bitter, Blood of Kings, BoK, Brandon, Brax, Castle, creative writing., darkness, demon lord, hate, King, love, Minerva, music, Night Lands Castle House Brax, ritual, roleplay, Shirya, terror, tributes, witch, Witch Queen
“What is Dead may never Die”
Current King: King Brandon Brax
Heir: Joffrey Brax
Area of Influence (Land they rule)
The Night Lands
Seat (main home of the ruling house)
House Brax is famed for its many victories in battle. with the largest army in Eranor and a history of ruthless military leaders, house Brax truly lives up to its ruthless name. House Brax and house Blackstone are partner houses, marrying into each other and forming strong alliances over the years.
The sounds of thundering hooves filled the air as a massed contingent of the Brax army came thundering into the courtyard of Castle of Brax. Slowly a massive armor clad being dismounted a black war horse covered in sweat. As this being dismounted the horse he would look around with a sense of unease. The castle was dark and seemed unoccupied which was not how he left it. Slowly Brandon would remove his helm before scowling as he felt this pang of longing for a women he loved dearly. Ever since he had left and the women he loved vanished he had been devolving into a war hungry fiend. This time he had just returned from a border dispute with some elves that had been trying to encroach upon the brax lands which didn’t go unnoticed for long. Slowly Brandon would look about before sighing gently and muttering softly. “I miss her terribly…I hope she returns soon..” After looking about the deserted courtyard he would slowly walk into the castle before making his way into the throne room and sitting upon his throne in silence. As he sat there his thoughts turned to the one women who had made him truely happy if that was even possible for a demon while his eyes fluttered and a soft worn out groan sounded from his lips. A few moments later after the groan had sounded from his lips Brandon was asleep in his throne for the time being though it would take little wake him.
Deep within the mountain valley between the Mountain of Medusa and the three hills sits the ancient tree of Freare – the home of the Witches Council. It had been a few good months since the defeat of the Witch sisters against the Prince of Laegess when they tried to take the heart of Princess Tempest of Brax. Having regrouped, though battered and worn, the sisters had renewed their pledge to see the end of Tempest, though she was now the new Queen of Laegess since marrying Prince Sirus. Sirus was sworn in as King by a delighted audience that even included the ghosts of the Casterly, and the royalty of all surrounding kingdoms, with the exception of the House of Brax.
The Night lands had not been the same, since Minerva had broken the cursed collar that she wore around her neck, and gave her life as it were for that of her daughter and her husband; King Brandon. The three sisters had come to discover this, when a raven was dispatched by one of the loyal followers of Minerva’s secret coven. Included with the parchment was the remains of the collar along with a vial of Minerva’s blood, that had been kept by the Witch Queen for emergencies. It was with these pieces, that her sisters had formulated a plan, that would bring back their dear sister from Purgatory. They needed the fourth child of Cessena, to bring about the end of Tempest once and for all. So long as the child of light and dark exists, there can never be the fufillment of the rise of the Witches to absolute power over all the lands.
Within the ancient oak at its very centre was the hallowed gathering spot of many a witch from the night lands. Word had spread amongst the followers of Cessena that the three sisters had enough of their dear sister’s belongings to bring about the return of Minerva. The one thing they needed was a young woman’s body that would act as the new vessel for their sister. Having kidnapped a farmer’s daughter from the local dairy, a few of Portia’s friends brought the blind folded girl into the sanctum as Minerva’s blood still in the vial and the cursed collar were brought out on a velvet cushion. Delighted hisses and cat calls sounded out as the room was glowing from the many candles that burst into flame. Such power was being felt as dark creatures descended on the tree from all around. The Northern war had come to another end, and the King would be returning to a near empty castle. This was why. Dark magicks attracted those of evil hearts and none was as evil as Minerva.
Portia danced up to the blindfolded maid, who was begging to know what was happening to her.
“You’re a special guest, my dear.” Portia chortled as all around her cackled and laughed. The maiden shivered as Ethel came up beside the girl and whispered in her ear. “We have a surprise in store for you.” The eldest sister, Delilah then brought up the cursed collar of King Brandon of Brax and placed it around the girl’s neck. At first it just hung there, still broken. The true magic would only respond to that of Minerva. It could tell that this was just an ordinary milk maid. Deliah handed Ethel the vial of Minerva’s blood, which was tipped slowly into the bubbling cauldron at the centre of the room. Each of the witches present then brought their tributes, be it possessions, dead animals, herbs and potions, all tipping them into the cauldron. The contents of the cauldron began to glow, as each of the witches started to chant. A ladel was dipped into the cauldron and then carried by Delilah to the lips of the girl. “Open wide…and drink!” Delilah ordered, as each of the witches formed a circle around the maiden. One by one they joined hands, small cuts in their palms fusing together their blood as their chorus grew louder – singing for the return of their leader.
