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The Princestrial (Meillur Only)

Where nations come together and discuss matters of varying degrees of importance. [In character]
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Royal Genes
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The Princestrial (Meillur Only)

Postby Royal Genes » Sun Jan 16, 2022 9:27 pm

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The Summer Palace
Genes, the Genoise Kingdom


Not in decades had there been such excitement at the Royal Court of Genes. Once known for being the most opulent of courts in the world, a glittering crown with too many diamonds, the rule of King Frederick III, even without the Great Collapse, had been one of strict rigorous monotony, with no dancing or singing, with no parties or games, and certainly none of the famed debauchery associated with the reign of his father, King Frederick II. Oppressive silence and modesty had only been briefly interrupted by whispered prayers. Things had changed once he had died, but his daughter and successor, Queen Louise, and her husband Prince Antoine were a bookish lot, more interested in intellectual pursuits rather than entertaining the nobles or people of the country. One could sing or dance if one wished, but why would one? But then a matter of dynastic, intellectual, and political interest had converged, and it had all converged on one person.

Her Royal Highness, Princess Helena Antoinetta Frederica of Genes. The twenty-three-year-old eldest granddaughter of Queen Louise was destined to one day be Queen of Genes herself, though after her oft-forgotten mother, the Crown Princess. Unmarried, a number of men ranging from distant cousins to foreign royals to daring commoners had pursued her hand in hopes of being her consort. She had rejected them all, struggling to find a suitable man, one not only acceptable to her but also worthy of her position, lineage, and legacy. A private person, raised in the dichotomous extreme religious upbringing of her great-grandfather's reign and the adroit secularism of the present, the princess was a largely unknown entity even amongst her own people. Thus it had come all the more surprising when she, when mulling over two potential suitors had suggested a competition. A princestrial.

A princestrial, as those eager for the present were calling it, was a formal competition created for Princess Helena's grandfather, Prince Antoine, the Duke of Anjou when he had been in search of a wife. If he could have one, Helena had decided, she could have one as well, thinking of the Narumadan princesses who had men fight for their hands. Helena had no desire to see her suitors fight, but she wished to be able to compare the men, and select the one best for her and her kingdom. She wished to meet them and know them. For her marriage would seal the future of Genes and would launch them into a war against their neighbor Turanda, one of the many conditions made in the agreement between the Genoise and the Colficoan and Caraintese, allies in their war against Turanda but with competing candidates for Princess Helena's hand in marriage.

The Caraintese had presented her with Prince Angemar of Safar, brother of Princess Regent Tasa, uncle of the toddler Queen of Caraintos, heir of the defuncted Lajaz throne, which would only exist again with Genoise military aid. The Colficoans had presented her with Commander Felix Skotnicki, chamberlain of the Queen of Colfico, Commander of the Colficoan 32nd Mountaineers and Peacekeeper of the mysterious Visari Order and their archives, but notably a commoner. Helena had carefully weighed her choices and found that what Felix lacked in bloodlines and prestige, was made up for by Colficoan's deep military pockets. And what Angemar lacked in a kingdom he made up for in his status, heritage, and the claims he had in his blood. An odd and strange balance that Helena decided that needs to be broken through her own princestrial.

Thus she had invited both of them, prince and chamberlain, alike to the Summer Palace, and the moment word had gotten out, it had turned into an event. The courtiers and nobles of the Royal Court, along with the many cousins from the half a dozen or so branches of the Valois Dynasty came rushing to the Summer Palace to witness whatever it was that would unfold, for nothing as interesting as this had occurred in half a century. The Summer Palace thus had in an instant transformed, not quite back into the glittering ball of the past, but something new and full of life. Built over a century earlier by Queen Adela, Helena's great-great-great-grandmother, it was the only royal residence that had survived the Great Collapse, famed for its ornate beauty. The famous fountains, after being dry for decades were once again brought to life.

The Royal Court waited in the throne room, the vast cavernous marble room gilded with gold and emerald trims, a series of vast arched windows carving on either side the dais on which the thrones of the queen ornate designs of gold and emerald, glittering in the sunlight like the tail feathers of a massive peacock made from precious metals. Hundreds of people fill the room, dressed in their best clothes for the spectacle. An emerald carpet cut through the middle of the room towards the dais. Near the front, closest to the dais stood the Queen's cousins, the princes du sang, all eager. Flanking the throne along the back walls were the Queen's brothers and sister, their children, the ones old enough to understand the proceedings at least. Suddenly doors next to the dais opened and the Queen, a small elderly dark-skinned woman with a mahogany cane swept into the throne room in an emerald green dress and crown on her head.

