Jump to content


Coal VIP
  • Posts

  • Joined


637 Legendary

About Toffee

Contact Methods

  • Discord
  • Minecraft Username

Profile Information

  • Location
    New Zealand

Recent Profile Visitors

2141 profile views
  1. There was a time when she was terrified of the ocean. Born into the forests, cradled in the shade of boughs of trees stretching endlessly into the sky, the thought of water stretching just as far beneath her feet filled her with roiling dread. She had to let that fear go when her home became an island and the perilous depths were the only thing keeping her safe from the terror and violence of the mainland. Hundreds of years later, she found herself on the shore of Illivira, the rough sand between her toes tethering her to the earth. I am here I am here I am here, the endless ebb and flow of time hadn't washed her away. She watched Medli—first her apprentice, now her daughter—combing the beach for sea glass to turn into a great mosaic on the cliffs. Pride sparkled through her, so powerful she almost tried to reach out and touch it, to take it in her hands like the fireflies that drifted through the trees at nightfall. Illynora felt at home at last.
  2. I'm a simple woman I see Xarkly post I read I upvote
  3. I used to RP in present tense when RP was the only writing I did, but since I started "writing" writing I switched to past tense. I write in past tense, 3rd person limited and it's hard to switch back and forth on the rare occasions I do decide to play
  4. Dominion of Malin - The preeminent elven nation on Atlas, with its roots tracing back to the Malinor of old. Traditionally, High Princes were elected, but Kairn Ithelanen broke this tradition by naming himself King of the Dominion. He chose his successor, King Abelas, which was controversial considering the history of elections. The Dominion began to stagnate and fracture, and at some point Kairn and his followers formed another nation named the Kingdom of Gladewynn after King Abelas' death. Gladewynn later annexed the Dominion of Malin after Queen Awaiti bested Queen Renn in an honour duel and dissolved the Dominion. In Arcas, Gladewynn became Alderyn under Empyreal Princess Layla, but this nation soon crumbled and the elves scattered to various places. Aegrothond - after Belestram Sylvaeri was banished from the Dominion of Malin for his role in the death of King Abelas, he and his wife Illynora founded a small island nation off the coast of Atlas. This grew towards the end of Atlas and became a nation in Arcas called the Principality of Aegrothond. Belestram and Illynora abdicated at the beginning of Arcas, passing Aegrothond to Belestram's son, Feanor. Under Feanor's rule, the blood feud between the Sylvaeris and Ithelanens was put to rest, and the Matriarchy of Siramenor settled on Aegrothond's land under former Queen of the Dominion, Awaiti Aureon/Sirame. Elvenesse - The Principality of Aegrothond and Matriarchy of Siramenor merged some time in Arcas to form "Elvenesse", the name of which comes from the long-held dream of uniting the elven people. This was under the rule of Feanor as High Prince with representatives from Siramenor on the council (I believe). After Belestram's return, he brought with him a lot of strife and internal politics which led to former members of Siramenor fracturing from Elvenesse to form the Vale of Nevaehlen. Amaethea - Under the rule of Evar'tir and Medli Oranor, Elvenesse became Amaethea after the city was destroyed by Azdromoth. This was to symbolise a moving away from the dream of Elvenesse which had been pushed so hard by Belestram. During this time, the title of the leader of Amaethea was changed to Prince Royarch instead of High Prince. The nation is now the Crown of Amaethea but some people colloquially refer to it as Elvenesse still. Malin'or - Prince Vytrek Tundrak of Fenn formed Malin'or in Almaris with the hope of uniting the elves. Under Malin'or was the Crown of Amaethea, Princedom of Fenn, Princedom of Nor'Asath, and Princedom of Celia'nor. They operated as independent nations under the High Prince of Malin'or (Vytrek), who was responsible for overall international relations and military stuff. Vytrek abdicated and there was an election for another High Prince, but Malin'or inevitably crumbled and the nations went back to being truly independent as they were before. Although the dream was a united elvendom, this wasn't truly achieved because the Vale of Nevaehlen and Haelun'or did not join Malin'or. This is obviously a TLDR and there is a lot more nuance and detail in a lot of it but that's the gist
  5. 1. Democracy is hard - elections are a huge administrative burden, keeping people on side is a constant occupation and exhausting, and the very nature of voting creates factionalism. Also political/legal RP is boring (sorry not sorry). 2. (most) People play LOTC for escapism - the majority of the server are from Western democratic nations, so being able to roleplay in kingdoms with archaic power structures like absolute monarchy/aristocracy is interesting and different from IRL. The politics involved in court life are more nuanced and tied up in social interactions compared to campaigning and meeting with constituents. It's more fun :)) 3. Unlike IRL where there are huge institutions and structures set up to support democracy, LOTC is populated by teenagers and young adults who either a) don't have the knowledge or expertise to uphold such structures or b) don't have the time because this is a game. 4. Elections can be and are rigged all the time (High Prince elections in the Dominion of Malin anyone??). Unlike the OOC process of selecting an heir, the OOC process of messing with IRP elections gets messy and toxic super fast and is just not fun.
