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Remnants of Empires (Meillur|IC)

Where nations come together and discuss matters of varying degrees of importance. [In character]
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Kingdom of Derita
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Remnants of Empires (Meillur|IC)

Postby Kingdom of Derita » Fri Apr 16, 2021 3:53 pm

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Tajiyagitte Palace
630 Meillur Era


Empress Amélie swept into the throne room of the Tajiyagitte Palace, her light blue and white wrapper dress flowing behind her as she made her way towards her husband. The tall consort bearded towards the magnificent obsidian throne that sat on the dais at the far end of the grand room.

“Andeja!” the Empress called out to her husband, “Andeja, my love, wake up.”

The elderly Andeja II, Emperor of Derita blinked opened his eyes, looking up in surprise as Amélie touched his shoulder. For a moment, in the daze of that moment between sleep and consciousness he thought he saw his beloved Adelaide standing over him. But Adelaide had passed into heaven many decades ago. As he blinked again, Amélie’s regal face coming into clarity. She wasn’t as tall as Adelaide had been, and her black hair wasn’t a cascade of curls like Andeja’s late beloved. She wore her dark hair was instead pinned up into a high bun, a small gold bejeweled crown perched carefully on her head.

“Huh,” the Emperor touched his wife’s hand. “Amélie.”

“Your—“

“Out of my way!” A thunderous deep voice rolled through the throne room as the doors swung open. The Emperor and Empress look up in unison. Their heads swiveled and their eyes fell on the tall elderly man storming inside. If Amélie was a pale comparison of Adelaide, Andeja was a pale comparison of the newcomer, the Duke of Alençon. The Duke was a towering mountain of a man, with broad shoulders and short cropped white curls, striking against his dark caramel skin. Andeja in contrast had a grand splash of freckles and moles across his face, and he wore his white hair in long neat dreadlocks that tumbled down his back. Andeja was a tall, but his body was thin and frail. He was hunched over, his form bent under the weight of the monarchy. The Emperor swam in his formal black clothes, like a child in his father’s uniform, which in way, Andeja still was. The Duke, on the other hand, even at seventy years old was solidly built, his back straight and his dark eyes alert like a hawk. A thin faded scar sliced down the right side of his face. The Duke wore a simple black combat uniform and combat boots as he marched towards the dais.

“Brother,” Andeja said, gripping the arms of his throne. “What brings you here?”

“I am more concerned as to why you are here.” The Duke said coldly. “I just heard that you’ve missed yet another council meeting with the Prime Minister.”

“Brother,” Andeja narrowed his old eyes. “I don’t remember you being my keeper.”

“Perhaps you should have one. If you continue to neglect your duties, it will become necessary for someone to take your place.”

“Do not speak to your Emperor like that,” Amélie cut in, placing her hand firmly on Andeja’s shoulder.

The Duke’s eyes glanced over to Amélie. He let out an annoyed huff. “I was not speaking to you, child.”

Empress Amélie scowled at her elderly brother-in-law. “I’m your empress-“

“And you you are a child here. A babe, forcing my older brother’s bed by our father, and yours. Do not think that makes you an empress. Our mother was an empress. Our grandmother was an empress. You, Amélie, are a child.”

“Brother,” the Emperor raised a hand, hoping to put an end to the bickering. Amélie by no measure was an actual child, well settled in her forties. None the less compared to the septuagenarian brothers she was closer in age, even younger than their sons. She’d been barely an adult by Deritain standards when their parents put them together. But that was decades past now.

“You can continue to sit in the dark, an imperial recluse deaf to the rest of the world. It is changing. And when you do finally leave your cave, you will find it has left you behind. And the monarchy with it.”

“Has that not always been your dream?” Andeja said coldly.

“Derita was built on the monarchy. It is in our bones and our identity. While I have always believed in democracy and the voice of the people, I am aware of the unifying force this,” the Duke gestured to the palace around them, “institution serves. It is vital. And I can not allow you to let it rot.”

“Do you believe to have the authority of the how the monarchy should be run?”

“Brother—“

Andeja raised his hand. “I know that you have been loss since the death of your beloved.” The Emperor’s words cut through the room like a blade. The old Duke’s eyes turned shiny for just a moment at the mention of his late husband. The brothers had, tragically, each in turn lost the loves of their lives. A pain that tied them together. And left them a little more empty inside. Where Andeja had become a shade of his old self and reclusive, the Duke had grown cold and cruel. “But,” Andeja continued, “I didn’t let you return from your exile so that you could dictate things to me. I wanted you to be allowed to return home. I hoped that you would find peace here.”

“The only peace I have found here is one built on delusion and ashes of a bygone era brother,” the Duke said, his hand curling into tight fists. This has nothing to do with Adrian. In my absence you’ve all grown stagnant and compliant. Father preserved us during crisis, but you and I both know he suffocated this nation, and now it is lays on the brink of death. I came here because I believed that you would be different. That you would see the failures of Father and grandfather, and do things differently. But it has been five years. And nothing has changed.”

“I am doing what I can—“

“And it is not enough.”

Andeja’s jaw tightened. His body ached and his head hurt. He didn’t wish to fight with his brother. He was too long for this. Too tired. “What would you have me do?”

The Duke straightened, if one so steel like could stand to do so. “Abdicate.”

Rage filled Andeja’s old aching body. His heavy eye lids finally rose high, his eyes wide and vision tinted with red fury. “How dare you!”

A small shadow of a smile played across the old Duke’s lips. “I have always been daring. I still am. And you know even know amongst your anger and fury, that I am right. We Deritains, we Volonté, have always hated abdication. But it is necessary for our country to live. The head can not be allowed to remain while it rots. As it did with our grandfather.”

“I would sooner die!” Andeja’s words boomed through the throne room, in a rare scene of power. That moment, to Amélie’s horror, was swiftly followed by a fit of coughing. They racked through his thin body. The Duke simply shook his head. His words, more an observation, were unspoken and yet deafeningly clear. He looked as if that might happen at any moment. The Emperor knew that to be true. He was dying. Slowly. He’d been dying for sometime. It seemed impossible, for Deritains had become world reknown for their longevity. He’d been a year younger than his father had been when he’d ascended the throne, just 67. His father had gone on to rule for another twenty-two years. The Emperor knew that he would be lucky to make it to the end of the year. He doubted he would have such luck.

“My son will reign after me.”

A dark laugh left the old Duke. “And he will save us? Forgive me, but your nephew will not last half a year on the throne. He will leave it either assassinated, by your own wife no doubt,” he gestured to Empress Amélie, “or by revolutionaries furious with his narcissistic gluttony.”

“Brother—“

“You know it to be true. He isn’t fit. Adelaide would have been so disappoin—“

The Emperor slammed his fist on the arm rest of the throne. “You will not speak her name.”

The Duke bowed his head. An impressive symbol of difference for him. “Forgive me. But my point stands. Perhaps in another time my nephew may have made an excusable emperor, one that could serve well enough. But these are not those times Brother. We need a strong leader. We need—“

“You?” Empress Amélie said, the accusation and dreaded implication clear in her voice.

The Duke’s jaw tightened. “If that was what the people decided.”

