*Sir Arthur Redmoore had woken from his slumber that day with a bright smile over his face. Why shouldn’t he have? He holds within his palm the heart of one of the most beautiful, if not THE most beautiful woman in the land, in his palm, and she his. However, he awoke for another reason today with this smile. Today was the day of the tournament amongst the knights of House Casterly, though it was not set up by the royal family but instead by the knights themselves. They enjoyed tournaments and these tournaments were a great way to raise moral and keep the men sharp.*
*It hadn’t taken him long to get ready and dressed in his full armor, then exit his small home in the walls of the lands of the Freys. Once he exited his most humble abode, he was already in the training grounds, and spread his wings wide to stretch them out. Black in color, they showed he was far from the purest of pure, but the armor that adorned them showed his age and wisdom, especially in battle. Making his way to the arena, he was the first to kick things off, and drew his custom made sword. Being the lover of a Lady has its perks, after all. the blade was large, two and a half feet in length, and gleamed brightly in the sun as the silver shone brightly in it’s rays. the length of the blade carried runes of ancient Angelic tongue, which only he and a few others knew of at this time period.*
*The man who entered the ring with him was far from majestic in his armor, the way Arthur was, but it did not matter. Though the knight did enjoy stylish looks, he understood all too well it’s skill that matters over appearance. As the other knights began to gather around the arena, hoops and hollars rang through the area. Arthur’s smile was large and bright as he turned in circles, his arms raised to the sky. Lowering his arms, the crowd hushed, and Arthur spoke.* “The time has come brothers. Yet another three months have come, and they have gone since our last tournament, and today we start one yet again! for the glory of the Frey’s and House Casterly!” *The knights all together spoke* “Forever shall our wings carry us as high as honor!” *Arthur loosed a hearty laugh as he rilled the men. Once they stopped, he went on.* “Now, the rules are simple. The matches shall be one on one, with each man fighting an assigned opponent of similar skill level. The victor shall continue on, while the loser is left to watch the glory of his brothers…from the shit trough in the horse stables!” *the men loosed a hearty laugh, and Arthur continued.* “Now, the duels are simply to continue until a killing blow, or what would be it, has been dealt. Now with that said…LET THE GAMES BEGIN!” *Arthur readied his blade, and drew the second, just as elegant, yet about one foot shorter, silver blade. The man in the ring with him wielded a larger two handed sword, which granted him reach over Arthur, but not the speed Arthur had.*
*The two men charged each other, Arthurs darkened wings spread wide behind him. With a flap, he was launched into the air, his swords high above his head as he roared and threw them down at the opposite man’s head. The man halted his charge and rose his blade to deflect the blows, successfully doing so, signaled by the loud echoing clash of the metals. When Arthur landed, he drew up his foot to the gut of the man and kicked him backwards almost twenty feet, and then a few inches as he slid backwards. The men outside arena cheered and Arthur basked in it. That’s when the Lady Dana Frey caught his eye high in her balcony. He smiled brightly to her, standing still as if awaiting the return of an attack from the opposing knight. As the man rose and began charging, Arthur winked to his greatest love and readied himself. The man threw his sword in a sweeping motion, which caused Arthur to flap his wings and jump high over the man’s head, barreling in a roll mid air and landing on a single knee. Both his blades were flipped in his hand when he landed, the points facing behind him and extended. His wings spread wide and his head held up to the Lady Frey, holding her eyes within his gaze. The opposing knight felt the point of Arthurs blades against his back, and halted his movements, realizing the match was to go to Arthur.*
*The men all hollared and cheered his name in awe of such skill. Arthur rose, sheathing his blades and folding in his wings. He turned to face his once opponent and the two men laughed shaking hands. The man left the arena, and Arthur turned to the crowd.* “The first match has been fought and won. NEXT!” *After this, as Arthur exited the arena to stand in a spot out of the way to watch the fights, and perhaps meet with his beloved, the next two men entered and announced themselves, starting the fight. However, Arthur’s eyes held the Lady Frey’s own, and he nodded his head, signalling her to meet him.*
Calypso rose from her seat by the vast window of the bathroom. Obviously, whoever had drawn her highness’ bath had not though to alert her of her duties being stolen. Of course, she couldn’t care less if anyone did her work for her, but she needed to keep up the appearance of loyal servant for as long as necessary and possible. She walked toward the large cabinet, acquiring three linen towels from it and a white silk robe. She placed them on a table, then turned to the queen in question. “My lady, is there anything I can get for you?” Her voice was smooth and quiet, but loud enough for the female to hear. She had long since been labeled as sickly by nearly everyone in the castle, and therefore, everyone in the house. She was gentle but strong at the same time, with a sharp mind and a tough gut.