  6. "See?" Saoirse Baruch, newly returned to the city from years of travel, waved the pamphlet under Eugen's nose. "They 'ave much more sordid things tae write about than the likes o' us." @__Stal27
  7. IGN: toffToffee Category: Writing Work: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1PflIUyr9UwkIeiZc0RpOqWUw62RAMYja9H83csUrNAA/edit?usp=sharing
  8. It was strange seeing Molia sitting at the head of the table, reclining in the throne-like chair as though she were the Queen. Strange, and yet, it suited her. The easy way she smiled and laughed with King Sigismund across the feast laid out between them, how she navigated the dinner with deft steps, slipping and weaving through the threads of conversation with the silken ease of a noblewoman born into this life. Josephine sat with her mother on one side of the table, opposite Princess Anastasya and Prince Marus. A great slab of mahogany separated them, yet Josephine heard the princess' voice as clear as day as she whispered to her brother that Josephine was an Imperial *****. Molia's voice was icy, her eyes like stone, but it was nothing compared to the thunder on the King's face. Anastasya, outside. For her insult, the princess was forbidden from speaking until her wedding day. This was the King of Haense Josephine had known; firm and just, expecting from his family the highest magnitude of duty and honour. The realm would be a wilder place without his guiding hand.
  9. Art not by me. Weak light seeped through the canvas, setting the tent aglow. Godan, morning already. Saoirse was not used to rising with the sun—the maids in Castle Lichestadt would close her shutters at night, locking out the bitter northern air, opening them only when she was awake and bathing. On the road, the forest streams were her bath, the flowering meadows her parlour. She donned her cloak and shuffled into a world of blue and silvery grey, light as morning but brimming with midnight stillness. What? Saoirse rubbed her eyes, disorientated by the fat silver coin of a moon gleaming on the pond between their tents. Night was never so bright as this in the north. How could that be? Same moon, same sky, but that first step out of Karosgrad’s gates a fortnight ago had been a leap into another world. Saoirse left the camp, trekking up a short rise to stare northwards. Homewards. Across that vast stretch of land, her sisters dutifully sat in their castles, weaving fresh strands into the great tapestry of House Baruch while Saoirse unravelled it with every mile she rode further south. Soon, she would have no thread left to pull. “Do you miss it?” Eugen appeared beside her and she startled, touching her fingers to the pearls at her throat. She never took them off, even though there was no use for them in the wilderness. Feeling the cool, smooth surface beneath her fingertips calmed her racing heart. “I wish you wouldn’t sneak up on me like that.” She turned back to the rolling hills. If she avoided his eyes, she could avoid his question, and ignore the gaping space in her heart no measure of freedom could fill. They stood in silence, the moon arcing overhead. “I miss it, too,” he said, but when she looked at him he had vanished, padding back to the camp as quietly as he had come. Night gave way to a milky dawn. Saoirse trudged down the hill to find the tents cleared and their horses tacked up. Eugen wordlessly handed her the reins and helped her into the saddle. They rode two abreast, their horses plodding leisurely along a wooded path dense with birch and aspen, alien to the pine forests between Valwyck and Karosgrad. This is why I left. Frothy white and yellow blooms on either side of the path spilled over like beerheads; she carded her fingers through the branches and they came away wet with dew. Feel the morning on your skin, taste the air, breathe in the world and never look back. Isabel would have told Daid by now. And Margrait. A pang shot through her and she spurred her horse into a canter, as if she could outstrip the guilt, as if it wasn’t crowding in on her from within. Why, Saoirse? Isabel had asked. Why? Why, indeed. Eugen was a perfectly acceptable match—the second son of a Duke, as she was a second daughter. Eirik would accept their courtship if she had only asked him. A nighttime flight from the Kingdom, leaving her bedroom bare, no note, scant good-byes; it was excessive, unnecessary. That was what Freya would say. She caught glimpses of her sisters between the trees, the white blossoms making up the trails of their wedding gowns. First Isabel, then Margrait, then Eileen. Freya, undoubtedly, would be next. Duty. Honour. Sacrifice. Isabel, swollen with child, because the future Duchess of Valwyck must have an heir. Saoirse drove