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The Karosgrad Special - The Quack of Love Doctors: Emperor Joseph II


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Vol. 1 No. 1                               KAROSGRAD, 13 SA/362 ES                       PRICE THREE MINAS

 

THE QUACK OF LOVE DOCTORS: EMPEROR JOSEPH II

 

In this Karosgrad Times Special: love, drama and aristocratic nepotism served hot and fresh from the upper echelons of Imperial Oren. Our director apologizes to any readers who find this story confusing and hard to follow. It’s Orenian court drama, we can’t help it being confusing.

A few years ago, Margaux Renée Helvets began to court Peter Alexander d’Arkent, the heir to the Duchy of Sunholdt. The two liked each other greatly and have now been courting for approximately three years. Before then, it was known that Peter Alexander had many suitors going after him, including an Imperial Princess, Charlotte. However, his heart was set on Margaux and the two began to speak of betrothal and marriage.

The families of Helvets and d’Arkent began to hold meetings with one another to ensure that they were all in agreement about the marriage, which they all were. Everything seemed to be going quite well until Margaux told the news of her betrothal to one of her friends - another Princess, Anne Caroline Crestfell overheard the news. She was shocked and quite irritated indeed, saying she had been writing letters on behalf of her family to Peter Alexander to try and have him court her sister, Princess Josephine Crestfall.

Upon bringing this news to Peter Alexander, he expressed disinterest in the option of courting Princess Josephine and he told Margaux that he had just finished speaking with Princess Anne to decline her family's offer. All seemed clear and good now, and so Margaux and Peter began to officially plan their wedding and send out invitations with a date they had selected.

There was however one last hurdle on their path. You see, dear reader, in Oren, it is a law that all landed Lords and Ladies are required to have the Emperor’s stamp of approval on their wedding plans. Peter Alexander wasn’t concerned about this, figuring they’d easily get His Imperial Majesty’s consent, but God was he wrong.

When Peter Alexander sought out the Emperor, he was challenged by Prince Philip Crestfall, one of the Emperor’s sons, for having declined marriage to his daughter Princess Josephine. Prince Philip was furious at Peter, but the latter respectfully declined the challenge out of a desire to keep the peace. An unforeseen result of this was that he was denied the Emperor’s approval to marry Margaux, before His Majesty instead ordered Peter to marry his granddaughter, Princess Josephine.

Both sides were outraged, but a third party that did not want this marriage between Peter Alexander and Princess Josephine was surprisingly Princess Josephine herself. She had expressed not wanting to be the one to tear Peter and Margaux apart and has claimed to have tried to sway the Emperor’s decision.

In fact many attempts were made by various people involved in the matter to change the Emperor’s mind and to have the marriage between Peter Alexander and Margaux Renée continue as planned. These attempts were to no avail however: the Emperor declined every plea. It was blatantly known that the only individuals who had wanted this marriage were Prince Philip and Emperor Joseph - though it was soon discovered that Princess Josephine had likely been on their side in secret, for her behaviour changed greatly one evening when the Helvets family met with the Emperor.

Princess Josephine no longer seemed concerned, but instead appeared indifferent and curt, whispering joyfully with her grandfather the Emperor during the meeting. She even went as far as to call the pleas of the Helvets family a conspiracy before the meeting. On top of that, she would go on to also speak lies about Peter Alexander, saying that in the year 1807 he had approached her and spoken to her of betrothal and marriage. This was however easily proven wrong since Margaux and Peter were already known to be very close at that point, even remaining in each other’s company during a Lover’s Masquerade that was held in the palace in that year. In fact, rather than approaching Princess Josephine, Peter first spoke to Margaux about betrothal on the very evening the Princess claimed this occurred on.

Josephine’s claims were proven even more wrong when Peter Alexander entered the room with his grandfather and told the true story. However this still did not sway the Emperor, who remained  adamant about his order for Peter to marry Josephine and grew angry at the implication that the latter had lied to them all, proceeding to say that Josephine was innocent.

After more arguing between Duke Thomas Andrew, Margaux’s brother, and the Emperor, His Imperial Majesty eventually decided to order Margaux to marry Prince Robert Francis Crestfall, claiming he was doing the Helvets family an honour by doing so. Needless to say, the Helvets were even more outraged and insulted by this, yet the Emperor refused to dismiss them until Duke Thomas agreed to the order for Margaux to be married instead to Prince Robert.

We, as Haensemen, can count ourselves lucky, no, blessed in fact, to not live under the rule of the arbitrary, insincere, morally unjust, arrogant national embarrassment that is Emperor Joseph II. I believe to speak for many when I say that I hope and will pray to God that the Emperor sees the error of his ways and realizes that he is no love doctor, but instead the most cursed matchmaker of his realm.

