Fable - Ask The Field of Gold

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Wilhelm Anireth

Gap Year Prince
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Artists impression of the Field of Gold, outside Vel Anir circa 739

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"Well, they didn't spare any fucking expense on this did they?"

Wilhelm stood in the entrance of the royal pavilion with a goblet in hand so he could watch the servants running around like ants to prepare what people were already calling the Field of Gold. Tents sprawled down the undulating hillside that ran from the fortress city towards the wooded outline of the Falwood. Despite consisting of every different kind of hue the dye merchants could get their hands on - burgundy, deep blues, forest greens - each tent was embroidered with fine gold cloth that made every single tent glitter when the sun caught them. It was easy enough to see why the people within the city walls had dubbed it the field of gold even if the only tent entirely made of gold cloth was theirs.

"Wilhelm! Language, please," his mother reprimanded from behind him.

"Well they haven't have they? Really mother, half the city still looks like a mountain was dropped on it. Is this really the time to be spending money like thi---"

Queen Elenora held up her hand to stop his rant.

"The people want to celebrate your and your sisters return to us. There has been so little to be happy about, do not take this from them child."

Wil debated pointing out none of those people had actually been invited. The lowest the royal family had stooped was to invite some of the youngest recruits from the Guard and the Academy who had committed a service to the Republic that deserved a reward. The rest were all noblemen with a smattering of the high class merchants who had managed to seize a piece of power and hang on in the aftermath of the revolution. Instead though he downed the rest of his drink and winced at the sharpness. He was used to ales and the odd spirits of the East not fine wines. He hadn't mastered the art of sipping them like his mother said he was supposed to.

"Well I still don't understand why father couldn't be here, we can see the Palace from here. If he so wanted to spend time with us," he finished rather darkly and cast an eye up towards the palace towers. He doubted his father was anywhere near a window, too busy in his work to care what his wife and children were doing. There was a scraping of a chair and the next moment he knew there was a warm hand on his shoulder.

"Your father does want to spend time with you, Wil. He did this for you. To show how happy he is you've come home to us," her hand slid from his shoulder to his cheek. It had been so long since he'd had any kind of motherly touch he flinched as though it were a slap. A hurt look crossed her face but she smothered it, like she smothered everything else real that ever passed between them. "Go, have fun child. Make friends."
 

Riley

Fkn Weapon
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"Don't be such a cock-juggling jizz trumpet," Riley huffed to Thorn.

A frown drew on Thorn's lips as he looked down at Riley and whispered, "What if they find out?"

"You didn't have to come."

"But Kaius-"

"Knows I can take care of myself."

"That's why he calls you Sparky?"

Thorn would get a sharp punch to his shoulder and a muttered, "stop being such a fuking muppet. But keep that hat on, yeah? I don't trust this place being so friendly to your kind. even after the revolution." Thorn let out a long-suffering sigh as he wound his way with Riley through the crowds behind the tents. He could've sworn one fabric looked like gold. But Riley had her gaze set on a drinking booth down the way. Looked like her kind of competition was about to get started.

It was nice not to be wanted as a runaway anymore.
 

Kassandra

Princess Anireth
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"Princess, it is so very lovely to have you back here with us."​

The man standing before her was clad in the most utterly ludicrous outfit that she had ever seen. It was the clothing a huntsman might have worn had he been dipped in a puddle of gold and a marsh filled with different colors.

There was not a chance in this world that he would sneak up on any animal, and yet the javelin in his hand showed he intended to do just that. Briefly she wondered just how out of touch she was with Anirian fashion, but quickly decided the fault most certainly did not lie with her own attire.

At least she most certainly hoped not. "Thank you, My Lord Elwith."

Kassandra said with a small smile.

"It is good to be home." Though she had yet to step foot into Vel Anir itself. This celebration had been their first stop, at least after their far more important meeting just a day and a half hence.

The meeting that had her truly feeling at home.

Briefly her eyes flickered towards the Royal Pavilion, spotting Wilhelm and her mother standing at it's entrance. The smile on her lips widened just slightly more. Heart beating a bit faster with the knowledge her family was slowly being sown back together again.

After she had torn it apart. "Do you plan to partake in any of the games?"

She asked, trying her best to sound genuinely curious.