her horse faster and faster, the world a blur of yellow, white, and green. Eugen called her name but he was far away, his voice barely a whisper over the wind rushing in her ears. This was freedom. Cold stinging her cheeks, leather chafing her palms, her pulse thundering like the horse beneath her. A wedding gown was a prison unto itself, layers of wool, velvet, and tartan, pure as snow, heavy as iron. Weighing down every step to the altar, stones in her pockets, drowning. Seeing Eileen seal her sentence with a kiss had snapped something inside of Saoirse, something that had begun to fray at the very beginning of Lifstala. I’m not looking for love. I will marry whoever my father tells me to, for that is my duty as a Baruch. Those were the words she had spoken beside a shallow pond in the Nikirala gardens, Eugen sitting a polite distance away on the picnic blanket. Aloisa, their diligent chaperone, had stood a short way off. How long ago Lifstala felt. A lifetime. I wished for you to know that before you had any real intentions of courting me. She had enjoyed his company. They spoke of horses, painting, and all the places they wished to travel once the war was over. Yet, when Margrait’s machinations drew her into another man’s orbit, Saoirse cared little. A noose was a noose, and it would tighten no matter who pulled the lever. “Saoirse!” The trees thinned. Eugen’s horse was faster on the open plains and he soon caught up, drawing level with her. “Saoirse, stop. You’ll overwork the horses, and there’s still miles yet to go before we reach Elysium.” Saoirse reined her horse in, the memory fading around her in patchy greyscale. She thought the gardens had taught her colour, but they were naught but dour brick and slate compared to the landscape unfolding around them now that they were clear of the treeline. Verdant hills rolled gently into the distance, lapping at the base of gargantuan trees. Even miles off, Saoirse imagined ten men with their hands interlinked wouldn’t reach halfway around the trunks. She sat breathing heavily, staring at those trees to keep from meeting Eugen’s gaze as he brought his horse up beside her. “You’re shaking.” She was. Everything ached and her heart trembled, bleeding out the adrenaline. She slid from the saddle and stalked to a nearby berry bush on stiff, uncertain legs. Get a hold of yourself. The iron fortress around her soul had begun to rust at her mother’s death, grief corroding the metal until it was thin and jagged. Calling her sisters’ faces to memory punctured it further. She was wearing out, as rickety as the play fort her sisters’ friends had played in as children. “Let’s rest for a while.” She kept her back to Eugen, plucking a berry and rolling it between her fingers. “We have plenty of hours of sunlight.” He caught her wrist before she could bring it to her lips. “Don’t eat that.” Prying the fruit from her, he flung it off into the grass. It bounced and rolled, falling into a narrow brook with a splash, carried away downstream. “It’s poison.” The bandages wrapped around his knuckles scratched her skin, rough and inexpertly tied. She had tried her best to patch him up that night, the night the letter came and she found him crumpled and broken beside the campfire, his hands a bloody mess. Bark lay scattered everywhere, a nearby tree viciously pummelled. The raw wood had looked strangely naked in the darkness. Konstanz is dead. No other words were spoken that night. What could you say to a man who had lost his brother and estranged the rest of his family in the span of a heartbeat? “Thank you.” Saoirse wiped her hand on her cloak, in case any of the poison lingered on her fingers. Finally, finally, she looked at him. No longer was he the boy too hesitant to approach, lest the Hearsay of Hanseti-Ruska sharpen its quill. A shadow of a beard graced his jaw and his eyes were too hard to belong to anyone but a man who had lived so little but endured too much. Saoirse had not run away with him to elope. She longed to be free, to drink in the world and commit it to paint without her ancient lineage looming over her shoulder with every brushstroke. Out on the plain, a forest at her back, a sweet breeze in her hair—there was no one to see them for miles, nothing to stop him from running his thumb over the back of her hand. She had presumed her inevitable marriage would be for duty. A sacrifice, by mountain, river, and coal. But she had slipped the noose, absconding in the night with the boy she had said she did not and could never love, not in the way that mattered. Eugen slowly took her hand and, in that moment, Saoirse knew of no other she would rather have as her companion for this grand, unfurling adventure. No one else in the world.
