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The Blue Knight

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  1. Ada was practically jumping where she stood, unable to contain her gaiety for how swimmingly the ruse had played out. The gentry were practically eating the story out of her palms page by page, her brother quickly having made an about-face in the eyes of the people. If Ada had put her mind to it, she could likely charm the scales off a snake, and sell them back to him. However, she found herself pleasantly surprised when Ser Montgomery Moray supported her claims-- Lord Einhorn hadn't looked happy, but satisfied, at least. In the thrush of the party resuming, Ada skipped over to Monty and reached for his jaw with her hands, bringing him down to her to apply an enthusiastic smooch to his shaven cheek, an emblazoned red print of lipstick left behind in its wake. "You were brilliant!" she congratulated him quietly, the beauty mark by her eye moving with the rise of her cheeks for the illuminated smile she paid him. "With any luck, your sister will be the belle of the ball! I wager she and my brother will be the talk of the town tomorrow; now all he has to do is unhorse that ruffian, William." Ada was rubbing her hands together like a master hustler, as she made a mental note to increase her bets on her brother's match. With any luck, this was going to open all sorts of new doors, even for the four of them. "Your sister is like to become the most desirable lady in Nvengaria-- well-to-do men always want what others have. I foresee this is going to be a beautiful partnership, my friend." The Blue Knight, on the other hand, was in quite opposite spirits. The bile in his mouth was sour and uncomfortable, his stomach turning over more times than it ever had on the most wild horses he'd rode. The inside of his helm was becoming muggy and stagnant, for how heavily he was breathing; getting a grip had become no easy task. "Ada," he called cheerlessly, though his sister pranced over with all the joy in the world. In the static noise of the crowd, it was hard for anyone to hear what Ser Dormaeus had said to her. Ada's smile quickly disappeared. Only a few moments into their conversation, thick with convincing gestures from the arms of the Blue Knight, and desperately floored expressions from Ada, it was clear that the siblings were arguing. Ser Dormaeus' arms were open, palms upturned as he spoke to his sister, eventually pointing an accusatory finger in her direction. Ada looked positively bewildered, green eyes wide, showing more white than emerald, her lips parted with --in an uncommon token-- speechlessness. A few more words were exchanged between them, Ada finally choosing to fight back, for the way she gritted her teeth and appeared to be imploring her brother to reconsider, but it was evident that she had lost the battle. With an uncharacteristic slump in her shoulders, she paid her brother one last look before stomping back over to the Morays. Ada's hands were clasped together, looking much more the stern, proper lady than she was before, obviously at her brother's behest. It wasn't like Ada to follow directions, but by the purse in her lips, it appeared she hadn't much choice in the matter; her brother's mind was made up. She projected a sigh, and her green gaze set directly on Shahdee. "My dear brother requests you at the tent of House Dormaeus this eve at midnight, my Lady," she said begrudgingly. Ada liked Shahdee Moray, found her quite the pleasant change from the usual tedium of the jousting elite, but even Ada hadn't thought that her brother's intentions were a good idea; she only hoped that her brother's instincts were right about the lady Moray. "He'd like a chance to explain this... situation." With a swivel of her head, she rolled her lips back hesitantly as she looked at Montgomery. "My brother has requested that she come alone-- he doesn't wish what words he would like to impart upon your sister to affluence your relation in future tilts," Ada said, knowing that what she was asking was substantial; women in Nvengaria never traveled anywhere alone. They both hoped that under the cover of darkness, and perhaps with a hood for modesty, Shahdee's reputation could be preserved-- so long as she wasn't feeling as sick as her brother was, right now. "I hope you can understand." Ada gave a deep curtsy to the Morays, and as she went to go rejoin her brother in a flurry of kicked skirts, the Blue Knight bowed to the far-off Lord Einhorn with his fist to his chest, wordlessly apologizing for all the trouble he'd caused. Together, they left without another word. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- In the dead of night, long after the Champions' Ball had ended and the guests returned to their tents in the camp and the residents to their homes, long after the torches burned low, all were thought to have been asleep, even Amelia. There came an occasional tap to the floor of her room, quiet and unassuming. A few moments passed, and then again. There was no intruder in her room, for no one had set foot within. Once she stirred from her slumber, another tap came, from a pebble being skirted across the floor of her tent, from under the eaves, a small hand occasionally seen beneath the hem as three more pebbles followed. It was good fortune that the Einhorns' grandiose accomodations were on the outer edge of the camp, closest to the forest, providing the perfect place for Amelia's visitor to go unseen. Once he'd heard her stir from her bed, the hand, small and childlike, slipped a small knife beneath the eaves of the tent, for her to cut open an exit to pass by the Einhorn tent's guards. Upon breaking into the darkness of night, Amelia would be face to face with a small boy of about eight, skinny and scrawny, with brown hair mussed up like a bird's nest and big blue eyes, dressed in a meager tunic, breeches, and leather coverings that could only just be called shoes. He was obviously not of the nobility, but hadn't appeared the peasantry, either. He hadn't said a word, for his lips remained pressed together, but after digging through his pocket, he withdrew a small pin that bore the crest of the Dormaeus family house upon it. Almost immediately after, he'd grabbed Amelia's hand, and they stowed away into the night, skirting around the outside of camp until they'd come to the tent of House Dormaeus, Amelia even in her nightgown. He pulled her along, not with the force to maneuver her, but with the determination to have her follow. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- "Ah, just in time," Ada had said apathetically, lounging on a chaise as the boy had pulled Amelia into the tent. "Shahdee Moray arrived only just a moment ago," Ada explained to Amelia, who was no doubt bewildered by being suddenly stolen in the night for a summons. It was highly unusual and very improper, though not without purpose. Ada looked positively livid, shooting a glare towards a changing screen that led into the rear part of the tent. Before she could explain the purpose for their gathering, Ada was interrupted by the bursting approach of the young boy, his hand reached out and grasping at the air, like he was to be given something. Ada clicked her tongue and grimaced, before reaching back behind the chaise. "Oh, fine. Fine!" she conceded, and withdrew a plate that had a steak, some potatoes, and a modest two-pronged fork. The boy ripped it out of her hands rapaciously, still not even uttering a single word, but stared at the plate for a moment before looking back up at Ada. Again, he thrust his hand out to her, demanding. Ada's face soured, before rolling her eyes with a displeased groan. Peeling back the collar of her blue dress, she withdrew a cookie from within her modest bosom, and deposited it gruffly on the plate. It appeared she'd been saving it for herself. "Greedy little shit..." she grumbled with narrow green eyes, as the boy, satisfied, turned on heel with his feast to go eat outside the tent. "And watch the door! If I find you've wandered off, don't expect me to make you breakfast, come morning!" Lolling her head aside, she was expecting the girls of the remaining party to have plenty of opinions, though respect and upbringing likely kept them silent. Ada knew what they were thinking, but her tone was only nonchalant. "Oh, don't give me those looks. He already ate his share and half of mine; least he could do was leave me the biscuit." She rose from her chaise, sweeping the remaining crumbs out of her collar with a few waves of her hand, still in the gown from the Champions' Ball. At that moment, the back of the tent swept open, the Blue Knight coming around the dressing partition that kept the back obscured from any who wandered into the tent. He was still tall and broad, almost moreso in the low clearance of the Dormaeus tent, wearing the helm that they'd both been privy to only a few meager hours ago. "That would be my squire, Twig," he explained, his voice slightly tinny through the slats of his mask, "For such a skinny lad, he eats more than a horse." As the Blue Knight assumed most of the space in the room, he noticed that Ada turned away, obviously still not agreeing with his decision for summoning both the Ladies of Einhorn and Moray to their tent. Choosing to proceed, he continued. "We found him rummaging through our food supply around the time we first started participating in tournaments about a year ago-- the townspeople said his parents had dropped him at the steeple, and he hadn't said a word since. Ada -- affectionately-- gave him the name Twig, since he wouldn't tell us his name. Even if he scampers off, we know he'll come 'round come dinner time. He's made a fine squire... and can keep a secret well." Pausing, a sigh could be heard from inside the Blue Knight's helm; even he had hesitated a moment. "I find we are all more closely bound, now, through the choices my dear sister has made," he said, the tone becoming just a little biting as his helm turned to look towards her, the shift of his green eyes seen through the thin slat, "And it is my hope that you will keep the secret I am about to impart on you." First he turned to Shahdee, and gestured with a heavy futility; she seemed to be coping with their siblings' machinations far better than he had. "I hadn't meant to get you roped into this, last thing I want is for your reputation to be a shambles. Regardless of my intentions, I shall do my best to protect your honor the best I can." Turning much more slowly, the fear and regret were palpable as he regarded Amelia. She was much younger than Shahdee, inherently fragile, and wounded from the actions earlier that night. "Amelia... I have no greater words I can express than my apologies. I hadn't meant to lead you on, but I hope you can understand why I must refuse... and I hope with this token of my trust, that you'll find it in your heart to forgive me..." The Blue Knight's gloved hands reached for the neck of his helm, unlatching a leather strap that kept it fashioned in place. Ada's back remained turned as the Blue Knight began wrenching it from the bottom up; Ser Dormaeus revealed himself to the two ladies, an identity no one other than his sister and silent squire had known... "I am Lady Johanna, sole daughter of House Dormaeus."
  2. Hey folks, I’ll be working on posts late tomorrow night and Thursday.  Thanks for being so patient!

  3. Upon flattery paid in kind, Ada's head swiveled like clockwork toward the Blue Knight. "See?" she bragged, leaning as she pointedly placed her hands on her hips, "And you were worried about modesty." She sported a grin tenfold more smug than a cat having caught a mouse by the tail, and even by his posture alone, the Blue Knight liked it just as little. Ser Dormaeus and Ada exchanged glances at the recognition of their house-- or would have, though his sister was quite used to communications between the blank-slated helm that preserved her brother's identity. It was clear that the Blue Knight was still a bit baffled, until Ada reminded him with a point of her finger that he was wearing their crest on his shoulder. "I'm afraid we haven't the pleasure, Archmagus. I wasn't aware that mages took an interest in the lists," the Blue Knight replied, tapping a closed fist to his chest to hail Kevinar. It rattled slightly, for the heavy chainmail weaved beneath his tunic. Even in friendly conversation, however, he seemed rigid, hesitant. Much like his country, it seemed, the Blue Knight was not keen to trust outsiders. Truth be told, the whole grandiose party and Ada's devil-may-care audacity had him quite on edge. Ada placed her hand delicately into the offered palm, her fingertips poised like a bird on a branch, accompanied by a small, bounced curtsy and a dip of her eyes. "Lady Ada of House Dormaeus; quite the pleasure, Kev," she answered, assuming familiarity, as was her wont to do. In an effort to ease the tension, she smiled. "The nation of Nvengaria has only recently opened it's gates, you see, and we haven't yet been so far North. Unless it sports a tournament or has a dealing in horses, it hasn't yet made a mark on our maps." Her green eyes shifted sidelong to her brother, aimed upward considerably, for he towered over her. "My brother doesn't quite share my appreciation for laissez faire." Taking a sip of her drink, she tossed her long red braid over her shoulder, and inhaled deeply. Ada's hair was an unnatural red, a merlot dyed with the utmost care to retain it's shine and deep hue. "I, for one, enjoy what this Hyperion weather does for my skin. Nvengaria always smells of salt; what I wouldn't give to have good hair days as fair as these." Her vanity was stifling, with eyelashes as thick and batted as a butterfly's wing, the beauty mark poised by her eye almost animated with her cheekbones as they rose for each individual smile. It hadn't seemed like Kevinar had minded, as she touched his arm affectionately. From the slat in his helm, even blackened by the paint that darkened a streak across the bridge of his nose, his eyes zeroed in on his sister's touch, which had been anything but platonic. "Mageside is of the Sanguine Empire, is it not?" Ser Dormaeus asked the Arch Mage very matter-of-factly to avert the subject, with at least a basic knowledge of their neighbors to the North. "They say the Queen is to be adopted by your Emperor. I suppose you've come to foster favor to pursuits of magic with your new allies, Archmagus?" It was subtle, but the Blue Knight spoke with a cold, reticent tone. "Brother!" Ada objected immediately, a hiss that could only just be considered playful. The house of Dormaeus was only a Barony, a title granted to their great-great-grandfather for his service in Nvengaria's military. Even in Nvengaria, they hadn't much of a say or claim in the politics of their island, let alone the Empires that waged expansive efforts across most of Genesaris proper. With a balking gesture for her brother's candid rudeness, she swatted his arm, jingling the chainmail beneath. "It's a party, for Odin's sake; let the poor man be. Maybe he's come to enjoy the party, dance with a fair lady!" As if right on cue, the music swelled into a festive tune, gathering much attention to the center of the light-speckled atrium. "Speaking of which, I love this song. Care to join me, Kev?"