Behind her followed the bespectacled Prince Antoine, dressed in a formal all-black uniform with a hussar jacket and shiny knee-high boots, with an emerald sash across his chest. He stood dutifully behind the massive peacock throne as formally as a statue.

"I can't wait for this," whispered Queen Louise with unbridled delight. "Helena is so clever."

"I can't believe you are enjoying this," Antoine said with a sigh.

"I am enjoying this far more than I enjoyed my time around in it."

"I have apologized for that for fifty years."

"Your grandmother was horrid to me," hissed Louise.

"To be fair she was horrid to everyone," Antoine said with exasperation. His grandmother had been known as Alara the Terrible.

"I had to ride in a chariot," continued the queen, undeterred. "Do you have any idea how hard it is to ride in a chariot?" Louise glanced to her husband, who only looked down at his feet, a blush on his aged face. A smile tugged at Louise's lips. Antoine did a better job of hiding his own. The Queen settled in her throne. "Chariots... These men need only walk."

The Queen waved her hand and doors of the throne room opened. It was time for the future prince consort of Genes to arrive. to meet the Queen. And it was anyone's guess which of the two it would be.
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Colfico
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Postby Colfico » Sun Jan 16, 2022 10:34 pm

Felix couldn’t believe what was happening, but yet, it was happening anyway. It hadn’t been long before now that he had been conducting talks with Hyruke, and here he was again, preparing to seal an agreement with the Genoise, although for a very different reason. He was dressed in his finest uniform, a dark green, with several ribbons, and two campaign medals hanging from his right breast, and the red and his rank sat on his shoulders and his collar. He also had his badges, one, a skull with a pair of swords behind it, the badge for graduating the Colficoan Special Warfare Academy, the other, of a mountain, indicated him as part of the mountaineers. He also had his unit patch on his right shoulder, and the Colficoan flag on his left. He had two things hanging from his hip on each side, a leather holster, with the standard issue sidearm, a simple, but elegant handgun, that was reliable, and had seen almost forty years of service with the Colficoan Armed Forces. On the other, was a weapon that was unique to members of the Visari Peacekeeper Corps, a large, twelve inch long fighting knife, made of extremely high quality Damascus steel, a unique formula long forgotten in other areas of the world which was both flexible and durable, while still be exceptionally beautiful.

He stepped out of the Visalia made luxury SUV, a well made vehicle that was both rugged and luxurious. He took in the surrounding, and noted the not so small crowd, clearly the event had drawn no small amount of attention. He made his way to the throne room, and walked in, his head high, and standing in perfect military posture. He took a step forward in front of the court and bowed, before speaking, making sure he was loud enough for the room to hear him clearly.

“Your Majesty’s, I am Chamberlain Felix Skotnicki, of Colfico, and Peacekeeper of the Visari Order.” He couldn’t help but feel somewhat nervous, but he hid it well, after all the course of a war may very well depend on his actions here.

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Caraintos
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Postby Caraintos » Sun Jan 16, 2022 10:44 pm

When Princess Regent Tasa had opened up negotiations with the Genoise with a military alliance and dynastic marriage she never would have thought she’d come into competition with her own ally Colfico. And while grateful for the Colficoans and their aid in sweetening the deal with the Genoise, a sense of friendly rivalry had emerged. As long as the princess selected one or the other, it didn’t matter, but still, the Princess Regent was inclined to bet on her own horse.

Prince Angemar of Safar, also called Angemar the Younger, since both his father and grandfather were also named Angemar and were called the Middle and the Elder, was not shy about having to charm a princess. He had done so with several during his sister’s wedding. He wondered if the Queen of Imarati remembered their flirtations. And he didn’t imagine that it would be all that difficult. Angemar was twenty, three years his prospective bride’s junior and he was said to be as handsome as his sister was beautiful.

Angemar had dark cocoa skin and glossy black hair and mocha brown eyes. He was a lean but fit man of average height, neither too tall nor too short as he liked to say. Having heard of the flamboyance of the Genoise court, Angemar had embraced the pushes of his grandfather, who was a man obsessed with pageantry. Suspecting the Colficoan to take a more subtle approach to appearance, he decided shine like an orange and white sun.

Angemar wore a sunset orange double breasted tailcoat with golden cross laces that ran down his chest and torso against a white panel, with white trousers and black boots with orange laces. He wore an orange ibori the silk headdress framing his face and covering his hair while the hand that held it in place rest like a coronet, gilded in gold and etched with stars. At his side on a white belt trimmed with orange thread was a ceremonial scimitar with a ivory handle inlaid with more gold.