"Oh just the hunt. I'll leave the Joust and Sword Tournament to the youngins. Not to mention the spell-slinging set your Mother set up! Those Initiates seem enthralled by it, first time they get to show off. There's certainly enough running around here it'll be impressive."​

"Yes, there certainly are." Kassandra said, glancing around at some of the young Guardsmen and Initiates. "I am eager to see how they perform."
 
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Alistair had finally arrived at the grounds by his own choice. HA! Yeah, right. Shame on you if you thought that was the case. This was the celebration for the return of two of the King and Queen's children and it included a chance for Alistair to show off his abilities. His dad might as well have kicked him out the door as he was leaving.

Alistair stood in his normal attire made up of the black, white, and silver of his family colors. He stuck out like a sore thumb compared to some of these nobles that looked like they had been vomited on by a rainbow and the pot of gold at the end of that rainbow.

Was this the new fashion in Vel Anir? It seems the Academy had finally done something good for him.

He made his way over to register for the melee and the magical demonstration. Hunting really wasn't his forte and had always wanted to learn how to do hawking but never had the money for it. Oh well, he would settle for the other two.

As he made his way around the field he polite nodded to some of the noble and initiates that he came across. Most of them were those younger than him, so he had still not seen any of his friends, yet. He spotted a could of looks being shot between nobles and initiates. It seemed there might be a bit of a small rivalry forming being the noble participants and the dreadlord initiates. That would certainly be fun.

"Alistair Krixus, registering for melee."
 
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Kavaros Tal'deneshaar

The Bold
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Oh the season of Noble events, how dare Valdr still be at sea with his bride to be. That left Kavaros as the main attendee to represent the family. It was either him, or Drastus. And even if his little brother showed up, he would have to make an appearance. Thankfully, this event seemed more his speed. Various games of skill, a hunt, drinks other than wine. The only negative was how ridiculous the nobles looked.

He was clad in his dark gray leathers with a blue gambeson. Silver stitching on the leather cuirass bore the sigil of his house, the gryphon. His braids were tied back with various beads from Ragnarra and Ragash. A quick gaze up, and he could see Tal'virah soaring above in wide circles, the strapping to one of his legs marking him as an owned hawk.

The boy before him in line gave his name. Alistair Krixus. It sounded familiar to him, maybe his brother had mentioned one? "Best of luck." He mused to Alistair as he stepped up beside him to another clerk.

"Name? What games will be competing in?"

"Kavaros Tal'deneshaar." He would take the spear haft offered by the clerk, and tapped the shields with the corresponding images. "Hawking, the hunt..." his hawk-like gaze focused on a tent in the distance. ".. and the drinking." He responded with a grin. Already there seemed to be a few sights that caught his eye. "Yup.. definitely the drinking."

The clerk looked to another confused, there was no drinking competition. Not an official one.

"Good day, sirs." To the clerks, then a side glance to Alistair. "Don't forget to use the crossguard effectively. Be rooting for ya." If he could remember his name by the time he stopped drinking.

With that, Kavaros was walking confidently to the drinks. The real hunt was about to begin.

Alistair Krixus | Riley
 
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Why was she here?

Siva was clad in her usual black robes, black mantle, grey sash around her waist and dark brown gloves. Not only were most other people here noble, royalty or high-ranking dreadlords, but they also seemed to have specified a lollipop-like dresscode. Siva's usual tactics with dark, discreet colors seemed to work against her, making her stick out the same way a noble would back where her original family lived. She took another glance at the invitation in her hand as she leaned her back close to one of the wagons.

"My first assignment. What a cruel joke."

Her graduation had not been long ago and it had not been without a certain controversy. There had been strings attched - even if she was officially a dreadlord now, she was effectively on a trial-period and her conducts would be reviewed.

"I guess they expect me to participate in some measure." She sighed and quietly observed her surroundings. She knew the prince and princess were here somewhere, and if she could at least avoid bumping into those perhaps - at least - this assignment might be passed without ending in complete catastrophe for her. She eyed several people of interest. A young man with a gold signet ring indicating nobility of the ranks she had no knowledge, was one those that stuck out the most. "Almost certainly a dreadlord." She mumbled.

Another glance at the invitation confirmed that there were to be some kind of games happening, and not many thoughts needed to pass through her mind to determine, that anything but having to chat up the nobles here was much prefered.

