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Houses of the Sun and Moon (CLOSED)

By Ravanya

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Replies: 28 / 1 years ago

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(#003b75 (b You) are the Crowned Prince of the House of the Sun amongst the Elves. The Royals that Rule over the land of Ausra. Raised to be the strongest of your family, learning much of the political alliances between all Elemental Houses and how to keep the peace between them all. You have been taught everything you will need to know for the day you become King. You have come to the age that you are now able to marry and find yourself a bride. But your parents have kept something from you all these years, only to tell you on the eve of your birthday. Since the day you were born, you were set to an arranged marriage, your bride has been chosen for you. The daughter of the House of the Moon, Nobles of the Night. Your marriage to her is to unite the two houses of the Sun and the Moon, in a show that there is still peace in the lands. Two weeks before the marriage is to take place, she is to come to the palace to meet you, and you are to spend time with one another before the wedding.)

(#003b75 (b Isilme) was raised to be a proper Lady of the House of Night. Her virtue was kept clean and pure, and she was taught in the ways of reading, writing, embroidery, music, and song. She is everything any man could ever wish, said to be more beautiful than the moon itself and her voice like that of grey silk on a summer wind at midnight. As per the agreement she was not told of the Arranged Marriage until she was of proper age. She knows she must go through such for her duty to her people. But can she be happily married to a man she doesn't know? Even if that man is the Crowned Prince?)

(#003b75 (b If you are interested in joining, please REQUEST to join and then PM ME YOUR CHOSEN CHARACTER WITH A BIO FOR THE RP (LINK FOR IMAGE INCLUDED) And if I choose you, then I will accept and place your character's Image on the Description. I will not put on a character limit, but I will not accept any one-liners in this RP. At least a paragraph or two, please. And be Mature about your work.))

(#003b75 (b Isilme))
(pic https://i.imgur.com/wJFuTkw.jpg)

(#003b75 (b Prince Eldrothir))
(pic https://imgur.com/kVlbEsb.jpg)

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Isilme was afraid that her heart was going to beat out of her chest in nervousness. Eldrothir seemed to be just as nervous, speaking of all the things that already had his attention before lunch, but the Queen gave no room for argument. He came forth and gave her an apologetic look before offering his arm. She took a deep breath to try and steady herself as she took his arm and allowed him to lead her out towards the large floor.

Isilme was running through all her dance lessons through her head as she walked with him along the floor. He spoke up then, asking for her to forgive his mother. He also asked that she forgive his intrusion. She shook her head slightly, speaking softly to him as they found their position on the floor. [#210066 [b "I feel stronger when you are nearby, anyway. I've been a nervous mess all morning with the Queen. I just was not aware I would have such a largely formed audience during lessons...."]]

He brought his hand to her waist as she slipped a loop made in the dresses around her middle finger. This allowed a Lady to lift her skirt and free her hands so she didn't trip. Their hands intertwined and her other hand rested to his shoulder as the music began. She was nearly trembling in her nerves. She'd only ever danced with the instructor, some of the help, and her father in her lessons. What if she stepped on his foot? Or tripped him? Her stomach was in knots and she was regretting breakfast.

He must have sensed her nerves as well, and spoke up to her to look only to him, and to forget the room. It took her a moment or two before she raised her gaze to meet his. She focused on his eyes, letting that one view slowly allow her to try and calm and relax. They had started the dance with proper distance between them, but as the dance went on, it smoothed out and they became closer until they were nearly one figure dancing along the floor. Their motions managing to sync up without flaw, as if they had been dancing with one another their entire lives. The more she relaxed into him, the more those in the room would disappear. She didn't see the audience, the band, or the Queen. She could only see Eldrothir.

The Queen watched everything with a close eye. They were both being careful and proper, but whether anyone was pushing for it or not, something was obviously happening between them. They seemed to grow closer when they were alone. She knew about their embrace in the kitchen, their dinner in the garden, or at least the hint of it. She had to admit that Jolgeir was loyal even if it was hindering her own snooping in her own home. But even though they seemed to be growing closer, they were still fighting things.

At this pace, they would never be close enough by the wedding. She softly made her way to the band as she watched them and smirked. It was time to truly 'test' what the Lady of the Moon could do. As the waltzing music came to an end, she gave the band a new song to play before the lovely couple would try and separate. The band quickly set up for the song and began to play as she made a motion to the couple to keep going, lessons were not finished.

Isilme had just finished the proper bow for the end of the dance when the more robust music began to play. She quickly looked over and saw the band and the Queen before looking to him in fear. After a few chords she realized which dance this was, and she was at least glad she was taught it. She was still being tested. Speaking low to him as she stood and took a breath to prepare for the first step. [#210066 [b "Your mother is very sneaky..... but..... I-I know this dance..... Mother said it was not usually used in normal ballroom settings, but that I would need to know it one day.....I may be nervous, but I refuse to back down....."]] She looked to him and took her pose to wait for the first steps. If his mother brought up the dance, then he would know the steps as well. She took a deep breath and tried to keep her mind on him and not the audience they held.
Isilme / Ravanya / 258d ago
The Queen's idea was one the prince could not foresee happening, though maybe he should not have burst out his adulation so openly. He protested freely, trying to list all the many things he'd have to do instead yet his mother was having none of it asking a couple servants to 'fetch the band' for them to hold the impromptu dance rehearsal. He was blocked from leaving by the staff who were happy to go along with it all and force him into dancing.