Angemar held his head high and confidence as he stepped into the throne room, smiling, and revealing pearl white teeth, at the crowd of people as if he were a movie star making his way through a sea of paparazzi and fans, as he walked the emerald carpet to the Queen of Genes. He stopped before the old Queen and the Peacock Throne, sparing only a glance at the chamberlain that was his rival, and bowed at the waist with a flourish to her and her husband.

“Your Majesty,” said Angemar, his voice with a distinct Lajaz accent, “I am Prince Angemar of Safar, and it is the greatest honor to arrive in your beautiful kingdom, it surely flourishes under your wise rule.”

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Royal Genes
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Postby Royal Genes » Sun Jan 16, 2022 11:22 pm

The throne room seemed to fill with thunder as everyone started to speak at once as Felix and Angemar entered. There were oohs and awes as they openly gawked and talked about the foreign suitors. The courtiers tore in their appearance and their mannerisms, trying to consume and dissect everything and anything before with quickly.

“So serious”

“What is he wearing?”

“I’d thought he’d be taller”

“So arrogant,”

“What’s that he’s got there?”

A thousand little comments were whispered, and individually they would have gone unheard, but together they rolled like a tidal wave over the room, crashing against the walls and washing over its occupants. The Prince de Conde the ancient cousin of the Queen hissed in vain at those around him to silence themselves as his old ears strained to hear the two men speak even though he was only a few feet away.

Queen Louise looked down at the two men, having watched them both enter. She appraised them. Personally she was more interested in Felix, though not for him, but for the access to a treasure trove of archival information. But it won him her closer inspection. He was older than her granddaughter by at least a decade. He was a military man, decorated and experienced, which was always a popular career in male royals.

The Queen swept her eyes over Angemar, a small smile coming to her lips at his flattery. He was younger than her granddaughter. Perhaps that would make him easier to control, or leave him at the whims or youth which could be trying at the best or times. His elaborate taste was certainly well placed in the hearts of some of the court.

“Gentlemen,” the Queen of Genes said with a smile, her voice carrying through the throne room as the court fell silence. “Welcome to the Princestial. You are my guests and soon to be family”— if all went well— “My granddaughter is precious to me. She is precious to all of the Genoise. I expect that she shall be precious to you as well.”
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Colfico
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Postby Colfico » Sun Jan 16, 2022 11:48 pm

The Chamberlain watched the way the court room fell silent at the words of the Queen, she clearly held great authority here, and watched how she eyed both him, and the prince as well. He could see the analytical look in her eyes, how she was comparing the two of them. He already knew he was at a disadvantage, however, this did not discourage him, he had faced worse odds in the past, and he had come out ahead, or at least alive, then, it would be no different here.

he looked over to his contender for a moment, quickly but thoroughly taking in his style, as well as the weapon hanging at the younger mans hip, a scimitar, a weapon normally found in use with cavalry, and clearly a ceremonial piece, such a weapon no longer had a place on the battlefield, as its primary utility had long since disappeared. However, he was not here for a discussion on swords, so he brought his attention back to the current situation, and rose before speaking.

"I have risked my life for the things that I love and consider precious time and again, this time shall be no different." He felt no need to be flattering, the Queens achievements spoke for themselves in the room around him, instead, he would let his own actions speak for themselves.

"I shall do whatever is necessary, and then more so."
Last edited by Colfico on Sun Jan 16, 2022 11:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Caraintos
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Postby Caraintos » Mon Jan 17, 2022 6:01 am

Angemar lifted his head to look up at the Queen with no small amount of wonder. She commanded respect seemingly without even trying. It was a type of authority that he had never seen in the last sultan of Lajastine. There was a edge to it however, where that wonder turned to anxiety. Angemar ignored that.

He was a prince, by all rights he had the greatest of advantages over his contender. He took some second to look as him himself as the Genoise monarch’s eyes inspected them. He felt like he was a horse in the middle of pony show, one with very serious political consequences depending on how he scored or not. Angemar averted his gaze as he felt the intensity of the Queen’s eyes fall onto him.

He rose from his bow and placed a hand over his heart. His strength had always been charm and words. He would win them over with perfectly crafted ones. “I am a prince of a people scattered in the wind, like the sands of my homeland, and it is by Grace that I have made my way to this, the most splendid of oases, and if I able to collect every star from the night sky, most dazzling of cosmic jewels, I would throw them as the princess’ feet, for they shall never compare.”