“There is my democratic brother,” Andeja said with a humorless laugh. He shook his head. “You are right of one thing Alexandre. I am old and I am tired. Tired of you and your endless idealism. Especially when even now you continue to lack wisdom.”

“Brother-“

Amajoni

The elderly Duke flinched, a flash of terror filling his eyes at the word. In an instant, as if appearing out of shadows, a team of armed women stepped into the throne room, their eyes on the Duke. The Amagorha, the personal guard and warrior group created by Andeja’s father in the reign of his grandfather had their origins in the Amperiale Police. They were part body guard, part secret service. Over the last fifty years they’d turned into a group utterly loyal to the emperor. Meant to be the last line of defense in times of crisis. The Duke glared at the Amajoni, the members of the Amagorha, but didn’t move. The female warriors wore simple black Kevlar armored uniforms with the silver starburst, symbol of the Crown, on their chests. Their faces were emotionless, unbending and Even when he’d been young and a great fighter, he couldn’t defeat a team of Amajoni.

“I believe it is time for you to go, brother. Go back to your chateau and spend time with your grandchildren.”

The Duke opened his mouth to protest the Emperor’s words, but the Amajoni took a step forward. He huffed and spun on his heels, marching out of throne room. The moment he was gone, the Emperor deflated once more, another fit of coughing racking him. The Empress lowered herself to rubbed his back as he suffered through the episode.

“My emperor,” Amélie said, searching for the words to comfort him.

“He is right,” the emperor said. “I grow weaker by the day. And my son...” He shook his head.

Amélie bit her lip. “Your brother is cold stubborn old man. He rebelled against your own father. It is only a matter of time before he does so against you.”

“No...” Andeja said with a heavy sigh. “He will do as he did with our grandfather. He will wait for me to die. And in the early days of my son’s reign, he will strike him down. I can not let him have the chance. I will not let my legacy be a civil war that destroyed our empire.” He closed his eyes and took a deep breath. “Amélie.”

“Yes?”

“I have always known you’ve harbored great ambitions for your daughters.”

“Our daughters my love,” Amélie corrected, before adding, “though I don’t know what you mean.”

“I am an old man. Not a an idiot. You would be just as much a threat to the future of this country if you though you could get away with it.”

“I—“

“You want a crown for your daughters,” the Emperor interrupted. “Perhaps there is a way they can still get one.”

Amélie’s eyes widened, but surprise was quickly replaced with interest. The Emperor, of course, was correct. “My Emperor?”

“Send a message to my cousin, Prince Jean. It is time we make preparations. And remind the world that Derita is not yet dead.”

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Postby Great Hyruke » Mon Apr 19, 2021 1:43 am

Wattingham Palace, Londres, Great Hyruke

The Duchess of Cambolton stepped into the ornate Teal Room of Wattingham Palace with a deep curtsy. Her curtsy was directed to her sovereign, the forty-three year old King Arthur. The young monarch, he could have been Cambolton’s son, was the perfect picture of a dutiful figure head, more a symbol than a man. The product of two well breed pedigrees of Royal status, he had the bluest blood of any sovereign of Great Hyruke. Blood that unfortunately had gone to waste with the death of so many of his relations that might have been useful allies to the island country. The first of those relations, in the said tale of the events that had lead to his birth and his ascension to the throne, had been his parents. He’d inherited their dashing good looks, his father’s caramel skin and thick chocolate curls overpowering his mother’s pale skin and blonde hair. Even now he he had the figure and skin of youth. Only the graying hair at his ears gave away his rapid approach to middle age. But, to the relief of everyone, he had inherited neither his mother’s deceitful and naive nature, nor his father’s ambitious and violent one.

Instead King Arthur had been raised by his uncles, Prince Louis of Clarence to be upstanding, respectful, and honest in matters of the personal, and Prince Philip, Duke of Wexford to be deferential, compromising and ceremonial in matters of the state. Following the death of his grand aunt, Queen Caroline, the crown had skipped two generations to land on Arthur’s head, thanks to the gender-bias in the act of succession. One which, ironically, had been designed to put a woman on the throne. Thus, no one had been pleased when the three-year-old boy had ended up as the successor of the legendary Queen Caroline. His reign had begun and persisted in troubled times. Arthur had only survived because in the webs of plots and waves of unrest, economic depression by being adaptable and careful.

A revolving door of prime ministers had dismantled the paranoid surveillance state of his grand aunt and seen more and more of the Royal prerogatives made confined to ceremonial lines in the constitution. Unlike his grand aunt, who had ruled the country, Arthur was reduced to reigning over it, counseling the government. By the time he’d been ready to be coronated, it’d seemed that the monarchy itself would be dissolved behind his feet peacefully and with but a mere whimper. That is until the matter of marriage came into view.

In Great Hyruke women ruled. Thus the wife of the King, a king that no one had wanted, would be, by custom if not by law, would be the true ruler of the nation. This had, startlingly, nearly lead to civil war, as his uncles Clarence and Wexford fought over who would be Arthur’s Queen. Wexford schemed for Arthur to wed one of his cousins, the Princesses of Carlowe and Kerry. Clarence, on the other hand, aided by not actually being related to Arthur, plotted to wed him to one of his many cousins and nieces of the fertile House of Dreyfus. Ultimately Clarence proved victorious, finding in his young cousin the perfect candidate that the nation would love. One, Princess Mary of Cambridge.

Mary, like her husband, had an impressive pedigree of her own. Her father had been Prince Charles, 1st Duke of Cambridge, the youngest son and child of George Augustus Dreyfus, the pretender King who’d been installed on Hyruke’s throne a hundred years before. George, in turn through several generations, name chances and fleeing of countries, was a descendant of Queen Anne of the House of Hanover that had first ruled the country. A fact that had great symbolic and arguably legal importance. As for Mary’s mother, she was Princess Arianne, the younger adopted daughter of Queen Caroline, making Mary, legally if not by blood, the granddaughter of the beloved Queen. In an instant the people had loved her. Their wedding and coronation had been a flicker of light in a time of darkness. But only a flicker.

The Duchess of Cambolton turned and bowed to Queen Mary, who, all these decades later, was less loved, but still respected by the people. Queen Mary, where Arthur was respectful and quiet, was never slow to make her opinion clear, and assert it as the correct one. She was a large woman, with an even larger presence, her face never far from a scowl, lest a mirror was present. She’d over the course of three years, forced her way into these meetings with the King and sovereign. A break in centuries of traditional. One Arthur had been silent to stop.

“Prime Minister,” Arthur said in greeting. He was the only one who sat. It was an ornate chair over a century old. Queen Mary stood behind him, her hand protector on his shoulder.

“Your Majesty,” Cambolton said in her chilly cut syllables that reminded Arthur yet again of her military background. “The Dowager Viscount Mandeville wishes to have an audience with you.”

Arthur’s eyes widened ever so slightly in surprise. Queen Mary’s face fell into its usual scowl. Amongst the many prime ministers and schemers who’s plagued Arthur’s early reign, the Viscountess Mandeville had been chief amongst them. She’d wanted nothing less that absolute control of the country, and had attempted to force a marriage between him and her daughter, Elisabeth, the present Viscountess Mandeville, only to be overthrown by the Duke of Wexford. She’d died in exile abroad, still waiting for her father to die and her to inherit the wealthy dukedom of Manchester in order to make a triumphant return. Arthur didn’t like to think of him a person who wished death on anyone, but the day Tatiana Montagu had left this earth had been a day that let him breath easier.

