinned by two large ornamental gold pins, and though there was no wind the cape seemed to swirl around the Commander. But what made Ru'nior's eyes bulge was seeing the Kyranian axe in the Commander's hands as he slowly swung it around in lazy circles.

"Please continue Ru'nior. I wish to hear some more of your thoughts on my so called progressive thinking and how each word you speak digs your grave, or should I say, puts your head upon the highest spire of our fair city.  I am sure my puppet, as you claim, Commander Scar will gladly take your head." Voltigar said calmly.

« Last Edit: April 03, 2007, 01:18:04 AM by Capher » Logged
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« Reply #186 on: April 03, 2007, 11:07:52 PM »

Ru'nior swallowed hard, his adam's apple clearly seen, his eyes bulging as he stared at the grim faced Commander. "You would not dare," he accused Voltigar, " I have many friends..."

"Yes you do Ru'nior and most of them are sitting right here and heard and will testify of your treasonous words." Voltigar calmly replied.

"But...But"

Damien stepped menancingly toward the Count, who froze in terror, his eyes mesmerized by the slowly swinging axe. 

"Oh, go sit down, Ru'nior," Voltigar said in disgust, "there are more important things to discuss right now."

Ru'nior hesitated, Damien took another step and Ru'nior bolted for his seat amidst much laughter. His face red with embarrassement he folded his hands over his chest and glared at Voltigar and Damien; you will regret that, both of you. he promised to himself.

Voltigar wearing deep dark royal blue hose and tunic belted around the waist with the gold and jewel encrusted crown of Voldar upon his head looked around the throne room, eventually all talking and laughter ceased. "M'ladies, my personal guards will escort you to the another room where refreshments will be served. I am afraid this is meant for the men."

There were some grumbles of discontent but eventually all of the ladies were ushered out, the doors closed and guarded.

"Now, I am thinking that most of you are curious as to what is happening. I had thought I had more time and wished for this discussion to be done in a more informal setting. However since most of all of the Noble houses of Voldar are represented here now is better than later.

"Let us start with the marriage. A man, whom you met on the tourney grounds and seemed to like by the way Count, asked for a woman in my employ by the name of Cadence for her hand in marriage.  I decided to marry them."

"What? Why would you decide to marry a kitchen strumpet to a man who I believe is not even of Noble birth?" Ru'nior asked demandingly.

Voltigar gave Ru'nior a look that made the Count tremble. "Who I decide to marry is none of your buisness Ru'nior..."

"Actually your Majesty it is. Well the Royal houses have to approve of marriages performed by the King." Damien whispered into Voltigar's ear.

Voltigar ignored Damien and continued, "It came to the attention of Commander Scar that this man, Master Clayton, is a spy for Nyermersys."

"A spy?" Several men asked.

Ru'nior jumped up from his seat. "What would a spy for Nyermersys be doing in Voldar. I think this is just some..."

"Speak one more time Ru'nior and your head will be mine," Damien told the man.

Ru'nior sat down, his eyes bulging in terror once again.

"Yes a spy," Voltigar continued, trying to keep a straight face. "It is even worse than that, M'lords. War is brewing."

"Between us and Nyermersys?" A voice asked.

"Yes."

"But that is preposterous! Did not the last war between us teach Nyermersys that they are not match for our army and its revered Commander?" Another voice asked.

"Apparently not." Voltigar answered. "I believe that the Earl is being coerced."

"How?" The same voice asked.

"Lycheus." Voltigar answered.

"Lycheus? What kind of influence would a popinjay like him have over the Earl of Nyermersys?" The Earl of Weston asked.

Voltigar shrugged his shoulders. "Your guess is as good as mine. The only thing I could think of would be to avenge family and honor.  Cedric, it seems, who I did not know, is a third or fourth cousin of the Earl's of Nyermersys."

The men nodded. They all could relate to family honor, but...

"Cedric was a monster and so was his cousin the Warden. That orc did us all a favor when he so kindly deposed of him.  Even you Commander owe your title and lands to him." The Earl of Weston said.

Damien thought of Grunok and smiled. "I agree Earl of Weston. He was the one that was to be originally knighted the Order of Voldar."