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Royal Genes
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Postby Royal Genes » Mon Jan 17, 2022 8:11 am

Queen Louise looked between the two men, noting the difference in their responses. It certainly seemed like there would be little fear in them being too similar in temperament. Felix’s words were dutiful, a must in a future prince consort. Thor court however found his wording to be a bit cold. Doing what was necessary? There were was a second wave of mutterings as they pondered over what that meant. And Angemar’s words were pretty and poetic, with a chivalric charm to them. But the Queen found it vague and uninformative. Pretty words were often used to cover up ugly realities. Another wave of mutterings from the crowds.

The Queen raised a hand and silence swept over the court as she looked to her husband. “Darling, would you be a dear?”

“Of course my love,” said Antoine, Boeing to kiss his wife’s cheek before stepping off the dais and disappearing through the door they had arrived from. The Queen meanwhile turned her attention back to the two contenders for her granddaughter’s hand.

“Gentlemen, your words are kind, and I pray your intentions true. But of course, the ultimate decision will not be up to me, but to my granddaughter, Princess Helena,” there was a brief eruption of cheers and clapping, “and during your stay here, you shall court her. You will be watched, and tested, for you must prove yourself worthy to be a consort of Genes. Tread carefully, and truly. My granddaughter is a woman,” the Queen looked between Felix and Angemar with a clear warning, “and her mind is sharp.” The Queen declined back in her throne, and she amplified her voice so it carry all across the throne room. “Let the Princestrial begin!”

The room erupted into chaos as the crowds cheered and whooped, applause roaring in the opulent room, their excitement boiling over. The Queen smiled down at the two men. In a quieter voice, lost in the noise, she said, “and may love be ever in your favor…”

As the excitement finally began to die down, trumpets blared. Prince Antoine stepped out followed by a man in traditional green royal livery, a herald. The herald stepped to the side and clear his throne.

“Presenting,” the herald said loudly, the crowd quieting to hear, “Her Royal Highness, the Princess Helena, and Her Serene Highness, the Lady Theodosia.”

Exiting at the same time came two women, different, but both clearly related.

One stood at six feet, with skin like sandalwood, and freckles splashed across her cheeks and eyes as dark as midnight. Thick black tightly coiled hair fell long enough to brush her shoulders. A tiara with golden designs like thistles rested on her head, while large gold earrings dangled from her ears. A simple gold chain necklace curled around her neck.

The other was four inches shorter, with darker skin and no freckles, with a prominent nose. Her eyes however where the same dark brown and her thick black hair had been pulled into cornrow braids decorated with golden clasps. Her tiara was twisted into the images of lilies, studded with diamond while thin long diamond earrings matched a simple line of a diamond necklace.

Both women had the same willow build, with small chests and slender necks. They had the same full lips and v-triangle shape visage. They wore the same outfit, an emerald green gown with an empire waist, short puff sleeves and golden hemline, along with long white evening gloves, and golden silk flats. The each carried a seemingly identical paper fan, though they each held them close. The two women made their way in front of the dais and in front of the two contenders. The short of the pair let her eyes dart between the two while the taller spared each only a single once over.

From her throne, Queen Louise smiled mischievously. “Before you stand my granddaughter and her cousin. But which is which? Tell me gentleman, which woman is your princess?”
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Colfico
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Postby Colfico » Mon Jan 17, 2022 8:29 am

Felix thought carefully, his eyes darting exceptionally briefly from the queen to the two, using her as a frame of reference to compare the two women he had been asked to identify, and then something caught his eye, while ones eyes darted back and forth, the others was brief, and only lingered once, something that reminded him of the very queen which was hosting the event. his face took on a thoughtful look as he carefully considered the symbolism of the jewelry that each wore, and made his decision.

"The taller one"

He could only hope that his reasoning proved correct, knowing fully well that this was one of the many tests he was sure to be put through. However, it was his genuine answer, and weather he was right or wrong, it was his decision, and it was clear that it had been an intentional choice to make them difficult to tell them apart. He decided to keep that same reasoning to himself, unless he were asked to explain himself, after all, a good magician never revealed his secrets if he wished to stay in the business.

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Caraintos
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Postby Caraintos » Mon Jan 17, 2022 8:55 am

Angemar looked between the two women. He hadn’t been expecting something like this. He figured that with the two presented as such, there had to be some sort of trick to it. Something obvious that would give away the identity of the true princess. But what was it? Angemar was silent, scratching at his wrist as he looked over the top in great detail. He glance over at his competitor as he made his choice of the taller of the two.