But her husband remained, lingering around the capital like a phantom. He had, thus far proved to of be little danger. But he was an Aurelian. And that particular family had shaken the world. Many, with fair reasoning, blamed them for the state of the world. They had destabilized the globe in their selfish quest for power. If the dowager viscount wished to speak with Arthur, it had to be part of a grandeur vision than whatever he actually said. Which meant that yet another scheme as had plagued all of Arthur’s reign was afoot. Ever one to roll with the waves of the sea as not to be dashed against the rocks, straightened in his seat.

“I will see him. Summon him to the palace.”

Queen Mary squeezed her husband’s shoulder. Her voice was strong and booming. “We shall meet him in throne room. That one needs reminding of whose country he is in.”

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Postby Kingdom of Derita » Tue Apr 20, 2021 8:01 am

Prince Jean, Hereditary Duke of Aurelains, Dowager Viscount Mandeville, better known as J.J. Aurelians, ever the heir but not the master, made a small entrance into the throne room of Great Hyruke’s King. A title that seemed fundamentally wrong, even to J.J.’s foreign ears. Though he’d resided in Great Hyruke for some forty years now, he’d been born and raised in Derita, where, despite the claims of equality, men had always ruled. At least officially. In truth, J.J. had never felt entirely comfortable in Great Hyruke in that regard. The treatment of his gender had swung from generally egalitarian to downright oppressive depending on the decade and swings of culture. It had by far been the worse under the paranoid Queen Caroline, in her last days with her mind no doubt filled with fear and terror. A terrible woman. J.J. felt no guilt in the part he and his family had played in her eventual descent into madness and death.

Had the Aurelians caused the end of the world? Well, J.J. certainly didn’t think so. Had he and siblings, under the guidance of their mother schemed, plotted and conducted the crippling of nations and overthrow of governments? Well yes, but they’d done no worse than the other old empires. Certain things simply weren’t their fault. Especially since events had played out so horribly. The death of so many had been difficult. His daughters were to be be the last of the Aurelians line. But even if their name didn’t survive, their legacy would live on.

Which was why J.J. continued to remain in Great Hyruke. When things had gotten very bad, he’d sent his daughters away, back to Derita, staying with his beloved Tatiana, waiting to gain her inheritance. But his beloved wife had died, no doubt heartbroken by their fall from power thanks to the dreadful Duke of Wexford. J.J. had not in the slightest mourned the death of that particular man. It had left him alone, a widower in a country that he was convinced thought him inferior. But is wife’s rights had passed on to his daughter, Elisabeth, so he maintained a respectable house in the city, awaiting the day his father-in-law finally croaked, to make sure that his daughter’s inheritance was not snatched away by some vulturous cousin.

Thus he’s gone throne years of waiting. At sixty-four, he would’ve been middle-age back in his grandfather’s day. Many died younger than him as people struggled to combat what humanity had once considered conquered. Mother Nature was far more powerful than his family had ever been. Disease, starvation, famine and natural disaster could, it turned out cause far more destruction than any one family. So, it seemed, the world had become a harsher place and his age felt heavier than lead at times.

He’d grown thin with age and an unstable appetite. His once chiseled jaw now defined with sunken cheeks. Crow’s feet sprouted from his eyes. Still, his short cropped hair was black, his skin still like fresh sandalwood, and he stood tall, his sly eyes bright still with intellect. J.J. wore a subdued gray three piece morning suit with a thin yellow tie, a sign of his connection to the Montagu Family. J.J. had always preferred to let people forget his high rank. He was just J.J. Aurelains, a respectable businessman. Where his siblings had had grand political and military ambitions, his had always been financial. A better choice, he supposed, in the long run considered he was left standing. Cut-throat business practices had let him horde a fortune. Never mind that the most lucrative supplier of that fortune now lay off the books.

As he entered the throne room, J.J. wondered if he should feel offended or flattered that the King and Queen had summoned him here. So impersonal. Mildly threatening. He suspected that was the point. He removed his top hat and gave the King and Queen of his adoptive country a deep bow.

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Postby Great Hyruke » Wed Apr 21, 2021 6:13 pm

King Arthur, having settled into yet another elaborately decorated chair, though not the official throne which was housed in the Newcaister Abbey; this time with Queen Mary in one of her own, looked over the form of J.J. Aurelains. A clear, bias against the man ran through the King. In another life this might have been his father-in-law and puppet master. Even after all these years since his great fall from power, Arthur still remembered feeling like a toy being fought over by an ever shifting cabal of adults over him and his throne. Why the man had decided to remain in Great Hyruke, the King did not know. He would have thought he’d slunk back off to Derita and their every aloof shores. At least then, he suspected that he wouldn’t have ever seen the man again. Which would have been all for the better. Nonetheless the King, used to putting on a good face for the entire nation, held his mask of civil neutrality with gracious ease and serenity.

Queen Mary on the other hand looked at the foreigner with unabashed disdain and distrust. She sat high in her chair, glaring down at J.J. Aurelains, the one man plague that seemed ever so determined to remain on her country’s island. A fact that did nothing but annoy her at the mere sight of him. She didn’t trust him waiting in silence patiently, for either their words or whatever kept him in Great Hyruke. The, the Aurelains, were a crafty and untrustworthy lot that most certainly couldn’t even trusted when they were quiet and patient. It was like strolling through a snake pit and seeing the vipers coil away from you. That was only but a reprieve as they prepared to launch themselves Force and strike out with a killing blow as they sank their fangs into your throat. The Queen looked at her husband, and he look at her, and they they turned to the man.

“Your Grace,” King Arthur said with a bit of hesitation, honestly not sure what the man’s title actually was. “What matters bring you to the palace and are seen to be of such importance to be brought to my attention?”

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Postby Kingdom of Derita » Thu Apr 22, 2021 8:13 am

The corner of J.J.’s lips quirked ever so slightly. Annoyance prick him like a thin blade in his side. The King of Great Hyruke was still an insolent child, he saw, no doubt embittered by his life that he thought was singularly unfair. Even then J.J. had to admire his mask. His words themselves were cleverly bland and inoffensive, a legitimate question of any official attending a meeting at the instigation of someone they saw as an inferior authority. But the look on the Queen’s face colored the King’s words with disgust and impatience. A startling fact that J.J. decided to take note of. Unfortunately J.J. was not the adaptive creature that his honeyed voiced brother had been. Had he’d been so, Great Hyruke would’ve been his long ago.

“Obviously a matter that’s weight is so great that you drained to accept my request for an audience,” J.J. said with a dark smile, “even after all these years. It truly feels good to be back in the palace. I may prefer more modest accommodations, but my blood knows where it belongs.”

