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Established February 2010
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* Plot Informaton for Scelt

Scelt is a Territory in turmoil and peace is tenuously held together by the Sceltic Queens. Rivalry between the Clans errupted into horror for the Territory that resulted in many dead, on both sides, and culimated in Clan Sheane being outlawed in the Territory. Further troubles plague the Territory in a variety of manners - Landen villages are raided, Courts are attacked, and no one seems to be safe.
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Author Topic: Suitor Rencounter  (Read 329 times)

Description: Attn. Mason and Desmond

Offline Taryn Kerry

  • Character Account: HBC Vet
    • yellow2ss
    • queen
    • Role

      Queen of Denford Province

    • Faction

      Court of Denford

    • Territory

      Scelt

    • Character Sheet

      [Link]

    • OOC

      Jamie

    • Posts

      74

    • View Profile
Suitor Rencounter
« on: Aug 01, 18, 11:50:39 AM »
Queens rarely married for love in Scelt.

After all, Love rarely came with a Banner Clan who could fortify a Queen's Court, power and strength.

Therefore, it was far more common for a Queen to marry for power, prestige and alliances than for any other more emotional motivation. While Clan Kerry were deemed powerful and were rounded up by a few good Banner Clans, they would never turn down an opportunity bulk out their holdings and power.

When the topic of marriage came up among her Triangle Taryn had been prepared to do her duty and submit herself to a strategic marriage in order to gain a powerful alliance with another Clan in the Denford Province. The outlawing of Clan Sheane had left Clan Kerry with considerable power in its wake but to bolster their support in the Territory it would be critical that they maintain momentum with their growth and power gain.

Many years ago, when Taryn had formed her Court she had taken the advice of her Aunt (and former Queen), Ayla Kerry, to round out the Court with experience. She would have preferred her brothers and close cousin to have filled the roles within her Triangle, but as a young Queen she had been impressionable and heeded her Aunt's suggestions and wishes. Thus, her Uncle Osin had become her Steward, her cousin Eoin had become her Master of the Guard, and she had accepted Mason Collins as her First Escort. Her brothers and cousin had served as additional advisors to the Queen.

And when she needed them most she had sent them away on assignment in a variety of capacities - Lorcan served the Court of Scelt, Conleth was visiting Little Scelt in Dhemlan, and Dermot was overseeing Clan Kerry interests in Dharo. If Taryn had chosen to recall any of them back to her Court they would have abandoned their responsibilities and caught the closest Wind back to Scelt. And what good would it have done? She would have had a shoulder to cry on but there would have been no changes to these decisions. Like so many aspects of her life since she'd created a Court she was going to have to compromise and sacrifice a degree of happiness to secure her power within the Territory.

Osin and Eoin had suggested that she host a competition with a series of events that would test the competitor's strength, cunning and intelligence. Several specifically selected Clans would receive invitations to participate, and others to watch the event. With the aid of her aunt Ayla, and the Triangle they selected a number of Clans to participate: Kinnaird, Gowan, Clery and Collins. Collins had been a last-minute suggestion from Mason, her First Escort. He suggested that the Clan would feel slighted if they were left out of the list of candidates and after some persuasion convinced the rest of the Triangle, with Taryn's support, to include Clan Collins in the event.

Clan Kinnaird was a small Clan but had considerable strength in sea and fishing. Clan Gowan was a medium sized Clan but had been a constant presence in Denford politics for several hundred years. They had an ageing Queen, and none born to the next generation, so they would need an affiliation with a Queen in Denford sooner rather than later. And Clan Clery was a powerful entity within the Province who had already shown signs of being amenable to an alliance of such and an obvious choice for the event.

The entire process of auctioning her off to the best contestant seemed a tad bit barbaric to Taryn, but she understood the concept of duty better than most. A part of her wondered what would happen if she chose to fight for her own hand in marriage, after all she was no delicate flower.