Angemar stayed silent trying to think what could have informed the older man’s choice. Was it height alone? Most people talked of royals being tall beautiful creatures, but that wasn’t always true. Angemar looked at the jewelry the two wore. Was there meaning behind it. One was gold and one was diamond. Diamonds were worth more than gold, so she had to be the princess. Or was gold worth more than diamonds?

Or was that the trick? That the one that they thought would be the princess wouldn’t actually be the princess, so they should pick the other. But which was that? Angemar but his lip and decided to hedge his bets. There was a fifty fifty chance he picked the right one. If he picked the right one, great, if he picked the right one and Felix picked the wrong one, even better. But if he picked the wrong one and Felix picked the right one, very bad.

“Yes, the taller one,” said Angemar.

He figured it was better to either them both be right or both be wrong than for Angemar to be wrong and his contender right. The prince blinked. His head hurt.

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Royal Genes
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Postby Royal Genes » Mon Jan 17, 2022 9:39 am

The court was silent as the two made their selections, sitting on the edge of their proverbial seats as they were eager to see who each would choose. For some in the audience they weren’t sure which was which either, unlike the Queen, who’s image was in every government building and most homes, as well as on the coins, Helena’s face wasn’t yet widely known.

The two women looked at each other knowingly. It was not lost on the princess that neither of the suitors had bothered to ask any probing questions and had instead decide to rely purely on appearance as the basis of their choice. An outcome she had expected, but she had hoped to be surprised.

With a smile the taller of the two lifted her fan and open it, revealing that it was… blank. Nothing but white paper. They had both chosen wrong. She curtsied to the two men. “You both flatter me gentlemen, but…”

The short of the two snapped her fan open with an flick of her wrist and slide of her thumb, revealing a magnificent design of peacock feathers woven into the fan in breathtaking gold, blue and greens. Her eyes continued to look back and forth between the two as she watched their reactions, curious as to how they had come to their choices.

“Am I not impressive enough for you, gentlemen?” said Princess Helena as she gently fanned herself with the ornate fan. Her voice was low pitch, an almost authoritative monotone, like one might expect more from a mother superior than a princess.
Last edited by Royal Genes on Mon Jan 17, 2022 9:39 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Colfico
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Postby Colfico » Mon Jan 17, 2022 9:51 am

The chamberlain found him surprised, however, he showed no shame in being wrong, it was not the first time he had been incorrect when making a decision, and it likely would not be the last time either. However, unlike someone might expect him to do, he did not begin to apologize, or seek forgiveness, instead he decided to be honest, and explain his reasoning, the damage was done, better to move on rather than making things worse.

"No" he then said "my decision was not made on weather someone was more beautiful than someone else, as that is a subjective quality, rather than an objective one. It was the way her eyes moved between the two of us that convinced me, incorrectly, that she was the correct. It would appear, however, that I have indeed been fooled."

He was somewhat curious to hear why his competitor had decided to follow his lead, he had indeed noticed the glance the prince had cast him, but he kept his attention on the shorter woman, whom he now knew to be her.

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Caraintos
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Postby Caraintos » Mon Jan 17, 2022 10:05 am

Angemar bit back a curse. At least his planned had worked half way and they were both wrong. Though there was a part of him that regretted not choosing the actual princess. He bowed to the princess, now that he knew which one was one.

"I assure you Your Royal Highness, you are both so beautiful, no choice could be based on it, like choosing between the stars." Angemar smiled at Helena, "I admit I..." he hesitated. Saying that he had better the odds didn't exactly come off as romantic, especially having been wrong. And he had no idea what his competitor was talking about, he hadn't noticed anything about how they had looked at him.

"I was fooled by your jewelry. Gold is rarer than diamonds," not something Angemar was sure of, "so I thought that an indicator. But I see now that diamonds shine much brighter."

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Royal Genes
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Postby Royal Genes » Mon Jan 17, 2022 10:51 am

Helena tilted her head in thought. Neither explanation had been what she had expected. So perhaps they weren’t superficial. The princess snapped her fan close and pointed it at Felix. “So you expected we me to be haughty?” And then she pointed it at Angemar. “And you expected me to be materialistic?”

Helena reopened her fan as she turned her back to the two and look up at her grandmother. “Well this is off to a marvelous start.”

Queen Louise smiled from her throne. “Well, no one’s clothes caught on fire.” The Queen gave a knowing look to her husband. The prince consort threw his hand into the air.

“I have apologized for fifty years,” groaned Prince Antoine.

“Not to mention the blood,” continued the Queen. “Brand new dress, ruined.”

