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The Mountains Meet The Sea and the Desert (Closed, WA only)

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Cyretopolitania
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Founded: Apr 27, 2011
Moralistic Democracy

The Mountains Meet The Sea and the Desert (Closed, WA only)

Postby Cyretopolitania » Mon Nov 22, 2021 11:48 am

The Royal Seafront Estate
The Northwestern Coast of Cyretopolitania


“Are you sure about this?” Hannah Halliche, the daughter of the Duke of Gafsa and, now, sister-in-law of the Empress of Tehua, said as she brushed her cousin’s hair.

“About what? The braids? Or the visit?” Princess Ilizibith said with a playful smile.

“You know what I mean,” Hannah said as she laid aside the brush and began twisting the princess’ hair into a French braid.

“We’ve waited for this for so long,” Ilizibith said, “we want our families to get to know each other… and to get along.”

“Well, that’s the hard part, isn’t it Lizzie? I mean, respect for getting your father to… tolerate Peter,” her voice lowered, “especially after I thought he’d toss him down the same hole he threw Azenfar down…”

Ilizibith bristled at the suggestion that her beloved father, the king, could… would simply make someone disappear. She turned her head sharply and frowned. Of course, he probably had done just that to the former count and head of royal intelligence. But to even joke that he could do that to Peter…

“I… I’m sorry. Lizzie.”

“It’s… it’s ok, Hannah,” Ilizibith said at last. “But Father and Peter have been getting on much better since Uncle David’s funeral… don’t you think?”

Better than giving him icy glares, the younger woman thought silently. “Well, yes, I suppose so.”

Ilizibith smiled. “Good!” She looked in the mirror. “It looks wonderful. Thank you, Hannah!”

“Of course,” the young woman said.

The princess stood. “Now, let’s find something to wear. I want to look good for Peter’s family. But still casual, you know?”

* * *

Elsewhere in the massive complex, King Aksel IX stood looking in the mirror, fingering the Royal Usekh Collar around his neck.

“Oh, Aksel,” Queen Samia said, shaking her head, “take that thing off. This is a casual, family visit. Not a state visit. Please try to act like a good father-in-law and not His Pharaonic Majesty...”

The King sighed and removed his collar. He unbuttoned the top button of his cotton shirt and turned to his wife. “Better?”

The Queen, dressed in a light-weight yellow linen dress smiled. “Yes. Much.”

There was a knock at the door, and the King turned. “Enter,” he said.

A servant entered and bowed deeply. “Your Pharaonic Majesties,” the woman said, “your guests from Brasland have arrived.”

The Queen held out her hand. “Shall we, dear?”

The King gave a slight smile. “I suppose so, my Queen.”
Last edited by Cyretopolitania on Mon Nov 22, 2021 11:55 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Brasland
Diplomat
 
Posts: 808
Founded: May 16, 2006
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Brasland » Tue Nov 23, 2021 2:37 am

Prince Stephan of Brasland looked at his exotic surroundings with curiosity. He was not much of a traveler, and his idea of paradise was a small alpine cottage in the south of Brasland, where he escaped to hunt occasionally. He had been brought up in the strict but refined world of the Residenzschloss Friedrichsburg, but he preferred simplicity. Grand settings were part of his position as a prince, but not places where he liked to spend his free time. Also, meeting the in-laws was never easy, especially after what his boy Peter had done. The young rascal had always been impulsive and energetic, and Stephan was not surprised of how things had turned out between him and Princess Ilizibith. He smiled to himself briefly, amused but aware that it wasn’t right to be amused about that. He also knew that this visit wasn’t just to meet the Cyretians, but to subtly make them realize that Peter was not a barbarian, that he came from a good, respectable Christian household, a royal one, despite the not very-royal behavior of the rather hot-headed prince.

Flanking their father on each side were two of his many children. Princess Gisela, twenty-four, stood to his right, while her brother Felix, twenty-one, stood to the left. The men were dressed casually with beige pants and light blue cotton shirts, while Gisela looked stylish in a light blue linen dress, a golden cross pendant hanging from her neck. They were relatively relaxed, aware that the air was charged with a bit of expectation. The princess, especially, hoped that they would all be able to get along and distract from every day problems. The last year had been very rough for them. Their mother’s death had left a deep scar in their souls. She had tried, with no success, to make her father travel a little bit and get away from Schloss Augustenberg, where every corner reminded him of his wife. King Aksel’s invitation had come as a blessing, for Prince Stephan would have never said no to a royal command. Gisela needed the distraction as well, as there were things she needed to reflect upon, like her prolonged engagement to Prince Felipe of Providencia y San Andres. It wasn't that she didn’t like him, but she was not sure they were right for each other. He had a rather roving eye, perhaps not helped by the fact that he was very good-looking, and that Providencian women threw themselves at him. Her mother’s death had made Gisela rethink some of her decisions. Maybe thrones and palaces were not so appealing for her anymore, maybe Sophia’s and Irene’s choices were not for her. This trip would help her to make up her mind.
Last edited by Brasland on Wed Nov 24, 2021 5:43 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Cyretopolitania
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Posts: 128
Founded: Apr 27, 2011
Moralistic Democracy

