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Their Royal Highnesses (IC|TG to Enter)

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Gosataborg
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Their Royal Highnesses (IC|TG to Enter)

Postby Gosataborg » Sat Oct 16, 2021 4:01 pm

The days we’re counting down in Gosataborg as the country prepared for the first ever Royal wedding in the Grand Duchy. The first grand Duke, the late Ragnar, had been married before he created the grand duchy, and the second and current grand duke, Sakarias had been wed in a small ceremony in the midst of the Military Anarchy in the dawn of the twenty-second century. This, the wedding of Hereditary Prince Ragnar with his bride to be, Lady Alice Barbon was to mark the first ever truly Royal wedding in the country. As the rest of the continent continued to focus on the various chaos and crises of the day, Gosataborgians let the fairytale of Royal majesty take them away.

This was seen as thousands of people gathered around the port docks of New Walaa as they waited for the arrival of their new Princess. The Gosataborgian Royal Family had welcomed the Barbons and the bridal wedding party and the rest of the grand duchy seemed keen on doing so, even as heavy snow fell over the city. The crowds gathered around the docks, waving Gosataborgian flags and passing around cups of hot cocoa as they searched on the horizon for the ship carrying their soon to be Princess. And as they did so, Prince Ragnar, attended by a handful of guards stood at the forefront of them all, dressed in warm clothing the winter uniform of the Gosataborgian Army, with a thick fur hat on his head.

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Great Hyruke
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Postby Great Hyruke » Sat Oct 16, 2021 4:41 pm

The Laliberté, once the yacht to an emperor, cut through the cold waters of the Northern Sea, it’s prow setting the course for the Gosataborgian port. The air seem to sing with music if the approaching holidays and majesty of the even sooner approaching nuptials. As the yacht sailed into the port, the air was jubilant.

Lady Alice felt her heart flutter with excitement as she knew that her life was going to soon change forever. Alice, young, beautiful and exceedingly pleased with what she was accomplishing, stepped out onto the deck of the yacht. She stood on the smooth wood of the deck, freshly swept clean of the snow that had fallen on it by the crew of the Duke and Duchess of Garmouth, Alice’s parents.

Alice smiled, feeling the icy wind buffering her pure blond locks, practicing which was just right. One didn’t want to smile to widely. But she had to smile, for that was what princesses did. She had not been born a Princess, but that didn’t mean that she didn’t know everything about being people. Her mother, who had been born a Princess, had given her a library’s worth of books on the subject.

As the yacht pulled into the dock of the port, Alice went to the railing of the Laliberté and waved to the thousands waiting for her. Alice wore a pale blue gray double breasted coat dress lined with fur, a baby blue scarf around her neck, gloves in her hands and a beret on her head. The very image of a lovely modern Princess. Which she soon would be.

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Postby Gosataborg » Sat Oct 16, 2021 5:06 pm

Cheers erupted across the docks as the Laliberté came into port.

“There she is!” Someone shouted, point at the figure of Lady Alice on the deck of the yacht. More cheers rose up as the thousands of people caught sight of her waving at them. It sent a strange sort of joy through the people, a sensation of pride in the Royal Pom and posh magnificent of the grand duchy unlike ever seen before.

“Lady Alice! Lady Alice!” Reporters rushed to the front of the crowds, both domestic and international in flavor, holding out microphones and scrubbing down things on notepads, all the while dozens of cameras and their corresponding crews recorded the event unfolding while steps were set into place from the dock to the Laliberté.

Prince Ragnar put on a small charming smile, stepping forward towards the steps while servants quite literally rolled out a red carpet for Lady Alice. The guards, armed with belted ropes began separating the crowds along the docks, carving a path from the ship down the length of the pier to the mode of transportation for the Royal couple.

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Postby Great Hyruke » Sat Oct 16, 2021 5:38 pm

Lady Alice couldn’t help but feel a small giggle rise up in her throat as she waved to the crowd and heard the rapturous sounds of the Gosataborgians calling out her name. She felt like a movie star. It was true Great Hyruke had royalty, but the people didn’t care much for the batch of princes that had been produced by the king, on account of them all being men. Yes, Alice herself was Hyrukian, but it was a bit of a technicality. Oh sure she had Hyrukian blood, but it was barely a drop of a mixture of Scottish, Spanish, Deritain and Connuriste DNA. The last full blooded Hyrukian in Alice’s direct family tree had been her great-great-great-grandfather, through which she had a hint of Hyrukian Royal blood.

That is to say that most of her Royal blood came from her mother, Princess Mary of Connuriste, daughter of an empire that sadly no longer existed. Still, her connection to the throne-less Connuriste Pearson Dynasty had put her in an entirely different circle than if she had been a Caister scion. And that circle had far more connection to movie stars and socialites than to royalty. She remembered meeting Penelope Chambers, a star from the golden age of Hyrukian cinema and how glamorous she’s been. That was how Alice felt now. She waved and blew kisses tho the throngs of people screaming her name.