Invitations had been sent to the Clans to participate and the Clans to spectate, and plenty of replies had been received. One of the smaller Clans in Denford, a longtime ally of Clan Kerry, had taken exception to being discluded from participating and had expressed their displeasure with considerable length in their reply to decline an invitation to spectate. That had ended up in several long discussions among the Triangle on what they could do to alleviate the drama and ended in a considerably expensive cask of whisky being shipped from the Kerry distilleries to the Clan as a gift.

Several camps had been setup around her Court to allow for visiting guests to have a level of comfort when the rooms in Court ran out. Craft had made them equally as comfortable as the rooms inside the Keep, and perhaps even a touch cooler in the oppressive summer heat that had unnaturally over Scelt several weeks ago and had not yet lifted.

Taryn had arranged with her staff to hold a welcome feast in honor of the event.

She would have preferred to wear a simple Sceltic dress featuring the tartan of Clan Kerry, but had met objections from her Triangle that it was not 'regal' enough for a Queen. Taryn took that to mean that it was not a dress fit to wear to her the auction for her hand in marriage. Her Aunt had helpfully (or unhelpfully in Taryn's mind) provided her with a silk gown that accentuated her generous curves and was of a deep forest green; the dominant color in the tartan of Clan Kerry. The double pendant necklace she wore featured her Summer Sky Jewel on top, and a chain connected her Yellow Jewel just beneath it. Her hair had been intricately braided into a crown atop her head with local wildflowers adding a countrified charm.

Without a doubt she felt more uncomfortable in that garb and welcoming guests to the Court of Denford than she had ever felt in her life.

In short, she felt like a prized bull being led to auction, and all the local farmers gathered around to determine her value. "Moo." She muttered under her breath as Prince Osin Kerry, her Steward, began the introductions of the arriving Clan. First was Clan Gowan, and Taryn instinctively straightened her spine, pushed back her shoulders, and offered a regal bow of her head in greeting.

Offline Desmond Clery

  • Character Account
    • ss2bo
    • warlord
    • Role

      Clain Laird

    • Faction

      Clan Clery

    • Territory

      Scelt

    • Character Sheet

      [Link]

    • OOC

      Gavin

    • Posts

      53

    • Strength. Power. Family.

    • View Profile
Re: Suitor Rencounter
« Reply #1 on: Aug 01, 18, 12:40:13 PM »
Desmond had waited a long time for this day.

When the invitation finally arrived for the gathering of suitors, he met it with equal parts joy and annoyance. Joy, in that he’d finally get to show his quality to Lady Kerry. Months and months of planning and angling to make himself memorable to Lady Kerry’s First Circle had paid off in the form of allies from a few different clans who wanted to see him succeed. He’d also received word from a smaller clan who hadn’t been invited and felt slighted by the matter. The Laird of the Clery Clan quietly reached out and offered his own support, suggesting that there was a way to mend the matter in the near future that would work out for everyone.

They agreed to remain in touch and wait to see how things played out.

Despite the good, Desmond was still annoyed at the idea of going through this dog and pony show in the first place. He’d worked with Drummoned to review their list of the prospective candidates from the other clans. The only one that gave him pause was the First Escort, Mason Collins. He was already close with Lady Kerry. He spent every day in her presence. The Warlord didn’t dare infer that the contest was unfairly weighted in the man’s favor, but one could make the case, if they were willing. If the rumor quietly spread that this entire contest was just an elaborate set up to push Mason Collins together with his Queen, Desmond didn’t further it.

But Desmond didn’t stop the rumor from spreading, either. If Clans Collins and Kerry took pains to prove that the contest was being run without bias or prejudice, that was better for him. Meanwhile, he took steps to eliminate some of the competition from the field. Once the has-beens and also-rans were out of the way, Desmond could put down the rest of the competition on the path to claiming what his family deserved.

The wedding feast was the place to start.