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Postby Great Hyruke » Thu Apr 22, 2021 9:57 pm

Queen Mary’s sneer turned into a full scowl at Aurelains’ words. She’s never met the famous (or infamous depending on who you asked) Nukai Aurelains, brief uncle of her husband, but she found his older brother left lacking any of that romanticized devilish cleverness. While thankfully he couldn’t be a soft threat that she might notice, it didn’t mean that she liked his blunt disrespect. For as far as she was concerned, that was all the foreigner had said. Which did nothing to further endure him to her. Of course naturally Mary’s vision was tainted by the fact that this man had directly schemed against her. In another life his daughter, the accursed Elisabeth, who would have her throne and crown, a phantom threat that Queen Mary despised.

“You have no right to any palace. Your very presence here is a blotch that the staff will have to spend hours washing away. You and your wife, and your daughters have always hungered for power and status far exceeding your do. Yet you persist. It’d be admirable if it weren’t so sickening to watch.”

If the Queen of Great Hyruke could have spat at the man, she would have. It was rare that she was so displeased, but this man, a man, who even now seemed to swagger about as if he had any right to be their equal, it rubbed her the wrong way. King Arthur, ever the dutiful husband touched his wife’s hand, hoping to sooth the tension in. He looked to Aurelains, again looking to maintain an air of neutrality.

“What is it that you want?”

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Postby Kingdom of Derita » Fri Apr 23, 2021 7:20 am

J.J. Aurelains had been preparing a snapping comeback to the Queen’s words when the King stopped him with the question. So they were getting directly to the point it seemed. J.J. Resisted the urge to let out a sigh, and instead pivoted to the King, pressing a hand to his chest.

“Today is not about what I want, Your Majesty, it is about what my cousin, His Imperial Majesty, the Emperor desires.” J.J. Waved his hand around the throne. “Which is send a delegation here, to reopen our diplomatic relations.”

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Postby Great Hyruke » Sat Apr 24, 2021 11:57 am

The King and Queen of Great Hyruke paused as they looked at one another, surprised by the man’s words. It was unexpected. Great Hyruke, more or less safe on its islands had been even more distant than most over the last few decades. They certainly wouldn’t have expected for Derita of all nations to reach out to them.

“The Deritain Emperor wants to send a delegation, to us?” The Queen asked, the distrusting tone painfully apparent. “Why? The real reason,” she added.

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Postby Kingdom of Derita » Sat Apr 24, 2021 1:56 pm

J.J. Aurelains looked to the Queen and straightened his stance.

“Straight to the point I see, ma’am. Well then, as you know, the relationship between the Celestial Empire and your queendom has not always been the most... calm.”

It was amazing how in just a few words, a mere sentence J.J. could condense one hundred and thirty years of history into a phrase that made it seem as if he were talking about a mildly unpleasantly river ferry boat ride. If the many generations that relations had been opened between the two nation, there had been marriages, wars, occupations, and revolutions conducted between the pair. A great deal of which had, admittedly, been instigated by the ambitions of conquest on the part of Deritain Emperors. The pair had certainly snapped one another, and many would argue that the very identity of the modern nation states of Derita and Great Hyruke could be traced to its genesis in the Mervielleux War over a hundred years ago.

But many forgot about the time before the Mervielleux War, the last time that Great Hyruke and Derita had truly been friends, rather than enemies at worse or distrustful rivals at best. A time when they had been like two new virgin lovers in the gardens of the spring of their youth, United in their common interest and connections. Even today they had intertwined with one another in their practices, like the Hyrukian concept of prime minister or the Deritain architecture that was the bones of Londres.

“His Majesty wishes to return to aging king forgotten, to create a era new and greater than the one we find us still dragging ourselves out of. He proposes a union. One of trade, of mutual defense and,” J.J. looked at the king, “of dynastic marriage.”

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Postby Great Hyruke » Sat Apr 24, 2021 9:53 pm

Queen Mary’s fury became too much for her to contain. She slammed her fist down on the arms of her throne, jumping up to her feet as she pointed an accusatory finger at J.J. Aurelains. She raised her forced till it was only just below a yell.

“I should have known! You villain! You snake! You have never given up your ambitions to place your family on our throne. What is it? Failing to install your daughter in my husband’s bed, you know look the force a grandchild in my son’s? Well I will not have it.” Mary spun to look at her husband, her fingers curling into fists. “I will not have it!”

King Arthur winced at his wife’s anger. Could he blame her in the face of the man that would have seen their love, their marriage, be cut from the vine and wilt in the sun, or perhaps even more accurately, aborted before it could take its first breath? Still, he didn’t agree with his wife. He had to think about his country.

“We must consult with Our prime minister.” King Arthur said softly and calm, invoking the majesty of the Royal We. “Please, leave us. We shall summon for you once We have come to a decision.”

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Postby Kingdom of Derita » Sat Apr 24, 2021 10:22 pm

J.J. Aurelains smiled at the Queen, tickled at her rage so bare and out in the open. How had this woman ever been a princess? A minor one yes, bet even then one would have thought that her father and mother would have taught her the more minimal of etiquette and decorum. Had she always lacked them? Had that fiery temper, which had no doubt been so exciting when she had been young and lovely, been what had pulled the young Arthur into her grip, and away from his cool level headed Elizabeth? Or perhaps it had been something else. Had, perhaps, she that terrible excuse of a Queen Mary, possessed them once? And had the they been cut down again and again by the struggles of life?

It’s no excuse, J.J. thought. He and others had suffered far worse, lost far more than the Queen, and even now he retain his manners. He let his eyes draft back to the King of Great Hyruke. Did he regret it in moments like this? When he, though king, seemed small and bent like flower or blade of dress in the presence of a hurricane, forced to be the calm in Mary’s storm? Probably not. Elizabeth wouldn’t have made him bend with shouts and fury and Mary’s selfish theatrics. She would have smothered him, smothered him not in a storm with with her own competence. He would have suffocated in silence whilst the Aurelains name became the ruling dynasty of this island country.

“Of course,” J.J. “Your Majesty.” And with that, he retreated. He was pleased. He was certain he knew that the King had already made his decision. As he left the throne room, J.J. mentally prepared a missive to the emperor. And how to accomplish the plans he’d so carefully laid so many decades ago.

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Postby Great Hyruke » Sun Apr 25, 2021 8:07 am

Queen Mary whorled on her husband.

“Are you mad? Why are you entertaining this?”

“Because I must,” Arthur said, a bit is surprise crawling into his voice. He had expected this to be clear to her. “I can not simply dismiss a proposal of diplomatic importance because I loath the messenger that alerts me to its existence. I know you dislike the Aurelains, but this is not just about him.”

“But he is a snake who will slither into our home. He is one of the terrors in this Pandor’s Box that you are considering opening.”

Arthur winced at the reference to a mythical man, who, in his arrogance opened a box that unleashed plague, famine and all the unfortunate things in life that made so many suffer. He’d heard the story many times. In a country that loathed the mere idea to be ruled over by a man, he had been provided no shortage of stories, real and mythical that justify why he shouldn’t be in charge.

At the King’s summoning, the Duchess of Cambolton stepped into or throne room a few moments later. As the Duchess listened to the King, she found herself nodding in agreement.

“Your Majesty, I believe it would be in the best interest of the monarchy to, at the very least, entertain this matter. We need not make any promises, but there is the issue of a lack of a female heir. If one can be provided by the union of a continental princess, then we should use this to our advantages. We are perfectly located to dominate the trade of the continent, this could be our first step in doing so.”