His mother clapped her hands as if that would make him move any faster, he gave Isilme an apologetic grin when his back was facing the Queen; Lady Isilme wore a light dress of silver, with a shimmering fabric that held a soft sheen and her hair had been adorned with silk ribbon and gleaming flowers. Elegant and poised the prince offered a courteous nod with an outstretched arm when he made his way to Isilme's side; he'd lead her to the center of the room, silently dreading any bigger audiences as they'd practice dancing with each other.

His mind was telling him that everything was moving way too fast, he was fighting off the panic-they were all hoping to force the wedding whether either of them fully agreed to it or not. His parents especially found no reason to not rush into everything, they saw this marriage as a transaction, a culmination of years worth of careful planning. Now that the end was practically in sight they wanted to have everything done as quickly as possible. The musicians arrived rather quickly, hustling to provide some music, a light and harmonious waltz started to fill the room and had many a head bobbing with the joyful notes.

[#b30000 "You must forgive my mother, and my intrusion, Lady Isilme, it was not something I was expecting."] Awkwardly Eldrothir shifted his weight from one foot to the other, he knew how to dance-it was one of the many lessons he was forced to learn for those ballroom occasions. The Queen impatiently waved them together, like he could just fall into dancing with all this tension in the room. [i 'Was it hot in here to anyone else?'] After having to relax his nerves Prince Eldrothir put his hand on Isilme's waist, pulling her to him subtly as they went through a few steps in time with the music.

At first the music was soft and allowed the two partners to find their footing, so to speak, Eldrothir was thankful that it allowed him to move without thinking too much. He was so flustered and afraid he was going to step on either her foot or the hem of her gown; yet neither happened, and one could tell Eldrothir was trying to mentally walk himself through the dance. Dancing was a lesson he would often employ Jolgeir to cover for him, skipping out on the tedious skill. Was it noticeable?

Lady Isilme seemed just as nervous or more than he did, she paled even more than normal, and as they would join hands with the other on his shoulder, the prince gave her an encouraging smile.

[#b30000 "Look into my eyes, Lady Isilme, let this room contain only us."] He spoke quiet enough that only those in close proximity would hear him over the raising music. His grey eyes were warm and comforting, finding solace as he looked into hers when they danced around one another the prince was at least calming. The prince would spin Isilme in time with the music, embracing each other lightly after each spin as the music swooned with vibrancy. The longer Eldrothir danced the easier it became, shaking off the yearlong rust without much hassle.

For the first half of the dance he kept relative distance from Isilme, respecting the boundaries of each partner, at a few portions they even danced at arm's length. Focusing on the footwork as they'd go through the paces, Eldrothir messed up a few times causing him to make a few faces of vexation but he still continued on through the waltz. As the music rose throughout the room the prince brought Isilme back to him after they finished another lengthy formal maneuver, bringing them together closer than before as he led her throughout the dance.

The prince started leading Isilme around the room in turning rotations, around and around they spun around the ballroom floor Eldrothir still looking at Isilme which surprisingly drowned out everything but her and the music, following the sweeping rhythm of the music that allowed them to take more space. Eldrothir was actually feeling comfortable right around now, he wasn't paying attention to the others in the room, he was more occupied with Isilme and the dance. His raven hair was framed in sunlight through the windows, contrasting his white tunic as they danced around each other, in each other's arms, did they not look charming? The prince and lady were very close to each other's sides as they swung around the large room, sweeping and gliding over the reflective marble floor in sync with the beautiful music.

A few maids swooned along the sidelines, nobles and guards stopped in and nodded their heads along with the musicians' ballad. It was hardly a big crowd but it was enough to give one hesitation, yet Eldrothir felt no anxiety as he led Lady Isilme around with another rotating spin, twirling her by her hand. Who was to say they did not look picturesque?
She let her fingers wander along each string to pluck the melody as her eyes closed and she gave into the music. Harmonizing chords, whimsical litls, playful runs, but all in the spirit of the music she created. She forced herself to forget that the Queen was watching her, giving her heart into the song so that she was true to its beauty. This made her also completely unaware of the new additions to her audience.

When she finished her song and the last note hung in the air, there came silence, and then there was deep clapping, followed by more as well as cheering. This caused Isilme to look up completely startled and look towards the doors where there now stood a fairly decent sized crowd, and in the center was Eldrothir who was cheering the loudest for her.
[#210066 [b "Eldro-- Y-Your Highness..... I wasn't aware I was entertaining more than Her Majesty...."]] she knew the Queen was watching and so she had to be careful not to insult her with informal titles to her son, and in such, she gave a bow of her head, her pale features flushed in a blush at their cheering.

The Queen hadn't missed the stumble as the woman had nearly called her sone by his name instead of his title. Such was very interesting to her indeed. As was her son's interest as she had been testing the young Lady in her skills in music, which she had to admit were very skillful indeed. Seems they were growing closer more than she had realized, she'd not seen her son smile like that in a very long time. Perhaps this was a better idea than they had thought when they created this arrangement. Since her son was here, she now had a thought that caused her to smile like that of a Cheshire with a new toy.

"Eldrothir, so wonderful for you to join us. Since you are here and so keen on seeing the Lady, we will bump up dance lessons now, instead of after lunch. Since you're both here, after all." She was practically purring at this, knowing it would not only prep them for the engagement ball, it would leave them no choice but to spend time close together. An what better way to try and make two people fall in love than with dancing and music?