Postby Cyretopolitania » Wed Nov 24, 2021 12:29 pm

Upon arrival, the Braslanders had been ushered to an open colonnade. Columns to the north framed the pristine beach and the ocean beyond. To the west was the portico of a large flat roofed two story palazzo with the mountains rising behind it in the distance. To the east stood a large pool with a submerged seating area and a larger dry seating area partially enclosed with columns and white awnings. A table laden with fruits, honey, bread, cheese and numerous pitchers stood in the middle of the chairs and benches.

The doors of the palazzo opened and the Royal family walked out, led by the king. The servants standing near the Braslanders dropped to a knee, saying “Your Pharaonic Majesties.”

King Aksel IX nodded to the servants, who stood and bowed, and approached Prince Stephan. “Welcome, cousin,” he said with a smile as he extended his hand. “Welcome to Cyretopolitania. Consider yourself at home!”

The King turned and gestured to his wife. “My wife and Queen, Samia.”

Samia nodded her head and smiled. “Welcome.”

Aksel turned to the young man to his right. “My oldest son and Crown Prince, John. And I believe you know his wife, Princess Irene, and our grandchildren, Victoria and George.” John smiled and gave a slight bow.

Turning to his left, Aksel said, “And my second born, Prince Agizul, and his wife, Princess Yulia.” Agizul bowed.

“And I believe you already know my youngest child, Princess Ilizibith, and, of course, her… husband Peter.”

Ilizibith smiled warmly and hugged Prince Stephan. “Welcome, Father,” she said.

“Oh,” Aksel said, as if noticing the young raven-haired woman standing beside Ilizibith for the first time, “and my niece, Lady Hannah.”

Hannah curtsied. “Welcome, Your Highness.”

After the Braslanders introduced themselves, Aksel gestured towards the pool and table just beyond. “You’ve had a long journey. Come and be refreshed!”

He led the way to the table. “Please, sit. We have fruits, nuts, fresh bread and cheese. Fruit-infused waters, mint tea. And, if you prefer, grey wine and honey beer.”

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Brasland
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Posts: 808
Founded: May 16, 2006
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Brasland » Thu Nov 25, 2021 7:43 am

Following Cyretian custom, Prince Stephan bowed instead of nodding his head to the King and Queen.

“Your Majesties, thank you for welcoming us at your summer home”, he said. “This is my daughter Gisela, and this is my son Felix. The rest of my children were unable to come, but they send their regards.”

Slightly surprised by Ilizibith’s informal greeting, he returned the embrace warmly, and looked over her shoulder in Peter’s direction, with a discreet but expressive gaze that his son understood.

“My dear, you get more beautiful every time I see you”, said Stephan to his daughter-in-law.

“Welcome, Papa”, said Peter, nervously, trying to hide his discomfort.

“Son”, the prince replied, briefly.

They had only seen each other once after the surprise wedding, when he and Ilizibith had travelled to Markund to introduce her to the royal family, but it had been a very short visit. Peter knew that his father would use his time in Cyretopolitania to speak his mind to him, and he knew very well that Prince Stephan was not a man who minced his words. Both men being too good-mannered to make a scene in front of their hosts, they exchanged a formal embrace, after which Peter greeted his siblings, this time much more enthusiastically.

Gisela had taken an immediate liking to her sister-in-law and she greeted her with true sympathy, although a little bit shyly. Felix on the other hand, had grown up in the school of Peter and there was no shyness in him. However, he had also grown up in the tradition of learning not to repeat his older brother’s mistakes, which meant he was less impulsive and more self-aware. He realized that this could be a unique opportunity to learn about Cyretian culture from the top man himself, and decided to approach the King.

“Your Majesty, Sir”, he said, bowing. “It’s a great pleasure to be in your country. I recently finished my military training and have begun studies at the Markund School for Eastern Studies. I would love to ask you a few questions on Cyretopolitania’s geopolitical challenges, if this is not too impertinent.”

