Time Marches Onward[Closed][Ajax Only]

Where nations come together and discuss matters of varying degrees of importance. [In character]
User avatar
Posts: 2048
Founded: Mar 25, 2010
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Time Marches Onward[Closed][Ajax Only]

Postby Tarsas » Tue Nov 28, 2023 3:17 pm

Fjalnir, Velikoslavia
Onding Racecourse
November 8, 2033

The months of November and December were nearly a continuous holiday in Velikoslavia. Between the harvest celebrations, the several church feasts, the session of court, and Christmas, it felt like they were always travelling somewhere. Today, that place was Onding Stadium Racecourse, which was shaped like a large oval and had typical sections of tiered seating that ascended upwards in a slope. A large section of stands on the eastern side had been foregone. Instead, an expansive ballroom that was fully enclosed and shaped like an elongated hockey puck had been constructed. Though VIP rooms in stadiums were common, this one was certainly atypical due to its size and capacity. At the end that overlooked the stadium field, there was a large and expansive glass door that opened to a section of outdoor tiered seating that was directly in the lower bowl, where VIPs could be seated directly in front of the action but remain behind the barrier of the course-side wall for protection. For those who didn’t feel that the field side seats were close enough, there was a combination of standing room and temporary seating space course-side. Access to this area was provided with a guarded gate and stairwell built into the side of the protective barriers.

Paul, Tsesarevich of Velikoslavia, stared out across the expanse of the course from in the soft embrace of one of the sumptuous lounge chairs. Located directly behind the vast panes of glass that provided field-side views for those that preferred not to venture outside into the much colder outdoor VIP seats, they were his preferred seating every year. The outdoor seating was heated via a combination of heated cushions and various heaters mounted above but they were still out in the elements and Paul wasn’t interested enough in horses to leave the comfort of the ballroom. At twenty-five years of age, he had been to many a race at this venue which held the National Thoroughbred Racing Championship hosted by the National Equestrian Society, which was the governing body for all horse-related events in Velikoslavia. That event was what brought Paul, his parents, his siblings, and a great host of his extended family here, where several of them had champion steeds participating in the event. An event which pitted the best Velikoslavia had to offer against steeds from all around Ajax.

They had arrived earlier in the morning and it was still several hours out from the start of the festivities, but the Onding Ballroom would start hosting aristocratic guests anytime now. It had been richly decorated with tapestries and art depicting charging stallions and harvest feasts of old. Vast tables covered in silk cloths had been arrayed with a feast fit for several kings that served traditional Velikoslavian dishes such as pirozhki, caviar, pelmeni, and Olivier salad all crafted with the appropriate level of quality and appearance for those who would be consuming it. Ham, turkey, sausage, chicken, bacon, and a variety of other meats sat prepared in various dishes from all different cultures and nations to appeal to the various foreign guests. A dessert table with hundreds of deserts from around the world was crowned by large bowls of fresh fruit and a chocolate fountain that had multiple tiers and varieties of chocolate such as milk, dark, and white. Though the dessert table was impressive, what drew one’s attention upon entering the room was the bar, which covered an entire section of one side of the room and had multiple tiers of shelves with every shape and size of bottle one could dream of and provided an endless supply of alcohol to suit any taste.

Paul, who was often called “Pasha” by his immediate family, was distracted from his idle staring by the sound of someone loudly occupying the seat next to him, the slight hiss of the leather cushion depressing drawing his attention. “You look positively thrilled to be here”, his younger brother Michael exclaimed, setting his crystal glass full of a dark amber liquid down on a small nearby table that rested between each seat and allowed the occupant a place to put drinks and food. His dark brown eyes, shoulder-length wavy brown hair, and a perpetual slight tan were tell-tale signs of his Mesogeian genes from his mother’s side.

Pasha readied a terse response, but stopped when he realized it was Michael, who everyone in his immediate family called “Misha”. “At least I’m not pretending to like horses in an attempt to impress every lady that looks in my direction like you, Misha”, Pasha replied with a playful smirk.

