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Post by Conleth on Sun Apr 14, 2019 10:50 am

Boraden soared a glance at Eldarion for another few moments is of trying to discover the man's mood. He decided that her brother who he wasn’t certain he liked, had something important to say and he was concerned that whatever it was it would likely change her mood. And not for the better. There was little he could do though so he nodded and looked eagerly toward the lounge. “Do not take too long,” he said for her as much as for Eldarion and he stepped away down the hall.

Eldarion watched him go then turned back to her. More people were coming and he drew her further aside by her shoulders and waited for them to pass before he spoke.

“Kressara...I’m leaving,” he said in a grave tone that matched the blue fire in his eyes. “I don’t know how long I will be gone but I intend to go soon,” he said plainly.

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Post by XslvrstarX on Sun Apr 14, 2019 2:50 pm

Kressara wasn’t sure she was going to like what Eldarion was going to say. She wanted to just enjoy tonight and spend time with her family but it was clear that whatever her brother had to say he wasn’t going to wait. She watched her husband walk towards the lounge and then looked back to Eldarion. What he said she had not been expecting and at first she thought that she had misheard him. She blinked at him.

“What do you mean you are leaving?”

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Post by Conleth on Sun Apr 14, 2019 3:00 pm

Eldarion looked at her and his eyebrows rose with her question. Not really in surprise but for some reason he felt irritation in her surprised tone. “What do you mean, what do I mean? I mean I’m leaving. I want to travel, see Gehenna, see Rohan, maybe go south all the way to the Harad and North all the way to the mountains. West all the way to the ocean...by myself and perhaps a small party,” he said plainly an his expression changed to weariness. “And leave my family behind,” he added belatedly. “For a time at least,” Eldarion said.

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Post by XslvrstarX on Sun Apr 14, 2019 3:12 pm

Kressara wasn’t entirely sure how to react. She just stared at him for a long moment as she gathered her thoughts. She knew she needed to be gentle and not to get angry. They both had recently been through a lot.

“Eldarion...you would be gone for years. Calista needs you...your sons need you. Does she know about this? Does Father know about this?”

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Post by Conleth on Mon Apr 15, 2019 8:49 am

Eldarion’s mood appeared to darken at Kressara’s words. “No one really ‘needs’ me unless they want a free day or to pass off their duties. Calista has the boys to care for and it’s not like im not coming back. It’s clear father wants you to be here and take your place at court. With you here I can go and travel, see how our people live and what they think first hand. Why should you get to be aloof and go where you please when the rest of us where duty around our necks like leashes,” he said bitterly. “Calane gets to be what she wants, Laenaya did what she wanted and Ariana crawled back after what she did,” Eldarion said and his voice was on the verge of either anger or of being really upset, it was not easy to tell.

He would never say what he felt though. That he was reaching a breaking point. He was eldest but duty and responsibility was beginning to tear at him like a hawk did it’s prey. He was beginning to feel hunted and bare like a rabbit in the woods and he couldn’t get the images and sounds of those men and women begging for mercy as they were all cut down.

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Post by XslvrstarX on Mon Apr 15, 2019 10:24 am

Kressara wasn't sure she liked this side of her brother. The two of them had once been close. As the youngest he had more fiercely protected her and he had even taught her how to swim and ride a horse. He had always seemed happy, but now he was just angry. She knew that their father needed him, much more than he needed her and she was planning on returning one day. With the way Eldarion was behaving right now she honestly wasn't sure if he would come back and that rather frightened her.

"Brother, your head is not in the right place right now to just leave," she told him honestly and with genuine worry in her eyes. "You have a family...two beautiful young boys who need their father. I don't have any children to worry about. Calista also needs you here with her. She loves you...don't you still love her?"

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Post by Conleth on Mon Apr 15, 2019 10:50 am

Her last question only seemed to increase his anger but he kept it dialed in, though it was so difficult. He wanted to slap her. He had come to her first for a reason. They had always been close she and him and she thought she understood him more than anyone else. He was beginning to doubt that now though.