  10. Clamorous voices swelled to the curved, painted ceiling. Saoirse knew the ceiling well. She knew every paint stroke, every wisp of cloud against the blue. It was better for her mind to float around up there instead of wallowing down in the pews, holding in her scream. How could they sell Mags off like this? When would her parents do this to her? The voices died. Everyone had left. They were alone the three of them, Saoirse, Mags, and their mother. Anastasya was as regal as ever, the pearls on her kokoshnik catching the sconce light. Anastasya. When had Saoirse begun thinking of her as Anastasya rather than Mamej? Likely when Isabel and Margrait's betrothals were announced; from that moment, the proud, sharptongued woman had been Prinzenas Anastasya. She was too authoritative and astute to be anything else. Anastasya held Mags close, stroking her hair over the veil. Despite her titles, her achievements, she was still their mother. She taught Saoirse to play the piano and how to cut a person to size with a few razor sharp words said in just the right tone. It was only yesterday Anastasya had done as much to Rosemary Vuiller, whittling the other woman down with such ferocity there was nothing to do but be impressed. How could she be gone? Saoirse sat at the piano, playing a listless tune with one hand. In the empty keep, each note echoed, forlorn. A woman like that, strong, fierce, and full of life, yanked from this world by a golden thread pulled not by war nor heroism nor even political poison, but a simple meal. How mundane. Saoirse's fingers went stiff and the notes curdled and turned discordant. How disrespectful for Godan to give her mother such a death. Saoirse would not cry. She would not eat. She would only remember.
  11. Saoirse Baruch cleaned her hands of paint, gazing through the window above the wash basin. Day had dawned clear and bright, with perfect lighting for painting on the shores of Lake Voron, but for her sister, Saoirse would pack away her paints and cease being a shut-in. Now, if only she could find a dress...
  12. The pavilion within the Augustine gardens, circa 1837. Please do not metagame this information. 13th of Horen’s Calling, 1835 The city of Providence is huge. Larger, even, than Mother described it. The streets are wide enough for two carriages to pass by one another with more than an arm’s length between them, and the buildings are so high I must crane my neck to see the tops of them. I travelled to the city from Dobrov with only my small travelling case. However, there are so many shops here, I am sure Mother will buy me plenty of dresses. And, being farther south, the air is warm, and does not inflame my cough. This is fortuitous, for if I had been too exhausted upon arriving in the city, I would have had the carriage take me directly to the palace gates rather than decide to wander there myself on foot. Had I not done that, I would not have met Eirik Baruch. He is a very nice boy, a little younger than me, I would guess. He says that he is the heir to the Duchy of Valwyck, within the Kingdom of Haense. I envy him for being able to travel so far from home. The short trip from Dobrov to the capital felt like an age—I cannot imagine riding as far north as the Kingdom of Haense on horseback, or even having the strength to ride for very long on horseback at all. 11th of Tobias’ Bounty, 1835 From when I was a young girl, there was always a shadow hovering over our family. Anna. The older sister I never knew, taken from her cradle by Azdrazi. Father was always quiet and removed and, although she was warm and loving for my sake, Mother never smiled in the same bright, carefree way she smiled in the portraits from when she was a young princess. Today, I saw her smile like that for the first time. Today, I met my sister. She goes by Moliana and dresses in a strange fashion that is quite foreign to the Imperial court. I never expected that I would meet her, but when I saw her enter the room during the debut, I knew instantly that it was her. It was like looking into a mirror, though she is taller, prettier, and much more confident. She is what I could have been, were I not so ill. After Father died, Mother set out to scour the continent for the long-lost Anna. She found her in Haense, knowing her for her eyes; we all bear the same silvery-grey irises inherited from my namesake, grandfather Joseph. We all reunited after the debut and I could not help my deluge of emotion. I was so distraught when Mother left and I had to live outside of the castle, in the nunnery, while cousin Alexandra ruled as Countess. Now, I realise that GOD willed Mother’s absence, so that she could find Anna and bring her home. In my emotion, my cough flared up. Anna seemed concerned, and pondered aloud if there was perhaps a cure to be found. I have tried many kinds of concoctions and remedies, but something feels different this time. I think my sister may be able to help me. 13th of Owyn’s Flame, 1836 I was walking in the garden and saw Moliana (this is what I now call her) by the