She was dressed as usual, in a long white dress that was just long enough to properly cover her, but not so long as to interfere with her work. It was simple but regal at the same time, though it wasn’t as beautiful as the royal women’s garments. Her hair was pinned back neatly and fell to her waist, straight as a rod but soft as the silk she had touched naught seconds ago.
She was the epitome of a servant, yet none of the other servants could quite match up to her. She worked harder, longer, quicker. She seemed to be so loyal, that if anyone told the royal family otherwise, they would not believe them without her say in the matter. It was the perfect place for her, and she reveled in it, but quietly. Pride is sinful, and an angel does not sin. She laughs at that same statement often, but never in the presence of anyone who could use it against her.
At the moment, she still stood ready and waiting to serve her queen. Her unsuspecting queen that was going to be wrapped so tight around her finger she would be so willing to go to war with the other houses, she might just lead the army herself.
The coloured tents of each of the Lords and Knights that set up their weapons and furs, were lined up on the opposite end of the training grounds. At the far end, he could see that his own men had set up a tent for him, to partake in the event. One, a young lad by the name of Thomas Green, was dealing with the blacksmith, when he saw Sir Ahorld enter the grounds.
“SIR AHORLD!” he shouted, well pleased to see him finally arrive. “Just getting your battle axe sharpened. Godfrey has your tent set, and there is a hand maiden around…somewhere.” he ran his hand through his curly blonde mop of hair, as Wayne pulled up on the reigns, and brought the horse to a stop. “Who is fighting at the moment?” Wayne inquired, leaning forward in his saddle to pat the horse’s neck. Thomas leaned over to check the flags that were up currently in the arena, spotting those of Sir Arthur Redmoore, and a challenger who was lesser known. “Sir Redmoore, and some poor sod.” Thomas exclaimed, as he handed the blacksmith two pieces of silver for finishing the battle axe in record time. “Will you be challenging him, Sir?” Thomas asked, as he walked alongside Wayne’s horse back towards their tent, where Godfrey was cooking on a small open fire. He was a stout man, dressed simply in a tunic and pants. Looking up from the pot, he beamed to see his Lord. “Sir!…I been making your favorite stew…Rabbit and caught it meself.”
Wayne dismounted from his horse, and then tied it up to the nearest branch, before nodding to Godfrey and patting his back. “Smells like a hearty meal. But not time to eat now, I will go and see who is up next and perhaps knock the rust off my blade.” Both of his servants started to get his weapons ready, and watched as Sir Wayne wandered over towards the arena, his wings well hidden beneath his cloak.
Metia knew very well, she wasn’t alone in the bathroom, her loyal servant was always with her, Calypso. In fact, Metia was staring right now at her. She was basically the only Angel that Metia trusted enough, of course she doesn’t trust her husband, she wants to get rid of him, she hates angels so badly. But then again, she hates almost everybody and everything in this world, she only adores her children, till the way her psycho and evil side takes completely over her, and then, she wont care about anybody but herself, and how much she will show the world what real hell is. But even if she trusted Calypso, she still remained her body a bit more hidden underwater, not complexes about privacy, but how her body was growing horrible, just because she hadn’t get a soul of a beautiful woman recently. She would have to end up finding another one, sooner or later. Calypso would be one, but she can’t kill off that woman, she had been her servant for years now, and she’s better than any servant around here, she works faster and better, and does what the Queen pleases. Plus Calypso might be the only female “friend” Metia has, so it would be waste if Calypso died.
She heard the female’s words wondering if she wanted something. Metia just picked up a small towel from Calypso’s arms, and began to dry off her skin from her hands and arms.
“Yes. Please bring me a paper and a feather with ink. I need to write a letter to my daughter.”
Metia replayed with a slight frown, as she stared down at her own hands.
She had finally remembered about the letter Selene sent her this morning, she was just kind of busy, and since she thought it wouldn’t be too much trouble of making her daughter wait, she decided to write it now.
