Title: Royal Funeral
Queen Linnette - October 17, 2010 03:30 AM (GMT)
Queen Linnette did not need the veil that hung in front of her face to conjure a facade of emotion. For her, this funeral was just as real as the truth of her husband's mental state. The man that she had married, the man that had helped to heal the scars left behind after the usurper Zant had ravaged the lands, had vanished, leaving only a child behind for her to tend. As she stood on the castle platform, she knew that the casket before her, though closed and empty, housed the spirit of Aram that had been snatched away in the Eldin Plain.
Her jaw set, the sorrowful Queen stepped forward slightly, forcing herself closer to the casket, which was already wreathed in flowers. Her daughter, Princess Zelda, and her mother-in-law, the former Queen herself, flanked her, and various other members of the nobility fanned out on the sides, down the steps and to the ground level of the Castle grounds. The gates had been opened, allowing those not able to fit inside the courtyard to view the funeral from the streets, though Castle soldiers had been posted to monitor those on the outskirts. It had been the desire of the Queen to include as many citizens of the city as possible: such would have been her husband's wish.
As she cast her hazel eyes to the left, Linnette felt her chest tighten, and the Queen of Hyrule was consumed with a sudden urge for the funeral to be completed, so that she could bury her husband and try to find some normalcy in her life, granted that she now had a permanent child to raise, along with her teenage daughter. But as she continued to glance over those who had come to honor Aram, she felt anger twist its way around the longings of her heart. Amongst the nobility, and not far from the members of the Royal Family, was the representative of Queen Azeari Durai. Though the Gerudo Matron had been invited, she had declined to attend, citing domestic needs as her excuse. In her stead, Kalyani Maat had made the journey to the capital of the Hylians, and seeing her infuriated Linnette.
Leaders of the other peoples of Hyrule had been asked to attend, but on such short notice, many had not been able to complete the journey. That a Gerudo, specifically one dressed in such a way, was an absolute insult to Linnette, and she felt her nostrils flare despite herself. She was inclined to let her irritation supersede her grief, but sense prevailed, and Linnette turned her eyes away, directing them down to the crowd below. The Queen swallowed hard, forcing down the lump in her throat, and stepped back slightly, yielding the place of preeminence to the Archon, and hoped that she could retain her composure throughout the duration of the funeral.
Sephiran - October 17, 2010 06:37 PM (GMT)
The casket was as extravagant as the lie that had been concocted to veil the king's true condition, though it was true that in his current mental the noble Aram was dead to his kingdom. Lord Athanasios followed in behind the nobles with the Pontiffs behind him. As the Queen stepped aside, the Archon took her place at the casket, and the elder clergyman raised a statuette of the royal family's crest and placed it on top of the casket. He stepped back as the three pontiffs each placed a triangle--red, blue, and green--to form a triangle around the seal.
As Sephiran placed his triangle and the triplet began to emit a faint glow, his voice rang out through the crowd as he sang the funeral litany, amplified by his own magical skills:
Requiem æternam dona eis, Regina,
et lux perpetua luceat eis.
Te decet hymnus Dea, in Elysium,
et tibi reddetur votum in Caelum.
Exaudi orationem meam;
ad te omnis caro veniet.
Requiem æternam dona eis, Regina,
et lux perpetua luceat eis.
"Eternal rest give their souls, O Queen" rang heavy on the ears of all that heard the Pontiff of Wisdom as he pled with the Goddesses for eternal rest for their beloved king. Tears flowed from eyes that felt as if a piece of themselves had died. The three pontiffs joined together in a continuation of the litany:
Pie Farore Domina, dona eis requiem.
Dona eis requiem sempiternam.
Pie Din Domina, dona eis requiem.
Dona eis requiem sempiternam.
Pie Nayru Domina, dona eis requiem.
Dona eis requiem sempiternam.
(The Litany is from the Intriot to the Requiem Mass with modifications to make it fit to a goddess-centered Hyrulian religion. The thought behind the three Pontiffs is that they each have characteristics of a seperate religion since the worship of the triplet goddess in our own world is steeped in pluralism and hetero-praxis. Sephiran is like a Catholic priest, Roderick resembles a Tibetan Buddist Monk/Lama, and Driscoll is modeled after a Celtic Druid and Norse Shaman.)
Count Ludovic von Eldrick - October 17, 2010 08:25 PM (GMT)
The day was perfect for a funeral. The blue autumn sky was riddled with small white clouds that drifted across the sun and hid its rays from the congregation below. It seemed that even the heavens wished to veil their eyes from this somber event. The autumn air had a mild chill to it and the soft wind that blew through the royal grounds only served to let the crowd feel nature’s own icy sting of death. The season, after all, was one in which life began to fade, wither, and die, so how proper it was it was to have scheduled the funeral for such a time. Though he had not withered and died in body, king had done so in mind, and though there was no body in the casket (it was filled instead with the heavy rocks to give the illusion that Aram was within it), the kingdom would still suffer. Sounds of mourning filled the air and a bell or two could be heard in the distance as the three holy men gave their plea for King Aram. A few women in particular, three old crones dressed in all black, wailed out above the rest of the crowd and pulled at their wrinkled faces in agony. A few looked toward them frowning, but most of the people that had gathered chose to ignore them. If they chose to express their sorrow in such a way as gnashing their teeth and pulling at their hair and clothes, then so be it.
From the branch of nobles that had fanned out to the Queen’s right, Count Ludovic, stepped forward as the pontiffs finished their mantra. The disgust he held for their ridiculous religious practices was hidden behind a look of sorrow. It appeared that the nobleman was going to weep, but he would not make a fool out of himself. A tear or two perhaps, but nothing like the performance he had given in front of the Queen Mother. The Count, however, was clad in a wardrobe different from his usual attire. Ludovic, his long silver hair tied back into a ponytail at the base of his neck, chose to wear his father’s old formal wear. The Lunatic only wore this ensemble on one of two occasions, that being funerals or weddings—not that he had attended many of the latter in the past. In the place of his ebony coloured armour or Manchurian coat, was a high collared black waistcoat over a black vest and gloves. The waistcoat was decorated with golden thread along the trim and golden buttons while the vest was trimmed with a bit of silver. His boots rose to his knees, and concealed his trousers up to that point, all of which were black as night. Ludovic’s cape, draped across his neck and held in place by two silver clasps, was ebony on the outer part, but white on the inside.
Ludovic, his arms stretched out before him, raised the king’s rapier to the heavens and took a knee before the coffin as he bowed his head. He feigned a silent prayer before lowering it down on to the casket, placing it below the Triforce symbol that the Pontiffs and Archon had created so that the blade was toward the foot of the death-box and the hilt toward the head. After a few moments, Ludovic rose and gave the holy symbol for the Triforce before wiping a tear from his eyes and returning to his place in the crowd of nobility. As he went, his golden eyes were set ahead as if fixed in a trance. He made eye contact with no one to further push his desire for appearing so laden with sorrow that his mind was elsewhere and thus left his features blank.
((OoC: Just in case, Ludovic's/Lucian's formal wear is the same that is pictured with Lucian's Picture in Ludovic's profile.))
Duke Jealfen Daast - October 18, 2010 03:59 AM (GMT)
For Fen, attending two large funerals within the span of six weeks was far too many. Standing amongst the rest of the nobility, he could not bring himself to face the casket of King Aram, even though he knew it was a facade, as the image of his late father remained rooted in his mind. It was cruelly ironic, he supposed, that he had advocated the false funeral of the monarch who had relied heavily on the advice of his prestigious father. Perhaps it would seem coincidental to the more astute citizens of the city; perhaps now even more suspicious scrutiny would descend on the remnants of his family. It was a prospect that he dreaded.
To his left, Raz glanced over with some measure of concern. Unlike himself, Fen had obviously not managed to recover much rest after Bohden had been cast into his proper place, and this was not an event that Fen should have attended given his apparent inability to sleep. However, Fen's presence was mandatory, save if he had been seriously ill, though Raz had had to remind his brother of that several times. On the other side of Fen, Duchess Morianna glanced over and made eye contact briefly with Raz. The dark-haired nobleman nodded in silent agreement, and Morianna subsequently returned her attention forward, but not before muttering quietly to her husband, Duke Bredyn, who was standing with her.
"Who is that?"