The maiden who drank the potion started to have convulsions, as her body rippled as though thousands of maggots were writhing under her skin. She screamed and cried out, though her hands were tied behind her back. The witches voices grew louder, swaying back and forth as they waited for the impossible to occur. The girl’s head tipped forward, drooping down. Her winter white hair started to turn black. Longer and longer. The collar around her neck became like that of a snake that latched on to its own tail and then shortened till tight up against the girl’s neck. The maiden’s dress which was a simple smock, began to lengthen and became a long black gown with spider webbing like sleeves. The witches all cast their eyes up at the figure. The air was now ripe, as a long and lonely cry came from the lips of the girl. Her head starting to rise as her hands snapped free from the rope binding. The blindfold fell away as the Witches stopped their chorus – staring at the woman in the centre of the room.
The transformation was complete. Each of the witches released their hands from the other, with Delilah stepping forward. She cocked her head to the right and then whispered; “Minerva?”
As The king of Brax slept fitfully he would mumble incoherently though one name kept coming up over and over again…Minerva. Suddenly Brandon’s eyes snapped open as he felt that one connection he had been craving come back to life. Almost at once the warrior King of Brax leaped from his slouched spot in his throne before making straight for the stables. As he walked down the grand halls of the Brax castle he would bark out. “Ready my horse…I’m going for a ride…” The squire who happened to be following him nodded his assent before peeling away to ready the kings horse simply known among the night lands as Harbinger. Once the king had arrived in the stables he would rest his left hand upon the pommel of his trusted sword “SoulStealer” as he waited. A few minutes later the squire came out with the steed fully saddled and ready to go. Brandon effortlessly mounted the steed before spurring it into a gallop and thundering out of the courtyard with a determined grin written over his face. Quite frankly he was either going to come back with Minerva or not at all. As he rode the steed hard he could not help but think of Minerva this whole time and the chance to reunite with his beloved wife.
Minerva raised her hands and turned them over, admiring her youthful skin. Her long nails were a deep shade of red and were fashioned into sharp points. She reached up and found to her surprise that the collar of Brandon was secured around her neck. Charmed to be linked to that of its Master, it meant that it would not be long before King Brandon himself was aware of the Witch Queen’s return. Minerva reached for a gilded hand mirror and brought it up so she could stare at her reflection. As beautiful as ever, the Queen smirked as the Witches all around applauded her return. The three sisters that had arranged this all gathered together as they watched Minerva with a certain fascination, but also were a tad concerned for she would not know of the current state of affairs in all the lands. As Minerva set down the gilded hand mirror, she turned to her sisters and clapsed her hands together.
“Sisters…I take it you have good news for me. That the child of light and dark…the child whose name I dare not say for fear of throwing up, is…dead?”
Delilah, Ethel and Portia all looked at the other and then the trio seemed mute. Each not sure who should dare speak about….Tempest. They all did a rock off, and it was Portia who lost. She stammered as she stepped forward.
“Well..well…uhm..we were this close to killing the girl.” Portia said with a creased brow. Ethel then blurted. “That dopey fae Prince came and saved her right at the last minute. It was terrible. Delilah got kicked in the head by some white horse.”
At this Delilah nodded. “I still have the scars.” She lamented. Minerva scowled and then asked. “And Prince Joffrey? Where is he? Is his head on a spike?” At mention of the Pirnce, one of the other witches mumbled that he was in exile. To Minerva this was not good news at all. It seemed that a lot had gone on in her absense. Picking up the edges of her black gown, she marched out of the Hollow, and into the grounds of the Witch sanctum. All around were members of the King’s court, that had come to bare witness to the return of the Witch Queen. She came to a clearing and placed a finger to her collar. The pulse of life of the curse could be felt and she swallowed hard. Her eyes closed as she spoke with a dark tone.
“My King…I hear you coming for me. The collar bites into my flesh. Your hold on me as strong as ever.”
The Witch Queen’s words sliced through Brandon’s mind causing a bemused grin to cross his face. Just as she finished he allowed the collar relax upon her neck though it remained snug as ever. It was a few moments later the thundering of hooves filled the air causing the gathered nobles to spread before the arriving king. Brandon would bring his steed to a stop before Minerva before dismounting and walking over to her. Once he had approached her he would retort rather darkly. “Would you expect anything less my dear wife and queen?” After speaking he would pull Minerva into his arms and turn to face the gathered nobles. “Back to the castle we go for a grand feast in honor of the queen’s return..” Slowly he would then lead Minerva over to his steed before remounting his horse and extended a hand down to her to help her mount the horse for their ride back to the castle. Once she was mounted atop the horse Brandon would spur the mount onwards back towards the castle. As the two rode with Minerva behind him Brandon could not help but smile like a love struck fool. Oh he was glad his wife had returned to him and his side as queen as well. Though there would be much talking between the two that night during the feast as Brandon had pined for her so much that he had almost devolved into a creature of pure hate and rage which was a fright in itself to see.