The King nodded. The Queen fumed.

“I will not allow it! I will not!” With that, Mary turned and stormed out of the throne room. The King sighed as he watched her leave, but turned to Cambolton. “Inform Aurelains that we will accept a delegation, though we make no promises at this time.”

Cambolton curtsied. “Yes, Your Majesty.”

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Postby Kingdom of Derita » Mon Apr 26, 2021 10:52 pm

En Route to Caister, Great Hyruke


J.J. Aurelains reclined in the plush leather seat of his town car as it left Wattingham Palace. His audience with King Arthur had been successful. The King’s decision to allow the delegation to come to Great Hyruke had been a foregone conclusion. He had not even made it out of the grand palace before he ordered a telegram sent I inform his cousin, the Deritain Emperor of the great news. And with that done, J.J. decided now was the time to make a visit to a friend.

In the many learns that J.J. had spent alone in Great Hyruke, he’d managed to continue to weave a web of ties and connections. His web was simply subtler than most cared to pay attention to. He checked his watch and nodded. J.J. directed his personal driver to take him to King’s University. The man did as he was told and made the hour or so journey out of the city to the rendezvous at the school.
Last edited by Kingdom of Derita on Mon Apr 26, 2021 10:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby Great Hyruke » Tue Apr 27, 2021 10:57 am

King’s University, Caister, Great Hyruke


In the shadow of Caister Castle was the small town, a hamlet really, that bore its same name. Caister Castle, once merely a simple tower left over from the medieval period atop a grassy hill, had been largely forgotten till fifty years before, when, pulling away from their many connections and entanglements with the foreign royals of the world, the great Queen Caroline has taken it as the name of the Royal dynasty. The royals took the name because it marked where the first Queen of their dynasty arrived on the shores of her future kingdom. Young Maria had been a small child when she landed on the beaches in the shadow of a small insignificant castle, the two of them both destined for greater things.

Ultimately the castle got the better end of the deal. The House of Caister had faced every form of strife the world could throw at them. War and assassination and exile. War, assassination and paranoia. War, assassination and orphan hood. It seemed to repeat and echo through history and the generations. Had a Caister sovereign ever died happily? Queen Maria’s name was, even now, over a century after her tragic murder by her own advisors in front of her own palace was only ever spoken of in the most hush of tones. She’d been vilified by so many, for being emotional and having the misfortune of leading the nation in its darkest hour. A darkness she had been unable to pull them out of.

History records rarely even included King Alexander, Hyruke’s first king, and fittingly, one who was view as something of a macabre joke in his reign of seconds before his own murder. Jenna II was vilified even more so than her mother, though certainly with more right, but that was mostly abroad for those who remembered her destruction path of vengeance. She’d died bitter and alone, in exile from her true home. After the failures that were first three monarchs of the house of Caister, one can be forgiven that thinking Caroline would have joined their ranks. Instead she had managed to be the greatest amongst them all. Her reign of 47 years had been a time of pride and prosperity in Great Hyruke. But tragedy had not been absent from her life. It had draped it. And in the end it had nearly destroyed the Queen. But history left that part out of its pages.

But it was under the current King, sovereign since he was a toddler, that Caister become a town of beauty. Of note. Under Arthur, as there was a revolving door of regents and protectors and prime ministers that the House of Caister gained some prestige. Like his ancestors before him, Arthur had a suitably tragic life, with the assassin of his father and imprisonments and death of his mother all within a year of his birth. It endeared the public to him. A young man orphaned in the most tragic of circumstances, circumstances best not discussed in front of respectful company. But King Arthur knew nothing of his parents, he didn’t remember them, and so their deaths were a phantom grief. And freed from that grief, whilst benefiting from every’s pitiful endearment, the young king— likely at the direction of his competing regent uncles— had turned Caister into a respectable castle and turned it and the town into a national heritage site, meant for pilgrim to praise the dynasty that had, against all odds remained firmly on the throne.

King’s University was lovely, but simple, instantly respected because it had been named for and opened by King Arthur some nine years ago. Despite its youth, it had become the favored university of the upper class and those looking to rise into the world of business and politics. Privilege and elitism ran rampant through its stone and metal halls, and its vast green lawns and tree lined its path ways. The Prince Royal, the eldest of the King’s three sons, had attended, and had only just graduated last year. People had swarmed the campus and hung on his every action and every word as thousands of girls had pondered the great question. Who would he marry?

Despite his best efforts, despite all that he’d done for the Caister name, King Arthur would be the last of his dynasty. If not legally, at least by the feminine line of succession. The Royals had always kept it vague, not willing to part with the fact. Queen Mary was a granddaughter of Queen Caroline everyone said. But only through an adopted stepdaughter. She belonged in truth to the House of Dreyfus. Even if one did consider Mary a legal member of the Caister dynasty, King Arthur had failed to provide her a daughter, a true heir. And without a daughter, the country would have to suffer the reign of yet another king. The Prince Royal. So, who ever he married would become the next ruler of the country.

So everyone had watched eagerly as the Prince Royal stepped through the university’s doors, and when he’d walked out of them.

No one, in contrast, had paid attention to another young man from a illustrious family arrived on the university’s campus. He was not a future king, but he had the blood of emperors and the elite of three different countries. For the other part of the story that the history books left out was the circumstances of King Arthur’s parents death. For it was not only the king who’d been orphaned when Princess Cece died. He had a brother. A brother who was left off the royal family tree. A brother who, had he been a sister would be the Queen of Great Hyruke. Alas, he had the misfortune of being a boy. So his existence had be scrubbed from official records and he had been stripped of any right he might have to Great Hyruke’s throne and was thus forgotten. Which had been fine by him. He had been happy to live in relative anonymity. A generation later however... his son was not.

Jonathan Julian Blackthorn LeCastle strode through the lawns of his school. Though he didn’t bear the name, he looked like a Caister. He had his LeCastle mother’s black hair and caramel brown skin, but it was the sharp handsome noise and cheeks that had made his grandmother a beloved beauty that made it clear who his ancestors were. The most striking of his features though, were the breathtaking blue eyes of his grandfather. The skin of a Deritain heir, features of a Hyrukian royal and eyes of a Connuriste imperial. All which describe Jonathan, and yet which he was none of.

His mother, whose name he bore, was Marie Louise LeCastle, the heiress to the great LeCastle fortune, the only daughter of Charles LeCastle and Pauline de Mauléart. Charles LeCastle had been once been a noble, a second born son of the Hollandes, but he’d given it up in order to hold on to his grandfather’s name and fortune.

His father was Cassius Blackthorn, the Duke of Newport. Cassius was the younger half-brother of King Arthur, the product of the secret marriage between Princess Cece and Julian Blackthorn. Cece, of course, had been the great beauty of her time, the hope of the nation before her untimely fall and death. Her marriage to King Arthur’s father and namesake had been disastrous on a personal level, terribly political, and ended with his death, and Cece and her lover accused of it. Julian Blackthorn had had an even more complicated story, raised as a sion of the Blackthorn Family, in truth he was the long lost prince of Connuriste who had been stolen by a mad king, believed to have been executed, only to have been twitched out by an exiled Queen and handed off to her lady in waiting. Julian had only become aware of his true nature weeks before his death, and never did meet his birth parents the Emperor and Empress of Connuriste.