“Grandmama was bored. That was not my fault.”

As the Queen and her husband continued their debated recounts of his princesstrial, Helena turned her attention to her suitors, newly invested with the knowledge that things could get worse. So that was actually a bit of good news.

“The answer was in the tiaras,” Helena announced, capturing the court’s attention, though there was some murmurs, “though not in the materiality of them. In the symbols. The symbol of the royal family has been the peacock since the reign of Queen Adela, but the symbol of my grandfather’s duchy is a lily, while the symbol of my lady cousin’s grandfather was a thistle.”

This was due to Theodosia’s grandfather having been a Scottish prince. It meant, coincidentally enough she and Helena were both cousins of the Emperor, though on different sides.

“I highlight its significance because,” continued Helena, “my marriage means my children, the future rulers of Genes will be from a new family. They won’t be Valois, who have ruled our country for centuries. They will be from your house. Names and symbols are important.”
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Caraintos
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Postby Caraintos » Mon Jan 17, 2022 11:07 am

Angemar opened his mouth to protest that he hadn't called her materialistic but decided against it as she turned to speak with the queen. He decided better of it and stood silently when she spot again. It was best to not dwell on pit falls and instead to climb out of them as quickly as possible.

"I see," said Prince Angemar, having nodded his head as he listened to the explanation. He wasn't quite sure how he was supposed to have known that. Unless she had expected them to do some sort of intensive research on her. Which in turn begged the question of if she had done extensive research on them. Angemar cleared his throat. "Well, the House of Safar has ruled for a hundred and thirty years, and our heraldic image is that of a ram, a proud and strong creature." The Prince stepped forward with a smile, flexing his bicep.

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Colfico
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Postby Colfico » Mon Jan 17, 2022 11:20 am

The chamberlain raised an eyebrow, it was not exactly what he had in mind when he had made the comment, but now it was too late to add more context,

He listened to her talk about the importance of symbols and names, in that sense, he was at somewhat of a disadvantage, he had not heritage to back his name, none that most of the dynastic powers would value anyway. However, he was not deterred. However, at the same time he understood fully what she was speaking of, although he did admit he found it somewhat intimidating, he did not let it show, he had faced death a thousand times, this was no where near as high stakes, weather he won or lost here, it would be fine. However, that did not mean he would not give his best, it would be a disservice to the order if he did not.

He watched the prince speak, and had to hold back a grimace at the display before him, and already knew that he could not take the same path, least his attempts flop miserably.

Before he decided to speak, he decided to show a bit of symbolism himself, he pulled his Visari necklace out from behind his uniform, and let it sit in clear view, knowing the princess intelligent enough to spot it without him making a show of it.

"I come here not with an existing name, nor to claim its ownership for myself, but with the framework and foundation of something new, a symbol of the future, and something to build together with a partner, rather than alone." He then paused for a moment before saying. "as for symbols, If I had to choose one, it would be that of a great oak, a symbol of longevity and wisdom, something that starts as a small seedling, and over time, grows and adapts, turning into something that stands the test of time."

He held his place, and made no attempt to show off, he knew that he could never rely on his appearance or physical abilities alone, so he would not.
Last edited by Colfico on Mon Jan 17, 2022 11:33 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Royal Genes
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Postby Royal Genes » Mon Jan 17, 2022 12:25 pm

Lady Theodosia pressed her lips together to suppress a laugh as she watched Prince Angemar flex for the princess. Helena didn’t laugh. She step forward and squeezed the prince’s bicep, using one hand to run her fingers over his clothed muscles. Helena decided he was the more handsome of the two. She continued even as Felix spoke, inspecting his arm as if she were testing out the firmness of a mattress. Satisfied she stopped and walked over to Felix, lifting the necklace from his chest with her fan, inspecting it with the same curiosity.

“Ruled.” Helena said, letting the necklace drop back down to Felix’s chest, her eyes on Angemar. “Your family ruled. Past tense. They lost their throne. And they look to my armies to get it back.”

Helena looked back at Felix. “My cousins say that Imperial blood is so thick that it can’t be diluted by the addition of any other, no matter how high or degraded. Igor it it’s their divine right to rule. I have a bit of imperial blood in me. Your words are well said.”

She took a step back and looked out over the crowd of people. “I feel like a promenade,” Helena announced. She flicked her fan open and turned around, sweeping out of the throne room and through the door behind the throne. Just before she slipped through it, the princess called out over her shoulder:

“I think I shall like to sit under the shade of an oak tree.”