fountain with a boy. His name is Elimar. He seems a scatterbrained sort, unable to even run a brush through his own hair. I wondered if, perhaps, they were courting… but such a notion is ridiculous. Moliana will find a match within the Imperial court, and I have never seen this Elimar before. I do not know his pedigree, but he must be a commoner, if I have not seen his name in the Imperial Genealogical Archives. When I approached, Moliana began acting very strangely, hiding something from me behind her back. She has many secrets, this long-lost sister of mine. Of her past, the family who raised her, and where she goes when she disappears for days at a time and returns with worn travelling boots caked in dust. We may be sisters by blood but, in truth, we are strangers. I do not expect her to confide in me. Still, it is lonely to see her and Elimar walk out of the Augustine gates, leaving me alone by the fountain. I returned indoors when it began to rain with sudden violence, soaking me through to the skin. I know I should have gone upstairs to change rather than risk catching cold, but I cannot bear to have Mother’s lady’s maids clucking around me as though I am still a child. I am fifteen years old; practically a woman in my own right. Neither could I bear to attend court; not only because of my sopping gown, but also because it is frightfully boring. Mother stands dutifully through every single session, as one can only expect of an Imperial Princess. It was easy to forget that she was of such rank, when we lived in Dobrov. Such a dour place sucked the joy and glamour from her so that, by the time I was born, she was already tired and faded. Returning to Providence has brought her to life again. She has an entirely new wardrobe and has unearthed her jewellery collection. She sparkles as she strides through the Augustine. Between her and Moliana, I feel very small and drab indeed. Instead of going to court, I hid away in the library beside the fire. That is where Moliana found me. A golden mist seeped from her bag and twined around us as though it had a mind of its own, syphoning the rainwater away and leaving us with silken hair and unruffled clothing. It is different from the magic displayed during her debut, when music played and a disembodied voice called her name. Where has she been, who has she met, to learn such wondrous magicks? It scared me, at first, this display of power, but the more that Moliana shows me glimpses into this world of hers, the deeper I am drawn in. She says she will be the greatest sorceress in the land, and I believe her. One day soon, she will surpass us all. 13th of Tobias’ Bounty, 1836 A ruby necklace in the window of the Red Rose Boutique caught my eye when I went into the city today for the purpose of buying a new sewing kit. Moliana should have been named Ruby of the Season instead of Alina Basrid; I wanted to buy the necklace for her, but the price stretched far beyond my means. When Father died, we were left impoverished. Mother has been able to dip into the Aldersberg coffers to give the impression of wealth, but in truth, our apartment in the Augustine is the most luxury and splendour I have enjoyed in all my days. We share it with Mother's family, who I enjoy the company of. Moliana does not enjoy them so much. I oft hear her muttering about locks on doors and being blockaded from her room. I returned to the apartment today to see Booker, the strange little boy who follows Moliana like a shadow, sitting in my favourite armchair. He is most unnerving, his face all wrapped up save for a glitter where his eyes shine out from the dark, but Moliana cares for him deeply, so I shall try to care for him, too. He asked if Elimar was going to make Moliana eat a baby! If that thought alone was not shocking enough, Mother attempting to explain where babies come from made me quite faint. Everyone knows that GOD gifts a babe to a man and a woman joined in holy matrimony, and that is the end of it. Thankfully, talk soon turned elsewhere. Moliana has discovered a potential cure for my illness—a crimson flower in the southern deserts. I cannot imagine making such a trip in all my days, but Moliana has travelled almost everywhere across the continent. To the realm of Elvenesse, where the trees and stone twine together to make buildings and its inhabitants are preternaturally beautiful and ancient beyond comprehension. To the frozen wastes of the north, where the city of Karosgrad sits nestled, a bastion of warmth and comfort. Ando Alur, the fantastical city of great darkness and beautiful, unimaginable power. She is so young, yet she has already lived a full life. And here I sit, reading and doing needlework. I have more in common with the silly, twittering courtiers Moliana holds such disdain for than I do with her. That is all right. I am happy just listening to her stories, even if I will never live them. I was enjoying listening to her stories when a strange man entered our apartment. I had never seen him before, yet his eyes were so familiar… He revealed himself to be our father, whom we thought dead. Overwhelming rage thundered through me such that I have never felt before. When Father died, I always thought I would cry with joy to be able to see him one last time, but seeing him standing before me in the flesh, having allowed us and the world to think him dead, I could remember nothing but my cold, narrow cot in the nunnery. He said that him being gone was in the best interests of our family, but he left us alone and impoverished, Mother already a wan and broken thing in the wake of Anna’s kidnapping. I hate him. I hate him I hate him I hate him I hate him I HATE HIM I HATE HIM I HATE HIM I HATE HIM I HATE YOU. I hope you burn in fire in the deepest pits of the earth. 