Isilme was still flustered over her audience that when the Queen had decided to move up their dance lessons, she felt herself flushing even deeper. There were many dances to a ball, or so she was told. The Queen had explained to her that at the end of the week there would be a ball to announce their engagement to the entire Kingdom, and even though this excited her, it also frightened her. Now she had to prove she could learn the necessary dances before the end of the week, for this would also be her first ball, so she would be introduced to the Kingdom as a full-grown adult woman, and announced to be engaged to the Prince all in the same night. She felt like her stomach was going to twist until she feinted.
Isilme / Ravanya / 274d ago
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!"]
They had finished their meals and after a bit, he had stood to offer her his hand - not his arm - for a walk. She felt her features flush softly, but she smiled and took his hand to be lead further into the gardens. They truly were beautiful, and seeing some that she did know from home was helping to comfort her as she was here, thankful that not everything here was so different. Deeper they traveled into the massive gardens until they were surrounded only by moonlight. This natural light would give all the flora from the House of Moon an ethereal glow in their colors, illuminating them in their Bioluminescence.

It was something beautiful to see, and she was thankful to see it and to get to show it to him. He spoke up of how he hoped she was enjoying herself here because he was. She wondered if the way he said it meant he didn't often get to enjoy himself. She hoped to change that. [#210066 [b "Despite the circumstances, and the horrors with our parents... I've really enjoyed my time here... especially at your side."]] The last had slipped her lips before she could stop them and she prayed she hadn't said too much.

It was then they had found where the stargazers had been moved, and now they were gleaming in the moonlight as they should have been. She gasped and moved quickly to their side to kneel down, cradling one of the blooms between her hands, her face filled with a bright smile. She looked up to him in her happiness before watching each of them as they continued to open and bloom. Once she was content of their happiness, she allowed him to start leading her back before they stopped beneath one of the trees and mentioned that they should probably call it a night. She nodded softly, unknown to her that the tree was dropping soft petals along the back of her hair as they stood there.

She took his arm and he led her to the entry of the gardens where a maid was waiting to take her back to her temporary room. Before she left, he brought her hand to his lips, this time his eyes were softer, the touch sweeter. It made her heart flutter and she blushed softly, giving a shy smile as his touch lingered. The maid tried to stifle a giggle, and of course, this would be known all over the palace by morning. [#210066 [b "Good night.....Eldrothir...."]] She didn't care if the maid heard, she wanted to end the night as they were, as two people, not as a Crowned Prince and a Lady. She was led silently to her room where things were lavishly prepared for her, leaving a slight trail of the blossom petals from her hair as she went. Once in her room, she was dressed and in bed, smiling as she slipped into sleep.

The next morning she was awoken by her hungover mother with breakfast in her room, who spent the entire time Isilme was dressing for the day to chide her over the previous day. She was dressed in a silver gown that held a soft iridescent shine of blues and purples when she moved. It held off the shoulders into soft sheer sleeves, held around the bodice was a lace corset. She wore pale sheer stockings and silver slippers. Her hair was intricately braided with matching ribbons, and upon request, also with matching colored flowers from the garden, something to remind her that would get her through the day. When she finally appeased her nagging mother, she said her goodbyes to them as they would travel home to finish preparing her things to be moved, and they would be back for the engagement ball and then the wedding.

Once they were gone, Isilme was lead to the grand ballroom to meet with Her Majesty. Lessons were to start. The first thing the Queen wanted to go over was music, and so she wanted to test Isilme's skills. She had her play the piano, the flute, the lyre, the harpsichord, and lastly the harp. The harp was her favorite and so upon playing the harp, she allowed herself to truly shine, playing something whimsical, beautiful, and slow.
Isilme / Ravanya / 278d ago
After they dined Eldrothir rose from the table, smiling as he offered her his hand, suggesting that they walk through the large gardens. She would be able to see far more of the flowers planted that way, and it would allow them to continue their conversations without interruption. Back in the castle Jolgeir was on guard duty-guarding the door and windows from any of the other servants. He shooed them away and chided them as they would try to sneak a peek at the two betrothed. There would be no spying eyes while he was around, save for his own, but even then he only looked to see if they needed anything from him.

The further they walked into the gardens the less lanterns were lit, leaving only the moon as their sole light source. The prince talked about small things with Isilme as they walked, seeing the way the moon caught in her lustrous hair had him smiling more. To be so close to someone who was genuinely considerate, attentive and warm-hearted was a new experience for Eldrothir. Besides his best friend there was no one in his life who would be so thoughtful and unselfish.

The wind was a warm comfort tonight, carrying the soft balmy fragrance of flowers and blossoms. It was a delicate touch, not overpowering, and to be outside calmed his thoughts considerably. When did he stop feeling nervous? It was hard to tell, but he did not feel like he had to be so tense around Isilme, which was not only surprising, but welcomed.
They would probably spend a bit more time in the gardens and then they would have to retire, both of them had a busy day in the morning. Eldrothir did not want to take up too much of the maiden's time, would she then think him overbearing? Yet he also did not want the night to end, how strange a thought, he was enjoying himself which was hardly something he was used to.

[#b30000 "Despite the early problems, I hope you have been able to enjoy yourself tonight; I know I have."] Eldrothir ventured onto a proverbial ledge, actually admitting out loud the enjoyment he was having just being able to spend time alone-without a bunch of expectations and rules to follow. They found where the gardener moved the stargazer lilies as they walked around and the flowers were in a much more agreeable position.