And then she was gone. And the throne room exploded with noise. Cheers, boos, curses, laughter all blended together. Those who had placed bets were either jumping for joy or stomping on their hats. Queen Louise smiled. She had understood her granddaughter’s words even if there were those in the crowd who hadn’t. “One point,” she announced through the chaos like a game show host, “for Skotnicki.”

The Queen rose from her throne and nodded to the two suitors. “Lady Theodosia will escort you two to the South gardens.” That the Queen and the rest of the royals left. With them gone, the few restrictions on the court broken down as they rushed the two men, eager to try to speak with them, bombarding them with questions ranging from their birthplace to shoe size to political stance on fishing rights. The court too very quickly began breaking into teams in support of one or the other.
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Colfico
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Postby Colfico » Mon Jan 17, 2022 12:49 pm

Felix sighed, if only for a moment, but he did not have long to relax, he listened to the Queens instructions as best as he could, and nodded, before he found himself swamped by questions. However, he had dealt with this in the path, or rather, helping Queen Adrianna deal with it. He would not celebrate after this apparent minor victory, it was far too soon, and there was still so much that could go wrong, if anything, he knew he was just getting started, and he still an untold amount of work to do if he even hoped to succeed.

He made his way through the crowd, he made his way to Lady Theodosia, somehow having managed to squeeze his way through, he took a moment to re-straighten the ribbons and medals on his uniform. He took a breath of slight relief, and look to her before saying "I am ready."

if this was what he had to expect in the coming trials, what seemed to be ahead of him, he would need to buckle up, and be prepared for anything.
Last edited by Colfico on Mon Jan 17, 2022 1:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Royal Genes
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Postby Royal Genes » Mon Jan 17, 2022 2:15 pm

Theodosia smiled at Felix as she watched him escape the frenzied crowd of courtiers. She had never seen such excitement in the nobles of Genes before. Perhaps they had been more starved of social events than any of them had truly realized. She watched him straighten his uniform and his ribbons and medals. He looked and if he had just gone through a typhoon.

“Would you like me to show you a short cut to the garden?” Offered Theodosia. She lifted her chin in a gesture towards the far end of the throne room past the swarming crowd. “Or we can go the normal way.”
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Colfico
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Postby Colfico » Mon Jan 17, 2022 2:21 pm

Felix nodded with a smile and said "I think that would probably be a better idea, I do not think we will get anywhere anytime soon going the other direction."

However, for some reason, he felt himself put his guard up, he remembered why he was here, and remembered that the first test before had come almost out of the blue, he would have to stay alert every moment. However, now that he had somewhat of a feel for how things were going to work, he knew to be watching for fine details, no matter what shape that they may take. He was actually somewhat excited by the prospect, it was the second time in recent days that he had been forced to really put his skills to use against a truely formidable opponent, however, especially now that he knew that the princess was as much his opponent as his contender was.

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Royal Genes
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Postby Royal Genes » Mon Jan 17, 2022 2:29 pm

Theodosia nodded her head in agreement, glancing around before leading Felix to the wall behind the dais on the opposite side of the door the royals had exited out of. There in the corner next to the windows she pressed a spot in the wall and a narrow door, , designed to perfectly blend with the rest of the wall unlatched and swung open revealing a secret passage.

It was not dark nor damp, or any other way one might imagine such a route, but instead as well decorated and light as any of the other halls and galleries of the palace. Theodosia gestured for Felix to enter. “Right this way.”
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Caraintos
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Postby Caraintos » Mon Jan 17, 2022 2:30 pm

Prince Angemar had smiled throughout the process of Princess Helena groping his arm, finding it odd but enjoyable. Who said someone couldn't get by through life on good looks alone? Angemar was feeling better about things. That was until Helena opened her mouth and tore any false sense of security that the prince had had about his position as a prince serving as his greatest advantage. His mouth fell open in shock, surprised by the princess' words and the eruption of chaos around him in the throne room. For a moment he was horrified, fearing he would be dismissed altogether, but the Queen of Genes' words instructing them to go to the gardens, presumably to jump threw a new set of hoops arranged by the princess, gave him a new fresh dosage of hope.

As the throne room rapidly became a swarm of people around Angemar, he lost sight of his competitor and Lady Theodosia, finding himself under assault of questions by the court. After being startled at first by the turn, he had not realized just how much control the Queen seemed to have actually had over the courtiers. He smiled after a moment and held out his heads trying to give himself a bit of breathing room in the midst of people.

