collapse

* Welcome!

CLICK HERE if you're interested in joining, or if you'd just like a little more info about Blood Rites.

News
« March otM Winners
« April otM Noms
« Hayll Petition Vote
« Broken Cs Ratio Change
« Feb. otM Winners
« Chaillot under petition
« Feb otM Voting
« Anniversary Celebration
« January otM Winners
« February otM noms
« Character Adoptions
« Jan otM Voting
« 2018 Snowfall Results
« Superlative Winners
« 2018 Superlatives Voting
« January Snowfall
« Winter Icon Winner
« Dec otM Winners
« Real Life Jewels Voting
« Dec otM Voting
« January otM Noms
« Winsol Charity Raffle
« Winter Icon Voting
« Jan Snowfall Challenge
« Dec Snowfall Results
« Hayll Petition
« Winter Icon Contest
« Update to Caste Additions
« Nov otM Voting
« Dec otM Noms
« Dec Snowfall Challenge
« Nov Snowfall Results
« Nharkava Petition Vote
« Secret Santa Signups
« Oct otM Winners!
« Nharkava: Intent to Inherit
« Nov otM Noms
« 2018 Winter of Writers
« Sep otM Winners
« Oct Nominations
« Fall Cleaning Event
« Aug otM Winners
« Sep otM Noms
« Dhemlan T Petition Vote
« Glacia Petition Vote
« Fall Icon Winner
« July otM Winners
« July otM Voting
« August otM Noms
« DT is under Petition
« Revamp of Succession Article
« New Production Member
« Hayll is open for Petition
« Removal of Co-Plot Leads
« NEW Awards Board
« Chaillot is open for Petition
« Shalador is Open for Petition
« June otM Winners
« Glacia is under petition!
« May otM Winners!
« June otM Nominations
« May otM Voting
« Superlative Category Poll
« Seasonal Icon Contest
« April otM Winners!
« March otM Winners
« Current Petitions Snapshot
« Tacea Petition Vote
« DaM Petition Vote
« Glacia is open for Petition
« DaM is open for Petition
« March otM Noms
« Spring Icon Winner
« Territory Changes & Updates
« Feb otM Winners
« Tacea is Under Petition
« Tacea Open For Petition
« Nharkava Open For Petition
« Spring Icon Contest
« Happy 8th Anniversary
« Advancing Character Ages
« Dhemlan Terrielle is Open for Petition!
« Change to Territory Petition Requirements
« Jan otM Winners!
« 2017 Snowfall Results
« February otM Noms
« 2017 Superlative Winners
« 2017 Superlative Love Letters
« Winter Icon Winner
« Tacea is Soft Closed
« Disallowing "Underage" Characters
« Revamp of Craft Article
« New NPC Registration Process
« The Value of Jewels

Winter, 194 Years after the Purge

* Important Links

* BR Councils

* COTM and TOTM

* COTY and TOTY

Character of the Year


Thread of the Year

* Affliates

Affiliate with Us

Blood Rites RPG

Listed At

RPG-D Nerd Listings

Our Affiliates

   

* Credits

RSS Feed  Facebook  Tumblr    E-Mail

Canon: © Anne Bishop
Board's Plot: Blood Rites
Points Scheme: Mother Night
Ratio System: Blood Rites

Blood Rites best viewed in Firefox.
Established February 2010
by Jamie, Gina & Bowie.


* Welcome Guests

You are currently viewing our forum as a Guest. While you can see all we do, you can't participate. Please think about joining, we love new players. Click Here for more information.

* 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.
History of Scelt
Provinces & Districts
Court of Scelt
Clan Culture
Scelt's Hourglass Coven

Author Topic: Suitor Rencounter  (Read 529 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

      75

    • 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

      54

    • 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

      24

    • 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

      75

    • 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

      24

    • 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

      75

    • 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

      54

    • 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.