The flowers were opened fully in the light of the moon, soaking up the rays as its petals formed its signature star formation. Eldrothir complimented Isilme's suggestion, these were far more beautiful than before being parched underneath the sun. After a while the moon reached its height in the sky, Eldrothir looked up to the skies for a brief moment before turning back to Isilme, stopping beneath a cherry tree soaking up the moonlight.

[#b30000 "We should retire now, my lady."] Eldrothir said with a light smile, he would walk her back and have a maid show Isilme her room. He hoped she would find it agreeable, it would be highly decorated and turned down for her, fit for a princess or more. The prince then brought her hand to his lips, unforced this time and without thinking; her hand was smooth and pale unlike his own which was tanned by the sun. Eldrothir could hardly believe himself, he was actually happy.
She took a moment to wipe at her face until she felt him take her hand. Once again his touch was warm, it was sweet and somehow his touch seemed to calm her fears and her pain. A part of her didn't want him to ever let go, and this thought scared her. They'd only known each other one day, and she had such a thought?

He went on to explain his own experience and it simply broke her heart that their parents would do such things to them just to make sure that they wouldn't be able to jeopardize the arranged marriage. She felt the need to hold to him as they had back in the kitchens. He understood her, and he affected her in ways she didn't know someone could. As he spoke of his own trials, she softly squeezed his hand, her thumb trailing lightly along his finger as he did.

He made her a promise then and she looked to him unsure of what to say. They were promised to one another, for the rest of their lives. Could he really make such a promise to her? What if all this new emotion and seemingly happy bonding didn't last the rest of their lives? Something could always happen to change things, make them hate one another. She had seen it before. A couple happily married and loving, then once they were given the blessing of a child, they turned on one another. And Elves were married for life, you only get another chance if your partner passed away. He mentioned they had a lot to learn before the wedding and she felt her stomach tighten up again. She had heard of how many details went into a Noble wedding... But a Noble Lady marrying the Crowned Prince? This was sure to be a Kingdom-wide celebration that was going to cause her to possibly faint.

He apologized about her horse and she tried to smile for him. [#210066 [b "No, n-no, this was many years ago... I just miss her. Not many horses like me, I'm afraid, and she and I had a connection that I've not been able to recreate with another horse. But I am willing to try again, especially if it is something you enjoy as well. We can't always allow our sad moments to keep us from making happier ones."]] She felt him let go of her hand and she wanted to reach for his hands again but restrained herself. She kept her gaze down softly flushed at how she seemed to want more of his touch, and she didn't understand why. Was this normal? Was it odd?

She continued to eat in silence as the night played its melody around them. She finished her meal and then sipped from her wine as thoughts unraveled through her head. It was so easy to lose herself speaking with him, that sometimes one could forget that in two weeks they were to take the holy vows and become husband and wife before the entire Kingdom. She reached up to brush some of her hair from her face, it only fell back into place.

She had been so afraid that he was going to be cruel or hateful to her, but he's been nothing but sweet and kind, a couple of nervous actions, and some accidents in the afternoon she'd been there, but all in all, the time spent with him had been wonderful. Her mind was a mess, unsure of what to think. Surely it would be wrong to allow herself to become so close to someone in a short time? But then, wasn't that what her parents wanted? Without realizing it she was chewing her bottom lip once again in her nervous habit that her mother always chided her on.
Isilme / Ravanya / 282d ago
Eldrothir said little as he ate, drank and listened intently, shoving his concerning questions to the back of his mind. His brow furrowed, eyebrows raising in concern as she spoke openly about her home life. What she was describing was very much like his own life, so many studies, so many false friends who sought only what he could give them. When she described how the lesser nobles would treat her, pretend to be her friend, Eldrothir immediately felt ashamed of his thoughts. Thinking that she was only pretending to be this kind young woman as a deceitful lie had his face burning with shame.

The prince nodded with understanding the more she elaborated, how lonely a life her parents forced her to live. Eldrothir felt himself reaching over the table without realizing it, to take her hand in a comforting gesture as she became overwhelmed with sorrow. There was concern and worry written all over his face, he did not mean for his prying to cause her pain or bring up terrible memories.

[#b30000 "Do not feel like you have to apologize for this, Isilme, I would far rather you express your feelings freely with me than to pretend they do not exist at all."] He saw her wipe away a tear, and he knew the emotional difference, this sadness was real and it weighed upon her heavily.

[#b30000 "I can only compare how lonely your childhood must have been with my own experiences, but it seems we share more in common than most. I cannot make your past better, yet I promise you I will do anything I can to make sure you never have to feel downcast again."] The prince did not withdraw his hand from hers as he spoke, not even noticing it, his voice was softly comforting the distress. [#b30000 "I believe your parents were wrong to keep you away from the world, how they stifled your youth is inexcusable. Regardless of what you and I are destined for, we still should have been able to live our lives."]

[#b30000 "No one ever thinks about the stress a title can bring, or the weight a crown could bear. From the time I would wake up, until the time I went to bed I would be forced to study and rehearse; politics, diplomacy, martial training, stewardship studies, and other academics took up most of the day."] Eldrothir shared, frowning at the memories, almost losing himself in them. [#b30000 "Even recreational studies were constantly drummed into me, dancing, reading, hosting parties or banquets, learning that you couldn't seat one certain lord next to another or they'd be insulted; the different houses having their own feuds would then make an entire summer for me just learning about what to do with each diplomat or ambassador. Learning how to keep each house and individual noble patriarch happy to stop them from declaring civil wars or threaten to assassinate one another."]