A few steps away, next to Queen Samia, Prince Stephan thought that it was indeed a very impertinent thing to ask, but he just smiled and made small talk to Ilizibith’s mother.

"Ma'am, may I inquire about Queen Safiya?", he asked. "My aunt, Princess Alexandra, is a close friend of Her Majesty, and she expressedly asked me to bring news about her."
Last edited by Brasland on Thu Nov 25, 2021 7:49 am, edited 3 times in total.

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Cyretopolitania
Spokesperson
 
Posts: 128
Founded: Apr 27, 2011
Moralistic Democracy

Postby Cyretopolitania » Thu Nov 25, 2021 8:12 am

“Your Majesty, Sir”, he said, bowing. “It’s a great pleasure to be in your country. I recently finished my military training and have begun studies at the Markund School for Eastern Studies. I would love to ask you a few questions on Cyretopolitania’s geopolitical challenges, if this is not too impertinent.”


The King gave Prince Stephan a slight smile and nod, then said to Felix, “No, it’s not impertinent at all, young man. I’d be happy to sit down with you and discuss it in detail.” He glanced at Peter and then at Stephan. “And since we’re all military men, I look forward to showing you my collection of armaments. I understand that you are a collector as well, cousin Stephan.”

A few steps away, next to Queen Samia, Prince Stephan thought that it was indeed a very impertinent thing to ask, but he just smiled and made small talk to Ilizibith’s mother.

"Ma'am, may I inquire about Queen Safiya?", he asked. "My aunt, Princess Alexandra, is a close friend of Her Majesty, and she expressedly asked me to bring news about her."


“Mother is doing well,” Queen Samia said with a smile. “She sends her regrets - she doesn’t like to leave her residence much these days. If you have the opportunity to visit Cyretia, I know she would be happy to receive Alexandra’s regards in person and send hers in return.”

As everyone took their seats, Ilizibith held Peter’s arm tightly and smiled. “Things are going well, aren’t they?” she whispered in his ear.

Hannah, sitting next to Ilizibith looked at Felix and smiled. “Would you like something to drink?”

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Brasland
Diplomat
 
Posts: 808
Founded: May 16, 2006
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Brasland » Fri Nov 26, 2021 10:11 am

Cyretopolitania wrote:The King gave Prince Stephan a slight smile and nod, then said to Felix, “No, it’s not impertinent at all, young man. I’d be happy to sit down with you and discuss it in detail.” He glanced at Peter and then at Stephan. “And since we’re all military men, I look forward to showing you my collection of armaments. I understand that you are a collector as well, cousin Stephan.”


"Indeed, Sir", said Prince Stephan. "I am a rifle collector, although we also keep some ancient Morgensterns and swords in the castle, but I've always enjoyed collecting rifles."

"Hunting is Papa's hobby", explained Peter.

"Yes, he has an awful hut in the mountains where he likes to escape sometimes", Gisela added, teasing her father.

"It's not a hut, darling", the prince protested. "It's a perfectly nice cottage where I can hunt in peace."

"With no heating or electricity!", exclaimed the princess.

Stephan looked in the King's direction, amused, and then raised his eyes to the sky as if asking the Almighty for patience.

"I have three daughters", he sighed. "They think they can control their father's life."

Hannah, sitting next to Ilizibith looked at Felix and smiled. “Would you like something to drink?”


"Whiskey berbere, Ma'am", said the prince, smiling back to the King's niece. He discreetly followed Lady Hannah, and courteously approached her. "So, my lady, what does a court creature like you do for fun around here? Oh, and please don't worry, I'm not my brother. We only share about fifty percent of DNA."
Last edited by Brasland on Fri Nov 26, 2021 10:26 am, edited 3 times in total.

User avatar
Cyretopolitania
Spokesperson
 
Posts: 128
Founded: Apr 27, 2011
Moralistic Democracy

Postby Cyretopolitania » Fri Nov 26, 2021 5:48 pm

"Indeed, Sir", said Prince Stephan. "I am a rifle collector, although we also keep some ancient Morgensterns and swords in the castle, but I've always enjoyed collecting rifles."

"Hunting is Papa's hobby", explained Peter.

"Yes, he has an awful hut in the mountains where he likes to escape sometimes", Gisela added, teasing her father.

"It's not a hut, darling", the prince protested. "It's a perfectly nice cottage where I can hunt in peace."

"With no heating or electricity!", exclaimed the princess.

Stephan looked in the King's direction, amused, and then raised his eyes to the sky as if asking the Almighty for patience.

"I have three daughters", he sighed. "They think they can control their father's life."