Offline Mason Collins

  • Character Account
    • pd2sapphire
    • wp
    • Role

      First Escort

    • Faction

      Denford Province

    • Territory

      Scelt

    • Character Sheet

      [Link]

    • OOC

      Sol

    • Posts

      24

    • View Profile
Re: Suitor Rencounter
« Reply #7 on: Feb 22, 19, 11:45:16 AM »
Mason Collins knew who he was.  He was not an instrument of precision, though he could be terribly precisely in battle.  In politics, he was blunt as a fist or a truncheon, and hit with as much impact as either.  He was Taryn’s Bonded, she held his leash, his soul—and even his heart, though his blunt truths failed him where she was concerned.  He was also her First Escort; he was her last line of defense when all else failed, and he was directly responsible for her safety, both from external threats, and internal ones—including herself.  Mason was the man people came to if the Queen seemed tired or ill, he was the one that made certain she ate and rested after giving to the land.  Even now, inside of this stupid political fuckery, he would have been the one to make sure she did not overextend herself in the midst of all these twats angling for position.

He cared about his role as First Escort, and took it as seriously as any battle he had ever been in.  If anyone believed that Mason Collins had come to his decision lightly, then they did not know him very well, and they could go straight back to whatever syphilitic hole had birthed them.  He had thought long and hard on this.  The guardsmen he sparred with would contest to that.  There had been extra bruises for weeks, and a handful of occasions that had demanded the Healer when someone cracked perhaps too wisely in front of Prince Collins.  Mason understood all the logic and reasoning behind this provincial fucking faire.  He knew why it was important, and he understood the politics that went with it, even if he thought it was all bollocks.  He had to way his feelings against what was best for his Queen, for her life, for her heart, for the entire long duration of her rule, and by Mother Night’s Holy Teats, he could arrive at only one answer.  They had danced around it long enough.  He was what was best, and that was the simple bloody truth.

Mason looked into his Queens’ eyes as she claimed his step forward was a surprise, and despite the perilous situation, he half-smiled.  Along their thread, he asked, *Is it really that much of a surprise?*  He went to join the others as Taryn directed, and listened to the rest of the nonsense that she and the Steward had likely had written down for days before this event was scheduled.  Then the lot of them were dismissed for a rest period, and Mason went back to his post, hovering protectively near his Queen.  Taryn had that look on her face, and he did not think he could escape an explanation this time.  Fine then.  He would tell her, and damn anyone else that learned of it.  There was freedom in that.  Mason growled, rolled his shoulders, and waited for Taryn to pull him aside, if she was brave enough to hear him out.

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

      75

    • View Profile
Re: Suitor Rencounter
« Reply #8 on: Feb 26, 19, 08:29:37 AM »
Taryn’s words praising the honour of the Clans had signalled an end to the pomp and circumstance of this part of the event. She had stepped down from the dais, after taking the briefest of moments to collect herself following Mason’s announcement and approached the men once more in a far more informal environment. The rest of the Court had begun dispersing to prepare for the evening’s events and entertainment. It wouldn’t be long before Taryn’s maids would whisk her away to ensure she was dressed and coiffed for the ceilidh.

Mason’s voice, his question, echoed her head as she smiled warmly at the representative from Kinnaird and stepped down from the dais to greet him. This part had been unplanned, Taryn addressing each man once more, but after Mason’s announcement she had felt the need to smooth over any ruffled feathers. A few warm smiles and softly spoken words seemed to have earned some reprieve with Kinnaird, at least, but there were two others she would have to cajole and impress before she left the main hall to prepare for the festivities.

She had not answered him straight away. Her mind had quickly refocused its attention away from Mason and towards the other men. She would have preferred to dwell on the rush of emotions she felt after Mason’s announcement, but this was neither the time nor the place to try and understand her own emotions in greater detail. Was she pleased that Mason stepped forward? She thought so; but acknowledging such pleasure would also include acknowledging emotions she had never dared to scrutinize before.

*You could have warned me.* She replied on the thread back to her First Escort as she shifted from Kinnaird to Gowan. The thought directed at her friend was unplanned but bubbled out of her frustration that she could not simply draw him aside, box his ears, and demand to know what the was doing.

No, she had to play hostess and ensure that she had not insulted the men before her by accepting Mason as a suitor. Certainly, Clan Collins had deserved the right to participate in these games; as a powerful Clan in Denford and ally to Clan Kerry it was appropriate to have included them. But she would never have expected Mason to be their representative. He had not been shy in sharing his concerns over this event, but she would not have expected that to manifest itself in such a manner.