[#b30000 "Unfortunately, I fear that our days of studies and politics will not end tonight, but we will make things better for each other-together."] Eldrothir hated to see anyone being mistreated, isolation and exclusion itself was still a form of negligence, and he would make sure that Lady Isilme would never feel that way again. Ever since he was a young boy and saw the whipping of Jolgeir for something wrong that he did he made a promise to himself that he would never allow anyone in his presence to be hurt. [#b30000 "No doubt there will be plenty to learn about before the wedding..."] Eldrothir gulped as he thought of the wedding, he was not ready to marry, his brain cried and he became flustered with the idea once more.

[#b30000 "I must offer my apologies for my earlier comment on riding, if it brought up this painful memory. I did not know of the loss."] Eldrothir had been holding Isilme's hand this entire time, and when he apologized for his error he looked down to see his hand clasping hers. Another small apology for the breach of personal space and he retracted his hand back across the table to his side. The prince ate a bit more of food in silence, yet his grey eyes kept raising from his plate repeatedly to look at Isilme. Was she worried about being married too, or was he just having extremely cold feet?
They moved closer to the table and he held her chair for her. Giving a soft smile she would delicately take her seat. It was absolutely beautiful in the gardens, day or night, and she found by looking around that the garden had more than just Stargazer lilies in its depths. Some of the flowers were giving soft glows from the moon and it gave her a calmer feeling. Almost like being at home. She decided she would have to explore the gardens deeper one night to see if they held any Midnight Storms. It was a type of rose that in the sun was a blended red and orange. And under the moonlight, it would change to Silver and Gold. But no one ever thought to watch it change from day to night. It was truly something beautiful to see and the rose was her absolute favorite.

Jolgeir served them drinks and she giggled as Eldrothir was teased about not wasting this one. She had been so afraid of being made to feel like an outcast here, but both men had been very kind to her, not in the sense of being Politically polite, but a genuine kindness that helped ease her nervous stomach. Returning his smile, Isilme would lift her glass to meet his and join in a drink before starting the meal. When Eldrothis spoke up of hoping that this place could become like a home to her as well, she looked up to him and paused a moment in soft surprise. Where he sat across from her, he was deeply illuminated in a shaft of moonlight. She was left speechless a moment. In the house of Moon, it was an old legend, a wive's tale, that if the moon blessed a union it would show the one of the Moon with a show of light. His dark hair was brought to life under the light like a raven's wing, his stormy eyes glimmered like stardust. She found herself blushing a moment to drop her gaze and give a smile as she took a moment to compose herself.

[#210066 [b "Th-that means a.... great deal to me... Eldrothir. Thank you, very much. I am sure things have been prepared very well for me."]] It was then she realized that the room that would be prepped for her would be a temporary room, used only until after the wedding, where they would be expected to share a room as husband and wife. This made her blush deepen. [#210066 [b "Life at home has not been what many would think it was. Sure I wanted for nothing when it came to anything of material value. But items were never where my heart would lie unless it was my books... Ever since I was little, I was told that I was destined for great things, but I was never told what those things were. I always thought it was to carry on the house line but once they told me of the engagement I realized what they had meant... my days were filled with etiquette lessons, music lessons, riding lessons, How a Lady should and should not act... I would meet with some of the other Ladies my age from lower noble families of the House of Moon, but I know they were only nice to me because of who my family is and where we stand... Play nice to the top and you don't end up at the bottom... I heard the girls talking about it before I entered the room. I have rather... exceptional hearing."]]

She gave a slight smile as she continued to eat and speak - with manners. [#210066 [b "I was told that Ladies either need a special exception or they must be a certain age before they can attend any festivals. I had spoken with the other girls and they were confused about it, claiming they had been to such celebrations away from home. The more I think about it, the more that I think they were keeping me from prying eyes so that I wouldn't have a chance to cause problems with the engagement. So, sad to say the only celebrations I have been to were with family at home. To... be completely honest, I am nervous about when I will finally attend my first... I've no idea what to expect or what to do..."]]

She said biting her lower lip once again as she lowered her gaze from his in shy embarrassment. [#210066 [b "I always had lessons, rules, practice, I would always try to slip out to read in the library or to go riding on Daimona, my mare. She was as white as the snow. I snuck out once to ride her in the middle of the night, I'd gotten into another fight with my mother over having missed another lesson. I should have stayed home that night..."]] Her look took on one of sadness and pain. [#210066 [b "I wasn't paying attention, and Daimona ended up stepping into a hunter's trap... I was sent into a thorn bush, and she ended up tripping and breaking her leg... she...."]] her words broke off and this time the tear that escaped her before she hastily wiped it away was actually one of sadness. She had loved her mare dearly, probably her only true friend. She hadn't ridden a horse since that day, and she stopped skipping her lessons for fear of causing any more pain or harm.

She took a moment to take a drink and then tried to smile for him before apologizing. [#210066 [b "I'm sorry, I didn't mean to bring up something to dampen the mood, that was rude of me. You've gone through such troubles to make me feel welcome and comfortable, and I'm acting as though I've had nothing but bad times at home... I'm so sorry....."]]
Isilme / Ravanya / 282d ago
Eldrothir was comforted by her reassurance, she was probably right, he never really considered that it was not the castle itself that he despised. The soft sounds of the river passing by the table lulled Eldrothir into a sense of comfort, the small lanterns' flickering flames illuminated behind the tree blossoms giving a warming touch as the evening deepened. The light they gave off was delicate enough to not overpower the settling of night, and a few cherry blossom petals floated down to decorate the table.