“Ofcourse I do, I love all of my family. I’d die for any of you if it needed to be so,” He said quickly as if he was trying to win a race against his anger. “But I think you overplay how much I am needed. There are no more wars to fight. Which makes me wonder why you think you can keep avoiding your duty here at court. Gondor no long has a need of your sword, only your skills at leading her people without you having to be pushed into it which is what I had to do to get you to sheath your sword,” he growled then a look of suspicion entered into his face. “No...you’re staying here. If I have to tie you to that throne you will do your duty,” He said with a very dark grin as if he would indeed tie her to it. But what he meant was that he intended to work against her leaving.

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Post by XslvrstarX on Mon Apr 15, 2019 11:34 am

Kressara remained completely calm and composed, but could see that her brother was just holding on by the threads. She was not at all scared of his threats. She had faced far more frightening enemies out on the battlefield. "I am not overplaying how much you are needed here Eldarion. You are the future King of Gondor. I am not. The future before you is vastly important. You need to learn all you can from father. He is not getting any younger and when the day comes for you to take the throne you need to be ready."

She paused a moment and considered something else. "You act as though my leaving Gondor again would be simply for the pleasure and fun of it, but you couldn't be more wrong Eldarion. My plan is for Boraden and I to act as ambassadors for Gondor and to maintain peace throughout Middle Earth. I would be continuing to do my part for our family and Gondor in this way. I am able to do this because I am not yet a mother. Your sons look up to you Eldarion and want you in their life. You only get to experience the childhood of your children once Eldarion. Do you really want to pass that up?"

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Post by Conleth on Mon Apr 15, 2019 12:08 pm

Eldarion’s right eyebrow rose and his look of anger slowly changed. Oh he was still angry with her. But his mouth shifted into a grin. One she knew well and it was the like that in the past often made her think she had forgotten something important.

“So you suggest that ‘I’ am being selfish,” He said and his features calmed and he drew himself up and took on a more regal posture. He even clasped his hands behind him and his grin turned into a smug smirk that he knew irritated her when he did that.

“Do you at all consider your husband in your decisions? He is a lord now and he knows nothing of what a Lord of Gondor should. He needs to be seen by the nobles and also ‘see’ how a Lord needs to act and dispense the rule of law and justice at court. He is a good deal older than you and yet so far behind everyone,” He said plainly. “The nobles...without a war to keep them occupied will begin to focus inward. They will scheme and plot for wealth and power. I began sitting at court far younger than you are now and I’ve come to know them. Who and what they are. What would you do as an Ambassador for Gondor when you do not even know what Gondor’s interests are?” He said almost mockingly. “I’d rather send Ariana than you,” he said in barely more than a murmur but loud enough for her to hear.

Gondor’s interests were a complex thing. The nobles and traders who conducted trade all over middle earth were a selfish lot and had helped fund the war in the south and in the north. Now though they would begin to work against the King and Gondor if they thought it brought them wealth and power to do so. It took years for the King and Queen to come to understand these men and women and what they were about. Eldarion knew alot about that as well and so did Ariana to a degree but Laenaya, Calene and Kressara knew almost nothing.

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Post by XslvrstarX on Mon Apr 15, 2019 12:33 pm

Kressara sighed and just shook her head. It was clearly no use trying to convince him otherwise. She didn't want to argue with him any further when her husband was waiting for her in the lounge. She wanted to try and enjoy the rest of the evening as best she could. "I will speak to you about this no longer Eldarion," she said before she turned and walked into the lounge. She did her best to appear that everything was alright, but Boraden would be able to sense that she was upset. It was nearing midnight when she and Boraden retired to their rooms. Only when they were finally alone did she explain to him what her brother had said to her.

"I do not envy the responsibility that lies on his shoulders," she said honestly as she sat down on one of the chairs with a glass of wine. "But his place is here with his wife and young sons. I feel he would deeply regret missing their childhoods. My feeling is that you and I would be better suited for traveling Middle Earth as ambassadors for Gondor and maintaining peace. I am not ready to simply settle down here. The war may be over, but I have this feeling in my gut that there is so much more I can do out there. I know what you will say. 'You are my home and I will go where you go', but I want to know honestly what you are thinking. Do you agree with me?"

