Adjusting to the Royal Life

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Adjusting to the Royal Life

Post by XslvrstarX on Sat Jan 06, 2018 10:33 am

It had now been close to six months since Ariana had returned to Minas Tirith with her young daughter Meliara. Ever so slowly the pain she felt for Lucas' death was beginning to fade, but she knew that no matter what either of her parent's said that she would always hold a place for him in her heart. She felt ultimately responsible for his death. She should not have allowed him to get as close to her as he had. When she had become pregnant the life he had known was over, but he had stepped forward to do what he felt was right. In the end it had cost him his family, reputation, and ultimately his life. Ariana decided that the only way to ease the guilt in her heart was to ensure their daughter was well taken care of. Meliara was now a princess of Gondor and everyone who saw her knew that she was going to grow up into quite the heartbreaking beauty, but for now she was just a toddler who knew little else of the world other than the palace.

After several weeks of grieving, Ariana had finally returned to court. Of course, much was rumored about what had happened. She could hear quiet whispers spoken when she was near. Her mother assured her that in time things would die down and return to normal. Ariana said nothing in response to the rumors and performed her duties without complaint. She knew she was lucky that her parents had accepted her back after what she had done and she was going to do whatever was necessary to earn back their trust and faith in her. She had told her parents several times that they were free to pick out a husband for her, they refused, wanting instead for her to make that decision on her own. In truth, the only man she might have chosen she now heard was nearly engaged. He was a young officer she had met once at one of her parent's balls before she had fallen in love with Lucas. He was been a few years older than her, but extremely handsome and kind. They had spent the entire evening in each other's company laughing, talking, and dancing. At the time she had still been too young to be courted, and so their encounter had been entirely a friendly one.

It was a bright, warm Sunday spring morning and the market was bustling with vendors and buyers alike. Fresh spring vegetables and herbs were starting to come in, along with new clothes and dyes. The past winter had been a cold one and everyone was happy to be out in the sunshine. Ariana herself had felt rather cooped up and was glad for the chance to get out and stretch her legs. She had left Meliara in the care of her nanny to go out into the market. Her guards of course came with her, but gave her the space she needed to feel as if she were alone. She had chosen a spring blue dress to wear that day and her long, wavy brown hair was loose about her shoulders. Apart from the obvious royal lines of her face, one might not have picked her out as a member of the royal family that day. Ariana spotted some beautiful cloth at one vendor's table and slowly made her way over. She waited patiently for her turn, having been taught, like the rest of her siblings, that just because they were royals that didn't make them better than anyone else. When a spot at the front opened up she stepped forward, examining one bolt that she thought would make a beautiful dress for Meliara. It was green, which was Meliara's favorite color and not overly patterned. Meliara had not yet been formally introduced to the people of Gondor, but her parent's wished to do so soon before the birth of Eldarion and Calista's twins in several months time, and Meliara would need a dress for such an occasion. Ariana began to speak to the vendor, negotiating a fair price for the amount she would need.

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Re: Adjusting to the Royal Life

Post by Conleth on Sat Jan 06, 2018 5:25 pm

Einar Colevand had no idea why he entered the market today. He rarely did so these days as his family had servants who did the shopping and buying for the most part. With his recent promotion to Captain he was interested in a few things for his new horse which was given to him as part of his promotion. He still had Corson, a tall, brown mare but his new, white stallion named Anon was not quite as broad and he required a different saddle blanket tailored more to his size. In his dark green and charcoal uniform he looked sharp with his green and white cloak of the king on his shoulders and back. His gold knots of rank dangled down his left arm and young women who had noticed him murmured to themselves on which of them might be able to win his favor.

Fabrics of all kinds were before Ariana. Bolts of red silk or supple blue cloth. Golden flax woven so thinly that she could see her hand and fingers through it. There were stouter fabrics as well including the famed wool from Gahanna dyed in all sorts of colors and in differing textures. The merchant looked as if she had seen many years. Her hair was a tightly wound bun of gray and white and though her face was wrinkled with age, her light blue eyes almost glowed with a keen awareness. A woman next to her, a plump-cheeked lady with a tall, white-plumed hat wore a yellow and pink dress. She draped a bolt of light brown fabric against her chest and nodded at the merchant as she handed it back to her.