Clan Gowan was the first to arrive and be greeted by the Queen. Desmond stood at the head of the Clery delegation, several of his cousins and distant cousins in tow. Drummond had opted last-minute to remain home with Alis, his bonded Queen and sister, a move that had spiked anger and annoyance from Desmond. He’d considered bringing Brigid, but knew that the rest of Scelt still viewed Black Widows as a problem. Someone would probably challenge him on his more liberal views where that Caste was concerned, but Desmond was ready to defend himself, with steel if necessary.

He chanced a look down the line to get a look at Taryn. Her dress showed off the curves that Desmond already imagined that she had. They’d make a good pair, the two of them. Desmond’s mind was focused on making Denford the strongest and richest province in Scelt. Soon, it wouldn’t matter what the highlanders did in Tuathal. People would look to Denford for the leadership and compassion that Loreniel Killian lacked. Taryn would be a proper Queen and a good wife, someday leading Scelt. Denford would remain firmly in Clan Clery’s hands once Taryn chose Alis as her successor. Tramore Province would also be bound to Clan Clery, if Desmond could just introduce Blodwen Lyons to the right man. And the right man just happened to exist in Desmond’s family.

When it came time for Clan Clery to be introduced, Desmond approached Taryn and held his hands out, palms down, for her to take. She stood highest above all, while held no caste. Protocol served his family and protected him (and them) from her males. Desmond had worn his kilt, emblazoned with his family’s tartan, along with a dark shirt. His red hair was slicked back, allowing the Warlord look as though he’d prepared to come to court...and maybe have some fun, too.

Lady Kerry, you are a vision.” Desmond said, letting his eyes linger for just a moment longer than necessary. She was an attractive woman and he paid attention to that. He nodded to his cousin, Drostan, and the young man presented the Steward with a bottle of Dhemlanese rum, straight from Amdarh. The years spent in the Navy, and at Dhemlan Academy, were paying dividends even now.

I look forward to our next conversation. I still think about our first, even today.


Offline Mason Collins

  • Character Account
    • pd2sapphire
    • wp
    • Role

      First Escort

    • Faction

      Denford Province

    • Territory

      Scelt

    • Character Sheet

      [Link]

    • OOC

      Sol

    • Posts

      22

    • View Profile
Re: Suitor Rencounter
« Reply #2 on: Aug 24, 18, 10:03:56 AM »
Queen rarely marry for love in Scelt.

It was an oft repeated phrase, and one that Mason had grown terribly tired of hearing.  His Father was fond of reminding him of that little political fact, whether Mason wanted to hear it or not.  He disliked the entire situation, and there was no amount of logic that was going to change that fact for the Warlord Prince.  He had already heard all of the reasons that his Queen, His Queen, had ot be paraded about like a prize milking cow at a bloody faire, but none of them changed how he felt.  Mason knew all the ‘whys’ and ‘wherefores’, he just didn’t agree with any of them, and likely never would.  He was Taryn’s First Escort, he was in her company more than almost anyone else, and even that time was not enough.  The problem was that Mason knew how he felt, and it seemed like no one else did.

Unlike the rest of Taryn’s Court, he did very little in the way of pushing his Queen into any kind of marriage, let alone a strategic one.  He did not encourage her to get to know anyone, nor did he encourage her to be seen.  There were enough people doing that, and the First Escort did not want himself numbered among them.  It was not as thought Taryn needed the alliance, the Clans in question lived in Denford, for the most part, and he doubted any of the wanted war—though he’d welcome that opportunity over all of this political nonsense.  He was a Sapphire Warlord Prince, for all intents and purposes he could be the battlefield; let the foolish come.  Mason had not voiced that opinion, of course, because even he knew that would reflect poorly on Taryn, even in her own Court.

The competition, the Games, were fucking ridiculous.  What was even more ridiculous, the very height of idiocy, Mason’s mouth had somehow decided, all on its own, to include himself.  He had made the suggestion about his own Clan, and somehow the notion had never actually filtered down from his brain.  It was as if the idea and the words had been conjured from nothing, and spilled from his mouth in a tumble that he could not at all control.  Mason Collins was honest enough to admit to having done any number of stupid things, either in earnest or in jest, but moment, this idea and decision should take the blue ribbon if there was a prize for stupidity.  Now, HE had to complete, in bloody games—and he couldn’t, well, he shouldn’t kill anyone.