Offline Desmond Clery

  • Character Account
    • ss2bo
    • warlord
    • Role

      Clain Laird

    • Faction

      Clan Clery

    • Territory

      Scelt

    • Character Sheet

      [Link]

    • OOC

      Gavin

    • Posts

      54

    • Strength. Power. Family.

    • View Profile
Re: Suitor Rencounter
« Reply #9 on: Feb 27, 19, 11:50:27 PM »
Desmond was still annoyed and that expression was clear on his face as he watched Taryn speak to each of the men who’d come here. While Desmond didn’t give a shit about their ruffled feathers regarding Clan Collins choice of representative, appearances still mattered. This entire thing had to look fair even if it wasn’t or there would be problems down the line. Of course, it would only be right for Clan Collins to choose another representative that didn’t know the Province Queen so intimately. Alternatively, Prince Collins could resign his position as First Escort if he wished to participate.

The gathering was dispersing in order to prepare for the evening’s entertainment and events, but Desmond held his place. Clan Clery didn’t have the strong ties to Clan Kerry possessed by the Collins, but they were still important. He wouldn't diminish that importance by storming out or insinuating that this contest was a sham designed to embarrass the other clans and show them their place. Insulting Taryn Kerry carried long-term consequences that even Desmond couldn’t shake off. He had to what was right for his clan as their Laird.

He had to win at any cost.

He watched her speak to the Kinniards, then shift to the Gowans. Both clans would take this quietly and without complaint. They couldn’t afford to be diminished by not participating. But Desmond did his homework. A widower wasn’t the kind of man who should have been involved in a contest like this. He was a danger to himself and everyone around him. He had to go.

He watched the Gowan representative try to finesse a bit more time out of Taryn than was proper, so Desmond lingered in Taryn’s peripheral. She could offer him insult by making him wait but Desmond knew she was smarter than that. When she finally extricated herself from the Gowan male, Desmond offered her an easy smile that gave silent voice to understanding how tedious all the pomp-and-circumstance was.

Lady Kerry, thank you again for inviting. I’m surprised that Prince Collins joined in the festivities, but I’m glad he did. Clan Collins deserves a chance to show their quality. He and I got a chance to talk awhile back and he never mentioned that he was going to join in the events.” Desmond said.

I hope he won’t be insulted at the rest of us for showing our interest toward you. But some things in life are worth fighting for.” Desmond said, taking her hand gently.

I hope that he understands that we won’t just stand aside, where you’re concerned.


Offline Mason Collins

  • Character Account
    • pd2sapphire
    • wp
    • Role

      First Escort

    • Faction

      Denford Province

    • Territory

      Scelt

    • Character Sheet

      [Link]

    • OOC

      Sol

    • Posts

      24

    • View Profile
Re: Suitor Rencounter
« Reply #10 on: Feb 28, 19, 03:26:34 PM »
Mason and Taryn were Bonded.  Her silence, psychic or otherwise, was never quite as quiet as she might suppose.  Theirs was a good bond, one they had both easily accepted, one that neither of them had fought at the start.  Their feelings had deepened, and while he had tried to avoid that because of the necessities of the day, he would be a liar if he said he was completely unaware.  His Queen was aware.  She just did not want to look too closely at anything, because she often felt like her life and the decisions she had to make were not always her own.  Mason lamented phrases like ‘for the good of the people’, or the rest of that nonsense.  What was best for Denford was a good Queen, and Taryn was that, and a happy Queen, which she could be.

If that caused vocal disgruntlement, Mason could handle that.

He was already irritated by this unnecessary country fair atmosphere, which was a bit of a security nightmare.  One that was the Master of the Guard’s burden, but Mason could not ignore it.  Just because there were people here eager to bugger their way to power, did not mean there were not people also willing to shed blood to avoid the necessity.  The Sapphire Warlord Prince had to consider his motives as well.  He would be seen, he knew, as being simple territorial, and while it was that, in part, he wished that was all it was.  That would have  made things so much easier.  As he looked out over the hopeful idiots therein assembled, he realized that he liked some of them, but also that he would bury his blade in any one of their skulls if he had to.