"Now there was one I would have assented to." The Earl said, with many others agreeing.

Ru'nior jumped up. His face red. "You would give your assent to an Orc?" He blustered.

"Ru'nior." Damien's voice carried over the din of men shouting.

Ru'nior turned, and quickly sat down.

"Yes, Count. I would." The Earl of Weston said.

"And I...And I...And I..." As most of the lords of Voldar stood up, all except the loyal friends of the Count.

"Well, gentlemen he is not here. My plan, along with the Commander's was to keep this Clayton fellow as close to me as possible, so that is why I decided to marry him and Cadence and even knight him with the Order of Voldar.  However I was just recently reminded by our revered Commander, who knows the laws of Voldar, that I could not do so unless I have the consent of at least two thirds of the Noble houses of Voldar.  I ask for your consent." Voltigar said.

The Earl of Weston stood. He was a silver haired, strong jawed, handsome man in his sixties.  His body straight and tall, his bright blue eyes full of life belied his age. "Your Majesty. I understand your plan, however I am confused about this woman, Cadence. How does she play in all of this?"

"I believe that Clayton seduced her into believing that he loved her and wanted to marry her. He was under the impression that since she worked for me that he could somehow become close to me.  And though Cadence and her older sister Iris are closer to me than most servants of my employ, I doubt his plan would have worked, until the Commander told me what he had discovered."

Voltigar decided not to try and explain about Tulpje. Most of them would not believe the story anyway because they do not believe in brownies and there was no need to open that discussion. Voltigar was pleased that most of the Noble houses were listening and understanding, all except those in Ru'nior pocket.

A man stood up. "Why was the wedding called off then?" He asked.

Voltigar's face saddened for a moment, then he steeled himself and answered. "Because their father came to claim her. The Baron of Cemphira. Therefore Ru'nior, this should really make your day, that kitchen strumpet is in reality a Baroness as is her older sister Iris. Which makes them both a bit more Noble than yourself," he then whispered to himself, "though I knew that even without the title."

Ru'nior slowly stood raised his hand like a school boy. "May I ask a question without fear of having my head handed to me by the Commander?" He asked.

Voltigar nodded.

"If these two ladies are the Baron's daughters, and I am not saying they are not," he added quickly, "how come they were in your employ as servants?" He asked, a bit smugly; as if he already knew the answer.

Silence permeated the room as the men in the room came to realize the answer to that question before Voltigar replied.  Some, had bastard children, but they were never recognized. Why this Baron, who was from a place so far south of Voldar, would claim to have bastard children, especially female, was something unheard of.  They all looked up at Voltigar for the answer.

"It is a long story M'lords, and though most of you know the answer, or at least think you know, the Baron has declared his parentage and proven it.  However, we are not discussing the two ladies, but about Clayton and his knighting.  Do I still have your assent to knight him?" He asked, peering around the room.

"Why the Order of Voldar? Why not just knight him? Would that not suit your purposes?" A man asked.

"I thought of that. But I wanted this man's ego to be pumped up so much that he could not even have the slightest hint that I knew that he was a spy. The Order of Voldar would do such a thing. I then could have hm close to me, so that I could keep an eye on him.  Once the war started and his true colors come to light, then it would be a simple thing to strip him of the knighthood, if not his life."

The men all nodded their heads as the King's plan became clear. "It is a brilliant plan your Majesty. I give my assent." The Earl of Weston said.

"Aye, I too," said another.  More began to agree and soon the whole room was filled with aye's.

What about you and your friends Ru'nior?" The Earl of Weston asked. "Your lands are in jeopardy as well if there is a war and this man Clayton is working for the ones who will take them from you if they can."

Ru'nior nodded. As much as he hated Voltigar he had to admit that the King's plan was brilliant. Besides he did not know this Clayton fellow, except that he liked the man's views; but if he was a spy for Nyermersys as Voltigar claimed and a war was imminent, then he would be foolish to allow such a travesty, besides he dearly loved his lands.  "Aye," he said looking around at his friends.  "Aye," they all replied, looking relieved, as they too loved their lands.

"Good. Then it is settled.  We can bring back in the ladies and I will have a guard fetch our man." Voltigar said with a smile upon his face.

