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Tor Vellesca The walls of the castle protect its inhabitants and often shield its secrets as well. Built just after the Asseryan Conquest it was one of the few buildings to make it unscathed through the war and is still filled with stunning mosaics, intricate frescoes, and statues from all over Anterra.
Supplied by the aqueducts that feed the city as well, the palace hosts countless fountains and even running water in some areas and enable it to support near 2,000 inhabitants. Picture


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



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Old 06-24-2016, 07:58 PM   #1
(Lady) Sabur al-Kafiba
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Default 6-10-331 Morning, Courtyard: The damage control arrives. [Valisa, OPEN]

The four arrivals at Tor Vellesca had the usual dust and sweat of travel; the first young woman and young man were on their own mounts, while the gray-streaked woman with a spear was seated in front of a second young woman. Without any wagons or pack-horses, and wearing the distinctive clothes of Trimeris, it wasn't likely that they were part of the usual herd of merchants streaming to and from the palace: The first woman's blue roan mare was a clear step above the average market stock, with a smooth walk that hardly rustled her rider's cloak and pale-gray dapples over her darker neck and torso.

"...Oh." The lady on the roan had to crane her neck up to see the top of Tor Vellesca's walls, shading her eyes from the noon-time sun. True to her clothing, she spoke the language of Trimeris. "I feel... under-dressed."

"We just get here from Trimeris,"
the young man reminded her with a grin. "I'm pretty sure they'll let you bathe before you start holding court with Queen Charlotte."

"State your names," the gatekeeper said.

The lady and the young man dismounted, and it was there that the lady's height (or lack thereof) became apparent--she was a full head shorter than both men, and one or two inches of her height were probably from her riding boots.

"I am Lady Sabur al-Kafiba--Queen Charlotte's new lady-in-waiting." While she spoke High Edoleen with the usual carefulness of foreigners, her accent was noticeably faint for someone who'd only been speaking it a few months. "This is my cousin, Idris al-Tamini. We were sent ahead to let the palace know she's almost here."

"When should they be coming, my lady?" He gave a short bow for courtesy.

"If the weather holds, they'll be here tomorrow at midday or evening," Sabur said. "But two more days at the latest."

"Good to know Her Majesty's back home, my lady." Another quick bow. "We'll have everything ready for them right away."

Their horses were taken to the stables, their trunks shuttled up to guest rooms, and a maid arrived to lead the four of them inside. Walking through the cavern of the great hall to her room, Sabur felt even more inadequate than she had at the gates: Her traveling cloak was covered in sweat, her boots were muddy, and she was pretty sure her braid looked more like a black dishcloth than hair at this point.

But a day of rest and a long bath raised her mood quite a bit, so the next morning she went walking through the courtyard in a lavender silk dress that seemed to shimmer in the late morning's heat--more so since her sleeves and skirt were embroidered with beaded birds, an understated version of Trimeris' usual bold contrasts. Her hair had a few small braids to keep it out of her face, but the rest of it hung down in curls to her hips.

She still felt under-dressed.

Last edited by Sabur al-Kafiba; 06-26-2016 at 10:01 PM.
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Old 06-28-2016, 10:39 AM   #2
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The adjustment period was grueling and Valisa did not know how to react around the princess. It was probably just a sort of culture shock as it was walking through the halls of Tor Vellesca. The meeting with her father was awkward, but not terrible or at least as terrible as what her imagination bore. Even with the Royal progress making its way to Tal Solarii by now, the palace was still rather lively.

She missed her home. Missed Jacen, but she would not cry or moon and so instead she kept busy. A schedule of sorts was set up to start a routine to get to know her new home. She walked around quite often when she was free to do so and had the opportunity to discover the vast amount of things that the palace hideaway. The gardens were perhaps one of her favorite spots and perhaps she could help tend to the various herb gardens that she saw being cultivated by those that had knowledge on how to do it.