Misha grabbed his glass again, raising it towards his brother in a one-sided toast and downed it in a few gulps before handing it off to a nearby servant. At twenty-one, he could outdrink nearly anyone at the palace, a talent he had likely inherited from his Gariman grandmother’s family. “You’ve certainly had to work harder than the rest of us over the years at pretending, which is unfortunate considering your position. It might do you well to consider pretending today so you can catch the eye of one of the lovely ladies that will be gracing us with their presence soon”, Misha said, wiggling his eyebrows suggestively.

Regarding him with a raised eyebrow and a stern look, Pasha leaned forward towards his sibling, resting on the arm of the chair, and lowering his voice a pitch. “You keep that sword in its sheath. It took years for us to convince Uncle August to tolerate Farid coming around, I fear he’d have a coronary if we had another incident like that one.”

Misha let out a peal of laughter, which stood out in the quiet of the ballroom. The Tsar and Tsaritsa had yet to arrive, as Pasha and Misha’s mother, Theodora, was an avid purveyor of equestrian pursuits and was personally supervising many of the preparations for the race and the care of the horses, as she had every year since she had married their father Alexis. Only the male siblings; Paul, Nicholas, often called Klaus, Michael, and the two younger female siblings; Maria and Theodora, nicknamed Mia and Dora, were currently present. Misha’s bawdy laugh, exacerbated by the fact that he was already well on the way to a strong buzz, caught the attention of Klaus, who was busy tongue lashing a poor servant who had dropped one of the crystal glasses.

He waved the servant away, who beat a hasty retreat, and stormed over to his siblings, his blue eyes shining with annoyance. “Still not behaving in a manner befitting of an aristocrat of your rank, I see Misha”, he said wearing his trademark haughty look, this time tinged with annoyance. “I’d rather not have to get the bar restocked before the guests arrive.”

Pasha rolled his eyes, standing to face his brother. Had they been normal children, Klaus would have been what people would have considered the “popular kid”. He seemed to be proficient at everything he tried and at twenty-three, his blonde hair cripped short and dashing good looks always attracted a cadre of noble girls swooning over him at the palace. Pasha himself was certainly not what you would call unattractive, his own light brown hair with the same wave as Misha’s matching his dark blue eyes, but he was less charismatic than his brothers were. What he did have was height. He was 6’2, three inches taller than Klaus, and he often used it to his advantage.

“Don’t you have some hired help to be off abusing somewhere?”, Misha, who hadn’t bothered standing or looking behind him at his brother, replied in a bored tone.

Klaus regarded him with a look of annoyance. “You’d do well to remember I’m still second in line, whereas you’re simply third, Misha. You can’t simply speak to me any way you want.” He turned to Pasha, ignoring Misha who was about to respond. “You really should take all this more seriously. You’re nearly twenty-six and have a responsibility to this nation as heir. You’re going to be in father’s position one day. You should be the one taking charge here, as your station befits.”

Pasha rolled his eyes, glad that there was a row of seating separating Misha from Klaus, as he looked quite indignant at being disrespected and had enough alcohol in him that he looked like he might want to do something about it. “Do remember that you and Misha are the same rank, and furthermore, we pay staff who are solely dedicated to planning our events, Klaus. Why do I need to be in the middle of it?”

“Because, Pasha, you are going to rule this country one day, and the sooner you start building your reputation, the better. Some in the court believe your insouciant attitude about issues you deem as insignificant is going to be a detriment to the realm”, Klaus stated, his tone tinged with annoyance.

Misha rolled his eyes, feeling put-off enough to stand, and moved around the row of seats to stand in front of his older brother, a dark scowl on his face. “Is that really your concern, Klaus? Everyone that has spent any time around you knows what you’ve always really been after”, he barked in an accusatory tone.

Klaus stepped up to his brother, coming nose to nose with Misha, his 5’11 frame still slightly shorter than his 6’0 brother, but still with a dangerous glint in his eyes. Klaus was an extremely proficient fighter and had always been able to best Misha in a duel of blades, but in terms of fisticuffs, it would be anyone’s fight. “Oh, and what is that little brother?”