  4. 1750 words. Put a fork in me, I'm done. [/waves a white flag]
  5. Once the coast was clear outside, Ser Dormaeus let out another dejected sigh before cocking his helmed head toward the field, thick with mud as it had become sodden with the recent rain. He was still scraping mud off his helm with the flat of his hand, conveying the grimace beneath with the rejecting flick of his hand to send it splattering back down to the ground. Try as he might, it was impossible to remove it all, permanently staining his clothes, the royal blue surcoat and once-pristine white tunic. "Ada!" he called, though he hadn't sounded nearly as angry as he had opposite Ser William in the recent moments prior, "Was that really necessary?" Peeking over the back of the large bovine, Ada visibly swallowed with a very pronounced lump in her throat, hesitating from coming out from her hiding spot. Her brother's directional gaze hadn't relented, and he'd assumed that posture with his hands on his hips, knowing well the look he was giving her from beneath his slatted helm. It seemed she had gotten him into more trouble than she had gotten him out of. Hiking up her skirts in her hands, she hop-scotched to navigate her way through the mud, and joined her brother, wiping off her dirtied hand on an obscured petticoat. "There wasnae any other way," she protested, "And it was only supposed to hit you." Her thick Irish accent strained the vowels, crowned by the way she gestured towards her handiwork; she'd turned him into a right mess. "If she'd gotten your helm off, she would've seen... and the Morays..." Ada tried, and the turn of her head gave away the hiding spot of Shahdee and Montgomery Moray, behind the wall of the barn. Ser Dormaeus slapped (what would have been) his forehead with an audible tinny clang to his helm. "And ye've dragged the Morays into this," the Blue Knight reeled, exasperated. He laughed, for only the overwhelming absurdity that was unraveling in front of him, and the pity he took upon himself as he dreaded his dwindling reputation. "You're going to run us straight out of Nvengaria," he whispered harshly to his sister, "Even if I manage to claim the victory against Ser William tomorrow, they're going to peg me the villain." "I can fix this, I can!" Ada insisted, albeit unconvincingly, "There's no way we can let that drunkard swine of a knight be named champion." She hissed with the press of her teeth and the check of her chin-- a gesture short of spitting, for it's lack of being ladylike. It was clear that she shared the animosity for William's behavior. "Ye might not be able to marry the poor girl, but we can at least save her from that gob." It was Ada's energy and endless positivity that made her rebound so well, as she was already gaining steam like a bull ready to charge forth at the matador's red cape. Giving her brother a hard pat in the middle of his back, she primped him as best she could to make the disaster she'd created look... well, less like a wreck. It was a shame Ada couldn't make miracles, because she'd sure felt like she needed one. The realigning of his stained collar would have to do. "Back inside, quickly now!" she ushered her brother, and waved over the Morays to join them. "The longer we dally, the more they'll talk. I'll think of something." The Blue Knight had been hesitant to her forceful pushing, as was Ada, who felt like she was using her brother like a shield upon their re-entry to the Champion's Ball. -------------------------------------------------- "What is the meaning of this?! What reason do you have to reject my fair daughter?" The already fair tone of Ada's face paled nearly three shades as they were bombarded by the angry Lord Einhorn with shouts from across the room, and she knew with no greater certainty what it was like to feel one's heart in the pit of one's stomach. As much as she had prided herself in a life devoted to elegance and grace, it was hard to look beautiful when she was so terrified. By the stiff-boarded back of her brother to her left, he was faring no better. Ser Dormaeus was frozen at his sister's side. In the tiltyard he had shown no fear, charging on a horse at an opponent who was trying to knock him off his horse just as desperately as he was. The Joust was easy; he knew that. The politics outside, however, he was dumbstruck. His voice was breaking softly from within the confines of his helm, as he'd tried to start his defense nearly a dozen times. Petrified, no words came. Snapped out of her trance from the choking attempts of her brother, Ada finally made a move to step in front of him. "My Lord!" she called out in response, almost a little too loudly. The crowd was already watching the spectacle, and she hesitated for a moment as the room of a thousand eyes turned on her. She inhaled deeply, mustering her courage, and tried again. "My Lord, there is a perfect explanation, I can assure you," she refuted, first making a calming gesture with her hands, before clasping them together. Ada's posture straightened as she cleared her throat, solemn and ladylike with the black beauty mark poised by her left eye. Flashing her eyes back towards her brother, she displayed the Blue Knight with an upturned palm, bringing attention to the disarray that was his tunic and mud-smeared helm. "My brother would not dare reject the young Lady Einhorn--" she assuaged him, playing to the prominence of his rank and struggled for an excuse that would salve his ego. Wringing her hands, she paused, and as the crowd leaned in, she had to come up with something, fast. "Nay! For it is quite the opposite!" Ada claimed with an upwardly pointed finger, and the looker's on seemed to be hooked onto the debutante's every word, desperate for explanation, "The Blue Knight is smitten with her beyond words!" The congregation of the Champion's Ball broke out almost instantly into chattering hubbub, erupting into a deafening white noise, all at once loud, but no more legible. Nearly everyone had engaged in rumor and speculation, for the scandal was still unfolding before their eyes, too many questions unanswered: for if the Blue Knight was besmitten by the Lady Amelia, why had he not agreed to marry her? The nerves radiating from the Blue Knight were palpable, sweating with anxiety that put crescent marks into his palms from how tightly he balled his fists, knuckles bone white. "Adaaaa..." he murmured in a hush between gritted teeth, a subtle sidling slide that brought him inches closer to share private proximity with his sister. "What are you doing? You're making it worse!" His sister was often so reckless, that he'd predicted that he could excuse the horse-drawn coach for the night-- the only way he was leaving this place was in a hearse. "Trust me, brother," she