Though Taran had whispered, Raz inwardly curse as several other members of the nobility glanced his way. Looking over at Taran, on his left, Raz followed the gaze of Duke Zalamoxis across the steps to the left wing of the nobility and immediately noticed the object of his ogling. "Put your eyes back in your head, Taran," Raz admonished, his voice hardly more than a hiss. "That is Kalyani Maat, representative of Queen Azeari Durai, and a distant relation of mine."
"You are related to her?" Taran sounded completely astounded that his patron family could have blood ties to someone like Kalyani.
"And you are married," reminded Raz sharply, noticing that Taran's eyes had not left the low cut, swooping onyx dress that Kalyani had adorned for this solemn occasion.
Taran finally turned to regard Raz, and his expression was somewhat incredulous. "What point are you attempting to make, Lord Rhylzynar?"
"Hush!" Morianna chided just as Fen had glanced up in disbelief at Taran. The Duchess huffed and snapped her head forward, some of her wavy blonde hair catching the autumn breeze.
Taran mumbled under his breath, but otherwise remained respectfully silent. Raz looked past him, attempting to concentrate on the words of the religious officials. He watched Count Ludovic approach the casket and place King Aram's rapier on top of it. Raz's dark eyebrows rose with interest, and his deep blue eyes followed the Count as he returned to his place amongst the ranks of the nobility.
Feeling audacious today, Count Ludovic? The wheels of Raz's sharp mind turned as he gazed back towards the casket of King Aram and the Royal Family, most of whom, save the former Queen Zelda, were weeping silently.
Amoniel - October 19, 2010 04:02 AM (GMT)
Like distant whispers, the words of the litany brushed against the edges of Rin's ears as she slunk around the outskirts of the gathered crowd. If she had felt any sort of connection to the deceased King Aram, then she might have paused to listen or to pay her respects. However, there were far more important things at the forefront of the thief’s thoughts, such as gleaning a profit from the sea of nobles before her. The fact that she was one of the first members of the Street Rats to arrive at the funeral did not deter her in the slightest; Rin was quite accustomed to operating entirely on her own.
With her dark eyes focused ahead of her, Rin quickly made her way around the back of the crowd. Several members in the back appeared to be lacking in both fortune and resources better, so Rin bypassed them without sparing a glance. Closer to the gates of the Castle, the dark-haired girl slipped into the mass of people, not for the first time thankful for her lack of height. She had not yet seen anyone associated with the Daast family, but in truth she had not been searching for them. She did not believe that the nobleman would dare to act in such public circumstances, even if by some extreme coincidence he managed to spot her. For her part, Rin had no intention of robbing him even if she did locate him.
Do they think that all the thieves of Hyrule are simply going to ignore all of this? Or did they think that Aram was too important for thievery? Rin snorted as she made her way carefully through those who had come to honor the former monarch, rolling her eyes derisively as she did. Perhaps they just assumed no security was necessary. Of course everyone will be much too occupied to ignore the money in their neighbors' pockets, just like those nobleman are all honest citizens whose sole concern is the welfare of the lowest classes.
A small snort escaped Rin as she crept past the gates, vanishing into the groups of people gathered in the courtyard of the Castle. Deftly she reached out and removed a handful of yellow rupees from the pocket of a man nearest her, whose contents she had heard jingle when he had shifted his position. Stuffing them inside her own tunic, Rin continued on her rounds, moving closer to the nobility and the promise of larger rewards.
Odessa - October 19, 2010 09:01 PM (GMT)
With her black hood concealing her face from the mild air and peering eyes, Odessa forced her way through the crowds of commoners and nobility until she was at the very spot where the lesser nobility and the upper middle class merged. Looking up, she saw her uncle and his wife Serra, clad in the family colors of blue, silver, and black, standing beside the cruel noble she knew to be Lord Raz. She frowned a bit and clenched her fists as Sorien, taking hold of the weeping Serra’s hand to give her comfort, gave a small, but sorrowful smile to Raz. How could her uncle even bear to be in that man’s presence, much less smile at him? The thought of it sickened the young Duchess and had it not been for the occasion, she may have confronted her kin and spoken to him about it. At least she knew now that he was well.
Silently, she pressed herself against a few of the people in front and beside her, for that certain section was quite crowded. Her hands, once folded in front of her slid slowly to her sides and then moved toward their intended targets. Odessa cut her eyes to the side to ensure that she was going in the right direction, and from a noble’s dainty purse, she retrieved a single purple rupee. Next, she tried to nab something from a young man’s pocket. The pocket watch he wore, however hindered her progress as it began to tug at his vest and attract his attention. Thankfully, he just shifted his weight as Odessa recoiled and then patted his pocket instinctively before crossing his arms and focusing his attention back on the ceremony. As the girl’s heart beat began to steady, she relaxed a bit more and thanked the Goddesses that she had not been caught in that instance. Again, her dark purple eyes drifted toward the Royal Family and Council, and for a moment, her eyes lingered on Raz. She felt the urge to move elsewhere in the crowd at that instance, but she would have to wait a bit longer before traveling further into the congregation.
Duke Jealfen Daast - October 25, 2010 03:30 AM (GMT)
"Father, how can you not see that you are making a mistake? I will never be nothing more than I am now!"
Fen, pacing the length of the room, refused to acknowledge the heat in his face and the knots in his stomach. He was absolutely convinced that his father was committing the most egregious error of his entire life, and yet for some reason he could not see that he had strayed.
"I have faith in you, Jealfen."
"Like you have in Bohden?" Fen's retort was desperate, the anger behind it searching for a way to alter the responsibility abruptly thrust upon him. "What makes you think that I will ever be more than him?!"
"Do not be so quick to embrace the condemnations of others," returned Leovir calmly, his sapphire eyes fixated on his son, "For they will do naught but devour the foundations of your confidence."
Fen was sorely tempted to inquire what his father was referencing, but instead rotated away, directing his eyes into the wall as he clenched his hands. It was not possible, he believed; he was altogether unsuited to the task that his father had proposed.
"You believe my decision errant," Leovir observed, "Yet you fail to realize the focal point of it all. You are my son, Jealfen, and you have inherited all the courage and wisdom of your forefathers. If anything were to happen to me, then I trust beyond any doubt that you would rise to the occasion." Rising from his chair, Leovir strode across the room and put a hand on his son's shoulder. "But I cannot simply give you the strength that you require. Believe in yourself, Fen."
"What is he doing here? By Nayru, that man has absolutely no wherewithal."
Lifting his eyes, Fen glanced aimlessly out across the ranks of the nobility, seemingly oblivious to Taran's heated remark, hushed though it was.
His expression elicited some measure of concern from Rhylzynar, though the latter subsequently found himself occupied with the task of reprimanding Taran. Ignoring his sister's heated glare, Raz faced Taran. "A little more tact would certainly not go amiss," he cautioned, vexed that the other nobleman had possessed the ignorance to say such at thing at the funeral for King Aram.
Glancing back over his shoulder, Raz managed a curt smile and a nod of acknowledgement for Marquis Sorien before returning forwards, his orphic eyes finding the empty casket of the monarch. Six members of the Royal Guard had emerged from behind Queen Linnette and now slipped past the Pontiffs and the Archon, ready to remove the casket to the Royal Tomb once this portion of the funeral had concluded.
Fen, for his part, had not noticed the newcomers to the procession. Blankly he gazed passed those gathered to pay their respects to Aram, his mind consumed by what he had lost.
"Believe in yourself, Fen."
How earnestly he wished that simple statement could be made to resemble reality.
Sir Hayden - October 25, 2010 04:36 AM (GMT)
A search for truth begins inside
The Mothers arms are open wide
Her light is soft, sweet glow of love
A safe place you only once dreamed of
Fear not death, nor from it hide
She holds your hand, she is your guide
Goddess too in glory and power
When humbled in your darkest hour
Her eyes is where the universe lays
Comfort through your longest days
A shining tear upon her cheek
She's raised your spirit when you were weak
Arms that hold are safe and strong
When faith is lost and hope is gone
She hears your prayers when all is still
To strengthen your spirit and your will
A Mothers delight as her child grows
Though fear and pain leave scars that show
A quest so far and a journey long
To find your way just follow her song
The Archon's voice rang out over the crowd as he gave forth a litany to invoke the guidance of the Great Mothers for King Aram's spirit. Hayden wondered how the holy man could so readily act as if the king was truly gone when he knew the truth. The paladin stood directly behind the queen as he honor guard along with a few other high ranking Knights of Hyrule. He listened to Athanasios today as he had so often in the past, clinging to every word. As a knight, piety had been ingrained into Hayden from a young age, and the cavalier took his faith very seriously. He appreciated all the church's words whether they came from the young Driscoll, the middle-aged Sephiran, or the aged Roderick, but Hayden's favorite preacher was undoubtably Athanasios. To the other three, there were the Goddesses, but to Athanasios there was only the Goddess, the ethereal matron whose all encompassing power was one presented in the triplet sisters: Virgin, Mother, and Crone.