Francine Blackthorn, Jonathan’s great-grandmother had been heart broken by the lost of the boy who she’d loved and raised as her son, and blamed the dangers that had plagued him in Julian’s parents, and had used every inch of the law to forbid them from seeing their collective grandson, Cassius. Thus Jonathan’s father had grown up a Blackthorn, estranged from the Pearson Dynasty that he was technically part of. Even today it was unclear if, since his parents had been married, Cassius was actually a Prince of Connuriste. Cassius had never bothered to concern himself with the matter.

He was a Blackthorn, he said. As his father before him.

It had only been fitting when Cassius, a would be Prince of Connuriste and Great Hyruke, married Marie Louise, a would be Lady Hollande as simply Mr. Blackthorn and Mrs. LeCastle. Together they’d had a litter of children, the boys made LeCastles and the girls made Blackthorns, so their names could continue down the line in both.

Jonathan was the eldest, set to inherit his mother’s fortune, while his younger sister Adelaide would inherit their father’s dukedom. But he had always felt like he’d been snubbed his destiny, his true rights as a member imperial and royal families. And the nineteen year old had grown to resent the systems that had jilted him, including his own father. Why had he never tried harder to take his rightful place. He resented his royal cousins for they pretended as if he didn’t exist. His namesake and distant ancestor had once ruled empires, Great Hyruke included. So young Jonathan LeCastle vowed that he would be for fortunate that his mother’s ancestors and better than his father’s.

It was not long after the teenage Jonathan had made that vow that he ran into one J.J. Aurelains.

Jonathan smiled as he saw the familiar town car of Aurelains’ pull up. He’d just finished his classes for the day and been heading back to his dorm room. He paused as he glanced to make sure no one was paying attention. He half walked, half jogged across the lawn and slid into the car.

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Postby Kingdom of Derita » Thu Apr 29, 2021 1:26 pm

J.J. smiled at Jonathan LeCastle. J.J. had never met his namesake, the late great prime minister who had lead Derita in its format active years as an empire, the mastermind behind the peace that had for sternly decided the fate of their two nations over the last century. A small chuckle echoed in J.J,’s mind. He wondered how he would have felt if he knew that his great-great—etc grandson was born and raised in Great Hyruke. A country he had governed over as an occupier, determined to stamp out the rebellion of this Jonathan’s other ancestors.

“Let’s go for a drive. We have much to prepare for in the coming days.”

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Postby Great Hyruke » Tue May 04, 2021 12:54 am

Jonathan grinned. He found J.J. Aurelains marvelous. He seemed like a character out of his mother’s novels, a spider of a man weaving his web with such intricacy. Jonathan admittedly struggled to keep up, much less compare. But he would learn. He promised himself that. He would learn every trick and step that the man danced and wove and use it form himself to rise higher than any of his forebears had. He glanced at the university, growing distant as the car left it behind. Looked like he was going to miss his study session. No matter. This was a far more important education before him.

“So it begins.”

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Postby Kingdom of Derita » Wed May 05, 2021 5:08 pm

Aukusa City, Aukusa Bay Area, Derita

“Must we go?”

Amélie looked up from her book, Revival of Pre-Collapse Vernacular and let her dark brown eyes fall on her sister. Mamela was staring sorrowfully out the window of the train carriage, watching the vast greenery of the Celestial Empire fall away as thy entered the Aukusa Bay Area. Rolling fields of green and seas of forests were replaced with steel and glass towers, left over from before the collapse. The Bay Area gleamed like jewels, but Amélie knew that the vast majority of the skyscrapers were empty. Before the collapse the place had been filled with tens of millions. But the death of billions across the world had left a fraction of that to populate it.

“Of course we have to go,” Amélie said matter of factly.

“I think it will be fun.”

Amélie and Mamela both turned to their youngest sister, Alara. If the youngest of the trio noticed the lion in their eyes, she pretended to ignore it. Her eyes were unfocused, looking off into a distant thought.

“Getting to go to another country,” Alara continued brightly, “That never happens.”

“It’s not the safest mode of transportation,” Amélie said dryly.

“Oh please,” Mamela rolled her eyes. “I’m sure they’ve handled the pirates.”

“Pirates?” Alara gasped.

“More like pitiful water bandits,” Amélie corrected. “Though I doubt any of them are desperate enough, or stupid enough to attack an imperial yacht. Not to mention our escort.”

“I’d rather not think about such things,” Alara said with a pout. I hope Londres is nice. I’ve heard it’s beautiful.”

“Depends on what their men look like, Mamela said. She finally pulled herself away from the window. “No land is beautiful without beautiful men.”

“Queen Caroline was exceptionally beautiful,” Amélie said. “Not that that was the most interesting thing about her.”

“Perhaps her grandchildren have inherited her good looks.” Alara shrugged her shoulders with a giggle in an attempt to be light and optimistic.

“Actually the princes are Queen Caroline’s great-grandchildren, though not by blood,” Amélie corrected. “Though beauty, especially masculine beauty,” she continued, “is fleeting. They say that the old Prince Philip was quite the heartthrob when he was young. Girls would throw themselves at him. But I’ve seen old pictures of him.” She shivered. “The man was an ogre.”

Mamela gasped, covering her mouth. Alara only continued to laugh. Amélie continued.

“He was enormous, terribly obese. Balding and red faced, giggling like a wretched blob. Like a great sickly hippopotamus.”

Mamela waved her hand. “No more. I’m going to be sick.”

“I heard he had the misfortune of wearing a kilt once, and his stomach fat fell past the hem of the skirt.”

“That’s disgusting!” cried Mamela.

“I’d rather like a man in a kilt,” Alara mused to herself.

Amélie grinned wickedly at her younger sister, who was miming a gagging motion, waving her book at her. “Mamela, don’t you want to know what you might be stuck with your old age? He may be pretty now and give it ten years he’ll be a balding flabby creature.”

“He might even be hideous now.” Alara shivered.

“Perish the thought.” Mamela hissed.

“Oh please,” Alara rolled her eyes. “It’s not likely you’ll be paired with him. They may be sending all three of us, but Amélie is the oldest. They are going to select her.”

It was Amélie’s turn to roll her eyes, flipping her book back open. “Yes... lucky me.”

At just that moment the train came to a stop. The three sisters rose and descended out of the train carriage, stepping out into the private station. It sat near the royal marina of the docks section of the city. One of the royal yachts waited for them, ready to take them to Londres. However, as they stepped off a group of young women, as well as a mixed team of attendants and guards joined them. One of the women, an older woman with a silver and green gele on her head. Cussata de la Rasicga-Mtoto, a member of the Empress’s court ladies. Amélie and her sisters came to a stop as Cussata curtsied deeply, her dress skirts pooling around her like a perfect emerald as she nearly kneeled on the ground.

“Your Imperial Highnesses,” she said, as she addressed the three daughters of the Emperor. “I am afraid there has been a slight change of plans.”