From the back she saw a figure registering for the events called "The Hunt" and "The Drinking". A small sip of vintage wine before the hunting event might even make it an enjoyable experience. Having stepped into the queue behind him, she presented herself to the clerk.
"Siva Dustbr... Ehrm... Duskbreath." She corrected herself. "I'll be in the hunt and the drinking." She quickly declared as their looks of confusion eluded her. She turned and discretely followed the hunter a few casual paces behind, latching onto the direction he took, thinking he would know the way.
 
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Alistair was focused on his own business when someone spoke to him over his shoulder. He turned his head in confusion.

"Oh, thank you." He responded politely.

Rarely did strangers just randomly speak to him. If being a noble was off putting enough, but then add that with the symbols that marked Alistair as a dreadlord initiate and some people actively avoided him when he went out of the Academy.

As he finished his registration, he took a good look at the man who had spoken to him. He looked familiar, but he couldn't quite figure it out. Thankfully, a hint quickly came to the man's identity as he spoke.

Then the advice about the crossguard followed and Alistair was pretty positive who this man reminded him of.

"Tal'deneshar? Are you related to Drast?"

Kavaros Tal'deneshaar
 

Elias

Star-Crowned
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From farther back in the line, Elias watched as Alistair wandered off with a new friend. Wasn't that just charming, little Ali making friends. As the line shuffled forward, the Initiate tucked his thumbs into the waist of his dark trousers. Unlike the gaudy attire sported by most others, Elias had grabbed a well-worn, simple tunic to pair with his pants.

"Next!"

Elias stepped forward, towering above the seated man. What an ugly thing, with his fat neck and all of his wrinkles. And, ugh, those tiny eyes squinting down at the list were sickening to behold.

"Name," the old man demanded, not even glancing up from his parchment.

"Elias Sirl. Melee," after watching him scratch away, tightly clutching his quill with fat fingers, the lordling turned away and went to the appropriate set of tents to prepare for his event.
 

Wilhelm Anireth

Gap Year Prince
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Wil gently - but firmly - removed his mothers hand from his cheek. A morning of being nice did not remove years of neglect. He kept that pain balled up inside his chest however and offered his mother the lopsided grin of a young, confident Prince.

"I'm sure I'll make loads of friends," Queen Elenora didn't seem to catch the sarcasm for she only returned her sons bright smile with one of her own. Or maybe, Wil wondered, was she playing as much as he? With the goodbyes done he dropped his mothers hand and then turned and strode from the tent. The whole event made his skin itch. He wanted to do something. Guards peeled in behind him as he began his march down the hill and he shot them a bewildered look. He'd survived 12 years with a drunk as a guard, did they honestly think he needed them?

"Well this is going to be irritating," he muttered under his breath. No sense bollocking those just following orders after all.

Wilhelm beelined his way around the different activities, glancing in at the drinking, pausing to consider the hawking, before finally ending up in front of the melee tent. Punching someone. That was exactly what he wanted to do right now.

"Where do I sign?!" he boomed loudly and slapped his gloves down on the table.

"Y-you're highness.... I thought you'd be off on the Hunt?" the fat man jibbered

"Nonsense! That's not for a few hours yet. And this is where all the fun is eh?" he grinned and snatched up the quill to sign his name before someone tried to stop him.
 

Riley

Fkn Weapon
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"Wow, sounds like someone thinks he's important," Thorn said quietly, giving a slight wince as his extra-sensitive elf ears picked up a booming voice from the sign-up tent somewhere behind them. Wilhelm Anireth

Riley chuckled without looking back. "Probably some hoity-toity merchant or numpty-royal, you know, overcompensating." There was a sudden - splat on Thorn's shoulder and he looked down, nose cringing in disgust. Could very well be from Kavaros Tal'deneshaar's bird but who could really tell?

Riley's hazels flashed as she opened her mouth.

"Don't say it," Thorn cut in, holding the collar of his shirt out, trying to keep the bird poop from running further than it was. Just had to be a hawking competition at this thing.

"What, it's supposed to be lucky, right?" Riley said innocently as she stepped into the shadow of a tent with a long table down the center. Folk were already grabbing chairs on either side. In this ten, most were dressed more casually like herself and Thorn. The nobles and royals must be at the sanctioned events.