Down in the crowd, Oleksandr watched yet another state funeral, but one that was far more extravagant and grave than those of Leovir and Lyshek. He felt his butt being touched, but gave it no mind as there were so many people about. Whether it was a pervert or a mistake, the knight did not care, but he was fixated on Hayden, waiting for his Commander to make a move and giving the signal for his lieutenant to go alert the soldiers outside the palace to form up and prepare for the funeral procession.
With the Archon finished, Hayden and the other five knights stepped forward and took hold of the casket. The requiem was sung, the eulogy read, and the benediction given. Now it was time to lay the "king" to rest. The six pallbearers turned to face the crowd with Hayden on the front right side of the casket, and they began their descent down the stairs where a wagon waited for their burden. The Pontiffs and the Archon repeated the requiem one final time together.Requiem æternam dona eis, Regina,et lux perpetua luceat eis.Te decet hymnus Dea, in Elysium,et tibi reddetur votum in Caelum.Exaudi orationem meam;ad te omnis caro veniet.Requiem æternam dona eis, Regina,et lux perpetua luceat eis.
Their song ceased as the knight's reached the decorated wagon into which the casket was slid, and Hayden moved to mount his black Friesian Joyeuse as other soldiers straightened the pall draped over the king's casket. The Commander swallowed hard before giving the command to advance, "Caisson! HO!"
Hayden kicked Joyeuse, and the horse set out, followed by the wagon drawn by six horses with three riders mounting the horses to the left of the casket's head. Behind the group, a caparisoned horse, riderless with the king's boots turned backwards to invoke the image that he was gazing upon his subjects as the group rode away, followed behind the cart that held his majesty's casket led by one of the honor guard. With that, the funeral procession was on.
(Hope I'm not moving things too quickly, and forgive me for being a nerd. Had to look up military funerals on Youtube. XP The above Poem is adopted and modified from this Isis Poem
Count Ludovic von Eldrick - October 25, 2010 11:08 PM (GMT)
With his hands folded behind him, Ludovic waited impatiently for the priests to get on with their religious songs and litanies. Already it felt as if this ceremony was taking longer than was deemed necessary, but with the loud wails interrupting the Archon’s message and the bitter tears that soon followed, a short funeral was not to be expected. If only it had been as simple as Leovir’s and Hatori’s, but since it was the King, the entire ritual had to be longer and more elaborate. Why couldn’t they just dig a hole and toss the casket in it? The man was ‘dead’ and wouldn’t know the difference between that or this extensive ceremony.
The Count’s golden eyes swept over the other nobles, naturally, Sorien and his spouse were weeping, as was the Royal Family—except the Queen Mother. The lunatic’s eyes set on her for a moment as his mind mulled over a few thoughts, but he averted his gaze before she could catch on. The old crone was the only true obstacle in his path… She was old and it would not come as a surprise should she pass on to the next realm. Ludovic grinned inwardly as he mused about the idea of another funeral, but unlike Aram’s, it would not be a clever disguise; it would be real and the casket would enclose in its chambers the true flesh of noble blood.
At last the march was on, and after the King’s wagon and the Royal Guard had departed, the Royal Council and Family members soon followed. It would be a decent walk to the burial grounds and many had chosen to mount their steeds instead of walk. Naturally, a carriage would be provided to transport the three women of the Royal house to the tomb. Ludovic took his black Shire by the reigns and mounted the giant of a horse. Once saddled upon Tyre, the Count swung the stallion around to follow the procession, but he stayed to the side of the Royal Carriage so that he was in sight of the Queen, the Princess, and the Crone. From his high position on Tyre, his eyes couldn't help but fall on the golden crown that rested upon the velvet pillow next to Queen Linette. He knew that Linette would be unnerved and that the elder Zelda wouldn’t be so keen with his presence, but he had become accustomed to her scoldings, besides, he doubted she would speak against him at the present, unless of course her passion consumed her and she was unable to hold her tongue any longer.
((OoC: We cannot forgive you for your nerdiness... it is a crime forgotten only by death. So sacrifice yourself and we'll THINK about your apology--no promises. JK XP I had to look stuff up too.))
Lord Raz Jiar - October 26, 2010 03:25 AM (GMT)
The parallels were not easy for Rhylzynar to ignore. Though his facade remained stoic, even detached, his mind could clearly see the resemblance to the two other prominent funerals that he had attended within the last year. The casket, he knew, could have just as easily contained the corpse of his father, and as a result the nobleman was sorely tempted to acquiesce to his mind's wishes, to drift back into sorrowful reminisces centered on his father who had been callously snatched from him. But Raz, more so than his brother, recognized clearly the value of separating reality from the past. In all truth, it was not what he desired, yet Raz nevertheless pushed past it, refusing to acknowledge any thought of Leovir and walking forward down the steps.
The eloquent litany of the Archon had concluded, and, as the casket of King Aram was carried to the waiting carriage, Raz anticipated the protocol that his social status required. Heading down the staircase, Raz paused just long enough to give the procession the space that respect demanded, and then retrieved Xenarchos and Sarpdeon from the grooms who held them.
"Mind your haste," hissed Morianna once he had returned, "Or one might think that you are anxious to leave."
Raz prudently withheld the retort at the forefront of his tongue and instead handed the reins of Sarpedon to Fen. The young Duke Daast accepted them without a glance and silently swung into the saddle of the grey Gerudo stallion. Raz glanced at him with concern, but did not speak as he mounted Xenarchos. The painted stallion, his nostrils flared, eyed the gathering of people with alarm and tensed beneath Raz, swinging his hindquarters inadvertently towards Sarpedon. Raz immediately averted a confrontation by pressuring the inexperienced stallion's left hip, forcing him to step away from Sarpedon. Fen looked back briefly over his shoulder, but then rotated forward, his attention commanded by Sarpedon.
"I am surprised that you let him take that horse." Taran, drawing his chestnut gelding to a halt, did not bother to exclude the scorn from his voice.
Had Raz not been preoccupied with keeping Xenarchos on the ground, then he would have likely struck Duke Zalamoxis across the face for such a remark. It was the utmost injury of etiquette to critique the decisions of one's patron, especially in public. "I am surprised that your head is still attached to your body, Taran," he snapped in response.
"And I can assure you both that you will receive early demises if you do not acquire a little more tact!" Duchess Morianna, her face twisted into a scowl, glared irately at Raz and Taran. She let her threat linger before taking the reins of her mare and moving closer to her husband.
For his part, Raz recognized the warning and urged Xenarchos forward, as he did not want to incur the wrath of his adopted sister. Fen had directed Sarpedon to flank the Royal Carriage on the left, though he had left several lengths of distance between them. Keeping contact with Xenarchos' mouth, Raz moved the youthful stallion slightly to the outside of Sarpedon. Morianna and her husband, Duke Bredyn, positioned their horses behind Sarpedon. Because of his temporary status on the Council of Advisors, Taran was forced to wait until the end of the procession before he and his sister, who had accompanied him, could join. The rest of the nobility fell into line behind him as the Royal Carriage and the wagon bearing Aram's casket headed for the Royal Tomb.
How many of them will doubt what has been fed to them? How many would ever suspect that what lies in the casket is naught but a collection of rocks? Raz allowed his eyes to pass over the members of the lower classes that had gathered for the funeral. It is well that most accept the truth as such, he decided, for an intelligent dog is often difficult to lead.
Holding Xenarchos steady, Raz looked past Fen to Count Ludovic, who was positioned on the opposite side of the carriage. How fortunate for the Count that he can produce a convincing facade.
