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Blacktide The largest port city in Kingsreach, with a population of almost 36,000. Blacktide serves as a business center where trade and enterprise thrive. For whatever reason, the city is not exactly host to the friendliest sort of people, and has a bit of a reputation for not being the sort of place you want to be alone in at night. In recent years, Blacktide was plagued by a series of riots, but it was put down before it could escalate and now the city is recovering well.


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The king's company is set upon along the road from Mirrormount to Moonspire...



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Old 10-13-2015, 12:11 AM   #1
(Princess) Ziamara Fairchild
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Default 4.10 noon, a day's ride from the city ~ Well met by sunlight ~ Zee, Warrick, NPC's

The trip was slower than it should have been. Ziamara's strength still wasn't back and no one was in any great rush to make it to Blacktide anyway. Out of pride she insisted on riding part of every day, to keep the appearance of the king's daughter in people's minds but beneath her powder and cosmetics, Ziamara's skin remained pale. Her smile, however, returned bright as ever when the guards out front sent up a hail to another party. Over the ridge came a company flying a distinctive set of wolves quartered in blue and red: the personal sigil of William Wolfe alongside the house crest.

She spurred her horse to ride up the column and only reined in when Mark called out a caution but a tall, distinctively blond head parted from the front of the Wolfe party and rode straight toward her.

"William!" She glanced back though she already knew Warrick was right beside her to welcome his twin.

"Your highness. Welcome to Wolfe lands." William's eyes were blue as Ziamara's and gleamed in the light as he pulled off his helm. "And you too, jackanapes." He grinned at Warrick.
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Old 10-13-2015, 12:21 AM   #2
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Warrick pulled Shadowless up a bit more, his brown eyes, looking more gold in the sun, examining his twin as if trying to get a full measure of his health in one glance. All limbs intact, no sign of anything out of the ordinary as far as he could tell... He grinned back at him, chuckling at the greeting.

"You look... older," Warrick said, tilting his head as if examining him again. "Have I been so long in Vellesca without realizing that a decade has gone by in Blacktide?"
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Old 10-13-2015, 12:45 AM   #3
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"Funny, I was about the say the same. You look like shit." William laughed. "Must be spring wearing on you in our dotage, brother."

"Peace, you two. I beg of you." Ziamara, reduced to gales of laughter by their posturing, had to hold onto the saddle horn. "Before you unhorse me with mirth alone."

"I'll be happy to carry you on my horse, highness?" William grinned. "I'll be sure to ride fast to get you free of this brigand."

"And abandon Warrick to the road alone? He'd never survive..."
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Old 10-13-2015, 12:49 AM   #4
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"She's right, you know... I've been so long without holding a spear, I can't remember which end does the killing..."

He grinned as he looked over at Ziamara.

"Besides... Shadowless was always the faster one between our horses... You could certainly try to be free of me... But at worst... I'll never be more than ten minutes behind... as always, brother."
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Old 10-13-2015, 12:57 AM   #5
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"Old habits die hard." He held up his arm to signal to his party and turned his horse, edging it to the other side of Ziamara's so they flanked her. "I'll have to try not to outpace you then, if we're going in a group. Princess, I hope your trip has been safe, minus this terrible company you keep?"

"It has been beautiful and calm as anything, my lord. Thank you for asking." She looked at William for a moment, studying his face.

He nodded. "I've made camp a short distance off. We can stop there and let your servants set up your tents, princess. There's no hope of making it to Blacktide before nightfall and it's best to face the gates by morning lately. The guards are... getting jumpy. We've had some unrest again." He looked past Ziamara to his twin. "The tax-time never makes our citizens happy."
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Old 10-13-2015, 01:03 AM   #6
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Warrick kept his expression passive, even with the mention of unrest, but his eyes did catch his brother's as he said it. There was a slight twitch at his jaw... but he said nothing to that point.