19th of Sigismund’s End, 1836 My mood is much improved since the last time I penned an entry. I have seen no more of Father—he has disappeared into the wind again, leaving no trace whatsoever. It is as though he is truly dead, and I am content with that. Mother brought me a stew brewed from the crimson flower Moliana found in the desert. While it has not cured me, I find I have more energy, and coughs do not wrack me with quite so much pain as they did before. I am able to wander around the palace grounds for hours at a time. I thought my illness was what kept me tethered, and that if only I could be free from my failing body I would fly on the updrafts of my potential but—thanks to the flower, my illness has abated. And yet I stroll in circles through the Augustine, tethered by the invisible leash of my own meekness. I wish I had the courage to seize this new energy and travel as Moliana has. 11th of Horen’s Calling, 1837 Today is the day of the Nove Jubilee, where Mother will be modelling new dresses crafted by the most fashionable seamstresses in the Empire. I write this in the rafters of the ballroom, lit by a shaft of dusty sunlight seeping through a crack in the stone. Booker found me as I was leaving the apartment and we decided to secure a vantage point away from the hustle and bustle of the crowds below. He is much more agile than I, and has scampered off somewhere I cannot follow. I know, for Mother’s sake, that I must attend the show, so I will sneak to a seat in the back once I pluck up the courage. Mother was utterly resplendent. She complains about the fine lines feathering around her eyes and how she is sure to start greying soon, but in truth, she is still beautiful. I wish I had her blonde locks and healthy rose flush to her cheeks. When I look in the mirror, I see a thin, pale oval of a face staring back at me, framed by lank strands of raven hair. The bright dresses Mother bought for me wash my skin out even more. I feel as though my gowns wear me instead of the other way around. Nonetheless, I enjoyed my day. I spoke to Grandfather Joseph for the first time since I was very little, and he said I looked pretty in my red dress. 15th of Horen’s Calling, 1837 I can never read in the library ever again. I was sitting by the window when a horrible monster pressed its face against the glass and bellowed for me to leave. My heart beat wildly in my chest and my throat closed up. As I write this now, my fingers tremble. Lady Anna made me a cup of hot chocolate to calm me down and Mother stroked my hair. Moliana strode off to investigate the monster for herself. Hours later, I cannot recall what the monster looked like, only the feel of my pulse thundering in my throat. How is Moliana so brave? She marched off towards the library with no weapons but her own wit. I sat curled in Mother’s lap as I did when I was very a small girl, waiting for my terror to subside. The ordeal has left me so very tired. I do not feel like writing any more. 11th of Sun’s Smile, 1837 Today was the coronation of Emperor Philip II. We sat behind Princesses Josephine Augusta and Anne Caroline; I have seen them around court before, these cousins of my mother. I remember one occasion I met them in the halls, prior to the Social Season beginning, and they were very candid in their opinions. Princess Anne despises the Season and all its facets, while Princess Josephine wishes she had been able to partake. You see, she was betrothed at a young age, and I suspect from her tone that theirs is not a happy union. I do not expect to marry for love, though I do hope I will at least be content and comfortable in my marriage, as I hope Mother shall be. I race ahead of myself. Following the coronation, the Emperor led us all to the throne room, where he bestowed a number of titles. He granted the Duchy of Adria to his son and heir, Prince Philip Aurelian, the Duchy of Crestfall to his daughter, Princess Josephine, and raised Sir Otis de Rosius to the rank of Baron. While these events were certainly momentous on their own merit, the true shock came when he announced that Prince Philip would be wed once more, to none other than… Mother. My Mother shall one day be Empress of the Holy Orenian Empire. Two short years ago she was commending Lady Anastasia, who is to be the Empress when Prince Philip Amadeus rises to