A smile like a bowl over flowing with joy filled her face as she made it half away down the steps, caught sight of Ragnar and hurried the rest of the way, as if she couldn’t bare to be without him a second longer. Ragnar was the most handsome man Alice had ever seen. At least of men who weren’t related to her. Her Pearson cousins were known for being quite dashing. He looked every part the Prince Charming from a fairytale, and she was his camera ready Cinderella. She all but threw herself into Ragnar’s arms as she reached the end of the steps, hugging him tightly. Not part of Royal protocol, but sometimes it worked to break the rules.

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Postby Gosataborg » Sat Oct 16, 2021 7:00 pm

Ragnar let out a gasp, genuinely surprised as Alice hugged him. As he let out a breath of air, out came a puff of condensation appeared in the cold Gosataborgian air. A blush spread across Ragnar's pale face, giving him a doll-like appearance much like that so admired in his mother, Grand Duchess Mathilde. Ragnar, pale-skinned, golden-eyed, and with blonde hair was the spitting image of his mother, as opposed to his blue-eyed and dark-haired father. With Alice's similar features, it had been commented that blue eyes and blond hair were likely to be a defining feature of the future generations of the young Vasta Dynasty.

The Hereditary Prince of Gosataborg hugged Alice back, pleased to have her warmth, before stepping back and hold Alice's gloved hands in his own gloved ones, his eyes briefly scanning over Alice. She was quite beautiful. Not the most beautiful of women who'd tried for his hand, he was of the opinion that title belonged to either Princess Kiayon or Princess Mamela, which whom they had both, in both cases, had determined that a relationship wouldn't work out between them. And in the end, it hadn't been beauty that Ragnar had been interested in. Though it did help.

Alice was blessed in that she looked like a princess. She was lovely, refined, and stylish, without seeming haughty or, of particular interest for the Gosataborgians, like a foreigner. She was an instant icon, and this was clear in how the cheers swirled around the crowd even louder, waving flags and jumping up and down as if they were witnessing a patriotic rally. The sight of the two royals in love sent them into euphoric fervor. The air around the pair snapped with the shuttering clicks of cameras. Ragnar smiled down at his bride to be.

"I wasn't expecting that. Though I guess its a better welcome than protocol had in mine."

Meanwhile the reporters sought to get as close as they could, asking questions, most directed towards Lady Alice, like "Who are you wearing?" "Is your family with you?" "Are you happy to be in Gosataborg?"

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Postby Great Hyruke » Sat Oct 16, 2021 7:34 pm

Alice let out small chuckles as she looked up at Ragnar. She had expected the slightly awkward response. She imagined that much of Ragnar’s success with the people was the fact that he could charm most with his pretty face, and most seemed unaware that Ragnar, to a degree, seemed a bit uncomfortable with being a prince. But that was alright with Alice. She could help with that, and take the lead.

“It’s good for people to see that we are people too,” Alice said to Ragnar with a grin, before rising up onto her toes and kissing Ragnar’s cheek, popping her leg up. A perfect image for the cameras that clicked around them. She pulled away, but kept holding hands with Ragnar, and looked to the reporters that had gathered around her. Miss Chambers had taught Alice that it was never good to ignore the media, better to use them for your cause. In the case of Miss Chambers that had been in her platform of environmentalism and human rights in the twilight of her career.

Åh, jag är så glad att vara här.

Alice spoke, asserting that she was quite happy to be in Gosataborg, in Gosatten. Alice had practiced diligently and studiously the language of her new adoptive country. As for the question of her family, the answer was yes.

Behind Alice, slowly descending down the steps came the Duke and Duchess of Garmouth, the father and mother of the Princess to be. The Duke, David Barbon was a short and thin man who seem to have a permanent scowl on his face, his gray hair peeking out from his hat and form swallowed by his thick coat.

The Duchess, Princess Mary, stood tall and willowy, in a baby blue dress, a short fur cape on her shoulders and her blond hair pinned up in a bun with a small fascinator hat. Pearls were pierced on her ears. She smiled at the cheering crowds, her hands snuggled warming in a a stylish of fur lined muff. Lastly, of Alice’s immediate family, there was her brother Christopher, affectionately known as Kit, who wore a three piece suit with a tie that was the same shade of blue as his mother’s dress and a scarf that matched that of his sister’s.

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Postby Gosataborg » Sat Oct 16, 2021 8:04 pm

Ragnar was certain that he was going to go deaf the crowd got any louder. Hearing Alice speak in Gosatten, as opposed to Deritain, the typical lingua francia of the continent of which many Gosataborgiand had begun begrudgingly learning in schools, it was amazing. For Lady Alice to have taken the time and effort to learn their language, one that was not was not often heard outside of their own borders, it sent the gathered Gosataborgians.