Jolgeir served Isilme her drink first, teasing Eldrothir not to waste this one, the prince's light eyes looked down to his plate. At least they didn't have to worry about their parents right now, so he shouldn't have any mishaps with the wine. Eldrothir nodded his thanks to his friend who took it upon themselves to be their personal butler, and Jolgeir knew that if his best friend was going to woo any woman he needed all the help he could get! Just leave it to Jolgeir, they would say-nobody [i actually] said that but the servant would do his best to make sure Eldrothir did not mess up another dinner.

The prince raised his wine glass, lightly touching it to Isilme's with a friendly smile. Jolgeir served Isilme a plate of food; plated, garnished and presented with as much fancy flare as a servant could. Jolgeir had to work in the kitchens today, so he had memorized the menu as painful as it was, Eldrothir was served next and then Jolgeir gave a more softer bow before excusing himself, he would make sure none of the other servants or maids would bother them out in the gardens.

[#b30000 "I know that this entire arrangement was neither of our ideas, but I hope you will consider this a good home for you in the meantime."] Eldrothir started, carefully choosing his words, why was he nervous again? It wasn't like they haven't already sat down to eat together before, he felt there was more pressure on him now just between the two of them than in front of their parents. He felt a flickering tension when he gazed across the table at Isilme, the moonlight was just starting to illuminate more of the garden the further it rose. The moon's rays glinted off the gold that braided along her pale hair and tinged along her intricate circlet. [#b30000 "I'm certain a room has already been readied for you..."]

[#b30000 "So tell me about your life before you found out what our parents intended. What was life like for you back at home?"] Eldrothir decided to pry about Isilme's life before today, he was more curious about her now. She was so compassionate and kind, it was hardly the personality of maybe nobles he had come to know growing up. Was she being nice on purpose, he feared, was this part of a ploy just to get him to like her more? Was this a ruse concocted by her parents and she was simply playing a part? His consciousness started gnawing at him and preying on his insecurities, his expression dampened the more his brain made him think about these dark turn of events even though he was trying his best to hide it, for her sake.

[#b30000 "You mentioned before you were not allowed to attend festivities, pardon me for saying, but that seems very disheartening... to be excluded so."] Eldrothir couldn't even imagine how it would be to see everyone go to a solstice or gathering and not be allowed to attend. He would want to change that, if ever the situation arose, there was much she must have missed out on. How was life for her back at her family's house? He was imagining that she was fawned over frequently, being the daughter of a prestigious noble as her father was.

If she had been given the chance to attend a ball or banquet the prince could see all the attempted suitors vying for her attention. At least that was his experience with many of the noble ladies at court, he drew on his own encounters mentally, how the women would fan themselves and laugh at all his jokes, relishing the opportunity to be seen with him, and spark rumors throughout the ballroom. Would it be the same for her, if they were to be seen together at a celebrated feast? Would she change in front of the eyes of others?

Too many questions, he decided, shaking his head absentmindedly, forcing himself to focus on what Isilme was saying. She hadn't seemed to change in front of her parents, even though she had to hide her gratitude for the sense of etiquette. Eldrothir told himself he was overthinking things, dining together was very nice so he chided himself to enjoy the occasion. Isilme was far more confident than he was it seemed, Eldrothir chanced to take another glance across the table at her, their eyes meeting once more. The prince could not explain the contentment he was given looking into her eyes, just from a glance, how could she be nothing but sincere?
She watched as the two teased and playfully fought one another. She covered her mouth with the linen slightly as she giggled watching them. It was good to see he had at least one person in the palace he could be himself with. He was very lucky. Her mother had kept a very tight leash on her, so she wasn't able to be so close to someone. One of the many reasons she felt so awkward in larger groups or as the center of attention. A little issue since she will be the future Princess, and one day Queen. They stopped when Eldrothir had Jolgeir in a headlock and she snickered. When Jolgeir mentioned the horror from dinner she blushed deeply and nodded softly. [#210066 [b "Accidentally, and it was our mothers' faults, but yes..."]]

He spoke of how now the entire palace probably knows of what happened and she now truly felt mortified. She bit her lower lip and could imagine how Eldrothir must feel about it all. She heard about how their parents had reacted. They were staying the night and then leaving in the morning to finish packing and having her things delivered. She hoped someone needed her in the morning so that she didn't have to listen to the rantings of her hungover mother before they left.

She sighed to shake her head softly before a hand rose to her stomach. Eldrothir was now off speaking with Jolgeir and when he came back and mentioned dinner for just them she gave him a grateful smile, giggling as he promised not to spit wine on her this time. [#210066 [b "That sounds perfect."]] She took his arm and let him lead her back the way they had come from the gardens. She gave him a curious look and he spoke of eating in the gardens and how he couldn't stand the palace walls for too long.

She placed her other hand to his arm in a show of support and reassurance once again. [#210066 [b "I do not think it's so much the palace walls..... but what lies within.... the burden of your responsibilities, the memories of not being able to do things you did want to do, and being forced into things you didn't. But... it doesn't always have to feel that way. Maybe I can help you feel more at home here. Its good to get out, do not get me wrong... but this is still your home... however I can, if you will allow me... maybe I can make things better for you..."]]