King Henry rose to his feet, and smiled softly at the Bishop. A dear friend for many a year, and one that looked out for his interests where he saw fit. The parchment scroll that he had slipped the King, was a personal message that had been sent from the Hills around Vaas Plains, by one that wanted discretion, since the matter was one of great delicacy. As many other parishoners were leaving the chapel, Bishop McKenna walked out the side door, and beckoned the King to follow him. King Henry glanced about, to see that only Jimeon remained, but he was busying himself by stacking up the hymn books.
“Sire…you might require a moment. Please, feel free to use this room.”
The King nodded, and took the Bishop’s advice, before entering the small room, where the Bishop changed or prepared his sermon for the house staff and faithful. Sitting down on a small wooden chair, King Henry reached into his jacket and withdrew the rolled parchment, that was tied with a black ribbon. The edges of the paper were coarse and ragged, and he recognised the seal. Could it be from his dearest friend?
He undid the black ribbon and sat it down beside him, then he unfurled the parchment scroll and started to read.
As the King read the letter, his face fell, and his eyes glistened with unshed tears. He had such fond memories of Sir Wayne and his beautiful wife, Ambrosia. No two had he known to love each other so faithfully as they did, and he knew that his wife would not be able to maintain her youth, since she was afterall human. King Henry’s thumb rubbed the wax seal, that was of the Ahorld crest, and sighed outwardly. Though he was happy to have his most trusted friend return to serve the House of Casterly, he was saddened, knowing that his dear friend would still be mourning his loss. Rolling up the parchment, and placing it back into his coat pocket, he thanked the Bishop for the privacy offered, and decided to go and head down to the training grounds, where he could give his condolences to his friend, and Knight, Sir Ahorld.
She smiled, nodding and retreating into the bedroom. There, she easily found what the queen asked for and brought it back to her, as well as a book for her to use to write on if she wished to write while still in the bath. She placed them gently on the edge of the tub, but it was a calculated placement – they were in reach of the queen, but in a place that she would have to deliberately throw them into the water to get them wet. The angel backed up a few steps, folding her hands behind her back.
“I trust Lady Selene is well?” It wasn’t a question of caring, but it would seem so. While Calypso would never ask anything that might not get her information if she could, she had resigned to asking things that were courteous, in order to win the favor of not only her queen, but the king as well. She couldn’t care less about what the children thought of her, and she knew they probably didn’t think much – she was just a servant who had occasionally watched them when they needed watching.
Then something occurred to her. The time of day, and the season it was, as a matter of fact. While normally she would wait for the queen’s answer before asking another question, her next questions were rather important… to her own hidden agenda.
“My lady, I believe that the tournament is today, as it were. Forgive me for not asking prior to now, but will yourself and his majesty be attending?” Every word was place, every syllable, perfectly (or so she hoped) to appease to the Queen’s… illnesss. “If you do not wish to, I can convey to your husband that you are not in the mood. I can also attend in your stead – though, of course-” She chuckled quietly, a soft sound. “-never in your seat – and relay the victories and losses to you when it is over.” A small smile lingered on her face, not a grin, nor a smirk, but a happy little timid smile. Of course, every smile that wasn’t equated with bringing down an important figure was fake for Calypso, but it wasn’t like anyone could tell the difference.
The Queen just waited for Calypso to come back with the stuff she asked for, and once she placed everything on the edge of the tub. Metia just stretched out her arms, and grabbed a feather, poke the black int, as she quickly began to write, she was a fast writer, and still remained with a beautiful letter, the only thing that looked like she done it extremely faster was when she put her name, then she always had the habit on drawing a pentagram, it was her symbol, the symbol from witches.
While writing, she heard Calypso asking her about Selene, if she was well. That’s something that Metia wasn’t 100% sure, for the letter her daughter sent to her, it seemed her future husband was basically the copy of his father, the King Brax. So much memories she had from that man, and the only good one was their intercourse, of course after it, it come out something horrible, another kid. She wanted to have sex with King Brax, but not have a child with him, it disgusted her having other children from other races, it was already good enough on having children that were angels.
“I’m not that sure, Calypso.”