Taryn looked fantastic for the day, but in his opinion, she always did.  Only now, she would be ogled, and he would have to keep his opinions about that to himself.  Mason stood with her, in his official capacity as First Escort, a little behind and to her right and the bloody stupid suitors approached.  Desmond Clery was among the first, and Mason gave him a small nod, an acknowledgement of the fact that they had shared ale and discourse, and complete obfuscation of his general annoyance at the entire event and the circumstances around it.  On a Sapphire thread, he reached out to his Queen, *An’ the parade o’ fools begins...*

Offline Taryn Kerry

  • Character Account: HBC Vet
    • yellow2ss
    • queen
    • Role

      Queen of Denford Province

    • Faction

      Court of Denford

    • Territory

      Scelt

    • Character Sheet

      [Link]

    • OOC

      Jamie

    • Posts

      74

    • View Profile
Re: Suitor Rencounter
« Reply #3 on: Oct 07, 18, 03:50:34 PM »
Clan Gowan had been the first to present their suitor to the Queen. They were an old Clan who had held power in Denford for many centuries, but were not one of the largest or most influential of the Clans. They rarely entered into alliances of strength and thus was the appeal to Clan Kerry and Taryn’s Court – to snag a rare alliance with Clan Gowan would bring clout to their leadership in Denford. Their ageing Queen was a contemporary of Taryn’s aunt Ayla, but many years older and the Clan would be looking for a Clan Queen as well as a strategic alliance.

“Lord Caelain Gowan,” Osin, her Steward, intoned as an introduction between the Queen and Warlord. “Grandson to Lady Gowan, Queen of Clan Gowan.” And widowed. Taryn filled in the useful information that went unspoken because it would be considered rude to acknowledge that the man was at least fifteen years her senior and recently widowed. She didn’t hold that against him but longed to ask if the marriage had been one of love or convenience. Despite the age difference he was very fit, wore his broad sword comfortable strapped to his back, and executed a courtly bow before the Queen.

“A pleasure Lord Gowan, please be welcome to Kerry Keep and I hope you enjoy your stay with us.” The formality of the words nearly tripped up her tongue but she managed to avoid embarrassing herself and even maintained a smile as he said some nicety to her and moved on to stand in an area of honour within the Court reserved for the suitors.

Taryn glanced back to the crowd and noticed that Clan Clery was next to approach the dais, and she had a genuine smile for Lord Clery, whom she had come to know over the last year. Aside from Mason Collins he was the suitor who had spent the most time in her Court and whom she knew quite well from those visits. He was attentive and warm with the Queen and she could sense that same familiar warmth in his eyes as he approached.

“You’re far too kind, Lord Clery.” Taryn replied to his compliment as her Steward accepted the Dhemlanese Rum. She could use a dram of it in that moment, or of proper Sceltic whisky, to steady her nerves but it would be un-Queenly of her to do so. Instead she smiled again at Desmond. “I look forward to our next conversation as well, my Lord.” She applied a subtle and gentle squeeze of her hands in his own before releasing him.

Next was Clan Kinnaird and their suitor, a Prince named Bly Kinnaird. They were the smallest of the four Clans invited to participate but had amassed strength and wealth beyond their numbers due to their mercantile empire. They were also the youngest of all the Clans participating but the fortunes had assured they would have a seat at this table. Taryn had tried to engage the Prince with a smile but he had been less than forthcoming with her, and almost cold in comparison to the warmth that Caelain and Desmond had both showered upon her moments ago.

Finally Clan Collins was called forward to present their Suitor. Mason hadn’t given any hint as to who the Clan would choose but the rumors that had filtered their way to Taryn (and not through her Triangle) indicated Mason himself was going to put himself forward for the role. Taryn didn’t dare cling to the hope that her dear friend would fight on her behalf. Danger lurked in that outcome, if Collins were to win, and it wasn’t precisely what Kerry wanted for their Queen. But Clan Collins had to be appeased to be welcomed to the games as a long-time ally and banner clan for Clan Kerry.