“I’ll take a dozen rods of this and of that lovely red silk as well please,” she said as she shifted to open up her money pouch. The older woman nodded then turned aside to another table that was perpendicular to the one in front of her. She began to spread out the fabric and with a small wooden rod she began to count off each length as she twisted the rod over and over. Once she reached 12 she took a small knife and sliced the cloth along a long, flat wooden stick.

“So, it appears that some in the palace do shop for themselves,” a female voice said from behind Ariana. When she turned to see who it was who spoke to her she saw a tall woman, not young and more handsome than beautiful with the lines of experience around the sides of her mouth. She had curly, dark brown hair that spilled down her shoulders and back and dark eyes that were far from friendly. She wore a wide, blue and green dress that was heavily laden with embroidery down the bosom and on the sleeves. She vaguely remembered her and as the woman waited for her to speak her name her eyebrow drew up in irritation when it was clear that Ariana did not appear to know it.

“Well, I shouldn’t think you’ve been gone ‘that’ long girl that you’d forget me,” she said obviously annoyed. “But I suppose I expected too much,” she said coldly. Her name was Feraline Hassamir. She was the wife of Lord Geldawin Hassamir. Her eldest son Joralen was a year older than Ariana and word had it, before she had left in the way that she had that she had been seeking a match between Ariana and her son. Joralen was very handsome but always stiff and cold like his mother.

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Re: Adjusting to the Royal Life

Post by XslvrstarX on Sat Jan 06, 2018 5:51 pm

With the cloth picked out for her daughter's dress, Ariana began to eye other fabric for dresses for herself. While living in Bree, Lucas and herself had barely had enough money to buy food, let alone expensive fabric for dresses. Ariana continued to live more frugally than her other sisters, but decided today to splurge a little on something for herself. She would need a new dress herself after all for her daughter's introduction. A dark blue fabric caught her eye and she gently ran her hand over the cloth, imagining a rather elegant dress...one that she knew her parent's would certainly approve of. She very nearly smiled thinking of it when suddenly an irritated voice came from behind her. It was clear that this woman was speaking to her, but Ariana was shocked by what the woman actually said. Turning around to see who was addressing her she blinked, recognizing the woman. Her mind desperately tried to come up with her name, but she remembered instantly that she disliked this woman greatly. However, as the woman spoke again in even greater irritation the name finally came to her. Feraline Hassamir. Oh yes, she disliked this woman greatly. She had made it widely known that she had expected a match between herself and her son, but Ariana had disliked her son just as much as her, much to Feraline's "disappointment".

Ariana used to be afraid of Feraline as a younger woman, but she felt her confidence suddenly grow and she decided she wasn't going to allow this woman to speak to her in such a manner.

"No, I haven't forgotten you, but it appears YOU have forgotten who it is you are speaking to. I am the daughter of King Elessar and Queen Nauriel and therefore to be respected. I am no longer a child Lady Hassamir."

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Re: Adjusting to the Royal Life

Post by Conleth on Sat Jan 06, 2018 6:12 pm

Through her ‘spies’ within the palace Feraline had learned everything there was to know about Ariana’s...indiscretions. And quite honestly it brought her more than a little pleasure seeing the Queen knocked down a peg or 2. Her daughters failures were her own where Nauriel rarely misstepped. Feraline drew herself up and indeed her presence seemed to almost swell. Her gaze was black ice upon those that lingered to listen to their exchange though some of the women nearby decided right then to be somewhere else.

“Don’t dissemble with me girl!” She said commandingly. “You have a long way to go indeed before anyone takes you for who you are. A title requires the bearer to ‘be’ who and what she is and you ‘Hardly’ fit that bill,” she said and took a step toward her. “A noble wench is sill a wench,” she said in a much quieter tone but nearby gasps resounded around them.

The old geezer had haggled hard and finally Einar just gave in and paid the man. The blanket was of a thick, soft Gahanna wool with a stylized green tree on it. He held it in his hands as he turned away but his eyes drew up when he saw the 2 women. He recognized them both and would never have expected to see neither in the market today or ever for that matter.