The rest of the noble Barbon family didn’t receive the same degree of cheers as Alice did. Most didn’t know much about the Duke or the Duchess and while the later of the two of the Princess to be’s parents seemed nice, most wouldn’t have known that she had been born a Princess to an empire that no longer existed, in account that most of the people wouldn’t have even remembered when her family’s empire had existed. Meanwhile the scowls of the Duke instantly put people off.

Lord Kit received a bit of cheers, mostly from the young women of the crowd, who were pleased to find that, while their chances to marry their own Gosataborgian princes were gone, the woman who stolen their chance had, perhaps as a consolation prize, brought a brother who was almost as pretty as she was.

Ragnar smiled to Alice’s relatives, his future in laws, before turning his attention back to Alice. “Someone has been practicing. I can barely hear your accent.”

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Postby Great Hyruke » Sun Oct 17, 2021 7:20 am

“Thank you,” Alice said. “I love the language of Gosataborg, it is so beautiful,” she said to both Ragnar himself and to the cameras that surrounded them. Whenever one spoke, her mother had told her, she had to take in mind that she was, in effect, talking to the entire world. Whether unintentionally or overtly.

The Duke and Duchess of Garmouth reached the end of the stairs. The Duke bowed deeply to the Hereditary Prince, while the Duchess fell into a graceful curtsy.

“Your Royal Highness,” said the Duke of Garmouth in greeting.

“It is an honor to be here,” said the Duchess. She rose from her curtsy and gestured her son forward, who bowed deeply to the prince. He rose with a nod to his future brother-in-law. “A pleasure as always Prince Ragnar.”

“My cousins are set to arrive before the wedding,” said Alice looking away from her family to Ragnar. All of Alice’s grandparents had died long before she’d been born, her father’s father having been executed when he was a child, her mother’s mother dying when Mary had been but nine, and her father during the Great Collapse, and her father’s mother not long after. But while the Duke was an only child, Mary had had many siblings, but only one branch of hers had survived, the children of Alice’s late Uncle Frederick. “And I have invite a few of my friends from Great Hyruke.”

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Postby Gosataborg » Sun Oct 17, 2021 8:45 am

“It is wonderful to see you all again,” Prince Ragnar said, bowing his head politely to the Duke and Duchess of Garmouth, “Your Graces, your lordship,” the later part the Gosataborgian heir directed towards Lord Kit. While Ragnar shared in the public’s apprehension over David Barbon, he seemed like a living ghost to Ragnar, but he rather like Alice’s mother and especially her brother. They were all quite nice.

Ragnar smiled at Lord Kit, returning the nodded and looked back to Alice, listening, or trying to listen to her talk of her cousins. Ragnar had even more apprehension over that part of her family, as though they lacked thrones, they had no lack of various connections across the continent and their arrival would no doubt cause from tensions between their other guests, certainly the Patuanian and Imaratian royals who were arrive. But that was a can Ragnar was willing to kick down the road. More than willing.

“I don’t think Ragnargata has ever seen so many guests. So many royals and aristocrats and diplomats, it’s quite grand. My father and mother are already there, and it’s not a terribly long drive from here south to Bylina. My aunt and her husband have returned to the palace and my cousins as well. And that is only the beginning.”

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Postby Great Hyruke » Sun Oct 17, 2021 9:17 am

“Oh,” Alice said with a smile, for really the young noblewoman never seemed to stop smiling, for at times like this, it was always best to keep a smile on one’s face. “I am so excited to meet the rest of your family!” Alice said, squeezing Ragnar’s hand. She looked over at the crowds and the waving flags of the cheering people. “And I do look so much forward to seeing the rest of this beautiful country. It is so magnificent.”

Alice, unlike the many other woman who’d tried a hand at winning Ragnar’s heart, had not made the lengthy travel route from Great Hyruke to Gosataborg, and instead had induced him and his parents to visit the highlands of Garmouth instead. This marked her first visit to the country that was to adopt her. And she was eager to see both the lands and the people over who she was to be Princess of.

“Perhaps we may go ahead and head that way,” suggested the Duke in his dark solemn voice. “Or perhaps inside, or anywhere that had some semblance of heat. You do have heat in this country don’t you?” The Duke muttered out the words. Once it had snowed in Great Hyruke and in the highlands, but climate change had made the nation temperate and snow rare. The Duke felt his wife’s hand gently hit his arm.

“Be nice David,” said Mary. She smiled towards the prince, “though I don’t have any wish to have everyone stay out in the snow on account of us.”

