The Small Town of Bhaltor

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Re: The Small Town of Bhaltor

Post  Bec on Wed Oct 10, 2018 9:33 pm

As he returned to the room, Spoon gave her lover a quiet smile; it was fake. All she felt was empty. Nonetheless, she leaned down and planted a kiss upon his cheek as he laid in the bed beside her.

“Thank you. Have a good night, love.” she said, trying hard to overcome the monotony that settled in her voice.

Grabbing the cold press from her table, she blew out the bedside candle. She pressed the pack firmly to her head, soaking in the sweet coolness that it emitted. Laying snug into the bed, sleep found her quickly; her brain had been blank with exhaustion, and once she succumbed to it she was swept away into a dreamless night.

Beams of light filtered through the window as a maid pulled back the curtains. Their warm embrace rested comfortingly across the sleeping girl’s face, stirring her. When she awoke ... it was to an incredibly unfortunate reality.

Slamming her hands into the wall, she heaved. As the corset was tightened further she was left grunting and gasping for breath. This was the worst part of it; at least Triton had picked out an acceptable dress for her to wear. It wasn’t too flashy nor frilly, and the petticoat still allowed her to walk through doorways with ease. Even despite their distinct difference in taste for fashion, he did have her in mind -- that put her at ease. She allowed the elder servant to help her into the silk tube, groaning in protest as she was squeezed even tighter together as they tied it.

The whole place was in a state of havoc. Servants were running around as if their lives depended on it, everywhere she looked she found more people cleaning and adjusting the slightest details of the halls to utter perfection. In the corner of the greeting hall Gael was preparing his magic, forming and reforming different sculptures of ice from his pouch of water.

All the fuss hardly seemed worth it for someone whom had just spent the night in a tavern. It angered her in the way that they all franticly swarmed at the appearance of one man. No one being should ever hold that much power over the masses, she thought.

The word went out, spreading like wildfire and adding to the chaos as it did; Prince Ashe Undarre had been sighted making his way towards the keep.

Letting out a sigh, she shook her head at the raging swarm around her. The castle doors were held in their open position, members of the House’s staff and family filtering in and out to their stations. Exiting, she made her way down the steps and toward the entry gate.

The giant gates that separated them began to cave inwards. The dirt pushed and rolled along their path; the ground marked from all the times this has happened before. The tension building around her was suffocating. Silent and still, the courtyard watched, waiting nervously for what awaited them on the other side of the wall.

Spoon inhaled deeply. She was unsure how to feel now; she had been so sure that this was a good idea last night, but … After her discussion with Triton last night, she felt a twinge of regret; that she never should have invited him here. Her guts twisted up in knots as uncertainty settled upon her. What would he say? Would he act differently now that he was in the presence of nobles? Had she been played for a fool as Triton suggested? And, worst of all, would this be the end of House Whittaker? She gripped her dress tightly in her fist. Shaking her head, she did her best to push her incessant fears away. She exhaled. Standing straight and proud, she locked her eyes with the figure that approached.

The gates clanked to a stop, their metal voice echoing powerfully through the street corners. The House was now wide open, and its’ inhabitants stared out into the morning bustle. A crowd had formed along the walls of the buildings. Peasants and nobles alike gawked in awe at the stature of their keep. They were also watching another thing -- something far more grand than any castle could ever be.

There he stood. She was expressionless. She held her hands behind her back respectively, lowering her head in turn as a wave of bows swept across the courtyard. She bit her lip in secret, watching him carefully from her lowered stance. It was as if she was meeting him for the first time once again. Prince Ashe Undarre of Valkaria.

------------

Shoe stayed and chatted with her companions for a while, explaining in further detail what she had noticed of the Prince and his beast. She had come to realize that the blood of her wound was beginning to dry and matt, tugging her fur uncomfortably when she stood. After some conversation, she was convinced to stay for a moment longer; allowing Archaic to go and purchase aid for her along with the supplies he had intended to make the trip for.

Having been cleaned and bandaged, she shifted back into human form; stealing her beloved’s shirt to cover her in the process. She smiled appreciatively as she was hoisted onto the back of Emile’s steed, joking to him that they would steal the horse away from him due to his lack of use for it, being a wolf and all.

Together, they waved in parting with their spy, leaving him to finish his work. She doubted that there was much left to learn, especially with the prince sitting out in the open like this… but she wasn’t willing to take any chances. The horse began, and they headed for home. She was just about ready for a good night’s sleep alongside her lover and their canine companion, for they would have much to learn tomorrow.
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Re: The Small Town of Bhaltor

Post  Agentized on Thu Oct 11, 2018 2:19 am

"You as well, my lady." Triton replied to her, going silent as he tried to sleep. For awhile, it was near impossible; the only thing on his mind was how bad he had just fucked up. However, there was only so much racing his mind could do before it exhausted itself, and he finally drifted off into a sleep. Before he knew it, he was stirred awake by the light hitting his eyelids with its sweet summer kiss. He squinted as he opened them as the rays beamed directly into his eyes, and with a small groan he rose from underneath the covers with a stretch and yawn. He took a few minutes to sit there and fully awaken himself before rising to his feet. There was no time to lolligag from there; they had to get ready for the Prince.

He wasted no minute, taking the time to bathe and clean himself from head to toe. He would have to look, smell, and be at his very best today. Even if the Prince didn't care so much what he looked, smelled, or behaved like, his mother most certainly did. His mother would give him a whipping to remember if he was anything less than perfect. While Lady Gwynn didn't have as great standards for Spoon, her expectations were still very high-- higher than normal without a doubt.

When he was finished, he adorned himself in a flattering powder blue outfit with gold lining and intricate design. It complimented the green of his eyes and his wheat coloured locks quite nicely; his mother had picked it out for him. He usually had pretty good taste in clothing, but his mother was some divine being when it came to decorating and assorting outfits, and the woman knew it. In fact, she often preferred dressing others during occasions like this due to her superior ability to match styles and colours. It had been a tough battle to win to have Spoon wear what he'd picked out for her instead, as he knew she'd take a fancy to what he had picked out rather than the pretty but frilly, absurdly feminine dress his mother had set aside for her.