Ever since their arrival, it has been one whirlwind after another. The biggest thing was getting their wardrobe up to a certain standard. The fabric was amazing and all of it was new. The vibrancy and intricate details of even one gown made her feel almost guilty for someone else to purchase it let alone wear it. However, she had already stirred the waters enough to get Prince Bryce to hate her because her convictions were voiced. She would imagine it would not be the last time she would disappoint him or any of them.

It was surreal, having entered a world of dragons that turned her own family against her forcing her to live in this world against her desires. She would rather die at home than here amongst strangers that are now family.

A pale blue silk dress was donned which was probably the plainest in her wardrobe now, but still too ostentatious by her standards especially the white, pink and purple butterflies that were embroidered into the fine material and the glass beads twinkled in the light. Her long flaxen hair was pulled up and into an intricate and expensive snood to make sure it remained out of her face and kept it from flying away with its light dandelion weight.

After being dismissed so the princess could rest, Dami mumbled something about lessons and Valisa nodded not wanting to encourage her to shirk her duties by asking her to come outside and to explore the garden with her. It was her only bit of solace left until her family returned knowing that whatever comfort she built here would quickly be eliminated.

As she walked towards the garden, she noticed a woman in a lovely lavender dress walking through the courtyard that failed to trigger a memory of ever having seen her around. It is not as if she had met everyone that lived in the palace quite yet, but she made it a point to greet them at least to remember their faces for another time.

“Good morning, my lady, I do hope you are having a lovely day so far?” Her voice was a little too formal only because she attempted to hide an accent that most of the courtiers seemed to frown heavily about. A twinge of guilt was felt for dear Dami, but she will be polished especially with the princess breathing down her neck. Gods know how the Queen would be towards her having heard the rumors of what she was like.
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Old 06-29-2016, 09:45 PM   #3
(Lady) Sabur al-Kafiba
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“Good morning, my lady, I do hope you are having a lovely day so far?”

She'd seen the other lady coming, so Sabur hadn't been too surprised that she'd walked over. She nodded and slowed down, and felt quite relieved that the lady spoke about as carefully as her; another foreigner, perhaps? "Yes, it's much better than yesterday. We're part of Queen Charlotte's entourage from Trimeris--she sent me and my cousin ahead to let the palace know she's coming. She'll be here tomorrow evening, or in two more days at mast."

Oh dear, something didn't sound right. The Edoleen language had so many extra letters, and High Edoleen had quite a few social rules for pronouncing things... "most," that was it. "Mast" was for a ship. She allowed herself a quick frown before slipping back into her neutral pleasantry.

"At most," she corrected. "Apologies, my lady, I've only been learning High Edoleen for a few months. My name is Sabur al-Kafiba--I'm the queen's new lady-in-waiting. Are you the princess, perhaps?"

She knew as well as most of Trimeris that this woman had an extremely low chance of being Valencia: Either the princess was going through a difficult pregnancy or had an outright miscarriage, and neither condition lent itself to strolling around the courtyard. But information always got a bit muddy past the border--she might as well start sorting things out.
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Old 07-08-2016, 12:52 PM   #4
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"Ah the Queen, I see," Valisa murmured and managed not to look so uncomfortable. "It is good to hear that she is well and almost home," she added managing a delicate smile to hide an uncertainty she might feel at such a meeting. However, whether it was due to her nervousness or used to hearing various accents that might warp and elongate a word's sound, she did not quite notice Sabur's error until she corrected herself.

"It is lovely to meet you, I am Valisa St..err...Vellfyre," she said and it was her turn to give a quick frown. "I am not the princess, but her kin." A new cousin...Hearing it sounded foreign to her, but whether it was said or not, the King made it official and there was no going back. "The princess is in the family way and has been instructed by the magister and midwife not to exert herself too much and so close to when the child comes."