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Postby Gosataborg » Sun Oct 17, 2021 12:22 pm

“Of course, of course,” Ragnar said, putting an arm around Lady Alice’s and escorted her down the red carpet, the guards flanking around them and the rest of the Barbon Family in a loose line as they walked. The cheers rose and fell as they walked down the carpet, following down the length of the pier.

People waved and cheered as they pasted, and Ragnar waved back, raising his hand high above his head, his smile was brilliantly white as he looked over the thousands of people who had come out to welcome Alice. It was amazing he thought to him. A hundred thousand welcomes all for her. He hadn’t been sure that the people would welcome anyone he chose, but he was pleased that they were with Alice.

They reached the end of the pier, the reporters and camera crews all rushing through and around the crowds in hopes of getting a better shot of the royals as they reached the line of glossy black town cars that were waiting for them on the road. Their engines are running and small Gosataborgian flags fluttering from their small little pins.

A footman opened the door for the Hereditary Prince and Lady Alice, while a second car was waiting for the Barbons. Ragnar gave one last wave to the crowd and the gestured for Alice to step inside of the car. “After you my lady.”

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Postby Great Hyruke » Sun Oct 17, 2021 2:30 pm

Lady Alice smiled up at Ragnar, turned to the crowds and cameras, waving goodbye to the crowds, blowing a kiss to them once more before she gracefully slide into the town car and into the far side of the vehicle. She was thankful for the heat inside of the town car. She had known that Gosataborg was a cold country, she swore each of those nations along the Northern Sea loved to boast about the harshness of their weather. She supposed that they figured that it made them stronger than those of them that lived in the warm climes of the Southern Sea. Alice herself wasn't convinced. All she knew was that she was going to have to get used to having her dresses made to be lined with fur.

"Do join me Ragnar," Alice said, nodding her head for him to get into the town car.

The Duke and the Duchess meanwhile made their way into the second car, the Duke moving in first, then the Duchess and lastly Lord Kit stepped in. The three Barbons made a lopside group, rising in height from the duke to his wife to his son. Lord Kit had always been pleased that he had gotten the height of his mother rather than the small frame of his father, though no one was at all sure if his height was natural or from an early life filled with tragedy. No one had ever been brave enough to ask, and with Alice set to become a princess, it was likely no one would ever think to ask again.

David was happy for his daughter, he really was, but like any father he was also scared for her. It was difficult being a royal and being around them. He'd lost his own father to the squabbling affairs of royals. An the Vastas were a young royal house who, from all David had learned, had clawed their way to power and fought viciously to remain there. David was of the opinion that all thrones were built from the bones of enemies, and thus soaked in blood. But it still made him uneasy how fresh it smelt here. Alice was marrying just the third generation, and the old addage often said it was the third generation that either builds on the successes of their predecessors, or squanders it all away. David wasn't sure which his son-in-law was. He didn't have high hopes.

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Postby Gosataborg » Sun Oct 17, 2021 3:29 pm

Ragnar stepped into the town car with ease, the footman closing the door while a second footman closed the door to the car carrying the Barbon family. The prince looked through the window, which were thick for the sake of safety. Though Ragnar had been a small child the last time there had been any political violence, but there was always the possibility as far as his father was concerned.

Something about the thought reminded Ragnar of the age difference between him and Alice. Seven years. Not a terribly wide gap. Certainly not the vastest of age gaps surmounted by royalty in history. But it did mean that while Ragnar was less than three years away from turning thirty, Alice had only just turned twenty. She was young and beautiful and the people were in love with her. She was perfect.

“You are perfect,” Ragnar said. “I’ve never seen so many people cheering. They adore my mother and they respect my father, but Alice, they love you. And when, where did you learn to speak Gosatten like that? We’ll be lucky if we do deaf from the cheers by the time we get to Ragnargata.”

As if on cue, the motorcade pulled away from the docks of New Walaa and began making their way south on the forty minute or so drive from the port to the Royal palace.

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Postby Great Hyruke » Sun Oct 17, 2021 4:36 pm

"Thank you, darling," Alice said as the town car pulled away from the crowds. She pulled off her gloves, setting them on the seat between her and Prince Ragnar. Next she pulled her hat off of her head and began undoing her earrings and unwrapping her scarf from around her neck. It was a lovely outfit that she had arranged, Alice was always careful to properly and thoughtfully arranging her outfits. The one that she had selected for her arrival in Gosataborg had taken a great deal of thought and effort and, from the look of things, had gone off without a hitch, a master stroke with her adoptive people.

"I studied on the yacht, as well as a bit beforehand," said Alice setting down her hat and scarf next to her gloves. "It is a terribly long trip by sea from Garmouth to Gosataborg you know. Oh, well I suppose you do know. I've never felt so bad before for making you come so far south to see me and my family. I can't imagine how that trip with your parents must have gone. I swear I saw glaciers off the coast of Patuania. And of course, I had to be prepared."