"Did you have to sign-up for fisticuffs, too?" Thorn looked down at her as she sat, waiting to see who would fill the spot across from her. Losers would exit the table on each round with the victors facing off with those still able to function.

"And doing it after this...," Thorn's voice trailed off as he often pointed out Riley's reckless decisions.
 

Kassandra

Princess Anireth
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Kassandra had forgotten how much the nobility enjoyed prattling on about things. Even before she had left, at the age of only fourteen, she could remember being trapped in a dozen different conversations such as this one. Her mother had always told her it had been important to listen.

More so than even to speak.

Fools like this man tended to say a lot, and more than a bit of it was important. All you had to do was know how to sift through the bullshit.

Yet in this moment she did not want to linger. Did not want to speak to this man. It was her first day home, The Princess most certainly did not want to waste it standing and listening. "That is utterly lovely, My Lord."

She said with a smile.

"But I'm afraid I must beg your leave, there is something I have to attend to." The man gave her a smile, and then a curt nod.

"Of course, of course your Highness! Thank you for your time."

Kassandra was already walking away by the time he finished speaking. Moving through the small crowd. Her hazel eyes flickered through the crowd. She observed anyone and everything, musing quietly as she spotted her brother at one of the tables for sign ups.

A small congregation had gathered there, seeming to chat. She recognized none of them of course, but stepped over towards the table one away from her brother. His loud and boisterous voice broke out over the din, and she smiled as she heard him sign up for the melee.

A good choice for him. She mused, but not her own.

"Name?"​

The man behind the table demanded curtly, his coat that of a Proctor of the Dreadlord Academy. "Kassandra Anireth."

Almost immediately the Proctor's head shot up, eyes wide. He stared up at the Princess, a mixture of confusion and bewilderment on his face. His eyes scanned her up and down, and then he gently cleared his throat.

"I...errr your Highness...this is the sign ups for the magic competition."​

A soft smile touched Kassandra's face.

"Yes, I am well aware." She looked down at the man, that same, soft smile on her lips.
 

Kavaros Tal'deneshaar

The Bold
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Tal'deneshar? Are you related to Drast?

The question came as he was starting to step away and Kav turned back with that Tal'deneshaar grin. "He's related to me, but I get the confusion." He would start with a laugh, before giving him a two fingered salute. "Kavaros, couple years older. Melee shouldn't be for a bit, why don't you get some actual drinks with me. Tell me some embarrassing stories about him." He gestured for the younger man to follow him and turned on his heel.

He could mark at least one person tailing him, a dreadlord based on the attire as she, like him, was not dressed in a ridiculous cacophony of color. Black for a Dreadlord was a little on the nose, but hey, they probably had two colors to choose from: black and darker black.

Finally, he reached his first challenge, which wouldn't count for anything 'official'. He just wanted to drink as much booze as possible before the darkness took him. He billowed through the tent flap and happened to see a sight so lovely, she almost rivaled the stacks of casks within the tent. And what glorious days, a chair across from her, with her flanks filled and Hat-Guy hovering over her, no he was Bird Poop Hat-Guy, across was the best option.

"How's everyone doing today in the only event that matters?" He asked looking at some of the challengers and already toasty plebians cheered. He pointed out one of them. "Definitely need to catch up to you." His gaze shifted to Riley. "You're going to be my biggest challenger, I can feel it. Unless they do wine, then I'm losing quickly." His gaze then shifted to over her shoulder to Thorn. "And uhh.. you might want to get a rag or something. Seems like ya got a bit too lucky out there, yeah?"

Alistair Krixus | Riley
 
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Alistair was prepared to follow after Kavaros and make a few more friends. He really wasn't one to drink to much, seeing as the last time that had happened, he had passed out with some other initiates in a tavern and he had slept with one of the bar wenches. She had ended up keeping his shirt...he had loved that shirt.

He held back for just a moment as he overheard the conversation from the magical registration table. He might as well keep his eye on the competition. In this instance, he did not learn anyone's magical talents, but he did learn something else. His brain quickly put several of the blocks together as he looked at the girl who had just signed up. She was well dressed and put together, definitely a noble...likely royalty.

"I'll catch up with you Kavaros. Save me a drink."

Alistair moved off towards the magic competition registration table having decided to make introductions while he confirmed his own registration. He stepped into the line behind her before speaking.