She hated that he didn't like his own home. She knew that feeling and she had always tried to fill her days with something meaningful to her. Reading good books, or playing music - she'd become almost a professional with the harp, lyre harp, and flute - so she wanted to find things within the palace that would help him to find his home here, instead of just a golden cage. As they reached the gardens she would see their dinner was all set up, the moon was rising off in the distance, and the lanterns had been lit for the night.

A quick glance also had her see that they had already moved the Stargazer lilies and replaced them tiger lilies, such made her smile and she wondered where they were so that one day she could show him how they fully bloomed, though the lanterns would have to be out so they could truly bloom in the moonlight. How beautiful they would be, and under the moonlight, this rare kind would glow with their own bioluminescence and would give a hauntingly beautiful cast, almost magical along the garden.
Isilme / Ravanya / 282d ago
[#00a3a3 "Best mate, am I now? Oh you cheeky, little..."] Eldrothir's embarrassment was cut short as Jolgeir began to fake punch at his midsection. Eldrothir protested at first, forgetting their awkwardness around Isilme as the two young men pretended to fight one another. It wasn't until Eldrothir nearly had Jolgeir in a headlock that he suddenly remembered their present company. Now was not the time to play like children. [#00a3a3 "I heard what happened at the dinner and I just had to come and see the havoc. Did he really spit wine at you?"] Jolgeir asked Isilme from the headlock.

[#b30000 "You heard about that?"] The prince asked growing red in the face, Jolgeir laughed as he was let go.

[#00a3a3 "By now the whole castle as heard about it. You know how much those maids talk?"] The servant shook his head, snorting back laughter. [#00a3a3 "First dinner together and you make a mockery of yourself, how ever will our Kingdom recover?"]

[#b30000 "Are our parents still out there?"] Jolgeir told them how shocked they all were, they resigned to having the servants clear away the dishes. The king tried to smooth things over with Isilme's parents quickly, offering a few lavish gifts in an attempt to keep a good relation with them. Eldrothir's mother was so distraught she retired early to her bedchamber, no doubt to sleep off the wine. Both the young elves would hear plenty from their parents later, the servant cautioned. Eldrothir ran a hand through his raven hair, grimacing as he could just imagine his mother's tone in the morning.

His stomach grumbled and Eldrothir realized just how little he ate before the disaster struck, he pulled Jolgeir aside to get a few platters together-if he was still hungry then no doubt Isilme was too. They would dine back in the gardens, the evening had since set in and he thought being outside would allow both of them time to unwind like before. They would have the lanterns lit throughout the garden by now, and if Isilme thought the gardens were beautiful in the sunlight how would she find them in lit lantern and moonlight? Eldrothir would have a couple servants set out a smaller dining table with a few chairs, he was more eager to get back outside than he realized-still hating being trapped in the palace. Jolgeir gave him a thumbs up and left the two of them alone to get things prepared.

[#b30000 "Are you still hungry? I'm having the servants set up something for us, if you'd care to join me. I promise, I shall not spit out any wine this time."] He smiled and offered to escort her once more, he couldn't expect her to hide in the kitchens all night. He didn't care so much for the moon during the warm spring to summer nights, but that didn't mean he could not try to enjoy it if it would make Isilme smile at him again. They could get to know each other better away from prying eyes, and inside the castle there were eyes and ears [i everywhere].

The evening was still warm, the breeze lightly rustling through the garden, swinging the hanging lanterns as a few servants went around with lighting poles setting the delicate wicks alight. They were busy with their tasks so they hardly noticed the two nobles entering the gardens, Jolgeir had placed a small table and a couple of chairs, he stood at the ready holding out Isilme's chair for her. The food was just as hot and steaming as before, as if no time had passed at all, the steam rising lazily over the platters and dishes.

Eldrothir was thankful that Jolgeir did not try to put candles on the table, it was not that type of dinner, and he did not want to force Isilme to think otherwise. There was a silver glow that covered the flora and fauna of the garden, gently kissing the petals and giving a shimmer to the small stream that cascaded over strategically placed rocks. Small waterfalls bubbled beneath the light of the moon, the skies deepening with shades of violet and indigo, the last light of the sun had dissipated behind the horizon, giving its final touches of red and orange.

The moon ruled the night, reflecting the sun and casting its favor over the garden; several flowers still opened to catch the cast moonlight, soaking in its white golden aura.

[#b30000 "I hope you do not mind to dine in the gardens, I... cannot stand to be within the palace walls for very long."] Eldrothir admitted, showing the young woman to her seat as before.
She looked to him as he seemed first surprised at her reaction and then relieved that she was alright. She couldn't help the smile that seemed permanently plastered along her lips with him. He allowed her to explain herself, and understanding filled his eyes as he started to smile with her. She continued to wipe at her eyes, and her abdomen was going to be sore for a while. He spoke of how he thought he had upset her, and she blushed lightly feeling touched. The only people she'd ever been close to were her parents, and though her father was closer than her mother was, they never truly understood if she was upset, or if they caused it.

Yet here was the Crowned Prince worried that he had humiliated her to tears, looking so lost and forlorn and worried that she was upset with him. So many had spread rumors that because he was a Prince he would be this spoiled, snobbish being that demanded respect at all times. But he was just a man with a fancy title, and that was how she wanted to treat him. As a man. He was more than just his birthright, and he was proving it by coming to her side when he thought she was hurt.

She wasn't sure what she expected coming into this engagement. He was a beautiful man, no doubt, but she had worried about what would be in his heart. Would he have been cruel with power, or would he be kind? Only a day in and he was proving to be very kind. When he mentioned what his face might have looked like, and tried to recreate it in mock horror, she was laughing once again, tears streaming again as she wiped at her face.