the throne, and yet, she will attain that position before her. When my eyes met Moliana’s across the throne room—wide with shock as I am sure mine were—it is the first time I felt a wordless, sisterly communication pass between us. We were both bewildered by the announcement, but knew without needing to verbally communicate that Mother needed us in that moment. We both went to her side and supported her to a seat, fanning her as the shock wore off. Prince Philip approached us to speak of the upcoming union, and how things would be moving into the future. I sensed little love or warmth from him, but he seems a dutiful man who will treat Mother with respect and dignity. More than my Father ever offered her, to be sure. When my cough reared its head, Prince Philip was kind and caring, and offered to send for his own private doctor. I do not know what our lives will be like when Mother is Empress, but I know that this is a new responsibility placed on not only Mother’s shoulders, but mine and Moliana’s, too. I shall do all that I can to make Mother proud and serve the Imperial family. 9th of Godfrey’s Triumph, 1838 Mother’s wedding was a humble affair, considering both she and Prince Philip have been married once before. I have seen paintings and statues of his late wife; she was very beautiful, and from the reverent way people speak of her at court, well-liked. Mother was friends with Amadea in their girlhood, and her eyes take on a far-off, misty look whenever she speaks of her. I think Mother misses her, as well. During the ceremony, Moliana gave me a pendant she bought in Yong Ping while on her travels. It is an Aurum oblong, dangling from a delicate chain, and bears the strange characters of Yong Ping stamped onto its face. Moliana says it is to ward off evil spirits, including the monster I saw in the library. This is the second gift she has given me—first the restorative flower, and now this talisman. I shall need to find a perfect gift for her soon, but I do not think we have a penchant for the same things. Perhaps I shall need to speak to Elimar, the boy that continues hanging around her like a stray dog. Even if I do not like the impropriety of it, I suspect he knows her better than anyone. At dinner after the ceremony, Mother was showered with gifts from the courtiers. Across the table from me sat a woman who was vastly with child—I commented to Moliana that being in such a state must be incredibly uncomfortable. She confided in me that she will likely never have children. It was not shocking to hear this from her; Moliana has always struck me as a free spirit who would not like the restrictions that marriage and motherhood bring. Conversely, marriage will bring me much freedom. I will be able to travel to my husband’s estate and manage my own household. I want a flower garden that I can see from my sitting room window, and wide rolling fields I can enjoy from a shaded balcony dripping with lilacs and wisteria vines. I should not wish to marry an heir, however. I do not think I will be able to bear him children, and if I could… I fear the ordeal would kill me. I may be sickly and frail, but I still want to live, and to see as much of the world as my illness will allow me. Perhaps I will marry a second son, or a prince not of the main line. Mother announced at dinner that Moliana and I are members of the Imperial household and, although we do not have titles, we are to be afforded the same respect. Thus, I do not think it will be difficult to find a husband. Especially considering I have Moliana and Mother making machinations at every turn. Philip de Rosius gave up his seat for Moliana, and when young Prince Joseph flung food at his jacket and was subsequently dragged from the dining room by Princess Anne, Moliana offered to remove the stain. This left me sitting side by side with him while Moliana sauntered off, throwing an impish smile at me over her shoulder. Oh, for one who complains so much about the vapid, twittering courtiers, she certainly knows how to meddle with the best of them! Mother approached soon after and began a mild, motherly interrogation of Philip, asking him of the de Rosius estate near Redernford. She and Prince Philip will be visiting it on their Imperial Tour, and Mother oh-so-subtly mentioned that I might be accompanying them for that leg of the journey. The chateau sounds wonderful, and Philip said that the whole estate is coated with flowers of every shape and colour imaginable. Even if I am exasperated with the meddling, I do not think I should mind a quiet, comfortable life surrounded by blossoms and warm southern air.
  13. Saoirse loudly and obnoxiously crunched on honeyed almonds in the Baruch apartment, leaving the empty paper bag on the window seat. It was all very sporting to a bored, spoiled girl who had not experienced the true horror of bloodshed. Eager for the upcoming fight, she sought her sisters so they could all sit together and watch the pummelling. Of course, the Barclays would have to accept... it was only honourable.
  • Create New...