Not having heard word of the Prince yet, he figured he would take the time to help where he may be needed around the castle. Helping servants tidy tables, perfectly placing vases, and pictures, and the whole nine yards. Sure, one could argue that he was a noble and that he should leave the little things to the servants to take care of. But his mother would murder him if she saw him standing around, doing nothing. Aside from that, there was still so much to do, and so little time. He figured he might as well help out to make sure everything was presentable, or his mother would have everyone's heads come the end of the day. Even more than that, it was a chance for him to be semi-alone for a little bit with his thoughts. He was studying the particular placement of a specific vase when a servant hurriedly came to him.

"My Lord, Prince Ashe Undarre has been spotted just outside the keep. He will arrive in just a few short minutes." She said hushedly. He gave a nod.

"Thank you." He replied. With that, she was dismissed, hurrying away. Deciding to leave the vase as-is, he made his way to the front doors, swearing that servants were flying in and out of the house like witches on brooms, both creating and leaving chaos in their wake. He descended the steps only a couple of moments before the large gate began to fold inward, inviting the Prince on into their home. He took his place by his mother, father, and Spoon, noting the entire courtyard seemed to hush into a piercing silence. Only the sound of Ashe's horse-- a little grey thing that hardly seemed befitting of a royal-- on the cobblestone could be heard. He dismounted as the stablemaster rushed to grab his horse for him, leading it away to the stable. He walked up the stone path, stopping in front of the noble family. His lips pulled into a smile as he gave a small bow to Lord Erik.

"It is very nice to see you again, my Lord. Thank you for graciously inviting me into your keep." He said appreciatively. As the Prince had given his first greeting, the entire court rose.

"Of course, Prince Ashe. The royal family is always welcome here." Lord Erik replied with a smile and a nod. Rising from the small bow, Ashe then went to Lady Gwynn next.

"My Lady, you look fantastic as always, as does your home." He smiled knowingly, extending his hand toward her arm. Gently taking her palm in his own, he leaned over, planting a soft kiss to its back before she slowly retracted her hand to her side again with a smile and a bow of her head.

"Thank you, my Prince. Your praise and compliments are held in the highest regard, and shall be cherished." The Prince then made his way to the young noble, bowing to him.

"Good day to you, sir." He said.

"And you as well, my Prince." Triton replied with a nod. Finally, Ashe last greeted Spoon, noticing the bandage on her head but not paying too much attention to it. Perhaps she had tripped and fallen last night? She had been drunk, maybe she was a klutzy drunk. It was of little concern at the current moment. As he had done with Lady Gwynn, he extended his hand out, gently taking her hand. As he lifted it to give her his greetings, his eyes caught the black and blue finger-sized bruises on her wrist. Without hesitating for too long, his kind blue eyes met hers in a knowing stare for just a moment before he leaned over to place the soft kiss onto the back of her hand. He'd never taken Triton for a violent man, but now that was more than well within his considerations. He silently cursed himself. There was no way for him to know, but he couldn't help like feeling it was somehow his fault. Had he been the cause of her getting hurt? Was he even sure it was what he thought it was? He was almost one-hundred percent certain given the bruises, but he could be wrong.

"Miss Taro... it is nice to see you. Your dress is lovely." He complimented, ever so carefully returning her hand.

"Would you like to come inside for some food and drink, my Prince?" Lady Gwynn inquired.

"I would be delighted to do so, my Lady." Ashe responded. As they began to head inside, overhead Veraxes' familiar screech echoed through the sky, scaring a large majority of those within the courtyard, except for the nobles and the Prince. However, what followed after it chilled even the Whittakers, who had grown used to the screeches from their time in Ohkhsha or from the few select times the Prince had come to visit in the past. Veraxes himself had yet to become visible-- he seemed to be hidden in the clouds far above. When he did finally emerge, his wings were tucked into his side, and he was spiralling in a straight divebomb toward the castle. At what seemed like the very last second before crashing into the thick stone, the golden-brown dragon snapped his wings open and caught a drift, just barely missing the roof of the castle. As he went by, the large beast belted out a deep, throaty, visceral roar that was utterly terrifying; it even sent some back onto their knees in sheer terror.

Instead of consoling the people of their safety as one who knew Ashe might expect, the Prince merely continued inside as Lady Gwynn looked to him with worry for a brief moment. However, not wanting to show weakness in front of the Prince, she continued to lead him to the dining room inside as the creature began circling the keep overhead. Every once and awhile, the large animal would let out another untamed roar from deep within, scattering the servants. Anyone who knew better would be well aware that the beast was simply warning and intimidating. The dragon was letting anyone who even so much as thought of hurting Ashe know that they would instantly regret it. It was a relatively new tactic that Ashe and his dragon had picked up, specifically for use against noble houses; they were the ones who could potentially do the most damage, many of them having the equivalent of mini armies at their disposal. In towns, he wasn't so worried-- enemies were usually untrained, smaller in numbers, and not very unified. He could generally handle them with ease.

"So... what has been going on in the capitol, Prince Ashe? It has been a long while since we have been down there, how is Her Majesty?" Lady Gwynn asked after they'd all been seated at the table.

"My mother is well. Things have been going slow, but, that is not unusual." Ashe answered, "I do believe my mother was planning on hosting a ball in the Palace sometime soon... maybe a fortnight or so, I do believe? If I'm not mistaken, though invitations haven't been sent out yet, House Whittaker is invited. Will you all be attending?" He asked.

"Oh, we'd love to, Prince Ashe." Lord Erik answered with a smile and a small nod.

"Wonderful. And you, Miss Taro? You may not be a Whittaker yet but the invitation extends to you as well." The Prince inquired, looking to Spoon.

