Véres was sitting by the fire, admiring the dining hall with a short glass of whiskey by his side. Suddenly the doors of Trakoscan flew open and an old friend marched inwards, broadcasting at the top of his lungs, “Lord Draskovits! There you are. Come, I must show you the advancements that Arthur and the others have made down at Lake Liatus.” With hesitation, the war-drained Lord ascended from his seated position, in which he’d been in for days and stated, “Okay Haymin, do lead the way.” And the duo trekked outside. “Praise be! The weather is impressive today, isn’t it?” he inquired. “Yes, I suppose so,” responded Véres. They saw a few residents of Oldenburg while making their way to the lift that’d take them down to Lake Liatus, and a few stopped to look at Lord Draskovits’ poorly shaved face- an indicator that he’d likely not been taking care of himself recently. The two stepped inside the lift and shut the gate, as Haymin started to pull on a rope mechanism... prompting the lift to slowly begin taking them downwards.
Once the two had made it down to the housing area, Haymin expected to blindfold Véres. “Come on, Lord Draskovits... it needs to be a surprise!” he claimed. Eventually, he caved, “Okay. Whatever.” Véres turned around swiftly, allowing Haymin to tie the blindfold on. As soon as that was over with, Haymin led Véres to the Manor near Lake Liatus in which he wanted to showcase. He took the blindfold off of Lord Draskovits and said, “Here we are. Beautiful, isn’t it?” Véres responded with, “Yes... it’s quite astonishing. Tell the others that I said ‘good work’ when you next see them, eh?” Haymin simply grinned and tossed the blindfold aside. “Do you want to see the rest of the developments?” He questioned. “I don’t see why not,” Véres stated. The pair strolled around for a few minutes.
“Haymin, let’s go see the actual lake for a moment, shall we? I haven’t seen it lately.” the Lord interjected, “Yes, Lord Draskovits. I haven’t seen it in a while either.” Haymin went first, and paused, sharply inhaled, and hastily turned around to toss his right hand up to his own mouth- allowing his left to cover Lord Draskovits’ eyes. “What in the Nether are you doing, Haymin? I want to see the lake. Please let go.” Haymin responded, his voice trembling and his breath unsteady, “No. No. You don’t want to see.” With this, the middle-aged Noble quickly went to forcibly remove his colleague's hand. Véres looked from right to left at the beautiful lake. A smile crept upon his visage but, his demeanor quickly shifted.
He gulped. His own breathing became unsteady. He ran. He wept. What he’d discovered was the body of his beloved wife, Countess Floré Draskovits, covered in what appeared to be fresh blood. There was a knife wound in her abdominal region. It seemed as if someone had murdered her. The lake had been distorted by the deep red coloration of blood. At this point, the water around her floating body was tinted dark burgundy. Véres fell to the ground, and Haymin darted quickly to his side. He was hysterical, words couldn’t have been formed or interpreted at all. Until finally, one phrase, in particular, stood out. “NO, I STILL NEED YOU. DON’T LEAVE ME.” It was a rare sight to see Lord Draskovits cry. The only other time had been when his adopted daughter, Ffion, passed away. Hours and hours had passed, and the accomplished Knight and Nobleman sat there, holding the hand of his late wife- whose cause of death he still hadn’t figured out. There was no doubt in his mind that it was a homicide, as Floré wouldn’t leave her husband and children to live on without her. He ruled out any thought of suicide. She’d seemed fairly happy, always interacting with the townspeople and helping with construction when she could.
~*~ After time had passed and Véres had cried himself into slumber on the hard pavement that was the street of Liatus- Haymin patted him on the shoulder to wake him, “Lord Draskovits, it’s time to go. People will start worrying.” Véres slowly awakened, still baffled, and sniffled. He responded with, “Go and tell my children. First Jarrack, then Edith, then Elizabeth. After that, tell Father Armand to prepare for a funeral service. I will pen a missive to the townsfolk and announce a period of mourning... I just need a little while longer.” Later on in the night, Véres kissed the head of Floré one last time before wiping away the tears on his face. He did as he said he would, and proceeded to pace towards his study. A letter was pinned to the people of Oldenburg, it stated:
“Good people of mine, it is a tragedy that I must tell you the news of today. During the night, I discovered the body of my beloved. She was an amazing Wife, Mother, and Countess, in that order. She truly cared about all of her people and it is with a heavy heart that I announce this period of mourning in her name. This will be a year-long process, where the gates will shut and we, as a people amongst ourselves, will wear black to respect the life of Lady Floré Draskovits. Funeral arrangements have not been made, though there will be a missive released when such have been planned. Erected will be a statue in her honor, next to the Church of St. Catherine in Oldenburg. I will be working in these coming days to figure out arrangements such as her will, the well-being of my children during these times of losing their mother when they are still ripe, and the nourishment of my townsfolk.
Signed and Dated on this 15th day of the Suns Smile, 1721,
His Lordship, Ser Véres Draskovits, Count of Oldenburg, Baron of Drakov and Mordaunt, etc.”
It would take a while for Lord Draskovits to pen this tear-stained missive to his people, but he sat within his chambers in his black garments for days at a time... only coming out for food and drink, as well as to use the lavatory. This marked a new era for the Drakovian people, as they’d never suffered such a loss before. The time to celebrate the life of Her Ladyship, Floré Draskovits, Countess of Oldenburg, Baroness of Drakov and Mordaunt, Lover of People, etc. has come.
Hold on; I Still Need You.♥️