Offline Mason Collins

  • Character Account
    • pd2sapphire
    • wp
    • Role

      First Escort

    • Faction

      Denford Province

    • Territory

      Scelt

    • Character Sheet

      [Link]

    • OOC

      Sol

    • Posts

      22

    • View Profile
Re: Suitor Rencounter
« Reply #4 on: Oct 23, 18, 01:13:13 PM »
Mason did not get an answer from his Queen, nor did he really expect one.  He knew how she felt.  He had known sine she was being ‘advised’ how to prepare for this very day.  He had not said a word against it, because even as her First Escort, it was not really his job to stop Taryn from executing the role remanded of her office.  He hated it, for all the reasons she did, and more.  She was HIS, and not merely because of the Bond.  The whole thing was like a massive pointy rock in his boot, and every time he thought he removed it with logic, his fucking heart put it right back in there again, right at the heel where it aggravated him the most.

It would be easier to kill everyone, and clear the field.  He wore the Sapphire, there were only so many that could stop him, and he was a warrior born.  Mason felt the low growl begin somewhere deep inside of his chest, and he stifled it.  That was the Warlord Prince talking, the monster he kept caged inside his soul.  The monster that Taryn had tamed with the Bond, the leash that he wanted and needed.  Mason was glad of his beard, he hoped that it successfully hid the curl of his lip as suitor after suitor placed their bid for his Queen, as though she were a prize to be won at a fair.  The Sapphire Warlord Prince took a deep and supposedly calming breath as he listened to the various introductions.

Lord Gowan; Dusty old Git.  Lord Clery; Smarmy Git.  Likable, but smarmy.  Prince Kinnaird; Coin-lovin git. 

Mason was so steeped in growing annoyance he almost missed his time.  It had not been his idea to include his Clan in this dog and pony show.  Not entirely.  His Father had spoken of their reputation and honor, and the fact that they deserved to participate.  Mason had begged off, because of the appearance of the thing, and they had found a likely champion for Collins, that would give everyone rough competition, but that had no pressure to win because of those same bloody appearances.  Mason could barely stand the minor, if politically necessary, deception, but he found himself scuttling that plan without ever thinking it through.  With the sort of blunt force he executed in battle, he stepped in front of the Queen, while his Father had the good sense to keep his cousin from ever getting to his feet to announce himself.

”Good Mornin’, My Lady.  I’ll be standin’ for Clan Collins.”  And that was about all he had to say.  No flowery declarations, no smarmy fork-tongued business, just straightforward and true.

Offline Taryn Kerry

  • Character Account: HBC Vet
    • yellow2ss
    • queen
    • Role

      Queen of Denford Province

    • Faction

      Court of Denford

    • Territory

      Scelt

    • Character Sheet

      [Link]

    • OOC

      Jamie

    • Posts

      74

    • View Profile
Re: Suitor Rencounter
« Reply #5 on: Nov 04, 18, 08:05:33 AM »
When Clan Collins had been called forward Taryn’s eyes had fixated on the Laird of Clan Collins, and Mason’s father. Sat next to him, in a place of honour within the Clan, was a young Prince. Taryn had met him on one or two occasions but couldn’t place his name without digging deep into her memory. He was not one of the true chosen warriors of Clan Collins, and she had to guess that they had chosen to serve appearances without intending to influence the decision. It was a political decision from the Clan Laird but helped both him and the Denford Court save face, a very careful solution to the politically challenging waters in which they swam.

Taryn prepared herself to welcome the Collins cousin into the field of competitors and was searching for words to speak that were not rehashed from her previous acceptances. She was so focused on the task at hand that she did not sense Mason moving from her side and into her field of view until it was too late.

What was he doing?