Queen Linnette - October 29, 2010 03:23 AM (GMT)
Linnette was not certain whether it was grief or anger that constricted her throat as she climbed into the carriage, settling adjacent to the window and across from her mother-in-law. The litanies of the Archon and the requiem chanted by the Pontiffs had been eloquently delivered; so much so that it kindled the grief that already existed within the Queen of Hyrule. The reality had weighed upon her heavily as she had walked down the steps to the carriage, and now, biting the inside of her lower lip, Linnette felt its cold sting. It heralded the onslaught, she knew, of an eruption of doubt and despair, for the man she had known and loved had been lost to the Eldin Plains.
At the same time, however, Linnette felt unmistakable anger boiling in the pit of her stomach. Perhaps it resulted from the ubiquitous lie that the funeral represented, that she and the Council were leading the entire population of Hyrule to believe a fallacy. Yet there also existed the fury that emanated from Queen Zelda, which in the small confines of the carriage was quite tangible. Linnette knew the former monarch had every reason to be enraged, and that, she supposed, was the reason why she felt a similarly irate frustration.
"What is he doing that close to the carriage?"
Furrowing her brows at her daughter's scorn, Linnette glanced over and found Princess Zelda glaring out of the window. The Queen looked over herself and saw that Count Ludovic von Eldrick and his large horse were flanking the Royal carriage on its left side. He had left respectfully left some distance between them, so, in protocol, Linnette could not see a fault that would elicit such acidity from her daughter.
"It is his place, dear," reminded the Queen, though perhaps more forcefully than she had intended, "He is one of the leading members of the Council, now that Duke Leovir is no longer present."
Princess Zelda muttered a slight towards the Count under her breath, but Linnette knew it stemmed from her general disdain for the Council, which had been simmering ever since Duke Leovir had entertained the notion of arranging a marriage with his son, Jealfen. With a huff, naturally to cover her anger, Princess Zelda folded her arms and pulled her head away, staring out of the other window spitefully.
"Stop the carriage!"
Queen Zelda's order was barked, nearly screamed, and before the bewildered soldiers could react, the former monarch threw open the door and stepped to the ground, just as the carriage had come to a halt. Without paying a bit of notice to those surrounding her, Zelda marched past the procession and back towards the castle. Fire burned in her blue eyes and her fists were clenched tightly at her sides. Heedless of the consequences and the numerous stairs, Zelda deliberately marched past the other members of the Council, the representative of the Gerudo Queen, and ascended the steps to the Castle.
For a moment, Linnette found herself unable to respond. Her mother-in-law had been seething throughout the entire funeral, yet Linnette had not suspected that she would succumb to such wrath. In her wake, most of those gathered gaped at the retreating Queen, and Linnette could hear the whispers and sense the disquiet that instantly arose. Subsequently taking a breath to steady herself, Linnette recovered her composure and turned to the driver.
"Proceed," she ordered. The carriage driver nodded and immediately returned to his seat, twitching the long-reins and clucking to the four draft horses. Nodding to the rest of the Council, Linnette returned to her seat and closed the door, deliberately avoiding the eyes of her daughter as the funeral procession neared the tomb of the Royal Family.
((MS gave me permission to control Zelda, obviously. :D ))
Kalyani Maat - November 2, 2010 03:16 AM (GMT)
For her part, Kalyani was, at present, content to play the role to which she had been assigned, the one that presented her as a humble vassal of Queen Azeari and one who, like the rest of the mourners arrayed before the Castle, was deeply grieved by the sudden passing of King Aram Hyrule. It was not difficult for her to assume a facade of sincerity; after all, the funeral for Duke Leovir had not been so many weeks previous. That funeral, where Kalyani's relations to the ancient Daast family complicated the situation, had been a much sterner test of her control, and yet she had played her part exactly as her social position had required.
Nevertheless, Kalyani found the procession of King Aram somewhat vexing. Standing silently to amongst the left wing of the nobility, she had been forced to wait while the casket was transported to the wagon and while the Royal Family climbed into the carriage provided for them. Then, still appearing appropriately sorrowful, she stood silently as the members of the monarch's Council settled into their positions behind the wagon bearing Aram's casket and the carriage. Only then, as decorum dictated, could Kalyani gracefully mount her black mare, Zenaida, and join the funeral procession.
Wouldn't it be a shame if I were somehow to attract more attention than Aram himself? Zelda would never forgive me if that were to occur, though I hardly give credence to the opinions of a fallen hero who has descended into senility. Cognizant of the stares she was receiving, Kalyani held her scarlet head high, purposefully focusing her attention on the casket of King Aram, showing the citizens of the City that she was indeed sincere. Honestly, it is as though they have never beheld a Gerudo in their entire life...
A grin threatened to breech her facade, but Kalyani deftly suppressed it. Her brows then furrowed as the carriage in front of the members of the Councilors halted. All at once, Kalyani was aware of a sudden spike in the atmosphere, one that heralded magic much more powerful than her own. The Gerudo reflexively tensed, as her training had her at once shifting all of her thoughts to the defensive, making her ready to summon her control of the sands. It was a disconcerting notion that, as Zelda stormed away from the carriage, that she lacked sufficient power to hope to thwart the Queen in her present state, but Kalyani refused to entertain that thought.
What would so anger the wretch that she would leave the funeral of her only child? Despite herself, Kalyani could not help casting a glance over her shoulder, her sapphire eyes following the retreating Queen back up the steps and into the depths of the Castle. I would not have expected her to shed a tear, but to disrupt the ceremony before it has even reached the tomb? What are you concealing, Zelda?
Her curiosity piqued, Kalyani rotated forwards, her posture relaxing when the enormous presence that was Queen Zelda, bearer of the Triforce of Wisdom, moved farther away from her. The procession, fixated on the outburst of the Queen, had resumed its journey, and Kalyani dutifully followed her course. But the wheels of her sharp mind were turning, and her gaze bored into the back of her distant cousin, Lord Rhylzynar Daast, while the funeral procession approached its destination.
Amoniel - November 7, 2010 03:15 AM (GMT)
The procession was moving. Rin, with her dark head bowed to avoid detection, sensed the sudden shift of the guests and onlookers as the casket of King Aram began its journey towards the burial chamber of the Royal Family. Their attention, which had been stalwartly riveted to the balcony and steps of Hyrule Castle, now perceivably moved, drawn by the wagon and those who followed it. One by one the members of the crowd began to file after the procession, sliding into some line of importance of which everyone seemed to have inherent knowledge until all those gathered around the Castle were marching towards the tomb.
Rin was among them. As though she belonged, as though she held any semblance of remorse for the monarch's passing, she ambled out of the gates of the Castle, slipping into the ranks of the less privileged. From there, she waited, biding her time as she allowed herself to drift with the procession, until the opportunity presented itself to resume invoking her light-fingered talents.
It would be nice if I was not the only one making a profit today, she thought with a roll of her dark eyes, though I'm sure the rest of them are out here. Rin made it a point of avoiding those with whom she was familiar when out on assignment, but in cases such as this it would have been somewhat reassuring to know that she was not winning the bread for all of them. I wonder if Odessa's managed to get anything....but it's probably not easy to steal when you're trying to pay your respects to someone, as if he deserves them.
Trying not to snort, Rin allowed herself a derisive smirk as she increased her pace slightly. Now that the majority of the attendees appeared preoccupied, the lissome thief was confident enough to search for more funds. Leaving the lower-class citizens behind, she made her way nearer towards the head of the procession and joined the ranks of those nobles who were on foot. Silently, one of her small hands pierced the purse of a noblewoman, whom Rin considered extremely foolish for carrying money on her person, and twisted away with a red rupee in hand.
Then, just as she was searching for her next target, Rin became aware that the entire procession had halted. Glancing up, she thought she could discern the figure of the king's mother walking angrily back towards the Castle. The thief found herself distracted for a moment, but only for the duration of time that was required for the procession to continue on its course. As soon as the pace returned to those following the casket of King Aram and the members of his Council, Rin was back in stride, determined to gain as many funds as possible from the many members of the nobility who were present.