Alice spoke without missing a beat as she began undoing her earrings from her ears and then unbuttoning the coat dress that she had been wearing. "I know your mother doesn't like me, and I believe that your father only just likes me. I think he is happy that we are marrying, but I think that he would forever prefer if I were a princess myself. But I am sure that-" Alice cut herself off, not wanting to speak too much on her future father-in-law. But she was sure that she was right, that he would be pleased when he received her family's dowry. Money could not buy happiness, but it could ease the pathway towards it. And money was something that the Barbons had in spades. Alice paused in her undressing, the coat dress untied and partway down the young noblewoman's arms.

"Ragnar, would you be a dear and help me?"

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Postby Gosataborg » Sun Oct 17, 2021 5:49 pm

“Of course,” Ragnar said, not blinking or bashing an eye as Alice started to undress. He was only mildly surprised by the action, and he couldn’t help but find it funny how Alice too seemed to completely disregard the fact that she was letting loose one article of clothing after another as she spoke, in that posh and yet perfectly matter of fact way is speaking that Ragnar found that most Hyrukians, especially the Scottish ilk tended to have. He thought it was because they were ruled by women, he figured that they didn’t feel like having to tip toe around men like the rest of the continent. Alice did seem to lack the misandry of her fellow sort of countrywomen, which was a relief. The sort of best of both worlds.

Ragnar reached over and helped the coat dress of of Alice’s arms. “Well, it is a good thing to be prepared. You’ll need to be when we get to the palace. Father and Mother will be expecting perfection again, and while the people already love you, it’ll be harder to keep you in my parents’ warm affections once we are in the palace walls. My grandmother, bless her soul, set a metric ton of rules in place for how things are meant to be run, and my parents have made it their solemn duty to uphold it. And while I have the luxury of ignoring them most of the time, even I can’t when they are present and the world is watching.”

Ragnar sat back in his seat thinking for a moment. “Nothing like this has ever happened before in our country you know. This is the first. We are the first. You are the first for all of this, and all of us. I am glad it’s you. I don’t think anyone else could do it.”

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Postby Great Hyruke » Sun Oct 17, 2021 6:50 pm

“Oh, you are too kind Ragnar,” Alice said as she finally broke free of the coat dress. Underneath it was revealed that she wore another dress, inspired by the fashions of the Queen of Colfico and the Empress of Derita, who were making splashed in the world of fashion with their taffeta dresses and classic silhouettes. That modest charm of sovereign and consort was precisely the kind of look that Alice was going for. Adriana had laid claim to red and Marijani to black, so Alice stuck to Barbon colors, a beautiful sky blue and white.

The dress sported a large white short fur straight collar and long sleeves that ended in white fur cuffs, while her waist was pulled into a tight figure by a white belt. From there her skirts unfurled in long and wide fearful arches stopping a few inches above her ankles and held down in place with small weights that her mother had added to them. Mary had insisted that all of Alice’s dress include weight to keep them in perfect form and stop them from flying in the wind.

“We’ll do tell me about the rules.” Alice said, taking her coat from him and digging through the pockets, pulling out small boxes of jewelry that went with her second outfit. She pulled out a pair of gloves, also fur lined, as Alice had come repaired and the highland grounds of Garmouth had a number of small creatures in desperate need of some population control. “And your family as well. I haven’t heard much about your aunt, Princess Margareta, right? And your cousins, the counts or were they countesses?”

Alice asked the question as she pierced small pearl earrings into her earlopes and Pineda small brooch to her dress. It was best to have some jewelry but not too much. She was the people’s Cinderella, not a foreign queen. They wanted pomp and ceremony, but it was careful not to alienate or flaunt. “From what I recall, the Princess, is she a Royal highness as well, married the Count of Curtland, a friend of your father’s right, helped him secure the throne and end the anarchy?” She then began working on her hair, fixing the bounce of her blond curls to show off her left ear and tumble down her right shoulder.

“And the Countesses of Landurnes, from your grandmother’s side of the family yes, noble, but not Royal, so my parents will out rank them. Satisfied with her hair, Alice took her beret and flipped it inside out, revealing a matching sky blue and settled it onto her head. “Will your mother’s parents be there?”

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Postby Gosataborg » Sun Oct 17, 2021 7:13 pm

Ragnar chuckled as he watched Alice change and reinvent her look in the car with both glamour and impressive utilitarian actions. No wonder his father had liked her. Princess or no, Alice exemplified getting things done and looking good while doing it. Ragnar took forever to get ready fir events and ceremonies. He couldn’t have done what Alice was going right before his eyes.

“Aunt Margie is a delight. She is a a HRH, but you’ll only need to call her that when my parents are around. She grew up the spare and a girl so no one ever thought she would be ruler, and I don’t think she’s ever care for the idea herself. Nonetheless she never disagrees with Father save behind closed doors. And don’t mention children. Aunt Margie always wanted children and couldn’t have them, so try not to mention it.”