She had sensed his discomfort with the dog and pony show, but had never thought he would break with Protocol or his Clan Laird in such a manner. Certainly he wasn’t going to announce his own candidacy for the games. Was he? Taryn’s mind struggled to come to terms with what this would mean for the entire endeavour, or what the other contestants might feel towards her own First Escort being involved. From a Clans perspective this would cause them a great deal of grief and difficulty, with the budding alliances put in a place of great risk. But within Taryn’s heart she felt a surge of hope and pleasure; feelings she should not have been acknowledging or embracing. And there was a very real possibility she would forcibly have to break not only Mason’s heart but potentially her own in the process of this entire farcical event.

Taryn wanted to shake him. Wanted to ask him why, but she didn’t dare because the answer scared her. And she suspected it would throw her off of what she needed to accomplish with the Suitor Games.

The gathered audience began to buzz with whispers between Clans and a sense of annoyance at this declaration. Taryn didn’t dare hesitate too long in her acceptance of him less they swiftly formalize their objections and cause a rift with Clan Collins. It was out of respect for Clan Collins and concern for her First Escort, that she was swift to accept the suitor.

“What a surprise from Clan Collins.” Taryn glanced at his father but could not read the expression behind the older Collins’ eyes. “Please join the others as the representative of Collins.” And not as a member of my Court, she thought to herself, and motioned for Mason to stand with Gowan, Clery, and Kinnaird.

“The Clans have done me a great honour with these tremendous and impressive suitors, I am humbled and honoured.” Taryn glanced at the four men who had been brought forward to fight for her hand in marriage, and to form a long-lasting union and alliance between their Clan and her Court. “Tonight we feast and tomorrow we will begin the games. But first, we will have a few hours of rest before the feast. I hope to see you all back here in the great hall in a few hours’ time. Bring your dancing shoes and your appetite.” There would be a ceilidh in celebration and she would be expected to partner with each of her suitors in the process. It was going to be a trying evening, at least until she could speak with Mason. Or did she want to understand why he made such a rash decision? Taryn was uncertain.

Offline Desmond Clery

  • Character Account
    • ss2bo
    • warlord
    • Role

      Clain Laird

    • Faction

      Clan Clery

    • Territory

      Scelt

    • Character Sheet

      [Link]

    • OOC

      Gavin

    • Posts

      53

    • Strength. Power. Family.

    • View Profile
Re: Suitor Rencounter
« Reply #6 on: Nov 07, 18, 12:40:45 AM »
What a surprise, indeed.

Said aloud, the words wouldn’t have held a trace of surprise. Desmond watched as Mason Collins, First Escort to Lady Kerry herself, announced that he’d stand up for his Clan. He heard murmurs from Gowan and Kinnaird, but his own expression remained neutral. Drummond hadn’t warned him of this. He’d been so damned busy of late with Alis that Desmond couldn’t blame him, though he wanted to. Instead, Desmond kicked himself inwardly for not seeing this coming. He’d wondered, since the day they met, whether or not Mason harbored feelings toward his Queen. Now, he had the answer.

No First Escort worth the title would stand by and watch himself become obsolete.

Desmond considered this. He could rally the other three clans and press Taryn to force Clan Collins to choose another candidate, with the argument that the First Escort’s participation was a conflict of interest. After all, he was heart-bonded to Taryn. Clearly, that played into his favor regarding any choices made. It would also, by default, cast doubt on Taryn’s impartiality. Did she know about this in advance? Her surprised looked genuine, but she could have known. She spent each day with him. How would she not know that her First Escort desired to be more than just her protector?

The crowd certainly didn’t see this development as a positive surprise.

The idea sprung forth just as Taryn indicated that the games would continue on schedule. Tonight’s feast, and the rest of the evening, would have to be enough time to make this work. He wanted to believe that Taryn hadn’t set this whole thing up just to humiliate potential allies, but someone had known about this. Desmond wanted to know whom.

Tonight, however, was the time to press his advantage with Taryn. He had to stand out in her mind to stand a chance of winning this. Some people were going to get hurt, lose, and go home unhappy. That was fine.

Desmond wouldn’t be one of them.