Elwise Rhys - November 16, 2010 01:39 AM (GMT)
The closest ties Elwise had to nobility was his cousin Hayden who was the heir of Magvel Rhys, a baron who oversaw a fertile parcel of land to the north in Lanayru Province. However, the mage still attended the funeral in a state of shock upon hearing of the death of the monarch of Hyrule. The dark haired scholar found himself standing on a balcony with Archmage Athos, a hoary bearded man in his eighties given his continual vitality from a well-trained connection to the mystical energies around him, and Professor Lothringia Friedrich, Provost Magister of the Arcane University and Archmage Athos' hand-picked successor. The dark-haired woman was affectionately called the "Ice Queen" by those who could get away with it, mainly her former-student-turned-colleague Elwise, due to her embrace of the water and ice energies of the Triforce. She too was in awe of the death of King Aram, but not Lord Athos. He stated that it was written in the stars, but then again, the Archmage had access to sources within the ranks of the palace that the depth of his knowledge was probably very privileged intel gained from nobles and palace staff that had studied under him at the University. Unlike a good portion of his subordinates that remained detatched from their students, the Archmage made it a point to meet with every student at least every six months to assess their progress, give advice, and socialize in general.
The procession passed in front of the balcony from which the three wizards and other of the University's staff watched with solemn reverance for the man who lay in the casket. Hayden chanced a glance to Elwise who smiled faintly and nodded to his cavalier cousin. Professor Friedrich made a comment to the Archmage about the queen's behavior, and the older man chuckled and nodded. Lord Athanasios looked up to where the mages sat, and the Archmage waved to his distant cousin the Archon who was a powerful sorceror in his own right. Elwise considered this fact with a smile. The blood-ties of the nobility ran thick and tangled. The fiery political opponents who would just as soon knife each other in the back, sat at the supper table together on midsummer's day and new year's eve, and would probably marry one another's distant cousin. Oh well, that was a discussion for another day. Now the focus was on mourning for the King and his family, praying for his happy afterlife with the Goddesses.
Duke Jealfen Daast - November 18, 2010 04:27 AM (GMT)
There was no possible way to escape the noise. Like a fiery ocean it rose and fell, rolling over itself into a condemning crescendo as it sprayed lava against the back of his throat. It consumed his energy, ripped the base from beneath his resolve, and brought moisture to the forefront of his eyes. It was ubiquitous, haunting his every step, and Fen found that he could not adequately distance himself. Yet even as marble became stone, as shadows from the colonnade disfigured the moonlight, it enveloped him, dragging his attention back to the depths of the sorrowful house. The inhuman wails and the incessant, insensate speech ripped the grieving heart from the chest of the young man, and he felt his face wet as he moved into a remote section of the garden.
Raz was there, his face buried in his hands, silently reconciling himself with what had befallen the family. Fen, guided only by his legs, sat on the bench opposite his adopted brother and attempted to wipe the moisture from his visage.
"How are we to respond?" Fen blurted after a moment, no longer able to fight the silence that surrounded him.
Rhylzynar was slow to find his voice. His shoulders heaved as he composed himself, and when he spoke, his voice was beset with the depth of his turmoil. "I...I know not," he admitted, looking away from Fen. "It is not something that you could ever conceivably accept...."
Had not Duke Jealfen nearly been unseated by his late father's stallion, then the memory would have utterly consumed him, dragging his mind down the darker paths of bereavement. But as it was, the sudden movement of Queen Zelda, along with the rage the emanated from her, startled Sarpedon. The grey Gerudo stallion, surprised by the Queen's abrupt, aggressive retreat, threw his weight to the right and almost shifted out from underneath of Fen. Only Fen's experience saved him, and he automatically adjusted his own weight as his mind returned to the present.
"Someone's in a pleasant mood."
Even though Taran was near the rear of the Council procession, Fen could still perceive his tactless comment and started to glance in his direction, when Raz moved Xenarchos even with Sarpedon. The painted stallion's nostrils were flared in alarm, and it was obvious that Raz was not at all pleased with the horse.
Fen exchanged a glance briefly with his brother, before turning his blonde head forward and nudging Sarpedon with his heels. The Gerudo stallion flipped up his head, sending a cascade of dark forelock spilling over his face, and started into a jog, testing Fen's hold on the reins. The youthful Duke's face fell into a scowl as he held his seat, his mind threatening to wander once more.
"I do not favor this place." It was errant to say, much less to even consider, but as the procession approached the Royal Tomb, Fen found that he had to voice his thoughts.
"Nor do I." Raz's reply was low, yet it earned him a scathing look of reproach from Morianna. The Duchess, having dismounted her mare, walked past her siblings after the procession. Those on foot had now gathered outside the Royal tomb, and the pallbearers were preparing to transport the empty casket of King Aram.
For Fen, the funeral could not conclude quickly enough.
Count Ludovic von Eldrick - November 19, 2010 09:37 PM (GMT)
Tyr whinnied softly as the carriage came to a sudden stop. The black Shire’s front hooves rose a bit from the ground, but his rider managed to keep the horse from rearing up completely. Instead, the large stallion took a few steps back and snorted as he restlessly stamped in place. Ludovic, irked by this sudden stop and childish behaviour, shot the Queen Mother a cold glare as she made her way through the crowd. Apart from her hatred toward him and this false funeral, he knew not her motivation for acting in such a way. But regardless of her passion, it was entirely uncalled for. The Count grumbled a most unflattering expletive toward Zelda under his breath before goading his steed to move forward behind the procession.
Ludovic stifled a yawn as he dismounted and walked over to join the other ranks of nobility who had gathered at the Royal Tomb. The nobleman stood off to the side of the Marquis Lyshek and his wife, giving them a condescending glance which neither seemed to notice. In the Count’s opinion, neither knew what it was to be noble, especially not the peasant-born female who Sorien had plucked from the university. This fact made them even more of a speck in the Lunatic’s eyes—after all, it was something of an unspoken rule that the highborn and plebeians were not to mix and join together in marriage. It was apparent that the Marquis had not remembered such a general condition when choosing his spouse. Ludovic’s golden eyes lingered on Serra for a moment as she wept softly against her husband’s shoulder. He felt the urge to strike her and command her to be silent, but instead, he feigned kindness. “My dearest Marquise, it will be over soon and you shall be able to wail as much as your heart so desires, but for the moment, remain strong. It does not sit well with the common folk to see the pillars of their society crumble at such a time as this....” Serra gave a small frown, but wiped her eyes and stood straight. Sorien, however, whispered something in her ear, which must have reassured her or the like, for it allowed a small smile to appear momentarily. The spell-sword nodded and whispered something back to him before both halted their conversation and remained silent and still.
Ludovic clasped his hands behind his back and looked away from the couple and into the rest of the crowd, where he spotted one of the few foreign ambassadors who had decided to attend the ritual. He gave no indication of his disgust toward the woman who represented the Gerudo nation. “The people of the sands think it unnecessary for their leaders to attend and send their peons in their stead, do they?” The Count let a small, fleeting grin cross his face at the thought, but then directed his attention back to the casket and the ceremony.
As the crowd of mourners shifted to and fro, making their way to the burial grounds in a slow and steady fashion, the leader of the Street Rats let this play to her advantage. Odessa weaved between the people, her dark eyes searching for a prime opportunity. At last, she spotted a middle-class couple having a bit of argument in front of her. They weren’t attracting much attention, but anyone who noticed them would see that they were having some sort of dispute. The raven-haired Duchess patted her cloak and grinned once she realized that she had her small change purse with her. As the group pressed forward, they came to a spot near the edge of the city where the stones of the road, aged and weatherworn, were broken up and some which had been pushed up by the roots of nearby trees. It would be a long shot, but if Odessa could somehow manipulate a stone to rise just a bit more up from the ground...
Every other step, the girl would edge closer and closer to the couple until she was almost breathing down their necks. However, she kept her eyes down to ensure that they were unaware that they were her targets. As they walked, the jingling of the woman’s purse taunted Odessa more and more. The Duchess’s eyes glowed a faint purple as she attempted to move the stone in front of the couple, but it was too set in place. So were all of the other stones that she attempted to manipulate. Agitated, Odessa frowned and glared at the ground as her hand moved to take the change purse from her robes. She popped open the small container and sighed at its contents. A mere purple rupee and a broken silver chain with a small emerald pendant was all that she had managed to nab thus far. Taking another step, the young woman heard the sound of tearing fabric and a short gasp followed by a dull thud. Odessa, tripping over some object, fell forward, and reached out to grasp whatever she could to aid her decent to the ground. As her fingers brushed against skin, they instantly closed, but fell short of the flesh and took hold of cloth instead.