He turned, sat down upon his Throne and looked regal.  Damien followed, standing by his side. "That went well." He said.

"Yes, better than I expected, Damien. However there is still..." Voltigar broke off his thought as he could not bear to speak about Iris or Cadence. He did not know if he could control his emotions and he needed all of his concentration on what was about to transpire.

"I know Voltigar. I know." Damien said softly, putting his hand upon his friends shoulder in comfort.
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« Reply #187 on: April 06, 2007, 12:18:32 AM »

Throne Room

As the ladies were being ushered in to go and sit with thier husbands and fathers Damien remembered Tanari.  He leaned toward Voltigar who seemed to be in a world of his own. "Sire, the lady I wished to introduce you is waiting for me in the library.  I will be right back."

Voltigar did not say a word he just nodded his head.

Damien left out of the back of the throne room and headed for the library.

Library

Damien opened the library door and there curled up in a chair, like a sleek cat, was Tanari absorbed in some scroll.  He stood there looking at her and then closed the door. " I apologize Tanari. But I have come to invite you to see a spectacle that is very rare; a knighting of the Order of Voldar.  Perhaps you could paint the knights portrait or a scene that strikes you.  I am sure the King will pay you handsomely for it and afterwards I will introduce you to him.  What do you say?" Damien asked.

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Tulpje Sweetshade
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« Reply #188 on: April 06, 2007, 05:16:09 AM »

Tulpje did not reply with words, but pointed to the one that Rembrandt kept open with the red liquid in it. Well, she knew it was wine, she just didn't know the Tharian name for it. He then poured it into the smallest cup he could find, namely his thimble (also an integral part of mending his own clothes). It was perhaps a tad bit on the small side for Tulpje, but anything bigger would be too big. At least she could drink now.

She ate a little of everything that Rembrandt had put on her table. Picking then one thing, then another, she thought she liked the poultry best, although the beef she found very tasty as well. She ate quite a lot of the food, but it was too much to eat it all. After that, she climbed down her plant, which now formed a nice little kind of house, with the leaves folded into small chambers, and from there jumped down to the ground. She started exploring the room, to keep busy. Every now and then she made a noise to attract Rembrandt's attention, when she found something interesting. Very often she had to ask him what something meant in Tharian, almost just as often she forgot it promptly. It was not easy, learning another language.
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« Reply #189 on: April 06, 2007, 11:31:54 AM »

Tanari jumped inwardly at the sound of Damien's voice, but managed to hide her surprise when she turned to look at him. He offered to let her see a knighting - into the Order of Voldar, no less; but she flinched inwardly, thinking of her appearance, doubting she would be presentable amongst so many lords and ladies. And she realized with a second pang that she had brought nothing with her...

She floundered for a moment, suddenly feeling very much "on the spot", and cringed inwardly.

"Commander, I am flattered, however..." She frowned. "Not to seem rude, but I don't think I am presentable for such an event - and I am sure the king has more important things on his mind. Perhaps I should come back another day?" It pained her to have to leave the library, and she felt like she had put the commander through a lot of trouble for nothing...but things had been hurried: if she had been a little wiser she probably should have waited before coming to the palace, and now she was looking for a way to extricate herself as smoothly as possible - but what will Damien think of me? she thought in trepidation.
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« Reply #190 on: April 07, 2007, 01:40:41 AM »

Damien smiled broadly, winked and stepped closer to her, bent down so that his face was mere handsbreath's away from hers and whispered into her ear, "You can present yourself like that to me anytime."

Then he stepped back, with a wicked grin on his face as he gazed lustily at her.  Why she did that to him he did not know.  He had at first thought it was just because he had not been with a woman for quite awhile, but as he gazed at her his thought turned to maybe it was something about her; the way she looked, her eyes, her hair, the way she smelled, or smiled.  There was something about her that just drove his hormones into overdrive and he needed to all of his will power to contol them.