"Tax-time never makes anybody very happy," Warrick said. "And how is our dear brother?"
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Old 10-13-2015, 01:17 AM   #7
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"Upset about his subjects' discontent and making noises about starting an arena for them." William snorted. "I think he's forgetting the ones not paying taxes know they're the ones first up as fodder for the arena..."

Ziamara stayed quiet and glanced at Warrick, knowing full well her father hadn't raised taxes for Blacktide this year. Unrest...?

William continued on. "It's not amounting to much anyway. A few hecklers by the temples, and a bit of shit thrown at his carriage. We've seen worse." He paused to smile. "A good thing you're not still wearing white, princess."

"Mm. Isn't it? Hardly a good color to risk to your people's repertoire of overripe fruits and fewments, my lord." She managed a slight smile but her thoughts were worried.
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Old 10-13-2015, 08:20 PM   #8
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"I'm sure that talk will change when he's told how much one of those costs," Warrick said, seemingly not bothered by it.

He looked over at the princess and what she was wearing and then his eyes flickered back to his twin. "Ah... Blacktide... It doesn't quite feel like home until you get handful of cow shit thrown at your face..."
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Old 10-13-2015, 09:05 PM   #9
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William smirked at his brother's jest but let a companionable silence fall as the princess's company joined with his. It was a short treck down the hill to where William's men had set up camp a camp complete with spaces allocated to the princess's and Warrick's tents in the center, and spaces cleared for extra supply tents and wagons and the usual royal hangers-on.

"I wasn't sure how many men you'd have with you, princess. But there's venison roasting for tonight. We'll have a proper feast even without the grandeur of Castle Wolfe."

"A break from travel rations is welcome, my lord." She smiled again but before she could say anything else, William continued:

"Please, I'd be honored to welcome you both to my tent while yours are assembled."

"Then let me repay you with some of the wine my father sent- a favorite of yours, I think? It can serve to help us pass the time until dinner." Ziamara met William's eyes and saw approval there before the eldest of the twins nodded.

"What say you, Warrick? A bit of sweet red before we dine?"
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Old 10-13-2015, 09:22 PM   #10
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Warrick remained silent for the rest of the way, but while there were thoughts that troubled him, for the most part, there was a content look upon his face as if, for the first time in months, all was right in the world. It was not until they were at camp that he'd taken to frowning again... It was an expression he wore often when roaming the halls of Vellesca.

It wasn't until William spoke that his brows relaxed and he smiled. "I'm never one to say 'no' to an offer of wine. Lead the way."
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Old 10-13-2015, 09:58 PM   #11
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William' tent was a souvenir of Zaksebar, taken after a battle. Most of the interior was Zakkish as well, save a few rugs that had to be replaced due to blood and guts being spilled across them. Low tables and plentiful cushions, a camp bed hung with gauzy silk to warm as well as ward off insects.

William stood aside to let the princess enter first, then followed her in with Warrick while squires and servants trailed behind: Ziamara's to bring up the wine and tap the casks, William's to begin pouring and serving. While they waited for that, William's squire brought sweet sekanjabin to quench the thirst without intoxication.

Ziamara settled onto the cushions by the largest of the tables in the center of the tent. "I almost feel as though I'd been swept away to the north, my lord. Truly this is beautiful..." She looked around at the intricate patterns on the tent's hangings, the painted canvas of the outer shell...

"I promise to be more hospitable, your highness."

She smiled at him then. "Zee. Please? We are not in need of formalities just now, surely?"

William shot a questioning look at Warrick but nodded to the princess before he sat down next to her. "Zee. I think it's been a number of years since I called you that."

She laughed. "Five at least."
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Old 10-13-2015, 10:07 PM   #12
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Warrick looked at her curiously as well, settling down and leaning to the side a bit to make himself more comfortable.