hissed back, secreted by the chatter of the room, as her eyes focused on the sea-blue ribbon tied around the Blue Knight's forearm, "I've got an idea." If Ada ever had a talent for anything, it was drama, for the way she'd hogged the spotlight. Hushing the crowd, she'd made a nonverbal promise to answer their burning questions. "But my brother is torn, my Lord!" she professed with a splayed hand plastered over her heart, conveying the ache with a caving round of her shoulders. It was as if Ada, herself, was breaking at the very thought. "Torn, for how he wishes to give voice to his fancy! But it is his modesty, my Lord, that would not deign him to impugn your daughter's chaste heart!" Ser Dormaeus didn't like where this was going. Ada was overacting, overindulging the crowd in the false tale she spun. He could only see the light grow dimmer and dimmer, his breath quick and echoing in his helm. He only saw the path of his sister's logic just before she'd said it, and even as he'd lurched a hand forward, he could not stop her. "For his heart yet harbors a secret love for the Lady Moray!" she declared with a flaunting gesture to the Lady Shahdee. The thousand eyes gravitated with her. While the eyes that had once found Ada were in many ways unkind, the smiles that spread across the faces at them were colored with intrigue. A scandal, yes, and an exciting one! As speech erupted yet again from the awestruck crowd, Ser Dormaeus sought the support of the nearest wall, placing a desperate hand against it to preserve his legs collapsing out from under him. Nvengaria was eating up his alleged love life as a delicious scandal, the ludicrousness of a famed Joust Knight so starkly opposite of the bleak daily lives that they'd found it believable. The Blue Knight thought he was going to vomit right there in his helm, the taste of bile sour in his mouth. "My brother is no knave, My Lord, for it would do your angelic daughter disservice to claim love for her when he yet finds his heart given to another! He wished so to preserve her chastity and good name!" Ada made to persuade Lord Einhorn, and while he might have still been angry, the crowd was certainly on the Dormaeus' side. While the Lord indeed held the power, he only retained that with the constant favor of the constituent party who paid him homage, and played to the long-term attempt at gaining his favor in the story, when his daughter's tears did not sting so fresh and hotly upon her cheeks. "Forgive a young man the follies of his heart! We beg the mercy of your House's forgiveness." Gathering her brother with the tug of his arm, Ada made to show that the Blue Knight had been smeared, moreso than his daughter, by the mud that had sent her running to her father in tears. Ser Dormaeus complied with all the will of a ragdoll, bending like a shaft of bamboo as he could no longer retain any more rigidity. "Even in the brief moments of obvious affection for your daughter, despite his feelings for the Lady Moray, a fiend assumed him reprobate and assaulted him with mud! My brother is no such thing, and retained honorable intentions! What say you, My Lord?"
  6. I read your DM, feel free to join as a spectator. There might not be a whole lot to do until I start posting the finals tournament day, but feel free to hop in if you see an opportunity.
  7. While Ser Dormaeus took each step with a resounding, heavy clunk, Ada was swaying, practically delighted, at each step of her feet that kicked out the skirt of the blue dress beneath her. The kaleidoscope of light from the atrium's ceiling danced over their clothes, armor, and skin, each dot like a marker that made Ada playfully hop from beacon to beacon while tugging the arm of her poor brother to make him keep up. With a blithesome smile and a tittering giggle, dancing along to the festive orchestra that played, Ada seemed to be having the best time. Ser Dormaeus, on the other hand, was not. He was too worried that his sister had gotten in over her head, and took risks too easily. They were both in a strange place, with strange people and mixed company, and with a lot to lose, should things go awry. Ada had always been the social butterfly, come alive at banquets and parties of this fashion, but her brother, even as the younger sibling, felt as if he had to remind his sister of her responsibility. Ser Dormaeus felt he had scolded her often, but as he had already warned her, he withdrew his arguments and conceded to silence within his helm, for it was solely with Ada's aid that the Blue Knight was able to be his truest self, on the back of a horse and with a lance in the tiltyard. He couldn't take away that same feeling from her. Nevertheless, he yet worried, but did so silently. "Over here, brother," she beckoned him, and her eyes immediately glassed over at the sight of food, "Oooh, duck! And look, they 'ave rose wine with blackberries innit!" Releasing her brother's arm, she sidled beside a tall man in a blue satin longcoat, reaching across the table to fetch a flute of the sparkling pink liquid that bubbled, buoyantly floating the bulbous berries within. She'd accidentally brushed arms with a guest beside her, and just as she'd opened her mouth to apologize, she was prompted to say else. "Mm, but I'd really like a taste of that," Ada mused a little too loudly, her green eyes fondly staring at the detail of his coat, his attractively-styled chestnut mane, the angular cut of his jaw that was unmarred by even a single hair. Her eyes were cut low, assuming a tempting shrug to her posture as she settled her arms closer together-- an effort often pantomimed by women to deepen the cleavage of their chests, though beneath Ada's dress and with her modest bust, there wasn't much difference. She licked her lips predatorily, and reached out a hand to place her dainty fingers on the elbow of his sleeve. Ser Dormaeus caught the hand, putting a brief halt to his sister's antics. "Please forgive my sister," he apologized for her behavior to the guest in front of them, before the helm turned to deliver what would've been a stern stare at Ada, "She tends to get carried away." Ada visibly pouted, before dropping her arms altogether, and sulked as she sipped at her drink, much to Ser Dormaeus' relief. With a sigh and returning his attention to Kevinar, he gestured with an open hand. "Are you enjoying the festivities, good ser?" @The Hummingbird