"Unfortunately I, myself, will be stuck at the Queen's side all night long. But at the very least I will be able to watch everyone else dance about and enjoy the night. And listen to the music, of course." He laughed a little in jest, but there was a bit of envy to his words.

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Re: The Small Town of Bhaltor

Post  Bec on Thu Oct 11, 2018 4:30 am

Rising from her bow, she found herself a bit shocked to see the Prince’s taste in mount. Could that scrawny thing truly hold the weight of his armor? Come to think of it, she’d seen it in the stable whilst perusing their selection of steeds for her and Emile. Had he just bought it? That made little sense; he had said that he did not ride his dragon often, so wouldn’t he have had to ride in on a horse? Unless…

She went beet red. A look that could only be described as a mix of sheer terror and embarrassment swept across her face. All she wanted to do was bury her face in her hands, but it was not the time for that. In her mind she was screaming. She had stolen the Prince’s horse! Of course! Why hadn’t she realized it before -- a steed of that quality could never have been bred from the local stock!

Shutting her eyes tightly. It took a few deep breaths in and out to soothe her nerves, but once she did she quickly returned to her prior state of composure. Her face now once again a stark powdery white, courtesy of an unfortunate amount of foundation, she could be confident as she awaited her greeting.

She prepared a smile for the Prince as her turn came, getting ready to kiss his ass in response to whatever words of faux kindness he had for her. As he pulled her hand up for a kiss, her sleeve fell away from her skin, and her heart dropped to her stomach. She had forgotten to cover the bruise. With all the makeup that caked her face, and all the time that it had taken to do, how could she have let that slip? It was just her luck that he’d chosen that hand as well. Her smile broke and she turned her gaze from her hand to the Prince, fear ready to consume her.

Then, he gave her that look. Her eyes widened a bit in surprise, watching him closely as their gaze locked.

“Ah, thank you…” Snapping out of it, she quickly replaced her lost smile before continuing, “I am glad it is to your liking, but of course House Whittaker has only the best silks.”

Once returned to her, she quickly tucked her hand into the silky folds of her powder-blue gown. She cursed herself silently, wondering if Triton had noticed, or worse; if Gwynn and Erik had noticed. Even if they hadn’t paid attention to her arm, did they see her change in expression? She expected a scolding for not keeping a smile in the presence of Prince Undarre for certain. She only hoped that they had kept their eyes on the Prince instead of her; perhaps they had, as it would be considered rude to remove their attention from him, would it not?

As they began towards the keep, she quietly requested a maid to bring her a pair of gloves, making a note for her to find a tall pair that matched the band of her dress. Nodding, the maid scurried hurriedly towards the castle doors. It tore through the sky as a bolt of lightning; the gust of wind blowing across the courtyard as the heavy breath of a giant. She turned her sights skyward, and the grin that spread across her face was her first genuine display of happiness all morning.

Taking pause from her excitement, she noticed that the maid she had been conversing with had fallen to her knees in fear. Adorning a comforting smile, she kneeled down to her, resting a gentle hand atop her shoulder. ”Do not worry, it is safe. Let me help you up; there is no need to fear its cry.” she whispered, offering the young girl a hand up. The girl’s mouth fell agape in shock, and slowly she nodded. As she accepted Spoon’s help to her feet, she bowed in apology and quickly continued to tend to her duties.

Along the walk back to the dining hall the servant returned to her, slipping a pair of solid golden gloves to the young mistress. Spoon nodded to her in thanks, sliding the gloves onto her hands in secret. A feeling of security graced her as she pulled the gloves taut halfway up her forearm. Now she felt as if she could continue the visit in comfort.

She took her seat amongst the table, listening keenly to the conversation of the royals as they spoke amongst themselves. The idea of a ball roused her interest. Listening intently, her mind began to wander; how fortified would the Crown be during a ball? How was their militia laid out during such a large event? For a moment, she was lost in the thought.

Typically, Spoon wasn’t asked to speak very much during meetings like this. Being a commoner, her word wasn’t valued quite so much during table-talk. She had fully expected to remain silent throughout the course of breakfast. It came as a bit of a shock once Ashe opened his invitation to her, the surprise evident on her face.

“Oh, of course. Who would I be to reject an invitation from the Crown itself?” she jested, smiling in gratitude to him that he would think of inviting her to such an event. “I am honored. My appreciation knows no bounds; I gladly accept.”

Her mind immediately began to race; she was to go to the capitol. It would be the first thing she reported back to her parents at camp, as they would need to begin preparing for the visit. What would she wear? Surely Gwynn would pick out something this time; such an event is not something she would allow her to come to half-assed.

Chuckling a bit in response to what he said, her posture softened. “That is unfortunate, I’m sure you would put us all to shame on the ballroom floor.”

She wondered; had he ever had dance lessons? Did he ever truly get a chance to escape his Knightly duties and slip into a useless bit of fun? Surely that was a perfect example of how he’d led his life thusfar; standing still, keeping watch as others enjoyed themselves around him. She found herself wondering just how much of a childhood he truly had… it made her grateful for the family she had grown up with. She wished him the freedom to enjoy that kind of life one day. And, she wished to see him dance.

Back to the thought at hand, she began to contemplate the logistics of a resistance intelligence mission during the ball. Aside from her own transportation, how would her fellow members of the rebellion get there? She would no doubt have a royal escort, but they would not be so lucky. She went pale suddenly, quickly rectifying it by bowing her head and beginning to eat. Would she meet her?

The idea of being in the presence of Queen Andaria left a cold pit in the center of her being. She could only assume what that stare would feel like… the ruler of an entire land, watching her, a lowly peasant and member of a rebel force that was planning to kill her as she danced beneath her roof… it was frightening. Would she be able to stay composed in that environment? Second guesses rose to the forefront of her mind, but she had to force them out. There was no room for second guessing here; this was an opportunity that could notbe missed.