"At the very least," he said, looking back at his brother, smirking. "I cannot remember the last time..." But then, Warrick had not been extended the same allowance. It smarted, but he didn't wear it plainly... It was only that it was impossible to hide it from his twin. "Though, trying to think back on it only reminds me how many years are behind us."
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Old 10-13-2015, 10:16 PM   #13
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"Warrick, are you trying to make all of us feel old?" Ziamara cast raised brow and a smile at the darker of the twins.

"He's annoyed he doesn't get to call you by a nickname, Zee." William's lips twisted in a grin he hadn't managed to hide.

"Really? Well, he can wait ten minutes more. I'm told that's the tradition." Ziamara leaned toward Wililam to stage whisper while her eyes turned to Warrick. "Besides, he won't use a nickname. He is far too stern and proper."
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Old 10-13-2015, 10:34 PM   #14
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"No... Only one of us," he said, still looking to his brother.

And then he rolled his eyes. "That's only half of it..." There was no point in denying it. She knew them too well.

"The princess is a jester," he chuckled. "And... that is not entirely true... I hardly ever call my twin by his name."
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Old 10-13-2015, 11:15 PM   #15
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"Only because you both generally call each other much worse than names," Zee quipped, picking up her drink. She downed half of it in one go- the road had made her thirstier than she realized and she had a moment of thankfulness that it wasn't alcohol. Yet.

"Mm. I usually call him Jackass, so you're probably right, princess." William grinned at Warrick.
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Old 10-13-2015, 11:23 PM   #16
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"That's one of the nicer ones," Warrick chuckled. "Normally I just call him Cock... which is at least appropriate in more than one way..." He took a drink then. "Though, I suppose given my leanings towards propriety... I ought to apologize to you for my vulgar language, your highness."
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Old 10-13-2015, 11:39 PM   #17
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"You... have met my father and uncles, haven't you? I know you've heard Keegan..." Ziamara laughed but William snorted.

"At least wait until we're drinking wine before you abuse her highness's delicate ears." He nodded to the servants waiting by the door and the wine in question was soon being poured and served, a fresh jug set on the table before them.

"Say rather I'm waiting until you are both intoxicated before I shock your ideas of my delicacy?" Ziamara suggested with another laugh.
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Old 10-13-2015, 11:49 PM   #18
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"Is there anybody who hasn't heard Lord Keegan?" Warrick asked.

He cast her another look, but there was no apparent meaning behind it. "If nothing else, my lady, you appear to be in much better humor now that the trip is near over."
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Old 10-13-2015, 11:55 PM   #19
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"As do you, Warrick." She met his look with a warm smile. "But I will put yours to seeing your brother again. Mine is the cheerful prospect of sleeping in a castle rather than a tent. Spring mornings are too cold and wet by half."

William shifted as he looked away from Ziamara and at his brother. He welcomed the wine by taking a hefty drink and smiling. "Damn. Rothgar's taste in wine remains as sharp as his blade." Yes, good time to think about the king. "How is your father, princess?"

"Quite well, though he assures us all he is otherwise any time he is vexed." Ziamara settled more comfortably on the cushion as she sipped her wine. "And your daughter sends her love. She's sent letters as well- I'll have my maid unpack the oilcloth once my trunks are out."

"My thanks." William took another drink. "And you, brother? How go the taxes in Volorro?"
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Old 10-14-2015, 12:03 AM   #20
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"The king is ever the man he's always been," Warrick said, the corner of his mouth lifting to a knowing smirk. "Still has the look of the fierce warrior you squired with."

He drank again and then set the cup down for the moment. "As well as one might expect... Which means when I return, there will be much more to do... There's some areas that have been... well... slow to send their coin, but nothing that hadn't been anticipated."
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Old 10-14-2015, 12:18 AM   #21
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"Sollis?" William asked, before he could think better of it.

Ziamara too turned her attention to Warrick. "We could divert our path on the way back if a... personal... reminder is required anywhere."
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Old 10-15-2015, 08:24 PM   #22
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"May be that it is a necessary diversion... I shall know soon enough," he said, stern eyes looking upon his twin. "But come... May I not be away from the treasury for a time... I've figures and calculations in my head and, for the moment, I want naught by wine and good conversation."
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Old 10-15-2015, 08:41 PM   #23
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"Good conversation has meat to match the meal, brother." William lifted his cup and signaled his squire for the first couple trays of cheeses and meats to be brought.