  8. The Blue Knight caught Amelia by the wrist, and hesitated to give his answer. "I cannot," he replied, struggling to supply enough empathy to balm the young girl's heart whom he was assuredly breaking, "I cannot give you what you ask." Her wrists and hands were so tiny, enveloped by his that he might've held both of them in one, though he did not handle her so roughly, just enough to preserve himself from her actions. He would not see himself unmasked, even for the purpose of putting Amelia's fears and qualms to rest, even if it meant putting his own well-being above hers. She looked so fragile, seen through the slats in his helm, and for those moments Ser Dormaeus wasn't quite so confident that she was as strong as he was asking her to be. It was clear that she was unhappy with that reply. She struggled against his hold and cast acerbic words at him, holding him at fault for rejection, and in that way he had deserved it. Young girls fell so deeply in love, and with youth came the inexperience, it was hard to seem like there was any world at all when it had refused entry at the gates. Ser Dormaeus knew that all too well, and yet he could not admit her. She would have to learn, and despite the tears in her eyes that threatened to weaken his resolve, the Blue Knight would have to be the one to do it. "Amelia, I--" --------------------- Ada was looking on from beside the wall of the barn, turning only when voice interrupted them, and found the hand of Montgomery Moray on her shoulder. The catch of her teeth tightened against her lower lip as she struggled to watch the sight of the Blue Knight and Amelia silently, and as the conversation had taken its sour route, her confidence in letting her brother handle it alone was dwindling. Montgomery had suggested they leave, offering privacy, seeing that the contemptible, drunkard knight of House Einhorn had been banished away, but Ada wouldn't let it be. "No, no! He's ruining everything!" Ada hissed worriedly, her face drained of all its past color. More than her brother's secret, more than invoking the wrath of House Einhorn, Ada was worried that the combination of the two might spur the unveiling of her own secret. In order to preserve them, Ada had to find a way to break them up, to postpone the argument between them so that they might salvage the situation later. Her breath was quick, grasping Shahdee's hand to secure her footing as the balls of her feet slipped a bit deeper into the mud, and as she looked down, she paused. It was a terrible, terrible idea. However, this was the only one she'd had. "Wait here," Ada told the two of them, her grip slipping from Shahdee's hand as she hiked up her skirts to make a quick dash behind a large cow, having been moved out from its place in the barn, suffice big enough to hide behind. Managing one quick look over it's spotted back, it didn't look like either her brother or Amelia had seen her, too focused on their quarrel to notice. Bending down, she'd gathered a large lump of mud into her hands, wet, grimy, and dirty. She cringed with a wrinkle of her nose at the smell, which was almost foul. Choking, she muttered a prayer. "Oh, forgive me," she pleaded in a whisper, before taking a step back, and launching it as hard as she could with a throw of her arm. --------------------- "Amelia, I--" the Blue Knight started, but was interrupted by the clod of dirt and manure that hit him square in the helm. He reeled as the projectile distraction splattered over the two of them, though Ser Dormaeus was the more assaulted out of the two. He was blinded for a few moments as he tried to wipe the mud out of the slats in his helm, though he could hear Amelia spluttering a few more sobs and heard the distant footsteps that conveyed she was running away from him, embarrassed to have been struck. The last thing he saw was the back of Amelia's dress as she hurried away from him, and the distant sight of his sister hiding nervously behind livestock. He groaned, not sure whether to thank her or be angry.
  9. Anne Rice is a genius. I just dug my old trio of the Mayfair Witch series out of storage; I should give them another read. And Soul Silver was pretty dang good. OH DON'T MIND ME, I JUST HAVE A LEGENDARY POKEMON CONSTANTLY TRAVELING BEHIND ME, NO BIG.
  10. I feel like I didn't come up with enough, but I felt like that was all I had in the tank tonight. If it's alright with you and you can work it in, I'd like Amelia to try to remove his helm in this post. @Grubbistch
  11. The Blue Knight's only regret was not intervening sooner. His disgust manifested into the tight ball of his fist, swinging with an enraged fury as his knuckles collided with the angled bone of Sir William's once-perfect jawline. The balls of Ser Dormaeus' feet were dug into the mud, the adrenaline still coursing through his body, practically seeing red through the slats in his visor as he looked at the sorry excuse for a Knight. "Sir William, I hope you continue to be the Knight representing House Einhorn for a very, very long time," Ser Dormaeus seethed, the grouched tone apparent even through his helm, his broad stance intimidating as he stood over the muddied jouster upon his back, "For when Lady Amelia becomes head of her house, I shall take great pleasure in watching you receive punishment taken out of your flesh in due course, until the day you die. If I impale you upon my lance upon the morrow, it'll be a mercy." Standing in front of Amelia with a protective arm, should Sir William rise to arms again, he pointed a finger towards the door. "Now run back to your master with your tail 'twixt your legs, like the dog you are!" With the vision of the Knight scurrying off as assurance, the Blue Knight turned and offered his hand to the young Amelia. "Let me help you," he said, with his hand extended and splayed, with a firm pull to her feet to fetch her from the muddied ground. It pained him to see the tears in her eyes, and while his hand rose to soothe the reddening swell upon her cheek, he hesitated to touch it, so as not to cause her further pain. He caught a glance at his knuckles as well, which shared the rosy tint of bruising from it's rough connection with Sir William's jaw; he wouldn't be surprised if he had broken it, or at least a few teeth. As fast as his heart had raced when he'd struck Sir William, he could swear that it stopped as Amelia caught him in embrace, choking and tensing at her closeness. He tried a number of times to find the right words to say, though naught came but breathy pauses, her closeness putting him on edge. He seemed so hesitant, reserved, but would neither encourage the dreamy look in her eye nor voice his rejection. Finally, placing his hands on Amelia's shoulders, he separated the girl from him, and finally found the strength to speak. "We should go back inside, milady," he suggested, a calm and concerned tone to his voice, "Find something cold to put on your cheek, before it begins to bruise." @Grubbistch
  12. Roleplayers write sexual content? For shame. Jaistlyn, I'm going to write every smutty metaphor I can think of for my sexually-ambiguous knight. Just for you.