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Post by Conleth on Mon Apr 15, 2019 12:57 pm

Kressara’s sisters had had Boraden talking so much that he barely had time to take a drink. There was so much good brandy in that lounge that he had wanted to try each one, especially the dark one that smelled of blackberries. Gulbrandt certainly had his fill and he and Laenaya had to leave early when he could no longer keep his words from blending together.

Back in their rooms it had taken over an hour for Kressara to layout everything that she and her brother had talked about. And none of it was good. Boraden had hoped to make a good impression but instead it was likely that his actions would only make the King and the Prince less willing to trust him.

“Well, you ask if I agree but I don’t think that’s a fair question. Do I think that leaving will create even more distrust for me from your Father and Brother? Yes, yes I do. Do I think that we could learn as your brother suggested if we stayed? Yes I do. But also no. If everyone did and learned the same things than none of us would ever need anyone else. His argument assumes that what might serve him would serve us. It might in the same capacity but we would not be serving Gondor in the same capacity. There are many ways to serve a Kingdom and to promote its values,” he said and sounded more scholarly than he ever did before.

“But I don’t think that this is what it’s all about. Its about what you want for yourself. He sounds as if he wants a change...or needs one. Your father asked you to stay, your brother asked you to stay. If you are asking if I agree than its clear to me that you do not want to stay and be a Princess at court. What does it matter if I agree with it or not? I love you and want you to be happy. That happiness has a cost and I am willing to pay it with you,” He said plainly then moved toward the closet to get ready for bed. He paused as he watched her in the mirror that hung on the front of the closet and paused as he saw her thinking.

“Will they try to stop you from leaving? Should we leave...now?” he asked with his hands still at the ties to his shirt.

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Post by XslvrstarX on Mon Apr 15, 2019 1:29 pm

Kressara listened quietly and intently to what Boraden had to say. His answer did not surprise or shock her. For the first time in several hours she genuinely smiled and her eyes were filled with love for him. "Up until a moment ago I didn't think I could love you any more than I already did...but I was wrong. I know that what I am asking of you puts you into a difficult situation with my father and brother, but we will not be gone forever. We will return to our duties here, but for now I feel we are needed elsewhere."

She watched him pause in his undressing and his questions caused her to stop and think a moment. The answer was yes, they would try to stop them from leaving, but if they left now she knew her brother would be back at his apartments. She had watched him leave with Calista. As for her father...well they would have to risk it.

"Yes...we should leave now," she said as she got up and went over the closet to change out of her dress and into her riding attire. Their bags were not completely unpacked yet and she only repacked what was absolutely necessary.

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Post by Conleth on Mon Apr 15, 2019 1:41 pm

Within an hour they were completely packed and Boraden shouldered the bulk of their saddlebags and bags. No one tried to stop them and the guards they passed saluted and barely gave them a glance as it all should be. Boraden thought Kressara expected something to happen but he couldn’t guess what it could be. He didn’t think anyone would openly try to stop them so he wondered why he felt a wary suspicion through the bond.

The royal stables were some of the largest he had ever seen. They crossed the courtyard without any trouble but as they approached the stables themselves, Kressara saw more guards than were normally there. They still didn’t seem to react at their approach but she noticed that the doors to the stables were closed. Normally they were always opened and as they drew closer she noticed a stout lock was fastened on the large doors. When she stopped he stopped a few yards away from the doors.

“Well...I could shoulder it open but likely that lot would be on me in a moment...an I doubt they’d let me out of my cell no matter my title,” He whispered from just behind her. “What if you ordered them to open it?” he asked in a murmur.