"However I would not want to make you feel unconformtable and the King would not mind how you are dressed because you are a guest of mine, I assure you of that. So if you would rather just stay here and read books until the ceremony is over that is fine with me.  I will leave a guard outside the door.  If you get hungry, or want something to drink, just ask him and he will have a servant fetch it for you.  It is your choice, what do you wish to do?"  Damien asked her, thanking the gods that he seemed to have gotten himself under control. With all that is happening he needed his wits about him....still she looks so inviting curled up like that, he thought.
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« Reply #191 on: April 10, 2007, 12:59:10 AM »

Something about Damien's proximity made Tanny's insides coil tightly and set her senses to a level of alertness that was both frightening and exhilarating: the hair on her neck stood suddenly on end as he drew near, the sound of his voice was low, inviting, and she caught a wiff of his husky, male scent. She could see the scars on his face, and she was suddenly overwhelmed with a desire to trace them with her finger and ask how they got there, and she also could see the hard muscle along his body - he was very much a man, very near, and she didn't need her imagination to know that she had stirred him, at least a little.
As he pulled away from her she was disappointed - and relieved. In fact, more relieved than anything else. It occurred to her again that Damien could have his pick of women - and if he was interested in her, how long would that last?

She collected herself as best she could: she knew that she needed some time alone - away from Commander Scar, and his inviting, roving eyes, so that she could think straight. And since he was offering her a way out of being put on the spot before the king, she decided she would take it this time, but made a note that she was going to find a dress shop or a tailor within the next day or two.

"I'll stay here." She almost squeaked it as her voice threatened to catch, and she realized that she was still breathing hard and her heart was still racing from Damien's near touch. "I, I just think it would be wiser for now."
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« Reply #192 on: April 10, 2007, 01:57:28 AM »

Damien grinned. "As you wish Tanari.  The ceremony should only last an hour, two at the most and then I will come back and we can get to know each other a bit better...perhaps over dinner? In the meantime relax, and if you need anything just ask the guard at the door."

Damien opened the door, gave the guard some orders, which were acknowledged by a nod of the guards head, Damien turned and smiled once more at Tanari and then closed the door behind him.


The Throne Room

Damien entered through the back way; the same way he left, and proceeded to Voltigar's side.  He placed his hand upon his friends shoulder.  His dark eyes scanned the room and he did not see Iris or Cadence or the Baron, but he did see empty seats near the front of the dias that he assumed were reserved for them.  The rest of the room was almost filled to capacity, including the second and third tier floors that half surrounded the throne room.

"So where is your next conquest?" Voltigar asked coldly, still staring straight ahead.

conquest? Damien frowned.  He did not think of Tanari as a conquest.  Yes, she certainly made his blood boil, but he did not think of her as a conquest.  That was in his youth, besides most of what people thought they knew about his womanizing was more reputation, than fact.  Voltigar knew that, so that meant only one thing, Voltigar was still trying to control his own emotions concerning Iris and would take out his anger and frustration on anyone who happend to be around; and for now that was Damien.

"She decided to stay and read in your library. She thought herself not properly dressed for such an auspicious occasion. And she is not a conquest," he added.

"No? I thought all women were conquests to you Damien? You like the chase, but once you have won the prize you move on."

Damien's face darkened. He knew that this was just anger talking but it still hurt coming from his friend. "Sire, you know me better than any man alive and I will agree that in my youth I did treat women that way. However I have not done so in many years.  Has it occured to you Sire that I may want to settle down and raise a family? Much like you so desire to do." 

Damien regretted that last statement, for he knew it cut deep into Voltigar and that was not what he intended, but Voltigar had struck first, he tried to rationalize his own comments, as he watched Voltigars hands squeeze hard the armchairs his hands rested upon.

"I am sorry, Sire.  It...it was uncalled for," Damien whispered.

Voltigar twisted his head and lifted his eyes to Damien. Damien's heart fell when he saw his friend's face.  The normal twinkle that was mostly apparent, except when Voltigar was angry, was gone in the eyes. Voltigar's face looked worn and haggard. His expression was one of extreme sadness, the kind of sadness that one sees on one who has lost a loved one or a very dear friend. Yet, it also had a steely resolve that rippled throughout Voltigar's jaw.  "I want you to personally escort Baroness's Iris and Cadence to their father and then bring them all here," Voltigar ordered and then twisted his head forward.

Damien paused, saddened and then turned and went to do as his King and friend, hopefully still his friend, had asked him to do.