It was then that the show began. The room lit up and glistened as Gael made his presence known. He walked in smoothly, bowing in the presence of his royal audience. As a Frost Elf, his skin was a pale blue, his hair a snow white, and of course his ears elongated and pulled to a point. His eyes were sharp and dark as coal, and he took in the atmosphere of the room. He’d been dressed up extra special for the occasion, adorned in a stark white outfit with deep blue accents; a fancy ruffled button-up tucked into trousers.

Without a word, he began. Subtly, he dipped his hand into the fountain behind him. He thrust his arm outward with grace and elegance, flicking his wrist upward and causing droplets to catapult from his long fingers and into the air. With a snap, the water was at once snow.

The powdery substance fell into his hand, and he blew it in the direction of a particularly attractive young noblewoman. Chuckling at the lack of response, he figured it was time to show his true ability. He reached up, pulling the water from the fountain and sending it swirling into the sky above. He motioned with his arms, keeping the water spiraling for a moment just below the ceiling. Smiling softly, he closed his eyes and spread his arms out wide. The water spread across the top of the room, dissipating and turning to take a dark and wispy form. As the water turned to clouds, it soon began to snow all throughout the room, the thin powder delicately fluttering to sit upon the surfaces that lay below.

He noticed that the woman he’d tried to impress earlier, and failed, was now in total awe. A smirk couldn’t help itself from sneaking upon his lips, and he took a bow. He would wait until he had an appropriate opportunity to deliver his gift to the Prince.

Though she had seen it before, Spoon couldn’t help but smile at the majesty that was Gael’s magic. She held a gloved hand out before her, taking some of the snow into her palm with a smile. She watched as the white substance collected upon the golden threads, feeling at peace with the tone he’d set for the room. Was there anything more tranquil than snowfall, she thought? It certainly helped to quell her nerves in the presence of royals. She supposed that was what it was for, though; to ease tensions, and to help arrangements go smoother. It worked well.
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Re: The Small Town of Bhaltor

Post  Agentized on Fri Oct 12, 2018 2:47 am

Ashe noted the shock on Spoon's face when he voiced his invitation to her-- he knew why, as she wasn't exactly of noble descent. Still, he was a bit perplexed, though not that he showed it, that she didn't think he would extend that invitation to her as well. She was Triton's betrothed, after all. Not that he was offended in any way by her surprise at the invitation. He just thought, and admittedly it might have been a little foolish on his part, that she knew him a bit better than to exclude her from the ball. Especially so when she was sitting at the same table he and everyone else was. It would have been quite rude of him to invite the Whittakers and not invite her as well. Besides, he quite liked her as a person. He much preferred her over the Whittakers for sure.

"Wonderful news, then." He smiled at her, then turned his gaze to Lord Erik and Lady Gwynn, "My mother will be ecstatic to hear you all will be joining us for the ball." His attention turned back to Spoon, and he couldn't help a small chuckle from escaping him.

"I highly doubt it, Miss. My dancing skills are mediocre, at best. Unless we're talking about a different kind of dance." He paused. That didn't sound right. Oops. He hoped no one else would take it that way. He had to try to remedy that.

"I much prefer the one with steel and swords." He was making himself sound like some sort of warmongering heathen in front of a group of nobles. Great. If only he could take all that back and start over again. Throwing himself out the window was a great alternative, too. Thankfully, and surprisingly so, Lady Gwynn was the one who came to his rescue.

"Ah, yes, I've seen you duel. The way you handle a sword is quite masterful. Just about as masterful as Zanna is on the ballroom floor. Such a beauty, and the way she moves... so elegant." She spoke, clearly envious. She wished she could move like that.

"Yes, my sister is quite a beautiful dancer. So lithe, and perfect. She would truly put all of us to shame." Ashe agreed, speaking praise to his older sister.

"I would have to agree." Lord Erik spoke, atesting to Zanna's dancing prowess. However, they all grew quiet as Gael entered the room. It lit up and glistened in a whimsical display of his powers, bringing delight across the entire room. In awe of his magic and mystique, he had captivated nearly the entire audience, with the except of a few onlookers-- which became evident when he tried to impress one noblewoman with his magic and she seemed rather disinterested. However, even Ashe seemed intrigued and awed by what he saw. His awe only grew as the water rose from the fountain and raised to the ceiling, dissipating into clouds above that began to shed powdery snow onto everything below. Like Spoon, he lifted a gloved hand to let some of it collect on his palm, bringing a smile to his face. It was calming and tranquil, but even morso, it made him think of his two dragons that resided in the northeast and northwest cities of Taal and Valendros; Alvarys, the crystal blue-green dragon, often said to be the most beautiful of them all and to which he would agree to that statement, and Arokhai the red dragon with somewhat of a temper. She was still nothing compared to Seraxes, though. She was a kitten and he was a mountain lion.

However, most of all, he thought about Alvarys' typical... habit? behavior? Whatever one wanted to call it, most people didn't appreciate it, aside from himself. Even the guards who went to check on her and the tower every so often were paranoid to do so-- it wasn't because she was a nasty creature, on the contrary she was quite the docile, friendly beast. No, no, what they didn't like was her affinity for covering herself in snow, and letting the snowfall do the rest to completely cover her body in the solidified water. No matter how much one may get used to the presence of the dragons, there was nothing quite like minding your own business walking through the snow and having a snowpile you assumed to be a small hill suddenly growing in size, growing four legs, some wings, a tail, and some nasty teeth. Truth be told, the first time she had done it to him, well... his heart had nearly popped out of his chest, or so it felt like. Remembering the occasion, he laughed a small bit to himself; looking back on it in hindsight, it was really funny. Too bad no one else had been there to see it and laugh at him. Then again... they probably would have suffered the same fate alongside him.