Ariana was a beautiful woman. There was a time when he would have asked for her hand but now. Now that ship had sailed it seemed and he had been courting Darina Fulton. Still they had been friends once and he paused after he took a step. The other woman with her was Feraline Hassamir and she didn’t look as if she’d appreciate his intrusion. He had ofcourse heard all the rumors. ‘Ariana had fled with a lover, wed him without the King’s consent and bore his child’.

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Re: Adjusting to the Royal Life

Post by XslvrstarX on Sat Jan 06, 2018 6:22 pm

Ariana felt her cheeks begin to turn hot at Feraline's words. All around her she could see people looking and could hear the gasps of surprise from those that heard what Feraline said. She knew that Feraline was baiting her...trying to get more that she could use against her. Well Ariana was not about to give in to Feraline's wishes. Despite what she wanted to say to this...woman...she turned away from her instead and asked the vendor to wrap up her purchases. Feraline, however, was not finished with her and actually reached out and grabbed her arm. Ariana now felt threatened and desperately wished for her guards. They had seen the incident and were quickly moving her way, but with such a thick crowd it was difficult to maneuver. Little did she realize that help was nearer than she imagined.

"Take your hands off of me," Ariana commanded.

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Re: Adjusting to the Royal Life

Post by Conleth on Sat Jan 06, 2018 9:11 pm

“Watch your tongue slut!” Lady Feraline snapped and more gasps followed as she clutched Ariana’s wrist. “You have no idea of how many people your illicit affair has affected!”’she growled and then, suddenly there was something. No...someone that forced them apart.

A pair of deep blue eyes, sandy blonde hair and a handsomely rugged face was suddenly in her vision. “Ariana, there you are!” Einor said. He was tall with a broad, strong back. “We better go or you’ll be late again!” He said and took hold of her hand. Feraline had backed off and glared at the intrusion. The guards were nearly there but Einor had took hold of her hand and began to lead her from the crowded market. Why he was doing this he couldn’t say but he didn’t like how Ariana was being treated.

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Re: Adjusting to the Royal Life

Post by XslvrstarX on Sat Jan 06, 2018 9:28 pm

Ariana's eyes widened in surprise at Feraline's choice of words and she couldn't help but feel extremely hurt and upset. Tears began to threaten, but before any could be shed she felt a strong presence near her. Looking up she found herself looking into the eyes of Einor! Those deep blue eyes were unmistakable and she knew in that moment she was safe. He clearly understood what was going on and she did not question him when he took her hand and led her away. She said nothing as he took her through the crowded streets. Finally, they were well away from the market and inside a small garden. Lady Feraline's last words to her rang in her ears still and she felt her heart sink. If that was how everyone thought of her then how could she ever make a life here again? How could she keep her daughter safe from tormentors like Lady Feraline?

"...Thank you Einor for assisting me," she said to him after a moment of silence. She clearly had been deeply affected by what had been said to her and the glow that had been slowly returning to her eyes had faded once again. She wanted to cry, but she did not want to make Einor uncomfortable so she fought back those tears and looked at him. He had always been handsome, but now he was even more so. There was a rugged maturity to him, but she could tell he conducted himself with honor. If she had not fallen in love with Lucas she could easily have seen herself eventually being courted by him and perhaps even marrying him. She could still remember that night and how easily they had connected and talked. It had been like talking to a very old and dear friend. There had never been any uncomfortable moments between them.

"It's been a few years. I see you have done well...Captain...that is a great achievement for one of your age."

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Re: Adjusting to the Royal Life

Post by Conleth on Sun Jan 07, 2018 9:22 am

Einor gave a simple hand gesture to the incoming guards and they nodded and took up positions as they had done before though they seemed more concerned now and more vigilant then they had been. As for Feraline, she had stepped away in a huff and didn’t give them another look which made Einor more at ease and he shifted his gaze back to Ariana. He was fairly tall just over 6 feet and his sandy blonde hair was fairly straight down to near his shoulders in length and not styled at all. He never spent much time fixing himself up which was part of what gave him that rugged appearance. He had a slight scar on his chin as well which only made it worse.

As if he had done it many times before he idly wiped a stray tear away from her right eye with his thumb then set his hands soothingly on her shoulders. This still held some familiariarity for him. They had been good friends before.

