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Twisting Tongues and Spoiled CheeseTwisting Tongues and Spoiled Cheese
The freshly unpacked head of cheese sat on the counter, taunting anyone who passed it.
"Remind me again, why the cheese for First Remove isn't sliced yet?" Lady Nell's voice rang out over the vats of simmering soup for the Third Remove.
Lord Wilhelm's reply was lost as one of the other kitchen helpers called for a new bowl for the sliced onions. The door to
the kitchen creaked open, the sound lost in the noise and frantic pacing of the Head Cook.
"Lord Wilhelm, you're summoned before the Crown!"
Lord Wilhelm looked up, knife halfway through the loaf of break he was slicing for the Head Table's tray. "Is your sister alright?" he asked immediately. Even Lady Nell looked up, pausing from her frantic consultation of the large to-do list taped to the wall by the main entrance.
"Yes, she's fine. She's the one Heralding for you. Hurry though, everyone's waiting on you." Young Thomas called, a
tinge of excitemen
Courtly Matters: Dented Helms and Spilled WineOf Dented Helmets and Spilled Wine
He grunted as he struggled to lever the helm off of his head without taking his nose off in the same movement. The chinstrap alone had been a struggle , twisted as it was through the leather-coated gorget, and the last -deadly- blow had not helped either.
"If I may, m'lord, I can give you a hand.." Sir Hartiel looked up to find the local Baron watching him struggle. "That's
a nasty tangle you have yourself in there."
"I would greatly appreciate the extra aid," Sir Hartiel replied courteously, "I cannot seem to get the gauntlets off without seeing them, and I can't see until I get this helmet off."
"Always a true dilemma," Baron Loepen replied with a chuckle as he began to assess the dented helmets. "I find myself in similar difficulties when it comes to getting anything across to the populace without a Herald on sight- we have so many young ones on site most days!"
Sir Hartiel chuckled, "Aye, they do have a
A Rose for the HomelandA Rose for the Homeland
This was a day she should have been happy on. Dressed in her native garb, wrapped in the plaid colors that stood for all that the nation meant to it's people, she should have been content in her role, honored even to stand representative at the celebrations. She wasn't.
The merry dances continued around her, leaving only a small calm spot around the place where she stood, gazing into the distance, wishing that her eyes could penetrate the distance that hid her homelands from sight.
"My lady, will you not dance?"
The young Duchess Moria Telfairson looked up, only partially shaken out of her thoughts.
"What are we doing here?" she asked quietly, as if unaware that the words had even left her tongue. "What are we doing here, when war ravages our people, stealing our children and our land as each day passes?" She turned, looking him in the eyes. "What are we doing here?"
Lord Tevis Claigmire's warm smile faded into the true expression of grief and worry that h
Any Other WayI stood in utmost turmoil before the King, dejected for what I had seen, and ashamed for what I had not done. In silence, I waited for the Queen to speak, knowing that only she could deliver the judgement sentence.
"I recognize now, the taint that stains your hands, and mars your soul. You, you who have sworn to a life of purity and honor have spilt blood."
The words were calm, collected, not even cold, but I knew in that moment that I had been discovered, my fate sealed. "What have ye done, that ye felt it necessary to take such drastic action?"
Even before she had finished the question, I already knew that she would not hear my answer. No one would, for my choice had been dire, no matter the reasoning behind it.
"My lady, you would not hear to the answer, even if I were to give it... "
I spoke the truth, and the Crown knew it, though they were loathe to admit it.
With a nod from the King, the guards stepped forward once more to drag me to the black cell that would be my l
Willing Accomplice"You would willingly go along with me?" Mattaes asked, his voice low as to avoid soliciting unwanted attention. "I know you've been against anything that would bring attention to ourselves, with good reason, but you know that this would instantly become the talk of the populace within the week if it were discovered."
Jantriem nodded before resolutely responding. "This has gone on long enough. Raedri's likely to be gone for the month, if not longer. We'll have ample time, now that we know where Idhrenaura is likely to be."
By this time, Raedri had glanced up from his own meal, his attention attracted by the swift, yet hushed conversation that his brothers had been holding at the end of the table for the past several minutes. Only a fe seconds worth of listening told him what he wanted to know.
He said nothing of their plans though, choosing instead to allow himself a private smile. Tenacious they might be, but tenacious fools nonetheless if they thought that wasn't
Washing Away RegretWashing away Regret
Idhrenaura slowly donned the soft linen garment cherishing the feel of new fabric against her skin. The lightweight underdress reminded her of the dresses she had once worn, when she had still been in line for the throne, when the name Numenya did not hurt so sharply, before she had taken on the name Idhrenaura. That was the past though, and as she took up the offer for a tub of hot water in which to bathe, she slowly began to wash away layers of sorrow and hurt that had become like a second skin for her. Scrubbing beneath the privacy of the new shift, Numenya gradually began to feel her spirit lift and the faint traces of a smile reach her face. When at last the weeks' worth of dust and grime had been scrubbed off, Idhrenaura began to at last pull on the remainder of the new garments that the inkeep's wife had sewn for her. Though this day was like any other day, it would be a new start, a first step on a new journey with
Chambers and Darkened HallsChambers and Darkened Halls
The halls were dark, the chambers quiet. It was to be expected, as the evening was well into the fourth hour past the evening's chapel. Few walked the passages of the cloister, most already in bed for the night, huddled beneath thick comforters and resting their stocking-clad toes against heated bricks- anything to take the chill off of the night as winter approached.
Not Solariana though. She alone remained in the chapel, kneeling against the cold stone floors as she remained before the simple cross, her fingers seamlessly weaving between the well worn beads hanging from her belt. Tonight would be a long night as she prayed through it, praying for a change that all others had long since given up hope on- a change that they called her a foolish dreamer for wishing for. Yet, she remained, silently whispering her prayer, chanting the words as she continued her cold vigil.
Bring us peace, Father, bring an end to this bloody war.
A Bard's Tale"When you know you know the season's coming to end, it's long past time to prepare."
The words were commonplace, instinctively known to most of the people gathered in the small inn's common room. The delivery though, was quite another story, just as the tale itself promised to be. Outside, the wind blew strongly, groaning as it rushed between the buildings, seeking a way in to little avail. The scant snowfall glistened in the cold winter air, bringing truth to the bard's words. It was long past time to prepare for the oncoming winter storms. There was little that could be done at this point, save for pulling out the warmest, thickest clothing and cloaks, building the fires tall, and pulling out mending or some other handicraft to while the time away with while sharing stories. Such was the case now, as those trapped within the cozy inn warmed their fingers around mugs of heated cider or ale and waited for the bard far from home to begin his tale.
"Such was the cas
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