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Post by XslvrstarX on Mon Apr 15, 2019 2:07 pm

Kressara was on alert as she and Boraden made their way through the palace towards the stables. Knowing her brother he may have suspected she and Boraden would try to leave and would have put obstacles in place to prevent them leaving. The guards they passed saluted them and did not try to stop them and Kressara began to wonder what her brother might have done.

As they approached the stables Kressara got her answer. She could see the number of guards stationed there were double the normal amount and furthermore the stable doors were closed and locked. The stable doors were never closed and certainly never locked. She glanced at Boraden when he suggested that she try to order the guards to open the doors. "I can try."

She approached the guards and began to open her mouth to give the order when suddenly she heard a familiar voice from behind her. "Open the doors." The voice was firm and direct. As she looked back over her shoulder she saw her mother.

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Post by Conleth on Mon Apr 15, 2019 2:44 pm

The guards watched them warily though they knew who they were. Their orders were specific, ‘The stables remained closed to everyone and shall not be opened until the order is given by Eldarion himself’. The one closest to the door was about to say that very thing when, out of the darkness another voice rang out in a commanding tone. A woman’s voice, a regal voice. The queen’s voice.

“Yes my queen,” The guard said hastily then removed the key from his belt and unlocked the stable door. Boraden looked behind them and his eyebrows rose in surprise. ‘I never heard her walk up!’ He thought. He always had very good hearing but he had neither heard nor smelled anyone behind him. He nodded a bow to Nauriel then looked over at Kressara.

“I’ll...get the horses saddled and ready,” He said then took her burdens from her and waddled inside.

Nauriel stood half bathed in shadow as she looked at her daughter. “This event will reach your father’s ears daughter. And where my actions tonight will displease him, yours will do far more than that. I will not ask you if you realize what your doing because I know you do. Could you not have stayed for a little while longer? Must you leave like a thief in the night? Your brother isn't going anywhere,” She said and stepped up to her. She touched a few strands of Kressara’s hair and tucked them in behind her ear. Now more into the light Nauriel was in an evening robe and wore slippers. Her hair was down and despite the obvious signs of age, she was a very beautiful woman.

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Post by XslvrstarX on Mon Apr 15, 2019 2:54 pm

Kressara knew that she was putting her mother into a potentially difficult situation with her father, but she greatly appreciated her help. She watched her husband step away to saddle the horses before looking back at her mother. She felt a wave of emotion come over her. She had been home less than 24 hours and now she was leaving again. However, the more she thought about it the more she knew this was the right choice.

"I'm sorry Mother," she said gently. "I wish Boraden and I could stay longer, but our place is not here yet. We will return...I swear that to you. Boraden and I will represent our family and the kingdom of Gondor and we will work to ensure that the peace we have achieved remains so. I will write to you both as often as I can."

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Post by Conleth on Mon Apr 15, 2019 5:50 pm

Nauriel could not stop herself from tearing up. Kressara was her baby. Her youngest and she always worried about her. In many ways her marriage lessened that worry if only to know of her end comes that she would not be alone.

“We barely had a chance to talk...and your new husband...I’d like to get to know him...and you as well,” she said and wiped her eyes clear of wetness. Boraden brought their horses out and all of their things were packed on them. He remained at a distance not to disturb the women women. He learned long ago that when two or more women were as close as they were now, interrupting them could be disastrous. He turned and busied himself with rechecking the saddle girths.

Nauriel looked at him then embraced her daughter. “Oh I love you Kressara,” she said trying not to cry openly. “Please come back to us...soon,” she said.

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Post by XslvrstarX on Mon Apr 15, 2019 5:56 pm

Kressara's eyes were tearing up as well. She loved her entire family and hated being apart from them, but this was what she needed to do. She hugged her mother back and nodded. "Of course...I promise. Tell Father I love him and give him a hug for me."

She stepped back from her mother and watched as her mother then stepped over to Boraden. She spoke to him quietly for a few moments and she could only guess what she was saying to him. However, he seemed to smile and nod and as her mother stepped away from him Kressara joined her husband and mounted her horse. As they rode away she looked back one final time and saw her mother give a little wave as they headed down and out of the city.

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