Ragnar tried to remember and consider all of Alice’s rapid fire questions.

“You are right, Aunt Margie is married to Count Oskar of Curtland. Father’s border guard dog. He is a tough man and suspicious of foreigners. If you can win over Aunt Margie first, he’ll warm up to you, even if it doesn’t seem like it. Cousin Wilhelmine is the Countess of Landurnes, has heterochromia, don’t stare. Your parents do outrank her. Her daughter is Wilhelmine as well, we call her Mina, she is nice, but she is best friends with my cousin Eljena, who is anything but.”

Ragnar shivered just thinking about it. “Eljena is my Uncle Ingemar’s daughter on my mother’s side. Years ago Uncle Ingemar wanted me to marry Eljena, and I would have turned her down any way, but before I could, Father turned him down. I think Eljena is still bitter over it on a matter of principle than anything else.”

Ragnar pressed on. “My other Aunt Margareta, yes, confusing, I know, and my mother’s grandparents the Count and Countess of Fjeland aren’t coming in till tomorrow, and Aunt Margareta is bringing her son Ludvig, he’s a brat, but he is also going to be the ring barrier. My cousin Oleana, from the Landurnes branch who didn’t get the title is coming later with her son, Gustaf, and her daughters Louisa and Lena, who are also part of the the wedding party. Flower girls I think.”

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Postby Great Hyruke » Sun Oct 17, 2021 10:15 pm

Alice listened carefully to Ragnar as he spoke, taking moments to herself to recall and remember in her extensive mental notes about who was who and what their personalities were like according to Ragnar. She figured that, for now, yes, she would follow Ragnar's advice and start with working on making nice with Princess Margareta and then work her way out from there to the count and the Landurnes and so forth and so forth.

"Well, Her Royal Highness, Princess Margareta sounds like she is just positively delightful and for the rest of them, I shall find a way to charm them one way or another. I want them all to like me. Oh, I hope that doesn't sound too wanting of me."

Alice considered her words. It would be best if they did all like her, but it was most important that her future in-laws liked her. She would have to think of new ways of winning over her soon to be mother-in-law, but perhaps if she could get the rest of them to like her, it might spark a series of motions and a bit of inertia that sent the entire family into convincing the Grand Duchess to like Alice as well. And it was starting, more and more to seem like that would be added by her popularity with the people of Gosataborg itself.

"Will there be crowds at the Ragnargata Palace?" Alice asked, looking out the window, her smile still tugging slightly at her lips.

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Father Knows Best State

Postby Gosataborg » Mon Oct 18, 2021 7:45 am

Ragnar grinned as the motorcade made its way over a series of bridges over canals, their warmers a dark blue as the city of Bylina rose around them. Bylina was not one of those great metropolises of the Southern Sea, or one of those places of soaring skyscrapers. No, Bylina was a decently sized city with most of the buildings not riding more than five stories, their roofs angled sharply in bent designs to keep away the snow and their facades were all painted with bright colors, adorable pastel pinks, radiant red and so one and so forth as they packed tightly around each other and the canals that had been carved into the land.

Church spires popped up every now and then, mostly of the Protestant denominations, though there were a sprinkling of orthodox temples as well. Small square parks found themselves nestled in between buildings and narrow cobblestone road ways, their trees turned stark white by the cold season. The snow however had started to relent in its fall, reduced to mere flurries as they got further and further away from the Northern Sea, the into the heart of the nation. Nearly all trade in the grand duchy went through Bylina, and it served as a hub for power, culture and economics, roads, canals and railways webbing out to the coast and the international community and south into the sparsely populated interior.

Even then, generally Bylina was a quiet, almost sleepy city, one that was early to rise and early to bed. But not today. Today the city was ruckus. As the motorcade turned onto the city’s Main Street, which cut a near straight line through its center from west to east, terminating at the Ragnargata Palace near the waterfront, the sound of the crowds grew like rolling thunder. The entire street had been cleared of traffic, snow and all manner of normalcy. Instead the straight avenue had been lined with massive Gosataborgian flags, strings of red and white lights, tinsel and flowers and even larger crowds. They filled the entire side walk, they stood on balconies and hung out of windows.

Gosataborgians in every size, shape and shade cheered the motorcade as they passed. They were dressed in thick coats and hats, and gloves, snow covering blond, brown and gray locks, covering proud beards and baby bonnets. Royal guards in their brilliant uniforms and velvet ropes held the crowds back, even as they ways and cheered, and cried and reached out to the passing cars , calling out for “Prince Ragnar!” And more and more, “Lady Alice!” Cameras flashed like a million stars in the night, the overcast sky lit up by one bright flash after another, the continuous stutter of cameras chippering throughout the drive.