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Postby Kingdom of Derita » Thu May 06, 2021 10:06 pm

Amélie and her sisters raised their eyebrows at Cussata’s announcement.

“What sort of change?” Mamela asked.

Cussata nodded her bowed head to Amélie. “The Empress has arranged for the Princess Imperial to leave for Colfico. She is to be a guest at the court of King Sebastian. Princess Mamela and Princess Alara will continued to Great Hyruke as guests of King Arthur and Queen Mary.”

Ama is separating us?” Alara said in a twisted mix of shock and dread. The three daughters of the Emperor had never been separated for more than a week, raised in the safety and care of the Tajiyagitte Palace with an army of staff, cooks, tutors and of course their protective mother to care for them. There trip to Great Hyruke was meant to be their first trip out of the country.

“Her Imperial Highness will be a guest of the King of Colfico,” Cussata repeated simply.

Amélie let out a cold laugh, shrugging her shoulders. She turned to Mamela. “Looks like you may have a chance after all.”

“You can’t separate us,” Alara argued.

“It is the will of the Empress.”

Mamela clinched her fists in protest. “But—“

“It is okay,” Amélie interrupted. She turned to her sisters, touching their arms. “We can not disobey ama.”

“But—“

“I’ll be fine. I am sure that Colfico will be just as exotic and interesting as Great Hyruke m. Don’t worry. I’ll write to you all about it.” Amélie looked to Alara. “And I’ll be expecting writings from you, because I know Mamela won’t.”

“Only you could turn a vacation into one with homework,” Mamela laughed, though tears began to form in her eyes.

“Of course I will,” Alara said. “I’ll write everyday. We can share our adventures together. Plus,” Alara grinned, leaning forward with a girlish smile, “when we see you again, you might be a Queen.”

Amélie only laughed. The three sisters hugged one another as they prepared to depart. Though their destinations were different, their methods of travel would be the same. The multi-day sea voyages from Aukusa Bay Area to Colfico and Great Hyruke would take them on roughly the same route as they rounded the peninsula that the empire sat on before spilting up to head north and south respectively. Mamela and Alara on the royal yacht Ozisailanga and Amélie on the smaller Qala Kuqala. As the sisters gave their goodbyes, so did their group of ladies. There had been twelve in all, four for each princess. Amongst them was another pair of sisters, spilt by the change in plans.

Lady Adriana Godey smiled down at her sister, Lady Marie Godey. “Take care of yourself Mele,” she said, using their native language for her sister’s name.

“You know I will, Akaliana,” Marie said with a smile. “Make sure you take care of the princess. You know how they are. We have to make sure all goes well. For their sake and our own. Tutu Kane is counting on us.” Her smiled formed a sly grin. “Even if he doesn’t know it.”

Adriana laughed and hugged her sister. “Try not to get into any trouble.”

“Trouble? Since when has anyone in our family ever caused trouble?” Marie said cheekily.

Adriana shook her head, and with a flutter of her skirts, turned and followed the Princess Imperial and her other ladies, while Marie fell in step behind Princess Mamela and Princess Alara. The two ships set off. As Aukusa Bay Area began to disappear on the horizon, Marie looked out over the stern, wonder just what adventures lay ahead.

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Postby Great Hyruke » Fri May 07, 2021 2:16 pm

Wattingham

Wattingham Palace, Londres, Great Hyruke

The throne room of the palace glowed and buzzed with the royal court of King Arthur. Taking from his name, the King and Queen had spent a great deal of time and effort to make Camelot of a court around them. The throne room was filled to the brim and boiling with every countess, marchioness and duchess in the queendom that could be fit inside. They dressed in reserved shades of gray, white and black. Many wore a mix of dresses and pant suits, with a few wearing their ceremonial military uniforms. Their consorts meanwhile were dressed in splendor and bright colors, like peacocks next to peahens. Everyone was excited. It had been decades since a foreign royal had stepped onto the shores of Great Hyruke. All were eager to see the trio of Deritain Princesses. Many of course would have preferred it being a trio of princes to be presented to a court with Princesses. But the King had no daughters.

What they lacked in royal princesses, the court had in duchesses, some considered princesses. There were nine. There was Princess Catherine, Duchess of Carlowe, a young woman in her late thirties, with her strong jaw and strawberry blonde hair. Catherine was a younger cousin of the King. She stood next to her husband, Lord Leopold, son of one of handful of dukes also present, William Hayes, Duke of Worcester, who stood flanked by his daughters and grandchildren. Not far from the throne was Princess Caroline, Duchess of Cambridge, the older sister of Queen Mary, and her second husband, the Earl of Hereshire. Her daughters, Lady Felicity and Lady Mary hovered around their mother, trying to seem as close to their royal cousin as was allowed. Among them was their other cousin, Princess Anna, Duchess of Lauderdale.

The Dukes of Kent, Cumberland and Connaught, uncles of the Queen, stood together with one another. Standing in imposing fashion was Princess Alexandrine, Duchess of Kerry, the older cousin of the King, with her daughter, Lady Alexandrine the younger, as imperious as if she herself were a Queen. The elderly Duke of Manchester, weathered, wrinkled and gray, he leant heavily on his cane. The young Augusta Dreyfus, the Duchess of Clarence stood next to to her and the king’s mutual uncle, Prince Louis of Clarence, Duke of Montmorency, who stood with one foot on the dais with the Royal family. Montmorency looked over proudly at his nephew and trio of grandnephews. He, perhaps more than anyone, had shaped the modern Hyrukian royal family, and liked to pride himself as a unofficial patriarch, an unsung hero and savior of the monarchy.

Meanwhile at the further east end of the room, far from their other great interlocking families and dukes, was the prime minister, the Duchess of Cambolton and Cassius Blackthorn, Duke of Newport, the latter seeming for all the world like a man determined to disappear in the crowd. His son, Jonathan, who’d all but begged to be there, seemed determined to be seen, dressed in dramatic black and gold.

None however, compared to the royals themselves.

Queen Mary sat high in her throne, her large frame squeezed carefully into her ceremonial red army uniform showing off her medals and ribbons, a red sash across her chest. Her blond hair pinned up into a tight high bun. A long green skirt swallowed her legs and fanned her throne, while Mary’s jaw was set in place in a small scowl, like the disapproving mother of the nation that so many saw her as.

King Arthur was a dignified statue of a man, dressed in red and gold, he wore an outfit that radiated regality. A high collar jacket hugged his lean from, three horizontal braids of gold a crossing his chest while a think back belt cinched his waist. He wore tight black trousers lined with gold braid and calf high black boots polished to perfection. A a red cape fell from his shoulders, pooling in his throne. A small crescent shape forget was looped around his throat while a simple gold diadem sat atop his salt and pepper curls. The King’s gaze was a regal neutrality, like his face on Hyrukian coins and bills.

The same couldn’t be said for his sons. They sat in a row of thrones at the feet of their parents, arranged youngest to oldest from left to right. First there was Prince Philip Arthur, just fourteen, named after his great-grandfather. Philip was small and freckled. He had massive brown eyes that seemed too big for his head, and his head too big for his body. He was dressed in a imitation of his father’s outfit, minus the gorget, and instead of red, his was harsh yellow.