Pasha stood up to intervene, knowing Michael had thrown punches for less. He was even better with a blade and the martial arts they all took as teenagers than Klaus, something he was very proud of since Klaus despised coming in second, especially to Pasha. Before he could intervene, a raised female voice interrupted them. “Oh for God’s sake, would you all shut up/i] for five minutes? You boneheads are [i]always squabbling about something pointless.” A very exasperated looking Theodora was stomping towards the brothers. Her flowing dark brown hair cascaded behind her, and she was in her favorite choice of travel clothing, a riding tunic and breeches, having not yet changed into evening attire for the ball.
Klaus turned towards her, visibly bristling. “Dora, this is between…”

Theodora cut him off dismissively. “Go get yourself a drink and put some of that testosterone back into your balls, Klaus. You’re always harassing Pasha and Misha about some ridiculous problem you act like is going to cause the fall of the monarchy if it isn’t rectified immediately. Misha, maybe if you aren’t half drunk before the race even starts, you won’t run all the women off, since whatever personality you manage to summon naturally all but abandons after your third glass. Pasha, at least save sitting on your ass for when the race starts. You do need something to be happening before you can pretend to be interested in it.”

Though she was only sixteen, Dora had inherited the full measure of her mother’s personality and her grandfather’s quick temper, and both worked well together where her brothers were concerned. As the youngest daughter of Alexis and Theodora, she was well-known as the apple of her father’s eye and he indulged her impulses more than he did his other children, though their mother certainly did not. Had the elder Theodora been there, she would have certainly scolded her.

Misha sheepishly scratched the back of his head, his fight with Klaus momentarily forgotten. “Fuck, Dora, you don’t have to be so visceral about things. We were just having a brotherly disagreement.”

Even Klaus looked like he was somewhere between recalcitrant and embarrassed, which was rare for him, but Pasha had no idea if it was because Dora made him feel stupid for losing his temper in front of the staff, or if he was genuinely remorseful to be treating his siblings poorly. As unlikely as it seemed, Klaus and Dora were close, despite their obviously differing personalities, and she was one of the few people that could put him in his place. “Yes, Dora, it was just a misunderstanding. I just felt that…”

Dora cut him off again. “It doesn’t matter, Klaus. That’s enough quarreling, just drop it and let’s try and have some fun today, even though I know Pasha and Misha couldn’t care less about horse racing”, she said with a wry smile.

Pasha frowned, finally picking his way around the seats to join his siblings. “Is it that obvious?”

Dora smiled sympathetically. “I’m afraid so, at least try and keep up some appearances. You are going to be Tsar someday.”

Pasha smiled sheepishly. “Alright, alright, I'll show you how good I am at putting on a show. I’ll have Maria brief me on the whole thing before it starts so it seems more like I know what is going on.”

Klaus rolled his eyes. “Well, Pasha, in that case, I’ll let you whip these incompetents into shape. There’s an issue with Duke Arnulf’s idiot of a son that requires my attention.” He swept off in a flurry, his cloak trailing behind him. Klaus was always dressed perfectly for every occasion, something he was prideful about, which was featured on a long list of things he was prideful about.

Misha smirked and rolled his eyes. “I’ll go make sure he doesn’t take poor Harald out back and string him up. I hear he was tasked with preparing Klaus’ thoroughbred for the race, a job I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy.” He followed after his brother, who he had to jog slightly to catch up with.

Pasha turned to Dora. “Alright, enough slacking. I suppose I have guests to greet and preparations to oversee” Theodora rattled off a list of tasks that were being done. None of them did the work themselves, of course, but large groups of people often required supervision, and an event this big had a significant number of moving parts. He spent the next few hours having the servants rearrange the seating and tables of food to his liking, which he did until it was time to bathe and don court attire for the welcoming feast.

Evening came quickly, and all the guests began to assemble from their various lodgings. Many of the high-ranking guests could find lodgings at the expansive Cedar Palace, which was a great palace built in the expansive alpine forests around Fjalnir with apartments for hundreds of important guests if need be. The city itself, a popular tourist destination, had various resorts that those not staying in the palace. The festivities would open with the evening feast, followed by the beginning of the event early the next day. Guests could tour the stables and see the horses as well prior to the event. The 2033 National Thoroughbred Racing Championship promised to be interesting.

Return to NationStates

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Gallicelestia, Imagua and the Assimas, Takiv, The Selkie


Remove ads