The prince smiled when she said his name, shooting a disapproving glance at the maid who found it delightfully improper, which shut down the giggling immensely. The night went exceedingly well when not being forced by parental indulgences. Eldrothir grew quiet as they parted, his friend Jolgeir following him to his chamber, prying for details but he would find little success. Tomorrow was another day, and with it came the small prick of nervousness on how well Isilme would fare against his mother.
[center [b ~*~*~]]
The Crowned Prince was softly snoring and drooling on silk pillows when his dreams were interrupted by servants who would get him ready for the day. They spoke softly, coaxing him out of slumber and carefully drawing open the curtains to let the sun greet him. His face and hair were a mess, tousled and disheveled the servants helped him out of his night clothes and into the bath before he would be dressed in more appropriate attire. He just opted for a laced up white tunic, a diving collar held together with black crossing thread and the sleeves hung to his elbows. Tied with a belt around his waist the shirt extended to mid-thigh, it was loose and comfortable at least. Traditional pants and boots followed and everything was laid out for him while he submerged himself in hot water. They helped him bathe even, and then the servants moved to take care of the tangled mess that rested upon his head.
Black hair was washed and combed and before they even attempted to braid or plait it with ribbon he stopped them. How he hated it, just brushing was fine enough. The household was already in full swing by the time Eldrothir awakened, they went around lighting candles and incense, heated coals for baths, furnaces and the kitchen ovens. Several pages would be busy sharpening daggers and swords, bowstrings tightened, saddles cleaned; stable hands were busy attending a multitude of horses in the castle stables, armor had to be polished and emblazoned banners were gathered and hung from parapets.
Jolgeir was the one to bring him a warm drink of tea to start his day, it was one of his many duties as the prince's closest male companion. Eldrothir was surrounded by people but the atmosphere was still fairly lax, they would tell him of any new developments to the castle and the city so that he was not blindsided later. The prince had quite a few activities already laid out for him once he was dressed and ready to start his day.
He would meet with the castle astrologers and the clergy of the church to where he would be expected to offer prayers, and then he'd have to patrol the castle grounds and meet with a few soldiers for inspections. He would always take his breakfast in his room after giving prayers to the Gods, then he'd be forced to move on to scholars, advisers and more academic classes. Shortly after his meal he would be bombarded with officers and nobles with paperwork to go over and sign decrees and mandates.
After breakfast the atmosphere around Eldrothir would become much more strict and formal, as it was around this time that he would be implementing matters of state concerning the kingdom-everything eventually would be brought to his parents, but they demanded that he had a hand in judgments for the time when he would be King. Once the signing was over he would then move on to the palace guards and imperial troops of the realm, then once the soldiers were inspected and greeted Eldrothir was expected to present himself and his entourage to one of the balconies where subjects, both nobles and commoners beyond the gates would flock to see him. He was forced to smile and wave as they pointed and cheered at him, they were so happy to see him alive and well but he was dying inside.
He would be 'on display' for about thirty minutes, giving them all the delight of embracing him around the public from a safe distance. He would then give his blessing-of sorts-to the masses and return back inside, followed by their cheers and applause. Afterwards Eldrothir was given the choice between going out for a morning hunt with several of his house representatives or proceed to the public audience hall to hold court and hear the complaints of the people. Needless to say he almost always opted for the hunt unless something extremely pressing was to be held.
Anything to get outside, but even during the hunt-if anything was caught to begin with-Eldrothir was surrounded by a mass of people and their retainers. During the hunt the prince would be taught matters of war and scouting, honing his shooting, riding and tactical skills. Things that he would hunt would be brought back to the kitchens for future meals and often times whatever they ate would come straight from the Western Woods.
If Eldrothir would opt for the audience, he would take on complaints and asking of favors from the nobles and common folk. He would take on complaints of corrupting officials, flood damages to crops, livestock trampling harvests or being attacked by wildlife, talk of any enemy movements or feuding houses with matters to resolve. He also addressed the aspects of banditry and poachers, ruling upon their fates when they were brought before him. He would hear their reasons and pass judgment accordingly. -Most of the time he would send a poacher to the stocks for a couple hours and then they'd be let go. He knew reasons of hunger and poverty still made a man do perilous things, and while his parents disliked peasants poaching from what was rightfully [i their] lands he could not pass harsher sentences for something as meager as a slain rabbit, stewed to feed a family of five.
And this was to happen all before lunch. Could anyone blame him for wanting to get away from it all?
Prince Eldrothir kept trying to shoo away the throngs of followers that kept at his side throughout his tasks, could he not do a single thing by himself? Studies would later ensue of more recreational means: music, dancing, poetry recitations, story telling, theatrical readings and more. Surrounded by entertainers, imperial allies, household retainers, officers and clergymen, among a small contingent of noble patriarchs would depict the prince as a very sophisticated and generous man.
Generosity was the virtue that concealed all faults, everyone was more than willing to forget Eldrothir's discrepancies in light of gifts and wealth distributed. So he often employed Jolgeir's talents of misdirection and gifts as apologies for the prince's absence. He was on his way to one of his many tasks when he stopped the group behind him, listening to the beautiful music that filled the hall nearest him. The light strumming of a harp made him seek out the player, waving off the inquisitive patrons who still followed him.
It was Isilme. Playing before his mother, her light hair he would recognize in a room anywhere, he said nothing as he listened to the melodies she made. Leaning against the door frame his entourage waited patiently and were enraptured just as he was with the music. The Queen noticed him almost immediately, attuned to the change in a room better than he was, but she thankfully said nothing. She smiled at him and he gave a small inclination of his head out of respect. To bring him here was a good sign, and at least he smiled as he nodded his head to the music Isilme provided. When she finished playing Eldrothir broke the silence with clapping, which then was followed by even more applause from his entourage.
[#b30000 "Beautiful! Magnificent! Well done!"]