Taking his mind off his first encounter with Alvarys in the snow, he lowered his hand, seeing Spoon had been doing the same thing. Her golden gloves caught his eye. Somewhere between the courtyard and the dining room, she had acquired the set of gloves. They were quite lovely-- they looked very smooth, like they had intricately and delicately been put together with some of the best silks out there. The colour matched her dress well, too-- in fact, she and Triton matched clothing, he noticed. It was honestly a real shame; that little noble prick was the reason she had the gloves on, in the first place. He tried not to glare holes into Triton's skull, even as the young noble raised his gaze to meet the Prince's. Now was not the time nor the place. Maybe one day he could acceptably teach that asshole a lesson. Maybe one day... he hoped that day would come, and that it would be sooner rather than later.

"That was wonderful." He complimented Gael for his display and entertainment, "I've seen some magic in my time, but hardly anything as elegant and refined as that." He smiled to the snow elf in appreciation, finally breaking his gaze from Triton's ugly mug.

"Our Gael is quite the magician and entertainer. Wonderful as always, Gael." Lady Gwynn agreed. Yet, she and Eric had been one of the few who hadn't seemed so dazzled by the show. In fact, Triton hadn't said anything the entire morning since the Prince had arrived other than when Ashe had greeted him, and had seemed particularly unimpressed by the magic alongside his father and mother. Of course, he'd likely seen Gael perform hundreds of times, if not more. But, it was still so unusual of him to say nothing and eat his breakfast without uttering a single word.

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Re: The Small Town of Bhaltor

Post  Bec on Sat Oct 13, 2018 1:51 am

As the words ‘steel and swords’ left his mouth, Spoon had found herself leaning in eagerly against the edge of her seat. It was unclear to even her as to why exactly this piqued her interest; was it to learn his tactics in battle for use against him in the future, or was it simply because she preferred the topic of battle heavily over the typical noble breakfast chatter? Either way it mattered little, as the topic was quickly ushered away by Lady Gwynn.

The next topic of discussion was still interesting, yet not enough to keep the rebel miscreant from sliding back into her seat. She listened to their chatter quietly, smiling at the idea of such a lovely dancer. She wondered if she would get to see it. At the same time, she felt a pang of anxiety hit her chest like an arrow. She didn’t know how to dance. There had been the occasional drunken jig around the fire at camp, but she’d never set foot on a true dance floor before. Perhaps Cheerio could teach her, she thought, or even her father. To her, they were the most likely candidates; at least within their humble home.

It was at that point that Gael had worked his magic. He roped the clouds down from the sky and decorated the ceilings of House Whittaker with their decadent form, casting awe over the room as they breathed and exhaled their cold white powder.

‘Twas only when the Prince had spoken his praise that the Frost Elf finally took a bow.

“Why thank you, Your Excellency. It gives me great joy to have your approval. In fact, if you would allow me, I would like to bestow you with a gift.”

The white-clad magician took a few strides forward, nodding his head in respect as he stood before Ashe’s seat. As she watched, Spoon could hardly contain her stare; she had seen him practicing a new sculpture earlier that day. It was always a treat to watch his creative prowess at work -- a mage he may be, but an artist he was at heart.

Placing his hand atop the open mouth of his satchel, he carefully pulled it towards his front; a rope-like stream following his fingers outward. He was careful with the water, treating it as if it were as fragile as glass and as delicate as a feather. Bringing his other hand up, he began to shape the water betwixt them. First, it took the form of a ball, and then he pressed downward, squeezing it tighter as small details began to emerge from the sphere and freeze. He lowered his head into his hands and breathed out a cold mist onto the liquid, washing it over with ice in nearly an instant.

He lifted his head with a smile, reaching his hands forward to present His Majesty with the sculpture. It was in the image of a dragon perched atop a rock. Unlike the typical depictions, the beast was not breathing fire nor baring fangs; it was not even raising a single claw to the sky. It simply stood, watching the ground below it with a pleasant face. It was not meant to be a beast, it was simply meant to be an animal, and that was how Gael represented it in his art.

“I have infused the water with a special concoction; it will not melt, no matter the heat. It will, however, shatter. I ask humbly that you accept this gift, as it would mean a great deal to me for you to do so.”

In truth, the elven entertainer could not care less if the Prince liked his ‘gift’. To him, it was an unfortunate circumstance that the majesty of dragons was at the hand of man; especially those, the men of The Crown. It boiled his blood rotten. However, for now he was in this man’s service, and he would act accordingly. That was part of his plan, after all. Though part of him truly did hope the Prince would accept; for if not, Lord Erik would certainly make an example of him.
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Re: The Small Town of Bhaltor

Post  Agentized on Sun Oct 14, 2018 4:06 am

Though his attention had mostly been drawn away, the Prince had spotted Spoon's eager change in her seat, though it had been very subtle. It seems she enjoyed some of the finer things in life, like a well-made sword and an evenly matched duel. It was the only reason he could think for her shift in posture-- as soon as the conversation had steered away, she shifted again in her seat and seemed not to be paying as much attention. However, his attention had been fully drawn away again as Gael continued to work his magic.

"It would be my pleasure to receive your gift." Ashe replied with a nod and a smile. He watched the elf as he did his work, transforming mere water into a beautiful ice sculpture before his very eyes. Not only was the performance itself a wonder to behold, but the ice statue sincerely captured the essence of not only his dragons, but all dragons. He was in awe. It was perhaps the only depiction of the amazing creatures where they were spewing fire, or had their mouth agape to roar or rip something in half. It was simply an animal, watching-- just as they really were.

"Of course, it would be with my utmost appreciation to accept this extraordinary gift. It is beautiful, and I am unworthy of its majesty." He replied with gratitude, accepting the ice sculpture from the elven man. There was a pause, then Lady Gwynn spoke.

"So, My Prince, what brings you all the way out here, if I may ask?" She inquired respectfully.

"Just patrolling, my good Lady. Keeping the roads clear and safe." He replied with a smile.

"All by yourself?" Lord Erik questioned, seeming a bit perplexed that the Prince would travel this far out all by himself.

"Aye, My Lord, I came out here alone. I left the others to guard the Queen-- all I need is my sword and my dragon and I should be alright. I've made it this far, and I've yet a long way to go before I make it home." He laughed a little.