The King gave a slight smile. “My collection is mostly swords, but I do have a few rifles from significant historical battles.” He paused. “And if you would like, we could go into the mountains for a hunt. I cannot offer you a rustic cabin, but we would travel as my ancestors did, on horseback and taking our tents and supplies with us.”

“Those supplies including a full kitchen, larder and barrels of wine and beer. And a retinue of servants,” Prince Agizul said with a chuckle.

Aksel laughed. “Well, that is how my ancestors traveled!”

"Whiskey berbere, Ma'am", said the prince, smiling back to the King's niece. He discreetly followed Lady Hannah, and courteously approached her. "So, my lady, what does a court creature like you do for fun around here? Oh, and please don't worry, I'm not my brother. We only share about fifty percent of DNA."


At the mention of whiskey berbere, King Aksel IX turned and gestured to a nearby servant. “Ah, yes, excellent choice. Hassan, whiskey berbere for all!”

A male servant stepped forward and opened a silver container of tea leaves. He placed them in the pot with a loaf of sugar, poured boiling water over them and swirled them about with a flourish. He poured out the water and added mint and a selection of herbs. He stirred and added boiling water. He poured the mixture into a glass pitcher and back into the pot several times. Finally, he raised the pot to the level of his head and poured the tea in a dramatic arc into several cups. Servants distributed them to the guests and the royal family. Then, the servant climbed a small step stool and poured three additional cups, which were given to Prince Stephan, and to the King and Queen.

As the tea ritual proceeded, Hannah turned to Felix. “See what you started?” She said with a teasing smile. She laughed, then said, “There is not much to do here, except to swim, play tennis and ride horses… but I guess that’s quite a bit, actually.” She continued to smile. “Back in Cyretia, I like to go the galleries, go to concerts… and dance.” She paused. “What do you do for fun?”

User avatar
Brasland
Diplomat
 
Posts: 808
Founded: May 16, 2006
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Brasland » Sat Nov 27, 2021 5:15 am

The King gave a slight smile. “My collection is mostly swords, but I do have a few rifles from significant historical battles.” He paused. “And if you would like, we could go into the mountains for a hunt. I cannot offer you a rustic cabin, but we would travel as my ancestors did, on horseback and taking our tents and supplies with us.”

“Those supplies including a full kitchen, larder and barrels of wine and beer. And a retinue of servants,” Prince Agizul said with a chuckle.

Aksel laughed. “Well, that is how my ancestors traveled!”


At the King’s mention of mountains and hunting, Prince Stephan’s eyes brightened.

“If that is not an imposition, I would very much like that, Sir”, he said, letting only a bit of his enthusiasm slip. “The Cyretian way certainly seems more civilized, but our alpine traditions have their charm. I usually invite a few friends during the late summer season. It’s not a big cottage, so we can't accomodate a large party. We spend three weeks in the middle of nature, chasing chamoix and deers, drinking the traditional Falkenthaler beer and telling stories next to a bonfire, under the open sky. It’s paradise.”

“Your Majesty, don’t let Papa talk too much about the Alps”, said Princess Gisela. “He can do that for hours.”

Stephan sipped from his cup of tea, giving his daughter a dangerous gaze. Realizing she was teasing her father too much, she left the men alone in their conversation, and quietly approached to the Queen and the Crown Princess.

“Your house is lovely, Ma’am”, she said to Samia, and then she added in a lower tone, so her father wouldn’t hear. “It’s so kind of you to invite us. We have all had a difficult year, after our mother passed, but it has been especially difficult for Papa. He doesn’t like to travel much, but this will do him good.”

As the tea ritual proceeded, Hannah turned to Felix. “See what you started?” She said with a teasing smile. She laughed, then said, “There is not much to do here, except to swim, play tennis and ride horses… but I guess that’s quite a bit, actually.” She continued to smile. “Back in Cyretia, I like to go the galleries, go to concerts… and dance.” She paused. “What do you do for fun?”


"I see you're artistically oriented, which is cool", he observed, and then added, tongue-in-cheek: "I like dancing as well, some of my friends would even say I'm a good dancer, if they weren't envious of my talent in the dance floor."

Felix finished his tea and left the cup on the table. He thought of saying something interesting, but he could think of nothing. Instead, he decided to be bluntly honest: "I guess I'm a typical Braslander guy. I like football, skiing, drinking a reasonable amount of beer and chasing girls. Not in that order, necessarily. Oh, and I also like history and politics, but obviously I cannot do very much about the latter."
Last edited by Brasland on Sat Nov 27, 2021 5:25 am, edited 4 times in total.


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