"I suppose that makes you the person that I should be thanking for today's events." Alistair offered to Kassandra.

Kassandra Kavaros Tal'deneshaar
 
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In spite of her introvert disposition and darkened clothes, Siva was no rogue. She didn't have any real training in treading lightly, staying out of sight and moving in unnoticeable patterns when shadowing a target. She was rarely the target of attention anyway, and she was quite alright with that. However, what she had learned, was to recognize when someone had their attention on her. And that guy heading into the drinking event tent had clocked her as if it was second nature to him.

Impressed and perhaps a little off put, she slowed her pace a bit before following him into the tent. People were definitely in a mood in here. She peered in between the thicket of people.
"I wonder where the separation between the audience and the participants are drawn?" She muttered to herself writhing her way to the bar trying to avoid being pushed around too much. The bulky bartender rolled his one good eye her way with a quizzing expression. "Ehrm... I was looking to participate." She went as she got what was either a sneer or a chuckle before the portly man served her a glass of some sort of brown alcoholic liquor. It smelled sordid, but not more than they usually did. She reached for the drink but had barely lifted it from the bar before his hand had locked around her arm and she felt his eye pierce her.

Her pulse soared for a moment as her free hand was already instinctually drawing magical symbols in the air before she remembered. "Of course. An entry fee!" She said and her free hand exchanged the spell casting motions to reach into her pouch for what she believed to be more than adequate amount of her ‘allowance’ to cover the drink. His grip loosened and he swiped the money off the table before his attention diverted to the next customer. Siva felt her wrist a bit and quickly scanned the room again. There he was at the table, the hunter that had clocked her before in a conversation with a dark-haired woman.

A sigh escaped her lips when the realization hit. She was not scrambling through this event just sitting in a corner by herself. As such she sat down one-and-a-half places to the left of hunter and placed her drink before her.
"I am Siva. Who will I need to challenge first?" She asked plainly as blue eyes shifted between them.
 

Lynus Anireth

The Prince of Vel’ Anir
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"What've I missed?" Lynus asked as he arrived at the tent fashionably late and with whisky on his breath, his eyes that bit darker from another sleepless night. He pressed a kiss to his mother's cheek as he passed her, his shoulders rolling as he found himself oh-so-conveniently at a small table set up with wine and some other things that the paid no attention to. A cup was poured and in hand, and so he sipped at it as he moved to the front of the tent to look out over the day's festivities.

"No sword?" his mother asked in that same dreary tone she used if ever she wished to express her disappointment in her oldest son's seemingly interminable fall from grace. "I'd have thought you'd be entering into the tournament, I'm sure your brother and sister would enjoy watching you fight."

Lynus rolled his eyes and lowered the cup but didn't bother subjecting himself to the look he knew was on her face. "I haven't touched a blade in over a year, I'm drunk, Mother, not stupid." he answered. "They'd have seen me fight years ago had they been here. But, they weren't." he countered with his own tone of disappointment. His siblings being sent away had never been an easy subject.

The Queen only sighed in answer as she sat down in al elegant armchair of gold thread. "And where is my darling Amelia?" she asked with a lilt of confusion in her tone.

"Ah fuck." .. He really wasn't doing so well with this whole 'husband' thing..
 

Kassandra

Princess Anireth
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Kassandra turned on her heel, regarding Alistair with a soft smile as he spoke to her.

No recognition flickered over her features of course. Alistair was not anyone she had before, and in truth his family name was not one in a long list that she had been made to memorize as a child. Still, that didn't make him any lesser in her eyes.

Not after what she had gone through in AlthHaven. "In a roundabout way, I do suppose that is true."

She said with a smile.

"Though I think my father and mother were simply a tad...overindulgent." Perhaps not, given that she and Wil had been away for nearly a decade and a half. Yet she still couldn't help but feel slightly...awkward at the notion that all of this was for them.

"Kassandra Anireth." She said by way of introduction, gently offering her hand palm down.

Perhaps she should have introduced herself as Princess, with the half a dozen titles that adorned her name. Yet she couldn't quite bring herself to do so. Not now. Not so soon after having just returned. It seemed wrong in a way.

Though why she could not figure.
 

Amelia Pirian Anireth

The Princess of Vel’ Anir
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Amelia glowered as she stepped into the tent on the arm of Arryn, Lynus' personal guard and best friend. Arryn had been one of the only reasons she had not stabbed her husband yet.