"You must be exhausted from your travels, My Prince. Surely you will be staying awhile to rest?" Lady Gwynn asked.

"Unfortunately not, My Lady. I fear my visit may have to be brief and shorter than I would like. Your hospitality has been gracious and grand but the capitol is at least a week's ride away from here, and I must be back in time to help prepare the Palace for the ball. However, I've time yet before I must go; perhaps we would all benefit from a nice morning ride first?" He smiled. Lady Gwynn looked to Erik, and then to Triton and Spoon. Triton all but glared at his mother, however she looked back to the Prince with a nod.

"I think that sounds wonderful." She agreed, rising from her seat longside her wedded. Ashe rose, too, following the two of them out, being sure to tuck the sculpture he'd received from Gael carefully into his coin pouch. He had little else place to put it, and hoped it would be safe and secure there. After they had made some distance, Triton leaned over to Spoon.

"I can't stand him." He murmured hushedly to her in obvious distaste for the royal man, before rising to his feet to follow after them.

"I suppose we're going to for a morning ride, my love. Time to show me that horse you were swooning over last night. I hope he does not disappoint." He called.

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Re: The Small Town of Bhaltor

Post  Bec on Mon Oct 15, 2018 3:04 pm

’You certainly are not.’ Gael spat within his thoughts, restraining himself to keep it at just that; a thought. Bowing gratefully to his current superior, he removed his presence from the table. It was not his place to linger. He set himself against leftmost wall of the room, awaiting an end to their conversation.

Glancing in their direction, he caught wind of Spoon’s gawking towards his creation. He smiled courtly in her direction, although she did not see it. And she did not see it for the Prince had made his proposal, and her face had buried deep into her sleeves.

Trying to play it off as silent contemplation, the not-so-noblewoman had perched her elbows against the table and rest her enlocked hands against her forehead. She tried to hide her panicked expression; blessed be the bell-sleeves of her dress, as they helped to obscure her.

She grit her teeth, staring through the folds at the table below. What was his game? She knew that she had his horse; she would’ve been a fool to think that a prince such as he would’ve let her get away with that so easily, but why play it out like this? Was he to make a fool of her before the court? He was a cruel bastard if so, and it would be just as Triton said. Preying on her drunken mistake to rip her credibility away… it was appalling, and utterly terrifying.

Watching as they left, she rose to her feet to begin to follow. Triton’s words caused her pause, and she turned to him. A spiteful frown crossed her face, her eyes following the Prince’s shape as it exited the room. She began to walk slowly alongside him.

“I am beginning to see your reasoning,” she murmured back to him, “but, I digress. He will be gone soon. Hopefully this will all be over.”

Heaving a sigh, she tried to let her stress roll off of her as the water on a fowl’s back. However, it seemed that Triton had different plans for her. It was hunting season, and her mental duck had just been selected for dinner. She stopped dead, looking away from him as she began to nervously twirl her hair.

“Y- yes! Certainly! I hope not as well!” she stammered, bringing a palm to her face. It was then that Gael reappeared, holding out an icy rose to her. He smiled.

“You seem troubled, Miss Northcott. There is no need to distress; I’ve plenty ice in my bones to chill the all finest roses for any woman in need of one.”

“Ah, yes… thank you, Gael. I suppose you noticed. It’s nothing to worry about, really. Will you be accompanying us for the ride?”

“No, no. I am but a humble jester; it is not my right to step in to noble affairs.”

“It is hardly mine, either.” she protested, raising a brow as she smiled.

Shaking his head, the frost elf let out a small laugh. He gestured to cease, straightening his posture once more. Nodding in understanding, Spoon began to take her leave after Triton.

“Have a pleasant trip, Taro.” Gael called with a smirk, sending a new arrow of stress through the girl’s chest. Ashe had called her that before; she was unaware that the elf had noticed. Was it truly that big a deal, that even he would bring tease to her about it? She shook her head, quickening her pace as to catch up with Triton. She tucked the rose into her sleeve.

They arrived before the stables with unfortunate speed, Spoon’s anxieties eating at her as the servants readied their mounts. As Triton’s horse was presented to her, she nervously shook her head. “Um, no. See, I actually have my own now. He’s …” she sighed, pointing shakily to the chestnut stallion, ”... that one.”

The incredulous stares that burned into her caused her face to flush. She looked away, feigning shyness. Once her face was out of sight, her lips pulled into her mouth and her eyes went wide, as if she’d just bitten in to the world’s most sour lemon. ’God, what was I thinking!?’ she screamed inside her brain, wishing she could run and hide. ’Why didn’t I realize that was too high a quality of horse to be in that stable!? Nevermind that, I should’ve never accepted his offer in the first place!’

She gratefully accepted the stallion’s reins as he was presented to her, hiding her face within the warmth of the steed’s neck. She pulled him close, letting the gentle rise and fall his breath tune all else out. It would be okay. At least, she hoped.
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Re: The Small Town of Bhaltor

Post  Agentized on Mon Oct 15, 2018 8:29 pm

"Yes. That is perhaps the only thing that compels me to see this ride out. At the end, he will likely be on his way," Triton replied to her first comment. He halted as she stopped dead in her tracks, looking back at her, slightly perplexed. What was the problem? She had been swooning over the horse the night before, but now she seemed a bit nervous, and he couldn't understand it. He would find out soon enough. As Gael appeared, offering his beloved an icy rose, he couldn't help but roll his eyes a little at the frost elf's antics. He did this often enough, and though the first few times had taken him off guard, he had grown accustomed to it. Not wishing to stick around any longer and wanting to get this ride over and done with already, he began to head for the stables once more. Behind him, he could hear the beginnings of their conversation, but was little concerned with what entailed after that.