"I have never been to Trimeris and have been quite sheltered before coming to my new home. I have never seen anything like Tal Volorro and Tor Vellesca either and still attempting to gain my bearings. Would you care to walk with me to explore a little more of this place?" She asked wondering if Sabur would indulge her with an anecdote of her home or two if she accepts her invitation.
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Old 07-12-2016, 01:43 AM   #5
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Quote:
"It is lovely to meet you, I am Valisa St..err...Vellfyre," she said and it was her turn to give a quick frown. "I am not the princess, but her kin." A new cousin...Hearing it sounded foreign to her, but whether it was said or not, the King made it official and there was no going back. "The princess is in the family way and has been instructed by the magister and midwife not to exert herself too much and so close to when the child comes."
Well, the conflicting messages about Valencia's pregnancy were solved nicely, and from her own relative at that. The princess was far from a miscarriage if she was about to give birth, and Sabur filed it away for later.

"My best wishes to the princess for a quick birth and a healthy babe, Lady Valisa," Sabur told her. "My older sister was all but bedridden halfway through her pregnancy, but there's no indication that the child will be sickly. My twin nephews are quite the handful today."

She grinned, but felt a twinge of conflict at the memory--there was the genuine concern over the months of watching over Rahil and her immense belly, and then an amused relief when it turned out she'd been carrying twins. However, their mother had been wailing over her "poor eldest daughter" from the moment the midwife arrived, and the family's shield-maid Ghaythah would often chuckle that Amat wanted to keep attention on her dramatic worrying instead of Rahil's actual pregnancy.

"I have never been to Trimeris and have been quite sheltered before coming to my new home. I have never seen anything like Tal Volorro and Tor Vellesca either and still attempting to gain my bearings. Would you care to walk with me to explore a little more of this place?"

Sabur politely kept herself from frowning in confusion. Valisa almost sounded like one of the maids instead of a relative to Princess Valencia. Foreign culture aside, nobility was nobility: Even a mid-ranking family like House al-Kafiba knew the basics of propriety, and how on earth would a grown woman admit to being "sheltered?"

Perhaps Valisa's family lived in a more rural area; after Sabur's lifetime of dealing with merchants and travelers from different countries, and the past few months of absorbing Queen Charlotte's rigidly impeccable manners, she had a good head for sorting out people's backgrounds. If Valisa kept babbling about her own shortcomings to everyone she met, she'd be seen as a country-dwelling laughingstock or made into a pawn by a craftier person.

Sabur felt a twinge of dread at that last thought. She couldn't let someone flounder around like this without teaching her something of proper conduct.

"I'd be quite happy to join you, Lady Valisa." She smiled again and reached out for a handshake, making a beaded bird on her sleeve glitter. "I'm still rather sore from riding, but I should be able to keep a good pace."

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Old 07-13-2016, 07:59 AM   #6
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“I could not imagine having one let alone a couple at the same time,” she murmured, but stating it as fact and not out of fear.

There was a look of concern as Sabur mentioned being sore. “If you need to rest at any time, please let me know and we can find a lovely place to sit,” she spoke. The girl lacked the guile needed to survive such a place and at times it was quite obvious that she did not even want to be here despite its beauty and who her relations were. At least to her they were all still strangers to acquaintances.

“There is a whisper that somewhere there is a statue, a very graphic statue of a woman and a swan. I will make attempts to avoid it, but I do not know exactly where it is quite yet to skirt around it,” she spoke as they began to walk and she picked the direction towards the gardens having seen the place before, but liking it above all else.
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Old 07-15-2016, 06:39 PM   #7
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More signs of the poor thing's lack of sophistication--distasteful or not, Valisa certainly didn't have the eloquence to state her opinion properly. It wouldn't do for Valisa to say anything that could HINT at disapproval of her kin's castle. She was too old to be brushed off as a young girl who didn't know the rules, and too young for people to stay quiet for fear of insulting a woman of age as well as status.