  13. Hi, I also exist. Oh, wait, nope. Never mind. Carry on.
  14. I'll be working on a post after I come home from an event tomorrow @Grubbistch
  15. Ada reveled in the beauty of the atrium with a full spin upon entry, her arms spread out wide, the glass above reflecting in different colors across her form. Her ginger hair was pinned up with a variety of ornaments and cascaded down into a fine braid that spun along with her, sweeping with the flutter of a blue gown and cape that covered her from neck to floor, intricate lacing decorating her shoulder. Representing her house, the color was a true Dormaeus blue, the color of her sigil of the noted Barony. "It looks even more beautiful than Nvengaria in spring!" Ada claimed, clasping her hands together. Her green eyes were wide with deep admiration for the elegance of the Hyperion atrium, and the smile of her painted garnet lips seemed to move the single blemish of a beauty mark beside her eye with the rise of her cheeks. "Don't you think so, brother?" The Blue Knight followed in behind her, readjusting the slatted ceremonial helm that covered his face and head. He was a broad-shouldered, towering man, the renowned jousting knight of the Southern island nation of Genesaris, Nvengaria. True to form, his face remained shrouded, concealing his identity. Baron Gerrick of House Dormaeus had eight sons, though no one knew which resided beneath the mask; the whole thing had become a sort of phenomenon. "When you said we were going to Hyperion's festival, this wasn't quite what I had in mind," he complained gruffly, his armor gently clinking and clunking with each step against the marble floor. Only his shoulder and his feet appeared armored, for the rest was covered in a quilted blue and silver jerkin with the embroidered sigil of the two white stallions of House Dormaeus upon his back, though a shirt of chainmail was present beneath, at his sister's behest. "In full mail, albeit. Though honestly, I'm more concerned about what you're wearing. Won't you at least take my scarf?" Ada could tell, even with her brother's face obscured, that he was giving her the admonishing eye. Scoffing, though she was already quite aware of her brother's qualms with her choice of fashion, she pouted with a purse of her lip. "This dress is plenty modest! Honestly, would ye' have me dress as a nun?" she argued, placing her hands on her hips and outlined her figure, which did nothing to settle her brother's doubts. "Women's fashion is an art; you should try it sometime." "Not a chance." Ser Dormaeus was hesitant, and unconvinced. Crossing his arms over his chest, he knew he wasn't likely to win a fight with Ada, though her risky choices had reason to have him worried. "It's just a little... tight," he said, trying to put it as nicely as he could. The Blue Knight didn't have to remind his sister what she might've jeopardized with such a bold choice. With a gallivanting shake of her rear, she made light of her brother's concerns. "It's kickin'!" she chided back, her voice thick with an Irish drawl. Ada had already decided that her devotion to beauty was worth the danger... or at least, once she saw the gown in a shop's window, she couldn't simply let it rest in her trunk after spending more than a pretty penny on it. With a hopping step towards her brother, she grinned impishly at him, pinching her shoulders as she held onto his crossed arms. "Are you worried some gent's going t' find me handsome and have 'is way with me?" "That's exactly what I'm worried about," Ser Dormaeus snapped back quickly, poking a chastising finger into his sister's shoulder. Though he was the younger brother, he was concerned about her safety; while his sister was a lovely, there was certainly more to her than met the eye. "But you didn't put me in full mail to be your chaperone. What's this whole pomp and grandeur for, again? Seems more lavish than your usual parties." Ada shrugged, leaning her head on her shoulder as she gestured whimsically. "Crowning of the new queen who took over Hyperion. That old windbag who leads the eastern Genesarian empire adopted her, but I'm guessing she's not into blood sacrifices and... whatever vampires do," she explained, only half in humor, "But with a glass ceiling like this, I think it goes without saying that she likes sunlight considerably more." Smoothing out the folds in her gown, and redraping her cape with a pull of her hand, she always seemed so eager by the drama of things; though her second-favorite thing was a good party. "And they're hosting exhibition matches, won't that be fun?" While invisible to her through the helm, Ser Dormaeus was paying his sister a dry look. "There it is," he answered with a click of his tongue, "Looking to make back some of that coin you spent on that dress, I wager? You know I'm not as good with the sword." His sister was up to her usual machinations, and would likely be arranging bets to make herself some more coin. With a sigh and a shake of his head, he resigned himself to his sister's wishes. After all, there were currently no jousts to attend, and traveling from Nvengaria had been a welcome change, and Ser Dormaeus spent less time looking over his shoulder. "Good enough to best Gerrick, and he's almost as good as father was," Ada reassured him, and latched herself onto his arm. "Come now, I've a thirst!" she said, leading him into the fray of the party. @The Hummingbird
  16. The Blue Knight


    Thanks for letting me know! I'll go ahead and work on another post tomorrow in the meantime for Grubbitsch; Ada and Shahdee should be able to catch up.
  17. Thanks for updating me to this; the map's helpful! I plan to work on the Dormaeus family tree when I get some free time soon.