“OW!!” The woman, whose dress had been caught under Odessa’s foot clenched her teeth and glared at the girl. As the enraged woman pushed herself to her knees, she gave an agitated sigh and began picking up the contents of her purse that had spilled. The Duchess, groaning softly, rose to her knees as well, and caught the scowl. “Sorry...” she said softly as she released the husband’s sleeve. All three had fallen, but only the man had managed to keep himself from kissing the ground. “I didn’t mean to. I should have been more alert to where I was—“ “Yeah, you really should have, you...you..little...GRAHH!!!!” the woman gave a frustrated growl and looked at her torn dress. “And now my dress is ruined! Thanks!! Are you happy now!?” Odessa, trying to keep her own anger in check, grabbed her own belongings and quickly stuffed them into her cloak once more while simultaneously pushing the other woman’s stuff away. “I’m sorry” she said in a more monotonous tone as her purple eyes locked with the woman’s, whose husband stepped in before she had a chance to lash out even more. “Igraine,” he helped her up and gave her an admonishing look. “Stop making a scene...THIS is why we are having problems: you and your astounding temper.” Igraine’s face went blood red for a moment and she scowled at both Odessa and her mate. The man jerked his head toward Odessa and Igraine rolled her eyes, preparing to give a half-hearted apology. “Sorry.” She spat and took off through the crowd, forcing her spouse to catch up to her.
The Duchess pulled on the sleeves of her shirt and shook her arms a bit. In response, a couple of rupees jingled into her palm as she strode on. It was more luck than anything that she had managed to land close to the woman’s belongings, and as she swept them to the side, had used her powers to draw a few up into her sleeve. Feeling slightly better for this accomplishment, she crossed her arms and went onward to ‘enjoy’ the rest of the service.
((OoC: LOOK! PEOPLE ARE ALIVE!! O.O Sorry it took a while XP))
Queen Linnette - November 30, 2010 04:58 AM (GMT)
((Moving things along a bit. Forgive me if I seem hasty. :D ))
Linnette was altogether aware of the stares that followed her as she stepped gracefully out of the carriage and onto the marble stairs of the Royal Tomb. The cold scrutiny bore down upon her shoulders, and it was all the Queen could do to brace herself beneath it. The abrupt, angry retreat of her mother-in-law to the Castle smacked of a flaw in the funeral plan, and, despite the grief that emanated from the gathered crowd, Linnette was now more aware of suspicion. The Queen did well to hide her fear behind her onyx veil, forcing herself to concentrate on the situation at hand, forcing herself to concentrate on all that she had lost.
"I don't see why everyone has to stand so close. It's like they actually expect to walk inside the tomb."
Though Princess Zelda's voice was hardly more than a growl, Linnette heard every word as her disgruntled daughter came to stand beside her. For the sake of the family, I hope the citizens take surliness to be a mask for despair. The Queen cast a pointed look sideways at Zelda, and the Princess subsequently refrained from further complaints, though she did glance over her own shoulder towards the congregation of nobles. Linnette did not follow her gaze, for she knew exactly who had attracted her daughter's attention.
Let us just conclude this ceremony with all haste. Clenching her jaw, Linnette motioned for Sir Hayden and the other knights to bear the casket into the Royal Tomb. Then, with her back to the onlookers, she led her daughter through the decorated portal of the Royal Family's burial chamber.
Absolute silence resonated within the expanses of the chambers, and to the Queen each one of her footfalls was a crescendo, increasing in volume as they competed with her pounding heart. It was not any anxiety about her proximity to the bones of her husband's ancestors which disquieted her, but the reality of the life she now lived and the responsibilities she carried. The Council would assist her in every way, she knew, yet she could not shake what Hayden had said to her during the meeting. It was the nature of the nobles to compete for power, to lust for ultimate control of their realm, and Linnette could not help but wonder how long loyalty would linger now that her husband was no longer in control.
Perhaps if I fulfill some of Aram's business that would help to keep things quiet for a fortnight...perhaps it would even deter them for the time being. Biting her lower lip as she glanced at the arches and alcoves, Linnette felt her stomach churn. She knew she did not command even a fraction of the respect her husband had, and, as she watched the empty casket of King Aram being put to rest, she felt that she had every reason to be apprehensive about the coming weeks.
Sephiran - December 2, 2010 03:35 PM (GMT)
Farore, O Vital One Farore, O Virgin Farore, O Young OneFarore, Alone Din, O Burning OneDin, O Mother Din, O Regnal One Din, Alone Nayru, O Wise OneNayru, O CroneNayru, O Dark One Nayru, Alone
Hayden and the other pallbearers approached the marble vault in which "King Aram" would lie in interment, never to be opened again until the day the King truly needed the tomb. The burden of the casket was light compared to the weight if a body had actually been inside, but Hayden felt as if the weight of the casket lay not on his own shoulders, but on the Queen's. Queen Linette knew very well the burden of the crown that she must wear, and Hayden knew that these men present around to "mourn" the death of their king would overrun her majesty's reign in a heartbeat. The knights slowly lowered the casket into the vault as the crowd stood silent. Next, the huge marble lid was placed on top, and a whimper was heard from among the crowd as the "king" was shut up inside.
Athanasios stepped forward and laid hands on the tomb, and the seal between the vault and lid shone with a faint golden light. The tombs of the kings were all magically sealed by tradition, but it was of the utmost importance that no one discover that this tomb was without its occupant. Blesséd Maiden, Mother, and Crone,
Flower and Ivy, Sword-blade, Bone,
Guide this soul unto your own,
Flower and Ivy, Sword-blade, Bone,
Blesséd Maiden, Mother, and Crone.
With a flash and a faint noise, the seal was constructed, and the funeral was concluded. The grand play for the satisfaction of the masses was concluded, and few present knew the truth of the empty tomb. But unlike the empty tomb of a resurrection that offered hope, this empty tomb seemed to be the beginning of a very dark time in Hyrule. Athansios moved to join the three pontiffs, and after bowing to the Queen respectfully, they took a position to the side with the nobility gathered at the tomb. The four hearts were heavy with grief, not for the expired life of any mortal, but of the Hyrulean court.
Hayden approached to the Queen and made an obeisance. "My Lady, with your permission, I will dismiss the crowd so that you and the Royal Family may be alone with His Majesty."
He looked at her with sad eyes and a heart as heavy as either of the Pontiffs. If the Crown ever needed protection from Hayden, the Knight Commander felt it was now that called for his full devotion. He looked around to the other nobles--Ludovic, Sorien, Jealfen, Rhylzynar, Kaliyani, and the others. To him they were like a flock of vultures, ready to burst into a feeding frenzy over what King Aram was no longer able to govern. May the Goddesses have mercy on them all.
Poems modified and taken from:Pagan Chants
Lord Raz Jiar - December 3, 2010 05:13 AM (GMT)
During the course of his twenty-three years, Rhylzynar could recall few other instances when he so suffered from a want of concentration. Under any given circumstances, the youthful nobleman could normally maintain an unnerving level of focus on his goal, which often served to intimidate many of his clients. Yet as the Pontiffs and the Archon delivered their poetic verses, Raz found that he could not discern their words, much less kept his azure eyes centered on the empty casket of King Aram.
It seems as though my intelligence has degenerated enough to betray me entirely, else it has realized that I hold no true remorse in this facade of a ceremony. Despite his brusque thoughts, Raz was well aware of the true reason behind his inability to come to attention. Due east of the Royal Tomb was another marble sepulcher, one which Raz had visited recently. It beckoned his thoughts, threatening to send his mind reeling, but Raz deflected its assault and clenched his hands at his sides. Attempting to distract himself, he glanced over at Fen, who likewise seemed unable to push away sorrowful memories. His eyes were rooted to the ground, though he clearly was not seeing what lay beneath him.
Do you think it would be possible to conclude this before winter comes? A frown creased Raz's face, and he fought hard not to fidget as the Archon finished sealing the casket. He knew, of course, that the funeral had to be made as realistic as possible, lest the masses have the gall to suspect that something was amiss, but could nevertheless not force himself to have patience. As a result, Rhylzynar could only hope that his facade seemed patient enough.