“Have a pleasant trip, Taro,” was the last thing he heard before Spoon's quickened steps approached him, causing him to scoff a little bit under his breath. Gael's behavior towards Spoon went largely ignored by him at this point, but sometimes he still found them a little annoying. Still, he hardly thought it warranted anything more than an eye roll or an annoyed sigh. Everyone had seen the mage attempt to impress one of the noble women at breakfast with his magic-- he had no doubts that the elf was simply doing the same when it came to Spoon. The rest of their walk to the stable was spent in silence. By the time they had arrived at the stable, a couple of the horses had already been tacked and handed off to Lord Erik and Lady Gwynn. Both they and Triton seemed a little confused, looking to the chestnut stallion that was still in his stall, and to the Prince which had asked for one of their horses, instead. That was Ashe's Fenrir, was it not? Was the Prince not riding his own horse today? He always rode in on the large chestnut, and always left on the flashy stallion every time that he visited, so the Whittakers knew the horse quite well. Though, come to think of it, he had rode in on a different horse, a small scraggly grey... so the stallion had already been in their stables, then? Unless... Lord Erik and Lady Gwynn were still quite confused, but Triton had connected the dots, and it was only confirmed as Spoon pointed to the chestnut stallion, proclaiming that one as hers. Now he understood why she had seemed nervous only a few short minutes ago; she had taken the Prince's horse last night!

He was partly entertained, partly horrified. On one hand... that's what the Prince got for offering her any horse in the stable, and potentially trying to flirt with her in doing so. On the other hand... Ashe may very well have them all hanged for the theft of his trusty steed. He wanted to say, 'Spoon! What have you done!?' but also wanted to laugh hysterically. Somehow, he kept himself silent, turning his attention to his mount as one of the stablehands handed him his horse's reins. He lead the animal outside where his parents were waiting, curious to see what would take place as he mounted up. Inside the stables, Ashe patiently waited to receive his new mount-- the Whittakers' horses were nowhere near the quality of the royal horses, but were still leagues above the normal citizen's stock and were fine horses; they had to be, to be befitting of a noble house. As he waited, he looked over to Spoon and the chestnut stallion, observing them as she buried her face into Fenrir's neck. He couldn't keep a smile from coming to his face. However, his attention was briefly snatched away by the stable-boy handing him his new steed's reins. Beginning to lead the horse out of the stable, as he passed by Spoon and Fenrir, he couldn't help himself and small grin formed on his lips.

"That's a very fine horse, Miss." He commented in passing. Once outside, he put his foot into the stirrup and hoisted himself aboard. At least this horse was taller and stockier than his last one; it was perfectly capable of carrying him and his armor for long periods. He would have to be sure to thank Lord Erik and Lady Gwynn for their willingness to lend him one of their horses for this ride-- he wasn't sure the other one could have carried him much farther, and especially not so soon. When Spoon did finally emerge from the stable, Lord Erik and Lady Gwynn were in shock. The Prince was not on his own horse, but Spoon was!? They couldn't believe it, nor could they fathom why, but they did their best to hide their surprise as they looked to their son for answers. Triton returned a look that said, 'We can talk about it later' as one of the stablehands offered Spoon a leg up into the saddle of her new chestnut steed. Once they had all settled themselves in the hand-crafted leather, there was hesitation for a moment; they were expecting the Prince to say something, anything, about the young woman being in possession of his steed. However, he said nothing. So, Lord Erik finally took lead, with Lady Gwynn taking her place at his side. Ashe took position behind them, and Triton, not wishing to speak to the Prince, or hardly at all while in his presence, brought up the rear of their small group as the gates once again folded inward. This time, they were exiting the keep, taking to the cobblestone road that ran along its walls as they began their leisurely ride.

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Re: The Small Town of Bhaltor

Post  Bec on Tue Oct 16, 2018 10:15 pm

A fine horse it was, indeed. She glanced his way with narrowed eyes, clearly unsettled as he passed her way. Squinting, she tilted her head a bit at him. Why was he playing so coy? They both knew what she had done; his comment had only solidified that fact. Their situation was awkward, and potentially downright dangerous for her… and yet, was he teasing? Triton had him pegged just right: he was cruel.

Upon exiting the stable, the young mistress kept her eyes to the ground. It was evident by the red on her face that she knew exactly what they were thinking. At this moment, she simply couldn’t bring herself to look at any one of the people around her. As rude as it was, she knew her face would crack the moment her eyes met with them, and her fear would carry her away.

She accepted the help onto her steed, at first sitting astride atop the chestnut, quickly switching to an aside position as she remembered whom she was a party to. Her head stayed bowed, only looking upright enough to see between the ears of her mount. The silence mocked her. She waited, quietly, desperate for one of the nobles to begin a conversation and take their minds off of her blundersome existence.

As the time passed, so did the suffocation of the quiet. The nobles began to chatter amongst themselves; speaking of the Queen, the army, the dragons and economic affairs. Allowing her back to straighten as she lifted her head from its shame, she shut her eyes and allowed herself to relax.

The sharp clacks of hooves against stone shifted into a gentle, steady beat as they found the packed soil of a familiar trail. Birds sang and bugs chirped, the shake and brush of leaves kept the horses’ ears swiveling in alert. The ambience of nature and conversation helped to tune out the noise of her mind, though she could not help but be stuck on it; she was reminded every time she looked down at the well-structured equine below her. She looked at him at first with resentment, but her expression softened as she watched him move. It wasn’t his fault. She shook her head, gently reaching down to pat him on the neck. As if on cue, the stallion glanced back at her and released a gentle whinny. For the first time since they’d left, she managed a smile.

For a while, the ride was rather uneventful. She and Triton had remained rather silent, listening to the Lord and Lady as they searched the Prince’s responses for information. He was good at what he did, that was for certain; just as before, all his words seemed calculated and well-thought before he spoke them. He must practice, she thought.