  18. Go ahead and write yours, I’m sure Shahdee and Ada will have more to react to if you do.
  19. While the Blue Knight's reaction was invisible to Amelia, Ser Dormaeus felt the full weight of confliction, and it made him uneasy. He couldn't understand the burden placed upon her shoulders, though it was writ and expelled gracelessly through her face; what was once artistry of cosmetics had turned to staining streaks, haphazard watercolor that burned her cheeks with salt. It pained him to see the girl this way, and was dumbstruck for the way his heart ached for her plight. Damsels experienced the worst distress, it seemed, away from monsters and the worst of men, but by those closest to them. In truth, he'd felt more than a fair amount of guilt, for perpetuating the courtship that she'd had no decision in. He hadn't needed to kiss her hand so brazenly, demonstrate by dance with the machismo of a leading man, nor follow her until the rumors of the Blue Knight turned from suave to scandalous. Each offense was adding another gilded bar to her cage. He could not help but shift his chin when he reached for his face, determined not to be unmasked. For all the men he had struck with a lance and unhorsed, he flinched from the reach of a small girl. Luckily, however, she adhered to his unspoken request, and left his helm alone. When she made movements to place her head upon him, he turned gently to offer his arm, rather than his chest. Her soft crown of hair was pillowed by his bicep, hard and stony by corded muscle— not at all a comfortable place, but at least supportive. It was hard not to be tense with the girl leaning on him, struggling for more than a few reasons, though coincidentally, least of which was attraction. There were legitimate reasons Ser Dormaeus did not want to agree to this arrangement, reasons unbeknownst to the Einhorns and all else there. He did not yet love this girl that was nearly ten years his junior, this small thing that walked the delicate, wobbly tightrope between child and woman, but that hadn't stopped him from brushing a thumb against her cheek to wipe away the tears, warm to the touch. "You want to be free, little bird," he said, comforting and sympathetic, "But I wish you wouldn't cry so." A bit of his Irish accent pulled through the narrow slit of the helm, a bit of rolling pronunciation to his words, the inflection rumored to be common to the Dormaeus household. "This helm is what makes me free, this anonymity. If I were to show my face, I could bring great shame to my family..." he explained, though added almost too quickly, "... if I lost." It was only half the truth, but made a sufficient answer for the moment. He took in a great breath as he considered his next words, though even the intake of air seemed to be hesitating, restricted. "But..." Ser Dormaeus started, though he paused as he struggled to find the words he wanted, or needed, to say: But, the lady had a duty to her family and her title. But, Amelia would have to perpetuate her own way to survive, to not be a burden. But, Nvengaria was less progressive than it boasted the recent changes to be. The advice he would have given was contradictory that he gave himself, bred of his own privilege and unabashedly harsh. He owed the truth to this girl, to not foster an unrealistic hope for a future that would not, and could not, ever be. Just as he began to open his mouth to impart the unpleasant reality upon her, he was interrupted by footsteps, stumbling and noisily scuffing in the dark. Unintentionally, and simply by twist of fate, he hadn't meant to leave the conversation sounding like he'd agreed with Amelia, though the pressing intrusion hadn't made room to correct it. "Ser William," the Blue Knight said, standing up from beside Amelia to be alerted to his presence. In the half-moment that Lord Einhorn's champion had neglected to answer him, the lad stumbled and caught himself, swaying from the liquor that addled his senses. "You're drunk," he observed aloud, in effort not to sound accusatory, though the fact was certain. "It would be best for you to rest, Ser; our match is in the lists, tomorrow." @Grubbistch
  20. "That's a shame," Ada commented into her glass in regards to Shahdee's missing partner, though a single batted eye snuck a sidelong glance at the young Lady of House Moray, "If our brothers weren't such beacons for attention, we might've been paid some, ourselves." The black beauty mark beside her eye lifted with her cheekbones as she indulged in a private smile, coy and clever in her own musings. "If I had known I wasn't to entice a handsome gentleman tonight, in truth, I might have skipped the corset," she complained with a gruff sigh that only was half-laced by sarcasm, giving a testing twist to her upper body, evidence of her restricted movement. In self-inflated ego, she loved what it did for her figure, but like most women, abhorred the effects on her spine. Crossing her arms carefully over her chest, the stem of her glass tilted gently back and forth between her fingers, she cast a contemplative look at the Lady Moray, before following her gaze to her brother. Montgomery Moray was a proper lad, and with the way he'd smiled at the girl in his merriment, it was almost hard to see the pressure that he bore upon his shoulders as the new patriarch of his family. More apparent of the burden fostered upon the pair of siblings was Shahdee, though she had to be commended for her strength and courage that came with assuming the mantle that would not, or could not, in any way be easy. "I often think I dote on him too much, but can I honestly be blamed?" "... No," Ada answered briefly, though it rang with a genuine tone as she looked to her own brother, who appeared to be practically lifting Amelia into proper position at times. If she had known absolutely nothing else about the younger sister of House Moray, they still would have had that in common. "If not us, who else would protect them?" With an unsung pause reflected back into the burgundy pool in the swell of her glass, Ada perhaps knew all too well the onus that came from being expected to be someone she was not. Her brother was not the only one with his secrets, though beneath a beguiling face and charming demeanor, she hid them well. "Excuse me if I'm too much, but what secrets does the man hide beneath all that lovely plumage?" Ada cocked back her head and let out a single burst of a laugh, surprised by the sheer chutzpah of such a direct question from her company. "Ha!" she trilled, nearly sloshing her drink straight out of her hands, "You and half of Nvengaria would like to know!" It was no stretch of the imagination to see the Blue Knight had been caught on as Nvengaria's newest celebrity in demand, not only for his performance in the lists of late, but for the great shroud of mystery that hid him from the world. House Dormaeus had only been nobles of Pinecrest for only the last few generations, lacking the notoriety that came with the much longer lineages that held the other Baronies and higher titles, but had one of the greatest number of children among the noble families. Lord Pinecrest had eight sons and a single daughter, so while some might've known the names or reputations of a few of Ada's brothers, without knowing them personally, it was nigh impossible to tell which of them resided underneath the mantle helm of the Blue Knight. With Shahdee's warning and not too long after her outburst, Amelia and Ser Dormaeus' dance had seemed headed for trouble, watching the young lady cast herself away from her brother in all matter of dramatic upheaval. Ada's face immediately paled, her expression sinking as she knew Lord Einhorn wasn't to take the sleight well, but at least her brother had the good sense to look like he was at least trying to clean up his mess. "Oh, now what've you done, you rube?" she cursed under her breath, and was nearly bowled over by Shahdee as she followed the source of her attention. Hiking her skirt up by a hand, Ada dashed to catch up with the Lady Moray, and snatched her wrist to keep her from getting too far ahead. "Not that way; they'll see us!" she hissed at her, more out of caution than of temper, and tugged her to the left and out of the throng of the crowd, "Out the side door, this way." Letting themselves out of a stable door and out in the harsh night's cold, Ada sidled at a quick pace down the side of the barn with Shahdee not far behind. As they neared the end of the wall, Ada stopped and crouched, allowing the tiny woman a view over her, around the corner. Holding a finger to her lips, she glanced up to Shahdee with a knowing glance, before pointing at Amelia and Ser Dormaeus, who'd stopped just before a nearby stone bench, just within earshot. Staying quiet and attentive, Ada knew her brother would be unsettled by her spying, but was determined to not allow him to completely screw the pooch in the predicament they'd found themselves representing their house in. Her brother was doing his best to be empathetic, but even from far away, she could tell that sympathy was so difficult to convey through a mask. In the quiet that followed as she eavesdropped on them, Ada let out a small sigh there, beneath Shahdee. "Our mother wouldn't approve," Ada confessed in the moment of silence, whispering to keep their presence hidden to the party they spied upon, "Of the joust, I mean. That's why I suggested he assume our father's old mantle of the Blue Knight— and for awhile, at least, avoid her attention to it. He loves it too much not joust, and he wants to bring honor to our House, but so much else is expected of him." She looked despondently ahead, and while her protective nature for her brother was apparent, there were more secrets she was safeguarding in her heart, ones that were harder to admit... so she didn't. "I assume your brother is the same? All of Nvengaria knows about the late Lord and Lady Moray; there's likely so much more responsibility for you now, isn't there? And yet, your brother participates in the lists like nothing has changed. I don't want to be the one to tell my brother that he can't... I don't have the heart to." @Aleksei