"Please, please!" Angemar said with a grin, raising his voice to be heard. "Ladies and gentlemen, one at a time, please." He pointed at three of the members of the crowd in quick succession, having caught bits of their questions in the rush. "Lajaz, 12 inches," The prince winked, "and I love fish, and the planet, so we should have it sometimes, in moderation." Angemar smiled. Forget having to identifying princesses and paupers, this was more his speed. "See, one at a time, I assure you there is enough of me to go around."

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Royal Genes
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Postby Royal Genes » Mon Jan 17, 2022 2:39 pm

The courtiers jockeyed for positions closer to the prince as they still short their questions out at him as a new round of bets started up. The opening round had been a dud, and the second had gone to the Colficoan, so now the odds were rising against the prince, so he he won, the pay outs would be all the higher.

“What do you think of the princess?” Asked the Count of Rapallo, a man in his late twenties whose family were one of the oldest in Genes.

“Why should Genes join the war?” Asked Lady Madeline Rousseau with a scowl.

“Who are you wearing?” Asked the Countess of Montaione, more interested in thr prince’s fashion sense than geopolitics. Her grandmother, a great diplomat, must be rolling in her grave.
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Colfico
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Postby Colfico » Mon Jan 17, 2022 2:41 pm

Felix watched his surroundings carefully as he followed her, he felt it odd that she had not made any effort to collect his competitor, but decided that he needed to focus on what was going on, because there clearly was. Given her behavior, this was not something that was shown to just anyone, so he was being shown for a reason, and until he knew what that reason was, he had to keep his guard up.

He watched her open a door concealed in the wall, and while his expression did not change, the look in his eyes did, and it showed that now he was quite clearly on his guard. He did as he was instructed, but his hand wandered instinctively to the holster on his hip, although he made no move to actually grab the gun hanging from his hip. He noticed how well lit this area was,, although he had not the faintest clue of its actual purpose.

"This is quite interesting, although I would imagine having a Colficoan military officer walk through it was not the designers intention."

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Caraintos
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Postby Caraintos » Mon Jan 17, 2022 2:53 pm

Angemar rolled his eyes playfully and laughed as the eager bombardment continued, though seemed to move at a more manageable pace. He didn't know who was who, and didn't care that much, so he simply tried to do his best to get to everyone, loving the attention.

"Princess Helena as beautiful as she is intelligent," Angemar said with a wispful look, placing his hand over his heart. "If I have ever doubted the truth of cupid, that is dashed, for he struck my heart the moment she spoke. She is not like other princesses, I can tell you, she is truly one of a kind."

He moved on to the tougher question, taking on a somber but heartfelt tone. "Genes is a great nation, the Genoise are good people, and I know that with your support you will be saving the lives of millions, and hundreds of thousands will know that you saved our homeland."

Angemar grinned, puffing out his chest a bit as he show off his elaborate outfit. "This was made by a team of Lajaz and Caraintese designers in Renato. Truly amazing, no?"

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Royal Genes
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Postby Royal Genes » Mon Jan 17, 2022 3:20 pm

Theodosia stood in the doorway looking around at the secret passage away thoughtfully. “Lots of people tried to assassinate Queen Adela,” Theodosia said after a few seconds of thought. “She built the palace. She needed lots of ways to escape. Saved her life more than a few times.”

Theodosia paused and frowned and tilted her head. “Or this could have been one of Frederick II’s whore tunnels. Either way I wouldn’t touch the walls. There may be old blood stains under the paint… or worse.”

She glanced over her shoulder. Prince Angemar looked as if he were making no effort to try and escape the crowd. She looked back to Felix. “Go straight down this path and there is another door like this with a handle on the inside. It’ll lead into a grand staircase. Turn right and go down them. It’ll take you a level below and a door to outside to the central courtyard, go through past the Valois Gate. The South gardens are just across the canal from there.”

The courtiers ate up ever response from the prince. There were a series of ‘awes’ at his declaration of love for the princess, though others noted that love had not won him any points thus far. Some mumbled to each other at his words about the war. The Count of Rapallo did like the idea of being responsible for helping the poor Lajaz, if not personally on a national level. Meanwhile the questions kept coming

“Do you think you have what it takes to win the Princess’ heart?”

“What kind of fish do you like?”

“Do you hate Skotnicki?

“Do you like dogs?

“Can we feel your muscles?”

Further in the crowd the Marquis di Magnelli was ordering his private secretary to find a bunch of mango orange and forest green pieces of cloth. He was already selling items for the different members of court to wear one of the other in support for the prince or the soldier respectively.
Last edited by Royal Genes on Mon Jan 17, 2022 3:25 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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