"No trouble about the statue, my lady," Sabur told her, filing smoothly behind the other woman. "Perhaps in a day or two, we could go riding or visit Tal Valorro? I've heard of the city's beauty from many merchants crossing the border, and from Her Grace as well, but seeing it in person is even more remarkable."
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Old 07-18-2016, 08:33 AM   #8
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If only Valisa’s mother told her daughter who her father was. She was content to being a country mouse with no interest in learning the etiquette and intrigues of the royal family. Now that she is, it only hurt her just like the Prince’s actions and her Uncle’s physical punishment did when she spoke her mind instead of keeping silent. It was a logical conclusion but some how that harried the prince, but she would never give up on the idea of it. Women could fight too; they would need to as well especially if their men continued to fall in battle. Of course, she was not completely oblivious to their ways and how it affected the people around them. The other girls that came with her were having difficult times communicating just as they were getting their noses turned up at them as soon as one of them spoke which forced Valisa to try harder to help ‘correct’ their speech, but it was not to be an immediate change. This place only managed to remind her how much she hated it here. At least, she still pretended to smile and to feel fine. She should be honored…her foot. She wanted to go home, but now that one of her cousins was married to another cousin, it would mean she was stuck here even more in order to protect Damiata or show her how to survive. How could she though if she did not even know the steps to the dance to survive as well?

She gave a gentle smile that seemed to be more like relief and a ray of sunshine in an otherwise dreary situation. “I would like that, my lady. That sounds quite lovely,” she murmured. All she heard of Tal Valorro is that it was big, noisy and overcrowded with people, but there might be some beauty to it as well. However, she was thinking of other things to let it tumble out of her mouth and remained silent for the time being.
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Old 07-22-2016, 04:47 PM   #9
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"Where does your family live, Lady Valisa?" Sabur asked as they continued. "I don't think I heard anything from the queen about relatives outside of her immediate family, but the subject never came up."

That was mostly because she'd decided to stay politely at arm's length from the queen--Queen Charlotte had understandably been more focused on discussing her country's state instead of social matters like her family. (Apart from Princess Valencia and her Trimerid husband, of course.) Moreover, the queen's conversations left little room for others to talk, and it reminded Sabur uncomfortably of the telltale vanity of her own mother.

“Here’s the new lady-in-waiting!” A voice called in Trimeran-accented Edoleen, and Sabur waved as her cousin Idris caught up with them. His tunic was a green brocade with peach-orange diamonds, warming up his dark brown skin. A good night's sleep had restored much of his energy, but his right leg had the telltale heaviness of a limp. "I told you they wouldn't toss us in the throne room with traveling cloaks and dirty boots. If only we'd bet on it."

"My purse is eternally thankful, Idris," Sabur retorted gently. "Lady Valisa, this is my cousin Idris al-Tamini. He came with me from Trimeris."

"My lady." Idris bowed. "And where are you taking my cousin on such a nice day?"
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Old 07-26-2016, 08:05 AM   #10
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“Mirrormount, my lady, in the mountains of Westridge,” she answered. Valisa was not entirely sure if she should correct Sabur’s thinking. She was a bastard born to one of the King’s brothers. More than likely the Queen did not know of her yet or maybe she did with the letters that were written and sent to keep people abreast of the information of the Royals’ day to day.

Another approached as she heard the voice before laid eyes upon him. “Good day to you,” she spoke when she was introduced and then smiled just as sweetly when she smiled towards Sabur. “To the gardens, Lord Idris, would you care to accompany us?” She asked observing the handsomeness between the pair of cousins was as beautiful as the othe Vellfyres, Solvitreos and such. Of course, she completely forgot to lump herself in that category now too.

“Beautifully designed and a momentary reprieve until I need to gather up some herbs,” she added happily.
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Old 08-01-2016, 03:25 PM   #11
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"Do you mean herbs of the cooking or healing sort, Lady Valisa?" Sabur linked arms with Idris. "Either one is a useful talent, but I'm not acquainted with the Edolene customs--" She slowed down a bit when they turned a corner and Idris stumbled. "Are you all right, Idris?"

"Just my leg," he assured, and resumed their pace. "It's been like that for two years--there's no surprise there."
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Old 02-11-2017, 12:35 PM   #12
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Default 6 10 331 Morning Courtyard The damage control arrives Valisa OPEN

I read this earlier in the year so Im going off what I remember, but I had the exact same thoughts as you, Allegory I dont remember your name. >.>;;

Like, I was really enjoying the story and was looking forward to reading the sequels until the end because well... the ending really frustrated me

Anyone else have thoughts to share?
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