 

Peter Alexander, Margaux Renée, from all of us at the Karosgrad Times redaction and surely Haense in general; we wish you two all the best! Do not let true love falter in the face of authority!

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Maisie d'Arkent would read over the paper as she got ready for the royal wedding happening later that evening. A curt sigh escaped her mouth before she folded up the paper. She loved Margaux as a sister, though legally they could never be so.

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Robert Francis is informed of the news of his betrothal to the same woman he brazenly called "The Wench of Cathalon" among many other choice insults. As he exits the Augustine Palace after practicing swordplay with his cousin Helena, the young lad is immediately swarmed by reporters from every news publication across Almaris, asking him to answer for his controversial statements.

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Peter Baldwin d'Arkent, the duke of Sunholdt would look at the newspaper, laughing loudly, "Despite what happened, I am glad of that conclusion that came about, for my grandson will marry a Princess." he'd smile the sun's smile, as the d'Arkent family grew more prestigious with this future marriage, preparing for the upcoming wedding.

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Margaux Helvets was making her way up the steps of Cheval Hall after she had been out for the day to gather a specific flower she required for her newly tailored outing garb; coltsfoot - which is more of a weed than flower, though its meaning was what caused for her to select it for herself.  Such a symbol remained hidden in her book gifted to her by her mother, The Language of Flowers. 

 

A storm was brooding above her, the morning sky once displayed hues of soft blues; however, by the early afternoon, dark clouds had rolled in accompanied by the thrum of thunder.  The winds picked up and caused for the leaves to whisper a great deal.  As she entered through the doors to her family's estate, a servant approached her to pass over a letter from a particular Viscount of Hanseti-Ruska.  Within it, was a copy of the Karosgradian special.

 

"Seven Skies.." She muttered, then looked to the servant.  "Merci."

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Josephine Augusta receives news that more of her private life has been made public business, this time in a national newspaper. She begins to develop an abiding hatred for gossips. She laments to her lady-in-waiting "How many times must I be shamed, to sate their appetites?"

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The Duchess-Dowager of Cathalon sat at her desk, forehead rested in her palm. A copy of the newspaper brought all the way from Haense laid before her on her desk. She was tired. So, so very tired.

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"Er, hold on a second," Ailred remarks with furrowed brows upon reading the article, "That... doesn't sound legal."

 

He heads off to go ensure no marriage is officiated until consent without duress can be guaranteed. 

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8 minutes ago, The King Of The Moon said:

Prince Lothar frowns at the paper.

"Who?"

Sir Candle looks up from tying Prince Lothar Vladislav Alimar of the Principality of Rubern's  shoes for him. "Those Helvets folk you know, they have a manor near Providence, ive heard whats happened is quite the scandal."

 

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Nataliya sat at her desk, taping her beige finger upon the dark wooden desk. "Why is marriage such a difficult process? I mean Godan, winning a war seems easier than getting married in Haense or Oren." the Princess then brought her hands upward, rubbing her temples in frustration. "I best send the helvets a gift of some soothing teas and cakes before they tear their own hair out from their scalp."

 

Spoiler

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Spoiler

 

 

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" ... now the Emperor won't let them marry!"

 

Ser Aleksandr Barbanov - the Whisper Knight - overheard the scandal from gossiping courtiers as he trudged his way through the Royal Gardens to the training grounds. It was the first week of Jula and Piov, and the winter's frigid cold had finally yielded to clear skies and a warmthless sun, so the gardens were thronged with Haeseni who had been stuck indoors for most of the winter. As Aleks made his way to the training grounds, his dark, shaggy hair swaying in the chill wind, he heard the tragedy of Margaux from more than one gaggle of nobles.

 

When he finally arrived at the training grounds, leaving the gossiping courtiers behind him, he found his gloved hand shaking as he reached for the arming sword sheathed at his belt, and when he glanced to a puddle at his feet left by yesterday's rainfall, his eyes were narrowed into a glare. At the bitter wind picked up, swaying the trees around him, Aleks recalled his own family's tales of love and woe, from Nataliya, to Juliya, to Alexandria. He had seen this kind of thing time and time again among his own, and he had never seen it end well.

 

What a wretched man, the silent Knight thought grimly to himself as he pulled his sword out. His hands were still now, and his face statuesque once again.

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"And... since when do haensemen concern themselves with imperial court drama that has been blown out of proportion by the author?" Anne Caroline asked her handmaiden.

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"Wait. That's illegal." Alfred exclaims from his bedridden state, finishing his rum coctail.

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