Nestled between the youngest and the eldest was Prince Louis Albert, twenty-one and named after his grand uncle the Duke of Montmorency. Louis looked the most like his mother, as despite having bronze skin only a shade lighter than his father’s, his thick wavy curls were so lights they might as well have been the blond he dyed them. His brown eyes glittered with specks of blue, like an ocean and desert tossed into a kaleidoscope. Louis mimicked his parents, his gaze regal, but his lips forming a scowl, the diadem on his head reaching high as he sat with practice rigidity. While his brother and father wore the same outfit in red and yellow, Louis’ was blue.

Lastly there was the Prince Royal. A lion of a man, he was the image of a dashing royal. It was no wonder he’d been such a heartthrob at his university. His outfit, red like his father, as he was the heir presumptive, fit well against his muscular form. Charles Augustus, named for his maternal grandfather and his great-grand mother, Queen Caroline blazed like a sun beside his brothers, easily the most popular member of the royal family. Charles had caramel skin, dark eyes and broad shoulders. His curly chocolate brown hair cut short at the sides. The diadem on his head sparked as brightly as his pearly white teeth. At twenty-one, he was just eleven months other than his brother, leaving there a few months where the two were the same age. He was the only one of the royals who smiled, a small reserved smile, perfect for when waving to crowds, but it was a great step more than the rest of his family. He, like the rest of the court, was eager to see these strange foreign princesses.

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Postby Kingdom of Derita » Fri May 07, 2021 7:41 pm

Cussata stepped into the throne room of the Great Hyrukian king. She curtsied to the assembled parade of foreign royals and nobles. As she rose, she lifted her hands in a dramatic flourish.

“Presenting, Their Imperial Highnesses, Princess Mamela and Princess Alara of the Celestial Empire.”

With that, Mamela and Alara, both dress in floor length black and silver dresses, long veils falling over their heads that hid their faces. Diamond and silver tiaras were perched high on their heads. Behind the princess followed their ladies in waiting. They formed two columns four deep behind their respective Princesses. Behind Princess Mamela came: Lady Nkosazana Kubashe, Larella Mpangele, the Countess of Fiomete, Lady Alizée Gérin and Lady Ava Yoyo. Behind Princess Alara came: Lady Safiya Hollande, Lady Henrietta de la Nanoy, Lady Gisela Brock and Lady Marie Godey.

The two columns of young Deritain royals and nobles came to a stop before the thrones of the King and Queen of Great Hyruke. Their ladies fell into curtsied before the Hyrukian royals, while the two princess bowed their heads in royal greeting.

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Postby Great Hyruke » Sat May 08, 2021 1:04 pm

Queen Mary's scowl deepened as she saw the near dozen young woman draped in veils burst forth into the throne room. What was this? Was this how the Deritains presented themselves in a delegation to their royal court? The princesses looked as if they were mourning ladies, all draped in black and silver. It was a shameful display to come here like that. The Queen scoffed and turned to her husband. King Arthur Gave his wife a short look before turning to the two princesses. He knew that as the sovereign it was his duty to smooth out things, and as a royal, it was expected of him by his government to serve as the connecter between other royals who came from abroad.

"It is a pleasure to welcome Your Imperial Highnesses to Londres. We," the king said, invoking the royal we, "hope that your journey has been pleasant and that you may find Our country to be to your likely. Though, one must say, there are only two of you. We were expecting three princesses."

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Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Kingdom of Derita » Sat May 08, 2021 3:58 pm

Princess Mamela, as the eldest of the Princesses present, gulped, feeling a wave of panic rise up over her heart in her chest. She had been practicing with Lady Marie and Cussata as to what she was supposed to say to the King and Queen of Great Hyruke as to explain why Princess Amélie had not been present, but she had always expected that such a question would have come in private. She hadn’t thought that it would be the first question that she would have to answer and even less so had she expected to have to answer said question in front of what seemed to be the gathered nobles of the entirety of he queendom.

Mamela swallowed, took a deep breath and finally forced herself to speak. “Your Majesty, Her Imperial Highness my sister wished me Tito send her regrets at not being able to sojourn here at your magnificent court.”

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Great Hyruke
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Postby Great Hyruke » Sat May 08, 2021 9:28 pm

Queen Mary leaned back in her throne, glaring at the princess. She did not like them, more did she trust them. Deritains, from what little she knew of them, and what she knew of J.J. Aurelains were deceitful creatures who loved to make fools of others with small jabs that one was often blinded to see at first. Perhaps this was what happened now, some slight against Great Hyruke by the Princess Imperial not daning to arrive.

“And what, pray tell has kept the Princess Imperial away? Is she ill, perhaps so much so that she could not bother come?”

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Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Kingdom of Derita » Sun May 09, 2021 11:27 am

Princess Mamela opened her mouth, then paused, surprised by the venom in the words of the Queen. No one had ever spoken to her like that before. But of course, this was a Queen. Mamela had never met a Queen before. She had only ever known empresses, her mother of course, and her step-grandmother, the late Empress Anaressa, the second wife of Andeja I. But both those women had been familial connections. This woman, this wretched Hyrukian ogre, was not, however, and very clearly didn’t welcome her or her sister as much as she might have let them all think. Mamela’s heart pounded against her rib cage. She wasn’t meant for this. He hadn’t been prepared for this. She wasn’t Amélie, she couldn’t dance through the delicate webs of international diplomacy. She’d been expecting to be able to stand in the shadow of her older sister and now she found she didn’t care much at all for being so directly in the spotlight. Mamela took a breath as she searched desperately for the words that would save her.

“My sister, um, my sister was required elsewhere, at... uh...”

Princess Alara, seeing the tension in her sister felt her own pang of panic, stepped forward, speaking up as she swooped in to save her.

“Your Majesties, we do hope it is not quantity over quality that you seek with Deritain imperial Princesses at your court.”

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Postby Great Hyruke » Sun May 09, 2021 1:44 pm

Queen Mary started to respond, but King Arthur reached out and took her hand in his, stopping her.

“We are sure that this will only give our families more time to learn about one another. As We said, it is an pleasure to have you both as guests here, and it is hoped that you may think of this a second home. Great Hyruke and Derita have long since been connected to one another, in good and bad, and for far too long as rivals.”

There were a series of mumbles from the crowd of nobles. All had been raised with history books of the wars waged between Greag Hyruke and Derita, and many were themselves the product of the effects of population exchange between the two countries. All of the duchesses in the room had Deritain blood distantly in their family trees. But just as many knew that Londres had only become the beautiful city that it was because the Hyrukians had been forced to rebuild it from scratch after the Deritains had razed the old city to the ground. Feelings were mixed to say the least. The King new this and spoke, to both the Princesses and to his own nobles.

“But that century of rivalry is behind us. This is a new era and it is one to be decided by us. I hope that this arrival may represent the forming a new balanced and mutual friendship between our two nations.”

As if to spite the king however, at that moment, lighting crackled in a brilliant flash, its burning white flooding the throne room. A spilt second later thunder boomed and outside the overcast sky opened up and the rain fell in a torrent.

“An omen,” whispered Queen Mary. “And not a good one.”

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