He really is a good man.

You just have to give him time.

He has been dealt a hard hand.


Time. It would take time and she knew that. They had started on the whole getting to know each other since she had informed him that she was going to stay and be his wife. She was not going to run away from her duties like Erich Virak had. She was not a coward.

Queen Elenora smiled at her new daughter-in-law, stood from the chair, and stepped over to wrap her in a hug. Amelia let go of Arryn's arm and gave the Queen a hug. They were still in that awkward phase of Amelia wanting to bow and Elenora already treating her like family. It was just taking some getting used to. She already loved her in-laws...more than her husband if she was being honest there.

"It's quite alright to be upset dear, you can give him a piece of your mind, just try to look like you're having a civilized conversation."

Amelia let our a wry laugh at the Queens words. "Thank you for your permission, your highness," Amelia said and stepped back from the hug before heading over to Lynus.

Her dear dear husband was drunk and she just sighed as she bent to place a kiss on his check. "You forgot me...again..." Her voice was soft and slightly menacing as she pulled away from him and sat down at the table with him.

Lynus Anireth
 
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Alistair lightly chuckled as he glanced around at the brightly colored tents and some of the even brighter-clothed attendants. Yes, being overindulgent might be an understatement.

Kassandra was someone he had never met face to face. Not really a shocker, it would have taken his family's entire political standing to get themselves into the same room as the royal family before the Revolution. She was beautiful as all those who had been born to higher stations tended to be beautiful. However, her beauty also included an aura of experience.

She had not been swaddled and spoiled inside the palace, rather, she had been experiencing the world wherever she had been the last few years.

Alistair gracefully took her hand and offered a bow. "It is a pleasure to meet you, Lady Anireth. I am Alistair Krixus at your service. The festival may be a bit...garish, but it never hurts to give the people a chance to celebrate."

A part of him had introduced himself in order to speak with Royalty, but another part had done it out of curiosity. A princess of Vel Anir who held magical abilities, according to her registration, who was returning after several years abroad. He supposed she had her parents to thank for that. Otherwise, he would have seen her in the classes at the Academy.

Kassandra
 

Elias

Star-Crowned
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While all the notables mingled amongst themselves, Elias inspected weapons displayed on racks inside one of the tents. Taking a sword from one, he was very much chagrined upon testing the edge with his thumb only to find that it was blunted. The Initiate would have to remind himself that the nature of this event was play. To put on a show for merchants and nobles and the likes. And for the pampered sons of the wealthy to brandish their frilly techniques and school-taught forms of swordplay.

"Could I enter barehanded?" Elias called over his shoulder to one of the staff members running the melee. He returned the sword to its spot, beyond glad to be rid of the useless thing.

"Uhm... The melee is divided into armed and unarmed combat. You should have-"

"That's great," Eli interrupted, "So wonderfully great."

He approached the organizer and hooked his arm over the man's shoulder, drawing him in and squeezing his neck with the crook of his elbow.

"Now," he whispered, "You find me the biggest, baddest bastard 'round here to throw blows with. And you'd best find him quick."

Elias, who was very talented at smiling, held the man in his arm for a moment longer before releasing him, "Remember, be quick! Now fuck off."

And he did just that, to find a suitable opponent for the apprentice Dreadlord.
 

Kassandra

Princess Anireth
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"A pleasure to make your acquaintance." Kassandra said with a gentle nod of her head.

A smile touched her face for a moment as he explained away the garish celebration around them. She couldn't help but agree of course. This was as much for her and Wilhelm as it was for the others in attendance. A way to show the Royal Family was still clinging to some semblance of life.

A reminder that trappings of their old society still existed. "Walk with me for a time, Alistair?"

Kassandra asked.

"We have some time yet before the competition, and I'm eager to talk to someone who..." She trailed off with a glance towards some of the other nobles. "Isn't dressed like a peacock."

Alistair Krixus
 
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"It would be my honor, my lady."

His drab fashion sense had finally paid off in this city, rather than get looked at with ridicule by the nobles.

He looked to the number of nobles she glanced at and it caused him to chuckle. Alistair's entire life had mainly involved him having to stand beneath most of these nobles while they looked down on him on his house. Only for him to realize after the revolution that most of them were incompetent. He was happy to find that many of their houses would fall out in a few years or decades with the way things worked in Vel Anir, now.