Her words though made him frown. “Ariana, its just Einor to you if it please you,” he said softly though he was also looking around them with his peripheral vision. The market was crowding up more now and ‘things’ have happened of late to make every soldier and guard more wary about the royal family in public. Unconsciously his other thumb rubbed the side of her neck and he smiled warmly down at her. She was quite beautiful right then he thought but it drifted away quickly when he thought about Merylan. The woman who he had been courting of late.

Unlike most other men, Einor didn’t much care about marrying for advantage. Or to make his family stronger or to gain more status or holdings. Merylan was the daughter of a merchant who did alot of trading with Gahanna. He was quite wealthy and knew her Grandparents but she was kind and quite beautiful herself with long, curly blonde hair and large dark eyes which gave her an almost exotic look. Her mother was an outlander and her flesh was darker as well which only enhanced the golden sheen of her hair.

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Re: Adjusting to the Royal Life

Post by XslvrstarX on Sun Jan 07, 2018 9:43 am

Ariana felt safe in Einor's company, and not just because he was an officer. She had always been comfortable around him and was comfortable enough to allow him to touch her as he was. However, as his thumb began gently caressing her neck it reminded her of something a lover might do as opposed to a friend. It was a forward gesture, although she was not sure he knew he was doing it. His touch felt...soothing...like Lucas' had. His hands, though not petal soft, were gentle. It felt rather...nice to be touched like that again by a man. For a moment she allowed herself to become almost lost in it until she remembered Merylan. Gently, she stepped back and smoothed her dress.

"I hear you have been courting Merylan and are practically engaged. She is a very lucky woman. I'm sure an announcement of engagement will break plenty of women's hearts in Minas Tirith."

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Re: Adjusting to the Royal Life

Post by Conleth on Mon Jan 08, 2018 7:29 am

Einor’s cheeks colored lightly when he realized what he had been doing. Somehow seeing her, smelling her, touching her? It had brought back memories. Good memories of years past. Ariana was a defiant spitfire to almost everyone. Independant with a will to go her own way. But when they talked and did ‘other things’ he knew he shouldn't think about right then, she was warm and passionate. He cleared his throat as he straightened.

“Uh...yes, A couple weeks off yet I think. She has family in Gahanna who her mother wants to be in observance,” he said dryly. She’d know his dislike for stiff traditions that barely allowed anyone to breathe. “And it is I who is the lucky one. Meryl is...a good woman,” he said diplomatically. He rested his right hand lazily on the pommel of his longsword and he stood before her, one leg a bit forward and one knee slightly bent. A sign he was being very casual and yet could spring in just about any direction like a large cat might. He had thick, muscled legs and preferred to fight afoot instead of on horseback like her father.

He wanted to talk to her about what had happened. To get her own account of it all instead of relying on gossip and rumor but that was a conversation for another time. If there would be another time. He did love Merylan or thought he did but knowing Ariana was back, babe or no, made him think about her. “You are certain you’re alright?” he asked not knowing what else to say right then.

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Re: Adjusting to the Royal Life

Post by XslvrstarX on Mon Jan 08, 2018 7:49 am

Ariana thought she detected some hesitation in Einor's voice as he spoke about Merylan. Was he not happy? It was, of course, none of her business and Ariana quickly decided against asking him about it. He would do whatever was right for him and she would be happy for him. He was a good man and deserved to be happy. She knew Merylan and knew her to be a good, honest woman. She would make a great wife for any man. Perhaps he was just nervous about taking that step forward. That was understandable. However...deep in her heart she couldn't help but feel...something. Einor had been her one true hope in finding a husband that would rebuild her reputation and honor in Gondor. No other men would look at her twice now as they all knew what had happened. However, Ariana would never do anything to harm Einor's relationship with Merylan.

Looking over at him she could see questions in his eyes that remained unspoken. She knew of course what they were and knew that he feared asking them.

"It's alright Einor," she told him gently. "You can ask me anything about what happened. I know a lot of rumors have been going around. I won't be upset by anything you ask or wish to know."