*If I had warned you, you would have argued, or tried to pull a promise from me that I was only going to have to break.*  He smiled very slightly, *But you are not surprised, not really.* Mason remained with his Queen as she socialized and worked the crowd in her capacity as Ruler of Denford.  His eyes continued to move over their surroundings, noting possible threats, and dismissing them when it was clear they were just another part of the event.  Mason grumbled, there were far too many people, and Taryn’s insistence on being sociable meant that she was almost always surrounded.  He moved a bit closer to his Queen, just as Desmond Clery made his way over.  To Taryn, he said, *Oh, here we go.*  His psychic tone a mix of amusement and annoyance.

This time, Mason did not bother to hide the rolling of his somewhat unique ice blue eyes, but he became increasingly annoyed when he was discussed in third person.  He was right there.  ”He is standin’ right here, an’ he doesnae much care for bein’ talked about like he ain’t in earshot.”  Then he grinned wolfishly, sublimating the anger that Taryn was surely aware of; all Warlord Prince. ”I hope ye learned more in Dhemlan than the bad poetry yer tryin’ to pass on here.”

Offline Adam Rhyne

  • Character Account
    • white2rose
    • warlord
    • Role

      First Circle

    • Faction

      Denford Province Court

    • Territory

      Scelt

    • Character Sheet

      [Link]

    • OOC

      halyonix

    • Posts

      38

    • View Profile
Re: Suitor Rencounter
« Reply #11 on: Mar 22, 19, 03:15:44 PM »
Adam rarely envied his Queen. Being in such a position of power and responsibility, just observing it from his place in the First Circle, was enough for him to realize that, even if he had been born a Queen, he would have never been able to handle the pressures that Taryn faced regularly. With a wry smile and a huff of laughter, he wondered if that was why he had been born a Warlord. Maybe Mother Night had known. 

Holding this competition, this “auction for her hand in marriage” she had once called it during one conversation, was yet another reminder for Adam. He wanted a marriage out of love, not because he had to. Taryn did not have that luxury and there was something sad about that.

The invited clans arranged themselves into camps and Adam spent a good portion of his time relaying requests from servants to staff or making sure their honored guests were comfortable in some manner. His job during the introductory feast was an extension of those same responsibilities, though he did get to help with one little detail that he was particularly proud about when he saw Taryn standing in front of the masses.

Those flowers in the braided crown of her hair? They came from his lovingly tended gardens. It had been his idea, and his spellwork upon them now, to do it for tonight. Adam’s eyes dark eyes danced with quiet delight as he watched the proceedings from the back of the room. **You look lovely,** he sent to her, not expecting a reply at all but infusing his words with the unfettered faith of a Bonded male.

Adam paid little attention to which male was presented as the competitor for this, mostly because his attention kept scanning the rest of the crowd, watching for any signs of complaint with their accommodations. Therefore, it wasn’t until the crowd shifted into rapt attention and the undercurrent of…surprise? That Adam looked at the front of the room again.

Mason Collins, their Queen’s First Escort, had left his position at her side to stand in front of her with the rest of the Collins delegation, as though he intended to be the suitor. Adam’s eyes widened and then squinted in confusion. Shouldn’t Mason have…said something? By the look on Taryn’s face, he hadn’t, and even though Mason was well-suited for the part of…well, escort (and probably husbandly duties but Adam wasn’t entertaining those  thoughts about the Warlord Prince), the choice to present himself to Taryn as a possible husband seemed like something they should have discussed.

Adam watched as Desmond, a man that Adam was increasingly starting to like, stepped forward to say peaceful words, settling down some of those unsettled. Mostly. “I hope he understands that we won’t just stand aside, where you’re concerned,” Desmond said. Adam absently scratched his head. Well, that was a true statement, for a lot  of people in the room. Desmond had been spending a lot of time with Taryn lately but Mason was Bonded to her, like Adam was.

Suddenly, these games seemed like they were going to piss off a lot more people than Taryn intended because whatever her decision was, there was at least one person that wasn’t going to like it.