Inside of the town car Ragnar grinned and took Alice’s hand, squeezing it the crowds grew larger and larger. Thousands. Tens of thousands. A hundred thousand people had come for Lady Alice. They’d come from across the grand duchy and swarmed the capital and the palace to see her. “What do you think?” Ragnar asked as they approached the palace.

The Ragnargata Palace, named for the first Grand Duke, Ragnar’s namesake and grandfather was not a single palace, but rather four identical ones set diagonally in the corners of a massive plaza effectively shaped like an octagon. The palaces were all made in the neoclassical style, seeming ancient, regal and powerful, but that was all an intentional deception. The palace was only thirty or so years cold, born not long after the rise of the Vasta Dynasty that it housed. More Gosataborgian flags flew from the tops of each building, along with the royal standard of the Grand Duke, showing that Sakarias was in residence.

But it was the crowds that caught everyone’s eyes. The massive plaza around which the Ragnargata sat was most meant for pedestrians with patterns of squares placed in the stones artfully, with a massive equestrian statue of the late Grand Duke Ragnar, the great father of the nation in its center. Today however, almost none of the plaza could be seen beneath the throngs of thousands of people reporters, camera crews and guards. On a thin path could be carved by the guards from the Main Street to the northeastern palace, the one that hosted ceremonial events and state visits. The bravest of the crowd dared to climb atop the marble pedestal of the statue to get a better looks, whooping and screaming with joy as the motorcade looped around it and stopped.

Dozens of guards cleared the area between the town car and the palace steps, dressed in their dark blue blue uniforms and baby blue trouser, hats on head and rifles in hand as if they were performing a changing of the guard. The Captain of the Royal Life Guards, Håkan Moller, brandished a ceremonial sword. He stood at the forefront of the guards as the motorcade came to a stop and a pair of footmen came forward and opened the door.

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Great Hyruke
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Postby Great Hyruke » Mon Oct 18, 2021 11:48 am

Alice couldn’t help but gasp at the sight of the crowds in front of Ragnargata Palace. She’d never seen so many people. She hadn’t realized there were so many people in Gosataborg, so many willing to come to the capital and see her, to cheer her. Oh sure she had planned and prepared, and tried to make sure everything went smoothly. But nothing could have possibly prepared her for this. This… this was everything she could have wanted.

Alice swung her legs modestly out of the town car and allowed the palace footman to held her to her feet, her heels clicking against the stone of the square. Or at least one had to assume that there was some clicking, for any actual sound was drowned out in the clamor of cheering citizens. Thunderous, rapturous cheers. The very thing that Alice had hoped for. Acceptance. She took her first step and spun, an innocent, surprised spin that sent her skirts swirling around in delicate circles like the petals of a tulip in the wind.

“Oh my,” Alice said, said, not even sure if she was audible. “All this for little ol’ me?” Alice placed her gloved hands to her heart. Her dress glowed in the light and she seemed to match with the uniforms of the Gosataborgian Palace guards in their blue uniforms. Purely coincidental. But a boom none the less. Alice stood there, swishing back and form with her fluttering skirts beneath the light flurries waving to the thousands who had gathered around the palace. She spoke in Gosatten:

“Åh, ni är alla så snälla. Jag är så glad att vara i Gosataborg,” said Alice, putting her hands back to her heart. “This is truly a magical day.”

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Postby Gosataborg » Mon Oct 18, 2021 4:37 pm

Ragnar stepped out of the town car and watched as Alice spoke to the people who cheered for her. No one noticed, or rather more likely, no one knew she’d switched outfits. Not that anyone would care, as far as Ragnar suspected. He made his way around the town car and towards Alice, though he stayed a few steps back, letting Alice have her moment.

Captain Moller watched as the crowds purged forward, the guards having to stand between the people and the royals and the palace, a sight that the captain had never seen before. Not like this. He had watched armies March across the entire country, had participated in battles along the shores of the grand duchy’s many lakes, and had seen the capital switch hands half a dozen times by one General after another.

In all of that, those decades ago, he had never seen the crowds be full of joy and such a desire to be near. Often it was respect and awe during the popular changing of the guard but this was not that. And a small part of it frightened Captain Moller.

“We love you Lady Alice!” Several young woman shouted.

“Look here!” Called out a man with a camera, trying to get another photo of her.

“Long live the Vasta!” Shout more, sending the chant rippling through the crowd.

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Postby Great Hyruke » Mon Oct 18, 2021 10:17 pm

Alice smiled and turned and spun and wave to the crowds. She had no problem giving people their chance for a photo. Why should she? To come out here in the cold and in the snow, if nothing else they deserved her time and effort, her energy and Alice was more than happy to give it all to them. She blew kisses, and tried to make eye contact with those who were closest to her. People needed to know that they were being heard, heaven when all they were saying was praise and congratulations. It was not necessarily the question or comnent or even the random burst of excite that took upon itself some rough amalgamation of words that was important, often times it wasn’t. But what was important was the person behind those words and what those words meant to them and what being heard meant to them.