He continued to hold to her, and the closeness felt nice. He felt warm against her, and she knew she should feel embarrassed but she instead felt safe and calm. When she tried apologizing he told her there was nothing to forgive and she smiled for him again. He mentioned his father was trying to warn him and her eyes widened. [#210066 [b "I had seen he was trying something, but I couldn't see what it was..... my own father just shook his head for some reason, I do not see how that was supposed to warn me...."]]

They continued to speak and laugh with one another until a voice spoke up and they quickly broke apart, realizing how long they had been embraced to one another, she blushed deeply and dropped her gaze before glancing back up to the male that had entered. An equally embarrassed Eldrothir made introductions and she gave a shy smile. [#210066 [b "The best mate, he said he wanted me to meet you..."]] she smiled. Jolgeir stepped up and gave an overdone bow - probably for laughs and show - and claimed that if she need anything to let him know. She giggled this time before answering. [#210066 [b "I will remember that, thank you. Though this time I do not think I was the one whom needed saving."]] she couldn't help to tease him a little, though her smile would be warmer than simply teasing. She already missed the warmth of his closeness, and that thought had her surprised and blushing.
Isilme / Ravanya / 282d ago
Eldrothir expected her to push him away, to be angry, to yell-was it not a common reaction? He held her close, still attempting to console what he thought was sadness, touching his lips softly to the top of her head, her hair smelled like a soft flower's fragrance. Yet as she seemed to calm down in his arms she clarified her emotions, she smiled at up at him and his breath caught in his throat. There were the strange flutters in his stomach again, the prince was self-conscious now, yet she was laughing still which made him laugh as well. She was not angry or sad, she found it humorous!

It was hardly the reaction any other noblewoman would give if someone spit wine all over them, they'd be screaming in horror. She spoke in between her giggles, clearing the tears from her face Eldrothir saw delicate lines framing her eyes. It was a strange sensation, holding her in his arms he could not fully understand why he suddenly cared so much.

[i 'Because she treats you like a person.'] A small voice inside his head, his consciousness, elaborated and the prince knew it to be correct. He spent so long being just 'the crowned prince' and not just Eldrothir-besides being with the snarky Jolgeir-that when someone dared to see him beyond his born status he could not help but become attached and wanting to keep that person happy. If you had told him a week ago that he would actually being worrying about destroying the marriage he would have laughed in your face, because a week ago or more that was all he could think about doing.

Then this woman walked into his life and did not refuse when he asked her to just call him by his name. Any other of the nobility would be too enamored with his title that they'd keep addressing him as if that was all there was to the young elf. His grey eyes softened when she spoke about how her mother also hated a disturbance of protocol, perhaps Lady Isilme was just as trapped to her mother's will as Eldrothir was to his.

She reassured him and then wrapped her arms around him in return, he felt like his heart returned to its natural place, yet thudded profusely in his chest at her embracing him as well. Silently, he hoped she could not hear how fast his heart was beating. Who would have thought that he would find a friend in a Lady from the House of the Moon, should he call her a friend so soon? Was he bewitched by more than just her beauty? This morning he dreaded meeting her, hated the thought of it, and even wished that the carriage careened off the roads.

He did not feel the stifling suffocation with her, he was able to relax which was strange to him. She was patient and kind when all he had known was strict and overbearing.

[#b30000 "I thought I had upset you, and mortified you."] He said with a small smile accompanying her own, [#b30000 "It must have been really funny,"] He was laughing himself now, envisioning his own expression. [#b30000 "I'm sure it was a look of pure terror."] His grey eyes got really wide in mock horror, which made him laugh even more. Even though he knew she was fine now he did not drop his arms from holding her, though maybe he should have for protocol. She was now apologizing to him, and he shook his head lightly.

[#b30000 "There is nothing to forgive."] He was glad she was not upset, and they could now laugh at the situation, he joked with her wholeheartedly, poking fun as if they would actually be thinking about having children already. [#b30000 "Now I at least know what my father was trying to warn me about, did you know he was trying to signal me under the table?"]

She caressed his cheek softly, cautiously, and his stomach did a flip but this time it was well-received. They had been so consumed with trying to follow all their guidelines, how foolish it was to stress over the little things. He was blissfully unaware when the kitchen doors opened and his friend and servant walked in, seeing the two of them in their light embrace, Jolgeir got a big teasing smile on his face.

[#00a3a3 "Whoa."] At his word Eldrothir instantly let go of Isilme and took a step away from her, rubbing the back of his neck and trying to look inconspicuous. [#00a3a3 "Hey, don't you two stop on my account, just act like I'm not here."] The prince coughed lightly and gave a small introduction, his face turning red again at Jolgeir's taunt. The servant walked up to Lady Isilme, gave a big bow-more than needed-and further proceeded to embarrass Eldrothir. This chance would come once in a lifetime and he was going to take it. [#00a3a3 "My dearest Lady, if there is [i anything] I can do to save you from this one's fumblings, you need only ask."] Jolgeir jabbed his thumb towards his best friend, his smile was trying to hold back a dangerous outburst of laughter. Oh, this was rich. Jolgeir was going to torture Eldrothir for days-he was so adamant about how he was going to hate his wife-to-be and what does Jolgeir find? Both of them in each other's arms and looking into their eyes all lovey-dovey.

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