Demons Lay in WaitDemons Lay In Wait
Caravi had never been one for much sleep. His race had never really needed much sleep in order to reach his peak potential, but things had changed. Now, he made it a habit of avoiding sleep for as long as -humanely- possible. No longer were his dreams simple dreams. No longer did he wake feeling refreshed and ready to take on the new day. No longer could Caravi even consider claiming mastership over the night. His dreams had taken that title for themselves. Dreams was not the right word. Nor was nightmare, for that matter, Caravi thought to himself. They were like demons of a minor calibre, but demons nonetheless.
Courtly Matters Part 13 GlovesStained Lace Gloves
It was a small price to pay, Lydalia agreed fervently. One pair of fine lace gloves -albeit her best ones- for her life. The servant had already taken them to be burned, Lydalia had no desire to set eyes on the once beautiful workmanship now. It was clearly an attempt at her life- poison in the stew served at the evening meal. The attempt was subtle, but the meaning was anything but. She was not welcome. Once, she had been, but now elevated to Baroness, she was no longer. Only her serving girl was truly loyal and to be trusted now. It had been her quick thinking and 'accidental' stumbling that saved her life. Ruined gloves were the least of her worries now.
Courtly Matters Part 12The Knight and the Servant Girl
It was a tale that the older servants always loved to tell after the evening's chores were finally done. It was the tale of forbidden love that turned against the servant girl who forgot her place. The younger of the female servants tended to resent it, and created their own version in which to dream, safe from the ever watchful eyes of their elders. It was a story meant to teach, and to warn. There was a reason that servant girls were to never become infatuated with those of higher rankings, especially the dashing knights that were all too frequent in the castle.
After the older women had gone to bed, the girls would stay up even later, and trade tales of their own- the dreams that their elders had always warned them against. In truth though- it was a dream that many still held, whether they openly admitted it or not. The only difference was that some knew when to accept it while others had yet to learn the harsh lesson that time
Courtly Matters Part 11Tea in the Sunshine
It was the proper thing to do, she knew, to hold the afternoon tea with her Ladies of the Court. One always had to uphold the appearance of Courtly protocols and stately matters, no matter what happened to be going on in the palace. The Queen might bring it up in conversation, of course, but then one had to be selective in what information they let loose within the gossip that padded Court discussions. Though political and social matters might be a storm, threatening to wreck havoc on all, tea with always took place in the sunshine. It was what was expected, after all, and that's all that ever mattered. Drums in the deep of night and overheard whispered rumours would never be able to change that.
With that thought, the Queen rearranged the way her voluminous skirts had fallen, and lifted her cup to her lips, silently giving the permission for tea to start. There would be time to ponder such dark things as were on her mind, but later. Now was the time to bring out th
Courtly Matters Part 10Roses and Lost Ribbons.
Gone were the summer nights spent dancing in the cool damp grass with ribbons streaming in her wake. Gone was her childhood. Dignified queen was she now- and dignified queens did nothing of the sort. Nobles of high class did not dance freely, nor with ribbons streaming behind. Instead, roses filled her room. That much of her childhood she at least retained. Dried roses were her favorite, for a reason she declined to answer. It was not morbid- not directly. That was what the black roses were for. Those never stayed long- it was not proper for the Queen to mourn that which was long lost. Instead, roses of all hues of white, red and peach could be found throughout her chambers. They were, after all, a more mature reminder of the freedom of her childhood heart. The summer nights were still hers to claim, if only in dreams and snatched moments.
Courtly Matters Part 9"Now hold your breath, m'lady," the servant girl said, bracing herself against the back of the chair as she went about tightening the lacings on Lydalia's heavily embroidered corset.
"But, what do you really think?" Baroness Lydalia asked, drawing a deep breath and holding the material around her torso. "Everyone says the tea's a pointless waste of time, but... it's the queen."
"The Queen herself asked you to join her," the servant girl said, doing her best to remain entirely neutral without appearing to do so.
"Just as she invited all of the other Ladies of Court." Lydalia replied, fussing with the large brooch at her shoulder. "Caleana, if you were in my place, what would you do?"
Caleana blinked, hastily tying the ribbon laces before they had a chance to loosen yet again. "M-my lady," she stuttered. "I do not know- I'm just a simple serving maid."
Lydalia sighed, one hand fluttering at her waist as the corset restricted the motion. "How far does duty really go, in Court?"
Courtly Matters Part 8Chains at his wrists, chains at his ankles, and his shield just out of reach. It was there, he knew, to remind him of everything that he had once been, but was no longer. It had taken little more then a moment and an ill-timed whisper before he had fallen in rank- fallen further than he had ever thought possible in so short a time. He had been Sir Dustin, three time recipient of the Dragon's Wreath- an award given only to those who showed great chivalry in extreme circumstances. Now, he was nothing but a helpless player in a treacherous political game. There was little that he could do, but he made sure that he what he could do, happened. Dustin the newly Untitled knew how to arouse attention. Now, it was just a matter of waiting to see how long it took before anyone came to investigate the drumming in the night. His squire, at least, was still loyal.
Courtly Matters Part 7"I heard the drums, late last night."
The look on the Baron's face was enough to satisfy the Duke of Colias that he had not been imagining things after all, nor had he been the only one to hear them.
"Has no one said anything?" Baron Filado de Ostraol asked, completely ignoring the looks of annoyance from the other nobles around them.
"No," the Duke of Coilas spat bitterly. "Since we have visiting vermin- excuse me- dignitaries with us, we're all to keep it quiet, by private order of the King. Where were you at that meeting?"
"Elsewhere," the Baron said elusively. "How much longer will this foolishness last?"
"I dare not think of it." The Duke said in frustrated exasperation. "It's a ruse, that's much for sure. I simply do not understand why the Crown refuses to see sense and let us mount our own attack."
"The drums will tell." The Baron sighed. "His Majesty should know better then to brush aside a warning such as the one he received. There is a fool on the throne, that mu
Courtly Matters Part 6As they entered Court with each of their steps instinctively in sync with each other, they couldn't help but make a scene. They played innocent to the amount of attention that they drew, but in all reality, thrived for it.
Large loose shirts bound only at the waist, by the wide, wide sashes around their waists balanced out their equally loose pants that were sometimes bound at the ankles. It was as if the stormy sea itself had come to Court, rather then the brotherhood of shipwrights.
It was clearly a mottled group, despite their brotherhood. The signs were subtle, but worn with great pride. The strip of hand spun, hand dyed, hand woven plaid tied around a belt, the charms, trinkets and raided plunder hanging from others, and the simple, brightly colored scarves tied around the upper arm of yet others- they all claimed a history, a heritage. They were also about to claim a title.
For years the self-titled brotherhood of shipwrights had worked with barely any form of recognit