"My Lady, with your permission, I will dismiss the crowd so that you and the Royal Family may be alone with His Majesty."
Raz looked over at Queen Linnette as Sir Hayden addressed her, for she appeared to be deliberating over some decision. She nodded her consent to the Knight Commander, but then rotated back to face the Councilors and their families.
"Lord Rhylzynar," she said, "May I speak with you moment?"
"Of course, Your Majesty," replied Raz at once, stepping away from Fen and Morianna.
Motioning for Hayden to follow, Linnette led them around a corner to a more secluded section of the Royal Tomb, where they were not as likely to be overheard. "I apologize for my unorthodoxy, but I have a request of you, Lord Rhylzynar." The Queen, abruptly realizing that she had let her eyes drop to the ground, immediately returned them to the face of the nobleman. "Amongst my husband's notes, I found one concerning the rise in the number of prisoners in the dungeon and his desire to remove a number of them to the Desert. I would like for you to escort them there, if you are agreeable."
As Queen Linnette then asked Sir Hayden to accompany Raz and oversee the distribution of the criminals in the Desert Prison, Raz fought hard to keep his suddenly uplifted emotions from reaching his face. "As you wish, my Queen," he responded after a moment, sounding perfectly composed. "When would you have me depart?"
"As soon as possible," Linnette answered, "Within a couple of days at most."
"I will be ready whenever you summon me." Raz, restraining himself to only half of a smile, nodded respectfully to the Queen and Hayden before taking his leave. As he moved to rejoin his family, and from there to retire to the house of his late father, Rhylzynar suddenly found his mind was unswervingly clear.
Amoniel - December 5, 2010 05:11 AM (GMT)
Even though her pockets were nearly full, Rin continued to flow with the amorphous crowd as it slithered into position around the Royal Tomb. The lissome thief, taking full advantage of her lack of height, ducked her head while she continued to move through the motley group of mourners, though her dark eyes constantly glanced to the side, seeking targets and enemies alike. The security at the funeral had not been entirely what she had anticipated, but then, she supposed, the Castle guards had probably assumed that no one would dare defile the magnanimous name of the beneficent King Aram.
Do they honestly think that everyone will stop for that swine? How could they believe that one man is important enough for the entire world to drop everything that they are doing, to put aside their very livelihoods? Rolling her eyes and giving a derisive snort under her breath, Rin made her way to the center of the crowd, the words of the Pontiffs and the Archon reaching her ears. They managed to find all of those gangs a couple of years ago and destroy them; now they can't even keep their own king from being murdered? Worthless fools.
Her own, silent insults making her bolder, Rin weaved closer towards the entrance of the Royal Tomb, wherein the heavier purses resided. Though the weight of her funds was already making movement awkward, Rin would not abandon her calling when she could still make a profit. The dark-haired thief came to a stop amongst one of the foremost rows of onlookers, from where she could see the funerary proceeding through gaps in the crowd. She immediately recognized the Daast nobleman, along with several other prominent figures in Hyrule's nobility. Farther up, Rin thought she could discern the Queen and her daughter and the hulking form of the commander of the knights.
Pity there so occupied. If they opened their eyes, then they might actually see something worthwhile. Grinning to herself, Rin slipped back into the throng of people and wasted no time in diving her slim hand into the side pocket of a minor nobleman. Stowing the red rupee with the others, Rin worked her way around the Royal Tomb, careful to keep her steals sporadic, until she had made nearly a complete circle.
And they said this was supposed to be a sad affair...who knew that funerals could be so profitable? Thank you very much for your contributions, everyone! Tempted to make a bow, Rin instead cast one last look at the Royal Family and the Council, some of whom seemed to have moved further into the Tomb. Like everyone else, they seemed completely preoccupied, so Rin walked away from the funeral with confidence. She briefly entertained the idea of looking for Odessa, but then changed her mind and set her course for the home of the Street Rats.
Count Ludovic von Eldrick - December 5, 2010 05:55 AM (GMT)
Count Ludovic, his hands clasped loosely behind his back, bit the inside of his cheek with anticipation as he looked out among the crowd. Everything was going just as the Council and the Queen had planned thus far. It appeared that there was not one eye that was left dry or one face that was without a look of sorrow in the grouping. The nobility had succeeded with their attempt to make the lesser groups buy into the fake funeral, and the extravagancies only pushed the realism of the ceremony a step further. The Count widened his stance for a moment to alleviate the pressure that accumulated in his lower back, but soon after it had subsided, he drew his feet closer together and stood as straight as a soldier once more.
As the Royal Family entered the tomb with the casket, Ludovic tried not to look over at them, but out of chance, perhaps because of the feeling of being watched, he cast his eyes in their direction. The young Princess Zelda, after receiving scolding look from the Queen, had directed her attention elsewhere into the line of nobles. Ludovic caught notice of her glance and how it lingered on him for a moment. “Heh…now, now Princess, I don’t suppose you already know of the role you are to play in this, do you?” He thought to himself, musing about his own plans. He gave the girl a slow nod to acknowledge her and to show respect before the small group disappeared into the tomb with the empty casket. Naturally, he and the others would remain here to allow the family a bit more time to say their farewells to their dearly departed. Besides, though the tomb was quite large, it would feel congested had the Council decided to follow the others.
The young Sheikah gave a weary sigh as he shoved his hands into his coat pockets. Etrom’s grey eyes followed King Aram’s casket as it was brought into the mausoleum, but once it had vanished from sight, he shut them momentarily and bowed his head. The young man of the von Eldrick household mumbled a soft prayer to the Goddesses before lifting his head and observing the nobles standing at the entrance of the tomb. All were reacting to the King’s death quite differently. Tear-trails were quite evident on the Marquis Lyshek and his wife’s cheeks, but they had been trying throughout the ceremony to remain calm and strong. The Daast boys seemed lost in their own thoughts, what with one staring fixatedly at the ground while the other appeared to be trying to concentrate on something else. The Count was rigid and formal, and the boy noticed that every once in a while the man would stare up at the sky, perhaps in an attempt to keep is tears from manifesting or give the impression thereof. Having lived with Ludovic, however, the boy thought it more likely that his caregiver was impatiently looking to the heavens and wishing that everything was already over. Similarly, the Sheikah hoped for much the same, not because he had not cared for his King, but because he did not favor moments such as these and wished to avoid them. Had it not been a sign of disrespect, Etrom would have already left, and the thought had crossed his mind several times to do so. However, because he stood a good head above the crowd, his departure would not have gone unnoticed by someone…
Casting a sideways glance Etrom took notice of a girl that had unexpectedly appeared to his right. She was of an average height, and from what he could tell, seeing as how the hood of her cloak masked her face, she had a fair complexion. Not wanting to be rude, he deterred his gaze, but once she spoke, which seemed more of an aside to herself, he looked back to her. “So jealous of trivial things…” she gave a soft chuckle and folded her arms. The teenage male focused his attention to where she had indicated and took notice of the Queen leading Lord Rhylzynar elsewhere. Etrom scoffed a bit as his gaze wandered to Ludovic, whose jaw was set on edge as he gave the pair a venomous glare. “He can be upset by things much more menial than that.” Etrom shook his head and pulled one hand from his pocket to scratch the bridge of his nose. “Trust me, I know…” The girl turned her head to look at him and lifted one eyebrow to convey her curiosity. “Really…?” she asked doubtfully. “Yes. I live with him—he’s my caregiver.” The girl’s purple eyes bore into Etrom as if they were trying to distinguish if he was being truthful or not. “I thought the Count had no mistresses and had therefore sired no sons.” The Sheikah frowned at her with a short scoff. “He doesn’t and hasn’t. I’m another ‘charity work’ of his, not his offspring.” He didn’t really feel like explaining, and thankfully, the girl didn’t push the issue. “Ah, I see…like a foster father then,” she replied and returned her attention to the ceremony. Etrom bit his cheek in order to prevent himself from saying anything impolite and instead tried to push the feeling aside with a sigh. The girl went rigid for a moment as she laid eyes on a certain noble and froze as if petrified from fear. Swiftly, she turned away. “Nice meeting you, ‘Charity Work’,” she whispered before dissolving into the crowd. The Sheikah gave an equally soft farewell and rolled his eyes at her comment as she vanished. “She speaks and acts quite proper, almost as if raised in or around in a noble house…but her attire says otherwise… Who was that?” He didn’t think on the subject long before shrugging it off. It wasn’t entirely important anyway.