Their wealth would keep them afloat for a time, but they would need the skill to help them survive the new landscape, which many of them did not have.

"We have some time yet before the competition, and I'm eager to talk to someone who..." She trailed off with a glance towards some of the other nobles. "Isn't dressed like a peacock."

"I am glad you asked because I am eager to talk with someone who does not think like a peacock." He responded as he shot a glance at those same nobles.

"Of course, I suppose that I will aim to prove my own intelligence during this conversation. I may just be the most confident of the peacocks."

Kassandra
 
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Lynus Anireth

The Prince of Vel’ Anir
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One eye narrowed in an apologetic wince as he turned to catch Amelia's glowering. Ah. She was upset. Of course she was fucking upset - he continued to forget that he had a wife - she had every right to be furious. He met another look of disapproval from his mother and an awkward glance from Arryn. The Prince gave a guilty shrug at the guard in response..

"Amelia I.." he growled at himself, dragging a hand down his face with a huff. "I'm not making this easy am I?" he frowned, deciding against looking at her as he watched the crowds instead. There wasn't much else he could say. He was certain she'd regret her decision to stay and change her mind regardless of whether he was sober or not, she knew it wasn't going to be easy, but she didn't deserve to have to put up with him.

He'd make it up to her, he decided.. If he remembered to. Hesitantly he reached to take her hand if she'd allow him to. If she did, he'd express his apology still further with a gentle squeeze. "Would you like t---" The Prince's words trailed off as he spotted his sister in the amongst the festivities..

"Who is Kassi with and why isn't someone telling him to fuck off?"
 
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Amelia Pirian Anireth

The Princess of Vel’ Anir
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Amelia just smiled sadly at Lynus, "no, you are not," she responded to his question.

She had known it wouldn't be easy and she reminded herself of that daily but she had committed. She had committed to him and Vel Anir and her future as his wife.

The eldest Pirian daughter let the Prince take her hand and she just squeezed his back. She could never stay upset with him for long. She was always reminded of his past and his pain. Lynus was trying (most of the time) and she appreciated that.

As his words trailed off, she followed his eyes to where they rested on his younger sister. His words made a choked laugh leave her though. She couldn't hold it back.

"Lynus, she is an adult. She can tell him to fuck off if she wants to. I highly doubt the Princess is afraid to speak her mind," Amelia squeezed his hand again and smiled a more genuine smile this time.
 
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Wilhelm Anireth

Gap Year Prince
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When no suitable, willing opponent could be found for Elias the next best thing was found instead: a stupid one.

Wilhelm stepped into the roped up arena with a deep breathe. For all the bold words, the cocky bravado and his enthusiasm for the fight Wil knew the risks in this ring. It wouldn't be his first match and probably not his last either, though perhaps this was the start of matches that were far more legal in their nature. He felt far more calm and at home here in the ring than he did out there in a different kind of dual. Quietly he tugged his shirt up and off over his head then began to bind his hands in the way Egror had taught him.

A Dreadlord they had said. He eyed up the ring on his finger then took it off and tied it to a cord about his neck instead. He might have need of it in the fight if this lad decided to use magic but he didn't want to risk breaking it if he managed to get a hit on this kids jaw.

"So, where is this Dreadlord?" He called to the crowd, playing the part.
 
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Elias

Star-Crowned
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Whispers from the growing crowd fueled the excitement for the event.

"What did His Highness say?"

"A Dreadlord?"

Their anticipation was electric. Palpable. Elias felt it as he shouldered through the spectators and ducked under the rope to enter the improvised ring. Tens of eyes settled on the two men facing off. Oh, the stories that would be told in the cliques that made up Vel Anir's high society. Hear the tale of the youngest born to Randall and Elenora Anireth and his battle against a mighty Dreadlord.

"I reckon they'll sing a song or two about you for this," Elias said plainly as he stripped his shirt off and laid it over the rope behind him, putting on display his honed body marred by a collection of countless scars. Then he kicked his shoes off outside of the ring. Standing up, the young man jerked his head side-to-side to crack his neck and deeply inhaled. After a long exhalation, Elias took a high stance with his right leg forward. "Do your best, Your Highness."
 
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