“I love you too,” Alice said to the women who had screamed at her her their undying affection. Oh how she hope this would all remain undying. She didn’t require crowds to follow everywhere she went forever more, but she didn’t want to lose the love of the people of this grand duchy. Love was such a powerful think after all. “I love all of Gosataborg,” Alice declared, and waved her arms in a wide arc, gesturing to the thousands of people cramped into the square and the streets and homes. “I see this beautiful country as my new home, and each and everyone of you, not just as neighbors or fellow citizens, but, well, oh as a new family to me.”

Alice blushed at her words which came outside but flustered, as if she were disclosing a trusted secret.

Meanwhile Lord Kit and the Duke and Duchess of Garmouth stepped out the second town car, standing a bit off to the side as they watched Alice with pride and awe. Lord Kit nudged his mother, stage whispering, “Dear god, even I want her as our princess.”

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Postby Gosataborg » Tue Oct 19, 2021 8:20 am

More cheers greeted Alice as she spoke, the cameras flashing as they took every angles, reporters noted every last word that left the young noble woman’s lips. For a second the air was almost blinding as it was filled with the flashing lights and waving flags. Several people surged, trying to get closer and others trying to get a better look that the royals. Captain Moller tensed as the guards had to pushed them back, but with their focus distracted. The perimeter started to have some weak spots.

Suddenly there was movement in the crowd. One of the guards, trying to hold back a group of what looked like soccer moms, wearing what appeared to be t-shifts saying “We love Alice”, with a heart serving as a stand in fir the word love, missed the movement elsewhere. A figure burst from the crowd, slipping past the other guards and making a mad dash straight towards Lady Alice, running past the Duke and Duchess of Garmouth.

Captain Moller and the others tensed, seeing a threat barreling straight towards Lady Alice and began to move to stop them. Captain Moller opened his mouth to called out, whether a warning or an order, the world would never know. He’s taken just a step before Ragnar was holding him back.

“Wait,” the prince hissed quietly, though that was a redundancy in the eye of the Alice super fan storm. The prince had been able to see both the person running towards Alice and Captain Moller’s faster than the rest. “Look.”

For it was not some assassin who ran up to Lady Alice, but a little girl, she could be no more than seven or eight, dressed in a burgundy snow coat and thick little skirt and books. As she ran her hood had fallen back, revealing long waving locks of light brown hair decorated with ribbons that were every color of the rainbow. In her hands she carried a bouquet of bluebells, the National flower of Gosataborg. The little girl came to a stop and offered out the bouquet to Lady Alice.

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Postby Great Hyruke » Tue Oct 19, 2021 4:39 pm

Lady Alice barely noticed the movement and tension that erupted around her in a matter of seconds before falling back to a rest. Suddenly she found herself standing before a little Gosataborgian little girl. She was not sure what all the fuss was about. It was absolutely delightful and she was sure it would look marvelous to the cheering crowds. Alice smiled at the little girls and bent down at the knees to reach eye level with the little girl, pushing a thick lock of her blond hair behind her ear.

“Hi there,” said Alice. “Those are beautiful flowers. Are these for me?”

Lord Kit let out a small chuckle. He whispered to his mother. “I swear, if I didn’t know better, I’d think she planned this all.”

“Not even your sister could think that far ahead.” Mary said with a laugh. “Oh, but look at her. I will be expecting some grandchildren soon enough. I never minded waiting myself, but I want to have grandchildren while I can still play with them.”

Lord Kit rolled his eyes. “Mom.

The Duchess merely smiled.

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Father Knows Best State

Postby Gosataborg » Tue Oct 19, 2021 5:38 pm

The little girls stared at Lady Alice with large adoring eyes. She was for a moment entirely entranced by her beauty. Her hair, her face and her dress was the most gorgeous of each of its kind or any that the little girl had ever seen. It took a moment for her to remember precisely what it was that the woman had asked her. The little girl held out the bouquet to her and nodded her head vigorously.

“Yes ma’am.” The little girl said. “These are for you ma’am. They are from my papa’s shop and we wanted you to have them.” The little girl paused before thinking and adding. “They are bluebells. They’re my favorite.”

The rest of the crowds cheers started to fade away, at least in those areas near where everyone could see the Princess to be and the little girl. It was not for a lack of enthusiasm however, but rather alternative for their engrossment of the scene before them. They quieted down in order to hear the exchange between the two. The little girl’s father, the flower shopkeeper was able to pushing his way to the front, though not passed the perimeter set by the guards. He wasn’t sure if he could have gone, farther, as he too stopped and couldn’t help but stare at the sight.

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