Metia mumbled as she continued on writing. Then Calypso was talking about other thing, talking about the tournament, ugh, she completely forgot about that thing, she actually enjoyed staying there and those all savages hurting themselves, but today she didn’t felt like doing that, and she would be exposed to so many people, especially to her own husband, who would be closer to her during a foll tournament, and that would last hours. But then Calypso gave Metia a wonderful idea, that made her perk up her eyebrow, letting Calypso replace her? Well, it wouldn’t be that bad, if she ever wanted somebody to replace her on those situations it needed to be someone she trusted, and that only person was Calypso. Plus, she would finally have time alone for her, without having anybody to bother her.
“That would be lovely from you.”
The Queen replayed, as she finished her letter, by drawing the pentagram, now she just waited a couple seconds for it to dry.
“I really don’t feel like going to such event. You may tell my husband, I wasn’t just in the mood, and you can replace me.”
Metia replayed her, as she looked up at Calypso, she was probably the only person in white she could stare for long. Calypso was white, all over, even her hair, but there’s something in her, something that doesn’t tell her, this woman is as pure as her husband.
“Oh and also. Send this to my daughter, please. Use the Raven.”
She added, while picking up the paper, and hand it up to Calypso
She took the letter with a nod and a smile, a small as you wish escaping her lips before she exited, holding the letter securely to her chest. She fought the urge to read this letter – for the moment. She needed to be elsewhere before she could. She knew the queen could easily come out of her bath at the moment, so instead of sending the raven from the bedroom, she would say the nasty thing refused to come close enough for her to attach it.
The letter was uninteresting. She easily resealed it and sent it on it’s way. She sighed slightly as she stood from her bed. Now to speak with the king. That was always just fabulous. She could never say it aloud, but she hated other angels. She hated being an angel. But it was useful… for now.
She slowly walked down the corridors, passing other servants without so much as a glance. She knew that his majesty would most likely be elsewhere, but it would be unusual if she claimed to assume he was anywhere but the training grounds. So that is where she headed, with her light footsteps and timid exterior.
She was faking the entire conversation as she walked with a visiting knight, who was seemingly flirting with her. Of course, he had to know she was an angel, and therefore he would get nothing from her that a married man wanted. Either way, he would get nothing from her at all, as she was only walking with him because it was socially courteous and would keep down any suspicions against a servant entering the training grounds, especially a female one.
Dereks eyes almost popped from his skull as she tore at hr dress. Gulping back a breath he felt a slight flush rise up his neck at the sight of her. Clearing his throat and pointing his sword again, Derek did his bes to concentrate on the fighting and not on how good she looked with so little clothes on. A smirk danced at his lips when she spoke “A lady shouldn’t use such language in public” Derek said aloud, locking eyes with her “However, I can’t say I’d mind much when we’re married”. Derek grinned once more before lunging at her. He brought his sword down as if to cut through her head, but she managed to block him. As the metallic song rang out around the hall Derek laughed slightly. They were so close now he mused, their noses almost touched as he applied his strength to the sword, trying to cause her to buckle and drop her weapon. “Is someone breaking a sweat already?” he teased, glancing to her forehead then back to her eyes again. As another cocky smirk tugged at his lips Derek dared to lean forward quickly and peck her nose. With that he hooked his legs under hers and pulled, tripping her up. As she fell he twirled away and pointed his sword yet again. Laughing he dropped aim and gave her a little bow before strutting forward and extending a hand for her.
Violet smiled as he looked her up and down. Obviously she had gotten his attention by tearing away her skirt. She laughed at his comment and replied, “Another reason I can hardly wait,” right before he came at her and she managed to block it by bringing up her own sword between him and her neck. Her eyes flashed and a playful smile danced on her lips. She didn’t hide the fact that she was proud of herself. Even if it had only been because she had distracted him. Distractions were a good way to get what you want in a fight. And she had a very strong advantage in that area of expertise. Now it was his turn to torture her. Violet bit down on her bottom lip, continuing to smile at him as he teased her. Almost breathless, she gave a quick gasp when he hooked his legs under hers and let out a small noise of surprise as he tripped her. She fell on her behind, her hands behind her to catch her fall. She frowned up at him a little before grabbing her sword that she had dropped. Looking over at his hand she gave him a playful look as though she were offended for what he had done. With a look of independence, she stood up on her own, rejecting his offer to help her. “It’s not nice to seduce a lady just to have her fall,” she said, smiling at him mischievously.