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Re: Adjusting to the Royal Life

Post by Conleth on Mon Jan 08, 2018 9:31 am

Her frankness was surprising and in truth Einor did want to know but...but did it really matter? Ariana was back and she was a Princess of Gondor. That’s what was truly important. In time no one will even remember it. And as soon as something else came up. Ariana’s story will be ancient history. That’s how it always seemed to go anyhow.

“You are here Princess. You are here and safe and you have a healthy daughter so I hear. That’s what is really important,” he said more formally in hopes she would table this line of conversation for another time. He was wrong for bringing it up in the first place. And she was very gracious in her words to him. ‘I...missed you...Princess Ariana,” he said honestly and with a little more warmth than he initially intended. Why he had said that he couldn’t say but her eyes, so blue and the way she looked at him scuttled his wits! “Would you allow me to escort you back to the palace?” he asked softly.

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Re: Adjusting to the Royal Life

Post by XslvrstarX on Mon Jan 08, 2018 9:54 am

Ariana was pleasantly surprised by Einor's response. Anyone else would have peppered her with questions about what had happened, but he...he did not and the fact that he did not only made her admire him more. He was truly a good man. Merylan was...a lucky woman. Looking up, she found herself looking into his eyes and a warm, comfortable feeling came over her...along with...was it regret? Did she regret getting involved with Lucas? No, she did not. He had been a good man who had truly loved her and had given her her daughter. She would never regret that. And yet...she had lost any chance of marrying Einor because of it. But how could she have known Lucas would be killed? She could not have. Fate would work it's will as it saw fit. She had had her chance at happiness and love. She would be able to live the rest of her life knowing that she had experienced that...even if it had been short lived.

"Of course," she said, agreeing to allow him to escort her back to the palace. "If...if you would like you could meet Meliara, my daughter."


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Re: Adjusting to the Royal Life

Post by Conleth on Tue Jan 09, 2018 7:07 am

They continued talking as he offered her his arm and began the walk up to the palace. Her guardsmen fanned out and kept pace with them as they ascended up the slope. The streets were crowded with people from all walks of life. Shopkeepers, workers, commoners and nobles. Children played and chased one another and even a boy played fetch with his large, brown dog. Before they knew it though they entered the palace but half way down the hall to her apartments Einor paused then turned to greet her formally. He bowed formally too.
“I must leave you into the hands of your guard milady,” he said regally. “If it pleases you, send a message to me and Meryl and I will come to see your daughter,” he said. It was the proper thing to do now that he and Meryl were about to become a couple. Though he honestly wasn’t certain he didn’t want more time alone with Ariana. Today had been a completely unexpected meeting and a very enjoyable one. Einor played the game of nobles as good as anyone. With her guardsmen listening he did or said nothing that would be deemed ‘inappropriate’ for a woman of her stature. He held his hand for hers but did not kiss her knuckles. He only nodded a bow to her in farewell. “Be well Princess and enjoy the day,” he said and looked down at her with those deep blue eyes. His smile was an honest one that only seemed to make him even more handsome.

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Re: Adjusting to the Royal Life

Post by XslvrstarX on Tue Jan 09, 2018 7:50 am

Ariana felt glad to have someone she could talk to like this again. There was no awkwardness between them or unsettling pauses. They spoke as if they had known each other their entire lives and it had always been this way between them. Ariana no longer had any friends. Since returning to Minas Tirith those that had once been dear friends stayed far away from her. No one wished to associate with her due to what had happened. She did not blame them or think ill of them, but felt rather lonely. The only unmarried sister she had left was the families youngest, Kressara, but she always seemed to be off somewhere, leaving Ariana alone when she was not at court. Of course she had her daughter, but it wasn't the kind of company she was craving. Walking and talking with Einor she forgot her worries and felt happy again.

However, as they entered the palace and began down the hallway towards her apartments she felt Einor suddenly pause. She stopped with him and turned to look at him. As he began to speak much more formally to her than he had been only moments before she realized he was not going to venture any further than that. She forced her lips into a smile, though she felt suddenly empty inside.

"Of course Captain Colevand," she said following his line of formal speech. "Thank you again for coming to my rescue. Please send Merylan my regards."

She then forced herself to turn and walk away into her apartments.

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Re: Adjusting to the Royal Life

Post by Conleth on Tue Jan 09, 2018 10:11 am

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