  21. Post up for Grubbistch; I'll have one up for Aleksei late tomorrow night.
  22. In addition to being almost twice her age, the Blue Knight felt as if he were practically twice her size, Amelia a dainty doll by comparison as she was paraded around in her pretty dress. With each stretch or swing of his arm, his tiny partner was seemingly thrown around like a feather on the wind, commanded by the gale that was the practiced motions by Ser Dormaeus. Despite her mistakes that undoubtedly came with inexperience and timidity, a firm press of his leading hand or an accommodating step was quick to lead her back into the path, even occasionally muttering a count or direction to help her keep step. "I've had much practice," he answered as they came out of a spinning sequence, extending his grip to stand beside her, holding her hand aloft, to begin a polonaise. He could tell that she was nervous, so he guided her through the steps. "One, two, three, and extend to the left," Ser Dormaeus instructed, as the group dancing in the center of the barn seemed to sway to the left in a graceful turn of their heads, dipping gently as the right leg would cross to the left and stretch for a prolonged moment, before hopping into the pace again for the opposite direction, "Keep your arm up, and one, two, three, extend right... Twice more, and then the rounds. Good." Though he had a fairly muscled, masculine build of all the gentlemen there beneath his tunic and breeches, he moved with almost more grace than the women. "It all comes with time, my lady. And, switch." Even with his instruction, Amelia stumbled then; he fortified the girl by a cautious grip on her forearms and quickly separated her head from his chest. He offered to help her back into time of the music with a gesture of an open palm, but the tell-all, dumbfounded stare and flush to her cheeks seemed to be more than the poor girl could surmount. Ser Dormaeus' posture stiffened as he had no choice but to continue to hold her there, his green eyes narrow as they stared back down at Amelia, beginning to feel slightly uncomfortable, the hairs beginning to prickle on the back of his neck. She was trying to glean some vision of him under the helm, he knew, and as much of an inconvenience as it was, he did not dare remove it. Sans the tale's glass slipper on the stair, she cast herself off from him, the drama of her exit garnering some attention from the rabble both among the dance and off. She fled in no little amount of distress, the young lady of Einhorn clutching her chest, and even the narrow slit of his helm hadn't blinded him from the tears in her eyes. Quite in shock, he'd held out his hand in an effort to catch her, but in the last moment his grasp refrained, to let her gather the space she needed. Knowing that her father was looking on, only a brief look from the Blue Knight was paid to Lord Einhorn, before swiveling his head back to her path, brusquely cleaving his way through the throng of dancers and making his path after her. House Dormaeus could not do to insult House Einhorn, and the Blue Knight was certain that if the patriarch of Einhorn was not offended, his sister certainly would have been. Thus, he pursued after her. Following after Amelia outside, he was greeted by the abrupt rush of the cold night air, the forest around the farm nearly pitch black, save for the faint moonlight that illuminated the dirt path. His long legs hadn't taken long to be just a few strides behind her, keeping up with her retreating gait simply because she was at the disadvantage of a heavy layered dress and delicate, heeled slippers, and he only flat-footed boots. The bounce of her hair and skirts from behind conveyed her despair, as did her occasional sniffling and sobs, and Ser Dormaeus began to reflect on his own inner hesitation: he had no plan to marry this girl of House Einhorn, as proposed, and yet he chased after her like he'd cared. Did he? "Amelia —" the Blue Knight called out to her, but remembered his manners and rephrased, to be less forward, "—My lady Einhorn, wait. Please." Catching her by the arm in a gentle grasp, he only did so hoping that she'd refrain from dramatic escape again, so as not to incur more wrath from Amelia's father and his own sister. With a heaving sigh, he held out his hand to gesture towards a stone bench in the gardens, just beside one of the pens that some of the barn animals had been moved to. It wasn't anything ornate or even smelled particularly pleasant, but it was private and away from all the onlookers that put pressure on them both. Hopefully with some clarity and attention, he could rectify the situation. "You seem to be in distress. Sit here with me, won't you?" he asked, waiting for her to seat herself first, as a proper gentleman would, his voice gentle and reassuring, "Come now, tell me what's wrong." @Grubbistch
  23. Post is taking just a little longer than I thought, but I'll be finishing it tomorrow after work. Thanks for your patience, you two! @Aleksei @Grubbistch
  24. Moved OOC here per request of the big boss man. @Aleksei @Grubbistch @supernal Loving the posts so far and really enjoying playing with you both. I've got a busy weekend ahead, so I'll do my best to put a dent in some post progress, but I probably won't have a post up until Monday.
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