He walked slowly through the halls of the Palace heading toward the girls bedchambers.  There must be someway, something that can help. He thought of a way for Clayton. Why cannot he think of a way for Iris and Cadence?  He must find a way! He thought, as he absently slammed the side of his fist against the Palace's stone wall.  He did not even notice the pain or blood that dripped from the torn skin as he rapped hard on the girls door.
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Cherri Rowandyn
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« Reply #193 on: April 10, 2007, 01:46:47 PM »

Iris and Cadence had made their way quickly from their father and to their room.  Cadence was still thinking about Iris's supposed betrothed.  They seemed so ill suited.  Cadence chastised herself.  She didn't even know this man their father had chosen for Iris.  But regardless, anyone less the King would only bring Iris's heart death. 

Once behind the closed door of their room Cadence addressed this very issue.

"Iris, what about Vol..."

Iris cut off her sister with a look and a shake of her head.  "Cadence, do not speak his name.  I can not bear to think of him just now.  To know that now I have the station and yet can not still be with the man I love because my father had betrothed me to another.  I can not do it...I can not dwell upon such and remain as I am."  Iris's voice caught on a sob which she fought very hard to keep in her throat.  But the tears she held back since the moment her father announced his plans for her erupted forth unable to be help captive any longer.  Iris fell to the cold stone of the floor in a heap of fabric and wailed her sorrow and her pain.

Cadence watched her sister and felt her pain and sorrow.  To have loved for so long and then be given a glimpse of happiness only to have it snuffed out by a stranger.  The pain filled her sisters face and Cadence wished she had never mentioned it.  It had been too much for her sister to sustain the mirage of indifference and she fell to a heap in the floor sobbing and keening as Cadence had heard newly widowed women do when they had lost their love.  Dropping to the floor and cradling her sister's head like Iris had done so many times for her when they were but children, Cadence tried to soothe her sister.  "Shh, hush now.  You will alert the guard outside and then our father shall be alerted.  Sssshhh, Iris.  All will be alright.  You will see.  You must have faith.  There has to be something we can do."  Cadence rocked her sister to and fro like a child. 

Iris did not care who would hear her wailing.  She was to have everything taken from her, her very heart, and she would give over to her grief now.  There would be no other time for it in the future.  She would have to bury all her feelings and do her duties as a wife.  Iris shuddered at the thought of sharing another man's bed.  She never thought that she would.  She always thought, no matter how unrealistic it had been, that Voltigar...that Voltigar would what?  Not ever wed?  Not ever bear an heir?  Her dreams seemed more childish now than the games she and Cadence once played. 

Iris's sobs faded into hiccups and Cadence left her to fetch a glass of water and a napkin to wipe Iris's tear stained face.  "Oh Cadence, what I am to do?  Be forever hollow?  I love him Cadence, more than I thought I could ever love anyone."  Fresh tears began to prick the backs her eyes and she quickly wiped away the ones that managed to fall.

"What if I married him, Iris?  What if I stepped up and married your betrothed?  What if we told father how you felt about the King, perhaps he would indeed heed your request.  I would be willing to take your place and marry his choice for you."  Cadence did not know where those feelings had come from.  She did not know the man Iris was betrothed to.  What if he was a man like Clayton?  No, Cadence thought to herself.  There was something very different about her Father's knight who was to marry Iris.  Perhaps if she spoke to him?  Told him how her sister was in love with another.  Surely he would understand?  But what if he didn't.  What if he favored Iris and wanted her for himself.  There were too many what ifs, Cadence thought sourly.  She would just have to talk to this knight and determine if he could be trusted.

Iris was picking herself up from the floor when a loud knocking came causing her to jump.  Not thinking about her present state, Iris walked to the door and opened it only to reveal the Commander.

Lowering her eyes, suddenly aware of her reddened nose and eyes Iris opened the door wider in invitation and turned back into the room.  Farther into the room Iris turned to Commander Scar eyes void of all but pain and despair.  "He has sent you then to collect us Commander?"  Iris's voice was trembling with raw emotion and she raised her eyes to meet those of the Commander's.  Iris looked as tho death itself had taken her very soul and all that was left was a shell of a person once so full of life.