Metia waited for Calypso grab the paper and once she did, she slid her arms back into the warm water, as she watched her servant leaving the bathroom. Now yes, she was finally alone, without having anybody around her, without having anybody ask her about this and that. She could finally have some time for herself. Nobody was spying on her either, so it was her time to do what she wanted.
Raising up from the warm water, Metia began to step outside the tub, and headed to some small bench that was there, with a towel already upon it, like it was waiting for her to go there and dry off herself. She reached there, and the bench was right in front of a mirror, and it was on that moment, on the moment she sat down, she took a look at herself in the mirror. She was horrible, pale, and getting more skinnier than she should, she remembers her husband recently complaining about her getting skinnier with the time, and she simple said she would eat better. But that was all because she was lacking of her power, she needed more.
She just at there, over the bench and over the towel, in front of a table with a mirror, as candles would be over the table, to lighten up a bit more the place. Metia wrapped her own arms around her body, as she stayed there for awhile, just hugging herself, and thinking about life. Thinking about the all excuses she would need to make up now, the all acting she would have to make, ugh, that was already leaving her tired. So she decided to go rest.
Metia began to dry off her skin, then after that, she put on some robe, and went directly to her bedroom, with the help of the walls, as she was having some kind of headache.
Queen Metia’s Chambers
Reaching her chambers, Metia removed the robe she was wearing, and went to her closet, picking up some simple white dress, nothing too big, that would bother her on walking, it would be something simple, since she was going to spend the awhile in her chambers. After dressing herself, and fixing up her hair, she sat down on a small couch that was over there, and besides the couch, there was a nightstand, on top of it, it would be a book, of spells, all in latin, a language that Metia knows very well. She picked up her book, and leaned her back against the couch as she began to read it. She took a deep breathe, trying to relax down her body, while she studied spells.
The tournament brought a carnival like atmosphere to the Castle grounds, and from the Castle itself, with the high flying flags, marquis, and various tents of the knights, one would think that it was more like a fair, then the brutal practice in the arts of combat and skill. Various vendors had taken up positions, where they could trade their wares, and produce, as well as weapons, furs, skins, jewelry, fancy silks and fabrics from far off lands beyond the borders of Vaas plains. What was more interesting was the fact that all classes of people and angels could go about and enjoy the day in harmony. Fellowship and good tidings, unless you had drunk far too much mead, and found yourself tossed out of the ale tent for man handling someone’s wife. Ah, but even a drunk could be forgiven this day.
The King had received such sad tidings by way of parchment that the beautiful Ambrosia, wife of Sir Ahorld, had passed on from this world, and that he had decided to return to the Castle, to take up his role once more as Knight of the House of Casterly. King Henry had no troubles making his way down to the tournament training grounds, as he was well loved by his people, and his knights did cheer on seeing him march down, even the trumpets sang sweet in announcing his arrival. Jimeon, who had been stacking hymn books in the chapel, had gotten himself caught up with one of the nuns, and was practically running to catch up the King Henry, whose long strides were hard to match with his short legs. Jimeon hated not having the King in his sight, for it was partly his job to watch out for the monarch. Jimeon hopped about, after every so often running fast as he could and getting caught up behind slower parts of the crowd.
“Excuse me….please…make way…King’s squire…ahem…Madame..could you go a bit faster. I want to see the King before the snow falls.” He was getting impatient, and even ready to crawl between one maiden’s legs, just to get ahead of the crowd and find the King.
Up ahead….far up ahead, Sir Ahorld had reached the wooden fences that kept the spectators off the main arena field, and he lent upon the support structure post. The newest of the Knights were showing off their talents with the swords, and one seemed determined to beat his own teacher at his game. Their wings out in full, and the mighty clang of the metal blades of their swords, brought up collective cheers and shouts of support from the crowd. For a moment, Sir Ahorld felt the weight of his loss start to slip away, as a slight smile came to his rugged features. Unlike so many of the other angels, he was not clean shaven, and his hair was not impeccably groomed back into a pony tail, or fashioned into the latest styles. He looked every bit, a man’s man, and it did bring in stares and whispers from the ladies of the court, who he noticed, but only nodded in their direction, before turning his head back towards the arena action. As he returned to his thoughts, a hand clasped down upon his right shoulder, and he looked across to see the face of his beloved King, Henry of Casterly.