Sir Hayden - December 12, 2010 03:28 AM (GMT)
Hayden saluted Queen Linnette and made obeisance to her. "Finally, we can get rid of this pack of vultures," Hayden muttered to Sir Agravaine and Sir Gaheris who replied with a smirk in perfect sync with one another. The twin knights were the Commander's younger cousins on his father's side and were therefore Elwise's cousins. Agravaine and Gaheris each commanded a battalion. They were not yet generals, but when they day came to dub a new general, both were very favorable candidates. Hayden would of course use the ignorant nobles' own paradigm of family favoritism to put in a good word for them. They last thing Hyrule needed at this juncture was some moron from a prominent family and a pretty face with no leadership skills as a military commander.
The trio reached the crowd which had already begun to trickle away except for the insufferable nobles who needed to make their "loyalty" to the king known publically by standing by him at his death while they never had during His Majesty's life. “Her Majesty respectfully requests a time of private mourning for herself and her family. Queen Linnette extends her gratitude for your presence, prayers, and continued support.” Some of the nobles nodded, others looked offended as they were told to “go away” by the knight commander in a roundabout manner. Agravaine and Gaheris saw to the crowd’s dispersal as Hayden rejoined the Queen who was not accompanied by Raz, one of nobles who Hayden had respect for and was friendly towards. General Sir Bryce Drago, who had taken Hayden under his wing when he first arrived in Hyrule Castle City, was an ally of Leovir’s. When the old general died with no heir and the Drago family became extinct, Leovir was made the steward of the Drago estate.
Hayden smiled as he heard the Queen’s request. Finally, the knight commander had something exciting to do. Of course he would have to leave Oleksandr and the guards on high alert in his absence to keep the dogs at bay, but Hayden knew of this operation and had been looking forward to it. “I will call for you when I have the prisoners and my men prepared. We leave on the morrow before sunrise.” Hayden saluted Raz and the Queen then made his way to his cousins who had been joined by Elwise and Olek, the latter of which was complaining of his missing wallet.
Lyshek - December 12, 2010 08:16 AM (GMT)
Glad that this procession was finally over, the Marquis and his wife descended the steps of the tomb with the other nobles, passing the knight commander as they went. Sorien acknowledged him with a short nod and Serra did the same as they passed him by and headed into the crowd. Sorien, his arm draped behind her, gently rubbed Serra’s shoulder as they walked and tried to offer her a small bit of comfort in doing so. In response, Serra let her head rest on his chest for a moment to signify her acceptance of his comfort before she lifted it and pulled her fur-trimmed cloak tighter around her.
“Are you ok, my dear?” “I’m fine…just, just trying to recollect myself is all. It’s just a lot to take in right now…” The Marquis knew that his wife had always been loyal to the crown and such a traumatic event would have shaken her so, but he worried what would happen should she know of the truth. As was the Council’s policy, he hadn’t discussed it with her, but his role as her spouse was to hold no secrets. Torn betwixt his duties, he felt frustrated and half-wished that he was either single or had no seat on the Royal Council. Neither choice, however, was reasonable and both only served to fill him with guilt, especially the first option. Pushing his own thoughts to the side for a moment, he felt that something else was bothering Serra, but thought it best to wait until they arrived home to ask. “It will all be fine, Serra… it’s not the end of the world; there’s still hope,” he pulled her cloak further up on her shoulders and kissed her hand. “Let’s just get home and out of this could for now, eh?” He offered her a warm smile. Serra nodded with a soft sigh and walked by Sorien’s side to their home. She could only hope that he was right about there still being a bit of hope left for the Kingdom of Hyrule.
Queen Linnette - December 13, 2010 04:39 AM (GMT)
Despite the composed facade he struggled to hold, Linnette felt no small measure of relief when Sir Hayden dismissed the crowd that had gathered to witness the funeral of her husband. She could hear the muttered protests of the nobles, like the buzzing of an irritated insect, as she stood in the adjacent alcove, but felt an immense relief when the noise dissipated. Though she had known most of the members of the Council, who represented the highest echelon of the nobility, for many years, she could not dislodge her disquiet. Her thoughts, interwoven with sorrow for her husband, drifted back towards Hayden's proclamation in the Council Hall, one which bade her to trade warily.
How could it be that these people with whom I have exchanged pleasantries for so long would be so eager to usurp command in my husband's weakness? Have they no hearts at all? Or do the buzzards merely pretend to possess compassion?
The Hylian Queen chewed the inside of her lower lip, surprised by her own thoughts. Perhaps the enormity of her responsibilities had finally begun to take its toll, or, she considered, perhaps she intuitively knew that Hayden spoke some measure of truth. Wrought with suspicion, her hazel eyes traced over to the retreating group of nobles, settling first on the young Rhylzynar Jiar. She had known the adopted son of Duke Leovir nearly his entire life, and yet she felt some whisper of warning brushing against her conscience. It was not nearly as vehement as the one caused by Count Ludovic, but Linnette could not deny her concern, especially given the conduct of Duke Jealfen at the meeting.
What of Marquise Lyshek? What is to be is role in this coming storm?
Linnette hated the thought, hated herself for even considering it, but the fear existed. And as she turned away from the few Royal Guards who had remained, the Queen felt it bring moisture to her eyes. She stood facing the empty casket of her husband, bereft of solutions, and attempted to steady herself. Her daughter stood off to her left side, but Princess Zelda seemed to have exhausted her patience for the affair, though she was respectful enough to allow her mother to retain some space.
While Zelda twirled a loose strand of blonde hair around her fingers, Linnette considered the casket, considered her husband. For his sake, she could not allow herself to be consumed by the maelstrom, if it came to that. For Aram, Linnette would draw strength from her allies, which she knew definitely included Pontiff Sephiran and Sir Hayden. Perhaps that would be enough.
Taking a deep breath to muster her courage, Linnette turned her back towards the tomb of her husband and walked for the exit along with her daughter, instructing the remaining soldiers to seal the sepulcher behind her.
Kalyani Maat - December 14, 2010 04:07 AM (GMT)
For Kalyani, frustration was hard to diffuse as she played the part of a humble, grieving ambassador. Her facade was impassive and perfectly collected, yet the Gerudo could not help but feel some irritation over the entire affair. Queen Zelda had made it blatantly obvious that something was amiss, and Kalyani did not believe her hint could have been any more subtle.
Does she think the masses as witless as her husband? Or is she simply convinced that their idiocy will be engulfed by their grief? Either way, it seems to be quite the dangerous gamble for vanity.
As the funeral party progressed, and the magical energies of the Triforce of Wisdom retreated, Kalyani could not help but feel her mood lighten. Though the air around her was suffused with sorrow, the Gerudo at once felt herself superior, given what had just entered her mind. The sorceress of sands had always been particularly deft at acquiring information, and she allowed that knowledge, that superiority, to consume her as she dismounted Zenaida and walked towards the Royal Tomb. Utilizing her connections, Kalyani had constructed a web of informants within the Hylian capital, one which had proven beneficial to the Gerudo and, by extension, Queen Azeari.
And it is all thanks to my dear relatives that this was conceived, she thought smugly, successfully withholding the sneer from her angular features. Her sapphire eyes, overlooking the Archon and Pontiffs' conclusion of the ceremony, lighted upon the same object which had commandeered the attention of her two younger cousins. It is truly a shame that Leovir did not impart his wealth of knowledge to his sons, though it is possible that they are both to naive to locate it. Truly it is amazing what a sense of hearing can accomplish.
Returning her gaze to the Royal Tomb, Kalyani followed Rhylzynar and Sir Hayden, the knight commander, as Queen Linnette led them away from the main funerary party. Kalyani could easily guess the purpose of the meeting, though she was certain that it could have been completed in a more tactful manner. What dignity is there in conversing within a sepulcher, Linnette?
Kalyani, despite her snide thoughts, did not comment upon the Queen's objective and respectfully stepped back as the crowd was dismissed. As the ambassador of Queen Azeari, Kalyani would reside within the Castle as a guest, but duty called her homeward in the morning, as the Queen had already asked her to guide the detail of prisoners to the Desert Prison. And to Kalyani, the opportunity seemed to perfectly coincide with the information that she had to deliver.