The three sisters emerged from the Hollow and watched as the King of the Nightlands had come racing over the hills on his dark steed. Oh, he had felt the pull of the curse of the collar and his arrival was not at all unexpected by the trio. Each looked to the other as they huddled together and watched their elder sister be swept up by the lovesick King. How many nights he must have pined for her after her supposed death? The Night lands had not been the same. It was as though a dreaded curse befell the lands for Minerva’s taint had touched many a soul. Now she was back, and there was hell to pay for those that had led to her demise.
The collar did loosen, but only a touch, as the King held Minerva and gazed into her wicked green eyes.
“Back to the castle we go for a grand feast in honor of the queen’s return..” He said with an air of pride. Barely asking the question on how it was she returned to life. Perhaps he simply didn’t care for details, but rather only cared about the result. The many nobles and creatures of the dark did as their King decreed. They all made for a hasty return to Night Lands Castle, while the King rather take his bride back on his steed. An offered hand up and she was soon at his back, her arms winding around his waist and locking on tightly. A sharp kick to the horse’s flank and they were away. Galloping towards the ancestral home of the Brax family. Minerva kept silent for now as they rode, the wind loud as it whistled past them.
The path that led to the grand bridge was now decked with many fiery torches to lead the King homeward. Knights had come out in their finest armor, to show respect for the return of the Queen and her King. It was as though life had been breathed back into the dark castle. The wolves cried – their song was one of welcome, but also forboding. The Queen had many plans now that she had returned to the living. No doubt the news that Tempest was still in the land of the living troubling, but that could change ever so quickly. Prince Joffrey? A thorn in the side of the Queen. He was a spineless gnat in her opinion. His love for the Angel Selene – Daughter of the deceased Casterly was his ultimate downfall. She would surely arrange for scouts to be sent out and track the bastard son of Rose and Brandon down, if it was the last thing she did. As for the Casterly,. time would be on their side. Minerva was yet to learn of the child Queen. She knew there was a son, Derek – but as to what became of him was still anyones guess.
Riding through the last set of gates, the Queen murmered in her King’s ear.
“This shall be a night to remember, my Love.”
Night Lands Castle
The thundering of hooves filled the courtyard before ceasing as King Brandon brought his steed to a stop before he dismounted the faithful steed. After dismounting he would extend his hand upto his wife and Queen Minerva. It was then with a great reverence that the demon king would lower the witch queen to the ground. Just as the king lowered the queen to the ground would a delighted squeal fill the air. “MOMMY!!!” The little terror of the brax castle named shirya would come tearing across the courtyard towards her parents in a gleeful blitz. With a chuckle Brandon would reach down and intercept their beloved daughter and sweep her into his embrace. “Hey there Shirya..Miss your daddy?” He would ask with a content smile to which Shirya would nod to her fathers question before making a motion that she wanted to be held and coddled by her mother Minerva. It was quite clear by the actions of the young princess that she wanted nothing more then to be held in the loving arms of her mother.
Stonesalt Hall was the domain of true evil and the ancestral home of the Brax family since as long as one could remember. Its stony towers stretched up to touch the very dark clouds that swirled around its flag masts. Heads of traitors and enemies adorned pikes on the bridge that lead to the castle gate – a sinister warning that treason was a killable offence. Change was truly in the winds, with the return of Queen Minerva the Witch who had brought about the fall of Prince Joffrey single handedly, and the capture and subsequent death of Queen Metia of Casterly. Her untimely end had come when she gave up her life for that of her daughter Shirya some time before, so as the Queen was being helped down from the King’s steed, it would be a shock surely to see this same young girl emerge from the inner castle to see her father and mother reunited. As the family motto goes “What is Dead may never Die”. No truer word was ever said, especially in the case of Minerva.
Hearling the delighted squeal of the child, who was embraced by King Brandon and swept up into his arms, Minerva stood back a moment, to observe the pair together. The child was still a scamp, but a beauty that came from her Mother’s own good looks. The King was content to hold the child and speak with love and longing having been away from his daughter due to war in the lands. The child nods to her father’s question and then reaches with both small arms to be held. There was no way taht the Queen could deny the child this and so she takes the girl from her father’s arms and holds her to her own bosom.
“My sweet one…how I have missed you.” Minerva said, winking slyly at her husband as she stroked her daughter’s hair with care. Was it possible that the Witch Queen could show such affections when her heart was darker than coal? Minerva rocked the child to and fro, before setting her down and then mused. “My my how you have grown. From such a small seed, to this tiny flower before me.”
Picking up the edges of her skirt, she walked to the King’s side and then urged him to take the pair inside. A fine banquet awaited them surely, and no doubt there would be entertainers, jugglars and magicians to bring laughter to the hallowed halls. There was so much to discuss and plot, that was for sure. The child would surely have questions as well as to where her Mother had been, and just why she was brought back.