******************************************************************

Clayton hummed to himself and he finished reading himself for his knighting.  Things were going better than planned.  Then there was a knock upon his door interupting his happy thoughts of acts performed only a short time before.

When Clayton opened the door, his eyes became cold as ice and hard as steel.  "What are you doing here?!"  he whispered to the servant he had met up with earlier.  Pulling the man quickly into his room, Clayton looked around to make sure no other saw before quickly closing the door and whirling to face the pathetic excuse of a man.

"Ye killed that maid.  Ye killed her and she lies in me room!!"  The man's eyes bulged from their sockets and he began to become frantic.

"I have no idea what you are talking about."  Clayton said coldly.

The man quickly caught on to the game and his composure became more at ease.  "That is not what the King will hear..."

Clayton advance upon the man in two steps had his large hand around the oily smelly neck of the servant's.  "Just what is it do you want?"  Clayton squeezed hard for good measure which caused the man to go into a coughing fit before Clayton released his throat.

"What everone wants."  The man wheezed between coughs which he didn't bother to cover to keep his spit from flying all over the place.

"Money."  Clayton sneered.  He should have killed the man when he had the chance, but he needed him to be the last with the maid just in case.

"Aye, money and alot of it.  Enough to get me far far from here and start me a nice new life somewhere."  The man straightened himself and his beady little eyes glistened with greed. 

"Fine, I will see to it later.  For now you have to leave and not be seen.  I have a knighting to prepare for."

"Knighting?!"  The man's voice held a tone of in-credulousness to it.  "They would knight you?"  The man began to laugh again until Clayton fixed him with an icy stare which caused the man to choke on his mirth.

"Fine then.  If I do not hear from you soon, then we both know what will happen."  The man was out the door before Clayton could threaten his very life again.

Clayton tried to refocus his mind on his pleasant events and couldn't seem to achieve the same gladness he had before.

As he finished dressing, a knock came to the door.  "Master Clayton, I have come to escort you to the ceremony."  Clayton's smile brightened once again and he opened the door and followed the servant to the throne room.
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Cherri Rowandyn
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« Reply #194 on: April 11, 2007, 02:19:01 AM »

Damien Scar

Damien saw Iris as she opened the door.  Her eyes and nose were red and Damien knew she had been crying.  She turned and walked away and he entered the room, closing the door behind him.  He cast his eyes toward Cadence and could see desperation in them.  Both of the girls's eyes mirrored his own emotions.

Iris turned and looked at him. The sight of her wrenched at Damien's heart. She looked exactly liked Voltigar; void of life, of spirit and of hopes and dreams, only duty remained.

She spoke,
Quote
He has sent you then to collect us Commander?"

Damien wanted so badly to tell her that there was a way to turn this around.  That something could be done. But as much as he had racked his brain, he could find no answer to ease the pain he had seen in Voltigar's eyes and now in Iris's.

He nodded sadly. "Yes, I have come to escort you to the knighting of Clayton.  If you need some time to freshen up, then do so. But you do not have much time.  Your father and his knights are also being escorted to their places for the knighting as we speak. You, Baroness Iris and Baroness Cadence will sit on either side of your father."

He became silent and his brow furrowed and his eyes darkened; for the first time in his life he did not know what to do or say.

Clayton's quarters

The tailor saw the page boy knock on Master Clayton's door.  He had rushed out to gather different material when he was almost run over by a oily, smelly manservant. Brute the tailor thought as he continued his way.  Then he saw Master Clayton come out of his room and he was dressed in black!  He rushed to Master Clayton waving his hands, "Master Clayton, you are to be wearing white ermine, not black! A man who is be knighted with the Order of Voldar is to be presented to the King in white to symbolize the pureness of his heart and purpose to always serve Voldar and its King.  Wearing black will definately not do, though I admit you look dashing in that color," the tailor added.  "I have your clothes right here," the tailor said showing Clayton the pristine white hose, doublet and cape.  I had to go and retrieve some more Ermine to sew on your cape and the gold clasps that will hold your cape to your shoulders.  I will sew it on as you dress, besides I see that you do not carry your sword or shield, did you forget them in your room?" The tailor asked.






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