By the look on Henry’s face, Wayne could see that he had received the message, and knew of Wayne’s loss. Sir Ahorld stood silently for a moment, as though they were communicating to each other without the need for words, their faces told the story, and then in a show of deep friendship, the King took the Knight’s hand, and brought him in for an embrace, that the Knight allowed. Releasing him, the King said words of comfort.
“I am so sorry, I know what Ambrosia meant to you. She was the light in your life, my good friend.”
“Ambrosia lived a full life, your Highness, and her only wish was for me to be happy. Her dying words to me were that she had been blessed in her life and could go onto God, knowing that she had a piece of my heart forever.”
The King’s brow creased, and he reached and patted the Knight’s shoulder, seeing the pain that haunted Wayne’s eyes. He knew it would be many a day, till the light and spark of life returned to Sir Ahorld, and perhaps being back in amongst those that carried the sword for the House of Casterly, might help ease his troubled mind.
Both men looked on to those that were fighting in the arena pit. If you were to see them, they looked so different, yet alike in spirit. Both angels of white wings, both devout, but one carried the burden of loss so great, it could very well change the course of his life. Jimeon finally caught up and saw the strapping Knight, Sir Ahorld; an angel that the servant respected and knew was a close confidant of the King.
“Welcome back, Sir Ahorld.” He said, taking off his cap and wringing it with his hands. He saw the Knight’s face seemed different somehow, and would have asked, but he knew it was not his place. There was an awkward silence, and Jimeon spied the ale tent and excused himself, leaving the two friends to talk.
The Knight glanced at the King and said. “Are you going to take up the sword and match it with the best of your men, your Highness?” He said this with a fairly straight face, and the King smiled back, and laughed. “Only if you oblige me, Sir Ahorld. “
Calypso all but left the knight hanging as she walked toward the gates, something in her gut telling her that was where she needed to be. Jimeon all but pushed her out of the way and she immediately knew she was correct. She cursed the boy in her head, following him easily, but slowly, so as not to seem she was with him.
She did not recognize the man the king was speaking to, but by Jimeon’s obvious anxiety, she guessed that he was probably a knight or nobleman. She approached his majesty slowly, her fake timidness returning. He was laughing at something the stranger had said, and for a moment, she had the all to familiar urge to gut him where he stood. Of course, she could never do that, as he would probably disarm her before she did any real damage. And in all honesty, that was the only thing holding her back.
“Sire,” She spoke softly, but in that way that demanded the recipients attention and made them willing to give it. “Her majesty does not with to attend the tournament today and sends her apologies. I offered to observe in her stead and inform her of the losses and victories, and as such, I must ask you if you will be participating… sir.” She smiled at him, the same fake smile she’d given the queen earlier. For some ungodly reason, she knew that because Metia considered her a friend, he considered her a friend as well. She calculated the way she spoke to him so that he would mistake her disgust at the notion as her shying away from friendship and into formalities.
Both men shared a light laugh, till the voice of a woman fair, did reach the ears of both men, the King the first to turn and see a vision in white, her head hooded, but with the most astonishing eyes he had seen. Ah, yes the personal servant of his beloved Metia. She appeared to approach the pair timidly, and while the King turned to face her, Sir Ahorld kept his gaze fixed on the fighting in the arena.
“Sire?…..Her majesty does not with to attend the tournament today and sends her apologies. I offered to observe in her stead and inform her of the losses and victories, and as such, I must ask you if you will be participating… sir.”
The King’s face fell again, and he frowned to hear that his fair Queen would not be joining him to celebrate the tournament of Champions. He had to wonder why, for she seemed to be in good health and nature when he sang to her, in the garden’s earlier. The King pursed his lips, half tempted to ask if the Queen took ill, but the servant continued, to say she had offered to observe the festivity and report back to the Queen of the rank and standings of the competitors.
“It is most kind of you to join me for this in place of my love, Calypso. I shall honor thy request. Yes, you may sit with me in the Royal box. As for competing…” The King shot a look at Sir Ahorld, who looked back at him as thought he had something stuck between his eyes..”I know who the best man would be to win such a fight.”
Sir Ahorld snorted, and then took note of Calypso, and offered a simple nod of recognition. He did not speak, as he had not been introduced, and was in no mood to play guessing games with the servants of the Queen.