Ziamara drank from her cup and held it out for a servant to refill. "It's a pity you've had so much time with the accounts of late, Warrick. After the taxes, I hope you can join my ladies and our companions in Summerhall for a bit? We've had quite the procession of players and singers. Parissa's been set upon having feasts as grand as those in Sunspire."
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Old 10-18-2015, 02:00 PM   #24
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"So... you still speak in metaphor... And they said I was the one given to artistry..." he teased.

"I would like that," he said. "I think being able to sit and just listen to songs being sung sounds like the perfect way to celebrate after taxes..." He shook his head, though there was some humor there. "How many do you think the prince will allow before he grows tired of them?"
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Old 10-18-2015, 03:07 PM   #25
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"Say rather you're the one who gets caught at artistry," William retorted. "But you rubbed off on me, it appears... And the prince, if he's fallen into this habit of hosting mummers."

Ziamara laughed again. "Mm... I don't foresee Jason tiring of the frivolities. He's the one who wanted Summerhall to be its own court again. His court, in a way that Volorro cannot be." And a reminder of the days before James died, when their father's court and James' household at Summerhall were both filled with song and tourneys, mummery and jests. "Tourney season will be upon us when the court returns. I intend to organize a tourney for late in Six Month, to surprise my brother when he lands in Kingsport."
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Old 10-18-2015, 05:23 PM   #26
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"Not as much as I'd like, of late..." Warrick said.

"That might be a fun court to visit. Especially if there's to be a tournament. I've been considering competing again... At least in the swords... Or the melee... Unless of course the prince competes as well... I do miss that... I imagine he'd be even more impressive now than before..."
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Old 10-18-2015, 06:35 PM   #27
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William shot his twin a look at that remark but stayed quiet.

Instead it was Ziamara who spoke. "Father's only going to hear of him competing in one on one, I'm afraid. Swords or spears, perhaps. No melees until Jason fathers an heir." Zee smiled. "It wouldn't be so, but the 'Shores are being... irritating of late. And I am not certain he entirely trusts them to behave should the throne fall to Myles. They have such obnoxious Merideen ideas about bloodlines." She sniffed at that.

William's brow rose. "There's little I would hear in this kingdom to surprise me, but anyone in the 'Shores shirking their fealty would. They at least should be grateful above all for the king's shield when it comes to the wolves at their own southern gates..."
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Old 10-21-2015, 01:33 AM   #28
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"It almost seems unfair in that sense... The reach he'd have alone..." Still, he scoffed when she mentioned the Merideen ideas, and shook his head.

"Sometimes I wonder how often they forget just which kingdom they belong to..." There was a bitterness in his voice that was not often used before Ziamara, but he shook his head. "Then other times I think they enjoy the trouble they cause for making people wonder that."
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Old 10-21-2015, 01:43 AM   #29
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"They remember which kingdom when it suits them... as now, with the war tearing Meridiez apart. We're getting offers alliance both marriage and martial with half the houses of the south," William said with a laugh.

Ziamara glanced sidelong at Warrick for a moment, worry appearing for a split second before she turned back to William with a smile. "Warrick's right. Half of the trouble is them just enjoying their own recalcitrance. You know, my father's decided to favor the Zisemides son... the one who was kidnapped and returned with Asserya. What do you know of that house?"
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Old 10-21-2015, 02:13 AM   #30
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"Are we...?" Warrick asked, eyes narrowing slightly.

Then he turned his head back towards Zee. "The one who serves Bryce?" he asked, scratching just above his ear. "They do patrols along the trade routes... An old family... Very good with their coin... And with politics... But like any 'Shores house, they don't play too nicely with some others."
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