A jerk of the steed’s head caught her off-guard. She looked up, searching the area around them. Tuning out the words, she squinted into the distance, off from the trail and in the direction that the chestnut’s ears were pointed. It was faint, but she heard a different set of voices that way. This struck her as odd; though a public trail it may be, they were rather far out for someone to have strayed from the path. What reason would there be for such a detour? She gritted her teeth, feeling that perhaps it was worth investigating. However, she was accompanying the Prince and the Lord and Lady of this land; how would she justify herself for abandoning them? Especially if it were for nothing? It would only tack on to her latest list of mistakes.

The sounds continued, she steadied herself. She tried to forget it, to pay it no mind. Her head began to ache. Banditry was not unusual in this area, she was reminded over and over again. Her instincts screamed her ears raw, telling her to go investigate. That was the way she was taught. It was always better to investigate than to ignore. What if someone’s life was in danger? But then again, what if it wasn’t?

With a defeated shake of her head she repositioned herself in the saddle, slipping her feet into the stirrups as she pulled back on her reins. “I hear something, my lords. I am sorry, I will catch up with you!” she stated, pressing her heels into the horse’s sides before her ears could catch any opposition. They were off.

Leaning into the gallop, she watched the trees whizz by her with great speed. This horse was brilliant. He maneuvered through the environment effortlessly, leaving little direction work to her; he seemed to know exactly where they were heading. This was a horse that had seen a battlefield. This was a horse that knew just as well as she did that something was amiss.

And amiss it was. The scene burst into view as they passed through dense brush, the chestnut stallion rearing protectively as three steel cutlasses pointed in their direction. Spoon reached reactively for her leg, yanking up the folds of her dress to reveal a dagger strapped to her inner thigh; the rebel girl would never leave home without a weapon, another habit learned from her family. Her hand found the hilt just as the enemy found her wrist. She grimaced, their grasp tightening against her bruised skin.

The criminal that held her was a tall and burly man of tanned skin and unkempt brown hair. His grin and laugh caused her to sneer as he began a cocky gloat.

“What’ve we got ‘ere, ay mates? A noble lady, run off the trail?”

“An’ right into our coinpurses at that!” another spoke up, this time a gruff young woman, pale and caked with dirt.

The large man smiled, yanking down on Spoon’s arm as he brought her to eye-level. Her horse began to protest, but was grabbed and held by the third bandit. This one was a boy that looked no older than the stable hands at the estate. “This’un’ll fetch a pretty penny, yah? If not fer power, then fer meat,” he suggested, looking to the older man that held their prize.

“What’s a pretty girl like you doin’ so far into the woods, ay?” he questioned coyly.

Spoon took a moment before answering, glancing over to an elderly man that sat quivering against the base of a tree. He was a skinny fellow, bruised and clearly missing a few teeth. A torn satchel sat on the ground beside him, an assortment of scrolls and letters littering the area around it; did these people not even have the decency to just open the bag, and instead they had to rip it? Her anger caught in her throat, and she returned her gaze to the oaf before her.

“What use could you possibly have for an elderly man such as himself? Surely you’d find better riches elsewhere. You must be pretty shitty bandits.”

“Oi, you’ve a mouth on ya. But we ‘ave, ‘aven’t we?. Yer here, aren’tcha?”

She couldn’t hide the smirk that tugged at the corners of her mouth, grinning playfully at the crook. “You’d have better luck robbing a bear.”

Seeming oblivious to her jest, the man’s expression turned to be completely stumped. He scratched his head, dropping his shoulders as he raised a brow at the lady on horseback. “But… what would we want from a bear?”

“Dunno,” she shrugged, “but you shouldn’t have loosened your grip.”

Slashing outwards she caught the flesh of his palm, splashing droplets of dark red blood onto the powder-blue of her dress. She tugged back tightly on the horse’s reins, causing him to rear and strike out at his captor; the boy fell back in shock and fear, narrowly avoiding a sharp strike to the chest.

Thunk! The familiar sound of an arrow embedding into bark caused her surprise. ‘There’s another!’ Her eyes darted upward straightaway, catching sight of an archer perched atop in the branches. Rising to a stand in her stirrups, she rest a foot atop the saddle, bending at the knees before pushing herself outward with all the momentum she could muster. She stepped haphazardly onto the largest brigand’s face before leaping towards the branches above. Grabbing onto the fourth assailant’s perch firmly, she swung her legs up and around the wood, clotheslining the archer out of the tree and sending him plummeting down to the ground below. She launched herself over the branch, releasing her grasp and making a solid landing with both feet into the gut of the downed bowsman. He heaved with pain.

Crouching above him, she hovered her knife atop his neck. “Y’know, it pays to have a good sharpshooter. Now, if you don’t want to lose your lousy one, I suggest you give this poor man back his items,” she threatened, moving her attention back to the other three bandits with a smug smirk. Her jaw dropped. They had mounted up and were taking off!

“Hey!” she shouted, shooting to her feet, “You were just gonna leave him to die!? Come on, at least show a little respect!”

Muttering irately to herself, she turned her knife to the hilt and planted a forceful blow against the back of the archer’s head. She looked over to the frightened man, offering him a comforting smile in his trying time. “It’ll be alright, just stay here. If you’d like, Lord Erik and Lady Gwynn are a small hike in that direction,” she gestured to where she had just come from, “I am sure they will hear your plea. Now, I will return.”

Without a word more she sprinted her way to the chestnut, springing into his saddle and starting a gallop all in one swift motion. Her eyes set in the direction of the vandals escape route, she was determined to catch them.
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Re: The Small Town of Bhaltor

Post  BrightDays on Wed Oct 24, 2018 11:42 pm

Daisy, a young girl, ran through the village after her house was taken over by bandits, killing her parents. She had managed to escape by climbing through a window and running off in a direction towards trees that could hide her for a bit. After she came out of the tree line, she had glanced behind her, noticing that the bandits were gone. Taking a few deep breaths she looked around wondering where she was. Feeling nervous in this new area, Days kept silent as she walked along not sure who to trust. Hearing a sound behind her she turned to see who or what it was, clearly from her experience and showed in her defensive posture to the person behind her.

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Re: The Small Town of Bhaltor

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